Editor's note: This Sott.net editorial is being 'flash-backed' as a result of the recent Portland 'terror' scare. Details of that incident can be read on Sott.net here. This article shows in abundant detail the efforts that the US government and associated 'Intel' agencies have made over the years to manufacture 'home-grown terrorism'
Like most normal people, by the 100th day of the Obama administration I had hoped that Bush-era freaks like Dick Cheney would have respectfully withdrawn from public view and ultimately (and ideally) ended up parked in an old people's home where staff would joyfully beat them twice a day. But alas, like a recurring nightmare, Mr. Cheney at least seems unwilling to spare us his disturbing presence just yet.

Reading his recent rants on Obama's (now reversed) plans to release more prisoner abuse photos and roll back illegal wiretapping and close Gitmo etc, we get the impression that behind Cheney's anger lies fear (I'm generously presuming that there actually is something more to old snarly face than pure primal anger). But what could provoke fear in man whose idea of private conflict resolution is to try and blow your face off with his shotgun?

While Dick is undoubtedly frustrated at the thought of an end to the vicarious pleasure he surely derives from his personal (if indirect) involvement in the water-boarding, sodomising or plain ol' beating to death of innocent people, not to mention an end to his personal assassination squad, the many degrees of separation between an order from the office of the VP and the 'enhanced interrogation' room where the 'fun' takes place ensure that Cheney need not fear any jail time for his 'enhanced misdemeanors' (especially under the increasingly pusillanimous Obama aka 'Judas Goat').

Like so many political debates of the last, say, 2000 years, the debate on the merits of torture in attempting to extract accurate information from an alleged suspect in the war on terror is hubris.

In 2002 the Bush administration was gearing up to launch an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq for profit (and Israel). The CIA at that point was tasked with providing justification in the form of 'evidence' that Saddam had links to "al-qaeda". Under the direction of the office of the VP and the Sec of Defense, the CIA began torturing individuals that they had picked up in random sweeps of Afghanistan and Pakistan (and later Iraq after the invasion).

To seasoned sadists like Cheney and high level members of the CIA it was clear that far from being a reliable way to extract accurate information from a prisoner, torture was much better suited to forcing a prisoner to state something that was not true - prisoners like Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (who coincidentally appears to have been suicided recently in prison in Libya) and Abu Zubaydah who remains in Gitmo to this day.

al-Libi was reportedly tortured many times, including water boarding, in Egypt and later in Libya. He was also locked in a 20 inch high "coffin" for 17 hours and then beaten for 15 minutes before he finally found sufficient inspiration and the 'right answer' about those "links between Iraq and al-Qaeda". In the case of Abu Zubaydah, despite the fact that shortly after his capture by FBI and CIA agents in Pakistan in 2002 he was deemed schizophrenic, he was treated to no less than 85 water boarding sessions. As a result of their torture, both of these men felt obliged to finally agree that there were indeed links between al-qaeda and Iraq. al-Libi later recanted but not before his confession was used as evidence by Colin Powell in his infamous March 2003 speech at the UN.

It's hard not to connect al-Libi's recent death in prison with the release of the Bush era torture memos and prospect that the Obama administration may have been planning to expose more unsavory details concerning prisoner abuse leading to greater public awareness about the real reason for it - the creation of evidence for an invasion of Iraq. There is also the likelihood that Libyan leader General Gaddafi was growing anxious that his complicity in the US' war on terror would be made public as Newsweek recently reported:
"al-Libi had recently been identified by defense lawyers in the U.S. as a prime potential witness in any upcoming trials of top terror suspects, either in revamped military commissions or in U.S. federal courts. Brent Mickum, a U.S. lawyer who represents Abu Zubaydah, says he had recently begun efforts through intermediaries to arrange to talk to Libi. "The timing of this is weird," Mickum says."
"Weird timing"?? Yeah, very weird timing, You could almost say it was so weird that it renders the idea that al-Libi died of an illness or committed unassisted suicide totally laughable, especially given that, according to Reuters, a Human Rights Watch researcher saw him on April 27th at which time he appeared to be in good health but reluctant to talk, saying only: "Where were you when I was being tortured in American prisons?"

