Archive for the ‘Official History’ Category

Memorable 9/11 Photo

In 10th Anniversary, Official History on September 11, 2011 at 6:45 am

View the photo and read the story behind it:

At the same time that the Twin Towers were falling, there were people having toothaches.

Friday, September 09, 2011 – 03:26 PM

By PJ Vogt

I’m not sure how I found it in the first place, but the image that I most often think about when I think about September 11th was shot by a photographer named Melanie Einzig on the morning of the attacks. She didn’t publish it for years because she was worried it would offend people.

I wanted to get Melanie on the radio show this week, but we ended up too squeezed for time and it didn’t work out. However, when I spoke to her on the phone she mentioned that the writer Luc Sante had been moved by her photo as well, he’d even asked her for a print. I decided to call him to find out what it is about this picture, exactly.  

What drew you to the photo?

One of the things about it is that while it’s not like the Zelig figure exactly, it’s not unrelated to it. You have this historical moment occurring and there’s somebody in a corner of the picture who’s paying no attention whatsover. Looking at his watch as the zeppelin plows into the skyscraper. This postman going about his rounds completely unaware of the conflagration going on a few blocks down and above his head. It’s such an amazing picture – the fact that it exists, that that moment was recorded. It’s one for the ages.

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Flashback: The Daily Show, September 20, 2001

In Official History on September 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Like most television hosts, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show cries after September 11, 2001.

Casualties of 9/11

In Official History on August 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

According to Wikipedia:

Casualties of the September 11 attacks included a total of 2,976 fatalities (excluding the 19 terrorist hijackers): 246 on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,605 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon.[1][2] An additional 24 people remain listed as missing.[3] All of the fatalities in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon.[4] More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center.[5] In 2007, the New York City medical examiner’s office added Felicia Dunn-Jones to the official death toll from the September 11 attacks. Dunn-Jones died five months after 9/11 from a lung condition which was linked to exposure to dust during the collapse of the World Trade Center.[6]

Muslims Died in the 9/11 Attack, Too

In Muslims and Arabs after 9/11, Official History on August 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm

How many Muslims died in the 9/11 attacks?  No official list has been compiled.  Here is an internet sites with information:

Partial List of Muslim 9/11 Victims

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Did Osama bin Laden Declare War on America and the West?

In al Qaeda, Official History on January 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm

One may ask, did UBL declare war on America and her allies, or something else?

It was war.

His article published in Al Quds Al Arabi, a London-based newspaper, in August, 1996, called a “fatwa,” is entitled “Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.”

Today your brothers and sons, the sons of the two Holy Places, have started their Jihad in the cause of Allah, to expel the occupying enemy from of the country of the two Holy places. And there is no doubt you would like to carry out this mission too, in order to re-establish the greatness of this Ummah and to liberate its’ occupied sanctities. Nevertheless, it must be obvious to you that, due to the imbalance of power between our armed forces and the enemy forces, a suitable means of fighting must be adopted i.e using fast moving light forces that work under complete secrecy. In other word to initiate a guerrilla warfare, were the sons of the nation, and not the military forces, take part in it. And as you know, it is wise, in the present circumstances, for the armed military forces not to be engaged in a conventional fighting with the forces of the crusader enemy (the exceptions are the bold and the forceful operations carried out by the members of the armed forces individually, that is without the movement of the formal forces in its conventional shape and hence the responses will not be directed, strongly, against the army) unless a big advantage is likely to be achieved; and great losses induced on the enemy side (that would shaken and destroy its foundations and infrastructures) that will help to expel the defeated enemy from the country.

And his 1998 article published on February 23, 1998, to declare a holy war, or jihad, against the West and Israel. It is signed by Osama bin Laden, head of al Qaeda; Ayman al-Zawahiri, head of Jihad Group in Egypt, and several other Islamic terrorist groups.

And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in “Al- Mughni,” Imam al-Kisa’i in “Al-Bada’i,” al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: “As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life.” On that basis, and in compliance with God’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God.”

We — with God’s help — call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.



White House Re-Thinking Afghanistan War Strategy, Re-interpreting History

In al Qaeda, Official History, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Taliban on October 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

It is good to remember history, and to remember that over time, history becomes re-interpreted.  In light of this, a rather amazing report that the White House is thinking of letting the Taliban gain control over Afghanistan (again):

President Obama’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda in Pakistan while arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to the United States, officials said Wednesday. 

As Mr. Obama met with advisers for three hours to discuss Pakistan, the White House said he had not decided whether to approve a proposed troop buildup in Afghanistan. But the shift in thinking, outlined by senior administration officials on Wednesday, suggests that the president has been presented with an approach that would not require all of the additional troops that his commanding general in the region has requested.

