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234th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party: 9/11 Truth Comes to the ‘Hub’

Architects Engineers Educators Speak Out

“Those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous
official account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough and impartial
investigation be undertaken.” ~ Dr. Lynn Margulis (Distinguished
University of Massachusetts professor, National Medal of Science recipient,
National Academy of Science’s Space Science Board Committee on Planetary Biology
and Chemical Evolution, former chairperson.

“I think in simplest terms, there’s a cover-up. The 9/11 report is a
joke… Now there are a whole bunch of unanswered questions. And the reason
they’re unanswered is because this administration will not answer the questions.”
~ Ray McGovern 27-year CIA veteran in charge of President’s Daily Brief.
Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The 234th Anniversary of the Boston
Tea Party: 9/11 Truth Comes to the “Hub”

In 1858, Oliver Wendell Holmes coined the phrase, “The Hub of the Solar
System,” when referring to the Massachusetts State House in an Atlantic
Monthly article, “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” in which he
boastfully implied that Boston at that time was the center of everything intellectual.
One hundred and forty nine years after Holmes penned the affectionate metaphor
and two hundred and thirty four years after the infamous Boston Tea Party, Bostonians
are again attempting to appeal to the “Hub’s” intellectual prowess,
this time with regard to the academic and scientific challenges taking place
around the world concerning the government’s official explanations of the September
11, 2001 attacks.

“Those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous official
account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough and impartial investigation
be undertaken” -LYNN MARGULIS (Distinguished University of Massachusetts
professor, member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Medal of Science
recipient).…

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‘Goodbye to America’ and ‘Hegemony’s Cost’

by Paul Craig Roberts
November 28, 2007

Pat Buchanan is too patriotic to come right out and say it, but the message of his new book, “Day of Reckoning,” is that America as we have known her is finished. Moreover, Naomi Wolf agrees with him. These two writers of different political persuasions arrive at America’s demise from different directions.

Buchanan explains how hubris, ideology and greed have torn America apart. A neoconservative cabal with an alien agenda captured the Bush administration and committed American blood, energy and money to aggression against Muslim countries in the Middle East, while permitting America’s domestic borders to be overrun by immigrants and exporting the jobs that had made the United States an opportunity society. War and offshoring have taken a savage economic toll, while open borders and diversity have created social and political division.

In her new book, “End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot,” Wolf explains America’s demise in terms of the erosion of freedoms. She writes that the 10 classic steps that are used to close open societies are currently being taken in the United States. Martial law is only a declaration away.

The Bush administration responded to Sept. 11 by initiating military aggression in the Middle East and by using fear and the “war on terror” to implement police state measures at home with legislation, presidential directives and executive orders.

Overnight, the United States became a tyranny in which people could be arrested and incarcerated on the basis of unsubstantiated accusation.…

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The First Fifteen Minutes of September 11th: Former Air Traffic Controller Robin Hordon

The First Fifteen Minutes of September 11th
Former Air Traffic Controller Robin Hordon speaks out on 9/11, NORAD and what should have happened on 9/11.

By Jeremy Baker

Within three hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Robin Hordon knew it was an inside job. He had been an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) for eleven years before Reagan fired him and hundreds of his colleagues after they went on strike in the eighties. Having handled in-flight emergencies and two actual hijackings in his career, he is well qualified to comment on what NORAD should have been able to achieve in its response to the near simultaneous hijacking of four domestic passenger carriers on the morning of September 11th, 2001.

“There had to be something huge to explain why those aircraft weren’t shot down out of the sky. We have fighters on the ready to handle these situations twenty-four-seven. We have NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) monitors monitoring our skies twenty-four-seven. We have a lot of human beings, civilian and military, who care about doing their jobs.”

I spoke to Mr. Hordon one afternoon at a coffee shop in Bremerton, Washington.

“You have to understand the emotions, the duty, the job of an ATC. We are paid to watch aircraft go across the country.”

It’s clear that Hordon is passionate about the subject. A lot of people are. The dark questions that the attacks have left lingering in the national psyche have been recorded. 49% of New Yorkers believe that the government had something to do with 9/11. Following an interview with Charlie Sheen, a CNN poll revealed that 82% of respondents believed that there was “a government cover-up of 9/11.” Jay Leno asked Bill Maher on The Tonight Show about the fact that 37% of Americans (according to Scribbs-Howard) believe that the government was involved in some way with the attacks (Maher was definitely not one of them).

