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I found myself at a conference on Walker Street called 'How The World Changed After 9/11'. It was packed, but I managed to slide in at the back, to hear a guy called Webster Tarpley chant his own list of names. The names of the 46 military exercises and hijack drills ... that were actually taking place on the morning of September 11. "The greatest density of drills in US military history," Tarpley said. The drills, said Tarpley, were important, because not only did they weaken and confuse US air defence, but there was also a military drill for each major component of the 9/11 attacks. The drills were cover, and the dummy threats were made real. September 11, he argues, was a coup carried out by a rogue network within the US military and government. A cabal of fascists, working with (and for) a banking oligarchy, "the old boys of Wall Street". "You want to blame Saudi Arabia, or Israel, or Pakistan? You can't. There isn't the evidence." The evidence, Tarpley says, points towards 9/11 as a false flag attack, carried out by a high level clique, that forced a shocked and awestruck US public into a vast and still ongoing war. It was America's very own Reichstag fire. What I heard, from speaker after speaker, was a heartfelt desire to turn away from the path of destruction, militarism and lies that America has been set upon after 9/11.
Note: For questions raised about the official story of 9/11 by hundreds of highly-respected citizens from all walks of life, click here and here. For a four-minute invited commentary at PressTV (Iran) by Tod Fletcher of WantToKnow on the falsity of the official account of 9/11, click here.
Frederic Whitehurst had no idea what being a whistleblower entailed. He simply became outraged when he witnessed a colleague in the FBI laboratory giving misleading testimony in a criminal case two decades ago. So the supervisory agent decided to speak up, telling the defense experts about the inaccuracies. It cost him nearly a decade of his career, almost all his life savings, several emotionally draining internal investigations, the humiliation of a psychiatric exam, and an epic legal fight with the bureau. But the proudly stubborn Vietnam veteran persevered and ultimately prevailed in forcing sweeping ethical and scientific reforms at the vaunted FBI crime lab that began in the 1990s and still reverberate today. And while he’d do it all again, Whitehurst doesn’t want future whistleblowers to make the same mistakes he did. That’s why he and 19 other of America’s most famous corporate and government muckrakers of the last quarter century have banded together this month to donate thousands of copies of a book by their lawyer, Stephen Kohn, to libraries across America. Their goal is to give the next generation of American whistleblowers a roadmap, a virtual how-to guide to ensure they can call out wrongdoing successfully, be protected from the customary retributions, and maybe even cash in on False Claim Act awards that can reach into the millions of dollars. [They] are using their own money to buy copies of Kohn’s book, The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself, and donating them to libraries around the country.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Bike sharing is on the verge of becoming an integral part of public transportation in cities across the globe. This system of impromptu bike renting is helping urban areas reduce automotive traffic and pollution while providing locals and tourists with a convenient, cheap and healthy means of transport. Currently, there are nearly 300 organized bike sharing programs worldwide. That number is growing – and not just in the West. In India, for example, the Ministry of Urban Development is preparing to launch a 10-city public bike scheme as part of its “Mission for Sustainable Habitat”. So how does bike sharing work? In most cities, visitors can purchase short-term subscriptions at bike stations themselves. Just walk up to a station’s electronic kiosk, choose the duration for which you need access to the service, and swipe your credit card. With more than 50,000 bikes and 2,050 bike stations, the Chinese city of Hangzhou is home to the world’s largest bike sharing program. Bike sharing is well integrated with other forms of public transport, with bike stations available near bus and water taxi stops.
Note: For more on this encouraging development, click here.
