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March 19, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
A twin terrorist bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus, allegedly targeting government buildings, ripped through a Christian neighborhood killing an estimated 27, mostly civilians. A third bomb exploded, killing only the driver of the car it was placed in, in what was apparently an attempted triple suicide bombing.
CBS News reports (1) that after other similar attacks, U.S. officials suggest Al Qaeda terrorists “may be” amongst the Syrian rebels. However, while the West attempts to portray this as an unexpected development, we shall see that it not only was likely, but in fact the premeditated modus operandi of Western-backed destabilization efforts directed at upturning not only Syria, but the entire Arab World.
Pentagon’s Premeditated Arab World Blitzkrieg
From the beginning, the United States has been directly behind the unrest in Syria. In fact, America’s involvement in destabilizing Syria began years before the admittedly US-engineered Arab Spring (2) even unfolded in a premeditated plot to upturn the entire Arab World and reorder it according to their own corporate-financier and hegemonic geopolitical interests.
In a 2007 speech given to the Commonwealth Club of California (3), US Army General Wesley Clark would state that in 1991, then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz said the US had 5-10 years to clean up the old Soviet “client regimes” before the next super power rose up and challenged western hegemony. Clark claimed that this, along with the aftermath of 9/11 constituted a policy coup where Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and the other members of the of Project for a New American Century had hijacked US foreign policy to destabilize and turn the nations of the Middle East upside down — much the way they are now.
February 16, 2012
By Natalie Nicol
“Talk about a government that is out control. The only reason that want to censor on-line material is because they are scared the truth will finally reach the masses.” –KTRN
In a report published last week, members of the United Kingdom Parliament concluded that the Internet plays a major role in the radicalization of terrorists and called on the government to pressure Internet Service Providers in Britain and abroad to censor online speech. The Roots of Violent Radicalisation places the Internet ahead of prisons, universities, and religious establishments in propagating radical beliefs and ultimately recommends that the government “develop a code of practice for the removal of material which promotes violent extremism” binding ISPs.
While the Terrorism Act 2006 authorizes British law enforcement agencies to order certain material to be removed from websites, lawmakers on the Home Affairs Committee stated that “service providers themselves should be more active in monitoring the material they host.” Their report raises serious concerns that political and religious speech will be suppressed. Security expert Peter Neumann who testified before the Committee asked why websites like YouTube and Facebook can’t be as “effective at removing . . . extremist Islamist or extremist right-wing content” as they are at removing sexually explicit content or copyrighted material that violates their own terms of service.
Citing “persuasive evidence about the potential threat from extreme far-right terrorism” and lauding the recent conviction of four London men who used the Internet to plot a bombing of the London Stock Exchange, Parliament Members commended the report saying, “[it] tackles the threat from home-grown terrorism on and off line.” A spokesman for the House of Commons Home Office stated that the Committee would continue to “work closely with police and internet service providers to take Internet hate off the web.”
In an interview with the International Business Times, Trend Micro security director Rik Ferguson criticized the Committee’s recommendations and argued that making ISPs “judge, jury and executioner” imposes responsibilities on ISPs that rightfully belong to law enforcement. “Material of a political or religious nature is by definition much more difficult to define and much more difficult to police without crossing the line to impact on freedom of expression,” Ferguson stated.
The Committee issued its recommendations in the midst of reports that Google India had taken down online content deemed offensive to Indian political and religious leaders in response to a lawsuit. The Washington Post points out that Google Transparency Reports indicate that the UK removed nearly as much content as India from January to June 2011. Google complied with more than 80% of requests from the UK to remove content from its services.
January 11, 2012
By Greg Miller
The Obama administration’s counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda’s leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential.
In the space of three years, the administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries. The apparatus involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents.
The emergence of hunter-killer and surveillance drones as revolutionary new weapons in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in counterterrorism operations in places such as Pakistan and Yemen, has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry.
Other commanders in chief have presided over wars with far higher casualty counts. But no president has ever relied so extensively on the secret killing of individuals to advance the nation’s security goals.
The rapid expansion of the drone program has blurred long-standing boundaries between the CIA and the military. Lethal operations are increasingly assembled a la carte, piecing together personnel and equipment in ways that allow the White House to toggle between separate legal authorities that govern the use of lethal force.
