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Black boxes disappear from the WTC site: Bryan Sacks’ and Nick Levis’ of 911Truth.org break story

Black boxes disappear from the WTC site: Bryan Sacks' and Nick Levis' of 911Truth.org break story

Firefighter Said Black Boxes Were Found at Ground Zero

Pulitzer Prize winner William Bunch uses an account from the book, "Behind-the-Scenes: Ground Zero," as one source for the claim that three black boxes from the aircraft that crashed into the World Trade Center were discovered by authorities during the recovery efforts in 2001-2002. This is contrary to the official story. (Philadelphia Daily News, Thursday, 10/28/04 - a longer version was published on his "Campaign Extra" weblog.)

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Who Is Rich Blee?

Who Is Rich Blee?

Despite threats of prosecution from the CIA, the makers of 9/11: Press For Truth have released their new documentary podcast Who Is Rich Blee?

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Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency

Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency

The U.S. Secret Service failed to do its job on September 11, 2001 in several important ways. These failures could be explained if the Secret Service had foreknowledge of the 9/11 events as they were proceeding. That possibility leads to difficult questions about how the behavior of Secret Service employees might have contributed to the success of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Answering those questions will require the release of existing interview transcripts as well as follow-up questioning, under oath, of a few key people within the agency.

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Bush, Rice and the Genoa Warning: Documenting a demonstrable falsehood

Bush, Rice and the Genoa Warning: Documenting a demonstrable falsehood

"I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."
--Condoleezza Rice, May 16, 2002

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FBI Headquarters Thwarts Pre-9/11 Moussaoui Search, But Why?

FBI Headquarters Thwarts Pre-9/11 Moussaoui Search, But Why?

An FBI agent who interrogated Zacarias Moussaoui before Sept. 11, 2001, warned his supervisors more than 70 times that Moussaoui was a terrorist and spelled out his suspicions that the al-Qaeda operative was plotting to hijack an airplane.

What is striking about agent Samit's account, like the account of his office-mate Coleen Rowley, is the assumption of "criminal negligence" on the part of FBI headquarters, and RFU head David Frasca and Michael Maltbie in particular. Best I can see, criminal complicity has not been ruled out whatsoever.

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Edmonds: FBI knew about 9/11 plot in April 2001

Edmonds: FBI knew about 9/11 plot in April 2001

Open Letter To Thomas Kean, Chairman Of The 9/11 Commission, from FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds 


I, Sibel Edmonds, a concerned American Citizen, a former FBI translator, a whistleblower, a witness for a United States Congressional investigation, a witness and a plaintiff for the Department of Justice Inspector General investigation, and a witness for your own 9/11 Commission investigation, request your answers to, and your public acknowledgement of, the following questions and issues:

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Why Louis Freeh Should Be Investigated For 9/11

Why Louis Freeh Should Be Investigated For 9/11

“The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States and its citizens at home and abroad. Even worse, there is virtually no effort on the part of the FBI’s International Terrorism Unit to neutralize known and suspected terrorists residing within the United States.”[1] ...


Judicial Watch pointed to a “legacy of corruption” at the FBI under Freeh, listing the espionage scandal at Los Alamos National Laboratories, as well as “Filegate, Waco, the Ruby Ridge cover-up, the Olympic bombing frame-up of Richard Jewell, [and] falsification of evidence concerning the Oklahoma City bombing.”[4]

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Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and 9/11

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and 9/11

Rumsfeld on the morning of 9/11, prior to the attacks: "let me tell you, I've been around the block a few times," he told Representative Cox. "There will be another event."

When did Cheney enter the PEOC beneath the White House?

Why did the Secret Service leave President Bush exposed and vulnerable in the classroom at Emma Booker Elementary for more than 10 minutes after they knew we were under attack?

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9/11 Training Exercise Planned for Simulated Plane Crash Five Minutes before Pentagon Attack Took Place

9/11 Training Exercise Planned for Simulated Plane Crash Five Minutes before Pentagon Attack Took Place

Five minutes before the Pentagon was hit on September 11, 2001, a training exercise being run by a US intelligence agency just over 20 miles from the Pentagon was set to include the scenario of a small private jet plane crashing into a building. It is unclear whether the scenario was played out, or if the exercise had been called off by that time.

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Cui Bono 9/11?

Cui Bono 9/11?

UnAnswered Question #1: Cui Bono?

