Connecting the Dots
The 9-11 Passenger List Oddity by Vincent Sammartino
As everyone who is involved in exposing the 9-11 cover-up knows, nothing concerning 9-11 is as it seems. Whether it's the magic jet that our government told us crashed into the Pentagon, the obvious missing jet at Shanksville (Flight 93), the three perfect demolitions of the World Trade Center towers, or the fact that Arab hijackers are still alive and their supposed ring leader Osama bin Laden has the ability to change his facial features at will. Nothing, I repeat, nothing about the government/controlled media version of 9-11 makes any sense. So, let's get one thing straight and out of the way right now. There are no such things as physical inconsistencies in the world we live in. We can always depend on the laws of physics to be consistent and unchanging. Coincidence is a self-contained human concept; and the real world - the atoms, molecules and planets that whiz around - don't care if you understand them. Likewise, they aren't concerned if their movement happens to favor you or not. I say this because, as Victor Thorn and Lisa Guliani know (WING TV), this is the key to understanding what is real and what is contrived.With that said, let me go back to sometime in February, 2004. At that time I had pretty much figured out that what had happened at the Pentagon and the WTC was a lie. I was still toying with the idea, though, that maybe (just maybe) our government had shot down Flight 93 in Shanksville in order to protect us from the real terrorists. Then a few websites started to pop-up showing videos of what appeared to be a "pod" under Flight 175, along with an unexplained flash that happened just before the jet hit the South Tower. To me, this was just as damning as the Pentagon and the WTC collapses. There is no good reason for us to be seeing what we saw if the official government story was true. Think about this point for a minute. If what we saw was just an anomaly, then there must be millions of photos/videos of 757s taking off and landing at airports all over the world that look JUST LIKE THAT! If anybody has any jet photo anomalies they would like to share with us, please send them to Victor and Lisa at WING TV so we can clear this stuff up. Which brings me to Ellen Mariani: she’s the woman who lost her husband Louis on Flight 175 that crashed into the South Tower on 9-11. With the help of a lawyer named Phil Berg, she filed a lawsuit against President Bush and company under the RICO act. Also, she refused to take the hush money that was offered to her under the 9-11 Victims Compensation fund.In addition, I had just discovered Black Op Radio earlier in the year and found an interesting show in their archives (# 156) on which Ellen and Mr. Berg appeared as guests. This may be the single biggest point concerning 9-11, and hopefully the last nail in the coffin of our government's lies. During this broadcast, Mrs. Mariani said that she was the only relative of all the passengers that died on Flight 175 that crashed into the South Tower. Her lawyer, Phil Berg, repeated this statement.I listened to this show over and over again and couldn't believe what she had just said. Everything came together at this point. That’s when it dawned on me that not only had our government lied about the physics of 9-11; they may very well have taken it one step farther by faking the number of people that died that day. I believed what she and Mr. Berg had just said. Nothing about 9-11 made any sense. Why should it start now?Not knowing then what I know now, Ellen and Phil believed that for some reason the government was holding back the names of the people that had died on Flight 175. She had tried to get in touch with the relatives of other family members, but to no avail. You see, she and her lawyer believed, just like most other people believe, that four jets had been hijacked by Arab terrorists and crashed into buildings and into the ground at Shanksville. I, on the other hand, had already swept those lies aside. Their statement also gave credence to the Fox News reporter who said that the jet which crashed into the South Tower had no windows. Hey, this jet appeared to have a "pod" under it anyway. The pieces of the puzzle were starting to fit. Now, we come to most interesting stuff - the Social Security Death Index, and thanks to Victor Thorn's idea, the September 11th Victim’s Compensation Fund. After all, it's one thing to say that the flight lists are not on the up and up, but it's another thing to prove it. The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) (Social Security Death Index) is a privately-owned website that is not affiliated with Social Security. It boasts an accuracy rate of about 83% (e-mail them any questions you may have). Anyway, to check its reliability, I inputted the names of people I knew that had died in my family, along with friends and neighbors. Being a true skeptic, I had no way of knowing whether they were telling the truth or not. With the exception of a cousin, I found everyone I was looking for. (Be sure you have the person's true first name - they may not be listed by the state they last lived in, but can be found in the state where their social security number was issued.) By all means try it yourself.Which brings us to the 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund (also known as the Shut Up and Take the Money Fund), which most of you have heard about. 