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a species that hires bodyguards to protect them looses the ability to protect itself and is doomed to extinction

a couple of easy reads for the uneducated and uneducable
let god sort out the truth

FBI offered me $4m: Lockerbie bomb witness


A WITNESS in the Lockerbie case has claimed he was offered $4 million (£2 million) by American investigators to lie to the trial judges.

Edwin Bollier, head of the Swiss company MEBO that was said to have manufactured the timer used to detonate the Pan Am bomb, claims he was offered the money by the FBI at its Washington HQ in exchange for making a statement that supported the main line of inquiry - that Libya was responsible for the bombing.

He has told Dr Hans Koechler, who was a UN observer during the trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi in the Netherlands, that he was offered a "new life" in the United States if he testified that the timer found in the plane wreckage had been supplied to Libya.

"I rejected this and said this could not possibly be the case," he said. He added that there was a "loud dispute" after he rejected the offer.

The claim follows news that the Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci, whose evidence led to Megrahi's conviction, was offered $2 million by the CIA.

Many families of Pan Am 103 victims hope justice is finally coming. The trial of two alleged members of the Libyan Intelligence Service is scheduled to start in May, 2000. The defendants, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, are in custody at a former US air base in the Netherlands. The unusual plan to hold the trial in a neutral country was agreed to last year by Scotland, the US, and Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi. The trial will be held in Holland but under Scottish law before a panel of three Scottish judges. The defendants insist they're innocent.

The investigation that produced the charges against the Libyans was a joint effort by British and American authorities. Current government officials in the two countries won't discuss Lockerbie; British law forbids public discussion of a pending criminal case, and the US Justice Department says the indictment of the two Libyans speaks for itself. Several former investigators who worked on the case say the evidence against the Libyans is solid.


"Buck" Revell oversaw the FBI's Lockerbie INvestigation during its first 2 1/2 years.
"I believe it is an absolutely airtight case," says former FBI Assistant Director Oliver "Buck" Revell, who oversaw that agency's Lockerbie investigation until 1991. "The panel of judges will clearly see that the evidence is compelling and overwhelming and could only lead to one conclusion."

The conclusion, according to the indictment: that on the morning of December 21, 1988, the two Libyans entered Luqa airport on the Mediterranean island of Malta. They placed a brown Samsonite suitcase, with a bomb hidden inside, on an Air Malta jet bound for Frankfurt. That suitcase was then transferred to Pan Am flights in Frankfurt and London before blowing up over Lockerbie. Libyan leader Qadhafi is not named in the indictment, but former investigators say they believe he personally ordered the bombing of Pan Am 103.

"There's a lot of evidence, as well as intelligence ... which indicates that the regime was involved," says David Shayler, who headed the Libya Desk for Britain's intelligence service, MI5, in the mid-1990s. Qadhafi's motive, according to Shayler: revenge. In April, 1986, two-and-a-half years before the downing of Pan Am 103, US warplanes bombed Libya's two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi, to punish Qadhafi for alleged terrorist attacks in Europe. Several dozen Libyans died in the attack, including Qadhafi's 2-year-old adopted daughter.

Closeup of timers (MST-13) created by MEBO Electronics, a Zurich-based company.
In announcing the indictment of the Libyans in 1991, officials said they began looking at Libya in earnest after the discovery of a tiny fragment of plastic circuit board. They said it was found in the Kielder forest east of Lockerbie. The fragment, no bigger than a child's fingernail, was part of the timing device that triggered the bomb, forensic experts concluded. And eventually, investigators said, the timer led straight to the Libyan government.

Among the mysteries surrounding the fragment is how, when, and by whom it was found. "A lover and his lass" found the fragment while strolling in the forest, according to one police source close to the case. A man found the fragment while walking his dog, according to another version. Or, in yet another story from a former investigator, police found it while combing the ground on their hands and knees.

In any case, an FBI forensic specialist named Tom Thurman was publicly credited with figuring out the fragment's evidentiary importance. Thurman, who then worked in the FBI's Washington DC laboratory, told ABC News in 1991 that he'd matched the Lockerbie timer fragment with one confiscated in West Africa from Libyan agents. "When that identification was made, of the timer, I knew that we had it," Thurman told ABC. Thurman's feelings about his discovery? "Absolute, positively euphoria. I was on cloud nine."

But Thurman was later discredited as a forensic expert. A 1997 report by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General found that in a number of cases other than Lockerbie, Thurman re-wrote lab reports, making them more favorable to the prosecution. The report also recommended Thurman be reassigned to a non-scientific job because he lacked a background in science.

Edwin Bollier, co-owner of Zurich-based MEBO Electronics.
(larger view)
"He's very aggressive, but I think he made some mistakes that needed to be brought to the attention of FBI management," says Frederic Whitehurst, a former FBI chemist who worked alongside Thurman for 12 years and filed the complaints that led to the Inspector General's report. Based on his observations of work done by Thurman and others in the FBI lab, Whitehurst says he concluded that "We're not necessarily going to get the truth out of what we're doing here."

Tom Thurman is out of the FBI now; he's teaching in Kentucky. He says Scottish prosecutors and the Justice Department have asked him not to do interviews.

Thurman is just one of the problems prosecutors will face in presenting the timer fragment. Another is the man who allegedly made and sold the timer. At the press conference announcing the indictment in 1991, then-Acting Attorney General William Barr said of the fragment: "Scientists determined that it was part of the timing device and traced it to its manufacturer, a Swiss company that had sold it to a high-level Libyan intelligence official."

Behind the scenes though, Edwin Bollier, a partner in the Zurich-based electronics company, MEBO, was telling a different story. In 1990 police had shown him a photograph of the circuit-board fragment. He agreed that it had come from a circuit board made by his company - a model MST-13. At first Bollier told investigators he'd sold MST-13 timers only to the Libyan government.

The Swiss businessman, however, soon changed his story. He said an employee had reminded him that he'd sold several prototypes of the MST-13 to an institute in Bernau. This institute acted as a front for the former East German secret police, the Stasi. The Stasi were known suppliers and supporters of terrorist groups, including Ahmed Jibril's PFLP-GC, the Syria-based group first suspected in Lockerbie.

Early in 1991, months before the Lockerbie indictments, Bollier told Scottish investigators that from a photograph alone he couldn't tell from which batch the timer fragment had come. He made repeated requests to examine the fragment itself, in person. Scottish authorities said no, citing "the need to protect the integrity of the evidence," as police put it in a letter to Bollier. In November, 1991, Scottish and American officials indicted the Libyans, citing the timer fragment as a key piece of evidence, without ever having allowed Bollier to examine the fragment up close.

Bollier says he now knows why: his conclusion, he claims, would not have suited the case the British and American governments were building.

In 1998 Bollier obtained what he says is a blown-up photograph of the printed circuit (PC) board fragment that Thurman showed ABC in 1991. Bollier describes the fragment's unfinished edge and a white line with wavy edges that he says prove it was made by hand and a not a machine. "This fragment of PC board is from a prototype timer," Bollier says. "It was made by Mr. Lumpert, an engineer here in our labs. Two of these PC boards eventually became complete timers, and these two I took to what at the time was East Germany."

In other words, Bollier insists, Thurman's fragment perhaps should have strengthened the case against the Syria-based terrorists, the PFLP-GC. It should never have pointed investigators toward Libya at all.

Former CIA official Cannistraro concedes that Bollier sold MST-13 prototypes to the Stasi. He simply dismisses Bollier's claim that the timer that triggered the Pan Am 103 bomb was part of that batch. Don't trust Bollier, Cannistraro says. The Swiss merchant not only did business with the Libyan government, he once rented office space in Zurich to one of the Pan Am 103 defendants, Abdelbaset Megrahi, an alleged Libyan intelligence agent. "Given the fact that [Bollier] has an investment with the Libyans, he's been a supplier of devices that are only used for lethal purposes, and the fact that he has provided cover facilities for Libyan intelligence, I don't know how much you can believe Mr. Bollier," Cannistraro says.

The hostile relationship between Bollier and Lockerbie investigators took a bizarre turn in September of 1999. With a trial finally approaching, the Scottish prosecutors who had refused for eight years to show Bollier the circuit board fragment suddenly invited him to Scotland. As Bollier tells it, a prosecutor, surrounded by four policemen, brought in the fragment in an unmarked plastic sleeve and placed it before him on a table. He says he'd brought his own magnifying glass. "I was surprised at how small it was...."

