Thursday, November 30

Secret Service's "Air Surveillance System" Monitored Hijacked 9/11 Planes Moments after First WTC Strike

Furthermore, since 1974 the Secret Service operations center has possessed a special communications line from the control tower of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. This hotline allows air traffic controllers monitoring local radar to inform agents at the White House of any planes that are off course or appear to be on a “threatening vector.”--Paul Thompson, "Complete 9/11 Timeline"

When future American scholars, journalists and writers finally have the courage to engage honestly the 9/11 evidence of the terrorist attacks on America, author Paul Thompson, creator of the “Complete 9/11 Timeline,” and the many volunteers who contribute to his work at The Center for Cooperative Research ( will be remembered as unsung American heroes.

In the absence of the investigative journalism essential to democracy’s survival, they offer an invaluable 9/11 information archival service that will permit future researchers to see that 9/11 indeed was an inside job. In the recently-released riveting documentary 9/11 Press for Truth, an account of the White House's informational stonewalling of the families of 9/11 victims, Thompson receives some of the richly deserved accolades future researchers will more generously bestow on his research.

(Watch that important video below or on a wider screen at Google Video here.)

While the Center's number of similar cooperative research projects have expanded, Thompson and helpers (most notably Matthew Everett) continue their high-level archiving that cumulatively demonstrates 9/11 was “an inside job.”

Consider the recently added but marginalized news nugget below in Thompson’s 9/11 timeline; it details the Secret Service's sophisticated airplane tracking capabilities installed in their dark-windowed suburbans that were linked to the agency's tracking centers in New York and Washington on the morning of 9/11. In suggesting the level of electronic technology at the Secret Service's disposal, it may help explain why Bush repeatedy has stated he saw Flight 11 strike the North World Trade Center in real time, though that video footage was not televised until 12 September. (According to Bush, that first crash at 8:46 A.M. occasioned him midway through his reading exercise with second graders in Sarasota, Florida to begin "'thinking about what I was going to say. Obviously, I felt it was an accident. I was concerned about it, but there were no alarm bells.' [Washington Times. 10/7/2002]".)

On the other hand, the information does reveal the Secret Service had with them that morning early-warning air surveillance technology to detect errant aircraft in the vicinity of the school and President. So agents knew no planes were threatening Bush that morning. But it remains unclear why Bush continued his photo-op for more ten minutes after Andrew Card entered the room to tell him of the second crash into South World Trade Center and that "America was under attack."

(September 2000 and after): Secret Service Has Air Surveillance Capabilities

It is reported that the US Secret Service is using an “air surveillance system” called Tigerwall. This serves to “ensure enhanced physical security at a high-value asset location by providing early warning of airborne threats.” Tigerwall “provides the Secret Service with a geographic display of aircraft activity and provides security personnel long-range camera systems to classify and identify aircraft. Sensor data from several sources are fused to provide a unified sensor display.” [US Department of Defense, 2000; US Department of the Navy, 9/2000, pp. 28 pdf file] Among its responsibilities, the Secret Service protects America’s highest elected officials, including the president and vice president, and also provides security for the White House Complex. [US Congress, 5/1/2003] Its largest field office with over 200 employees is in New York, in Building 7 of the World Trade Center. [Tech TV, 7/23/2002] Whether the Secret Service, in New York or Washington, will make use of Tigerwall on 9/11 is unknown. The Secret Service appears to have other air surveillance capabilities. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will describe that on 9/11, the Secret Service had “a system that allowed them to see what FAA’s radar was seeing.” [Clarke, 2004, pp. 7] Barbara Riggs, a future deputy director of the Secret Service who is in its Washington, DC headquarters on 9/11, will describe the Secret Service “monitoring radar” during the attacks. [PCCW Newsletter, 3/2006; Star-Gazette (Elmira), 6/5/2006] Furthermore, since 1974 the Secret Service operations center has possessed a special communications line from the control tower of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. This hotline allows air traffic controllers monitoring local radar to inform agents at the White House of any planes that are off course or appear to be on a “threatening vector.” [Time, 9/26/1994]

But in a May 2005 draft on the Secret Service's 9/11-related activities that apparently failed to make it into Thompson's timeline, he and 9/11 Timeline contributor Matthew Everett suggest a 9/11 hotline call reveals that TigerWall not only was in use that morning but that its plane-tracking sophistication matches if not surpasses that of the FAA.

This hotline is mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report: "At 9:33, the tower supervisor at Reagan National Airport picked up a hotline to the Secret Service and told the Service's operations center that "an aircraft [is] coming at you and not talking with us." [9/11 Commission Final Report, 7/04, p. 39] However, Chris Stephenson, the head flight controller at the airport towers, says it happened the other way around. He claims that he was called by the Secret Service at this time and told an unidentified aircraft was headed his way. [USA Today, 8/12/02] Regardless, this suggests the Secret Service was using Tigerwall or some similar system, as well as use of the hotline.

Part of Thompson and Everett's August 2005 draft also mentions the Secret Service's aircraft "shoot down capability" for defending the White House.

The Secret Service also had the means to stop any hijacked planes attacking Washington themselves. The Daily Telegraph reported that on 9/11, “If [Flight 77, which subsequently hit the Pentagon] had approached much nearer to the White House it might have been shot down by the Secret Service, who are believed to have a battery of ground-to-air Stinger missiles ready to defend the president’s home. The Pentagon is not similarly defended.” [Daily Telegraph, 9/16/01] There has been some dispute as to whether or not Flight 77 technically entered the prohibited airspace zone around the White House or not. [CBS News, 9/21/01] But given the way it flew in a 360-degree circle over Washington, it surely would have been in range of the Secret Service’s missiles. Yet neither the media nor any official commission have ever explored the question of why these missiles weren’t fired.

Postscript: More Info on Secret Service's Tigerwall

August 2005: Secret Service among US agencies adding blimps to its air surveillance system

September 2004: Photograher Jon Freilich threatens Crytome with lawsuit if website fails to remove his copyrighted photo of Tigerwall system. While the website compiles with the request, it still commentary and links to reports on the system.

