Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Lewis Seiler, Dan Hamburg
San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, February 4, 2008
"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."
- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943
Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.
According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."
Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs" require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?
Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."
The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.
Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.
U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.
According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.
A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.
What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?
The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.
Posted by Floyd Anderson at 5:32 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, February 18th, 2008
American icon Willie Nelson says he supports efforts to impeach President Bush and "throw the bastards out," adding that the administration will do anything to stay in power, including staging an event to cancel the election.
In his second appearance this month, Nelson told The Alex Jones Show today that he supported Dennis Kucinich's attempt to impeach Bush, adding, "If you break the law you have to pay for it one way or another and if these guys haven't broke the law nobody has."
"The deck's been stacked and we need to figure out a way to get a new fresh deck in there in the deal and I don't know how else to do it except throw the bastards out," said Nelson.
But the award winning star of stage and screen was quick to clarify that he didn't see the Democrats as any kind of viable alternative.
"We went through a couple of elections now and we didn't do anything, we thought we did but come to find out that the voting machines are crooked, everything's stacked against us, the politicians that we vote for won't stay and fight and they won't count the votes."
Nelson agreed that an elite cherry picked presidents and leaders to do their bidding against the interests of the people.
"They find them and they groom them and they put them in office and tell them exactly what to do and you give the speeches will small words and big letters and let them go," said Nelson.
"I really believe that George Bush believes he's right, he believes what he's saying and that makes it even more pathetic because to have someone that wrong think they're right and have him be the leader of our country - that's a scary thought," he added.
The star also re-iterated a warning made during his last appearance on the show, that the Bush administration could potentially stage an event to postpone or cancel the presidential election.
"It could be anything and anything will work because they have everyone scared to death, I just think there are people out there who will do anything to stay in power, anything to keep what they have, they've already proven they'll do anything to keep it," he said.
Reacting to the big response his last appearance on The Alex Jones Show generated, Nelson said "I think it would take courage not to say something, I usually say what I think and it's harder for me to shut up."
"I don't have the ability to remain quiet when all this stuff is going on all around us," he added.
Nelson clarified his previous comments about Building 7 after the news media attempted to skew his words and claim he said that no planes hit the WTC on 9/11. Nelson made it clear he was talking about WTC 7, which imploded symmetrically within seven seconds on the late afternoon of 9/11 despite the fact that it was only hit by minimal debris from the falling towers and not a commercial airliner.
"I was talking about the third building that nothing hit and yet it fell as if it was hit the same way, all three buildings fell the same way, but the third building wasn't hit by anything," said the country music star.
Nelson's contention that the twin towers were deliberately imploded received media attention after his first appearance on the radio show two weeks ago.
Posted by Floyd Anderson at 6:37 PM
BBC | February 18, 2008
Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were murdered, Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed has told the inquest into their deaths in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
Harrods owner Mr. Al Fayed claimed former prime minister Tony Blair, MI5, MI6 and the British ambassador to France were all part of the conspiracy.
And he said Princess Diana "knew Prince Philip and Prince Charles were trying to get rid of her."
He also said Diana had told him she was pregnant, and the couple were engaged.
"I am the only person they told," he said.
Asked by Ian Burnett QC, counsel to the inquest, if he stood by his claim that Diana and Dodi were "murdered by the British security services on the orders of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," Mr Al Fayed replied: "Yes."
He also pinpointed alleged security forces in the ambulance crew, the then British Ambassador to France Sir Michael Jay and the princess's brother-in-law Sir Robert Fellowes as all being involved in the plot.
And he said Prince Charles was complicit, hoping to make way so he could marry his "crocodile wife" Camilla Parker Bowles.
The Harrods boss also raised concerns about a note written by Diana's divorce lawyer, Lord Mishcon, after an October 1995 meeting. It outlined her fears there was a plot to kill her in a car crash.
The police agreed to hand it to the coroner only after Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, produced a note from the princess making similar allegations in the Daily Mirror in October 2003. By that time, Sir John Stevens led the Met.
Mr. Al Fayed said this delay confirmed his "belief that my son and Princess Diana were murdered."
In his evidence, Mr. Al Fayed branded Prince Philip a "Nazi" and a "racist" and said: "It's time to send him back to Germany from where he comes."
"You want to know his original name - it ends with Frankenstein," he added.
Mr. Al Fayed read out a statement detailing his main concerns about the crash, and the points he felt the inquest should address.
Diana had told him she kept a wooden box and if anything happened to her, the contents should be made public, he said. But it had not been kept safe by Diana's butler Paul Burrell, or her sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale.
He also said blood samples apparently taken from driver Henri Paul - who was also killed in the crash - did not belong to the Frenchman.
Mr. Al Fayed felt the murder was likely to have been carried out by photographer James Andanson, who has since died, on the orders of the security services.
During his evidence, Mr. Al Fayed held up a copy of Monday's Sun newspaper, which claims Paul Burrell said he had not told the whole truth to the inquest.
He said of Mr Burrell: "He's been sitting here in the witness box talking about baloney things. It's important to bring him back."
