FISA "Compromise" Completes Transformation of US into Full Police
by Larry Chin
Global Research, July 11, 2008
On July 9, 2008, the US Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation permitting
government spying, including immunity to telecommunications companies involved
in secret domestic surveillance programs. With the stroke of George W. Bush’s
pen, the US is now a police state by definition.
The extent of the spying program, and its larger implications, have been revealed
by Mark Klein, who blew the whistle on secret domestic spying program of Bush/Cheney’s
National Security Agency (NSA) and AT&T:
The update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, called the "FISA
compromise", or more appropriately, the "spy bill", largely completes
the triumph of the Bush/Cheney administration and a bipartisan criminal consensus.
By convenient design, the FISA revision derails pending law suits filed against
the Bush administration’s corporate spying partners (AT&T, Sprint
Nextel, and Verizon), silences (the largely empty-to-begin-with) congressional
investigations into Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying program.
Presidential nominee Barack Obama and the Democrats have now moved to silence
all discussion about the issue.
Fear itself, a.k.a. spying itself
Between the false flag mass murder of 9/11 and the creation of the "war
on terrorism", the USA Patriot Act and this new FISA revision, the Bush-Cheney
administration and its enthusiastically complicit congressional partners, have
achieved total victory–world war, open criminality, and the end of law itself.
It gives the US government unprecedented new spying powers and sweeping new
legal… Continue reading
July 13, 2008
By FRANK RICH
We know what a criminal White House looks like from “The Final Days” Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s classic account of Richard Nixon’s unraveling. The cauldron of lies, paranoia and illegal surveillance boiled over, until it was finally every man for himself as desperate courtiers scrambled to save their reputations and, in a few patriotic instances, their country.
“The Final Days” was published in 1976, two years after Nixon abdicated in disgrace. With the Bush presidency, no journalist (or turncoat White House memoirist) is waiting for the corpse to be carted away. The latest and perhaps most chilling example arrives this week from Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, long a relentless journalist on the war-on-terror torture beat. Her book “The Dark Side” connects the dots of her own past reporting and that of her top-tier colleagues (including James Risen and Scott Shane of The New York Times) to portray a White House that, like its prototype, savaged its enemies within almost as ferociously as it did the Constitution.
Some of “The Dark Side” seems right out of “The Final Days” minus Nixon’s operatic boozing and weeping. We learn, for instance, that in 2004 two conservative Republican Justice Department officials had become “so paranoid” that “they actually thought they might be in physical danger.” The fear of being wiretapped by their own peers drove them to speak in code.
The men were John Ashcroft’s deputy attorney general, James Comey, and an assistant… 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
by Paul Craig Roberts
July 17, 2008
National Public Radio has been spending much news time on Darfur in Western Sudan where a great deal of human suffering and death are occurring. The military conflict has been brought on in part by climate change, according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Drought is forcing nomads in search of water into areas occupied by other claimants. No doubt the conflict is tribal and racial as well. The entire catastrophe is overseen by a government with few resources other than bullets.
Now an International Criminal Court prosecutor wants to bring charges against Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
I have no sympathy for people who make others suffer. Nevertheless, I wonder at the International Criminal Court’s pick from the assortment of war criminals? Why al-Bashir?
Is it because Sudan is a powerless state, and the International Criminal Court hasn’t the courage to name George W. Bush and Tony Blair as war criminals?
Bush and Blair’s crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan dwarf, at least in the number of deaths and displaced persons, the terrible situation in Darfur. The highest estimate of Darfur casualties is 400,000, one-third the number of Iraqis who have died as a result of Bush’s invasion. Moreover, the conflict in the Sudan is an internal one, whereas Bush illegally invaded two foreign countries, war crimes under the Nuremberg Standard. Bush’s war crimes were enabled by the political leaders of the UK, Spain, Canada,… Continue reading
by Eric Brewer
It’s been almost seven years since — in the weeks immediately following 9/11 — anthrax powder sent through the mail killed five people, threatened the lives of two Democratic senators, terrorized the entire nation, and helped prod a panicky Congress into passing the so-called Patriot Act.
In the intervening years, not only has the killer remained free, but missteps in the investigation have had major negative consequences. Just last month, in fact, the Department of Justice agreed to pay $4.6 million to former bioweapons expert Stephen Hatfill to settle a lawsuit Hatfill brought against the Justice Department, the FBI, and former Attorney General John Ashcroft for destroying his reputation and career by publicly implicating him in the case. And Glenn Greenwald has pointed out that in 2001, ABC News was fed false information by several “well-placed sources” (presumably officials in the Bush administration) suggesting an Iraq-anthrax link. That imaginary link was widely cited by pro-war cheerleaders.
