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
His CIA ties are only the beginning of a woeful story
By Michael Moran
August 24, 1998 MSNBC
BRAVE NEW WORLD
NEW YORK, Aug. 24, 1998 — At the CIA, it happens often enough to have a code name: Blowback. Simply defined, this is the term describing an agent, an operative or an operation that has turned on its creators. Osama bin Laden, our new public enemy Number 1, is the personification of blowback. And the fact that he is viewed as a hero by millions in the Islamic world proves again the old adage: Reap what you sow.
Befpre up [sic] click on my face and call me naive, let me concede some points. Yes, the West needed Josef Stalin to defeat Hitler. Yes, there were times during the Cold War when supporting one villain (Cambodia’s Lon Nol, for instance) would have been better than the alternative (Pol Pot). So yes, there are times when any nation must hold its nose and shake hands with the devil for the long-term good of the planet.
But just as surely, there are times when the United States, faced with such moral dilemmas, should have resisted the temptation to act. Arming a multi-national coalition of Islamic extremists in Afghanistan during the 1980s – well after the destruction of the Marine barracks in Beirut or the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 – was one of those times.…Continue reading
Most Americans don’t know what kind of people 9/11 truthers really are. So they can’t figure out whether or not they are dangerous.
Below is a list of people who question what our Government has said about 9/11.
The list proves — once and for all — that people who question 9/11 are dangerous.
Email this list to everyone you know, to prove to them that 9/11 truthers are all dangerous nut cases.
Before you hear what she has to say, you should know a little about Sibel Edmonds’ background.
Edmonds is a former FBI translator, who the Department of Justice’s Inspector General and several senators have called extremely credible (free subscription required).
Some of Edmonds allegations’ have been confirmed in the British press.
Now, Edmonds is saying that Osama Bin Laden worked for the U.S. right up until 9/11, and that that fact is being covered up because the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years.
Is there are confirmation of Edmonds’ claim?
According to one of the most reputable French papers, CIA agents met with Bin Laden two months before 9/11, when he was already supposedly wanted for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.
Two days before 9/11, Bin Laden called his stepmother and told her “In two days, you’re going to hear big news and you’re not going to hear from me for a while.” US officials later told CNN that “in recent years they’ve been able to monitor some of bin Laden’s telephone communications with his [step]mother. Bin Laden at the time was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were intercepted and sometimes recorded.” Indeed, before 9/11, to impress important visitors, NSA analysts would occasionally play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his stepmother.
So American forces had many opportunities to capture Bin Laden, and yet failed to do so.
Indeed, even… Continue reading
May 10, 2009
by Andy Worthington
The Arabic media is ablaze with the news that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the emir of an Afghan training camp — whose claim that Saddam Hussein had been involved in training al-Qaeda operatives in the use of chemical and biological weapons was used to justify the invasion of Iraq — has died in a Libyan jail. So far, however, the only English language report is on the Algerian website Ennahar Online, which reported that the Libyan newspaper Oea stated that al-Libi (aka Ali Abdul Hamid al-Fakheri) “was found dead of suicide in his cell,” and noted that the newspaper had reported the story “without specifying the date or method of suicide.”
This news resolves, in the grimmest way possible, questions that have long been asked about the whereabouts of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, perhaps the most famous of “America’s Disappeared” — prisoners seized in the “War on Terror,” who were rendered not to Guantánamo but to secret prisons run by the CIA or to the custody of governments in third countries — often their own — where, it was presumed, they would never be seen or heard from again.
The emir of the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan, al-Libi was one of hundreds of prisoners seized by Pakistani forces in December 2001, crossing from Afghanistan into Pakistan. Most of these men ended up in Guantánamo after being handed over (or sold) to US forces by their Pakistani allies, but al-Libi was, notoriously, rendered to Egypt by the CIA to be tortured on behalf of the US government.…Continue reading
Democrats were routinely briefed on Bush torture techniques, document
By John Byrne
May 8, 2009
The CIA has leaked a devastating document detailing the dates and explicit details
of secret Congressional briefings in which members of Congress were told of the
Bush administration’s torture techniques and when they had been used.
The document is explicit (PDF here). Most damningly, perhaps, is its description
of a meeting held between CIA staff and then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman
Porter Goss and now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which shows that Pelosi was
briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture techniques in 2002 —
even though she’s publicly said she was never told about the use of waterboarding.
Equally striking, however, are the volume of the briefings that have been conducted
on the CIA’s interrogation practices since 2002. The document runs ten
pages, with up to four briefings a page.
Briefings given to Democrats are of particular significance because the party
has been the most vocal about the Bush Administration’s torture practices.
