Posts from January 2012
Interview with 9/11 truth activist Manny Badillo
Manny Badillo (right) with fellow 9/11 victim family member Bob McIlvane at Ground Zero
It's our great pleasure today to have Manny Badillo joining us via skype from New York.
Manny is one of the architects of the extremely effective Remember Building 7 campaign and was also instrumental in the NYC CAN initiative which garnered 80,000 signatures in a petition to re-open the 9/11 investigation.
During the interview Manny recounts the history of how he came to question the events of 9/11 after his uncle, who worked at Marsh & Mclennon was killed in the attacks. We discuss the recent intiatives in which Manny has been involved and the current state of the 9/11 truth campaign.
Iraq: The legacy of deception
Most Americans are astonished to discover that right up to 9/11, the CIA was developing a "Real Politik" vision of Iraq that recognized the fast approaching collapse of U.N. Sanctions. The CIA was preparing for Peace---with a ruthless determination that the United States would capture the lion's share of spoils from Iraqi Reconstruction contracts in any post-sanctions period.
German pilots transporting medical supplies and doctors into Baghdad International Airport at the end of the Clinton Administration had blasted the myth of invincibility surrounding sanctions. To this day, those pilots are anonymous—but they changed the equation in total. Their courage honoring the Berlin Airlifts in the Cold War was quickly copied. Across Europe and the Arab world, activists began to organize humanitarian flights into Baghdad. On the Security Council, France and Russia argued strenuously that the ban on air travel had been self imposed, and the no-fly zone could not prohibit humanitarian flights.
By this time, UN sanctions had killed over 1.7 million Iraqis; wiped out literacy in a single generation; and created artificial starvation in the world's second most oil-rich nation. Iraq's world class hospitals that once rivaled London and New York had been ravaged. Sick of the misery, the global community refused to stay silent any longer.
The CIA saw the writing on the wall. International loathing for "genocide by sanctions" had reached such a peak of outrage that there was no possibility of re-crafting the hated policy. Secretary of State Colin Powell's vision of "smart sanctions" had come too late.
The CIA was determined to control the agenda for the advantage of the United States, however. And so quietly through my back channel, we undertook a proactive, covert dialogue over exactly what concessions Iraq would offer the United States, in exchange for lifting the sanctions. As a long-time opponent of sanctions myself, I was eager to get results.
That dialogue—even the existence of our back channel to Iraq's Embassy at the United Nations from 1996 to 2003—was strictly covert, kept close and precious— away from Washington pundits and think tanks whose ignorance would have smashed all progress on the rocks. Our dialogue was no less vigorous for that secrecy.
This was the CIA at its best. Nobody got soft on Saddam's government. By any measure, the CIA's demands far exceeded the U.N. mandate to eliminate Iraq's WMDs. If there was going to be peace, it would have to be rock solid, with zero chance that Baghdad would bite the United States in retaliation for those years of misery and death.
A Prosperous Peace for All
What emerged was a dynamic and comprehensive framework hammered out with Iraq's Ambassador Dr. Saeed Hasan and senior diplomats in New York.
The agreement required weapons inspections "with no conditions." But the deal accomplished much more. By February, 2001—nine months before 9/11—Baghdad authorized the FBI to send Terrorism Task Force into Iraq, with permission to conduct investigations and make arrests. After 9/11, Iraq sweetened its contribution with promises to hand over banking and financial documents on Al Qaeda figures. There's no question but that Iraq's cooperation qualified as the most substantial windfall in the War on Terrorism. Notably, it targeted actual terrorists--- not Islamic charities or frightened taxi drivers and plumbers with the wrong accents and ethnic coloring.
Every time Senator John McCain or Dick Cheney pounded the lectern on CNN, and demanded an interview with Al Anai, or other cooperation--- Iraq complied within hours.
Obama Signs the NDAA Citizen Arrest Act
Obama signing the National Defense Appropriations Act
Tonight we look at a variety of local and international stories, with a focus on the ominous passing of the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA). The Act allows for the military detention of American citizens without due process, about which writer and activist Naomi Wolf has this to say:
Our leaders appear to be supporting this bill thinking that they will always be what they are now, in the fading light of a once-great democracy — those civilian leaders who safely and securely sit in freedom and DIRECT the military. In inhabiting this bubble, which their own actions are about to destroy, they are cocooned by an arrogance of power, placing their own security in jeopardy by their own hands, and ignoring history and its inevitable laws. The moment this bill becomes law, though Congress is accustomed, in a weak democracy, to being the ones who direct and control the military, the power roles will reverse: Congress will no longer be directing and in charge of the military: rather, the military will be directing and in charge of individual Congressional leaders, as well as in charge of everyone else — as any Parliamentarian in any society who handed this power over to the military can attest.
Perhaps Congress assumes that it will always only be ‘they’ who are targeted for arrest and military detention: but sadly, Parliamentary leaders are the first to face pressure, threats, arrest and even violence when the military obtains to power to make civilian arrests and hold civilians in military facilities without due process. There is no exception to this rule. Just as I traveled the country four years ago warning against the introduction of torture and secret prisons – and confidently offering a hundred thousand dollar reward to anyone who could name a nation that allowed torture of the ‘other’ that did not eventually turn this abuse on its own citizens — (confident because I knew there was no such place) — so today I warn that one cannot name a nation that gave the military the power to make civilian arrests and hold citizens in military detention, that did not almost at once turn that power almost against members of that nation’s own political ruling class. This makes sense — the obverse sense of a democracy, in which power protects you; political power endangers you in a militarized police state: the more powerful a political leader is, the more can be gained in a militarized police state by pressuring, threatening or even arresting him or her.
- Sunscreen cancer risk
- How Congress Has Signed Its Own Arrest Warrants in the NDAA Citizen Arrest Act
- Phone taps to nab tax cheats
- Australia to Recruit Foreign Troops
- ‘The Pirate Bay Dancing’ Add-On Killls DNS and IP Blockades
- The Pentagon Attack: Problems with Theories Alternative to Large Plane Impact