Friday, June 30, 2006

Justices ram terrorists and traitors

The top court's rejection of Bush's terror tribunal plan deals a powerful blow to al Qaeda as well as to those traitors who engineered 9/11 in order to consolidate central power.

The sweeping decision rejects much of the Bush doctrine of unilateral authority to override unwanted laws and makes a strong case for the traditional American doctrine of separation of powers.

To Muslims worldwide, the U.S. court decision tends to restore America's appeal as the land of the free where basic rights cannot be waived away. Clearly, this undercuts much al Qaeda propaganda and undermines popular support for the jihadists, demonstrating the value of democracy: self-aggrandizers face being sent to the foot of the table.

The decision also deals a devastating blow to the traitors who engineered 9/11 in order to throw a curtain of darkness over America as they acted, overtly and covertly, with impunity toward their strange goals. (Notice that there is no detention center holding federal traitors who controlled the 9/11 attacks.)

In particular, the court struck down the White House's idea that the "authorization for the use of force" meant that it could sidestep U.S. law (no need for Congress) or the Geneva Conventions that safeguard minimal rights of captured combatants (though some of those held may not be combatants).

As a consequence, Attorney General Gonzales' claims concerning the legality of warrantless NSA wiretaps is severely undermined. In addition, one can expect that the court would take a jaundiced view of Bush's use of signing statements to exercise 750 de facto line item vetoes. The court has already thrown out the line-item veto and, though other presidents have used signing statements sparingly, there is a big difference between a nuanced distinction and a general abrogation of laws.

Hopefully, members of the press and credentialed professionals -- in particular scientists and engineers -- will now be encouraged to focus on the treason that occurred on 9/11.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

How to transfer terror funds

A plot for a thriller I may write some day:

The counterterrorists are trying to track the transfer of terror funds to some nasty group. But the terrorists are wily. They establish a relationship with a corrupt or sympathetic businessman in the target country, with a courier adding a substantial sum to the businessman's account. They then communicate with the confederate via onetime pads and the internet. Once a month, the confederate takes out a onetime cipher pad and uses it to decipher a message on a neutral content internet site or in a piece of "spam," whereby the second letter of every word is part of a secret message.

Upon decoding the message, he destroys that pad sheet, of course.

The message may instruct "do nothing," or it might tell him to withdraw x amount and deliver it to an agent.

Well, I can't reveal how the terrorists are tracked. Don't want to reveal intelligence sources and methods, you know. Or spoil the plot.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

'National security' or bad press?

Disclosure of the Treasury-CIA program to sift international financial communications was "disgraceful," says Bush. And Cheney and a pack of GOP attack dogs are impugning the patriotism of the New York Times for supposedly tipping off terrorists to something they could easily have guessed to be so.

Yet, it turns out that the dark national security secret wasn't all that secret. A UN report a while back spoke candidly of U.S. government efforts to catch terrorists by tracking international banking transactions. My memory refreshed, I now recall some news reports to that effect of several years back.

So why is the White House angry? Possibly in all the commotion, the State Dept. failed to warn the White House that the UN had already published the secret -- though with not as much background as provided by the recent reports. Nevertheless, the program's existence was not secret.

This false secrecy also applies in general to the NSA's warrantless wiretap program. Shortly after 9/11, a number of reports told of NSA intercepts and others described a major (presumably warrantless) electronic surveillance program code-named Echelon. However, the NSA threw cold water on this matter by making it seem that such machinery was not turned against Americans without due process of law. The press then obligingly did a brown-out.

Yet, now we know that then-NSA chief Hayden was authorizing the warrantless wiretaps, a decision later ratified by Bush.

Yet Bush was livid when this not-really secret program was disclosed? Why? Terrorists had already been forewarned.

My take is that the reason for all the national security mumbo-jumbo was simply an attempt to deter bad press while the Bushites stepped all over the Constitution.

Yes, I think Bush's rage is about control of news and not really about secrets. If the media can't be bullied into continuing with various brownouts, a lot of ugly skeletons are likely to come moseying out of a lot closets. Bush is really saying: "Know your place! Don't you know I'm in with the big movers and shakers?!"

However, Bush's bitter wrangle with some of the tougher parts of the press may backfire against the Bush faction of the GOP. For example, the disgrace of his abuse of power to nullify laws through the trick of signing statements is burgeoning into a major issue -- an issue mentioned early on by yours truly as a voice crying in the wilderness.

Sometime before 9/11, I noted Bush's use of a "de facto line item veto to guard CIA turf" and every now and then have talked about this practice online.

At least I'm no longer in the paranoid lunatic fringe on that score, anyway.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

'Potential for abuse is enormous'


So says an official quoted by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau in their story on the CIA-Treasury sifting of financial transaction data moving through the Swift consortium. (search: risen, banking).

A treasury official conceded that one investigator had been removed for conducting an "inappropriate" search.

Swift now says that it is committed to providing counter-terrorists with access to its data-base, though previously Swift officials had been very skittish about the open-ended program, launched in response to 9/11, and in 2003 threatened to block access and only agreed to continue after a watchdog and other controls were put in place to prevent abuses.

