By Daniel Tencer
In a 2008 academic paper, President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated “cognitive infiltration” of groups that advocate “conspiracy theories” like the ones surrounding 9/11.
Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine” those groups.
As head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Sunstein is in charge of “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs,” according to the White House Web site.
Sunstein’s article, published in the Journal of Political Philosphy in 2008 and recently uncovered by blogger Marc Estrin, states that “our primary claim is that conspiracy theories typically stem not from irrationality or mental illness of any kind but from a ‘crippled epistemology,’ in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational sources.”
By “crippled epistemology” Sunstein means that people who believe in conspiracy theories have a limited number of sources of information that they trust. Therefore, Sunstein argued in the article, it would not work to simply refute the conspiracy theories in public — the very sources that conspiracy theorists believe would have to be infiltrated.
Sunstein, whose article focuses largely on the 9/11 conspiracy theories, suggests that the government “enlist nongovernmental officials in the effort to rebut the… Continue reading
Justice department to accuse FBI of invoking crises to obtain details of more than 2,000 calls, Washington Post reports
by Chris McGreal in Washington
19 January 2010
The US justice department is preparing a report which concludes that the FBI repeatedly broke the law by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist to obtain more than 2,000 telephone call records over four years from 2002, including those of journalists on US newspapers, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post.
The bureau also issued authorisations for the seizure of records after the fact, in order to justify unwarranted seizures.
The Washington Post said the emails show how counter-terrorism officials inside FBI headquarters breached regulations designed to protect civil liberties.
The FBI’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni, told the Washington Post that the agency violated privacy laws by inventing non-existent terrorist threats to justify collecting the phone records. “We should have stopped those requests from being made that way,” she said.
Caproni said that FBI’s issuing of authorisations after the fact was a “good-hearted but not well thought-out” move to give the phone companies legal cover for handing over the records.
After the 9/11 attacks, the USA patriot act greatly expanded the government’s ability to monitor American citizens, including increased access to their phone calls with the approval of lower-level officials than previously allowed. But the authorisation had to be tied to an open terrorism investigation.
The Washington Post said two FBI officers had raised concerns. Special agent Bassem Youssef observed… Continue reading
January 10, 2010
by Tom Burghart
New revelations about the failed Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 continue to emerge as does evidence of a systematic cover-up.
With the White House in crisis mode since the attempted bombing, President Obama met for two hours January 5 with top security and intelligence officials. Obama said that secret state agencies “had sufficient information to uncover the terror plot … but that intelligence officials had ‘failed to connect those dots’,” The New York Times reports.
The latest iteration of the “dot theory” floated by the President, aided and abetted by a compliant media, claims “this was not a failure to collect intelligence” but rather, “a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”
“Mr. Obama’s stark assessment that the government failed to properly analyze and integrate intelligence served as a sharp rebuke of the country’s intelligence agencies,” declared the Times uncritically.
While the President’s remarks may have offered a “sharp [rhetorical] rebuke,” Obama’s statement suggests that no one will be held accountable. Indeed, the President “was standing by his top national security advisers, including those whose agencies failed to communicate with one another.”
While the President may be “standing by” his national security advisers, the question is, are the denizens of America’s secret state standing by him? One well-connected Washington insider, MSNBC pundit Richard Wolffe, isn’t so sure.
Wolffe, the author of a flattering portrait of Obama, Renegade: The Making of a President, when asked… Continue reading
January 12, 2010
by James Hufferd, Ph.D.
Founder, 911 Truth of Central Iowa
Barely two weeks ago, on Christmas Day, 2009, a young Muslim man from Nigeria
with a multiple-entry visa to enter the United States was
reported to have attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet bound from
Amsterdam preparing to land at Detroit International Airport by igniting a bomb
hidden in the crotch of his underwear. Passengers aboard the plane prevented
him from succeeding, and potentially from killing all 278 passengers, plus crew.
