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9/11 – A Cheap Magic Trick

How false flag attacks are manufactured by the world's elite.

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Category: Pentagon

Matthew Petti
July 27, 2017
The National Interest

A Note from John Allen Gay, executive director of the John Quincy Adams Society: There’s growing debate in America about the proper scale of our involvement abroad. But here in the Beltway, no matter what the question is, the answer always seems to be that the United States needs to do more: to risk its troops’ lives in more places, to sacrifice more in taxes, debts, and domestic investments to support overseas endeavors, to extend defense guarantees to more countries, and to involve itself more deeply in other countries’ civil wars and internal struggles. Yet “more” hasn’t been working. As a national network of college groups focused on foreign policy, we at the John Quincy Adams Society wanted to challenge our next generation of national security leaders to evaluate a different path. That’s why we partnered with the National Interest to sponsor an essay contest, asking students to answer the following question: “What benefits could a more restrained, careful foreign policy strategy offer to the United States?” We’re pleased to present the best, selected from among dozens of excellent entries.

The essay below, by Matthew Petti of Columbia University, was a runner-up in the contest.

American influence on the rest of the world is not a two-way street. Just as Newton’s Third Law posits that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, every expansion of U.S. power in the rest of the world gives foreign powers both the means and incentive to build influence in Washington. It is neither surprising nor unreasonable for governments and international organizations to advocate for their interests in the capital of the most powerful state on earth. However, the United States should not mistake these interests for its own. Attempts to maintain an imperial presence around the entire world have dragged the country into self-destructive actions at the behest of its allies, and American disengagement from local conflicts would free the U.S. from its allies’ prejudiced understanding of those conflicts. American patronage of Saudi Arabia’s policies in its near abroad provides a valuable case study of allied nations’ sometimes detrimental effect on U.S. foreign policy.

Saudi Arabia portrays itself as the leader of a moderate Sunni Muslim bloc against Iranian expansion and Islamic extremism. This view is not necessarily grounded in reality, as a radically anti-Shia ideology causes the Saudi regime to see Iranian conspiracies behind every rock, whether or not Iran is actually involved. Nor is its claim to leadership unanimously accepted by Sunni Muslims, as the Saudi dispute with Turkey and Qatar demonstrates. Finally, Saudi Arabia’s support for militant Salafist ideologies calls into question its claims to moderation. Nevertheless, the Trump administration has bought into this sectarian worldview, promising a basket of favors to the Saudi regime, including a $110 billion arms deal, during Trump’s first foreign visit.

The most destructive result of Saudi Arabia’s influence can be seen in its campaign in Yemen. The ironically-named Operation Restoring Hope has killed thousands of Yemenite civilians, bringing disease and famine to millions more. For all their insistence on intervening in Syria for moral ends, neoconservatives and liberal interventionists have been strangely silent about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Beyond the immorality of its effects, the Saudi campaign is a political failure, as the anti-Saudi rebel government still controls the capital in Sanaa, as well as nine out of twenty-one provincial capitals. Even cities supposedly under the control of the Saudi-backed Hadi government are hotbeds of chaos and violence. This instability is bad for not only the innocent Yemenis living through a civil war but also the international economy, as more than 10 percent of global trade flows through the Red Sea basin on its way to or from the Suez Canal; ships traveling through the Straits of al-Mandab have come under fire from inside Yemen.

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Kill the 2001 authorization for war

By Jerrod Laber and Lucy Steigerwald
July 19, 2017
The American Conservative

In a late-June session of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) successfully added an amendment to a Defense Appropriations Bill that would repeal the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF).

Update, 7/19: Rep. Lee Tweeted Wednesday morning that Speaker Ryan had essentially stripped her AUMF amendment from the final defense bill “in the dead of the night” Tuesday.

The passage of this amendment sent a positive signal that America’s war-making capabilities will finally be the subject of a debate, at least on the House floor. On July 12, Lee even met with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss the matter. Unfortunately, it appears that Lee’s amendment is being threatened by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who has offered up a replacement bill that, instead of repealing the 2001 AUMF, would ask Congress to clarify war powers and goals.

