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Specter, Leahy question use of 9/11 fund money

By KIMBERLY HEFLING

Associated Press Writer

August 4, 2007

WASHINGTON: Two senators want to know why a $1 billion Sept. 11 insurance fund appropriated by Congress to help ailing ground zero workers has not been used to compensate those exposed to harmful substances.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and the committee’s ranking Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, said in a letter to the insurance company overseeing the Sept. 11 health-related claims that they are considering convening a hearing in September.

“Reports that the World Trade Center Captive Insurance Company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on salaries on administrators and over $45 million to private law firms are troubling,” the letter said.

The two also said they have concerns about the $74 million that reportedly has been spent on overhead costs and legal bills. The letter, dated Wednesday, was addressed to Christine LaSala, CEO of WTC Captive Insurance Co.

Michael A. Cardozo, New York City’s corporation counsel, said in a statement that Captive Insurance Company is an insurance company, not a compensation fund. He said the city has urged Congress to create a compensation fund for injured workers.

“Instead, Congress created an insurance company, and the Captive Insurance Company is obligated to defend all claims that have a reasonable and valid defense,” Cardozo said. “We would strongly welcome Congress, as we have repeatedly urged, to allocate funds for compensation without the need for litigation.”

The insurance company issued a statement saying it would respond to the letter once… Continue reading

Gonzales, Pelosi, and the Survival of Congress

David Swanson
August 1, 2007

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that if she were not Speaker she would probably back impeachment. Other Congress Members are of course free to do what even she admits she would do in their position. They should, I think, start taking her advice and ignoring her ban on impeachment.

The reason Pelosi is being questioned about impeachment has to do with Gonzo, Alberto Gonzales, and a proposal just introduced to impeach him. In the movement to impeach Cheney and Bush, is this a distraction or an opening act?

Fifteen principled members of Congress, all Democrats, have signed a bill to begin the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Hundreds of other Congress Members have stubbornly refused to heed the clear demand of the majority of their constituents.

But suddenly a completely new group of Congress Members, again all Democrats, has announced support for impeaching Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This groups includes Congress Members who are not usually leaders in the cause of justice. And it includes Members who have been lobbied intensely to impeach Cheney and Bush but who have resisted in favor of heeding Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ban on using the Constitution in Congress.

The initial sponsor is Jay Inslee of Washington State who less than six months ago had to lobby the leadership of his state’s legislature not to permit a vote on a pro-impeachment resolution. One of the initial cosponsors is Tom Udall of New Mexico, whose state legislature also came close… Continue reading

Update from creators of ‘9/11 Press for Truth’

Dear ‘9/11 Press For Truth’ Patrons,

‘9/11 Press For Truth’ has a brand new, completely updated blog! Check back
regularly to the News section of our web site at 911PressForTruth.com,
and click Register For Updates to receive new updates by email. Executive producer
Kyle F. Hence will also be blogging about general 9/11 news
— especially the activities of the Sept. 11th families and the new Kucinich
9/11 hearings — at our MySpace
page
.

===========================

Did you know that the ‘Boston Globe’ film critic gave us 3 1/2 out of 4 stars?
Did you know we’ve received major write-ups in dozens of newspapers and magazines?

Did you know we’re currently airing nationally on two satellite channels? Did
you know we also aired on televisions across Norway, Spain, Poland, and the
entire Middle East — and are coming soon to Sweden and Australia? Did you know
the Secret Service tried to shut down a showing in front of the White House?

Did you know the “Jersey Girls” are active in D.C. again, pushing
a new petition? Did you know we’ve launched a new campaign in collaboration
with Democrats.com? Did you know we were selected to three film festivals in
Seattle, Mexico, and Brazil? Did you know our DVD is in select stores nationwide,
including Borders, Virgin Megastore, Coconuts, Sam Goody, and Suncoast?

Did you know it’s also available for rent at Netflix and Blockbuster.com? Did
you know actors Paul Newman, A Martinez, and Peter Coyote, actress Tippi Hedren,
talk… Continue reading

NSA Spying Part of Broader Effort

Intelligence Chief Says Bush Authorized Secret Activities Under One Order

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 1, 2007; A01

The Bush administration’s chief intelligence official said yesterday that President
Bush authorized a series of secret surveillance activities under a single executive
order in late 2001. The disclosure makes clear that a controversial National
Security Agency program was part of a much broader operation than the president
previously described.

