By Michael Kane, March 27, 2004
Case study: How the Commission went easy on Rumsfeld, Myers and Wolfowitz
“I had no idea hijacked airliners would be used as weapons.”
So said Rumsfeld, in his opening remarks to the Kean Commission on March 23, 2004. His final statement on the topic while under oath was, “I plead ignorance.”
Officials at NORAD have said that when the hijackings first occurred, they initially thought it was part of the Vigilant Guardian drills running that morning. Despite some confusion, once Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center at 8:45 AM, everyone should have known this was not a test.
Former White House terrorism adviser Richard Clarke’s testimony, one day later, was interesting, but amounted to little more than a distraction. There were more cameras on Clarke than on anyone else during the two-day national broadcast of the commission hearings. In reality, his testimony was nowhere near as interesting as the joint appearance by Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Myers the day before. I do not question Clarke’s sincerity at this time, just the timing, which he did not choose. His book was released at a time chosen by the White House, and the testimony depended on the book. He had finished it well over 6 months before, but it was held up by the White House security clearance.
As a result, the book came out on the eve of Rumsfeld’s sworn testimony to the 9/11 Commission. Very clever if intentional, because it distracted everyone from two issues completely ignored by the commissioners, and overshadowed by Clarke and his book when they questioned Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:
ISSUE #1 On the morning of September 11, 2001, NORAD was running war games involving the scenario of hijacked airliners, while the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into a government building, at the exact same time as an identical scenario was perpetrated in reality.…Continue reading
Image: CBC News: Sunday’s Evan Solomon interviews Lee Hamilton , 9/11 Commission co-chair and co-author of the book “Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission” .
Evan Solomon : Tell me why you felt the need, with Thomas Kean, to write this book “Without Precedent”?
Lee Hamilton : We felt we had an important story to tell, 9/11 was a traumatic event in our history, every adult in America will remember exactly where they were on that day when they heard the news. We felt that the Commission’s work gave a lot of insights into how government works, and particularly how government in the national security area works. We had hundreds of people tell us, or ask us, how the Commission did its work, and so we responded by writing the book and tried to let people know the story, the inside story of the 9/11 Commission.
Solomon : Do you consider the 9/11 Commission to have been a success, and if so, under what ways do you measure that success? How do you call it a success?
Hamilton : The 9/11 Commission was created by statute. We had two responsibilities – first, tell the story of 9/11; I think we’ve done that reasonably well. We worked very hard at it; I don’t know that we’ve told the definitive story of 9/11, but surely anybody in the future who tackles that job will begin with the 9/11 Commission Report. I think we’ve been reasonably successful in telling… Continue reading
While the morning rain and the threat of afternoon rain prevented “Annie and the Vets” from providing music at the 4/11/2007 Impeach Bush/Cheney rally, a substantial crowd gathered in the last-minute sunshine on Lytton Plaza in downtown Palo Alto, amidst a giant replica of the flawed 9/11 Commission Report, two smoking towers labeled Constitution and Bill of Rights, many colorful banners calling for impeachment, and a huge “Deception Dollar” banner.
The first marches demanding a Congressional Investigation into 9/11 were held in Palo Alto in January 2002, followed by further marches in January of 2003 demanding “Pre-Emptive Impeachment.” Marches for impeachment are now a monthly occurrence and converged yesterday with a monthly 9/11 Truth action. The rally began with a bit of history and Congresswoman Eshoo’s response to the previous rally on March 14th. Eshoo wrote:
“I’ve lived through an impeachment process and witnessed firsthand how it tears the country apart. The election in November was a resounding rejection of the President’s policies and the policies of his party. I think it’s time to bring the country together and move forward. In my view, impeachment will heavily distract from the important work of reversing the disastrous course this Administration has set and will virtually bring to a halt progress on important issues including healthcare and global warming.”
The primary organizer of the rally, Carol Brouillet, read her response to Eshoo:
There is a tremendous difference between the charges leveled against Bill Clinton and those that are being directed towards Bush… Continue reading
by Robert Parry
In late August 2001, when aggressive presidential action might have changed the course of U.S. history, CIA Director George Tenet made a special trip to Crawford, Texas, to get George W. Bush to focus on an imminent threat of a spectacular al-Qaeda attack only to have the conversation descend into meaningless small talk.
Alarmed CIA officials already had held an extraordinary meeting with then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on July 10 to lay out the accumulating evidence of an impending attack and had delivered on Aug. 6 a special “Presidential Daily Brief” to Bush entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.”