Bollier says the fragment, just two millimeters by three in size, was different from the one the FBI displayed on television back in 1991. This one, he claims, was machine-made, like the ones he sold to the Libyan government, but now had a new problem: it didn't show traces of solder, which Bollier says should have been present if an electrical relay had ever been attached to the circuit board. In other words, he says, the fragment could never have been used in a bomb.

"As far as I'm concerned, and I told this to [Scottish Prosecutor Miriam Watson], this is a manufactured fragment," Bollier says. "A fabricated fragment, never from a complete, functional timer." Bollier insisted on making a written statement to that effect; the statement was signed by Scottish police witnesses.

The next day, Bollier says, prosecutors brought out the fragment again. This time, he says, it had the soldering traces you'd expect on a used timer. Bollier switches to English to drive home his point, that the soldering points had apparently been added overnight. "It was different. I'm not crazy. It was different!"

Bollier demanded to make another written statement saying that the timer fragment had been tampered with during his visit to Scotland.

At the Lockerbie trial the Scottish judges will have to sort out the charges and counter-charges with the help of forensic scientists.

Former Lockerbie investigators insist that at trial, the evidence will show the Libyan government bought the timer that blew up Pan Am 103. But sources close to the Libyans' lawyers say the defense team isn't worried about the timer. Even if the Libyan government did buy the timer in 1985, the defense will argue, that does not directly link the two Libyan defendants to the bomb that destroyed the Pan Am jet three years later.

Independent legal experts agree. To get a conviction, they say, Scottish authorities must prove something much more specific: that the defendants themselves, Megrahi and Fhimah, planted the bomb that killed those 270 people. The indictment suggests that most of the evidence for that charge is in Malta.

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October 7, 2007    US deploys nuclear weapons directed against Iran   

Lockerbie Investigator Disputes Story
Richard Marquise led the U.S. task force that investigated the bombing

Global Research, October 6, 2007

"Proper judicial procedure is simply impossible if political interests and intelligence services -- from whichever side -- succeed in interfering in the actual conduct of a court … The purpose of intelligence services -- from whichever side -- lies in secret action and deception, not in the search for truth. Justice and the rule of law can never be achieved without transparency." --Hans Koechler, U.N. observer at the Zeist trial On Sept. 6, OhmyNews International published a story related to a sensational document known as the Lumpert affidavit. (See "Key Lockerbie Witness Admits Perjury.)

Ulrich Lumpert was a key witness (No. 550) at the Camp Zeist trial, where a three-Judge panel convicted a Libyan citizen of murdering 270 persons who died in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.

"I confirm today on July 18, 2007, that I stole the third hand-manufactured MST-13 Timer PC-board consisting of 8 layers of fiberglass from MeBo Ltd. and gave it without permission on June 22, 1989, to a person officially investigating in the Lockerbie case," Lumpert wrote.

On Sept. 7, the agent who led the Lockerbie investigation for the FBI wrote to me and criticized the article on several grounds, but most importantly, he alleged that the Lumpert affidavit was a "total fabrication."

Richard Marquise led the U.S. task force that investigated the Lockerbie bombing. He has authored a book on the subject: Scotbom: Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation. He wrote to me:

"Lumpert's new statement is a total fabrication. He was interviewed several times, including at a judicial hearing in Switzerland as well as the trial itself and he never wavered in his story. His statement that he gave a "stolen timer" to a Scottish officer in 1989 does not even fit the timeline since we had no idea about the origins of PT-35 at that time. We identified MeBo in the summer of 1990. With all due respect, I must state very unambiguously that I remain convinced that the document is authentic and that the story is not a hoax. Moreover, I have obtained a document that strongly suggests that the timeline of the events related to the identification of the MST-13 timer has been fabricated."

Since the publication of the article, a well-informed source has told me that Lumpert has signed four affidavits. The documents were certified by notary Walter Wieland under Nr. 2069 to 2072.

I am now in possession of one of these four documents and I have received confirmation from the proper Swiss authority that Wieland indeed certified these documents on July 18 and that he is competent for doing so.

Although I was initially very skeptical of the Lumpert affidavit, I came to the conclusion that I have no reason to doubt its authenticity or the truthfulness of its content.

Indeed, both the timing of Lumpert's admission of perjury, his motivation for doing so as stated in the affidavit, as well as the content of the document led me to believe that the story is not a fabrication.

Lumpert wrote that he wishes to clear his conscience and that he can no longer "be prosecuted for stealing, delivering and making false statements about the MST-13 Timer PC-board, on grounds of statutory limitation."

Moreover, as I explained at length in the Sept. 6 article, the Lumpert affidavit, in just seven paragraphs, elucidates all of the longstanding mysteries surrounding the infamous MST-13 timer, which allegedly triggered the bomb that exploded Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988.

Conspiracy Theory?

I wish to add that I am obviously not the only one who had reached such a conclusion. The possibility that evidence has been fabricated in order to secure the conviction of the Libyans has gained support among many people who could hardly be described as conspiracy theorists.

Jim Swire, Robert Black and Hans Koechler are among the best-informed people about the extremely complex Zeist trial.

Black QC FRSE (Queen's Council and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh) has been Professor of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh since January 1981, having previously been in practice at the Scottish Bar. He is now professor emeritus.

For various periods he served as head of the Department of Scots Law (later Private Law). He has been an advocate since 1972 and a QC since 1987. From 1987 to 1996 he was general editor of The Laws of Scotland: Stair Memorial Encyclopedia (25 volumes). From 1981 to 1994 he served as a temporary sheriff (judge).

He has taken a close interest in the Lockerbie affair since 1993, not least because he was born and brought up in the town, and has published a substantial number of articles on the topic in the United Kingdom and overseas. He is often referred to as the architect of the Lockerbie trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands.

Black's support for the story is obvious from the fact that he posted my article on his Web site. In a comment posted on OMNI, Black went out of his way to express his agreement with the 18-page analysis of the consequences of the Lumpert affidavit. "A masterly review of the weaknesses in the Lockerbie court's conviction of [Abdelbaset Al] Megrahi," Black wrote.

In April 2000, professor Koechler was appointed by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan as international observer at the Lockerbie bombing trial that was held at Camp Zeist, Netherlands.

Koechler has also posted the article on his Web site. He wrote this comment on OMNI:

This is a well-researched analysis which precisely reveals the serious mistakes and omissions by the official Scottish investigators as well as the carelessness and lack of professionalism of the judges in the Lockerbie case. The Scottish judicial authorities are under the obligation to investigate possible criminal misconduct in the investigation and prosecution of the Lockerbie case. On July 4, 2007, Koechler wrote to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, reiterating his call for a "full and independent public inquiry of the Lockerbie case."

Dr. Swire, who lost his daughter in the Lockerbie bombing, is a founder and the spokesperson of the U.K. Families 103, which campaigns to seek the truth about the worst act of terror ever committed in the U.K. In a letter addressed to my editor, he wrote that the article was "one of the best informed and most realistic" he had seen.

I promised Richard Marquise that I would make an effort "to see things from the other side." And I will. But for now, we must agree to disagree. I leave him with a comment posted by Iain McKie -- someone who knows all about the consequences of forensic mistakes.

Another Lockerbie mystery is why, given this latest opportunity [Megrahi's second appeal] to uncover the truth about this terrorist outrage that claimed the lives of people from 21 countries (including 189 Americans), and given the U.S. and British high profile "war on terror," is the political silence so deafening?

I find it increasingly difficult to argue with Dr. De Braeckeleer's conclusion: "Shame on those who committed this horrific act of terror. Shame on those who have ordered the cover-up. Shame on those who provided false testimony, and those who suppressed and fabricated the evidence needed to frame Libya. And shame on the media for their accomplice silence." The McKie's know best than most the cost of injustice. Shirley McKie was a successful policewoman until her life was shattered in February 1997 when four experts from the Scottish Criminal Records Office incorrectly identified a thumbprint from a crime scene as hers.

