by Michael Keefer
December 4, 2006
The first thing to say by way of preliminaries (and I’d better get it in quickly before someone suggests that I’ve turned up late or over-weight for a pre-match weighing-in) is that I’m not overjoyed with the pugilistic metaphor of my title.
But some sort of response to the volley of attacks on 9/11 researchers and activists with which the Counterpunch website marked the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 seems called for.
Michael Keefer strikes just the right tone in responding to Alexander Cockburn’s attempt to banish “conspiracy nuts” from the kingdom of the left.Keefer accounts for Cockburn’s hostility to conspiracy by locating him in the “class of academics and public intellectuals, for whom a migration of power into military, deep-political, and corporate-media hands may…. be difficult to acknowledge.” We’d add that when those intellectuals are wedded to a brand of analysis that cannot satisfactorily account for what they see transpiring before their eyes, that difficulty is only magnified.
Slowly but surely, the academic left is coming to understand that the deep politics paradigm offers the most promising analytic tools for understanding the dynamics of geopolitical struggle. Don’t be surprised by the discomfort associated with the paradigm shift to continue to produce rhetorically overheated, but substantively lacking, complaints like Cockburn’s for quite some time. But really, that’s his problem.
Counterpunch co-editor Alexander Cockburn set the tone of these pieces with an article describing theologian and ethicist David Ray Griffin, the author of The New Pearl Harbor (2004) and of The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005), as a “high priest” of the “conspiracy nuts””whom Cockburn denounces as cultists who “disdain all answers but their own,” who “seize on coincidences and force them into sequences they deem to be logical and significant,” and who “pounce on imagined clues in documents and photos, [".] contemptuously brush[ing] aside” evidence that contradicts their own “whimsical” treatment of “eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence.”
It’s a characteristically forceful performance, if at times slipshod. One small sign of carelessness may be the manner in which Cockburn slides from calling 9/11 skeptics a “coven” to comparing them, a few sentences later, to “mad Inquisitors” torturing the data (as the old joke goes about economists) until the data confess.” Readers brought up to think that the victims and perpetrators of witch-crazes have not customarily been the same people may find this unintentionally amusing.
Despite the sometimes distinctly nasty tone of this polemic, the idea of exchanging even metaphorical blows with Cockburn and his colleagues is unappealing. The overall quality of the essays that he and Jeffrey St. Clair publish in Counterpunch makes it easy on most days of the week to agree with Out of Bounds Magazine‘s description of it (trumpeted on Counterpunch‘s masthead) as “America’s best political newsletter.” And I’ve admired Cockburn’s own political essays for many years: he’s written movingly, sometimes brilliantly, on a wide range of subjects1 even if his flashes of brilliance sometimes alternate with breathtaking pratfalls: among them his dismissal, as recently as March 2001, of the evidence for global warming; his scoffing, in November 2004, at the rapidly gathering indications that the US presidential election of 2004 had been stolen; and a year later, his mockery of the well-established theory of peak oil and his adherence to the genuinely daft notion that the earth produces limitless quantities of abiotic oil.2 One can forgive a journalist’s slender grasp of the rudiments of scientific understanding. But given his self-appointed role as defender of the progressive left against a horde of fools, It’s dismaying to find him sliding as frequently as he does into positions that seem not just quirky but (dare I say it) unprogressive. Continue reading
Send 500,000 impeachment letters to Pelosi by her first day as speaker,
While arguing about whether we should demand impeachment in another thread,
someone said there had to be a “groundswell of support” like there
was for the impeachment of Nixon and cited this article:
“More than 50,000 telegrams poured in on Capitol Hill today, so many,
Western Union was swamped. Most of them demanded impeaching Mr. Nixon.”
John Chancellor, NBC News on a Special Report on October 20, 1973
We already have more support than that. When John Conyers took Bush his petition
demanding he answer questions about the Downing Street Memo, it had 540,000 signatures, over
ten times as many as wrote about Nixon. I would bet most of those people would
write to demand impeachment of Bush, probably more.
The great thing is, now we have someone to focus this demand on who can and
possibly will act (in spite of her protests to the contrary): Nancy Pelosi.
She should have a half million signatures waiting for her her first day as
Speaker of the House.
I think she and the many of the Democrats want to do this, but to overcome
the reluctance of the DC establishment and big money interests who are afraid
their ox will be gored along with Bush & Cheney, she needs constant overwhelming
evidence of public DEMAND not just support for impeachment.
