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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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Tag: Pentagon

by Justin Raimondo
November 21, 2017
Antiwar.com

You know life’s become a joke when the US Department of Justice starts requiring foreign media to register as foreign agents.

Will the BBC be forced to issue a disclaimer with every broadcast and web posting: “Proceed with caution – British propaganda ahead”? Don’t bet the ranch on it.

Such distinctions are reserved for the current bogeyman of the moment, i.e. typically some marginal outlet with a small-to-minuscule audience, in this case RT, formerly Russia Today, and its companion web site Sputnik. Banned from advertising on Twitter, and the subject of an official investigation by both houses of Congress and a special counsel, these two relatively minor state-sponsored outlets are nonetheless credited with nearly single-handedly putting Donald Trump in the White House.

It didn’t take much to create the kind of atmosphere in which a direct assault on the First Amendment goes largely unnoticed and even implicitly supported. A mysterious Russian “troll farm” amplifying the perfidious “divisiveness” of RT/Sputnik “disinformation,” a few hundred thousand bucks in Facebook ads (mostly placed after the election), and the “expert” testimony of professional hysterics who traffic in the mythology of the new cold war. Such are the ingredients that go into the making of a new industry, or rather a revived one: Kremlinology. Compared to the “experts” of yesteryear, today’s Kremlinologists are a crankish lot. Bereft of any real knowledge of either Russian politics or the language, their elaborate conspiracy theories are unanchored by observable facts.

Instead, we are treated to a series of mysterious “links,” and seemingly ambiguous meetings, which add up to a monumental nothing. Twitter accounts that may or may not be real human beings retweet “fake news” generated and centrally directed by Vladimir Putin, and this – so they tell us – was a meaningful and even a decisive factor in the 2016 presidential election.

Yes, this nonsense is now the conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., where the foreign lobbies that matter, the ones with real power, rule the roost.

Since professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have done such a thorough job documenting the power and influence of Israel’s lobby in the US, the often decisive role played by AIPAC and allied groups is today largely acknowledged, even by the lobby’s partisans. If you have time or inclination, it’s worth looking into how AIPAC – surely not an insignificant force — and its predecessors were exempted from having to register under the terms of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

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Doug Bandow
November 19, 2017
The National Interest

Veterans Day has passed. The annual ritual never changes. Politicians who didn’t serve in the armed services start unnecessary wars, killing military personnel whose sacrifices are then lauded. Officials say these heroes died defending our freedom. That is almost always a lie.

Sometimes Washington must go to war. Not often, however. Despite the endless claims that we live in a dangerous world, America is amazingly safe. No other power could defeat, let alone conquer, the United States. Only Russia has a comparable nuclear arsenal, but it would be destroyed if Moscow targeted America. China and Russia trail U.S. conventional military strength and are more or less strategically isolated. In contrast, Washington is allied with every other major industrialized state.

Despite their bluster, the so-called rogue states, most notably North Korea and Iran, are not planning to attack the United States. Instead, they are desperate to ward off American attack. Since Washington routinely employs regime change against governments on America’s “naughty” list, Kim Jong-un looks rational, not suicidal, in seeking to create a deterrent to preserve his rule.

Washington’s most pressing security challenge is terrorism. But while targeting civilians is a moral outrage, terrorism does not pose an existential threat to America. Indeed, European and Latin American nations have confronted and survived more virulent attacks. Israel, Sri Lanka and Turkey also have suffered prolific terrorist bombings. So, too, Iraq, after Washington invaded that country and triggered sectarian war.

Moreover, interventions, invasions and occupations are no answer to terrorism. On the contrary, terrorism is a poor man’s weapons against stronger powers. It is politics by other means when the other side has a preponderance of traditional military power. To understand terrorism is not to justify it. But it long has been a political tool: two Russian czars, an Austro-Hungarian archduke (heir apparent), two former Indian prime ministers and countless other foreign officials have been assassinated by terrorists. Before Iraq, the most prolific suicide bombers on earth did their killing in Sri Lanka. Countries like Russia are not targeted because they are so liberal; Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait are not attacked for being infidels.

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Not sure where your tax dollars are going? Nobody really is.

By Michael D. Ostrolenk
November 16, 2017
The American Conservative

On Tuesday, the U.S. Representatives passed a Pentagon budget that called for $700 billion in defense spending—more than what even the Trump administration had asked for, and tens of billions more than the current defense spending caps. To achieve this budget, which is expected to sail through the Senate after the Thanksgiving break, Congress will have to raise the caps set into place during the Budget Control Act. But if there is a will—which there certainly is, considering the powerful defense industry lobby, coupled with members’ own special interests for their districts—there is a way.