“A few weeks after the Aug. 6 PDB was delivered, I followed it to Crawford to make sure the President stayed current on events,” Tenet wrote in his memoir, At the Center of the Storm. “This was my first visit to the ranch. I remember the President graciously driving me around the spread in his pickup and my trying to make small talk about the flora and the fauna, none of which were native to Queens,” where Tenet had grown up.
Tenet’s trip to Crawford — like the July 10 meeting with Rice and the Aug. 6 briefing paper for Bush — failed to shock the administration out of its lethargy nor elicit the emergency steps that the CIA and other counterterrorism specialists wanted.
While Tenet and Bush made small talk about “the flora and the fauna,” al-Qaeda operatives put the finishing touches on their plans.…Continue reading
Pivotal Moment in the Green Scare
Bill Rodgers died in a jail cell in Flagstaff, Arizona, fist raised above him, plastic bag over his head, of an apparent suicide, on the 2005 winter solstice. Two weeks before in Prescott, Bill’s baby, the Catalyst Infoshop had been raided by fifteen federal officers and he was taken away.
Bill was essentially accused of destroying corporate property. If he had been arrested for these crimes in, say, an EU country, I’m sure Bill would still be alive today. But the US is not the EU. The prisons of the US are full of nonviolent offenders, and there are special sentences for some of them. Bill knew that in America today, he could do like Jeffrey Luers and go to prison for a very long time. For Bill’s property destruction was politically — ecologically — motivated. Bill apparently chose to end his life rather than spend it in prison.
The last time I saw Bill was at the Catalyst, a few months before his death. We were sitting on (or more like enveloped by) some very old couches and someone was filming an interview for a local Cable Access program, I think. Bill was a couple years older than me, but with twice as much energy. He was small, intelligent, full of vitality, full of both good intentions and actions. He was an unassuming Prescott institution, along with the Catalyst Infoshop.
Bill was part of a sweep of arrests of activists around the US, and more broadly, part of the US government’s efforts to wipe out what it calls “ecoterrorism.” To impose decades-long sentences (Jeffrey Luers was sentenced to a breathtaking 22 years) on people who have harmed no one, people who have essentially committed expensive acts of vandalism — against the corporations that are destroying our world.…Continue reading
We Will Sit In for Impeachment
David Swanson, 07/05/07
On July 23rd phone John Conyers at 202-225-5126 or send him a fax with one click.
Cindy Sheehan to Lead March for Impeachment, Arlington to Capitol Hill, July 23rd
WHAT: March from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol Hill Office of Congressman John Conyers to ask him to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney or President George W. Bush or both. Participants hope to meet with Congressman Conyers and receive his assurance that impeachment proceedings will begin at once in the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. Many of those participating have commited to only leave if Conyers agrees to begin impeachment or they are arrested.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been the driving force against impeachment in Congress. If there is no agreement to begin impeachment proceedings by Monday, Sheehan will announce her candidacy challenging Pelosi for election in California’s 8th Congressional District.
WHO: Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey Sheehan, KIA in Iraq 2004, founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and of the Camp Casey Peace Institute; Ray McGovern, 27-year veteran of the CIA and cofounder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President of the Hip Hop Caucus; Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel and diplomat who resigned in protest the day the U.S. invaded Iraq; Debra Sweet, national coordinator of the World Can’t Wait; Dave Lindorff, author of “The Case for Impeachment,” David Swanson, cofounder of AfterDowningStreet.org; Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, both cofounders of Code Pink; Kevin Zeese, director of Democracy Rising; Tina Richards, military mother and creator of GrassRootsAmerica4Us; and many many others.…Continue reading
Helicopter Ben Unleashes Dollar Hyperinflation:
Fed Atempts to Bail Out Bankrupt Wall Street Speculators; Cheney Demands Staged Terror Attacks, War with Iran
By Webster G. Tarpley
Monday, August 13, 2007
Washington DC – August 12, 2007 – By deciding to ante up $38 billion for a hopeless bailout of predatory Wall Street hedge funds and the banks that stand behind them, Federal Reserve Chairman Helicopter Ben Bernanke has placed the bankrupt US dollar on a direct course towards the precipice of hyperinflation. In so doing, he has given new momentum to the backers and controllers of Dick Cheney, who favor an insane flight forward into general war with Iran, deluding themselves that they can thus escape from both military defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and from the death agony of the dollar.
