TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
Volume 3, Number 20
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- As 9/11 Survivors Ask for Justice, Obama Is in the Dock
- 9/11 Families Lobby Obama En Masse To Sign JASTA
- Obama’s Final Order to the Black Caucus: My Legacy!
- Was U.S. Attack on Syrian Troops Really an Accident?
- New Revelations on Saudi Terrorism and Barbarism
- RT Interviews EIR on U.S. Attack on Syrian Army
- ‘How Citi Stayed Open’ May Become Senate Hearings Question
- Some 320,000 Take To Streets in Germany against Obama’s TTIP
- Color Revolution vs. Duterte Gets Kick in the Teeth
- Shakespeare Anniversary Celebrated in China; Placido Domingo Performs Verdi’s Macbeth
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—In the fifteen years since thousands of Americans lost their lives—or willingly gave them up for others—in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, their sacrifice has been betrayed, again and again, as Presidents Bush and Obama launched war after war of aggression against nations innocent of 9/11, while hiding and defending the sponsors of Islamic terrorism.
This terrible Bush/Obama travesty of a “war on terror” has cost literally millions of innocent lives.
Last week’s revelations by the House of Commons about just one of those disastrous wars—against Libya—has forced former British Prime Minister David Cameron to resign, and will probably end the career of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Only Obama remains unpunished, and he was the one who insisted on destroying Libya’s government completely—which unleashed chaos and terrorism.
If this travesty “war on terror” continues, all of those victims and heroic first responders of 9/11/2001 will have died in vain.
If it is not ended now, it could mean world war.
It can be ended now. On Tuesday the families of victims of 9/11 will demonstrate at the White House, demanding Obama sign the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), unanimously passed by both Senate and House. The Saudi monarchy is exposed as sponsor of Islamic extremism and terrorism around the world, and can be sued by its victims under this Act.
Obama stated his intention to veto this last chance for justice; but he is isolated. If Congress and citizens act this week, he can be compelled to sign JASTA or see his veto overridden immediately. Then there can be real changes in policy.
We can end the nightmare of perpetual “regime change” wars and confrontations with Russia and China, taken over from Cheney-Bush by Obama.
There is an entirely new paradigm abroad in the world from this G20 Summit hosted by China on Sept. 3-4. That summit resolved to go with China’s successful approach. It meant tackling the problems of no economic growth, and no productivity growth, not by endless money-printing and negative interest rates, but through science, economic partnerships of nations for continent-spanning projects of new infrastructure. And it meant ending the deadly state support for terrorist groups used by some countries against others.
To join in this paradigm the United States immediately needs Congress to readopt the Glass-Steagall Act and shut down Wall Street’s “casinos” of speculation. And it needs to issue national credit for productive employment and productivity.
It starts by getting justice from Obama, who is in the dock for protecting the sponsors of terrorism, and fighting terror-spawning wars for them.
It’s not too late for the U.S. Congress, pushed by the American people, to act with as much spine as the British House of Commons did when it took down David Cameron last week. So the world will be watching the rally for justice in Washington.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—On Tuesday, busloads of families who lost loved ones on 9/11 will arrive in Washington to demand that President Obama sign the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act; and that the House and Senate override Obama in the event he vetoes JASTA, which the House and Senate passed unanimously. The House passed JASTA by a voice vote before the August recess; the Senate had passed it unanimously in a roll call vote prior to that.
The families and their supporters are rallying to say that Congress must stay in session until Obama signs or his veto is overridden.
9/11 family members, survivors, LaRouche PAC organizers, and concerned citizens will journey to Washington with the families on buses, and Washington-area LaRouche PAC will join in the rally, which will convene near the White House in Lafayette Square on September 20 at 12:30 p.m.
Obama has said he will veto the bill; if he does not veto it by the end of Friday, Sept. 23, it becomes law. If he does veto it, his veto can be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate. However, both the House and Senate have announced a recess from Sept. 23 until after the Nov. 8 election, which would take the pressure off House Members in particular, since their elections will be over, as will elections of one-third of the Senators. In addition, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is sympathetic to the administration’s drive to kill the bill. Corker has also supported Saudi Arabia’s U.S.-facilitated war in Yemen, which is creating mass suffering among Yemenis while strengthening al-Qaeda’s position in the country. Republican Lindsey Graham (SC) is another of Obama’s Republican soft-on-Saudi supporters.
