Aletho News


Boycott update: Champion fencer Sara Besbes stands down rather than plays Israeli

Mondoweiss | October 14, 2011

Sara Besbes, a Tunisian champion fencer, boycotted a competition in Italy rather than fence Israeli Noam Mills.

Besbes, who comes from a family of great fame in fencing, reached the final round where she had to play against an Israeli player. However, she stood still on the platform, pointing her sword toward the ground and refusing to move as a sign she was boycotting the Israeli athlete but without officially announcing it to avoid punitive measures by the judges.

Tunis Radio reports Noam Mills “collapsed in tears” as she was declared the winner.

A Google translation of this article from the Italian press indicates Besbes’s action required Mills to win the competition by inflicting the final blows against Besbes as she “remained completely passive to the point of suffering from the five thrusts that have losing the match”

An abnormal behavior that has not escaped the referees, who could not take action because it was not a rejection but, apparently, of a defeat. The Besbes, 22, belongs to a family of fencers: the mother was one of the most famous specialists in Tunisia, three sisters and a brother are part of the National Assembly and the father is on the board of the Federation. She, Sarah, was African champion and points to a place for the London Olympics. In short, not a champion, but even the newcomer, and there is more than reasonable suspicion that hers was a conscious decision and inspired by the leaders of her Federation. Even the rival, winning, reacted to the success with tears. The 5-0 defeat cost the Tunisian also the final knockout in the next round got the Chinese Li Na, who has eliminated easily. The Mills has instead continued the journey by eliminating the Mexican Teran and entered the main draw which Thursday released the new world champion. Sara and Tunisian leaders have preferred to avoid the comment.

This was the second such incident this week. Iranian Sayyad Ghanbari Hamad refused to fight against Israeli Tomer Or.

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , | 9 Comments

Is alleged Iranian plot a “provocation by an outside agency”? asks Guardian

Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | October 14, 2011

“It has the ring of a far-fetched Hollywood thriller and even the senior law enforcement official involved in the investigation admitted to journalists that the alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US did not fit with what was known about the methods and practices of the supposed perpetrators, the Quds force of the Revolutionary Guards,” Julian Borger writes in the Guardian. Of the eight “unanswered questions” Borger raises about the affair, the final one is arguably the most pertinent:

Could the alleged plot be provocation by an outside agency seeking to start a conflict between Iran and its enemies? In that case, Arbabsiar is consciously misleading his interrogators or is being used by his cousin and his associates, who are working for this third party.

When it comes to outside agencies provoking conflicts, few in the mainstream media know the most likely culprits better than Borger. In a July 2003 special investigation entitled “The spies who pushed for war,” the Guardian’s diplomatic editor exposed the Israeli source of the false intelligence coming out of Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon that bypassed the CIA and DIA to concoct a justification for toppling Saddam Hussein by force:

The OSP was an open and largely unfiltered conduit to the White House not only for the Iraqi opposition. It also forged close ties to a parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation inside Ariel Sharon’s office in Israel specifically to bypass Mossad and provide the Bush administration with more alarmist reports on Saddam’s Iraq than Mossad was prepared to authorise.

“None of the Israelis who came were cleared into the Pentagon through normal channels,” said one source familiar with the visits. Instead, they were waved in on Mr Feith’s authority without having to fill in the usual forms.

The exchange of information continued a long-standing relationship Mr Feith and other Washington neo-conservatives had with Israel’s Likud party.

In 1996, he and Richard Perle – now an influential Pentagon figure – served as advisers to the then Likud leader, Binyamin Netanyahu. In a policy paper they wrote, entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, the two advisers said that Saddam would have to be destroyed, and Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran would have to be overthrown or destabilised, for Israel to be truly safe.

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Wars for Israel | 2 Comments

Targeting Iran: US Playing the Saudi Envoy Game

By Ismail Salami | Palestine Chronicle | October 14, 2011

In a ‘united against Iran campaign,’ the US government has accused Tehran of orchestrating an assassination plot against the Saudi envoy in Washington, a move which is to be seen as part of a US stratagem to carry on with its plan of demonizing and isolating the Islamic Republic of Iran.