But how indeed does this money get spent? An open secret in Washington is that the Pentagon, by far the largest if not most byzantine agency in the federal government, has never been audited. Sure, Congress mandated in 1990 that it be audited, but not surprisingly, the leviathan agency never complied, with no consequences to speak of. Reports abound about bureaucracy, contractor pushback, and at least one “historic” Marine Corps audit in 2015 that turned out to be less than thorough due to internal politics. Bottom line, the audits just aren’t happening.

There is a movement among Congress’ few but determined reformers to force the Pentagon’s hand. Congressman Michael Burgess, a conservative Republican from Texas, recently introduced H.R. 3079, the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2017, of which he is a co-sponsor. In the following interview with TAC, he explains why he introduced the bill and what he hopes to obtain from its passage.

TAC: You recently introduced H.R. 3079: Audit the Pentagon Act of 2017. Why is an audit of the Department of Defense of interest to you?

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen once said, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” Years of spending have wreaked havoc on our fiscal health and the federal budget.

The first step to getting spending under control is a full audit of the federal government. The government-wide consolidated financial statement has not been capable of receiving an audit opinion because the Department of Defense has not been able to obtain an audit opinion.

In 1990, Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act requiring every Department and Agency in the Federal government to produce verifiable financial statements that can be fully audited. To date, each major agency has been able to complete this task except one— the Department of Defense. Congress has allowed the Department of Defense to get away with 26 years of noncompliance with the law.

It is time for that to end.

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Can Generals James Mattis (US Secretary of Defense) and John Hyten (Head of US Strategic Command) Prevent a Disaster?

James Petras
October 26, 2017
The Unz Review

Introduction

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish American Organizations are leading President Trump, like a puppy on a leash, into a major war with Iran. The hysterical ’52 Presidents’ and ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu are busy manufacturing Holocaust-level predictions that a non-nuclear Iran is preparing to ‘vaporize’ Israel, the most powerful, nuclear-armed state in the Middle East. The buffoonish US President Trump has swallowed this fantasy wholesale and is pushing our nation toward war for the sake of Israel and its US-based supporters and agents. We will cite ten recent examples of Israeli-authored policies, implemented by Trump in his march to war (there are scores of others).

1. After many years, Israel and ‘the 52 President’ finally made the US withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) because of its detailed documentation of Israeli crimes against Palestinian people. Trump complied with their demands.

2. Tel Aviv demanded a Zionist fanatic and backer of the illegal Jewish settler occupation of Palestinian lands, the bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, be appointed US Ambassador to Israel. Trump complied, despite the ambassador’s overt conflict of interest.

3. Israel launched waves of savage bombings against Syrian government troops and facilities engaged in a war against ISIS-mercenary terrorists. Israel, which had backed the terrorists in its ambition to break-up of the secular Syrian state, demanded US support. Trump complied, and sent more US arms to the anti-government terrorists.

4. Israel denounced the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal Framework and Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by 6 major states and UN Security Council Members, (US, France, UK, Germany, China and Russia). A furious Netanyahu demanded that President Trump follow Tel Aviv and abrogate the multiparty agreement signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump complied and the US is at risk of openly violating its international agreement.

Trump parrots Netanyahu’s falsehoods to the letter: He raves that Iran, while technically in compliance, has violated ‘the spirit of the agreement’ without citing a single instance of actual violation. The 5 other signers of the ‘Framework’, the US military and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency have repeatedly certified Iran’s strict compliance with the accord. Trump rejects the evidence of countless experts among US allies and ‘his own generals’ while embracing the hysterical lies from Israel and the ‘52’. Who would have thought the ‘hard-nosed’ businessman Trump would be so ‘spiritual’ when it came to honoring and breaking treaties and agreements!

5. Israel and the ‘52’ have demanded that Washington imprison and fine US citizens who have exercised their constitutional First Amendment Right of free speech by supporting the international boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which is designed to end the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and crimes against Palestinians. Trump complied. Americans may soon face over a decade in prison and complete economic ruin for supporting a peaceful economic boycott of Israeli settler products. This will represent an unprecedented violation of the US Constitution. At present, US public employees, like teachers in certain US states, are facing job loss for refusing to sign a ‘loyalty oath’ not to boycott products from Israel’s illegal settlements. Desperate American victims of the floods and natural disasters in Texas are being denied access to public US taxpayer relief funds unless they sign similar loyalty oaths in support of Israel.

6. Israel demanded that the US appoint Zionist fanatic real estate attorney, Jason Greenblatt and real estate speculator, Jared Kushner as Middle East peace negotiators. Trump appointed South Carolina businesswoman Nikki Haley as US Ambassador to the United Nations. Israel pushed for Ms. Haley, the first US governor to criminalize support for the peaceful BDS movement.

