Accusation–Attorney general-nominee led effort to kill investigation into
By Pamela Manson
December 25, 2008
A Salt Lake City lawyer who claims his brother was tortured and murdered in
a federal prison is alleging that Attorney General nominee Eric Holder played
a role in covering up the crime.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee members, lawyer Jesse Trentadue acknowledges
the paper trail on Holder’s actions "is scant," but claims he was
the "point man" in an effort to persuade Congress to not investigate
his brother’s death. He is asking that Holder be questioned at his confirmation
hearing next year about his alleged attempt to block efforts "to obtain
a certain measure of justice for my brother’s murder."
The Department of Justice, where Holder served as deputy attorney general under
President Bill Clinton, referred a request for comment to the Presidential Transition
Team (PTT). A statement issued by an Obama transition aide denied Trentadue’s
"Multiple independent investigations have found that Kenneth Trentadue’s
death was a suicide," the statement said. "There is simply no evidence
to support the claims in this letter."
The body of Kenneth Trentadue, who had served time for bank robbery and was
being held on an alleged parole violation, was found hanging in his cell at
the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City on Aug. 21, 1995.
Several investigations by state and federal agencies ruled the death a suicide,
but his survivors believe Kenneth Trentadue was strangled with plastic handcuffs
by… Continue reading
December 22, 2008
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A U.S. human rights group on Monday called for
a stay of all war-crimes proceedings against five Guantánamo Bay prisoners charged
with orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks until after President-elect Barack Obama
Lawyers for the New York-based Human Rights First said they filed the friend-of-the-court
brief because military prosecutors are likely to seek another hearing in Guantánamo’s
highest-profile case before Obama takes over Jan. 20.
"There is no legitimate reason to expend judicial resources prosecuting
a capital case under a system that will be obsolete before the matter can be
tried," the group’s brief said.
Obama opposes the military war-crimes trials and has pledged to close the prison
on a Navy base in southeast Cuba, which holds 250 men.
The defendants in the Sept. 11 case wrote a letter on Nov. 4 — the day
Obama was elected president — saying they wanted to confess, presumably
to plead guilty and face the death penalty. At least two of the men, including
the self-described mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have said they want to
be executed to achieve martyrdom.
But the formal confessions were delayed when a judge ruled this month that
two of the defendants couldn’t enter pleas until the court determines their
mental competency. The other three said they would also wait.
The judge, Army Col. Stephen Henley, has ordered lawyers to advise him by Jan.
4 whether the Pentagon can apply the death penalty without a jury… Continue reading
by Ann Wright
26 December 2008
On the news today of the death of Harold Pinter, the winner of the 2005 Nobel
Prize for Literature, I remembered hearing his Nobel Laureate lecture/acceptance
speech. I was in London in December 2005, speaking at the annual Stop the War
conference when Pinter delivered his speech – not in Oslo, as Pinter was very
sick and could not travel, but in London via TV link.
I was amazed and thrilled that he chose to use the Nobel Prize platform and
devote a huge portion of his speech to shining an international spotlight on
the tragic effects of the past decades of US foreign policy and particularly,
on George Bush and Tony Blair’s decisions to invade and occupy Iraq, on Guantánamo
and on torture.
Pinter’s Laureate speech question, “Is Our Conscience Dead?” is
most relevant today when three years after his acceptance speech, “Art,
Truth and Politics,” Bush, Cheney, Rice and other administration officials
are either trying to rewrite history or, as in Cheney’s case – purposefully
revealing his role in specific criminal acts of torture and daring the American
legal system and people to hold him accountable.
Following is the part of Pinter’s lecture that speaks to the invasion of Iraq,
torture and Guantánamo – and our collective and individual conscience:
“Art, Truth and Politics“
Noble Lecture by Harold Pinter
December 7, 2005
“… The United States no longer … sees any point in being reticent
or even devious. It puts… Continue reading
By Thomas A. Schweich
Sunday, December 21, 2008
We no longer have a civilian-led government. It is hard for a lifelong Republican
and son of a retired Air Force colonel to say this, but the most unnerving legacy
of the Bush administration is the encroachment of the Department of Defense
into a striking number of aspects of civilian government. Our Constitution is
President-elect Barack Obama’s selections of James L. Jones, a retired four-star
Marine general, to be his national security adviser and, it appears, retired
Navy Adm. Dennis C. Blair to be his director of national intelligence present
the incoming administration with an important opportunity — and a major risk.
These appointments could pave the way for these respected military officers
to reverse the current trend of Pentagon encroachment upon civilian government
functions, or they could complete the silent military coup d’etat that has been
steadily gaining ground below the radar screen of most Americans and the media.