As far as the “emotions, the duty, the job” of an ATC is concerned, Hordon puts it this way:

“Imagine yourself at a circus, a fair, a crowded sports event. You have in your hand your little child of five or six, you’re amongst hundreds of people and you turn around and see that your child is gone. How do you feel at that moment? You feel panicked. You feel that this is the worst thing possible, so what you do is you engage. When ATCs lose an aircraft, all hell breaks loose. They flip right into motion. We take action and do not wait for other things to happen.”

As a former member of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization), Hordon’s years as an ATC are particularly relevant to 9/11 researchers.

“I was a certified ATC in Boston west-bound departures, the routing that AA11 and UA175 followed on 9/11. I know it like the back of my hand.”

He even received a letter of commendation for his role in dealing with an actual hijacking. When it became clear that there hadn’t been a systems failure of any kind on the morning of September 11th, Hordon was certain that something had gone terribly wrong within the upper echelons of authority. A pilot (third level air carrier) as well as an ATC, he is well versed on in-flight emergency protocol. He is also adamant that if these procedures had been followed on 9/11 not one of the hijacked planes would have reached their targets. Continue reading

New Book by Scott McClellan Leads to Congressional Call for Probe

UPDATE: Scott McClellan in Upcoming Book Ties Bush to CIA Leak Case — Dodd
Calls for Probe

By E&P Staff
Published: November 20, 2007 12:40 AM ET updated Wednesday

NEW YORK To no one’s surprise in a world where top White House aides with any
president eventually write a book about it, former Press Secretary Scott McClellan
will be coming out with his volume in April. It’s called “What Happened”
and its publisher, Public Affairs, at its Web site now carries this brief excerpt
— which set off a media firestorm on Tuesday.

It also led to a call for a full probe by a top U.S. senator and condemnation
from former CIA agent Valerie Plame.

E&P was first mainstream news outlet to report on Monday night that the
McClellan excerpt reads:

“The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on
his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium
in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and
publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove
and Scooter Libby.
“There was one problem. It was not true.
“I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest
ranking officials in the administration “were involved in my doing so:
Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and… Continue reading

State Terror: H.R. 1955 a Weapon of Mass Destruction of Civil Liberties

Ministry of Mythinformation Blog

Concerning the graduated repression of the Nazi regime, the Reverend Martin Niemoller, in 1945, stated, to the effect:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

Though this quote has taken on many forms and endured several disputes, the ultimate interpretation stands. That silence about liberty infractions equals civil death.

Further, on the notion of leading the public headstrong into oblivion, the Nazis said it best:

“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia , nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany . That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Hermann Goering, 1946… Continue reading

BRADBLOG EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Ellsberg Says Sibel Edmonds Case ‘Far More Explosive Than Pentagon Papers’

EXCLUSIVE: Daniel
Ellsberg Says Sibel Edmonds Case ‘Far More Explosive Than Pentagon Papers’

‘Gagged’ FBI Whistleblower, Risking Jail, Says American Media Has Refused Her
Offer to Disclose Classified Information, Including Criminal Allegations, Information
Concerning ‘Security of Americans’

Charges Several Mainstream Publications Have Been Informed of ‘Full Story’
by Other FBI Leakers Nearly a Year Ago, Have Remained Mum…

Bradblog banner

Brad Friedman, The BRAD
BLOG

11/19/2007

“I’d say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers,”
Daniel Ellsberg told us in regard to former FBI translator turned whistleblower
Sibel Edmonds.

“From what I understand, from what she has to tell, it has a major difference
from the Pentagon Papers in that it deals directly with criminal activity and
may involve impeachable offenses,” Ellsberg explained. “And I don’t
necessarily mean the President or the Vice-President, though I wouldn’t be surprised
if the information reached up that high. But other members of the Executive
Branch may be impeached as well. And she says similar about Congress.”

The BRAD BLOG spoke recently with the legendary 1970’s-era whistleblower in
the wake of our recent exclusive, detailing Edmonds’ announce that she was prepared
to risk prosecution to expose the entirety of the still-classified information
that the Bush Administration has “gagged” her from revealing for the
past five years under claims of the arcane “State Secrets Privilege”.

Daniel Ellsberg on BradblogEllsberg, the former defense analyst and one-time State Department official,
knows well the plight of whistleblowers. He himself was prepared to spend his
life in prison for… Continue reading

Ralph Nader: ‘Things are a lot worse than we thought.’

October 11, 2007. Ralph Nader, activist, author and lecturer, shared his views in the matter of the “Next Steps for the Peace Movement,” at a panel discussion on Oct. 11, 2007. The event was held at Bus Boys and Poets, in Washington, D.C. It was a fundraiser for DemocracyRising.US. For more information, please go to: www.democracyrising.us. Mr. Nader’s latest book is entitled “The Seventeen Traditions.”

