November 29, 2011
Secrecy News Blog
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board that was supposed to provide independent oversight of U.S. counterterrorism policies remains dormant and out of service because its members have still not been named and confirmed.
In a report that was newly updated this month, the Congressional Research Service traced the origins of the Board from a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission through its initial establishment as a White House agency to its reconstitution as an independent agency chartered by statute in 2007.
The Board was assigned two overriding missions: It was supposed to “analyze and review actions the executive branch takes to protect the Nation from terrorism, ensuring that the need for such actions is balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties”; and to “ensure that liberty concerns are appropriately considered in the development and implementation of laws, regulations, and policies related to efforts to protect the Nation against terrorism.”
So had the Board been functional, it might have been a valuable participant in current deliberations over military detention authority, for example. It might also have conducted investigative oversight into any number of other counterterrorism policies, as mandated by law. But for all practical purposes, there is no Board.
Last January, President Obama named Elisebeth C. Cook and James X. Dempsey to serve on the Board. The Senate has not acted on their nomination. Even if they had been confirmed, however, they would not have constituted a quorum. Thus,… Continue reading
Red Dirt Report, editor
OKLAHOMA CITY — Ten years after 9/11 and 16 years after the Oklahoma City bombing, it appears the federal government continues to view some Americans who embrace their First Amendment rights — press and speech, primarily — as a danger to the State, and as a result they are listing certain investigative websites as extremist and a terroristic threat to the “homeland.”
One, labeled as “extremist” and therefore a threat to the U.S. Government, includes a well-known site, once operated by a truth-seeking Oklahoma state legislator, working to expose anomalies related to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing — OKCbombing.net . A link to the document can be seen here .
This shocking designation is indeed troubling, particularly to the local documentary film production company Free Mind Films , which is also releasing an explosive documentary about the Oklahoma City bombing, A Noble Lie.
OKCbombing.net was formerly operated by State Rep. Charles Key (R-Oklahoma City), as a site to inform the public about reams of information discovered by the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, much of it originally ignored by the same federal agencies who now list the site as a threat to the homeland. As for Rep. Key, he concluded his role in the OBIC in approximately 2002 and Free Mind Films is now paying for access and domain rights to… Continue reading
Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting
vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots
by Paul Harris
16 November 2011
Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI ‘entrapment’ questioned
Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots
David Williams did not have an easy life. He moved to Newburgh, a gritty, impoverished town on the banks of the Hudson an hour or so north of New York, at just 10 years old. For a young, black American boy with a father in jail, trouble was everywhere.
Williams also made bad choices. He ended up going to jail for dealing drugs. When he came out in 2007 he tried to go straight, but money was tight and his brother, Lord, needed cash for a liver transplant. Life is hard in Newburgh if you are poor, have a drug rap and need cash quickly.
His aunt, Alicia McWilliams, was honest about the tough streets her nephew was dealing with. “Newburgh is a hard place,” she said. So it was perhaps no surprise that in May, 2009, David Williams was arrested again and hit with a 25-year jail sentence. But it was not for drugs offences. Or any other common crime. Instead Williams and three other struggling local men beset by drug, criminal and mental health issues were convicted of an Islamic terrorist plot to blow up Jewish synagogues and shoot down… Continue reading
By Olivia Katrandjian
October 29, 2011
Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old two-tour Iraq veteran whose skull was fractured by a rubber bullet or tear gas canister fired by police during an Occupy Oakland protest, has become a symbol for the Oakland, Calif., protests and put a spotlight on veterans’ solidarity with the Occupy movement.
Olsen had joined joined the Occupy Oakland protest after work Tuesday, before clashes broke out between demonstrators and police trying to evict them from a city plaza. Videos of Olsen posted on YouTube show him standing still in a space between police a protesters when he was hit in the head by something and fell to the ground.
When fellow demonstrators tried to come to Olsen’s aid, a tear gas canister exploded in their midst, driving them away from the injured man.
“He joined the military to fight for people’s rights, and that’s not what he found himself doing in Iraq. And so he came home and started fighting for people’s rights here and for his brothers and sisters who were still deployed,” said Iraq veteran Aaron Hughes, the central and team leader of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
“There is a massive disconnect between the larger society and U.S. service members. Right now we have high unemployment, homeless and suicide rates among veterans. Scott is just one example of hundreds and thousands of service members who are tired of the rhetoric and want real substantive change,” said Hughes, who said he returned to Iraq as a civilian after his tour to fight for peace.…Continue reading
For Immediate Release
Dottie Guy, Bay Area Chapter President
(415) 290-5447, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jose Vasquez, Executive Director
(917) 587-3334, email@example.com
Keith Shannon, Deployed with Scott to Iraq
Marine Veteran Critically Injured at Occupy Oakland March
Two-time Iraq war veteran sustains skull fracture from police projectile
Late last night, Scott Olsen, a former Marine, two-time Iraq war veteran, and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, sustained a skull fracture after being shot in the head with a police projectile while peacefully participating in an Occupy Oakland march. The march began at a downtown library and headed towards City Hall in an effort to reclaim a site–recently cleared by police–that had previously served as an encampment for members of the 99% movement.
