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
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
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
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.
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
2009 Truth Statement
We STILL Want Real Answers About 9/11
[Signatures have been closed as of March, 2010]
On August 31, 2004, Zogby International, the official North American political polling agency for Reuters, released a poll that found nearly half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of those in New York state believe US leaders had foreknowledge of impending 9/11 attacks and “consciously failed” to act. Of the New York City residents, 66% called for a new probe of unanswered questions by Congress or the New York Attorney General. Since that time, multiple professional polling organizations have obtained similar results in polls conducted nationally and internationally.
In 2004, 911truth.org assembled a list of notable Americans and family members of those who died who signed (see that list of signatories, below) a 9/11 Statement, calling for “immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.”
On the eighth anniversary of 9/11, in spite of Americans having elected the “other” party in hopes it would deliver on its promise of a change in direction, we find ourselves asking these same questions and encountering the same resistance to transparency. The ensuing wars have destroyed countless lives, our civil liberties (including habeas corpus) are in tatters, posse comitatus is history, and our economy lies essentially in ruin. Meanwhile, thousands of 9/11 responders who rushed to stand with America in its time of… Continue reading
by Jon Gold
This is dedicated to the 9/11 Truth Movement. – Jon
Before I begin, I would like to say that theorizing about what happened on 9/11, when you’re not being given answers to your questions about that day by the people who SHOULD be able to do so, is PERFECTLY normal. As is suspecting that the reason these answers aren’t being given is “sinister” in nature. As Ray McGovern said, “for people to dismiss these questioners as “conspiratorial advocates”, or “conspiratorial theorists”… that’s completely out of line because the… The questions remain because the President who should be able to answer them, WILL NOT.” When you think about everything the previous Administration did in 8 years, the idea that they might not be giving us the answers we seek because of something “sinister” is not crazy. In fact, it’s the most logical conclusion one can come to at this point. After seven plus years of obfuscation, spin, lies, and cover-ups regarding the 9/11 attacks, it is unavoidable to think that criminal complicity is the reason why.
That being said, we have not proven it beyond the shadow of doubt. We do not have documentation that shows they planned it. We do not have a signed confession from someone. We have pieces of the puzzle, and to most of us that have been doing this a long time, those pieces point to more than just Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and 19 hijackers. If we could… Continue reading
October 21, 2009 by Bryant Jordan Military.com
After seven years of forced silence, a government whistleblower is opening up on what she learned while working as a Turkish translator for the FBI in the wake of 9/11.
In sworn testimony to attorneys on Aug. 8, Sibel Edmonds described a Pentagon where key personnel helped pass defense secrets to foreign agents or provided them names of knowledgeable officials who were vulnerable to blackmail or co-option.
And firmly rooted in this espionage program in the 1990s, according to Edmonds’ deposition, were two men who, with the election of George W. Bush as president in 2000, found themselves in the Pentagon: Douglas Feith, who would head the Office of Special Plans, and Richard Perle, who would become chairman of the Defense Advisory Board.
“They were 100 percent directly involved,” Edmonds told Military.com. “They were not in the Pentagon [in the late 1990s] but they had their people inside the Pentagon.” One of those people, she said, was Larry Franklin, an Air Force officer assigned to the Office of Special Plans who, in 2003, passed classified information to representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Office, or AIPAC. By then Feith was leading the OSP.
Edmonds cautioned that she does not know if these practices are continuing, since she was fired by the FBI in April 2002 after pressing for an investigation into an attempt by a colleague to recruit her for an organization that was itself a target of FBI surveillance.
Perle, today… Continue reading
Saturday November 14, 2009 7:51 am
A senior counsel for the 9/11 Commission, John Farmer, has written a book exposing the degree to which our response to 9/11 was disorganized and outdated, geared to respond to an attack from Russia rather than from terrorists. Most significantly, Farmer reveals that FAA and NORAD altered their chronologies of the day only after a briefing at the White House.
Perhaps nothing perturbs Farmer more than the contention that high-ranking officials responded quickly and effectively to the revelation that Qaeda attacks were taking place. Nothing, Farmer indicates, could be further from the truth: President George W. Bush and other officials were mostly irrelevant during the hijackings; instead, it was the ground-level commanders who made operational decisions in an ad hoc fashion.
