Secret legal files show that conviction in aircraft bombing case
would probably have been overturned.
February 27, 2012
Fresh scientific evidence unearthed by a Scottish legal review undermines the
case against the man convicted of being responsible for the Lockerbie aircraft
bombing, an investigation for Al Jazeera has found.
The Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission (SCCRC) report details evidence
that would probably have resulted in the verdict against Abdel Baset al-Meghrahi,
a Libyan man convicted of carrying out the bombing of Pan-Am flight 103 in 1988,
‘Lockerbie: Case Closed’, an hour-long documentary to be aired on Al Jazeera
on Monday, examines the evidence uncovered by the SCCRC as well as revealing
fresh scientific evidence which is unknown to the commission but which comprehensively
undermines a crucial part of the case against the man known as the Lockerbie
Among the evidence examined by the SCCRC was the testimony of Tony Gauci, a
shop owner from Malta, and the most important prosecution witness in the case.
Special Al Jazeera programme
Gauci identified Megrahi as a man who had bought clothing and an umbrella from
him on December 7, 1988 – remnants of which were later recovered from among
debris recovered from the disaster scene.
The SCCRC found a number of reasons to seriously question this identification
and Gauci’s account of events on that date, which was also the only day
on which Megrahi could have been present in Malta to make such purchases
The report also raises concerns… Continue reading
February 20, 2012
by Eva Galperin
Electronic Frontier Foundation
[UPDATE 2/22/2012] It is important to note that disabling Web History in your Google account will not prevent Google from gathering and storing this information and using it for internal purposes. More information at the end of this post.]
Here’s how you can do that:
1. Sign into your Google account.
2. Go to https://www.google.com/history
3. Click “remove all Web History.”
4. Click “ok.”
Note that removing your Web History also pauses it. Web History will remain off until you enable it again.
[UPDATE 2/22/2012]: Note that disabling Web History in your Google account will not prevent Google from gathering and storing this information and using… Continue reading
By Russ Baker
December 26, 2011
A growing body of evidence points to a concerted campaign to prepare Americans
and the world for war against Iran. This is not idle speculation. It fits a
pattern that repeatedly preceded previous hostilities.
Here are the recent examples on Iran:
-The claim that Iran is a WMD threat. Pretty much everyone is familiar with
the long-term, continuing efforts to paint Iran as some kind of nuclear threat.
This ignores the possibility that Iran is telling the truth in contending it
is embarked on solely non-military nuclear research (debatable), and serious
doubts among many experts that Iran is preparing nuclear weapons. Perhaps most
important, it discounts the fact that many countries (including Iran’s
arch-enemy Israel) have nuclear weapons, and disregards the undoubted truth
that if a country like Iran ever did launch nuclear weapons, it would be wiped
out in a nanosecond, creating a very strong disincentive for offensive use.
At the same time, by encouraging other countries and internal foes to believe
that it has nuclear weapons, Iran creates an inexpensive protective shield for
its regime. A dangerous game, to be sure, but without further evidence of Iranian
nukes, hardly a reason to launch a war that would surely cause even more death
and destruction than the misguided Iraq invasion.
-The claim that Iran tried to hire Mexican drug cartel hit squads to kill a
Saudi ambassador on US soil (fizzled). Remember this one? So ludicrous that
even ultra-cautious corporate news organizations… Continue reading
by Glenn Greenwald
November 23, 2011
A tribunal in Malaysia, spearheaded by that nation’s former Prime Minister, yesterday found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of “crimes against peace” and other war crimes for their 2003 aggressive attack on Iraq, as well as fabricating pretexts used to justify the attack. The seven-member Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal — which featured an American law professor as one of its chief prosecutors — has no formal enforcement power, but was modeled after a 1967 tribunal in Sweden and Denmark that found the U.S. guilty of a war of aggression in Vietnam, and, even more so, after the U.S.-led Nuremberg Tribunal held after World War II. Just as the U.S. steadfastly ignored the 1967 tribunal on Vietnam, Bush and Blair both ignored the summons sent to them and thus were tried in absentia.
