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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jenna Orkin of the WTC Env. Org.: air poisoning at ground zero

Jenna Orkin of the WTC Environmental Organization details how the Bush administration Environmental Protection Agency told the public that the air in Lower Manhattan after the attacks of 9/11 was safe to breathe even while knowing is was not. This raises the question: if the Bush administration was willing to sacrifice the health and the lives of United States citizens, what else would they be willing to do?

Introduction by freetruth101

Friday, July 14, 2006

"Terror Storm"

This film is beyond first class. Unlike his past films, Terrorstorm spends less time trying to convince you of things you've never heard about(or at least the average person hasn't heard about)and devotes the majority of it's roughly 2 hours running time to giving examples of documented government sponsored terror to manufacture the public's consent to carry out their evil acts.

Terror Storm: Readers Reviews

"The Great Conspiracy"

Barrie Zwicker is an independent documentary producer, author and social and political activist. His latest production is the 75-minute THE GREAT CONSPIRACY: The 9/11 News Special You Never Saw, on DVD and VHS (order by phoning 1-416.651-5588). Its world premiere was Sept. 9th 2004 in New York City. Reviews have been highly positive.

The Great Conspiracy: The 9/11 News Special You Never Saw

Twin Towers Story

A nice short video(7m:29s) emphasizing the important aspects of 9/11 the official investigation fails to cover.

Rep. Nass is clearly not one to give up easily

Just yesterday I wrote that
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin State Assembly refused to act on Rep Nass's resolution which in my humble opinion is all for the better.

The resolution in question called for firing of the University of Wisconsin-Madison instructor Kevin Barrett for challenging the official version of the events of 9/11 and believing that some elements of the US government were the guilty party. In the opinion of State Representative Stephen Nass a person holding such views can not be allowed to teach and influence the students as such views are so bizarre that they would violate the University's academic integrity.

Well, just yesterday I thought that was the end of this story. It looked like Rep. Nass failed to get Barrett fired but marvelously succeeded at giving him - and, by extention, the whole 9/11 truth movement - extra publicity and convincing people to look at the 9/11-related issues. But, as it has often happened, reality has thwarted my perception as I was to learn that Rep. Nass is a man who fights on even in unfavorable conditions. As reported in Wisconsin State Journal (Nass still seeking Barrett's removal, July 14, 2006):
Saying the university needs to "see the light" or face retaliatory budget cuts, state Rep. Steve Nass on Wednesday introduced a resolution demanding UW-Madison fire a part- time lecturer who says the 2001 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government.

By mid-afternoon, the resolution had 27 co-sponsors - more than a quarter of the Assembly - and Nass said he expected to have signatures from a majority of the Republican- controlled Assembly and Senate by the time he sends it to the governor and the university next week.

Nass, R-Whitewater, said if the university doesn't release Kevin Barrett from his $8,247 limited-term job, he would push to cut funding for administrative positions in the next two-year budget if he's re-elected.


Barrett, who was cleared by the university earlier this week to teach an introductory course on Islam following an internal review, called the resolution "ridiculous" and noted dozens of full-time professors at other universities hold similar views "and in many cases are doing intensive 9/11 truth research."

"There have been no moves to fire any of these people," Barrett said. "I am teaching one class on an $8,000 salary, and a tiny percentage of the class even touches on 9/11."

Earlier Wednesday, Barrett challenged Nass to a debate on the subject, which Nass immediately rejected.

Nass opted not to try to bring the resolution to a vote during Wednesday's limited floor session, noting Democrats could have easily blocked it under Assembly rules.

Assembly Majority Leader Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, said Republicans also feared a tit-for-tat exchange of resolutions by Democrats on a day in which the Legislature was honoring fallen soldiers and adopting state labor contracts.

"We were going to inject politics into a situation where it just didn't seem appropriate," Huebsch said.

Instead, Nass said he will circulate the resolution for additional signatures and send copies to Barrett, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, and the university next week.

Nass' resolution is the latest salvo in an ongoing row between lawmakers and the university, including outrage over the decision to allow controversial Colorado professor Ward Churchill to speak at UW-Whitewater last year, and allowing a vice chancellor to continue earning his $191,000 salary after being demoted and going on leave for seven months.

