Jan 11, 2017

9/11 History: Using 9/11 To Destroy The Constitution (A GOP Tradition For Over 30 Years!)

After Nixon got caught the Republican party (many of whom still "serve" today) was heartbroken and that's, when I believe, the decided to wage war on the Constitution and the people of America so they can never lose power again for doing (what they believe) is the right of the President (i.e. to do whatever the hell they want irrespective of laws or basic human morality). First thing they did when they got back power was to build up the NSA;

Washington Post: Meet Executive Order 12333: The Reagan rule that lets the NSA spy on Americans

Even after all the reforms President Obama has announced, some intelligence practices remain so secret, even from members of Congress, that there is no opportunity for our democracy to change them.
Public debate about the bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ data by the NSA has focused largely on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, through which the government obtains court orders to compel American telecommunications companies to turn over phone data. But Section 215 is a small part of the picture and does not include the universe of collection and storage of communications by U.S. persons authorized under Executive Order 12333.
Even Bush was out looking for phone records BEFORE 9/11

Report: Bush Administration Sought Phone Records Before 9/11

The former chief executive at Qwest Communications says his company lost hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts after it refused to participate in a secret National Security Agency spy program that the company thought was illegal. Former chief executive Joseph Nacchio said the NSA approached Qwest about participating in the surveillance program six months before the Sept. 11 attacks. In July, Nacchio was sentenced to six years in prison for insider trading, but he is currently free on appeal. Court documents released last week show a federal judge rejected multiple requests from Nacchio to introduce information about the government’s controversial phone-tapping program as part of his defense against insider-trading charges.

Blueprint for Post-9/11 Surveillance: U.S. Began Bulk Collection of Phone Call Data in 1992

An explosive new report reveals the federal government secretly tracked billions of U.S. phone calls years before the 9/11 attacks. According to USA Today, the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration collected bulk data for phone calls in as many as 116 countries deemed to have a connection with drug trafficking. The program began in 1992 under President George H.W. Bush, nine years before his son, George W. Bush, authorized the National Security Agency to gather logs of Americans’ phone calls in 2001. This program served as a blueprint for NSA mass surveillance. We speak with Brad Heath, the USA Today investigative reporter who broke the story.

On Eve of 9/11, Bush Seeks to Expand Patriot Act 

Report: DEA, Justice Dept. Tracked Billions of U.S. Phone Records Before 9/11
A new report shows the federal government secretly tracked billions of U.S. phone calls years before the 9/11 attacks. According to USA Today, the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration collected bulk data for phone calls to dozens of countries deemed to have a connection with drug trafficking. The program served as a blueprint for mass surveillance by the National Security Agency.

All 9/11 did (in context of Republican/GOP politics) was provide the perfect excuse for the Republicans to do what they have always done, i.e. attack the Constitution and with it America;

The Erosion of Democracy: How the Political Right Will Benefit From the Events of 9/11

As the FBI struggles to crack anthrax cases, authorities have definitely not ruled out the possibility that they maybe the work of a domestic extremist group. Popular perception points to Al Qaeda or some international organization.But with no definitive leads in the case, law-enforcement officials are looking back home. Many domestic terroristsare said to be obsessed with biological weapons–as evidenced by the hundreds of anthrax hoaxes perpetrated byright-wing groups, most often against abortion clinics.
In 1995, members of the Minnesota Patriots Council, an antigovernment group, were caught plotting to killlaw-enforcement officials with ricin, a toxin they manufactured using a kit ordered from a magazine. That same year,Larry Wayne Harris, a member of the Identity Christian Church who Democracy Now spoke to two weeks ago, managed toorder three vials of Yersina pestis, which causes bubonic plague, from a laboratory in Maryland. Harris was caughtand arrested, but three years later police found eight bags of what he boasted was weapons-grade anthrax in his car.The substance turned out to be anthrax vaccine. Harris’s ability to acquire even a nonlethal form of anthrax–andthe press his actions garnered–may have inspired other right-wing groups. Since 1998, the number of anthrax hoaxessent to abortion clinics spiked sharply.
Political Research Associates, a group that monitors and analyzes the political right in the US, has long believedthat the right wing will capitalize on events of the time to try to limit rights for some. After September 11th, PRApresident Jean Hardisty began touring around the country to talk about the continued erosion of democracy.
1) The prejudice, bigotry and bias so easily visible in American society will be unleashed with new fury on anyoneperceived as a potential "enemy" of American interests. Scapegoating has already begun as we read of harassment, andworse, against those seen as Arab, Muslim, South Asian, or even just "foreign."
2) We fear that civil liberties will be curtailed in ways that are not justified by genuine security concerns.
3) President Bush has appointed a number of men to his administration who are veterans of previous US internationalwars, both overt and covert, and whose roles in those conflicts were morally questionable.

