RT America, Why won’t the government release the full 9/11 Commission Report? Alexey Yaroshevsky, Sept. 11, 2014. A handful of congresspeople are pushing a bill that will publicly release 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission Report. Conspiracy theorists have long speculated about the contents, and some members of Congress have taken up the cause of making the information available to the American people. Saying the “national security” reasons for deleting the pages are not justified, they hope to bring about transparency and put the issue to rest. RT digs into the controversy and has all of the details.

Global Research, False Flag Terror. A Historical Overview: Never Forget … Your Country Admits to "False Flag Terror," Washington's Blog, Dec. 24, 2015.  (First published on September 12, 2015.) In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasionsadmitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland.

(3) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.

(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then falsely blamed it on the Nazis.

(6) The British government admits that – between 1946 and 1948 – it bombed 5 ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the psuedo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see this, thisand this).
(13) Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(14) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(15) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(16) The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”

(17) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.

(18) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(19) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”.

(20) A declassified 1973 CIA document reveals a program to train foreign police and troops on how to make booby traps, pretending that they were training them on how to investigate terrorist acts:

(55) The head and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by the CIA and FBI as false flags. Similarly, the director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom said:

    By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.

(audio here).

(56) Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the “benefits” of of false flags to justify their political agenda:

    Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.
    – Adolph Hitler

    Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
    – Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

    The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.
    – Josef Stalin

 

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The Obama administration last week ramped up military actions against Islamic State terrorists — and also sharply downgraded its failing campaign to overthrow Syria’s government and to demonize Russia’s.

President Obama greets Secretary of State John Kerry Dec. 16, 2015A key juncture occurred when Secretary of State John Kerry (shown a week ago with President Obama in the Oval Office) traveled to Moscow for meetings Dec. 15. Before the trip, Kerry, Obama and their staffers had been issuing their usual denunciations of Russia and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

By week’s end, the United States and Russia joined forces in a 15-0 UN Security Council vote Dec. 18 creating a peace process for Syria over the next 18 months.

A sense of the devastation is illustrated by an exclusive RT video report Dec. 23 drawing on drone viewpoints of the Damascus suburb of the Jobar neighborhood, once home to some 300,000 and now a virtually empty wasteland of destroyed buildings aside from holdout rebels hiding in an elaborate network of tunnels.

Meanwhile, President Obama chided Republicans in an NPR interview aired Monday, Dec. 21, for what he called a lack of realistic alternatives to his anti-ISIS policies, as reported here.

Important changes are occurring at a rapid clip, as indicated by a major new analysis by famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that seemed outdated in part when it first became available electronically Dec. 21 or so, with a print date of Jan. 7, 2015 for publication by the London Review of Books. In the 6,831-word Military to Military, Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war, Hersh reported concerns by top Pentagon brass that Obama seemed unduly wedded to a "Cold War" view emphasizing Assad's ouster, trust in Turkey, and opposition to Russia instead of a priority focus on defeating ISIS.

Hersh's deep contacts within the intelligence and military communities lend authority to his arguments (and also support much of the analysis below) even if the Obama administration appears to have adjusted course rapidly in advance of the column's publication.

With this introduction, we sketch the remainder of this column beginning on the runover: 

  • Alleged U.S. Empire-Building, Complicity With Terror Groups
  • Turkey's Ambush, Russia's Escalation
  • Obama's Background, Current Crisis
  • New U.S. Pressure On Turkey
  • Neocon Pressure On Obama
  • The 2016 Presidential Candidates
  • Obama, not Clinton, Makes 'Hard Choices'
  • Appendix of Sources, Hotlinks

At the outset, it's useful to understand that the UN process is likely to prove unworkable because it does not require Assad’s resignation, as demanded by American war hawks and Islamic rebels who are backed by Turkish and Gulf State supporters.

Also, most GOP presidential contenders and Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton continued to call during presidential debates last week for Assad’s ouster and a U.S.-enforced no fly zone preventing Syria's government and Russia from flying over a zone protecting rebels (and arguably smuggling routes).

The UN plan also fails to specify which rebel groups are excluded as terrorists from the peace process. That confusion portends continuing stalemate during next year in a pattern that has doomed previous UN efforts to resolve the Syrian war.

Despite the dim outlook for a UN peace plan, it serves as a face-saver for Obama during the last year of his presidency. Obama can side-step the consequences of his years of covert warmongering in Syria, which has primarily advanced the empire-building agenda of special interests under the rhetoric of humanitarian and democratic values. Middle East Eye's Dr. Gareth Porter amplified the reasons in Why the US pushes the illusory Syrian peace process.

