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AlterNet Editorial: Iraq Vets Will Detail U.S. Atrocities in Winter Soldier Hearings

By Editorial Staff, AlterNet
March 11, 2008

This week, on March 13-16, a new generation of "Winter Soldiers"
— veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq — will descend on the
nation’s capitol to tell America in their own words what they saw during their
service in the "war on terror," the Bush administration’s signature
policy. They’ll give a ground’s eye perspective on the occupation’s toll on
the people of those countries and the costs to the military, and they’ll tell
stories of what it was really like in places like Fallujah and Ramadi — places
that are just names on a map to most of the people back home.

They’ll be following large footsteps. In the early months of 1971, a group
of Vietnam vets, organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), gave
two days of testimony about the Vietnam that they had seen, up close and all-too-personally,
in the original "Winter Soldier" investigation. While largely dismissed
by the political establishment, their wrenching testimony redoubled the peace
movement’s efforts to end that war.

In his opening statement 37 years ago, William Crandell, a 26 year-old lieutenant
who served in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division — the division
that committed the infamous My Lai Massacre — told the hushed room, "The
Winter Soldier Investigation is not a mock trial. There will be no phony indictments;
there will be no verdict against Uncle Sam." He promised "straightforward
testimony — direct testimony — about acts which are war… Continue reading

DHS Holds Cyber Storm II Exercise to Further Cyber Security Preparedness and Response Capabilities

Release Date: March 10, 2008
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is conducting the largest cyber security exercise ever organized. Cyber Storm II is being held from March 10-14 in Washington, D.C. and brings together participants from federal, state and local governments, the private sector, and the international community.

Cyber Storm II is the second in a series of congressionally mandated exercises that will examine the nation’s cyber security preparedness and response capabilities. the exercise will simulate a coordinated cyber attack on information technology, communications, chemical, and transportation systems and assets.

“Securing cyberspace is vital to maintaining America’s strategic interests, public safety, and economic prosperity,” said Greg Garcia, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Communications. “Exercises like Cyber Storm II help to ensure that the public and private sectors are prepared for an effective response to attacks against our critical systems and networks.”

Cyber Storm II will include 18 federal departments and agencies, nine states (Calif., Colo., Del., Ill., Mich., N.C., Pa., Texas and Va.), five countries (United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom), and more than 40 private sector companies. They include ABB, Inc., Air Products, Cisco, Dow Chemical Company Inc., Harris Corporation, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Microsoft, NeuStar, PPG Industries, and Wachovia.

Cyber Storm II objectives include:

* Examining the capabilities of participating organizations to prepare for, protect against, and respond to the potential effects of cyber attacks
* Exercising strategic decision making and interagency coordination of incident response in accordance with national level policy and procedures
* Validating information sharing relationships and communications paths for the collection and dissemination of cyber incident situational awareness, response and recovery information
* Examining means and processes through which to share sensitive information across boundaries and sectors without compromising proprietary or national security interests

For more information on Cyber Storm II visit:http://www.dhs.gov/xprepresp/training/gc_1204738275985.shtm

###

Source: http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1205180340404.shtm

See also:

Many more details about this at this DHS Fact Sheet.…

Continue reading

Whistleblower: Cellular carrier giving FBI unfettered access

By Ryan Paul
March 06, 2008

Computer security analyst Babak Pasdar says that a major mobile telecommunications
carrier has a built-in backdoor that provides an undisclosed third-party with
unfettered access to its internal technical infrastructure, including the ability
to eavesdrop on all calls through its network. In an affidavit that describes
the circumstances and basis for the allegations, Pasdar provides evidence which
could indicate that the FBI is on the other side of the secret line, engaging
in warrantless surveillance of mobile communications.

Pasdar discovered evidence of the backdoor when he was part of a rapid deployment
team that was brought in to facilitate a large-scale network security hardware
migration for the mobile carrier. During the migration, Pasdar was instructed
not to migrate the traffic for one particular DS-3, which was referred to as
the "Quantico Circuit" by consultants who worked closely with the
carrier (the FBI Academy is based in Quantico, Virginia).

According to Pasdar, the consultants informed him that the Quantico Circuit
is supposed to have no firewalls of any kind and no access control—it
is given complete access to everything in the carrier’s internal network and
there is no way to tell conclusively what has been accessed through it. The
consultants indicated that they knew who was at the other end of the Quantico
Circuit, but they refused to divulge this information to Pasdar.

