Editor’s Note: Should an actual “showdown” occur over the constitutionality of Cheney’s stonewalling, we would welcome it. Let’s know exactly where we stand with respect to the willingness of elected officials to stand up to the criminals-in-chief.
It’s well past the time Leahy and company should have been pressing for these sorts of answers. Get on with it.
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Published: 28 June 2007
The Bush administration may soon face a courtroom showdown over its secret eavesdropping programme after subpoenas were issued to the White House, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and the Justice Department.
There is a storm gathering over Mr Cheney in particular, with increasingly vocal demands for his impeachment for “political crimes against the nation”.
The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know the legal basis, if any, for the placing of wiretaps on American citizens without court warrants, as part of the war on terror.
These taps were placed by the National Security Agency, which runs a vast international electronic eavesdropping and codebreaking web with Britain’s GCHQ. When reports emerged in the media of the wiretaps, it provoked widespread anger.
The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy gave the Bush administration until 18 July to hand over documents which the White House described last week as highly classified and off limits.
Senator Leahy wrote: “Over the past 18 months, this committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorisation of and legal justification for this programme.”
The eavesdropping programme began after the attacks of 11 September 2001.…Continue reading
By MICHAEL DONNELLY
Whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
New Hampshire Constitution Bill of Rights, Article 10
“The message to the community is we will not tolerate acts of violence to affect public debate.”
— Federal Judge Ann Aiken
With the hectoring tone of a petty hall monitor, Clinton Judge Ann Aiken let out what the Operation Backfire/Green Scare prosecutions are really about. In an era of state-sponsored terrorism as “liberation,” where the United States has over 700 military bases in over 140 countries, a US judge actually deems the minor league violence of a handful of young, misguided idealists “terrorism” and scolds the larger, non-indicted community those activists came from this truly belongs to Orwell, Kafka, Cheney or Gonzales.
Just what “Community” is the judge chastising/profiling? The Eugene, Oregon community of radical environmentalists in particular, eco-activists in general and/or anyone who ever justified destroying the property of those who they viewed as oppressors. We’re not even talking about those like Golda Meir or Osama bin Laden who justified not just property destruction, but attacks on the persons of their enemies. All that ever happened in the Operation Backfire cases… Continue reading
Working for the Clampdown: What might the president do with his new power to declare martial law?
By James Bovard
04/25/07 “American Conservative” — – How many pipe bombs might it take to end American democracy? Far fewer than it would have taken a year ago.
The Defense Authorization Act of 2006 [Ed.: Details at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-1815], passed on Sept. 30, empowers President George W. Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist “incident,” if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of “public order,” or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations.
The media and most of Capitol Hill ignored or cheered on this grant of nearly boundless power. But now that the president’s arsenal of authority is swollen and consecrated, a few voices of complaint are being heard. Even the New York Times recently condemned the new law for “making martial law easier.”
It only took a few paragraphs in a $500 billion, 591-page bill to raze one of the most important limits on federal power. Congress passed the Insurrection Act in 1807 to severely restrict the president’s ability to deploy the military within the United States. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 tightened these restrictions, imposing a two-year prison sentence on anyone who used the military within the U.S. without the express permission of Congress. But there is a loophole: Posse Comitatus is waived if the president invokes the Insurrection Act.
Section 1076 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 [Ed.: Details at www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-5122"] changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from “Insurrection Act” to “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” The Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only “to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” The new law expands the list to include “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition”–and such “condition” is not defined or limited.…Continue reading
There has been a great deal of discussion about the Military Commissions Act
of 2006 [.pdf], recently passed by both houses of Congress, and most of it has
to do with the provisions allowing torture of alien detainees, that is, of non-citizens
apprehended in, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, and their treatment at the hands of their American captors. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Warner,
all Republicans, grandstanded for weeks over the torture provisions, then capitulated.
Another “Republican maverick,” Arlen Specter, zeroed in on the real
issue, however, when he said the bill would set us back 800 years by repealing
the habeas corpus protections against arbitrary arrest and jailings — and then went ahead and voted for it, anyway.
Liberal opposition mainly centered around the morality
— or, rather, immorality — of torture, but the debate largely ignored the ticking time-bomb at the heart of this legislation, scheduled to go off, perhaps, in tandem with some future crisis, e.g., another terrorist attack on American soil: the redefinition of the “unlawful combatant” concept that lays the foundations for this administration’s reconstruction of the gulag. Here is the new, broadened definition, as enunciated in the legislation recently passed by the House:
“The term ‘unlawful enemy combatant’ means Ã± (i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or associated forces); or (ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense.”
