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Fear Factors

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Conspiracies and Confabulation: Tales from two Naomis

by Kevin Ryan
AmericanBuddhist.net

Learning about self-deception is important for all people today. That’s because many of our problems, both as individuals and as a society, are rooted in self-deception, and many of the ways in which others abuse us relate to our inherent tendency to self-deceive. We can overcome these problems, and have a decent chance at long-term survival as a species, only if we learn about such limitations, and strive to control them. One great way to rapidly learn about self-deception, and other forms of deception, is to learn about the events of September 11th.

It’s easy to see widespread self-deception with regard to 9/11. For one thing, most people don’t know the actual official story, given by the 9/11 Commission and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This is despite the fact that everyone, at least in the US, has invested essentially their entire future in that story, whether they know it or not.

Some have gone beyond simple avoidance of the facts, in an attempt to prevent themselves and others from looking closely at 9/11. These folks have gone to the extent of changing the definitions of common words, engaging in wild speculation and exaggerations, and suggesting that long strings of unprecedented events, including violations of the laws of nature, were possible on just that one day. These painful self-deceptions help some people dodge the emotional stress that accompanies careful examination of the events of 9/11.

In order to understand the extreme self-deception surrounding… Continue reading

ABC News Exclusive: Inside Account of U.S. Eavesdropping on Americans

U.S. Officers’ “Phone Sex” Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers By Brian Ross, Vic Walter and Anna Schecter

Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), called the allegations “extremely disturbing” and said the committee has begun its own examination.

“We have requested all relevant information from the Bush Administration,” Rockefeller said Thursday. “The Committee will take whatever action is necessary.”

WATCH THE NIGHTLINE STORY

“These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones,” said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.

Kinne described the contents of the calls as “personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism.”

WATCH Kinne discuss why it was ‘awkward’ listening to her fellow Americans.

She said US military officers, American journalists and American aid workers were routinely intercepted and “collected on” as they called their offices or homes in the United States.

Watch “World… Continue reading

The Anthrax Case Reopens: Why Did the FBI Let the Fort Detrick Scientists Investigate Themselves?

by Bill Simpich tr u t h o u t | Report

The Congressional anthrax hearings of September 16-17 revealed that public pressure is keeping the doors open in the anthrax case. FBI Director Robert Mueller promised that the FBI will provide their evidence to a panel of experts for scientific evaluation. The battle will now turn to the independence of this panel, and whether “all evidence” or merely “scientific evidence” will be under review.

During the hearings, Mueller found himself under fire by Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman John Conyers for not having answers to their questions. Republican Arlen Specter was furious at Mueller for his unwillingness to assure them that Congress would have a role in determining the panel’s composition.

Meanwhile, new evidence shows just how deeply wrong ABC and Washington Post reporters have been over the years on their coverage of the anthrax attacks. They can’t have it both ways: Either they made repeated “mistakes” by relying on their sources, or several people deliberately lied in order to advance war on Iraq.

In his recent book Taking Heat, former White House secretary Ari Fleischer wrote that Bush was more shook up by the anthrax attacks than by any other event. White House officials repeatedly pressed Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by al-Qaeda or Iraq. After days of provocative statements designed to scare the American people, Cheney himself believed that he had been exposed to anthrax. Although the test results were negative, October 18, 2001… 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

9/11, Deep State Violence, and the Hope of Internet Politics

Peter Dale Scott

The Deep State and 9/11

The unthinkable — that elements inside the state would conspire with criminals to kill innocent civilians — has become not only thinkable but commonplace in the last century. A seminal example was in French Algeria, where dissident elements of the French armed forces, resisting General de Gaulle’s plans for Algerian independence, organized as the Secret Army Organization and bombed civilians indiscriminately, with targets including hospitals and schools. 1 Critics like Alexander Litvinenko, who was subsequently murdered in London in November 2006, have charged that the 1999 bombings of apartment buildings around Moscow, attributed to Chechen separatists, were in fact the work of the Russian secret service (FSB). 2

Similar attacks in Turkey have given rise to the notion there of an extra-legal “deep state” — a combination of forces, ranging from former members of the CIA-organized Gladio organization, to “a vast matrix of security and intelligence officials, ultranationalist members of the Turkish underworld and renegade former members of the [Kurdish separatist] PKK.” 3 The deep state, financed in part by Turkey’s substantial heroin traffic, has been accused of killing thousands of civilians, in incidents such as the lethal bomb attack in November 2005 on a bookshop in Semdinli. This attack, initially attributed to the Kurdish separatist PKK, turned out to have been committed by members of Turkey’s paramilitary police intelligence service, together with a former PKK member turned informer. 4 On April 23, 2008, the former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar was ordered… Continue reading

The Last Roundup

The Last Roundup illustration

Illustration by Brett Ryder

For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?

