e shtunë, 28 korrik 2007


The Threat Of Martial Law Is Real

By Dave Lindorff

07/27/07 "
ICH" -- -- The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it my be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.

From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress.

The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim-improperly, but so what? -that the whole world, including the US, is a battlefield in a so-called "War" on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the US is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, "since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he'd need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S."

The 2001 AUMF was followed by the PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, which undermined much of the Bill of Rights. Around the same time, the president began a campaign of massive spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, conducted without any warrants or other judicial review. It was and remains a program that is clearly aimed at American dissidents and at the administration's political opponents, since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would never have raised no objections to spying on potential terrorists. (And it, and other government spying programs, have resulted in the government's having a list now of some 325,000 "suspected terrorists"!)

The other thing we saw early on was the establishment of an underground government-within-a-government, though the activation, following 9-11, of the so-called "Continuity of Government" protocol, which saw heads of federal agencies moved secretly to an underground bunker where, working under the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney, the "government" functioned out of sight of Congress and the public for critical months.

It was also during the first year following 9-11 that the Bush/Cheney regime began its programs of arrest and detention without charge-mostly of resident aliens, but also of American citizens-and of kidnapping and torture in a chain of gulag prisons overseas and at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.

The following year, Attorney General John Ashcroft began his program to develop a mass network of tens of millions of citizen spies-Operation TIPS. That program, which had considerable support from key Democrats (notably Sen. Joe Lieberman), was curtailed by Congress when key conservatives got wind of the scale of the thing, but the concept survives without a name, and is reportedly being expanded today.

Meanwhile, last October Bush and Cheney, with the help of a compliant Congress, put in place some key elements needed for a military putsch. There was the overturning of the venerable Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which barred the use of active duty military inside the United States for police-type functions, and the revision of the Insurrection Act, so as to empower the president to take control of National Guard units in the 50 states even over the objections of the governors of those states.

Put this together with the wholly secret construction now under way--courtesy of a $385-million grant by the US Army Corps of Engineers to Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc--of detention camps reportedly capable of confining as many as 400,000 people, and a recent report that the Pentagon has a document, dated June 1, 2007, classified Top Secret, which declares there to be a developing "insurgency" within the U.S, and which lays out a whole martial law counterinsurgency campaign against legal dissent, and you have all the ingredients for a military takeover of the United States.

As we go about our daily lives--our shopping, our escapist movie watching, and even our protesting and political organizing-we need to be aware that there is a real risk that it could all blow up, and that we could find ourselves facing armed, uniformed troops at our doors.

Bruce Fein isn't an alarmist. He says he doesn't see martial law coming tomorrow. But he is also realistic. "Really, by declaring the US to be a battlefield, Bush already made it possible for himself to declare martial law, because you can always declare martial law on a battlefield," he says. "All he would need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack on the U.S."

Indeed, the revised Insurrection Act (10. USC 331-335) approved by Congress and signed into law by Bush last October, specifically says that the president can federalize the National Guard to "suppress public disorder" in the event of "national disorder, epidemic, other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident." That determination, the act states, is solely the president's to make. Congress is not involved.

Fein says, "This is all sitting around like a loaded gun waiting to go off. I think the risk of martial law is trivial right now, but the minute there is a terrorist attack, then it is real. And it stays with us after Bush and Cheney are gone, because terrorism stays with us forever." (It may be significant that Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president, has called for the revocation of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq, but not of the earlier 2001 AUMF which Bush claims makes him commander in chief of a borderless, endless war on terror.)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has added an amendment to the upcoming Defense bill, restoring the Insurrection Act to its former version-a move that has the endorsement of all 50 governors--but Fein argues that would not solve the problem, since Bush still claims that the U.S. is a battlefield. Besides, a Leahy aide concedes that Bush could sign the next Defense Appropriations bill and then use a signing statement to invalidate the Insurrection Act rider.

Fein argues that the only real defense against the looming disaster of a martial law declaration would be for Congress to vote for a resolution determining that there is no "War" on terror. "But they are such cowards they will never do that," he says.

That leaves us with the military.

If ordered to turn their guns and bayonets on their fellow Americans, would our "heroes" in uniform follow their consciences, and their oaths to "uphold and defend" the Constitution of the United States? Or would they follow the orders of their Commander in Chief?

It has to be a plus that National Guard and Reserve units are on their third and sometimes fourth deployments to Iraq, and are fuming at the abuse. It has to be a plus that active duty troops are refusing to re-enlist in droves-especially mid-level officers.

If we are headed for martial law, better that it be with a broken military. Maybe if it's broken badly enough, the administration will be afraid to test the idea.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment",
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.


By Bryan John Dini

The trouble with most criticism of Paul's voting record (especially on the popular leftist/liberal blogs like Daily Kos) is that it is very difficult to determine where Paul stands on the issues if one looks strictly in terms of the binary yes/no vote, without studying the underlying reasons for each particular vote, which may be completely contrary to first impressions. Now, I want to preface this by saying that I won't even get into the ridiculous "guilt by association" claims that have been made about his "close ties" with the John Birch Society, for example (as if that were a bad thing, considering that everything they warned us about in regards to the EU usurping the political and economic rights and constitutions of the member nations is now coming true, among many other noteworthy examples), as well as that allegedly racist newsletter of dubious authorship, and prefer to stick instead with his voting record and the clear expositions of his reasoning for each vote in writing, as this is what matters most to us in the legislative sphere in the final analysis, regardless of his personal idiosyncrasies and attitudes.

As soon as one engages in a serious study of Paul's voting record, one begins to appreciate immediately the unrivaled transparency and depth of insight with which he probes these issues in their most fundamental and radical details--a philosophical consistency that clearly crosses party lines and challenges conventional wisdom on every front: whether it be the origins of the Social Security number and the Federal Reserve, the debate over the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act, whether pro-life conservatism is compatible with libertarian principles, whether identity politics and affirmative action aren't perpetuating racism in another form, the examination of the supposed failure of free market capitalism at the turn of the twentieth century, the crucial difference between a Democracy and a Republic, or the enduring contemporary dilemmas of national sovereignty, "free trade" and corporate globalization through international entities like the WTO, the IMF and the U.N.--nothing goes without scrutiny in Paul's all-encompassing vision.