A spirited and global citizens' media was birthed by our hunger to learn the truth that lay inside the graves of those who gave their lives on 9/11. This citizens' media brought forward the questions that people throughout the world raised and wanted answered.

These are the UnAnswered Questions of 9/11. The persistence of the citizens' media in raising them and demanding answers has illuminated the failure of those responsible to explain what happened or why.

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FAA Communications with NORAD On September 11, 2001

FAA Communications with NORAD On September 11, 2001

FAA clarification memo to 9/11 Independent Commission
Within minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center, the FAA immediately established several phone bridges that included FAA field facilities, the FAA Command Center, FAA headquarters, DOD, the Secret Service, and other government agencies. The FAA shared real-time information on the phone bridges about the unfolding events, including information about loss of communication with aircraft, loss of transponder signals, unauthorized changes in course, and other actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77.

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Co-Chair of 9/11 Inquiry: American Government Covered Up State Assistance to Hijackers

Co-Chair of 9/11 Inquiry: American Government Covered Up State Assistance to Hijackers

The co-chair of the Congressional Joint 9/11 Inquiry (Bob Graham) today alleged a cover up by the U.S. government of state assistance by Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 hijackers.

Graham is no flake. He was a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for 10 years (including 18 months as chairman), member of the CIA External Advisory Board, chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, 18-year U.S. senator, two-term governor of Florida, co-chair of the national commission on the BP oil spill, and member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

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White House Terror Chief Alleges CIA 9/11 Malfeasance, Cover Up in New Interview: PBS Colorado’s Exclusive Ignites Battle Among Bush Officials

White House Terror Chief Alleges CIA 9/11 Malfeasance, Cover Up in New Interview: PBS Colorado's Exclusive Ignites Battle Among Bush Officials

In a never-before-seen interview, Richard Clarke, former White House Counterterror "Tsar" to Presidents Clinton and Bush, goes on record about what he believes happened at CIA in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks, accusing then-CIA Director George Tenet and two of his deputies of deliberately not informing the White House, FBI, and Defense Department about two future hijackers inside U.S., then covering up from the 9/11 investigations.

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The Wargames of September 11th (beta)

The Wargames of September 11th (beta)

The latest material for the first time casts light on what may have been the day's master wargame:

Global Guardian, run out of Offutt Air Force Base by the US Strategic Command (Stratcom) under Admiral Richard Mies ( official bio ).

He has since retired and taken up a gig as the CEO of Hicks & Associates, a "strategic consultant" to the federal government dealing in "military transformation."

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Important “Open Letter to Norman Mineta” concerning his 9/11 Commission-censored testimony – Please help distribute widely…

Important Open Letter to Norman Mineta concerning his 9/11 Commission-censored testimony - Please help distribute widely...

On May 23, 2003 you testified before the 9/11 Commission in public hearing as to your experience on the morning of 9/11/01. During your testimony you stated that you arrived at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) underneath the East Wing of the White House “at about 9:20 a.m.”, at which time Vice President Richard Cheney ...

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9/11 and Other Optical Illusions

9/11 and Other Optical Illusions

This illusion elucidates a very important principle concerning subjective reality, and helps to illustrate a point about the vastly differing views people can hold about events such as 9/11.

Some people who look at the spinning figure will first affirm that she is bouncing on her left leg while twirling in a clockwise direction.
Others may avow that she is instead bouncing on her right leg and spinning in a counterclockwise direction.

Indeed, you can have many people looking at this animated graphic at the same time and not agree as to what is happening.

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Senator Dayton: NORAD Lied About 9/11

Senator Dayton: NORAD Lied About 9/11

In hearings last Friday, Sen. Dayton (D-MN) raised an obvious point: if the timeline of air defense response as promoted in the Kean Commission's best-selling book is correct, then the timeline presented repeatedly by NORAD during the last two years was completely wrong. Yet now no one at NORAD is willing to comment on their own timeline!

When the official story of 9/11 can be changed repeatedly without anyone ever being held accountable, we have no right to ever again expect honest government. Please read the following story and do your part to support Sen. Dayton for highlighting the contradiction, and to encourage the media to follow up.

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Did the Bush Administration Lie to Congress and the 9/11 Commission?

Did the Bush Administration Lie to Congress and the 9/11 Commission?

