27 February, 2009

DERIVATIVES BUBBLE

Bank of Scotland (see the AP article!)


What Subprime Crisis?

by Mystic Wizard

The whole scapegoating of sub-prime mortgages for the "lending freeze" never sat well with me. Interestingly even Chomsky said he couldn't "decode" what was really going on in the economy.

The derivative explanation makes the most sense.

***SEE BELOW (Ellen Brown) ***

But why would a bank still not lend to a company or an individual, with solid credit, which most companies and individuals still have? A 4% 90-day mortgage delinquency rate surely doesn't explain it. Also curious that we don't see a long line of bankers explaining themselves to the TV talking heads- just the usual journalists and politicians. Shouldn't the bankers be on the firing line right now? Are we just getting the usual smoke-and-mirrors now?
"You might look at this data and conclude that the problem right now is worse than the great depression. But the report points out that the delinquency rate on mortgages in the 1930's was much much higher than it is now: "Thus, at the beginning of 1934, approximately one-half of urban houses with an outstanding mortgage were in default (Bridewell, 1938, p. 172). For comparison, in the fourth quarter of 2007, 3.6 percent of all U.S. residential mortgages and 20.4 percent of adjustable-rate subprime mortgages had been delinquent for at least 90 days."

So back in the great depression nearly half the people were behind on their mortgage. Today only around 4% of people are delinquent."
Free By 50: Home foreclosure rates past and present.
http://freeby50.blogspot.com/2008/10/home-foreclosure-rates-past-and-present.html

=============

It's the Derivatives, Stupid! Why Fannie, Freddie and AIG Had to Be Bailed Out

by Ellen Brown

"I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men."

. Sir Isaac Newton, after losing a fortune in the South Sea bubble

Something extraordinary is going on with these government bailouts. In March 2008, the Federal Reserve extended a $55 billion loan to JPMorgan to "rescue" investment bank Bear Stearns from bankruptcy, a highly controversial move that tested the limits of the Federal Reserve Act. On September 7, 2008, the U.S. government seized private mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and imposed a conservatorship, a form of bankruptcy; but rather than let the bankruptcy court sort out the assets among the claimants, the Treasury extended an unlimited credit line to the insolvent corporations and said it would exercise its authority to buy their stock, effectively nationalizing them. Now the Federal Reserve has announced that it is giving an $85 billion loan to American International Group (AIG), the world's largest insurance company, in exchange for a nearly 80% stake in the insurer . . . .

The Fed is buying an insurance company? Where exactly is that covered in the Federal Reserve Act? The Associated Press calls it a "government takeover," but this is not your ordinary "nationalization" like the purchase of Fannie/Freddie stock by the U.S. Treasury. The Federal Reserve has the power to print the national money supply, but it is not actually a part of the U.S. government. It is a private banking corporation owned by a consortium of private banks. The banking industry just bought the world's largest insurance company, and they used federal money to do it. Yahoo Finance reported on September 17:

"The Treasury is setting up a temporary financing program at the Fed's request. The program will auction Treasury bills to raise cash for the Fed's use. The initiative aims to help the Fed manage its balance sheet following its efforts to enhance its liquidity facilities over the previous few quarters."

Treasury bills are the I.O.U.s of the federal government. We the taxpayers are on the hook for the Fed's "enhanced liquidity facilities," meaning the loans it has been making to everyone in sight, bank or non-bank, exercising obscure provisions in the Federal Reserve Act that may or may not say they can do it. What's going on here? Why not let the free market work? Bankruptcy courts know how to sort out assets and reorganize companies so they can operate again. Why the extraordinary measures for Fannie, Freddie and AIG?

The answer may have less to do with saving the insurance business, the housing market, or the Chinese investors clamoring for a bailout than with the greatest Ponzi scheme in history, one that is holding up the entire private global banking system. What had to be saved at all costs was not housing or the dollar but the financial derivatives industry; and the precipice from which it had to be saved was an "event of default" that could have collapsed a quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble, a collapse that could take the entire global banking system down with it.

The Anatomy of a Bubble

Until recently, most people had never even heard of derivatives; but in terms of money traded, these investments represent the biggest financial market in the world. Derivatives are financial instruments that have no intrinsic value but derive their value from something else. Basically, they are just bets. You can "hedge your bet" that something you own will go up by placing a side bet that it will go down. "Hedge funds" hedge bets in the derivatives market. Bets can be placed on anything, from the price of tea in China to the movements of specific markets.

"The point everyone misses," wrote economist Robert Chapman a decade ago, "is that buying derivatives is not investing. It is gambling, insurance and high stakes bookmaking. Derivatives create nothing."1 They not only create nothing, but they serve to enrich non-producers at the expense of the people who do create real goods and services. In congressional hearings in the early 1990s, derivatives trading was challenged as being an illegal form of gambling. But the practice was legitimized by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who not only lent legal and regulatory support to the trade but actively promoted derivatives as a way to improve "risk management." Partly, this was to boost the flagging profits of the banks; and at the larger banks and dealers, it worked. But the cost was an increase in risk to the financial system as a whole.2

Since then, derivative trades have grown exponentially, until now they are larger than the entire global economy. The Bank for International Settlements recently reported that total derivatives trades exceeded one quadrillion dollars . that's 1,000 trillion dollars.3 How is that figure even possible? The gross domestic product of all the countries in the world is only about 60 trillion dollars. The answer is that gamblers can bet as much as they want. They can bet money they don't have, and that is where the huge increase in risk comes in.

Credit default swaps (CDS) are the most widely traded form of credit derivative. CDS are bets between two parties on whether or not a company will default on its bonds. In a typical default swap, the "protection buyer" gets a large payoff from the "protection seller" if the company defaults within a certain period of time, while the "protection seller" collects periodic payments from the "protection buyer" for assuming the risk of default. CDS thus resemble insurance policies, but there is no requirement to actually hold any asset or suffer any loss, so CDS are widely used just to increase profits by gambling on market changes. In one blogger's example, a hedge fund could sit back and collect $320,000 a year in premiums just for selling "protection" on a risky BBB junk bond. The premiums are "free" money . free until the bond actually goes into default, when the hedge fund could be on the hook for $100 million in claims.

And there's the catch: what if the hedge fund doesn't have the $100 million? The fund's corporate shell or limited partnership is put into bankruptcy; but both parties are claiming the derivative as an asset on their books, which they now have to write down. Players who have "hedged their bets" by betting both ways cannot collect on their winning bets; and that means they cannot afford to pay their losing bets, causing other players to also default on their bets.

The dominos go down in a cascade of cross-defaults that infects the whole banking industry and jeopardizes the global pyramid scheme. The potential for this sort of nuclear reaction was what prompted billionaire investor Warren Buffett to call derivatives "weapons of financial mass destruction." It is also why the banking system cannot let a major derivatives player go down, and it is the banking system that calls the shots. The Federal Reserve is literally owned by a conglomerate of banks; and Hank Paulson, who heads the U.S. Treasury, entered that position through the revolving door of investment bank Goldman Sachs, where he was formerly CEO.

The Best Game in Town

In an article on FinancialSense.com on September 9, Daniel Amerman maintains that the government's takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was not actually a bailout of the mortgage giants. It was a bailout of the financial derivatives industry, which was faced with a $1.4 trillion "event of default" that could have bankrupted Wall Street and much of the rest of the financial world. To explain the enormous risk involved, Amerman posits a scenario in which the mortgage giants are not bailed out by the government. When they default on the $5 trillion in bonds and mortgage-backed securities they own or guarantee, settlements are immediately triggered on $1.4 trillion in credit default swaps entered into by major financial firms, which have promised to make good on Fannie/Freddie defaulted bonds in return for very lucrative fee income and multi-million dollar bonuses. The value of the vulnerable bonds plummets by 70%, causing $1 trillion (70% of $1.4 trillion) to be due to the "protection buyers." This is more money, however, than the already-strapped financial institutions have to spare. The CDS sellers are highly leveraged themselves, which means they depend on huge day-to-day lines of credit just to stay afloat. When their creditors see the trillion dollar hit coming, they pull their financing, leaving the strapped institutions with massive portfolios of illiquid assets. The dreaded cascade of cross-defaults begins, until nearly every major investment bank and commercial bank is unable to meet its obligations. This triggers another massive round of CDS events, going to $10 trillion, then $20 trillion. The financial centers become insolvent, the markets have to be shut down, and when they open months later, the stock market has been crushed. The federal government and the financiers pulling its strings naturally feel compelled to step in to prevent such a disaster, even though this rewards the profligate speculators at the expense of the Fannie/Freddie shareholders who will get wiped out. Amerman concludes:

"[I]t's the best game in town. Take a huge amount of risk, be paid exceedingly well for it and if you screw up -- you have absolute proof that the government will come in and bail you out at the expense of the rest of the population (who did not share in your profits in the first place)."4

Desperate Measures for Desperate Times

It was the best game in town until September 14, when Treasury Secretary Paulson, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and New York Fed Head Tim Geithner closed the bailout window to Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old Wall Street investment firm and major derivatives player. Why? "There is no political will for a federal bailout," said Geithner. Bailing out Fannie and Freddie had created a furor of protest, and the taxpayers could not afford to underwrite the whole quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble. The line had to be drawn somewhere, and this was apparently it.