Scott joined the Marines in 2006, served two-tours in Iraq, and was discharged in 2010. Scott moved to California from Wisconsin and currently works as a systems network administrator in Daly, California.
Scott is one of an increasing number of war veterans who are participating in America’s growing Occupy movement. Said Keith Shannon, who deployed with Scott to Iraq, “Scott was marching with the 99% because he felt corporations and banks had too much control over our government, and that they weren’t being held accountable for their role… Continue reading
by Paul Craig Roberts
September 30, 2011 was the day America was assassinated.
Some of us have watched this day approach and have warned of its coming, only to be greeted with boos and hisses from “patriots” who have come to regard the US Constitution as a device that coddles criminals and terrorists and gets in the way of the President who needs to act to keep us safe.
In our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions , Lawrence Stratton and I showed that long before 9/11 US law had ceased to be a shield of the people and had been turned into a weapon in the hands of the government. The event known as 9/11 was used to raise the executive branch above the law. As long as the President sanctions an illegal act, executive branch employees are no longer accountable to the law that prohibits the illegal act. On the president’s authority, the executive branch can violate US laws against spying on Americans without warrants, indefinite detention, and torture and suffer no consequences.
Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the US Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate US citizens, who he deems to be a “threat,” without due process… Continue reading
By Richard Perez-Pena
October 7, 2011
New York Times
A report on terrorism prosecutions written by scholars at New York University’s School of Law has set off an ugly fight, pitting the school against former Mayor Edward I. Koch and Representative Peter T. King in what one side calls a question of intellectual freedom, and the other says is a matter of intellectual honesty.
The report, focusing on three high-profile cases, accuses law enforcement agencies of luring young Muslim men into violent plots and makes broad assertions that the government stigmatizes Muslims. The charge is nothing new; defendants in many terrorism trials in the past decade have alleged entrapment, but juries have rejected that defense.
The report, “Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the ‘Homegrown Threat’ in the United States,” was published in May but did not draw much notice until recently, when some prominent alumni of the law school brought it to the attention of Mr. Koch, a 1948 graduate.
Mr. Koch called on the school’s dean, Richard L. Revesz, to disavow the report and distribute a rebuttal that Mr. King — the Long Island Republican who has presided over contentious hearings on domestic terrorist threats — wrote at Mr. Koch’s urging. When the dean did not agree, the former mayor decided to take the conflict public, potentially giving the report a wider audience than it had gained on its own.
The fight illustrates how differently the political and academic worlds can view the same dispute, and how the same information… Continue reading
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2011, Issue No. 96
October 1, 2011
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
Last Friday, White House officials made at least two public references to Presidential Policy Directives (PPDs). PPD 1 was cited in a new executive order on computer security and PPD 8 was cited in a White House blog posting on disaster preparedness. Each Directive is a significant expression of national policy. Neither one is classified. And yet neither of them — nor any other Obama Presidential Policy Directive — can be found on the White House website.
The White House decision not to make these documents available is a stark reminder of the incoherence of the Obama Administration’s transparency policy, and its inconsistent implementation.
“Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset,” President Obama wrote in his January 21, 2009 memo on transparency and open government. “My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public.”
But as the withholding of the presidential directives illustrates, not even the Obama White House itself complies with this policy, and so its impact in the farther reaches of the executive branch has been muted. Those who seek access to Presidential Policy Directives must look elsewhere.
“I think it’s general policy that… Continue reading
The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another
domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots–or leading them?
October 9, 2011
Mother Jones / By Trevor Aaronson
UPDATE: On September 28, Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old
graduate of Northeastern University, was arrested and charged with providing
resources to a foreign terrorist organization and attempting to destroy national
defense premises. Ferdaus, according to the FBI, planned to blow up both the
Pentagon and Capitol Building with a “large remote controlled aircraft
filled with C-4 plastic explosives.”
