Government Scare Tactics, 9/11 and Voting Probelms in Major Media
Revealing News Articles
September 9, 2006
Below are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. These news articles include revealing information on government scare tactics, excellent stories on 9/11 and voting probelms reported in the major media, and more. Key sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Government Scare Tactics
September 8, 2006, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
The latest "let's scare everyone" campaign is in full swing now, because the president's approval ratings go up every time the threat level reaches red. With the enthusiastic cooperation of the media, the government has managed to convince us that we are surrounded on every side by crazed bomb throwers and that we must at all times be vigilant and allow the government "to do its job," which is code for "anything it wants." Here's a headline from the Houston Chronicle: "Latest terror scares show airport threat lingers." That's like saying, "Latest false alarms show fire threat lingers." Since the object of terrorism is to spread terror, the "latest terror scares" demonstrate only that the government is abetting the work of terrorists. Here's my favorite story, as reported by the Associated Press: "A United Airlines flight...was delayed because a small boy said something inappropriate, according to a government official speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. 'He didn't want to fly,' the official said." I hope that small boys do not hear about this. Mad at Mommy? You can turn her airplane around! Listen to the people interviewed at airports. "It's worth it," they say, patiently standing in line. Is it worth it to, say, raise taxes to pay for better veterans benefits? Maybe it's easier to be afraid. Maybe it's easier to blame the shadowy forces of international terrorism for everything that's scary or evil or mean. Maybe it's easier than saying that poverty has killed more people than the terrorists have; that preventable diseases have killed more children than the terrorists have; that the rights we don't fight for are the rights we lose.
Down for the Count
September 8, 2006, PBS
New election machines, as mandated and funded by federal law, may create a new election debacle instead of correcting the old one. In 2002, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which allocated $3.6 billion for all 50 states to update their voting systems. Some industry analysts suggest that the government implemented the new technology too quickly to the detriment of not only security and performance of the new machines, but the integrity of our democratic process. Avi Rubin, a computer science professor at John Hopkins University...performed an analysis of voting machines produced by Diebold. But his recommendation that the machines not be used in elections fell on deaf ears. NOW traveled to Oakland County, Michigan on Primary Day, where election workers encountered more than a few frustrating snags, even when demonstrating the machines for us. In one instance, it took five attempts for the machine to accept a ballot. We also checked in on other states. What we found were alarming scenes of computer and human error, poor results validation, nonexistent contingency plans, and extreme vulnerability to tampering. In half of 37 primaries held this year, there were technical problems associated with the new HAVA-mandated technology. These included an extra 100,000 votes recorded but never cast in Texas, which was blamed on a programming error [and] ballot counting malfunctions in Iowa that declared losing candidates as winners.
Who really blew up the twin towers?
September 5, 2006, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Shards of glass and dust from the World Trade Centre towers sit on Professor Steven Jones's desk at Brigham Young University in Utah. Evidence, he says, of the biggest cover-up in history - one too evil for most to believe, but one he has staked his academic career on exposing. Jones, a physics professor, is not alone. He is a member of 9/11 Scholars for Truth, a recently formed group of around 75 US professors determined to prove 9/11 was a hoax. In essays and journals, they are using their association with prominent universities to give a scholarly stamp to conspiracy theories long believed in parts of Europe and the Arab world, and gaining ground among Americans. It is impossible, says Jones, for the towers to have collapsed from the collision of two aeroplanes, as jet fuel doesn't burn at temperatures hot enough to melt steel beams. The horizontal puffs of smoke - squibs - emitted during the collapse of the towers are indicative of controlled implosions on lower floors. The scholars have collected eyewitness accounts of flashes and loud explosions immediately before the fall. What's more, the nearby World Trade Centre 7 also collapsed later that afternoon. The building had not been hit by a plane, only damaged by fire.
BYU places '9/11 truth' professor on paid leave
September 8, 2006, Deseret News (One of Utah's leading newspapers)
Brigham Young University placed physics professor Steven Jones on paid leave Thursday while it reviews his involvement in the so-called "9/11 truth movement" that accuses unnamed government agencies of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Such a review is rare for a professor with "continuing status" at BYU, where Jones has taught since 1985. Jones was teaching two classes this semester, which began Tuesday. Other professors will cover those classes, and Jones will be allowed to continue to do research in his area of academic study. Jones became a celebrity among 9/11 conspiracy-theory groups after he wrote a paper titled "Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Collapse?" The paper was published two weeks ago in the book "9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out" and lays out Jones' hypothesis that the three towers fell because of pre-positioned demolition charges – not because of the planes that hit two of the towers. Recent articles about Sept. 11 conspiracy theories that focused at least in part on Jones have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian in London and other publications. A modified version of Jones' paper was scheduled to be published this week in the online Journal of 9/11 Studies. Jones is a co-editor of the journal.
