December 8, 2010
The Real News Network
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. And it’s the first perhaps annual Real News Webathon. We’re heading towards our $200,000 target by the end of December 9, where I think we’re getting upwards of $165,000 now, with another tonight and tomorrow night to go. So we’re doing very well, and I want to thank everybody so far for donating. And if you like what The Real News is doing, please give us a little tap on the donate button here, or you can call 888-449-6772, or you can also email us at contact (at) therealnews (dot) com if you’re having any other trouble. But the best thing is just to hit the donate button. The $200,000, I’ve explained before, covers just barely four months of the work that we’re doing now at the level we’re doing now, but we really want to expand in 2011. We need producers that specialize in certain areas. And one of the areas we want to specialize is the military-industrial complex. We’d like to have a producer who does nothing but cover stories about the sort of underpinnings of US foreign policy and the real issues that don’t get discussed very much in terms of what’s driving much of global politics, and even, as I–in the current WikiLeaks there’s a layer of truth, one could say, that is not really revealed in these WikiLeaks, because they’re not top secret, as we’ve… Continue reading
Fiction delivers justice that reality rarely approaches. Victims en dure suffering and emerge as victors after overcoming incredible challenges. Stieg Larsson’s gripping Millennium Trilogy weaves a story of revenge and triumphs for Lizbeth Salander, locked away in a mental institution and sexually abused for years. When Salander got out and threatened to go public about a high level sexual exploitation ring, the perpetrators sought to lock her up again. In the final installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Salander found some justice. ( Image )
Susan Lindauer’s autobiography, Extreme Prejudice , tells a story with certain broad similarities. In her case, however, the hornet’s nest kicked back with a real vengeance. After over a decade as a U.S. intelligence asset, Lindauer was privy to information about pre war Iraq that threatened to serve up a huge embarrassment to the Bush-Cheney regime. She hand delivered a letter to senior Bush administration officials in hopes of averting what she predicted would be the inevitably tragic 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Those officials, unnamed in the indictment, were her second cousin, then White House chief of staff Andy Card, and Colin Powell.
After the invasion failed to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Lindauer went to Congress offering to testify about the quality of prewar intelligence. In early 2004, she met with staffers in the offices of Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Trent Lott (D-MS) in February 2004. Shortly after those visits and other offers… Continue reading
Invasive provisions about to expire haven’t made us safer
By Coleen Rowley and Philip Leggiere
April 25, 2011
In little more than a month, three of the 160 provisions of the notorious Patriot
Act are set to expire. While federal officials have claimed that Congress must
reauthorize those provisions to keep the nation safe, we should take their claims
with a grain of proverbial salt. Last month, FBI Director Robert Mueller urged
Congress to extend these provisions, set to expire May 27, and even to make
them permanent. Section 215 authorizes secret court orders for business records.
The “Lone Wolf” wiretapping provision allows the government to track
non-U.S. citizens inside the country even if they have no affiliation to a foreign
power or terrorist group. Finally, the “John Doe” roving wiretap
provision allows open-ended wiretapping orders limited neither to a particular
suspect nor particular phones or devices.
Mr. Mueller warned ominously that without these powers, law enforcement and
counterterror investigations would be severely undermined, adding, predictably,
that they are “critical to national security.”
But his words have an all too familiar – and hollow – ring.
Nine years ago, before Coleen Rowley (co-author of this article) retired from
a 24-year career as an FBI special agent, she wrote to Mr. Mueller to point
out some of the bureau’s failures prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
A disturbing lack of accountability had followed the attacks with the director
and other officials falsely suggesting that U.S. intelligence agencies lacked
advance… Continue reading
May 24, 2011
By Laurie Kellman
WASHINGTON–The tortoise-like Senate is under uncommon pressure to pass
a four-year extension of the anti-terrorist Patriot Act before key provisions
expire Friday. But the deadline is even tighter, because President Barack Obama
is in Europe.
Any extension passed by the Senate must be sent to the House and passed there,
then flown overseas to be signed into law.
So the Senate’s deadline for passage is more like midweek. And that’s no accident.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who not long ago vowed to have a
full week of debate on the Patriot Act extension, has instead backed up the
vote against a tighter deadline to limit debate over legislation some say is
less necessary now that al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden is dead.
Another motivator: The Senate’s weeklong Memorial Day break begins just after
the Patriot Act deadline.
The White House urged the Senate to do what it typically does not: work quickly.
“It is essential to avoid any hiatus” in the law’s powers, the Obama
administration said in a statement.
But the Senate does not rush, even when it’s clear that there probably isn’t
time for changes. Senators voted 74-8 Monday to begin debate on the bill.
Members of both parties demanded time to talk about their amendments, some
of which would require tougher oversight on how the government uses the law’s
powers. Reid was negotiating Monday on which amendments would be considered,
and for how long.
