Saturday, August 20, 2005

Armed Forces Medical Plan Limits Abortions

Armed Forces Medical Plan Limits Abortions

Bush Admin. Briefed on Able Danger After Attacks

Bush Admin. Briefed on Able Danger After Attacks

Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005 10:12 a.m. EDT
Bush Admin. Briefed on Able Danger After Attacks
Two weeks after the 9/11 the attacks, the Bush administration was told that a special military intelligence unit code named Able Danger had developed actionable intelligence two years earlier that could have foiled the 9/11 plot, a member of the Able Danger team revealed on Wednesday.Among the Able Danger evidence shared with the Bush National Security Council: a chart put together before 9/11 featuring a picture of lead hijacker Mohamed Atta.

Asked why he didn't go public before this week with the news that his group had been tracking Atta during the Clinton administration, Able Danger team member Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer told ABC radio host Sean Hannity:
"Within two weeks of the attack, this colleague of mine ... she took that very poster [with Mohamed Atta] to Congressman [Curt] Weldon," Shaffer said. "And I have to say he took it right to Michael Hadley, I believe, over at the NSC."
"It's my understanding that he gave him that chart and Hadley had a great deal of interest in it," he added.
Once the Bush administration had been briefed, Shaffer said, he thought the information would be handled properly. "[I felt] that we were good to go - that everything was going to be solved," he told Hannity.
The military intelligence sleuth stressed, however, "I'm not criticizing the Bush administration here. They're doing everything in their power to prevent this now. I think they're fully behind what we're doing. I think the Pentagon right now is fully behind me trying to get the word out and trying to get to the bottom of this."
Shaffer credited his still unidentified Able Danger colleague with managing the technical side of the program.
"The doctor who put this all together is brilliant. I mean, I cannot speak high enough of her and her brilliance in being able to break the code on this. She was able, through the technology used, to somehow pull out of all this amorphous data usable, actionable information."
"And that's where things kind of got off track," Shaffer explained. "Because at the same time she pulled that out, we then were trying to look at how we could exploit that information. And that's where the lawyers got involved."
Shaffer said that immediately after the 9/11 attacks, this same colleague alerted him to the fact that the Able Danger team had developed intelligence on the hijack team, a detail he hadn't noticed.
"My colleague called me in and said, 'Look, we knew these guys.' And I was shocked. It was like, in the pit of my stomach there was just this sinking feeling, like - we knew. We knew this!"
Congressman Weldon has previously described three attempts by Able Danger to brief the FBI on the Atta intelligence, before being blocked by lawyers at the Clinton Pentagon.
Those lawyers have yet to be identified.

glowing wheel

glowing wheel
Originally uploaded by awfulsara.
My favorite fair shot (tho I didn't take many). While the wheel spun, it also raised up to nearly vertical. I was annoyed that they turned off all the lights but the center strobe, but it allowed for a really long exposure (20 secs) and captured the fading light in a cloudy sky and these lovely subtle swirly smooth colors.

Further into the Iraqi quagmire: US intensifies repression

Further into the Iraqi quagmire: US intensifies repression

To use the term “democracy” in relation to the situation in Iraq makes a mockery of the word. The reality of life for the Iraqi masses is a social and economic catastrophe, alongside ever-more brutal colonial rule at the hands of the American military and its local Iraqi security forces. As tensions increase, the Bush administration and the Iraqi government are presiding over a stepped-up campaign of repression against the population.

On Thursday, hundreds of people demonstrated against the US occupation through the streets of the Baghdad suburb of Amiriya, carrying the coffins of three more men gunned down in their house during an American raid and search.

Khalil Hussein, a middle-aged man whose wounds in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s had left him crippled and confined to a wheelchair, was shot dead in his bathroom and left lying on the floor. His two brothers, Khalid and Jamal, were also killed. His sister-in-law was wounded in the arm and foot.

A US military statement labelled them a “kidnapping cell” and “terrorists”. Their family and friends have accused American troops of indiscriminate killings. Khalil Hussein’s “crime” may well have been being unable to stand up when ordered to by American troops. A friend of the brothers told Reuters: “They call everybody ‘terrorists’ but they just commit terrorist acts whenever they want.”

Every week in Iraq, hundreds of people are killed, wounded, detained or intimidated during searches or at roadblocks. The US military is enforcing a reign of terror, particularly in Baghdad and the predominantly Sunni Arab regions where support is greatest for the anti-occupation resistance organisations.

The suspicion and hostility toward the occupation forces has reached such levels that a common belief on Iraqi streets is that the indiscriminate bombings of civilians—including suicide bombings—are being orchestrated by the police and the US military to foster sectarian divisions among the Iraqi people and create a climate of fear. Stories have circulated of people discovering explosives in their cars after they were detained by police for several hours and then ordered to drive through particular suburbs.

Another wave of bombings that deliberately targeted Shiite Muslim civilians was unleashed in the capital on Wednesday, killing over 43 people and wounding at least 88. The Iraqi government immediately blamed Sunni Islamic extremist insurgent groups.

