“The incoming helicopters took fire; they didn’t take fire. The Pakistanis didn’t know; they did know. Osama’s wife was a human shield; she wasn’t a human shield. It was his wife; it wasn’t his wife. Osama had a gun; he didn’t have a gun…If you're not a conspiracy theorist in the United States of America, you're probably a boob.” Gary G. Kohls, MD
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming," Vice President Dick Cheney admitted as much in an interview with Tony Snow on 29 March 2006. It was argued that Cheney made a slip of the tongue, but it is a fact that no evidence linking Osama bin Laden to 9/11 has been forthcoming.
President Obama, while decorating the men who assassinated Osama bin Laden said ;
“This week has been a reminder of what we’re about as a people, the essence of America, the values that have defined us for more than 200 years, they don’t just endure — they’re stronger than ever.” “The bin Laden raid was one of the most successful intelligence and military operations in America’s history”, he added.
This is not the first time when Washington administration, the Congress and Western media and government outlets like BBC have functioned like handmaidens of corporate interests which control regimes in US and elsewhere. Of course copycat Indian media; lazy and info-challenged; followed suit, while the position of the Indian government was mercifully measured.
Let us take just two examples of media’s abnegation of its professional honesty and due diligence;
a) Coverage of US led UN approved action to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1990-91 and
b) The2003 US led illegal invasion of Iraq and its continuing brutal occupation.
“Infants taken from incubators in a Kuwait City hospital by Iraqi soldiers left to die.”
Testimony before the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 19, 1990.
"Nayirah," a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl in her testimony to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 19, 1990, shocked the world when she recounted how invading Iraqi soldiers had stormed into al-Adan Hospital in Kuwait City where she had been working as a volunteer. Tearfully, she recalled, "While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where ... babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die." This terrible news about 312 babies made headlines worldwide and helped turn public opinion and US Congress against Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
“I don’t believe that Adolf Hitler ever participated in anything of that nature,” declared the outraged US president, George Bush Senior. If anything justified a U.S. war against Saddam Hussein in 1991 to a wavering Congress and American public, that performance did it. This "hearing" took place just before the vote to invade Iraq which was taken and approved.
The author, posted at Amman; when he saw the testimony on TV channels was shocked too.
Among other stories for a war on Saddam Hussein in 1991 this seriously affected the American debate in support for military action. Amnesty International believed the tale, and its ill-considered validation most likely influenced the seven Senators who cited the story in speeches backing the January 12 resolution authorizing the war. Since the resolution passed the Senate by only six votes majority, the question of how the incubator story escaped scrutiny "when it really mattered" is all the more important. (Amnesty International later retracted its support to the story.”
A little media investigation would have done a great service to the US democratic process. Americans ought to have been curious to know the identity of "Nayirah," the 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl. The chairmen of the Congressional group, Tom Lantos, a California Democrat, and John Edward Porter, an Illinois Republican, explained that Nayirah's identity would be kept secret to protect her family from reprisals in occupied Kuwait.
But there was a better reason to protect her identity, because Nayirah, her real name, was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S., Saud Nasir al-Sabah. This might have led to demands for proof of Nayirah's whereabouts in August and September of 1990, when she said she witnessed the atrocities, as well as corroboration of her charges. The Kuwaiti Embassy rebuffed efforts to interview Nayirah.
Nayirah was not in Kuwait after the Iraqi invasion on 2 August 1990. An ABC reporter, John Marti, in March 1991, after the liberation of Kuwait, interviewed hospital doctors who had stayed in Kuwait throughout the occupation. They and Kuwaiti medical authorities denied that the incubator incident ever occurred.
It was only after the end of the Gulf War that the deception was revealed. It was a total fabrication, right out of the fertile, high-priced imagination of Hill & Knowlton, the Kuwaiti ruling family’s Washington PR firm. By the time it was discovered, the U.S.-led coalition had charged in and the Kuwaiti royal family was securely back on its throne, and the folks at Hill & Knowlton had earned their pay.
