By Carla Binion
October 21, 2006
Consortiumnews Editor’s Note: Many Americans are in denial about what
is happening to the United States. They don’t want to believe that a totalitarian
structure could be put in place in their own country. They don’t want to view
the various pieces of George W. Bush’s “anti-terror” system in that
broad a context. They hope that someone or something — the Supreme Court
maybe — will strike down the excesses of the Republican-controlled Congress
and the Executive Branch.
Though there are still obstacles that stand in Bush’s way — the Nov.
7 elections, for instance — America’s march down a road to a new-age totalitarianism
has advanced farther than many understand, as freelance reporter Carla Binion
argues in this disturbing guest essay:
On October 17, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act
of 2006. This new law gives Bush power similar to that possessed by Stalin or
Hitler, and grants agencies within the Executive Branch powers similar to those
of the KGB or Gestapo.
Bush justifies this act by claiming he needs it to fight the “war on terror,”
but a number of critics, including former counterterrorism officials, have said
the administration has greatly exaggerated the threat and used illogical methods
to combat terrorism. (Examples are listed below.)
Except for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, few television news reporters have bothered
to mention that the Military Commissions Act has changed the U.S. justice system
and our approach to human rights. As Olbermann said of the new law on his October
17 Countdown program, the new act “does away with habeas corpus, the right
of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned.”
Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor,
was Olbermann’s guest.…
Sam Gardiner and David Kay to Testify
Oct 10, 2006
Congressman Kucinich will lead a briefing Wednesday on Iran. Kucinich wants to find out what the Bush Administration plans for Iran, and what actions are already underway.
Testifying will be retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner, author of The End of the Summer of Diplomacy. Gardiner is convinced that the US has been executing military operations inside Iran for at least 18 months. On September 18, Gardiner told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “The evidence is overwhelming … From both the Iranians, Americans, and from congressional sources.”
Also testifying will be David Kay, former UN nuclear weapons inspector. Kay headed the team searching for WMD in Iraq throughout 2003, but resigned on January 24, saying he did not believe Iraq possessed large stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons.
The hearing will be held October 11 at 10 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Watch for more about this briefing on our forum.
September 26, 2006 6:56 pm ET
October 11, 2006
In response to a reader’s question at markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com (“Briefly, what’s being done to prevent voter-machine fraud for 2006 and
2008. What can dedicated individuals do?”), Miller writes:
As far as the next election is concerned, there’s little we can do, as some
80% of the vote will be electronically cast or counted on Nov. 7. So it’s necessary
that we take these other steps:
A) Support the independent exit polls planned by the Election Defense Alliance,
at http://www.electiondefensealliance.org/. [This is a vital project, as
independent exit polling remains the last unvarnished source of accurate information
in the age of electronic voting. These polls won’t be retrofitted to jibe with
the corporate media’s anointed victors, but lots of money is needed quickly
to make this project a success.]
B) Tell people that they must vote on Election Day, so that the national turnout
is as high as possible. This will make another theft that much more difficult
C) Tell people that it’s very likely that the GOP will “win” despite
its vast unpopularity, so that they (the people) won’t become demoralized by
their apparent defeat.
D) Urge everyone to monitor the process in his/her own locale as carefully
as possible. Get visuals, as w/ a video camera. Take careful note of any monkey
business. [We would add that it’s a good idea to create a publicly-available
photo/video archive of any noteworthy events you happen to record.]
E) If you spot improprieties, or have a problem at the polls, be sure to call
1-866-OUR-VOTE, and contact the EDA (address above), and tell them everything.…
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
October 9, 2006
Dateline — Buenos Aires, Argentina
For some 30 years, the Argentine women known as the Madres (Mothers) de La
Plaza de Mayo have marched every Thursday in front of the Presidential Palace
of Argentina. They gather in memory of their children and grandchildren, who
were among the estimated 30,000 people who disappeared during “Operation
Condor.” Another 50,000 people were murdered.
(image: One of the Madres (Mothers) de la Plaza de Mayo displaying a photo of her son who was one of an estimated 30,000 “disappeared” during “Operation
photo taken on October 5, 2006)
Condor” reached its peak in the 1970s. With assistance from
the United States, and the support and knowledge of Henry Kissinger, five of
the southern cone South American nations conducted a campaign of unspeakable
torture and killing against their own citizens.