Tigerwall System. Tigerwall is an air surveillance system currently used by the U.S. Secret Service to ensure enhanced physical security at a high-value asset location by providing early warning of airborne threats. SSC San Diego has assisted the Secret Service in implementing and maintaining the Tigerwall system by providing expertise gained from other SSC San Diego surveillance and physical security programs. See:

The system uses cameras and radiofrequency equipment to identify planes and other objects in the sky, and provides a real-time tactical map of their locations and trajectories. The system was designed by SPAWAR, the Navy's space warfare division, for the Secret Service. I imagine that the system is not purely for surveillance; the information provided by the "tiger" could create a virtual "wall." Tigerwall could be used to shoot down airborne hostiles, like a mini anti-ballistic-missile system around "high value assets." Also see:

Th excerpt below from the Crytome page is from someone claiming to be a former employee at “Advanced Counter Measure Systems, Inc, a division of Sierra Nevada Corporation” based in California that manufactured Tigerwall-fitted suburbans

I ended up quitting ACM after nine months because the intense mismanagement of tax dollars in the name of defense broke my heart and busted my butt. Some great engineers there, but some shady management.

4 August 2005: Team 8+, “a group of independent researchers who have been brought together by a mutual desire to find the real truth behind the 9/11 attacks and other major world events,” posted to one of their forums a May 2005 draft of Paul Thompson and Matthew Everett’s timeline for “military excercise” on the Secret Service’s role in the widely reported emergency exercise and military war games conducted just before and during the 9/11 attacks.

The Hidden Story of 9/11:
Exercises, Operations, and the Role of the Secret Service
Part 3: The Secret Service
By Matthew Everett and Paul Thompson

Due to the length (and a technical glitch I seem to be having with MS Word’s
cut-and-paste function) of the third part of the essay, click here and scroll down the page to access it. But some excerpts from that part of their timeline warrant excerpting.

…It has also been reported that the Secret Service was defending President Bush’s hotel in Sarasota, Florida, with ground-to-air missiles the night before the 9/11 attacks, which certainly raises the question of how much they may have been concerned before 9/11 that he could be attacked from the air to take such an unusual measure. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/10/02]

…But in fact it appears that the Secret Service did give orders directly to fighter pilots during the morning of 9/11. For example, shortly after the second World Trade Center crash at 9:03, the Secret Service began informally communicating with a fighter pilot at Andrews Air Force Base, just ten miles outside Washington, D.C., and the Secret Service requested that some fighters get prepared to fly. A “flood” of calls from the Secret Service and local flight control centers was said to have come into the base. Later, fighter pilot Lt. Col. Marc Sasseville, stationed at Andrews, is reported as saying that some time after the Pentagon was hit he received a call from the Secret Service, ordering: “Get in the air now!” The article describing this continues: “The Andrews-based F-16s were launched by the Secret Service and someone in the White House command center, not NORAD.” This was despite the fact that, “At the time, there was no standing agreement between the Secret Service and the 113th Wing [based at Andrews] for the latter to provide fighters in response to an attack on Washington.” [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 9/9/02]

So, Bush's Secret Service team with him that day in Florida had him completely wired-in to what was unfolding in New York well before he entered the elementary school on the morning of 9/11. As Canadian broadcaster Barry Zwicker reveals in the 1o-minute vid clip below, Bush's strange behavior and publicly stated timeline of knowing for that morning clashes with a thorough analysis of the communications technology he had available to him.

Monday, November 27

2006 in Review: Bush Administration Represses US Investigative Journalism, Replaces it with “Covert Propaganda”

US slips from 17th to 53rd in press freedom internationally in five years as White House taps taxpayers for $1.6 billion in waging illegal “covert propaganda” media war

Each May since 2002, Reporters Without Borders publishes its 50-point criteria ”Press Freedom Index” assessing investigative journalism’s health status in countries around the world. According to the Paris-based group’s 2006 rankings of 168 countries, Finland, Iceland and Ireland top the list in informational access and treatment of its journalists.

But since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, the US—joining France, Japan, Germany, Canada and UK—continues its steady slide into the rabbit hole of active and covert media censorship. In RWB’s press release accompanying its 2006 rankings, the organization wrote:

“The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year, after being in 17th position in the first year of the Index, in 2002. Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of “national security” to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his “war on terrorism.” The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media’s right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.

Freelance journalist and blogger Josh Wolf was imprisoned when he refused to hand over his video archives. Sudanese cameraman Sami al-Haj, who works for the pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera, has been held without trial since June 2002 at the US military base at Guantanamo, and Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held by US authorities in Iraq since April this year.”

The US federal judiciary’s attack on America’s First Amendment press freedoms ironically coincide with the government’s own increasing reliance on tax-payer funded “covert propaganda,” a practice the Government Accountability Office ruled as illegal. In February 2006, the GAO reported that over a 30-month period from 2003-2005, “the Bush administration spent $1.6 billion for public relations and media contracts.”

Subsequent inquiries revealed prominent African-American media darling Armstrong Williams obtained one of those contracts to sereptiously promote Bush’s increasingly problematic “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2002. Nonetheless, Air America radio network, the putative “progressive” alternative to right-wing dominated talk show industry that filed for bankruptcy on 13 September, revealed before the November elections it was hiring Williams as a talk show host.

Related: Reporters Without Borders offers citizen journalists a free online 46-page writing guide titled Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-dissidents. Chapter 1 is titled “Bloggers, the new heralds for free expression.”

Sunday, November 26

CNN's Lou Dobbs Belatedly Calls for Real 9/11 Investigation to Finger Those Already Fingered

Since banishing commercial TV from my home, I fail to catch those rare post-9/11 moments of investigative journalism that somehow slip by network and cable TV news censors.

As Working America's lone voice in TV news' wilderness of irrelevancy, Lou Dobbs recently scored a minor victory for 9/11 Truth when he told viewers in the first clip below that "Americans still don't know the whole truth about their government's initial response to those terrorist attacks."

Lou, there's much more 9/11 truth--such as their government's complicity in those attacks--Americans should know, but, hey, considering the restricted soapbox from where you speak, kudos for saying what's so patently obvious to many of us.

Lou's report explores allegations made in Without Precedent (cost: $29.95), a kiss-and-tell book co-authored by 9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, men pocked with numbing conflicts of interest that nullify any putative claim of "independence."

