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100,014. There are no bombs. The whole thing is fucking pointless. (Comedy & Bomb & War on Terror) George Carlin, You Are All Diseased HBO 1999 audio
121,188. Operation Northwoods: In 1962 the joint chiefs of staff drew up and approved what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the US government. In the name of anti-communism, they proposed launching a secret and bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick the American public into supporting an ill-conceived war they intended to launch against Cuba. (CIA & Intelligence Agencies & Secrecy & Black Ops & Operations & Conspiracy & Terrorism & War on Terror) Counter-Intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations s1e3: The Strategy of Tension, 2013
4,936. We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. (Rights & Freedom & War on Terror) Edward R Murrow
5,306. There was an immediate assumption on the part of the administration that there had to be a surrender of certain of our rights. (Rights & Civil Liberties & War on Terror) John Conyers, Congress Michigan
50,371. The House just passed President Bush’s Bill to redefine the treatment of detainees and the Senate is expected to do the same thing tomorrow. Buried deep inside this legislation is a provision that will pardon President Bush and all the members of his administration of any possible crimes connected with the torture and mistreatment of detainees dated all the way back to September 11th 2001. (Prison & War on Terror & Torture) CNN News Report
5,307. Despite being a US citizen Jose Padilla has been held indefinitely in a Naval brig in North Carolina. He has never been charged. And hasn’t seen a lawyer. (Rights & Civil Liberty & Prison & War on Terror & Torture & Detention) CNN News
5,308. [Jose] Padilla alleged that he was subjected to prolonged isolation; deprivation of light; exposure to prolonged periods of light and darkness, including being ‘periodically subjected to absolute light or darkness for periods in excess of twenty-four hours’; extreme variations in temperature; sleep adjustment; threats of severe physical abuse; death threats; administration of psychotropic drugs; shackling and manacling for hours at a time; use of ‘stress’ positions; noxious fumes that caused pain to eyes and nose; loud noises; withholding of any mattress, pillow, sheet, or blanket; forced grooming; suspensions of showers; removal of religious items; constant surveillance; incommunicado detention, including denial of all contact with family and legal counsel for a 21-month period; interference with religious observance; and denial of medical care for ‘serious and potentially life-threatening ailments, including chest pain and difficulty breathing, as well as for treatment of the chronic, extreme pain caused by being forced to endure stress positions’. (Rights & Civil Liberty & Prison & War on Terror & Torture & Detention) United States Court of Appeals for the Nineth Circuit, May 2012
5,309. There is no civil right. Not even the precious right of citizenship that this administration will not abuse to secure ever greater control over American life. (Rights & Civil Liberties & United States of America & Citizen & Control & War on Terror) Professor Jack Balkin, Yale University
5,317. To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty my message is this: your tactics only aide terrorists. (Civil Liberties & Liberty & War on Terror) John Ashcroft
5,322. At the last count more than thirty of the Guantanamo Bay detainees had attempted suicide. (Civil Liberties & Rights & War on Terror & Suicide) Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties
5,326. To protect the nation from terror the Blair government passed a series of laws that also undermined our basic liberties. (Civil Liberties & War on Terror) Taking Liberties
5,329. If God forbid any terrorist act happens in the country, believe you me people are not going to be asking whether this legislation is too draconian. Whether it’s too great an incursion into people’s civil liberties. No-one’s going to be saying that to me. They’re going to be saying, 'Are you sure it’s tough enough?' (Civil Liberties & War on Terror) Tony Blair, 11th March 2005
5,377. The fundamental dilemma is this: how do we reconcile liberty with security in this new world ... Let liberty at last stand up for the law-abiding citizen in this country. (Civil Liberties & Security & War on Terror) Tony Blair
31,632. We will confront the tyranny and dictatorships and terrorists who put our way of life at risk. (Great Britain & England & Terrorism & War on Terror) Tony Blair
31,646. There was bafflement and anger about the nature of Tony Blair’s relationship [with George Bush]. (Great Britain & England & War on Terror) Neil Kinnock
5,331. It’s almost hard to imagine anything more undemocratic than the view that political officials should not debate American wars in public, but only express concerns ‘privately with the administration’. (Civil Liberties & War on Terror & Empire US) Glenn Greenwald
5,334. If the events of September 11, 2001 have proven anything it’s that the terrorists can attack us, but they can't take away what makes us American – our freedom, our liberty, our civil rights. No. Only Attorney General John Ashcroft can do that. (Civil Liberties & War on Terror) John Stewart
5,401. The fact is that the modern implementation of the prison planet has far surpassed even Orwell’s 1984 and the only difference between our society and those fictionalized by Huxley, Orwell and others, is that the advertising techniques used to package the propaganda are a little more sophisticated on the surface.
