Category Archives: 9/11

Sick first responders snubbed by 9/11 Museum

Susan Edelman and Danika Fears reports for The New York Post:

‘The 9/11 Museum has been drawing criticism from first responders upset with the way its exhibits portray those who suffered in the aftermath of the terror attacks. One of the most moving complaints came from an NYPD officer who became ill with cancer after working at Ground Zero.

In a letter addressed to 9/11 Museum President Joe Daniels, Reginald Hilaire expressed his dismay that the exhibit did not properly acknowledge the serious illnesses and deaths among responders.

“There are no listing of names or even a sentence that people died from 9/11 related illnesses,” he wrote. “The federal government has recognized a link with illnesses and work at the WTC and Staten Island landfill, but the 9/11 Museum mentioned very little.”’

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Frankensteinian Hubris: Bush’s “Redirection” and the Rise of ISIS

Dan Sanchez writes for Antiwar:

6-photo-henry-his-monster‘[...] It is good to remember that the policy that led to this mess was initiated under the Bush Administration, with full cognizance of the possibility that it could result in severe terroristic and destabilizing blowback. It was in 2007 that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia launched what Seymour Hersh, who broke the story in The New Yorker, called “the Redirection.” Under this policy revolution, the U.S. and the Saudis (with Israel’s blessing and prodding) began trying to bolster Sunni radicals in an effort to “contain” the “Shiite resurgence” brought about by the U.S. empowerment of the Shiites in Iraq. It all started in Lebanon.

[...] As reported by Patrick Cockburn, not all of the Saudis embraced such a blowback-inviting policy, so it would be more accurate to call it a victory for the Prince Bandar bin Sultan line. The fact that U.S. policymakers concluded that beleaguered Iran, with its long track record of not attacking a single country, is more of a danger than Sunni radicals, like the ones responsible for 9/11 and every other Al Qaeda attack, is an indication of just how little our overlords care about actually protecting us, as compared to pursuing regional power politics.

[...] Some of the radical Sunnis the U.S. has bolstered in Syria (namely, ISIS) have now crossed over into Iraq, conquered much of the northwest, and may soon take Baghdad, Maliki’s capital. I imagine this has put plenty of “fear” into his government: mission accomplished. Although, I don’t know how much “incentive” they’ll have to “cooperate” when they’re all dead or in exile.

[...] They have indeed outsmarted them, and it has indeed been ugly. Obama and the Saudis ramped up in Syria the same policy that Bush and the Saudis started pursuing in Lebanon, and the result was the same but worse. Salafi psychos in Syria, as in Lebanon, were able to get their hands on plenty of U.S. and Saudi aid. And through the course of the U.S.-supported bloody rebellion in Syria, ISIS acquired experience, recruits, arms, and territory, which they used to launch their conquest in Iraq.’

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Campaign Mounts to Declassify 9/11 Report’s References to Alleged Saudi Involvement

Samuel Oakford writes for Vice News:

Nearly 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the extent of Saudi involvement in the deaths of almost 3,000 people remains unclear — but according to members of Congress and the families of victims, information about this has been suppressed ever since the publication of a 2002 congressional investigation into the plot.

Prior to the release of the final report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration classified a 28-page section in the name of national security.

Though speculations, accusations, and denials have swirled around these pages over the past decade, the call for their declassification has steadily grown since December 2013, when House Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced Resolution 428, a two-page document urging President Obama to release them to the public. Nine other representatives from both parties have co-sponsored the resolution.’

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How the ‘War on Terror’ Became a War on the Constitution

Peter Van Buren writes for Tom Dispatch:

‘America has entered its third great era: the post-constitutional one. In the first, in the colonial years, a unitary executive, the King of England, ruled without checks and balances, allowing no freedom of speech, due process or privacy when it came to protecting his power.

In the second, the principles of the Enlightenment and an armed rebellion were used to push back the king’s abuses. The result was a new country and a new constitution with a Bill of Rights expressly meant to check the government’s power. Now we are wading into the shallow waters of a third era, a time when that government is abandoning the basic ideas that saw our nation through centuries of challenges far more daunting than terrorism. Those ideas—enshrined in the Bill of Rights—are disarmingly concise. Think of them as the haiku of a genuine people’s government.

Deeper, darker waters lie ahead and we seem drawn down into them. For here there be monsters.’

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9/11 Commission a decade later: ‘Terrorism is not going away’

Tom Cohen reports for CNN:

‘America’s longest war. Much more National Security Agency surveillance. An alphabet soup of new government departments and agencies. Long security lines at airports. All those things happened in response to the 9/11 al Qaeda attacks on New York and the Pentagon that forever changed U.S. security perceptions and practices. Now a commission created to examine what happened then says we need to do more now to protect ourselves.