In their book, the dynamic duo write that NORAD and Pentagon officials were purposely misleading in testimonies to the Commission about their responses to the 9/11 attacks. Kean and Hamilton knew of those disparities in testimony before their release of the 9/11 Commission Final Report ($10) in July 2004. But rather than include an appendix in their final report, they opted to pass the responsibility on to inspector generals at the Departments of Defense and Transportation.

Kean and Hamilton's "revelations" of flawed testimony surfaced on the same day in August that a Ohio University/Scripts-Howard survey reported 36% of Americans believe their government was either complicit or covered up foreknowledge of the terrorist attacks on America.

Kean, Hamilton and Phillip Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission's executive director with his own considerable conflicts of interest, made critical compromises that invalidated the investigation by helping the White House hide the truth about 9/11, to include reneging on promised subpoenas to force White House testimony and release of classified pre-9/11 documents.

On 14 November 2003, the New York Times also reported a Faustian deal that allowed the White House to edit documents before turning them over to the panel.

“The commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks said on Thursday that its deal with the White House for access to highly classified Oval Office intelligence reports would let the White House edit the documents before they were released to the commission’s representatives. The agreement, announced on Wednesday, has led to the first public split on the commission. Two Democrats on the 10-member panel say that the commission should have demanded full access to the intelligence summaries, known as the President’s Daily Brief, and that the White House should not be allowed to determine what is relevant to the investigation.”

According to CNN, 9/11 Commissioner and former Georgia Senator Max Cleland was so outraged by the concession to the White House that he resigned from the panel, saying “This is a scam. It’s disgusting. America is being cheated.”

The scam included prohibiting testimony from NYC Ground Zero 9/11 firemen, a group the FBI had officially gagged from discussing allegations of explosions going off throughout the WTC. On 13 May 2004 the New York Post reported that “The city’s [New York’s] top fire union officials have asked to testify at 9/11 commission hearings next week, but the commission says the hearings are "reserved for people in authority."

"We have only asked the people who have had or still have the legal responsibility for agencies in charge of emergency response," commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said....‘This is an independent hearing," he said. "It has the right to draw up its own witness list."

Oh yea, man.

Postscript: It's been around for months, but I must pass along this clip from rap groups Immortal Technique and Mos Def titled "bin Laden" that let's us know "Bush Knocked Down the Towers."

...and this clip suggesting that 9/11 and the Iraq War were courtesy of America's "military-industrial complex," a phrase coined in 1961 by retiring US president Dwight D. Eisenhower, War II's Supreme Allied Commander.

Saturday, November 25

Mother of WTC Victim Emotionally Spot On in Fingering White House for 9/11

Donna Marsh O’Connor, mother of 9/11 World Trade Center Building #2 victim Venessa Lang Langer, believes 9/11 was an inside job. And she wants you to know and feel her anger at your inability or unwillingness to see that patently obvious fact.

If more of us expressed our suppressed outrage to the fascist-abetting congress as O'Connor does at the White House in the first video clip below, Capitol Hill would fall all over itself to.... ? What? Put on a better production of investigating 9/11?

Yea, that's the ticket. Our collective anger directed at DC would at minimum force the White House to contract with Hollywood for a "Wag the Dog" theatrical production of third attempt to investigate 9/11. Wag the Dog (a 1997 film directed by Barry Levison starring Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Heche, William Macy, Woody Harrelson with a memorable songwriting cameo by Willie Nelson) spoofs the Clinton administration's theatrical contrivance of war conditions in the former Republic of Yugoslavia it then used to justify deploying US troops on behalf of the American oil industry's Central Asian pipeline plan.

Sound familiar?

1. Vid Clip: 9/11 Was an Inside Job: Donna Marsh O'Connor Speaks Out

O'Connor speaks in front of the U.N. at a 9/11 truth rally on 11 September 2005.

2. Vid Clip: Donna Marsh O'Connor Begs the Media to Re-Examine 9/11

A more composed but no less angry O'Connor "pleads with the media to re-examine 9/11 and ask the real questions. She is asking all of us to give this press conference exposure. Send this link to as many people as you can. Post it everywhere."

3. O'Connor's Pre-2004 Election Letter to Presidential Candidate George Bush (cc'd to Bush's Yale Skull and Bones mate John Kerry, who too quickly conceded the Presidency in the face of unprecedented computer voting and election fraud in critical states, e.g., Ohio)

9/11 Mom: An Open Letter to George W. Bush
t r u t h o u t | Letter

By Donna Marsh O’Connor, Liverpool, NY,
Mother of Vanessa Lang Langer,
WTC Tower II, 93rd floor
Friday 22 October 2004

On the Thirty-third Anniversary of My Daughter’s Birth
cc: Senator John Kerry

Sometimes, Mr. Bush, it’s the smallest of details that makes everything click. The smallest of details. Right now, Mr. Bush, I am looking at your watch. It’s an item of clothing accessory and, unlike your other costumes, it is one that is particularly revealing.

On Halloween my daughter would be thirty-three years old. Her child would be almost three. Seven weeks before her twenty-ninth birthday, Vanessa, four months pregnant, ran from the falling towers of the World Trade Center. She did not make it. Her body, and in it the small body of her unborn child, was pulled from the rubble of the fallen towers on September 24th, just ten feet from an alley between towers IV and V. It is important for me to tell you that she was on the phone to her uptown office five minutes after the first plane hit tower I, explaining how she and others in tower II were "safe."

Here is what you did regarding specifically the events of that morning: You vacationed before, during and after August 6th, the day you were handed the presidential daily briefing that said very clearly Vanessa Lang Langer and many other Americans were not safe. After the first plane hit tower I, the fact of the PDB did not click in your mind, did not cause you to act, to turn on a television, to contact the Pentagon. You sat so that you did not frighten a group of children. You did not worry about Vanessa’s brothers, or the young children who would certainly be directly affected by that event. You did not, like her fourteen year-old brother, rush from your seat and head for a phone, desperately trying to reach out, to fix, to save. You sat. You said, two weeks to the day before the general election of 2004, that you would protect Americans; that is, according to you, your primary responsibility as Commander-in Chief; no terrorists would get us, no terrorists would attack us (you said this with your arm extended), and I you said and I quote, on your watch. You said this with no sense of irony, no sense, no indication of how that text would sound to those you failed miserably to protect. You never notified officially the airlines, flight schools, persons who lived or worked in our tallest structures. You failed in your watch and on it.

