Terrorism News Stories
Excerpts of Key Terrorism News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important terrorism news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up.
Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link should fail to function, click here
. These terrorism news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. For the same list by order of importance, click here
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This comprehensive list of terrorism news stories is usually updated once a week
. For an index to revealing excerpts of news stories on several dozen engaging topics, click here
Investigating the Investigation
2012-04-13, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2012-04-17 10:10:53
On April 19, 1995, a huge truck bomb destroyed a large part of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City ... killing 168 people, including 19 children. In a matter of days the FBI established that the bombing was the work of a conspiracy. The first conspirator arrested was Timothy McVeigh, a 27-year-old Army veteran. The second conspirator arrested was Terry Nichols. "Oklahoma City," an extraordinarily well-researched book, asserts that the FBI investigation of the bombing was badly flawed and missed, or disregarded, evidence of a larger conspiracy. The authors, Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles, are both highly regarded investigative reporters who have been immersed in this case for more than a decade. They were given access to vast amounts of material assembled by the defense teams, including 18,000 FBI witness interviews. The book ... outlines how federal prosecutors, eager to wrap up the McVeigh and Nichols cases, avoided raising questions about possible co-conspirators that the defense could use to confound a jury. Among the glaring gaps in the investigation was the failure of the FBI to attempt to match the more than 1,000 unidentified latent fingerprints found in the investigation. [And] almost all the eyewitnesses to the crime claimed that McVeigh was not alone. No fewer than 24 witnesses said that they saw McVeigh, just before and after the crime, with a man who could not have been ... Mr. Nichols. The FBI concluded that these witnesses had all been confused. Certainly eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, but 24 mistaken witnesses—and no accurate ones?
Note: Many aspects of the Oklahoma City bombing were covered up. For a compilation of media videos showing without doubt there were other bombs in the building which later were completely ignored, click here. For other major media articles showing major manipulation, click here click here, here, and here.
U.S. Relaxes Limits on Use of Data in Terror Analysis
2012-03-23, New York Times
Posted: 2012-04-02 21:07:21
The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. [has] signed new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center. The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and “data mining them.” They also set off civil-liberties concerns among privacy advocates who invoked the “Total Information Awareness” program. That program, proposed early in the George W. Bush administration and partially shut down by Congress after an outcry, proposed fusing vast archives of electronic records — like travel records, credit card transactions, phone calls and more. “We’re all in the dark, and for all we know it could be a rerun of Total Information Awareness, which would have allowed the government to make a computerized database of everything on everybody,” said Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, who criticized the administration for not making the draft guidelines public for scrutiny ahead of time.
Note: For excellent and insightful analyses of the disturbing growth of government surveillance and secrecy described in this NYT report, click here and here and here and here.
US anti-terrorism law curbs free speech and activist work, court told
2012-03-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-04-02 21:04:22
A group [of] political activists and journalists has launched a legal challenge to stop an American law they say allows the US military to arrest civilians anywhere in the world and detain them without trial as accused supporters of terrorism. The seven figures, who include ex-New York Times reporter Chris Hedges, professor Noam Chomsky and Icelandic politician and WikiLeaks campaigner Birgitta Jonsdottir, testified to a Manhattan judge that the law – dubbed the NDAA or Homeland Battlefield Bill – would cripple free speech around the world. They said that various provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Bill, which was signed by President Barack Obama at the end of 2011, effectively broadened the definition of "supporter of terrorism" to include peaceful activists, authors, academics and even journalists interviewing members of radical groups. Controversy centres on the loose definition of key words in the bill, in particular who might be "associated forces" of the law's named terrorist groups al-Qaida and the Taliban and what "substantial support" to those groups might get defined as. Whereas White House officials have denied the wording extends any sort of blanket coverage to civilians, rather than active enemy combatants, or actions involved in free speech, some civil rights experts have said the lack of precise definition leaves it open to massive potential abuse.
Note: For discussion of the extreme crackdown by police, based on "anti-terrorism" legislation, against Occupy movement protestors, click here.
