November 27, 2009
On September 11, 2001 the world watched in shock and disbelief as planes flew in to New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, and Americans realized they were under attack. But by whom? What really happened? In The Unofficial Story, the fifth estate’s Bob McKeown introduces us to people who believe the real force behind the attacks was not Osama Bin Laden, but the U.S. government itself.
(full episode available at CBC link above if you live in Canada or as segmented youtube clips below)
September 29, 2009
Peter B Collins talks one on one with Prof. David Ray Griffin, focusing on the two most recent of his 35 books: The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report About 9/11 is Unscientific and False and Osama bin Laden, Dead of Alive? Building 7 is the gateway to busting the myths of 9/11 embraced by the discredited 9/11 Commission. Dr. Griffin talks about how Van Jones was vilified just for signing a petition calling for a new investigation, and about the effort to pass a NYC referendum enabling a new inquiry. He offers many examples of the NIST reports exagerrations and fabrications, and concludes that WTC was brought down in a controlled demolition. In the bin Laden book, he details all of the reports of bin Laden’s death, evaluates the credibility of video and audio releases attributed to bin Laden, and concludes that he is probably dead.
Direct link to mp3 file:
The Peter B Collins Show
David Ray Griffin:
September 23, 2009
The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False, with Dr. David Ray Griffin on his new book of the same name. David Ray Griffin gave this speech on September 10, 2009.
Direct link to MP3 file:
David Ray Griffin::
September 9, 2009
Richard Gage talks to Alex Jones about his recent appearance at the Commonwealth Club, his take on Charlie Sheen demanding a meeting with Obama to discuss the 9/11 cover-up and his experience participating in National Geographic Channel’s “9/11: Science and Conspiracy”.
30:21 | 6.95MB | MP3
May 4, 2009
By Daniel Sunjata
“The inert masses are mentally and spiritually ill equipped to deal with reality, so they block it out of their minds – aided of course, by the corporate media and the propaganda apparatus of the government itself. This is why fantasy is frequently substituted for reality, plutocracy is mistaken for democracy, and the majority of the people do not know the difference. Millions of good people thus refuse to allow into their psyche the suffering and misery that U.S. policies have produced and exported to the world, even as that reality is closing in upon them.”
– Charles Sullivan
“They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality…and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.”
– George Orwell, 1984
“Article XXXIV OBSTRUCTION OF INVESTIGATION INTO THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001”
– From the 35 articles of impeachment introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on 06/09/08 in H.Res. 1258 by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
The list is not a short one. It includes professors, architects, aerospace and aviation professionals, structural/mechanical/& aeronautical engineers, demolition experts, firefighters and other first responders, scientists, theologians, senior members of both the military and intelligence communities, Republican administration appointees, state department veterans, and other government officials from the United States and abroad; credible experts of impeccable pedigree with impressive track records from relevant fields of expertise, whose coolly rational intellects are not easily given to an unfounded belief in outlandish, unsubstantiated, or unverifiable claims. Individuals such as these are numbered among the ranks of skeptics and critics of the official theory of conspiracy regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Some pose questions, others draw conclusions, still others (like Congressman Kucinich) go so far as to level accusations and to substantiate them with evidence.
Organizations like Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth (MP911truth.org), Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth (http://AE911Truth.org), Lawyers for 911 Truth (http://www.L911T.com), The Journal of 9/11 Studies (http://wwww.journalof911studies.com), Pilots for 911 Truth (http://wwww.PilotsFor911Truth.org), Fire Fighters for 911 Truth (http://www.FireFightersFor911Truth.org), and Veterans for 911 Truth (http://www.V911T.org), have posted carefully crafted signing statements for all the world to see, and online petitions calling for a new and independent investigation with power of subpoena. Their unanswered questions, the consequent implications that arise, and the fundamental inadequacies they point out in the official reports issued by FEMA, NIST, and the now infamous 9/11 Commission are disturbing to say the very least. Even more disturbing, however, is the corporate media’s revolving door of silence and violence with which those who pose such questions have been greeted. In most cases they are completely ignored, and what might otherwise be front-page news goes virtually unreported. Feigned and transparently disingenuous gestures aimed at affecting the appearance of fair and balanced news coverage occasionally result in an arguably credible expert being granted an interview only to be condescended to, constantly interrupted, shouted down, and verbally abused in the process. Examples abound. Thus, in spite of having shouted their findings from the proverbial rooftops for years, and in spite of such notorious historical precedents as the now declassified Operation Northwoods, there has yet to be any substantive debate, journalistically integrous investigation, or scrutinous inquiry by the establishment or its media into the claim that 9/11 bears all the hallmarks of a complex covert operation of state intelligence; false flag terror; an inside job.