[A] chronicle of the civil and military aviation responses to the [9/11] hijackings that originally had been prepared by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, but never completed or released, [is about to be published]. Though some of the audio has emerged over the years, mainly through public hearings and a federal criminal trial, the ... complete document, with recordings, is being published for the first time by the Rutgers Law Review. Most of the work on the document — which commission staff members called an “audio monograph” — was finished in 2004, not in time to go through a long legal review before the commission was shut down that August. At hearings in 2003 and 2004, the 9/11 Commission played some of the recordings and said civil and military controllers improvised responses to attacks they had never trained for. The account published this week is missing two essential pieces that remain restricted or classified. One is about 30 minutes of the cockpit recording of United Airlines Flight 93. The other still-secret recording is of a high-level conference call that ... grew, over the course of the morning, to include ... Mr. Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers. The recording was turned over to the National Security Council. The 9/11 Commission was not permitted to keep a copy of it or of the transcript ... and investigators were closely monitored when they listened to it.
Note: WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin has analyzed the use made by the 9/11 Commission of the audiotapes described in this article, in "9/11 Live or Fabricated: Do the NORAD Tapes Verify The 9/11 Commission Report?", concluding that they may well have been faked by the Pentagon to provide a basis for the Commission's otherwise unsupported claim that the FAA did not notify NORAD of the hijackings in time for an air-defense response. Prof. Griffin developed his argument further in Chapter One of his seminal book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking.
Dubbed the Toronto Hearings, [a] four-day event at Ryerson University — which wraps up [on September 11] — will hear from a variety of experts and academics on why the official narrative of 9/11 is flawed. Lance deHaven-Smith, a public policy professor at Florida State University, called 9/11 a "state crime against democracy," suggesting the destruction of the Twin Towers was staged to advance a war agenda. Speaker David Ray Griffin, who authored the book 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed, focused on alleged anomalies in the official report from the 9/11 Commission. The report, which he called a product of "the White House investigating itself," failed to include relevant information about the alleged hijackers, including the discovery that some were still alive after the attacks. Kevin Ryan, co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies, was similarly critical of a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology into how and why the Twin Towers collapsed in the fashion they did. "A steel structure does not collapse suddenly when attacked by fire," Ryan said, noting the institute's report "distorted many important facts." "We know that the official story does not fly," [conference organizer Graeme MacQueen said]. "The legitimate mourning is mixed together with myth and deception."
Note: For more on the historic Toronto Hearings, at which cutting edge research on the most important questions about 9/11 was presented, click here.
For ten years independent scholars and researchers have been investigating the troubling anomalies of the 9/11 official account. One such scholar, Dr. David Ray Griffin, has written ten encyclopedic books documenting fundamental problems with the government account. Although 9/11 has been the seminal event of this century, none of the research by Dr. Griffin and other critics has been reported by the North American media. Today, the formation of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, involving 22 investigators of the September 11th events, is being announced at consensus911.org. The 13 Consensus Points issued by the Panel were derived from a Delphi survey modeled on consensus statements developed by expert panels in medicine to guide diagnosis and treatment. The 9/11 Consensus Panel, co-founded by Dr. David Ray Griffin and medical librarian Elizabeth Woodworth ... include[s] two former NASA engineers, six professors, one physician, two lawyers, four journalists, and three pilots. The Consensus Panel offers the media and the public the scientifically validated information needed to address this seminal issue with the confidence that has been lacking.
Note: In addition to WantToKnow team member Prof. David Ray Griffin, WantToKnow's Tod Fletcher is a member of the 9/11 Consensus Panel. They are both media contacts at the panel who can be reached by clicking here.
Following 9/11, reports of hate crimes against Arab-Americans, or those perceived to be, went up 1,700 percent. While distrust and ignorance toward American Muslims remains a reality today, we found the opposite in one Tennessee community. On one recent Sunday morning in Cordova, Pastor Steve Stone was rocking along with his congregation, clapping and singing along with the choir. Heartsong Church, just outside Memphis, sits on a rural road - directly across the street from a Muslim worship center. When Dr. Bashar Shala, co-founder of the Memphis Islamic Center, or MIC, began construction two years ago, at best, he hoped to be ignored. Instead, Stone welcomed the Muslims with a surprise - a sign welcoming MIC to the neighborhood. When they saw the sign, Shala said, "We knew that we have good neighbors." Acting on the biblical phrase "love thy neighbor," the two sides forged a friendship that's now expanded to plans for building a park with land from both sides of the road, connected by a bridge or a tunnel, and to interfaith events, such as a joint Labor Day party. One church member, Lee Raines, looking at tables with Muslims and Christians together, called it "awesome." Stone and Shala say they hope others will practice being good neighbors as they do. Not only have they fed the homeless and organized food drives together, this Sunday, on the 9/11 anniversary, they're hosting a joint blood drive.
