Human Rights Watch Mourns Loss of Alison Des Forges
Alison’s loss is a devastating blow not only to Human Rights Watch but also to the people of Rwanda and the Great Lakes region.
Kenneth Roth, executive director
Leading Rwanda Expert Killed in Plane Crash
February 13, 2009
(New York) – It is with enormous sadness that Human Rights Watch announces the death of our beloved colleague Dr. Alison Des Forges, who was killed in the crash of Flight 3407 from Newark to Buffalo on February 12, 2009. Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch’s Africa division for almost two decades, dedicated her life to working on Rwanda and was the world’s leading expert on the 1994 Rwanda genocide and its aftermath.
“Alison’s loss is a devastating blow not only to Human Rights Watch but also to the people of Rwanda and the Great Lakes region,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “She was truly wonderful, the epitome of the human rights activist – principled, dispassionate, committed to the truth and to using that truth to protect ordinary people. She was among the first to highlight the ethnic tensions that led to the genocide, and when it happened and the world stood by and watched, Alison did everything humanly possible to save people. Then she wrote the definitive account. There was no one who knew more and did more to document the genocide and to help bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Des Forges, born in Schenectady, New… Continue reading
by Stephen C. Webster
February 12, 2009
Three major human rights organizations have declared the Department of Defense was running secret prisons at Bagram and in Iraq, actively sought ways around the terms of the Geneva conventions and cooperated with the CIA’s “ghost detention” program which saw prisoners hidden from Red Cross oversight.
The arrival of the documents comes on the same day the ACLU published two unredacted pages of a government report which reveals detainees in US custody were tortured to death.
“These newly released documents confirm our suspicion that the tentacles of the CIA’s abusive program reached across agency lines,” said Margaret Satterthwaite, Director of the NYU International Human Rights Clinic, in a Thursday advisory. “In fact, it is increasingly obvious that defense officials engaged in legal gymnastics to find ways to cooperate with the CIA’s activities. A full accounting of all agencies must now take place to ensure that future abuses don’t continue under a different guise.”
The papers, part of a volley of responses to Freedom of Information Act requests, were released by Amnesty International USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
“One heavily redacted page mentions (PDF, page 34) an ‘undisclosed detention facility’ at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan,” he noted.
“Another, dated May 2004,… Continue reading
Richard Gage, AIA
founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth
will speak on Friday, February 13, 2009, 7pm
at the Tattered Cover Bookstore (LoDo),
1628 16th Street at Wynkoop, Denver
$10 suggested donation
9/11 Blueprint for Truth:
The Architecture of Destruction
A multimedia presentation suitable for professionals and laymen alike.
Please alert your friends and relatives who are architects, engineers, and construction
A special welcome to attendees of the American Citizens’ Summit at the nearby
Denver Sheraton downtown sponsored by the Transpartisan Alliance.
To view/download/print a full-color flyer/poster for this event in .pdf format,
click here: Flyer
Richard Gage, AIA Founder, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
Come and hear Richard Gage, AIA, give his outstanding multimedia presentation on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. You’ll see an abundance of
photographs and video evidence showing that the way in which the towers collapsed is inconsistent with a plane-impact-and-fire scenario and that the collapses in fact exhibited all the characteristics of destruction by explosives. You’ll learn about molten metal in the rubble pile, molten metal flowing from the windows before collapse, the unmistakable chemical signature of a demolition incendiary “thermite” left behind in the debris, and more. Bring your skeptical friends who want solid, documented evidence and disciplined thinking. We need our best critical thinkers to examine this evidence. Richard has put his professional reputation on the line, and over 560 architecture and engineering professionals stand in solidarity with him at AE911truth.org. His credentials are impeccable… Continue reading
by Melissa Rossi
Author, What Every American Should Know about the Middle East (Plume/Penguin,
February 10, 2009
Patrick Leahy has a point when he urges President Obama to open investigations about the Bush administration. However, he’s not pointing at the issue that we need to start with. Namely, September 11th. What really happened? More than a few people know – and I am not alone in calling for those who know to start talking and fess up. Let’s not let this go the way of the JFK assassination – and whether with subpoenas or on their own volition, I demand that Dick Cheney, George W. Bush – both of whom refused to testify under oath during the 9/11 Commission proceedings — Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, Larry Wilkerson, George Tenet, Robert Mueller and the rest – as well as Bill Clinton and Al Gore (both of whom also refused to testify under oath) — start talking, and in a public arena. And I’m calling on the Obama administration to open up a probe and unravel the web of deceit.
Before we tuck the Bush administration into bed and hiss, “Nighty Night, you lying scoundrels,” before we go on to lock the door on that heinous era of American history, we do indeed need to probe what happened under their watch. But the event that most concerns me is what happened on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Oh yeah, that’s history, old news, the 9/11 Commission figured it all out, right?…Continue reading
February 10, 2009
On 9/11, the FBI believed that bombs were involved in the attacks.
