How the American Public is Deceived by the News and Canada’s “Torture Act”

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Suppressing Key Facts, How the American Public Is Deceived by the “News”, Eric Zuesse, March 11, 2015

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Terrorism is “Made in the USA”. The Global War on Terrorism is a Fabrication, A Big Lie

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Prominent academic and author Dr Michel Chossudovsky warned that the so-called war on terrorism is a front to propagate America’s global hegemony and create a New World Order.

Dr Chossudovsky said terrorism is made in the US and that terrorists are not the product of the Muslim world.

According to him, the US global war on terrorism was used to enact anti-terrorism laws that demonised Muslims in the Western world and created Islamophobia.

Elaborating on his argument, Dr Chossudovsky said that NATO was responsible for recruiting members of the Islamic state while Israel is funding “global jihad elements inside Syria”.

Dr Chossudovsky, who is also the founder of the Centre for Research and Globalisation, further emphasised that the global war on terrorism is a fabrication, a big lie and a crime against humanity.

Echoing Dr Chossudovsky’s arguments, Malaysia’s prominent political scientist, Islamic reformist and activist Dr Chandra Muzaffar said that the US has always manipulated religion to further its global hegemony on sovereign states.

SHOP GLOBAL RESEARCH

How the Public Are Deceived by the ‘News’

Top ‘News’ Executives Suppress Key Facts;

The Public Sees a Chaotic, Disjointed, Picture.

Here Is How that Is Done, in Personal Detail.

If the public is systematically lied-to by the Government and by a virtually uniformly cooperative press suppressing key facts in order to pump that lie, such as was the case during 2002 and 2003 in the lead-up to America’s invasion of Iraq, then there can’t possibly be an authentic democracy, because democracy is founded upon a truthfully informed public, and so any ‘news’ institution that violates its solemn public trust of reporting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is traitorous to democracy itself.

That’s why the press has been called “the fourth estate” of government. The first three “estates” are the aristocracy, the clergy, and the public. If the press represent not the public, but instead one of the two other classes — the aristocracy and/or the clergy — then what exists is a dictatorship by that actually ruling class against the public, not a democracy by the public. The public cannot rule in such a country. They instead are manipulated in it.

They may be manipulated to believe that they rule, but it’s only a manipulated illusion then; it’s not real; it’s a fraud, of the most massive type. Such a country cannot possibly be a real democracy; it’s a fraudulent ‘democracy.’

Evidence will be presented here that democracy no longer exists in the United States. Part of this evidence is personal, something that I always prefer to avoid, but which happens to be integral to this particular news-report and analysis. So: it’s necessary, in this case.

Already, a scientific analysis of a massive database has found that the United States is not a democracy but only a fake-democracy, actually an “oligarchy,” more-traditionally called an “aristocracy” (as I shall be calling it in this article); and the personal story narrated here will help to explain how and why this is the way our country actually functions.

Here is the broader framework in the United States, as it operates today: The aristocracy know that the way to control the public is via the ‘news’ media; and they create, buy, and build, all of the ‘news’ media that are of any substantial size or influence. It’s the cheapest way for the aristocracy to control the government; and, besides, any aristocrat who owns a controlling interest in one ‘news’ medium can then sell to his fellow-aristocrats favorable ‘news’ coverage of his own companies and/or of the governmental policies that they seek.

For example, if, say, The New York Times slants a report in favor of a certain change in the law, which will help one of its advertisers, then that advertiser won’t merely be buying with his ad-dollars increased sales of his own products and services; he’ll also be buying increased public support for that change in the law, favoring his company in a way that will increase his profit-margin, even if sales do not increase. Consequently, control over the ‘news’ media is basically an “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” business among aristocrats: it’s not really about journalism; it is instead about selling — and, what it is mainly selling is influence. That’s influence over government, and not only influence over the sale of private products and services.

This is the way that the system actually works. Any reader who refuses to consider the possibility that this is so, should stop reading here, because what I’ll be documenting from my own experience fits into that framework, and definitely does not fit into the framework, which I have found to be mythological, of the influential ‘news’ media being authentic journalistic institutions — truth-driven, instead ofpublic-manipulation-driven.

That, for example, is the reason why not only all of America’s major ‘news’ media, but even all of its major ‘alternative news’ media, refuse to report that the U.S. Government carried out a very bloody coup d’etat in Kiev Ukraine in February 2014 under the cover of ‘democracy demonstrations,’ and that our Government has ever since that time been carrying out (via its imposed new rabidly anti-Russian Ukrainian regime) an ethnic-cleansing campaign, which they call an ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ or ‘ATO,’ in order to exterminate and/or terrorize to expell from Ukraine the residents in the particular area of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the man whom Obama overthrew, Viktor Yanukovych. The people slaughtered there are not ‘terrorists’ but victims of a government by terror. This government routinelyuses firebombs in order to slaughter the residents there. The extermination is the goal, not an unfortunate side-effect of policy.