In a Sept. 16 piece for The Hill, former Senator and 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey fully endorsed JASTA, declaring that signing this bill into law will be an act of justice and will help make the United States homeland a safer place to live. He also refuted repeated claims by the Obama administration and the Saudi Kingdom that the 9/11 Commission report is evidence of Saudi Arabia’s innocence: “This is not true. It is true that the Commission did not conclude that the Saudis were guilty, but we most definitely did not conclude that they were not involved. In fact, there was considerable evidence suggesting just the opposite,” wrote Kerrey.
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Barack Obama had a caudillo moment while addressing the Congressional Black Caucus at its gala on Saturday night, telling the audience of African-American Congressional Members and other elected officials that they must protect his “legacy” from “insult”—meaning, according to Thomas Lifson of the American Thinker, “anyone but his choice to succeed him. Obama’s view of government as an extension of a leader’s personality that would be ‘insulted’ by a vote against his preference is, ‘What dictators practice, not democracies,’ ” Lifson writes.
“So,” said Obama, “if I hear anybody say their vote does not matter; that it doesn’t matter who we elect—read up on your history. It matters. We’ve got to get people to vote. In fact, if you want to give Michelle and me a good sendoff…. If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake. All the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election. My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot….
“And after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult; an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election.”
Says Lifson, “All that is missing from this harangue is a military uniform draped with medals awarded for imaginary feats of valor”—perhaps deeds like watching drones kill innocents.
The reality Obama was pounding the Black Caucus about is this: A Los Angeles Times national tracking poll of 3,000-plus voters found that more than 20% of blacks intend to “take a shot” and vote for Trump, rather than a Democrat endorsed by Obama.
The truth is, rather than rely on the Black Caucus to get his policies enacted in his two terms, Obama has relied, and still does rely, on Republicans, to vote for wars, domestic surveillance, and free trade, for example. And when Republicans failed to provide the margin needed to pass Obama’s legislation, he took advantage of the deadlock to issue an executive order, as in the case of immigration, spying on U.S. citizens, or free trade deals. If Obama refuses to sign JASTA into law by Sept. 23, and the Congress fails to override his veto, it is Republicans like Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a.k.a. the LOLSC—the Little Old Lady from South Carolina, in the words of one military hero—who will protect Obama’s “legacy” as a traitor to the United States.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Retired Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer Col. W. Patrick Lang, in a comment posted on his blog yesterday, questioned the U.S. military’s assertion that the U.S. air strike on Syrian troops in Deir ez-Zor on Saturday (Sept. 17) was an accident.
Lang notes that many of the readers of his blog know that accidents of that sort can happen.
“But, there are some unusual things about this ‘error,’ ” he writes. “The SAA [Syrian Arab Army] has been occupying these positions for six months or so. Presumably U.S. imagery and SIGINT analysts have been looking at them all that time and producing map overlays that show who is where in detail. These documents would be widely available, especially to air units and their targeteers. U.S. coalition-led air has not struck previously in the Deir al-Zor area. Why now? Were they asked to strike? The U.S. does not talk to the Syrian government. How would they have been asked? Who would have designated the targets? They struck in the presence of SAA troops without any ground liaison? And what of the timing, two days before the U.S.-Russian deal was to be expanded into active cooperation?”
After taking note of U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power’s outburst after the emergency UN Security Council meeting called by Russia, Lang concludes: “IMO [in my opinion] it is an open question as to whether these air strikes on the SAA were accidental.”
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Just as the JASTA bill is before Obama for his signature, three new revelations have come forward showing the deep, long-standing support of the Saudis for terrorism and their years of lying about it.
On Sept. 16, the Associated Press revealed that an accused al-Qaeda bomb-maker who attended college in Arizona told military interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison, that he believed an unnamed member of the Saudi Royal Family was part of an effort to recruit him for violent extremist acts before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to what the Tribune reports as a newly released transcript.
In early 2001, Ghassan Abdallah al-Sharbi had just returned from Phoenix, where he had taken flight courses at Embry-Riddle University in Prescott, Arizona, with two men who would become hijackers in the 9/11 attacks.
Al-Sharbi said a religious figure in Saudi Arabia discussed his future on the telephone, calling the interlocutor “Your Highness” several times. The religious figure then urged al-Sharbi to return to the United States and participate in a plot that would involve flying a plane.
Yet the 9/11 Commission had found—according to this evidence, wrongly—that there was no evidence to indicate that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials had supported the attacks, and the Saudi Royals and government denied it.
Al-Sharbi described the conversation in June to the Periodic Review Board, which judges whether Guantanamo prisoners can be released. On Sept. 15, the Pentagon posted a redacted transcript.
