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
According to Jessica Lee of Indypendent and Kamau Karl Franklin of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was penned with plenty of help from the RAND Corporation.
“Rep. Jane Harman, Democrat from California, has had a lengthy relationship with the Rand Corporation,” Lee tells Democracy Now, although she was unable to determine if RAND wrote the bill. On the 12th anniversary of the OKC bombing, Rep. Harman, as chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.
“The ‘Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007′ seeks to address the roots causes of radicalization, and would establish a grant program to provide funds to States to foster badly needed vertical information sharing from the Intelligence Community to the local level and from local sources to state and federal agencies,” explains Harman’s website. “It also creates a Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism to examine the social, criminal, political, psychological and economic roots of domestic terrorism and to propose solutions, and promotes international collaboration on strategies to combat radicalization.”
Franklin mentions Brian Michael Jenkins, an “expert” on “terrorism, counterinsurgency, and homeland security,” according to RAND. Jenkins is “someone who helped the United States in counterinsurgency measures in Vietnam,” states Franklin. “In addition to that, he wrote a book, and in his own book” Jenkins declared that “in their international campaign, the jihadists will seek common ground… Continue reading
The Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Retroactive immunity for telecom companies who engaged in illegal spying at the behest of the NSA is at the heart of a bill currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, even before having been officially introduced, is being hotly debated by bloggers, electronic privacy groups, and civil libertarians, as well as presidential contenders (CT Senator Chris Dodd has actually posted a petition at his election website, encouraging readers to support his threatened “hold” on the bill). We should compare the issues involved here with the retroactive immunity provided CIA interrogators in the September, 2006 Military Commissions Act, who could otherwise have been accused of war crimes.
Below, we direct readers to an important series of programs from PBS’ Frontline to help readers investigate the background of this issue, and a deeper consideration of some of what’s at stake in continually ceding power to a rogue Executive bent on dissolving the few civil liberties which currently remain untouched.
Lest readers be swayed by the Administration’s repeated argument that “9/11 makes this necessary,” the Rocky Mountain News reported (emphasis added) on October 11, 2007 that this spying was underway well before 9/11/01:
“The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.…
Submitted by Jon Gold
Some of you may have noticed that I have started a new “Who Is?” series with regard to 9/11. The reason I started this was because I thought too much emphasis was being placed on the physical aspects of 9/11, and not enough on the background information, the people who may have had something to do with it, the people who participated in the cover-up, the whistleblowers, the family members, the people who represent discrepancies, and so on.
I am using the work compiled by Paul Thompson at www.cooperativeresearch.org. There are links available to each of the stories sourced on the original website. Unfortunately, it’s just too much work to duplicate what Paul and others have done with regard to links. I want to thank them all for their tremendous efforts.
I also want people to know that the information provided is not the “end all/be all” of 9/11. However, it is most definitely an excellent starting point.
Here are the articles archived. As more are produced, they will be added here.
Who Is Jack Abramoff?
Who Is Elliott Abrams?
Who Is David Addington?
Who Is Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed?
Who Is Omar Al-Bayoumi?
Who Was Khalid Almihdhar?
Who Is Prince Turki Al-Faisal?
Who Is Ahmed Al-Hada? With Introduction By Kevin Fenton
Who Was Nawaf Al-Hamzi?
Who Is Yassin al-Qadi?
Who Is Michael Anticev?
Who… Continue reading
by Jeff Wells
They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy.
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.
I can’t help it if I’m lucky. – Bob Dylan
This may be old news to you, but just a quick note here of something I’d missed about Flight 77, thanks to “Bismillah” and the RI forum, that I hope you won’t miss, too.
At least among those with a mind for such things, it’s fairly well-remembered that on September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld made the shocking announcement that the Pentagon “couldn’t track” $2.3 trillion of its transactions. “Iroquois” observes, “What’s interesting to me is that he made his press release on a Monday. In DC, I always see bad news given on a Friday, usually late in the afternoon on Friday. The exception, of course, would be when someone happens to know that there is a far bigger story coming out.”
And we know that Flight 77, allegedly piloted by an incompetent, made an aerobatic, spiralling descent over Washington, effecting a 270-degree turn to strike the Pentagon from a western approach at ground level. The side struck was the only one with an exterior wall hardened against attack, and was relatively empty while renovation continued.
