EU officials furious as Washington says it wants extra data on all air passengers
by Ian Traynor in Brussels
Monday February 11 2008
This article appeared in the Guardian on Monday February 11 2008 on p1 of the
Top stories section.
The US administration is pressing the 27 governments of the European Union
to sign up for a range of new security measures for transatlantic travel, including
allowing armed guards on all flights from Europe to America by US airlines.
The demand to put armed air marshals on to the flights is part of a travel
clampdown by the Bush administration that officials in Brussels described as
“blackmail” and “troublesome”, and could see west Europeans
and Britons required to have US visas if their governments balk at Washington’s
According to a US document being circulated for signature in European capitals,
EU states would also need to supply personal data on all air passengers overflying
but not landing in the US in order to gain or retain visa-free travel to America,
senior EU officials said.
And within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new
permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply
online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket,
a procedure that will take several days.
The data from the US’s new electronic transport authorisation system is to
be combined with extensive personal passenger details already being provided
by EU countries to… Continue reading
U.S. Agents Seize Travelers’ Devices
By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 7, 2008; Page A01
Nabila Mango, a therapist and a U.S. citizen who has lived in the country since
1965, had just flown in from Jordan last December when, she said, she was detained
at customs and her cellphone was taken from her purse. Her daughter, waiting
outside San Francisco International Airport, tried repeatedly to call her during
the hour and a half she was questioned. But after her phone was returned, Mango
saw that records of her daughter’s calls had been erased.
A few months earlier in the same airport, a tech engineer returning from a
business trip to London objected when a federal agent asked him to type his
password into his laptop computer. "This laptop doesn’t belong to me,"
he remembers protesting. "It belongs to my company." Eventually, he
agreed to log on and stood by as the officer copied the Web sites he had visited,
said the engineer, a U.S. citizen who spoke on the condition of anonymity for
fear of calling attention to himself.
Maria Udy, a marketing executive with a global travel management firm in Bethesda,
said her company laptop was seized by a federal agent as she was flying from
Dulles International Airport to London in December 2006. Udy, a British citizen,
said the agent told her he had "a security concern" with her. "I
was basically given the option of handing over my laptop or not getting on… Continue reading
February 6, 2008
As someone also motivated by the need for the truth about 9/11, as well as aware of the way conflicts of interest have a way of covering up truth, let me add my thanks to Philip Shenon on the release of his new book. Also let me share this recent comment forwarded to me by Monica Gabrielle of the September 11th Advocates:
Philip Shenon’s new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, serves to justify our suspicions and the concerns of the Family Steering Committee, that we attempted to publicly air during the course of the 9/11 Commission’s tenure.
One of the most egregious revelations put forth by Mr. Shenon is the fact that Philip Zelikow was hired as the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, despite his direct ties to the Bush administration. In 2000-2001 he served as a member of Condoleezza Rice’s National Security Council (NSC) transition team, where he was allegedly the “architect” of the decision to demote Richard Clarke and his counter terrorism team within the NSC. Furthermore he was a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) from 2001-2003, where Zelikow drafted most of the 2002 “National Security Strategy of the United States,” creating the pre-emptive Iraq war strategy. These areas were within the scope of the Commission’s mandate and as such were of critical importance to determine what, if any, impact they had on the government’s ability to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
As the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow was given the responsibility for choosing the entire direction of the Commission’s investigation.…Continue reading
By Jane Sutton Fri Feb 8, 4:43 PM ET
Guantánamo BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – Military lawyers defending
Osama bin Laden’s former driver on terrorism charges in the U.S. war court at
Guantánamo Bay have offered a compromise in their quest to interview September
11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
They promised not to ask Mohammed about his treatment in U.S. custody or about
the CIA’s admission that it subjected him to a simulated drowning technique
known as "waterboarding" during interrogations.
Bin Laden’s former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, was captured in Afghanistan
in November 2001 and faces life in prison if convicted in the Guantánamo court
of conspiring with al Qaeda and providing material support for terrorism.