US Vice President Joe Biden said on “The Early Show” on Wednesday that “It’s critically important that we unite the world in the isolation of and dealing with the Iranians. That’s the surest way to be able to get results.”

Obviously, the US officials will use the fabricated occasion to press for new international sanctions as they say that Iranian agents have sought to hire a purported member of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi envoy on American soil.

Regardless of the impertinence and hollowness of the claim, one should not disregard the influence of the powerful Zionist lobby in the new mudslinging plan which is, as Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani puts it, a ‘tactless and childish game.”

To add more fuel to Iranophobia, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on other countries to work together against what is becoming a clearer and clearer threat” from Iran and said, “This really, in the minds of many diplomats and government officials, crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for.”

Washington, once again, went on a labeling spree and called Iran “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

There is well-grounded speculation that the new move is meant to stir up dissension in the region so that the US may bolster its waning influence among the Middle Eastern countries as Iran wields a great amount of political muscle in the region. In other words, the US will then be in a position to fish in troubled waters.

In concerted efforts with Israel, Washington has a long history of covert operations in Iran including cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage and targeted assassinations. A notable instance of such operations is a computer worm known as Stuxnet which has hit Iranian nuclear facilities, categorically a deliberate attempt by the US government to destroy what Iranian scientists have reaped during years. The worm was reportedly tested in Israel at the notorious nuclear arsenal Dimona in a joint Israeli-American effort (The New York Times January 15, 2011). Ironically, Dimona which has been used as a testing ground for the worm, houses over 300 nuclear warheads, and was kept hidden for years until Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to Britain in 1986 and revealed the Israeli nuclear program as well as a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation. Reports say that Israel has at its disposal material for roughly 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs. Needless to say, Israel is not a global security threat despite its nuclear warheads and irresponsible behavior towards the Palestinians as it is a fawning ally of the USA.

Apart from sabotaging the nuclear program in Iran, Washington has shamelessly engaged in a series of assassinations against Iranian nuclear scientists. In July 2011, a university student named Daryoush Rezaei, 35, was shot down while his wife sustained serious injuries and was rushed to hospital. In 2010, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a nuclear scientist, was killed by a remote-controlled bomb in Tehran. On November 29, 2010, two other scientists were targeted by bombs that hit their cars in the capital. The assailants, who were on motorcycles, had stuck magnetic bombs to the victims’ cars. Professor Majid Shahriari was killed on the spot, but Dr. Fereydoun Abbasi and his wife sustained minor injuries and were taken to a hospital. A report carried by The Jerusalem Post citing French Weekly Le Canard enchaine revealed that Mossad had conducted the assassinations “with the help of the CIA and MI6.”

According to intelligence sources, the assassinations were part of Joint US-Israeli plots meant to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. Also, an article published in the Portuguese-language Weekly, The Expresso revealed that high-ranking Mossad officials gathered at the spy agency’s headquarters in northern Tel Aviv, concluding that the killing of Shahriari would be Mossad’s last covert operation under its current director, Meir Dagan. However, the two spy agencies refused to assume any responsibility for the attacks whatsoever.

In the Iowa Republican Presidential Debate in August 2011, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spurted out his brazen sloganeering against the Islamic republic and when asked about the situation in Libya, he unconsciously gave rein to his anger and started ranting about Iran, saying the nation had “gone on the offensive” against the USA and needed to be confronted. Soon other hawks joined in with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaking venomously in favor of attacking Iran and boldly lauding the “good works” of the US government in assassinating Iranian scientists and the “good work” of creating the Stuxnet computer virus. This was how he let the cat out of the bag, making it clear that the USA was behind all those atrocities.

Some pundits believe that the US move will put Iran in the forefront of global hatred. This will never happen as the US and its lapdog Israel have already played similar games about Iran over and over again.

