By Scott Shane
April 6, 2010
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.
Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.
American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.
But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in… Continue reading
April 6, 2010
SECRECY NEWS from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2010, Issue No. 27
April 6, 2010
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
The U.S. Army is still struggling to come to grips with the unusually high rate of suicide within its ranks.
“The Army ratios are above the national average and in some months recently, there have been more suicides in the Army than combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan,” observed Nancy Youssef of McClatchy News last week. “There is no pattern to suicides. One third who commit suicide have never served in combat; another third commit suicide while in combat; and yet another third do it once they return, according to Army statistics.”
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh issued two directives on March 26 that are intended to further an understanding of the problem and to improve the availability of information to surviving family members.
Effectively immediately, all suspected suicides will be subject to an official (AR 15-6) investigation, the purpose of which is “to identify the circumstances, methods, and the contributing factors surrounding the event…. The completed investigation should provide clear, relevant, and practical recommendation(s) to prevent future suicides,” according to Army Directive 2010-01 (pdf).
A second Army directive (pdf) provided guidance for reporting (and redacting) information to be provided to family members, who are to be “kept fully informed while the investigation is underway.”
Although national security, third-person privacy and other FOIA-exempt information may be withheld, “the release authority cannot withhold information merely… Continue reading
PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT
[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MONDAY — APRIL 4, 2010]
LOCATION: The Oklahoma State Capitol Building
SECOND FLOOR, WEST WING
STATE SUPREME COURT CORRIDOR
DATE: Thursday — April 15, 2010
TIME: 1:30 pm — CST
SUBJECT: THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING — STILL SEEKING THE TRUTH; FIFTEEN YEARS LATER
Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma City bombing victim’s family members and survivors along with investigative journalists, law enforcement officers, private investigators, documentary film producers and attorneys impacted by the Oklahoma City bombing; will hold a press conference to review the unanswered questions and latest revelations pertaining to this very important part of U.S. History.
Well documented information contradicting the patently false, official account of the Oklahoma City bombing of April, 19, 1995 as offered by the U.S. Department of Justice and the F.B.I. will be reviewed. Why should any one of us be asked to remember the deaths of the Oklahoma City bombing victims in a lie?
In addition, updates pertaining to the unsolved torture – murders of Kenneth Michael Trentadue and OCPD Sgt. Terrance Yeakey will be presented.
Guest Speakers including Pat Shannan — Independent journalist with American Free Press, Washington, DC., Wendy Painting – Graduate student at NY University — Buffalo, V.Z. Lawton — OKC bombing survivor and several others will be in attendance.
For more information please contact Christopher Emery — Executive Producer with OTR Film Productions, LLC at: otrfilms [at] cox.net
Posted April 5, 2010
Report from the WikiLeaks Press Conference
(April 5, Washington, DC) Julian Assange and Wikileaks kept their promise of February 20 by releasing a video tape that shows civilians and reporter deaths from an attack by United States forces. The tape was presented at a 9:00 am press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Before the conference began, Assange described this as a “very rich story.” He opened with a brief statement and then showed the video tape. The edited and unedited versions of the tape are available here. WikiLeaks received the tape through unspecified channels. Assange did say that the leak to his organization “sends a message that there are some people in the US military who don’t like what’s going on.”
The video captures an incident on July 12, 2007 in a Baghdad suburb. This event has been a matter of controversy since a Reuter’s photo journalist, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his assistant, Saeed Chmagh, were both killed in the incident.
Reuters described the scene as follows:
“Reuters has asked the US military to conduct a full and objective investigation into the deaths of two employees in Baghdad on 12 July. Photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, a father of four, were killed while working in the eastern area of the Iraqi capital.
“The cause of their deaths is unclear. The US military issued a statement describing the incident as a firefight with insurgents and said the killings were being investigated.
April 5, 2010
The death of a whistleblower who said the UK government had “sexed up” a dossier on Saddam Hussein’s military capabilities in order to sell the Iraq war has been one of the most intriguing and confusing elements of the war’s history.
Now the UK’s Conservative Party is signaling that it plans to reopen the inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly if it wins the next election. The move could potentially harm the ruling Labour Party, which championed the Iraq war effort and is now trailing in the polls for this spring’s election.
On Sunday, Dominic Grieve, the Conservative Party’s “shadow” justice minister, said members of the public “have not been reassured” that Kelly’s death was a suicide, and if his government wins the election, he would want to reopen the case, reports the UK’s Daily Mail.
Kelly, a weapons expert with Britain’s Ministry of Defence, was found dead in a forest near his home in Oxfordshire in 2003, shortly after he gave an interview to the BBC in which he said that the British government was lying about its claim that Saddam Hussein could launch biological and chemical weapons within 45 minutes of giving the order.
