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The Total Failure of the Kean Commission

By Michael Kane, March 27, 2004

Case study: How the Commission went easy on Rumsfeld, Myers and Wolfowitz

“I had no idea hijacked airliners would be used as weapons.”

So said Rumsfeld, in his opening remarks to the Kean Commission on March 23, 2004. His final statement on the topic while under oath was, “I plead ignorance.”

Officials at NORAD have said that when the hijackings first occurred, they initially thought it was part of the Vigilant Guardian drills running that morning. Despite some confusion, once Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center at 8:45 AM, everyone should have known this was not a test.

Former White House terrorism adviser Richard Clarke’s testimony, one day later, was interesting, but amounted to little more than a distraction. There were more cameras on Clarke than on anyone else during the two-day national broadcast of the commission hearings. In reality, his testimony was nowhere near as interesting as the joint appearance by Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Myers the day before. I do not question Clarke’s sincerity at this time, just the timing, which he did not choose. His book was released at a time chosen by the White House, and the testimony depended on the book. He had finished it well over 6 months before, but it was held up by the White House security clearance.

As a result, the book came out on the eve of Rumsfeld’s sworn testimony to the 9/11 Commission. Very clever if intentional, because it distracted everyone from two issues completely ignored by the commissioners, and overshadowed by Clarke and his book when they questioned Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

ISSUE #1 On the morning of September 11, 2001, NORAD was running war games involving the scenario of hijacked airliners, while the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into a government building, at the exact same time as an identical scenario was perpetrated in reality.…

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The New Pearl Harbor

September Song

A Review of “The New Pearl Harbor”

By Marc Estrin
counterpunch.org

The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11
David Ray Griffin
Olive Branch Press, 2004
Paper, 214 pp, $15.00

The official story goes something like this:

With no actionable warning from intelligence agencies, four planes were hijacked by terrorists on the morning of September 11, 2001. Two crashed into the Word Trade Center, which then collapsed, and shortly thereafter, the third into the Pentagon. The last plane went down in Pennsylvania after a struggle between passengers and hijackers. Air defense arrived too late to stop the catastrophes. Responding to this attack on the homeland, the president declared a global war on terror which may last for generations until evil is finally eradicated, the security of America firmly established, and the world made safe for freedom and democracy.

In The New Pearl Harbor, David Ray Griffin compiles the evidence that every single assertion in the official story is implausible or impossible, and that something other must explain the inconsistencies and contra-factual assertions.

The implications of the accumulated evidence is that the Bush administration was complicit in the events of September 11th, and not merely a victim of structural problems or incompetence on the part of the intelligence establishment. In a nuanced discussion of “complicity”, Griffin distinguishes eight possible levels, from the lying about events to maximize political ends, through intentionally allowing expected attacks, to actual involvement in the planning of them.

Griffin does not make specific accusations, nor does he hypothesize a “true” version of what happened. But he does demand unflinching investigations of all the contradictions, clear reporting of the results, and most difficult, a courageous drawing of conclusions, no matter how “unthinkable” or outrageous they may appear.

Show Editor’s Note »

Excellent review of Griffin’s tour de force by the intrepid Counterpunch crew, one of the few lefty journals willing to even look at that day.

In the months since the book was published, we have been swamped with news from the 9/11 Commission concerning both domestic and foreign intelligence which indicated a large and imminent attack on the United States. But the Commission, its members appointed by President Bush, is focusing on the future. According to Vice-Chair Lee Hamilton, “We’re not interested in trying to assess blame…” Their goal is to understand what happened so as to restructure intelligence so that such “a breakdown” may not happen again. Given this limited mandate, almost none of the contradictions Griffin raises is likely to be discussed, or its ramifications analyzed before the case is closed.

