by James Ridgeway Published by Mother Jones
Scan, baby, scan. That’s the mantra among politicians at all levels in the wake of the thwarted terrorist attack aboard a Detroit-bound passenger jet. According to conventional wisdom, the would-be “underwear bomber” could have been stopped by airport security if he’d been put through a full-body scanner, which would have revealed the cache of explosives attached to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s groin.
Within days or even hours of the bombing attempt, everyone was talking about so-called whole-body imaging as the magic bullet that could stop this type of attack. In announcing hearings by the Senate Homeland Security Commitee, Joe Lieberman approached the use of scanners as a foregone conclusion, saying one of the “big, urgent questions that we are holding this hearing to answer” was “Why isn’t whole-body-scanning technology that can detect explosives in wider use?” Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff told the Washington Post, “You’ve got to find some way of detecting things in parts of the body that aren’t easy to get at. It’s either pat downs or imaging, or otherwise hoping that bad guys haven’t figured it out, and I guess bad guys have figured it out.”
Since the alternative is being groped by airport screeners, the scanners might sound pretty good. The Transportation Security Administration has claimed that the images ” are friendly enough to post in a preschool ,” though the pictures themselves tell another story, and numerous organizations have opposed them as a gross invasion of… Continue reading
By James Cogan
6 January 2010
Socialist Web Site
American military personnel are continuing to take their own lives in unprecedented
numbers, as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wars drag on. By late November,
at least 334 members of the armed forces had committed suicide in 2009, more
than the 319 who were killed in Afghanistan or the 150 who died in Iraq. While
a final figure is not available, the toll of military suicides last year was
the worst since records began to be kept in 1980.
The Army, National Guard and Army Reserve lost at least 211 personnel to suicide.
More than half of those who took their lives had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
The Army suicide rate of 20.2 per 100,000 personnel is higher than that registered
among males aged 19 to 29, the gender age bracket with the highest rate among
the general population. Before 2001, the Army rarely suffered 10 suicides per
The Navy lost at least 47 active duty personnel in 2009, the Air Force 34 and
the Marine Corp, which has been flung into some of the bloodiest fighting in
Iraq and Afghanistan, 42. The Marine suicide rate has soared since 2001 from
12 to at least 19.5 per 100,000.
For every death, at least five members of the armed forces were hospitalised
for attempting to take their life. According to the Navy Times, 2 percent of
Army; 2.3 percent of Marines and 3 percent of Navy… Continue reading
The new decade finds the US working class suffering a level of social misery not seen since the Great Depression. Unemployment, poverty, hunger, utility cutoffs, homelessness, foreclosures and bankruptcies have become common experiences for millions.
But unlike in the Great Depression, when limited reforms were put in place in response to the crisis, the Obama administration, Congress, and state and local governments are taking no serious measures to provide relief. On the contrary, the two parties of big business are exacerbating the crisis through budget cuts at the state and local level and the federal government is preparing new austerity measures.
Unemployment: At over 10 percent, the official US jobless rate reached in October and November was the highest since June of 1983. A broader measure of unemployment, taking into account those who have fallen out of the official workforce, reveals that something approaching one in five workers is unemployed or underemployed.
The economy has not added jobs since December 2007, and in that same time span has lost 7.2 million jobs overall. Coupling these losses with population growth–the economy must add about 150,000 jobs per month to break even–the net jobs deficit in the period is well over 10.5 million.
It is widely acknowledged that most of the jobs lost will not return for years, if ever. Even by the optimistic forecast of the Federal Reserve Board, the jobless rate will remain above 7 percent through 2011.…Continue reading
December 31, 2009
Dear Friends and Fellow Advocates for Answers and Accountability,
As we look ahead to 2010, we at NYC CAN would like to offer our deepest thanks to everyone who contributed to a remarkable and historic campaign, and we would like to take a moment to celebrate the achievements that give us much to build upon in 2010.
2009 was a year of tremendous progress for our cause. Among a long list of successes, a peer-reviewed paper was published in a mainstream scientific journal documenting the discovery of active thermitic material in the World Trade Center dust; the petition of architects and engineers calling for a new investigation into the WTC destruction has leaped to nearly 1,000 signatories while founding member Richard Gage, AIA travels the world delivering his analysis of the buildings’ demise to thousands of concerned citizens and leaders. The increasing strength and credibility of our message is evidenced by the ever greater frequency of media breakthroughs casting a positive light on the questions we pose.
