Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sex and Politics

Dirty Little Secrets on High

33 Things You Should Know About the Middle East and America

Deadly teen auto crashes show a pattern

Aviation obsessives with cameras and Internet connections have become a threat to cover stories established by the CIA to mask its undercover operations and personnel overseas.

"What do you think was [Ward] Churchill's motivation?"

Sibel Edmonds before House Committee

Statement of Sibel Edmonds
Before the House Committee on Government Reform,
Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and Internal Relations
March 2, 2005

Emerging Threats: Overclassification and Pseudo-classification

Good afternoon, my name is Sibel Edmonds. I have been invited to provide
you with testimony today regarding my direct experience with the use of
excessive secrecy, rare privileges, and over-classification by the
Department of Justice against me during the past three years. Thank you
for giving me this opportunity. I believe that my case clearly
illustrates how the government uses secrecy laws and classification to
avoid accountability, to cover up problems and wrongdoing, and to gain
unfair legal advantage in court.

I began working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a
language specialist for several Middle Eastern languages starting shortly
after 9/11, and was granted Top Secret Clearance. During my work, I
became aware of problems within the translation unit involving criminal
conduct against our national interests, potential espionage, serious
security breaches threatening our intelligence, intentional
mistranslation, and blocking of intelligence. I was asked, and later
ordered, to refrain from reporting these allegations. I reported them,
together with evidence, to higher management within the bureau. They
refused to take any action, and again, they asked me not to pursue them.
I then took these issues and evidence to the Department of Justice Office
of the Inspector General and to the Senate Judiciary Committee, because I
believed that according to our laws these were the appropriate steps to
take in this situation. As a result, I was retaliated against, was ordered
to submit to a polygraph, and had my home computer confiscated. Finally,
in March 2002 I was fired. The only explanation I received for getting
fired was 'for the convenience of the government.'

In March 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee began investigating my case
and allegations, and in June and July 2002, during two unclassified
briefings with the staff of Senators Grassley and Senator Leahy, the FBI
publicly confirmed all of my core allegations. These two Senators issued
public statements and letters regarding these confirmations and my case,
demanding expedited investigation by the Inspector General and response
from the FBI. These letters and statements were widely disseminated in
the media and on the Internet; including on the Senators' own websites.
When the judge overseeing my legal cases asked the government to produce
any unclassified materials that was relevant to the substance of my
allegations, the government took a truly extraordinary step: it moved to
retroactively classify these letters, statements, and news releases that
had been public for almost two years. It is quite clear that the
government's motivation was not to protect national security, but rather
to protect itself from embarrassment and accountability. Senator Grassley
characterized this retroactive classification as 'ludicrous,' and 'gagging
the congress.'

However, the Congress complied. Only after this highly unusual retroactive
classification was challenged in court by POGO, a government watchdog
organization, did the Department of Justice reverse itself and declare
that this information was not considered classified and a danger to
national security after all. I would like to request that these letters
from Senators Grassley and Leahy be included in the record of today's

In March 2002, the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General
began investigating my allegations, and in July 2004, after almost two
years delay, completed its investigation. The Department of Justice
immediately moved to classify the entire report and its findings. Six
months later, they allowed the Inspector General to release only an
unclassified version of its executive summary. This unclassified version
confirmed my core allegations; concluded that I was fired for reporting
misconduct; and stated that the FBI had failed to investigate the reported
espionage, even though other facts, witnesses and evidence supported my
allegations. I would like to request that the Inspector General's report
also be included in the record of today's hearing.

In the summer of 2002 I also began to pursue legal remedies to challenge
my unjust dismissal, and filed cases under First Amendment and Privacy
Act, and the Freedom of Information Act. Rather than respond to the
merits of my claim, in October 2002, Attorney General Ashcroft asserted a
rarely invoked 'State Secrets Privilege', arguing that the entire case
must be dismissed in the name of national security, even if my allegations
were correct. The Department of Justice asked the courts to throw out the
case without any hearings, depositions, or discovery. Even though the
Department of Justice's own Inspector General has confirmed the
seriousness of my allegations and concluded that I was fired for raising
them, the DOJ has continued to insist that my case cannot go forward
because it would jeopardize national security. So far, the DOJ has been
successful in this effort to silence me. In June 2004, the court ruled in
favor of this far-reaching assertion of the "state secrets privilege".
Currently I am appealing my case, and the Department of Justice is still
invoking the "state secrets privilege" and arguing that everything about
my issues is covered by classification.

