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Bush regime retread, Philip Zelikow, appointed to Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board

Written by Atheo | Aletho News | September 19, 2011 – Scroll down for video

President Obama has appointed Philip Zelikow to serve on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board the White House announced this past week.

Zelikow served on the same presidential board between 2001 and 2003 under Bush during which time he revealed the perceived threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq which necessitated preemptive invasion.

“Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us?” asked Zelikow. “I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 — it’s the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell,” said Zelikow at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts.

Apparently a war, sold to the world on false pretenses, for the sole benefit of Israel presented no dilemma for Zelikow. But then, Zelikow’s academic background places him squarely in league with the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) proponents of wars for Israel as reported at Wikipedia.

In writing about the importance of beliefs about history, Zelikow has called attention to what he has called “‘searing’ or ‘molding’ events [that] take on ‘transcendent’ importance and, therefore, retain their power even as the experiencing generation passes from the scene.” [...]

In the November-December 1998 issue of Foreign Affairs, Phillip D. Zelikow co-authored an article with Ashton B. Carter, and John M. Deutch entitled “Catastrophic Terrorism” describing a “Pearl Harbor” type of event that might occur in the United States that would result in the suspension of civil liberties and the increased surveillance of citizens. It seemed to describe exactly what has come to pass under the Bush Administration. They speculated that if the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center had succeeded, “the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, the event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either future terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks.”

Of course Zelikow was indispensable in heading up the 9/11 commission, an appointment which was opposed by the 9/11 Family Steering Committee which cited his “close ties” to the Bush administration. Zelikow had an obvious conflict of interest, having previously worked on the Bush transition team, which recommended candidates for Cabinet positions and other top national security appointments. Many Bush administration security positions had been filled by people associated with the PNAC (such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) which advocated for war on Iraq, and lamented that the goal would take a long time, unless there was a catalyzing event like “a new Pearl Harbor.”  After completing his work with the 9/11 Commission, Zelikow was hired by Condoleezza Rice as Counselor at the State Department until 2007.

Zelikow authors Bush Doctrine of preemptive war

David Ray Griffin points out another conflict of interest in Zelikow’s appointment to the 9/11 commission, “the document in which the Bush Doctrine was first fully articulated—the 2002 version of The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (NSS 2002) —was written by the same person who was primarily responsible for the 9/11 Commission’s report: its executive director, Philip Zelikow.”

Griffin describes the connection between the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Bush Doctrine:

People known as neoconservatives (or simply neocons), the most powerful member of whom has been Dick Cheney, did not like the idea that America’s use of military power could be constrained by the prohibition against preemptive-preventive war. In 1992, Cheney, in his last year as secretary of defense, had Paul Wolfowitz (the undersecretary of defense for policy) and Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby write the Defense Planning Guidance of 1992, which said that the United States should use force to “preempt” and “preclude threats.” In 1997, William Kristol founded a neocon think tank called the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In 1998, a letter signed by 18 members of PNAC—including Kristol, Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and James Woolsey—urged President Clinton to “undertake military action” to eliminate “the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction.”

Only after 9/11, however, were the neocons able to turn their wish to leave international law behind into official US policy. As Stephen Sniegoski wrote, “it was only the traumatic effects of the 9/11 terrorism that enabled the agenda of the neocons to become the policy of the United States of America.” Andrew Bacevich likewise wrote: “The events of 9/11 provided the tailor-made opportunity to break free of the fetters restricting the exercise of American power.”

The idea of preemptive-preventive war, which came to be known as the “Bush doctrine,” was first clearly expressed in the president’s address at West Point in June 2002, when the administration began preparing the American people for the attack on Iraq. Having stated that, in relation to “new threats,” deterrence “means nothing” and containment is “not possible,” Bush dismissed preemption as traditionally understood, saying: “If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.” Then, using the language of preemption while meaning preemptive-prevention, he said that America’s security “will require all Americans . . . to be ready for preemptive action.” [...]

This unprecedented doctrine was, as we have seen, one that neocons had long desired. Indeed, neocon Max Boot described NSS 2002 as a “quintessentially neo-conservative document.” And, as we have also seen, the adoption of this doctrine was first made possible by the 9/11 attacks. Halper and Clarke themselves say, in fact, that 9/11 allowed the “preexisting ideological agenda” of the neoconservatives to be “taken off the shelf . . . and relabeled as the response to terror.”