While serving the State Department in several senior capacities over the past
four years, I witnessed firsthand the quiet, de facto military takeover of much
of the U.S. government. The first assault on civilian government occurred in
faraway places — Iraq and Afghanistan — and was, in theory, justified by the
exigencies of war.
The White House, which basically let the Defense Department call the budgetary
shots, vastly underfunded efforts by the State Department, the Justice Department
and the U.S. Agency for International Development to train civilian police forces,
build… Continue reading
by Bill Van Auken
World Socialist Web Site
With his choice of Admiral Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence, President-elect Barack Obama has now named three recently retired four-star military officers to serve in his cabinet. This unprecedented representation of the senior officer corps within the incoming Democratic administration is indicative of a growth in the political power of the US military that poses a serious threat to basic democratic rights.
As head of the US military’s Pacific command in 1999-2000, Blair was distinguished by his efforts to solidarize the Pentagon with the military of Indonesia as it carried out butchery in East Timor, effectively vetoing the half-hearted human rights concerns voiced by the Clinton administration.
Before tapping Blair, Obama named former Marine Gen. James Jones as his national security adviser and former Army chief of staff Gen. Erik Shinseki as secretary of veterans affairs. It is also reported that the incoming administration may ask retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden to stay on as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Washington Post last Saturday described this concentration of former senior officers in the administration as “an unusual trend for a Democratic administration and one that has surprised both political camps.”
The appointments follow the announcement that Robert Gates, Bush’s defense secretary, will stay on at the Pentagon, where multiple “transition teams” are at work to assure that continuity is maintained in America’s ongoing wars of aggression and that the immense power of the military remains unchecked.
Earlier… Continue reading
How to Destroy the 9/11 Truth Movement: Excellent 9.5 minute video about disinfo, focus, apparently from someone at AE911truth.org. Description states “Spread the word – or in the future the regime will do MUCH worse.”
TSA Head Disputes Claim, Tells 60 Minutes Measures Are Necessary Because "This
Is A War"
Dec. 21, 2008
(CBS) If you’re one of the millions heading home for the holidays by airplane,
you may be dreading the long lines and intrusive searches that a trip through
an airport checkpoint can mean these days.
Since 9/11, $40 billion has been spent to beef up airport security, with most
of it going to hire 50,000 screeners who enforce rules often considered annoying
Travelers feel so hassled by the screeners that their bosses at TSA, the Transportation
Security Administration, have launched an image makeover and a public relations
campaign to convince the public that there’s a good reason for the inconveniences
Go to a checkpoint and you’ll find passengers bellyaching about the undressing,
the unbuckling, and the taking off of their shoes – which they don’t have to
do in Europe or even Israel, where airline security is especially tight.
There’s a lot of stress, and griping about having to pack their little liquids
into baggies. They resent that each and every traveler is treated like a possible
terrorist, even little old ladies.
When correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Kip Hawley, the outgoing head of TSA,
if all this is really necessary, he wanted us to know that the terrorist threat
has not gone away.
“This is war. These people are trying to kill us. They got on the planes
in September 11th, 2001, killed 3,000 people. And… Continue reading
By Jordy Yager
December 17, 2008
A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs
this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince
lawmakers to freeze their own pay.
Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5
million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups
are not happy about it.
“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just
$1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal
gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League
(TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping
the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling
to keep their heat on this winter.”
However, at 2.8 percent, the automatic raise that lawmakers receive is only
half as large as the 2009 cost of living adjustment of Social Security recipients.
Still, Steve Ellis, vice president of the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common
Sense, said Congress should have taken the rare step of freezing its pay, as
lawmakers did in 2000.
“Look at the way the economy is and how most people aren’t counting
on a holiday bonus or a pay raise — they’re just happy to have gainful
employment,” said Ellis. “But you have the lawmakers who are set
up and ready to get their next installment of a pay raise and go happily along
their… Continue reading
It’s not about them–it’s about us
December 15, 2008
by Mike Ferner
During the rush to get the Nuremberg Tribunals underway, the Soviet delegation wanted the tribunal’s historic decisions to have legitimacy only for the Nazis. U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Robert Jackson, serving as the chief prosecutor for the Allies, strong-armed the Soviets until the very beginning of the tribunal before changing their minds.
In his opening statement Jackson very purposely stipulated, “…Let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.”
Can there be a better reason for prosecuting George Bush and his administration for war crimes than those words from the chief prosecutor of the Nazis, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, with the full support of the U.S. government? Robert Jackson’s words and the values this nation claims to stand for provide sufficient moral basis for putting Bush and Cheney, their underlings who implemented their policies and the perverted legal minds who justified them all in the dock. If those are not sufficient reasons, there is a long list of binding law and treaties — written in black and white in surprisingly plain English.