The daily death toll in Iraq is escalating. The central Baghdad morgue alone received 1,100 corpses in July—676 of whom had been shot. The morgue director, Faed Bakr, told the Los Angeles Times: “In the days of Saddam we had maybe 16 shootings a month. Now we have more than that every day.”

The fatalities include people killed by US troops, private contractors or Iraqi security forces; Iraqi police and government officials killed by insurgents; and numerous casualties of the country’s unchecked criminal violence. They also include the victims of extra-judicial killings by police commando units of the Iraqi interior ministry. The horrifically tortured bodies of dozens of people who were detained by the police have been found in rubbish dumps, rivers and abandoned buildings.

The first judicial murders since the US invasion are likely to take place over the next week. The Iraqi government has authorised the hanging of three men convicted of a number of rapes and killings. The men’s nationally-televised trial was a total travesty. According to the New York Times, at least three witnesses identified the men as murderers because they saw some of them confess to the crime before the trial on a widely condemned television program operated by the police commandos. Terrified men who have clearly been beaten and tortured have appeared on the show admitting to horrific crimes.

State executions are part of preparations to escalate the level of violence against the Iraqi people. Far from there being a reduction in the number of US troops in Iraq, as many as 20,000 extra troops are likely to be deployed by the end of the year. The boost will facilitate a series of counter-insurgency operations and provide additional security during the referendum on a constitution, planned for October 15, and elections scheduled for December 15.

In a telling indication that the Pentagon is planning a major crackdown over the coming months, the US military announced on Wednesday that it is sending 700 extra troops to garrison its fourth prison in Iraq, which is expected to be functioning by October. American forces are detaining at least 10,800 Iraqis, many of whom have never been charged. The new facility is intended to allow prisoner numbers to increase to around 16,000.

Underlying the preparations are the growing signs of a social and political upheaval against the occupation and the US-backed government. US atrocities since the invasion have produced deep-seated opposition while the conditions of life for millions of people are unbearable.

Households are getting just four to six hours of electricity per day. Almost half of Baghdad’s population has lost access to running water. There are chronic shortages of fuel. Unemployment is between 50 and 60 percent. One quarter of all children are suffering malnutrition.

The August 9 editorial in Azzaman, an Iraqi journal, articulated popular anger. The piece declared: “It seems it is not in the interest of our rulers to have things under control. Prosperity, stability and security, once achieved, will be a blow to their ends. Because if the bombs stop, food is made available, electricity returns, crime is checked and the country is back on its feet, all the Iraqi people will then turn their attention to the most pressing issue—how to drive the occupation troops out of the country. It does not take a genius to understand that both the government and the occupation need each other and both thrive on our miseries.”

The anger erupted on August 7 in the southern city of Samawa, where Japanese and Australian troops represent the occupation. Over 1,000 people marched on the governor’s office, demanding his resignation, jobs, electricity and water. The demonstration was led by supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose movement, which is based among the urban poor of the major cities, took up arms last year against US forces. The governor and most of the local police are members of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)—one of the main factions in the Iraqi government.

After police fired on the crowd, killing two people, Sadrist militiamen fought a running battle with the SCIRI police. The area is reportedly still extremely volatile.

The Bush administration and its puppet regime in Baghdad have only one answer to the growing demands of the Iraqi people for their social and democratic rights—more repression. A factor in the urgency with which Washington is demanding that the parliament in Baghdad agree on a new constitution and hold fresh elections is to provide a façade of legitimacy. Mass killings will be justified as defending a “democratic” government against “terrorists” and “extremists,” just as they were last year in Fallujah.

Barry Rubin, the director of an Israeli-based strategic thinktank, spelt out the implications of the deteriorating situation in Iraq in the Spring edition of the Washington Quarterly. In blunt terms, he argued for the consolidation of an Iraqi regime based on Shia factions such as SCIRI and, with US backing, the use of their militias to carry out a bloodbath against both the Sunni and Shiite opposition to the occupation.

Rubin wrote: “Defeating insurgent forces consisting of Saddam loyalists, Al Qaeda terrorists and Shia extremists with mild methods is impossible... It is impossible, however, for any US or US-led force effectively to employ the methods necessary to defeat the Iraq insurgency. Every time a US marine kills an Iraqi civilian or fires on a mosque, tens of millions of Arabs and many Iraqis will take it as proof that the United States has an evil anti-Arab and anti-Muslim agenda... Nothing other than an Iraqi force willing to use the necessary methods and have them accepted as ‘pro-Muslim’ and patriotic will successfully crush the insurgency.”

What George Bush and Dick Cheney have taken to calling the “noble cause” in Iraq consists of unspeakable crimes against the Iraqi people, and preparations for even greater ones.