Yet both Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney, Farmer says, provided palpably false versions that touted the military’s readiness to shoot down United 93 before it could hit Washington. Planes were never in place to intercept it. By the time the Northeast Air Defense Sector had been informed of the hijacking, United 93 had already crashed. Farmer scrutinizes F.A.A. and NORAD records to provide irrefragable evidence that a day after a Sept. 17 White House briefing, both agencies suddenly altered their chronologies to produce a coherent timeline and story that “fit together nicely with the account provided publicly by Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz and Vice President Cheney.”
We’ve known for a long time that the… Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
November 17, 2009
As Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged 9/11 conspirators go to trial, the corporate media’s embargo on the truth about the Bush years will be under great strain.
Media commentary on the upcoming 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has raised concern that state secrets may be divulged, including details about how the Bush administration used torture to extract evidence about al-Qaeda.
“I think that we’re going to shine a light on something that a lot of people don’t want to look at” is how American Civil Liberties Union attorney Denney LeBoeuf put it, according to The New York Times on Saturday.
No problem, says Attorney General Eric Holder, who claims to have “great confidence” that other evidence — apart from what may have been gleaned from the 183 times Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, for example — will suffice to convict him.
Maybe so, But what the Fawning Corporate Media (or FCM) have so far neglected is the likelihood that the testimony will be so public that they will have to break their studied silence about why Sheikh Mohammed and his associates say they orchestrated the attacks of 9/11.
For reasons that are painfully obvious, the FCM have done their best to ignore or bury the role that Israel’s repression of the Palestinians has played in motivating the 9/11 attacks and other anti-Western terrorism.
It is not like there is no evidence on this key issue. Rather, it appears that the Israel-Palestine connection is pretty much kept off limits for discussion.…Continue reading
Careful investigation leads one to notice that a number of intriguing groups of people and organizations converged on the events of September 11th, 2001. An example is the group of men who were members of Cornell University’s Quill & Dagger society. This included Paul Wolfowitz, National Security Advisors Sandy Berger and Stephen Hadley, Marsh & McLennan executive Stephen Friedman, and the founder of Kroll Associates, Jules Kroll. Another interconnected group of organizations is linked to these Cornell comrades, and is even more interesting in terms of its members being integral to the events of 9/11, and having benefited from those events.
After the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center (WTC), a company called Stratesec (or Securacom) was responsible for the overall integration of the new security system designed by Kroll Associates. Stratesec had a small board of directors that included retired Air Force General James Abrahamson, Marvin Bush (the brother of George W. Bush) and Wirt Walker III, a cousin of the Bush brothers. Other directors included Charles Archer, former Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, and Yousef Saud Al Sabah, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family.
Yousef Saud Al Sabah was also chairman of the Kuwait-American Corporation (KuwAm), which between 1993 and 1999 held a controlling share of Stratesec. The other owners of Stratesec were Walker and an entity controlled by Walker and Al Sabah, called Special Situation Investment Holdings (SSIH). SSIH was said to form a group with… Continue reading
Thursday, 17. December 2009
Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs
Podcast Show #16
The Boiling Frogs Presents Russ Baker
Russ Baker is an award-winning investigative journalist and the author of Family of Secrets — the Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years. He has written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Village Voice and Esquire. He has served as a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review, and is the founder of WhoWhatWhy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization.
Here is our guest Russ Baker unplugged!
January 6, 2010
by Ray McGovern & Coleen Rowley
Yesterday, a blogger with the PBS’ NewsHour asked former CIA analyst Ray McGovern to respond to three questions regarding recent events involving the CIA, FBI, and the intelligence community in general.
Two other old intelligence hands were asked the identical questions, queries that are typical of what radio/TV and blogger interviewers usually think to be the right ones. So there is merit in trying to answer them directly, such as they are, and then broadening the response to address some of the core problems confronting U.S. counter-terror strategies.
After drafting his answers, McGovern asked former FBI attorney/special agent Coleen Rowley, a colleague in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to review his responses and add her own comments at the end. The Q & A is below:
Question #1 – What lapses in the American counter terrorism apparatus made the Christmas Day bombing plot possible? Is it inevitable that certain plots will succeed?