At Monday’s White House briefing, I asked if President Bush was satisfied with the progress of the investigation into the attacks. Press Secretary Dana Perino told me that she didn’t even “know if he has had an update on it.”
Here is our exchange:
Q Is the president satisfied with the progress of the investigation into the anthrax attacks?
MS. PERINO: I don’t know if he has had an update on it. But obviously this is something that the FBI is doing. We don’t do the investigation… Continue reading
Israel Planning a September/October Surprise?
By Ray McGovern
International Clearing House — You say you expected more rhetoric than reality from Senators Obama and McCain yesterday in their speeches on Iraq and Afghanistan? Well, that’s certainly what you got.
What I find nonetheless amazing is how they, and the pundits, have taken such little notice of the dramatic change in the political landscape occasioned by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s bombshell on July 7 — his insistence on a “timetable” for withdrawal of US troops before any accord is reached on their staying past the turn of the year.
Responding to a question at his press conference yesterday, President George W. Bush showed that he was vaguely aware that the timetable is, as Robert Dreyfuss says (in Truthout, July 7), a “big deal.” Bush even alluded haltingly to the possibility of extending the UN mandate still further.
But it is far from clear that Maliki, who is under great domestic pressure, would be able to sell that to the various factions upon which he depends for support, much less to those which he must keep at bay. As Dreyfuss points out, Maliki and his Shiite allies are also under considerable pressure from Iran, which remains the chief ally of the ruling alliance of Shiites. Most important, Maliki is by no means in control of what happens next.
Here’s where it gets sticky. No one who knows about third rails in US politics would expect the candidates or the fawning corporate media (FCM) to address how those now running Israel are likely to be looking at the implications of a large US troop withdrawal from Iraq next year.…Continue reading
By Jim Loney
Originally published July 22, 2008
Someone has just brought to my attention a possible interpretation of this statement different than what I had come to, so in the spirit of accurate reporting and non-sensationalism, I am adding this for your consideration. As always, we hope you carefully interpret all information coming to you, no matter what the source, (including ours, of course). My interpretation of these comments was that Stone was simply making the case (the crux of the case) that Hamdan knew the target, therefore Hamdan must have been a party to the attack. I had not considered that Stone may have been (supposedly) quoting Hamdan fully, and that Hamdan may have been the one reported as having said, “If they hadn’t shot it down…,” not Stone. Nonetheless, it seems quite odd that the US prosecution, led by military officers, would have made any reference to Flight 93 having been shot down… [End of update.]
A couple key points here from the Gitmo show trials not really being shown:
1) Defense attorney for bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan, stated: “There will be no evidence that Mr. Hamdan espoused or believed or embraced any form of what you will hear about, radical Islam beliefs, extremist Muslim beliefs.” Where have we heard that before? A little like Atta and friends drinking Dewars scotch, paying for lap dances, partying it up… fundamentalist Muslims who hate Americans’ ‘freedoms’? I think not…… Continue reading
By Lori Price
30 July 2008
Abu Khabab al-Masri ‘died’ in January 2006 and again on Monday. Once again, the ‘mainstream’ media announces the re-killing of another ‘key al-Qaeda operative’ by a ‘CIA-operated unpiloted drone!’ These top al-Qaeda operatives – and their subsequent deaths – are more bountiful than poppy fields in Afghanistan or oil smuggling routes in Iraq.
The Financial Times reports:
Al-Qaeda expert killed by CIA 30 July 2008 Pakistan intelligence officials yesterday confirmed a key al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] expert on chemical and biological weapons was killed in an attack by a CIA-operated unpiloted drone, late on Sunday. Egyptian-born Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, who was also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, was one of six Arab men who were killed in a remote region along the Afghan border, according to an intelligence official. The US had offered a $5m (€3.19m, £2.5m) reward for his capture. Western diplomats said it would be a boost to morale in the Bush administration, struggling with mounting troop casualties in Afghanistan and a revival of militant attacks in Iraq.
CBS News reports:
Officials: Al Qaeda’s Mad Scientist Killed –29 Jul 2008 — CIA Drone Targeted Chemical Weapons Expert Abu Khabab Al-Masri On Afghanistan-Pakistan Border One of al Qaeda’s top chemical and biological weapons experts was killed in an air strike by a CIA pilotless drone in a remote Pakistani border region, senior Pakistani intelligence officials told CBS News Tuesday morning. Intelligence officials investigating the early Monday missile attack confirmed… Continue reading
By Mike Allen
August 5, 2008
A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.
Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery — adamantly denied by the White House — was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.