How come Mr. Lantos and Mr. Porter allowed this to happen, because they had a close relationship with Hill and Knowlton, the public relations firm which was hired by Citizens for a Free Kuwait, the Kuwaiti-financed group that lobbied Congress for military intervention? A Hill and Knowlton Vice President, Gary Hymel, helped organize the Congressional Human Rights Caucus hearing in meetings with Mr. Lantos and Mr. Porter, and the chairmen of Citizens for a Free Kuwait, Hassan al-Ibrahim. Mr. Hymel presented the witnesses, including Nyirah. (Hymel knew who she was.)
Mr. Hymel was best known to the Caucus for defending the human rights record of Turkey and Indonesia! Mr. Lantos and Mr. Porter allowed the Congress Human Rights Foundation, a group they founded in 1985, to be housed in Hill and Knowlton's Washington headquarters. Citizens for a Free Kuwait, donated $50,000 to the foundation, sometimes after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The foundation's main support came from U.S. government-financed National Endowment for Democracy, which played such a sterling role in financing US franchised revolutions later in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Loyal western media did not and does not look into such conflicts of interest.
Late Tom Lantos’s anti-India Utterances
Late Tom Lantos, a holocaust survivor, earned fame for his crude language. To browbeat India in 2005 into voting against Iran in Vienna on Tehran’s legal right for enriching uranium for power plants, he thundered;
"My concern relates to the insensitive thinking that I see coming out of New Delhi - It was incomprehensible to me that people as sophisticated and knowledgeable as our Indian counterparts should not be aware of how significant their position, vis-a-vis Iran is to this Congress, and, I hope this hearing will make them aware at least tangentially that this may be destroying far more significant relationships than they are having with Tehran unless they become sensitive to our view on that subject."
"Only an imbecile would believe that they are developing a nuclear program for peaceful purposes and it is an insult to the intelligence of Congress that they keep repeating this." [Only the imbecile Americans believed the US reasons for the 2003 illegal US invasion of Iraq]
"They do what they do, but to have the Indian foreign minister with respect to his recent meeting with the Iranians to say they really don't care what we think, shows the real denseness that occasionally very intelligent people are burdened with."
"They are brilliant and they are dense. They are brilliant, which is obvious, but they are simply dense because they are incapable of comprehending that other countries have their important concerns."
"We offer, at least some of us offer our services to help you make the Indians aware of the fact that nothing will fly in this body unless they become as sensitive to their concerns as we have been to theirs."
Lantos found Indian statement in Iran --"literally sickening, this Stalinist rhetoric which we don't accept." And “if New Delhi did not support Washington's efforts to ostracize Iran, "the goodwill will dissipate."
"They will pay a heavy price for a total disregard of US concerns vis-a-vis Iran. It just will not fly in this body and they need to be told that in plain English, not in diplomatic English and I know there are people in this room who will carry this message."
India termed the tirade as "crude" and "un-parliamentary" that Lantos unleashed. "The language used by Congressman Lantos while referring to India's foreign minister during a Congressional hearing is, to say the least, un-parliamentary," said External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna,
"It is discourteous and crude and reflects negatively only on the US Congressman himself," he declared.
It is a pity that Indian Parliamentarians and media let such gross insults pass. No wonder Indians are considered wimps and spineless as shown even by Wikileaks.
The Great rescue of ‘heroine’ Jessica Lynch from Iraq by US forces
We may now recall the saga of PFC Jessica Lynch. Early in the US led illegal invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Lynch’s supply convoy was ambushed and she taken prisoner. Nine days later, on 1 April, 2003 US Special Forces rescued her from an Iraqi hospital. The US administration, specially Pentagon, went ballistic in complicity with US media and even Congressmen playing parts in the ‘heroic feats‘ of Lynch and a Rambo like rescue operation disseminated by Western media around the world as another grand action in the annals of US military history.
It was claimed that Lynch had fought heroically until she ran out of ammunition, after which she was shot and stabbed by her assailants. Later, she was gang-raped and beaten mercilessly during interrogation at the hands of her captors .