Pentagon says it has no records of bin Laden's death; CIA hasn't answered open records request
2012-03-15, Minneapolis Star Tribune/Associated Press
Posted: 2012-03-27 09:13:21
Government officials have openly discussed details of the mission [to kill Osama bin Laden] in speeches, interviews and television appearances, but the administration won't disclose records that would confirm their narrative of that fateful night. The Associated Press asked for files about the raid in more than 20 separate [FOIA] requests, mostly submitted the day after bin Laden's death. The Pentagon told the AP this month it could not locate any photographs or video taken during the raid or showing bin Laden's body. It also said it could not find any images of bin Laden's body on the Navy aircraft carrier where the al-Qaida leader's body was taken. The Pentagon said it could not find any death certificate, autopsy report or results of DNA identification tests for bin Laden, or any pre-raid materials discussing how the government planned to dispose of bin Laden's body if he were killed. It said it searched files at the Pentagon, U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., and the Navy command in San Diego that controls the USS Carl Vinson, the aircraft carrier used in the mission. The Defense Department told the AP in late February it could not find any emails about the bin Laden mission or his "Geronimo" code name that were sent or received in the year before the raid by William McRaven, the three-star admiral at the Joint Special Operations Command who organized and oversaw the mission. It also could not find any emails from other senior officers who would have been involved in the mission's planning.
Note: WantToKnow team member Prof. David Ray Griffin, in his book Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?, lays out the extensive evidence that bin Laden died in December 2001, and that since that time Pentagon psyops had been keeping him "alive" with fake videos and audiotapes to maintain a crucial pretext for the ever-expanding "war on terror." Could it be that the Pentagon will produce no records of its purported "death raid" because in fact it will reveal major manipulations involving bin Laden's death?
Executive Order -- National Defense Resources Preparedness
2012-03-16, The White House
Posted: 2012-03-27 09:11:15
Section 101. Purpose. This order delegates authorities and addresses national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950. Sec. 103. General Functions. Executive departments and agencies ... responsible for plans and programs relating to national defense ... or for resources and services needed to support such plans and programs, shall: ... (c) be prepared, in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements; ... Sec. 310. Critical Items. The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President ... to take appropriate action to ensure that critical components, critical technology items, essential materials, and industrial resources are available from reliable sources when needed to meet defense requirements during peacetime, graduated mobilization, and national emergency. Appropriate action may include restricting contract solicitations to reliable sources, restricting contract solicitations to domestic sources (pursuant to statutory authority), stockpiling critical components, and developing substitutes for critical components or critical technology items. [signed] BARACK OBAMA
Note: For analysis of this executive order issued by President Obama giving legal power to the executive office to take control of all national resources, public or private, in peacetime or in war, click here.
Classified documents contradict FBI on post-9/11 probe of Saudis, ex-senator says
Posted: 2012-03-20 10:44:19
Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has seen two classified FBI documents that he says are at odds with the bureau’s public statements that there was no connection between the hijackers and Saudis then living in Sarasota, Fla. “There are significant inconsistencies between the public statements of the FBI in September and what I read in the classified documents,” Graham said. “One document adds to the evidence that the investigation was not the robust inquiry claimed by the FBI,” Graham said. “An important investigative lead was not pursued and unsubstantiated statements were accepted as truth.” Congress’s bipartisan inquiry released its public report in July 2003. The final 28 pages, regarding possible foreign support for the terrorists, were censored in their entirety -- on President George W. Bush’s instructions. Graham said the two classified FBI documents that he saw, dated 2002 and 2003, were prepared by an agent who participated in the Sarasota investigation. He said the agent suggested that another federal agency be asked to join the investigation, but that the idea was “rejected.” Graham attempted in recent weeks to contact the agent, he said, only to find the man had been instructed by FBI headquarters not to talk.
Note: Much evidence exists implicating not only Saudi Arabia, but also Pakistan, Israel and the UK in the 9/11 attacks. Could the purpose behind these high-profile claims from former US senators be to deflect attention from the key perpetrators, rogue elements within the US government? As WantToKnow team member Prof. David Ray Griffin has exhaustively demonstrated, almost all of the evidence for Muslim hijackers vanishes on close examination. For more serious questions on 9/11, click here.
Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act
2012-03-16, New York Times
Posted: 2012-03-20 10:22:14
For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public — or even others in Congress — knew about it. On [March 15], two of those senators — Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado — went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained. The Justice Department has argued that disclosing information about its interpretation of the Patriot Act could alert adversaries to how the government collects certain intelligence. It is seeking the dismissal of two Freedom of Information Act lawsuits — by The New York Times and by the American Civil Liberties Union — related to how the Patriot Act has been interpreted. The dispute centers on what the government thinks it is allowed to do under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, under which agents may obtain a secret order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing them to get access to any “tangible things” — like business records — that are deemed “relevant” to a terrorism or espionage investigation. The interpretation of Section 215 that authorizes this secret surveillance operation is apparently not obvious from a plain text reading of the provision, and was developed through a series of classified rulings by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on surveillance and other government restrictions of basic civil liberties, click here.