Note: Watch a wonderfully inspiring, three-minute video on this unusual friendship.
The American banking sector apparently is going to be vastly different when it finally emerges from the financial crisis that took hold more than three years ago. It is going to be significantly smaller, and the domination of a relative handful of behemoth institutions is going to increase. At the end of June, there were 7,522 commercial banks, down from 8,542 on Dec. 31, 2007. That is a decline of nearly 12 percent in just three and a half years. Of the more than 1,000 banks that disappeared, about 370 failed. But the rest of the decrease came through mergers and acquisitions as a decades-long pattern of consolidation continued. Most banks in the United States still are fairly small. The median size of a bank at the end of June, according to an analysis of statistics from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was about $155 million in assets. That’s about an 18 percent increase since the end of 2007. But those numbers seriously skew the nature of the industry. Of the more than $13.6 trillion in assets held by banks at the end of June, nearly $9.4 trillion is in the hands of just 37 institutions, each with more than $50 billion in assets. And of that, $5.5 trillion is held by just four banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo. Each of those have more than $1 trillion in assets. In other words, the U.S. banking industry resembles a tall cake, with a very thick layer of icing on top.
Note: To learn how these same four banks and their holding companies hold over 90% of the $700 trillion derivatives market, click here. For many revealing reports from reliable sources on the concentration and centralization of financial power by a few megabanks, click here.
The Sept. 11 attacks triggered a revolution in U.S. spycraft as the intelligence services shattered a longstanding taboo by launching an expansive program of targeted killings by remote control. The greatest shift both in tactics and mindset has been the embrace of the pilotless, hunter-killer aircraft known as drones. The CIA, which doesn't formally acknowledge the covert program, has killed about 2,000 militants with drones, U.S. officials say, most in the past two years as President Barack Obama's national security team aggressively expanded the program. In 2010, the number of drone strikes more than doubled, to 114, and this year, drone campaigns are expanding. The CIA now plans flights in Yemen, and the military is using drones to kill militants in Somalia. Legal challenges to the drone program have secured little traction. The main debate inside the government has been over how to execute the campaign without irreversibly damaging Pakistani cooperation. American citizens can be targets, too. Under the legal authority for the drone program, the CIA must consult the National Security Council before capturing an American posing an imminent threat, but no additional consultation is required to kill an American, a former senior intelligence official said. "The reason there hasn't been more of an outcry about it is, it's the Obama administration defending this authority," said the American Civil Liberties Union's Jameel Jaffer.
Note: For lots more on the illegal methods employed by the CIA and Pentagon in its "endless war", click here.
Ten years after [the 9/11 attacks], the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission's investigative records remain sealed at the National Archives in Washington, even though the commission had directed the archives to make most of the material public in 2009. The National Archives' failure to release the material presents a hurdle for historians and others seeking to plumb one of the most dramatic events in modern American history. Matt Fulgham, assistant director of the archives' center for legislative affairs..., said that more than a third of the material has been reviewed for possible release. But many of those documents have been withheld or heavily redacted, and the released material includes documents that already were in the public domain, such as press articles. Commission items still not public include a 30-page summary of an April 29, 2004 interview by all 10 commissioners with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, conducted in the White House's Oval Office. This was the only time the two were formally questioned about the events surrounding the attacks. The information could shed light on public accounts the two men have given in recent weeks of their actions around the time of the attacks. The still-sealed documents contain source material on subjects ranging from actions by President Bush on the day of the attacks to ... vast amounts of information on al Qaeda and U.S. intelligence efforts in the years preceding the attacks.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.