In Yemen, for instance, the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command pursue the same adversary with nearly identical aircraft. But they alternate taking the lead on strikes to exploit their separate authorities, and they maintain separate kill lists that overlap but don’t match. CIA and military strikes this fall killed three U.S. citizens, two of whom were suspected al-Qaeda operatives.
The convergence of military and intelligence resources has created blind spots in congressional oversight. Intelligence committees are briefed on CIA operations, and JSOC reports to armed services panels. As a result, no committee has a complete, unobstructed view.
With a year to go in President Obama’s first term, his administration can point to undeniable results: Osama bin Laden is dead, the core al-Qaeda network is near defeat, and members of its regional affiliates scan the sky for metallic glints.
November 29, 2011
By Paul Joseph Watson
The same Al-Qaeda terrorists who fought U.S. troops in Iraq and helped NATO overthrow Colonel Gaddafi are now being airlifted into Syria to aid rebels there topple President Bashar al-Assad.
Libya’s transitional ruling authority has agreed to send weapons and fighters over to Syria to help the Free Syrian Army fight government forces.
“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” a Libyan source told the London Telegraph, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”
In a separate piece, the Telegraph also reports that terrorist commander Abdulhakim Belhadj, now head of the Tripoli Military Council, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” after being sent there by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the interim Libyan president.
A rival Libyan rebel brigade detained Belhadj at Tripoli airport for traveling on a fake passport and threatened to jail him before Jalil stepped in to intervene.
“Members of the Free Syrian Army on the borders of Lebanon and Turkey denied rumours circulating in Tripoli that “hundreds” of Libyans had tried to cross into Syria,” states the article, amidst other reports that Libyans have already been detained trying to infiltrate the country from the Turkish border.
As we previously documented, Abdulhakim Belhadj is the former front man for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department. Belhadj was captured by the CIA in Malaysia in 2003 and extradited to Libya where Colonel Gaddafi had him imprisoned. Belhadj is a committed jihadist who fought with the Taliban against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Libyan rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi also admitted that Belhadj’s LIFG fighters were the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, responsible for killing U.S. troops.
September 15th, 2011
By: Paul Joseph Watson
A new piece of legislation being backed by the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) would encourage Americans to frivolously snitch on each other by providing legal protection for people who report “suspicious behavior” to the authorities.
“The National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) today endorsed the See Something, Say Something Act (H.R. 963), by Congressman Lamar Smith (R—21st District Texas), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, calling it sensible policy that expands protections against lawsuits for individuals who provide good faith reports of suspicious terrorist-related activity to an authorized official. The legislation will further encourage citizens to take an active role in reporting suspicious activity without fear of legal retribution,” reports PR Newswire.
The bill (PDF) seems designed to do little else than encourage Americans to frivolously report each other to the authorities for any reason. If someone was certain that they were witnessing suspicious behavior that was likely related to the commission of a terrorist attack, the knowledge that they would have legal protection for reporting the incident would be the last thing on their mind.
In addition, since the threat of being killed by terrorists is less common than being killed by accident-causing deer, intestinal illness or peanut allergies, the government’s aggressive promotion of the See Something, Say Something campaign has no basis in reality.
The campaign is designed to manufacture the myth that terrorists are everywhere and that any kind of mundane behavior could be characterized as suspicious. This is why the federal government constantly needs to reinforce the hoax through enlisting the general public as the eyes and ears of the Homeland Security surveillance state.
The law would provide immunity for anyone who reports “any suspicious transaction, activity, or occurrence indicating that an individual may be engaging, or preparing to engage, in a violation of law relating to an act of terrorism,” which judging by DHS standards and those set down by federal agencies and law enforcement bodies over the last decade, could be classified as almost any behavior whatsoever, including political activism, owning gold, being a Ron Paul supporter, or displaying a political bumper sticker.
So-called “suspicious behavior” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security includes talking to police officers, using cell phones and a myriad of other normal activities. Moreover, the DHS has gone to great lengths to portray white, middle class Americans as the primary terror threat.
By encouraging Americans to frivolously report anything as “suspicious behavior,” the federal government is mimicking the policy of some of the darkest dictatorships in history.
One common misconception about Nazi Germany was that the police state was solely a creation of the authorities and that the citizens were merely victims. On the contrary, Gestapo files show that 80% of all Gestapo investigations were started in response to information provided by denunciations by “ordinary” Germans.
“There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors,” wrote Robert Gellately of Florida State University.