Marquise has made other comments about the article that I will discuss at a later time. However, I wish to point out that Marquise is right to state that the quotes attributed to Michael Scharf, formerly of U.S. State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence, although correct do not represent exactly his opinion, as they have been printed out of context by the British media. (Scharf helped draft the sanctions against Libya.)

Scharf wrote to me:

"The text of the quotes is more or less accurate but is out of context, giving the misimpression that I thought that the two Lockerbie defendants were innocent and the U.S. government knew this all along. In fact, I referred to them as "fall guys" because I felt the case should not have focused exclusively on them, but rather should have gone up the chain of command all the way to Khadaffi [Muammar al-Qaddafi], and should also have focused on the possible involvement of third countries.

It is true, as your quote indicates, that I felt the evidentiary case presented at Camp Zeist was not as strong as the Department of Justice had led the Department of State to believe it would be at the time we were pushing for sanctions against Libya in the U.N., but that is not to say that I thought the defendants were actually innocent of wrong doing, which is the impression left by the quotes. If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is the fact that no one except the judges is satisfied with the Lockerbie trial."

Meanwhile, new extraordinary revelations have surfaced that support my view that the Lockerbie trial was engineered by Western intelligence services to frame Libya.

'Secret' Lockerbie Report Claim

Crucial information in the possession of the CIA that is related to the timer issue was withheld from the defense. The Heraldof Glasgow revealed on Oct. 2 that "a top secret [CIA] document vital to unearthing the truth about the Lockerbie bombing was obtained by the Crown Office but never shown to the defense team."

"The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has uncovered there is a document which was in the possession of the crown and was not disclosed to the defense, which concerns the supply of MST-13 timers. Moreover, the commission has determined the decision to keep the document from the defense may have constituted a miscarriage of justice," the paper reported a source as saying.

The prosecutors have refused to make public the ultra secret document on the basis of national security. Many have been wondering what national security has to do with the Lockerbie bombing. "It is shocking to me that after 19 years of trying to get to the truth about who murdered my daughter national security is being used as an excuse," said Swire.

After having seen the CIA document, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission team that investigated the conviction of Abdelbaset Al Megrahi decided to grant him a second appeal. The document has not yet been seen by the defense. The document is thought to dispute the pivotal fact that the bomb was triggered by the MST-13 timer that linked the case to Libya.

The non-disclosure agreement was signed by Norman McFadyen, then one of the leading members of the prosecution, on June 1, 2000.

In an exclusive interview earlier this week, Koechler told Gordon Brewer of the BCC's "Newsnight Scotland,"

The withholding of evidence by the investigators and the prosecution from the defense at the Lockerbie court is a serious breach of the fundamental norms of a fair trial. If such action occurs on the basis of a written commitment given to a foreign intelligence service, as has now been revealed concerning crucial evidence related to the timer that allegedly triggered the explosion of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, the judicial nature of the entire proceedings is to be put into question.

If a foreign intelligence service is allowed to determine what evidence may be disclosed in court and what not, judicial proceedings before a court of law are perverted into a kind of intelligence operation the purpose of which is not the search for the truth, but the obfuscation of reality. Black has said,

If a foreign intelligence agency says they would be prepared to give the crown access only if they promise to keep the information secret, then it is the responsibility of the crown to say we cannot do that. They have an ethical responsibility not to sign such agreements.

This tends to indicate that the crown has not changed its fundamental stance that says they will decide what the public interest is and what information should or should not be disclosed. That is fundamentally wrong. The source in the Herald's report agrees: "The commission was unable to obtain authority for its disclosure. Without access to this document, the defense is disabled from putting before the court full and comprehensive grounds of appeal as to why the conviction should be quashed."

CIA Offered $2m to Lockerbie Witnesses

It now appears that huge amounts of money were offered by U.S. officials to at least three key witnesses. The defense was never told that the CIA had offered millions of dollars to their star witnesses.

"We understand the commission found new documents which refer to discussions between the U.S. intelligence agency and the Gaucis [Tony and his brother Paul] and that the sum involved was as much as $2m," a source close to the case told The Herald, according to an Oct. 3 report. "Even if they did not receive the money, the fact these discussions took place should have been divulged to the defense." Tony Gauci was an instrumental witness in the case.

On Oct. 5, Edwin Bollier, head of the Zurich-based company MeBo, told Koechler that during a visit to the headquarters of the FBI in Washington, D.C., at the beginning of 1991, he was offered an amount of up to $4 million plus a new identity in the U.S. if he would testify in court that the timer fragment that was allegedly found on the crash site around Lockerbie stemmed from a MST-13 timer that his company had delivered to Libya.

Media Silence

Will the media finally cover this extraordinary affair? Perhaps. In France, Le Figaro has published a couple of stories, one of which was entitled: "And if Libya Was Innocent …" Television channel France 3 reported the story of the Lumpert affidavit.

In the U.K., The Herald has picked up the latest developments in the story. The BBC has published a few lines about it. The London journal Private Eye is rumored to be running the story in its next edition. U.S. media remain amazingly silent.

Quo Vadis?

"In view of all these revelations and serious allegations, Koechler renewed his call for an independent international investigation of the handling of the Lockerbie case by the Scottish and British authorities," wrote Gordon Brewer of the BCC's "Newsnight Scotland."

"It remains to be seen whether the Scottish judicial and political system will live up to the challenge and whether the authorities will allow a full and objective inquiry," Brewer said. I have very little hope that the Scottish judicial and political system will allow an independent international investigation.

For now, I encourage my readers to reflect upon a Persian saying. "Shame on those who committed the deed. Shame on those who allowed the deed to be committed."

Ludwig De Braeckeleer has a Ph.D. in nuclear sciences. He teaches physics and international humanitarian law. He blogs on "The GaiaPost."

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second read

Saturday, October 13, 2007 1:26 AM CDT
Civil rights officers learn about FBI's role in hate crimes investigations                                

CHARLESTON — The good news is, the number of reported hate crimes in Illinois is decreasing. The bad news is, not all hate crimes get reported.

Mark Ranck, a supervisory special agent with the FBI’s Springfield division, spoke to a gathering of civil rights officers at Eastern Illinois University on Friday in an effort to increase awareness of the bureau’s role in hate crimes investigations.

The civil rights officers in attendance during the annual Illinois Affirmative Action Officers Association conference represented nine colleges and universities, 11 state agencies, three community colleges and three municipalities, said Cynthia Nichols, director of Eastern’s Office of Civil Rights and Diversity.

“We try to keep abreast of current civil rights issues and thought this was a good opportunity to find out what the FBI is doing,” she said.

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What's Really in the RESTORE Act

Posted November 27, 2007 | 12:33 PM (EST)

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I was pleased to see Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein acknowledge that he "may have made a mistake" in his column attacking the House Majority ("The Tone Deaf Democrats") and misrepresenting the RESTORE Act. Unfortunately, Mr. Klein still professes confusion toward the bill's contents and continues to question whether the House should have passed it in the first place.

As one of the bill's authors, I want to set the record straight about what's in the RESTORE Act, why it's needed to safeguard Americans from unwarranted surveillance, and ultimately, why it will lead to better intelligence gathering.

In his original column, Mr. Klein incorrectly wrote, "Unfortunately, Speaker Nancy Pelosi quashed the House Intelligence Committee's bipartisan effort and supported a Democratic bill that - Limbaugh is salivating - would require the surveillance of every foreign-terrorist target's calls to be approved by the FISA court, an institution founded to protect the rights of U.S. citizens only." It contains no such provision.

(Also, as someone closely involved in trying to produce a good bill, I cannot figure out what bipartisan House Intelligence Committee effort Speaker Pelosi "quashed" that Mr. Klein could possibly be talking about. Several Republicans proposed something close to last August's Protect America Act, but that never got anywhere.)

Let me repeat: our bill gives the intelligence community the tools and flexibility it needs to listen to the conversations between those who wish to do us harm. This bill provides exactly what the Director of National Intelligence asked for earlier this year: it explicitly states that no court order is required to listen to the conversations of foreigners that happen to pass through the U.S. telecommunications system. It does not grant Constitutional rights to foreign terrorists.

What we have not agreed to do is give this or any other President a permanent blank check to spy on you, your family, the members of your congregation, or any other American citizen without any judicial oversight - a position shared by an overwhelming majority of Americans according to the latest public opinion surveys on the topic.

If federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies want to read the email or listen to the phone call of an American citizen, they have to get - except in emergencies - a judge to issue a warrant allowing them do so, as the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution requires. Such a court order would be easy to get if there is cause to believe that the American's communications are important intelligence for the protection of our security. And in such "emergencies" there would be quick after-the-fact review by the courts. These are not "unimportant, obscure technical details" - this is the heart of the bill.

In an era where the government can conduct searches and seize the contents of communications without even alerting citizens to the government's presence, building in such safeguards is even more important than in James Madison's day, when if the King's men were coming to take you or your papers, you at least saw them walking up to your door before they kicked it in.

This bill is not simply about "defining the 4th Amendment rights of US residents in light of new technologies" - as Mr. Klein wrote in a later posting. As I've previously noted, our bill will only strengthen and improve intelligence collection and analysis. It has been demonstrated that when officials must establish before a court that they have reason to intercept communications - that is, that they know what they are doing - we get better intelligence than through indiscriminate collection and fishing expeditions.

What our bill does is both protect Constitutional norms and require that the government meet some basic evidentiary standards - as evaluated by a judge - before allowing the National Security Agency, the FBI, and the other elements of our federal law enforcement and intelligence communities to conduct surveillance on Americans. Having to meet a standard in the intelligence business isn't simply about protecting American rights, it's about targeting the right people in the first place. We must not let anyone advance the bogus argument - repeated by Mr. Klein - that protecting American's against unwarranted search and seizure necessarily requires a compromise in their security. The opposite is true.

It is interesting that the principles Mr. Klein proposes and claims a bipartisan bill should include are included in the bill as written and passed by the House: the use of new surveillance technologies against foreign targets is appropriate; if a suspicious pattern is found between a foreigner and a US person, a warrant would be needed to monitor those communications; and the identities of US persons caught up in those intercepts would be minimized so the identities would not be known or used.

Mr. Klein is correct that Republicans will try to misrepresent the RESTORE Act as "civil rights for terrorists." They have already used these scare tactics and will continue to make false, hyperbolic statements about the bill. However, protecting Americans is too important for Democrats to allow such scurrilous attacks to lead them to sacrifice legislation that adheres to the principles that are necessary to protect Americans.

The House should be proud that it passed a bill that would strengthen the intelligence collection facet of our national security efforts and strengthen our Constitutional protections. This is the kind of tough-minded, hard-thinking legislation that is needed in this complicated and dangerous world. I can only try to get the Senate to do as well, and then hope that the President would approve it.

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FBI Refuses To Confirm Identity Of 9/11 Planes

Latest Pre-Order DVDs: Endgame - Alex Jones | Loose Change 3 - Final Cut

FOIA Appeal Denied: FBI Again Refuses To Confirm Identity Of 9/11 Planes

Aidan Monaghan

In an effort to end speculation surrounding the events at the Pentagon building on September 11, 2001, a Freedom of Information Act request was made of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seeking confirmation of the process by which recovered debris belonging to the 4 aircraft used in the 9/11 terrorist attacks was identified. This request was denied. An appeal of that decision has also been denied. Court action is pending.

According to the FBI, “the material requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 552, subsection (b) (7) (A).”

This subsection reads: “could be reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

The FBI has publicly declared that certain civil aircraft were involved in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It apparently was not believed by the FBI, that disclosure of that information would jeopardize any September 11th “enforcement proceedings”.

It is unknown why disclosure of aircraft identifying data - that is presumably the basis for the FBI’s current public opinion regarding the 9/11 planes and which was likely provided by the Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board - could then jeopardize FBI “enforcement proceedings”.

“The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States.”


The NTSB acknowledges that it provided assistance to the FBI, regarding its investigation of the civil aircraft reportedly used during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

“The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Safety Board provided requested technical assistance to the FBI, and any material generated by the NTSB is under the control of the FBI.”

(See NTSB source links provided below)

The FBI currently lists American Airlines flight 11, United Airlines flight 175, American Airlines flight 77 and United Airlines flight 93, as those used to carry out the 9/11 attacks:


The National Transportation Safety Board lists the above flights on September 11, 2001 as being provided by the following aircraft, that were listed under the Federal Aviation Administration registry as follows:

American Airlines flight 11 - N334AA


United Airlines flight 175 - N612UA


American Airlines flight 77 - N644AA


United Airlines flight 93 - N591UA


Original FOIA request denial:

Original FOIA request:

 Section has more related reports
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Two participate in intelligence summit

Goshen – Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois and Captain Dennis Barry this week attended a Statewide Intelligence Summit at the New York State Police Academy in Albany.

The summit was attended by over 200 law enforcement representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The purpose of the summit was to introduce new technologies available to law enforcement in information sharing and counter terrorism efforts.

Featured speakers were Governor Elliott Spitzer, New York State Police Acting Superintendent Preston Felton, General David Sheppard, New York State Director of Homeland Security and F.B.I.  Deputy Assistant Director of Counter Terrorism Art Cummings.

“It is important that all law enforcement agencies commit to the efforts of the federal government in the fight against counter terrorism,” said DuBois. “Sharing information and working together is critical to the success of the fight against terrorism.”

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DR Cyril Wecht has been an enemy of the FBI ever since he challenged the findings of the Warren Commission
dealing with the President Kennedy autopsy reports.
Dr Wecht continues to organize international conferences dealing with the government cover-up around the JFK assassination.
Now the judge in this case has allowed the FBI to convene an anonymous jury to try Dr Wecht.

a couple of easy reads

Wecht challenges use of anonymous jury
By Jason Cato
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dr. Cyril H. Wecht might be judged by some of the numerous enemies he's made over the past three decades if an anonymous jury is empaneled in his upcoming federal public corruption trial, his lawyers argued in court papers filed today.

Wecht, 76, of Squirrel Hill, has testified as a forensic pathologist in civil and criminal cases since 1962, both as a private consultant and as the Allegheny County coroner.

"Like all public servants, and perhaps more so due to the strength of his opinions, a compelling inference may be drawn that he has made enemies during the course of that public service," defense attorney Jerry McDevitt wrote in asking U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab to reconsider his decision to keep everyone but the court from knowing the identities of the jurors.

The judge offered no explanation for the decision to empanel an anonymous jury, which prosecutors did not request.

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Wecht's lawyers said their client has helped put away violent criminals by testifying in hundreds of homicide trials in Western Pennsylvania and has more pending.

"A compelling inference may be drawn that there are many individuals that may harbor ill will toward him for his involvement in the prosecution and incarceration of family members and friends," McDevitt wrote.

Wecht also might have created enemies through the countless autopsies he's performed in "high-stakes and high-profile civil cases," McDevitt wrote.

People who feel as though they were wronged in family court by Wecht's son, Common Pleas Judge David Wecht, might be included on the jury if their names are not known, McDevitt said.

"Dr. Wecht's life's work, both as a politician and as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases, and his high-profile involvement in issues such as the JFK assassination, the O.J. Simpson case and the JonBenet Ramsey murder, make him a unique defendant with a unique need for this basic information about the identity of the prospective jurors who may decide this case," McDevitt wrote. "Anonymous juries are usually seated in organized crime or drug distribution cases in order to alleviate the concerns or apprehensions of jurors regarding threats or harassment to themselves or their families. ... (Wecht) and his family are pillars of the community, and it is potentially unfair to treat him as if he were some mobster."

The use of anonymous juries is rare in federal courts, with the first one having been used in 1977. Only two have been empaneled in Pittsburgh. Both were used in trials involving violent drug dealers accused of tampering with or intimidating jurors or witnesses.

Using an anonymous jury in Wecht's case would violate his Sixth Amendment right to be presumed innocent and to be tried by an impartial jury, McDevitt wrote. An anonymous panel also infringes on the First Amendment protection of open court proceedings, including jury selection, he wrote.

Prosecutors, who have declined to comment on the matter, have until next Tuesday to file a motion concerning the anonymous jury.

Wecht's lawyers also asked Schwab to clarify his order barring them from presenting testimony addressing their theory that the case against their client is politically motivated. U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, a Republican, has repeatedly denied the allegation.

