Wed May 21, 2008 8:57pm EDT
By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI counterterrorism units are dangerously ill-equipped and barely 60 percent of the supervisory positions in the division that tracks al Qaeda were filled as of March, a bureau agent told Congress on Wednesday.
Bassem Youssef told a congressional hearing that the bureau has failed to recruit, retain and promote experienced personnel and experts in Arabic culture and language.
The shortfall has contributed to problems such as the improper use of FBI demands for personal and business records, said Youssef, who helped uncover the abuse.
Youssef, who was born in Egypt, has also sued the FBI alleging discrimination because of his race and ancestry.
“The FBI’s counterterrorism division is ill-equipped to handle the terrorism problems we’re facing,” said Youssef, a 20-year veteran who investigated bombings in 1993 at the World Trade Center and in 1996 at the Khobar Towers residence at a U.S. military base in Saudi Arabia.
Asked how much use the FBI had made of his own experience, he replied, “The bureau used my background and experience very extensively — up to September 11.”
Youssef, who heads the FBI counterterrorism division’s communications analysis unit, attributed the shift to a name mix-up with another agent, discrimination and cultural ignorance.
Members of the House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism urged the bureau to revise an “up or out” policy that makes supervisors move from the field to Washington headquarters after five years, or take a demotion or retire.…Continue reading
While the US media obsesses on delegates, superdelegates and whether or not Hillary Clinton is using math formulae hallowed by MSNBC, we learn that US interrogators used snakes to torture prisoners (that’s right, PentaPost –torture, not ‘interrogate’ and prisoners, not ‘detainees’) at Guantánamo Bay – while the FBI watched.
By Lori Price
21 May 2008
Today, we learned form NEWS.com.au, an Australian news and information site, that US interrogators – at least on one occasion – used a snake (in addition to military dogs and pornography) on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. We also discovered that “[Australian detainee Mamdouh] Habib alleged that ‘Mike’ a private-contract interrogator with Lockheed Martin, had hit him during an interrogation.” Further, we discovered that, ”of the more than 450 FBI agents who served at Guantánamo… almost half ‘observed or heard about various rough or aggressive treatment of detainees, primarily by military interrogators’.”
Snakes used in interrogation sessions?! This is Nazi tactics territory, folks – using our dollars and under our name! I don’t care about Democratic superdelegate totals or nomination math formulae. The US media is using the election itself as a distraction for war crimes that are being carried out in our name, every day!
Lest we forget: U.S. Has Detained 2,500 Juveniles as Enemy Combatants 16 May 2008 The United States has imprisoned approximately 2,500 people younger than 18 as illegal enemy combatants in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay since 2002, according to a report filed by the Bush regime with the… Continue reading
UPDATE: Watch this hearing online–Mr. Youssef’s testimony will shed light on significant problems in the FBI’s Counterterrorism program, and I urge everyone who can to attend this hearing (details below). For those who are not in Washington, you can watch a live webcast of the proceedings on the House Judiciary Committee website. Click here to visit their webpage and then click “View Live Webcast.”
FBI WHISTLEBLOWER TO TESTIFY ON MISTAKES INSIDE COUNTERTERRORISM PROGRAM
Unit Chief to disclose shortfalls in war on terror
WHAT: FBI Whistleblower and Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef testifying before Congress
WHEN: Wednesday, May 21, 1:30 p.m. EDT
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2141
Washington, D.C. — FBI Counterterrorism Whistleblower Bassem Youssef will testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
During the oversight hearing, titled On The FBI Whistleblowers: Exposing Corruption and Retaliation Inside the Bureau, Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef will for the first time alert Congress and the American people to the grave deficiencies within the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division since 9/11.
It is expected that Youssef’s testimony will include previously undisclosed information.
