Tag: 9/11

The slippery slope of evidence obtained by torture

The decision to pursue the death penalty against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a number of other suspects creates a situation that no doubt was thought through by the Bush administration more than whether to actually use torture against these people in the first place.  I haven’t seen this angle discussed too much in depth but if it has, please forgive me.

Regardless of whether anyone thinks that the death penalty is a just punishment, is “cruel and inhuman”, or just plain doesn’t agree with it, I want to at least (for now) leave that out of this post.  If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (“KSM” to make it easier for me) is guilty of masterminding the 9/11 attacks, or if he is guilty of any other crimes that can be proven, then he should receive the justice that he deserves.  This is not about whether he should or should not pay for his crimes.

I don’t think there are many people who would say that he does not deserve punishment (whatever the maximum punishment that can be meted out would be) for planning these attacks.  But, and here is the rub – the fact that his trial will be largely based on evidence that is obtained by torture will forever cloud his trial – if not in the eyes of Americans then most certainly in the eyes of the world .

Bite Me Obama and more

Since I consistently use Obama’s vote to reauthorize patriot act.  Hey treason is treason by any definition.  Well it would seem the subject was of such note that he decided to provide a laimstream answer in most crafty Orwellian doublespeak.

Obama On The Reauthorization Of The PATRIOT Act

January 30, 2008

Senator Obama discusses the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Podcast Transcript:

Hello, this is Senator Barack Obama and today is Friday, December 16th, 2005.

You know four years ago, following 9/11, this body that I serve in, the United States Senate, passed the USA PATRIOT Act in order to give our nation’s law enforcement the tools they needed to track down terrorists – terrorists who possibly right now are looking to exploit weaknesses in our laws and our security and carry out even deadlier attacks than we saw back then.

All of us agree that we need legislation to make it harder for suspected terrorists to go undetected in this country. All of us agree that we need to make it harder for them to organize and strategize and get flight licenses and sneak across our borders – every single America wants that to happen.

But soon after the PATRIOT Act passed, I began hearing concerns from people of every background, every political leaning that this law – the very purpose of which was to protect us – was also threatening to violate our rights and our freedoms as Americans. That it didn’t just provide law enforcement the powers it needed to keep us safe, but powers that it didn’t need to invade our privacy without cause or suspicion.

Now, what’s happened in Washington, of course, is that the debate as usual has degenerated into this “either-or” type debate. So, either we’re in favor of protecting our people from terror or we will protect our most cherished civil liberties. That’s a false choice. It asks too little of us, assumes too little about America.

That’s why as it’s come time to reauthorize this law, there have been a group of senators, including myself, working in a bi-partisan way to show the American people that we can track down terrorists without trampling on our civil rights. We want to show the American people that the federal government will only issue warrants and execute searches because it needs to, not because it wants to. In other words, what we’ve been trying to do is to inject some accountability in this process – to get answers and to see evidence where there is suspicion.

So, a bi-partisan group of Senators several weeks ago actually came up with a compromise piece of legislation – you had people like Russ Feingold on the left and Larry Craig on the right agree to this bill. We passed it out of the Senate unanimously. It wasn’t perfect but at least it addressed some of the most serious provisions, like the so-called “sneak-and-peek” provisions, that existed in current law.

Unfortunately, the house members decided they didn’t like this bill. They put some rushed legislation together that fails to address the concerns that people had about the previous PATRIOT ACT. So, just to give you a couple of examples: this legislation puts our own Justice Department above the law. When National Security Letters are issued this legislation that’s been proposed allowed federal agents to conduct any search on any American, no matter how extensive or wide-ranging, without ever going before a judge to prove that the search is necessary. All they needed was sign-off from a local FBI official. That’s it.

Once a business or a person received notification that they will be searched, they are prohibited from telling anybody about it; they can’t challenge this automatic gag order in court. Despite the fact that judges have already found similar restrictions violate the First Amendment – the bill that is before the Senate disregards this case law and the right to challenge the gag orders.

If you do decide to consult an attorney for legal advice – you have to tell the FBI that you’ve done so already. This is unheard of – there is no such requirement in any other area of the law, and I don’t see why it’s justified here.

If somebody wants to know why their own government has decided to go on a fishing expedition through every personal record or private document, through library books they’ve read , phone calls they’ve made, e-mails that they’ve sent – this legislation gives people no rights to appeal the need for such a search in a court of law. No judge will hear their plea, no jury will hear their case.

