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Accountability

Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War

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

Why we must prosecute Bush and his administration for war crimes

It’s not about them–it’s about us

December 15, 2008
by Mike Ferner
MikeFerner.org

During the rush to get the Nuremberg Tribunals underway, the Soviet delegation wanted the tribunal’s historic decisions to have legitimacy only for the Nazis. U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Robert Jackson, serving as the chief prosecutor for the Allies, strong-armed the Soviets until the very beginning of the tribunal before changing their minds.

In his opening statement Jackson very purposely stipulated, “…Let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.”

Can there be a better reason for prosecuting George Bush and his administration for war crimes than those words from the chief prosecutor of the Nazis, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, with the full support of the U.S. government? Robert Jackson’s words and the values this nation claims to stand for provide sufficient moral basis for putting Bush and Cheney, their underlings who implemented their policies and the perverted legal minds who justified them all in the dock. If those are not sufficient reasons, there is a long list of binding law and treaties — written in black and white in surprisingly plain English.

Bush imagined, and his attorneys advised, that he could simply wave aside these laws with “they don’t apply.” Imagine how a judge would treat even a simple traffic court defendant who… Continue reading

Seeking Integrity at the CIA

By Ray McGovern

The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) must be a person whose previous professional performance has been distinguished by unimpeachable integrity and independence. The director must have the courage of his or her own convictions.

Without integrity and courage, all virtue is specious, and no amount of structural or organizational reform will make any difference.

Though a 2004 law gave most of the DCI’s intelligence community-wide authority to the new position of Director of National Intelligence — after the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks and after the false intelligence analysis on Iraq’s WMDs — the same principles regarding integrity and courage apply to the DNI.

Instructive lessons can be drawn from the performance of George Tenet, the sixteenth CIA director since the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947, and from his predecessors regarding what attributes a director needs to discharge the duties of the office as the National Security Act of 1947 intended.

Show Editor’s Notes »

Consortiumnews.com Editor’s Note:
An underlying factor in the national security crises confronting the United States has been the corruption of the U.S. intelligence process, with analyses tailored to fit the desires of the policymakers and with laws bent to permit torture and other abuses.In this guest essay, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects on what went wrong and what now needs to go right.


911truth.org Editor’s Note:
Ray McGovern is now a regular guest on “Tell Somebody,” hosted by Tom Klammer, broadcasting Tuesday evenings from 6-7pm CENTRAL time.… Continue reading

The NIST WTC 7 Report: Bush Science reaches its peak

by Cover image of the NIST Final Report - WTC7Kevin R. Ryan

In a famous book by Antoine de Saint Exupery, a little prince from another planet asks the narrator to draw a sheep. After several unsatisfactory attempts, the narrator simply draws a box and tells the little prince that the sheep is in the box. The little prince then exclaims — “That is exactly the way I wanted it!” 1

Just so, the Bush Administration asked its scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for an explanation as to what happened at the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11. In response to this request, NIST drew up a series of fanciful stories over a period of years, each story differing from the previous one. Finally, after seven long years, NIST published its last story for WTC 7 by simply saying, in effect: “The explanation is in our computer.” 2

As expected, however, this explanation in a box leaves much to be desired for those of us who prefer to live in reality, instead of in a fictional world. On the other hand, we are learning something from NIST with this new report, and that is that when government scientists begin working for a political agenda above all else, there is no limit to the extent of deception that they will engage in. We also know that those who have produced the NIST WTC reports must now assume personal responsibility for the ongoing 9/11 Wars, and the millions of deaths that will result from those wars.…

Continue reading

9/11 Victims Target Saudis With Deep State Ties

by P. Devlin Buckley
September 5, 2008
The American Monitor

Law firms representing victims of the 9/11 attacks in an ongoing legal dispute with wealthy Saudis suspected of financing al-Qaeda have recently turned their attention to two individuals with unique ties to the U.S. government.

Lawyers for victims of the attacks, as well as insurance companies of property owners in New York, have filed a motion of discovery in federal district court in Manhattan targeting the Saudi-owned National Commercial Bank (NCB) and two of its former executives, Khalid bin Mahfouz and Yassin al-Qadi.

Both Mahfouz and al-Qadi have a murky history that includes alleged ties to the CIA, the White House, the Bush family, al-Qaeda, and organized crime on a global scale.

