By Bill Van Auken
15 January 2008
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An Italian judge has issued orders for the preventive arrest pending deportation of at least 140 former officials of military dictatorships that ruled seven Latin American countries between the 1960s and 1980s. They are charged with responsibility for the deaths of 25 Italian citizens, who were among the tens of thousands of opponents of these regimes murdered, tortured and illegally imprisoned under a US-backed campaign of repression known as Operation Condor.
During the 1970s and 1980s, dictatorships in Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru, with the aid of the US CIA, developed Operation Condor as a program of coordinated continental repression, pooling their police-military resources in order to hunt down exiles and send them back to their deaths, while allowing secret police death squads to freely cross borders.
Among those the Italian judge, Luisanna Figliola, has asked be arrested are former Argentine dictator Jorge Videla, his fellow junta member and navy chief Emilio Eduardo Massera, and Jorge Maria Bordaberry, who headed Uruguay’s dictatorship between 1973 and 1976, as well as Francisco Morales BermÃºdez, who was Peru’s dictator between 1975 and 1980, and Pedro Richter, another Peruvian ex-general who served as Peru’s prime minister.
Others charged are military officers and secret policemen, including 61 from Argentina, 32 from Uruguay, 22 Chileans and 13 Brazilians. Also accused are former Bolivian and Paraguayan officials
The Italian government has one of… Continue reading
The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?
February 07, 2008
Click here to read a history of every homeland-security terror alert and the real news that was buried: “Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts–A history of the Bush administration’s most dubious terror scares — and the headlines they buried” TIM DICKINSON, Feb 07, 2008
“So, what you wanna do?” the friend asked. “A target?” the wanna-be jihadi replied. “I want some type of city-hall-type stuff, federal courthouses.”
It was late November 2006, and twenty-two-year-old Derrick Shareef and his friend Jameel were hanging out in Rockford, Illinois, dreaming about staging a terrorist attack on America. The two men weren’t sure what kind of assault they could pull off. All Shareef knew was that he wanted to cause major damage, to wreak vengeance on the country he held responsible for oppressing Muslims worldwide. “Smoke a judge,” Shareef said. Maybe firebomb a government building.
But while Shareef harbored violent fantasies, he was hardly a serious threat as a jihadi. An American-born convert to Islam, he had no military training and no weapons. He had less than $100 in the bank. He worked in a dead-end job as a clerk in a video-game store. He didn’t own a car. So dire were his circumstances, Shareef had no place to live. Then one day, Jameel, a fellow Muslim, had shown up at EB… Continue reading
By Jane Sutton Fri Feb 8, 4:43 PM ET
Guantánamo BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – Military lawyers defending
Osama bin Laden’s former driver on terrorism charges in the U.S. war court at
Guantánamo Bay have offered a compromise in their quest to interview September
11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
They promised not to ask Mohammed about his treatment in U.S. custody or about
the CIA’s admission that it subjected him to a simulated drowning technique
known as "waterboarding" during interrogations.
Bin Laden’s former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, was captured in Afghanistan
in November 2001 and faces life in prison if convicted in the Guantánamo court
of conspiring with al Qaeda and providing material support for terrorism.
The Yemeni man said he never joined al Qaeda, had no advance knowledge of its
attacks and became bin Laden’s driver in Afghanistan because he needed the salary
of $200 per month.
Hamdan’s lawyers said Mohammed — the highest-ranking al Qaeda leader held
at the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — can help their defense by
telling them what role, if any, Hamdan had in the organization.
They likened it to somebody "on trial for organized crime and you’ve got
the opportunity to bring in the godfather."
The request was still pending when a pretrial hearing ended on Thursday but
the military judge suggested he might at least let the lawyers question Mohammed
via written notes.
The judge is expected to rule in the next couple of weeks and Hamdan… Continue reading
February 6, 2008
As someone also motivated by the need for the truth about 9/11, as well as aware of the way conflicts of interest have a way of covering up truth, let me add my thanks to Philip Shenon on the release of his new book. Also let me share this recent comment forwarded to me by Monica Gabrielle of the September 11th Advocates:
Philip Shenon’s new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, serves to justify our suspicions and the concerns of the Family Steering Committee, that we attempted to publicly air during the course of the 9/11 Commission’s tenure.