The 9/11 attacks, we have seen, allowed the Bush-Cheney administration to adopt the doctrine of preemptive-preventive war, which the neocons in the administration—most prominently Cheney himself—had long desired. One would assume, therefore, that the 9/11 Commission would not have been run by someone who helped formulate this doctrine, because the Commission should have investigated, among other things, whether the Bush-Cheney administration might have had anything to gain from 9/11 attacks—whether they, in other words, might have had a motive for orchestrating or at least deliberately allowing the attacks. Amazing as it may seem, however, Philip Zelikow, who directed the 9/11 Commission and was the primary author of its final report, had also been the primary author of NSS 2002.

Lying behind Zelikow’s authorship of NSS 2002 was the fact that he was close, both personally and ideologically, to Condoleezza Rice, who as National Security Advisor to President Bush had the task of creating this document. Zelikow had worked with Rice in the National Security Council during the Bush I presidency. Then, when the Republicans were out of power during the Clinton years, Zelikow and Rice co-authored a book together. Finally, when she was appointed National Security Advisor to Bush II, she brought on Zelikow to help with the transition to the new National Security Council.

The Obama regime has expanded upon the Bush doctrine, claiming unchecked executive privilege to assassinate perceived enemies, even US citizens. Drone attacks are now occurring in six different countries. These operations are not being subjected to any outside scrutiny whatsoever. While the US regime claims that Yemen and Pakistan for example are “terrorist sanctuaries” there is little or no evidence that any threat to the US or even to its interests could be emanating from these places. What we are actually seeing is the methodical subjugation and terrorizing of the global Islamic population whom seem to have been reduced to having no human rights at all as well as having been marked for dispossession.

Military dominance over any nation which might attempt to resist this new order is a primary goal with Iran in particular in the cross hairs, though regime change is being pursued  by State Department associated entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy through various non-military means as well in any nation which has supported the Hamas or Hezbollah resistance movements in any manner.

The background that Zelikow brings into the Obama regime bodes ill for the prospects of peace or the restoration of any respect for US or international law and frankly suggests that the Obama regime is headed toward further escalation of aggression and violence wherever threats or subversion fail to achieve Israel’s aims.


Zelikow’s Key Role in 9/11 Cover-Up

By argonium79 on October 18, 2010


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September 18, 2011 Posted by | Author: Atheo, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | 17 Comments

‘An Important Irritant': The Attack on the Mavi Marmara

By Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle | September 18, 2011

Ankara – In September, 2010, the UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Council issued a report on the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara. It concluded that the blockade of the Gaza Strip was unlawful; that the blockade constituted collective punishment of the civilian population of Gaza; that the interception of the Mavi Marmara ‘cannot be justified even under Article 51 [self defence] of the UN Charter'; that the attack involved violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law, and that the flotilla posed no threat to Israeli security.

Out of the Secretary-General’s office has now come a report that turns all these earlier findings upside down. Ban Ki Moon’s Panel of Inquiry finds that the naval blockade was imposed ‘as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law’. This is extraordinary, first of all, seeing that the Panel of Inquiry had already conceded that ‘the panel is not a court’ and was not asked to determine legal issues ‘or to adjudicate on liability’.

On the question of legality, no-one on the panel spoke with authority on maritime law or the laws of war. Geoffrey Palmer, the chairman of the panel (of four) is a professor of international environmental law. He has no known experience of the Middle East and the background which might help him understand why Israel feels itself entitled to attack ships on the high seas, the Mavi Marmara being not the first or the only one. Alvaro Uribe, the vice-chair and a strong supporter of Israel, is a former president of Colombia. His tenure in office was marked by widespread abuse of human rights, including torture and murder. Both he and Palmer were chosen to sit on the panel from a list of names approved by Israel.

