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Jon Gold's blog
Thomas Drake is a former senior executive with the National Security Agency, a United States Air Force and Navy veteran, CIA intelligence analyst, computer software expert and whistleblower. While at NSA, he blew the whistle on multi-billion dollar programmatic fraud, waste and abuse; the critical loss and coverup of 9/11 intelligence; government wrongdoing; and a dragnet electronic mass surveillance and data mining program conducted on a vast scale by the NSA (with the approval of the White House) after 9/11. Mr. Drake argued that this program violated and subverted the Constitution as well as individual sovereignty and privacy, while weakening national security and fundamentally eroding our civil liberties. In April 2010 he was charged by the US Department of Justice with a 10 felony count Espionage Act indictment facing 35 years in prison and declared an enemy of the state. All 10 original charges were dropped in July 2011 after Mr. Drake pled to a single misdemeanor count of exceeding the authorized use of a government computer with no fine or prison time. He is the 2011 recipient of the Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, and with Jesselyn Radack the co-recipient of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner 1st Amendment Award.
Paul Church is an independent journalist reporting mainly on geopolitics, warfare and counter-terrorism. He has written for Asia Times Online, and collaborated with documentary filmmaker Ray Nowosielski for the latest in a series of articles resulting from Ray's Who Is Richard Blee? podcast investigation. That piece was published at Truthout.
Paul's work for Asia Times Online has been cited in the peer-reviewed Japan Focus. He is currently researching a book on the political exploitation of mass casualty events from the Cold War to the present.
In 2012, he wrote an article for Asia Times Online called "Was Saudi Arabia Involved?"
J. Michael Springmann was a civil servant at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration as well as a diplomat in the State Department’s Foreign Service, with postings to Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in Washington, D.C. The published author of several articles on national security themes, he is now an attorney in private practice in the Washington, D.C. area. In addition to a J.D. from American University in Washington, D.C., he holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Affairs from Georgetown University and Catholic University, both in the Nation’s Capital.
Magazines which have published his articles include Covert Action Quarterly, Unclassified, Global Research, Global Outlook, OpEdNews, The Public Record, and Foreign Policy Journal.
In June 2004, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee granted him its Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award.
Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan was born on July 10, 1957. She married Patrick Sheehan and the couple had four children--Casey, Carly, Andy, and Janey. Casey was the oldest. The whole family was active in the church; Cindy was once a Youth Minister. They were a tightly knit family that, in Cindy´s words, “did everything together.”
Cindy’s world changed forever when, on an April 4, 2004 mission in Sadr City, Iraq, Army Specialist Casey Sheehan was killed. Cindy and other military families met with President George W. Bush in June of 2004. By October, Cindy´s grief had led her to action. She wrote, “I was ashamed that I hadn’t tried to stop the war before Casey died…Well, I now felt that if I couldn’t make a difference, I would at least try.”
Sheehan became one of the strongest, most personal and persistent voices in the movement against the war in Iraq. Her quest to end the war, bring soldiers home, and hold politicians accountable for the decisions that sent the troops to Iraq in the first place, has been unwavering.
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. He has contributed to two major terrorism investigations in the US and UK, the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s Inquest, and has advised the Royal Military Academy Sandhust, British Foreign Office and US State Department, among other government agencies. His new novel, ZERO POINT, predicted a US-UK re-invasion of Iraq to put down an Islamist insurgency there. Nafeez is a regular contributor to The Guardian where he writes about the geopolitics of interconnected environmental, energy and economic crises via his Earth Insight global column. He has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, among many others.
Lorie Van Auken was the wife of Kenneth Van Auken, a bond broker at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of Tower 1 who was killed on 9/11. She, along with 9/11 Family Members Kristen Breitweiser, Mindy Kleinberg, and Patty Casazza were greatly responsible for the creation of the 9/11 Commission. Together, they were famously known as the "Jersey Girls," but are also known as the "September Eleventh Advocates." Lorie was part of 12 9/11 Family Members that made up what was called the 9/11 Family Steering Committee. She, along with the others, helped to monitor the 9/11 Commission, to supply 100's of well researched questions for the 9/11 Commission to answer, she worked with staffers of the 9/11 Commission, she helped the others fight for more time and money for the 9/11 Commission, and since the time of the 9/11 Commission, she has continued to be an advocate for 9/11 Justice.