From the island nation known for the quality of its cigars comes some pretty big news today: Cuban medical authorities have released the first therapeutic vaccine for lung cancer. CimaVax-EGF is the result of a 25-year research project at Havana’s Center for Molecular Immunology, and it could make a life or death difference for those facing late-stage lung cancers. CimaVax-EGF isn’t a vaccine in the preventative sense--that is, it doesn’t prevent lung cancer from taking hold in new patients. It’s based on a protein related to uncontrolled cell proliferation--that is, it doesn’t prevent cancer from existing in the first place but attacks the mechanism by which it does harm. As such it can turn aggressive later-stage lung cancer into a manageable chronic disease by creating antibodies that do battle with the proteins that cause uncontrolled cell proliferation, researchers say. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are still recommended as a primary means of destroying cancerous tissue, but for those showing no improvement the new vaccine could be a literal lifesaver. The vaccine has already been tested in 1,000 patients in Cuba and is being distributed at hospitals there free of charge. That’s a big deal for a country where smoking is part of the national culture and a leading cause of death. If it proves as successful as researchers say it is, it should give those suffering from lung cancer reason to celebrate--just not with a Cohiba.
Note: For lots more on important health issues from reliable sources, click here.
After the deadly attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the first person Rabbi Ted Falcon called was his friend, Jamal Rahman, a Sufi imam. On the following Sabbath, the rabbi invited the imam to his Seattle synagogue to speak to the congregation. Soon after, the two spiritual leaders, along with Pastor Don Mackenzie, commenced a series of frank conversations about their beliefs. The talks eventually inspired a radio show, a pair of books, and worldwide speaking tours. The men’s willingness to ask and answer tough questions about faith in the wake of 9/11 had clearly struck a nerve with many Americans. Over the past 10 years, the percentage of US congregations involved in interfaith worship has doubled – from 7 to 14 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of congregations performing interfaith community service nearly tripled – from 8 to almost 21 percent – according to a new survey by Hartford Seminary’s Institute for Religion Research. In doing so, these congregations have joined the colorful, decades-old American interfaith movement. Since 9/11, the movement has gained new momentum and, more than ever before, has drawn Muslims into its ranks. “To think about 9/11 without thinking about the interfaith movement would almost be a travesty,” says Maureen Fiedler, host of “Interfaith Voices,” a ... radio program that was created in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks. “Islam was so misunderstood and so vilified by those events,” says Ms. Fiedler, “that a real interfaith understanding has to be brought to bear on the issue.”
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A court case against a translator who leaked US government secrets was conducted in secret because it centred on the revelation that the FBI had eavesdropped on Israeli embassy phone calls, it was revealed yesterday. The extraordinary limitations in place for the prosecution of Shamai Leibowitz, who was sentenced to 20 months in prison for disseminating classified information, meant that even the judge sentencing him did not know what he was supposed to have leaked. "All I know is that it's a serious case," Judge Alexander Williams said last year. "I don't know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea." But now Richard Silverstein, the blogger to whom Leibowitz passed his information, has come forward to defend his source. Leibowitz passed him about 200 pages of verbatim records of phone calls and conversations between embassy officials, saying that he believed the documents revealed Israeli officials trying unlawfully to influence US policy and edging towards military action against Iran. There has been dismay among civil liberties and open government advocates who point to pledges made by Mr Obama before his election to seek new transparency in Washington. Instead, his administration has launched a record number of prosecutions under the Espionage Act – five including the Leibowitz case. Previously, there had been only four such prosecutions opened by all previous administrations.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from reliable sources, click here.