Unsurprisingly, Lee is not satisfied with that slight improvement. Lee has objected to its powers since 2001, when the AUMF was first passed four days after the terrorist attacks of September 11. The original vote gave the president wide latitude to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons” that he determined were responsible for 9/11. It passed with remarkable speed, and there were no committee hearings. Lee was the only member of either chamber of Congress to vote against the bill.

Sixteen years of interventionist foreign-policy decisions have stretched this authorization to encompass any and all uses of military force broadly connected to the War on Terror, including actions against “associated groups” related to the 9/11 terrorists. The AUMF was used to justify the invasion of Iraq (though that invasion received its own resolution), even though there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda or 9/11. Every one of the recent drone wars in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia was “authorized” by the legislation. The AUMF is the backbone of U.S. actions in Syria against the Islamic State (beyond, that is, the evergreen assertions of executive power). Special Operations forces have entered 70 percent of the world’s countries so far this year. As investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill noted in the subtitle of his best-selling book Dirty Wars, the world is indeed a battlefield, and the 2001 AUMF gets a lot of the credit for that making that a reality.

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by Lucy Steigerwald
June 17, 2017

There are more than 8,000 troops still fighting in America’s longest war. According to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, we need about 3,000 more. The idea that 3,000 troops will change a decade and a half long stalemate seems dubious, but that’s the number Mattis suggests. Others in the administration are reportedly arguing that that number is too small.

The war in Afghanistan seems to be never-ending, but now something is a little different. The military is making the calls more directly. That’s not how it generally works. The Constitution specifies that civilians will control the armed forces. This has been laid out more overtly in subsequent legislation.

Congress is supposed to vote on war, though that only happens sometimes, and executives feel free to use drones, missiles, and Special Forces in countless countries on which the US has never declared war.

There are a lot of “supposed tos” that aren’t happening in US foreign policy. The president decides to go to war, and congress is too timid to enforce their ability to vote on it. The post-Richard Nixon War Powers Resolution has never once been actually used against a commander in chief who engaged troops or bombs or drones, or some combination, without approval from the legislative branch.

Few expected Donald Trump to be a micromanager of the armed forces. During his campaign, the future president talked the occasional good game about the benefits of the military being less of a presence in the world. When real world politics caught up with him, that supposed skepticism towards America’s past military adventures started to look a lot more like trusting the military to handle their own affairs – and that’s the most generous way of putting it.

To some, that’s a positive step. Trump sure thinks so. In April he said that the armed forces were making their own decisions on the ground and “frankly, that’s why they’ve been so successful lately.”

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He scores two takedowns in two days

by Justin Raimondo
July 14, 2017
Antiwar.com

Oh, it was glorious fun, yielding the kind of satisfaction that us anti-interventionists rarely get to enjoy: not one but two prominent neoconservatives who have been wrong about everything for the past decade – yet never held accountable – getting taken down on national television. Tucker Carlson, whose show is a shining light of reason in a fast-darkening world, has performed a public service by demolishing both Ralph Peters and Max Boot on successive shows. But these two encounters with evil weren’t just fun to watch, they’re also highly instructive for what they tell us about the essential weakness of the War Party and its failing strategy for winning over the American people.

Tucker’s first victim was Ralph Peters, an alleged “military expert” who’s been a fixture on Fox News since before the Iraq war, of which he was a rabid proponent. Tucker starts out the program by noting that ISIS “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been killed in a Russian airstrike and that the talk in Washington is now moving away from defeating ISIS and focusing on Iran as the principal enemy. He asks why is this? Why not take a moment to celebrate the death of Baghdadi and acknowledge that we have certain common interests with the Russians?

