Key News: FBI's Anthrax Attack Science Criticized, Jose Padilla Lawsuit Quashed, False Iraq War Pretext, More
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Below are key excerpts of important news articles on the National Academy of Science's critique of the weak science used by the FBI in blaming Bruce Ivins for the anthrax attacks, the quashing of Jose Padilla's lawsuit alleging torture by the US government, the admission of CIA informant "Curveball" that he lied in claiming Iraq had WMD, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
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Expert Panel Is Critical of F.B.I. Work in Investigating Anthrax Letters
February 16, 2011, New York Times
A review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s scientific work on the investigation of the anthrax letters of 2001 concludes that the bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins, the Army microbiologist whom the investigators blamed for the attacks. The review, by a panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences, says the genetic analysis “did not definitively demonstrate” that the mailed anthrax spores were grown from a sample taken from Dr. Ivins’s laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. The academy’s report faults the F.B.I. as failing to take advantage of scientific methods developed between the mailings in 2001 and its conclusion after Dr. Ivins’s suicide in 2008 that he was the sole perpetrator. The academy panel, which was paid $1.1 million by the F.B.I. for its review, assessed only the scientific aspects of the investigation and not the traditional detective work. Representative Rush D. Holt, a New Jersey Democrat and physicist who has followed the case, said he thought the academy’s review showed that “the F.B.I. attached too much certainty to the scientific parts of the case.” “I also think it shows the case was closed prematurely,” Mr. Holt said. He said he was reintroducing a bill to create a national commission, similar to the Sept. 11 panel, to take a more comprehensive look at the anthrax case and its implications.
Note: The government has seemed eager to pin this on Ivins, when evidence appears to point to the U.S. military. For more strange evidence on anthrax and dead researchers, click here.
Jose Padilla lawsuit against Pentagon thrown out in US
February 17, 2011, BBC
A US judge has quashed a lawsuit by an American who said he was illegally detained and repeatedly tortured for three years in a US navy jail. Jose Padilla was seeking to sue current US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, for violating the constitution. Judge Richard Gergel ruled that US laws did not offer clear guidelines on the detention of enemy combatants. Any trial, he wrote, would be "an international spectacle with Padilla, a convicted terrorist, summoning America's present and former leaders to a federal courthouse to answer his charges". Ben Wizner, the litigation director at the American Civil Liberties Union, called Thursday's ruling "troubling". "The court today held that Donald Rumsfeld is above the law and Jose Padilla is beneath it," he said in a statement. "But if the law does not protect Jose Padilla, it protects none of us, and the executive branch can simply label citizens enemies of the state and strip them of all rights, including the absolute right not to be tortured."
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government threats to civil liberties, click here.
Iraqi Says He Made Up Tale of Biological Weapons Before War
February 16, 2011, New York Times
The Iraqi defector whose claims that Saddam Hussein’s government had biological weapons became part of the Bush administration’s justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq has admitted that he fabricated his story. The defector, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who was code-named “Curveball” by the Central Intelligence Agency and German intelligence officials, told the British newspaper The Guardian on [February 15] that he had concocted his tale that Iraq was hiding mobile bioweapons laboratories. The strange case of “Curveball” has become one of the most infamous episodes in the Bush administration’s case for war. Mr. Janabi’s claim about the mobile laboratories was featured prominently in Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s address to the United Nations in February 2003, when he laid out the administration’s case that Mr. Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction. The United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, and eventually determined that Iraq did not have any such weapons. It later became clear that the Bush administration had relied heavily on bogus information from unreliable exiles like Mr. Janabi.
Note: For background information on "Curveball" in the runup to the Iraq war, click here.
WikiLeaks: U.S. Spied on NATO's Top Official
February 11, 2011, CBS News/Associated Press
Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables appear to show that the United States has been snooping on NATO's top official using secret sources on his own staff. Confidential cables from the U.S. mission to NATO released [on February 11] by WikiLeaks, ... said American diplomats received information on the private conversations of Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen from "a member of the NATO international staff." Instead of the staffer's name, the phrase "strictly protect" was inserted in a cable dated Sept. 10, 2009. The cable dealt with Fogh Rasmussen's proposal to improve ties with Russia by establishing contacts with the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-dominated security alliance. The cable was signed off by U.S. ambassador Ivo Daalder. There has been no known [previous] case in the past of a nation spying on the secretary-general.
