This message has three short articles:
1) David Lindorff: 9-11 Cover-Up, Treason, & The Bomb
2) Jared Diamond's NYTimes op ed on our consumption factors—as
background for my message.
3) Thomas Higgins' reply to Jared Diamond—also as background.
The first one has far-reaching implications for impeachment because it
begins to document the charge that Bush and Cheney have committed not
only high crimes and misdemeanors, but actual treason. If they have
committed treason, then officials who know they have committed treason
but have concealed their knowledge have committed misprision of
treason, an indictable offense in itself. So if treason can be proven,
the cast of characters vulnerable to prosecution increases far beyond
the range the Nixon Administration faced in Watergate.
The second and third articles set up the article I hope to finish tomorrow.
1) Dave Lindorff: 9-11 Cover-Up, Treason, and The Bomb
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Mon, 01/07/2008 - 3:06pm. Dave Lindorff
If a new article just published Saturday in the Times of London based
upon information provided by U.S. government whistleblower Sibel
Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI,
is correct, we have not only solid evidence of prior knowledge of 9-11
by high up U.S. government officials, but also evidence of treasonous
activity by many of those same officials involving efforts to provide
U.S. nuclear secrets to America's enemies, even including Al Qaeda.
The story also casts a chilling light on the so-called "accidental"
flight of six nuclear-armed cruise missiles aboard an errant B-52 that
flew last Aug. 30 from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in
The Sunday Times reports that Edmonds, whose whistleblowing efforts
have been studiously ignored by what passes for the news media in
American news media, approached the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper
a month ago after reading a report there that an Al-Qaeda leader had
been training some of the 9-11 hijackers at a base in Turkey, a U.S.
NATO alley, under the noses of the Turkish military.
Edmonds, who was recruited by the FBI after 9-11 because of her
Turkish and Farsi language skills, has long been claiming that in her
FBI job of covertly monitoring conversations between Turkish, Israeli,
Persian, and other foreign agents and U.S. contacts, including a
backlog of untranslated tapes dating back to 1997, she had heard
evidence of "money laundering, drug imports and attempts to acquire
nuclear and conventional weapons technology." But the Turkish training
for 9-11 rang more alarm bells and made her decide that talking behind
closed doors to Congress or the FBI was not enough. She had to go
Edmonds claims in the Times that even as she was providing evidence of
moles within the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon, and the nuclear
weapons establishment, who were providing nuclear secrets for cash,
through Turkey, to Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services
Intelligence, or ISI, agencies within the Bush Administration were
actively working to block investigation and to shield those who were
committing the acts of treason.
Pakistan's ISI is known to have had, and to still maintain close
contacts with Al-Qaeda. Indeed, the Times notes that Pakistan's
nuclear godfather, General Mahmoud Ahmad, was accused of sanctioning a
$100,000 wire payment to Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers,
immediately before the attacks.
Edmonds claims in the Times article that following the 9-11 attacks,
FBI investigators took a number of Turkish and Pakistani operatives
into custody for questioning about foreknowledge of the attacks, but
that a high-ranking U.S. State Department official repeatedly acted to
spirit them out of the country.
Edmonds was fired from her FBI translating job in 2002 after she
accused a colleague of having illicit contact with Turkish officials.
She has claimed that she was fired for being outspoken, and in 2005
her position was reportedly vindicated by the Office of Inspector
General of the FBI, which concluded that she had been sacked for
making valid complaints.
One of those whom Edmonds claims in the Times report was being
investigated in connection with the nuclear information transfers was
Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin. Franklin was convicted and jailed
in 2006 for passing U.S. defense information to American Israel Public
Affairs Committee lobbyists and sharing classified information with an
Israeli diplomat. Franklin, in 2001, was part of the Pentagon Office
of Special Plans, a kind of shadow intelligence unit set up by the
Bush Administration inside the Pentagon whose job it was to gin up
"evidence" to justify a war against Iraq. In that capacity, he (along
with several other OSP members and arch neocon schemer Michael Ledeen)
was also identified by Italian investigative journalists working for
the newspaper La Republican, as having been at a crucial meeting in
December 2001 in Rome with the Italian defense and intelligence
service ministers. La Republicca reports that at that meeting, a plan
was hatched to fob off forged Niger embassy documents as evidence that
Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium ore from
If Edmonds' story is correct, and Al-Qaeda, with the aid of Turkish
government agents and Pakistani intelligence, with the help of U.S.
government officials, has been attempting to obtain nuclear materials
and nuclear information from the U.S., it casts an even darker shadow
over the mysterious and still unexplained incident last August 30,
when a B-52 Stratofortress, based at the Minot strategic air base in
Minot, ND, against all rules and regulations of 40 years' standing,
loaded and flew off with six unrecorded and unaccounted for
nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
That incident only came to public attention because three as yet
unidentified Air Force whistleblowers contacted a reporter at the
Military Times newspaper, which ran a series of stories about it, some
of which were picked up by other U.S. news organizations.