By Dave Lindorff

9/11: Missing Black Boxes in World Trade Center Attacks Found by Firefighters, Analyzed by NTSB, Concealed by FBI

One of the more puzzling mysteries of 9-11 is what ever happened to the flight recorders of the two planes that hit the World Trade Center towers. Now it appears that they may not be missing at all.
Counterpunch has learned that the FBI has them.

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Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden

Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden

A great deal of controversy has arisen about what was known about the movements and location of Osama bin Laden in the wake of his killing by US Special Forces on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Questions about what intelligence agencies knew or didn't know about al-Qaeda activities go back some years, most prominently in the controversy over the existence of a joint US Special Forces Command and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) data mining effort known as "Able Danger."

What hasn't been discussed is a September 2008 Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general (IG) report, summarizing an investigation made in response to an accusation by a Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC) whistleblower, which indicated that a senior JFIC commander had halted actions tracking Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.

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Guns and Butter Interviews Paul Zarembka, Editor of ‘The Hidden History of 9/11′

Guns and Butter Interviews Paul Zarembka, Editor of 'The Hidden History of 9/11'

How much insider trading occurred in the days leading up to 9/11? How compromised is the evidence against alleged hijackers because of serious authentication problems with a key Dulles Airport videotape? To what extent does the testimony of more than five hundred firefighters differ from official reports of what happened at the World Trade Center buildings that day? How inseparably connected are Western covert operations to al-Qaeda?

Listen to Bonnie Faulkner interview with Paul Zarembka, professor of economics, SUNY Buffalo

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Is Anyone Telling Us the Truth?

Is Anyone Telling Us the Truth?

What are we to make of the failed Underwear Bomber plot, the Toothpaste, Shampoo, and Bottled Water Bomber plot, and the Shoe Bomber plot? These blundering and implausible plots to bring down an airliner seem far removed from al-Qaida's expertise in pulling off 9/11.

If we are to believe the U.S. government, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged al-Qaida "mastermind" behind 9/11, outwitted the CIA, the NSA, indeed all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies as well as those of all U.S. allies including Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, Air Traffic Control, Airport Security four times on one morning, and Dick Cheney, and with untrained and inexperienced pilots pulled off skilled piloting feats of crashing hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center towers, and the Pentagon, where a battery of state of the art air defenses somehow failed to function.

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US Government Protection of Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi Black Hole

US Government Protection of Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi Black Hole

Since 9/11 however, constitutional practices have been overshadowed by a series of emergency measures to fight terrorism.

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Does Science Lie?

Does Science Lie?

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we must weigh our collective need for maintaining and promoting what is believed to be "safe" against what is in fact true.

A PhD in physics and former student of physics teacher David Chandler, when showed the compelling research David has put together on the physical improbability of the official story of the building collapses of the Three World Trade buildings on September 11 said, "I understand and accept your data as scientifically accurate and flawless, yet I don't believe it".

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Insiders voice doubts about CIA’s 9/11 story

Insiders voice doubts about CIA's 9/11 story

Former FBI agents say the agency's bin Laden unit misled them about two hijackers.
A growing number of former government insiders -- all responsible officials who served in a number of federal posts -- are now on record as doubting ex-CIA director George Tenet's account of events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Among them are several special agents of the FBI, the former counterterrorism head in the Clinton and Bush administrations, and the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, who told us the CIA chief had been "obviously not forthcoming" in his testimony and had misled the commissioners.

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FBI Documents Support Explosive Claims by Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds

FBI Documents Support Explosive Claims by Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds

Recently released FBI documents prove the existence of highly sensitive National Security and criminal investigations of "Turkish Activities" in Chicago prior to September 11, 2001.

These documents add further support to many of the allegations that former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has claimed, in public and in Congress, since 2002. The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into an organization called the Turkish American Cultural Alliance (TACA), an organization repeatedly named by Ms. Edmonds as being complicit in the crimes that she became aware of when she was a translator at the FBI.

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Taliban government ‘offered bin Laden trial before 9/11′

Taliban government 'offered bin Laden trial before 9/11'

The Taliban government in Afghanistan offered to present Osama bin Laden for a trial long before the attacks of September 11, 2001, but the US government showed no interest, according to a senior aide to the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar.
"Even before the [9/11] attacks, our Islamic Emirate had tried through various proposals to resolve the Osama issue. One such proposal was to set up a three-nation court, or something under the supervision of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference [OIC]," Muttawakil said.
"But the US showed no interest in it. They kept demanding we hand him over, but we had no relations with the US, no agreement of any sort. They did not recognise our government."