The first part of The New Pearl Harbor looks in detail at the timeline and events of 9/11 itself. How is it, Griffin asks, that even the first airplane was not intercepted — given standard procedures, operating normally many times a year, for off-course or otherwise anomalous aircraft? The FAA, NORAD, and the NMCC (National Military Command Center at the Pentagon) have a clear and working set of standard operating procedures which on September 11th, and on that day only, failed to operate. Griffin lays them out, along with the strange, and changing official excuses for their “failure”. Continue reading

Crossing the Rubicon: Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney

by Michael Kane

Cover photo of Crossing the RubiconJanuary 18, 2005 (FTW) – In an argument of over 600 pages and 1,000 footnotes, Crossing the Rubicon makes the case for official complicity within the U.S. government and names Dick Cheney as the prime suspect in the crimes of 9/11. Since the publication of this book (to which I had the privilege of contributing a chapter), many people have asked to hear the case against Cheney argued “short & sweet.”

I will make it as short as possible, but it can never be sweet.

There are 3 major points made within this book that are crucial to proving Cheney’s guilt. I shall first list them and then go on to prove each point as laid out in Crossing the Rubicon.

  1. Means – Dick Cheney and the Secret Service: Dick Cheney was running a completely separate chain of Command & Control via the Secret Service, assuring the paralysis of Air Force response on 9/11. The Secret Service has the technology to see the same radar screens the FAA sees in real time. They also have the legal authority and technological capability to take supreme command in cases of national emergency. Dick Cheney was the acting Commander in Chief on 9/11. (Click here for a summary of these points)
  2. Motive – Peak Oil: At some point between 2000 and 2007, world oil production reaches its peak; from that point on, every barrel of oil is going to be harder to find, more expensive to recover, and more valuable to those who recover and control it.
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September Song

A Review of “The New Pearl Harbor”

By Marc Estrin

counterpunch.org

May 25, 2004

The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11
David Ray Griffin
Olive Branch Press, 2004
Paper, 214 pp, $15.00

The official story goes something like this:

With no actionable warning from intelligence agencies, four planes were hijacked by terrorists on the morning of September 11, 2001. Two crashed into the Word Trade Center, which then collapsed, and shortly thereafter, the third into the Pentagon. The last plane went down in Pennsylvania after a struggle between passengers and hijackers. Air defense arrived too late to stop the catastrophes. Responding to this attack on the homeland, the president declared a global war on terror which may last for generations until evil is finally eradicated, the security of America firmly established, and the world made safe for freedom and democracy.

In The New Pearl Harbor, David Ray Griffin compiles the evidence that every single assertion in the official story is implausible or impossible, and that something other must explain the inconsistencies and contra-factual assertions.

The implications of the accumulated evidence is that the Bush administration was complicit in the events of September 11th, and not merely a victim of structural problems or incompetence on the part of the intelligence establishment. In a nuanced discussion of “complicity”, Griffin distinguishes eight possible levels, from the lying about events to maximize political ends, through intentionally allowing expected attacks, to actual involvement in the planning of them.

Griffin does not make specific accusations, nor does he hypothesize a “true” version of what happened.…

Continue reading

Tonkin Gulf Intelligence

The truth-telling by New York Times reporter Scott Shane surely must shame present-day journalists, still MIA from investigative reporting on either 9/11 or the war: “… higher-level officials at the NSA were ‘fearful that [declassification] might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq.’ Perhaps they will at last find their integrity when they realize, “The glaring light of publicity encouraged the Agency’s leaders finally to approve declassification of the documents.”

The question remains, will they find that lost integrity before 58,000 troops and 3 million citizens are dead, and fascist totalitarianism has become fully entrenched in America?

* * * * * * * * *

Washington, D.C., 1 December 2005 – The largest U.S. intelligence agency, the National Security Agency, today declassified over 140 formerly top secret documents — histories, chronologies, signals intelligence [SIGINT] reports, and oral history interviews — on the August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Included in the release is a controversial article by Agency historian Robert J. Hanyok on SIGINT and the Tonkin Gulf which confirms what historians have long argued: that there was no second attack on U.S. ships in Tonkin on August 4, 1964. According to National Security Archive research fellow John Prados, “the American people have long deserved to know the full truth about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The National Security Agency is to be commended for releasing this piece of the puzzle. The parallels between the faulty intelligence on Tonkin Gulf and the… Continue reading

Bush Impeachment Poll on MSNBC

Posted 12/31/05 at MSNBC.com.