Peters leaps into overstatement, as is his wont: “We can’t have an alliance with terrorists, and the Russians are terrorists. They’re not Islamists, but they are terrorists.” He then alleges that the Russians aren’t really fighting ISIS, but instead are bombing hospitals, children, and “our allies” (i.e. the radical Islamist Syrian rebels trained and funded by the CIA and allied with al-Qaeda and al-Nusra). The Russians “hate the United States,” and “we have nothing in common with the Russians” –nothing!” The Russians, says Peters, are paving the way for the Iranians – the real evil in the region – to “build up an empire from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean.” Ah yes, the “Shia crescent” which the Israelis and their amen corner in the US have been warning against since before the Iraq war. Yet Tucker points out that over 3,000 Americans have been killed by terrorists in the US, and “none of them are Shi’ites: all of [these terrorists] have been Sunni extremists who are supported by the Saudis who are supposed to be our allies.” And while we’re on the subject: “Why,” asks Tucker, “if we’re so afraid of Iran did we kill Saddam Hussein, thereby empowering Iran?”

“Because we were stupid,” says Peters.

Oh boy! Peters was one of the most militant advocates of the Iraq war: we were “stupid,” I suppose, to listen to him. Yet Tucker lets this ride momentarily, saving his big guns for the moment when he takes out Peters completely. And Peters walks right into it when Tucker wonders why we can’t cooperate with Russia, since both countries are under assault from Sunni terrorists:

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By Bob Graham and Dan Christensen
Special to the Tampa Bay Times
July 10, 2017 3:34pm

Sixteen years is a long time to expect the American public to wait to know who was behind 9/11, the most significant act of terror in modern U.S. history. Unfortunately, the wait continues because of the resistance of federal agencies to openness, the over-classification of information and the weakness of the Freedom of Information Act.

Vast numbers of investigative and intelligence documents related to 9/11 remain classified. The FBI alone has acknowledged it has tens of thousands of pages of 9/11 reports that it refuses to make public. To make matters worse, agencies withholding information tell what are essentially lies to make their actions seem as acceptable as possible.

For example, the FBI repeatedly has said its investigation of a Saudi family who moved abruptly out of their Sarasota home two weeks before 9/11 — leaving behind their cars, clothes, furniture and other belongings — found no connections to the attacks. Yet statements in the FBI’s own files that were never disclosed to Congress or the 9/11 Commission say the opposite — that the Sarasota Saudis had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.”

Trust in government today is near historic lows. Recent polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center found that only 20 percent of Americans trust Washington to do what’s right. When the people think government isn’t listening to them, or giving them the respect of knowing what it is doing, it feeds into that undercurrent and denies the public the opportunity to be part of the discussion about what we should be doing.

Last summer’s release of the long-hidden “28 pages” from Congress’ Joint Inquiry into 9/11 and FBI records obtained by Florida Bulldog amid ongoing FOIA litigation indicate that much about Saudi Arabia’s role in supporting the 9/11 hijackers remains classified. If the public knew the role the kingdom played in 9/11, would the United States be selling them $350 billion in sophisticated military equipment?

The Freedom of Information Act is intended to be how classified materials are unearthed. But as it is currently written and has been generally interpreted by the courts, most recently by Miami federal Judge Cecilia Altonaga in Florida Bulldog’s lawsuit against the FBI, the frequently trivial concerns of agencies trump the fundamental democratic principle that Americans deserve to know what their government is doing in their name.

The problem is illustrated by Altonaga’s June 29 order denying the public access to an FBI PowerPoint titled “Overview of the 9/11 Investigation.” The judge agreed with the FBI that much information, including classified pages about who funded the attacks, was exempt from FOIA disclosure because it might disclose law enforcement “techniques and procedures,” even though the overview doesn’t discuss those techniques and procedures. Altonaga ruled without holding a trial at which agents could be cross-examined in open court on the facts that supported the FBI’s claims.

For instance, the FBI withheld a photo taken by a security camera around the time of the attacks in 2001. The FBI argued, and the judge agreed, that the camera’s location could be deduced by viewing that photographic evidence. It is a trivialization of FOIA to use its exemptions to protect the location of a security camera 16 years ago.

