David Slesinger's blog
Every anniversary of 9/11 brings a flurry of attention to the truth about 9/11. This September, thirteen years after the crime of the millennium the flurry may turn into a blizzard. A new film follows a personal journey of discovery that began just over three years ago by film maker David Hooper. A businessman and filmmaker, Hooper never expected to be leading the 9/11 Truth Movement’s next wave of activity when he began to ask questions about what really happened on September 11, 2001. The result of his questioning resulted in a ground-breaking film of discovery, The Anatomy of a Great Deception.
As explained in the film, during his search for answers, each question led to another, until eventually it became clear that the official story of 9/11, that he and all his friends knew, could not possibly be true. In addition, the filmmaker experienced the same reaction from his family and friends that many truth-aware people experience -- feeling isolated from family members and friends. The sense of a barrier that grew larger with every new piece of information confirming that another major cornerstone about 9/11 was wrong. As David Hooper explains it, “as a way of reaching out to loved ones, I decided to make the film, in hopes that it would help them ease into the new worldview I now saw, and slow enough so that they could firmly grasp the facts that had shattered my naive worldview.” Some of the comments about the initial screening of the film to friends, colleagues and family were supportive and encouraging:
• "The research is beautifully woven into Hooper's story as he discovers the truth about our world." - E. Wentworth, Florida.
• "Well organized, fascinating and intense. You'll will come out with some deep inner questions to answer for yourself." - M.J. Lefevre, Michigan
• "Unbelievable. Excellent. I am speechless." - "J. Drougas, Illinois
The Left Has Admirable Values, But....
One value all progressives have is opposition to racism. Some white people are better at it than others. Most interfaith and progressive groups take the following WEAK stand on Islamaphobia. They say we should not hold all Muslims accountable for the actions of s few. This is an appeal only to people with such high minded sensibilities that they already assume racism is wrong. You are essentially throwing in the towel rather than confront chest thumping proponents of American exceptionalism. If these reactionaries were shown evidence that 9/11 was a false flag operation, some would be MUCH less likely to support dropping bombs on Muslim homes thousands of miles away.
So, am I being unfair when I say progressives take a racist position when they refuse to discuss the possibility that Muslims are not the 9/11 culprits? If you won't even discuss the issue, I'm still hesitant to accuse you of racism, but I would level an accusation of hypocrisy. Disagreeing on analysis is fine, but refusing to dialog is not.
I have a bachelors from MIT, where I was radicalized by Noam Chomsky, Lillian Robinson, Wayne O'Neill and others. I took Noam's political course , "Intellectuals and Social Change" twice and audited ir twice , all within 5 years. Each semester was different. My favorite semester was on fascism. Noam will, of course, address us this weekend. Allow me to take a lesson from my favorite of all his quotes. It was from his first political book, American Power and the New Mandarins. It goes, "The responsibility of intellectuals is to speak the truth and expose lies." Since so many progressive leaders, including Noam, hold that discussion of the evidence of a false flag operation on 9/11 is a distraction, isn't that equivalent to "We don't mind looking the other way about SOME government lies."
If the left welcomed us as allies as you should, you would give us some stage time at larger conferences and rallies as the late Howard Zinn recommended in my interview of him listed at 911truth.org on March 2, 2009.
Two high-ranking NYPD officials, including the department’s top lawyer, have quietly retired Andrew Schaffer, deputy commissione
Two high-ranking NYPD officials, including the department’s top lawyer, have quietly retired
Andrew Schaffer, deputy commissioner of legal matters, and Edward Allocco, NYPD’s deputy commissioner of management and budget have both retired.
BY JOE KEMP / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2012, 12:30 AM
Two high-ranking NYPD officials, including the department’s top lawyer, have quietly retired, the Daily News has learned.
Andrew Schaffer, deputy commissioner of legal matters, stepped away from his post on Nov. 30, officials said.
One of Schaffer’s chief responsibilities was making sure police initiatives — some of them controversial — fell within constitutional guidelines. The policies reviewed by his office include the stop-and-frisk initiative and the so-called Muslim surveillance program.
Inside an FBI anti-terrorist sting operation
By Del Quentin Wilber, Published: November 25
The bomb explosion had been spectacular, sending shock waves for miles. But Amine El Khalifi, who dreamed of a martyr’s death with explosives strapped to his chest, seemed unimpressed.