And that’s – that’s just plain wrong.

Now, I’m happy to say that we had our first vote on this issue on the floor of the Senate today. There was a procedure that is called a “cloture vote.” Cloture means that it ends debate, it eliminates the possibility of the filibuster. Those of us who thought this was a bad compromise voted against cloture, and a number of Republicans joined us and in fact cloture, which required 60 votes, did not succeed.

And so the Republican leadership is scrambling right now to figure out what they’re going to do, and the White House has threatened that they are just going to let the Patriot Act lapse all together and will then blame Democrats if there is a terrorist attack prior to reauthorization of a new Patriot Act. Now that kind of rhetoric makes absolutely no sense, as you might imagine. If in fact the White House and the Republican leadership think that these provisions are absolutely vital, then you’d think that they would accept Democrats’ offer to extend it for three months as we continue to work on this compromise. There’s a lot of political posturing going on around this and I think that needs to end because the issues that we’re dealing with here are too important to play politics with.

So, I am hopeful that we get an extension on the existing Patriot Act for three months; we can work out a compromise that ensures our civil liberties are protected; that provides for the critical judicial oversight that’s at the core of most of our law enforcement processes; that still gives law enforcement the tools that they need in order to protect our homeland.

Now, having said all this let me also complain to you. As a consequence of the disorganization here in the Senate and whoever is running the ship, I am supposed to be flying over the Pacific Ocean right now – with my family – about to land in Hawaii for my vacation with my wife and kids. They have gone without me. My wife basically said, “Well, I hope you can make it, buddy” and took off. So, it looks like I’m stuck in Washington this weekend. As you might imagine, I’m not happy about this.

Despite that fact, I want to mention that I probably won’t be doing a podcast until early January. I’m going to be traveling after my vacation to the Middle East, including Iraq and Israel. If the schedule and logistics allow it I’m going to try to record a podcast while I am in the Middle East. Either way I’ll try to give you guys a full report when I get back.

So despite the fact that I’m feeling a little gloomy right now, the grinch has sort of stole my Christmas – he looks surprisingly like Bill Frist – nevertheless, I am hoping that all of you guys have a wonderful holiday season, a happy new year, and I look forward to talking to you soon.


Bilderburg owns Obama too!  Lord, I love it when my impressions are right.


Now the good news.  Wille Nelson, added to the now very long list of 911 truth.  Very scary, the story has even been mentioned in the blacklisted “news” media channels, specifically ABC and AOL.

More 911.


And Damn if Karma ain’t a bitch!  ROTFLMAO!  The Jesus freaks are getting the implantable Mark of the Beast 666 Satan microchip due to one of “their own” supporting the technology and concept of it all!


Far better than primary Bildeburg selection day, the hatter sites are humming!

The translated transcript is here


Link to the original video.


Foot of snow, plow truck refuses to go into 4 wheel drive, snowblower pull starter dutifully fails to retract starting rope.  Is there a full moon?

Stonewalled by the CIA — the 9/11 Commission

No, this isn’t a conspiracy theory diatribe.  This is from an editorial in the NY Times by the two lead investigators of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton.

I’m sure this won’t get much press because it’s SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING to sit around and speculate about who’s going to win the Iowa Caucuses tomorrow.

But here’s the deal:  Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton have written an op-ed in the New York Times accusing the CIA of nothing less than obstruction of justice in their 9/11 investigation.

Why?  Because the CIA lied to them, and they know the CIA lied to them.  Maybe I should let them explain it:

My Link Spilleth Over

Checking various boards I saw a familiar link about MIT students documenting the effectiveness of hats made from tin foil.


The link ponders the question, does a hat made of tin foil shield or amplify the radio signals secret government agencies use to track and or control citizens.  Not exactly mainstream popular theory but let’s look at some other technology which has come into public view.  

I think it’s more entertaining in the sci-fi genre than 24 and Faux network.

Why I Will Vote For Whichever Democrat Is Nominated

Yes, there is much corruption in the Democratic Party. Yes I would personally like to throw Nancy out on her ear. Yes I am disgusted by the shameless cowardice and/or self aggrandizement of too many Democrats in Congress.


