Putting a 9/11 Mystery on the Ballot by Russ Baker

 

“In fact, I have seen controlled demolitions before and since—and indeed, that was exactly what the destruction of Building 7 looked like, except perhaps for a marginally slower collapse of the top portion

As with most people, I was baffled by how Building 7—a smaller, 47-story tower that had not been hit by a plane and was separated from the Twin Towers by low-rise buildings–would come down at all. It just made no sense.”

http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/08/14/putting-a-911-mystery-on-the-ballot/#comments

Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse-About 9/11? Part 9: Brain Research, Part 2 – Moral Psychology-Francis Shure

http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/909-why-do-good-people-become-silentor-worseabout-911-part-9-brain-r…

Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse-About 9/11? Part 9: Brain Research, Part 2 – Moral Psychology
Written by Frances Shure, M.A., L.P.C.
Friday, 08 August 2014

911-experts-shureFrances Shure, M.A., L.P.C.

Summary/Editor’s Note: Frances Shure, M.A., L.P.C., has performed an in-depth analysis addressing a key issue of our time: “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?” The resulting essay, being presented here as a series, is a synthesis of both academic research and clinical observations.

In answering the question in the title of this essay, last month’s segment, Part 8, reported on some of the brain research that shows we humans have differences in our brain structures, and these differences help explain why some of us are more open to new ideas and can handle ambiguity better than others. Additionally, the research, which demonstrates the brain’s tenacious hold on belief, despite contrary evidence, helps us understand why the task of educating people about 9/11 becomes as much psychological as it is evidence-based.

We continue Ms. Shure’s analysis in Part 9: Brain Research, Part 2, which examines the interface of brain research and moral psychology.
Part 9: Brain Research, Part II – Moral Psychology

How do we acquire our values and our morals? Through reasoning, through emotion, or both? Do conservatives and liberals differ in their values? Does morality vary across cultures? Does our neurology affect our morality?

These are the types of questions that moral psychologists and neurologists are trying to answer, and recently, research in moral psychology has increased voluminously. It is a hot topic.

A few scholars in the humanities and sciences drafted a list of points on morality research upon which they could all agree. Among their points of consensus was that human morality is both innate and culturally derived. The innate building blocks of human morality are the products of evolution, with natural selection playing a critical role. 1

A question that 9/11 activists often ask is, “Why don’t more people become active in our movement, or at least support us, when they clearly understand that 9/11 was a staged event?” Why do they instead become silent? Many conclude from the evidence — and from the implications of that evidence — that elements within our government had to be involved in this mass murder. They know that, in the aftermath of 9/11, hundreds of thousands of our fellow human beings have been murdered, nations have been ruined, and civil liberties have been gutted; and they are aware that, to this day, these atrocities continue.

What keeps people from doing the right thing? What keeps our independent journalists from doing the right thing? What keeps our congressional representatives from doing the right thing? These representatives surely know the implications of the 9/11 evidence, but they are more silent — and worse — than most citizens of our country.

This is a moral issue. I challenge moral psychologists to grapple with this issue, instead of joining the conspicuous silence!

Georgy Lakoff has looked at the research in moral psychology. In his book, The Political Mind, he summarizes some of the findings that give us some insight into the profound silence of those who have at least accepted the 9/11 evidence and its implications, but who choose to keep quiet.

Lakoff theorizes that our brains are wired to direct us toward well-being. Well-being is tied to right behavior, which is guided by our moral convictions, many of which are built into the human nervous system. For example, research into mirror neurons shows that we are hardwired for empathy and cooperation. A mirror neuron is a type of brain cell that responds in the same way when we observe a specific action by another as it does when we are performing that very same action ourselves. This discovery by neuroscientists helps to explain our human capacity for empathy.

The mirror-neuron mechanism translates into the moral value common to many religions: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In Judaism, for example, “mitzvah” means a commandment to do good, and in everyday speech, mitzvah has come to mean a simple act of human kindness. But why is mitzvah a commandment? From the view of brain research, says Lakoff, this commandment and others similar to it manifest from our neural wiring: we feel good when we are kind to others. From this mirror-neuron point of view, when we see others happy, we become happy.

This innate structure can make it difficult for 9/11 skeptics to present the evidence showing that we have not been told the truth about 9/11, because virtually no one is going to feel happy upon hearing this information. If we are psychologically healthy, we do not want to cause distress in others. Nevertheless, a higher moral calling drives activists in the 9/11 Truth Movement forward, so that they courageously transcend their inner taboo barriers and intrepidly present their evidence. There is too much at risk, they believe, to not do so.

Lakoff theorizes that moral convictions are hardwired in our brains. If he is correct, we can easily see how these innate convictions help explain why good people become silent — or worse — about 9/11.

Hardwired convictions that are especially relevant to the subject at hand include the following: We will be better off if 1) as children, we obey our parents than if we disobey; 2) we are with our community rather than opposed to it; and 3) we do not challenge those who have more power than we have. 2

Since we commonly understand governing institutions in family terms — that is, we see authority figures as parental figures — then if we are to feel good, our hardwiring leads us to obey and believe our governing institutions. Given our hardwiring, we are also predisposed to be in conformity with our community’s beliefs.

Therefore, according to the brain’s drive toward well-being, morality requires staying within the boundaries of our community — adhering to the current consensus reality and the mores of the culture. To challenge these boundaries is seen by the brain as deviant, and being deviant is synonymous with being immoral. 3 This is so even if the challenge to the community is obviously from a higher moral calling, as in the case of the White Rose student resistance that protested Nazi Germany’s warmongering and concentration camps. In this tragic case, the authorities saw these students as immoral deviants threatening the power structure. They were jailed, and after a show trial, the brave, young leaders were summarily executed. These students had famously insisted, “We will not be silent!” — a motto that lives on in spirit in today’s activists of all stripes, but especially those championing difficult, taboo subjects like 9/11.

