Sunday, August 31, 2008

2004 Michael Ledeen Blasts FBI's Molehunt in the Pentagon

Ex-insurgents Want More Money, or Else

July 25, 2008 AFP

The Iraqi officer leading a U.S.-financed anti-jihadist group is in no mood for small talk -- either the military gives him more money or he will pack his bags and rejoin the ranks of al-Qaeda.
"I'll go back to al-Qaeda if you stop backing the Sahwa (Awakening) groups," Col. Satar tells U.S. Lt. Matthew McKernon, as he tries to secure more funding for his men to help battle the anti-U.S. insurgents.

Most members of the Awakening groups are Sunni Arab former insurgents who themselves fought American troops under the al-Qaeda banner after the fall of the regime of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Some, like Satar, had served in Saddam's army before joining Al-Qaeda. Others were members of criminal gangs before deciding to fight the insurgents, with the backing of the U.S. military.
They earn around 300 dollars a month and their presence at checkpoints and on patrol has become an essential component of the U.S.-led coalition's strategy to restore order in the war-wracked country.

"I like my work," said Satar, who is in charge of security south of Baquba in Iraq's eastern Diyala province.

According to McKernon Satar has a contract with the U.S. military to employ 230 men "but he has more than 300" under his command, which is why he wants more money to keep them happy.

The U.S. military knows perfectly well that many people joined Awakening groups simply because it was a good way to make money, and that if the cashflow dries up some would not hesitate to return to al-Qaeda.

In a bid to avoid this, the U.S.-led coalition is helping Awakening members to return to a "normal life," according to US Admiral Patrick Driscoll.

He told AFP that options included helping them return to the lives they had before joining the insurgency or joining the Iraqi security forces.

Some 17,000 Awakening members have opted for the second choice, and 2,500 of them now hold administrative positions, Driscoll said.

But not everyone in Baquba is happy with the situation.

"Yesterday's killers have now become our protectors," said one sceptical resident who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Who should I trust to protect my family?"
Despite levels of violence nationwide hitting a four-year low, Diyala remains one of the most dangerous regions in Iraq because of the al-Qaeda presence.

On Thursday police said a woman suicide bomber attacked an Awakening patrol in central Baquba, killing eight people including a local Sahwa commander.

Little more than a year ago, Baquba was the scene of deadly fighting that forced many residents to flee.

Among them was the Shiite Wahab family. Despite simmering tensions that continue to grip Baquba, the family recently returned home to the Katun neighbourhood, a mostly Sunni area in the western part of town.

No sooner had they settled in than a home-made bomb blasted through the gate of their house. On Wednesday the eldest son, Mahmud, discovered a second bomb just yards away from the building.

American soldiers accompanied by Iraqi policemen and troops arrived to investigate, accompanied by Abu Zarra, an Awakening group commander of 300 men in Katun.
As bomb disposal teams examined the device, Abu Zarra was overheard by an AFP correspondent discussing with one of his men how much protection money they could extort from the Wahab family.

After the bomb was finally blown up by the experts, a U.S. Soldier teased Abu Zarra, telling him: "Isn't this just like the good old days when you were the terrorist?"
Meanwhile the U.S. Army has files on all Awakening members -- including finger prints and retinal identification.

"They know that we know who they are," said Capt. Kevin Ryan.

Detainees May Be Denied Evidence for Defense

By Josh WhiteWashington Post Staff Writer Sunday, June 15, 2008; Page A03
When Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other alleged co-conspirators in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks seek to represent themselves in military commissions trials in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, they may be barred from reviewing highly classified evidence and might not have access to the intelligence agents who interrogated them, according to the Pentagon's Office of Military Commissions.

The Justice Department has argued that the Supreme Court's decision last week granting the Guantanamo detainees the right to challenge their detentions in U.S. courts should not affect the military trials process. The department contends that the government plans to go ahead with military commissions for those who are facing war crimes charges.

Though the top legal adviser for the commissions process, Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, has said that the trials would be "fair, just and transparent" and that detainees would have full access to the evidence against them, Pentagon officials have now backed off of those claims. The Office of Military Commissions said last week that defendants representing themselves might not get access to information about their interrogators and that secret information might have to be redacted in order to be shared with them.

"If classified information is presented to the jury, the accused will see it, no exceptions," according to the Office of Military Commissions' written responses to Washington Post questions about how the military commissions will deal with classified evidence in the Sept. 11 case. But a further explanation reveals that classified contents of certain materials could be replaced by summaries and blacked-out documents. "It is possible that an accused representing himself will not be able to directly review some evidence; in such circumstances, his standby defense counsel might be involved."

It is unclear, however, what role the standby counsel would be allowed to play and how far the judge would let him go in cooperating in their client's defense. Mohammed, Tawfiq bin Attash and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali have been approved to represent themselves at trial; Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi have hearings pending to determine their competency to do so.
The defendants, some of whom have already said they were tortured by CIA agents while held in secret prisons overseas, almost certainly will request to use highly classified evidence relating to their captures and alleged confessions under duress. Legal experts said that, in such cases, it would be critical to challenge the confessions as illegal because of coercion, even if the government did not seek to use them, because of the legal doctrine that if the defendant was abused, all of his following statements would then be tainted and inadmissible.

But the Office of Military Commissions will not guarantee that the defendants will be able to question and confront their interrogators or captors, saying that the "identities of intelligence interrogators are normally classified." Though the CIA has acknowledged using aggressive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, it is possible that the detainees will never learn their interrogators' names or have access to them.

Gerald T. Zerkin, a lawyer who represented convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui in his federal trial in Alexandria, said that when he was "stand-by counsel" in the case, he could not share classified information with Moussaoui, and summaries of some high-value detainees' interrogations were offered to the court, with no indication of how, when or where the statements were obtained.

"He didn't have access to classified information," Zerkin said. "You know information about the trial, you want to advise him, and you can't tell him what it is. How do you suppress statements if you can't have access to the officers to ask them questions about how the statements were taken, and they can't testify? So it will be secret trials. It just shreds the Constitution into itty-bitty pieces."

The government's position contrasted with earlier public statements, in which Hartmann and military prosecutors vowed to share everything with the defendants. "As to classified, there will be no secret trials," Hartmann said when he announced the charges in the Sept. 11 conspiracy case last February, before the defendants declared they wanted to represent themselves. "Every piece of evidence, every stitch of evidence, every whiff of evidence that goes to the finder of fact, to the jury, to the military tribunal will be reviewed by the accused, subject to confrontation, subject to cross-examination, subject to challenge."

Decisions about classified evidence will be up to the military judges presiding over military commissions cases, and Hartmann has said he will allow prosecutors to put forward classified evidence derived from the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques and leave it up to the judge to determine its legality. Still, prosecutors could try to keep some classified evidence out of the defense's hands.

"If the military judge agrees that the classified information is relevant and material to the defense and that there is no reasonable alternative, then the military judge may order the prosecution to disclose the classified information or dismiss the charge and specification to which the classified information pertains," according to the e-mailed statement.

Eugene R. Fidell of the National Institute of Military Justice said he thinks detainees must have a way to confront classified evidence and the people who interrogated them.

"Otherwise, I don't see how the interest in public confidence in the administration of justice can be served," Fidell said. "Does he have a right to challenge the circumstances under which his statements were made or not? Does he have a right to say how he was treated or not?"
Classified information requires special handling in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility -- known as a SCIF -- and prosecutors have indicated that they would ensure that such a facility would be made available for the defendants' use. The entire courtroom complex at Guantanamo is considered a SCIF, and there are five small holding cells inside the compound where detainees are held before court hearings.

"How they are going to do this, I have no idea," said Navy Lt. Richard Federico, who has been assigned to represent Binalshibh. "These individuals have been subject to the very things that are classified, including sources, methods and techniques. But they don't have a clearance, obviously, so I have no idea how they're going to rectify that."

Declassified Old Documents Shed New Light on AIPAC Espionage Prosecution

Contact: Grant Smith of IRmep, +1-202-342-7325

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than one thousand documents released under Freedom of Information Act filings reveal details of a secret battle that raged between founders of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and top US law enforcement officials. The new book "America's Defense Line: The Justice Department's Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government" reproduces and analyzes these files and their troubling implications for rule of law in the United States. "America's Defense Line" also reveals stunning details of a preferential deal engineered within the highest levels of the US Department of Justice over the course of three years and implemented in 1965 -- but kept secret from the American public until today. Old documents and new analysis from the Center for Policy and Law Enforcement raise many questions about the upcoming October 2008 AIPAC espionage trial.

