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
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.
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
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 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
By Carol Rosenberg
April 5, 2010
WASHINGTON — A federal judge has dismissed more than 100 habeas corpus
lawsuits filed by former Guantánamo captives, ruling that because the Bush and
Obama administrations had transferred them elsewhere, the courts need not decide
whether the Pentagon imprisoned them illegally.
The ruling dismayed attorneys for some of the detainees who’d hoped any favorable
U.S. court findings would help clear their clients of the stigma, travel restrictions
and, in some instances, perhaps more jail time that resulted from their stay
U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan wrote that he was "not unsympathetic"
to the former detainees’ plight. "Detention for any length of time can
be injurious. And certainly associations with Guantánamo tend to be negative,"
But the detainees’ transfer from Guantánamo made their cases moot. "The
court finds that petitioners no longer present a live case or controversy since
a federal court cannot remedy the alleged collateral consequences of their prior
detention at Guantánamo," he wrote.
Hogan’s ruling, issued last Thursday, but not widely publicized, closed the
files on 105 habeas corpus petitions, many of which had been pending for years
as the Bush administration resisted the right of civilian judges to intervene
in military detentions. The U.S. Supreme Court resolved that issue in 2008,
ruling in Boumediene v. Bush that the detainees could challenge their captivity
in civilian court. Since then, judges have ordered the release of 34 detainees
while upholding the detention of 12.
Attorneys for… Continue reading
with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone
April 7, 2010-
Lynne Stewart has for forty years defended the poor and the oppressed against
arbitrary authority and false charges
Lynne Stewart, together with former Attorney-General Ramsey Clark and Abdeen
Jabar defended Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was tried and convicted of plotting
to blow up noted landmarks, including the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln
Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Statue of Liberty, and to assassinate Senator Alphonse
D’Amato and U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was innocent of these charges and had no part in the
initiation, planning or execution of these presumptive plots.
Indisputable and massive evidence has demonstrated that the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, through its operatives, including Emad Ali Salem, was, in
fact, the author of these plots and planned, initiated and financed these and
other acts of terror, including the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993
in a “false flag” operation.
Attorney General John Ashcroft launched a cynical campaign to persecute and
prosecute Lynne Stewart for “aiding and abetting terrorism” based upon her serving
as defense attorney for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.
The Justice Department has undertaken the persecution and prosecution of Lynne
Stewart because she defended her falsely accused client zealously and refused
to be intimidated by the drumbeat of government propaganda arising from its
false “war on terror”.
Lynne Stewart has been tried and convicted in District Court of JudgeJohn G.
Koeltl of aiding and abetting terrorism based solely on the fact that she defended
a man demonized by the State for the purpose of creating a climate of fear in
the United States and public acquiescence in global wars of conquest including
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and beyond.…
April 12, 2010
by Marc Hansen
Des Moines Register Editorials
David Ray Griffin comes to Drake University on April 23 to tell us why the official explanation for the 9/11 attack on the United States doesn’t hold water.
A theologian, philosopher of religion and professor emeritus at California’s Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, Griffin has been at it for about seven years now and says he won’t stop until the government conducts a new, impartial, independent investigation.
As opposed to the 9/11 Commission probe. He calls that exercise a charade.
Griffin has written eight books on the subject with another on the way: “Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory.”
The appointee, a former Harvard professor named Cass Sunstein who now heads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, co-wrote an academic paper saying government should undermine conspiracy theory groups by infiltrating their chat rooms, social networks and group meetings.
Griffin believes “cognitive infiltration” is the wrong term. “It’s more like fascism,” he says.
He also believes the real conspiracy theorists are people who believe the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks were hatched by Osama bin Laden and carried out by al-Qaida. In Griffin’s mind, it’s also an excuse for every extreme military action we’ve taken since.
He can produce a long list of scientists and other scholars who endorse his views. Detractors like Matt Taibbi, author of “The Great Derangement,” say he’s “an idiot.”
At first, Griffin went along with… Continue reading
12 April 2010
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech during a ceremony to mark the National Nuclear Day day in Tehran on April 9. Ahmadinejad has written to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, asking him to launch an investigation into the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, news reports said on Monday.
AFP – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, asking him to launch an investigation into the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, news reports said on Monday.
“The minimum expectation from your excellency is to set up an independent and trusted fact-finding group to comprehensively investigate the real factors behind September 11,” Ahmadinejad said in the text of the letter carried by official news agencies.
They did not say when the letter was sent.
The hardliner, who in March dismissed 9/11 as a “big lie,” said in the letter that the attacks “were the main pretext for attacks” by NATO on Afghanistan and Iraq.
Several times Ahmadinejad has questioned the accepted version of the Al-Qaeda strikes on New York and Washington which killed nearly 3,000 people.
In January, he branded September 11 “a suspicious affair” similar to the Holocaust, which he dismissed as a “myth” in 2005, drawing widespread condemnation.
Ahmadinejad’s latest remarks come with Iran locked in a standoff with world powers led by the United States over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme, and risking tougher sanctions over its defiance.
