By Jeremy Grant in Washington
Published: August 14 2007 00:06
The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.
David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.
These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.
Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.
“Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”
Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.
While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent – such as the one containing his latest warnings – are initiated by the comptroller general himself.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had… Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2007 — Portland, Oregon
Portland to Host Terrorism Drill “NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2”
Aug. 20 to 24
Citizens Warn of Established Pattern for Such Drills to go “live”
This is an urgent advisory notice from concerned citizens of Oregon and Washington
about an upcoming U.S. Joint Forces Command emergency management exercise known
as NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 that will simulate terrorism or disaster scenarios in
the Lower Columbia River Basin between Aug. 20th and Aug 24th, 2007.
NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 was designed and will be directed by U.S. Joint Forces
Command (USJFCOM) and the Department of Homeland Security. We are aware of no
public notice concerning this exercise, but preliminary investigation has revealed
that Oregon National Guard officials and federal officials will
conduct the drill. Details from official sources are minimal.
This advisory is to document our concerns, raise public awareness and urge
citizen action based on the following facts:
1. NOBLE RESOLVE is a computer-based simulation of a large-scale emergency
situation (e.g. earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, or terrorist attack with nuclear
weapon) in order to train for managing all aspects of the emergency response
through comprehensive software.
2. Military exercises such as NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 have a recent history of
coinciding with lethal “live” events. This occurred on 9/11/01 when
five or more major military or security exercises were in progress on the very
day of the actual attacks. The same phenomenon occurred with the London Bombings
7/7/05 during which a drill concerning multiple bomb attacks was being staged
on that day.…
by Jenna Orkin* http://mikeruppert.blogspot.com
August 27, 2007
The tragic fire at the former Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan nine
days ago which took the lives of two firefighters, Joseph Graffagnino, 33 and
Robert Beddia, 53, and which has already spawned two criminal investigations,
highlights problems about which the community of Lower Manhattan has been warning
The company hired to perform the demolition of the building whose chief claim
to fame, post-9/11, was that it had been contaminated with 150,000 times the
normal levels of asbestos among other toxic substances, (which have since been
reduced to a supposedly “safe” level) has “apparently never done
any work like it” nor much of anything else since it was incorporated in
But while the John Galt Corporation has proven as mysterious as the eponymous
character in the Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged – which opens with the question,
“Who is John Galt?” – this elusiveness has allowed it to serve as
an effective front for members of Safeway Environmental Corporation whose contract
had been cancelled because of mob connections. One of Safeway’s owners, Hank
Greenberg, is a two-time felon who has been linked by the FBI to the Gambino
crime family. So it was no great surprise, when a building in the process of
demolition on Manhattan’s Upper West Side collapsed ahead of time, trapping
pedestrians including a seven-month-old baby, to learn that Safeway Environmental
was… Continue reading
By LARRY CELONA
September 6, 2007 — Two more cops have died of 9/11-related lung cancer, according to their families.
Officer Frank Macari, 51, died on Monday, after a five-year battle with the disease.
Macari, a 13-year veteran of the force assigned to Brooklyn, developed a tumor on his leg in December 2001, after working at Ground Zero. He leaves a wife and stepdaughter.
Officer Madeline Caro, 41, a 16-year veteran, succumbed to lung cancer in July. Carlo, assigned to the South Bronx, also spent days at the World Trade Center site. She leaves a son and daughter.
Macari’s family will file papers, as Carlo’s family has done, to obtain line-of-duty benefits from the NYPD.
Meanwhile, the sixth annual NYPD 9/11 Memorial Weekend begins tomorrow with a 1 p.m. parade in lower Manhattan, ending at the police memorial wall at Liberty Street and South End Avenue. The weekend includes a Saturday-night concert at Town Hall in honor of the NYPD’s 9/11 victims. It stars tenor Ronan Tynan.
Source URL: http://www.nypost.com/seven/09062007/news/regionalnews/two_9_11_sick_cops_die.htm
By Paul Craig Roberts
The anti-war movement has proven impotent to stop the war in Iraq despite the fact that the war was initiated on the basis of lies and deception. The anti-war movement stands helpless to prevent President Bush from attacking Iran or any other country that he might demonize for harboring a future 9/11 threat.
September 11 enabled Bush to take America to war and to keep America at war even though the government’s explanation of the events of September 11 is mired in controversy and disbelieved by a large percentage of the population.
Although the news media’s investigative arm has withered, other entities and individuals continue to struggle with unanswered questions. In the six years since 9/11, numerous distinguished scientists, engineers, architects, intelligence officers, pilots, military officers, air traffic controllers, and foreign dignitaries have raised serious and unanswered questions about the official story line.