The tribunal ruled that Bush and Blair’s name should be entered in a register of war criminals, urged that they be recognized as such under the Rome Statute, and will also petition the International Criminal Court to proceed with binding charges. Such efforts are likely to be futile, but one Malaysian lawyer explained the motives of the tribunal to The Associated Press: “For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes.” In other words, because their own nations refuse to hold them accountable and can use their power to prevent international… Continue reading
By Eric W. Dolan
November 7, 2011
Chicago police on Monday issued citations to 43 senior citizens and their supporters who linked arms to block an intersection near the city’s financial district.
The action was part of a protest against proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other benefits.
The Jane Addams Senior Caucus (JASC), their supporters and “Occupy Chicago” began the demonstration with a rally outside the office of Illinois Sens. Mark Kirk (R) and Dick Durbin (D). The group, which organizers claimed was nearly 1,500-strong, then marched to the Federal Plaza.
Traffic at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Clark Street was blocked for about an hour, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“At every level of society, Americans are under attack,” said Karen Bocker, an “Occupy Chicago” participant and grandmother of four.
“When the economy tanks, social programs are cut, not corporate tax breaks. We are under attack, and frankly, I’m tired of it. The very people who are hurt most from cuts to social services — services that our tax money are supposed to guarantee — are those who can least afford it.”
The protesters were joined by Durbin, and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D), Danny Davis (D), and Mike Quigley (D) in the morning.
Watch video, courtesy of independent YouTube reporter John Sheehan, below:
by Justin Berton, Will Kane, Chronicle Staff Writers
SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online)
Photo: Jay Finneburgh / AP — Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen lays on the ground bleeding from a head wound after being struck by a by a projectile during an Occupy Wall Street protest in Oakland, Calif. Olsen suffered a fractured skull while marching with other protesters attempting to reestablish a presence in the area of the disbanded camp, said Dottie Guy, of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. Police Chief Howard Jordan says an internal review board and local prosecutors have been asked to determine if officers on the scene used excessive force.
OAKLAND — Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, stood calmly in front of a police line as tear gas canisters that officers shot into the Occupy Oakland protest Tuesday night whizzed past his head.
“He was standing perfectly still, provoking no one,” said Raleigh Latham, an Oakland filmmaker shooting footage of the confrontation between police and hundreds of protesters at 14th Street and Broadway. “If something didn’t hit him directly in the face, then it went off close to his head and knocked him down.”
The something was a projectile that apparently came from police lines, fractured Olsen’s skull and put him in Highland General Hospital. Doctors upgraded his condition Thursday from critical to fair, and said they expect him to make a full recovery.
His parents flew in from Wisconsin and spent Thursday at his… Continue reading
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2011, Issue No. 96
October 1, 2011
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
Last Friday, White House officials made at least two public references to Presidential
Policy Directives (PPDs). PPD 1 was cited in a new executive
order on computer security and PPD 8 was cited in a White House blog
posting on disaster preparedness. Each Directive is a significant expression
of national policy. Neither one is classified. And yet neither of them — nor
any other Obama Presidential Policy Directive — can be found on the White House
The White House decision not to make these documents available is a stark reminder
of the incoherence of the Obama Administration’s transparency policy, and its
"Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset,"
President Obama wrote in his January 21, 2009 memo on transparency and open
government. "My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent
with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public
can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness
new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online
and readily available to the public."
But as the withholding of the presidential directives illustrates, not even
the Obama White House itself complies with this policy, and so its impact in
the farther reaches of the executive branch has been muted. Those who seek access
to Presidential Policy Directives must look elsewhere.
"I think it’s general policy that… Continue reading
By Nancy A. Youssef
August 1, 2011
WASHINGTON — The last-minute deal that Congress is considering to raise
the federal debt limit probably will mean trillions of dollars in government
spending reductions for most agencies. But one department stands to gain: the
Rather than cutting $400 billion in defense spending through 2023, as President
Barack Obama had proposed in April, the current debt proposal trims $350 billion
through 2024, effectively giving the Pentagon $50 billion more than it had been
expecting over the next decade.
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, experts said, the overall
change in defense spending practices could be minimal: Instead of cuts, the
Pentagon merely could face slower growth.
"This is a good deal for defense when you probe under the numbers,"
said Lawrence Korb, a defense expert at the Center for American Progress, a
left-leaning research center. "It’s better than what the Defense Department
To be sure, the numbers could change. Under the current debt deal the department
would have to reduce its budget by $600 billion over the next decade if Congress
can’t agree on the deficit-reduction proposals of a new 12-member, bipartisan
legislative committee that’ll be tasked with recommending further spending cuts.