Gellately discovered that the people who informed on their neighbors were motivated primarily by banal factors – “greed, jealousy, and petty differences,” and not by a genuine concern about crime or insecurity. This is precisely the kind of environment the ‘See Something, Say Something’ law, and the campaign itself, is designed to create.
September 13, 2011
By: Becky Akers
It’s an incredibly shocking story, the sort that would once have horrified every American regardless of his politics, one that completely eviscerates the Constitution and renders everything this country supposedly represents moot. And yet few have paid any attention while even fewer are outraged. In fact, most who’ve heard about it cheer Our Rulers as heroes.
“With CIA help, NYPD moves covertly in Muslim areas,” reads the headline on the Associated Press’ story from a fortnight ago. Turns out that the two agencies have collaborated for the last nine years to spy on New Yorkers.
That’s right: the CIA with its medical experiments on unwitting subjects, its torture, its vicious skullduggery in other people’s countries, its assassinations, and its utter contempt for all law, foreign, domestic or heavenly, has been teaching its tricks to the NYPD – not that the latter needed any coaching when it comes to shredding freedom. So if you’re tempted to pitch rather than pay that parking ticket, you’d better think twice unless you want a dunk in the Hudson. Waterboarding: it isn’t just for terrists anymore.
The “partnership” between these bureaucracies is extensive and chilling. The CIA has trained at least one cop at “the Farm, the agency’s spy school in Virginia“; other personnel float back and forth. One “respected veteran who had served as a CIA official inside the United Nations … interviewed police officers for newly defined intelligence jobs [with the NYPD]. He guided and mentored officers, schooling them in the art of gathering information. He also directed their efforts…”
Cops concentrate most of those “efforts” in Muslim neighborhoods – for now. But how long until the CIA-NYPD Borg adds other religions and ethnicities in this city of immigrants to its list? How long before connoisseurs of drugs the State disapproves, pedophiles (except, of course, those the Transportation Security Administration harbors at the airports) and political dissidents become “security threats” worthy of the Borg’s “efforts” – if they haven’t already?
Whether they are or not, or when they do, we’re unlikely to know: “Neither the city council, which finances the department, nor the federal government, which has given NYPD more than $1.6 billion since 9/11, is told exactly what’s going on. … ‘One of the hallmarks of the [NYPD’s] intelligence division over the last 10 years is that, not only has it gotten extremely aggressive and sophisticated, but it’s operating completely on its own,’ said [Christopher] Dunn, the [New York Civil Liberties Union] lawyer. ‘There are no checks. There is no oversight.’” Dunn also denounced the Borg as “a rogue domestic surveillance operation.”
You aren’t safe from the Borg just because you don’t live in the five boroughs. “Officials” insist that “any potential threat to New York City is the NYPD’s business, regardless of where it occurs,” and they act on that “policy”: “The NYPD has gotten some of its officers deputized as federal marshals, allowing them to work out of state. … [The] undercover squad … operates in places such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, officials said.” And of course, it’s possible the CIA colludes with other departments in other cities, too.
In New York, the Borg’s lone, unsupervised cowboys patronize Islamic bookstores and internet cafes while eying and chatting up the clientele; ditto for worship at mosques; and, as if that weren’t enough unconstitutional wickedness, they cultivate snitches, too. I wonder how long New Yorkers will remain apathetic once the Borg begins sidling up to congregants in churches and synagogues. Tragically, Americans no longer understand this probability. Instead, they applaud the lie that Our Rulers spy only on Moslems solely to protect us.
Fortunately, the State’s legendary incompetence often thwarts its lust for control; the Borg offers yet another proof of that. “It is no secret to the Muslim immigrants of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, that spies live among them,” the New York Times reported in 2006, when the Borg was four years old. “Almost anyone can rattle off what they regard as the telltale signs of police informers: They like to talk politics. They have plenty of free time. They live in the neighborhood, but have no local relatives. ‘They think we don’t know, but we know who they are,’ said Linda Sarsour, 26, a community activist.”
The Times ran this story a few days after one of the spies sent 24-year-old Shahawar Matin Siraj, a.k.a., the “Subway Bomber,” to prison for 30 years. Indeed, without the informant, Siraj probably would never have suffered arrest, much less conviction: “he was not linked to a terror group like al Qaeda nor did he have any explosives. The case hung on the undercover work of [Osama] Eldawoody, a naturalized Egyptian who spent nearly two years posing as a like-minded radical Islamist.”
