The Daily Show: Baracknophobia By Manila Ryce

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce

The Largest Minority
Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Any regular reader of this blog knows that the internet is a horrible place filled with nothing but wild accusations and rumor. The cable news networks are right. Perhaps we ought to leave the irresponsible reporting up to the experts in the corporate media who’ve had a monopoly for decades.

Continue reading

Countdown: The Fear Card + McCain Flip Flops & Sides With Big Oil

Dandelion Salad

videocafeblog
June 17, 2008

The Fear Card

Keith reports on the lastest to come out of the McCain camp where a couple of Bush’s neocons attacked Obama for his remarks about the Supreme Court’s ruling in detainees. Richard Wolffe weighs in. Continue reading

McCain on charges whether he is a flip-flopper: Maybe yes, maybe no

Satire

Robert

by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post
June 16, 2008

PHOENIX – Senator John McCain struck back at critics who have accused him of flip-flopping on critical issues. The Republican Presidential hopeful said yesterday, “I strongly and in a tough manly way with more experience that Barack Obama deny that I am a flip-flopper even though, at first I was for flip-flopping.” This was McCain’s response to comments that he changed position on such issues as having been against the use of torture to supporting it and from being vehemently opposed to the Jerry Falwell style of evangelicalism and then embracing it.

“It’s not that his positions on the issues are changing,” said Harv Waverly, a McCain supporter, “but rather it’s the issues that keep shifting. Besides you can’t be accused of flip-flopping if you can’t remember your original position.”

“Being able to change is a real strength,” said commentator George Will. “McCain was originally against change, but has been flexible enough to embrace change when the American public changed into supporting change when they changed their support of President Bush’s stay the course strategy. So if you want change, vote for John McCain, the candidate of real change, and he’ll change before your very eyes.”

Sibel Edmonds’ Redacted IG Report Released by Luke Ryland

by Luke Ryland
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Luke’s blog post
June 17, 2008

I’ve got a few items today.

Firstly, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds and I were interviewed by Scott Horton for Antiwar Radio last week. The interview went live on Monday. From the blurb: Continue reading

Tim Russert, Dick Cheney, and 9/11 by Prof. David Ray Griffin

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. David Ray Griffin
Global Research, June 17, 2008
Information Clearing House

While we are remembering Tim Russert and his years as moderator of “Meet the Press,” we would do well to recall his interview with Vice President Dick Cheney at Camp David on September 16, 2001, just five days after the 9/11 attacks.1 In fact, Cheney himself, during an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer the morning after Russert died, reminded us of that Camp David interview, saying: “I always, when I think of Tim and think of ‘Meet the Press,’ that’s the show that always comes to mind. . . . It was a remarkable moment in American history.”2

Commenting that he himself “remember[ed] that interview vividly,” Lauer asked: “Anything stand out from that interview?” In his reply, Cheney said: “We went back and reminisced to some extent about what had actually happened on the morning of 9/11. So it was—it was a remarkable moment in my career.”3

It was indeed. In reminiscing about his movements that morning, Cheney contradicted what was to become a crucial element of the account that the 9/11 Commission would give of those movements.

In praising Russert’s tenure on “Meet the Press,” Cheney said: “He would ask you tough questions, he would remind you of quotes you made previously in other settings or on earlier shows, so you never got away with anything going up vis-à-vis Tim.”4

Given Cheney’s appraisal of his interview with Russert as a “remarkable moment” in both American history and Cheney’s own career, we should apply Russert’s method to this interview, reminding ourselves of exactly what Cheney said, then comparing it with what was said about Cheney by the 9/11 Commission.

The Camp David Interview

After discussing with Cheney the US response to the 9/11 attacks, Russert turned to September 11 itself, asking Cheney where he was when he learned of the first attack on the World Trade Center. Replying that he was in his White House office, Cheney said that, after seeing the second attack on television, he convened a meeting in his office with Condoleezza Rice and others, then talked by telephone to President Bush (who was in Florida), discussing the public statement the latter might make. (This call would have needed to take place shortly after Bush left the classroom, which was reportedly at about 9:12,5 if it was to help him prepare his address to the nation, which was to be given at 9:30. The New York Times wrote: “[A]t 9:12, [Bush] abruptly retreated [from the classroom], speaking to Mr. Cheney and New York officials.”6) Cheney then said:

“While I was there, over the next several minutes, watching developments on the television and as we started to get organized to figure out what to do, my Secret Service agents came in and, under these circumstances, they just move. They don’t say ‘sir’ or ask politely. They came in and said, ‘Sir, we have to leave immediately, and grabbed me and. . .”7

Russert asked: “Literally grabbed you and moved you?” Cheney replied:

“Yeah. And, you know, your feet touch the floor periodically. But they’re bigger than I am, and they hoisted me up and moved me very rapidly down the hallway, down some stairs, through some doors and down some more stairs into an underground facility under the White House, and, as a matter of fact, it’s a corridor, locked at both ends, and they did that because they had received a report that an airplane was headed for the White House.”

After confirming Russert’s supposition that this was Flight 77, Cheney continued:

“And when it entered the danger zone and looked like it was headed for the White House was when they grabbed me and evacuated me to the basement. . . . [O]nce I got down into the shelter, the first thing I did–there’s a secure phone there. First thing I did was pick up the telephone and call the president again, who was still down in Florida, at that point, and strongly urged him to delay his return.”

After discussing that advice in terms of the need to secure “presidential succession,” Cheney continued the narrative about his own movements that day, saying:

“Once I left that immediate shelter, after I talked to the president, urged him to stay away for now, well, I went down into what’s called PEOC,8 the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, and there, I had Norm Mineta . . . . I had Condi Rice with me and several of my key staff people. We had access, secured communications with Air Force One, with the Secretary of Defense over in the Pentagon. We had also the secure videoconference that ties together the White House, CIA, State, Justice, Defense.”

After giving still more details, Cheney said: “I was in a position to be able to see all the stuff coming in, receive reports and then make decisions in terms of acting with it.” Cheney made clear, in other words, that he had everyone and everything he needed in the PEOC to take charge.

He then added: “But when I arrived there within a short order, we had word the Pentagon’s been hit.”