In 2005, Colonel Lawrence Franklin was indicted alongside two executives of AIPAC for allegedly violating the 1917 Espionage Act. Franklin later pled guilty to passing AIPAC a classified presidential directive and other secrets concerning America's Iran policy. Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC allegedly forwarded the highly sensitive information to Israeli government officials and select members of Washington's media establishment. This covert leaking appears to be one of many AIPAC tactics designed to encourage tougher U.S. policies toward Iran, from financial boycotts to naval blockades and possibly even military strikes.
On October 28, 2008, government prosecutors are scheduled to appeal the ruling judge's order that they must prove the alleged AIPAC leaks of national defense information actually harmed the United States. The 1917 Espionage Act actually requires a much lower standard of proof: "the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign country."

According to Grant F. Smith, the declassified documents bolster the prosecution's position that the Espionage Act should be tightly interpreted as it was written. "In the early 1960s, the Attorney General found that the Israel lobby was acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Israel and ordered it to register. Nevertheless, after a similar three-year period of delays and appeals, AIPAC's predecessor was allowed to file a secret Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) statement, our nation's first exception to that very important public disclosure law. Forcing today's prosecutors to operate under a higher standard of evidence smacks of institutionalized preferential treatment for a lobby that has serially engaged in activities harmful to the United States."

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials may request a complimentary hard copy of "America's Defense Line" by sending their agency's mailing address to from a government email domain. Complimentary books will be sent only while supplies last.

Members of the public can purchase the hardcover edition of "America's Defense Line" for $29.95 at, Barnes & Noble and other fine bookstores. The 340-page report's ISBN number is 0-9764437-2-4.

About the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc.,
IRmep is a Washington-based nonprofit that studies US policy formulation toward the Middle East. IRmep's Center for Policy & Law Enforcement examines how balanced and vigorous law enforcement can improve trade, economic development and America's international standing.
SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

Confirmed: ISI General Ahmed Met With JCS, Neocons Before 9/11

In response to a Freedom of Information Act Request submitted by Kevin Ryan, Mick Harrison and Paul Smith, the government has disclosed documents confirming that Pakistani ISI General Ahmed - the guy who wired $100,000 to lead hijacker Atta — met with a "Senior Representative from the Joint Chiefs of Staff", Centcom Commander General Tommy Franks, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Wolfowitz, Feith, other PNAC members, and probably Intelligence Committee members Graham and Goss, and others in the week before 9/11.

All credit goes to Kevin, Mick and Paul. I’m just reporting on their efforts.

Computer Files Hold Key in CIA Case

By Craig WhitlockWashington Post Foreign Service Thursday, June 26, 2008; Page A11
BERLIN, June 25 -- As Italian police investigated the mysterious disappearance of a radical Islamic cleric in 2003, they found a trove of clues on the home computer of the CIA's chief spy in Milan, according to court testimony.

Angelo Foglieri, an Italian anti-terrorism investigator, said Wednesday during trial proceedings in Milan that police found street maps on the CIA officer's computer that had been downloaded from an Internet travel service, The maps, he said, showed the quickest routes from the cleric's mosque and home in Milan to Aviano Air Base, a joint U.S.-Italian military installation a few hours' drive away.

Also found on the computer were surveillance photos of the Egyptian cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, taken about a month before his alleged abduction, Foglieri said.

Foglieri's testimony came during a trial of 26 Americans charged with grabbing Nasr off the street as he walked toward a Milan mosque on Feb. 17, 2003. He was later flown to Cairo, where he has asserted he was tortured by the Egyptian secret police as part of an investigation into al-Qaeda.

All of the American defendants are being tried in absentia. Italian authorities said all but three are known only by aliases. Several members of the Italian military intelligence agency, SISMI, are also on trial, charged with conspiring with the CIA.

The seized computer belonged to Robert Seldon Lady, the CIA's chief in Milan at the time. It was taken by Italian police after they came to suspect CIA involvement in Nasr's disappearance, despite the agency's denials to Italian anti-terrorism investigators.

Recovered computer files also showed that Lady used Expedia to book a plane reservation to Cairo around the time Nasr was kidnapped. Lady left Italy before he was charged. He has since retired from the CIA.

The computer also contained a list of about 70 hotels around Milan that Italian investigators used to help identify CIA operatives who played a role in the kidnapping, according to testimony from Foglieri and another Italian investigator, the Associated Press reported.

Italian authorities have said they were astounded to find the evidence left unprotected on Lady's computer. But according to the testimony and court records, the CIA repeatedly failed to cover its tracks during the operation.

While most of the CIA officers used false identities, they left a long paper and electronic trail that enabled Italian investigators to retrace their movements, court documents show.

Posing as tourists and business travelers, the Americans often stayed in the same five-star hotels -- with rates as high as $500 a night. They rarely paid in cash, gave their frequent traveler account numbers to desk clerks and made dozens of calls from room phones that were not secure.

They were also spotted in broad daylight. A witness reported seeing men jump out of a van and grab Nasr as he was walking down the street around noon on Feb. 17, 2003.

Prosecutors in Milan have asked the Italian Justice Ministry in Rome to seek the extradition of the American defendants. So far, the Italian government has refused, but arrest warrants for the Americans have been posted throughout the European Union.

Bush claims executive privilege on CIA leak

WASHINGTON - President Bush invoked executive privilege to keep Congress from seeing the FBI report of an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney and other records related to the administration's leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity in 2003.
The president's decision drew a sharp protest Wednesday from Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of House Oversight Committee, which had subpoenaed Attorney General Michael Mukasey to turn over the documents.

"This unfounded assertion of executive privilege does not protect a principle; it protects a person," the California Democrat said. "If the vice president did nothing wrong, what is there to hide?"

Waxman left little doubt he would soon move for a committee vote to hold Mukasey in contempt of Congress.

Mukasey's subpoenaBush's assertion of privilege prevented Mukasey from complying with the House subpoena for records bearing on the unmasking of Plame at a time that the administration was trying to rebut criticism from her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, of Bush's rationale for going to war in Iraq.

Cheney's chief of staff in 2003, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was later convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI about his role in leaking Plame's name and CIA affiliation to a reporter. Last July, Bush commuted Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence, sparing him from serving prison time.

In grand jury testimony played at his trial, Libby acknowledged he told the FBI early in the Plame probe that "it's possible" he spoke to Cheney about whether to share information with reporters about Wilson's wife.

Other records sought by the House committee include notes about Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, during which he made the case for invading Iraq in part by saying Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was pursuing uranium ore in Africa to make a nuclear weapon. That information not only turned out to be wrong, but in the spring of 2003, Wilson claimed publicly that he had gone to Africa for the CIA to investigate the report and advised the administration it was false months before Bush cited it in the State of the Union speech.

No immediate contempt citationWaxman held off an immediate contempt citation of Mukasey, but only as a courtesy to lawmakers not present Wednesday and to give all members a chance to read up on the matter. He made clear that he thinks Mukasey, who requested that Bush invoke executive privilege to shield the records, has earned a contempt citation.

"We'll act in the reasonable and appropriate period of time," Waxman said.

In a Tuesday letter to Bush, Mukasey said the assertion of the privilege would not be about hiding anything but rather protecting the separation of powers as well as the integrity of future Justice Department investigations of the White House. Several of the subpoenaed reports, Mukasey wrote, summarize conversations between Bush and advisers.

"I am greatly concerned about the chilling effect that compliance with the committee's subpoena would have on future White House deliberations and White House cooperation with future Justice Department investigations," Mukasey wrote Bush. "I believe it is legally permissible for you to assert executive privilege with respect to the subpoenaed documents, and I respectfully request that you do so."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wrote to Mukasey later Wednesday suggesting that the attorney general should have recused himself from the dispute because he is the subject of the subpoena and he gave Bush advice about it.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Bush invoked the privilege on Tuesday.
The Bush administration had plenty of warning. Waxman said last week that he would cite Mukasey for contempt unless the attorney general complied with the subpoena. The House Judiciary Committee also has subpoenaed some of the same documents from Mukasey, as well as information on the leak from other current and former administration officials.

Congressional Democrats want to shed light on the precise roles, if any, that Bush, Cheney and their aides may have played in the leak.

State Department official Richard Armitage first revealed Plame's identity as a CIA operative to columnist Robert Novak, who used former presidential counselor Karl Rove as a confirming source for a 2003 article.

