Democracy at Risk, Secret Jails,
Microchips in Passports, More
Revealing News Articles
September 26, 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 electronic voting machines putting our democracy at risk, secret jails, microchips in passports, 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.
How the men from the ministry hid the hunt for UFOs
September 25, 2006, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Ministry of Defence went to extraordinary lengths to cover up its true involvement in investigating UFOs, according to secret documents revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. The files show that officials attempted to expunge information from documents released to the Public Records Office under the "30-year rule" that would have revealed the extent of the MoD's interest in UFO sightings. The ministry wanted to cover up the operation of a secret unit dedicated to UFO investigations within the Defence Intelligence Staff. The files were made public following FOI requests by David Clarke, a lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University and his colleague Andy Roberts. "These documents don't tell us anything about UFOs but they do show how desperate the MoD have been to conceal the interest which the intelligence services had in the subject," said Dr Clarke. A  note from the UFO desk to the MoD's head of security [states] "It is undesirable that even a hint of this should become public and we are currently consulting...on ways of expurgating the official records against the time when they qualify for disclosure." In a note dated April 28 1993 from DI55 to the public UFO desk the unnamed author argued the unit's involvement should be excised from records due to be released under the 30-year rule.
Note: For a riveting two-page summary of reliable information on UFOs: https://www.WantToKnow.info/ufocover-up
Why Retired Military Brass Don't Want Torture
September 24, 2006, Los Angeles Times
For all 43 retired generals and admirals, it was a combination of moral outrage and deep disgust over President Bush's proposed legislation on interrogating terrorist suspects that propelled them. "None of us feels comfortable speaking out publicly," said retired Rear Adm. John D. Hutson, who served as the Navy's judge advocate general from 1997 to 2000. "That's not the nature of what military officers do. [But we] care very, very much about the country and the military." The group of retired flag officers first came together in 2005, when a dozen of them signed a letter opposing the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general for his role in developing Bush's policies on torture in the war on terror. Late last year, they supported Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) ban on cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees in U.S. custody anywhere in the world. The retired officers believe that the negative consequences of the president's anti-terror policies could have been avoided if the administration had followed traditional military practices. No higher-ups were prosecuted for the abuses uncovered at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. What further fuels the officers' outrage is that the policies they believe have undermined the military were mostly formulated by men, like Bush, who have not seen combat. "Cheney made mention in the days after 9/11 that he wanted to operate sort of on the dark side," [Brig. Gen. James] Cullen said. "Here was a guy who never served, and now something terrible had happened, and he wanted to show that he was a tough guy....So he's going to operate outside the rules of law. Bad message."
Hijackers Were Not Identified Before 9/11, Investigation Says
September 22, 2006, Washington Post
The Defense Department's inspector general has concluded that a top secret intelligence-gathering program did not identify Mohamed Atta or any other hijacker before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, determining that there is no evidence to substantiate claims that Atta's name and photograph were on charts collected by military officials before the strikes. Pentagon officials said that the recollections of several officials involved in the "Able Danger" data-mining operation "were not accurate" and that a chart they said included a blurry image of Atta and his name never existed. The report concluded that there were no efforts to prevent contact between the Pentagon group and the FBI. The investigation began after members of Congress raised concerns over reports that Navy Capt. Scott Philpott and Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer remembered seeing Atta's photograph on documents collected by the intelligence program, and that the commission investigating the attacks had ignored their assertions. The assertions gained considerable steam when Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) said...that, two weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, he presented White House officials with a chart that depicted people affiliated with al-Qaeda, including lead hijacker Atta. "I am appalled that the DoD IG would expect the American people to actually consider this a full and thorough investigation," Weldon said. "I question their motives and the content of the report, and I reject the conclusions they have drawn." Shaffer has consistently maintained that he believes he saw Atta's image.
Note: This article is a prime example of how the media at times is seriously biased to support the official story of 9/11. I invite you to read the article and then read our summary of information gathered from highly respected media at https://www.WantToKnow.info/abledanger911. When a prominent Republican congressman and several military officers have clearly stated the opposite, is it really possible to conclude that "there is no evidence to substantiate claims that Atta's name and photograph were on charts collected by military officials before the strikes." Were these military and government representatives all lying, and if so, why?