“The ‘generational struggle’ against terrorism described in ‘The 9/11 Commission Report’ is far from over,” the panel said this week in reference to its assessment a decade earlier. “Rather, it is entering a new and dangerous phase, and America cannot afford to let down its guard.” Its bottom line assessment? “Strenuous counterterrorism efforts will remain a fact of our national life for the foreseeable future.”‘

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9/11: 2,500 Ground Zero workers have cancer

Susan Edelman reports for The New York Post:

2,500 Ground Zero workers have cancer‘More than 2,500 Ground Zero rescuers and responders have come down with cancer, and a growing number are seeking compensation for their illnesses, The Post has learned. The grim toll has skyrocketed from the 1,140 cancer cases reported last year.

In its latest tally, the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital counts 1,655 responders with cancer among the 37,000 cops, hard hats, sanitation workers, other city employees and volunteers it monitors, officials told The Post.

The tragic sum rises to 2,518 when firefighters and EMTs are added. The FDNY, which has its own WTC health program, said Friday it counts 863 members with cancers certified for 9/11-related treatment.’

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John McCain’s War

Editor’s Note: The Steve Clemens piece mentioned by Thom Hartmann in these videos is titled “‘Thank God for the Saudis': ISIS, Iraq, and the Lessons of Blowback“. And if you’re interested, you can download a copy of the film “Charlie Wilson’s War” here.

9/11 Victim’s Bill Blocked By Chiquita Bananas

Immortal Technique on Conspiracy Facts, Money as God & Breaking the Two Party Dictatorship

Abby Martin in an exclusive interview with hip hop artist Immortal Technique discussing everything from his creative process in his politically charged lyrics to his views on capitalism and the two-party stronghold over American politics.’ (Breaking the Set)

Wall Street traders want 9/11 money

Susan Edelman reports for the New York Post:

Wall Street traders want 9/11 moneyA wave of Wall Street stock­brokers and traders are coming down with cancers blamed on the toxic dust and smoke of 9/11. They’re joining ill Ground Zero first-responders in seeking payments from the $2.7 billion federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Of 622 cancer claims approved so far, the fund has awarded $15.5 million to 39 victims, a spokeswoman told The Post.

Officials would not give a breakdown of cancer victims, but 10,800 downtown workers make up the second-largest group of registered claimants after 39,500 Ground Zero responders. There are another 16,600 in smaller categories such as residents, students, child-care and health-care workers. Finance workers engulfed in dust and debris from the Twin Towers’ collapse say the attacks — and returning to Wall Street a week later, when officials insisted it was safe — triggered their diseases.

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Guantánamo hearings halted amid accusations of FBI spying on legal team

Spencer Ackerman writes for The Guardian:

Photograph: Michelle Shephard/APThe US government’s troubled military trials of terrorism suspects were dealt another blow on Monday when proceedings were halted after an allegation surfaced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned a member of a 9/11 defendant’s defense team into a secret informant. Judge James Pohl, the army colonel overseeing the controversial military commission at Guantánamo, gaveled a hearing out of session after barely 30 minutes on Monday morning, following the revelation of a motion filed by the defense stipulating that the FBI approached an unidentified member of the team during the course of an investigation into how a manifesto by accused 9/11 architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed found its way to the media.

Defense attorneys argued the government plunged them into a potential conflict of interest, as they would need to potentially defend themselves against a leak investigation, risking their ability to put their clients’ legal needs ahead of their own. They implored Pohl to investigate, and if necessary, assign their clients with new independent counsel to advise the defendants about the existence and implications of conflict of interest. That could be a lengthy process – potentially the next delay for a proceeding that has yet to get out of the pretrial stage nearly two years after the latest incarnation of the 9/11 military trials began.

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James Rickards Talks About 9/11 Insider Trading on the Keiser Report

‘The FBI told the 9/11 Families that it was disinformation, and both the 9/11 Report and SEC said there was nothing to it. Deutsche bank A.G., Europe’s largest bank, said Mayo Shattuck III quit as head of its United States security unit, Alex. Brown a day after 9/11.’ (Jon Gold)

Panel to investigate handling of FBI mole; asset was close to bin Laden pre-9/11

Guy Taylor reports for The Washington Times:

Members of a special panel examining the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts over the past decade say they will “push hard” for an answer to why the bureau has never revealed information about a human asset it reportedly had in direct contact with al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden during the early 1990s.

Leaders of the panel, established by a congressional mandate in January, told lawmakers Wednesday that their work over the coming year will center on analyzing successes and failures of the FBI’s counterterrorism policies since the 2004 publication of the official 9/11 Commission report, along with recommendations.