Shot Brazilian's family 'offered US$1million' - UK News Headlines - Life Style Extra

Shot Brazilian's family 'offered US$1million' - UK News Headlines - Life Style Extra

UK News Showbiz News

Shot Brazilian's family 'offered US$1million'
Friday, 19th August 2005, 13:18
Category: Crime and Punishment
LIFE STYLE EXTRA (UK) - Scotland Yard offered the family of the Brazilian electrician mistakenly shot dead at Stockwell tube station US$1 million compensation, it emerged today.The offer was confirmed as relatives of Jean Charles De Menezes called for under-fire Met chief Sir Ian Blair to resign.Speaking outside the tube station today Yasmin Khan, of the Jean Charles De Menezes Family Campaign, said: "The Met sent over a delegation to Brazil to offer money to the family which we found surprising at this stage. "A money offer of around US$1 million was bandied about in Brazil. It shows that no-one with the police could relate to the family. The money was not accepted."Ms Khan also slammed the IPCC investigation currently underway into the death of Mr De Menezes.He said: "The IPCC investigation seems to lasting about six months. They started their investigation six days too late. Witnesses could have been found during this time. We still don't know if CCTV footage exists or not. We want a full public enquiry. The family believe Sir Ian Blair is responsible."Asked if the family blamed the officers directly responsible for the shooting, she said: "Its a policy decision that's to blame. The impact of that policy was his death, the officer's higher up gave an order that's how the police operate."Her comments follow a press conference at which the cousin of Mr De Menezes called for the resignation of Sir Ian Blair.Alessandro Pereira, 25, said: "I want the people of London to imagine hearing that your son your brother or father had been killed on the tube, shot dead."I then want you to think how we felt when we were told he was a suspected terrorist, that he looked like a suicide bomber, that he was wearing a big jacket, that he ran from the police."I want Ian Blair to think how it is to ring Jean's mother and father, our family in Brazil, and tell them that their son was dead, that he was killed in such a way. "We had to answer my families questions about how and why he died."I want Ian Blair to imagine how we felt having to listen to the lies about how and why he died."I want Ian Blair to imagine how we felt having to listen to the lies about Jean, about why he died, to see Ian Blair on Television telling those lies."The police knew Jean was innocent yet they let my family suffer. Ian Blair let us suffer."For three weeks we have had to listen to lie after lie about Jean and why he was killed."The police even went to Brazil. They met my family. Yet they still didn't tell us the truth."Did they think because we are poor Brazilians we do not deserve the truth? If that was Ian Blair's son would he not want the truth."We want to know why there was no independent investigation if there was nothing to hide."We want to know what evidence has bee lost or damaged."If there was nothing to hide, why did the police tell my family not to have a second post mortem? Why did they lie in their own post mortem report?"In Jean's name, I say that those responsible should resign. Ian Blair should resign."We want to see all those responsible brought to justice. We want to see them prosecuted."Now the campaigners are to hold a vigil outside Downing Street on Monday.Ms Khan said: "We will be encouraging all the people of London to come and show solidarity to Jean."What the family campaign has seen in the few weeks is a Laurel and Hardy police operation."There is shoot to kill policy and no-one knows where it came from."Then there is the incompetence of the police on the day."Then there is the cover up by Ian Blair and the Metropolitan Police."I spoke to members of the family this week - they were obviously devastated by what was own in the leaked documents. But they feel absolutely vindicated by what they knew already."They knew Jean didn't have a bulky jacket on. They knew he didn't have a bag. They knew he didn't run."Asad Rehman, also of the family campaign, said: "Ian Blair says his office has not been brought into question."Facts that he knew were wrong, statements that he shouldn't have made, and facts that for three weeks were in the public domain were not corrected."

Can't believe the ad above this news story was about a "HOT" opportunity.......

Web Site / Book Link

The Metropolitan Police Authority, 'an independent authority that scrutinises the work of the London police force', has issued a bold indictment of the Met's conduct after the extrajudicial execution of Jean Charles de Menezes:
Authority member Jenny Jones said it should have been "an immediate priority" for police to clarify the information after the 22 July shooting.One suspects Authority member Jenny Sparks might have had something a bit more trenchant to say on the subject, followed by the summary electrocution of Sir Ian Blair and sundry other criminal elements.Meanwhile, the death-defying mendacity continues apace, Sir Ian (an anagram, btw, for 'raisin'; coincidence? I think not) taking the bit firmly in the teeth he so relishes lying through, after several days of bitchslapping by the media:
'The thing that I would want to say is that of all the allegations made in the last couple of days, the matter I would most want to reject is the concept of a cover-up.'Well yes, I don't doubt you would very much want to reject that allegation. I don't think anyone's asking if you want to reject it so much as whether or not you have a hope in hell of getting away with rejecting it. Which, sadly, it looks increasingly likely he will; as the Beeb noted yesterday, nobody important is calling for his resignation. Only, you know, the people whose son his boys butchered.I do love when they lie about the lying. It all takes on a kind of psychedelic hall-of-mirrors effect, like if they nest enough lies around each other, eventually the outermost lie will in fact be a truth, because it double-triple-quadruple-negates the lies inside it. That's just a theory though; I've never seen it pulled off in practice.Not content with building his personal Mighty Ziggurat of Lies, Sir Ian is shamelessly exploiting the July 7th bombing victims for a classic Look Over There gambit, exhorting people 'not to let the shooting overshadow the deaths of 52 victims of the London bombers.'
'Tragic as the death of Mr Menezes is, and we have apologised for it and we take responsibility for it, it is one death out of 57."The context here is the largest criminal inquiry in English history with 52 innocent victims dead, still double figures of people whose lives have been wrecked, four dead bombers and we can't let that one tragic death outweigh all others.'Leaving aside the fact that he appears to have taken the curious step of including the dead bombers in his sympathy-tally purely for the purpose of boosting his Deaths Which Outweigh Menezes's Death count, he fails to acknowledge the salient differentiating factor. To wit, while the other 56 deaths are all being vigorously pursued in 'the largest criminal inquiry in English history', Lucky 57's death, at the hands of those very inquirers, is the object of a criminal cover-up by same.It's a detail, but I think it's relevant.
You Tell 'Em, Jenny

