• Tag Archives George W. Bush
  • Obama on Attempted Al Qaeda Christmas Airline Bombing: “The Buck Stops Here”

    A few days after Christmas, I thought about Harry Truman and the sign that he kept on his desk at the White House, "The Buck Stops Here."

    President Obama said that today.

    From the Sun-Times:

    President Barack Obama suggested Thursday he would not fire anyone for the attempted Christmas airline attack, saying it appears the security lapses that led to the near-disaster were not the fault of a single individual or institution.

    “Ultimately the buck stops with me,” said the commander in chief.

    He declared anew that the government had the information to prevent the botched attack but failed to piece it together. He announced a range of changes designed to fix that, including wider and quicker distribution of intelligence reports, stronger analysis of them and new terror watch list rules.

    But, added Obama, “When the system fails, it is my responsibility.”

    What a change of pace from some of the previous Occupants. We’re going to have to let that sink in a bit — having a President take responsibility.

    He didn’t even try to parse the word "is."


  • NYTimes: Blackwater Guards Tied to Covert Raids by C.I.A.

    From the New York Times:

    Private security guards from Blackwater Worldwide participated in some of the C.I.A.’s most sensitive activities — clandestine raids with agency officers against people suspected of being insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and the transporting of detainees, according to former company employees and intelligence officials.

    The raids against suspects occurred on an almost nightly basis during the height of the Iraqi insurgency between 2004 and 2006, with Blackwater personnel playing central roles in what company insiders called “snatch and grab” operations, the former employees and current and former intelligence officers said.

    Several former Blackwater guards said that their involvement in the operations became so routine that the lines supposedly dividing the Central Intelligence Agency, the military and Blackwater became blurred. Instead of simply providing security for C.I.A. officers, they say, Blackwater personnel at times became partners in missions to capture or kill militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, a practice that raises questions about the use of guns for hire on the battlefield.

    Separately, former Blackwater employees said they helped provide security on some C.I.A. flights transporting detainees in the years after the 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

    The secret missions illuminate a far deeper relationship between the spy agency and the private security company than government officials have previously acknowledged. Blackwater’s partnership with the C.I.A. has been enormously profitable for the North Carolina-based company, and became even closer after several top agency officials joined Blackwater. “It became a very brotherly relationship,” said one former top C.I.A. officer. “There was a feeling that Blackwater eventually became an extension of the agency.”

    "…a very brotherly relationship."

    This raises concerns about the extent to which private security firms have been involved in offensive military and intelligence operations. The firms were hired for defensive guard duty, the NYTimes says.

    Read more here.


  • FBI’s Edmonds: Bin Laden Worked for U.S. Until 9/11

    What a bombshell.

    From The Brad Blog:

    During my recent interview with FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds on the Mike Malloy Show, a caller had asked her opinion on whether she believed 9/11 to have been “an inside job.”

    Edmonds replied by first specifying “As I have done for the past 7 or 8 years, I have basically stuck with what I know, first-hand, directly, my own knowledge, based on my own experience, based on what I obtained, which is not a lot, but it is extremely important.”

    After explaining the difference between what she does and doesn’t know first hand, she went on to explain: “I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban – those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.” …

    Her complete response, pulled from the lengthy interview (full, commercial-free audio here) has been transcribed by Luke Ryland, perhaps the world’s foremost expert in all things Sibel Edmonds related.

    From Luke Ryland on the Daily Kos:

    Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds dropped a bombshell on the Mike Malloy radio show, guest-hosted by Brad Friedman (audiopartial transcript).

    In the interview, Sibel says that the US maintained ‘intimate relations’ with Bin Laden, and the Taliban, “all the way until that day of September 11.”

    These ‘intimate relations’ included using Bin Laden for ‘operations’ in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These ‘operations’ involved using al Qaeda and the Taliban in the same manner “as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict,” that is, fighting ‘enemies’ via proxies.

    Luke’s summary:

    The bombshell here is obviously that certain people in the US were using Bin Laden up to September 11, 2001.

    It is important to understand why: the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years, promoting the Islamization of Central Asia in an attempt to personally profit off military sales as well as oil and gas concessions.

    The silence by the US government on these matters is deafening. So, too, is the blowback.

    Puts an entirely different spin on Bush ignoring that PDB.

    What did George W. Bush know, and when did he know it?