How do I know that?
Because, according to the FBI’s website:
Following the massive terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, the FBI dedicated 7,000 of its 11,000 Special Agents and thousands of FBI support personnel to the PENTTBOM investigation. “PENTTBOM” is short for Pentagon, Twin Towers Bombing.
Indeed, the FBI told a reporter for USA Today that FBI agents believed there were bombs in the Twin Towers.
Similarly, the Washington Post believed that bombs were involved, as reflected in a September 21, 2001 article containing the following phrase:
In the hours after Tuesday’s bombings . . . .
Many firefighters and policemen also said
there were bombs in the Twin Towers.
And perhaps “the premiere collapse expert in the country”, who 9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer referred to as a “very, very respected expert on building collapse”, the head of the New York Fire Department’s Special Operations Command and the most highly decorated firefighter in its NYFD history, who had previously “commanded rescue operations at many difficult and complex disasters, including the Oklahoma City Bombing, the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, and many natural disasters worldwide” thought that the collapse of the South Tower was caused by bombs, because the collapse of the building was too even to have been caused by anything else (pages 5-6).
But surely experts have since proven… Continue reading
For Immediate Release: February 4, 2009
Contacts: Jon Houston (Maloney), 202-225-7944
Ilan Kayatsky (Nadler), 212-367-7350
Carol Danko (King), 202-225-7896
Lauren Amendolara (McMahon), 202-225-8420
Washington, D.C. — Today, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), and Michael McMahon (D-NY) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to address the health crisis caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. H.R. 847, the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, would provide medical monitoring and treatment for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The bill would also provide compensation for economic losses due to illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks.
The previous version of the bill was set to be considered by the House last fall but because of the financial crisis and other factors, it had to be delayed. The Members of Congress are hopeful that the bill will have strong bipartisan support when it is voted on by the House in the coming months. In addition, during his presidential campaign President Barack Obama signaled his strong support for helping the heroes and heroines of 9/11.
“Thousands lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, but in the years that followed thousands more lost their health. This bill provides proper care to those who are suffering and demonstrates that America will not abandon its first responders and all those affected,” Rep. Maloney said. “I thank Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues in the New York delegation for their dedication to fulfilling America’s moral responsibility to… Continue reading
by Leo Standora
NY Daily News
February 5th 2009
Many Sept. 11 first responders – most of them cops, firemen and construction workers who took ill after working at Ground Zero – suffered
lung problems more than five years later, according to a new study.
Experts say findings by Mount Sinai Medical
Center‘s medical monitoring program prove those exposed to toxic dust in the twin towers’ collapse suffer persistent illnesses, ranging
from asthma to reactive airway disease and shortness of breath.
The study could help experts who have long been struggling to set standards for defining a post-Sept. 11 illness and how long it takes
The monitoring program examined more than 3,160 WTC responders between 2004 and 2007, repeating exams conducted between the middle of
2002 and 2004.
Slightly more than 24% of those examined had abnormal lung function, the study found.
In the earlier examinations, about 28% of the patients had had similar results.
“We know people we are following are still sick. It’s confirming what we’ve been seeing clinically,” said
Dr. Jacqueline Moline, who treats ailing responders and
is a co-author of the study.
The growing medical fallout from the WTC attacks was the focus of the Daily News Editorial Board’s groundbreaking editorial series,
“9/11: The Forgotten Victims,” that won the Pulitzer
Prize in 2007.
For Immediate Release
February 10, 2009
September 11th Advocates
Statement Regarding Guantánamo Quagmire and Accountability
February 10, 2009
The Military Commissions System at Guantánamo Bay was an attempt by the Bush Administration to create an “extralegal zone”, wherein the rule of law was ignored. Many Guantánamo detainees were subject to detention without charges, rendition and illegal torture. The Military Commissions System, which allowed evidence obtained through torture and coercive interrogation tactics, has been a dismal failure both legally and practically. The Supreme Court has rejected the policies of this system each time it has reviewed them. Because of the Bush Administration’s mistaken belief in its ability to craft a new legal system, which clearly created avoidable moral and legal challenges, justice may never be served.
President Obama has paused all proceedings at Guantánamo Bay for 120 days in order for his legal team to attempt to design a system in which the verdicts will withstand the scrutiny of the inevitable appeals process. He is rightfully attempting to fix the quagmire that was created by the previous administration.
If, ultimately, the detainees held at Guantánamo Bay are unable to be properly prosecuted because of the fatal flaws in the system, then those in the Bush Administration who were responsible for creating that failed system should be held accountable.
# # #
Lorie Van Auken
Additionally, please see earlier statements.