sunmoon-wenwu temple

sunmoon-wenwu temple
Originally uploaded by shimmertje.


Originally uploaded by BabyoOo (UaE-LoVeReSS).


Originally uploaded by Sita ; ).



Originally uploaded by Paula Marina.

The angel's irony

The angel's irony
Originally uploaded by *Ivan*.
I wanted the night...

Humint Events Online: Stll Having Trouble with the Flight 93 Crash

Humint Events Online: Stll Having Trouble with the Flight 93 Crash

Stll Having Trouble with the Flight 93 Crash

I have to say that of all the odd things about 9/11, the thing that perplexes me most and makes the least amount of sense is the flight 93 crash.

See here and here for more about the crash.

Profile from this Blog (Source of Entry):
Location:Midwest, United States

I am dedicated to finding out the truth about 9/11. What Everyone Needs to Know About 9/11.// This is Currently My Working Model for the Events of 9/11. // Why LIHOP Equals MIHOP.// My 9/11 Rant.

Blog Header:

The 9/11 hijacking attacks were very likely facilitated by a rogue group within the US government that created an Islamic terrorist "Pearl Harbor" event as a catalyst for the military invasion of Middle Eastern countries. This weblog will explore the incredibly strange events of 9/11/01, and other issues of US government responsibility.

the beginning of a new love

the beginning of a new love
Originally uploaded by Rosina.
seed vessel of love-in-a-mist (nigella/Jungfer im Grünen), for my flowers on white set. (our son wanted to see the seeds, that's why I opened it)

The Road To 10,000 Waves

The Road To 10,000 Waves
Originally uploaded by kafkan.
The road that climbs the hill to reach 10,000 waves.

alley in assisi

alley in assisi
Originally uploaded by nats.

Envoy Urged Osama's Expulsion Before 9/11

Envoy Urged Osama's Expulsion Before 9/11
The Associated Press
Friday, August 19, 2005; 10:40 AM

WASHINGTON -- A year before the Sept. 11 attacks, a U.S. diplomat assured a top official of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime that international sanctions on that country would be lifted if it expelled Osama bin Laden, newly declassified documents show.

A State Department memo dated September 2000 also said the United States did not seek to topple the Taliban despite its record of human rights abuses.

The memo was among documents obtained by the National Security Archive, a private research group based at George Washington University, under a Freedom of Information Act request. The group posted the documents on its Web site Thursday.

"The ambassador added that the U.S. was not against the Taliban, per se," and "was not out to destroy the Taliban," Ambassador William B. Milam wrote in the secret cable to Washington. Milam told the Taliban official, whose name is excised from the declassified document, that bin Laden was the main impediment to better relations between the Taliban and the United States.

"If the U.S. and the Taliban could get past bin Laden, we would have a different kind of relationship," Milam said he told the official.

At the time, Washington had no formal diplomatic relations with Afghanistan because concerns over human rights and other abuses by the militant Islamist Taliban regime.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the Bush administration has no comment on the meeting, which took place before President Bush took office.

In his 2000 diplomatic cable, Milam told his bosses that the Taliban official had adopted a "far less obstreperous" tone than usually heard from the Taliban and suggested that the United States do some small favor for Afghanistan to show good will.

The meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, produced no promise from the Taliban to turn over bin Laden, and it is not clear from the material released Thursday what the Clinton administration did next.

Other documents released by the National Security Archive on Thursday chart several years of unsuccessful U.S. attempts to drive bin Laden out of Afghanistan.

At the time of Milam's cable, the United States knew that bin Laden was living under Taliban protection along the Afghan-Pakistani border and running his al-Qaida terror network from Afghanistan. U.S. diplomats had periodic contact with the Taliban to urge his ouster.

The United States had accused bin Laden of orchestrating two embassy bombings that killed Americans in East Africa, but neither he nor his terror network were the household names they became after the jetliner attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.

Shortly after the attacks, U.S. forces helped the Afghan opposition Northern Alliance overthrow the Taliban government and hunt down its leaders. The Bush administration's goal was twofold: Rout bin Laden's protectors and capture bin Laden himself.