The “techniques and procedures” exemption should not be used as a rationale for the nondisclosure of the image in the photograph. The camera didn’t give the American government information to avoid 9/11. Why are we covering up for this failed system 16 years later?

The classification process today is driven by the agency that’s trying to withhold the information. No disinterested third party is involved that would be free from the motivation of burying ineptitude, or worse, by the agency holding the material.

The government hasn’t always had such a tightfisted approach to records. During the Civil War, amid Northern discontent as the war grew increasingly bloody, President Abraham Lincoln instituted a policy that every diplomatic message received or sent would regularly be made public. Lincoln believed such extreme openness was needed so people could see how the Union was conducting foreign policy, particularly whether Spain, France or England were going to recognize the Confederacy as a sovereign nation, a potentially crippling blow.

Acting in the face of extreme crisis, Lincoln demonstrated an early belief in the value of open records to keep the public informed and supportive. The president, the FBI and other agencies would be wise to follow President Lincoln’s example. Congress would be wise to reform FOIA so it serves its intended purpose.

Bob Graham was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-chairman of Congress’s Joint Inquiry into the terrorist attacks. He served as Florida’s governor from 1979-87. Dan Christensen is an award-winning investigative reporter and the founder and editor of Florida Bulldog, a nonprofit news organization. They wrote this exclusively for the Tampa Bay Times.

July 7, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts

The backdrops to the Putin/Trump meeting are the aspirations of Israel and the neoconservatives. It is these aspirations that drive US foreign policy.

What is Syria about? Why is Washington so focused on overthrowing the elected president of Syria? What explains the sudden 21st century appearance of “the Muslim threat”? How is Washington’s preoccupation with “the Muslim threat” consistent with Washington’s wars against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad, leaders who suppressed jihadism? What explains the sudden appearance of “the Russian threat” which has been hyped into dangerous Russophobia without any basis in fact?

The Muslim threat, the Russian threat, and the lies used to destroy Iraq, Libya, and parts of Syria are all orchestrations to serve Israeli and neoconservative aspirations.

The Israel Lobby in the United States, perhaps most strongly represented in Commentary, The Weekly Standard and The New York Times, used the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon to urge US President George W. Bush to begin “a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from Power in Iraq.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century
See also: http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/iraqwar.shtml

Saddam Hussein was a secular leader whose job was to sit on the animosities of the Sunni and Shia and maintain a non-violent political stability in Iraq. He, Assad, and Gaddafi suppressed the extremism that leads to jihadism. Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, and under his rule Iraq constituted a ZERO threat to the US. He had been a faithful vassal and attacked Iran for Washington, which had hopes of using Iraq to overthrow the Iranian government.

Removing secular leaders is what unleashes jihadism. Washington unleashed Muslim terrorism by regime change that murdered secular leaders and left countries in chaos.

Fomenting chaos in Iraq was the beginning for spreading chaos into Syria and then Iran. Syria and Iran support Hezbollah, the militia in southern Lebanon that has twice driven out the Israeli Army sent in to occupy southern Lebanon so that Israel could appropriate the water resources.

The neoconservatives’ wars against the Middle East serve to remove the governments that provide military and financial support to Hezbollah. By spreading jihadism closer to the Russian Federation, these wars coincide perfectly with the US neoconservative policy of US World Hegemony. As expressed by Paul Wolfowitz, US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

Israel wants Syria and Iran to join Iraq and Libya in American-induced chaos so that Israel can steal the water in southern Lebanon. If Syria and Iran are in chaos like Iraq and Libya, Hezbollah will not have the military and financial support to withstand the Israeli military.

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Yet he seems not to know it

by Justin Raimondo
July 05, 2017
Antiwar.com

How did Donald Trump defy all the pollsters, the pundits, and the Twitterverse “experts” and take the White House? According to the Democrats, it was all a Russian plot – Kremlin-directed Twitter “bots” spread “misinformation” and “fake news,” Russian hackers stole the DNC’s emails, and this deprived Hillary Clinton of her rightful place as President of these United States. If we listen to the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, it was all because their man Bernie failed to win the nomination due to corporate influence and the flawed election strategy of the Clinton campaign. And the Republicans tell us it was because – well, they don’t have any coherent theory, but, hey, they’ll take it regardless of why or how it happened.

