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Thread: A Tale Of Two Terror Attacks

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    A Tale Of Two Terror Attacks

    A Tale of Two Terror Attacks

    http://www.democrats.com/node/18512

    By Dave Lindorff
    12/2/2008

    Before the odor of burned gunpowder has left the air of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, the US is lecturing India not to go off half-cocked and attack Pakistan, simply because all of the attackers in the terrorist assaults in that city arrived by boat, apparently from neighboring Pakistan. US officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, are calling on India to engage in a "transparent" and "thorough" investigation into the attacks to establish who was responsible.

    How different this is from the American government's response to the 9-11 attacks in the US!

    Instead of a "transparent" investigation, we got secret sessions of the Congressional intelligence committees, closed-door interviews of key officials, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney by the 9-11 Commission, and of course the secret round of thousands of mostly Islamic people living in the US, many of whom were held of months incommunicado and without charge, some of whom were subjected to torture, and many other of whom were deported to likely arrest, torture and even death.

    Instead of a calm assessment of what had happened and who was responsible, the Bush Administration rounded up Saudi members of the Bin Laden family, and others connected to the regime in Saudi Arabia, whence came most of the people reportedly involved in the hijacking of the four planes used in the attacks, and, with no attempt at interrogation, flew them home to Saudi Arabia. Then, again with only minimal evidence, the US launched an all-out war within days upon Afghanistan, with the goal of ousting and destroying the Taliban government of that country. Shortly after that aggressive move, the Bush/Cheney administration shifted its focus and launched an even larger all-out war against Iraq, a nation that had no connection whatsoever with the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

    So much for transparency and measured responses.

    Here again, we have an example of the US expecting one mode of behavior for the rest of the world, and another for itself.

    We Americans, it would appear, are not required to operate in a logical manner, are not required to think through the consequences of our actions, are not required to obey international laws, and are not required to listen to the counsel of others. If the United Nations will not support our plan to attack and topple the government of another sovereign nation, we will just do it ourselves. But other countries may not behave in this manner.

    There is another way that India and the US are different which has come to light in this latest atrocity. Following the Mumbai attacks, India's minister of security resigned, in an admission that his department had failed to discover an attack that was clearly at least six months in planning, and had failed to prevent the massive loss of life because of inadequate preparation of police and troops for such an eventuality (police and soldiers were not equipped even with sniper rifles and scopes that might have enabled them to shoot and kill some of the 10 terrorists with minimal threat to their hostages).

    Nobody resigned for the manifold failings that led up to and allowed for the 9-11 attacks. Nobody resigned for intelligence failures, nobody resigned for air defense failures, nobody resigned for investigative failures, nobody resigned for the lies that were the basis for the attack on Afghanistan and the war against Iraq. There has indeed been zero accountability in the US for the biggest national security disaster since Pearl Harbor. But in India, it took only days for the chief person responsible for security in the Indian government to resign his post in disgrace.

    Let us hope that saner heads prevail in India when it comes to Pakistan, as the story of this latest terror action is exposed.

    And let us hope that Americans finally demand an honest accounting of what happened on 9/11/2001 and that those who are guilty of allowing it to happen, and of sending the country off on a pointless, bloody and seemingly endless jihad in the Middle East as a result are exposed and forced to pay for their ineptness and their crimes.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    India's top security minister resigns
    Raid not ruled out on Pakistan camps

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/asi...ister_resigns/

    By Somini Sengupta
    New York Times / December 1, 2008

    MUMBAI, India - The top domestic security official resigned in disgrace yesterday for the failure to thwart or quickly contain the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai last week, as the government announced a raft of measures to bolster antiterrorism efforts and struggled to calibrate a response to what it views as Pakistani complicity.

    Top officials have suggested that groups based in Pakistan had some involvement in the attacks. The suspension of diplomatic relations and a cross-border raid against suspected militant training camps in Pakistan were not ruled out.