What the US government has done to the Iranian nation is not easy to forget and the support it keeps voicing for Israel is not difficult to digest.

Isn’t it strange that Iran, which has long been a victim of US-sponsored terrorism and assassinations, should have become a target of threadbare allegations?


Ismail Salami is an Iranian author and political analyst. He has written numerous books and articles on the Middle East some of which have been translated into more than ten languages. His analysis can be found on many online publications.

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | 1 Comment

An Insidious Threat to the Occupy Movement

Obama has overseen the mass destruction of US jobs, all the while protecting the 1%
By ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH | Counterpunch | October 14, 2011

The threat I am referring to is not that of being pepper-sprayed, arrested, beaten or imprisoned. It is a different type of threat: a stealthy challenger that while pretending to advance the goals of the Occupy Movement tends to undermine it from within—more or less like the proverbial elephant in the room. I am referring to the threat of preemption, or cooptation, posed by the Democratic Party and union officials. In light of their unsavory record of undermining the revolutionary energy of social movements, projections of sympathy for the anti-Wall Street protesters by the White House, the Democratic Party officials and union leaders can be viewed only with suspicion.

Expressing sympathy for the protester, President Obama recently stated: “I think people are frustrated, and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.” At the same time he also defended the decision to bail out banks and other Wall Street speculators, arguing that the decision was necessitated by the need to salvage our financial system. It is obvious that, as usual, the president is talking from both side of his mouth.

On the same day (October 6th) that the president projected sympathy for the protesters, Vice President Biden also expressed similar sentiments. Comparing the Wall Street protests with the Tea Party, he stated: “The Tea Party started, why? TARP. They thought it was unfair – we were bailing out the big guy.” The vice president’s reference to the Tea Party is by no means fortuitous; there are clear indications the Democrats are trying to utilize the Occupy movement the way the Republicans do the Tea Party. “The mushrooming protests could be the start of a populist movement on the left that counterbalances the surge of the Tea Party on the right, and closes what some Democrats fear is an ‘enthusiasm gap,’” reported the New York Times on Friday, October 7th.

Projections of sympathy for the Occupy movement have not been limited to the White House. Many officials of the Democratic Party have either personally appeared at the Zuccotti Park to express support or sent statements of support for the protesters. Likewise, a number of union leaders joined a large protest rally held in New York City’s Foley Square on October 5th to show sympathy for the protesters.

Then there are the liberal political pundits and media outlets such as the New York Times that are also trying the build bridges between the Democratic Party and the Occupy movement in an effort to channel the protesters’ energy to the party’s electoral machine. For example, the New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman recently wrote: “And there are real political opportunities here. Not, of course, for today’s Republicans. . . . But Democrats are being given what amounts to a second chance. The Obama administration squandered a lot of potential good will early on by adopting banker-friendly policies. . . . Now, however, Mr. Obama’s party has a chance for a do-over.”

On the face of it there is nothing wrong with the Democratic Party officials or union leaders expressing support for the protesters. In light of their actual economic policies, however, that support can be characterized only as hypocritical. The Democrats are as much responsible for the economic problems that have triggered the protests as their Republican counterparts. The Obama administration has played an especially destructive role in pursuing a devastating neoliberal austerity agenda in term of bailing out the Wall Street gamblers, extending the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy, expanding the US wars of choice—and then cutting vital social spending to pay for the financial resources thus usurped.

Equally blameworthy are union bureaucrats who have enabled the White House and the Congress in the implementation of such brutal austerity programs. Hollow posturing aside, the AFL-CIO has opposed neither the neoliberal austerity policies at home nor the imperialist wars of aggression abroad. Well-paid union officials have not even seriously challenged factory closures; nor have they earnestly resisted brutal cuts in workers’ wages and benefits.

