March 23, 2008
By Robert Pear
WASHINGTON — New government research has found “large and growing”
disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling
the growth of income inequality in the last two decades.
Life expectancy for the nation as a whole has increased, the researchers said,
but affluent people have experienced greater gains, and this, in turn, has caused
a widening gap.
One of the researchers, Gopal K. Singh, a demographer at the Department of
Health and Human Services, said “the growing inequalities in life expectancy”
mirrored trends in infant mortality and in death from heart disease and certain
The gaps have been increasing despite efforts by the federal government to
reduce them. One of the top goals of “Healthy People 2010,” an official
statement of national health objectives issued in 2000, is to “eliminate
health disparities among different segments of the population,” including
higher- and lower-income groups and people of different racial and ethnic background.
Dr. Singh said last week that federal officials had found “widening socioeconomic
inequalities in life expectancy” at birth and at every age level.
He and another researcher, Mohammad Siahpush, a professor at the University
of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, developed an index to measure social and
economic conditions in every county, using census data on education, income,
poverty, housing and other factors. Counties were then classified into 10 groups
of equal population size.
In 1980-82, Dr. Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect
to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus
March 5, 2008: From Collateral News
There has always been evidence connecting members of the Saudi government to 9/11 – members with close ties to the Bush administration. Now, a newly released document strengthens this case.
Collateral is an independent weekly newsshow produced in Philadelphia, PA at Woodshop Films. The show focuses on stories that get little or no news coverage and offers perspectives not typically found in the corporate media.
Collateral is produced by Marc Brodzik, Stephen Gardner, Michael Hilger, Bryan Sacks, Tristan Smith and Jeff Toner. Collateral does not belong to a media organization and is funded entirely by its producers. If you find the show worthy, please pass it on.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also now a Facebook group:
Much more information and purchase details is at the Film Website: reflectingpoolfilm.com/.
Challenging the Unchallengeable
by Jim Cirile
February 19, 2008
Interview with Jarek Kupsc, Writer/Director, “The Reflecting Pool”
New feature film “The Reflecting Pool” may just be the “All the President’s Men” of our time. No, it doesn’t have Hoffman and Redford. But it is a chilling and important fact-based investigative drama.
Writer/director Jarek Kupsc (“Slumberland”) stars as Alex Prokop, a successful hard-hitting Russian/American journalist. As a last gasp before corporate takeover, his editor (Lisa Black) hands Prokop a bombshell assignment — investigate the official version of 9-11. Prokop, dismissive of 9-11 skeptics, reluctantly teams with grieving father Paul Cooper (the outstanding Joseph Culp) to investigate. After losing his daughter in the attacks, Cooper transformed himself into a 9-11 expert — at the expense of his marriage. As Prokop and Cooper kick at the hornets’ nest, a sickening, carefully orchestrated pattern of deceit emerges — and Prokop finds publishing the story may mean curtains on his career.
The well-researched (and exhaustively documented on the DVD) thriller ultimately proves more compelling than 9-11-themed documentaries such as “Loose Change” by taking a narrative approach and by personalizing the story. Disbelieving investigative reporter Prokop is an effective audience surrogate, while the passionate, fragile and self-destructive Cooper grounds the story with heart and soul — a constant reminder of the human cost of the “war on terror.” The script is solid, the characterizations moving. If the film has a flaw, it’s in… Continue reading
EU officials furious as Washington says it wants extra data on all air passengers
by Ian Traynor in Brussels
Monday February 11 2008
This article appeared in the Guardian on Monday February 11 2008 on p1 of the
Top stories section.
The US administration is pressing the 27 governments of the European Union
to sign up for a range of new security measures for transatlantic travel, including
allowing armed guards on all flights from Europe to America by US airlines.
The demand to put armed air marshals on to the flights is part of a travel
clampdown by the Bush administration that officials in Brussels described as
“blackmail” and “troublesome”, and could see west Europeans
and Britons required to have US visas if their governments balk at Washington’s
According to a US document being circulated for signature in European capitals,
EU states would also need to supply personal data on all air passengers overflying
but not landing in the US in order to gain or retain visa-free travel to America,
senior EU officials said.
