Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WeAreChange confronts Dick Cheney Stand Down 9/11

Tea Party Crashes: The Most UnPatriotic Act :

Tea Party Crashes: The Most UnPatriotic Act :

The Intel Hub
By Susan Lindauer, 9/11 Whistleblower indicted on the Patriot Act

February 15th, 2011

I confess that since November I’ve been holding my breath, watching the clock for how long Tea Party newcomers could hold out against the entrenched Republican elite on Capitol Hill. Collapse was inevitable, however I admit to feeling bitterly surprised at how rapidly they have thrown in the towel.

For the record, most of the Tea Party quit their principles of liberty on February 14, 2011—20 days into the new Congress—when Tea Party leaders abruptly abandoned their opposition to the Patriot Act and voted to extend intrusive domestic surveillance, wire tapping and warrantless searches of American citizens. In so doing, they exposed the fraud of their soaring campaign promises to defend the liberty of ordinary Americans, and fight government intrusions on freedom. All those wide eyed speeches that flowed with such thrilling devotions, all of it proved to be self-aggrandizing lies.

The Tea Party didn’t even put up a fight. Briefly they rejected a sneak attack to renew three surveillance clauses of the Patriot Act on a suspension vote. That filled my heart with hope. One push from the Republican elite, however and they went down with a loud thud.

My disappointment is particularly acute. Rather notoriously, I am distinguished as the second non-Arab American to face indictment on the Patriot Act, after Jose Padilla.

My status was pretty close to an enemy non-combatant. One would presume that I must have joined some terrorist conspiracy? Or engaged in some brutal act of sedition, such as stock piling weapons and munitions to overthrow those crooks in Congress?

You would be wrong. I got indicted for protesting the War in Iraq. My crime was delivering a warm-hearted letter to my second cousin White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card, which correctly outlined the consequences of War. Suspiciously, I had been one of the very few Assets covering the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations for seven years. Thus, I was personally acquainted with the truth about Pre-War Intelligence, which differs remarkably from the story invented by GOP leaders on Capitol Hill.

More dangerously still, my team gave advance warnings about the 9/11 attack and solicited Iraq’s cooperation after 9/11. In August 2001, at the urging of my CIA handler, I phoned Attorney General John Ashcroft’s private staff and the Office of Counter-Terrorism to ask for an “emergency broadcast alert” across all federal agencies, seeking any fragment of intelligence on airplane hijackings. My warning cited the World Trade Center as the identified target. Highly credible independent sources have confirmed that in August, 2001 I described the strike on the World Trade Center as “imminent,” with the potential for “mass casualties, possibly using a miniature thermonuclear device.”

Thanks to the Patriot Act, Americans have zero knowledge of those truths, though the 9/11 Community has zoomed close for years. Republican leaders invoked the Patriot Act to take me down 30 days after I approached the offices of Senator John McCain and Trent Lott, requesting to testify about Iraq’s cooperation with the 9/11 investigation and a comprehensive peace framework that would have achieved every U.S. and British objective without firing a shot. Ironically, because of the Patriot Act, my conversations with Senator Trent Lott’s staff got captured on wire taps, proving my story.

You see, contrary to rhetoric on Capitol Hill, the Patriot Act is first and foremost a weapon to bludgeon whistleblowers and political dissidents. Indeed, it has been singularly crafted for that purpose.

The American people are not nearly as frightened as they should be. Many Americans expect the Patriot Act to limit its surveillance to overseas communications. Yet while I was under indictment, Maryland State Police invoked the Patriot Act to wire tap activists tied to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, an environmental group dedicated to wind power, solar energy and recycling. The DC Anti-War Network was targeted as a “white supremacist group.” Amnesty International and anti-death penalty activists got targeted for alleged “civil rights violations.”

All of these are American activists engaged in lawful disputes of government policy. All of them got victimized by the surveillance techniques approved by Tea Party leaders, because they pursued a policy agenda that contradicted current government policies. The Tea Party swore to defend the freedom of independent thinking in Congressional campaigns. One presumes those promises are now forgotten until the next election.

I cannot forget. I cannot forget how I was subjected to secret charges, secret evidence and secret grand jury testimony that denied my right to face my accusers or their accusations in open court, throughout five years of indictment. I cannot forget my imprisonment on a Texas military base for a year without a trial or evidentiary hearing.

I cannot forget how the FBI, the US Attorneys Office, the Bureau of Prisons and the main Justice office in Washington — independently and collectively verified my story— then falsified testimony to Chief Justice Michael Mukasey, denying our 9/11 warnings and my long-time status as a U.S. intelligence Asset, though my witnesses had aggressively confronted them. Apparently the Patriot Act allows the Justice Department to withhold corroborating evidence and testimony from the Court, if it is deemed “classified.”

I cannot forget threats of forcible drugging and indefinite detention up to 10 years, until I could be “cured” of believing what everybody wanted to deny— because it was damn inconvenient to politicians in Washington anxious to hold onto power.

