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FOIA

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Did American Flight 77 Strike the Pentagon? The Debris Deficit

by Dr. David Ray Griffin
September 19, 2008

According to the official account of 9/11, Wedge 1 of the Pentagon was struck by Flight 77, which was a Boeing 757. If so, there surely would have been debris from the plane to support this claim. But, it appears, there was not. People who inspected Wedge 1 shortly after the attack almost universally reported an absence of the kind of debris that would have been left by the crash of a large airliner. I will give several examples.

F-16 pilot Dean Eckmann, who was asked to fly over the Pentagon and report on the extent of the damage, said that he suspected that the damage had been caused by “a big fuel tanker truck because of the amount of smoke and flames coming up and … there was no airplane wreckage off to the side.”1

Registered nurse Eileen Murphy, observing the site from the ground, said:

I knew it was a crash site before we got there, and I didn’t know what it was going to look like. I couldn’t imagine because the building is like rock solid. I expected to see the airplane, so I guess my initial impression was, “Where’s the plane? How come there’s not a plane?” I would have thought the building would have stopped it and somehow we would have seen something like part of, or half of the plane, or the lower part, or the back of the plane. So it was just a… Continue reading

The Anthrax Case Reopens: Why Did the FBI Let the Fort Detrick Scientists Investigate Themselves?

by Bill Simpich tr u t h o u t | Report

The Congressional anthrax hearings of September 16-17 revealed that public pressure is keeping the doors open in the anthrax case. FBI Director Robert Mueller promised that the FBI will provide their evidence to a panel of experts for scientific evaluation. The battle will now turn to the independence of this panel, and whether “all evidence” or merely “scientific evidence” will be under review.

During the hearings, Mueller found himself under fire by Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman John Conyers for not having answers to their questions. Republican Arlen Specter was furious at Mueller for his unwillingness to assure them that Congress would have a role in determining the panel’s composition.

Meanwhile, new evidence shows just how deeply wrong ABC and Washington Post reporters have been over the years on their coverage of the anthrax attacks. They can’t have it both ways: Either they made repeated “mistakes” by relying on their sources, or several people deliberately lied in order to advance war on Iraq.

In his recent book Taking Heat, former White House secretary Ari Fleischer wrote that Bush was more shook up by the anthrax attacks than by any other event. White House officials repeatedly pressed Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by al-Qaeda or Iraq. After days of provocative statements designed to scare the American people, Cheney himself believed that he had been exposed to anthrax. Although the test results were negative, October 18, 2001… Continue reading

Utah lawyer says Obama’s A.G. pick behind cover-up

Originally published at  The Salt Lake Tribune by Pamela Manson on December 25, 2008

Accusation–Attorney general-nominee led effort to kill investigation into prisoner’s death.

A Salt Lake City lawyer who claims his brother was tortured and murdered in a federal prison is alleging that Attorney General nominee Eric Holder played a role in covering up the crime.

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee members, lawyer Jesse Trentadue acknowledges the paper trail on Holder’s actions “is scant,” but claims he was the “point man” in an effort to persuade Congress to not investigate his brother’s death. He is asking that Holder be questioned at his confirmation hearing next year about his alleged attempt to block efforts “to obtain a certain measure of justice for my brother’s murder.”

The Department of Justice, where Holder served as deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, referred a request for comment to the Presidential Transition Team (PTT). A statement issued by an Obama transition aide denied Trentadue’s allegations.

“Multiple independent investigations have found that Kenneth Trentadue’s death was a suicide,” the statement said. “There is simply no  evidence to support the claims in this letter.”

The body of Kenneth Trentadue, who had served time for bank robbery and was being held on an alleged parole violation, was found hanging in his cell at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City on Aug. 21, 1995.

Several investigations by state and federal agencies ruled the death a suicide, but his survivors believe Kenneth Trentadue was strangled… Continue reading

(Some) 9/11 Commission Records Released

From The National Archives Legislative Branch – The Center for Legislative Archives
January 14, 2009

FAQs on the 9/11 Commission Records

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, was an independent, bipartisan commission created by Congress. The Commission’s mandate was to provide a “full and complete accounting” of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and to provide recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future. The Commission, extant from 2003 – 2004, held hearings, conducted interviews, and produced a report.

