Foreknowledge Issues Raise Questions of Boston Terror Suspects’ Relationship With FBI

The official story of the Boston Marathon attacks seems to change as much as is necessary for its promoters to maintain some credibility with the majority of the population, while at the same time keeping the essential narrative in place. Initially the government claimed to have no awareness of the suspects, but after it was reported that the FBI had met with the older Tsarnaev brother long before the attacks, the government’s relationship status with the two men quickly changed to- It’s complicated. For those growing wise to the ways of the FBI, this was to be expected because, more often than not, the agency is revealed to have had some behind the scenes role in modern US terrorism cases. Persistent claims of foreknowledge, among many other problems with the official story, seem to indicate that this case is no different and that the Tsarnaev brothers may have been manipulated by some factions within the national security apparatus.

Local Police Still Insist FBI Had Foreknowledge of Boston Terror Suspects Before Shootout

The FBI has fought allegations of foreknowledge related to the Boston Marathon bombing and the surrounding events from the very beginning. Early on, it was claimed that they knew the identity of the bombing suspects days before the chaos unfolded in Watertown and Cambridge. The Tsarnaev family said the FBI had contacted Tamerlan about the bombing days before the shootout. The FBI disputed that claim, but the issue didn’t end there. Local police have also been telling a story about the events following the Marathon attack that contradicts the FBI’s account of what they knew about the Tsarnaev brothers and when they knew it.

The FBI’s official position is that they did not know who the suspects were until after Tamerlan’s dead body was fingerprinted Friday morning sometime after 1:00 AM on April 19th. But local law enforcement have been reaching out to journalists and politicians saying that the FBI knew the identities of the suspects before that time and didn’t share the information with them or their Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) affiliates. While most of them remain anonymous, their concerns have been expressed through journalists from Boston’s local media outlet FOX 25 News, and through the office of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

Grassley–who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee–had been asking the FBI questions, concerning their activities prior to the attacks, since June of last year with no answers. Frustrated by the their lack of cooperation, he repeated the questions along with new ones in a letter to the Director of the FBI in October. The letter revealed that sources had informed his office that local law enforcement  had “encountered multiple teams of FBI employees” operating in Cambridge well before the MIT officer, Sean Collier, was killed. The sources also informed Grassley that “the Cambridge Police Department, including its representation at the JTTF, [had not been] previously made aware of the FBI’s activity in Cambridge.”

FOX 25 obtained a copy of Grassley’s letter and featured it in an article and multiple news segments. In one interview, journalist Maria Stephanos tells her FOX 25 colleague Mike Beaudet:

You and I have been talking about this, I’ve been hearing from my sources, you’ve heard from your sources as well, that the FBI knew that the brothers were in Watertown after the bombings, but didn’t move in on them, and you’ve talked to the FBI about that and they denied it.

Mike Beaudet answers:

I did, so yes, there has been a lot of scuttlebutt in the law enforcement community from people who are close to all this, wondering if in fact the FBI did know who these guys were and perhaps tactically decided not to release those photos, so they could follow them around and see if they lead them to other people, or who knows what.

Later in the segment, the questions are addressed to a former FBI agent. Stephanos asks: “If we’re both getting sources, saying to us, that the bombs went off and these guys went to Watertown and that the FBI knew that they were in Watertown, that they were setting up surveillance there, then why did it just end right there?” She explains the concerns people have that the life of officer Sean Collier might have been saved had the agency not waited to apprehend the suspects.

 

Finally, the FBI responded. They issued a statement claiming that, “no one was surveilling the Tsarnaevs, and they were not identified until after the shootout.” However they did partially admit the presence at MIT that day, but claimed it was the JTTF and that they were there for “a matter unrelated to the Tsarnaev brothers.” The FBI quickly added to their explanation, telling Beaudet that “several MIT students were being looked at as suspects.” No answers were given as to why local JTTF representatives were saying they weren’t made aware of the federal presence, nor was it explained why federal agents were reported to be operating secretly in Watertown before the carjacking allegedly led to the shootout that occurred there.

The FBI’s limited and insufficient response must not have satisfied local police officer, Sergeant Clarence Henniger, a 39 year member of MIT’s force, who was the first officer to discover Collier as he was dying that night. In a recent interview with WBUR, Henniger added to the previous claims that the FBI was already surveilling the brothers well before the death of Collier, making an argument that it provided police a false sense of security.

Henniger discussed how in the days after the bombing, they “noticed a lot of the federal agencies were in the city of Cambridge,” and they had received information indirectly that the suspects may have been residents there. When asked about how the release of the suspects’ photos effected the MIT police and campus, Henniger stated:

Well, not knowing exactly where they were, I know that their home was under watch at that point and they were trying to locate them as to see their whereabouts so that’s why the presence of the federal officers was so heavy in the city of Cambridge.

While officially, the objectives of the federal activities remained guarded from the MIT officers, the word on the street was that the suspects “may have been visiting a friend at MIT.” Henniger said: “…[the suspects] were familiar with MIT, they have been there in the past, so that’s what we were told, that they had friends there at MIT.” Further discussing the hours before Collier’s death, he told WBUR:

The word was out regarding the suspects now. We knew how they looked like, and we knew they lived in the city of Cambridge at one point, so our alert basis was not as high because we knew that his house was under surveillance and the feds were all over the city of Cambridge, to some degree, knowing that they lived there. So we were aware of that.