The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”
The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”
The Telegraph story by Con Coughlin (which, coincidentally, ran the day Hussein was captured in his “spider hole”) was touted in the U.S. media by supporters of the war, and he was interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“Over the next few days, the Habbush letter continued to be featured prominently in the United States and across the globe,” Suskind writes. “Fox’s Bill O’Reilly trumpeted the story Sunday night on ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ talking breathlessly about… Continue reading
By Jane Sutton
Guantánamo BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – A military court on Wednesday
convicted Osama bin Laden’s driver of supporting terrorism but acquitted him
on the more serious charge of conspiring with al Qaeda in the first U.S. war
crimes trial since World War Two.
The trial of Yemeni captive Salim Hamdan at the remote U.S. naval base at Guantánamo
Bay in Cuba was the first full test of the controversial tribunal authorized
by the Bush administration to try foreign captives on terrorism charges outside
the regular U.S. court system.
The White House welcomed the conviction while human rights and civil liberties
groups condemned it.
The judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for Wednesday afternoon for Hamdan,
who faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The jurors deliberated a little over eight hours before reaching their verdict.
Hamdan, wearing a white turban and long white robe topped with a tan blazer,
stood tensely in the courtroom beside his lawyers as the verdict was announced,
listening through headphones to the English-Arabic interpreter. He raised his
hands and wept into them as the guilty verdict was read.
In Washington, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the administration was
pleased that Hamdan received a fair trial and looked forward to trying other
"The Military Commission system is a fair and appropriate legal process
for prosecuting detainees alleged to have committed crimes against the United
States or our interests. We look forward to other cases moving forward to… Continue reading
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
In a dramatic confluence of events today, two kangaroo courts announced their
pre-determined guilty verdicts.
In the first, 6 "military jurors" hand-picked by the Pentagon for
their loyalty to the U.S. government and its views, convicted Bin Laden’s alleged
driver, Salim Hamdan, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional
to try Gitmo detainees before a military tribunal, the former chief Gitmo prosecutor
said the trials were unfair and rigged, and even though Hamdan was unlawfully
The entire case for the "war on terror" has fallen apart, with a
advisor to the U.S. military confirming that the war on terror is a hoax because
there is no battlefield solution to terrorism" and the case for the
Iraq war being laid bare as a forgery
and a sham
(and the government’s whitewash of 9/11 being understood by many Americans).
The government needed a conviction against someone in Arab clothing
so that it could pretend that the multi-trillion dollar, economy-busting, war
crime-based war in the Middle East was justified.
In the second, Dr. Bruce Ivins has been convicted
by the FBI as being the anthrax killer without
any persuasive evidence. After falsely
accusing 2 other scientists as being the anthrax killer, and only weeks
after being forced to pay $6 million dollars to one of the scientists for such
false accusations, the FBI decided that it had to pin it on somebody.
So they launched a campaign… Continue reading
By Kathy Sanborn
13/08/08 “ICH” — – Sanborn: When I read your article, “Marching Off Into Tyranny,” I was impressed by how you were able to concisely sum up one of the most important issues that we face as Americans, namely, the erosion of our civil liberties, mostly due to fabricated terrorism such as the anthrax scare and the attacks on 9/11. You talk about the Florida university professor, Al-Arian, who continues to be victimized by the Feds although a jury has cleared him of any terrorism charges. [As of August 8, 2008, the Associated Press states, "U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema postponed the trial indefinitely, questioning whether the government was overeager in filing charges." –KS]
What was your wake-up call, Dr. Roberts, to the fact that the current administration was determined to take away the civil liberties of Americans?
Roberts: When they responded to 9/11 with the Patriot Act. That document was thick, and it would have taken months and months to prepare it, yet it came out shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
Why does combating terrorism require an assault on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? It was clear to me that there was an undeclared agenda there.
On the day of 9/11, I knew right away that something was wrong. I had been an engineering student at Georgia Tech, and things just didn’t add up. As I watched the towers fall, I could see that the buildings were blowing up from the top, at least initially.… 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.… Continue reading
by Jason Leopold
August 21, 2008
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has asked current and former White House aides and ex-CIA officials to respond to questions about an alleged scheme to create a bogus letter in late 2003 linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda.
In sending the interview requests Wednesday, Conyers is following up on a disputed story in journalist Ron Suskind’s new book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, which includes an account of how the mysterious letter originated.
The book cites statements from former CIA associate deputy director of operations Rob Richer and John Maguire, the former chief of the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group/Near East Division, as indicating that the White House ordered the CIA to produce the bogus letter to retroactively justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Richer and Maguire gave Suskind on-the-record interviews, which the author recorded, discussing the reasons the letter was created and saying that it likely emanated from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Both men have since recanted their statements.
Conyers, who has held periodic hearings on abuses of power by George W. Bush’s administration, sent letters to former CIA Director George Tenet; the CIA’s former executive director A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard; Cheney’s former chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby; and John Hannah, another Cheney assistant — as well as to Richer and Maguire.
