Gary Hart warns Iran to beware Cheney false-flag provocation for U.S. attack
Sept. 28. The following brief open letter is from Gary Hart, the former Democratic senator from Colorado and winner of presidential primaries in 1984, also the co-author of the much-cited 2000 Hart-Rudman report on terrorism, writing in the Huffington Post yesterday in the form of
“Unsolicited Advice to the Government of Iran”
Presuming that you are not actually ignorant enough to desire war with the United States, you might be well advised to read the history of the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 and the history of the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964.
Having done so, you will surely recognize that Americans are reluctant to go to war unless attacked. Until Pearl Harbor, we were even reluctant to get involved in World War II. For historians of American wars the question is whether we provoke provocations.
Given the unilateral U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, you are obviously thinking the rules have changed. Provocation is no longer required to take America to war. But even in this instance, we were led to believe that the mass murderer of American civilians, Osama bin Laden, was lurking, literally or figuratively, in the vicinity of Baghdad.
Given all this, you would probably be well advised to keep your forces, including clandestine forces, as far away from the Iraqi border as you can. You might even consider bringing in some… Continue reading
‘9/11 Truthers’ flip the bird at Bill Maher
by Jason Rhyne
After being broadly denounced as “crazy people” by HBO’s sharp-tongued Bill Maher, some members of the so-called 9/11 Truth movement — a group convinced that US government accounts of the Sept. 11 tragedies do not fully explain the events of that day — decided to give Maher a taste of his own caustic medicine.
In a new video making its rounds on the internet, one band of miffed Los Angeles-based “Truthers” borrows the graphics, theme music and trademark bite of Maher’s popular “New Rules” segment to push back at the comedian’s charges that conspiracy theorists are lunatics. “Crazy people are defined by acting crazy,” activist Stewart Howe says in the clip, sitting alongside a Maher-esque video window depicting Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in a straight jacket. “9/11 Truthers,” he continues, “are defined by a patriotic quest for the truth.”
“I love Bill Maher, but he’s wrong about 9/11 Truth,” Katy Kurtzman, who also appears in the video, told RAW STORY . “We wanted to give it back to him the way he gives it out, which is ‘I’m smarter than you and I’m gonna make fun of you about it.'”
“We had no idea it was going to go as viral as it has,” she said of the project, which is the subject of more than 35,000 hits to date on YouTube and has received widespread postings on websites skeptical of the official 9/11 story.
“It’s a response… Continue reading
Will DOJ Look into the First Death of a U.S. 9/11 Researcher?
By Sander Hicks
October 14, 2007
From 9/24 to 10/1/07 I traveled throughout Louisiana and Texas, with reporter Jordan Green, investigating the death of 9/11 researcher Dr. David Graham.
Our suspicions were validated: there’s a huge story here. It’s almost overwhelming. The best way to summarize is to publish my complaint filed last week with the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General.
If you support an investigation into the death of Dr. Graham, please say so, in the comments section, at the end. (Please send me your email, too, I may be doing some sort of activism around this. Mine is sander [at] voxpopnet.net)
October 11th, 2007
Office of the Inspector General
Department of Justice
1425 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
I am writing to request a special investigation into possible FBI corruption inside the Shreveport, LA. office. I have been researching the strange death of Dr. David M. Graham since I was passed his unpublished manuscript, last spring. This case is of the utmost importance, and is about to receive serious media attention.
A week ago, I returned from a fact-finding mission in Shreveport, New Orleans and Houston. Alongside reporter Jordan Green, I met many of Dr. Graham’s surviving friends and coworkers. Every one of them indicated that Dr.… Continue reading
by Peter Zaza
There’s a wonderful optical illusion which involves a graphic of a ballerina spinning around on one leg. It’s called:
“The Spinning Silhouette Optical Illusion”
This illusion elucidates a very important principle concerning subjective reality, and helps to illustrate a point about the vastly differing views people can hold about events such as 9/11. Some people who look at the spinning figure will first affirm that she is bouncing on her left leg while twirling in a clockwise direction. Others may avow that she is instead bouncing on her right leg and spinning in a counterclockwise direction. Indeed, you can have many people looking at this animated graphic at the same time and not agree as to what is happening. This idea is not really foreign to many people who have made the journey from one belief about 9/11 to its diametrical opposite.
