By Matthew Rothschild
February 7, 2008
Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does–and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.
InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.
InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats.
“Then the FBI cloned it,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.
InfraGard itself is still an FBI operation, with FBI agents in each state overseeing the local InfraGard chapters. (There are now eighty-six of them.) The alliance is a nonprofit organization of private sector InfraGard members.
[Remainder of article at The Progressive.]…Continue reading
A city councilman and the cops don’t want you to have that Geiger counter without their permission
by Chris Thompson
Damn you, Osama bin Laden! Here’s another rotten thing you’ve done to us: After 9/11, untold thousands of New Yorkers bought machines that detect traces of biological, chemical, and radiological weapons. But a lot of these machines didn’t work right, and when they registered false alarms, the police had to spend millions of dollars chasing bad leads and throwing the public into a state of raw panic.
OK, none of that has actually happened. But Richard Falkenrath, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism, knows that it’s just a matter of time. That’s why he and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have asked the City Council to pass a law requiring anyone who wants to own such detectors to get a permit from the police first. And it’s not just devices to detect weaponized anthrax that they want the power to control, but those that detect everything from industrial pollutants to asbestos in shoddy apartments. Want to test for pollution in low-income neighborhoods with high rates of childhood asthma? Gotta ask the cops for permission. Why? So you “will not lead to excessive false alarms and unwarranted anxiety,” the first draft of the law states.
Last week, Falkenrath made his case for the new law before the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, where Councilman Peter Vallone introduced the bill and chaired the hearing. Dozens of university researchers, public-health professionals, and environmental lawyers sat… Continue reading
By Paul Craig Roberts
01/04/08 “ICH ” — – What was the greatest failure of 2007? President Bush’s “surge” in Iraq? The decline in the value of the US dollar? Subprime mortgages? No. The greatest failure of 2007 was the newly sworn in Democratic Congress.
The American people’s attempt in November 2006 to rein in a rogue government, which has committed the US to costly military adventures while running roughshod over the US Constitution, failed. Replacing Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate has made no difference.
The assault on the US Constitution by the Democratic Party is as determined as the assault by the Republicans. On October 23, 2007, the House passed a bill sponsored by California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, chairwoman of a Homeland Security subcommittee, that overturns the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression, association, and assembly.
The bill passed the House on a vote of 404-6. In the Senate the bill is sponsored by Maine Republican Susan Collins and apparently faces no meaningful opposition.
Harman’s bill is called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. When HR 1955 becomes law, it will create a commission tasked with identifying extremist people, groups, and ideas. The commission will hold hearings around the country, taking testimony and compiling a list of dangerous people and beliefs. The bill will, in short, create massive terrorism in the United States. But the perpetrators of terrorism will not be Muslim terrorists; they will be government agents and fellow citizens.
We are beginning to see who will be the inmates of the detention centers being built in the US by Halliburton under government contract.…Continue reading
December 27, 2007
By Paul Craig Roberts
"They’re locking them up today
They’re throwing away the key
I wonder who it’ll be tomorrow, you or me?"
The Red Telephone (LOVE, 1967)
At Christmas time it has been my habit to write a column in remembrance of
the many innocent people in prisons whose lives have been stolen by the US criminal
justice (sic) system that is as inhumane as it is indifferent to justice. Usually
I retell the cases of William Strong and Christophe Gaynor, two men framed in
the state of Virginia by prosecutors and judges as wicked and corrupt as any
who served Hitler or Stalin.
This year is different. All Americans are now imprisoned in a world of lies
and deception created by the Bush Regime and the two complicit parties of Congress,
by federal judges too timid or ignorant to recognize a rogue regime running
roughshod over the Constitution, by a bought and paid for media that serves
as propagandists for a regime of war criminals, and by a public who have forsaken
their Founding Fathers.
Americans are also imprisoned by fear, a false fear created by the hoax of
"terrorism." It has turned out that headline terrorist events since
9/11 have been orchestrated by the US government. For example, the alleged terrorist
plot to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower was the brainchild of a FBI agent who
searched out a few disaffected people to give lip service to the plot devised
by the FBI agent.… 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
by Naomi Wolf
November 4, 2007
I have argued that in the closing stages of a `fascist shift’, events cascade.