In most cases it is a constitutional issue for Paul: does this piece of legislation a) appropriate federal funds or b) usurp states rights and local jurisdiction--in breach of the designated, enumerated powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution? Paul does not believe, with good reason, that the "general welfare" clause means Congress can spend whatever it wants on whatever social programs it wants without the informed consent of the people, nor does it mean that the Supreme Court court should re-write the Constitution with its legal "interpretations" and thus force a national mandate on any particular social issue it deems worthy of its imperial platonic guardian attention--as these were powers granted specifically to the states and the people under the Tenth amendment.

For example, at first glance it looks like Paul is against, say, stem cell research because he voted "no" on a stem cell research bill. In reality what he voted against was *federal funding* of stem-cell research, i.e. the usurpation of your tax dollars and states' rights without your say on an issue which remains controversial to many. This does not, in any way, rule out state and private funding for this kind of research. The same thing applies to his voting "yes" on a controversial "gay adoptions" bill. If you read the bill carefully you will find that what it legislates against is the appropriation of federal money to adoptions by people "not related by blood or marriage". In point of fact, Paul is against federal funding of adoptions--period. The issue, again, is the federal funding, the jurisdiction of social issues like these at the local and state level, not whether or not gay adoptions are "natural" or fit some traditional family mold (you would be hard pressed to find this kind of language in Paul's writings; the worst I have found are references to the importance of "two-parent" families).

Here are some typical examples that are brought up in the aforementioned blogs:

-abortion: Paul challenges us to reconsider our fundamentals on this one, and argues that a pro-life libertarian is not a contradiction in terms. In fact he argues that the pro-life position is consistent with the libertarian non-aggression principle and reaffirms the essential connection between life and liberty, in that you cannot defend the one without the other. Remember, libertarians do not believe violent and/or aggressive force is authorized except in the case of imminent personal and/or national defense. For this reason, Paul made an exception to abortion *if* it will protect the life of the mother, which he admits is a very rare case indeed. This also extends to his opposition to the death penalty (which is again, "pro-life") and his belief that Roe v. Wade should be overturned not only because he believes all social issues like this should be left to the individual states that are closer to the needs of the various communities, but also because it allows for the slippery slope possibility of including human life in the "natural" sphere along with animals and vegetation, making way for eugenics-type programs, patents on sections of the human genome, and more genetically modified organisms. This is why he also backed legislation that would deem "life to begin at conception." Of course, the states would still have final jurisdiction over how this "life" is to be treated and prosecuted in court, but Paul believes it is an essential step forward in defining the issue, as the federal government has a constitutional duty to protect life and liberty above all else. This duty immediately trumps dubious privacy and property issues, which he spells out below. If you think the debate is over as to *where* life begins, you are mistaken. Ask any bio-ethicist.

-prayer in schools: Paul did not vote for *mandatory* prayer in schools--only that schools should not prohibit the free exercise of religion on public property, which is consistent with constitutional principles.

-vouchers: Paul's support of vouchers indicates his belief that parents (and, for that matter, students) should have more choice in their education than just compulsory district schooling; that is to say, they should have more say over where their tax money is invested, as the bureaucrats in the Department of Education don't have perfect knowledge of which of the various branches and methods and learning should be subsidized. This should be left strictly to those who know best--in other words, those in the community doing the teaching. I personally think it is a shame, for example, that philosophy and critical thinking has been given so little priority in public schools, which rely on a kind of mindless regurgitation of facts and reliance on authority. There should be more private *secular* schools. Our public schools are starting to exhibit a dangerous behaviorist and materialist ideology that is sanctioned on the federal level in the same department as a kind of social engineering experiment (read up on "outcome based education"), the natural symptom of which is our vegged out, spiritually bankrupt and over-medicated juvenile population.

-marriage rights: Paul voted *against* the Federal Marriage Amendment Act, but he supported the Federal Protection of Marriage Act. This troubles some people. But it is not inconsistent. Paul opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment Act because, again, it would "nationalize" a social issue that should be left up to the individual states. He supported the Federal Protection of Marriage Act for the same reason: it would make sure that a singular ruling in the federal courts would not impose upon the jurisdiction of the state courts, and it would prevent one state from being forced to recognize the definiton of marriage established in another state. As a gay man myself, I highly resent being coerced into a traditionally heterosexual and religious institution. I see "marriage" as a dirty word loaded with historical baggage. When it comes down to it, I would much rather have a "civil union." Let them have their "marriage" and get on with it! As a libertarian, I don't see why we should ask the government for a "license" to perform a perfectly ordinary and civilian ceremony (Paul agrees with me on this). You should have the same rights *period,* married or not married, gay or straight. In short, Paul's treatment of the issue, like all the others, shows nuance, caution and discretion, and would lead to a nation that is not so bitterly divided against itself. Just imagine: all those in favor of gay "marriage" would simply move to, say, California, and those who are not would move to, well, Texas. This is how the free market of ideas works itself out on the local/state levels.

-"protecting" the pledge of allegiance/burning the flag: Remember, Paul voted to *restrict* the jurisdiction of federal courts on the matter. Simply put, the federal government has no authority to alter the pledge of allegiance, which is another example of the "one size fits all" approach; if you would like this to happen, take it up with your local and state representatives. Remember, Paul did not support legislation to make flag burning illegal nation-wide for the same reason. The freedom of expression that the flag represents is more important than the flag or symbol itself. Again and again, it comes down to the issue of local jurisdiction and states rights.

-net neutrality: This bill may be just as deceptive as the so-called "patriot act," as the bill would allow the federal government to regulate the internet, and if the history of the FCC is any indication, this is bound to lead to a situation where the federal government will begin to control speech and other content on the internet as well (a la the "fairness doctrine"). Paul voted, likewise, against banning online gambling, and against imposing universal filters on the internet that would take the responsibility away from parents to monitor their children's exposure to "indecent" online material.

-affirmative action: Paul has said time and time again that there is no such thing as "group" rights, and that such "group" mentalities actually perpetuate racism. There are only the rights of the individual, and every individual should be treated the same. This is reflected in his vote to stop reverse discrimination in our schools by admitting students based on the color of their skin rather than their merits as an individual.

etc. etc.