He was subsequently reported to have trained or received instruction in Yemen
and taken inspiration from an al-Qaeda-connected Islamic mullah who is an American
citizen living in that country and implicated in other terrorist events.
Thus, the incident was construed as a new major case of radical Islamic terrorism
against the United States. Disturbingly, the plot apparently almost succeeded,
for reasons now hotly debated, even though the terrorist’s name and profile
were already in U.S. security service files and on watch lists. Superficially,
it was widely reported
as an open-and-shut case of anti-U.S. Islamic extremism, necessitating a
new round of “security measures” for air travel.
However, almost from the beginning there was another credible source of information
that, when considered alongside other information being reported, substantially
alters the picture and the implication of the collective evidence. Doubtless
for that reason, this second, partially corroborated source has not been thoroughly
exploited or widely examined, but instead has been almost universally ignored
and shunted aside without comment by U.S.…
January 8, 2010
American civilian and military leaders have been creating new terrorists through
(1) Use of torture
(2) Killing of innocent civilians- especially children – in Arabic countries.
A high-level American Special Ops interrogator says that information obtained
from torture is unreliable, and that torture just creates more terrorists. Indeed,
he says that torture of innocent Iraqis by Americans is the main reason
that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq in the
A former FBI interrogator — who interrogated Al Qaeda suspects — says categorically
does not help collect intelligence. On the other hand he says that
torture actually turns people into terrorists.
A 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most
senior managerial ranks, says:
“This is not just because the old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture
doesn’t work — it doesn’t — but also because they know that torture
creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly
Former counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke says that America’s indefinite
detention without trial and abuse of prisoners is a leading Al Qaeda recruiting
Torture puts our troops in danger, torture makes our troops less safe, torture
creates terrorists. It’s used so widely as a propaganda tool now in Afghanistan.
All too often, detainees have pamphlets on them, depicting what happened at
The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously found:
“The administration’s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies
… strengthened the hand of our enemies.”
Two professors of political science have demonstrated that torture increases,
rather than decreases, terrorism.…
For Immediate Release
It is with utter disbelief that we listen to the unfolding details of the attempted December 25, 2009 terrorist attack of Delta Flight 253.
Let us remind you, on September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists managed to evade all security measures, hijack four commercial airliners, slam them into three buildings and a field in Pennsylvania, killing 2,976 innocent people, including our husbands.
We responded by strenuously lobbying for an independent investigation to find out how on earth so many agencies could have failed in their duties to protect us, and our loved ones, from such an attack. We asked that they find and fix the loopholes that existed, in order to safeguard our nation.
After the 18-month 9/11 Commission investigation, countless systemic and human failures were uncovered, including: failure to analyze data, failure to share information, human error, failure to follow up, antiquated computer systems, too much information in the system, not enough information in the system, not enough time or people to analyze data, failure to watch list, failure to properly coordinate the watch list with other lists and visa issuance and monitoring failures. Despite all of this, the 9/11 Commissioners simplistically announced that it was a “failure of imagination” that caused the agencies to falter and allowed 9/11 to happen. Additionally, we were told that those in positions to protect us “could never have imagined this type of attack” and that “everyone is at fault, so no one is at fault.”
The 9/11 Commissioners would not… Continue reading
January 6, 2010
by Ray McGovern & Coleen Rowley
Yesterday, a blogger with the PBS’ NewsHour asked former CIA analyst Ray McGovern to respond to three questions regarding recent events involving the CIA, FBI, and the intelligence community in general.
Two other old intelligence hands were asked the identical questions, queries that are typical of what radio/TV and blogger interviewers usually think to be the right ones. So there is merit in trying to answer them directly, such as they are, and then broadening the response to address some of the core problems confronting U.S. counter-terror strategies.
After drafting his answers, McGovern asked former FBI attorney/special agent Coleen Rowley, a colleague in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to review his responses and add her own comments at the end. The Q & A is below:
Question #1 – What lapses in the American counter terrorism apparatus made the Christmas Day bombing plot possible? Is it inevitable that certain plots will succeed?