Thanks to your support, NYC CAN is proud to consider the ballot initiative campaign in New York among the many victories that furthered our cause in 2009. 80,000 New Yorkers — nearly 8% of the number who voted in the 2009 mayoral election in America’s largest city — signed a petition calling for a new 9/11 investigation. Just last week we learned one of those 80,000 signatories is a councilmember elect, intent upon helping us advance our cause with the… Continue reading
Top Censored Stories of 2009/2010
December 31, 2009
The latest edition of Project Censored’s research, the Top 25 censored news stories that didn’t make the news, and more accounts of media democracy in action will be available by October 1st, this fall, for Media Accountability Day. Order your copy today! Or, make a generous tax-deductible donation of $100 or more to the Media Freedom Foundation/Project… Continue reading
By Andrew Hobbs and Peter Phillips
Hyperreality is the inability to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Corporate media, Fox in particular, offers news that creates a hyperreality of real world problems and issues. Consumers of corporate television news–especially those whose understandings are framed primarily from that medium alone–are embedded in a state of excited delirium and knowinglessness.
Corporate Media hasn’t acted as a cohesive, protective “fourth estate” in several decades, instead gilding lilies such as the Iraq war, torture and the true extent of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. Contemporary corporate news is best seen in a post-modern context of hyperreality. The news from US networks is based on the presentations of partially factual stories framed inside socio-emotional story lines that juxtapose “evil” with patriotism and Christian fervor. There are multiple examples of this, but we will examine two distinct cases.
The bias towards hyperreality inherent in modern media is so rampant, consumers only need turn on the TV to be exposed to the spin. Two notorious, controversial modern figures will be examined here to explain what we mean by a hyperreality of knowinglessness. News coverage of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh are unique examples, primarily because of their perceived opposing views and their unapparent similarities. But they are similar in that both should have little operable relevance to American policy, at least domestically, as one is an entertainer and the other is the leader of another country.…Continue reading
By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
How does a massive, costly security apparatus fail to stop a known terrorism
threat from boarding an airplane and wrecking devastation?
It happened on Sept. 11, 2001, and again on Dec. 25, 2009.
“There must be an agenda,” suggested Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) in a recent video message to supporters.
“It seems ironic that there is so much excitement about this and now talk about attacking Yemen,” he said, noting recent bombing raids by Saudi forces, carried out with the explicit blessing of the United States.
“The Saudis are our close allies,” Paul explained. “We provide them with the weapons and the airplanes and we did sanction and endorse the bombing of Yemen.”
He said that terrorist-style tactics carried out against the United States and U.S. interests are a response to occupation of Arab lands. The attempted attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, he said, was a result of “either awful stupidity or there must be an agenda.”
“I am concerned what they are going to do to the American people,” he said.
And by “they,” he meant U.S. leaders.
“They’ll add some more security on to us,” Paul explained. “First they make us take off our shoes and then our belts and then small bottles of water and put our computers in a tray and on and on so something else is going to happen, they won’t let us get out of our seats or look at our bags, thinking… Continue reading
by Chris Hedges
Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.
This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements–who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism–have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous… Continue reading
By Stephen C. Webster
Update at bottom: Matalin ‘lied’ about Bush inheriting recession
No amount of spit and polish can clean the tarnish of the 9/11 attacks from the Bush legacy, but that didn’t stop GOP strategist Mary Matalin from trying.
During a Sunday appearance on CNN, Matalin attempted to prop up an analogy between the first year of George W. Bush’s presidency and that of President Barack Obama’s. Raising the specter of rising unemployment, anchor John King wondered whether Republicans have the right to attack Democrats over the economy.
According to a CNN transcript, Matalin–seated across a table from her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville–gave a response which was a little more than blindly partisan.
“I was there,” she said. “We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history. And President Bush dealt with it. And within a year of his presidency at this comparable time, unemployment was at 5 percent. And we were creating jobs.”
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 happened during the Bush presidency. While administration officials said repeatedly that nobody could have predicted such a devastating attack, an August 6, 2001, briefing delivered to President Bush — titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” — later surfaced.