Summary of Cheney’s Account to Russert

According to what Vice President Dick Cheney told Tim Russert, only five days after 9/11, the sequence of events went like this:

1. The Secret Service came into Cheney’s office to take him downstairs after they “received a report that an airplane was headed for the White House.” Although the plane “turned away and . . . flew a circle and came back in and then hit the Pentagon,” it was “when it entered the danger zone and looked like it was headed for the White House,” Cheney said, that “they grabbed me and evacuated me to the basement.”

2. The Secret Service agents hustled Cheney down to the underground corridor (which he also called the “immediate shelter,” evidently meaning the part of the bomb shelter that one reaches first).

3. While in this corridor, he used the secure phone to talk to the president again, this time urging him to delay his return to Washington.

4. He went from this corridor to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, or PEOC (which is also called the “shelter conference room”).

5. After he arrived in the PEOC, he learned that the Pentagon had been hit. Cheney’s statement here—“[W]hen I arrived there within a short order, we had word the Pentagon’s been hit”—is ambiguous. Did he mean that he arrived there within a short order? Or that, within a short order after arriving there, he learned that the Pentagon had been hit? The latter seems more likely. The main point, in any case, is clear: Cheney learned about the Pentagon attack—which reportedly occurred at about 9:38—only after arriving in the PEOC.

This is significant because it contradicts what the 9/11 Commission would state three years later.

The 9/11 Commission’s Account

According to The 9/11 Commission Report, the sequence of events was as follows.

1. At 9:33, the Secret Service learned that an unidentified aircraft was coming toward the White House, but “[n]o move was made to evacuate the Vice President at this time,” because the Secret Service learned at 9:34, just before sounding the alarm, “that the aircraft was turning south.”

2. Just before 9:36, the Secret Service, having learned that the plane had started circling back, “ordered the immediate evacuation of the Vice President.”

3. After being hustled downstairs, “The Vice President entered the underground tunnel leading to the shelter at 9:37. Once inside, Vice President Cheney and the agents paused in an area of the tunnel that had a secure phone, a bench, and television.”

4. While there, “[t]he Vice President [telephoned Florida] and asked to speak to the President, but it took time for the call to be connected.”

5. “He learned in the tunnel that the Pentagon had been hit, and he saw television coverage of the smoke coming from the building.”

6. Mrs. Cheney, having arrived at the White House at 9:52, “joined her husband in the tunnel.”

7. “[A]t 9:55, the Vice President was still on the phone with the President, advising that three planes were missing and one had hit the Pentagon.” (The Commissioners “believe this is the same call in which the Vice President urged the President not to return to Washington.”)

8. “After the call ended, Mrs. Cheney and the Vice President moved from the tunnel to the shelter conference room. . . . [T]he Vice president arrived in the room shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58.”9

As a comparison of these two timelines shows, the 9/11 Commission’s account differs significantly from the account that Cheney gave to Russert.

Contradictions between the Two Accounts

According to Cheney, he arrived in the PEOC, or shelter conference room, before he learned about the attack on the Pentagon. According to the 9/11 Commission, by contrast, he entered the PEOC after he learned about this attack (and, in fact, about 20 minutes after its occurrence at 9:38 AM).

This contrast leads to another: According to Cheney, the telephone call in which he urged the president to stay away from Washington occurred before he learned about the Pentagon strike. According to the Commission’s account, however, this call occurred after he had learned about the strike, so he was able to talk to Bush about it.

The two accounts appear, moreover, to contradict each other with regard to the time at which Cheney was taken downstairs to the underground corridor. According to what Cheney told Russert, this occurred as soon as the Secret Service agents heard that a plane was approaching the White House—they did not wait until the plane came that direction a second time—and this seems to have been shortly after Cheney called the president about the latter’s public statement—a call that, according to the New York Times, occurred at 9:12. If Cheney was taken down about five minutes later, his account would not conflict, at least not strongly, with the testimony of Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, who told the 9/11 Commission during an open hearing in 2003 that Cheney was already there when he got to the PEOC at 9:20.10

If Cheney meant something close to this, his account would, however, strongly contradict The 9/11 Commission Report, according to which he did not even head downstairs until 9:36 and did not enter the corridor until 9:37.

However, even if Cheney did not mean to imply that he had entered the PEOC before 9:20, the natural interpretation of his statement—“when I arrived there [in the PEOC] within a short order, we had word the Pentagon’s been hit”—would seem to be that the Pentagon attack occurred after he had entered the PEOC.

One can point out, to be sure, that Cheney did not actually say this. He said only that he learned about the Pentagon attack after he entered the PEOC. One who wanted to support the 9/11 Commission’s timeline might argue that, although the Pentagon was attacked at 9:38, Cheney did not hear about this attack until 20-some minutes later, after he, as the Commission says, entered the PEOC at 9:58. On that basis, one might argue, Cheney’s account and that of the Commission could be reconciled.

However, besides being extremely implausible (by suggesting that Vice President Cheney, who was formerly the secretary of defense and on 9/11 was the person in charge at the White House, would not have been notified about such an attack for over 20 minutes), this attempted reconciliation would also be ruled out by the Commission’s timeline, which says that Cheney learned about the Pentagon attack while he was still in the corridor, before he entered the PEOC. He told Russert that he learned about it after he entered the PEOC.

It is impossible, therefore, to reconcile the two accounts. If the story that Cheney told Russert at Camp David, just five days after 9/11, was true, then the story told by the 9/11 Commission in July 2004, almost three years later, was false.

The Unique Source for the 9/11 Commission’s Timeline

On what did the 9/11 Commission base its timeline? It claimed that the 9:37 time for Cheney’s entry into the corridor, from which the 9:58 estimate for his entry into the PEOC followed, was based on a timeline in a Secret Service report. By the Commission’s own admission, however, the Secret Service said that “the 9:37 entry time in their timeline was based on alarm data, which is no longer retrievable.”11 The claim that Cheney entered the corridor at 9:37, in other words, is based on no official documentation.