Kelly’s death sparked suspicions that he may have been killed for undermining the government of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair as the British leader stood with US President George W. Bush in pushing for an invasion of Iraq.
A former British ambassador quoted Kelly as having… Continue reading
April 5, 2010
by Bill Quigley
t r u t h o u t
Today, in New York City, the US is torturing a Muslim detainee with no prior criminal record who has not even gone to trial.
For the last almost three years, Syed Fahad Hashmi has been kept in total pretrial isolation inside in a small cell under 24-hour video and audio surveillance. He is forced to use the bathroom and shower in full view of the video. He has not seen the sun in years. He takes his meals alone in his cell. He cannot see any other detainees and he is not allowed to communicate in any way with any prisoners. He cannot write letters to friends and he cannot make calls to anyone but his lawyer. He is prohibited from participating in group prayer. He gets newspapers that are 30 days old with sections cut out by the government. One hour a day, he is taken into another confined room where he is also kept in total isolation.
Children are taught that the US Constitution protects people accused of crimes. No one is to be punished unless their guilt or innocence has been decided in a fair trial. Until trial, people are entitled to the presumption of innocence. They are entitled to be defended by an attorney of their choice. And the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
The punishment of Hashmi has been going on for years while he… Continue reading
March 31, 2010
From the Huffington Post:
In anticipation of a final announcement as to the trial venue for the 9/11 plotters, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is warning the president against “buckling to political pressure,” calling the use of military tribunals the “wrong thing to do.”
In a nearly four-minute long video, Donna Marsh O’Connor — a Peaceful Tomorrows member who lost her pregnant daughter when the Twin Towers collapsed — speaks both to the broad notion that America has a “historic commitment to justice” and, more narrowly, to the horse-trading politics that now surround terrorist trials. Reflecting disappointment with recent signals from the White House, O’Connor calls specifically for the president to reject a reported compromise proposal with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in which the administration would drop plans for civilian trials in exchange for Republican support for the closure of Gitmo.
“As 9/11 families, we have suffered greatly and waited almost nine years to see justice done with our own eyes,” O’Connor says. “We understand that you face political pressure to back down. We ask that you do not allow fear and prejudice to govern your decision as we are not afraid. We know our country is strong enough to hold on to our values in the face of terrorism.”
The video follows other efforts from Peaceful Tomorrows to advocate for civilian trials for the 9/11 suspects.
By The Associated Press
April 1, 2010
DOJ Bush wiretapping program takes hit in Calif rulingIn a repudiation of the
Bush administration’s now-defunct terrorist surveillance effort, a federal judge
ruled Wednesday that government investigators illegally wiretapped the phone
conversations of an Islamic charity and two American lawyers without a search
U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker said the plaintiffs provided enough
evidence to show "they were subjected to warrantless electronic surveillance"
by the National Security Agency.
The judge’s 45-page ruling focused narrowly on the case involving the Al-Haramain
Islamic Foundation, touching vaguely on the larger question of the program’s
Nonetheless, Al-Haramain lawyer Jon Eisenberg said the ruling had larger implications.
"By virtue of finding what the Bush administration did to our clients
was illegal, he found that the Terrorist Surveillance Program was unlawful,"
President Bush authorized the surveillance program shortly after 9/11, allowing
NSA officials to bypass the courts and intercept electronic communications believed
connected to al-Qaida.
Generally, government investigators are required to obtain search warrants
signed by judges to eavesdrop on domestic phone calls, e-mail traffic and other
At issue Wednesday was a 2006 lawsuit filed by the Ashland, Ore., branch of
the Saudi-based foundation and two American lawyers Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor.
Belew and Ghafoor claimed their 2004 phone conversations with foundation official
Soliman al-Buthi were wiretapped without warrants soon after the Treasury Department
had declared the Oregon branch a supporter of terrorism. They argued that wiretaps
installed without… Continue reading
by Jason Leopold
The Justice Department has quietly recanted nearly every major claim the Bush administration had made about “high-value” detainee Abu Zubaydah, a Guantánamo prisoner who at one time was said to have planned the 9/11 attacks and was the No. 2 and 3 person in al-Qaeda.
Additionally, Justice has backed away from claims intelligence officials working in the Clinton administration had also leveled against Zubaydah, specifically, that he was directly involved in the planning of the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa.
Zubaydah’s name is redacted throughout the 109-page court document, but he is identified on the first page of the filing by his real name, Zayn Al Abidin Muhammad Husayn. He was the first detainee captured after 9/11 who was subjected to nearly a dozen brutal torture techniques, which included waterboarding, and was the catalyst, the public has been told, behind the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation” program. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has publicly admitted that personally approved of Zubaydah’s waterboarding.
