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Senate Passes Unconstitutional Spying Bill And Grants Sweeping Immunity To Phone Companies

ACLU Announces Legal Challenge To Follow President’s Signature

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312, media@dcaclu.org or
(212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON � Today, in a blatant assault upon civil liberties and the
right to privacy, the Senate passed an unconstitutional domestic spying bill
that violates the Fourth Amendment and eliminates any meaningful role for judicial
oversight of government surveillance. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was approved
by a vote of 69 to 28 and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush
shortly. This bill essentially legalizes the president’s unlawful warrantless
wiretapping program revealed in December 2005 by the New York Times.

‘Once again, Congress blinked and succumbed to the president’s
fear-mongering. With today’s vote, the government has been given a green
light to expand its power to spy on Americans and run roughshod over the Constitution,’
said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
‘This legislation will give the government unfettered and unchecked access
to innocent Americans’ international communications without a warrant.
This is not only unconstitutional, but absolutely un-American.’

The FISA Amendments Act nearly eviscerates oversight of government surveillance
by allowing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to review only
general procedures for spying rather than individual warrants. The FISC will
not be told any specifics about who will actually be wiretapped, thereby undercutting
any meaningful role for the court and violating the Fourth Amendment’s
protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The bill further trivializes court review by authorizing the government to
continue a surveillance program even after the government’s general spying
procedures are found insufficient or unconstitutional by the FISC.…

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Mastermind or Pawn?

San Luis Obisbo Tribune

Monday, 7 July 2008

Mastermind or pawn?

Thank you for printing some information about Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, recently.
I was wondering if any investigative journalists at The Tribune, or anyone in
the media, are ever going to look into some facts about the supposed “mastermind
of 9/11?”

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was educated in the United States, received a degree
in mechanical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State
University in 1986 and speaks fluent English. Professor David E. Klett was Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed’s teacher.

The CIA released a 26-page interrogation from June 2007 in which their Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed has an interpreter and speaks in a bizarre, broken English that
no Arab I ever spoke English with in the Persian Gulf ever sounded like. This
document has been declassified and is currently online.

The families of the victims of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have been denied
the right to face the accused. No photos or videos have been released since
this man’s capture five years ago. Is it possible that the man being held
in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is not a mastermind of anything but is simply a tortured
patsy put forward for the
history books?

Matthew Wedin
Grover Beach, CA

Link to letter online: www.sanluisobispo.com/182/story/406771.html

The King Assassination and CNN Disinformation

By Dr. William F. Pepper

As a friend and colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the last year
of his life, James Earl Ray’s attorney, for the last ten years of his
life and, finally, lead Counsel for Dr. King’s family in the 1999 civil
trial
which brought forward evidence from 70 witnesses over 30 days in Memphis,
I am compelled to comment, for the record, on the most recent documentary on
the assassination by CNN which is being aired on an ongoing basis. The fact
that my participation in the program was used to give it some credibility makes
this comment even more relevant.

It is one matter to distort the truth of how this great American prophet was
taken from us, but quite another to have mainstream media perpetuate disinformation
on matters of such public importance to the citizens of the Republic. An expert
witness, at the King family civil trial, William Schapp, set out the historical
use of government disinformation through mainstream media, dating back to the
1920’s
.

The first half of the program was dedicated to James and his background and
history. While the program notably failed to provide a motive as to why this
escaped convict would even consider such an act, and racism had been excluded
by the earlier Congressional investigation, it was hinted at by a reference
of his refusal to go to a work farm attached to the Missouri prison because
of the number of blacks in that facility. In fact, James was afraid
of becoming tied into drug activity which was going on there and having his
term extended.

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Kucinich Petition for Impeachment

kucinichimpeachpetition

Only one Congressman had the personal courage and the profound respect for
our Constitution to stand on the floor of the House of Representatives and exercise
his right and his responsibility to bring Articles of Impeachment against President
George W. Bush – Ohio Representative Dennis J. Kucinich.

Now, Americans who cherish our Democracy and the Constitutional principles
upon which it was founded can stand up, speak out, and take action by signing
the one official petition that carries the full and unqualified support of the
one and only original sponsor of the impeachment resolution: Congressman Dennis
J. Kucinich.