The Yemeni man said he never joined al Qaeda, had no advance knowledge of its
attacks and became bin Laden’s driver in Afghanistan because he needed the salary
of $200 per month.
Hamdan’s lawyers said Mohammed — the highest-ranking al Qaeda leader held
at the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — can help their defense by
telling them what role, if any, Hamdan had in the organization.
They likened it to somebody "on trial for organized crime and you’ve got
the opportunity to bring in the godfather."
The request was still pending when a pretrial hearing ended on Thursday but
the military judge suggested he might at least let the lawyers question Mohammed
via written notes.
The judge is expected to rule in the next couple of weeks and Hamdan… Continue reading
The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?
February 07, 2008
Click here to read a history of every homeland-security terror alert and the real news that was buried: “Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts–A history of the Bush administration’s most dubious terror scares — and the headlines they buried” TIM DICKINSON, Feb 07, 2008
“So, what you wanna do?” the friend asked. “A target?” the wanna-be jihadi replied. “I want some type of city-hall-type stuff, federal courthouses.”
It was late November 2006, and twenty-two-year-old Derrick Shareef and his friend Jameel were hanging out in Rockford, Illinois, dreaming about staging a terrorist attack on America. The two men weren’t sure what kind of assault they could pull off. All Shareef knew was that he wanted to cause major damage, to wreak vengeance on the country he held responsible for oppressing Muslims worldwide. “Smoke a judge,” Shareef said. Maybe firebomb a government building.
But while Shareef harbored violent fantasies, he was hardly a serious threat as a jihadi. An American-born convert to Islam, he had no military training and no weapons. He had less than $100 in the bank. He worked in a dead-end job as a clerk in a video-game store. He didn’t own a car. So dire were his circumstances, Shareef had no place to live. Then one day, Jameel, a fellow Muslim, had shown up at EB… Continue reading
by MICHAEL GOULD-WARTOFSKY
[from the January 28, 2008 issue of The Nation]
Free-speech zones. Taser guns. Hidden cameras. Data mining. A new security
curriculum. Private security contractors. Welcome to the homeland security campus.
From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower
in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to "violent
radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention"–as it was recently
dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name–have set out to
reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university.
Building a homeland security campus and bringing the university to heel is
a seven-step mission:
1. Target dissidents. As the warfare state has triggered dissent,
the campus has attracted increasing scrutiny–with student protesters in the
cross hairs. The government’s number-one target? Peace and justice organizations.
From 2003 to 2007 an unknown number of them made it into the Pentagon’s Threat
and Local Observation Notice system (TALON), a secretive domestic spying program
ostensibly designed to track direct "potential terrorist threats"
to the Defense Department itself. In 2006 the ACLU uncovered, via Freedom of
Information Act requests, at least 186 specific TALON reports on "anti-military
protests" in the United States–some listed as "credible threats"–from
student groups at the University of California, Santa Cruz; State University
of New York, Albany; Georgia State University; and New Mexico State University,
among other campuses.
At more than a dozen universities and colleges, police officers now double
as full-time FBI agents, and according to the Campus Law… Continue reading
A local 9/11 truth organization founded by two Monadnock Region college students is gaining worldwide attention.
And the New Hampshire primary played a leading role in the accomplishments of Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth.
“We were able to get almost every presidential candidate on video describing their stances on the 9/11 Commission investigation,” said co-founder Justin A. Martell, a junior at Franklin Pierce University.
Martell and Keene State College junior Michael E. Jackman launched the organization in 2006.
The off-the-cuff video interviews with presidential hopefuls were posted on the Internet, and some have been viewed by more than 30,000 people worldwide, according to Martell.
“It’s gotten a lot of people motivated,” he said.
Martell is quick to stress that the student organization, with 80 members from schools in Canada to Japan, is more focused on the investigation into 9/11 than the possibility of controlled demolition.
“The Monadnock 9/11 Truth Alliance is quick to pull out the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers,” he said. “We’re not the controlled demolition movement, we’re the 9/11 truth movement. … There needs to be a new investigation into 9/11.”