Help me to understand this, because I was looking so closely at your watch. Five minutes, Mr. Bush. Five minutes. In that five minute space my sons lost a best friend, a future that included a loving sister and her future family. And my daughter lost the only thing in life I ever knew she really wanted. In fact, you stood on September 13th, on the rubble that covered my child’s bones and you began your move to have the war you had been planning since the beginning of your term in office. You, Mr. Bush, used my daughter’s murder to perpetrate the most hideous example of racism with the direst of consequences and you did it standing literally on her bones.

I am going to be very honest with you, Mr. Bush. I suspect that your culpability does not begin with your failures that day. It may be imprudent to mention this now because evidence is difficult to produce, but I am one of those pragmatists that rely on some basic fundamentals in crime solving. So let me say, when a crime is committed we are to find suspects by exploring motive, by looking at who had most to gain. You did, Mr. Bush, you and your friends at Halliburton and your friends in Saudi Arabia. And you have never answered for this. Don’t you think with all that has happened it would be in order for you to explain all you have come to gain, now and in the future, in terms of both money and power?

On September 11th, I was in Canada. When I heard the news I was walking in the street, enjoying what was to be the last of the purely beautiful sunny mornings of my life. My cell phone rang. And every second after that call was a mix of panic, dread, calm because this couldn’t be happening, and utter, absolute need to touch my daughter. What would you have done, Mr. Bush? What would your instincts have been? As a parent? I ask this because Senator Kerry during the second debate mentioned you are a “good father.” Are you? Have you made Americans, including your own daughters safer? Let me tell you what I wanted that morning. I wanted to fly to New York, to put my feet on my home soil as fast as humanly possible. I wanted to get to an airport and get home. Not an option for me, Mr. Bush. My husband and I just made it over the border before it closed. And on that morning, when no American citizen was allowed to fly in our airspace, on that morning and the mornings to follow, Americans were grounded. But bin Laden’s family flew. They flew home to Saudi Arabia. Before they were vetted by the F.B.I., by the C.I.A. And worst of all, you never were made to tell the truth about why that was so. I’m sorry, Mr. Bush. I will never understand this. Never. But still: your responsibility was then and is now to explain it. And to explain while that watch of yours leading up to the election is still ticking.

Right now there is a report from the C.I.A. that names explicitly your administration’s culpability regarding those events. Bipartisan leaders have requested, even demanded that those reports be turned over now to congress. You, according to reports, have refused to allow the C.I.A. to release them, just as you refused to testify under oath before the 9/11 commission. Now, Mr. Bush, release them. Before the election.

Right now, Mr. Bush, there are wide-spread rumors of vote tampering all over this country. And let me be clear about this: the rumors are that Republicans are benefiting from this tampering. Instead of enumerating our safeties, perhaps you could show some leadership, Mr. Bush, and demand that it stop now. Demand, Mr. Bush, that in this country our right to vote is protected. Because without that, we are not safe. Wouldn’t you agree?

After the 2000 election, where there were in Florida widespread problems with voting, Mr. Bush, voting in African American communities, you also did nothing. Absolutely nothing. You did nothing to counter the rumors that your brother handed you Florida. Nothing to smooth over what must have felt to African Americans (even if this was just rumor) the painful and the absolute, clear enactment of racial prejudice, not encoded in the ordinary acts of ordinary citizens, but in the very structure of the government that must be protective of all citizens of this country and the world. Why, Mr. Bush, did you fail to go to Florida and demand that these persons’ rights were protected? Or, at the very least, to apologize and guarantee that this would never happen again? What does America mean to you? In August of 2001, the United Nations hosted a conference on racism and Colin Powell, your Secretary of State wanted to attend. You did not allow this because, you said, we don’t have problems with racism in America. Do you see the pattern I am pointing at, here, Mr. Bush? In each case, the problems in this country have been enacted and exacerbated by you and you have attempted to cover them up. How could you do that to Colin Powell? How could you do that to another man?

When your children are young, Mr. Bush, they are often rebellious. They often admire you, but buck you at the same time. One way a mature parent feels this love is sometimes in the very ways in which your children buck you—by using the very part of your example they most admire. Vanessa confronted me every day of her life, especially on the days when she acted most loving. Parent/child things. The kind of things that all someday are made into family jokes when the child becomes a parent and sees that the very methods of touching and teaching and learning come from actions the parent used without thought. I never had that fully with Vanessa, the day when she consciously, because she was parenting herself, used my methods on another generation. But one day, almost there, Vanessa said to me, “Mom, you always made Christmases at home so beautiful…” and then she said, “And you taught us how not to be racist. You have no idea, Mom, how much racism there is and white people don’t always see it.”

I cannot tell you in shorthand, Mr. Bush, how important it was that she said those words before I lost her because unless she did, I would always have wondered, was I in any way that mattered a good enough parent to a woman who would die so young. I can tell you some of the methods I used with Vanessa and her brothers, but let me show you what you did that I had to explain and counter with all three of them:

You refused, when you met face-to-face with James Byrd’s daughter (You remember him, I am sure. He’s the African American man whose head was ripped almost off of his body in Texas by three white men who tied him to their pickup and dragged him along a Texas road.), you refused to sign a hate crimes bill as she begged you, crying. You didn’t even, as Molly Ivins reported, offer her a tissue. In that sense, Mr. Bush, you functioned as a very hostile branch of government, one that we might have predicted would not care if persons of color or persons of the other party were denied the right to vote.