An Air Force investigation into that incident, ordered by Defense
Secretary Robert Gates, claimed improbably that the whole thing had
been an "accident," but many veterans of the U.S. Air Force and Navy
with experience in handling nuclear weapons say that such an
explanation is impossible, and argue that there had to have been a
chain or orders from above the level of the base commander for such a
flight to have occurred.
Incredibly, almost five months after that bizarre incident (which
included several as yet unexplained deaths of B-52 pilots and base
personnel occurring in the weeks shortly before and after the flight),
in which six 150-kiloton warheads went missing for 36 hours, there has
been no Congressional investigation and no FBI investigation into what
Yet in view of Edmonds' story to the London Times, alleging that there
has been an ongoing, active effort for some years by both Al Qaeda and
by agents of two U.S. allies, Turkey and Pakistan, to get U.S. nuclear
weapons secrets and even weapons, and that there are treasonous moles
at work within the American government and nuclear bureaucracy aiding
and abetting those efforts, surely at a minimum, a major public
inquiry is called for.
Meanwhile, there is enough in just this one London Times story to keep
an army of investigative reporters busy for years. So why, one has to
ask, is this story appearing in a highly respected British newspaper,
but not anywhere in the corporate U.S. media?
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and
columnist. His latest book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is "The
Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now available in
paperback). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
Technorati Tags: Dave Lindorff London Times al-Qaeda treason Bush
Administration Sibel Edmonds 9-11
2) Jared Diamond's article:
January 2, 2008
OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR (NY TIMES)
What's Your Consumption Factor?
By JARED DIAMOND
TO mathematicians, 32 is an interesting number: it's 2 raised to the
fifth power, 2 times 2 times 2 times 2 times 2. To economists, 32 is
even more special, because it measures the difference in lifestyles
between the first world and the developing world. The average rates at
which people consume resources like oil and metals, and produce wastes
like plastics and greenhouse gases, are about 32 times higher in North
America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia than they are in the
developing world. That factor of 32 has big consequences.
To understand them, consider our concern with world population. Today,
there are more than 6.5 billion people, and that number may grow to
around 9 billion within this half-century. Several decades ago, many
people considered rising population to be the main challenge facing
humanity. Now we realize that it matters only insofar as people
consume and produce.
If most of the world's 6.5 billion people were in cold storage and not
metabolizing or consuming, they would create no resource problem. What
really matters is total world consumption, the sum of all local
consumptions, which is the product of local population times the local
per capita consumption rate.
The estimated one billion people who live in developed countries have
a relative per capita consumption rate of 32. Most of the world's
other 5.5 billion people constitute the developing world, with
relative per capita consumption rates below 32, mostly down toward 1.
The population especially of the developing world is growing, and some
people remain fixated on this. They note that populations of countries
like Kenya are growing rapidly, and they say that's a big problem.
Yes, it is a problem for Kenya's more than 30 million people, but it's
not a burden on the whole world, because Kenyans consume so little.
(Their relative per capita rate is 1.) A real problem for the world is
that each of us 300 million Americans consumes as much as 32 Kenyans.
With 10 times the population, the United States consumes 320 times
more resources than Kenya does.
People in the third world are aware of this difference in per capita
consumption, although most of them couldn't specify that it's by a
factor of 32. When they believe their chances of catching up to be
hopeless, they sometimes get frustrated and angry, and some become
terrorists, or tolerate or support terrorists. Since Sept. 11, 2001,
it has become clear that the oceans that once protected the United
States no longer do so. There will be more terrorist attacks against
us and Europe, and perhaps against Japan and Australia, as long as
that factorial difference of 32 in consumption rates persists.
People who consume little want to enjoy the high-consumption
lifestyle. Governments of developing countries make an increase in
living standards a primary goal of national policy. And tens of
millions of people in the developing world seek the first-world
lifestyle on their own, by emigrating, especially to the United States
and Western Europe, Japan and Australia. Each such transfer of a
person to a high-consumption country raises world consumption rates,
even though most immigrants don't succeed immediately in multiplying
their consumption by 32.