After the attacks, Martell said he “rallied around” President Bush.
“And then evidence started to mount. There were no weapons of mass destruction and no ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida,” he said. “That’s when I realized the Bush administration was, at the very least, a bunch of liars.”
In the past two years, Jackman and other members of the… Continue reading
By William Glaberson
The New York Times
Saturday 09 February 2008
Military prosecutors are in the final phases of preparing the first sweeping
case against suspected conspirators in the plot that led to the deaths of nearly
3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, and drew the United States into war, people
who have been briefed on the case said.
The charges, to be filed in the military commission system at Guantánamo
Bay, Cuba, would involve as many as six detainees held at the detention camp,
including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former senior aide to Osama bin Laden,
who has said he was the principal planner of the plot.
The case could begin to fulfill a longtime goal of the Bush administration:
establishing culpability for the terrorist attacks of 2001. It could also help
the administration make its case that some detainees at Guantánamo, where
275 men remain, would pose a threat if they are not held at Guantánamo
or elsewhere. Officials have long said that a half-dozen men held at Guantánamo
played essential roles in the plot directed by Mr. Mohammed, from would-be hijackers
But the case would also bring new scrutiny to the military commission system,
which has a troubled history and has been criticized as a system designed to
win convictions but that does not provide the legal protections of American
War-crimes charges against the men would almost certainly place the prosecutors
in a battle over the treatment of inmates because at least two… Continue reading
by Lewis Seiler, Dan Hamburg
Monday, February 4, 2008
"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating
any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of
his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian
government whether Nazi or Communist." – Winston Churchill, Nov.
Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal
government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide
swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without
legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of
immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts
with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention
camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has
also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some
reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.
According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part
of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal
of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."
Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about
these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging
Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs"
require the construction and refurbishment of… Continue reading
By Matthew Rothschild
February 7, 2008
Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does–and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.
InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.
InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats.
“Then the FBI cloned it,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.
InfraGard itself is still an FBI operation, with FBI agents in each state overseeing the local InfraGard chapters. (There are now eighty-six of them.) The alliance is a nonprofit organization of private sector InfraGard members.
[Remainder of article at The Progressive.]…Continue reading
BY JOHN TOSCANO
February 6, 2008
New York lawmakers in Washington who have been persistently pressing the White
House for increased funding for healthcare programs for ailing 9/11 World Trade
Center workers were jolted last week when President George W. Bush’s proposed
budget slashed those programs by 77 percent.
Only last Wednesday, they pointed out, a White House spokesman had issued a
statement that the president’s 2009 budget would "reflect his continued
commitment" to WTC workers. In reality, the budget issued appropriated
a paltry $25 million, down from $108 million in the present spending plan.
"This dramatic and unwarranted cut flies in the face of common sense,
compassion and just plain fairness," Senator Charles Schumer declared as
he promised to "fight these cuts tooth and nail to ensure these heroes
receive the health care they need and clearly deserve".
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton stated she was "disappointed and saddened
to see that the president chose not to acknowledge the clear healthcare needs
of these heroes", and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney said it was "shocking
that the president would use his final budget to take an axe to the 9/11 healthcare
Maloney (D- Queens/Manhattan) noted: "Just a few weeks ago, the administration
canceled a program for 9/11 responders from around the country because they
said it lacked funding, and now they release a budget that doesn’t even ask
for the money they said they needed.
"The administration has failed in every single one of its budget proposals
to deliver adequate help… Continue reading
By Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News
February 3, 2008
-Photo by Tommy Sullivan, Project Censored
Cynthia McKinney takes speaking truth to power to a whole new level. She has time and again stood against and spoken out about the very things we all complain about. She has taken the lashes with a grace the media never allowed you to see.
While speaking at a conference McKinney said,
“Warriors don’t have medals, they have scars. The corporate media has emblazoned for all the world to see…my scars”.
Scars. That’s all the American public knows of Cynthia McKinney.