When the 9/11 Commission closed on August 21, 2004, it transferred legal custody of its records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Commission encouraged the release of its records to the fullest extent possible in January 2009. Because the Commission was part of the legislative branch its records are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Approximately 35% of the Commission’s archived textual records are now publicly available. Due to the collection’s volume and the large percentage of national security classified files, NARA staff was unable to process the entire collection by January 2009. Review and processing focused on the portion of the collection that contains unique documents created by the Commission and those that reveal the most about the scope of the investigation and the internal workings of the Commission and its staff.

Read more about the Commission Records

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Obama restores some of the ‘Freedom’ to FOIA

January 23, 2009
By Michael Doyle
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — One curious soul on Feb. 8, 2001, filed a Freedom of Information
Act request with the State Department.

He or she is still awaiting a reply.

Nearly eight years have passed, making the early 2001 search for information
one of the State Department’s 10 oldest pending FOIA requests. While extreme,
it also reflects how information flow slowed markedly during the Bush administration.

“In the past, it’s been difficult even for a public agency like ourselves
to obtain information that affects our operations,” Tom Birmingham, general
manager of the Westlands Water District in Fresno, Calif., said on Friday.

As one of his first acts, President Barack Obama issued an order reversing
his predecessor’s approach toward the release of government documents. Scholars,
journalists, farmers and the simply curious now await the reopening of federal
information taps tightened since 2001.

In fiscal 2007, for instance, the Defense Department completely granted approximately
48 percent of the FOIA requests it processed. In fiscal 1998, by contrast, the
Clinton administration’s Defense Department completely granted approximately
61 percent of FOIA requests.

The Pentagon was not alone, a review of federal agency reports shows. Percentages
are approximate, because of how the reports are compiled, but trends are obvious.

The Interior Department completely granted approximately 64 percent of FOIA
requests processed in 1998 but only 47 percent in 2007. The State Department
completely granted 28 percent of FOIA requests processed in 1998, compared with
9 percent in 1998.

Other federal agencies, though not all, likewise lessened access to information
during the Bush administration, the review of public records reveals.…

Continue reading

New PENTTBOM.com videos as of February 1st, 2009

February 1, 2009

In reference to our FOIA request, the FBI has sent us 13 additional PENTTBOM videos. This is the second round release (not counting the CCTV Pentagon, CITGO, and Doubletree video releases). Each DVD contains 1 video from the ‘menu’ list. Here is a summary of what was sent:

NE515: WTC ground scenes. Begins 5 minutes after first impact. Witness says he saw the first plane.

K3074: Footage of the second plane impacting the WTC. The video also captures the collapses.

NE418: Pentagon witness saying he saw a plane land into the Pentagon, followed by another plane (C130).

NE521: Starts just after first plane hits WTC. Interesting commentary by cameraman and his friends. Some audio redacted by FBI. Shows close-up of someone falling.

NE485: Fire department video. Shows a fire department on routine calls, then the camera man drives in a car to the Pentagon. Various scenes of the crash site.
NE519: Various WTC ground scenes prior to the second impact. Catches only fireball of second impact. Shows people running and screaming. Cameraman goes to his apartment, then back onto the street. Inside of a hotel lobby when the first tower collapses. No commentary.
NE522: WTC and various NYC ground scenes. Shows the FBI around a motorhome and then the video is redacted. Mostly just shaky camera work.
NE3075: Evan Fairbanks footage. Professional camerawork. Several witnesses. Famous second plane impact footage. Many shots near the base of the towers. Shows… Continue reading

Truth & Deception: An Interview with Kevin Ryan on 9/11

In this interview Kevin Ryan discusses the science and psychology of
9/11. He also mentions an upcoming paper that provides strong evidence of incendiary
residues found in the World Trade Center dust. Ryan, who is one of the co-authors
of the paper, says that it is “…much more conclusive than anything we’ve published
before, and is supported by considerable physical testing.”

American Buddhist Net News
2/14/09

ABN: Kevin, you have been a central figure in the 9/11 truth movement. What have you learned from that experience?