He might as well have been named Elder Goody: he was more than twice as old as Siraj, and he presented himself to the younger man as a Moslem mentor. He flattered Siraj, whom an uncle described as “not too bright…. He’s not dangerous, he just talks,” and showered him with attention, then suggested blowing up the subway station at Herald Square, one of the system’s major terminals; after all, US soldiers were raping Moslem girls back home: didn’t Siraj want to avenge their innocence?
After months of such cajoling, Eldawoody’s prey finally succumbed. His wire caught Siraj’s agreement on tape.
And so a young man with no criminal record, no association to terrorists other than Eldawoody (who “worked” for some of the world’s most ruthless, the NYPD), and no weapons or other means of fulfilling his mentor’s plot languishes in America’s gulag. Not surprisingly, “some Muslim leaders remain convinced that [Siraj] was entrapped.”
Eldawoody and his entrapment aren’t an aberration. They are as common as dirt when it comes to American “terrorists” – so common we might ask whether there would even be any American terrorists were it not for the government’s ginning them up.
Indeed, the same week the AP exposed the NYPD-CIA Borg, the left’s flagship publication, Mother Jones, released research it had compiled over the last year with the equally leftist Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley. The duo “examined prosecutions of 508 defendants in terrorism-related cases, as defined by the Department of Justice.” Their conclusion? “The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots – or leading them?”
It seems that virtually all homegrown terrorists’ schemes originate not with Moslems who hate our freedom but with an FBI that does. “Remember the Washington Metro bombing plot?” MoJo asks. “The New York subway plot? The guys who planned to blow up the Sears Tower? The teenager seeking to bomb a Portland Christmas tree lighting? Each of those plots, and dozens more across the nation, was led by an FBI asset.”
You may be reluctant to accept the word of two notoriously leftie outfits. Fine. Here’s the FBI and the U.S. Department of Injustice crowing about their subornation of a half-witted and harmless dupe: “At trial, the government proved that Siraj [and one of his equally pitiable friends] plotted to plant explosive devices at the Herald Square subway station… The evidence included hours of secretly recorded conversations between Siraj and Osama Eldawoody, … a paid informant for the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division … [The U.S. Attorney on the case] praised the outstanding work of the New York City Police Department, and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Joint Terrorist Task Force for their assistance.”
Or, as Siraj’s lawyer put it, ” … the New York City Police Department creat[ed] a crime so they can solve the crime and claim a victory in the war on terror.”
And so we have the Borg spying on American citizens to catch the FBI’s terrists. Have these bozos never heard of inter-agency memos? Why doesn’t the FBI save the Constitution and our money with a simple email to the Borg: “Comrades, we are concocting a terrorist who will target the 9/11 Commemoration at Ground Zero, the Superbowl, Amtrak, what-have-you. Contact us for further details as to exact time and place, the tapes of our entrapping him over the last 22 months, and other evidence you will need at trial.”
Or perhaps the Feds with their Terrorist Factory are simply fulfilling Obummer’s pledge to create jobs.
September 12, 2011
By: Paul Joseph Watson
The consequences of a “credible and specific” warning that terrorists were planning to blow up bridges or tunnels on the anniversary of 9/11 turned into a police state showcase and ended in a farce when fighter jets were scrambled as a response to people visiting airplane bathrooms.
Following days of endless fearmongering prompted by a “reliable source” who provided “uncorroborated” information that Al-Qaeda was planning to strike this weekend, we were saturated with images of police brazenly violating the 4th amendment by conducting sweeping vehicle and bag searches, national guard troops with guns, and random checkpoints, all serving as a reminder that the terrorists really did win.
But what became of the deadly terror plot? Was the attempt foiled by the suffocating but necessary “security” procedures?
“Fighter planes were scrambled, bomb squads were called, FBI command centers went on alert and police teams raced to airports today, but in the end two separate airline incidents were caused by apparently innocent bathroom breaks and a little “making out,” federal officials said,” reports ABC News.
F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to follow a Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Detroit after reports that three passengers, two men and a woman, were acting “suspiciously” and spending lengthy amounts of time in the bathroom.
After landing in Detroit, police stormed the plane with guns drawn and ordered everybody to put their heads down and their hands on the seat in front of them.