Kucinich Petition

WHEREAS, in his conduct while President of the United States,
George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute
the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability,
preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in
violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully
executed, has committed abuses of power.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that President George W. Bush has
acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in Chief,
and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of
law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States
and that he be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.


“…clear Presidential crimes…”

So says Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley in an interview with MSNBC’s
Keith Olbermann about Congressman Dennis… Continue reading

McCain “Doesn’t Take Well to Threats”

McCain doesn’t want to impeach Bush
David Edwards and Nick Juliano, Raw Story
Thursday June 26, 2008

Republican presidential candidate John McCain was asked Thursday his opinion
of an attempt to impeach President Bush. His answer shouldn’t surprise anyone.

If nothing else, the fact that a question was even asked shows that McCain’s
campaign doesn’t do as rigorous a job as President Bush’s handlers do in weeding
out unfriendly questioners from town hall meetings.

"I appreciate this opportunity, Mr. McCain, to ask you a question,"
said a man attending the town hall meeting at Xavier University in Ohio. "Part
one is in regards to the articles of impeachment brought up by Kucinich for
Bush. What your stance is on that as far as manipulated intelligence to form
the policy. And then the second is Professor Gatsby from Arizona was outside
your office for sixteen days and didn’t eat solid foods. I was wondering if
you agreed to meet with him for the two hours he requested or does he have to
be a corporate owner with multi-million dollars to meet with you."

The Republican senator laughed.

"I do not agree with quote ‘articles of impeachment,’" McCain said,
in reference to a resolution introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

The second question was about an Arizona professor and 9/11 conspiracy theorist
who staged a hunger strike outside McCain’s office requesting a meeting with
the senator. McCain said the professor ended his strike although he was refused
an audience.

"I did not" meet with him, McCain said.…

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McCain aide hits nerve with terror remark

By Edward Luce and Andrew Ward
June 24 2008

John McCain’s right-hand man hit a raw nerve on Monday when he said another
terrorist attack on US soil would prove a “big advantage” to the
Republican nominee’s general election chances.

The comments by Charlie Black, who is arguably Mr McCain’s most experienced
adviser, put into words what many Republicans and Democrats have privately been
stating for months.

Mr Black, 60, who is a veteran of every Republican presidential campaign since
the 1980s and served in the Reagan and Bush Senior administrations, immediately
apologised for his remarks, which were published in an interview with Fortune
Magazine.

Mr McCain, whom opinion polls show is trailing Barack Obama, his Democratic
rival, by between six and 15 points, said: “I cannot imagine why he would
say it. I strenuously disagree?.?.?.?It’s not true. I have worked tirelessly
since 9/11 to prevent another terrorist attack on America.”

The Obama campaign said: “The fact that John McCain’s top adviser
says that a terrorist attack on American soil would be a ‘big advantage’
for their political campaign is a complete disgrace and is exactly the kind
of politics that needs to change.”

The controversy arrived at a bad moment for the McCain campaign, which has
come under increasing fire from otherwise friendly Republicans for its alleged
amateurism. Critics say it has sent out mixed signals about Mr McCain’s
political direction and shown a lack of “message discipline”.

For example, last week the campaign put out a televised advertisement… Continue reading

Kristol: Bush Might Bomb Iran If He ‘Thinks Senator Obama’s Going To Win’

On Fox News Sunday this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said that
President Bush is more likely to attack Iran if he believes Sen. Barack Obama
(D-IL) is going to be elected.

However, “if the president thought John McCain was going to be the next
president, he would think it more appropriate to let the next president make
that decision than do it on his way out,” Kristol said, reinforcing the
fact that McCain is offering a third Bush term on Iran.

“I do wonder with Senator Obama, if President Bush thinks Senator Obama’s
going to win, does he somehow think — does he worry that Obama won’t
follow through on that policy,” Kristol added. Host Chris Wallace then
asked if Kristol was suggesting that Bush might “launch a military strike”
before or after the election:

WALLACE: So, you’re suggesting that he might in fact, if Obama’s
going to win the election, either before or after the election, launch a military
strike?

KRISTOL: I don’t know. I mean, I think he would worry about
it.
On the other hand, you can’t — it’s hard to
make foreign policy based on guesses of election results. I think Israel is
worried though. I mean, what is, what signal goes to Ahmadinejad if Obama
wins on a platform of unconditional negotiations and with an obvious reluctance
to even talk about using military force.