What hasn’t emerged from the shock and horror of the elites, however, is a reasonably convincing explanation for the Trump victory: the storied “deplorables,” as Mrs. Clinton described them, rose up in rebellion against the coastal elites and delivered them a blow from which they are still reeling. Disdained, forgotten, and left behind, these rural not-college-educated near-the-poverty-line voters, who had traditionally voted Democratic, deserted the party – but why?

No real explanation has been forthcoming. Hillary tells us it was due, in part, to “sexism,” and the rest was a dark conspiracy by Vladimir Putin and James Comey. More objective observers attribute the switch to the relentless emphasis by the Democrats on identity politics, which seems convincing until one examines the actual statistics down to the county level in those key states – Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – that gave the party of Trump the keys to the White House.

Francis Shen, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, and Douglas Kriner, who teaches political science at Boston University, have done just that, and their conclusion is stunning – and vitally important to those of us who want to understand what the current relation of political forces means for the anti-interventionist movement. They write:

“With so much post-election analysis, it is surprising that no one has pointed to the possibility that inequalities in wartime sacrifice might have tipped the election. Put simply: perhaps the small slice of America that is fighting and dying for the nation’s security is tired of its political leaders ignoring this disproportionate burden. To investigate this possibility, we conducted an analysis of the 2016 Presidential election returns. In previous research, we’ve shown that communities with higher casualty rates are also communities from more rural, less wealthy, and less educated parts of the country. In both 2004 and 2006, voters in these communities became more likely to vote against politicians perceived as orchestrating the conflicts in which their friends and neighbors died.

“The data analysis presented in this working paper finds that in the 2016 election Trump spoke to this part of America. Even controlling in a statistical model for many other alternative explanations, we find that there is a significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump. Indeed, our results suggest that if three states key to Trump’s victory – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin – had suffered even a modestly lower casualty rate, all three could have flipped from red to blue and sent Hillary Clinton to the White House.”

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“The 9/11 truthers focus on minutiae like the melting point of steel in the World Trade Center buildings that caused their collapse because they think the government lies and conducts ‘false flag’ operations to create a New World Order.” Michael Shermer

Shermer article offers glib dismissals of ‘conspiracy theories’

By Craig McKee
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
June 24, 2017

In his articles and talks, Michael Shermer puts a great deal of emphasis on the perils of self-deception. What he seems less concerned about are actual deceptions.

The founder of Skeptic Magazine is a professional conspiracy denier. Name a potential conspiracy, and Shermer will tell you why it didn’t happen. But rather than offer solid evidence that can stand up to scrutiny, he’ll reach for a humorous one-liner that he knows will satisfy an uncritical audience.

For example, in his 2010 TED Talk “The pattern behind self-deception,” Shermer uses a joke to dispense with people who challenge the official 9/11 narrative:

“They think it was an inside job by the Bush administration. You know how we know that 9/11 was not initiated by the Bush administration? It worked.”

The line gets a big laugh, as it is intended to do. But is the inherent argument rational? Or is it rhetorical manipulation? The audience members leave not only pleased with Shermer but with themselves. They get to feel superior to those incompetent government types who could simply never pull off a conspiracy this clever.

In his articles and presentations, Shermer offers colorful examples of “theories” that he claims have no credibility, and he deftly hints that these are typical of many or most “conspiracy theories.” Using one flimsy example or another, he guides the audience to pat dismissals of any challenges to mainstream narratives. After all, why go through the hard work of confronting real evidence when flippancy is so much more economical?

In the same TED Talk, Shermer points to the unsubstantiated theory that the Bush administration placed explosive devices in the levees around New Orleans so that the city would be flooded during Hurricane Katrina. He alleges that there are those who purport to have found some of these devices after the fact.

Why is this example typical? We never find out. We are just expected to accept that it is.

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