the holistic radical

September 11, 2008

Blue or Red, The Betrayal is the Same: Seven Years Later

Today, the world gives its condolences.

The idea of nineteen frustrated men hijacking planes and steering them with such precision into three of their four desired targets (T1, T2 and the Pentagon, but not the White House) is a fairy tale. Many independent and alternative media sources (media not bought wholesale and controlled by its corporate sponsors and thus with no allegiances to any particular company or reason to censor any unpleasant truths) provide ample reason to believe the version of events as we’ve been told is a not-so-carefully woven story gathering strength not through force of fact (for the script is not based on fact) but through sheer repetition and inflicting of looped traumatic imagery, combined with jingoism reducing the geopolitical complexities of the day.

Can your information source explain why:

· NORAD (the North American Air Defense system) was “stood down,” that is, told not to intercept the hijacked planes, thereby averting the crash into the towers?

· Why Towers 1 & 2 (first reported in the media as “exploding,” then reported in the media as “collapsing”) went down, considering that they were designed to precisely stand up to planes and hurricane winds, and considering that no solid-steel construction building in history has ever collapsed due to fire before or after that day? Fire alone could not have reached a high enough temperature to melt enough of the steel in the towers, because there was not a constant oxygen supply to literally fuel the fire. What about the telltale “squibs” caught on video coming out of the buildings as they were going down, signs that a controlled demolition was bringing the buildings down neatly into their footprints in a matter of seconds? What about the evidence of thermite? What about reports from people who worked in the buildings noting strange people coming and going the weeks before the “attacks,” strange power outages and turnings off of the camera and alarm systems while “construction” and “upgrades” were happening on short or no notice?

· Why were massive “put options” placed on United and American airlines? Why were these very visible transactions not noticed or investigated by the SEC?

· Why tapes from the Pentagon attack were immediately seized and not shown to the public except for a few frames years later? Why is there not a plane-shaped hole in the side of the Pentagon? Why was there so little debris, and why was it disturbed, carried away by hand by staffers? Why did the plane just happen to make a quite complicated turn to make the hit away from the side where key staff like Rumsfeld were, but “coincidentally” on the side of the structure being diligently renovated for reinforced strength? Could hijackers fresh out of Florida flight school have been capable of such a maneuver?

· Can anyone relying on conventional media alone explain why Building 7, a building never hit by a plane and several hundred yards from the Twin Towers, crumbled to the ground after 5 pm that day after burning on only a few floors for a few hours? This steel-constructed building held the IRS, the Secret Service, the SEC, the Office of Emergency Management, and other offices. Why did it have to go down, or, in the words of new leaseholder Larry Silverstein, why was it “pulled”? Why is there massive media silence about Building 7?

· The EPA, then headed by Christine Todd Whitman, said the air was safe to breathe in Lower Manhattan, just so the markets could be re-opened quickly?

· Why weren’t the firefighter’s radios working? Why did there have to be so many needless deaths?

· Why was this day interpreted as an act of war requiring us to militarize immediately, but a commission investigating the attacks could not be called for over 400 days?

· Why was evidence from the scene of the crime (and sacred ground) immediately hauled away to Fresh Kills and to China? Tampering with evidence is a Federal Offence. Why the rush to clear the scene so quickly?

These are just a few of the questions the conventional media is not interested in probing, let along attempting to answer. The conventional media, consolidating and seeking more consolidation all the time. The conventional media, where NBC is owned by defense contractor giant GE. The conventional media, which seeks to commercialize and censor the Internet in the United States, to limit communication on web pages, forums, and blogs like these.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to 9/11. No one individual has all the answers. When someone says the day was the result of an “inside job,” what they are trying to bring to light is the fact that the events of the day were not just a number of coincidental, horrifying, isolated incidents that can be avoided in the future through increased militarism and attention to “security.” What such a person is saying is that you need to see that the mainstream media has motives to deliberately distort and hide information from you, information that may have influenced how you voted in 2004 or how you will vote this November. The media is relying on a failure of memory on the part of the American people in order to control them. This complacency is also accomplished through our utterly bankrupt educational system that is only good at medicating children and administering them biased, meaningless, high-stakes tests with no relation whatsoever to skills or real learning. Honesty, integrity, and critical thinking are no longer revered in American life. We must use this day to insist on getting the answers the media and corporate interests would rather have us forget about. We must be brave enough to show the powers that be that some of us will not be bought off, that some of us not only remember, but question, and will not contain our drive for truth, not for the families of the victims, not for the families of the soldiers.

The events of 9/11, the “New Pearl Harbor” the neoconservatives were waiting for the implement their global agenda of warmongering and domestic enslavement—have been used to justify a shocking number of assaults to our freedom: from wiretapping, to the use of torture on those deemed “enemy combatants,” to the invasion and domination of other sovereign nations. We are no longer citizens with privacy and dignity—we are conforming, scared consumers. And it is guaranteed that we will lose our quality of life in return. Ron Paul was the only presidential candidate who spoke to all of these issues—including taking down the Federal Reserve, strengthening our currency, and running the wasteful and brutal system of taxation out of town. Predictably, Ron Paul was, on the whole, shut out of the mainstream media, despite an impressive number of supporters and financing from those supporters (and not major corporations). What his candidacy proves is that both major parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, are unwilling to ask the tough questions about what happened on 9/11 and are further unwilling to test the waters in implementing real, groundshaking, immediate change—because both sides are beholden to special interests. Blue or red, the betrayal is the same.

Even supposing this fairy tale is true, the myth of 19 (some of which were reported alive and well after the event by the BBC and others), that “they hate us for our freedom,” what “they” (the perpetually mysterious, exoticized, xenophobic, racist, polarizing “they”) actually hate us for is our stupidity, our wastefulness, our inability to see that our consumption of resources is putting the globe in peril but not before reducing two thirds’ of the world’s population to a slave-like existence, permitting deprivation and cruelty in the 21st century. If there is a “they,” their only fault is that they don’t see that it is not most Americans perpetrating that waste—not the ten million unemployed and not the likely fifty million without health insurance who barely have enough resources to move out of their ghetto or trailer park, let alone go to college or get anything other than a minimum-wage job (usually at Wal-Mart, at that). These aren’t the people influencing global policy. They are searching for dignity as well, and they are getting constantly beaten down by high costs and health problems brought on by processed food (often the only food they can afford, filled with aspartame and MSG) and a contaminated environment. They are not the ones deepening the debt and struggle of others; they are mired in the struggle. However, there is a cold elite in this country that not only is removed from this struggle—they are actively involved in wiping out and taxing to death anyone who cannot make six figures or a high five figures (I will be lucky to be entering the low five figures this year). These people, through the media, aim to tighten the screws on the poor and lower middle class, and they have succeeded—the gap between the rich and the poor in the United States, the “Leader of the Free World,” has never been higher in its two hundred-plus year history. If this is “Leadership,” don’t show me what falling behind looks like—I don’t think I can take it.

True patriots should remember this day and demand a true investigation, an independent, thorough and nonpartisan effort at decoding what truly happened before and during September 11, 2001.

That would be a far better use of our resources than bailing out the usurious financial sector or the irresponsible automotive industry; better than subsidizing companies that pollute the planet and aim to poison and reduce the food supply with genetically-modified crops; better than throwing money at the landlords who own this country while millions are on the brink of homelessness; better than screwing over our brave injured veterans while awarding never-ending contracts to Blackwater and KBR and Lockheed while civilians die in a country that we shouldn’t be in to begin with. A real and honest investigation would ultimately result in an end to all this madness, and it is for that reason alone that it is not being convened: it would be too much of a threat to the rampant exploitation and inequality that has become the status quo of American life.

Today, the world gives its condolences, but the grief will never end until we stop permitting war as a way of generating profit for a select few while the rest of us suffer. The grief will never end while we allow mass deceit to go on unpunished. The grief will never end until we demand our leaders stand up to their corporate puppetmasters and work for the people who elected them. The grief will never end until we become our own leaders and reassess what true security, freedom, and prosperity is. So long as poverty has been allowed to exist unchecked in America, there has never been freedom. As the number of poor will explode in America due to the neoconservative’s policies, the poor must find their voice—and really stand up and be counted. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Incarcerating one quarter of our adult population doesn’t work (though the FEMA “concentration” camps exist, waiting for the next disaster).