In projecting sympathy for the Occupy Movement, the Democrats are essentially trying to have their cake and eat it too! Their efforts to express support for the protests can be interpreted only as opportunistic and utilitarian: to identify themselves with the rapidly spreading popular protests against the status quo, to mask the Obama administration’s neoliberal devotion to Wall Street, and to harness the energy of the protesters in order to garner their vote in the 2012 elections.

If successful, this would not be the first time the Democratic Party would have derailed and dissipated social struggles for change; it has a long record of such policies of betrayal, going back all the way to the Populist Movement of the late 19th century. Barack Obama’s promise of change in the 2008 elections in pursuit of garnering the grassroots’ vote was only the latest of the Democrats’ strategy of playing the good cop in order to contain radical energy. Two years earlier they had managed to undermine a vigorous antiwar movement by voicing the protesters’ demands to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if they won the majority seats in the Congress. Having thus gained the control of both houses of the Congress in the mid-term election of 2006, they shamelessly backed away from their promise to antiwar voters.

One can only hope that the Occupy Movement is armed with the knowledge of the Democratic Party’s record of cooptation and betrayal of radical movements; and will therefore chart a political movement of the working people and other grassroots independent of both parties of big business.


Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, author of The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2007), teaches economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | 8 Comments

Major Media Liars Report Fake NATO Victories

By Stephen Lendman | Poor Richard’s Blog | October 13, 2011

On October 9, BBC claimed National Transitional Council (NTC) forces “made significant gains in the battle for the city of Sirte. (NTC) commanders said they had captured the main hospital, the university and the Ouagadougou conference center.”

Sirte is “close to falling.” After it’s taken, NTC officials “say they will declare national liberation, even if Gaddafi remains at large.”

“NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil told reporters in Tripoli” that Sirte and Bani Walid liberation “will happen within this week.”

On October 10, BBC headlined, “Sirte ready to fall,” repeating the same canard. More on that below.

On October 10, AP headlined, “Libyan revolutionary forces celebrate gains but fierce fighting persists over Gaddafi hometown,” saying:

“Jubilant revolutionary forces have raised their tri-color flag over a convention center in Sirte that long served as a base for (Gaddafi) loyalists, even as fighting rages elsewhere in the fugitive leader’s hometown.”

Sirte commander “Younis al-Abdally….says his troops have surrounded pro-Gaddafi fighters in a small area in the upscale neighborhood of Dollar Street.”

On October 9, New York Times writer Kareem Fahim headlined, “Fighters Enter City Once Home to Qaddafi,” saying:

Anti-Gaddafi “fighters battled their way into the heart of this coastal city on Sunday, seizing a sumptuous conference center (and) nearby Ibn Sina hospital….”

“By Sunday afternoon, anti-Qaddafi fighters were speaking confidently about their chances of finally taking (Sirte), as a coordinated ring of troops closed in on loyalists in their remaining pockets.”

On October 10, Al Jazeera reported a “final push into Sirte,” saying “Anti-Gaddafi forces say they’ve captured more than half of (the city), one of (Gaddafi’s) last remaining strongholds.”

Correspondent Tony Birtley’s one-sided report falsified facts on the ground, claiming “70%” of Sirte was captured. His sole truthful comment was “(t)his is not finished yet.”

Indeed not, as Gaddafi loyalists are prevailing, contrary to falsified Al Jazeera and Western media reports. They include Al Jazeera saying on October 11 that TNC fighters “punched through (Sirte’s) last line of defence,” encountering “light resistance and suffer(ing) no casualties….”

On October 10, Christof Lehmann’s NSNBC said Sirte loyalists successfully resisted NATO terror bombing and rebel attacks for months.

“Even Al Jazeera’s Hollywood Narrative of the attack on Sirte (was discredited) when the ’embedded grand standing’ at a freshly captured university campus (was short-lived by a) message (saying) ‘we have to withdraw because there is a massive counterattack coming.’ ”

Gaddafi loyalists continue to show redoubtable staying power against all NATO’s might and paramilitary cutthroat army onslaughts. They’re in it for the money, other assorted reasons, and all they can loot. They’ve taken full advantage despite getting pummeled across the country.