Tax Dollars to Fund Study on Restricting Public Data
by Richard Willing
With state, church, academia and the armed forces all slamming Constitutional windows and breaking out the duct tape, wonder whether the insiders or outsiders will end up suffocating first. Just as wholesale Internet surveillance is “justified” by kiddie porn, this clampdown on FOI protections is being peddled as “critical infrastructure defense.” Next time you want to know about the toxic waste your corporate neighbor is exuding, the graft that’s driving our energy policies, or the environmental impact of the new nuclear plant they’re planning down the street, remember you’re in state secrets land now, children. You want the terrorists to win?
The federal government will pay a Texas law school $1 million to do research aimed at rolling back the amount of sensitive data available to the press and public through freedom-of-information requests.
Beginning this month, St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio will analyze recent state laws that place previously available information, such as site plans of power plants, beyond the reach of public inquiries.
Jeffrey Addicott, a professor at the law school, said he will use that research to produce a national “model statute” that state legislatures and Congress could adopt to ensure that potentially dangerous information “stays out of the hands of the bad guys.”
“There’s the public’s right to know, but how much?” said Addicott, a former legal adviser in the Army’s Special Forces.
“There’s a… Continue reading
June 30 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court.
The allegation is part of a court filing adding AT&T, the nation’s largest telephone company, as a defendant in a breach of privacy case filed earlier this month on behalf of Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. customers. The suit alleges that the three carriers, the NSA and President George W. Bush violated the Telecommunications Act of 1934 and the U.S. Constitution, and seeks money damages.
“The Bush Administration asserted this became necessary after 9/11,” plaintiff’s lawyer Carl Mayer said in a telephone interview. “This undermines that assertion.”
The lawsuit is related to an alleged NSA program to record and store data on calls placed by subscribers. More than 30 suits have been filed over claims that the carriers, the three biggest U.S. telephone companies, violated the privacy rights of their customers by cooperating with the NSA in an effort to track alleged terrorists.
“The U.S. Department of Justice has stated that AT&T may neither confirm nor deny AT&T’s participation in the alleged NSA program because doing so would cause `exceptionally grave harm to national security’ and would violate both civil and criminal statutes,” AT&T spokesman Dave Pacholczyk said in an e-mail.
U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller and NSA spokesman Don Weber declined to comment.… Continue reading
by Evelyn Pringle
June 7, 2006
According to US Census Bureau statistics, in 2002, there were over 21 million federal, state, and local government employees in the US. These employees are in the best position to expose misconduct and abuses of power that arise in government agencies. However, the recent US Supreme Court decision effectively muzzles the nation’s watchdogs.
Attorney Barry Turner, a Lecturer of Law at Leeds Law School in the UK, describes the Supreme Court’s decision absurd. “Transparency is essential in any democracy and is a bulwark against corruption, which,” he points out, “requires secrecy to survive.”
“Any society or administration that facilitates secret deals and hides from the truth can only court corruption,” he warns. “Gagging whistleblowers,” he contends, “can only assist the corrupt, the criminal and the fraudster.”
In a nutshell, the question before the Supreme Court was: Does a prosecutor who speaks on a matter of public concern by reporting police misconduct lose his First Amendment protection against retaliation solely because he communicated the message while performing his job?
The plaintiff in the case was Richard Ceballos, a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who informed his supervisors that he believed a Deputy Sheriff had falsified an affidavit to obtain a search warrant in a criminal case.
After Ceballos relayed his findings, he followed up with a written memorandum recommending the dismissal of the case. At a hearing on a motion to challenge the search warrant, Ceballos was subpoenaed by the defense and testified about his findings regarding the affidavit.…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.
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
JANUARY 16, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON — The National Security Whistleblowers Coalition applauds Al Gore for his nonpartisan speech, which very eloquently and sincerely expresses our core American values based on the notions of liberty and justice. This speech can by no means be characterized as ‘Liberal’ or ‘Conservative’, ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’, but only as ‘Truly American.’ As stated by Mr. Gore, without whistleblowers the public would never know of the many abuses of constitutional rights by the government. Whistleblowers, Truth Tellers, are responsible for the disclosure that President George W. Bush ordered unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens.
These constitutional lifeguards take their patriotic oaths to heart and soul: rather than complying with classification and secrecy orders designed to protect officials engaging in criminal conduct, whistleblowers choose to risk their livelihoods and the wrath of their agencies to get the truth out.
Today, in his specific recommendations, Mr. Gore advocated that ‘new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive Branch who report evidence of wrongdoing — especially where it involves the abuse of Executive Branch authority in the sensitive areas of national security.’ This statement is also in accord with Bob Barr’s recent agreement in various media forums that national security whistleblower protection is desperately needed.
