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Justice Department

Are Members of Congress (and Maybe Even the President) Being Blackmailed?

by Dave Lindorff

For some time now, many Americans have wondered how Congress, the elected body that the nation’s Founding Fathers saw as the bulwark of liberty, could have been so thoroughly unwilling to, or incapable of challenging the dictatorial power-grabs and the eight-year Constitution wrecking campaign of the Bush/Cheney administration.

There has been speculation on both the far left and the far right, and even among some in the apolitical, cynical middle of the political spectrum, that somehow the Bush/Cheney administration must have been blackmailing at least the key members of the Congressional leadership, most likely through the use of electronic monitoring by the National Security Agency (NSA).…

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Torture, Iraq, and 9/11

April 21, 2009
by George Washington

5 hours after the 9/11 attacks, Donald Rumsfeld said “my interest is to hit Saddam”.

He also said “Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

And at 2:40 p.m. on September 11th, in a memorandum of discussions between top administration officials, several lines below the statement “judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [that is, Saddam Hussein] at same time”, is the statement “Hard to get a good case.” In other words, top officials knew that there wasn’t a good case that Hussein was behind 9/11, but they wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to justify war with Iraq anyway.…

Torture Used to Link Saddam with 9/11

April 23, 2009
by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Global Research

Hayden had confirmed that the Bush administration only waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zabaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashirit for one minute each. I told Franks that I didn’t believe that. Sure enough, one of the newly released torture memos reveals that Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times and Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times. One of Stephen Bradbury’s 2005 memos asserted that “enhanced techniques” on Zubaydah yielded the identification of Mohammed and an alleged radioactive bomb plot by Jose Padilla.…

In Congress We Trust…Not

The former FBI translator and whistleblower suggests blackmail may be at the
heart of Congressional refusal to bring accountability and oversight to its
own members – such as both Hastert and Harman – in matters of espionage and
national security

Guest Editorial by Sibel Edmonds
May 4, 2009
Exclusive to The BRAD BLOG

I have been known to quote long-dead men in my past writings. Whether eloquently
expressed thoughts by our founding fathers, or those artfully expressed by ancient
Greek thinkers, these quotes have always done a better job starting or ending
my thoughts – that tend to be expressed in long winding sentences.…

History Commons Projects, Update on May 7, 2009

The busiest project this week was the Civil Liberties Timeline, which has expanded
its chapter on the PROMIS application, reportedly the granddaddy of today’s
government surveillance software. Claims that the software was distributed to
other countries have been disputed, but a 1992 Congressional investigation found
two Justice Department memos saying a version of the software was about to be
passed to Israel.
Read more

In the War in Afghanistan Timeline, a contributor covers a recent statement
by UN official Philip Alston, who said that “personnel belonging to international
intelligence services” have been involved in a spate of civilian deaths

Obama: Gitmo Prisoners Aren’t ‘Persons’

30 April 2009
By Dennis Loo

If you ask most people what Obama has done about Guantánamo, most would say,
“He shut it down.”

Most don’t know that Obama has said he might take as much as a year to shut
it down.

If you ask most people what Obama has done about torture and rendition, most
would say, “He’s ended them.”

Most don’t know that Obama has declared that he will continue rendition,
that he reserves the right to go beyond the Army Field Manual for interrogations,
and that by
not acting affirmatively to ensure otherwise, he has allowed conditions to worsen
at Gitmo

Rob Kall interviews Sibel Edmonds

Posted at by Loose Nuke
May 16, 2009

Rob Kall Headlined Lukery’s transcript:…

See either link for hyperlinks- as Lukery says, Rob’s radio show gets archived here, but they’re only up to 3/18/09:

PS- recent, related article by Lukery:

They spy on judges, too.…
FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009
Rob Kall interviews Sibel Edmonds
Rob Kall of Op-Ed News interviewed Sibel on Wednesday. The audio ought to show up here at some point.…

Zelikow Caught in a Whopper; Made False Statements to Author about Criminal Referral for NORAD, FAA

By Kevin Fenton
May 22, 2009
History Commons Groups

Zelikow made the claim he was not involved in the initial stages of the dispute in response to an allegation made by commission staffer John Azzarello and relayed by Shenon. After the staff investigators drafted a memo for the commissioners in early April 2004 outlining why they thought NORAD and FAA officials had deliberately lied to them to overstate the military’s readiness during the attacks, Zelikow “just buried that memo,” according to Azzarello.…

