Thursday, March 24, 2011
March 24, 2011
The 912 Project-Nebraska Message Board warns that the Department of Homeland Security and officials in Pottawatamie County, Iowa, plan to hold a school shooting exercise on March 26 that portrays a student opposed to illegal immigration as a white supremacist.
“This Saturday, Pottawatamie County and Homeland Security are conducting an exercise with the Treynor, IA Community Schools and will simulate a school shooting,” writes Michael Patomson of Council Bluffs, Iowa. “The premise of the mock shooting has been changed to suggest that a student, whose parents oppose illegal immigration comes to school with a gun and shoots a Latino Student.”
Patomson received a PDF entitled “Operation Closed Campus” from the father of a student who was asked to participate in the exercise.
“The premise is that a white teen boy, whose family is involved in anti-illegal immigration rallies and favor guns, goes to school and shoots a Hispanic in a rural school,” writes Joan Becker in an email. “This premise is politically motivated, as it is the view of the Democrats in power that white American citizens who believe in all of their Constitutional rights are extremists and terrorists. It is an act of silencing my family, and it is an act of intimidation of all American citizens who believe in our rule of law.”
The PDF describes the shooter’s father as connected to an “underground white supremacist group” involved in violent demonstrations. The family is described as Second Amendment “fanatics” in possession of a large cache of weapons, including materials for the manufacture of IEDs. The scenario is right out of the Department of Homeland Security’s playbook.
The DHS’ “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” document connects white supremacists with the militia movement, advocates of the Second Amendment, activists opposed to illegal immigration, and other loosely defined “antigovernment” groups.
Hr 1 World Plantation with Travinyle1 Hr 2 The Commoncents Show with Jay Hr 3 Commoncents Overtime 3/23/2011 - Commoncents Radio | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio
F-15s are flown by Israel, which as you will recall from the attack on the USS Liberty, loves to fly war planes without any markings. If that flight crew is Israeli, that would explain why the rescue chopper simply gunned down all the witnesses.
WASHINGTON — When an admitted al-Qaida operative planned his itinerary for a Christmas 2009 airline bombing, he considered launching the strike in the skies above Chicago, the Associated Press has learned. Tickets were too expensive to Chicago, as well as Houston, however, so he refocused the mission on a cheaper destination: Detroit.
The decision is among new details emerging about one of the most sensational terror plots to unfold since President Obama took office. It shows that al-Qaida’s Yemen branch does not share Osama bin Laden’s desire to attack symbolic targets, preferring instead to strike at targets of opportunity. Like the plot that nearly blew up U.S.-bound cargo planes last year, the cities themselves did not matter. It is a strategy that has helped the relatively new group quickly become the No. 1 threat to the United States.
After the failed bombing and the arrest of suspected bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the question of why Detroit was targeted had gone unanswered. It was reported previously that Abdulmutallab did not specifically choose Christmas, Dec. 25, for his mission.
Abdulmutallab considered Houston, where he attended an Islamic conference in 2008, current and former counterterrorism officials told the AP. Another person with knowledge of the case said Abdulmutallab also considered Chicago but was discouraged by the cost. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.
While the target and timing were unimportant, the mission itself was a highly organized plot that involved one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists and al-Qaida’s go-to bomb maker, current and former officials said. Before Abdulmutallab set off on his mission, he visited the home of al-Qaida manager Fahd al-Quso to discuss the plot and the workings of the bomb.
Al-Quso, 36, is one of the most senior al-Qaida leaders publicly linked to the Christmas plot. His association with al-Qaida stretches back more than a decade to his days in Afghanistan when, prosecutors said, bin Laden implored him to “eliminate the infidels from the Arabian Peninsula.”
From there he rose through the ranks. He was assigned the job in Aden to videotape the 1998 suicide bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 sailors and injured 39 others, but he fell asleep. Despite the lapse, he is now a midlevel manager in the organization. Al-Quso is from the same tribe as radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who had an operational role in the botched Christmas attack.
In December, al-Quso was designated a global terrorist by the State Department, a possible indication that his role in al-Qaida’s Yemen franchise has grown more dangerous.