Kristol also suggested that Obama’s election would tempt Saudi Arabia and Egypt to think, ‘maybe we can use nuclear… Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in America

There was almost an armed coup in the US.

A Marine General was lined up to lead it…

Over 500,000 men were identified as potential
members of a private corporate army…

and the right wing press provided the propaganda to cover it.
The year was 1934…

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/346.html

– Brasscheck

P.S. Please share Brasscheck TV e-mails and videos with friends and colleagues.
That’s how we grow. Thanks. …

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McClellan testifies to House Judiciary Committee

by David Edwards and Nick
Juliano, Raw Story
June 20, 2008

Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan is testifying to the House Judiciary
Committee about his new revelations on the exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame
and the Bush administration’s “propaganda campaign” that led the country
into war.

McClellan was invited to testify after publication of his tell all memoir,
What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.
Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers said the revelations McClellan wrote
about “may or may not constitute an impeachable offense.”

The revelation of a pre-war propaganda campaign was “a confirmation that
the White House played fast and loose with the truth in a time of war,”
Conyers said to open the hearing. “Depending on how one reads the Constitution,
that may or may not be an impeachable offense.”

Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, said Plame’s outing was a direct component of
that propaganda effort because it was aimed at discrediting her husband Joe
Wilson, a former ambassador who undercut the administration’s argument that
Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy nuclear weapons materials from Africa.
Friday’s hearing, he said, was aimed at uncovering possible evidence of obstruction
of justice and painting a fuller picture of administration officials involvement
“not only in the leak but also in the coverup.”

Rep. Lamar Smith, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, gave a prebuttal
of McClellan’s testimony, reciting accusations that McClellan was simply trying
to make a buck with a critical book and that he was perhaps trying to get back
at his former bosses.…

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Bomb Iran? What’s to Stop Us?

By Ray McGovern
June 19, 2008

It’s crazy, but it’s coming soon — from the same folks who brought us Iraq.

Unlike the attack on Iraq five years ago, to deal with Iran there need be no massing of troops. And, with the propaganda buildup already well under way, there need be little, if any, forewarning before shock and awe and pox — in the form of air and missile attacks — begin.

This time it will be largely the Air Force’s show, punctuated by missile and
air strikes by the Navy. Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at
the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working
out the details.

Emerging from a 90-minute White House meeting with President George W. Bush on June 4, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the two leaders were of one mind:

“We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House.”

Does that sound like a man concerned that Bush is just bluff and bluster?

A member of Olmert’s delegation noted that same day that the two countries
had agreed to cooperate in case of an attack… Continue reading

911 Prediction Revealed at Lindauer Hearing in NYC

19 June 2008

Michael Collins
"Scoop" Independent News
Washington, D.C.

(June 17, NYC). A surprise development occurred at today’s hearing in the case
of Susan Lindauer versus the United States. A long time associate of the accused,
associate professor of computer science at Toronto’s York University, Parke
Godfrey, Ph.D., testified that Susan Lindauer predicted an attack on the United
States in the southern part of Manhattan. According to his testimony, she said
that the attack would be very similar to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade
Center. Godfrey said that Lindauer made the prediction on several occasions,
one as late as August 2001.

The testimony occurred in a hearing on Lindauer’s competence to stand trial
held before U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska, Southern District of New
York, in lower Manhattan. On March 11, 2004, Lindauer was arrested for acting
as an "unregistered agent" for the nation of Iraq prior to the U.S.
invasion. Prosecutors have delayed the trial for over four years claiming Lindauer
was delusional for asserting that she was a U.S. intelligence asset over a period
of nine years, including the period covered by the indictment.

This was Lindauer’s first real opportunity to argue her competence to stand
trial and deny the delusions claimed by court psychiatrists. Lindauer asserts
that she had been a U.S. intelligence asset since working on the Lockerbie case
and subsequent antiterrorism efforts.

Appearing for the defense, Dr. Godfrey testified under oath that Lindauer told
him of her specific concerns about an… Continue reading

Gov’t says FBI agents can’t testify about 9/11

The Associated Press
June 19, 2008

NEW YORK: Government lawyers say the ongoing investigation into the Sept.
11 attacks could be compromised if the airline industry is allowed to seek more
information from the FBI to defend itself against lawsuits brought by terrorism
victims.

