Wednesday, January 6 2010 - Civil Liberties-Police State
The Airport Scanner Scam
by James Ridgeway
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2010 by Mother Jones
Scan, baby, scan. That's the mantra among politicians at all levels in the wake of the thwarted terrorist attack aboard a Detroit-bound passenger jet. According to conventional wisdom, the would-be "underwear bomber" could have been stopped by airport security if he'd been put through a full-body scanner, which would have revealed the cache of explosives attached to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's groin.
Within days or even hours of the bombing attempt, everyone was talking about so-called whole-body imaging as the magic bullet that could stop this type of attack. In announcing hearings by the Senate Homeland Security Commitee, Joe Lieberman approached the use of scanners as a foregone conclusion, saying one of the "big, urgent questions that we are holding this hearing to answer" was "Why isn't whole-body-scanning technology that can detect explosives in wider use?" Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff told the Washington Post, "You've got to find some way of detecting things in parts of the body that aren't easy to get at. It's either pat downs or imaging, or otherwise hoping that bad guys haven't figured it out, and I guess bad guys have figured it out."
Since the alternative is being groped by airport screeners, the scanners might sound pretty good. The Transportation Security Administration has claimed that the images "are friendly enough to post in a preschool," though the pictures themselves tell another story, and numerous organizations have opposed them as a gross invasion of privacy. Beyond privacy issues, however, are questions about whether these machines really work-and about who stands to benefit most from their use. When it comes to high-tech screening methods, the TSA has a dismal record of enriching private corporations with failed technologies, and there are signs that the latest miracle device may just bring more of the same.
Known by their opponents as "digital strip search" machines, the full-body scanners use one of two technologies-millimeter wave sensors or backscatter x-rays-to see through clothing, producing ghostly images of naked passengers. Yet critics say that these, too, are highly fallible, and are incapable of revealing explosives hidden in body cavities-an age-old method for smuggling contraband. If that's the case, a terrorist could hide the entire bomb works within his or her body, and breeze through the virtual strip search undetected. Yesterday, the London Independent reported on "authoritative claims that officials at the [UK] Department for Transport and the Home Office have already tested the scanners and were not persuaded that they would work comprehensively against terrorist threats to aviation." A British defense-research firm reportedly found the machines unreliable in detecting "low-density" materials like plastics, chemicals, and liquids-precisely what the underwear bomber had stuffed in his briefs.
Wednesday, January 6 2010 - 9/11 Consequences
Suicide claims more US military lives than Afghan war
By James Cogan
6 January 2010
World Socialist Web Site
American military personnel are continuing to take their own lives in unprecedented numbers, as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wars drag on. By late November, at least 334 members of the armed forces had committed suicide in 2009, more than the 319 who were killed in Afghanistan or the 150 who died in Iraq. While a final figure is not available, the toll of military suicides last year was the worst since records began to be kept in 1980.
The Army, National Guard and Army Reserve lost at least 211 personnel to suicide. More than half of those who took their lives had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. The Army suicide rate of 20.2 per 100,000 personnel is higher than that registered among males aged 19 to 29, the gender age bracket with the highest rate among the general population. Before 2001, the Army rarely suffered 10 suicides per 100,000 soldiers.
The Navy lost at least 47 active duty personnel in 2009, the Air Force 34 and the Marine Corp, which has been flung into some of the bloodiest fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, 42. The Marine suicide rate has soared since 2001 from 12 to at least 19.5 per 100,000.
For every death, at least five members of the armed forces were hospitalised for attempting to take their life. According to the Navy Times, 2 percent of Army; 2.3 percent of Marines and 3 percent of Navy respondents to the military's own survey of 28,536 members from all branches reported they had attempted suicide at some point. The "Defense Survey of Health-Related Behaviors" also found "dangerous levels" of alcohol abuse and the illicit use of drugs such as pain killers by 12 percent of personnel.
