March 6, 2008
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — U.S. postal authorities have approved more than 10,000 law enforcement requests to record names, addresses and other information from the outside of letters and packages of suspected criminals every year since 1998, according to U.S. Postal Inspection Service data.
In each of those years, officials approved more than 97% of requests to record the information during criminal inquiries. In 2004, 2005 and 2006, the most recent year provided, officials granted at least 99.5% of requests, according to partial responses to inquiries filed by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.
Postal officials have closely guarded the warrantless surveillance mail program, used for decades to track fugitives and to interrupt the delivery of illegal drugs or other controlled substances such as explosives. In other government surveillance, such as most wiretap programs, a judge approves requests. In this one, the USPIS’ chief inspector has authority to grant or deny a request.
The Postal Service handles 214 billion pieces of mail each year. Correspondence and packages transported by private carriers, such as FedEx and UPS, are not subject to the surveillance.
When the government’s warrantless surveillance of electronic communication has come under fire, civil liberties advocates say, the USPIS’ limited disclosure raises serious questions. “The idea of the government tracking that amount of mail is quite alarming,” says Jameel Jaffer, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s national security project. “When you realize that (the figure) does not include national security matters,… Continue reading
March 5, 2008
by Dave Lindorff
In Mansfield, CT, the town where I grew up, there were no police. Oh, there
was a resident State Police officer with a big cruiser, but mainly, his job
was patrolling the stretch of four-lane highway that ran north of us between
Hartford and Boston. The University of Connecticut, a sprawling ag school at
the time, had a few police, but their job was limited to patrolling the campus.
If something happened, like a kid stealing candy from Phil’s, the local
Five and Ten, or if there was some kind of domestic dispute, it fell to the
local town constable—an elected position—to handle.
Up in the town of Marlboro, VT, population 1000, the town constable may have
a new job. If President George W. Bush, or Vice President Dick Cheney should
happen to stop by there, perhaps to pick up some freshly made maple syrup or
maple sugar candy, he’d have to arrest them. Last night, the citizens
of Marlboro voted in their annual town meeting to indict both men for war crimes,
obstruction of justice and perjury. The vote was 43-25, with three abstentions.
Residents of nearby Brattleboro, population 12,000, did the same, voting 2012-1795.
It might be a challenge for the local constabulary, given the gaggle of stone-faced,
ear-wired, Secret Service agents in their dark sunshades who encircle and protect
the president and his regent whenever the two suspects travel out of the secure
confines of the White House and Executive Office… Continue reading
BY JAY WEAVER AND ALFONSO CHARDY
The Miami Herald
Bribery. Drug trafficking. Migrant smuggling.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is supposed to stop these types of crimes. Instead, so many of its officers have been charged with committing those crimes themselves that their boss in Washington recently issued an alert about the “disturbing events” and the “increase in the number of employee arrests.”
Thomas S. Winkowski, assistant commissioner of field operations, wrote a memo to more than 20,000 officers nationwide noting that employees must behave professionally at all times — even when not on the job.
“It is our responsibility to uphold the laws, not break the law,” Winkowski wrote in the Nov. 16 memo obtained by The Miami Herald .
Winkowski’s memo cites employee arrests involving domestic violence, DUI and drug possession. But court records show Customs officers and other Department of Homeland Security employees from South Florida to the Mexican border states have been charged with dozens of far more serious offenses.
Among them: A Customs and Border Protection officer at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was charged in February with conspiring to assist a New York drug ring under investigation by tapping into sensitive federal databases.
Winkowski, a former director of field operations in Miami, called the misconduct “unacceptable.” He told The Miami Herald that while he wrote the memo because of an uptick in employee arrests last fall, he didn’t believe the problem was pervasive.
“Do I believe this is widespread in our organization? No, I do… Continue reading
March 5, 2008: From Collateral News
There has always been evidence connecting members of the Saudi government to 9/11 – members with close ties to the Bush administration. Now, a newly released document strengthens this case.
Collateral is an independent weekly newsshow produced in Philadelphia, PA at Woodshop Films. The show focuses on stories that get little or no news coverage and offers perspectives not typically found in the corporate media.
Collateral is produced by Marc Brodzik, Stephen Gardner, Michael Hilger, Bryan Sacks, Tristan Smith and Jeff Toner. Collateral does not belong to a media organization and is funded entirely by its producers. If you find the show worthy, please pass it on.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also now a Facebook group:
February 27, 2008
Justin Rood Reports
The FBI now keeps a list of over 900,000 names belonging to known or suspected
terrorists, the American Civil Liberties Union said today.