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIO-tCPSfHA&mode=related&search


Dodging Impeachment
by Ralph Nader
Friday, October 12. 2007

The meeting at the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts on July 5, 2007 was anything but routine. Seated before Cong. John Olver (D-MA) were twenty seasoned citizens from over a dozen municipalities in this First Congressional District which embraces the lovely Berkshire Hills.

The subject–impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney.

The request–that Cong. Olver join the impeachment drive in Congress.

More than just opinion was being conveyed to Cong. Olver, a then 70 year old Massachusetts liberal with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These Americans voted overwhelmingly during formal annual town meetings in 14 towns and two cities in the First District endorsing resolutions to impeach the President and Vice President.

Presented in the form of petitions to be sent to the Congress, the approving citizenry cited at least four “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

They included the initiation of the Iraq war based on defrauding the public and intentionally misleading the Congress, spying on Americans without judicial authorization, committing the torture of prisoners in violation of both federal law and the U.N.…

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Madrid bombing convictions despite flimsy evidence

Informant gave advance warning to Civil Guard
By Paul Bond
7 November 2007

The sentences handed down at the culmination of the Madrid train bombing trial have served to underscore its political character.

The court placed the main responsibility for organising the March 2004 bombings, which killed 191 people, on the suspects who blew themselves up in the Madrid suburb of Leganes three weeks later. Much of the case against the accused related to their links to these men. However, many of the 29 accused were petty criminals and informants, who claim to have given the police information that could have prevented the attacks. In addition one of the chief suspects was acquitted for lack of evidence.

The 20 Arabs and nine Spaniards were charged with offences ranging from murder, stealing explosives, and forging documents to membership in terrorist organisations. All pleaded not guilty. The prosecution was seeking sentences of 38,656 years for the three men suspected of having masterminded the attacks, who were charged with 191 murders and 1,841 attempted murders. Other defendants faced sentences of between four and 27 years.

Seven of the defendants were acquitted. Maximum sentences were passed down against three of the main suspects but another accused of having been the mastermind behind the atrocity was acquitted because of the flimsiness of the evidence against them.

In his sentencing, Judge Javier Gomez Bermudez said that the convictions were based on “solid evidence” of involvement. The trial had established the chain of events leading up to… Continue reading

What YOU Need to Do to Make Impeachment a Reality

In case you’d like to remind representatives of their Federal Oath of Office when you make the calls . . .

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

*Impeachment Next Step: Judiciary Committee HEARINGS*
(Ed.: What follows has been adapted, with appreciation, from Democrats.com. Lest you think this is a “Democrats-only” issue, please see the two articles at the end of this call to action.)

Thanks to Dennis Kucinich, Tuesday was an historic day for impeachment!

As promised, Kucinich requested a floor vote on H.Res. 333, and as expected, BushDemocrat Leader Steny Hoyer moved to table the bill. And then all hell broke loose as 165 Republicans voted with Kucinich and 85 other brave Democrats to force a debate on impeachment and thereby embarass Nancy Pelosi.

To block that debate, Hoyer moved to send H.Res. 333 back to the Judiciary Committee, and that motion passed with the support of all but 5 Democrats (Kucinich, Bob Filner, Marcy Kaptur, Maxine Waters, and Ed Towns). A live blog of the proceedings is posted at http://impeachcheney.org

Representatives Wexler and Shea-Porter have now announced support for hearings:

In an e-mail to supporters on November 7, 2007, Representative Robert Wexler, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, stated that

I will urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months.

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Suddenly, Impeachment Hearings are Starting to Look Likely

11/08/2007

You wouldn’t know it if you just watch TV news or read the corporate press,
but this past Tuesday, something remarkable happened. Despite the pig-headed
opposition of the Democratic Party’s top congressional leadership, a majority
of the House, including three Republicans, voted to send Dennis Kucinich’s long
sidelined Cheney impeachment bill (H Res 333) to the Judiciary Committee for
hearings.

The vote was 218 to 194.

Now the behind-the-scenes partisan maneuvering that preceded that vote was
arcane indeed, with Kucinich first exercising a member’s privilege motion to
present his stymied impeachment bill to the full House, only to have Speaker
Nancy Pelosi arrange for a colleague (Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD) to
offer a motion to table it. The Republicans, anxious to embarrass the Speaker,
threw a wrench into that plan, though, by voting as a bloc to oppose tabling.
Since Kucinich already has 22 co-sponsors for his bill, it was clear that the
tabling gambit would fail. As soon as that became apparent, rank-and-file Democrats,
unwilling to be seen by their constituents as defending Cheney, rushed to change
their votes to opposing the tabling motion. In the end, tabling failed by 242
to 170 with 77 Democrats supporting a pleasantly surprised Kucinich.