Independent researchers and commenters noticed the contradictions right away and soon a local privacy blog, Privacy SOS, caught the attention of Boston Magazine, who contacted the FBI to clear up the statement. The FBI representative explained to Boston Magazine that Henniger’s claims were “patently false” and that he was “absolutely uninformed.” They stuck by their claim that the brothers’ identities were not known until after Tamerlan’s dead body was fingerprinted. Henniger however, did not back down and told Boston Magazine that he still has lingering doubts about the government’s foreknowledge. He stated: “We still have questions… and to some degree I’m sure [the FBI] knew.”

The Uninformed Informant, or How to Make a Bomb and Blame It On Imam

The evidence of foreknowledge is important and could point to many things, including the chance that one or both of the brothers were working with the government as assets in some way. Reports that Tamerlan attended a CIA connected workshop during a six month stay in Russia along with other evidence of US intelligence links, raise questions of his relationship with the US government.

It is a common strategy for the government to develop informants that can be used as tools in the war on terror. Trevor Aaronson’s book, “The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War On Terrorism,” describes how the FBI has “built a network of more than 15,000 informants” who are used to “create and facilitate phony terrorist plots…” The book, a product of Aaronson’s investigative work as a reporting fellow at UC Berkeley, documents how deceptive sting operations are being used as a way to create a theater of terrorism that benefits the national security/military industrial complex.

If Tamerlan was involved with the government as an informant or an asset in some way we have to consider the possibility that he may have been manipulated by corrupt elements connected to the national security complex. Sting operations and counterterrorism exercises can be used as methods to generate and manage an actual terrorist attack against the public. Rogue operators or criminal factions could have used the concentration of counter-terrorism drills surrounding the Marathon, to plan and carry out the real thing without the knowledge of most people involved. Keep in mind the attacks were executed in a “frighteningly similar” fashion to the massive “Urban Shield” counterterrorism exercises admittedly being prepared at the time. The planned exercise scenarios mirrored the real events including terrorists fleeing in stolen cars, and backpack bombs being placed throughout Boston.

Shortly after the attacks last year, I found a contractor that had been selling fake pressure cooker IEDs in black backpacks for government and law enforcement training exercises prior to the bombings. The company also offered, “fully functional IEDs, IED triggers, electronic circuits, and electronic components” with a $2,899 kit that can make, “[a]ny of [their] static/mockup devices…into a functional training device.” Their list of clients includes the FBI, DHS, and Strategic Operations, a company that “provides Hyper-Realistic training environments for military, law enforcement and other organizations…” Strategic Operations is also a participant of Boston’s Urban Shield program and listed as a supporting agency.

I spoke with the president of Inert Products and he assured me that while the backpack pressure cooker training aid was available well before the bombing, their products do not contain actual explosives and the company takes extreme precautions to make sure their products are used properly and do not get into the wrong hands. Whether or not this contractor’s products were actually used (or misused) at all, the point is that it’s easy to illustrate that the conditions existed for a manipulated drill scenario.

Above: 2013 screenshot from Inert Products' website

Above: 2013 screenshot from Inert Products’ website

Above: 2013 screenshot from Inert Products' website

Above: 2013 screenshot from Inert Products’ website

To recap some points (a few from past articles) related to Marathon drills: Exercise scenarios of IED attacks on the Marathon were admittedly drilled a month before and then again the week before the actual events happened. A massive “Urban Shield” counterterrorism drill–involving carjacking terrorists using back pack bombs throughout Boston–was also being prepared in the months leading up to the actual bombing. A contractor that supplied equipment for the effects company working on the Urban Shield drills carried an IED training aid consisting of a pressure-cooker inside a black backpack in their inventory. The Boston Marathon has been used by government and law enforcement to secretly run counter-terrorism exercises for several years and a cross country coach from the University of Mobile who participated in the Marathon witnessed security drills taking place during the event.

If the Marathon bombing involved an exercise and or a sting operation- where fake bombs may have been switched with or turned into real bombs- it is unrealistic to expect the FBI to willingly come forward with any information revealing guilt or involvement. Consider the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, which is often still portrayed as an unforeseen terrorist attack carried out by extremists who caught the national security complex by surprise. Were it not for an informant recording the conversations with his government handler, we may have never discovered the FBI’s involvement in the event. The informant revealed that, under the agency’s supervision, he helped build a bomb with plans to replace it with a fake explosive, (apparently as part of some kind of sting operation.) The informant stated in the recordings that before the plan was carried out, interference by a supervisor resulted in the real bomb going off.

The well documented history of the FBI’s use of informants in terror plots led many observers, including me, to consider this angle from the beginning. The mainstream media dismissed the notion as conspiracy theory or completely ignored it, but Senator Grassley and now Dzhokhar’s defense team are addressing these very concerns. Senator Grassley had brought the issue up last summer, with no response, and then again in his previously mentioned October letter to the FBI Director. The letter asked: “Did the FBI attempt to use the tactic of ‘recruitment’ or a sting operation with Tamerlan Tsarnaev?” After Grassley’s letter received coverage in the media, the FBI finally issued a denial, but the matter was soon brought up again.

In a letter made public in March, Dzhokhar’s defense attorneys stated that sometime before the Boston Marathon attacks, Tamerlan was approached to be an informant for the FBI. They say the FBI made, “more than one visit” to talk to Tamerlan and “asked him to be an informant, reporting on the Chechen and Muslim community.” The letter is part of an ongoing struggle by the defense to obtain critical information from the government, which continues to withhold evidence using dubious rationale.

