by Kristen Breitweiser
December 19, 2005
Recently, President Bush has admitted to carrying out surveillance on U.S. citizens in the interest of national security. He unabashedly admits to doing it. He offers no apologies. With his bellicose swagger, he once again uses 9/11 as his justification for breaking our constitutional laws. The President’s justification of 9/11 to carry out such surveillance begs a closer examination.
President Bush should be stopped in his tracks with regard to his use of 9/11 scare tactics to circumvent constitutional laws that are meant to protect U.S. citizens. His justification for doing so — the inability to conduct surveillance on the 9/11 hijackers — is a red herring. History will bear out the truth — our intelligence agencies held a treasure trove of intelligence on the 9/11 hijackers, intelligence that was gathered through their initially unencumbered surveillance. President Bush should busy himself by investigating why that information was then stymied and not capitalized upon to stop the 9/11 attacks.
MOUSSAOUI, FISA, and FBI SURVEILLANCE — MISUNDERSTANDING #1:
When it comes to the FBI and Zaccarias Moussaoui, one must understand that the FBI met all evidentiary standards to both apply for and be granted a FISA warrant. The information the FBI had to support their FISA request was two files on Moussaoui that were given to the FBI by the French and British intelligence services. Inexplicably, FBI lawyers and supervisors at FBI HQ “misunderstood” the evidentiary standards needed to apply for and receive a FISA… Continue reading
by Paul Craig Roberts
January 2, 2006
Caught in gratuitous and illegal spying on American citizens, the Bush administration has defended its illegal activity and set the Justice (sic) Department on the trail of the person or persons who informed the New York Times of Bush?s violation of law. Note the astounding paradox: The Bush administration is caught red-handed in blatant illegality and responds by trying to arrest the patriot who exposed the administration?s illegal behavior.
Bush has actually declared it treasonous to reveal his illegal behavior! His propagandists, who masquerade as news organizations, have taken up the line: To reveal wrong-doing by the Bush administration is to give aid and comfort to the enemy.
Compared to Spygate, Watergate was a kindergarden picnic. The Bush administration?s lies, felonies, and illegalities have revealed it to be a criminal administration with a police state mentality and police state methods. Now Bush and his attorney general have gone the final step and declared Bush to be above the law. Bush aggressively mimics Hitler?s claim that defense of the realm entitles him to ignore the rule of law.
Bush?s acts of illegal domestic spying are gratuitous because there are no valid reasons for Bush to illegally spy. The Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA) gives Bush all the power he needs to spy on terrorist suspects. All the administration is required to do is to apply to a secret FISA court for warrants. The Act permits the administration to spy first and then apply for… Continue reading
On Wednesday, February 15th, 2006, LTC Anthony Shaffer submitted an amazing written statement detailing his involvement with ABLE DANGER to Congress. You can download a PDF of the statement here , and I have made an HTML version here . For those people who are new to the ABLE DANGER (AD), story, I can’t think of a better starting point.
The idea was to take the ‘best and brightest’ military operators, intelligence officers, technicians and planners from the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in an entrepreneurial endeavor, much like bringing the best minds and capabilities from Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Daimler-Chrysler to focus on a single challenge. In the case of ABLE DANGER, the challenge was to discover the global ‘body’ of Al Qaeda – then, with this knowledge, prepare military and intelligence “options” that would be supported by the “actionable information” that was being produced by the project. – Prepared Statement Of LTC Shaffer, 2/15/06.
That was the idea.
reprehensor’s diary :: :: And they had successes. Most notoriously identifying a threat in Yemen that may have saved lives in the USS Cole bombing, and identifying Mohammed Atta prior to 9/11; this once again reiterated in the February 15th Congressional hearing by a contractor, James D. Smith, who worked at Orion Scientific Systems in Viginia;
During the Orion support (on or about 25 October 1999 to 04 August 2000), James Smith delivered multiple… Continue reading
Mar 30, 2006:
Lost in last week’s hubbub over the media breakthroughs for 9/11 truth was the latest twist in the Sibel Edmonds saga. The FBI whistleblower last Thursday filed a court motion demanding that the federal judge hearing her First Amendment case be recused for deliberately hiding his financial background.
The judge, Reggie Walton, is also currently hearing the perjury case involving I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, former chief of staff to Dick Cheney, on allegations that Libby leaked the name of a CIA operative to the media. Edmonds is seeking to show Judge Walton is in violation of federal law (The Ethics in Government Act) because of his refusal to meet financial disclosure provisions.