The legislation would extend three… Continue reading
By Pete Kasperowicz
The House Thursday night approved the Senate version of the Patriot Act extension bill, a clean extension of three surveillance authorities until June 1, 2015.
The House finished voting at about 7:50 p.m., and approved the measure in a 250-153 vote. In the final vote, 54 Democrats voted for it, along with all but 31 Republicans.
The hastily arranged debate happened just minutes after the Senate approved the same bill by a 72-23 vote. With the House vote, the White House is expected to be able to approve it tonight with the help of an automated presidential signature, as President Obama is still in Europe.
House members rushed to approve the bill before three surveillance authorities expired at midnight, but spent some time debating it, even though the debate covered mostly familiar ground. Democrats generally opposed the bill, calling it something that would extend the government’s invasion of privacy.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said the death of Osama bin Laden in particular means the three authorities should be reconsidered.
“At a time like this, we should re-examine the restoration of our constitutional protections,” he said. “This is the type of government intrusion which the bill of right was designed to prevent.”
The legislation would extend the ability of U.S. intelligence authorities to conduct roving wiretaps, gain access to business records, and survey “lone-wolf” operators, non-U.S citizens believed to be acting alone to commit terrorist acts. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) argued Thursday night that there are problems with each of these authorities.…Continue reading
By PETE YOST
WASHINGTON — Four Democratic senators won the promise Thursday of a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing into what they say is a secret and expansive Justice Department interpretation of the information collection the Patriot Act allows.
The criticism by Intelligence Committee members Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado came as Congress moved to extend the government’s Patriot Act powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps.
Wyden said there is a growing gap between what the law says and what the senators call a classified interpretation of the law by the Justice Department.
Udall said his constituents “would be alarmed if they knew” how the Patriot Act was being carried out.
Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon complained that “the government won’t even tell the American people how it interprets these provisions, or whether it sees any limits on its authority at all.” Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said almost 10 years after the Patriot Act’s passage, “we still haven’t had the debate that we need to have on this piece of legislation.” All four senators voted against the Patriot Act extension. Merkley and Tom Udall are not on the intelligence committee.
The four senators proposed an amendment that would require Attorney General Eric Holder to file a public report on the legal rationale for intelligence collection activities. Wyden vowed to offer the amendment in the fall “if we don’t get results” through the hearing process.
The wording of the amendment seemed… Continue reading
June 14, 2011
By Brian Truitt
It has been nearly 10 years since 9/11, and the tragedy is still on the minds of many Americans. One of those, writer and artist Rick Veitch, is convinced we haven’t been told the complete truth about it.
Veitch structured the story similarly to the 1963 Twilight Zone episode “No Time Like the Past,” in which a man uses a time machine to try to “fix” three events: warning a Hiroshima policeman about the atomic bomb, assassinating Hitler before World War II and stopping the sinking of the Lusitania.
In The Big Lie, the heroine is a woman named Sandra, who lost her husband, Carl, during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. A particle physicist working at the Large Hadron Collider, she figures out a practical way to travel back in time, so she ventures from present day to Manhattan an hour before the first plane hits the towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
She rushes to his office at a risk-management consulting agency, but since she has aged 10 years, Carl can’t quite accept that it’s her. And even though she brings evidence on her iPad, neither her spouse nor his co-workers believe her warnings.
“The… Continue reading
Breathlessly, six members of Congress have requested that the FBI investigate the “outrageous” allegations that News Corp might have hacked into the cell phones of 9/11 victims and their families. Lickety split, the Justice Department has done so.
First off, does it surprise me that a corporation like News Corp. might try to hack into the information of private citizens for their own financial gain? Nope.
Much like it wouldn’t surprise me if my own government hacked into the private information of its citizens for political gain or… er, I mean, “reasons of national security.” Just ask Dick Cheney and Karl Rove about that.
Of course, any such “accidental netting” on their part would be immediately explained away under the protections of FISA and the Patriot Act, because clearly it would have been necessary “in the ongoing fight against terrorism.”
Too bad, Congress doesn’t want to investigate those types of indiscretions. Sigh.
But truly, I am awestruck when people like Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the House Committee for Homeland Security is so quickly moved to demand an investigation into such vague, seemingly hollow allegations as someone hacking into the cell phones of people like me.
Is this the same Congressman King who when faced with actual hard, incontrovertible facts and figures regarding the vulnerabilities posed by dangerous chemical and water plants across the country remains disinterested? And, I might add firmly on the side of… Continue reading
August 2nd, 2011
by Steven Aftergood
Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
The Senate Intelligence Committee rejected an amendment that would have required
the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence to confront the
problem of “secret law,” by which government agencies rely on legal authorities
that are unknown or misunderstood by the public.
The amendment, proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Mark Udall, was rejected on a voice vote, according to the new Committee report on the FY2012 Intelligence Authorization Act.
