Posted by: quiscus | May 15, 2010

May 15, 2010

1.  “The Feds’ Post–9/11 Airport-Worker Purge

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the federal government feared that people would lose faith in the government’s promise to protect them. The feds had dismally failed to stop the 19 hijackers who took down four planes and sowed panic from coast to coast. So the government did what it does best: Round up the usual suspects.

Starting in late 2001, the government carried out a series of mass arrests of airport workers. “Operation Tarmac” and similarly named crackdowns spawned press conferences around the nation at which federal attorneys proudly announced roundups of Hispanic immigrants who were portrayed as would-be terrorists. More than a thousand airport employees were arrested and indicted nationwide.

Salt Lake City was the first airport hit by federal sweeps. Sixty-nine people were indicted on December 11, 2001, for false statements on employment applications or bogus Social Security numbers. Though U.S. Attorney Paul Warner declared that “there is no evidence that anyone indicted as part of Operation Safe Travel has attempted any kind of terrorist activity at the airport,” he still characterized the crackdown as a “joint anti-terrorism effort.”

However, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson denounced the investigation as “grandstanding” and complained, “At the end of the investigation, state and federal officers arrested and imprisoned dozens of workers. These arrests left many families in turmoil, with children waiting at home for their parents to return from work.”

Authorities were chagrined at the negative publicity over the three-day lockup of a food-service worker who was also a breast-feeding mother.

Operation Tarmac illustrated how “retail” lying is dangerous and can result in a prison sentence — while “wholesale” lying is a steppingstone to fame and greater power.

Unfortunately, few people recognized the political racketeering involved in the post–9/11 roundups of airport workers. That practically ensures that, if there is another major terrorist attack or some similar debacle, mass arrests will once again be used to burnish the government’s image.”

2.  “The Failure of Surveillance Cameras

When it comes to preventing and solving crimes, cameras are about as useful as a pet rock.

Which raises the question: What good are cameras? The debate over them is often framed as hardheaded law enforcement types versus wimpy civil libertarians. Whether the cameras actually work in practice to help solve and prevent crime generally gets ignored.

It shouldn’t. Leave aside those airy privacy concerns for the moment. Installing, maintaining, and monitoring thousands of these devices, as in New York and Chicago, costs millions of dollars. Absent cameras, that money could be spent on beat cops, patrol cars, forensic equipment, jail cells, you name it.

The point of any law enforcement tool is not just to do some good but also to do some good at a reasonable cost compared with the alternatives. It’s by no means clear that surveillance cameras even come close to meeting that standard.”

3.  “Who is Bombing in Iraq?

Are the bombers Al-Qaeda, the CIA or Israel?
On 10 May there were more than two dozen bombings and shootings in Iraq that killed at least 85 people and injured at least 300.These were coordinated attacks, clearly by the same organization.

The American response to this and other recent attacks is to delay plans for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Obama’s election promise was to withdraw troops from Iraq by May this year. Not only is that obviously not going to happen but we learned after his election that “withdrawal” meant leaving 50,000 troops as ‘trainers’ as well as 4,500 special forces and tens of thousands of para-military contractors.

Now, the US is reviewing even the slipped drawdown schedule out of concern for the security of the Iraqi people. Considering the million killed by the US and the four to five million refugees created by them I would not have thought that they would be bothered by fewer than one hundred dead in a little internal trouble. It might be said to be an improvement on US outcomes.

As these attacks are providing the US with an excuse for delaying even its token withdrawal however, we need to think about who is behind them.

wrote on 20 April that the probability is that the United States Central Intelligence Agency is behind these attacks, using local groups. It’s dirty tricks of this sort that the CIA does and is well financed by the US government to do. The US will never leave Iraq while there is oil in the ground, as I said in April 2008. I’m amazed that the media and even the US anti-war brigade still have faith that leaving will happen. The US didn’t go there in the first place, nor build its fortresses, in order to leave. As it happens, however, the elections to keep their puppet in place did not go to plan.

Why should we believe that the Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, was briefed by the Pakistani Taliban – even if he believes it himself? Did they show him their membership cards, perhaps? Perhaps his Pakistani handlers were Taliban-certified by someone of reliable reputation and good character? I prefer a group backed by the CIA which is now publicly known to be active in Pakistan and who would like to supply evidence of the Taliban’s wish to attack the US itself. It justifies their atrocities and keeps the war going.

Faisal Shahzad’s crude construct didn’t explode and it wasn’t going to. It wasn’t even a bomb – just some petrol cans, propane cylinders, fireworks and fertilizer of the wrong sort for bomb-making. A nuisance but harmless. He had never been trained by a real bomb-maker or if he was, the crude construct was intended to merely burn. Remember the USS Liberty when you read these accounts.

These people think that it’s clever to get others to do their dirty work for them or better still, to suborn nationals of their target countries. Empires are only possible if collaborators with the occupiers can be found – and it’s never difficult. The Palestinians have Mahmoud Abbas, Iran had the Shah, Afghanistan has Karzai, Iraq has Maliki, the UK had Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown as well as the collaboration of most of the UK’s political class both in the US’s wars of aggression and its occupation of the UK with its bases. Our government has changed but as the French say, plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose (more change, more of the same thing).”

4.  “The “War on Terrorism” for Oil: Folly of the Imperial Oil Adventure. Tolling Bells for Humanity

The unprecedented amount of oil bursting out—perhaps as much as 4 barrels of oil per second—also raises questions about the actual size of the reservoir itself.  Quoting the same analysis:

“This is an out of control volcano of oil spewing up with 70,000 psi behind it, from a reservoir nearly the size of the Gulf, with an estimated trillions of barrels of oil and gas tucked away.  It is this deposit that has me reminding people of what the Shell geologist told me about the deposit. This was the quote, ‘Energy shortage…, Hell! We are afraid of running out of air to burn.’ The deposit is very large. It covers an area off shore something like 25,000 square miles. Natural Gas and Oil is leaking out of the deposit as far inland as Central Alabama and way over into Florida and even over to Louisiana almost as far as Texas. What we are seeing now could be small compared to what may yet unfold if things break apart, as they can do under such circumstances.  If this thing blew, it could be like the Yellowstone Caldera, except from below a mile of sea, with a 1/4-mile opening, with up to 150,000 psi of oil and natural gas behind it.

That would be an extinction event.”

Leaked memos suggests that government officials were aware of a potential for a nightmare scenario. Will it simply be “allowed to happen” as the days, weeks and months pass?”

5.  “Cartwright: Expect war for 5-10 more years”

6.  “Let’s Rejoice in Terror’s Benefits!”


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