By Peter Dale Scott
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 29, No. 1, July 29, 2013
For almost two centuries American government, though always imperfect, was also a model for the world of limited government, having evolved a system of restraints on executive power through its constitutional arrangement of checks and balances.
Since 9/11 however, constitutional practices have been overshadowed by a series of emergency measures to fight terrorism. The latter have mushroomed in size, reach and budget, while traditional government has shrunk. As a result we have today what the journalist Dana Priest has called two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1
More and more, it is becoming common to say that America, like Turkey before it, now has what Marc Ambinder and John Tirman have called a deep state behind the public one.2 And this parallel government is guided in surveillance matters by its own Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, which according to the New York Times, “has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court.”3 Thanks largely to Edward Snowden, it is now clear that the FISA Court has permitted this deep state to expand surveillance beyond the tiny number of known and suspected Islamic terrorists, to any incipient protest movement that might challenge the policies of the American war machine.…Continue reading
“During calendar year 2012, the Government made 1,856 applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for authority to conduct electronic surveillance and/or physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”
That somewhat opaque statistic was disclosed in the Justice Department’s latest annual report to Congress on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, filed on Tuesday. As is usually the case, none of the requests for electronic surveillance were denied by the Court.
No matter how it is sliced and diced, the newly disclosed number of applications does not yield much substance. It means that the government submitted an average of 5 requests per day last year for intelligence surveillance or physical search. It is about 5% higher than the number of applications the year before (1,745), but quite a bit lower than the figure from 2007 (2,371).
The number of applications does not correspond directly to the number of targets, since multiple applications may be submitted in the course of an individual investigation. Nor is the outcome of the surveillance or search activity indicated in a way that would tend to validate or invalidate the authorization after the fact.
In any case, the FISA Court did not deny any of the government’s requests for authority to conduct electronic surveillance in whole or in part, the report said, although unspecified modifications were made to 40 proposed orders. The report does not say whether or not any requests for physical search were disapproved or modified.
The government also made 212 applications for access to business… Continue reading
by Kevin Ryan
In the summer of 2001, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Robert Wright, a counterterrorism expert from the Chicago office, made some startling claims about the Bureau in a written statement outlining the difficulties he had doing his job. Three months before 9/11, he wrote: “The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States and its citizens at home and abroad. Even worse, there is virtually no effort on the part of the FBI’s International Terrorism Unit to neutralize known and suspected terrorists residing within the United States.”
Revelations since 9/11 have confirmed Wright’s claims. FBI management did little or nothing to stop terrorism in the decade before 9/11 and, in some cases, appeared to have supported terrorists. This is more disturbing considering that the power of the FBI over terrorism investigations was supreme. In 1998, the FBI’s strategic plan stated that terrorist activities fell “almost exclusively within the jurisdiction of the FBI” and that “the FBI has no higher priority than to combat terrorism.”
A number of people are suspect in these failures, including the leaders of the FBI’s counterterrorism programs. But at the time of Wright’s written complaint, which was not shared with the public until May 2002, the man most responsible was Louis Freeh, Director of the FBI from 1993 to 2001.
Agent Wright was not FBI leadership’s only detractor, and not the only one to criticize Freeh. The public advocacy law firm Judicial Watch, which prosecutes government abuse and corruption, rejoiced at the news of Freeh’s March 2001 resignation. Judicial Watch pointed to a “legacy of corruption” at the FBI under Freeh, listing the espionage scandal at Los Alamos National Laboratories, as well as “Filegate, Waco, the Ruby Ridge cover-up, the Olympic bombing frame-up of Richard Jewell, [and] falsification of evidence concerning the Oklahoma City bombing.”
Judicial Watch said that Director Freeh believed he was above the law.…Continue reading
December 13, 2011
By politicizing who is and who is not a “terrorist” — pinning the label on American adversaries and sparing purported American friends — the U.S. government created confusion at FBI headquarters that contributed to the failure to stop the 9/11 attacks, reports ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
By Coleen Rowley
Glenn Greenwald’s critique — regarding the recent U.S. indictment of 38-year-old Iraqi Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa (currently in Canada) — is spot on about “terrorism” coming to simply mean opposing United States’ interests or resisting U.S. military invasions.