Or was the Fed just saving its ammunition for AIG? Recent downgrades in AIG's ratings meant that the counterparties to its massive derivatives contracts could force it to come up with $10.5 billion in additional capital reserves immediately or file for bankruptcy. Treasury Secretary Paulson resisted advancing taxpayer money; but on Monday, September 15, stock trading was ugly, with the S & P 500 registering the largest one-day percent drop since September 11, 2001. Alan Kohler wrote in the Australian Business Spectator:

"[I]t's unlikely to be a slow-motion train wreck this time. With Lehman in liquidation, and Washington Mutual and AIG on the brink, the credit market would likely shut down entirely and interbank lending would cease."5

Kohler quoted the September 14 newsletter of Professor Nouriel Roubini, who has a popular website called Global EconoMonitor. Roubini warned:

"What we are facing now is the beginning of the unravelling and collapse of the entire shadow financial system, a system of institutions (broker dealers, hedge funds, private equity funds, SIVs, conduits, etc.) that look like banks (as they borrow short, are highly leveraged and lend and invest long and in illiquid ways) and thus are highly vulnerable to bank-like runs; but unlike banks they are not properly regulated and supervised, they don't have access to deposit insurance and don't have access to the lender of last resort support of the central bank."

The risk posed to the system was evidently too great. On September 16, while Barclay's Bank was offering to buy the banking divisions of Lehman Brothers, the Federal Reserve agreed to bail out AIG in return for 80% of its stock. Why the Federal Reserve instead of the U.S. Treasury? Perhaps because the Treasury would take too much heat for putting yet more taxpayer money on the line. The Federal Reserve could do it quietly through its "Open Market Operations," the ruse by which it "monetizes" government debt, turning Treasury bills (government I.O.U.s) into dollars. The taxpayers would still have to pick up the tab, but the Federal Reserve would not have to get approval from Congress first.

Time for a 21st Century New Deal?

Another hole has been plugged in a very leaky boat, keeping it afloat another day; but how long can these stopgap measures be sustained? Professor Roubini maintains:

"The step by step, ad hoc and non-holistic approach of Fed and Treasury to crisis management has been a failure. . . . [P]lugging and filling one hole at [a] time is useless when the entire system of levies is collapsing in the perfect financial storm of the century. A much more radical, holistic and systemic approach to crisis management is now necessary."6

We may soon hear that "the credit market is frozen" . that there is no money to keep homeowners in their homes, workers gainfully employed, or infrastructure maintained. But this is not true. The underlying source of all money is government credit . our own public credit. We don't need to borrow it from the Chinese or the Saudis or private banks. The government can issue its own credit . the "full faith and credit of the United States." That was the model followed by the Pennsylvania colonists in the eighteenth century, and it worked brilliantly well. Before the provincial government came up with this plan, the Pennsylvania economy was languishing. There was little gold to conduct trade, and the British bankers were charging 8% interest to borrow what was available. The government solved the credit problem by issuing and lending its own paper scrip. A publicly-owned bank lent the money to farmers at 5% interest. The money was returned to the government, preventing inflation; and the interest paid the government's expenses, replacing taxes. During the period the system was in place, the economy flourished, prices remained stable, and the Pennsylvania colonists paid no taxes at all. (For more on this, see E. Brown, "Sustainable Energy Development: How Costs Can Be Cut in Half," webofdebt.com/articles, November 5, 2007.)

Today's credit crisis is very similar to that facing Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s. In 1932, President Hoover set up the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) as a federally-owned bank that would bail out commercial banks by extending loans to them, much as the privately-owned Federal Reserve is doing today. But like today, Hoover's ploy failed. The banks did not need more loans; they were already drowning in debt. They needed customers with money to spend and invest. President Roosevelt used Hoover's new government-owned lending facility to extend loans where they were needed most . for housing, agriculture and industry. Many new federal agencies were set up and funded by the RFC, including the HOLC (Home Owners Loan Corporation) and Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association, which was then a government-owned agency). In the 1940s, the RFC went into overdrive funding the infrastructure necessary for the U.S. to participate in World War II, setting the country up with the infrastructure it needed to become the world's industrial leader after the war.

The RFC was a government-owned bank that sidestepped the privately-owned Federal Reserve; but unlike the Pennsylvania provincial government, which originated the money it lent, the RFC had to borrow the money first. The RFC was funded by issuing government bonds and relending the proceeds. Then as now, new money entered the money supply chiefly in the form of private bank loans. In a "fractional reserve" banking system, banks are allowed to lend their "reserves" many times over, effectively multiplying the amount of money in circulation. Today a system of public banks might be set up on the model of the RFC to fund productive endeavors . industry, agriculture, housing, energy -- but we could go a step further than the RFC and give the new public banks the power to create credit themselves, just as the Pennsylvania government did and as private banks do now. At the rate banks are going into FDIC receivership, the federal government will soon own a string of banks, which it might as well put to productive use. Establishing a new RFC might be an easier move politically than trying to nationalize the Federal Reserve, but that is what should properly, logically be done. If we the taxpayers are putting up the money for the Fed to own the world's largest insurance company, we should own the Fed.

Proposals for reforming the banking system are not even on the radar screen of Prime Time politics today; but the current system is collapsing at train-wreck speed, and the "change" called for in Washington may soon be taking a direction undreamt of a few years ago. We need to stop funding the culprits who brought us this debacle at our expense. We need a public banking system that makes a cost-effective credit mechanism available for homeowners, manufacturing, renewable energy, and infrastructure; and the first step to making it cost-effective is to strip out the swarms of gamblers, fraudsters and profiteers now gaming the system.


1. Quoted in James Wesley, "Derivatives . The Mystery Man Who'll Break the Global Bank at Monte Carlo," SurvivalBlog.com (September 2006).

2. "Killer Derivatives, Zombie CDOs and Basel Too?", Institutional Risk Analytics (August 14, 2007).

3. Kevin DeMeritt, "$1.14 Quadrillion in Derivatives . What Goes Up . . . ," Gold-Eagle.com (June 16, 2008).

4. Daniel Amerman, "The Hidden Bailout of $1.4 Trillion in Fannie/Freddie Credit-Default Swaps," FinancialSense.com (September 10, 2008).

5. Alan Kohler, "Lehman End-game," Business Spectator (Australia) (September 15, 2008).

Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and "the money trust." She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her earlier books focused on the pharmaceutical cartel that gets its power from "the money trust." Her eleven books include Forbidden Medicine, Nature's Pharmacy (co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker), and The Key to Ultimate Health (co-authored with Dr. Richard Hansen). Her websites are www.webofdebt.com and www.ellenbrown.com.

www.webofdebt.com



www.opednews.com/articles/3/IT-S-THE-DERIVATIVES-STUP-by-Ellen-Brown-080918-354.html

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posted by u2r2h at Friday, February 27, 2009 1 comments links to this post

22 February, 2009

A CABAL rules the planet .. read on!

Response to 'Fourth generation warfare in the most advanced stage'

Written by Zahir Ebrahim

Saturday, 21 February 2009 11:03

Over the years I have read many publicly available Pentagon documents, going all the way back to what were earlier classified and later made available either through FOIA or natural declassification cycle.

Before I make my relevant point . let me cite an example. When I learnt, from Chomsky initially, and subsequently reading the originals, of George Kennan's doctrine of outspending the Communists and that they would naturally collapse soon enough, that document is the 1948 Policy Planning PPS-23, I was taken aback. That PPS-23 had formed the underpinnings of what later became the Truman Doctrine that had held the world hostage for over 4 decades . at the brink of annihilation! Or so I, and almost everyone on planet earth have been led to believe.