The questions then become, “If we are hardwired to conform to authority, how does change ever occur? Why are there revolutions against tyranny and corruption? Why does consensus reality ever change?”

It appears that humans are very tolerant of their authority figures, but when parents or governing institutions go too far in abusing or deceiving, other biologically wired moral convictions kick in, including:

1) Morality means Fairness

2) Morality means Honesty

3) Morality means Happiness

4) Morality means Freedom 4

Research into the fascinating subject areas of the brain and moral psychology will surely continue, giving us greater clarity into our human resistance to information that contradicts our sacred mythologies, and giving us more insight into why those who know the evidence about 9/11 do not find their voice — in their silence leaving only the sound of chirping crickets.

Shifting to other lenses through which to understand why some people can become aggressively zealous about their chosen worldview, our exploration leads us next to the theories of Terror Management Theory and Systems Justification Theory.

Editor’s note: Electronic sources in the footnotes have all been archived. If they can no longer be found by a search on the Internet, readers desiring a copy may contact Frances Shure [ Here ] for a copy.

This series will be continued in our next newsletter with both Part 10: Terror Management Theory and Part 11: Systems Justification Theory.

[1] A statement of consensus reached among participants at the Edge.org conference, The New Science of Morality (June 20–22, 2010), http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/morality10/morality_consensus.html.

[2] George Lakoff, The Political Mind (Penguin Books, 2009), chap. 4.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

BOSTON UPDATE: Another Tsarnaev Friend Arrested, Another Government Leak

 

 

Stephen Silva, the latest Tsarnaev friend caught in the bombing probe

Yet another friend of accused Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his dead brother, Tamerlan, is caught in the seemingly unending expansion of the federal investigation.

Stephen Silva, 21, of Cambridge pleaded not guilty to charges of heroin dealing and possession of a firearm with defaced serial number.

The gun in question is a P95 Ruger 9mm pistol, similar to the one allegedly used by the Tsarnaev brothers in the murder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier and the subsequent shootout with police in Watertown, Mass.

The 16-page indictment against Silva makes no mention of either the Boston Marathon bombing or the shooting of Sean Collier. The U.S. attorney’s office in Boston, which brought the charges, declined to say if the arrest of Silva was related to the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

And according to the Boston Globe: “Details of the gun case remain unknown, and law enforcement officials would not comment.”

On the record, that is.

Off the record, the gun in Silva’s case is the weapon used to murder Officer Collier and engage police in the Watertown gunfight, according to anonymous law enforcement officials quoted in reports from major media organizations including ABC News and The Associated Press.

Why law enforcement is publicly hushed about an alleged bombing connection while simultaneously telling major news outlets there is indeed a link is unclear. However, a direct quote from a “high-ranking” official published by ABC News is telling:

“The defense is trying to paint Tamerlan as the mastermind, but they were working in concert and we have evidence that Dzhokhar secured the weapon,” the official said.

Tsarnaev’s defense for months has complained about the incessant stream of leaks from the law enforcement side, saying the comments are prejudicing potential jurors. Trying to get a change of venue for the trial, they conducted a poll which showed the majority of Bostonians believe he’s guilty. The quantity of leaks has grown so much the defense asked the judge to put a stop to them, lest anyone else become prejudiced.

Good luck with that.

- See more at: http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/08/07/boston-update-another-tsarnaev-friend-arrested-another-government-leak/#sthash.7Sh6UnnF.dpuf

Campaign Mounts to Declassify 9/11 Report’s References to Alleged Saudi Involvement

 

via VICE NEWS

By Samuel Oakford

August 7, 2014 | 11:15 am

Nearly 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the extent of Saudi involvement in the deaths of almost 3,000 people remains unclear — but according to members of Congress and the families of victims, information about this has been suppressed ever since the publication of a 2002 congressional investigation into the plot.

Prior to the release of the final report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration classified a 28-page section in the name of national security.

Though speculations, accusations, and denials have swirled around these pages over the past decade, the call for their declassification has steadily grown since December 2013, when House Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced Resolution 428, a two-page document urging President Obama to release them to the public. Nine other representatives from both parties have co-sponsored the resolution.

Family of ‘the terrorist that wasn’t’ prepares for his return from US. Read more here.

Conspiracy theorists and fringe publications have seized on suspicion surrounding the redacted pages, but experts and sources close to the investigation have acknowledged that the material’s release would help address significant questions.

In April, Jones and Lynch sent a letter to Obama reiterating their request. They are planning a September 11 press conference with relatives of victims to highlight the issue. Adding fuel to the campaign, various family members have recounted to the media how President Obama had promised them that he would release the material.

The 28 pages make up part four of the report, a section titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” They are widely believed to implicate Saudi officials or describe support from Saudi intelligence for the hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi citizens.

“On the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest, as indicated in a CIA memorandum, ‘incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists [---------------------------],’ ” states an introductory note in the section. “On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations.”

Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who co-chaired the joint Senate-House investigation, dispensed with the equivocation and told VICE News that the redactions are a “cover up.”

“I’ve said this since the first classification of the 28 pages,” he remarked. “It’s become more and more inexplicable as to why two administrations have denied the American people information that would help them better understand what happened on 9/11.”

The line between FBI stings and entrapment has not blurred, it’s gone. Read more here.

Graham said that the 28 pages describe the financing of the attacks.

“Follow the money,” he said. “That will illuminate other significant aspects of 9/11.”

Though Graham could not go into further detail, he was quite frank in an affidavit filed in 2012 as part of a lawsuit brought by the families of 9/11 victims against the Saudi government.

“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” Graham told the court.

The Saudi kingdom has always denied any complicity in the attacks.