He did not return to the United States, but went to Afghanistan, where he was captured in a house with Abu Zubaydah. When captured, the FBI found a cache of documents including an envelope from the Saudi Embassy in Washington, which contained his flight certificate, according to a document known as File 17.
Former senior U.S. official Zalmay Khalilzad wrote in Politico Sept. 14 that on his most recent trip to Saudi Arabia, he met with top members of the Royal Family, including Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is also Defense Minister. Khalilzad says that when he raised the question of Saudi funding of Islamic extremism, one official, instead of denying it, admitted, “We misled you,” and explained that Saudi support for extremism began in the early 1960s as a counter to Egypt’s Nasserism, and that it was also a way of “resisting” the Soviet Union, often in cooperation with the United States, in places like Afghanistan in the 1980s. “Under their new and unprecedented policy of honesty,” Khalilzad writes, they claim “ ‘We did not own up to it after 9/11 because we feared you would abandon or treat us as the enemy,’ a Saudi senior official conceded.”
Today, Washington Post reporter Thomas Gibbons-Neff states that the Saudis are using U.S.-supplied white phosphorus gas in their war in Yemen, “based on images and videos posted to social media, raising concerns among human rights groups that the highly incendiary material could be used against civilians.” He reports that under U.S. regulations, “white phosphorus sold to other countries is to be used only for signalling and smoke screens. When used against soldiers or civilians, it can maim and kill by burning to the bone. It is unclear exactly how the Saudis are using the munitions, but the government has already received widespread condemnation for its indiscriminate bombing in civilian areas in Yemen.”
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—RT interviewed EIR’s Washington Bureau Chief Bill Jones on a live broadcast on Sept. 17 about the ruckus that day at the UN Security Council. Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power refused to discuss the incident earlier in the day in which a U.S. airstrike had killed over 60 Syrian Army soldiers, creating a situation in which ISIL made significant advances. Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called a late-night UN Security Council meeting to discuss the issue as it could disrupt the agreement made with the U.S. on cooperating to achieve a ceasefire. Power, looking like a petulant teenager, went into a rant about the Russian attempt to bring the UNSC to a late-night meeting over the airstrike after all their “violations.”
“Power is totally undermining what Kerry had accomplished with Lavrov, and she should be fired immediately,” Jones said. Asked whether the airstrike was intentional or an accident, he replied, “If the issue was done with the blessing of the White House, then it would be cause for impeachment of the President. ISIL is, after all, a declared enemy of the United States and we have just been reminded of what happened on September 11, 2001. In this case, the President has aided and abetted the enemy. Grounds for impeachment.”
Whether that were not the case and it was a snafu, Jones continued, “An apology is not sufficient. Someone must be held responsible. Heads must roll. And one of those heads should be that of Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who has done everything to undermine cooperation with Russia against this common enemy.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Tuesday’s Senate Banking Committee hearing on Wells Fargo Bank—which was just compelled to admit an astonishing scale of frauds against its depositors and customers—may provide some fireworks for the Glass-Steagall fight. Wells Fargo’s frauds illustrated once again the ravages which the “trading and sales culture” of speculative firms visit on commercial banks’ deposit bases, when the two kinds of financial firms are combined. That is why Glass-Steagall kept them separated.
But beyond Wells Fargo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and others may bring in the recently revealed referrals for criminal prosecution of top bankers, which were made confidentially by the Financial Crisis Investigation Commission (FCIC) in 2012, and ignored by the FBI and Justice Department of Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder. Those criminal referrals focussed on a Citibank group including former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Citi CEO Charles Prince, and two other Citi senior bankers. As the Wall Street Journal-linked Australian noted in an editorial Sept. 19, “Many people still understandably attribute the roots of the crisis to the repeal of Glass-Steagall…. The wave of what might be called casino banking started then, and led to what the FCIC, in its final report, called ‘a systemic breakdown in accountability and ethics.’ ”
Witnesses at the hearing include Wells Fargo’s top regulator, Office of Controller of the Currency head Thomas Curry. That could open up Senator Warren’s demand for the FBI’s files on the criminal referrals, showing why they were not pursued by the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ), and why they were ignored by the bank regulators.
FCIC chairman Phil Angelides released a statement Sept. 19 fully supporting Warren’s demand. “The DOJ has yet to hold a single senior Wall Street executive accountable for the matters referred to the DOJ by the FCIC,” Angelides wrote. “Furthermore, while the DOJ has obtained more than $40 billion in fines from the shareholders of major financial institutions related to the mortgage securities fraud matters referred by the FCIC, it has not named one executive in any civil or criminal action related to the misconduct that led to those fines. How is it possible that banks engaged in such massive misconduct, but no banker was involved? Is it possible that we have witnessed an immaculate corruption?”