Nearly four years after the invasion, a 21,000-member U.S.-led coalition force remains to fight Taliban remnants and keep order despite the emergence of a new U.S.-allied government. Bin Laden is still presumed to be hiding in the same border region.

A surge of violence since winter has killed about 1,000 people _ 59 American soldiers among them. Militants have stepped up assaults in the south and east trying to sabotage the country's U.S.-backed recovery.


On the Net:

National Security Archive:



I couldn't possibly say it any better than Greg Djerejian, so I'll simply link to his post here. Read especially the first part about the press gaggle with Rumsfeld and Myers, along with Greg's comments about it.

AP Pic

Roberts Resisted Women's Rights

Roberts Resisted Women's Rights

Roberts Resisted Women's Rights

Ready to Work Out? Here’s How - Newsweek: The Tip Sheet -

Ready to Work Out? Here’s How - Newsweek: The Tip Sheet -


Rolling Stones - Newsweek Entertainment -

Satisfaction Guaranteed - Newsweek Entertainment -


The artist's steps

The artist's steps
Originally uploaded by Today is a good day.

John Roberts: A Supreme Property Rights Disaster In The MakingMore Kelo on the SCOTUS horizon?...

John Roberts: A Supreme Property Rights Disaster In The MakingMore Kelo on the SCOTUS horizon?...

greatscat! The online magazine: Well, Roberts *is* Satan personified.

greatscat! The online magazine: Well, Roberts *is* Satan personified.

Hey, What's That Sound? - New York Times

Hey, What's That Sound? - New York Times: "Hey, What's That Sound?

Published: August 20, 2005

Richard Nixon once gave me a lesson in the politics of war.

Howell Raines, then the Washington bureau chief for The Times, took some reporters to meet Mr. Nixon right before the 1992 New Hampshire primary. The deposed president had requested that Howell bring along only reporters who were too young to have covered Watergate, so we tried to express an excess of Juvenalia spirit.
Skip to next paragraph
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Related More Columns by Maureen Dowd
Forum: Maureen Dowd's Columns

Before the first vote of '92 was cast, Mr. Nixon laid out, state by state, how Bill Clinton, who was not even a sure bet for the Democratic nomination at that point, was going to defeat George Bush.

If, Mr. Nixon said, Bill could keep a lid on Hillary (who had worked on the House Judiciary Committee looking into the Nixon impeachment), he'd have it made.

'If the wife comes through as being too strong and too intelligent, it makes the husband look like a wimp,' he said.

In his jaundiced view, the first President Bush had squandered his best re-election card: if the Persian Gulf war had still been going on, Mr. Bush could have been benefiting from that.

'We had a lot of success with that in 1972,' Mr. Nixon told us, with that famously uneasy baring of teeth that passed for a smile.

Was he actually admitting what all the paranoid liberals had been yelping about 20 years earlier - that he had prolonged the Vietnam War so he could get re-elected?

Bush Senior made some Republicans worry that he left Iraq too soon. Bush Junior is making some Republicans worry that he is staying in Iraq too long.

'Any effort to explain Iraq as 'We are on track and making progress' is nonsense,' Newt Gingrich told Adam Nagourney and "

A memorial to Jean Charles de Menezes outside Stockwell Tube

CONTEXT - This Week in Arts and Ideas from The Moscow Times

CONTEXT - This Week in Arts and Ideas from The Moscow Times: "Now is the summer of discontent for President George W. Bush, a man beset on every side"

Oops a bubble...

Oops a bubble...
Originally uploaded by Buntekuh.

Cotton Floor

Cotton Floor
Originally uploaded by Bron Ko.

`Water is the mother of the vine ~`!

Water is the mother of the vine,
The nurse and fountain of fecundity,
The adorner and refresher of the world.
~ Charles Mackay,


Originally uploaded by vsz.

Panorama Eastinda ship

Panorama Eastinda ship
Originally uploaded by Nilla_.
like this ship so much that I have to post one more of her. She is great, isn't she?

Remember Him?

Remember Him?
Originally uploaded by !efatima.
I just couldn't help wonder. Usually in Dubai, its very rare find homeless. Morever this gentleman is from Pakistan.

No Name

Originally uploaded by Eliacin.
Uploaded by Eliacin on 19 Aug '05, 10.04am PDT.

grace and (less) size

grace and (less) size
Originally uploaded by Ralf Stockmann.

Exit - Sortie

Exit - Sortie
Originally uploaded by Ingi.
Métro station (underground) in Paris

ny 009

ny 009
Originally uploaded by jotanng.

