By Tim Hjersted
Lawrence Journal-World Blogs
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, President Bush asked the American public to “never entertain outrageous conspiracy theories.” The irony of his statement is easily lost. Most people consider themselves reasonable, thoughtful individuals that don’t believe in crazy conspiracy theories, but the Official story of 9/11 — that 19 radical terrorists conspired for several years to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings — is, in fact, a conspiracy theory. It just happens that this theory has the official endorsement of the U.S. government. So, believe our conspiracy theory, not theirs, Mr. Bush asks us. Don’t look at the facts. Don’t investigate for yourself. Just believe what you’re told.
This is, in effect, what the government and the mainstream media is asking us when it labels any idea a “conspiracy theory,” and we can see how incredibly effective this tool has been in stunting rational debate.
Over the decades, the term “conspiracy theory” has gained an increasingly negative stigma. People associate conspiracy theorists with kooks and wackos, paranoid rabble-rousers and self-proclaimed prophets with delusions of grandeur.
Long story short, the term has a whole long list of negative connotations, and most reasonable folks who value their reputation will avoid any conspiracy topics like the plague once it’s clear that the topic is now deemed ultra hazardous “conspiracy” territory.
Because of this, the term has become an incredibly effective propaganda tool for those who would prefer to silence dissenting opinions rather than debate… Continue reading
From the ACLU
August 30, 2009
ACLU Safe and free – Restore our Constitutional Rights
ACLU Obtains Detailed Official Record Of CIA Torture Program
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) documents describe enhanced interrogation techniques used as late as 2007.
We need a full and thorough investigation.
Attorney General Eric Holder appointed an independent prosecutor to investigate torture. However, the very limited scope is nowhere near as thorough and broad as the investigation America really needs.
The recent release of the long-secret CIA Inspector General’s report, detailing horrific prisoner abuse, only reinforces the need for a full and thorough, independent investigation of the Bush torture program.
We need to make it clear that, while we’re pleased the Attorney General has launched an independent investigation, the limits he has set don’t meet the demands of justice. Urge Attorney General Holder to conduct a thorough examination of the Bush torture program.
The Silence of the Antiwar Movement is Deafening
Cindy Sheehan’s Lonely Vigil in Obamaland
By JOHN V. WALSH August 26, 2009 Counterpunch.com
A funny thing has happened on Cindy Sheehan’s long road from Crawford, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard. Many of those who claim to lead the peace movement and who so volubly praised her actions in Crawford, TX, are not to be seen. Nor heard. The silence in fact is deafening, or as Cindy put it in an email to this writer, “crashingly deafening.” Where are the email appeals to join Cindy from The Nation or from AFSC or Peace Action or “Progressive” Democrats of America (PDA) or even Code Pink? Or United for Peace and Justice. (No wonder UFPJ is essentially closing shop, bereft of most of their contributions and shriveling up following the thinly veiled protest behind the “retirement” of Leslie Cagan.) And what about MoveOn although it was long ago thoroughly discredited as principled opponents of war or principled in any way shape or form except slavish loyalty to the “other” War Party. And of course sundry “socialist” organizations are also missing in action since their particular dogma will not be front and center. These worthies and many others have vanished into the fog of Obama’s wars.
Just to be sure, this writer contacted several of the “leaders” of the “official” peace movement in the Boston area — AFSC, Peace Action, Green Party of MA (aka Green Rainbow Party) and some others. Not so much as the courtesy of a reply resulted from this effort – although the GRP at least posted a notice of the action.…Continue reading
by Kevin R. Ryan
Scoop Independent News
Kevin R. Ryan: Demolition access to the WTC Towers
Who could have placed explosives in the World Trade Center (WTC) towers? This is the second essay in a series that attempts to answer that question. The first installment began by considering the tenants that occupied the impact zones and the other floors that might have played a useful role in the demolition of the WTC towers.  The result was a picture of connections to organizations that had access to explosive materials and to the expertise required to use explosives. Additionally it was seen that, in the years preceding 9/11, the impact zone tenants had all made structural modifications to the areas where the airliners struck the buildings.