Alerts aid terror goals, study finds
September 6, 2006, San Francisco Chronicle
Three things can be expected from Bush's speech, according to a new study by three Columbia University researchers: The media will repeat the president's remarks. Public fear of terrorism will increase. And the president's poll numbers will rise. Those have been the effects of presidential pronouncements on terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks, according to political scientists. "These are interesting findings, and confirm what many of us had suspected," said Mark Juergensmeyer, director of Global and International Studies at UC Santa Barbara. "This public panic benefits the terrorists whose work is made easier by an overactive government response that magnifies their efforts. In an odd way this puts the government and the terrorists in league with one another," he said. "The main loser, alas, is the terrified public." [The study's author said terrorists] "want to intimidate, they want to spread fear and anxiety." Larry Beutler, director of the National Center on the Psychology of Terrorism in Palo Alto, who reviewed the Columbia team's research [commented] "There are findings suggesting that the administration's use of the alert system increased inordinately before the election and each time it did, Bush's numbers went up about 5 percent." The research is also a "damning indictment of the media's bloodlust," said Matthew T. Felling, media director for the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington.
Bush Acknowledges Secret CIA Prisons
September 6, 2006, ABC News/Associated Press
President Bush on Wednesday acknowledged previously secret CIA prisons around the world. The announcement from Bush was the first time the administration had acknowledged the existence of CIA prisons, which have been a source of friction between Washington and some allies in Europe. European Union lawmakers said the CIA was conducting clandestine flights in Europe to take terror suspects to countries where they could face torture.
Study Finds Lung Problems in WTC Workers
September 5, 2006, New York Times/Associated Press
Nearly 70 percent of the rescue and cleanup workers who toiled in the dust and fumes at ground zero have had trouble breathing, and many will probably be sick for the rest of their lives, doctors said Tuesday in releasing results of the biggest Sept. 11 health study yet. The Mount Sinai Medical Center study is conclusive proof of a link between recovery work at the World Trade Center ruins and long-term respiratory problems, doctors said.
In Search of Accurate Vote Totals
September 5, 2006, New York Times
It's hard to believe that nearly six years after the disasters of Florida in 2000, states still haven't mastered the art of counting votes accurately. The most troubling evidence comes from Ohio...whose electoral votes decided the 2004 presidential election. A recent government report details enormous flaws in the election system in Ohio's biggest county, problems that may not be fixable before the 2008 election. Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland...recently adopted Diebold electronic voting machines that produce a voter-verified paper record of every vote cast. Investigators compared the vote totals recorded on the machines after this year's primary with the paper records produced by the machines. The numbers should have been the same, but often there were large and unexplained discrepancies. The report also found that nearly 10 percent of the paper records were destroyed, blank, illegible, or otherwise compromised. Some of these problems may be explored further in a federal lawsuit challenging Ohio's administration of its 2004 election. Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell...has been criticized for many decisions he made on election matters that year. New York's Legislature was shamefully slow in passing the law needed to start adopting new voting machines statewide. Now localities are just starting to evaluate voting machine companies as they scramble to put machines in place in time for the 2007 election. Because of a federal lawsuit, New York has to make the switch a year early.
Note: Why has the media barely mentioned the federal lawsuit challenging Ohio's administration of the 2004 election? This was the state the determined the winner. For more on elections cover-up, click here.