Wednesday, January 6 2010 - Other Important News
Poverty and Unemployment Equal Misery In America
The following is an outstanding review of the current economic conditions in the US from the World Socialist Web Site. The information is accurate and disturbing. ~ Peter Phillips
Published at the DailyCensored.com; originally at wsws.org
The new decade finds the US working class suffering a level of social misery not seen since the Great Depression. Unemployment, poverty, hunger, utility cutoffs, homelessness, foreclosures and bankruptcies have become common experiences for millions.
But unlike in the Great Depression, when limited reforms were put in place in response to the crisis, the Obama administration, Congress, and state and local governments are taking no serious measures to provide relief. On the contrary, the two parties of big business are exacerbating the crisis through budget cuts at the state and local level and the federal government is preparing new austerity measures.
Unemployment: At over 10 percent, the official US jobless rate reached in October and November was the highest since June of 1983. A broader measure of unemployment, taking into account those who have fallen out of the official workforce, reveals that something approaching one in five workers is unemployed or underemployed.
The economy has not added jobs since December 2007, and in that same time span has lost 7.2 million jobs overall. Coupling these losses with population growth—the economy must add about 150,000 jobs per month to break even—the net jobs deficit in the period is well over 10.5 million.
Monday, January 4 2010 - Get Involved
NYCCAN - Dear Advocates for Answers and Accountability
December 31, 2009
Dear Friends and Fellow Advocates for Answers and Accountability,
As we look ahead to 2010, we at NYC CAN would like to offer our deepest thanks to everyone who contributed to a remarkable and historic campaign, and we would like to take a moment to celebrate the achievements that give us much to build upon in 2010.
2009 was a year of tremendous progress for our cause. Among a long list of successes, a peer-reviewed paper was published in a mainstream scientific journal documenting the discovery of active thermitic material in the World Trade Center dust; the petition of architects and engineers calling for a new investigation into the WTC destruction has leaped to nearly 1,000 signatories while founding member Richard Gage, AIA travels the world delivering his analysis of the buildings' demise to thousands of concerned citizens and leaders. The increasing strength and credibility of our message is evidenced by the ever greater frequency of media breakthroughs casting a positive light on the questions we pose.
Thanks to your support, NYC CAN is proud to consider the ballot initiative campaign in New York among the many victories that furthered our cause in 2009. 80,000 New Yorkers -- nearly 8% of the number who voted in the 2009 mayoral election in America's largest city -- signed a petition calling for a new 9/11 investigation. Just last week we learned one of those 80,000 signatories is a councilmember elect, intent upon helping us advance our cause with the local government once in office. A few hundred thousand more New Yorkers, while not prepared to take the leap of faith and sign the petition, were directly educated about the need for a new investigation. A dozen mainstream news outlets in the United States and Europe covered the campaign's success, and perhaps most importantly, a tectonic shift occurred -- after eight years of research and education, we have begun to collectively hone in on the endgame.
Monday, January 4 2010 - First Responders/Health Effects
Plight of the 9/11 Responders
January 1, 2010
by Jon Gold
Thursday, December 31 2009 - Other Important News
Top 25 Censored Stories for 2010
Top Censored Stories of 2009/2010
December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 31 2009 - Other Important News
More Censored News
A few of the many other important stories at the Media Freedom Foundation and Dailycensored.com:
The Hyperrealilty of a Failing Corporate Media System
By Andrew Hobbs and Peter Phillips
Hyperreality is the inability to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Corporate media, Fox in particular, offers news that creates a hyperreality of real world problems and issues. Consumers of corporate television news--especially those whose understandings are framed primarily from that medium alone--are embedded in a state of excited delirium and knowinglessness.
Corporate Media hasn't acted as a cohesive, protective "fourth estate" in several decades, instead gilding lilies such as the Iraq war, torture and the true extent of Hurricane Katrina's devastation. Contemporary corporate news is best seen in a post-modern context of hyperreality. The news from US networks is based on the presentations of partially factual stories framed inside socio-emotional story lines that juxtapose "evil" with patriotism and Christian fervor. There are multiple examples of this, but we will examine two distinct cases.
By Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff
Among the most important corporate media censored news stories of the past decade, one must be that over one million people have died because of the United States military invasion and occupation of Iraq. This, of course, does not include the number of deaths from the first Gulf War nor the ensuing sanctions placed upon the country of Iraq that, combined, caused close to an additional one million Iraqi deaths. In the Iraq War, which began in March of 2003, over a million people have died violently primarily from US bombings and neighborhood patrols. These were deaths in excess of the normal civilian death rate under the prior government. Among US military leaders and policy elites, the issue of counting the dead was dismissed before the Iraqi invasion even began. In an interview with reporters in late March of 2002 US General Tommy Franks stated, "You know we don't do body counts."[i] Fortunately, for those concerned about humanitarian costs of war and empire, others do.
Peter Phillips - John Pilger writes a strong informational piece on the lies of Obama. As we start to see more of this from the current global dominance administration, hope fades for peace and the end of the American Empire
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate called Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.”
Thursday, December 31 2009 - Civil Liberties-Police State
Ron Paul suggests ‘agenda’ to expand terror war, attack American liberty
By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
How does a massive, costly security apparatus fail to stop a known terrorism threat from boarding an airplane and wrecking devastation?
It happened on Sept. 11, 2001, and again on Dec. 25, 2009.
"There must be an agenda," suggested Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) in a recent video message to supporters.
"It seems ironic that there is so much excitement about this and now talk about attacking Yemen," he said, noting recent bombing raids by Saudi forces, carried out with the explicit blessing of the United States.
"The Saudis are our close allies," Paul explained. "We provide them with the weapons and the airplanes and we did sanction and endorse the bombing of Yemen."
He said that terrorist-style tactics carried out against the United States and U.S. interests are a response to occupation of Arab lands. The attempted attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, he said, was a result of "either awful stupidity or there must be an agenda."
"I am concerned what they are going to do to the American people," he said.
And by "they," he meant U.S. leaders.
Monday, December 28 2009 - Civil Liberties-Police State
One Day We'll All be Terrorists
by Chris Hedges
December 28, 2009
Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.
This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements--who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism--have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous groups have organized protests, including vigils outside the Manhattan detention facility. They can be found at www.educatorsforcivilliberties.org or www.freefahad.com. On Martin Luther King Day, this Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. EST, protesters will hold a large vigil in front of the MCC on 150 Park Row in Lower Manhattan to call for a return of our constitutional rights. Join them if you can.
The case against Hashmi, like most of the terrorist cases launched by the Bush administration, is appallingly weak and built on flimsy circumstantial evidence. This may be the reason the state has set up parallel legal and penal codes to railroad those it charges with links to terrorism. If it were a matter of evidence, activists like Hashmi, who is accused of facilitating the delivery of socks to al-Qaida, would probably never be brought to trial.
Monday, December 28 2009 - In the Media
GOP strategist Matalin: Bush 'inherited' 9/11 attacks from Clinton
By Stephen C. Webster
December 27th, 2009
Update at bottom: Matalin 'lied' about Bush inheriting recession
No amount of spit and polish can clean the tarnish of the 9/11 attacks from the Bush legacy, but that didn't stop GOP strategist Mary Matalin from trying.
During a Sunday appearance on CNN, Matalin attempted to prop up an analogy between the first year of George W. Bush's presidency and that of President Barack Obama's. Raising the specter of rising unemployment, anchor John King wondered whether Republicans have the right to attack Democrats over the economy.
According to a CNN transcript, Matalin--seated across a table from her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville--gave a response which was a little more than blindly partisan.
"I was there," she said. "We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation's history. And President Bush dealt with it. And within a year of his presidency at this comparable time, unemployment was at 5 percent. And we were creating jobs."