“We remain very concerned that the U.S. government’s official interpretation of the Patriot Act is inconsistent with the public’s understanding of the law,” Senators Wyden and Udall wrote. “We believe that most members of the American public would be very surprised to learn how federal surveillance law is being interpreted in secret.”
The Senators included dissenting remarks, along with the text of their rejected amendment, in the Committee report.
Sen. Wyden and Sen. Udall also offered another amendment that would have required the Justice Department Inspector General to estimate the number of Americans who have had the contents of their communications reviewed in violation of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. That amendment too was rejected, by a vote of 7-8. All Committee Republicans, plus Democrat Bill Nelson (D-FL), opposed the amendment.
“It is a matter of public record that there have been incidents in which intelligence agencies have failed to comply with the FISA Amendments Act, and that certain types… Continue reading
Lorie Van Auken
Lorie Van Auken joins us and shares with us her reflections ten years on about the events of 9/11 and her loss. She discusses the still-classified 28 pages of the JICI dealing with terrorist financing, the 9/11 families’ stalled lawsuit to bankrupt the terrorists and the direct interventions by the White House to protect the Saudi regime against the justice-seeking families, and the many uninvestigated questions and facts covered up by the 9/11 Commission. She questions our current many-fronted wars and the senselessness of the occupation of and our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan with Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden both dead, while our economy is crashing here at home. Ms. Van Auken talks about the three versions of the NORAD timeline, the passage of the Patriot Act as a vehicle to erode our civil liberties, NSA’s illegal wiretapping of our domestic communications under the guise of security, and more!
Lorie Van Auken, the mother of two children, lost her husband Kenneth Van Auken in the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. She is one of the “Jersey Girls” who, along with Kristen Breitweiser, Mindy Kleinberg, and Patty Casazza, fought the Bush administration for a commission to investigate the attacks. Ms. Van Auken is also a member of the September 11 Advocates.
Here is our guest Lorie Van Auken unplugged! Click here to listen to interview with Lorie Van Auken [48:26].
by Sophie Elmhirst
8 September 2011
The New Statesman
“I can’t believe I haven’t seen my daughter in ten years.”
You lost your daughter in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Does the tenth anniversary feel particularly painful?
You want people to remember the date for the right reason – that hate engenders hideous things. Time heals in some ways, but I can’t believe I haven’t seen her in ten years. I did an interview in New York City recently and came home on the plane, and when the lights dimmed in the cabin, I lost it. I didn’t want to be on my own on a plane sobbing. I just kept thinking about the day of her birth.
Do you remember 11 September 2001 clearly?
Of course. To be honest, I don’t want to remember. It was absolutely exquisite: the crispest, clearest, sunniest morning on the East Coast, warm and beautiful, and sad because it was getting near the end of summer – but it was almost so beautiful that it made you OK with that.
How did 9/11 transform the US?
From that moment, there was a decision on the part of the Bush administration to give up the American way of life. In so many significant ways – the constitution, the Patriot Act, Guantánamo Bay, military tribunals, torture, water- boarding, Halliburton [oilfields], endless war.
Has your perception of your country changed?
I was raised on this heady idea that America had an ethical… Continue reading
Progressives find hope–in Ron Paul.
By Michael Tracey
The American Conservative
It’s no secret that Ralph Nader has held the Democratic Party establishment in low regard for decades now: the marginally more palatable alternative in an ugly duopoly, he claims, is still quite ugly. But lately Nader’s disdain has reached a new high. “It’s gotten so bad,” he tells me, “that you can actually say a Republican president–with a Democratic Senate–would produce less bad results than the present situation. That’s how bollixed stuff has gone.”
Not that he was ever particularly optimistic about the Obama administration, especially its potential to make headway on curtailing corporate welfare, now Nader’s signature policy objective. But in that, as with so many aspects of Obama’s presidency, the adjectives “disappointing” or “inadequate” don’t even begin to capture the depths of progressive disillusionment. Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential race, one might assume that Nader has little to be cheerful about.
Yet he says there is one candidate who sticks out–who even gives him hope: Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
That might sound counterintuitive. Nader, of course, is known as a stalwart of the independent left, having first gained notoriety for his 1960s campaign to impose greater regulatory requirements on automakers–a policy act that would seem to contravene the libertarian understanding of justified governmental power. So I had to ask: how could he profess hope in Ron Paul, who almost certainly would have opposed the very regulations on which Nader built his career?
“Look at the… Continue reading
by Staff Report TheDailyBell.com
From source article : And in fact, there are a handful of banking families, including the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, who have come to dominate economic and political affairs in the Western world. Unlike aristocrats, capitalists are not tied to a place, or to the maintenance of a place. Capital is disloyal and mobile — it flows to where the most growth can be found, as it flowed from Holland to Britain, then from Britain to the USA, and most recently from everywhere to China. — Richard K. Moore/New Dawn Magazine/Global Research
Dominant Social Theme: The elites are a bunch of corporations and greedy capitalists. What banking families? They’re never mentioned in the mainstream media, are they? So how can they exist?
