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
March 26, 2008
The April issue of the Rock Creek Free Press has gone to press.
As usual, the "newspaper not afraid to print the truth" is covering
the news that the corporate controlled media won’t touch.
The lead stories this month include one about Thimerisol in vaccines (the government
concedes the link to autism) and Wayne Madsen’s coverage of Winter Soldier.
We continue our coverage of US torture practices and the use of bogus terrorism
threats to justify the creeping police state.
This month we published three important 9/11 related stories:
FBI Refuses to Document Identity of 9/11 Planes — coverage of Aidan Monaghan’s
attempts to get 9/11 information from the FBI.
Half Great, Half Terrible — A book review by David Ray Griffin of Phil Shenon’s
book, The Commission.
International Demands for a New 9/11 Investigation — by Carol Brouillet
The paper is available online: www.RockCreekFreePress.com
by David Ray Griffin
“The Commission” by Philip Shenon has performed a great public service, letting the world know that there are good reasons to be suspicious of “The 9/11 Commission Report.” The main problem is the fact that the Commission was almost entirely under the control of Philip Zelikow, who was closely connected to the Bush White House. Although my book “Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11″ revealed some of the facts about Zelikow that showed him to be one of the worst possible choices for the Commission’s executive director, Shenon has revealed even more facts.
It was already known that Zelikow had been on the National Security Council (NSC) with Condoleezza Rice during the administration of the first President Bush; that he wrote a book with her while the Republicans were out of power; that he helped her make the transition from the Clinton to the Bush NSC; and that he wrote at her request the 2002 version of “National Security Strategy of the United States of America” (NSS 2002), which enunciated a new doctrine of preemptive war that was used, in Shenon’s words, to “justify a preemptive strike on Iraq.”
But now Shenon reveals more: that in applying to Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, for the position of executive director, Zelikow failed to reveal some of his conflicts of interest, especially his authorship of NSS 2002 and his role on the transition team; that he continued, contrary to his promise,… Continue reading
By Tom Burghardt From Antifascist Calling…Exploring the shadowlands of the corporate police state
The Washington Post revealed Friday that the FBI is continuing its systematic violation of Americans’ Fourth Amendment guarantees against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
A Justice Department report concluded that the Bureau had repeatedly abused its intelligence gathering “privileges” by issuing bogus “national security letters” (NSLs) from 2003-2006. On at least one occasion, the FBI relied on an illegally-issued NSL to circumvent a ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain records the secret court deemed protected by the First Amendment.
While the Bush regime claims that the Bureau requires sweeping authority to invade the privacy of American citizens to “protect the homeland” from the Afghan-Arab database of disposable intelligence assets, al-Qaeda, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine determined that fully “60 percent of the nearly 50,000 security letters issued that year  by the FBI targeted Americans,” according to Post reporter Dan Eggen.
Despite the FISA court twice rejecting Bureau requests to obtain sensitive private records, determining “the ‘facts’ were too thin” and the “request implicated the target’s First Amendment rights,” the FBI used an NSL as a “work around” and proceeded anyway.
The stunning disregard for all legal norms under the Bush regime is encapsulated by FBI general counsel Valerie E. Caproni’s statement to investigators that “it was appropriate to issue the letters in such cases because she disagreed with the court’s conclusions.”
Fine asserted in the Inspector General’s report that the Bureau has… Continue reading
Take Action and save the life of Dr. Sami Al-Arian!
Save a life! Palestinian activist Dr. Sami Al-Arian was acquitted in 2005
of bogus "terrorism" charges by a Tampa Bay jury, yet he still remains
imprisoned in the United States.
Dr. Sami Al-Arian is currently on the fifteenth day of a no food or water hunger
strike to protest the legal manipulations and harassment by the Bush Administration
that are keeping him behind bars despite his acquittal by jury and subsequent
plea bargain (signed under significant pressure from the U.S. government) that
promised his release in May of 2006.
Dr. Al-Arian, a diabetic, is already losing his eyesight and is in extraordinary
danger of renal failure. The federal medical facility where he has been moved
to in Bunter, North Carolina has not given him an IV, despite their legal obligation
to keep him alive. The situation is urgent! Please write immediately to your
elected officials and the federal medical facility to protest this legal harassment
and torture and to demand his release. Dr. Al-Arian’s life depends on it.
Specifically, please contact (call and email):
Honorable Judge Gerald Lee
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: (703) 299-3339
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-0072 Fax
Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Department of Justice
By Ryan Paul
March 06, 2008
Computer security analyst Babak Pasdar says that a major mobile telecommunications carrier has a built-in backdoor that provides an undisclosed third-party with unfettered access to its internal technical infrastructure, including the ability to eavesdrop on all calls through its network. In an affidavit that describes the circumstances and basis for the allegations, Pasdar provides evidence which could indicate that the FBI is on the other side of the secret line, engaging in warrantless surveillance of mobile communications.