For immediate release
January 23, 2009
September 11th Advocates
Statement Regarding the Closing of Guantánamo Bay… Continue reading
February 1, 2009
In reference to our FOIA request, the FBI has sent us 13 additional PENTTBOM videos. This is the second round release (not counting the CCTV Pentagon, CITGO, and Doubletree video releases). Each DVD contains 1 video from the ‘menu’ list. Here is a summary of what was sent:
NE515: WTC ground scenes. Begins 5 minutes after first impact. Witness says he saw the first plane.
K3074: Footage of the second plane impacting the WTC. The video also captures the collapses.
NE418: Pentagon witness saying he saw a plane land into the Pentagon, followed by another plane (C130).
NE521: Starts just after first plane hits WTC. Interesting commentary by cameraman and his friends. Some audio redacted by FBI. Shows close-up of someone falling.
NE485: Fire department video. Shows a fire department on routine calls, then the camera man drives in a car to the Pentagon. Various scenes of the crash site.
NE519: Various WTC ground scenes prior to the second impact. Catches only fireball of second impact. Shows people running and screaming. Cameraman goes to his apartment, then back onto the street. Inside of a hotel lobby when the first tower collapses. No commentary.
NE522: WTC and various NYC ground scenes. Shows the FBI around a motorhome and then the video is redacted. Mostly just shaky camera work.
NE3075: Evan Fairbanks footage. Professional camerawork. Several witnesses. Famous second plane impact footage. Many shots near the base of the towers. Shows… Continue reading
Introductory text at Religious Leaders for 911 Truth:
The religions of the world share universal values of love, truth, and justice,
and believe in helping those who are oppressed or otherwise in need. Many religious
persons try to engage in activities to make the world a better place, and they
trust in a Higher Power to assist them.
When faced with actions that conflict with the universal moral principle that
we should not do to others what we would not want done to ourselves or our loved
ones, members of faith communities have a responsibility to voice their opposition
to those actions. Many religious leaders throughout history have publicly challenged
morally unacceptable practices—recently, for example, in the civil rights
and anti-apartheid movements.
A significant moral challenge has emerged due to glaring discrepancies between
the official version of the events of September 11, 2001, and the results of
extensive independent research by individuals with relevant scientific or professional
“Independent” here means independent from the U.S. administration
that was in power at the time of the 9/11 attacks. The official reports about
9/11 were not independent in this sense. The 9/11 Commission was run by its
executive director, Philip Zelikow, who was closely associated with the Bush
administration. The official reports on the World Trade Center were produced
by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which, as an agency of
the U.S. Commerce Department, was run by people employed by the Bush administration.
The independent research, which has led… Continue reading
February 7, 2009
George Washington’s Blog
Counter-terrorism experts presumably have some insight into terrorism, right?
In fact, numerous high-level counter-terrorism experts question the government’s investigation of – and explanation for – 9/11.
“The best I could say about it is they really botched the job by not really going into the real failures. … At worst, I think the 9/11 Commission Report is treasonous.”
Terrell (Terry) E. Arnold was the number 2 counter-terrorism official at the U.S. State Department, and is one of the world’s leading experts on terror.
Arnold served as the Deputy Director, Office of Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning, at the U.S. State Department. He is also the former Chairman of the Department of International Studies at the National War College.
Arnold has worked as a crisis management consultant for several Federal agencies, including The State Department, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Customs Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He is the author of numerous books on terror*. Arnold is a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean war.
I spoke with Arnold by phone.
GW: Your essay It is Vital to Move Beyond 9/11 is insightful and hard-hitting, and I agree with virtually everything you say. I have previously written on many of the topics you touch on, such as false pretenses for war , torture and illegal spying .
Initially, you write:
“As an alleged post 9/11 defense, the War on Terrorism is a gigantic fraud.”
As a leading counter-terrorism expert, I am curious to hear why you believe this.
Terry Arnold: The military approach doesn’t cover all of the elements of the problem. We need to capture and confine the individuals who are up to… Continue reading
David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Thursday February 5, 2009
When the New York Times explored the political beliefs of Daniel Sunjata, an actor on the FX network’s show “Rescue Me,” it was under the banner of a “sinister theory.”
The “sinister theory” that a group of neoconservative politicians may have colluded to allow, or bring about, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
On Thursday’s Fox and Friends, Greg Gutfield, provocative host of Fox’s late night program Red Eye, called individuals like Sunjata, who question the events of 9/11, “mentally ill.”
“[Sunjata] believe that 9/11 was a preemptive strike by a neoconservative government,” said Gutfield. “I think that means Bush. What angers me about this is people are treating it with respect.”
The 9/11 issues are major plot lines in the first 10 episodes of Rescue Me season 5, set to air in April.
“The New York Times ran a piece about it,” said Gutfield. “They interviewed the producer — the producer described the actor, the actor believes this stuff, that the actor is well-read, very passionate about it.