“This is not enough,” Khalifi told two men who he thought were al-Qaeda operatives after they demonstrated the bomb’s power for him at a West Virginia quarry on a frigid January afternoon.
The men were undercover FBI agents who had spent months getting close to the Moroccan immigrant. That morning, on the way to the quarry, Khalifi had told one of them that he no longer wanted to leave a bomb in a restaurant; he now desired to die for his cause in a suicide attack that would bring down a symbol of American democracy: the U.S. Capitol dome.
A month after the quarry demonstration, Khalifi was arrested as he strode toward the U.S. Capitol wearing what he thought was a suicide coat. He was sentenced in September to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
This type of undercover sting operation, in which authorities seek individuals they think would be willing and able to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States, has generated controversy. Civil liberties groups say that the investigations identify people with radical views but who could not attempt an attack without the government’s help.
FBI officials, who have arrested scores of suspects in such stings since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, call the investigations a key tool in their efforts to prevent terrorism. They also insist that the investigations are thorough and seriously conducted. Before agents launch one, they spend months determining whether someone is full of bluster or a real threat, bureau officials said.
The vast majority of such inquiries determine that the person is harmless, the FBI says.
“It is your constitutional right to spout anti-American beliefs,” said agent Steven Hersem, who helped supervise the Khalifi investigation. “We spend a lot of our time trying to figure out if someone is an actual threat or not.”
In Khalifi’s case, the conversation before the quarry explosion convinced them.
“That was an epiphany for me that this man is a definite threat and he must be stopped at all costs,” said Bryan Paarmann, assistant special agent in charge of counterterrorism at the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Initially, Khalifi was no different from many young men who find their way to the United States. He had been born in Morocco and visited Florida with his father at age 16. He overstayed his visa and eventually moved to Northern Virginia, where he worked odd jobs as a cook, busboy and salesman.
He got into mixing and producing music. For a time, agents said, he was a fixture on the D.C. club scene, where he started to use cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy .
In 2007, Khalifi was arrested and charged with assault after an argument at a club. At some point after the arrest, agents said, he decided to be a more devout Muslim and was drawn to the teachings of radical clerics on the Internet.
An FBI analyst noticed in July 2010 that Khalifi had responded to a Facebook posting by a known terrorist in Afghanistan seeking help for his cause. Six months later, a confidential informant told agents that Khalifi was hanging out with friends — some of whom were on the FBI’s radar — in an apartment in Arlington County when someone pulled out an AK-47 and two revolvers. Khalifi agreed with his friends that the war on terrorism was a war on Muslims and that they should be ready for battle, according to the informant.
The tip and the Facebook posting got the bureau’s attention. Agents combed public records and reached out to a network of informants to learn more about Khalifi. The informants told agents that Khalifi wasn’t just expressing support for terrorist groups and jihad; he wanted to participate in what he considered a holy war.
Within a month or so, FBI agents decided that Khalifi was dangerous enough to warrant an intensive inquiry. They tapped his phones, monitored his Internet use and tracked his movements with teams of surveillance agents. The work confirmed what their sources had been saying, and FBI officials said it was time to get a better sense of what Khalifi had in mind by sending in undercover agents.
By late summer of last year, agents determined that Khalifi was brokering car sales on the Internet and was looking to buy a Toyota Prius. One of the FBI’s undercover agents, a man who called himself “Hussien,” posted in an online advertisement that he was selling such a car.
The agent soon heard from Khalifi, and they met in an office building parking lot on a cloudy and warm Thursday in September 2011. They chatted about the car and then hit it off, the FBI said, speaking in Arabic about their pasts as Muslims from Arab countries.
Khalifi also spouted violent rhetoric about Jews, Israel and U.S. policy. Hussien played it loose, agents said, mostly nodding in agreement.
Close Guantánamo Prison
On his second full day in office in 2009, President Obama signed an executive order that was a declaration of American renewal and decency hailed around the globe. It called for the closure, in no more than a year, of the detention camp at the United States Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — the grim emblem of President George W. Bush’s lawless policies of torture and detention. Accompanied by other executive orders signaling a break from the Bush era of justice delayed and denied, it was a bold beginning.