“The idea that the Saudi government funded, organized, or even knew about September 11 is malicious and blatantly false,” Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a member of the royal family and an ambassador to the US from 1983 to 2005, said in 2003. “There is something wrong with the basic logic of those who spread these spurious charges. Al Qaeda is a cult that is seeking to destroy Saudi Arabia as well as the United States. By what logic would we support a cult that is trying to kill us?”

Around this time, senior Saudi officials reportedly called for the pages to be declassified in order for them to assess and rebut the allegations, but the Bush administration refused. A letter signed by 46 senators urging President George W. Bush to declassify the 28 pages was also rebuffed.

‘I believe when a nation is attacked by a foreign element that those people who lost loved ones, as well as the American people, have a right to know who was involved in that attack.’

Rep. Jones told VICE News that he discussed the classified passages with Graham two years ago and decided to access them on his own.

He first had to get permission from the House Intelligence Committee, which vets such requests. Once approved, Jones was led to a soundproof room where an official watched over him to prevent any note taking as he read.

“I’ll tell you, the 28 pages will be an embarrassment to the previous administration,” Jones said, though he is barred from offering details. “We live in a world where there are certain leaders in certain countries that some people are concerned of their reaction. I feel differently.”

The pages could show that the Bush administration knew all along that Saudi Arabia was closely tied to the attacks that became the basis of more than a decade of hawkish foreign policy, including the misguided invasion of Iraq.

“Perhaps the previous administration sought to insulate us or our allies from embarrassment or liability,” Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY), one of the resolution’s co-sponsors, told VICE News. “But the current administration needs to be asked, point blank, what benefit this president finds in keeping these pages secret.”

The illicit wildlife and resource trade is financing militias and terrorists. Read more here.

Massie was also granted special access to the material, and has expressed shock at what he read.

“I think it will reshape the public’s opinion of our foreign policy in the Middle East,” he told VICE News. “I feel America needs a complete picture of what enabled 9/11, if avoiding another 9/11 is going to be the justification for involving us in more wars in the Middle East.”

Saudi Arabia has long had an outsized influence in American politics due to its mammoth presence as an oil exporter. After World War II, the United States tacitly agreed to ensure regional security in exchange for a steady supply of Saudi crude for the world market. Despite periodic tensions, especially during the 1973 oil crisis, the relationship between the two countries remained cordial. In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, King Abdullah released 9 million barrels of oil to the US.

The royal family is also believed to have used its oil largesse to pay off Osama bin Laden to the tune of several hundred million dollars to prevent al Qaeda attacks in the Saudi kingdom.

President George W. Bush meeting with Saudi Arabian Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Prince Bandar has been persistently dogged by accusations that he has withheld what he knows of the 9/11 plot. Bandar was particularly close to the Bush family during his time as ambassador over two administrations — to the point of being referred to as “Bandar Bush.” Bandar later served as Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief between 2012 and 2014.

Two days after 9/11, Bandar successfully petitioned the White House to evacuate dozens of Saudi citizens from the US, including members of Osama bin Laden’s family. According to the journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, Bandar met with his old friend Bush that evening. The two men smoked cigars on a White House balcony as they chatted with Vice President Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, who was National Security Adviser at the time.

The rapid evacuation of relatives of bin Laden and other Saudi nationals reflected the special relationship between the governments in Riyadh and DC.

The redacted pages are believed to contain further details beyond what was made public about two Saudi nationals, Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassnan. Bayoumi is known to have made contact on the West Coast with two of the 9/11 hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi; Bassnan was a close associate of Bayoumi. Portions of the report about the two men that are available to the public are also heavily redacted, but they are not included in the House declassification request. Jones and Massie have not read classified material outside of the 28 pages that make up section four.

“I believe significant and excessive redactions occurred elsewhere in the 800 pages, but for me the point of lifting the veil should start with the 28 pages,” Graham said.

ISIS accused al Qaeda of ‘making the Mujahideen sad.’ Read more here.

A 2003 New York Times article reported that sources who had seen the classified Joint Inquiry pages said that they suggested that Bayoumi and Bassnan were working with Saudi intelligence. Graham has said he is convinced that Bayoumi was “an agent of the government of Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority employed Bayoumi as a contractor in San Diego, with a Saudi official authorizing his earnings. But the Times reported that congressional officials believed that Bayoumi never actually worked, and noted that his compensation increased after he connected with the two hijackers. Mihdhar and Hazmi stayed with Bayoumi in San Diego in early 2000.

It also emerged that Prince Bandar’s wife, Princess Haifa, had made a series of payments to Bassnan beginning in the late 1990s, which Saudi officials maintained were meant to help support his sick wife. She vigorously denied that the money had financed terrorism. The 9/11 Commission later concluded that, “contrary to highly publicized allegations, we have found no evidence that Hazmi or Mihdhar received money from another Saudi citizen, Osama Bassnan.”

Bayoumi and Bassnan left the US and were never charged in connection with the attacks. The FBI could not determine whether the two men knew that the hijackers were terrorists. Law enforcement officials told the Times that they believed the Joint Inquiry report risked overstating the link between the terror plot and Saudi officials.

‘I was amazed in reading this stuff that it was stuff I knew already.’

The Bush administration said that releasing the redacted information would imperil national security. There may be unanticipated revelations to come — or, as the report noted, innocent explanations for the allegations discussed in the section. Yet knowledge of what is believed to be in the classified pages seems so common that experts whom VICE News consulted discussed the material offhandedly.

“We live in a world where people are peddling a plethora of lunatic conspiracy theories,” Jeffrey Bale, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies who specializes in terrorism and the Middle East, told VICE News. “Yet here we potentially have real evidence of covert aid provided to some of the hijackers by Saudi officials — information that was essentially concealed by the Bush administration.”

 

Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean and former House Representative Lee Hamilton, who chaired the 9/11 Commission that followed the Joint Inquiry, have also recently said that the material should be released.