On August 9-10, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve, plus the central banks of Australia, Norway, Switzerland, and other countries “injected” the equivalent about a third of a trillion dollars ($325 billion) into the money systems of the world. The Bank of Japan handed out a dramatic ¥ 1 trillion, about $8.5 billion. The European Central Bank showed signs of panic, or of realism, by spewing out about € 160 billion over two days. Their goal was to stave off a spreading panic at bond trading desks and in the capital markets of the world about junk bonds, collateralized debt obligations (CDOS), mortgage backed securities, and other paper debt instruments. At about 9… Continue reading
Hold Bush/Cheney Accountable on Constitution Day
By Stephen Rohde and Peter Thottam
Monday 17 September 2007
On this day 220 years ago, thirty-nine delegates in Philadelphia approved the United States Constitution. In honor of that historic event, September 17 has been designated Constitution Day.
Auspicious celebrations are planned around the country. President Bush will likely extol the wisdom of the founding fathers and the genius of the Constitution. But James Madison warned that the Constitution would be but a mere “paper barrier” to tyranny unless the people saw to it that its limitations on the exercise of excessive power by the government were enforced.
To that end, Madison and his colleagues included the powerful remedy of Impeachment, using the term no less than six times. In Article II, Section 4, they provided that “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Today, as we celebrate Constitution Day, many Americans are asking whether President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have committed “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” justifying their impeachment and removal from office.
Have Bush and Cheney abused their powers of office by using information they knew to be false as justification for the US invasion of Iraq; condoning and authorizing the torture of prisoners of war and rendering detainees to foreign countries known to torture; maintaining secret prisons and other detention facilities in violation of the Geneva… Continue reading
October 11, 2007. Ralph Nader, activist, author and lecturer, shared his views in the matter of the “Next Steps for the Peace Movement,” at a panel discussion on Oct. 11, 2007. The event was held at Bus Boys and Poets, in Washington, D.C. It was a fundraiser for DemocracyRising.US. For more information, please go to: www.democracyrising.us. Mr. Nader’s latest book is entitled “The Seventeen Traditions.”
by Ralph Nader
Friday, October 12. 2007
The meeting at the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts on July 5, 2007 was anything but routine. Seated before Cong. John Olver (D-MA) were twenty seasoned citizens from over a dozen municipalities in this First Congressional District which embraces the lovely Berkshire Hills.
The subject–impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney.
The request–that Cong. Olver join the impeachment drive in Congress.
More than just opinion was being conveyed to Cong. Olver, a then 70 year old Massachusetts liberal with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These Americans voted overwhelmingly during formal annual town meetings in 14 towns and two cities in the First District endorsing resolutions to impeach the President and Vice President.
Presented in the form of petitions to be sent to the Congress, the approving citizenry cited at least four “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
They included the initiation of the Iraq war based on defrauding the public and intentionally misleading the Congress, spying on Americans without judicial authorization, committing the torture of prisoners in violation of both federal law and the U.N.…Continue reading
by Alan Miller
Official Account of 9/11: “Flawed”, “Absurd”, “Totally Inadequate”, “a Cover-up”
January 5, 2008 — Eight U.S. State Department veterans have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. “There is no question in my mind, that there is enough evidence to justify a very comprehensive and hard hitting investigation of the kind we have not seen, with subpoenas, general questioning of people, releasing a lot of documents,” said Daniel Ellsberg, PhD, in a 2006 interview with Jack Blood. 
Daniel Ellsberg, Phd is one of many signers of a petition to reinvestigate 9/11.  Best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, Dr. Ellsberg is a former U.S. State Department envoy to Viet Nam and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense.
Another State Department critic of the official account of 9/11 is Col. Ann Wright, who said in a 2007 interview with Richard Greene on the Air America Radio Network, “It’s incredible some of these things that still are unanswered. The 9/11 Report — that was totally inadequate. I mean the questions that anybody has after reading that.” 
Col. Ann Wright is one of three U.S. State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003. She joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served for 16 years as a U.S. Diplomat, including assignments as Deputy Chief of… Continue reading
Fresh Air: The one-hour program features Terry Gross’ in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.
Mon, February 4, 2008–Check your local NPR station for airtime, or listen to archives to be posted at 3pm ET
Philip Shenon, Investigating the 9/11 Investigation
Audio for this story has now been posted here.
Fresh Air from WHYY, February 4, 2008 · Missed evidence, ignored clues, political considerations–did the 9/11 Commission really issue the definitive report on the September 2001 terror attacks?