What followed was not always as uplifting. The new administration decided to adopt the Bush team’s extravagant claims of state secrets and executive power, blocking any accountability for the detention and brutalization of hundreds of men at Guantánamo and secret prisons, and denying torture victims their day in court.
Attorney General Eric Holder did the right thing by ordering a trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, in a federal court in Manhattan. But he bungled the politics of the decision, and the administration had to abandon its plan in the face of fierce opposition from local pols and from Congressional Republicans out to portray Mr. Obama as soft on terrorism. His self-imposed one-year deadline for closing Guantánamo passed, along with the initial boldness and inspiration. Congress piled on hobbling restrictions, making the difficult task of unraveling the Bush travesty and emptying the prison practically impossible going forward.
There are now 166 men held at Guantánamo, 76 fewer prisoners than when Mr. Obama took office. Only a handful of those remaining have been charged with any crime or legal violation. About 86 of the inmates were identified more than two years ago for repatriation to their home countries or resettlement elsewhere by an Obama administration task force that reviewed each prisoner’s file.
Thanks to outrageous limits Congress placed on the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners beginning in 2010, the prisoners are still being held, with no end to their incarceration in sight. In September, a member of this stranded group, a Yemeni citizen named Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, killed himself after a federal judge’s ruling ordering his release was unfairly overturned by an appellate court. It was the kind of price a nation pays when it creates prisons like Guantánamo, beyond the reach of law and decency, a tragic reminder of the stain on American justice.
Business Week On TSA: Airport "Security" Is Making Americans Less Safe
November 24, 2012
By Amy Alkon
Business Week On TSA: Airport "Security" Is Making Americans Less Safe
"$100 billion spent and not one risk analysis study," wrote the engineering prof friend of mine who sent me this link from a Charles Kenny piece in Business Week:
In 2010 the National Academy of Science reported the lack of "any Department of Homeland Security risk analysis capabilities and methods that are yet adequate for supporting decision making." DHS (and the TSA in particular) is spending huge bundles of large denomination bills completely blind.
All this spending on airline security is worse than wasteful. Following the official rules while still attempting to show decency toward passengers all but forces TSA employees to delay, embarrass, and inconvenience many thousands every day. Faced with the prospect of such unpleasantries this holiday season, countless Americans will skip the flight to grandma's house and drive instead.
Homeland Security's $430 million radio investment came in fuzzy
FRIDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2012 15:30
BY PAM LOBLEY
NOW THAT’S FUNNY
The Department of Homeland Security made a big investment -- $430 million -- in radios so that different federal agencies could communicate with each other on a common channel. Unfortunately, no one knows how to use the radios.
Are you Sirius?
According to a report by Pro Publica, only one in 479 DHS employees surveyed was actually able to use the common channel. Most of them, 72 percent, didn’t even know the channel existed. Some knew about it, but couldn’t find it.
And some were using their radios to just get down and funky with some classic rock.
Homeland Security spent $430M on radios its employees don't know how to use Only one of 479 employees surveyed could operate rad
Homeland Security spent $430M on radios its employees don't know how to use
Only one of 479 employees surveyed could operate radio correctly.
by Theodoric Meyer, ProPublica - Nov 21 2012, 4:50pm EST
Getting the agencies responsible for national security to communicate better was one of the main reasons the Department of Homeland Security was created after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
But according to a recent report from the department's inspector general, one aspect of this mission remains far from accomplished.
DHS has spent $430 million over the past nine years to provide radios tuned to a common, secure channel to 123,000 employees across the country. Problem is, no one seems to know how to use them.
Only one of 479 DHS employees surveyed by the inspector general's office was actually able to use the common channel, according to the report. Most of those surveyed—72 percent—didn't even know the common channel existed. Another 25 percent knew the channel existed but weren't able to find it; 3 percent were able to find an older common channel, but not the current one.
The investigators also found that more than half of the radios did not have the settings for the common channel programmed into them. Only 20 percent of radios tested had all the correct settings.
The radios are supposed to help employees of Customs and Border Patrol, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Secret Service, and other agencies with DHS communicate during crises, as well as normal operations.
DHS officials did not immediately respond to questions from ProPublica about what effect the radio problems could have on how the agency handles an emergency.
