by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly completed settlements of two of the remaining three lawsuits brought by families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks are likely to include language requiring evidence to be displayed at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, a lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Mary Schiavo said the public display of evidence collected for trial by lawyers in the case was important to the families.
She called the museum a fitting place for it and said the materials were likely to be put in the museum’s reading room.
She commented outside a court hearing where lawyers announced they had settled 15 of 18 property damage cases stemming from the terrorism attacks for an undisclosed amount, including claims by the Windows on the World restaurant.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said he expects he will insist the amounts be made public later because of the “extreme public interest” in the cases.
Schiavo said families were close to settling cases stemming from the deaths of Sara Low, 28, a Boston-based flight attendant who died when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center, and Barbara Keating, 72, of Palm Springs, Fla., who was also aboard American Flight 11.
The lawyer said the remaining family was unlikely to settle its case on behalf of Mark Bavis, 31, of West Newton, Mass., a scout for the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team. He was aboard United Flight 175, which also struck the… Continue reading
The new decade finds the US working class suffering a level of social misery not seen since the Great Depression. Unemployment, poverty, hunger, utility cutoffs, homelessness, foreclosures and bankruptcies have become common experiences for millions.
But unlike in the Great Depression, when limited reforms were put in place in response to the crisis, the Obama administration, Congress, and state and local governments are taking no serious measures to provide relief. On the contrary, the two parties of big business are exacerbating the crisis through budget cuts at the state and local level and the federal government is preparing new austerity measures.
Unemployment: At over 10 percent, the official US jobless rate reached in October and November was the highest since June of 1983. A broader measure of unemployment, taking into account those who have fallen out of the official workforce, reveals that something approaching one in five workers is unemployed or underemployed.
The economy has not added jobs since December 2007, and in that same time span has lost 7.2 million jobs overall. Coupling these losses with population growth–the economy must add about 150,000 jobs per month to break even–the net jobs deficit in the period is well over 10.5 million.
It is widely acknowledged that most of the jobs lost will not return for years, if ever. Even by the optimistic forecast of the Federal Reserve Board, the jobless rate will remain above 7 percent through 2011.…Continue reading
Top Censored Stories of 2009/2010
December 31, 2009
The latest edition of Project Censored’s research, the Top 25 censored news stories that didn’t make the news, and more accounts of media democracy in action will be available by October 1st, this fall, for Media Accountability Day. Order your copy today! Or, make a generous tax-deductible donation of $100 or more to the Media Freedom Foundation/Project… Continue reading
by Steven Aftergood
November 23rd, 2009
Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy’s Secrecy News
Development of a new executive order on classification of national security information is now proceeding at an accelerated pace in order to preempt a deadline that would require the declassification of millions of pages of historical records next month.
A revised draft executive order was circulated to executive branch agencies by the Office of Management and Budget on November 16, with agency comments due back today, November 23. A final order is likely to be issued by the end of this year.
There is an incentive to complete the development of the executive order before December 31, 2009 because of a deadline for declassification of historical records that falls on that date. Under the current Bush executive order, classified records that are at least 25 years old and that have been referred from one agency to another because they involve multiple agency interests are supposed to be automatically declassified at the end of this year. (See E.O. 13292, section 3.3(e)(3)).
But in order to meet this December deadline, several agencies would have to forgo a review of the affected historical records, which they are unwilling to do. And so it seems they will simply be excused from compliance. But in order to modify the deadline in the Bush order, it will be necessary to issue another executive order. If the comprehensive new Obama order on classification policy (which would assign processing of such records to a National Declassification Center that does not yet exist) is not ready for release by December 31, then another stand-alone order would have to be issued, canceling or extending the looming deadline.…Continue reading
by Brad Jacobson
Thursday, November 5th, 2009
The Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General is conducting a new investigation into a covert Bush administration Defense Department program that used retired military analysts to produce positive wartime news coverage.
Last May, the Inspector General’s office rescinded and repudiated a prior internal investigation’s report on the retired military analyst program, which had been issued by the Bush administration, because it “did not meet accepted quality standards for an Inspector General work product.” Yet in recent interviews with Raw Story, Pentagon officials who took part in the program were still defending it by referencing this invalidated report.
Gary Comerford, Inspector General spokesman for the Defense Department, told Raw Story last week that his office is conducting an investigation into the retired military analyst program and confirmed that the investigation began during the summer.
Asked when his office expects to conclude the investigation, Comerford said, “As a matter of policy we do not set deadlines since any number of variables or factors could result in a delay.”
He did confirm that investigators in his office have read Raw Story’s recent articles on the topic.
Congressman John F. Tierney (D-MA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, issued a press release (cache link) this past June, announcing that Pentagon Inspector General Gordon Heddell had begun the new investigation.