Among the developing countries that are seeking to increase per capita
consumption rates at home, China stands out. It has the world's
fastest growing economy, and there are 1.3 billion Chinese, four times
the United States population. The world is already running out of
resources, and it will do so even sooner if China achieves
American-level consumption rates. Already, China is competing with us
for oil and metals on world markets.
Per capita consumption rates in China are still about 11 times below
ours, but let's suppose they rise to our level. Let's also make things
easy by imagining that nothing else happens to increase world
consumption — that is, no other country increases its consumption, all
national populations (including China's) remain unchanged and
immigration ceases. China's catching up alone would roughly double
world consumption rates. Oil consumption would increase by 106
percent, for instance, and world metal consumption by 94 percent.
If India as well as China were to catch up, world consumption rates
would triple. If the whole developing world were suddenly to catch up,
world rates would increase elevenfold. It would be as if the world
population ballooned to 72 billion people (retaining present
Some optimists claim that we could support a world with nine billion
people. But I haven't met anyone crazy enough to claim that we could
support 72 billion. Yet we often promise developing countries that if
they will only adopt good policies — for example, institute honest
government and a free-market economy — they, too, will be able to
enjoy a first-world lifestyle. This promise is impossible, a cruel
hoax: we are having difficulty supporting a first-world lifestyle even
now for only one billion people.
We Americans may think of China's growing consumption as a problem.
But the Chinese are only reaching for the consumption rate we already
have. To tell them not to try would be futile.
The only approach that China and other developing countries will
accept is to aim to make consumption rates and living standards more
equal around the world. But the world doesn't have enough resources to
allow for raising China's consumption rates, let alone those of the
rest of the world, to our levels. Does this mean we're headed for
No, we could have a stable outcome in which all countries converge on
consumption rates considerably below the current highest levels.
Americans might object: there is no way we would sacrifice our living
standards for the benefit of people in the rest of the world.
Nevertheless, whether we get there willingly or not, we shall soon
have lower consumption rates, because our present rates are
Real sacrifice wouldn't be required, however, because living standards
are not tightly coupled to consumption rates. Much American
consumption is wasteful and contributes little or nothing to quality
of life. For example, per capita oil consumption in Western Europe is
about half of ours, yet Western Europe's standard of living is higher
by any reasonable criterion, including life expectancy, health, infant
mortality, access to medical care, financial security after
retirement, vacation time, quality of public schools and support for
the arts. Ask yourself whether Americans' wasteful use of gasoline
contributes positively to any of those measures.
Other aspects of our consumption are wasteful, too. Most of the
world's fisheries are still operated non-sustainably, and many have
already collapsed or fallen to low yields — even though we know how to
manage them in such a way as to preserve the environment and the fish
supply. If we were to operate all fisheries sustainably, we could
extract fish from the oceans at maximum historical rates and carry on
The same is true of forests: we already know how to log them
sustainably, and if we did so worldwide, we could extract enough
timber to meet the world's wood and paper needs. Yet most forests are
managed non-sustainably, with decreasing yields.
Just as it is certain that within most of our lifetimes we'll be
consuming less than we do now, it is also certain that per capita
consumption rates in many developing countries will one day be more
nearly equal to ours. These are desirable trends, not horrible
prospects. In fact, we already know how to encourage the trends; the
main thing lacking has been political will.
Fortunately, in the last year there have been encouraging signs.
Australia held a recent election in which a large majority of voters
reversed the head-in-the-sand political course their government had
followed for a decade; the new government immediately supported the
Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Also in the last year, concern about climate change has increased
greatly in the United States. Even in China, vigorous arguments about
environmental policy are taking place, and public protests recently
halted construction of a huge chemical plant near the center of
Xiamen. Hence I am cautiously optimistic. The world has serious
consumption problems, but we can solve them if we choose to do so.
Jared Diamond, a professor of geography at the University of
California, Los Angeles, is the author of "Collapse" and "Guns, Germs
3) Thomas Higgins' reply to Jared Diamond:
Jared Diamond and the Consumption Factor
by Thomas Riggins / January 7th, 2008
People making a New Year's resolution to consume less should bolster
their resolve by reading Jared Diamond's "What's Your Consumption
Factor?" in Wednesday's New York Times. (1/2/08) However, your or my
individual consumption may not make a big difference. Diamond, the
author of Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, is addressing a
civilizational problem regarding the difference in consumption levels
between First World countries and the developing world.