If that number is accurate, it would be an all-time high, exponentially more
than the 100,000 names on the list several years ago. But the number needs to
be taken with a grain of salt: after all, the ACLU doesn’t keep the list, the
FBI does, and the bureau doesn’t generally like to talk about it. (Indeed, the
FBI has not yet responded to a request for comment for this post.)
But if the ACLU’s figure isn’t accurate, it’s also unlikely to be off by that
much. Last September, the ACLU notes, the Department of Justice’s Inspector
General reported the FBI watch list was at 700,000 names, and growing at 20,000
names per month.
The ACLU says they "extrapolated" from those figures to determine
the list’s current size. ACLU’s Barry Steinhardt added that the group had spoken
privately with people familiar with the watch list, who told them the 900,000
figure was not outlandish.
In the past, The FBI has told ABC News that the size of its watch list is classified.
Despite that, both the bureau and the DoJ Inspector General have published the
total figure in unclassified reports.
There’s no doubt the FBI’s list is growing: just last June, ABC News reported
it was at 509,000 names, based on information in an unclassified FBI budget
But strangely,… Continue reading
By Sherman Yellen
It’s amazing. Just when you think there are no new depths of shamelessness and betrayal of trust to which the Bush administration can sink, they manage to sink deeper into unchartered infamy. Hold on now, I’m not even mad yet. I’m talking about the seventy seven percent cut in the medical assistance for 9/11 first responders in the current federal budget. Gravely ill firemen, police, and other workers who labored at that site, workers who have come down with life threatening cancers and respiratory illnesses linked to their heroic efforts at ground zero are being shafted once again.
In the name of full disclosure, I am not writing this from some disinterested “good citizen” viewpoint. I have a young nephew, John McNamarra, a heroic fireman who worked as a first responder at that site and who later volunteered for rescue work after Katrina in New Orleans. For the past few years he has been suffering from various cancers resulting from that work for which he is currently under treatment at Sloan Kettering. Last weekend he called me to talk about the government’s new betrayal. As the father of a one year old son, Jack, John is fighting the battle of his life, and there is no godly reason why men such as John have to fight the government as well for proper medical care and compensation. One pill — yes one small pill that reduces the agonizing nausea of his chemotherapy costs as much as a thousand… Continue reading
Lawyers claim he pleaded guilty without seeing secret evidence
By MATT APUZZO
February 26, 2008
WASHINGTON — Lawyers urged Zacarias Moussaoui not to plead guilty to
terrorism charges. They just couldn’t tell him why.
In newly filed court documents, Moussaoui argues that court-imposed secrecy
undermined his ability to present an adequate defense. His new lawyers say Moussaoui’s
guilty plea should be thrown out and a new trial should be convened for the
man who once claimed to have been a part of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist plot.
Moussaoui was not allowed to see the classified evidence against him and was
shut out from closed-door hearings in which that evidence was laid out.
Defense lawyers say they were barred from even discussing with Moussaoui evidence
that could help prove his innocence. They say Moussaoui faced an unconstitutional
choice: plead guilty or go to trial without knowing the evidence.
"Moussaoui appeals because his plea was unknowing, uncounselled and invalid,"
attorneys Justin Antonipillai and Barbara Hartung wrote.
The documents, filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond,
Va., raise a fundamental question about whether terrorism suspects like Moussaoui
should be given access to all the evidence against them — access that
is normally guaranteed in criminal cases.
The Bush administration has sought to avoid such conflicts by keeping most
terrorism cases out of civilian courts. Instead, officials plan to try several
cases before special military commissions at the Guantánamo Bay naval base,
where judges have broad authority… Continue reading
BRUSSELS, European Parliament, 26th February 2008.
Mark Dermul (www.911belgium) reporting.
On Tuesday 26th February, Europarliamentarian Guilietto Chiesa invited his colleagues and the press to attend the screening and debate of the Italian-produced documentary named ‘ZERO, an investigation into the events of 9/11′. Object of the screening was to create political awareness of the faulty official investigation into the events by the 9/11 Commission.
Besides Mr Chiesa, the panel consisted of Japanese parliamentarian Fujita, Dr David Ray Griffin, film distributor Tim Sparke & the director and producers of the film.