The management representatives of these tenant companies were seen to be secretive and powerful. Through these powerful people, the tenants were connected to organizations that benefited greatly from the 9/11 attacks, including the defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Halliburton, and Science Applications International Corp (SAIC). The tenants also had strong connections to the Bush family and their corporate network, including Dresser Industries (now Halliburton) and UBS, and to Deutsche Bank and its subsidiaries, reported to have brokered the insider trading deals. There were also links between these tenant companies and the terrorist-financing Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
Throughout this review we should keep in mind that, according to 2009 estimates, the membership of Al Qaeda’s conspiracy network is… 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
The US’s political discourse and foreign policy in recent years has been based on the assumption that Osama bin Laden is still alive. George W. Bush promised as president that he would get Osama bin Laden “dead or alive” and has been widely criticized for failing to do so. The US’s present military escalation in Afghanistan is said to be necessary to “get Osama bin Laden.” The news media regularly announce the appearance of new “messages from bin Laden.” But what if Osama bin Laden died in December 2001–which is the last time a message to or from him was intercepted?
In this book, David Ray Griffin examines the evidence for the claim–made by everyone from former CIA agent Robert Baer to Oliver North–that bin Laden is surely no longer with us. He analyzes the purported messages from bin Laden and finds that, as many have suspected, they do not provide evidence of bin Laden’s existence after 2001. This leads naturally to the question: if Osama bin Laden did indeed die in 2001, how and why have dozens of “messages from bin Laden” appeared since then?
Griffin’s meticulous analysis supports above all one simple and urgent conclusion: if Osama bin Laden is dead, the US should not be using its troops and treasure to hunt him down.
David Ray Griffin has published 35 books on philosophy, religion, and politics. His most recent book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, was a Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week” in 2008. His… Continue reading
Ventura: I question my government on 9/11 because–for most lay people out there they accept what they hear on TV, they accept the government’s explanation–but once you start getting in and studying what actually happened that day, there are a lot of problems.
Stern: Bottom line, what are you saying?
Ventura: I believe if our government didn’t actually participate in it they certainly knew it was going to happen and allowed it to happen.
Stern: That’s mind blowing. And you’re going to write a book backing that up?
Woman co-host: What would be the purpose of letting it happen?
Ventura: We’re in two wars, aren’t we, that we wouldn’t have been in? How much money has Halliburton made in the war? How much money has Blackwater made in the war? People fail to realize there are war profiteers out there.
Stern: So you’re talking about treason. Who are you accuse them of treason in your next book.
Ventura: Mass murder. I’m simply writing about the questions I have about it.
Stern: Is this the reason you called Bush administration the worst administration ever?
[Continues, with Ventura answering a caller by discussing building collapses…]
May 11, 2009
The Red Cross is the organization charged with deciding what is torture and
The International Committee of the Red Cross interviewed Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
– the alleged 9/11 mastermind – at Guantánamo Bay.
Here’s what KSM
told the Red Cross (see below for more from a review of this report):
During the harshest period of my interrogation I gave a lot of false information
in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear in order
to make the ill-treatment stop. I later told the interrogators that their
methods were stupid and counterproductive. I’m sure that the false information
I was forced to invent in order to make the ill-treatment stop wasted a lot
of their time and led to several false red-alerts being placed in the U.S.
Straight from the horse’s mouth:
* Torture doesn’t work; and
* The 9/11 Commission report was based on worthless
confessions extracted by torture (and, as I’ve previously discussed, the
witness who fingered Khalid Shaikh Mohammed as the mastermind of 9/11 was himself
rom The New
York Review of Books , a very extensive article with much more important
information about the ICRC Report:
…There is a reverse side, of course, to the “ticking bomb” and
torture: pain and ill-treatment, by creating an unbearable pressure on the detainee
to say something, anything, to make the pain stop, increase the likelihood that
he will fabricate stories, and waste time, or worse.…
April 29, 2009
Posted at 911video.de/news
In Germany the daily newspaper Junge Welt on March, 4 2009 published
following article on the new petition.