The grief will never end: where there is an injustice anywhere, there is injustice everywhere.

But where there is money, some people are just not interested in ending the injustice.

The time is now. We can let politics and the struggle for power distract us from the real problems facing the country and globe—food shortages, housing inequities, poverty, a looming water crisis, natural disasters, crumbling infrastructure—or we can act now to work on these urgent challenges. These are tasks that will require the foresight, cooperation, resourcefulness, and determination long absent from the public stage. They will require austerity and discipline, but most of all they require an angry populace that will insist on accountability and be vigilant in pursuing it. This is what it means when people say, “Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Anything else promotes the perpetuation of the plutocracy we currently have. The events of September 11, 2001 have been interpreted as the end of the “American Empire.” Besides the fact that a true democracy should not be interested in starting or maintaining empires, it must be said that the events of September 11, 2001 actually represented the failure of our Democratic system—which must be addressed with unfashionable attention to bona fide campaign finance reform, an end to racist gerrymandering (redistricting), term limits for all offices, stopping the practice of requiring identification to vote and other ways of preventing people from registering to vote, and an immediate end to the use of electronic voting machines, particularly those that would not permit a “paper trail” or written record of ballots cast. Until these very reasonable standards are met by a sincere democracy interested in counting the votes of all people, any election will be a complete farce.

Two films I hope to watch in the near future and will recommend to everyone are “Able Danger” and “Fabled Enemies.” “Able Danger” will discuss the program of that name that was one of the many “war games” being tested on that fateful day—but there are indications that the program is more sinister than a simple drill. Uncovering “Able Danger” should bring us right to the top of the military-industrial hierarchy that may have orchestrated most, if not all, of the attacks. “Fabled Enemies” is an Alex Jones production also probing who the real perpetrators are, and it promises to be a comprehensive investigation of some of the major players here and abroad.

It’s not enough to say “never forget” or “never again.”

We must begin to say, “never let them get away with it.”

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July 7, 2008

Enough is Enough is Enough is Enough!

Eight million people can watch the same TV show at night, but they can’t march in their town, hold up signs, or even write to their Senators? Democracy is not a spectator sport–get informed, be angry! This is why the economy is down–because we want everything to come to us in our isolated homes, because everyone only looks after themselves, because people with plenty of money have to have 2 or 3 jobs and houses while some people do not even have 1 job or 1 house. See outside yourselves, people!

Tell your Senators to stop letting the telecom companies off the hook! Stop this insanity and invasion of privacy–before you lose it all!

Surveillance has never brought heightened security. Community–not paranoia–brings prosperity. We are faring poorly economically because we are losing our freedoms: the freedom to think, speak, assemble, and travel.

———-

https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?page=SplashPage&pagename=homepage&id=987

No Compromise on Liberty

The legislative battle over gutting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will resume in the Senate in Washington on July 8.

Without a dramatic turnaround, it appears we will lose this important fight in the Senate over the gutting of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

While we greatly appreciate the valiant efforts of senators like Feingold and Dodd to improve the legislation these efforts should not and will not provide political cover for any senator that says ‘yes’ to any final bill with warrantless wiretapping or immunity for telecommunications companies that broke the law.

Although we will urge senators to vote for amendments to improve the bill, the bottom line for the ACLU is that no president should have the power to monitor the phones and emails of Americans without a warrant, and telecommunications companies should not be let off the hook. No president should have the power to pardon companies that broke the law. Tell your senators the bottom line: no immunity, no warrantless spying.

April 9, 2008

Shocker: Endless, Unjust Wars Lead to Economic Crisis

Vote Ron Paul or we’ll be in Iraq forever and watch our dollar go down with it.

———–

USA in Iraq: Recession in the Crosshairs
By Jean-Louis Denier
Marianne2

Sunday 30 March 2008

The exorbitant cost of the war in Iraq risks plunging the United States a little further into a recession catastrophic for it … and the rest of the world!

If one effects a comparative analysis with other conflicts, one realizes that the binomial, quagmire/occupation of a large territory is not economically neutral. The longer this kind of war lasts, the more it costs; the more it costs over a long period, the more it disturbs and distorts the economic machine, notably by the inflation and monetary depreciation it generates. The consequences of Operation Iraqi Freedom on the American economy seem, in appearance at present, to limit themselves to the sole question of the United States’ federal deficit, since the increase in military expenses, including those related to Iraq (total US federal budget for 2009: $3,100 billion, with a 7.5 percent increase in the Pentagon’s budget, which represents $515 billion, in addition to which a special supplement of $70 billion is reserved for Iraq and Afghanistan) has consequences.

The effects of this headlong rush:

  • A $410 billion deficit for the 2008 fiscal year (2.9 percent of American GNP) and another deficit of $407 billion for 2009 which the new administration will inherit next January. You will note that these sums are twice the size of the $162 billion deficit recorded for fiscal 2007 and approach the record $413 billion deficit recorded in 2004.
  • Dark dealings in the federal budget, such as the 22 percent reduction (to $2 billion only) in the amount available to help poor families pay their heating cost, or the 34 percent reduction in investments accorded Amtrak, the national passenger railway company.

But one should not trust appearances, for the deficit in American public finances interacts with the global economy as a whole. Since the American taxpayer does not have enough money to pay all the expenses of his federal government, that government turns abroad to borrow money and bring capital back to the USA. In this way, the savings of foreign countries are solicited – notably through the purchase of American Treasury bonds or other dollar-denominated assets – to cover purely American expenses. No comment up to there. Except that the foreign countries exporting capital to the USA are primarily Asian – with China in the lead – which countries profit from the financial flows created to align their currencies to the dollar – to undervalue it even – and thus put their own international trade competitiveness on steroids through that exchange rate chicanery. Moreover, overindebted and consequently overexposed vis-à-vis their creditors, the Americans are happy to reimburse them with worthless currency and consequently … to depress the dollar exchange rate – by reducing US interest rates – notably vis-à-vis other currencies, including the euro, but also against the British pound sterling.

And the Rest of the World in All This?

This vicious spiral (deficit plus dollar fall plus undervaluation of other currencies, like the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen) has been ongoing for several years, but is especially dangerous:

  • For the USA’s creditors: The dollar’s nosedive entails the progressive devaluation of assets denominated in that currency; those who hold those assets find themselves less rich now than they were the day they bought them for more.
  • For the USA itself: How long will the USA’s creditors trust the USA and continue to cover its unbridled spending if the federal government seems too exposed through its abysmal debts? Moreover, the rise in foreign capital equates to increased dependence, even submission to foreign financial power. Finally, if $1,300 billion of subprimes generate $1,000 billion to $2,000 billion of losses and suffice to plummet global exchanges, what will happen when the markets realize that the war in Iraq could cost between $1,000 billion and $3,000 billion in the middle of a complete American economic recession, consequently with fewer fiscal revenues for the US federal government, consequently with more deficits?
  • For the Europeans, including the French: The depreciation of the dollar will never stop, since it results from a deliberate American strategy of lightening the federal government debt burden, a strategy that condemns the euro to an unremitting rise and European products to no longer being produced or even conceived in the euro zone, transforming said zone into an economic and social desert over the long term. More than ever, Europeans could hear: “The dollar is our currency; it’s your problem.”

Conclusion:

The Vietnam War, through its length and its cost, provoked the abandonment of the gold standard for the dollar, as well as strong American inflation, provoking a temporary crisis in the exercise of American hegemony over the world. The war in Iraq is taking the same path, with two exceptions, only worse: it combines with a mixed (American household and the federal government itself) overindebtedness and recession in the American economy against the background of a rampant global banking and financial crisis.

Consequently, all the ingredients for a crash followed by a wide-ranging and long-lasting depression (like the one of the 1930s) are potentially brought together. And this time the revision of American hegemony will not be temporary only. Will Osama bin Laden have won not only “his” war, but the war?


Translation: Truthout French language editor Leslie Thatcher.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040108G.shtml

February 10, 2008

Live in NYC? You’re going to be a criminal

Because when wealth is hoarded by the few, the many poor are a threat.