The disclosure by Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, appears
to be the first time that the administration has publicly acknowledged that
Bush’s order included undisclosed activities beyond the warrantless surveillance
of e-mails and phone calls that Bush confirmed in December 2005.

In a letter to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), McConnell wrote that the executive
order following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks included “a number of . . .
intelligence activities” and that a name routinely used by the administration
— the Terrorist Surveillance Program — applied only to “one particular
aspect of these activities, and nothing more.”

“This is the only aspect of the NSA activities that can be discussed publicly,
because it is the only aspect of those various activities whose existence has
been officially acknowledged,” McConnell said.

The program that Bush announced was put under a court’s supervision in January,
but the administration now wants congressional approval to do much of the same
surveillance without a court order.

McConnell’s letter was aimed at defending Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales
from allegations by Democrats that he… Continue reading

WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO? Taking Action In The Face Of Collapse

WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO? Taking Action In The Face Of Collapse
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
By Carolyn Baker

bakerarticleEvery
time I write an article on collapse such as my most recent one “Happy
Independence Day; You Have No Government
“, I am bombarded with emails
asking me “what should I do?” For those who have just discovered this
site, that is a legitimate question because for them, the reality of collapse
may be new. Those who have been following this site for some time have heard
many suggestions on what to do, but this article will offer those and other
suggestions again more clearly and more adamantly than they have been offered
here before. The intensity you are likely to hear in this piece is driven by
the urgency which I and many of my peers are feeling at this moment. Quite frankly,
it’s time to quit screwing around with talking about collapse and start acting.
The Rubicon has been crossed, we’re not living in Kansas anymore, and we are
living in the closest thing we’ve seen to pre-World War II Germany than anything
since then. Suit up and stop theorizing and speculating. It’s showtime.

The first thing I’m not going to tell you is that collapse can be avoided or
that human ingenuity and technology will come up with something to spare us
from it. I’m not going to tell you that there will be some mass movement-some
magic http://www.collapse.org/ that will organize progressives into a… Continue reading

Was Tillman Murdered? AP Gets New Documents

The Associated Press Published:
July 26, 2007 11:30 PM ET
Editor & Publisher: America’s Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry–

SAN FRANCISCO Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

“The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors – whose names were blacked out – said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman’s comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman’s death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.

The medical examiners’ suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among other information contained in the documents:

– In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop “sniveling.”

– Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.…

Continue reading

Dangers of a Cornered George Bush

Dangers of a Cornered George Bush

By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity & Dr. Justin Frank
July 27, 2007

The “new” strategy of surging troops in Baghdad has simply wasted more lives and bought some time for the president. His strategy boils down to keeping as many of our soldiers engaged as possible, in order to stave off definitive defeat in Iraq before January 2009.

Bush is commander in chief, but Congress must approve funding for the war, and its patience is running out. The war — and the polls — are going so badly that it is no longer a sure thing that the administration will be able to fund continuance of the war.

There is an outside chance Congress will succeed in forcing a pullout starting in the next several months. What would the president likely do in reaction to that slap in the face?

What would he do if the Resistance succeeded in mounting a large attack on U.S. facilities in the Green Zone or elsewhere in Iraq? How would he react if Israel mounted a preemptive attack on the nuclear-related facilities in Iran and wider war ensued?

Applied Psychoanalysis

The answers to such questions depend on a host of factors for which intelligence analysts use a variety of tools. One such tool involves applying the principles of psychoanalysis to acquire insights into the minds of key leaders, with an eye to facilitating predictions as to how they might react in certain circumstances.

For U.S. intelligence, this common-law marriage of psychoanalysis and intelligence work dates back to the early 1940s, when CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services commissioned two studies of Adolf Hitler.…

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ACLU Applauds House Armed Services Hearing on Restoring Habeas Corpus Due Process Rights

7/26/2007
ACLU.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union was encouraged today by
the House Armed Services Committee hearing titled Upholding the Principle of
Habeas Corpus for Detainees. The committee discussed Chairman Ike Skelton’s
(D-MO) proposed bipartisan legislation restoring the due process right of habeas
corpus that was taken away by the Military Commissions Act last fall. The ACLU
hopes this hearing will lead to the enactment of Chairman Skelton’s bill.