Yet Raw Story and Comerford could find no other news… Continue reading
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
By Sibel Edmonds and Philip Giraldi
American Conservative Magazine
Sibel Edmonds has a story to tell. She went to work as a Turkish and Farsi translator for the FBI five days after 9/11. Part of her job was to translate and transcribe recordings of conversations between suspected Turkish intelligence agents and their American contacts. She was fired from the FBI in April 2002 after she raised concerns that one of the translators in her section was a member of a Turkish organization that was under investigation for bribing senior government officials and members of Congress, drug trafficking, illegal weapons sales, money laundering, and nuclear proliferation. She appealed her termination, but was more alarmed that no effort was being made to address the corruption that she had been monitoring.
A Department of Justice inspector general’s report called Edmonds’s allegations “credible,” “serious,” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI.” Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee members Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have backed her publicly. “60 Minutes” launched an investigation of her claims and found them believable. No one has ever disproved any of Edmonds’s revelations, which she says can be verified by FBI investigative files.
John Ashcroft’s Justice Department confirmed Edmonds’s veracity in a backhanded way by twice invoking the dubious State Secrets Privilege so she could not tell what she knows. The ACLU has called her “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.”
But… Continue reading
The Silence of the Antiwar Movement is Deafening
Cindy Sheehan’s Lonely Vigil in Obamaland
By JOHN V. WALSH August 26, 2009 Counterpunch.com
A funny thing has happened on Cindy Sheehan’s long road from Crawford, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard. Many of those who claim to lead the peace movement and who so volubly praised her actions in Crawford, TX, are not to be seen. Nor heard. The silence in fact is deafening, or as Cindy put it in an email to this writer, “crashingly deafening.” Where are the email appeals to join Cindy from The Nation or from AFSC or Peace Action or “Progressive” Democrats of America (PDA) or even Code Pink? Or United for Peace and Justice. (No wonder UFPJ is essentially closing shop, bereft of most of their contributions and shriveling up following the thinly veiled protest behind the “retirement” of Leslie Cagan.) And what about MoveOn although it was long ago thoroughly discredited as principled opponents of war or principled in any way shape or form except slavish loyalty to the “other” War Party. And of course sundry “socialist” organizations are also missing in action since their particular dogma will not be front and center. These worthies and many others have vanished into the fog of Obama’s wars.
Just to be sure, this writer contacted several of the “leaders” of the “official” peace movement in the Boston area — AFSC, Peace Action, Green Party of MA (aka Green Rainbow Party) and some others. Not so much as the courtesy of a reply resulted from this effort – although the GRP at least posted a notice of the action.…Continue reading
By Erik Larson
Sibel Edmonds gave a sworn deposition in which she testified to her knowledge of treasonous crimes and corruption involving current and former members of Congress and State and Defense Dept. officials. Given the nature of the deposition, the lines of questioning focused on Turkish espionage and services obtained through bribery and blackmail by Turkish officials and proxies. However, Edmonds has previously disclosed that the corruption involving U.S. officials also includes money laundering, trafficking in drugs, arms and nuclear secrets, U.S. support for Bin Laden/Al Qaeda, and obstruction of FBI investigations related to 9/11, before and after the attacks; she said these things came up “briefly” during the deposition. Edmonds learned of these things from wiretaps she listened to while working as a translator for the FBI in 2001-2002.
Video shot by me of Q&A sessions outside the deposition — Sibel Edmonds, Stephen Michael Kohn of NWC, Bruce Fein of TALDF and TACA (formerly w/ ATAA) and Davikorian, at Edmonds’ Aug 8, 2009 deposition
Edmonds’ Aug 8 testimony was subpoenaed by David Krikorian (Democratic 2010 Congressional candidate- OH) to support his defense against a lawsuit brought by Jean Schmidt, R-OH. Krikorian had circulated a flier in his 2008 campaign in which he alleged that Schmidt had accepted “blood money” from Turkish interests in exchange for opposing a Congressional resolution acknowledging the Turkish genocide of Armenians in World War I. The deposition took place in Washington, DC at the headquarters… Continue reading
Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on US government plans to launch swine flu vaccinations in the fall, a report of widespread torture at the US secret prison at Bagram, Afghanistan, revelations that weapons inspector David Kelly’s mysterious death may have been related to his intention to expose a worldwide black market in weaponized anthrax, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team
Important Note: We’ve been hit hard by the ecomonic downturn. Donations this year are less than half what they were at this time last year. We would deeply appreciate support from any of you that can afford it. To help further this work, please click here.