“The memo, sent to FBI headquarters by a Phoenix FBI agent, warned that bin Laden could have been using U.S. flight schools to train terrorists and suggested a nationwide canvass for Middle… Continue reading
December 26, 2009
A Sept. 11 hero died of cancer on Christmas Day. Jim Ryan was on the front lines during 9/11, a firefighter who spent many weeks rummaging through the destruction that encompassed Ground Zero, only to succumb to pancreatic cancer, according to a report.
The fire department confirms that his sickness was 9/11-related. And now his family — his three children, wife and all the people who loved him — mourn the death of a hero.
“He was just really really great,” his grieving wife, Magda, told the Daily News.
Ryan, 48, was first diagnosed with cancer three years ago. He relapsed last year, reports the News.
A brave fighter until the end, Ryan desperately wanted to travel with his colleagues to Washington in November to campaign for the passage of legislation that would give $11 billion for those who contracted diseases on Sept. 11. That bill hasn’t yet passed.
“It’s about all the guys who are going to come after me,” Ryan, who wasn’t well enough to make the trip, told the News at the time. “And there’s going to be plenty of them.”
Ryan’s family spent a quiet Christmas Eve at home, and just before 2 a.m. on Christmas Day, the Long Island father’s teenage son realized he wasn’t breathing, reports the News.
December 26, 2009
U.S. history has seen many presidents elected on a wave of progressive promises, only to see them compromise again and again once in office, caving to the very interests, military and corporate, that they railed against so effectively. Barack Obama is only the latest to get elected on a promise to end a war and take care of working people, only to preside over an administration stacked with Wall Street types and wind up continuing a war he wanted to wind down. Americans voted for change and are getting frustrated with the lack of it, but our guests have both written about the powerful forces holding the status quo in place. John Perkins is the author of Hoodwinked and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and has written about how corporations push politicians around and even threaten them with violence. Russ Baker, meanwhile, is the author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America and has written extensively about the military-industrial complex. They argue the only weapon we have is public opinion and public pressure–and we need to bring it to bear not just on the government, but on the corporations.
Thursday, 17. December 2009
Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs
Podcast Show #16
The Boiling Frogs Presents Russ Baker
Russ Baker is an award-winning investigative journalist and the author of Family of Secrets — the Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years. He has written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Village Voice and Esquire. He has served as a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review, and is the founder of WhoWhatWhy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization.
Here is our guest Russ Baker unplugged!
Afghanistan War – Right to Self Defense Highly Questionable
December, 15, 2009
Federal Judge Dieter Deiseroth: It is very unfortunate that
the media are not prepared to face the issue of 9/11 and ask the unanswered
Question: Do you think the proposal of an independent 9/11
investigation is realistic?
Judge Dieter Deiseroth: I think the suggestion is reasonable
and necessary. Because the official investigation is the central justification
for the war ( “Operation Enduring Freedom”) and for serious alterations of the
U.S. legal system under the so-called homeland security legislation.
Question: This should be difficult because neither politics
nor the big media, dare to critically question the official version of 9/11.
Judge Dieter Deiseroth: If the official story of 9/11 is further
effectively disseminated by all governments – then it is very costly and difficult
because of the effect of solidified public opinion to question it . A major
research effort is needed and extensive research, time and monetary resources
must be available, which is difficult in a time when resources in the newsrooms
are being cut down.
But then after all, even the construct of lies to justify the Iraq war was brought
down. We now know that the Bush administration, in terms of credibility and veracity,
was anything but trustworthy. It is unfortunate that many within the media,
are still not sufficiently prepared to face the issue of 9 / 11 and the open
unanswered questions . Maybe also because of the abyss that becomes clear… Continue reading
Our 911TruthStore is closing soon. Please have a look at what’s left in inventory, and if you are interested in any of these items and wish to give them as gifts or share with family at the holidays, order right away.The deadline for pre-Christmas delivery is 12/16 if you wish to use Priority Mail; 12/23 if you pay for USPS overnight shipping.
