Sunday, February 07, 2010

The underpants bomber - HASKELL STATEMENT

The Sharp Dressed Man
Who Aided Abdulmutallab Onto Flight 253

by Kurt Haskell

Global Research, February 2, 2010

Infowars - 2010-01-30

Please note that in this article, I am not claiming that
the U.S. Government knew Mutallab had a bomb or intended
to hurt anyone on Flight 253 when the U.S. Government
let him board.

Since our flight landed on Christmas Day, Lori and I
have been doing everything in our power to uncover the
truth about why we were almost blown up in the air over
Detroit. The truth is now finally out after the
publication of the following Detroit News article:


Let me quote from the article: "Patrick F. Kennedy, an
undersecretary for management at the State Department,
said Abdulmutallab.s visa wasn.t taken away because
intelligence officials asked his agency not to deny a
visa to the suspected terrorist over concerns that a
denial foiled a larger investigation into
al-Qaida threats against the United States. "Revocation
action disclosed what they were doing," Kennedy
said in testimony before the House Committee on Homeland
Security. Allowing Adbulmutallab to keep the visa
increased chances federal investigators would be able to
get closer to apprehending the terror network he is
accused of working with, "rather than simply knocking
out one solider in that effort." Now it all becomes
apparent. Let me detail everything we know about the
"Sharp Dressed Man" (SDM). 1. While being held in
Customs on Christmas Day, I first told the story of the
SDM. 2. My story has never changed. 3. The FBI visited
my office on December 29, 2009, and showed me a series
of approximately 10 photographs. None were of the SDM. I
asked the FBI if they brought the Amsterdam security
video to help me identify the SDM, but they acted as
though my request was ridiculous. The FBI asked me what
accent the SDM spoke in and I indicated that he had an
American accent similar to my own. I further indicated
that he wore a tan suit without a tie, was Indian
looking, around age 50, 6'0? tall and 250-260 lbs. I
further indicated that I did not believe that he was an
airline employee and that he was not on our flight.

4. During the first week of January, 2010, Dutch
Military Police and the FBI indicated that over "200
Hours" of Amsterdam airport security video had been
reviewed and it "Shows Nothing". 5. The mainstream media
picked up the "Shows nothing" story, which slanders my
story. After visiting my office twice for a flight 253
special, Dateline NBC and Chris Hanson indicated that my
story was "Unsubstantiated rumor dispelled as myth" and
our story did not air during the tv special. 6. On
January 2, 2010, I receive a call from a flight 253
passenger who indicated to me that it may be in my best
interest to stop talking publicly about the SDM because
he believes I am "wrong" in what I saw. He did not make
any claim that he saw the SDM boarding gate incident at
all. This call was made out of the blue after he made a
"revelation" of this event on January 1, 2010. I later
discover that this caller has ties to the U.S.
Government. 7. On January 20, 2009, current Director of
the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Michael E.
Leiter, made a startling admission. Leiter indicated
that: "I will tell you, that when people come to the
country and they are on the watch list, it is because we
have generally made the choice that we want them here in
the country for some reason or another." 8. On January
22, 2010, CongressDaily reported that intelligence
officials "have acknowledged the government knowingly
allows foreigners whose names are on terrorist watch
lists to enter the country in order to track their
movement and activities." CongressDaily also reported,
citing an unnamed "intelligence official" that Michael
E. Leiter.s statement on January 20, 2010, reflected
government policy and told the publication, "in certain
situations it.s to our advantage to be able to track
individuals who might be on a terrorist watch list
because you can learn something from their activities
and their contacts." 9. On Janury 22, 2009, ABC News
published an article that shoed a change of position in
the government.s official story. Please see the
following blog post for more information:

The U.S. government provided no explanation for the
reason my story was initially discounted. 10. The SDM
could not be from Al Qaeda. When speaking at the counter
in Amsterdam, the SDM said the following "He is from
Sudan, we do this all the time". Who is "we"? If it is
Al Qaeda, you surely don.t make such a statement to an
airposrt security official. 11. The SDM could not be
from airport security. The SDM did not dress in any
secuirty uniform and did not appear to have any security
badge. The SDM did not speak with a Dutch accent. The
SDM dressed in a suit coat and pants. If the SDM was a
higher up security official, he would not have to
convince the ticket agent to let Mutallab on the plane
without a valid passport. Instead, he would just order
her to do it. 12. Could the SDM have been a U.S.
Government official? He dressed in a suit and not a
security uniform. Check. He indicated we do this all the
time. Could "we" be the U.S. Government? Check. He spoke
Enlish with an American accent. Check. Would he need to
convince the ticket agent that this was a normal
procedure to allow boarding without a passport? Check.
Would he have the ability to obtain such clearance?
Check. Could he enter this security area even though he
wasn.t a passenger? Check. Would the ticket agent likely
refer this request to a manager? Check. Would the U.S.
Government not want this information public and try to
hide it? Check. 13. The Amsterdam security video has not
been released. A much more minor airport security
violation occurred at the Newark New Jersay airport
several days after the flight 253 incident. That video
was released shortly thereafter. 14. Senators Levin and
Stabenow, as well as Congressman Dingle, all refuse to
discuss the matter with me. With the information we
already knew and the admission from the above referenced
Detroit News article, we have evidence and claims made
by government officials that the U.S. Government wanted
Mutallab to proceed into the U.S. in order to obtain
information on other terrorists involved with him. Once
we take this statement and add it to my eyewitness
account of a "Sharp Dressed Man" escorting Mutallab
through the boarding process and allowing him to baord
without a valid passport we can make the connection that
the "Sharp Dressed Man" was a U.S. Government
offical/agent. The reasoning behind the following events
now becomes very clear: 1. The reason Mutallab got
through security despite the numerous warnings for
months before our flight. 2. The reason why there have
been so many lies from the U.S. Governemnt attempting to
discredit my eyewitness account. 3. The reason why the
Amsterdam airport security video is being hidden from
the public. 4. The reason why the government is
proposing a "Failed to Connect the Dots" account of the
failure. The truth is too damning. 5. The reason why Mr.
Wolf of the Obama administration indicated on the Keith
Olberman Show that the White House was investigating a
possible "intentional act" from within the U.S.
Government as the reason for the Christmas Day attack.
6. The explanation for the cameraman and why he hasn.t
been identified (Obviously, he was another U.S.
Government agent) whose job was to film Mutallab for
some governmental purpose. 7. The reason for the lax
security after landing, which can be attributed to
foreknowledge of the possible suspects involved. 8. The
reason for the failure to search or secure the plane and
passengers after landing, which can also be attributed
to foreknowledge of the possible suspects involved. 9.
The corporate media.s attempt to bury my eyewitness
account. 10. Carl Levin.s, Debbie Stabenow.s and John
Dingle.s intentional avoidance of my story and failure
to return my calls/emails. 11. Janet Napolitano.s
statement that "The System Worked". From her point of
view it probably did as this WAS PART OF THE SYSTEM!


Congressional Hearing Reveals US Intelligence Agencies

Shielded Flight 253 Bomber

by Alex Lantier

Global Research, February 4, 2010
World Socialist Web Site - 2010-02-03

A January 27 hearing of the House Committee on Homeland
Security established that US intelligence agencies
stopped the State Department from revoking the US visa
of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The Nigerian student,
whom US officials suspected of being affiliated with
the Yemeni terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula, attempted to set off a bomb on Northwest
Flight 253 into Detroit on Christmas Day. Revocation of
Abdulmutallab.s visa would have prevented him from
boarding the airplane.