July 10, 2009, Washington Post
School-age children will be a key target= population for a pandemic flu vaccine in the fall, and they may be vaccinated at school in a mass campaign not seen since the polio epidemics of the 1950s.…Continue reading
By Gareth Porter
July 8, 2009
Official government documents reveal new side of defense secretary’s legacy
Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1967, took many secrets with him when he died Monday at 93. But probably no secret was more sensitive politically than the one that would have changed fundamentally the public perception of his role in Vietnam policy had it been become widely known.
The secret was his deliberate deceit of President Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 4, 1964 regarding the alleged attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Documents which have been available for decades in the LBJ Library show clearly that McNamara failed to inform Johnson that the U.S. naval task group commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, had changed his mind about the alleged North Vietnamese torpedo attack on U.S. warships he had reported earlier that day.
By early afternoon Washington time, Herrick had reported to the Commander in Chief Pacific in Honolulu that “freak weather effects” on the ship’s radar had made such an attack questionable. In fact, Herrick was now saying, in a message sent at 1:27 pm Washington time, that no North Vietnamese patrol boats had actually been sighted. Herrick now proposed a “complete evaluation before any further action taken.”
These documents were reviewed by this reporter in researching my book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.
McNamara later testified that he had read the message… Continue reading
Originally posted 06 July 2009 at LondonDailyNews.com
On the eve of the four year anniversary of the brutal bombings that took place on 7 July 2005 taking the lives of 52 innocent Londoners, the capital is silent, its media are neutered, the radio waves are quiet. Did this atrocity even take place? Why are we not talking about the biggest attack on London’s security in recent memory?
The BBC ran a documentary on the “conspiracy” behind 7/7 trying to discredit the many theories that are being advocated that the British government may have been involved in the attacks, that Mossad was aware and therefore was able to move Netanyahu and other dignitaries away to safe areas at the time in London.
What is being forgotten here is the crux of the entire build up to the terrorist attacks and the aftermath.
Firstly why did 4 British born Muslims believe it justified to carry bombs on trains, buses and the underground and attack the very citizens of the country they were born in?
Why did the intelligence apparatus of this country not monitor, as we have been made aware, known individuals with the potential and knowledge to carry out these attacks? The argument that no one and no system can ever stop someone who is determined to cause murder is valid, but the collating of the right knowledge and training for these types of attacks had been monitored.
The aftermath? We have a muzzled response to the 7/7 attacks, the conspiracy is the way in which London is either afraid or knows too well the consequences of speaking out on these attacks.…Continue reading
Posted at GreenPartyWatch.org
This breaking news comes via David Josue, a close associate and supporter of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney: Editor
Update 7/5/09: BREAKING NEWS: Israeli authorities deporting Cynthia McKinney
Update 7/2/09: Phone call from Cynthia, still imprisoned in Israel.
Below: 7/1/09 Update on kidnapped passengers, impounded boat, and the right for EVERYONE to see an attorney
June 8, 2009
FAS Project on Government Secrecy s Secrecy News
An Inspector General review (pdf) of the State Department Office of the Historian (HO) last month confirmed that there were serious management defects in the Office and recommended reassignment of its Director as well as other changes.
The Office of the Historian is responsible for production of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, which is the official documentary history of U.S. foreign policy and one of the most important vehicles for declassification of historical records.
Allegations of mismanagement and declining performance had surrounded the Office for years until the Chairman of the State Department Historical Advisory Committee, Prof. Wm. Roger Louis, resigned last December to dramatize his concerns that the FRUS series was “at risk.” (See “State Dept: Crisis in the Foreign Relations Series,” Secrecy News, December 11, 2008).
“In varying degrees, nearly 75 percent of the present HO employees interviewed … were critical of the way the office is run,” the IG reported. “They alleged favoritism, cronyism, a lack of transparency, lack of interest in the FRUS, disparagement of the staff, suspicion, an absence of leadership, and, in general, the creation of an unhappy workplace.”
With plummeting employee morale and departures of experienced staff historians, “something in HO is very wrong,” the Inspector General concluded. “HO is suffering from, and has for some time been handicapped by, serious mismanagement for which the director must be held accountable…. Despite any mitigating factors that may exist in favor of the director, this situation cannot be allowed to continue.”
“It is a devastating indictment,” said Prof.…Continue reading
First, the press release from AAEM:
May 19, 2009
Contact Information Dr. Amy L. Dean, D.O. Public Relations Chair Member, Board of Directors American Academy of Environmental Medicine
The American Academy Of Environmental Medicine Calls For Immediate Moratorium On Genetically Modified Foods
Wichita, KS – The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) today released its position paper on Genetically Modified foods stating that “GM foods pose a serious health risk” and calling for a moratorium on GM foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes “there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects” and that “GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.” The AAEM calls for:
* A moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labeling of GM food. * Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GM foods. * Physicians to consider the role of GM foods in their patients’ disease processes. * More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GM foods on human health.