Do you believe President Bush’s actions justify impeachment? * 183943 responses

Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial. 86%

No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching “high crimes and misdemeanors.” 5%

No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching. 8%

I don’t know. 2%

Not a scientifically valid survey. Click to learn more.
* * * * *

Spying, the Constitution ? and the ?I-word?

2006 will offer up Nixon-era nastiness and a chorus of calls to impeach Bush

By Howard Fineman

MSNBC contributor

Updated: 4:01 p.m. ET Dec. 21, 2005

WASHINGTON – In the first weeks and months after 9/11, I am told by a very good source, there was a lot of wishing out loud in the White House Situation Room about expanding the National Security Agency?s ability to instantly monitor phone calls and e-mails between American callers and possible terror suspects abroad. ?We talked a lot about how useful that would be,? said this source, who was ?in the room? in the critical period after the attacks.

Well, as the world now knows, the NSA ? at the prompting of Vice President Cheney and on official (secret) orders from President Bush ? was doing just that. And yet, as I understand it, many of the people in the White House?s own Situation Room ? including… Continue reading

2006 Fundraising Kickoff

Happy New Year!

With 2006 right around the corner, the 911Truth.org Steering Committee is planning 2006 projects, and determining the required budget. To make these specific goals happen, and to continue to build participation in the 9/11 Truth Movement, we need funds. 911Truth.org receives no institutional, grant, governmental, or corporate funding. We are supported strictly by donations from you, our readers. A copy of the email we sent recently, complete with a list of 2006 projects, follows.’, ‘

Let’s get busy! 2006 is nearly here, and 911Truth.org is organizing several very important efforts for this new year. In just the past few weeks, even the corporate news has finally begun to show the ugly underbelly of the Bush Administration–more people than ever are finally recognizing the truly devious and deceptive nature of this regime, and the disastrous intentions behind their actions. It is critical that these newly awakened Americans come to understand that 9/11 was the linchpin on which the rest of this outrage turns.

That’s where we can find hope in this otherwise bleak turning of the calendar. Since 2003, 911Truth.org has worked tirelessly to bring you well-vetted, accurate information about the true events of 9/11, historical precedents, ever-widening consequences impacting each of our lives, and to provide opportunities to make your voice heard in demanding truth and justice. Growing readership numbers proves to us that you appreciate this information. Now, more than ever before, we need your participation, and your financial help.

With your help, 911Truth.org… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds Interview

Prisonplanet | January 19 2006

Sibel Edmonds on Alex Jones

Last Tuesday nationally syndicated radio host Alex Jones was joined on air by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds for an in depth interview.

Edmonds was hired shortly after Sept. 11 to translate intelligence gathered over the previous year related to the 9/11 attacks. She says the FBI had information that an attack using airplanes was being planned before Sept. 11 and calls Condoleezza Rice’s claim the White House had no specific information on a domestic threat or one involving planes “an outrageous lie.”

Although Edmonds is officially barred from revealing the specifics of what she found out, she has revealed that she was hired to find and cover up the prior knowledge intercepts. She refused to go along with the cover up. Of course only small criminal elements of the government were involved on 9/11, the majority of those working for the FBI, the CIA and the NSA are good people who would have picked up on the pre-intelligence.

Edmonds has also previously gone on record with revelations of government run drug shipping and other organized crime operations.

Firstly Edmonds was keen to stress that information relating to pre 9/11 terrorist activity was intentionally blocked by elements of the intelligence agencies.