  • Jean Hardisty, President, Political Research Associates.

Ex-CIA Analysts: "The Real Question is How Post-9/11 Was Exploited…To Curtail Our Freedoms and Launch an Unprovoked War"

Former CIA analysts Ray McGovern and David MacMichael discuss how the White House exploited the September 11 attacks to fulfill an ideological strategic concept and wage a war that had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction or ties with al-Qaeda. Earlier we talked about the case of the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Joe Wilson and the outing of his wife as an alleged CIA agent by senior white house officials after Wilson came forward saying there was no evidence of that Iraq attempted to import aluminum tubes from Niger. Today we are going to talk about the September 11th attacks. Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst. David MacMichael, former CIA analyst.

9/11 Intel Bill Expands Powers of Patriot Act and "Politicizes Intelligence"

The intelligence reform bill passed by Congress includes little-discussed provisions that would greatly expand the government’s policing power and centralizes the intelligence community’s surveillance powers which civil liberties advocates say increases the likelihood for government abuses. We speak with Robert Dreyfuss of Mother Jones and Timothy Edgar of the ACLU. 

Art Torres, the Chair of the California Democratic Party Assails the Ins and Justice Department's Post-9/11 Policies

At the Muslim Public Affairs Council convention,speakers charged the USA Patriot Act constitutes thebiggest threat to democracy in the United States.
Speakers called on the American public to challengethe Patriot Act, which they called an unconstitutionallaw that violates basic civil liberties. They alsourged the roughly 1,500 people in attendance at theMuslim Public Affairs Council convention to demand themedia provide diverse perspectives on the potentialwar with Iraq to complement the official governmentstand.
Art Torres, chairman of the California, DemocraticParty, compared the recent detention of immigrants inLos Angeles to the Japanese internment camps duringWorld War II.
"Japan American citizens were detained because of whothey were not because of what they had done in Americawe are repeating that same example," said Torres.
Torres, who was the first Latino to receive theDemocratic Party’s nomination for statewide officewhen he ran for Insurance Commissioner in 1994, calledfor Muslim immigrants to be fully accepted into thesociety.
Torres said, "Just as the Irish assimilated intoAmerican society and retained their culture heritageand faith, just as Italian Americans were ridiculedand yet embraced and inserted themselves into thefabric of the American culture while still retainingtheir culture and faith. Just as Mexican Americanscross that border to come to the America to search fora better life maintain their culture and faith. So tomust Muslim American be allowed to integrate into theAmerican society without having to sacrifice theyidentity, their culture or their faith."
Torres went on to quote a recent editorial in the LosAngeles Times titled "INS Detentions Are A Bust."
  • Art Torres, chairman of the CaliforniaDemocratic Party

Justice Dept OKed Military Carrying Out Domestic Raids After 9/11
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has released a series of Bush administration Justice Department memos written after the September 11 attacks. One memo, co-written by John Yoo, authorized President Bush to deploy the military to carry out raids inside the United States and to spy on Americans without a warrant or probable cause. Yoo wrote, "the Fourth Amendment does not apply to domestic military operations designed to deter and prevent foreign terrorist attacks." Yoo’s memo also claimed other parts of the Constitution could be disregarded. He wrote, “First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully.”

Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire

We hear an excerpt of a new documentary by the Media Education Foundation, "Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire" which examines how the Bush administration used Sept. 11 to transform American foreign policy and enter a phase of so-called preemptive warfare while rolling back civil liberties and social programs at home. 

Buffalo, 9/11 and the War at Home

On the eve of the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks we take a look at one of the cities in this country hardest hit by the 9/11 aftermath–Buffalo, New York. We speak Bruce Jackson, a professor of American Culture at SUNY Buffalo and editor of the web journal BuffaloReport.com. [includes rush transcript] As the 3rd anniversary of the September 11 attacks nears, people and groups across the country are planning vigils, peace demonstrations and memorial services for the dead. The anniversary comes as the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq passes the 1,000 mark; the number of dead Iraqis goes largely uncounted but some estimates put the number well above 10,000. Afghanis continue to die, as do US soldiers deployed there. Over the past three years, the lives of millions of Americans have been irreversibly altered. Not just by the devastation of September 11 and the deaths of US soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Immigrants, particularly Muslim Americans, Pakistani Americans and Arab Americans, have paid a heavy price simply for being who they are. The PATRIOT Act has had a devastating impact in these communities and to the whole institution of civil liberties in the US. One of the cities hardest hit by the 9-eleven aftermath is the city we are broadcasting from today, Buffalo. At least six Buffalo residents have died in the invasion or occupation of Iraq. The city was also home to the "Lackawana Six," a group of Yemeni Americans convicted of providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. One of their lawyers said they pleaded guilty only after prosecutors had dropped heavy hints that they would be declared "enemy combatants" if they didn’t. President Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller all hailed the convictions as a triumph for law enforcement. But critics called it an example of the US jailing people for "thought crimes" and "guilt by association." None of the six were accused of planning or engaging in any act of terrorism. Buffalo is also a key transit point for visitors going to and from Canada, which, in this era of a so-called tightening of the borders, has had a significant impact on the city. Today, we look at Buffalo 3 years after 9-eleven. 

James Bamford: "The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America"

The Bush administration’s wiretapping program has come under new scrutiny this week. Two influential congressional committees have opened probes into allegations US intelligence spied on the phone calls of American military personnel, journalists and aid workers in Iraq. We speak to James Bamford about the NSA’s spying on Americans, the agency’s failings pre-9/11 and the ties between NSA and the nation’s telecommunications companies.

Veteran Journalist Robert Scheer on "The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America"

Over the past four decades, veteran reporter Robert Scheer has built a reputation as one of the leading journalists in this country, from his time as a war correspondent during Vietnam to his widely read columns today. Over the years, he has interviewed Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Clinton. He is the author of seven books. His latest is The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America. [includes rush transcript]