But the proposed figures — after weeks of drawn-out, vitriolic debate
between both political parties — raise questions about what, if anything,
could lead to substantial defense reductions. Military spending has more or
less survived the drawdown of two wars and a domestic… Continue reading
One lawyer’s relentless quest for information reveals fresh hints of a coverup.
By James Ridgeway
July 21, 2011
In 2007, Mother Jones was the first national media outlet to tell the full
story of Jesse Trentadue and his quest for the truth, which began four months
after the attack on Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April
19, 1995, killed 168 people. It was then that Trentadue, a Salt Lake City lawyer,
learned that his brother, a construction worker and one-time bank robber, had
died in a federal prison in Oklahoma City. [Photo: Timothy McVeigh is escorted from the courthouse in Perry, Oklahoma. Bob Owen/Zuma]
Prison officials said the prisoner had hanged himself. But Kenney Trentadue,
who had never revealed any suicidal inclination, was shipped home for burial
with bruises all over his body and lacerations on his face and throat–suggesting
something more sinister. Even Oklahoma City’s chief medical examiner would later
say, publicly, that it was “very likely he was murdered.” But the
most compelling evidence in the case was altered or turned up missing. Jesse
Trentadue was never able to prove what had actually happened to his brother–though
he did win a $1.1 million civil suit for “emotional distress” to his
family, based on the way the government had handled the aftermath of Kenney’s
Trentadue had all but given up, when, in the spring of 2003, he got a call
from a small-town newspaper reporter in Oklahoma named J.D. Cash. Cash told… Continue reading
By JENNIFER EPSTEIN
July 18, 2011
Relatives of victims of the September 11 attacks have asked to meet with the FBI and top members of the Obama administration about allegations reporters from one of Rupert Murdoch’s British papers tried to hack the cell phone accounts of victims.
In letters sent Monday to Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, a lawyer representing some victims’ families is asking for meetings to discuss a report that journalists from the now-defunct News of the World asked a New York-based private investigator to help them gather information from victims’ phones.
The FBI has initiated an informal probe into the allegations, which were first reported by the Daily Mirror.
“We commend the FBI for opening a preliminary inquiry into this serious issue and we are requesting a meeting to ascertain the scope, goals and timetable of the inquiry,” the letter to Mueller said, Reuters reported. The FBI’s press office declined to comment.
The lawyer representing the victims’ relatives, Norman Siegel, told the wire service that his “clients are troubled about the allegation of potential hacking and they are particularly upset that there now exists an allegation that a newspaper would seek to illegally obtain information about their loved ones.”
“I tried in the letter not to accuse anyone, especially News Corp, of anything yet because you don’t want a media frenzy accusing someone if the facts aren’t there. We want… Continue reading
by Ray McGovern
Published on Saturday, July 2, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
Yes, that was I standing before the U.S. Embassy in Athens on the eve of the
July Fourth weekend holding the American flag in the distress mode — upside
[Photo: Ret. US Army Colonel Ann Wright, 64, from Honolulu, chants slogans as she
and other activists rally in protest outside the U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece,
Friday, July 1, 2011. The activists hope to join an international flotilla and
to sail to Gaza.]
Indignities experienced by me and my co-guests
on “The Audacity of Hope,” the American boat to Gaza, over the past
ten days in Athens leave no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama’s administration
has forfeited the right to claim any lineage to the brave Americans who declared
independence from the king of England 235 years ago.
In the Declaration of Independence, they pledged their lives, fortunes and
sacred honor to a new enterprise of freedom, democracy and the human spirit.
The outcome was far from assured; likely as not, the hangman’s noose awaited
them. They knew that all too well.
But they had a genuine audacity to hope that the majority of their countrymen
and women, persuaded by Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and the elegant words
of Thomas Jefferson, would conclude that the goal of liberty and freedom was
worth the risk, that it was worth whatever the cost.