MTR News had a chance to sit down with this presidential candidate and talk about the many scars on our nation. The woman we met was nothing like the corporate media has portrayed her to be. The woman we met was a warm, vibrant, intelligent, and articulate leader.
Meet Cynthia McKinney: Video at MTRNews.com.
*Cynthia McKinney is running as the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate.Source URL: http://www.mtrnews.com/node/34…Continue reading
by David Ray Griffin
This essay is the second in a series of articles written by Dr. David Ray Griffin for The Canadian. This particular one is an abbreviated version of Chapters 2 and 3 of Dr. Griffin’s 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (Northampton: Olive Branch, March, 2008).
With regard to the morning of 9/11, everyone agrees that at some time after 9:03 (when the South Tower of the World Trade Center was struck) and before 10:00, Vice President Dick Cheney went down to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), sometimes simply called the “bunker,” under the east wing of the White House. Everyone also agrees that, once there, Cheney was in charge—that he was either making decisions or relaying decisions from President Bush. But there is enormous disagreement as to exactly when Cheney entered the PEOC.
According to The 9/11 Commission Report, Cheney arrived “shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58” (The 9/11 Commission Report [henceforth 9/11CR], 40). This official time, however, contradicts almost all previous reports, some of which had him there before 9:20. This difference is important because, if the 9/11 Commission’s time is correct, Cheney was not in charge in the PEOC when the Pentagon was struck, or for most of the period during which United Flight 93 was approaching Washington. But if the reports that have him there by 9:20 are correct, he was in charge in the PEOC all that time.
Mineta’s Report of Cheney’s… Continue reading
TO: The real Patriots of the 21st century
FROM: Steve Alten
Congratulations! Your efforts have caused The SHELL GAME to hit the NY Times
best seller list, debuting at # 31 in only its second week! Here’s what is really
exciting: Barnes & Noble and Borders front table space only began Feb. 1.
If we can continue to push it up the list into the top 10, the following dominoes
1. Supermarkets, drugstores, Targets, etc., will automatically BUY IN as they
purchase off the NY Times list.
2. Major newspapers will ask for review copies and interviews.
3. Major shows like Letterman will be interested.
4. The top 10 best seller list is published each week in NATIONAL PAPERS. It
is what people buy from. The potential to create a WAVE of mass sales is there,
persuading the media and public alike.
And YES… Amazon.com sales COUNT on the list!
What does this mean to the 9/11 Truth Movement?
It means you just got yourself a crowbar to leverage open doors that have been
And I am not playing it safe. If you listened to my interview with former Senator
Robert Rovner, I pull no punches. I let everyone know that YOU are the voice
of patriotism, a voice that has been deliberately smeared by disinformation
tactics because the powers-that-be fear the truth. The evidence is overwhelming
that the Bushies committed TREASON! War games, put orders…Cheney issuing stand
down orders in the bunker…we need… Continue reading
By Bill Van Auken
15 January 2008
Back to screen version | Send this link by email | Email the author
An Italian judge has issued orders for the preventive arrest pending deportation of at least 140 former officials of military dictatorships that ruled seven Latin American countries between the 1960s and 1980s. They are charged with responsibility for the deaths of 25 Italian citizens, who were among the tens of thousands of opponents of these regimes murdered, tortured and illegally imprisoned under a US-backed campaign of repression known as Operation Condor.
During the 1970s and 1980s, dictatorships in Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru, with the aid of the US CIA, developed Operation Condor as a program of coordinated continental repression, pooling their police-military resources in order to hunt down exiles and send them back to their deaths, while allowing secret police death squads to freely cross borders.
Among those the Italian judge, Luisanna Figliola, has asked be arrested are former Argentine dictator Jorge Videla, his fellow junta member and navy chief Emilio Eduardo Massera, and Jorge Maria Bordaberry, who headed Uruguay’s dictatorship between 1973 and 1976, as well as Francisco Morales BermÃºdez, who was Peru’s dictator between 1975 and 1980, and Pedro Richter, another Peruvian ex-general who served as Peru’s prime minister.