Youssef is the Unit Chief of the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit. He is the highest-ranking Arab-American agent in the Counterterrorism Division, and the highest-ranking fluent Arabic speaker. In 1994, he earned the Intelligence Community’s prestigious and coveted award, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, awarded by the Director of Central Intelligence. The award was for outstanding accomplishments in a terrorism case involving an al-Qaeda-related investigation.… Continue reading
By Kristina Borjesson
Here we go again. President Bush goes to Israel. He talks to the Israeli Knesset
about standing "together against terror and extremism." He cites the
example of Osama bin Laden teaching that "the killing of Jews and Americans
is one of the biggest duties." The next day, yet another unauthenticated
bin Laden tape surfaces. "In a tape marking Israel’s 60th anniversary,"
reported the BBC, "the speaker pledged to continue fighting the Israelis
and not give up a ‘single inch of Palestine.’" Once again,
the lead was followed by what has now become the standard second line, "The
tape’s authenticity could not be verified." Once again, the timing
is interesting. Bin Laden’s message was just in time to help President
Bush make his point.
The BBC’s May 16, 2008 report continues with this: "The last messages
attributed to Bin Laden were aired in March." Those messages couldn’t
be verified either.
The last clear videotape of bin Laden was released to al Jazeera on December
27, 2001. The CIA released one two weeks earlier that they claimed had been
shot the month before, but the video is very fuzzy and the purported bin Laden
in the tape doesn’t altogether look like the bin Laden in authentic photos and
videos. A couple of other videos were released in 2004 and 2007, both of which
were fuzzy enough to raise questions. The 2007 video looked exactly like the
2004 video, except that the purported bin Laden’s beard was black in… Continue reading
Under a new plan, the government could take your DNA and keep it on file permanently
if you are arrested at a demonstration on federal property. Take action today
to stop the government from giving itself sweeping new powers to create DNA databases.
Please read this alert for background on the plan and immediately go here and
click on the yellow "Add Comments" balloon to file public comments
with the government to oppose the plan. The government is only accepting comments
until this Monday, May 19, so take action today!
At the end of 2005, a little-noticed provision was slipped into the Violence
Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill that provided the federal government
with the power to collect and permanently keep DNA samples from anyone arrested
for any crime whether or not they are convicted, any non-U.S. citizen merely
detained by federal authorities for any reason, and everyone in federal prison.
Now the government is trying to put the DNA Fingerprint Act into practice.
Federal agencies would be required to take DNA samples from:
* Individuals arrested for the most minor of crimes, such as peaceful protestors
who are demonstrating on federal property.
* Countless numbers of visitors from other countries who are pulled aside in
airports by the Transportation Security Administration.
* Lawful immigrants seeking admission to this country, whether at the land border
or in passport control at the airport.
Go here for more information on the law.
This is a dangerous invasion of privacy. Our DNA is not a fingerprint – it
contains vast amounts of sensitive medical information about us.…
An investigation of the 9/11 events by a Russian-American journalist and a father of a 9/11 victim implicates the US government in the attacks.
ALEX PROKOP (Jarek Kupsc), a successful journalist, receives a rare 9/11 video tape revealing new information about the attack. The footage was sent by PAUL COOPER (Joseph Culp), a driven researcher, whose daughter died on 9/11. Sensing a good story, Prokop travels with Cooper to New York and Washington, DC, where they uncover suppressed information implicating the US Government in the attacks. As Cooper introduces Prokop to key eye-witnesses, the faÃ§ade of the “official story” begins to crumble. Prokop hears accounts of underground explosions in the Twin Towers moments before their collapse and discovers that the firm providing WTC security was run by the President’s brother.
We follow Alex and Cooper as they investigate the inexplicable collapse of the 47-story WTC Building Seven, disprove the implausible airliner “attack” on the Pentagon, and uncover the illegal destruction of physical evidence from Ground Zero.
The pressure builds as the FBI intimidates Alex’s editor, McGUIRE, (Lisa Black) to reveal key sources — while the magazine’s corporate investors threaten to kill the entire story. Plagued by the ghosts of his Communist childhood and trying to uphold the independence of American journalism, Alex’s search for the truth leads to a dangerous and shocking realization!