When the defense sought to obtain reports on a separate shootout in Watertown that night, the government denied the request claiming: “These reports are of an unrelated shooting.” The official story makes no mention of any “unrelated shooting”, even though eyewitness statements and police scanner recordings suggest the possibility of a much larger operation including multiple and separate shootout scenes in Watertown that night.

Multiple shootouts might explain the strange case of Dennis O. Simmonds, a 28 year old officer who was reported to be one of the first people to respond to and engage the suspects in Watertown that night. His story is absent from and incompatible with the reports of the Laurel Street shootout where the Tsarnaevs allegedly were. Is it possible he was involved in a different shootout in Watertown? We may never know because he recently died during in-service training shortly after his lunch break, a month before he was scheduled to be honored by the president for his bravery in Watertown. Whatever his role may have been, it’s somewhat unbelievable that a separate shooting would occur in Watertown that night and not be related to the other events, and seems more likely that the information is being withheld because it threatens the official story.

Far from being a problem limited only to Dzhokhar’s defense, even high a ranking Senator like Grassley has had a hard time getting detailed answers from the FBI. Meanwhile the agency actively molds public opinion with leaks, TV appearances, and anonymous scoops to selected media, as they use the Tsarnaev prosecution as one of many excuses to stonewall serious inquiry.

As the aforementioned Privacy SOS article points out, the bureau is “perfectly comfortable speaking on national television about the investigation” but has avoided “[providing] detailed information to Congress and its own Department of Justice Inspector General.” They even refused to testify before the House Homeland Security committee in a closed-door session.

Like many institutions of power, the FBI can be expected to closely guard or bury self incriminating and compromising information while manipulating an event’s narrative to its favor with little regard for truth. Whatever facts it may be forced to admit will usually receive heavy spin with the intention of limiting its guilt or fault while portraying itself as highly virtuous.

This appears to be the case with their behavior relating to the Boston attacks, with much of the official account being formed by adjustments and admissions seemingly forced by information from outside sources. The investigation is filled with instances that raise the question of whether the FBI would have released certain information had other sources not already made it public. Early on, officials had maintained that the suspects robbed a 7-Eleven and let the story stand until a 7-Eleven representative- who appears to have better investigative and facial recognition skills than the FBI- spent all day reaching out to media to let them know that the bombing suspects had nothing to do with the robbery and looked nothing like the actual robber.

Apparently the bureau wasn’t even the first to release the infamous “suspects with backpacks at the Marathon” pictures we were told to exclusively rely on. In the previously mentioned FOX 25 interview, Mike Beaudet stated that he had actually shown pictures of the Tsarnaev brothers before the FBI released them at the press conference.

In addition, the first time we heard about Tamerlan’s contact with the FBI, wasn’t from the government or the US establishment media, but from his mother, in an interview on a Russian based news network. Initially when the FBI publicly identified the Tsarnaevs after the shootout, they claimed they had never before made contact with them.

Later that day, the suspects’ mother said in an interview on RT, that her sons had been “set up” and that the FBI had been all over her older son Tamerlan. She told RT that they were “controlling every step of him” and that “he was controlled by FBI like for, three, five years.” “They knew what my son was doing,” she said. Soon after the mother’s interview, the FBI amended their earlier claim of “no prior contact.” They admitted that Tamerlan had come to their attention long before the Boston attack, due to a warning by Russian intelligence “about possible extremist ties,” but they claimed that they had failed to find incriminating information about him and closed the file.

The FBI maintains that their first contact with the Tsarnaevs came after that warning in March of 2011, despite evidence that says otherwise. The FBI Director at the time, Robert Mueller, undermined the agency’s account when he acknowledged in congressional testimony, that the bureau had come across Tamerlan “in two other cases” prior to the Russian warning in March. When asked if the March warning had the effect of refocusing the FBI on Tamerlan, Mueller agreed that it did.

The FBI’s current account is also contradicted by information from “senior law enforcement officials” in a report from the New York Times, which states that, “two counterterrorism agents from the bureau’s Boston field office interviewed Tamerlan and family members,” in January 2011. The contradiction has never been officially addressed or corrected but, the new Inspectors General report summary on the Marathon bombing contains a subsection labeled JANUARY 2011 COMMUNICATIONS on page 18, under the heading “INFORMATION OBTAINED OR FIRST ACCESSED AND REVIEWED AFTER THE BOMBINGS.” This seems to add weight to the Times account, although the majority of the information in that section is of course redacted.

The FBI mostly ignores contradictions like these, but when they do address challenges to the official account, their responses are minimal, and rarely answer the questions or resolve the issues. It was clear that local JTTF were not informed of the federal activity at MIT and Watertown before Colliers death, yet when they finally responded to Grassley’s questions asking why, their answers mentioned only JTTF actions, essentially denying there was a separate federal presence.

The FBI habitually uses the JTTF in this manner, as a cover for their actions. Promoted as a coordination of federal government with state and local law enforcement, the JTTF, in many ways, works as a takeover instead. It puts local faces on operations that are effectively under federal control, often while keeping the local representatives in the dark. When the FBI dominated JTTF organization becomes involved in a case, their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) provides them investigative exclusivity. Once in control, the JTTF’s MOA also restricts members from revealing any information to the media and requires all media releases to be “coordinated jointly.”

These restrictions may keep many of the police from coming forward but they aren’t keeping everyone silent. Many have tried to get the word out anonymously, and hopefully we will see more officers like Sergeant Henniger, who are unafraid to come forward with the truth when it defies the official account. Because of the internet and alternative media, their testimony in local reports have a greater chance than ever of reaching a national audience. Though still a small percentage overall, increasing numbers of the population are questioning the official narratives of events like the Boston Marathon attacks which, as bizarre as it was in the beginning, has only gotten worse with time. If the official story of the attacks smelled funny in the early aftermath, it has since become an olfactory nightmare, and the FBI’s prior relationship with the Tsarnaevs continues to look more and more complicated.