Recognition of the inadequacy of the official account of the collapse of the twin towers is widespread in the scientific and technical community. One of the most glaring failures in the official account is the lack of an explanation of the near free-fall speed at which the buildings failed once the process began. Some scientists and engineers have attempted to bolster the official account with explanations of how this might happen in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolitions.
Astute readers have brought some virtual outrage to our attention in the last few days, which we’re passing on here, in hopes it will be of help to you in making decisions about virtual privacy and safety, and as yet more evidence that the practice of censoring ‘inconvenient’ truth is alive and well right here in the good ol’ USofA. These readers reported that an internet search for 911truth.org, using Google’s search engine, no longer finds 911truth.org in the results!
Intrepid researchers that we are, we tried this for ourselves and, indeed, they’re right! Go ahead…try it. Enter “911truth.org” in a Google search bar and you’ll find, currently, the first entry in response is some unheard of site based in the country Nauru. (Nauru?, we asked ourselves, wondering how we could possibly have missed that in geography class. Wikipedia helped with that oversight. Ah, but, of course! It’s that 8.1 square mile phosphate rock island in Micronesia, whose government “has resorted to unusual measures to obtain income.” Briefly a tax haven and money laundering center, Nauru now houses a detention center for Australian asylum seekers.) Well, then–that explains it, eh?
So then, the site with the greatest number of hits which most closely matches the search string “911truth.org” is … not … 911truth.org? In fact, the main (index) page of 911truth.org isn’t even in the list generated by a Google search for ‘911truth.org’! A page from our site linking to the Chicago conference we hosted in June 2006 shows up.… Continue reading
‘A Coup Has Occurred’
By Daniel Ellsberg
September 26, 2007 (Text of a speech delivered September 20, 2007)
Consortium Editor’s Note: Daniel Ellsberg, the former
Defense Department analyst who leaked the secret Pentagon Papers history of
the Vietnam War, offered insights into the looming war with Iran and the loss
of liberty in the United States at an American University symposium on Sept.
Below is an edited transcript of Ellsberg’s remarkable speech:
I think nothing has higher priority than averting an attack on Iran, which
I think will be accompanied by a further change in our way of governing here
that in effect will convert us into what I would call a police state.
If there’s another 9/11 under this regime … it means that they
switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently
constructed, largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and known and
accepted by the Democratic people in Congress, by the Republicans and so forth.
Will there be anything left for NSA to increase its surveillance of us? …
They may be to the limit of their technical capability now, or they may not.
But if they’re not now they will be after another 9/11.
And I would say after the Iranian retaliation to an American attack on Iran,
you will then see an increased attack on Iran — an escalation —
which will be also accompanied by a total suppression of dissent in this country,
including… Continue reading
by Mitch Albom
Free Press Columnist
October 21, 2007
This should make you angrier than you have been over almost anything since
Sept. 11 — and that includes the war in Iraq.
A recent report showed that 75% of fake bombs or bomb parts got past Transportation
Security Administration security at Los Angeles International Airport and 60%
got past TSA screeners at Chicago’s O’Hare.
Those are two of the busiest airports in the world. Those are two of the juiciest
targets a terrorist could desire.
Seventy-five percent? Three out of four times? We are constantly hearing the
tired and misguided phrase “fight ‘em over there so we don’t have to fight
They needn’t bother with us over there. With a 75% chance of success, why would
they go anywhere BUT here?
The heart of the matter
Now, the reason this news should have you outraged — and more importantly,
why our president and his national security team should be outraged — is this
failure draws a straight line to the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and that
field in Pennsylvania six years ago.
Unlike Iraq, which had nothing to do with the actual explosions of Sept. 11,
airport security was at the heart of that tragedy. Tighter security, from passenger
identity to spotting box cutters, could have thwarted that day.
Can you imagine how our lives would be different if those 19 hijackers had
been stopped? Think about every security issue you now face in daily life, think
about the economic drain on this nation, think about the war, the lives lost,
the political hate, and all of it goes back to how those men got on those planes.…
The Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Retroactive immunity for telecom companies who engaged in illegal spying at the behest of the NSA is at the heart of a bill currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, even before having been officially introduced, is being hotly debated by bloggers, electronic privacy groups, and civil libertarians, as well as presidential contenders (CT Senator Chris Dodd has actually posted a petition at his election website, encouraging readers to support his threatened “hold” on the bill). We should compare the issues involved here with the retroactive immunity provided CIA interrogators in the September, 2006 Military Commissions Act, who could otherwise have been accused of war crimes.