Saudi Arabia May Be Tied to 9/11, 2 Ex-Senators Say
2012-03-01, New York Times
Posted: 2012-03-13 16:46:56
For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even as the royal kingdom has made itself a crucial counterterrorism partner in the eyes of American diplomats. Now, in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis' activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks. "I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia," former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks. His former Senate colleague, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat who served on the separate 9/11 Commission, said in a sworn affidavit of his own in the case that "significant questions remain unanswered" about the role of Saudi institutions. "Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued," Mr. Kerrey said. Their affidavits ... are part of a multibillion-dollar lawsuit that has wound its way through federal courts since 2002.
Note: Much evidence exists implicating not only Saudi Arabia, but also Pakistan, Israel and the UK in the 9/11 attacks. Could the purpose behind these high-profile claims from former US senators be to create a "limited hangout" to deflect attention from the real perpetrators, traitors in high positions within the US government? As WantToKnow team member Prof. David Ray Griffin has exhaustively demonstrated, almost all of the evidence for "Islamic hijackers" vanishes on close examination. For more serious questions on 9/11, click here.
Holder: US can legally kill Americans in terror groups
Posted: 2012-03-13 16:41:47
The U.S. government is legally justified in killing its own citizens overseas if they are involved in plotting terror attacks against America, Attorney General Eric Holder said [on March 5], offering the Obama administration's most detailed explanation so far of its controversial targeted killing program. The Fifth Amendment provides that no one can be "deprived of life" without due process of law. But that due process, Holder said, doesn't necessarily come from a court. "Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process," the attorney general said. The ACLU called Holder's explanation "a defense of the government’s chillingly broad claimed authority to conduct targeted killings of civilians, including American citizens, far from any battlefield without judicial review or public scrutiny." "Few things are as dangerous to American liberty as the proposition that the government should be able to kill citizens anywhere in the world on the basis of legal standards and evidence that are never submitted to a court, either before or after the fact," said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. "Anyone willing to trust President Obama with the power to secretly declare an American citizen an enemy of the state and order his extrajudicial killing should ask whether they would be willing to trust the next president with that dangerous power,” she said. The ACLU is suing the Obama administration, seeking to have documents regarding the targeted killing program made public.
Note: Attorney General Holder's claim that US citizens can be killed by the government without judicial process clearly violates the U.S. Bill of Rights. In addition to the Fifth Amendment that states that no person shall be held to answer for a crime "without due process of law," the Sixth Amendment states that "the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial."
Excesses cross party lines
2012-03-07, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-03-13 16:40:13
Attorney General Eric Holder thinks it's legal to kill American terrorism suspects overseas without any judicial review or public notice. It's an astonishing claim to make and a shameful stand for the Obama administration, which came to office pledging to curb such constitutionally shaky excesses. In a speech, Holder essentially offer the "trust us" argument in defense of targeted killings. The guidelines are murky: The military will compile a list of dangerous terrorists including U.S. citizens, hunt them down, and if the host country can't or won't catch the suspect, then the United States will. The example at issue is last year's drone attack that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born al Qaeda leader. Under Holder's ground rules there is no outside review, court deliberation or explanation of how a suspect makes the kill list. For those critics concerned about oversight or legal caution, he offered this observation: " 'Due process' and 'judicial process' are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process." Holder didn't cite an in-house legal opinion used to justify the policy, which he's refused to release and is the subject of a civil liberties lawsuit. Obama still hasn't closed the Guantanamo Bay gulag as promised. Now he's shielding targeted killings from genuine review. This presidential subversion of rule of law was unacceptable under George W. Bush, and it is unacceptable under Barack Obama.
Note: Attorney General Holder's claim that US citizens can be killed by the government without judicial process clearly violates the U.S. Bill of Rights. In addition to the Fifth Amendment that states that no person shall be held to answer for a crime "without due process of law," the Sixth Amendment states that "the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial."
