This post was published at Blackstone Intelligence Network
GOP lawmakers have come forward with new allegations of political bias or interference at the FBI – this time involving the 2012 Benghazi attack. John Solomon of The Hill reports tht Rep. Ron Desantis (R-FL) recently interviewed a retired FBI supervisor who told him he was instructed by Deputy Director Andrew McCabe not to call the 2012 Benghazi attack an act of terrorism when distributing the FBI’s findings to the larger intelligence community – despite knowing exactly who conducted the attack.
The agent found the instruction concerning because his unit had gathered incontrovertible evidence showing a major al Qaeda figure had directed the attack and the information had already been briefed to President Obama, the lawmaker said. –The Hill After the September 11, 2012 attack against U. S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration peddled a lie, telling the public that the attack was related to Muslims who had become enraged at an anti-Islam YouTube video, and not a planned act of terrorism – despite Hillary Clinton emailing Chelsea Clinton from her unsecure @clintonemail.com server the night of the attack to say exactly that.
Chelsea – using the pseudonym “Diane Reyonds” probably didn’t have the clearance to receive classified intelligence from her mother, the Secretary of State.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.
Arizona citizens are now in a government database that uses facial recognition technology to track them simply for getting a driver’s license. This allows federal and local law enforcement to use the ‘perpetual lineup’ of suspects not accused of a crime to see if someone is wanted for a crime, Arizona Capitol Times reported.
The state says that the program is to prevent identity theft and fraud. Here’s how it works according to Arizona Capitol Times.
After someone at the Motor Vehicle Division takes your photo, your face is scanned by a system based on a proprietary algorithm that analyzes facial features. The system compares your face against the 19 million photos in the state’s driver’s license database to look for similarities. If an image is similar enough, the system will flag it for further review.
The program is an effort that is part of a nationwide initiative called the REAL ID Act that was created by Congress in 2005 as a response to the September 11th terror attacks. The system allows the state to comply with the federal act, which increased standards for identification documents. Although the REAL ID Act does not explicitly call for facial recognition, it does maintain that states need to take measures to reduce fraud.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 5, 2017.
Tripped up by ‘eroding affordability and persistently low inventory.’ Pending home sales in California, based on signed contracts, fell 2.6% in October compared to a year ago, the fourth month in a row of year-over-year declines, after having dropped 6% in September, 3.5% in August, and 2.6% in July.
‘A continued scarcity of housing inventory, which drove up home prices, may squeeze the market heading into the closing months of the year,’ explained the California Association of Realtors (C. A. R.) in the report.
Of the three major regions, only the Central Valley booked gains.
San Francisco Bay Area: Pending home sales dropped 10.5% year-over-year in October, after having dropped 10.8% in September, 11.6% in August, 11.5% in July… the 13th month in a row of year-over-year declines. In the two counties that make up the core of Silicon Valley – the counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara – pending sales plunged 10.9% and 21.4%! San Francisco County was ‘the anomaly,’ as the report put it, with pending sales jumping 15.1%.
This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 25, 2017.
Sworn testimony from a former FBI investigator claims the 9/11 Commission lied to the American public regarding the relationship between the hijackers and Saudi Arabia.
The question over exactly what role the Saudi Kingdom played in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 is once again a hot topic. The Saudi Kingdom has long been suspected of financing the 9/11 hijackers. A fourteen-year-old lawsuit brought forth by the ‘9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism’ seeks to hold the Saudi Kingdom accountable for the attacks. Meanwhile, the Saudi government continues to deny any involvement and calls for the lawsuit’s dismissal.
Now, The Florida Bulldog reports that a new sworn statement from a former FBI agent has once again called attention to the involvement of the Saudi Kingdom. In a six-page statement provided as part of the lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, retired FBI agent Stephen K. Moore says the 9/11 Commission has provided the American public with incorrect statements regarding the FBI’s investigation. Moore is a 25-year veteran of the FBI who retired in 2008. He also led the FBI’s PENTTBOM, or ‘Pentagon/Twin Towers Bombing Investigation,’ a 400-member task force responsible for investigating the 9/11 attacks.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 16, 2017.
The U. S. government has spent a staggering $1.46 trillion on wars abroad since September 11, 2001, according to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) periodical ‘Cost of War’ report. As International Business Times reports, this amounts to $250 million a day for 16 years consecutively.