Nass denied the Barrett case was about academic freedom but "quality and competence in the classroom." He faulted the review by UW-Madison Provost Patrick Farrell and other university officials, who looked over Barrett's reading list and consulted student evaluations that praised his teaching.

Asked where he would draw the line on instructors' controversial views, Nass said they shouldn't be "way out of bounds" and should be able to be substantiated.

"I think as we find out about those individual teachers and they are so far out and are off the mark . . . then we need to step in," Nass said.


Barrett offered to withdraw his arguments and apologize to Vice President Dick Cheney, who he asserts was an accomplice in the attacks, if Nass could refute his arguments in a debate. But Nass wasn't biting.

"That's the same as me saying 'The world is flat. Now you prove me wrong,'" Nass said. "I'm not going to spend the time on it. He is so far off the wall."

Barrett claims his views have been substantiated in books and Web sites by 9/11 detractors who argue, for instance, that the World Trade Center towers appear to have been brought down by controlled explosives, not suicidal terrorists flying airplanes.

"Anybody who at this point in history defends the (federal 9/11 Commission) report is the equivalent of a flat Earther," he said. "There's overwhelming evidence showing that report is a farce."

So Rep. Nass appears to believe himself to be an authority that can decide what is and what isn't "off the mark". I suppose he can do that; and I do not think he has to try and reconcile his views with science - something his staffers have already indicated they do not intend to do. However, what is wrong with comparing him to "Flat Earthers" - people who view their beliefs are primary and unassailable and all evidence to the contrary and inconsequential and unworthy of attention?

So the fight goes on. Whether Rep. Nass succeeds of fails to get Kevin Barrett fired - and I certainly hope he fails - we ought to thank him for doing more for the 9/11 truth movement than he probably could have ever accomplished if he were on our side.

And lastly allow me to offer you the brilliant comment on the matter by 911 Blogger (Rep. Nass Can't Get Over His Obsession with Kevin Barrett, July 14, 2006):
Rep. Nass continues to show his true colors in his insatiable obsession with Kevin Barrett. The very idea that someone might have a differing opinion than his on the issues surrounding 9/11, or even worse claim to have research to back it up, is way beyond his comfort level. Well guess what Rep. Nass? Half of New Yorkers believe U.S. leaders had foreknowledge of 9/11 and "consciously failed" to act, and 42% of the entire country think the government is covering up 9/11.

Barrett's willingness to express his personal opinion upsets Rep. Nass so much that he just can't get over it. The fact that the University of Wisconsin cleared Barrett to teach, or that 9/11 isn't even the focus of the class, isn't enough for Rep. Nass's obsession with Barrett - no no. Perhaps Rep. Nass's next step should be calling for the removal of degrees of all of the members of Scholar's for 9/11 Truth, or maybe the removal of any medals given to members of Veterans for 9/11 truth, or maybe he should start directing his personal insults to family members like Bob McIlvaine, or maybe he could just skip all of this and create a resolution to establish a new state task force to hunt down everyone whose ever read a book by Dr. Griffin?

I had hoped that a few sincere emails to Rep. Nass would help him realize that Barrett is anything but alone in his opinion, but it is becoming apparent this goes beyond anything rational for him - either that or he doesn't check his email. It is up to those that support Barrett's right to voice his opinion to contact Rep. Nass's office (608-266-5715) and inform them as to the true scope of those that question the official story of 9/11.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kevin Barett vs the fury of ignorance

Kevin Barrett is scheduled to teach a class titled 'Islam: Religion and Culture' at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Fall. Wisconsin State Representative Stephen L. Nass of Whitewater believes this is not such a hot idea. According to a June 29, 2006 AP report titled "Wis. lawmaker wants lecturer fired for 9-11 conspiracy views":
During his appearance Wednesday night on Jessica McBride's show on WTMJ, Barrett disputed most of the widely accepted information about the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center in New York City when airliners were flown into the twin towers.