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. The Pornography of Power — why pornography? ROBERT SCHEER: Because it’s not the real thing. It’s a trick. It’s like — I liken it to a lap dance. You know, you’re promising something that doesn’t exist. They’re promising security. These defense contractors, lobbyists, politicians, they pretend they’re dealing with real issues in the world, and they’re not. They’re just getting your money, and they’re deceiving you. And at the end of the day, you wonder, how did I end up in this grimy, dangerous place, and forking over ever more money, and it has nothing to do with making me happy. So I use the pornography symbol as example of what they’re doing. And that’s really what this hijacking of 9/11 is all about. These guys who did the hijacking, what we do know about it is they used $3 implements that you could buy at Home Depot. They didn’t use F-22s, F-35s. They didn’t use subs or anything else. So there’s no enemy in sight. The military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about was in big trouble. George Bush’s father had cut the defense budget by 30 percent. It was going way down. We were finally going to get a peace dividend. And then they jumped over 9/11. They said, “Wow! This is our new opportunity. Let’s dust off all the ships and planes that are no longer needed, and we’ll build them now.” And we are going deeply into debt to building these things that have absolutely no use. We have this enormous arsenal that, according to the Reaganites, humbled the old Soviet Union. The Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore. And we’re building, you know, two-and-a-half-billion-dollar-a-piece submarines to fight who? And every once in awhile they bring up China, and they’re even in trouble on that one now, because it turns out that China and Taiwan are getting along quite famously this week, and they’re talking about a new chapter of peace. And so, we don’t even have the China bogeyman anymore. And the idea that you need submarines to go get guys who are in caves in Afghanistan is absurd. AMY GOODMAN: You write it costs between $400,000 and $500,000 for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda to pull off the 9/11 attacks, according to the authoritative estimate of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission appointed by President Bush. But within days of the hijacking, Bush demanded 50,000 times that amount: $20 billion in emergency appropriations from Congress. ROBERT SCHEER: Right. I think we — I think people have trouble. We all know that from school. What’s $1,000, what’s $1 million, what’s $1 billion, and what’s $1 trillion, you know? And people have trouble keeping track of the money. But the $20 billion that he got right away, that’s nothing. I say, we had a situation where Bush vetoed an extension of child healthcare that would have involved $7 billion, OK? That’s two subs that we don’t need that are built every year. Alright? We have the F-35, an airplane that’s a $300 billion program. Why do we need new planes? The F-22, a $65 billion program. So we are wasting trillions of dollars on this old-fashioned defense budget that benefits Boeing, benefits Lockheed. Everyone knows it’s a scam. Everyone knows there is no military function for this, there’s no national security. And what happened is they got a license to steal. 9/11 was their license to steal.

As GOP and Some Top Dems Unite in Opposing NY Islamic Community Center, a Roundtable Discussion with Mother of 9/11 Victim, Rabbi, Muslim Lawmaker and Islamic Scholar

We spend the hour on the controversy around the proposed construction of an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, which has turned into a national issue. Opposition to the center first started among fringe, right-wing blogs but has swept into the mainstream, with some Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, coming out against it. Republicans have vowed to make the controversy a campaign issue in the fall. We host a roundtable with four guests: Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress; Rabbi Irwin Kula of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership; Islamic scholar John Esposito of Georgetown University; and Talat Hamdani, whose son Salman died on 9/11 in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Way of the Knife: NYT's Mark Mazzetti on the CIA's Post-9/11 Move from Spying to Assassinations

In his new book, "The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth," Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti tracks the transformation of the CIA and U.S. special operations forces into man-hunting and killing machines in the world’s dark spaces: the new American way of war. The book’s revelations include disclosing that the Pakistani government agreed to allow the drone attacks in return for the CIA’s assassination of Pakistani militant Nek Muhammad, who was not even a target of the United States. Mazzetti’s reporting on the violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan — and Washington’s response — won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. The year before, he was a Pulitzer finalist for his reporting on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. 

Federal Court OKs Post-9/11 Secret Arrests

Appeals court backs Justice Dept. decision to withhold the names of hundreds of immigrants detained after Sept. 11. We talk to attorney Kate Martin. The federal court of appeals in Washington D.C. yesterday ruled the Justice Department can secretly detain immigrants without ever publicly releasing their names, the reason for the arrests or the names of their attorneys. The decision reverses a lower court ruling last August that ordered the government to make public the names of the detainees and their lawyers. The three-judge court ruled against a coalition of more than 20 civil liberties groups and other organizations who invoked the Freedom of Information Act to challenge the secret arrests. The ruling also said the government could keep secret the dates and locations of the arrest, detention and release of all the detainees. "For the first time in US history, a court has approved secret arrests," said Attorney Kate Martin. Martin, who heads the Center for National Security Studies, said her organization and others in the case may appeal the ruling. A coalition of civil liberties groups had filed suit in order to obtain the names of the more than 750 immigrants who were secretly picked up after Sept. 11. A Washington Post editorial described the Court’s move as a "dreadful decision." Kate Martin, Director of the Center for National Security Studies.

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