“I started reporting these cases together with documents and other witnesses in the department, within two months after I started working for the bureau, around November/December 2001. I went… Continue reading

Total Information Awareness Lives On

Source: www.nationaljournal.com

By Shane Harris, National Journal

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006

A controversial counter-terrorism program, which lawmakers halted more than two years ago amid outcries from privacy advocates, was stopped in name only and has quietly continued within the intelligence agency now fending off charges that it has violated the privacy of U.S. citizens.

It is no secret that some parts of TIA lived on behind the veil of the classified intelligence budget.

Research under the Defense Department’s Total Information Awareness program — which developed technologies to predict terrorist attacks by mining government databases and the personal records of people in the United States — was moved from the Pentagon’s research-and-development agency to another group, which builds technologies primarily for the National Security Agency, according to documents obtained by National Journal and to intelligence sources familiar with the move. The names of key projects were changed, apparently to conceal their identities, but their funding remained intact, often under the same contracts.

It is no secret that some parts of TIA lived on behind the veil of the classified intelligence budget. However, the projects that moved, their new code names, and the agencies that took them over haven’t previously been disclosed. Sources aware of the transfers declined to speak on the record for this story because, they said, the identities of the specific programs are classified.

Two of the most important components of the TIA program were moved to the Advanced Research and Development Activity, housed at NSA headquarters in Fort… Continue reading

Citizens Counter-Coup Action: Week of 3/11/2006

Action Plan: Citizens Counter-Coup
http://3c.911truth.org

March 15, 2006

Saturday, March 11th marked 4 years and 6 months since 9/11/01. We at 911truth.org appeal to all concerned citizens to participate in the monthly action known as Citizens Counter-Coup to raise a groundswell demanding truth and justice for 9/11. First, an overview of recent events which highlight the necessity for this campaign.

There is much to report in the last month. It has been revealed by NSA whistleblower Russell Tice that there are NSA spying programs that are even worse than what has been disclosed. This information is so top secret he can’t even tell Congress.

It has been revealed that the FBI’s reason for not releasing tapes of Flight 77 striking the Pentagon is because it will affect the Moussaui case, even though he has already pled guilty. Is there any logic here?

The Bush Administration and a secretive agency which authorizes business transactions with foreign countries wants to allow UAE to run several main U.S. ports. Even Republican leaders in Congress are in disbelief. It’s interesting that a sheik from the United Arab Emirates contributed at least $1 million to the Bush Library Foundation, which established the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station (AP). Could this deal be a quid pro quo? Forget that UAE was a financial base for several of the alleged hijackers, and a transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a rogue Pakistani… Continue reading

Edmonds Moves to Dismiss Judge Walton

Mar 30, 2006:

Lost in last week’s hubbub over the media breakthroughs for 9/11 truth was the latest twist in the Sibel Edmonds saga. The FBI whistleblower last Thursday filed a court motion demanding that the federal judge hearing her First Amendment case be recused for deliberately hiding his financial background.

The judge, Reggie Walton, is also currently hearing the perjury case involving I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, former chief of staff to Dick Cheney, on allegations that Libby leaked the name of a CIA operative to the media. Edmonds is seeking to show Judge Walton is in violation of federal law (The Ethics in Government Act) because of his refusal to meet financial disclosure provisions.

A few months after September 11th, the FBI hired Edmonds as a translator for Farsi and Turkish. She says she discovered that documents already translated (and suppressed) prior to 9/11 had contained details of a pending attack on the US with airplanes. In addition, one of her colleagues attempted to recruit her as a spy for a Turkish lobbying group. When she spoke out about these experiences – and other finds suggesting corruption, money laundering and drug deals at the top levels of the US government – she was fired. Attorney General John Ashcroft slapped Edmonds with a gag order under the seldom-used State Secrets Act. In the most bizarre and Orwellian twist, Ashcroft “retroactively classified” many of the statements Edmonds had already made. This included information published in the press prior to the gag… Continue reading

The Hidden History of 9-11-2001: a review

by Reprehensor

NINE-ONE-ONE — This three number combination is etched into the public psyche and instantly conjures up images of America’s most recent Day of Infamy. The images of chaos and terror were speedily delivered via satellite to anyone near a television set. At first, these images burst into the minds of the TV audience without context, but television viewers were not left long to worry their beautiful minds with troublesome questions like: “Who perpetrated these crimes?”