This is not to say, however, that the issue has gone entirely unaddressed by mainstream sources. Hand in hand with the marginalization of informed dissent and deep concern expressed by qualified skeptics like Lt. Col. Robert M. Bowman, PhD (Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Ford and Carter), Paul Craig Roberts (Assistant Sect. Of Treasury under Pres. Reagan), Lynn Margulis (National Medal of Science recipient), James Quintiere (former Chief of NISTs Fire Science Division), Commander Ralph Kolstad, U.S. Navy (retired fighter pilot and Topgun Air Combat Instructor), and Sibel Edmonds (former FBI translator specializing in counter-terror, and gag-ordered whistleblower) is the corporate media’s rabid eagerness to confront, shame, condemn, and discredit celebrities and other citizens who have tried to draw public attention to the same issue. Marion Cotilliard, Martin and Charlie Sheen, Rosie O’Donnell, Ed Asner, Willie Nelson, and former Governor Jesse Ventura among many others, have uniformly fallen under swift and venomous attack upon questioning the official theory of conspiracy, and for daring to utter the blasphemous assertion (recently echoed in sentiments expressed by Melissa Rossi in her recent Huffington Post article titled ‘Obama: Reopen The 911 Investigation’) that a new investigation is warranted given the innumerable inconsistencies, omissions, and outright distortions that permeate the aforementioned “official” reports.
Unfairly attacked based not upon the substance of the arguments they have advanced, but rather upon the basis of inane irrelevancies related to their private lives and public personas, they have been dismissed out of pocket as paranoid conspiracy fanatics, drug addicts, Nazis, and narcissists who should stick to playing their position as entertainers and leave the thinking up to the grown-ups when it comes to things they could not possibly understand. This is the classic ad hominem approach – to dismiss the source as a means to dismissing the message. Consequently, nothing of what they have actually said has been given its due diligence by our supposedly free press. Even though their questions and conclusions rest upon broad-shouldered analysis, expert testimony, diligent research, peer reviewed scientific studies (most notably that of Danish scientist Niels Harrit, whose findings on undetonated nano-thermite explosive residues found in WTC dust samples can be read online in The Open Chemical Physics Journal), and a preponderance of other damning forensic and circumstantial evidence, such prominent skeptics have been greeted with outright hostility and the most virulent brands of journalistic irresponsibility and intellectual dishonesty. This in fact is anti-journalism; the exact opposite of what one would expect to find in a society aspiring to exemplify the democratic ideal. If I didn’t know any better, I might think that such tactics were being employed just to shut these experts and celebrities up, and to keep the general public from paying them any mind. I might think that childish insults, character assassination, reductionist clichés, insipid platitudes, necessary illusions and emotionally potent oversimplifications had taken the place of journalistic integrity, objective scrutiny, and investigative rigor.
For instance, when Joe Scarborough covers a story about a 9/11 demonstrator being arrested during an appearance by Bill Clinton in Corpus Christi, and he and his MSNBC ‘Morning Joe’ co-hosts utter things like “Where is the taser? Tase him!” and “Led away in handcuffs…hopefully taken to one of those secret prisons in Eastern Europe and never to be heard from again. I hope we have a special prison for 9/11 conspiracy theorists” it is quite difficult to grant them high scores for anything other than spewing fascistic rhetoric. Similarly only willful ignorance or a deliberate contempt for accuracy and logic can explain Glen Beck’s lumping together of Congressmen, law abiding citizens, highly decorated military personnel, prominent artists, and CIA veterans with violent radicals, in sweeping statements such as his ridiculous contention that 9/11 activists are “insane, dangerous anarchists” who comprise “”the kind of group a Timothy McVeigh would come from.” It is an easily verifiable fact that in the thousands of 9/11 protests that have taken place since 2001, not a single individual has ever been arrested for violent conduct or convicted of a violent crime. It is also, shall we say, less than candid to assert that a movement whose implicit moral imperative arises from a desire to protect constitutional integrity could in any way be considered anarchistic in nature. Also, in one of the most irresponsible acts of journalism on record, Geraldo Rivera conflated the notoriously non-violent 9/11 activist community with terrorists in the following statement he made on FOX News Channel’s ‘FOX and Friends’ program while covering the 03/08 Times Square Bombing of a US Armed Forces recruiting station:
“I think that this bomber isn’t Al Qaeda, isn’t anything like that… He’s more like those ‘9/11 was an inside job’ kind of guys… Protesting in a violent way, but in a violent way almost like the eco-terrorists… where they don’t intend to inflict casualties.”