The hearing was reported in a brief article posted
January 27 on the web site of the Detroit News,
headlined, "Terror Suspect Kept Visa to Avoid Tipping
Off Larger Investigation."
The revelation that US intelligence agencies made a
deliberate decision to allow Abdulmutallab to board the
commercial flight, without any special airport
screening, has been buried in the media. As of this
writing, nearly a week after the hearing, the New York
Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Postand Los
Angeles Times have published no articles on the
subject. Nor have the broadcast or cable media reported
on it.
This is despite -- or perhaps more accurately, because
of -- the fact that this information exposes the official
government story of the near-disaster to be a lie.
President Obama, who has joined with top US
intelligence, FBI and Homeland Security officials to
insist that Abdulmutallab was inadvertently allowed to
board the plane carrying explosives because of a
failure to "connect the dots," has from the start been
deceiving the American people.
The official line strained credulity from the outset,
given reports of multiple advance warnings that the
Nigerian student was linked to terrorists in Yemen who
were planning attacks on the US.
As was widely reported within hours of the failed
bombing attempt, Abdulmutallab.s father -- a former
Nigerian government minister and prominent banker -- went
to the US embassy in Abuja in November to warn that his
son was involved with radical Islamists in Yemen and
had broken off contact with his family. The family said
they had given US officials extensive information about
their son in the expectation that they would "find and
return him home."
In his prepared statement to the House Committee on
Homeland Security on January 27, State Department
Under-Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy said:
"In the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, on the day
following his father.s November 19 visit to the
Embassy, we sent a cable to the Washington intelligence
and law enforcement community through proper channels
(the Visas Viper system) that .Information at post
suggests [Farouk] may be involved in Yemeni-based
Kennedy confirmed that all US intelligence agencies
received warnings that Abdulmutallab was training with
terrorists in Yemen. He noted that the initial
diplomatic cable from Abuja misspelled Abdulmutallab.s
name. However, Kennedy continued, "At the same time,
the Consular Section entered Abdulmutallab into the
Consular Lookout and Support System database known as
CLASS -- The CLASS entry resulted in a lookout using the
correct spelling that was shared automatically with the
primary lookout system used by the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) and accessible to other
Under questioning by the committee chairman, Rep.
Bennie Thompson, Kennedy explained why the State
Department might not revoke the US visa of a suspected
terrorist: "We will revoke the visa of any individual
who is a threat to the United States, but we do take
one preliminary step. We ask our law enforcement and
intelligence community partners, .Do you have eyes on
this person and do you want us to let this person
proceed under your surveillance so that you may
potentially break a larger plot?."
He added: "And one of the members [of the intelligence
community] -- and we.d be glad to give you that out of
[open session] -- in private -- said, .Please, do not revoke
this visa. We have eyes on this person. We are
following this person who has the visa for the purpose
of trying to roll up an entire network, not just stop
one person.."
Under questioning by Rep. Dan Lungren, Kennedy
confirmed that Abdulmutallab.s case was one in which US
intelligence officials had interceded to block a visa
In prepared remarks at the same hearing, National
Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter stated:
"Within the intelligence community we had strategic
intelligence that Al Qa.ida in the Arabian Peninsula
[AQAP -- the terrorist group in Yemen with which
Abdulmutallab was in contact] had the intention of
taking action against the United States prior to the
failed attack on December 25th, but we did not direct
more resources against AQAP, nor insist that
watch-listing criteria be adjusted prior to the event."
He added that US intelligence analysts "did not push
[Abdulmutallab] onto the terrorist watch-list."
This inaction came despite the fact that US
intelligence agencies were well aware of the threat
posed by AQAP. According to Leiter: "The Intelligence
Community highlighted the growing threat to US and
Western interests in the region posed by AQAP, whose
precursor elements attacked our embassy in [the Yemeni
capital] Sana.a [in September 2008]. Our analysis
focused on AQAP.s plans to strike US targets in Yemen,
but it also noted -- increasingly in the fall of 2009 -- the
possibility of targeting the United States."
Amazingly, the US government did not declare AQAP a
terrorist group until January 19, 2010, even though it
was referred to by that name in 2009. State Department
spokesman Philip Crowley stated that declaring AQAP a
terrorist group would "prohibit provision of material
support and arms to AQAP and also include
immigration-related restrictions that will help stem
the flow of finances to AQAP." Thus, for nearly a month
after the attempted bombing, US officials were not
required to implement a range of measures against AQAP,
