By John Bursill
Iceland tops list of peaceful nations, U.S. 97th
Tue May 20, 2008 5:08pm EDT
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iceland is the world’s most peaceful nation while the United States is ranked among the bottom third, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The “Global Peace Index,” compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked the United States 97th out of 140 countries according to how peaceful they were domestically and how they interacted with the outside world.
The United States slipped from 96th last year, but was still ahead of foe Iran which ranked 105th. It, however, lagged Belarus, Cuba, South Korea, Chile, Libya and others which were listed as more peaceful.
Iraq, which the United States invaded in 2003, leading to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, ranked lowest on the index. Afghanistan, another country invaded by the United States this decade, was also in the bottom five, along with Sudan, Somalia and Israel.
Commenting on the U.S. ranking, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said to realize a more peaceful and prosperous world, “Often times, you have to do difficult things and a lot of times, people don’t agree with them. They don’t like them.”
“A lot of times you fall down in these lists but at the end of the day it is in defense of democracy and the way of life we have enjoyed over the past several decades,” he added.
The United States has come under strong international criticism for the invasion of Iraq and… Continue reading
Wed May 21, 2008 8:57pm EDT
By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI counterterrorism units are dangerously ill-equipped and barely 60 percent of the supervisory positions in the division that tracks al Qaeda were filled as of March, a bureau agent told Congress on Wednesday.
Bassem Youssef told a congressional hearing that the bureau has failed to recruit, retain and promote experienced personnel and experts in Arabic culture and language.
The shortfall has contributed to problems such as the improper use of FBI demands for personal and business records, said Youssef, who helped uncover the abuse.
Youssef, who was born in Egypt, has also sued the FBI alleging discrimination because of his race and ancestry.
“The FBI’s counterterrorism division is ill-equipped to handle the terrorism problems we’re facing,” said Youssef, a 20-year veteran who investigated bombings in 1993 at the World Trade Center and in 1996 at the Khobar Towers residence at a U.S. military base in Saudi Arabia.
Asked how much use the FBI had made of his own experience, he replied, “The bureau used my background and experience very extensively — up to September 11.”
Youssef, who heads the FBI counterterrorism division’s communications analysis unit, attributed the shift to a name mix-up with another agent, discrimination and cultural ignorance.
Members of the House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism urged the bureau to revise an “up or out” policy that makes supervisors move from the field to Washington headquarters after five years, or take a demotion or retire.…Continue reading
While the US media obsesses on delegates, superdelegates and whether or not Hillary Clinton is using math formulae hallowed by MSNBC, we learn that US interrogators used snakes to torture prisoners (that’s right, PentaPost –torture, not ‘interrogate’ and prisoners, not ‘detainees’) at Guantánamo Bay – while the FBI watched.
By Lori Price
21 May 2008
Today, we learned form NEWS.com.au, an Australian news and information site, that US interrogators – at least on one occasion – used a snake (in addition to military dogs and pornography) on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. We also discovered that “[Australian detainee Mamdouh] Habib alleged that ‘Mike’ a private-contract interrogator with Lockheed Martin, had hit him during an interrogation.” Further, we discovered that, ”of the more than 450 FBI agents who served at Guantánamo… almost half ‘observed or heard about various rough or aggressive treatment of detainees, primarily by military interrogators’.”
Snakes used in interrogation sessions?! This is Nazi tactics territory, folks – using our dollars and under our name! I don’t care about Democratic superdelegate totals or nomination math formulae. The US media is using the election itself as a distraction for war crimes that are being carried out in our name, every day!
Lest we forget: U.S. Has Detained 2,500 Juveniles as Enemy Combatants 16 May 2008 The United States has imprisoned approximately 2,500 people younger than 18 as illegal enemy combatants in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay since 2002, according to a report filed by the Bush regime with the… Continue reading
Quote of the DayQuote of the Day:
"We’ve witnessed a fire sale of American liberties at bargain basement
prices, in return for the false promise of more security… The America being
designed right now won’t resemble the America we’ve been defending… The danger
isn’t that Big Brother may storm the castle gates. The danger is that Americans
don’t realize that he is already inside the castle walls."