The discovery motion, if granted, would advance the case by requiring both sides to disclose and exchange all available pertinent facts regarding the defendants. The motion comes just days after a circuit court ruled members of the Saudi government are immune from terrorism lawsuits in the United States, a setback in the plaintiffs’ case against Saudis suspected of financing al-Qaeda in the years leading up to 9/11. There are some defendants, however, the ruling does not protect, including Khalid bin Mahfouz, Yassin al-Qadi, and the NCB.

Government documents, expert testimony, and media reports dating back several years suggest Mahfouz and al-Qadi have raised millions of dollars for al-Qaeda and other militant groups. Evidence indicates some of the defendants’ activities were sanctioned by the U.S. government.

During the late… Continue reading

‘Debunking NIST’s Conclusions About WTC 7 is as Easy as Shooting Fish in a Barrel’ and other Responses to 8/21/08 NIST Briefing on WTC7

Debunking NIST’s conclusions about WTC 7 is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel
By George Washington

Symmetrical Collapse

NIST lamely tried to explain the symmetrically (sic) collapse as follows:

WTC 7′s collapse, viewed from the exterior (most videos were taken from the north), did appear to fall almost uniformly as a single unit. This occurred because the interior failures that took place did not cause the exterior framing to fail until the final stages of the building collapse. The interior floor framing and columns collapsed downward and pulled away from the exterior frame. There were clues that internal damage was taking place, prior to the downward movement of the exterior frame, such as when the east penthouse fell downward into the building and windows broke out on the north face at the ends of the building core. The symmetric appearance of the downward fall of the WTC 7 was primarily due to the greater stiffness and strength of its exterior frame relative to the interior framing.

NIST can’t have it both ways. If the exterior frame was so stiff and strong, then it should have stopped the collapse, or – at the very least – we would have seen a bowing effect where tremendous opposing forces were battling each other for dominance in determining the direction of the fall. See also this .

In real life, the thick structural beams and “stiff [and strong]” exterior frame used in the building should have quickly stopped any partial collapse, unless… Continue reading

More on Impeachment today…

Email from Rep. Robert Wexler, FL

Capitol Hill is buzzing today with major developments regarding our campaign for impeachment hearings for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Just today, in what could be described as a perfect impeachment storm:

• Karl Rove once again thumbed his nose at Congress and the American people by brazenly ignoring a lawful congressional subpoena to testify before the House of Representatives;

• Judiciary Chairman John Conyers indicated his willingness to use the power of inherent contempt against Rove if necessary;

• Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced another article of impeachment on Bush’s lies regarding the Iraq war; and

• Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quoted today saying that the House Judiciary Committee should address the issues that Kucinich raises in the House Judiciary Committee.

After years of work by so many of you, the time appears ripe to finally hold Bush and Cheney accountable.

Conyers Opens Door to Inherent Contempt for Rove

Karl Rove has simply refused to appear, as he is legally required to do. His actions, endorsed by the Bush/Cheney Administration, are a challenge to our system of checks and balances and Congress must respond to this type of outrageous behavior with appropriate severity.

Today, Judiciary Chairman John Conyers courageously stated today that inherent contempt will remain an option for the House of Representatives so long as Rove and this Administration refuses to abide by the law.

We must now bring Mr. Rove (and other renegade Bush officials) in compliance with… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds vs. the Nuclear Terrorists

Intro, continued: Scott Horton, of AntiwarRadio.com, interviewed Sibel Edmonds and the blogger who’s long covered her important case (which the corporate media still refuses to touch), Luke Ryland, to shine some light on what might be happening here. Again, Congress refuses to hold hearings, and hold anyone to account. This interview reviews some of the information that’s come to light in Sibel’s 6-year case, as well as the utter lack of action by Congress with regard to the entire network of whistleblowers with whom she’s associated.