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund This is where our government opened up the Treasury and gave family members of those who lost their lives that day lots of money. In return, these families were basically told to shut up about anything else concerning 9-11. (Considering all the lies surrounding this horrific event, you can see why.) At this point there is one thing we should never forget, and that is how powerful the notion of human greed is. Remember this concept as you read the number of victims whose family members sought compensation. The names of the victims can be found on the CNN website. Here are the results: Flight 11: of the 92 people who are listed as dying on this flight, only 20 are listed in the SSDI (22%)Of these 20 people, only three are on the 9-11 Compensation Fund list:Judy Larocque Laurie NeiraCandace Lee Williams=======================================Flight 77: of the 64 people who are listed as dying on this flight, only 14 are listed in the SSDI (22%)Of these 64 people, only five on the 9-11 Compensation Fund list:William CaswellEddie DillardIan GrayJohn SammartinoLeonard Taylor=======================================Flight 175: of the 65 people who are listed as dying on this flight, only 18 are listed in the SSDI (28%)Of these 65 people, only three are on the 9-11 Compensation Fund list:Michael C. TarrouGloria DebarreraTimothy Ward======================================= Flight 93: of the 45 people who are listed as dying on this flight, only 6 are listed in the SSDI (13%)Of these 45 people, none are on the 9-11 Compensation Fund list:No one=======================================Have you noticed anything strange yet? Of the passengers and crew of Flight 11, 77, 175 & 93, only 22%, 22%, 28%, 13% respectively are in the SSDI. Remember human greed? Of the 266 people that we were told died on these jets, only 11 relatives applied for compensation. Can you believe that not a single relative from Flight 93 applied for compensation? I can't. Were all the relatives of the victims so rich that they weren't eligible to receive compensation? No, that's not it. (The minimum federal award was $250,000, and the average pay-out was about $1.8 million. The recipients only had to make agreement: they couldn’t sue the airlines.) You should also know that most lawyers told their clients to take the money and run (which is what most lawyers would do - take the sure money). Ellen Mariani clearly elaborated on this point during her appearance on the radio show mentioned above. Finally, during the past week, thanks to Lisa Guliani's insatiable quest for the truth, the 9-11 Victims Compensation Final Report has come to light. 9-11 Victims Compensation Final Report Oddly, but consistent with everything concerning 9-11, the actual complete list of the people who benefited has been omitted from this report. Even without this, it does contain an interesting fact. According to the report, 98% of all the people who suffered a loss on 9-11 took the fund money. The average payment was $1.8 million. But here's where it gets strange. According to the government, here are the number of people who accepted the compensation fund:Out of a total of 92 people on Flight 11, only 65 accepted the 9-11 fund (71%) Out of a total of 65 people on Flight 175, only 46 accepted the 9-11 fund (71%)Out of a total of 64 people on Flight 77, only 33 accepted the 9-11 fund (52%)Out of a total of 45 people on Flight 93, only 25 accepted the 9-11 fund (56%)Does any of this seem a little odd to you? Or is it possible that not only were the jets on 9-11 magical, but their passengers as well? So there you have it; yet another glaring 9-11 inconsistency - just maybe the biggest of them all? Skeptically yours,Vincent Sammartino
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Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Bastard - A lawyerly defense for outsourcing torture
When George W. Bush nominated Alberto Gonzales to serve as attorney general, critics in both law and politics worried that Gonzales would apply his legal skills not to the enforcement of the law but to the subversion of it. It's what lawyers do sometimes on behalf of private clients. You develop an interpretation of the law that makes the illegal legal; through legal canons, through twists of language and precedent, through word games that defy everyday logic, you come up with a legal theory that provides a client cover for nefarious behavior or a defense when he finally gets caught.
As Joshua Dratel wrote in his introduction to "The Torture Papers
As attorney general, Gonzales promised that things would be different. "As counselor to the president, my primary focus is on providing counsel to the White House and to the White House staff and the president," Gonzales told senators at his confirmation hearing
But in his latest pronouncements on the use of torture, there's little proof that Gonzales has changed -- and strong evidence to suggest that he's still serving as a legal advocate for his former clients. Speaking to reporters
The U.N. Convention Against Torture prohibits a signatory country -- and the U.S. is one -- from sending a detainee to another country for interrogation "where there are substantial grounds for believing that the detainee would be "in danger" of being tortured there. Words like "substantial grounds for believing" provide acres of wiggle room for a clever lawyer. And despite his job change, Gonzales is still wiggling.