The government invoked the state secrets privilege a second time in an
attempt to block me from being deposed in a case brought by families of
those killed on September 11 against Saudi individuals and entities
alleged to have financed al-Qaeda. The government insisted that almost
every single question that the families wished to ask me would require the
disclosure of classified information.

The problems I have reported have serious consequences to our national
security; and have already been confirmed by the Inspector General's
report and the inquiry of Senators Grassley and Leahy. Translation units
are the frontline in gathering, translating, and disseminating
intelligence. A warning in advance of the next terrorist attack may, and
probably will, come in the form of a message or document in a foreign
language that will have to be translated. If an attack then occurs, which
could have been prevented by acting on information in such a message, who
will tell family members of the new terrorist attack victims that nothing
more could have been done? There will be no excuse that we did not know,
because we do know.

Yet, knowing full well the seriousness of these confirmed issues and
problems, rather than addressing them the FBI and the Department of
Justice spend time and effort to cover them up by over use of secrecy and
excessive classification. Contrary to their claims, they seem to be far
more concerned with avoiding accountability than protecting our national
security. I believe that my case clearly illustrates the federal
government's capricious use of secrecy laws and classification to cover up
problems and wrongdoing, and to avoid accountability, regardless of the
damage to our national security. It demonstrates as well how excessive
secrecy and pseudo classification can be used as retaliation tactics
against national security whistleblowers.

This type of excessive classification and the effort to expand the
"statesecrets privilege" does not increase our national security but
actually makes us less safe and it impedes oversight of the executive
branch, as part of the checks and balances demanded by our Constitution.

Thank you again for inviting me to testify today. You are the first
Congressional Committee after three years to request my testimony and hear
my story. I believe this testimony is a good first step in examining this
situation but what is really needed is an actual Congressional
investigation. Therefore, with respect for your critical role in our
Constitution's system of checks and balances, I request that you be the
first Congressional Committee to investigate not just my case but what is
going on over at the FBI and the Justice Department regarding the very
serious problem of over-classification and the abuse of secrecy. Thank

O'Reilly used phony evidence to defend Bush's handling of torture allegations

March 2, 2005 Supreme Court Rules Cold War Spies Cannot Sue CIA By REUTERS

Filed at 11:17 a.m. ET WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Soviet-bloc couple recruited to spy for the CIA cannot sue the agency for reneging on a promise of lifetime pay for their Cold War services, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday. The high court ruled in an opinion written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist that the husband and wife's lawsuit cannot proceed. It said courts are barred by a 130-year-old precedent from reviewing claims over payment for spying. The Supreme Court cited as the basis for its ruling its 1875 decision that the heirs of William Lloyd could not sue to recover money promised by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861 for spying on Confederate troops during the Civil War. ``The possibility that a suit may proceed and an espionage relationship may be revealed ... is unacceptable,'' Rehnquist wrote in the 10-page opinion. ``Forcing the government to litigate these claims would also make it vulnerable to 'graymail,' i.e., individual lawsuits brought to induce the CIA to settle a case (or prevent its filing) out of fear that any effort to litigate the action would reveal classified information that may undermine ongoing covert operations,'' he said. The ruling was a defeat for the couple who have been identified only by the pseudonyms John and Jane Doe. Former citizens of a Soviet-bloc nation, they defected to the United States and became U.S. citizens. The couple said the CIA recruited them during the Cold War to spy after they expressed interest in defecting to the United States. The husband was a high-ranking diplomat. They said they had been assured that if they spied the CIA would arrange for their eventual resettlement in the United States and ensure their financial and personal security for life. They said they carried out their end of the bargain, but the CIA reneged and abandoned them. After the couple came to the United States, they eventually resettled in the Seattle area. Beginning in 1987, the husband got a job with the assistance of the CIA, which gave him a false resume and references. The couple received as much as $27,000 a year from the CIA until the husband began earning more than that in his job. But he lost his job at a bank in 1997 as a result of a corporate merger. The couple said the CIA told them that they had already been paid enough for their services and further support would not be provided. Their lawsuit sought a court order that the CIA pay them financial support, pending review of their case by the agency. A federal judge and then a U.S. appeals court based in San Francisco ruled their lawsuit could go forward. But the Supreme Court said the appeals court was wrong in holding that the its 1875 decision does not require dismissal of the couple's claims. Rehnquist said that in the case of a former spy, the core concern of the 1875 decision -- preventing the disclosure of the spy's secret relationship with the government -- applies. The 1875 ruling held the president had the power to bind the United States to contracts with secret agents, and that allowing a former spy to bring a lawsuit to enforce the terms of the contract would be incompatible with its secret nature. Rehnquist rejected the argument that the case could proceed with other protections to ensure classified information is not disclosed. Copyright 2005 Reuters Ltd. | Home | Privacy Policy | Search | Corrections | RSS | Help | Back to Top