So we have all dutifully critiqued the .Military-Industrial Complex. of America and remained in awe of President Eisenhower's labeling of it, the very same President who also dutifully carried on the baton of the Cold War from President Truman, embarking on the largest 'peace-time' military and civil defense spending spree in the United States probably in its entire inglorious history of bloodshed up to that time. That flaming-torch of the Cold War was continually carried on by every single American President for four decades. When PPS-23 was declassified, like flies drawn to a dead carcass, the many historians and moralists of empire laughed their way to their bank rehearsing it in their narratives. Not one of them, to my knowledge, decided to donate the proceeds of their pedantic works to the poor victims of four decades of proxy-warfare against the Communists, the last one being Afghanistan.

So how does one cast that into the actual tortuous reality that Communism was created by the Anglo-American banksters themselves who also financed the .Military-Industrial complex. through deficit spending sticking the compound-interest payments on it to the American tax-payer? Going from gullibly naïve-green Chomsky student from the late 1970s where 'empire' was the baddy, to the eye opening research into who runs the empire through the Hegelian dialectics of opposites and fabricated enemies . something Noam Chomsky has never written about to my knowledge, but so many 'lesser' people have, including yours truly based on information uncovered through independent research . the entire PPS-23 now looks like a fabrication to direct the Pentagon's Generals against a fabricated enemy. Like Henry Kissinger had once stated, something to the effect:

.Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy..

So back to 2001 - 2009. 'War on terror' is a fabrication, 911 was an inside job, and fighting the fourth generation war is the sine qua non, inter alia, for world
government. These matters have been amply dwelled upon elsewhere ( see http://humanbeingsfirst.org ).

If that be the case . the article .Fourth generation warfare in the most advanced stage. is a cleverly disguised truth within a lie! We know of lies within lies, but truth within lies has more potential to create believable absurdities. And if you can convince people of absurdities, you can also get them to commit atrocities in the name of .either you are with us or with the terrorists..

There is today, and has been for at least a hundred plus years, only one primal common global enemy of mankind which manufactures, aids and abets, cultivates and sustains, all the local ones. The Pentagon, the White House, the Congress, all work for it. It created Pakistan through the Round Tables; it sanctioned and funded the Zionist agenda since its very inception and created Reform Judaism to bring the flock to their Promised Land by hook or by crook; it created the Bolshevik Revolution by funding the enemies of the Tzar and looting all of Russia's wealth; it funded Nazi Socialism and then funded its opponents to destroy it; and it created China's Communist Revolution by propping up an unknown Mao Tse Tung. It also moved all of America's production and industrial infrastructure to China and replaced that real wealth with its ill fated financial sector and its tortuous instruments of fictitious wealth that has now manufactured the global Financial Crisis. That enemy today, the misanthrope of all humanity, the only one that has profited from all the wars of the twentieth and this century and all the boom and bust economic cycles acquiring the deeds to almost all hard properties on the planet while growing itself into greater and greater combines with each bust, is now ready to bite the hand which has fed it.

Unless that common global enemy and its overarching agenda is kept properly in focus, reports like the above only create red herrings to distract from it.

One thing I have learnt studying the foreign policy of nations for now almost 30 years, is cynicism. Real secrets, real doctrines, and real strategies and tactics, are always kept .Top Secret.. No one in the right mind is going to reveal their secret weapons to the enemy and pending victims. There is always an agenda in all .information leaks. and purported .Pentagon's Joint Vision 2010/2020/2030. documents. The proof of that, that real secrets are always closely guarded to the chest, is that the evidence and circumstances surrounding Abraham Lincoln's assassination 150 years ago . notice we aren't taking JFK, RFK, MLK, or even 911 new pearl harbor . are still classified Top Secret!

So what they let out, in a convoluted way that simple minds like ours un-attuned to the complexities of Machiavelli and the demonic principles of conquest by way of deception can't fathom, is whatever they really want us to believe. In the above report, they really want us to believe that there is a really un-fabricated enemy who attacked the United States on 911, the consequent by-product of which is this new Fourth Generation warfare. Just as in PPS-23, they really wanted us to believe that they are fighting the real enemy, the Soviet Union, which, throughout its existence since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, had entirely relied on the American tax-payer to sustain it! Un-freaking un-believable? Not if one understands that dialectical deception is the key principle behind it all.

This is far more complex and sophisticated, requiring long term planning, logistics, and execution, than what any two-bit tin-pot dictator in any third world country is capable of.

The .Mighty Wurlitzer. does its thing and us gullibles of the world continually fall for it.

Just look at the description of the Fourth Generation war . the targeted victim will already be demoralized by simply reading it! That is psy-ops 101. With that as the backdrop, what should one get out of this type of warfare whose signs are empirical in the dead bodies of Pakistanis and Palestinians and Iraqis and Lebanese and from Afghanistan to Yugoslavia and which needs no documentary revelations?

What is new that is not already covered in the 2500 year old .Art of War.?

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, February 22, 2009 0 comments links to this post

21 February, 2009

"secret training camps in America" for PAKI murderers

"secret training camps in America" for PAKI murderers

Nobody talks about the USA AGGRESSION.

Why are we in Afghanistan? OIL! O=oil I=israel L=Logistics

9-11 was an inside job by Henry Hugh Shelton Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Imagine the Nazi Empire training Yugoslav Turkish special (murderer-) agents
who are sent to murder Greek partisans?

Forget religion. Its another method to rule over brains, that's all.

The embedded intelligenCIA reports calmly on murder.
3 comments (all US citizens, all discussion the efficacy of killing
and coercion.. and not the WHY.)


Washington Post


A Three-Pronged Bet on 'AFPAK'

By David Ignatius

Sunday, February 22, 2009; Page


In the two-front war that Washington is now calling "AFPAK," there's more head-scratching going on than is immediately visible. Yes, President Obama approved a Pentagon request to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. But at the same time, he has ordered a strategy review to make sure the United States isn't marching blindly into what historians call "the graveyard of empires."

Obama's War and the Risks Of Realism

Ordering troop deployments before deciding on strategy isn't a great idea -- as Iraq demonstrated. But the additional troops are only about half of what U.S. commanders have requested. "The decision on the 17,000 troops is not predictive of the outcome of the strategy review," cautions a top Pentagon official.

Obama and his special adviser for the region, Richard Holbrooke, want to put their own stamp on policy. They inherited three reviews on Afghanistan: one by Lt. Gen. Doug Lute, which was commissioned by the Bush administration; a second by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and a third by Gen. David Petraeus, the Centcom commander who oversees the region.


Obama promptly ordered up a fourth assessment -- a review of the reviews, if you will. The baseline is the idea that Afghanistan and Pakistan are two theaters in the same war, combating the Taliban and al-Qaeda extremists that are operating in both countries. Hence, AFPAK. Overseeing this meta-review is Bruce Riedel, a former senior analyst at the CIA who's on loan for 60 days from the Brookings Institution.

As part of the review, top military and intelligence officials from Afghanistan and Pakistan are visiting Washington this week. "We agree that there is one front, from Kabul to Calcutta," a senior Pakistani official told me. But what that will mean in practice is far from clear.

U.S. officials were flummoxed by Pakistan's announcement last week that it had negotiated a truce with Islamic rebels in the Swat Valley region. Pakistani officials portray the deal, which would impose Islamic sharia law in the area, as a way to placate tribal leaders and pry them loose from Taliban militants.

But American officials are skeptical. They say that while 100,000 Pakistani troops are deployed in the northwest, the war is going badly. "Even with all that manpower, they're not making much progress," says one key official. Washington fears that Pakistan may want to fold its hand in Swat to avoid morale problems in an army that would rather be confronting India in the east than Muslim militants in the northwest.

A similar stand-down took place several years ago in Waziristan, where Gen. Pervez Musharraf agreed to a truce rather than continue a failing campaign. Today in Waziristan, the only real threats to Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters come from U.S. Predator drones overhead.

Asked about the Swat truce, Mullen said in a telephone interview: "It's too soon to tell, but the history is not encouraging. It's not good if it's a repeat of what happened before."

Pakistani officials say that the government of President Asif Ali Zardari is ready to fight the Muslim militants, if America provides the tools and training for counterinsurgency. On the Pakistani "wish list" are attack helicopters, night-vision equipment, light artillery for the mountainous border regions, jamming equipment to stop Taliban radio broadcasts and other high-tech surveillance gear.