    The security official, Shivraj Patil, the home security minister, became the first senior official in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's administration to leave office over the Mumbai attacks, which have traumatized the nation for their ferocity and audacity and laid bare glaring deficiencies in India's intelligence and enforcement abilities. The pressures on the government are especially acute, with elections only six months away.

    While Indian officials insisted publicly that the mayhem was carried out by 10 heavily armed men, there were new indications that others had been involved and that the attackers had at least some accomplices pre-positioned on the ground.

    The three-day siege of Mumbai, the country's financial capital, ended Saturday with a death toll of at least 188, hundreds wounded, and two of Mumbai's most famous five-star hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and the Oberoi, where most of the mayhem took place, partly in ruins. At least 28 of the dead were foreigners, including at least six Americans and eight Israelis killed at a Jewish religious center that had been seized by the attackers and was stormed by elite Indian commandos dropped from a helicopter.

    Despite repeated assertions by Pakistan's government that it bore no responsibility, the attacks have raised the pitch of India-Pakistan tensions to their most dangerous level in years. Not since the December 2001 suicide attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi, which India blamed on Pakistani groups, have there been such blunt Indian accusations about outlaws based across the border; that episode prompted the two countries to send their armies to the border, sparking fears of war between the nuclear neighbors.

    The Bush administration, hoping to help defuse the possibility of new hostilities, announced it was sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to India this week "to stand in solidarity with the people of India as we all work together to hold these extremists accountable."

    Yesterday, a senior government official said Singh's administration would have to consider a range of measures to show toughness toward Pakistan. "The government is under pressure; we are taking steps," the official said. "We're not trying to say we're going to attack them. Short of that everything will have to be pursued."

    "Certainly we are not going to sit back with Pakistan unleashing this terror on India," the official added.

    The Indian government's options, officials and analysts said, include everything from suspending peace talks, which have gone on at a snail's pace for five years, to suspending diplomatic relations to striking camps across the border that New Delhi suspects of training terrorists.

    Reuters quoted a senior police official as saying yesterday that the only gunman captured alive told the police he was a member of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba organization, blamed for numerous attacks in Kashmir, a disputed territory administered by India, and elsewhere.

    The government has not allowed any outside access to the captive, who has identified himself as Ajmal Amir Qasab, a Pakistani citizen who was wounded in the leg and is getting medical treatment at a military hospital in southern Mumbai.

    But an officer of the Anti-Terror Squad branch in Mumbai who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media said the man had given inconsistent answers to questioning, sometimes saying there were 10 attackers, sometimes saying there were more.

    The officer also said Anti-Terror Squad investigators believed there were accomplices on the ground who might have pre-positioned weapons at the hotels, and that the names and telephone numbers of five Mumbai residents were found among the mobile phones and wallets of the attackers.

    He also confirmed reports in the Indian news media that a recovered satellite phone used by the attackers had been used to call a number in Karachi, Pakistan throughout the assault.

    At the same time, the officer also disputed assertions in the Indian media that all the attackers were Pakistani, saying they were of many nationalities, including a Malaysian.

    With national elections less than six months away, Indian officials are aware of the need to shore up public confidence in the country's domestic security apparatus. Yesterday evening, Singh said his government would expand the National Security Guard, the elite antiterrorist unit that sent its Black Cat commandos to flush out the attackers from the two hotels and the Jewish center.

    Singh also said discussions were underway to establish a federal agency of investigation to streamline the work of state and national agencies, and to fortify maritime and air security. The police have said the attackers came by boat. The Indian government had been warned as far back as March 2007 of infiltration by sea.

    "Clearly, much more needs to be done," Singh said in a written statement, "and we are determined to take all necessary measures to overhaul the system."

    In a telephone interview from the capital, the junior home minister, Shriprakash Jaiswal, said the government would double the size of the 7,400-strong National Security Guard.

    The force was created after the 1984 siege of the Golden Temple in Amritsar by Sikh separatist militants. Nearly 500 civilians and more than 80 army personnel were killed in that standoff.

    But questions have been raised about whether the guard could have begun its operations sooner and why it took its commandos so long to defeat the attackers.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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