And within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new
permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply
online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket,
a procedure that will take several days.
The data from the US’s new electronic transport authorisation system is to
be combined with extensive personal passenger details already being provided
by EU countries to… Continue reading
BY JOHN TOSCANO
February 6, 2008
New York lawmakers in Washington who have been persistently pressing the White
House for increased funding for healthcare programs for ailing 9/11 World Trade
Center workers were jolted last week when President George W. Bush’s proposed
budget slashed those programs by 77 percent.
Only last Wednesday, they pointed out, a White House spokesman had issued a
statement that the president’s 2009 budget would "reflect his continued
commitment" to WTC workers. In reality, the budget issued appropriated
a paltry $25 million, down from $108 million in the present spending plan.
"This dramatic and unwarranted cut flies in the face of common sense,
compassion and just plain fairness," Senator Charles Schumer declared as
he promised to "fight these cuts tooth and nail to ensure these heroes
receive the health care they need and clearly deserve".
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton stated she was "disappointed and saddened
to see that the president chose not to acknowledge the clear healthcare needs
of these heroes", and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney said it was "shocking
that the president would use his final budget to take an axe to the 9/11 healthcare
Maloney (D- Queens/Manhattan) noted: "Just a few weeks ago, the administration
canceled a program for 9/11 responders from around the country because they
said it lacked funding, and now they release a budget that doesn’t even ask
for the money they said they needed.
"The administration has failed in every single one of its budget proposals
to deliver adequate help… Continue reading
A forthcoming book by NYT reporter Philip Shenon — “The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation” — asserts that former 9/11 Commission executive director Philip Zelikow interfered with the 9/11 report.
According to the book, Zelikow had failed to inform the commission at the time he was hired that he was instrumental in helping Condoleezza Rice set up Bush’s National Security Council in 2001. Some panel staffers believe Zelikow stopped them from submitting a report depicting Rice’s performance prior to 9/11 as “amount[ing] to incompetence.”
Relying on the accounts of Max Holland, an author and blogger who has obtained a copy of the forthcoming book, ABC reports that Zelikow was holding private discussions with White House political adviser Karl Rove during the course of the 9/11 investigation:
In his book, Shenon also says that while working for the panel, Zelikow appears to have had private conversations with former White House political director Karl Rove, despite a ban on such communication, according to Holland. Shenon reports that Zelikow later ordered his assistant to stop keeping a log of his calls, although the commission’s general counsel overruled him, Holland wrote.
Zelikow flatly denied discussing the commission’s work with Rove. “I never discussed the 9/11 Commission with him, not at all. Period.”
After completing his work with the 9/11 Commission, Zelikow was hired by Condoleezza Rice as Counselor at the State Department. He resigned from that position in late 2006. In 1995, Rice and Zelikow co-authored a book entitled,… Continue reading
Iran showdown has echoes of faked Tonkin attack
January 11, 2008
A dramatic showdown at sea. Crossed communication signals. Apparently-hostile craft nearby. Sketchy intelligence leading to ratcheted up rhetoric.
The similarities between this week’s confrontation between US warships and Iranian speedboats and events off the coast of North Vietnam 44 years ago were too hard for many experts to miss, leading to the question: Is the Strait of Hormuz 2008′s Gulf of Tonkin?
On Aug. 2nd and 4th, 1964, the USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy, patrolling off the North Vietnamese coast, intercepted signals indicating they were under attack. Within days, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which paved the way to the escalation of the Vietnam War. However, as some intelligence agents suspected at the time, the Aug. 2nd attack took place after the USS Maddox fired first, according to a National Security Agency report released in 1995.
This week another NSA report surfaced, confirming suspicions that the Aug. 4th attack never happened.
The researcher who uncovered the most recent NSA assessment tells RAW STORY that the Strait of Hormuz confrontation, and the immediate saber-rattling from the Bush administration and its allies, demonstrates the extent to which officials must be wary about politicizing shaky intelligence in times of war.
“The parallels (between Tonkin and Hormuz) speak for themselves, but what they say is that even the most basic factual assumptions can be made erroneously [or] can prove to be false,” Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, told Raw Story.…Continue reading
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, yahoo! news
January 14, 2008
U.S. policy in preparing for a potential bird flu pandemic is veering dangerously
toward a heavy-handed law-enforcement approach, the American Civil Liberties
Union said on Monday.