But then, Mr. Bush, you used this tendency of yours, this refusal to get behind most Americans’ desires to eradicate racism by pretending Osama bin Laden is the embodiment of Saddam Hussein and vice versa. One man equals the other. They are both Arabs. Do you own a globe, Mr. Bush? Do you know where Afghanistan is? Do you know where Iraq is? Have you been there since the war began to examine what you have done to the civilians you were going to protect? Interesting detail (and perhaps a warning from G-d): Vanessa, when she got one of her first jobs, bought me a daily planner with a map on it. The map on this particular piece of canvas has in its center Afghanistan. To the right of this small country is a larger country—Iran and to the right of that—Iraq, also small, even smaller (geographically and metaphorically speaking) of Afghanistan. Just under Iraq, writ very large on my daily planner is Saudi Arabia. You know, Saudi Arabia, Mr. Bush. I know you do because the families of 9/11 who got together to bankrupt terrorism, those people who are bringing suit against the Saudis got no help from your administration. None. Though you should know that a coalition of the willing, including France, Spain, Great Britain and Germany have offered help to the families of 9/11 as they try to connect the events of 9/11 to the real perpetrators. There are connections between the Saudis and the terrorists, the terrorists who, no doubt, now that you have opened up a haven for terrorism in Iraq, are growing in number and resources. How much time do you have left, Mr. Bush? What is on your watch? Am I taking too long?

What costume will you wear on Vanessa’s birthday this year, Mr. Bush? Will you dress up as the head of the military or a foot soldier of Prince Bandar or Dick Cheney? Will you wear a white sheet with a cone head, Mr. Bush? Will you pretend you’re a plain speaking, Texas cowboy, with your shirt sleeves rolled up, proclaiming happily how safe you’ll keep us as you point to your watch? Will you dress up again as a good Christian? Will you dress up as a Republican? You are, you know, not a Republican. You have shamed Republicans. I know one thing, Mr. Bush: I am going to try very hard not to have you dress up anymore as Commander-in Chief. In more ways than I have articulated here, that costume does not fit you. I am a proud American citizen, Mr. Bush, who is disgusted that you try to portray yourself as patriotic. You have trampled every value of decency America ever held dear.

Do you believe in G-d, Mr. Bush, really? Really? Because, to me, as a flawed parent, flawed person, flawed citizen, I ask G-d to help me fix my flaws, to forgive me my trespasses. And here’s what I hear Him telling me:

Don’t let him speak for Me. If you do, it is you who fail to watch over your children. You.

Source: .

Note: Like most US "liberal" and "progressive" news outlets, does not endorse the 9/11 Truth Movement or its claim that 9/11 was an "inside job." O'Connor surely had to redraft her letter several times before William Pitts et al. allowed it to be posted at that website.

Wednesday, November 15

Wanted: 1000 Grandmas This Weekend to Stop American Terrorism Abroad

To the prisons we'll invite them
The most violent men will weep
When 1000 women hold them strong
And pray their souls to keep.
—Holly Near, “A Thousand Grandmothers”

One Northern California peace activist is asking 999 other grandmothers to join her this weekend (17-19 November) to sing Near’s song and help her close the State Department’s “School of the Assassins.”

On February 21-22, 2005, eight members of the San Jose de Apartado Peace Community in Urabá, Colombia were brutally massacred by soldiers of the Columbian military. Witnesses identified the killers as members of the 17th Brigade, a unit commanded by Héctor Jaime Fandiño Rincón.

Promoted to Brigadier General in 2004, Fandinzo is a 1976 graduate of the U.S. State Department’s notorious School of the Americas at Fort Benning outside Columbus, Georgia. According to myriad international peace activists and reports, SOA contributes to widespread torture and terrorism in Colombia and across Latin America.

Behind only Israel and Egypt, Colombia, wracked by civil strife and war, receives the third-largest annual US military aid outlay, roughly $3.3 billion. By October 2005, eight hundred US troops were deployed in Columbia, ostensibly only in advisory roles.

"[US policy in Latin America is designed to] maintain the Iberoamerican countries in a condition of direct dependence upon the international political decisions most beneficial to the United States, both at the hemisphere and world levels. Thus they preach to us of democracy while everywhere they support dictatorships," explained US-backed El Salavadoran President Jose Napoleon Duarte in a 1969 speech.

Before the Reagan-Bush White House began listening more closely and ousted him for a more repressive-minded president, Duarte faulted US policies for the rampant poverty, hunger and election fraud evident across Latin America, which he claims fosters populist protests and anti-government guerrilla fighters. Opponents of those policies subsequently have been brutally repressed by over 60,000 military officers like General Fandinzo who SOA trained in torture, interrogation and military tactical community interdiction, a clinical euphemism for indiscriminate murder.

But a link between SOA and the “war on terrorism” also recently emerged. In 2004, Miles Schulman, a Canadian physician who has monitored torture among refugees internationally for peace organizations, reported in the Toronto Globe and Mail that torture techniques identified by the International Red Cross at Abu Ghraib and US prisons in Afghanistan resembled those depicted in declassified SOA torture manuals.

[Related article: Dana Priest, "U.S. Instructed Latins on Executions, Torture; Manuals Used 1982-91, Pentagon Reveals," Washington Post, 21 September 1996, A-1.—Moose]

Grannies Coming with Attitude

Colombians in the peace community murdered in Urabá included Luis Eduardo Guerra, community founder; his common-law wife and their 11-year old son; another couple and their two children, age 1 and 6. In conjunction with the murders, Fandinzo’s troops forced all but five of the 100 families residing in the peace community to leave their homes and land.

“Today we are here in San José de Apartadó; tomorrow the majority of people here could be displaced because of a massacre," Guerra said in an interview 37 days before his brutal death.

In November 2002, Guerra traveled to Fort Benning “to give a first hand testimony about the brutal impact that SOA training and US foreign policy have on the dire situation in Colombia.” In December 2000, in response to growing international opposition to SOA, the State Department hired a PR firm to help mitigate its “image problem.” One of its modest recommendations included changing the school’s name to the Orwellian-sounding Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).

The cosmetic change worked; resistance subsided. Moreover, Nicaragua, which stopped sending candidates to SOA in 1978, renewed its partnership.

But if one veteran peace advocacy and activist organization has its way, the State Department after this weekend will have to make more substantive changes—like shutting down SOA/WHINSEC.

In 1990, Maryknoll priest Father Roy Bourgeois began holding small peace vigils each November in an apartment near Fort Benning to commemorate the anniversary of the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests and a housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador, murders a Congressional probe determined SOA graduates committed.

Father Bourgeois’s small vigil eventually evolved into the School of the Americas Watch, an organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a staff of seven full-time employees. In August, SOAW opened their first offices in Latin America.