“I’m embarrassed that they’re not declassified,” said Hamilton, speaking with Kean at an event last month marking the tenth anniversary of the commission’s final report — the text of which noted, “we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization. (This conclusion does not exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al Qaeda.)”

“I was amazed in reading this stuff that it was stuff I knew already,” Kean added, referring to classified intelligence he had seen while on the commission. He recounted how he turned to the FBI agent watching him read the material and remarked, “I knew all this already,” to which the agent replied, “Yes, but you didn’t know it was true.”

“That is not a reason for classification,” Kean told the audience.

Though Obama, who was an Illinois State Senator at the time of the attacks, faces no personal cost from releasing the information, it would doubtlessly complicate diplomacy in the Middle East at a time when the region is dealing with various crises that have already strained US-Saudi relations.

Obama, who happens to be in the middle of a fight over redactions, might also fear that declassifying the information could open the door for the next president to do the same to him. On Tuesday, Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) made headlines when she criticized the White House for trying to “eliminate or obscure key facts” of the committee’s study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.

“You have a White House that may not want to release damaging information from a prior administration, which could set a precedent,” Stuart Gottlieb, a professor of international affairs at Columbia University who served as senior foreign policy adviser to New York Senator Chuck Schumer at the time of the attacks, told VICE News. “Then there’s the issue of potentially damaging ongoing relationships with close allies. The tensions on this issue are all you would expect to be present.”

“On a human level, you have the families of 9/11 victims that understandably want closure and to get as much information as possible about what happened that day,” he added.

Given Obama’s track record of continuing Bush-era national security policies, he has exhibited little inclination to declassify the Senate report, despite his promises to relatives of 9/11 victims.

“I can understand some of the rationales for why the Bush administration may have covered up by classifying the report,” Graham told VICE News. “But I do not have a credible rationale for why President Obama, who campaigned in significant part on the misdeeds of the Bush administration before, during, and after 9/11, and who it has been reported told some of the husbands, wives, and children of those killed that he would release the 28 pages, hasn’t.”

The White House did not respond to questions from VICE News.

For his part, Jones maintains that the disclosure would not put American citizens in danger.

“If it was a national security issue, I would tell you up front,” he said. He didn’t understand why the Obama administration wouldn’t “give families peace,” as he put it, by declassifying the material. “I believe when a nation is attacked by a foreign element that those people who lost loved ones, as well as the American people, have a right to know who was involved in that attack.”

“If it steps on somebody’s toes, then I’m sorry,” he added. “A nation that tries to hide the truth will eventually fail.”

Follow Samuel Oakford on Twitter: @samueloakford

NSA Lied About Knowledge Of Two 9/11 Hijackers In U.S., Didn’t Inform The FBI

 

By Jon Gold
8/9/2014

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to figure out just exactly what the NSA knew about the hijackers and 9/11.

The main reason for this was because the 9/11 Commission barely looked at them, and the information they did come across tried to tie Iran to Al-Qaeda and 9/11. “[For executive director Philip] Zelikow and other staff on the commission, it was just more interesting—sexier—to concentrate on the CIA.”

In late 2003, the NSA will allow the 9/11 Commission access to its archives on Al-Qaeda. “[P]erversely, the more eager [NSA director] General Hayden was to cooperate, the less interested [9/11 Commission executive director Philip] Zelikow and others at the commission seemed to be in what was buried in the NSA files.”

Towards the end of the 9/11 Commission, “Zelikow would later admit he too was worried that important classified information had never been reviewed at the NSA and elsewhere in the government before the 9/11 commission shut its doors, that critical evidence about bin Laden’s terrorist network sat buried in government files, unread to this day. By July 2004, it was just too late to keep digging.”

Interesting, since he seems to be the main reason the 9/11 Commission stayed away from the NSA.

According to this entry from www.historycommons.org:

“…both the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission examine the NSA’s intercepts of various calls made by the hijackers to an al-Qaeda communications hub in Sana’a, Yemen.” The portion of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry that touches on this “is heavily redacted so most details remain unknown. It states that, although the NSA intercepted the calls and disseminated dispatches about some of them, THE NSA DID NOT REALIZE THE HIJACKERS WERE IN THE U.S. AT THE TIME THE CALLS WERE MADE (emphasis mine).”

[…]

“The 9/11 Commission Report contains a briefer section on the intercepts and deals with those which led to the surveillance of the al-Qaeda summit in Malaysia. In addition, it mentions that Almihdhar called his wife from San Diego in the spring of 2000, but fails to mention that his wife lived at an al-Qaeda communications hub and that the calls were intercepted by the NSA.”

On 12/17/2005, George W. Bush says, “as the 9/11 Commission pointed out, it was clear that terrorists inside the United States were communicating with terrorists abroad before the September the 11th attacks, and the commission criticized our nation’s inability to uncover links between terrorists here at home and terrorists abroad. Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, communicated while they were in the United States to other members of al-Qaeda who were overseas. But we didn’t know they were here until it was too late.”

In her book “Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow,” 9/11 Family Member Kristen Breitweiser states:

“Unfortunately, the NSA never checked to see where al Mihdhar’s calls were originating from— i.e., San Diego. The NSA’s oversight in not checking to see where the phone calls were being made from seems hard to believe. Nevertheless, the NSA’s negligence in this regard has been excused and overlooked. So for the nearly five months al Mihdhar was in this country and living with al Hazmi in San Diego, the NSA listened in to his phone calls back to Yemen. Notably, because NSA assumed that al Mihdhar was overseas, they passed all of their information regarding al Mihdhar solely to the CIA— not the FBI. If only the billions budgeted to NSA for intelligence had had room for caller ID. If they had just informed the FBI about the presence of al Mihdhar within our borders, the FBI would have been able to begin its investigation more than a full year before 9/ 11. ” (pp. 181-182)

Author Lawrence Wright makes two statements on the issue:

“[h]ad a line been drawn from the [communications hub] in Yemen to Alhazmi and Almihdhar’s San Diego apartment, al-Qaeda’s presence in America would have been glaringly obvious.”