Pasdar discovered evidence of the backdoor when he was part of a rapid deployment team that was brought in to facilitate a large-scale network security hardware migration for the mobile carrier. During the migration, Pasdar was instructed not to migrate the traffic for one particular DS-3, which was referred to as the “Quantico Circuit” by consultants who worked closely with the carrier (the FBI Academy is based in Quantico, Virginia).
According to Pasdar, the consultants informed him that the Quantico Circuit is supposed to have no firewalls of any kind and no access control—it is given complete access to everything in the carrier’s internal network and there is no way to tell conclusively what has been accessed through it. The consultants indicated that they knew who was at the other end of the Quantico Circuit, but they refused to divulge this information to Pasdar.
When Pasdar insisted that the Quantico Circuit should at least have the minimum level of security access logging if not access control, the… Continue reading
Authorities to Gain Fast and Expansive Access to Records
By Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Several thousand law enforcement agencies are creating the foundation of a
domestic intelligence system through computer networks that analyze vast amounts
of police information to fight crime and root out terror plots.
As federal authorities struggled to meet information-sharing mandates after
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, police agencies from Alaska and California
to the Washington region poured millions of criminal and investigative records
into shared digital repositories called data warehouses, giving investigators
and analysts new power to discern links among people, patterns of behavior and
other hidden clues.
Those network efforts will begin expanding further this month, as some local
and state agencies connect to a fledgling Justice Department system called the
National Data Exchange, or N-DEx. Federal authorities hope N-DEx will become
what one called a "one-stop shop" enabling federal law enforcement,
counterterrorism and intelligence analysts to automatically examine the enormous
caches of local and state records for the first time.
Although Americans have become accustomed to seeing dazzling examples of fictional
crime-busting gear on television and in movies, law enforcement’s search for
clues has in reality involved a mundane mix of disjointed computers, legwork
These new systems are transforming that process. "It’s going from the
horse-and-buggy days to the space age, that’s what it’s like," said Sgt.
Chuck Violette of the Tucson police department, one of almost 1,600 law enforcement
agencies… Continue reading
Thursday March 6, 2008
Steve Alten, author of “The Shell Game”, delivers 9/11 Truth to Jim
Bohanon’s CBS National Radio audience
9/11 Truth (& False Flag Terror) FINALLY on CBS NATIONAL Radio
– Jim Bohannan Show !!
by William Douglas
March 6, 2008
(See Bill’s suggested action item at end of this article, to get involved.)
STUNNING National CBS Radio Interview!
Bohannan is a right wing pro-military radio voice, who’s audience has probably
NEVER been exposed to 9/11 truth issues. “The Shell Game” author,
Steve Alten, came on after an Oil Executive’s interview, at about 39:50 in the
1.5 hour show. At about 54:56 it gets REALLY interesting when a caller calls
in to discuss 9/11 as a false flag attack. Which unleashes Alten into a deep
discussion of 9/11 truth issues.
All hell brakes loose in the next few minutes, as Alten enters the realms
of 9/11 truth, explaining to the stunned Bohanan and and his virgin (9/11 truth
issue) audience that there is a mass 9/11 truth movement in America that involves
engineers, police, private investigators, and many other experts challenging
the official 9/11 story.
Alten gives Bohannan some rope at the beginning, before he yanks it to give
Bohannan’s virgin audience some powerful new issues to chew on. Alten takes
on the BIG OIL guest (and big energy’s lies) that preceded him on the show,
as well as the rational for war in Iraq, BUT spends most of his time TAKING
ON THE 9/11 COVER UP, War… Continue reading
February 27, 2008
Justin Rood Reports
The FBI now keeps a list of over 900,000 names belonging to known or suspected
terrorists, the American Civil Liberties Union said today.
If that number is accurate, it would be an all-time high, exponentially more
than the 100,000 names on the list several years ago. But the number needs to
be taken with a grain of salt: after all, the ACLU doesn’t keep the list, the
FBI does, and the bureau doesn’t generally like to talk about it. (Indeed, the
FBI has not yet responded to a request for comment for this post.)
But if the ACLU’s figure isn’t accurate, it’s also unlikely to be off by that
much. Last September, the ACLU notes, the Department of Justice’s Inspector
General reported the FBI watch list was at 700,000 names, and growing at 20,000
names per month.
The ACLU says they "extrapolated" from those figures to determine
the list’s current size. ACLU’s Barry Steinhardt added that the group had spoken
privately with people familiar with the watch list, who told them the 900,000
figure was not outlandish.
