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
The Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Retroactive immunity for telecom companies who engaged in illegal spying at the behest of the NSA is at the heart of a bill currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, even before having been officially introduced, is being hotly debated by bloggers, electronic privacy groups, and civil libertarians, as well as presidential contenders (CT Senator Chris Dodd has actually posted a petition at his election website, encouraging readers to support his threatened “hold” on the bill). We should compare the issues involved here with the retroactive immunity provided CIA interrogators in the September, 2006 Military Commissions Act, who could otherwise have been accused of war crimes.
Below, we direct readers to an important series of programs from PBS’ Frontline to help readers investigate the background of this issue, and a deeper consideration of some of what’s at stake in continually ceding power to a rogue Executive bent on dissolving the few civil liberties which currently remain untouched.
Lest readers be swayed by the Administration’s repeated argument that “9/11 makes this necessary,” the Rocky Mountain News reported (emphasis added) on October 11, 2007 that this spying was underway well before 9/11/01:
“The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.…
A True Hero on 9/11
and ever since then…
With Special Guests Peter Dale Scott and Cindy Sheehan
William Rodriguez, who was working as custodian in-charge of three 110-story
stairwells in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on the day it was destroyed,
and who personally saved fifteen others from certain death, will share his harrowing
experience of the 9-11 tragedy at a special presentation, Thursday, November
1st at 7 pm, at the Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Avenue in Oakland, California.
He will also explain his deep disappointment with what he describes as serious
inadequacies in the final report by the 9-11 Commission.
At the White House on five occasions and recognized as a “National Hero”
by the Senate of Puerto Rico, William Rodriguez, in possession of a master key
to all of the stairwell doors at each floor in the 110 story building that day,
personally saved the lives of 15 people and aided NYC firefighters in saving
hundreds of others.
Rodriguez has used his recognition as one of the true heroes of that tragic
day to help draft and pass legislation on behalf of victim’s family members
and survivors, to help raise millions of dollars for the victims of 9/11 and
their families, to bring attention to the health concerns of thousands of first
responders, now sick with “Ground Zero Syndrome,” and to lobby for
the creation of the 9/11 Commission.
Though he… Continue reading
by Brian Foley
September 11, 2007
JURIST Guest Columnist Brian J. Foley of Drexel University College of Law says that on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we should remember that the US government has steadfastly refused to allow investigations that might locate individual blame for this massive security failure…
After major tragedies there are two investigative roads to take in trying to prevent a repeat: determining whether people or policies are to blame. Blaming people entails asking whether the disaster resulted from people failing to design or execute a proper preventive policy (“human error”). Blaming policy entails asking whether the policy failed either because the risk was not foreseeable, or because the harm simply cannot be prevented (“act of God”). Both roads should be taken.
After 9/11, however, the nation raced headlong into blaming policy alone. The prevailing view was stated by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in May, 2002: “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would … try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” But such danger had been imagined, years earlier. For example, in 1994, terrorists hijacked a French airliner seeking to crash it into the Eiffel Tower. Tom Clancy’s best-selling novel Debt of Honor (1994) ends with a Japanese airline pilot crashing his 747 into the U.S. Capitol (pp. 985-86). President Clinton and his staff also understood that an airplane could be used as a missile after a suicidal man piloted a Cessna into the White House lawn, just below the president’s bedroom, in the early hours of September 12, 1994.…Continue reading
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 6, 2007
US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) has announced the conduct of major war games
under Vigilant Shield 2008 (VS-08).
Vigilant Shield 2008 (15 to 20 October, 2007) is designed to deal with a “terrorist”
or “natural disaster” scenario in the United States. The operation
will be coordinated in a joint endeavor by the Pentagon and the Department of
Yet, VS-08, which includes a massive deployment of the US Air Force resembles
a war-time air scenario rather than an anti-terrorist drill. The VS-08 war games
extend over the entire North American shelf. Canadian territory is also involved
through Canada’s participation in NORAD. (See Nazemroaya, October 2007)
These war games are being conducted at an important historical crossroads,
amidst mounting US pressures and threats to actually declare a “real war”
VS-08 is predicated on the doctrine of preemptive warfare, with a vie to protecting
the Homeland. The war games are coordinated with anti-terrorist drills directed
against presumed Islamic terrorists.
Moreover, the announcement by NORTHCOM of the VS-08 war games-anti-terror drills
coincided with a declaration by the Bush administration in early September that
military action against Iran is being contemplated at the highest echelons of
the US government and Military:
“President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place…
America on the path to war with Iran, .. Pentagon planners have developed
a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran, … Pentagon and CIA officers
say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme
of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.