Back in January, in a written response < http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19264-2005Jan18.html> to questions from senators during his confirmation process, Gonzales said the administration reads the U.N. Convention's prohibition broadly. "It is my understanding," he wrote, "that the United States does not render individuals to countries where we believe it is more likely than not they will be tortured."
That's what Gonzales said then, but it's not what he's saying now. Asked again Monday about rendition, Gonzales said that the United States won't send detainees to "to countries where we believe or we know that they're going to be tortured." The Washington Post says that's a "slight modification" of Gonzales' earlier statements, but it's much more serious than that. In the law, "more likely than not means" pretty much what it says -- if the administration thinks there's more than a 50-50 chance that a detainee will be tortured in a foreign country, it won't send him there. And when the risk you're weighing is the potential torture of a human being, you'd like to think that a tie goes to the runner: If it's a close call, you don't send the detainee.
Gonzales' new standard is very different. When can the U.S. government really "believe" or "know" that a detainee is going to be tortured? If the country you're considering has tortured other prisoners in the past, do you really "know" that it will torture the detainee that you're thinking of sending now? As a former Justice Department lawyer recently told The New Yorker < http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050214fa_fact6>, "The Convention only applies when you know a suspect is more likely than not to be tortured, but what if you kind of know? Thats not enough. So there are ways to get around it."
Of course, Gonzales' new standard writes the "more likely than not" part right out of the equation. Under the Gonzales test, it's not enough for the government to "know" that it's "more likely than not" that the detainee will be "in danger" of being tortured; the government must "know" or "believe" that the detainee is "going to be" tortured. Note, too, that the Gonzales test removes the objective element that the U.N. Convention includes: The convention's prohibition doesn't turn on what the country that sends the detainee chooses to "know" or "believe" -- it turns on whether there is "substantial reason" for such a belief.
Lawyers don't like objective standards, at least not lawyers who have to defend clients who have pushed the limits of the law. It's easy for a judge or a jury to decide whether there were "substantial grounds" for a belief; it's much harder for a prosecutor to prove that a person actually had that belief. That's the grey area where operators operate, and Alberto Gonzales -- first as White House counsel, now as Attorney General -- is a lawyer working hard to keep it wide open.
-- Tim Grieve
[09:00 EST, March 8, 2005]
Archived War Room:
oday the Senate is expected to vote to limit debate on a bill that toughens the existing bankruptcy law, probably ensuring the bill's passage. A solid bloc of Republican senators, assisted by some Democrats, has already voted down a series of amendments that would either have closed loopholes for the rich or provided protection for some poor and middle-class families. The bankruptcy bill was written by and for credit card companies, and the industry's political muscle is the reason it seems unstoppable. But the bill also fits into the broader context of what Jacob Hacker, a political scientist at Yale, calls "risk privatization": a steady erosion of the protection the government provides against personal misfortune, even as ordinary families face ever-growing economic insecurity. The bill would make it much harder for families in distress to write off their debts and make a fresh start. Instead, many debtors would find themselves on an endless treadmill of payments. The credit card companies say this is needed because people have been abusing the bankruptcy law, borrowing irresponsibly and walking away from debts. The facts say otherwise. A vast majority of personal bankruptcies in the United States are the result of severe misfortune. One recent study found that more than half of bankruptcies are the result of medical emergencies. The rest are overwhelmingly the result either of job loss or of divorce. To the extent that there is significant abuse of the system, it's concentrated among the wealthy - including corporate executives found guilty of misleading investors - who can exploit loopholes in the law to protect their wealth, no matter how ill-gotten. One increasingly popular loophole is the creation of an "asset protection trust," which is worth doing only for the wealthy. Senator Charles Schumer introduced an amendment that would have limited the exemption on such trusts, but apparently it's O.K. to game the system if you're rich: 54 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against the Schumer amendment. Other amendments were aimed at protecting families and individuals who have clearly been forced into bankruptcy by events, or who would face extreme hardship in repaying debts. Ted Kennedy introduced an exemption for cases of medical bankruptcy. Russ Feingold introduced an amendment