Relatively. The unfortunate construction workers perished outside, but who were the expendables within?
NINE-ONE-ONE — This three number combination is etched into the public psyche and instantly conjures up images of America’s most recent Day of Infamy. The images of chaos and terror were speedily delivered via satellite to anyone near a television set. At first, these images burst into the minds of the TV audience without context, but television viewers were not left long to worry their beautiful minds with troublesome questions like: “Who perpetrated these crimes?”
The narrative vacuum was quickly filled by the “official” story. This version of the events of 9/11 is forever enshrined in the volume known as The 9/11 Commission Report.
Proceeding apace with the development of the official story was an entire universe of unofficial stories. These alternative points of view were helpfully framed by President George Walker Bush on November 10th, 2001:
“We must speak the truth about terror. Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty.” (1)
More than a few watching the President address the UN that day were puzzled by the phrase “outrageous conspiracy theories” regarding 9/11. As they logged on to their dial-up Internet connections that evening, trying to understand what the President was talking about, they were privy to the nascent chatter that over time has morphed into a kaleidoscope of alternative narratives, fueled by 9/11 skepticism.
As new… Continue reading
REASONS TO DOUBT THE OFFICIAL STORY OF SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001
… An outline in simple talking points …
We are continuing to compile the best documentation links for every single point on this page, and intend to post the updated version as soon as possible, and create teaching tools and more from the info. This is a significant and time-consuming process–if you have useful links, please send them to janice[at]911truth[dot]org. Thanks for your help!
If you use the search function with title key words, you will discover that 911Truth.org is home to articles backing virtually every point made below. Much of the basic research is available at the Complete 9/11 Timeline (hosted by cooperativeresearch.org), the 9/11 Reading Room (
911readingroom.org), and the NY Attorney General Spitzer petition and complaint (Justicefor911.org). For physical evidence discussion, see Point 7.
THE DAY ITSELF – EVIDENCE OF COMPLICITY
1) AWOL Chain of Command
a. It is well documented that the officials topping the chain of command for response to a domestic attack – George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Myers, Montague Winfield – all found reason to do something else during the actual attacks, other than assuming their duties as decision-makers.
b. Who was actually in charge? Dick Cheney, Richard Clarke, Norman Mineta and the 9/11 Commission directly conflict in their accounts of top-level response to the unfolding events, such that several (or all) of them must be lying.
The 9/11 Commission made “dramatic changes” to its final report to omit information about the role of Pakistan, according to The Friday Times, a Pakistani weekly. After learning that the report would contain damaging revelations, the Pakistani government dispatched lobbyists to Washington to influence the 9/11 Commission, and may have even paid bribes to Commission members or their staff, the weekly says, citing an official at the Pakistani Foreign Office. “The disclosure sheds doubt on the integrity and honesty of the members of the 9/11 Inquiry Commission and above all on the authenticity of the information in their final report,” according to one source cited by the weekly.
The story was picked up yesterday by The Telegraph of Calcutta, India and is now shooting around the blogosphere. We cannot vouch for its veracity, but we can guess at the sort of information that both the US and the Pakistani government might have wanted to omit from The 9/11 Commission Report:
For example, prior to Sept. 11 the chief of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI allegedly approved a $100,000 wire transfer to a certain Mohamed Atta. Yet the same ISI chief, Mahmud Ahmed, was in Washington for a working visit to his counterparts in the US government for more than a week prior to Sept. 11. On the morning of 9/11 itself, he was having breakfast at the Capitol with the future congressional investigators of the September 11th events. These alleged investigators, Porter Goss and Bob Graham, somehow failed… Continue reading
Recall Donald Rumsfeld chose the date of September 10, 2001 to announce that a Pentagon audit, ordered by Undersecretary Dov Zakheim and conducted by a Halliburton subsidiary, had discovered that the Defense Department can no longer account for $2.3 trillion in past transactions. (Note: You are not hallucinating: two point three trillion dollars, or the equivalent of six annual Pentagon budgets.)
