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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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Obama wins the right to detain people with no habeas review

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May 21, 2010
By Glenn Greenwald
Salon.com
(updated below – Update II)

Few issues highlight Barack Obama’s extreme hypocrisy the way that Bagram does.
As everyone knows, one of George Bush’s most extreme policies was abducting
people from all over the world — far away from any battlefield — and then
detaining them at Guantánamo with no legal rights of any kind, not even the
most minimal right to a habeas review in a federal court. Back in the day, this
was called “Bush’s legal black hole.” In 2006, Congress codified that policy
by enacting the Military Commissions Act, but in 2008, the Supreme Court, in
Boumediene
v. Bush
, ruled that provision unconstitutional, holding that the
Constitution grants habeas corpus rights even to foreign nationals held at Guantánamo.
Since then, detainees have won
35 out of 48 habeas hearings
brought pursuant to Boumediene, on
the ground that there was insufficient evidence to justify their detention.

Immediately following Boumediene, the Bush administration argued that the decision was inapplicable to detainees at Bagram — including even those detained outside of Afghanistan but then flown to Afghanistan to be imprisoned. Amazingly, the Bush DOJ — in a lawsuit brought by Bagram detainees seeking habeas review of their detention — contended that if they abduct someone and ship them to Guantánamo, then that person (under Boumediene) has the right to a habeas hearing, but if they instead ship them to Bagram, then the detainee has no rights of any kind. In other words, the detainee’s Constitutional rights depends on where the Government decides to drop them off to be encaged. One of the first acts undertaken by the Obama DOJ that actually shocked civil libertarians was when, last February, as The New York Times put it, Obama lawyers “told a federal judge that military detainees in Afghanistan have no legal right to challenge their imprisonment there, embracing a key argument of former President Bush’s legal team.”

But last April, John Bates, the Bush-43-appointed, right-wing judge overseeing the case, rejected the Bush/Obama position and held that Boumediene applies to detainees picked up outside of Afghanistan and then shipped to Bagram. I reviewed that ruling here, in which Judge Bates explained that the Bagram detainees are “virtually identical to the detainees in Boumediene,” and that the Constitutional issue was exactly the same: namely, “the concern that the President could move detainees physically beyond the reach of the Constitution and detain them indefinitely.”

But the Obama administration was undeterred by this loss. They quickly appealed Judge Bates’ ruling. As the NYT put it about that appeal: “The decision signaled that the administration was not backing down in its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial oversight.” Today, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the Bush/Obama position, holding that even detainees abducted outside of Afghanistan and then shipped to Bagram have no right to contest the legitimacy of their detention in a U.S. federal court, because Boumediene does not apply to prisons located within war zones (such as Afghanistan).

So congratulations to the United States and Barack Obama for winning the power to abduct people anywhere in the world and then imprison them for as long as they want with no judicial review of any kind. When the Boumediene decision was issued in the middle of the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” But Obama hailed it as “a rejection of the Bush Administration’s attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantánamo,” and he praised the Court for “rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus.” Even worse, when Obama went to the Senate floor in September, 2006, to speak against the habeas-denying provisions of the Military Commissions Act, this is what he melodramatically intoned:

As a parent, I can also imagine the terror I would feel if one of my family members were rounded up in the middle of the night and sent to Guantánamo without even getting one chance to ask why they were being held and being able to prove their innocence. . . .

By giving suspects a chance — even one chance – to challenge the terms of their detention in court, to have a judge confirm that the Government has detained the right person for the right suspicions, we could solve this problem without harming our efforts in the war on terror one bit. . . .

Most of us have been willing to make some sacrifices because we know that, in the end, it helps to make us safer. But restricting somebody’s right to challenge their imprisonment indefinitely is not going to make us safer. In fact, recent evidence shows it is probably making us less safe.

Can you smell the hypocrisy? How could anyone miss its pungent, suffocating odor? Apparently, what Obama called “a legal black hole at Guantánamo” is a heinous injustice, but “a legal black hole at Bagram” is the Embodiment of Hope. And evidently, Obama would only feel “terror” if his child were abducted and taken to Guantánamo and imprisoned “without even getting one chance to ask why and prove their innocence.” But if the very same child were instead taken to Bagram and treated exactly the same way, that would be called Justice — or, to use his jargon, Pragmatism. And what kind of person hails a Supreme Court decision as “protecting our core values” — as Obama said of Boumediene — only to then turn around and make a complete mockery of that ruling by insisting that the Cherished, Sacred Rights it recognized are purely a function of where the President orders a detainee-carrying military plane to land?