The Americans would like to teach counterinsurgency tactics to a Pakistani army organized to fight a traditional war against India. Here again, Zardari's government says that it is ready. The Pakistanis say that they already have authorized 70 U.S. Special Forces advisers to train the Frontier Corps constabulary in the tribal areas along the border -- and that they are willing to approve three times that number. They even talk of secret training camps in America to reduce the U.S. footprint in Pakistan.

The Obama team's broad goal for AFPAK is a three-way strategic engagement to fight a common enemy. This means billions in economic aid for a collapsing Pakistani economy; it means a new focus on fighting corruption in Afghanistan; and it may mean distancing the United States from President Hamid Karzai in advance of Afghanistan's presidential elections in August. (Complicating the situation is the fact that Karzai's legal mandate may expire in May.)

Will the new strategy require more U.S. troops than the 17,000 Obama decided to add last week? He will make that call over the next month, and it will be one of the fateful decisions of his presidency.

The writer is co-host of PostGlobal, an online discussion of international issues. His e-mail address is davidignatius@washpost.com.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/02/20/ST2009022003286.html


Comments
abby0802 wrote:
Food for thought: we supported these extremist Muslims in their fight against our "enemy" the Soviet Union; we gave them weapons and money and the know-how.

The Soviet Union leaves and the Taliban take control.

They let bin Laden do whatever he wants because he has tons of money.

We went after the Taliban because of 9/11 and then because of Bush's ego and Bush and Cheney's oil buddies started a war in Iraq and blew off the problem of Afghanistan.

Now we are trying fix Afghanistan.

We are trying to change a part of the world that refuses to change.

You are talking about people who throw acid in the faces of girls trying to go to school; people who marry off their 11 and 12 year old daughters to 50 year old men; people who kill girls and women "over honor;" people who think it's okay to physically and sexually abuse girls and women.

They are the same people who claim that their religion gives them the right to do so.

They don't want to change and that is why they will not help America unless they are paid enormous sums of money to do so.

When our money is gone, so will be our so-called "allies."
2/21/2009 12:06:14 PM

imagesadv wrote:
Taliban whether in Afghanistan or Pakistan are but driven by one ideology and until you don't dismantle that source of all ills in Najd (Riyadh and adjoining areas) their publications and propaganda material there can be no hope. They have hijacked Islam with their petrodollars not with their piety. Islam earlier had spread with piety and the appeal of oneness of God and the exalted character and example of prophet Mohammed PBH. Now these guys are primarily illiterate and want to dictate the world what to do. In my opoinion US should get Osama and leave the area. But should remove all Wahabi literature from US, Europe, Arab World, India, Pakistan and the Far East. They are on a drive to convert the regular Muslims - The Hanafi, Shafei, Maliki and Humbali to Salafism that is the deadly Wahabism. You cannot make the big leap backwards. I plead to the world powers to save the world of both Muslims and non-Muslims from the scourge of Wahabism and Salafism. Read Desert King by David Howarth 1962 and you will know what these guys are.
2/21/2009 6:33:46 AM

I feel tactics must be changed dramatically unless 17000 troops are shipped home in boxes. You have rules of war you must stick to or else but they have only one rule and it is they have no rules. They use women and children to kill and think nothing of this life. Its an ideology you are fighting against, an invisible force that is set in concrete in their brain. Most are uneducated and believe its OK to kill you. They have millions willing to replace their dead, how many do you have? Education is one key issue but they kill to prevent learning anything but their religion. As soon as they get their hands on nukes they will not hesitate to use them on you. Its not just the Taliban you are fighting against its Islam, and Islam is spread around the world the sooner you accept this the better chance you will have in subduing their evil doings.
2/21/2009 4:14:13 AM

"SUBDUEING" "EVIL" -- it like the USA is still in the times before age of enlightenment... reason is conquered by ideology (of free markets! haha!)

Free markets that are more unfree than ever. Global corporations rule our minds and our food.

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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, February 21, 2009 0 comments links to this post

18 February, 2009

24 February - SFO Film Festival screens GLADIO!!

Miami Blues Deranged ex-con Alec Baldwin steals the film neatly away from grizzled policeman Fred Ward, which is exactly what Orion had in mind when it released this Hollywood shelfnik after the success of Baldwin's The Hunt for Red October. Things have obviously taken a turn for the worse in Miami since Don Johnson left town. Glib bad guy Baldwin drops writer-director George Armitage's nifty dialogue and hapless citizens in equal measure in his entertaining-but-creepy one-man crime wave. Jenifer Jason Leigh shines as his dim-bulb girlfriend, with the dependable Charles Napier and Nora Dunn as cops. Whatever the reason for its belated release, it's a welcome return for Armitage, who made Private Duty Nurses and Vigilante Force for Roger Corman in the '70s (99 min., 1980). – K.V. (PFA, 6:30)

Black Angel A down-and-out vaudeville player (Dan Duryea) is enlisted by June Vincent in an effort to clear the woman's husband of the charge of murdering his secretary. With Peter Lorre and Broderick Crawford. Directed by Roy William Neill (80 min., 1946). (PFA, 8:45)

San Francisco Independent Film Festival Two features — Morris County and Ex-Drummer —kick off the 2009 SF Indiefest's four-day series of screenings in the East Bay. (S, 7:15)

Friday, February 20

The Devil Is a Woman Marlene Dietrich's last fling with director Josef von Sternberg (whose black and white photography is among the finest technical work ever done in Hollywood). She's a beauty in a Spanish cigar factory who ruins a pompous Guardia Civil, but the story, as usual, takes a back seat to the chemistry of light, shadow, and Dietrich's face. Curiously enough, this film was banned by the Spanish Republican government (79 min., 1935). — K.V. (PFA, 6:30)

Crime and Punishment Dostoyevsky's famous novel gets transposed to contemporary Helsinki, where director and co-writer Aki Kaurismäki sets up the murder as an example of class antagonism between a slaughterhouse worker (named Rahikainen instead of Raskolnikov) and a rich businessman (93 min., 1983). (PFA, 8:30)

San Francisco Independent Film Festival SF Indiefest returns with two more features: Harrison Montgomery and Home Movie. (S, 7:15)

Sat., February 21

The Secret Garden A 1949 British suspense drama about two children who discover a secret paradise. With Margaret O'Brien. Directed by Fred M. Wilcox (92 min.). (PFA, 3:00)

Phantom Lady Director Robert Siodmak maintained his German Expressionist style in his American films, and particularly in this model 1940s film noir. Atmospheric lighting and distorted camera angles impel the story of a man wrongly suspected of murder, and his search for the mysterious lady who was the sole witness to his alibi. Ella Raines is his resourceful girlfriend, Franchot Tone is elegantly sinister as a colleague, and Elisha Cook Jr. brings his special tawdry, touching intensity to the role of a jazz drummer in a low-down dive (88 min., 1944). — N.W. (PFA, 6:30)

Série noire A sweaty, nervous little sketch of a film about the self-destruction of a hapless door-to-door salesman who starts off doomed and ends up even worse when he lets a pretty young woman convince him to rob a house. Actor Patrick Dewaere (who committed suicide soon after this film) turns in a truly remarkable performance as the lethally pathetic Frank Poupart, dancing jerkily along to unknown inner rhythms. The supporting cast comes across just as beat-out and discouraging as the suburban Paris location. A black, bleak comedy of ill manners, directed by Alain Corneau from an adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel A Hell of a Woman (110 min., 1979). — K.V. (PFA, 8:30)

San Francisco Independent Film Festival Day three of four in the East Bay features Automorphasis and The Full Picture. (S, 7:15)

Sun., February 22

Paris selon Moussa Guinean villager Moussa (played by director Cheick Doukouré) heads to Paris to secure a new water pump for his village, but finds himself hardly welcome (96 min., 2003). PFA, 4:30)

The Saga of Anatahan The story of a group of Japanese sailors marooned for years on an obscure island in the Marianas following World War II. Directed by Josef von Sternberg (94 min., 1953). (PFA, 6:30)

San Francisco Independent Film Festival SF Indiefest 2009 concludes in the East Bay with a final pair of feature films: The Men's Story Project and Deadgirl. (S, 7:15)

Monday, February 23

The Decalogue Director Krzysztof Kieslowski made this ten-part series for Polish TV. In each episode, a different one of the Ten Commandments is broken. This screening features parts one and two (55 min., 1987). (Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, Berkeley, 1:15)

http://habercininyeri.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/gladio2.jpg

Tuesday, February 24

Gladio Allan Francovich's 1998 documentary exposé blows the cover off a secret organization of European operatives — trained by the CIA — responsible for bombings and other terrorist acts, including the kidnapping of Italian prime minister Aldo Moro (143 min.). (PFA, 7:30)