In 2005, SOWA had 19,000 participants around the world to gather outside the Benning Road gates into Fort Benning and they hoping for an even bigger presence this weekend.

Among those attending the first time will be a group of grandmothers organized by Cathy Webster, 61, a peace activist and grandmother from Chico, California. Webster said she got her inspiration for 1000 Grandmothers during the memorial service last November for Helen Kinnee, a life-long Chico peace worker.

“One of our young peace activists sang Holly Near's song, ‘A Thousand Grandmothers’. I was so inspired by this song, and by the arrest that same month of another local grandmother, Dorothy Parker, at School of the Americas, that an idea came to me: What if 1,000 grandmothers across America and the world were to take this song as their rallying cry, and march onto the grounds of the School of the Americas in November.”

“Onto the grounds” is code for civil disobedience—criminal trespass on federal property—an offense since 9/11 occasioning several months in federal prison, even for first-time offenders.

Webster says she received “hundreds” of responses from women around the US and organizers in 21 states have signed up to attend at her website ( She also anticipates other grandmothers who had planned to attend anyway will join her after arriving at Fort Benning.

“This school is responsible for training militaries that then use the techniques they learned against their civilian populations,” says Nancy Jakubiak, a Louisville, Kentucky grandmother and veteran SOA protester who is joining Webster’s group this year. “We can make a very powerful statement as older women,” she said. “Maybe if people see grandmothers they’ll realize there’s something to this. We’re not wild-eyed radicals, we’re just your neighbors and friends,” Jakubiak said.

According to SOA Watch, “simultaneous demonstrations will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Manta, Ecuador; Santiago, Chile; Bogota, Colombia; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; and in Davis, California! Thousands of people will be raising their voices, calling for a world free of militarism and the SOA/WHINSEC.”

For those unable to show up at any of these locations, the National Catholic Reporter is offering net surfers live online coverage and testimonials from veteran vigil participants at Fort Benning like Nancy Jakubiak that include their experiences and why they go back year after year.

Since 1993, a succession of US House measures for closing SOA failed to garner sufficient support. With Democrats in control when the 110th Congress convenes in January, this may be the year funding is terminated for the facility.

SOAW Contact Info:

SOA Watch
PO Box 4566
Washington, DC 20017

Phone: (202) 234 3440
Fax: (202) 636-4505
Email: info(at)

Also check “Local Groups” by state via online interactive menu in right margin here. Watch this 15-sec SOAW-Austin, TX promo at

Postscript: Two SOA Alums Prominent in 32nd US-backed Haitian Coup d’etat (1991)

As Haiti’s first elected president in 137 years, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, known among poor Haitians (85% of the populace) for whom he served as the “rebel-priest,” won the presidential palace in Port-o-Prince in 1991 after promising voters he would improve their lives if given the opportunity; they believed him, and Aristide defeated former World Bank employee Marc Bazin, the US-backed candidate who received only 15% of the vote. Ignoring strong US opposition to his “populist policies,” Aristide kept his promise to voters and moved to improve living conditions in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest society. Seven months later, Washington ended his bottom-up democracy to install a top-down police state favored by Americans and Haitian proxies with business interests on the island.

That’s the view of Haitian election history embraced by Latin American historians, sociologists and journalists. Their American counterparts, however, make the comical allegation that the Bush Sr. White House had to remove Aristide from office for human rights violations—a claim tantamount to Hitler arguing he lost World War II because of his “kindler, gentler” disposition.

Moreover, Heinz Dieterich a German journalist working for the Spanish-speaking online investigative news publication, implicated the U.S. State Department, AFL-CIO and National Endowment for Democracy (NED)—supported by Republicans and Democrats alike—for unsuccessfully conspiring to destabilize Aristide’s election campaign.

But Dieterich claims the US’s post-election coup succeeded in large part from meritorious service by two SOA graduates who not only led the coup but were instrumental in a highly effective post-coup terrorist purge of Aristide supporters.

Faced with the defeat of Bazin and the "danger" of popular democracy, Washington organized a coup d'etat that would put an end to the priest's experiment in the island. At the head of the coup was the narco-general and CIA collaborator, Raul Cedras, who was trained at the notorious School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia.

His right-hand man was Col. Michel-Joseph Francois, also trained at Fort Benning. Together with Emmanuel Constant, another CIA agent, they controlled two key organizations for the destruction of Aristide's democratic government: the National Intelligence Service (SIN) and the death squads, known as FRAPH. Both organizations have been established and maintained by the CIA.

In the first two weeks of the coup, more than a thousand people lost their lives in a state terrorist campaign that systematically destroyed popular and democratic organizations that had supported Aristide. When the terror ended, Cedras and Francois had assassinated more than four thousand Haitians.

SOA Watch, however, determined that Cedras and Francois are graduates of Fort Benning’s US Army Infantry instead of SOA. Here is SOAW’s Haiti ”Country Sheet,” which suspiciously reads as if was written with Dietrich’s allegations of the pair in mind.

"In the eyes of most people throughout the world, my home country is perceived as a place of repressive regimes, coupes d’etat, poverty and despair. Indeed, Haiti has suffered through colonization by Spain and France, US occupation, dictatorship supported by the wealthy, and periods of cruel repression" -- Marie M. B. Racine, Ph. D., a Haitian woman herself, lives in Washington, DC where she is an an active member of the solidarity community for the peoples of the Caribbean and Central America.

Haiti has sent relatively few officers to train at the SOA, primarily because SOA courses are offered in Spanish [rather than French]. Less than 50 Haitian officers have attended the SOA since it was founded, but their presence has been felt. In 1987, SOA graduate Gambetta Hyppolite ordered his soldiers to fire on the Provincial Electoral Bureau in Gonaives as part of a larger Army campaign to stop the democratic elections. In 1988, SOA graduate Franck Romain masterminded the St. Jean Bosco massacre in which 12 prisoners were killed while attending mass and at least 77 were wounded.

Haitian soldiers and officers have also trained at many other U.S. facilities. For example General Raul Cedras, Defense Minister, and Michel Francois, Port au Prince Police Chief are often believed to be SOA graduates. In fact, however, they graduated from the U.S. Army Infantry School, which is also located at Ft. Benning.