There is one more item available, in addition to what’s at the store … we have just received a few brand new copies of Kristina Borjesson’s excellent 2004 book, “Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press”. Although I’ve not yet added it to the store website, they are available. Please email me to order, with BOOK ORDER in the subject line. If you’re wondering why we can’t “break through” the corporate media, you’ll understand clearly after reading this expose! The book description follows below.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Editor’s (Borjesson) Note: While working in what has been, arguably, the most difficult reporting environment in recent times, CBS’s Dan Rather chose to speak out frankly to BBC Newsnight correspondent Madeleine Holt about the serious and dangerous constraints that he and his colleagues have experienced in the post-9/11 era. I know of no other working broadcast journalist of Rather’s long experience and stature who has been willing to go on the record in such a significant way about these matters.
BBC NEWSNIGHT, MAY 16, 2002
Holt: How much of a challenge professionally has covering September… Continue reading
Careful investigation leads one to notice that a number of intriguing groups of people and organizations converged on the events of September 11th, 2001. An example is the group of men who were members of Cornell University’s Quill & Dagger society. This included Paul Wolfowitz, National Security Advisors Sandy Berger and Stephen Hadley, Marsh & McLennan executive Stephen Friedman, and the founder of Kroll Associates, Jules Kroll. Another interconnected group of organizations is linked to these Cornell comrades, and is even more interesting in terms of its members being integral to the events of 9/11, and having benefited from those events.
After the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center (WTC), a company called Stratesec (or Securacom) was responsible for the overall integration of the new security system designed by Kroll Associates. Stratesec had a small board of directors that included retired Air Force General James Abrahamson, Marvin Bush (the brother of George W. Bush) and Wirt Walker III, a cousin of the Bush brothers. Other directors included Charles Archer, former Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, and Yousef Saud Al Sabah, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family.
Yousef Saud Al Sabah was also chairman of the Kuwait-American Corporation (KuwAm), which between 1993 and 1999 held a controlling share of Stratesec. The other owners of Stratesec were Walker and an entity controlled by Walker and Al Sabah, called Special Situation Investment Holdings (SSIH). SSIH was said to form a group with… Continue reading
Stephen C. Webster
December 12th, 2009
Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has seen some stuff that will blow your mind.
Or, at least that’s the tagline to “Conspiracy Theory,” his new show on US cable station TruTV. In episode two, the one-time wrestler and movie star goes after one of America’s greatest sacred cows: the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
It is, as far as this reporter can tell, the first time a syndicated program on U.S. cable has given a serious look at arguments made by members of the 9/11 truth movement.
In the show, Ventura speaks to key 9/11 truth figures such as former BYU professor Steven Jones and William Rodriguez, a nationally-acclaimed hero credited with saving dozens as he tried to escape from the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11.
Ventura explores theories ranging from the missing black box recorders to the possibility that previously-planted explosives brought down the WTC towers.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which investigated the WTC tower collapses, maintains there was no recovered evidence of explosive materials. An electronic FAQ to the government’s theory is available online.
Almost without saying, the program leans heavily toward the conspiratorial-minded. Yet for many viewers, this may be their first exposure to such claims.
According to a TruTV press release, “Conspiracy Theory” hit the airwaves with the brunt of 1.6 million viewers, driving an 82% increase in the network’s viewership over 2008. In only its second week, “Conspiracy Theory” is TruTV’s most… Continue reading
Wednesdays at 10 PM E/T on TruTV. Tonight, “9/11″
9/11 – Premieres Wed, December 9 at 10P
Jesse steps into America’s most controversial conspiracy by challenging the 9-11 Commission report and considering the claim that the September 11th attacks were an inside job. At the urging of victims’ families, he finds witnesses who claim the towers were brought down by revolutionary explosives that were placed in plain sight, but no one knew what they were. Ventura also hears from those who claim the missing black box flight recorders were actually recovered. And he is told a shocking story about who may have been in the cockpits before the jets took off.
Featured Experts and Eyewitnesses: Physicist Steven Jones, who says he found evidence of thermite, a bomb material, in the residue from Ground Zero; explosives expert Van Romero, who performed a test purported to show that liquid thermite can make steel girders burn hotter and faster; demolition expert Brent Blanchard, who says that no inspection for explosive materials was done at the scene; former Air Force pilot Jeff Dahlstrom, who is convinced that 9-11 was a “false flag” operation carried out to push the country into war; Mike Bellone, a recovery worker at Ground Zero who says that he saw airline flight recorders recovered at the scene; Dave Lindorff, a journalist, who says that the recorders were recovered, inspected and turned over to the FBI; Dale Leppard, a former head of the Airline Pilots Association who insists… Continue reading