First – we must try and deconstruct the illusion and find out what is going on. When you look at a silhouette of a figure it is not possible to determine if it is facing you, or facing away from you. There is no depth to the figure, it’s just an outline – our Left/Right designation of what we visually perceive will set the stage for our belief of what follows. If the human cut-out is interpreted to be facing you then you will assume it is her left foot touching the ground, and vice versa if not. The information is not sufficient when viewing a black and white silhouette, our brain makes an assumption at first glance and then proceeds toward a logical eventuality based upon that assumption.…Continue reading
U.S. officials have long retaliated against employees who speak out, burying the dangers they expose. Now, Congress wants to give whistle-blowers greater protection — but President Bush vows to stop it.
By James Sandler
Nov. 01, 2007 | If there is any doubt about how the Bush administration treats government whistle-blowers, consider the case of Teresa Chambers. She was hired in early 2002, with impeccable law enforcement credentials, to become chief of the United States Park Police. But after Chambers raised concerns publicly that crime was up in the nation’s parks, she was rebuked by superiors and fired. When Chambers fought to regain her job through the legal system meant to protect whistle-blowers, government lawyers fought back, and associated her with terrorists. Despite a multiyear legal struggle, she is still fighting for her job.
Whistle-blowers have faced hostility not only under Republican administrations. During President Clinton’s tenure, Bogdan Dzakovic, an undercover security agent with the Federal Aviation Administration, suffered retribution for speaking out about weak airport security — three years before Sept. 11, 2001. Dzakovic was passed up for promotion time and again, and today, he says, he remains consigned to data entry duties for the Transportation Security Administration.
Every year, hundreds of federal workers sound the alarm about corruption, fraud or dangers to public safety that are caused or overlooked — or even covered up — by U.S. government agencies. These whistle-blowers are supposed to be guaranteed protection by law from retaliation for speaking out in the public’s interest.… Continue reading
Informant gave advance warning to Civil Guard
By Paul Bond
7 November 2007
The sentences handed down at the culmination of the Madrid train bombing trial have served to underscore its political character.
The court placed the main responsibility for organising the March 2004 bombings, which killed 191 people, on the suspects who blew themselves up in the Madrid suburb of Leganes three weeks later. Much of the case against the accused related to their links to these men. However, many of the 29 accused were petty criminals and informants, who claim to have given the police information that could have prevented the attacks. In addition one of the chief suspects was acquitted for lack of evidence.
The 20 Arabs and nine Spaniards were charged with offences ranging from murder, stealing explosives, and forging documents to membership in terrorist organisations. All pleaded not guilty. The prosecution was seeking sentences of 38,656 years for the three men suspected of having masterminded the attacks, who were charged with 191 murders and 1,841 attempted murders. Other defendants faced sentences of between four and 27 years.
Seven of the defendants were acquitted. Maximum sentences were passed down against three of the main suspects but another accused of having been the mastermind behind the atrocity was acquitted because of the flimsiness of the evidence against them.
In his sentencing, Judge Javier Gomez Bermudez said that the convictions were based on “solid evidence” of involvement. The trial had established the chain of events leading up to… Continue reading
By Jason Charles
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.”
BY JAY WEAVER AND ALFONSO CHARDY
The Miami Herald
Bribery. Drug trafficking. Migrant smuggling.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is supposed to stop these types of crimes. Instead, so many of its officers have been charged with committing those crimes themselves that their boss in Washington recently issued an alert about the “disturbing events” and the “increase in the number of employee arrests.”
Thomas S. Winkowski, assistant commissioner of field operations, wrote a memo to more than 20,000 officers nationwide noting that employees must behave professionally at all times — even when not on the job.
“It is our responsibility to uphold the laws, not break the law,” Winkowski wrote in the Nov. 16 memo obtained by The Miami Herald .
