Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 1/14/15
Just before Christmas, former FBI special agent Mark Rossini greeted me with his usual good cheer when we met for drinks in a midtown Manhattan restaurant. He told me his life had finally taken a turn for the better. He’s spending most of his time in Switzerland, where he works for a private global corporate-security firm. “Life’s good,” he said.
Good, but with a few major changes. Rossini was drinking club soda instead of the expensive cabernets he quaffed when I first knew him as a high-flying FBI official in Washington a decade ago, when he was a special assistant to the bureau’s chief spokesman, John Miller (now with the New York City Police Department). “I’ve cut back,” he said. “Feeling good.”
But when I ask him how he’s really doing, the light in his eyes dims. “Well, you know, I still miss the job,” he said, shaking his head. A boneheaded move—showing confidential FBI documents to his actress-flame Linda Fiorentino, who said she was researching a script about L.A. wiretapper extraordinaire Anthony Pellicano—cost him his career in 2008 and nearly landed him in jail.
“What’s past is past,” he said. But not all of it. He quickly told me of an encounter the day before on a street in Yonkers, where he keeps an apartment. He’d run into a close family friend who’d lost relatives at the World Trade Center on 9/11. “Mark,” she… Continue reading
Originally published at The Profile by Susan Dugan, Jan. 2015 Issue
Right after 9/11, I remember talking to my women’s group and saying I just don’t think this could have happened without someone knowing about it and allowing it to,” says Fran Shure. “It was totally intuitive, because I knew nothing. And that was received with a lot of censoring remarks. I just looked at them and said, you know, I have the right to think the unthinkable and I’m going to look into this. And lo and behold, a video came my way and then a book and I was in shock, like most people would be, reading about evidence that showed we were not told the truth about what happened on 9/11.”
A retired psychotherapist and landscape designer who successfully juggled both professions for 30 years, Shure grew up in Texas and has spent most of her life in Colorado. The many causes she has championed include working for a freeze on nuclear weapons, the anti-globalization movement, and recently, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment allowing communities to exclude heavy industry (such as fracking) from their communities, due to deep concerns about fracking’s largely untested consequences for the environment. Initial doubts about what really happened on 9/11 and her subsequent inquiry ultimately spurred a kind of spiritual metamorphosis that continues to this day.
FRAN SHURE WAS IMMEDIATELY SKEPTICAL THE ATTACKS OF SEPT. 11, 2001 could have taken place without some sort of advance knowledge. After studying extensive… Continue reading
Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 1/7/15
Since the early days after the Sept. 11 attacks, when news emerged that most of the airline hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, dark allegations have lingered about official Saudi ties to the terrorists. Fueling the suspicions: 28 still-classified pages in a congressional inquiry on 9/11 that raise questions about Saudi financial support to the hijackers in the United States prior to the attacks.
Both the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have refused to declassify the pages on grounds of national security. But critics, including members of Congress who have read the pages in the tightly guarded, underground room in the Capitol where they are held, say national security has nothing to do with it. U.S. officials, they charge, are trying to hide the double game that Saudi Arabia has long played with Washington, as both a close ally and petri dish for the world’s most toxic brand of Islamic extremism.
One of the most prominent critics is former Florida Senator Bob Graham, a Democrat who co-chaired the joint investigation of the House and Senate intelligence committees into the Sept. 11 attacks. On Wednesday, in a press conference with two current members of Congress and representatives of families who lost loved ones in the attacks, he will once again urge the Obama administration to declassify the pages—a move the White House has previously rebuffed.
“There are a lot of rocks out there that have been purposefully tamped down, that if… Continue reading
Stand up and be counted: Make this one of your New Year’s resolutions. Revel in your courage to stand up for truth and justice and be counted.
If you have been paying attention to what is going on in this country, you know that the 9/11 attacks have been used again and again as the justification for policies that contradict core American values. Endless war, torture and warrantless surveillance do not reflect the values of the overwhelming majority of people who inhabit the land of the free and home of the brave. These policies echo the values of a morally bankrupt elite who control our governing institutions.