KR: The struggle for 9/11 truth has gone on now for over seven years, although I’ve been involved only since 2003. In that time I’ve learned a good deal about history and social inertia, and I’ve made some progress in my communications skills. Many people might think that speaking out publicly, against the wishes of authority like I did, risking one’s career and public standing, can only be harmful to a person. But I’ve found that by showing that I was genuinely seeking a positive outcome, the opportunity to make such a sacrifice became a blessing. There were changes, of course, including a new job and moving to a new town, and a huge amount of work with my new “unpaid job”, but it has been worth it. This is in part due to the fact that I’ve learned that there are many people in the world who feel as I do, that the events of 9/11 were paradoxically something of a gift to… Continue reading

CIA Destroyed Tapes Admission Comes In ACLU Lawsuit Over Torture Documents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK — According to a letter filed by the government in court today,
the CIA acknowledged it destroyed 92 tapes of interrogations. The admission
comes in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking records of the treatment
of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. In December 2007, the ACLU filed a motion
to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of videotapes recording the
harsh interrogation of prisoners in violation of a court order requiring the
agency to produce or identify all the requested records. That motion is still
pending.

The following can be attributed to Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU:

“This letter provides further evidence for holding the CIA in contempt
of court. The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency
engaged in a systemic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations
and to evade the court’s order. Our contempt motion has been pending in court
for over a year now — it is time to hold the CIA accountable for its flagrant
disregard for the rule of law.”

The tapes, which show CIA operatives subjecting suspects to extremely harsh
interrogation methods, should have been identified and processed for the ACLU
in response to its FOIA request demanding information on the treatment and interrogation
of detainees in U.S. custody. The tapes were also withheld from the 9/11 Commission,
appointed by former President Bush and Congress, which had formally requested
that the CIA hand over transcripts and… Continue reading

Sunshine Week 2009: March 15-21

Sunshine Week Logo Sunshine Week, launched by the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2005, is a national effort to inform the public about the importance of open government and the free flow of information.

This week, newspapers across the country will once again sponsor panel discussions, Webcasts and op-eds pushing the American ideals of a free press and citizen access to the inner workings of government.

Poster for Sunshine Week In recognition of Sunshine Week, News graphic artist Daniel Zakroczemski has created a poster celebrating freedom of information. To download a copy of the poster, click here .

Sunshine Week 2009 Calendar of Events

Survey Of State Government Information Online

Most Americans can easily find videos of water skiing squirrels on the Internet but they’ll have less luck finding out whether their children’s school buses and classrooms are safe, or if neighborhood gas stations are overcharging. The Sunshine Week 2009 Survey of State Government Information online found that while more and more government records are being posted online, some of the most important information is being left offline. And in some cases governments are charging taxpayers to access records that they already paid for, such as death certificates. Read the report… .

Sunshine Week Toolkit

Sunshine Week Newswire


For release: March 13, 2009

Federal Govt. Still Viewed as Secretive; President’s FOI Orders Get High Marks

Washington, D.C. — For the first time in four years, public opinion about government secrecy has leveled off, although more than seven in 10 adults still consider the federal government to… Continue reading

Attorney General Sets New FOIA Policy; Its Impact Remains to be Seen

Electronic Frontier Foundation
David L. Sobel
March 19, 2009

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Attorney General Eric Holder today issued new guidelines (PDF) on federal agency implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The guidelines were issued pursuant to a directive issued by President Obama on January 21, his first full day in office. Like the Obama directive itself, the Holder guidelines express strong support for government transparency and establish a presumption in favor of disclosure of information requested under FOIA.

Perhaps most notably, the new guidelines rescind the so-called Ashcroft memo, issued by the former Attorney General in October 2001. That directive — widely criticized within the open government community — encouraged agencies to resist disclosure of requested information and to release documents “only after full and deliberate consideration” of the potential harms that might result. The Ashcroft memo also assured agencies that the Justice Department would defend in court any decisions to withhold information “unless they lack a sound legal basis.”

The new Holder guidelines echo the more pro-disclosure policy of former Attorney General Janet Reno and, like the Reno directive, encourage agencies to make “discretionary” disclosures of information that is not clearly required to be withheld as a matter of law. The new guidelines provide:

First, an agency should not withhold information simply because it may do so legally. I strongly encourage agencies to make discretionary disclosures of information. An agency should not withhold records merely because it can demonstrate, as a technical matter, that the… Continue reading

CIA Documents Released in Trentadue (OKC) Case


On March 18 we received the following email–CIA documents (posted
here
) have been released in the ongoing case regarding the murder of Kenneth
Trentadue. Email author Jesse Trentadue, Kenneth’s brother, who is an attorney
in Salt Lake City continues to relentlessly pursue justice in his brother’s
death, apparently at the hands of the FBI, in spite of significant governmental
obstacles. A brief article about Trentadue by Andrew W. Griffin was published
December 3, 2008: Brother
of slain inmate speaks out, says DOJ thwarted serious investigation
.