War veteran, 71, dragged out for staging silent protest during Hilary Clinton address... on freedom of speech
February 19, 2011, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
A 71-year-old war veteran today claimed he was left 'bruised and bloodied' after being violently dragged out of a speech by Hilary Clinton. Ray McGovern, who was a CIA analyst for 27 years, staged a 'silent protest' during the Secretary of State's talk on the importance of freedom of speech in the internet age yesterday. In it she referred to the uprising in Egypt and commented on how people should be allowed to protest in peace without fear of threat or violence. She also condemned governments who arrest protesters and do not allow free expression. But during the speech at George Washington university, Mr McGovern claims his silent protest was met with just that - threats and violence. Wearing a 'Veterans for Peace' t-shirt, the 71-year-old stood up and turned around to face the back of the room, when two men grabbed him and dragged him out of the room. He said he was 'roughed up' by police for his actions and needed medical attention. The veteran said he was protesting the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fact that 'these people are pursuing policies which make people suffer and die, particularly in the Middle East'. As well as a former CIA analyst, Mr McGovern also carried out the daily intelligence briefing for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
Note: We don't usually consider the UK's Daily Mail a reliable source, but as they were the only media source we could find which covered this sad occurence, we've used them here. See the link above for photos of bruises Mr. McGovern suffered at the hands of police. For more on the courageous Mr. McGovern, click here.
It's a bird! It's a spy! It's both
February 17, 2011, Los Angeles Times
A pocket-size drone dubbed the Nano Hummingbird for the way it flaps its tiny robotic wings has been developed for the Pentagon by a Monrovia company as a mini-spy plane capable of maneuvering on the battlefield and in urban areas. The battery-powered drone was built by AeroVironment Inc. for [DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,] the Pentagon's research arm, as part of a series of experiments in nanotechnology. The little flying machine is built to look like a bird for potential use in spy missions. Equipped with a camera, the drone can fly at speeds of up to 11 miles per hour. It can hover and fly sideways, backward and forward, as well as go clockwise and counterclockwise. It also demonstrates the promise of fielding mini-spy planes. Industry insiders see the technology eventually being capable of flying through open windows or sitting on power lines, capturing audio and video while enemies would be none the wiser. With a wingspan of 6.5 inches, the mini-drone weighs 19 grams, or less than a AA battery. The Hummingbird's guts are made up of motors, communications systems and a video camera. It is slightly larger than the average hummingbird.
Note: Remember that secret government research is usually at least 10 years in advance of anything that has been announced publicly. For more on the hummingbird drone, click here.
Inside Job: how bankers caused the financial crisis
February 17, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Charles Ferguson's film Inside Job ... explains why so little has been done to reform the financial world or bring criminal prosecutions against the main protagonists [of the financial crash that began in 2008]. His villainous lineup includes bankers, politicians (many of whom were previously bankers), regulators, the credit ratings agencies and academics. In Inside Job, the name that keeps cropping up is Larry Summers, a friend of President Bill Clinton and more recently Barack Obama. Summers exemplifies the links between cheerleaders in academia, Wall Street, supine regulators and an ignorant Capitol Hill that Ferguson stresses were at the root of the problem. Still, no matter how much it is explained, the general public is not going to understand. How does one go into battle yelling slogans about credit default swaps? The bankers know ignorance is their trump card. Maybe Inside Job will make us more savvy in time for the next crash.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable souces on the criminality of the major financial firms, regulatory agencies and politicians which led to the global financial crisis and Greater Depression, click here.
Doctors, nurses, execs among record number charged with Medicare fraud
February 17, 2011, CNN
Federal authorities indicted and arrested more than 100 doctors, nurses and health care executives nationwide [on February 17] in what officials said was the biggest crackdown ever in a single day in connection with Medicare fraud. The arrests occurred in nine cities. Thirty-two defendants including two doctors and eight nurses were charged in Miami with various fraud schemes. Another 21 defendants were charged in Detroit, along with 11 in Chicago; 10 in Brooklyn, New York; 10 in Tampa, Florida; nine in Houston; seven in Dallas; six in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and five in Los Angeles. Officials from the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services said the cost of enforcing health care fraud laws is proving to be a good financial investment. Last year, federal agencies recovered a record $4 billion from fraudsters. "From 2008 to 2010, every dollar the federal government spent under its health care fraud and abuse control programs averaged a return on investment (of) $6.80," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.
Note: For powerful information from a top MD exposing how many in the health care industry put profits above public health and put us all at risk, click here.
Military Veterans File Suit Over Rape Claims
February 15, 2011, CBS News/Associated Press
More than a dozen U.S. veterans who say they were raped or assaulted by comrades filed a class-action suit in federal court [on February 15] attempting to force the Pentagon to change how it handles such cases. The current and former service members - 15 women and two men - describe circumstances in which servicemen allegedly got away with rape and other sexual abuse while their victims were ordered to continue to serve with them. The alleged attackers in the lawsuit include an Army criminal investigator and an Army National Guard commander. The abuse alleged ranges from obscene verbal abuse to gang rape. "The problem of rape in the military is not only service members getting raped, but it's the entire way that the military as a whole is dealing with it," said Panayiota Bertzikis, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit and claims she was raped in 2006. "From survivors having to be involuntarily discharged from service, the constant verbal abuse, once a survivor does come forward your entire unit is known to turn their back on you. The entire culture needs to be changed."