Wecht is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 28 on theft and fraud charges. He is accused of using his public office for personal gain.

Wecht defense hits agent's credibility
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When he was transferred to Pittsburgh, FBI Special Agent Brad Orsini never told anyone -- not his supervisor, not the special agent in charge and not the prosecutors he worked with -- that he had been reprimanded twice by the Office of Professional Responsibility for forging documents and evidence labels.

That was despite a long-standing Justice Department policy that required such notification before an agent was permitted to swear out an affidavit in a criminal case.

The policy, implemented in 1996 and revised just last year, was created so that prosecutors would not get blind-sided during criminal proceedings by defense attorneys calling an agent's credibility into question -- the exact thing that is happening now with Agent Orsini in the case against former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht.

Dr. Wecht was indicted last year on 84 counts, including mail and wire fraud and theft from an organization receiving federal funds. Among the allegations against him is that he misused county resources in his private pathology business.

His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 28.

At a hearing yesterday, Dr. Wecht's attorneys sought to exploit Agent Orsini's conduct in an effort to have crucial prosecution evidence thrown out.

U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab has asked for the filing of additional briefs on the matter before ruling.

The issue at hand involves boxes of evidence seized from Dr. Wecht's private offices on Penn Avenue in April 2005. Agent Orsini signed the sworn affidavit of probable cause that enabled the search.

The most compelling information to come out of the six-hour hearing was the revelation that Agent Orsini -- after being disciplined in September 2001 for a series of policy violations while stationed in Newark, N.J. -- never filed another sworn affidavit in a case while working in New Jersey or Pittsburgh, except in the Wecht case.

After transferring to Pittsburgh in September 2004, Agent Orsini said he assumed the FBI office here was aware of his disciplinary reports in Newark, though he never specifically told anyone about them.

"I don't know what they knew and what they didn't," he said. "It wasn't a secret."

Agent Orsini said he was unaware of the Justice Department policy requiring that his file be turned over to the U.S. attorney's office before he would be allowed to provide a sworn statement or affidavit.

"When I was reprimanded I went back to working cases," he said. "When I arrived in Pittsburgh, I assumed the same thing.

"I assumed it had already been done."

It hadn't. His file did not arrive in the Pittsburgh office, Agent Orsini said, until after he had filed the affidavit in the Wecht case.

Defense attorney Jerry McDevitt pounded the point home, repeatedly asking why Agent Orsini had never applied for any other warrants in Dr. Wecht's case.

"Was my reprimand part of that? Yes," Agent Orsini answered. "But that wasn't the whole reason."

He said it was a prosecutorial decision, made by the U.S. attorney's office, that he not swear out any more affidavits. Agent Orsini also said that no prosecutor ever asked him why he hadn't revealed his reprimands.

Part of Mr. McDevitt's case in arguing for suppression of the evidence was to show that Agent Orsini failed to establish probable cause in his affidavit for the search warrant and that he was unable to corroborate a number of the statements it included.

Mr. McDevitt also believes the warrant was both too broad and too vague.

He asked Agent Orsini about an interview he conducted with Hadi Kadhim, a computer technician with the coroner's office.

In his summary of Mr. Kadhim's statement, Agent Orsini wrote that Dr. Wecht had "directed" someone in the coroner's office to use the county's lab for his private autopsy work.

"Isn't it true Hadi Kadhim never told you that?" Mr. McDevitt asked.

"No. He explained to me the defendant [Wecht] uses the histology lab in the Allegheny County coroner's office for private autopsies."

Mr. McDevitt asked if that was the same thing as Dr. Wecht "directing" that it happen.

"It's a conclusion," Agent Orsini said. "It's obvious."
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How the U.S. seeks to avert nuclear terror

                                        'Much better prepared'
‘MUCH BETTER PREPARED’: Retired Rear Adm. Joseph J. Krol, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Emergency Operations, with a radiation-detecting helicopter.
Scientists scan cities. Response teams are ready. And if there were a lethal device, experts would work on tracing the source.
By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer                                                
January 6, 2008                                                
                                                                                                                                                                        About every three days, unknown to most Americans, an elite team of federal scientists hits the streets in the fight against nuclear terrorism.

The deployments are part of an effort since 2001 to ratchet up the nation's defenses. More than two dozen specialized teams have been positioned across the nation to respond to threats of nuclear terrorism, and as many 2,000 scientists and bomb experts participate in the effort. Spending on the program has more than doubled since it was launched.

And an evolving national policy aims to create a system of nuclear forensics, in which scientific analysis could quickly identify the source of a nuclear attack or attempted attack. A key report on nuclear forensics is due next month.

The counter-terrorism efforts are becoming routine. Scientists in specially equipped helicopters and airplanes use radiation detectors to scan cities for signs of weapons. They blend into crowds at major sporting events, wearing backpacks containing instruments that can identify plutonium or highly enriched uranium.

So far, they have not encountered a terrorist. Near the Las Vegas Strip, they investigated a homeless person who somehow had picked up a piece of radioactive material. On the streets of Manhattan, a hot-dog vendor fresh from a medical test triggered a policeman's radioactivity sensor.

But the teams have not become complacent. If the many layers of federal defense against nuclear smuggling break down, these unarmed weapons designers and physicists, along with experts from the FBI, could be the last hope of staving off a catastrophic attack.

They are supposed to rush up to a ticking nuclear explosive (or a "dirty" bomb, which would disperse radioactive material) and defuse it before it's too late -- a situation often depicted by Hollywood that seems less fictional every year.

"After everything else fails, we come in," said Deborah A. Wilber, the scientist who directs the Office of Emergency Response at the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration. "I don't believe it is a question of if it will happen. It is a question of when."

Since the attacks of 2001, the office has created 26 rapid-response units around the nation.

If a device were located, two other specialized teams would rush to the scene, one from a base in Albuquerque, where a fueled jetliner is on 24-hour alert. Another FBI team would depart from rural Virginia.

The teams would first attempt to disable a bomb's electrical firing system and then quickly transfer the weapon to the Nevada desert. There, the bomb would be lowered into the G Tunnel, a 5,000-foot-deep shaft, where a crew of scientists and FBI agents would attempt to disassemble the device behind steel blast doors, logging any evidence.

About 1,000 nuclear weapons scientists and 500 to 1,000 more FBI professionals participate in the nation's emergency response effort, though not full time. Increased investment in the project reflects an acknowledgment that the nation remains vulnerable to nuclear terrorism.

But the effort is also reaching for something greater than defense: a Cold War style of deterrence.

The scientists are also experts in the rapidly evolving field of nuclear forensics, which aims to track nuclear materials to their country of origin. Even if a bomb detonates, fallout can be analyzed to identify the terrorists and their state sponsors. A retaliatory strike could be the response.

The idea is to force other nations to take better care of their own nuclear fuels or else find themselves in the cross hairs of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

A major technical and policy analysis of this approach -- the report that is due next month -- is being conducted by some of the nation's top nuclear weapons experts, sponsored by the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science and led by Stanford University physicist Michael M. May.

In the meantime, the United States is retrieving and locking down nuclear fuels abroad, has created a line of radiation detectors at foreign and domestic ports, and has increased intelligence efforts.

If those and other measures fail, the emergency response teams are a last hope, but one nobody should rely on, said Charles B. Curtis, president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which pushes for stronger efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism.

Intercepting a device "is a very, very, very difficult problem, but not impossible," said Curtis, a former Energy Department deputy secretary.

Vahid Majidi, a nuclear weapons chemist and head of the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, seemed more confident. Asked how good his chances would be to find a nuclear bomb in Manhattan with 24 hours' warning, he said, "Quite reasonable."

He continued: "When you think of issues only as a technical problem, you only think of technical capability. I am not sitting on my hands waiting for some detector to go off. We will use every asset at our disposal. Technology is a very small portion of what we do."

The full capability of the teams is classified. Bruce Goodwin, nuclear weapons chief at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said the teams now had "some really remarkable tools that can prevent nuclear function," suggesting a device that can foil the arming system or perhaps even neutralize its basic operation.

It is assumed that any terrorist bomb would have booby traps and anti-tampering devices, perhaps designed by scientists who studied at the same universities that trained U.S. weapons scientists. Emergency response scientists run exercises in which one team designs a booby-trapped bomb and another team tries to disarm it.