Free-Market Analysis: This is an excellent article in our view, perhaps because we agree with most of it — though at the end of this analysis we will present some important ways in which we DISAGREE.
Nonetheless, it’s “our” paradigm in some ways, presented eloquently by Richard K Moore, “an expatriate from Silicon Valley, [who] retired and moved to Ireland in 1994 to begin his ‘real work’ — trying to understand how the world works, and how we can make it better.”
These two pieces offer some interesting food for thought, in this editor’s opinion, as we consider the vast changes upon us now, living in these “interesting times.”
This article of Moore’s puts manipulated events like Occupy… Continue reading
by Peter Dale Scott
November 22, 2011
Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 47 No 2)
I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.” – Senator Frank Church (1975)
I would like to discuss four major and badly understood events – the John F. Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11. I will analyze these deep events as part of a deeper political process linking them, a process that has helped build up repressive power in America at the expense of democracy.
In recent years I have been talking about a dark force behind these events — a force which, for want of a better term, I have clumsily called a “deep state,” operating both within and outside the public state. Today for the first time I want to identify part of that dark force, a part which has operated for five decades or more at the edge of the public state. This part of the dark force has a name not invented by me: the Doomsday Project, the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”1
My point is a simple and important one: to show that the Doomsday Project of the 1980s, and the earlier emergency planning that developed into it, have played a role in the background of all the deep events I shall discuss.…Continue reading
By Jonathan Turley
Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.
Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act , signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?
While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack… Continue reading
By Coleen Rowley
Dear Department of Justice and Department of Treasury Officials:
We might have just helped you bag another material supporter of terrorism this week! And you’ll never believe who the culprit is! We were even able to tape record some of his own damning admissions! (That’s the reason for my calls last week to your duty attorneys and media offices.)
As you know, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has an ongoing investigation into several high profile former political figures, trying to discover their financial transactions with the terrorists in the Mujaheddin e Khalq aka “MEK”. One of the former political officials apparently being investigated for his financial transactions and paid advocacy on behalf of MEK is former Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Well Mukasey happened to get tapped on March 15 to give an “ethical leadership” speech at the University of St. Thomas Law School and some of us went to hear what he had to say. As an aside, the overall thrust of his speech was anything but ethical. Instead he mostly defended the Bush Administration and its lawyers for having used their talents “to push the legal limits” of what the Executive Branch could do in its “war on terror.” (Of course there are many legal scholars who think those Bush attorneys pushed over the legal limits.) He especially defended John Yoo and Robert Delahunty (now a St. Thomas law professor) who working in Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel, co-wrote memos in early… Continue reading
By Trevor Timm
Electronic Frontier Foundation
On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signed expansive new guidelines for terrorism analysts, allowing the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) to mirror entire federal databases containing personal information and hold onto the information for an extended period of time–even if the person is not suspected of any involvement in terrorism. (Read the guidelines here).
Despite the “terrorism” justification, the new rules affect every single American. The agency now has free rein to, as the New York Times’ Charlie Savage put it, “retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats ” and expands the amount of time the government can keep private information on innocent individuals by a factor of ten.
From the New York Times:
The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and “data mining them” using complex algorithms to search for patterns that could indicate a threat. (emphasis ours)
Journalist Marcy Wheeler summed the new guidelines up nicely saying, “So…the data the government keeps to track our travel, our taxes, our benefits, our identity? It just got transformed from bureaucratic data into national security intelligence.”
See also these related stories:… Continue reading
June 19, 2012
John-Michael Talboo’s blog at 911blogger.com
Support the 9/11 families and others who are asking President Obama to review the evidence in the documentary, 9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out
– Who: President Barak Obama
In a new documentary, 43 high-rise architects, structural engineers, metallurgists, scientists, physicists, and explosives experts provide compelling proof of explosive controlled demolition in the destruction of three World Trade Center (WTC) skyscrapers on September 11, 2001.
Their examination of scientific evidence suggests that the collapse of the Twin Towers and WTC7 was not adequately explained by the 9/11 Commission, FEMA, and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) reports, all of which contain serious errors and omissions.
Why should this film matter to you, the reader, 11 years later? How will it help for President Obama to see this film?
9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out challenges the roots of the policies that gave rise to (1) the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have already cost more than a million lives and $1.3 trillion and have substantially contributed to our financial crisis; and (2) legislation such as the Patriot Act and NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act], which has severely impacted our civil liberties.
9/11 family members Michele Little, Jane Pollicino, Bob McIlvaine, and Josef Princiotta sponsored this documentary, produced and directed by Richard Gage, AIA, founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. This nonprofit… Continue reading