Our government repeatedly violates the self-evident truths expressed by our Declaration of Independence: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The contradiction between word and deed produces an intentional societal paralysis. Individuals feel helpless. Powerlessness and apathy make it possible for authoritarianism to flourish. Manufactured divisions obscure our common interests from ourselves, shifting our attention away from those who benefit and wield unchecked power.
If you have educated yourself about 9/11, you know that the issue tends to act as a portal through which you discover a hidden history. It is one of many rabbit holes that can lead to a re-evaluation of what passes for “history.”
911Truth.org has been educating the public about the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks for… Continue reading
Originally published at Mother Jones by Erika Eichelberger and AJ Vicens on 12/23/14
The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
The $1.6 trillion in war spending over that time span includes the cost of military operations, the training of security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, weapons maintenance, base support, reconstruction, embassy maintenance, foreign aid, and veterans’ medical care, as well as war-related intelligence operations not tracked by the Pentagon. The report tracks expenses through September, the end of the government’s 2014 fiscal year. Here’s a breakdown of where most of that money went:
How taxpayer dollars were spent on Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war-related activities
US military bases
The key factor determining the cost of war during a given period over the last 13 years has been the number of US troops deployed, according to the report. The number of troops in Afghanistan peaked in 2011, when 100,000 Americans were stationed there. The number of US armed forces in Iraq reached a high of about 170,000 in 2007.
Although Congress enacted across-the-board spending cuts in March… Continue reading
Originally published at the Lexington-Herald Reader by Paul Prather on 12/27/14
Fifty years from now, when a history of the 9/11 attacks can be written from a suitable distance, it probably will be observed that the chief damage done to this nation wasn’t the destruction of landmark buildings or even the loss of nearly 3,000 lives, but the further searing of our collective conscience.
We devolved from — in our own opinions, at least — the most civilized country on Earth, the chief guardians of human rights, to medieval torturers.
Earlier this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee finally released its report on the government’s use of systematic abuse against suspected terrorists, dozens of whom were later discovered to be innocent.
We’ve long known about Abu Ghraib, and about the Bush-Cheney White House memos declaring “enhanced interrogation techniques” lawful (although they violated 200-plus years of American precedents, as well as international laws we’d promoted).
Turns out the post-9/11 torture program went beyond anything we’d previously been told, both in scope and in sadism.
Yet it appears that, other than outraged op-eds here and there from squawking pundits, the collective American response has been a shrug of the shoulders.
In a CBS poll, almost half of us (49 percent) said techniques such as waterboarding are sometimes OK; only 36 percent said torture is never justifiable.
Some 73 percent of Republicans — hey, isn’t this the party with the devoutly Christian base? — think torturing prisoners can be justified.
Maybe we should survey… Continue reading
Originally published at Newsday by Ridgely Ochs on 12/27/14
Nell McCarthy, the deputy special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, pointed to two boxes. One contained files about 2 inches thick; the other, a file about 2 feet thick.
That, she said in the fund’s nondescript Washington, D.C., offices, showed the range of differences among claims filed by 9/11 responders.
The thinner file was submitted online by a former first responder in law enforcement who had hired an experienced lawyer. The second was filed by a former deliveryman for a restaurant — with no attorney — and included entire notebooks containing handwritten statements in nearly indecipherable block printing that often spilled over and encircled the pages.
Both received compensation, McCarthy said. But the first — who recently died of brain cancer — was a fairly straightforward case and it took eight months to determine his compensation. The second — who for a time called the VCF help line every day, even on the weekends — was not so straightforward. That claim took 2½ years to resolve.
“I am really proud of the work we did with him,” McCarthy said of the second claimant, who still calls the VCF.
McCarthy — a former White House staffer who herself… Continue reading
Originally published at Global Research by Prof. Edward Curtin on 12/1/14
The anthrax attacks that followed those of 9/11 have disappeared from public memory in ways analogous to the pulverization of the Twin Towers and World Trade Center Building 7. For the towers, at least, ghostly afterimages persist, albeit fading like last night’s nightmare. But the anthrax attacks, clearly linked to 9/11 and the Patriot Act, are like lost letters, sent, but long forgotten. Such disappearing acts are a staple of American life these days. Memory has come upon hard times.
