No-Fly List, News Anchor Threatened, Presidential Powers, Media Manipulations
Revealing News Articles
October 11, 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 contain revealing information including strange entries on the no-fly list, MSNBC News anchor Keith Olbermann being threatened, expanding presidential powers, media manipulations, 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.
Police 'exaggerated evidence' against British 9/11 suspect
October 9, 2006, London Times
Police and prosecutors are facing allegations that they misled a judge and grossly exaggerated evidence against the only man to be detained in Britain over September 11. There is renewed scrutiny on two fronts of the role played by Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service in making unfounded claims that Lotfi Raissi trained the 9/11 hijackers. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has opened an investigation into the conduct of the Anti-Terrorist Branch detectives who arrested Mr Raissi in 2001 and prepared the evidence against him. The alleged terrorist link was one of a number of false allegations made against Mr Raissi. Prosecutors claimed in court that he was the "lead instructor" for the main hijackers who crashed aircraft into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. The FBI was said to have video material showing him in the company of Hani Hanjour, one of the hijack pilots. However, all the evidence was shown to be unsubstantiated and, in February 2002, District Judge Timothy Workman ordered Mr Raissi's release. Mr Raissi has since made several unsuccessful attempts to obtain an official apology from the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police. Successive Home Secretaries have resisted his request for an acknowledgment that he was wrongfully arrested. Mr Raissi said: "My life has been ruined. I lost my freedom, my reputation and my career. The courts have said I am innocent – why does the Home Secretary not accept this?"
The terrorists who aren't in the news
October 8, 2006, Newsday
On Sept. 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks that devastated our nation, a man crashed his car into a building in Davenport, Iowa, hoping to blow it up and kill himself in the fire. No national newspaper, magazine or network newscast reported this attempted suicide bombing, though an AP wire story was available. Cable news (save for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann) was silent about this latest act of terrorism in America. Had the criminal, David McMenemy, been Arab or Muslim, this would have been headline news for weeks. But since his target was the Edgerton Women's Health Center...media have not called this terrorism - even after three decades of extreme violence by anti-abortion fanatics. Abortion providers and activists received 77 letters threatening anthrax attacks before 9/11, yet the media never considered anthrax threats as terrorism until after 9/11, when such letters were delivered to journalists' offices and members of Congress. Is McMenemy a lone nutcase, or a member of that network of violent extremists? We don't know, because journalists haven't investigated. Nor have they reported that just last year, nearly one in five abortion clinics experienced gunfire, arson, bombings, chemical attacks, assaults, stalking, death threats and blockades. The feds have taken over McMenemy's case, charging him with arson against a business affecting interstate commerce. Yet as of Oct. 5, no news outlet on Nexis reported this, despite a second AP story. As we continue national debates on how to keep America safe from terrorism, journalists do us...no good pretending that the threats come only from radical Muslims outside our borders.
Note: MSNBC's prime time news anchor Keith Olbermann recently received a threatening letter with white powder, yet this received virtually no coverage. Could it be because Olbermann has been quite critical of the current administration lately? For one of the very few articles on this, click here. For MSNBC article, click here
Voting troubles raise stakes in Cuyahoga County
October 6, 2006, Akron Beacon Journal/Associated Press
Election results were held up for six days in Cuyahoga County last May, testing the patience of voters and damaging their confidence. Ohio's most populous county will hold its second election in November using touch-screen voting machines made by North Canton-based Diebold Inc. The first attempt at electronic voting during the May primary was marred by problems, including poll workers who were not prepared to operate the machines and memory cards that were misplaced or lost. Vote counts were delayed six days when roughly 18,000 improperly printed absentee ballots had to be hand-counted because they couldn't be scanned by Diebold's optical scan machines. The county...isn't alone nationally. In Cook County, Ill., results were delayed a week because of mechanical and human failures connected to new voting machines. At a recent meeting, where a kitchen timer ticks off each speaker's allotted five minutes during the public comment period, voter Daniel Kozminski of Solon questioned the integrity of Diebold's machines, citing various reports. He also scoffed at the board's refusal to post results from individual precincts on the Web to help verify vote totals. Diebold has defended its machines from several disparaging studies, including one by a Princeton University computer science professor which claims the company's machines are vulnerable to hacking. On the net - Black Box Voting: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/
Note: Memory cards were lost? That would mean hundreds—if not thousands—of votes could go uncounted. Why is this not getting more press coverage? For more: https://www.WantToKnow.info/electionsinformation
Unlikely Terrorists On No-Fly List
October 5, 2006, CBS News
60 Minutes, in collaboration with the National Security News Service, has obtained the secret list used to screen airline passengers for terrorists and discovered it includes names of people not likely to cause terror, including the president of Bolivia, people who are dead and names so common, they are shared by thousands of innocent fliers. The "data dump" of names from the files of several government agencies, including the CIA, fed into the computer compiling the list contained many unlikely terrorists. These include...Nabih Berri, Lebanon's parliamentary speaker, and Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia. It also includes the names of 14 of the 19 dead 9/11 hijackers. But the names of some of the most dangerous living terrorists or suspects are kept off the list. The 11 British suspects recently charged with plotting to blow up airliners with liquid explosives were not on it, despite the fact they were under surveillance for more than a year. Even if the list is made more accurate, it won't help thousands of innocent travelers who share a common name on the list and who get detained, sometimes for hours, when they attempt to fly. Gary Smith, John Williams and Robert Johnson are some of those names.