Big Oil's 'secret'

Ethiopian Jews

The Beta Israel (Hebrew: ביתא ישראל‎: Beta Israel, "House of Israel"; Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl) is a community originating in Ethiopia, but now most of which lives in Israel, that practices Judaism. They are sometimes called the Jews of Ethiopia. They are also known as Falasha (Amharic for "Exiles" or "Strangers") by non-Jewish Ethiopians, but this term is considered pejorative. Other terms by which the community have been known include the Tigrinya Kayla and the Hebrew Habashim, associated with the non-Jewish Habesha people.

Georgia in Russian attack claim

Russia has committed an "act of aggression" against Georgia by firing a guided missile at its territory, officials in Tbilisi say.

They say the missile landed outside the village of Tsitelubani on Monday, some 60km (37 miles) north-west of the capital Tbilisi, but did not explode.

Georgia has now made a formal protest to Russia over the incident. Moscow denies all the accusations.

Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent years.
Moscow is angry about Georgia's plans to join Nato, while Tbilisi accuses Russia of trying to destabilise Georgia.

'Powerful missile'
Georgian officials say two Russian "Su-type" jets launched the missile at 1930 (1530 GMT) on Monday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Ustiashvili told the BBC the planes had flown some 70km (43 miles) over Georgia, firing the "modern and powerful" rocket, which weighed about a ton.
Mr Ustiashvhili said the jets flew from a Russian base in the North Caucasus before firing the missile, which landed just metres from a house.

Local resident Ilia Psuturi told Reuters news agency: "I was sitting in my garden... when I saw a plane in the sky.

"I then saw smoke rising from the ground up to the sky and only then did I hear the explosion. The plane then turned around," he said.

Georgian officials said they had gathered fragments of missile fins and other debris near a small crater where the rocket landed.

"It has become common practice for the Russian air force and for the government troops to sneak into the Georgian territory," Mr Ustiashvili said.

"But what is different in this incident... is that they have threatened Georgian airspace much deeper, and that they have used a very powerful bomb."

Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili told the BBC the missile firing was an "act of aggression".

He said foreign diplomats in Georgia were being asked for a "stronger and clear-cut response" to the incident from the international community.

South Ossetia theory

Earlier on Tuesday, Georgia's foreign ministry handed a note of protest to the Russian ambassador in Tbilisi, although Moscow continued to deny all accusations.

"Russia's air force neither on Monday nor Tuesday flew flights over Georgia," said Col Alexander Drobyshevsky, an aide to the commander of Russia's air force.
"Russia has not violated the borders of sovereign Georgia."

Tsitelubani is not far from Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, which receives political support from Moscow, says the BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow.

South Ossetia's leader Eduard Kokoiti said Georgian planes fired the missile to discredit Russia.
"This is a well-planned provocation," said Mr Kokoiti, who holds Russian citizenship.

But a Russian defence analyst, Alexander Golts, said that without objective, hard information on the incident, it was impossible to lay the blame on either Russian or Georgian aircraft.
"While no one can say for sure whether it was a fuel tank or a rocket or a bomb which fell, I fail to see why a Russian plane would bomb territory close to South Ossetia," he told the BBC News website.

Strained relations

The conflicting accounts of the incident reflect ongoing tensions between Georgia and Russia, our correspondent says.

Relations between Moscow and Tbilisi deteriorated sharply last year when Georgia expelled four Russian army officers it accused of spying.

The deportation triggered a furious diplomatic row, with Moscow imposing economic sanctions against its neighbour and deporting a number of Georgians.

Georgian officials have frequently claimed that Russian military aircraft have violated its airspace - accusations always denied by Russia.

The worst problems have usually been related to regional conflicts - the frozen conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Many Georgians accuse Russia of imperialism, while Russia criticises Georgia for nationalism and pursuing an anti-Russian foreign policy.

Ashkenazi gets honorary citation from US army chief at the pentagon

In a surprise move, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen presented IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi with an honorary citation on Thursday in an official ceremony at the pentagon.

The citation was presented to Ashkenazi as a token of appreciation for his many contributions to the war on terror, the security of Israel and security-related dialogue between Israel and the US.

Ashkenazi is the US for a week of talks - with a focus on Iran - with top US defense and diplomatic officials.

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Al-Qaida's New York surveillance video released

By Robert Windrem
Senior investigative producer
NBC News

NEW YORK - London's Scotland Yard on Friday released a series of videos, maps and attack plans for a plot to assault New York's financial district, prepared by al-Qaida operatives six months before the Sept. 11 attack.

While some parts of the videos and some of the attack information — prepared for Osama bin Laden himself — were previously made public, today's release is the most detailed regarding the attack plans.

The materials were released today after seven members of a terror cell run by al-Qaida "general'' Dhiren Barot were sentenced in London to a total of 136 years in prison. Mohammed Naveed Bhatti, Junade Feroze, Zia Ul Haq, Abdul Aziz Jalil, Omar Abdur Rehman, Qaisar Shaffi and Nadeem Tarmohamed were vital to his deadly plans to attack targets in the United Kingdom and United States, Woolwich Crown Court was told.

Convicted of plotting mass killingsBarot was arrested in August 2004 and was jailed for life last year for plotting to kill "hundreds if not thousands'' of people using explosives-packed limousines and a "dirty'' radiation bomb. He once fought with mujahadeen forces in Kashmir and served as an instructor at an Afghan training camp

"Dhiren Barot and his gang were determined terrorists who planned bombings on both sides of the Atlantic," Peter Clarke, National Coordinator of Terrorist Investigations, said Friday. "We know Barot was the ringleader of this terrorist cell. However, he needed the help of the seven men who have been jailed today.

"The plans for a series of coordinated attacks in the United Kingdom included packing three limousines with gas cylinders and explosives before setting them off in underground car parks. This could have caused huge loss of life. The plans to set off a dirty bomb in this country would have caused fear, panic and widespread disruption.”

Suspects allegedly cased buildingsThe surveillance of the U.S. financial institutions was first revealed two years ago when it was found on an al-Qaida computer in Pakistan. The surveillance itself had been learned of during CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), architect of the Sept. 11 attacks. As the 9-11 Commission Report stated, "KSM claims, at Bin Ladin's direction in early 2001, he sent Britani (Barot's alias) to the United States to case potential economic and "Jewish" targets in New York City."
The map released Friday lays out the route Barot took around Lower Manhattan in April 2001, as he moved from location to location, shooting short videos of each site:
New York Stock Exchange
NYSE and surrounding area
NYSE Visitor Center entrance
NYPD officer in a police car
Entrance to NYSE
Liberty Plaza and North and South Towers of World Trade Center
Fire Department New York station
Nitrogen gas cylinders, which provide nitrogen for the New York subway system

In addition to the surveillance tapes, Barot kept specific notes about security in and around the targeted buildings:

At Citicorp, for example, he mapped the best place to plant bombs, kept track of security personnel and times of heaviest pedestrian flow, and highlighted exact times and locations of when puppet shows for children are held in the building's atrium;

At the Stock Exchange, he had detailed information on the building itself. He timed traffic lights and patterns and mapped out detailed escape routes for bombers through subway and sewage tunnels;

At the Prudential building, he had the exact location of the garage, timed traffic lights around the building and suggested driving and exploding an oil tanker through the lobby to bring down the building; and As previously released documents show, Barot planned to use gas-filled limousines as bombs. The document also refers to the Madrid bombings of March 11, 2004 as a "respectable project" that "deserved to be emulated."

After Sept. 11 and the subsequent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the plot fell apart, although one of Friday’s documents — a World Bank directory from 2003 — showed that at the very least, Barot hoped to carry out the attacks.

WNBC investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst contributed to this report

All options against Iran must be prepared: Israel army chief

Jul 24, 2008

JERUSALEM (AFP) — The Israeli army chief of staff has said in Washington that all options must be prepared to counter Iran's controversial nuclear programme, in remarks relayed on Thursday.

"We are all united over the understanding that Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon and that there is no doubt that diplomacy must be given priority," Major General Gabi Ashkenazi said on Israeli public radio.

"But we all realise, both the Americans and us, that all options must be prepared," said the chief of staff, who is on his first visit to Washington since taking office last year.

Ashkenazi has held talks with military top brass as well as Vice President Dick Cheney, and was due to hold talks on Thursday with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen.

Israel and the United States suspect that Iran's nuclear drive is aimed at developing an atomic bomb, a claim vehemently denied by Tehran, which says its programme is designed solely for civilian use.