The most egregious examples of this type of filth masquerading as responsible news commentary can perhaps be found emanating from the twisted and blusterous mouth of Bill O’Reilly. When the story broke that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was set to finance the distribution of ‘Loose Change 911’ (the most downloaded documentary in internet history) with Charlie Sheen set to narrate, O’Reilly (conceding his hypocrisy by admitting to not having seen the film or looked at the evidence) responded by unleashing a blitzkrieg of idiotic non-sequiturs, calculated ambiguities, and thinly veiled threats. After an erroneous and lame attempt to dismiss and discredit 9/11 Truth as “lunacy” from the “far-left fringe” (the movement transcends both liberality and conservatism alike, is a mainstream phenomenon, and its basic premise is in fact eminently sane), he compounded his ignorance by comparing 9/11-dissent to Nazi propaganda and holocaust denial. Like…dude…SERIOUSLY?! It is the very height of disingenuity to suggest that by demanding truth and accountability one is somehow offending and dishonoring the victims or their families, when the only way to honor them is by finding out the truth and holding the guilty parties responsible for their crimes. It would be more apt to compare Nazi propagandists and holocaust deniers to an administration that skewed intelligence about Iraq in order to fear-monger the American people into supporting the doctrine of preemption, while evading the initiation of any official inquiry into the most catastrophic day in our nations history, for 441 days. Either O’Reilly didn’t know or he didn’t care to know that Bill Doyle, founder of World Trade Center United Family Group (one of the largest 9/11 victims’ family organizations, comprised of over 7000 members from 2,573 families) believes that the government was complicit in the attacks. He has also publicly stated that at least half of his members harbor deep suspicions about what happened on 9/11 and why. Mr. Bill also saw fit to put Mark Cuban and Charlie Sheen on notice, so to speak. Sounding not altogether unlike a mafia don threatening to issue a hit, O’Reilly states “this is a warning to Mark Cuban, who is distributing that film in a few weeks. This is a warning to you Bud, okay, you pull that movie or I’m gonna be your worst nightmare, because this is gonna lead to death.” “We’re looking out for you, Charlie Sheen. Don’t do this. You’re not going to come back from it, if you do…”
As I said, examples abound. Such pathetically transparent diversionary tactics smack of cowardice and a reluctance to engage the subject of 9/11 based upon the facts at hand, and have no place in the realm of professional journalism (or info-tainment as the case may be). This must cease. If we are to have any hope of change as a nation, then we must recognize that turning the page on one of the darkest chapters in American governmental history without having properly read it, would be a grave and disastrous error. Regardless of how inconvenient, uncomfortable, or outlandish the implications may at first appear, this subject demands to be substantively addressed, free of spin or bias, for neither it nor its advocates are going to just fade away. Only a ship of fools would blatantly disregard the opinions of such highly qualified and erudite critics as those listed on sites like patriotsquestion911.com without closely examining their actual and factual claims. Now that Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy has officially introduced a proposal to investigate the Bush administration for war-crimes and the subversion of Constitutional Law, it stands to reason that 9/11 should also be soberly looked into once and for all. Given the swirling cloud of criminal accusations and populist rage regarding the legalization of torture, the illegal wiretapping of American civilians (including the intentional targeting of journalists and intellectuals according to NSA whistleblower Russell Tice) as well as other allegations of treasonous conduct, and taking into consideration the claims, statements, and research of critical thinkers across a wide spectrum of expertise who publicly doubt the government’s official explanation, it shouldn’t (although apparently it does) take a rocket scientist to see the disturbingly plausible connections between the inside job hypothesis and every Orwellian legislative and militaristic act for which 9/11 and its victims have been invoked as justification. Indeed the logic of context is fundamentally derailed by the prevailing ring-pass-not approach of investigating every area to which 9/11 is crucially relevant and intimately related, while treating the subject itself as sacrosanct. Clearly this should be part of any investigation into the alleged criminality of the previous administration; indeed it should be given priority. This above all else is President Obama’s litmus test of integrity and the quintessence of this nation’s hope for change. For if 9/11 was in fact an inside job, then it places all of the evils that flowed from and followed that event into vivid contextual focus. Bogus claims of executive privilege should offer no protection to those towards whom the preponderance of evidence points; chips fall where they may.
My own reasons for speaking out on this issue are fairly simple. I didn’t choose it; it chose me. Upon being hired to act the part of a post-9/11 NYC firefighter on Rescue Me, my research for the character led me to take a more objective look at what actually happened versus what we were told in the wake of the event. Nothing added up. No matter from which angle I approached 911, it invariably unraveled into contradictions and inconsistencies requiring the suspension of my logic and common sense in addition to several laws of physics. Slowly I came to the determination that I had no choice but to speak out, because (as Franco Rivera) I presume to represent the memories of the heroes who died that day, as well as the reality of the heroes who still mourn their loss. I work with these men; looking them daily in the eye. Therefore it is a citizen’s act of moral conscience and social responsibility, nothing more. To know or even to merely suspect, and yet remain silent, would be anti-American, unpatriotic, and tantamount to betrayal. Therefore this is no stunt on my part to gain publicity or to garner attention for myself by appearing edgy and controversial. Believe it or not, I rather covet my relative anonymity as a quasi-celebrity/working actor. I would much rather direct media and public attention to those most credible dissenting experts who have looked at and analyzed the facts (circumstantial as well as forensic) and found that they do not fit the government’s theory of conspiracy. People like Professor Emeritus David Ray Griffin, Richard Gage (AIA), Physics Professor Steven Jones (co-author of the above mentioned peer reviewed study proving that explosives were in fact used to implode the WTC towers as well as WTC 7), William Christison (former CIA Station Chief and Director of Regional and Political Analysis), Ray McGovern (27 year CIA vet., and former Chair of National Intelligence Estimates), Coleen Rowley (former F.B.I. Special Agent and Minneapolis Division Counsel), and Sibel Edmonds must be given fair and open forums on mainstream media platforms, as well as access to those with the power and responsibility to reopen the 9/11 investigation; or rather, to finally conduct one as the case may be. Until that happens we will not be silent. We will not go away. We will not submit.