She was the then rescued in a daring nocturnal raid by US Special Forces which brought her back to safety. Lynch's was the first successful rescue of an American POW since World War II and the first ever of a woman.
In its first press briefing on April 2, 2003 the Pentagon released a five-minute video of the rescue and claimed that Lynch had stab and bullet wounds and that she had been slapped about on her hospital bed and interrogated.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., called the rescue a miracle.
"God watched over Jessica and her family," Rockefeller said through a spokesman in Washington. "All of West Virginia is rejoicing. This is an amazing tribute to the skill and courage of our military."
Central Command spokesman Jim Wilkinson said: "We also have others, other POWs we are just as worried about. This is good news today but we need a lot more good news."
"America doesn't leave its heroes behind," Wilkinson added. "Never has. Never will."
Jim Wilkinson was part of the White House Iraq Group under Karl Rove (alleged to be George Bush’s brain) and Scooter Libby (Vice-President Cheney’s Man Friday). For the Iraq war, Wilkinson was the chief spokesman for Gen. Tommy Franks under Centcom in Doha. Ron Suskind described Wilkinson the "spinmeister for the Iraq war" in The Washington Post.
It was but a fabrication to turn Lynch into an ersatz folk hero for propaganda purposes.
The True Story
On March 23, 2003, a convoy of the US Army's 507 Maintenance company and the 3rd Combat Support elements, led by a Humvee driven by Lynch’s best friend Lorie Piestwa made a wrong turn and were ambushed near Nasiriya, a major crossing point over the Euphrates northwest of Basra.
Apparently, the convoy took more than one wrong turn and came under attack by enemy fire. Lynch’s Humvee was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and it crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer. Lynch was severely injured and captured by Iraqi forces and listed missing in action but 11 others were killed. Lori Piestewa, seriously wounded in the head, died in an Iraqi civilian hospital, since delicate neurosurgery under wartime conditions was not possible.
(Reasons being intermittent electrical power, sanctions enforced by US and UK deprived Iraqi hospitals of medicines and other equipment since 1990. According to two UN administrators of the Food for oil Programme, it led to half a million deaths of Iraqi children, which a callous once UN secretary of State Madeline Albright said was worth it)
Lynch was then transferred to a hospital in Nasiriya. The Iraqi hospital staff, including Doctors Harith Al-Houssona and Anmar Uday, stated that they shielded Lynch from Iraqi military and government agents.
An Iraqi lawyer, Mohammad Odeh al Rehaif, to win brownie points (in a war situation the best and the worst of the human animal comes out) tipped off the US forces about Lynch and said she was tortured and injured but was still alive. Al Rehaief claimed that his wife Iman was a nurse in the hospital and made some other claims, including that an Iraqi colonel slapped Lynch. (Al Rehaif and his family were later granted refugee compensated by Washington and flown over to USA.)
These claims were not confirmed by the hospital personnel. There was no nurse named Iman. Doctors at the hospital claimed that Lynch was shielded and protected from Iraqi military personnel by hospital staff and she was treated well throughout her stay at the hospital. (Lynch later agreed with the account that she was treated humanely, with a nurse even singing to her.)
As a matter of fact on March 30, Dr. Al-Houssona reportedly tried to deliver Lynch to the U.S. forces, but abandoned the attempt when the Americans fired on the Iraqi ambulance carrying her.
According to al Rehaief, he walked six miles to a US Marine checkpoint to inform about Lynch. US forces then planned Lynch's rescue. Apparently, the US military learned of Lynch's location from several informants, including al Rehaief. The Defense Intelligence Agency had equipped and organized secretly videotaping of entrances and a route to Lynch's room before the operation.
The rescue operation was filmed and described by one Iraqi doctor as "like a Hollywood film. They cried, 'Go, go, go', with guns and blanks and the sound of explosions. They made a show –an action movie like Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan, with jumping and shouting and breaking down doors."
