The “Exceptionally “Redacted 9/11 Commission Interview

Newly Released 9/11 Commission Files at Cryptome.Org

911commLast week John Young’s information site Cryptome.Org began publishing documents related to the interviews conducted by the 9/11 Commission which were released for the first time. On January 3, Cryptome posted the 9/11 Commission’s report on my interview (the infamous Sibel Edmonds Case), and aptly titled this particular file as “Sibel Edmonds Censored Yet Again.” Once you read the PDF document you’ll quickly see the reason for Cryptome’s appropriate label. The entire report, by that I mean the entire report, is blacked out (actually, whited-out;-). It took me less than one minute to scan the entire document; basically, scrolling down the white pages-one white page after another. Initially, I was not a bit surprised. Hey, I’ve been declared the most gagged and classified person in US history, after all- State Secrets Privilege invocation twice, gagging the entire Congress for the first (and only) time in US history, hundreds of pages of blacked out DOJ-IG report… So, as I said, I didn’t find it a bit surprising.  However, after the minute it took to go over these blank pages, I started clicking and scanning all the other files (interviews by the 9/11 Commission), and that’s where I was truly surprised:

Despite some redactions here and there, and in a few cases fairly extensive redaction, there were no interviews where the entire interview (and the report on the interview) was blacked out in its entirety. Mine was the only one privileged and honored to such degree! Why? I mean, come on, we are talking about interviews with: FBI Special Agent in Charge on Counterterrorism, CIA Officers with Directorate of Intelligence with a Specific Focus on Drugs & Thugs, The Chairman of National Intelligence Council, NSA Chief of Counterintelligence & SIGNIT Support, Senior CIA Analysts…Yet, none of these interviews was redacted in its entirety. None. Please be my guest and make your own comparison; My 9/11 Commission interview document here, and the rest, here, here, here, here, here…You can check out the rest published by Cryptome here, and if you want more here for thousands of them. [Read more...]

A Potpourri of Noteworthy Links

Phony Commissioners & Phony Reports, Central Asia, Laos, Bryza Candidacy, Gulen…You Name it!

This post is similar to what I usually publish under my ‘Weekly Round Up’ series, only with a caveat: the time period covers more than a week, make that more than a month. I’ve been saving links and articles of interest, either those I’ve been coming across or ones sent by my loyal friends with good noses, and meaning to publish them as ‘weekly round ups.’ Then of course, due to ‘this or that,’ those ‘round up’ points ended up piling up week after week. Where did they get piled up? As ‘saved’ e-mails in my e-mail box and marked as ‘unread.’ Why that way? Because that’s one of my ‘supposed’ motivating strategies to prevent ‘delays & procrastination;’ seeing these piled up e-mails in my box every day, usually several times a day, bugs me big time…

Well, obviously, and for truly justifiable reason(s), that so-called strategy/method didn’t work, and I ended up with over one hundred e-mails of this particular category sitting in my mail box, glaring at me. Last night I decided I couldn’t take it any longer. After putting my daughter in bed for the evening, I sat behind my PC, scrolled down to the bottom of my e-mail box where the oldest e-mails sit, clicked and read. I eliminated (deleted) many due to the time-sensitive nature of those articles/analysis/editorials, and saved (technically ‘re-saved’) those timeless and or worthy-of-listing ones. And, at 10:30 p.m., began typing away!

I hope ‘some’ of you will find ‘some’ of this information worthy or useful; I did. Maybe we’ll get a chance to discuss these in the comments section… Oh, also, I am going to preempt a few finicky readers: I am mostly listing the links & the headlines/titles rather than adding my usual fairly long commentaries to each and every one of the links, because I don’t have the time; hope you understand. And finally, I am looking forward to tomorrow morning, when I’ll check my mail box and won’t see those glaring ‘months’ old e-mails;-) So here we go!

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Laos

Last year I did a piece on Vietnam & Agent Orange. The following is another awful footprint left by one of our many wars, reminding us once again of our established record as the number one nation in using WMD (and going for ‘preemptive wars’!)…Truly sad; truly sad.