Al-Quso was indicted on 50 terrorism counts in New York for his role in preparing for the Cole attack and served more than five years in prison in Yemen before he was released in 2007. On the FBI’s list, al-Quso ranks behind only bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, among the most sought-after al-Qaida terrorists.
After meeting with al-Quso, Abdulmutallab left Yemen in December 2009 and made his way to Ghana, where he paid $2,831 in cash for a round-trip ticket from Nigeria to Amsterdam to Detroit and back.
Abdulmutallab, 24, is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiring with others to kill 281 passengers and 11 crew members aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253. After his arrest, he admitted to the FBI that he intended to blow up the plane and later surfaced in an al-Qaida propaganda video.
Abdulmutallab initially cooperated with investigators, pulling back the curtain on some activities by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based offshoot that has quickly became al-Qaida’s most active franchise. Plea discussions fell apart, however, and he is scheduled to go to trial in October while acting as his own lawyer.
One of the challenges facing U.S. intelligence officials is that much of the information they collect on terrorists comes from surveillance or informants, and the government is reluctant to reveal it. So if a terrorist is captured overseas, prosecuting him in the United States or persuading another country to hold him can be difficult.
A plea deal from Abdulmutallab would have resolved that dilemma. His testimony could form the basis for indictments against al-Awlaki or perhaps bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. And the United States would not have to disclose some of its most sensitive intelligence-gathering techniques. On Thursday, the State Department designated al-Asiri as a terrorist and banned Americans from doing business with him.
Associated Press writers Ed White in Detroit and Tom Hays and Larry Neumeister in New York contributed to this report.
No Safety Problem
When America goes to war, managed news goes with it spreading rumors, half-truths, misinformation, and willful deception about targeted nations, regimes and leaders, whether despots or democrats.
Whoever first said it, the first casualty of war is truth, and then some as John Pilger once observed saying:
“Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and willful misreporting) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries….”
Managed news, in fact, jeopardizes free and open societies by substituting fiction for facts, carefully filtered reports for truth, and cheerleading propaganda for real journalism. As a result, wars of aggression are called liberating ones. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good, and patriotism means going along with lawless governments, reigning death and destruction on defenseless nations for imperial, not noble, reasons.
Media support backs them, notably in America where dominant electronic and print reporting marches in lockstep with government policy, right or wrong.
As a result, dominant information sources (the major media) are in crisis as leading media scholar/critic/activist Robert McChesney once observed, saying:
“Going to war is arguably the single most important decision any society can make. The track record of the US news media in the twentieth century is that they often went along with fraudulent efforts to get the nation into one war or another” from WW I to today.
Each time with no exceptions, “administration(s) in power believed that (truth wouldn’t enlist) support (for) war. So they lied. The Pentagon Papers (exposed it about Southeast Asia) in shocking detail.”
Post-9/11 through Obama’s war on Libya, “the very debate over whether to go to war” is absent. Obama decides. The media salute, and public opinion is manipulated to say amen. Never discussed are justifiable reasons, choosing diplomacy over militarism, America acting as judge, jury and executioner, and cui bono fruits of war. Without them, they’d be none.
Said another way, absent the power and profit benefits, who’d wage them, especially capitalist America, generously enriching war profiteers that fund politicians for bottom line friendly policies.
As a result, government is unaccountable to the electorate. Democracy is the best money can buy, and wars are always imperial, not liberating ones, especially ones America wages.
Today, round the clock media coverage supports them. Long before television, media critic AJ Liebling said, “People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.” Today it’s mostly TV, the dominant managed news source, supporting power, not truth, functioning as a propaganda system for elitist interests, especially on matters of war and peace.
A March 21 New York Times editorial headlined, “At War in Libya” highlights it, saying:
“Col Muammar el-Qaddafi has long been a thug and a murderer who has never paid for his many crimes, including the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.” Thug and murderer, yes. Downing Pan Am Flight 103 proved false. He had nothing to do with it, clear evidence The Times suppresses to willfully lie to readers.
Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi was bogusly convicted for the December 21, 1988 bombing, then released last August because of terminal cancer and sent home to Libya. In fact, Scottish judges who convicted him knew he was innocent, saying so in their final opinion. In addition, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission’s investigation uncovered multiple reasons for believing his conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice, including no credible evidence of his involvement.