Issue after issue, I am convinced that if people simply put aside their party allegiances and opened up their minds to a crash-course in the American Constitution and the kind of classical liberalism enshrined in Paul's message, they would find answers to nearly *all* of the problems we face in the world today. It is all there in his voluminous speeches, articles and books, a brilliant testimony to his unfaltering statesmanship and his incisive, scholarly reason, which in the good Doctor's hands has the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. Again, this will require you to suspend all your pre-conceived notions of how you think the world (or, more specifically, the government) works, or should work. But I am certain you will be glad for the opportunity to re-educate yourself and understand why nearly all the big government solutions proposed to treat our problems over the years (especially since 1913--whether it be the New Deal and the Great Society, or the War on Drugs and Poverty, or the War on Terror) have failed miserably and have incrementally brought us closer to the draconian police state/corporatist military-industrial takeover we suffer under today.

There is another way.

A vote for Ron Paul will mean a vote for a seasoned philosopher-statesman who represents potential for *real* change, *real* solutions to our problems, rather than superficial tinkering, bureaucratic band-aids and porkish hand-outs. Paul targets the *real* centers of power in our society. I urge *everyone* to compare his votes with the articles written below and only then decide where to cast *their* vote in turn.

I am confident of the results. This is not so much about liberals vs. conservatives, Democrats vs. Rebublicans, socialists vs. capitalists--this is about a return to the rule of law and the Constitution, a return to self-governance, self-motivated initiative, private charity and personal responsibility. In the end, we *can* have equality and fraternity--we can be as progressive or as conservative as we like, as a truly free market allows for competition even between public and private organizations, as long as they are voluntarily entered into, expanding the range of possibilities rather than narrowing them--but we can never have these virtues at the expense of the one thing that can bring about our desired results, and upon which everything else is irrevocably premised--We the People demand it back, once and for all--our Liberty, our Constitution, our Republic.

This is about nothing less than the perennial struggle between the Free Human Spirit and the Divine Right of Kings.

Remember, the Framers never intended "government for the people, by the people" to mean that civic life is merely a matter of voting the right representatives into power under the pretense that they would take care of all our economic, social and political problems *for* us. Nor did they ever intend a system whereby a majority of people could vote away the rights and property of the individual for the supposed gain of some "group" or other which claims a higher mandate on his or her life through state coercion and looting deductions. They disdained all such pure democracies and collectivist ideologies, for the simple reason that they end up destroying all the individuals in the society and therefore all the "groups" which those individuals comprised, as the best way to work against the interests of the group is to work against the interests of the individual. The government was instituted via the liberal social contract in order to protect our inalienable rights against the colluding intrigues of the minority *and* the fraternal tyranny of the majority, to further make sure our voluntary contracts are not violated by fraud or treachery, etc., so that *we* could address the problems of the world *ourselves*--whether it be through private charities and co-operative clinics, humanitarian organizations, consumer advocacy groups, environmental and labor unions, etc. etc. Remember, federal spending means federal regulation. True charitable work is achieved only through voluntary mutual aid, with no strings attached. We all know what happens when you trade liberty for security...you get neither.

Our government, in other words, was designed in such a way that even if a president with dictatorial powers came into office he would not be able to do much harm, because the resources allocated to such centralized authority would be very limited in size and scope. How far we have strayed from this ideal, when we must rely on near *perfect* regulators and bureaucrats to run practically every aspect of our daily lives, whether it be the Federal Reserve chairman running our economy or the Department of Education running our schools or the IRS redistributing our wealth or the FDA imposing a virtual monopoly on the distribution of drugs and health supplements that may very well save our lives.

It is time we reverse this trend and change course--radically--before it is too late.
It is time we have faith, once again, in the the Free Human Spirit and return the would-be emperors to the dust bins of history, as we must do, it seems, with renewed zeal and vigor according to each successive generation.
It is time to recognize we have survived periods of uncertainty before--whether it be famine, civil unrest or even climate change--but in times of universal slavery, our survival rate diminishes exponentially.
It is time to get people who represent *our* interests into power--because "those without power cannot defend liberty."
It is time--at last--to Vote Ron Paul.

With that in mind: here, finally, is Ron Paul on the Issues:



































































e premte, 27 korrik 2007



Patrick Wood
July 27, 2007

For decades, global elitists have claimed special knowledge that they alone could solve the world’s problems if only we (the ignorant masses) would leave them alone to get on with it. It would create jobs and economic prosperity, they said. They promised peace and security. Truly, what’s not to like about their New World Order?

Imagine how shocked they were when Financial Times published the results of an FT/Harris poll (July 22, 2007) which showed almost universal disdain for the very policies that were supposed to save us. According to the FT article,

The depth of anti-globalization feeling in the FT/Harris poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 people online in each of the six countries, will dismay policy-makers and corporate executives. Their view that opening economies to freer trade is beneficial to poor and rich countries alike is not shared by the citizens of rich countries, regardless of how liberal their economic traditions.

Yet, their clever defense is already built into the FT title: “Globalization backlash in rich nations”.

That’s right, it’s only the selfish rich nations who are resisting globalization. And, we should slap more taxes on ourselves to teach ourselves a lesson.

But wait, does this mean that poor nations are embracing globalization?

Apparently, anti-globalization riots and protests in 3rd world countries aren’t taken into account. Nor does it seem to matter that communist and other brutal dictatorships don’t even allow dissent; remember that there are plenty of dictatorships involved with the global elite, including countries like communist China.

In the FT/Harris poll, the question was posed: “Do you think globalization is having a positive or negative effect in your country?”

Less than 20 percent of citizen respondents in the UK, France, Spain and the U.S. viewed it as having a positive effect. Germany and Italy were a bit higher.

Still, well over 50 percent of all respondents voted “No” to globalization.

Another shock to the pro-globalization elite is the overwhelming passage (362-63 on July 24, 2007) of the Duncan Hunter Amendment (H.R. 3074) to the Transportation Appropriations Act, “prohibiting the use of federal funds for participation in working groups under the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), including the creation of the NAFTA Super Highway.”

“The proposed NAFTA Super Highway presents significant challenges to our nation’s security, the safety of vehicle motorists, and will likely drive down wages for American workers,” said Congressman Hunter. “Much like NAFTA, the super highway is designed to serve the interests of our trading partners and will lead to neither security nor prosperity.”

Congressman Duncan Hunter, also a presidential candidate, told his fellow congressional colleagues,

“This 12 lane highway, which is already under construction in Texas, will fast-track thousands of cargo containers across the U.S. without adequate security. These containers will move from Mexico, a country with a record of corruption and involvement in the drug trade, across a border that is already porous and insufficiently protected.