Zero: an investigation into 9/11
An Investigation into 9/11, has one central thesis – that the official version of the events surrounding the attacks on 9/11 can not be true.
Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup
Dramatically narrated by Daniel Sunjata of FX s Rescue Me, and an outspoken advocate for the First Responders, Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup first examines mysterious and infamous events that reshaped world history from the Reichstag Fire in 1933 that catapulted Hitler to dictatorship – to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964 that led to the Vietnam War, and then takes viewers on a turbulent journey through several pivotal moments in history before delving into the most significant catastrophe in recent memory, 9/11.
9/11: Press For Truth
Out of the grieving thousands left behind on September 11th, a small group of activist families emerged to demand answers.
In this seven minute interview, Richard Gage is given plenty of time to explain the overwhelming evidence that the World Trade Center buildings were not brought down by the impact of the planes and ordinary office fires. Unlike the derision and condescension that typically greets 9/11 truth activists at mainstream outlets, these two anchors seem genuinely curious and open to the uncomfortable facts proving that explosives were detonated inside the Twin Towers.
female anchor: He’s an architect experienced in steel structures. Now Richard Gage is touring the country with a controversial message about September 11.
male anchor: Richard Gage is here to show us why he’s calling for a more thorough investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. Thank you so much for joining us.
Gage: You’re very welcome, it’s great to be here.
male anchor: Well first of all give us a little bit more about your background.
Gage: I’m an architect of twenty years, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and have been studying steel frame fire proof buildings for about that long.
female anchor: We ask that for clarification because as we get into this we want people to make sure that you’re not just somebody with a wacky idea, you come with some science to you. What is the official reason for the collapse of the World Trade Center towers?
Gage: Well we’re told that the planes hit the buildings, and there was an explosion and a fire, and about a hour and a half later, in the case of the north tower, the buildings collapsed due to structural weakening, due to the fires. The problem is that we don’t have large gradual deformations associated with collapses. And fires in high rises have never brought down a steel frame high rise building at all, ever. And what we have, unfortunately, is the evidence in the twin towers and the third skyscraper to collapse that day, which most people don’t know anything about it. We have the evidence of the ten key features of controlled demolition. In the case of building seven, it collapses straight down into its own footprint, at free fall speed, in the first hundred feet. It’s dropping, as you can see symmetrically, smoothly, at free fall speed, in the first hundred feet. Two and a half seconds. This is uncanny, there’s forty thousand tons of structural steel designed to resist this collapse.
female anchor: So, what, a forty-seven story building?
Gage: Yeah, it’s called Building Seven, a football field away from the Twin Towers.
female anchor: Okay, so what we’re showing is left, what happened in fact, and right is controlled, where you are using or the people who made this happen, used demolition, explosive devices.
Gage: Indeed, this a direct comparison. You can see that indeed, almost freefall speed, freefall acceleration, through forty thousand tons of structural steel. That is uncanny. So we have 700 architects and engineers demanding a new investigation as a result of this evidence and the evidence in the World Trade Center that is very explosive. Almost every architect and engineer we’ve showed this information to, agrees with us that these are controlled demolitions. If we can get them to look at the information, because obviously the implications of a controlled demolition are…dark for our country. Because that means somebody besides Al Qaeda was involved. Because these have to be easily, three of the most highly secure buildings, outside of the Pentagon.
Male anchor: Now if that was a controlled demolition, would there not be any evidence at the ground level of explosives within the debris that’s left?
Gage: Indeed. And what we find down there is pools of molten iron. Several tons.
male anchor: What is that doing there?
Gage: Exactly, what is it doing there? The first responders see it, the structural engineers see it, it’s documented by FEMA. The melting of steel. Normal office fires is what’s supposed to have brought these buildings down. Along with jet plane impacts. Jet fuel and office fires don’t produce molten iron or molten steel. It doesn’t begin to melt until three thousand degrees. But what we have is, the fires only produce maybe fourteen, sixteen hundred degrees. So what produced all that molten iron? Well, it has in it the chemical evidence of a special incendiary, which is thermite, a high tech incendiary used to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter.
female anchor: You found that?
Gage: Indeed, in all the dust throughout lower Manhattan, we have a four to six inch thick layer of this dust, and throughout it we have evidence of tiny spheres, billions of them, several tons of previously molten iron. Well how does that happen? If you have molten iron…the by-product of thermite is molten iron and it’s dispersed through out all this dust.
male anchor: You were allowed to go in and get samples and examine it?