The group, which advocates for individuals’ legal rights based on the U.S.
Constitution, said federal government pandemic plans were confusing and could
emphasize a police and military approach to outbreaks of disease, instead of
a more sensible public health approach.
"Rather than focusing on well-established measures for protecting the
lives and health of Americans, policymakers have recently embraced an approach
that views public health policy through the prism of national security and law
enforcement," the ACLU report reads.
But the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) said the group had
misunderstood the government’s approach and said current plans already incorporate
many of the ACLU’s recommendations.
Infectious disease experts agree that a pandemic of some sort of influenza
is inevitable, and most worries focus on H5N1 avian influenza. Although it mainly
attacks birds, the virus has infected 349 people since 2003 and killed 216 of
A few mutations could turn it into a highly infectious disease for people and
could kill millions globally.
Most countries are working to develop plans to deal with the potential consequences.
The U.S. plans are available on Web sites such as http://pandemicflu.gov.
The ACLU said it was worried that the plan called for military and police involvement
in enforcing a quarantine.
The ACLU experts said they… Continue reading
by Dr. David Ray Griffin
The official story of 9/11 is riddled with internal contradictions. One of these contradictions involves the question of how long President Bush remained in classroom in Sarasota, Florida, on the morning of 9/11.
Bush was there to publicize his education policy by being photographed listening to students read. He arrived at the school at 8:55 AM, at which time he reportedly first learned that a plane had struck one of the Twin Towers. Dismissing the crash as an accident, Bush said that they would go ahead and “do the reading thing anyway.”
Bush entered the second-grade classroom of teacher Sandra Kay Daniels at about 9:03. At about 9:06, the president’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, came in and whispered in Bush’s ear, telling him, Card later reported, “A second plane hit the second Tower. America is under attack.”
What Happened Next
Thanks to Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11, which came out in 2004, the world knows what happened next: Bush remained sitting there minute after minute after minute.
Journalists, however, had reported Bush’s strange behaviour much earlier. On September 1, 2002, for example, Jennifer Barrs had reported in the Tampa Tribune that, after Card whispered in Bush’s ear, the president picked up his book and read with the children “for eight or nine minutes.” In his 2002 book Fighting Back, Bill Sammon, the White House correspondent for the Washington Times, said that even after the reading lesson was over, Bush… Continue reading
December 28, 2007
MONTPELIER, Vermont (AP) — President Bush may soon have a new reason to avoid left-leaning Vermont: In one town, activists want him subject to arrest for war crimes.
Kurt Daims of Brattleboro, Vermont, speaks Friday about his movement against Bush and Cheney.
A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community.
“This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they’re supposed to do,” said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive.
As president, Bush has visited every state except Vermont.
The town meeting, an annual exercise in which residents gather to vote on everything from fire department budgets to municipal policy, requires about 1,000 signatures to place a binding item on the agenda.
The measure asks: “Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities?”
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday. The press office did not immediately respond to an e-mail.
Support for the measure is far from universal, even in Vermont, where the state Senate voted earlier this year to support impeaching the president. Anti-war rallies are regular occurrences here, and “Impeach Bush” bumper stickers are common.…Continue reading
Sat Dec 22, 2007
The CIA obstructed an official US investigation into the September 11 attacks
by withholding tapes of interrogations of Al-Qaeda operatives, according to
former investigators quoted in a report on Saturday.
A review of documents by former members of the 9/11 commission revealed the
panel made repeated, detailed requests to the spy agency in 2003 and 2004 for
information about the interrogation of members of the extremist network, but
were never notified of the tapes, the New York Times reported.
The review of the commission’s correspondence with the Central Intelligence
Agency came after the agency earlier this month revealed it had destroyed videotapes
in 2005 that showed harsh interrogations of two Al-Qaeda members.
The review, written up in a December 13 memo prepared by Philip Zelikow, the
former executive director of the 9/11 commission, said that “further investigation
is needed” to resolve whether the CIA’s failure to hand over the tapes
violated federal law.