Let’s arrest the poor rather than keep them content and able to survive.

And then let’s take their genetic information (their DNA) as soon as we arrest them, even if they are never convicted.

Ticket quotas are common knowledge. Are arrest quotas far behind. “It was only a misunderstanding, officer!”–Too bad–once your genetic information is taken away, you can’t get it back. Well, if you scrounge up some money, maybe you can get your eyeballs switched like in “Minority Report.”

And this is the man people were praying would come in like a white knight to run for president?

—–

Bloomberg Wants to Get in Your Genes
Compared to the present mayor’s contempt for civil liberties, Giuliani was a piker
by Nat Hentoff
February 5th, 2008 6:19 PM

Our humble mayor, Mike Bloomberg, has been basking in the glow of largely unmerited approval around the country, ranging from his purported resurrection of the city’s school system (many parents and students beg to differ) to his handling of the city budget, among other feats of the managerial prowess that has made him a billionaire. Encouraged by the buzz, Bloomberg has been consulting specialists in national election law even as Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey diligently studies the terrain for a possible Bloomberg vault to the White House.Even that inflated kingmaker, the Reverend Al Sharpton, has knighted the mayor for diminishing the “tone of ugliness”in this city.

Since Bloomberg has given his police commissioner, Ray Kelly, free rein to curtail civil liberties (and has warmly encouraged Kelly to try succeeding him at Gracie Mansion), Sharpton might have mentioned one particularly noticeable and ugly mark of the Bloomberg regime, described here by Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union: “The black community continues to bear the brunt of police stops, [and] blacks continue to be singled out for stops that don’t ever result in an arrest.”

(However, a cop would have to be a rookie policeman recently moved from Juneau, Alaska, to stop and frisk the renowned Al Sharpton.)

But now our mayor has proposed an assault on the most fundamental constitutional rights of New Yorkers—one that exceeds the contempt for the Constitution shown by any mayor in all the years I’ve been covering civil liberties in this city. Not even Rudy Giuliani thought of this one, which was reported by Jim Dwyer in the January 19 issue of The New York Times:

“This week, the mayor proposed that everyone arrested for any crime in New York City—before the case has been judged—should be required to provide a sample of DNA.” (Emphasis added.)

Under New York State law, DNA can only be collected from those convicted of felonies and certain misdemeanors. But in New York City, the mayor’s proposal would force anyone who’s merely arrested to give up a DNA sample for a data bank even before they can appear in court (as the Constitution requires).

The New York Civil Liberties Union release, “Myths and Facts About DNA Data Banks,”makes clear that each of us “has a privacy interest in the information contained in their DNA—it is information you would not want falling into the hands of employers, insurance companies, and other actors who could use it against you. . . . While a fingerprint is a two-dimensional representation of the surface of your fingers, DNA contains a tremendous amount of sensitive information about you, including your susceptibility to certain diseases, family history and ancestry.”

What Bloomberg wants to do is take away our Fifth Amendment guarantees of “due process of law”—the foundation of our system of justice—and our Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”Having your fundamental privacy ransacked before you ever get the chance to defend yourself against a criminal charge not only magnifies Giuliani’s reckless legacy of imperial executive power in this city, but also sharply reveals Bloomberg as a presidential aspirant who will continue the Bush-Cheney administration’s subversion of the Bill of Rights.

As of this writing, I’ve seen very little press attention given to this omen of what Bloomberg’s America would be like. Where are the outraged editorials? Where are the protests from the city’s lawyers? And will there be a response from the New York City Bar Association—the nation’s most influential, as far as civil liberties are concerned—which has condemned past “revisions”of the Constitution by the Bush-Cheney regime in the most acutely critical terms.

New York City’s criminal-justice coordinator, John Feinblatt, told Jim Dwyer that the mayor’s proposed DNA search-and-seizure policy “will prevent crime,”and that even though there’d be some resistance on the basis of privacy concerns, its adoption was “inevitable.”

Do you agree? It would be extremely interesting to find out what the current presidential candidates of both parties think of Bloomberg’s proposal. Then again, the mayor’s total disdain for due process isn’t entirely surprising in view of his enthusiastic support for his police commissioner’s actions before and during the 2004 Republican National Convention here. As I described it in an earlier column, “J. Edgar Bloomberg: COINTELPRO in NY” (April 24, 2007), teams of undercover New York City police officers were sent around the country, as well as to Canada and Europe, to infiltrate and spy on not only anti–Iraq War groups, but also such potential dangers to national security as church groups, environmental organizations, and anti-death-penalty groups.

And during the NYPD’s decidedly extra-constitutional arrests during the Republican convention, those people incarcerated (not all of them protesters) were asked by police what they thought of George W. Bush and questioned on their other political views. After forceful objections by New Yorkers—and the New York Civil Liberties Union—the cops stopped violating the First Amendment with such questions, which were obviously none of their damn business. The mayor, of course, didn’t object to the policy of asking such questions.

As a further indication of J. Edgar Bloomberg and Ray Kelly’s need for a crash course on the Constitution, the New York Law Journal reported on February 16, 2007, that U.S. District Court Judge Charles S. Haight—who has had a busy time of it trying to force the NYPD to abide by the constitutional guidelines for police surveillance—charged the department with “egregious”spying on “political activity”after the Intelligence Division videotaped a protest by (I kid you not) the Coalition for the Homeless in front of Mayor Bloomberg’s residence.

If that Putin-style police surveillance was “egregious,”what is the word for probing the most intimately personal information of New Yorkers after they are arrested—and only arrested?

With any luck, the mayor may have unintentionally performed an educational service, quickening interest in other investigative uses and abuses of DNA by the police. Next week: What the mayor obviously doesn’t know about the maze of problems in implementing his proposal. For example: Such massive expansion of DNA testing greatly increases the likelihood of error that is already inherent in the system. Or perhaps he simply doesn’t care—until, God forbid, there’s a mix-up, and a perpetrator’s DNA is mislabled as Michael Bloomberg’s.

On the January 23, 2008, Letters page, Ethan Young calls me “reactionary”for being pro-life. On the same page, Joseph Carducci provides one of the reasons I am indeed pro-life. He writes: “Yes, Barack Obama is half-black and talks about change, but he does not want to change Roe v. Wade, a ruling that eliminates more black people than any other cause of death.”

Fascismwatch: an SS? A Gestapo? A Secret Police?

When the police grow this large, anyone not in the police will become a criminal.  

WHY is this not front page news?

WHY is this being conducted through private-sector partnerships, not subject to public scrutiny?

WHY is there no outrage?

WHY is our government preparing to declare martial law? Will it happen, say, right before the election?

Write to your newspapers, people. Do not take this lying down. Then vote Ron Paul.

Oh, you think a woman will stop this? Clinton was on the board of Wal-Mart for 6 years while her husband was governor of Arkansas (discussed on Bill Moyer’s journal–I get the podcasts). Do you think she really cares about people? What has Wal-Mart done for wages, job stability, and quality of life for your community?

Support alternet:

AlterNet

FBI Deputizes Private Contractors With Extraordinary Powers, Including ‘Shoot to Kill’

By Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive
Posted on February 8, 2008, Printed on February 9, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/76388/

Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does — and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law. InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.

InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats.

“Then the FBI cloned it,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.

InfraGard itself is still an FBI operation, with FBI agents in each state overseeing the local InfraGard chapters. (There are now eighty-six of them.) The alliance is a nonprofit organization of private sector InfraGard members.

“We are the owners, operators, and experts of our critical infrastructure, from the CEO of a large company in agriculture or high finance to the guy who turns the valve at the water utility,” says Schneck, who by day is the vice president of research integration at Secure Computing.

“At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector,” the InfraGard website states. “InfraGard chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories.”

In November 2001, InfraGard had around 1,700 members. As of late January, InfraGard had 23,682 members, according to its website, http://www.infragard.net, which adds that “350 of our nation’s Fortune 500 have a representative in InfraGard.”

To join, each person must be sponsored by “an existing InfraGard member, chapter, or partner organization.” The FBI then vets the applicant. On the application form, prospective members are asked which aspect of the critical infrastructure their organization deals with. These include: agriculture, banking and finance, the chemical industry, defense, energy, food, information and telecommunications, law enforcement, public health, and transportation.