Rambos in Action
After a diversionary feint by US Marines on April 1, 2003, to draw Iraqi resistance away from Saddam Hospital in Nasiriyah, a team from Joint Special Operations Task Force along with US Special Forces, Paratroopers, Army Rangers and Navy Seals attacked the hospital and rescued Lynch and bodies of 8 US GIs. The doctors present were roughly treated as per standard US practice and identified. In any case as the doctors confirmed that the Iraqi military had left the hospital the day before and there was no resistance to the American forces during the raid.
One witness account, in an opinion article by a BBC correspondent said that the Special Operations Forces already knew that the Iraqi military had fled a day before the hospital raid. The entire event was staged, even using blanks in the Marine's guns to create the impression of a real live firing. (The use of blanks was disputed by some weapons experts. It was felt that it would be dangerous to use blanks in a potentially hostile environment,) But then it was a safe operation as if on an MGM stage in Hollywood.
Thus the truth was quite different. Jessica’s rifle jammed before she could fire a shot. She was badly injured and knocked unconscious when the Humvee she was riding crashed. No one shot, stabbed or beat her, and she had no recollection of any manner of sexual molestation. She was treated humanely in the hospital. A nurse even sang to her one night to comfort her in her loneliness. By the time the rescue team arrived, the hospital was manned solely by unarmed medical personnel.
Lynch was flown to medical centre in Germany, where she underwent back surgery on April 3 to correct a slipped vertebra and later several more surgeries to stabilize her fractures.
Jessica Lynch was awarded the Bronze Star, Prisoner of War and Purple Heart Medals. Dead soldiers rescued with her were awarded Purple Hearts .
Embarrassed with the truth coming out , soon after the rescue, Pentagon officials disputed a report appearing in the Washington Post that Lynch had fought back,
On April 12, 2003, Lynch was flown to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC to undergo specialized treatment and rehabilitation. On April 17, she underwent surgery to repair a bone in her right foot. She was released from the hospital on July 22, more than three months after her injury.
On August 27, 2003, Lynch was given a medical honourable discharge .
Central Command Gen Delong blames the politicians and the media for distortion of facts.
In a media statement later, Lt. Gen Michael Delong, who was deputy Commander of the US Central Command from 2001 to 2003, clarified that Jessica Lynch’s maintenance convoy was lost near Nasiriya in 2003 and she was taken prisoner. The initial reports from the field said “that she had gone down fighting, had emptied her weapon and that her actions were heroic. Based on these reports, politicians from her home state, West Virginia, wanted the military to award her the Medal of Honor. Their request rose up the ladder until finally it reached me. But initial combat reports are often wrong. Time must always be taken to thoroughly investigate all claims.”
Time was needed, since she was suffering from combat shock and loss of memory; facts, therefore, had to be gathered from other sources. The general told the politicians to wait. No one would be awarded anything until all of the evidence was reviewed. It was not liked by the politicians, who through their Congressional liaison pressured for a medal, even before all the evidence had been analyzed. In heated discussions the politicians repeated that a medal would be good for women in the military. After a careful review of the facts, the military concluded that ballistic tests on Private Lynch’s weapon demonstrated that she had never fired; she had merely been a passenger in a vehicle that went astray, came under fire and crashed. Private Lynch was badly hurt, and in her condition, she could not fight back. Her actions were understandable and justifiable, but they could not be labeled heroic.
The General denied accusations that the military played up Private Lynch’s rescue for its own publicity purposes. He also said that the filming of the operation was never ordered — the troops who executed it decided to film it on their own. Ultimately, it was good that they did, not for publicity purposes, but because that film can now be used to train soldiers. A nation needs heroes. Hero-making in itself is not a bad thing. But hero-making without grounds is.
Gen Delong blamed the overzealous politicians and a frenzied press for distortion of facts. “For these politicians to step forward now and accuse the military of capitalizing on the Jessica Lynch story is utter hypocrisy.”
After the truth came out Lynch, along with major media outlets blamed the U.S. government as part of the Pentagon’s propaganda. It was said that Jim Wilkinson fabricated the government narrative.