New Captain America Film Takes On Obama’s Kill List and the New World Order

Captain's back is... back

We can add Captain America: The Winter Soldier to the list of recent blockbuster films containing themes that are critical of America’s growing police state and war on terror. Other major films like Oblivion, Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games, and Star Trek: Into Darkness have all recently taken shots at these important issues, but none have packed quite the patriotic punch that Marvel’s symbolic fascism fighter has delivered in this new sequel.

Jammed inside the 2 hour and 16 minute superhero flick, you will find a full range of important, timely, and often taboo political topics covered within a political conspiracy/spy thriller framework. Among the issues covered in the film are, drone warfare, pre-crime law enforcement technology, Obama’s targeted kill list, state secrets whistleblowers, mind controlled government assassins, NSA style surveillance, the U.S. government’s Operation Paperclip, and the proposition of sacrificing liberty for the promise of security. The politically potent film also affirms the impact that the counter-culture of “conspiracy theory” has had on the mainstream, with the plot centered around a rogue network within the government, secretly orchestrating world events to achieve a long term agenda for a totalitarian New World Order.

This isn’t just my creative, interpretive analysis of the film either. The film’s directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, stated that in order to make a good political thriller, they needed to make it relevant by covering the current issues that concerned them most. In an interview with Mother Jones, co-director Joe Russo explained, “we just looked at the issues that were causing anxiety for us, because we read a lot and are politically inclined. And a lot of that stuff had to do with civil liberties issues, drone strikes, the president’s kill list, preemptive technology.”

The chronicles of Captain America have been incorporated with real world events and politics since the comic’s creation in 1941, when the hero dutifully fought Nazis for the US government during World War II. Just as the character captured what many thought to be a patriotic ideal at the time, this new film mirrors modern America, as it depicts the superhero awakening to a more sophisticated conception of patriotism in the face of a monumental corruption of power. (Spoilers ahead)

We find Steve Rogers aka Captain America questioning authority early on in the film when he realizes he was kept in the dark on a rescue mission he was assigned to lead for the CIA-like intelligence agency SHIELD.

After the mission, which turned out to be a cover for an embedded covert operation to retrieve data, Rogers (Chris Evans) confronts SHIELD’s director, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and challenges the deceptive practices he uses to achieve hidden objectives. Fury tells Rogers, “it’s called compartmentalization. Nobody spills the secrets because nobody knows them all.” “Except you,” Rogers returns.

Fury then briefs Rogers on a secret program that embodies a wide assortment of today’s hot button subjects, like pre-crime law enforcement, drone warfare, Obama’s secret drone kill listdrone spying and other mass data collection and surveillance programs. It’s called Project Insight, and it’s essentially a system of interlinked mega drones that collect and analyze the population’s private information in order to designate people as future threats and preventively kill them. Fury informs Rogers that the drones “can read a terrorist’s DNA before he steps outside his spider hole,” and that the plan is to, “neutralize a lot of threats before they even happen.”

Rogers again expresses his dissent, telling Fury, “I thought the punishment usually came after the crime.” He then accuses him of “holding a gun at everyone on Earth and calling it protection.” “This isn’t freedom. This is fear,” Rogers remarks. Fury tells him it’s past time to get with the program, to which Rogers responds, “don’t hold your breath” as he walks away.

Already holding his own suspicions of Project Insight, Fury tries to delay the program only to find himself targeted by his superior, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) a former American State Department official. Pierce heads an organization similar to the UN called the World Security Council, which oversees SHIELD and therefore Project Insight. Pierce’s character emerges as the main supervillain of the film, as he first sends a mind controlled assassin (the Winter Soldier) to kill Fury, then attempts to immobilize Captain America as well, in order to protect Insight and his broader agenda.

Rogers, now designated by Pierce as a fugitive from the government, is forced to fight the very system he worked for, as he and fellow SHIELD member, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) battle the Winter Soldier and the SWAT style counter terrorism teams working for the compromised SHIELD agency.

Rogers and Romanoff soon discover the deeper plot inside an old, hidden SHIELD bunker containing a huge system of computer databanks. By activating the system, they awaken a former Nazi scientist Dr. Arnim Zola, who had uploaded his consciousness into the computers as a way to avoid death (an idea explored by some of today’s futurists like Ray Kurzweil.) While attempting to stall Rogers, Zola explains that the fascist, Nazi affiliated, secret society Hydra, has infiltrated SHIELD since its inception after WWII. Rogers learns how SHIELD recruited top Nazi scientists after the war during “Operation Paperclip,” in a plot point keenly modeling the real life project of the same same.

Zola states that, “Hydra was founded on the belief that humanity could not be trusted with its own freedom,” but from the war they learned that to avoid mass resistance, “humanity needed to surrender its freedom willingly.” To illustrate Hydra’s political manipulation through history, Zola shows Rogers a video montage of world events that includes assassinations of influential figures, as he states, “for seventy years hydra has been secretly feeding crisis, reaping war. And when history did not cooperate, history was changed.”

Captain America angrily slams his fist through the computer display when Zola claims victory, telling Rogers, “Hydra created a world so chaotic that humanity is finally ready to sacrifice its freedom to gain its security. Once the purification process is complete, Hydra’s New World Order will arise.”