"Chairman Skelton and the House Armed Services Committee should be commended
for trying to restore our nation’s Constitution and the rule of law. Returning
habeas corpus should be a top priority of this Congress, and Chairman Skelton’s
bill is a good first step," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the
ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "To let a president define who is an
enemy combatant and then order those people held indefinitely and without charge
at places like Guantánamo Bay undermines our core American values. In the November
2006 elections, the American people demanded Congress rein in the Bush administration’s
shredding of the Constitution. Chairman Skelton is acting on that call for reform."

H.R. 2826, sponsored by Chairman Skelton, is a bipartisan bill that would restore
the constitutional due process right of habeas corpus that the Congress and
the president took away with the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), a law
pushed through by President Bush just weeks before the midterm elections.

"Today’s hearing takes us one step closer to restoring our Constitution
and undoing the wrongs of Guantánamo Bay," said Christopher Anders, legislative
counsel for the ACLU.…

Continue reading

Impeach Now: Or Face the End of Constitutional Democracy

CounterPunch July 16, 2007

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the
US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.

Bush has put in place all the necessary measures for dictatorship in the form
of “executive orders” that are triggered whenever Bush declares a
national emergency. Recent statements by Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff,
former Republican senator Rick Santorum and others suggest that Americans might
expect a series of staged, or false flag, “terrorist” events in the
near future.

Many attentive people believe that the reason the Bush administration will
not bow to expert advice and public opinion and begin withdrawing US troops
from Iraq is that the administration intends to rescue its unpopular position
with false flag operations that can be used to expand the war to Iran.

Too much is going wrong for the Bush administration: the failure of its Middle
East wars, Republican senators jumping ship, Turkish troops massed on northern
Iraq’s border poised for an invasion to deal with Kurds, and a majority of Americans
favoring the impeachment of Cheney and a near-majority favoring Bush’s impeachment.
The Bush administration desperately needs dramatic events to scare the American
people and the Congress back in line with the militarist-police state that Bush
and Cheney have fostered.

William Norman Grigg recently wrote that the GOP is “praying for a terrorist
strike” to save the party from electoral wipeout in 2008.
Chertoff, Cheney, the neocon nazis, and Mossad would have no qualms about saving
the bacon for the Republicans, who have enabled Bush to start two unjustified
wars, with Iran waiting in the wings to be attacked in a third war.…

Continue reading

The Libby Commutation: Coincidence, or Conspiracy?

by Thom Hartmann

The President of the United States has the unrestrained Power of granting Pardons for Treason; which may be sometimes exercised to screen from punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the Crime, & thereby prevent a Discovery of his own Guilt. — George Mason (1725-1792), the “father of the Bill of Rights,” noting his objection to presidential pardon powers in his first draft commentary on the Constitution of the United States he helped write

Ambassador Joe Wilson writes a New York Times op-ed article suggesting that George W. Bush knowingly lied to the American people in a Constitutionally-required duty of Bush’s office – the State of the Union speech – and Wilson’s wife is punished by having her career and her life’s work destroyed (along with the destruction of a major CIA undercover asset in the front company of Brewster Jennings, Inc.).

Coincidence or conspiracy? That’s part of what U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was charged with discovering.

In the process, Fitzgerald found that somebody was repeatedly trying to “throw sand in the umpire’s eyes” – obstructing Fitzgerald’s investigation into the now-identified conspiracy to destroy a CIA asset as a form of political payback. That person obstructing the investigation into the conspiracy, Fitzgerald discovered, worked at the right hands of both President Bush and Vice President Cheney and was named Irving Lewis Libby.

Coincidence or conspiracy?

On January 26, 2007, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff reported that Libby was going to undertake an aggressive defense of his own role in what may be revealed as a larger criminal conspiracy centered in the White House.…

Continue reading

US Social Forum Supports Call for Independent, International Investigation into 9/11

During June 27th to July 1st, approximately 9,400 people from across the America,
and beyond, gathered in Atlanta for the historic, first-ever United
States Social Forum
. Thanks to donations from some of our generous supporters,
911Truth.org was there, together with about 15 other 911Truth activists from
Georgia, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington DC, and Maryland.
We went with the idea we’d work to “convince” people to look at the
need for a real investigation into the crimes of 9/11. After all, the various
issues and causes represented by this diversity of People were predicated, to
such a strong degree, upon the events of 9/11, and it made sense that if presented
with the information, we’d win some allies.