With The 2001 Anthrax Deception, Professor Graeme MacQueen, founding Director of the Center for Peace Studies at McMaster University, calls us back to a careful reconsideration of the anthrax attacks. It is an eloquent and pellucid lesson in inductive reasoning and deserves to stand with David Ray Griffin’s brilliant multi-volume dissection of the truth of that tragic September 11th. MacQueen makes a powerful case for the linkage of both events, a tie that binds both to insider elements deep within the U.S. government, perhaps in coordination with foreign elements.
MacQueen’s thesis is as follows: The criminal anthrax attacks were conducted by a group of conspirators deep within the U.S. government who are linked to, or identical with, the 9/11 perpetrators. Their purpose was to redefine the Cold War into the Global War on Terror and in doing so… Continue reading
Originally published at The Stranger by Brendan Kiley on 12/12/14
Earlier this week, a real estate attorney from Coeur d’Alene stood up in front of a three-judge panel in Seattle’s Ninth Circuit courthouse to argue Smith vs. Obama—a case challenging NSA surveillance that began back in Idaho, and could be the one that ends up before the US Supreme Court.
It was the first time the attorney, Peter Smith, had appeared before the Ninth Circuit—as another lawyer once said to me, “the Ninth Circuit ain’t beanbag”—or done anything like it. Smith later said in a phone interview that he and his wife Anna were troubled by the 2013 Guardian stories about Edward Snowden and the NSA and had “an interesting discussion about what that means… Anna didn’t feel right.” So Smith did some research about the legality of the NSA’s bulk-collection programs and decided he had grounds to challenge them. Depending on how the Ninth Circuit rules, Mr. Smith could eventually go to Washington.
“Anna is my wife,” Smith started his statement to the judges. (You can watch the arguments by Smith and counter-argument from Department of Justice lawyer H. Thomas Byron III in the video below.) “She is also a neonatal intensive care nurse. She’s a mother. And ten years ago, Anna’s government began a dragnet collection of her call records. Those call records reveal detailed information about Anna when analyzed in the aggregate—”
“How do we know those records were… Continue reading
Originally published at Consensus 911 on 12/10/14
As a result of the three-organization Parliamentary Press Conference below (Dec. 10, 2014) the 9/11 Petition, which has been recently tabled in Parliament and which calls for a review of the 9/11 Commission Report, received national coverage on Global TV:
Global TV covered 9/11 Consensus Panelist Dr. Graeme MacQueen discussing the Panel’s 44 Points of evidence against the 9/11 Commission Report.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 10, 2014
Press Conference, Wednesday December 10, 11 AM, Charles Lynch Room, 130-S, Centre Block Parliament Hill, Ottawa
Three Professional Organizations Offer Evidence-Based 9/11 Statements As Helping Hand to Families of US Victims
Ottawa ON – The government of Canada now has a petition calling for a Parliamentary review of new forensic evidence regarding the events of September 11, 2001.
The parliamentary petition process requires the government to respond within 45 calendar days.
This petition was recently submitted by citizens across Canada, and is supported by three professional organizations who have been digging into 9/11 evidence for years.
ReThink911.ca, based in Ottawa, emphasizes the undying role of US family members in calling for an independent inquiry into 9/11. In honoring their dead, they want the truth to be known, and the value of those lost to it respected.
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (ae911truth.org), which has 2300 architects and engineers calling for a new investigation based on the evidence for controlled demolition. This organization produced… Continue reading
Originally published at The Guardian by Spencer Ackerman and Dominic Rushe in New York, and Julian Borger in London on 12/9/14
The full extent of the CIA’s interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in a milestone report by the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday that concluded the agency’s use of torture was brutal and ineffective – and that the CIA repeatedly lied about its usefulness.
The report represented the most scathing congressional indictment of the Central Intelligence Agency in nearly four decades. It found that torture “regularly resulted in fabricated information,” said committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, in a statement summarizing the findings. She called the torture programme “a stain on our values and on our history”.