But panel leaders told The Washington Times later that they were floored by revelations about the FBI’s bin Laden source — whose existence was first highlighted in a Times story last month.

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Members Of Congress Pushing White House To Make Public 28 Redacted Pages From 9/11 Report

How to Steal an Airplane: From 9/11 to MH370

Editor’s Note: Not going to say that I’m 100% in agreement with everything in this report but it’s worth a watch. 

Moving Towards a Police State: Interview with Michael Ratner

FBI Al-Qaeda Informants Didn’t Stop WTC Bombings

‘Abby Martin goes over the anniversary of the 1993 first WTC Bombing, explaining how an FBI informant embedded in the group responsible for the attack wasn’t prevented from carrying it out. She also discusses the revelation that the FBI had a mole embedded within Bin Laden’s leadership that could have prevented future terrorist attacks.’ (Breaking the Set)

FBI had source in contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993

Guy Taylor and John Solomon report for the Washington Times:

In a revelation missing from the official investigations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, according to court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case. The information the FBI gleaned back then was so specific that it helped thwart a terrorist plot against a Masonic lodge in Los Angeles, the court records reviewed by The Washington Times show.

“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in support of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the bureau by his former agent Bassem YoussefMr. Curran gave the testimony in 2010 to an essentially empty courtroom, and thus it escaped notice from the media or terrorism specialists. The Times was recently alerted to the existence of the testimony while working on a broader report about al Qaeda’s origins.

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Micah Zenko: Technology, not policy, will make it easier for U.S. leaders to remain on a perpetual war footing

Micah Zenko writes for Foreign Policy:

In preparation for a recent talk, I spoke to a range of thinkers and practitioners in and out of government about the current relevance and applicability of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The AUMF, which was passed by the House and Senate just three days after 9/11, gave the president a narrow mandate to use all necessary and appropriate force against those responsible for the terrorist attacks and to prevent future acts of international terrorism against the United States. Two points of agreement were repeated in my conversations: First, the legislation does not accurately reflect either the military or the political objectives for current counterterrorism operations, nor does it accurately reflect the intention of those who originally drafted and approved the measure in 2001. Second, it is unlikely that the AUMF will be repealed, and any congressional efforts to update its language would most likely result in an even more expansive mandate.

Many correctly highlight that the AUMF does not reflect the scope of the conflict that the United States is now engaged in, and that its elasticity assures that America will remain on a war footing in perpetuity. However, those concerned with the prospects of a “forever war” should be concerned less about the irrelevant post-9/11 legislative mandate, and more about the revolutionary expansion of military assets that have been made available to the president since then. These technologies and processes that have reduced the costs and risks of using force have permanently changed how Americans conceive of military operations. As killing people, blowing things up, and disrupting computer networks will only get easier, it is worthwhile to take stock of where we are today.

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Clapper Says People Would Not Have A Problem With Bulk Data Collection If Told Shortly After 9/11

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed offers to testify in New York federal trial

Khalid Sheikh MohammedFrom The LA Times:

From his cell in the heavily guarded prison at Guantanamo Bay, the presumed chief architect of the Sept. 11 terrorist plot is offering to be a key defense witness in what probably will be the only trial in New York of someone charged in connection with the World Trade Center attacks.

This would not be the first time Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has emerged as a star defense witness for members of Al Qaeda. Twice, his words have minimized the role defendants played in the organization’s top hierarchy. In 2006, his interrogation summaries were read aloud in the capital murder trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, and Moussaoui was spared the death penalty. Two years later, different Mohammed statements were read in a military commission trial, or tribunal, that led to the release from Guantanamo Bay of Osama bin Laden’s chauffeur, Salim Hamdan.

This time the stakes are higher. Mohammed agreed in a Jan. 27 letter from his lawyer, which was obtained by The Times, to be interviewed by defense lawyers for Sulaiman abu Ghaith — as long as federal prosecutors and military lawyers were not allowed to monitor the conversation in any way.

Abu Ghaith, the top Al Qaeda propagandist now charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, goes on trial in 10 days in federal court in Lower Manhattan. And his chief attorney, Stanley Cohen, has insisted in court documents that Mohammed be allowed to speak in some capacity — in court through a live closed-circuit feed from the U.S. military prison in Cuba, in a taped interview or in a written statement.

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Whistleblower Michael Springmann on the visas-for-terrorists program

9/11 First Responders Betrayed By The Government

Sept. 11 museum’s planned $24 admission fee stirs some anger

From The LA Times:

When the 9/11 Memorial Museum opens in mid-May, it will have shards of the fallen World Trade Center towers. It will have walls covered with portraits of the nearly 3,000 victims, and the watch worn by Todd Beamer when he declared, “Let’s roll,” and helped launch an attack on the Flight 93 hijackers.

It will have a burned-out ambulance that raced to save people, and helmets of firefighters who battled dust and flames to reach those trapped in the ruins.

It will also have a $24 admission fee, which directors say is needed to maintain the site, a cost that critics say undercuts the idea of ensuring that all the world can visit and learn from the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.

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Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange respond to Obama’s speech on NSA ‘reforms’

Author of ‘shock and awe’ doctrine writes of need for ‘extraordinary crisis’ to save ‘new world order’

Harlan K. Ullman writes for the Atlantic Council:

[...] In essence, the 365 year-old Westphalian system that placed sovereign states as the centerpieces of international politics is being tested and in some cases made obsolete by the empowerment of individuals and non-state actors. As former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft observes, global politics has entered a post-Westphalian era. But very few have taken note and fewer have acted on this realization.

The fundamental cause of this empowerment is the diffusion of all forms of power writ large commonly called “globalization,” accelerated by the information revolution and instantaneous global communications and the real and perceived fragilities and weaknesses of states to intervention, interference and disruption by non-traditional actors.

September 11th could become the demarcation point of this new era much as 1648 and the Treaty of Westphalia marked the beginning of the state-centric system of the international order.

While the analogy is loose, it won’t take centuries for the effects of globalization and the end or at least the transition of the Westphalian era to take hold.

Beyond this inflection point in international politics, still unabsorbed and misunderstood by most governments and people, a second reality complicates taking effective action in what could truly be a “new world order,” the description coined by U.S. President George H.W. Bush after the implosion of the Soviet Union more than two decades ago.

Failed and failing government from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe with Brussels and Washington in between is the largest collective impediment to the betterment of mankind.

Without an extraordinary crisis, little is likely to be done to reverse or limit the damage imposed by failed or failing governance. The United States is Exhibit A although there are far too many competitors for that title.

However, the changing Westphalian system can and must be addressed if there is to be any chance of success in containing, reducing and eliminating the dangers posed by newly empowered non-state actors.

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New York Cops, Firefighters in Massive 9/11 Fraud, Indictment Says

From ABC News:

More than 100 retired New York City cops, firefighters and correction officers were charged today with falsely claiming to be suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of the 9/11 terror attacks, New York prosecutors said today.

The alleged scam won awards up to $500,000 for the uniformed personnel and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, according to the indictment.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said the suspects “cynically manufactured claims of mental illness as a result of Sept 11th… dishonoring the first responders.”

Police Commissioner William Bratton said, “The retired members of the NYP indicted in this case have disgraced all first responders who perished during the search and rescue efforts on Sept. 11, 2001.”

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Interview with Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar , on how three former top CIA officials knowingly withheld key information prior to 9/11

Patrick Cockburn: Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis

From The Independent:

[...] Why did the US and its European allies treat Saudi Arabia with such restraint when the kingdom was so central to al-Qa’ida and other even more sectarian Sunni jihadist organisations? An obvious explanation is that the US, Britain and others did not want to offend a close ally and that the Saudi royal family had judiciously used its money to buy its way into the international ruling class. Unconvincing attempts were made to link Iran and Iraq to al-Qa’ida when the real culprits were in plain sight.

But there is another compelling reason why the Western powers have been so laggard in denouncing Saudi Arabia and the Sunni rulers of the Gulf for spreading bigotry and religious hate. Al-Qa’ida members or al-Qa’ida-influenced groups have always held two very different views about who is their main opponent. For Osama bin Laden the chief enemy was the Americans, but for the great majority of Sunni jihadists, including the al-Qa’ida franchises in Iraq and Syria, the target is the Shia. It is the Shia who have been dying in their thousands in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and even in countries where there are few of them to kill, such as Egypt.

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Be Very Afraid of Terrorism, Invisible ‘Big Bombs’ & ‘Huge Malevolence’

terrorist-attacks-since-1970

From Antiwar:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence committees respectively, went on CNN’s Sunday talk show yesterday to put fear into the hearts of Americans. They told us we are in more danger now than ever and the obvious corollary to this is that Americans need to take their fear of government and redirect it to nameless and faceless terrorists who are out to destroy us.

“There are new bombs, very big bombs,” Feinstain warned, “that go through (metal-detecting) magnetometers.” She warned of “huge malevolence out there.” This puts “enormous pressure” on our intelligence community, Rogers added, which means Americans have to lay off the NSA because they “are not the bad guys.”

In other words, the NSA is not your enemy. Really, it isn’t. The government is just protecting us from foreign bogeymen that are the real danger.

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