Lord Justice Scott Baker later told the court: "This is something that's certainly being investigated."
The coroner said he had called for the Sun's tape and would want to know the circumstances under which it was obtained.
Richard Horwell QC for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner put it to Mr. Al Fayed that he had denied Diana "dignity in death" by raising the question of her pregnancy.
The barrister added that "witness after witness" had been asked about her method of contraception and her menstrual cycle, "and the evidence shows she could not have been pregnant."
Mr Al Fayed replied: "All the witnesses who have been saying this are part of the cover-up and have been told what to say."
The Harrods owner broke down when asked about the moment he was told Dodi was dead.
He said someone from security told him, but when asked if he remembered a call from Ritz hotel president Frank Klein, he answered: "It's difficult. I'd like to know why you are asking me things like that."
Mr Klein has told the inquest he telephoned Mr. Al Fayed to break the news and he replied: "This is not an accident."
Al-Fayed Calls Royal Family "Draculas"
Reuters | Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Harrods owner Mohamed al-Fayed has called the royals "this Dracula family" and accused them of wanting to get rid of Princess Diana at the inquest into the princess' and Dodi al-Fayed's death in a Paris road accident in 1997.
Al-Fayed, who alleges that Diana and his son Dodi were killed by British security service on the orders of the royal family, said: "Princess Diana told me she had proof her life was in danger."
In an emotional appearance at the inquest, al-Fayed accused Prince Philip of being a "Nazi" and a "racist."
"You want to know his original name -- it ends with Frankenstein," al-Fayed told the court.
"It is time to send him back to Germany," he added.
He said of Diana: "She suffered for 20 years from this Dracula family."
Al-Fayed, launching a string of allegations in court against the establishment, also said of Prince Charles: "He participated and I'm sure he knew what was going to happen."
He said this was "because he would like to get on and marry his Camilla and that is what happened. They cleared the decks. They finished her. They murdered her.
"It was slaughter, not murder," he told the court.
Al-Fayed said Diana had told him that "she knew Philip and Prince Charles wanted to get rid of her."
He went on: "Diana told me on the telephone she was pregnant. I am the only person they told. They told me they were engaged and would announce their engagement on Monday morning (three days after the crash)."
Diana, 36, Dodi, 42, and driver Henri Paul, a Fayed employee, were killed when their Mercedes limousine crashed in a road tunnel as they sped away from the Ritz Hotel in Paris with paparazzi photographers in hot pursuit.
French and British police investigations both concluded the deaths were tragic accidents caused by their speeding chauffeur who was found to be drunk. Both police probes rejected al-Fayed's conspiracy theories.
But al-Fayed insisted that French and British security and intelligence services had colluded in the killing of his son and Diana, and in a subsequent cover-up.
"French intelligence helped the British intelligence to execute their murder," he said.
Posted by Floyd Anderson at 12:23 PM
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Prison Planet | February 4, 2008
Paul Joseph Watson
Straight talking American icon Willie Nelson today told a national radio show that he thought the twin towers were imploded like condemned Las Vegas casino buildings, as the country music superstar forcefully voiced his doubts about the official 9/11 story.
Agreeing with host Alex Jones that he questioned the official story, Nelson elaborated, "I saw those towers fall and I've seen an implosion in Las Vegas - there's too much similarities between the two, and I saw a building fall that didn't get hit by nothing," added Nelson, referring to WTC Building 7 which collapsed in the late afternoon of September 11.
"How naive are we - what do they think we'll go for?," asked Nelson, pointing out that his doubts began on the very day of 9/11.
"I saw one fall and it was just so symmetrical, I said wait a minute I just saw that last week at the casino in Las Vegas and you see these implosions all the time and the next one fell and I said hell there's another one - and they're trying to tell me that an airplane did it and I can't go along with that," said Nelson.
The former Highwayman, fresh from his appearance at this past weekend's superbowl, questioned why Afghanistan became an immediate target in the aftermath of 9/11 when the official story posited that mostly Saudi Arabians were responsible for the attack.
"When I get hit I like to look around and see who did it before I start swinging at everybody in the room and that's kind of what we were doing," said Nelson, "We get hit over here and then next thing you know we're jumping on everybody in the town - so (if) we got hit from Saudi Arabia, I think we've got some questions that need to be answered from those folks," said Nelson.
In light of his viewpoint, Nelson said that recent revelations concerning the impartiality of the 9/11 Commission and its close links with the White House did not surprise him.
"What does it take for us to realize we're having the wool pulled over our eyes one more time?" he concluded.
Nelson is not the first high-profile public figure to question 9/11. In March 2006, actor Charlie Sheen voiced his doubts and was followed last year by his father Martin Sheen.
Aside from celebrities - professors, scientists and other experts the world over have questioned the inconsistencies in the official story, and the topic was most recently even a subject of serious debate in the Japanese Parliament.
In December, former Italian President Francesco Cossiga told Italy's most respected newspaper, Corriere della Sera, that the attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad and that this was common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies.