His torture was videotaped and the tapes later destroyed. The destruction of 90 videotapes of his interrogations is the focus of a high-level criminal investigation being conducted by John Durham, a federal prosecutor appointed special counsel in 2008 by then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
In recent months, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen has been on a public relations campaign promoting his book, “Courting Disaster,” in which he defended the torture of Zubaydah, claiming, among other things, that he reviewed classified intelligence that revealed Zubaydah’s torture produced actionable intelligence… Continue reading
by Anthony L. Kimery
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
‘Secret’ CIA documents withheld in FOIA suit raise more questions than they answer
Questions about foreign complicity in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma City for which Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were convicted, were disclosed Friday in a ruling by US District court judge Clark Waddoups on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA for the CIA’s refusal to completely declassify records it has acknowledged it possesses that pertain to the case.
It is the first indication that the CIA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) worked together in the bombing investigations and prosecutions.
The classified materials also were never made available to McVeigh’s defense team, led by attorney Stephen Jones, who has publicly expressed his concern that the federal government knows more about the bombing than it has admitted.
The ruling Friday in Salt Lake City was in response to the December 12, 2006 FOIA suit brought by Jesse Trentadue, an attorney who sought numerous documents from the CIA, “including any [related to] potential involvement of foreign nationals in that attack.”
Waddoups ruled that the CIA materials were properly classified by the CIA for the variety of reasons that the Agency had claimed, and that they would not be made available to the public. It was the first such national security defense ever used by the government in denying records to Trentadue.
While the exact content of the documents – which were not reviewed by Waddoups in camera – were not revealed, Waddoups in his ruling hinted at what they contained based largely on “supporting affidavits” and other materials that the CIA provided to him.…Continue reading
by Philip Giraldi
April 1, 2010 edition of American Conservative
Even in World War II, the United States did not attempt to assassinate U.S. citizens who went over to the enemy, but that has now changed with President Obama’s overseas contingency operations. On Feb. 3, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that the United States government has developed procedures for killing American citizens abroad who are “involved” with groups threatening to carry out terrorist acts directed against other Americans. Three U.S. citizens have already been approved by the White House for summary execution as soon as actionable intelligence is developed to enable a pilotless drone’s hellfire missiles to do the killing. One is Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi; the second is American al-Qaeda member Adam Perlman, who goes under the name Adam Yahiye Gadahn; and the third is believed to be a Somali from Minnesota who has joined the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa. Anwar al-Aulaqi, linked in the media to the Christmas underwear bombing and with Major Malik Nadal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, has denied any involvement in either incident. Perlman, a propagandist for al-Qaeda, is in Waziristan. Killing these men would involve using military drones to attack targets in three countries with which the United States is not at war.
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution guarantee a citizen due process and a public trial, as well as the right to confront his accuser. The Obama administration… Continue reading
With Speakers: Cynthia McKinney, David Ray Griffin, Peter Dale Scott, Ellen Brown, Ian Crane, Annie Machon, Jim Marrs, Michael Parenti, Peter Phillips, and Barrie Zwicker
In one packed weekend, Understanding Deep Politics will bring together ten distinguished speakers
and hundreds of concerned citizens for the purpose of challenging the
mainstream perceptions of political reality – revealing the hidden forces behind many widely accepted historical and current events.
This unprecedented and provocative conference will span three days, including an early Friday evening meet and greet get-together.
Please join us at this sure-to-be-historic conference and be a part of the crucial effort to gain a critical, deeper understanding of the causes of our societal dilemmas as we work together to fashion new possibilities for the betterment of all.
Conference voice mail: 707-672-4242
To make donations:
or mail to: Progressive Promotions
P.O. Box 600, Bayside, CA 95524
The conference will take place at the UCSC Inn and Conference Center.
611 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Toll Free: 1-866-827-2466
March 26, 2010
By Muriel Kane
In an extraordinary editorial, the whistleblower site WikiLeaks has demanded that the United States “stop spying” on its operations.
“Over the last few years, WikiLeaks has been the subject of hostile acts by security organizations,” founder Julian Assange writes. “We’ve become used to the level of security service interest in us and have established procedures to ignore that interest. But the increase in surveillance activities this last month, in a time when we are barely publishing due to fundraising, are excessive.”
On Tuesday evening, followers of the WikiLeaks Twitter feed were startled to read, “WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation.” This was followed a few minutes later by “If anything happens to us, you know why: it is our Apr 5 film. And you know who is responsible.” A succeeding message warned, “We have airline records of the State Dep/CIA tails. Don’t think you can get away with it. You cannot. This is WikiLeaks.”
Friday’s editorial finally fills in the background of those cryptic messages. Assange apparently believes that his group is under close surveillance by US intelligence because of its planned release of “a classified U.S. military video showing civilian kills by U.S. pilots” under the command of General David Petraeus.