[…]

“You know, this is the key. The NSA is all over this phone. And everybody, you know, that has any connection with it is drawing links from that phone. Now imagine eight lines from Yemen to San Diego. How obvious would it be that al-Qaeda is in America[?]“

So basically, we are led to believe that the NSA was monitoring calls from San Diego to Yemen from the hijackers, but the NSA could not identify that the calls were coming from within the U.S. Meaning they had no idea the hijackers were in the United States.

On 5/14/2012, an article entitled “NSA Analyst: We Could Have Prevented 9/11″ was released on HuffPo. In that article, NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake said:

“I can’t say fully, because it’s classified. But I showed that NSA knew a great deal about the 9/11 threats and Al Qaeda, electronically tracking various people and organizations for years — since its role is to collect intelligence. The problem is, it wasn’t sharing all of the data. If it had, other parts of government could have acted on it, and more than likely, NSA could have stopped, I say stopped 9/11. Later, it could have located Al Qaeda — at the very time the U.S. was scouring Afghanistan.”

Obviously, that tidbit of information further sparked my curiosity. I went to www.historycommons.org, and found every entry on the NSA that I could find, but could not see what Thomas Drake was talking about.

On 1/7/2014, in this article written by several NSA Whistleblowers, we get a clue about one of lies about 9/11.

“NSA knew the telephone number of the safe house in Yemen at least by 1996 and was, of course, keeping track of calls to it from the U.S. Would Mueller, Morell and Cheney have us believe NSA doesn’t know about caller ID? As William Binney has explained, automated systems take over when such calls are made and as long as you have one valid number you can obtain the other. Was it a case of gross ineptitude on NSA’s part; or was NSA deliberately withholding information linking al-Mihdhar to the known al-Qaeda base in Yemen?”

On 6/4/2014, Abby Martin has on two NSA Whistleblowers on her show “Breaking The Set.” They are William Binney and Kirk Wiebe. During this interview, William Binney tells us:

“I know specifics… like six or seven phone calls from San Diego back to the Yemen facility. And by the way, BOTH ENDS WERE KNOWN. I MEAN BOTH NUMBERS WERE THERE. THAT’S HOW CALLER ID WORKS (emphasis mine).”

What do we learn from all of this? It seems the NSA lied, had BOTH numbers, and presumably knew the hijackers were in the United States and did not tell the FBI about it.

Is this what Thomas Drake was talking about? I don’t know, but it is a pretty big lie. Personally, I would like access to all of the transcripts of the intercepts, and all other information the NSA had on Al-Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks.

Maybe someday.

Once again, the City has said “No” to tens of thousands of voters. But this time, we will prevail.

http://highrisesafetynyc.org/ August 7, 2014

Once again, the City has said “No” to tens of thousands of voters.

But this time, we will prevail.

Dear friends,

On July 3, 2014, we submitted over 67,000 petition signatures calling for a ballot measure that would require the City of New York to investigate the collapse of WTC 7 and any future high-rise collapses. Most unfortunately, but also as we anticipated and prepared for, the City has attempted to block the High-Rise Safety Initiative from appearing on the ballot this November.

On Monday, we received the City Clerk’s certificate, which claims first that the petition has only 27,892 valid signatures, 2,108 less than the 30,000 threshold; and second that the proposed charter amendment is legally invalid for three reasons, which are discussed below.

Yesterday, we filed suit against the City to have its determination annulled, and to compel the City Clerk to certify that the petition contains enough valid signatures and complies with all the requirements of law. Earlier today, New York State Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead signed our “order to show cause,” thus requiring the City to appear in court for an initial hearing on Thursday, August 14, and formally commencing the case.

While the court ultimately found in favor of the City in the case of our 2009 ballot initiative, we are confident of overcoming the City’s challenge to the High-Rise Safety Initiative. Our level of confidence going into the campaign has not changed upon reviewing the City Clerk’s certificate and stated reasons for blocking the petition. There remains a significant chance that the voters will be able to vote on the High-Rise Safety Initiative come September 4th. We expect the case to be decided by early to mid September.

How You Can Help

Now we need to raise $30,000 to fund our litigation costs, and we need at least a 25-person army of volunteers to help with reviewing the signatures.

Fortunately, a generous donor has pledged a matching grant of $15,000 to help us raise the $30,000 we need. Therefore, we are asking you to help us raise the other $15,000 and make sure we take full advantage of the matching grant. Aside from $5,000 to $10,000 more that may be needed for an appeal, this is the final expense for which we will need to raise funds until we are on the ballot. Please donate as generously as you can by going to HighRiseSafetyNYC.org/donate.

To volunteer, or if you have questions about volunteering, please contact us through our Contact page at HighRiseSafetyNYC.org/contact. If you live in or around New York City and you have any free time during weekdays, we need your help. As our volunteers from 2009 will tell you, it was a fun and gratifying experience, so please join us!

Towards 30,000 Valid Signatures

As we know from our past experience and from the advice of our attorneys, the City’s tendency in these cases is to wrongly challenge thousands of signatures. This is because some of the City’s criteria for invalidating signatures are unlawful. Most importantly, the City wrongly invalidates any signature where the voter’s stated address does not match the voter’s address in the voter database – when the true legal test is whether the voter’s signature matches the original signature kept in the voter database. This is admitted to in the City Clerk’s certificate where it says, “Other reasons include, but are not limited to, the failure of signers to insert…their address of record…”. Voters are not required by law to insert their address of record for the signature to be valid.