including "an asset freeze, travel ban, and arms
embargo," according to Crowley.
At the January 27 hearing, Leiter said that there had
been "multiple" points of failure in the US
government.s response to warnings of the impending
attack. However, all three government officials
testifying -- Kennedy, Leiter and Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary Jane Lute -- said no
disciplinary action would be taken.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, who was invited to the
hearing and was in Washington at the time, refused to
attend. She did not notify committee members
beforehand. Napolitano was widely criticized for
claiming on December 27 that the "system worked" prior
to, during and after the attempted bombing.
Official testimony now records that US intelligence
agencies deliberately let Abdulmutallab board Flight
253, putting the lives of hundreds of passengers at
risk, in the course of an as yet undisclosed
intelligence operation. Whether US agencies were
unaware of Abdulmutallab.s plans, or consciously
decided to allow an attack to proceed, remains unclear.
In this context, it should be noted that the reason for
US inaction given at the hearing -- that US intelligence
did not want to alert Al Qaeda that it was watching
Abdulmutallab -- does not hold water. As congressmen noted
during the hearing, US Customs and Border Protection
had prepared to interrogate Abdulmutallab upon arrival
in Detroit, as he was on the Terrorist Identities
Datamart Environment database. This would be
counterproductive if US agencies were mounting a
concerted effort to hide their interest in
There are a number of possible explanations for the
decision to allow Abdulmutallab to board Northwest
Flight 253. One possibility is that it was bound up
with efforts by elements within the US intelligence
apparatus to politically destabilize the Obama
To seriously investigate the possible motivations
behind the government.s actions, the question must be
asked: What would have been the consequences of a
successful attack? Hysterical media coverage would have
provided fodder for the most right-wing factions in the
ruling class to demand war against Yemen or other
Muslim countries. At home, there would have been calls
for a mass dragnet like that after the September 11
attacks, and immense political pressure for a new
battery of police-state laws.
Even having failed, the attack was used as a pretext
for expanding US military operations in Yemen, adding
further security restrictions at airports, and
expanding the "no-fly" passenger list and other
databases by agencies unaccountable to the American
The testimony at the January 27 hearing also blows
apart the line promulgated by the establishment media,
which universally echoed the administration.s hackneyed
phrase to explain the Flight 253 incident -- a "failure to
connect the dots" on the part of US intelligence
agencies. This, of course, is the same phrase used in
the official cover-up of the 9/11 attacks.
Thus, in a January 2 editorial entitled "Why Didn.t
They See It?" the New York Times wrote: "No doubt
sorting through heaps of information and determining
what is urgent or even worthy of follow-up is daunting.
Still, it is incredible, and frightening, that the
government cannot do at least as good a job at swiftly
updating and correlating information as Google."
The Times itself, in a subsequent article published
January 18, reported the results of its own
investigation, based on interviews with senior White
House and intelligence officials. The newspaper
revealed more "missed clues," including the fact that
intelligence authorities learned in early November from
a communications intercept of Al Qaeda followers in
Yemen that a man named "Umar Farouk" had volunteered
for a coming operation. Despite such evidence of an
official cover-up, the Times maintained the line that
the near-disaster was the result of mistakes, omissions
and an inability to "connect the dots."
It is now possible to answer the New York
Times editorial of January 2: They did "see it," and
the Times. incredulous and cynical attempt to explain
the Flight 253 attack as the result of mere
incompetence was part of a campaign of disinformation.
This is a campaign in which, by its silence on the
January 27 hearing, the Times continues to participate.
The Congressional hearing vindicates the analysis of
the World Socialist Web Site, which exposed the highly
dubious character of the official story, pointed to the
possibility of US government involvement, and demanded
that officials involved in handling Abdulmutallab.s
case be named and investigated.
In a December 31 column ("The Northwest Flight 253
intelligence failure: Negligence or conspiracy?")
the World Socialist Web Site wrote: "The general
outlines of the Northwest bombing attempt and the 9/11
attacks are startlingly similar. One might even say
that what is involved is a modus operandi. In both
cases, those alleged to have carried out the actions
had been the subject of US intelligence investigations
and surveillance and had been allowed to enter the
country and board flights under conditions that would
normally have set off multiple security alarms.
"Both then and now, the government and the media expect
the public to accept that all that was involved was
mistakes. But why should anyone assume that the failure
to act on the extensive intelligence leading to
Abdulmutallab involved merely .innocent. mistakes -- and
not something far more sinister?"

