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2003-04-18 - 6:06 p.m.

9-11 Investigation and The PATRIOT Act

Lest we forget what started all these wars (Afghanistan and Iraq and the impending war with Syria), I offer for you all more investigations into the tradgedies of September 11, 2001. Some of you may have already seen these webpages; for others it may be new information. On the first set, if you need further information for a dead link or to request more material, you can email Jean-Pierre Desmoulins at jean-pierre@earth-citizens.net

1. Pentagon surveillance cctv 2001/9/11 : here is the fraud !

2. The truth about sept 11
List of links to documented evidence of high level US complicity in the attacks of sept 11 2001.

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9/11 was a hoax: The American government killed its own people
By John Kaminski
Online Journal Contributing Writer

March 24, 2003—Opposed by everyone in the world who was not bought off, the illegal invasion of Iraq was undertaken for many reasons—the imminent replacement of the dollar by the euro as the world's primary currency, the tempting lure of untapped oil reserves, the desire to consolidate U.S./Israeli military hegemony over a strategically vital region—but the most important reason was to further obscure questions about the awesome deception staged by the American government that has come to be known as 9/11.

9/11 was a hoax. This is no longer a wild conspiracy assertion; it is a fact, supported by thousands of other verifiable facts, foremost of which are:

1. The attacks of 9/11 could not have happened without the willful failure of the American defense system. In Washington, Air Force pilots demanded to fly but were ordered to stand down. Yet instead of prosecuting George W. Bush and military leaders for this unprecedented dereliction of duty, military leaders were promoted and Bush was praised for presiding over a defense system that suspiciously failed the most crucial test in its history. None of the deaths would have happened without the deliberate unplugging of America's air defenses.

2. Planes that lose contact with control towers are usually intercepted by fighter jets inside of 10 minutes, as the incident with golfer Payne Stewart's plane barely two years earlier so clearly demonstrated. Yet on 9/11, the jetliners that struck New York were allowed to proceed unmolested for more than a half-hour, and the plane that supposedly crashed in Washington was not intercepted for more than an hour and 40 minutes after it was widely known that four planes had been hijacked.

3. The twin towers could not have collapsed as a result of burning jet fuel. Most of that fuel was consumed on impact. In the south tower, most of the fuel was spilled outside the building. Heat caused by burning jet fuel does not reach temperatures needed to melt steel. What does stand out as particularly suspicious and still unexplained is that fires raged out of control beneath three of the collapsed buildings for 100 days, clearly indicating the presence of some kind of substance utilized in the demolition of the structures.

4. FBI Director Robert Mueller insisted officials had no idea this kind of attack could happen when in fact the FBI had been investigating the possibility of exactly this kind of attack for almost 10 years. Numerous previous attempts at using planes as weapons, intimate knowledge of terror plans called Project Bojinka, and knowledge of suspicious characters attending flight schools who were being monitored by the FBI make his utterance a clear lie on its face.

In the weeks before 9/11, the U.S. received warnings from all over the world that an event just like this was about to happen, but FBI investigations into suspected terrorists were suppressed and those warnings were deliberately disregarded.

5. The names of the alleged hijackers, all ostensibly Muslims, were released to the public only hours after the attacks, despite Mueller saying we had no knowledge this would happen. This is an impossible twist of logic. If he didn't know of a plan to strike buildings with planes, how would he know the names of the hijackers? Various artifacts were discovered in strategic places to try to confirm the government's story, but these have all been dismissed as suspicious planting of evidence. Since that time several names on that list have turned up alive and well, living in Arab countries. Yet no attempt has ever been made to update the list. And why were none of these names on the airlines' passenger lists?

6. Much like the invasion of Iraq, the anthrax attacks were designed to deflect attention from unanswered 9/11 questions in the patriotic pandemonium that followed the tragedy. In addition to making large amounts of money for George W.'s father and his friends from the hasty sale of inefficient drugs to a panicked populace, the investigation into these killings was abruptly halted when the trail of evidence led straight to the government's door, and has not been reopened. The anthrax attacks also ramped up the climate of fear and deflected attention from the passage of the government's repressive USA PATRIOT Act.

