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Deep Background

by Philip Giraldi
April 1, 2010 edition of American Conservative

Even in World War II, the United States did not attempt to assassinate U.S. citizens who went over to the enemy, but that has now changed with President Obama’s overseas contingency operations. On Feb. 3, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that the United States government has developed procedures for killing American citizens abroad who are “involved” with groups threatening to carry out terrorist acts directed against other Americans. Three U.S. citizens have already been approved by the White House for summary execution as soon as actionable intelligence is developed to enable a pilotless drone’s hellfire missiles to do the killing. One is Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi; the second is American al-Qaeda member Adam Perlman, who goes under the name Adam Yahiye Gadahn; and the third is believed to be a Somali from Minnesota who has joined the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa. Anwar al-Aulaqi, linked in the media to the Christmas underwear bombing and with Major Malik Nadal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, has denied any involvement in either incident. Perlman, a propagandist for al-Qaeda, is in Waziristan. Killing these men would involve using military drones to attack targets in three countries with which the United States is not at war.

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution guarantee a citizen due process and a public trial, as well as the right to confront his accuser. The Obama administration… Continue reading

9/11 Mother Demands Obama Try Terrorist Plotters In Civilian Court

March 31, 2010

Peacefultomorrows.org

From the Huffington Post:

In anticipation of a final announcement as to the trial venue for the 9/11 plotters, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is warning the president against “buckling to political pressure,” calling the use of military tribunals the “wrong thing to do.”

In a nearly four-minute long video, Donna Marsh O’Connor — a Peaceful Tomorrows member who lost her pregnant daughter when the Twin Towers collapsed — speaks both to the broad notion that America has a “historic commitment to justice” and, more narrowly, to the horse-trading politics that now surround terrorist trials. Reflecting disappointment with recent signals from the White House, O’Connor calls specifically for the president to reject a reported compromise proposal with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in which the administration would drop plans for civilian trials in exchange for Republican support for the closure of Gitmo.

“As 9/11 families, we have suffered greatly and waited almost nine years to see justice done with our own eyes,” O’Connor says. “We understand that you face political pressure to back down. We ask that you do not allow fear and prejudice to govern your decision as we are not afraid. We know our country is strong enough to hold on to our values in the face of terrorism.”

The video follows other efforts from Peaceful Tomorrows to advocate for civilian trials for the 9/11 suspects.

 

Letter to President Obama… Continue reading

U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

By Scott Shane
April 6, 2010
NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.

But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in… Continue reading

Rescheduled – Truth Activists (Gold & Veeder) on Trial Thursday

June 9, 2010 Update
from Cindy Sheehan

On the 7th anniversary of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, eight people were arrested in front of the White House protesting the continuing crimes-you know that place! It’s a big White House-as a matter of fact it’s a HUGE White House in the middle of a park-like estate where heavily armed thugs protecting war criminals roam. It’s okay to stop and gawk and take pictures if you are decked out in Hawaiian shirts or sundresses, but exercising fundamental rights to free speech or to peaceable assemble is not.

On March 20th, about 8000 people attended a permitted and almost lethargically tame protest in Lafayette Park, which is next to the HUGE White House. Then there was a march around in circles that landed the protest right back in front of the White House. Four people decided to lie down on the sidewalk in protest (four out of 8000), and four of us decided to cross the police line (a metal barrier on the sidewalk between the street and the high iron-barred, sniper guarded fence that surrounds the HUGE White House), to try and join the measly four that were lying there begging people to join them.