This has, in fact, been the first time in American history when the U.S. Government has actually installed a racist-fascist, or nazi, government (one the likes of which we actually fought against in World War II), and has (along with the cooperating aristocracies in Europe) imposed an ethnic-cleansing campaign, a war to exterminate the residents in a region. And we’re doing it in Europe, in Ukraine, on Russia’s border. The U.S. aristocracy are so heavily invested, for such a long time, in overthrowing Russia’s Government, so that Ukraine is now being used by them as the proxy-state to do it. Killing, or driving into Russia, those strongly pro-Russian residents, is necessary in order for future national elections in Ukraine to retain in power the new, rabidly anti-Russian, Government, a Government that wants to join NATO and to place nuclear missiles against Russia, at Russia’s border, a veritable nuclear checkmate, more devastating for Russia even than the dozen currently existing formerly Russia-allied nations that now belong to the anti-Russian U.S. military alliance, NATO. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has every reason to consider the United States now to be a deadly hostile nation, because America’s aristocrats are deadly serious in this genocidal anti-Russian gambit, which is a preliminary step to destroy Russians.

I have been writing articles about this matter for about a year, and all of them can be seen at the following two sites, besides a few other sites that have run some of them; so, these articles, listed at the following two links, fill in the details on this:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/author/eric-zuesse-2

http://rinf.com/alt-news/author/eric-zuesse/

With that as background, then, here is the narrative I experienced:

I had sent the following news-report to virtually all of the U.S. and UK national news-media:

“The Entire Case for Sanctions Against Russia Is Pure Lies.”

That report is news because no one has ever reported it before, and because it is fact, not mere opinion. A lie is a lie; it is not an ‘error,’ and it is not a ‘truth’; and the allegations on which those sanctions are based are not only false but are known to be false by our Government, which alleges them. To state that a lie is a lie is either true or false. That news-report provides its own documentation, through links to its sources. The reader can judge its accuracy at least as well as when a journalist cites some ‘expert’ (or government-source) as an ‘authority’ on what is true and what is false. Often, propagandistic ‘journalists’ pre-select ‘experts’ whose opinions just happen to agree with the ‘facts’ that the given journalist’s employer wants to sell as ‘reality.’

This news-article I was submitting to virtually all national U.S. news-media, is different from such propaganda, which is widely published; it’s a news-story, and it is an important one. The very title of the news-report asserts a startling allegation; if it is true, then the consequences are enormous. Whether it is well-written and well-documented, is only for each individual reader to judge. I would hope that each reader would judge it on the basis of the quality of the evidence that it cites and links to. However, the executives at news organizations are gate-keepers; they filter what news-reports you see, and which ones you don’t. And, like all of my news-reports on Ukraine, this one was published only by very few.

It was, in fact, published only by the following

rinf.com

countercurrents.org

washingtonsblog.com

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2015/03/03/the-entire-case-for-sanctions-against-ru

prisonplanet.com

smirkingchimp.com

globalresearch.ca

All others (all the rest of the national ‘news’ media) declined to publish it.

The news-story reported there is important because massive economic harm is being done both to Russia and to Europe by these sanctions — and by the lies that are the basis for these economic sanctions; and also because any such lies by the United States Government against Russia might end up producing a disastrous nuclear war. This is why the public should be informed that they are lies — totally untrue (as you can see documented there). Furthermore, economic sanctions are a prelude to military war.

If the public do not know that these economic sanctions are being done on the basis of pure lies, then how can the American people vote intelligently in the 2016 Presidential election? Foreign policy is a quintessentially national and Presidential thing. There can be no democracy on that type of basis, the basis of the public’s ignorance about such a crucial interntional-affairs matter — only dictatorship by liars. Only forced Government, in which the force that is being used against the public is mental force, deception, instead of physical force, violence.

So: almost all ‘news’ media turned out to be not real news-media, in this particular and very important instance. That should be major news, in itself.

Selections regarding what to publish, and how favorably to position a given news-headline, determine what the public comes to know, and what they don’t come to know. The news-media are, in fact, the gateway to democracy. If the gateway is closed-off at all of the major ‘news’ media, then how can the given nation possibly be democratic? It can’t — not really. It’s then a manipulated public, and the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” aristocracy, with its servants rotating from government to mega-corporations and then back to government, back-and-forth, is actually manipulating the public, rather than serving the public, because the aristocracy is being served instead.

With the exception of about ten news-media, all news-media in the U.S. and UK have rejected all of my many news reports about different aspects of America’s rape of Ukraine, a rape that has been done specifically to use Ukraine as a proxy-battlefield to draw Russia into war, so that the American aristocracy can take over Russia. This rape has been supported by most European leaders. The Ukrainian people are being used.

One ‘news’-medium that has rejected all of these Ukraine reports is alternet, which had published a number of my previous news-reports, just none that deal with the rape of Ukraine, a rape that has been done by the Obama Administration, and especially none of my reports about the U.S. coup which had brought about the current racist-fascist (or nazi), anti-Russian Government there, and none about the new regime’s ethnic-cleansing to get rid of the residents in the area of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the man Obama overthrew. All of that is suppressed by them.

Ever since the 2 May 2014 Odessa massacre of pro-Russian demonstrators by Government thugs(largely financed by a friend of the Obama White House whom they appointed to become a key governor in Ukraine), I have been writing mainly about Ukraine, because I am attracted to those topics that are the most-suppressed news-beats in my country, the U.S., which is supposedly a democracy. Ukraine turns out to be the most-suppressed topic of all. The ‘news’ on it today is like the ‘news’ about Iraq was in 2002 and 2003: it’s stenographic ‘reporting’ from U.S.-Government-approved sources. Lies. And the harms that can result from the matter in Ukraine are vastly worse even than in Iraq.