The report goes on to say that ‘whether what occurred here was legally defensible is important but in diplomatic terms is not dispositive of what has become an important irritant not only in the relationship between two important nations but also in the Middle East generally’. Nine Turks (one a Turkish American) were shot dead on the Mavi Marmara. Most of them were shot at close range in what the Human Rights Council report described as summary executions. More plainly they might be more accurately described as murders. Furkan Dogan, a young man of 19, was shot from behind, and apparently finished off at point blank range by being shot in the face as he lay wounded on the deck. A video circulating on the internet showed an Israeli soldier standing over someone lying on the deck – apparently Furkan Dogan – and kicking him repeatedly before aiming a gun at his face. To reduce all of this to an ‘irritant’ spoiling relations between Israel and Turkey and the smooth flow of international relations is surely offensive, insensitive and grossly insulting to the families of the dead.

The Panel of Inquiry, while describing the violence as ‘disproportionate’, avoided the issue of culpability at the command or individual level. It noted that ‘no satisfactory explanation has been provided to the panel by Israel for any of the nine deaths’. The panel apparently did not feel itself obliged to come up with explanations of its own. While emphasizing the need to find solutions ‘that will allow Israel, Turkey and the international community ‘to put the incident behind them’, it clearly did not regard the allocation of responsibility as the best way to reach this point. As Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has observed, the attack on the Mavi Marmara was ‘grounds for war’. If any of the actors acted recklessly it was Israel; if any acted with restraint it was Turkey and in asking for an apology Turkey was staking out a minimal position. By refusing to issue an apology, Israel has allowed no one to put the ‘incident’ behind them.

While running through the findings of the Turkish commission of inquiry and Israel’s Turkel committee – a whitewash of the entire Israeli operation from start to finish – the panel made no independent attempt to reconcile the contradictions between the two reports or come up with its own conclusions about what actually happened. All of its findings flowed on logically from its judgment that the blockade was legal and that the Israelis were justified in enforcing it. Thus the passengers had no right to defend themselves against armed attack. Thus the Israelis did have the right to subdue them even if the level of force they used was ‘disproportionate’.  Evidence placed before the Human Rights Council suggests that the Israelis had already shot two passengers dead from helicopters before the boarding party landed on the upper deck of the Mavi Marmara. The panel offered no opinion on this crucial point. The attack took place on the high seas, 72 miles from land and 64 nautical miles from the blockade zone.  The panel concluded that the boarding of the Mavi Marmara so far from the blockade zone was ‘excessive and unreasonable’ but had nothing to say about its possible illegality even within the context of the laws of war and naval blockades.

Without producing any evidence the panel implied that some of the Mavi Marmara passengers may have been carrying guns. It also casts doubts on the motives of the flotilla organisers and suggested that had they been more concerned with getting aid to the Palestinians rather than provoking a confrontation with Israel and drawing attention to themselves, in its view, the ship could have docked at Ashdod so that the aid could have been taken to Gaza by land.  In other words, the aid should have been placed in the hands of the blockading power for it to decide what should be sent to Gaza and what should be withheld.

The panel claimed that Israel’s effective control over the Gaza Strip ended when disengagement ‘was completed’ in 2005. Here the Panel of Inquiry admitted that it was relying on a decision of the Supreme Court of Israel.  It made no independent judgment of its own. In fact, although Israel withdrew from Gaza, it has never disengaged. The territory has been fenced off and is blockaded on land and from the air and sea. Its population lives under the constant threat of Israeli military attack from sea, land and air. The onslaught of 2008-9 took the lives of 1400 people, most of them civilians. Massive destruction was caused to civilian and government infrastructure. Israel tightly controls the flow of goods into Gaza through the land gates and has repeatedly bombed the tunnels through which Gazans have been able to obtain the necessities of life from Egypt. Taking the view that Gaza and Israel ‘are both distinct political and territorial entities’, the panel said the conflict between the Hamas government and Israel should be treated as an international one. In fact, Gaza, historically, culturally and politically, is an inseparable part of the territory of Palestine. The conflict is not between the Hamas government and Israel but between the Palestinian people and Israel. It does not have the ‘trappings of an international armed conflict’ because Palestine is not a state and has no army, navy or air force.  Whether in Gaza or the West Bank the Palestinians have virtually no means of defending themselves against Israeli assaults.