Most importantly for the American public, the UN agreement could contain pressures from political demagogues risking another war. Warmongering is popular with candidates so they can win 2016 presidential support from special interests and low-information voters fooled into thinking ISIS can be eliminated by bombing. But ISIS is just one of the many scores of jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq that readily swap arms and allegiances when pressure mounts.

Fortunately, Obama backed off from the brink of a fight with Russia that could have become extremely serious. The public may not know how serious for years because, as in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, it's not in the interests of either Russia or the United States to discuss specifics.

Sergei Lavrov, John Kerry, Vladimir Putin 12-16-2015

Kerry met behind closed doors with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (shown at left in a photo from their meeting). They emerged with an agreement that omitted any mention of Assad's departure.

The most likely reasons for the U.S. shift?

The Obama administration is under increasing pressure to become more effective against ISIS following the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, as Obama acknowledged in his Dec. 21 NPR interview. 

In contrast to a go-slow approach by the United States under Obama's anti-ISIS envoy John Allen, Russia began a bombing campaign Sept. 30 at Syria’s invitation. Since then, Russia has made hundreds of bombing runs providing devastating air cover for Syrian army advances regaining territory from rebels.

Russia also has been exposing fighter, arms, and oil smuggling connections between ISIS and allied forces. The major smuggling routes have been via Turkey, a NATO member whose President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan increasingly focuses on supporting Islamist causes and suppressing dissent. Turkey has viciously targeted those in the media and ethnic Kurds whose compatriots in Syria are the main U.S. allies on the ground fighting ISIS.

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Global Research, Police Violence: US Cops Killed More People this Year than in 2014, Tom Hall, Dec. 22, 2015. At least 1,160 people have been killed by US police in 2015, according to an online aggregator of police killings, exceeding last year’s figure of 1,108. The statistics, compiled by killedbypolice.net, show that the wave of police violence has only intensified despite nationwide mass protests by tens of thousands this year against police brutality.

A more detailed database of killings by US police beginning in January 2015 compiled by the Guardian newspaper, which broadly corresponds with figures from killedbypolice.net, demonstrates that the epidemic of police violence affects broad layers of the American population from all ethnic backgrounds. While African-Americans were killed at nearly 2.5 times the rate of whites, the total number of white victims of police killings, 537 by the Guardian’s figures, was larger than the total number of either black or Hispanic victims. Eighteen people in the Guardian’s database were minors. Two hundred-twelve people, or around one-fifth of all people killed by police in 2015, were unarmed, and 40 were killed while in custody.

According to statistics kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, widely acknowledged to radically undercount the real number of police killings, “justifiable homicides” by police officers have reached record highs in recent years, while the number of police officers killed in the line of duty has reached their lowest levels in decades.

Politico, Yes, the CIA Director Was Part of the JFK Assassination Cover-Up, John McCone was long suspected of withholding information from the Warren Commission. Now even the CIA says he did. Philip Shenon, Oct. 6, 2015. John McCone came to the CIA as an outsider. An industrialist and an engineer by training, he replaced veteran spymaster Allen Dulles as director of central intelligence in November 1961, after John F. Kennedy had forced out Dulles following the CIA’s bungled operation to oust Fidel Castro by invading Cuba’s Bay of Pigs. McCone had one overriding mission: restore order at the besieged CIA. Kennedy hoped his management skills might prevent a future debacle, even if the Californian — mostly a stranger to the clubby, blue-blooded world of the men like Dulles who had always run the spy agency — faced a steep learning curve.

After JFK’s assassination in Dallas in November 1963, President Lyndon Johnson kept McCone in place at the CIA, and the CIA director became an important witness before the Warren Commission, the panel Johnson created to investigate Kennedy’s murder. McCone pledged full cooperation with the commission, which was led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, and testified that the CIA had no evidence to suggest that Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin, was part of any conspiracy, foreign or domestic. In its final report, the commission came to agree with McCone’s depiction of Oswald, a former Marine and self-proclaimed Marxist, as a delusional lone wolf.

But did McCone come close to perjury all those decades ago? Did the onetime Washington outsider in fact hide agency secrets that might still rewrite the history of the assassination? Even the CIA is now willing to raise these questions. Half a century after JFK’s death, in a once-secret report written in 2013 by the CIA’s top in-house historian and quietly declassified last fall, the spy agency acknowledges what others were convinced of long ago: that McCone and other senior CIA officials were “complicit” in keeping “incendiary” information from the Warren Commission.