These days we have been seduced into thinking that such principles have become
“quaint” or… Continue reading
Supporters of accused WikiLeaks source vow to fight on for open
trial and freedom
May 5, 2011
By the Bradley Manning Support Network
Published at Couragetoresist.org
Hundreds of thousands of individuals globally celebrate today the confirmation
that their efforts to end the torturous pre-trial confinement conditions inflicted
upon US Army PFC Bradley Manning have been successful. Manning’s lead
defense attorney, David E. Coombs of Rhode Island, has personally verified that
Manning is indeed being held in Medium Custody confinement at the Joint Regional
Corrections Facility (JRCF) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as claimed by the Army
“We won this battle because 600,000 individuals took the time to write
letters and sign petitions, because thousands called the White House switchboard,
because 300 of America’s top legal scholars decried Bradley’s pre-trial conditions
as a clear violation of our Constitution’s 5th and 8th Amendments,”
declared Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support
Network. “We won this battle because over a hundred concerned citizens
engaged in civil disobedience at the White House and at Quantico, and because
our grassroots campaign shows no sign of slowing.”
These new conditions reflect a dramatic improvement for Manning following his
transfer to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, after having suffered extreme
solitary-like confinement at US Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. During
the nine months at Quantico, Manning was denied meaningful exercise, social
interaction, sunlight, and was at times kept completely naked. These conditions
were unique to Manning and were illegal under US… Continue reading
March 24th, 2011
By Eric W. Dolan
An Indiana prosecutor and Republican activist has resigned after emails show
he suggested Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stage a fake attack on himself
to discredit unions protesting his budget repair bill.
The Republican governor signed a bill on March 11 that eliminates most union
rights for public employees.
In an email from February 19, Indiana deputy prosecutor Carlos F. Lam told
Walker the situation presented “a good opportunity for what’s called
a ‘false flag’ operation.”
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism discovered the email among
tens of thousands released to the public last week following a lawsuit by the
Isthmus and the Associated Press.
“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the
unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you),
you could discredit the unions,” Lam said in his email.
“Currently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic uprising
and failing to mention the role of the DNC and umbrella union organizations
in the protest,” he continued. “Employing a false flag operation would
assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of
Lam resigned from his position after the Wisconsin Center for Investigative
Journalism published an article about his email.
On February 22, an alternative paper in Buffalo, New York managed to trick
Walker into taking a call from their editor posing as tea party tycoon David
When the editor posing as Koch suggested planting some troublemakers in the
protests, Walker responded that “we thought about that,” but said
it was not necessary “because sooner or later the media stops finding ‘em
“My only fear would be is if there was a ruckus caused is that that would
scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has gotta settle to avoid
all these problems,” he said.…
March 7, 2011
by Ralph Lopez
War Is A Crime.org
As Obama’s crime of the destruction of Bradley Manning continues to unfold
before our very eyes, Manning friend David House now tells us that over 8 months
in isolation with movement and sleep restrictions placed on him have been having
their intended effect. House has
told MSNBC that by the end of January Manning appeared “catatonic” and that
he had “severe problems communicating,” with it having taken House nearly 45
minutes on a recent visit to engage in any meaningful way (video below.) House
said Manning’s demeanor was as “if he had just woken up and didn’t know what
was going on around him.” Manning was “utterly exhausted physically and mentally…it
was difficult to have any kind of social engagement.”
Also, a full month after Congressman Dennis Kucinich formally requested a visit, the Army has stalled on the request.
All for the crime of reporting war crimes and criminal behavior even among the highest-ranking military officials in Iraq.
In 2005, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member [in Iraq], if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to try to stop it.”
Chase Mader writes in HuffPo that soon after deployment to Iraq, Manning:
“soon found himself helping the Iraqi authorities detain civilians for distributing “anti-Iraqi literature” — which turned out to be an investigative report into financial corruption in their own government entitled “Where does the money go?” The penalty for this “crime” in Iraq was not a slap on the wrist.…
February 26, 2011
by Carol Brouillet
Let us remember Janette and think of her especially on her birthday, which is on Saturday, February 26th, by synchronicity a day in 2011 which might go down in history as “the day Americans woke up,” following the example of numerous other countries, rallies and demonstrations have been called for throughout the US to challenge the policies which enrich the few and impoverish the many. We will gather together the following day, on Sunday, February 27, 2011 to celebrate Janette’s life– some of us in New York, and some in California–to share mementos, memories, food, drink, and stories about our dear friend, her life, her wake up call, which merits our attention, love, and appreciation.