‘A Coup Has Occurred’
By Daniel Ellsberg
September 26, 2007 (Text of a speech delivered September 20, 2007)
Consortium Editor’s Note: Daniel Ellsberg, the former
Defense Department analyst who leaked the secret Pentagon Papers history of
the Vietnam War, offered insights into the looming war with Iran and the loss
of liberty in the United States at an American University symposium on Sept.
Below is an edited transcript of Ellsberg’s remarkable speech:
I think nothing has higher priority than averting an attack on Iran, which
I think will be accompanied by a further change in our way of governing here
that in effect will convert us into what I would call a police state.
If there’s another 9/11 under this regime … it means that they
switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently
constructed, largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and known and
accepted by the Democratic people in Congress, by the Republicans and so forth.
Will there be anything left for NSA to increase its surveillance of us? …
They may be to the limit of their technical capability now, or they may not.
But if they’re not now they will be after another 9/11.
And I would say after the Iranian retaliation to an American attack on Iran,
you will then see an increased attack on Iran — an escalation —
which will be also accompanied by a total suppression of dissent in this country,
including… Continue reading
“I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack
on Iran (for example), you are duty-bound to refuse that order. I might also
suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest
whoever gave the order as a war criminal.” (Dr., Lt. Col. Bob Bowman)
Duty, Honor, Country 2007
An Open Letter to the New Generation of Military Officers Serving and Protecting
By Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., National Commander, The Patriots
Dear Comrades in Arms,
You are facing challenges in 2007 that we of previous generations never dreamed
of. I’m just an old fighter pilot (101 combat missions in Vietnam , F-4 Phantom,
Phu Cat, 1969-1970) who’s now a disabled veteran with terminal cancer from Agent
Orange. Our mailing list (over 22,000) includes veterans from all branches of
the service, all political parties, and all parts of the political spectrum.
We are Republicans and Democrats, Greens and Libertarians, Constitutionists
and Reformers, and a good many Independents. What unites us is our desire for
a government that (1) follows the Constitution, (2) honors the truth, and (3)
serves the people.
We see our government going down the wrong path, all too often ignoring military
advice, and heading us toward great danger. And we look to you who still serve
as the best hope for protecting our nation from disaster.
We see the current Iraq War as having been unnecessary, entered into under
false pretenses, and horribly mismanaged by… Continue reading
Osama bin Laden organized the 9/11 attacks right?
What is implied on TV is very different from the actual actions the US government
has taken in “pursuit” of the 9/11 conspirators.
Six years later, the US has filed no charges, presented no evidence and in
fact is not even seeking Bin Laden in connection with the crime!
Courageous investigative reporting by KSLA TV in Shreveport, LA (search youtube.com for even more of this from KSLA!):
Youtube description: Original Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6443576002087829136.
The government has yet to properly explain why our generation’s Pearl Harbor, 9/11, is never mentioned on the FBI‘s Most Wanted poster of suspected mastermind Usama (Osama) Bin Laden. Reporter Jeff Ferrell, who recently broke the story on Homeland Security’s “Clergy Response Team” To Quell Public Dissent During Martial Law, investigates what on the surface seems to be a simple question: Why no mention of 9/11. The answers, or lack of them, are anything but simple.
See for yourself: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm. See also this article from Muckraker Report: FBI says, “No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11″
Source URL: http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/150.html
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Speakers, Activists to Rally at White
House on 9/11 Anniversary
This year, on the sixth anniversary
of 9/11, a leading group of authors and activists from the impeachment, antiwar,
and 9/11 truth movements will lead a mass rally in front of the White House.
They will call for the impeachment of the Bush administration, an end to the
illegal wars in the Middle East, and a new investigation of the event upon which
these wars were predicated. This rally is being coordinated with similar events
in New York, Los Angeles, Brussels, Dublin, and other major cities around the
Washington, DC, August 29, 2007 – A mass rally to commemorate the anniversary
of 9/11 will be held on Tuesday, September 11, 2007, from noon to 3:00 p.m.
at Lafayette Park, in front of the White House. The rally is sponsored by dc911truth.org
and will feature speeches by a number of leading authors and activists. It is
part of similar commemorations being held on the 11th and on preceding days
in New York and other major cities worldwide.
This event is the result of the collaboration of the 911truth movement with
members of the antiwar and impeachment movements. The message of the event is
three-fold: Impeach the Bush administration, end the war, and re-investigate
the crimes of September 11, 2001.
The rally will also celebrate the end of a long journey for walkers from around
the country who have come to Washington to highlight their cause. For March… Continue reading
A PLEA FROM ADAM KOKESH “PROTESTING IS NOT ENOUGH!”