Background–Readers will recall that the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma
City was bombed April 19, 1995. Extensive information about the OKC bombing
is available at Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation Committee, and an excellent
review, “Key to the Truth in Oklahoma–4.19.95 and 9.11.01″ by Holland
Van den Nieuwenhof was published
here
on April 18, 2008.]

Attached are documents just released by CIA. They have been filed with Court
and are, therefore, public record. I believe that this is the first time the
government has claimed exemption (b)(1) for withholding information in the
Oklahoma City Bombing case. Exemption (b)(1) is the national security exemption.

Jesse Trentadue
Attorney at Law
Salt Lake City, UT

Today, the following analysis is available from IntelWire.com.

March 19, 2009
By J.M. Berger
INTELWIRE.com

New Oklahoma City bombing documents released by the FBI say a domestic terrorist
group known as “The Order” had been defunct for 10 years, even though the Bureau
was conducting two active investigations on related groups… Continue reading

Two New Tools from Electronic Freedom Foundation

EFF Releases How-To Guide to Fight Government Spying
‘Surveillance Self-Defense’ Gives Practical Advice on Protecting Your Private
Data

March 3, 2009

San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) launched its Surveillance
Self-Defense project today — an online how-to guide for protecting your private
data against government spying. You can find the project at ssd.eff.org.

EFF created the Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate Americans about the
law and technology of communications surveillance and computer searches and
seizures, and to provide the information and tools necessary to keep their private
data out of the government’s hands. The guide includes tips on assessing the
security risks to your personal computer files and communications, strategies
for interacting with law enforcement, and articles on specific defensive technologies
such as encryption that can help protect the privacy of your data.

“Despite a long and troubling history in this country of the government
abusing its surveillance powers, most Americans know very little about how the
law protects them or about how they can take steps to protect themselves against
government surveillance,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston.
“The Surveillance Self-Defense project offers citizens a legal and technical
toolkit with tips on how to defend themselves in case the government attempts
to search, seize, subpoena or spy on their most private data.”

Surveillance Self-Defense details what the government can legally do to spy
on your computer data and communications, and what you can legally do to protect
yourself against such spying. It addresses how to protect not only the data
stored on your computer, but also the data you communicate over the phone or
the Internet and data about your communications that are stored by third party
service providers.…

Continue reading

The EFF digs deep into the FBI’s ‘everything bucket’

A new EFF report pulls together everything that’s now known about the FBI’s monster internal records system.
By Jon Stokes
April 30, 2009
arstechnica.com

Earlier this week, the EFF published a new report detailing the FBI’s Investigative Data Warehouse, which appears to be something like a combination of Google and a university’s slightly out-of-date custom card catalog with a front-end written for Windows 2000 that uses cartoon icons that some work-study student made in Microsoft Paint. I guess I’m supposed to fear the IDW as an invasion of privacy, and indeed I do, but given the report’s description of it and my experiences with the internal-facing software products of large, sprawling, unaccountable bureaucracies, I mostly just fear for our collective safety.

The idea behind the system, which the FBI has been working on since at least 2002, is that the Bureau can dump all of its information in there so that it can be easily searched and shared. IDW contains more documents than the library of congress–a stew of TIFFs with OCRed text, multiple Oracle databases, news streamed in from the Internet, reports and records in various in-house data formats, watch lists, telephone data, and an alphabet soup of smaller databases and records repositories–all accessible as one sprawling system that processes batch jobs, runs queries, and issues alerts. In short, the IDW is an “everything bucket” for the FBI.

Complicating the picture is the fact that some parts of the system are classified as “secret,” while others aren’t.… Continue reading

Court Pulls Curtain Over White House E-mails

by Chris George
May 19, 2009
OMBwatch.org

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled today that the White House Office of Administration (OA) does not need to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith, writing for the 3-0 majority, concluded: “the Office of Administration is not [covered by FOIA] because it performs only operational and administrative tasks in support of the President and his staff and therefore, under our precedent, lacks substantial independent authority.”

The Office of Administration, “which handles personnel, technology and financial support for the White House,” had complied with FOIA for much of its history, “until 2007, when the Bush Administration abruptly asserted that the office was exempt.” The reversal prompted a lawsuit in August 2007 from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) after millions of Bush White House e-mails were allegedly lost.