Here are links to Lorie's testimony before the 9/11 Congressional Briefing that took place on 7/22/2005 in Washington D.C.
Coleen Rowley grew up in a small town in northeast Iowa. She obtained a B.A. degree in French from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa and then attended the College of Law at the University of Iowa and graduated with honors in 1980 also passing the Iowa Bar Exam that summer.
In January of 1981, Rowley was appointed a Special Agent with the FBI and initially served in the Omaha, Nebraska and Jackson, Mississippi Divisions. In 1984 she was assigned to the New York Office and for over 6 years worked on Italian organized crime and Sicilian heroin drug investigations. During this time Rowley also served three separate temporary duty assignments in the Paris, France Embassy and Montreal Consulate.
In 1990 Rowley was transferred to Minneapolis where she assumed the duties of "Chief Division Counsel" which entailed oversight of the Freedom of Information, Forfeiture, Victim-Witness and Community Outreach Programs as well as providing regular legal and ethics training to FBI Agents of the Division and some outside police training.
In May of 2002 Rowley brought some of the pre 9-11 lapses to light and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about some of the endemic problems facing the FBI and the intelligence community. Rowley's memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller in connection with the Joint Intelligence Committee's Inquiry led to a two year long Department of Justice Inspector General investigation. She was one of three whistleblowers chosen as persons of the year by TIME magazine.
In April 2003, following an unsuccessful and highly criticized attempt to warn the Director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching the invasion of Iraq, Rowley stepped down from her (GS-14) legal position to go back to being a (GS-13) FBI Special Agent. She retired from the FBI at the end of 2004 and now speaks publicly to various groups, ranging from school children to business/professional/civic groups, on two different topics: ethical decision-making and "civil liberties and effective investigation."
Ray Nowosielski lives in New York City where he works as a freelance producer, previously for such organizations as the Emmy winning series VICE on HBO and the Oscar winning documentarian Barbara Kopple. In 2011, he was greeted with an outpouring of support after the CIA threatened him and his colleagues with prosecution under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. He had contacted the agency requesting that two of their employees respond to serious allegations which were later detailed in a 90-minute Amazon-only “investigative podcast” entitled Who is Rich Blee? An advocate for government and corporate transparency and accountability, he has written for Salon and Truth-Out and contributed investigations to The Daily Beast and Gawker. He is best known as the director, co-writer, and producer of the 2006 documentary film "Press For Truth," telling the story of a group of Sept 11th widows' and their struggle to see the creation of the 9/11 Commission.
Erik Larson is a 9/11 researcher and activist. In his view, the 9/11 Commission's failure to credibly account for how and why 9/11 happened, and the general acceptance or apathy of the media and the public toward the official story, represent national security and constitutional crises, and corruption in American society itself. Concerned for the US republic and the well-being of present and future generations around the world, Erik, among other things, has made well over 8000 9/11 Commission and other 9/11-related documents publicly available through two file sharing websites on the web. It's primarily this work that we have Erik on to talk about today.
Jenna Orkin is the author of "The Moron's Guide To Global Collapse." After 9/11, she was among the first to question the EPA's announcement that the air was safe to breathe. She went on to co-found the World Trade Center Environmental Organization as well as other lower Manhattan activist organizations that revealed and testified to the EPA's lies. Later, she wrote for fromthewilderness.com, the website founded by 9/11 investigative journalist Mike Ruppert who sadly killed himself in April of this year.
The name of the song is "Killing In The Name Of" by Rage Against The Machine.
By Jon Gold
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.
One of the discussions I hear the most between fellow activists is "why won't people wake up?" or "what will it take to get everyone to come together?"
About 7 months ago I suffered a severe injury to my back. It was broken essentially. This is personal, but perhaps useful in making my point. I now have something called "Cauda Equina Syndrome." For me (it can be different for other people), it means I have lost bladder control, bowel control, sex control, half of my legs are numb, and the muscles in my feet no longer work. The latter means I am wheelchair bound most of the time.
I have had to suffer through the system in nursing homes which are more like minimum security prisons. Now, however, I have an apartment. Because I can't walk, and don't have a scooter yet, I am essentially homebound 24/7 (unless someone comes to take me out for a while). It is a "prison" in its own right. Hopefully over time this will change.