By Columbia Journalism Review
January 14, 2009
Advocates for open and transparent government are quick to note that no American
presidential administration has, in practice, been enthusiastic about reducing
secrecy in the executive branch–for some obvious and sometimes quite legitimate
reasons. There are secrets that almost everyone agrees should remain secret.
But secrecy must be balanced with the citizens’ right to examine the operations
of their government–to learn, to improve, to enforce, and sometimes to
shame. That’s especially true when there are political or bureaucratic
incentives for secrecy that deserve far less respect than true matters of national
security. And despite the bipartisan resistance from those in power, the arc
of history has trended, if unevenly, toward openness. Claims of excessive secrecy
have become a tried and true political battering ram, easily wielded by the
party in opposition. Technological evolution has not only made the dissemination
of information easier and faster, but also has heightened our appetite for disclosure.
The trend isn’t confined to the political sphere. Betty Ford’s frank
discussion of her struggles with cancer and alcoholism in the 1970s marked a
new era of openness in our personal medical lives, and the invention of the
personal video camera spawned a cottage industry around moments–gaffes,
goofs, tragedies–that were once private.
Against that backdrop, there is wide agreement among journalists and openness
advocates that the administration of George W. Bush was an aberration, at least
in the modern era. Bush and his advisers came into office with a broad vision… Continue reading
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LIVE Thursday, Jan 15th at 6am Pacific – 9am Eastern – 14:00 GMT
Who is the real Eric Holder? Is he a real civil rights advocate who recently
made a speech advocating the closing of Gitmo and the stopping of rendition,
torture, and warrantless secret domestic searches and wiretaps? Is he a coverup
attorney who has been accused of deflecting press attention from a possible
murder of a witness regarding the government’s culpilbility in the Oklahoma
Federal Building bombing and defending Chiquita Brands role in the funding of
death squads in Columbia? Or is he simply a slimy lawyer accused of infuence
peddling in his role in the pardon of Mark Rich in the Clinton Whitehouse? See
our website for the sources on these statements.
Listen to the hearings and YOU DECIDE.
Then call in your questions to our Pacifica experts after the hearings at:
1800 958 9008 TOLL FREE
No Lies Radio will broadcast LIVE the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation
hearing for Attorney General nominee Eric Holder. This is Pacifica Radio Network’s
exciting live coverage of the hearing including alternative viewpoints of the
process with special progressive guests and analysts.
HOSTED by KPFA’s Aimee Allison and Philip Maldari. PRODUCED by Mitch Jeserich
and Laura Prives.
(Hearings will be archived there after the broadcast)
Michael J. Fox to play paraplegic on FX series
By DANIEL FRANKEL
January 14, 2009
It’s been a hot-potato even for the most heavyweight of political pundits
in recent years, but the fifth season of the FX series “Rescue Me”
will intrepidly delve into the controversial theory that the 9/11 attacks were
aided or perpetrated by the U.S. government.
Season five will find the men of Engine 62 divided over the polarizing theory
after a journalist working on a 10-year-anniversary story delves up painful
“I think there are a lot of well-thought-out ideas and theories (about
9/11) that to me make more sense than has been popularly espoused, and I’m
glad we could explore it in the context of the show,” said cast member
Daniel Sanjata, addressing tube journos at the Television Critics Assn. confab
in Universal City Tuesday.
That storyline, and others, including a five-episode arc featuring Michael
J. Fox as an alcoholic paraplegic, will punctuate “Rescue Me’s”
fifth campaign — one which series masterminds Denis Leary and Peter Tolan hope
puts the show back on track creatively after what they felt was a lackluster
“We didn’t have the clarity of vision we had in previous years,”
noted Tolan. “There was a lack of focus.”
Added series star and exec producer Leary: “We’re five years in.
You’ve got to have some suck parts, and we got those out of the way.”
The audio of Griffin’s excellent DVD, “9/11 and Nationalist Faith” was broadcast on Bonnie Faulkner’s KPFA program, Guns and Butter, on Wednesday, January 07, 2009, and is now available at her archives for online listening.