Zola also said that he had created an algorithm for Insight, which is later revealed to be a program that can sift through the personal data collected by the mega drones and select targets for assassination by determining who poses a threat to Hydra and their agenda for world control, rather than targeting actual terrorists posing a threat to humanity. As it turns out, the algorithm derived targeted kill list features Captain America along with other superheros, American political figures, and what seem to be regular American citizens. This is comparable to how the war on terror is used by the power structure to protect itself from those who threaten it, not to protect the citizens from terrorists as it was promoted.

In the end, they shut down Project Insight before it’s fully activated, Fury is forced to kill Pierce, and Rogers moves to dismantle SHIELD altogether. In another scene reflecting apects of real life politics, Romanoff plays the role of a whistleblower who attempts to publicly expose the corrupt SHIELD by accessing the organization’s internal files and posting the information online for the world to see. She later faces a Senate subcommittee over the matter, which questions whether or not she is the criminal who should be imprisoned. In reality, whistleblowers have faced this kind of treatment for a long time, and despite Obama’s early promises, his administration has been been particularly harsh on them.

It must be worrisome for the establishment to see blockbuster movies with themes coming straight out of the, “conspiricist underground.” Last year, Roberto Orci was criticized for including 9/11 conspiracy themes in the Star Trek Into Darkness film. Slate columnist and former Think Progress writer, Alyssa Rosenberg, said that she was uncomfortable with the Star Trek film’s critique of the War on Terror because of, “Orci’s publicly-stated beliefs that the September 11 attacks were an inside job.” Orci had also made statements revealing skepticism of the Boston Marathon bombing on his Twitter account, but despite the complaints of those who are upset with the “conspiracy theorist’s” involvement in the film, Orci has recently been selected to direct Star Trek 3.

While the Star Trek film’s political themes may have been hard for some to make out, the themes in Captain America are much more overt, and far surpass Star Trek Into Darkness in the “conspiracy theory” department. The central theme of The Winter Soldier is that the dominant intelligence apparatus has been steered by fascist forces, acting as a rogue network within the government, attempting to establish an authoritarian world empire, which is promoted euphemistically under the term New World Order.

This works against the establishment’s efforts to portray these concepts as being representative of radical, mentally ill extremists who are dangerous and pose some kind of a threat. The Department of Justice released a terms and concepts guide in 2010 for “investigating terrorism and criminal extremism,” warning about the phrase “New World Order” being “used by conspiracy theorists.” National Post journalist Jonathan Kay, tried to tie New World Order conspiracies to unstable thinking and anti-semitism in his book, Among The Truthers, while the Southern Poverty Law Center attempts to connect extremists and “hate groups” to New World Order conspiracy theorizing.

These efforts haven’t seemed to hurt the film’s success, financially or critically. Rotten Tomatoes rates The Winter Soldier at an 89%, and Box Office Mojo puts the film at 85 on the list of all time box office domestic grosses, beating out hits like Toy Story 2, Cars, and Ghostbusters, with a lifetime gross of $247,879,000. Most reviewers seem to appreciate the political messages with few complaints about conspiracy theories, although some just skipped over the themes, making very few connections at all. Slate’s movie critic, Dana Stevens, seemed more impressed with Scarlett Johansson than anything else. She said during a podcast review of the film that she was not clear what Captain America was fighting for, “except survival of SHIELD” and the “safety of their own organization,” although he is clearly fighting the organization and eventually shuts it down.

The film is well worth seeing, even if you aren’t typically a fan of superhero movies. It’s just as much of a political thriller as a superhero flick. Rather than wearing a spandex costume and possessing superpowers, the archvillain comes dressed in a suit and tie, disguised as a peace promoting, respectable politician, while wielding the machinery of the military industrial complex. A figure who snubbed a Nobel Peace Prize claiming, “peace wasn’t an achievement, it was a responsibility,” but who wants to “bring order to the lives of seven billion people by sacrificing twenty million.”

It’s exciting to see an iconic, mainstream franchise carrying such a heavy political load in the direction of true freedom and liberty, as it juxtaposes the modern U.S. national security state with Nazi Germany through a narrative that has the two systems coming from the same source.The messages of the film point neither toward the political left or right, and instead easily reach out to dissenters from multiple orientations having common concerns about the degradation of civil liberties and abuse of power. Rather than serving as a tool of state propaganda by fighting foes from the list of Washington’s contrived enemies in the real world, Captain America is instead fighting fascism where it poses its greatest threat–here at home.

Air Force Dismantling HAARP Due to “Other Ways of Managing the Ionosphere”

The controversial High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is scheduled to be dismantled this summer after more than 20 years since its creation in 1993. The Anchorage Daily News reports that the $300 million HAARP could be taken over by the University of Alaska, which jointly funded the program along with the Air Force, the Navy, and the Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA), but hasn’t yet volunteered to cover the $5 million a year operation costs.

During a recent Senate hearing, Dr. David Walker, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology, and engineering, explained the lack of need for HAARP stating, “we’re moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which the HAARP was really designed to do, was to inject energy into the ionosphere, be able to actually control it. But that work has been completed.”

The ADN article states that comments like those made by Walker, “have given rise to endless conspiracy theories,” and that, “scientists say all of that is nonsense,” but the truth is that, because of government secrecy, most people would not know about HAARP at all, if not through so called “conspiracy theories.”