One of the most egregious revelations put forth by Mr. Shenon is the fact that Philip Zelikow was hired as the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, despite his direct ties to the Bush administration. In 2000-2001 he served as a member of Condoleezza Rice’s National Security Council (NSC) transition team, where he was allegedly the “architect” of the decision to demote Richard Clarke and his counter terrorism team within the NSC. Furthermore he was a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) from 2001-2003, where Zelikow drafted most of the 2002 “National Security Strategy of the United States,” creating the pre-emptive Iraq war strategy. These areas were within the scope of the Commission’s mandate and as such were of critical importance to determine what, if any, impact they had on the government’s ability to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
As the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow was given the responsibility for choosing the entire direction of the Commission’s investigation.…Continue reading
Latest Findings Raise New Questions about Hijackers and Suggest Incomplete Investigation
A contributor to the History Commons has obtained a 298-page document entitled Hijackers Timeline (Redacted) from the FBI, subsequent to a Freedom of Information Act request. The document was a major source of information for the 9/11 Commission’s final report. Though the commission cited the timeline 52 times in its report, it failed to include some of the document’s most important material.
The printed document is dated November 14, 2003, but appears to have been compiled in mid-October 2001 (the most recent date mentioned in it is October 22, 2001), when the FBI was just starting to understand the backgrounds of the hijackers, and it contains almost no information from the CIA, NSA, or other agencies. This raises questions as to why the 9/11 Commission relied so heavily on such an early draft for their information about the hijackers.
CooperativeTimeline.org has posted new information from the “Hijackers Timeline,” recently released by the FBI. Links to the full FBI documents are at the end of the article, (which also contains many links to other Timeline entries in the original announcement, at the source).
In addition, the 90-page “Charge Sheet” (see also press release 2/11/08, “Sept. 11 Co-Conspirators Charged”) conveys an enormous amount of information relating to the hijackers for a significant period of time before, and on, September 11th.
For an event this government has said “no one could have… Continue reading
For Immediate Release
February 19, 2008
The recent news reports that our government has finally charged the “6 Guantánamo Detainees” for crimes connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks has focused on the fact that our government is calling for the death penalty. While we all agree that the perpetrators of 9/11 should be brought to justice, the death penalty is not the issue.
The real issue is that it must first be proven that these six detainees are indeed the guilty parties.
Although we attempted to have this kind of information brought to light through the work of the 9/11 Independent Commission, much of their work is now suspect because, by their own admission, they wrote the 9/11 story based on third hand information. The Commission itself was never allowed to interview the detainees; instead they had to use notes taken by the CIA interrogators of those interviews. In their document requests, the commissioners failed to use the standard language that defines “documents” as being computer discs, “videos”, etc. As such, the CIA did not hand over the videotaped interrogation interviews of the detainees, contending recently, that the Commission never asked specifically for “videos”. It has since been reported that the CIA, against orders, destroyed these tapes and thus this evidence.
As unconscionable as the destruction of these videotapes was, what has made it even more egregious, is that the tapes would have, according to the CIA, revealed that some of the detainees were subjected to harsh, enhanced interrogation techniques,… Continue reading
Lawyers claim he pleaded guilty without seeing secret evidence
By MATT APUZZO
February 26, 2008
WASHINGTON — Lawyers urged Zacarias Moussaoui not to plead guilty to
terrorism charges. They just couldn’t tell him why.
In newly filed court documents, Moussaoui argues that court-imposed secrecy
undermined his ability to present an adequate defense. His new lawyers say Moussaoui’s
guilty plea should be thrown out and a new trial should be convened for the
man who once claimed to have been a part of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist plot.
Moussaoui was not allowed to see the classified evidence against him and was
shut out from closed-door hearings in which that evidence was laid out.
Defense lawyers say they were barred from even discussing with Moussaoui evidence
that could help prove his innocence. They say Moussaoui faced an unconstitutional
choice: plead guilty or go to trial without knowing the evidence.
"Moussaoui appeals because his plea was unknowing, uncounselled and invalid,"
attorneys Justin Antonipillai and Barbara Hartung wrote.
The documents, filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond,
Va., raise a fundamental question about whether terrorism suspects like Moussaoui
should be given access to all the evidence against them — access that
is normally guaranteed in criminal cases.
The Bush administration has sought to avoid such conflicts by keeping most
terrorism cases out of civilian courts. Instead, officials plan to try several
cases before special military commissions at the Guantánamo Bay naval base,
where judges have broad authority… Continue reading
Release Date: March 10, 2008
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is conducting the largest cyber security exercise ever organized. Cyber Storm II is being held from March 10-14 in Washington, D.C. and brings together participants from federal, state and local governments, the private sector, and the international community.