In his new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, New York Times investigative journalist Philip Shenon scrutinizes those charged with analyzing the terror attacks and uncovers new information about the commission’s complicated relationship with the Bush White House
Excerpt: ‘The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation’
by Philip Shenon
Philip Shenon’s book, ‘The Commission’
Chapter 1: National Archives
Washington, DC, May 30, 2002
Sandy Berger walked down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the row of massive Corinthian columns that were the most notable architectural feature of the National Archives. The public entrance to the archives was around the corner on Constitution Avenue, and it would normally be jammed with throngs of boisterous tourists on such a bright spring morning, eager to gaze upon the great documents of -American democracy. But on the day of Berger’s first visit, the few out-of-town visitors who did not have special permission to enter the archives were turned away.…Continue reading
By Shane Harris, National Journal
In the old days, everyone was linked to a lug nut, and Jim Kallstrom liked it that way.
It was 1985, a simpler time for a cop like Kallstrom, who was in charge of setting telephone wiretaps on suspected drug dealers and mobsters for the FBI’s New York City field office.
In New York, Kallstrom’s cases were often won on the basis of incriminating evidence surreptitiously snatched from the mouths of criminal defendants through their phone lines.
With a mere 203,000 Americans using mobile phones, people were still tied to the ground, and that gave Kallstrom’s world a certain comforting order.
On any given day, he could stand on a street corner in Manhattan, gaze up at an apartment building with its neat rows and columns of units stacked atop each other, and know that inside each one there was a telephone, tethered by thin copper wire to a single point, sometimes several miles away. In his mind’s eye, Kallstrom could have imagined shrinking himself to the size of an electron and traveling over the phone line, down to the bottom of the building, then shooting beneath the streets, until he ended up in the basement of the telephone company’s switching station. There, the wire emerged, pegged to a rack by a single copper lug nut. Acres of racks lined the walls, each holding rows and columns of lug nuts and their wires, neatly stacked atop each other — the city of New York in… Continue reading
By Thomas D. Williams
The Public Record
May 26, 2008
US Air Force Reserve Maj. Thomas “Buzz” Rempfer, a 43-year-old Connecticut native, is hoping he is nearing the end of nearly a decade’s perpetual and unprecedented battle with the Pentagon over the legality, safety and effectiveness of mandatory anthrax vaccinations.
His and others’ efforts have already netted favorable federal court rulings. They invalidated the original Department of Defense mandate and the vaccine’s initial licensing.
Now Rempfer, formerly of West Suffield, Connecticut, and now of Tucson, Arizona, awaits a ruling from the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records. The board could award him back pay for lost time and promotions in the Air National Guard. If the board does not, he is likely to appeal back to the federal court. It was that court which decided in his favor by forcing another ruling from the Air Force panel.
However, much more significant to Rempfer is a broader public service goal. Rempfer and his deceased close friend, US Air Force Reserve Maj. Russell “Russ” E. Dingle, both pilots, fought their battle for others adversely affected by the vaccine. It was their belief that any victory, legally, must become a crucial military servicewide precedent, clearing all other vaccine-resisting veterans from punishment. Rempfer is acting as a representative of Dingle’s estate.
In more than five years of research, Dingle and Rempfer concluded the anthrax vaccine was improperly licensed and ineffective. They found it created thousands of adverse reactions and was unnecessary. The… Continue reading
By Peter Barber
June 7 2008
When Cynthia McKinney speaks the words of Martin Luther King Jr, they resound through the church with some of King’s cadence. “A time comes,” declares the former US congresswoman from Georgia, “when silence is betrayal.” The congregation answers with whoops and calls of “That’s right!” King was talking about America’s war in Vietnam. More than 40 years later, before the packed pews of the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, McKinney is speaking of the American government’s war on its own people. The shock and awe phase of this conflict, we had been told earlier, began on September 11 2001, when the Bush administration launched attacks on New York and Washington, or at least waved them through.
According to a show of hands that February afternoon, several hundred people in the immaculate church believe this to be true. Some came in T-shirts bearing the words “9/11 was an inside job”. One wore a badge demanding that you “Examine your assumptions”. Quite a few bought the DVDs on sale in the foyer, most of which bore photographs of the Twin Towers spewing smoke. They had all come to hear the message of Architects, Engineers & Scientists for 9/11 Truth, one of the dozens of groups across the US which campaign to persuade us that everything we think we know about 9/11 is wrong.