Another Blow to Accountability for 9/11

May 29, 2009

Statement On Behalf of the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism
In Response to the Solicitor General’s Refusal to Support The 9/11 Families’
Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court

(In Re: Thomas E. Burnett, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka Investment & Development
Corp., et al., Case No. 03-CV-9849 (RCC) In Re: Terrorist Attacks on September
11, 2001, MDL 1570)

WASHINGTON, May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is a statement
of 9/11 Family Members: Mike Low, Father of Sara Elizabeth Low, AA Flight 11;
Bill Doyle, Father of Joseph M.…

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Encouraging Martyrdom Rather than Accessing Truth

U.S. May Permit 9/11 Guilty Pleas in Capital Cases

June 5, 2009
Full story published at New York Times

The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.

The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques.…

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E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress

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.…

A Rundown Of The 9/11 Saudi Lawsuit

by Jon Gold

On 1/8/2008, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “a huge lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia and key members of its royal family was put to a crucial test today as lawyers for victims of the 9/11 attacks urged a federal appeals court to reinstate the government of Saudi Arabia as a defendant.” The Cozen O’Connor law firm in Philadelphia “was the first to file suit against the government of Saudi Arabia in 2003, charging that the desert kingdom bears responsibility for the attacks because it permitted Islamic charities under its control to bankroll Osama bin Laden and his global terror movement.” The lawsuit “suffered a setback in 2005 when New York federal district court judge Richard Conway Casey ruled that the federal foreign sovereign immunity act barred lawsuits against Saudi Arabia and members of the royal family.”


Editor’s Note:
“Two federal judges and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals have already ruled against the 7,630 people represented in the lawsuit, made up of survivors of the attacks and family members of those killed, throwing out the suit on the ground that the families cannot bring legal action in the United States against a sovereign nation and its leaders.”“The Supreme Court is expected to decide this week whether to hear an appeal, but the families’ prospects dimmed last month when the Justice Department sided with the Saudis in their immunity claim and urged the court not to consider the appeal.” (NYTimes)

On… Continue reading

Supreme Court turns down 9/11 families’ appeal “without comment”, lets stand Saudi immunity

Court won’t hear Sept. 11 claims vs. Saudi Arabia

June 29, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has refused to allow victims of the Sept.
11 attacks to pursue lawsuits against Saudi Arabia and four of its princes over
charitable donations that were allegedly funneled to al-Qaida.

The court, in an order Monday, is leaving in place the ruling of a federal
appeals court that the country and the princes are protected by sovereign immunity,
which generally means that foreign countries can’t be sued in American courts.…

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The Alarming Record of the F.B.I.’s Informant in the Bronx Bomb Plot

By Graham Rayman
July 08, 2009
Village Voice

Last month, police and the FBI arrested four Newburgh men on charges that they had plotted to bomb synagogues in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx and fire a missile at a military jet.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly held press conferences at the synagogues to reassure New Yorkers about their safety. During Kelly’s remarks, it was startling to hear the commissioner refer to al-Qaeda by name, if only to say that the four purported home-grown terrorists had no ties to Osama Bin Laden’s organization.…

New Podcast from Sibel Edmonds – First Guest, James Bamford

Boiling Frogs Podcast

Announcing Sibel Edmonds Podcast Show with Co-Host Peter B. Collins

July 12, 2009

Sibel Edmonds (If you’re not already famliar with Sibel, read more about her here )

I am pleased to announce the launch of my Podcast show, ‘The Boiling Frogs.’ This site will present two in-depth interviews per month, one-hour each, with well-respected and controversial guests. My guest list will include:

* Investigative reporters * Authors with controversial and bold track records * Courageous and legitimate whistleblowers * Well-respected academic and legal experts on our relevant issues

…and maybe even a few guests from the other side whom we have bashed.…

Review of alleged detainee abuse to have narrow scope

‘Preliminary review’ looks at whether interrogations followed guidance of the Bush ‘torture memos.’
By Warren Richey
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor from the August 24, 2009 edition

In a highly contentious move, Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday appointed a special prosecutor to take a fresh look at whether US officials violated the law through harsh treatment of detainees during the Bush administration’s war on terror.

Mr. Holder said he was authorizing John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor, to conduct a “preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations.” He did not identify those detainees by name or where they were allegedly mistreated.…

We need a full and thorough investigation

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.

Ex-FBI Translator Claims Spying at DoD

October 21, 2009 by Bryant Jordan

FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds photo

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.…