Among other things, he claimed the group believed to have carried out the attacks was ``a bunch of losers who couldn't even fly planes,'' and that evidence indicates the buildings were brought down by controlled demolitions.

He acknowledged discussing Sept. 11 in teaching classes, but said it was only to give both sides of the issue, not to convert anyone to his point of view.

"I'm trying to teach them how to think, not what to think,'' he told McBride.

On Thursday, state Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater, issued a statement demanding Barrett be fired immediately, calling him an embarrassment and accusing him of spewing "garbage.''

Since then, to their credit and in keeping with the tradition of academic freedom, University of Wisconsin-Madison has refused to censure Barrett because of his views:
Following a thorough review, University of Wisconsin-Madison Provost Patrick Farrell today announced that lecturer Kevin Barrett will teach, as scheduled, a class titled "Islam: Religion and Culture."

Barrett's remarks regarding his theories on the events of Sept. 11 recently drew widespread attention and criticism.

As a result, Farrell, along with Gary Sandefur, dean of the College of Letters and Science, and Ellen Rafferty, chair of the department of languages and cultures of Asia, met with Barrett. They reviewed his course syllabus and reading materials and examined his past teaching evaluations.

"There is no question that Mr. Barrett holds personal opinions that many people find unconventional," Farrell says. "These views are expected to take a small, but significant, role in the class. To the extent that his views are discussed, Mr. Barrett has assured me that students will be free - and encouraged - to challenge his viewpoint."

Which is precisely how things ought to be in a liberal society - there ought to be no sacred cows, no ideas one is told never to challenge. However, as Mr Barrett and others before him had a chance to learn first hand, the way our society operates is sometimes very different from such lofty ideals. While it appears that a lot of people are willing to at least listen to what Kevin Barrett and other 9/11 skeptics are willing to say some of Mr Barrett's detractors, for instance the above-mentioned Rep. Nass and his staff appear to believe that even considering the 9/11 skeptics' arguments would be beneath them. Writes Bill Douglas, a man motivated to the 9/11 research by the Kevin Barrett controversy:
Some of these guests referred to an organization called "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" with a website, which offered a physics research paper questioning the official explanation of the events of 9/11/2001. While visiting this site, I read that they pointed to the temperatures of the fires in the WTC buildings, and construction of the buildings, and the speed they fell, as evidence they claimed proved that what we saw on 9/11/2001 when the towers fell had to have been the result of a controlled demolition. Like the ones we've seen with Las Vegas hotels being brought down. Their claim was that the WTC buildings could not have been caused solely by the aircraft hitting the WTC buildings that day.

Then, I contacted the office of a Wisconsin State Legislator, Rep. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater), and asked to speak to someone in the office who could speak on this issue. I asked if he was familiar with the Scholars for 9/11 Truth website, and he replied they had learned of it this week. I asked him if he and the Representative could comment on the charge that the fires on 9/11/2001 in the WTC buildings did not burn hot enough to bring down the buildings, and if he'd read the scholars organization's charge that thermate traces had been found on debris from the fallen towers (thermate indicating demolition type explosives were involved). The gentleman responded that no, they had not looked at this information, and this would not be something they would look at, further indicating that anyone who made such charges was blinded by their hatred of President Bush.

Well, I have no choice but to surmise that according to Rep. Nass's staffers and their ilk Sir Isaac Newton and other great scientists who gave us the foundation of modern physics must have been just a bunch of rabid Bush haters.

While such displays of ideological blindness may at times be comical, the situation overall appears rather grave. Do you think the times of Inquisition are a thing of the past? Do you think facts are now more important than blind faith? Not if Rep. Nass and his ilk are any indication.

Apparently dissatisfied with the fact that his attempts to get the UW-Madison officials to fire Barrett failed Rep. Nass decided to pile on some more pressure:
With lawmakers at the Capitol to act on state employee contracts, Representative Steve Nass is pushing a resolution on Kevin Barrett. "It will underscore the displeasure that legislators have with the university decision," said Nass. UW Madison officials on Monday decided to let Barrett teach an introductory class on Islam, despite Barrett's now well-publicized view that the Bush administration was behind the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America. Nass said that's not the decision he was hoping for; "they should terminate him, without question."