Mueller grilled on FBI's release of al-Awlaki in 2002
2012-03-08, Fox News
Posted: 2012-03-13 16:37:43
Several congressional committees want the FBI director to explain why one of his agents ordered the release of Anwar al-Awlaki from federal custody on Oct. 10, 2002, when there was an outstanding warrant for the American Muslim cleric’s arrest. The cleric was held by customs agents at JFK International Airport in New York City in early morning of Oct. 10, 2002, until FBI Agent Wade Ammerman ordered his release – even though a warrant for the cleric’s arrest on passport fraud was still active.
The warrant was generated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego, which considered the cleric a “tier one” target because of his connections to at least three of the 9/11 hijackers. The passport fraud warrant was described ... as a holding charge that would allow federal investigators to pressure al-Awlaki over his 9/11 contacts. The warrant was pulled by a judge in Colorado, after the cleric entered the U.S.. After al-Awlaki re-entered the U.S. in the fall of 2002 with the FBI’s help, the cleric then appeared in a high-profile investigation, in which Agent Ammerman was a lead investigator. Former FBI agents say Ammerman would have needed permission from higher up in the bureau to let al-Awlaki go. Former FBI agents, familiar with al-Awlaki’s re-entry in October 2002, say only two scenarios seem to explain what happened. The FBI was tracking the cleric for intelligence or the FBI was working with the cleric and saw him as a “friendly contact.”
Note: For further details of the FBI's release of al-Awlaki, click here. How interesting that "al-Awlaki re-entered the U.S. in 2002 with the FBI’s help." What may be happening is that individuals like al-Awlaki are CIA assets programmed to be Manchurian Candidates using mind control techniques perfected by intelligence agencies. They are then released to do what they've been programmed to do to forward a hidden shadow-government agenda. Many terrorists and mass murderers may actually be Manchurian Candidates programmed to engage in acts which keep the public in fear. For more on this, click here.
Feinstein detainee bill for citizens, residents
2012-03-01, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-03-06 08:43:36
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said [on February 29] that her legislation to roll back an antiterror law, which allows the military to indefinitely detain people in the United States suspected of ties to al Qaeda or "associated forces," would have to be limited to citizens and permanent legal residents. Her bill, the Due Process Guarantee Act, ... would ensure that the detainee portions of last year's National Defense Authorization Act, or any declaration of war or congressional authorization to use military force, would not allow the military to imprison without trial citizens and green card holders living in the United States. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove (Sacramento County) has introduced a companion bill in the House. The detainee provisions of the law ... have generated a rare combination of outrage from liberals and conservatives who say it violates constitutional liberties and habeas corpus rights that provide an individual redress to unlawful imprisonment by the state. Civil liberties groups have argued that the Constitution's Bill of Rights extends to all people, regardless of their citizenship. Noncitizens include tourists, students and business travelers as well as illegal immigrants. Feinstein said including noncitizens in her bill is not politically feasible. Feinstein described her bill as a follow-on to the 1971 Non-Detention Act, a response to the Japanese internment that was signed by former President Richard Nixon. The act bars imprisonment of citizens suspected of sabotage without explicit congressional approval.
Note: The NDAA clearly violates the U.S. Bill of Rights, which clearly states in the fifth amendment that no person shall be held to answer for a crime "without due process of law," and in the sixth amendment which states that "the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial." It is simply amazing that the American public is not loudly protesting this breach of the constitution.
London-based oil executive linked to 9/11 hijackers
2012-02-18, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-02-28 10:26:33
A Saudi Arabian accused of associating with several of the September 11 hijackers and who disappeared from his home in the United States a few weeks before the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, is in London working for his country’s state oil company. Abdulaziz al-Hijji ... flew to Saudi Arabia in August 2001. Security records of cars passing through a checkpoint at the Prestancia gated community indicated that Mr al-Hijji’s home, 4224 Escondito Circle, had been visited a number of times by Mohamed Atta, the leader of the 19-strong hijack team, who piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in 2001. The logs also indicated that Marwan Al-Shehhi, who crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower, and Ziad Jarrah, who was at the controls of United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, had visited the house. All three men had trained to fly at Venice Airport, which is 19 miles from Sarasota. Mr al-Hijji is resident in London, working for the European subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company. Described as a career counsellor, he is based in the offices of Aramco Overseas Company UK Limited and lives in an expensive flat in central London.