Gage: Oh, there’s plenty of dust. A lot of people have this dust, and four of these samples have been sent to physicist Steven Jones, formerly of Brigham Young University. And they find in it, not only these spheres, which others have found too, USGS, RJ Lee, doing toxicology studies. These spheres have iron, aluminum, fluorine, manganese, very unusual elements associated only with thermite. And there are small chips of unignited thermite as well. This is very high-tech thermite, nano-thermite, it’s not found in a cave in Afghanistan, it’s produced in very sophisticated defense department contracting laboratories.
female anchor: Okay, well, we have an enemy here, the finger has been pointed to, this was the work of Al Qaeda, this was the work of Osama bin Laden, at least to get the planes all going into the buildings and into the field in Pennsylvania and into the Pentagon. Is there no way that they then could still be the enemy that placed those in the buildings first, and then did the incendiary device via a plane second?
Gage: What you have to ask is who had access to the buildings? Did Al Qaeda have access to these highly secure buildings? Probably not. Did they have access to sophisticated nano-thermite, where the particles are one thousand times smaller than a human hair? Probably not. Somebody else has to be investigated. That’s why we have 700 architects and engineers demanding a real investigation. We don’t have the whole theory as to how this happened, who did it, why. We just lay out the facts, like we did last night in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, and we demand a real investigation, and they’ll find out who, why, how, et cetera.
male anchor: Now let me ask you, I’m person X, I want to place something in one of those buildings. Where would I carry it, how big would it be? Is it that visible that I would be spotted by security? Can I place it in one of my tooth fillings?
Gage: We’re talking about several tons of nano-thermite and ordinary thermite. One would have to have access through security. So the security company involved for the World Trade Center should be thoroughly investigated. It turns out to be Securi-com, Stratesec, somebody should look and see who’s on the board of those companies. Some very interestings individuals turn out to be. In addition, one would have to have the cover, of say, an elevator modernization, which was in fact going on nine months prior to 9/11, so that there were workers throughout the World Trade Center, that had access to the hoistway that was immediately adjacent to the core columns and beams in the building.
female anchor: You’re not trying to freak out the country, but you can’t help but feel a little freaked out by this.
Gage: Yeah, you’re getting it.
female anchor: And of course this is something we want to talk to you about a whole lot more, and we’re out of time. We do have a great deal of information on our website, kmph.com. Thank you very much for your time today. You’re opening up a lot to think about.
This was originally posted at:
Richard Gage’s 9/11 presentation in Clovis, CA covered by KMPH Fox 26
Richard Gage, KGO 810 AM, June 3, 2009
Seven is Exploding
“In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill…we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.” — Plato
During the campaign, amid their state of elation, many disregarded Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama’s past record and took any criticism of these past actions as partisan attacks deserving equally partisan counterattacks. Some continued their reluctant support after candidate Obama became grand finalist and prayed for the best. And a few still continue their rationalizing and defense, with illogical excuses such as ‘He’s been in office for only 20 days, give the man a break!’ and ‘He’s had only 50 days in office, give him a chance!’ and currently, ‘be reasonable – how much can a man do in 120 days?!’ I am going to give this logic, or lack of, a slight spicing of reason, then, turn it around, and present it as: If ‘the man’ can do this much astounding damage, whether to our civil liberties, or to our notion of democracy, or to government integrity, in ‘only’ 120 days, may God help us with the next [(4 X 365) – 120] days.
I know there are those who have been tackling President Obama’s changes on change; they have been challenging his flipping, or rather flopping, on issues central to getting him elected. While some have been covering the changes comprehensively, others have been running right and left like headless chickens in the field – pick one hypocrisy, scream a bit, then move on to the next outrageous flop, the same, and then to the next, basically, looking and treating this entire mosaic one piece at a time.
Despite all the promises Mr. Obama made during his campaign, especially on those issues that were absolutely central to those whose support he garnered, so far the President of Change has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor. Not only that, his administration has made it clear that they intend to continue this trend. Some call it a major betrayal. Can we go so far as to call it a ‘swindling of the voters’?
On the State Secrets Privilege
Yes, I am going to begin with the issue of State Secrets Privilege; because I was the first recipient of this ‘privilege’ during the now gone Administration;
Yes, I am going to begin with the issue of State Secrets Privilege; because I was the first recipient of this ‘privilege’ during the now gone Administration; because long before it became ‘a popular’ topic among the ‘progressive experts,’ during the time when these same experts avoided writing or speaking about it; when many constitutional attorneys had no idea we even had this “law” – similar to and based on the British ‘Official Secret Act; when many journalists did not dare to question this draconian abuse of Executive Power; I was out there, writing, speaking, making the rounds in Congress, and fighting this ‘privilege’ in the courts. And because in 2004 I stood up in front of the Federal Court building in DC, turned to less than a handful of reporters, and said, ‘This, my case, is setting a precedent, and you are letting this happen by your fear-induced censorship. Now that they have gotten away with this, now that you have let them get away, we’ll be seeing this ‘privilege’ invoked in case after case involving government criminal deeds in need of cover up.’ Unfortunately I was proven right.
So far The Obama administration has invoked the state secrets privilege in three cases in the first 100 days: Al Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Obama, Mohammed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, and Jewel v. NSA.
In defending the NSA illegal wiretapping, the Obama administration maintained that the State Secrets Privilege, the same draconian executive privilege used and abused voraciously by the previous administration, required the dismissal of the case in courts.