The memorandum does not assert that withholding the tapes was illegal but states
that federal law penalizes anyone who “knowingly and wilfully” withholds
or “covers up” a “material fact” from a federal inquiry,
the newspaper said.
The revelation adds to pressure on President George W. Bush’s administration,
already under fire over the affair by human rights groups and lawmakers who
allege that destroying the tapes covered up proof of torture.
Responding to the New York Times report, the CIA said the commission never
specifically asked for interrogation videos.
CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield told… Continue reading
According to Jessica Lee of Indypendent and Kamau Karl Franklin of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was penned with plenty of help from the RAND Corporation.
“Rep. Jane Harman, Democrat from California, has had a lengthy relationship with the Rand Corporation,” Lee tells Democracy Now, although she was unable to determine if RAND wrote the bill. On the 12th anniversary of the OKC bombing, Rep. Harman, as chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.
“The ‘Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007′ seeks to address the roots causes of radicalization, and would establish a grant program to provide funds to States to foster badly needed vertical information sharing from the Intelligence Community to the local level and from local sources to state and federal agencies,” explains Harman’s website. “It also creates a Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism to examine the social, criminal, political, psychological and economic roots of domestic terrorism and to propose solutions, and promotes international collaboration on strategies to combat radicalization.”
Franklin mentions Brian Michael Jenkins, an “expert” on “terrorism, counterinsurgency, and homeland security,” according to RAND. Jenkins is “someone who helped the United States in counterinsurgency measures in Vietnam,” states Franklin. “In addition to that, he wrote a book, and in his own book” Jenkins declared that “in their international campaign, the jihadists will seek common ground… Continue reading
The National Lawyers Guild on Friday unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney
Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:
1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as described in the Downing Street minutes, http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html about the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war of aggression and an occupation of Iraq, as further described in House resolution H.Res. 333: http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int3.pdf and as listed in House Resolution H. Res. 635: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr109-635
2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in violation of the UN Charter http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/ ;
3. committed crimes against humanity in… Continue reading
October 28, 2007
World Can’t Wait- Drive Out the Bush Regime reports police once again used excessive force when they arrested one minor and two college students who were en route to a large anti-war rally. As stated in the World Can’t Wait’s Call, “If we speak the truth they will try to silence us. If we act they will try to stop us.” This statement is especially relevant in this incident.
Saturday about 75-100 students from various organizations were with the young men while marching from the newly opened military recruitment center at University Center to a rally at Union Park when the arrests took place. A student, Thomas Walker, later reported that the initial 10 accompanying officers were “hostile from the beginning, rude and cursing at us” on the way to the rally. The violence happened when the marchers arrived at Canal and Randolph. Eyewitnesses say the police used their bikes to shove protesters and pushed marchers. The minor and one of the arrested college students, Mark H. were victims of a “take-down” characterized as excessive by witnesses who said Mark bled from his injuries as he was dragged away by police officers. The other college student arrested, Sergei T., did not have visible injuries. Mark was released at 1:00 AM Sunday and taken immediately to the hospital. The minor will be brought before juvenile court on Monday to determine if he should be taken away from his parents and immediately put into juvenile detention.
After the massive… Continue reading
By Paul Craig Roberts
The anti-war movement has proven impotent to stop the war in Iraq despite the fact that the war was initiated on the basis of lies and deception. The anti-war movement stands helpless to prevent President Bush from attacking Iran or any other country that he might demonize for harboring a future 9/11 threat.
September 11 enabled Bush to take America to war and to keep America at war even though the government’s explanation of the events of September 11 is mired in controversy and disbelieved by a large percentage of the population.
Although the news media’s investigative arm has withered, other entities and individuals continue to struggle with unanswered questions. In the six years since 9/11, numerous distinguished scientists, engineers, architects, intelligence officers, pilots, military officers, air traffic controllers, and foreign dignitaries have raised serious and unanswered questions about the official story line.
Recognition of the inadequacy of the official account of the collapse of the twin towers is widespread in the scientific and technical community. One of the most glaring failures in the official account is the lack of an explanation of the near free-fall speed at which the buildings failed once the process began. Some scientists and engineers have attempted to bolster the official account with explanations of how this might happen in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolitions.
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
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.…
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