I am hearing about them, even across the globe. Here in Australia I hear from
the nation’s best-know feminist activist, and former adviser to Paul Keating,
Anne Summers, who was also at the time this took place Chair of the Board of
Greenpeace International. Summers was detained by armed agents for FIVE HOURS
each way in LAX on her way to and from the annual meeting of the board of Greenpeace
International in Mexico, and her green card was taken away from her. `I want
to call a lawyer’, she told TSA agents. `Ma’am, you do not have a right to call
an attorney,’ they replied. `You have not entered the United States.’
Apparently a section of LAX just beyond the security line is asserted to be
`not in the United States’ — though it is squarely inside the airport — so
the laws of the US do not apply. (This assertion, by the way, should alarm any
US citizen who is aware of how the White House argued that Guantánamo is not
`in the United States’ – is a legal no-man’s land — so the laws of the US do
not apply.) Toward the end of her second five-hour detention she asked, `Why
am I being detained?’ `Lady, this is not detention,’ the TSA agent told her.
`Detention is when I take you to the cells out… Continue reading
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 6, 2007
US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) has announced the conduct of major war games
under Vigilant Shield 2008 (VS-08).
Vigilant Shield 2008 (15 to 20 October, 2007) is designed to deal with a “terrorist”
or “natural disaster” scenario in the United States. The operation
will be coordinated in a joint endeavor by the Pentagon and the Department of
Yet, VS-08, which includes a massive deployment of the US Air Force resembles
a war-time air scenario rather than an anti-terrorist drill. The VS-08 war games
extend over the entire North American shelf. Canadian territory is also involved
through Canada’s participation in NORAD. (See Nazemroaya, October 2007)
These war games are being conducted at an important historical crossroads,
amidst mounting US pressures and threats to actually declare a “real war”
VS-08 is predicated on the doctrine of preemptive warfare, with a vie to protecting
the Homeland. The war games are coordinated with anti-terrorist drills directed
against presumed Islamic terrorists.
Moreover, the announcement by NORTHCOM of the VS-08 war games-anti-terror drills
coincided with a declaration by the Bush administration in early September that
military action against Iran is being contemplated at the highest echelons of
the US government and Military:
… Continue reading
“President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place
America on the path to war with Iran, .. Pentagon planners have developed
a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran, … Pentagon and CIA officers
say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme
of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.
In honor of our veterans, we again call for truth
September 11, 2007
Opinion/Editorial piece by the Ashland Tidings
On this date six years ago, a stunned citizenry gave President Bush a blank check to seek and destroy anyone or any nation suspected of causing the attacks of Sept. 11. That day we were too busy mourning the loss of nearly 3,000 fellow Americans to notice something peculiar about three towers collapsing into their own footprints, a small hole being punched into the headquarters of the world’s most powerful military by a large passenger airliner, and four planes disintegrating, all due to 19 hijackers with box cutters.
Six years later, Americans want this administration to account for its massive expenditures. Those expenses include more than the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; there has also been an incalculable loss of lives. Bush and company have reached the end of a very long line of credit.
We have witnessed one of the largest expansions of power by the executive branch in our lifetime. Legislation pushed through Congress has created a new massive power structure under the Office of Homeland Security answerable only to the president himself. America has changed to such a degree that we now detain suspects without juridical process for indefinite time periods. We advocate kidnapping, secret imprisonment and torture.
The administration’s acts of stonewalling, concealing evidence, denying access and offering evolving explanations ought to be reason enough to compel journalists and congressional… Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2007 — Portland, Oregon
Portland to Host Terrorism Drill “NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2”
Aug. 20 to 24
Citizens Warn of Established Pattern for Such Drills to go “live”
This is an urgent advisory notice from concerned citizens of Oregon and Washington
about an upcoming U.S. Joint Forces Command emergency management exercise known
as NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 that will simulate terrorism or disaster scenarios in
the Lower Columbia River Basin between Aug. 20th and Aug 24th, 2007.
NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 was designed and will be directed by U.S. Joint Forces
Command (USJFCOM) and the Department of Homeland Security. We are aware of no
public notice concerning this exercise, but preliminary investigation has revealed
that Oregon National Guard officials and federal officials will
conduct the drill. Details from official sources are minimal.
This advisory is to document our concerns, raise public awareness and urge
citizen action based on the following facts:
1. NOBLE RESOLVE is a computer-based simulation of a large-scale emergency
situation (e.g. earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, or terrorist attack with nuclear
weapon) in order to train for managing all aspects of the emergency response
through comprehensive software.
2. Military exercises such as NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 have a recent history of
coinciding with lethal “live” events. This occurred on 9/11/01 when
five or more major military or security exercises were in progress on the very
day of the actual attacks. The same phenomenon occurred with the London Bombings
7/7/05 during which a drill concerning multiple bomb attacks was being staged
on that day.…
The Timeline to Tyranny
Ten advances towards the end of freedom and privacy in the United States
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The top ten advances towards tyranny in the United States during the tenure
of the Bush administration, from the Patriot Act to the latest expansion of
the illegal eavesdropping surveillance program.
1) The USA Patriot Act
The party line often heard from Neo-Cons in their attempts to defend the Patriot
Act either circulate around the contention that the use of the Patriot Act has
never been abused or that it isn’t being used against American citizens. Here
is an archive of articles that disproves both of these fallacies.
The Patriot Act was the boiler plate from which all subsequent attacks on the
Constitution were formed.
2) Total Information Awareness
"Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription
you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail
you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you
make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions
and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a
virtual, centralized grand database," infamously wrote New York Times writer
William Safire, announcing the birth of Total Information Awareness, a kind
of Echelon on steroids introduced a year after 9/11.
Congressman Denied Access To Post-Attack Continuity Plans
Newhouse News Service
Washington – Constituents called Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.
As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure “bubbleroom” in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.
On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.
“I just can’t believe they’re going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,” DeFazio said.
Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn’t know who did it or why.
“We’re talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America,” DeFazio said. “I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee.”
Bush administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied access: “We do not comment through the press on the process that this access entails. It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive.” Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he “cannot… Continue reading
CounterPunch July 16, 2007
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the
US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.
Bush has put in place all the necessary measures for dictatorship in the form
of “executive orders” that are triggered whenever Bush declares a
national emergency. Recent statements by Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff,
former Republican senator Rick Santorum and others suggest that Americans might
expect a series of staged, or false flag, “terrorist” events in the
Many attentive people believe that the reason the Bush administration will
not bow to expert advice and public opinion and begin withdrawing US troops
from Iraq is that the administration intends to rescue its unpopular position
with false flag operations that can be used to expand the war to Iran.
Too much is going wrong for the Bush administration: the failure of its Middle
East wars, Republican senators jumping ship, Turkish troops massed on northern
Iraq’s border poised for an invasion to deal with Kurds, and a majority of Americans
favoring the impeachment of Cheney and a near-majority favoring Bush’s impeachment.
The Bush administration desperately needs dramatic events to scare the American
people and the Congress back in line with the militarist-police state that Bush
and Cheney have fostered.
William Norman Grigg recently wrote that the GOP is “praying for a terrorist
strike” to save the party from electoral wipeout in 2008.
Chertoff, Cheney, the neocon nazis, and Mossad would have no qualms about saving
the bacon for the Republicans, who have enabled Bush to start two unjustified
wars, with Iran waiting in the wings to be attacked in a third war.…
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
From the National
Whistleblower Center, June 19, 2007:
Take Action Now to ensure that S.274, the Senate whistleblower protection bill,
The Good News:
Last week, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
voted to approve S.274 and send it to the Senate floor for debate. S.274 is
the Senate companion to the House bill H.R. 985. This legislation, if passed,
would constitute an important and hard fought victory for Federal employees.
S.274 has thus far drawn significant bi-partisan support, and should it reach
the Senate floor, is almost certain to pass with a veto-proof majority.