We were wrong. What we found, instead, was that nearly everyone we spoke with
was already aware of at least some questions about 9/11 and agreed
with us! The People, in spite of resistance we’ve heard from many of their organizational
“leaders,” are already with us.

We learned that on Sunday, the People would gather for a final Assembly where
resolutions would be read and voted upon. Peter Thottam, of 911TruthLA recommended
we submit a proposal, so the group of us at dinner on Friday pulled together
the whereas’s and therefore’s, Peter and Keith Dunwoody (of Atlanta) tweaked
and typed it up, Brian Ottolini made 1000 copies, and the group hit the ground
Saturday morning to distribute the copies and talk with people. At the last
minute, Jose Rodriguez graciously translated… Continue reading

Whitman Testifies to House Judiciary Subcommittee–hearings today

Bin Laden may have arranged family’s US exit: FBI docs

Bin Laden may have arranged family’s US exit: FBI docs
Jun 20 04:08 PM US/Eastern

Osama bin Laden may have chartered a plane that carried his family members and
Saudi nationals out of the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks,
said FBI documents released Wednesday.

The papers, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, were made public
by Judicial Watch, a Washington-based group that investigates government corruption.

One FBI document referred to a Ryan Air 727 airplane that departed Los Angeles
International Airport on September 19, 2001, and was said to have carried Saudi
nationals out of the United States.

“The plane was chartered either by the Saudi Arabian royal family or Osama
bin Laden,” according to the document, which was among 224 pages posted
online.

The flight made stops in Orlando, Florida; Washington, DC; and Boston, Massachusetts
and eventually left its passengers in Paris the following day.

In all, the documents detail six flights between September 14 and September
24 that evacuated Saudi nationals and bin Laden family members, Judicial Watch
said in a statement.

“Incredibly, not a single Saudi national nor any of the bin Laden family
members possessed any information of investigative value,” Judicial Watch
said.

“These documents contain numerous errors and inconsistencies which call
to question the thoroughness of the FBI’s investigation of the Saudi flights.

“For example, on one document, the FBI claims to have interviewed 20 of
23 passengers on the Ryan International Airlines flight … on another document
the FBI claims to have interviewed 15 to 22 passengers on the same flight.”

Asked about the documents’ assertion that either bin Laden or the Saudi royals
ordered the flight, an FBI spokesman said the information was inaccurate.…

Continue reading

Shocking and Awe-ful–Government Secrecy (or, How can this guy still be in office?!)

Cheney Defiant on Classified Material
Executive Order Ignored Since 2003

Cheney won't complyBy
Peter
Baker

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 22, 2007; A01

Vice President Cheney’s office has refused to comply with an executive order
governing the handling of classified information for the past four years and
recently tried to abolish the office that sought to enforce those rules, according
to documents released by a congressional committee yesterday.

Since 2003, the vice president’s staff has not cooperated with an office at
the National Archives and Records Administration charged with making sure the
executive branch protects classified information. Cheney aides have not filed
reports on their possession of classified data and at one point blocked an inspection
of their office. After the Archives office pressed the matter, the documents
say, Cheney’s staff this year proposed eliminating it.

The dispute centers on a relatively obscure process but underscores a wider
struggle waged in the past 6 1/2 years over Cheney’s penchant for secrecy. Since
becoming vice president, he has fought attempts to peer into the inner workings
of his office, shielding an array of information such as the industry executives
who advised his energy task force, details about his privately funded travel
and Secret Service logs showing who visits his official residence.

The aggressive efforts to protect the operations of his staff have usually
pitted Cheney against lawmakers, interest groups or media organizations, sometimes
going all the way to the Supreme Court. But the fight about classified information
regulation indicates that the vice president has resisted oversight even by
other parts of the Bush administration.…

Continue reading

Judges Say U.S. Can’t Hold Man as ‘Combatant’ / Nuremberg prosecutor says Guantánamo trials unfair

June 12, 2007
Judges Say U.S. Can’t Hold Man as ‘Combatant’
By ADAM LIPTAK

Background: Ali al-Marri, a citizen from Qatar, was arrested on Dec. 12, 2001 in Peoria, Ill., where he was living with his wife and five children while studying computer science at Bradley University. He was initially charged with credit card fraud and lying to federal agents. Then in 2003, he was transfered to military custody and designated an enemy combatant. Government officials contended that he was an al-Qaeda sleeper agent, sent to the United States to commit mass murder and disrupt the banking system. Mr. al-Marri denied the charges and challenged his detention. His case took on added significance when Mr. al-Marri was left as the only enemy combatant being held in mainland America.