Pentagon Hid September 11 Attackers from the FBI




News Hounds: Huge Merck/Vioxx Verdict is John Edwards' Fault

News Hounds: Huge Merck/Vioxx Verdict is John Edwards' Fault

WSJ falsely suggested that "Planet CBS" news re ... [Media Matters]

WSJ falsely suggested that "Planet CBS" news re ... [Media Matters]

O'Reilly again made false claim that Hussein "a ... [Media Matters]

O'Reilly again made false claim that Hussein "a ... [Media Matters]

WSJ lamented "firewall" created after GOP staff ... [Media Matters]

WSJ lamented "firewall" created after GOP staff ... [Media Matters]

LA Times overlooked Ginsburg's centrist record ... [Media Matters]

LA Times overlooked Ginsburg's centrist record ... [Media Matters]

Think Progress » John Podhoretz: Compulsive Liar

Think Progress » John Podhoretz: Compulsive Liar

Leiter Reports: The Right's Response to Sheehan's Anti-War Campaign: The Case of James Taranto

Leiter Reports: The Right's Response to Sheehan's Anti-War Campaign: The Case of James Taranto

Health Care for our Troops

Informed Comment: "Health Care for our Troops"

Bush Administration and 'Democracratic Process' In Iraq: The Dark Details Revealed

Informed Comment: "Bush Administration and 'Democracratic Process' In Iraq: The Dark Details Revealed "

George Noory & the Shadow Rodents

Wing TV - Connect The Dots

The War in Iraq: Disastrous Decision

Crooks and Liars

THE BRAD BLOG: "Atta's Big Gamble. Plus: Jack Abramoff's Link To A Mysterious Saudi -- And Perhaps To Al Qaeda"

THE BRAD BLOG: "Atta's Big Gamble. Plus: Jack Abramoff's Link To A Mysterious Saudi -- And Perhaps To Al Qaeda"

Atta's Big Gamble. Plus: Jack Abramoff's Link To A Mysterious Saudi -- And Perhaps To Al Qaeda
The Mysteries of 9/11 Run Deep

Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon

You have probably never heard of Makram Chams. It's time you met him.

Actually, you can't physically meet him -- he disappeared on September 11, 2001. I bring him to your attention for two reasons:

1. He knew, and apparently aided, Mohammed Atta and the other 9/11 terrorists.

2. He owned a casino ship in Florida.

Yes, a casino ship -- just like the SunCruz ships owned by Jack Abramoff, the recently-indicted Republican money-man and wheeler-dealer. According to Associated Press, the terrorists took a mysterious trip on a SunCruz ship on September 5, 2001. And that trip is of great interest for three reasons:

1. SunCruz ships were under investigation for involvement in money laundering and other unsavory activities.

2. Al Qaeda operatives made a number of mysterious casino jaunts in that era; few believe that they were hard-core gamblers.

3. Al Qaeda was funded by drug money. Drug money must needs be laundered. Casinos have been known to be used for that purpose. Casino ships are unregulated.

Perhaps we should tentatively add a fourth reason for concern: Intelligence agents who had identified Atta in the United States and who knew of his ties to Osama Bin Laden were told to steer clear of him. They literally covered up his picture on their charts of Al Qaeda agents. (See my latest piece on Able Danger.)

So with that background in mind, let's learn more about the mysterious Makram Chams (whose first name is sometimes transliterated as Meekram).

My information was kindly provided by the estimable Daniel Hopsicker, of Mad Cow Morning News. I'm trying to double check the Makram Chams story (which is mentioned on one of his documentary videos, but is not on his website) to the limited extent that I can.

Hopsicker learned from eyewitnesses -- including a cab driver who drove Atta on a number of occasions, and who told this story to the FBI -- that Atta frequently visited Makram Chams, a Lebanese who lived above a convenience store that he owned.

At one point, Chams asked the cab driver to take him to the Orlando Executive Airport. There, Chams picked up an Armani-suited Saudi businessman and his wife, who wore traditional Arab attire. The driver then took this party back to Chams' apartment. (After 9/11, the FBI reviewed surveillance tapes of this pick-up, which is how they learned of the driver.)

Weeks later, the same driver was asked to take the Saudi's wife back the airport. But now they were carrying extra luggage -- extremely heavy luggage. It was a chest so heavy that two men had to transport it.

An intelligence source contacted by Hopsicker felt certain that this chest contained gold.

Chams was no mere convenience store operator. He co-owned (along with one other investor) a casino ship called Vegas-in-Venice. This ship attracted a fair amount of attention because it had been left illegally in the harbor for over a year.

We have no word as to what happened to this ship, or how Chams paid for it. Was he a front man? Was the ship purchased by SunCruz?

After 9/11, Makram Chams disappeared, and his store remains shuttered.

Such is the gist Hopsicker's story -- or rather, as much of it as he has chosen to relay to me at this time. (His book "Welcome to Terrorland" may contain further details.)

The FBI does not include any mention of Chams in their publicly-released material on Atta. Of course, we now know (from the Able Danger story and other sources) that Atta did far more in this country than the Authorized Version would have us believe.

Casino ship owner Cham and his disturbing dealings with wealthy Saudis find an echo in the career of Jack Abramoff. Not only was he in the same business, he also has a Saudi connection many will consider unsettling.

As Kate Camborat the TPM Cafe notes, Abramoff did PR work for a Saudi billionaire named Saleh Abdullah Kamel, chairman of the General Council for Islamic Banks.

