A slight detour from what I had originally intended to post today.
Regular readers know that for years now I've been following the story of the 2003 disappearance of a contractor in Iraq, Kirk von Ackermann. In a strange twist, the Department of Defense recently released a report about the joint forces counter terrorism division he worked with. Truthout has released an article about that report.
Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden
By Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout, May 23, 2011
Tracking Bin Laden had been undertaken by a secret unit within the JFIC, the Asymmetric Threats Division, formed in 1999 "to take a non-traditional approach to analysis." Known by its DoD acronym, DO5, it was tasked with providing "current intelligence briefings and produced the Worldwide Terrorist Threat Summary in support of the USJFCOM Intelligence staff [J2]." Almost no public source material exists on DO5 activities, except what is in the IG report.
Based on 7+ years of research, I can with 100% confidence say that the above Asymmetric Threats Division, is the same division that Capt. Kirk von Ackermann USAF was assigned to. (I've provided some of the background research as to why on my blog - including two scans of Capt. Kirk von Ackermann's JFIC awards See: Counter Terrorism and JFIC, By Susie Dow, Missing Man, May 6, 2011). Make the jump»
Fiction delivers justice that reality rarely approaches. Victims endure suffering and emerge as victors after overcoming incredible challenges. Stieg Larsson's gripping Millennium Trilogy weaves a story of revenge and triumphs for Lizbeth Salander, locked away in a mental institution and sexually abused for years. When Salander got out and threatened to go public about a high level sexual exploitation ring, the perpetrators sought to lock her up again. In the final installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Salander found some justice. (Image)
Susan Lindauer's autobiography, Extreme Prejudice, tells a story with certain broad similarities. In her case, however, the hornet's nest kicked back with a real vengeance. After over a decade as a U.S intelligence asset, Lindauer was privy to information about pre war Iraq that threatened to serve up a huge embarrassment to the Bush-Cheney regime. She hand delivered a letter to senior Bush administration officials in hopes of averting what she predicted would be the inevitably tragic 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Those officials, unnamed in the indictment, were her second cousin, then White House chief of staff Andy Card, and Colin Powell. Make the jump»
Have you ever had a special pet or shared a unique bond with an animal -- cat, dog, bird, horse, gecko, goldfish, etc.? A recent conversation in an online forum about "the smartest animal I've ever known" brought back a lot of memories of my dog Missy, an Alaskan Malamute who exhibited almost human-like intelligence.
I've written a lot about Missy in the past -- indeed, I'm still writing about her -- but most of the writings I've shared to date touched upon the special relationship she'd formed with my mother-in-law, "Mumsie," who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Here's an excerpt from one of those pieces, Yia-Yia and Woo-Woo: BFF (also available on dKos and elsewhere):
Mumsie knew how much Missy loved her, and adored her all the more in return. Even though she had always hated the cold and her advancing deterioration made her even more susceptible, she would don a jacket and a hat in cold weather to go out onto the porch so that Missy could get some sunlight and fresh air and have someone to talk to.
And they'd talk.
They'd talk, and sit, and visit with each other -- Missy, enjoying the sun and the company of her friend with the understanding of how difficult it was for her to endure the cold, and Mumsie, warmed by her capacity to comfort her aging friend in a time of need in a way that nobody else could.
Missy wasn't the only animal I've known who exhibited a higher-than-expected level of intelligence or who'd become such an integral part of the family. My friend BugBear's dog Smoky was another such animal -- also a Malamute, but that's not to say that breed alone is a determining factor.
I've known dogs of other breeds as well as quite a variety of cats, and even a horse or two, who were all uniquely intelligent and personable.
Our animals provide us with much -- companionship, assistance, entertainment and friendship are just a few of the benefits. For some people, their pets serve as surrogate children, providing a source of responsibility while exercising a need to nurture and, in return, receiving unconditionally faithful companionship.
What animals have you known through your life who have made a significant, positive impression upon you?
And remember, this is an Open Thread.
U.S. Army Counterterrorism issued a report that said WikiLeaks is a threat to U.S. security, particularly in Afghanistan. The report says that the organization should be destroyed and offered a plan. Does the government really think it can destroy WikiLeaks or is the leaked report part of a plan to smear the organization so badly, it will lose supporters and money?Make the jump»
The underpants bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is a curious
terrorist. He became disillusioned with his privileged life as the son
of a bank chairman and member of the Nigerian elite, it would seem.