— Wayne LaPierre
Subject: Two days left to stop warrantless spying
We’ve campaigned against warrantless spying since Summer, 2006. During that
time, with various campaigns, we’ve sent 122,526 messages to Congress on this
one issue. It’s had an impact — most notably when the House allowed the so-called
"Protect America Act" to sunset out of existence.
We have today and tomorrow to secure what may be a final victory.
DC Downsizers have sent roughly 8,000 more messages to Congress in the last
five days. If everyone reading this message would write Congress, 60,400 more
messages could be sent. Today would be a good day to do so.
If you oppose warrantless spying and immunity for the telecom companies that
engaged in illegal surveillance of American citizens, please send Congress a
message telling them that.
For those who have already sent messages on this campaign but want to do more
to keep up the pressure during these final two days, we suggest the following:
Send Congress a message on behalf of Ron Paul’s "American Freedom Agenda
Remember, this bill would roll back all of the Constitutional violations erected
in the name of the so-called war on terror.…
UPDATE: Watch this hearing online–Mr. Youssef’s testimony will shed light on significant problems in the FBI’s Counterterrorism program, and I urge everyone who can to attend this hearing (details below). For those who are not in Washington, you can watch a live webcast of the proceedings on the House Judiciary Committee website. Click here to visit their webpage and then click “View Live Webcast.”
FBI WHISTLEBLOWER TO TESTIFY ON MISTAKES INSIDE COUNTERTERRORISM PROGRAM
Unit Chief to disclose shortfalls in war on terror
WHAT: FBI Whistleblower and Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef testifying before Congress
WHEN: Wednesday, May 21, 1:30 p.m. EDT
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2141
Washington, D.C. — FBI Counterterrorism Whistleblower Bassem Youssef will testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
During the oversight hearing, titled On The FBI Whistleblowers: Exposing Corruption and Retaliation Inside the Bureau, Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef will for the first time alert Congress and the American people to the grave deficiencies within the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division since 9/11.
It is expected that Youssef’s testimony will include previously undisclosed information.
Youssef is the Unit Chief of the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit. He is the highest-ranking Arab-American agent in the Counterterrorism Division, and the highest-ranking fluent Arabic speaker. In 1994, he earned the Intelligence Community’s prestigious and coveted award, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, awarded by the Director of Central Intelligence. The award was for outstanding accomplishments in a terrorism case involving an al-Qaeda-related investigation.… Continue reading
By Kristina Borjesson
Here we go again. President Bush goes to Israel. He talks to the Israeli Knesset
about standing "together against terror and extremism." He cites the
example of Osama bin Laden teaching that "the killing of Jews and Americans
is one of the biggest duties." The next day, yet another unauthenticated
bin Laden tape surfaces. "In a tape marking Israel’s 60th anniversary,"
reported the BBC, "the speaker pledged to continue fighting the Israelis
and not give up a ‘single inch of Palestine.’" Once again,
the lead was followed by what has now become the standard second line, "The
tape’s authenticity could not be verified." Once again, the timing
is interesting. Bin Laden’s message was just in time to help President
Bush make his point.
The BBC’s May 16, 2008 report continues with this: "The last messages
attributed to Bin Laden were aired in March." Those messages couldn’t
be verified either.
The last clear videotape of bin Laden was released to al Jazeera on December
27, 2001. The CIA released one two weeks earlier that they claimed had been
shot the month before, but the video is very fuzzy and the purported bin Laden
in the tape doesn’t altogether look like the bin Laden in authentic photos and
videos. A couple of other videos were released in 2004 and 2007, both of which
were fuzzy enough to raise questions. The 2007 video looked exactly like the
2004 video, except that the purported bin Laden’s beard was black in… Continue reading
Today, Friday, May 16th, 2008, Richard Gage, AIA, will conduct a forum that
is open to the public, at MIT, in Room 54-100, starting at 7pm.
(Check www.ae911truth.org for any room change)
Following is Richard Gage’s invitation:
ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS FOR 9/11 TRUTH
Richard Gage, AIA, Architect
May 12, 2008
Dear Honored Citizen(s):
You are invited to attend a forum at MIT concerning the Collapse of the 3 World
Trade Center high-rises on 9/11.
I am the founder of the organization Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
which is a fast-growing collaboration of more than 350 architectural and engineering
professionals. The last few years have witnessed the emergence of mounting scientific
evidence that the collapses of the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7 were not adequately
explained by the official theories outlined in the 2002 FEMA and 2005 NIST reports.
The Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth call for a new, fully funded unimpeachable
Congressional investigation with subpoena power.
We are dedicated to presenting the evidence that supports our call in this
What the Evidence Shows
Sounds of explosions coming from each of the WTC Twin Towers were heard well
before the collapses began. These were reported by over 118 first responders
in the FDNY recorded “oral histories” (the release of which was
resisted by the City of NY until forced by a New York Times FOIA filing).Numerous
accounts of “flashes of light” which commonly accompany the detonation
of demolition charges were also reported. Video footage… Continue reading
Under a new plan, the government could take your DNA and keep it on file permanently
if you are arrested at a demonstration on federal property. Take action today
to stop the government from giving itself sweeping new powers to create DNA databases.
Please read this alert for background on the plan and immediately go here and
click on the yellow "Add Comments" balloon to file public comments
with the government to oppose the plan. The government is only accepting comments
until this Monday, May 19, so take action today!
At the end of 2005, a little-noticed provision was slipped into the Violence
Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill that provided the federal government
with the power to collect and permanently keep DNA samples from anyone arrested
for any crime whether or not they are convicted, any non-U.S. citizen merely
detained by federal authorities for any reason, and everyone in federal prison.
Now the government is trying to put the DNA Fingerprint Act into practice.
Federal agencies would be required to take DNA samples from:
* Individuals arrested for the most minor of crimes, such as peaceful protestors
who are demonstrating on federal property.
* Countless numbers of visitors from other countries who are pulled aside in
airports by the Transportation Security Administration.
* Lawful immigrants seeking admission to this country, whether at the land border
or in passport control at the airport.
Go here for more information on the law.
This is a dangerous invasion of privacy. Our DNA is not a fingerprint – it
contains vast amounts of sensitive medical information about us.…
By Noah Shachtman May 13, 2008
The Air Force wants a suite of hacker tools, to give it “access” to — and “full control” of — any kind of computer there is. And once the info warriors are in, the Air Force wants them to keep tabs on their “adversaries’ information infrastructure completely undetected.”
The government is growing increasingly interested in waging war online. The Air Force recently put together a ” Cyberspace Command ,” with a charter to rule networks the way its fighter jets rule the skies. The Department of Homeland Security, Darpa, and other agencies are teaming up for a five-year, $30 billion ” national cybersecurity initiative .” That includes an electronic test range , where federally-funded hackers can test out the latest electronic attacks . “You used to need an army to wage a war,” a recent Air Force commercial notes. ” Now, all you need is an Internet connection .”
On Monday, the Air Force Research Laboratory introduced a two-year, $11 million effort to put together hardware and software tools for ” Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement .” “Of interest are any and all techniques to enable user and/or root level access,” a request for proposals notes, “to both fixed (PC) or mobile computing platforms… any and all operating systems, patch levels, applications and hardware.” This isn’t just some computer science study, mind you; “research efforts under this program are expected to result in complete functional capabilities.”
By Jordan Lite
Daily News Staff Writer
Thursday, May 8th 2008
More than 360 workers who dealt with the aftermath of the World Trade Center
disaster have died, state health officials said Wednesday.
Officials have determined the cause of death of 154 of the responders and volunteers
who toiled at Ground Zero, the blocks nearby and at the Fresh Kills landfill,
where debris from the site was taken.