Sibel on Congress: “What happened to all those promises you made? All the promises they made, none of them were fulfilled! They may look like champions, but all we have gotten with people like Chairman Waxman and Chairman Conyers is all barking … as soon as the issue dies down in the media, they just go away. They don’t do anything. They haven’t brought about any type of accountability, any type of meaningful hearings … nothing that in any way would bring with it type of accountability or further action, and they do have the power. … (Before, the blamed the Republicans) now we see that with the Democrats across the House, like Pelosi. … If the mainstream media were to do their job that would create the necessary pressure on Congress so that Congress would do what it’s supposed to do; it’s not doing favors, it’s basically fulfilling their obligation to the American public. This is why we are in this sorry… Continue reading

FBI terrorism units badly run, understaffed: agent

Wed May 21, 2008 8:57pm EDT

By Randall Mikkelsen

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2143598920080522

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI counterterrorism units are dangerously ill-equipped and barely 60 percent of the supervisory positions in the division that tracks al Qaeda were filled as of March, a bureau agent told Congress on Wednesday.

Bassem Youssef told a congressional hearing that the bureau has failed to recruit, retain and promote experienced personnel and experts in Arabic culture and language.

The shortfall has contributed to problems such as the improper use of FBI demands for personal and business records, said Youssef, who helped uncover the abuse.

Youssef, who was born in Egypt, has also sued the FBI alleging discrimination because of his race and ancestry.

“The FBI’s counterterrorism division is ill-equipped to handle the terrorism problems we’re facing,” said Youssef, a 20-year veteran who investigated bombings in 1993 at the World Trade Center and in 1996 at the Khobar Towers residence at a U.S. military base in Saudi Arabia.

Asked how much use the FBI had made of his own experience, he replied, “The bureau used my background and experience very extensively — up to September 11.”

Youssef, who heads the FBI counterterrorism division’s communications analysis unit, attributed the shift to a name mix-up with another agent, discrimination and cultural ignorance.

Members of the House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism urged the bureau to revise an “up or out” policy that makes supervisors move from the field to Washington headquarters after five years, or take a demotion or retire.…

Continue reading

FBI Whistleblower to Testify on Mistakes Inside Counterterrorism Program

MEDIA ADVISORY

UPDATE: Watch this hearing online–Mr. Youssef’s testimony will shed light on significant problems in the FBI’s Counterterrorism program, and I urge everyone who can to attend this hearing (details below). For those who are not in Washington, you can watch a live webcast of the proceedings on the House Judiciary Committee website. Click here to visit their webpage and then click “View Live Webcast.”

FBI WHISTLEBLOWER TO TESTIFY ON MISTAKES INSIDE COUNTERTERRORISM PROGRAM

Unit Chief to disclose shortfalls in war on terror

WHAT: FBI Whistleblower and Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef testifying before Congress

WHEN: Wednesday, May 21, 1:30 p.m. EDT

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2141

Washington, D.C. — FBI Counterterrorism Whistleblower Bassem Youssef will testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

During the oversight hearing, titled On The FBI Whistleblowers: Exposing Corruption and Retaliation Inside the Bureau, Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef will for the first time alert Congress and the American people to the grave deficiencies within the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division since 9/11.

It is expected that Youssef’s testimony will include previously undisclosed information.

Youssef is the Unit Chief of the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit. He is the highest-ranking Arab-American agent in the Counterterrorism Division, and the highest-ranking fluent Arabic speaker. In 1994, he earned the Intelligence Community’s prestigious and coveted award, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, awarded by the Director of Central Intelligence. The award was for outstanding accomplishments in a terrorism case involving an al-Qaeda-related investigation.… Continue reading

House Passes Surveillance Bill with No Telecom Immunity

EFF Applauds House Passage of Surveillance Bill with No Telecom Immunity Bill Would Allow Spying Cases to Proceed Fairly and Securely

Washington, D.C. – This morning the House of Representatives passed a compromise surveillance bill that does not include retroactive immunity for phone companies alleged to have assisted in the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. The bill would allow lawsuits like the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s case against AT&T to proceed while providing specific security procedures allowing the telecom giants to defend themselves in court.

The House bill succeeded 213 to 197 despite the president’s threat to veto any bill that does not include immunity.

“We applaud the House for refusing to grant amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms, and for passing a bill that would allow our lawsuit against AT&T to proceed fairly and securely,” said Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. “Amnesty proponents have been claiming on the Hill for months that phone companies like AT&T had a good faith belief that the NSA program was legal. Under this bill, the companies could do what they should have been able to do all along: tell that story to a judge.”

The Senate is expected to consider the House bill when it returns from recess on Monday, March 31. House and Senate staff are expected to spend much of the break negotiating over differences between the new House bill and a previous Senate bill that includes immunity provisions.