Bush imagined, and his attorneys advised, that he could simply wave aside these laws with “they don’t apply.” Imagine how a judge would treat even a simple traffic court defendant who… Continue reading
Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush’s 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell’s activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how to tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that the George Bush and Dick Cheney would “throw [him] under the bus.”
A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside… Continue reading
by David Edwards and Muriel Kane
December 19, 2008
As the departing Bush administration frantically attempts to shore up its place
in history, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann stands ready to kick the props out from
under it again. A renewed claim that “no one could have anticipated”
the attacks of 9/11 attracted his scorn in particular on Thursday’s Countdown.
“This is a White House talking point still, even though your average three-year-old
could disprove it using an etch-a-sketch.” Olbermann sneered on Thursday,
over the heading, “Insult the Dead-gate.”
Olbermann’s specific target was White House press spokesman Tony Fratto, who
responded to a Fox News interviewer’s suggestion on Wednesday that before 9/11,
“nobody was thinking that there’d be terrorists flying 767s into buildings”
by agreeing, “No one could have anticipated that kind of attack — or very
“Yeah, well, it ain’t true,” Olbermann remarked, with open contempt
dripping from his words, “and out of respect for the people who died that
day you damn well better stop saying it.”
Olbermann then ran through a list of pre-9/11 warnings of potential al Qaeda
hijackings, noting, “A president’s daily brief as far back as December
1998 said bin Laden was ‘preparing to hijack US aircraft in hopes of trading
hostages for jailed radicals.’ … The August 6, 2001 brief, of course, told
President Bush — if he read it — that there were ‘patterns of suspicious activity
in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.’”
Olbermann did not mention either the… Continue reading
December 19, 2008
Posted at Joe’s blog at 911blogger.com
Secure a place in your cities parade.
North Texans for 9/11 Truth are making plans for this January’s
MLK parade in Dallas . We encourage other 9/11 Truth Groups to start making
plans now by submitting applications to march in their local parade. This type
of 911TRUTH action can have an extremely positive IMPACT !!
Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated on Monday January 19, 2009. During
the course of that holiday weekend, many municipalities will have parades and
public events. This is a fantastic opportunity for 9/11 Truth Groups to generate
an extremely positive impact.
In 2008, North Texans for 9/11 Truth marched in the Dallas MLK
parade after Joe pushed through the application process. The crowds were very,
very receptive to 911 TRUTH! People were smiling and waving and even cheering
us on. Some in the crowd were shouting that they know the official story is
a lie. Our group gave away more than 500 DVDs and hundreds of flyers, until
we finally ran out. People were clamoring for the free DVDs and flyers. We easily
could have given out several thousand DVDs to the lines of people hungry for
truth. This year, we are planning to be well prepared with thousands of DVDs
William Pepper: The Execution of Martin Luther King (2003)
MLK- A Time to Break Silence
Find further discussion and planning here:
9/11blogger Thread of 2008 MLK march: http://www.911blogger.com/node/13452
TruthAction Thread of MLK march: http://truthaction.org/?q=node/180
We can make this happen if we spread this email. Imagine a scientist
Hey Donna ,
We wanted to let you know that there are only 2 weeks left in the first round
of the “Ideas for Change in America” competition, and your idea is
in 7th place in the Other category.
The top 3 rated ideas for each category will make it to the second round, which
will be held in early January so we can announce the winners of the competition
just before the Presidential Inauguration. You need 552 votes to move up to
third place in Other.
The best way to increase your votes is to email your link to friends and ask
them to support your idea and pass it on. You can do this by forwarding the
Best of luck!
- The Change.org Team…Continue reading
Stephen C. Webster
A career Army officer who survived the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, claims that no evacuation was ordered inside the Pentagon, despite flight controllers calling in warnings of approaching hijacked aircraft nearly 20 minutes before the building was struck.
According to a time-line of the attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration notified NORAD that American Airlines Flight 77 had been hijacked at 9:24 a.m. The Pentagon was not struck until 9:43 a.m.
On behalf of retired Army officer April Gallop, California attorney William Veale has filed a civil suit against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and former US Air Force General Richard Myers, who was acting chairman of the joint chiefs on 9/11. It alleges they engaged in conspiracy to facilitate the terrorist attacks and purposefully failed to warn those inside the Pentagon, contributing to injuries she and her two-month-old son incurred.
“The ex-G.I. plaintiff alleges she has been denied government support since then, because she raised ‘painful questions’ about the inexplicable failure of military defenses at the Pentagon that day, and especially the failure of officials to warn and evacuate the occupants of the building when they knew the attack was imminent” said Veale in a media advisory.
Gallop also says she heard two loud explosions, and does not believe that a Boeing 757 hit the building. Her son sustained a serious brain injury, and Gallop herself was knocked unconscious after the roof collapsed onto her office.