After his opening statements, Mr Chiesa welcomed his guest speakers. Then he pointed out that he was unable to find any distributor in his native country of Italy and was happy to find a company in the UK, led by Mr Tim Sparke, to handle worldwide distribution of this important film. ‘It is important to realize,’ he emphasized ‘that the movie was made thanks to contribution and donations of hundreds of citizens who feel a new investigation is more than warranted.’ No less than 450 people worked on this documentary on a voluntary basis. They never received any kind of payment. Their reward is the movie itself, which they feel is an instrument to create awareness and a means to provoke a political debate in Europe.
Since the movie projector didn’t work, Mr Chiesa invited the public to ask questions until the technical problems were solved and we could start watching the movie.
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Article: Syed Akbar Kamal
a significant observation, many-time UN contributor & international observer
Professor Hans Koechler said “9/11 may have been an insider’s job”
in response to a question from one of the delegates attending his lecture The
‘Global War on Terror – Contradictions of an Imperial Strategy’ last night at
the Trades Hall in Auckland.
“I am not a boy-I am 59. There are many inconsistencies and inaccuracies
in the official version of events. Those who could not handle a Cessna pulled
off 9/11,” he said.
But he was quick to note that the official version has to be challenged. Quoting
David Ray Griffin he said these events, in terms of destruction caused, these
incidents cannot have been exclusively organized by a shadowy network of Mujahedeen
from the remote places of the globe.
The causes officially given for the incidents are not a sufficient explanation
for what actually happened on that day, especially as regards the logistics
of this highly sophisticated operation and the very advanced infrastructure
required for it.
He has published more than 300 books, reports and scholarly articles in several
languages. In his book The Global War on Terror and the Metaphysical Enemy he
writes the atrocities of September 11, 2001- Instead of dealing with the contradictions
and inconsistencies in the official version of events and the numerous gaps
in terms of the factual information, a “dogma of political correctness”
has been promulgated according to which 19 Islamic-inspired Arab hijackers,
directed… Continue reading
February 25, 2008
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center
More than six years later, tragic realities resulting from the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks continue to reveal themselves. With many individuals developing similar health conditions, criticism has yet again resurfaced regarding the government’s assurance that the dust created from the fallen World Trade Center (WTC) towers was safe and posed no threat to human health. The first documented death caused by exposure to WTC dust was confirmed in May 2007 with New York City’s chief medical examiner directly linking the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones (a lawyer who fled her office a block away from the WTC) with her exposure to the toxic dust.
The dust cloud contained more than 2,500 contaminants and infiltrated the city. Stretching as far as New Jersey, the caustic dust was composed of harmful elements such as glass, construction debris, and poisonous compounds such as lead, mercury, and asbestos. Those who helped with the cleanup and individuals living and working near the WTC have been greatly affected by this contaminated dust. Countless individuals who came in contact with the dust are reporting distressing respiratory issues, ranging from a severe cough to various forms of cancer, the most common being lung cancer.
A shirt saved by a WTC volunteer illuminated a plausible leading cause to the rampant lung ailments. Stored in a plastic bag for nearly five years, the volunteer’s shirt was tested and revealed extremely toxic levels of chrysotile asbestos, otherwise known as white asbestos.…Continue reading
February 18, 2008
Those clouds of dust that enveloped thousands of New Yorkers who were near the World Trade Center’s destruction and who participated in the rescue efforts may be another large group of victims exposed to the cancerous effects of asbestos. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of lung cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, usually in the form of dust or tiny fibers that get into the respiratory system.
There was an enormous amount of asbestos in the debris left by the 9/11 disaster; moreover, it has become evident that the dust raised on 9/11 and during subsequent rescue and cleanup efforts was contaminated with asbestos. One citizen who participated in rescue efforts for 48 hours after the towers fell saved the shirt that he was wearing throughout that period. In April of 2006 the New York Post reported that when the shirt’s fabric was tested, it was found to contain 93,000 times the amount of asbestos normally found in American cities.
In April of 2007, the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 62% of those caught in the dust cloud created on 9/11 are now incurring respiratory problems. 46% of those merely living in the area are showing similar symptoms. It is clear that the airborne debris created by the destruction on 9/11 has had health impacts on thousands of people. It is also clear that asbestos was a component of that dust.
Mesothelioma often takes decades to develop after the victim’s… Continue reading
Media and public interest organizations tell the jurist that his order violates
constitutional provisions against prior restraint of free speech.