THE REFLECTING POOL is an intense, sobering investigation into the most controversial tragedy of our time. Drawn from established sources and based on verifiable facts, THE… Continue reading
April 30, 2008
A variety of current and former high-level officials have recently warned that the Bush administration is attempting to instill a dictatorship in America, and will itself carry out a fake terrorist attack in order to obtain one.
FBI agents, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and The Washington Post and Rolling Stone have all stated that the administration has issued terror alerts based on scant intelligence in order to rally people around the flag when the administration was suffering in the polls. This implies — as an initial matter only — that the administration will play fast and loose with the facts in order to instill fear for political purposes
More to the point, a former prominent republican congressman stated that the U.S. is close to becoming a totalitarian society and that the Bush administration is using fear to try to ensure that this happens.
Current U.S. Congressman Ron Paul stated, the government “is determined to have martial law”, and that the government is hoping to get the people “fearful enough that they will accept the man on the white horse”
And Daniel Ellsberg, the famous Pentagon Papers whistleblower, said “if there is another terror attack, “I believe the president will get what he wants”, which will include a dictatorship.
Terror on U.S. Citizens by American… Continue reading
The Associated Press
Thursday, May 1, 2008
NEW YORK: Aviation companies sued by the families of Sept. 11 victims for failing
to safeguard air travel are in turn blaming federal investigators — arguing
the Federal Aviation Administration was not alerted that al-Qaida was poised
to launch terrorist attacks.
In court documents filed this week in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, aviation
companies are seeking to force five FBI employees to provide testimony that
may help defend against claims the companies share blame in the attacks.
"The aviation parties anticipate that the FBI witnesses’ testimony will
demonstrate that the FBI had information before Sept. 11 indicating that al-Qaida
may have been about to launch terrorist attacks on civil aviation, which it
did not timely pass along to the Federal Aviation Administration," lawyers
The airlines and aviation companies are defending themselves against lawsuits
seeking billions of dollars in damages for injuries, fatalities, property damage
and business losses related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
The companies in turn filed separate lawsuits against the CIA and the FBI last
August to force terrorism investigators to tell whether the aviation industry
was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.
The latest documents filed by the airlines, airport authorities, security companies
and an aircraft manufacturer argue that if the FAA had known about an FBI investigation
of Zacarias Moussaoui weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, it could have amended
security measures to guard against the type of terrorist attack Moussaoui was
The… Continue reading
By Shane Harris, National Journal
In the old days, everyone was linked to a lug nut, and Jim Kallstrom liked it that way.
It was 1985, a simpler time for a cop like Kallstrom, who was in charge of setting telephone wiretaps on suspected drug dealers and mobsters for the FBI’s New York City field office.
In New York, Kallstrom’s cases were often won on the basis of incriminating evidence surreptitiously snatched from the mouths of criminal defendants through their phone lines.
With a mere 203,000 Americans using mobile phones, people were still tied to the ground, and that gave Kallstrom’s world a certain comforting order.
On any given day, he could stand on a street corner in Manhattan, gaze up at an apartment building with its neat rows and columns of units stacked atop each other, and know that inside each one there was a telephone, tethered by thin copper wire to a single point, sometimes several miles away. In his mind’s eye, Kallstrom could have imagined shrinking himself to the size of an electron and traveling over the phone line, down to the bottom of the building, then shooting beneath the streets, until he ended up in the basement of the telephone company’s switching station. There, the wire emerged, pegged to a rack by a single copper lug nut. Acres of racks lined the walls, each holding rows and columns of lug nuts and their wires, neatly stacked atop each other — the city of New York in… Continue reading
For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?
By Christopher Ketcham
In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president’s henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.
The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft’s second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush’s first term. Comey had been a loyal political foot soldier of the Republican Party for many years. Yet in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration’s various… Continue reading
11.9- The truth movement is often laughed at for criticizing the Bush government’s answer to what happened on 11th September 2001. Now however, the recognized historian, Daniele Ganser gives legitimacy to the skeptics.
by Kristin Aalen
CONSPIRACY: Ganser has caused debate following the presentation of his view in an interview with the Swiss TV-channel, U1. There he repeated his arguments from an article he wrote in the Swiss newspaper, Tages-Anzeiger in Zürich in September 2006.