Although the two close allies continue to say diplomatic and economic sanctions could still dissuade Iran from continuing its programme, Israel and the United States have refused to rule out military action.

Jewish activists rally in Postville to support Agriprocessors workers

By Sue Fishkoff
July 28th, 2008

Postville, Iowa (JTA) — When busloads of Jews from Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin started pulling up outside St. Bridget’s Catholic Church Sunday morning, and more than 350 people, some sporting yarmulkes, poured out to take part in a big immigration rally planned for the afternoon, locals noticed.

“We weren’t expecting so many Jews to show up,” said Alicia Lopez.

A Mexican native and former employee of Agriprocessors, the nation’s largest kosher meat plant, Lopez was one of nearly 400 undocumented workers arrested in a May 12 immigration raid at the factory.

Like four dozen other women released to take care of dependent children, her right ankle is encased in a heavy tracking device that keeps her under virtual house arrest as she awaits trial and, likely, eventual deportation.

Lopez never met a Jewish person in Mexico, and the impressions she developed during her seven years here were not flattering. They were her bosses, the guys who didn’t give her raises, the guys she blames for not warning her and the other workers that La Migra — the immigration police — was on its way.

“I thought badly of them,” she said bluntly, speaking through a Spanish interpreter.
But after marching with Jews on Sunday afternoon, praying with them in her church and hearing their shouts of solidarity with her plight, Lopez changed her mind.
“I could see and feel they were different,” she said. “I really appreciated them. It was like an injection of adrenaline.”

That’s why 22-year-old Tamar Pentelnick came on one of the buses from Minneapolis.
“As Jews, hearing that other Jews treat people like this, I wanted to show that not all Jews are like this, that we care about others and human rights are important to us,” she said.

The interfaith service, march and rally represented the largest and most public demonstration of Jewish support for those affected by the massive raid two months ago by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Police estimated the crowd at more than 900.

Agriprocessors first gained national attention in 2000 with the publication of the book "Postville," which described the tensions between the the local community and the company, owned by Lubavitcher Chasidim from Brooklyn.

Since then, Agriprocessors has come under fire over its slaughter methods and labor practices, as well as health and safety violations. The May 12 raid added new layers to the controversy, with federal authorities coming under criticism, the plant's former workers facing economic problems and the company scrambling to keep up production.

Through it all, the company has denied any wrongdoing and vehemently rejects the claim that it does not look out for its workers.

Sunday's events -- spearheaded by the Minnesota-based Jewish Community Action and the Chicago-based Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and supported by a number of other groups including the Jewish Labor Committee and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society -- focused on the affected workers and their families as a way of generating support for the larger goal of comprehensive, national immigration reform.

“The Agriprocessors raid is the legacy of a failed immigration system,” said Gideon Aronoff, the president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

Aronoff told the crowd that immigration reform is something “that matters” to the Jewish community.

“Instead of a national solution to a national problem, we have a mishmash of local responses, a border fence that doesn’t work and millions of dollars spent chasing down immigrant workers,” he said.

Athough virtually all the workers arrested in the Postville raid were from Mexico and Guatemala, the Jews who participated in the rally say this is a very Jewish issue. Text study and discussions of immigration policy were held on the buses coming in from Minneapolis and Chicago, emphasizing the Jewish values and teachings that informed the rally’s organization.
“We’re here because we care,” said Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minneapolis.

Working conditions are no better in many other industrial plants, he noted, but the fact that Agriprocessors is Jewish owned and produces kosher meat gives the case particular urgency to some Jewish activists.

“We’re here as Jews because we believe kosher means we must answer to a higher authority,” Kravitz said.

“We think a Jewish voice is critical,” added Vic Rosenthal, the executive director of Jewish Community Action. “Who else should be speaking up for workers' rights, especially when it involves kosher food?”

Jonathan Ribnick, 15, was on one of two busloads of teens from Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.
On one hand, Ribnick was upset that the allegations of worker mistreatment by Agriprocessors and its Jewish owners are giving Jews a bad name, fanning the flames of anti-Semitism and “messing it up for the rest of us,” as he put it.

“But we’re not here because we want kosher meat,” he said. “We’re here for the people. We care how people are being treated.”

Abby Seeskin, 20, a student at Macalester College in St. Paul, had been to a few rallies for immigrant rights, but this was the first time she went as part of a Jewish group.

“It’s important not just because it’s a kosher plant but because although I’m not particularly religious, the Jewish values I grew up with influence my outlook in life and have informed my interest in immigration issues,” she explained. “The idea of tikkun olam" -- reparing the world -- "is very important to me, probably more than any other Jewish value.”

The issue of caring came up repeatedly throughout the day.

Agriprocessor owners take issue with the claims that they, by contrast, don’t care.

Aaron Rubashkin, who founded the company two decades ago, in a prepared statement said he and his family were immigrants themselves, escaping first Soviet and then Polish communism to find “freedom and opportunity” in America.

The company has helped workers hurt by the raid, said spokesman Chaim Abrahams, providing food and subsidizing rent by allowing them to stay in Rubashkin-owned properties even when they are not up to date on payments.

No workers interviewed were aware of rent subsidies, although some said that company trucks handed out boxes of meat, chicken and sausages in their neighborhoods last week.

Earlier Sunday, Abrahams met with leaders of the Catholic and Jewish activist groups to address their major concerns, including help for the affected workers and back pay for those arrested. Talks should continue next week, participants reported.

For more than an hour, the blocks-long march snaked its way through town, past the front gates of Agriprocessors and a playground eerily empty of children. In some classrooms, locals report, more than half the students disappeared overnight.

Young Jewish activists used megaphones to lead the crowd in Spanish-language chants: “Nosotros todos immigrantes” -- “We are all immigrants.” They were answered by Guatemalans wearing traditional woven shirts and young mothers with electronic ankle bracelets wheeling babies in strollers, American flags flying from the handles.

Longtime Postville resident Norma Schlee watched it all from her front lawn. “I think it’s magnificent that they were able to come from all over,” she said.

And as for the Jews coming in from out of state to show their support for this tiny Iowa town ripped apart by the raid and its aftermath, Schlee nodded her head in approval, saying, “I think that’s very important.”

Attorney General Threatened with Contempt of Congress over CIA Leak Documents

Waxman Calling for a July 16 Resolution if Mukasey Does Not Turn Over Docs
by JASON RYANJuly 8, 2008

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, has threatened to hold Attorney General Michael Mukasey in contempt of Congress if he does not provide documents that have been subpoenaed by his committee relating to the CIA leak investigation.

Waxman is attempting to obtain documents detailing what President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney told investigators.

The investigation, run by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, surrounded the leak of former CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity and resulted in the conviction of I. Lewis Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Cheney.

During the February trial Fitzgerald implicated Cheney in the leak, telling the jury in his closing argument, "There is a cloud over what the vice president did that week… We didn't put that cloud there. That cloud remains."

Waxman's House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena on June 12, 2008, to the Justice Department to produce documents relating to the case, specifically details on what Cheney and President Bush told investigators.

The Justice Department responded in a June 24 letter, citing a separation of powers argument in refusing to provide the information.

"We are not prepared to make the same accommodation for reports of interviews with the president and vice president because the confidentiality interests relating to those documents are of a greater constitutional magnitude," the Justice Department stated in the letter.

Waxman responded to Mukasey in a letter sent Tuesday:

"You have neither complied with this subpoena by its returnable date nor asserted any privilege to justify withholding," Waxman wrote.

In response to Waxman's letter Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said, "We are reviewing the letter from Chairman Waxman, in light of our most recent response on June 24."

No Conditions on How Interviews Would Be Used

Fitzgerald has turned over reports and interviews from the multi-year investigation to the House Oversight committee, including interviews from some witnesses and other officials that spanned from 2003 until Libby's March 2007 conviction.

Both Bush and Cheney were interviewed by Fitzgerald's office during the investigation. The interviews were not before the grand jury and neither Bush nor Cheney were under oath for the interviews, which occurred in June 2004 when the grand jury was at a critical juncture after hearing evidence from several top White House aides and staffers about the revelation of Plame's identity.

In a July 3 letter to the committee, Fitzgerald wrote to Waxman that "there were no agreements, conditions, and understandings between the Office of Special Counsel or the Federal Bureau of Investigation and either the President or Vice President regarding the conduct and use of the interview or interviews."

FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft

The FBI has been accused of covering up a file detailing government dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets

THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.
The assertion follows allegations made in The Sunday Times two weeks ago by Sibel Edmonds, an FBI whistleblower, who worked on the agency’s investigation of the network.
Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.
She says the FBI was investigating a Turkish and Israeli-run network that paid high-ranking American officials to steal nuclear weapons secrets. These were then sold on the international black market to countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

One of the documents relating to the case was marked 203A-WF-210023. Last week, however, the FBI responded to a freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file.

Edmonds believes the crucial file is being deliberately covered up by the FBI because its contents are explosive. She accuses the agency of an “outright lie”.

“I can tell you that that file and the operations it refers to did exist from 1996 to February 2002. The file refers to the counterintelligence programme that the Department of Justice has declared to be a state secret to protect sensitive diplomatic relations,” she said.

The freedom of information request had not been initiated by Edmonds. It was made quite separately by an American human rights group called the Liberty Coalition, acting on a tip-off it received from an anonymous correspondent.

The letter says: “You may wish to request pertinent audio tapes and documents under FOIA from the Department of Justice, FBI-HQ and the FBI Washington field office.”
It then makes a series of allegations about the contents of the file – many of which corroborate the information that Edmonds later made public.

Edmonds had told this newspaper that members of the Turkish political and diplomatic community in the US had been actively acquiring nuclear secrets. They often acted as a conduit, she said, for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they attracted less suspicion.

She claimed corrupt government officials helped the network, and venues such as the American-Turkish Council (ATC) in Washington were used as drop-off points.

The anonymous letter names a high-level government official who was allegedly secretly recorded speaking to an official at the Turkish embassy between August and December 2001.
It claims the government official warned a Turkish member of the network that they should not deal with a company called Brewster Jennings because it was a CIA front company investigating the nuclear black market. The official’s warning came two years before Brewster Jennings was publicly outed when one of its staff, Valerie Plame, was revealed to be a CIA agent in a case that became a cause célèbre in the US.

The letter also makes reference to wiretaps of Turkish “targets” talking to ISI intelligence agents at the Pakistani embassy in Washington and recordings of “operatives” at the ATC.
Edmonds is the subject of a number of state secret gags preventing her from talking further about the investigation she witnessed.

“I cannot discuss the details considering the gag orders,” she said, “but I reported all these activities to the US Congress, the inspector general of the justice department and the 9/11 commission. I told them all about what was contained in this case file number, which the FBI is now denying exists.

“This gag was invoked not to protect sensitive diplomatic relations but criminal activities involving US officials who were endangering US national security.”
An FBI spokesman said he was not familiar with the case file but he added: "if the FBI says it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist."

Insight: Chris Gourlay, Jonathan Calvert and Joe Lauria

Electron filmed in motion for the first time

The device NASA is leaving behind

The Device NASA Is Leaving Behind

Launch Renews Attention on Grounded Project

By Marc KaufmanWashington Post Staff Writer Sunday, December 2, 2007; Page A03

After years of delays, NASA hopes to launch this week a European-built laboratory that will greatly expand the research capability of the international space station. Although some call it a milestone, the launch has focused new attention on the space agency's earlier decision to back out of plans to send up a different, $1.5 billion device -- one that many scientists contend would produce far more significant knowledge.

The instrument, which would detect and measure cosmic rays in a new way, took 500 physicists from around the world 12 years to build. But with room on the 10 remaining shuttle missions to the space station in short supply, many fear that it will remain forever warehoused on Earth, becoming the most sophisticated and costly white elephant of the space era.

As a result, the imminent launch of the $1 billion Columbus laboratory -- the kind of scientific workspace that the station's backers always said would be its reason for being -- will take place under something of a cloud.

"We are very excited about the launch of Columbus and believe this will be a major step forward for the international space station," said Martin Zell, who is involved with the European space laboratory as head of research operations for the European Space Agency and is also a coordinator for development of the cosmic ray project.

"But if the [other device] does not make it to the station, it will be a very great setback for the space community and the ISS," Zell said. "It would be the most visible, perhaps the most exciting, experiment on the station."

While the Columbus laboratory will allow scientists to conduct long-term biological, fluid and materials science research in weightless conditions, the cosmic ray detector -- called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) -- would look for evidence of how the universe formed. It would search in particular for evidence of the existence and workings of dark matter and antimatter, which theorists have concluded must exist but have never been identified or measured.

The science is considered innovative and important -- a major Department of Energy scientific review recently concluded that it "may well make some fundamental discoveries." But the fate of the instrument also has significant implications for international cooperation in space.

"The credibility of the United States is at stake here, because NASA made a commitment to bring Columbus and AMS to the space station," said Samuel C.C. Ting, a Nobel laureate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who conceived the project in 1994 and drew in collaborators from 60 institutes in 16 nations to build and fund it. "After all this work, it would be a terrible blow if the instrument cannot be used."

"Given all that has happened with the shuttle program, there is no reason to throw harsh words at NASA about this," said Giovanni Bignami, president of the Italian Space Agency, which has played a major role in developing the AMS. "But that said, it would be a true international disgrace if this instrument ends up as a museum piece that never is used."

The space station was built with four attachment sites that can mount experiments that need direct exposure to space -- and one was designated for the AMS. The project was sponsored by the Department of Energy in 1995, and NASA made a signed commitment to deliver the instrument to the station. Ting said the nations that collaborated on the project did so only because NASA promised delivery.

But that was before technical and funding problems slowed assembly of the space station, and before the loss of the Columbia shuttle and its crew on Feb. 1, 2003, halted all shuttle missions for 2 1/2 years. President Bush's 2005 manned exploration initiative -- which aims to develop a new spacecraft to travel to the moon and later to Mars -- formally lowered the priority of doing basic science on the station. The AMS was bumped soon after.

NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin has been firm in saying that the shuttles will be retired in 2010 -- in large part because NASA needs the funds to pay for the new spacecraft -- and that finishing assembly of the station, at an estimated cost of $100 billion over two decades, is the top priority for the remaining shuttle missions. Griffin initiated a study last year into alternative ways to deliver the AMS to the station, but they proved to be prohibitively expensive.

Despite the strong possibility that the instrument will never be used, NASA continues to contribute to its assembly, which is being completed in Geneva. The agency will have spent $75 million on the project by the time it is finished and shipped to the Kennedy Space Center late next year, said NASA project manager Mark Sistilli.

"We're always looking for ways to get it up to the station," Sistilli said. "But given our constraints now with the shuttle program, the agency is in a real quandary."

The AMS is an automated device with a specific set of scientific tasks. The Columbus lab scheduled to be launched next week is a more like a "shirtsleeves" lab that includes specially designed work areas for a wide range of experiments.

Many of the 16 racks in the 23-foot-long lab have experiments in place -- to study the effect of weightlessness on the root systems of plants, the dynamics of fluids in space, how crystals grow without gravity and other questions. Zell, at the European Space Agency, said scientists once thought they could perfect and mass-produce metals in space, but that is no longer considered feasible. But the zero-gravity experiments can teach researchers how to make better metals, or crystals, on Earth, he said.

Columbus will not be the first science lab at the space station; the American Destiny lab was flown to the station in 2001. But scientific experimentation has been limited, in part because the small crew spends most of its time keeping systems running properly, and because the U.S. science mission on the station formally changed in 2005 after Bush announced his exploration initiative.

American science on the orbiting facility is now dominated by research into how months or years in space will affect the human body and what can be done to limit the health effects.

One study of salmonella bacteria in space was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and drew significant attention. Researchers from Arizona State University sent the salmonella on a 2006 shuttle mission and found that the bacteria became far more virulent while in space. The scientists later identified a protein involved in the change -- research that may help in space missions while yielding clues on how to better treat and contain salmonella on Earth.

The Columbus lab will get relatively limited crew time, at least until 2009, when the crew size is to increase from three to six. According to Zell, the experiments on Columbus range from those that are largely mechanical and computerized to life science and crystal experiments that require frequent human involvement. The lab, designed to last 10 years in orbit, will have several small, unpressurized pods that will expose bacteria and metals to the radiation, vacuum and extreme temperatures of space; another will monitor and measure solar radiation.

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a theoretical physicist at the University of Texas, is one of many researchers frustrated by the priorities NASA has set, and he has publicly discussed the AMS issue as a prime example of what he thinks has gone wrong. If the instrument were ferried to the station, he said, its study of cosmic rays "would be the only significant science ever done on the space station."

"This device could make discoveries that are Earth-shattering," he said. "We have an opportunity now to do some worthwhile fundamental science on the ISS, and they're resolutely turning their back on it."