FBI Director Robert Mueller addressed an InfraGard convention on August 9, 2005. At that time, the group had less than half as many members as it does today. “To date, there are more than 11,000 members of InfraGard,” he said. “From our perspective that amounts to 11,000 contacts . . . and 11,000 partners in our mission to protect America.” He added a little later, “Those of you in the private sector are the first line of defense.”

He urged InfraGard members to contact the FBI if they “note suspicious activity or an unusual event.” And he said they could sic the FBI on “disgruntled employees who will use knowledge gained on the job against their employers.”

In an interview with InfraGard after the conference, which is featured prominently on the InfraGard members’ website, Mueller says: “It’s a great program.”

The ACLU is not so sanguine.

“There is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate TIPS program, turning private-sector corporations — some of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customers — into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI,” the ACLU warned in its August 2004 report The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: How the American Government Is Conscripting Businesses and Individuals in the Construction of a Surveillance Society.

InfraGard is not readily accessible to the general public. Its communications with the FBI and Homeland Security are beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act under the “trade secrets” exemption, its website says. And any conversation with the public or the media is supposed to be carefully rehearsed.

“The interests of InfraGard must be protected whenever presented to non-InfraGard members,” the website states. “During interviews with members of the press, controlling the image of InfraGard being presented can be difficult. Proper preparation for the interview will minimize the risk of embarrassment. . . . The InfraGard leadership and the local FBI representative should review the submitted questions, agree on the predilection of the answers, and identify the appropriate interviewee. . . . Tailor answers to the expected audience. . . . Questions concerning sensitive information should be avoided.”

One of the advantages of InfraGard, according to its leading members, is that the FBI gives them a heads-up on a secure portal about any threatening information related to infrastructure disruption or terrorism.

The InfraGard website advertises this. In its list of benefits of joining InfraGard, it states: “Gain access to an FBI secure communication network complete with VPN encrypted website, webmail, listservs, message boards, and much more.”

InfraGard members receive “almost daily updates” on threats “emanating from both domestic sources and overseas,” Hershman says.

“We get very easy access to secure information that only goes to InfraGard members,” Schneck says. “People are happy to be in the know.”

On November 1, 2001, the FBI had information about a potential threat to the bridges of California. The alert went out to the InfraGard membership. Enron was notified, and so, too, was Barry Davis, who worked for Morgan Stanley. He notified his brother Gray, the governor of California.

“He said his brother talked to him before the FBI,” recalls Steve Maviglio, who was Davis’s press secretary at the time. “And the governor got a lot of grief for releasing the information. In his defense, he said, ‘I was on the phone with my brother, who is an investment banker. And if he knows, why shouldn’t the public know?’ ”

Maviglio still sounds perturbed about this: “You’d think an elected official would be the first to know, not the last.”

In return for being in the know, InfraGard members cooperate with the FBI and Homeland Security. “InfraGard members have contributed to about 100 FBI cases,” Schneck says. “What InfraGard brings you is reach into the regional and local communities. We are a 22,000-member vetted body of subject-matter experts that reaches across seventeen matrixes. All the different stovepipes can connect with InfraGard.”

Schneck is proud of the relationships the InfraGard Members Alliance has built with the FBI. “If you had to call 1-800-FBI, you probably wouldn’t bother,” she says. “But if you knew Joe from a local meeting you had with him over a donut, you might call them. Either to give or to get. We want everyone to have a little black book.”

This black book may come in handy in times of an emergency. “On the back of each membership card,” Schneck says, “we have all the numbers you’d need: for Homeland Security, for the FBI, for the cyber center. And by calling up as an InfraGard member, you will be listened to.” She also says that members would have an easier time obtaining a “special telecommunications card that will enable your call to go through when others will not.”

This special status concerns the ACLU.

“The FBI should not be creating a privileged class of Americans who get special treatment,” says Jay Stanley, public education director of the ACLU’s technology and liberty program. “There’s no ‘business class’ in law enforcement. If there’s information the FBI can share with 22,000 corporate bigwigs, why don’t they just share it with the public? That’s who their real ‘special relationship’ is supposed to be with. Secrecy is not a party favor to be given out to friends. . . . This bears a disturbing resemblance to the FBI’s handing out ‘goodies’ to corporations in return for folding them into its domestic surveillance machinery.”

When the government raises its alert levels, InfraGard is in the loop. For instance, in a press release on February 7, 2003, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General announced that the national alert level was being raised from yellow to orange. They then listed “additional steps” that agencies were taking to “increase their protective measures.” One of those steps was to “provide alert information to InfraGard program.”

“They’re very much looped into our readiness capability,” says Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security. “We provide speakers, as well as do joint presentations [with the FBI]. We also train alongside them, and they have participated in readiness exercises.”

On May 9, 2007, George Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 entitled “National Continuity Policy.” In it, he instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security to coordinate with “private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to provide for the delivery of essential services during an emergency.”

Asked if the InfraGard National Members Alliance was involved with these plans, Schneck said it was “not directly participating at this point.” Hershman, chairman of the group’s advisory board, however, said that it was.

InfraGard members, sometimes hundreds at a time, have been used in “national emergency preparation drills,” Schneck acknowledges.

“In case something happens, everybody is ready,” says Norm Arendt, the head of the Madison, Wisconsin, chapter of InfraGard, and the safety director for the consulting firm Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. “There’s been lots of discussions about what happens under an emergency.”

One business owner in the United States tells me that InfraGard members are being advised on how to prepare for a martial law situation — and what their role might be. He showed me his InfraGard card, with his name and e-mail address on the front, along with the InfraGard logo and its slogan, “Partnership for Protection.” On the back of the card were the emergency numbers that Schneck mentioned.

This business owner says he attended a small InfraGard meeting where agents of the FBI and Homeland Security discussed in astonishing detail what InfraGard members may be called upon to do.

“The meeting started off innocuously enough, with the speakers talking about corporate espionage,” he says. “From there, it just progressed. All of a sudden we were knee deep in what was expected of us when martial law is declared. We were expected to share all our resources, but in return we’d be given specific benefits.” These included, he says, the ability to travel in restricted areas and to get people out. But that’s not all.

“Then they said when — not if — martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn’t be prosecuted,” he says.

I was able to confirm that the meeting took place where he said it had, and that the FBI and Homeland Security did make presentations there. One InfraGard member who attended that meeting denies that the subject of lethal force came up. But the whistleblower is 100 percent certain of it. “I have nothing to gain by telling you this, and everything to lose,” he adds. “I’m so nervous about this, and I’m not someone who gets nervous.”

Though Schneck says that FBI and Homeland Security agents do make presentations to InfraGard, she denies that InfraGard members would have any civil patrol or law enforcement functions. “I have never heard of InfraGard members being told to use lethal force anywhere,” Schneck says.

The FBI adamantly denies it, also. “That’s ridiculous,” says Catherine Milhoan, an FBI spokesperson. “If you want to quote a businessperson saying that, knock yourself out. If that’s what you want to print, fine.”

But one other InfraGard member corroborated the whistleblower’s account, and another would not deny it.

Christine Moerke is a business continuity consultant for Alliant Energy in Madison, Wisconsin. She says she’s an InfraGard member, and she confirms that she has attended InfraGard meetings that went into the details about what kind of civil patrol function — including engaging in lethal force — that InfraGard members may be called upon to perform.

“There have been discussions like that, that I’ve heard of and participated in,” she says.

Curt Haugen is CEO of S’Curo Group, a company that does “strategic planning, business continuity planning and disaster recovery, physical and IT security, policy development, internal control, personnel selection, and travel safety,” according to its website. Haugen tells me he is a former FBI agent and that he has been an InfraGard member for many years. He is a huge booster. “It’s the only true organization where there is the public-private partnership,” he says. “It’s all who knows who. You know a face, you trust a face. That’s what makes it work.”

He says InfraGard “absolutely” does emergency preparedness exercises. When I ask about discussions the FBI and Homeland Security have had with InfraGard members about their use of lethal force, he says: “That much I cannot comment on. But as a private citizen, you have the right to use force if you feel threatened.”