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9/11 Misinformation: Flight ‘Passenger Lists’ Show ‘No Hijacker Names’

9/11 Misinformation: Flight 'Passenger Lists' Show 'No Hijacker Names'

The assertion that 9/11 passengers lists “contained no Arab names” is frequently seen in the 9/11 truth movement.

Victims lists for the four planes published by CNN and elsewhere are free of Arab names…

This fact has been highlighted as suspicious by some researchers describing the lists as passenger manifests. However, these lists are not passenger manifests, but lists of victims …

CNN describes its criteria for including persons in its memorial in a pop-up window labelled ‘About this site’… ‘

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Another Ex-CIA Official Speaks Out for 9/11 Truth

Another Ex-CIA Official Speaks Out for 9/11 Truth

Why is it important that we not let the so-called conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 be drowned out?

After spending the better part of the last five years treating these theories with utmost skepticism, I have devoted serious time to actually studying them in recent months, and have also carefully watched several videos that are available on the subject. I have come to believe that significant parts of the 9/11 theories are true, and that therefore significant parts of the "official story" put out by the U.S. government and the 9/11 Commission are false. I now think there is persuasive evidence that the events of September did not unfold as the Bush administration and the 9/11 Commission would have us believe. The items below highlight the major questions surrounding 9/11 but do not constitute a detailed recounting of the evidence available.

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Why the Planes Were Not Intercepted on 9/11: The Wall Street Lawyer and the Special Ops Hijack Coordinator

Why the Planes Were Not Intercepted on 9/11: The Wall Street Lawyer and the Special Ops Hijack Coordinator

Why were none of the four planes intercepted?

Some of the most startling facts about the air defense failures have to do with the utter failure of communications between the agencies responsible for protecting the nation. At the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), two people stood out in this failed chain of communications. One was a lawyer on his first day at the job, and another was a Special Operations Commander who was never held responsible for his critical role, or even questioned about it.

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Former Explosives Loader for Controlled Demolition Interviewed by AE911truth

Former Explosives Loader for Controlled Demolition Interviewed by AE911truth

These videos are raw footage of AE911Truth's exclusive interviews with two of the world class experts appearing in Architects and Engineer's upcoming hard hitting documentary "9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out":

Tom Sullivan - Former Explosives Loader for Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI)

Scott Grainger - Fire Protection Engineer

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Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11

Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11

Just after September 11th 2001, many governments began investigations into possible insider trading related to the terrorist attacks of that day.

Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monte Carlo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States, and others initiated investigations. Although considerable evidence of insider trading exists, none of the investigations resulted in a single indictment because the people identified as having been involved in the suspicious trades were seen as unlikely to have been associated with those alleged to have committed the 9/11 crimes.

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The Total Failure of the Kean Commission

The Total Failure of the Kean Commission

ISSUE #1: On the morning of September 11, 2001, NORAD was running war games involving the scenario of hijacked airliners, while the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into a government building, at the exact same time as an identical scenario was perpetrated in reality.

What role, if any, did Secretary Rumsfeld, Undersecretary Wolfowitz, and acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers play in any war game scenario on the morning of September 11, 2001?

What briefings did they receive about these wargames before, during, and after the morning in question?

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Proof that 9/11 Truthers Are Dangerous

Proof that 9/11 Truthers Are Dangerous

Most Americans don't know what kind of people 9/11 truthers really are. So they can't figure out whether or not they are dangerous.

Below is a list of people who question what our Government has said about 9/11.

The list proves -- once and for all -- that people who question 9/11 are dangerous.

Email this list to everyone you know, to prove to them that 9/11 truthers are all dangerous nut cases.

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London-based oil executive linked to 9/11 hijackers

London-based oil executive linked to 9/11 hijackers

A Saudi Arabian accused of associating with several of the September 11 hijackers and who disappeared from his home in the United States a few weeks before the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, is in London working for his country's state oil company.

Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his wife Anoud left three cars at their luxurious home in a gated community in Sarasota, Florida -- one of them new -- and flew to Saudi Arabia in August 2001. The refrigerator was full of food; furniture and clothing were left behind; and the swimming pool water was still circulating.

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Rewarding Incompetence

Rewarding Incompetence

We strongly agree with President Bush's decision to move Condoleezza Rice out of her position as National Security Advisor. Ms. Rice's statement from her May 16, 2002 press briefing:

"I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile" made it clear that she was ill equipped to be advising anyone on matters of national security. Condoleezza Rice was the top National Security official with President Bush at the July 2001 G-8 summit in Genoa. This was where "U.S. officials were warned that Islamic terrorists might attempt to crash an airliner into the summit ..."