On 31 July 2014, I emailed to Don Hazen, the founder and controlling person at alternet (and he was also the former publisher of Mother Jones — a magazine that likewise publishes nothing about the U.S. coup and ethnic cleansing in Ukraine) asking him:

“Nothing [of mine] has been posted since May 30th. Is something wrong?” This was right after my latest article, written after my looking at the polls, had concluded that the only thing that could possibly block a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate and a solid-Republican Congress in Obama’s final two years as President would be a congressional Democrat introducing a bill of impeachment of Obama that would cite progressive reasons why he should be impeached. Doing this — that declaration of independence against a then-very-unpopular pro-aristocratic President — would remove the stain that Obama brings to the Democratic label, a stain that was holding down the electoral support for Democratic congressional candidates during this election year. Removing that authoritarian stain (especially when he was the most unpopular of all recent Presidents after the length of time he had spent in the White House) would be the only way that congressional Democrats could run for re-election without the Obama stain — the stain that “if you vote for Senator X, you are voting for Obama.”He turned the article down, like he turned down all of my Ukraine articles.

People such as Hazen were hiding the truth about Obama from liberals, in order to continue the myth that we have a real two-party system — not a government of the public by the nation’s aristocracy, a one-party system at the deeper level. Hazen replied:

sorry, but I don’t follow this, or buy into it as a scenario.  the GOP is not going to impeach Obama…

at least not now., it would hurt them in the elections in November. [I had dealt with that in my article, as you see there, but he ignored it.] Or probably never… Presidents do 

lots of ugly things… but they don’t get impeached. .. unless they are crooks or get blow jobs in the white house. 

  I wouldn’t have favored Bush being impeached either. Still,  it will never happen because it is only the right-wing base that has any taste for impeachment. 

You are imagining a scenario without a constituency. You seem far afield of how American politics works.

Why would any Democrat try to impeach Obama.. it would be for most, an act of political suicide. [His entire comment was ignoring, not responding to, what I said, and the polling-data, in the submitted article.]

You do, in my mind, seem blinded by your intense feelings about Obama… He does not have the passion

you imagine.  And the end of the Obama administration is going to be mostly stalemated.. not a gleeful right-wing march as

you describe. [I had described no such thing.]

The real issue here was that Hazen simply didn’t care about Obama’s bringing nazis into control of Ukraine right next-door to Russia — something that presents an existential threat against our fellow-nuclear-power, Russia, the threat of building a NATO missile base in Ukraine a mere ten-minute flight-time to Moscow — a threat like the dictator Khrushchev had presented in 1962 against the United States and which our President JFK treated, correctly, as an existential threat to us. Why should Putin not treat this Obama-gambit in Ukraine the same way JFK did when the shoe was on the other foot, in Cuba? Hazen evidently feels that a racist-fascist, rabidly anti-Russian but nominally ‘Democratic’ President, who reigns for America’s aristocracy, should simply be accepted by Democrats as representing what we consider to be Democratic. But then, the Party means nothing at all.

I cannot wear that Party label any more — nor any party’s label. No congressional Democrat came forward with a bill of impeachment against Obama, a bill that many Republicans would have had tosign onto in order to keep the ‘Tea Party’ with them, and that could have passed Congress, but that in any case would have freed Democratic candidates from the Obama-nazi stain (the stain of not just elitism, as before, but now also nazism), and enabled them to prove that the 2014 congressional elections were about each one of these individual Democrats in Congress, and not at all about this unpopular President. Each Democrat in Congress would then have been able to go public with his view about this President, and thus maybe enough of them could have won for the Party to retain control in the Senate. My submitted article had proposed what I argued there was the only way that was even possible for the Demcratic Party not to lose the Senate. (All polls for months had shown that, barring some fundamental change in the political dynamics such as what I was here proposing, the Democrats would lose the Senate, so that Obama’s final two years would be spent signing and occasionally vetoing only Republican-written legislation. Hazen’s email entirely ignored my analysis, argument, and data.)

For me, it was bad enough that Obama (with his Wall Street bailouts etc.) is the first President in U.S. history to increase instead of decrease the inequality of income after an economic crash. Obama’s having gone nazi in Ukraine was simply too much.

On February 27th, after my having submitted to alternet a news-story titled “The Entire Case for Sanctions Against Russia Is Pure Lies” (a report that you also can see and evaluate for yourself at that other site), I received back from “article submissions” at alternet, the brief note, “Feel free to stop sending us your submissions.” I asked Hazen whether he was behind that; he never answered.

Well, now, alternet virtually admits that they don’t even consider my article-submissions, after I had started criticizing Obama for his nazism and ethnic cleansing in Ukraine.

If anyone wonders why the polls show that Americans’ fear of Russia is soaring, after the U.S. has turned the tables on the Cuban Missile Crisis and become itself the dictatorship now, it’s this country’s controlled press (like Hazen). The aristocracy creates and builds all of the large ‘news’ media in this country; they block out the truth regarding the most important issues (such as Ukraine), the ones that voters most need to know about, in order to vote intelligently.