A few months after September 11th, the FBI hired Edmonds as a translator for Farsi and Turkish. She says she discovered that documents already translated (and suppressed) prior to 9/11 had contained details of a pending attack on the US with airplanes. In addition, one of her colleagues attempted to recruit her as a spy for a Turkish lobbying group. When she spoke out about these experiences – and other finds suggesting corruption, money laundering and drug deals at the top levels of the US government – she was fired. Attorney General John Ashcroft slapped Edmonds with a gag order under the seldom-used State Secrets Act. In the most bizarre and Orwellian twist, Ashcroft “retroactively classified” many of the statements Edmonds had already made. This included information published in the press prior to the gag… Continue reading
During June 27th to July 1st, approximately 9,400 people from across the America,
and beyond, gathered in Atlanta for the historic, first-ever United
States Social Forum. Thanks to donations from some of our generous supporters,
911Truth.org was there, together with about 15 other 911Truth activists from
Georgia, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington DC, and Maryland.
We went with the idea we’d work to “convince” people to look at the
need for a real investigation into the crimes of 9/11. After all, the various
issues and causes represented by this diversity of People were predicated, to
such a strong degree, upon the events of 9/11, and it made sense that if presented
with the information, we’d win some allies.
We were wrong. What we found, instead, was that nearly everyone we spoke with
was already aware of at least some questions about 9/11 and agreed
with us! The People, in spite of resistance we’ve heard from many of their organizational
“leaders,” are already with us.
We learned that on Sunday, the People would gather for a final Assembly where
resolutions would be read and voted upon. Peter Thottam, of 911TruthLA recommended
we submit a proposal, so the group of us at dinner on Friday pulled together
the whereas’s and therefore’s, Peter and Keith Dunwoody (of Atlanta) tweaked
and typed it up, Brian Ottolini made 1000 copies, and the group hit the ground
Saturday morning to distribute the copies and talk with people. At the last
minute, Jose Rodriguez graciously translated… Continue reading
By Steve Watson
Is it possible that the anthrax attacks were launched from within our own government? A former Bush 1 advisor thinks it is.
Francis A. Boyle, an international law expert who worked under the first Bush Administration as a bioweapons advisor in the 1980s, has said that he is convinced the October 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people were perpetrated and covered up by criminal elements of the U.S. government. The motive: to foment a police state by killing off and intimidating opposition to post-9/11 legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the later Military Commissions Act.
“After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration tried to ram the USA PATRIOT Act through Congress,” Boyle said in a radio interview with Austin-based talk-show host Alex Jones. “That would have set up a police state.
“Senators Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) were holding it up because they realized what this would lead to. The first draft of the PATRIOT Act would have suspended the writ of habeas corpus [which protects citizens from unlawful imprisonment and guarantees due process of law]. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, come these anthrax attacks.”
“At the time I myself did not know precisely what was going on, either with respect to September 11 or the anthrax attacks, but then the New York Times revealed the technology behind the letter to Senator Daschle. [The anthrax used was] a trillion spores per gram, [refined with] special electro-static treatment.…Continue reading
August 1, 2007
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that if she were not Speaker she would probably back impeachment. Other Congress Members are of course free to do what even she admits she would do in their position. They should, I think, start taking her advice and ignoring her ban on impeachment.
The reason Pelosi is being questioned about impeachment has to do with Gonzo, Alberto Gonzales, and a proposal just introduced to impeach him. In the movement to impeach Cheney and Bush, is this a distraction or an opening act?
Fifteen principled members of Congress, all Democrats, have signed a bill to begin the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Hundreds of other Congress Members have stubbornly refused to heed the clear demand of the majority of their constituents.
But suddenly a completely new group of Congress Members, again all Democrats, has announced support for impeaching Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This groups includes Congress Members who are not usually leaders in the cause of justice. And it includes Members who have been lobbied intensely to impeach Cheney and Bush but who have resisted in favor of heeding Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ban on using the Constitution in Congress.
The initial sponsor is Jay Inslee of Washington State who less than six months ago had to lobby the leadership of his state’s legislature not to permit a vote on a pro-impeachment resolution. One of the initial cosponsors is Tom Udall of New Mexico, whose state legislature also came close… Continue reading
An important Action Alert from our friends at DownsizeDC.org.
August 3, 2007
Subject: Why we’re confused, and what to do about it
We admit it. We’re confused. We would like to be able to tell you what is happening
with the so-called FISA “modernization” bill — which may
legalize government spying on innocent Americans — but we can’t. No
one understands what is going on with this bill, including the members of Congress.
There are so many different versions of this bill, and amendments to it, and
back-room negotiations and deals being made, that no one really knows anything
about what will come to the floor. And yet, Congressional leaders want to rush
to a vote before they recess.