The Whitewater Republican said competency and academic quality, not academic freedom, is the issue here, and that Barrett is unable to provide evidence that would back up his position on on the 9-11 attacks.

Quite to the contrary, Barrett seems up to the challenge:
Madison lecturer who has received overwhelming public support along with a dash of vitriol for expressing his views about 9/11 on a radio program, has challenged Rep. Steve Nass to debate him on the subject. "It is time to stop the name-calling and threats, and get down to a serious, scholarly debate," Barrett said, adding "“If Rep. Nass successfully refutes my arguments, I promise to withdraw them, and issue a public apology to Vice President Cheney and others I have named as 9/11 suspects."
Yours truly is really curious to see what comes of this. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin State Assembly refused to act on Rep Nass's resolution which in my humble opinion is all for the better.

So chances are that Kevin Barrett's career is safe, at least for now. And hopefully this controversy has helped to stimulate a lots of much needed debate on the events of 9/11. But it has also served as a powerful reminder of how ideology can often trump the thought process and blind allegiance can trump knowledge.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Exposing the 9/11 Conspiracy Wingnuts

The following is an open letter penned by Bill Douglas. I have originally encountered it on 9/11 Blogger where they apparently would prefer to reorganize the post containing the letter and use a link for the sake of brevity. By reposting the letter here in its entirety I am creating such a link as well as making the text available to my readers.

The letter reflects a very profound insight of someone who has just looked at the issues surrounding the events of 9/11 and almost instantly discovered a gross dichotomy between the reality of the situation and the narrow-minded perception of it on the part of many of our public figures.

The text has been minimally edited to hide the extraneously long references to webpages.

I began researching the mainstream media coverage of the controversy regarding the attacks of 9/11/2001, when reading an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Newspaper, dated June 29th, 2006. It was titled, "Sept. 11 claim stirs UW probe -- Instructor says U.S. planned the attacks to provoke war." This led to my discovery of some wild conspiracy theorists that endanger our government and media establishments, with quite frankly insane assertions. I'll address this in full in the final paragraph.

Then by using a "google video 9/11" search, I recently viewed a FOX News interview on Hannity and Colmes with an Arab Studies teacher from the University of Wisconsin named Kevin Barrett. I had earlier seen an interview with another, a professor named James Fetzer, University of Minnesota Duluth. A few weeks earlier I had seen an interview on MSNBC Scarborough country interviewing a Mike Berger representing

Some of these guests referred to an organization called "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" with a website, which offered a physics research paper questioning the official explanation of the events of 9/11/2001. While visiting this site, I read that they pointed to the temperatures of the fires in the WTC buildings, and construction of the buildings, and the speed they fell, as evidence they claimed proved that what we saw on 9/11/2001 when the towers fell had to have been the result of a controlled demolition. Like the ones we've seen with Las Vegas hotels being brought down. Their claim was that the WTC buildings could not have been caused solely by the aircraft hitting the WTC buildings that day.

Then, I contacted the office of a Wisconsin State Legislator, Rep. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater), and asked to speak to someone in the office who could speak on this issue. I asked if he was familiar with the Scholars for 9/11 Truth website, and he replied they had learned of it this week. I asked him if he and the Representative could comment on the charge that the fires on 9/11/2001 in the WTC buildings did not burn hot enough to bring down the buildings, and if he'd read the scholars organization's charge that thermate traces had been found on debris from the fallen towers (thermate indicating demolition type explosives were involved). The gentleman responded that no, they had not looked at this information, and this would not be something they would look at, further indicating that anyone who made such charges was blinded by their hatred of President Bush.

Which leads back to the interviews of guests on the three television news programs. The main theme of all three of the guests on these programs appeared to be concern of the physical evidence of 9/11/2001, mentioned above and particularly regarding the collapse of three of the World Trade Center buildings on that day.

The main themes of the interviewers on these programs appeared to be two-fold:
1) The guests were representing a fringe movement, and most Americans do not dispute the official 9/11 explanation of the 19 hijackers defeating US military and intelligence forces on 9/11/2001.