Could the Commission cite journalistic accounts to support its timeline? It appears that there was one journalistic account, and only one, that supported this timeline. This was an MSNBC-Newsweek article by Evan Thomas, which was dated December 31, 2001, at MSNBC and appeared in the January 7, 2002, issue of Newsweek. This article said: “Shortly before 10 a.m., the Cheneys were led into the PEOC conference room. . . . [T]hey looked up at the TV screens. It was 9:58 a.m.”12

In saying this, Thomas disagreed not only with what Norman Mineta would later tell the 9/11 Commission, but also with what Richard Clarke would say in Against All Enemies, which became a best-selling book while the 9/11 Commission was still holding hearings.

According to Clarke, shortly after the meeting that Cheney had with Condoleezza Rice after the second attack on World Trade Center, which occurred at 9:03, the Secret Service wanted Rice as well as Cheney to go down to the PEOC. Rice, however, first went with Clarke to the White House’s Video Teleconferencing Center, where Clarke was to set up a video conference. This conference, Clarke’s statements suggest, began at about 9:10.13 After spending a few minutes there, Rice said, according to Clarke: “You’re going to need some decisions quickly. I’m going to the PEOC to be with the Vice President. Tell us what you need.” Clarke replied: “What I need is an open line to Cheney and you.”14 Some minutes later, evidently at about 9:15, Norman Mineta arrived and Clarke, after receiving him in the Situation Room, “suggested he join the Vice President.”15 Clarke thereby seemed to imply that Cheney was in the PEOC prior to 9:15.

In an ABC News program narrated by Peter Jennings on the first anniversary of 9/11, Condoleezza Rice is portrayed as supporting the early descent time. After describing Cheney’s trip down to the PEOC with the Secret Service agents, ABC’s Charles Gibson said: “Up above, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is trying to find the rest of the President’s team,” after which Rice is shown saying: “As I was trying to find all of the principals, the Secret Service came in and said, ‘You have to leave now for the bunker. The Vice President’s already there. There may be a plane headed for the White House.’” Gibson then added: “In the bunker, the Vice President is joined by Rice and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.”16 ABC agreed in advance, therefore, with Mineta’s account, according to which Cheney was down there before he arrived.

According to another ABC News program that same week, Cheney’s own White House photographer, David Bohrer, also supported the early descent time. Showing Bohrer describe the moment when the Secret Service agents told Cheney, “Sir, you have to come with us,’” ABC portrayed this event as happening “just after 9 a.m.,” presumably because that is what Bohrer himself had said.17

Mineta’s account was also supported in advance by a Wall Street Journal article, published about a month after 9/11, which told the story of that morning from the perspective of American and United Airlines. Discussing the actions of Donald J. Carty and Jim Goodwin, top executives of AA and UA, respectively, this article said:

“Mr. Carty and Mr. Goodwin . . . were talking on the phone with Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, who was in a government command bunker with Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Carty told Mr. Mineta that American was ordering all 162 of its planes out of the sky; United already had ordered its 122 planes down. About five minutes later, the FAA shut down the skies over the U.S. completely to all but military aircraft. At [9:45 a.m.],18 American lost contact with a third flight, . . . But . . . radio contact was restored in 10 minutes. . . . Soon, reports began pouring in that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon.”19

Mineta had the FAA give two orders that morning. The first one, which was to prevent any more planes from taking off, was at 9:26. The second, which was for all planes to be brought down, occurred at 9:45, after the Pentagon was struck.20 In describing the FAA order that occurred before the attack on the Pentagon, the Journal erroneously called it an order to bring all planes down (confusion between the two orders was quite common).21 It is clear, in any case, that these two airline officials, as paraphrased by the Journal, reported that Cheney was present in the PEOC prior to the attack on the Pentagon.

The 9/11 Commission’s timeline, according to which Cheney arrived much later, was based on a twofold claim: that Cheney did not entering the corridor until 9:37 and that his phone call to the president then took about 20 minutes.

As we saw above, the alleged Secret Service claim that Cheney did not enter the corridor until 9:37 was, by the Commission’s own admission, undocumented. Surely this undocumented claim cannot trump the combined testimony of Norman Mineta, Richard Clarke, David Bohrer (as described by ABC News), American and United Airlines (as described by the Wall Street Journal), and even Dick Cheney himself (as given to Tim Russert five days after 9/11).

However, the claim that Cheney did not enter the corridor until 9:37 was mentioned by one journalistic account: the aforementioned MSNBC-Newsweek article by Evan Thomas. According to Thomas, it was 9:35 when the Secret Service entered Cheney’s office—where the vice president, incidentally, was not in a take-charge mode but was simply “standing by his desk, looking at the TV in the corner.” This article also has the other main elements later articulated in The 9/11 Commission Report: Cheney’s time-consuming phone call to the president (who was “not easy to reach”), Cheney’s being told about the Pentagon attack while he was still in the corridor, Lynne Cheney’s arrival while the vice president was still on the phone, and then the conclusion: “Shortly before 10 a.m., the Cheneys were led into the PEOC conference room. . . . [T]hey looked up at the TV screens. It was 9:58 a.m.”22

If the 9/11 Commission’s timeline was derived from the Thomas article, or else the source(s) for that article, the question becomes: Where did Thomas get the information on which he based his account?

The note provided by the 9/11 Commission for its conclusion that the Cheneys arrived in the PEOC “shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58,” mentions three transcripts, all of which are White House transcripts: “Lynne Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 9, 2001”; “Vice President Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2001”; and “Rice interview with Evan Thomas, Nov. 1, 2001.” Evidently, therefore, the Evan Thomas MSNBC-Newsweek article of December 31, 2001, was based significantly on interviews with Condoleezza Rice and the Cheneys.

It would appear, accordingly, that the account given by Cheney to Newsweek in November differed significantly from what he had told Russert on “Meet the Press” two months earlier. He told Russert that he learned about the Pentagon attack after he was already in the PEOC, thereby suggesting agreement with all the witnesses who would indicate that he was in the PEOC prior to the attack. But according to the story that he (along with his wife and Rice) apparently told Newsweek, which was later accepted by the 9/11 Commission, Cheney did not enter the PEOC, where he took charge of matters, until about 20 minutes after the attack on the Pentagon had already occurred.

Possible Motives for Changing the Timeline

What possible motives would there have been for Cheney to change the timeline? What possible motives might the 9/11 Commission have had for accepting Evan Thomas’s timeline, even though it was apparently the only journalistic account that depicted Cheney as not entering the PEOC until almost 10:00?