I was one of the ones arrested for crossing the police line. I did not push the barrier down, but when it fell, I crossed-I was immediately body slammed and arrested. That was at approximately 2:44pm. An amended police report misleadingly lied and said that I was given three warnings to leave-I was not and subsequent evidence shows that the warnings to disperse over the bullhorn didn’t even begin until after I had been arrested.…

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Obama’s War on the Internet

By Philip Giraldi
July 19, 2010
Campaign For Liberty

The Ministry of Truth

The Ministry of Truth was how George Orwell described the mechanism used by government to control information in his seminal novel 1984. A recent trip to Europe has convinced me that the governments of the world have been rocked by the power of the internet and are seeking to gain control of it so that they will have a virtual monopoly on information that the public is able to access. In Italy, Germany, and Britain the anonymous internet that most Americans are still familiar with is slowly being modified. If one goes into an internet café it is now legally required in most countries in the European Union to present a government issued form of identification. When I used an internet connection at a Venice hotel, my passport was demanded as a precondition and the inner page, containing all my personal information, was scanned and a copy made for the Ministry of the Interior — which controls the police force. The copy is retained and linked to the transaction. For home computers, the IP address of the service used is similarly recorded for identification purposes. All records of each and every internet usage, to include credit information and keystrokes that register everything that is written or sent, is accessible to the government authorities on demand, not through the action of a court or an independent authority. That means that there is de facto no right to privacy and a government bureaucrat decides what can and cannot be “reviewed” by the authorities.…

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The Veil Is Lifted, The Gloves Are Off: the outrageous sentencing of Lynne Stewart

by Elaine Brower
WorldCantWait.net

The government had alleged that Lynne had facilitated communication between a man she was defending in court, fundamentalist Islamic cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, and people in Egypt. The judge in Lynne’s trial sentenced her to 28 months in prison. An appeal to the conviction and sentencing resulted in a different judge upholding the conviction, while ordering a re-sentencing that was not “trivial”, since Lynne had “indicated a lack of remorse”. After her sentencing, her prosecutor praised the work of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force for its role in the persecution of Lynne Stewart, and thanked U.S. Bureau of Prisons for its assistance.

Show Editor’s Note »

On July 15, radical lawyer and War Criminals Watch Advisory Board member Lynne Stewart was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In February 2005, Lynne had been convicted on 7 counts of “conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists, and defrauding the U.S. government”.

Words Lynne Stewart spoke after her original conviction still ring true: “I see myself as being a symbol of what the people rail against when they say our civil liberties are eroded. This case could be, I hope it will be, a wakeup call to all of the citizens of this country and all of the people who live here that you can’t lock up the lawyers. You can’t tell the lawyers how to do their job. You’ve got to let them operate. And I will fight on. I am not giving up. I… Continue reading

Civil Disobedience at the White House for 9/11 Justice

graphic of We Were Lied to about 9/11 Interview by Cosmos Civil Disobedience at the White House for 9/11 Justice9/11 Truth News

9/11 Justice activist and researcher Jon Gold has announced his intention to chain himself to the White House fence this coming Monday, January 31. 9/11 Truth News asked Gold a few questions to find out more about the upcoming action.

9/11 Truth News: Why are you going to chain yourself to the White House?

Jon Gold: To try and bring attention to the fact that we were lied to about 9/11 and that there needs to be justice and accountability for what happened. That there are family members still seeking justice for what happened and that the people of the world deserve it. When you take into account what that day has been used for — and then think about the fact that we don’t exactly know what happened that day — that is an unacceptable situation. People are dying. If that day wasn’t what we were led to believe — and it wasn’t — then the people of the world need to know about it.

911TN: This seems like a somewhat extreme action to take. Do you think more standard forms of protest have been exhausted?

Jon Gold: I have been fighting for truth, accountability, and justice for what happened that day for almost 9 years now. I have tried every avenue I can think of to bring attention to this issue, to no avail. Contacting your Representatives does nothing. Contacting the media does nothing.… Continue reading

Were the Newburgh 4 Really Out to Blow Up Synagogues? A Defendant Finally Speaks Out

Was David Williams IV a terrorist? Or was he just out to make an easy score by scamming the government’s informant?

By Graham RaymanMarch 2 2011 VillageVoice.com

Image of Newburgh 4 behind bars

On March 24, David Williams IV and three other Newburgh, New York, men face possible life prison sentences for plotting to blow up two synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and to shoot down military airplanes at Stewart Airport.