Of those, 80 died of cancer.
"It’s the tip of the iceberg," said David Worby, who is representing
10,000 workers – 600 with cancer – who say they got sick after working on rescue
and recovery efforts.
"These statistics bear out how toxic that site was," Worby said.
Most of the deadly tumors were in the lungs and digestive system, according
to the tally from the state’s World Trade Center Responder Fatality Investigation
Other deaths were traced to blood cancers and heart and circulatory diseases.
Five ex-workers committed suicide, said Kitty Gelberg, who is tracking the deaths
for the program.
Gelberg said she had not yet determined whether the number of cancer deaths
was more or less than those typically occurring in men in their 20s to 50s who
work as cops, firefighters or laborers – the majority of 9/11 workers.
"We are not saying all of these deaths are World Trade Center-related,"
Gelberg said. "Without the statistics, we are not making judgment."
She added that relatives of people who died of cancer may be likely to link
their loved one’s… Continue reading
For Immediate Release:
Hundreds of victim family members have been demanding answers to questions about the deaths of loved ones ever since the horrific events of September 11, 2001 – to no avail. Dozens of witnesses who offered to testify to the 9/11 Commission were ignored; many others found their testimony omitted. According to a group of Keene State College students, without a clear accounting of the facts, no reform can be effective in protecting national security. The students have organized a one-day symposium, on Saturday, May 17 — “This symposium has been put together by undergraduate student scholars — a group of young people committed to the pursuit of truth in a country that so often substitutes the comfortable life and easy paths over the rocky roads of ethical personhood,” states Donna Marsh O’Connor, mother of Vanessa Lang Langer, who died escaping the South Tower.
Keene, NH May 12, 2008 — New Hampshire College students and local activists have organized a one-day symposium, entitled, “Family Members, Researchers and Whistleblowers Speak Out”, to be held at Keene High School on Saturday, May 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. “This symposium has been put together by undergraduate student scholars — a group of young people committed to the pursuit of truth in a country that so often substitutes the comfortable life and easy paths over the rocky roads of ethical personhood,” says O’Connor, who along with Bob McIlvaine, who lost his son Bobby, and Michele Little, who lost her firefighter brother David, will be making presentations at the symposium.…Continue reading
The Pentagon has dropped charges against a Saudi citizen alleged to have been
the "20th hijacker" in the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
Mohammad al-Qahtani was one of six Guantánamo Bay inmates charged with murder
and war crimes in February.
The Pentagon said the case against the other five defendants would proceed.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the suspects in a case before
military tribunals at the US prison camp in Guantánamo Bay.
A Pentagon official said the charges against Mohammad al-Qahtani had been dropped
"without prejudice", meaning they could be reinstated.
The US military gave no reason for its decision.
But lawyers for the defendant say they believe the charges were dropped because
he "was tortured" under interrogation.
The decision could have implications for the other five suspects, whose lawyers
claim that similar treatment was meted out to them, the BBC’s Adam Brookes reports
Authorities say Mr Qahtani failed to take part in the 9/11 attacks because
he was denied entry into the US by an immigration official.
He was refused entry at Orlando in Florida in August 2001 and returned to Dubai.
He was later detained in Afghanistan and transferred to Guantánamo Bay.
In 2006, he recanted accusations he had made against fellow detainees of having
links to al-Qaeda.
His lawyer told Time magazine the statements had been extracted under torture.
The Saudi was reportedly submitted to stress positions, sleep deprivation and
humiliation at Guantánamo.
Officials said he had been subjected… Continue reading
WEEK OF TRUTH May 9th to 16th
Get the New England 9/11 Symposium
on C-SPAN by calling and faxing them and asking them to cover this historic event.
The New England 9/11 Symposium:
Family Members, Whistleblowers
and Researchers Speak Out
Saturday, May 17th, 9:30 am-6 pm
Keene High School, Keene, NH
General Admission: $15
Students and Seniors: $ 10
Coffee and registration at 9:00 a.m.