I mentioned above the fact that Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta reported to the 9/11 Commission in 2003 that, when he arrived in the PEOC at about 9:20, Cheney was already there. Mineta then gave the following account of a conversation he witnessed:

“During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, ‘The plane is 50 miles out.’ ‘The plane is 30 miles out.’ And when it got down to ‘the plane is 10 miles out,’ the young man also said to the Vice President, ‘Do the orders still stand?’ And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, ‘Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?’23

When asked by Commissioner Timothy Roemer how long this conversation occurred after his arrival at 9:20, Mineta said, “Probably about five or six minutes.” That, as Roemer pointed out, would have been “about 9:25 or 9:26.”24

During an informal interview in 2007, incidentally, Mineta reaffirmed that Cheney was already there when he arrived in the PEOC, saying “absolutely.” When he was told that the Commission had said that Cheney did not arrive until 9:58, Mineta expressed surprise and said: “Oh no, no, no; I don’t know how that came about.” Although Mineta said he “might have been mistaken on the 9:25,” he said that Cheney was definitely there before the Pentagon was struck, and “so was Mrs. Cheney.”25

Mineta’s 2003 testimony at the 9/11 Commission hearing created two problems for the official story of the day’s events. For one thing, it implied that Cheney—who, as he told Russert, was in contact with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld—knew that an aircraft was approaching Washington about 12 minutes before the Pentagon was struck. This implication directly contradicted the official claim, according to which Pentagon officials did not know that an aircraft was approaching their building. This claim was essential for explaining why because the Pentagon had not been evacuated, with the result that 125 Pentagon employees were killed. For example, one Pentagon spokesperson, having been asked why this evacuation did not occur, said: “The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way.”26

A second problem created by Mineta’s story involved the nature of “the orders.” Although Mineta assumed, he said, that they were orders to have the aircraft shot down, no aircraft approaching Washington was shot down. Mineta’s interpretation also made the young man’s question unintelligible. Given the threefold fact that the airspace over the Pentagon is categorized as “forbidden,” meaning that commercial aircraft are never permitted in it, that two hijacked planes had already crashed into the Twin Towers, and that still other planes had been reported hijacked, the expected orders, if an unidentified plane were approaching that airspace, would have been to shoot it down. Had Cheney given those orders, there would have been no reason for the young man to ask if the orders still stood. His question made sense only if the orders were to do something unexpected—not to shoot it down. The most natural interpretation of Mineta’s story, accordingly, was that he had inadvertently reported that he had heard Cheney confirm stand-down orders.

That Mineta’s testimony was perceived as a dangerous threat to the official account is suggested by several steps taken by the 9/11 Commission. The first step was the one on which we have focused: the claim, based on the White House-supplied Newsweek story, that Cheney did not enter the PEOC—at which time he first went into his take-charge mode (prior to that he was simply talking with the president and watching television)—until 20 minutes after the Pentagon had been struck.

A second step was to make no mention of this portion of Mineta’s testimony in The 9/11 Commission Report.

A third step is suggested by the fact that this portion of Mineta’s testimony is missing from the 9/11 Commission video archive.27

A fourth step was the creation of an alternative version of the story about an incoming aircraft. The 9/11 Commission Report wrote:

“At 10:02, the communicators in the shelter began receiving reports from the Secret Service of an inbound aircraft. . . . At some time between 10:10 and 10:15, a military aide told the Vice President and others that the aircraft was 80 miles out. Vice President Cheney was asked for authority to engage the aircraft. . . . The Vice President authorized fighter aircraft to engage the inbound plane. . . . The military aide returned a few minutes later, probably between 10:12 and 10:18, and said the aircraft was 60 miles out. He again asked for authorization to engage. The Vice President again said yes.”28

Although this story has some elements in common with Mineta’s story, it differs in two major respects. It makes clear that Cheney issued a shoot-down, not a stand-down, order. And it came far too late to have had any relevance to the Pentagon attack.

In fact, by coming so late, it also—and this provides a second possible motive for the revised timeline—could have had no relevance to another controversial issue: Whether the US military had shot down United Flight 93 over Pennsylvania (which, according to the 9/11 Commission, crashed at 10:03).

There were reports that this indeed had occurred. For example, Major Daniel Nash, one of the F-15 pilots sent to fly over New York City that morning, reported that when he returned to base, he was told that a military F-16 had shot down an airliner in Pennsylvania.29 This rumor became sufficiently widespread that it came up during General Richard Myers’s confirmation hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 13. Chairman Carl Levin, saying that “there have been statements that the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania was shot down,” added: “Those stories continue to exist.”30 Myers denied that it had occurred, but several other military officers would later state that their fighters were in position to do it.31 Richard Clarke would later state, moreover, that Cheney had given the authorization at approximately 9:50,32 which would have been early enough for the military to have shot it down at 10:03.

According to the Commission, the incoming flight, which elicited Cheney’s shoot-down authorization at some time after 10:10, was indeed United 93. Unbeknownst to Cheney and the military, however, this flight had already crashed at 10:03.33 Insofar as this story was accepted, therefore, the military could not have, under Cheney’s orders, shot down United 93.

Conclusion

As we have seen, it would appear that the 9/11 Commission’s timeline, which rules out the possibility that Cheney could have been responsible for the attack on the Pentagon or the downing of United 93, came from Cheney himself, via the account that he himself—along with Lynne Cheney and Condoleezza Rice—gave to Newsweek.

Arguably the strongest evidence against this timeline is the account that Cheney gave to Tim Russert on the September 16, 2001, edition of “Meet the Press.” The 9/11 Commission’s timeline is, of course, also strongly contradicted by Richard Clarke, Norman Mineta, and others. Ignoring those accounts has, however, proved easy. It will be much more difficult to continue to ignore the given to Russert on “Meet the Press.” Besides the fact that this account was given by Cheney himself, it was also given just five days after 9/11, when the events of that day were still fresh in his mind.

Also, Russert’s interview with Cheney is very well known. Matt Lauer, for example, said: “I remember that interview vividly. . . . I was glued to that.”34 Cheney’s 2008 description of that interview as a “remarkable moment in American history,” moreover, has probably encouraged many people, including many journalists to review it.