The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled yesterday that the president may not declare civilians in this country to be “enemy combatants” and have the military hold them indefinitely. The ruling was a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administration’s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism.

The ruling came in the case of Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar now in military custody in Charleston, S.C., who is the only person on the American mainland known to be held as an enemy combatant. The court said the administration may charge Mr. Marri with a crime, deport him or hold him as a material witness in connection with a grand jury investigation.

“But military detention of al-Marri must cease,” Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the majority of a divided three-judge panel.…

Continue reading

Severe Visibility– First 9/11 Truth Feature Film. An Interview with Paul Cross

by Carol Brouillet

The morning of September 11, 2001, Paul Cross was at the White House for part of the post-production work of his film “Follow the Leader,” a documentary about the everyday life of the President of the United States. On September 12th Paul visited the Pentagon. He did not see that the damage to the building nor the debris nor the scene were consistent with the official claim that a Boeing 757 had crashed there. He finished producing “Follow the Leader,” which won an award at the Atlantic City Film Festival for best documentary, and traveled with the film, speaking about it.

Paul has a deep reverence and love for this country and the ideals it proclaims. When the truth of 9/11 hit him, he cried for days. “Severe Visibility,” his latest film, is his response. It tells the story of Major Stanley Kruter (played by Paul Cross) who represents the average American and was injured in the Pentagon attack. The other major character is a foreign journalist who begs Kruter to tell him about what he witnessed from his window during the attack. Paul said he identified with the journalist, who doubts that a commercial 757 airliner actually hit the Pentagon.

I heard about Paul’s film from a mutual banjo-playing friend last July, in 2006. Thrilled that a Hollywood feature 9/11 Truth film was being made, I phoned Paul. We had a friendly conversation. I sent him a copy of my DVD, but though he promised to… Continue reading

Arkansas GOP head: We need more ‘attacks on American soil’ so people appreciate Bush

Arkansas GOP head: We need more ‘attacks on American soil’ so people appreciate
Bush
Josh Catone
Published: Sunday June 3, 2007

In his first interview as the chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, Dennis
Milligan told a reporter that America needs to be attacked by terrorists so
that people will appreciate the work that President Bush has done to protect
the country.

“At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right
thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had
on [Sept. 11, 2001],” Milligan said to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “and
the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment
for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to
protect this country.”

Milligan, who was elected as the new chair of the Arkansas Republican Party
just two weeks ago, also told the newspaper that he is “150 percent”
behind Bush in the war in Iraq.

In his acceptance speech on May 19th, Milligan told his fellow Republicans
that it was “time for a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.”

The owner of a water treatment company, Milligan was a relative unknown in
Arkansas politics until being elected the party chairman. He had previously
served as the party’s treasurer and the Saline County Republican chair.

THE FULL DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE INTERVIEW CAN BE READ HERE

Continue reading

Senators Want CIA to Release 9/11 Report

Thursday May 17, 2007 10:16 PM
By KATHERINE SHRADER
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – A bipartisan group of senators is pushing legislation that
would force the CIA to release an inspector general’s report on the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The CIA has spent more than 20 months weighing requests under the Freedom of
Information Act for its internal investigation of the attacks but has yet to
release any portion of it.

The agency is the only federal office involved in counterterrorism operations
that has not made at least a version of its internal 9/11 investigation public.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and two other intelligence committee leaders – chairman
Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and senior Republican Kit Bond of Missouri – are pushing
legislation that would require the agency to declassify the executive summary
of the review within one month and submit a report to Congress explaining why
any material was withheld.

The provision has been approved by the Senate twice, but never made into law.

In an interview, Wyden said he is also considering whether to link the report’s
release to his acceptance of President Bush’s nominations for national security
positions.

“It’s amazing the efforts the administration is going to stonewall this,”
Wyden said. “The American people have a right to know what the Central Intelligence
Agency was doing in those critical months before 9/11…. I am going to bulldog
this until the public gets it.”

Completed in June 2005, the inspector general’s report examined the personal
responsibility… Continue reading

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