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Oscar winning writer-director Oliver Stone's new book, The Untold History of the United States, and accompanying televised documentary, looks back at events that helped shape America's complex history over the 20th century.
Stone says the aim of his project is to analyse "what America has done wrong, in the hope it can change".
The BBC's Komla Dumor was joined by Oliver Stone and by his co-author Peter Kuznick, a history professor at the American University in Washington.
Families of soldiers killed in Iraq reacted with dismay yesterday after it emerged that Sir John Chilcot’s report into the war has been hit by yet more delays after objections over declassifying Tony Blair's private messages.
The Iraq Inquiry, set up by Gordon Brown to find the truth about Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War, remains at loggerheads with the Cabinet Office over the publication of classified documents.
It means Sir John’s report will not be published until late next year at the earliest – two years behind schedule – though if the issue is not resolved soon it could be 2014 before the report sees the light of day.
Reg Keys, a founder of the campaign group Military Families Against the War and the father of L/Cpl Tom Keys, who was killed in Iraq in 2003, said the delay was “frustrating” and would prolong the agony of families like his.
This message may not have much to do with 9/11 but it does in one important respect: the unrelenting pursuit of the truth and justice.
In 1989, a tragedy unfolded at a British football stadium called Hillsborough at the beginning of a football match in which 96 Liverpool fans died as a consequence of poor planning, no crowd control and a lack of a disaster and emergency plan.
Last week, a report was published which exposed the scale of the cover-up by the Police in their failures to stop the tragedy. This included the police altering over 100 statements, telling police officers to say they weren't at the stadium and collected DNA evidence of those who died in order to see if they could find any criminal past that would help them justify the actions of those fans which led to their deaths. It was also revealed that 41 of the 96 should not have even died.
As a consequence of this report, I managed to get a letter published in the UK metro which has a readership of over 3 million stating that the conspiracy theory label is insulting and derogatory toward those who seek the truth over injustice.
It was edited slightly, but the essence of the letter remains:
A competition in England is open to entries from 14-16 year olds
All students have to do is tell us how they think 9/11 changed the world. We want them to use their imagination by sending us an original, creative and thoughtful piece of work.
Students can send us either:
a short film (under 75mb)
a 1200 word (approx.) essay
Professor Chris Husbands (CHAIR) - Director Institute of Education
Lord Puttnam - Film Producer, Education Advocate, Environmentalist, Politician
Charles Saumarez Smith CBE - Secretary and Chief Executive Royal Academy of Arts
John Simpson CBE - BBC World Affairs Editor
Cliff Chanin - Director of Education and Public Programmes, The National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Sally Coates - Principal, Burlington Danes Academy
Dr Yvonne Burne OBE - 9 11 London Project Trustee and Ex Headteacher of City of London School for Girls
Peter Rosengard - Life Insurance Salesman (Founder and Chairman of 9 11 London Project)
Mark Napier - Independent Consultant in Finance and Development. UK 9/11 Family Member
9/11 case that 'highlights the danger of secret court plan': U.S. intelligence used similar powers to hide failings, claims Tory MP
A senior Tory MP last night issued a warning over the dangers of Government plans for ‘secret courts’ as he claimed U.S. intelligence services used similar powers to cover up embarrassing details of how the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented.
Former shadow home secretary David Davis used Parliamentary privilege to allege that officials squandered the chance to have access to al-Qaeda and Taliban calls and emails two years before the attacks in New York.
Mr Davis told MPs that U.S. authorities then used controversial powers to shut down court cases that would have exposed their blunder.
This probably won't come as too much as a surprise!
The gunman killed in France was on a US no-fly list and French intelligence had interviewed him as recently as November 2011.
France is facing calls for an inquiry into possible intelligence failures after a series of murders by a gunman in the south of the country.
Mohammed Merah - who claimed to have al-Qaeda training - was killed by a police sniper in Toulouse on Thursday.
It has now emerged that he had been under surveillance for months and had been on the US no-fly list.
Merah, 23, carried out three separate attacks, killing four people at a Jewish school and three soldiers.
He had said he was acting to "avenge Palestinian children" and protest against French military interventions overseas.
On Thursday French officials admitted that Merah had been followed by intelligence agencies for years.
They said that as recently as November 2011 he was questioned by France's DCRI domestic intelligence agency to explain his trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Commentators in France and abroad have criticised the intelligence services for failing to track Merah closely enough.
I sent a letter to my two local papers, hoping they might get published. Not only did both papers publish the letter, one chose it as letter of the week.
The Evening post has a circulation of about 15,000 and the Chronicle has a circulation of about 7,000.
Information on the Lion statue can be found here:
Probably getting a bit bored of it all by now!
Here is a long article from the Independent so here is a selection:
Conspiracy theories are cultural viruses. Once they infect the zeitgeist, it is extremely difficult to stamp them out – no matter how solid the evidence against them is. Studies have shown that people who are prone to believe in conspiracies display an innate bias towards information which supports that conspiracy, no matter how spurious that information is and no matter how solid the evidence against the conspiracy is.
Today, there are more conspiracy theories and more conspiracy theory believers than ever before. They range from the simply fanciful – such as the theory that Kentucky Fried Chicken is owned by the Ku Klux Klan which laces the food with a drug that makes only black men impotent – to the labyrinthine, such as the intricacy of theories around 9/11 and the death of John F Kennedy.