“Unfortunately, very little is known about the NAFTA Super Highway. This amendment will provide Congress the opportunity to exercise oversight of the highway, which remains a subject of question and uncertainty, and ensure that our safety and security will not be comprised in order to promote the business interests of our neighbors.”

Obviously, criticism of globalization in the U.S. is certainly not limited to citizens only.

What end-run will the global elite devise to counter these negative sentiments? Will they simply stiffen their necks even more and barge ahead in defiance of citizens and Congress alike?

If history is a guide, they will most likely dismiss all such criticisms as coming from ignorant people who don’t know any better in the first place.

Related video:

1, ‘Globalization’ a dirty word?
2, Call for more tax on rich

Note: For further information on globalization, see The August Review

© 2007 Patrick Wood - All Rights Reserved

E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale

Patrick M. Wood is editor of The August Review, which builds on his original research with the late Dr. Antony C. Sutton, who was formerly a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution for War, Peace and Revolution at Stanford University. Their 1977-1982 newsletter, Trilateral Observer, was the original authoritative critique on the New International Economic Order spearheaded by members of the Trilateral Commission.

Their highly regarded two-volume book, Trilaterals Over Washington, became a standard reference on global elitism. Wood's ongoing work is to build a knowledge center that provides a comprehensive and scholarly source of information on globalism in all its related forms: political, economic and religious.

E-Mail: pwood@augustreview.com

Web Site: www.AugustReview.com

e enjte, 26 korrik 2007


when the speaker, Arundhati, however well-intentioned, can say something like "free markets undermine democracy" and that "soviet style communism failed not because it was intrinsically evil" i have to shake my fist at her intellectual dishonesty and/or her blatant disregard of the facts and only conclude that she is a) benevolent and ignorant or b) malevolent and brilliant.

please tell me how "free markets undermine democracy?" how does being able to own your own land and run your own business and keep your own earnings undermine civil liberties? someone explain to me how the WTO and IMF are examples of "free trade"? should i list all the rules and regulations for imports, exports, etc.?

what we have here is an example of a state-managed market, where people have to ask permission from the state to do just about everything--whether it be to own their own land, keep their own earnings, start their own businesses--yes, even to trade. and, of course, the state isn't usually so keen on respecting the "small guy" because it doesn't reap in enough income and lobbying power for it to squander on its murderous imperial pursuits--so, of course, only the giant corporations survive.

the solution is to *free* the market and the people, free the entrepreneurial human spirit and creativity and charity on the private level, not strengthen the coercive powers of the state (remember, the soviets only wanted to make their economy more "fair") .

the problem isn't "nationalism" or "free markets." the problem is the ideology of collectivism--the idea that the group is more important than the individual, that the group has rights and claims the individual does not, so that it is quite alright to vote away the rights and property of the minority, it is noble, in fact, to sacrifice the few, through wars or "progressive" taxation or whatever, as long as it makes life better for the majority. it is *democracy* in the purest sense that undermines a free market, where *individual* rights are not constitutionally guaranteed. nationalism, simply put, is an ugly form of collectivism, as is racism. the ideology that "we" is more important than "me" is just as dangerous as the ideology that it is *all* about me, me, me.

if you can't clearly diagnose the problem, you will not be able to offer a solution. please read my article on "corporatism vs. capitalism" (http://thereconstitutionrevolution.blogspot.com/2007/07/globalization-is-good.html) and try to understand what is really going on here, folks. this kind of propaganda is put out in order to lure you into agitating for more government controls and consolidation and bureaucracies, more transferring of national sovereignty to global organizations like the WTO and the U.N., so that the CFR/trilateral commission folks can put their people in at the top and continue running the show.

if you want to weaken those corporations and weaken the state, you need to free the market and restore the inalienable rights guaranteed by our constitution and our republic so that we the people can do our part in improving the miserable lot of humanity ourselves.


don't let this kindly sounding socialism distract you from the rottenness at its core. true socialism exists only in the free market, where labor and wealth is organized and distributed voluntarily without state coercion. don't replace the tyranny of the minority with the tyranny of the majority. fascism is likely to result either way.

in the end, it is the *state* that will exterminate the human species, not the "free market."

what a ridiculous farce!



PART 1 of 2

Patrick Briley
July 26, 2007

Before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi royals, including King Abdullah, were angrily demanding that Bush facilitate establishment of a Palestinian state in Israel, and the Saudis were paying the families of Hamas suicide bombers in Israel up to $25,000.

Saudi royal government impatience with US action to work to establish a Palestinian state led to Saudi terrorists being involved in the 9/11 attacks. Those publicly named in news reports, 9/11 Commission and 9/11 Congressional reports as having aided the 9/11 Saudi hijackers in the US include:

Wahhabbist terror extremists in Saudi backed and controlled North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) mosques throughout the US

Saudi bankers such as the one connected to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Saleh Abdullah Kamel.

9/11 Saudi hijacker bagmen associates of Saudi royal government officials such as Al Bayoumi, Al Bana and Moshen AlAttas (half brother of Bin Laden).

This August 1, 2003 article from the New Republic quotes senior US officials as saying Saudi Royal government officials were involved in the 9/11 attacks - Missing 28 Pages: 9--11 Congressional Report Says Saudi Government Involved. The article can also be found here:

“Since the joint congressional committee investigating September 11 issued a censored version of its report on July 24, there's been considerable speculation about the 28 pages blanked out from the section entitled ‘Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.’ The section cites ‘specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers,’ which most commentators have interpreted to mean Saudi contributions to Al Qaeda-linked charities. But an official who has read the report tells The New Republic that the support described in the report goes well beyond that: It involves connections between the hijacking plot and the very top levels of the Saudi royal family. …We're talking about a coordinated network that reaches right from the hijackers to multiple places in the Saudi government.’"

The details in the “28 missing pages” were intentionally deleted from the public version of the joint 9/11 attack report of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. The pages were classified at the insistence of GW Bush and as the result of James Lewis, the author of part of the report under former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and former CIA director, Porter Goss.