Ganser’s premise is that conspiracies are nothing unusual or new in the field of historical research. At least since the assassination of Julius Caesar in classical Rome more than 2000 years ago, conspiracies have been an element of the political fight for influence and power.
He defines a conspiracy as, “a secret agreement between two or more persons to engage in a criminal act.”
He continues: “As 9/11 was a criminal act which was definitively not planned and carried out by one single person alone but by at least two or more persons who agreed on the plan before it was implemented, 9/11 must be classified as a conspiracy.”
MOST CORRECT? “It is important to stress that all theories about 9/11 are conspiracy theories. Once we realize that none of the theories can be dismissed on the grounds that it is a ‘conspiracy theory’, the real question becomes: Which conspiracy theory correctly describes the 9/11 conspiracy?” asks Ganser.
The historian thereby is in disagreement with the many who laugh at the critics… Continue reading
“Government complicity in the OKC Bombing and the 9/11 attacks has been proven not only by the obstruction of justice but by the use of terrorist dupes, be they willful dupes or not. And by all indications, these actions continue. Apparently some have failed, others will not…”
Key to the Truth in Oklahoma 4.19.95 and 9.11.01
by Holland Van den Nieuwenhof
I Oklahoma seems to attract more attention in the news than seems due to your typical Great Plains State such as Kansas or Nebraska or North Dakota. I once asked a visitor from North Dakota if anything had ever happened in his state since being reasonably informed on current events and history, I was unaware of that state ever making it into a national headline.
Perhaps it is due to our curious mix of the offspring of renegade Indians, blacks and whites alike. Once known as Indian Territory, Oklahoma was the last state admitted into the continental United States and was once the home of various outlaws and escaped slaves seeking freedom in one of the last places in the land that was without established law or authority. That heritage carried over at least a couple of generations. During WWI a large group of farmers tried to organize an armed march onto Washington D.C. to stop the Nation’s entry into the war. Known as the Green Corn Rebellion, it was finally put down by the local authorities with the help of vigilante posses. During the desperate days of the… Continue reading
April 3, 2008
A letter has been sent by leaders of the House Judiciary Committee to Attorney
General Michael Mukasey, demanding that he explain a recent public statement
that federal authorities failed to intercept a call from suspected terrorists
in Afghanistan prior to the 9/11 attacks, when doing so could have prevented
the attacks from taking place.
Mukasey blamed that failure on a lack of the sort of warrantless wiretapping
authority that the administration has now called on Congress to provide. However,
there has never been any previous mention of such a call, and the Judiciary
Committee letter — signed by Chairman John Conyers and two subcommittee chairs
— points out that the law that existed at the time would have allowed the call
to be intercepted immediately, with permission granted retroactively by the
That letter has been noted by blogs, such as Talking Points Memo, but does
not appear to have gained any attention from the mainstream media.
Blogger Glenn Greenwald, who has covered the Mukasey incident extensively,
originally believed that “he just made this up out of whole cloth in order
to mislead Americans into supporting the administration’s efforts to eliminate
spying safeguards and basic constitutional liberties and to stifle the pending
surveillance lawsuits against telecoms.”
However, Greenwald has now received an email from the Department of Justice’s
Principal Deputy Director of Public Affairs, citing both a reference by a 2002
Congressional Joint Inquiry to an untraced call between one of the 9/11 hijackers… Continue reading
Post-9/11 Memo Indicates View Around Constitution
Thursday, April 3, 2008
For at least 16 months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush administration
argued that the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures on U.S. soil did not apply to its efforts to protect against terrorism.
That view was expressed in a secret Justice Department legal memo dated Oct.
23, 2001. The administration stressed yesterday that it now disavows that view.
The October 2001 memo was written at the White House’s request by John Yoo,
then the deputy assistant attorney general, and addressed to Alberto R. Gonzales,
then the White House counsel. The37-page memo has not been released.