Some things are unforgivable in a democracy. The Patriot Act would be right at the top of that list. Nobody who has supported that wretched law should ever be allowed to brag of defending liberty again. That goes for the Tea Party. By voting to extend surveillance of American citizens, they have abandoned the principles of freedom that brought about their rise to power. They have shown their true face.

It is a face that we, the people, will remember. I, for one, have no intention of allowing them to forget.

Susan Lindauer is the author of EXTREME PREJUDICE: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq.

Intel Hub Note: On a brighter note, Rand Paul is completely against the Patriot Act and sent a letter of opposition to his colleagues.

US Air Force C17 transport caught smuggling arms and drugs into Argentina « Aletho News

US Air Force C17 transport caught smuggling arms and drugs into Argentina

Pagina/12 Report – February 14, 2011

Translation by Aletho News:

Argentina’s foreign ministry has issued a press release stating that it will be making a formal protest over undeclared weapons and drugs brought into the nation at Ezeiza last Thursday.

A manifest provided by the US did not list war materiel and drugs which were seized by Argentine authorities.

Among the confiscated materiel were communications interception equipment , encrypted communications equipment, sophisticated GPS devices, high power rifles, a machine gun and narcotics as well as a full trunk of expired pharmaceuticals including stimulants. All boxes had the stamp of the 7th Army Airborne Brigade based in North Carolina.

The Argentine government estimates the value of the goods and the C17 transport expenses to exceed $2 million.

The unreported contents also included an odd brochure with the phrase “I am a United States soldier. Please report to my embassy I have been arrested by the country.” translated into fifteen languages.

US documents described the shipment as intended for an Argentine government approved Federal police training course.

Argentina reiterated that it does not wish for the internal security practices of Rio’s favelas or El Salvador’s gangs to be the model for the Argentine nation.

The Argentine government will be suspending the police training program.

Argentina’s ambassador to the US described the situation as “a shameful embarrassment” before returning the cargo to North Carolina.

It is noted that any Argentine, civilian or military, who attempted to smuggle weapons and drugs into the US would be arrested immediately.


Spanish language source:

La Argentina “formulará una protesta” formal ante los Estados Unidos por el intento de ingresar de forma ilegal “material camuflado” en un avión militar que llegó a Ezeiza el jueves pasado, tal como informó ayer Página/12. Según un comunicado de prensa difundido anoche por Cancillería, entre el material que se incautó tras la inspección “hay desde armas hasta diferentes drogas” que no habían sido declaradas en el manifiesto… continuarse

WANT LUNCH? GIVE US YOUR FINGERPRINTS - ‘Big Brother’ fears at Parliament Hill School | Camden New Journal

WANT LUNCH? GIVE US YOUR FINGERPRINTS - ‘Big Brother’ fears at Parliament Hill School

‘Big Brother’ fears at Parliament Hill School

Published: 10 February, 2011

PUPILS at one of Camden’s top secondary schools may have to provide fingerprints to get their school lunches.

Scanners could be installed at Parliament Hill School in Highgate Road, Highgate, to speed up queues in the canteen.

Replacing the current swipe cards, the cashless system would use students’ biometric data to record payments for school meals.

If approved, Parliament Hill will become the first state school in Camden to use the technology as part of students’ daily routine.

Staff say it would save “time and money” by tackling the problem of lost or broken cards, but critics argue that it is a “softening up” exercise to condition children to accept a creeping surveillance society.

Aza Lorentz, a parent who wrote to the New Journal raising concerns over the proposals, said: “The current photo ID card is sufficient, and it acts as lunch card as well as identity.

“Pupils could eventually have to sign in every time they use the library, enter or leave the school. I feel it is a way of making the younger generation more accepting of controlling technologies.” Judy Jenkin, another parent parent, added: “I’d like to see how much it costs because there are other priorities and I don’t really see any problem with the ID cards. If it’s designed to speed up the lunch queue, the canteen is about the size of my front room so I don’t think it will solve the problem.”

Parents have been invited to Parliament Hill next week for a demonstration of how the system would work.

Cate Hart, director of operations at Parliament Hill, said the “vast majority” of parents who responded to the consultation supported the use of the technology.

She added: “Parents and students had expressed concerns about the speed of the lunchtime service, using swipe cards to pay for lunches. Cards get lost, damaged and forgotten, which results in frustration for students and catering staff at the tills.

“There will be inevitable concern about the ‘use’ of fingerprints, but the image of the fingerprint is taken from the scanner and turned directly into a ‘number’, which is retained in the system.

“Images of the fingerprints are not stored on the system anywhere. The number cannot be turned back into a fingerprint.”

She added that governors will make a final decision based on all the consultation responses and comments from parents.

Students whose parents object will be able to opt out of the system.

The Department for Education (DfE) estimates about 30 per cent of secondary schools and 5 per cent of primaries across the country use biometric systems. But Terri Dowti, director of lobby group Action on Rights for Children, is concerned that these systems could be vulnerable to hackers.

A DfE spokesman said: “Legislation will be introduced in the Freedom Bill to ensure that no children’s biometric data are taken, in schools or colleges, without parental permission. The Bill will give children the right to refuse to use biometric systems and will ensure that alternatives are provided for those who opt out of using biometric technology.”