In Sirte alone since Sunday, heavy fighting killed about 200 TNC fighters. In late evening, “TNC leader Mahmud Jubril (withdrew) ‘all fighters with allegiance to him’ from the Sirte theater, saying ‘it was senseless to sacrifice 200 fighters for a one minute Al Jazeera Victory.”

Actually, Birtley’s report ran about three minutes, none but a sole comment worth hearing.

Despite earlier more worthy credentials, Al Jazeera News channel (JNC) compromised them by waging one-sided war against Gaddafi and Syria’s Assad since last winter. Abandoning all professionalism and objectivity, it’s more a voice for power than truth.

On Sepember 20, The New York Times said WikiLeaks disclosures forced news director Wadah Khanfar to resign. Sheikh Hamad Ben Jassem Al-Thani, a Qatari royal family member, replaced him.

Qatar funds Al Jazeera. It’s also part of NATO’s anti-Gaddafi coalition. Sheikh Hamad formerly chaired its board of directors with veto power over program content. With direct programming control, all JNC reporting henceforth will be suspect.

Notably throughout 2011, Khanfar’s pro-Western support got some JNC journalists to leave. They were unwilling to report managed news and information like BBC and America’s media. With a Qatari royal family member in charge, JNC’s fall from grace may reach bottom.

NSNBC reported a source it uses saying “an unnamed US intelligence agency has approached TNC leaders, suggesting the division of Libya into a Northern and Southern state” to provide cover for bringing in Blue Helmet paramilitary occupiers. The Security Council authorized them.

NATO and rebel war crimes also continue. Besides attacking Sirte’s university campus and Ibn Sina Hospital, NATO “bombed a civilian house, killing 22, with 20 others missing.” America’s media no longer notice.

Near Bani Walid, ambushed TNC fighters “took heavy casualties….In Gheryan, Libyan forces successfully attacked a military industrial complex,” heavily defended by “troops from NATO countries and Qatar.” Key military installations were destroyed.

Controlling most of the city, Benghazi loyalists are making slow progress “against heavily entrenched TNC fighters.” Unconfirmed reports say city tribal leaders are ready to join Libyan forces.

Fighting across Libya continues. NATO and cutthroat rebels commit daily war crimes. The appalling humanitarian crisis worsens. Diplomatic initiatives are absent to end it. “Where is a UN Fact Finding Mission? Where is an African Union Observer in Sirte?”

When will courageous African and other leaders say “enough is enough?” When will culpable NATO nations and officials be held accountable for turning Libya into a charnel house?

Largely out of sight and mind, civilian massacres continue daily while Western media yawn, cheerlead, or alternately do both.

On October 10, clashes between rebel and loyalist forces occurred in Hadbha, Arada, Abu Salim and other Tripoli areas. Helicopter gunships indiscriminately fired at peaceful anti-NATO demonstrators.

Reports suggest Qatari, Saudi and Israeli Special Forces in Libya. On October 10, “15 TNC fighters were killed outside Bani Walid. All were carrying Israeli” IDs. Late at night, UK “SAS Regiment (forces) entered Sirte to carry out a special operation. Reportedly “16” were captured, another “44” killed.

UK, Saudi, Qatari and Israeli forces in Libya provides more evidence “for US and NATO’s utter disregard for (UN) principles” and rule of law values. It also justifies Russia and China’s opposition with Security Council measures against Syria as a prelude to more conflict.

Libyan loyalists keep resisting to liberate their country and rebuild, despite daily NATO terror bombing.

On October 12, NSNBC said despite heavy NATO and rebel attacks, “Sirte is holding out. So is Bani Walid. So is most of Tripoli.”

Despite heavy clashes there and elsewhere, neither NATO or its hired guns “succeeded (in) break(ing) the Libyan peoples’ will and ability to resist.”