In “9/11 and Nationalist Faith,” Dr. David Ray Griffin shows that the greatest obstacle to seeing the truth – that 9/11 was an inside job – is not the lack of evidence, but what can be called “nationalist faith” …
Guns And Butter – On the Air Wednesdays at 1:00pm, at KPFA 94.1fm radio in Berkeley, CA.
Guns & Butter investigates the relationships among capitalism, militarism and politics.
Many other excellent shows are archived at KPFA here.
Listen to KPFA live.
by Eve Conant NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Jan 12, 2009
In the grim, sleepless months of excavation after the September 11 attacks, forensic pathologists in New York City worked day and night to identify the dead. They didn’t have much to go on. The collapsed World Trade Center towers had burned at temperatures reaching 2,000 degrees, incinerating those trapped inside. Many of the bodies of the passengers aboard the two airplanes that struck the buildings were consumed by burning jet fuel, leaving only traces of DNA, much of it so damaged that it was impossible to read. Few bodies were found intact. Most of the human remains culled from the vast wreckage at Ground Zero were little more than tiny fragments of charred tissue and bone. The volume was overwhelming. Robert Shaler, who headed the city’s Department of Forensic Biology and was a leader of the identification effort, worried his lab would be paralyzed if it tried to identify every piece. At first, they decided they would only attempt to test samples that were “the size of a thumb or larger,” he says. But when they saw how small many of the fragments were, they changed their minds. “If we were really going to make an honest effort,” Shaler says, “we had to do everything that came along.”
Shaler and his colleagues at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner gave weekly updates to family members of the victims, reporting how many of the dead had been identified and reassuring them that the city was doing everything to identify their loved ones.…Continue reading
By Paul Craig Roberts
January 08, 2009
The American print
and TV media has never been very good. These days it is horrible. If a person
intends to be informed, he must turn to foreign news broadcasts, to Internet
sites, to foreign newspapers available on the Internet, or to alternative newspapers
that are springing up in various cities. A person who sits in front of Murdoch’s
Fox “News” or CNN or who reads the New York Times is simply being
brainwashed with propaganda.
Before conservatives nod their heads in agreement, I’m not referring
to “the liberal media.” I mean the propaganda that issues from the
US government and the Israel Lobby.
It was neoconservative Bush regime propaganda fed to America through Judith
Miller and the New York Times and through Murdoch’s Fox “News”
that convinced Americans that they were in danger from a small secular Arab
country half way around the globe called Iraq. It was the American media that
convinced Americans that getting rid of dangerous “weapons of mass destruction,”
weapons that did not exist in Iraq, would be a cakewalk paid for by Iraqi oil
It is the same propagandistic American print and TV media that has rationalized
Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan based on seven years of
lies and deception.
It is the same media that today provides only Israeli propaganda as “coverage”
of the Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
It was the New York Times that spiked for one year the leaked information
from the National Security Agency that the Bush regime, in violation of US law,
was illegally spying on Americans without warrants.…
You can hear LIVE Alternative Coverage of the Israeli War On Gaza on
No Lies Radio, every weekday at 5pm Pacific – 8pm Eastern
Click Here To Listen — http://noliesradio.org
LIVE every Weekday at 5pm Pacific – 8pm Eastern – 01:00 GMT, Daily
Alternative Coverage of the Israeli War On Gaza on Flashpoints — Hear from
human rights activists, reporters and bloggers on the ground in Gaza.
The LIVE FLASHPOINTS HOUR is a hard-hitting investigative news radio show broadcast
on the Pacifica Radio Network and carried by No Lies Radio. It is produced by
Dennis Bernstein and Nora-Barrows Friedman of KPFA Berkeley. This week the War
on Gaza is being covered in depth.