The narrative vacuum was quickly filled by the “official” story. This version of the events of 9/11 is forever enshrined in the volume known as The 9/11 Commission Report.

Proceeding apace with the development of the official story was an entire universe of unofficial stories. These alternative points of view were helpfully framed by President George Walker Bush on November 10th, 2001:

“We must speak the truth about terror. Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty.” (1)

More than a few watching the President address the UN that day were puzzled by the phrase “outrageous conspiracy theories” regarding 9/11. As they logged on to their dial-up Internet connections that evening, trying to understand what the President was talking about, they were privy to the nascent chatter that over time has morphed into a kaleidoscope of alternative narratives, fueled by 9/11 skepticism.

Show Editor’s Note »

Spy Agency Sought U.S. Call Records Before 9/11, Lawyers Say

June 30 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court.

The allegation is part of a court filing adding AT&T, the nation’s largest telephone company, as a defendant in a breach of privacy case filed earlier this month on behalf of Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. customers. The suit alleges that the three carriers, the NSA and President George W. Bush violated the Telecommunications Act of 1934 and the U.S. Constitution, and seeks money damages.

“The Bush Administration asserted this became necessary after 9/11,” plaintiff’s lawyer Carl Mayer said in a telephone interview. “This undermines that assertion.”

The lawsuit is related to an alleged NSA program to record and store data on calls placed by subscribers. More than 30 suits have been filed over claims that the carriers, the three biggest U.S. telephone companies, violated the privacy rights of their customers by cooperating with the NSA in an effort to track alleged terrorists.

“The U.S. Department of Justice has stated that AT&T may neither confirm nor deny AT&T’s participation in the alleged NSA program because doing so would cause `exceptionally grave harm to national security’ and would violate both civil and criminal statutes,” AT&T spokesman Dave Pacholczyk said in an e-mail.

U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller and NSA spokesman Don Weber declined to comment.… Continue reading

Condi’s 9/11 Foreknowledge Denial Follies

Rice Loyalist Headed 9/11 Commission Probes

by 9.11 Blogger
WNY Media Network

Bob Woodward’s State of Denial provides evidence of the politicization of the 9/11 Commission’s investigative process, conclusions, and certain omissions from its report, as well as then national security advisor Condoleezza Rice’s likely role in burying unflattering, damning evidence through the appointment of Bush/Rice loyalist Philip Zelikow as the Commissions’ chief investigator and Zelikow’s reward (perhaps) of a top senior-level position in the State Department, which Rice now heads. First, some background.

One of the burning questions in newspapers, cable TV news, and blogs is why the 9/11 Commission report did not mention the July 10, 2001 meeting called by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet and his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, with then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. Tenet and Black hoped to impress on Rice the compelling need to act immediately against bin Laden because there was “a huge volume of data” suggesting strongly that a major attack was imminent.

“But both men came away from the meeting feeling that Ms. Rice had not taken the warnings seriously,” writes Woodward.

The July 10 meeting between Tenet, Black and Rice went unmentioned in the various reports of investigations into the Sept. 11 attacks, but it stood out in the minds of Tenet and Black as the starkest warning they had given the White House on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Though the investigators had access to all the paperwork on the meeting, Black felt there were things the commissions wanted to know about and things they didn’t want to know about.…

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Book Review: Peter Lance Indicts FBI/DoJ, but Leaves CIA as Unindicted Co-conspirator

by Michael Richardson

Most of the journalistic foundation for the 9/11 truth movement is a vast mosaic of articles, each containing one or more significant fragments, and most have been written by journalists who had no particular dedication or greater awareness of 9/11. Those who have written in depth about 9/11 have used this mosaic (and of course have been aided considerably by resources like Paul Thompson’s Complete 9/11 Timeline), but few actually do on-the-ground journalism. Peter Lance is one of the few investigative journalists who has dedicated himself to the historical thicket of 9/11. In addition to using the mosaic, he travels to interview people, develops contacts inside the key agencies, gets his hands on damning FBI 302 documents, and bothers people who deserve to be bothered. For the last four years, he has obsessed on 9/11 and many of its deep-political tendrils, producing the equivalent of dozens of rich, original articles.