The short answer to the second sentence is: Yes, it is inevitable that “certain plots will succeed.” A more helpful answer would address the question as to how we might best minimize their prospects for success. And to do this, sorry to say, there is no getting around the necessity to address the root causes of terrorism or, in the vernacular, “why they hate us.”
If we don’t go beyond self-exculpatory sloganeering in attempting to answer that key question, any
“counter terrorism apparatus” is doomed to failure.… Continue reading
by Chris Hedges
Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.
This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements–who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism–have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous… Continue reading
By Stephen C. Webster
Update at bottom: Matalin ‘lied’ about Bush inheriting recession
No amount of spit and polish can clean the tarnish of the 9/11 attacks from the Bush legacy, but that didn’t stop GOP strategist Mary Matalin from trying.
During a Sunday appearance on CNN, Matalin attempted to prop up an analogy between the first year of George W. Bush’s presidency and that of President Barack Obama’s. Raising the specter of rising unemployment, anchor John King wondered whether Republicans have the right to attack Democrats over the economy.
According to a CNN transcript, Matalin–seated across a table from her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville–gave a response which was a little more than blindly partisan.
“I was there,” she said. “We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history. And President Bush dealt with it. And within a year of his presidency at this comparable time, unemployment was at 5 percent. And we were creating jobs.”
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 happened during the Bush presidency. While administration officials said repeatedly that nobody could have predicted such a devastating attack, an August 6, 2001, briefing delivered to President Bush — titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” — later surfaced.
“The memo, sent to FBI headquarters by a Phoenix FBI agent, warned that bin Laden could have been using U.S. flight schools to train terrorists and suggested a nationwide canvass for Middle… Continue reading
Wednesdays at 10 PM E/T on TruTV. Tonight, “9/11″
More at http://www.trutv.com/shows/conspiracy_theory/index.html
9/11 – Premieres Wed, December 9 at 10P
Jesse steps into America’s most controversial conspiracy by challenging the 9-11 Commission report and considering the claim that the September 11th attacks were an inside job. At the urging of victims’ families, he finds witnesses who claim the towers were brought down by revolutionary explosives that were placed in plain sight, but no one knew what they were. Ventura also hears from those who claim the missing black box flight recorders were actually recovered. And he is told a shocking story about who may have been in the cockpits before the jets took off.
Featured Experts and Eyewitnesses: Physicist Steven Jones, who says he found evidence of thermite, a bomb material, in the residue from Ground Zero; explosives expert Van Romero, who performed a test purported to show that liquid thermite can make steel girders burn hotter and faster; demolition expert Brent Blanchard, who says that no inspection for explosive materials was done at the scene; former Air Force pilot Jeff Dahlstrom, who is convinced that 9-11 was a “false flag” operation carried out to push the country into war; Mike Bellone, a recovery worker at Ground Zero who says that he saw airline flight recorders recovered at the scene; Dave Lindorff, a journalist, who says that the recorders were recovered, inspected and turned over to the FBI; Dale Leppard, a former head of the Airline Pilots Association… Continue reading
Posted at the History Commons Groups
by Kevin Fenton
We have found the famous “What Do I Do Now?” memo drafted by 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow on March 2, 2003. The memo advised staffers newly hired by the commission what they should do after starting work.
The memo was found by Erik at the National Archives and uploaded to the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd.
Philip Shenon’s The Commission highlighted the memo and one controversial section in particular. The section says:
Interactions with commissioners can be helpful to you and them. If you are contacted by a commissioner with questions, please contact Chris [Kojm, Zelikow's deputy] or me. Consulting with the Chair and Vice-Chair, we will be sure that the appropriate members of the Commission staff are responsive.