Flashpoints is immediately followed on No Lies Radio by DEMOCRACY NOW!, which
is also providing extensive live daily coverage of the War on Gaza. Hear Democracy
Now Every Weekday at: 6pm Pacific – 9pm Eastern – 02:00 GMT
In a companion essay (reprinted below), I discussed the response of some articles in the mainstream press to the claim, made by some defenders of Israel, that Professor Richard Falk should be removed from his current position of UN rapporteur on human rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories — a claim that was reflected in the refusal of Israel on December 14, 2008, to allow him to enter the country. I included in this essay a discussion of an article by reporter Joel Brinkley because, although it was published before Israel’s action against Falk 1 , it could be read as a defense of that action. Brinkley, who had previously worked for the New York Times , argued that Falk did not have the right “frame of mind” for his UN position. In the present essay, I will focus on Brinkley’s argument for this charge, suggesting that it shows that he does not have the right frame of mind for his own current position as visiting professor of journalism at Stanford University.
Brinkley’s Discussion of 9/11
Brinkley’s charge that Falk is unfit for his UN role is quite remarkable, given Falk’s stature. He is Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton University and currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has had published (as author or editor) over 60 books by academic and other mainstream presses. He is also widely respected and sought after as a speaker and conference participant.… Continue reading
Interview: Monday, Dec 29, 2008 from 4 – 6 pm Pacific Time
Activist singer-songwriter Vic Sadot has a new CD out, 9/11 Truth & Justice
Songs. Vic will be interviewed by Che X on the popular San Francisco station
known as Pirate Cat Radio.
The interview is scheduled for Monday, Dec 29, 2008 from 4 – 6 pm Pacific
Time on the “Notes from the Underground” show hosted by Che X every
That would be 7 – 9 pm Eastern Time, 6 – 8 pm Central Time, and
5 – 7 pm Mountain Time. Pirate Cat Radio is at 87.9 FM. It is also broadcast
out of Los Angeles and Berlin.
Learn more about Pirate Cat Radio & Listen on line at: http://www.piratecatradio.com
Che X will be the first radio person to interview Vic Sadot since he arrived
in the Bay Area. Vic will play songs live and talk with Che X about the songs
on the new CD. Upon arriving from Delaware in the Bay Area Vic performed for
the Marin County Green Party reception with Otis Scarcroe for Presidential candidate
Vic has sung solo at autumn open mikes at Country Joe McDonald’s Monthly
at Café de la Paz and the Starry Plough in Berkeley, and at Revoluti
on Café in Oakland. He also attended a song swap circle at the venerable Faith Petric’s house for a gathering of the Freedom Song Network.
Vic Sadot has been an activist since his college days when campus activists… Continue reading
December 22, 2008
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A U.S. human rights group on Monday called for
a stay of all war-crimes proceedings against five Guantánamo Bay prisoners charged
with orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks until after President-elect Barack Obama
Lawyers for the New York-based Human Rights First said they filed the friend-of-the-court
brief because military prosecutors are likely to seek another hearing in Guantánamo’s
highest-profile case before Obama takes over Jan. 20.
"There is no legitimate reason to expend judicial resources prosecuting
a capital case under a system that will be obsolete before the matter can be
tried," the group’s brief said.
Obama opposes the military war-crimes trials and has pledged to close the prison
on a Navy base in southeast Cuba, which holds 250 men.
The defendants in the Sept. 11 case wrote a letter on Nov. 4 — the day
Obama was elected president — saying they wanted to confess, presumably
to plead guilty and face the death penalty. At least two of the men, including
the self-described mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have said they want to
be executed to achieve martyrdom.
But the formal confessions were delayed when a judge ruled this month that
two of the defendants couldn’t enter pleas until the court determines their
mental competency. The other three said they would also wait.
The judge, Army Col. Stephen Henley, has ordered lawyers to advise him by Jan.
4 whether the Pentagon can apply the death penalty without a jury… Continue reading
by David Edwards and Muriel Kane
December 19, 2008
As the departing Bush administration frantically attempts to shore up its place
in history, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann stands ready to kick the props out from
under it again. A renewed claim that “no one could have anticipated”
the attacks of 9/11 attracted his scorn in particular on Thursday’s Countdown.
“This is a White House talking point still, even though your average three-year-old
could disprove it using an etch-a-sketch.” Olbermann sneered on Thursday,
over the heading, “Insult the Dead-gate.”