JOIN VFP IN WASHINGTON SEPTEMBER 15!
Dear Veterans For Peace,
As many of you are aware, the next big mobilization of anti-war protestors is going to be in Washington, DC on September 15th. However, you may not be aware of the significance of this particular demonstration. Tina Richards of Grassroots America and I have been working extensively with the ANSWER Coalition to make sure that this is not just another protest. We have made the theme, “Protesting is not enough. Come for the rally, stay for a week of direct action.”
To kick off the week of action, after the rally we will march from the White House to the Capitol, and go strait into a mass civil-disobedience die-in around the Peace Monument. The die-in will be led by an Honor Guard of Iraq Veterans Against the War who will simulate a 21-Gun Salute before taps is played to initiate the die-in. We are asking as many members of VFP as possible to sign up to wear cammies and die-in around us to symbolize the American cost of this war. We will be encircled by bolts of red cloth to symbolize the Iraqi deaths and invite anyone else from the rally to participate in the die-in.
Sunday will be a day of teach-ins including a Truth In Recruiting Workshop led by IVAW. That evening, IVAW DC will be holding a benefit concert. Monday is National Truth In Recruiting Day, and there will be numerous activities planned and we will need your help with an action at the main recruiting office in DC.…Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2007 — Portland, Oregon
Portland to Host Terrorism Drill “NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2”
Aug. 20 to 24
Citizens Warn of Established Pattern for Such Drills to go “live”
This is an urgent advisory notice from concerned citizens of Oregon and Washington
about an upcoming U.S. Joint Forces Command emergency management exercise known
as NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 that will simulate terrorism or disaster scenarios in
the Lower Columbia River Basin between Aug. 20th and Aug 24th, 2007.
NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 was designed and will be directed by U.S. Joint Forces
Command (USJFCOM) and the Department of Homeland Security. We are aware of no
public notice concerning this exercise, but preliminary investigation has revealed
that Oregon National Guard officials and federal officials will
conduct the drill. Details from official sources are minimal.
This advisory is to document our concerns, raise public awareness and urge
citizen action based on the following facts:
1. NOBLE RESOLVE is a computer-based simulation of a large-scale emergency
situation (e.g. earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, or terrorist attack with nuclear
weapon) in order to train for managing all aspects of the emergency response
through comprehensive software.
2. Military exercises such as NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 have a recent history of
coinciding with lethal “live” events. This occurred on 9/11/01 when
five or more major military or security exercises were in progress on the very
day of the actual attacks. The same phenomenon occurred with the London Bombings
7/7/05 during which a drill concerning multiple bomb attacks was being staged
on that day.…
August 1, 2007
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that if she were not Speaker she would probably back impeachment. Other Congress Members are of course free to do what even she admits she would do in their position. They should, I think, start taking her advice and ignoring her ban on impeachment.
The reason Pelosi is being questioned about impeachment has to do with Gonzo, Alberto Gonzales, and a proposal just introduced to impeach him. In the movement to impeach Cheney and Bush, is this a distraction or an opening act?
Fifteen principled members of Congress, all Democrats, have signed a bill to begin the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Hundreds of other Congress Members have stubbornly refused to heed the clear demand of the majority of their constituents.
But suddenly a completely new group of Congress Members, again all Democrats, has announced support for impeaching Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This groups includes Congress Members who are not usually leaders in the cause of justice. And it includes Members who have been lobbied intensely to impeach Cheney and Bush but who have resisted in favor of heeding Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ban on using the Constitution in Congress.
The initial sponsor is Jay Inslee of Washington State who less than six months ago had to lobby the leadership of his state’s legislature not to permit a vote on a pro-impeachment resolution. One of the initial cosponsors is Tom Udall of New Mexico, whose state legislature also came close… Continue reading
Dear ’9/11 Press For Truth’ Patrons,
’9/11 Press For Truth’ has a brand new, completely updated blog! Check back
regularly to the News section of our web site at 911PressForTruth.com,
and click Register For Updates to receive new updates by email. Executive producer
Kyle F. Hence will also be blogging about general 9/11 news
— especially the activities of the Sept. 11th families and the new Kucinich
9/11 hearings — at our MySpace
Did you know that the ‘Boston Globe’ film critic gave us 3 1/2 out of 4 stars?
Did you know we’ve received major write-ups in dozens of newspapers and magazines?
Did you know we’re currently airing nationally on two satellite channels? Did
you know we also aired on televisions across Norway, Spain, Poland, and the
entire Middle East — and are coming soon to Sweden and Australia? Did you know
the Secret Service tried to shut down a showing in front of the White House?