2) The guests and those they speak for, who question the official 9/11/2001 account, are of questionable sanity.

This motivated me to do some research. First I looked at the fringe movement issue that the majority of Americans disagreed with the programs guests and accept the official explanation, and secondly, the sanity and expertise of people like their guests who question the official story of 9/11/2001.

First, regarding the fringe issue, asserting that the guests questioning the events of 9/11 reflected a small minority of American opinion. I looked at the only polls I could find on these questions, and the results were surprising. A CNN viewers poll, which is not scientific, held Wednesday, November 10th, 2005, asked, "Do you believe there is a U.S. government cover-up surrounding 9/11?" 89% replied "Yes," they did believe there was a cover-up by the U.S. Government (9,441 votes), while only 12% felt there was no cover-up.

In a national Zogby poll, of May 2006, found that 45%, of the American public felt a new 9/11 investigation should be launched because "so many unanswered questions about 9/11 remain that Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously allowed or helped facilitate their success." An earlier Zogby poll of New York City residents, from August of 2004, found that Half (49.3%) of New Yorkers felt that U.S. government officials "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act." While 66% of New Yorkers called for a new probe of Unanswered Questions by Congress or New York’s Attorney General.

Now to the second issue the television media interviewers were most concerned with, which was the expertise and sanity of the people demanding a new 9/11 investigation, and some even suggesting possible U.S. government complicity in the attacks of 9/11/2001. Again, a simple google "video 9/11" search, provided a wealth of information.

This too yielded some surprising results.

One of the loudest advocates of the most damning charge that "members of the U.S. government actually orchestrated the events of 9/11 to fool the nation into unpopular wars", was not a tree-hugging Green Party activist, but rather a prominent Republican, in fact a Former Chief Economist under George Bush, and professor at Texas A&M, Morgan Reynolds.

Google research of the growing list of other 9/11 skeptics of the official story, some "convinced of U.S. government involvement," while others not going that far, but pointing out that"the official story is highly questionable and demands further investigation," yielded surprising results. Including a host of high level Republican administration officials, defense experts, intelligence experts, and respected scholars, as well as well known celebrities who are now adding the spotlight of their names to the issue of 9/11.

Among them were:

Former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force, under President Reagan, and combat fighter pilot Col. Robert Bowman (Caltech Phd in aeronautics and nuclear engineering).

Former CIA Intelligence Advisor to Reagan and George HW Bush and founder of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Ray McGovern

Kevin Ryan, former department head at UL (Underwriter Laboratories) the company which certified the steel which went into the WTCs upon their construction, and inspected it after the WTC collapses in 2001.

Former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Research Fellow at Stanford's Independent Institute, and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, Paul Craig Roberts

Canadian National Defense Minister, the Honourable Paul Hellyer

Minister for the Environment, and Member of Parliament (United Kingdom) Michael Meacher

National Minister of Defense (Germany). Also, served as Minister of Technology Andreas Von Bulow

Former Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces, and chief of the department for General affairs in the Soviet Union 's ministry of Defense, General Leonid Ivashov

Former MI6 British Counter Intelligence Officer, David Shayler

Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, former Marine Corps officer, author or editor of more than 20 books, and co-chair of Scholars For 9/11 Truth, James Fetzer

Professor of Physics, Brigham Young University, and co-chair of Scholars For 9/11 Truth, Steven Jones

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Religion & Theology, Claremont Graduate University, and author or editor of some 30 books, including "The New Pearl Harbor" and "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions" David Ray Griffin

Professor of mathematics, University of Western Ontario, and founder of the Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven (SPINE), A.K Dewdney

Aircraft crash investigation authority, USAF Col. (Ret) George Nelson

Former chief Pentagon arms negotiator for the Middle East, USAF Col. (Ret) Don de Grand-Pre

Actor Charlie Sheen (Platoon, Wall Street, etc.)