Suits Say U.S. Impeded Audits for Oil Leases
September 21, 2006, New York Times
Four government auditors who monitor leases for oil and gas on federal property say the Interior Department suppressed their efforts to recover millions of dollars from companies they said were cheating the government. The auditors contend that they were blocked by their bosses from pursuing more than $30 million in fraudulent underpayments of royalties for oil produced in publicly owned waters in the Gulf of Mexico. "The agency has lost its sense of mission, which is to protect American taxpayers," said Bobby L. Maxwell, who was formerly in charge of Gulf of Mexico auditing. "These are assets that belong to the American public, and they are supposed to be used for things like education, public infrastructure and roadways." The lawsuits have surfaced as Democrats and Republicans alike are questioning the Bush administration's willingness to challenge the oil and gas industry. The new accusations surfaced just one week after the Interior Department's inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, told a House subcommittee that "short of crime, anything goes" at the top levels of the Interior Department. In another clash, frustrated federal auditors have complained that the Interior Department no longer allows them to subpoena documents from oil companies. Agency officials acknowledged that they have not issued any subpoenas in the last three years.
Voting machines put U.S. democracy at risk
September 20, 2006, CNN News
There is little assurance your vote will count. As we've been reporting almost nightly...for more than a year, electronic voting machines are placing our democracy at risk. These machines time and again have been demonstrated to be extremely vulnerable to tampering and error, and many of them have no voter-verified paper trail. Only 27 states have laws requiring the use of voter-verified paper trails. 15 states [have] no mandated requirements for safeguarding your vote. During the 2004 presidential election, one voting machine...added nearly 3,900 additional votes to Bush's total. Officials caught the machine's error because only 638 voters cast presidential ballots at that precinct, but in a heavily populated district, can we really be sure the votes will be counted correctly? [In] the May primary election in Cuyahoga County, Ohio...the electronic voting machines' four sources of vote totals -- individual ballots, paper trail summary, election archives and memory cards -- didn't even match up. The report concluded that relying on the current system for Cuyahoga County's more than 1.3 million people should be viewed as "a calculated risk." Are we really willing to risk our democracy? A 2005 Government Accountability Office report on electronic voting confirmed the worst fears of watchdog groups and election officials. "There is evidence that some of these concerns have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes." That is simply unacceptable. Congress and the White House need to immediately take steps to assure the integrity of electronic voting with paper trails that could be audited in any recount.
Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information on the various aspects of the elections cover-up, see https://www.WantToKnow.info/electionsinformation
CIA agents 'refused to operate' at secret jails
September 20, 2006, MSNBC/Financial Times
The Bush administration had to empty its secret prisons and transfer terror suspects to the military-run detention centre at Guantanamo this month in part because CIA interrogators had refused to carry out further interrogations and run the secret facilities. When Mr Bush announced the suspension of the secret prison programme in a speech before the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, some analysts thought he was trying to gain political momentum before the November midterm congressional elections. Former CIA officials said Mr Bush's hand was forced because interrogators had refused to continue their work until the legal situation was clarified because they were concerned they could be prosecuted for using illegal techniques. One intelligence source also said the CIA had refused to keep the secret prisons going.
Getting closer to Uncle Sam
September 20, 2006, Toronto Star (One of Canada's leading newspapers)
Public kept in dark as business leads talks about North American integration. Away from the spotlight, from Sept. 12 to 14, in Banff Springs, Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day and Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor met with U.S. and Mexican government officials and business leaders to discuss North American integration at the second North American Forum. The guest list included such prominent figures as U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Mexican Secretary of Public Security Eduardo Medina Mora and Canadian Forces chief General Rick Hillier. The event was chaired by former U.S. secretary of state George Schultz, former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed and former Mexican finance minister Pedro Aspe. Organizers did not alert the media about the event. Our government...refuses to release any information about the content of the discussions or the actors involved. The event was organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.... The media have paid little attention to this far-reaching agreement, so Canadians are unaware that a dozen working groups are currently "harmonizing" Canadian and U.S. regulations on everything from food to drugs to the environment and even more contentious issues like foreign policy. This process...is about priming North America for better business by weakening the impacts of such perceived obstacles as environmental standards and labour rights. This is why the public has been kept in the dark while the business elite has played a leading role in designing the blueprint for this more integrated North America.