“During the brutal interrogations, the CIA was often unaware the information was fabricated.” She told the Senate the torture program was “morally, legally and administratively misguided” and “far more brutal than people were led to believe”.
Originally published at digwithin.net by Kevin Ryan on 12/6/14
Politicians and pundits often use terrorism to promote the interests of their financiers. This fear mongering goes hand in hand with attempts at war profiteering, population control, and the concentration of political power. What many are beginning to discover is that deception is integral to the success of the terrorism business. That is, the official accounts of terrorist events are typically fraught with omissions of fact and the concealment of clues that point to the involvement of more powerful people. The success of these false accounts reveals important aspects of human nature and points to ways in which thoughtful people can help to overcome such challenges.
There will always be a few people greedy enough to lie to others for personal gain, but we can live with this. What we can’t live with is large numbers of people lying to themselves because habitual self-deception is fatal. Long-term successful lies require motivated liars but also willing listeners and when millions or billions of citizens engage in such duplicity they make it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to survive.
It’s common to see people blaming the government or the media for lying and taking advantage. That’s not surprising because, in general, politicians are highly evolved lying machines and the media is rewarded for telling the majority what they want to hear in ways that promote business interests. But what is really needed to overcome that pattern is to examine how lies told by… Continue reading
Originally published at WhoWhatWhy.com by Kevin Ryan on 9/24/14
When neighbors went trick-or-treating at Terry Lee Loewen’s house in Wichita last Halloween, they saw a quiet, unobtrusive, “normal” man. Two months later, federal authorities said they’d seen through the disguise and found a jihadist hiding in the suburbs.
Loewen “planned to die as a martyr” and was charged with trying to drive an explosives-laden vehicle onto the tarmac at Mid-Continent Airport, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said at the time of the arrest. An avionics technician, the then-58-year-old Loewen was really working on behalf of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to the authorities.
Yet contradictions in the government account suggest there might be considerably more to know about Terry Loewen and his alleged plot. Was Loewen a Walter Mitty whose dark daydreams bloomed into reality, as the FBI says? Or was he just a hapless suburbanite who chose the wrong online fantasy life?
The official story is this: Loewen decided to engage in terrorism only six months before his arrest, and immediately began devoting all his time to preparations for becoming a “lone wolf” suicide bomber. A letter allegedly written by Loewen and released by the FBI gave the reasons for his radical change of heart: “My only explanation is that I believe in jihad for the sake of Allah + for the sake of my Muslim brothers + sisters.”
“I expect to be called a terrorist (which I am), a psychopath,… Continue reading
Originally published at AllGov by Noel Brinkerhoff on 11/21/14
A decade after the 9/11 Commission suggested creating a unified communications network for first responders to use during emergencies, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally collected enough money to move forward.
The commission recommended that the federal government create a way for police and firefighters from different jurisdictions to communicate with each other in a crisis—something they couldn’t do during the response to the 9/11 attacks.
Congress got into the act two years ago by passing legislation that authorized the FCC to reserve certain broadcast frequencies for public safety use.
The FCC, though, was left on its own to find funding for the new network, called FirstNet. So the commission auctioned off a band of wireless frequencies to telecommunications companies, which netted more than $11 billion to establish FirstNet.
The FCC only needs about $7 billion for the project, so the rest of the money is expected to go towards paying down the national debt.
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Dish Network all registered to bid on the wireless spectrum, but the FCC has not announced the winners of the auction.
For additional background and context regarding interoperable communications, please see:
Originally published at NEWS8 by on 11/19/14
NEW CANAAN, Conn. (WTNH)– New Canaan’s Mary Fetchet lost her son Brad on September 11, 2001. He had called her husband right after the first tower was hit; he was on the 89th floor of tower 2. That was the last time they heard from their 24-year-old son.
Fetchet, a social worker by trade, though grieving, started mobilizing to help other families and founded a 9/11 advocacy non-profit organization called Voices of September 11th.
She also launched the 9-11 Living Memorial Project so that the stories of those who perished could be told.