The battle for Libya shows no signs of ebbing. Further updates will follow key events.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 1 Comment

Israeli forces ‘block olive harvest in Nablus’

Ma’an | October 14, 2011

NABLUS — Israeli forces blocked villagers in Nablus from harvesting olives on lands near Israeli settlements on Friday, locals told Ma’an.

Israeli troops told harvesters in Qaryut and Azmut villages that security coordination had expired and blocked them from picking olives, a Ma’an correspondent said.

International activists accompanying farmers said forces told them in nearby village Burin that the area was a closed military zone and shut down the harvest.

“There are dozens of olives on the top of the hill (near the Israel settlement of Yitzhar),” one activist said, “but villagers were only given four days permission to do two weeks’ work.”

Ghassan Doughlas, the Palestinian Authority official monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank, said Israeli settlers came into olive groves in Azmut, north of Nablus, and Jit to the east.

Settlers clashed with locals as they tried to harvest olives, he said.

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | Comments Off on Israeli forces ‘block olive harvest in Nablus’

Why Did the United States Invade Afghanistan?

By Tim Kelly | FFF |  October 12, 2011

The tenth anniversary of the U.S. led war in Afghanistan came and went with very little attention from the mainstream media. U.S. policymakers are nevertheless confronted with many questions regarding that conflict, such as its affordability, the effectiveness of various strategies, and even whether U.S. forces should remain in that country at all.

Those are all important issues, but the one question I believe to be the most important and fundamental regarding the war probably won’t be discussed: Was the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan necessary?

President Obama, who had campaigned as an opponent of the U.S. invasion of Iraq as a war of choice said of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, “This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity.”

Obama’s words might have made for a good sound bite, but the evidence shows that, like the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan is, indeed, a war of choice.

Many supporters of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan argue that even if the military campaign has turned into a quagmire, the initial attack was a just and necessary response to 9/11. Perhaps President Obama provided the best summary of this position in a speech at West Point. Obama said:

We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women and children without regard to their faith or race or station.… As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam.… After the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden — we sent our troops into Afghanistan

Here we have the conventional view: The 9/11 attacks were carried out by 19 fanatical Muslims acting on the orders of Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of al-Qaeda, who was being given sanctuary by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan; and the invasion became necessary when they stubbornly refused to turn him over to U.S. authorities.

The Bush administration then commenced a bombing campaign and invasion of Afghanistan, asserting the need to capture or kill bin Laden and crush his terrorist organization so that they could not launch another deadly attack on the American homeland.

The problem with this narrative is that the claim that the Taliban had stubbornly refused to turn over bin Laden is not true.

CNN reported on September 21, 2001,

The Taliban … refused to hand over bin Laden without proof or evidence that he was involved in last week’s attacks on the United States. … The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan … said Friday that deporting him without proof would amount to an “insult to Islam.” (emphasis added)

CNN also provided an explanation for the Taliban’s “refusal,” reporting: “Bin Laden himself has already denied he had anything to do with the attacks, and Taliban officials repeatedly said he could not have been involved in the attacks.”

So the Taliban were not really refusing to turn him over but rather were demanding certain conditions be satisfied before they did so. That is not unusual. Governments routinely have evidentiary standards that must be met before they grant an extradition request. Bush, however, was not in a diplomatic mood, and he told the Taliban “the demands were not open to negotiation or discussion.”

The refusal by the Bush administration to put any evidence on the table made it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the Taliban to turn bin Laden over. The Washington Post ran a story in October 2001 that quoted Milton Bearden, a former CIA official, who said the Taliban needed a “face-saving formula.” While the Bush administration was saying, “Give up bin Laden,” the Taliban were saying, “Do something to help us give him up.”

Even after the U.S. bombs began falling in October, the Taliban tried to negotiate by offering to turn bin Laden over to a third country if the United States would cease hostilities and provide evidence of his guilt. But Bush remained adamant, saying, “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty.” London’s Guardian, reporting on this story, printed an article entitled “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer To Hand Bin Laden Over.”