The newly released version, published by the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy News blog, spans war-related activity from the September 11th terrorist attacks through mid-2017.
According to the report, despite the fact that the war on terror is still ongoing rapidly to this day, Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011) and Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-2014) account for the vast majority of the cost, amounting to more than $1.3 trillion collectively.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 4, 2017.
Authored by Andrei Akulov via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The US Constitution says that only Congress can declare war for an extended time but there is a workaround.
Congress approved the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), giving the president the authority to track down and destroy al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The resolution stipulates that ‘The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.’
The resolution’s 2002 version gave President Bush the authority to invade Iraq.
Only 25 percent of the current members of Congress in the House and Senate were present when the current AUMFs were passed.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and several other Democrats are asking whether a new law authorizing the use of military force should be written.
They are planning to introduce legislation that would prohibit Trump from starting a pre-emptive war against North Korea, absent an imminent threat or without express authorization from Congress. They call for one without a sunset date, saying that Congress needs to have a voice.
The deadly incident in Niger last month ignited a push among many members of Congress to update the legal parameters for combat operations overseas. The revelation that the US is at war in Niger, without Congress even knowing, was startling. This is the perfect illustration of the US’s permanent war posture around the world, where battles are waged with little or no public scrutiny and no congressional authorization. All previous attempts to ditch the old authorization and force Congress to craft a new one have failed. For years now, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to debate and vote on US wars.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 2, 2017.
You’d have to laugh – if it were not so grave. The Trump administration says that it is running out of patience for a diplomatic solution to the Korea crisis.
This pseudo piousness comes from a US government that continually refuses to enter into direct negotiations with Kim Jong-un, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
So, how can the US say it is growing weary from diplomatic effort when it hasn’t even bothered to breathe an earnest word of diplomacy – despite being urged to do so by Russia, China, and other world leaders?
French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin was the latest world leader to endorse Moscow’s appeal for negotiations over the Korea crisis.
As Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, pointed out, the latest resolution concerning North Korea, voted on September 11, specifically calls on all parties, including the United States, to open negotiations and commit to finding a peaceful resolution.
Therefore, by not fulfilling diplomatic responsibility, the US is not complying with the UN resolution.
Following another ballistic missile test by North Korea on Friday in defiance of UN resolutions, President Trump’s national security advisor, General HR McMaster claimedthat the US was at the end of its tether in seeking diplomacy.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 19, 2017.
A wall is good enough for Maxine Waters’ mansion, but she doesn’t think the country should have one to protect against illegal immigration.
Waters’ opponent, Omar Navarro, posted video of a hedge wall surrounding the congresswoman’s property that protects her from the unwashed masses.
Speaking of walls, look at this giant wall around your mansion, @repmaxinewaters #WallsWork #VoteOmarNavarro2018pic.twitter.com/OkkncT6U0k
— Omar Navarro (@RealOmarNavarro) September 11, 2017
This post was published at The Burning Platform on Sept 16, 2017.
The New Start Treaty was in focus of the talks held in Helsinki between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon on September 11-12. The parties agreed that the treaty should be implemented without exception. It was revealed that expert consultations on the future of the agreement had begun. A meeting of the US-Russian bilateral commission on implementing the New START would take place in the near future so that the two sides could continue their discussion of the technical aspects of implementation.
In force since 2011, New START foresees the reduction of both countries’ nuclear arsenals to 1,550 warheads and 700 operationally deployed launch systems by 2018. The treaty also obliges Moscow and Washington to exchange information about their nuclear weapon stockpiles. It is one of the few nuclear agreements still being honored amid the current strained relations between Washington and Moscow. The treaty is set to expire in 2021 and stipulates that the parties may agree to extend it for a period of no more than five years.
This post was published at Zero Hedge by Andrei Akulov via The Strategic Culture Foundation,Sep 15, 2017.
Let’s say you work for a large corporation, which is undertaking an internal investigation of possible corruption and fraud within the company.
You’re sitting in a room, and an employee of the company is interviewing you.
But next to you sits your boss. He hears all the questions, and he hears your answers. He takes notes on the interview. He answers questions you are supposed to answer. He is your ‘minder.’
Getting the picture?