United found not liable for alleged 9/11 security lapse
Wed, Nov 21 2012
By Jonathan Stempel and Basil Katz
NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Airlines bears no responsibility for the collapse of a third World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001, stemming from suspected airport security lapses that allowed hijackers to crash an American Airlines plane into the complex, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein granted a request by United and its parent, United Continental Holdings Inc, to dismiss negligence claims by Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the World Trade Center property, over the destruction of 7 World Trade Center.
Tower 7 collapsed several hours after being pierced by debris from the crash of AMR Corp's American Airlines Flight 11 into the nearby 1 World Trade Center, one of the Twin Towers.
Two of the Flight 11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta and Abdul Aziz al Omari, had begun their trip to New York at the Portland International Jetport, in Maine. There, they boarded a flight by US Airways carrier Colgan Air to Boston's Logan International Airport, from which they connected onto the American Airlines plane.
Silverstein said that because United was among the carriers that ran Portland's only security checkpoint, it was legally responsible for the screening of all passengers and had missed a "clear chance" to prevent the hijacking.
Hellerstein, a judge in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in Manhattan, concluded that United did not owe "a duty of care" to Silverstein. He said that United, which is currently the largest U.S. carrier, could not have foreseen events that led to the destruction of Tower 7.
"It was not within United's range of apprehension that terrorists would slip through the security screening checkpoint, fly to Logan, proceed through another air carrier's security screening and board that air carrier's flight, hijack the flight and crash it into 1 World Trade Center, let alone that 1 World Trade Center would therefore collapse and cause Tower 7 to collapse," Hellerstein wrote.
In 2009, Hellerstein had dismissed claims against other airlines for damages caused by United Flight 175, which also crashed into the Twin Towers. Hellerstein has presided over almost all U.S. litigation over the September 11 attacks.
SILVERSTEIN TO PURSUE SEPARATE CASE
Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties, said the firm was disappointed with Wednesday's ruling, but said it continues to pursue a similar negligence case over United's Flight 175.
"We are determined and look forward to presenting the facts before a jury, which will decide whether the defendants' insurance companies should finally be forced to pay up in order to finish the rebuilding of the World Trade Center," he said.
Members of the Army Corp of Engineers help remove piles of Hurricane Sandy debris remove from the Fresh Kills landfill on the Staten Island borough of New York, Nov. 14, 2012.
Robert Stolarik, New York Times
NYC revives Fresh Kills landfill for storm debris
Article by: ERIC LIPTON and KIRK SEMPLE
New York Times
November 17, 2012 - 7:51 PM
NEW YORK - Amid the clanging of dump trucks, a crane with a clamshell scoop hoisted a pile of debris as big as a minivan and dropped it onto a waiting barge -- striking evidence that New York City has revived a place it just cannot seem to do without.
The Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, where tons of debris were dumped after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, once again has been enlisted in the aftermath of a disaster, this time to serve as the staging area for the monumental cleanup job underway since superstorm Sandy hit. Again and again, that scoop plunges into a three-story hill of debris and lifts out pulverized drywall, floorboards, furniture, clothing, photo albums.
The cleanup has turned into a 24-hour-a-day military-scale operation at Fresh Kills, with the New York City Sanitation Department and the Army Corps of Engineers running a fleet of several hundred trucks, river barges and tugboats that will be moving an estimated 4 million cubic yards of debris to landfills in upstate New York and Pennsylvania.
And that is just New York City. Similar operations, on an equally epic scale, are underway on Long Island and in New Jersey, as the next step beyond restoring electricity for the region is cleaning up the giant putrid piles of waste that represent the overturned lives of the tens of thousands of area residents whose homes were flooded by the storm.
How Airport Security Is Killing Us
Posted by: Charles Kenny on November 18, 2012
This week marks the beginning of the busiest travel time of the year. For millions of Americans, the misery of holiday travel is made considerably worse by a government agency ostensibly designed to make our journeys more secure. Created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Transportation Security Administration has largely outlived its usefulness, as the threat of a terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland continues to recede. These days, the TSA’s major role appears to be to make plane trips more unpleasant. And by doing so, it’s encouraging people to take the considerably more dangerous option of traveling by road.