The case was part of a nearly ten-month investigation led by the FBI. Not
surprisingly, Ferdaus’ case fits a pattern detailed by Trevor Aaronson in his
article below: the FBI provided Ferdaus with the explosives and materials needed
to pull off the plot. In this case, two undercover FBI employees, who Ferdaus
believed were al Qaeda members, gave Ferdaus $7,500 to purchase an F-86 Sabre
model airplane that Ferdaus hoped to fill with explosives. Right before his
arrest, the FBI employees gave Ferdaus, who lived at home with his parents,
the explosives he requested to pull off his attack. And just how did the FBI
come to meet Ferdaus? An informant with a criminal record introduced Ferdaus
to the supposed al Qaeda members.
To learn more about how the FBI uses informants to bust, and sometimes
lead, terrorist plots, read Aaronson’s article below.
James Cromitie  was a man of bluster and bigotry. He made up wild stories
about his supposed… Continue reading
October 11, 2011
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
You know things are bad in the realm of tyranny when even Reuters runs a story
that admits the White House openly engages in the outright murder of U.S. citizens
whom the White House deems “enemies.” In an article entitled, Secret panel
can put Americans on “kill list”, Reuters reported:
“American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials. There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.” (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011…)
If that sounds like a report you’d usually read on NaturalNews or InfoWars.com, that’s because we’re usually the first to report on true conspiracies that exist in the corrupt, criminal government running rampant across America today. But this particular assassination conspiracy was so outrageous — and so illegal — that even Reuters had to cover it (to their credit, by the way).
The existence of this secret “kill list” means the U.S. government can now decide, completely outside of law, to brazenly murder any person it wishes. And this is all apparently A-OK with President Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner!
I wonder… Continue reading
by Kurt Haskell
October 2, 2011
Adventures with Kurt and Lori
Over the past 21 months, I have come into contact with many people that fail to even consider the possibility that U.S. intelligence agents could have been involved in the underwear bomber plot. It is with these people in mind that I decided to write the following article. I have noticed that recent terrorist attacks within the United States have many similar characteristics. If you look at these plots together as a series of attacks, the modus operandi of U.S. intelligence agencies begins to develop. For this article, I have decided to look at only “terrorist attacks” from January 1, 2002, to the present.
1. Mohamed Mohamud (The Portland Christmas Tree Bomber)
Date Of Incident: November 26, 2010.
The 2010 Portland car bomb plot involved an incident in which Mohamud, a Somali-American student, was arrested in an FBI sting operation, after attempting to set off what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon.
Mohamud had been monitored by the FBI for months. Prior to Mohamud’s arrest, an undercover FBI agent, posing as a terrorist, had been in contact with him since June 2010 (A 5 month period). In preparation for the planned bombing of a public gathering, Mohamud and undercover FBI operatives drove to a remote area of Lincoln County, Oregon, where they conducted a test run on November 4, 2010 by detonating a real bomb Mohamud believed to have been hidden… Continue reading
By Glenn Greenwald
The FBI has received substantial criticism over the past decade — much of it valid — but nobody can deny its record of excellence in thwarting its own Terrorist plots. Time and again, the FBI concocts a Terrorist attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits, persuades them to perpetrate the attack, supplies them with the money, weapons and know-how they need to carry it out — only to heroically jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by the FBI.
Last year, the FBI subjected 19-year-old Somali-American Mohamed Osman Mohamud to months of encouragement, support and money and convinced him to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas event in Portland, Oregon, only to arrest him at the last moment and then issue a Press Release boasting of its success. In late 2009 , the FBI persuaded and enabled Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year old Jordanian citizen, to place a fake bomb at a Dallas skyscraper and separately convinced Farooque Ahmed, a 34-year-old naturalized American citizen born in Pakistan, to bomb the Washington Metro . And now, the FBI has yet again saved us all from its own Terrorist plot by arresting 26-year-old American citizen Rezwan Ferdaus after having spent months providing him with the plans and materials to attack the Pentagon, American troops in Iraq, and possibly the Capitol Building using “remote-controlled” model airplanes carrying explosives.
None… Continue reading
By Larry Chin
Iran is engaged in a surreal global shouting match with so-called Al Qaeda figures over who and what was responsible for the atrocities of 9/11.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began by publicly pronouncing that 9/11 was a US government false flag operation. Al-Qaeda responded by accusing Ahmadinejad of being a conspiracy theorist — a “9/11 truther”. Iran then replied in kind by pointing to CIA involvement with Al-Qaeda.
This spectacle would be uproarious, if the actual stakes were not so high; if this war of words was not part of a much larger and very real war that places the future of the entire world at risk.
What we are witnessing is a typical propaganda battle in which truth, lies and half-truths have been liberally mixed. Only the most clear-minded and astute observers can see the battle lines clearly.