The suit also named… Continue reading
November 12, 2008
* Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack’s support of genetically engineered pharmaceutical
crops, especially pharmaceutical corn:
* The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization,
named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair
of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership. http://www.bio.org/news/pressreleases/newsitem.asp?id=200…
* When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic
development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.
* Vilsack was the origin of the seed pre-emption bill in 2005, which many people
here in Iowa fought because it took away local government’s possibility of ever
having a regulation on seeds- where GE would be grown, having GE-free buffers,
banning pharma corn locally, etc. Representative Sandy Greiner, the Republican
sponsor of the bill, bragged on the House Floor that Vilsack put her up to it
right after his state of the state address.
* Vilsack has a glowing reputation as being a schill for agribusiness biotech
giants like Monsanto. Sustainable ag advocated across the country were spreading
the word of Vilsack’s history as he was attempting to appeal to voters in his
presidential bid. An activist from the west coast even made this youtube animation
). The airplane in this animation is a referral to the controversy that Vilsack
often traveled in Monsanto’s jet.
*Vilsack is an ardent support of corn and soy based biofuels, which use as
much or more fossil energy to produce them as they generate, while driving up
world food prices and literally starving the poor.…
Court Rules Patriot Act’s “National Security Letter” Gag
Provisions Unconstitutional (12/15/2008)
ACLU Hails Victory In Challenge To Government’s Power To Silence NSL Recipients
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK — A federal appeals court today upheld, in part, a decision
striking down provisions of the Patriot Act that prevent national security letter
(NSL) recipients from speaking out about the secret records demands. The decision
comes in an American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union
lawsuit challenging the FBI’s authority to use NSLs to demand sensitive and
private customer records from Internet Service Providers and then forbid them
from discussing the requests. Siding with the ACLU, the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit found that the statute’s gag provisions violate the First
“We are gratified that the appeals court found that the FBI cannot silence
people with complete disregard for the First Amendment simply by saying the
words ‘national security,’” said Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the
ACLU National Security Project. “This is a major victory for the rule of
law. The court recognized the need for judicial oversight of the government’s
dangerous gag power and rejected the Bush administration’s position that the
courts should just rubber-stamp these gag orders. By upholding the critical
check of judicial review, the FBI can no longer use this incredible power to
hide abuse of its intrusive Patriot Act surveillance powers and silence critics.”
The appeals court invalidated parts of the statute that wrongly placed the… Continue reading
By Joe Dwinell
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Three families who have vowed to hold the airlines and Massport responsible for failing to stop the Sept. 11 terrorists have to wait until March to find whether they’ll get their day in court.
Manhattan federal Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein yesterday delayed his decision on setting a trial date, saying he must decide first on a defendant motion to have FBI and CIA agents testify about the increased terror threat in the weeks before the attacks.
Plaintiff attorney Donald A. Migliori called the motion a ploy to “politicize” the case.
Migliori is representing the families of terror victims Sara Low, 28, a resident of Arkansas who was a Boston-based airline attendant; Mark Bavis, 31, of West Newton, a pro hockey scout; and Barbara Keating, 72, of Palm Springs, Fla., a native of Framingham.
He said the families are blaming Massport, American Airlines [AMR], United Airlines and security companies who allowed terrorists onboard Flight 11 and Flight 175 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, armed with box cutters and pepper spray.
“My clients are adamant it will go to trial,” said Migliori. He said these last three plaintiffs have kept up the fight fora public trial and an open archive for all to study the national nightmare, as 3,000 other victims’ cases have been settled.
The lead attorney for the airlines could not be reached yesterday.
Hellerstein said he will set a trial date March 2, once he rules on if the CIA and FBI should be called into the case.…Continue reading
December 14, 2008 Associated Press
An Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at President Bush during a news conference Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The president was not hurt in the incident.
Muntadar al-Zaidi Did What We Journalists Should Have Done Long Ago
Mon, 12/15/2008 David Lindorff ThisCan’tBeHappening.net
When Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi heaved his two shoes at the head of President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, he did something that the White House press corps should have done years ago.
Al-Zaidi listened to Bush blather that the half-decade of war he had initiated with the illegal invasion of Iraq had been “necessary for US security, Iraqi stability (sic) and world peace” and something just snapped. The television correspondent, who had been kidnapped and held for a while last year by Shiite militants, pulled off a shoe and threw it at Bush–a serious insult in Iraqi culture–and shouted “This is a farewell kiss, you dog!” When the first shoe missed its target, he grabbed a second shoe and heaved it too, causing the president to duck a second time as al-Zaidi shouted, “This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!”
I’ll admit, listening to Bush lie his way through eight years of press conferences, while pre-selected reporters played along and pretended to get his attention so they could ask questions which had been submitted and vetted in advance, I have felt like throwing my shoes at the television set.…Continue reading