A weapon stolen from a national stockpile might pose fewer problems than a makeshift terrorist device.

"We know a lot about other people's weapons," said Curtis. "They will tolerate a greater intrusive disarming strategy than an improvised nuclear device."

History has some unfortunate lessons. In 1980, Energy Department experts were sent to help disarm a 1,000-pound conventional bomb placed by an extortionist at Harvey's Resort Hotel in Stateline, Nev. The bomb had extraordinary anti-tampering devices that prevented the teams from disassembling, disarming or even moving it.

So the bomb experts decided to fire a shaped charge into the arming mechanism, hoping to sever it from the rest of the bomb before it could detonate. After the hotel was evacuated, the team triggered the charge from a safe distance. The strategy failed and the bomb badly damaged the hotel.

But today's level of expertise would easily have solved the problem, said Joseph J. Krol Jr., a retired Navy rear admiral who heads the National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Emergency Operations, to which Wilber's emergency response office belongs.

"We are very much better prepared," Krol said. "How we operated then and how we operate now is like night and day."

Indeed, Philip E. Coyle, a former deputy director at Lawrence Livermore, recalled that when he served on the emergency teams in the 1970s and 1980s, he carried a card in his wallet to present at an airport in an emergency so he could order airlines to take him where he needed to go.

"It sounded good, but I always wondered whether it would work," he said. Now the teams travel by government aircraft and other federal vehicles.

A successful terrorist nuclear attack would trigger the so-called national response plan.

Many federal agencies would swing into action, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, as would myriad obscure offices unknown to the vast majority of Americans. For example, the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, based at the Livermore lab, would run advanced computation models of fallout patterns to provide evacuation plans for potentially millions of people.

Whether so many federal agencies could work together in the chaos of a nuclear attack, all while coordinating with state and local officials, is a matter of grave concern in Congress. But Majidi and Krol say extensive planning and exercises have clarified the lines of authority.

Communications would be a major undertaking.

"If you tell 100 million people to go east, 25 million will go west because they don't trust the government," said Jay C. Davis, a retired weapons scientist who is working on the forensics study.

The forensics study is trying to assess how authoritative the U.S. could be in attributing a nuclear device to a particular source and in making its case to the American public and the rest of the world.

Davis said it was hoped that nuclear forensics could determine the size of a detonation within one hour; the sophistication of the bomb design within six hours; how the fuel was enriched within 72 hours; and the peculiar details of national design -- "Does this look like a Russian, a Chinese or a Pakistani device, or something we have never seen before?" -- within a week.

What next? That part of the strategy is still evolving. Retaliation is one option that counter-terrorism officials have suggested in congressional testimony. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena), who has sponsored legislation to increase funding for nuclear forensics, suggested that any policy had to be flexible.

"It would be left to the administration in office to determine what the repercussions would be," he said.

Deterrence might depend simply on the perception that the U.S. could respond with a counterstrike. But if nuclear fuel were traced back to Russia, would the U.S. start a nuclear exchange? And what if the nuclear materials came from the U.S.?

Of course, those on the front lines hope such a quandary never has to be confronted.

The scientists and engineers -- who say anonymity is their only defense -- talk about their jobs with marked calm.

"I told my wife that I have a job that might require me to leave home in the middle of the night and I won't be able to say where I'm going," said Jerry, one team member. "Well, that didn't set too well with her. But she works in the Pentagon, and was right next to the corridor that took the hit in the 9/11 attack. So we share what this service means."
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Target No. 1 Luis Posada Carriles: Wanted for Terrorism
What is CODEPINK’s Most Wanted Campaign about?

We discovered that in 2008, the FBI is launching a new 20-city billboard ad campaign targeting the Most Wanted Criminals and Terrorists. The FBI will place billboards in strategic locations where they can be seen by millions driving by each day, asking the public to call the FBI with any tips or leads. We have looked at the FBI’s Most Wanted List, and it fails to include many people we think should be on that list. So we’ve started our own Most Wanted Campaign.
Who is Luis Posada Carriles and why is he on your Most Wanted List?

In the FBI’s campaign, Miami was chosen as one of the 20 cities. Yet when we looked on their list of Most Wanted, we discovered that an important name was missing—that of Luis Posada Carriles.

Luis Posada Carriles is known worldwide as a ruthless terrorist.  He masterminded the destruction of Cubana Airline Flight 455 on October 6, 1976. The plane blew up just after taking off from Barbados, killing all 73 men, women and children aboard, including the entire teenage Cuban Olympic fencing team. Within 24 hours, according to a declassified FBI cable dated the next day, an intelligence source "all but admitted that Posada had engineered the bombing of the airplane."  He was arrested and jailed for nine years in Venezuela until 1985, when he bribed his way out of prison.

In 1997, Mr. Posada orchestrated a series of hotel bombings in Havana intended to deter the growing tourism trade in Cuba. In one bombing incident, an Italian tourist was killed and 11 people wounded. In a taped interview with New York Times reporter Ann Louise Bardach, Mr. Posada proudly assumed responsibility and suggested such acts of terror would continue. "It is sad that someone is dead," he said, "but we can't stop."

Then in November 2000, Mr. Posada was arrested in Panama, charged and convicted as the ringleader of a conspiracy to assassinate Fidel Castro during a state visit - a plot that involved detonating a carload of plastic C-4 explosives that could have killed dozens of innocent bystanders.

But instead of spending the rest of his life behind bars, Posada Carriles lives freely in Miami! The Bush administration’s failure to detain or extradite this dangerous man makes a mockery of the U.S. war on terror.
What are the campaign goals?

Our goal is the inclusion of Luis Posada Carriles on the FBI Most Wanted List, and his prosecution in the U.S. or extradition to Venezuela, where he is wanted on 73 counts of first-degree murder.  We also aim to highlight the need to stop the U.S.’s selective enforcement of terrorism, and to expose the duplicity of elected officials, particularly Congressmember Ros-Lehtineen and Congressmembers Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balarts—congresspeople who have advocated on behalf of Posada Carriles.
What activities will CODEPINK engage in?

We will launch the Campaign in Miami on January 12-14. We will produce 5,000 Posada WANTED postcards addressed to the FBI, and will spend several days doing outreach on the streets of Miami (including Little Havana) asking people to sign the cards. On Sunday, January 13, we will do a 24-hour vigil at a symbolic location. On Monday, we will go to the FBI at 9am to turn in the cards and demand the arrest of Posada Carriles. We will also protest the FBI destruction of five boxes of evidence related to the case. At noon we will go to the office of Cong. Ros-Lehtinen to demand that she stop supporting terrorism.

The next phase will be our billboard campaign, based on the FBI campaign. Our billboard, with a profile of Posada Carriles and text Wanted for Terrorism, will encourage people, if they see him, to call the Miami FBI. We will attempt to put several billboards up in downtown Miami, starting in February.

In Washington DC, we will pressure members of the Congressional Judiciary Committee and Homeland Security Committees to call for Posada’s arrest. We will do vigils out side the Justice Department, calling on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to enforce U.S. anti-terrorism laws. We will follow the Federal Grand Jury proceedings in New Jersey on this case to see if it produces results.

We will also organize a mock trial in Miami that will include legal and academic experts, as well as victims’ families.
Why target Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen? How is she involved?

After the July 2005 terrorist attack in London, the Congresswoman said, "The targeting of innocent lives is insidious and shows the utter disrespect that perpetrators of terror have for humanity. Those who committed this callous act must know that our determination to neutralize terrorism is unshaken and that we will not yield in the face of such perfidy."

Yet in the case of Luis Posada Carriles, in 2003 Ros-Lehtinen, along with Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balarts, pressured then Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso to release Posada, Pedro Remón, Guillermo Novo and Gaspar Jiménez. All four were convicted in Panama of plotting to blow up a university center where Fidel Castro was scheduled to visit. In one of her last acts before leaving office, Moscoso pardoned the four men.  
In May 2007 the same Congresspeople denounced the Justice Department’s cooperation with the government of Cuba on collecting evidence on Posada Carriles and the 1997 hotel bombing that killed an Italian tourist, a case that is still under a New Jersey grand jury probe. The representatives “condemned the Bush Administration Justice Department's so-called ‘search for evidence on terrorism’ from the Cuban terrorist regime.”