Here we have this high profile admission that HAARP’s goal is to control the upper atmosphere and that there are better ways of doing it now, which alone seems to be a fairly provocative disclosure, but you can expect that there will be virtually no one explaining it any further or following it up. So, left in vacuum of official secrecy, anyone else who independently takes a stab at explaining, theorizing, questioning, or even wondering about what controlling the atmosphere might entail, will be labeled a conspiracy theorist.

While there are no doubt theories about HAARP that are untrue, the label of “conspiracy theorist” is mainly used as a public relations style attempt to manage and maintain control of information. Meanwhile, independent researchers and journalists will continue to analyze information and present questions, as they fill the gap left by the controlled media, and explore the efforts by the government to manipulate the atmosphere.

Boston Holds Their Biggest Urban Shield Drill Ever This Weekend

Boston will host their biggest Urban Shield training exercise yet, starting Saturday, May 3rd. The 24 hour drill will involve, “about 2,000 state and local personnel,” and feature several scenarios including, “a hostage rescue of elected officials at Boston City Hall.”

Officials now see last year’s attacks on the Boston Marathon as proof that the drills are a necessary part of crisis management. “The Urban Shield Program, as we’ve learned over the last year, is essential to our city’s safety at any time of crisis,” claims Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Other drills planned for this year’s program involve a school shooter drill, an injured officer in Cambridge, an explosive device on a transit system, and “a simulation of a terrorist takeover at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.” Authorities say that residents should not be alarmed, “if they see an increased police presence Saturday.”

Boston has hosted the training exercise since 2011, and has had teams of police participating in it as far back as 2007. The exercise continues to be surrounded in secrecy with officials giving the public minimum notice ahead of its schedule date and declining to give details about the drills “to avoid tipping off participants.”

But what about the details of last years drills? Surely the public can be informed of the exercise plans that are more than a year old. Officials have yet to provide an explanation of the Boston Urban Shield 2013 exercises which were quietly canceled after the attacks on the Marathon. The only reason we know anything about them at all is because an anonymous law enforcement official leaked the plans to a Boston Globe reporter who wrote a single article about it. But what we learned from that one article was so interesting, many found it odd that it gained virtually zero traction in the rest of the mainstream media and was never followed up on.

The article revealed that, at the time of the bombing of the Marathon, officials in Boston were planning Urban Shield scenarios that were “frighteningly similar” to the actual attacks. The drills involved a domestic terrorist group that would plant backpacks full of explosives around Boston, requiring the same type of police response that we saw unfold after the bombings took place. The Globe reported that, “in the scenario, the terrorists would flee police in stolen cars…” and investigators, “would have to track down footage of the bombers caught by street surveillance cameras and the phones of ‘witnesses.’  The anonymous official told the Globe, “the real thing happened before we were able to execute.”

Although the use of multiple “improvised explosive devices” (IEDs) to cause mass casualties on US soil was called a first and considered to be a “watershed moment,” it seems that officials in Boston had been intensely exercising this very scenario leading up to and possibly during the Marathon. One month before the event, officials ran exercises drilling a scenario of an IED explosion during the Marathon, and then the week before they ran another drill that included a bombing scenario. These are just the examples I know of and are admitted.

For those who view the threat of false flag, synthetic terrorism as unreal, the coincidence of the concentration of these exercise scenarios and their actual manifestation should still be of great concern. Maybe it would be easier for them to consider the possibility that their bogeyman of choice could infiltrate these plans and turn them live. If you don’t believe it is possible that a rogue network inside the national security system could use the drills as a means to carry out terror attacks, how about Al Qaeda? A real bomb gets traded for a fake bomb and Al Qaeda (or you name it) has turned an exercise into a real attack. Bare minimum, the IED exercises beg questions of foreknowledge and advanced warning, but over a year later officials are remaining quiet on the canceled 2013 Urban Shield exercise, and are saying very little about any other drills.

Instead these types of drills will only increase in Boston and nationwide, as the Marathon attacks are hyped by the establishment as evidence that they are necessary. Urban Shield will likely expand into other major cities and along with it, the SWAT teams, armored police vehicles, and “shelter in place” commands. All the while authorities will be announcing that we should not to be alarmed if we notice an increased police state.

A new coalition called Stop Oppressive Militarized Police (STOMP) has been formed by community groups and is scheduled to meet on May 4th as the Urban Shield program wraps things up. STOMP plans to host a speak out against police militarization and hopes to, “begin to build a long term movement against repressive police action.”

 

Marathon IED Drill Ran One Month Before Actual Bombings

One month before the Boston Marathon was attacked with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the Massachusetts State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) hosted a Pre-Boston Marathon Tabletop Exercise. One of the exercise scenarios happened to be an IED explosion during the Marathon.

This “Lessons Learned” document from FEMA details several exercises that were viewed as helping to prepare for the attacks that took place during the Boston Marathon. It states that, “on March 14, 2013, the MA State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) hosted the annual Pre-Boston Marathon Tabletop Exercise,” with a scenario, “focused on an IED explosion.”

Another “Lessons Learned” document from FEMA makes clear that the drill was for, “an IED incident during the marathon.”

This adds to several other examples of terrorism drills and exercises being planned and run during and around the time of the Boston Marathon. The Massachusetts undersecretary for homeland security told a panel at Harvard University that in planning for the Marathon they, “did a tabletop exercise the week before that included a bombing scenario in it.”