“We were assured that if we were forced to kill someone to protect our infrastructure, there would be no repercussions,” the whistleblower says. “It gave me goose bumps. It chilled me to the bone.”

Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/76388/

January 20, 2008

Kant’s Categorical Imperative Wins Out Again—If Only Our Politicians Could Recognize It

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011908Z.shtml

    Go to Original

    Tom Ridge: Waterboarding Is Torture
By Eileen Sullivan
The Associated Press

    Friday 18 January 2008

    Washington – The first secretary of the Homeland Security Department says waterboarding is torture.

    “There’s just no doubt in my mind – under any set of rules – waterboarding is torture,” Tom Ridge said Friday in an interview with the Associated Press. Ridge had offered the same opinion earlier in the day to members of the American Bar Association at a homeland security conference.

    “One of America’s greatest strengths is the soft power of our value system and how we treat prisoners of war, and we don’t torture,” Ridge said in the interview. Ridge was secretary of the Homeland Security Department between 2003 and 2005. “And I believe, unlike others in the administration, that waterboarding was, is – and will always be – torture. That’s a simple statement.”

    Waterboarding is a harsh interrogation tactic that was used by CIA officers in 2002 and 2003 on three alleged al-Qaida terrorists. The tactic gives the subject the sensation of drowning.

    The CIA has not used the technique since 2003, and CIA Director Michael Hayden prohibited it in 2006, according to U.S. officials. The debate was recently revived when the CIA revealed it had destroyed videotapes showing the interrogations of two alleged terrorists, both of whom were waterboarded.

    Ridge’s comments come a week after a report that Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said he would consider waterboarding torture if it were used against him. [NB: My emphasis.] 

    In a separate interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, the current Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff, refused to say what he thinks of the interrogation technique. Chertoff, a former federal prosecutor and judge – who was also assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in 2002 – said the question should be asked in the context of a specific set of facts and a specific statute and should not be posed abstractly.

    “This is too important a discussion to have based on throwing one question at somebody,” Chertoff said.

    Attorney General Michael Mukasey has declined so far to rule on whether waterboarding constitutes torture. An affirmative finding by Mukasey could put at risk the CIA interrogators who were authorized by the White House in 2002 to waterboard three prisoners deemed resistant to conventional techniques.

    Ridge, homeland security adviser and then secretary from 2001 to 2005, said he was not involved in the discussions about CIA interrogation techniques. Rather, his department was a consumer of any intelligence gleaned from them.

    “I have no idea how any of the intelligence community extrapolated any information from anybody – where they got it, how they got it, and from whom they got it. But waterboarding is torture.”

    Ridge, a lawyer, wades into the waterboarding debate with both a military and civilian background. He is also a former Pennsylvania governor and congressman. He has since started his own homeland security consulting firm.

    “As a former soldier, I will tell you that we go to great pains, and a lot of men and women, who serve in the military at risk of their own lives, do everything they can to minimize civilian casualties and certainly do everything they can to respect the Geneva Convention.”

    The House and Senate intelligence committees want to prohibit the CIA from using any interrogation techniques not allowed by the military. That list includes waterboarding. If their intelligence bill containing the restriction is approved by Congress, it almost certainly will face a veto from President Bush.

  ——-

January 18, 2008

Incredible must-read article by Nat Hentoff–what the CIA had to destroy

Hentoff is a national treasure. We are running out of time to impeach Bush, and Hentoff presents more persuasive reasons why such action is not only warranted, but necessary. Average citizens will not be protected from CIA-allowed torture in the future, and the destruction of evidence going on here is not only unjust and morally shady, but it’s outright criminal–here are the actions of power out of control, here are the frantic moves of an empire crumbling.
The whole “is waterboarding torture” debate should not be taking place, and speaks volumes about our moral degradation. Of course waterboarding is torture: it is more than “simulated drowning”–it is all but real drowning–it is oxygen deprivation and it is being used to coerce information out of people–people who do not even have to be formally charged with any crime, who can be you or me called an “enemy combatant” (see the debate on internet freedoms and why S. 1959 must be defeated–Ron Paul is the only candidate taking a stand on this). Average citizens must go on the record and display their abhorrence to it, if governments are being reprehensible about it.
http://www.villagevoice.com/generic/show_print.php?id=78870&page=&issue=0803&printcde=MzYwMTc2NzQwMg==&refpage=L2FkbWluL2VkaXQvZWRpdC5waHA/aWQ9Nzg4NzAmc2VjdGlvbj1uZXdz
Nat Hentoff
What the CIA Had to Destroy
The many reasons this torture evidence was too hot to handle
by Nat Hentoff
January 15th, 2008 6:14 PM
So what was on those videotapes destroyed by the CIA? Let’s put a face to it. Abu Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and, after being shot in the groin while trying to escape, was sent to recover in a CIA secret prison. He would be the first of the CIA’s many “ghost prisoners”—and also the first to test the value of what the president has often described as an “alternative set of [interrogation] procedures . . . that are safe and necessary.”As described by Ron Suskind in The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 , Zubaydah—held in an ice-cold cell—was denied medication for his wounds, threatened with death, prevented from sleeping, incessantly blasted with pounding rock music (by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others), and, at last, waterboarded. After 30 seconds of feeling that he was on the verge of drowning, he was more than eager to answer any questions.

In a September 6, 2006, speech, George W. Bush triumphantly called Zubaydah “one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.” After the application of those “alternative” interrogation procedures, which the president described as “designed to . . . comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations, [and which] the Department of Justice reviewed extensively and determined to be lawful,” the detainee “disclosed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [to be] the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks” and “also provided information that helped stop a terrorist attack being planned for inside the United States.”

But, Suskind added, two weeks before Bush’s words of praise for these “coercive” interrogations, Dan Coleman—the FBI’s leading expert on Al Qaeda—asserted that Zubaydah was “insane, certifiable, split personality,” and that he wasn’t the top operative he was made out to be. The CIA was informed of Coleman’s assessment, and it was, “of course, briefed to the President and Vice President.” Undaunted, Bush made his congratulatory speech and then surreptitiously said to CIA director George Tenet: “I said he was important. You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?”

After his involuntary contribution to the advanced arts of interrogation, Zubaydah became a resident of our penal colony at Guantánamo Bay, which the president has made an entirely law-free zone, much like the CIA’s secret prisons. But after two Supreme Court decisions contradicted the commander in chief in his assertion of unfettered war powers, the Bush administration reluctantly set up a transparently prosecutorial kangaroo court there.

In April of last year, appearing before a status-review tribunal to determine whether he had been accurately designated as an enemy combatant, Zubaydah testified, as reported in the New York Times, that as a Palestinian, and because of American support for Israel, “I have been an enemy of yours since I was a child.”

However, he insisted that as a longtime adherent of “defensive jihad”—and despite what he’d said after being waterboarded—”I disagreed with the Al Qaeda philosophy of targeting innocent civilians like those at the World Trade Center. . . . I never conducted nor financially supported, nor helped in any operation against America.”

He explained that he’d made false statements while being tortured by the CIA. Asked by the president of the tribunal, an Air Force colonel, “Can you describe a little bit more about what those treatments were?”, Zubaydah obliged.

Not surprisingly, his answers are not part of the transcript. I expect that Attorney General Michael Mukasey would consider those waterboarding details to be “state secrets” involving highly classified “sources and methods.”

Paul Gimigliano, a professional Pinocchio (i.e., spokesman) for the CIA, said that however Zubaydah described his treatment, “The United States does not conduct or condone torture. The agency’s terrorist interrogation program has been implemented lawfully, with great care and close review.”

If you have any doubts, just ask Attorney General Mukasey, whose department is conducting a close review (but close for whose sake?) of the destroyed CIA interrogation tapes starring Abu Zubaydah. But the Justice Department says that it cannot tell us how long this inquiry—which is being conducted in conjunction with the CIA—will take.

That’s not surprising in view of the intricate tapestry of cover-ups woven by both agencies and by the White House. With so little time remaining before the next administration takes over, a special independent prosecutor must be appointed before more criminal evidence disappears.