If readers wonder why Mother Jones, Progressive, Nation, Atlantic, Harpers, NBC, CNN, NYT, WSJ, Salon, Slate, Alternet, etc., don’t even report the Obama-stooge-regime’s bombings to exterminate or expell the residents (Obama’s people call them all ’terrorists’) in the area of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the man whom Obama overthrew in February 2014 — if anyone wonders how the U.S. could in silence become the sponsor of such a vicious and ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign — it’s because of ’news’ executives such as Don Hazen. They don’t want the public to know certain things; and both ‘right’ and ‘left’ sides of the aristocracy are censoring-out this type of reality.  

Readers should treasure news-sites like this one, the one you’re now reading, that refuse to bow to the aristocracy. Readers here should tell their friends about this site. They should spread the word about it, and about the corruptness of the ‘news’ media in general, in our fading ‘democracy.’

How can democracy exist if the news-media are controlled by the aristocracy? It can’t. What exists then is an aristocratic government. Not a democratic government.

Any country whose major political parties (meaning the ones that seriously contend to win leadership) are all controlled by the aristocracy, is no democracy at all. That’s what we now have. Ukraine is an aristocratic operation, which could blow up the world, and which already has caused over a million refugees, where there had previously been peace. Yet, only about ten (all rather small-audience) sites (such as this), are reporting the reality — all others are hiding the reality — about historically so very important a matter, which could end up producing a nuclear war.

News-sites like this one are therefore the only hope for restoring democracy, where democracy formerly had existed. And maybe we’re not yet too late to prevent a nuclear war.

Each reader can check a news-site’s honesty, by googling its name and the word “Ukraine” and seeing whether the realities that I have linked to here are reflected there. If the answer is no, then I would not call it a news-site, but merely a propaganda-site — because these realities are precisely that: they are real. And they are important.

That’s the best way I know of, to test the honesty of any given national-news site.

Homeopathy’s lack of effectiveness is no surprise

The latest findings in Australia add to a series of other studies proving that its preparations have no proven benefits to patients

Drawers containing homeopathic remedies. Several studies have found no proof that they can offer treatment.
Drawers containing homeopathic remedies. Several studies have found no proof that they can offer treatment. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Homeopathy began in the 18th century with a German doctor called Samuel Hahnemann. Peeved that medical treatments, such as blood letting, were not as kind to patients as they might be, he began the search for alternatives. He struck oncinchona bark. The Peruvian plant product was taken as a remedy for malaria, but how it worked was a mystery. Fit and healthy, Hahnemann took some and noticed he broke out in fever. He reasoned that what caused fever cured fever. From that sole experience he established one of the central tenets of homeopathy: that like cures like.

Nature has been humanity’s greatest source of medicines and cinchona was soon to join them. Scientists established that whatever eating the bark might do to the body, it was the quinine in the plant matter that was antimalarial. However, Hahnemann stuck to his guns, and he went on to reach a second conviction, that preparations are more potent the more they are diluted. The popularity of homeopathy rocketed in the early 19th century, with the first dedicated hospital opening in 1832.

Scientific, and unscientific, studies abound on homeopathy. To date, there is no convincing evidence that like cures like; that water retains a memory of the molecules it once held, as practitioners maintain; or that extreme dilutions of substances have pharmaceutical effects. What studies do show is that homeopathic preparations, and a good chat with someone who emphathises with their patients, can induce a placebo response that makes some people feel better.

Individual studies rarely count for much in medicine. They need to be replicated before they are believed. With this in mind, the Cochrane collaboration assesses medical interventions after pooling results from the highest quality studies published. Since 2008, the organisation has carried out a series of studies which found no good evidence that homeopathy helps flu, chronic asthma, dementia, irritable bowel syndrome, or the induction of labour. They found hints that homeopathy might help some specific skin complaints caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy for cancer, but said that trials needed repeating to confirm any benefit.

In 2010, the Commons science and technology committee published a reporton homeopathy and its provision on the National Health Service. It had little time for the central pillars of homeopathy, that like cured like, or that ultra-dilutions retained an imprint of substances previously dissolved in them, calling the latter claim “scientifically implausible”. The report went on to state that there was overwhelming evidence that homeopathic preparations performed no better than placebos.

The report was even more critical of homeopathy being funded by the taxpayer through the NHS, and called on government to cut its support. Providing homeopathy on the NHS damaged trust between patients and doctor, gave patients false assurance by endorsing homeopathy, and contradicted the NHS constitution, which says people have the right to expect that decisions made on drugs and treatments are based on “proper consideration of the evidence”.

Sugar pills and other homeopathic preparations contain so little that side effects are surely minimal. But homeopathy is not without risks. In 2012, Edzard Ernst, the UK’s outspoken critic of alternative medicines, published a review of harmful effects arising from the use of homeopathic preparations. The study found 1159 patients ran into problems. Four died. Often taking homeopathy had delayed their treatment with effective medicines, or meant they were never given.

In his book, Trick or Treatment, co-authored with the science writer Simon Singh, Ernst recounts the case of a homeopath who was collaborating with his research team while treating herself for cancer with homeopathy. She died, he believes, because she did not have proper treatment in time. Other patients in Ernst’s study came to harm after experiencing allergic reactions to the preparations they took.

The latest report to write off homeopathy is published by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council. After an extensive review, it found that “there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective”. It went further, adding that homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or that could become serious, and warned that people who used the preparations could put their health at risk, by rejecting or delaying more effective medicines. In short, it echoes what the Cochrane collaboration, and the Commons science and technology committee, have already said.