If you think that on the 10th anniversary you know the whole story of 9/11 - and here I'm addressing conspiracy-minded "truthers" and the 13 percent who approved of the job Dick Cheney did as vice president - actually, you don't. The dictum of famed investigative reporter I.F. Stone about all governments - i.e., they lie - is no less true about 9/11 than any other event. Here are [some] questions about 9/11 that remain unanswered. Who killed five Americans with anthrax in fall 2001? Forensics showed that the biological weapon came from American stockpiles. In 2008, the government announced that its ... prime suspect - a scientist at Maryland's Fort Detrick named Bruce Ivins - had committed suicide and that the case was considered closed. But is it? Remarkably, a disputed U.S. Justice Department filing just this July claimed that Ivins didn't have access to the equipment needed to execute the attacks, causing some members of Congress to call for a new probe. Why did so many Bush officials fixate on Iraq in the hours after the attacks? Despite a lack of any evidence tying Saddam's Iraq to 9/11, Bush administration officials looked immediately toward Baghdad. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld questioned whether to "hit S.H." - Saddam - "at the same time" while the Pentagon was still on fire, and Bush immediately pressed Clarke on whether there was an Iraqi connection.
Cruising in their custom wheelchairs, Chili and Arlo are the center of attention wherever they go. But for patients at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas, these two canine caregivers are also an inspiration. “Many of the patients are new to wheelchairs,” Linda Marler, the program’s director [said]. “When they see Chili and Arlo, they say, ‘If those dogs can do it, so can I.’ ” Chili and Arlo are the only dogs with disabilities among the 90 specially trained therapy dogs that participate in Baylor’s Animal Assisted Therapy program. The canine volunteers make weekly visits to lift the spirits of patients who have suffered traumatic injuries or a stroke. “We use the dogs to create more of a home atmosphere and also to get a response,” Marler said. She’s found that animals will often elicit a reaction when every other method has failed. “For head injury patients, a dog has been the first thing they respond to when emerging from a coma,” Marler said. “For others, being with a dog is what motivates them to speak or throw a ball.” Or use a wheelchair. Marler says some of the patients who had been reluctant to use one are willing to give it a shot after spending time with Arlo and Chili.
It was early afternoon on Friday, Aug. 17, 2001. Special Agent Harry Samit of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office [sat] across from ... Zacarias Moussaoui, a 33-year-old French-born student arrested the day before for overstaying his visa. Samit, a former intelligence officer at the Navy’s celebrated Top Gun flight school, felt sure the man across the desk from him was a Muslim extremist who was part of a plot to hijack a commercial jetliner filled with passengers. That same day [at] FBI headquarters ... in Washington, counterterrorism supervisors were treating Samit’s first reports about Moussaoui with skepticism, even contempt. New disclosures about Samit’s story suggest that FBI agents in Minneapolis were much closer to unraveling the 9/11 plot than previously known. The officials directly involved in the case were denied access to a key internal memo —- prepared for outgoing FBI Director Louis Freeh —- that could have allowed the Minneapolis field office to connect the dots and possibly preempt the attacks. Their efforts were thwarted by a group of arrogant, slow-moving supervisors at FBI headquarters. There is no clear reference to the Freeh memo in the 9/11 commission’s report.
Step aside, Saudi Arabia and Alaska. A major oil boom is under way in the U.S. lower 48 states and Canada. Oil rigs are sprouting across American corn fields and backyards, bringing a surge in greenhouse gas emissions and new public worries about local environmental effects. Oil companies and their supporters are grandly predicting a new age of North American petroleum, and it's no lie. U.S. reserves of oil that is ultra-heavy ... add up to more than 2 trillion barrels, with 2.4 trillion more in Canada - far greater than the conventional Middle Eastern and North African reserves of 1.2 trillion barrels. For decades, these supplies of ultra-heavy oil were viewed as exorbitantly expensive to extract. But in the past few years, a revolution in oil-field technology has made a significant portion of these reserves accessible at competitive costs. [In] 2005 the country's net petroleum imports peaked at 60.3 percent of total consumption. Net imports [shrank] to 49.3 percent by 2010. The number of rigs drilling for oil in the [US] is eight times greater than a decade ago. Already, the price gap between the international oil benchmark ... and the U.S. standard ... has grown in the past year alone to about $20 per barrel. Peak oil ... may be in the offing internationally but is nowhere to be seen in North America. Beckoning are two visions of our future. On one side is a surge of dirty oil that is likely to embolden a new crop of business-as-usual politicians. On the other is the emerging gamut of technologies for energy efficiency and renewable power that have already made California a clean-tech leader. Can America go beyond oil, or will it embrace the old status quo?