Shenon called this provision, channelling contacts between the staff and the commissioners through Zelikow and his deputy, “unusual” and “worrying to the staff.” He added:
It occurred to several of the staff members, especially those with experience on other federal commissions, that Zelikow was trying to cut off their contact with the people they really worked for–the commissioners. Democratic commissioner Jamie Gorelick saw a copy of Zelikow’s memo and was furious. Through an arrangement with her law firm, she intended to spend nearly half of her work week on commission business, and she was not going to have Zelikow telling the staff that they could not speak freely with her–that they had to wait to get his… Continue reading
November 25, 2009
[Story Updated 12/2/2009 at 911truth.org with reviwed material from www.911.wikileaks.org.]
From 3AM on Wednesday November 25, 2009, until 3AM the following day (US east coast time), WikiLeaks released half a million US national text pager intercepts. The intercepts cover a 24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.
The messages were broadcasted “live” to the global community — sychronized to the time of day they were sent. The first message was from 3AM September 11, 2001, five hours before the first attack, and the last, 24 hours later.
Text pagers are usually carried by persons operating in an official capacity. Messages in the archive range from Pentagon, FBI, FEMA and New York Police Department exchanges, to computers reporting faults at investment banks inside the World Trade Center.
The archive is a completely objective record of the defining moment of our time. We hope that its entrance into the historical record will lead to a nuanced understanding of how this event led to death, opportunism and war.
Twitter users should refer to the hashtag #911txts. We will give status updates at twitter.com/wikileaks.
Observations may be posted to posted here.
Please remember to protect and support our work.An index of messages released is available here.All pager messages released can be downloaded here as a single compressed text file. RELATED: 9/11 Text Messages Released: Wikileaks Publishes Intercepted Government Pager Texts As They Were Sent November 25, 2009 Government employees… Continue reading
9/11 Text Messages Released: Wikileaks Publishes Intercepted Government Pager Texts As They Were Sent
November 25, 2009
Government employees… Continue reading
November 4, 2009
History Commons Groups
New details of a NORAD exercise called Amalgam Virgo 01-02 have been found in a document at the National Archives. The exercise involved a suicide pilot attacking a military installation in the US. It was run in early June 2001, just three months before 9/11.
The document was found in the 9/11 Commission’s files at the National Archives by History Commons contributor Erik Larson (a.k.a. Paxvector) and uploaded to the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. Some information about the exercise was revealed at the History Commons Groups blog in June, when we publicised a commission document summarising a group of military exercises designed to help the military deal with suicide hijackings. However, the newly-found three-page scenario provides more detail.
In the scenario, a Haitian AIDS sufferer named Reginald Montrose forms an alliance with Columbian drug lords. This link-up is inspired by funding the Columbians have provided to treat AIDS patients in Haiti. Montrose plans to crash a Cessna into the headquarters of the Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS) in Florida. Its destruction will draw attention to the Haitians’ plight and “allow the drug cartel to flood the US with flights of aircraft and to increase their market share in the US drug market.”
The exercise starts with a call from a local airport manager to SEADS saying that they have found a suicide note in a suspicious car, and one of their small aircraft is missing. Another call then… Continue reading
Complete 911 Timeline
This is a news item pertaining to the Complete 911 Timeline investigative project, one of several grassroots investigations being hosted on the History Commons website. The data published as part of this investigation has been collected, organized, and published by members of the public who are registered users of this website.
Additions as of November 4, 2009 Source URL: http://www.historycommons.org/news.jsp?oid=140393703-933
One of the main focuses at the 9/11 Timeline recently has been the destruction of a tape of FAA flight controllers’ recollections. The tape was made at the FAA’s New York Center about an hour and a half after the attacks ended, despite worries about the procedure by a union official and the controllers. However, when New York Center forwarded evidence about the attacks to the FBI the next day, it did not provide the tape , and its existence was not reported to superiors . The controllers then prepared written statements without reviewing the tape , and a union official was concerned whether anyone had heard it. One of the controllers later asked to listen to the taped statement he had made, but his request was denied . When New York Center submitted a formal accident package, the tape was again absent . Although the Center had been told to retain 9/11 evidence , the tape was later destroyed. Following the tape’s destruction, the manager who destroyed it was suspended , but did not face criminal charges.…Continue reading
October 21, 2009 by Bryant Jordan Military.com
After seven years of forced silence, a government whistleblower is opening up on what she learned while working as a Turkish translator for the FBI in the wake of 9/11.