It remains unclear whether everyone in Mr. Obama’s war cabinet fully accepts this view. While Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has argued for months against increasing troops in Afghanistan because Pakistan was the greater priority, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates have both warned that the Taliban remain linked to Al Qaeda and would give their fighters havens again if the Taliban regained control of all or large parts of Afghanistan, making it a mistake to think of them as separate problems.

At this point it is important to remember the main reason why the U.S. went into Afghanistan in 2001.  They believed that the Taliban — fairly much the same Taliban as now — gave a safe haven for al Qaeda to plan and execute 9/11.  The Taliban were considered a direct threat to the U.S.  The U.S. destroyed the Taliban’s government and installed Karzai (or, at least, provided favorable conditions for Karzai to become Head of State).  In 2001, the dominant view was that the Taliban and al Qaeda are linked and mutually reinforcing.  Now, in 2009, some of Obama’s advisors are saying that the link is not as strong, and that the Taliban is not a direct threat to the U.S.  They argue that the focus should be on Pakistan which was, in part, a safe haven for al Qaeda, operationally speaking, and is becoming more so now.    Some even refer to the Taliban as an “indigenous” group, an unsubstantiated claim considering that it was Pakistan who created, trained, and funded the Taliban in Afghanistan.  They argue that at any rate, the Taliban are ingrained into Afghanistan, even though they’ve only been around since 1990.  They claim that the Taliban would not want to bring al Qaeda back with them because it was al Qaeda what got them kicked out of the country before.  They claim that surviving Afghan warlords like Hekmatyar are not jihadists, are not anti-American, but rather just want to control Afghanistan (and, likely their opium production).  This is a radical reinterpretation of history that has radical consequences for the Middle East.

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President Bush Considered Using Military to Arrest Alleged Al Qaeda Cell in Buffalo, NY

In 9/11 News, Official History, Post-9/11 Domestic Anti-Terrorism Efforts on July 25, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Bush and Cheney considered using the military to arrest the Lackawanna 6:

Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials.  Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants. Mr. Bush ultimately decided against the proposal to use military force.

A decision to dispatch troops into the streets to make arrests has few precedents in American history, as both the Constitution and subsequent laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.

The Fourth Amendment bans “unreasonable” searches and seizures without probable cause. And the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from acting in a law enforcement capacity.  In the discussions, Mr. Cheney and others cited an Oct. 23, 2001, memorandum from the Justice Department that, using a broad interpretation of presidential authority, argued that the domestic use of the military against Al Qaeda would be legal because it served a national security, rather than a law enforcement, purpose.  “The president has ample constitutional and statutory authority to deploy the military against international or foreign terrorists operating within the United States,” the memorandum said.  The memorandum — written by the lawyers John C. Yoo and Robert J. Delahunty — was directed to Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel, who had asked the department about a president’s authority to use the military to combat terrorist activities in the United States.

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9/11 and President Obama’s Speech in Cairo, Egypt

In 9/11 News, Official History on June 4, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Here are some excerpts from President Obama’s speech today at Cairo University that relate to 9/11:

We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world – tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate…  Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust…

The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals, and our need to work together. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice, we went because of necessity. I am aware that some question or justify the events of 9/11. But let us be clear: al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet Al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with…

And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year… The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.

Financing bin Laden

In Official History on March 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm

After bin Laden left the Sudan, he had almost nothing left of his personal fortune.  How, financially speaking, did he keep al Qaeda running?  From a September 2004 report:

Recent investigations into al-Qaida — including one by the Sept. 11 commission — have substantially altered the commonly held view that Osama bin Laden’s inheritance and massive fortune are being used to finance his international terror operations.

“The CIA now estimates that it costs al-Qaida about $30 million per year to sustain its activities before 9/11 and that this money was raised almost entirely through donations,” the report said.

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Flashback: Ashcroft Blamed Clinton Administration for “The Wall” between FBI and CIA

In Official History on March 4, 2009 at 10:50 am

From the testimony before the 9/11 Commission, reported in April 2004:

Attorney General John Ashcroft blamed what he called the refusal of the FBI and the CIA to work together during the Clinton administration for the failure to detect the plot for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, quoting an FBI investigator Tuesday as complaining that “whatever has happened to this, someday somebody will die.”  Ashcroft, a focus of fire as the commission investigating the attacks resumed its public hearings, said that for 10 years before Sept. 11, “a snarled web of requirements, restrictions and regulations … prevented decisive action by our men and women in the field.” 

“Government erected this wall,” he said. “Government buttressed this wall. And before Sept. 11, government was blinded by this wall.”

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