The Panel declared that the naval blockade would only be illegal if its imposition was to starve or collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza. Attempting to split the naval blockade from the land blockade, the panel says that ‘there is no evidence before the Panel that would permit a finding confirming the allegations that Israel had either of those intentions [starvation and collective punishment] or that the naval blockade was imposed in retaliation for the takeover [sic.] of Hamas in Gaza or otherwise. On the contrary, it is evident that Israel had a military objective’.  In fact, again,  the  two Israeli blockades  (along with control of air space)  constitute an integrated strategy designed to impose Israeli control over everything going into Gaza, arms, food, medicine and so on, as well as anything going out, including fishing boats. The land blockade was imposed immediately after the election of the Hamas government in January, 2006. The naval blockade was a logical extension of this policy,  and cannot be separated from it. The dominant view internationally is that the blockade of Gaza, with no division being made between the land blockade and the sea blockade, violates international law in several respects.

The panel claimed that Israel has faced and is facing a threat to its security from militant groups within Gaza. Of course, this is true even if the threat is minimal compared to the threat Israel poses to the security of Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza. The panel argues that Israel has the right to self defence against armed attack from outside its territory. As Israel is the only state in the world which has never defined its borders,  and as the territory falling within the 1949 armistice lines includes more than 20 per cent of Palestine set aside for the Arab state in the partition resolution of 1947,  but seized by Zionist militias in 1948, what  constitutes Israeli territory remains an interesting but unresolved  point.    Furthermore, most Gazans are refugees (or the children of refugees) from somewhere else in Palestine.  They were driven into Gaza during the ethnic cleansing of 1948.  Not far from the fence penning them in, settlements have been built on their land and the ruins of their villages.  Their right of return to the place of their birth has been affirmed in numerous UN resolutions specific to Palestine as well as conventions dealing with universal human rights. Israel has never complied with any of these resolutions. Yet it is Israel and not its victims to which Ban Ki Moon’s panel grants the right of self-defence.

Turkey has rejected this biased report out of hand. It has sent the Israeli ambassador home and will now ask the International Court of Justice to issue a legal opinion on the blockade of Gaza and thus the attack on the Mavi Marmara. If Israel is now friendless in the region it only has itself to blame. Protected by the US from ever having to face up to the consequences of its actions, it is now waking up to the cold light of a new day.

~

Jeremy Salt is associate professor in Middle Eastern History and Politics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Previously, he taught at Bosporus University in Istanbul and the University of Melbourne in the Departments of Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science. Professor Salt has written many articles on Middle East issues, particularly Palestine, and was a journalist for The Age newspaper when he lived in Melbourne.

September 18, 2011 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | 1 Comment

Siemens to leave nuclear business

Press TV – September 18, 2011

Siemens has announced plans to turn the page on nuclear energy and stop building nuclear power stations after Germany’s decision to phase out the use of atomic energy.

“We will no longer be involved in overall managing of building or financing nuclear plants. This chapter is closed for us,” Siemens Chief Executive Officer Peter Loscher said in an interview with Der Spiegel weekly published on Sunday, AFP reported.

He added that the German engineering and power giant would restrict its activity to dual-use technology.

“We will from now on supply only conventional equipment such as steam turbines. This means we are restricting ourselves to technologies that are not only for nuclear purposes but can also be used in gas or coal plants,” Loscher said.

Siemens chief executive officer said the group’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear industry reflects “the very clear stance taken by Germany’s society and political leadership.”

Europe’s largest economy announced the decision to decommission its atomic power plants within the next decade in the wake of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The Fukushima plant has leaked radiation into air, soil and the Pacific Ocean ever since it was hit by a 9-magnitude earthquake and a devastating tsunami on March 11.

The tremor triggered a nuclear crisis by knocking out power to cooling systems and the reactor meltdown at the nuclear power plant on Japan’s northeast coast.

The number of the dead and missing from Japan’s March 11 quake and tsunami stands at over 28,000, according to the Japanese National Police Agency. The crisis has also displaced thousands of residents from around the plant.

Siemens, which has been active in nuclear power for decades, has gradually scaled back its nuclear-power operations in recent years and sought to exit the business.

The Munich-based company has helped with the construction and operation of some of the world’s largest reactors in the last part of the previous century.

September 18, 2011 Posted by | Nuclear Power | 1 Comment

   

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