Others charged are military officers and secret policemen, including 61 from Argentina, 32 from Uruguay, 22 Chileans and 13 Brazilians. Also accused are former Bolivian and Paraguayan officials
The Italian government has one of… Continue reading
February 07, 2008
EXCLUSIVE: Former 9/11 Commission Chief Philip Zelikow on Allegations
He Secretly Allowed Karl Rove & White House to Influence 9/11 Probe
Earlier in the week, we spoke to Philip Shenon, author of “The Commission:
The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.” Shenon suggested
that Philip Zelikow–the executive director of the 9/11 Commission–sought
to minimize the Bush administration’s responsibility for failing to
prevent the September 11th attacks. Shenon also revealed that Karl Rove repeatedly
called Zelikow during the probe. Today Zelikow responds in his first broadcast
interview since the publication of Shenon’s book.
Philip Zelikow, served as executive director of the 9/11 Commission. He
is now Professor of History and Director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs
at the University of Virginia.
Related Democracy Now! Stories:
Book Alleges 9/11 Commissioner Philip Zelikow Minimized Scrutiny of Bush Admin
Failure to Prevent al-Qaeda Attack (2/5/2008)
February 07, 2008
The 9/11 Commission & Torture: How Information Gained Through Waterboarding
& Harsh Interrogations Form Major Part of 9/11 Commission Report
A new analysis by NBC News reveals that more than a quarter of all footnotes
in the 9/11 Commission report refer to controversial interrogation techniques.
Yet, Commission staffers did not question the CIA about its techniques. They
even ordered a second round of interrogations in early 2004 to get more information
from the detainees.
CIA Director Michael Hayden acknowledged Tuesday that the Agency had… Continue reading
by Philip Giraldi
Sibel Edmonds is the FBI translator turned whistleblower who decided to go public late in 2002 and has been seeking to tell her story about high level corruption in the United States government involving Turkey and Israel. What makes her story particularly compelling is that the corruption relates to the theft and sale of United States defense secrets, most particularly nuclear technology. Sibel obtained her information while translating Turkish language telephone intercepts directed against several Turkish lobbying groups who had contact with senior officials in the Bush Administration, both at the Pentagon and in the State Department. Many of the officials involved are apparently the same neoconservatives who cooked the books to enable the rush to war against Iraq and who are continuing to urge more wars in the Middle East, most notably against Iran and Syria. Several of them are close allies of leading Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
To stop Sibel from telling her story, then Attorney General John Ashcroft subjected her to a state secrets privilege gag order after her appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes in October 2002 that not only forbade her providing details of her employment with FBI but also made the ban retroactive so that anything relating to her case would be considered a state secret. Edmonds had been discouraged by her experience with CBS as her most important points wound up on the cutting room floor. Then came the gag order, which she has observed while working assiduously to get… Continue reading
Kill The Messenger, the long-awaited film about Sibel Edmonds is still not apparently available for purchase. 911truth.org has sent repeated requests to the producers, ove rthe course of several months, but have received no reply. Now, the film has been uploaded to Youtube. We will update the site as soon as we learn how readers can purchase this film.
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 1/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 2/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 3/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 4/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 5/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 6/6
Sibel Edmonds, a 32-year-old Turkish-American, was hired as a translator by the FBI shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 because of her knowledge of Middle Eastern languages. She was fired less than a year later in March 2002 for reporting shoddy work and security breaches to her supervisors that could have prevented those attacks.
Edmonds has been fighting the corruption permeating the FBI since her unfair dismissal and sued to contest her firing in July 2002. On July 6, 2004 , Judge Reggie Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed Edmonds’ case, citing the government’s state secrets privilege.
While an FBI translator, Edmonds discovered poorly translated documents relevant to the 9-11 attacks and reported the shoddy work to her supervisors. She also expressed concerns about a co-worker who had previously worked for an organization under FBI surveillance and had a relationship with a foreign intelligence officer also under surveillance.…Continue reading