Not only has the new administration continued the practice of invoking SSP to shield government wrongdoing, it has expanded its abuses much further. In the Al Haramain case, Obama’s Justice Department has threatened to have the FBI or federal marshals break into a judge’s office and remove evidence already turned over in the case, according to the plaintiff’s attorney. Even Bush didn’t go this far so brazenly. In a well-written, disgust-provoking piece plaintiff’s attorney Jon Eisenberg, poses the question: “The president’s lawyers continue to block access to information that could expose warrantless wiretapping. Is this change we can believe in?”
This is the same President, the same well-spoken showman, who went on record in 2007, during the campaign shenanigans, and said the following:
“When I am president we won’t work in secret to avoid honoring our laws and Constitution.” —Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, 2007
Yes, this is the same President who had frowned upon and criticized the abuses and misuse of the State Secrets Privilege.
On NSA Warrantless Wiretapping
The new Administration has pledged to defend the Telecommunications Industry by giving them immunity against any lawsuit that may involve their participation in the illegal NSA wiretapping program. In 2007, Obama’s office released the following position of then Senator Obama: “Senator Obama unequivocally opposes giving retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies … Senator Obama will not be among those voting to end the filibuster.” But then Senator Obama made his 180 degree flip, and voted to end the filibuster. After that, along with other colleagues in Congress, he tried to placate the critics of his move by falsely assuring them that the immunity did not extend to the Bush Administration – the Executive Branch who did break the law. Another flip was yet to come, awaiting his presidency, when Obama’s Justice Department defended its predecessor not only by using the State Secrets Privilege, but taking it even further, by astoundingly granting [PDF] the Executive Branch an unlimited immunity for any kind of ‘illegal’ government surveillance.
Let me emphasize, the Obama Administration’s action in this regard was not about ‘being trapped’ in situations created and put in place by the previous administration. These were willful acts fully reviewed, decided upon, and then implemented by the new president and his Justice Department.
Accountability on Torture
President Obama’s action and inaction on Torture can be summarized very clearly as follows: First give an absolute pass, under the guise of ‘looking forward not backward,’ to the ultimate culprits who had ordered it. Next, absolve all the implementers, practitioners and related agencies, under the excuse of ‘complying with orders without questioning,’ and then start giving the ‘drafters’ of the memos an out by transferring the decision for action to the states.
After granting the ‘untouchable’ status to all involved in this shameful chapter in our nation’s dangerous downward slide, he now refuses to release the photos, the incriminating evidence, and is doing so by using the exact same justification used repeatedly by his predecessors: ‘Their release would endanger the troops,’ as in ‘the revelation on NSA would endanger our national security’ and ‘stronger whistleblower laws would endanger our intelligence agencies’ and so on and so forth.
Not only that, he goes even further to shove his secrecy promotion down other nations’ courts throat. In the case of Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian citizen and a legal resident in Britain who was held and tortured in Guantanamo from 2004 to 2009, and filed lawsuits in the British courts to have the evidence of his torture released, Mr. Obama’s position has been to threaten the British Government in order to conceal all facts and related evidence. This case involves the brutal torture and so very ‘extraordinary’ rendition practices of the previous administration, the same practices that ‘in words’ were strongly condemned by the President during his candidacy.
Today he and his administration unapologetically maintain the same Bush Administration position on extraordinary rendition, torture, and related secrecy to cover up. Here is Ben Wizner’s, the attorney who argued the case for the ACLU, response “We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Justice Department has chosen to continue the Bush administration’s practice of dodging judicial scrutiny of extraordinary rendition and torture. This was an opportunity for the new administration to act on its condemnation of torture and rendition, but instead it has chosen to stay the course.” Yes indeed, President Obama has chosen to protect and support the course involving torture, rendition and the abuse of secrecy to cover them all up.
The Revival of Bush Era Military Commission
After all the talk and pretty speeches given during his presidential campaign on the ‘failure’ of Bush era military tribunals of Guantanamo inmates, Mr. Obama has decided to revive the same style military commission, albeit with a little cosmetic tweak here and there to re-brand it as his own. Many former supporters of Mr. Obama who’ve been vocal and active on Human Rights fronts have expressed their ‘total shock’ by this move and its pretense of being different and improved, “As a constitutional lawyer, Obama must know that he can put lipstick on this pig – but it will always be a pig,” said Zachary Katznelson, legal director of Reprieve.
Thankfully the ‘on the record’ statements of Candidate Obama in 2008 on this issue, contradicting his action today, are accessible to all:
“It’s time to better protect the American people and our values by bringing swift and sure justice to terrorists through our courts and our Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
Suspect terrorists (emphasis on ‘suspect’) cannot have just trials consistent/in line with our ‘courts and Uniform Code of Military Justice’ via military commissions. It’s almost an oxymoron! And if you add to that the other Obama-approved ingredients such as secrecy, rendition, and evidence obtained under torture, what have we got? Anything resembling our courts and Uniform Code of Military Justice system?