Saudi Bin Laden family members were protected with the help of Bush, and Bush family associate Dale Watson when they were flown out of the US on flights possibly chartered by Bin Laden a few days after 9/11 when all other US flights were grounded (according to newly released, un redacted FBI documents obtained by Judicial Watch under a FOIA request). Watson was the FBI Counter Terrorism Center chief who blocked search of 9/11 hijacker wannabe Moussaoui’s computer before 9/11. One of the Saudis flown out early was a 19 year old with the last name Al Hazmi, the same name of a slightly older 9/11 hijacker who may have been a close relative.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush announced his "road map to peace" hatched with Hamas terror backing Saudi Arabian Wahhabbist Muslims and Saudi King Abdullah and to be carried out by the quartet of EU, the US, the UN and Russia putting troops on the ground for 42 months in Jerusalem. Bush announced his intent then to divide Israel into two parts, establishing a Palestinian state inside Israel at the request of the Saudi royals and Wahhabbists. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has just been named by GW Bush to be the envoy for the “roadmap” quartet to the Organization of the Islamic Conference that has 35 members. Tony Blair, GW Bush and Bill Clinton are Third Way, New Age Communitarianists who really are Communists who believe in establishing a world government and unifying religions under the New Age religious belief system. See Subordinating America Under a Socialistic World Government.

Before the US went into Iraq in March 2003, Bush gave a speech to the American Enterprise Institute saying his intent was to establish a permanent economic and governmental base in Iraq to guarantee a global prosperity and a permanent peace settlement for Israel and the Middle East. Bush has now set up a world government economic block on the plains of Shinar in Iraq with the construction and establishment of the Middle East Free Trade Association (MEFTA) headquarters built in Iraq at a cost of $592 million US taxpayer’s dollars. The MEFTA headquarters is a sprawling complex of 21 interconnected, blast proof buildings (reminiscent of the Pentagon) on 104 acres and posing as the US embassy and “foreign mission.” Even AlQaeda leader Dr. Ayman Zawahiri recently called for the re-establishment of Greater Assyria that includes northern Iraq. Bush is perhaps unwittingly complying with Zawahiri’s request.


The Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), that Bush and socialist Democrats follow, is fully behind MEFTA in Iraq being permanently set up as a regional seat of world government and economic empire. The MEFTA base is in the mold of CAFTA, NAFTA and GATT and is one of several regional global governance economic centers such as the European Union (EU) and the North American Union (NAU) that are leading to the destruction of the sovereignty of nations (including the US) and the creation of world government. While Bush, the CFR and the Trilateralists are imposing these regional global governance centers under the guise of making them democracies; they have not and will not guarantee Constitutional Republics and national sovereignty within the regions.

One world government regional trading block, the EU, is increasingly controlled by Muslims. Yet Bush has signed a new pact with the EU (without a treaty or Congressional vote or debate) that integrates US executive branch regulations with those of the EU to establish a single global US-EU market. See Bush OKs 'integration' with European Union [Without Treaty Ratification or Passage of a Law] and US and EU agree 'single market' [NWO Market].

One provision of the US-EU pact signed by Bush is the Open Skies deal, designed to reduce fares and boost traffic on transatlantic flights has already been set into motion by Cheroff and the DHS. It will allow potential Islamic terrorists to fly into the US from EU nations. It compliments and is consistent with Bush’s and Chertoff’s policies of allowing aliens-some of whom are known terrorists-into the US by airline flights, ships and land routes via Mexico and Canada as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and NAU “Trusted Traveler Program”. The US will have US regulations and airplane passengers from the EU, Mexico and Canada dominated by Muslim extremists over time (as is already happening in the EU).

Bush and the EU are slowly but inextricably introducing "sharia" law and "sharia compliant” trade and banking practices into these trade pacts. The US Dow Jones Islamic Trust (front for Muslim Brotherhood in the US) is already sharia compliant. GW Bush's associates for running US ports deals, Dubai and the UAE, use sharia compliant banking and management practices.

Northern Iraq is the home of ancient Assyria that now rides on the back of an ECONOMIC center in the Middle East and the world that sits on seven hills on seven mosques in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey is in the process of now setting up an extremist sharia compliant, Islamic Republic similar to that of Iran. FBI translator and 9/11 whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has publicly stated that many prominent US officials connected to the American Turkish Council were involved in drug trafficking and had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been accused in news accounts of accepting bribes from Turkey Islamic leaders. Several NSC and CIA associates of the Bushes (see “AEI” described below) identified as being involved in the American Turkish Council, including Brent Scowcroft, were the business backers of Mujeeb Cheema, the Pakistani Director of the Saudi controlled NAIT mosques that have been associated directly with the 9/11 hijackers.

Two Oklahoma politicians having knowledge of NAIT’s activities and those of a FBI currently protected Muslim criminal business terrorist super cell in Oklahoma (see more below) have taken large contributions from and are close to Turkish members of the American Turkish Council. These politicians are Oklahoma’s governor Brad Henry, and David Boren, the Islamophile chancellor of the University of Oklahoma (OU). Boren is a former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a world government socialist. advocate. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have a son or close relative currently enrolled at OU.

Months after 9/11 Bush and Colin Powell were still openly backing and protecting Hamas terrorists in Israel and in the US, calling them “freedom fighters”, and a group Powell said the US helped create as a negotiator for a peace plan with Israel. A public letter from Newt Gingrich finally pressured Bush to put Hamas on the US terror list. The staff director of the House Intelligence Committee and the former Chairman of the same committee, Janice Roberts and Dave McCurdy, respectively, told me personally that Hamas had a closely FBI monitored, but protected and large presence in Oklahoma and OKC prior to and after the OKC bombing well into 2001..

Today Bush and Condi Rice are openly backing and protecting AlFatah terrorists in Israel and in the US with millions of dollars of weapons, ammunition and US intelligence. Condi Rice is still publicly calling Hamas “resistance fighters’ rather than the terrorists they really are even though Hamas attacked AlFatah in Gaza and captured over $400 million is US weapons and munitions and intelligence given to AlFatah. Bush recently prevailed in having Israel release AlFatah terrorists including Barghouti to now fight the same Hamas terrorists in the West Bank that Bush and Powell had previously backed.

US residents Melvin Lattimore, a.k.a. Mujahid Menepta, and Mujeeb Cheema, are the very embodiments of the Bush and Clinton duplicitous and murderous policies of supporting and protecting AlFatah and Hamas terrorists in the US and Israel.

Menepta is the North American recruiter for AlFatah who was a roommate of 911 hijackers and Saudi royal bagmen in Norman, OK including Al Hazmi, Hussein Moshen AlAttas, and hijacker wannabe Zacahrias Moussaoui. Menepta is also an AlFuqra terror member closely associated with a Muslim Brotherhood super cell criminal enterprise and network in Oklahoma that currently helps and acts as couriers and conduits for Hamas and AlQaeda terrorists in the US and overseas (see more on Bush protection of AlFuqra terrorists in the US and Pakistan in Part II of this article).