The Conspiracy to Rewrite 9/11
September 3, 2006, San Francisco Chronicle
According to a poll by Ohio University and Scripps Howard News Service, 36 percent of Americans believe that government officials "either assisted in the 9/ 11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks." Sixteen percent of Americans, the survey indicates, believe that "secret explosives"...brought down the World Trade Center towers. Robert Bowman, who directed the "Star Wars" defense program under Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, reached his own conclusion after questioning...why the American military hadn't intercepted the hijacked planes before they hit the Pentagon and the World Trade Center [and] why the Pentagon didn't release surveillance tapes of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the military complex. A former U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel with a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology...Bowman theorizes that Cheney and other officials stood to benefit financially. Bowman says they had a long-standing desire to control Iraq's oil and to use the country as a strategic hub for controlling the entire Middle East. The Sept. 11 commission, he says, neglected to investigate these possible connections, leaving a huge gap in the official account. Scholars for 9/11 Truth [is] an organization that believes the U.S. government "permitted 9/11 to occur." Among the group's members are Paul W. Rea, a humanities lecturer at St. Mary's College in Moraga; Tracy Belvins, a research scientist in bioengineering at Rice University; Kevin Barrett, a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison...and Stephen LeRoy, an economics professor at UC Santa Barbara who has been a visiting economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Why The 9/11 Conspiracies Won't Go Away
Septmeber 3, 2006, Time Magazine
A Scripps-Howard poll of 1,010 adults last month found that 36% of Americans consider it "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried out or carried out the attacks themselves. Thirty-six percent adds up to a lot of people. This is not a fringe phenomenon. It is a mainstream political reality. Although the 9/11 Truth Movement, as many conspiracy believers refer to their passion, has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, it is flourishing on the Internet. One of the most popular conspiracy videos online is Loose Change, a 90-min. blizzard of statistics, photographs, documents, eyewitness accounts and expert testimony set to a trippy hip-hop backbeat. It's designed to pick apart, point by point, the conventional narrative of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. Loose Change is a compelling experience. Take the section about the attack on the Pentagon. As the film points out...the crash site doesn't look right. There's not enough damage. The hole smashed in the Pentagon's outer wall was 75 ft. wide, but a Boeing 757 has a 124-ft. wingspan. Why wasn't the hole wider? There's something empowering about just exploring such questions. Loose Change appeals to the viewer's common sense: it tells you to forget the official explanations and the expert testimony, and trust your eyes and your brain instead. It implies that the world can be grasped by laymen without any help or interference from the talking heads. Watching Loose Change, you feel as if you are participating in the great American tradition of self-reliance and nonconformist, antiauthoritarian dissent. You're fighting the power. You're thinking different.
Note: Thank you, Time, for having the courage to print this article. If you feel similarly, we encourage you to email your gratitude to their editors at [email protected]
Opium Bumper Crop Seen to Benefit Taliban
September 3, 2006, ABC News
Already the world's largest producer of opium, Afghanistan's 2006 output has soared a staggering 59 percent, according to a survey by the U.N.'s drug control program. So this year, the country that the United States invaded five years ago to stabilize will produce 16,000 tons of opium. Drugs now make up more than half of gross domestic product. Top government officials are tied to the drug trade. Corruption runs rampant. Addiction rates in Afghanistan and neighboring Central Asia, Iran and Pakistan are skyrocketing.
Report Urges F.A.A. to Act Regarding False 9/11 Testimony
Septmeber 2, 2006, New York Times
The Transportation Department's inspector general urged the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday to consider disciplinary action against two executives who failed to correct false information provided to the independent commission that investigated the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The acting inspector general, Todd J. Zinser, whose office acts as the department's internal watchdog, found in a new report that the F.A.A. executives...learned after the fact that false information was given to the commission in May 2003 about the F.A.A.'s contacts with the Air Force on the morning of Sept. 11. The inspector general's report, prepared in response to complaints from the independent Sept. 11 commission, found that the three F.A.A. executives failed to act on an "obligation" to correct the false information provided to the commission, which found widespread confusion within the aviation agency and the military on the morning of the attacks. The F.A.A., part of the Transportation Department, declined to identify the three executives, whose names and titles were not revealed in the inspector general's report. Nor did the agency say whether it would consider disciplinary action. Richard Ben Veniste, a commission member, said in an interview on Friday that he was troubled that it had taken the inspector general two years to complete his investigation–"more time than it took the 9/11 commission to complete all of its work''–and that he released the report "on the Friday afternoon before the Labor Day weekend."
2 U.S. Reports Seek to Counter Conspiracy Theories About 9/11
September 2, 2006, New York Times
Faced with an angry minority of people who believe the Sept. 11 attacks were part of a shadowy and sprawling plot run by Americans, separate reports were published this week by the State Department and a federal science agency insisting that the catastrophes were caused by hijackers who used commercial airliners as weapons. The official narrative of the attacks has been attacked as little more than a cover story by an assortment of radio hosts, academics, amateur filmmakers and others. As a motive, they suggest that the Bush administration wanted to use the attacks to justify military action in the Middle East. A nationwide poll taken earlier this summer...found that more than a third of those surveyed said the federal government either took part in the attacks or allowed them to happen. And 16 percent said the destruction of the trade center was aided by explosives hidden in the buildings. Details are available at http://newspolls.org. The State Department report...is titled, "The Top Sept. 11 Conspiracy Theories" and says, "Numerous unfounded conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11 attacks continue to circulate, especially on the Internet." Produced by an arm of the State Department known as a "counter-misinformation team," the report is dated Aug. 28...at http://usinfo.state.gov/media/misinformation.html. Among those now propelling the argument that explosives took down the trade center is Steven E. Jones, a physics professor at Brigham Young University, coeditor with Mr. Ryan of www.journalof911studies.com, which published his paper, "Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Completely Collapse on 9-11-2001?"