7. The USA PATRIOT Act was presented in the days after the tragedy supposedly as a response to it, yet it was clear that this heinous act, drafted to nullify provisions for freedom in the U.S. Constitution, was put together long before 9/11. In addition, testimony by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) revealed that most members of Congress were compelled to vote for the bill without even reading it. This was a vote to eliminate the Constitution's Bill of Rights, which has defined American freedom for 200-plus years, and it was accomplished when legislators voted for the bill without even reading it.

8. The invasion of Afghanistan was presented as an attempt to pursue the alleged perpetrators of 9/11, yet it had been discussed for years prior to the tragedy and actually planned in the months before the attacks on New York and Washington. Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his book, The Grand Chessboard, laid out a blueprint for American global hegemony and the right-wing Project for a New American Century, in calling for aggressive tactics, stressed that America needed a formidable enemy to accomplish its geopolitical aims. The supposed enemy we attacked in Afghanistan was a diverse group of men from all over the world who were initially recruited, encouraged and supported by the American CIA.

9. The hole in the Pentagon was not made by a jumbo jet. Damage to the building was simply not consistent with the size of the hole. At the supposed point of impact, a whole bank of windows remained unbroken and there were no marks on the lawn. No airplane debris (except what was planted on the lawn); nor were remains of passengers ever found.

10. Bush was shown on TV continuing to listen to schoolchildren reading in a Florida school for 25 minutes after being informed of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. He has never explained this puzzling behavior, nor how he saw the first plane hit. It was never televised, only recorded by a French crew filming firemen in New York.

11. The plane in Pennsylvania was shot down and broke apart in midair. No other explanation can account for the wreckage, which was spread over a six-mile area, or the eyewitness accounts that describe debris falling from the sky.

12. Cellular phone calls cannot be made from airliners in flight that are not close to the ground. As research by Professor A. K. Dewdney has shown, the emotional conversations between hijacked passengers and others would not have been possible under conditions that existed at that moment. These calls were cynical fabrications, exploiting the distraught emotions of those who lost loved ones.

13. Radio communications from firefighters on the upper floors of the Trade Center towers clearly indicate that fires were under control and the structure was in no danger of collapsing.

These are merely a few of the deliberately false statements made by U.S. officials about 9/11. They provide crystal clear evidence that Bush and his administration should be indicted on charges of treason, obstruction of justice and mass murder. Above all, these evil people should be removed from their positions of authority before they implement more of their moneymaking murder schemes, like the one they are now perpetrating on the innocent people of Iraq.

Otherwise, we face a future of endless war abroad and merciless repression at home.

Consider just a few more of the other unanswered questions from among the thousands of unexplained loose ends that all point to 9/11 being an inside job.

1. Who benefited from the suspiciously high numbers of put options purchased prior to September 11 for shares in airline companies whose stock prices subsequently plummeted, on the supposition that whoever was behind the hijacking was also behind most of the purchases of these put options? And what was the role of the CIA Executive Director Buzzy Krongard who handled these transactions?

2. Why was the debris from the collapsed Twin Towers removed from the site with no forensic examination? Why was almost all of it sold to scrap merchants and shipped abroad where it would not be available for scientific examination?

3. Why does the government refuse to release any transcripts of communications or any records at all relating to signals of any form transmitted by those jets?

4. Why did so many people, from San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to many employees of companies in the World Trade Center who failed to come to work that day, know in advance that something bad was going to happen on Sept. 11, 2001?

5. Why do all the major U.S. media continue to act as if none of these questions is legitimate or relevant?

Today, millions of people around the world are protesting the criminal destruction of the nation of Iraq. But these protests won't change the number of minds necessary to stop America's criminal madmen from continuing with their genocidal aim of enslaving the entire world.

What will stop them is spreading the realization that George W. Bush and his billionaire accomplices in the oil industry perpetrated 9/11 as an excuse to begin the militarization of America for the purpose of world conquest.

History has shown all too clearly the deceived American people will support the destruction of faraway countries on phony pretexts of defending so-called freedom.

Thus the needless wars continue. Right now we watch high-tech weapons slaughter the defenseless people of Iraq. Soon it will be Iran, Syria, Colombia, Venezuela, North Korea, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and who knows where else. All these misguided atrocities will be possible because of the hoax known as 9/11.

But the American people will not—and cannot—tolerate leaders who kill our own people merely to invent a pretext—the war on terror—to go around killing anyone they like.

If the American people do tolerate such an insane strategy, then they clearly do not deserve to survive as a nation or a people.