For more information go to www.sst911.org and for interviews contact:
Mike Jackman at 603-899-2783 or Gerhard Bedding at 603-355-2202
What to do
Fax C-SPAN with this info and the flyer and let them know you want it covered!
Fax Number- (202) 737-6226 — Main Number: (202) 737-3220
E -mail them: email@example.com
Put one of these banners (found at end of linked page) at your own site, or in your emails, to let others know about this campaign.
What is this symposium about?
Hundreds of credible, credentialed scientists, architects, engineers, scholars, and former military and government officials are now on record criticizing the official 9/11 report, asking for answers to many troubling questions, and urging a new, independent investigation. (See PatriotsQuestion911.org). The mainstream media have consistently ignored this criticism, even though recent Zogby International polls have shown that a majority of the public is not satisfied with the 9/11 Commission’s report.
Even the Chair and Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, in a… Continue reading
Global Research, May 12, 2008
The Global Research News Hour on RBN
Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN)
This Week’s Guests: David Ray Griffin and Gregory Elich
Date: May 12, 2008 (11 AM – 1.00 PM, Central Time)
Host: Michel Chossudovsky
About this week’s guests:
David Ray Griffin is a distinguished author and theologian,
Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Emeritus, at Claremont School
of Theology and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.
He is the author and editor of more than 30 books as well as several carefully
researched books on 9/11, including the 2004 best seller 9/11: The New Pearl
Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, The 9/11
Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005), Debunking 9/11 Debunking,
and 9/11 Contradictions, described in a recent review as a "brilliant and
highly readable book [which] takes a new yet simple approach to the truth about
9/11." David Ray Griffin is also a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Gregory Elich is the author of ‘Strange Liberators: Militarism,
Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit.’ He has written extensively on Yugoslavia,
North Korea and Zimbabwe. He is a member of the advisory board of the Korea
Truth Commission. His articles have appeared in newspapers and periodicals nationally
"Using a wealth of historic evidence and revelatory analysis and eye-witness
investigation, Gregory Elich treats what lawyers call the ‘hard cases’: Yugoslavia,
Croatia, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and certain untouched questions about Iraq.
Elich ties in… Continue reading
by Jon Gold
May 11, 2008
Activism in Philadelphia:
This upcoming Tuesday, 5/13/2008, unless time slots can be rearranged because
of the busy summer schedule, will be our last 9/11 Truth Tuesdays at the Anthony
Wayne Movie Theater. I believe this has been the longest run of 9/11 Truth movies
in a movie theater in the history of this movement.
This effort has not been easy, but any effort worth doing will never be.
Thank you to everyone at the Anthony Wayne Movie Theater. Thank you to Jeff
Cobb for your honest journalism. Thank you to everyone that helped us to promote
9/11 Truth Tuesdays. Thank you to 9/11 Family Members Bob McIlvaine, Lorie Van
Auken, and Mindy Kleinberg, 9/11 First Responder and founder of the FealGood
Foundation, John Feal, and to Directors Dylan Avery and Ray Nowosielski for
joining us on January 29th (with the exception of John who was sick). Without
you, that night would not have been the success that it was. Thank you to Kyle
Hence, Ray Nowosielski, Penny Little, Dylan Avery, and John Albanese for allowing
us to use the movies you created. Thank you to the other filmmakers for the
other movies we used as well.
Thank you to everyone that came, and brought people every Tuesday since January
1st of this year.
I would like to give a very special thank you to Betsy Metz. Someone that has
spent $1,000′s upon $1,000′s of her own money, asked for nothing
in return, and in… Continue reading
Steven Jones, Kevin Ryan, Tony Szamboti, and Richard Gage will be featured on Air America tonight at 6pm PST. The program is “Clout.” The host is Richard Greene. The subject is 9/11 – Controlled Demolitions.
The full program starts at 6pm PST and goes to 8pm. Steven Jones, Ph.D physicist, will be on at 6:30pm.
It is widely syndicated so it will be aired on numerous stations. The station is found here http://airamerica.com/clout