The Newburgh 4–ringleader James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams, and Laguerre Payen–were found guilty in a six-week trial based largely on the work of an FBI informant, Shahed Hussain, who posed as a wealthy Pakistani businessman with ties to an overseas terror group as part of an elaborate government sting operation.

The trial showed that Cromitie had made anti-Semitic and anti-American statements, that he concocted attack plans with Hussain, that the four defendants met to view an anti-aircraft missile, and that they planted what they had been told were bombs at two Riverdale synagogues on May 20, 2009.

The evidence, which included secretly taped conversations, painted a picture of four men who wanted to strike a blow for radical Islam. After the verdict, one juror told reporters, “We considered what they did a serious crime.”

Defense lawyers tried unsuccessfully to convince the jury that the government had actually entrapped the four, but none of the defendants testified on their own or gave interviews.

Photographs by J.B. Nicholas, Christopher Sadowski Splash news/News.com From left: James Cromitie, David Williams, Laguerre Payen, and Onta Williams.… Continue reading

Jose Padilla and how American justice functions

By Glenn Greenwald
September 20, 2011
Salon.com

The story of Jose Padilla, continuing through the events of yesterday, expresses so much of the true nature of the War on Terror and especially America’s justice system. In 2002, the American citizen was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, publicly labeled by John Ashcroft as The Dirty Bomber, and then imprisoned for the next three years on U.S. soil as an “enemy combatant” without charges of any kind, and denied all  contact with the outside world, including even a lawyer. During his lawless incarceration, he was kept not just in extreme solitary confinement but extreme sensory deprivation as well, and was abused and tortured   to the point of severe and probably permanent mental incapacity. (Bush lawyers told a court that they were unable to produce videos of Padilla’s interrogations because those videos were mysteriously and tragically “lost”).

Needless to say, none of the government officials responsible for this abuse of a U.S. citizen on American soil has been held accountable in any way. That’s because President Obama decreed that Bush officials shall  not be criminally investigated for War on Terror crimes, while his Justice Department vigorously defended John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld and other responsible functionaries in civil suits brought by Padilla seeking  damages for what was done to him.

As usual, the Obama DOJ cited national security imperatives and sweeping theories of presidential power to demand that Executive Branch officials be fully shielded from judicial scrutiny (i.e., shielded from the … Continue reading

Read A Banned Book — September 24-October 1, 2001

September 24~October 1, 2011
American Library Association

Graphic for banned books weekBanned Books Week (BBW)
is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

 

Intellectual freedom–the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular–provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged–and possibly banned or restricted–if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

 

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free… Continue reading

U.S. Vets, Suffering From Unemployment and Homelessness, Support Occupy Protests

By Olivia Katrandjian

October 29, 2011

ABCNews.com

Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old two-tour Iraq veteran whose skull was fractured by a rubber bullet or tear gas canister fired by police during an Occupy Oakland protest, has become a symbol for the Oakland, Calif., protests and put a spotlight on veterans’ solidarity with the Occupy movement.

Olsen had joined joined the Occupy Oakland protest after work Tuesday, before clashes broke out between demonstrators and police trying to evict them from a city plaza. Videos of Olsen posted on YouTube show him standing still in a space between police a protesters when he was hit in the head by something and fell to the ground.

When fellow demonstrators tried to come to Olsen’s aid, a tear gas canister exploded in their midst, driving them away from the injured man.

“He joined the military to fight for people’s rights, and that’s not what he found himself doing in Iraq. And so he came home and started fighting for people’s rights here and for his brothers and sisters who were still deployed,” said Iraq veteran Aaron Hughes, the central and team leader of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

“There is a massive disconnect between the larger society and U.S. service members. Right now we have high unemployment, homeless and suicide rates among veterans. Scott is just one example of hundreds and thousands of service members who are tired of the rhetoric and want real substantive change,” said Hughes, who said he returned to Iraq as a civilian after his tour to fight for peace.…

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This Beat Down is for Your Health – the Money Party Must Stop Occupy Movements