When you look at the photos carried by many of the Madres de La Plaza de Mayo,
you see middle class men in suits and ties and nicely dressed women. You see
young children with smiling faces.
What happened during Operation Condor is so horrific — all done in the name of the safety and security of “the nation” — that it is barely speakable. The torture included one of the Bush Administration’s favorite techniques — waterboarding — and many other methods. Families were forced to watch or listen to their love ones being mutilated. Friends were required to conduct torture on those that they knew.…Continue reading
Barrett, Fetzer Discuss Attacks
by Joanna Pliner
October 2, 2006
University of Wisconsin lecturer Kevin Barrett and University of Minnesota-Duluth professor James Fetzer took time Sunday afternoon to explain their Sept. 11 theory that has been the source of recent widespread media attention and legislative debate.
Barrett and Fetzer belong to a group called Scholars for 9/11 Truth, whose members believe the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by the Bush administration. The duo presented pictures, videos and sound bites as evidence throughout their lecture to support their point of view.
“If our research is correct,” Fetzer said, “The American government has been practicing terrorism on the American people.”
The UW folklore department sponsored the lecture, which attracted several media outlets. Director of the UW folklore program Jim Leary said he originally felt like he went out on a limb sponsoring Barrett and Fetzer’s lecture, but is ultimately happy with his decision.
Leary said he “got some heat” from state Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, and even went so far as to challenge Nass’ legislative aide to a fight.
However, Leary said Barrett and Fetzer’s lecture was interesting from a folklorist’s point of view.
“Any time you have governments or corporations who are putting out official stories, there are also unofficial commentaries that circulate through jokes and rumors,” Leary said. “And so folklorists are interested in how people use their cultural resources to communicate ideas.”
Barrett shared Leary’s sentiments on the study of folklore, and said the “insider-outsider split” between people who believe the information in the 9/11 Commission Report and those who challenge it could be solved with a “couple of stiff drinks” to get people talking.…Continue reading
British Army expert casts doubt on ‘liquid explosives’ threat, Al Qaeda network in UK Identified
Filed by Nafeez Ahmed
Lieutenant-Colonel (ret.) Nigel Wylde, a former senior British Army Intelligence Officer, has suggested that the police and government story about the “terror plot” revealed on 10th August was part of a “pattern of lies and deceit.”
British and American government officials have described the operation which resulting in the arrest of 24 mostly British Muslim suspects, as a resounding success. Thirteen of the suspects have been charged, and two released without charges.
According to security sources, the terror suspects were planning to board up to ten civilian airliners and detonate highly volatile liquid explosives on the planes in a spectacular terrorist operation. The liquid explosives — either TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide), DADP (diacetone diperoxide) or the less sensitive HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine) — were reportedly to be made on board the planes by mixing sports drinks with a peroxide-based household gel and then be detonated using an MP3 player or mobile phone.
But Lt. Col. Wylde, who was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his command of the Belfast Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit in 1974, described this scenario as a “fiction.” Creating liquid explosives is a “highly dangerous and sophisticated task,” he states, one that requires not only significant chemical expertise but also appropriate equipment.
Terror plot scenario “untenable”
“The idea that these people could sit in the plane toilet and simply mix together these normal household fluids to create a high explosive capable of blowing up the entire aircraft is untenable,” said Lt.…Continue reading
Lawyers Point to Fine Line Between Sting and Entrapment
by Walter Pincus
September 2, 2006
Standing in an empty Miami warehouse on May 24 with a man he believed had ties to Osama bin Laden, a dejected Narseal Batiste talked of the setbacks to their terrorist plot and then uttered the words that helped put him in a federal prison cell.
“I want to fight some jihad,” he allegedly said. “That’s all I live for.”
What Batiste did not know was that the bin Laden representative was really an FBI informant. The warehouse in which they were meeting had been rented and wired for sound and video by bureau agents, who were monitoring his every word.
Within a month, Batiste, 32, and six of his compatriots were arrested and charged with conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization and bomb a federal building. On June 23, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales held a news conference to announce the destruction of a terrorist cell inside the United States, hailing “our commitment to preventing terrorism through energetic law enforcement efforts aimed at detecting and thwarting terrorist acts.”