Interview with Ron Kuby
by Husayn Al-Kurdi

Ron Kuby, a partner of the renowned William Kunstler, has been the defense lawyer most involved in defending the people who are being swept up in "muslim conspiracy" trials which followed the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Although the government's official story keeps changing, with most of the media following course, it remains clear, as I have reported in previous articles, that the bombing of the World Trade Center and the incitement of various people to commit illegal acts is the responsibility of one Emad Salem, an FBl informant and sometime Egyptian government operative. During my interview with Kuby, the nature of the witch-hunts being directed towards Muslims was clarified as he showed how the "conspiracy" was of GOVERNMENT origin, with informant, Judge, prosecution and media all dutifully playing their parts.

Q. Was there anything in my previous articles on the World Trade Center bombing and the subsequent "conspiracy" trial that requires amendation, correction or amplification?

A. The article on the FBl being involved in the World Trade Center bombing actually UNDERSTATED the evidence, believe it or not. The informer, Emad Salem, is actually on tape saying that he built the bomb that ultimately blew up the World Trade Center. In addition, we have received information that he was visually observed at the scene of the bombing shortly after the bombing took place. Shortly after that, he was admitted to the hospital, suffering from an ear problem that was consistent with exposure to blast. Also, we know that he had a motive to blow up the World Trade Center, the motive being that he had been dealing with the FBl since at least November 1991, trying to convince the FBl that he had infiltrated a cell of radical Muslims, trying to get the FBl to pay him for his information. He kept going to the FBl with ever more hysterical statements about bombs and explosives. In the summer of 1992, the FBI, after apparently giving him a lie-detector test, refused to believe him anymore and cut him loose. He needed a payoff. What better way for this sociopath, a conscienceless human being, than to actually bomb the World Trade Center? Indeed, within hours of the bombing, the FBl was back on the phone to him, promising him anything and everything if only he would help them crack the case. The FBl, having set this maniac loose, bears some of the responsibility for what happened.

Q. When did Emad Salem start to work for them?

A. We don't know precisely. We do know he was affiliated with Egyptian intelligence for quite some time. The FBl officially acknowledges that Emad Salem began to work for them in November 1991, during the trial of Sayyid Nosair, at which Nosair was found not guilty of murdering Rabbi Meir Kahane. It was at that point that he infiltrated himself into the group supporting Sayyid Nosair. It was Emad Salem, as early as December of 1991, who was telling groups of these people that they should become more militant. At one point Emad Salem suggested they throw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue, at which the people listening were absolutely horrified and refused to have anything to do with him. After that, he toned down his rhetoric.

Q. What is the current situation, in the wake of the sentencing in the World Trade Center bombing conspiracy trial?

A. You will recall that all of these defendants, with the exception of one, were denied counsels of their choice. The Judge refused to appoint any of these lawyers because he didn't like them. He didn't want any activist movement political lawyers. So they had to leave the case and were replaced by this second-rate and even third-rate legal team. There was a disastrous defense which did everything wrong that could be done wrong. After the defendants were convicted, they fired all their lawyers and said they wanted William Kunstler and Ron Kuby. The Judge refused to allow us to enter the case. Judge Kevin Duffy, a longtime adversary of William Kunstler, wanted to keep control of the defense in the same way as he kept control over the prosecution. On sentencing day, we were even excluded from the courtroom.

Q. Reports have it that Sidig Ali, one of the defendants in the NEXT New York Muslim Conspiracy trial, is turning on everyone. What's the score on that?

A. The government got to him through terror or promises or both. They were able to get him and turn him into a government witness. As a result, we no longer represent him. The government is using that as a way of throwing us off the case entirely. There is no doubt in my mind that the Judge is going to do exactly that. They used to point to Sidig Ali as the "mastermind." Now Ramzi Yusef (recently captured in Pakistan and brought to the U.S.) is the "mastermind," according to what they're putting out through the media. It varies with the season. Originally it was just the group of four who blew up the World Trade Center, then it expanded and contracted and expanded again. It's one of those permanent crimes-they just keep pasting new heads on their Wanted list. They expect people to forget what they said just a week ago. They spent a year trying to convince the American people that Sidig Ali is the biggest terrorist who ever lived. Now they turn around and try to portray him as some kind of born-again American patriot.

Q. Where does that leave the defense of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman?

A. It's an extremely serious event. By removing me and Kunstler from the defense team, you were really removing the only lawyers who weren't paid by the government. Sheikh Omar is representing himself but was certainly counting on a collective group to work with him in that self-representation. It was a blow struck at the heart of the defense. There seems to be a trend now in which cases are manufactured out of whole cloth and people are entrapped and convicted on "conspiracy" charges. One frightening aspect from a civil liberties standpoint is the increasing use of informers whose job it is not to simply monitor or even just to observe and record illegal activities, but who actually are out creating crime that would never have taken place but for their own conduct. The best example of that is the [current trial], where you have Mr. Emad Salem going out in the Muslim community and preying on Muslims who are particularly vulnerable. In the aftermath of the ongoing tragic holocaust against Muslims in Bosnia, with the world standing by and doing nothing, you had groups of Islamic people who said, "Just as we had an obligation to defend people in Afghanistan, we have a similar obligation to defend our brothers and sisters in Bosnia." A group such as this was infiltrated by Emad Salem.

Q. Why is the FBl interested in going out and creating crime? A. The answer is simple enough. In the aftermath of the World Trade Center bombing, the FBI was facing ferocious criticism in the United States. Remember that first you had the disaster at Waco where these children were murdered in the course of this insane shootout with these other religious "fundamentalists." Then you had the World Trade Center bombing. All over the country, people were wondering "What's wrong with the FBI?". What the FBI had to do was to go out and create a crime which they could prevent, a crime that would be so vast that it would make the World Trade Center bombing pale by comparison. So they sent Emad Salem out to create these crazy plots-blow up the United Nations and so on. At the end, the FBl said "Lights, camera, action!" and had a huge press conference at which they said, "We didn't save the World Trade Center, but we prevented the bombing of the UN, the Holland Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge and the assassinations of Al D'Amato and Boutros Boutros-Ghali." They posed as Superman saving the world and everybody was congratulating them. The papers the next day blared "New York Dodges a Bullet" and proclaimed "FBl Heroism." People were tragically misled by the FBl into believing that the FBl had in fact prevented something from taking place when the only thing they did was prevent the fruition of the very conspiracy that it had created itself.

Q. Are you going to get a chance to come back at Emad Salem and expose his role to the world?

A. We're certainly going to do our best. He's going to be called as a witness. We'll see what happens.

Q. What are the prospects for appeal on the convictions from the first trial?

A. Of course, we have filed notices of appeal for all four of the defendants, but people have to understand that the courts in this country are no more immune to the kind of hysteria and anti-Islam sentiment that you see elsewhere in the country. Instead of being the guarantors of fundamental constitutional rights, too often we see these reactionary, and in many ways stupid, judges toadying to the very worst in American society rather than standing for the best in American society. The tragedy in all of this is that we're making the same old mistake as when we've interfered in the internal affairs of other countries, supporting corrupt dictatorships like the Shah of Iran and Hosni Mubarak against popular revolutionary forces. We fear those popular revolutionary forces. The U.S. is buying hatred and enmity for itself in places like Egypt. Why? If the people of Egypt want to live under Islamic law, then by God that's their right. It is not the business of the United States government to meddle in these nations and dictate the kinds of government they should have.

Q. Ron, tell us something about your own background.

A. I came from a working-class family in the state of Ohio. I'm Jewish by religious background and when I was very young I belonged to a right-wing Zionist paramilitary organization. It's not widely known, but I was a member of the Jewish Defense League when I was a teenager. My father was a Zionist, I became a Zionist. I knew Rabbi Meir Kahane-he was a family friend back in the late 1960s and early 1970s-before he emigrated to Israel. I suppose what cured me of that type of Zionism was actually emigrating to Israel. I was expecting to see this paradise of Jews working together, living in peace and harmony with their neighbors, building a country. Instead, what I saw was this terrible racist country in which a small elite of Zionists controlled a Jewish working class and terrorized the Palestinian population. It was like being in the United States, except instead of the White establishment it was the Jewish establishment. I found out that the people I had more in common with, the people whose physical company I enjoyed more, were the Palestinians. I ended up having many more Palestinian friends than I had Zionist friends, and eventually said to hell with the whole thing and ended up on the road that I've ended up on.