Former German Secretary of Defense Andreas von Bülow also went public in blaming American intelligence for instigating the attack.
Nelson's country music contemporaries The Dixie Chicks were savaged by the establishment when they criticized the Bush administration shortly before the invasion of Iraq. It remains to be seen whether the corporate media will dare take on Nelson for his views or whether they will just try to ignore the story as happened with Martin Sheen.
Even if they choose to ignore Nelson's comments, the power of the alternative media should organize now to get this story out.
Posted by Floyd Anderson at 12:47 AM
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
Kelli Arena and Carol Cratty
February 4, 2008
CLARKSBURG, West Virginia (CNN) -- The FBI is gearing up to create a massive computer database of people's physical characteristics, all part of an effort the bureau says to better identify criminals and terrorists.
But it's an issue that raises major privacy concerns -- what one civil liberties expert says should concern all Americans.
The bureau is expected to announce in coming days the awarding of a $1 billion, 10-year contract to help create the database that will compile an array of biometric information -- from palm prints to eye scans.
Kimberly Del Greco, the FBI's Biometric Services section chief, said adding to the database is "important to protect the borders to keep the terrorists out, protect our citizens, our neighbors, our children so they can have good jobs, and have a safe country to live in."
But it's unnerving to privacy experts.
"It's the beginning of the surveillance society where you can be tracked anywhere, any time and all your movements, and eventually all your activities will be tracked and noted and correlated," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Technology and Liberty Project.
The FBI already has 55 million sets of fingerprints on file. In coming years, the bureau wants to compare palm prints, scars and tattoos, iris eye patterns, and facial shapes. The idea is to combine various pieces of biometric information to positively identify a potential suspect.
A lot will depend on how quickly technology is perfected, according to Thomas Bush, the FBI official in charge of the Clarksburg, West Virginia, facility where the FBI houses its current fingerprint database.
"Fingerprints will still be the big player," Bush, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, told CNN.
But he added, "Whatever the biometric that comes down the road, we need to be able to plug that in and play."
First up, he said, are palm prints. The FBI has already begun collecting images and hopes to soon use these as an additional means of making identifications. Countries that are already using such images find 20 percent of their positive matches come from latent palm prints left at crime scenes, the FBI's Bush said.
The FBI has also started collecting mug shots and pictures of scars and tattoos. These images are being stored for now as the technology is fine-tuned. All of the FBI's biometric data is stored on computers 30-feet underground in the Clarksburg facility.
In addition, the FBI could soon start comparing people's eyes -- specifically the iris, or the colored part of an eye -- as part of its new biometrics program called Next Generation Identification.
Nearby, at West Virginia University's Center for Identification Technology Research, researchers are already testing some of these technologies that will ultimately be used by the FBI.
"The best increase in accuracy will come from fusing different biometrics together," said Bojan Cukic, the co-director of the center.
But while law enforcement officials are excited about the possibilities of these new technologies, privacy advocates are upset the FBI will be collecting so much personal information.
"People who don't think mistakes are going to be made I don't think fly enough," said Steinhardt.
He said thousands of mistakes have been made with the use of the so-called no-fly lists at airports -- and that giving law enforcement widespread data collection techniques should cause major privacy alarms.
"There are real consequences to people," Steinhardt said.
You don't have to be a criminal or a terrorist to be checked against the database. More than 55 percent of the checks the FBI runs involve criminal background checks for people applying for sensitive jobs in government or jobs working with vulnerable people such as children and the elderly, according to the FBI.
The FBI says it hasn't been saving the fingerprints for those checks, but that may change. The FBI plans a so-called "rap-back" service in which an employer could ask the FBI to keep the prints for an employee on file and let the employer know if the person ever has a brush with the law. The FBI says it will first have to clear hurdles with state privacy laws, and people would have to sign waivers allowing their information to be kept.
Critics say people are being forced to give up too much personal information. But Lawrence Hornak, the co-director of the research center at West Virginia University, said it could actually enhance people's privacy.
"It allows you to project your identity as being you," said Hornak. "And it allows people to avoid identity theft, things of that nature."
There remains the question of how reliable these new biometric technologies will be. A 2006 German study looking at facial recognition in a crowded train station found successful matches could be made 60 percent of the time during the day. But when lighting conditions worsened at night, the results shrank to a success rate of 10 to 20 percent.
As work on these technologies continues, researchers are quick to admit what's proven to be the most accurate so far. "Iris technology is perceived today, together with fingerprints, to be the most accurate," said Cukic.
But in the future all kinds of methods may be employed. Some researchers are looking at the way people walk as a possible additional means of identification.
The FBI says it will protect all this personal data and only collect information on criminals and those seeking sensitive jobs.
The ACLU's Steinhardt doesn't believe it will stop there.
"This had started out being a program to track or identify criminals," he said. "Now we're talking about large swaths of the population -- workers, volunteers in youth programs. Eventually, it's going to be everybody."
Posted by Floyd Anderson at 5:29 PM