Note: The US media has failed to report on this major news, with the exception of a small newspaper in Sarasota, FL, where the hijackers had been training. For two revealing articles in that paper, click here and here.
America's pipe dream
2001-12-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-02-21 11:11:45
The invasion of Afghanistan is ... a late colonial adventure. Afghanistan [is] indispensable to the regional control and transport of oil in central Asia. Its northern neighbours ... contain reserves which could be critical to future global supply. In 1998, Dick Cheney, now US vice-president but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked: "I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian." But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan. Pipelines through Afghanistan would allow the US both to pursue its aim of "diversifying energy supply" and to penetrate the world's most lucrative markets. Growth in European oil consumption is slow and competition is intense. In south Asia, by contrast, demand is booming and competitors are scarce. Pumping oil south and selling it in Pakistan and India, in other words, is far more profitable than pumping it west and selling it in Europe. As the author Ahmed Rashid has documented, in 1995 the US oil company Unocal started negotiating to build oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and into Pakistani ports on the Arabian sea. The company's scheme required a single administration in Afghanistan, which would guarantee safe passage for its goods.
Note: Is it unusual that the president installed by the U.S. in Afghanistan once worked for Unocal? Many details of the attempts by the US government to pressure the Taliban into going along with Unocal's pipeline dream are revealed in Ahmed Rashid's book Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia.
Iowa Muslim leader: Law enforcement betrayed us
2012-02-03, CNN blog
Posted: 2012-02-07 16:59:17
The Muslim community in Des Moines, Iowa ... is diverse. The members of the four mosques here are from Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, among other nations. [But] the community is a tight-knit group. That’s why what happened at their mosques here is alarming to so many of its members. “That was really surprising, very sad that ... the FBI or Homeland Security would send somebody here to pretend to be Muslim and try to find out what goes on here. I feel there is no need for that,” said Dr. Hamed Baig, president of the Islamic Center of Des Moines. Baig is talking about 42 year-old Arvinder Singh. Baid says he saw Singh a couple of times at his mosque. But it wasn’t until recently that members of the community discovered that Singh, who was raised a Sikh, was allegedly sent into their mosques to spy for the FBI.
Singh told CNN that the FBI told him, "'You look Middle Eastern, and we need your help for the war against terror.'" Singh says the FBI came to him with a simple tradeoff: We’ll help you get your citizenship if you help us get some terrorists. Singh says he assumed a Muslim identity -– Rafik Alvi -- and went into the mosques pretending to be interested in converting. He says he frequented mosques all over the state but attended the four in Des Moines regularly for seven years. He says sometimes the FBI gave him pictures of persons of interest and he would confirm that they were at the mosque. On a few occasions, Singh says he taped his conversations with congregants.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the clandestine operations of the FBI and other intelligence agencies, click here.
10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free
2012-01-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2012-01-27 10:38:55
Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of [the] free. Yet ... in the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. [Yet] the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit. These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country. The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11: 1. Assassination of U.S. citizens. 2. Indefinite detention. 3. Arbitrary justice. 4. Warrantless searches. 5. Secret evidence. 6. War crimes. 7. Secret court. 8. Immunity from judicial review. 9. Continual monitoring of citizens. 10. Extraordinary renditions.
Note: Thank you to the Washington Post for publishing this amazing article revealing the disturbing and severe erosion of freedom and civil liberties in the U.S. ever since 9/11. Written by Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University in the nation's capital, this incisive essay lays bare what so many citizens don't know, and what many don't even want to know. Yet, in this case, ignorance is not bliss. Don't miss the full article listing the loss of 10 important civil liberties at this link.
Ten years later, Guantanamo still harms us all
2012-01-11, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-01-17 15:27:27
It has been 10 years since Guantanamo Bay became a prison. Today, 171 men are still held there with no real prospect of either trial or release. Bush administration officials have admitted ordering torture against prisoners in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Iraq and secret sites in [other] countries, yet no one has been held to account for violating U.S. law. Their illegal actions and the recent passage - and signing by President Obama - of the National Defense Authorization Act have undermined fundamental structures of law and morality that are our heritage as Americans. More than 80 percent of Americans self-identified as "religious" in a 2011 Pew poll. Today, 312 U.S. faith groups are members of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Organized in 2006, it is a vehicle for people of faith seeking to denounce abusive practices by the United States. Under President Obama, we have held no one accountable for torture. With the passage of the Defense Act, indefinite detention without trial has become law ... including even American citizens captured on U.S. soil, a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The loss of habeas corpus rights under the Defense Act now puts every ordinary person at risk of indefinite detention. As citizens, it is our right and responsibility to demand that our government investigate the U.S. torture program and uphold our constitutional rights. As a nation of people of faith, this is our sacred duty.