Actor, Ed Asner

Actor, Ed Begley, Jr

So, now that we've examined the two main issues of concern for the television news interviewers, which was the "fringe" aspect of the questioners, and the "sanity/expertise" issue, it appears those arguments are very weak arguments, really with no merit at all.

Obviously tens of millions of Americans, according to polls, want a new investigation into 9/11/2001 and have a strong suspicion of U.S. government involvement at some level. Obviously not all of the national defense, intelligence, aeronautics, physics and engineering experts questioning the official story of 9/11 are insane or unqualified to comment.

This begs the question, in the face of such obvious facts, why do our media personalities continue to attempt to throw out accusations that are patently untrue regarding those who question the official story?

When a television news interviewer continues to ask questions and make assertions that he or she knows to be untrue, this would challenge the expertise and sanity, not of their guests, but of the television news interviewer.

The 9/11 truth movement appears to be growing rapidly, and involving people of substantial credentials and expertise. As television and some radio personalities continue to behave in what obviously is an insane behavior, what do we do? Can we get our national media any psychological help? If not, it would be wise to relieve them of their positions at least. I feel increasingly uneasy about millions of young minds being exposed night after night to comments and opinions by people who increasingly appear to be insane, yet in positions of authority.

Of course the concern here is larger. If there is any possibility or doubt about whether the events of 9/11/2001 were participated in by members of our own government, then our entire democracy and world peace would be strengthened by getting to the bottom of the true facts of this pinnacle event of our time. It would be unhealthy to leave a cloud of doubt hanging over such assertions. There should be a full fledged national debate, experts from all sides should be interviewed on national media to get to the bottom of this once and for all. Our Congress should launch investigations into the physics questions that are causing so many to doubt the official story. No matter where anyone stands on this issue, this is obviously the only path to national healing and trust.

However, this debate on national media cannot occur if the interviewers hired by national media continue to behave in an insane irrational behavior, like "conspiracy theory wing-nuts." You see, too many of our media spokespersons on television and radio adhere to a wild conspiracy theory. Their theory is that anyone who looks into the facts of the events of one of the most important issues in history is alone, and insane, but yet somehow organized in some united conspiratorial effort. Of course, the facts fly in the face of this conspiracy theory, but these media personalities appear unable to grasp reality even when it is pointed out to them.

For media reading this article, time will tell whether you are an insane conspiracy theorist or not. If you too, are among the insane in our media, the public will likely eventually demand your resignation. As one who writes sometimes on parental issues, I believe it is unhealthy to have insane people in charge of the national information highways our children are taught to watch. We need sane media people who look at facts regarding issues, not ones who launch into insane screeds of paranoia to avoid reality.

Also, you may recall that when I contacted State Representative, Stephen Nass' office, his aid stated that they were aware of but not interested in and would not look at the physics facts provided by the website Scholars for 9/11 Truth, However, they did want to fire a university teacher for presenting facts, many of which were available on that site. To fire someone for presenting facts, facts that you dispute, yet have no idea what those facts are, and are unwilling to look at them to find out what they are . . . is also insane. Again, as someone who writes on parenting issues, as a concerned parent as well, America should also consider retiring our insane government officials who fire people for facts they aren't aware of and are unwilling to look at. These politicians apparently assert some wild conspiracy theory that millions of Americans are questioning the events of 9/11 because they are "Bush haters" according to the aid at Nass' office. This kind of delusional paranoia by our elected officials is of particular concern. Such wild eyed conspiratorialists should not be allowed in government.

Bill Douglas, author of "The Amateur Parent - A Book on Life, Death, War & Peace, and Everything Else in the Universe""

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The blast in Manhattan and the ever-present shadow of terror

Yesterday morning, at about 8:40 AM a gas explosion caused a building on Upper East Side to collapse. There were no fatalities in the blast though several people sustained injuries of various degrees of severity.

I first heard about this event from Marc Parent who also asked, "Will a sudden announcement be made that an Iranian suicide bomber did it?" So far that has not happened and by now I doubt it will. However, some very peculiar happenings are associated with this situation, and I definitely think they are worth a mention.