GLADIO MUST READ ARTICLES:

http://www.spur.asn.au/LTTE_Atrocities_20060530_Welikanda.jpg

Wed., February 25

Aparajito The second and least-seen chapter of Satayajit Ray's famous "Apu Trilogy." The pace picks up somewhat from the first, as the young Apu grows away from his parents and their traditional ways, entering school in Calcutta. Ray's relaxed, open style (some would say sluggish and confused) had a tremendous influence on the film world of 1956, but time has made it into something of a cliché (127 min.) — D.D. (PFA, 3:00)

To See if I'm Smiling Israel's Tamar Yarom directed this film about the experience of young Israeli women in the military (59 min., 2007). Preceded by a short: Deadly Playground (23 min., 2007). (PFA, 6:30)

Secrecy A documentary from directors Peter Galison and Robb Moss on the distribution of knowledge and political intelligence (85 min., 2007). (PFA, 8:30)

Arusi Persian Wedding Political hostilities surface and cultures clash when Iranian Alex and American Heather plan a Persian Islamic wedding in Iran. (Oakland Museum of California, 6:30)

The Land Speaks Arabic A 2007 documentary by Palestinian filmmaker on the late 19th century birth of Zionism. Followed by 33 Days, which takes a look at the daily face of war in Lebanon. (Humanist Hall, Oakland)

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posted by u2r2h at Wednesday, February 18, 2009 0 comments links to this post

15 February, 2009

MUST READ INTERVIEW - Illuminating 911%

Truth & Deception: An Interview with Kevin Ryan on 9/11
Sat, 2009-02-14 06:52 . ABN

In this interview Kevin Ryan discusses the science and psychology of 9/11. He also mentions an upcoming paper that provides strong evidence of incendiary residues found in the World Trade Center dust. Ryan, who is one of the co-authors of the paper, says that it is "...much more conclusive than anything we've published before, and is supported by considerable physical testing."

American Buddhist Net News
2/14/09

ABN: Kevin, you have been a central figure in the 9/11 truth movement. What have you learned from that experience?

KR: The struggle for 9/11 truth has gone on now for over seven years, although I've been involved only since 2003. In that time I've learned a good deal about history and social inertia, and I've made some progress in my communications skills. Many people might think that speaking out publicly, against the wishes of authority like I did, risking one's career and public standing, can only be harmful to a person. But I've found that by showing that I was genuinely seeking a positive outcome, the opportunity to make such a sacrifice became a blessing. There were changes, of course, including a new job and moving to a new town, and a huge amount of work with my new "unpaid job", but it has been worth it. This is in part due to the fact that I've learned that there are many people in the world who feel as I do, that the events of 9/11 were paradoxically something of a gift to mankind. We don't all agree on the details, but in my view, 9/11 is a wake-up call that can be used for the purpose of realizing our own limitations, and thereby making adjustments to how we live and interact with each other, and how we prioritize the education of our children. Once we tap into this ongoing "inside job", we will have the power to make lasting positive change in our society.

ABN: Can you say more about what you mean by 9/11 being "something of a gift"? Do you mean that it has woken many people up to deeper levels of American political reality or something else?

KR: Yes, your point is correct but it is more than that. It's hard to see the positive in 9/11, and it became more difficult for me as I learned that the official story was not only false but that it was absurd, and that we had been deceived en masse. At first I subconsciously accepted the idea of "blowback" - that there were people who were so angry with us that they would do these incredibly violent things to make that anger known. It didn't occur to me that the terrorists just happened to live on the most strategically important lands in the world, and that overcoming our trillion dollar defenses would require much more than a few box cutters. But when I saw what happened as a result of 9/11, in the name of 9/11, the falsity of the official story and the need to investigate became more obvious. The reason 9/11 can be considered a gift is that so many people have been deceived for so long about what happened. This fact allows us to realize how such deception occurs, how the resulting self-deception can deeply affect our lives, and how it can go on for so long. So 9/11 has awoken us to deeper levels of political reality - deep politics as Peter Dale Scott says - but more importantly it can awaken us to awareness of our own deep psychology.

ABN: Some people say that 9/11 has led to a sort of "cold civil war" between those who support the official theory and those who do not. On the surface, it is hard to see why this should be so since both sides ought to be able to agree to do the obvious--undertake a new investigation and settle the matter once and for all. Of course, that is not how things are playing out. Mainstream news consistently ignores all the important questions, while many professional "skeptics" engage in some fairly vicious name-calling against those of us who want to have a new investigation. How do you see this social division playing out over the next year or two? Will this "cold civil war" become more serious or will it be forgotten?

KR: In my experience, there has not been much of a discussion between those who support the official story and those who do not. My colleagues and I have tried to get the official investigators to meet with us for discussion or debate, but with little success. My local group did meet with Lee Hamilton last year, since he was the congressman from our area and still keeps an office here in Bloomington. He gave us many excuses for why his 9/11 Commission report was not adequate, and has stated in his book that he felt he was set up to fail (see the revealing interview here http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/911hamilton.html). Mr. Hamilton also told us that he was not opposed to a new investigation, as long as it was not intended to simply find fault with his investigation. We have since invited him to several events but he has not agreed to join us in public. With the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Commerce department agency that Underwriters Laboratories fired me for criticizing, the invitations we've made have been rejected in every case. Readers can find a basic outline of the discussion we would like to have with NIST in our paper "Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Reports on the Destruction of the World Trade Center" (see the Open Civil Engineering Journal). But frankly, we've found that the only people who support the official story are those who created it, like NIST and Hamilton. Others have worked hard to put down any questions and to oppose any new hypotheses, but that doesn't mean they support the official story. Most people don't know much about the official story. That includes those who you call professional skeptics, and the mainstream media. The former group are often anonymous, or have no background of any kind, and spend a great deal of time and energy putting us down in blog entries or chat rooms where, as you said, they get pretty vicious. Unfortunately, I don't expect that kind of thing to stop anytime soon. In a way, such attacks can be seen as a useful indication that we are on the right track. There is much at stake, and I never expected that this would be easy. As for the mainstream media, we will just have to wait and see. I think that, as time goes on, people are more convinced that their own self-interest, no matter who they are, is entwined with the need for a more truthful society.

ABN: NIST released its final report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building No. 7 (WTC 7) in August 2008 followed by a very weak revision of that report in November. There are two things I want to ask you about this report. First, it seems to me that the release of the report was timed to coincide with the end of the Bush administration. This will allow Obama to bury further investigation into 9/11 by saying that the NIST report was good enough for him, time to move on, etc. Second, the report itself is stunning in that NIST has admitted that WTC 7 fell at freefall for over 2 seconds, while at the same time providing little or no evidence for their theory of why the building collapsed. Can you give us your views on both the timing of the report and its quality as a scientific document?

KR: The timing of NIST's WTC 7 report appeared to be scheduled for dual political purposes, to coincide with the sixth anniversary of 9/11 and to give the appearance of finished business at the end of the Bush Administration. That is not surprising, as the timing of NIST's other reports coincided with political events as well. The draft report on the towers in October 2004 - just before the election, the final report on the towers - just before the fourth anniversary of 9/11, and NIST's first "responses to FAQs" - just before the fifth anniversary, all appeared to involve politically motivated release dates. In each case, the dates allowed time for mainstream media articles to quickly present the official story while public interest was high, but did not allow time for critical questioning of the related documents, which were extensive and deceptive. With the WTC 7 report, the public was given just three weeks to comment on a report that was nearly seven years in the making. As for the quality of the report, I was really surprised at how weak it was. It seemed that NIST didn't even try to present a logical explanation for what happened, but simply relied on certain fawning media to help them close the discussion quickly and without thought. With some effort, I was able to get a response out on the sixth anniversary. In that essay (found here: http://911review.com/articles/ryan/NIST_WTC7.html), I pointed out that the WTC 7 report "contradicts the previous major claims by NIST, ignores the most important of the existing evidence, [and] produces no scientific test results to support itself." In other words, there is no science involved in the WTC 7 report from NIST, it is pure and quite transparent deception. In the future, people will learn a great deal from it, in terms of our present culture and the extent of our ability to deceive.