Rather than pursuing his studies in London, he retreated to Yemen to
learn the ways of al Qaeda inspired terrorism.
Farouk was so indiscreet that his father reported him
to the U.S. Embassy as a potential terrorist in November. A month
later, he managed to get on a jumbo jet headed for Detroit to complete
a terror mission. Despite his training in engineering at the
prestigious London School of Economics, Farouk failed
in his mission. He couldn't mix his explosives to achieve the desired
effect. He apparently forgot to detonate the explosive device in mid
flight, waiting until just before landing in Detroit to start his
task. He retrieved and set off the chemicals to create the explosion
in full view of passengers.
What kind of terrorist is this? He doesn't know when, how or where to conduct his criminal enterprise.
Is this the best al Qaeda can do?Make the jump»
Former Accused Iraqi Agent
Susan Lindauer, Secret Charges and
The Patriot Act in Action
Susan Lindauer Interviewed by Michael Collins
'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." Herman Goering, Interview at Nuremburg Trials, April 14, 1946
"The Patriot Act was used against me in total contradiction to its stated purpose. Or perhaps it was the most logical use of the law, since it establishes a legal framework to crush free thinking and interrupt individual questioning of the government. It is the beginning of all dictatorship in America." Susan Lindauer, March 9, 2009
In March, 2004 Susan Lindauer was arrested for allegedly acting as an "unregistered agent" for prewar Iraq. She challenged the government's assertion and sought the right to prove at Trial that she'd been a United States intelligence asset covering Iraq and Libya from the early 1990's through 2003 (see articles).
In an unprecedented judicial ploy that lasted five years, federal prosecutors blocked Ms. Lindauer's rights to trial or any other sort of evidentiary hearings that would test her story. For 11 months, she was confined at Carswell federal prison on a Texas military base and at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, without a conviction or plea bargain.
During the indictment, she was conveniently gagged from sharing her direct knowledge of Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence, which she gained as a primary asset covering the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations from August, 1996 onwards. She was also silenced from talking about the advance warning she gave the Office of Counter-Terrorism and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's private staff in August, 2001, about possible airplane hijackings and a reprise of the 1993 World Trade Center attack.
But there was more than the Sixth Amendment's "right to a speedy trial" at stake.
Lindauer was one of the first citizens charged under special judicial provisions of the Patriot Act. The exceedingly complex legislation, emerged from the desk of John Yoo just days after the 9/11 attack. It passed the House 357 to 66 and the Senate 98 to 1. The Patriot Act eviscerated long standing Constitutional protections. It fundamentally altered how trials are conducted whenever provisions of the act are invoked in a court of law.
Lindauer's indictment was an early domestic test drives of the Patriot Act by the Bush-Cheney Department of Justice. Her nightmare officially ended five days before the Obama Inauguration, when the prosecution dropped the case "in the interests of justice."
In the current interviews, Susan Lindauer explains how the Patriot Act was used to quash her most fundamental rights of due process, which would otherwise have empowered her to repudiate the indictment and protect her reputation.
United States Department of Justice Criminal Resource Manual (Classified Information Procedures Act and FISA) Summary and original source
Former Accused Iraqi Agent Reveals
Facts about 9/11 Warning
I first wrote about Susan Lindauer's struggle against the Bush-Cheney regime in October 2007, "American Cassandra: Susan Lindauer's Story." This was initially published in "Scoop" Independent Media (complete series) and carried by a wide variety of concerned Internet news sites and blogs. This interview follows the full dismissal of charges against her just before President Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009. This is the first in depth interview that Lindauer has offered regarding 911. Below is part one of the interview.
I asked Ms. Lindauer to make her own statement about why she's willing to go into detail now about 911 and the governments handling of pre 911 intelligence. Make the jump»
Last night, 2.03.09, the PBS News Hour had a preview of what could be an eye opening report on the National Security Agency that might just answer some of the many questions about what has been going on in the previous administration, and before, and may continue from now on!
It seems as if the fat lady will sing herself hoarse before the Bush administration drops its fabulist's narrative on Iran. Its echo chamberlains continue to condemn Iranian complicity in the deaths of American G.I.s in Iraq even though, as historian and journalist Gareth Porter phrases it, "The administration has not come forward with a single piece of concrete evidence to support the claim that the Iranian government has been involved in the training, arming or advising of Iraqi Shiite militias." Make the jump»