By Henry Weinstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 27, 2008
A coalition of media and public interest organizations went to federal court
in San Francisco on Tuesday urging a judge to reconsider his order to shut down
a muckraking website that publishes leaked documents from businesses and government
Lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties
Union, Public Citizen and several news organizations, told U.S. District Judge
Jeffrey White that two orders he issued last week against wikileaks.org were
prior restraints that violated the 1st Amendment.
Laura Handman, a Washington, D.C., attorney for the news organizations, said
White’s order was so expansive that the only way to describe it was as if a
judge had shut down a newspaper because of controversy over one article.
"I can’t think of another injunction that was so broad," said Matt
Zimmerman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil rights group that focuses
on digital issues.
White acted in response to a lawsuit filed Feb. 6 by Julius Baer & Co.,
a Zurich-based bank, alleging that a disgruntled former employee had posted
internal documents alleging money-laundering and tax evasion schemes at its
Cayman Islands branch.
Wikileaks.org specifically urges readers to post leaked documents in an effort
to discourage "unethical behavior" by corporations and government
agencies. Among the 1.2 million documents that Wikileaks says it has posted
over the last… Continue reading
“Architects, Engineers & Scientists Examine the Evidence of 9/11″, held February 23rd at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, featured Cynthia McKinney, Richard Gage, and Steven Jones. Following is a two-part video of Cynthia’s presentation (click Read More for part 2); more will be posted here as we receive it from event organizers.
Commentary on event from Prof. Steven Jones:
A great event came together very well Saturday evening, 23 Feb 2008, under the
able leadership of Julia and Kristine (sp?) of KPFK – LA. Julia provided introductions
followed by Richard Gage for about 35 minutes, then I spoke for about an hour,
followed by Richard once more… Then Cynthia McKinney gave a powerful, motivating
talk — she is running for US President in the Green Party (USA). She is very
9/11-savvy. Finally, Q&A. It was fun — a lot of energy at the meeting.
I presented new SEM/EDS data on the red/gray chips — and explained further
research that is being planned and done to finish this up. (Hopefully the video
will be available soon.) I also spoke about areas where I/we actually agree
with NIST scientists and engineers, e.g.,
1. The “pancake theory of collapse” — has been analyzed and dismissed
by NIST in their reports. For example, in an FAQ released by NIST in Aug 2006,
“NIST’s findings do not support the “pancake theory” of collapse,
which is premised on a progressive failure of the floor systems in the WTC towers.”
2. NIST rejected… Continue reading
NO LIES RADIO presents BETWEEN THE LINES: The GITMO 6…Patsies or Perps???
Planned Guantánamo Trials Deny 9/11 Defendants Basic Rights
Today, Tuesday Feb 26th at 6pm PST-9pm EST; Repeated this Friday, February 29th at 10pm PST-1pm EST
Steve Alten, author of THE SHELL GAME
Bill Douglas joins Michael Wolsey on Visibility911.com — Podcast available any time at
In an interview recorded on January 17th, 2008, this episode of Visibility 9-11 welcomes 9-11 activist Bill Douglas. Bill is one of the founders of the original 9-11 Visibility Project out of Kansas City and has written and lectured extensively about the 9-11 Cover-Up.
Bill has recently been helping to promote the new 9-11 truth novel, The Shell Game by Steve Alten, which comes highly recommended by Visibility 9-11. If you missed the interview with Steve and his messages to the 9-11 Truth Movement, click here to learn why this is such an important book for our cause.
Robert Lewis, playright, talks about “Revolution in the Head” and 9/11/08 March to Ottawa; Tuesday, 26 February, from 9 to 11 pm EST with host Kevin Barrett on We the People Radio Network www.wtprn.com.
Robert Lewis will be Kevin’s guest to talk about his new stage play” Revolution in the Head.” Robert will also talk about the upcoming September 11/2008 March on Ottawa event.You can learn more details by visiting: March to Ottawa marchonottawa2008.org.…Continue reading
A new report on the August 30 incident in which six nuclear-armed advanced
cruise missiles were effectively “lost” for 36 hours, during which
time they were, against all regulations, flown in launch position mounted on
a pylon on the wing of a B-52H Stratofortress, from Minot AFB in North Dakota
across the continental US to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, has left unanswered
some critical questions about the event.
