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U.S. military cancels hearing for September 11 suspects

Originally published at Reuters on 8/16/15

The U.S. military has canceled a pretrial hearing for suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, a military spokesman said on Sunday, in another setback for the government in its efforts to try the five men being held at Guantanamo.

A defense department spokesman said the hearing, originally scheduled for Aug. 24 to Sept. 4, was canceled by the military judge.

“The judge cited issues that remain unresolved with regard to a claimed defense counsel conflict of interest,” said Commander Gary Ross.…

Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World

J. Michael Springmann has just published, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World. As a former member of the US Foreign Service, Mr. Springmann exposes the truth about American involvement in the training and international movement of Muslim terrorists and the subsequent increase in jihadist terrorism. Some of these terrorists have links to 9/11.

Thousands of American soldiers and civil servants have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Innocent citizens of many nations, including Americans killed on 9/11, have also paid the ultimate price.…

Judges in Seattle Heard the NSA Surveillance Case That Could Go to the Supreme Court

Originally published at The Stranger by Brendan Kiley on 12/12/14

Earlier this week, a real estate attorney from Coeur d’Alene stood up in front of a three-judge panel in Seattle’s Ninth Circuit courthouse to argue Smith vs. Obama—a case challenging NSA surveillance that began back in Idaho, and could be the one that ends up before the US Supreme Court.

It was the first time the attorney, Peter Smith, had appeared before the Ninth Circuit—as another lawyer once said to me, “the Ninth Circuit ain’t beanbag”—or done anything like it.…

The Unlikely Jihadist from Wichita

Originally published at WhoWhatWhy.com by Kevin Ryan on 9/24/14

When neighbors went trick-or-treating at Terry Lee Loewen’s house in Wichita last Halloween, they saw a quiet, unobtrusive, “normal” man. Two months later, federal authorities said they’d seen through the disguise and found a jihadist hiding in the suburbs.

Loewen “planned to die as a martyr” and was charged with trying to drive an explosives-laden vehicle onto the tarmac at Mid-Continent Airport, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said at the time of the arrest.…

Interoperable Communications Show Dramatic Improvement Since 9/11, But Problems Remain

10 Years after 9/11 Commission Recommended it, FCC Finds Funds for National First Responder Communications Network

Originally published at AllGov by Noel  Brinkerhoff on  11/21/14

A decade after the 9/11 Commission suggested creating a unified communications network for first responders to use during emergencies, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally collected enough money to move forward.

The commission recommended that the federal government create a way for police and firefighters from different jurisdictions to communicate with each other in a crisis—something they couldn’t do during the response to the 9/11 attacks.…

Mary Fetchet lost her son on 9/11

Originally published at NEWS8 by  on  11/19/14

NEW CANAAN, Conn. (WTNH)– New Canaan’s Mary Fetchet lost her son Brad on September 11, 2001. He had called her husband right after the first tower was hit; he was on the 89th floor of tower 2. That was the last time they heard from their 24-year-old son.

Fetchet, a social worker by trade, though grieving, started mobilizing to help other families and founded a 9/11 advocacy non-profit organization called Voices of September 11th.…

War Is No Video Game – Not Even Remotely

Originally published at Breaking Defense by Scott Swanson on 11/18/14

The first person to fire a Hellfire missile from a Predator drone in combat and destroy a target writes here about his experience. Scott Swanson has never written about this before. Read on. The Editor.

Flying a Predator drone in combat is nothing like playing a video game. Take it from me, the first person to pull the trigger in a lethal missile strike from a Predator.

As one of the early Air Force pilots to fly that Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV, I cringe when people make snide comments about the “Chair Force.” No, the pilot of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft can’t hear his plane’s engine, feel its motion, or smell that airplane smell; and yes, he (or she) has a joystick and throttle and a couple of TV screens in front of him.  But there the comparison ends.…

Secret National Security Letters

Originally published at The Intercept by Cora Currier on 10/9/14

Can the government make demands for data entirely in secret?

That was the question yesterday before a federal appeals court in San Francisco, where government lawyers argued that National Security Letters — FBI requests for information that are so secret they can’t be publicly acknowledged by the recipients — were essential to counterterrorism investigations. The telecom company and internet provider that have challenged the National Security Letters (known as NSLs) still can’t even be named.…

Louis Freeh: The Man With The Secrets

Originally published at whowhatwhy.com by Russ Baker on 8/28/14

Any serious student of history is on alert for “interesting accidents.” Because sometimes they are accidents. Sometimes, they’re not.