By Christopher Ketcham





Editor’s Note:
This is an incredibly important article–one of the most important we’ve posted. It’s long, thorough, historical, and frightening… Several links for other, related reading are at the end. Please follow-up with your Representatives and other elected officials immediately, and let us know what you her. Thank you.

 
In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president’s henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.

The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft’s second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush’s first term. Comey had been a loyal political foot soldier of the Republican Party for many years. Yet in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration’s various… Continue reading

The Fear Factory

The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

GUY LAWSON
February 07, 2008

Click here to read a history of every homeland-security terror alert and the real news that was buried: “Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts–A history of the Bush administration’s most dubious terror scares — and the headlines they buried” TIM DICKINSON, Feb 07, 2008

“So, what you wanna do?” the friend asked. “A target?” the wanna-be jihadi replied. “I want some type of city-hall-type stuff, federal courthouses.”

It was late November 2006, and twenty-two-year-old Derrick Shareef and his friend Jameel were hanging out in Rockford, Illinois, dreaming about staging a terrorist attack on America. The two men weren’t sure what kind of assault they could pull off. All Shareef knew was that he wanted to cause major damage, to wreak vengeance on the country he held responsible for oppressing Muslims worldwide. “Smoke a judge,” Shareef said. Maybe firebomb a government building.

But while Shareef harbored violent fantasies, he was hardly a serious threat as a jihadi. An American-born convert to Islam, he had no military training and no weapons. He had less than $100 in the bank. He worked in a dead-end job as a clerk in a video-game store. He didn’t own a car. So dire were his circumstances, Shareef had no place to live. Then one day, Jameel, a fellow Muslim, had shown up at EB… Continue reading

State Terror: H.R. 1955 a Weapon of Mass Destruction of Civil Liberties

Ministry of Mythinformation Blog

Concerning the graduated repression of the Nazi regime, the Reverend Martin Niemoller, in 1945, stated, to the effect:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

Though this quote has taken on many forms and endured several disputes, the ultimate interpretation stands. That silence about liberty infractions equals civil death.

Further, on the notion of leading the public headstrong into oblivion, the Nazis said it best:

“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia , nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany . That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Hermann Goering, 1946… Continue reading

Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned

By Jeremy Grant in Washington

Published: August 14 2007 00:06

The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.

David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.

These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.

Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

“Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”

Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.

While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent – such as the one containing his latest warnings – are initiated by the comptroller general himself.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had… Continue reading

Congressman Denied Access To Post-Attack Continuity Plans

Congressman Denied Access To Post-Attack Continuity Plans

Newhouse News Service

Washington – Constituents called Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure “bubbleroom” in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.

On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.

“I just can’t believe they’re going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,” DeFazio said.

Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn’t know who did it or why.

“We’re talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America,” DeFazio said. “I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee.”

Bush administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied access: “We do not comment through the press on the process that this access entails. It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive.” Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he “cannot… Continue reading

Senators subpoena White House over illegal surveillance programme

Editor’s Note: Should an actual “showdown” occur over the constitutionality of Cheney’s stonewalling, we would welcome it. Let’s know exactly where we stand with respect to the willingness of elected officials to stand up to the criminals-in-chief.

It’s well past the time Leahy and company should have been pressing for these sorts of answers. Get on with it.

By Leonard Doyle in Washington

Published: 28 June 2007

The Bush administration may soon face a courtroom showdown over its secret eavesdropping programme after subpoenas were issued to the White House, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and the Justice Department.

There is a storm gathering over Mr Cheney in particular, with increasingly vocal demands for his impeachment for “political crimes against the nation”.

The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know the legal basis, if any, for the placing of wiretaps on American citizens without court warrants, as part of the war on terror.

These taps were placed by the National Security Agency, which runs a vast international electronic eavesdropping and codebreaking web with Britain’s GCHQ. When reports emerged in the media of the wiretaps, it provoked widespread anger.

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy gave the Bush administration until 18 July to hand over documents which the White House described last week as highly classified and off limits.

Senator Leahy wrote: “Over the past 18 months, this committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorisation of and legal justification for this programme.”

The eavesdropping programme began after the attacks of 11 September 2001.…

Continue reading

Toying With Terror Alerts?