In papers filed late Tuesday, the government urged a judge to block aviation
companies from interviewing five FBI employees who the companies say will help
them prove the government withheld key information before the 2001 attacks.

The lawyers said it would be impossible to interview the employees without
disclosing classified or privileged material that could "cause serious
damage to national security and interfere with pending law enforcement proceedings."

"The harm described is not hypothetical and cannot be lightly dismissed,"
according to the court papers submitted by the office of U.S. Attorney Michael
Garcia. "Investigators continue to seek out those parties responsible for
the 9/11 attacks who remain at large."

The largest investigation in FBI history has resulted in 167,000 interviews
and more than 155,000 pieces of evidence and involved the pursuit of 500,000
investigative leads, the lawyers wrote.

They said the aviation lawyers were unrealistic to think the investigation
would not be compromised if they speak to the FBI employees.

"In fact, it is not possible to disentangle the classified from the unclassified
information in the context of a deposition, where open-ended inquiries may elicit
responses in which classified or privileged material is intertwined," they
wrote.

So far, the government said, the FBI has turned over… Continue reading

Two New Papers at the Journal of 9/11 Studies

Kevin Ryan, Journal of 911 Studies

Two new papers have been published at the Journal of 9/11 Studies. The first
is an article by Frank Legge, called "9/11 and Probability Theory".
Here is an excerpt:

"If we compare these two explanations for the collapse of the towers
it is immediately apparent that they are different in a particularly significant
way: the fire based official explanation is a series of events, like links
in a chain, while the explosive based explanation is a parallel set of scientific
studies of evidence."

http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/911andProbabilityTheory17Legge.pdf

The second paper is a letter from Kevin Fenton, entitled "WTC Collapse
Initiation Floors: What They Were And How Much Damage They Suffered":

"It is interesting to compare the collapse initiation floor in WTC1
to the central impact floors in terms of three of the main aspects thought
to have influenced the collapse: impact damage, jet fuel spilled, and debris
available to remove fire insulation."

http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/FentonWTCInitiationFloors.pdf

Impeachment (Including 9/11 crimes) being introduced in Congress Right Now!

Kucinich: Impeach Bush

by Matthew Hay Brown

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who introduced legislation last year to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, is now aiming higher.

On the House floor this evening, the Ohio Democrat proposed impeaching President Bush. In language similar to that in the articles of impeachment he raised against Cheney, Kucinich sought support for a 35-count indictment charging Bush with misleading Congress and the American people into war with tales of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Democratic House leaders have opposed impeaching Bush or Cheney as an unhelpful distraction. They were nearly embarrassed last year when Republicans voted to take up Kucinich’s effort against Cheney in order to force a debate; they are unlikely to let the matter get so far this time.

Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com, one of the groups pushing for impeachment congratulated Kucinich on his “historic leadership.”

“We’ve waited seven years to find one Member of Congress brave enough to stand up for our Constitution, for which generations of Americans have fought and died,” Fertik said. “We are thrilled and honored that Dennis Kucinich has chosen to be that one genuine patriot.”

Source URL: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/politics/blog/2008/06/kucinich_pushing_for_bush_impe.html


Rep. Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution

7:20pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a former Democratic presidential contender, said Monday he wants the House to consider a resolution to impeach President Bush.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi consistently has said impeachment was “off the table.”

Kucinich, D-Ohio, read his proposed impeachment language in a floor speech. He contended Bush deceived the nation and violated his oath of office in leading the country into the Iraq war.…

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Lawyers want 9/11 trial dismissed (and related articles)

By Andrew O. Selsky
May 29, 2008

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Defense lawyers accused the government of
rushing the Sept. 11 defendants to trial at Guantánamo to influence the U.S.
presidential elections, and asked the military judge to dismiss the case in
a court filing obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

The filing also shows that the former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo, who resigned
in October over alleged political interference, was sanctioned by the military
on May 23 after testifying for the defense in a Guantánamo hearing.

The former prosecutor, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, wrote that the action will
discourage any other military members from providing information about the controversial
war-crimes tribunals. The tribunals’ legal adviser, Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas
Hartmann, told the AP Davis was sanctioned because of poor job performance and
not because he testified.

Military lawyers for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and
four co-defendants revealed that prosecutors are seeking a Sept. 15 trial date
— weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

The five men accused of mounting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed almost
3,000 people are to be arraigned June 5 at the U.S. Navy base in Guantánamo
Bay, Cuba — the most high-profile of the military commissions, as the
war-crimes proceedings are called.