Fax or snail mail the letter below or your own variation to:
2371 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
450 Golden Gate Ave.…Continue reading
by John J. Albanese
March 15, 2007
I must profess embarrassment. After 5 years of 9/11 activism KSM’s confession
today has brought my world crashing down. After years of paranoid conspiracy
theories I must now accept the government’s word that this confession
is the genuine bona fide article – the final smoking gun behind 9/11.
It is therefore out of respect for our legal system that I will reproduce KSM’s
I, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, being of sound mind and body, un-coerced by torture,
and fully enjoying the legal representation and due process afforded me under
the Constitution of the United States of America, hereby confess to the following
crimes associated with 9/11:
“Kucinich brings hard-nosed arguments”
In an article published today at TimesUnion.com Kucinich
said that as chairman of a House subcommittee on domestic policy, he plans to launch an investigation of “a narrow portion” of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He offered few details, but said his subcommittee would be looking at “a few, specific discrepancies in the public record.” The 9/11 Commission that published its final report in 2004 never resolved some conflicting facts, Kucinich said. He announced his own look at 9/11 in answer to a question from an audience member. The man complained that the 9/11 Commission was too tied to the Bush administration to offer an unbiased report, and Kucinich agreed.
We encourage readers to share this information with your lists, and to contact Rep. Kucinich with a note of support at http://kucinich.us/contact. You might also wish to express gratitude to this TimesUnion reporter, Dan Higgins, by e-mail at email@example.com.
Secondly, Rep. Kucinich is asking blog readers, “Impeachment: I’m asking you. Do you think it’s time?” http://kucinich.us/node/3696
Please take a moment and reply to Rep. Kucinich’s question at that page … “Yes, and please include Articles of Impeachment for criminal negligence and obstruction of justice arising from the crimes of September 11th, 2001.”
Working for the Clampdown: What might the president do with his new power to declare martial law?
By James Bovard
04/25/07 “American Conservative” — – How many pipe bombs might it take to end American democracy? Far fewer than it would have taken a year ago.
The Defense Authorization Act of 2006 [Ed.: Details at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-1815], passed on Sept. 30, empowers President George W. Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist “incident,” if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of “public order,” or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations.
The media and most of Capitol Hill ignored or cheered on this grant of nearly boundless power. But now that the president’s arsenal of authority is swollen and consecrated, a few voices of complaint are being heard. Even the New York Times recently condemned the new law for “making martial law easier.”
It only took a few paragraphs in a $500 billion, 591-page bill to raze one of the most important limits on federal power. Congress passed the Insurrection Act in 1807 to severely restrict the president’s ability to deploy the military within the United States. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 tightened these restrictions, imposing a two-year prison sentence on anyone who used the military within the U.S. without the express permission of Congress. But there is a loophole: Posse Comitatus is waived if the president invokes the Insurrection Act.
Section 1076 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 [Ed.: Details at www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-5122"] changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from “Insurrection Act” to “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” The Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only “to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” The new law expands the list to include “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition”–and such “condition” is not defined or limited.…Continue reading
04/30/07 “ICH” — – “If you can’t say something positive about someone, don’t say anything.” This was drummed into me by my Irish grandmother and, as was the case with most of her admonishments, it has stood me in good stead. On occasion, though, it has been a real bother–as when I felt called to comment on George Tenet’s apologia, In the Center of the Storm, coming soon to a bookstore near you.
On the verge of despair, I ran into an old classmate of Tenet’s from PS 94 in Little Neck, Queens. Help at last. He told me that George was more handsome than his twin brother Billy, and that his outgoing nature and consummate political skill got him elected president of the student body.
Positive enough, Grandma? Now let me add this.
George Tenet’s book shows that he remains, first and foremost, a politician–with no clue as to the proper role of intelligence work. He is unhappy about going down in history as “Slam Dunk Tenet.” George protests that his famous remark to President Bush on Dec. 21, 2002 was not meant to assure the president that available intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a “slam dunk.” Rather he meant that the argument that Saddam Hussein had such weapons could be readily enhanced to slam-dunk status in order to sell war on Iraq. Yesterday evening on CBS’ 60 Minutes Tenet explained what he meant when he uttered those words–the words he says have now been distorted to blame him for the war in Iraq.…Continue reading
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
Republicans reject that view and, by a 7-to-1 margin, say the President did not know in advance about the attacks. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 18% believe the President knew and 57% take the opposite view.
Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. White Americans are less likely than others to believe that either the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. Young Americans are more likely than their elders to believe the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.
However, just 8% of voters say the CIA was Very Truthful before the War in Iraq. Another 33% believe the CIA was Somewhat Truthful. Most, 52%, believe the CIA was Not Very Truthful or Not at All Truthful before the War.
Still, 57% have a favorable opinion of the CIA. Thirty-six percent (36%) have an unfavorable view.
Former CIA Director George Tenet doesn’t fare so well. He is viewed favorably by 29% of voters and unfavorably by 49%.
Just 12% have followed news stories about Tenet’s new book Very Closely. Another 29% have followed the stories Somewhat… Continue reading
by Robert Parry
In late August 2001, when aggressive presidential action might have changed the course of U.S. history, CIA Director George Tenet made a special trip to Crawford, Texas, to get George W. Bush to focus on an imminent threat of a spectacular al-Qaeda attack only to have the conversation descend into meaningless small talk.
Alarmed CIA officials already had held an extraordinary meeting with then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on July 10 to lay out the accumulating evidence of an impending attack and had delivered on Aug. 6 a special “Presidential Daily Brief” to Bush entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.”
“A few weeks after the Aug. 6 PDB was delivered, I followed it to Crawford to make sure the President stayed current on events,” Tenet wrote in his memoir, At the Center of the Storm. “This was my first visit to the ranch. I remember the President graciously driving me around the spread in his pickup and my trying to make small talk about the flora and the fauna, none of which were native to Queens,” where Tenet had grown up.
Tenet’s trip to Crawford — like the July 10 meeting with Rice and the Aug. 6 briefing paper for Bush — failed to shock the administration out of its lethargy nor elicit the emergency steps that the CIA and other counterterrorism specialists wanted.
While Tenet and Bush made small talk about “the flora and the fauna,” al-Qaeda operatives put the finishing touches on their plans.…Continue reading
May 24, 2007
For the First Time, New York Links a Death to 9/11 Dust
By ANTHONY DePALMA
New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, has for the first time directly linked a death to exposure to dust from the destruction of the World Trade Center.
In a letter made public yesterday, Dr. Hirsch said that he was certain “beyond a reasonable doubt” that dust from the twin towers contributed to the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones, 42, a civil rights lawyer who was engulfed on Sept. 11 as she ran from her office a block away from the trade center.
She later developed a serious cough and had trouble breathing, and she died five months after the terrorist attack.
Dr. Hirsch said he had decided to amend Mrs. Dunn-Jones’s death certificate to indicate that exposure to trade center dust “was contributory to her death.” The manner of death will be changed from natural causes to homicide.
Her name will be added to the official list of World Trade Center victims, and the official number of people who died as a result of the attack on the twin towers will be increased to 2,750.
By making a formal connection between Mrs. Dunn-Jones’s death and her relatively brief exposure to the dust, the medical examiner’s decision could have a wide impact on how the city deals with the growing number of illnesses and deaths linked in some way to ground zero.
The city is already under pressure to re-examine the deaths of people like James Zadroga, 34, a New York police detective who worked at the debris pile in the months after the towers fell.…Continue reading
The newest volley in the disinformation campaign regarding 9/11 is a simulation of the Twin Towers created by Purdue University. As summarized by Raw Story :
The simulation found jet engine shafts from airlines flown into the World Trade Center “flew through the building like bullets,” according to an Associated Press video report.
Flaming jet fuel cascaded through the tower stripping away fireproofing material and causing the building to collapse, the AP video reports.
“The weight of the aircraft’s fuel, when ignited, acted like a flash flood of flaming liquid,” according to the video.