ABN: Kevin, in your paper /The Top Ten Connections Between NIST and Nano-Thermites /(http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/Ryan_NIST_and_Nano-1.pdf) you say "...despite a number of variations in NIST.s story, it never considered explosives or pyrotechnic materials in any of its hypotheses. This omission is at odds with several other striking facts; first, the requirement of the national standard for fire investigation (NFPA 921), which calls for testing related to thermite and other pyrotechnics, and second, the extensive experience NIST investigators have with explosive and thermite materials." Since publication of this paper in July 2008, what kind of feedback have you received on it? Have you changed any of your views since that time?

KR: In that paper, I began to look at the kinds of explosives that we are seeing in the WTC dust and how the related technologies are connected to the people who were involved in the NIST investigation. It turns out that there are quite a few surprising connections. These explosive materials are called nanothermites, energetic nanocomposites, and other names, and there are many ways of synthesizing them. I've made a few kinds myself, and compared them visually (and chemically) to the red-orange chips that scientists including myself have found in many WTC dust samples. You can view a slideshow here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/32512879@N05/sets/72157611572140729/. An important property of such explosive materials is that they can be applied by spraying or dip-coating onto the intended surfaces as opposed to the bulk packaging that people often imagine with explosives. The paper points out that several technologies were likely used in the deceptive demolition of the WTC buildings, and there are good reasons why nanothermites were almost certainly part of the operation. As for the people, I've written about such connections before, in terms of the pre-NIST stories and the contractors NIST used (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=RYA20070...). It is truly amazing how many people with professional experience, or expertise, in explosives were employed in these investigations. Considering that none of the official stories ever had anything to do with explosives, the amazement quickly becomes disbelief.

ABN: It truly is amazing. As far as I know, we can also add to this mix the fact that NIST has not released to the public the computer models upon which it based its explanation of the collapse of WTC 7. Is that still the case? Have they still not released their computer models? Is there any precedent in any legitimate scientific research anywhere for a conclusion to be reached but the very ordinary (no national security here) process of reaching that conclusion is kept secret?

KR: No, NIST has not released the computer models. NIST has also not released the thousands of photo and video images that it collected, at taxpayer expense, during the investigation. Several FOIAs have been submitted to gain access to those documents but in the cases that I've seen, NIST has not complied, but instead asked for a search fee of approximately $20,000. Appeals have been made on some of these FOIAs and the work goes on, with Americans trying to get access to the basic information that NIST used to arrive at it's (ever-changing) conclusions. I'm not aware of another such precedent, at least in our country during my lifetime.

ABN: Have you ever wondered if we are living in a video game? We have an official government body producing a supposedly well-researched report on one of the most important events in modern US history, but they refuse to let anyone see the computer models on which their conclusions are based. That fact alone should force all rational people to demand a new investigation into 9/11 immediately. Generally speaking, there are several groups that either oppose a new investigation into 9/11 or remain deafeningly silent on the issue. The most important one is the government itself--government agencies, members of Congress, the president. Another very important group is, obviously, mainstream media--TV, newspapers, radio, magazines. A third group is scientists. Before we discuss the silence of the government and the media, would you share your thoughts on why more professional scientists have not publicly stated that the official story of 9/11 is not supported by good science? I realize that there are now hundreds of architects and engineers who have signed the AE9/11Truth petition calling for a new investigation, but it seems there should be even more. I understand professional courtesy, fear of job loss, and the "wisdom" of staying out of politics, but scientists are people too and, like the rest of us, they have personal honor, a commitment to truth, concern for the nation. Why have more not come forward? Especially now with this latest "final" report from NIST, why are we not hearing more strong voices loud-and-clear from the American scientific community?

KR: There are many scientists who are openly supportive of the call for more transparency, and who acknowledge that science conducted by the Bush Administration (i.e. NIST) was a farce. As I pointed out in my presentation of June 2006, in Chicago, "Bush Science" has been publicly denounced by tens of thousands of scientists, and the NIST WTC investigation was Bush Science. There are also many scientists who support the call for a new 9/11 investigation, and it seems clear that there are now more in this category than there are scientists who support the official versions of what happened that day (see AE911truth.org, STJ911truth.org, patriotsquestion911.com and so on). But your question is valid. Why do we not have widespread and open outrage at the falsity of the official reports, particularly with regard to NIST and WTC? This is partly due to the fact that most scientists get their information about public events from the mainstream media, which has failed us so miserably. Another important factor is that the funding for science is controlled by the federal government. Universities cannot survive without federal grants, which amount to tens of millions of dollars each year for an average university, and research scientists cannot survive without grant money that comes from the government or from major corporations. Here's an example. I spoke twice at the University of Michigan in the last few years. The last time I was there, we invited every member of the schools of science and engineering to come and discuss or debate the issues of 9/11. The only responses we got were from professors who said that they agreed with us but could not speak out for fear of losing their funding. The final reason is that scientists are people, just like you and I, who are as easily fooled by ego-based deception as any other people, and perhaps more so in some cases. Being right is vitally important to professional scientists, and the status quo is important also. I think it is not easy for some scientists in the US to accept that average citizens in our country could have noticed such extreme deception before they did. In other words, as a psychologist friend once told me, people like to be right, they like to be liked, and they like to be free, in that order.

ABN: I don't know if this interests you or not, but the way that "science" has responded to 9/11 is a very good example of the way science often actually works in the real world. It is frequently not objective, not based on evidence, and not rational. With 9/11, we can see this in both the NIST report and in the silence of so many American scientists. Another good present-day example is medical science, especially the Big Pharma-funded "science" behind some very shabby psychotropic drug research and marketing. Those are some bad examples. A good example of how science can be driven by emotion, political or ideological commitment, or a sense of personal ethics is you. Can you give us some insight into why you have decided to take so many risks to pursue the science of 9/11? Were you raised with a strong sense of ethics or strong religious beliefs? It may not seem like much to you, but I think it would be most instructive for others to understand why you have given so much time and effort to this as-yet thankless task. What are your core motives? How do you deal emotionally with the negativity of mainstream America concerning a real discussion of 9/11?

KR: Science is a way of learning, and a pursuit of truth primarily used for prediction, although some do it for the sake of its beauty alone. Unfortunately, in today's culture it has become confused with technology, or the application of scientific findings. To complicate matters, science is often misused by corporations and governments to support short-sighted financial or policy goals. Much of this has to do with presenting the appearance of good science, when obligatory studies and expert opinions are needed to promote what is going to be promoted anyway, like the next drug in the pipeline. People who are not comfortable with science or technology can be easily fooled by images of scientists in lab coats, scientific sounding language, or mathematical formulae. NIST became expert at such things during its WTC investigation. In a way, the science of manipulation has become far more advanced than other sciences. As for me, I'm kind of an idealist in that I feel that real science can be life supporting, and along with other fine human endeavors, science can help us survive in the long term. It's clear to me that deception and manipulation are fatal for the deceiver as well as the deceived. As time goes on, we are learning that we'll only survive as a species if we live more truthfully. How did I reach this understanding personally? I'm not sure. I was raised in a large Irish Catholic family. They were open minded and tolerant. When I was still relatively young I experienced some terrible emotional pain through the tragic loss of several close family members. It could be that I'm better able to keep the negativity in perspective because of that experience. But I've also had trouble, as many have. There is a book by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche called The Myth of Freedom, in which he describes how to work with negativity. He says that dwelling on negativity is not good, especially "negative negativity", or that which self-justifies and is used to avoid pain. But he also says that basic honest negativity "can be creative in community as well as in personal relationships." With the issue of 9/11 we see both of these. We see many people working hard to ignore the truth in order to avoid pain and as a result becoming more and more negative toward "conspiracy theorists." We also see those who are willing to work honestly with the negativity and the truth of 9/11 in order to bring about lasting positive change.

ABN: Do you think it would be effective for people who want a new investigation into 9/11 to focus more of their energy on getting professional scientists to speak up? Rather than spend more time trying to break into mainstream media or getting a politician or two to say something reasonable, might it not be a better idea to focus on scientific groups and organizations? Earlier you mentioned scientists who are afraid to talk about 9/11 because they are dependent on government funding. Might that dependency not also work the other way around? That is, they take money from taxpayers ("the government") and so they owe it to the public to tell the truth? Maybe all they need is to have someone ask them to live up to their training. Many people are like that. They won't say anything on their own, but if you ask them, they will not lie. Would it be a good use of energy to approach university science departments or national groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists?