Winkowski’s memo cites employee arrests involving domestic violence, DUI and drug possession. But court records show Customs officers and other Department of Homeland Security employees from South Florida to the Mexican border states have been charged with dozens of far more serious offenses.
Among them: A Customs and Border Protection officer at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was charged in February with conspiring to assist a New York drug ring under investigation by tapping into sensitive federal databases.
Winkowski, a former director of field operations in Miami, called the misconduct “unacceptable.” He told The Miami Herald that while he wrote the memo because of an uptick in employee arrests last fall, he didn’t believe the problem was pervasive.
“Do I believe this is widespread in our organization? No, I do… Continue reading
Release Date: March 10, 2008
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is conducting the largest cyber security exercise ever organized. Cyber Storm II is being held from March 10-14 in Washington, D.C. and brings together participants from federal, state and local governments, the private sector, and the international community.
Cyber Storm II is the second in a series of congressionally mandated exercises that will examine the nation’s cyber security preparedness and response capabilities. the exercise will simulate a coordinated cyber attack on information technology, communications, chemical, and transportation systems and assets.
“Securing cyberspace is vital to maintaining America’s strategic interests, public safety, and economic prosperity,” said Greg Garcia, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Communications. “Exercises like Cyber Storm II help to ensure that the public and private sectors are prepared for an effective response to attacks against our critical systems and networks.”
Cyber Storm II will include 18 federal departments and agencies, nine states (Calif., Colo., Del., Ill., Mich., N.C., Pa., Texas and Va.), five countries (United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom), and more than 40 private sector companies. They include ABB, Inc., Air Products, Cisco, Dow Chemical Company Inc., Harris Corporation, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Microsoft, NeuStar, PPG Industries, and Wachovia.
Cyber Storm II objectives include:
* Examining the capabilities of participating organizations to prepare for, protect against, and respond to the potential effects of cyber attacks
* Exercising strategic decision making and interagency coordination of incident response in accordance with national level policy and procedures
* Validating information sharing relationships and communications paths for the collection and dissemination of cyber incident situational awareness, response and recovery information
* Examining means and processes through which to share sensitive information across boundaries and sectors without compromising proprietary or national security interests
For more information on Cyber Storm II visit:http://www.dhs.gov/xprepresp/training/gc_1204738275985.shtm
Many more details about this at this DHS Fact Sheet.…Continue reading
By Editorial Staff, AlterNet
March 11, 2008
This week, on March 13-16, a new generation of “Winter Soldiers” — veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq — will descend on the nation’s capitol to tell America in their own words what they saw during their service in the “war on terror,” the Bush administration’s signature policy. They’ll give a ground’s eye perspective on the occupation’s toll on the people of those countries and the costs to the military, and they’ll tell stories of what it was really like in places like Fallujah and Ramadi — places that are just names on a map to most of the people back home.
They’ll be following large footsteps. In the early months of 1971, a group of Vietnam vets, organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), gave two days of testimony about the Vietnam that they had seen, up close and all-too-personally, in the original “Winter Soldier” investigation. While largely dismissed by the political establishment, their wrenching testimony redoubled the peace movement’s efforts to end that war.
In his opening statement 37 years ago, William Crandell, a 26 year-old lieutenant who served in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division — the division that committed the infamous My Lai Massacre — told the hushed room, “The Winter Soldier Investigation is not a mock trial. There will be no phony indictments; there will be no verdict against Uncle Sam.” He promised “straightforward testimony — direct testimony — about acts which are war… Continue reading
By DAVID GAMBACORTA
Philadelphia Daily News
March 1, 2008
The call of duty has brought them together again, for one more vital mission.
Their hair is a little longer, their faces are a little scruffier and their military garbs are a little more disheveled.
But when the signal is given shortly before 10 a.m. today at the Constitution Center, 20 members of the Philadelphia chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War will march once more.
They’ll trek along Kelly Drive, past the Art Museum and Boathouse Row, across the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and continue out west until they meet about 90 other veterans at Valley Forge on Sunday afternoon.