In the Bush era, the timing and quality of “arrests” and “warnings” have a suspicious ring

By Joshua Micah Marshall
Time Magazine
July 07, 2006

In these perilous days, we must be ready to think the unthinkable. No, I don’t mean the possibility of a catastrophic terrorist attack. After 9/11, that’s all too easy to imagine. No, I’m talking about a thought that even now seldom forces its way into respectable conversation: the quite reasonable suspicion that the Bush Administration orchestrates its terror alerts and arrests to goose the GOP’s poll numbers.

Now, I’m a respectable columnist. I don’t want to draw rolled eyes. But think about it.

The 18 months prior to the 2004 presidential election witnessed a barrage of those ridiculous color-coded terror alerts, quashed-plot headlines and breathless press conferences from Administration officials. Warnings of terror attacks over the Christmas 2003 holidays, warnings over summer terror attacks at the 2004 political conventions, then a whole slew of warnings of terror attacks to disrupt the election itself. Even the timing of the alerts seemed to fall with odd regularity right on the heels of major political events. One of Department of Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge’s terror warnings came two days after John Kerry picked John Edwards as his running mate; another came three days after the end of the Democratic convention.

So it went right through the 2004 election. And then not long after the champagne corks stopped popping at Bush campaign headquarters, terror alerts seemed to go out of style.…

Continue reading

America The Fearful

By Bob Herbert

New York Times

May 15, 2006

In the dark days of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt counseled Americans to avoid fear. George W. Bush is his polar opposite. The public’s fear is this president’s most potent political asset. Perhaps his only asset.

Mr. Bush wants ordinary Americans to remain in a perpetual state of fear — so terrified, in fact, that they will not object to the steady erosion of their rights and liberties, and will not notice the many ways in which their fear is being manipulated to feed an unconscionable expansion of presidential power.

If voters can be kept frightened enough of terrorism, they might even overlook the monumental incompetence of one of the worst administrations the nation has ever known.

Four marines drowned Thursday when their 60-ton tank rolled off a bridge and sank in a canal about 50 miles west of Baghdad. Three American soldiers in Iraq were killed by roadside bombs the same day. But those tragic and wholly unnecessary deaths were not the big news. The big news was the latest leak of yet another presidential power grab: the administration’s collection of the telephone records of tens of millions of American citizens.

The Bush crowd, which gets together each morning to participate in a highly secret ritual of formalized ineptitude, is trying to get its creepy hands on all the telephone records of everybody in the entire country. It supposedly wants these records, which contain crucial documentation of calls for Chinese takeout in Terre Haute, Ind., and birthday greetings to Grandma in Talladega, Ala., to help in the search for Osama bin Laden.…

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Apocalypse Of Coercion

Apocalypse of Coercion: Why We Listen to What “They” Say About 9/11

By Kevin Barrett, mujca.com

“That’s just like hypnotizing chickens.” –Iggy Pop, “Lust for Life”

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…uh…(long pause)…we won’t get fooled again.” George W. Bush


They say suicidal Muslim fanatics did it. They say those radical Muslims hate our freedoms. They say the country is full of sleeper agents who could wake up and kill us at any moment, as soon as their little red-white-and-blue “I hate the USA” wristwatch alarms go off.

They say that Saddam Hussein had something to do with it–he’s Muslim, isn’t he? They say invading Afghanistan and Iraq was the appropriate response; we had to do something, right? They say if you’re not with us, you’re against us–and if you’re against us, you’re on the side of the evildoers.

They say those cunning, devious suicide hijackers defeated America’s defenses using flying lessons and box cutters. They say it was ordered by a tall, dark, handsome, sinister, hooknosed kidney patient in a cave in Afghanistan–a ringer for the evil vizier Jaffar in the Disney film Aladdin, but with a thicker beard to signify “Islamist.” They say it was masterminded by a real bad dude named KSM. They say they finally caught KSM, and that the whole story, enshrined in the official 9/11 Commission Report, is based on what KSM said under interrogation–so it’s all right from the horse’s mouth.

They say it happened because our… Continue reading

Forget 9/11 — Just For a Minute

What Should We Really Be Afraid Of?

By W. David Jenkins III
Project for the Old American Century
June 1, 2005

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Although tyranny…may successfully rule over foreign peoples,
it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people.
~Hannah Areddt

That’s right, I said it. Forget about 9/11. Just put all those horrible images away. I mean no disrespect but I think it’s time to put things in perspective.

9/11 has become an excuse for those who would exploit it and the world is a sadder and more dangerous place because of those who have used the tragedy for their own gains. This isn’t exactly a news flash but it isreality. An unfortunate reality that you and I had no part in making. That responsibility lays with the people who are still scared and those who would continue to exploit their fear. And that fear is the very foundation, the very source of strength of the present administration. Fear is now the guiding principle of almost every aspect of almost every person in America today. We have all become afraid just for different reasons.

Lately I’ve been doing a bit of research on fear and the odds we all face when it comes to our eventual deaths. Let’s face it; we’re all going to go sometime.

With acknowledgements to The National Safety Council (NSC), the FBI, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and some great work by writer, John Schettler (Scare Tactics), I’ve come to the conclusion that many Americans are afraid of the wrong things.…

Continue reading

A Personal Decision

By Kevin Ryan

June 9th 2005

Have you ever found yourself caught between several hundred million people and their most cherished lies? After writing a letter to a government scientist, pleading with him to clarify a report of his work, I found myself in just that situation. The letter was circulated on the internet and for a brief time I became a reluctant celebrity. Of course I stand behind what I wrote, although it was originally intended as a personal message, not an open letter. Since many have asked for clarification, here is my message to all.

To me, the report in question represents a decision point, not just for the US, but for humanity as a whole. We’re at a point where we must decide if we will live consciously, or literally give up our entire reality for a thin veneer of lies. In the US these lies include cheap propaganda that passes for journalism, police-state measures that promise security, and mountains of debt that paint a picture of wealth. Additionally we’ve adopted many implicit self-deceptions, like the idea that we’ll always enjoy a limitless share of the world’s resources, no matter where these are located or who might disagree.

All people lie to themselves. It’s one of the most important things we have yet to accept about our own nature. We lie to ourselves to justify our past actions, to protect our self-image, and to promote ourselves relative to others. This lying is at the root of many of our problems (e.g.…

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Threat to Public Grows With State Secrecy, Civil Libertarians Argue

by Michelle Chen

The NewStandard

April 22,2005

The case of a government interpreter-turned-whistleblower serves to illustrate the snowballing trend of hiding embarrassing information — a pattern critics believe may ironically lead to greater public insecurity.

April 22 – Yesterday, a national security whistleblower finally had her day in court, while public interest advocates intensified their campaigns for a more open government, challenging what they see as a pattern of secrecy and impunity in the name of national security interests.

April 22 – Yesterday, a national security whistleblower finally had her day in court, while public interest advocates intensified their campaigns for a more open government, challenging what they see as a pattern of secrecy and impunity in the name of national security interests.

To public advocates, the case of Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who was allegedly fired for exposing misconduct within the agency, has come to symbolize the expansion of government opacity in the post-9/11 era. The stark resistance Edmonds has faced in attempting to challenge the alleged retaliation against her, say civil libertarians, illustrates how secrecy has cast a dark net over institutions of democratic government.

“Expanded secrecy rules are allowing government agencies to hide their incompetence and to hide their failure to really adequately protect the public,” warned Beth Daley, spokesperson for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a Washington, DC-based watchdog group. Like many other open-government advocates, Daley sees secrecy not only as detrimental to democracy, but also, ironically, a potential security threat in itself.…

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Threshold Fears and Unanswered Questions about 9/11

By Peter Phillips
commondreams.org

For many Americans, there is a deep psychological desire for the 9/11 tragedy to be over. The shock of the day is well remembered and terrorist alerts from Homeland Security serve to maintain lasting tensions and fears. The 9/11 Commission report gave many a sense of partial healing and completion – especially given the corporate media’s high praise of the report. There is a natural resistance to naysayers who continue to question the US government’s version of what happened on September 11, 2001. This resistance is rooted in our tendency towards the inability to conceive of people we know as evil; instead evil ones must be others, very unlike ourselves.

We all remember, as young children, scary locations that created deep fears. We might imagine monsters in the closet, dangers in a nighttime backyard, and creepy people in some abandoned house down the street. As we get older we build up the courage to open the closet, or walk out into the backyard to smell the night air. As adults there are still dark closets in our socio-cultural consciousness that make it impossible to even consider the possibility of the truthfulness of certain ideas. These fearful ideas might be described as threshold concepts in that they may be on the borders of discoverability, yet we deny even the potentiality of implied veracity – something is so evil it is completely unimaginable.

A threshold concept facing Americans is the possibility that the 9/11 Commission Report was on… Continue reading

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