On June 24th, citizens concerned with the lives, liberty and equity lost to the ’War on Terror’ will gather at the Oregon Capitol Building to roll out “World Trade Center Seven Awareness Day”. World Trade Center Seven (WTC7) was the forty-seven story Solomon Brothers Building that collapsed like a traditional controlled demolition in the afternoon of September 11, 2001.
Information booths will be located in the Oregon State Capitol lobby and outdoors on the front Capitol lawn from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in a campaign to inform the public about the third skyscraper’s symmetrical free-fall collapse. The National Institute of Standards and Technology claims that WTC 7 is the only skyscraper to ever collapse because of fire.
At 6:00 PM, Architect Richard Gage (AIA) will appear in the nearby Ford Film Theatre to deliver a science-based presentation on behalf of 2,300 engineers and architects who are demanding a new independent investigation into the thorough destruction of WTC 7 which happened on the same day of 9/11.
The theatre is located in the Willamette University’s Ford Hall across the street from the Capitol Building at 1140 State Street in Salem, Oregon. Portland Community College’s 9/11 Studies Club is a co-sponsor. According to event founder Marv Sannes, “WTC 7 Awareness Day is a solemn acknowledgement of all the people who have died in the wake of 9/11, the 6.5 trillion dollars… Continue reading
Originally published at The Guardian by Spencer Ackerman on 6/15/15
Exclusive: Watchdogs shocked at ‘disconnect’ between doctors who oversaw interrogation and guidelines that gave CIA director power over medical ethics
The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.
Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.
CIA director George Tenet approved abusive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, designed by CIA contractor psychologists. He further instructed the agency’s health personnel to oversee the brutal interrogations – the beginning of years of controversy, still ongoing, about US torture as a violation of medical ethics.
But the revelation of the guidelines has prompted critics of CIA torture to question how the agency could have ever implemented what it calls “enhanced interrogation techniques” – despite apparently having rules against “research on human subjects” without their informed… Continue reading
Originally published at the AP: The Big Story by Jack Gillum, Eileen Sullivan and Eric Tucker on 6/2/15
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country using video and sometimes cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.
The surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI says the flights are used for specific investigations. The agency says it uses front companies to protect the safety of the pilots and aircraft, shielding their identities from would-be suspects on the ground.
In a recent 30-day period, an AP review found, the FBI flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, including parts of Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Seattle, and Southern California.
Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool for investigations. But the program raises questions as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.
U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for… Continue reading
Originally published at the NYTimes by Adam Liptak on 6/17/15
WASHINGTON — Saying that high-ranking Bush administration officials may have taken part in grave constitutional violations after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court in New York on Wednesday revived a long-running lawsuit brought by immigrants, most of them Muslim, who said they were subjected to beatings, humiliating searches and other abuses in a Brooklyn detention center.
“The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy,” Judges Rosemary S. Pooler and Richard C. Wesley wrote in a joint opinion for a divided three-judge panel of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
“Holding individuals in solitary confinement 23 hours a day with regular strip-searches because their perceived faith or race placed them in the group targeted for recruitment by Al Qaeda violated the detainees’ constitutional rights,” the judges said.
A lawyer for the plaintiffs said the ruling sent a… Continue reading
Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 6/13/15
Last year, it was discovered that the FBI had attempted to infiltrate the legal defense team of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner. The defendant is charged, along with four others including Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), of conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks. As a result, the military trial was moved out for approximately one year to allow for an investigation into the FBI’s offense. Recently, Al-Jazeera reported that the trial has been moved out yet again because the Department of Justice team leading the investigation (of its own bureau) needs more time to complete its secret report. These delays highlight the absurdity of the case against these men and the contemptible abuse of justice that the military trial represents.
Apparently, it has been difficult for the Justice Department to explain why the FBI approached a member of defendant Ramzi bin al-Shibh’s legal team to “create a relationship with him that he was forbidden from disclosing.” That explanation became more difficult when it was learned that another member of Bin al-Shibh’s defense team had been cooperating with the FBI since late 2013.