Apparently, however, they had known about the practices for years. At least
19 Democrats were briefed about the techniques in detail by end of 2006.
Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding in 2002, despite saying she wasn’t:
May 7, 2009
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture
techniques in 2002 — even though she’s publicly said she was never
told about the use of waterboarding, according to a new report.
ABC News’ Rick Klein revealed Thursday evening that a report from the
Director of National Intelligence fingered Pelosi as having been briefed in
2002, even though she denied last month ever having knowledge of the Bush administration’s
so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
“The report, submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee and other
Capitol Hill officials Wednesday, appears to contradict Pelosi’s statement
last month that she was never told about the use of waterboarding or other special
interrogation tactics,” Klein writes.…
by Michael Hasty
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
One of the central elements of Mahatma Gandhi’s strategy to free the Indian
people from British colonialism was what he called “satyagraha,” a Sanskrit
word that is most often translated as “truth force.” What he meant by this was
that those who seek justice should embody the truth in their actions.
The strongest element in the campaign for 9/11 truth is the very fact that we
have truth on our side (and however “9/11 truth” became the consensus slogan
of the movement, it was brilliant marketing). Seven years of independent research
and investigation by thousands of concerned patriots, expert and amateur alike,
have turned up enough evidence to make the official story of what happened on
September 11, 2001, look highly implausible–and prosecutable.
Up to this point, most of the efforts of the 9/11 truth movement have been geared
to educating the general public about the facts that refute the official story–the
mysterious inaction of the US military; the inscrutable behavior of the chain
of command, from Bush on down; the weird “coincidences” in both airline and
World Trade Center security; the unexplained global stock trades on companies
affected by the attacks; the deliberate confusion of US intelligence; the official
attempts to hide the truth, from destroyed video and audio tapes, to manipulation
of data in government reports, to profligate use of the “state secrets” privilege;
and perhaps most important, the physical evidence, now in the hands of independent
scientists, of controlled demolition of the World Trade Center.…
U.S. Officers’ “Phone Sex” Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers By Brian Ross, Vic Walter and Anna Schecter
Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), called the allegations “extremely disturbing” and said the committee has begun its own examination.
“We have requested all relevant information from the Bush Administration,” Rockefeller said Thursday. “The Committee will take whatever action is necessary.”
WATCH THE NIGHTLINE STORY
“These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones,” said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.
Kinne described the contents of the calls as “personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism.”
WATCH Kinne discuss why it was ‘awkward’ listening to her fellow Americans.
She said US military officers, American journalists and American aid workers were routinely intercepted and “collected on” as they called their offices or homes in the United States.
Watch “World… Continue reading
By Mark H. Gaffney
The following is an excerpt from Mark H. Gaffney’s forthcoming book, THE 911 MYSTERY PLANE AND THE VANISHING OF AMERICA, to be released in September 2008.
15/08/08 “ICH” — Regrettably, there is considerable evidence that elements of the Bush administration were complicit in the 9/11 attack, and may even have helped stage it. Let us now examine some of what I regard as the most compelling evidence. However, the following discussion makes no claim to be comprehensive.
We know that within minutes of the “worst terrorist attack” in US history, even before the collapse of WTC-2 at 9:59 am, US officials knew the names of several of the alleged hijackers. CBS reported that a flight attendant on AA Flight 11, Amy Sweeney, had the presence of mind to call her office and reveal the seat numbers of the hijackers who had seized the plane. FBI Director Robert Mueller later said, “This was the first piece of hard evidence.” In his memoirs CIA Director George Tenet emphasizes the importance of the passenger manifests, as does counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke. All of which is very strange because the manifests later released by the airlines do not include the names of any of the alleged hijackers. Nor has this discrepancy ever been explained.
According to MSNBC, the plan to invade Afghanistan and “remove Al Qaeda from the face of he earth” was already sitting on G.W. Bush’s desk on the morning of 9/11 awaiting his signature. The plan, in the form of a presidential directive, had been developed by the CIA and according to Richard Clarke called for “arming the Northern Alliance…to go on the offensive against the Taliban [and] pressing the CIA to…go after bin Laden and the Al Qaeda leadership.”
A former Pakistani diplomat, Niaz Naik, tells virtually the same story.…Continue reading
Corporate media colludes with democracy’s demise
By Bill Moyers
Without a free and independent press, this 250-year-old experiment in self-government will not make it. As journalism goes, so goes democracy.
I heard this story a long time ago, growing up in Choctaw County in Oklahoma before my family moved to Texas. A tribal elder was telling his grandson about the battle the old man was waging within himself. He said, “It is between two wolves, my son. One is an evil wolf: anger, envy, sorrow, greed, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is the good wolf: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The boy took this in for a few minutes and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf won?”