Below, we direct readers to an important series of programs from PBS’ Frontline to help readers investigate the background of this issue, and a deeper consideration of some of what’s at stake in continually ceding power to a rogue Executive bent on dissolving the few civil liberties which currently remain untouched.
Lest readers be swayed by the Administration’s repeated argument that “9/11 makes this necessary,” the Rocky Mountain News reported (emphasis added) on October 11, 2007 that this spying was underway well before 9/11/01:
… Continue reading
“The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.
NY Times Op-Ed Contributor
By STUDS TERKEL
Published: October 29, 2007
EARLIER this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the White House agreed
to allow the executive branch to conduct dragnet interceptions of the electronic
communications of people in the United States. They also agreed to “immunize”
American telephone companies from lawsuits charging that after 9/11 some companies
collaborated with the government to violate the Constitution and existing federal
law. I am a plaintiff in one of those lawsuits, and I hope Congress thinks carefully
before denying me, and millions of other Americans, our day in court.
During my lifetime, there has been a sea change in the way that politically
active Americans view their relationship with government. In 1920, during my
youth, I recall the Palmer raids in which more than 10,000 people were rounded
up, most because they were members of particular labor unions or belonged to
groups that advocated change in American domestic or foreign policy. Unrestrained
surveillance was used to further the investigations leading to these detentions,
and the Bureau of Investigation — the forerunner to the F.B.I. —
eventually created a database on the activities of individuals. This activity
continued through the Red Scare of the period.
In the 1950s, during the sad period known as the McCarthy era, one’s
political beliefs again served as a rationale for government monitoring. Individual
corporations and entire industries were coerced by government leaders into informing
on individuals and barring their ability to earn a living.
I was among… Continue reading
UPDATE: Since this article was written, H.R. 1955 was passed in the House, by a vote of 404-3. Roll call posted at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll993.xml
October 25, 2007
By Col. Dan Smith
Congresswoman Jane Harman has introduced legislation–H.R. 1955: “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism”–that is expected to be referred to the House Rules Committee for assignment of floor time for debate by the House. This is a bill that is unneeded, unwise, and unfortunately will pass and be signed into law as it purports to be part of the response to 9/11 and the global war on terror.
At base, Harman’s proposal seems to be a direct attack on First Amendment rights. No where is this more clear than in the third introductory paragraph (the “where as” section) that provides the context for the action desired. Specifically, this legislation aims at the unregulated nature of the Internet:
“The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”
Moreover, Harman is telling the American public, citizens and permanent residents, that they are too dumb to recognize hate speech, demonizing rhetoric, and propaganda, and are so morally immature that they are not capable of knowing when to “blow off” terrorists and their messages designed to incite large scale insurrection
One also gets the impression that Harman believes that terrorist criminality has become so wide and the number of people… Continue reading
Posted on Oct 29, 2007
By Chris Hedges
A Dallas jury, a week ago, caused a mistrial in the government case against this country’s largest Islamic charity. The action raises a defiant fist on the sinking ship of American democracy.
If we lived in a state where due process and the rule of law could curb the despotism of the Bush administration, this mistrial might be counted a victory. But we do not. The jury may have rejected the federal government’s claim that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development funneled millions of dollars to Middle Eastern terrorists. It may have acquitted Mohammad el-Mezain, the former chairman of the foundation, of virtually all criminal charges related to funding terrorism (the jury deadlocked on one of the 32 charges against el-Mezain), and it may have deadlocked on the charges that had been lodged against four other former leaders of the charity, but don’t be fooled. This mistrial will do nothing to impede the administration’s ongoing contempt for the rule of law. It will do nothing to stop the curtailment of our civil liberties and rights. The grim march toward a police state continues.
Constitutional rights are minor inconveniences, noisome chatter, flies to be batted away on the steady road to despotism. And no one, not the courts, not the press, not the gutless Democratic opposition, not a compliant and passive citizenry hypnotized by tawdry television spectacles and celebrity gossip, seems capable of stopping the process. Those in power know this.… Continue reading
by Naomi Wolf
November 4, 2007
I have argued that in the closing stages of a ‘fascist shift’, events cascade. I am hearing about them, even across the globe. Here in Australia I hear from the nation’s best-know feminist activist, and former adviser to Paul Keating, Anne Summers, who was also at the time this took place Chair of the Board of Greenpeace International. Summers was detained by armed agents for FIVE HOURS each way in LAX on her way to and from the annual meeting of the board of Greenpeace International in Mexico, and her green card was taken away from her. ‘I want to call a lawyer’, she told TSA agents. ‘Ma’am, you do not have a right to call an attorney,’ they replied. ‘You have not entered the United States.’
