For Immediate Release
Contact: Ilan Kayatsky
212 367 7350
February 25, 2009
Washington, D.C. — Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY),
Peter King (R-NY), and Michael McMahon (D-NY) today hailed the House passage
of the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (H.R. 1105), which contains
$70 million in new funding for federal 9/11 health programs. The new funding,
combined with $112 million carried over from previous years, will cover the
World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program’s $182 million
estimated cost for FY 2009.
“The $70 million in this bill will ensure that the heroes of 9/11 can
get the care they need for another year,” Maloney said. “Once again,
I thank Chairman David Obey for helping fulfill our nation’s moral responsibility
to help those who are sick as a result of 9/11. With the support of President
Obama and Speaker Pelosi, we hope to pass comprehensive legislation this year
to provide long-term care and compensation to 9/11 responders, lower Manhattan
residents, and others in need.”
“With $70 million now approved in the Appropriations bill, the WTC Centers
of Excellence are guaranteed full funding for the rest of the year,” said
Rep. Nadler. “$182 million in federal funding for the WTC health program
will ensure that we can continue, without interruption, to monitor and treat
first responders and community members living with 9/11-related illnesses. Thanks
again to Congressman Obey for making sure this program will continue.”
“It’s been over seven years since the heroes of 9/11 were… Continue reading
We urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush Administration.
UPDATE 2/27/09 6pm: In response to the many email questions we’ve received asking why we have not endorsed this call for a Special Prosecutor: On 2/24, when this statement/petition was posted at AfterDowningStreet.org, 911truth.org immediately signed on as an endorsing organization via the signup at that site. As of now, our name does not appear on that list. Nonetheless, we did submit endorsement. We are not, yet, encouraging 9/11 truth advocates to politely contact David Swanson asking him why he would permanently post a video statement from Willie Rodriguez on the front page of his site, yet continue to ignore/ban the burgeoning 9/11 truth movement from being heard as the powerful voice we are, in calling for truth and accountability. We believe that Mr. Swanson is acting in good faith, all in all, and will post our endorsement with the others on the list shortly.
Our laws, and treaties that under Article VI of our Constitution are the supreme law of the land, require the prosecution of crimes that strong evidence suggests these individuals have committed. Both the former president and the former vice president have confessed to authorizing a torture procedure that is illegal under our law and treaty obligations.…Continue reading
By Peter Phillips
The Barack Obama administration is continuing the neo-conservative agenda of US military domination of the world–albeit with perhaps a kinder-gentler face. While overt torture is now forbidden for the CIA and Pentagon, and symbolic gestures like the closing of the Guantánamo prison are in evidence, a unilateral military dominance policy, expanding military budget, and wars of occupation and aggression will likely continue unabated.
The military expansionists from within the Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, G. W. Bush administrations put into place solid support for increased military spending. Clinton’s model of supporting the US military industrial complex held steady defense spending and increased foreign weapons sales from 16% of global orders to over 63% by the end of his administration.
The neo-conservatives, who dominated the most recent Bush administration, amplified this trend of increased military spending. The neo-cons laid out their agenda for military global dominance in the 2000 Project for a New American Century (PNAC) report Rebuilding America’s Defenses . The report called for the protection of the American Homeland, the ability to wage simultaneous theater wars, to perform global constabulary roles, and to control space and cyberspace. The report claimed that in order to maintain a Pax Americana , potential rivals–such as China, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea–needed to be held in check. This military global dominance agenda required forward deployment of US forces worldwide and increasing defense/war spending well into the 21st century. The result was a doubling of the US military budget to… Continue reading
Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has warned that the fear of
terrorism is being exploited by the Government to erode civil liberties and risks
creating a police state.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
17 Feb 2009
Dame Stella [who became the first woman director general of MI5 in 1992] accused
ministers of interfering with people’s privacy and playing straight into the
hands of terrorists.
“Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions
of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with
people’s privacy,” Dame Stella said in an interview with a Spanish
“It would be better that the Government recognised that there are risks,
rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict
civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in
fear and under a police state,” she said.
Dame Stella, 73, added: “The US has gone too far with Guantánamo
and the tortures. MI5 does not do that. Furthermore it has achieved the opposite
effect: there are more and more suicide terrorists finding a greater justification.”
She said the British secret services were “no angels” but insisted
they did not kill people.
Dame Stella became the first woman director general of MI5 in 1992 and was
head of the security agency until 1996. Since stepping down she has been a fierce
critic of some of the Government’s counter-terrorism and security measures,
especially those affecting… Continue reading
by Stephen C. Webster
February 12, 2009
Three major human rights organizations have declared the Department of Defense was running secret prisons at Bagram and in Iraq, actively sought ways around the terms of the Geneva conventions and cooperated with the CIA’s “ghost detention” program which saw prisoners hidden from Red Cross oversight.
The arrival of the documents comes on the same day the ACLU published two unredacted pages of a government report which reveals detainees in US custody were tortured to death.
“These newly released documents confirm our suspicion that the tentacles of the CIA’s abusive program reached across agency lines,” said Margaret Satterthwaite, Director of the NYU International Human Rights Clinic, in a Thursday advisory. “In fact, it is increasingly obvious that defense officials engaged in legal gymnastics to find ways to cooperate with the CIA’s activities. A full accounting of all agencies must now take place to ensure that future abuses don’t continue under a different guise.”
The papers, part of a volley of responses to Freedom of Information Act requests, were released by Amnesty International USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
“One heavily redacted page mentions (PDF, page 34) an ‘undisclosed detention facility’ at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan,” he noted.
“Another, dated May 2004,… Continue reading
For Immediate Release: February 4, 2009
Contacts: Jon Houston (Maloney), 202-225-7944
Ilan Kayatsky (Nadler), 212-367-7350
Carol Danko (King), 202-225-7896
Lauren Amendolara (McMahon), 202-225-8420
Washington, D.C. — Today, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), and Michael McMahon (D-NY) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to address the health crisis caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. H.R. 847, the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, would provide medical monitoring and treatment for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The bill would also provide compensation for economic losses due to illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks.
The previous version of the bill was set to be considered by the House last fall but because of the financial crisis and other factors, it had to be delayed. The Members of Congress are hopeful that the bill will have strong bipartisan support when it is voted on by the House in the coming months. In addition, during his presidential campaign President Barack Obama signaled his strong support for helping the heroes and heroines of 9/11.
“Thousands lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, but in the years that followed thousands more lost their health. This bill provides proper care to those who are suffering and demonstrates that America will not abandon its first responders and all those affected,” Rep. Maloney said. “I thank Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues in the New York delegation for their dedication to fulfilling America’s moral responsibility to… Continue reading
by Leo Standora
NY Daily News
February 5th 2009
Many Sept. 11 first responders – most of them cops, firemen and construction workers who took ill after working at Ground Zero – suffered
lung problems more than five years later, according to a new study.
Experts say findings by Mount Sinai Medical
Center‘s medical monitoring program prove those exposed to toxic dust in the twin towers’ collapse suffer persistent illnesses, ranging
from asthma to reactive airway disease and shortness of breath.
The study could help experts who have long been struggling to set standards for defining a post-Sept. 11 illness and how long it takes
The monitoring program examined more than 3,160 WTC responders between 2004 and 2007, repeating exams conducted between the middle of
2002 and 2004.
Slightly more than 24% of those examined had abnormal lung function, the study found.
In the earlier examinations, about 28% of the patients had had similar results.
“We know people we are following are still sick. It’s confirming what we’ve been seeing clinically,” said
Dr. Jacqueline Moline, who treats ailing responders and
is a co-author of the study.
The growing medical fallout from the WTC attacks was the focus of the Daily News Editorial Board’s groundbreaking editorial series,
“9/11: The Forgotten Victims,” that won the Pulitzer
Prize in 2007.