The old Cherokee replied simply, “The one I feed.”
Democracy is that way. The wolf that wins is the one we feed. And in our society, media provides the fodder.
Our media institutions, deeply embedded in the power structures of society, are not providing the information that we need to make our democracy work. To put it another way, corporate media consolidation is a corrosive social force. It robs people of their voice in public affairs and pollutes the political culture. And it turns the debates about profound issues into a shouting match of polarized views promulgated by partisan apologists who trivialize democracy while refusing to speak the truth about how our country is being plundered.
Our dominant media… Continue reading
Preparing the Battlefield
The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran.
by Seymour M. Hersh
July 7, 2008
Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a
major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and
former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations,
for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described
in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the
country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support
of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations.
They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons
Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations
Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with
Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members
of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking
them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets”
in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the
scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence
Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly
expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities
are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had
serious questions about their nature.
Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must
be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets under way and, at a minimum,
must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the
Senate and to the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees—the
so-called Gang of Eight.…
By Ray McGovern
June 19, 2008
It’s crazy, but it’s coming soon — from the same folks who brought us Iraq.
Unlike the attack on Iraq five years ago, to deal with Iran there need be no massing of troops. And, with the propaganda buildup already well under way, there need be little, if any, forewarning before shock and awe and pox — in the form of air and missile attacks — begin.
This time it will be largely the Air Force’s show, punctuated by missile and
air strikes by the Navy. Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at
the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working
out the details.
Emerging from a 90-minute White House meeting with President George W. Bush on June 4, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the two leaders were of one mind:
“We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House.”
Does that sound like a man concerned that Bush is just bluff and bluster?
A member of Olmert’s delegation noted that same day that the two countries
had agreed to cooperate in case of an attack… Continue reading
“Government complicity in the OKC Bombing and the 9/11 attacks has been proven not only by the obstruction of justice but by the use of terrorist dupes, be they willful dupes or not. And by all indications, these actions continue. Apparently some have failed, others will not…”
Key to the Truth in Oklahoma 4.19.95 and 9.11.01
by Holland Van den Nieuwenhof
I Oklahoma seems to attract more attention in the news than seems due to your typical Great Plains State such as Kansas or Nebraska or North Dakota. I once asked a visitor from North Dakota if anything had ever happened in his state since being reasonably informed on current events and history, I was unaware of that state ever making it into a national headline.
Perhaps it is due to our curious mix of the offspring of renegade Indians, blacks and whites alike. Once known as Indian Territory, Oklahoma was the last state admitted into the continental United States and was once the home of various outlaws and escaped slaves seeking freedom in one of the last places in the land that was without established law or authority. That heritage carried over at least a couple of generations. During WWI a large group of farmers tried to organize an armed march onto Washington D.C. to stop the Nation’s entry into the war. Known as the Green Corn Rebellion, it was finally put down by the local authorities with the help of vigilante posses. During the desperate days of the… Continue reading
February 07, 2008
EXCLUSIVE: Former 9/11 Commission Chief Philip Zelikow on Allegations
He Secretly Allowed Karl Rove & White House to Influence 9/11 Probe
Earlier in the week, we spoke to Philip Shenon, author of “The Commission:
The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.” Shenon suggested
that Philip Zelikow–the executive director of the 9/11 Commission–sought
to minimize the Bush administration’s responsibility for failing to
prevent the September 11th attacks. Shenon also revealed that Karl Rove repeatedly
called Zelikow during the probe. Today Zelikow responds in his first broadcast
interview since the publication of Shenon’s book.
Philip Zelikow, served as executive director of the 9/11 Commission. He
is now Professor of History and Director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs
at the University of Virginia.
Related Democracy Now! Stories:
Book Alleges 9/11 Commissioner Philip Zelikow Minimized Scrutiny of Bush Admin
Failure to Prevent al-Qaeda Attack (2/5/2008)
February 07, 2008
The 9/11 Commission & Torture: How Information Gained Through Waterboarding
& Harsh Interrogations Form Major Part of 9/11 Commission Report
A new analysis by NBC News reveals that more than a quarter of all footnotes
in the 9/11 Commission report refer to controversial interrogation techniques.
Yet, Commission staffers did not question the CIA about its techniques. They
even ordered a second round of interrogations in early 2004 to get more information
from the detainees.
CIA Director Michael Hayden acknowledged Tuesday that the Agency had… Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
December 27, 2007
“There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater. … Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later….”
These are the words of Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), who as a young lawyer in Berlin during the 1930s experienced the Nazi takeover and wrote a first-hand account. His children found the manuscript when he died in 1999 and published it the following year as “Geschichte eines Deutschen” (The Story of a German).