In the past, The FBI has told ABC News that the size of its watch list is classified.
Despite that, both the bureau and the DoJ Inspector General have published the
total figure in unclassified reports.
There’s no doubt the FBI’s list is growing: just last June, ABC News reported
it was at 509,000 names, based on information in an unclassified FBI budget
But strangely,… Continue reading
BRUSSELS, European Parliament, 26th February 2008.
Mark Dermul (www.911belgium) reporting.
On Tuesday 26th February, Europarliamentarian Guilietto Chiesa invited his colleagues and the press to attend the screening and debate of the Italian-produced documentary named ‘ZERO, an investigation into the events of 9/11′. Object of the screening was to create political awareness of the faulty official investigation into the events by the 9/11 Commission.
Besides Mr Chiesa, the panel consisted of Japanese parliamentarian Fujita, Dr David Ray Griffin, film distributor Tim Sparke & the director and producers of the film.
After his opening statements, Mr Chiesa welcomed his guest speakers. Then he pointed out that he was unable to find any distributor in his native country of Italy and was happy to find a company in the UK, led by Mr Tim Sparke, to handle worldwide distribution of this important film. ‘It is important to realize,’ he emphasized ‘that the movie was made thanks to contribution and donations of hundreds of citizens who feel a new investigation is more than warranted.’ No less than 450 people worked on this documentary on a voluntary basis. They never received any kind of payment. Their reward is the movie itself, which they feel is an instrument to create awareness and a means to provoke a political debate in Europe.
Since the movie projector didn’t work, Mr Chiesa invited the public to ask questions until the technical problems were solved and we could start watching the movie.
By Colin Meyn, In These Times
February 19, 2008
In New York City, the Department of Homeland Security is training New York City firefighters to assist in gathering intelligence information during routine inspections and emergencies.
In November, the Associated Press reported that in New York, Homeland Security was testing a program called the Fire Service Intelligence Enterprise (FSIE) to help identify “material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities.”
The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and Homeland Security hosted a September 2007 conference in New York City to discuss plans for the new intelligence program. There, chief officers from fire departments in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and 12 other U.S. cities met with NYC fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and officials from the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Surveillance. “Real-time intelligence and information leads to a heightened state of situational awareness,” Scoppetta said at the conference. “And situational awareness is key to saving lives.”
“We are not training firefighters to be intelligence gatherers or special agents,” says Jack Tomarchio, Homeland Security’s deputy undersecretary of intelligence and surveillance. “We are helping to provide crucial information to those people who are often the first responders.”
In 2002, the Bush administration proposed having bus drivers, mail carriers and telephone repair personnel spy on the American public as part of Homeland Security’s “Citizen Corps” initiative. The program, called TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System), never made it past Congress. But because the FSIE is managed at the city level, it has bypassed… Continue reading
Latest Findings Raise New Questions about Hijackers and Suggest Incomplete Investigation
A contributor to the History Commons has obtained a 298-page document entitled Hijackers Timeline (Redacted) from the FBI, subsequent to a Freedom of Information Act request. The document was a major source of information for the 9/11 Commission’s final report. Though the commission cited the timeline 52 times in its report, it failed to include some of the document’s most important material.
The printed document is dated November 14, 2003, but appears to have been compiled in mid-October 2001 (the most recent date mentioned in it is October 22, 2001), when the FBI was just starting to understand the backgrounds of the hijackers, and it contains almost no information from the CIA, NSA, or other agencies. This raises questions as to why the 9/11 Commission relied so heavily on such an early draft for their information about the hijackers.
CooperativeTimeline.org has posted new information from the “Hijackers Timeline,” recently released by the FBI. Links to the full FBI documents are at the end of the article, (which also contains many links to other Timeline entries in the original announcement, at the source).
In addition, the 90-page “Charge Sheet” (see also press release 2/11/08, “Sept. 11 Co-Conspirators Charged”) conveys an enormous amount of information relating to the hijackers for a significant period of time before, and on, September 11th.
For an event this government has said “no one could have… Continue reading
Note from Jon Gold: This article will be appearing on the front page (2/13/2008) of Main Line Life . To my knowledge, an article like this has never appeared in a newspaper before. Never. Not in the United States, and not in the World. This is what journalism should be. Honest, with no agenda. I would like to give Jeff Cobb my sincerest thanks. You have shown courage and integrity the likes of which haven’t been seen in journalism for a very long time. I would like to thank Main Line Life for publishing this article. Hopefully more newspapers across the country, and the world will follow your example. Thank you to Jaime, and everyone at the Anthony Wayne Theater. You have been such a big help. Congratulations, and a HUGE thank you to Betsy Metz for making all of this possible. You are a true American Hero. – Jon
Documentaries question official explanations of the Sept. 11 attacks.