Apparently a section of LAX just beyond the security line is asserted to be ‘not in the United States’ — though it is squarely inside the airport — so the laws of the US do not apply. (This assertion, by the way, should alarm any US citizen who is aware of how the White House argued that Guantánamo is not ‘in the United States’ – is a legal no-man’s land — so the laws of the US do not apply.) Toward the end of her second five-hour detention she asked, `Why am I being detained?’ `Lady, this is not detention,’ the TSA agent told her. `Detention is when I take you to the cells out… Continue reading
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
October 27, 2007
Americans had best rethink the “war on terror” while they still have
the liberty to do so. For all of President Bush’s blah-blah talk about bringing
democracy to the world, the Bush administration has proved that it is no friend
of liberty at home.
The Bush administration has violated constitutional principles, US law, and
the Geneva Conventions as no previous administration has done. Here is a short
list of the Bush administration’s crimes:
Spying without court warrants on Americans in violation of both the US Constitution
and the FISA statute.
The denial of habeas corpus, attorney-client privilege, due process, and Geneva
Conventions protections to those, American or foreign, designated without evidence
as terrorists or enemy combatants.
The justification and use of torture to coerce confessions and the kidnapping
of foreign nationals who are sent to be tortured in foreign prisons.
The initiation of military aggression against states based on intentional deception
by the Bush administration of the US public and the United Nations, and the
intentional fabrication of “evidence” to justify unprovoked aggression
against sovereign states, which is a war crime under the Nuremberg standard
established by the US.
Violation of the oath of office to defend the US Constitution by practically
every member of the Bush administration and Congress.
Bush has assaulted the separation of powers and the rule of law with “signing
statements” and “executive orders” that President Nixon’s White
House Counsel John Dean says are commands that treat the co-equal… Continue reading
Ministry of Mythinformation Blog
Concerning the graduated repression of the Nazi regime, the Reverend Martin Niemoller, in 1945, stated, to the effect:
First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
Though this quote has taken on many forms and endured several disputes, the ultimate interpretation stands. That silence about liberty infractions equals civil death.
Further, on the notion of leading the public headstrong into oblivion, the Nazis said it best:
“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia , nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany . That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Hermann Goering, 1946… Continue reading
According to Jessica Lee of Indypendent and Kamau Karl Franklin of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was penned with plenty of help from the RAND Corporation.
“Rep. Jane Harman, Democrat from California, has had a lengthy relationship with the Rand Corporation,” Lee tells Democracy Now, although she was unable to determine if RAND wrote the bill. On the 12th anniversary of the OKC bombing, Rep. Harman, as chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.
“The ‘Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007′ seeks to address the roots causes of radicalization, and would establish a grant program to provide funds to States to foster badly needed vertical information sharing from the Intelligence Community to the local level and from local sources to state and federal agencies,” explains Harman’s website. “It also creates a Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism to examine the social, criminal, political, psychological and economic roots of domestic terrorism and to propose solutions, and promotes international collaboration on strategies to combat radicalization.”
Franklin mentions Brian Michael Jenkins, an “expert” on “terrorism, counterinsurgency, and homeland security,” according to RAND. Jenkins is “someone who helped the United States in counterinsurgency measures in Vietnam,” states Franklin. “In addition to that, he wrote a book, and in his own book” Jenkins declared that “in their international campaign, the jihadists will seek common ground… Continue reading
December 27, 2007
By Paul Craig Roberts
"They’re locking them up today
They’re throwing away the key
I wonder who it’ll be tomorrow, you or me?"
The Red Telephone (LOVE, 1967)
At Christmas time it has been my habit to write a column in remembrance of
the many innocent people in prisons whose lives have been stolen by the US criminal
justice (sic) system that is as inhumane as it is indifferent to justice. Usually
I retell the cases of William Strong and Christophe Gaynor, two men framed in
the state of Virginia by prosecutors and judges as wicked and corrupt as any
who served Hitler or Stalin.
This year is different. All Americans are now imprisoned in a world of lies
and deception created by the Bush Regime and the two complicit parties of Congress,
by federal judges too timid or ignorant to recognize a rogue regime running
roughshod over the Constitution, by a bought and paid for media that serves
as propagandists for a regime of war criminals, and by a public who have forsaken
their Founding Fathers.
Americans are also imprisoned by fear, a false fear created by the hoax of
"terrorism." It has turned out that headline terrorist events since
9/11 have been orchestrated by the US government. For example, the alleged terrorist
plot to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower was the brainchild of a FBI agent who
searched out a few disaffected people to give lip service to the plot devised
by the FBI agent.… Continue reading