Note: Though it may be encouraging that peak oil is not an imminent threat, let us hope that clean energy technologies replace oil-based energy generation before too long.
This is the American era of endless war. America’s embrace of endless war [has unfolded] in the 10 years since Sept. 11, 2001. In previous decades, the military and the American public viewed war as an aberration and peace as the norm. Most soldiers and Marines in today’s military have seen their entire careers consumed by combat. During last year’s 9/11 anniversary, Lt. Col. Christopher M. Coglianese accompanied his second-grade daughter on her school’s annual Freedom Walk outside Fort Hood, Tex. “Basically the whole student body walks around the grounds of the school wearing patriotic garb and carrying signs about freedom,” Coglianese recalled in an e-mail from Iraq, where he is on his third tour. “To be honest there was a certain surrealism about it,” Coglianese wrote. “For this very small slice of American children this way of life is completely normal.” The long stretch of war has also isolated the U.S. military from society. Top military officials fret that the troops are developing a troubling sense that they are better than the society they serve. “Today’s Army, including its leadership, lives in a bubble separate from society,” wrote retired Lt. Gen. David Barno, who commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan, in an essay for the Web site of Foreign Policy magazine. “This splendid military isolation — set in the midst of a largely adoring nation — risks fostering a closed culture of superiority and aloofness. This must change if the Army is to remain in, of, and with the ever-diverse peoples of the United States.”
Note: For lots more on all facets of America's endless war, click here.
Tony Blair is godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s young children, it has emerged in an interview with the media tycoon’s wife Wendi. The former prime minister was reportedly present in March last year when Murdoch’s two daughters by his third wife were baptised on the banks of the Jordan. The information was not made public and its disclosure in an interview with Mrs Murdoch in Vogue will prove highly embarrassing for Mr Blair. His close ties to the Murdochs could explain his reluctance to condemn the News International phone hacking scandal. In July, it was reported that he asked Gordon Brown to put pressure on Tom Watson, the Labour MP who helped expose the scandal, to drop his investigation. Last night, Mr Blair’s spokesman refused to comment, but a News Corp source confirmed that Mr Blair was godfather to Grace, as was Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son. While Mrs Murdoch does not comment on Mr Blair directly, the article states that Miss Kidman, Mr Jackman and Mr Blair are godparents. It claims that Mr Blair attended the Jordanian ceremony “garbed in white” and describes him as one of Mrs Murdoch’s “closest friends”. They have a mutual friend in Queen Rania of Jordan, who hosted the baptism. Both women were recently on the judging panel for a film prize organised by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
Note: For more on corporate corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Tamera Medley begged the police officer to stop slamming her head - over and over - into the hood of a police cruiser. Thinking they were helping, passers-by Shakir Riley and Melissa Hurling both turned their cellphone video cameras toward the melee that had erupted on Jefferson Street in Wynnefield, they said. But then the cops turned on them. Riley had started to walk away when at least five baton-wielding cops followed him, he said, and they beat him, poured a soda on his face and stomped on his phone, destroying the video he had just taken. Although it's legal to record Philadelphia police performing official duties in public, all three were charged with disorderly conduct and related offenses, and officers destroyed Hurling and Riley's cellphones, erasing any record of Medley's violent arrest. Echoes of the incident, which was corroborated by a half-dozen witnesses, have been reverberating nationwide in recent years as the combination of cellphone video and police officers has simmered into what is an increasingly explosive formula. The issue is gaining national attention. The American Civil Liberties Union has civil lawsuits pending in Washington, D.C., Florida, Illinois and Maryland. Last week, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that police had violated the First Amendment rights of a lawyer who was arrested after filming cops arrest a teenager. Suits have been settled in Pennsylvania.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on growing threats to our civil liberties, click here.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.