by Kenneth J. Theisen
28 March 2009
President Barack Obama continued with his latest escalation of the war in Afghanistan
by announcing his plans to send an additional 4,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan
to train Afghan government puppet forces. He also announced plans to send hundreds
of diplomats and civilian officials to the country, in what Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton called an “integrated military-civilian strategy”.
Like his predecessor George W. Bush, Obama raised the specter of “terrorism”
to justify his actions.
Obama stated that, “If the Afghanistan government falls to the Taliban
or allows al-Qaida to go unchallenged, that country will again be a base for
terrorists.” Obama warned that the al-Qaida “terrorists” were
actively planning further attacks on the U.S. from havens in Pakistan. He stated,
“So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and
focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan,
and to prevent their return to either country in the future.” He went on
to claim, “That is the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that
could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the
same: we will defeat you.” Does this sound a little too much like Bush’s
excuse for the initial invasion in 2001? I was waiting to hear Obama say, “bring
This latest escalation builds on Obama’s previously announced plan to
send 17,000 troops to that war-torn country. President George… Continue reading
This week marks the beginning of the 7th year of the US war on Iraq, we’re 7-1/2 years into bombing Afghanistan, with 17,000+ more troops now headed that way thanks to the changes wrought by a new administration, and we now have US drones bombing Pakistanis at an increased rate …America is outraged, OUTRAGED, that AIG execs got $159 million (or is it now $200+ million?) of our money. Where is the outrage over the fact that we’re still spending $720 million EVERY DAY on this continuing illegal occupation of Iraq? Condoleezza Rice is again spewing nonsense : “We never tried to tie Saddam Hussein to 9/11.” W. is on the speaking circuit (yes, seriously!) talking about his “momentous” years in the Oval Office while hundreds outside the Calgary Chamber of Commerce demand his arrest as a war criminal. Cheney is still declaring victory in Iraq and proclaiming the economy is crashing because “stuff happens .”
And while these “leaders” spin in circles convincing us it’s all necessary and for the good, soldiers and civilians keep dying, keep being wounded, keep losing their homes and any semblance of a life they remember, and ultimately, keep losing hope that this will ever end. In fact, American soldiers are losing all hope to the point they’re killing themselves (and others) in greater numbers than ever. At this point, more soldiers are committing suicide than are being killed in battle (see article below that generated this passionate outcry).
Last… Continue reading
An Open Letter to the Peace/Anti-War Movement from Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans For Peace
After six years of war and the historic election of a new President, we as
veterans, military and Gold Star families felt an urgent need to reach out to
the larger peace/anti-war movements to make our position on Iraq clear during
this time of political and economic uncertainty. Iraq Veterans Against the War,
Military Families Speak Out and Veterans For Peace continue to stand together
in our demand to Bring the Troops Home Now! We ask all those who have stood
with us in the past to stay faithful to the cause.
President Obama has announced a plan to gradually reduce troop levels in Iraq.
Many in the peace/anti-war movements are breathing a sigh of relief, and suggesting
that it is time for us to scale back our efforts to bring an end to the occupation
of Iraq. But for our troops on the ground, their families and the Iraqi people,
the nightmare continues. They need all of us to stay in the struggle. IVAW,
MFSO and VFP have been long united in our call for an immediate and complete
end to the occupation of Iraq and will not shift our stance under any circumstances.
President Obama’s plan will result in more casualties and suffering for U.S.
troops, their families and Iraqis. To the American public facing hard times
here at home, two and a half more years of… Continue reading
Charlie Giles and his family need our help. Charlie has been a huge advocate for the 9/11 First Responders. As a member of the FealGood Foundation, Charlie was not allowed to receive any assistance from the organization because it would have been seen as a conflict of interest. Sadly, and appropriately, the FealGood Foundation asked Charlie to resign so that he now can get help. John Feal released this statement:
Today the Fealgood Foundation lost board member Charlie Giles to his financial crisis. Charlie, a 9/11 responder who was seriously affected by 9/11, was told he won his workmens comp case last week and received an award letter in the mail. His lump sum settlement would have been $40,000 plus payments every 2 weeks. The insurance company now has appealed it, and has left this hero with an eviction notice from his apartment which he moved into after losing his house last year. Charlie was asked to resign from the board because none of my board members can receive charity or any monies while sitting on the FGF board. But, like the 500-plus clients and thousands we advocate for, I implore all you great Americans to please help us help Charlie, his wife and 2 daughters. The madness, the sadness and the injustice continues for brave souls who risked their own health for America 7.5 years ago.
Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure – Abraham Lincoln
Peace & Love
Please help… Continue reading
by Andy Worthington
4 March 2009
Andy Worthington, London-based journalist and author of “The Guantánamo
Files” (Pluto Press), has released the first definitive list of the 779
prisoners held in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The list, which is the result of three years’ research and writing about Guantánamo,
provides details of the 533 prisoners who have been released, and includes,
for the first time ever, accurate dates for their release. It also provides
details of the 241 prisoners who are still held, including the 59 prisoners
who have been cleared for release. Although some stories are still unknown,
the stories of nearly 700 prisoners are referenced either by links to Andy’s
extensive archive of articles about Guantánamo, or to the chapters in
“The Guantánamo Files” where they can be found.
Andy Worthington says:
“It is my hope that this project will provide an invaluable research
tool for those seeking to understand how it came to pass that the government
of the United States turned its back on domestic and international law, establishing
torture as official US policy, and holding men without charge or trial neither
as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects
to be put forward for trial in a federal court, but as ‘illegal enemy
“I also hope that it provides a compelling explanation of how that same
government, under the leadership of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld,
established a prison in which the overwhelming… Continue reading
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 that… 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