9/11 – Today’s Project of Investigation
At long last politicians from several countries succeeded to unite in calling for a “new, really independent
investigation to find out what happened on 9/11.” In the petition 12 politicians
from seven countries call on US president Barack Obama to authorize such an
The investigations until now were
conducted only by people who “were closely connected with the Bush/Cheney
administration, or where even working in it.”
Their findings differed radically
from results independent researchers from different fields have reached. These
researcher-groups–among them architects, engineers, firefighters, legal professionals,
pilots, religious leaders, academics, veterans and medical professionals–for
a long time have called for a new investigation. Now the time had come to have
politicians take it to heart. (Read the letter to President Obama.)
Doubts about the official version
of the collapse of the towers of the World Trade Center on 9/11 have been on
the mind of many people in the last years. A collapse of the of the myth about
Osama and his 19 bandits could have incalculable consequences.
It’s going to be interesting which German parliamentarian will dare to affiliate with the group of Political Leaders
for 9/11 Truth (pl911truth.com).
As of now the former Secretary of State in the Defense Ministry Andreas von Bülow signed the petition. In the UK the former Minister of Environment… Continue reading
April 25, 2009
by Ray McGovern
Well, well. The New York Times has finally put a story together on the key role that two controversial psychologists played in devising the Bush administration’s torture policies. Guess we should be thankful for small favors.
Apparently, a NYTimes “exposé” requires a 21-month gestation period; just by way of pointing out that the substance of the Times “exposé” appeared in an article the July 2007 issue of Vanity Fair.
Katherine Eban, a Brooklyn-based journalist who writes about public health, authored that article and titled it “Rorschach and Awe.” It was the result of a careful effort to understand the role of psychologists in the torture of detainees in Guantánamo.
She identified the two psychologists as James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who she reported were inexperienced in interrogations and “had no proof of their tactics’ effectiveness” but nevertheless sold the Bush administration on a plan to subject captives to “psychic demolition,” essentially severing them from their personalities and scaring them “almost to death.”
In Wednesday’s New York Times, reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti plow much the same ground. But please do not misunderstand. They deserve praise for finally pushing their own article past the Times‘ censors, but let’s not pretend the startling revelations are new.
The Times ought to allow the likes of Shane and Mazzetti to publish these stories when they are fresh. Alternatively, the “newspaper of record” might at least report the findings of the likes of… Continue reading
April 21, 2009
by Glenn Greenwald
Blue Dog Rep. Jane Harman — once the most vigorous Democratic cheerleader of Bush’s NSA warrantless eavesdropping program — is rip-roarin’ angry today. Apparently, her private conversations were eavesdropped on by the U.S. Government! This is a grave outrage that, as she told Andrea Mitchell just moments ago, demands a probing investigation:
That’s what I asked Attorney General Holder to do — to release any tapes, I don’t know whether they were legally made or not, of my conservations about this matter . . . and to hope that he will investigate whether other members of Congress or other innocent Americans might have been subject to this same treatment. I call it an abuse of power in the letter I wrote him this morning.
. . .
I’m just very disappointed that my country — I’m an American citizen just like you are — could have permitted what I think is a gross abuse of power in recent years. I’m one member of Congress who may be caught up in it, and I have a bully pulpit and I can fight back. I’m thinking about others who have no bully pulpit, who may not be aware, as I was not, that someone is listening in on their conversations, and they’re innocent Americans.
So if I understand this correctly — and I’m pretty sure I do — when the U.S. Government eavesdropped for years on American citizens with no warrants and in violation of… Continue reading
What to Ask Holder on Thursday?