In describing Russert’s typical method on “Meet the Press,” Cheney rightly praised him, saying: “He would ask you tough questions, he would remind you of quotes you made previously in other settings or on earlier shows, so you never got away with anything going up vis-à-vis Tim.” But Cheney has thus far gotten away with the contradiction between what he told Russert and what he apparently told Newsweek, which became the position of The 9/11 Commission Report. But perhaps that will not continue to be the case, especially now that Cheney has drawn the world’s attention to his Camp David interview with Tim Russert.

The contradiction between the 9/11 Commission’s report and Cheney’s own words exists only because of the response elicited from him by Tim Russert. What better tribute could journalists around the world pay to Russert’s life and work than to follow up on this contradiction, demanding answers to why it exists?

David Ray Griffin has published 33 books, the most recent of which are Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (2007) and 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (2008). He thanks Tod Fletcher and Elizabeth Woodworth for help with this essay.


1 “The Vice President Appears on Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” MSNBC, 16 September 2001 (www.whitehouse.gov/vicepresident/news-speeches/speeches/vp20010916.html).

2 “Interview of the Vice President by Matt Lauer of NBC News,” 14 June 2008 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/06/20080614-3.html).

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 William Langley, “Revealed: What Really Went On During Bush’s ‘Missing Hours,’” Telegraph, 16 December 2001 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1365455/Revealed-what-really-went-on-during-Bush%27s-%27missing-hours%27.html), says that Bush left at 9:12. However, Bill Sammon suggests that Bush lingered longer (Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism: From Inside the Bush White House [Washington: Regnery, 2002], 89-90).

6 David E. Sanger and Don Van Natta Jr., “After the Attacks: the Events; In Four Days, a National Crisis Changes Bush’s Presidency,” New York Times, 16 September 2001 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE5D7163BF935A2575AC0A9679C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print).

7 “The Vice President Appears on Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” MSNBC, 16 September 2001 ( www.whitehouse.gov/vicepresident/news-speeches/speeches/vp20010916.html ).

8 The transcript has “call a PEOC,” but this was surely a mistranscription for “called PEOC.”

9 The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004) (http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf), 39-40.

10 9/11 Commission Hearing, 23 May 2003 (http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing2/9-11Commission_Hearing_2003-05-23.htm). Mineta gave this account under questioning from 9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton and Commissioner Timothy Roemer. Mineta’s interchange with Hamilton can be viewed at http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-3722436852417384871, his interchange with Roemer at http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20050724164122860.

11 The 9/11 Commission Report, 464 n. 209.

12 Evan Thomas, “The Story of September 11,” MSNBC, 31 December 2001. Although this article can no longer be accessed through the MSNBC URL, it is available as “The Day That Changed America,” Jersey Shore Today which states that it appeared in the January 7 issue of Newsweek.
(
http://jerseyshoretoday.com/archive/day_that_changed_america.htm),

13 Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004), 1-4.

14 Ibid., 2-4. Clarke a few pages later reported that he used this line to make requests shortly after 9:30 and was “amazed at the speed of the decisions coming from Cheney” (8).

15 Ibid., 5.

16 “9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings,” ABC News, 11 September 2002
(
http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/abcnews091102.html).

17 “Sept. 11’s Moments of Crisis: Part 2: Scramble,” ABC News, 14 September 2002 (http://web.archive.org/web/20021003222152/http:/abcnews.go.com/onair/DailyNews/sept11_moments_2.html).

18 The text has “8:45 a.m. CDT.” I converted this to Eastern Daylight Time to correspond with all the other times mentioned.

19 Scott McCartney and Susan Carey, “American, United Watched and Worked In Horror as Sept. 11 Hijackings Unfolded,” Wall Street Journal, 15 October 2001 (http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2001/wallstreetjournal101501.html).

20 Jane Garvey, the head of the FAA, said to the House Subcommittee on Aviation on 21 September 2001: “As soon as Secretary Mineta was aware of the nature and scale of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington . . . the Secretary ordered the air traffic system shut down for all civil operations. . . . . At 9:26 a.m., before either American Airlines Flight 77 or United Airlines Flight 93 had crashed, a national ground stop was issued that prevented any aircraft from taking off. At 9:45 a.m. all airborne aircraft were told to land at the nearest airport” (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/sept_11/garvey_001.htm).

21 See David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008), Chap. 4.

22 Thomas, “The Story of September 11.”

23 9/11 Commission Hearing, 23 May 2003.

24 Ibid.

25 “9/11 Seattle Truth Meets Norm Mineta”
(
http://www.youtube.com/v/u-5PKQTUz5o).

26 “Air Attack on Pentagon Indicates Weaknesses,” Newsday, 23 September 2001
(
http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2001/newsday092301.html).

27 See Gregor Holland, “The Mineta Testimony: 9/11 Commission Exposed,” 911truthmovement.org, 1 November 2005
(
http://www.911truthmovement.org/archives/2005/11/post.php).

28 The 9/11 Commission Report, 41.

29 Kevin Dennehy, “I Thought It Was the Start of World War III,” Cape Cod Times, 21 August 2002
(
http://archive.capecodonline.com/special/terror/ithought21.htm).

30 General Myers Confirmation Hearing, Senate Armed Services Committee, 13 September 2001

(http://emperors-clothes.com/9-11backups/mycon.htm).

31 See Griffin, 9/11 Contradictions, Chap. 13, “Could the Military Have Shot Down Flight 93?”

32 See ibid., Chap. 5, “When Did Cheney Issue the Shootdown Authorization?”

33 The 9/11 Commission Report, 41.

34 “Interview of the Vice President by Matt Lauer of NBC News.”