To avoid a floor debate on the merits of impeaching the eminently impeachable
Vice President Cheney, Pelosi and her allies then moved to send Kucinich’s bill
directly to the Judiciary Committee. They were joined by three Republicans,
including maverick Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX).

Now… Continue reading

The Fraudulent War on Terror

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
October 27, 2007

Americans had best rethink the “war on terror” while they still have
the liberty to do so. For all of President Bush’s blah-blah talk about bringing
democracy to the world, the Bush administration has proved that it is no friend
of liberty at home.

The Bush administration has violated constitutional principles, US law, and
the Geneva Conventions as no previous administration has done. Here is a short
list of the Bush administration’s crimes:

Spying without court warrants on Americans in violation of both the US Constitution
and the FISA statute.

The denial of habeas corpus, attorney-client privilege, due process, and Geneva
Conventions protections to those, American or foreign, designated without evidence
as terrorists or enemy combatants.

The justification and use of torture to coerce confessions and the kidnapping
of foreign nationals who are sent to be tortured in foreign prisons.

The initiation of military aggression against states based on intentional deception
by the Bush administration of the US public and the United Nations, and the
intentional fabrication of “evidence” to justify unprovoked aggression
against sovereign states, which is a war crime under the Nuremberg standard
established by the US.

Violation of the oath of office to defend the US Constitution by practically
every member of the Bush administration and Congress.

Bush has assaulted the separation of powers and the rule of law with “signing
statements” and “executive orders” that President Nixon’s White
House Counsel John Dean says are commands that treat the co-equal… Continue reading

A ‘Paper Coup,’ and Blackwater Eyes Midtown Manhattan

by Naomi Wolf
Huffington Post
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

National Lawyers Guild Unanimously Passes Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

The National Lawyers Guild on Friday unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
 

Editor’s Note:
At the National Lawyers Guild 70th Anniversary Law for the People Convention, being held October 31 – November 4 in Washington DC, the membership “unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.” While alleged crimes relating to 9/11/01 are inexplicably omitted from the points of this resolution, it is nonetheless an extremely significant undertaking, including powerful implementation resolutions to demand investigation, support and work with impeachment efforts, and encourage all other groups and citizens “to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office without further delay.” We applaud the courage and strength of the National Lawyers Guild, and are grateful for their continuing work on behalf of all of us.

 

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

Kucinich says he will force House vote on Cheney impeachment

Rawstory.com
11/02/2007
Filed by Nick Juliano

Denis KucinichRep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced he would move to force a vote next week on his resolution calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

“The momentum is building for impeachment,” Kucinich said in a statement on his Web site. “Millions of citizens across the nation are demanding Congress rein in the Vice President’s abuse of power.

Kucinich said he plans to introduce a privileged resolution, which would have priority for a House floor vote, on Nov. 6. A vote on the measure would be required within two days.

Observers expect a motion to table Kucinich’s resolution, which has 21 Democratic co-sponsors. It is almost certain that such a move to kill the resolution would be successful, but activists are urging members of Congress to support Kucinich’s move.

“We need you to ask your representative to vote No on tabling, Yes on giving impeachment a chance,” wrote David Swanson on the pro-impeachment Website AfterDowningStreet.org. “Those who vote Yes to table cannot use the excuse that ‘We don’t have the votes,’ since others will at that same instant with exactly the same exertion be voting No. Please scroll down to contact Congress and the media right away!”

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has long said that impeachment was “off the table” and Kucinich has had little success spurring legislative action on his resolutions, despite the growing number of lawmakers who have signed on as co-sponsors since it was introduced this spring.

Kucinich’s full statement… Continue reading

It’s A Start – Rumsfeld Torture Charge in France

DONALD RUMSFELD CHARGED WITH TORTURE DURING TRIP TO FRANCE

Complaint Filed Against Former Defense Secretary for Torture, Abuse at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib

October 26, 2007, Paris, France — Today, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights filed a complaint with the Paris Prosecutor before the “Court of First Instance” (Tribunal de Grande Instance) charging former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with ordering and authorizing torture. Rumsfeld was in Paris for a talk sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine, and left through a door connecting to the U.S. embassy to avoid journalists and human rights attorneys outside.