According to a December 30 investigation by The New York Times, as “interrogations of Abu Zubaydah had gotten rougher” in the CIA secret prison, “each new tactic [had to be] approved by cable from headquarters.”

CIA headquarters? Justice Department headquarters? White House lawyers? Names, please!

There’s another crucial dimension to uncovering the effects of what Zubaydah— terrified that he was about to drown— allegedly revealed during those “rougher” interrogations: There are several cases of purported terrorists before our courts who are being prosecuted on the basis of Zubaydah’s desperate testimony in that CIA black site.

For example, American citizen José Padilla was arrested at O’Hare Airport in 2002, after allegedly conspiring with Zubaydah and Al Qaeda to set off a “dirty bomb” in the United States. Padilla—himself relentlessly tortured while being held for years as an “unlawful enemy combatant”—first appeared in court on those charges before none other than Michael Mukasey, at the time a federal judge in New York. Mukasey ordered him imprisoned on a material-witness warrant, based in part on the information that had been proffered by Zubaydah under waterboarding. Then, suddenly, Padilla was taken out of the federal-court system by order of George W. Bush and vanished for years without even a hearing or charges or access to a lawyer.

Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, says: “It is not clear whether Mukasey knew Zubaydah’s statements were obtained by torture. But since he issued the warrant, Mukasey has a real or apparent conflict of interest” as one of the heads of the current investigation into the CIA- destroyed torture videos. Mukasey has appointed a career federal prosecutor to head the investigation and report back to him.

Cohn adds: “[Mukasey] has said it is premature to appoint an outside special counsel. But like the Nixon administration, the Department of Justice cannot be trusted to investigate itself. Congress should be pressured to pass a new independent-counsel stature.”

There are bipartisan constitutional lawyers beginning to apply that pressure, but there will be passionate resistance from Congressional Republicans. Do you think that Democratic Congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will give a damn?

December 16, 2007

Letter to My Countryfellows

US & world politics we may not be able to change, but we can take charge of our health–and the issues are connected, deeply. I’ll try to compactly explain how & why it is so important (& possible) for you to take steps now to inform yourself and preserve your health, so that you can preserve your life, take care of yourself and the community you live in.

These aren’t things you will hear on The Nightly News or even PBS. That’s because those are corporations (Even the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) & all corporations uphold & worship only one thing– the Almighty Dollar. They want you to consume, and if you can’t or won’t, they’ll try to shred your self-esteem to bits. We must recognize that “better stuff” does not equal a “better life.” Although we are in an inflationary society that penalizes savings, we must learn how to provide for ourselves–and one of the most important ways to do this is through establishing our good health. Health is the wealth the elite do not want the masses to have.

So…if we accept the premise that the media is highly controlled, as are the schools, as is everything we learn…we know how providing alternate information or dissenting information can be a threat, even in this supposed “democracy.”

There is a bill–S. 1959– before the Senate now (please write or call your Senators) that supposedly quite innocently wises to establish a Committee-something-to-other to study the rise of “homegrown terrorism” and “violent radicalization.” However, this proposed law (we citizens still have the power to stop it) is really vague and can be used to shred the free speech rights of casically anyone who might be a little “fringe.” This “Committee” will try to get support from Academia to legitimate its claims–prove its hypothesis for them–that “homegrown terrorism” is a really big problem, far bigger than the 45 million Americans, say, without health insurance.

Things are getting dark in America, and yes, I want to be alarmist. Here I am passing on what I am reading from multiple sources about how bad things are now and how bad they are likely to get in “the future”–and let’s just say that it’s not a future that will be for everyone to participate in. And I don’t just mean the exclusion of some people from buying a house or retiring early. I mean the killing off the people, though:

–aspartame, splenda, splenda, etc., any and all artificial sweeteners

–vaccinations (forced)

–manufactured diseases and/or the release of biological agents

–Big Pharma medications (Avandia, Vioxx)

–tainted and genetically modified foods (GMOs–most commonly in corn and soy and products containing corn and soy)

–fluoridated water (and fluoridated salt in some countries)

–cell phone radiation/ computer radiation

As well as the “standard” killers:

polluted air

secondhand smoke

hazardous building materials

warfare

hunger/malnutrition

etc…

And how will people be controlled? This will be the icing on the cake. Already we have show trials in Guantanamo (no Geneva convention rights–no charges against “enemy combatants”–a test for here).

Plus show trials here:

–“plea bargains”

–the mass imprisonment of the poor, unemployed, and (mostly) nonwhite

–the 4th Amendment is dead–courtesy of the “Patriot” Act–Americans need to understand what this act means–this act was swept through Congress before they could read it, conveniently in the hysteria that set in during the few months after the events of 9/11/2001. The FBI can enter your home and search it when you are not around and they do not have to warn you, notify you, or have a warrant. This is insanity. Everyone is a potential criminal, and when that begins to be carried out, by searching us all, it will not be pretty.

The fact of the matter is that more prisons than schools are being built today in America–they can’t build them fast enough, at huge profits for (sub) contractors. And–hold on to your chair–concentration camps–“civilian labor camps”–are being built in America. By the way, in case of emergency, natural or man made, FEMA can take hold and declare martial law. No Constitution involved or required.

A few more points:

>>In 2005, to take effect in May 2008, something called the “REAL ID” was passed, because apparently terrorism is such a huge problem (more than, say, the 40,000 homeless in New York City alone). States will be pressured to force this National ID card onto its citizens because otherwise they will not get Federal Funding. If you, John Q. Citizen, do not submit to this card, you will not be allowed to: enter a Federal/Public Building, take a train, or take a plane. Can anyone say, “Police state”? “Papers, please!”

>>When this fascism does not prove to be enough to control the populace (“cards are not secure”), efforts will be made to put chips in people. Then such chips will be tied to all financial accounts you have, all buying and selling, and all cash will be eliminated. These chips have been invented already–they are called the Verichip–and are being marketed for “medical purposes” like Alzheimer’s patients, despite the facts that the chips are invasive, can have side effects, are extremely vulnerable to identity theft (the fastest growing crime in the US as all our information becomes interlinked with computers), and have not been proven more effective at person identification/medical identification than the good-old-reliable medicalert bracelets.

>>There will be bank runs in America again sometime soon, and 1929 will look like a picnic. This is because our money is worthless, printed by the Federal Reserve cartel of big bankers rather than our own government, and because any gold in fort knox ostensibly used to back up our ‘currency’ (such as it is) has been given away in foreign debt payments a long time ago–no audits of fort knox holdings since the 1950s…gold is over $800 an ounce now, it will move past $1000 in our lifetime, if not soon–people are waking up to the need for hard currency–after this point silver will also become more appealing as an investment…I wish I could be proud of my country, but it’s an oligarchy, not a democracy, and we are massively exploiting other countries and ourselves being screwed.

>> In 2010, or around then, depending on how fast the elite can work–and history shows they’re pretty efficient–there will be something called the North American Union, with one currency, the Amero (and presumably all our dollars will be even more worthless than they are now). If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard about this in “the media” (besides the fact that they are corporations, the CIA has a thing called Operation Mockingbird designed to plant their agents & disinformation into the media–to perpetrate their Psy Ops/ Psychological Operations aka Mind Control–I don’t know a lot about this, but I have no reason to disbelieve this–it’s because it’s an outrageous assault on national sovereignty and has nothing to do with trade. (NAFTA was just the beginning for this.) Supposedly the NAU (North American Union) will be “patterned after the EU,” but that would make it sound harmless, which it is most certainly not. It’s a step toward One-World Government, which the elites like the Rockefellers have wanted since WWII. An Asian Union (“for trade,” of course) is also in the works for 2015, and apparently there is already an African Union (which, again, I don’t know a lot about and would love to be sent information about, but I have no reason to disbelieve that the American media would censor this as well, as it censors other controversies like the idea that AIDS was probably created in the lab, and that certainly more AIDS deaths happen due to liver failure from toxic effects of antiviral cocktails than to the disease itself, etc.)

So…more to say but not now. I am not saying for anyone to liquidate their savings or do anything rash. I certainly don’t have any special information or all the answers. I just do a lot of browsing, which I present in the links here, and I keep an open mind.
See clip on YouTube or Google Video (alas, same difference: “Television is a Goddamned Amusement Park” from Network).