On October 2, 2003, during the 9/11 Commission investigation into what happened on September 11, 2001, a memo was sent to two Commission attorneys, Daniel Marcus and Steven Dunne. It was ominously titled:
‘Executive Branch Minders’ Intimidation of Witnesses.’
The memo was written by members of the 9/11 Commission’s Team 2: Kevin Scheid, Lorry Fenner, and Gordon Lederman. There is no indication that any official subsequently acted on their highly serious charges:
‘When we have asked witnesses [in interviews] about certain roles and responsibilities within the intelligence community, minders [in the room] have preempted witnesses’ responses by referencing formal policies and procedures. As a result, witnesses have not responded to our questions and have deprived us from understanding the intelligence community’s actual functioning and witnesses’ view of their roles and responsibilities.’
This post was published at Jon Rappoport on September 15, 2017.
The fires which began with the 9/11 attacks were never extinguished. They continue to burn fiercely from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria to Yemen to North Africa, as the region and its regimes came unglued in the wake of George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’.
The 16th anniversary of 9/11 was marked in America with the usual somber memorials and directives to ‘never forget’. But this definitive 9/11 slogan always takes me back to the overwhelming tide of pro-war fervor that swept the US and stifled any deeper reflection or debate in the years after September 11, 2001. Sadly, I was part of that fervor – and this too I will never forget.
The militarism of my youth
I joined the US Marine Corps as an idealistic 18-year-old in 2000, with a firm resolve – as I enthusiastically told my military recruiter shortly before leaving for boot camp – to ‘fight evil in the world’. This resolve was rooted more deeply in my veins after the 9/11 attacks. As a relatively new Marine, I had temporarily worked at the Pentagon while attached to a headquarters computer programming unit in the two months just prior to that tragic day, and was fortunate not to be there when it was attacked.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 12, 2017.
Government employees and their apologists like to lecture Americans about how “freedom isn’t free.” And indeed it isn’t. In recent years, the US military establishment has cost the American taxpayer around $700 billion per year. Thanks to the hard work of the American taxpayer, the US military – and other “defense” agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security – the US government is the most well-funded in the world. in spite of numerous ongoing interventions worldwide, casualties in the US military are low thanks to highly-advanced technology funded by – you guessed it – the American taxpayer.
Now, for the sake of argument in this article, we’ll just assume that the full $700 billion per year has something to do with actual defense. This is a highly debatable notion, of course. As more astute observers have noted in the past decade, it is not at all clear that the trillions of dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan have done anything at all to augment security in the United States. We’ll also conveniently ignore the catastrophic failures of our extremely-well-heeled American security states, such as those on September 11, 2001.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 12, 2017.
The clich is true: September 11, 2001, represents a defining American moment. Generation X and Millennials suddenly had their own day of infamy, just as their parents and grandparents had Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy assassination. 9/11 marked the end of a relatively untroubled time in the US following the 1980 and 90s, and the beginning of a dark turn that continues to this day. Optimism, an enduring feature of the American psyche (rightly or wrongly identified as buncombe by Mencken) suddenly was in short supply.
Lives were lost, along with innocence. But the innocence lost that day had less to do with terrorism or even the threat of terrorism than it did with what we all knew was coming: an exponential rise in the size and scope of the American state. The specter of growing state power frightened even those eager to endorse it, as most Americans were in the days following.
For libertarians 9/11 was especially troubling precisely because of the intense public demand for Congress and the Bush administration to do something. Whether that something was rational, just, or even served American interests was almost beside the point. The people wanted blood, and after the images of bodies jumping from the twin towers who can blame the politicians in DC for obliging them? If there are no atheists in foxholes, there are very few libertarians after terrorist attacks. Our uneasy job was to counsel reason and restraint, even if that meant shouting into a wind tunnel.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 12, 2017.
Update (2:30pm): The Supreme Court has sided with the Trump administration and blocked the 9th Circuit’s ruling, according to Reuters.
Three months after the Supreme Court first temporarily OK’d a partial revival of the Trump administration’s second travel ban, the White House is returning to the high court to ask it to overturn a lower court ruling preventing full enforcement of a portion of the ban that temporarily blocks refugees from entering the US.