But in a normal Yankee tradition to spike sales of the authorized biography, “I Am A Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story”, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Rick Bragg lied (bragged) that Lynch was raped during her captivity, based on medical records and her pattern of injuries. Lynch did not recall any sexual assault and was "adamantly opposed to including the rape claim in the book", but Bragg wore her down and told her that "people need to know that this is what can happen to women soldiers". So much for American writing and the honor, honesty and integrity of a Pulitzer Prize Winner (or a pre-emptily awarded Nobel Peace Prize winner carrying on with two wars and helping out in another one in Libya).
God! What is the real truth about western concepts of honesty, integrity and honor – for journalists and others? Anything for a fistful of dollars!
For Al Rehaif’s role in Lynch's rescue, after appeals by Friends of Mohammed, a West Virginia based group, Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge granted on April 29, 2003, Mohammed Odeh al Rehaief, his wife, and their five-year-old daughter humanitarian asylum Al Rehaief and his family were brought to the United States at his request on April 10. Al Rehaief’s book, ‘Because Each life is Precious ‘, published in October 2003, netted him a reported US $300,000.
Months after returning to US, Lynch finally began speaking to the public. She was quite critical of the original story that was reported by the Washington Post. When asked about her heroine status, "That wasn't me. I'm not about to take credit for something I didn't do... I'm just a survivor."
Interviewed by Diane Sawyer, concerning the Pentagon Lynch claimed; “They used me to symbolize all this stuff. It's wrong. I don't know why they filmed [my rescue] or why they say these things.” She also stated "I did not shoot, not a round, nothing. I went down praying to my knees. And that's the last I remember." She reported being treated very well in Iraq, and that one person in the hospital even sang to her to help her feel at home.
Controversy also arose regarding the differential treatment and media coverage to Lynch and Shoshana Johnson, an African American soldier captured in the same ambush as Lynch, but rescued later- a variation of “Missing white woman syndrome”. Critics, including Rev Jesse Jackson said that Johnson's race was a major reason that Johnson received little media attention and a smaller disability pension as compared to Lynch.
On April 24, 2007 Jessica testified to the Congress. She began her testimony by noting for the record that her appearance was not politically motivated. In a prepared statement, she continued
“I believe this is not a time for finger pointing. It is time for the truth, the whole truth, versus hype and misinformation.
"I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary…” She never fired her M16 rifle, which was jammed, as were all weapons systems assigned to her unit. She had been knocked unconscious when her vehicle crashed.”
The “story of the little girl Rambo from the hills who went down fighting” was not true. Lynch said: "I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend "
It appears that she was simply a normal kid who'd joined the peace-time Army to earn money for college and later met with a run bad luck in a combat theater.
Now What about Bin Laden’s Assassination!
When and if ever, will we ever learn the truth about the assassination of Bin Laden! I have gone into some details about an all-round conspiracy and complicity about the false testimony of the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter to US Congress Caucus, which persuaded the US Senate to vote for the war against Iraq in 1991.
I was posted at Amman (1989-92), when only Jordan had its frontiers open to Iraq. So I had a ringside view. Amman was crawling with hundreds of western and other media men and I witnessed first-hand decline of US and western media. False testimony in the Congress was only a symptom of western media’s decline and its embedding with the US military only hastened US media’s fall.
Since mid-2002, while surfing the internet for blogs sticking to the traditions of professional journalism, I watched with horror and contempt CNN, BBC and others spinning truth, disseminating half-truths and plain lies and by mid-afternoon repeating them.
According to Media Tenor; a Bonn-based non-partisan media research organization, BBC gave in its overall coverage a mere 2% time to opposition’s anti-war voices, before the illegal US led US invasion of Iraq ,which was really the majority view of the British people, who protested in millions against the war in London. It was the worst of the leading broadcasters, including US networks. ABC of USA with 7% was the second-worst case of denying access to anti-war voices.