But court records released since then suggest that what Gonzales described as a “deadly plot” was virtually the pipe dream of a few men with almost no ability to pull it off on their own. The suspects have raised questions in court about the FBI informants’ role in keeping the plan alive.
The plot featured self-proclaimed militant religious leaders who referred to themselves as kings, talked of establishing their own nation inside the United States, called their headquarters an embassy and discussed plans to train their recruits to use bows and arrows.…Continue reading
UNH Provost Says No Students Complained about Prof’s 9-11 Views
By Associated Press
August 30, 2006
CONCORD, N.H. – A University of New Hampshire professor who thinks government officials orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said he doesn’t impose his opinions on students, but teaches them to discuss and debate differing viewpoints.
“I try not to push a certain view,” psychology professor William Woodward said Tuesday from Durham, as he faced a growing chorus of criticism _ and some support. “But at the same time, I might put it out there because it’s important to be a role model for having an opinion but not pushing it on other people.”
Woodward belongs to Scholars for 9/11 Truth, whose members believe that Bush administration officials either planned the attacks or knew about them and allowed them to happen in order to get public opinion behind their policies.
After extensive research and hearings, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission said the federal government communicated poorly and missed opportunities that might have prevented the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But the commission expressed no doubt that the bombings were planned and carried out by al-Qaida operatives under the leadership of Osama bin Laden.
Gov. John Lynch, who has called Woodward’s beliefs “completely crazy and offensive,” asked the university system’s trustees to investigate Woodward’s teaching practices. Lynch headed the board before he was elected governor two years ago.
UNH Provost Bruce Mallory said Tuesday no students have complained about Woodward’s presentation of his opinions, and that after reviewing course materials and student evaluations, he is persuaded that Woodward did not impose his opinions on students.…Continue reading
Manchester Union Leader
August 27, 2006
A tenured professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire believes an “elite” group within the federal government orchestrated the September 11th attacks on America.
William Woodward has already raised that possibility in his classroom and later this year hopes to teach a class that would explore Sept. 11th “in psychological terms — terms like belief, conspiracy, fear, truth, courage, group dynamics.”
He may not get the chance. Several state leaders yesterday criticized Woodward for bringing the radical theories into the classroom.
“In my view, there are limitations to academic freedom and freedom of speech,” said U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.
“I believe it is inappropriate for someone at a public university which is supported with taxpayer dollars to take positions that are generally an affront to the sensibility of most all Americans,” Gregg said.
Others were equally blunt.
New Hampshire Senate President Ted Gatsas, R-Manchester, a UNH alum, said, “I would think the board of trustees and the acting president (of UNH) would take a long, hard look at someone who advocates that kind of nonsense.”
Sen. Jack Barnes, R-Raymond, said he’s embarrassed the professor works at his alma mater.
“I compare this guy with the idiots out there who say the Holocaust never occurred,” Barnes said.
“Maybe we’d better check the UNH budget very closely next year if they have guys like that teaching our kids,” Barnes said.
Woodward, an acknowledged member of several leftwing political action groups, belongs to the Scholars for 9/11 Truth.…Continue reading
By Stephen Webster, Investigative Reporter
Army: Doubting Official 9/11 Story Is ‘Disloyal To The United States’
SFC DONALD BUSWELL (left) received the Purple Heart
for injuries sustained on the battlefields of Iraq.
FT. SAM HOUSTON, Texas — Forty-one-year-old Sergeant First Class Donald Buswell is a hero. Having served over 19 years in the United States Army, Buswell has seen a lot of terrain. On April 15, 2004, he was injured in a rocket attack while serving a tour in Iraq. For this, SFC Buswell was given a Purple Heart. And until recently, Buswell was an Intelligence Analyst stationed at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.
But if one were to ask Buswell’s Commanding Officer what he thinks of the Sergeant, the response would likely sound a little bit more like, “No comment.”