U.S. authorities have now dropped any requirement that the “terrorists” target or kill civilians as part of a political objective, the classic definition of terrorism. Isa stands accused of “providing material support to a terrorist conspiracy” because he allegedly backed a 2008 attack in Mosul, Iraq, killing five U.S. soldiers.
As Greenwald wrote, “In other words, if the U.S. invades and occupies your country, and you respond by fighting back against the invading army — the ultimate definition of a ‘military, not civilian target’ — then you are a . . . Terrorist.”
But the reverse of Greenwald’s example is also true, that those “terrorist” groups throughout the world who commit violent acts or kill civilians at U.S. instigation, encouragement or in line with U.S. interests are NOT considered “terrorists.”
For example, before 9/11, the Chechen “rebels” — who had orchestrated mass civilian hostage takings, suicide bombings and hijackings and who were accused of having planted bombs in… Continue reading
Breathlessly, six members of Congress have requested that the FBI investigate the “outrageous” allegations that News Corp might have hacked into the cell phones of 9/11 victims and their families. Lickety split, the Justice Department has done so.
First off, does it surprise me that a corporation like News Corp. might try to hack into the information of private citizens for their own financial gain? Nope.
Much like it wouldn’t surprise me if my own government hacked into the private information of its citizens for political gain or… er, I mean, “reasons of national security.” Just ask Dick Cheney and Karl Rove about that.
Of course, any such “accidental netting” on their part would be immediately explained away under the protections of FISA and the Patriot Act, because clearly it would have been necessary “in the ongoing fight against terrorism.”
Too bad, Congress doesn’t want to investigate those types of indiscretions. Sigh.
But truly, I am awestruck when people like Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the House Committee for Homeland Security is so quickly moved to demand an investigation into such vague, seemingly hollow allegations as someone hacking into the cell phones of people like me.
Is this the same Congressman King who when faced with actual hard, incontrovertible facts and figures regarding the vulnerabilities posed by dangerous chemical and water plants across the country remains disinterested? And, I might add firmly on the side of… Continue reading
By The Associated Press
April 1, 2010
DOJ Bush wiretapping program takes hit in Calif rulingIn a repudiation of the
Bush administration’s now-defunct terrorist surveillance effort, a federal judge
ruled Wednesday that government investigators illegally wiretapped the phone
conversations of an Islamic charity and two American lawyers without a search
U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker said the plaintiffs provided enough
evidence to show "they were subjected to warrantless electronic surveillance"
by the National Security Agency.
The judge’s 45-page ruling focused narrowly on the case involving the Al-Haramain
Islamic Foundation, touching vaguely on the larger question of the program’s
Nonetheless, Al-Haramain lawyer Jon Eisenberg said the ruling had larger implications.
"By virtue of finding what the Bush administration did to our clients
was illegal, he found that the Terrorist Surveillance Program was unlawful,"
President Bush authorized the surveillance program shortly after 9/11, allowing
NSA officials to bypass the courts and intercept electronic communications believed
connected to al-Qaida.
Generally, government investigators are required to obtain search warrants
signed by judges to eavesdrop on domestic phone calls, e-mail traffic and other
At issue Wednesday was a 2006 lawsuit filed by the Ashland, Ore., branch of
the Saudi-based foundation and two American lawyers Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor.
Belew and Ghafoor claimed their 2004 phone conversations with foundation official
Soliman al-Buthi were wiretapped without warrants soon after the Treasury Department
had declared the Oregon branch a supporter of terrorism. They argued that wiretaps
installed without… Continue reading
BoilingFrogsPost.com (Sibel Edmonds’ Blog)
Recently released FBI documents prove the existence of highly sensitive National Security and criminal investigations of “Turkish Activities” in Chicago prior to September 11, 2001. These documents add further support to many of the allegations that former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has claimed, in public and in Congress, since 2002. The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into an organization called the Turkish American Cultural Alliance (TACA), an organization repeatedly named by Ms. Edmonds as being complicit in the crimes that she became aware of when she was a translator at the FBI.
The documents released under FOIA are almost completely redacted, but they do support many of Edmonds’ claims, including:
There were a number of very serious FBI investigations into “Turkish activity in Chicago” involving a number of targets, including TACA
These investigations were related to “National Security” among other things.