To make a long story short, the US and other First World countries
account for about one billion people who out consume, on a per capita
basis, the 5.5 billion people in the developing world by a factor of
32 to 1.
That is we use oil and gas and metals and "produce wastes like
plastics and greenhouse gases" at a rate 32 times that of the non
developed world. On this scale of 1 to 32, China is about a 3 and
India even lower. So the problem with pollution and depletion is
clearly in our back yard.
The problem is the poorer countries want to have a better life style;
they want to develop, but it is just impossible for them to catch up
to our 32 level. Diamond gives the example of Kenya. Kenya has about
30 million people, its consumption level is 1 while the US with 300
million has a 32 level. We have 10x the population but consume 320x
the resources. If the poor countries, including China and India,
really attained out advanced consumption levels it would be as if the
present 6 billion earth population became 72 billion at present
consumption rates. This is impossible since the earth's resources
cannot sustain anywhere near the equivalent of 72 billion people.
Therefore, the idea that globalization, honest government, democracy
and the free-market will allow poor people to advance gradually to a
first world living standard is "a cruel hoax." In fact, China alone
will never get to our level, let alone the rest of the non developed
world. What can prevent eventual disaster?
Diamond says third world peoples are aware of the consumption
disparity between us and them. This leads to the development of, or
condoning, of terrorism, it is the real cause of terrorism. "There
will be more terrorist attacks against us and Europe, and perhaps
against Japan and Australia, as long as that factional difference of
32 in consumption rates persists."
Diamond doesn't say so, but if his thesis is correct, it means the War
on Terror is really a preemptive move by the US to maintain its "way
of life" by making sure the third world remains backward and
exploited. And, there will be a real problem with China as it cannot
rise without pulling our 32 level down. At present levels, China's
catching up with the US "would roughly double world consumption rates"
(and don't forget India!). "The world is already running out of
resources, and it will do so even sooner if China achieves American
level consumption rates. Already, China is competing with us for oil
and metals on world markets."
Have we seen something like this before? Dust off your history books.
The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the advanced countries
scrambling for the control of markets and resources not only among
themselves, but against new rising powers. This led to two world wars.
Lenin's Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism is still the best
guide to what this entails for the future. Already the US is
militarily engaged in the Middle East, having invaded one oil rich
country and still threatening another.
Diamond says the only way China and other countries might be induced
NOT to try and develop to our levels would be to "make consumption
rates and living standards more equal around the world." To stave off
and prevent my Leninist vision of Armageddon the US, for example,
would have tone down it living standards and share the goodies of the
world with the have nots.
Diamond thinks this possible, so he is optimistic about the resolution
of this great contradiction between the aspirations of the third world
and real politic of the first. The "world doesn't have enough
resources to allow for raising China's consumption rates, let alone
the rest of the world, to our levels. Does this mean we are headed for
Diamond says "No." Better planning is all that is needed. In fact
"Real sacrifice won't be required." We can have our cake and eat it
too. Americans are wasteful. Western Europe uses 50% less per capita
oil and gas than the US, yet their living standards are higher than
ours. We could conceivably, by better planning, reduce our oil
consumption by 50% and still raise or maintain our living standards
(more or less, no more Hummers).
Other examples, from Diamond, of misused resources that are about to
collapse but could be maintained by proper management are the world's
fisheries and forests. All we lack, he tells us is the "political
What is the problem here? We have just seen the EPA shoot down
California and other states' attempt to impose fuel efficiency
standards on automobiles. The fisheries and forests will, presumably,
continue to be overexploited (we have known about this for years yet
The basis of capitalism is maximizing profits. Exxon-Mobile and other
corporations are not going to give up market share and profits to make
the world a fair place for everyone. That is just not the nature of
What Diamond is asking for is a world wide regime based on central
planning that could rationally allot and share the world's resources.
Who could administer such a regime. The United Nations? Is there any
hope that the US or any other of the major capitalist powers would
cede their economic sovereignty to the UN or any other transnational
organization and renounce the "free-market" as the means for
regulating globalization in favor of a central planning and management
Reality may force this upon the world and my hunch is that if it does
it will be rather messy. A specter is haunting Europe once again.
Thomas Riggins is the book review editor of Political Affairs, and can
be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read other articles by
Thomas, or visit Thomas's website.