Marion Cotillard, actress–“There was a tower in Spain which burnt for 24 hours. It never collapsed”
Last winter, “Investigate 9/11”… Continue reading
By William F. Jasper
For six years, Sibel Edmonds has been carrying out an heroic crusade to protect her adopted country from national security threats within the top levels of the American government. Hired as an FBI translator in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Edmonds, a Turkish American, threw herself into the daunting task of translating thousands of hours of recordings of backlogged intercepts in Turkic, Farsi, and Azerbaijani. What she heard on the tapes was alarming: Turkish agents in the United States bribing high-level U.S. officials and obtaining our military and intelligence secrets. What she witnessed at the FBI was even more appalling: translators who were intentionally filing false translations and passing information to foreign powers; and, what’s even worse, FBI superiors who did nothing about it when these serious breaches were brought to their attention.
Unwilling to settle for the bureaucratic “don’t rock the boat” response she faced from immediate supervisors, Sibel Edmonds decided to take her concerns higher up the FBI chain of command. The result? She was fired, and those she tried to have investigated got off scot-free; some fled the country to avoid potential prosecution, while others continued their alleged criminal and treasonous activities. Some of the FBI colleagues who blocked her efforts were promoted.
How could this be, especially in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, when “homeland security” was our number one concern? And especially since FBI Director Robert Mueller had expressly promised that the agency’s notorious penchant… Continue reading
Wednesday 16 July 2008
By Adam Liptak, The New York Times
Indefinite military detentions of persons apprehended within the United States
are legal, according to a Tuesday federal appeals court decision. (Read text
of decision.) However, a concurrent decision allows detainee Ali al-Marri (pictured)
to challenge his detention in court.
President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions
of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond,
Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.
But a second, overlapping 5-to-4 majority of the court, the United States
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, ruled that Ali al-Marri, a citizen
of Qatar now in military custody in Charleston, S.C., must be given an additional
opportunity to challenge his detention in federal court there. An earlier court
proceeding, in which the government had presented only a sworn statement from
a defense intelligence official, was inadequate, the second majority ruled.
The decision was a victory for the Bush administration, which had maintained
that a 2001 Congressional authorization to use military force after the Sept.
11 attacks granted the president the power to detain people living in the United
The court effectively reversed a divided three-judge panel of its own members,
which ruled last year that the government lacked the power to detain civilians
legally in the United States as enemy combatants. That panel ordered the government
either to charge Mr. Marri or to release him. The case is likely to reach… Continue reading
July 24, 2008
Kucinich, Barr, Bugliosi among those testifying
The House Judiciary Committee has released a witness list for its hearing to examine “the imperial presidency” of George W. Bush.
Testifying Friday morning will be Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has introduced several resolutions calling for President Bush’s and Vice President Dick Cheney’s impeachment; former Rep. Bob Barr, the Libertarian presidential candidate who led the charge to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998; Vincent Bugliosi, author of the just-released book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder; and 10 other current and former members of Congress, constitutional experts and human rights activists.
The hearing, which was announced last week, seems to be the one Judiciary Chairman John Conyers promised to Kucinich after he introduced his second impeachment resolution aimed at Bush earlier this month. Any action on Kucinich’s articles of impeachment still seems unlikely, but the Ohio Democrat has previously said he just wants to be able to present his case.
Late Thursday afternoon, the committee released the full witness list, broken down into two panels.
The Honorable Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio
The Honorable Maurice Hinchey, Representative from New York
The Honorable Walter Jones, Representative from North Carolina
The Honorable Brad Miller, Representative from North Carolina
The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, Former Representative from
The Honorable Bob Barr, Former Representative from Georgia,
2008 Libertarian Nominee for President
The Honorable Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Founder and President, High Roads for Human Rights
Stephen Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law
Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General, 1981-82, Chairman, American Freedom Agenda
Vincent Bugliosi, Author and former Los Angeles County Prosecutor
by Chalmers Johnson
Source URL: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174959/chalmers_johnson_warning_mercenaries_at_work
Most Americans have a rough idea what the term “military-industrial complex” means when they come across it in a newspaper or hear a politician mention it. President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced the idea to the public in his farewell address of January 17, 1961. “Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime,” he said, “or indeed by the fighting men of World War II and Korea We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
Although Eisenhower’s reference to the military-industrial complex is, by now, well-known, his warning against its “unwarranted influence” has, I believe, largely been ignored. Since 1961, there has been too little serious study of, or discussion of, the origins of the military-industrial complex, how it has changed over time, how governmental secrecy has hidden it from oversight by members of Congress or attentive citizens, and how it degrades our Constitutional structure of checks and balances.
From its origins in the early 1940s, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was building up his “arsenal of democracy,” down to the present moment, public opinion has usually assumed that it involved more or less equitable relations — often termed a “partnership” — between the high command and civilian overlords of the United States military and… Continue reading