Q. What can and should be done in terms of support for the Sheikh and the others who have-and are continuing to be-railroaded in these "Muslim Conspiracy" trials?

A. The problem is that there has not been any organized Islamic response to this situation, and others do not know or hear about it much. Every time Muslims get together and try to raise a protest, they end up getting indicted!

Q. Just to get it on the record once again, if there is a "mastermind," then who is it?

A. The "mastermind" is the government of the United States. It was a phony, government-engineered "conspiracy" to begin with. It would never have amounted to anything had the government not planned it. Other articles by Husayn Al Kurdi: on the Muslim Conspiracy Trials:

"Islamic Fundamentalism-New Whipping Boy on the Block," The Alternative, 11/30/93; "Muslim Speaks Out Against War on Islam," The Final Call, 1/19/94; "World Trade Center Bombing Trial Raises Troubling Questions for FBl," The Espresso, 4/15/94; "Who Blew Up the World Trade Center?" Anderson Valley Advertiser, 4/20/94.

-From NEWS INTERNATIONAL, 6161 El Cajon Blvd., #4, San Diego, CA 92115, Ph: (619) 696-9531

Declassification Board: Named but Unfunded

Panel on Government Secrecy Unable to Operate

By Christopher LeeWashington Post Staff WriterMonday, May 2, 2005; Page A15
In Washington, it takes many ingredients to make a bureaucracy: a measure of authorizing legislation, a pinch of personnel and, of course, money to help it rise.

The five-year-old Public Interest Declassification Board is still one element short of the recipe, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of advocates of open government.

Congress created the nine-member advisory panel in late 2000 to help the executive branch sort out which classified government documents should be made public, and when. It's a mission that has increased in importance since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as the government struggles to find a balance between the secrecy sometimes needed for national security and the openness a democracy depends on to work properly.

The declassification board was the only recommendation of a two-year commission on government secrecy led in the mid-1990s by then-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) that made it into law. Passed partly as a tribute to Moynihan before he retired, the board existed in name only.

Supporters say it was a victim of timing. The outgoing Clinton White House wasn't interested in it, and the incoming Bush administration had other priorities.
"It never got off the ground as it was envisioned," said J. William Leonard, director of the Information Security Oversight Office, the federal agency that will provide staff support to the board.

Nearly four years passed before the White House appointed its five members to the board in September 2004. The panel drew renewed interest last fall during the fight in Congress over restructuring the country's intelligence agencies. Earlier this year, Congress named two of its four members. Although two slots remain vacant, the board has enough members to meet.
But the White House has not requested any funds for it, and Congress has never appropriated any. There is no way to pay for materials or panelists' stipends or to foot the bill for the security clearances members will require.

A consortium of 19 government watchdog and advocacy groups sent a letter to President Bush and key congressional committees Friday urging the approval of funding.

"The board is important because it would help identify documents that truly should or should not be classified," says the letter, signed by representatives of the Project on Government Oversight, the National Taxpayers Union and other groups. "Too much secrecy hinders the operation of the government and hides problems that often need public disclosure to be remedied."

Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, said the panel will make only nonbinding recommendations, but it is better than nothing.

"It is a White House advisory board, so it's hard for me to get too excited about it," Aftergood said. "But I do find it ironic that after going to all the trouble to vet and appoint the members, the White House and Congress have allocated no funds for it. I think it reveals the low esteem in which declassification is now held."

Leonard estimated the board would need less than $100,000, an amount he would have referred to as "decimal dust" when he worked at the Defense Department.

"In this town, there's a thousand good ideas that are all competing for very limited funding," he said. "It's frustrating, in that I don't believe there is a deliberate decision not to address this. But, rather, because it is such a small dollar figure, ironically that's what creates one of the biggest challenges -- because it's not the type of thing that normally garners attention."

Former representative David Skaggs (D-Colo.), appointed to the panel by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said the board can play a useful role.

"There's a mountain of old and presumptively unnecessarily still-classified information in the bowels of the government," Skaggs said. "And for the sake of history and learning from past experience . . . it would be good to get as much of that disgorged as possible. If this board can help nudge that along, that would be a public service."

Other members of the panel include Chairman L. Britt Snider, a former inspector general at the CIA; Martin Faga, head of a corporation that manages federally funded research centers; Joan Vail Grimson, a former Senate and National Security Council staffer; Steven Garfinkel, a former director of the Information Security Oversight Office; Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, dean of the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law; and Richard Norton Smith, a presidential historian.

Denver DNC ABC Producer arrested!! Bye Bye freedom of Press

Following Zakheim and Pentagon trillions to Israel and 9/11/2001

By Jerry MazzaOnline Journal Associate Editor

Jul 31, 2006, 00:19

Think of this as part two of Recherche du trillions perdu, my Online Journal article on Dov Zakheim, former Bush appointee as Pentagon Comptroller from May 4, 2001 to March 10, 2004. At that time he was unable to explain the disappearance of $1 trillion dollars. Actually, nearly three years earlier, Donald Rumsfeld announced on September 10, 2001 that an audit discovered $2.3 trillion was also missing from the Pentagon books. That story, as I mentioned, was buried under 9-11’s rubble. The two sums disappeared on Zakheim’s watch.

Yet on May 6, 2004, Zakheim took a lucrative position at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the most prestigious strategy consulting firms in the world. One of its clients then was Blessed Relief, a charity said to be a front for Osama bin Laden. Booz, Allen & Hamilton then also worked closely with DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is the research arm of the Department of Defense. So the dark card was shifted to another part of the deck.

Judicial Inc’s bio of Dov (linked below) tells us Zakheim was/is a dual Israeli/American citizen and an ordained rabbi and had been tracking the halls of US government for 25 years, casting defense policy and influence on Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. He is, as I described him earlier, the bionic Zionist. In fact, Judicial Inc points out that most of Israel’s armaments were gotten thanks to him. Squads of US F-16 and F-15 were classified military surplus and sold to Israel at a fraction of their value.

Judicial Inc also points out that Israel, a country of 4.8 million Russian and Polish Jewish émigrés, flies on one of the biggest Air Forces in the world, thanks to Dov. Conflict of interest here? Depends on what you’re interested in. That is, in 2001 Dov was CEO of SPS International, part of System Planning Corporation, a defense contractor majoring in electronic warfare technologies, including remote-controlled aircraft systems, and the notorious Flight Termination System (FTS) technology that could hijack even a hijacked plane and land or crash it wherever.
More from the resume: Wikipedia points out that Zakheim is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2000 a co-author of the Project for the New American Century’s position paper, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, advocating the necessity for a Pearl-Harbor-like incident to mobilize the country into war with its enemies, mostly Middle Eastern Muslim nations.

As to Dov’s hell-raiser lineage, Judicial Inc points out that Grandpa Zakheim was born in 1870, Julius Zakheim (Zhabinka), in the Ukraine, a Russian rabbi who married a relative of Karl Marx. He was a Menshevik/Bolshevik and played a leading role in the 1905 turmoil that paved the way for the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The Bolshevik master plan called for the state of Israel, which was chosen for its proximity to the world's oil and an area of religious significance.

Dov’s Father, Rabbi Jacob I. Zakheim was born in 1910 and reared in Poland’s swarm of Zionist hard guys, read assassins and bombers. His Polish town, near Bilaystok, also brought us Yitzhak Shir, and family friends included Menachem Begin and Moshe Arens. Dov’s father was an active member of Betar, formed in 1923 in Riga, Latvia. Its goal was to control the Middle East (and its oil). It was known that the Jewish people needed their own country and they chose Palestine and claimed it a Jewish state “on both sides of the Jordan.”

Betar was in essence a terrorist organization formed because Zionists were sick of being chased from and arrested in country after country. They wanted both a place to escape and a base for their power. Betar joined forces with the Haganah, Irgun, and Stern gangs. With no prospect of a Jewish state in sight, they argued that armed struggle against the British was the only way. Since Britain occupied Palestine and was containing them they went on a blood feast of bombings that killed hundreds of British soldiers. The British pulled out, but the Zionists continue to maul the Arabs to this day.

For a concise history on the Formation of Israel in 1947, I suggest this link to

For an interesting look at “The United States and the Recognition of Israel: A Chronology” compiled from Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel by Michael T. Benson, link above. For a rounded look at Israel, see Wikipedia.

