Tag Archives: 9/11

InCity Times Book Review

20160517_095529_HDR-1
… Bin Laden was easy prey for U.S. Navy Seals, according to Hersh. pic:R.T.

The Killing of Osama Bin Laden

By Seymour M. Hersh

(2016, Verso Books, 132 pages)

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

Seymour Hersh is one of the best investigative reporters in the United States. In 1970 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the My Lai massacre by American troops in Vietnam. Since then, Hersh has gone on to report on numerous issues of public concern.

In this latest book, Hersh takes a look at two issues: the 2011 operation that killed Osama Bin Laden and the 2013 Syrian chemical attack on Ghouta that killed 1,400 innocent civilians. In the Bin Laden killing, Hersh quotes mostly anonymous and unattributed sources that Bin Laden was actually captured by the Pakistanis in 2006 and that the operation to kill Ben Laden was an elaborately staged hoax to re-elect President Obama.

In the Syrian chemical case, Hersh quotes sources who imply the United States, through Turkey, supplied Syrian rebels with the equipment and/or raw materials to manufacture sarin gas to conduct the attack on Ghouta, giving the U.S. casus belli to bring down the Assad regime.

London Review of Books

This book originally appeared as a series of essays in the London Review of Books. It patches together totally different subjects. In the introduction, Hersh insists the book’s subjects have a common theme – that President Obama promised transparency and delivered misrepresentation and lies. Hersh wrote: “Yet he [Obama] is a President who told series of lies about the killing of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011 … .”

Hersh asserted the following about the death of Bin Laden:

• “Bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI [Pakistani intelligence] at the Abbottabad compound since 2006,” after Bin Laden was betrayed to ISI by a bribed local tribesman.

• That Pakistani intelligence knew of the May 11, 2011, raid to kill Bin Laden “in advance and made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms;”

• “At the Abbottabad compound ISI guards were posted around the clock to keep watch over Bin Laden and his wives and children. They were under orders to leave as soon as they heard the rotors of the U.S. helicopters.”

• “The town was dark: the electricity supply had been cut off on the orders of ISI before the raid began.”

Thus, stripped of guards and protection, Bin Laden was easy prey for what Hersh terms “murder” by Navy Seals. According to Hersh, the original plan had been for the Seals to kill Bin Laden and a week later for the U.S. and Pakistan to announce Bin Laden was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan. This was spoiled by Obama rushing to claim credit for Bin Laden’s death, injuring U.S. relations with Pakistan, claims Hersh.

Bizarre scenario

If this bizarre scenario laid out by Hersh were really true, it is highly unlikely it would have remained a secret this long.

In these days of the Internet and our hyper-partisan political atmosphere, it is highly unlikely that such a dubious scheme could have been carried out without the evidence leaking. Hersh is a good writer, and at only 132 pages, this book is an easy read.

Republicans and conservatives have long criticized Hersh for his reliance on anonymous sources in support of sometimes unbelievable accusations.

Liberals may find themselves in agreement after reading this highly unlikely accounting of a liberal icon’s greatest achievement.

Steve parked in YY …Turkey faces blowback from allowing infiltration to Syria

By Steven R. Maher

There is a famous saying: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Like Syria earlier this decade, Turkey is finding out the hard way that the enemy of their enemy can quickly turn into their enemy.

The United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Shortly thereafter, foreign fighters began to flood the country.

“Senior Iraqi intelligence officers believe an Islamic militant group which has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Irbil and a spate of deadly attacks in Baghdad, Falluja and Mosul is receiving significant help from Syria and Iran,” the Guardian, a respected British newspaper, reported on February 19, 2004. The Guardian recounted that Iraqi insurgents were “given shelter by Syrian and Iranian security agencies and have been able to enter Iraq with ease” and were “suspected of training suicide bombers and deploying them against US forces in Iraq and Iraqis considered to be collaborating with the US-led authorities.”

Jihadist Highway

At the time, Syrian President Bashir al-Assad was backing the Iraqi insurgents to drive the United States out of the Middle East. When the Arab spring unfolded in 2011, the Jihadists began using Turkey as an infiltration route to unseat Assad. Their efforts were made easier by the knowledge – and the networks set up – to use Syria to infiltrate Iraq.