Supposedly, only financial data linked to terror suspects was eyed by the CIA; drug lords and mob bosses were protected. Yet if the legal reasoning for ignoring the Fourth Amendment applies in terror cases [see N.Y. Times story], it also applies in other matters.

Why the selectivity? Probably because of the cherished sanctity of Swiss banking privacy. Yet, Swift officials must have been aware that a "slight loss of virginity" is still a scandal. Despite being given legal cover via administrative subpoenas (again, no courts wanted), they were very concerned that the program might become public. Yes, it's true that such subpoenas may not satisfy Swiss and European laws. However, the big problem is trust. Switzerland, where the consortium is based, has long been praised for devotion to banking privacy, a fact which has built up the Swiss banking system. Hence, disclosure that Swiss banks are not terribly safe from government intrusions may upset quite a few financial applecarts.

One can expect that this disclosure will cost the Swiss banking system dearly, with a great many transactions now going through alternative routes.


A coalition of religious organizations is urging Congress to conduct an investigation of the NSA's warrantless wiretap program. Signatories are African American Ministries in Action, American Friends Service Committee, Friends Committee on National Leglisation, Presbyterian Church USA, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, the Rabbinical Assembly, United Church of Christ (Justice and Witness Ministries), United Methodist Church (General Board of Church and Society), Unitarian Universalist Association of America, and Union of Reform Judaism.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The lid

The fact that bin Laden is not wanted by the FBI for the 9/11 attacks has generated a small stir online (but not in the "real" media). A typical example:

It seems that the decision to seek a (supposed) al Qaeda small fry's conviction and death was meant to appease the public (though it hasn't).

Meanwhile, al Qaeda bigs are being held overseas as "enemy combatants" and might face a military tribunal -- some day. Notice that by putting off court adjudication indefinitely, the government can carry out aggressive actions -- including the various national security gimmicks used to KO the Bill of Rights during wartime -- without having to prove anything about the alleged conspiracy.

However, don't you think that if there were strong evidence against bin Laden that the government would have rushed head-over-heels to obtain an indictment?

The desire to avoid indictments stems from the desire to short-circuit the freedoms that define America as a free country while not drawing attention to holes in the White House conspiracy theory.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


If the link below doesn't work, just google.

Why hasn't bin Laden been indicted for 9/11?

Just wondering. A federal grand jury indicted him for terrorist attacks overseas prior to 9/11.
See the indictment at
One web report quotes an FBI spokesman as saying that bin Laden wasn't listed as a suspect in 9/11 because he hasn't been indicted.
A google search shows up no indictment of bin Laden in 9/11.
So why wasn't he indicted? Either prosecutors thought there was insufficient evidence against him or the feds wanted to avoid drawing attention to their 9/11 investigation deficiencies.
If pressed, however, I'm sure Gonzales et al would claim a trial of bin Laden in absentia would reveal too many dark national security secrets.

Monday, June 12, 2006

FBI wary of White House conspiracy theory?

An Indian Muslim newspaper makes an interesting observation: When it checked, the FBI web page did not cite Osama bin Laden as a suspect in 9/11, despite White House claims.
The paper also cites a few other instances in which it appears that the FBI does not believe bin Laden had a hand in the 9/11 plot, despite the White House's conspiracy theory.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Joe McCarthy and 9/11

Excerpted from "CIA knew where Eichmann was hiding..." in today's NY Times:
"norman jw goda, an ohio u historian who reviewed the cia material, said it showed in greater detail than previously known hoiw the cia aggressively recruited former nazi officers after the war. in particular, he said, the documents fill in the story of the 'catastrophic' soviet penetration of the gehlen organization, the postwar west german intelligence service sponsored by the united states army and then thge cia.
"mr god described the case of heinz felfe, a former ss officer who was bitter over the allied firebombing of his native city, dresden, and secretly worked for the kgb. mr felfe rose in the gehlen organization to oversee counterintelligence, a soviet agent placed in charge of combating soviet espionage."
Joe McCarthy warned of extenstive communist penetration of the cia, a warning that some believe ultimately led to his downfall. the cia had a secret unit dedicated to countering mccarrthy.
The point here is that mccarthy was substantially correct about the fact of extensive soviet penetration of our system, though he was not necessarily right aboiut every detail.
these days of course anyone who points to treason at high levels is smeared as a conspiracy theorist [see "who's crazy now?" by paul krugman (just google it)]. yet u.s. history shows that treason is not necessarily an occasional aberrent act but may be part of an organized covert (and semi-covert) system.
some of mccarthy's harshest detractors were pretty shady. take corliss lamont, the rich humanist atheist socialist who also was an arch apologist for the soviet union. and then there was the editor of the new republic who failed to mention that he had been one of the state dept reds mccarthy had been talking about.
these days we have extensive evidence of treason on 9/11 and a full complement of government shills determined to muddy the waters and confuse the public. yet, as the mccarthy controversy shoiws, it's possible for the "bad guy" to be right. so if treeason is possible in the fifties, why is it supposedly sio very unlikelythese days?
now some accuse bush and cheney of mccarthyism because of their attempts to browbeat the public into conformity. but bush and cheney have done everything possible to keep the lid on the facts of treason.