“The filing of this French case against Rumsfeld demonstrates that we will not rest until those U.S. officials involved in the torture program are brought to justice. Rumsfeld must understand that he has no place to hide. A torturer is an enemy of all humankind,” said CCR President Michael Ratner.

France is under the obligation to investigate and prosecute Rumsfeld’s accountability for crimes of torture in Guantánamo and Iraq. France has no choice but to open an investigation if an alleged torturer is on its territory. I hope that the fight against impunity will not be sacrificed in the name of politics. We call on France to refuse to be a safe haven for criminals.” said FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen.

We want to combat impunity and therefore demand a judicial investigation and a criminal prosecution wherever there is jurisdiction over the torture incidents,” said ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck.…

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9/11 and Other Optical Illusions

by Peter Zaza

There’s a wonderful optical illusion which involves a graphic of a ballerina spinning around on one leg. It’s called:

“The Spinning Silhouette Optical Illusion”

Image of a Spinning Silhouette Optical Illusion This illusion elucidates a very important principle concerning subjective reality, and helps to illustrate a point about the vastly differing views people can hold about events such as 9/11. Some people who look at the spinning figure will first affirm that she is bouncing on her left leg while twirling in a clockwise direction. Others may avow that she is instead bouncing on her right leg and spinning in a counterclockwise direction. Indeed, you can have many people looking at this animated graphic at the same time and not agree as to what is happening. This idea is not really foreign to many people who have made the journey from one belief about 9/11 to its diametrical opposite.

First – we must try and deconstruct the illusion and find out what is going on. When you look at a silhouette of a figure it is not possible to determine if it is facing you, or facing away from you. There is no depth to the figure, it’s just an outline – our Left/Right designation of what we visually perceive will set the stage for our belief of what follows. If the human cut-out is interpreted to be facing you then you will assume it is her left foot touching the ground, and vice versa if not. The information is not sufficient when viewing a black and white silhouette, our brain makes an assumption at first glance and then proceeds toward a logical eventuality based upon that assumption.…

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9/11 and the Road Not Taken

by Brian Foley
September 11, 2007

JURIST Guest Columnist Brian J. Foley of Drexel University College of Law says that on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we should remember that the US government has steadfastly refused to allow investigations that might locate individual blame for this massive security failure…

After major tragedies there are two investigative roads to take in trying to prevent a repeat: determining whether people or policies are to blame. Blaming people entails asking whether the disaster resulted from people failing to design or execute a proper preventive policy (“human error”). Blaming policy entails asking whether the policy failed either because the risk was not foreseeable, or because the harm simply cannot be prevented (“act of God”). Both roads should be taken.

After 9/11, however, the nation raced headlong into blaming policy alone. The prevailing view was stated by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in May, 2002: “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would … try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” But such danger had been imagined, years earlier. For example, in 1994, terrorists hijacked a French airliner seeking to crash it into the Eiffel Tower. Tom Clancy’s best-selling novel Debt of Honor (1994) ends with a Japanese airline pilot crashing his 747 into the U.S. Capitol (pp. 985-86). President Clinton and his staff also understood that an airplane could be used as a missile after a suicidal man piloted a Cessna into the White House lawn, just below the president’s bedroom, in the early hours of September 12, 1994.…

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This failure should sound the alarms

by Mitch Albom
Free Press Columnist
October 21, 2007

This should make you angrier than you have been over almost anything since
Sept. 11 — and that includes the war in Iraq.

A recent report showed that 75% of fake bombs or bomb parts got past Transportation
Security Administration security at Los Angeles International Airport and 60%
got past TSA screeners at Chicago’s O’Hare.

Those are two of the busiest airports in the world. Those are two of the juiciest
targets a terrorist could desire.

Seventy-five percent? Three out of four times? We are constantly hearing the
tired and misguided phrase “fight ‘em over there so we don’t have to fight
‘em here.”

They needn’t bother with us over there. With a 75% chance of success, why would
they go anywhere BUT here?

The heart of the matter

Now, the reason this news should have you outraged — and more importantly,
why our president and his national security team should be outraged — is this
failure draws a straight line to the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and that
field in Pennsylvania six years ago.

Unlike Iraq, which had nothing to do with the actual explosions of Sept. 11,
airport security was at the heart of that tragedy. Tighter security, from passenger
identity to spotting box cutters, could have thwarted that day.

Can you imagine how our lives would be different if those 19 hijackers had
been stopped? Think about every security issue you now face in daily life, think
about the economic drain on this nation, think about the war, the lives lost,
the political hate, and all of it goes back to how those men got on those planes.…

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