Independently, what happened to Obama’s eloquent insistence that “restricting somebody’s right to challenge their imprisonment indefinitely is not going to make us safer; in fact, recent evidence shows it is probably making us less safe“? How does our policy of invading Afghanistan and then putting people at Bagram with no charges of any kind dispose people in that country, and the broader Muslim world, to the United States? If a country invaded the U.S. and set up prisons where Americans from around the world where detained indefinitely and denied all rights to have their detention reviewed, how would it dispose you to the country which was doing that?

One other point: this decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court, which serves to further highlight how important the Kagan-for-Stevens replacement could be. If the Court were to accept the appeal, Kagan would be required to recuse herself (since it was her Solicitor General’s office that argued the administration’s position here), which means that a 4-4 ruling would be likely, thus leaving this appellate decision undisturbed. More broadly, though, if Kagan were as sympathetic to Obama’s executive power claims as her colleagues in the Obama administration are, then her confirmation could easily convert decisions on these types of questions from a 5-4 victory (which is what Boumediene was, with Stevens in the majority) into a 5-4 defeat. Maybe we should try to find out what her views are before putting her on that Court for the next 40 years?

This is what Barack Obama has done to the habeas clause of the Constitution: if you are in Thailand (as one of the petitioners in this case was) and the U.S. abducts you and flies you to Guantánamo, then you have the right to have a federal court determine if there is sufficient evidence to hold you. If, however, President Obama orders that you be taken to from Thailand to Bagram rather than to Guantánamo, then you will have no rights of any kind, and he can order you detained there indefinitely without any right to a habeas review. That type of change is so very inspiring — almost an exact replica of his vow to close Guantánamo . . . all in order to move its core attributes (including indefinite detention) a few thousand miles North to Thompson, Illinois.

Real estate agents have long emphasized “location, location, location” as the all-determining market factor. Before we elected this Constitutional Scholar as Commander-in-Chief, who knew that this platitude also shaped our entire Constitution?

UPDATE: Law Professor Steve Vladeck has
more on the ruling
, including “the perverse incentive that today’s decision
supports,” as predicted by Justice Scalia in his Boumediene dissent:
namely, that a President attempting to deny Constitutional rights to detainees
can simply transfer them to a “war zone” instead of to Guantánamo and then claim
that courts cannot interfere in the detention. Barack Obama quickly adopted
that tactic for rendering the rights in Boumediene moot —
the same rights which, less than two years ago, he was praising the Supreme
Court for safeguarding and lambasting the Bush administration for denying. Vladeck
also explains why the appellate court’s caveat — that overt government manipulation
to evade habeas rights (i.e., shipping them to a war zone with the specific
intent of avoiding Boumediene) might alter the calculus — is rather
meaningless.

UPDATE II: Guest-hosting for Rachel Maddow last night,
Chris Hayes talked with Shayana Kadidal of the Center for Constitutional Rights
about the Bagram ruling and Obama’s hypocrisy on these issues, and it was quite
good, including a video clip of the 2006 Obama speech I excerpted above:

[Ed. note: Please watch the source for further updates, as Greenwald often
continues to update his stories as related information becomes available.]


RELATED

Detainees Barred From Access to U.S. Courts
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
May 21, 2010
NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that three men who
had been detained by the United States military for years without trial in Afghanistan
had no recourse to American courts. The decision was a broad victory for the
Obama administration in its efforts to hold terrorism suspects overseas for
indefinite periods without judicial oversight.
Related

The detainees, two Yemenis and a Tunisian who say they were captured outside
Afghanistan, contend that they are not terrorists and are being mistakenly imprisoned
at the American military prison at Bagram Air Base.

But a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia ruled unanimously that the three had no right to habeas corpus hearings,
in which judges would review evidence against them and could order their release.
The court reasoned that Bagram was on the sovereign territory of another government
and emphasized the “pragmatic obstacles” of giving hearings to detainees
“in an active theater of war.”

The ruling dealt a severe blow to wider efforts by lawyers to extend a landmark
2008 Supreme Court ruling granting habeas corpus rights to prisoners at Guantánamo
Bay, Cuba. A lower court judge had previously ruled that the three Bagram detainees
were entitled to the same rights, although he had found that others captured
in Afghanistan and held there were not.