In the January 18 New York Times article cited above,
the newspaper also noted that Obama personally met on
December 22 with CIA, FBI, and DHS officials because
Obama was "worried about possible terrorist attacks
over the Christmas holiday." In another meeting the
same day, the Times reported, Obama.s homeland security
advisor John Brennan held talks on Yemen, "where a
stream of disturbing intelligence had suggested that
Qaeda operatives were preparing for some action,
perhaps a strike on an American target on Christmas
Nevertheless, Obama gave a December 28 internet and
radio address in which he falsely described
Abdulmutallab as an "isolated extremist."
He also declared: "A full investigation has been
launched into this attempted act of terrorism, and we
will not rest until we find all who were involved and
hold them accountable... We will continue to use every
element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle
and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us."
Over a month after Obama made these claims, it is clear
that US intelligence agencies were deeply involved and
the White House is overseeing a massive cover-up.


The Obama Administration's Cover-up of the Flight 253

"New Smoking Gun" Disclosures

by Tom Burghardt

Global Research, January 25, 2010
Antifascist Calling... - 2010-01-22

Relevant questions begging for answers include: Who
made the decision not to "connect the dots"? Are
right-wing elements and holdovers from the previous
administration actively conspiring to destabilize the
Obama government? Was the attempted bombing a planned
provocation meant to incite new conflicts in the Middle
East and restrict democratic rights at home?

As with the 9/11 attacks, these questions go unasked by
corporate media. Indeed, such lines of inquiry are
entirely off the table and are further signs that a
cover-up is in full-swing, not a hard-hitting

Nearly one month after passengers foiled an attempted
suicide bomb attack aboard Northwest Airlines Flight
253 as it approached Detroit on Christmas Day, new
information reveals that the White House and U.S.
security agencies had specific intelligence on accused
terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, far earlier than
previously acknowledged.

Along with new reports, evidence suggests that the
administration's cover-up of the affair has very little
to do with a failure by the intelligence apparatus to
"connect the dots" and may have far more serious
political implications for the Obama administration,
and what little remains of a functioning democracy in
the United States, than a botched bombing. What the
White House and security officials have previously
described only as "vague" intercepts regarding "a
Nigerian" has now morphed into a clear picture of the
suspect--and the plot. The New York Times revealed
January 18 that the National Security Agency "learned
from a communications intercept of Qaeda followers in
Yemen that a man named "Umar Farouk"--the first two
names of the jetliner suspect, Umar Farouk
Abdulmutallab--had volunteered for a coming operation."
According to Times' journalists Eric Lipton, Eric
Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti, "the American intelligence
network was clearly listening in Yemen and sharing that
information." Indeed, additional NSA intercepts in
December "mentioned the date of Dec. 25, and suggested
that they were 'looking for ways to get somebody out'
or 'for ways to move people to the West,' one senior
administration official said." Clearly, the
administration was "worried about possible terrorist
attacks over the Christmas holiday." These concerns led
President Obama to meet December 22 "with top officials
of the C.I.A., F.B.I. and Department of Homeland
Security, who ticked off a list of possible plots
against the United States and how their agencies were
working to disrupt them," the Times reports. "In a
separate White House meeting that day" the Times
disclosed, "Mr. Obama's homeland security adviser, John
O. Brennan, led talks on Yemen, where a stream of
disturbing intelligence had suggested that Qaeda
operatives were preparing for some action, perhaps a
strike on an American target, on Christmas Day." In
mid-January, Newsweek reported that the "White House
report on the foiled Christmas Day attempted airliner
bombing provided only the sketchiest of details about
what may have been the most politically sensitive of
its findings: how the White House itself was repeatedly
warned about the prospect of an attack on the U.S.,"
Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff disclosed. According
to the newsmagazine, "intelligence analysts had
'highlighted' an evolving 'strategic threat,'" and that
"'some of the improvised explosive device tactics AQAP
might use against U.S. interests were highlighted' in
other 'finished intelligence products'." However, the
real bombshell came last Wednesday during hearings
before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs Committee when Bushist embed, and current
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
(NCTC), Michael E. Leiter, made a startling admission.
CongressDaily reported on January 22 that intelligence
officials "have acknowledged the government knowingly
allows foreigners whose names are on terrorist watch
lists to enter the country in order to track their
movement and activities." Leiter told the Committee: "I
will tell you, that when people come to the country and
they are on the watch list, it is because we have
generally made the choice that we want them here in the
country for some reason or another." CongressDaily
reporter Chris Strohm, citing an unnamed "intelligence
official" confirmed that Leiter's statement reflected
government policy and told the publication, "in certain
situations it's to our advantage to be able to track
individuals who might be on a terrorist watch list
because you can learn something from their activities
and their contacts." An alternative explanation fully
in line with well-documented inaction, or worse, by
U.S. security agencies prior to the September 11, 2001
terrorist attacks and now, Christmas Day's aborted
airline bombing, offer clear evidence that a ruthless
"choice" which facilitates the murder of American
citizens are cynical pretexts in a wider game:
advancing imperialism's geostrategic goals abroad and
attacks on democratic rights at home. Leiter's
revelation in an of itself should demolish continued
government claims that the accused terror suspect
succeeded in boarding NW Flight 253 due to a failure to
"connect the dots." However, as far as Antifascist
Calling can determine, no other media outlet has either
reported or followed-up CongressDaily's disclosure; a
clear sign that its explosive nature, and where a
further investigation might lead, are strictly
off-limits. Taking into account testimony by a
high-level national security official that terrorists
are allowed to enter the country for intelligence
purposes, one can only conclude that the alleged
"failure" to stop Abdulmutallab was neither a casual
omission nor the result of bureaucratic incompetence
but rather, a highly-charged political calculation.
Bushist Embeds: Destabilizing the Obama Administration?