Don't know what all of this means: Tsunami Quake Doubts
And Observations
By Harry Mason
The Sumatra-Andaman Arc seismic event is STILL releasing huge amounts of energy in the form of clusters of 5-6 richter quakes - each one of which can level a city. This is a major CONTINUING event and we have not heard the last of this location. It continues to let rip with 5-6 richter quake clusters along a 1200km front. Natural or man made is not really critical in the scheme of things (nice to know though) BUT rather what is going on in the igneous intrusive department underneath and along this suture zone could be EXTREMELY CRITICAL - given the island arcs incredible explosive volcanic history eg Krakatoa and Taba to name but two. These type of explosive events are not spoil your whole day or even week or year in character. Rather they could be of a type to spoil your whole decade or century or our very human existance on the planet. If the 9 richter event was manmade then it looks like things have run out of control as the events along the Andaman-Nicobar-Sumatra zone cannot be called "normal" aftershocks. Joe Vialls thinks it was a US H-Bomb in the trench. Personally I seriously doubt that and/or the scalar EM weapon scenario. My reasoning is based upon the extreme solar activity during most of December and the slightly preceeding Macquarie Island 8 richter quake - suggesting an unstable plate stress regime was unfolding at the time due to planetary magnetosphere coupling with solar energy output ??? I note the "day following" the 9 richter quake saw a reported hugely massive energy blast in a distant sector of space. US scalar energy researchers also noted a scalar Tx that gave a few hours warning of the 9 richter quake - something they have noted as preceeding many absolutely natural quake and volcanic events in the western USA. It is quite possible that these off planet and solar - planetary events link with the 9 richter in some sort of coupled scalar EM energy way. There remain huge unknowns concerning the energy couplings of planets, stars, and the vacuum. It is very possible that these systems couple to produce mass condensation at planetary centres, and the entire range of quakes, volcanic activity, plus all manner of planetary expansion tectonics ??? Although fascinating science speculation WHAT we really need to know exactly what is going on UNDER this newly activated tremblor zone. Krakatoa started with massive earthquakes in January 1883 which continued until March 1883 - then Krakatoa began to smoke - more quakes led to on-off volcanic activity which led in August 1883 to the culminating terrific explosions of 27th August 1883. Some 40-50,000 died as a result of this explosion and the tsunamis it produced. The real death toll was possibly much higher as communications then were fairly primitive. Bodies were washing ashore in pumice rafts on the South African coast 2 years later. Taba was a similar but significantly larger Sumatran arc volcanic explosive event 54,000 years ago which DNA researchers believed nearly extinguished human life on this planet. Krakatoa's explosion put 12 cubic kilometers of ash into the atmosphere. Taba's explosion is estimated to have put 2,400 cubic kilometers into the atmosphere. We really do need some good geoscience research into this continuing scenario - PRONTO. The British marine geoscience surveys of the sea bed are a good start BUT we need to get an idea of the 3D tomography of intrusive activity under this zone. The adjoining Asian and Australian communities need future prediction advice ASAP. Regards, Harry Mason Was Tsunami caused by human hands trying to develop alternative energy from Tectonic plate frictions and movements? Staff Reporter - India Feb. 9, 2005 Many in South Asia now believe that the Tsunami was created by some entity trying to develop alternate energy from Tectonic plate frictions and movements. According to Geologists, Scientists and Thermodynamic experts, enormous amount of energy is involved in Tectonic plate frictions and movements. If that energy can be tapped, the world will be full of free energy. It may make sense for some human hands to try and see if this enormous source of energy can be used to generate and use power - free energy! The tsunami-battered Andaman and Nicobar Islands were on Sunday rocked by a series of eight earthquakes measuring 5 to 5.3 on the Richter scale, even as a slight tremor jolted Uttar Pradesh, India. The quakes, classified as "moderate" by the India Meteorological Department, started occurring just after midnight Saturday and continued till 8.49 a.m. on Sunday. The epicentres of the tremors were located off the east coast of Car Nicobar Island, off the north coast of Camorta and northwest of North Andaman Islands. According to some Geologists in India the epicenter of the aftershocks are steadily moving northwards along a line. Still the aftershocks have strange gaps between them and the after shocks are not getting reduced in Richter scale. The strangest thing observed is another smaller but very similar quake in Uttar Pradesh (a state in India), which is in the Northern India adjacent to the Himalayas. When the epicenters of these quakes are joined with a straight line, it seems that the aftershock epicenter is moving along this line. The aftershocks are between 5.2 and 6.2 in Richter scale. After a series of aftershock there is approximately 78 hours of gap before the next series appears. All these can be just a coincidence and is nothing unusual say some Geologists. But the continuation of this phenomenon for over a month cannot be just coincidental. The sailors in Indian Ocean especially in the area of Andaman-Nicobar as well as Sumatra and in Bay of Bengal are weary of what is happening.