The Bad News:
After the vote, committee member Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) placed a hold on the
legislation, which, unless lifted by Sen. Coburn, could effectively kill the
This is a classic case of a Republican Senator carrying water for an administration
which has already issued a veto threat to the House version of this bill. It
is clear that the Bush Administration fears the type of effective oversight
that S.274/H.R.985 would provide. Those in power desperately want to hold on
to the current laws, because if these improvements to the whistleblower protection
laws were to pass, it would give employees the courage to speak the truth about
corruption and malfeasance that this administration has tried so hard to cover
The Jersey Girls Deserve Answers
It has been said that the intelligence agencies have to be right 100% of the time. And the terrorists only have to get lucky once. This explanation for the devastating attacks of September 11th, simple on its face, is wrong in its value,” because the 9-11 terrorists were not just lucky once. They were lucky over and over again. When you have this repeated pattern of broken protocols, broken laws, broken communication,” one cannot still call it luck. If at some point, we don’t look to hold the individuals accountable for not doing their jobs, properly, then how can we ever expect for terrorists to not get lucky again?
–Mindy Kleinberg, one of the Jersey Girls
September 11, 2001 is a day etched in our memories. No more so than for the victims’ families, including the Jersey Girls–four widows of men who died in the Twin Towers.
Mindy Kleinberg, along with Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, and Lorie Van Auken did what you might do under similar circumstances–they asked questions. They began collecting information and following news accounts. They began seeing several things that troubled them. Before long, they had made contact with each other. They worked together, publicly, to get answers. Somewhere along the line they became known as “the Jersey Girls.”
Their story is told in 9/11 Press for Truth.
It’s been said that, “Our quality of life is determined in large part by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves.” Well, the quality and size of our government is determined by the questions we ask when things like the 9-11 attacks happen.…Continue reading
by Matthew Rothschild
With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack.
In a new National Security Presidential Directive , Bush lays out his plans for dealing with a “catastrophic emergency.” (Ed.: Full text appended at end of this article.)
Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.”
He laid this all out in a document entitled “National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51″ and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20.”
The White House released it on May 9.
Other than a discussion on Daily Kos led off by a posting by Leo Fender, and a pro-forma notice in a couple of mainstream newspapers, this document has gone unremarked upon.
The subject of the document is entitled “National Continuity Policy.”
It defines a “catastrophic emergency” as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function.”
This could mean another 9/11, or another Katrina, or a major earthquake in California, I imagine, since it says it would include “localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.”
The document emphasizes the need to ensure “the continued function of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government,” it states.
But it says flat out: “The President shall… Continue reading
by Tod Fletcher
Debunking 9/11 Debunking is a monumental accomplishment by David Ray Griffin. He exhaustively and definitively destroys the pretensions of four major “9/11 debunking” publications published in 2006, shortly before the fifth anniversary of the events. Although the book is organized into chapters dealing with each one of the four publications in turn, Griffin has such a broad knowledge of all the evidence pertaining to the events, and such command of logic and argument, that the book is thoroughly cohesive and progressively builds an integrated critique of all dimensions of the official theory. Debunking 9/11 Debunking will effectively serve as a veritable encyclopedia of not just the facts of 9/11, but of the best arguments to debunk the official (and semi-official) lies about the facts. Griffin, as usual, avoids speculation and focuses on showing that the official story of what happened that day cannot be true.
Before the four central chapters, Griffin provides an Introduction (“Conspiracy Theories and Evidence”) in which he distinguishes between rational and irrational conspiracy theories and discusses the “double standard” used by the mainstream and left-leaning press, i.e., the confused (or self-serving) way in which they fail to make this distinction and then assert that critiques of the official account are “conspiracy theories” while completely obfuscating the fact that the official story is itself a conspiracy theory. He deals in detail with tendencies of human thought that make it difficult for people to look at unfamiliar and threatening evidence (“paradigmatic thinking” and “wishful-and-fearful thinking”),… Continue reading
By Naomi Wolf, Chelsea Green Publishing
April 28, 2007
Alternet Editor’s note: This is adapted from Wolf’s forthcoming book “The
End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.”
autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took
a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In
a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down —
the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential
areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened
some limits on travel and took certain activists into custody.
They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at
history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open
society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in
more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective.
It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy, but history
shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to
take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to
look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated in the United States
by the Bush administration.
Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering
that… Continue reading