As Jim DeFede of the Miami Herald wrote in an article about Ros-Lehtinen, “The nobility of your cause cannot be a justification for terror, because every terrorist believes that what he is doing is right. Which is why the only way to fight terrorism is to condemn it in all its forms and not just when it is politically convenient.”
Isn’t it dangerous to do this in Miami, where there is a militant right-wing Cuban community?

Yes, those who live in Miami know that there are elements of the Cuban community who are very violent. They have bombed and beaten people who dared to criticize their positions. But if the US. is going to have moral standing in the world, we must be consistent in opposing all violence against civilians and holding all terrorists accountable. It’s up to us to force our government to stop holding a double standard of condemning some acts of terrorism and support

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2 easy reads, you pick the spin

United States does not tolerate use of Charities to Promote Terrorism
Sat, 2008-01-12 13:16

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 12 January (Asiantribune.com): "Today's verdict is a milestone in our efforts against those who conceal their support for extremist causes behind the veil of humanitarianism. For years, these defendants used an allegedly charitable organization as a front for the collection of donations that they used to support violent jihadists. This prosecution serves notice that we will not tolerate the use of charities as a means of promoting terrorism," said Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said, "Today's convictions should be a warning to organizations or persons who intend to fund their support of any militant organization or goal, including the mujahideen and jihad, by abusing our nation's tax laws,that they will be pro actively investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The United States government requires truthful and complete information to uphold our nation's laws."

The above sentiments were expressed by U.S. officials when three men, a Libyan national and two Lebanese nationals, were convicted today in federal court of conspiring to defraud the United States and engaging in a scheme to conceal information from the United States government.

Kenneth Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - New England Field Division; and Douglas A. Bricker, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation - Boston Field Office, announced January 11 that Emadeddin Muntasser, age 43, of Braintree, Samir Almonla , age 50, of Brookline, and Muhamed Mubayyid, age 42, of Shrewsbury, were each convicted by a jury sitting before U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV, of Conspiring to Defraud the United States and Engaging in a Scheme to Conceal Information from the U.S. Government. In addition, Muntasser was convicted of Making False Statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an interview conducted in April 2003 and Mubayyid was convicted of three separate counts of Making and Filing False Tax Returns on behalf of Care International, Inc. ("Care International") for tax years 1997, 1999, and 2000. Mubayyid was also convicted of obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service.Al-Monla was acquitted on one count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an interview conducted in April 2003.

Douglas Bricker, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue said, "The integrity of our tax system depends upon the honesty and accuracy of all taxpayers. IRS will vigorously investigate individuals and tax exempt organizations who fraudulently disguise their activities. While the vast majority of charities perform excellent work helping people in need, tax exempt organizations cannot be permitted to lie or generate funds for unstated or misrepresented purposes."

Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, "Counter terrorism is one of the FBI's top priorities, and these convictions are the result of excellent cooperation and commitment by the team of investigators who worked tirelessly to investigate and resolve this complex case."

Evidence presented during the 24-day trial proved that the defendants fraudulently used Care International to solicit and obtain tax deductible donations for the purpose of supporting and promoting the mujahideen (Muslim holy warriors) and jihad (violent armed conflict). The evidence demonstrated that from in or about April 1993 to April 2003,Munster, Almonla, and Mubayyid, concealed the fact that Care International was an outgrowth of and successor to the Al-Kifah Refugee Center ("Al-Kifah") and was engaged in non- charitable activities involving the solicitation and expenditure of funds to support and promote the mujahideen and jihad from the IRS, FBI, and Immigration and Naturalization Service (now known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Further, the government proved that Muntasser, Al-Monla, and Mubayyid conspired to defraud the United States for the purpose of impeding, impairing, interfering, and obstructing the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service in the ascertainment, assessment, and determination of whether Care International qualified and should be designated as a charitable organization pursuant to 26 U.S.C. Section 501(c)(3) in 1993 and should continue to be accorded that status thereafter.

During the trial, the government proved that in the 1990s Muntasser ran the Boston branch office of Al-Kifah, which was part of the Makhtab al Khidamat ("MAK") network founded by Sheik Abdullah Azzam and another person in Peshawar, Pakistan in the 1980s to provide support to the mujahideen. MAK had offices throughout the World. In North America, MAK was known by the name Al- Kifah.

The case was investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - New England Field Division, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Boston Field Office with assistance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys B. Stephanie Siegmann, Aloke S. Chakravarty, and Donald L. Cabell of Sullivan's Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit.

COINTELPRO Redux: Global Order Targets the 9/11 Truth and Patriot Movements

Kurt Nimmo
November 2, 2007        

In 1970, as an antiwar activist, I was deemed dangerous enough—even though I was eighteen years old—to warrant a dossier compiled by the Michigan State Police “Red Squad,” a throwback to the so-called Red Scare of the early 1920s. The Red Squad was organized to go after dissidents of all stripes but in particular, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to go after antiwar and “New Left” activists. As I discovered years later, the Red Squads worked in concert with the FBI, under its notorious COINTELPRO, and even the CIA, supposedly prevented by its charter from snooping and subverting domestic activists.

The depth and criminal severity of the CIA’s subversion of American activists partaking in entirely legal and constitutionally guaranteed dissent was recently revealed in documents released to the the National Security Archive at George Washington University, known as the “family jewels” by agency insiders. Of course, much of the information revealed in the documents is nothing new, as researchers have known about numerous CIA projects for decades, including Operation Chaos and the Merrimac and Resistance programs, all specifically designed to infiltrate and compromise dissident groups. It is important to note that these CIA operations worked hand-in-glove with the FBI and local police, as noted by the Select Committee to Study Government Operations, otherwise known as the Church Committee.

The “CIA received and maintained considerable information about the domestic activities and relationships of American individuals and organizations. Much of that material was collected in the first instance by the FBI, police or other confidential sources, who turned it over to the CIA,” the final report issued by the Church Committee notes.

“From 1959 to at least 1974, the CIA used its domestic organizations to spy on thousands of US citizens whose only crime was disagreeing with their government’s policies,” writes Mark Zepezauer (The CIAs Greatest Hits). “This picked up speed when J. Edgar Hoover told President Johnson that nobody would be protesting his Vietnam war policies unless they were being directed to do so by some foreign power. Johnson ordered the CIA to investigate.”

In response, the CIA vastly expanded its campus surveillance program and stepped up its liaisons with local police departments. It trained special intelligence units in major cities to carry out “black bag” jobs (break-ins, wiretaps, etc.) against US “radicals.” …

In 1968, the CIA’s various domestic programs were consolidated and expanded under the name Operation CHAOS. When Richard Nixon became president the following year, his administration drafted the Huston Plan, which called for even greater operations against “subversives,” including wiretapping, break-ins, mail-opening, no-knock searches and “selective assassinations.” Bureaucratic infighting tabled the plan, but much of it was implemented in other forms, not only by the CIA but also by the FBI and the Secret Service.

With the revelation of CIA and White House complicity in the Watergate break-in, light began to shine on Operation CHAOS. After a period of “reform,” much of CHAOS’s work was privatized, and right-wing groups and “former” CIA agents now provide the bulk of the CIA’s domestic intelligence.

The FBI’s concurrent program went by the name COINTELPRO, short for Counter Intelligence Program. COINTELPRO, the Church Committee explained, employed “techniques … adopted wholesale from wartime counterintelligence, and ranged from the trivial (mailing reprints of Reader’s Digest articles to college administrators) to the degrading (sending anonymous poison-pen letters intended to break up marriages) and the dangerous (encouraging gang warfare and falsely labeling members of a violent group as police informers)…. Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that.”

In order to understand the game of hardball the government played with activists—the vast majority of them nonviolent and many pacifist—consider the remarks of William C. Sullivan, former Assistant to the director of the FBI: “This is a rough, tough, dirty business, and dangerous. It was dangerous at times. No holds were barred…. We have used [these techniques] against Soviet agents. They have used [them] against us. . . . [The same methods were] brought home against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate. This is a rough, tough business.”

Of course, it was not rough and tough for the FBI and the “establishment,” never seriously in jeopardy of losing control, even with the failures of Vietnam, but it was certainly rough and tough for activists, particularly activists involved in black and Indian “national liberation” movements—many of them, including Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark (the latter two of the Black Panthers), assassinated outright.