Google Comes Under Fire for 'Secret' Relationship with NSA
January 25, 2011, Yahoo News/PC World
Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group largely focused in recent years on Google's privacy practices, has called [for] a congressional investigation into the Internet giant's "cozy" relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama's administration. In a letter sent [on January 24], Consumer Watchdog asked Representative Darrell Issa, the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to investigate the relationship between Google and several government agencies. "We believe Google has inappropriately benefited from close ties to the administration," the letter said. "It should not get special treatment and access because of a special relationship with the administration." Consumer Watchdog's latest complaints about the relationship of Google and the Obama administration are outlined in a 32-page report [which] questions Google's relationship with the U.S. National Security Agency and calls for the company to be more open about what consumer information it shares with the spy agency.
CIA Director Leon Panetta Warns of Possible Cyber-Pearl Harbor
February 11, 2011, ABC News
Top U.S. intelligence officials have raised concerns about the growing vulnerability the United States faces from cyberwarfare threats and malicious computer activity that CIA Director Leon Panetta said "represents the battleground for the future." "The potential for the next Pearl Harbor could very well be a cyber-attack," he testified on Capitol Hill [on February 10] before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Panetta provided a stark assessment for the intelligence committee. "If you have a cyber-attack that brings down our power-grid system, brings down our financial system, brings down our government systems, you could paralyze this country," he said. U.S officials from the National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have actively been working the emerging cybersecurity threats. The military activated U.S. Cyber Command last year to coordinate the military's cyberspace resources.
Note: For more articles from reliable sources on the construction of a total surveillance state, click here.
Study: Many defibrillator implants went to marginal candidates
January 5, 2011, CNN
More than 20% of patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator -- a high-tech device that produces electrical impulses to regulate heartbeats and prevent life-threatening arrhythmias -- in recent years were not good candidates to receive the device, a new study suggests. Researchers at Duke University looked at more than 111,000 patients who received ICD implants between 2006 and 2009. More than 25,000 of those patients did not meet evidence-based criteria for receiving the device, according to the study. The risk of dying in the hospital was significantly higher for patients who received the ICD but did not meet the criteria, and 1 out of 121 patients in this category experienced complications following the implant, the study found. Dr. Robert Michler, chairman of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center, said the data should act as a "wake-up call" for physicians, surgeons and patients. "Doctors are well-intentioned, but not all doctors should be determining the use of what is a very sophisticated therapy," Michler says. He says that in this case electophysiologists should be making the final determination if the patient needs the device.
Note: For powerful information from a top MD on how the profit motive corrupts the medical industry and endangers our health, click here.
Give Something Back plans to give even more
February 14, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Give Something Back is celebrating 20 years in business by seeking to triple its size within five years (from $28 million in sales to $100 million) and expand into new categories such as break-room supplies (coffee and snacks), managed print services (toner, paper, repairs and networking), office furniture and janitorial and sanitation products. In most respects, Give Something Back, which says it is the largest privately owned office supply firm on the West Coast, is a regular company. But its underlying premise sets it apart. Inspired by the example of Newman's Own food products, Mike Hannigan and Sean Marx started Give Something Back in Hannigan's living room in 1991 to "use the marketplace to create wealth on behalf of the community," as Hannigan put it. "I loved the idea of being able to combine what I do for work with improving the quality of life in the world I live in," said Marx. Since inception, Give Something Back has donated more than $5 million to a diverse array of nonprofits. Last year, for the first time, its annual donations topped $500,000. It helped pioneer the concept of B (for beneficial) corporations, companies that incorporate social or environmental missions into their charters. About 371 companies nationwide have signed up as B corporations.
Key Articles From Years Past
Has someone been sitting on the FBI?
November 6, 2001, BBC
GREG PALAST: The CIA and Saudi Arabia, the Bushes and the Bin Ladens. Did their connections cause America to turn a blind eye to terrorism? UNNAMED MAN: There is a hidden agenda at the very highest levels of our government. PETER ELSNER: How can it be that the former President of the US and the current President of the US have business dealings with characters that need to be investigated? PALAST: In the eight weeks since the attacks, over 1,000 suspects and potential witnesses have been detained. Yet, just days after the hijackers took off from Boston aiming for the Twin Towers, a special charter flight out of the same airport whisked 11 members of Osama Bin Laden's family off to Saudi Arabia. That did not concern the White House. Their official line is that the Bin Ladens are above suspicion - apart from Osama, the black sheep, who they say hijacked the family name. That's fortunate for the Bush family and the Saudi royal household, whose links with the Bin Ladens could otherwise prove embarrassing. But Newsnight has obtained evidence that the FBI was on the trail of other members of the Bin Laden family for links to terrorist organisations before and after September 11th. This document is marked "Secret". Case ID - 199-Eye WF 213 589. 199 is FBI code for case type. 9 would be murder. 65 would be espionage. 199 means national security. WF indicates Washington field office special agents were investigating ABL. ABL is Abdullah Bin Laden.
Note: For a Washington Post article showing that former President George H.W. Bush was meeting with a brother of Osama bin Laden the day before 9/11, click here. For lots more on the unanswered questions about the official account of 9/11, click here and here.
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