Once the quaint preserve of anoraks (think JFK) and X Files fans (alien abduction, faked moon landings and Area 51), they have now become a malevolent modern-day tool which nefarious organisations use to further their aims. Jamie Bartlett, head of the Violence and Extremism Programme at independent think tank Demos, has studied this worrying trend.
There are several reasons why conspiracy theories are increasing. Mainly it is because the internet has made it easy to propagate rumour and supposition on a global scale. Social networking sites allow conspiracy theorists to seek out and link with like-minded individuals. Whereas past conspiracies, like those surrounding the death of JFK, took years to formulate and disseminate, today's conspiracies develop almost organically. Immediately after 9/11, the internet was abuzz with individual voices questioning the official version of events. These nebulous ideas were able to crystallise as theorists discussed and developed their ideas and formed into a set of theories adopted by groups such as the 9/11 Truth Movement.
The number of people who believe conspiracy theories is staggering. According to various recent surveys, a third of Brits believe Princess Diana was murdered (a Daily Mail survey), a quarter believe the moon landings were faked (from Engineering and Technology magazine), nearly half of all Americans do not believe global warming is man-made (a Yale University survey) and 84 per cent of them believe 9/11 was an inside job (a New York Times/CBS poll).
Footage that kills the conspiracy theories: Unseen 9/11 footage shows WTC Building 7 consumed by fire
Its dramatic collapse several hours after the Twin Towers fell triggered a decade of conspiracy theories.
Those who believed that the September 11 attacks on America were not carried out by Al Qaeda terrorists pointed to the fall of World Trade Center Building 7 as proof of their wild claims.
But a newly released video appears to finally prove once and for all that Building 7 was brought down by the intense heat of the blazing World Trade Center - and not explosives, as conspiracy theorists claim.
The video shows up-close shots of the lower floors of World Trade Center Building 7, located just across the street from the Twin Towers, and focuses in on the exterior metal beams of Building 7 as they begin to buckle as they are overheated.
The buckling led to floors falling in on one another, causing the building to collapse.
Its not the article itself, but notice anything strange about the cartoon?
Is the first MSM recognition of explosions since the initial reports on 9/11 itself?
Explosions triggered by molten aircraft metal reacting with water from sprinkler systems may have felled the Twin Towers after the 9/11 attacks, according to a new theory.
Just before the two World Trade Centre skyscrapers in New York collapsed on September 11 2001, powerful blasts were heard within the buildings and a leading materials scientist says they could be the key to the dramatic conclusion of the terrorist attacks.
Over-heated steel beams have been blamed for the towers suddenly crashing to the ground after they were hit by two passenger jets.
But Norwegian expert Dr Christian Simensen believes the powerful explosions were caused by a chemical reaction between molten aluminium from the aircraft and water ripped out the buildings' internal structure.
And from Starbucks, I went down the rabbit hole. I found myself at a conference on Walker Street called 'How The World Changed After 9/11'. It was packed, but I managed to slide in at the back, to hear a guy called Webster Tarpley chant his own list of names. The names of the 46 military exercises and hijack drills (called things like 'Vigilant Guardian') that were actually taking place on the morning of September 11. "The greatest density of drills in US military history," Tarpley said.
What I heard, from speaker after speaker, was a heartfelt desire to turn away from the path of destruction, militarism and lies that America has been set upon after 9/11. Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, mourned for Iraq: "One million dead, 4m displaced, and that's a victory?" He sees the failure of Americans to comprehend the scale of the destruction wrought under their flag as nothing less than racist.
A former FBI agent has told the BBC that he is being prevented from telling the truth about the events of 9/11 and what has happened since.
Ali Soufan alleges that crucial intelligence was not passed on from the CIA before the attacks in 2001.
He has written a book detailing some of his claims and has been speaking to the BBC's Security Correspondent Gordon Corera in his first on camera interview on the subject.
In response to the allegations in this report the CIA issued a statement to the BBC that said: "Any suggestion that the CIA purposely refused to share critical lead information on the 9/11 plots with the FBI is baseless."
"The suggestion that the Central Intelligence Agency has requested redactions on this publication because it does not like the content is ridiculous."
The CIA decline to comment on the record about the accusations regarding waterboarding and interrogation.
Comment in today's UK London Evening Standard by Sam Leith, thought I would share.
"Ten years on from the horror of 9/11, I find myself returning to a counterfactual that has preoccupied me on and off ever sice. A thought experiment: what if, instead of responding as they did, the US had made the ultimate gesture of a hyperpower's self-confidence and simply turned the other cheek?
If they'd mourn their dead, rebuit the city, and treated the murders as a police matter - a grotesque crime rather than a military or political statement worthy of a response in kind?
Would it really have encouraged al-Qaeda? Or would it rather have made them seem vicious and small? And would the world, on balance, have been a better and safer place 10 years on than it is now? It's an open question - but I strongly suspect that it would."
"There is something sinister in the term Homeland Security. Homeland sounds a little too like Fatherland for comfort, a place demanding unthinking loyalty. Very un-American, one might imagine, but then Americans are not as free-wheeling as they like to think they are. Most of them like rules, enforced with a brand of passive aggression all the more unsettling for being delivered with a smile as bright as it is indifferent.
They don’t even manage the smile at JFK when you hand over your passport. Well, some do. Things have lightened a little since the early post 9/11 era when any foreigner was an object of suspicion. The Orwellian technology remains, however: the fingerprint scanner and camera, adding you to some vast, churning database, and increasingly for those boarding flights in the United States, the hugely intrusive whole-body scanner. Land of the Free-ish."