A recently released Purdue University animated computer simulation “shows that it was the weight of the fuel combined with the fire, and not the aircraft itself, that caused the most damage to the buildings.”Specific flaws in this two-year project are being brought to light now. “Researchers have stated that the Purdue simulation contradicts the observed facts in other ways, and in the next couple of weeks, they will publish their findings.” (911truth.org will publish these findings as they become available.)Perhaps most disturbing to readers considering whether this simulation is trustworthy is the source of funding for the study, and the fact that Purdue is part of The Regional Visualization and Analytics Centers (RVACs), a Department of Homeland Security “Center… Continue reading
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, June 24, 2007
“Another [9/11 type terrorist] attack could create both a justification
and an opportunity that is lacking today to retaliate against some known targets”
(Statement by Pentagon official, leaked to the Washington Post, 23 April 2006)
The US media consensus is that “the United States faces its greatest
threat of a terrorist assault since the September 11 attacks” (USA Today,
12 February 2006) The American Homeland is threatened by ” Islamic terrorists”,
allegedly supported by Tehran and Damascus.
America is under attack” by an illusive “outside enemy”.
Concepts are turned upside down. War becomes Peace. “Offense” becomes
a legitimate means of “self-defense”. In the words of President Bush:
“Against this kind of enemy, there is only one effective response:
We must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the fight to them.”
(President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)
The intent is to seek a pretext to wage a preemptive war.
A “terrorist attack on America” could be used to justify, in the
eyes of an increasingly credulous public opinion, on “humanitarian grounds”,
the launching of a major theater war directed against Iran and Syria.
Allegedly supported by Iran, the terrorists are said to possess nuclear capabilities.
They are supposedly planning to explode “radiological dispersion devices”
(RDD) or “dirty bombs” in densely populated urban areas in the US.… 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
Written by Robert Kubey, EXTRA!
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Read the full article (below): Bush Moves Toward Martial Law by Frank Morales, published in TowardFreedom.com on October 26, 2006.
The article below is reprinted from EXTRA! Magazine
On October 17, 2006, when George W. Bush signed the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2007–a $538 billion military spending bill–he enacted into law a section called “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.” In the view of many, this Act substantially changed fundamental laws of the United States, giving Bush–and all future U.S. presidents–new and sweeping powers to use the U.S. military anywhere in the United States, virtually as he sees fit–for disaster relief, crowd control, suppression of public disorder, or any “other condition” that might arise.
News coverage of these significant changes in the law has been virtually nonexistent. At nearly every stage when it might have received coverage, the news media have completely ignored the story: When the NDAA was debated, when it was passed in the House on September 29 and in the Senate on Sept.… Continue reading
From August 3rd – 12th, 911truth.org will join a coalition of organizations
to help host “Answers For 9/11 Families” week. Hundreds
of Americans will come together at house parties across the country to screen
the acclaimed film featuring the September 11th families, 9/11 Press For
This stunning movie exposes the government’s and the media’s failure to answer
the many important questions of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee, a group
of twelve victim’s relatives who tenaciously fought the White House to force
the creation of the 9/11 Commission. Six of them tell their story first-hand
in the movie, revealing for the first time that “70% of our questions”
were not answered by the Final Report. The movie stitches together rare overlooked
news clips, buried stories, and government press conferences to clearly detail
a pattern of deception by U.S. officials.
Now, Congressman Dennis Kucinich
has announced plans for a new 9/11 investigation beginning in September
because “the 9/11 Commission… never resolved some conflicting facts.”
Recently, Please join the effort to encourage Congress to support investigations
until all remaining Family Steering Committee questions are answered.
Send a “Press
For Truth Pack” to your Congressman and sign up today to host
or attend a 9/11 Press For Truth house party in your community.
(NOTE: Simple instructions on how to make your house party film screening a
success will be emailed to everyone who signs up to host a party. Please order
your DVD immediately after signing up in order to ensure it arrives in time
for your house party.)
“We thought the country was at risk from terrorists and from incompetence,”
says Jersey widow Lorie Van Auken in the movie, “and maybe worse.”
Fellow ‘Jersey Girl’ Patty Casazza puts it more succinctly: “They lied.…
We Will Sit In for Impeachment
David Swanson, 07/05/07
On July 23rd phone John Conyers at 202-225-5126 or send him a fax with one click.
Cindy Sheehan to Lead March for Impeachment, Arlington to Capitol Hill, July 23rd
WHAT: March from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol Hill Office of Congressman John Conyers to ask him to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney or President George W. Bush or both. Participants hope to meet with Congressman Conyers and receive his assurance that impeachment proceedings will begin at once in the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. Many of those participating have commited to only leave if Conyers agrees to begin impeachment or they are arrested.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been the driving force against impeachment in Congress. If there is no agreement to begin impeachment proceedings by Monday, Sheehan will announce her candidacy challenging Pelosi for election in California’s 8th Congressional District.