Menepta was named in court proceedings by the BATF at a federal trial in OKC in November 2001 as a participant in the 1993 WTC bombing and the 1995 OKC bombing. Menepta was protected at his trial by Chertoff’s replacement at the DOJ criminal division, John C. Richter, and Menpta is walking the streets of America in St. Louis for AlFuqra, and AlFatah.. One of Menepta’s roommates and Saudi bagman for the 9/11 hijackers, Moshen AlAttas, a half brother of Bin Laden, drove Moussaoui to the Minnesota flight school from the Norman OK flight school in August 1995. But AlAttas, like Menepta, was protected by the Bush DOJ and is according to some accounts, attending school in Alabama rather than being or deported or imprisoned. See AlAttas: Was OU’s Saudi 9/11 Provocateur Protected By DOJ?

The FBI taped the imam of the OU mosque, Ndiaye, talking to AlAttas about the planned “jihad” of Moussaoui and AlAttas in the summer of 1995. Despite Ndiaye and AlAttas setting up an Islamic Scientific Institute in Oklahoma before 9/11 (that was on the FBI terror watch list), Ndiaye was allowed to return to Senegal and AlAttas was protected and allowed to stay in the US.

Mujeeb Cheema, a Pakistani living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is Director of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), a Saudi financially backed institution that controls Wahhabbist terror mosques in the US strongly suspected of involvement in 9/11 attacks, the OKC bombing, the 2005 OU bombing and the recent Trolley Mall shootings in Salt Lake City. Cheema is also associated with the Dow Jones Islamic Trust.

Cheema’s NAIT, along with the Council on Arab Islamic Relations (CAIR), is named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas terror funding case involving the Holy Land Foundation going to trial in Dallas on July 16, 2007. NAIT is on the US terror list but nothing has been done to prosecute NAIT under Bush. Despite the indictment against CAIR, Bush, FBI head Robert Mueller and Homeland Security (DHS) chief Michael Chertoff require their agents to be trained by CAIR and CAIR is being given access to sensitive FBI and DHS security procedures.

American Equity Investors (AEI) set up Mujeeb Cheema as a principal in Hawkins Energy in Tulsa in the early 1990s. AEI is controlled and run by personal assistants to HW Bush (David C. Martin), Terry Lenzner, former NSC Director Robert McFarland and former top CIA officials. Several NSC and CIA associates of the Bushes involved with AEI are identified as being involved in the 9/11 linked American Turkish Council, including Brent Scowcroft. Cheema is also associated directly with the US backed Muslim Brotherhood business investors in the US, the Dow Jones Islamic Trust.

Business records show that Cheema’s NAIT, backed by the Saudi Wahhabbists, is directly tied to an FBI and DOJ protected Muslim Brotherhood super cell criminal enterprise and network in Oklahoma that was involved in the OKC bombing with Menepta and AlFuqra terrorists. This super cell is still allowed to commit crimes (drug running, money laundering, property and insurance scams, etc) and operate to support Hamas, AlFatah, AlFuqra, and AlQaeda terror groups in the US and overseas. For more on Cheema, Menepta, NAIT, the Muslim Brotherhood and the super cell criminal enterprise and network in Oklahoma see chapters in the book The Oklahoma City Bombing Case Revelations (PDF version or HTML Version) and articles at the book website, OKC903.com. For part two click below.

Click here for part -----> 2,

© 2007 Patrick Briley - All Rights Reserved


FBI Proposes Building Network of U.S. Informants


July 25, 2007 1:01 PM

Justin Rood Reports:

Fbiproposesbu_mn_2 The FBI is taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities.

According to a recent unclassified report to Congress, the FBI expects its informants to provide secrets about possible terrorists and foreign spies, although some may also be expected to aid with criminal investigations, in the tradition of law enforcement confidential informants. The FBI did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

The FBI said the push was driven by a 2004 directive from President Bush ordering the bureau to improve its counterterrorism efforts by boosting its human intelligence capabilities.

The aggressive push for more secret informants appears to be part of a new effort to grow its intelligence and counterterrorism efforts. Other recent proposals include expanding its collection and analysis of data on U.S. persons, retaining years' worth of Americans' phone records and even increasing so-called "black bag" secret entry operations.

To handle the increase in so-called human sources, the FBI also plans to overhaul its database system, so it can manage records and verify the accuracy of information from "more than 15,000" informants, according to the document. While many of the recruited informants will apparently be U.S. residents, some informants may be overseas, recruited by FBI agents in foreign offices, the report indicates.

The total cost of the effort tops $22 million, according to the document.

Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

The bureau has arranged to use elements of CIA training to teach FBI agents about "Source Targeting and Development," the report states. The courses will train FBI special agents on the "comprehensive tradecraft" needed to identify, recruit and manage these "confidential human sources." According to January testimony by FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole, the CIA has been working with the bureau on the course.

The bureau apparently mulled whether to adopt entire training courses from the CIA or from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which like the CIA recruits spies overseas. But the FBI ultimately determined "the courses offered by those agencies would not meet the needs of the FBI's unique law enforcement." The FBI report said it would also give agents "legal and policy" training, noting that its domestic intelligence efforts are "constitutionally sensitive."

"It's probably a good sign they are not adopting CIA recruitment techniques wholesale," said Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, an expert on classified programs. U.S. intelligence officers abroad can use bribery, extortion, and other patently illegal acts to corral sources into working for them, Aftergood noted. "You're not supposed to do that in the United States," he said.


George Bush's Al Qaeda Lies Exposed

By , National Security Network
Posted on July 25, 2007, Printed on July 26, 2007

President Bush makes fallacious connections between Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Al Qaeda who attacked the US on 9/11. "Some say that Iraq is not a part of the broader war on terror. They claim that the organization called al Qaeda in Iraq is an Iraqi phenomenon -- that it's independent of Osama bin Laden and it's not interested in attacking America. That would be news to Osama bin Laden. I presented intelligence that clearly establishes this connection. The facts are that al Qaeda terrorists killed Americans on 9/11, they're fighting us in Iraq and across the world, and they're plotting to kill Americans here at home again." [CNN, 7/24/07 ]

The nation's 16 intelligence agencies agree that Al Qaeda has regenerated its ability to strike at the United States through its bases on the Afghan-Pakistan Border. "We assess the group has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability, including: a safe haven in the Pakistan Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), operational lieutenants, and its top leadership." [National Intelligence Estimate, 7/07 ]

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Al-Qaeda "was only 10% of the problem in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, its prime minister, lacked the political will to establish an effective government." He went on to say that even even if the military surge has been a partial success in areas such as Anbar province, where Sunni tribes have turned on Al-Qaeda, it has not been accompanied by the vital political and economic "surge" and reconciliation process promised by the Iraqi government. [The London Sunday Times, 7/8/07 ]

Al Qaeda in Iraq is not the same as Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Some of the extremists in Iraq have chosen to call themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq," and they are in fact inspired by Osama Bin Laden's extremist ideology. While there is some level of cooperation and exchange of information, these groups did not exist in Iraq prior to the invasion in 2003.