April 21, 2009
Would you like to see the Attorney General asked about appointing a special
prosecutor? Well he’s testifying on Thursday afternoon before a subcommittee
of the House Appropriations Committee, and the subcommittee members all have
phone numbers. A coalition of groups will be taking the occasion to deliver
over a quarter million petition signatures to Eric Holder asking for a special
prosecutor. The hearing will be webcast on the committee website: http://appropriations.house.gov
If you want to attend in person in Washington, D.C., it’s on Thursday at 2:30
p.m. in Rayburn 2359, a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Commerce, Justice, and Science.
After Downing Street, Democrats.com, ACLU, FireDogLake, the Center for Constitutional
Rights, Moveon.org and others will deliver petitions to Holder asking for a
special prosecutor. Sign here quick to have your name included! http://democrats.com/special-prosecutor-for-bush-war-crimes
Once you’ve signed the petition, please go here for the contact info of the
subcommittee members: http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/41886
Phone as many of them as you have time to right now, and ask them to please
ask the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor. He has said that water
boarding is torture. Top officials have authorized and sought to give pseudo-legal
cover for water boarding. Our laws ban it, and the Convention Against Torture
requires that we prosecute it.
Can you hear us now?…Continue reading
By Charlotte Dennett
April 1, 2009
Those of you following the George W. Bush prosecution trail will be interested to know that Patrick Leahy’s “truth commission” is a no-go. I was in a meeting with Leahy and four other Vermonters on Monday when he broke the news to us.
We had asked for the meeting to learn why he supported a truth commission over the appointment of a special prosecutor.
Halfway through the allotted 30 minute meeting (with him taking up much of the time explaining why he was not generally opposed to prosecution, since he had been a DA for eight years and had the highest conviction rate in Vermont), he told us that his truth commission had failed to get the broad support it needed in Congress, and since he couldn’t get one Republican to come behind the plan, “it’s not going to happen.”
It was a sobering exchange. The meeting had begun with our expressing serious concerns about ongoing dangers to our democracy, with the trend going to executive power while damaging our Constitution.
“We are a nation of laws,” said Dan DeWalt, who had helped organize 36 Vermont towns to vote for impeachment of Bush on town meeting day. “If we have a system of justice, why not let it take its course? It seems to many Americans that the rich and powerful don’t have the same system of justice, and they’re getting away with torture, murder, fraud, and Ponzi schemes.”
By the end of the meeting, we were beginning to wonder whether anything at all was going to done — by Congress, by Attorney General Eric Holder, by President Barack Obama — to hold the Bush team accountable for its crimes.…Continue reading
by Kenneth J. Theisen
28 March 2009
President Barack Obama continued with his latest escalation of the war in Afghanistan
by announcing his plans to send an additional 4,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan
to train Afghan government puppet forces. He also announced plans to send hundreds
of diplomats and civilian officials to the country, in what Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton called an “integrated military-civilian strategy”.
Like his predecessor George W. Bush, Obama raised the specter of “terrorism”
to justify his actions.
Obama stated that, “If the Afghanistan government falls to the Taliban
or allows al-Qaida to go unchallenged, that country will again be a base for
terrorists.” Obama warned that the al-Qaida “terrorists” were
actively planning further attacks on the U.S. from havens in Pakistan. He stated,
“So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and
focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan,
and to prevent their return to either country in the future.” He went on
to claim, “That is the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that
could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the
same: we will defeat you.” Does this sound a little too much like Bush’s
excuse for the initial invasion in 2001? I was waiting to hear Obama say, “bring
This latest escalation builds on Obama’s previously announced plan to
send 17,000 troops to that war-torn country. President George… Continue reading
Waterboarding, Rough Interrogation of Abu Zubaida Produced False Leads, Officials
By Peter Finn and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, March 29, 2009; A01
When CIA officials subjected their first high-value captive, Abu Zubaida, to
waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, they were convinced that
they had in their custody an al-Qaeda leader who knew details of operations
yet to be unleashed, and they were facing increasing pressure from the White
House to get those secrets out of him.
The methods succeeded in breaking him, and the stories he told of al-Qaeda
terrorism plots sent CIA officers around the globe chasing leads.
In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of
Abu Zubaida’s tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials
who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through
the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information
from Abu Zubaida — chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates — was
obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.