Please donate to and support Ron Paul–Tea Party Today!

https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/

December 13, 2007

Today’s Education, Kids

These links will be added to the side in the near future, and I’ll fix the duplications later. Also, some links may be broken. They’ll be checked soon.

I am not endorsing everything on each of these sites. Use your common sense. I am not a “no planes” theorist or really any kind of theorist; I’m just trying to codify the barrage of links out there, so beginners can know how to start their own research.

LooseChange911.com

911inplanesite.com

“The Road to Tyranny” from prisonplanet.com or infowars.com

911truth.org

NY911truth.org

911blogger.com

rense.com

erichufschmid.net –The Author of “Painful Questions,” behind the film “Painful Deceptions”

copvcia.com / fromthewilderness.com –Mike Ruppert Exposes War Games on 9/11, CIA connection to drug money, and more. Must View: “Truth and Lies of 9/11,” strong evidence of US government knowledge, if not complicity, in the attacks.

ReOpen911.org–Demand a real, impartial, independent investigation, asking the hard questions. Unlike what the “9/11 Commission” found, how the attacks were financed is kind of relevant to how they actually played out. Don’t let the government insult your intelligence, or they’ll start taking your liberties.

martiallaw911.info –MArtial Law Planned for the US–and probably before the 2008 elections, according to some rumors. It is vital that everyone votes in the 2008 elections and that we have paper ballots for this election. Let’s remember how the 2000 election outcomes were decided. And let’s finally abolish the electoral college.

socialism.com –Capitalism is the problem, and “a linear system on a finite planet cannot survive,” as so eloquently stated on the excellent short film, “The Story of Stuff,” featured below. Neoliberalism is runaway, ruthless greed. Socialism is not the New World Order. The “free market” kills. In the”free market,” you’re worthless unless you’re continually producing or consuming.

globalfreepress.com

september11th.org–9/11 visibility

sf911truth.org–from San Francisco

pentagonresearch.com–about “Flight 77.” Some people think the “no planes” theory about the Pentagon incident is “disinfo.” Be aware of this, and think for yourself.

unansweredquestions.org

The New Pearl Harbor –9/11 was the new Pearl Harbor, the event needed to get a diverse society to rally behind an illegitimate global, endless war– http://www.p-fritz.net/w/newph.htm#part1

flight93crash.com

_________________________________________________________________________

Names of People associated with 9/11 research and truth movements

You can google for any of their webpages or publications or films just by searching for their names.

Davis Ray Griffith

Alex Jones

Barry Zwicker

Dave Von Kleist (behind 9/11 In Plane Site)

Mike Ruppert

Jason Justice & Dylan Avery

Rick Siegel

Eric Hufschmid

Jimmy Walter

Paul Thompson

Phil Jayhan

US Congress–Honorable Cynthia McKinney

FBI Whistleblower–Sibel Edmonds

Charlie Sheen

Ed Asner

Thierry Meyssan

Mindy Kleinberg–made a widow by the 9/11 attacks, speaking out and asking real questions

Phil Jayhan

_____________________________________________________________________________

Necessary Viewing–Short but comprehensive video: Story of Stuff–puts the system we are all in into perspective, and underlines the need for awakening and change.

Reuse and recycle, yes, but reduce! Buy durable goods and stop buying all the time and stop throwing out stuff.

Fifty years ago, planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence were designed to make the US a consumer economy, rather than a producing economy.

This lifestyle is good for a few and bad for most and worse for the planet we all ultimately have to share and nurture.

George Carlin said it best (paraphrasing): “The planet’s not in peril; it’s people are fucked. The planet will shake us off like a bunch of fleas.” In millions of years, trees, mountains, and water will recover. But if we alldon’t want to be clawing ourselves to death, we’d better scale down our consumption now.

Must view. Free and easy to understand, nontechnical. Tell everyone you know. storyofstuff.com

217x188_sos_banner003.jpg sos_button.jpg

December 11, 2007

Ron Paul speaks out against S. 1959–calling it for what it is–an attack on free speech on and off the Internet

from Rense.com

People, please read this and read the proposed law and think about how vague it is and how unlikely “violent radicalization” is, and how precious our rights are, and what is being threatened. Email your senators.

http://www.rense.com/general79/attck.htm

Ron Paul – HR 1955 (Now S. 1959)


An Attack On Internet Freedom

12-6-7

Note also – Ron Paul was one of only TWO Congressmen who voted against this second enormous attack on internet freedom and your rights in general.   
 
House OKs Draconian ‘Illegal Images’ Sweeps In WiFi Bill
http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9829759-38.html?tag=nefd.top
 
The House Vote was 409 to 2.  Not one Democrat opposed the ludicrously-named ‘SAFE Act.’ Two Republicans did: Rep.
Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning presidential candidate from Texas, and Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia. The ‘Congress’ still refuses to read, honor and obey the Constitution. -ed
 
 
‘Homegrown Terror’ Act An Attack On Internet Freedom? 
By Rep. Ron Paul
 
Before the US House of Representatives, December 5, 2007
 
I regret that I was unavoidably out of town on October 23, 2007, when a vote was taken on HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. Had I been able to vote, I would have voted against this misguided and dangerous piece of legislation. This legislation focuses the weight of the US government inward toward its own citizens under the guise of protecting us against “violent radicalization.”
 
I would like to note that this legislation was brought to the floor for a vote under suspension of regular order. These so-called “suspension” bills are meant to be non-controversial, thereby negating the need for the more complete and open debate allowed under regular order. It is difficult for me to believe that none of my colleagues in Congress view HR 1955, with its troubling civil liberties implications, as “non-controversial.”
 
There are many causes for concern in HR 1955. The legislation specifically singles out the Internet for “facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process” in the United States. Such language may well be the first step toward US government regulation of what we are allowed to access on the Internet. Are we, for our own good, to be subjected to the kind of governmental control of the Internet that we see in unfree societies? This bill certainly sets us on that course.
 
This seems to be an unwise and dangerous solution in search of a real problem. Previous acts of ideologically-motivated violence, though rare, have been resolved successfully using law enforcement techniques, existing laws against violence, and our court system. Even if there were a surge of “violent radicalization” ­ a claim for which there is no evidence ­ there is no reason to believe that our criminal justice system is so flawed and weak as to be incapable of trying and punishing those who perpetrate violent acts.
 
This legislation will set up a new government bureaucracy to monitor and further study the as-yet undemonstrated pressing problem of homegrown terrorism and radicalization. It will no doubt prove to be another bureaucracy that artificially inflates problems so as to guarantee its future existence and funding. But it may do so at great further expense to our civil liberties. What disturbs me most about this legislation is that it leaves the door wide open for the broadest definition of what constitutes “radicalization.” Could otherwise nonviolent anti-tax, antiwar, or anti-abortion groups fall under the watchful eye of this new government commission? Assurances otherwise in this legislation are unconvincing.
 
In addition, this legislation will create a Department of Homeland Security-established university-based body to further study radicalization and to “contribute to the establishment of training, written materials, information, analytical assistance and professional resources to aid in combating violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.” I wonder whether this is really a legitimate role for institutes of higher learning in a free society.
 
Legislation such as this demands heavy-handed governmental action against American citizens where no crime has been committed. It is yet another attack on our Constitutionally- protected civil liberties. It is my sincere hope that we will reject such approaches to security, which will fail at their stated goal at a great cost to our way of life.

November 26, 2007

Censoring the Internet is Next


Protect your right to anonymous free speech while you still have it.

You know, because some people use the Internet in possibly bad ways, everyone has to be tracked and censored.

This is the “drink a glass of water, become a heroin addict” kind of non-logic, non-sequitur logic that somehow (perhaps because of money?) holds a lot of sway in our government and our society.

What’s next, opening and reading the mails?

We don’t need another law to supposedly “probe” what might be the causes of “homegrown” “terrorism.” Here or abroad, around the world, terrorism is caused by:
–poverty; exclusion from society;
–injustice; disparities in access to education and opportunities;
–poor living conditions;
–being dominated and controlled by governments. i.e., not being free.