“The policeman said everybody remain seated. Everyone remains seated. If you get out of your seats you will be taken care of quickly,” said Marilyn Dietrick,” reports ABC 7.
Passengers were then ordered off the plane without their belongings and forced to undergo FBI questioning while bomb-sniffing dogs searched their luggage.
“No one was hurt and so far no one has been placed under arrest. All of the detained passengers, including the three who were first taken off the plane, have been released,” reports ABC 7.
It turned out that the “suspicious behavior” was two people “making out” in the bathroom mid-flight, law enforcement sources told ABC News.”
In another incident, two fighter jets were scrambled to escort an American Airlines jet into New York’s JFK airport. Again, the “suspicious behavior” that prompted the alert comprised of passengers visiting the restroom.
So the serious and sober terror alert that provoked thousands of headlines and a multi-million dollar security response, while of course presenting the perfect opportunity to reinforce the police state by invoking 9/11, culminated in nothing more than an almighty freak out in response to a few people eager to use the bathroom.
The whole farce underscores the fact that the terrorists have won. The goal of terror is to fundamentally change society so that the population alters their behavior and willingly relinquishes their freedom through fear. By exploiting the threat of terrorism to provoke fear, the federal government has achieved this objective.
The fact that Americans are more likely to die from intestinal illnesses, accident-causing deer, and allergic reactions to peanuts than they are in terrorist attacks is buried amidst all the panic and hand-wringing about deadly plots that never come to fruition, but do serve to justify the bloated Homeland Security state that has swallowed up America in the drive for profit and control.
This is why military-industrial complex publications like National Defense have openly expressed the need to maintain “fear and an unrealistic American perception of risk” regarding terrorist attacks in order to drive up profits.
This can only be accomplished with the complicity of the establishment media, who are certain to hype more dubious terror alerts, which former DHS head Tom Ridge admitted were faked and exaggerated for political purposes, in order to generate the kind of hysteria that leads to visits to the bathroom being characterized as suspicious and terror-related.
August 16th, 2011
By: Mike Adams
An astonishing two-thirds of all fresh chicken meat sold in grocery stores today is contaminated with salmonella. Diet soda is laced with aspartame, a chemical sweetener made from the feces of genetically engineered bacteria. “Natural” corn chips are made from genetically modified corn plants linked to widespread infertility when consumed by mammals.
Processed meats are laced with cancer-causing sodium nitrite and everything from soups to salad dressings is “enhanced” with the chemical excitotoxin known as MSG which promotes obesity.
Throughout the food industry, blueberries are faked using artificial colors, corn syrup and antifreeze liquids used to winterize vehicles. Milk fats are artificial modified through the process of homogenization, which makes them dangerous for human health.
The high fructose corn syrup used to sweeten sodas causes diabetes and is often contaminated with mercury. Chicken McNuggets are made with a chemical used in silly putty and the soy protein used in most protein bars is extracted using an explosive chemical called hexane.
The FDA says nothing about all this. Instead, the agency wants you to believe that the real danger in the food supply is found exclusively in raw dairy products which contain no additives or synthetic chemicals, by the way.
Yep: All the toxic chemicals and highly processed ingredients that cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease and nutritional deficiencies are all perfectly good for your health, the FDA says… because they’re dead!
OMG it’s alive!
Only LIVING foods, you see, pose a health risk according to the FDA. An FDA spokesperson was recently quoted in the NY Times claiming that raw milk causes children to become “paraplegics.” (Seriously, I’m not making this up.) Meanwhile, the FDA remains utterly silent on the far more alarming fact that children’s hot dogs are laced with cancer-causing sodium nitrite which causes a 300% increase in the risk of brain tumors.
The FDA, you see, has absolutely no concern whatsoever about truly dangerous foods. Almost any chemical in the food supply is fine with the FDA as long as it’s not actually alive.
If you’re a conventional foods manufacturer in the USA, you can quite literally dump huge quantities of cancer-causing chemicals directly into the food and the FDA won’t blink an eye. A little more cancer, after all, boosts the profits of the drug companies and the entire cancer industry, and that has been the FDA’s mission all along: To promote the financial interests of the drug companies which prey on sickness and disease.