Major bank crimes since Glass-Steagall disappeared include the creation of huge derivatives contracts which magically make large liabilities disappear from their books at key accounting dates—the way Lehman Brothers and Italy’s Monte dei Paschi Bank each concealed its insolvency. This brings the top regulators into the criminal circle, as they knew that Citibank, for example, was completely insolvent, and accepted these huge lies, causing huge taxpayer bailout loans to insolvent banks.
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—On Saturday, Sept. 17, public rallies held in most of Germany’s major cities against TTIP and CETA drew up to 320,000 protesters. The largest rallies took place in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, the main target of the actions being the German government and the EU Commission, but the implicit target was Obama.
The Stop TTIP organizers said that 65,000 rallied in Hamburg, 55,000 in Cologne, 70,000 in Berlin, 25.000 in Munich, 50,000 in Frankfurt am Main, 40,000 in Stuttgart, and 15,000 in Leipzig.
Whereas the government in Berlin supports the CETA deal between the EU and Canada, it is divided on TTIP: Chancellor Merkel is for it; Vice-Chancellor Gabriel against. Gabriel’s support for CETA, however, has come under strong attack from his own SPD party base, and certainly was a factor in the SPD’s losses in the Sept. 18 Berlin elections for the city-state parliament.
The main shortcoming of the nationwide protests was that they were motivated by a lot of ecology issues, and lacked any real alternative like the New Silk Road paradigm, but the defense of labor and social standards against deeper-going liberalizations and deregulations as envisaged by CETA and TTIP did play a role for protesters as well.
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, Chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee, who is running a witchhunt hearing into President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, has been ousted by her fellow Committee members. Last week de Lima produced a fraudulent witness—without notifying the other Committee members—who claimed to have been on Duterte’s death squads in Davao when Duterte was mayor. The witness has been in de Lima’s Witness Protection program for three years, but the charges are so clearly fraudulent that she never made them public—until now, when Obama is unleashing a color revolution to destroy Duterte and the Philippines for his courageous stand against Obama’s imperial war plans against China, and his treatment of the Philippines as a colonial subject.
The witness’s graphic stories of the killing and mutilation of people, including Duterte’s political enemies, made headlines around the world. Several of Duterte’s political opponents who were supposedly targeted by the death squads have gone public that the stories are fairy tales.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao (the world boxing champion who won a Senate seat) moved to declare vacant the entire Justice Committee membership. The vote was 16-4 and two abstentions. A new Committee and new leaders were then appointed.
Before the motion to vacate the Committee, Sen. Alan Cayetano delivered a privilege speech where he said de Lima’s antics were discrediting the nation: “We have to save our nation from the efforts of a few people to destroy the image of our country, our economy, and the future of our next generation.”
De Lima had been after Duterte for many years, while she was Secretary of Justice under former President Noynoy Aquino. Years of effort to pin Duterte with extrajudicial killings in his successful campaign to clean up drugs and crime in Davao City came to nothing.
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—China is also celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare in high style with the rest of the world. One major event was the performance of Verdi’s Macbeth Sept. 7-11 at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA), with world-renowned tenor Placido Domingo, now singing baritone. Domingo was also instrumental in helping organize the NCPA by holding the Domingo vocal competition, Operalia, in Beijing in 2012. In 2013 he made his opera debut at NCPA in Nabucco. In August 2015 he played the leading role in the NCPA’s performance of Simon Boccanegro.
Sun Xiuwei, a winner of the Operalia competition in 2012, was Domingo’s Lady Macbeth, while Tian Haojiang played Banco and Wang Chong Macduff. Speaking about the NCPA, Domingo says: “I am impressed by the progress of NCPA. As a young company, it has produced over 50 operas during the past nine years of its existence. I believe that there will be 100 opera productions done by the time the NCPA celebrates its 20th anniversary.”
Just to indicate the popularity of classical music, 37 million people are studying piano in China as opposed to 6 million in the United States.
And for those studying English, Shakespeare is the pinnacle of their study. Many important Chinese figures, such as former Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxiang (his favorite play King Lear, useful for work in Washington) and AIIB’s Jin Liqun are both something of Shakespeare scholars.
Correction: Deutsche Bank’s derivatives exposure is between $50-70 trillion not billion, as erroneously stated in yesterday’s Alert.