One subject barely explored by corporate media
throughout the Flight 253 affair, is the unsettling
notion that the aborted Christmas day bombing may have
been a move by rightist elements within the security
apparatus to destabilize the Obama administration, a
course of action facilitated by the Obama government
itself as we will explore below. This is not as
implausible as it might appear at first blush. When one
takes into account the meteoric rise to power by the
40-year-old former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor,
Michael Leiter's ascent tracks closely with his
previous service as a cover-up specialist for the
Bush-Cheney regime. "In 2004, while working as a
federal prosecutor," a New York Times puff piece
informs us, "Mr. Leiter joined the staff of a
commission, appointed by President George W. Bush, to
examine intelligence failures leading up to the war in
Iraq. That led to a series of jobs in the intelligence
world, and in 2008, Mr. Bush appointed him director of
the counterterrorism center." A rather curious
appointment, if Leiter were simply an ingénue with no
prior experience in the murky world of intelligence and
covert operations. However the former Navy pilot, who
participated in the U.S. wars of aggression against the
former Yugoslavia and Iraq seemed to have the requisite
qualifications for work as an intelligence
"specialist." While attending Harvard Law School,
Leiter served as a "human rights fellow" with the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia in The Hague, the U.S.-sponsored kangaroo
court that has prosecuted America's official enemies in
the Balkans whilst covering-up the crimes of their
partners. Amongst America's more dubious "allies" in
the decade-long campaign to destabilize socialist
Yugoslavia were al-Qaeda's Islamist brigade,
responsible for carrying-out hideous massacres in
Bosnia and Kosovo, with NATO approval and logistical
support, as Global Research analyst Michel
Chossudovsky, and others, have thoroughly documented.
As Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Director of the
President's Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities
of the United States, the so-called "Robb-Silberman"
cover-up commission, Leiter focused on what are
euphemistically described in the media as "reforms"
with the U.S. "Intelligence Community," including the
stand-up of the FBI's repressive National Security
Branch. Prior to joining NCTC, Leiter was the Deputy
Chief of Staff for the Office of the Director of
National Intelligence under former NSA Director and
ten-year senior vice president of the spooky Booz Allen
Hamilton security firm, John "Mike" McConnell. From his
perch in ODNI, Leiter coordinated all internal and
external operations for the Office, including relations
with the White House, the Department of Homeland
Security and the CIA. Leiter's résumé, and his role in
concealing Bush administration war crimes, predicated
on ginned-up "intelligence" invented by Dick Cheney's
minions in the Defense Department and the CIA, should
have sent alarm bells ringing inside the incoming Obama
administration. As we have seen since Obama's
inauguration however, rather than cleaning house--and
settling accounts--with the crimes, and criminals, of
the previous regime, the "change" administration chose
to retain senior- and mid-level bureaucrats in the
security apparatus; employing officials who share the
antidemocratic ideology, penchant for secrecy and
ruthlessness of the Bush administration. While the
Times claims his "unblemished résumé" has taken a hit
over the Flight 253 plot, an interview with National
Public Radio shortly before the Abdulmutallab affair,
provides chilling insight into Leiter's agenda,
particularly in light of his January 20 statement to
the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Presciently
perhaps, the NCTC chief told NPR: "We're not going to
stop every attack. Americans have to very much
understand that it is impossible to stop every
terrorist event. But we have to do our best, and we
have to adjust, based on, again, how the enemy changes
their tactics." It becomes a painfully simple matter
for "the enemy" to gain advantage and "change their
tactics" when those charged with protecting the public
actually facilitate their entrée into the country "for
some reason or another"! According to the Times, the
White House has kept Leiter at the helm and that it
came as "no surprise to Bush officials" because, get
this, "Michael wasn't political," if we're to believe
the carefully-constructed legend of former Bushist
Deputy National Security Adviser Juan Zarate. If the
Bush-Cheney years tell us anything it's that
appointments by the previous regime were ruthlessly
political. As The Washington Post reported shortly
after Obama's election, these appointments were made
permanent across a multitude of federal agencies and
departments, including the security apparat, in a
cynical maneuver designed to reward Bush loyalists.
"The transfer of political appointees into permanent
federal positions" the Post disclosed, "called
'burrowing' by career officials, creates security for
those employees, and at least initially will deprive
the incoming Obama administration of the chance to
install its preferred appointees in some key jobs." The
Times reports that the White House has publicly
defended Leiter "and aides to the president said Mr.
Obama called to convey his support." Perhaps not so
curiously, the allegedly "nonpolitical" NCTC Director
"has been mentioned as a possible future head of the
Central Intelligence Agency, and how he performs might
help determine whether he remains on the fast track."
One can only wonder, how many other counterterrorist
officials have "burrowed" their way into, and hold key
positions in the current administration, ticking
political time-bombs inside America's permanent shadow
government. Senate Whitewash Fuel Attacks on Democratic