Did you know the “Jersey Girls” are active in D.C. again, pushing
a new petition? Did you know we’ve launched a new campaign in collaboration
with Democrats.com? Did you know we were selected to three film festivals in
Seattle, Mexico, and Brazil? Did you know our DVD is in select stores nationwide,
including Borders, Virgin Megastore, Coconuts, Sam Goody, and Suncoast?
Did you know it’s also available for rent at Netflix and Blockbuster.com? Did
you know actors Paul Newman, A Martinez, and Peter Coyote, actress Tippi Hedren,
talk… Continue reading
The Associated Press Published:
July 26, 2007 11:30 PM ET
Editor & Publisher: America’s Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry–
SAN FRANCISCO Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
“The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.
The doctors – whose names were blacked out – said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.
Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman’s comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman’s death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.
The medical examiners’ suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Among other information contained in the documents:
– In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop “sniveling.”
– Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.…Continue reading
Dangers of a Cornered George Bush
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity & Dr. Justin Frank
July 27, 2007
The “new” strategy of surging troops in Baghdad has simply wasted more lives and bought some time for the president. His strategy boils down to keeping as many of our soldiers engaged as possible, in order to stave off definitive defeat in Iraq before January 2009.
Bush is commander in chief, but Congress must approve funding for the war, and its patience is running out. The war — and the polls — are going so badly that it is no longer a sure thing that the administration will be able to fund continuance of the war.
There is an outside chance Congress will succeed in forcing a pullout starting in the next several months. What would the president likely do in reaction to that slap in the face?
What would he do if the Resistance succeeded in mounting a large attack on U.S. facilities in the Green Zone or elsewhere in Iraq? How would he react if Israel mounted a preemptive attack on the nuclear-related facilities in Iran and wider war ensued?
The answers to such questions depend on a host of factors for which intelligence analysts use a variety of tools. One such tool involves applying the principles of psychoanalysis to acquire insights into the minds of key leaders, with an eye to facilitating predictions as to how they might react in certain circumstances.
For U.S. intelligence, this common-law marriage of psychoanalysis and intelligence work dates back to the early 1940s, when CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services commissioned two studies of Adolf Hitler.…Continue reading
Cheney Determined To Strike In US With WMD This Summer
Only Impeachment, Removal or General Strike Can Stop Him
By Webster G. Tarpley 7-21-7
“The greatest threat now is ‘a 9/11′ occurring with a group of terrorists armed not with airline tickets and box cutters, but with a nuclear weapon in the middle of one of our own cities.” — Dick Cheney on Face the Nation, CBS, April 15, 2007
A few days ago, a group of lawyers from western Massachusetts met with the local congressman, Democrat John Olver. Their request was that Olver take part in the urgent effort to impeach Bush and Cheney. Olver responded by saying that he had no intention of doing anything to support impeachment. He went further, offering the information that the United States would soon attack Iran, and that these hostilities would be followed by the imposition of a martial law regime here.
According to reports in the British press, the Cheney war party has gained the upper hand in the secret councils of the Bush White House, pushing aside the purported hesitations of Miss Rice, Secretary Gates, and the NATO allies to chart a direct course towards war with Iran:
‘The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned. The shift follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although… Continue reading
Congressman Denied Access To Post-Attack Continuity Plans
Newhouse News Service
Washington – Constituents called Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.
As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure “bubbleroom” in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.
On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.
“I just can’t believe they’re going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,” DeFazio said.
Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn’t know who did it or why.
“We’re talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America,” DeFazio said. “I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee.”
Bush administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied access: “We do not comment through the press on the process that this access entails. It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive.” Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he “cannot… Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
What do Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, and President George W. Bush have in common? They both think they can dis Cindy Sheehan and count on gossip columnists like the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank to trivialize a historic moment.
I’ll give this to President Bush. He makes no pretence when he disses. He would not meet with Sheehan to define for her the “noble cause” for which her son Casey died or tell her why he had said it was “worth it.”
Conyers, on the other hand, was dripping with pretence as he met with Sheehan, Rev. Lennox Yearwood and me Monday in his office in the Rayburn building. I have seldom been so disappointed with someone I had previously held in high esteem. And before leaving, I told him so.
Throwing salt in our wounds, he had us, and some 50 others in his anteroom arrested and taken out of action as the Capitol Police “processed” us for the next six hours.
As we began our discussion with Conyers, it was as though he thought we were “born yesterday,” as Harry Truman would put it. With feigned enthusiasm he began, Let’s hold a Town Hall meeting in Detroit so we can talk about impeachment. Get out my schedule; let’s see, we need to hear from everyone about this.
Been there, done that, I… Continue reading