“Multiple animal studies have shown that GM foods cause damage to various organ systems in the body. With this mounting evidence, it is imperative to have a moratorium on GM foods for the safety of our patients’ and the public’s health,” said Dr. Amy Dean, PR chair and… Continue reading
Guest Editorial by Sibel Edmonds
May 22, 2009
“In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill…we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.” — Plato
During the campaign, amid their state of elation, many disregarded Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama’s past record and took any criticism of these past actions as partisan attacks deserving equally partisan counterattacks. Some continued their reluctant support after candidate Obama became grand finalist
and prayed for the best. And a few still continue their rationalizing and defense, with illogical excuses such as ‘He’s been in office for only 20 days, give the man a break!’ and ‘He’s had only 50 days in office, give him a chance!’ and currently, ‘be reasonable – how much can a man do in 120 days?!’ I am going to give this logic, or lack of, a slight spicing of reason, then, turn it around, and present it as: If ‘the man’ can do this much astounding damage, whether to our civil liberties, or to our notion of democracy, or to government integrity, in ‘only’ 120 days, may God help us with the next [(4 X 365) – 120] days.
I know there are those who have been tackling President Obama’s changes on change; they have been challenging his flipping, or rather flopping, on issues central to getting him elected. While some have been covering the changes… Continue reading
May 16, 2009
The State of the Nation blog
Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, this is about a new book, titled “The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11″.
And before you get all outraged (The FAQ! The FAQ!), here is the author of the book, John Farmer:
John Farmer served as Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission, where his areas of responsibility included assessing the national response to the terrorist attacks and evaluating the current state of national preparedness for terrorist attacks and natural disasters, he also served as attorney general of New Jersey (1999-2002), as chief counsel to Governor Whitman, and as a federal prosecutor. He recently served as a subject matter/rule of law expert on security to the special envoy for Middle East regional security. He is currently a partner of a New Jersey law form and an adjunct professor of national security law at Rutgers University Law School. His editorials and articles have appeared in “The New York Times” and elsewhere
And my diary title are the words of Farmer’s publisher, Houghton Mifflin.
I wrote a couple of nights ago, here — ‘9/11 Commission Report — Info Obtained Through Torture” — as to how much of what was published in the 9/11 Commission report was obtained through torture, and is therefore completely without credibility.
Scandalous enough, right?
Well, it gets worse.
11 May 2009
Lalit K Jha
Press Trust Of India
May 11, 2009
WASHINGTON: In a new revelation, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the CIA of the United States and his country’s ISI together created the Taliban.
“I think it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and CIA created them together,” Zardari told the NBC news channel in an interview.
In the interview, which was given to the NBC on May 7, Zardari also accused the US of supporting the military rule of Pervez Musharraf who was alleged to be taking sides of the Taliban.
He disagreed with the popular belief in the US that the Pakistan military and intelligent services still have sympathies for the Taliban.
“I think General Musharraf may have had a mindset to run head and hand with the hound but certainly not on our watch. We don’t have a tough process at all,” Zardari said.
Asked about the influential role of the Pakistan army, Zardari said he is in control of everything in the country, including the military.
“The Parliament has final say. It’s the Parliament form of government, and I am a product of the Parliament,” he said.
Earlier, Zardari in an another interview had said that India was not a “threat” to his country and that Pakistan had moved some of its forces from its Indian border to western frontier to eliminate Taliban in its tribal belt.
May 11, 2009 “New Karala” — Washington, May 11: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has alleged that elusive Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was a US operator who had tried to destabilise his late wife Benazir Bhutto’s government back in 1989.
Meet the Press transcript here.
In fact, as premier Bhutto had “warned America about Osama bin Laden in 1989 with a call to then US president George H. Bush”, Zardari said on NBC’s Meet the Press programme Sunday.
“She rang senior Bush and asked of him: ‘Are you destabilizing my government?’ because he (apparently referring to bin Laden) paid the then opposition $10 million to overthrow the first woman elected (prime minister) in an Islamic country,” Zardari added.
“So, we knew that he was your operator,” said Zardari responding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts.
“You’ll have been there (in Afghanistan) for eight years. (So) you tell me. You lost him in Tora Bora, I didn’t, I was in prison,” he countered when asked where bin Laden was before hurling the allegation at Washington.
Asked if Pakistan was actively looking for bin Laden, Zardari replied: “The world is looking for him and we are part of the world look-out brigade.”
Zardari also reiterated his belief that bin Laden is dead. “I have a strong feeling and I have reason to believe that because I’ve asked my counterparts in the American intelligence agencies… Continue reading