New case for US reparations in Laos
Melody Kemp, Asia Times

Laos carries the tragic distinction of being the most heavily bombed country in the history of modern warfare. Thirty-five years after the United States wound up its so-called "secret war" against communist guerillas, the impact of its unexploded ordnance (UXO) continues to take a heavy human and economic toll.

A new report published jointly by UXO Lao and the Lao National Regulatory Authority (NRA) has shed more light on the damage caused by the US's UXOs. The research surveyed 94% of Lao households and concluded that an estimated 20,000 people had died from UXOs since the conflict ended after the communist takeover in 1975.

COPE's research shows that the US government, corporations and private foundations have given over $39.5 million for UXO clean-up since 1993 - a trifling sum compared with the billions it has allocated for its new generation of wars. A US Senate committee recently recommended committing $7 million for UXO clearance in Laos in 2011 and $3.5 for similar activities in Vietnam. The US Congress allocated about $5 million and the US State Department $1.9 million for UXO clearance in Laos this year.

The US war in Laos was shrouded in intrigue and disinformation. An Australian-made film entitled Bomb Harvest contains footage of a US government spokesperson saying that internationally accepted rules of engagement were suspended during the campaign in Laos. Legally, that means there are still unresolved questions over who should bear primary responsibility, the US government
or the private companies who produced the weapons, for UXO victims and other legacies of the war in Laos.

As warfare is increasingly outsourced to private companies, questions are emerging about the legal liability of private companies that supply and profit from war. From a common law perspective, US negligence and injury in Laos are easy to prove, say international lawyers. However, the tenets of war reparations have been generally designed so that the vanquished are economically punished for both their aggression and loss

...

Laos, which had an estimated one ton of ordnance per capita rained on it by US bombers, has more recently emerged as a global icon for the movement against cluster bombs. It is estimated by the US State Department's Walk the Earth With Safety bureau that about 30% of those bombs did not explode on contact with the ground. Canisters dropped from US B-52s could have carried up to 600 cluster bomb units and distributed them over a wide terrain on impact.

A new research report entitled National Survey of UXO Victims and Accidents reveals that, apart from cluster munitions, land mines, artillery shells and other US ordnance also continue to cause significant casualties decades after the end of the war. Indeed, many areas of the country where injuries have recently occurred were not adjacent to known combat zones.

During the conflict, the largest numbers of bombing-related fatalities came among soldiers. Nowadays, it's farmers, fisherfolk, foresters and women and children foraging for food in UXO-contaminated areas. That is, those being killed now by what is known to be US ordnance are civilians merely trying to make a living. Many of those killed and injured, such as the five children killed in southern Champassak province in February this year, were not even alive during the war.

Military adventurism for less ideological reasons, including access to and control over natural resources, has changed the face of modern warfare. However, some wonder whether reformed reparation laws that forced state aggressors and the private companies that supply them with weaponry to pay for all injuries and assistance to non-combatants would reduce the risk of future armed conflicts.

Vietnam tried for years to win US compensation for its victims of US chemical warfare, including the US's use of the defoliant Agent Orange, but ultimately failed to secure a US court decision in its favor. Laos has not collected comprehensive data on the effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants on its southern territories, but the recent $300 million deal Vietnamese stakeholders reached with the US panel could change that.

Meanwhile, signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions are scheduled to meet in Vientiane in early November. The US is notably not a signatory to the munitions-curbing treaty, but 107 other nations are, 40 of which have formally ratified the agreement. The convention took effect on August 1, 2010, and the meeting in Laos will be the first since its enactment.

I encourage you to read the rest here. And below are two clips I filmed while in Vietnam: First, Victims of Agent Orange, and the second, an interview I conducted (with Le Ly Heyslip) while in Vietnam on Agent Orange:

 

 

 

The Latest ‘Pitch & Tone’ on Central Asia

The following links are on one of the most important topics unknown to and or ignored by the majority here in the States: Central Asia & the Caucasus. I picked the following three since they reflect the latest ‘trend’ and the ‘advertised tone’ by the Obama-Hillary Clinton Administration. The first analysis/report was published by the Council on Foreign Relations, so it’s independence and purity should be pretty self explanatory. The following two pieces by the same author, published by Asia Times, are a bit hard to judge; as far as intentions & interests are concerned… Okay, take a look at them and you’ll see what I mean.