Directed by retired Air Force Gen. Larry D. Welch, the task force’s Report
on the Unauthorized Movement of Nuclear Weapons found plenty wrong with the
way the US military handles its nuclear weapons, but appears to have dealt lightly
with the specific incident that sparked the inquiry—only giving it a few
According to the report, when nuclear-capable missiles are placed onto a pylon
assembly (in the case of the B-52, these pylons can hold six missiles), procedures
call for a clear distinction to be made as to whether they are armed with nuclear
weapons or with dud warheads. In the storage bunker, pylons with dud warheads
are supposed to be encircled with orange cones like those used by highway repair
crews, and placards announcing that the warheads are duds are supposed to be
hung on all four sides. This reportedly was not done, leaving no distinction
between one pylon containing six nuclear-armed missiles, and two others that
had missiles carrying nukes.
A second failure was in record keeping. According to regulations for handling
nuclear weapons, every step… Continue reading
Spectre of ‘another 7/7′ led Tony Blair to block bribes inquiry, high court
David Leigh and Rob Evans, The Guardian
Friday February 15 2008
Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack
London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according
to court documents revealed yesterday.
Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another
7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they
pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut
Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of
the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold
back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations
that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company
He was accused in yesterday’s high court hearings of flying to London in December
2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an
end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving
Bandar and his family.
The threats halted the fraud inquiry, but triggered an international outcry,
with allegations that Britain had broken international anti-bribery treaties.
Lord Justice Moses, hearing the civil case with Mr Justice Sullivan, said the
government appeared to have "rolled over" after the threats. He said
one possible view was that it was "just as if a gun had been held to the
head"… Continue reading
Much more information and purchase details is at the Film Website: reflectingpoolfilm.com/.
Challenging the Unchallengeable
by Jim Cirile
February 19, 2008
Interview with Jarek Kupsc, Writer/Director, “The Reflecting Pool”
New feature film “The Reflecting Pool” may just be the “All the President’s Men” of our time. No, it doesn’t have Hoffman and Redford. But it is a chilling and important fact-based investigative drama.
Writer/director Jarek Kupsc (“Slumberland”) stars as Alex Prokop, a successful hard-hitting Russian/American journalist. As a last gasp before corporate takeover, his editor (Lisa Black) hands Prokop a bombshell assignment — investigate the official version of 9-11. Prokop, dismissive of 9-11 skeptics, reluctantly teams with grieving father Paul Cooper (the outstanding Joseph Culp) to investigate. After losing his daughter in the attacks, Cooper transformed himself into a 9-11 expert — at the expense of his marriage. As Prokop and Cooper kick at the hornets’ nest, a sickening, carefully orchestrated pattern of deceit emerges — and Prokop finds publishing the story may mean curtains on his career.
The well-researched (and exhaustively documented on the DVD) thriller ultimately proves more compelling than 9-11-themed documentaries such as “Loose Change” by taking a narrative approach and by personalizing the story. Disbelieving investigative reporter Prokop is an effective audience surrogate, while the passionate, fragile and self-destructive Cooper grounds the story with heart and soul — a constant reminder of the human cost of the “war on terror.” The script is solid, the characterizations moving. If the film has a flaw, it’s in… Continue reading
Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Feb. 29, 2008
Posted Feb. 20, 2008
LISTEN to this week’s entire program/view the program summary.
Click here for downloadable or streaming audio, and more information.
Interview with Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild,
conducted by Scott Harris
On Feb. 11, the Bush administration announced it would charge six detainees
held at the U.S. prison camp at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, alleged to
be involved in the planning of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Among those
being charged are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the purported mastermind of the 9/11
conspiracy. This is the first set of charges brought by U.S. authorities against
Guantánamo detainees that related directly to involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks.
These trials will be conducted under the rules outlined in the Military Commissions
Act passed in 2006 by the Republican-controlled Congress in response to the
U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the original Bush trial procedures at Guantánamo
Although the Military Commissions Act forbids the admission of evidence extracted
by torture, it permits evidence obtained by cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
if it was secured before Dec. 30, 2005. Thus, the Bush administration’s refusal
to declare waterboarding as an act of torture will be a key issue in these trials.
Other procedures criticized allow a trial to proceed in the absence of the accused,
places the power to appoint judges in the hands of the Secretary of Defense,
permits the introduction of hearsay and evidence obtained without a warrant,
and denies the accused the right to see all of the evidence against them.…