Sibel Edmonds, Founder & Director of NSWBC, stated: “We applaud the call by Liberty Coalition & Al Gore for congress to enact new legislation that would provide meaningful whistleblower protections, especially… Continue reading
August 2005: An annotated, comprehensive archive of articles on admissions that Mohamed Atta and three of the other alleged 9/11 hijacking ringleaders were under surveillance by military intelligence a year before September 2001. More proof that the 9/11 Commission was a whitewash; and why there is far more to the story than The New York Times has reported…
Sep 3, 2005:
Mohamed Atta and three other alleged ringleaders of the 9/11 hijacking team were under surveillance by an elite US military intelligence program in the summer of 2000, a New York Times story of Aug. 9, 2005 revealed.
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) broke the story to the Times after officers with knowledge of the Able Danger program contacted him. Two officers have since gone on record to say they once had Mohamed Atta in their sights. They claim a recommendation to round up Atta and what they termed his “Brooklyn Cell” (!) was rejected in the fall of 2000 by commanders at MacDill Air Force Base, supposedly on the advice of Defense Department lawyers. As of Sept. 2, the Pentagon says three additional people with knowledge of Able Danger have corroborated the story.
This dossier by Nicholas Levis rounds up Able Danger news reports to date, as well as analyses by various authors. The views expressed herein are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect those of 911Truth.org.
By Sibel Edmonds
May 14, 2005
“Those of you who still think this case, my case, is about covering up some administrative blunder or bureaucratic mismanagement, please think again… What were [my] core allegations, and who did they involve… They would not go to this length to protect some nobody criminal or terrorist.” – Sibel Edmonds
The Appeal Court’s decision on Sibel Edmonds’ Case is out: ‘Case Dismissed;’ no opinion cited; no reason provided. The Court’s decision, issued on Friday, May 6, has generated a string of obituaries; “another major blow, maybe the last one, to Sibel Edmonds, a woman who has faced an unprecedented level of government secrecy, gag orders, and classification.” Well, dear friends and supporters, Sibel Edmonds may be gagged, but she’s not dead.
On October 18, 2002; three months after I filed my suit against the Department of Justice for unlawful termination of my employment caused by my reporting criminal activities committed by government officials and employees, John Ashcroft, the then Attorney General, invoked a rarely invoked privilege, the State Secrets Privilege. According to Ashcroft,everything involving my case and my allegations were considered state secrets, and whether or not I was right in my allegations, the United States District Court had to dismiss my entire case without any questions,hearings or oral argument; period. According to Ashcroft, the court had to grant his order and dismiss the entire case with no hearings solely based on the fact that he, Ashcroft, said so. After all, our government knew best.…Continue reading
by James Ridgeway
April 21st, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C.–The unsettling story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds took another twist on Thursday, as the government continued its seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The U.S. Court of Appeals here denied pleas to open the former FBI translator’s First Amendment case to the public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing.
Edmonds was hired after 9-11 to help the woefully staffed FBI’s translation department with documents and wiretaps in such languages as Farsi and Turkish. She soon cried foul, saying the agency’s was far from acceptable and perhaps even dangerous to national security. She was fired in 2002.
Ever since, the government has been trying to silence her, even classifying an interview she did with 60 Minutes. Oral arguments in her suit against the federal government were scheduled for this morning, but yesterday the clerk of the appeals court unexpectedly and suddenly announced the hearing would be closed. Only attorneys and Edmonds were allowed in.
No one thought the three-judge appeals court panel would be especially sympathetic to the Edmonds case. It consists of Douglas Ginsburg, who was once nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by President Reagan. He withdrew after it was revealed he had smoked pot as a college student; he later joined the appeals court. Another member, David Sentelle, was chair of the three-judge panel that appointed Ken Starr to be the special prosecutor investigating Clinton. Karen LeCraft Henderson was appointed a federal judge during the Reagan period, then put on the appeals court by the elder President Bush.…Continue reading
by Ron Paul
Link to original
Last week’s announcement that the terrorist threat warning level has been raised in parts of New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. has led to dramatic and unprecedented restrictions on the movements of citizens. Americans wishing to visit the U.S. Capitol must, for example, pass through several checkpoints and submit to police inspection of their cars and persons.
Many Americans support the new security measures because they claim to feel safer when the government issues terror alerts and fills the streets with militarized police forces. As one tourist interviewed this week said, “It makes me feel comfortable to know that everything is being checked.” It is ironic that tourists coming to Washington to celebrate the freedoms embodied in the Declaration of Independence are so eager to give up those freedoms with no questions asked.
Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. This doesn’t stop governments, including our own, from seeking more control over and intrusion into our lives. As one Member of Congress stated to the press last week, “people who don’t want to be searched don’t need to come on Capitol grounds.” What an insult! The Capitol belongs… Continue reading