Olbermann’s specific target was White House press spokesman Tony Fratto, who
responded to a Fox News interviewer’s suggestion on Wednesday that before 9/11,
“nobody was thinking that there’d be terrorists flying 767s into buildings”
by agreeing, “No one could have anticipated that kind of attack — or very
“Yeah, well, it ain’t true,” Olbermann remarked, with open contempt
dripping from his words, “and out of respect for the people who died that
day you damn well better stop saying it.”
Olbermann then ran through a list of pre-9/11 warnings of potential al Qaeda
hijackings, noting, “A president’s daily brief as far back as December
1998 said bin Laden was ‘preparing to hijack US aircraft in hopes of trading
hostages for jailed radicals.’ … The August 6, 2001 brief, of course, told
President Bush — if he read it — that there were ‘patterns of suspicious activity
in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.’”
Olbermann did not mention either the… Continue reading
December 14, 2008 Associated Press
An Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at President Bush during a news conference Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The president was not hurt in the incident.
Muntadar al-Zaidi Did What We Journalists Should Have Done Long Ago
Mon, 12/15/2008 David Lindorff ThisCan’tBeHappening.net
When Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi heaved his two shoes at the head of President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, he did something that the White House press corps should have done years ago.
Al-Zaidi listened to Bush blather that the half-decade of war he had initiated with the illegal invasion of Iraq had been “necessary for US security, Iraqi stability (sic) and world peace” and something just snapped. The television correspondent, who had been kidnapped and held for a while last year by Shiite militants, pulled off a shoe and threw it at Bush–a serious insult in Iraqi culture–and shouted “This is a farewell kiss, you dog!” When the first shoe missed its target, he grabbed a second shoe and heaved it too, causing the president to duck a second time as al-Zaidi shouted, “This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!”
I’ll admit, listening to Bush lie his way through eight years of press conferences, while pre-selected reporters played along and pretended to get his attention so they could ask questions which had been submitted and vetted in advance, I have felt like throwing my shoes at the television set.…Continue reading
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(212) 549-2666; email@example.com
December 10, 2008
NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union today released a statement from 31 9/11 victims’ family members challenging the legitimacy of the Guantánamo military commissions and their ability to achieve justice.
Below is the full text of the statement:
9/11 FAMILY MEMBERS CHALLENGE LEGITIMACY OF GUANTÁNAMO MILITARY COMMISSIONS
As family members who lost loved ones on 9/11, we feel compelled to speak out about this week’s proceedings at Guantánamo. Recently, the Guantánamo military commissions office announced that victims’ family members would be permitted, on a lottery basis, to attend the Guantánamo legal hearings of those accused of planning the 9/11 attacks. The lottery system inherently results in the granting of media attention to the select few who are chosen, and whose views are not necessarily representative of all victims’ families. The media coverage of Monday’s commission hearings included statements attributed to attending family members that the tribunals provided a fair hearing for these prosecutions and that family members “were struck by the extensive rights accorded the accused men.”
While we support everyone’s right to their individual opinions about these proceedings, including, of course, other family members who have suffered the devastation we have, we also feel obliged to make clear that many of us do not believe these military commissions to be fair, in accordance with American values, or capable of achieving the justice that 9/11 family members and all Americans deserve.
We believe that the secretive and unconstitutional… Continue reading
On October 27, 2008, WeAreChangeLA’s Jeremy Rothe-Kushel was on hand to cover an event with William Bratton, the Chief of the LAPD. Bratton was at a Townhall LA event at the Omni Hotel in Downtown LA to give a talk entitled “Crime and Your Bottom Line.” Although Bratton was there to focus on the future of the LAPD in relationship to development and crime-prevention, there was still a media buzz humming about an article Bratton had penned a week earlier with ‘terrorism expert’ R.P. Eddy in the NY Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/10/21/2008-10-21_osama_bin_lade…
The article, entitled “Osama Bin Laden wants a vote, so beware a late October surprise,” warned that if “Bin Laden wants to engineer a late-October surprise in 2008, an attack on a significant American economic target may be one of the most tempting opportunities he has had in recent years.” In addition to asserting that “U.S. intelligence is worried” because a “2007 National Intelligence Estimate said that Al Qaeda has reconstituted and may again be capable of hitting the U.S. mainland,” the article also claimed that “Bin Laden may have already begun to weigh in on our coming elections,” because in September, “Al Qaeda launched an assault against the American Embassy in Yemen.”