No witnesses, video, documentation, fingerprints or other corroboration linked him to the bomb inside a suitcase downing the plane. Even the court admitted:
“The absence of any explanation of the method by which the primary suitcase might have been placed on board KM180 (Air Malta to Frankfort) is a major difficulty’” in the case.
Further, misreporting claimed Gaddafi admitted fault. In fact, he said Libya would take responsibility for the crime, solely to have international sanctions against him lifted.
The dominant media know it, including The Times, but never reported it. Instead, they distort, exaggerate, lie, and, and suppress uncomfortable truths to support state and corporate interests, even at the cost of innocent lives.
As a result, The Times editorial praised Obama’s decision to bomb, never questioning why, whether alternatives should have been considered, or rule of law considerations. Instead, it admitted:
– “no perfect formula for military intervention;”
– the importance of “us(ing) it sparingly;” and
– abstaining in Bahrain, Yemen, other regional uprisings, and Occupied Palestine is justified.
In contrast, it called Libya “a specific case,” saying Gaddafi “is erratic, widely reviled, armed with mustard gas and has a history of supporting terrorism,” ignoring other worse regional despots than him, notably Israeli leaders armed with nuclear weapons, other sophisticated ones, no shyness about using them, regularly attacking Palestinians, besieging Gazans, and waging lawless wars on Lebanon and Gaza with impunity.
In fact, Times and other major media reporters, op-ed, and editorial writers wholeheartedly support them, a chilling example of hypocrisy and biased journalism.
On March 23 Washington Post editorial headlined, “Confused in Libya,” saying:
“The only solution to Libya’s crisis….is the removal of Mr. Gaddafi from power. (Obama) still seems to lack a coherent strategy for accomplishing that aim.” He needs to “(e)xercise US leadership….many (unnamed) Arabs have been puzzled and even outraged by (his) manifest reluctance to support a revolution (in fact, a US/UK-instigated insurrection), aimed at overthrowing one of the region’s most vile dictatorships,” ignoring other worse regional ones.
On March 20, a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined, “GOP on Libya: What’s Obama’s Goal?” saying:
“Republican lawmakers are glad (Obama) is intervening in Libya, but they’re not happy with how (he’s) carry(ing) out (his) decision to do so.” The same day, House Speaker John Boehner said:
Obama “has a moral obligation to stand with those who seek freedom from oppression and self-government for their people,” what’s, in fact, absent throughout the region, yet unmentioned in media commentaries or official statements.
Fox News contributor Bill Kristol wants ground troops in Libya as well as bombing. Ahead of hostilities, convicted Iran-Contra felon Elliot Abrams called Obama’s response “feeble….a non-response,” promoting war based on false information he cited. Bill O’Reilly headlined a commentary, “Getting Gaddafi,” wanting him ousted for the wrong reasons. Other figures on the left and right agree, supporting a lawless agenda to do it.
Peter Dale Scott expressed other concerns, comparing Libya to Iraq, saying:
“Both countries had a monstrous dictator. Both were subjected to no-fly zones. (They) don’t deter the dictator. In due course, this evolves into a massive intervention in which the government is overthrown and the opposition goes into an internal civil war while simultaneously attacking the invaders.”
Diana Johnstone asked “Is This Kosovo All Over Again?” saying:
Despite enormous differences, disturbing similarities include:
– right or wrong, vilifying a leader;
– “the ‘we must do something’ chorus;”
– evoking “crimes against humanity (and) genocide;”
– “leftist (narrow vision) idiocy,” mindlessly cheerleading for war;
– “refugees,” using over-the-top unexplained exaggeration;
– resurrecting bin Laden, despite compelling evidence he’s dead; and
– spurning negotiations, mediation, and diplomacy to pursue war, Washington’s favorite pastime.
As a result, expect protracted hostilities ahead, perhaps killing thousands, injuring and disabling many more, and causing widespread destruction and contamination from toxic munitions.
Once ended, Gaddafi may be gone, either dead or tried like Saddam then killed, and Libyans left no better off than Iraqis and Afghans, suffering horrifically under imperial occupation, a fate no one deserves.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.