The book became an immediate bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages–in English as “Defying Hitler.”
I recently learned from his daughter Sarah, an artist in Berlin, that today is the 100th anniversary of Haffner’s birth. She had seen an earlier article in which I quoted her father and e-mailed to ask me to “write some more about the book and the comparison to Bush’s America. … This is almost unbelievable.”
More about Haffner below. Let’s set the stage first by recapping some of what has been going on that may have resonance for readers familiar with the Nazi ascendancy, noting how “odd” it is that the frontal attack on our Constitutional rights is met with such “calm, superior indifference.”
Goebbels Would be Proud
It has been two years since top New York Times officials decided to let the rest of us in on the fact that the George W.…Continue reading
Thursday, December 13, 2007
posted at Georgewashington.blogspot.com
Co-Chair of Congressional 9/11 Inquiry and Former Head of Senate Intelligence
Committee Confirms White House Cover Up
The Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 and former Head of the Senate
Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham, revealed
that the White House refused to let the 9/11 inquiry interview one of the most
important witnesses imaginable:
Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat who is a former chairman of the
Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the White House on Tuesday of covering
up evidence that might have linked Saudi Arabia to the Sept. 11 hijackers.
* * *
The accusation stems from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s refusal
to allow investigators for a Congressional inquiry and the independent Sept.
11 commission to interview an informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, who had been
the landlord in San Diego of two Sept. 11 hijackers.
In his book “Intelligence Matters,” Mr. Graham, the co-chairman
of the Congressional inquiry with Representative Porter J. Goss, Republican
of Florida, said an F.B.I. official wrote them in November 2002
and said “the administration would not sanction a staff interview with
the source.” On Tuesday, Mr. Graham called the letter “a
smoking gun” and said, “The reason for this cover-up goes right
to the White House.”
This isn’t some fresh-face kid talking. This is a consummate insider: the former
head of senate intelligence and co-chair of the congressional 9/11 inquiry.
If the White House refused to allow an interview of a government informant
who was landlord… Continue reading
BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman ON 10/29/2007 5:30AM
EXCLUSIVE: FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Will Now Tell All – and Face
Charges if Necessary – to Any Major Television Network That Will Let Her; She’s
Prepared to Name Names, Including Those of Two ‘Well-Known’ Congress Members Involved
in Criminal Corruption
The ‘Most Gagged Person in U.S. History’ Tells The BRAD BLOG She’s Now Exhausted
All Other Channels…
– By Brad Friedman
Attention CBS 60 Minutes: we’ve got a huge scoop for you. If you want
Remember the exclusive
story you aired on Sibel Edmonds, originally on October 27th, 2002, when
she was not allowed to tell you everything that she heard while serving
as an FBI translator after 9/11 because she was gagged by the rarely-invoked
"States Secret Privilege"? Well, she’s still gagged. In fact, as the
ACLU first described her, she’s "the most gagged person in the history
of the United States of America."
But if you’ll sit down and talk with her for an unedited interview, she has
now told The BRAD BLOG during an exclusive interview, she will now tell you
everything she knows.
Everything she hasn’t been allowed to tell since 2002, about the criminal
penetration of the FBI where she worked, and at the Departments of State and
Defense; everything she heard concerning the corruption and illegal
activities of several well-known members of Congress; everything she’s
aware of concerning information omitted and/or covered up in relation to 9/11.
All of the information gleaned from… Continue reading
NY Times Op-Ed Contributor
By STUDS TERKEL
Published: October 29, 2007
EARLIER this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the White House agreed
to allow the executive branch to conduct dragnet interceptions of the electronic
communications of people in the United States. They also agreed to “immunize”
American telephone companies from lawsuits charging that after 9/11 some companies
collaborated with the government to violate the Constitution and existing federal
law. I am a plaintiff in one of those lawsuits, and I hope Congress thinks carefully
before denying me, and millions of other Americans, our day in court.
During my lifetime, there has been a sea change in the way that politically
active Americans view their relationship with government. In 1920, during my
youth, I recall the Palmer raids in which more than 10,000 people were rounded
up, most because they were members of particular labor unions or belonged to
groups that advocated change in American domestic or foreign policy. Unrestrained
surveillance was used to further the investigations leading to these detentions,
and the Bureau of Investigation — the forerunner to the F.B.I. —
eventually created a database on the activities of individuals. This activity
continued through the Red Scare of the period.
In the 1950s, during the sad period known as the McCarthy era, one’s
political beliefs again served as a rationale for government monitoring. Individual
corporations and entire industries were coerced by government leaders into informing
on individuals and barring their ability to earn a living.
I was among… Continue reading