On War and Bodies Piling Up
Here is the first paragraph in a New York Times report on May 15, 2009:
“The number of civilians killed by the American air strikes in Farah Province last week may never be fully known. But villagers, including two girls recovering from burn wounds, described devastation that officials and human rights workers are calling the worst episode of civilian casualties in eight years of war in Afghanistan.”
The report also includes the disagreement over the exact number of ‘Civilian Casualties’ in Afghanistan by our military airstrike:
“Government officials have accepted handwritten lists compiled by the villagers of 147 dead civilians. An independent Afghan human rights group said it had accounts from interviews of 117 dead. American officials say that even 100 is an exaggeration but have yet to issue their own count.”
Does it really matter – the difference between 147 and 117 or just 100 when it comes to children, grandmothers…innocent lives lost in a war with no well-defined objectives or plans? If for some it indeed does matter, then here is a more specific and detailed report:
“A copy of the government’s list of the names, ages and father’s names of each of the 140 dead was obtained by Reuters earlier this week. It shows that 93 of those killed were children — the youngest eight days old — and only 22 were adult males.”
Maybe releasing the photographs of the nameless unrepresented victims of these airstrikes should be as important as those of torture. Because, from what I see, they and their loss of lives have been reduced to some petty number to fight about.
When I was around twelve years old, in Iran, during the Iran-Iraq war, my father, a surgeon in charge of a hospital specializing in burns and reconstructive surgery, decided to take me to the hospital to teach me an unforgettable lesson on war. I think one of the factors that prompted him was my new obsession with classic war movies; you know, ones like ‘the Great Escape.’ Anyhow, he took my hand and we entered a ‘transition ICU Unit.’ In that room, on a standard size hospital bunk bed, laid an infant of eight or nine months of age, or what was remaining of her. Over eighty percent of her body was burned; to a degree that the skin had melted and absorbed the melting clothing on top -impossible to remove without removing the skin with it. Instead of a nose two holes were drilled in the middle of her face with tubes inserted allowing breathing, the upper eyelids were melted and glued to the lower ones, and…I am not going to go further – I believe you get the picture.
This baby was the victim of an air strike, a bombing that killed her entire family and leveled her modest home to the ground. My father pointed at this heartbreaking baby and said, “Sibel, this is war. This is the real face of war. This is the result of war. Do you think anything can justify this? I want to replace the glamorous exciting phony images of those war movies in your head. I want you to remember this for the rest of your life and stand against this kind of destruction…”
And I do. This is why I am offended by those petty numbers when it comes to civilian deaths. This is the reason I believe some may need pictures of these atrocities as much as those of torture to replace those ‘Shock & Awe’ footages fed to them by our MSM.
All this death and destruction is carried out while the administration’s Afghan policy is still murky and confused, and it’s strategy ambiguous. Sure, our so-called ‘New’ Afghan Strategy includes more troops and asks for a much larger budget allocation; nothing new there. It is another war with no time table. It is the continuation of the same abstract ‘War on Terror’ without any definition of what would constitute an ‘accomplished mission.’ One minute there is pondering on possible ‘reconciliation’ with the Taliban, and the next minute seeking to topple it. In fact, to confuse the matter even further, we now hear this distinction between ‘Good Taliban, Bad Taliban, and the Plain Ugly Taliban.’ As stated by Karzai on Meet the Press on May 10, 2009, not all Taliban are equal!!
I can go on listing cases of Mr. Obama’s change on change. Whether it is his reversal on protection for whistleblowers, despite his campaign promise to the contrary, or his expansion of the Un-American title of ‘Czardom,’ where we now have more czars than ever: Border Czar, Energy Czar, Cyber Security Czar…Car Czar…maybe even a Bicycle Czar!. Or…But for now I’ll stick with the major promises that were ‘Central’ to him getting elected, all of which he has flipped on in less than 150 days in office, a track record indeed.
What I want the readers to do is to read the extremely important cases above, step back in time to those un-ending campaign trail days, and answer the following questions:
How would Senator McCain have acted on these same issues if he had been elected? How would Senator Hilary Clinton? Do you believe there would have been any major differences? Weren’t their records almost identical to Senator Obama’s on these issues? If you are like me, and answer ‘same,’ ‘same,’ ‘no,’ and ‘yes,’ then, why do you think we ended up with these exact same candidates, those deemed ‘viable’ and sold to us as such?
With too much at stake, too many unfinished agendas for the course of our nation, and too many skeletons in the closet in need of hiding for self-preservation, the ‘permanent establishment’ made certain that they took no risk by giving the public, via their MSM tentacles, a coin that no matter how many times flipped would come up the same – Heads, Heads.
“Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.” — Marshall Mcluhan
Sibel Edmonds is the founder and director of National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC). Ms. Edmonds worked as a language specialist for the FBI. During her work with the bureau, she discovered and reported serious acts of security breaches, cover-ups, and intentional blocking of intelligence that had national security implications. After she reported these acts to FBI management, she was retaliated against by the FBI and ultimately fired in March 2002. Since that time, court proceedings on her case have been blocked by the assertion of “State Secret Privilege”; the Congress of the United States has been gagged and prevented from any discussion of her case through retroactive re-classification by the Department of Justice. Ms. Edmonds is fluent in Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani; and has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, and a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University. PEN American Center awarded Ms. Edmonds the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.
