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
March 23, 2008
By Robert Pear
WASHINGTON — New government research has found “large and growing” disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the last two decades.
Life expectancy for the nation as a whole has increased, the researchers said, but affluent people have experienced greater gains, and this, in turn, has caused a widening gap.
One of the researchers, Gopal K. Singh, a demographer at the Department of Health and Human Services, said “the growing inequalities in life expectancy” mirrored trends in infant mortality and in death from heart disease and certain cancers.
The gaps have been increasing despite efforts by the federal government to reduce them. One of the top goals of “Healthy People 2010,” an official statement of national health objectives issued in 2000, is to “eliminate
health disparities among different segments of the population,” including higher- and lower-income groups and people of different racial and ethnic background.
Dr. Singh said last week that federal officials had found “widening socioeconomic inequalities in life expectancy” at birth and at every age level.
He and another researcher, Mohammad Siahpush, a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, developed an index to measure social and economic conditions in every county, using census data on education, income, poverty, housing and other factors. Counties were then classified into 10 groups of equal population size.
In 1980-82, Dr. Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus 73 years).…Continue reading
Inside the Shell Game
By Paul Craig Roberts
March 24, 2008
The investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein has taken up the Litvinenko case.
The media used the Litvinenko case as sensational propaganda against Russian President Putin and then tossed it aside. For those whose memories of the case have faded, Alexander Litvinenko was a former KGB officer living in England who died in 2006, apparently from the radioactive isotope Polonium-210.
The British government encouraged the tale that Russian President Putin had sent Andrei Lugovoi to poison Litvinenko’s tea at a meeting on November 1, 2006. The story appealed to people brought up on James Bond thrillers, but the story never made any sense. Polonium 2-10 is a rare and tightly controlled substance as likely to contaminate the assassin as the victim. There are far easier and more effective ways of killing someone.
Moreover, there is no evidence to connect Russia to Litvinenko’s death. But this didn’t stop the British government from grandstanding, sending an extradition request for Lugovoi in July 2007. The British government sent the request despite the facts that there is no extradition treaty between Britain and Russia and the Russian constitution prohibits the extradition of Russian citizens. Epstein suggests that the purpose of the extradition request was to block the Russian government from investigating Litvinenko’s death in London. Litvinenko had a false passport provided by the British government. A real investigtion might have opened up the shadowy world of security consultants in which Litvinenko rubbed shoulders… 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:
… Continue reading
“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 Robert Parry
September 19, 2007
In praising George W. Bush’s new choice for Attorney General, Vice President Dick Cheney identified one freedom in particular that retired Judge Michael Mukasey would protect: “the freedom from fear of terrorist attacks.”
The comment spoke volumes about the Bush administration’s priorities, fitting with the President’s oft-repeated claim that the government has no more important duty than to protect the American people.
That this claim goes unchallenged — despite the fact that the oath administered to federal officials demands that they defend the Constitution and says nothing about public safety — has been a leading indicator of how Bush and Cheney have exploited the self-centeredness of many Americans to amass unprecedented executive power.
Since the 9/11 attacks, Bush and Cheney have taken the imperial presidency to new heights by presenting themselves as the tough guys who will protect the traumatized American people from the world’s bad guys, particularly scary Muslims. From the start, Mukasey has been an ally in that mission.
As a federal judge in New York, Mukasey endorsed indefinite incarceration of hundreds of Muslims on phony material witness warrants after the 9/11 attacks. He also signed off on Bush imprisoning an American citizen — and Muslim convert — Jose Padilla simply on a presidential say-so that Padilla was an “unlawful enemy combatant.”
Ironically, the post-9/11 round-up of Arab cab drivers, pizza delivery men and students came as the Bush administration was granting special permission for rich Saudis, including members of Osama bin… 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
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, Ralph Eberhart – 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.… Continue reading
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: