Wednesday, September 16, 2009
In the last few days Glenn Beck and the Washington Times have forced Van Jones to resign as environmentalist "green jobs" adviser to the White House. His principal offense: having signed a 2004 Statement from 911truth.org calling for a new investigation of the events of 9/11.
This is a moment of truth for all who want America to be an open society. As the Los Angeles Times reported on September 8, "Other conservatives, smelling blood in the water, are sharpening their knives." Why should they not? The White House has just capitulated to a dishonest attack claiming that Jones, because he signed the 911truth Statement, "thinks the Bush administration blew up the World Trade Centers and covered it up." You can check Beck's capacity for accuracy by comparing this claim to the relevant call in the Statement itself: "for immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war."
Supporting Beck are authors like Charles Krauthammer, arguing that “truthers” – those of us who signed the 911truth statement -- are creating “a hallucinatory alternative reality in the service of a fathomless malice.”
In the wake of these attacks, three of the original hundred signers -- Van Jones, the environmentalist Paul Hawken and Jodie Evans of Code Pink -- have asked that their signatures on the 911truth Statement be removed. I am hoping that numbers of other responsible community leaders will stem this flight from rational inquiry by coming forward to sign the statement at this time.
In fact, nine such individuals have done so already at Salon.com. In "Would you still sign the 9/11 Truth petition?", reporter Vincent Rossmeier contacted 30 of the original signatories and asked, simply, "If you had to do it all over again, would you still sign the statement?" Of the responses published, all but two "expressed their full-fledged support for the petition." Several of these people not only reaffirmed their endorsement of the statement, but went on to put forward clear arguments supported by overwhelming facts as to why they now do so.
I am one of the university professors who signed the Statement. One of the many reasons I did so was because of my awareness that Vice-President Cheney had given two conflicting accounts as to whether he was in the White House bunker in precisely the crucial minutes when the most important orders of that day (including the institution of so-called "Continuity of Government" measures which continue to this day) were issued from that place. I discuss this in my book The Road to 9/11 (University of California Press, 2007), pp. 200-03, 228-30, of which the following draft excerpt is available on the Internet:
Cheney himself told Tim Russert of "Meet the Press" on September 16, 2001, in an interview still available five years later on the White House website, that he arrived in the PEOC before the Pentagon was hit, i.e. before 9:37 AM.15 But the 9/11 Report follows a later and very different account in Newsweek, based on an interview with Cheney, which now had him leave his office at 9:35 and arrive in the PEOC "shortly before 10 a.m." We shall see that new evidence, which only surfaced in 2006, corroborates Cheney's first story, and makes his revised time-table extremely unlikely. Clearly one of Cheney's two accounts of his arrival (before 9:37, and around 9:58) must be wrong. Moreover what is at stake is not trivial. Important orders were issued in this hour from the PEOC: one alleged order (whose content is uncertain) which Mineta claims to have heard about 9:30, a second order to ground all planes at about 9:45, and a third tripartite order (which according to Clarke included a shoot-down order) at about 9:50. By Mineta's account, corroborated by Clarke, Cheney had arrived in the PEOC in time to give all three of these orders; by Cheney's second account, he arrived after all three were given.
The case for a new investigation of 9/11 is now far stronger than it was in 2004, because even those responsible for the 9/11 Commission inquiry have since complained that it was flawed. The two co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, noted in their book, Without Precedent, that they were given insufficient time and "a dramatically insufficient [initial] budget of $3 million." Later they wrote in the New York Times (January 2, 2008) that the CIA "failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. [and] obstructed our investigation."
The Washington Post (August 2, 2006) has reported that "Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission."
Lee Hamilton has also said that "I don't believe for a minute we got everything right", that the Commission was set up to fail, that people should keep asking questions about 9/11, that the 9/11 debate should continue, and that the 9/11 Commission report was only "the first draft" of history."
Louis Freeh, FBI Director at the time, has written that
"Even the most junior investigator would immediately know that the name and photo ID of [lead 9/11 hijacker Mohammed] Atta in 2000 is precisely the kind of tactical intelligence the FBI has many times employed to prevent attacks and arrest terrorists. Yet the 9/11 Commission inexplicably concluded that it 'was not historically significant.' This astounding conclusion--in combination with the failure to investigate Able Danger and incorporate it into its findings--raises serious challenges to the commission's credibility and, if the facts prove out, might just render the commission historically insignificant itself. No wonder the 9/11 families were outraged by these revelations and called for a 'new' commission" (Wall Street Journal 11/17/05)
And Rutgers Law School-Newark Dean John Farmer, Senior Counsel and Team Leader to the 9/11 Commission states in his newly released book, The Ground Truth,
"At some level of government,at some point in time, a decision was made not to tell the truth about the national response to the attacks on the morning of 9/11. We owe the truth to the families of the victims of 9/11. We owe it to the American public as well, because only by understanding what has gone wrong in the past can we assure our nation's safety in the future."
In addition to these community leaders' signatures, 40 family members of 9/11 victims signed the 2004 Truth Statement. The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission submitted hundreds of questions to the 9/11 Commission as it began its investigation. Although Commissioner Jamie Gorelick told the family members their questions would be used as a "road map" for the investigation, the Family Steering Committee's report, "FSC Questions to the 9/11 Commission with Ratings of its Performance in Providing Answers" found the overwhelming majority of questions were not only left unanswered but were not even addressed in the final 9/11 Commission Report.
I appeal to readers to help ensure that the doubters of the official 9/11 story will not be bullied into silence.
The real issue is to defeat the campaign of media hitmen to punish people who want to know the truth about their country. If you agree, please go to www.911truth.org to read the 2009 Truth Statement and add your name to the voices of those who have signed the 2004 Statement.
My Flower to Bush, the Occupier
The Story of My Shoe
By MUTADHAR al-ZAIDI
Mutadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi who threw his shoe at George Bush gave this speech on his recent release.
In the name of God, the most gracious and most merciful.
Here I am, free. But my country is still a prisoner of war.
Firstly, I give my thanks and my regards to everyone who stood beside me, whether inside my country, in the Islamic world, in the free world. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act.
But, simply, I answer: What compelled me to confront is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.
And how it wanted to crush the skulls of (the homeland's) sons under its boots, whether sheikhs, women, children or men. And during the past few years, more than a million martyrs fell by the bullets of the occupation and the country is now filled with more than 5 million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. And many millions of homeless because of displacement inside and outside the country.
We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shiite would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ, may peace be upon him. And despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than 10 years, for more than a decade.
Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. Until we were invaded by the illusion of liberation that some had. (The occupation) divided one brother from another, one neighbor from another, and the son from his uncle. It turned our homes into never-ending funeral tents. And our graveyards spread into parks and roadsides. It is a plague. It is the occupation that is killing us, that is violating the houses of worship and the sanctity of our homes and that is throwing thousands daily into makeshift prisons.
I am not a hero, and I admit that. But I have a point of view and I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated. And to see my Baghdad burned. And my people being killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, and this weighs on me every day and pushes me toward the righteous path, the path of confrontation, the path of rejecting injustice, deceit and duplicity. It deprived me of a good night's sleep.
Dozens, no, hundreds, of images of massacres that would turn the hair of a newborn white used to bring tears to my eyes and wound me. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Fallujah, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. In the past years, I traveled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and hear with my own ears the screams of the bereaved and the orphans. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.
And as soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies of the Iraqis, and while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the traces of the blood of victims that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.
The opportunity came, and I took it.
I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.
I say to those who reproach me: Do you know how many broken homes that shoe that I threw had entered because of the occupation? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? And how many times it had entered homes in which free Iraqi women and their sanctity had been violated? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.
When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.
After six years of humiliation, of indignity, of killing and violations of sanctity, and desecration of houses of worship, the killer comes, boasting, bragging about victory and democracy. He came to say goodbye to his victims and wanted flowers in response.
Put simply, that was my flower to the occupier, and to all who are in league with him, whether by spreading lies or taking action, before the occupation or after.
I wanted to defend the honor of my profession and suppressed patriotism on the day the country was violated and its high honor lost. Some say: Why didn't he ask Bush an embarrassing question at the press conference, to shame him? And now I will answer you, journalists. How can I ask Bush when we were ordered to ask no questions before the press conference began, but only to cover the event. It was prohibited for any person to question Bush.
And in regard to professionalism: The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism were to speak out, then professionalism should be allied with it.
I take this opportunity: If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I caused the establishment, I wish to apologize to you for any embarrassment I may have caused those establishments. All that I meant to do was express with a living conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day.
History mentions many stories where professionalism was also compromised at the hands of American policymakers, whether in the assassination attempt against Fidel Castro by booby-trapping a TV camera that CIA agents posing as journalists from Cuban TV were carrying, or what they did in the Iraqi war by deceiving the general public about what was happening. And there are many other examples that I won't get into here.
But what I would like to call your attention to is that these suspicious agencies -- the American intelligence and its other agencies and those that follow them -- will not spare any effort to track me down (because I am) a rebel opposed to their occupation. They will try to kill me or neutralize me, and I call the attention of those who are close to me to the traps that these agencies will set up to capture or kill me in various ways, physically, socially or professionally.
And at the time that the Iraqi prime minister came out on satellite channels to say that he didn't sleep until he had checked in on my safety, and that I had found a bed and a blanket, even as he spoke I was being tortured with the most horrific methods: electric shocks, getting hit with cables, getting hit with metal rods, and all this in the backyard of the place where the press conference was held. And the conference was still going on and I could hear the voices of the people in it. And maybe they, too, could hear my screams and moans.
In the morning, I was left in the cold of winter, tied up after they soaked me in water at dawn. And I apologize for Mr. Maliki for keeping the truth from the people. I will speak later, giving names of the people who were involved in torturing me, and some of them were high-ranking officials in the government and in the army.
I didn't do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to defend my country, and that is a legitimate cause confirmed by international laws and divine rights. I wanted to defend a country, an ancient civilization that has been desecrated, and I am sure that history -- especially in America -- will state how the American occupation was able to subjugate Iraq and Iraqis, until its submission.
They will boast about the deceit and the means they used in order to gain their objective. It is not strange, not much different from what happened to the Native Americans at the hands of colonialists. Here I say to them (the occupiers) and to all who follow their steps, and all those who support them and spoke up for their cause: Never.
Because we are a people who would rather die than face humiliation.
And, lastly, I say that I am independent. I am not a member of any politicalparty, something that was said during torture -- one time that I'm far-right, another that I'm a leftist. I am independent of any political party, and my future efforts will be in civil service to my people and to any who need it, without waging any political wars, as some said that I would.
My efforts will be toward providing care for widows and orphans, and all those whose lives were damaged by the occupation. I pray for mercy upon the souls of the martyrs who fell in wounded Iraq, and for shame upon those who occupied Iraq and everyone who assisted them in their abominable acts. And I pray for peace upon those who are in their graves, and those who are oppressed with the chains of imprisonment. And peace be upon you who are patient and looking to God for release.
And to my beloved country I say: If the night of injustice is prolonged, it will not stop the rising of a sun and it will be the sun of freedom.
One last word. I say to the government: It is a trust that I carry from my fellow detainees. They said, 'Muntadhar, if you get out, tell of our plight to the omnipotent powers' -- I know that only God is omnipotent and I pray to Him -- 'remind them that there are dozens, hundreds, of victims rotting in prisons because of an informant's word.'
They have been there for years, they have not been charged or tried.
They've only been snatched up from the streets and put into these prisons. And now, in front of you, and in the presence of God, I hope they can hear me or see me. I have now made good on my promise of reminding the government and the officials and the politicians to look into what's happening inside the prisons. The injustice that's caused by the delay in the judicial system.
Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you
The translation is by McClatchy’s special correspondent, Sahar Issa.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Lebanese student pilot Ziad Jarrah, according to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the "911 Commission," was said to have been the pilot of the United Airlines Boeing 757-200 that crashed into the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on the morning of September 11, 2001.
WMR has previously reported that based on numerous sources within the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Air Force, United 93 was shot down by the Air Force over Pennsylvania by two F-16s. A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle was also in the vicinity of the doomed Boeing 757 and crashed where the large passenger plane was reported to have crashed.
In a compendium to the 9/11 Commission report titled, "Terrorist Travel," which contains travel documents allegedly used by the hijackers, a photograph of the U.S. visa of Ziad Jarreh is shown. The visa is said to have survived the crash of the Boeing 757 but miraculously, the fireball from the exploding aircraft managed to save that part of the visa that shows Jarrah's head shot photograph and part of his visa number.
Jarrah was born in Lebanon to Sunni Muslim parents but volunteered much of his time working with disabled and orphaned children at a Catholic school and church. There has been much speculation about whether Jarrah was ever a member of Mohamed Atta's "Hamburg cell" and whether he even boarded United flight 93 on 9/11. His background was remarkably secular.
However, based on videos of questionable origin and the visa from the crash site in Pennsylvania, spared from total obliteration by what can only be described as an "intelligent fire," is all the FBI had to conclude that Jarrah was the hijack team pilot of Flight 93. German authorities never obtained any evidence linking Jarrah to the Hamburg cell of Atta and the other accused hijackers.
Atta's visa (above) and Ziad Jarrah (below). The fire from the explosion of United 93 apparently "stopped on a dime" and left Jarrah's photo and U.S. visa number largely intact, largely proving to the FBI that he was the pilot of the hijacked airliner. All that. of course, if the 9/11 Commission is to be believed. Six out of the nine members of the commission believe that they were lied to and sandbagged by the Bush administration and top government officials. Click here for enlargement.
The following is excerpted from the 9/11 Commission report on the hijackers' travel documents:
May 25  -- Ziad Jarrah, a native of Lebanon, applied for and received a five-year B-1/B-2 (tourist/business) visa in Berlin. The consular officer who issued the visa could not recall whether he interviewed Jarrah. However, our review of Berlin visa policy for third-country nationals suggests that Jarrah was a strong visa candidate, given his long residence in Germany (approximately four years), academic involvement in Germany (at two universities), and Lebanese nationality. Third-country nationals with more than two0 years of residency in Germany met a threshold for visa approval. The officer who adjudicated his visa has stated that wealthy Lebanese families often send their children to school in Germany as a way to keep them out of the Middle East turmoil, and that Jarrah looked like one of those wealthy expatriates."
Not only was Jarrah a model visa candidate in the eyes of the Berlin consular officer but the visa issued would have a charmed existence, surviving a fiery plane crash to reveal Jarrah's photo and visa number.
And not only did the Berlin consular officer have a faulty memory in his interview of Jarreh but the Lebanese national's visa application was destroyed by the State Department along with those of other hijackers. From page 45 of the 9/11 travel document compendium:
"Of the 23 hijacker visa applications, five were destroyed routinely along with other documents before 9/11 and before their significance was known. The visa applications of Nawaz al Hazmi, Kahlid al Mihdhar (in 1999), Mohamed Atta, Marwan al Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah were destroyed."
The report does not state what "other documents" were destroyed by the State Department prior to 9/11. Nor does the report explain why it was "routine" to destroy visa applications for visitors who were still in the United States.
The report does state that Jarrah's electronic record of Jarrah's visa application still existed at the State Department, along with his photo. Of course, electronic records are easily manipulated. The report states: "DOS record, NIV Applicant Detail of Ziad Jarrah, Nov. 8, 2001. Jarrah's original visa application was destroyed, but an electronic record, including his photograph, remains in the State Department's electronic records. A partly-burned copy of Jarrah's U.S. visa, recovered from the crash scene of Flight 93, is attached in Appendix A."
The report states that a "burned copy" of Jarrah's visa was found at the crash scene. However, such a visa would have been the original visa and attached to a page in Jarrah's Lebanese passport. The photo clearly shows what appears to be other passport pages behind the original visa.
There is an interesting footnote to the strange saga of Ziad Jarrah. Last year, two Lebanese brothers -- Ali Jarrah and Youssef Jarrah -- were arrested by Lebanese authorities who linked the pair to an espionage cell responsible for the car bombing assassination of Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus in February 2008. The Jarrah's were found by the Lebanese Army in possession of "communication devices and other sophisticated equipment."
The Jarrahs arrested by the Lebanese had been recruited by the Mossad in the 1980s when Israel occupied a large section of Lebanon. And for a Paul Harvey-like "rest of the story," they are related to Ziad Jarreh, the man who was said to have been a close associate and fellow hijacking planner of Mohamed Atta and whose American visa was found with photo and visa number largely intact in a field in Pennsylvania on 9/11.
Monday, September 14, 2009
A virologist who has been researching the A/H1N1 virus has concluded after months of research that the "novel" influenza was re-assorted in a laboratory from eight genes consisting of avian, swine and human type influenza A virus.
The scientist does not believe, based on intensive laboratory research of the A/H1N1 virus, that its sudden appearance in Mexico this past Spring was a natural occurrence.
The reassortment of viruses occurs when one or more complete genes are exchanged enabling the virus to adapt to a new host. An example is when the avian virus switches gene with a human virus. In the case of A/H1N1, three genes were exchanged, from avian, swine, and human influenza viruses, resulting in the ressortant virus now expected to launch another deadly wave of infections in early October.
There are also signs that adaptation leading to mutation has occurred in the A/H1N1 strain. Several cases of mutated A/H1N1 have been reported from around the globe rendering treatment with anti-A/H1N1 drugs and A/H1N1 vaccines ineffective.
Adaptation takes place when a small change takes place in the virus and sometimes that can be one amino acid alteration. The adaptation permits the virus to thrive in its new host. A/H1N1 is believed to be a laboratory strain because a specific amino acid was discovered that appears to have made several passage in eggs. The vaccine industry usually amplifies viruses by isolating them in eggs and after several passages, the mutation can be discovered.
The mutation of A/H1N1 has been discovered by our virologist source to have been more rapid than is naturally possible. The following is what was described in scientific terms about the rate of mutation of A/H1N1:
"Mutation takes time to occur, up to the rate of amino acid substitution. For example, for HA gene, or "duck virus," HA has a substitution rate about 3 x 10e-4 per site per year which is slower compare to human and swine HA (about 10e-3 per site per year). If the total nucleotide number in influenza A virus HA is 1,700, then it takes three years for making a single change in the duck virus, or 1.7 year in the case of human and swine virus."
The natural rate of mutation for a complete gene mutation, according to the virologist, takes "thousand of years to be established."
As far as the reassortant A/H1N1 virus is concerned, there is a fear that a human was used as a laboratory "guinea pig" to permit the exchange of genes between humans, pigs, and fowl. The reasoning is that an individual was infected by avian, human and swine virus simultaneously, and the viruses exchanged genes inside the individual's body, creating a new virus having mixed genes and then rapidly spreading to others.
Herein lies the suspicions concerning the purposeful creation of A/H1N1 and its infection of a human host. WMR's virologist source stated:
"The host should have efficient receptor for those three different derived hosts. So far, human virus tends to infect human, because it is suited to a human receptor. Avian virus tends to infect birds, because it is suited to bird receptors. Pigs have both human and avian type receptors, so it is believed that pig serves as the 'mixing vessel'. However, some researchers tried to prove the 'mixing vessel' theory by trying to infect pigs with human and avian viruses to create a reassortant virus."
The test involving the infection of pigs with reassortant human and avian viruses failed.
While it is common for pigs to become infected with human and avian viruses but there are no reports that pigs shed the reassortant A/H1N1 virus and infected new hosts, either human or bird.
What is known is that the first A/H1N1 virus was found in a human. Although some pigs and turkeys were infected with the A/H1N1 virus by farm workers, there is no evidence that the opposite occured.
Reassortant genes also require ancestor viruses. According to the virologist:
"If you check the phylogenetic tree, it shows the NA and M genes derived from avian virus, PB1 from human H3N2; other genes (PB2, PA, HA, NP, NS) from swine triple reassortant, swine H1N2 and Eurasian swine (H1N1/H3N2). The triple reassortant swine actually derived from human H3N2 which infected pigs, and has been circulating in North America for at least 20 years. When people say it is 'swine virus,' it's actually human virus."
It has also been discovered that suspected ancestor viruses are coming from old isolates. The NA gene comes from a 1996-2001 isolate, the M gene from 1990-1993 isolates, and the others even older, somewhere between 1979 to 1980's isolates. The consensus virologist community contends that the A/H1N1 virus has been in existence for over twenty years without ever being detected. WMR's virologist states that it is impossible for a virus existing for twenty years without being detected given the amount of virus medical surveillance that takes place around the world.
The virologist has not detected any evidence of 1918 influenza RNA/DNA in A/H1N1. However, the 1918 flu, like A/H1N1, began in a first wave in the spring and came back with a vengeance in October. The 1918 flu killed an estimated 50 million people around the world. Although no genetic evidence of a link to 1918 flu has been discovered by the virologist, the same scientist who has conducted research into A/H1N1 and may have received DNA samples from the buried corpse of an Inuit woman in Fort Brevig, Alaska who died of the pandemic in 1918 is also financially linked to an A/H1N1 vaccine firm.
The virologist has asked an alarming question about A/H1N1, "How can you mix avian, human and pig virus at one time? The viruses must have come from Europe, America and Asia, without any detection?"The virologist adds, "the virus emerged suddenly in Mexico. I can't explain how. I wish I could. For me as a virologist, it's impossible . . . on the other hand, technology can create any kind of virus you want."