Kamel sure needed a good PR person. According to a number of published accounts report (which I cannot independently confirm), he has another good buddy -- a fellow named Osama Bin Laden.

Kamel is also the chairman of Dallah al Baraka Group (DBG), which is suspected of having ties to al Qaeda and other extremist groups, and he was also the co-founder and large shareholder of Al Shamal Bank in Sudan, Osama bin Laden's bank of choice from 1983 onward. He was listed as being one of the seven "main individual sponsors of terrorism" in this report by French researcher Jean-Charles Brisard submitted to the UN Security Council in December 2002. (You might remember that Omar al-Bayoumi, who befriended and provided money to two of the 9/11 hijackers, was once an assistant to the Director of Finance for Dallah Avco, a DBG company that works with the Saudi aviation authority. And the WSJ has reported that the United States believes the Dallah al-Baraka Bank, another DBG company, was also used by al-Qaeda.)

Kamel's name also appeared in the "Golden Chain," a roster seized by Bosnian authorities in Sarajevo in March 2002 listing Saudi donors to bin Laden and his associates; and he was named as a defendant in two Sept. 11th related lawsuits: one filed by the victims' families in 2003 and another filed by Cantor Fitzgerald in September 2004 (Although claims of two plaintiffs from the first suit were dismissed, the same claims from other plaintiffs have yet to be.)

One of Kamel's companies, Dallah Avco, made extensive payments (according to a Los Angeles Ties story) to al-Bayoumi, the Saudi who paid rent for the 9/11 hijackers lodging in San Diego. (For more, see here.)

Kamel has denied any connection to Al Qaeda.

All of which brings a couple of questions to mind -- questions which may or may not be related.

Why did Kamel go to Jack Abramoff for help?

And just who was the wealthy Saudi who showed up at Makram Cham's humble pad?

[] [Email it to someone!] [link]

"BOB KOEHLER: 'Hiding from Cindy'" NEXT »
« PREVIOUS "NY Times Tells The Truth! -- Three Times In Three Days!!"

"Atta's Big Gamble. Plus: Jack Abramoff's Link To A Mysterious Saudi -- And Perhaps To Al Qaeda"
(9 comments so far...)

COMMENT #1 [link]
...cHARLIE said on 8/19/2005 @ 9:04am PT...

Nice piece!!!!

When you say this Chams guy dissapeared on Sept 11th.... did he die on one of the planes? or was he escorted by our govenment after Sept 11?

Isn't Sibel Edmunds under a gag order because of evidence also linking Turkish drug money?

Isn't this all just a little to coincidental??

I mean the lead perpatrator for 9/11 was on the SunCruz ship owned by Abromff, the most powerful lobyist for republicans in washington. The republicans don't want any real investigation into 9/11 and are stonewalling the investigaiton by not providing all related materials "able danger". Bush stonewalled any investigation for 441 days. The republican lawyers are protecting Atta's identity.

Is there not enough CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence for any Sherlock Holmes wanna be to say that this administration COULD have been involved directly in 9/11, and that there should be an investigation into these potentially treasoness allegations by people that are not involved.

COMMENT #2 [link]
...Savantster said on 8/19/2005 @ 9:30am PT...

Problem is, no one is getting on TV and showing all the lines between all the people who are involved.. And, no one will... not while they're in bed with Shrubman .. /sigh

The media (read: corperate america and global conglomerates) is complicit in all of this. They want their profits up and Republicans are good for that.. free money from the gov, laxed laws, deregulation.. though, now with the gas crunch on, they might start getting pissy and let Shrubman swing.. that's our only hope (as a nation).. kida sick and sad, isn't it?

COMMENT #3 [link]
...Charlie said on 8/19/2005 @ 12:51pm PT...

Who is shrubman??

BlondeSense: U.S. Held Meetings With Taliban in 2000

BlondeSense: U.S. Held Meetings With Taliban in 2000

Neocons 'More Israeli Than American'

Neocons 'More Israeli Than American'