In his letter, he also asked Ban to… Continue reading
UQÀM staff denounce 9/11 Truthers speech
May 4, 2010
Administrators at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) say they will develop a formal policy for outside groups renting campus space for events after a controversial lecture about 9/11 drew fire by academic staff.
But the French-language university defended its right to have contentious speakers lecture on campus as part of free speech, saying it was appropriate to debate ideas, as long as events don’t incite riots.
David Ray Griffin’s current speaking tour, during which he’s presenting a talk entitled “Is the War in Afghanistan Justified by 9/11?”, has sparked quite a controversy in Canadian press. Following is a compilation of media articles as well as videos of his speech in Chicago and Walkerton, Ontario.
The tour wraps up this week with U.S. engagements in Portland, ME on May 6, West Hartford, CT on May 7 and Cambridge, MA on May 8. (Details at TS911T.org )
The Monday night lecture, hosted by World for 9/11 Truth, drew about 700 people who came to hear from two U.S. academics who deny the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were carried out by terrorists.
The researchers — David Ray Griffin and Richard Gage — believe the U.S. government played a major role in orchestrating the deadly attacks on New York City’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Griffin and Gage are lobbying for an independent inquiry into the attacks, which killed 3,000 people. Their theories — part… Continue reading
In 2009, I published a little book entitled Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? 1 Much evidence, I showed, suggested that Osama bin Laden had died on or about December 13, 2001. (Although this book was ignored by the US press, it received major reviews in British newspapers, 2 and it even provided the basis for a BBC special. 3 ) Pointing out that the only evidence to the contrary consists of “messages from bin Laden” in the form of audiotapes and videotapes that have appeared since 2001, I devoted one chapter to an examination of the most important of these tapes, showing that none are demonstrably authentic and that some are almost certainly fakes.
In the chapter preceding that examination, I discussed two videotapes containing purported interviews of Osama bin Laden in the fall of 2001, when the issue was whether he had been responsible for the 9/11 attacks. I suggested that both of these tapes, in which bin Laden allegedly admitted his responsibility, were fakes. If they were, I pointed out, this fact would increase the likelihood that all of the “Osama bin Laden tapes” appearing in the following years – when the question of whether he was still alive was added to that of his responsibility for 9/11 – were also fakes.
The clearest example, I argued, was the most famous of the so-called bin Laden confession videos. Having allegedly been found in a private home in Jalalabad,… Continue reading
In the fall of 2001 the U.S. suffered two assaults–the attacks of 9/11 and
the anthrax mailings–that supplied the pretext for a new “war on terror.”
Unfortunately, the U.S. government’s accounts of both events are fictional.
A presentation on
THE FICTIONAL BASIS OF THE WAR ON TERROR
by GRAEME MACQUEEN
Graeme MacQueen received his Ph.D. from Harvard and was founding director of
the Center For Peace Studies at McMaster University. He has directed peace building
projects in several war zones, including Afghanistan.
May 22, 2010, 7PM
RADCLIFFE INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY
10 Garden Street
Submitted by John Bursill
Story by Naomi Breeze
Below is a moving and powerful story by one of the hardest working and most determined 9/11 Truth Advocates I know, Naomi Breeze. She has guts and determination in spades and will not be stopped in her quest to get justice for the victims of the 9/11 attacks that include ten Australians!
Solo Truth Action in Newcastle, Australia on the 14 of May 2010
Story by Naomi Breeze
After stumbling across 9/11 Truth on the internet about three years ago I contacted John Bursill of 9/11 Truth Australia and have been a passionate 9/11 Truther ever since. I feel privileged to have been involved with two successful conferences in Sydney, Australia and am honoured to have met some of my 9/11 Truth heroes.
I attended a talk in my hometown of Newcastle on 14 May 2010 by ex-Fire Fighter, ex-Chief Dan Daly, about 9/11 and how it changed his life. The talk was organised by a Catholic Church Chaplain through his Passionist Family Group and cost $5.00. The Chaplain is a personal friend of Dan and was in New York on September 11, 2001.
Some background on Dan: http://www.chiefdaly.com/
Dan Daly was promoted to Fire Captain with Engine 52 in 2001. The service was to take place on September 12, 2001. On September 11, 2001 his rig was one of the last to arrive at the Twin Towers. He and his crew arrived from the Bronx just as WTC 7 collapsed. He… Continue reading
by Peter Dale Scott
The Asia-Pacific Journal , 21-2-10
In July 1987, during the Iran-Contra Hearings grilling of Oliver North, the American public got a glimpse of “highly sensitive” emergency planning North had been involved in. Ostensibly these were emergency plans to suspend the American constitution in the event of a nuclear attack (a legitimate concern). But press accounts alleged that the planning was for a more generalized suspension of the constitution.
As part of its routine Iran-contra coverage, the following exchange was printed in the New York Times , but without journalistic comment or follow-up:
[Congressman Jack] Brooks: Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?
Both North’s attorney and Sen. Daniel Inouye, the Democratic Chair of the Committee, responded in a way that showed they were aware of the issue:
Brendan Sullivan [North's counsel, agitatedly]: Mr. Chairman?