The FBI infiltration of the Bin Al-Shibh defense team is just the tip of this anti-justice iceberg, however. In February, it was revealed that a translator assigned to help defend the accused was a CIA operative. That’s one way to ensure that the official account of 9/11, created entirely through torture testimony and secret evidence provided by the CIA… Continue reading
Originally published at Florida Bulldog by Dan Christensen on 4/13/15
A secretive blue-ribbon panel formed by Congress to conduct an “external review” of the FBI’s post-9/11 performance – and to assess new evidence – was largely under the sway of the very agency it was tasked to examine.
The FBI 9/11 Review Commission originally was envisioned as something very different: an independent national commission with subpoena power that would hold public hearings, take testimony, receive evidence and compel government agencies to turn over information from their files.
Proposed legislation called for a chairman and vice chairman to be appointed by the House Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader, respectively. Staff would be hired without outside interference. The General Services Administration would provide support services.
That’s not what happened.
The FBI 9/11 Review Commission, which issued its final report March 25, held no public hearings and had no subpoena power. It was largely spoon-fed information by the FBI, whose personnel was on the commission’s staff and helped edit the final report to improve its “accuracy and clarity,” the report says.
The commission’s interviews and proceedings, its “Memorandums for the Record” and other documents on which the report is based were not made public.
FBI CHIEF PICKS 9/11 REVIEW PANEL
FBI Director James Comey, not the Speaker or the Majority Leader, chose the 9/11 Review Commission’s three members. The report says Comey did so “in consultation with Congress.”
The FBI paid… Continue reading
Originally published at Homeland Security Today by Amanda Vicinanzo on 6/9/15
Nearly 15 years after the tragic September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, problems with interoperable communications continue to plague the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to a DHS Inspector General (OIG) audit report.
“In other words, nearly a decade after the 9/11 Commission highlighted the problem with interoperable communications, DHS components could not talk to each other using about $430 million worth of radios purchased,” said DHS Inspector General John Roth, whose office just concluded a verification review of its 2012 audit of DHS’s oversight of interoperable communications.
In the 2012 audit report, DHS’ Oversight of Interoperable Communications, the IG’s review of progress on intra-agency communications during an emergency, such as a terrorist event, found less than 0.25 percent of the 479 radio users could access and communicate via that specified common channel.
Moreover, of the 382 radios tested, only 20 percent contained all the correct program settings for the common channel.
The IG determined the reason behind the communications failure was lack of an effective governing structure with the authority and responsibility to ensure DHS achieved department-wide interoperable radio communications.
Now more than two years later, the IG found, DHS still hasn’t complied with the recommendations of the initial 2012 audit. Although DHS has taken some corrective actions to standardize department-wide radio activities, plans have not been finalized and DHS could not provide a timetable for finalization of the plans.
Furthermore, some component… Continue reading
Originally published at The Conversation by Thomas Mills on 6/5/15
Louise Richardson, the incoming vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, has attracted controversy for suggesting the US overreacted to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.
Richardson is a well-respected expert on terrorism studies and made her comments in the context of a nuanced argument about how nations should best respond to terrorism in the contemporary era.
It is however inevitable, given both Richardson’s new status as the head of a prestigious institution and the politically charged nature of anything to do with 9/11, that her views have attracted some angry responses in the US. But is she right?
Much of the hostile media reaction to Richardson’s comments drew on contributions from the relatives of people killed during the terrorist attacks. Clearly, no one would wish to tell bereaved family members of those killed on 9/11 that their grief and anger in response to those events were an overreaction.
But when talking of an overreaction to 9/11, Richardson clearly has in mind the broader collective response of the nation to the events, rather than the personal responses of individuals directly affected.