John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the coast of Florida and can't understand why George W. Bush hasn't been arrested for his obvious lies and crimes. He can be reached at skylax@comcast.net.

********

Conservative constitutional catfight!
Right-wing activists team up with the left-wing ACLU to bash the PATRIOT Act. The Justice Department is not amused.

By Jake Tapper
April 11, 2003

One year ago, on April 10, 2002, influential conservative activist Grover Norquist was at the Arab American Institute Foundation's annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards dinner when he saw one of the more liberal members of Congress, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Norquist felt compelled to shake his hand. Feingold had been the only senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act, which Norquist opposed for giving the government too much power and robbing citizens of basic rights to privacy and civil liberties. Norquist had worked on curtailing some of the government's powers on the House side with then Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, and members of the American Civil Liberties Union. He assumed that the Senate -- then under Democratic control -- would make even further movements in that direction. It didn't. In fact, in Norquist's view, what came out of the Senate was even worse -- fewer protections for citizens, more power for government, more secrecy.

He asked Feingold why that was. At the very least, the Senate could have adopted the House version. Why didn't they?

Feingold pointed across the room, at then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., also a dinner attendee. "Because Daschle told us to fold," Feingold said.

When asked about Norquist's story, Feingold's office referred a reporter to the senator's remarks on the floor of the Senate on Oct. 11, 2001, when he was denied the opportunity to offer amendments to the bill. That day, Feingold condemned Daschle for having "asked senators to not vote on the merits of" the legislation, "one of the most important civil liberties bills of our time."

With leaders like Daschle on the left, Norquist feels compelled to take up the fight he says he previously "always sort of assumed the ACLU and the liberals would take care of. I'm not sure ... we can count on our left-of-center friends."

There seems to be agreement on both sides of the aisle on that point. So the result was an ACLU forum Thursday billed as the "first time organizations from the left and right in Washington have come together publicly to discuss their growing common ground on civil liberties in the post-9/11 world," featuring not only Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; but three other notable conservatives as well: David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union; Lori Waters, executive director of the conservative Eagle Forum; and outspoken former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., a 1998 House impeachment manager. The four were invited by Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington legislative office, and the event provided an interesting glimpse at not only some of the problems conservatives have with how the war on terror is being fought at home, but the limits of even their influence over the Bush White House.

This did not go over well at the Department of Justice. Responding to their criticism, Barbara Comstock, the DOJ's public affairs officer, took issue with their complaints, and also with the idea that the four represented the conservative movement at large. (It also probably didn't help that, according to Comstock, a Justice Department communications staffer was barred from attending the event, purportedly because the staffer didn't have press credentials. The ACLU denies that anyone was refused admission to the room, though reporters were given priority seating.)

Deeming the criticisms "inaccurate and intentionally misleading," Comstock noted that "time and time and time again what we have been doing has been held up in the courts," including the expanded authority to designate individuals as "enemy combatants" and the sharing of foreign intelligence surveillance information between intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Critics have long been charging the Justice Department with moving to erode the checks and balances on law enforcement powers -- particularly regarding the ease with which it can be granted permission to conduct surveillance. The ACLU in particular has taken issue with provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act to permit some prison monitoring of attorney-client conversations, and the easing of judicial review requirements for wiretapping and other surveillance. But the department has continued doing what it deems right regardless; Attorney General John Ashcroft last summer rewrote DoJ guidelines to permit FBI agents to surf the Internet and attend public events -- like political rallies -- whereas beforehand they were prohibited from doing so.

Comstock also pointed out that the PATRIOT Act passed 357-66 in the House and 98-1 in the Senate. "So many of their statements demonstrate their lack of understanding of the law," Comstock said. "Aside from Bob Barr -- who did vote for the bill -- the other people involved are not lawyers. Grover is not a lawyer, nor should he play one on TV."

By way of explanation of the lopsided vote, the ACLU's Murphy quoted conservative Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, who said on a call-in show on Alaska Public Radio that the USA PATRIOT Act was the "worst act we ever passed. Everybody voted for it, but it was stupid, it was what you call 'emotional voting.'"

The conservative activists' main complaint seemed to focus on how broadly these laws meant to target suspected terrorists could be applied. "You're a suspect," Waters said at the beginning of her remarks, pointing to a reporter in the audience. "Everyone in this room is a suspect until it's proven that you're not." Barr said that the "approach reflected by many of these initiatives" would allow the government to "gather information on law-abiding citizens" in an unconstitutional fashion.