Yet just a quick glance behind the curtain reveals that the age old tactics of manipulation of fear and manufactured consensus are still being used to force humanity into accepting the terms of its own imprisonment and in turn policing others within the prison without bars. (Civil Liberties & Liberties & Control & War on Terror & Advertising & Propaganda & Fear & Prison) Paul Joseph Watson
99,046. However welcome the scenes of people playing music and shaving off their beards, this so-called Northern Alliance are no bringers of freedom. They are the same people welcomed by similar scenes of jubilation in 1992, who then killed an estimated 50,000 in four years of internecine feuding.
The new heroes so far have tortured and executed at least 100 prisoners of war, and countless others, as well as looted food supplies and re-established their monopoly on the heroin trade.
This week, Amnesty International made an unusually blunt statement that was buried in the news. It ought to be emblazoned across every front page and television screen. ‘By failing to appreciate the gravity of the human rights concerns in relation to Northern Alliance leaders’, said Amnesty, ‘UK ministers at best perpetuate a culture of impunity for past crimes; at worst they risk being complicit in human rights abuse’.
The truth is that the latest crop of criminals to ‘liberate’ Kabul have been given a second chance by the most powerful country on earth pounding into dust one of the poorest, where people’s life expectancy is just over 40.
And for what?
Not a single terrorist implicated in the attacks on America has yet to be caught or killed.
Osama bin Laden and his network have almost certainly slipped into the tribal areas of the North-West Frontier of Pakistan. Will Pakistan now be bombed? And Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, where Islamic extremism and its military network took root? Of course not.
The Saudi sheikhs, many of them as extreme as the Taliban, control America's greatest source of oil. The Egyptian regime, bribed with billions of US dollars, is an important American proxy. No daisy cutters for them.
There was, and still is, no ‘war on terrorism’. Instead, we have watched a variation of the great imperial game of swapping ‘bad’ terrorists for ‘good’ terrorists, while untold numbers of innocent people have paid with their lives: most of one village, whole families, a hospital, as well as teenage conscripts suitably dehumanised by the word ‘Taliban’.
It is perfectly understandable that those in the West who supported this latest American tenor from the air, or hedged their bets, should now seek to cover the blood on their reputations with absurd claims that ‘bombing works’. Tell that to grieving parents at fresh graves in impoverished places of whom the sofa bomb-aimers know nothing.
The contortion of intellect and morality that this triumphalism requires is not a new phenomenon. Putting aside the terminally naive, it mostly comes from those who like to play at war: who have seen nothing of bombing, as I have experienced it: cluster bombs, daisy cutters: the lot.
How appropriate that the last American missile to hit Kabul before the ‘liberators’ arrived should destroy the satellite transmitter of the Al-Jazeera television station, virtually the only reliable source of news in the region.
For weeks, American officials have been pressuring the government of Qatar, the Gulf state where Al-Jazeera is based, to silence its broadcasters, who have given a view of the ‘war against terrorism’ other than that based on the false premises of the Bush and Blair ‘crusade’.
The guilty secret is that the attack on Afghanistan was unnecessary. The ‘smoking gun’ of this entire episode is evidence of the British Government’s lies about the basis for the war.
According to Tony Blair, it was impossible to secure Osama bin Laden’s extradition from Afghanistan by means other than bombing.
Yet in late September and early October, leaders of Pakistan’s two Islamic parties negotiated bin Laden's extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for the September 11 attacks. The deal was that he would be held under house arrest in Peshawar. According to reports in Pakistan (and the Daily Telegraph), this had both bin Laden’s approval and that of Mullah Omah, the Taliban leader.
The offer was that he would face an international tribunal, which would decide whether to try him or hand him over to America. Either way, he would have been out of Afghanistan, and a tentative justice would be seen to be in progress. It was vetoed by Pakistan’s president Musharraf who said he ‘could not guarantee bin Laden’s safety’.
But who really killed the deal?
The US Ambassador to Pakistan was notified in advance of the proposal and the mission to put it to the Taliban. Later, a US official said that ‘casting our objectives too narrowly’ risked ‘a premature collapse of the international effort if by some luck chance Mr bin Laden was captured’.
And yet the US and British governments insisted there was no alternative to bombing Afghanistan because the Taliban had ‘refused’ to hand over Osama bin Laden. What the Afghani people got instead was ‘American justice’ - imposed by a president who, as well as denouncing international agreements on nuclear weapons, biological weapons, torture and global warming, has refused to sign up for an international court to try war criminals: the one place where bin Laden might be put on trial.
When Tony Blair said this war was not an attack on Islam as such, he was correct.
Its aim, in the short term, was to satisfy a domestic audience then to accelerate American influence in a vital region where there has been a power vacuum since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of China, whose oil needs are expected eventually to surpass even those of the US. That is why control of Central Asia and the Caspian basin oilfields is important as exploration gets under way.
There was, until the cluster bombing of innocents, a broad-based recognition that there had to be international action to combat the kind of terrorism that took thousands of lives in New York.