Reimagining Eurasia
Samuel Charap and Alexandros Petersen,  Foreign Affairs

As Kyrgyzstan descended into chaos after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in April 2010, most observers were focused on the fate of the key U.S. airbase there. They feared that Moscow had orchestrated the unrest as revenge for Bakiyev reneging on his alleged promise to shut down the base and would now demand that the new government follow through on that pledge. But instead of indulging in geopolitical gamesmanship as usual, Russia and the United States actually worked together, pursuing back-channel talks that facilitated Bakiyev's safe escape into exile. Periodic consultations since April have thus far managed to prevent conflict between the Cold War adversaries in the one country where both have military outposts. This marked a tectonic shift in the geopolitics of Eurasia. For the first time in over a decade, what Russia calls its "near abroad" was a locus of cooperation, not confrontation, between Russia and the United States.

This shift has opened a window of opportunity to fundamentally rethink U.S. foreign policy in Eurasia -- a term used here to refer to the countries of the greater Black Sea region and Central Asia -- a strategically situated area with massive natural resource wealth and great economic potential. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has formulated its approach to countries as diverse as Azerbaijan and Ukraine through a Russia-centric lens; U.S. policy toward the region as a whole became a function of its plans for dealing with Moscow. Although Washington focused on ensuring Eurasian states' independence in the 1990s, the past decade saw U.S. policy toward these countries devolve, becoming mired in outright U.S-Russia strategic competition. Although that competitive dynamic has diminished significantly over the past year and a half, its legacy still defines Washington's engagement with the states of the region.U.S. policymakers must abandon the tired Russia-centric tack and develop new individualized approaches to the states of the greater Black Sea region and Central Asia. By treating each country based on its merits, as opposed to approaching the region as a set of contested territories, Washington can serve long-term U.S. interests and avoid re-creating a nineteenth-century-style Great Game.

You can read the rest here

Russia and US march in post-Soviet step
By M K Bhadrakumar, Asia Times

An unprecedented military parade in Red Square in Moscow on Sunday, when servicemen from the major North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries will march alongside Russian soldiers, will be a commemorative event marking the 65th anniversary of Victory Day in World War II. Arguably, it is not a parade of NATO troops but rather of Russia's erstwhile allies in the coalition against Adolf Hitler.

You can read the rest of this fairly brief, and equally light-weight on the analysis-front, piece here.  I think Bhadrakumar misses on several extremely important points, what I call ‘reality check,’ but what do you think?

Here is another piece by the same author, Bhadrakumar. This one is a bit better, relatively speaking, that is 😉

A Kosovo on the Central Asian steppes
By M K Bhadrakumar, Asia Times

A robust geopolitical thrust by the United States aimed at creating a role for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in resolving conflicts in Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan promises to rewrite the great game rivalries in Central Asia in anticipation of an Afghan settlement. The US initiative poses political challenges to Russia, which is a member of the 56-member OSCE, and China, which is not. The security vehicles piloted by each the respective two regional powers - the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - are being outmaneuvered by the US.

Paradoxically, Russia and China could seize the initiative if the OSCE plan to stabilize the situation in Kyrgyzstan somehow crash-lands and ethnic tensions, violence and anarchy ensue. But that would be a dubious blessing as Russia and China too are stakeholders in regional stability in their own ways.


'B team' for the Afghan war
The unkindest cut of all is that it is Kazakhstan, which both Moscow and Beijing counted to be their most sober and thoughtful regional partner, which is heading the OSCE chariot. As Kazakh President Nurusultan Nazarbayev firmly asserted, "There is no doubt a new OSCE strategy on Afghanistan is necessary."

The US is delighted, and as a quid pro quo, Washington has accommodated the Kazakh leaderships' desire to chair an OSCE summit meeting within the year in Astana and thereby claim a legacy on the world stage. The last time the OSCE held a summit meeting was in 1999. This is also the 35th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act..

Again, I don’t consider the piece heavy-weight by any means, and in fact that’s exactly why I am listing it here…It may open up a few of our readers whom I know to be very savvy in this area;-) Now, the following piece seems to have somel dose of realism: [Read more...]