Busted by the bloggers
September 1, 2006, Chicago Tribune
[On] the Web site porkbusters.org is a quote attributed to former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott: "I'll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I'm getting damn tired of hearing from them." Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) are probably damn tired of hearing from them too. The porkbusters led a pack of bloggers who outed the two senators for bottling up a bill meant to help the public track how its tax dollars are spent. The measure would create a searchable online database of federal grants and contracts. An unnamed senator...was blocking that bill from coming to the floor. Under an arcane Senate rule, any member who has concerns about a bill can block it--anonymously. When the porkbusters learned about the so-called "secret hold," they issued a call for bloggers to contact their own senators and demand to know: Are you the anonymous blocker? Readers at TPMmuckraker.com and GOPprogress.com joined in, and within days they had denials from 97 senators. That's when Stevens decided to "fess up." The bloggers still weren't satisfied. By Thursday, Byrd was the only senator who continued to duck the question. Noting that Byrd's "penchant for pork would probably win him the Pork Crown if he weren't saddled with minority status," TPMmuckraker pressed for an answer. By midafternoon, Byrd had admitted he placed a hold on the bill--and said he has now released it. When they were caught, Stevens and Byrd offered lots of blather about why they were preventing taxpayers from finding out how their money is spent. It's a good day for taxpayers and the bloggers who got to the truth. And a bad day for secrecy in the U.S. Senate.
Religious book points 9/11 finger at Bush
September 1, 2006, Indianapolis Star/Associated Press
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has tumbled into a new dispute over the Sept. 11 attacks of five years ago. Its Presbyterian Publishing Corp. has issued "Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11" (Westminster John Knox), containing perhaps the most incendiary accusations leveled by a writer for a mainline Protestant book house. Author David Ray Griffin tells of concluding that "the Bush-Cheney administration had orchestrated 9/11 in order to promote this (American) empire under the pretext of the so-called war on terror." Griffin has solid mainline credentials. He's an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and recently retired after a long teaching career at the United Methodists' Claremont (Calif.) School of Theology. Such a massive cover-up is possible, he explains, because people don't want to believe high officials would "launch an attack on their own citizens." Griffin also asserts claims about "abundant evidence" of Bush administration orchestration of 9/11 in a separate anthology from Westminster and also did so in two previous books for a small secular publisher. He also has spoken to campus and church groups. He's a member of "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" along with Kevin Barrett, a Muslim instructor at the University of Wisconsin who is under fire for making similar accusations. The publisher's publicity contends that Griffin "applies Jesus' teachings to the current political administration" and puts forth "an abundance of evidence and disturbing questions that implicate the Bush administration."
Note: The article also tries to tear down Prof. Griffin. It is interesting to note that none of the top U.S. papers picked up this important Associated Press article.
More 9/11 Media Articles
9/11 skeptics challenge WTC findings
Newsday - Sept. 1, 2006
Fury as academics claim 9/11 was 'inside job'
Daily Mail - Sept. 6, 2006
Academics claim 9/11 cover-up
Metro (UK) - Sept. 6, 2006
Conspiracy theories abound AT UPTOWN SCREENINGS (Series of 9/11 cover-up films being shown)
Kansas City Star - Sept. 7, 2006
False Flag Operations: Declassified Military Documents Show How US Government Planned Terrorist Attacks Against its Own Citizens (includes references to me and WantToKnow.info)
Yahoo! News and PRWEB - Sept. 7, 2006
Author Barrie Zwicker is among a growing number who believe a sinister conspiracy brought down the Twin Towers
Pasadena Weekly - Sept. 7, 2006
For some, the truth about 9-11 is still out there
San Antonio Express - Sept. 7, 2006
Views shift on 9/11 facts
Calgary Sun - Sept. 7, 2006
Scholars Say Neocons May Have Planned 9/11
New York Sun - Sept. 8, 2006
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Government Scare Tactics, 9/11 and Voting Probelms in Major Media