What needs to be understood (and frankly it's amazing that so many people appear to be unable to do so) is that the US-led war on terrorism was (and remains) a war based solely on the desire by US, British and Israeli warmongers to expand their influence and empire. In order to sell their immoral war to the people therefore, 'moral' justification for it had be manufactured, reality had to be "created" as an unnamed Washington Neocon infamously quipped a few years ago. That 'reality' included the creation of a "terrorist threat" at home and abroad.

At home it was sufficient for US politicians to repeatedly invoke 9/11 and to issue regular "terror threat" alerts. From time to time however they employed the same tactics used abroad and recruited mentally unstable individuals to flesh out their perverted "homegrown terrorist" reality.

Miami seven
The Miami Seven - entrapped by the FBI
One such case was that of the "Miami terror cell" back in 2006. This slightly deranged group of five Christian-Zionist-Muslim martial artist immigrants called the 'Sea of David' were quietly living in a warehouse in Florida awaiting the fulfillment of the biblical end times prophecy, when one day an undercover FBI agent came along and:

offered them $50,000

initiated them into "al-Qaeda" (complete with oath swearing)

provided them with military boots and a video camera

suggested that they wanted to blow up certain government buildings and the Sears tower in Chicago

The leader of this group of unlikely terrorists, Narseal Batiste, needs psychiatric help, according to his father and even Justice Department officials acknowledged the group did not have the means to carry out the plan," according to Knight Ridder:
"The Justice Department unveiled the arrests with an orchestrated series of news conferences in two cities, but the severity of the charges compared with the seemingly amateurish nature of the group raised concerns among civil libertarians," who noted that the group had "no weapons, no explosives" and yet the government considers the arrests and case a "major announcement."
Two community activists familiar with the case and the group summed it up:
A lot of show has been made about the militaristic boots that they had... It turns out... the FBI bought them the boots. If you look at the indictment, the biggest piece of evidence... is that the group may have taken pictures of a bunch of targets in South Florida. But the guys couldn't afford their own cameras, so the federal government bought them the cameras... The federal government rented them the cars that they needed to get downtown in order to take the pictures. In addition... the men provided the FBI informant with a list of things they needed in order to blow up these buildings, but in the list they didn't include any explosives or any materials which could be used to make explosives. So now everyone in Liberty City is joking that the guys were going to kick down the FBI building with their new boots, because they didn't have any devices which could have been used to explode..
Despite this, in a wonderful example of just how farcical the US justice system has become, the men were charged with "planning to wage a full ground war against the United States"! And just in case anyone still harbors any illusions about Mr. "Yes We Can!"; last week, against all reason, the members of the "Miami terror cell" were convicted:
5 Miami men convicted of Sears Tower attack plot

13 May 2009

MIAMI (AP) - Five men were convicted Tuesday of plotting to join forces with al-Qaida to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices in hopes of igniting an anti-government insurrection.

The jury in Miami acquitted another member of the so-called "Liberty City Six" in the sixth day of deliberations. Two previous trials ended in mistrials when jurors could not agree on the men's guilt or innocence.

Comment: Here we see the problem; if those jurors had been waterboarded a few dozen times they would surely have convicted!

They were arrested in June 2006 on charges of plotting terrorism with an undercover FBI informant they believed was from al-Qaida. Defense attorneys said terrorist talk recorded on dozens of FBI tapes was not serious and the men wanted only money.

Ringleader Narseal Batiste, 35, was the only one convicted of all four terrorism-related conspiracy counts, including plotting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to wage war against the U.S. Batiste, who was on the vast majority of hundreds of FBI audio and video tapes, faces up to 70 years in prison. [...]

A key piece of evidence is an FBI video of the entire group pledging an oath of allegiance, or "bayat," to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden in a March 16, 2006, ceremony led by an FBI informant posing as "Brother Mohammed" from al-Qaida.

But Batiste, who testified in all three trials, insisted he was only going along with Mohammed so he could obtain $50,000 or more for his struggling construction business and a nascent community outreach program. Batiste was leader of a Miami chapter of a sect known as the Moorish Science Temple, which combines elements of Christianity, Judaism and Islam and does not recognize the U.S. government's full authority.