According to the Hill, the Department of Justice on Monday asked the Supreme Court to stay the part of a ruling last week by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that barred the government from prohibiting refugees that have formal assurances from resettlement agencies or are in the U. S. Refugee Admissions Program from entering the US.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.
Unless we come to terms with 9/11 and the obvious fact that the official government story is a ridiculous fairytale, it’ll be hard for our nation to move forward in an intelligent, courageous and ethical manner. Many of the most destructive trends which have defined our post September 11, 2001 environment, such as a loss of civill liberties and endless barbaric wars of aggression abroad, have been directly related to our false understanding of that awful terrorist attack. As I’ve always maintained, I have no idea what really went down on that day, I just know that the U. S. government and its intelligence agencies are not being honest.
Although it’s been a long time coming, we’re finally uncovering some kernels of truth about the attack and the role Saudi Arabia played in carrying them out. Much of this progress has been driven by family members of those who died, some of whom are suing the Saudis for their role in that despicable slaughter of civilians.
I’ve written about these lawsuits on several occasions, but here’s an updated summary from Common Dreams, published two days ago:
As our summer draws to a close and ushers in a cool and rainy September, there is a solemn chill in the air marking the approaching anniversary of the infamous attacks on the World Trade Center that took place September 11th, 2001 – nearly sixteen years ago. The memories are still fresh for the survivors and the family members of victims who are to this day living with their losses while continuing to fight for accountability through both the military court in Guantanamo, where individuals involved in the attacks have been tried or are still facing painstakingly slow trials. This upcoming sixteenth anniversary of 9/11 will be the first time since the attacks that the families now have another legal recourse for seeking accountability not only from individuals but from a nation involved in the attack: Saudi Arabia.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Sep 11, 2017.
In a widely anticipated national address, President Donald Trump on Monday announced that he will not pull out U. S. troops from Afghanistan, saying he’s committed to a new strategy aimed at winning the nation’s longest war, now in its 17th year. Admitting that his “original instinct was to pull out” of Afghanistan – Trump’s core campaign pledge was to reduce US intervention in offshore conflicts – Trump effectively admitted he had been wrong, and said he’s arrived at three “fundamental conclusions” about America’s core interests in Afghanistan:
U. S. “must seek an honorable and enduring outcome” in which American troops “deserve a plan for victory” The consequences of a rapid exit would be “predictable and unacceptable” adding that “a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11” The security threats U. S. faces “are immense”; and “we cannot repeat the mistake in Afghanistan our leaders made in Iraq.” Trump also promised to the soldiers gathered for the speech that “One way or another, these problems will be solved. I am a problem solver. And in the end, we will win.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 21, 2017.
There are two points I want to hammer home in today’s piece. First, we all need to accept that Donald Trump is not some sort of crazy aberration in U. S. politics, but rather basically just the ghastly continuation of the authoritarianism and militarism which has characterized our insane society since we experienced a civilization-wide mental breakdown following the attacks of 9/11.
I’ve written about this ongoing cultural insanity on many occasions, but most passionately in my 2013 piece, How I Remember September 11, 2001:
In the days following the collapse, all I wanted was for the towers to be rebuilt just like before. I wanted the skyline back to what I had know since the day I came into this earth at a New York City hospital to be restored exactly as I had always known it. Career-wise, I felt I should leave Wall Street. I thought about going back to graduate school for political science, or maybe even join the newly created Department of Homeland Security (yes, the irony is not lost on me). I read a lengthy tome on Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. I was an emotional and psychological mess, and it was when I was in this state of heightened distress that my own government and the military-industrial complex took advantage of me.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Aug 15, 2017.
In March 2015, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit seeking the following:
“Any and all e-mails of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Secretary Clinton concerning, regarding, or relating to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U. S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.”
Ironically, State Department officials at the time decided to search records voluntarily turned over by Hillary and some of her former aides from private servers, as well as records collected by the FBI during their investigations, but figured it wasn’t necessary to search the one place where all official communications on such a topic should have been housed from the beginning: State Department servers.
For whatever reason, State has continually refused to conduct the search of its taxpayer funded servers going on two and a half years now. Luckily, some small bit of rational thought prevailed yesterday when a U. S. District Judge filed an order demanding a search of State Department records for any and all Benghazi-related emails be completed by September 22, 2017. Here is more from Politico:
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 10, 2017.