Turkey’s Prime Minister wanted to see Assad toppled. As the Wall Street Journal reported on September 4, 2014, Turkey allowed the setting up of a “jihadist highway” that “let foreign militants slip across its border into Syria.” ISIS terrorists were allowed to use Turkey’s territory to rest, recuperate, and launch attacks against Syrian forces.

The chickens came to roost with this week’s bloody suicide bombing on Turkey’s main airport, the same airport used by foreign Jihadists to enter Turkey on their way to fight in Syria.

Lesson learned

One lesson to be learned from this is the danger of “blowback.” This was a term America became familiar with after 9/11, when it was used to describe the U.S. supplying arms to Afghans fighting the Soviet Union, who then created Al-Qaeda to war against the U.S. The Syrians saw their country destroyed by the blowback of their government’s support of terrorists to attack U.S. forces in Syria, and Turkey is now facing a very bloody blowback from their government’s decision to set up the “Jihadist highway.”

Another lesson to be learned is that the United States cannot put boots on the ground in the Middle East and engage in direct combat with ISIS.

That will only inflame the Middle East further, unite warring Jihadist factions against the U.S., and motivate some of America’s enemies to befriend each other. The U.S. should stick to its current strategy of using Special Forces, drones and air power to degrade ISIS.

From the Worcester Historical Museum …

Elm Street
Worcester 

DON’T MISS IT!!!
Worcester 911
Closes Saturday, August 31 

This week is your last chance to see Worcester 911 before it closes this Saturday. See the devastation and effects wrought by storms like the 1953 Tornado or the 1955 Flood on Worcester and how the community pulled together to heal and rebuild.

More Info

Whispers in the Walls: William P. Daniels House
Saturday, September 14 at 1:00 PM
$10 per person

Hear the stories and learn the history of the William P. Daniels House, 2 Congress Street, at our latest Whispers in the Walls tour in September. Space is limited to 30 people.

Call 508.753.8278 to register.

More info

 

Help animals weather the ‘dog days of summer’

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

The “dog days of summer” are here, and humans aren’t the only ones feeling the heat. Animals have an even harder time keeping cool when temperatures soar: Unlike us, they can’t simply crank up the air conditioner, drive to the pool or pour a cold glass of lemonade. They can’t sweat like we do, and they’re covered with fur. Our animal companions count on us to keep them comfortable and safe as the mercury soars.

That’s exactly what security guards at Toronto’s Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre are doing. In response to the death of a dog who was left in a hot vehicle in the mall’s parking lot last summer,
the shopping center has posted two security guards at each of its five main entrances to remind customers that leaving animals in cars on warm days can be deadly. Not many shopping centers are this proactive—which is why it’s important to be a “watchdog” for animals left in vehicles and to have the vehicle’s owner paged and/or call 911 if you see an animal in distress.

People often think they will only be in a store or the bank for “just a minute,” but when it’s warm outside, “just a minute” is all it takes to cook a dog alive in a car. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 120 degrees in minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Dogs can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes, resulting in brain damage or death. Leaving the windows partially open, parking in the shade and/or leaving water in the vehicle do not keep vehicles cool enough to be safe.

Transporting animals in the bed of a pickup truck isn’t any safer. In fact, it’s illegal in many areas because the hot metal can burn animals’ footpads and animals can catapult out during sudden stops or choke if they jump out while they’re tied to the truck.

Dogs who are kept chained or penned outdoors can also succumb to heatstroke and dehydration if they can’t escape the scorching sun or if they knock over their water container. Cats who are left to roam unattended are in danger from the heat, too, as well as from being killed by cars, poisoned or abused by cruel people. If neighbors leave their animals outside, check on them often to ensure that they have water (in a tip-proof container), food, shade and shelter—and encourage your neighbors to let them indoors. If animals lack these necessities, give them water and notify authorities immediately.

On very hot days, even the activities that dogs love—such as walks and games of fetch—require extra precautions. Hot pavement can burn paws, and it reflects heat onto dogs’ bodies. Always test the pavement with your hand before letting your pup set foot on it, and schedule walks for early in the morning and late at night, when it’s cooler outside. Even if your dog is energetic, be sure to stop often in shady spots for rest and water breaks. Never make dogs run when it’s hot outside—they will collapse before giving up.

The best place for our animal companions to beat the heat is indoors, with air conditioning and/or fans running and plenty of fresh, cool water available at all times. If you see an animal showing symptoms of heatstroke—including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite or coordination—get him or her into the shade immediately. Lower the animal’s body temperature by providing water, applying a cold towel to the animal’s head and chest or immersing him or her in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.