Neocons 'More Israeli Than American'The recent uproar over Israeli lobbyists passing classified U.S. information to Israel is just the tip of the iceberg. According to this article from Lebanon's Dar Al-Hayat newspaper, high-level U.S. officials have been doing it for years, and continue to do so today.
By Jihad el-KhazenAugust 18, 2005 Dar Al-Hayat - Original Article (English)
If after being accused of spying for Israel, Larry Franklin’s name is now on everyone’s lips, he is certainly not the last of the spies, or the last to be accused of leaking secrets to Israel through its diplomats in Washington.
Larry Franklin: Israeli Agent or American Patriot?
[Editor’s Note: Lawrence Franklin is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, charged with passing information about U.S. policy toward Iran to Israel. He is charged with doing so through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the largest pro-Israel lobbying group in America, while he worked for the Defense Department. Two other employees of that organization face charges that they assisted him in the scandal].
Since 1969, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Michael Ledeen, Douglas Feith, Stephen Bryen and others have been accused (only Jonathan Pollard was imprisoned; he was an idiot and proud of spying for Israel. He kept highly classified documents in briefcases at his home).
[Editor’s Note: Jonathan Pollard is a former United States Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel. In 1986 he received a life sentence].
All of these men entered government, left government and returned again to serve Israel at the expense of American and other interests.
Such talk inevitably invites opposition; so today I’ll confine myself to mentioning the documented comments of Paul Wolfowitz, the king of Israeli apologists.
From Saudi Arabia's Arab News
Wolfowitz was among those who signed a letter to President Bill Clinton in 1998, arguing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and demanding military action to disarm Iraq and depose him.
It is obvious that such a position only served Israel and had nothing to do with subsequent terrorism. The day after the horrible terror of September 11, 2001, the National Security Council met and Wolfowitz called for war against Iraq. It was clear that al-Qaeda was behind the terror, but Wolfowitz was unconcerned about the blood of thousands of Americans; he had found in their killing an opportunity to destroy Iraq.
The military strike against Iran that is now being demanded by the neo-conservative mafia is again designed to serve Israel. Israel is behind the war against Iraq, and petroleum is “greasing” the war machine.
Wolfowitz has always been concerned with the Gulf’s oil, particularly Iraqi oil. On March 27, 2003, he said that “the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but we are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”
Has there ever been a bigger miscalculation? All of the U.S. assistance ($87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan) fell into a bottomless pit, along with Iraq’s oil revenue.
On the eve of the war, Wolfowitz was wrong again. On February 27, 2003, he said about Iraq that “these are Arabs, 23 million of the most educated people in the Arab world, who are going to welcome us as liberators … The notion that we're going to earn more enemies by going in and getting rid of what every Arab knows is one of the worst tyrants, and they have many governing them, is just nonsense.”
Wolfowitz is too smart to have miscalculated or to have been deceived about Iraq; his mafia’s greed for Arab oil is long-standing. In the Defense Planning Guidance document, as published by the Washington Post on February 13, 1990, and as published by the New York Times on February 18, 1992, there is the following:
•“In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil.”
'Zionist World System Whips Arabs in the Name of Reform and Democracy' (Palestine's Al-Ayam)
Wolfowitz’s concern with Iraqi oil continued, and in testimony before the House’s National Security Committee on September 16, 1998, he said:
•“The fabulous - and they are fabulous - oil resources of Iraq are probably greater ultimately than Saudi Arabia, will be ultimately in the control of a government of Free Iraq.
•“Saddam Hussein’s main supporters in the Security Council, France and Russia, I think could be expected to follow their commercial noses when they saw - forgive the mixed metaphors - which way the oil wind was blowing.”
•“If these efforts fail to bring an agreement from Saddam Hussein, then we escalate by striking the infrastructure to include roads, bridges, forts, and other choke points, the electrical grid, their oil refining capability (and) then start taking out their oil wells …”
I think the above is sufficient to try to convict Wolfowitz; the entire mafia has been convicted in my own personal court. Readers should not have missed how talk of oil preceded our present period of terrorism by several years, and was used along with WMD and Saddam’s alleged ties to al-Qaeda to occupy Iraq and steal its oil.
Wolfowitz accuses France and Russia of being concerned with oil, acknowledging that these concerns are openly expressed. Readers should look for the names of Iraqi officials now responsible for oil and issuing contracts, in order to learn of the Iraqi neo-conservatives that are part of this conspiracy, people that came riding American tanks to plunder their own country.
This gang has also destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure, just as Wolfowitz described it in 1998; all except the petroleum infrastructure, which along with Israel was one of the biggest reasons for the war. On March 28, 2003, he boasted that “we were able to get substantial control over the southern oil fields before Saddam Hussein was able to create the kind of environmental disaster that he was planning to do.”
But the biggest disaster is what happened to Iraq after liberation. I never in my life imagined, and I opposed Saddam Hussein from the beginning to the end, that Iraq would experience a situation worse than under the ignorant dictator’s rule.
The situation in Iraq today is worse and the only people who deny this are those who returned from exile with the ‘liberation,’ which turned into occupation. Israel’s neo-conservative mafia should be tried by the International Court of Justice for their war crimes. This is more important than trying them for spying for or leaking documents to Israel. The strange thing is that they’re only now being “discovered,” because they were always Israeli before they were Americans.
VIDEO FROM THE MUSLIM WORLD: SADDAM'S JUDGE— Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai): Presiding Judge in the Saddam Hussein Trial Reveals Details of Charges, Discusses the Danger of His Job, Aug. 8, 00:04:07, MEMRI
"I do not fear my fate, but if they assassinate me, they should have a reason first. In any case, life is in the hands of Allah."

Bush Stole 2000 Election, 2004 Election and They'll Do It Again

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth

High-Ranking Army Officer - Missile Hit Pentagon Radiation Expert Claims High-Radiation Readings Near Pentagon After 9/11 Indicates Depleted Uranium Used.

High-Ranking Army Officer - Missile Hit Pentagon Radiation Expert Claims High-Radiation Readings Near Pentagon After 9/11 Indicates Depleted Uranium Used.