There Was No Need
For World War II
By Alex S. Perry, Jr

Iraq Regime Admits US
Used Mustard, Nerve
Gas In Fallujah

Make That A 737Jet Engine...

Bad Video, Spectacular Claim, but see it for yourself: Asia Tsunami Proved Biggest War Crime in History
While the western media desperately tries to deflects public interest with ever-increasing Richter figures now up to an hysterical 9.3, the BBC, HMS Scott and others inadvertently prove conclusively that the horrific event of
26 December 2004 was the biggest single war crime in recorded history.
Tsunami Part Two. Copyright Joe Vialls, 24 February 2005,

Detention of American Is Defended
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 2, 2005; Page A07
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales yesterday strongly defended the Bush administration's decision to detain alleged al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla for more than two years without criminal charges, arguing that the government has the right to hold alleged enemy combatants in the war on terrorism "for the duration of hostilities."
But Gonzales, testifying at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Justice Department's budget, also said that the administration "has no interest in holding someone indefinitely" and will eventually seek to "dispose of the matter" through criminal charges or other actions.
Gonzales's remarks came after a sharply worded decision Monday by U.S. District Judge Henry F. Floyd, who ruled that detaining Padilla indefinitely without charges is illegal and that he must be charged with a crime or freed within 45 days. The government has said it will appeal.
Padilla, a U.S. citizen who grew up in Chicago, has been held in a naval brig in South Carolina since June 2002, when he was designated an enemy combatant by President Bush. Although he was originally described as plotting with al Qaeda members to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb," the Justice Department has since focused on allegations that he planned to blow up apartment buildings by filling them with natural gas.
Gonzales, the former White House counsel who was sworn in last month as the nation's chief law enforcement official, faced sharp questioning about the Padilla case from Reps. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) and Jose E. Serrano (D-N.Y.). Both argued that Padilla should be given a chance to face trial.
"If I knew the war on terrorism were going to end next year, I would have no problem," said Wolf, chairman of the subcommittee. "But I don't believe it's going to end. . . . And so we cannot continue to keep an American citizen -- this is not [Osama] bin Laden."
Gonzales said that although the administration does not intend to hold Padilla indefinitely, the president has the authority to do so if necessary. The new attorney general also defended the proposal to cut Justice Department grant programs by nearly 50 percent, saying that "difficult decisions were made" because of the rising budget deficits.
© 2005 The Washington Post Company

Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter charged Monday that the reason Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi stepped down earlier this month was the growing scandal surrounding the use of uranium munitions in the Iraq War.


Study: To Get Top Scores, Go Last?

Fun from flickr

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

for fun....

Sepia International

DoD has posted a peculiar "transcript"