I do not belive the Democratic Party is capable of what The Republican Party  – lead by its criminal  leaders have done to this country. Make no mistake. The Democratic Party must improve it’s pathetic records of sheep like cowardice as represented by the current Congress. But stoop this low? No. Only Today’s GOP leadership is capable of this

Cover-up: FBI Threatens Suspect’s Family with Torture (Updated)

Crossposted at Invictus and Daily Kos

Like a scenario out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, an innocent man was accused of assisting the 9/11 hijackers in their terrorist plot. Abdallah Higazy was an Egyptian national studying computer engineering at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn. In December 2001, he was coerced into falsely confessing his “role” in 9/11 after the FBI was tipped that he supposedly owned an air-band transceiver capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground communication.

The transceiver turned out to belong to an airline pilot staying in Abdallah’s NY hotel. Higazy was released after 34 days in custody. He subsequently sued both his FBI interrogator and the hotel he stayed in, whose security officers had found the radio. The hotel settled, but initially the FBI suit was dismissed. Upon appeal, the 2nd Circuit remanded the case to district court.

Now here’s what’s really amazing: the court brief clearly shows that the FBI threatened torture of Higazy’s family back in Egypt. When the brief was published online, it was quickly withdrawn and replaced with a censored version, without the torture threats. Blogger Howard Bashman had the first version however, posted it, and then received a call from the court demanding he take down the unredacted version.

dKos, BillO, and Conspiracy Theories

So BillO has run off the rails again tonight.  Accusing dK of being “Nazis of the Left” and of supporting 9/11 Conspiracy Theories.

More evidence he doesn’t bother to read.

Now if I had a good way to provide you with the Media Matters link I would, but I leave it as an exercise.

On the other hand here on this site we can be as tinfoil as we want because we’re proud to be called “far left loonies” by the likes of BillO and Faux Noise.

Bring it falafel boy.

Am I a conspiracy theorist?

Well, not really–that’s just what I am called because I actually believe conspiracies are an important part of our socio-political reality–so I will cop to the plea no matter how bad it sounds. Of course, we have all seen conspiracies in our lives and no one doubts it. What we have trouble is understanding that those in power are in power largely because they are part of groups or cliques that work together often in conspiracy to gain and maintain power. We seem to be of the opinion that things just “happen” and that things are unconnected. We are surprised when we find our government lies to us. Why that surprise exists has always astonished me–government always lie, always will lie, and currently lie. If they did not they would lose power. What we have to do is understand how power works.

CIA Investigates Its Own Inspector General for Investigating the CIA About Torture

In the latest of a seemingly endless series of shocking revelations about the Bush Administration’s attempts to punish anyone who attempts to hold them accountable to the rule of law, it is being reported today that the CIA is investigating its own Inspector General for investigating the CIA for committing acts of torture.

From the New York Times:

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, has ordered an unusual internal inquiry into the work of the agency’s inspector general, whose aggressive investigations of the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation programs and other matters have created resentment among agency operatives.

Detention and interrogation programs? In other words, torture.

A small team working for General Hayden is looking into the conduct of the agency’s watchdog office, which is led by Inspector General John L. Helgerson. Current and former government officials said the review had caused anxiety and anger in Mr. Helgerson’s office and aroused concern on Capitol Hill that it posed a conflict of interest.

Concern? This warrants more than concern! This warrants an immediate and aggressive investigation by Congress into a clear case of attempting to suppress dedicated public servants because they may believe the United States should abide by international law and basic human morality.

Any move by the agency’s director to examine the work of the inspector general would be unusual, if not unprecedented, and would threaten to undermine the independence of the office, some current and former officials say.

To state the obvious: that’s stating the obvious.

The CIA, of course, officially says this investigation of the investigators is no big deal, completely appropriate, have a doughnut and some coffee and- hey, how’s the weather, today?

Meanwhile, back in reality:

Shoe fetish

I’m finding it really difficult to write lately. Instead, I’ll offer some pictures and some words from others. Forgive me.

Van Gogh Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.

Martin Heidegger

Stick to Facts: Designating Iran Revolutionary Guard As Terrorists Does Not Authorize Force

A misunderstanding is leading to a good argument, that the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment sucks, being argued with bad facts. In essence, the argument goes that this language:

that the United States should designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists…

triggers the September 18, 2001 AUMF. It does not. Let’s check the text:


(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Nowhere is there a finding that Iran was involved in the 9/11 attacks. No one can credibly argue that they were (after all, Saddam was behind 9/11 . . .)

Nothing in the Iran Amendment passed today authorizes the use of force (nor would it even if it was NOT a nonbinding “sense of the Senate” resolution.)

But what are the effects of having the IRG declared “Specially Designated Global Terrorists?” Let’s consider that question on the flip.

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