President Bush argues that "Al Qaeda is public enemy number one in Iraq. Al Qaeda is public enemy number one for the Iraqi people. Al Qaeda is public -- public enemy number one for the American people." [President Bush, 7/24/07 ]

Al Qaeda in Iraq accounts for 15% of the violence in Iraq. "Anthony Cordesman, a security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International studies says, the U.S. military estimates that al-Qaeda in Iraq, a group thought to number several thousand, accounts for only about 15% of the attacks in Iraq." [Time, 7/30/07 ]

Foreign Jihadist fighters make up less than 10% of the insurgency.
Most intelligence estimates still state that the vast majority of Sunni insurgents are Iraqi. They are not driven by a pan-Islamic ideology of destroying the West and creating a caliphate. Instead, they are fighting either against American forces or against other ethnic groups in Iraq. [Center for American Progress, 6/25/07 ]

The Al Qaeda Threat: Myth vs. Reality

The National Intelligence Estimate reaffirmed that the Bush Administration has made Americans less secure by taking its focus off the real danger in Afghanistan and Pakistan and instead invading Iraq. Almost six years since 9/11, Al Qaeda has established a new safe haven on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and has taken advantage of the operational space afforded by a poorly conceived truce between the Pakistani government and tribal leaders. Meanwhile the invasion of Iraq has fed the Al Qaeda narrative and created a new focal point for the recruitment, fundraising, training and indoctrination of Al Qaeda operatives. Unfortunately, the Administration's response to all of these problems is to continue to pour more troops and funds into Iraq, even as military strategists have concluded that sectarian violence and civil war - not Al Qaeda - are the greatest dangers in the war torn country.

Al Qaeda is Growing Stronger in Pakistan and Afghanistan

The nation's 16 intelligence agencies agree that Al Qaeda has regenerated its ability to strike at the United States through its bases on the Afghan-Pakistan Border. "We assess the group has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability, including: a safe haven in the Pakistan Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), operational lieutenants, and its top leadership." [National Intelligence Estimate, 7/07 ]

Al Qaeda took advantage of an ill-conceived truce with Pakistani tribal leaders to gain strength. The truce has now broken apart. In the fall of 2006, the Pakistani government brokered an agreement with tribal and Taliban leaders on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The agreement allowed Al Qaeda and the Taliban to continue to operate freely as long as they did not spill over into Afghanistan or other parts of Pakistan. The deal was criticized at the time, and has given Al Qaeda and the Taliban a 10 month rest period to gather strength and increase the frequency of their attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The agreement is now officially off. [Washington Post, 7/16/07 ]

John Kringen, who heads the CIA's analysis directorate, agrees that Al Qaeda has been getting stronger. "They seem to be fairly well settled into the safe haven and the ungoverned spaces of Pakistan," Kringen testified in front of the House Armed Services Committee. "We see more training. We see more money. We see more communications. We see that activity rising." [NPR, 7/15/07 ]

In its new safe haven, Al Qaeda has had more flexibility to train terrorists and produce propaganda videos.
"While the northern area of Pakistan, much of which is controlled by local tribes, has always been a stronghold of the Taliban, it's now also home to a resurgent al Qaeda. New training camps have sprung up in the mountainous terrain, and the ease with which militants operate in the region even affords them time to produce the relatively high-quality training and propaganda videos frequently released by jihadist groups. Even the generals are fed up with the situation. "Even after five years of operations, what has been achieved? Osama bin Laden is still there, al Qaeda is still there, in fact it is spreading," Lt. General Ali Jan Mohammed Aurakzai (Ret.) said in February. Aurakzai is the governor of the Northwest Frontier Province. [CBS, 7/17/07 ]

Pakistan bombings raise fears of Taliban, al Qaeda resurgence.
"A series of bombings in recent days in northwestern Pakistan have killed at least 79 people and are spreading fears that the Taliban and al Qaeda have made a comeback. Militants linked to the Taliban in the area near the Afghan border say a truce reached with the Pakistani government last September is off. That deal has been blamed for an increase in attacks on U.S. troops over the border in Afghanistan, as Taliban fighters were able to prepare, train, and reconstitute weapons supplies without interference from the Pakistani government. Tensions in the region had been simmering for months, and recent events at Islamabad's Red Mosque triggered the fresh wave of violence." [CNN, 7/16/07 ]

The Invasion of Iraq has Strengthened Al Qaeda's Hand

The invasion of Iraq has created a new focal point for recruitment, fundraising, training and indoctrination of terrorists.
The Nation's 16 intelligence agencies agree: "We assess that al-Qa'ida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland. In addition, we assess that its association with AQI helps al-Qa'ida to energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks." [National Intelligence Estimate, 7/07 ]

Last year, the nation's 16 intelligence agencies concurred that Iraq is fueling global terrorism.
"We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere. The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight." [National Intelligence Estimate, 4/06 ]

Al Qaeda had no significant foothold in Iraq before the invasion. The US presence in Iraq has provided al Qaeda new base camps, new recruits and new prestige. Pentagon resources have been diverted from Afghanistan; where the military had a real chance to hunt down al Qaeda's leadership. It alienated essential allies in the war against terrorism and drained the strength and readiness of American troops. [NY Times, 7/8/07 ]

Iraq is a failing state, which is more likely to become a terrorist safe haven.
Foreign Policy magazine ranked Iraq as the second most unstable country in the world in its recently released Failed State Index. Only Sudan is considered more unstable. [Foreign Policy, July/August 2007 ]