Last year, a reliable eyewitness running the Marathon reported that there was a drill taking place during the event. Alastair Stevenson, the Cross Country Coach for the University of Mobile Alabama, had run numerous marathons but had never experienced the kind of security activities he saw going on at the Boston Marathon that day. Local15TV.com, an NBC affiliate from Mobile Alabama, interviewed the coach, who questioned whether there might have been some foreknowledge of the attack. Stevenson, told the local newscasters that, “they kept making announcements on the loud speaker that it was just a drill and there was nothing to worry about. It seemed like there was some sort of threat, but they kept telling us it was just a drill.”

The coach’s eyewitness account intensified concerns for many, that security officials had foreknowledge of the attacks and were not being honest with the public. The mainstream media virtually ignored this possibility and instead attacked those who dared to raise the issue. Numerous articles were written, mocking and deriding “conspiracy theorists” yet no major media wanted to talk to the coach from Alabama, whose story had helped spark the “theories.” The majority of the pieces written to debunk challenges to the official account just ignored the story completely.

Attempting to find out what other evidence existed of drills being run during the event, I spent several hours searching online and found statements from a Homeland Security analyst explaining that the Boston Marathon is secretly used to run disaster drills for training purposes. I posted an article on April 18th including the analyst’s statements, and other information I found, making clear that since at least 2007, emergency planners were holding disaster drills and terrorism exercises during the Boston Marathon without the knowledge of the participants or spectators.

In the article I included two presentations I dug up while searching government websites. Both are from the former Chief of Boston EMS, Richard Serino, who was appointed by Obama, as FEMA’s Deputy Administrator in 2009. The first presentation was dated from 2007 and mentioned the Boston Marathon being used in, “Planned Disasters” under the section, “Special Operations.”

 

The second presentation from 2008 titled, “Marathons – A Tale of Two Cities and the Running of a Planned Mass Casualty Event,” discusses using events like the Boston Marathon as “planned disasters” and recommends utilizing, “special events and drills as opportunities to plan and train together…” The focus of the drills is to build, “necessary actions and protocols into regular operations.”

The section titled, “Working with the Media,” states, “Their mission is to get a story. Building a longstanding relationship with journalists and reporters ensures that they get the right story and that they serve as a resource when needed.”

In the article, I highlight a quote from the former policy analyst stating, “Massachusetts is better prepared for a real disaster because every Patriot’s Day and Fourth of July is treated as a ‘disaster.’” He explains that organizers see these, “annual gatherings of hundreds of thousands of people” as perfect opportunities to, “evaluate new technologies” and “exercise disaster plans,” and that they are making the, “citizens of Greater Boston safer in case of a natural catastrophe or terrorist attack.”

Writing for EmergencyManagement.com, Lucien G. Canton suggests that the exercises being run during the Marathon were the reason there were so few fatalities in the attacks. He states that the, “Boston EMS, as a matter of policy, treats the Boston Marathon and other large events as a mass casualty event. That means that all the equipment, facilities and staff required to respond to a mass casualty event were fully deployed at the time of the attack.” He clarifies that, “this does not mean they were ‘on alert’ or ‘on standby’ but were actually in the field…”

While researching Boston terrorism drills immediately after the attacks, the Operation Urban Shield training program kept coming up. I noticed that Boston had just ran the Urban Shield exercises in November of 2012, and doubted that they would have one scheduled so soon afterwards. Trying to find out when the Urban Shield exercise was scheduled for 2013, I checked the Boston Urban Shield website, but it was taken down at the time, showing only blank screens. Alternative news website, Truthstream Media covered the connection between Urban Shield and the Marathon attacks, highlighting how close the training exercises in 2011 and 2012 were to the real events. But no information had been released yet about Urban Shield 2013.

A few months later Anthony Gucciardi turned up an article from the Boston Globe, which had acquired documents detailing plans for Urban Shield 2013. It turns out that, at the time of the bombing of the Marathon, officials in Boston were planning an exercise scenario that involved a domestic terrorist group that would plant backpacks full of explosives around Boston. The drills would require a massive collaboration of the very same law enforcement agencies using the same emergency response and investigation strategies that were required during the actual terror attacks.

Globe reporter Maria Cramer wrote, “before the training exercise was to take place, the city was hit with a real terrorist attack in frighteningly similar fashion.” The documents were given to the Boston Globe by an anonymous official who told them, “the real thing happened before we were able to execute.” The official chose to remain anonymous because the, “details of the planned exercise were confidential.”

The coincidences in the planning went further. The Globe reports that, “in the scenario, the terrorists would flee police in stolen cars…” and investigators, “would have to track down footage of the bombers caught by street surveillance cameras and the phones of ‘witnesses.’ “There were also false leads to keep investigators guessing,” the official told the Globe. Investigators in the drill, “would have to call on intelligence analysts to figure out which terrorist cell might be threatening the city.”

As amazing as the story was, I couldn’t find any other articles in the Boston Globe about it. No follow up, no statements from the groups running the program, no other coverage in the major media. There were plenty of articles attacking conspiracy theorists, and plenty of coverage of the most inane details of the attacks, but again they were silent on an issue that should have received a great deal of attention.

So how many IED drills were being run and planned around the race last year? And if these drills are so effective why aren’t the officials saying anything about them to the public? Was the Boston bombing a “dry-run disaster” that went live? Were the Tsarnaev brothers working as informants involved in a drill or as part of an FBI terror plot? As we approach the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Boston we are still waiting for the authorities to come clean on all the exercises and drills concerning the Marathon, and we are still waiting for the mainstream media to ask some serious questions.

 

Boston Cop Involved In Watertown Shootout Dies At 28

The Boston Police Department announced yesterday that an on-duty Police Officer named Dennis O. Simmonds, died after “suffering a medical emergency” at the Boston Police Academy on Thursday. Officer Simmonds was recently honored at the Boston Police Relief Association Awards Ceremony for “his bravery during the initial Watertown shoot-out following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.”