© Copyright David Ray Griffin, Information Clearing House, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9368

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Gravel Calls for Independent 9/11 Investigation and Prosecution of Bush & Cheney

9/11

The Key Question About Tim Russet’s Death by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Response to a Financial Times Report regarding 9/11: “fails to deal with the evidence”

Gravel Calls for Independent 9/11 Investigation and Prosecution of Bush & Cheney

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
June 17, 2008

Former Senator Mike Gravel Calls for Independent 9/11 Investigation and Prosecution of President Bush and Vice President Cheney

The former Democratic senator from Alaska discusses his presidential campaign, his role in the releasing of the Pentagon Papers and his support for NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative Campaign, a grassroots group seeking to place an initiative on the ballot of the November 6th general election allowing registered New York City voters to create a new commission to investigate 9/11. [includes rush transcript]

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transcript: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/6/17/former_senator_mike_gravel_calls_for

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9/11

Bugliosi Seeks “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”

Sibel Edmonds & Luke Ryland on Antiwar Radio

Gore Vidal’s Article of Impeachment

Kucinich on the Alex Jones Show: Impeachment Time

Impeach

Bush threatens Iran with military action By Colin Brown

Dandelion Salad

By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
06/17/08 “ICH”
The Independent

George Bush has warned Iran that military action is still “on the table” if it fails to respond to tightening diplomatic pressure to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

The EU is planning to announce the freezing of all overseas assets of the main bank in Iran. Sanctions are also to be tightened on gas and oil exports by Iran.

But the US President’s remarks on the last leg of his “farewell tour” of Europe raised fears at Westminster that Mr Bush is determined to take action against Iran before he leaves office in January if the sanctions fail to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions.

Standing alongside the President after more than an hour of talks in Downing Street, Gordon Brown surprised EU council officials by announcing that the EU intends to intensify its sanctions on Iran, including freezing the billions of euros in overseas assets of the Melli Bank of Iran.

But Mr Bush left no doubt that the US is holding military action in reserve. Thanking Mr Brown for keeping together the European alliance “so that we can solve this problem diplomatically”, Mr Bush said: “That is my first choice. The Iranians must understand that all options are on the table, however.”

The EU foreign policy chief Xavier Solana delivered a more generous offer to the Iranian regime at the weekend and is now awaiting its reply. It includes help in developing civil nuclear power and extending economic assistance if Iran stops enriching uranium to produce weapons-grade plutonium. Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, promised to “carefully study the package”.

EU council officials said tougher sanctions were not on the agenda when Mr Solana briefed his officials but Downing Street insisted sanctions were being prepared. It is likely they will be implemented next week.

Mr Brown said: “Our message to the Iranian people is you do not have to choose the path of confrontation. The latest round of talks with the Iranians took place over the weekend. We put our enhanced offer on the table including political and economic partnership including nuclear technology for civilian use.

“We await the Iranian response and will do everything to maintain the dialogue but we are also clear that if Iran continues to ignore UN resolutions and our offer of partnership, we have no choice but to intensify sanctions.”

A spokesman for the Stop the War Coalition, which protested against Mr Bush’s arrival at Downing Street on Sunday, said: “Bush has been travelling round Europe trying to secure support for sanctions and a possible future attack on Iran.”

Mr Brown also announced that Britain is sending more troops to Afghanistan as the bodies of five soldiers killed in action last week were brought home. About 400 support staff are being withdrawn, but 630 more troops are being flown out.

Mr Brown is due to announce troop withdrawals from Basra before the summer recess of Parliament at the end of next month.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Iraq: World governments misleading & failing Iraqi refugees + video

Dandelion Salad

by Amnesty International
Global Research, June 16, 2008
Amnesty International

Press Release

The international community is evading its responsibility towards refugees from Iraq by promoting a false picture of the security situation in Iraq when the country is neither safe nor suitable for return, Amnesty International said today.

In its new report, Rhetoric and reality: the Iraqi refugee crisis, which is based on recent research and interviews with Iraqi refugees, the organization said that the world’s richest states are failing to provide the necessary assistance to Iraqi refugees, most of whom are plunged in despair and hurtling towards destitution.

“Governments have done little or nothing to help Iraqi refugees, failing in their moral, political and legal duty to share responsibility for them,” said Amnesty International. “Instead, apathy and rhetoric have been the overwhelming response to one of the worst refugee crises in the world.”

Amnesty International said that the Government of Iraq and states involved in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, in particular the USA and the UK, highlight “improved” security or “voluntary” returns to Iraq out of political expedience, to demonstrate that their military involvement has been a success.

“Rhetoric cannot hide the reality that the wider human rights situation in Iraq remains dire,” said Amnesty International.

“People are being killed every month by armed groups, the Multinational Force, Iraqi security forces and private military and security guards. Kidnappings, torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention pervade the daily lives of Iraqis. People continue to attempt to flee, something that is now very difficult with the recent imposition of visa restrictions on Iraqis by Jordan and Syria.”

According to the latest estimates of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Iraqis who have fled their homes has now reached 4.7 million, the highest since the US-led invasion of Iraq and the subsequent internal armed conflict.

While Syria and Jordan have shouldered most of the refugee influx, they have now resorted to drastic measures such as restricting entry and deporting people who may be at risk of persecution, partly due to the lack of support from the international community.

Having exhausted savings, many refugees are now living in complete destitution and facing new dangers, such as being forced into so-called “voluntary” return to Iraq and child labour — many families have been forced to send their children to work in the streets in a desperate bid to help them survive.

For some refugees, the difficulties they are facing in the host country are prompting them to make the difficult and dangerous decision to return to Iraq, either temporarily to collect a pension or food ration or for other such reasons, or more permanently because of their desperate situation, not because they feel they are no longer at risk of human rights abuses in Iraq.

They are making this decision as they feel they have no other option.

A 62-year-old retired Shi’a army officer, Majid, a widower with seven adult children all living in Baghdad, told Amnesty International in February that after attempting to find protection in Syria, with only the 50 lira (US$1) in his pocket, he had to return to Iraq. Even though he was extremely scared, he had lost hope, saying “If I die, I die.” Majid fled Iraq in February 2008 after two of his nephews, Mansour and Sami, aged 17 and 19, were beheaded by members of an armed group north of Baghdad. He exhausted his savings in Syria and was soon left with nothing. Weeping, he explained to Amnesty International that he had no alternative but to return to Iraq.

Many European countries are now attempting to deport Iraqis, sometimes to some of the most dangerous parts of Iraq such as the south and central regions. In addition to taking direct actions forcing Iraqis to return, they are using indirect methods such as cutting off basic assistance and services to rejected asylum-seekers in order to force them to “voluntarily” return to Iraq.

Sweden, which is host to the largest number of Iraqi refugees in Europe and once a positive example to its neighbours, has now changed its approach and is denying the vast majority of Iraqis protection and forcibly returning some to very dangerous areas.