This matter was presented by CBS as a question of waste and incompetence, as though it were possible to lose $2.3 trillion under a couch somewhere. (It had earlier been covered on PBS in February 2001. Interestingly, the Bush Administration did not seek to place any blame on the Clinton administration for the missing assets, which should prompt questions about how much of the shortfall was invented in the course of the audit itself.)
One day after Rumsfeld’s admission of Sept. 10, this mother-of-all-scandals in the making disappeared from the corporate media’s vision. For good.
The comptroller who arrived at the figure, Dov Zakheim, was a primary author of the infamous Project for a New American Century manifesto of September 2000, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” This detailed a manic plan for US military domination of the world and re-ordering of the Middle East, observing that this process might require a “new Pearl Harbor” before Americans were willing to pay the costs.
And what was Zakheim’s explanation for the missing 2.3 trillion? His testimony to the House Budget Committee (July 11, 2002) begins as follows:
So this is how the US government does business!
Cash from the New York Federal Reserve is loaded on to C-130s and shipped to Bagdad — to the tune of $12 billion since the start of the US occupation of Iraq in March 2003.
The money originally came from Iraqi oil sales under Saddam and was held in trust under the rules of the UN oil sales program. Now it is handed out to Iraqi and US government contractors in the form of cash. Or “candy,” as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) puts it.
In the end, $8.8 billion can no longer be accounted for. And the Pentagon acknowledges Halliburton “requested that information in the audits be withheld” from the Congressional subpoena, “including allegations that the firm had spent too much money in purchasing fuel.”
“By law, contractors can request that the government withhold any proprietary information from release.”
Interesting law, when corporations can decide information about their public contracts is proprietary.
But anyway, it’s all just “pocket change,” says an e-mail circulating at the Fed.
(See article: “Worries Raised on Handling of Funds in Iraq,” Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2005.)
And who can argue with that?
* * *
Recall Donald Rumsfeld chose the date of September 10, 2001 to announce that a Pentagon audit, ordered by Undersecretary Dov Zakheim and conducted by a Halliburton subsidiary, had discovered that the Defense Department can no longer account for $2.3 trillion in past transactions. (Note: You are not hallucinating: two… Continue reading
by Tom Flocco
Washington — Former FBI contract translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and her attorneys were ordered removed from the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse so that a three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel could discuss her case in private with Bush administration lawyers.
In an exclusive interview on Saturday, we asked Edmonds if she would deny that laundered drug money linked to the 911 attacks found its way into recent House, Senate and Presidential campaign war-chests, according to what she heard in intelligence intercepts she was asked to translate.
“I will not deny that statement; but I cannot comment further on it,” she told TomFlocco.com, in a non-denial denial.
Edmonds is appealing the Bush administration’s arcane use of “state secrets privilege,” invoked last year to throw out her U.S. District Court lawsuit alleging retaliation for telling FBI superiors about shoddy wiretap translations and allegations that wiretap information was passed to the target of an FBI investigation. Given our multiple reports and numerous other interviews, Edmonds heard much more–but enough to warrant public suppression of criminal evidence by a wholly Republican appeals court panel?
“Tom, I’m telling you that not a single newspaper covered what happened to me on Thursday when I went into court,” said the exasperated translator, adding, “[Judge David] Ginsberg kicked everyone out, cut off my lawyer’s arguments and told us ‘we have questions to ask the government’s attorneys that you cannot… Continue reading
By Samara Kalk Derby
David Ray Griffin asks the tough questions about Sept. 11, contending U.S. officials had some knowledge of what was coming and possibly orchestrated the attacks.
Griffin, whose book, “The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11,” came out a year ago, drew an enthusiastic standing ovation from the majority of the 400 or so people who packed his lecture Monday night at Bascom Hall.
A retired Christian theologian, Griffin, 65, taught for more than 30 years at the Claremont School of Theology in California.
His comments Monday night were directed at religious people, who he said need to respond to Sept. 11 – and the American empire that has ensued – based on the moral principles of their religious traditions.
Drawing laughter from the crowd, Griffin said he had in mind principles like: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors’ oil” and “Thou shalt not murder thy neighbors in order to steal their oil.”
While Griffin noted that his books and talks have not received attention from the mainstream media, C-SPAN had a cameraman at the event and plans to air the lecture at a future date. Madison’s public access cable television station, WYOU-TV/Channel 4, meanwhile, will air the talk at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Americans interpret the events of Sept. 11 in one of four ways, Griffin said:
By Greg Palast
Reporting for Newsnight
The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq’s oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC’s Newsnight has revealed.
