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Justice Department

Roots of surveillance standoff go back decades

By Shane Harris, National Journal

In the old days, everyone was linked to a lug nut, and Jim Kallstrom liked it that way.

It was 1985, a simpler time for a cop like Kallstrom, who was in charge of setting telephone wiretaps on suspected drug dealers and mobsters for the FBI’s New York City field office.

In New York, Kallstrom’s cases were often won on the basis of incriminating evidence surreptitiously snatched from the mouths of criminal defendants through their phone lines.…

Snakes and Superdelegates

While the US media obsesses on delegates, superdelegates and whether or not Hillary Clinton is using math formulae hallowed by MSNBC, we learn that US interrogators used snakes to torture prisoners (that’s right, PentaPost –torture, not ‘interrogate’ and prisoners, not ‘detainees’) at Guantánamo Bay – while the FBI watched.

By Lori Price
www.legitgov.org
http://www.legitgov.org/essay_price_snakes_superdelegates_210508.html
21 May 2008

Image of boa snake at GuantanamoToday, we learned form NEWS.com.au, an Australian news and information site, that US interrogators – at least on one occasion – used a snake (in addition to military dogs and pornography) on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.…

FBI terrorism units badly run, understaffed: agent

Wed May 21, 2008 8:57pm EDT

By Randall Mikkelsen
http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2143598920080522

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI counterterrorism units are dangerously ill-equipped and barely 60 percent of the supervisory positions in the division that tracks al Qaeda were filled as of March, a bureau agent told Congress on Wednesday.

Bassem Youssef told a congressional hearing that the bureau has failed to recruit, retain and promote experienced personnel and experts in Arabic culture and language.

The shortfall has contributed to problems such as the improper use of FBI demands for personal and business records, said Youssef, who helped uncover the abuse.…

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Legislating Tyranny

by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton
Posted at Lewrockwell.com
June 7, 2008

The George W. Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attack on the World
Trade Center and Pentagon with an assault on U.S. civil liberty that Bush justified
in the name of the “war on terror.” The government assured us that
the draconian measures apply only to “terrorists.” The word terrorist,
however, was not defined. The government claimed the discretionary power to
decide who is a terrorist without having to present evidence or charges in a
court of law.…

Senator Mike Gravel Speaks about NYC 9/11 Initiative on Democracy Now

Democray Now

Watch the video here; written transcript follows:

AMY GOODMAN: Former Alaska senator and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Gravel is holding a news conference in New York City today to call for a new independent investigation into 9/11. Gravel will be speaking on behalf of the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative Campaign, a grassroots group seeking to place an initiative on the ballot of the November 6th general election allowing registered New York City voters to create a new commission to investigate 9/11.…

Spying on Americans: Democrats Ready to Gut the Constitution To Protect Their “Constituents” — The Telecoms

By Tom Burghardt
June 16, 2008
from Antifascist Calling, Reprinted at Global Research

Proving the old axiom that Congress "is the best that money can buy,"
congressional Democrats are preparing to gut the Constitution by granting giant
telecom companies retroactive immunity and liability protection on warrantless
wiretapping by the Bush regime.

According to Congressional Quarterly, "Congressional leaders
and the Bush administration have reached an agreement in principle on an overhaul
of surveillance rules."

Tim Starks reports,

According to sources familiar with the negotiations, the compromise would
be very similar to the last proposal by Sen.

Sibel Edmonds vs. the Nuclear Terrorists

Intro, continued: Scott Horton, of AntiwarRadio.com, interviewed Sibel Edmonds and the blogger who’s long covered her important case (which the corporate media still refuses to touch), Luke Ryland, to shine some light on what might be happening here. Again, Congress refuses to hold hearings, and hold anyone to account. This interview reviews some of the information that’s come to light in Sibel’s 6-year case, as well as the utter lack of action by Congress with regard to the entire network of whistleblowers with whom she’s associated.…

Shooting the Messenger

By William F. Jasper
2008-07-07

For six years, Sibel Edmonds has been carrying out an heroic crusade to protect her adopted country from national security threats within the top levels of the American government. Hired as an FBI translator in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Edmonds, a Turkish American, threw herself into the daunting task of translating thousands of hours of recordings of backlogged intercepts in Turkic, Farsi, and Azerbaijani. What she heard on the tapes was alarming: Turkish agents in the United States bribing high-level U.S.…

Ex-Army scientist to get $5.8M in anthrax lawsuit

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 27, 7:30 PM ET

WASHINGTON – A former Army scientist who was named as a person of interest
in the 2001 anthrax attacks will receive $5.8 million to settle his lawsuit
against the Justice Department. Steven Hatfill claimed the Justice Department
violated his privacy rights by speaking with reporters about the case.

Settlement documents were filed in federal court Friday. Both sides have agreed
to the deal, according to the documents, and as soon as they are signed, the
case will be dismissed.…

Conyers Asks John Yoo If a President Could Order a Suspect Buried Alive

Yoo Refuses to Answer the Question…

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review , at BradBlog .

