Wednesday, May 4 2011 - In the Media
NFL player comes under fire for 9/11 tweets
Hardly "news", really... the reaction to Mendenhall's Tweets about bin Laden serves as yet another example of the way Americans, and their corporate media, shoot the messenger rather than address any questions. Notice the Steelers corporation's immediate response was to "support the troops", as if asking why they're fighting in the first place is unfathomable, unpatriotic or objectionable. Actually, Mendenhall addressed this very dilemma succinctly with his reply to some of the Twitter responses: "There is not an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to think."
Bravo, sir! It's wonderful to see an athlete serve as a true role model, for a change. Thank you.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 -- 8:24 am
PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Pittsburgh Steelers halfback Rashard Mendenhall remained a target of sharp criticism by Twitter users on Tuesday after he posted a message questioning whether news that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed should be cheered.
As spontaneous celebrations broke out in the hours after the nation learned bin Laden was shot dead by U.S. forces in Pakistan, Mendenhall used the social media site to denounce the response.
"What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side," Mendenhall wrote in a message posted to the social media site on Monday.
Tuesday, May 3 2011 - Civil Liberties-Police State
Let the Patriot Act die
Invasive provisions about to expire haven't made us safer
By Coleen Rowley and Philip Leggiere
April 25, 2011
In little more than a month, three of the 160 provisions of the notorious Patriot Act are set to expire. While federal officials have claimed that Congress must reauthorize those provisions to keep the nation safe, we should take their claims with a grain of proverbial salt. Last month, FBI Director Robert Mueller urged Congress to extend these provisions, set to expire May 27, and even to make them permanent. Section 215 authorizes secret court orders for business records. The "Lone Wolf" wiretapping provision allows the government to track non-U.S. citizens inside the country even if they have no affiliation to a foreign power or terrorist group. Finally, the "John Doe" roving wiretap provision allows open-ended wiretapping orders limited neither to a particular suspect nor particular phones or devices.
Mr. Mueller warned ominously that without these powers, law enforcement and counterterror investigations would be severely undermined, adding, predictably, that they are "critical to national security."
But his words have an all too familiar - and hollow - ring.
Nine years ago, before Coleen Rowley (co-author of this article) retired from a 24-year career as an FBI special agent, she wrote to Mr. Mueller to point out some of the bureau's failures prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. A disturbing lack of accountability had followed the attacks with the director and other officials falsely suggesting that U.S. intelligence agencies lacked advance knowledge of the attacks. That wasn't so. Numerous pieces of intelligence data had poured in during that summer of 2001, including prior warnings from my colleagues in the Minneapolis field office related to Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui would later be convicted for his role in the Sept. 11 plot.
Tuesday, May 3 2011 - Editorials
Today Is Not a Day of Celebration for Me
by Kristen Breitweiser, 9/11 widow and activist
May 2, 2011
When my husband was killed on the morning of 9/11, television stations around the world ran split-screen video. They showed the buildings still burning juxtaposed against young Arabs celebrating in the streets. That disturbing vision left me incredulous; it was forever emblazoned on my psyche.
Ten years later, now fully awake in the bright sunlight of the day, when I contemplate the definition of victory for our country when it comes to the death of Osama bin Laden, I can only think about the damage that has been done.
I think about the thousands of lives lost -- American, Afghani, Iraqi. I know firsthand the sorrow those families have felt. I ponder how the billions -- maybe trillions -- of dollars could have been better spent. I remain alarmed about the continued expansion of absolute Executive power in the name of fighting this seemingly ongoing and never-ending "war on terror." I worry about the further erosion of our constitutional rights. I wonder when our troops will ever be called home. I know all too well, that thousands of young American men and women soldiers will never have the opportunity to return home. And of course, I fear reprisal.
Monday, May 2 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
From 2002: George W. Bush on bin Laden--'I truly am not that concerned about him'
BUSH: "We haven't heard from him in a long time. ... Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. ... I just don't spend that much time on him... we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run.