Therefore, our first step will be to have the judge order the City to conduct a new review of the signatures with legally valid criteria, or annul the City’s determination if the City is unable or unwilling to conduct a new review. If that does not happen, we will have to conduct our own review. During our 2009 ballot initiative, the City challenged 25,000 signatures, and, with the tremendous help of 30 volunteers, we were able to identify 7,000 wrongly challenged signatures and force the City to concede that we had enough signatures. We expect a similar number of wrongly invalidated signatures this time around.

The Legality of the Proposed Charter Amendment

The City has also challenged the legality of the proposed charter amendment on three separate grounds. You can read the City Clerk’s certificate for more information on their reasoning.

1. The Financing Plan. The City claims that the proposed .9% surcharge on construction permits is a tax and not a fee, and thus invalid because it would require approval from Albany. We will argue that the surcharge is indeed a fee, which the City has the authority to enact without State approval. The proposed surcharge is similar to many fees the City already charges. According to our lawyer, Leo Glickman, “By labeling this surcharge a tax, the City is calling into question the legality of hundreds of fees it already charges, and making it much more difficult to enact fees in the future. It’s astounding that the City is willing to act so strongly against its own self-interest to keep the voters from weighing in on this matter.”

2. Adequate notice as to the effect of the charter amendment. The City claims the petition does not give adequate notice to voters about the effect of the charter amendment. We will argue that it obviously does, and additionally we may argue that our canvassers very clearly communicated the effect of the charter amendment, as does our website and other campaign materials.

3. Whether the charter amendment is advisory, or mandates a fundamental governmental function. The City claims that because the charter amendment applies in part to a building collapse that occurred on September 11, 2001, which according to the City, falls under federal jurisdiction, it is advisory in nature – in other words, it expresses an opinion rather than mandating a fundamental governmental function. Under Municipal Home Rule Law, the law that provides for this type of ballot initiative, advisory ballot initiatives are not allowed. We will argue that the charter amendment indeed mandates a fundamental governmental function related to a matter falling squarely under local jurisdiction, and it is not intended to express an opinion.

Further Information: Go to http://highrisesafetynyc.org/ for

City Clerk’s Certificate

Order to Show Cause

We understand that you may have further questions about the legal proceedings. We welcome your questions, though we may not be able to respond in a timely manner. We have done our best to outline the City’s challenge, how we plan to defeat their challenge, and the procedure going forward. We encourage you to continue reading our email updates and visit the website regularly for more information.

We thank you for your support and commitment to this vitally important cause.

The MH17 Downing: Won’t Get Fooled Again

 

 

 

 

MH17: The Inconvenient Questions

 

We share the horror and revulsion at the loss of 298 innocent lives in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. And we believe It is imperative to ask inconvenient questions about a tragedy that has brought the world to the edge of a new and, indeed, very Cold War.

 

We also think everyone needs to become a smart news consumer. That means taking into account the history of disinformation foisted upon the public. It means recognizing that while our instinct is to accept stories where the “other” is the bad guy, things may be more complicated. And it means reminding ourselves of the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned us about—and how our “public servants” operate under constant pressure from wealthy interests with a stake in particular outcomes.

 

Surely as we look into the eyes of those who lost their lives, we know they would not want to be pawns in the cynical calculations of money and power. They would want the truth to come out, whatever it might be.

 

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The shoot-down of MH17 must be viewed in the framework of a struggle that could affect the world’s power dynamic for years to come. Russia, China, India, Latin America and other players are cooperating more and more in ventures that have little room for the traditional domination by the U.S. Institutions like the World Bank are threatened by alternative bodies. The Western fossil-fuel establishment is facing increasing competition from state-run oil companies and others outside its usual spheres of influence.

 

And here is something even more dangerous: The U.S. military has been concerned about losing its ability to “project strength for U.S. interests” ever since the end of the Soviet Union sent the neocons in search of new “threats” to justify an ever-expanding U.S. military.

 

Without question, in the current international arena the downing of MH17 is a possible game changer. And game changers need to be rigorously examined.

 

Thus, while we allow for the very real possibility that the “authorized” version of the crash may prove true, we cannot ignore the larger picture—and the way in which this story has unfolded.

 

Rapid-Fire Conclusions

 

At WhoWhatWhy, we have a longstanding concern about the effectiveness with which the U.S. governments can quickly persuade Americans to rally around some simplistic narrative. From the Oklahoma City bombing to 9/11, our media and political establishments have failed to ask tough questions.

 

Within days of the Boston Marathon Bombings, we warned about a rush to judgment at a time when the authorities insisted they knew exactly what had happened, and that the investigation and questions about it should come to a halt. What gives us hope is that a significant minority, armed with memories of past fabrications and spin, refuse to simply accept what they are told. Perhaps that is why our first article on the bombings received more than 18,000 Facebook likes, quite a lot for a small site like ours.

 

With the MH17 crash, we were struck by the certainty with which U.S. and Western officials affixed blame, insisted that the plane had been brought down by a missile, and, moreover, asserted which “side” had fired it. Contrast that with TWA Flight 800 in 1996, where eyewitnesses stated they saw a projectile heading toward the plane before it exploded over Long Island. In that case, the government and media rushed to divert the public away from such claims—one of which implicated a U.S. Navy missile test gone awry.

 

(In an interesting sidelight to that continuing controversy, click here to watch CNN’s Anderson Cooper compare the MH17 incident to TWA 800, which he said had been “shot down”—Cooper returned shortly after to offer an apology for “misspeaking.”)

 

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In all such events, the conclusions you draw depend largely on whom you listen to. When the State Department alleged that Russia was firing across the border into Ukraine, most Western media quoted U.S. officials without expressing any doubts. Predictably, the Russian network, RT, had a different take, citing one of the rare American journalists who refuses to simply parrot claims.