This shouldn’t be happening, and it couldn’t happen if DownsizeDC.org’s “Read
the Bills Act” was the law of the land.
There’s also a lot of lying going on. For instance, President Bush
has claimed that the FISA law hasn’t been updated since 1978. TRUTH: The FISA
law has been updated more than 50 times since 1978, including multiple times
since Bush was elected.
President Bush signed these updates into law! Our elected leaders really
Here’s what we’re going to do. Let’s hit them on two fronts today. First, send
Congress a message telling them not to rush to a vote on FISA modernization
before they leave. Stress this in your comments. NO RUSHED VOTES!
We’ve defeated this monster before by delaying a vote, and there’s a real
chance… Continue reading
Top Ten Myths About the Illegal NSA Spying on Americans
From the ACLU
Watch ACLU’s National Town Hall Meeting on Spying, Secrecy, and Presidential
Power, held June 11, here.
MYTH: This is merely a "terrorist surveillance program."
REALITY: When there is evidence a person may be a terrorist,
both the criminal code and intelligence laws already authorize eavesdropping.
This illegal program, however, allows electronic monitoring without any showing
to a court that the person being spied upon in this country is a suspected terrorist.
MYTH: The program is legal.
REALITY: The program violates the Fourth Amendment and Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and will chill free speech.
MYTH: The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF)
REALITY: The resolution about using force in Afghanistan doesn’t
mention wiretaps and doesn’t apply domestically, but FISA does–it requires
a court order.
MYTH: The president has authority as commander in chief of
the military to spy on Americans without any court oversight.
REALITY: The Supreme Court recently found the administration’s
claim of unlimited commander in chief powers during war to be an unacceptable
effort to "condense power into a single branch of government," contrary
to the Constitution’s checks and balances.
MYTH: The president has the power to say what the law is.
REALITY: The courts have this power under our system of… Continue reading
The Timeline to Tyranny
Ten advances towards the end of freedom and privacy in the United States
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The top ten advances towards tyranny in the United States during the tenure
of the Bush administration, from the Patriot Act to the latest expansion of
the illegal eavesdropping surveillance program.
1) The USA Patriot Act
The party line often heard from Neo-Cons in their attempts to defend the Patriot
Act either circulate around the contention that the use of the Patriot Act has
never been abused or that it isn’t being used against American citizens. Here
is an archive of articles that disproves both of these fallacies.
The Patriot Act was the boiler plate from which all subsequent attacks on the
Constitution were formed.
2) Total Information Awareness
"Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription
you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail
you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you
make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions
and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a
virtual, centralized grand database," infamously wrote New York Times writer
William Safire, announcing the birth of Total Information Awareness, a kind
of Echelon on steroids introduced a year after 9/11.
American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)
HR 3835 IH
To restore the Constitution’s checks and balances and protections against
government abuses as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
October 15, 2007
Mr. PAUL introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Armed Services, Foreign
Affairs, and Select Intelligence (Permanent Select), for a period to be subsequently
determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions
as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To restore the Constitution’s checks and balances and protections against government
abuses as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007′.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Unchecked power by any branch leads to oppressive transgressions on individual
freedoms and ill-considered government policies.
(2) The Founding Fathers enshrined checks and balances in the Constitution
to protect against government abuses to derail ill-conceived domestic or foreign
(3) Checks and balances make the Nation safer by preventing abuses that would
be exploited by Al Qaeda to boost terrorist recruitment, would deter foreign
governments from cooperating in defeating international terrorism, and would
make the American people reluctant to support aggressive counter-terrorism measures.…
by Naomi Wolf
November 4, 2007
I have argued that in the closing stages of a ‘fascist shift’, events cascade. I am hearing about them, even across the globe. Here in Australia I hear from the nation’s best-know feminist activist, and former adviser to Paul Keating, Anne Summers, who was also at the time this took place Chair of the Board of Greenpeace International. Summers was detained by armed agents for FIVE HOURS each way in LAX on her way to and from the annual meeting of the board of Greenpeace International in Mexico, and her green card was taken away from her. ‘I want to call a lawyer’, she told TSA agents. ‘Ma’am, you do not have a right to call an attorney,’ they replied. ‘You have not entered the United States.’