Monday, November 13

History of US Efforts to Import "Democracy" to Iraq

Two months after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Alanna Hartzok published her essay “Thanks to war, U.S. once again has more control over the oil in Iraq” in the 2 May 2003 issue of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania’s Public Opinion.

An expert below offers American readers a concise historical synopsis of American intervention in Iraq. It suggests more interest among our leaders of exporting oil to the US than modeling democracy for Iraqis.

Harzok is Co-Director of Earth Rights Institute, a civil society organization working for economic justice and peaceful resolution of conflicts. In addition to helping enact and writing about tax reform legislation, she ran for Pennsylvania’s 9th District US House seat in 2001.

Many freshmen Democrats ran on and won congressional seats with anti-war campaigns; they will join their veteran majority leaders in January when the 110th Congress convenes. How will their actions affect the next chapter in the ongoing US-Iraqi historical saga?

…. Here is a brief historical perspective on what led up to the war against Iraq:

In 1917, the U.S. entered World War I on the side of Britain and France on condition that its objectives for gaining access to new sources of raw materials, particularly oil, be taken into account. In February 1919, Sir Arthur Hirtzel, a top British colonial officer, warned his associates: "It should be borne in mind that the Standard Oil Co. is very anxious to take over Iraq." At the end of the war, control of Iraqi oil was split with an equal percentage going to Britain, France, Holland and the U.S. Iraq received exactly 0% of its oil.

In 1927 the Iraqi Petroleum Co., composed of Anglo-Iranian (today British Petroleum) Shell, Mobil and Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon) was set up and within a few years totally monopolized Iraqi oil production.

In the latter stages of World War II the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, dominated by big banking, oil and other big business interests, were determined to ensure the dominant position of the U.S. Britain had to accept its new role as the US's junior partner.

By the mid-1950s, Iraq was jointly controlled by the U.S. and Britain and the people lived in extreme poverty and hunger. The British maintained military airfields. Iraq was only independent in name and was ruled by a corrupt monarchy under King Faisall II and a group of feudal landowners.

On July 14, 1958, the Iraq Revolution deposed the king and his administration and took control of Iraq oil for the people of Iraq.

President Eisenhower called it "the gravest crisis since the Korean war."

A combination of factors forced U.S. leaders to accept the loss of control of Iraq.

After nationalizing its own oil, the people of Iraq used the funds to establish free medical care for all, free education up through graduate school and nearly full literacy. Women gained more human rights than anywhere else in the Arab world. Iraq was emerging as a first world nation.

Over the next three decades, the U.S. applied many tactics designed to weaken and undermine Iraq as an independent country. The U.S. applauded the suppression of the trade unions by the government of Saddam Hussein in the late 1970s.

In the 1980s, the U.S. helped to fund and arm Iraq in its war against Iran and at the same time was sending anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. Ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger revealed the real U.S. attitude about the Iran/Iraq war when he said: "I hope they kill each other."

A million people were killed and both countries were weakened.

Today, the U.S. has prevailed in its goal to once again control the oil resources of Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq and no links with terrorists have been proven. The U.S. has secured the oil fields of Iraq and the Oil Ministry building in Baghdad, allowed the national museum and other centers of cultural treasures to be bombed, burned and looted, and established four permanent military bases in Iraq.

Exxon/Mobil and other U.S. corporations are following through on plans made several months ago for the "reconstruction" of Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps, said this in a speech in 1933:

"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. ..."

[Read all the essay here.]

Sunday, November 12

American Psychiatric Association Says School "Curiosity" and Political Concern Mental Illnesses

The model in the former Soviet Union for handling political dissidents was to socially invalidate them by having psychiatrists diagnose them “mentally ill.” The American Psychiatric Association is offering the same service to the American Police State.

The day after Democrats swept both houses of congress, a 5th-grader in Texas called Alex Jones’ nationally-syndicated radio talk with a disturbing school report on America’s evolving Police State.

“Mark,” aged 10, told Jones he was sent home during his Computer Lab class after a classmate told his teacher he was accessing “terrorist” websites, which included Jones’

"He just ran up to my teacher in front of the whole class, saying 'he's searching terrorist stuff about 9/11',” the boy told Jones, who verified the incident with school officials.

Though Mark technically did nothing wrong, he was sent home for surfing “inappropriate” websites and "satisfying his curiosity," as indicated in his school disciplinary report here.

In updating the incident two days later, 9/11 Blogger reported school authorities wanted the curious young Mark to have a "psychiatric evaluation."

“Mark's father said the school approached him about a complete assessment of his son's psychological make-up.

After seeing some of the questions on the test, however, his father refused. "I'm not going to subject my son to this," he told Jones. "They are criminalizing normal behavior."[Read more.]

"Political Paranoia"?

I happened upon a similar instance of abuse of medical authority last year in a report by “Hermione Slatkin, medical correspondent” that I thought initially was an Anne Coulter gag:

American Psychiatric Association approves the inclusion of "Political Paranoia" in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The DSM is psychiatrists’ 993-page bible of “symptoms, diagnoses and treatment recommendations” for aberrant mental behavior. At the May 2005 APA annual conference, members “cleared the way” to add the "malady" to their diagnostic bible.

Slatkin also included a link to a Political Paranoia Index (PPI; pdf file), a self-test to determine your level of distrust of Busholvik fascism.

Once GOP congressional leadership caught wind of the PPI and APA’s move to label political intelligence as aberrant, it moved to criminalize the growing number of Americans who oppose the White House.

Senate Majority leader Bill Frist, “the first practicing physician elected to the Senate since 1928, plans to file a bill that would define ‘political paranoia’ as a mental disorder, paving the way for individuals who suffer from paranoid delusions regarding voter fraud, political persecution and FBI surveillance to receive Medicare reimbursement for any psychiatric treatment they receive.” [Read More]

Postscript: APA Smokes “Whacky Tobbacy”

Gaining some perspective on the American Psychiatric Association's political bias in labeling mental states "defective" or "healthy" is useful for avoiding personal victimization by professional stupidity. Though the APA maligns constitutionally-protected political dissident against fascist leaders as aberrant, it believes APA members who engage in illegal human experimentation and torture for fascist leaders as, to quote Michael Douglas’ cinematic character in Wonder Boys, “fit as a fuckin’ fiddle.”