This isn’t rocket science. Don’t be fooled by this window-dressing. What provides safety is true prosperity–when you can provide for yourself and your family without being in debt, without working so many hours that you can’t think straight, can’t be free, can’t pursue your own interests.

Need things to say to your representatives/ senators when you call or email?

How about the following?


Do not pass S. 1959!
I am not a criminal because I keep a blog and use the internet to post my political beliefs.

I am very concerned about how vague this law defines ideological crimes or incitement to crimes. I am concerned about my civil liberties, and how this law can easily make almost anyone into a “terrorist” should they try to communicate unconventional ideas about our government, or about “social change.”

This law is a step in the wrong direction, a step toward controlling people. This law does not promote security and prosperity. I would like my elected officials to promote security through means of ensuring economic equality and justice, not through increasing militarization and increasingly punitive laws.

Please do not attempt to censor me, or anyone in the general public; do not censor the Internet or the Press. I will have no part in your military-industrial-corporate complex. I will not take a microchip in the future. I will not be catalogued. I am not a worker bee. I am not a product. I am an intrinsically valuable human being and I will not be sold out for the power-interests of others. I pay taxes, and am saddened that they are used for fueling never-ending wars. Will you take a real stand to fully investigate the events of 9/11/2001? Or will you be part of the elite group who labels questioners “radicals” and “terrorists”? I am an artist and would love to be doing my art, not writing to you. In a free country, I could live in peace. If this law is passed, my art and my vocation could make me into a criminal.

I’d rather have checks and balances and separation of powers than "interagency coordination"




They always need more power, don’t they? They never have enough power to do their job, so they always need more power.

One can vaguely remember a time when the legislative didn’t do the absolute bidding of the executive.

Now you could speak for any kind of “social change” and be considered a terrorist.

I would love big government if it actually fed the hungry, gave shelter to the homeless, gave places for drug users to kick their habits, stopped making teens all out to have mood disorders and in need of toxic, psychotropic, flouridated medication, and gave everyone meaningful education, access to information, decent housing, clean water and food, and employment. Since our current big government isn’t doing any of those things, and since our taxes are actually going to pay off the national debt and the cartel of banks known as the Federal Reserve, perhaps we should have a small government, or dismantle this government and make a new one. Preferably one without an electoral college. We still have the right to revolution, you know. It’s what was done in 1776.

***Disclaimer to overzealous law enforcement: I am not advocating the use of force or violence, physical, intellectual, or otherwise. What I am advocating is a serious reflection on the system and its change or transformation into a new and just system, or the adoption of such a system. I am not advocating the physical or other kind of harm to anyone under any circumstances. It is very important, above all, that we use democratic means of voting and press/reporting to improve our lives and the lives of others and educate people about what they can do to make positive personal and community changes, without the use of violence, force, or domination whatsoever. It is essential that we do not use the ploys or tactics of punitive and authoritarian systems. It is important to build our strength through common awareness and collective actions such as economic boycotts, letter-writing, community groups, town hall meetings, and so on.

I am not representing any group or organization. I am a private concerned citizen. I am maintaining this personal web-page or web-blog as a way of exercising my right to free speech. This personal web page is for the information of others, to communicate and start dialogue with others. Again, I am in no way whatsoever calling for any kind of violent action or any kind of action that could be perceived as violent or aggressive. I am not condoning the breaking of any laws.

How does Big Brother intend to protect your fast-disappearing right to dissent?


I’d really like to see how they intend to do this.
It’s lip service. There is no other mention of how civil liberties intend to be protected, other than a statement in the next section about how provisions of this law are to be “racially neutral.” That means equal-opportunity accusations of terrorism. We can’t have race-blind and need blind college admissions, but law and military enforcement and urban warfare agents will seize you and your assets no matter what ethnicity you are.

What’s wrong with this proposed law?

“Ideologically based violence”= not defined in the law. Essentially “thought crime.”
And is no one else disturbed that Google (a search engine) owns/controls YouTube and Blogger?
What happens when the Internet becomes censored? The mainstream media already is.
Anyone who doesn’t live to buy or sell–if you’re poor, say–well, you become a prisoner, all ready for one of FEMA’s concentration camps (search YouTube for “conentration camps being built for US citizens”).
Also, it’s amazing what’s a “Federal” crime nowadays. Because internet postings can be seen across state lines, be aware that Internet postings can be seen as a Federal Felony. Again, the security problem is you.

now, a single person exercising their right to free speech is an easily traced potential criminal.

how is “violent radicalization” defined? how is a “threat” construed? not defined in this law, unless you consider these vague terms not authoritarian.


what happened to “clear and present” danger?
what happened to “innocent until proven guilty,” not the other way around.
americans are so doped up on high fructose corn syrup, aspartame/nutrasweet/neotame/splenda, ritalin, prozac, synthetic birth control, xenoestrogens, plastics leaching, genetically modified organisms (in most processed foods, especially those with corn or soy) and flouride in the drinking water lowering their IQ.

welcome to the control grid. if you question the grid, you are a threat. by the way, we don’t disclose what we do with threats, because we’re not a democracy anymore.

Welcome to the Police State

See below. You are the terrorist. You are the criminal. Defeat this now or live in regret.

THIS IS AN URGENT ACTION ALERT:


S 1959 “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007” must be stopped at all costs.


Pick up your phone today and contact your US Senator’s office to instruct them to vote “NO” on S.1959.


Click here for your Senators contact info:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm Full PDF text if the bill:
http://tinyurl.com/3a3y2z


If this bill is passed, and becomes law, your words and actions could be considered terrorism. S 1959 EVISCERATES FREE SPEECH, and empowers the govt. to declare ANYTHING they deem an “extremist belief system”, instantly make you a terrorist, resulting in stripping of US citizenship, torture, and/or execution, with no habeas corpus rights, no ability to challenge even in the US Supreme Court.

Contact your Senator and let them know they will be looking for another job if they vote yes on this bill, which is now introduced into the Senate as S.1959 THIS BILL **MUST NOT** BECOME LAW, PERIOD.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1955
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1959

If this becomes law, your words could be considered “promoting an extremist belief system”, and all they have to say is that you are using PLANNED OR THREATENED *FORCE* (DOES NOT HAVE TO BE VIOLENCE) –FORCE by exposing CORRUPTION, CRIMINALITY against “THE CIVILIAN POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES, *****OR ANY SEGMENT THEREOF” READ THE BILL MANY TIMES AND VERY CAREFULLY–YOU ARE THE TERRORIST (WHICH MEANS THEY CAN STRIP YOUR CITIZENSHIP, AND HAVE YOU TORTURED AND EXECUTED).

Senate is back in session today, do not hesitate, call, fax, email your Senator ASAP.

Click here for your Senators contact info:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Yours in Freedom and Liberty,


Gary Franchi


RTR National Director, www.RestoreTheRepublic.com

Managing Editor, www.RepublicMagazines.com

Founder, Lone Lantern Society of America, www.LoneLantern.org

Host, Lone Lantern Radio, www.WTPRN.com

Sent from:

Restore The Republic, 3149 Dundee Rd #176, Northbrook, Illinois 60062

November 19, 2007

WHERE THERE IS NO DISSENT, THERE IS FASCISM

Please check out these sites and media for yourself:

http://www.spychips.com

http://www.wtprn.com/ (interesting, but with a “conservative” slant on issues too urgent to be ideologically pigeonholed)

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/thermite_index.html

Alex Jones films to watch (google video or
psionplanet.tv
infowars.com):

Endgame
Matrix of Evil

November 16, 2007

Please wake up, people

search google video or youtube:

IBM, VERICHIP and the FOURTH REICH
Refuse to be “Chipped”
Your Papers Please

other terms:
RFID
NAU (North American Union by 2010)
New World Order
Verichip
Real ID (May 2008)
Trilaterial Commission
Council on Foreign Relations

other movies:
Fiat Empire
Zeitgeist
The Money Masters
America: Freedom to Fascism (Aaron Russo)
a lot of other films use clips from the three films described above.

Websites for Your Knowledge and Community Education:

http://www.wethepeoplewillnotbechipped.com/phpfusion/news.php
http://www.911truth.org/
http://www.augustreview.com

pass on widely.

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