When Pasdar insisted that the Quantico Circuit should at least have the minimum
level of security access logging if not access control, the… Continue reading

Mr. Yukihisa Fujita MP to attend the Sydney Truth Now Conference!

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Mr. Yukihisa Fujita, a Member of the Japanese Parliament representing the Democratic Party, is to attend the Sydney Truth Now Conference. He is, in the organizing committee’s opinion, the single most important person to step forward to ask the hard questions about 9/11 and the “War on Terror” this year. We hope that his attendance may encourage Australian Parliamentarians to examine the provably false official 9/11 conspiracy theory! He will be in attendance on the 15th (Sat) and 16th (Sun) only and will make a short address on both days.

In other news:

It is with great sadness that I must finally announce that Dr Steven Jones will not be attending this year’s conference due to a family illness, but I’m glad to report he is already preparing for next year! I have taken great pleasure in talking many times with Dr Jones over the last few months and have had the great privilege of his advice! I am now coming to realize, especially during recent months, that many of us will never achieve our goals without the support of the ones that love us most, our families. Dr Jones has made a choice to care for the foundations of what has made him such a noble and courageous man! We the Sydney Committee applaud that decision!

He will still be providing a short video presentation to the conference and between locals Dr Frank Legge (who has been working closely with Dr Jones) and Dr David Leifer of the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, all Dr Jones’s material will be covered at the Sydney Conference.…

Continue reading

9/11 Truth: A Direct Path to Needed Change

9/11 Truth: A Direct Path to Needed Change
A Call for Financial Support

The growing 9/11 truth movement represents the most powerful political force
for fundamental reform and democratic renewal in America today. No other constituency
has the vision, strategy or evidentiary base to bring timely change to a gravely
corrupt corporatist system that has hijacked our governance and now threatens
the world more than ever.

911truth.org needs your support to continue to serve, inform and galvanize
our movement so it can achieve its full transformative potential in a timeframe
that makes sense.

911truth.org is not simply the leading portal of 9/11 information and related
news; it has provided the truth movement with catalytic events, campaigns, and
organizing strategies for the last five years.

You may not be aware that all of our funding comes from just two sources:
individual donors and our online store. We have neither requested nor receive
any foundation or corporate support—we are thus able to keep our focus
on 9/11 truth, real truth, without the influence of organizations with potentially
ulterior motives. 911truth.org is truly a grassroots organization, and without
grassroots support, we don’t exist
.

We are therefore appealing to those of you who understand the urgent importance
of our cause and shared mission to donate whatever you can to help us bring
this movement to fruition before it is too late.

Donate
Now!

911truth.org contributions to the truth movement include:

1. Movement Building Initiatives – With the help of leading
researchers and victim family members, we have initiated or co-sponsored some
of the most effective projects in the truth movement’s short dramatic history
including influential conferences in New York, Toronto, DC, Boston, Chicago
and Santa Cruz, the well publicized national Zogby polls, the justicefor911.org
petition drive, the Politics911 candidate poll, and the widely reprinted "Top
40 Reasons to Doubt the Official Story," as well as countless other tactical
campaigns, PR exploits and workshops.…

Continue reading

National Dragnet Is a Click Away

Authorities to Gain Fast and Expansive Access to Records

By Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 6, 2008

Several thousand law enforcement agencies are creating the foundation of a
domestic intelligence system through computer networks that analyze vast amounts
of police information to fight crime and root out terror plots.

As federal authorities struggled to meet information-sharing mandates after
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, police agencies from Alaska and California
to the Washington region poured millions of criminal and investigative records
into shared digital repositories called data warehouses, giving investigators
and analysts new power to discern links among people, patterns of behavior and
other hidden clues.

Those network efforts will begin expanding further this month, as some local
and state agencies connect to a fledgling Justice Department system called the
National Data Exchange, or N-DEx. Federal authorities hope N-DEx will become
what one called a "one-stop shop" enabling federal law enforcement,
counterterrorism and intelligence analysts to automatically examine the enormous
caches of local and state records for the first time.

Although Americans have become accustomed to seeing dazzling examples of fictional
crime-busting gear on television and in movies, law enforcement’s search for
clues has in reality involved a mundane mix of disjointed computers, legwork
and luck.