“We’ve collected over 70,000 images telling the story of the life of the person who died, not focusing on death, and it was a very therapeutic process for the families because with each photograph came a story or a remembrance of their loved one and the life that they shared with them,” said Fetchet. “I think that is one of the most important projects that we’ve worked on, and we’ve shared copies of each of those photographs with the museum, so it’s a major contribution to the memoriam exhibit that’s at the 9/11 Museum in New York City.”
“When somebody dies they’re with you every moment,” said Fetchet. “It’s different somebody’s alive, they’re with you when they’re with you, so I certainly feel that Brad and other people have provided some guidance along the way.”
Fetchet also campaigned for the creation of the independent 9/11 Commission… Continue reading
Originally published at AE911Truth.org on 11/19/14
Several impressive developments over the last 18 months have lifted the 9/11 truth message into the mainstream news and public awareness. These developments include the Rethink911 campaign, CNN’s coverage of the alternative 9/11 Museum Guide and outreach effort, Richard Gage’s interview on C-SPAN, the debut of The Anatomy of a Great Deception, and the huge video billboard in Times Square depicting the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7.
Now there’s a new opportunity that holds great promise.
End America’s Blindness . . . Restore Its Vision . . . Open the 28 Pages
The reference to 28 pages relates to congressional bill H.R. 428, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). It calls for the release of 28 pages that were redacted (actually, excised) from the Joint Congressional Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001. The Joint Inquiry report dates back to 2002. Shortly after Rep. Jones’ bill was introduced last December, a group of 46 U.S. senators wrote to President Bush requesting that the 28 pages be declassified and made public. Ever since, former U.S. Sen. Robert Graham (D-FL), who chaired the Joint Inquiry committee, has continued to demand the… Continue reading
Originally published at Breaking Defense by Scott Swanson on 11/18/14
The first person to fire a Hellfire missile from a Predator drone in combat and destroy a target writes here about his experience. Scott Swanson has never written about this before. Read on. The Editor.
Flying a Predator drone in combat is nothing like playing a video game. Take it from me, the first person to pull the trigger in a lethal missile strike from a Predator.
As one of the early Air Force pilots to fly that Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV, I cringe when people make snide comments about the “Chair Force.” No, the pilot of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft can’t hear his plane’s engine, feel its motion, or smell that airplane smell; and yes, he (or she) has a joystick and throttle and a couple of TV screens in front of him. But there the comparison ends. Mentally, the pilot is inside a Predator, though the drone is half a world away. Emotionally, he is at war.
That was exactly how I felt one day in September 2000 when I saw Osama Bin Laden—or UBL, as we knew him—live on our Predator’s video screen. I was sitting in the pilot’s seat in our Ground Control Station (GCS) much of that afternoon. My sensor operator steering the camera was Master Sgt. Jeff Guay. As I orbited our Predator over Tarnak Farms, a dusty jumble of buildings in a mud-walled compound just outside Kandahar, Afghanistan,… Continue reading
Originally published at The NY Post by Isabel Vincent, Melissa Klein and Susan Edelman on 11/16/14
In a greedy grab for blood money, a law firm representing sick and dying Ground Zero workers overbilled its legal partner by $36 million in expenses, newly released court papers allege.
The shocking charges call into question the estimated $50 million in additional legal expenses billed to 10,000 firefighters, police officers, construction workers and others who received more than $700 million in settlements for 9/11-related ailments.
An advocate for ill responders — John Feal, a Ground Zero demolition supervisor — demanded Napoli Bern be investigated by authorities.
“It’s outrageous and disgusting,” said Feal, claiming the majority of complaints he hears about legal representation relate to Napoli Bern.
The once-prestigious personal-injury law firm has been rocked by infighting over allegations of sexual improprieties and financial misconduct.
Napoli Bern has also been battling its partner law firm, Worby Groner, since 2012 over legal fees they shared in the 9/11 litigation. The two firms teamed up in 2004 to represent Ground Zero workers afflicted with cancer and other ailments.
The total settlements with the city and other defendants came to about $725 million. Before the 9/11 workers got their checks, though, various costs were deducted. The law firms then got a 25 percent cut of the remainder.
Napoli Bern and Worby Groner… Continue reading