John Yoo and David Addington, the architects of Bush’s illegal torture policies, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today. The hearing included this frothy exchange between Yoo and the committee chairman, John Conyers (D-Mich.):

CONYERS : Could the President order a suspect buried alive?

YOO : Uh, Mr. Chairman, I don’t think I’ve ever given advice that the President could order someone buried alive…

CONYERS : I didn’t ask you if you ever gave him advice.

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Court Backs Bush on Military Detentions

Wednesday 16 July 2008
By Adam Liptak, The New York Times

Indefinite military detentions of persons apprehended within the United States
are legal, according to a Tuesday federal appeals court decision. (Read text
of decision
.) However, a concurrent decision allows detainee Ali al-Marri (pictured)
to challenge his detention in court.

President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions
of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond,
Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.…

Seven years on, no answer from White House on anthrax attacks

7/16/2008
by Eric Brewer
Rawstory.com

It’s been almost seven years since — in the weeks immediately following 9/11 — anthrax powder sent through the mail killed five people, threatened the lives of two Democratic senators, terrorized the entire nation, and helped prod a panicky Congress into passing the so-called Patriot Act.

In the intervening years, not only has the killer remained free, but missteps in the investigation have had major negative consequences. Just last month, in fact, the Department of Justice agreed to pay $4.6 million to former bioweapons expert Stephen Hatfill to settle a lawsuit Hatfill brought against the Justice Department, the FBI, and former Attorney General John Ashcroft for destroying his reputation and career by publicly implicating him in the case.…

‘Imperial presidency’ hearing to feature 13 witnesses

Nick Juliano
July 24, 2008

Kucinich, Barr, Bugliosi among those testifying

The House Judiciary Committee has released a witness list for its hearing to examine “the imperial presidency” of George W. Bush.

Testifying Friday morning will be Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has introduced several resolutions calling for President Bush’s and Vice President Dick Cheney’s impeachment; former Rep. Bob Barr, the Libertarian presidential candidate who led the charge to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998; Vincent Bugliosi, author of the just-released book The Prosecution of George W.

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A Surge on the Homefront? McCain: “somewhat like we use in the military’

August 01, 2008

ABC News’ David Wright reports: Answering a question at the Urban League about
his approach to combating crime, John McCain suggested that military strategies
currently employed by US troops in Iraq could be applied to high crime neighborhoods
here in the US.

McCain at first praised the crime-fighting efforts of Rudolph Giuliani when
he was mayor of New York City. Then he down-shifted into an approach that sounded
considerably harsher.

McCain called them tactics "somewhat like we use in the military."

"You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment
for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are
kept under control," he said.…

Marching Off Into Tyranny

By Paul Craig Roberts
August 5, 2008

In last weekend’s edition of CounterPunch,
Alexander Cockburn updates the ongoing persecution of Sami Al-Arian by federal
prosecutors. Al-Arian was a Florida university professor of computer science
who was ensnared by the Bush Regime’s need to produce “terrorists”
in order to keep Americans fearful and, thereby, amenable to the Bush Regime’s
assault on US civil liberties.

The charges against Al-Arian were rejected by a jury, but the Bush Regime could
not accept the obvious defeat.…

9/11 Victims Target Saudis With Deep State Ties

by P. Devlin Buckley
September 5, 2008
The American Monitor

Law firms representing victims of the 9/11 attacks in an ongoing legal dispute with wealthy Saudis suspected of financing al-Qaeda have recently turned their attention to two individuals with unique ties to the U.S. government.

Lawyers for victims of the attacks, as well as insurance companies of property owners in New York, have filed a motion of discovery in federal district court in Manhattan targeting the Saudi-owned National Commercial Bank (NCB) and two of its former executives, Khalid bin Mahfouz and Yassin al-Qadi.…

FBI chief: Rules would help root out terrorists

New rules for national security investigations will help protect Americans
from terror attacks, FBI Director Robert Mueller told lawmakers Tuesday, even
if they single out people from the Middle East.

By LARA JAKES JORDAN

Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON —

New rules for national security investigations will help protect Americans
from terror attacks, FBI Director Robert Mueller told lawmakers Tuesday, even
if they single out people from the Middle East.

Skeptical Democrats clashed with Mueller, who told the House Judiciary Committee
that FBI agents would no longer need solid evidence or allegations of wrongdoing
to spy on Americans even before opening investigations.…

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The Ultimate 9/11 ‘Truth’ Showdown: David Ray Griffin vs. Matt Taibbi

By Matt Taibbi and David Ray Griffin
October 6, 2008
Alternet.org

A poll of 17 countries that came out September of this year revealed that majorities in only nine of them “believe that al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.” A Zogby poll from 2006 found that in America, 42% of respondents believed the US government and 9/11 Commission “covered up” the events of 9/11. It’s safe to say that at least tens of millions of Americans don’t believe anything close to the official account offered by the 9/11 Commission, and that much of the outside world remains skeptical.…