Terrorist attacks around the rest of the Middle East have risen significantly since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As of September 2006 there had been 37 attacks in Arab countries outside of Iraq since the invasion, while there were only 3 in the period between 9/11 and March 2003. The rate of attacks in Arab countries jumped by 445 percent since the Iraq invasion, while the rate of killings rose by 783 percent. [Mother Jones ]

Al Qaeda in Iraq would likely be one of the biggest losers if American forces were drawn down.
The majority of Iraqis have already turned against Al Qaeda in Iraq. The Shi'a are the most powerful group in the country and would undoubtedly attempt to wipe out an Al Qaeda presence that has been perpetrating violence against them. Moreover, many of Al Qaeda's Sunni allies have also turned against it and without an American presence in Iraq it will be much harder for Al Qaeda to continue recruiting foreign fighters. [Center for American Progress, 6/25/07 ]

The real problem in Iraq is not Al Qaeda but multiple civil wars.
Shi'a are fighting Sunnis all over the country and in Baghdad. Shi'a are fighting each other in the South. Sunnis are fighting Sunnis in Anbar and Diyala. Sunnis are fighting Kurds in the North around Kirkuk and Mosul. [CSIS, 6/20/07 ]

© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/57889/


US Senators call for universal Internet filtering

Go To Original

US senators today made a bipartisan call for the universal implementation of filtering and monitoring technologies on the Internet in order to protect children at the end of a Senate hearing for which civil liberties groups were not invited.

Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) both argued that Internet was a dangerous place where parents alone will not be able to protect their children.

“While filtering and monitoring technologies help parents to screen out offensive content and to monitor their child’s online activities, the use of these technologies is far from universal and may not be fool-proof in keeping kids away from adult material," Sen. Inouye said. “In that context, we must evaluate our current efforts to combat child pornography and consider what further measures may be needed to stop the spread of such illegal material over high-speed broadband connections."

"Given the increasingly important role of the Internet in education and commerce, it differs from other media like TV and cable because parents cannot prevent their children from using the Internet altogether," Sen. Stevens said. "The headlines continue to tell us of children who are victimized online. While the issues are difficult, I believe Congress has an important role to play to ensure that the protections available in other parts of our society find their way to the Internet."

The measures they are calling for include directing the Federal Communications Commission to identify industry practices "that can limit the transmission of child pornography" and requiring the Federal Trade Commission to form a working group to identify blocking and filtering technologies in use and "identify, what, if anything could be done to improve the process and better enable parents to proactively protect their children online."

"In its zeal to protect kids from predators and potentially inappropriate content, Congress must not trample the First Amendment rights of Internet users," Center for Democracy and Technology said in a statement submitted to the Committee today.

They highlighted the finding of a report prepared by diverse group of people including individuals with expertise in constitutional law, law enforcement, libraries and library science, information retrieval and representation, developmental and social psychology, Internet and other information technologies, ethics, and education found that “public policy can go far beyond the creation of statutory punishment for violating some approved canon of behavior.”

"[T]he most important finding of the committee is that developing in children and youth an ethic of responsible choice and skills for appropriate behavior is foundational for all efforts to protect them—with respect to inappropriate sexually explicit material on the Internet as well as many other dangers on the Internet and in the physical world," the Thornburgh Committee concluded.


Bush takes over federal science

Through an Executive Order that gives political appointees final say regarding science-based federal agency regulations and the appointment of an anti-educationist to head the Office of Management and Budget, US President George W. Bush is attempting to insulate his administration from congressional accountability while effectively turning federal scientists into White House puppets, a group of scientists warned today.

Union if Concerned Scientists and OMB Watch urged Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chair Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) to question the President's nominee US Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) on his opinion of Bush administration Executive Order 13422, which goes into effect today.

The executive order bans any regulation from moving forward without the approval of an agency's regulatory policy officer, who would be a political appointee.

UCS urged the Senate committee to ask Nussle, the man who championed federal funding cuts for education while promoting tax cuts for the rich, how he would ensure that political appointees would not interfere with the work of agency scientists.

Nussle confirmation would mean that the man who led the effort to cut $12.7 billion from higher education, including the largest cut to the federal student loan program in its history while supporting f $958 billion in tax cuts for the rich will have central responsibility for implementing the Bush administration's agenda in such areas as defense programs, energy initiatives and tax policies.

"We have a corps of highly trained scientists in federal agencies. Why would we want to undermine their expertise and authority?" said Francesca Grifo, director of UCS's Scientific Integrity Program. "This executive order greatly expands the power of the White House to weaken the ability of federal agencies to protect public health and safety. We have the right to know where Mr. Nussle stands."

The groups also sent the letter to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), who is holding an additional confirmation hearing for Nussle later this week.


RIAA-backed amendment to force campus network surveillance

US Universities targeted by Recording Industry Association of America will be forced to put in place expensive surveillance techniques on campus networks to prevent illegal file sharing under a last minute amendment to the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 (HR 2669).

Civil liberties groups and student rights movements have heavily criticized the proposed amendment that would require colleges and universities marked by RIAA to plan for implementing a "technical solution" to illegal file sharing that does not yet exist for many campus environments and divert funds away from education and toward policing corporate copyrighted content on their campus network.

According to the text of the amendment (SA 2314), which will come up for voting this week, "the Secretary shall, on an annual basis, identify the 25 institutions of higher education participating in programs under this title, which have received during the previous calendar year the highest number of written notices from copyright owners, or persons authorized to act on behalf of copyright owners, alleging infringement of copyright by users of the institution’s information technology systems, where such notices identify with specificity the works alleged to be infringed, or a representative list of works alleged to be infringed, the date and time of the alleged infringing conduct together with information sufficient to identify the infringing user, and information sufficient to contact the copyright owner or its authorized representative."

Rights groups allege that this forces the Secretary of Education an agent of the entertainment industry while requiring the secretary to take action using data given to her by the entertainment industry that has been proven to be inaccurate.

Electronic Frontier Foundation claimed that more enforcement won't stop file sharing, as students will simply migrate towards other readily-accessible sharing tools that can't be easily monitored, but will chill academic freedom, as legitimate uses of the network will inevitably be stifled.

Higher Education Members of the Joint Committee sent a letter to the senators expressing the higher education community's grave concerns about a proposed amendment to the amendment developed by the entertainment industry.

They point that it is inappropriate for a Cabinet secretary to become an agent of the entertainment industry and point out that the bill already contains a provision that requires all colleges and universities to submit an annual report to the Secretary of Education providing details of the education and enforcement strategies being used on campus to reducing illegal file-sharing.

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