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The NIST WTC 7 Report:  Bush Science reaches its peak

The NIST WTC 7 Report: Bush Science reaches its peak

In a famous book by Antoine de Saint Exupery, a little prince from another planet asks the narrator to draw a sheep. After several unsatisfactory attempts, the narrator simply draws a box and tells the little prince that the sheep is in the box. The little prince then exclaims -- "That is exactly the way I wanted it!"

Just so, the Bush Administration asked its scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for an explanation as to what happened at the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11. In response to this request, NIST drew up a series of fanciful stories over a period of years, each story differing from the previous one. Finally, after seven long years, NIST published its last story for WTC 7 by simply saying, in effect: "The explanation is in our computer."

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The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11

The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11

I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
--Senator Frank Church (1975)
I would like to discuss four major and badly understood events - the John F. Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11. I will analyze these deep events as part of a deeper political process linking them, a process that has helped build up repressive power in America at the expense of democracy.

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Crossing the Rubicon:  Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney

Crossing the Rubicon: Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney

Crossing the Rubicon makes the case for official complicity within the U.S. government and names Dick Cheney as the prime suspect in the crimes of 9/11.  There are 3 major points made within this book that are crucial to proving Cheney's guilt:

Means - Dick Cheney and the Secret Service
Motive - Peak Oil
Opportuniy - 9/11 Wargames

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The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-Page Lie

The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-Page Lie

In discussing my second 9/11 book, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, I have often said, only half in jest, that a better title might have been "a 571-page lie." (Actually, I was saying "a 567-page lie," because I was forgetting to count the four pages of the Preface.) In making this statement, one of my points has been that the entire Report is constructed in support of one big lie: that the official story about 9/11 is true.

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Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Debunkers with Stewart Bradley

Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Debunkers with Stewart Bradley

The following interview is extremely useful for a couple of reasons:

1) The content of the interview, and

2) the extensive links to information documenting the discussion.

Thank you to John-Michael Talboo for providing this excellent resource, and his permission to repost! Related--Jon Gold's debate last week with ScrewLooseChange founding debunker, Pat Curley, posted below.

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Bush-Linked Company Handled Security for the WTC, Dulles and United

Bush-Linked Company Handled Security for the WTC, Dulles and United

George W. Bush's brother was on the board of directors of a company providing electronic security for the World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines, according to public records. The company was backed by an investment firm, the Kuwait-American Corp., also linked for years to the Bush family.

The security company, formerly named Securacom and now named Stratesec, is in Sterling, Va.. Its CEO, Barry McDaniel, said the company had a "completion contract" to handle some of the security at the World Trade Center "up to the day the buildings fell down."

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The Kean Commission and the September 11th Families

The Kean Commission and the September 11th Families

NEW YORK CITY, May 16, 2004 - The Kean Commission was called to life in Nov. 2002, when the White House dropped its objections to an independent 9/11 investigation, after many months of persistent lobbying by September 11th families. At the time, this was seen as a victory for the relatives of those killed on September 11th, and for their allies in the fight for open government and accountability.
"Mr. Bush, who approved the flight of the bin Laden family out of the United States, when all commercial flights were grounded?"

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The Mineta Testimony: 9/11 Commission Exposed

The Mineta Testimony: 9/11 Commission Exposed

Americans who rely solely on mainstream media might easily be under the assumption that the 9/11 Commission Report put the questions about what happened on 9/11 to rest.

One of the most dramatic lies in the Commission's cover-up has been Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta's direct contradiction of the official story timeline in his testimony to the Commission.

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9/11 Commission: The Official Coverup guide

9/11 Commission: The Official Coverup guide

The 9/11 Commission came to New York the second week of May for a two-day set of hearings at The New School University. As hundreds of Sept. 11th family members, reporters and curious New Yorkers lined up for airport-style security checks, they received copies of a new 24-page booklet published by NY 9/11 Truth, with help from 911Truth.org.
"Scamming America: The Official 9/11 Cover-up Guide" is named after a quote by former Sen. Max Cleland, who resigned from the commission last November with the words, "Bush is scamming America."

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House approves Senate Patriot Act bill, sends to White House

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By Pete Kasperowicz

TheHill.com

The House Thursday night approved the Senate version of the Patriot Act extension bill, a clean extension of three surveillance authorities until June 1, 2015.