As I reported here in October, dues-paying APA members during the Cold War-era jumped all over lucrative MK-ULTRA contracts with the US intelligence establishment requiring them to drug, torture, rape and experiment on unwitting mental patients and discarded children in the name of “national security.” More recently, the APA was vilified by other mental health professionals for consulting with the US military on “improving the effectiveness of torture” and Guantanamo Naval Base and other secret installations.

Sunday, November 5

White House Assaults Media Foes on Way to Knocking Over Voting Booths

The Bush administration cites its bogus “war on terrorism” as justification for ramping up its National Security State, which by 2005 included an estimated 14 million new official secrets each year—a four-fold increase since those heady days of Oval Office blow jobs and blue stained dresses way back in 1995.

If access to timely information is essential for a nominal democracy, the elevated post-9/11 secrecy is a dark indicator of the business-friendly White House’s success in realizing Italian dictator Bernito Mussolini’s dream of a corporate-styled fascist Police State.

In its relentless war against the American public’s right to know, the neo-con White House recently scored one victory while positioning itself to take on those pesky nay-saying bloggers with the help of the Pentagon, CIA and Google.

Air America “Armstronged” Right

An internal ABC Radio Network memo dated 25 October 2006 obtained by Media Matters for America revealed that roughly 100 ABC advertisers—to include “Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, Federal Express, General Electric, McDonald's, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Navy—insist that their commercials be blacked out on Air America Radio affiliates.”

Predictably struggling in an industry awash with right-wing talk hosts and money, Air America filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last month (Friday, the 13th), a development market analysts would have tracked for Fortune 500 companies cited in the memo. Withholding advertising dollars will produce, of course, its intended censoring effect on radio content at a time commercial radio is experiencing declining listeners, revenues (and here) greater competition from subscription-supported satellite radio.

Air America’s front office also apparently saw the memo and the writing on the wall and recently signaled its willingness to play ball by Corporate Amerika’s rules. According to The Hill (1 November), a newsletter that tracks congress, the network will announce after midterm elections that conservative African-American radio and TV host/journalist Armstrong Williams will join Air America Radio’s stable of talk show hosts.

In January 2005, Williams, 46, a former aide to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was discovered to be a White House policy shill receiving $240,000 through the US Department of Education to publicly advocate—as objective news— the besieged No Child Left Behind education bill. Although a Government Accountability Office probe determined Williams’ taxpayer-funded contract violated the ban on “covert propaganda” the U.S. Justice Department did not investigate.

Nor did DoJ investigate corporate conspiracy, racketeering and extortion to undermine Air America Radio’s progressive mission. Air America management’s capitulation should augur an impending exodus, either voluntary or forced, by liberal talk show hosts like Al Franken, Thom Hartman et al.

Pentagon and CIA Chokehold Bloggers

In a related development of free-speech suppression and taxpayer-supported propaganda, the Pentagon appropriately announced on Halloween (31 October) it was launching a “raid response” multimedia public relations team to counter media coverage Defense Secretary Rumseld and his lackeys deem inaccurate or, worse, offensive.

In spinning this story for public dissemination, Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff poured moonshine on a gaggle of “reporters” covering the announcement when he suggested their keen sense for a story would be a target of their public relations news scrubbing team. According to the UPI News Service

Many of the additional staff at the Pentagon Public Affairs Office will be dedicated to booking television news appearances for DOD officials and their representatives, and to trying to convince reporters and newspapers to cover the stories that the Pentagon wants to see more of.

Like that’s really a problem Pentagon public relations. Of course, you recall the investigative prowess of those journalistic bloodhounds of mainstream newspapers and “television news” in the run-up to the Iraq War. They were on point ferreting out all that partisan distortions promulgated by the Pentagon’s Office of Speical Plans (OSP) about Saddam’s WMD’s and mushroom clouds on the morning horizon.

Rummy's real concern instead is “citizen journalism,” a post-9/11 development in news reporting after it became painfully obvious mainstream media rewrote reporters’ job descriptions to be scribes for the Bush administration. Again, the UPI:

Others will be dedicated to monitoring the Internet, creating podcasts and responding to reports on blogs, negative stories and terrorist propaganda.

The Pentagon press office in the last few weeks has also inaugurated a new blog on its Web site to respond immediately to news reports it objects to.

Like me, I wager Bush- bashing bloggers at, Google’s free blogging service, also have received unusually literate emails pointing out flawed thinking on the Iraq War and the administration’s Official 9/11 Story. My suspicions about Agent Jones' latest e-missive were partially confirmed October 26 when ex-CIA intelligence case officer Richard Steele, recently implicating Dick Cheney in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, told radio talk show host Alex Jones and listeners that Google representatives informed him “that the company is ‘in bed with’ the intelligence agency and the U.S. government.”

"I think that Google has made a very important strategic mistake in dealing with the secret elements of the U.S. government - that is a huge mistake and I'm hoping they'll work their way out of it and basically cut that relationship off," said Steele, an “acknowledged expert on computer and information vulnerabilities.”

Okay, techies, since I’m now onto to you, stop fudging with my posts and website. And turn off that word verification torture trick you have forced on me in order to save and publish posts. You know who you are.

These continuing preemptive neo-con assaults on constitutionally-protected speech and the right to know reveal no eleventh hour desperation of career criminals at all concerned about the Democrats’ projected reclamation of congress on November 7. Instead, they appear to be part of a well-devised strategy by confident thugs that wholesale election theft again will ensure their grubby hands remain on Washington’s power levers after Tuesday.

With pre-election polls showing voters’ clear preference for Democrat over GOP congressional candidates, what other strategy could the evil genius Karl Rove have had in mind last month when, touting his own “research,” he reported “I’m confident we are going to keep the Senate; I’m confident were are going to keep the House.”

Vintage Remix: Your Right Not to Know How Government Botched Katrina Relief

While a September 2005 CNN/USA Today poll revealed 70% of American adults surveyed favored appointment of a bipartisan congressional panel to investigate what went wrong in the government’s emergency response to Hurricane Katrina, a U.S. Senate measure failed that month along party lines—54 Republicans voted against with 44 Demos (and one Independent) in favor—to garner the two-thirds majority needed to appoint a panel.

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