For Immediate Release
February 10, 2009
September 11th Advocates
Statement Regarding Guantánamo Quagmire and Accountability
February 10, 2009
The Military Commissions System at Guantánamo Bay was an attempt by the Bush Administration to create an “extralegal zone”, wherein the rule of law was ignored. Many Guantánamo detainees were subject to detention without charges, rendition and illegal torture. The Military Commissions System, which allowed evidence obtained through torture and coercive interrogation tactics, has been a dismal failure both legally and practically. The Supreme Court has rejected the policies of this system each time it has reviewed them. Because of the Bush Administration’s mistaken belief in its ability to craft a new legal system, which clearly created avoidable moral and legal challenges, justice may never be served.
President Obama has paused all proceedings at Guantánamo Bay for 120 days in order for his legal team to attempt to design a system in which the verdicts will withstand the scrutiny of the inevitable appeals process. He is rightfully attempting to fix the quagmire that was created by the previous administration.
If, ultimately, the detainees held at Guantánamo Bay are unable to be properly prosecuted because of the fatal flaws in the system, then those in the Bush Administration who were responsible for creating that failed system should be held accountable.
# # #
Lorie Van Auken
Additionally, please see earlier statements.
For immediate release
January 23, 2009
September 11th Advocates
Statement Regarding the Closing of Guantánamo Bay… Continue reading
WeAreChange would like to recognize the leadership of George Martin, NFL star and SuperBowl Champion with the NY Giants in 1987. George raised over two million dollars for the first responders of 9/11, raising money and awareness by walking all the way across the country, from New York to California. See http://www.ajourneyfor911.info
WeAreChange also caught up with some of the SuperBowl Champs from 2008. On the video is the messages they had for the first responders. As we watch another SuperBowl pass let’s remember who the real heroes in our country are, and how badly they’re in need.
Support H.R. 7174 (James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act)
Visit www.fealgoodfoundation.com for updates on this bill as it’s introduced into the current Congress (with a new bill number). [911Truth.org will also post this information as soon as we learn details.]
January 23, 2009
By Michael Doyle
WASHINGTON — One curious soul on Feb. 8, 2001, filed a Freedom of Information
Act request with the State Department.
He or she is still awaiting a reply.
Nearly eight years have passed, making the early 2001 search for information
one of the State Department’s 10 oldest pending FOIA requests. While extreme,
it also reflects how information flow slowed markedly during the Bush administration.
“In the past, it’s been difficult even for a public agency like ourselves
to obtain information that affects our operations,” Tom Birmingham, general
manager of the Westlands Water District in Fresno, Calif., said on Friday.
As one of his first acts, President Barack Obama issued an order reversing
his predecessor’s approach toward the release of government documents. Scholars,
journalists, farmers and the simply curious now await the reopening of federal
information taps tightened since 2001.
In fiscal 2007, for instance, the Defense Department completely granted approximately
48 percent of the FOIA requests it processed. In fiscal 1998, by contrast, the
Clinton administration’s Defense Department completely granted approximately
61 percent of FOIA requests.
The Pentagon was not alone, a review of federal agency reports shows. Percentages
are approximate, because of how the reports are compiled, but trends are obvious.
The Interior Department completely granted approximately 64 percent of FOIA
requests processed in 1998 but only 47 percent in 2007. The State Department
completely granted 28 percent of FOIA requests processed in 1998, compared with
9 percent in 1998.
Other federal agencies, though not all, likewise lessened access to information
during the Bush administration, the review of public records reveals.…
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday January 21, 2009
Former National Security Agency analyst Russell Tice, who helped expose the
NSA’s warrantless wiretapping in December 2005, has now come forward with even
more startling allegations. Tice told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Wednesday that
the programs that spied on Americans were not only much broader than previously
acknowledged but specifically targeted journalists.