“This newly-passed House bill represents a true compromise on the amnesty issue:… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds Must be Heard

by Philip Giraldi

Sibel Edmonds is the FBI translator turned whistleblower who decided to go public late in 2002 and has been seeking to tell her story about high level corruption in the United States government involving Turkey and Israel. What makes her story particularly compelling is that the corruption relates to the theft and sale of United States defense secrets, most particularly nuclear technology. Sibel obtained her information while translating Turkish language telephone intercepts directed against several Turkish lobbying groups who had contact with senior officials in the Bush Administration, both at the Pentagon and in the State Department. Many of the officials involved are apparently the same neoconservatives who cooked the books to enable the rush to war against Iraq and who are continuing to urge more wars in the Middle East, most notably against Iran and Syria. Several of them are close allies of leading Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

To stop Sibel from telling her story, then Attorney General John Ashcroft subjected her to a state secrets privilege gag order after her appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes in October 2002 that not only forbade her providing details of her employment with FBI but also made the ban retroactive so that anything relating to her case would be considered a state secret. Edmonds had been discouraged by her experience with CBS as her most important points wound up on the cutting room floor. Then came the gag order, which she has observed while working assiduously to get… Continue reading

What Happened on 9-11? Scott Ritter, Former U.N. Weapons Inspector, Says “Absolute Requirement to Know What Happened on 9-11”

By Jason Charles
TruthAlliance.net

In his usual form, former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter told a packed crowd at the Oriental Theater in Denver to stop whining about corporate media and become their own intelligence operatives. We the people have the same resources and tools that intelligence networks rely heavily on; it’s called “Google” he said.

In his hilarious analogy, the American people like baby birds wait each night in front of their television sets for the corporate news bird to land in their living room and lovingly puke down our necks with that day’s regurgitated news. Suggesting that as our own intelligence operatives we can’t allow CNN, FOX, NBC, and ABC to edit and cherry pick information, but ask questions and find the answers ourselves.

In that vein TruthAlliance.net Editor Jason Charles had a few questions for Mr. Ritter which he graciously allowed us to film. We explored 3 topics, if the Bush admin got its way in the mid-east what would it look like, how can these dis-separate yet justice driven revolutions in America unite, and his amazing thoughts on a new, fully empowered investigation into the cause of 9-11.

He asked, “Did Bush and Cheney Plan the demise of the building? Was this a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda? Or was it something in between? Well frankly we don’t know.” How important is this to establishing justice? Mr. Ritter seems to think it is an “absolute requirement to know what happened on 9-11.”

http://truthalliance.net/News/Vault/tabid/67/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/416/Default.aspx

Another Take on The Torture Tapes

Torture tapes

by Joseph Cannon, Monday, December 10, 2007*

When the CIA tells you that a piece of evidence has been destroyed, you should react as skeptically as you would to the death of a Marvel supervillain.

As you know, CIA Deputy Director of Operations Jose Rodriguez reportedly made the decision to destroy tapes of prisoner interrogation, allegedly to protect the identities of the interrogators. This action, we are told, ran contrary to the wishes of Porter Goss, who then ran the Agency.

 

Editor’s Note:

Joseph Cannon in his blog of Dec. 10 recalls how past CIA claims of lost evidence later turned out to be untrue: “When the CIA tells you that a piece of evidence has been destroyed, you should react as skeptically as you would to the death of a Marvel supervillain.”

One certainty is that the CIA lied, either when it told the 9/11 Commission that tapes of certain interrogations were never made, or else in its current claim that such tapes did exist but have been destroyed. This serves to underline the absurdity of accepting any CIA statements, any at all, especially about 9/11. By extension, the 9/11 Commission is yet again tainted for using the CIA’s prisoner “transcripts” uncritically as a main source in its report; whether out of cynicism or unforgivable naivete is irrelevant.

It’s near impossible to tell on how many levels the CIA can be (and probably is) lying about the torture tapes. They may be lying about having certain… Continue reading

National Lawyers Guild Unanimously Passes Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

The National Lawyers Guild on Friday unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
 

Editor’s Note:
At the National Lawyers Guild 70th Anniversary Law for the People Convention, being held October 31 – November 4 in Washington DC, the membership “unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.” While alleged crimes relating to 9/11/01 are inexplicably omitted from the points of this resolution, it is nonetheless an extremely significant undertaking, including powerful implementation resolutions to demand investigation, support and work with impeachment efforts, and encourage all other groups and citizens “to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office without further delay.” We applaud the courage and strength of the National Lawyers Guild, and are grateful for their continuing work on behalf of all of us.