Amnesty International is greatly concerned that the failure to respond to this crisis will worsen an already dire situation. Amongst other things, it is calling on the international community to:

• urgently and substantially raise sustainable financial assistance;
• end practices such as forcible returns that put lives at further risk;
• cease practices that result in coerced “voluntary” returns;
• allow individuals to seek paid employment; and
• extensively increase resettlement places for the most vulnerable refugees to start a new life in a third country.

Amnesty International is also calling on the governments of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, as well as those of other countries in the region, to allow unrestricted access to people fleeing Iraq, cease all deportations to Iraq, and grant refugees access to the labour market.

“The international community must make a true commitment to assist Iraq’s displaced people by substantially boosting sustainable financial assistance, ending forcible returns, stopping practices that result in coerced voluntary returns and offering increased numbers of resettlement places,” said Amnesty International.

© Copyright Amnesty International, Amnesty International, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9346

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Iraqi Refugees Facing Desperate Situation

By Amnesty International

(more at above link)

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A Line Not To Be Crossed By Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

By Eric Margolis
ICH
06/17/08
Toronto Sun
June 15, 2008

American-led war on terror cannot be allowed to spread into Pakistan’s Pashtun tribal area

The killing of 11 Pakistani soldiers by U.S. air and artillery strikes last week shows just how quickly the American-led war in Afghanistan is spreading into neighbouring Pakistan.

Pakistan’s military branded the air attack “unprovoked and cowardly.” There was outrage across Pakistan. However, the unstable government in Islamabad, which depends on large infusions of U.S. aid, later softened its protests.

The U.S., which used a B-1 heavy bomber and F-15 strike aircraft in the attacks, called its action, “self-defence.”

This latest U.S. attack on Pakistan could not come at a worse time. Supreme Court justices ousted by the Pervez Musharraf dictatorship staged national protests this week, underscoring the illegality of Musharraf’s continuing presidency and its unseemly support by the U.S., Britain, Canada and France. Asif Zardari, head of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, shamefully joined Musharraf in opposing restoration of the justice system out of fear the reinstated judges would reopen long-festering corruption charges against him

Attacks by U.S. aircraft, Predator hunter-killer drones, U.S. Special Forces and CIA teams have been rising steadily inside Pakistan’s autonomous Pashtun tribal area known by the acronym, FATA. The Pashtun, who make up half Afghanistan’s population and 15% of Pakistan’s, straddle the border, which they reject as a leftover of Imperial Britain’s divide and rule policies.

Instead of intimidating the pro-Taliban Pakistani Pashtun, U.S. air and artillery strikes have ignited a firestorm of anti-western fury among FATA’s warlike tribesmen and increased their support for the Taliban.

The U.S. is emulating Britain’s colonial divide and rule tactics by offering up to $500,000 to local Pashtun tribal leaders to get them to fight pro-Taliban elements, causing more chaos in the already turbulent region, and stoking tribal rivalries. The U.S. is using this same tactic in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This week’s deadly U.S. attacks again illustrate the fact that the 60,000 U.S. and NATO ground troops in Afghanistan are incapable of holding off the Taliban and its allies, even though the Afghan resistance has nothing but small arms to battle the West’s hi-tech arsenal. U.S. air power is almost always called in when there are clashes.

In fact, the main function for U.S. and NATO infantries is to draw the Taliban into battle so the Afghan “mujahidin” can be bombed from the air. Without 24/7 U.S. airpower, which can respond in minutes, western forces in Afghanistan would be quickly isolated, cut off from supplies, and defeated.

But these air strikes, as we saw this week, are blunt instruments in spite of all the remarkable skill of the U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots. They kill more civilians than Taliban fighters. Mighty U.S. B-1 bombers are not going to win the hearts and minds of Afghans. Each bombed village and massacred caravan wins new recruits to the Taliban and its allies.

OPEN WARFARE

The U.S. and its allies are edging into open warfare against Pakistan. The western occupation army in Afghanistan is unable to defeat Taliban fighters due to its lack of combat troops. The outgoing supreme commander, U.S. Gen. Dan McNeill, recently admitted he would need 400,000 soldiers to pacify Afghanistan.

Unable to win in Afghanistan, the frustrated western powers are turning on Pakistan, a nation of 165 million. Pakistanis are bitterly opposed to the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and their nation’s subjugation to U.S. policy under dictator Musharraf.

“We just need to occupy Pakistan’s tribal territory,” insists the Pentagon, “to stop its Pashtun tribes from supporting and sheltering Taliban.” But a U.S.-led invasion of FATA simply will push pro-Taliban Pashtun militants deeper into Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier province, drawing western troops ever deeper into Pakistan. Already overextended, western forces will be stretched even thinner and clashes with Pakistan’s tough regular army may be inevitable.

Widening the Afghan War into Pakistan is military stupidity on a grand scale, and political madness. But Washington and its obedient allies seem hell-bent on charging into a wider regional war that no number of heavy bombers will win.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Sibel Edmonds & Luke Ryland on Antiwar Radio

Dandelion Salad

Transcript, thanks to Ryland-Luke.

AntiwarRadio
June 16, 2008

Sibel Edmonds and Luke Ryland discuss the London Times series on her case and the international nuclear black-market network surrounding A.Q. Kahn, the U.S. government’s total clamp-down by gag orders even against Congress, the American foreign policy hypocrisy of demonizing certain nuclear ambitions and supporting others, the military-industrial-congressional complex revolving door, the bipartisan lack of enthusiasm in pursuing whistleblower cases, the movie about Sibel’s case “Kill The Messenger,” and how it only takes one congressman to call her to testify to blow the case wide open.

Department of Justice Inspector General Report here.

Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged person in United States History and Luke Ryland is a blogger who has closely followed her case.

Continue reading

Countdown: Worst Person

Dandelion Salad

This is the only one I’ve found so far, will add more or make a new post if any more are uploaded.  YouTube was down for maintenance last night for several hours so many had to wait to upload any videos.  ~ Lo

June 16, 2008

videocafeblog

Worst Person

And the winner is…Fox News. Runners up The National Press Club and Monica Crowley.