 

On its website, under the headline “State Dept. accuses Russia of firing artillery into Ukraine, refuses to provide any evidence,” RT wrote:

 

Matthew Lee, a veteran AP journalist known for his frequent showdowns with spokespeople during U.S. State Department briefings, raised questions about the latest claims during Thursday’s scheduled press conference.

 

“We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters during the Thursday afternoon briefing.

 

When asked by Lee for any evidence, however, Harf said the State Dept. is unwilling at this time to disclose further details because doing so could expose the secret intelligence operations involved in making such claims.

 

“I would like to know what you’re basing this new evidence that the Russians intend to send any heavier equipment,” Lee asked.

 

The details, Harf responded, are “based on some intelligence information.”

 

“I can’t get into the sources and methods behind it,” Harf insisted to Lee’s chagrin. “I can’t tell you what the information is based on.”

 

Cui Bono: Who Benefits From the Current Situation?

 

We all know the official version about the Russian-backed separatists with the BUK missile system, who allegedly shot down the plane by mistake or simply because they were clumsy and drunk.

 

Yet the calls for sanctions ignore the possibility of an accident and imply a willful act. Which begs the question: What would Russia and its separatist proxies gain by blowing a passenger plane out of the sky? On balance, the downing seems a public relations disaster for Moscow.

 

It seems clear that in a situation and a place where several players are operating in secrecy under the proverbial “fog of war,” we need to be cautious about assigning blame. In such chaotic situations, many possibilities present themselves. They can range from an accident to a reckless, deliberate act by a few individuals operating without any sort of larger authority. There’s even the potential for an agent provocateur to launch a “false flag” attack, serving cynical interests that care nothing about the loss of innocent life when the stakes are high enough.

 

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Provocations consisting of false horror stories are a favored arrow in the quiver of power. Look how effective it was to allege that Qaddafi and Assad ordered mass rapes. Those stories played big in the global media, though there is no reason to believe they were true, and plenty of reason to doubt.

 

And then there was the completely fabricated story by an American PR company that Saddam’s troops killed premature babies in Kuwait, which boosted public support for the first Gulf War under George H.W. Bush. This was topped by the false claim that Saddam was involved with 9/11, which in turn helped build support for the Iraq War under George W. Bush.

 

Yet when evidence points to the possible involvement of a U.S. ally (Saudi Arabia) and to the role of elements of the U.S. diplomatic and security establishment in, at minimum, covering things up regarding 9/11, there’s a near-total silence.

 

What’s going on here? Is it that we cannot bear to imagine that horrible things are being done, supposedly on our behalf, “to keep us safe”? Yet examples abound, from the My Lai massacre in Vietnam to the present-day assassination-by-drone of American citizens without due process—not to mention the slaughter of innocents by the U.S. or its proxies in any number of theaters of war including Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, to name a few.

 

What’s at Stake—and Rarely Mentioned

 

The overt assigning of blame to Moscow in the MH17 downing comports with the general trajectory of recent news coverage of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which portrays him and anyone associated with him in a negative light. This serves a purpose in an ongoing high-stakes battle characterized by such dramatic developments as Russia’s providing haven to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Putin’s role thus far in blocking a Western plan to remove Syria’s Assad, thereby thwarting what had been a successful streak of “regime changes” in the Middle East (Saddam and Qaddafi).

 

Most important to understanding what’s at stake in Ukraine, however, is the struggle over natural resources.

 

News media—traditionally poor at providing context—failed to note that the tragic MH17 downing came amid an unfolding trade war between Washington and Moscow for the lucrative European natural gas market. Or that the sanctions are strengthening the American market potential in the area.

 

The battle over natural gas, oil and other fuels and minerals involves the entire European continent, in fascinating and intrigue-filled ways we recently described.

 

The first piece of evidence that sanctions against Russia may be more about oil and gas than about punishment is the surprising new restriction on the export of hi-tech oil-production equipment, and a total ban on equipment destined for deep water, Arctic, and shale oil production. Shale oil is of increasing  importance to the United States, and the world.

 

Who are the Big Economic Losers?

 

According to an EU source familiar with the legal texts, the sanctions will cost the Russian economy €23 billion this year (1.5% of GDP) and €75 billion in 2015 (4.8% of GDP). The Economist meanwhile has calculated that Russian firms will suffer losses from the sanctions as high as $1 trillion (€744bn).

 

The sanctions will also weigh heavily on the economies of Western Europe: the EU commission forecasts that the European Union will lose €40 billion (0.3% of GDP) this year and €50bn in 2015 (0.4 % of GDP). That’s because Russia is expected to retaliate with trade bans of its own against EU countries, which are still largely dependent on Russian gas and have strong economic ties with Moscow and its Big Money. For example, London’s priciest real estate has long been dominated by Russian oligarchs.

 

With all these considerations, we would be foolish to view the plane tragedy in isolation.

 

Fascinating Discrepancies Raise Provocative Questions

 

–Was the person who shot down MH17 “a defector” from the Ukrainian army?

 

U.S. intelligence officials have suggested that the person who fired the missile that downed the plane may have been a “defector” (or defectors) from the Ukrainian army. This was an apparent attempt to explain why some CIA analysts thought satellite images revealed men in Ukrainian army uniforms manning the missile battery believed responsible for the shootdown. Of course, if the people firing on the plane can be identified with the Ukrainian army in any respect, they could also be….Ukrainian government soldiers.

 

–Could MH17 have been shot down by accident by the Ukrainian army, or the separatists?

 

The Russian news agency RIA Novosti—not to be trusted any more or less than any other major news organization—quoted a source as follows:

 

On July 17 the commanding officer of 156th Anti-Aircraft Regiment was instructed to conduct a training exercise of ground troops stationed near Donetsk, which involved deploying the troops, and carrying out a routine tracking and destroying of targets with the Buk-M1 missile.

