Sunday, November 22, 2015

Could 'A Good American' William Binney Have Prevented 9/11 and Other Terrorist Attacks?

These are questions that have been raised in recent years in Madrid, in London, and in the US after 9/11.

So in a tragic way, the latest atrocity makes the documentary “A Good American” even more timely. The film had its North American premiere at DOC NYC and hit theaters this weekend. For many it will make upsetting viewing.

Directed by Austrian Friedrich Moser, it charts the former NSA analyst William Binney’s development of ThinThread, a targeted surveillance system that Binney and his colleagues claim would have categorically prevented 9/11 – had the agency not sidelined their work in favor of a rival system that was generating huge amounts of income for both the agency and the private sector, but proved to be a disaster.

The film further deals with the NSA’s mass surveillance post 9/11, exposed by Binney himself when he turned whistleblower, and more controversially by Edward Snowdon, with the assertion that ThinThread would still answer the terrorist threat without snooping on innocent citizens...

Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism

It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low.

Speaking less than three days after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129 and injured hundreds more, Mr. Brennan complained about “a lot of hand-wringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists.”

What he calls “hand-wringing” was the sustained national outrage following the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, that the agency was using provisions of the Patriot Act to secretly collect information on millions of Americans’ phone records. In June, President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, which ends bulk collection of domestic phone data by the government (but not the collection of other data, like emails and the content of Americans’ international phone calls) and requires the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to make its most significant rulings available to the public.

These reforms are only a modest improvement on the Patriot Act, but the intelligence community saw them as a grave impediment to antiterror efforts. In his comments Monday, Mr. Brennan called the attacks in Paris a “wake-up call,” and claimed that recent “policy and legal” actions “make our ability collectively, internationally, to find these terrorists much more challenging.”

It is hard to believe anything Mr. Brennan says. Last year, he bluntly denied that the C.I.A. had illegally hacked into the computers of Senate staff members conducting an investigation into the agency’s detention and torture programs when, in fact, it did. In 2011, when he was President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, he claimed that American drone strikes had not killed any civilians, despite clear evidence that they had. And his boss, James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has admitted lying to the Senate on the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of data. Even putting this lack of credibility aside, it’s not clear what extra powers Mr. Brennan is seeking...

Exclusive Interview with Former NSA Technical Director: William Binney

Protect Yourself from FBI Manipulation (w/attorney Harvey Silverglate)

Half of world's wealth now in hands of 1% of population – report

Global inequality is growing, with half the world’s wealth now in the hands of just 1% of the population, according to a new report.

The middle classes have been squeezed at the expense of the very rich, according to research by Credit Suisse, which also finds that for the first time, there are more individuals in the middle classes in China – 109m – than the 92m in the US.

Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Credit Suisse, said: “Middle class wealth has grown at a slower pace than wealth at the top end. This has reversed the pre-crisis trend which saw the share of middle-class wealth remaining fairly stable over time.”

The report shows that a person needs only $3,210 (£2,100) to be in the wealthiest 50% of world citizens. About $68,800 secures a place in the top 10%, while the top 1% have more than $759,900. The report defines wealth as the value of assets including property and stock market investments, but excludes debt.

About 3.4 bn people – just over 70% of the global adult population – have wealth of less than $10,000. A further 1bn – a fifth of the world’s population – are in the $10,000-$100,000 range.

Each of the remaining 383m adults – 8% of the population – has wealth of more than $100,000. This number includes about 34m US dollar millionaires. About 123,800 individuals of these have more than $50m, and nearly 45,000 have more than $100m. The UK has the third-highest number of these “ultra-high net worth” individuals...

Saudi Charity Head Accused of Funding Al-Qaeda Prior to 9/11 Terrorist Attacks Granted Immunity because Saudi Royal Family Asked for It

A Saudi official caught up in an ongoing lawsuit over the September 11 attacks has once again been removed as a defendant by a U.S. federal judge after the Saudi government requested his immunity.

Abdul Rahman Al-Swailem, former president of two charities, the Saudi Joint Relief Committee (SJRC) and the Saudi Red Crescent Society, was accused in a 9/11 lawsuit of supporting Al-Qaeda before the terrorist attacks. He was also accused of appointing an Al-Qaeda figure as a SJRC director. The legal action against Al-Swailem is part of what is described as a “vast multi-district” lawsuit against hundreds of defendants who are claimed to have provided support for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Courthouse News Service.