Riz Khan: Guantanamo: No-man’s land

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MegaNewsbreak

The military tribunal system set up by the Bush administration in 2001 to prosecute “enemy combatants” was dealt another blow last week, this time from the US Supreme Court. The court ruled that detainees could bring their cases to civil courts in the US. To explore what the court’s decision means to Guantanamo prisoners, and to Bush’s vision of the “war on terror” in general, Riz speaks to two legal experts on Guantanamo.

Continue reading

Unfolding Financial Meltdown on Wall Street by Dr. Ellen Brown

Dandelion Salad

by Dr. Ellen Brown
Global Research, June 15, 2008
webofdebt.com

What’s The Difference Between Lehman Brothers & Bear Stearns? Lehman’s CEO Sits On the Board Of The NY Fed

An earlier article by this author (“The Secret Bailout of JP Morgan“) summarized evidence presented by John Olagues, an expert in options trading, suggesting that JPMorgan, far from “rescuing” Bear Stearns, was actually its nemesis.1 The faltering investment bank was brought down, not by “rumors,” but by insider trading based on a plan drawn up much earlier. The deal was a lucrative one for JPM, handing the Wall Street megabank $55 billion in loans from the Federal Reserve (meaning ultimately the U.S. taxpayer). So how did JPM get away with it? Olagues notes the highly suspicious fact that JPM’s CEO James Dimon sits on the Board of the New York Federal Reserve.

In his latest post, Olagues discusses the fate of Lehman Brothers, the nation’s fourth-largest investment bank and the next faltering bank expected to fail.2 Unlike Bear Stearns, which got decimated by the JPM buyout using Federal Reserve money, Lehman Brothers is probably in line for a massive bailout from the Fed. At least, that’s what its CEO Richard Fuld seems to believe. The June 4, 2008 Financial Times of London quoted him as stating, “The Federal Reserve’s decision earlier this year to lend directly to investment banks should take questions about Lehman’s liquidity off the table.” Whether Lehman can come up with the “liquidity” to meet its debts is no longer an issue, because it expects to be feeding at the trough of the Federal Reserve, just as JPM did when it bought Bear Stearns at bargain-basement prices. The difference between the two “bailouts” is that Lehman Brothers, unlike Bear Stearns, will actually get the money. Why is Fuld so confident of this rescue operation? Olagues notes that Fuld, like Dimon (and unlike Bear CEO Alan Schwartz), sits on the Board of the New York Federal Reserve.

A conflict of interest? It certainly looks like it. Indeed, Olagues points to a statute defining this sort of self-dealing as a criminal offense. 18 U.S.C. Chapter 11, Section 208, makes it a felony punishable by up to 5 five years in prison for members of the Board of Directors of a Federal Reserve Bank to make decisions that benefit their own financial interests. That would undoubtedly apply here:

“Fuld, at last count, owns 1.9 million shares of Lehman, 600,000 restricted stock units and 900,000 executive stock options . . . . Although Mr. Fuld sold over $320,000,000 worth of stock at near all time highs in 2006 and 2007, received through the premature exercise of his stock options, he still has value in his present holdings of approximately $100,000,000.”

Likewise, says Olagues, “James Dimon holds almost 3 million shares of J.P. Morgan stock worth over $120 million with taxes already paid and executive stock options equal in my estimate of another $70 million. His dispositions of stock equaled $140 million over the past few years.” Olagues adds:

“Fuld, like Jamie Dimon, was at the luncheon on March 11, 2008 with Bernanke, Rubin, CEO of Citigroup, Geithner, President of the New York FED, Thain of Merrill Lynch, and Schwarzman. Some claim that the meeting was about Bear Stearns and how to handle the situation.”

Needless to say, Bear CEO Schwartz was not invited to the luncheon. “Lehman Bros. is one of the original stock holders of the New York Federal Reserve Bank,” Olagues observes. “Bear Stears does not now have any ownership in the FED banks.”

The luncheon was held two days before the April 14 collapse of Bear Stearns stock that led to the bank’s demise. If the luncheon attendees were indeed discussing the Bear problem on April 11, testimony before the Senate Banking Committee in which the principals said they first heard of the problem on the evening of the thirteenth, says Olagues, was “less than truthful.”

The evidence at least warrants an investigation, but who is going to hold these self-dealing Federal Reserve Board members to account? In a March 27 radio broadcast noted in The New York Post of the same day, Senator Christopher Dodd pointed out the conflict of interest and said it needed to be examined; but no mention was made of it at the April 4 Senate hearings. Why not? Olagues suggests he had gotten his marching orders by then from a major campaign contributor. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, the former thorn in the side of the Wall Street bankers, has been summarily disposed of; and under the latest proposal of U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, the Federal Reserve itself will soon become the chief overseer and regulator of the banks. The Federal Reserve will regulate the Federal Reserve Boards with their litany of private bank CEOs, a clear case of the fox guarding the henhouse.

So who is left to bring the banks to task? That question will be addressed in my next article. Stay tuned . . . .

Ellen Brown, J.D., developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves and how we the people can get it back. Her eleven books include Forbidden Medicine and Nature’s Pharmacy (co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker and selling 285,000 copies). See www.ellenbrown.com and www.webofdebt.com.

© Copyright Ellen Brown, webofdebt.com, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9343

Mosaic News – 6/16/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

For more: http://www.linktv.org/originalseries
“Disarming Iraqi Province of Missan,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Karzai warns Pakistan,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Taliban Fighters Infiltrate Area Near Southern Afghan City,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Syrian-French Relations Witness Progress,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Rice Criticizes Israeli Settlements,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Israel Prisoners “May Be Swapped'” IBA TV, Israel
“Secularism Vs. Sectarianism in Lebanon,” New TV, Lebanon
“Special Mahdi Army Units to Fight Americans,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Returning Iraqi Artifacts from Italy,” Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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Blogger arrests hit record high

Dandelion Salad

BBC
Monday, 16 June 2008 11:38 UK

More bloggers than ever face arrest for exposing human rights abuses or criticising governments, says a report.

Since 2003, 64 people have been arrested for publishing their views on a blog, says the University of Washington annual report.

…continued

h/t: Derek Wallace – organicreform.org

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Ap Demands Bloggers Cease Printing Exerpts!!!