Bratton, who had worked under Rudolph Giuliani at the helm of NYPD in the 90′s pursuing the “broken windows” policy, became LAPD Police Chief in 2002. He came to the LAPD directly out of a strong working relationship with Kroll Inc. (see: http://fluxrostrum.blogspot.com/2007/05/who-killed-john-oneil.html… Continue reading
By Dave Lindorff
December 2, 2008
Before the odor of burned gunpowder has left the air of the Taj Mahal Hotel
in Mumbai, the US is lecturing India not to go off half-cocked and attack Pakistan,
simply because all of the attackers in the terrorist assaults in that city arrived
by boat, apparently from neighboring Pakistan. US officials, including Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice, are calling on India to engage in a “transparent”
and “thorough” investigation into the attacks to establish who was
How different this is from the American government’s response to the
9-11 attacks in the US!
Instead of a “transparent” investigation, we got secret sessions
of the Congressional intelligence committees, closed-door interviews of key
officials, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney by the 9-11 Commission,
and of course the secret round [up] of thousands of mostly Islamic people living
in the US, many of whom were held for months incommunicado and without charge,
some of whom were subjected to torture, and many other of whom were deported
to likely arrest, torture and even death.
Instead of a calm assessment of what had happened and who was responsible,
the Bush Administration rounded up Saudi members of the Bin Laden family, and
others connected to the regime in Saudi Arabia, whence came most of the people
reportedly involved in the hijacking of the four planes used in the attacks,
and, with no attempt at interrogation, flew them home to Saudi Arabia.
Then, again with only minimal evidence, the US launched an all-out war within
days upon Afghanistan, with the goal of ousting and destroying the Taliban government
of that country.…
November 17, 2008
In the last couple of weeks, two of our well-known speakers have been broadcast on mainstream media. Thanks to both of you for your ongoing persistence!
Richard Gage, who has been presenting AE911Truth.org to Europeans, was on national television in Spain. We received this note from Diana Castillo:
Thanks to Richard Gage’s conference here in Madrid’s Colegio Oficial de Arquitectura, on Nov 7th, this is the first time that 911 truth has been shown on mainstream media here in Spain. The conference was packed and the Colegio, which is the official “Guild” for architects here in Spain, has requested several copies of the video conference. This is the recording of the news item shown at midday on the 8th of November which was seen nation wide, with English subtitles: Google Video.
You can see details of the rest of Gage’s European Tour at AE911Truth.org, here.
David Ray Griffin was interviewed by Jan Mickelson, of WHO-AM radio in Des Moines. Bravo to James Hufferd, Adel, IA 911truth group leader, who facilitated this opportunity. Listen to the podcast here: mickelson.libsyn.com (
by Donna Marsh O’Connor
Wednesday 12 November 2008
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
A Truthout Original article
In September 2006, Michele Little (not pictured), Christina Kminek (L) and
Donna Marsh O’Connor (R) – three relatives of 9/11 victims – held a press conference
to demand further investigation into the September 11 attacks. (Photo: Alex
Wong / Getty Images)
This is a memoir of sorts, the kind that many of us in America are telling
days after the election of Barack Obama, who is soon, we all hope soon enough,
to be the 44th president of the United States of America. We’re not used to
this of late, this being the emergence of our stories, our narratives, each
one jubilant, provoked to the page and the air waves by our tears, for many
of us our tears of joy and relief, tears of disbelief. We, many of us, have
awakened from a nightmare. And that nightmare, for each of us, is different.
For me, the nightmare only partly ends. I’ve told this story many times before.
On 9/11/2001, in many ways the counter narrative to 11/4/2008, I lost my daughter
– my baby girl and my first child – along with the broken promise of a first
grandchild as Vanessa ran from the falling towers of the World Trade Center.
For many who have read my essays written in the years following the attacks,
this is an old story. I’ve said many times in many different… Continue reading