Returning to Dov: he was born in Brooklyn in 1943 and attended exclusive Jewish schools, spent summers in Israel Zionist camps, which trained the Zionists of the future. As to Dov’s formal education, he graduated from Columbia University in 1970 and the University of Oxford in 1972. From 1973 to 75, he attended the London school of Jewish studies, described as a “Harry Potter” type cauldron; among the subjects Jewish supremacy, Advanced Bible, Talmud, Jewish Mysticism, Holocaust, Anglo-Judaica, and Zionism. After, he was ordained a Rabbi. From 1975 to 80, Zakheim was an adjunct professor at the National War College, Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.

As he stepped into the Reagan administration, he talked them into funding development of the Lavi Fighter at a cost of $3 billion. The Lavi was a total flop and Israel dropped it, though it owed $450 million in contract fees that were cancelled. Israel, according to Judicial Inc, also created a story that China was eager to buy the Lavi. Zakheim convinced Reagan that China had to be sandbagged. Reagan gave Israel $500 million for its lost contracts. Reagan then threw in a wing of F-16’s as a bonus and sign of good will. Do we see a pattern here, personal, familial, career-wise, of over-the-top Israeli advocacy?

Again, during Zakheim’s tenure as Pentagon controller from May 4, 2001, to March 10, 2004, over $3 trillion dollars were unaccounted for. Additionally, military Information was jeopardized and military contractors billed the US for Israeli items: $50 million dollar fighter jets were rated as surplus and the list rolls on. As the scandal of the missing trillion dollars surfaced and Dov resigned, Israel was handed the finest fighter jets in the US inventory while 15 percent of US jets were grounded for lack of parts. In whose best interest was this?

But Dov is not alone. He is one of an elite group of Jewish Americans/Israelis who inter-marry and enter government. They and their Christian counterparts are called neocons and their sole purpose is directing US policy. Most of them are dual citizens and few serve in the US military. Think of Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, Richard Perle, Ben Wattenberg, to mention a few. Whether their motivation is anger at the Muslim world, seen as a religious and territorial enemy, or a deep-rooted reaction to the Holocaust, the culmination of European anti-Semitism, their reactionary militarism becomes a world-threatening force unto itself. Hence our concern.
Dov and the World Trade Center

Perhaps not coincidentally in May 2001, when Dov served at the Pentagon, it was an SPS (his firm’s) subsidiary, Tridata Corporation, that oversaw the investigation of the first “terrorist” attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. This would have given them intimate knowledge of the security systems and structural blueprints of the World Trade Center. From the '90s through 2001, WTC Security was handled by Securacom, a Kuwait-American firm, on whose board Marvin Bush, the president’s brother, sat. After 9/11, Securacom was let go, changed its name to Stratosec, and was delisted from the Stock Exchange in 2002.

According to Conspiracy writers Shadow and ‘Pax’ in Dov Zakheim and the 9/11 Conspiracy, (and I suggest you look at this link) “According to the SPC website (4), a recent customer at that time was Eglin AFB, located in Florida. Eglin is very near another Air Force base in Florida-MacDill AFB, where Dov Zakheim contracted to send at least 32 Boeing 767 aircraft, as part of the Boeing /Pentagon tanker lease agreement. (5)

”As the events of September 11, 2001 occurred, little was mentioned about these strange connections, and the possible motives and proximity of Dov Zakheim and his group. Since there was little physical evidence remaining after the events, investigators were left only with photographic and anecdotal evidence.

“There is a photograph of the Flight Termination System module, from their site.(5). Note it has a cylindrical shape, and is consistent with the size and shape of the object observed under the fuselage of flight 175.

“The Boeing lease deal involved the replacement of the aging KC-135 tanker fleet with these smaller, more efficient Boeing 767s that were to be leased by Dov Zakheim's group. The planes were to be refitted with refueling equipment, including lines and nozzle assemblies.”
(Remember both Flight 175, that hit the South Tower, and Flight 11, that hit the North Tower, were Boeing 767s. Flights 77 and 93 were 757s.)

“In the enlargement of flight 175’s photo, we can clearly see a cylindrical object under the fuselage, and a structure that appears to be attached to the right underside of the rear fuselage section.

”When seen in comparison, it is obvious that the plane approaching the Trade Center has both of these structures-the FTS module and the midair refueling equipment, as configured on the modified Boeing 767 tankers. Of particular interest is the long tube-like anomalous structure under the rear fuselage area of flight 175-this structure runs along the right rear bottom of the plane, as it also does on the Boeing 767 refueling tanker pictured.

”After considering this information, I [the author/s] am convinced that flight 175, as pictured on the news media and official reports, was in fact a refitted Boeing 767 tanker, with a Flight Termination System attached. Use of this system would also explain the expert handling of aircraft observed in both New York and Washington investigations, which has been officially credited to inexperienced flight school students.

“Since the refitted 767s were able to carry both passengers and a fuel load, as shown in this photo, it is likely that the plane designated Flight 175 was in fact a refitted 767 tanker, disguised as a conventional commercial passenger plane.

“As shown in this photo of a 767 being serviced, the FTS unit, when in position, would be small and unobtrusive enough to be fairly innocuous (at least to casual observers, such as passengers). The smallest circle indicates the size and position of the anomaly depicted in the photos of Flight 175. The larger circle, which is the size of the engine housing, shows the size of the anomaly in relation to the engine. Note the size and position of the open hatches on the engine housing, which would tend to discredit the widely held theory that the anomaly is an open hatch or cargo door.

“As the . . . diagram shows, all flights involved in the events traveled very near many military installations, and appear to have traveled in a manner suggesting guidance and possible transfer of the control of the planes among the bases.

”Since the evidence from the World Trade Center site was quickly removed, there is little concrete evidence of the involvement of Dov Zakheim, who has since left his position at the Pentagon. However, the proximity of Eglin AFB to MacDill AFB in Florida and Dov Zakheim's work via SPC contracts and the Pentagon leasing agreement on both of these installations, combined with SPC's access to World Trade Center structural and security information from their Tridata investigation in 1993, is highly suspicious. Considering his access to Boeing 767 tankers, remote control flight systems, and his published views in the PNAC document, it seems very likely he is in fact a key figure in the alleged terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001.”

”In response to some of our readers who have questioned our premise that it was Rabbi Dov Zakheim who 'called for' the Pearl Harbor type of incident, we here at Conspiracy News Net acknowledge that the PNAC document was written by the likes of William Kristol and Donald Kagan, and therefore as the real brains behind the agenda they are the ones calling for it in a literal sense. However, we do stand by our assertion that the Rabbi called for it as well, insofar that he signed his name onto this document. If he signed it he agrees with it and therefore he is calling for it.

”Some of you have argued that we are singling out Rabbi Zakheim because he is Jewish, implying that we are pushing some sort of twisted anti-Semitic agenda while noting that he is not the only one who signed the PNAC document and therefore wondering why our article is about him and not the others. We do not mean to imply that the Rabbi acted alone, our article simply points out that Rabbi Zakheim had access to things like structural integrity, blueprints and any number of important facets of information about the WTC through his work with TRIDATA CORPORATION in the investigation of the bombing of the WTC in 1993.

“That he had access to REMOTE CONTROL Technology through his work at System Planning Corporation (SPC). That he had access to BOEING AIRCRAFT through a lease deal HE BROKERED while working at the Pentagon.

“ . . . Finally that he was part of a group of politically radical Straussian Neo-Conservatives, who, through their association with PNAC, called for restructuring of the Middle East, noting that a Pearl Harbor type of event MAY BE NEEDED to foster the frame of mind required for the American public to accept such a radical foreign policy agenda. In light of all this information we here at Conspiracy News Net stand by our statement that Mr. Zakheim not only called for the slamming of the WTC Towers on 9-11, but he activity took part in their demolition by providing the logistics necessary for such an attack to occur.”
Coda, a Bitter Frosting on the Cake

Whether or not you agree in whole or in part with these findings, here is an eye-opening article originally from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Milan Simonich. It is titled Army unit piecing together accounts of Pentagon attack, and from it comes this striking information in paragraph six . . ."One Army office in the Pentagon lost 34 of its 65 employees in the attack. Most of those killed in the office, called Resource Services Washington, were civilian accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts. They were at their desks when American Airlines Flight 77 struck.”

Apart from the question of whether it was F 77 that struck the Pentagon, it is more than ironic that accountants, bookkeepers and budgets analysts, the very people who could pick up the financial frauds were struck. Especially since the hit was directed supposedly at the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Nevertheless, Dov is busy at his Booz Allen job, involved in Strategic Services and who knows what other dark plans as we speak, even as the Middle East is under heavy fire once again from Israel and its fervid ally, the US government.Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York. Reach him at
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