“The National Security Agency had access to all Americans’ communications — faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications,” Tice claimed. “It didn’t matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.”
Tice further explained that “even for the NSA it’s impossible to literally collect all communications. … What was done was sort of an ability to look at the metadata … and ferret that information to determine what communications would ultimately be collected.”
According to Tice, in addition to this “low-tech, dragnet” approach, the NSA also had the ability to hone in on specific groups, and that was the aspect he himself was involved with. However, even within the NSA there was a cover story meant to prevent people like Tice from realizing what they were doing.
“In one of the operations that I was in, we looked at organizations, just supposedly so that we would not target them,” Tice told Olbermann. “What I was finding out, though, is… Continue reading
January 21, 2009
by Philippe Naughton
Barack Obama has wasted no time in getting down to the business of government,
asking prosecutors to halt controversial military trials at Guantánamo Bay within
hours of his inauguration.
The request was issued via the Department of Defence even as President Obama
and his wife Michelle waltzed their way through a series of glitzy inaugural
Mr Obama pledged during his campaign to close the prison camp on Cuba set up
in 2001 to hold detainees from the ‘War on Terror’. The camp’s legality has
always been questioned, and former inmates and human rights experts said the
harsh interrogation techniques deployed inside it amounted to torture.
Last night’s request was for a 120-day stay in the trials of five alleged 9/11
plotters – including the self-proclaimed ‘mastermind’ behind America’s worst
terror attack – and of a Canadian accused of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan.
Mr Obama had been expected to issue an executive order as early as today for
the full closure of the camp, but accepts that it might take months to rehouse
some 250 inmates still held there.
Clive Stafford Smith, the British human rights lawyer who has represented Guantánamo
Bay suspects, welcomed the announcement and said that he thought Mr Obama could
close the camp within his first 100 days in office.
“It’s great isn’t it? It isn’t much like the original
executive order that President Bush issued,” he said. “There is
no doubt it will stop the practices… Continue reading
What Obama Must Do A Letter to the New President
Dear Mr. President:
Like FDR three-quarters of a century ago, you’re taking charge at a moment when all the old certainties have vanished, all the conventional wisdom been proved wrong. We’re not living in a world you or anyone else expected to see. Many presidents have to deal with crises, but very few have been forced to deal from Day One with a crisis on the scale America now faces.
So, what should you do?
In this letter I won’t try to offer advice about everything. For the most part I’ll stick to economics, or matters that bear on economics. I’ll also focus on things I think you can or should achieve in your first year in office. The extent to which your administration succeeds or fails will depend, to a large extent, on what happens in the first year — and above all, on whether you manage to get a grip on the current economic crisis.
There is, however, one area where I feel the need to break discipline. I’m an economist, but I’m also an American citizen — and like many citizens, I spent the past eight years watching in horror as the Bush administration betrayed the nation’s ideals. And I don’t believe we can put those terrible years behind us unless we have a full accounting of what really happened. I know that most of the inside-the-Beltway crowd is urging you to let bygones be bygones, just as they urged Bill Clinton to let the truth about scandals from the Reagan-Bush years, in particular the Iran-Contra affair, remain hidden.…Continue reading
Published: Saturday January 17, 2009
WASHINGTON (AFP) – A 45-year-old man who died of cancer due to breathing
in toxic dust following the collapse of the World Trade Center on September
11, 2001 has become the latest addition to the attacks’ overall toll.
Leon Bernard Heyward, 45, died on October 18, 2008 from "lymphoma complicating
sarcoidosis," bringing the overall death toll from the attacks to 2,752,
the New York City medical examiner’s office said.
Heyward’s is the second name to be added to the list in the years following
the attacks. Officials in May 2007 also linked the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones
five years earlier to dust she inhaled at the World Trade Center site.
The cause of death for all the official victims of the attacks is homicide,
said medical examiner’s spokeswoman Ellen Borakove.