These new systems are transforming that process. "It’s going from the
horse-and-buggy days to the space age, that’s what it’s like," said Sgt.
Chuck Violette of the Tucson police department, one of almost 1,600 law enforcement
agencies… Continue reading

UPDATE–Video 2–9/11 Presentation to European Parliament

Update: Material added 3/7/08–
In this videoclip Giulietto Chiesa explains why so few (read ‘none’) of the mainstream media journalist showed up, even though hundreds were invited.
Watch here.

Part 1:
We have just received the first video of this historic presentation from Mark Dermul in Belgium, and will post more as we get them! Thanks to Mr. Chiesa, the participants, and everyone who helped make this happen. Particular thanks to the few courageous parliamentarians who showed up. Trailer for the film shown at this gathering, “Zero,” is available here: nl.youtube.com/watch?v=crexHTut23c&feature=related

9/11 attacks harm First Amendment

AP Chief: Press Freedoms Are Among Casualties of Terrorist Attacks

Mar 06, 2008

The shadow of the Sept. 11 terror attacks is eclipsing press freedom and other
constitutional safeguards in the United States, Associated Press President and
CEO Tom Curley said Thursday.

“What has become clear in the aftermath of 9/11 is how much expediency
trumps safeguards,” Curley said during the annual dinner of the Radio and
Television News Directors Foundation
.

“Congress steps back from its constitutional role of executive oversight.
Civilian oversight of the military wanes. A Justice Department interprets laws
in ways that extend police powers. More drastically, prisons are established
in places where government or military operatives circumvent due process or
control trials,” Curley said in accepting the foundation’s First Amendment
Leadership Award.

“It’s at moments like these when a free press matters most,” he said.

Curley was selected for his role in pushing for more openness in government
and for emphasizing reporting on First Amendment issues. That includes efforts
by the AP to establish the Sunshine in Government Initiative, a news media coalition
that presses for strengthening Freedom of Information laws and for greater government
openness.

Also receiving First Amendment honors from the foundation Thursday were CBS
News correspondent Bob Schieffer and NBC Universal vice president Paula Madison.
A special award also recognized former Federal Communications Commission Chairman
Richard Wiley.

Author Delivers 9/11 Truth to Jim Bohanon’s CBS National Radio Audience

Thursday March 6, 2008
Steve Alten, author of “The Shell Game”, delivers 9/11 Truth to Jim
Bohanon’s CBS National Radio audience


9/11 Truth (& False Flag Terror) FINALLY on CBS NATIONAL Radio
– Jim Bohannan Show !!

by William Douglas
March 6, 2008

(See Bill’s suggested action item at end of this article, to get involved.)

STUNNING National CBS Radio Interview!

Bohannan is a right wing pro-military radio voice, who’s audience has probably
NEVER been exposed to 9/11 truth issues. “The Shell Game” author,
Steve Alten, came on after an Oil Executive’s interview, at about 39:50 in the
1.5 hour show. At about 54:56 it gets REALLY interesting when a caller calls
in to discuss 9/11 as a false flag attack. Which unleashes Alten into a deep
discussion of 9/11 truth issues.

All hell brakes loose in the next few minutes, as Alten enters the realms
of 9/11 truth, explaining to the stunned Bohanan and and his virgin (9/11 truth
issue) audience that there is a mass 9/11 truth movement in America that involves
engineers, police, private investigators, and many other experts challenging
the official 9/11 story.

Alten gives Bohannan some rope at the beginning, before he yanks it to give
Bohannan’s virgin audience some powerful new issues to chew on. Alten takes
on the BIG OIL guest (and big energy’s lies) that preceded him on the show,
as well as the rational for war in Iraq, BUT spends most of his time TAKING
ON THE 9/11 COVER UP, War… Continue reading

Law enforcement requests for postal info granted

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

Busting Bush & Co. in New England

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

Crimes by Homeland Security agents stir alert

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

Collateral 38-A King, A Prince, A President.

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 collateralinfo@gmail.com. We are also now a Facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/group. php?gid=7121406810

ACLU: 900,000 Names on U.S. Terror Watch Lists

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
document.

But strangely,… Continue reading

BETRAYED AGAIN: How Bush betrays the 9/11 first responders once more.

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

Moussaoui appeals, calling plea invalid

Lawyers claim he pleaded guilty without seeing secret evidence

By MATT APUZZO
Associated Press
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

ZERO : Europe for an Independent Inquiry into 9/11 – Report on Brussels

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.
 

Editor’s Note:
Two reports follow on the… Continue reading

9/11 may have been an insiders’ job

Thursday, 21 February 2008
Article: Syed Akbar Kamal

Professor Hans KoechlerIn
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