Family described Simmonds as a go-getter who loved his job

In a Boston Globe article, a law enforcement official who knew Simmonds, said he was a health nut and loved to do CrossFit, run road races, and play basketball, and that he was, “the picture of health.”

According to Boston police Sergeant Michael McCarthy, the “medical emergency” happened just after lunch, during in-service training at the Boston police academy in Hyde Park. He was taken to the hospital and died late Thursday night. No further explanation has been given as to how he died. He was only 28 years old.

McCarthy said that Simmonds had been in the shootout with the alleged Marathon bombers and had suffered a head injury from the blast of an explosive thrown at him.

For his bravery in the Watertown shootout, Simmonds received the department’s highest honor, the Schroeder Brothers Memorial Medal. Simmonds’ father said, “he was not one to brag about the award,” and that “he didn’t like to be in the spotlight, so he didn’t showboat it too much.”

But like it or not, that spotlight was about to get a lot brighter for Simmonds. My Fox Boston reports that, Simmonds, “was set to go to Washington, D.C. next month to be presented by President Obama himself with one of the country’s highest honors for police,” because of his “service during the Watertown shootout.”

According to My Fox Boston, “Simmonds happened to be in that area the night of the Watertown shootout and he and his partner exchanged gunfire with the suspects.”

BPD Superintendent In Chief William Gross states that, “he was one of the first people to respond and did engage the suspects, and he was wounded.”

Simmonds’ service seem to be missing from many accounts of the shootout, which have various versions, so it is unfortunate that he died before many people might have had a chance to learn what his role or experience was during that night.

The story of the shootout remains somewhat mysterious as the major news networks, quoting anonymous officials, reported drastically different versions of what happened. Not much had been heard from the officers themselves until MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell scored one of the only interviews with the members of the Watertown Police who claimed to be the first on the scene. Their account doesn’t mention Simmonds being, “one of the first people to respond,” in fact their account doesn’t mention Simmonds at all. O’Donnell does little to clear the events up, concerned instead with highlighting how heroic the officers were.

My Fox Boston’s Heather Hegedus reports, “it is another sad day for Boston’s heroes, this is the fourth time in just a couple of weeks that one of Boston’s first responders has died in an untimely manner.

Another officer who had taken part in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, identified as Gregory Maloney, had just recently died in a motorcycle accident while traveling with a fellow officer. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

 

Defense Attorneys Claim FBI Wanted Tamerlan As Informant

The suspected Boston Marathon bomber’s defense lawyers claim in federal court documents that the older brother Tamerlan was solicited by the government to be an informant on the Chechen and Muslim community. This possibility was considered by many in the alternative media soon after the attacks took place. Professor Peter Dale Scott wrote on June 23, that it was a “strong possiblity” that Tamerlan was, “perhaps recruited by the FBI” and coerced “into a dangerous career as an informant.”

Many observers, including myself, brought up the fact that there is a well established history of the government using entrapment to facilitate terror plots with the help of informants. In the past, The New York Times has reported on several “lethal terrorist plots” which were “facilitated by the F.B.I, whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists…”

 

50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination

bush-sr-ciaThere has been a heavy flow of articles written recently, dealing with the JFK assassination leading up to it’s 50th anniversary today. From the independent/ alternative media spectrum, Russ Baker’s 10 part series, at WhoWhatWhy.com dealing with the connections to George Bush Sr., is a great read. The series is a collection of excerpts from his excellent book, Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years.  For Part 1,  go here; Part 2, here; Part 3, here; Part 4, here; Part 5, here;Part 6, here; Part 7, here;  Part 8, here; Part 9, here, and part 10, here

 

 

Dick Cheney and the Inevitable War on Iran

Recently, George Stephanopoulos interviewed Dick Cheney for ABC’s “This Week” and asked him if a strike on Iran was inevitable. That’s like asking the Cowboys football coach if their team is going to win on Sunday.

Cheney answered, “I have trouble seeing how we’re going to achieve our objective short of that, and I doubt very much the diplomacy will be effective if there’s not the prospect that, if diplomacy fails, that we will, in fact, resort to military force.”

If their objective is to destabilize and dominate the region, I guess it would be hard to achieve short of military force. I mean, color revolutions, and radical jihadis alone wouldn’t be able to do the trick, and the supply of their forces has to be running a little thin right now anyway, so I can see Cheney’s point.

War with Iran would also seem inevitable if we take into consideration the possiblilty of a false flag attack or provocation of the type Cheney apparently discussed during a meeting in his office while he was still in the White House.

Pulitzer-Prize winner Seymore Hersh told Think Progress at a journalism conference in 2008, that during a meeting in Cheney’s office, many ideas of how to provoke a war on Iran were discussed. Among them, shooting at Navy Seals dressed up as Iranians on fake Iranian speedboats was considered.

Iran is still on the imperialists’ agenda, and when you consider that they have tactics like these being tossed around in the White House, a war on Iran does start to look at least highly possible.

 

Investigating 9/11 in 2013

A great amount of effort has been given to investigate the crimes of 9/11 by independent researchers unsatisfied with the hollow effort yeilded by the government. The work of Kevin Ryan stands out as among the most significant. His new book is a must read for anyone interested in a serious up to date investigation of the attacks. Check out, Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects, available at Amazon.

Also check out the Rethink 9/11 campaign by the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, who now have over 2,000 members.

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