Note: The author, Louise Specht, is the convener of the Bay Area Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Northern California affiliate of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
FBI tracking videotapers as terrorists?
2011-12-29, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2012-01-03 18:15:44
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has recommended for many years that animal activists who carry out undercover investigations on farms could be prosecuted as domestic terrorists.
New documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by activist Ryan Shapiro show the FBI advising that activists – including Shapiro – who walked onto a farm, videotaped animals there and “rescued” an animal had violated terrorism statutes. The documents ... were issued by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2003 in response to an article in an animal rights publication in which Shapiro and two other activists (whose names were redacted from the document), openly claimed responsibility for shooting video and taking animals from a farm. The FBI notes discuss the videotaping, illegal entry and the removal of animals, then concludes with “there is a reasonable indication that [Subject 1] and other members of the [redacted] have violated the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, 18 USC Section 43 (a).” The penalties for such a conviction can include terrorism enhancements which can add decades to a sentence. “It’s simply outrageous to consider civil disobedience as terrorism,” Shapiro [said]. “Civil disobedience is not terrorism. It has a long and proud place in our nation’s history, from Martin Luther King to Occupy Wall Street, and the [Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act] takes that kind of advocacy that we celebrate from the civil rights movement and turns it into a terrorist event.”
Note: As the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act shows, the animal experimentation lobby has demonstrated its considerable clout by getting Congress to pass legislation making principled demonstrations against animal torture and killing into a form of "terrorism". Do you think that Wall Street might lobby for a similar law making "terrorists" out of Occupiers?
Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing
2011-12-27, Washington Post
Posted: 2012-01-03 18:14:17
In the space of three years, the [Obama] administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries. The apparatus involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents. No president has ever relied so extensively on the secret killing of individuals to advance the nation’s security goals. Lethal operations are increasingly assembled a la carte, piecing together personnel and equipment in ways that allow the White House to toggle between separate legal authorities that govern the use of lethal force. In Yemen, for instance, the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command pursue the same adversary with nearly identical aircraft. But they alternate taking the lead on strikes to exploit their separate authorities, and they maintain separate kill lists that overlap but don’t match. CIA and military strikes this fall killed three U.S. citizens, two of whom were suspected al-Qaeda operatives. Although human rights advocates and others are increasingly critical of the drone program, the level of public debate remains muted. [One] reason for the lack of extensive debate is secrecy. The White House has refused to divulge details about the structure of the drone program or, with rare exceptions, who has been killed.
Note: Not that the US citizens killed were not given their constitutional rights for a fair trail before being assassinated. For lots more from major media sources on government secrecy, click here.
After Struggle on Detainees, Obama Signs Defense Bill
2012-01-01, New York Times
Posted: 2012-01-03 18:12:57
President Obama, after objecting to provisions of a military spending bill that would have forced him to try terrorism suspects in military courts ... signed the bill on [New Year's Eve]. The White House had said that the legislation could lead to an improper military role in overseeing detention and court proceedings and could infringe on the president’s authority in dealing with terrorism suspects. But it said that Mr. Obama could interpret the statute in a way that would preserve his authority. The president, for example, said that he would never authorize the indefinite military detention of American citizens, because “doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.” He also said he would reject a “rigid across-the-board requirement” that suspects be tried in military courts rather than civilian courts. Congress dropped a provision in the House version of the bill that would have banned using civilian courts to prosecute those suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda. It also dropped a new authorization to use military force against Al Qaeda and its allies. Civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, still oppose the law, in part because of its authorization of military detention camps overseas.
Note: This New York Times article amazingly fails to mention that civil liberties groups oppose this law primarily because it eliminates habeus corpus, Posse Comitatus and Bill of Rights protections, and enables the military to arrest and imprison American citizens on American soil and subject them to military tribunals without due judicial process. These protections are what Pres. Obama was referring to when he mentioned "our most important traditions and values as a nation." Is his statement that he will not use the new powers the law gives him sufficiently reassuring?