As Gregg York told M. Wesley Swearigen, published in Swearigen’s in FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Expose (1995), the FBI’s plot to assassinate the Panthers was “in a style similar to the Chicago gangland murders of the 1950s,” that is to say, at least in regard to the Black Panthers (and the American Indian Movement), cold-blooded murder was the preferred method of dealing with upstarts.

In A Short History of FBI COINTELPRO, Mike Cassidy and Will Miller bullet-point the FBI’s COINTELPRO tactics:

* First, there was infiltration. Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. The main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. They also exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
* Second, there was psychological warfare from the outside. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists.
* Third, there was harassment through the legal system, used to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, “investigative” interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters.
* Fourth and finally, there was extralegal force and violence. The FBI and police threatened, instigated and conducted break-ins, vandalism, assaults, and beatings. The object was to frighten dissidents and disrupt their movements. In the case of radical Black and Puerto Rican activists (and later Native Americans), these attacks, including political assassinations, were so extensive, vicious, and calculated that they can only be accurately called a form of official “terrorism.”

“The public exposure of COINTELPRO and other government abuses resulted in a flurry of apparent reform in the 1970s, but domestic covert action did not end,” the two authors warn. “It has persisted, and seems a permanent feature of our government. Much of today’s domestic covert action can also be kept concealed because of government secrecy that has been restored.”

Indeed, as Ross Gelbspan documents (Break-Ins, Death Threats and the FBI), COINTELPRO was not shut down in the 1970s but continued to live on and subvert the constitutional rights of Americans through the 1980s and 1990s, right up until the present day. “Utilizing thousands of pages of FBI documents secured through the Freedom of Information Act, Gelbspan found that activists who opposed U.S. policy in Central America ‘experienced nearly 200 incidents of harassment and intimidation, many involving…break-ins and thefts or rifling of files,’” writes Paul Wolf. (COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story).

“There is no better example than the Judi Bari ‘boom and bust’ case to show that the FBI kept on well into the 1990s using covert action tactics against political movements and activists which they perceived as threats to the established order. One can make a case that the FBI is still using such tactics in the Bari case in 2001,” Wolf writes. Environmental activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were targeted by the FBI for engaging in “leftist environmental and labor organizing.” As it turns out, the FBI planted a bomb in their car.

In the 1990s, the FBI and government concentrated on a new target—the putative militia movement, its numbers increased by the treacherous events in Waco, Texas. As Daniel Brandt writes (The 1960s and COINTELPRO: In Defense of Paranoia), the Clinton administration turned the legacy of COINTELPRO into a full-blown media circus with the likes of Warren Christopher unveiling simultaneously “a broad plan for expanded wiretapping, denial of visas, working with other governments on money laundering and seizing assets, and expanding the use of current laws prohibiting fund- raising for terrorist organizations,” in short a precursor of things to come under the neocon Bush administration and its contrived GWOT.

The bombing in Oklahoma City happened three months later. It was accompanied by 100 times more footage about dead children than the same media mustered for Waco two years earlier — or for that matter, bombed children in Vietnam during the 1960s. They deftly dropped the word “international” from all references to “terrorism,” and “anti-terrorism” moved to the fast track. The president’s popularity went up as Bill and Hillary staged a session with some children in front of the cameras, promising the toddlers that they’d do their best against the bad guys. They didn’t take questions. A few days later Clinton sent a $1.5 billion anti-terrorism bill to Congress. Here we go again, for those old enough to remember the sixties.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had bigger fish to fry. Even though the connection between the bombing and militia groups was more imaginary than real, the copy-starved media grabbed whatever crumbs they were offered by these two axe-grinding groups. The militias hit the front pages everywhere. On June 7, with the support of the ADL, the Senate passed a sweeping $2 billion anti-terrorism measure by a vote of 91-to-8. It took a pair of gloves at the O.J. trial to slap our media back to their usual fare. And by then the House was already reporting a similar bill out of committee.

Since the 60s and 70s, Brandt notes, things have changed. “Without the ‘communists’ to kick around anymore, some of those who once underwrote Wall Street’s global interests by donating their first- born, are now describing themselves as patriots and populists. Many of them have taken a fresh look at the international ruling class, and resurrected a long but gnarly tradition of anti-establishment, isolationist nationalism…. Much of the political thinking among these new patriots is immature, and is short on both research and scholarship. Even so, it still describes the world better than what’s left of the Left, with its self-interested insistence on multiculturalism and political correctness. The conspiracy theories peddled by patriots make more objective sense today, than the reasons they were given for our involvement in Vietnam did in the sixties. That’s progress of sorts.”

Naturally, the corporate media did a fine job destroying the so-called militia movement’s reputation. “Widely portrayed as having links with white supremacist organizations or ‘Nazi’ type groups, many of them vigorously deny such allegations and point to a growing number of Black participants in the movement, including some in leadership roles. This is a loosely-federated movement with a presence in all 50 states, in urban as well as rural areas,” writes Husayn Al Kurdy.

The rebels and “revolutionaries” now challenging the major power internally turn out to be from the Right, insofar as the Left/Right spectrum has any real meaning anymore. Many of those pushing for “tough” state-sponsored measures (those at the business end of some of these initiatives could call them “terrorist” with full justification) now include voices from what calls itself the “Progressive Community,” the remnants of what used to be called “The Left.” By cheering government repression against their opponents, as many are now doing, they expose their political opportunism, just as many in other political camps did on previous occasions. The Pastor Niemoller scenario as evoked during the Hitler period has been playing itself out. This time around, the story begins “First they came for Randy Weaver’s family and the Branch Davidians…”

Indeed, the “target” threat, as elucidated by the FBI and CIA way back in the late 60s, has transferred from the “left” over to “right,” that is if you still put any credence into these antiquated political designations.

The growing 9/11 truth and “patriot” movements—largely a reformulation of the “militia” movement with a contingent of disillusioned “progressives”—pose more of a threat than anything proffered by the diehard and politically correct to a fault Greenies, so many who are completely snowed under by the globalist agenda and dependent on foundation grant money dispensed through methodical gatekeepers.

Of course, the anti-globalist movement, well entrenched on the “progressive” side of the equation, still poses a significant threat to the New World Order and, as black bloc “anarchist” agent provocateurs demonstrate, the state is busily at work attacking the anti-globalist movement, as it poses a sincere threat to the corporatist-fascist order, determined to convert the planet into a slave plantation.

In the years since the events of September 11th, 2001, the patriot movement, increasingly merged with a nascent “truth” movement, has effectively challenged the globalist order—from exposing the 9/11 cover-up and substantially detailing the texture of the inside job to confronting and hounding the elite and their minions from Ottawa and university auditoriums to live television audiences. Needless to say, these often improvised guerrilla tactics have put our rulers on the offensive.

As Alex Jones warned on his November 1st radio program, the gloves have come off and the elite are in the process of targeting the patriot-truth movement head-on. The slanderous mischaracterizations of Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and other corporate media minion-whores of state power are but a preparation of things to come—and likely sooner before later.

It is no mistake the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 sailed like a clipper ship through Congress, as our rulers certainly consider 9/11 truth an “extremist belief system” determined to “advance political, religious, or social change,” that is to say, in the parlance of the elite, engage in terrorism. It is the job of Glenn Beck et al to equate truth activists to the sufficiently demonized Timothy McVeigh—emblematic of the “patriot” terrorist, never mind his shadowy linkage to military intelligence—a process made all the more simple by the fact the corporatist-fascist media venue allows no rebuttal short of a Bill O’Reilly shout-over, replete with adolescent references to pinheads and cartoonish al-Qaeda villains.

However, these shrill, irrational and confrontational tactics will not work, as far too many Americans are clued in to the fact there is something rotten… not specifically in Denmark but rather in Washington, on Wall Street, and in the corporate suites and on the sets and studios of the corporate-fascist media.

It remains to be seen if enough Americans will step up and show the intestinal fortitude required to make a difference. But then, it should be remembered, the last time we had a revolution in this country it was a small number of dedicated individuals who made the difference while a large and hesitant majority sat on the fence.
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