[Senator Daniel] Inouye: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that?
Brooks: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American… Continue reading
May 27, 2010
Text of email from National Whistleblowers Center
A former prosecutor who blew the whistle on the abuse of our Constitution in the Guantánamo Bay military commissions is now in danger of losing his 19-year military career. Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld was retaliated against for having the courage to follow orders and speak the truth about the mockery of due process afforded to detainees in Guantánamo Bay.
On June 1, a military promotions board will meet, ironically, not to honor or promote Lt. Col. Vandeveld, a highly decorated member of the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps who served in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, as both a solder in combat and a prosecutor. More than likely, they will smear his name, preventing him from an honorable retirement just 4 months away from 20 years of outstanding service to our nation.
Lt. Col. Vandeveld needs your help to defend his honor, as he has stood up to defend the Constitution.
Lt. Col. Vandeveld resigned from his position at Guantánamo, because he could not ethically or legally prosecute Mohammed Jawad. The Jawad case brought to light many of the problems occurring at Guantánamo, including abusive interrogations, evidence withheld from the defense, judicial incompetence, and confessions coerced through torture. Lt. Col. Vandeveld gave judge-ordered testimony in the Jawad case, and in return for his honesty under… Continue reading
June 1, 2010 by Dahr Jamail t r u t h o u t | Report
The Israeli military has attacked a flotilla of international peace activists, killing as many as 19 innocent civilians while they were carrying ten tons of aid to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This is not the first time the Israeli military has attacked a nonthreatening entity in international waters.
On June 8, 1967, while sailing in international waters, the US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked by air and naval forces of the state of Israel. Of the Liberty’s crew of 294, more than half were killed or wounded. More than 40 years later, survivors are still seeking justice.
The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that the Liberty was an American ship, yet survivors have been forbidden to tell their story under oath to the American public.
Joe Meadors was on the Liberty during the attack. “I watched some jets pass us then turn left after they passed our ship, then they started strafing [attacking repeatedly with bombs or machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft] us,” Meadors told Truthout.
“The attack lasted 90 minutes, during which we got a message off to the 6th fleet asking for assistance, and we learned later, Joe Tully, commanding officer of the USS Saratoga, launched aircraft within minutes of the attack, but he told us later they were recalled before they reached the horizon. We found this out 20 years after the attack.”
Meadors said he and his group, the USS Liberty Veterans Association, believe that Rear Adm.…Continue reading
June 9, 2010 Update
from Cindy Sheehan
On the 7th anniversary of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, eight people were arrested in front of the White House protesting the continuing crimes-you know that place! It’s a big White House-as a matter of fact it’s a HUGE White House in the middle of a park-like estate where heavily armed thugs protecting war criminals roam. It’s okay to stop and gawk and take pictures if you are decked out in Hawaiian shirts or sundresses, but exercising fundamental rights to free speech or to peaceable assemble is not.
On March 20th, about 8000 people attended a permitted and almost lethargically tame protest in Lafayette Park, which is next to the HUGE White House. Then there was a march around in circles that landed the protest right back in front of the White House. Four people decided to lie down on the sidewalk in protest (four out of 8000), and four of us decided to cross the police line (a metal barrier on the sidewalk between the street and the high iron-barred, sniper guarded fence that surrounds the HUGE White House), to try and join the measly four that were lying there begging people to join them.
I was one of the ones arrested for crossing the police line. I did not push the barrier down, but when it fell, I crossed-I was immediately body slammed and arrested. That was at approximately 2:44pm. An amended police report misleadingly lied and said that I was given three warnings to leave-I was not and subsequent evidence shows that the warnings to disperse over the bullhorn didn’t even begin until after I had been arrested.…Continue reading
by Philip Shenon
June 10, 2010
The Daily Beast – Blogs & Stories
Anxious that Wikileaks may be on the verge of publishing a batch of secret State Department cables, investigators are desperately searching for founder Julian Assange. Philip Shenon reports. Plus, Daniel Ellsberg tells The Daily Beast: “Assange is in Some Danger.”
(This story has been updated to reflect new developments on Assange’s whereabouts, including the cancelation of a scheduled appearance in Las Vegas.)
Pentagon investigators are trying to determine the whereabouts of the Australian-born founder of the secretive website Wikileaks for fear that he may be about to publish a huge cache of classified State Department cables that, if made public, could do serious damage to national security, government officials tell The Daily Beast.
The officials acknowledge that even if they found the website founder, Julian Assange, it is not clear what they could do to block publication of the cables on Wikileaks, which is nominally based on a server in Sweden and bills itself as a champion of whistleblowers.
“We’d like to know where he is; we’d like his cooperation in this,” one U.S. official said of Assange.
American officials said Pentagon investigators are convinced that Assange is in possession of at least some classified State Department cables leaked by a 22-year-old Army intelligence specialist, Bradley Manning of Potomac, Maryland, who is now in custody in Kuwait.
And given the contents of the cables, the feds have good reason to be concerned.
As The Daily… Continue reading