According to the report by CIA historian David Robarge, McCone, who died in 1991, was at the heart of a “benign cover-up” at the spy agency, intended to keep the commission focused on “what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’—that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.” The most important information that McCone withheld from the commission in its 1964 investigation, the report found, was the existence, for years, of CIA plots to assassinate Castro, some of which put the CIA in cahoots with the Mafia. Without this information, the commission never even knew to ask the question of whether Oswald had accomplices in Cuba or elsewhere who wanted Kennedy dead in retaliation for the Castro plots.

While raising no question about the essential findings of the Warren Commission, including that Oswald was the gunman in Dallas, the 2013 report is important because it comes close to an official CIA acknowledgement—half a century after the fact—of impropriety in the agency’s dealings with the commission. The coverup by McCone and others may have been “benign,” in the report’s words, but it was a cover-up nonetheless, denying information to the commission that might have prompted a more aggressive investigation of Oswald’s potential Cuba ties.

Initially stamped “SECRET/NOFORN,” meaning it was not to be shared outside the agency or with foreign governments, Robarge’s report was originally published as an article in the CIA’s classified internal magazine, Studies in Intelligence, in September 2013, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. The article, drawn from a still-classified 2005 biography of McCone written by Robarge, was declassified quietly last fall and is now available on the website of The George Washington University’s National Security Archive. In a statement to POLITICO, the CIA said it decided to declassify the report “to highlight misconceptions about the CIA’s connection to JFK’s assassination,” including the still-popular conspiracy theory that the spy agency was somehow behind the assassination. (Articles in the CIA magazine are routinely declassified without fanfare after internal review.)

Robarge’s article says that McCone, quickly convinced after the assassination that Oswald had acted alone and that there was no foreign conspiracy involving Cuba or the Soviet Union, directed the agency to provide only “passive, reactive and selective” assistance to the Warren Commission. This portrait of McCone suggests that he was much more hands-on in the CIA’s dealings with the commission—and in the agency’s post-assassination scrutiny of Oswald’s past—than had previously been known. The report quotes another senior CIA official, who heard McCone say that he intended to “handle the whole (commission) business myself, directly.”

The report offers no conclusion about McCone’s motivations, including why he would go to lengths to cover-up CIA activities that mostly predated his time at the agency. But it suggests that the Johnson White House might have directed McCone to hide the information. McCone “shared the administration’s interest in avoiding disclosures about covert actions that would circumstantially implicate [the] CIA in conspiracy theories and possibly lead to calls for a tough US response against the perpetrators of the assassination,” the article reads. “If the commission did not know to ask about covert operations about Cuba, he was not going to give them any suggestions about where to look.”

In an interview, David Slawson, who was the Warren Commission’s chief staff investigator in searching for evidence of a foreign conspiracy, said he was not surprised to learn that McCone had personally withheld so much information from the investigation in 1964, especially about the Castro plots.

“I always assumed McCone must have known, because I always believed that loyalty and discipline in the CIA made any large-scale operation without the consent of the director impossible,” says Slawson, now 84 and a retired University of Southern California law professor. He says he regrets that it had taken so long for the spy agency to acknowledge that McCone and others had seriously misled the commission. After half a century, Slawson says, “The world loses interest, because the assassination becomes just a matter of history to more and more people.”

The report identifies other tantalizing information that McCone did not reveal to the commission, including evidence that the CIA might somehow have been in communication with Oswald before 1963 and that the spy agency had secretly monitored Oswald’s mail after he attempted to defect to the Soviet Union in 1959. The CIA mail-opening program, which was later determined to have been blatantly illegal, had the code name HTLINGUAL. “It would be surprising if the DCI [director of central intelligence] were not told about the program” after the Kennedy assassination, the report reads. “If not, his subordinates deceived him. If he did know about HTLINGUAL reporting on Oswald, he was not being forthright with the commission—presumably to protect an operation that was highly compartmented and, if disclosed, sure to arouse much controversy.”

In the 1970s, when congressional investigations exposed the Castro plots, members of the Warren Commission and its staff expressed outrage that they had been denied the information in 1964. Had they known about the plots, they said, the commission would have been much more aggressive in trying to determine whether JFK’s murder was an act of retaliation by Castro or his supporters. Weeks before the assassination, Oswald traveled to Mexico City and met there with spies for the Cuban and Soviet governments—a trip that CIA and FBI officials have long acknowledged was never adequately investigated. (Even so, Warren Commission staffers remain convinced today that Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas, a view shared by ballistics experts who have studied the evidence.)