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 happened during the Bush presidency. While administration officials said repeatedly that nobody could have predicted such a devastating attack, an August 6, 2001, briefing delivered to President Bush -- titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." -- later surfaced.
Sunday, December 27 2009 - First Responders/Health Effects
9/11 Hero Dies of Cancer on Christmas Day - FDNY says cancer was 9/11-related
We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Ryan's family, families of those responders who have previously passed on, and to those who continue to struggle with the devastating health effects from 9/11.
December 26, 2009
A Sept. 11 hero died of cancer on Christmas Day. Jim Ryan was on the front lines during 9/11, a firefighter who spent many weeks rummaging through the destruction that encompassed Ground Zero, only to succumb to pancreatic cancer, according to a report.
The fire department confirms that his sickness was 9/11-related. And now his family -- his three children, wife and all the people who loved him -- mourn the death of a hero.
"He was just really really great," his grieving wife, Magda, told the Daily News.
Ryan, 48, was first diagnosed with cancer three years ago. He relapsed last year, reports the News.
A brave fighter until the end, Ryan desperately wanted to travel with his colleagues to Washington in November to campaign for the passage of legislation that would give $11 billion for those who contracted diseases on Sept. 11. That bill hasn't yet passed.
"It's about all the guys who are going to come after me," Ryan, who wasn't well enough to make the trip, told the News at the time. "And there's going to be plenty of them."
Ryan's family spent a quiet Christmas Eve at home, and just before 2 a.m. on Christmas Day, the Long Island father's teenage son realized he wasn't breathing, reports the News.
Sunday, December 27 2009 - 9/11 A/V Galleries
The Secret Global Empire(s): Russ Baker & John Perkins
December 26, 2009
U.S. history has seen many presidents elected on a wave of progressive promises, only to see them compromise again and again once in office, caving to the very interests, military and corporate, that they railed against so effectively. Barack Obama is only the latest to get elected on a promise to end a war and take care of working people, only to preside over an administration stacked with Wall Street types and wind up continuing a war he wanted to wind down. Americans voted for change and are getting frustrated with the lack of it, but our guests have both written about the powerful forces holding the status quo in place. John Perkins is the author of Hoodwinked and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and has written about how corporations push politicians around and even threaten them with violence. Russ Baker, meanwhile, is the author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America and has written extensively about the military-industrial complex. They argue the only weapon we have is public opinion and public pressure--and we need to bring it to bear not just on the government, but on the corporations.
Saturday, December 19 2009 - 9/11 A/V Galleries
Russ Baker, 'Family of Secrets' Author on Boiling Frogs Podcast
Thursday, 17. December 2009
Sibel Edmonds' Boiling Frogs
Podcast Show #16
The Boiling Frogs Presents Russ Baker
Thursday, December 17 2009 - Endorsements & Support
Federal Judge in Germany: Numerous 9/11 Theories Screaming For Investigation
Afghanistan War - Right to Self Defense Highly Questionable
December, 15, 2009
Question: Do you think the proposal of an independent 9/11
investigation is realistic?
Tuesday, December 15 2009 - Resources and Materials
911TruthStore Orders - Deadline for Christmas Holiday
December 14, 2009
Our 911TruthStore is closing soon. Please have a look at what's left in inventory, and if you are interested in any of these items and wish to give them as gifts or share with family at the holidays, order right away. The deadline for pre-Christmas delivery is 12/16 if you wish to use Priority Mail; 12/23 if you pay for USPS overnight shipping.
There is one more item available, in addition to what's at the store ... we have just received a few brand new copies of Kristina Borjesson's excellent 2004 book, "Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press". Although I've not yet added it to the store site, they are available. Please email me to order, with BOOK ORDER in the subject line. If you're wondering why we can't "break through" the corporate media, you'll understand clearly after reading this expose! The book description follows.
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