November 14, 2011
By Michael Collins
The Money Party RSS

portland
Photo: K. Kendall. “The problems we are facing were not created by us, but we deign to shed
light on them and so we are blamed for them. The truth is, every person at our
protest is there because the system is broken.” Samuel
Rutledge, Open Newswire, Portland Indymedia

The fascist financiers of the Money Party are growing restless. Occupy Wall Street began with a call to action
from the activist online group Anonymous in August. It was barely
featured in the mainstream or alternate media. Instead of a small crowd
that could easily be ignored then disbursed, fifty thousand citizens
showed up at the headquarters for the world financial system, Wall
Street. Despite the best efforts of Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD, the Occupy
Wall Street continues. The message went out to the country and the world. Now, there are over 100 occupy events in Oakland, Kansas City, Washington, DC, and elsewhere.(Image: K. Kendall)

Occupy Portland began on October 6, 2011. It has maintained a steady presence in downtown Portland, a major West Coast center of commerce. The participants refuse to leave until the government addresses their grievances. Police scare tactics, planted provocateurs, and the elements are no barrier.

Portland evicted occupiers from their camps on Sunday morning. The occupy forces regrouped. Drawing local support, the crowd grew throughout the day. Sunday evening, the police tried a forced eviction from the downtown area that involved mounted police, shoving and pushing, and pepper spray.…

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Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI ‘entrapment’ questioned

Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting
vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots

by Paul Harris

16 November 2011

guardian.co.uk

Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI ‘entrapment’ questioned

Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots

David Williams did not have an easy life. He moved to Newburgh, a gritty, impoverished town on the banks of the Hudson an hour or so north of New York, at just 10 years old. For a young, black American boy with a father in jail, trouble was everywhere.

Williams also made bad choices. He ended up going to jail for dealing drugs. When he came out in 2007 he tried to go straight, but money was tight and his brother, Lord, needed cash for a liver transplant. Life is hard in Newburgh if you are poor, have a drug rap and need cash quickly.

His aunt, Alicia McWilliams, was honest about the tough streets her nephew was dealing with. “Newburgh is a hard place,” she said. So it was perhaps no surprise that in May, 2009, David Williams was arrested again and hit with a 25-year jail sentence. But it was not for drugs offences. Or any other common crime. Instead Williams and three other struggling local men beset by drug, criminal and mental health issues were convicted of an Islamic terrorist plot to blow up Jewish synagogues and shoot down… Continue reading

A Majority of Americans (Including Both OWS and the Tea Party) AGREE on the Most Important Issues … We Just Don’t Realize It

WashingtonsBlog

I have repeatedly demonstrated that — despite the false divide-and-conquer tactics of the mainstream parties and mainstream media — the overwhelming majority of Americans agree on the most important issues facing our country . And see this .

NO MORE BAILOUTS!

As I’ve noted since 2008 , Americans are united in their overwhelming disapproval for bailouts to the big banks.

This has remained true right up to today.

As Rassmussen found only last month (as summarized by KXLF news ):

Today’s Rasmussen Reports survey finds that most Americans don’t like bailouts for financial institutions.

60% Oppose Financial Bailouts; 74% Say Wall Street Benefited Most

Survey of 1,000 American Adults

***

Just 20% think it was a good idea for the government to provide bailout funding to banks and other financial institutions, but 60% say otherwise .

– While many activists try to link the Republican Party and Wall Street, Republicans think the bailouts were a bad idea by an eight-to-one margin.

– Those not affiliated with either major party think they were a bad idea by a four-to-one margin. Democrats are much more evenly divided. Thirty-four percent (34%) of those in the president’s party say the bailouts were a good idea while 42% disagree.

– Overall, 68% believe that most of the bailout money went to the very people who created the nation’s ongoing economic crisis , but 12% disagree and 21% aren’t sure.