In this broader sense it seems self-evident that the US did overreact in various ways to 9/11. In the weeks and months following the terrorist attacks of 2001, fear about the country’s newly realised vulnerability combined with an invigorated sense of patriotism throughout the country.
George W… Continue reading
Originally published at Courthouse News Service by Tim Ryan on 6/15/15
WASHINGTON (CN) – The CIA declassified five documents Friday that show differing perceptions of the agency’s counterterrorism efforts prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
One 480-page report from the Office of the Inspector General reviews the findings of a joint inquiry by the House and Senate intelligence committees regarding the performance of CIA employees before 9/11.
The OIG said its “overall conclusions on most of the important issues” coincided with Congress but that it did reach different findings “in a number of matters.”
“Concerning certain issues,” the CIA and its officers “did not discharge their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner,” the report states.
While one major error is not responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, the CIA “did not always work effectively and cooperatively” in trying to combat al-Qaida and Osama Bin Ladin, the OIG goudn.
“The team found neither a ‘single point of failure’ nor a ‘silver bullet’ that would have enabled the Intelligence Community to predict or prevent the 9/11 attacks,” the report says. “The team did find, however, failures to implement and manage important processes, to follow through with operations and to properly share and analyze critical data.”
Specifically, the report faults CIA Director George Tenet for not properly leveraging his position to make counterterrorism more of a priority within the agency before the attacks.
The redaction-pocked audit faults Tenet for funneling resources to projects… Continue reading
Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 5/17/15
Recently it has been noticed that Wirt Walker, a 9/11-insider trading suspect who ran security for several of the impacted facilities, now works with men who were, prior to 9/11, key players in national defense and terrorism response. Given the role that Stratesec played and the relationships between suspects already revealed, this seems more than coincidental. Moreover, these men have top-secret clearances, which further suggests that Walker is a covert operative.
Walker, the son of a CIA and DIA man, was managing director for the Kuwait-American Corporation (KuwAm). This led to his management of Stratesec as well as other KuwAm subsidiaries that have surprising connections to 9/11. Stratesec had contracts to provide security services not only for the World Trade Center (WTC), but also for United Airlines, which owned two of the planes hijacked on 9/11, and Dulles Airport, where American Airlines Flight 77 took off that day.
Walker’s employee Barry McDaniel, the Chief Operating Officer of Stratesec, went from providing security at the WTC to starting a business with one of Dick Cheney’s closest colleagues. The fact that McDaniel is now working with an old partner of Cheney, who as vice president on 9/11 oversaw the failure of the nation’s defenses, raises many interesting questions.
The same kinds of questions can be asked about Walker’s current coworkers. Today, Walker runs Ecohawk Tech Services, an “applied technology company.” The company shares the same address in Leesburg, Virginia as… Continue reading
Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 5/12/15
The media has taken an increasing interest in the 28 pages that were redacted from the 9/11 Joint Congressional Inquiry Report. The stories usually feature one of the Inquiry’s leaders, former Senator Bob Graham, who has claimed that the missing pages point to involvement of the government of Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi complicity is in no way surprising, facts that are often overlooked suggest that Graham’s actions may not be entirely straightforward. This leads independent researchers to raise concerns about his intentions and those concerns are justified.
To begin with, Graham never calls for release of other documents collected by the government’s 9/11 investigators, most of which are still held secret. That includes the majority of 9/11 Commission documents, of which only a fraction have been released—with much of the content redacted. The release of Commission documents is hindered by claims that they are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) because they are congressional records. Nonetheless, the public deserves to see documents that might answer critical questions.
Moreover, Graham shows no interest in the many alarming facts about 9/11 that have been uncovered through released documents and videos. Some things that have been released via FOIA request are far more compelling than claims of Saudi financing. These include numerous testimonies to explosives being used to bring down the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings.