In a 4 July, 2003 comment in “the Guardian” titled “Biased Broadcasting Corporation”, Justin Lewis, Professor of Journalism at Cardiff University confirmed the above results. A careful analysis by the University of all the main evening news bulletins during the war, concluded that of the four main UK broadcasters - the BBC, ITN, Channel 4 and Sky, BBC’s coverage was the worst in granting anti-war viewpoint. Since then Western media has morphed into poodles of western corporate interests, with Indian media, specially its trivia and celebrity obsessed so called national TV channels, being nauseating copycats.
The author has written on US led war on Iraq and its brutal occupation, since mid-2002 over fifty in depth online articles, which have stood the test of time including predictions of decline of the American Century, ending of US Viceroy Paul Bremmer’s regime like that of the British Sir Percy Cox in Iraq in 19th century and the rise of the resistance in January, 2004, when the Neo-cons and US media were gloating over the success of the invasion and so called victory. These articles have been translated into a dozen languages of the world and many copied by many scores of websites all over the world.
The timing of the Abbottabad operation comes conveniently when Obama’s ratings for re-election are poor, in spite of no serious and rational Republican opponent. US as an economic power is fast declining , with a debt of $ 14 trillion, an annual trade deficit of around $500 billion, surviving on purchase of US treasuries by China, Gulf kingdoms and others. Standards and Poor have threatened to downgrade USA’s credit rating of AAA. It would have been for any other country equivalent of bankruptcy.
The Washington-Riyadh-Rawalpindi axis is creaking but will linger on despite the hot and cold exchanges between USA and Pakistan. Washington and Riyadh have different perceptions on Bahrain. For how long will US protect the Saud dynasty with discontent among its vast underemployed and disfranchised youths and Shia revolts in Bahrain and inside the Kingdom itself.
US Congress Commission of inquiry into 11/9 was a whitewash job, according to many well informed individuals and groups in USA and elsewhere. Films have been made to prove this point. In USA , there is a growing opinion that it was an inside job. For example, Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth said:
"The official Federal Emergency Management [Agency] and National Institute of Standards and Technology reports provide insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers' destruction. We are therefore calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials”
The technical issues surrounding the collapse of the towers has prompted years of debate, rebuttal and ridicule. Gage is particularly disturbed by Building 7, a 47-story skyscraper, which was not hit by an aircraft, yet came down in "pure free-fall acceleration."
Gage also says that more than 100 first-responders reported explosions and flashes as the towers were falling and cited evidence of "multi-ton steel sections ejected laterally 600 ft. at 60 mph" and the "mid-air pulverization of 90,000 tons of concrete & metal decking." There is also evidence of "advanced explosive nano-thermitic composite material found in the World Trade Center dust," Mr. Gage adds. There is little evidence that an aircraft hit the Pentagon. Even CNN’s first report said it was a missile.
As for 9/11 and Bin Laden’s culpability, one of the clearest indications that it was an act of false-flag terrorism is that during the ten years after the attacks, not a single victim's lawsuit has gone to trial, although peripheral “terrorist” cases that did not require proving the official version have been tried. Likewise, although the government claims to have Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged "Mastermind of 9/11", in detention, in April 2011 the Obama administration abruptly reneged on its promise to try the 9/11 suspects in an open court and announced that the accused terrorists would be processed in a closed military tribunal in Guantanamo, Cuba.
Alvin K.Hellerstein, the federal judge in Manhattan who has overseen the 9/11litigation, has effectively blocked any trial for the relatives that would address the question of culpability for the terror attacks. In a judicial war of attrition against the families of the 9/11 victims, all of the families, with only one exception, were pushed into accepting out-of-court settlements, which prevent them from being part of any further litigation.
The family of 9/11 victim Mark Bavis is the last family standing of the nearly 100 families that chose to litigate to determine who is responsible for 9/11 rather than accept the government payout. Judge Hellerstein has stated that he intends to severely limit the time allowed for the Bavis family lawyers to only 50 hours, a most unusual and arbitrary limit to be imposed on a trial of such importance.
So we will continue to receive cooked up tales about who was responsible for 11/9 and how it happened. And how was Osama bin Laden actually assassinated.