With a little help, our canine and feline companions can have it made in the shade on even the hottest days.

We hope this guy ends up living …

… adjacent to a garbage heap in some developing country. I see his point, but NSA’s surveillance programs have thwarted dozens of terrorist attacks! I, for one, NEVER, EVER want to see another 9/11. I can live with govt access to phone numbers, etc. I don’t give a hoot if the US government can determine what I’m doing on the Internet. No ICT hanky panky going on – unless some one in DC is as big a fan of American rock ‘n’ roll as I am. The American govt has bigger fish to fry than Rose Tirella – and YOU. Now, thanks to Snowden, our allies are pissed and some incredibly top secret American info is in terrorist, Russian and Chinese hands (let’s not be naive).

Thanks, Edward Snowden. You did what you thought was right; now return home to face the music.

From The Guardian. – R. Tirella

Edward Snowden asylum: countries approached and their responses

The NSA whistleblower has made 21 applications for asylum worldwide as he flees the US – with little success

By Haroon Siddique

According to a statement from WikiLeaks, the US whistleblower Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in a total of 21 countries. Snowden, who has been charged under espionage laws in the US after leaking top-secret documents on US surveillance programmes, has been trapped in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since 23 June after flying in from Hong Kong. He has yet to receive a positive response to his applications for asylum. Some countries have yet to respond but a number have already rejected his request.

Austria

No. The interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, said Snowden would have to submit his request for asylum while on Austrian soil. But she added that he would not be deported if he arrived in Austria because “there is no international arrest warrant”.

Bolivia

No response.

Brazil

No. A foreign ministry spokesman said Brazil would not grant asylum, adding that it would leave the request unanswered.

China

No response. …

To see entire list, click here!

 

9/11

September 11th, 2011

 Friends,

There is not much more that needs to be said today. We all know how we felt on that day, and we all know what we’ve lost in this past decade. I said what I had to say about 9/11 seven years ago — and thanks to some kind stranger who has posted it for free on YouTube, I’d like to share it with you again today.

Let’s make the next decade one of peace.

Michael Moore

P.S. I’d also like to share this essay from former NY Times Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chris Hedges. It is blunt and honest and worthy of reflection.

Some final thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden

By Michael Moore

“The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we’re not like them. We’re Americans. We roll different.” – Michael Moore in an interview last week

Friends,

Last week, President Obama fulfilled a campaign promise and killed Osama bin Laden. Well he didn’t actually do the killing himself. It was carried out by a very brave and excellent team of Navy SEALs. Not only does Mr. Obama have the overwhelming support of the country, I think there are millions who gladly wish it could have been their finger on the gun that took out bin Laden.

When I heard the news a week ago Sunday, I immediately felt great. I felt relief. I thought of those who lost a loved one on 9/11. And I was glad we finally had a President who got something done. This is what I had to say on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet in that first hour or two:

I want to point out that Barack Obama took two years to do what Bush couldn’t do in over seven. That’s the difference between STUPID in charge and SMART in charge. STUPID pursues two reckless wars, lets OBL escape from Tora Bora, keeps looking for him in caves and invades the wrong country. He bankrupts us to the tune of $1.2 trillion for the Iraq War (it will eventually actually be over $3 trillion), and worse, he cost us the lives of almost 5,000 of our troops, not to mention hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan – and, after all that, he STILL couldn’t bring the perp to justice. In fact, in 2005, Bush closed down the CIA station that was devoted to looking for bin Laden! What does SMART do? He sends in a small elite strike force, no troops are killed, and the perpetrator is stopped for good.

I was thrilled that the Osama bin Laden era was over. There was now an end to the madness.

Being near Ground Zero that night, I decided to head over there and join with others who saw this event as a chance to have some closure. On 9/11, Bill Weems, a good and decent man I knew and worked with (we had just recently completed a shoot together in Boston), was on the plane that was flown into the Twin Towers. I dedicated ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’ in part, to him. Continue reading Some final thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden

Worcester: city of morons

By Rosalie Tirella

This could only happen in Worcester – city of incompetent pinheads. About 50 minutes ago I went to our P.O. Box – in the Quinsigamond Village post office on Greenwood Street – to check for ICTimes mail/letters to the editor. I got a letter from a nut – possibly a dangerous one: John Mahan from Clinton.