The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism

The U.S.-Saudi alliance is coming under unprecedented strain. Everything seems to be going wrong. Up in arms over growing Shi‘ite resistance in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, the ultra-Sunnis in Riyadh are alarmed that Obama continues to press ahead with arms negotiations in Teheran, from its viewpoint the center of the Shi‘ite conspiracy.
Saudis want the U.S. to overthrow Syria’s Assad in return for its cooperation in the fight against ISIS, yet Washington is signaling that it wouldn’t mind if the Baathists remain in power in Damascus a while longer. Similarities between Saudi methods and those of the Islamic State – both have a peculiar fondness for beheadings – are harder and harder to ignore.  But with Saudi executions now running at triple the 2014 rate according to Amnesty International, the Saudis are pressing on regardless.
Even the kingdom’s decision to award a $200,000 prize to an Indian tele-preacher named Zakir Naik for “services to Islam” seems like a deliberate thumb in the eye of the United States. Naik, who has been banned from entering Canada or the U.K., is a Salafist nightmare who attacks evolution, defends al-Qaeda, and claims that George W. Bush was secretly responsible for 9/11. What is Riyadh’s point other than to flip Washington the bird?
But the ultimate body blow may prove to be Zacarias Moussaoui’s sensational testimony in an anti-Saudi lawsuit filed by 9/11 survivors. Now serving a life sentence in a federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, Moussaoui, the so-called “twentieth hijacker,” told lawyers about top-level Saudi support for Osama bin Laden right up to the eve of 9/11 and even a plot by a Saudi embassy employee to sneak a Stinger missile into the U.S. under diplomatic cover and use it to bring down Air Force One.
Moussaoui’s list of ultra-rich al-Qaeda contributors couldn’t be more stunning. It includes the late King Abdulllah and his hard-line successor, Salman bin Abdulaziz; Turki Al Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence and subsequently ambassador to the U.S. and U.K.; Bandar bin Sultan, a longtime presence in Washington who was so close to the Bushes that Dubya nicknamed him Bandar Bush; and Al-Waleed bin Talal, a mega-investor in Citigroup, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the Hotel George V in Paris, and the Plaza in New York.
These are people whom a series of U.S. presidents have fussed and fawned over – not just Bushes I and II, but Obama, who bowed deeply at the waist upon meeting Abdullah in April 2009. Yet according to Moussaoui, the princes provided bin Laden with millions of dollars needed to engineer the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in Lower Manhattan.
Considering how 9/11 has driven U.S. foreign policy, then the consequences are staggering. Teapot Dome? Watergate? If Moussaoui’s story turns out to be true, then the latter will really seem like the “third-rate burglary” that Nixon always made it out to be.
An Inside View
So the first question to ask concerns Moussaoui credibility. Should we believe the guy? How credible is he? The short answer is: very.
Admittedly, Moussaoui is a nut job whose behavior during his trial in U.S. federal court was often bizarre. He refused to enter a plea, tried to fire his court-appointed attorneys, filed a motion describing the presiding judge as a “pathological killer … with ego-boasting dementia,” and described the U.S. as “United Sodom of America.”
But as the New York Times points out, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said she was “fully satisfied that Mr. Moussaoui is completely competent,” adding that he is “an extremely intelligent man” with “a better understanding of the legal system than some lawyers I’ve seen in court.”
In his testimony last October – the transcripts of which became public early last month – he comes across as calm and lucid, a man eager to tell what he knows about bin Laden’s terror operation and its connections with the uppermost rungs of Saudi society.
What’s more, what he has to say is highly plausible. His account not only accords with what we know about Saudi Arabia’s otherwise opaque power structure, but seems to shed light on a few things we don’t.
The most obvious concerns Saudi Arabia’s 7,000 or so princes and their riotous lifestyle. The kingdom is famous for banning alcohol, virtually all types of public entertainment, and the slightest sexual displays. Yet its over-paid, under-worked royals are no less notorious for stampeding to the airport cocktail lounge as soon as they touch down in Cairo or Dubai and then jetting off to the plushest casinos and brothels that Europe has to offer.
So if mullahs can’t tolerate the sight of a woman’s bare arm, then why do they put up with such licentiousness? The answer, according to Moussaoui, is that the ulema, as the mullahs are collectively known, does so because of the leverage it gains.
“Ulema, essentially they are the king maker,” he testified. “If the ulema say that you should not take power, you are not going to take power.”
Since the mullahs have the power to label as an apostate anybody who drinks, fornicates (i.e. engages in illicit sex), or practices homosexuality – collective behavior which apparently covers virtually the entire royal family – then the effect is to give the ulema a veto over who is eligible for the throne and who is not. The more the princes misbehave, the more control the ulema acquires over Saudi politics as a whole.
Another puzzle concerns why the Saudi establishment would continue channeling funds to bin Laden even after a war of words had broken out over the stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia during the 1990-91 Gulf War. Former CIA counter-intelligence chief Robert Grenier has seized on the issue to discredit Moussaoui’s testimony out of hand.
“The reason Osama bin Laden went to Sudan in the 1990s in the first place was because he was under pressure from the Saudi government,” Grenier told the Guardian. “The idea they’d be supporting him under any circumstances, and in particular in an attack on the U.S., is inconceivable.