WHO: Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey Sheehan, KIA in Iraq 2004, founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and of the Camp Casey Peace Institute; Ray McGovern, 27-year veteran of the CIA and cofounder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President of the Hip Hop Caucus; Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel and diplomat who resigned in protest the day the U.S. invaded Iraq; Debra Sweet, national coordinator of the World Can’t Wait; Dave Lindorff, author of “The Case for Impeachment,” David Swanson, cofounder of AfterDowningStreet.org; Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, both cofounders of Code Pink; Kevin Zeese, director of Democracy Rising; Tina Richards, military mother and creator of GrassRootsAmerica4Us; and many many others.…Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
What do Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, and President George W. Bush have in common? They both think they can dis Cindy Sheehan and count on gossip columnists like the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank to trivialize a historic moment.
I’ll give this to President Bush. He makes no pretence when he disses. He would not meet with Sheehan to define for her the “noble cause” for which her son Casey died or tell her why he had said it was “worth it.”
Conyers, on the other hand, was dripping with pretence as he met with Sheehan, Rev. Lennox Yearwood and me Monday in his office in the Rayburn building. I have seldom been so disappointed with someone I had previously held in high esteem. And before leaving, I told him so.
Throwing salt in our wounds, he had us, and some 50 others in his anteroom arrested and taken out of action as the Capitol Police “processed” us for the next six hours.
As we began our discussion with Conyers, it was as though he thought we were “born yesterday,” as Harry Truman would put it. With feigned enthusiasm he began, Let’s hold a Town Hall meeting in Detroit so we can talk about impeachment. Get out my schedule; let’s see, we need to hear from everyone about this.
Been there, done that, I… Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union was encouraged today by
the House Armed Services Committee hearing titled Upholding the Principle of
Habeas Corpus for Detainees. The committee discussed Chairman Ike Skelton’s
(D-MO) proposed bipartisan legislation restoring the due process right of habeas
corpus that was taken away by the Military Commissions Act last fall. The ACLU
hopes this hearing will lead to the enactment of Chairman Skelton’s bill.
"Chairman Skelton and the House Armed Services Committee should be commended
for trying to restore our nation’s Constitution and the rule of law. Returning
habeas corpus should be a top priority of this Congress, and Chairman Skelton’s
bill is a good first step," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the
ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "To let a president define who is an
enemy combatant and then order those people held indefinitely and without charge
at places like Guantánamo Bay undermines our core American values. In the November
2006 elections, the American people demanded Congress rein in the Bush administration’s
shredding of the Constitution. Chairman Skelton is acting on that call for reform."
H.R. 2826, sponsored by Chairman Skelton, is a bipartisan bill that would restore
the constitutional due process right of habeas corpus that the Congress and
the president took away with the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), a law
pushed through by President Bush just weeks before the midterm elections.
"Today’s hearing takes us one step closer to restoring our Constitution
and undoing the wrongs of Guantánamo Bay," said Christopher Anders, legislative
counsel for the ACLU.…
Dangers of a Cornered George Bush
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity & Dr. Justin Frank
July 27, 2007
The “new” strategy of surging troops in Baghdad has simply wasted more lives and bought some time for the president. His strategy boils down to keeping as many of our soldiers engaged as possible, in order to stave off definitive defeat in Iraq before January 2009.
Bush is commander in chief, but Congress must approve funding for the war, and its patience is running out. The war — and the polls — are going so badly that it is no longer a sure thing that the administration will be able to fund continuance of the war.
There is an outside chance Congress will succeed in forcing a pullout starting in the next several months. What would the president likely do in reaction to that slap in the face?
What would he do if the Resistance succeeded in mounting a large attack on U.S. facilities in the Green Zone or elsewhere in Iraq? How would he react if Israel mounted a preemptive attack on the nuclear-related facilities in Iran and wider war ensued?
The answers to such questions depend on a host of factors for which intelligence analysts use a variety of tools. One such tool involves applying the principles of psychoanalysis to acquire insights into the minds of key leaders, with an eye to facilitating predictions as to how they might react in certain circumstances.
For U.S. intelligence, this common-law marriage of psychoanalysis and intelligence work dates back to the early 1940s, when CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services commissioned two studies of Adolf Hitler.…Continue reading