KR: Yes, I do think that would be effective. We are still very much a society that appeals to authority rather than thinking for ourselves. We've been trained to do that I think, through media and pop culture. That's why groups like Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, and AE911Truth, have been so effective. People want experts to tell them that it's OK to say that the official story of 9/11 is untrue, despite the fact that anyone who spends a little time investigating the issues can see that fact for themselves. What we as truth seekers could do better, before reaching out to more scientists or other people, is explain how the false story of 9/11 has impacted us all personally. We need to reach people through enlightened self-interest. It has been the "war on terror" that has driven the US into bankruptcy and done so much other damage to our society, and therefore the fact that all of it was built on a false story helps everyone understand that it is vital for us to learn the truth about 9/11. There is fear at first, especially considering that we might very well have hired the terrorists to protect us from terrorism, and that those in control of our nation today cannot be unaware of the falsity of the official line on 9/11. But today many people are losing their jobs, as well as their rights, and legislation has been enacted to enable martial law. If we want our society to remain free and viable, we have to demand the truth now. Spelling all of this out in concise communications, and beginning to offer next step solutions - a critical need that has been unmet so far - will convince more people, including scientists, to call for the truth. I've reached out to the Union of Concerned Scientists myself, and to the Obama Administration, and I'll continue trying. We have a new paper coming out soon that will provide yet more compelling evidence for the WTC demolition theory. But the arguments must be made so that the audience will see their own self-interest in taking the risk to speak out. Simply answering questions truthfully is speaking out in today's society, and it is no longer just a career choice, it's a life choice.

ABN: What do you think are the best three or four points about 9/11 to raise with scientists or people with some training in the sciences? What parts of the official story are weakest?

KR: The first point that should draw the attention of anyone who has scientific background is the infinitesimally low probability that so many unprecedented events could have happened all on the same day. On 9/11, we had the first ever complete failure of our national air defenses (times four), while at the same time the first ever situation where all of the members of our chain of command were unavailable or incapable to respond to a national emergency, followed by the first three times that a skyscraper has fallen through the path of most resistance at nearly free-fall speed for any reason other than demolition, and so on and so on. The list of unprecedented events is staggering actually. And considering that all of that led us (emotionally) to the conclusion that we should invade the most strategically important lands in the world - lands that we already planned to invade anyway - the probability of such a scenario should be highly suspect, to make a gross understatement. Furthermore, scientists should look at the official explanations for how these things occurred, and note that these explanations changed dramatically several times, even contradicting each other. A second point for physical scientists is that the explanations given for the WTC destruction have all been completely unscientific, supported by no physical testing and ostensibly crafted by computer models that the public is not allowed to see. A third point is that there now exists a large body of evidence, including many witnesses and physical evidence, that supports the WTC demolition theory. Finally, as I said earlier, it is the psychology of 9/11 that is so tremendously important. When we realize that our nation, which was until recently the best educated in the world, was fooled so completely by such an incredibly weak story, our psychological biases and defense mechanisms come to light in a way that should immediately gain the attention of any psychologist or social scientist.

ABN: You and Dr. Steve Jones have done work investigating the presence of incendiary and explosive residues in the dust from the World Trade Center buildings. Can you say something about that? In your view, how strong is this evidence?

KR: The evidence is very strong. The new paper that I mentioned is much more conclusive than anything we've published before, and is supported by considerable physical testing. The team working on this project now includes scientists from around the world, and results have been replicated in different laboratories and different, independently obtained samples of WTC dust. I'll leave it at that for now, as I'm not the lead author on this next paper, which will be published soon in a mainstream peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, several FOIA requests are in the works that, depending on the transparency of the responses, could help explain exactly how such explosive materials might have been installed in the buildings, and when. As I mentioned before, I've also been making nanothermites myself and have shared some of this work (link above) in a way that allows people to visually see the similarities. That work of synthesizing different formulations, with the purpose of matching exactly what we've seen in the dust, will help to narrow down the list of suspects. In other interviews I've emphasized that we can do much, in conjunction with the science, to zero in on the culprits by considering the intersection of three paths. That is, 1- who had access to such technologies at the time that these explosives were likely to have been installed, 2- who had access to these highly secure buildings, and 3- who was involved in the cover-up investigations that followed? If we examine that short list and consider motives, I think we'll find those who actually committed the crimes of 9/11.

ABN: Wow. I did not expect that. That is a major piece of news that even the US media will not be able to ignore. One question comes to mind on this: Is the chain of custody for the dust good enough for a law case? Or, put another way, is undisturbed dust from the buildings still available for independent testing?

KR: I'm afraid that the mainstream media will be able to ignore it. What is already known about 9/11 is enough to bring the whole house of cards down, several times over. If the media can ignore that information, it can ignore anything. But to be clear, the mainstream media has reported bits and pieces of truth over the years. For example, one of the most successful 9/11 truth websites is one that is built entirely on mainstream media sources - The History Commons (http://www.historycommons.org/). What happens is that this information gets reported only once, and never gets brought together in a cohesive picture that allows readers to readily understand the implications. But back to your question - do we have chain of custody documentation on the samples? Yes, we have signed affidavits from each of the sample collectors, who in each case collected the samples and forwarded them directly to the person conducting the experiments. We're now using a customized version of a standard chain-of-custody form intended for typical environmental samples, which allows the information to be transferred in the same way every time. As with all good science, what we're trying to do is to provide a procedure by which other competent scientists can replicate the results. And to your second point, yes, there is a great deal of WTC dust still out there. Helping other honest investigators find samples will not be a problem.

ABN: I hope you are wrong about the media. It is true they have ignored so much, they no longer deserve to be called news media. But how can they ignore the fact that incendiaries have been found in WTC dust and that the finding has been replicated and can be independently confirmed? Anyway, we will know soon enough, I guess. Even if the mainstream media ignores the evidence, less-than-mainstream opinion-makers (Shermer, Cockburn, Chomsky, Zinn, Goodman, etc.) may find it more difficult to deny. Some time ago you debated Michael Shermer on 9/11 (see: "9/11 and Skepticism": http://www.americanbuddhist.net/9-11-and-skepticism). How do you think he will deal with the new findings? What about the others? Will they be forced to change their views?

KR: We should consider the fact that most of these people are just acting in their own self interest, and when groups of people act independently in their own self interest it is not a conspiracy, it is human nature. For example, Professor Chomsky has written a number of books that relate to the events of 9/11. In fact, he wrote a book with the title "9/11". All of this is based on the notion of "blowback but never managed blowback", which I wrote about in a recent essay. Therefore, if he were now to say that he suddenly believes that the alternative theories (e.g. managed blowback) might have merit, he would be essentially negating a large body of his own work. That is also true for Goodman, I think. But Howard Zinn has only recently started to say that we should move on from 9/11, that it is "in the past", which is a very strange thing for an historian to say. He was previously quite supportive, having written a blurb or two for David Ray Griffin's books. I don't know what made him change his mind, but if you have tried to fight for 9/11 truth you know that there can be tremendous peer pressure to quit asking those questions. It's a very painful subject, and can take a toll on a person. True compassion for people like Chomsky and Zinn would certainly help, in my opinion. Even more so, with 9/11 and with many other challenges we are facing, forgiveness will be a very important skill in the future. Shermer is a good example of where that will have to come into play. He is someone who has worked hard to put down any questioning of the events of 9/11, and there really aren't many people in that category. Most others, including mainstream media representatives, are just acting in their own self interest, to avoid their own pain and, in a futile effort, to avoid real change. Lasting positive change will require us to put away our heroes (e.g. Chomsky and Zinn) and our demons (i.e. those who just happen to live on the last oil-rich land). Lasting change will also require us to let go of many of our unnecessary beliefs and opinions, so that more truthful information can take hold. My colleagues and I are trying to supply that truthful information so that it is available when people are ready to make that change.

ABN: In this talk and in your writings, you have often emphasized such things as "human nature", our capacity for "self-deception", the "deep psychology" of human beings, and our need for more "truth" in society. These are also primary themes within the Buddhist tradition. From other communications with you, I know that you have more than a passing interest in Buddhism. In this interview, you also mentioned your Catholic upbringing. Can you expand on these themes a bit? How does your work on 9/11 affect you spiritually and how do your spiritual or moral beliefs affect your work on 9/11? Gandhi once said: "Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." How do you understand the intersection of religion, politics, and science?