Bush Says He Can Edit Security Reports
October 5, 2006, ABC News/Associate Press
President Bush, again defying Congress, says he has the power to edit the Homeland Security Department's reports about whether it obeys privacy rules while handling background checks, ID cards and watchlists. In the law Bush signed Wednesday, Congress stated no one but the privacy officer could alter, delay or prohibit the mandatory annual report on Homeland Security department activities that affect privacy, including complaints. But Bush, in a signing statement attached to the agency's 2007 spending bill, said he will interpret that section "in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch." The American Bar Association and members of Congress have said Bush uses signing statements excessively as a way to expand his power. Bush's signing statement Wednesday challenges several other provisions in the Homeland Security spending bill. Bush, for example, said he'd disregard a requirement that the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency must have at least five years experience and "demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management and homeland security."
Old but Not Frail: A Matter of Heart and Head
October 5, 2006, New York Times
Witold Bialokur...can run 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles, in less than 44 minutes. While Mr. Bialokur's performance would be the envy of most young men, he is not young. Mr. Bialokur is 71. It is one of the persistent mysteries of aging, researchers say. Why would one person, like Mr. Bialokur, remain so hale and hearty while another, who had seemed just as healthy, start to weaken and slow down? Rigorous studies are now showing that seeing, or hearing, gloomy nostrums about what it is like to be old can make people walk more slowly, hear and remember less well, and even affect their cardiovascular systems. Positive images of aging have the opposite effects. The constant message that old people are expected to be slow and weak and forgetful is not a reason for the full-blown frailty syndrome. But it may help push people along that path.
Bush signings called effort to expand power
October 5, 2006, Boston Globe
President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is "an integral part" of his "comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power" at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service. The research service said the Bush administration is using signing statements as a means to slowly condition Congress into accepting the White House's broad conception of presidential power, which includes a presidential right to ignore laws he believes are unconstitutional. The administration has suggested repeatedly that the president has exclusive authority over foreign affairs and has an absolute right to withhold information from Congress. Such assertions are "generally unsupported by established legal principles," the report said. Last week...Bush signed the 2007 military budget bill, but then issued a statement challenging 16 of its provisions. Bush has used signing statements to challenge more than 800 laws that place limits or requirements on the executive branch, saying they intrude on his constitutional powers. The American Bar Association called signing statements "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional separation of powers." It said presidents cannot sign bills and then declare parts of them unconstitutional because a president has only two choices -- to sign a bill and enforce it as written, or to veto it and give Congress a chance to override the veto.
Scientists teleport two different objects
October 5, 2006, CNN News/Reuters
Physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality. Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second. But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter. "It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium," Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday. The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They...teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further. "Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams, but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter," Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained. "Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement." Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.
Olbermann: Threatening letter no joke
September 27, 2006, MSNBC
The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, The New York Post, may have just impeded an FBI investigation into terroristic threats. I know this because I was a recipient. The Bureau asked us not to report any of the details so that the person or persons responsible would not know any of the threats had been received by any of the targets -- and we of course complied. I still cannot confirm many of the specifics -- again in order to make the jobs of the FBI and the New York Police Department a little easier. But I find it necessary to respond to the genuinely shocking tone with which Murdoch's paper reported the event, and the string of factual errors they made either through negligence or a premeditated disregard for the truth. "Powder Puff Spooks Keith," reads the headline. The article then gives the details of the event which we were asked not to divulge. Also, a New York Post reporter attempted to gain access to me by falsely identifying herself as a friend of mine. And, most relevantly, the New York Post never called NBC News or MSNBC seeking any comment. They would have been told that the FBI had requested we try to keep this quiet. But of course that would have interfered with the New York Post making fun of a terror threat. It's almost melodramatic to ask why the New York Post would choose the side of domestic terrorism, rather than choose the side of the FBI. It's interesting too that Murdoch's paper was able to get a jump on this story so quickly -- nearly as quickly, as if they'd known it was coming.
Note: MSNBC's prime time news anchor Keith Olbermann is one of the very few in the media who have had the courage to report some of the major cover-ups going on with elections, 9/11 and more. Isn't it interesting that he would be the target of an anthrax threat and that no media made a serious attempt to report any of this?
Failures of Imagination
September/October 2006 Issue, Columbia Journalism Review
It was early December 2002. [Carlotta] Gall, the Afghanistan correspondent for The New York Times, had just seen a press release from the U.S. military announcing the death of a prisoner at its Bagram Air Base. Soon thereafter the military issued a second release about another detainee death at Bagram. Gall: "I just wanted to know more. And I came up against a blank wall." The body of one of the detainees had been returned, a young taxi driver known as Dilawar. Gall met with Dilawar's family, and his brother handed Gall a death certificate...that the military had issued. "It said, 'homicide.' The press release announcing Dilawar's death stated...heart attack, a conclusion repeated by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. But the death certificate, the authenticity of which the military later confirmed to Gall, stated that Dilawar – who was just twenty-two years old – died as a result of "blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease." Gall filed a story. It sat for a month. "I very rarely have to wait long for a story to run." Gall's story...had been at the center of an editorial fight. Roger Cohen, then the Times's foreign editor: "I pitched it, I don't know, four times at page-one meetings, with increasing urgency and frustration. My single greatest frustration as foreign editor was my inability to get that story on page one." The story ran on page fourteen under the headline "U.S.Military Investigating Death of Afghan in Custody." The Times also reported that officers who had overseen the Bagram prison at the time were promoted; another, who had lied to investigators, was transferred to help oversee interrogations at Abu Ghraib and awarded a Bronze Star.
Note: Why does it take a university journal to ask the hard questions? Again and again, news that should be front-page headlines is buried on insignificant pages or not reported at all. This key article from one of the most respected schools of journalism in the world tells it all about the unreported and underreported violent abuse of prisoners condoned by elements of the U.S. military. Don't miss reading this most powerful story in its entirety.
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No-Fly List, News Anchor Threatened, Presidential Powers, Media Manipulations