 

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An inspiring ceremony Dec. 11 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts memorialized the life of financial journalist and philanthropist Austin H. Kiplinger, who died Nov. 20 at age 97.

Austin Kiplinger

Three days earlier, Dr. David J. Skorton, the new secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, delivered a speech outlining his vision for the world's largest museum.  

The scenes symbolized a succession in American public life by two of the nation's great civic leaders of recent times.

They have embodied a passion for learning, culture, and a just society by fostering enduring institutions. Such leadership — which included Cornell University posts for each man — is possible only from success in problem solving.

Kiplinger's remarkably varied and important civic endeavors brought forth admirers who nearly filled the vast ground floor of the Kennedy Center for his memorial.

Former Cornell President Frank H.T. Rhodes (1977 to 1995) delivered a powerful tribute to Kiplinger, a 1939 graduate of the university who served 55 years on the university's board. The university, founded in 1865 with a number of innovations, is located on a hill overlooking Ithaca in central New York's Finger Lakes region.

David Skorton Cornell PhotoSkorton (shown in a file photo) spoke separately at the nearby National Press Club on Dec. 8 to describe his plans for the Smithsonian after serving as Cornell's president from 2006 until earlier this year. The Smithsonian complex operates 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and various research facilities.

I benefited from a scholarship-assisted education at Cornell, where I studied history and prepared for a reporting and legal career by writing for the Cornell Daily Sun student newspaper. I've lived and worked for nearly a quarter century a short distance from the Smithsonian's most famous museums and the National Press Club, where I've met both men. 

Their careers prompt me to reflect also upon the continuing relevance of a 60-page monograph, "The Use and Abuse of History," by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) that was taught at Cornell nearly fifty years ago by Prof. Allan Bloom, later a best-selling author.

From these experiences are suggested tools for problem-solving during the troubled times that the nation currently faces.

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Recent disclosures exposing the cover-up that protected President John F. Kennedy’s killers can help the public understand today’s oft-mysterious terrorism-related news.  

New books, declassified documents, and whistleblowers like Lee Harvey Oswald’s former Marine Corps bunkmate Jim Botelho bolster the already solid case that the Warren Commission deceived the public about Kennedy’s 1963 assassination and Oswald, the alleged assassin. Botelho, who became a California judge following his Marine service, is shown last month delivering his first speech ever about Oswald, whom he Jim Botelho, Oswald's roommate, speaking in Dallas Nov. 21, 2015 JIP Photo)described as “the best roommate I ever had” and a nice guy who never could have killed the president, as alleged.

The shocking tragedy of Kennedy’s death will remain important so long as the false accusations against Oswald obscure the real killers and their motives.

From study of how official circles implemented and still maintain the Kennedy murder cover-up, we can better understand potentially similar misreported and under-reported situations today. That understanding requires, in turn, appreciation for how government commissions, news organizations, museums, and academic institutions actually work when handling super-sensitive national security matters.

As one example, the late Time-Life Publisher Charles “CD” Jackson reigned in 1963 as the nation’s leading expert on psychological warfare, as a new book underscores, thus was not simply the publisher of the nation’s two most important magazines covering the JFK murder.

After Kennedy's assassination, Jackson, fresh from a stint as national security advisor to President Dwight Eisenhower, used his Time-Life clout to acquire exclusive rights to the Abraham Zapruder film of the killing and to the memoirs of Oswald’s widow, Marina. This control allowed Jackson's Time-Life staffers and successors to suppress publication of both the film and memoirs, except for cherry-picked excerpts that could advance the Warren Commission’s false narrative.

All this was part of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird program whereby the leaders of 40 major magazines, newspapers, broadcast networks and wire services secretly worked in tandem (unbeknownst to most of their staffers and all consumers) to report the most sensitive Charles Douglas Jacksonnews in a manner approved by the CIA and its Wall Street/private sector controllers.
 
Peter Dale ScottFew, if any, have written more bravely or influentially about this process and the JFK murder cover-up’s long-term implications than retired University of California professor Peter Dale Scott, shown in a file photo. He popularized the terms “Deep Politics” and “Deep State,” including via his pioneering 1993 book “Deep Politics and the Death of JFK.”

Scott delivered a speech last month, “Dallas and the CIA’s On-Going Culpable Obstruction of Justice,” that focused on specific ways the CIA helped orchestrate the JFK murder cover-up to perpetuate empire-building agendas of CIA rogue elements and their outside backers.

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