A lawyer for the detainees, Tina Foster, said that if the precedent stood,
Mr. Obama and future presidents would have a free hand to “kidnap people
from other parts of the world and lock them away for the rest of their lives”
without having to prove in court that their suspicions about such prisoners
were accurate.

“The thing that is most disappointing for those of us who have been in
the fight for this long is all of the people who used to be opposed to the idea
of unlimited executive power during the Bush administration but now seem to
have embraced it during this administration,” she said. “We have
to remember that Obama is not the last president of the United States.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and an influential lawmaker
in the long-running debate over detentions, called the ruling a “big win”
and praised the administration for appealing the lower court’s ruling.

“Allowing a noncitizen enemy combatant detained in a combat zone access
to American courts would have been a change of historic proportions,”
he said. “It also would have dealt a severe blow to our war effort.

“There is a reason we have never allowed enemy prisoners detained overseas
in an active war zone to sue in federal court for their release. It simply makes
no sense and would be the ultimate act of turning the war into a crime.”

It was not entirely clear how the ruling might affect detention policies for
terrorism suspects caught outside Afghanistan or Iraq. While the Obama administration
has stepped up the use of Predator drone strikes to kill terrorism suspects
and has relied on other countries, like Pakistan, to hold and interrogate suspects
who are captured alive, it is not known whether the United States has directly
captured anyone outside Afghanistan or Iraq recently — and, if so, where
it has taken them.

A Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, would not comment on the decision.

David Rivkin, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Special
Forces Association urging the court to side with the government, said the ruling
would have broad significance by removing doubts over whether the United States
could capture and interrogate terrorism suspects without worrying about having
to collect, in dangerous situations, evidence that would later stand up in court.

“This is an excellent decision,” said Mr. Rivkin, who was a White
House lawyer in the administration of the first President Bush. “It has
restored a considerable degree of sanity to what threatened to be a crazy legal
regime that would have deprived the United States, for the first time in history,
of the opportunity to capture and detain — outside of the United States,
in theaters of war — high-value combatants. That has been solved, and
it will apply to many other situations in the future.”

The case was brought on behalf of a Tunisian man who says he was captured in
Pakistan in 2002, a Yemeni man who says he was captured in Thailand in 2002,
and another Yemeni man who says he was captured in 2003 at another location
outside Afghanistan that has not been disclosed. (The government has disputed
the second Yemeni’s claim.)

The men’s case was originally heard by Judge John D. Bates of the Federal
District Court, an appointee of former President George W. Bush. The Bush and
Obama administrations had both urged Judge Bates not to extend habeas corpus
rights beyond Guantánamo, arguing that courts should not interfere with
military operations inside active combat zones.

But in April 2009, Judge Bates ruled that there was no difference between the
three men who had filed suit and Guantánamo prisoners. His decision was
limited to non-Afghans captured outside Afghanistan — a category that
fits only about a dozen of the roughly 800 detainees at Bagram, officials have
said.

In urging the appeals court to let Judge Bates’s decision stand, lawyers
for the detainees argued that reversing it would mean that the government would
be able “to evade judicial review of executive detention decisions by
transferring detainees into active combat zones, thereby granting the executive
the power to switch the Constitution on or off at will.”

But in the appeal panel’s decision reversing Judge Bates, Chief Judge
David B. Sentelle said there had been no such gamesmanship in the decision to
bring the three detainees to Bagram because it happened years before the Supreme
Court’s Guantánamo rulings.

Still, he left the door open to approving habeas corpus rights for prisoners
taken to prisons other than Guantánamo in the future, writing, “We
need make no determination on the importance of this possibility, given that
it remains only a possibility; its resolution can await a case in which the
claim is a reality rather than speculation.”

Ms. Foster vowed to keep fighting. But Mr. Rivkin said that the detainees’
chances for overturning the decision were dim because the three appeals judges
spanned the ideological spectrum: Chief Judge Sentelle, appointed by President
Ronald Reagan; Judge Harry T. Edwards, appointed by President Jimmy Carter;
and Judge David S. Tatel, appointed by President Bill Clinton.

It could also be difficult to win a reversal by the Supreme Court, where five
of the nine justices supported giving habeas rights to detainees in the Guantánamo
case. Among the narrow majority in that case was Justice John Paul Stevens,
who is retiring.

The nominee to replace him, Elena Kagan, who as solicitor general signed the
government’s briefs in the case, would most likely recuse herself from
hearing an appeal of the decision, and a four-four split would allow it to stand.