CREW filed a FOIA request seeking “records about the EOP’s e-mail management system, reports analyzing potential problems with the system, records of retained e-mails and possibly missing ones, documents discussing plans to find the missing e-mails, and proposals to institute a new e-mail record system.” Initially, CREW and OA agreed on a time table for the release of these records, but shortly thereafter the Bush administration claimed that the office was exempt from FOIA. The administration’s position was that the administrative support and services provided by the OA to the Executive Office of the President placed it “outside FOIA’s definition of ‘agency.’”… Continue reading

U.S. BTS FOIA Records For 9/11 Planes Differ From BTS Online Database

Aidan Monaghan
June 22, 2009
911blogger.com

According to a Freedom of Information Act reply from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the last known pre-9/11 flights for three of the four aircraft involved in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 took place in December, 2000, nine months before the attacks, while no pre-9/11 final flight information was provided for American Airlines flight 77 (N644AA).

However, a discovered searchable online BTS database produces the following search results for three of the four 9/11 aircraft on September 10, 2001:

AA 11 departs San Francisco (SFO): AA 09/10/2001 0198 (flight number) N334AA (tail number) BOS (destination) 22:04 (wheels-off time)

UA 175 departs San Francisco (SFO): UA 09/10/2001 0170 (flight number) N612UA (tail number) BOS (destination) 13:44 (wheels-off time)

UA 93 departs San Francisco (SFO): UA 09/10/2001 0078 (flight number) N591UA (tail number) EWR (destination) 23:15 (wheels-off time)

http://www.bts.gov/xml/ontimesummarystatistics/src/dstat/OntimeSummaryDe…
AA 11:

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/88Badmachine88/AABTS.jpg
UA 175 and UA 93

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/88Badmachine88/UABTS.jpg

Continue reading

Demolition access to the World Trade Center towers: Part one – Tenants

by Kevin R. Ryan
7-09-09
Distribution via the Unanswered Questions Wire
http://www.unansweredquestions.org/

Note: The author is indebted to a few particularly useful sources of information and inspiration, including Russ Baker’s book “Family of Secrets”, the websites nndb.com, sourcewatch.org and secinfo.com, and Richard Gage.

On occasion, the public has been asked by George W. Bush to refrain from considering certain conspiracy theories. Bush has made such requests when people were looking into crimes in which he might be culpable. For example, when in 1994 Bush’s former company Harken Energy was linked to the fraudulent Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) through several investors, Bush’s spokeswoman, Karen Hughes, shut down the inquiry by telling the Associated Press — “We have no response to silly conspiracy theories.” On another occasion, Bush said in a televised speech — “Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th.”

But paradoxically, we have also been asked to believe Bush’s own outrageous conspiracy theory about 9/11, one that has proven to be false in many ways. One important way to see the false nature of Bush’s conspiracy theory is to note the fact that the World Trade Center buildings could only have fallen as they did through the use of explosives. A number of independent scientific studies have pointed out this fact [1, 2, 3, 4], but it was Bush’s own scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), through their inability to provide a convincing defense of… Continue reading

Yahoo, Verizon: Our Spy Capabilities Would ‘Shock’, ‘Confuse’ Consumers

By Kim Zetter
December 1, 2009
Wired.com

Want to know how much phone companies and internet service providers charge to funnel your private communications or records to U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies?

That’s the question muckraker and Indiana University graduate student Christopher Soghoian asked all agencies within the Department of Justice, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed a few months ago. But before the agencies could provide the data, Verizon and Yahoo intervened and filed an objection on grounds that, among other things, they would be ridiculed and publicly shamed were their surveillance price sheets made public.

Yahoo writes in its 12-page objection letter (.pdf), that if its pricing information were disclosed to Soghoian, he would use it “to ‘shame’ Yahoo! and other companies — and to ‘shock’ their customers.”

“Therefore, release of Yahoo!’s information is reasonably likely to lead to impairment of its reputation for protection of user privacy and security, which is a competitive disadvantage for technology companies,” the company writes.

Verizon took a different stance. It objected to the release (.pdf) of its Law Enforcement Legal Compliance Guide because it might “confuse” customers and lead them to think that records and surveillance capabilities available only to law enforcement would be available to them as well — resulting in a flood of customer calls to the company asking for trap and trace orders.

“Customers may see a listing of records, information or assistance that is available only to law enforcement,” Verizon writes in its… Continue reading

FBI Documents Support Explosive Claims by Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds

BoilingFrogsPost.com (Sibel Edmonds’ Blog)

FOIA Collage
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.…

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