After a lawsuit by 9/11 victims’ families, the oral histories of the New… Continue reading
Originally published at Peaceful Tomorrows by Terry Greene and Gloria Williams on 4/30/15
As family members of those who died in the attacks launched on Sept. 11, 2001, we reflect on the recent MTA ruling to ban political advertisements on all MTA vehicles as an unfortunate sacrifice when a middle ground could have been forged.
Our families still mourn deeply the loss of our loved ones who perished on 9/11.
Our pain is compounded when some choose to respond in kind to that terrorist attack, and other attacks that have followed, by promoting hatred and fear of others who may be different from themselves. While we support the right to practice free speech, we abhor messages composed to incite bigotry and hatred.
Such messages seek to overturn the central tenets of America — a land founded to honor freedom of religion that is reliant upon principles rich with the ideas of life and liberty, tolerance and brotherhood.
The five-fold increase in hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims, or those who may appear to be Muslim, drives another… Continue reading
In 2002, the Sept. 11 victims’ families filed a lawsuit in federal court against the government of Saudi Arabia for their alleged role in funding and supporting al-Qaeda. The lawsuit floundered in 2013 amidst delays and a lack of substantial evidence, but new information has emerged that may resurrect the lawsuit.
Statements from former al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui suggest that members of the Saudi royal family had been major donors to the terrorist group as recently as the late 1990s.
Moussaoui gave his account last October to Jerry Goldman, a shareholder at Anderson Kill law firm and a lawyer for Sept. 11 victims’ families, and other lawyers from the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, where he is serving a life sentence.
“He has absolutely nothing to gain from this testimony, except for telling the truth,” says Goldman.
The Saudi government rejects Moussaoui’s 100-page testimony, which describes a close relationship between the government of Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda operatives who planned the 9/11 attacks. But Goldman says Moussaoui’s testimony fits within a broad historical pattern.
“The bad behavior that we allege of the Saudi royal family goes back a considerable period of time, and perhaps it’s still continuing,” he says. “That relevance is important, and most importantly, it’s relevance that the American people as a whole — not just the victims of 9/11 — need to understand what happened and [to know] that people are finally held accountable for the wrongs that they caused.”
In light… Continue reading
Originally published at the NYTimes by Lorie Van Auken and Mindy Kleinberg on 2/17/15
To the Editor:
New Light Cast on Secret Pages in Sept. 11 Report” (front page, Feb. 5) reiterates Senator Bob Graham’s finding from the Congressional Joint Inquiry: that the Saudis were tied to the funding of the 9/11 attacks. Philip D. Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission, has tried to refute this.
Mr. Zelikow reportedly blocked two key staff members from reading the 28 classified pages. He even fired one of them, who tried to get access to the pages because she rightly felt that she couldn’t do her job without the information. This is hardly a recipe for forming convincing conclusions.
Bankrupting the terrorists would go a long way toward keeping all countries safe, yet the government is unwilling to expose the facts about the funding of Al Qaeda. Classification isn’t supposed to be used for keeping the secrets of a foreign government. With terrorism on the rise, wouldn’t it be appropriate for the American public finally to read those pages?
|LORIE VAN AUKEN||MINDY KLEINBERG|
J. Michael Springmann has just published, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World. As a former member of the US Foreign Service, Mr. Springmann exposes the truth about American involvement in the training and international movement of Muslim terrorists and the subsequent increase in jihadist terrorism. Some of these terrorists have links to 9/11.
Thousands of American soldiers and civil servants have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Innocent citizens of many nations, including Americans killed on 9/11, have also paid the ultimate price. While the US government claims to stand against terror, this same government refuses to acknowledge its role in creating what has become a deadly international quagmire. Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World sets the record straight by laying the blame on high-ranking US government officials.
During the 1980s, the CIA recruited and trained Muslim operatives to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, the CIA would move those operatives from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and then to Iraq, Libya, and Syria, traveling on illegal US visas. These US-backed and trained fighters would morph into an organization that is synonymous with jihadist terrorism: al-Qaeda.