During Wednesday's Senate hearings, Obama's Director of
National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis C. Blair, in
keeping with the former Bush administration's assault
on democratic rights, assailed the decision by the
Justice Department to try the suspect in a court of
law. This is fully in line with the rhetoric of
ultra-right Republicans and so-called "centrist
Democrats" such as arch neocon Senator Joseph
Lieberman. Newsweek reports that new details
"surrounding the Christmas Day interrogation of the
bombing suspect aboard Northwest Flight 253 raise
questions about the accuracy of testimony provided
Wednesday by senior U.S. intelligence and Homeland
Security officials." Last week, the newsmagazine
reported that "Obama administration officials were
flabbergasted Wednesday when Director of National
Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair testified that an
alleged Qaeda operative who tried to blow up a U.S.
airliner on Christmas Day should have been questioned
by a special interrogation unit that doesn't exist,
rather than the FBI." This theme was quickly picked-up
by Senate Republicans. The overarching sentiments
expressed by this gaggle of war criminals and corporate
toadies was not to demand accountability from the
responsible parties, but to call for further attacks on
Americans' democratic rights. Republicans on the
committee lambasted Obama's Justice Department for its
decision to try Abdulmutallab in a civilian court. John
McCain (R-AZ), the Republican party's failed candidate
in the 2008 presidential election, said the decision
was "a terrible, terrible mistake," while the execrable
Jeff Sessions (R-AL) claimed that the hapless suspect
should have been delivered to the U.S. military as an
"enemy combatant." Ranking Republicans on the
committee, Susan Collins (R-ME) and John Ensign (R-NV)
went so far as to imply that Abdulmutallab should have
been tortured. Collins inquired: "how can we uncover
plots" if accused criminal suspects are allowed to
"lawyer up and stop answering questions?" Ensign, a
staunch supporter of policies articulated by the Bush
administration, particularly former Vice President and
war criminal, Dick Cheney, argued that "limiting" CIA
interrogators to the methods laid out in the Army Field
Manual would allow terrorists to "train" in advance of
interrogations. But the harshest criticism of the
administration came in the form of a stealth attack by
Obama's own Director of National Intelligence, Admiral
Blair. The Wall Street Journal reported January 21 that
"nation's intelligence chief said the man accused of
trying to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day should
have been questioned by a special interrogation team
instead of being handled as an ordinary criminal
suspect." Rather than coming to terms and halting the
Bush regime's practice of torturing so-called terrorist
suspects, the Obama administration has compounded the
crime by creating a secretive group of interrogators
called the High-Value Interrogation Group or HIG. Blair
told the Senate that the administration had "botched"
the handling of suspect Abdulmutallab, by, wait, not
handing him over to a group that as of this writing,
exists only on paper, a salient fact of which Blair was
certainly knowledgeable! In his testimony however, the
DNI told the Homeland Security Committee that the HIG
"was created exactly for this purpose--to make a
decision on whether a certain person who's detained
should be treated as a case for federal prosecution or
for some of the other means." Blair implicitly
criticized the Justice Department's decision to uphold
constitutional protections that guarantee a suspect a
right to a trial in a court of law and not a one-way
ticket to an American gulag. Blair said, "we did not
invoke the HIG in this case; we should have. Frankly,
we were thinking more of overseas people and, duh, you
know, we didn't put it [in action] then." Mendaciously,
the DNI claimed "I was not consulted. The decision was
made on the scene, [and] seemed logical to the people
there, but it should have been taken using this HIG
format, at a higher level." Newsweek reporter Michael
Isikoff disclosed January 20 that "senior
administration officials" told him that Blair was
"misinformed on multiple levels" and that the DNI's
assertions were "all the more damaging because they
immediately fueled Republican criticism that the
administration mishandled the Christmas Day incident in
its treatment of the accused Qaeda operative as a
criminal suspect rather than an enemy combatant."
Isikoff reported January 22 that Blair, Leiter and
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were asked
about the decision to try Abdulmutallab and all gave
the same answer when queried by right-wing Senator
Susan Collins, the Committee's ranking Republican:
"Were you consulted regarding the decision to file
criminal charges against [suspect Umar Farouk]
Abdulmutallab in civilian court?" Leiter and Napolitano
both replied: "I was not." According to Newsweek, Blair
also said he was "not consulted" and claims that the
government "should have" brought in the yet-to-be
activated HIG "to conduct the questioning of the
suspect." As with every aspect of this strange affair,
Newsweek reports, these statements are riddled with
lies and mischaracterizations. Isikoff writes that "all
the relevant national-security agencies, including top
aides to Blair and Napolitano, were fully informed
about the plans to charge the suspect in federal court
hours before he was read his Miranda rights and stopped