These investigations were regarded as so sensitive that no files were to be uploaded to FBI’s computer system.
Congressional corruption was involved.
The FBI repeatedly conducted actual “physical surveillance” against Turkish and American targets.
Some of these investigations were shut down in 2001.
The documents comprise primarily of internal FBI ECs (Electronic Communications) between FBI offices. Most of the ECs are titled “Turkish American Cultural Association” although one from Feb 2000 is titled “Turkish Investigations in Chicago” which indicates that there were at least seven different pending investigations into Turkish activity in Chicago, and another later document from July 2001 indicates that there were at least ten investigations into TACA alone.…Continue reading
The BRAD BLOG : Exclusive: Upcoming Cover Story on Edmonds ‘Outs’ Video-taped, ‘Blackmailed’ Dem Congresswoman; Alleges State Dept. Mole at NYTimes; MUCH MORE…
‘American Conservative’ mag’s description of interview with previously-gagged FBI whistleblower as ‘explosive’ may prove to be a gross understatement
Blackmail, bribery, infiltration, theft and sale of nuke secrets by Turkey,
Israel explained in clearer detail than ever before…
It seems it may be difficult to not notice it, given that Edmonds finally names, on the record, for the first time, in a right-leaning periodical founded by Pat Buchanan, the identity of the currently-serving Democratic Congresswoman she has previously described as married with grown children and having been “hooked” into participating in a lesbian affair with a Turkish foreign agent, as she was secretly video-taped for blackmail purposes.
Edmonds has alluded to the Congresswoman, without naming her, in the past, most notably in her recent sworn and video-taped deposition in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case now pending before the Ohio Election Commission. In that testimony, she did manage to name the names of other Congress members she had previously identified publicly. At the time, we (and virtually no other media outlets) reported on her disclosures that Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), were all participants in blackmail and/or bribery schemes by and with agents of the Turkish government, as she became aware while translating wiretaps in the FBI’s counterintelligence division after 9/11. Some… Continue reading
By James Risen and Eric Lichtblau
June 16, 2009
New York Times
WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged, current and former officials said.
The agency’s monitoring of domestic e-mail messages, in particular, has posed longstanding legal and logistical difficulties, the officials said.
Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency’s ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former N.S.A. analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans’ e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation.
Both the former analyst’s account and the rising concern among some members of Congress about the N.S.A.’s recent operation are raising fresh questions about the spy agency.
Representative Rush Holt, Democrat of New Jersey and chairman of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, has been investigating the incidents and said he had become increasingly troubled by the agency’s handling of domestic communications.
In an… Continue reading
by Dave Lindorff
For some time now, many Americans have wondered how Congress, the elected body that the nation’s Founding Fathers saw as the bulwark of liberty, could have been so thoroughly unwilling to, or incapable of challenging the dictatorial power-grabs and the eight-year Constitution wrecking campaign of the Bush/Cheney administration.
There has been speculation on both the far left and the far right, and even among some in the apolitical, cynical middle of the political spectrum, that somehow the Bush/Cheney administration must have been blackmailing at least the key members of the Congressional leadership, most likely through the use of electronic monitoring by the National Security Agency (NSA).
I’ll admit that I considered the idea of blackmail a bit far out. But now suddenly there is at least some evidence that such seemingly wild speculation may not have been off the mark, with reports that the NSA was indeed monitoring Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), and that the Bush Administration used the evidence it had obtained of her improper conversations with and promises to assist agents of the Israeli government and its lobby here in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to blackmail her into supporting the NSA’s warrantless spying program–the very kind of spying that led to her being caught on tape plotting with an agent of a foreign power.
At the time of the taping of Harman’s incriminating phone conversations, the administration was trying desperately (and ultimately successfully) to get the New York Times to hold off on publishing a shocking investigative report by journalist James Risen about a massive campaign of warrantless tapping of Americans’ phone and internet communications.…Continue reading
by Michael Collins
‘Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Herman Goering, Interview at Nuremburg Trials, April 14, 1946
“The Patriot Act was used against me in total contradiction to its stated purpose. Or perhaps it was the most logical use of the law, since it establishes a legal framework to crush free thinking and interrupt individual questioning of the government. It is the beginning of all dictatorship in America .” –Susan Lindauer, March 9, 2009
March 10, 2009 — Washington, DC ( electionfraudnews.com ) — In March, 2004 Susan Lindauer was arrested for allegedly acting as an “unregistered agent” for prewar Iraq. She challenged the government’s assertion and sought the right to prove at Trial that she’d been a United States intelligence asset covering Iraq and Libya from the early 1990′s through 2003 (see articles).