Along the way, they hope to dispel a few myths about the Iraq war and give regular people an idea of the grim reality that their fellow soldiers still face overseas.
“We wanted to do something in solidarity that could send a message to the American people,” said Steve Mortillo, the president of the Philadelphia chapter of IVAW, who served in Iraq with the U.S. Calvary 1st Squadron Infantry Division.
“It’s been five years since the war started, and a lot of us have feelings that Americans only should die in combat if it’s a cause that’s going to save more American lives than it’s going to cost.”
Today’s march also will promote IVAW’s Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, a three-day gathering for veterans of both wars that will take place next month in Washington, D.C.
The organization boasts… Continue reading
Dear IAVA Supporter,
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, but you might not have seen much about it on TV recently. Just 3% of the news in February was dedicated to the war and fewer than one in three Americans know how many American troops have died in Iraq. Believe it or not, a study just released by the Pew Research Center shows that press coverage of the war is at the lowest point since the war began.
Please take a minute now to sign an open letter to the media and demand that major networks increase their coverage of the Iraq war.
The economy and the presidential campaigns are both important stories, but news of the ongoing wars shouldn’t fall by the wayside. The media must demonstrate that they can walk and chew gum at the same time. Over 80% of Americans are aware that Oprah Winfrey endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president, while just 28% know how many troops have died in Iraq- even though we are rapidly approaching 4,000 casualties.
An unprecedented detachment between the American public and the men and women at war makes the media’s coverage of the conflicts more vital than ever. Just because the coverage has waned doesn’t mean our troops aren’t facing daily dangers or major issues once they return home.
Men and women continue to serve in Iraq, though you might not realize that just from watching the news. Please sign this open letter and honor the sacrifice of those who have served in the past five years by making sure they remain in the public eye.…Continue reading
The following statement is being issued by over a dozen Christian leaders to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war. We invite you to join us in adding your name as a gesture of lamentation and repentance.
This season of Lent, we are truly living “in darkness and in the shadow of death” as we mark, on March 19, 2008, the fifth anniversary of the war with Iraq. It is a war that is being waged by our country, financed by our taxes, and fought by our sisters and brothers. As U.S. Christians, we issue a call to the American church to lament and repent of the sin of this war.
We lament the suffering and violence in Iraq. …
We lament the effects of this war on our country. …
We repent of our failure to fully live the teaching of Jesus to be peacemakers.
We believe repentance means more than just being sorry. …
We dedicate ourselves to the biblical vision of a world in which nations do not attempt to resolve international problems by waging war on other nations.
The mission of Sojourners is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world.
Source URL: http://go.sojo.net/campaign/iraqstatement1/xgk7u76rl76twt5x?
March 23, 2008
By Robert Pear
WASHINGTON — New government research has found “large and growing” disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the last two decades.
Life expectancy for the nation as a whole has increased, the researchers said, but affluent people have experienced greater gains, and this, in turn, has caused a widening gap.
One of the researchers, Gopal K. Singh, a demographer at the Department of Health and Human Services, said “the growing inequalities in life expectancy” mirrored trends in infant mortality and in death from heart disease and certain cancers.
The gaps have been increasing despite efforts by the federal government to reduce them. One of the top goals of “Healthy People 2010,” an official statement of national health objectives issued in 2000, is to “eliminate
health disparities among different segments of the population,” including higher- and lower-income groups and people of different racial and ethnic background.
Dr. Singh said last week that federal officials had found “widening socioeconomic inequalities in life expectancy” at birth and at every age level.
He and another researcher, Mohammad Siahpush, a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, developed an index to measure social and economic conditions in every county, using census data on education, income, poverty, housing and other factors. Counties were then classified into 10 groups of equal population size.
In 1980-82, Dr. Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus 73 years).…Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
April 1, 2008
Events of the last week offer a metaphorical glimpse at the delusion pervading President George W. Bush’s White House and other enclaves of Iraq supporters in Washington. Bush and the First Lady spent last Monday clowning with the Easter Bunny (White House counsel Fred Fielding having donned the costume).