KR: I've got great respect for people who sincerely pursue their religious convictions. That includes people of many faiths, including Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Christian people. Buddhism is the religion that speaks to me most clearly, and the one that I work to learn the most about. I was raised Catholic, and Christian moral values remain with me although I don't practice the Christian faith formally. But these various designations are not important in my opinion, and I'm most compelled by the common goal of these religions, the perennial philosophy as it is sometimes called, to seek the underlying source of existence, our greater Self, and abandon the lesser self. We find this theme, that tells us to let go of our smaller self or our ego-based deception, throughout all the great religions. St. Francis was an inspirational Catholic leader who said "It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life." All Christians know that "Pride goeth before the fall", and Buddhists focus on release from the attachment that creates suffering. Both the Qur'an and the Torah speak about self-deception, and the Talmud tells us that lies are the worst form of theft (theft of ideas), and so on. Of course we can see for ourselves that people who live more truthfully, being more honest with themselves, have the best chance at long term physical survival. And as I've said before, 9/11 is the best example of mass self-deception, and therefore the best opportunity for us to learn about such things, and move toward a better world. Mass self-deception is exemplified beautifully by the official story of 9/11, in which we of Western cultures accepted that dark-skinned demons committed completely irrational, violent acts for no good reason. The fact that those demons just happened to live on the most strategic lands in the world, lands that our "leaders" already planned to invade, did not occur to many people. The unconscious fear and rage, that the corporate media worked so hard to instill on the matter, kept us from realizing that Muslims could not have been involved in the crimes of 9/11 at all, because taking innocent life is against their religion. We might say that instead of being real Muslims, they were "nominally" Muslims, much like the leaders of our governments have called themselves Christians when everyone knows, from the fruits of their labor, they are as far from Christians as people can get. But those semantics are just excuses after the fact. We were deceived, and many of us went along with it for years. What will we do with this knowledge? Such a weak and unsupported lie cannot be maintained, for so long, without self-deception. So my work on 9/11 is part of an effort to seek greater truth, and to help others learn enough to survive and prosper both physically and spiritually. Politics is not something I know much about, and actually I've never considered what I do to be political in nature. But I might be wrong. I've still got a lot to learn myself.

ABN: I usually use the word "politics" to indicate power relationships in society and their interplay. Washington and all that then becomes a subset of American politics, which would also include media, public perception, propaganda, fake science, why it happens and so on. This definition is not so common though. Anyway, in this sense much of what you are doing is "political" because you are trying to make the public aware of how they are being deceived by proponents of the official story of 9/11. In this rough context, one thing about you and most of the other core 9/11 people that really stands out in my mind is you are using a model of "political" leadership that is quite rare in America today, but that is proving to be very effective. I am thinking of David Ray Griffin, Steve Jones, Graeme MacQueen, Barrie Zwicker, you, and many others--there is a selflessness, honesty, and quiet decency about all of you that is truly impressive. I doubt that your style was consciously chosen, and though it may be difficult for you to do, can you speak about this a bit? Does your way of doing what you do come from your education, from your sense of ethics, from your "spirituality," from the kind of truths you are talking about, or something else? What is it about 9/11 that has drawn in so many really decent people, people it seems that would never have sought a place in the public eye but for this event?

KR: It seems that the word politics has only negative connotations now, as does the word power. In the past, power was something good, like in the Tao Te Ching. But that was about lasting power, and I don't think there's much chance of Washington being in that category. Whatever lasts, resonates, and gives power is a conjugate of its natural environment. Both Tao and Darwin agree on this. That reminds me that you've listed some great people, but have forgotten the women. Some of the first and greatest 9/11 truth leaders were women. Cynthia McKinney, Indira Singh, Catherine Austin-Fitts, the Jersey Girls, and others are in that group. All of these people are examples of selflessness and decency, and I'd be honored to be mentioned in such company. But I think that selflessness and decency are actually more natural, and therefore not so much chosen as "just exactly so", as a Buddhist teacher might say. One such teacher that I admire is the late Dainin Katagiri, a Zen teacher from Minnesota, formerly from Japan. In his book "Returning to Silence", he taught about real knowing, and allowing yourself "to stand in the appropriate place." Since the book is written more for monks, not lay people like myself, I might be misinterpreting it. But Katagiri Roshi wrote that realizing the Truth is the same as being yourself honestly, and one cannot really live without being truthful and seeking an actualized realization of the truth for all beings. My answer then, is that the people listed above didn't just choose to speak out about 9/11, it's also that doing so is simply who they are. My feeling is that this is the case for most of the people who have stayed the course in seeking the truth about 9/11. They know how important it is for all of us to know what happened, but they really work for the truth simply because they cannot do otherwise. I'm not talking about those who have made a career of it, trying to make money from it, or those who have done it for the fame. Over the years, in the worst of the attacks and smear campaigns against us, I've told my colleagues that we have to decide first why we're doing this. If you can't say that you would still be working for the truth even if you never got any credit or reward for it, and even if you know that you might end up suffering greatly because of it, then you shouldn't be doing it. We should only seek the truth honestly, because we know it's the right thing to do and it will give everyone a better chance at survival, albeit maybe only for future generations. The people you mentioned are doing it for those reasons, and that's why they have succeeded. I don't know that all of them are religious, but they are all dedicated to honestly seeking the truth. This is because of their nature, and when they have other reasons, it's a matter of something greater than their own personal gain. Therefore they are a reflection of what is True and have the power to be part of something great.

ABN: Where do you see the 9/11 movement going over the next year or two? Will things be much different under Obama? Is there a better chance of gaining mainstream recognition or a new investigation now that he is president?

KR: People are becoming more open and accepting of the 9/11 truth movement as time goes on. Five or six years ago we didn't get any mainstream media coverage, even negative coverage. Things are different now. This is partly because the emotional trauma of 9/11 is more in the past, and because we've seen so many recognizable and admirable people speak out over the intervening years. We also see more openness because, as I said before, as things develop nationally and worldwide, people see more of their own self-interest tied to getting out the truth about the so-called War on Terror. The more welcoming environment is also a function of younger folks not being as tied to the official story as older people are. Last week I interviewed with a 12 year old girl who was doing a project for school on 9/11 truth. I asked her if she thought the subject would bring her grief due to peer pressure. She said no, everybody talks about it. Eventually, this will be the case, and everyone will know that 9/11 was an inside job and it will be considered obvious. The question that faces us today is whether or not we'll reach a critical mass awareness, one that will create insistent public demand for a new investigation, before people become so overwhelmed with the collapsing economy and other crises (e.g. new wars, martial law), that the truth will only be useful in hindsight, for future generations to learn from. For the truth about 9/11 to be useful to this generation, people will need to quickly recognize that 9/11 has been the driving force behind the wars and policies that expedited this economic collapse, as well as totalitarian legislation, and the destruction of our country's moral standing in the world. Once people accept the need for 9/11 truth, other urgent issues come to mind quickly. Why did our government, our mass media and our academic institutions not help us get the truth out? What really drives public policy - public opinion or corporate greed? These are important questions and the answers will be tremendously helpful to society. What are the odds that Obama will make this happen? To answer that we should take a look at what little we know about him now. First of all he is only one man, and there are no individual heroes that will make everything better, just as there are no demons that are responsible for it all. Lasting positive change will require far more than a few new laws, and Obama is fighting difficult battles just to pass his first bills in a Democrat led Congress. Secondly, he has said that he won't investigate the crimes of the Bush Administration, so he's not likely to investigate 9/11. Obama made an enormous number of promises to get elected, and he appears to be following up on a few. But he's working from within the exact same system as Bush and Clinton did, and he's hiring the same people too. As I said, I don't know much about politics, but there is evidence that the same financial interests control both parties, and all politicians like Obama need to be submissive to those interests or they cannot raise the needed campaign money let alone get elected. For an interesting evaluation of international financial interests and 9/11, I recommend a new book by author and activist Don Paul, for which I contributed the Introduction. The title of this book is "The World is Turning: "9/11", The Movement for Justice, & Reclaiming America for the World."

ABN: Thank you for your time and insights. Is there anything else you would like to say?

KR: Thank you, I hope the discussion was useful. It.s important for people to realize that understanding the events of 9/11, and the false official explanations given for those events, is a fundamental first step in solving the problems we.re facing as a society today. There are critical and species-threatening issues that need to be addressed immediately, and humankind is on the brink of a transition that will not leave much room for continuing errors. That.s why many of us are convinced that it is this .catastrophic and catalyzing. realization, that we.ve been deceived about 9/11, that can bring us together to work for lasting positive change.

Kevin Ryan is former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.

Through interviews, presentations, and his work as co-editor at the online Journal of 911 Studies, Mr. Ryan works to bring out the truth behind the events of 9/11/01 for the benefit of all people.


This interview was conducted by Tom Graham via email over the past few weeks.

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