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Civil Liberties

Judge defends pretrial secrecy of 9/11 documents

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — NEW YORK — A judge said Wednesday he favors keeping Sept. 11-related documents and interviews secret until the trials for several families of victims suing the airline industry, an opinion that upset several victims’ family members.

Donald Migliori, a lawyer for families of three people who died on hijacked planes in the 2001 attacks, asked U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein to make nearly a million pages of evidence and 200 depositions public, saying there was no reason for secrecy.…

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Cowardice in the Time of Torture

By Ray McGovern
April 5, 2009
ConsortiumNews.com

I used to take a certain pride by association with prominent Bronxites who have “made it.” Cancel that for Attorney General Eric Holder and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

You might think that as African-Americans, they would be especially outraged by torture, given what blacks have suffered at the hands of white torturers in this country and abroad.

Why is it that they seem to value more their admittance into a privileged white-dominated ruling class than doing the right thing?…

Resist or Become Serfs

April 6, 2009
By Chris Hedges
Truthdig.com and International Clearinghouse

America is devolving into a third-world nation. And if we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state. The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us.…

Jane Harman: Angry, partisan, civil liberties extremist

April 21, 2009
by Glenn Greenwald
Salon.com

Blue Dog Rep. Jane Harman — once the most vigorous Democratic cheerleader of Bush’s NSA warrantless eavesdropping program — is rip-roarin’ angry today. Apparently, her private conversations were eavesdropped on by the U.S. Government! This is a grave outrage that, as she told Andrea Mitchell just moments ago, demands a probing investigation:

That’s what I asked Attorney General Holder to do — to release any tapes, I don’t know whether they were legally made or not, of my conservations about this matter .…

Torture, War and the Imperial Project: The Fatal Thread

April 22, 2009
By Chris Floyd
Counterpunch.org

With the release of the U.S. Senate’s report on the Bush Administration torture program, it is now incontrovertibly clear — and officially established by the highest, most respectable Establishment institutions — that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and a host of other top officials deliberately, willingly, and with malice aforethought, established a system of interrogation using brutal techniques that they knew were against the law. Hence the need for the torture memos that attempted to give retroactive legal cover for atrocities that were already taking place at the orders of the White House and the Pentagon.…

Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

‘Work for us or we will say you are a terrorist’
By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
21 May 2009
independent.co.uk

Five Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants.

The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas.

They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson.…

WeAreChangeLA confronts 9/11 criminal ‘General’ Richard Myers

Submitted to 911blogger.com by Shumonik

On May 20, 2009, General Richard Myers was at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California to give a talk and a book signing. Bruno Bruhwiler and Jeremy Rothe-Kushel of WeAreChangeLA were there to call into question the ‘General’s’ credibility when it came to talking about 9/11 and threats to the nation.

 

Editor’s Note:
Can we hope that one day Americans will honor courageous individuals who confront their own fear to stand up and question “authorities” to demand truth and accountability?…

E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress

By James Risen and Eric Lichtblau

June 16, 2009
New York Times

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged, current and former officials said.

The agency’s monitoring of domestic e-mail messages, in particular, has posed longstanding legal and logistical difficulties, the officials said.…

The Origins of the CIA

by Kevin Fenton
July 15, 2009
History Commons Groups
Complete 911 Timeline

The CIA assassination programme that was recently in the media was actually first partially revealed by the Washington Post in 2005, when details enabling his originator to be identified were published. The programme made news in the last few days as CIA Director Leon Panetta admitted that the agency withheld information about it from Congress, although the CIA never actually used it to assassinate anybody.…

Court Says 9/11 Witnesses Can Sue Ashcroft

Former Student Filed Lawsuit Claiming Civil Rights Were Violated

KIROTV.com

A federal appeals court has ruled that former Attorney General John Ashcroft may be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In a harshly worded ruling handed down Friday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called the government’s use of material witnesses after Sept. 11 “repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history.”

The court found that a man who was detained as a witness in a federal terrorism case can sue Ashcroft for allegedly violating his constitutional rights.…

The Higher Education Fiscal Crisis Protects the Wealthy

By Peter Phillips
November 22, 2009

Police are arresting and attacking student protesters on University of California (UC) campuses again. “Why did he beat me I wasn’t doing anything,” screamed a young Cal Berkeley women student over KPFA radio on Friday evening November 20. Students are protesting the 32% increase in tuition imposed by the UC regents in a time of severe state deficits. The Board of Regents claims that they have no choice. Students will now have to pay over $10,000 in tuition annually for a public university education that was free only a few decades ago.…

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Yahoo, Verizon: Our Spy Capabilities Would ‘Shock’, ‘Confuse’ Consumers

By Kim Zetter
December 1, 2009
Wired.com

Want to know how much phone companies and internet service providers charge to funnel your private communications or records to U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies?

That’s the question muckraker and Indiana University graduate student Christopher Soghoian asked all agencies within the Department of Justice, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed a few months ago. But before the agencies could provide the data, Verizon and Yahoo intervened and filed an objection on grounds that, among other things, they would be ridiculed and publicly shamed were their surveillance price sheets made public.…

Breaking Through a Wall of Police Protection for International Crime

The Trial of Splitting the Sky as a Trial of the Cheney-Bush-Rumsfeld Cabal of War Profiteers

by Anthony J. Hall,
Professor of Globalization Studies, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
December 3rd, 2009
printable version (pdf)

Who and what is on trial ?

Photo of Splitting the Sky attempting to break through police lines When Splitting the Sky broke through police lines in his attempt to conduct a citizen’s arrest of former US President, George W. Bush, the Mohawk Freedom Fighter pierced a thick wall of tyranny. He broke through a tight phalanx of state protection for the perpetrators of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Crimes Against the Peace.…

One Day We’ll All be Terrorists

by Chris Hedges
Truthdig.com

Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida.…

‘Obama Has Kept the Machine Set on Kill’ — Allan Nairn Reviews Obama’s First Year in Office

January 6, 2010


 

In an extended interview, award-winning journalist and activist Allan Nairn looks back over the Obama DemocracyNow.org Nairn-democracynowadministration’s foreign policy and national security decisions over the last twelve months.…

Giuliani: ‘We had no domestic attacks under Bush’

by David Edwards and John Byrne
Raw Story

Photo of Giuliani, Bush, Pataki and Schumer at WTC on Sep. 14, 2001

Rudy Giuliani shows President Bush, Gov. George Pataki, second from left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, second from right, the World Trade Center site on Sept. 14, 2001. [AP File photo]


UPDATE: ABC’s George Stephanopoulos has taken responsibility for not challenging former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on the mayor’s assertion on Good Morning America Friday that “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.”

As noted below, a Giuliani spokesman “clarified” the mayor’s statement later in the day, arguing that the mayor meant no attacks after 9/11.…

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FBI ‘fabricated terror emergencies to get phone records’

Justice department to accuse FBI of invoking crises to obtain details of more than 2,000 calls, Washington Post reports

by Chris McGreal in Washington
19 January 2010
guardian.co.uk

The US justice department is preparing a report which concludes that the FBI repeatedly broke the law by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist to obtain more than 2,000 telephone call records over four years from 2002, including those of journalists on US newspapers, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post.…

Obama staffer wants ‘cognitive infiltration’ of 9/11 conspiracy groups

By Daniel Tencer

RawStory.com

In a 2008 academic paper, President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated “cognitive infiltration” of groups that advocate “conspiracy theories” like the ones surrounding 9/11.

Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine” those groups.…