At the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), war cheerleaders, dressed as academicians, were delivering a panegyric on how peaceful and stable the situation in Iraq had become. The “surge,” they announced, had nipped a civil war in the bud.
“The civil war is over,” AEI’s Fred Kagan, co-author of the surge, declared proudly. Brookings twins Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack led the cheering section.
Meanwhile, back in the southern Iraq city of Basra and elsewhere, full-blown civil war seemed about to explode. And in Baghdad, formerly protected folks were getting killed by mortar and rocket fire in what is customarily referred to as “the highly fortified Green Zone,” which has sequestered U.S. embassy and military officials as well as those of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government.
Two American officials and two Iraqi guards of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi died in the Green Zone attacks, which are continuing.
At ABC in New York, Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer was trying hard Thursday to understand it all. Shaking her head in disbelief after four straight days of attacks on the Green Zone, she asked how a round “can actually get inside the embassy; how fortified is that?”… Continue reading
By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service
As the November election approaches, the question before officials is not how to fix known bugs in their e-voting systems, but rather, how best to check them for fraud, said David Wagner, an associate professor with the University of California, Berkeley’s computer science department.
Wagner was part of the team that audited California’s voting systems during the state’s review of electronic voting, and the problems his team found affect counties across the U.S. “The three systems we looked at are three of the most widely used around the nation,” he said during an e-voting panel discussion at the show. “They’re going to be using them in the 2008 elections; they’re still going to have the same vulnerabilities we found.”
With images of Florida’s laborious 2000 presidential recount in their minds, county officials have spent billions over the past eight years on electronic voting systems. These systems are supposed to take the guesswork out of vote-counting. The problem is that they are insecure, and now states are being forced to make do with buggy equipment, panel members agreed. “We have spent billions of dollars on equipment,” Wagner said. “We don’t have another several billion dollars.”
The California audit examined systems from Diebold Elections Systems, Hart InterCivic and Sequoia Voting Systems, ultimately permitting their use in… Continue reading
By Haaretz Service and Reuters
The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.
“We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Ma’ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.”
Netanyahu reportedly made the comments during a conference at Bar-Ilan University on the division of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast doubt over the veracity of the September 11 attacks Thursday, calling it a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Four or five years ago, a suspicious event occurred in New York. A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed but never published their names,” Ahmadinejad told Iranians in the holy city of Qom.
“Under this pretext, they [the U.S.] attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since then, a million people have been killed only in Iraq.”
Speaking Wednesday at a news conference on the Iran threat, Netanyahu compared Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler and likened Tehran’s nuclear program to the threat the Nazis posed to Europe in the late 1930s.
Netanyahu said Iran differed from the Nazis in one vital respect, explaining that “where that [Nazi] regime embarked on a global conflict before it developed nuclear weapons,” he said.…Continue reading
By Greg Palast
April 21, 2008
Psst! George Bush has a secret
While you Democrats are pounding each other to a pulp in Pennsylvania, the President has snuck back down to New Orleans for a meeting of the NAFTA Three: the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Mexico.
You’re not supposed to know that — for two reasons:
First, the summit planned for the N.O. two years back was meant to showcase the rebuilt Big Easy, a monument to can-do Bush-o-nomics. Well, it is a monument to Bush’s leadership: The city still looks like Dresden 1946, with over half the original residents living in toxic trailers or wandering lost and broke in America.
The second reason Bush has kept this major summit a virtual secret is its real agenda – and the real agenda-makers. The names and faces of the guys who called the meeting must remain as far out of camera range as possible: The North American Competitiveness Council.
Never heard of The Council? Well, maybe you’ve heard of the counsellors: the chief executives of Wal-Mart, Chevron Oil, Lockheed-Martin and 27 other multinational masters of the corporate universe.
And why did the landlords of our continent order our presidents to a three-nation pajama party? Their agenda is “harmonization.”
FEMA Trailer Parks: Harmonization has nothing to do with singing in fifths like Simon and Garfunkel.
Harmonization means making rules and regulations the same in all three countries.… Continue reading