Its existence was disclosed Tuesday in a footnote of a separate secret Justice
Department memo, dated March 14, 2003, that discussed the legality of various
interrogation techniques. It was released by the Pentagon in response to an
ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
“Our office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application
to domestic military operations,” the footnote in that memo states, referring
to a document titled “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist
Activities Within the United States.”
Exactly what domestic military action was covered by the October memo is unclear.
Source URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/03/AR2008040300067.html
2003 Justice Department memo justifies torture, presidential dictatorship
By Joe Kay
4 April 2008
On Tuesday, the Defense Department released a 2003 memo asserting the right
of the US president to order the military to torture prisoners.
The memo is signed by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo and is
dated March 14, 2003, one week before the launch of the Iraq war.…
by Bill Douglas
Last Monday, March 31st, a historic event occurred. A conference call was held that involved a list of great American heroes, who have put everything on the line to protect their nation’s democracy. It was meaningful this occurred the same month as HBO’s release of John Adams.
A decision was made — April 16-22nd will be a WEEK of TRUTH !!
All are invited to get involved, by spreading the word on this event, as well as participating in the national “buy-in for truth week,” to finally break thru the corporate media blockade of 9/11 questions, at www.WeekofTruth.org
“. . . they [the majority of Americans] shall come to realize what I now realize… that the 9/11 Truth Movement are the real patriots in 21st century America!”
– Steve Alten, New York Times Best Selling author of “The Shell Game”
“Alone we can do so little . . . together . . . so much.”
– Helen Keller
This auspicious group came together to strategize how to collect the many powerful aspects of the growing movement pushing for answers to the endless unanswered questions around 9/11′s attacks, into one mass focused week of action. The goal . . . to break through the years of frustration with the (media) fourth estate’s betrayal of American democracy through their ongoing censoring of the questions regarding the increasingly obvious official myth of 9/11, which defies physics, logic, and FAA/DOD protocol.
As I sat in on this historic… Continue reading
“Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
March 19, 2008
Originally Posted at 911Blogger.com
Part 10 of 10:
(see below for full series links)
(The Radio premiere of this material will be broadcast on Pacifica affiliates over the coming days and weeks that broadcast Maria Gilardin’s “TUC Radio” program. You can download the audio here. You can purchase a CD of the program there as well.)
“Governmental agencies caused Martin Luther King to be assassinated… They caused this whole thing to happen. And they then proceeded with the powerful means at their disposal to cover this case up. This is a conspiracy… and that’s a nasty word. People insult people in this country who use the word “conspiracy.” Nowhere else in the world, as Bill Schaap told you, is it viewed that way. In Italy and France conspiracy is taken for granted because they have lived with it so much longer…
What we’re asking you to do at this point in time is send a message. We’re asking you to send a message, not just right a wrong. That’s important, that you right a wrong and that you allow justice to prevail once and for all. Let it prevail. Let justice and truth prevail, else the heavens fall. No matter what, let it prevail. Let it come forward. We’re asking you to let that happen. But in addition to that, we’re asking you to send a message, send… Continue reading
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
by Peter Dale Scott
In August 2007, Congressman Peter DeFazio, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the House that he and the rest of his Committee had been barred from reviewing parts of National Security Presidential Directive 51, the White House supersecret plans to implement so-called “Continuity of Government” in the event of a mass terror attack or natural disaster. ( 1 )
Norm Ornstein, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, commented, “I cannot think of one good reason” for denial. Ornstein added, “I find it inexplicable and probably reflective of the usual, knee-jerk overextension of executive power that we see from this White House.” ( 2 )
The story, ignored by the mainstream press, involved more than the usual tussle between the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government. What was at stake was a contest between Congress’s constitutional powers of oversight, and a set of policy plans that could be used to suspend or modify the constitution.
There is nothing wrong with disaster planning per se. Like all governments, the U.S. government must develop plans for the worst contingencies. But Congress has a right to be concerned about Continuity of Government (COG) plans refined by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld over the past quarter century, which journalists have described as involving suspension of the constitution. ( 3 )
In the 1980s, a secret group of planners inside and outside the government were assigned, by an Executive Order, to develop a response to a nuclear… Continue reading