We have no opinion at the moment on the one-car-wreck that left former FBI director Louis Freeh badly injured around noon on August 25, other than to note some curious facts: the police were hours late informing the office of the governor of Vermont; Freeh was flown by helicopter to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital in New Hampshire under armed guard, and has remained under armed guard; the hospital has refused to confirm that he is a patient, even after reports of two surgeries; at least for the first few days no one has answered the phones at his company, Freeh Group International.…

Lawsuit against Bush Administration for war crimes

Witness Iraq has brought a lawsuit against key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz.

In Saleh v. Bush, plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh alleges that the Iraq War was a premeditated war against the Iraqi people, the planning of which started in 1998. The war was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and under international law constituted a “crime of aggression” — a crime first set down at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II.…

The militarization of the police: To terrify and Occupy

Originally published at TomDispatch by Matthew Harwood on 8/14/14

How the Excessive Militarization of the Police is Turning Cops Into Counterinsurgents

During a 2011 investigation, reporters Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz discovered that, since 9/11, police departments watching over some of the safest places in America have used $34 billion in grant funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to militarize in the name of counterterrorism.

Jason Westcott was afraid.

One night last fall, he discovered via Facebook that a friend of a friend was planning with some co-conspirators to break in to his home.…

9/11 Museum exhibit casts doubt on link between health problems and toxic Ground Zero air

Originally published by the New York Daily News by Dan Friedman on 8/10/14

Committees representing 9/11 survivors and first responders are demanding the museum rewrite three of the panels in the ‘After 9/11’ exhibit because they say they contain inaccurate information about the connection between exposure to toxic dust and widespread health issues.

WASHINGTON — The government has recognized that first responders became ill from working near Ground Zero — but the 9/11 Museum isn’t so sure.…

FBI accused of threatening witness in OKC bombing trial

Originally published at FOX13 by Ben Winslow on 7/31/14

SALT LAKE CITY — A trial over evidence and conspiracy theories from the Oklahoma City bombing wrapped up here, with a shocking twist.

As a trial over documents and videotape the FBI had from the 1995 bombing that killed 168 ended on Thursday, the man suing the federal government claimed one of his witnesses had been told not to show up — or else.

Jesse Trentadue said John Matthews, whom he claimed worked as an undercover government operative in the militia movement in the 1990s, had been contacted by an FBI agent and told “it would be best if he didn’t show up to testify.”

“He was told he should take a vacation and that if he did testify he should suffer from a case of the ‘I don’t remembers,’” Trentadue told U.S.…

FBI found ‘many connections’ between Sarasota family and 9/11

Originally posted at the Herald-tribune by , last updated 5/14/14

When the FBI investigated a Saudi Arabian family that abruptly left Sarasota weeks before the 9/11 terror attacks, it found “many connections between the (redacted) family and individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01.”

The description, included in documents released Friday as part of a federal lawsuit against the agency, comes as the FBI is working to comply with a federal judge’s order to produce 27 boxes of materials.…

Seymour Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels

Originally published by Seymour Hersh at the London Review of Books April, 2014

In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons. Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention.…

Obama’s call for transparency remains unfulfilled

Preface

The Colorado Democratic Party (CDP) is the only Democratic party in the U.S., so far, that has a plank within its platform that calls for a new 9/11 investigation. This plank (or a similar one) has been included in the platform since 2008.

Rumor has it, however, that some of the 2014 CDP Platform Committee members want to remove it, believing that claims by 9/11 skeptics have been answered. Therefore, this document was written to inform these platform committee members that our claims have not been answered, and furthermore, President Obama’s call for an “Open and Transparent Government” has been thoroughly unfulfilled regarding the events of September 11, 2001.…

British Ex-Spy Launches Fund to Support Whistleblowers Like Snowden

Originally published at WIRED by John Borland on 12/29/13

HAMBURG – A new foundation to support whistleblowers is being launched by former British intelligence agent Annie Machon, whose resignation and revelations about U.K. spying activities in the 1990s sparked controversy echoing this year’s NSA news.

Speaking at the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) here, Machon said the foundation would be called the Courage Fund to Protect Journalistic Sources.

“Crucially, we want to encourage other whistleblowers to come forward,” she said.…

9/11 victims’ case against Saudi Arabia restored

Originally published by The NY Post on 12/19/13

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday revived claims by families of victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks who alleged that Saudi Arabia provided material support to al Qaeda.

Reversing a lower court ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said “the interests of justice” justified reviving the claims, in light of a 2011 decision that allowed similar claims to proceed against Afghanistan.

Circuit Judge Chester Straub wrote for a three-judge panel that it would be “especially anomalous” to treat both sets of plaintiffs differently.…

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