Lance’s implied theory of 9/11 — that the 9/11 hijacking plot basically slipped past the greasy fingers of a corrupt and egotistical DOJ/FBI — no doubt irritates many in the movement for truth about 9/11 for whom the “inside job” theory is creed, yet he has unearthed some of the most important gems in the struggle to bring real truth and justice to 9/11. Most importantly, he has shown how the efforts of the Southern New York division of the Justice Department, since the early 90s, have been half-baked, ridiculously negligent, and at times blantantly criminal.… Continue reading

Rosie O’Donnell and the Status of Thinking in America

The View, a talk show featuring four women with a variety of backgrounds and ideologies, is produced by and often features appearances by Barbara Walters. In May 2001, the co-hosts were awarded the Safe Horizon Champion Award for their continued efforts to raise awareness on issues of importance to girls and women. In March 2002, The View received the Linda Dano Heart Award from Heartshare Human Services of New York for its programming philosophy that brought enlightenment, entertainment and comfort to families throughout the nation and New York in the wake of September 11, 2001. As a result, the show boasts 30 million viewers, received the 2003 Daytime Emmy® Award for ‘Outstanding Talk Show,’ and other Daytime Emmy® Awards.

In her history as host of The View, Rosie O’Donnell has brought important and difficult-to-discuss issues to the table, such as depression and autism. Long ago she established “Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation,” which has raised more than $56 million and awarded more than $22 million in grants to over 1,400 child-related non-profit organizations to benefit low income families across the country since its inception.

Addressing the need for truth and transparency in US government and media is thus in keeping with Rosie’s long history of grappling with important issues on The View.
 

Show Editor’s Note: »

A bit of background–What is The View, and who is Rosie O’Donnell? (And what’s the big deal, anyway?) In the last few weeks, Rosie O’Donnell, host of ABC’s popular morning talk show ”… Continue reading

Operation NORTHWOODS–U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba

Book: U.S. Military Drafted Plans to Terrorize U.S. Cities to Provoke War With Cuba By David Ruppe

N E W Y O R K, May 1, 2001

In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

America’s top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: “We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantánamo Bay and blame Cuba,” and, “casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”

Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America’s largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy’s defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.

“These… Continue reading

Senators subpoena White House over illegal surveillance programme

Editor’s Note: Should an actual “showdown” occur over the constitutionality of Cheney’s stonewalling, we would welcome it. Let’s know exactly where we stand with respect to the willingness of elected officials to stand up to the criminals-in-chief.

It’s well past the time Leahy and company should have been pressing for these sorts of answers. Get on with it.

By Leonard Doyle in Washington

Published: 28 June 2007

The Bush administration may soon face a courtroom showdown over its secret eavesdropping programme after subpoenas were issued to the White House, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and the Justice Department.

There is a storm gathering over Mr Cheney in particular, with increasingly vocal demands for his impeachment for “political crimes against the nation”.

The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know the legal basis, if any, for the placing of wiretaps on American citizens without court warrants, as part of the war on terror.

These taps were placed by the National Security Agency, which runs a vast international electronic eavesdropping and codebreaking web with Britain’s GCHQ. When reports emerged in the media of the wiretaps, it provoked widespread anger.

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy gave the Bush administration until 18 July to hand over documents which the White House described last week as highly classified and off limits.

Senator Leahy wrote: “Over the past 18 months, this committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorisation of and legal justification for this programme.”

The eavesdropping programme began after the attacks of 11 September 2001.…

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