But Moussaoui’s version is more nuanced than Grenier’s rather self-serving description of the Saudis as reliable partners would suggest. When asked why Saudi princes would contribute to someone who had turned against them, Moussaoui replied that bin Laden had not turned against all of the princes, merely some of them:
“He went against Fahd, but he didn’t want to go against … Abdullah Saud and Turki and the people who have been classified by … the ulema as … criminal, but not apostate.”
The mullahs, no less xenophobic than bin Laden, despised then-King Fahd because he had OK’d the stationing of U.S. troops in “the land of the two holy mosques.” But while Abdullah was also guilty of certain offenses according to the ulema – hence Moussaoui’s description of him as a “criminal” – they did not add up to apostasy, or abandonment of Islam, a far more serious offense.
The mullahs were therefore willing to cut him some slack, according to Moussaoui, in the hope that he would steer the kingdom back in a more authentically Muslim direction. “[T]he ulema told him [bin Laden] not to wage war against Al Saud,” Moussaoui said, “because Fahd was going to die and therefore that Abdullah Al Saud will take power and he will reestablish a true power.”
If we accept Moussaoui’s description of the mullahs as kingmakers, then this makes sense. As to why the princes would funnel aid to bin Laden as opposed to some other would-be terrorist mastermind, Moussaoui is helpful as well. Post-9/11, Bandar bin Sultan dismissed bin Laden as a flaky no-account who “couldn’t lead eight ducks across the street.”
But in his testimony, Moussaoui describes bin Laden as a capable organizer who built a complicated jihadi movement from the ground up. Since holy war is expensive, he was dependent on large-scale infusions of cash and equipment. As Moussaoui put it in his less-than-perfect English:
“[A]ll this money were there … especially to set up the camp, because nothing was there, it was the desert, so we have to pay Afghan to dig a well, you have to dig to build the base for tent and camp and medical, everything was created from scratch, it was very expensive, OK? … I mean, hundred of thousand of dollar on a weekly basis, you know? You have a lot of car, you have to pay for the maintenance of the tank and dozer, OK, and all of the spare part. …  And everybody would get expense … every child have X amount of money, every woman have X amount of money, every person have X amount of money … a quite substantial [amount] of money.”
Since 9/11 was nothing if not smoothly organized, Moussaoui’s description of bin Laden as a skilled operator makes sense as well. Moussaoui notes that bin Laden stood high in the religious establishment’s esteem, much higher, in fact, than the princes.
Bin Laden’s father, the Yemeni-born construction magnate Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, had been best friends with Saudi Arabia’s founding king, Ibn Saud, and had been entrusted with rebuilding or restoring Islam’s three holiest sites – the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Since Mohammed bin Laden was pure gold in the eyes of the ulema as a consequence, Osama was 24-karat as well. “So bin Laden was pure,” Moussaoui said, “a pure Wahhabi [who] will obey the Wahhabi scholar to the letter” – loyalty that the mullahs fully repaid.
When asked what Abdullah, Turki and other top-rank royals hoped to get in exchange for contributing to bin Laden’s organization, Moussaoui replied that “it was a – a matter of survival for them, OK, because all of the mujahideen … the hard core believe that … Al Fahd was an apostate, so they would have wanted jihad against Saudi Arabia.”
If Wahhabi hardliners believed that Fahd was a renegade, then they might say the same of other high-living royals, in which case the princes would have to run for their lives. Funding bin Laden was a cheap way to remain in the mullahs’ good graces and continue raking in profits.
Real Power behind the Throne
Bin Laden was thus the ulema’s fair-haired boy, and since the princes were already skating on thin ice, they had to be nice to him so that the mullahs would be nice to them in return. Referring to top Wahhabi theologians Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz and Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, Moussaoui said:
“He [bin Laden] was doing it [waging jihad] with the express advice and consent and directive of the ulema. He will not have a single persons coming from Saudi Arabia if the ulema and Baz or Uthaymeen state this man is wrong. … Not to say he’s an apostate… just he’s wrong… everybody will have left, except the North African maybe.”
One word from the mullahs and bin Laden would have found himself cut off – or so Moussaoui maintains.  If talk of an all-powerful ulema seems a mite over the top, other experts agree that their clout is difficult to exaggerate.
Mai Yamani, an independent scholar who is the daughter of the famous Saudi oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani, describes the Wahhabis, for instance, as “the kingdom’s de facto rulers,” noting that that they control not only the mosques and religious police, but all 700 judgeships, religious education in general (which comprises half the school curriculum), and other ministries as well.
While the House of Saud has proved adept at co-opting the mullahs and keeping in their place, decades of oil money have resulted in a hypertrophied religious sector to which attention must be paid. See Thomas Hegghammer, Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010), pp. 232-33]
So princes tread lightly in the ulema’s presence. This seems to have been especially the case during the delicate post-1995 period when Fahd continued to cling to the throne even though crippled by stroke and Abdullah ruled in all but name. One king was out, but the other was not yet in, which is why the religious establishment’s approval was more critical than ever.
Thus, the princes eagerly did the ulema’s bidding, funding bin Laden’s activities abroad and only putting their foot down, according to Moussaoui, when it came to jihad at home. While Osama was free to do what he liked in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the princes drew the line at “do[ing] stuff in your … backyard.”
Moussaoui, who says he was put to work compiling a financial database upon joining al Qaeda in late 1998, describes flying by private plane to Riyadh as a special courier.