Sergeant First Class Donald Buswell of the United States Army has been accused of using “his Government issued email account to send messages disloyal to the United States …,” had his security clearance revoked and may be facing dishonorable discharge, court martial “or worse.” What despicable, traitorous act did this Gulf War veteran and Purple Heart recipient commit to create this kind of furor? He suggested that “a new independent investigation into 911″ should be undertaken.“I say Occums razor is the best way to deduce this ‘day of infamy’; if you weigh all options, do some simple studying you will see 911 was clearly not executed by some arabs in caves with cell phones… Continue reading
– Author claims U.S. orchestrated attacks
By Peter Smith
August 14, 2006
The official publishing house of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has printed a new book about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that has outraged conservatives in the church and elsewhere.
The book, “Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11,” written by David Ray Griffin, a professor emeritus at Claremont School of Theology in California, accuses the Bush administration of carrying out the attacks as a pretext for expanding America’s “demonic” imperial power.
Griffin argues, among other things, that the World Trade Center towers collapsed because of secretly planted explosives — he quotes eyewitnesses who claim that’s what it looked and sounded like — and not because airliners crashed into the buildings, causing fires.
Writers on conservative Presbyterian Web sites have been responding by saying officials of the Louisville-based denomination are out of touch with members and by calling for a boycott of Presbyterian Publishing Corp.
The corporation funds itself from book sales and has editorial independence in deciding what to publish, although its board is elected by the denomination’s legislative General Assembly.
But as word of the book spreads, some Presbyterians lament that it comes as the 2.3 million-member denomination struggles with financial troubles, declining membership and a controversial General Assembly vote to open the door to ordaining gays.
“It is sad that at this time in the life of our denomination, yet another silly and inflammatory step would be taken by the church’s bureaucracy,” said the Rev.…Continue reading
Lawmakers want college instructor fired over 9/11 theory
by Associated Press
July 22, 2006
MADISON, Wis. — More than 60 state lawmakers are urging the University of Wisconsin-Madison to fire an instructor who has argued that the government orchestrated the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
A letter sent Thursday and signed by 52 Assembly representatives and nine state senators condemns the decision to let Kevin Barrett teach an introductory class on Islam this fall.
Pat Farrell, UW-Madison provost, launched a review after Barrett spoke last month on a talk show about his views that the terrorist attacks were the result of a government conspiracy to spark war in the Middle East. After the review, Farrell said Barrett was a qualified instructor who can present his views as one perspective on the attacks.
“I still have every expectation this will be a very positive educational experience for our students,” Farrell said Thursday. “Some are upset about Mr. Barrett’s viewpoints on 9/11 and don’t want to pay much attention to what makes for a quality educational experience.”
Representative Stephen L. Nass, a Republican, said the lawmakers’ letter, which called Barrett’s views “academically dishonest,” sends a strong message to top UW leaders.
“When 61 legislators condemn a decision by UW-Madison and demand the dismissal of Kevin Barrett, the leadership of the UW System operates at its own peril if it continues to ignore views of the taxpayers,” Nass said in a statement.
Nass was “only interested in name-calling and witch hunting,” Barrett has said.…Continue reading
Provost Review Clears Barrett to Teach Class on Islam
July 10, 2006
Following a thorough review, University of Wisconsin-Madison Provost Patrick Farrell today announced that lecturer Kevin Barrett will teach, as scheduled, a class titled “Islam: Religion and Culture.”
Barrett’s remarks regarding his theories on the events of Sept. 11 recently drew widespread attention and criticism.
As a result, Farrell, along with Gary Sandefur, dean of the College of Letters and Science, and Ellen Rafferty, chair of the department of languages and cultures of Asia, met with Barrett. They reviewed his course syllabus and reading materials and examined his past teaching evaluations.
“There is no question that Mr. Barrett holds personal opinions that many people find unconventional,” Farrell says. “These views are expected to take a small, but significant, role in the class. To the extent that his views are discussed, Mr. Barrett has assured me that students will be free – and encouraged – to challenge his viewpoint.”
Farrell says that Barrett told him that the semester-long course will spend a week examining current issues, including a brief discussion of various views on the war on terror. Barrett told Farrell that he plans to base the discussion on readings from authors representing a variety of viewpoints.