7. Trump went against the advice of ‘his Generals’ in his own cabinet regarding Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, and chose to comply with Netanyahu’s demands.

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by Jonathan Cook
November 14, 2017
Antiwar.com


The scandal surrounding Priti Patel, who was forced to resign as Britain’s international aid minister last week after secret meetings with Israeli officials during a “family holiday”, offers a small, opaque window on the UK’s powerful Israel lobby.

Patel’s off-the-books meetings with 12 Israelis, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were organized by a British lobbyist in violation of government rules requiring careful documentation of official meetings. That is to prevent conflicts of interest and illicit lobbying by foreign powers.

Government protocol was flouted again when Patel headed to the Golan Heights, occupied Syrian territory, escorted by the Israeli army. There she was shown an Israeli military field hospital that patches up Syrians, including Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters, wounded in Syria’s civil war.

Afterwards, Patel pressed for the Israeli army, one of the most powerful in the world, to receive a chunk of Britain’s overseas aid. Meanwhile, she has sought to cut aid to the Palestinians, including to vital projects in Gaza. A clue as to how she reached such absurd “humanitarian” priorities is provided in the figure of Stuart Polak, mentor on her Israel “holiday”.

The honorary president of Conservative Friends of Israel, Lord Polak has recruited four-fifths of Conservative MPs, and almost every government minister, to a group whose explicit goal is to advance Israeli interests in Britain. The prime minister, Theresa May, is regarded as one of Israel’s most fervent supporters in Europe.

That should be a cause for public indignation – no other foreign state enjoys such unabashed, high-level political support.

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Tom Vanden Brook
USA TODAY
Nov. 12, 2017

WASHINGTON – People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.

The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year’s goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.

Expanding the waivers for mental health is possible in part because the Army now has access to more medical information about each potential recruit, Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman, said in a statement. The Army issued the ban on waivers in 2009 amid an epidemic of suicides among troops.

“The decision was primarily due to the increased availability of medical records and other data which is now more readily available,” Taylor’s statement to USA TODAY said. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories.”

But accepting recruits with those mental health conditions in their past carries risks, according to Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist who retired from the Army as a colonel in 2010 and is an expert on waivers for military service. People with a history of mental health problems are more likely to have those issues resurface than those who do not, she said.

“It is a red flag,” she said. “The question is, how much of a red flag is it?”

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Clinging to myths about Iraq and Vietnam only guarantees more war.

By Danny Sjursen
November 9, 2017
The American Conservative

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to weapons squad, 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment pose for a photo before patrolling Rusafa, Baghdad, Iraq, Feb. 18, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason T. Bailey) (www.army.mil)

Stop me if you’ve heard this: American soldiers didn’t lose in Vietnam. In fact, our brave troopers had the commies whipped by the late ‘60s; that is, of course, before a conspiratorial cabal of cowardly hippies, anti-war protestors, and dovish liberals pulled the rug out from under an all-but-victorious U.S. military. It’s quite a tale, replete with heroes, villains, and glib moral lessons. It is all wrong of course, faulty and fallacious.

Others—debunked historians and enthusiastic military officers among them—posit an altogether different, and even more insidious myth. The U.S. military could’ve won, almost did win; it’s just that dusty old World War II vets like General Westmoreland remained fixated on conventional war when they should’ve applied counterinsurgency tactics. One young military officer you may have heard of—then Major David Petraeus—argued as much in his Princeton doctoral dissertation. Later, as General Petraeus sought to apply the lessons of Vietnam to Iraq, he spawned a generation of so-called soldier-scholar “COINdinistas”—young Iraq and Afghan vets keen to win hearts and minds throughout the Islamic East. Counterinsurgency could work, they vociferously asserted (perhaps the “lady doth protest too much?”). Their favorite case studies: Malaya and Vietnam.

They were wrong too, of course, and, like the Vietnam narrative spinners, are being by more serious scholars. As eminent Vietnam historian, and contributor to the recent Ken Burns documentary, Gregory Daddis, wrote: rather than crafting a “better war” narrative we should see Vietnam as “a case study in the limits of U.S. power abroad.” Furthermore, “the outcome never lay entirely in American hands.” This was a civil war, a Vietnamese struggle for nation and identity. So, too, was (and is) the Iraq War.

Still, you have to admire the stories. Memory is a tricky thing. Sometimes the way we collectively remember an event becomes more durable than reality. Were the resulting mental paradigms less treacherous, one could simply ignore the errors and enjoy the fable. If only. Sadly, misremembering, and mythologizing Vietnam contributed to American adventurism, first in Central America in the 1980s, then, more recently, in the Middle East.

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By Jack Moore
11/8/17
Newsweek

The United States military has spent more than $5.6 trillion on conflicts since 2001, more than three times the Pentagon’s actual estimate, according to a new study.