"We are not saying that other people are linked or not linked," said
Borakove, referring to the hundreds of other emergency personnel stricken with
health problems from working at the collapse site in the weeks and months after
"In order to be classified as a homicide the person had to have been there
at the time the towers collapsed … not just subsequently working there,"
By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantánamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.”
“We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,” said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case” for prosecution.
Crawford, a retired judge who served as general counsel for the Army during the Reagan administration and as Pentagon inspector general when Dick Cheney was secretary of defense, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantánamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.
Crawford, 61, said the combination of the interrogation techniques, their duration and the impact on Qahtani’s health led to her conclusion. “The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his… Continue reading
Saturday January 10, 2009
One of the many sad ironies of the Bush era that is rapidly and mercifully drawing to a close is that after the president created a “central front in the war on terror” by invading Iraq, the amount of “terrorism” in the world skyrocketed. I call it the Bush Bubble:
At first, the administration seemed a little embarrassed by this result, and it engaged in various attempts, which I’ve documented over the years and summarized here, at disguising the increase. Interestingly, the public face for many of those shenanigans was John Brennan, formerly head of the National Counterterrorism Center and currently Obama’s transition intelligence adviser and pick for the newly created position of deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism.
In July 2005, announcing a new web-accessible database of terrorism incidents compiled by the RAND corporation and available at tkb.org, Brennan said, “We’re trying to be as open and transparent to the public as possible.”
That lasted a little over two years. Funding was withdrawn from the project on March 31, 2008, probably because people like me were using the analytical tools on the site to produce embarrassing graphs like the one above. Note that the data used in that graph was accessed a couple of months before the site’s demise, and the decrease shown for 2007 may reflect incomplete data. The government’s own figures, put out by the National Counterterrorism Center but going back only to 2004, show an increase in… Continue reading
Among the men about to undergo military trials at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba,
is the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind.
By Peter Finn
Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The military judge overseeing proceedings against five of the men accused of
planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks signed an order designed to protect classified
information that is so broad it could prevent public scrutiny of the most important
trial at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, according to lawyers and human rights groups.
The protective order, which was signed on Dec. 18 by Judge Stephen R. Henley,
an Army colonel, not only protects documents and information that have been
classified by intelligence agencies, it also presumptively classifies any information
"referring" to a host of agencies, including the CIA, the FBI and
the State Department. The order also allows the court in certain circumstances
to classify information already in the public domain and presumptively classifies
"any statements made by the accused."
Three of the accused, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed
mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, are defending themselves and, under the order,
anything they say during the course of the trial could be shielded from the
"These rules turn the presumption of openness on its head, making what
is perhaps the most important trial in American history presumptively closed
to the public and the press," said Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism
counsel at Human Rights Watch. "If these rules applied in all cases, there
would be no such thing as an open trial in… Continue reading
by Peter Dale Scott
January 7, 2009
Paulson’s Financial Bailout
It is becoming clear that the bailout measures of late 2008 may have consequences at least as grave for an open society as the response to 9/11 in 2001. Many members of Congress felt coerced into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with.
The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency. But one of the most reprehensible features of the legislation, that it allowed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to permit bailed-out institutions to use public money for exorbitant salaries and bonuses, was inserted by Paulson after the immediate crisis had passed.
According to Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) the bailout bill originally called for a cap on executive salaries, but Paulson changed the requirement at the last minute. Welch and other members of Congress were enraged by “news that banks getting taxpayer-funded bailouts are still paying exorbitant salaries, bonuses, and other benefits.”1 In addition, as AP reported in October, “Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. questioned allowing banks that accept bailout bucks to continue paying dividends on their common stock. `There are far better uses of taxpayer dollars than continuing dividend payments to shareholders,” he said.”2
Even more reprehensible is the fact that since the bailouts, Paulson and the Treasury Department have refused to provide details of the Troubled Assets Relief Program spending of hundreds of billions of dollars, while the New York Federal Reserve has… Continue reading