protecting the homes of the elderly. Dick Durbin asked for protection for armed services members and veterans. All were rejected. None of this should come as a surprise: it's all part of the pattern. As Mr. Hacker and others have documented, over the past three decades the lives of ordinary Americans have become steadily less secure, and their chances of plunging from the middle class into acute poverty ever larger. Job stability has declined; spells of unemployment, when they happen, last longer; fewer workers receive health insurance from their employers; fewer workers have guaranteed pensions. Some of these changes are the result of a changing economy. But the underlying economic trends have been reinforced by an ideologically driven effort to strip away the protections the government used to provide. For example, long-term unemployment has become much more common, but unemployment benefits expire sooner. Health insurance coverage is declining, but new initiatives like health savings accounts (introduced in the 2003 Medicare bill), rather than discouraging that trend, further undermine the incentives of employers to provide coverage. Above all, of course, at a time when ever-fewer workers can count on pensions from their employers, the current administration wants to phase out Social Security. The bankruptcy bill fits right into this picture. When everything else goes wrong, Americans can still get a measure of relief by filing for bankruptcy - and rising insecurity means that they are forced to do this more often than in the past. But Congress is now poised to make bankruptcy law harsher, too. Warren Buffett recently made headlines by saying America is more likely to turn into a "sharecroppers' society" than an "ownership society." But I think the right term is a "debt peonage" society - after the system, prevalent in the post-Civil War South, in which debtors were forced to work for their creditors. The bankruptcy bill won't get us back to those bad old days all by itself, but it's a significant step in that direction. And any senator who votes for the bill should be ashamed. E-mail: email@example.com
More On Sibel Edmonds
From the Village Voice
"Edmonds was not allowed to testify, and the only time her case came up was when Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste mentioned it in an aside to FBI director Robert Mueller. Both men agreed her case would be best left to another time.
Italy's relations with US soured by attack on hostage
By Peter Popham, in Rome
07 March 2005
Italy's relations with US soured by attack on hostage
Kidnapping becomes Iraq's boom industry
The return to Italy of the journalist Giuliana Sgrena from captivity in Iraq was meant to be another triumph for Silvio Berlusconi's chequebook foreign policy - a boost for his ruling coalition as it faces regional elections next month. Instead, the killing of the chief negotiator, Nicola Calipari, by American "friendly fire" and the wounding of Ms Sgrena have created deep public anger against the Americans, which will take all Berlusconi's political skills to defuse.
Sorrow and admiration for Mr Calipari are contending with seething indignation at the allies who killed him with a single bullet in the head. Thousands filed past his coffin, lying in state at the Vittoriano in central Rome yesterday, paying their last respects to the military intelligence agent who twice saved the life of Ms Sgrena on Friday, once by securing her release, a second time by shielding her from American fire at Baghdad airport, sacrificing his own life for hers.
President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi announced that he was posthumously awarding Italy's highest military honour, the Medaglia d'Oro, to the ex-immigration officer who became a hostage negotiator, overseeing the release of six Italians abducted in Iraq in the past year.
As Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, telephoned his Italian counterpart, Antonio Martino, to express regret for the killing, Italian government ministers and opposition politicians denounced the shooting. Gianni Alemanno, the Minister for Agriculture, said: "We need to see the guilty punished and an apology from the Americans. We are trustworthy allies but we must not give the impression of being subordinates."
Romano Prodi, the opposition leader, said: "What is required is a precise analysis of the events, beginning with the testimony of the American unit that fired."
Mr Berlusconi has long competed with Tony Blair for the title of most loyal ally of America, but now he is struggling to contain a rising tide of anti-Americanism which poses the critical question: if Italy, with the third biggest military contingent in Iraq after Britain's, is the esteemed ally that Berlusconi claims it to be, why should US soldiers fire on the car taking the released hostage to Baghdad airport - and then seek to palm Italy off with an obviously mendacious explanation?
Edward Luttwak, an American military commentator interviewed yesterday in La Repubblica, said Mr Calipari's death was "the sort of thing that happens all the time in a war", and he advised Italy to "take an aspirin and go to bed, you'll feel better in the morning". But for many Italians the secret agent's death exposed a gulf of mistrust and loathing.