The Celebrations will be webcast on Sunday-
We will start off the Celebration at 12:00 Noon PST (3:00pm EST) with a Skype call with James Lecce. This will be between him and the California crowd (If Ed has a second computer, NY may be able to see it) and will only last a few minutes. Then we will interact with NY for about 1.5 – 2 hours. Then we will continue to broadcast our respective local events.
IMPORTANT: When starting the Ustream Broadcast, also hit the Record button. If you do not do this, there will be no video archive available later.
The California Celebration will be broadcast from this link
The New York Celebration will be broadcast from this link
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nyc-mackinlay-cronin-helaki-memorial… Continue reading
Colorado 9/11 Visibility is pleased to announce a live debate addressing
the collapse of the three World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001.
Sunday afternoon, March 6th, at the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado,
Visibility will host a debate between Richard Gage, AIA (American Institute
of Architects), and Chris Mohr, Denver investigative journalist and nondenominational
The question: What brought down the three World Trade Center skyscrapers?
Richard Gage, AIA, is a San Francisco Bay Area architect and a member of the
American Institute of Architects. He has been an architect for over 23 years
and has worked on most types of building construction, including numerous fire-proofed,
steel-framed buildings. His quest for the truth about 9/11 began in 2006, and
he subsequently founded Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Chris Mohr, investigative journalist and advocate of the “natural collapse”
theory, is a sincere seeker of the truth who has extensively researched the
collapses of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings, consulted with independent
physicists and engineers, and passionately argues that the buildings collapsed
due to the plane impacts and fires.
In November 2010 at Denver’s Mercury Cafe, Mohr debated attorney
Earl Staelin on the collapse of the twin towers. This debate was unprecedented
in its civility and professionalism.
In the upcoming March 6th debate with Richard Gage, the discussion will explore
not only the collapse of the twin towers, but also that of 47-story World Trade
Center Building 7, which collapsed completely at 5:21 pm… Continue reading
By Glenn Greenwald
February 18, 2011
In March, 2002, American citizen Jose Padilla was arrested in Chicago and publicly accused by then-Attorney-General John Ashcroft of being “The Dirty Bomber.” Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to a military brig in South Carolina, where he was held for almost two years completely incommunicado (charged with no crime and denied all access to the outside world, including even a lawyer) and was brutally tortured, both physically and psychologically. All of this — including the torture — was carried out pursuant to orders from President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld and other high-ranking officials. Just as the Supreme Court was about to hear Padilla’s plea to be charged or released — and thus finally decide if the President has the power to imprison American citizens on U.S. soil with no charges of any kind — the Government indicted him in a federal court on charges far less serious than Ashcroft had touted years earlier, causing the Supreme Court to dismiss Padilla’s arguments as “moot”; Padilla was then convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Padilla — like so many other War on Terror detainees — has spent years in American courts trying unsuccessfully to hold accountable the high-level government officials responsible for his abuse and lawless imprisonment (which occurred for years prior to his indictment). Not only has Padilla (and all other detainees) failed to obtain redress for what was done to them, but worse, they have been entirely denied even… Continue reading
By Robert Parry
February 17, 2011
Sometimes the hypocrisy is just overwhelming. So, it probably shouldn’t
surprise us that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would deliver a speech hailing
the peaceful protests that changed Egypt while 71-year-old Ray McGovern was
roughed up and dragged away for standing quietly in protest of her support for
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“So this is America,” said McGovern as he was hustled from the room by two
security guards. “This is America.”
McGovern, a former Army intelligence officer and a 27-year veteran of the CIA, was wearing a “Veterans for Peace” t-shirt and, according to witnesses, was standing silently with his back to Secretary Clinton before he was set upon by the two agents who bruised, bloodied and handcuffed McGovern, a cancer survivor. [For video, see below.]
McGovern, who writes for Consortiumnews.com, has been detained at other events protesting both the illegality of U.S. wars and the hypocrisy of demanding accountability for others but not for senior U.S. officials implicated in war crimes, like the torture authorized by former President George W. Bush and ex-Vice President Dick Cheney.
For instance, last December, McGovern joined a Veterans for Peace protest at the White House, which he described in an article “Thoughts at the White House Fence.”
In the article, McGovern described thinking about “Casey Sheehan and 4,429 other U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, and the 491 U.S. troops killed this year in Afghanistan (bringing that total to 1,438). And their… Continue reading