The conservatives come to the debate from a different perspective than the ACLU's Murphy, of course, which means that some of their concerns don't even register with their liberal counterparts. Like the fear that the government wants to begin recording how many guns citizens own; or that the surveillance of antiwar protesters today will lead to surveillance of antiabortion protesters tomorrow. Police powers have a way of mission-creeping, they said; racketeering laws were passed to go after the mob, but have since been used against antiabortion groups. They passed because lawmakers thought, "Do whatever you want to guys named Guido -- that doesn't affect me," Norquist said. "Someday Hillary Clinton's going to be attorney general and I hope conservatives keep that in mind."

"Or president!" Murphy exclaimed, flustering Norquist a bit.

Comstock rebutted Norquist's logic, saying, "You can't pass laws based on the fact that you think there are going to be corrupt people who misuse the system some day."

All four activists expressed shock and awe at the recent report that some in the Senate were considering the removal of the "sunset" provisions in the PATRIOT Act, which will phase out the powers granted the government in 2005.

"I would support legislation that would sunset all legislation passed during a time of war," Norquist said. "And I would vote against any legislation somebody felt they had to name 'PATRIOT,'" which no one would have felt the need to do "if it were a worthwhile bill," he said. That name -- an acronym for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" -- "was used to mau-mau people because it looks bad on a 30-second commercial to have voted against it."

The PATRIOT laws will not affect law-abiding citizens, seconded Comstock's deputy, Mark Corallo, "not unless you're a foreign spy or a terrorist." Comstock took issue with the idea that the government's powers had been expanded -- she thinks they've simply been refined -- and feels as though the powers are often misrepresented. Take, for instance, the "roving wiretap" invoked by PATRIOT critics. "They're constantly making it sound like we're roving the country listening to everyone's calls," she said. Rather, the roving applies to distinct individuals -- a suspected agent of a foreign government or power or terrorist group -- on whom law enforcement has received permission to conduct surveillance.

"The roving wiretap allows us to keep up with the technology," she said. "We know they change phones. This way, when Mohammed Atta changes phones on his way to Maine we don't have to stop in court to get new warrant" since the wiretap is specific to the suspect -- and not the phone.

Corallo says criticism about the FBI's access to library records is equally mischaracterized. The new law "allows the FBI to seek a warrant for certain business records," and that can include library activities, "but only if the FBI can convince a judge that the subject of an investigation is a foreign spy or a member of a terrorist organization." Before Sept. 11 the FBI couldn't monitor what suspected terrorists were doing at the public library computers, and 9/11 terrorists freely sent e-mails to each other that way. "They knew we couldn't go in there," Corallo says. "They used it as a safe haven." But the idea that the FBI will be spying willy-nilly on the public's reading habits is false, he says. "The FBI is specifically prohibited from investigating U.S. persons based on activities protected by the First Amendment, and certainly reading falls into that category."

But the PATRIOT Act -- and those specific provisions -- weren't the only issues that Murphy and the conservative activists slammed. These included the omniscient Total Information Awareness system, a Pentagon-run multi-agency, multilingual database that will detect certain possibly terrorism-related transactions; the second Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System (CAPPS II) soon to be implemented by the Transportation Security Administration, which will perform background checks and conduct risk assessments on airline passengers; and of course, the sequel to the PATRIOT Act, -- dubbed PATRIOT II or, as Barr called it in full horror-movie fashion, "Son of PATRIOT" -- a draft of which was leaked in February to the Center for Public Integrity.

In its January draft form, PATRIOT II seemed to propose giving the attorney general authority to strip Americans of their citizenship based on their connections to organizations designated terrorist, and to create a DNA database for a broad range of individuals including those suspected of being members of terrorist groups. Comstock reiterates that the January draft was just that, a draft and that now, three months later, it has changed quite a bit. "There were things in there that aren't in play anymore," she says, noting that Justice Department lawyers would never propose a bill they thought couldn't pass constitutional muster.

The conservative activists took great pains to say nice things about Bush and Ashcroft -- the laws are "not because they're bad people, but because they think these are good things, because they think they can protect us," Keene said. It was quite a change in rhetorical tone from that taken by the right toward Clinton administration Attorney General Janet Reno. "I'd prefer not to focus on individuals," Barr said. "This is an institutional problem regardless of who the attorney general is, regardless of which party is in power."