March 13, 2002
For Immediate Release
President Bush Holds Press Conference
Monday, May 2 2011 - Research/Evidence
From 2006: FBI says, "No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11"
Even today, after the FBI has updated its Wanted Poster for bin Laden as "Deceased", the crimes of 9/11 are not among those listed: "Murder of U.S. Nationals Outside the United States; Conspiracy to Murder U.S. Nationals Outside the United States; Attack on a Federal Facility Resulting in Death."
June 7 2006
FBI says, "No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11"
Reread this full article, reprinted at 911truth.org from Muckraker (no longer available online) here: http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20060611155014535
Courtesy of The Muckraker Report
June 6, 2006 -- This past weekend, a thought provoking e-mail circulated through Internet news groups, and was sent to the Muckraker Report by Mr. Paul V. Sheridan (Winner of the 2005 Civil Justice Foundation Award), bringing attention to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist web page for Usama Bin Laden. (See bottom of this web page for Most Wanted page) In the e-mail, the question is asked, "Why doesn't Usama Bin Laden's Most Wanted poster make any direct connection with the events of September 11, 2001?" The FBI says on its Bin Laden web page that Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. According to the FBI, these attacks killed over 200 people. The FBI concludes its reason for "wanting" Bin Laden by saying, "In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorists attacks throughout the world."
On June 5, 2006, the Muckraker Report contacted the FBI Headquarters, (202) 324-3000, to learn why Bin Laden's Most Wanted poster did not indicate that Usama was also wanted in connection with 9/11. The Muckraker Report spoke with Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI. When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden's Most Wanted web page, Tomb said, "The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden's Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11." (emphasis added)
Monday, May 2 2011 - 9/11 Precedents
From 1998: 'Bin Laden comes home to roost'
Historical reminder for our readers.
His CIA ties are only the beginning of a woeful story
By Michael Moran
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Image: Usama bin Laden, Credit: AP
Exiled Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is seen in this April, 1998 photo in Afghanistan.
NEW YORK, Aug. 24, 1998 -- At the CIA, it happens often enough to have a code name: Blowback. Simply defined, this is the term describing an agent, an operative or an operation that has turned on its creators. Osama bin Laden, our new public enemy Number 1, is the personification of blowback. And the fact that he is viewed as a hero by millions in the Islamic world proves again the old adage: Reap what you sow.
Befpre up [sic] click on my face and call me naive, let me concede some points. Yes, the West needed Josef Stalin to defeat Hitler. Yes, there were times during the Cold War when supporting one villain (Cambodia's Lon Nol, for instance) would have been better than the alternative (Pol Pot). So yes, there are times when any nation must hold its nose and shake hands with the devil for the long-term good of the planet.
But just as surely, there are times when the United States, faced with such moral dilemmas, should have resisted the temptation to act. Arming a multi-national coalition of Islamic extremists in Afghanistan during the 1980s - well after the destruction of the Marine barracks in Beirut or the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 - was one of those times.
Monday, May 2 2011 - Other Important News
The many deaths of Osama bin Laden
Interesting review of OBL death reports (in spite of the journalist's editorialized introduction)...
See also this editorial at Salon.com, "USA! USA!" is the wrong response, by David Sorota.
A look back at the years of false reports that preceded Sunday night's announcement of the real thing
By Justin Elliott
May 2, 2011 Salon.com
The false reports of Osama bin Laden's death began almost immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, and persisted at a rate of at least once or twice a year, every year. The reports -- generated by (usually anonymous) statements by American officials and a dizzying array of foreign sources -- often generated international headlines.
Here's a sampling:
July 2002 FBI counterterrorism chief Dale Watson tells a law enforcement conference of bin Laden: "I personally think he is probably not with us anymore, but I have no evidence to support that."