In fact, much of the food being sold today that the FDA considered “safe” is actually made out of non-food synthetic chemicals or radically modified molecules that used to be food but are now closer to plastics. Partially-hydrogenated oils, for example, are a lot closer to plastic (which is a solid at room temperature) than oil (which is a liquid). That’s the whole point of hydrogenation: To make oils solid at room temperature. Care to guess what this does when those same hydrogenated fats are circulating around your bloodstream? Yep, they remain as solids there, too, sludging up your blood, clogging arteries and raising your blood pressure.
But the FDA has no problem with all that. Food companies can commit what is essentially mass genocide through the use of toxic food additives, and the FDA remains completely silent, with its hands over its eyes pretending to see nothing.
Meanwhile, people are dying every single day from preventable diseases caused by toxic food ingredients, dead foods, processed foods and pasteurized food products. The FDA, in openly allowing this to take place, is criminally negligent in the deaths of literally millions of people — far dwarfing the number of Jews murdered by the Nazi regime.
The FDA = Food and Death Administration
So don’t fall for the naive idea that the FDA is somehow interested in actual food safety. Get real! The FDA openly and arrogantly allows the American people to be poisoned en masse by the mainstream food supply being shipped and sold in grocery stores across American right now. What the FDA really doesn’t want happening is people waking up to the truth that raw milk is healthier than pasteurized milk. Because if that happened, people might start to question all the other dead, processed foods they’re eating, too.
And that might lead to a mass nutritional awakening and a revolution that would ultimately result in the arrest and prosecution of FDA tyrants — the very same people who have been criminally negligent in allowing the mass poisoning of the American people for all these years, you see. That’s what we really need: An armed Justice Department raid on the FDA! Put FDA commissioner Hamburg in shackles and parade her through the streets where all the tens of millions of people who have been damaged or maimed by toxic food ingredients can finally seek justice for the harm caused them by the FDA and the gang of unindicted criminals who run it.
That day is coming, by the way. Justice will arrive and those tyrants in government who have masterminded the mass poisoning of the American people will be held accountable for their crimes. The People will not forget, and the truth simply cannot be suppressed any longer. Thanks to the Rawesome Foods raid, it is now totally obvious to everyone that the FDA is waging a war of terrorism against the American people, and that this is a rogue agency which simply cannot be negotiated with.
Because here at NaturalNews, we do not negotiate with terrorists.
March 8th, 2011
By: Patricia Zengerle
President Barack Obama lifted a two-year freeze on new military trials at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and suggested on Monday Congress was hurting national security by blocking his attempts to move some trials into U.S. civilian courts.
In an apparent acknowledgment that the Guantanamo detention camp won’t be shut down any time soon, Obama also outlined procedures for reviews to be held at least every four years for prisoners held indefinitely without charge or trial.
Obama suspended new trials at the Guantanamo tribunals, which had been heavily criticized as unfair, when he announced his review of detainee policy in early 2009 and vowed just after becoming president that he would close the camp.
Administration officials said Obama still wants to close the prison, which they have called a recruiting tool for anti-American militants, but gave no timeframe.
Obama had tried, and failed, to overcome objections by Republicans and some of his fellow Democrats in Congress to transferring some detainees to U.S. prisons and trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the September 11 attacks, and others in federal courts.
The administration has also struggled to convince other countries to accept detainees.
Obama said on Monday he still wanted some — all terrorism suspects — to face civilian trials, and resistance to doing so undermined U.S. counter-terrorism efforts.
“I strongly believe that the American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against al Qaeda and its affiliates, and we will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system — including Article III courts (U.S. federal courts) — to ensure that our security and our values are strengthened,” Obama said in a statement.
Obama also issued an executive order on Monday establishing a process to continue to hold some Guantanamo detainees who have been neither charged, convicted nor designated for transfer but are deemed to pose a threat to U.S. security.
He ordered reviews of the determination that some detainees were so dangerous they must be held without charge, with a review for each coming as quickly as possible, but no later than one year from the order.
RIGHTS GROUPS DISAPPOINTED
The first round of new charges against detainees could come within days or weeks, a senior administration official said.
Obama also said he would ask the Senate to ratify additions to the Geneva conventions that safeguard the rights of victims of conflicts within nations, such as the one in Afghanistan, as opposed to those between nations.
Afghanistan has signed that protocol, and some experts said the United States signing could give Washington the option of transferring detainees to Afghanistan.
Administration officials said on Monday the camp system had already been improved by measures including banning the use of statements taken as a result of cruel treatment and a better system for handling classified information.