 

In this scenario, Ukrainian troops, not rebels, accidentally fired off rockets when two Sukhoi Su-25 combat aircraft flew parallel to the Boeing 777—but at a different altitude. According to this version, when the three aircraft merged and became a single dot on the missile’s radar system, the Buk-M1 automatically chose the larger target, leading to the demise of MH17.

 

Another version, advanced by some U.S. intelligence officials, holds that the separatist rebels fired on the jet after misreading their radar, mistaking MH17 for a Ukrainian military plane.

 

An unidentified senior rebel leader admitted that a unit made up of Ukrainians and Russians fired the missile that downed the plane by accident, according to an Associated Press report. An AP reporter, and residents, witnessed a Buk missile launcher rolling through the town of Snizhne—about 10 miles from the crash site—on the same day MH17 went down. A soldier in unmarked camouflage, with a Russian accent, stopped to ensure the journalist was not taking photographs.

 

These plausible stories should be investigated before conclusions can be drawn.

 

–Was MH17 shot down after being escorted by Kiev fighters, as claimed by a Spanish air traffic controller?

 

Another version of the MH17 downing has been circulating on social media networks: the alleged Twitter posts of a Spanish air traffic controller named Carlos, described as working at the Boryspil International Airport in Kiev. In the series of July 17 tweets, translated from the original Spanish by an unknown person with a poor command of English, @spainbuca wrote:

 

“The B777 plane flew escorted by Ukraine jet fighter until 2 minutes before disappearing from the radar,” says an 11:48 tweet.

 

“Malaysia Airlines B777 plane just disappeared and Kiev military authority informed us of the downing, How they knew?” he asked at 12:00.

 

“7:00 minutes after [plane disappeared], the downing was notified, later our tower was taken with foreigner staff, they still here ” his next tweet said.

 

He blamed the Ukrainian government for shooting down the plane and trying to make it look like the work of pro-Russian separatists.

 

Some of his tweets suggest it may have been a military uprising against the current Ukrainian president by partisans of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Others describe soldiers, accompanied by foreigners, coming to the control tower to gather up all the evidence and coaching the controllers on what to say about the downing if asked.

 

Mysteriously, the Twitter account of the user was deleted the next day, and the man’s full identity has never been made clear. Here’s where it gets even more interesting: he appeared on RT’s Spanish-language channel in May, claiming he’d sent his wife and children home after being threatened by Euromaidan supporters. Euromaidan is a broad coalition of people behind this year’s revolution, many of whom are allied with Tymoshenko’s party.

 

This may turn out to be an unreliable story, or an outright hoax carried out as a propaganda operation. Either way, the story of Carlos is one that should be checked—and that is just what we’re doing.

 

A Change of Course—Right Over the Conflict Zone

 

Significantly, radar screen shots show MH17 executing an unexplained change of course. The altered flight path took the aircraft directly over the eastern Ukraine conflict region, in contrast to the previous day’s routing of the same flight. See for yourself:

 

July 16

 

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July 17

 

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(Source: flightaware.com)

 

Russian Claims and Questions

 

A high-ranking Russian military official claims that a Ukrainian military jet was flying close to MH17 before it was downed.Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov told a press conference that the SU-25 attack jet was gaining height and came within 3-5 kilometers of MH17. Those jets, which are primarily used for ground attack, can briefly fly high enough to have reached the altitude of the MH17, and can be equipped with air-to-air missiles that can destroy flying targets, he said.

 

Russian officials say they have evidence of the jet’s presence following images taken by the Rostov monitoring center. The implication is that it might have been a Ukrainian military jet that shot down the Malaysian plane.

 

Kartopolov criticized the U.S. for not releasing its own satellite images taken at the time of the shoot-down, which the Russians say will confirm just which missile or missiles were launched by the rebels.

 

Further, the general asserted that Ukraine itself had BUK missile launchers located a few miles to the northwest of the Lugansk crash site on July 14, near rebel-held territory. He said that satellite images revealed the Ukrainian batteries in place on July 14, but absent from images taken on July 17, the day of the shoot-down.

 

The Russians have posed 10 questions about the tragedy, though few if any Western media outlets have even acknowledged them. Here they are:

 

1. Immediately after the tragedy, the Ukrainian authorities, naturally, blamed it on the separatist forces. What are these accusations based on?

2. Can Kiev explain in detail how it uses Buk missile launchers in the conflict zone? And why were these systems deployed there in the first place, seeing as the self-defense forces don’t have any planes?

3. Why are the Ukrainian authorities not doing anything to set up an international commission?

4. Would the Ukrainian Armed Forces be willing to let international investigators see the inventory of their air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, including those used in SAM launchers?

5. Will the international commission have access to tracking data from reliable sources regarding the movements of Ukrainian warplanes on the day of the tragedy?

6. Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?

7. Why was airspace over the warzone not closed for civilian flights, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?

8. How can official Kiev comment on reports in the social media, allegedly by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine, that there were two Ukrainian military planes flying alongside the Boeing 777 over Ukrainian territory?

9. Why did Ukraine’s Security Service start working with the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew and with the data storage systems from Ukrainian radars without waiting for international investigators?

10. What lessons has Ukraine learned from a similar incident in 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea? Back then, the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement on the part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces until irrefutable evidence proved official Kiev to be guilty.

 

Anyone who wants to know what really happened in the MH17 tragedy needs to consider these theories and questions, and indeed, any legitimate questions from either side of the Ukrainian conflict.

 

Time and again, the world has seen open-ended wars erupt from fabricated or manipulated events. That potential exists today, in the fog of war that hangs ominously over an eastern Ukraine killing field.

- See more at: http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/07/31/the-mh17-downing-how-to-be-a-smart-news-consumer/#sthash.TWXSbVox.dpuf