Monday, May 2 2011 - Other Important News
News: Bin Laden Dead, Buried at Sea
Obama: Osama bin Laden is dead
By Kase Wickman
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the number one most-wanted fugitive for nearly a decade, was killed in Pakistan Sunday, the White House announced.
President Barack Obama made a live statement shortly after 11:30 p.m. from the East Room of the White House.
"Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children," he began.
The U.S. received an intelligence lead last August about bin Laden's whereabouts, Obama said, and that he had enough information by Sunday to launch a targeted military operation on the compound pinpointed as bin Laden's location, in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
"A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability," Obama said. "No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."
White House officials said that the operation was in cooperation with Pakistani authorities, and was carried out by Navy SEALs in helicopters who rehearsed the operation to avoid civilian casualties. Reportedly, one woman who was used as a human shield was killed.
Crowds gathered outside the White House and around the country after the speech, waving flags and singing the National Anthem. U.S. diplomatic centers are reportedly on high alert in case of retaliation.
Obama stressed that the decade-long War on Terror has never been a war on Islam. He thanked intelligence officials and counterterrorism professionals for their work over the years.
"Americans understand the costs of war," Obama said. "Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al-Qaeda's terror: justice has been done."
Read Raw Story's breaking news liveblog from Sunday night for a timeline and more details.
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. official says Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea.
After bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan, senior administration officials said the body would be handled according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls for the body to be buried within 24 hours, the official said. Finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted terrorist would have been difficult, the official said. So the U.S. decided to bury him at sea.
The official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive national security matters, did not immediately say where that occurred.
Previous news about bin Laden's death ...
Monday, May 2 2011 - Legal Response to 9/11
Bush court dismisses 9/11 suit against Bush officials, orders sanctions
by Rady Ananda
April 29, 2011
Rather than judicially review significant evidence in the events of September 11, 2001, on April 27, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's dismissal of an Army Specialist's complaint against former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers.
One of Plaintiff April Gallop's attorneys, William Veale, didn't know whether to relate the decision to "Kafka, Orwell, Carroll, or Huxley," referring to the absurdity and dearth of reason emanating from the court regarding the deadliest attack on U.S. soil the nation has ever faced.
"The Court's decision, analogous to reviewing an Indictment in a liquor store hold-up without mentioning the guy walking in with a gun, refuses to acknowledge even the existence of the three defendants much less what they were doing that morning or saying about it afterwards," Veale added.
Of the three judges on the panel, John Mercer Walker, Jr. is first cousin of former President George H.W. Bush and first cousin once removed of George W. Bush, who used 9/11 to manipulate public emotion to support passage of the unconstitutional PATRIOT Acts and waging illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East. According to Wikipedia, Walker shares a grandfather with the 41st president, George Herbert Walker, whose daughter married Prescott Bush. A motion to force Judge Walker's removal from the case was denied, despite a clear conflict of interest.
Friday, April 29 2011 - Legal Response to 9/11
Airlines and Airport Security Agree to Pay $1.2 Billion for 9/11 Property Damages
by Noel Brinkerhoff
April 15, 2011
Friday, April 29 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
The Costs of War, and More from Congressional Research Service
April 29, 2011
Email from Federation of American Scientists' "Secrecy news Blog"
As of March 2011, Congress had approved a total of more than $1.2 trillion dollars for costs associated with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other post-9/11 "war on terror" operations, the Congressional Research Service said in its most recent update on the subject. See "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11," March 29, 2011.
Other new or newly updated CRS reports include the following (all pdf).
Thursday, April 28 2011 - Research/Evidence
Why the Planes Were Not Intercepted on 9/11: The Wall Street Lawyer and the Special Ops Hijack Coordinator
by Kevin Ryan
Of the many unanswered questions about the attacks of September 11, one of the most important is: Why were none of the four planes intercepted? A rough answer is that the failure of the US air defenses can be traced to a number of factors and people. There were policy changes, facility changes, and personnel changes that had recently been made, and there were highly coincidental military exercises that were occurring on that day. But 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.