"It is safe to say that there are senior officials in the military commission
process who believe that there would be strategic political value to having
these five men sitting in a death chamber… Continue reading

Snakes and Superdelegates

While the US media obsesses on delegates, superdelegates and whether or not Hillary Clinton is using math formulae hallowed by MSNBC, we learn that US interrogators used snakes to torture prisoners (that’s right, PentaPost –torture, not ‘interrogate’ and prisoners, not ‘detainees’) at Guantánamo Bay – while the FBI watched.

By Lori Price
www.legitgov.org

http://www.legitgov.org/essay_price_snakes_superdelegates_210508.html

21 May 2008

Today, we learned form NEWS.com.au, an Australian news and information site, that US interrogators – at least on one occasion – used a snake (in addition to military dogs and pornography) on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. We also discovered that “[Australian detainee Mamdouh] Habib alleged that ‘Mike’ a private-contract interrogator with Lockheed Martin, had hit him during an interrogation.” Further, we discovered that, ”of the more than 450 FBI agents who served at Guantánamo… almost half ‘observed or heard about various rough or aggressive treatment of detainees, primarily by military interrogators’.”

Snakes used in interrogation sessions?! This is Nazi tactics territory, folks – using our dollars and under our name! I don’t care about Democratic superdelegate totals or nomination math formulae. The US media is using the election itself as a distraction for war crimes that are being carried out in our name, every day!

Lest we forget: U.S. Has Detained 2,500 Juveniles as Enemy Combatants 16 May 2008 The United States has imprisoned approximately 2,500 people younger than 18 as illegal enemy combatants in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay since 2002, according to a report filed by the Bush regime with the… Continue reading

Down the Osama Rabbit Hole and Into the War on Terror Wonderland

By Kristina Borjesson
5/18/2008

Here we go again. President Bush goes to Israel. He talks to the Israeli Knesset
about standing "together against terror and extremism." He cites the
example of Osama bin Laden teaching that "the killing of Jews and Americans
is one of the biggest duties." The next day, yet another unauthenticated
bin Laden tape surfaces. "In a tape marking Israel’s 60th anniversary,"
reported the BBC, "the speaker pledged to continue fighting the Israelis
and not give up a ‘single inch of Palestine.’" Once again,
the lead was followed by what has now become the standard second line, "The
tape’s authenticity could not be verified." Once again, the timing
is interesting. Bin Laden’s message was just in time to help President
Bush make his point.

The BBC’s May 16, 2008 report continues with this: "The last messages
attributed to Bin Laden were aired in March." Those messages couldn’t
be verified either.

The last clear videotape of bin Laden was released to al Jazeera on December
27, 2001. The CIA released one two weeks earlier that they claimed had been
shot the month before, but the video is very fuzzy and the purported bin Laden
in the tape doesn’t altogether look like the bin Laden in authentic photos and
videos. A couple of other videos were released in 2004 and 2007, both of which
were fuzzy enough to raise questions. The 2007 video looked exactly like the
2004 video, except that the purported bin Laden’s beard was black in… Continue reading

9/11 theorist not curtailing his research

By Tad Walch
Deseret News
Published: May 3, 2008

Sixteen months ago, Brigham Young University and Steven Jones parted ways, but he said this week he isn’t bitter about the academic divorce.

He certainly hasn’t curtailed his volatile research on the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

(Yes, three towers fell, not just two. If you didn’t know that, Jones is particularly interested in reaching you with his message that some other group, in addition to al-Qaida, likely contributed to the collapses.)

In fact, Jones is the lead author of a paper on the collapses published April 18 in a civil engineering journal. (Ed.: Full paper can be read here at www.Bentham-open.org.)

The journal article does not list his past tie to BYU, and that’s a big Mission Accomplished for university leaders, who felt they acted to protect BYU’s reputation when they worked out a retirement package with Jones and he left at the end of 2006.

But Jones is sharing a cramped BYU office with some professors. He also does research in a BYU lab as an outside user with a student who works with him.

Most importantly, he is preparing several more papers that, if they pass peer review and are published, will give him the peace of mind that his case reached the public.

Jones was energized in November when he and others received a response from the national lab charged by Congress to determine why… Continue reading