Apparently a section of LAX just beyond the security line is asserted to be ‘not in the United States’ — though it is squarely inside the airport — so the laws of the US do not apply. (This assertion, by the way, should alarm any US citizen who is aware of how the White House argued that Guantánamo is not ‘in the United States’ – is a legal no-man’s land — so the laws of the US do not apply.) Toward the end of her second five-hour detention she asked, `Why am I being detained?’ `Lady, this is not detention,’ the TSA agent told her. `Detention is when I take you to the cells out… Continue reading
During today’s [11/5/07] White House press briefing, spokeswoman Dana Perino condemned Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of “emergency rule” in Pakistan. She said that the administration is “deeply disappointed” by the measure, which suspends the country’s constitution, and believes it is never “reasonable” to “restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism”:
Q: Is it ever reasonable to restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism?
MS. PERINO: In our opinion, no.
Watch it at http://thinkprogress.org/2007/11/05/musharraf-freedom/.
The Bush administration never suspended the U.S. Constitution; instead, it interpreted the document so broadly as to provide all the powers they desired. A look at some of the ways the White House has overstepped its constitutional powers in the name of national security:
First Amendment: In September, a federal judge ruled that the FBI’s use of secret “national security letters” to obtain citizens’ personal data from private companies for counterterrorism investigations “violate[d] the First Amendment and constitutional provisions on the separation of powers.”
First Amendment, Fourth Amendment: In Aug. 2006, a federal district court in Detroit ruled that the Bush administration’ss NSA warrantless wiretapping program was unconstitutional, violating the “separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III.”
Article I: Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in June, then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales attempted to justify the administration’s detainee policy by claiming, “There is no express grant… Continue reading
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
October 27, 2007
Americans had best rethink the “war on terror” while they still have
the liberty to do so. For all of President Bush’s blah-blah talk about bringing
democracy to the world, the Bush administration has proved that it is no friend
of liberty at home.
The Bush administration has violated constitutional principles, US law, and
the Geneva Conventions as no previous administration has done. Here is a short
list of the Bush administration’s crimes:
Spying without court warrants on Americans in violation of both the US Constitution
and the FISA statute.
The denial of habeas corpus, attorney-client privilege, due process, and Geneva
Conventions protections to those, American or foreign, designated without evidence
as terrorists or enemy combatants.
The justification and use of torture to coerce confessions and the kidnapping
of foreign nationals who are sent to be tortured in foreign prisons.
The initiation of military aggression against states based on intentional deception
by the Bush administration of the US public and the United Nations, and the
intentional fabrication of “evidence” to justify unprovoked aggression
against sovereign states, which is a war crime under the Nuremberg standard
established by the US.
Violation of the oath of office to defend the US Constitution by practically
every member of the Bush administration and Congress.
Bush has assaulted the separation of powers and the rule of law with “signing
statements” and “executive orders” that President Nixon’s White
House Counsel John Dean says are commands that treat the co-equal… Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
December 27, 2007
“There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater. … Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later….”
These are the words of Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), who as a young lawyer in Berlin during the 1930s experienced the Nazi takeover and wrote a first-hand account. His children found the manuscript when he died in 1999 and published it the following year as “Geschichte eines Deutschen” (The Story of a German).
The book became an immediate bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages–in English as “Defying Hitler.”
I recently learned from his daughter Sarah, an artist in Berlin, that today is the 100th anniversary of Haffner’s birth. She had seen an earlier article in which I quoted her father and e-mailed to ask me to “write some more about the book and the comparison to Bush’s America. … This is almost unbelievable.”
More about Haffner below. Let’s set the stage first by recapping some of what has been going on that may have resonance for readers familiar with the Nazi ascendancy, noting how “odd” it is that the frontal attack on our Constitutional rights is met with such “calm, superior indifference.”
Goebbels Would be Proud
It has been two years since top New York Times officials decided to let the rest of us in on the fact that the George W.…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 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
Posted at Crooks and Liars 4/1/08
By Logan Murphy
We brought you Attorney General, Michael Mukasey’s tearful remarks about 9/11 and the ongoing FISA battle in Congress last week and on Tuesday’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow dig deeper into what was either a series of lies from the AG or an admission of gross negligence on the part of the Bush Administration leading up to that tragic day.
Mukasey claimed that the U.S. received a phone call from a terrorist safe house in Afghanistan prior to 9/11, but couldn’t trace the call because the FISA laws were too restrictive — which is, of course, a lie. Mukasey was a Federal Judge, he knows that. Olbermann says that someone in the House or Senate needs to haul the Attorney General in and question him and find out whether he was lying to make a political point, or if the Bush administration really did receive such a call and chose not to act on it, leaving the country vulnerable to attack.
Maddow: “…Oh please, just let him have just been lying, because if he was telling the truth here, if there really was a call from a known al Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan to the United States before 9/11 which the Bush Administration did not tap and trace? That is huge news and we ought to get some answers about why we were left so unprotected and surprised on 9/11. Let’s hope that he was… Continue reading