Two years ago today – when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad – protesters claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq’s oil once Saddam had been conquered.
In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of “Big Oil” executives and US State Department “pragmatists”.
“Big Oil” appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.
This report reveals that the Iraq invasion, masked as a coup d’état, was being planned while Bush was still celebrating his inauguration in January 2001. However, the invasion would require a massive US military mobilization and abrupt belligerent public support, none of which would have been politically possible without 9/11 and the ensuing Afghan war. The key unaddressed issue here is who would bother to plan a politically impossible adventure if the vital enabling events were not anticipated too.
Insiders told Newsnight that planning began “within weeks” of Bush’s first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.
We saw an increase in the bombing… Continue reading
By Michael Shnayerson
Halliburton subsidiary KBR got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq. But even more shocking is how KBR spent some of the money. Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Bunnatine Greenhouse is blowing the whistle on the Dick Cheney-linked company’s profits of war.
This time, she was sure, they were going to get her.
Bunnatine Greenhouse had been a huge nuisance since the buildup to the war in Iraq-questioning contracts, writing caveats on them in her spidery script, wanting to know why Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR (formerly known as Kellogg, Brown and Root) should be thrown billions of dollars of government business while other companies, big and small, were shut out.
And Bunny Greenhouse wasn’t that easy to ignore: she was the highest-ranking civilian at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Specifically, she was the officer in charge of ensuring that any work contracted out by the Army Corps to private industry-from help in building bridges and dams and highways to support for wartime troops-was granted in a fair and aboveboard way. For two years, Greenhouse had asked hard questions about why the head of the Corps, to whom she reported directly, kept giving exclusive, non-compete contracts to KBR that now amounted to roughly $10.8 billion. Greenhouse was fearless, and she was blunt. In the Corps’s male hierarchy, it probably didn’t help that she was a woman-or that she was black.
On October 6, 2004, Greenhouse was summoned by… Continue reading
October 29, 2003
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. GARRETT). Under the Speaker’s announced policy of January 7, 2003, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. PALLONE) is recognized for 60 minutes.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month Congress approved an $87 billion supplemental for the war and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. While I believe it is critically important that we get our military troops all the resources they need to safely complete their mission in Iraq, I do not support rubber-stamping this legislation so the Bush administration gets a free ride from Congress.
The Bush administration must account for its war strategy. The Bush administration must also answer the tough questions regarding questionable no-bid contracts, contracts that benefit Vice President DICK CHENEY’s former employer, an employer that continues to pay CHENEY hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in deferred salary, contracts that are free of any oversight from Congress.
Yet another 9/11 “Cui bono?” (who profits?) alert: This is almost ancient news by now if anyone was listening, but this is one of the clearest earliest Congressional examinations of rampant corruption in Iraq. It was a typical after hours empty chamber exercise, but the intrepid Marcy Kaptur did get Cheney’s continuing possession of 433,333 Halliburton stock options and his consequent millions in war profits into the public record at last.
Mr. Speaker, right now Halliburton holds a monopoly on Iraq. The company’s no-bid contract was first negotiated in secret and originally intended for… Continue reading
By Daniel Hopsicker
Mad Cow Productions
Michael Chertoff, appointed by President Bush to head the Homeland Security Department, may have shielded from criminal prosecution a former client suspected by law enforcement of having funneled millions of dollars directly to Osama Bin Laden while in charge of the U.S. Government’s 9.11 investigation. Egyptian-born Dr. Magdy el-Amir, a prominent New Jersey neurologist, was at the center of terrorist intrigue in Jersey City.
WIRE TRANSFERS TO “UNKNOWN PARTIES”
Chertoff’s client “caused more than $5.7 million to be paid by wire transfers to unknown parties,” said the lawsuit filed shortly before the state took over his failing HMO. News accounts about el-Amir’s legal difficulties contain unanswered questions about undue political influence and its effect on national security.
For example, how did el-Amir, who only the month before had been granted a state license to operate an HMO, finagle a lucrative contract from the state of New Jersey in 1995? “Why was this doctor… Continue reading