A few months ago, I got a letter from John Mahan of Clinton that was covered with brown powder. That is when I tore open the envelope, the note iside was covered in brown powder. It made my eyes burn and water and my throat felt like it was on fire. I immediatley threw it out and told the post office guy – the one behind the desk where the walls are covered with posters on what you CANNOT mail after 9/11. Perfume, nail polish, etc.

Thinking my local US post office branch would know how to handle this all, I was surprised when the postal worker on duty behind the counter was not at all helpful. Like all hacks, he told me to take the letter to his bosses – the main post office downtown.

I didn’t do what he said because I did not think people should be driving through the city of Worcester with anthrax or other toxic chemicals. I thought a procedure should have been in place at EVERY local post office branch – including mine in Quinsig Village on Greenwood Street. It’s after 9/11 – even US postal service people need to use their brains to think. And NOT PASS THE BUCK.

But I remembered the name/return address on the envelope: John Mahan of Clinton – and said to myself: next time I would do something about this guy.

Well, today I got another letter from John Mahan of Clinton. It bulged like it contained more toxic crap (hydrocloric acid??). I went up to the postal worked in the Quinsig Village post office branch – Steve Seargent – and told him what I just told you – and that I got another letter and it looked suspicious. “Sarge” is what everyone calls this guy – great nick name for someone who just punches in and out of work – and shouldn’t be expected to take the lead on anything.

“Steve,” I said, “I got another letter from this John Mahan – I know it has something toxic in it. I don’t want it.” And I placed the bulging letter on the post office counter.

I asked him could he do something about this.

He said no and that I shoud take it to the main post office.

“But it’s toxic!”

I told Steve: Isn’t there some procedure in place for YOU – or any post office guy/gal in any of the US post office brances in the city of Worcester – to handle this? I am NOT driving around town with this in my car. Any form I can fill out? Any anything?

Steve Seargeant said no. Then he said he would give me an envelope to put my crappy letter in, so I could drive it to the main office downtown. He would not even TOUCH my letter. I said NO and that I won’t accept the toxic letter.

Steve said: Well, you need to throw it away.

He would not touch the envelope.

I said: I am not touching this! Then “Sarge” Seargeant just stared at me – a blank (stupid or admant?) expression on his face. Disgusted by his total lack of professionalism/brain neurons, I took the waste basket near the counter, brought it up to the counter, and then with some change of address packets, brushed John Mahan’s toxic letter into the wastebasket. The I put the basket down and left.

The letter is still sitting in the Qunsig Village post office wastepaper basket.

Why are folks in this town such lazy, incompetent morons?

Why couldn’t Steve – or the fucking post office – handle this problem? Weren’t they all supposed to be trained re: this stuff after 9/11 and all the terrorist crap. Their walls are covered with instructions re: toxic substances in the mail.

Obviousyly, Osama Bin Laden could come into Worcester and wreak havoc NO PROBLEMO – thanks to Steve Seargeant and our US Post Office.

On the road in my car I thought: I will do something about this! I’ll call Ron Madnick at the American Civil Liberties Union of Worcester County! He can help me!

Well, I called ol’ Ron, who is also running for state rep in the 13’th district and used to be a panelist on my TV show. Everyone I talked to said Ron was pretty incompetent as the ACLU’s go-to guy in Worcester. Even though Ron was always well-spoken on my TV show (he always saved caustic remarks/his true feelings AFTER the cameras stopped filming) – my sources were correct. Ron is a pointless weeny.

Rose to Ron: “Ron, help!” (I tell Ron everything)

Ron to Rose: “Call the FBI. They have a Worcester office.”

Rose to Ron: Can I have the phone number, Ron? I’m on the road.

Ron to Rose: I don’t know the number, Rose.

Rose: Ron, you’re in your office. Can you look it up in the phone book?

Ron: No I can’t, Rose. My eyes are bad – I can’t see the tiny print in the phone book.

Rose: (getting pissed) Ron!

Ron: Here’s a 1-800 federal number. Call it and ask for the FBI Worcester office.

So I do. The number is no longer in service. I call Ron again! Busy, busy busy signal.

Finally: “Ron, it’s Rose. The phone number doesn’t work.”

Ron: Rose, try the federal court house.