The New York Times published a detailed article about this event today (Blast Levels Manhattan Town House; Inquiry Focuses on Injured Owner, July 11, 2006). The prevalent version of the events according to the authorities appears to be that one of the destroyed building's occupants, Dr. Nicholas Bartha, was going through a difficult divorce and experiencing bouts of severe depression, and that this could have been a suicide attempt on his part. If so that attempt failed; it appears that Dr. Bartha is the most severely injured of all the victims. "He had second- and third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body, one law enforcement official said."

And this version of the events could be true. It could also be a case of a genuine gas leak and subsequent spontaneous explosion, even though that is a little harder to fathom given an e-mail Dr. Bartha sent out earlier that morning that reads a lot like a suicide note:

Law enforcement officials said the explosion rocked the neighborhood less than two hours after Dr. Bartha had addressed a disjointed, erratically punctuated e-mail message to his former wife, Cordula, with copies sent to Gov. George E. Pataki and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, and to the Fox News personalities Sean Hannity and Brit Hume, among others.

In the message, he told her: "“You always wanted me to sell the house. I always told you, 'I will leave the house only if I am dead.' You ridiculed me. You should have taken it seriously."

He also wrote, "When you read this lines your life will change forever. You deserve it. You will be transformed from gold digger to ash and rubbish digger."

He sent the message at 7:30 a.m. Twenty-one minutes later, Con Edison received a call from employees of the private club next door, the Links Club organized early in the 20th century to promote golf saying they smelled gas. Michael S. Clendenin, a spokesman for Con Edison, said it sent a mechanic, who arrived at 8:20.

Mr. Clendenin said the mechanic called in at 8:45 to report the explosion. The mechanic was not injured.

So the situation seems to be reasonably clear - a psychologically unstable man going through a difficult phase in his life decides to self-destruct taking some of his surroundings with him. However, there are still questions to be asked. According to the same New Your Times article,

In a sign of the concern the blast generated, the first official word came from the White House, which announced that it did not appear to have been the work of terrorists. And detectives began piecing together a New York story of real estate and divorce, anger and money— and a house valued at $6.4 million.

I would certainly be curious to know how the White House could determine that the situation was devoid of the tell-tale signs of a terror attack even before the local police officers working the scene had a chance to make their own conclusions. It almost makes it sound like the detectives began to "piece together" their investigation after the White House gave them directions to follow in their work.

Here Marc Parent expresses incredulity at the fact that the building was pretty much completely flattened. That does seem curious but in my opinion it is possible that a gas explosion - especially in the basement of the building - could have brought it down. I have once seen consequences of an oxygen tank explosion and it does create some massive devastation, destroying brick assembly structures and bending metal ones. I have no relevant expertise but would imagine a gas explosion could wreak similar type of destruction. And if this was a terrorist attack - whether a genuine one or of the false flag variety - it would be a very inefficient one. All the perps would have had to do was wait another hour for all the office workers to arrive and they would have had lots of victims to show for their effort. That alone makes it doubtful that this was a terrorist attack.

It is unmistakably clear, however, that the management of terrorism-related news has become completely politicized and largely divorced from the real life. When the hapless terrorist wannabes like the "Miami seven" make front-line news whereas William Krar, a man prepared to launch a major terror strike and only stopped by a chance arrest, remains in obscurity you start wondering if the real-life events matter to those who are supposed to inform us of them. And both the government and the media seem to be carefully editing the terrorism-related news to formulate a certain message, not to present the situation as it really is.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Secret Service Sued Over Anti-Bush Protest

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging the U.S. Secret Service and state and local police protecting President Bush during a 2004 campaign appearance discriminated against protesters when they cleared the streets outside where the president was eating dinner.

The class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court contends that police acting on orders from the Secret Service used unreasonable force to move some 200 people peacefully protesting against the Iraq war in Jacksonville while allowing pro-Bush demonstrators to remain standing on sidewalks.

"Our primary motive is to prevent this kind of activity from happening again in the future," said David Fidanque, executive director of the Oregon ACLU.

On Oct. 16, 2004, President Bush made a campaign speech at the Jackson County fairgrounds and later had dinner on the patio of the Jacksonville Inn within earshot of protesters before spending the night at an inn cottage.