Al-Swailem got himself removed from the civil case in 2010 when a federal judge tossed the complaint out altogether. But on appeal the litigation was restored by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which put Al-Swailem back as a defendant. So he again asked to be removed, as did the Saudi Royal Family, which rules Saudi Arabia, saying Al-Swailem’s position as head of the charities entitled him to diplomatic immunity due to the charities being agencies of the Saudi government.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels granted Al-Swailem’s motion last week, ruling he was entitled to immunity.

“Here, the Saudi government, through its ambassador, has requested that this court grant common law sovereign immunity to Al-Swailem, and has declared that all alleged actions were taken by Al-Swailem in his official capacity as head of the SRC and the SJRC,” Daniels wrote.

“The conclusory allegations in the complaint do not strip Al-Swailem of conduct-based immunity for actions taken in his official capacity. The only non-conclusory allegation, regarding Al-Swailem’s hiring decision, is an action taken in his official capacity - not his personal - capacity. Thus, Al-Swailem is entitled to common law, conduct-based sovereign immunity.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff

Barry Seal wasn’t starring in a Jason Bourne movie

So here it is…This really happened.

On the evening of January 22, 1963 ten American men are on a night out on the town in Mexico City's Zona Rosa, wearing black suits and black skinny ties, smoking and drinking around a ringside table with a white table cloth. At some point, the men look up, then break into a drunken chorus of "Cheese!"

A shutter snaps. A flash-gun goes off. A nightclub photographer advances his camera.

Write "Gary Webb was right" 500 times on the blackboard
Most of the men wear loopy grins. Most of the other tables are empty. Maybe its almost closing time, maybe on the kind of night which began much earlier at a restaurant whose name no one remembers. The moment—even as it happened—probably meant nothing to anyone there.

Almost 40 years later that had changed, because the picture freezes an important moment in time, and is the only extant photograph of the CIA’s super-secret assassination squad known as “Operation Forty."

And look who was there: Yale graduate Porter Goss, who will one day become Director of the CIA during the middle years of George W. Bush's administration, sitting beside Barry Seal, whose cocaine fueled the go-go 80's, and who Federal prosecutors called ‘America's biggest drug smuggler.’

Its a picture that changes your worldview. It has historic significance. A young Porter Goss, in a photograph of Cuban exiles, Italian wise guys, and square-jawed military and intel types who look exactly like you'd expect a secret CIA assassination team to look. ..


When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, the United States lost more than its president. It lost its innocence. The subsequent investigations into the young president’s killing raised more questions than they answered — and caused Americans to lose faith in their government. Indeed, for many people in the US and across the world, the assassination marked the point at which their fundamental perceptions changed.

Just after the Warren Commission released its report on the assassination, the level of public trust in government was at 77 percent. A decade later it had plummeted to less than half that (36 percent).

Kennedy’s death and the circumstances surrounding it gave birth to a movement. This movement, composed of all kinds of people, is dedicated to investigating the story behind the story, to exposing the power networks hidden beneath surface events. These machinations have been dubbed “Deep Politics.” Those who study it believe there is much more to national and world events than what the public is told by government officials and evening newscasters — and, as you will see, Peter Dale Scott proves it.

On the occasion of the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, WhoWhatWhy is pleased to present excerpts from Chapter 2 of Scott’s latest work – Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House by Peter Dale Scott (Open Road Media, September, 2015).

Overview: The Mexican CIA-Mob Nexus
Those who have spent years trying to assess the role of the Kennedy assassination in US history are accustomed to the debate between structuralists and conspiratorialists. In the first camp are those who argue, that the history of a major power is determined by large social forces; thus the accident of an assassination, even if conspiratorial, is not an event altering history.

At the other end of the spectrum are those who talk of an Invisible Government or Secret Team, who believe that surface events and institutions are continuously manipulated by unseen forces. For these people the assassination exemplifies the operation of fundamental historical forces, not a disruption of them.

For years I have attempted to formulate a third or middle position. To do so I have relied on distinctions formulated partly in neologisms or invented terms. Over forty years ago I postulated that our overt political processes were at times seriously contaminated by manipulative covert politics or parapolitics, which I then defined as “a system or practice of politics in which accountability is consciously diminished.”[1]...