Rose: What’s the number, Ron?

Ron: I don’t know it.

Rose: (thinking: You incompetent ninny. How dare you run for political office and represent hundreds of people on important issues when YOU CAN’T EVEN COME UP WITH A fucking PHONE NUMBER?!!)

Rose: (thinking: be nice) “Ron, are you at a desk?” (Ron says “yes”)

Rose: “Then, Ron, Google FBI, Worcester and phone number. That will give you their phone number.”

Ron: (sounding put out) : OK. I’ll call you back with the number.

As of this blogging, Ron has not called me back.

So, to the Worcester FBI folks (where ever you are): A guy named John Mahan from Clinton mails out letters with toxic brown shit inside – hysdrocloric acid? It lands in the Quinsig Village post office. The post office folks (Steve Seargeant) are morons and don’t have any idea what to do with it – don’t want to have anything to do with it. I called our local ACLU office but they are useless morons, also.

Please help.

And good luck, FBI, Worcester bureau. You have your work cut out for you, here, in Worcester, city of morons.

If that “Mosque,” isn’t built, this is no longer America

By Michael Moore

I am opposed to the building of the “mosque” two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why?

Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

There’s been so much that’s been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don’t want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that’s been lost in this, let me point out a few facts: Continue reading If that “Mosque,” isn’t built, this is no longer America

He was the pits!

By Rosalie Tirella

Last night the boyfriend and I watched Farenheit 9/11, the award-winning documentary by wild-guy film maker Michael Moore (Roger and Me, Sicko, Bowling for Columbine). I had seen the movie when it first came out – “Mario” did not. Some of my thoughts: it’s not as good as I thought it was. 1. That is, it’s not a well made film – despite winning awards at Cannes and other prestigious places. 2. But it is great because it was showing what nobody in TV land news (broadcast or cable) was showing: George W. Bush was/is a complete moron and war is hell.

You have to give Moore credit. He was saying what nobody dared say in 2003 or 2004 – especially the mainstream media (watch Katie Couric tell America that a division in the Army “rocks”!) – back in 2004 or 2005. Moore told us/showed us how chaotic and brutal the Iraq War (like any  war) is: dead children carried by relatives who are having nervous breakdowns as they race through their lunar landscape-looking city streets. Their kids wet their pants – they peed themselves as they died, no doubt. Babies with huge, red, blistery holes in their arms or  their faces half blown off. Our young soldiers without legs or hands – being so brave and stoic (because they are so young and naive) at Walter Reed Hospital talking about the hands that they still feel, even though they are now gone.  ABC, NBC, CNN and all the rest of the network and cable news shows refused to show any of this – reality – to Americans because 1. the US military wouldn’t let them get up close and personal and 2. they wanted to be “patriotic,” to buttress Bush and Cheney’s point of view/stave off the critics. How many American mothers and grandmothers would have sat by quietly and tolerated the Iraq War after seeing some of the news footage (probably used with permission from BBC and Arabic news station Al Jeerza) shown in Moore’s film? Not mine, that’s for sure.

George W. Bush (especially now that we can compare him to President Barack Obama) was the absolute worst president to have at this point in time. Partying with the US troops, arms around their shoulders for photos to be sent back home, Bush – the hypocritical assshole – cut veteran benefits, cut veteran health care, cut support for our veterans in ways both large and miniscule. In his own fucked-up/oblivious way, Bush waged his own economic war on the soldiers’ families back home.

And 9/11: How sad to watch the movie and see the President of the United States sit in a nursery school reading a little Golden Book about goats right AFTER being told that a jet plane had just flown into/blown up the World Trade Center tower. How pathetic that even after the second plane crashed into the second tower, Bush sat there until one of his people got him … . And then letting the Bin Laden family leave America on private jets after every other plane in America was grounded. That was obscenely stupid – even for Bush. I mean, any third-rate lawyer in Worcester would tell you there would have been nothing wrong with going to the Bin Ladens and … ASKING THEM QUESTIONS about their brother/uncle. But no! Instead, Bush and his cronies gave the Bin Laden clan a free pass, let them go. Then the Bushies set their sights on old guys in exercise  clubs or peaceniks in California – these people were arrested or “visited” by the FBI.

Barack Obama would have handled everything so differently. If only he had been “the decider” in 2001 and 2003 ….  

Thank God we have him now.