Note: For a second article discussing this secret meeting on a top Canadian TV website, click here. To learn about other secret meetings of the power elite: https://www.WantToKnow.info/051115secretsocietiesbilderberg
U.S. War Prisons Legal Vacuum for 14,000
September 17, 2006, ABC News/Associated Press
The U.S. military has created a global network of overseas prisons...keeping 14,000 detainees beyond the reach of established law. Disclosures of torture and long-term arbitrary detentions have won rebuke from leading voices including the U.N. secretary-general and the U.S. Supreme Court. Tens of thousands now have passed through U.S. detention. Many say they were caught up in U.S. military sweeps, often interrogated around the clock, then released months or years later without apology, compensation or any word on why they were taken. Seventy to 90 percent of the Iraq detentions in 2003 were "mistakes," U.S. officers once told the international Red Cross. The detention system often is unjust and hurts the war on terror by inflaming anti-Americanism in Iraq and elsewhere. Human rights groups count dozens of detainee deaths for which no one has been punished or that were never explained. The new manual banning torture doesn't cover CIA interrogators. Thousands of people still languish in a limbo, deprived of one of common law's oldest rights, habeas corpus, the right to know why you are imprisoned. The U.S. government has contended it can hold detainees until the "war on terror" ends. [Inmates] have been held without charge for three to four years. [Guantanamo's] population today...stands at 455. Only 10 of the Guantanamo inmates have been charged with crimes. In only 14 of 34 cases has anyone been punished for the confirmed or suspected killings of detainees. The stiffest sentence in a torture-related death has been five months in jail. In almost half of 98 detainee deaths, the cause was either never announced or reported as undetermined.
Press Conference of the President
September 15, 2006, Official White House Website
The information that the Central Intelligence Agency has obtained by questioning men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has provided valuable information and has helped disrupt terrorist plots, including strikes within the United States. For example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high -- a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping.
Note: What exactly did he mean by explosives going off in the planned attacks of building inside the U.S.? And wouldn't you want to hit low to keep more people trapped above?
The ID Chip You Don't Want in Your Passport
September 15, 2006, Washington Post
If you have a passport, now is the time to renew it -- even if it's not set to expire anytime soon. In many countries, including the United States, passports will soon be equipped with RFID chips. And you don't want one of these chips in your passport. RFID stands for "radio-frequency identification." Passports with RFID chips store an electronic copy of the passport information: your name, a digitized picture, etc. And in the future, the chip might store fingerprints or digital visas from various countries. By itself, this is no problem. But RFID chips don't have to be plugged in to a reader to operate. Like the chips used for automatic toll collection on roads or automatic fare collection on subways, these chips operate via proximity. The risk to you is the possibility of surreptitious access: Your passport information might be read without your knowledge or consent by a government trying to track your movements, a criminal trying to steal your identity or someone just curious about your citizenship. Security mechanisms are also vulnerable, and several security researchers have already discovered flaws. One found that he could identify individual chips via unique characteristics of the radio transmissions. Another successfully cloned a chip. The Colorado passport office is already issuing RFID passports, and the State Department expects all U.S. passport offices to be doing so by the end of the year. Many other countries are in the process of changing over. So get a passport before it's too late.
Note: For lots of reliable, verifiable information on microchip implants: www.WantToKnow.info/microchipimplants
Note: For an excellent, free 30-minute program on 9/11 questions from CBC, one of Canada's top TV channels, click here or here. To see David Ray Griffin talking about 9/11 on BBC one day before the fifth anniversary, click here. For a great spoof (yet very serious) titled 9/11 Vendetta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ7uFA8RwpQ
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Democracy at Risk, Secret Jails, Microchips in Passports