In sworn testimony to attorneys on Aug. 8, Sibel Edmonds described a Pentagon where key personnel helped pass defense secrets to foreign agents or provided them names of knowledgeable officials who were vulnerable to blackmail or co-option.
And firmly rooted in this espionage program in the 1990s, according to Edmonds’ deposition, were two men who, with the election of George W. Bush as president in 2000, found themselves in the Pentagon: Douglas Feith, who would head the Office of Special Plans, and Richard Perle, who would become chairman of the Defense Advisory Board.
“They were 100 percent directly involved,” Edmonds told Military.com. “They were not in the Pentagon [in the late 1990s] but they had their people inside the Pentagon.” One of those people, she said, was Larry Franklin, an Air Force officer assigned to the Office of Special Plans who, in 2003, passed classified information to representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Office, or AIPAC. By then Feith was leading the OSP.
Edmonds cautioned that she does not know if these practices are continuing, since she was fired by the FBI in April 2002 after pressing for an investigation into an attempt by a colleague to recruit her for an organization that was itself a target of FBI surveillance.
Perle, today… Continue reading
October 23, 2009
The Real News Network
Former FBI agent Colleen Rowley discusses still unanswered questions about the lead up to 9/11. Coleen Rowley is a former FBI agent and whistleblower. Rowley jointly held the TIME “Person of the Year” award in 2002 with two other women credited as whistleblowers.
by Jon Gold
This is dedicated to the 9/11 Truth Movement. – Jon
Before I begin, I would like to say that theorizing about what happened on 9/11, when you’re not being given answers to your questions about that day by the people who SHOULD be able to do so, is PERFECTLY normal. As is suspecting that the reason these answers aren’t being given is “sinister” in nature. As Ray McGovern said, “for people to dismiss these questioners as “conspiratorial advocates”, or “conspiratorial theorists”… that’s completely out of line because the… The questions remain because the President who should be able to answer them, WILL NOT.” When you think about everything the previous Administration did in 8 years, the idea that they might not be giving us the answers we seek because of something “sinister” is not crazy. In fact, it’s the most logical conclusion one can come to at this point. After seven plus years of obfuscation, spin, lies, and cover-ups regarding the 9/11 attacks, it is unavoidable to think that criminal complicity is the reason why.
That being said, we have not proven it beyond the shadow of doubt. We do not have documentation that shows they planned it. We do not have a signed confession from someone. We have pieces of the puzzle, and to most of us that have been doing this a long time, those pieces point to more than just Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and 19 hijackers. If we could… Continue reading
by Steven J. DuBord
October 1, 2009
The Federal Bureau of Investigation claims that surveillance tapes
of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April
19, 1995 have not been edited, despite the fact that all of the more than two
dozen tapes released fail mysteriously to show the moments just before the truck
Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue obtained the tapes through a Freedom
of Information Act request as part of his investigation of the bombing. All
of the tapes feature blanks just before the bomb went off at 9:02 a.m., but
“the interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02,” Trentadue
said. “The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence
that there is something there that the FBI doesn’t want anybody to see.”
The Associated Press reported on September 30 that FBI spokesman Paul Bresson
told them in an e-mail the Bureau didn’t edit the tapes before releasing
them. Bresson said the FBI responded to Trentadue’s request by turning
over 26 videos taken from surveillance cameras in 11 different locations. The
agency did not report finding any tapes from the Murrah Building itself.
“The FBI made no edits or redactions in the processing of these videos,”
Bresson stated. “The tapes are typical security cameras — the view
switches camera to camera every few seconds.” Bresson declined to elaborate
when AP made further contact with him.
Even if the cameras were switching views, it is highly… Continue reading