The attention paid to terrorism in the U.S. is considerably out of proportion to the relative threat it presents. That’s especially true when it comes to Islamic-extremist terror. Of the 150,000 murders in the U.S. between 9/11 and the end of 2010, Islamic extremism accounted for fewer than three dozen. Since 2000, the chance that a resident of the U.S. would die in a terrorist attack was one in 3.5 million, according to John Mueller and Mark Stewart of Ohio State and the University of Newcastle, respectively. In fact, extremist Islamic terrorism resulted in just 200 to 400 deaths worldwide outside the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq—the same number, Mueller noted in a 2011 report (PDF), as die in bathtubs in the U.S. alone each year.
Yet the TSA still commands a budget of nearly $8 billion—which is why the agency is left with too many officers and not enough to do. The TSA’s “Top Good Catches of 2011,” reported on its blog, did include 1,200 firearms and—their top find—a single batch of C4 explosives (though those were discovered only on the return flight). A longer list of TSA’s confiscations would include a G.I. Joe action doll’s 4-inch plastic rifle (“it’s a replica”) and a light saber. And needless to say, the TSA didn’t spot a single terrorist trying to board an airline in the U.S., notes Bruce Schneier.
President Obama, It’s Time To Fulfill Your Promise To Close Guantánamo – OpEd
By: Andy Worthington
November 15, 2012
I wrote the following article for the “Close Guantánamo” website, which I established in January with US attorney Tom Wilner. Please join us — just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.
Now that the dust has settled on last week’s Presidential election, we at “Close Guantánamo” pledge that we will continue to demand that President Obama fulfills his promise to close the “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which he made on his second day in office in January 2009.
Although we acknowledge that the President has released 71 prisoners since that time, and we accept that Congress has been monstrously obstructive, this is not sufficient to excuse Barack Obama for his failure to fulfill his promise. 166 men still languish in Guantánamo, almost all abandoned by the justice system on which America prides itself.
Particularly galling is the fact that 86 of the men still held were cleared for release by President Obama’s Guantánamo Review Task Force, a sober and responsible collection of officials from the major government departments and the intelligence agencies, who analyzed the cases of all the prisoners throughout 2009. The Task Force concluded that 56 of those men should be released, and 30 others — all Yemenis — should be held in “conditional detention” (a category of detention invented by the Task Force) until it was decided that the security situation in Yemen had improved.
Privacy: An Abbreviated Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping, October 9, 2012
Privacy: An Overview of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping, October 9, 2012
Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, October 9, 2012
Privacy: An Abridged Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, October 9, 2012
Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions, November 9, 2012
The defense counsel was denied access to Holmes. Possibly something being covered up. I don't want to see a repeat with the Arapahoe County Sheriffs beating someone to death in jail again.
"Denver defense attorney Larry Pozner said the fact that a client has been denied access to his attorneys is “extraordinary.”
“We’re 200 years past the point when you can keep defense lawyers from seeing their clients,” Pozner said. “It’s inappropriate, it’s uncalled for and it’s out of line.”"
On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 6:22 PM, Adam Coate wrote:
Sources: Aurora theater shooting suspect injured self by ramming head into cell wall
Investigate the FBI
The real Petraeus scandal is why the bureau was rummaging around in his private communications in the first place.
BY TREVOR TIMM | NOVEMBER 14, 2012
For the past week, Washington has been embroiled in an ever-escalating sex scandal involving Gen. David Petraeus, his biographer Paula Broadwell, and a third woman named Jill Kelley, and now, tangentially it seems, Gen. John Allen. The affair between Petraeus and Broadwell was discovered by the FBI and revealed late last week when Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA. But while the salacious details have kept Washington's press corps busy, the details about how the bureau ever got this information should concern us far more.
Every turn in the investigation that led to Petraeus's resignation perfectly illustrates the incredible and dangerous reach of the massive United States surveillance apparatus, which, through hundreds of billions of dollars in post-9/11 programs -- coupled with weakened privacy laws and lack of oversight -- has affected the civil liberties of every American for years. The only difference here is the victim of the surveillance state's reach was not a faceless American, but the head one of the agencies tasked to carry it out.
The spark that set events in motion was a handful of allegedly harassing emails sent anonymously to Kelley, a friend of Petraeus's, which she brought to a friend at the FBI. Yet it's unclear why an investigation was ever opened, given that everything publicly known about the emails suggests they weren't illegal.