“We went in … to a private airport,” he recalled.  “[T]here was a car, we get into a car, a limousine, and I was taken to a place, it was like a Hilton Hotel, OK, and the next morning… Turki came and we went … to a big room, and there was Abdullah and there was Sultan, Bandar, and there was Waleed bin Talal and Salman” – i.e., the Saudi crème de la crème. When asked if the princes knew why he was there, he said yes: “I was introduced as the messenger for Sheik Osama bin Laden.”
Moussaoui says that prominent Saudis visited bin Laden’s camp in Afghanistan in return: “There was a lot of bragging about I been to Sheik Osama bin Laden, I been to Afghanistan, I’m the real deal, I’m a real mujahid, I’m a real fighter for Allah.”
He says that bin Laden’s mother visited too, testimony that has also led to attacks on his credibility since he says that Hamid Gul, chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence, helped arrange it even though Gul by that time had been out of office for a decade. But Gul is a powerful player in Pakistan’s murky politics to this day, so the notion that he would help organize a visit by bin Laden’s mother even though no longer head of the ISI is hardly farfetched.
The Guardian has also labeled as “improbable” Moussaoui’s tale of smuggling a Stinger missile into the U.S. under diplomatic immunity in order to shoot down Air Force One. But Moussaoui was careful to note that it was not a prince who suggested such an operation, but a comparatively lowly member of the Saudi Embassy’s Islamic Department in Washington.
Moreover, the proposal “was not to launch the attack, it was only to see [to] the feasibility of the attack.” If, as he says, the Wahhabi cleric Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen did indeed issue a fatwa declaring that embassy personnel “had a personal obligation to help the jihad if they can, even if they were not order[ed] by … the Saudi government,” then it is hardly inconceivable that an individual Wahhabi militant might have decided to take matters into his own hands.
The Cover-Up
None of this means that Moussaoui’s charges are true, merely that they’re plausible and therefore merit further investigation. But what makes them even more persuasive is the behavior of those in a position to know, not only the Saudis but the Americans as well.
Since virtually the moment the Twin Towers fell, top officials have behaved in a way that would tax the imagination of even the most fevered conspiratorialist. Two days after 9/11, Bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador at the time, met with Bush, Dick Cheney, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, after which 144 Saudi nationals, including two dozen members of the Bin Laden family, were allowed to fly out of the country with at most cursory questioning by the FBI.
The Bush administration dragged its feet in the face of two official investigations, a joint congressional inquiry that began in February 2002 and an independent commission under Thomas Kean and Lee H. Hamilton the following November. When Abdullah visited Bush at his Texas ranch in April 2002, the question of 9/11 hardly came up.
When a reporter pointed out that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, Bush cut him short, saying, “Yes, I – the crown prince has been very strong in condemning those who committed the murder of U.S. citizens.  We’re constantly working with him and his government on intelligence sharing and cutting off money … the government has been acting, and I appreciate that very much.”
Yet just a month earlier, former FBI assistant director Robert Kallstrom had said of the Saudis, “It doesn’t look like they’re doing much, and frankly it’s nothing new.” In April 2003, Philip Zelikow, the independent commission’s neocon executive director, fired an investigator, Dana Leseman, when she proved too vigorous in probing the Saudi connection. [See Philip Shenon, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation (New York: Twelve, 2008), pp. 110-13]
Strangest of all is the famous 28-page chapter from the 2002 joint congressional report dealing with the question of Saudi complicity. While the congressional report was heavily redacted, the chapter itself was suppressed in its entirety. Obama promised 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser shortly after taking office that he would see to it that the section was de-classified, yet nothing has been done.
Why did Obama go back on his word? Is it the text itself that’s so explosive? Or do the Saudis have something on the U.S., something very damaging, that they are threatening to release if it tries to blame them for 9/11? All we can do is speculate.
The Great Unraveling
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are a pair of odd fellows if ever there was one. One is a liberal republic in the classic Nineteenth Century definition of the term while the other is perhaps the most illiberal society on the face of the earth. One is officially secular while the other is an absolute theocracy.
One professes to believe in diversity while the other imposes a suffocating uniformity, banning all religions other than Wahhabist Islam, forbidding “atheist thought in any form,” and prohibiting participation in any conference, seminar, or other gathering, at home or abroad, that might have the effect of “sowing discord.” One claims to oppose terrorism while the other “constitute[s] the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” according to no less an authority than Hillary Clinton.
The alliance has served the imperial agenda but at appalling cost. This includes not only 9/11 and ISIS, which Joe Biden said the Saudis and others Arab gulf states funded to the tune of “hundreds of millions of dollars,” but the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris as well, which was financed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that, according to former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg, has also benefited from Saudi Arabia and other Arab gulf largesse.
This is the dark side of the alliance that Washington has struggled to keep under wraps. But Moussaoui’s testimony is an indication that it may not be able to do so for much longer.
Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).
consortiumnews.com