By Jeff Cobb 2/13/2008
They realize their topic is big; its implications disturbing, but they are compelled by inner conviction.
On Tuesday nights in downtown Wayne, since Jan. 1, Betsy Metz, of Devon, and Jon Gold, of Plymouth Meeting have been sponsoring documentaries at the Wayne Theater that dispute the official explanations of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
They intend to show the videos through February and describe themselves as everyday citizens accruing out-of-pocket costs. Theirs is one effort among several around the country attempting to spur interest and they… Continue reading
February 6, 2008
As someone also motivated by the need for the truth about 9/11, as well as aware of the way conflicts of interest have a way of covering up truth, let me add my thanks to Philip Shenon on the release of his new book. Also let me share this recent comment forwarded to me by Monica Gabrielle of the September 11th Advocates:
Philip Shenon’s new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, serves to justify our suspicions and the concerns of the Family Steering Committee, that we attempted to publicly air during the course of the 9/11 Commission’s tenure.
One of the most egregious revelations put forth by Mr. Shenon is the fact that Philip Zelikow was hired as the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, despite his direct ties to the Bush administration. In 2000-2001 he served as a member of Condoleezza Rice’s National Security Council (NSC) transition team, where he was allegedly the “architect” of the decision to demote Richard Clarke and his counter terrorism team within the NSC. Furthermore he was a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) from 2001-2003, where Zelikow drafted most of the 2002 “National Security Strategy of the United States,” creating the pre-emptive Iraq war strategy. These areas were within the scope of the Commission’s mandate and as such were of critical importance to determine what, if any, impact they had on the government’s ability to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
As the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow was given the responsibility for choosing the entire direction of the Commission’s investigation.…Continue reading
The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?
February 07, 2008
Click here to read a history of every homeland-security terror alert and the real news that was buried: “Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts–A history of the Bush administration’s most dubious terror scares — and the headlines they buried” TIM DICKINSON, Feb 07, 2008
“So, what you wanna do?” the friend asked. “A target?” the wanna-be jihadi replied. “I want some type of city-hall-type stuff, federal courthouses.”
It was late November 2006, and twenty-two-year-old Derrick Shareef and his friend Jameel were hanging out in Rockford, Illinois, dreaming about staging a terrorist attack on America. The two men weren’t sure what kind of assault they could pull off. All Shareef knew was that he wanted to cause major damage, to wreak vengeance on the country he held responsible for oppressing Muslims worldwide. “Smoke a judge,” Shareef said. Maybe firebomb a government building.
But while Shareef harbored violent fantasies, he was hardly a serious threat as a jihadi. An American-born convert to Islam, he had no military training and no weapons. He had less than $100 in the bank. He worked in a dead-end job as a clerk in a video-game store. He didn’t own a car. So dire were his circumstances, Shareef had no place to live. Then one day, Jameel, a fellow Muslim, had shown up at EB… Continue reading
by MICHAEL GOULD-WARTOFSKY
[from the January 28, 2008 issue of The Nation]
Free-speech zones. Taser guns. Hidden cameras. Data mining. A new security
curriculum. Private security contractors. Welcome to the homeland security campus.
From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower
in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to "violent
radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention"–as it was recently
dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name–have set out to
reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university.
Building a homeland security campus and bringing the university to heel is
a seven-step mission:
1. Target dissidents. As the warfare state has triggered dissent,
the campus has attracted increasing scrutiny–with student protesters in the
cross hairs. The government’s number-one target? Peace and justice organizations.
From 2003 to 2007 an unknown number of them made it into the Pentagon’s Threat
and Local Observation Notice system (TALON), a secretive domestic spying program
ostensibly designed to track direct "potential terrorist threats"
to the Defense Department itself. In 2006 the ACLU uncovered, via Freedom of
Information Act requests, at least 186 specific TALON reports on "anti-military
protests" in the United States–some listed as "credible threats"–from
student groups at the University of California, Santa Cruz; State University
of New York, Albany; Georgia State University; and New Mexico State University,
among other campuses.
At more than a dozen universities and colleges, police officers now double
as full-time FBI agents, and according to the Campus Law… Continue reading
By Matthew Rothschild
February 7, 2008
Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does–and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.
InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.
InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats.
“Then the FBI cloned it,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.
InfraGard itself is still an FBI operation, with FBI agents in each state overseeing the local InfraGard chapters. (There are now eighty-six of them.) The alliance is a nonprofit organization of private sector InfraGard members.
[Remainder of article at The Progressive.]…Continue reading