The story began early on Friday afternoon when Mr Calipari and his team of military intelligence agents arrived in Baghdad from Abu Dhabi. After weeks of haggling, the ransom for Ms Sgrena had finally been agreed: at least $6m (£3.1m), according to the Italian press, and perhaps as much as $8m, had been handed over. The time and place for the release was settled.
Italy is well aware that its habit of paying large sums to secure the release of its nationals is disapproved of by the Americans and British. All negotiations are therefore carried on in secret. But at Baghdad airport Mr Calipari explained at the US headquarters what his team had come to do. It was arranged that an American colonel would be on hand at the airport when Ms Sgrena arrived for her flight back to Italy. By the time the team had rented a four-wheel drive it was already 5pm.
At 8.20pm, Mr Calipari's team reached the rendezvous on the outskirts of Baghdad. The vehicle they were looking for was there. Ms Sgrena's abductors had left her blindfolded in the back of the car. "I'm a friend of Pier and Gabriele," Mr Calipari said, naming Ms Sgrena's partner and editor. The 57-year-old journalist was a bundle of tension as they got her into their vehicle and left for the airport.
By now it was dark and pouring with rain. Baghdad is far too dangerous for people to go out after dark without excellent reason, and all scheduled flights had left. But the Italians decided that, with their plane waiting on the Tarmac, it was better to get Ms Sgrena home without delay.
They passed two American checkpoints along the airport road without incident and were 700 metres or so from the airport building. The road narrowed to a single, one-way lane and took a 90-degree turn. The car was going slowly now, approaching the end of the journey.
"At last I felt safe," Ms Sgrena said. "We had nearly arrived in an area under American control, an area more or less friendly, even if it was still unsettled."
Then, turning the corner, they found their progress baulked by an American tank. They were blinded by a powerful light. "Without any warning, any signal, we were bombarded with a shower of bullets," Ms Sgrena said. "The tank was firing on us, our car was riddled with bullets. Nicola tried to protect me, then his body slumped on top of mine, I heard his death rattle, then I felt a pain but I couldn't tell where I had been hit. Those who had fired came up to the car, but before I was taken to the American hospital there was an interminable wait, it's hard to know how long I was lying there wounded but perhaps it was 20 minutes."
Was Ms Sgrena, correspondent of the communist daily Il Manifesto, who has repeatedly demanded an end to the occupation, the true target? She couldn't rule it out, she said. "Everybody knows that the Americans are opposed to hostage negotiations. So I don't see why we must exclude the possibility that I was their target. The Americans don't approve, and so they try to frustrate the negotiations every way they can."
Ms Sgrena, who is recovering in hospital, added that she did not intend to go back to Iraq because "the conditions don't exist for getting information". Her abductors, she said, "don't want witnesses, and they regard all of us as possible spies".
There are some glaring discrepancies in the Italian and American versions of the killing of the agent Nicola Calipari and the wounding of released hostage Giuliana Sgrena and two other Italian secret service agents:
The Americans say: the car was travelling at high speed
The Italians say: it was travelling at 40-50kph
US: It approached a checkpoint near the airport at speed when soldiers fired on it to force it to stop as a "last resort"
Italy: It had passed three checkpoints without incident and was 700 metres from the airport when fired upon
US: The soldiers used hand signals and bright lights and fired warning shots before hitting the car with shots
Italy: There was no warning. Three to four hundred rounds were fired, afterwards the car seats were covered in spent cartridges. The Americans forced the Italians to remain in the car without medical attention for an hour
US: There was a lack of co-ordination between the Italians and the Americans
Italy: The Americans were kept fully informed
US: It was a regrettable accident which will be aggressively investigated
Italy: Ms Sgrena claims it was a deliberate ambush to kill her, as the Italians had paid a ransom, a practice America opposes, and as she had learnt inconvenient facts from her abductors.
Also in Middle East
Was Bush right after all?
RAF Hercules that crashed killing 10 'was hit by missile'
UK expats are blamed for leaving dogs to die
Italy's relations with US soured by attack on hostage
Kidnapping becomes Iraq's boom industry
My question: How is AP infiltrated? This piece is not news. The only reason that this would be useful is as propaganda. Fearmongering. Don't think about ugly Iraqi murder of innocents. Think about evil Atta! Ticket agent recalls anger in Atta's eyes
Tuohey was suspicious of 9/11 plot boss, but let him board plane.