Why was the Bush administration so stubbornly opposed to meeting the Taliban’s reasonable demand that they release at least some of the copious evidence they claimed to have gathered against bin Laden? After all, such a gesture might have spared the United States and her NATO allies, and the people of Afghanistan, the costs and consequences of a war that is now entering its eleventh year.

Well, the answer to that question could be that U.S. officials might well have lacked solid evidence of bin Laden’s complicity notwithstanding their certainty that he was behind the attacks. Certainly, the U.S. government has never shown such evidence to the American people.

Let’s review how the Bush administration presented its case against Osama bin Laden after 9/11.

Here is what Secretary of State Colin Powell said during a September 23, 2001, appearance on Meet the Press:

QUESTION: Are you absolutely convinced that Usama bin Laden was responsible for this attack?

SECRETARY POWELL: I am absolutely convinced that the al-Qaida network, which he heads, was responsible for this attack. You know, it’s sort of al-Qaida — the Arab name for it is “the base” — it’s something like a holding company of terrorist organizations that are located in dozens of countries around the world, sometimes tightly controlled, sometimes loosely controlled. And at the head of that organization is Usama bin Laden. So what we have to do in the first phase of this campaign is to go after al-Qaida and go after Usama bin Laden. But it is not just a problem in Afghanistan; it’s a problem throughout the world. That’s why we are attacking it with a worldwide coalition.

QUESTION: Will you release publicly a white paper, which links him and his organization to this attack, to put people at ease?

SECRETARY POWELL: We are hard at work bringing all the information together, intelligence information, law enforcement information. And I think, in the near future, we will be able to put out a paper, a document, that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking him to this attack. And also, remember, he has been linked to earlier attacks against US interests and he was already indicated for earlier attacks against the United States.

The next day there were banner headlines appearing in newspapers across the country telling Americans of the Bush administration’s imminent report on bin Laden’s guilt. The New York Times ran a story citing a government official who claimed evidence “reaches from the southern tip of Manhattan to the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan.”

But by the following day, the Bush administration was backpedaling. The White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said there were no plans to produce a report and that Powell’s remarks had been “misinterpreted.” At a joint press conference with President Bush, Secretary Powell withdrew his pledge, saying that “most of the evidence” is classified.

Within days, all mention of the promised “white paper” had disappeared from the news media, which continued to credulously repeat the U.S. government’s narrative of events.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, citing officials from the Department of Justice and the CIA, said the real reason the Bush administration reneged on its pledge to release the evidence was a “lack of solid information.”

Further questions were raised regarding the U.S. government’s charges against Osama bin Laden by the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists webpage. While the page mentioned bombings in Kenya and Tanzania as terrorist acts for which bin Laden was wanted, it made no mention of the 9/11 attacks. When the FBI was asked about this conspicuous omission, Rex Tomb, the Bureau’s chief of investigative publicity replied: “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”

So, the U.S. government’s case against Osama bin Laden was not good enough to take to court, but it was good enough to take the country to war, a war that has killed or maimed countless people who had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. The anger arising from the invasion and occupation of the country has created a perpetual supply of terrorist recruits, enabling U.S. officials to use the never-ending “war on terror” to eviscerate the Bill of Rights. And we now have a president who asserts the authority to kill off any person he deems a “threat.” I submit that this claim of unaccountable power represents a far greater threat to the peace and security of the country than any terrorist or group of terrorists could ever pose.

Surveying the evidence, it is clear the Bush administration did not even come close to exhausting its diplomatic options in the fall of 2001 and that some other route could have been chosen to respond to the 9/11 attacks. Moreover, the invasion of Afghanistan did not even succeed in its principal goal: the capturing or killing of Osama bin Laden. According to the U.S. government, that mission was accomplished almost ten years later by a team of Navy Seals in an operation lasting only a few hours … in neighboring Pakistan.

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Progressive Hypocrite | Comments Off on Why Did the United States Invade Afghanistan?