J. Michael Springmann, a former US diplomat, names individuals and organizations that deny culpability. He analyzes the effects of a nebulous war on the US economy and infrastructure. After thirteen bloody years, Springmann exposes hypocrisy and deceit wrapped in a sullied flag of patriotism and honor.
As investigative journalist Wayne Madsen notes,… Continue reading
Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 2/15/15
Science has been misused for political purposes many times in history. However, the most glaring example of politically motivated pseudoscience—that employed by U.S. government scientists to explain the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC)—continues to be ignored by many scientists. As we pass the 10th anniversary of the introduction of that account, it is useful to review historic examples of fake science used for political purposes and the pattern that defines that abuse.
An early example of pseudoscience used to promote a political agenda was the concerted Soviet effort to contradict evolutionary theory and Mendelian inheritance. For nearly 45 years, the Soviet government used propaganda to foster unproven theories of agriculture promoted by its minister of agriculture, Trofim Lysenko. Scientists seeking favor with the Soviet hierarchy produced fake experimental data in support of Lysenko’s false claims. Scientific evidence from the fields of biology and genetics was banned in favor of educational programs that taught only Lysenkoism and many biologists and geneticists were executed or sent to labor camps. This propaganda-fueled program of anti-science continued for over forty years, until 1964, and spread to other countries including China.
In the 2010 book Merchants of Doubt, authors Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway describe several other examples of the misuse of science, spanning from the 1950s to the present. They show how widely respected scientists participated in clearly non-scientific efforts to promote the agendas of big business and big government.… Continue reading
Originally published at WhoWhatWhy.org by Russ Baker on 2/6/15
On Monday, attorneys representing victims of the 9/11 attacks filed papers alleging substantial Saudi financial support for Al Qaeda and terrorism, including a plan to shoot down Air Force One. This Saudi support supposedly continued up to shortly before 9/11. Donors included leading members of the royal family.
These extraordinary allegations came in rare testimony from behind the walls of a Supermax prison by the so-called “20th hijacker,” Zacharias Moussaoui, a convicted Al Qaeda operative.
The New York Times took him quite seriously:
Mr. Moussaoui’s testimony, if judged credible, provides new details of the extent and nature of that [Saudi] support in the pre-9/11 period. In more than 100 pages of testimony, filed in federal court in New York on Monday, he comes across as calm and largely coherent, though the plaintiffs’ lawyers questioning him do not challenge his statements.
One of the people Moussaoui says he met as an Al Qaeda representative was Prince Salman, who in January became the new king of Saudi Arabia. Others he claims to have met include Turki al-Faisal, who at the time was Saudi intelligence chief, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the longtime Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
Both Turki and Bandar were very close with George H.W. Bush and his family. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush was president of the United States—and in what was seemingly a chilling accident of fate, was in Sarasota himself… Continue reading
Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 2/9/15
NBC News anchor Brian Williams is taking heat for having repeatedly lied to the public about an Iraq War experience that he never had. Williams has decided to take a few days off to see if the whole affair will blow over but that strategy is not likely to work given the legs that the story has grown. There is a way for Williams to turn it all around, although it would be tougher than anything he has done in the past. He could save face by coming clean on something important that he once reported and never mentioned again.
On September 11, 2001, Williams was covering the terrorist attacks of the day. Late that afternoon a third skyscraper collapsed at the World Trade Center (WTC) and Williams interviewed a New York City fireman named David Restuccio about it. Just after the building collapsed, NBC broadcast the live scene as Williams remarked, “This is like watching the collapse of an active volcano. And the dust from it is not unlike that from a volcano.” He brought Restuccio on and continued, “You guys knew this was coming all day.” Restuccio replied, “We had heard reports that the building [WTC 7] was unstable and that it would be best if it would either come down on its own or it would be taken down.”
This was the point at which a good journalist would have stopped and asked, “It would be taken down”?… Continue reading