Cyber Storm II is the second in a series of congressionally mandated exercises that will examine the nation’s cyber security preparedness and response capabilities. the exercise will simulate a coordinated cyber attack on information technology, communications, chemical, and transportation systems and assets.
“Securing cyberspace is vital to maintaining America’s strategic interests, public safety, and economic prosperity,” said Greg Garcia, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Communications. “Exercises like Cyber Storm II help to ensure that the public and private sectors are prepared for an effective response to attacks against our critical systems and networks.”
Cyber Storm II will include 18 federal departments and agencies, nine states (Calif., Colo., Del., Ill., Mich., N.C., Pa., Texas and Va.), five countries (United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom), and more than 40 private sector companies. They include ABB, Inc., Air Products, Cisco, Dow Chemical Company Inc., Harris Corporation, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Microsoft, NeuStar, PPG Industries, and Wachovia.
Cyber Storm II objectives include:
* Examining the capabilities of participating organizations to prepare for, protect against, and respond to the potential effects of cyber attacks
* Exercising strategic decision making and interagency coordination of incident response in accordance with national level policy and procedures
* Validating information sharing relationships and communications paths for the collection and dissemination of cyber incident situational awareness, response and recovery information
* Examining means and processes through which to share sensitive information across boundaries and sectors without compromising proprietary or national security interests
For more information on Cyber Storm II visit:http://www.dhs.gov/xprepresp/training/gc_1204738275985.shtm
Many more details about this at this DHS Fact Sheet.…Continue reading
THIS MARCH END THE MADNESS
After 5 years of senseless, endless war, torture, government deception and suppression . . .
YOU have a voice
YOU have a choice
Bush Program of Endless Imperialistic War or Join us March 19
More Torture, Rendition to Secret CIA Prisons or Demand a No Torture State! Display a No Torture Banner
Accept the Bush Agenda of Oppression and Suppression or Join the Resistance Movement or Become a WCW Member
Allow Your Government to Abolish Privacy or Support the March 19 Actions
Complacency and Complicity as Our Constitution, Our Rights Quickly Erode or Declare It Now! Drive Out the Bush Regime!
The Choice is Yours:
Will this month be 31 more days of bloodshed, corporate war-mongering, death and devastation?
Or will this be the month we unite to end the madness and drive out the Bush regime?
World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime
Awarded MOST VALUABLE CRUSADE OF 2007!
WHY HOPE FOR CHANGE WHEN YOU CAN BE THAT CHANGE?
Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime
After Bush vetoes ban on torture, including waterboarding, what will you do to tell the world that we won’t live in a torture state?
On the 5th Anniversary of Endless and Criminal War in Iraq,… Continue reading
Take Action and save the life of Dr. Sami Al-Arian!
Save a life! Palestinian activist Dr. Sami Al-Arian was acquitted in 2005
of bogus "terrorism" charges by a Tampa Bay jury, yet he still remains
imprisoned in the United States.
Dr. Sami Al-Arian is currently on the fifteenth day of a no food or water hunger
strike to protest the legal manipulations and harassment by the Bush Administration
that are keeping him behind bars despite his acquittal by jury and subsequent
plea bargain (signed under significant pressure from the U.S. government) that
promised his release in May of 2006.
Dr. Al-Arian, a diabetic, is already losing his eyesight and is in extraordinary
danger of renal failure. The federal medical facility where he has been moved
to in Bunter, North Carolina has not given him an IV, despite their legal obligation
to keep him alive. The situation is urgent! Please write immediately to your
elected officials and the federal medical facility to protest this legal harassment
and torture and to demand his release. Dr. Al-Arian’s life depends on it.
Specifically, please contact (call and email):
Honorable Judge Gerald Lee
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: (703) 299-3339
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-0072 Fax
Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Department of Justice
By Tom Burghardt From Antifascist Calling…Exploring the shadowlands of the corporate police state
The Washington Post revealed Friday that the FBI is continuing its systematic violation of Americans’ Fourth Amendment guarantees against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
A Justice Department report concluded that the Bureau had repeatedly abused its intelligence gathering “privileges” by issuing bogus “national security letters” (NSLs) from 2003-2006. On at least one occasion, the FBI relied on an illegally-issued NSL to circumvent a ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain records the secret court deemed protected by the First Amendment.
While the Bush regime claims that the Bureau requires sweeping authority to invade the privacy of American citizens to “protect the homeland” from the Afghan-Arab database of disposable intelligence assets, al-Qaeda, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine determined that fully “60 percent of the nearly 50,000 security letters issued that year  by the FBI targeted Americans,” according to Post reporter Dan Eggen.