 

Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:

1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as described in the Downing Street minutes, http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html about the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war of aggression and an occupation of Iraq, as further described in House resolution H.Res. 333: http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int3.pdf and as listed in House Resolution H. Res. 635: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr109-635

2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in violation of the UN Charter http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/ ;

3. committed crimes against humanity in… Continue reading

Ducking WTC Blame

Letter to the Editor of The Chief, 10/26/07:

Ducking WTC Blame

To the Editor:

The City of New York and Contractors of 9/11 have expressed interest in negotiating a total aggregate settlement with sick and dying first-responders who were exposed to toxic air at the World Trade Center. This settlement will offer a certain amount of money and the city and contractors will walk away without answering questions about their negligence and lies. The money will be divided between lawyers (40 percent) and the 9/11 afflicted litigants (60 percent). It has been three years of arduous litigation.

Is this the answer to a troubling case where the Federal Government and the Giuliani administration lied to everyone about the quality of air? What is to stop the lies and failures from happening again? On 9/13/01 Christie  Whitman and the EPA told us the air quality was fine. The White House sanitized the EPA press releases every day before they were given to media. Don’t alarm anyone. Don’t err on the side of caution.

In late September 2001, the city Department of Environmental Protection had tests showing high levels of asbestos at the WTC. Giuliani then told us the air quality was fine. Schools resumed and workers, children and first-responders were unnecessarily exposed to the toxic air of WTC. Rudy Giuliani placed an inexperienced city agency (Department of Design and Construction) in charge of the site. Proper face-fitted respirators weren’t issued to first-responders until November 2001. This was total negligence by… Continue reading

The Shock Doctrine — Naomi Klein

 

Editor’s Note:
New website unveiled… ShockDoctrine.com
This is such a phenomenal tool online, to accompany the recently released book by Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine, we are re-printing here text from her front page, with the accompanying video trailer, created by Alfonso Cuaron.
We strongly encourage readers to consider spending some time there; in particular, the growing Resource section is extremely useful. You will be shocked…

 

The Shock Doctrine

Welcome to ShockDoctrine.com. This website is more than a promotional tool for a book, although you can receive the latest news about The Shock Doctrine, read reviews , and see where you can purchase a copy .

The process of researching The Shock Doctrine was so fascinating and revelatory that I was left with a strong desire to share as much of my own discovery experience as possible — to steer readers to the books, essays, documentary films and primary documents that did so much to shape The Shock Doctrine . In that spirit, ShockDoctrine.com is designed to serve as a living companion to the book for readers — particularly students and educators — who want to delve deeper into the book’s material and themes, and who want to see the evidence for themselves.

Debra Levy, a trained librarian, was the primary researcher for The Shock Doctrine , working for years on the project. After the book was complete, she dedicated herself to opening up our research files and putting them online, curating, along with designer Andrew Childs,… Continue reading

Robert Fisk–Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11

Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11

By Robert Fisk

Published: 25 August 2007

Each time I lecture abroad on the Middle East, there is always someone in the audience — just one — whom I call the “raver”. Apologies here to all the men and women who come to my talks with bright and pertinent questions — often quite humbling ones for me as a journalist — and which show that they understand the Middle East tragedy a lot better than the journalists who report it. But the “raver” is real. He has turned up in corporeal form in Stockholm and in Oxford, in Sao Paulo and in Yerevan, in Cairo, in Los Angeles and, in female form, in Barcelona. No matter the country, there will always be a “raver”.
 

Editor’s Note:
Robert Fisk a truther? YES!

Robert Fisk, award winning journalist, for the Independent in London; described by the NY Times as “the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain”; frequent contributor to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, a man so famous he has become a verb in his own lifetime, and he’s is a 9/11 truther!

In this article, Fisk complains about the ill-behaved 9/11 truthers who shout out questions about the 9/11 cover up at various speaking venues, but this complaint may be just to give himself some cover. Without that shield, he would be immediately denounced and marginalized, (he may be anyway) but he goes on to mention the dirth of plane parts at the Pentagon,… Continue reading