“I am satisfied that Mr. Barrett appreciates his responsibility as an instructor. I also believe that he will attempt to provide students with a classroom experience that respects and welcomes open dialogue on all topics,” Farrell says. “And I fully expect that the vast majority of his teaching will involve aspects of Islamic culture and religion wholly unrelated to his controversial views of the events of 9/11, which we know had a profound impact on the world and many members of our campus community.”
Farrell notes that a broader issue at play in the Barrett case is the UW-Madison’s long tradition of protecting classroom expression and encouraging students’ critical thinking by allowing analysis of even the most controversial ideas.…Continue reading
by Jonathan Lemire
New York Daily News
July 6th, 2006
This suggestive little snippet evokes “deja vu all over again” recalling the FBI’s industrious guidance of the WTC bombers in 1993. You would think the agency could have used a bit of its post-9/11 budget bonanza to at least buy a new playbook…
An FBI informant urged seven terror suspects to target FBI offices throughout the country – including one in New York – and even helped the men scout the buildings, law enforcement sources told the Daily News yesterday.
The suspects, who also allegedly schemed to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, were denied bond in a Miami federal court yesterday as sources shed light on the FBI effort to ensnare them.
Last December, the FBI arranged for an undercover informant posing as an Al Qaeda terrorist to meet with alleged ringleader Narseal Batiste, who authorities say had already recruited six men to help bring down the landmark 110-story Chicago office tower.
But in March, in an effort to solidify his “terrorist credentials,” the informant suggested the men widen their aims to attack FBI offices in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington and New York, a law enforcement source said.
Batiste and his followers readily agreed, even taking an Al Qaeda oath at the suggestion of the informant, Justice Department sources said. Soon, Batiste and the agent began a surveillance operation of the FBI office in Miami – while the bureau watched their every move, sources… Continue reading
By Terence J. Kivlan
Staten Island Advance
June 25, 2006
WASHINGTON — Lawyers for 9/11 family members staged a major media event here in August 2002 to announce a $1 trillion lawsuit against the alleged Saudi bankrollers of Osama bin Laden.
The scores of defendants included a slew of Saudi princes and other wealthy citizens of the Kingdom; the bin Laden family construction conglomerate; seven international banks based in Riyadh, and eight Islamic foundations and charities.
The lawyers warned the relatives not to expect to collect any damages any time soon.
“It could be a three- or four-year struggle,” said lead attorney Ron Motley of South Carolina at a press conference here attended by dozens of the several thousand relatives who had joined the legal action.
But as the fourth anniversary of the media event approaches, the chances of a successful outcome seem more remote than ever due to a series of rulings that have cast a pall over the plaintiffs’ case.
YEARS TO GO
Their attorneys now estimate that it could be another several years before the lawsuit goes to trial.
“It is a very complicated case,” said Jack Cordray, a top Motley associate based in Charleston, S.C.
Cordray noted that it was not until last year that a jury began hearing testimony on the civil suit filed shortly after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing against the Port Authority, the owner of the complex.
The biggest court setback for the 9/11 suit came in January 2005 when Manhattan U.S.…Continue reading
By J.D. Cash and Lt. Col. Roger Charles U.S.MC. (retired)
New windows possibly opening on old cover-ups here. Let us pray this inquiry moves beyond the intended search for the hidden “foreign hand” to explore the indisputably indigenous fingers, figures and agencies that have aborted this investigation for a decade. – Ed.
In what some on Capitol Hill are calling a surprising decision, U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde has given the nod for hearings into the long-debated question of whether those responsible for the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building had help from any foreign source.
Spurred to action by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Hyde has given Rohrabacher’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee the wide-ranging authority to conduct interviews and subpoena documents related to the April 19, 1995, terrorist attack that left 168 dead, 19 of them children.
Interviewed Wednesday, Rohrabacher confirmed that his nearly two-year-long personal investigation into the Oklahoma City tragedy had finally received the necessary support for an official congressional investigation.
“Congressman Hyde has approved my request for hearings into the OKC bombing. The congressional investigation will be limited to our area of focus, which is whether there was a foreign connection to the conspiracy,” Rohrabacher explained.
“I think we know what we’re looking for and I expect complete cooperation from the witnesses we call and the agencies we look to for documents.”
Rohrabacher then emphasized that his office would be keeping the public informed as to the… Continue reading