Despite the FISA court twice rejecting Bureau requests to obtain sensitive private records, determining “the ‘facts’ were too thin” and the “request implicated the target’s First Amendment rights,” the FBI used an NSL as a “work around” and proceeded anyway.
The stunning disregard for all legal norms under the Bush regime is encapsulated by FBI general counsel Valerie E. Caproni’s statement to investigators that “it was appropriate to issue the letters in such cases because she disagreed with the court’s conclusions.”
Fine asserted in the Inspector General’s report that the Bureau has… Continue reading
By Gary Wilson
Published Mar 19, 2008
Has Tibet become the front line of a new national liberation struggle? Or is
something else happening there?
The U.S. news media are filled with stories about events unfolding in Tibet.
Each news report, however, seems to include a note that much of what they are
reporting cannot be confirmed. The sources of the reports are shadowy and unknown.
If past practice is any indicator, it is likely that the U.S. State Department
and the CIA are their primary sources.
One frequently quoted source is John Ackerly. Who is Ackerly? As president
of the International Campaign for Tibet, he and his group appear to work closely
with the U.S. government, both the State Department and Congress, as part of
its operations concerning Tibet. During the Cold War, Ackerly’s Washington-based
job was to work with “dissidents” in Eastern Europe, particularly
Romania in 1978-80.
A private international security agency in Washington, Harbor Lane Associates,
lists Ackerly and the International Campaign for Tibet as its clients, along
with former CIA Director and U.S. President George H.W. Bush and former Pentagon
chief William Cohen.
AP, Reuters and the other Western news agencies all quote Ackerly as a major
source for exaggerated reports about the clashes that have just occurred in
Tibet. For example, MSNBC on March 15 reported:
“John Ackerly, of the International Campaign for Tibet, a group that
supports demands for Tibetan autonomy, said in an e-mailed statement he feared
‘hundreds of Tibetans have been arrested… Continue reading
By Jerry Meldon
Hamilton’s carefully honed skill for balancing truth against political comity has elevated him to the status of a Washington Wise Man. In this guest essay, however, Jerry Meldon suggests that attendees at a Tufts conference on the Middle East might want to ask Hamilton about his past compromises with history.
(Plus, at the end of the essay, you may want to read an addendum from reporter Robert Parry on two questions that might be posed to Hamilton about decisions he made in wrapping up the so-called “October Surprise” case):
When former Rep. Lee Hamilton gives the keynote address – entitled “Iraq: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond” – at a Tufts University symposium on March 27, he may be thankful if he doesn’t have to discuss “yesterday.”
He probably would prefer not to revisit fateful decisions he made while chairing investigations into Republican dirty work, especially those that let George H.W. Bush off the hook and cleared George W. Bush’s path to the White House.
Whenever the Republicans have a touchy national-security scandal to put to rest, their favorite Democratic investigator is Lee Hamilton. Over the years, Hamilton has developed a reputation as a very reasonable fellow who knows how far he can go without ruffling too many important feathers.
As veteran journalist Robert Parry has persuasively argued at Consortiumnews.com, the Bush family name squeaked through the 80’s and early 90’s essentially mud-free, only because:
–On Christmas Eve 1992, lame-duck President George H.W.… Continue reading
History Commons Projects, Update on April 2, 2008
Significant new material was added to three projects this week: 9/11, Loss of Civil Liberties, and Watergate.
The entries added to the 9/11 Timeline range from the 9/11 Commission and attempts to get it to come down in favor of an Iraq-al-Qaeda link, an al-Qaeda cell in Italy that was closely monitored by the authorities, and the 9/11 hijackers, who were profiled as high-risk potential banking clients due to their terrorism links. There is also more on BCCI, terrorism finance in general, and two CIA employees — bin Laden unit chief Rich B and contractor Billy Waugh. In addition, there is a new category dealing with internal US security after 9/11.
The Loss of Civil Liberties Timeline takes a look at the recent passport file breaches of presidential candidates, as well as the Protect America and Military Commissions Acts, and constitutional amphibian Dick Cheney.
There are a lot more entries in the Watergate Timeline covering the Committee to Re-elect the President, the Plumbers, and Nixon suggesting the IRS retaliate against Jews who donate money to the Democratic Party.
The Decision to Invade Iraq Timeline has more about the invasion being a project to enhance US dominance of the world.
Finally, the A. Q. Khan Timeline points out that Jimmy Carter gave Pakistan’s nuclear program the ‘green light.’