Looking past the noise, putting aside the reliability of the figures making it, there are clear and undeniable historical facts:
Alfreda Frances Bikowsky: The Current Director of the CIA Global Jihad Unit
September 21, 2011
Boiling Frogs Post has now confirmed the identity of the CIA analyst at the heart of a notorious failure in the run-up to the September 11th tragedy. Her name is Alfreda Frances Bikowsky and she is the current director of the CIA Jihad Unit. Through three credible sources and documents we have confirmed Ms. Bikowsky’s former titles and positions, including her start at the CIA as an analyst for the Soviet Desk, her position as one of the case officers at the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit-Alec Station, her central role and direct participation in the CIA’s rendition-torture and black sites operations, and her current position as director of the CIA’s Global Jihad Unit.
The producers Nowosielski and Duffy have now made both names available at their website. They also identify the second CIA culprit as Michael Anne Casey. We have not been able to obtain confirmation by other sources on this person yet, but we are still working on it.
Alfreda Frances Bikowsky is the person described in New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side as having flown in to watch the waterboarding of terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammad without being assigned to do so. “Its not supposed to be entertainment,” superiors were said to have told her. She was also at the center of “the el-Masri incident,” in which an innocent German citizen was kidnapped by the CIA in 2003 and held… Continue reading
September 21, 2011
SecrecyKills.com [website no longer exists]
Despite threats of prosecution from the CIA, the makers of 9/11: Press For Truth have released their new documentary podcast Who Is Rich Blee?
By Glenn Greenwald
September 20, 2011
The story of Jose Padilla, continuing through the events of yesterday, expresses so much of the true nature of the War on Terror and especially America’s justice system. In 2002, the American citizen was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, publicly labeled by John Ashcroft as The Dirty Bomber, and then imprisoned for the next three years on U.S. soil as an “enemy combatant” without charges of any kind, and denied all contact with the outside world, including even a lawyer. During his lawless incarceration, he was kept not just in extreme solitary confinement but extreme sensory deprivation as well, and was abused and tortured to the point of severe and probably permanent mental incapacity. (Bush lawyers told a court that they were unable to produce videos of Padilla’s interrogations because those videos were mysteriously and tragically “lost”).
Needless to say, none of the government officials responsible for this abuse of a U.S. citizen on American soil has been held accountable in any way. That’s because President Obama decreed that Bush officials shall not be criminally investigated for War on Terror crimes, while his Justice Department vigorously defended John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld and other responsible functionaries in civil suits brought by Padilla seeking damages for what was done to him.
As usual, the Obama DOJ cited national security imperatives and sweeping theories of presidential power to demand that Executive Branch officials be fully shielded from judicial scrutiny (i.e., shielded from the … Continue reading
September 12, 2011
by Hereward Fenton
On this sad anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in post-war history I am reminded of the prophetic words spoken by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address to the nation in 1961: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
Eisenhower was the supreme commander in western Europe who had led America to victory against one of the most evil regimes in history, a man who had witnessed the depths of human depravity, and wanted finally to warn us that the war machine which had been created to defend freedom in WWII could equally be used for the opposite purpose, and that it was up to the American people to guard against this possibility.
Eisenhower coined the phrase “military industrial complex” which became the catch-cry of the anti-war movement of the 1960s, describing an economic and political fusion of power involving armaments manufacturers, construction companies, banks, democratic governments and puppet dictatorships.
As Marine Major General Smedley Butler put it, War is a Racket. In his seminal book on the subject Butler declares, “I spent 33 years in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a… Continue reading
by Glenn Greenwald
The Los Angeles Times examines the staggering sums of money expended on patently absurd domestic “homeland security” projects: $75 billion per year for things such as a Zodiac boat with side-scan sonar to respond to a potential attack on a lake in tiny Keith County, Nebraska, and hundreds of “9-ton BearCat armored vehicles, complete with turret” to guard against things like an attack on DreamWorks in Los Angeles. All of that — which is independent of the exponentially greater sums spent on foreign wars, occupations, bombings, and the vast array of weaponry and private contractors to support it all — is in response to this mammoth, existential, the-single-greatest-challenge-of-our-generation threat:
“The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It’s basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year ,” said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism.
Last year, McClatchy characterized this threat in similar terms: “undoubtedly more American citizens died overseas from traffic accidents or intestinal illnesses than from terrorism .” The March, 2011, Harper ‘s Index expressed the point this way : “Number of American civilians who died worldwide in terrorist attacks last year: 8 — Minimum number who died after being struck by lightning: 29.” That’s the threat in the name of which a vast domestic Security State is constructed,… Continue reading