The 9/11 Commission wrote in its report that -- "On 9/11, the defense of U.S. airspace depended on close interaction between two federal agencies: the FAA and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)."
According to the Commission, this interaction began with air traffic controllers (ATCs) at the relevant regional FAA control centers, which on 9/11 included Boston, New York, Cleveland, and Indianapolis. In the event of a hijacking, these ATCs were expected to "notify their supervisors, who in turn would inform management all the way up to FAA headquarters. Headquarters had a hijack coordinator, who was the director of the FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security or his or her designate.
The hijack coordinator would then "contact the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC)" and "the NMCC would then seek approval from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to provide military assistance. If approval was given, the orders would be transmitted down NORAD’s chain of command [to the interceptor pilots]."
Monday, April 25 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
WikiLeaks: The Guantanamo Files
by Andy Worthington
Published April 24, 2011
On Sunday April 24, 2011 WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files from the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison camp. The details for every detainee will be released daily over the coming month.
WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Files on All Guantanamo Prisoners
PLEASE NOTE: This article has been published in languages other than English at WikiLeaks, linked here.
In its latest release of classified US documents, WikiLeaks is shining the light of truth on a notorious icon of the Bush administration's "War on Terror" -- the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which opened on January 11, 2002, and remains open under President Obama, despite his promise to close the much-criticized facility within a year of taking office.
In thousands of pages of documents dating from 2002 to 2008 and never seen before by members of the public or the media, the cases of the majority of the prisoners held at Guantanamo -- 758 out of 779 in total -- are described in detail in memoranda from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay, to US Southern Command in Miami, Florida.
These memoranda, which contain JTF-GTMO's recommendations about whether the prisoners in question should continue to be held, or should be released (transferred to their home governments, or to other governments) contain a wealth of important and previously undisclosed information, including health assessments, for example, and, in the cases of the majority of the 171 prisoners who are still held, photos (mostly for the first time ever).
Monday, April 25 2011 - First Responders/Health Effects
by Donna Marsh O'Connor
Member, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows; Mother, Vanessa Lang Langer, WTC Tower II, 93rd floor
April 23, 2011
Shame on Representative Cliff Stearns and shame on each and every one of the representatives who voted to make compensation for 9/11 first responders reliant upon a check for "terrorist" activities. Shame is a concept that blankets American actions as it responded to that grave day. I won't belabor the many instances where this nation either killed or maimed others either in retribution or in the pretense at keeping the rest of us "safe" but I will say that this last act of betrayal by elected officials places all of us in greater danger. Frankly, if we don't counter this betrayal, we deserve what we get.
What has come over us? Have we completely lost the ability to function as compassionate adults in an imperfect world? Think for one minute about the ramifications of such an act:
Tuesday, April 19 2011 - 9/11 A/V Galleries
We Remember - OKC - April 19th, 1995
1. The Bombing -- http://OKCBombing.net/
On April 19, 1995, around 9:03 a.m., just after parents dropped their children off at day care at the Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, the unthinkable happened. A massive bomb inside a rental truck exploded, blowing half of the nine-story building into oblivion. A stunned nation watched as the bodies of men, women, and children were pulled from the rubble for nearly two weeks. When the smoke cleared and the exhausted rescue workers packed up and left, 168 people were dead in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
The 168 victims killed in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building included babies and grandparents, workers at their first days on the job and those on the verge of retirement.
One woman was seven months pregnant with her first child. Another had had her wedding four days earlier. One baby had celebrated her first birthday the day before. In addition to those who lost their lives, 500 people were injured. Countless others lost friends and relatives.2. Top Ten Reasons to Question the Official Story
By: Holland O. Van den Nieuwenhof
1. John Doe #2 And Other Accomplices
3. Information on the surveillance tapes and Kenneth Trentadue:
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