Thursday, July 15, 2004 12:26 EDT
Donald Rumsfeld testified on the Hill about Abu Ghraib in May, there was talk of more photos and video in the Pentagon’s custody more horrific than anything made public so far. “If these are released to the public, obviously it’s going to make matters worse,” Rumsfeld said. Since then, the Washington Post has disclosed some new details and images of abuse at the prison. But if Seymour Hersh is right, it all gets much worse.
Hersh gave a speech last week to the ACLU making the charge that children were sodomized in front of women in the prison, and the Pentagon has tape of it. The speech was first reported in a New York Sun story last week, which was in turn posted on Jim Romenesko’s media blog, and now EdCone.com and other blogs are linking to the video. We transcribed the critical section here (it starts at about 1:31:00 into the ACLU video.) At the start of the transcript here, you can see how Hersh was struggling over what he should say:
“Debating about it, ummm … Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”
“It’s impossible to say to yourself how did we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there? When I did My Lai I was very troubled like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened. I ended up in something I wrote saying in the end I said that the people who did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed because of the scars they had, I can tell you some of the personal stories by some of the people who were in these units witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers and so we’re dealing with a enormous massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher, and we have to get to it and we will. We will. You know there’s enough out there, they can’t (Applause). …. So it’s going to be an interesting election year.”
Notes from a similar speech Hersh gave in Chicago in June were posted on Brad DeLong’s blog. Rick Pearlstein, who watched the speech, wrote: “[Hersh] said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, ‘You haven’t begun to see evil…’ then trailed off. He said, ‘horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.’ He looked frightened.”
So, there are several questions here: Has Hersh actually seen the video he described to the ACLU, and why hasn’t he written about it yet? Will he be forced to elaborate in more public venues now that these two speeches are getting so much attention, at least in the blogosphere? And who else has seen the video, if it exists — will journalists see and report on it? did senators see these images when they had their closed-door sessions with the Abu Ghraib evidence? — and what is being done about it?
(Update: A reader brought to our attention that the rape of boys at Abu Ghraib has been mentioned in some news accounts of the prisoner abuse evidence. The Telegraph and other news organizations described “a videotape, apparently made by US personnel, is said to show Iraqi guards raping young boys.” The Guardian reported “formal statements by inmates published yesterday describe horrific treatment at the hands of guards, including the rape of a teenage Iraqi boy by an army translator.”)
– Geraldine Sealey
A chilling exposé of corporate corruption and government cover-ups, this account of a nationwide child-trafficking and pedophilia ring in the United States tells a sordid tale of corruption in high places.
CNN – May 14, 2009
Justice Department prepared to fight detainee photo release
Mike Malloy Show – May 13, 2009
“Sadistic . . . violent . . . inhuman.”
After Downing Street – November 23, 2006
Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Child Rape Photos
Daily Kos – June 14, 2004
Kids sodomized at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has the videos – Hersh
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission – John Farmer – says that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11, echoing the assertions of fellow 9/11 Commission members who concluded that the Pentagon were engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack.
Farmer served as Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission (officially known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States), and is also a former New Jersey Attorney General.
Farmer’s book about his experiences working for the Commission is entitled The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11, and is set to be released tomorrow.
The book unveils how “the public had been seriously misled about what occurred during the morning of the attacks,” and Farmer himself states that “at some level of the government, at some point in time…there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened.”
Only the very naive would dispute that an agreement not to tell the truth is an agreement to lie. Farmer’s contention is that the government agreed to create a phony official version of events to cover-up the real story behind 9/11.
The publisher of the book, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, states that, “Farmer builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version not only is almost entirely untrue but serves to create a false impression of order and security.”
In August 2006, the Washington Post reported, “Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.”
The report revealed how the 10-member commission deeply suspected deception to the point where they considered referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.
“We to this day don’t know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us,” said Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey Republican governor who led the commission. “It was just so far from the truth. . . . It’s one of those loose ends that never got tied.”
Farmer himself is quoted in the Post article, stating, “I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The [Norad air defense] tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…. This is not spin. This is not true.”
As we also reported in August 2006, released portions of NORAD tapes from 9/11, which were featured in a Vanity Fair article, do little to answer skeptic’s questions about the impotence of U.S. air defenses on 9/11 and if anything only increase focus on the incompatibility of the official version of events with what is actually known to have taken place on that day.
Make no mistake, Farmer is not saying that 9/11 was an inside job, however, Farmer’s testimony, along with that of his fellow 9/11 Commission members, conclusively demonstrates that, whatever really happened on 9/11, the official story as told to the public on the day and that which remains the authorities’ version of events today, is a lie – according to the very people who were tasked by the government to investigate it. This is a fact that no debunker or government apologist can ever legitimately deny.