The Department of Defense reported earlier this year that it had spent around $1.5 trillion on conflicts, including putting putting troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, air raids in Syria and Iraq to battle the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and a drone campaign and raids against extremists in Pakistan.

But that figure appears to underplay the real cost of war for the American taxpayer, at least according to the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University. It puts the total cost at $5.6 billion, or $23,000 per taxpayer.

The Pentagon’s initial estimate put the taxpayer cost at $7,740 per person for the conflicts since the Al-Qaeda-hatched 9/11 attacks in New York that killed almost 3,000 people.

“War costs are more than what we spend in any one year on what’s called the pointy end of the spear,” the study’s author, Neta Crawford, told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported its findings.

“There are all these other costs behind the spear, and there are consequences of using it, that we need to include.”


A picture taken on July 9 shows smoke billowing following an airstrike by the U.S.-led international coalition forces targeting the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Mosul, Iraq. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty

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Princes, ministers and a billionaire are ‘imprisoned’ in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton while the Saudi Arabian Army is said to be in an uproar

By Pepe Escobar
November 6, 2017
Asia Times.com

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: A pre-emptive coup? Photo: AFP

The House of Saud’s King Salman devises an high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman.

Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are frozen, private jets are grounded. The high-profile accused lot is “jailed” at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.

War breaks out within the House of Saud, as Asia Times had anticipated back in July. Rumors have been swirling for months about a coup against MBS in the making. Instead, what just happened is yet another MBS pre-emptive coup.

A top Middle East business/investment source who has been doing deals for decades with the opaque House of Saud offers much-needed perspective: “This is more serious than it appears. The arrest of the two sons of previous King Abdullah, Princes Miteb and Turki, was a fatal mistake. This now endangers the King himself. It was only the regard for the King that protected MBS. There are many left in the army against MBS and they are enraged at the arrest of their commanders.”

To say the Saudi Arabian Army is in uproar is an understatement. “He’d have to arrest the whole army before he could feel secure.”

Prince Miteb until recently was a serious contender to the Saudi throne. But the highest profile among the detainees belongs to billionaire Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal, owner of Kingdom Holdings, major shareholder in Twitter, CitiBank, Four Seasons, Lyft and, until recently, Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp.

Al-Waleed’s arrest ties up with a key angle; total information control. There’s no freedom of information in Saudi Arabia. MBS already controls all the internal media (as well as the appointment of governorships). But then there’s Saudi media at large. MBS aims to “hold the keys to all the large media empires and relocate them to Saudi Arabia.”

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James George JATRAS
03.11.2017
Strategic Culture Foundation

Here it is, right from the horse’s mouth! Qatar’s former prime minister spills his guts about how his country worked with Saudi Arabia and Turkey under the direction of the United States – meaning then the Obama Administration – to funnel arms and money to jihad terrorists in Syria:

‘The explosive interview constitutes a high level “public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.” … Former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who oversaw Syria operations on behalf of Qatar until 2013,… said while acknowledging Gulf nations were arming jihadists in Syria with the approval and support of US and Turkey: “I don’t want to go into details but we have full documents about us taking charge [in Syria].” He claimed that both Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (who reigned until his death in 2015) and the United States placed Qatar in a lead role concerning covert operations to execute the proxy war.

‘The former prime minister’s comments, while very revealing, were intended as a defense and excuse of Qatar’s support for terrorism, and as a critique of the US and Saudi Arabia for essentially leaving Qatar “holding the bag” in terms of the war against Assad. Al-Thani explained that Qatar continued its financing of armed insurgents in Syria while other countries eventually wound down large-scale support, which is why he lashed out at the US and the Saudis, who initially “were with us in the same trench.”’ [“In Shocking, Viral Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War,” Zero Hedge, October 29]

Busted! Consider the vulnerability of the former U.S. officials who were in charge at that time, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Just now, the latter had had her worst week since losing the election with the revelations about the Steele dossier, the Uranium One caper, and the Podesta Group’s implication in “RussiaGate.” The only thing now is to sit back and watch the fireworks show! From Tom Luongo (citing Zero Hedge):

‘Folks, I’ve been telling you for days now that the containment wall around Hillary Clinton has been breaking down. Now Qatar, which really has nothing to lose at this point outing the Obama Administration’s complicity in this, especially since the Saudis turned on them and tried to make them the scapegoat for the failed insurgency in Syria.

‘But, to directly finger the U.S. CIA and State Departments, then under the control of Hillary Clinton, is absolutely the most damaging thing they could possibly do at this point in time.’

Here it comes! You almost have to feel sorry for poor Hillary! The Trump team and their media supporters – starting with Fox News, which had been dancing on Hillary’s political grave all last week – will be all over this story in no time!

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