The House finished voting at about 7:50 p.m., and approved the measure in a 250-153 vote. In the final vote, 54 Democrats voted for it, along with all but 31 Republicans.

The hastily arranged debate happened just minutes after the Senate approved the same bill by a 72-23 vote. With the House vote, the White House is expected to be able to approve it tonight with the help of an automated presidential signature, as President Obama is still in Europe.

House members rushed to approve the bill before three surveillance authorities expired at midnight, but spent some time debating it, even though the debate covered mostly familiar ground. Democrats generally opposed the bill, calling it something that would extend the government’s invasion of privacy.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said the death of Osama bin Laden in particular means the three authorities should be reconsidered.

“At a time like this, we should re-examine the restoration of our constitutional protections,” he said. “This is the type of government intrusion which the bill of right was designed to prevent.”

The legislation would extend the ability of U.S. intelligence authorities to conduct roving wiretaps, gain access to business records, and survey “lone-wolf” operators, non-U.S citizens believed to be acting alone to commit terrorist acts. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) argued Thursday night that there are problems with each of these authorities.

On roving wiretaps, he said officials do not have to identify the person being watched, which he said seems like a “clear violation of the fourth amendment,” which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. Regarding business records, he said the provision lets the government access records without having to show a “meaningful nexus” between the items gathered and terrorist activity.

And on the lone wolf provision, he questioned the importance of this given government testimony that it has never been used. “According to government testimony, this provision has never been used, yet we are told it is vital that it remain on the books,” he said.

Republicans, as they have in the past, rejected these arguments by saying the provisions adequately protect U.S. rights. “We need to ensure our security… and we also need to ensure our civil liberties, and I believe that measure does just that,” House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said.

“The terrorist threat will not sunset at midnight, and neither should our national security laws,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) added.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) specifically defended the unused lone wolf provision by saying this authority might be used more in the future, especially in light of bin Laden’s death.

“While the lone wolf provision has yet to be used, it is an important provision that recognizes the growing threat of individuals who may subscribe to radical or violent beliefs but do not clearly belong to a specific terrorist group,” he said.

While Democrats said the death of bin Laden reduces the need for the Patriot Act authorities, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) said bin Laden’s death only happened because of the intelligence network the U.S. created in the days and weeks after 9/11.

“One of the lessons of our successful mission being executed against Osama bin Laden is that you need actionable intelligence over a long range of time that you can connect together with analysis to give you the information that you need,” he said. “It doesn’t fall from heaven. It doesn’t come like manna. You have to go get it.”

RELATED:

Senator Rand Paul slams GOP for blocking efforts to amend PATRIOT Act

By Eric W. Dolan Thursday, May 26th, 2011 RawStory.com

Freshman Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY) lashed out at the leadership of his own party, blaming them for preventing debate on the extension of the PATRIOT Act, which the Senate passed Thursday.

“I’ve been working for two long days filibustering the PATRIOT Act in hopes that we can have a constitutional debate over certain provisions of it and we can try to reform it to take away some of the encroachments on our freedoms,” Paul told CNN.

“Unfortunately, what we’re finding now is that the Democrats have agreed to allow me to have amendments but my own party is refusing to allow me to debate or present my amendments.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment to the PATRIOT Act on Monday that attempted to safeguard American’s civil liberties by increasing oversight of government surveillance powers.

The Leahy-Paul amendment [PDF] would have required an expansion of public reporting on the use of surveillance powers granted by the PATRIOT Act. It would also require the government to prove a suspect was linked to a foreign group or power before being able to obtain highly sensitive records.

“If you believe that your gun records should be private and they shouldn’t be opened and sifted through by unknown bureaucrats without a judge’s warrant than you should call your Republican leadership in Washington and tell them you’re unhappy,” Paul added.

The Senate voted 72 to 23 to extend the “roving wiretap” provision, “lone wolf” measure and “business records” provision until June 1, 2015. The controversial provisions were set to expire May 27.

The three provisions allow law enforcement authorities to conduct surveillance without identifying the person or location to be wiretapped, permits surveillance of “non-US” persons for whatever reason, and authorizes law enforcement to gain access to “any tangible thing” during investigations.

Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (IL) and Ron Wyden (OR) had also previously stated that the legislation needed to be amended to protect American’s from unconstitutional searches and invasions of privacy.