Moreover, within weeks of his capture, U.S. officials had gained evidence that
made clear they had misjudged Abu Zubaida. President George W. Bush had publicly
described him as “al-Qaeda’s chief of operations,” and other top officials
called him a “trusted associate” of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
and a major figure in the planning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
None of that was accurate, the new evidence showed.
Abu Zubaida was not even an official member… Continue reading
March 28, 2009
NEW YORK (Reuters) — A top Spanish court has moved toward starting a
probe of six former Bush administration officials including ex-Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales in connection with alleged torture of prisoners at Guantánamo
Bay, The New York Times said on Saturday.
The criminal investigation would focus on whether they violated international
law by providing a legalistic justification for torture at the U.S. detention
camp in Cuba, the Times said.
The paper said the National Court in Madrid had assigned the case to judge
Baltasar Garzon, known for ordering the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto
Garzon has accepted the case and sent it to the prosecutor’s office for review,
the newspaper said, citing an official close to the case.
The complaint, prepared by Spanish lawyers with the help of U.S. and European
legal experts, also names John Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who
wrote secret legal opinions saying the president had the authority to circumvent
the Geneva Conventions, and Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense
Spain can claim jurisdiction in the case because five Spanish citizens or residents
who were prisoners at Guantánamo Bay say they were tortured there.
The other Americans named are William Haynes II, former general counsel for
the Department of Defense; Jay Bybee, Yoo’s former boss at the Justice Department’s
Office of Legal Counsel; and David Addington, chief of staff and legal adviser
to ex-Vice President Dick Cheney.
Yoo, already the subject of a Justice Department… Continue reading
On Tuesday we posted an appeal for readers to take action regarding a current state of national emergency in the US, declared by George W. Bush after 9/11/01. Since then, the appeal has been sent to at least 20,000 people via email, linked to from numerous other sites, and reposted in full at several sites. We are beginning to get notification from readers of specific Representatives and Senators to whom letters are being sent, with follow-up calls planned. Please continue to send those to us at responses[at]911truth.org. We intend to start posting that information shortly.
Some people have written to ask whether we’ve completely lost our collective mind… “Do you really think this Congress–who has refused to investigate or even talk about 9/11 crimes for all these years–is suddenly going to divulge honest information about their lack of oversight of National Emergencies, and act to terminate it just because you send them a letter?!” Well, uhm, not really, no.
But do we think some of them will look into it and respond with a real answer? Perhaps. Do we think we’ll get a lot of boilerplate responses about “the danger terrorists pose to the safety of every God-fearing Amurikan and so we must remain vigilant,” but don’t actually answer either question? Probably. However, equally important is simply getting this information to them, and to Americans who read this and had no idea of the situation. Personally, my (Janice) experience has been that when I called my Rep previously, outraged about… Continue reading
Peter Dale Scott and Dan Hamburg
On 9/11 the Bush administration declared a State of Emergency (SOE), which was formally proclaimed on September 14, 2001, and extended by Bush repeatedly thereafter, most recently on August 28, 2008. 1 Under cover of this SOE, Bush secretly enacted many extreme measures, ranging from suspension of habeas corpus to preparations for martial law in America; all these were undertaken as part of secret so-called “Continuity of Government” (COG) procedures associated with the SOE, and first instituted on 9/11. 2 and 3
The National Emergencies Act, one of the post-Watergate reforms so detested by Vice-President Cheney, requires specifically that
Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated. (50 U.S.C. 1622 (2002) 4
Last fall one of us appealed on the Internet for the Democrats in Congress to take this statutorily required step, and also to learn what secret COG measures were being enacted under the SOE. 5 There was no response.
In February 2009 we sent to officials in Washington the following appeal to consider terminating the State of Emergency. The appeal was sent to President Obama’s staff in the White House, and to the staff of Nancy Pelosi, Peter DeFazio, and Dennis Kucinich in Congress. Almost two months have passed, and there has not yet been any response from the addressees.…Continue reading