Protest organizer Shelley Elkovich said they took pains to talk to police to be sure the atmosphere would be safe and were told that everyone would be fine if they stayed on the sidewalks. Demonstrators told the ACLU that about 40 police officers in riot gear moved them away from the inn.

Jacksonville Police Chief David Towe's testimony in a criminal case against two demonstrators that police moved under orders from the Secret Service gave them the evidence they needed to file the lawsuit, Temple said.

Spokesmen for the Secret Service, state police and the town of Jacksonville said they would have no comment on pending litigation.

The plaintiffs are seven protesters and the Jackson County Pacific Green Party.

Secret Service Sued Over Anti-Bush Protest
Jeff Barnard, AP, July 8 2006

No wonder The First Lady is convinced the polls are wrong.

Pentagon Reduced to Recruiting Neo-Nazis

Neo-Nazis "stretch across all branches of service, they are linking up across the branches once they're inside, and they are hard-core," Department of Defense gang detective Scott Barfield said. "We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad," he added. "That's a problem."


In 1996, following a decade-long rash of cases where extremists in the military were caught diverting huge arsenals of stolen firearms and explosives to neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations, conducting guerilla training for paramilitary racist militias, and murdering non-white civilians (see timeline), the Pentagon finally launched a massive investigation and crackdown. One general ordered all 19,000 soldiers at Fort Lewis, Wash., strip-searched for extremist tattoos.

But that was peacetime. Now, with the country at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the military under increasingly intense pressure to maintain enlistment numbers, weeding out extremists is less of a priority. "Recruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces, and commanders don't remove them from the military even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members," said Department of Defense investigator Barfield.

"Last year, for the first time, they didn't make their recruiting goals. They don't want to start making a big deal again about neo-Nazis in the military, because then parents who are already worried about their kids signing up and dying in Iraq are going to be even more reluctant about their kids enlisting if they feel they'll be exposed to gangs and white supremacists."

Barfield, who is based at Fort Lewis, said he has identified and submitted evidence on 320 extremists there in the past year. "Only two have been discharged," he said. Barfield and other Department of Defense investigators said they recently uncovered an online network of 57 neo-Nazis who are active duty Army and Marines personnel spread across five military installations in five states -- Fort Lewis; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Camp Pendleton, Calif. "They're communicating with each other about weapons, about recruiting, about keeping their identities secret, about organizing within the military," Barfield said. "Several of these individuals have since been deployed to combat missions in Iraq."

Every year, the Army's Criminal Investigation Division conducts a threat assessment of extremist and gang activity among army personnel. "Every year, they come back with 'minimal activity,' which is inaccurate," said Barfield. "It's not epidemic, but there's plenty of evidence we're talking numbers well into the thousands, just in the Army." Last July, the white supremacist website Stormfront hosted a discussion on "Joining the Military."

"There are others among you in the forces," wrote one neo-Nazi in the Army. "You are never alone."

Pentagon Reduced to Recruiting Neo-Nazis
David Holthouse, Intelligence Report, July 8, 2006

A very informative report, in my humble opinion.

Note that national security is a complex concept. It is comprised of the security of all individual citizens. Will we be more secure when battle-hardened extremists come back home? Some, in fact, already have.

Personally, I strongly doubt that only white extremists use the military to acquire training. I would guess - and I have seen reports to that effect - that the same is done by criminal and extremist gangs of all descriptions.

And while we have gang graffiti in Baghdad - how soon is it before we get Baghdad-style atrocities in the US?

Mexico: Vote Counting Software Hacked

In Mexico, we've got it all. All the plays in the playbook. The rush to declare a victor before the votes are counted, the partisan software company--and voting software that's proven to be hackable.

Mexico: Vote Counting Software Hacked
lambertstrether, Daily Kos, Jul 9, 2006

Well, that's not surprising, is it? Pretty common for those corrupt Latin American countries. Yet for some reason when you share your suspicions with people in the US that the same thing may be happening here a lot of them still believe it impossible.

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