In an unprecedented judicial ploy that lasted five years, federal prosecutors blocked Ms. Lindauer’s rights to trial or any other sort of evidentiary hearings that would test her story. For 11 months, she was confined at Carswell federal prison on a Texas military base and at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, without a conviction or plea bargain.
During the indictment, she was conveniently gagged from sharing… Continue reading
We urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush Administration.
UPDATE 2/27/09 6pm: In response to the many email questions we’ve received asking why we have not endorsed this call for a Special Prosecutor: On 2/24, when this statement/petition was posted at AfterDowningStreet.org, 911truth.org immediately signed on as an endorsing organization via the signup at that site. As of now, our name does not appear on that list. Nonetheless, we did submit endorsement. We are not, yet, encouraging 9/11 truth advocates to politely contact David Swanson asking him why he would permanently post a video statement from Willie Rodriguez on the front page of his site, yet continue to ignore/ban the burgeoning 9/11 truth movement from being heard as the powerful voice we are, in calling for truth and accountability. We believe that Mr. Swanson is acting in good faith, all in all, and will post our endorsement with the others on the list shortly.
Our laws, and treaties that under Article VI of our Constitution are the supreme law of the land, require the prosecution of crimes that strong evidence suggests these individuals have committed. Both the former president and the former vice president have confessed to authorizing a torture procedure that is illegal under our law and treaty obligations.…Continue reading
Terrell (Terry) E. Arnold was the number 2 counter-terrorism official at the U.S. State Department, and is one of the world’s leading experts on terror.
Arnold served as the Deputy Director, Office of Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning, at the U.S. State Department. He is also the former Chairman of the Department of International Studies at the National War College.
Arnold has worked as a crisis management consultant for several Federal agencies, including The State Department, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Customs Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He is the author of numerous books on terror*. Arnold is a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean war.
I spoke with Arnold by phone.
GW: Your essay It is Vital to Move Beyond 9/11 is insightful and hard-hitting, and I agree with virtually everything you say. I have previously written on many of the topics you touch on, such as false pretenses for war , torture and illegal spying .
Initially, you write:
“As an alleged post 9/11 defense, the War on Terrorism is a gigantic fraud.”
As a leading counter-terrorism expert, I am curious to hear why you believe this.
Terry Arnold: The military approach doesn’t cover all of the elements of the problem. We need to capture and confine the individuals who are up to… Continue reading
The super-secretive National Security Agency has been quietly monitoring, decrypting, and interpreting foreign communications for decades, starting long before it came under criticism as a result of recent revelations about the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. Now a forthcoming PBS documentary asks whether the NSA could have prevented 9/11 if it had been more willing to share its data with other agencies.
Author James Bamford looked into the performance of the NSA in his 2008 book, The Shadow Factory, and found that it had been closely monitoring the 9/11 hijackers as they moved freely around the United States and communicated with Osama bin Laden’s operations center in Yemen. The NSA had even tapped bin Laden’s satellite phone, starting in 1996.
“The NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country towards Washington,” Bamford told PBS.
PBS also found that “the 9/11 Commission never looked closely into NSA’s role in the broad intelligence breakdown behind the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. If they had, they would have understood the full extent to which the agency had major pieces of the puzzle but never put them together or disclosed their entire body of knowledge to the CIA and the FBI.”
In a review of Bamford’s book, former senator and 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey wrote, “As the 9/11 Commission later established, U.S. intelligence officials knew that al-Qaeda had held a planning meeting in Malaysia, found out the names of two recruits who had been present — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — and suspected that one and maybe both of them had flown to Los Angeles.…Continue reading
by Naomi Wolf
Huffington Post – September 24,
2008 Global Research , October 3, 2008
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah “Evita” Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.