Newsweek further reveals that a "key event" was a
secure videoconference on Christmas Day "that included
Leiter" and Jane Lute, DHS' No. 2 official and that
"neither Leiter nor any of the other participants,
including representatives from the FBI and the CIA,
raised any questions about the Justice Department's
plans to charge the suspect in federal court, the
officials said." "If you participate in a conference
call and you don't raise any objections, that suggests
you were consulted," said one senior law-enforcement
official. Another added that "nobody at any point"
raised any objections, either during the meeting or
during a four-hour period afterward when Abdulmutallab
was informed of his Miranda rights to be represented by
a lawyer," according to Newsweek. Ultra-right Senator
Kit Bond (R-MO), the vice chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee and a witting accomplice to the
previous regime's high crimes and misdemeanors against
the American people said, "That this administration
chose to shut out our top intelligence officials and
forgo collecting potentially life-saving intelligence
is a dangerous sign." It's a "dangerous sign" to be
sure, for America's battered democracy. An On-Going

As events continue to unfold and new information shreds
the official story, is Leiter's chilling testimony that
suspected terrorists are allowed to enter the United
States "because we have generally made the choice that
we want them here in the country for some reason or
another," merely a banal slip or something far more
sinister that betrays the real order of things in
post-democratic America? Relevant questions begging for
answers include: Who made the decision not to "connect
the dots"? Are right-wing elements and holdovers from
the previous administration actively conspiring to
destabilize the Obama government? Was the attempted
bombing a planned provocation meant to incite new
conflicts in the Middle East and restrict democratic
rights at home? As with the 9/11 attacks, these
questions go unasked by corporate media. Indeed, such
lines of inquiry are entirely off the table and are
further signs that a cover-up is in full-swing, not a
hard-hitting investigation. In truth, what we are
dealing with here as we stagger into the second decade
of the 21st century, is not a "conspiracy" per se but a
modus operandi as the World Socialist Web Site has
argued, rooted in a bankrupt system quickly reaching
the end of the line.

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posted by u2r2h at 2:45 AM


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