Most of the incidents that he cites, however, have occurred in Iceland, where WikiLeaks representatives have been holding discussions with members of the Icelandic parliament about the possibility of turning that nation into a haven… Continue reading
BoilingFrogsPost.com (Sibel Edmonds’ Blog)
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.
The documents released under FOIA are almost completely redacted, but they do support many of Edmonds’ claims, including:
There were a number of very serious FBI investigations into “Turkish activity in Chicago” involving a number of targets, including TACA
These investigations were related to “National Security” among other things.
These investigations were regarded as so sensitive that no files were to be uploaded to FBI’s computer system.
Congressional corruption was involved.
The FBI repeatedly conducted actual “physical surveillance” against Turkish and American targets.
Some of these investigations were shut down in 2001.
The documents comprise primarily of internal FBI ECs (Electronic Communications) between FBI offices. Most of the ECs are titled “Turkish American Cultural Association” although one from Feb 2000 is titled “Turkish Investigations in Chicago” which indicates that there were at least seven different pending investigations into Turkish activity in Chicago, and another later document from July 2001 indicates that there were at least ten investigations into TACA alone.…Continue reading
War Protest Arrests: Eight Put Their Bodies on the Gears of the War Machine
March 22, 2010
March 20, 2010, thousands of people gathered across from the White House in D.C. and thousands more gathered around the U.S. to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the illegal U.S. attack on Iraq, and to protest Obama’s continuation of the violent occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and other abuses of power. Eight people- Cindy Sheehan, Elaine Brower, Matthis Chiroux, Jon Gold, Leflora Cunningham-Walsh, Dennis Frostbutter, Alex MacDonald and James Veeder- engaged in civil disobedience and were arrested.
Many people spoke at the D.C. rally, including peace activist Cindy Sheehan, organizer of the Peace Of The Action campaign and Camp OUT NOW. Cindy called for people to physically disrupt the activities of the war machine, and quoted from Mario Savio’s 1964 statement at Berkeley:
“There”s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can”t take part; you can”t even passively take part; and you”ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers and all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop; and you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
9/11 Truth Activist Jon Gold Arrested at White House War Protest
March 22, 2010
March 22, 2010
by Stephen C. Webster
A terror war prisoner, once considered of such high value by the Bush administration that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered he be tortured, has taken his first step toward freedom thanks to a federal district court judge, who ordered the government to free him after nearly 10 years of imprisonment at Guantánamo Bay.
Though 39-year-old Mohamedou Slahi, an alleged 9/11 conspirator, won his habeas corpus appeal before U.S. District Judge James Robertson on Monday, he likely does not know it yet. That’s because the judge’s decision was classified, according to published reports.
“After the [9/11] attacks, he was fingered by a senior al Qaeda operative for helping assemble the so-called Hamburg cell, which included the hijacker who piloted United 175 into the South Tower,” href="http://pierretristam.com/Bobst/07/wf040107.htm" target="_blank">The Wall Street Journal reported in 2007.
After being captured and imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, he was repeatedly subjected to torture by his American captors, with Rumsfeld himself ordering “special” interrogation tactics be set aside for Slahi.
“For a sampling of what Slahi experienced at Guantánamo, check out page 139 of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s 2008 report into the abuse of detainees in the custody of the Department of Defense,” Washington Independent reporter Spencer Ackerman noted.
The Senate report reads:
The memoranda indicate that, on several occasions from July 8 through July 17, Slahi was interrogated by a masked interrogator called “Mr. X.” On July 8, 2003 Slahi was interrogated by Mr. X… Continue reading
Orders Renegotiation of Settlement for People Sickened by Dust from
World Trade Center; Says $657M Insufficient
March 19, 2010
A federal judge on Friday rejected a legal settlement of more than a half-billion
dollars for people sickened by ash and dust from the World Trade Center, saying
the deal to compensate 10,000 police officers, firefighters and other laborers
didn’t contain enough money for the workers.
“In my judgment, this settlement is not enough,” said U.S. District Judge Alvin
The judge also said he was concerned too much of the deal would be eaten up
by legal fees and that ground zero responders were going to be pressured into
signing on before they knew how much they stood to receive.
CBSNews.com: In 9/11’s Wake, Anguish and Anger
Ground Zero Health Crisis
Section: September 11, 2001 – Eight Years Later
The settlement proposal would have given the workers $575 million to $657 million,
but each person’s amount was based on a complicated point system that would
give some workers only a few thousand dollars while others might qualify for
$1 million or more.
A third or more of the amount set aside for the workers was expected to go to
their lawyers. Some plaintiffs had agreed at the start of the case to give as
much as 40 percent of any judgment to cover fees and expenses.
Voices of Sick 9/11 Responders
Cancer Kills 9/11 Firefighter
Under the terms of the deal, workers were given just… Continue reading