The short answer to the second sentence is: Yes, it is inevitable that “certain plots will succeed.” A more helpful answer would address the question as to how we might best minimize their prospects for success. And to do this, sorry to say, there is no getting around the necessity to address the root causes of terrorism or, in the vernacular, “why they hate us.”
If we don’t go beyond self-exculpatory sloganeering in attempting to answer that key question, any
“counter terrorism apparatus” is doomed to failure.… Continue reading
By Stephen C. Webster
Is Rudolph Giuliani’s political career over?
The former mayor of New York City has been making his rounds in U.S. media this week, trying to explain away his false claim that there were no domestic terrorist attacks on the United States during the Bush administration.
For a man often mocked as “the mayor of 9/11,” that’s an awfully bold suggestion, and one that could spell the end of his relevance in U.S. politics, according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
“The whole reason anybody ever thought of Rudy Giuliani as a potential national figure for the Republican party is because of his supposed expertise,” Maddow said during a Friday broadcast. “The supposed expertise he had with terrorism and national security because he had been the mayor of New York City when it was attacked on September 11.”
He later explained that he meant say no domestic terrorist attacks since 9/11.
However, in what Maddow called “a strange colique” with CNN host Larry King, Giuliani dug his hole deeper, suggesting that shoe bomber Richard Reid attempted his act of terrorism before Sept. 11, 2001.
It actually took place in Dec. of that year, well after the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
“Rudy Giuliani’s whole brand as a politician is based on 9/11, something he appears to have exploited so much that he’s lost the capacity to deal with it as a factual matter,” Maddow opined.
“Could he have meant that there were no other attacks… Continue reading
February 9, 2010
A reader asked whether the U.S. is still in an official state of emergency, and if so, what that means.
The answer is yes, we are still in a state of emergency.
On September 11, 2001, the government declared a state of emergency. That declared state of emergency was formally put in writing on 9/14/2001:
“A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America,
by virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, I hereby declare that the national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001 . . . .”
That declared state of emergency has continued in full force and effect from 9/11 [throughout the Bush administration] to the present.
On September 10 2009, President Obama continued the state of emergency:
The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2009, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.
Does a State of Emergency Really Mean Anything?
Does a state of emergency really mean anything?
Yes, it does:
February 25, 2010
By Paul Craig Roberts
The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was the “Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,” about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.
I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously. How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? “A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,” reports the Washington Times.
The paper reports that the architects and engineers have concluded that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology provided “insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction” and are “calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials.”
The newspaper reports that Richard Gage, the spokesperson for the architects and engineers said: “Government officials will be notified that “Misprision of Treason,’ U.S. Code… Continue reading
by Michael Collins
There they are, the people who brought you every bit of the action in the WikiLeaks video and all of the other horrors flowing from invasion of Iraq. Madeleine Albright (far right, above), former Clinton Secretary of State, is a good place to start. From 60 Minutes:
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it. –60 Minutes (5/12/96)
An exhaustive study found that 227,000 children under five (table 13) died during the George H.W. Bush – Bill Clinton regime of total sanctions against Iraq from 1990 through 2000.
Albright is distinguished as the most direct spokesmodel for senseless death and suffering that’s characterized our engagement with that battered country.
But others carry much greater responsibility. The Bush administration had top secret plans to invade Iraq as early as February 2001. First hand witnesses in the prewar White House were unable to name a point when the decision to invade was made. It was a fait accompli.
Prior to the war authorization from Congress, the various intelligence agencies submitted a report that claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Many nations had WMD. The report had to find that Iraq was an imminent danger to the… Continue reading
A short production of news clips detailing George W. Bush’s 9/11 inaction, including his post-attack foot dragging on establishing an independent investigation into the worst attack ever on United States soil.
Bush was clearly negligent in his duty on 9/11, not only as President, but also as our Commander in Chief. His inaction alone is reason enough to re-open the 9/11 investigation. Throw in the fact that Donald Rumsfeld was not at his post directing a defense for this country, and that Dick Cheney tracked the Pentagon attack “vehicle” from over 50 miles out and still did not shoot the object down, and you have negligence and dereliction of duty at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
Don’t just ask for a new investigation. Ask for a real 9/11 investigation.…Continue reading