Hear the Never Released Jimi Hendrix Track, “Station Break,”

As we’ve previously noted, Jimi Hendrix spent several years as a journeyman guitarist, playing the early rock ‘n’ roll circuit with stars like Wilson Pickett and Little Richard, before he finally came into his own. One point in his career, writes the Daily Beast, found him “on the bad side of a horrible recording contract” with “notoriously shady label owner and producer” Ed Chalpin of RSVP Records. This was during his tenure with a group called Curtis Knight & The Squires, many of whose recordings ended up “locked in litigation for years, a period that stretched to decades.”

Now that these tracks have been acquired by the Hendrix-family run company Experience Hendrix, they can finally be heard for the first time. Soon to be released as part of the compilation You Can’t Use My Name: Curtis Knight & The Squires (Featuring Jimi Hendrix), the instrumental above, “Station Break”—unlike so many other supposedly “new” Hendrix releases—has never appeared before in any other version. It’s not a Hendrix composition, but it’s his guitar, restrained in some fairly standard R&B licks.

“What makes [the recordings] so special” on the new compilation album,says Hendrix’s sister Janie, “is that they provide an honest look at a great artist during a pivotal time when he was on the cusp of his breakthrough.” Though Hendrix may seem to have descended from outer space, he actually honed his skills in groups like the Squires, before Animals bassist Chas Chandler discovered him and brought him to the UK. These early R&B releases “represent a significant segment in the timeline of Jimi’s musical existence.” They may not be as mind-blowing as, say, the psychedelic riffs in “Third Stone From the Sun,” but they show us an incredibly talented guitarist at work, straining to break free of a pop template and venture into musical realms uncharted.

via The Daily Beast,

Related Content:

Jimi Hendrix’s Final Interview on September 11, 1970: Listen to the Complete Audio

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock: The Complete Performance in Video & Audio (1969)

Previously Unreleased Jimi Hendrix Recording, “Somewhere,” with Buddy Miles and Stephen Stills

Was 1610 the beginning of a new human epoch?

A new study finds the year to be a key point for the Anthropocene – marking the irreversible transfer of crops and species between the old and new worlds

Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei
Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei, who discovered the four moons of Jupiter in 1610

King James was on the throne, Shakespeare’s Cymbeline was playing in the theatre and Galileo discovered four moons of Jupiter. In future, though, 1610 could be chiefly remembered as the geological time-point at which humans came to dominate Earth.

Scientists have argued that it is time to draw a line under the current geological epoch and usher in the start of a new one, defined by mankind’s impact on the planet.

The year 1610 is a contender for marking the transition, they claim, because this is when the irreversible transfer of crops and species between the new and old worlds was starting to be acutely felt.

Simon Lewis, an ecologist at University College London and author of the paper, said: “In a hundred thousand years, scientists will look at the environmental record and know something remarkable happened in the second half of the second millennium. They will be in no doubt that these global changes to Earth were caused by their own species.”

When Europeans started arriving in the Americas, he added, a cascade of events was triggered that was “as Earth-changing as a meteorite strike”.

The concept of the “anthropocene” is already widely used on an informal basis by writers and environmentalists, but scientists remain divided on whether the designation of a new time period is justified.

Critics argue that the desire to redraw geological boundaries is politically motivated by those wanting to highlight the extent of human destruction on the planet. Others say that it is about 1,000 years too soon to identify the most enduring geological markers of human activity on Earth.

The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), the world body that decides on geological time boundaries, is actively considering the question and a working group is due to report on the issue next year.

The central problem is identifying a permanent and global change that has been captured in natural material, such as rocks, ice or marine sediment – a so-called “golden spike”.

“Global long-term changes to Earth’s system … are required to have one marker that can be precisely dated that is captured in some ancient geological material,” said Lewis.

Lewis and his UCL co-author, Mark Maslin, considered and rejected the earliest use of fire, the dawn of agriculture and the industrial revolution as possible candidates.

Eventually they identified two events – the joining of the two hemispheres and nuclear testing in the 20th century – that met the golden spike criteria.

The year 1610 marks the low-point of a dip in global carbon dioxide levels caused by a drastic reduction in farming in the Americas. This was a knock-on effect of the 50 million or so indigenous deaths that resulted from the introduction of small pox to the continent by European colonialists. A secondary marker of the colliding of worlds is the sudden appearance, in 1600, of fossil pollen maize, a Latin American species, in the European marine record.

The paper, published today in Nature, also considered the year 1964, which saw a peak in radioactive fallout following nuclear weapons testing before the test ban treaty came into force.

The authors conclude that 1610 has a stronger claim because so far the testing of nuclear weapons has not been an Earth-changing event. “I tend to go with 1610 because … the evolutionary consequences of that are pushing Earth onto a new evolutionary trajectory,” said Lewis.

Jan Zalasiewicz, chair of the ICS’s Anthropocene working group, said his committee would consider the authors arguments. However, the working group is converging on nuclear testing as a more universal marker – the CO2 dip and pollen records are patchy and have fuzzier boundaries, he contends.

A potential downside of the nuclear signal is that it will have decayed away within 100,000 years – a blink of the eye in geological time. “Geologists are very pragmatic creatures though,” said Zalasiewicz. “We’re looking for the best signal for dividing strata now, not for geologists a million years in the future.”

The arrival of the Anthropocene would mark the end of the Holocene, the epoch that we currently live in, which itself was only defined in 2008. It is marked by a signal in the Greenland ice cores indicating the end of the last ice age, 11,700 years ago.

Since epochs typically last tens of millions of years, some suggest that the Holocene should not only end, but be scrapped or downgraded. “The Holocene is supposed to last tens of millions of years and it’s several orders of magnitude to short,” said Lewis. “I think we’d have to call that a stage rather than an epoch.”