“They say this sort of thing about conspiratorialists all the time, but they never say these people are idiots, they’re mentally ill, they shouldn’t be treated with respect.
“It’s an insult to people that were victims of 9/11 and their families. It’s an insult to firefighters. I am surprised they are doing this.”
Of course, Gutfield, as a professional media water and commentator, shouldn’t be surprised at all.… Continue reading
Michael D. Shear, Peter Finn and Dan Eggen
The Washington Post
Thursday, February 5, 2009; 6:23 PM
President Obama will gather tomorrow with victims and families of the 9/11
terrorist attacks and U.S.S. Cole bombing for a face-to-face meeting as his
administration struggles to decide how to handle detainees at Guatanamo Bay,
Cuba, several of those invited said.
The previously undisclosed meeting at the White House tomorrow afternoon will
give the new president a chance to explain his decision to close the controversial
prison facility where the U.S. has placed many suspected terrorists since the
Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Obama has been assailed by conservative critics who say the decision to close
the facility within a year will lead to putting many of those terrorists back
on the street. In a recent interview, former vice president Dick Cheney, an
architect of the Bush administration’s war on terror, criticized the decision
In an interview with Politico.com, Cheney accused the Obama administration
of following “campaign rhetoric” on Guantánamo and warned that the
new president’s policies could put the country at greater risk of a new attack.
“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to
an al-Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against
people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans,
then I worry,” Cheney said.
Obama has defended his decision, saying that closing the facility will make
the country safer by putting an end to one… Continue reading
Originally published at Information Clearinghouse By Paul Craig Roberts on February 04, 2009
According to US government propaganda, terrorist cells are spread throughout America, making it necessary for the government to spy on all Americans and violate most other constitutional protections. Among President Bush’s last words as he left office was the warning that America would soon be struck again by Muslim terrorists.
If America were infected with terrorists, we would not need the government to tell us. We would know it from events. As there are no events, the US government substitutes warnings in order to keep alive the fear that causes the public to accept pointless wars, the infringement of civil liberty, national ID cards, and inconveniences and harrassments when they fly.
The most obvious indication that there are no terrorist cells is that not a single neocon has been assassinated.
I do not approve of assassinations, and am ashamed of my country’s government for engaging in political assassination. The US and Israel have set a very bad example for al Qaeda to follow.
The US deals with al Qaeda and Taliban by assassinating their leaders, and Israel deals with Hamas by assassinating its leaders. It is reasonable to assume that al Qaeda would deal with the instigators and leaders of America’s wars in the Middle East in the same way.
Today every al Qaeda member is aware of the complicity of neoconservatives in the death and devastation inflicted on Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Gaza. Moreover,… Continue reading
Please contact your Representative immediately – Please note that this action has an associated deadline of Noon EST on Wednesday .
Please also help by forwarding this action alert everywhere, quickly.
Reps. Maloney, Nadler, King, and McMahon will likely introduce the “9/11 Health and Compensation Act” tomorrow afternoon. Below is a letter circulated by Rep. Maloney today in her effort to get other members of the House to co-sponsor this bill. This bill was introduced as HR 7174 in the last session of Congress, often referred to as “the Zadroga bill” after James Zadroga, a first responder who died as a result of his service.)
Please call your Representative, and tell them that you support this bill and want him/her to co-sponsor. If they are not familiar with the bill, or the need for it, Rep. Maloney has valuable information available at her website, http://maloney.house.gov .
You can find contact info for your Representative here . We encourage you to leave a message at their DC and local office tonight, send an email now, and follow up with a call to their offices in the morning, in order to get a response.
If it would be helpful, you might wish to mention to your Rep that President Obama has said he backs this bill .
Today Rep. Maloney sent this letter to all the Representatives asking for cosponsorship:
February 3, 2009
Remember the Heroes of 9/11 Be an original cosponsor of the 9/11 Health and Compensation… Continue reading
Originally published at TruthDig.com by Chris Hedges on February 2, 2009
The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. The street protests, strikes and riots that have rattled France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland will descend on us. It is only a matter of time. And not much time. When things start to go sour, when Barack Obama is exposed as a mortal waving a sword at a tidal wave, the United States could plunge into a long period of precarious social instability.
At no period in American history has our democracy been in such peril or has the possibility of totalitarianism been as real. Our way of life is over. Our profligate consumption is finished. Our children will never have the standard of living we had. And poverty and despair will sweep across the landscape like a plague. This is the bleak future. There is nothing President Obama can do to stop it. It has been decades in the making. It cannot be undone with a trillion or two trillion dollars in bailout money. Our empire is dying. Our economy has collapsed.
How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations? Will we heed those who are sober and rational, those who speak of a new simplicity and humility, or will we follow the demagogues… Continue reading