As the Washington Post ‘s Greg Sargent notes , the recent proposal from lobbyists… Continue reading

Fusion Center documents label OKC Bombing investigators as terrorists

By Andrew W. Griffin

Red Dirt Report, editor
RedDirtReport.com

Screenshot of BJA/Fusion Center document

OperationDefuse.com — A screenshot featuring the page from a BJA/Fusion Center document listing OKCbombing,net as a terroristic organization.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Ten years after 9/11 and 16 years after the Oklahoma City bombing, it appears the federal government continues to view some Americans who embrace their First Amendment rights — press and speech, primarily — as a danger to the State, and as a result they are listing certain investigative websites as extremist and a terroristic threat to the “homeland.”

One, labeled as “extremist” and therefore a threat to the U.S. Government, includes a well-known site, once operated by a truth-seeking Oklahoma state legislator, working to expose anomalies related to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing — OKCbombing.net . A link to the document can be seen here .

This shocking designation is indeed troubling, particularly to the local documentary film production company Free Mind Films , which is also releasing an explosive documentary about the Oklahoma City bombing, A Noble Lie.
 

 
OKCbombing.net was formerly operated by State Rep. Charles Key (R-Oklahoma City), as a site to inform the public about reams of information discovered by the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, much of it originally ignored by the same federal agencies who now list the site as a threat to the homeland. As for Rep. Key, he concluded his role in the OBIC in approximately 2002 and Free Mind Films is now paying for access and domain rights to… Continue reading

Appeals Court Revives EFF’s Challenge to Government’s Massive Spying Program

Justices Find that Spied-On Telephone Customers Have the Right to Sue

Electronic Frontier Foundation, EFF.org

San Francisco – The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today blocked the government’s attempt to bury the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) lawsuit against the government’s illegal mass surveillance program, returning Jewel v. NSA to the District Court for the next step.

The court found that Jewel had alleged sufficient specifics about the warrantless wiretapping program to proceed. Justices rejected the government’s argument that the allegations about the well-known spying program and the evidence of the Folsom Street facility in San Francisco were too speculative.

“Since the dragnet spying program first came to light, we have been fighting for the chance to have a court determine whether it is legal,” said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. “Today, the Ninth Circuit has given us that chance, and we look forward to proving the program is an unconstitutional and illegal violation of the rights of millions of ordinary Americans.”

Also today, the court upheld the dismissal of EFF’s other case aimed at ending the illegal spying, Hepting v. AT&T, which was the first lawsuit against a telecom over its participation in the dragnet domestic wiretapping. The court found that the so-called “retroactive immunity” passed by Congress to stop telecommunications customers from suing the companies is constitutional, in part because the claims remained against the government in Jewel v. NSA.

“By passing the retroactive immunity for the telecoms’ complicity in the warrantless wiretapping program, Congress abdicated its duty… Continue reading

Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ will make protest illegal

February 29, 2012
RT.com

Just when you thought the government couldn’t ruin the First Amendment any further: The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.

Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country.

Under current law, White House trespassers are prosecuted under a local ordinance, a Washington, DC legislation that can bring misdemeanor charges for anyone trying to get close to the president without authorization. Under H.R. 347, a federal law will formally be applied to such instances, but will also allow the government to bring charges to protesters, demonstrators and activists at political events and other outings across America.

The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a… Continue reading

New Counterterrorism Guidelines Gives Authorities Vast Access to Private Info of Innocent Americans

By Trevor Timm
Electronic Frontier Foundation

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signed expansive new guidelines for terrorism analysts, allowing the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) to mirror entire federal databases containing personal information and hold onto the information for an extended period of time–even if the person is not suspected of any involvement in terrorism. (Read the guidelines here).

Despite the “terrorism” justification, the new rules affect every single American. The agency now has free rein to, as the New York Times’ Charlie Savage put it, “retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats ” and expands the amount of time the government can keep private information on innocent individuals by a factor of ten.

From the New York Times:

The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and “data mining them” using complex algorithms to search for patterns that could indicate a threat. (emphasis ours)

 

Journalist Marcy Wheeler summed the new guidelines up nicely saying, “So…the data the government keeps to track our travel, our taxes, our benefits, our identity? It just got transformed from bureaucratic data into national security intelligence.”

Show Editor’s Note »

See also these related stories:… Continue reading

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