No, this is not some “lefty” anti-Republican commentary … this is information that should be of grave concern to every one of us. Have a look also at the American Freedom Campaign which Wolf cofounded, and her books, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries
UPDATE 10/6/08: Just received a link to this TalkingStickTV interview of Naomi Wolf about her new book, “Give Me Liberty.”
You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand “Palin Power.” A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections — but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don’t have freedom.
I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints.… Continue reading
Of course, this is that same Posse Comitatus Act that the Department of
Father Homeland Security now calls a “myth.” In an October 2000 article, “The Myth of Posse Comitatus,” Major Craig T. Trebilcock, U.S. Army Reserve, states:
“Through a gradual erosion of the act’s prohibitions over the past 20 years, posse comitatus today is more of a procedural formality than an actual impediment to the use of U.S. military forces in homeland defense.”
I say my country “was” dedicated … we were dedicated to prohibiting military occupation within America until 2006, when the John Warner Defense Authorization Act ( HR5122 ) was signed into law (specifically, see Section 1076, titled “Use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies” pretty much threw out the Posse Comitatus Act altogether.
But in January 2008, it appears posse comitatus was somewhat restored through an amendment to H.R. 4986 : National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008:
Section 1068 – Revises federal provisions concerning the use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies to discontinue the executive authority to deploy active and reserve personnel during domestic response incidents. Repeals the authority of the President to direct the Secretary to provide supplies, services, and equipment to persons affected by major public emergencies.
Naturally, the President issued a signing statement when he signed the bill, indicating he will “construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.” Of course, this means he’ll interpret and carry out this Act… Continue reading
By Brent Budowsky
July 26, 2008
Consortiumnews Editor’s Note: As his presidency nears its end, George
W. Bush will be faced with a tough choice: either run the risk, along with
many of his top aides, of future prosecution for a variety of crimes from
the “war on terror” — or fashion a mass pardon for all those
In this guest essay, former Democratic congressional aide Brent Budowsky
predicts that Bush will take the latter course, even outdoing his father’s
lame-duck Iran-Contra pardons in 1992:
Before leaving office George W. Bush will issue a mass pardon, the largest
collection of presidential pardons in American history.
Bush will pardon himself, Vice President Cheney, and a long list of officials
involved in torture, eavesdropping, destruction of evidence, the CIA leak case,
and a range of other potential crimes.
As George Bush signs the pardons and boards the helicopter to depart Washington
as his presidency finally ends, even then he and those pardoned will worry about
the statute of limitations.
There is an important point to this, often not recognized in official Washington
during the Bush years: When the unthinkable became a way of life, acts were
committed that defied constitutional and legal principles in ways never done
by an American president.
Torture alone violates international law, domestic law, criminal statutes,
and American principles that date back to George Washington.
Eavesdropping without court order violates a statute, FISA, that includes severe
criminal penalties. If the courts ultimately conclude that these laws… Continue reading
FISA "Compromise" Completes Transformation of US into Full Police
by Larry Chin
Global Research, July 11, 2008
On July 9, 2008, the US Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation permitting
government spying, including immunity to telecommunications companies involved
in secret domestic surveillance programs. With the stroke of George W. Bush’s
pen, the US is now a police state by definition.
The extent of the spying program, and its larger implications, have been revealed
by Mark Klein, who blew the whistle on secret domestic spying program of Bush/Cheney’s
National Security Agency (NSA) and AT&T:
The update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, called the "FISA
compromise", or more appropriately, the "spy bill", largely completes
the triumph of the Bush/Cheney administration and a bipartisan criminal consensus.
By convenient design, the FISA revision derails pending law suits filed against
the Bush administration’s corporate spying partners (AT&T, Sprint
Nextel, and Verizon), silences (the largely empty-to-begin-with) congressional
investigations into Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying program.
Presidential nominee Barack Obama and the Democrats have now moved to silence
all discussion about the issue.
Fear itself, a.k.a. spying itself
Between the false flag mass murder of 9/11 and the creation of the "war
on terrorism", the USA Patriot Act and this new FISA revision, the Bush-Cheney
administration and its enthusiastically complicit congressional partners, have
achieved total victory–world war, open criminality, and the end of law itself.
It gives the US government unprecedented new spying powers and sweeping new
legal… Continue reading