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Sun, 18 Nov 2018
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9/11

Vader

Former Bush counterterrorism czar admits that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld all committed 'war crimes', but hedges by questioning if it would be 'productive'

Richard Clarke

Richard Clarke
President George W. Bush's former top counterterrorism official said this week that he is convinced that Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld all committed war crimes during the Iraq war.

In an interview that will air in full next week, Democracy Now's Amy Goodman asked former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke if "President Bush should be brought up on war crimes [charges], and Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, for the attack on Iraq."

"I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes," Clarke agreed. "Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have."

Ambulance

More police officers have died from 9/11-related illnesses than on the scene at Ground Zero

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© Reuters / Peter Morgan
A police car sits amid rubble near the base of the destroyed World Trade Center towers in New York on September 11, 2001.
More police officers have now died as a result of illnesses blamed on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks than the number of cops killed during the actual event as the tragedy unfolded 12-and-a-half years ago.

On Tuesday this week, 20 new names were added to the New York State Police Officers' Memorial in Albany, NY, including 13 individuals who died in recent years due to 9/11-related illnesses. The Associated Press reported that authorities attribute those 13 deaths to cancers caused by rescue and recovery efforts in Lower Manhattan after the World Trade Center collapsed more than a decade ago.

All told, the memorial in the New York state capital now contains the names of 71 officers who died due to 9/11-related illnesses. The actual terrorist attack itself claimed the lives of 60 cops, and nearly 3,000 civilians.

"I live near the World Trade Center. I inhaled the toxic smoke that permeated every square inch of lower Manhattan," New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said at Tuesday's ceremony, the AP reported. "I know how nobly and heroically the NYPD carried out their duties on that tragic September day and the terrible days that followed."

USA

9/11 WTC Attacks Disinfo: "Terrorist body found in plane cockpit wreckage"

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, "law enforcement sources" apparently told Fox news that a body, possibly one of the "terrorists", had been found in the "cockpit ruins" of one of the planes. The same "sources" also said that a body of a flight attendant had been recovered from the wreckage at the WTC with her hands tied behind her back with wire.

These claims were quickly dismissed when it became apparent that no complete bodies were recovered from the passengers or crew of either plane that hit the Twin Towers. Indeed, given the fact that both planes exploded inside the twin towers and then both towers completely collapsed into dust and rubble, it seems highly unlikely that a complete or partial cockpit with a recognizable body inside could have been found. This raises the question of which "law enforcement sources" were spreading this kind of information, that can only have been entirely fabricated, and why.

The answer seems clear; as soon as the 9/11 attacks occurred (or indeed beforehand) a narrative about "hijackers" had already been prepared and disseminated to the mainstream media.


People

What's in a name: Do baby names impact life course?

babies
© unknown
When parents spend hours poring over baby name books they may imagine that their choice will have a major impact on their child's life. But do names make a difference? Two recent books put this idea under the microscope.

Choosing a name for a child is complicated. Not only should it sound right with the family name but future nicknames - good and bad - need to be taken into consideration. A name might honour a favourite grandparent, but it will also have a forgotten meaning to be unearthed in books, and dubious modern associations to be checked on Google.

Dalton Conley and his wife Ellen were halfway through this pleasant but painstaking process when their baby girl was born, two months premature.

"We had narrowed down the selections to a bunch of E- names, but we couldn't ultimately decide," says Conley, who lives in New York. "Then we came up with the idea of, 'Let's just constrain the first degree of freedom. Let's just give her the first letter and then she can decide when she's old enough what it stands for.'"

Bad Guys

Rumsfeld documentary reveals what an unaccountable slippery bastard he is

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So what do we know now that we didn't after documentarian Errol Morris's 100-minute Q&A with Donald "I Don't Do Quagmires" Rumsfeld in "The Unknown Known"? Only that the former U.S. secretary of defence is still a master strategist of evasion, contradiction, misdirection and malapropism.

As a footnote, here's what we do know to date about that dirty little Iraq War that "Rummy," the George W. Bush White House and their nincompoop Pentagon neo-cons cooked up and spoon fed to the omnivorous American public: more than 4400 U.S. military deaths and 32,000 wounded, at least 100,000 to as many as 500,000 Iraqi fatalities, millions more displaced, and an estimated price tag of $3 trillion, give or take a few hundred billion.

Yet like most of the questions that Morris tosses - gently - at his subject, any such factual horrors are sidestepped, parried and danced around by a fitfully nimble Rumsfeld. Relaxed, nattily dressed and imperiously self-assured as ever, Morris' hollow yet overstuffed man does his imitation of "Hogan's Heroes" Sgt. Schultz ("I know nothing, nothing") while implausibly denying personal culpability for any stink that blew back from the Iraq War, whether the phony Weapons of Mass Destruction raison d'être, prisoner torture or the fictitious links between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 World Trade Centre attacks.