“I am writing to follow up on recent serious allegations regarding the creation… Continue reading
BY DEAN M. JACKSON
The NORAD Papers
June 4, 2008
Testifying before the 9/11 Commission General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the commission in response to a question on NORAD’s failure to anticipate the 9/11 attacks, “I can’t answer the hypothetical. It’s more – it’s the way that we were directed to posture, looking outward.”(1) This is utterly false. As we will see below NORAD, since its inception in 1958, was tasked to monitor and intercept aircraft flying over American and Canadian air space seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Members of the 9/11 Truth Movement found General Myers’ testimony on the capabilities of NORAD on 9/11 to be surprising, since it was long assumed that NORAD’s mission was more than “looking outward”. However, the 9/11 Truth Movement has been negligent in producing any documents that would confirm their suspicion that NORAD was tasked with watching over and intercepting errant aircraft in American skies before 9/11; that NORAD’s mission was more robust than “looking outward”. The following pre-9/11 citations conclusively documents the true capabilities of NORAD on the morning of 9/11.
The article NORAD: Air National Guard manning stations across the country (National Guard Association of the United States, Sep. 1997) explains how NORAD’s six battle management and command centers identify commercial aircraft as these aircraft are being monitored flying through our air space, “Aircraft flying over our air space are monitored seven days a week, 24 hours a… Continue reading
Debunking NIST’s conclusions about WTC 7 is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel
By George Washington
NIST lamely tried to explain the symmetrically (sic) collapse as follows:
WTC 7’s collapse, viewed from the exterior (most videos were taken from the north), did appear to fall almost uniformly as a single unit. This occurred because the interior failures that took place did not cause the exterior framing to fail until the final stages of the building collapse. The interior floor framing and columns collapsed downward and pulled away from the exterior frame. There were clues that internal damage was taking place, prior to the downward movement of the exterior frame, such as when the east penthouse fell downward into the building and windows broke out on the north face at the ends of the building core. The symmetric appearance of the downward fall of the WTC 7 was primarily due to the greater stiffness and strength of its exterior frame relative to the interior framing.
NIST can’t have it both ways. If the exterior frame was so stiff and strong, then it should have stopped the collapse, or – at the very least – we would have seen a bowing effect where tremendous opposing forces were battling each other for dominance in determining the direction of the fall. See also this .
In real life, the thick structural beams and “stiff [and strong]” exterior frame used in the building should have quickly stopped any partial collapse, unless… Continue reading
Charles E. Lewis
Although I was no longer employed at LAX on September 11, 2001, I had worked there until about two months before as the Quality Control Manager for Kiewit Pacific Construction on the Taxiway “C” project. A large part of my work involved security in the Air Port Operations, or APO (but now called the “Airport Operations Area,” or “AOA”), which is where the planes are. On the morning of September 11, 2001, I listened with great interest to LAX Security officials in the APO discussing the attacks and trying to get more information.
“LAX Security” involves the Los Angeles World Airport Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, and sometimes the FBI and/or the California Highway Patrol. I can, incidentally, testify that LAX Security performed very professionally on 9/11. Despite extreme pressure, confusion, and fear (they had received information that LAX was a target), they executed the emergency procedures flawlessly.
After describing what I heard while listening to LAX Security, I will suggest ways in which my account could be corroborated.
On the morning of 9/11, I was working as Deputy Inspector representing the City of LA Building and Safety Department for the seismic retrofit of the LA Hilton Towers Hotel, only a few minutes by car from where I had worked at LAX. When I realized, after the second strike on the WTC, that the country was under attack, I decided that I should go to the APO, because I was one of only a few persons who would know how to fix certain parts of the new security systems if problems developed.…Continue reading
by Peter Dale Scott
September 5, 2008
Though few Americans realize it, Cheney and Rumsfeld worked through the 1980s and 1990s on emergency nuclear-response plans which allegedly suspended the American Constitution and also Congress.1 (Through these decades Rumsfeld was CEO of a major pharmaceutical firm, and in the later 1990s Cheney was CEO of Halliburton; but their private status did not deter them from continuing to exercise a supra-constitutional planning power conferred on them by Ronald Reagan.)
Even fewer Americans know that these rules, originally dealing with a nuclear attack on America, were extended by Reagan Executive Order 12656 to cover “any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.”2 And few Americans realize that at least some of these rules, known technically as Continuity of Government (COG) rules, were invoked before 10:00 AM on September 11, 2001.3
As he did in 2007, President Bush has again, on August 28, 2008, continued for another year the national emergency first officially proclaimed on September 14, 2001, along with “the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency”:
Notice: Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks
Consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency I declared on September 14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New… Continue reading