Defense lawyers also claimed the case was an FBI setup driven by informants who manipulated the group.

"This is a manufactured crime," Batiste attorney Ana M. Jhones said earlier in the trial.
Other cases of note include Jose Padilla who was arrested in 2002 on charges that he was planning to detonate a 'dirty bomb' (this charge was later dropped for complete lack of evidence) and sentenced to 17 years in a Florida jail in 2007. Padilla was tortured for nearly the entire three years and eight months of his unlawful detention.

Jose padilla
Jose Padilla - gang member - patsy
Padilla's attorneys alleged that he was "held for 1,307 days in a 9-foot-by-7-foot cell, isolated for days or weeks at a time, physically assaulted and threatened with execution and other violence, kept awake with lights and noises, and forced to take mind-altering drugs, possibly PCP or LSD". This torture was clearly not designed to extract accurate information but rather to persuade Padilla that he really was the terrorist that the Cheney et al needed him to be.

Zacarias Moussaoui is another case in point:

Moussaoui is the alleged "20th hijacker" despite the fact that he originally denied any involvement in the 9/11 attacks. During his trial he exhibited clear signs of mental illness. Asked by his lawyer why he signed his guilty plea in April as "the 20th hijacker," Moussaoui replied: "Because everybody used to refer to me as the 20th hijacker and it was a bit of fun."

In one of the motions he filed with the court while he was representing himself, he claimed the FBI bugged his fan in an effort to frame him: "Where is my fan? It must be forensically examined before they kill me."

Moussaoui - Cheney's Pavlovian dog
He also stated: "I have a masters in International Bombing Business from the University Bombing Limited. My mentor is the Chief Executor of the World Terror Company."

When his mother travelled from France to attend his trial he ignored her. Such was the extent of the difference between the man in the dock and the man she remembered as her son, Moussaoui's mother broke down and declared "that is not Zachary," claiming that her normally fiery son must have been drugged to appear so sedate.

NBC news reporter Pete Williams suggested that Moussaoui had been fitted with a "stun belt" by his US government handlers to keep him 'on message'. According to Amnesty International:
"Officers can use it to psychologically threaten a prisoner, and it appears designed to humiliate and degrade a prisoner... Data from other electro-shock weapons indicate that the high pulse 50,000 volt shocks lasting eight seconds at a time could result in longer term physical and mental injuries."
Khalid Sheik Mohammed
And of course, we can't forget the 9/11 "mastermind" himself Khalid Sheik Mohammed, whose trial is ongoing. Officially Mohammed was captured by the CIA in Pakistan in 2002, however there are numerous problems with the account of his arrest:

Witnesses say Mohammed was not present when the raid occurred.

There were differing accounts about which house he was arrested in.

There are differing accounts about where he was before the arrest and how authorities found him.

Some accounts have him sleeping when the arrest occurs.

Accounts differ on who arrests him - Pakistanis, Americans, or both.

There are previously published accounts that Mohammed may have been killed in September 2002.

There are accounts that he was captured the year before.

There were, in fact, so many problems with the story that one UK Guardian report stated:
"The story appears to be almost entirely fictional."
And that dear readers is the essence of the 'war on terrorism' - fiction, albeit a fiction written in the very real blood and suffering of millions of innocent people. From CIA, MI6 and Mossad/Shin Bet- tortured patsies like those mentioned here, to the multitudes of Iraqi, Afghan and Palestinian civilians, their lives snuffed out in an second by US, Israeli and British air force pilots or by the trigger-happy foot-soldiers of empire.

Perhaps now we understand what's eating Dick Cheney; that the CIA tortured people on his orders? He cares not. That the CIA tortured people on his orders to make a case for the Iraq invasion? He shrugs indifferently. That he, as the most powerful US Vice President ever, used torture and assassination to manufacture evidence for the reality of the 'war on terror', which in turn was used to retrofit evidence that Islamic terrorists carried out the 9/11 attacks which, in reality, were carried out by a cabal of Israeli and US psychopaths, among them Cheney himself? Well, that calls for a few public snarls and not-so-subtle hints to the Obama administration that, while he may be out of office, Cheney's nobody's patsy.