Horse

Empathy works! Caring for animals may correlate with positive traits in young adults

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Young adults who care for an animal may have stronger social relationships and connection to their communities, according to a paper published online today in Applied Developmental Science.

While there is mounting evidence of the effects of animals on children in therapeutic settings, not much is known about if and how everyday interactions with animals can impact positive youth development more broadly.

"Our findings suggest that it may not be whether an animal is present in an individual's life that is most significant but rather the quality of that relationship," said the paper's author, Megan Mueller, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and research assistant professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. "The young adults in the study who had strong attachment to pets reported feeling more connected to their communities and relationships."

Gear

U.S. terror charges: Bin Laden's son-in-law found guilty of conspiring to kill Americans

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© Reuters/Jane Rosenberg
An artist sketch shows Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a militant who appeared in videos as a spokesman for al Qaeda after the September 11, 2001 attacks, appearing at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan March 8, 2013.
A Kuwaiti man considered to be a senior adviser to former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was found guilty by jury Wednesday morning in New York City of conspiring to kill Americans.

The man, 48-year-old cleric Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Federal prosecutors for the United States government argued at trial that Ghaith worked within the top ranks of the terror group and assumed the role of a spokesman of sorts, appearing in propaganda videotapes released in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks orchestrated by Al-Qaeda.

Ghaith admitted on trial to being summoned personally by bin Laden in June of 2011, and later took the Al-Qaeda leader's daughter as an additional wife several years after 9/11. In the interim he appeared in videos released by the organization, including one where he warned Americans that "the storm of airplanes will not abate."

''The defendant committed himself to Al-Qaeda's conspiracy to kill Americans, and he worked to drive other people to that conspiracy," Assistant US Attorney John Cronan said during closing arguments on Monday, the Boston Globe reported.

Comment:
Myth of Osama bin Laden
Was Osama Bin Laden a CIA asset named Tim Osman?


Vader

Food police coming: Obama administration to insert global warming activism into dietary guidelines mandated by Congress

global warming debate
© Michael Ramirez
Aaargh! Forget nutrition and medical guidelines, carbon footprint is the new diet selector.

Climate Change Activists to Meet Food Police at Closed-Door Meeting March 14

New York, NY / Washington DC - At a closed-door meeting to take place March 14, the Obama Administration's Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services plan to update the nation's "dietary guidelines" - a document with significant repercussions for food stamps, military and school meals programs - to include anti-global warming activism.

In an article, "Obama administration pollutes guidelines for healthy eating with unhealthy ideologies," published Sunday by the Washington Examiner, National Center Senior Fellow and Risk Analysis Division Director Jeff Stier says environmental activists within the U.S. government plan to change the nation's dietary guidelines to promote foods that they believe have "a smaller carbon footprint."

Airplane

Video of 9/11 attack aftermath captured from space to be shown for first time

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© AFP/Getty
A British news channel is preparing to broadcast video footage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks captured from outer space for the first time in the coming weeks.

Channel 4, a public service television station based in the United Kingdom, has announced that it will show footage from that Tuesday morning captured from the International Space Station by Frank Culbertson, the only American on board the ISS. When Culbertson was notified that something had occurred in New York, he realized they would be passing over the city soon.

Comment: This last part is interesting, as it seems to be the main goal of such events, and their subsequent media coverage, to induce and disperse collective trauma among the population.
Limbic Warfare and Martha Stout's "Paranoia Switch"


Airplane

Surprise, surprise: US Homeland Security awards contract to Israeli surveillance company

israel drone surveillance

The Elbit Systems Hermes 450 is a medium size multi-payload drone
Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems has announced that its US subsidiary has been awarded a $145 million contract by the United States Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The contract calls for the deployment of border surveillance technology in southern Arizona. According to Reuters, the contract is "known as the Integrated Fixed Tower".

It includes a base period quantity and options that CBP may exercise over a multi-year period. The contract is to be implemented over an approximately 12-month period.

Elbit Systems Ltd. is Israel's largest arms manufacturer.

According to Bloomberg, the Israeli company managed to beat some of the top US government contractors, including Lockheed Martin (LMT) Corp., General Dynamics Corp. (GD) and Raython Co. (RTN).

The contract calls for the delivery of surveillance equipment, such as radars and cameras, mounted on fixed towers to help agents detect and track "items of interest" along the border.

Lockheed Martin has confirmed that it bid on the project and that it was "disappointed with the award decision" adding that it will "seek an opportunity to understand" the agency's decision.

There has been a growing call for divesting from Elbit Systems Ltd.