Norquist noted that Ashcroft as a senator (he was defeated in his reelection campaign in November 2000 by ex-Gov. Mel Carnahan, who was dead at the time) seemed to have quite a different view of civil liberties than in his present post. "When John Ashcroft was a senator, if you asked me who were the senators most sympathetic to our [civil liberties and privacy] causes I would have offered Ashcroft as one of the top guys."

Regardless, much of their consternation seemed focused on the Congress. "I don't know that 5 percent of the people who voted for that bill ever read it," Keene said.

"You're always an optimist," Barr quipped.

The conservative activists' thoughts on these issues put them in a somewhat awkward position since -- particularly in Norquist's case -- all are known for being fairly influential with the GOP-controlled House, Senate and White House. If Daschle told his caucus to "fold," as Feingold said, one couldn't help but wonder if the conservatives -- gung-ho for the GOP and President George W. Bush in almost every other policy area -- were self-folding a tad on their own. How vociferous were they willing to be?

"You can't walk into this White House and say if you don't give us this we won't support you for reelection because that's not credible," Norquist allowed. But he insisted that in his meetings with "friends" in the White House he brought the matter up quite a bit. "It's not the 15th issue, it's one of the top issues," he said.

But surely these individuals could exert some influence with Bush, Ashcroft, or Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah? Not one activist claimed to have specifically met with any of those officeholders to discuss that issue. Surely the influential group could exert their power and change these laws?

"Perhaps it means we're not as powerful as you think we are," Keene smiled.

Eagle Forum's Waters reported on a previous left-right coalition, when her organization called allies in the Senate to support an amendment to hamstring plans for the Total Information Awareness program offered by a liberal Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. But other problems remain -- CAPPS II will require airline passengers to give airlines their name, address, date of birth and phone number, which will be checked against any number of databases. Waters said that Congress had been assured that the Transportation Security Administration won't check the information against Social Security, Internal Revenue Service, or medical records databases. But, she said, "there are no legal parameters" preventing them from doing so.

Comstock pointed out that many conservatives -- especially those in the Federalist Society -- supported the laws, so the four at the press conference were hardly representative. Moreover, she wondered about the company her fellow conservatives were keeping. "The ACLU has opposed not only the PATRIOT Act, it opposed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996," she said, archly adding that "the ACLU not only thinks we're doing too much to try to stop terrorism now, they think we were doing too much on Sept. 11."

Comstock and Corallo, clearly eager for anyone to listen to the Justice Department's side of the story, rebutted what they regard as myths about what Ashcroft and his team have been up to. They're not harassing the Arab-American and Muslim communities, they say; they were investigating the paths of the 9/11 hijackers and since then have worked closely with those communities. There weren't "thousands" of Arabs and Muslims detained secretly, they say; 765 were detained on violations of immigration laws, of whom 478 were deported and 134 charged with other crimes, leading to around 100 convictions. And while the Justice Department didn't provide a list of those being detained, they were all able to go to the media themselves if they wanted to, they say.

At the press conference, this reporter repeated a response one occasionally hears from the Bush administration when asked about these criticisms: There hasn't been any major terrorist attacks in the U.S. since Sept. 11, and both the president and the attorney general enjoy high approval ratings. "It's always difficult to disprove a negative," Barr said. That we haven't had another major terrorist attack in the U.S. may be because the government is better aware of the mistakes it made before that fateful morning, and because of the "increased awareness on the part of the public. You can't legitimately say that it's because of the expanded powers ... that we haven't had another terrorist attack," he said.

As for the overwhelming support for the Bush administration's national security policies, "that's a perennial problem in dealing with these kinds of issues," Barr said, and the only solution is educating the public through forums, like Thursday's. People need to learn that "we're all subject to having our privacy invaded, but just because people feel that they don't have anything to hide or they feel safer, that doesn't mean these proposals should be allowed to go forward." These laws "will dramatically change the way we go about conducting our society," Barr said, before invoking the Big Brother thought control of George Orwell's "1984." Comstock notes that at the press conference, these conservatives referred to themselves as the "Leave Us Alone" coalition, in reference to former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis' famous remark that "the right to be let alone is the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men."

"We're trying to get the terrorists to leave us alone," Comstock noted. "Terrorists aren't in the 'Leave Us Alone' coalition."

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