The History Commons’ fundraising goal has still not been met and any donations will be gratefully received.…Continue reading
By Robert O’Harrow Jr.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Intelligence centers run by states across the country have access to personal information about millions of Americans, including unlisted cellphone numbers, insurance claims, driver’s license photographs and credit reports, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post.
One center also has access to top-secret data systems at the CIA, the document shows, though it’s not clear what information those systems contain.
Dozens of the organizations known as fusion centers were created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to identify potential threats and improve the way information is shared. The centers use law enforcement analysts and sophisticated computer systems to compile, or fuse, disparate tips and clues and pass along the refined information to other agencies. They are expected to play important roles in national information-sharing networks that link local, state and federal authorities and enable them to automatically sift their storehouses of records for patterns and clues.
Though officials have publicly discussed the fusion centers’ importance to national security, they have generally declined to elaborate on the centers’ activities. But a document that lists resources used by the fusion centers shows how a dozen of the organizations in the northeastern United States rely far more on access to commercial and government databases than had previously been disclosed.
Those details have come to light at a time of debate about domestic intelligence efforts, including eavesdropping and data-aggregation programs at the National Security Agency, and whether the government has enough protections in… Continue reading
David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Truth Movement and Bush-Cheney’s “stupid” imperialism
By Matthew Singer
When David Ray Griffin conceived his first book regarding the events of Sept. 11, 2001, his interpretation of what transpired that day revolved around the concept of blowback, that the attacks were a byproduct of America’s decades of aggressive foreign policy toward the Middle East. In short, at the time, he bought the official story of 9/11. He wasn’t letting the United States government off the hook for their role in the attacks, but he wasn’t placing culpability where he would eventually place it: squarely on the shoulders of the Bush administration.
While researching for that first book, Griffin came across a growing community — concentrated mostly online — of people questioning the circumstances of Sept. 11 as reported by the mainstream media. Now, the retired professor, theologian and longtime Santa Barbara resident is one the leading voices of the so-called 9/11 Truth Movement, citizens who believe the horror of that day was not caused by radical Islamic terrorists but was orchestrated within the walls of the White House. Derided in the press as loony conspiracy theorists (if given any attention at all), the group, Griffin says, now includes intellectuals such as himself, as well as architects, engineers, pilots, former military officers and even ex-CIA operatives.
“The change in the movement has been rather drastic, because a few years back, people would dismiss us as a bunch of crazies on the Internet. And then… Continue reading
April 2, 2008
by Paul Joseph Watson
Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura vehemently savaged the official 9/11 story on
a syndicated national radio show today, saying the WTC collapsed like a controlled
demolition and was pulverized to dust as he also highlighted the impossible 10
second free fall speed of the towers.
Ventura said that his initial reaction to
9/11 was much like most people at the time, and he accepted the official story
outright, a response he now regrets because he was in a position of power and
could have used it to raise a lot of pointed questions.
Jesse Ventura has had many lives–as a Navy SEAL, as a star of pro wrestling, as an actor, and as the governor of Minnesota. His previous books, I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed and Do I Stand Alone?, were both national bestsellers. Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me is the story of his controversial gubernatorial years and his life since deciding not to seek a second term as governor in 2002. Written with award-winning author Dick Russell at a secluded location on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Ventura’s new book reveals for the first time why he left politics–and why he is now considering reentering the arena with a possible independent run for the presidency in 2008.
In a fast-paced and often humorous narrative, Ventura pulls no punches in discussing our corrupt two-party system, the disastrous war in Iraq,… Continue reading
“Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
March 19, 2008
Originally Posted at 911Blogger.com
Part 10 of 10:
(see below for full series links)
(The Radio premiere of this material will be broadcast on Pacifica affiliates over the coming days and weeks that broadcast Maria Gilardin’s “TUC Radio” program. You can download the audio here. You can purchase a CD of the program there as well.)
“Governmental agencies caused Martin Luther King to be assassinated… They caused this whole thing to happen. And they then proceeded with the powerful means at their disposal to cover this case up. This is a conspiracy… and that’s a nasty word. People insult people in this country who use the word “conspiracy.” Nowhere else in the world, as Bill Schaap told you, is it viewed that way. In Italy and France conspiracy is taken for granted because they have lived with it so much longer…
What we’re asking you to do at this point in time is send a message. We’re asking you to send a message, not just right a wrong. That’s important, that you right a wrong and that you allow justice to prevail once and for all. Let it prevail. Let justice and truth prevail, else the heavens fall. No matter what, let it prevail. Let it come forward. We’re asking you to let that happen. But in addition to that, we’re asking you to send a message, send… Continue reading