Full time activism

Dear friends,

I had to make some decisions about how to go forward from here.

I have been writing and gathering news for Crazy Rich Guy for about a year, it helped me and I hope it helped you become clearer about the events of 911, and the ensuing wars.

I have spent the last two years of my life fulltime and voluntary, studying the events of 911 and its connections to the military complex, Wall Street, the United States government, and all the other groups complicit in that horrible crime.

Three weeks ago my life moved into new phase, I went to Sydney to meet with members of the 911 truth movement over there and with some of the scientists, film makers, journalists and activists who have spent much longer than I to try to bring the truth about 911 to the rest of the world.

I also had the chance to meet with Yuki Fujita San the Japanese politician, member of the biggest opposition party, who confronted the Japanese prime minister and some of his ministers about the reasons to send more troops to Afghanistan and based his opposition to that on his doubts about the events of 911. He made a televised presentation about to collapse of building 7 and other contradictions in the official version of events. Additionally I met radio presenter an fulltime activist Cosmos, the man who started the 11th of every month movement, and journalist activist Barry Zwicker. The meetings with all of these wonderful people and their call to all out activism has proven irresistible.

So John, Naomi, Nick, Cosmos and all you beautiful 911truthers and activists, I hope you will welcome me and help me to achieve our goal, a new investigation and justice for all the victims of that horrendous crime.

This means I have to rearrange my priorities.

I have only a limited amount of time in the day and a lot of people to reach. People I might add who are very naive, and very resistant in realizing that perhaps a government can actually be a dangerous thing if evil people get elected in. In eight months time there will be an election, and if I’m right then the government that has been governing for the last 12 years might be elected out and a representative of what I might call “the Worldwide Money Party” will be elected in.

In order to use my time the most efficient way I can, I have decided to temporarily merge my two blogs together. Since I want to bring the best and most almost news to the New Zealand population, the people of the country I’ve made into my new home, and whose media have been taken over in the last 15 years by Fairfax which is owned for 10% by Murdoch, and who have absolutely no idea about what is really going on out there.

This means that I will be reporting all the news that I was reporting here and on my other blog on

http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com

The subjects of 911, American empire, wars of aggression and international finance will all be part of the reporting, but the emphasis will be on its connection to New Zealand.

The New Zealand government has recently decided to send more troops to Afghanistan. It has done so, it claims, to help “stabilize” Afghanistan.

This means that Helen Clark(Prime minister) and Phil Goff(minister of defence) are either naive or wilfully complicit in an illegal war of aggression in Afghanistan. Since the opposition doesn’t question the addition of more troops I have to assume that either they are naive too, or are equally complicit. I feel it is my duty to bring knowledge about the genocide that are the two wars that the United States have started based on the events of 911, and the fact that the United States are preparing for the third war against Iran.

Additionally I want to become more of a “real” world activist. I promised Cosmos to start and 11th of every month movement in New Zealand and I intend to keep my promise. This means part of my time will have to be put towards reaching that goal.

Use this blog for now as a resource and for those of you and want to travel with me in this new direction, you are invited to read my Aotaroa blog.

For those of you who living in New Zealand and would like to join me in the new 911, 11th of every month group, please leave a comment on the Aotaroa site with your e-mail address or your telephone number. These will not be published or given to anybody else.

Kaki te a noa, may peace be upon you and until we meet again,

Evelyn Gilbert

Environmental Illnesses Haunt Some Who Covered 9/11

Rescuers and construction workers aren’t the only ones sickened by exposure to World Trade Center dust and smoke. Journalists, including photographers, are also reporting health problems.
March 03, 2008

By Daryl Lang

New York Times staff photographer Keith Meyers loved to tackle rigorous assignments, like flying in military jets and scuba diving with astronauts in training.

“He was almost hyper in terms of his energy level,” says friend and fellow Times photographer Fred Conrad. “He could run circles around people.”

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This makes it official: Rudd is part of the fashist Cabal that wants to rule the world

The fact that Rudd has flown over meet  the fascist president of the US, in stead of taking a firm stance against the illegal wars of aggression that his country is currently complicit in is contrary to his mandate and contrary to his election promises. It means that Rudd is simply another stooge for the New World Order also known  as the Money Party.

Boys will be boys – even when they’re the leaders of the United States and Australia.

On his first visit to the White House as prime minister, Kevin Rudd got into a contest with US President George W Bush about whose was bigger – home states, that is.

The patriotic Queenslander was designating the equally proud Texan an honorary member of the sunshine state after receiving a warm and gracious welcome to the White House.

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5 Years Ago: Why Was Public So Misinformed on Facts Leading to War?

By E&P Staff

Published: March 23, 2008 11:10 AM ET
NEW YORK Five years ago today, as the U.S invasion of Iraq continued in its early stages, E&P published an article by Ari Berman, then an intern here, that examined the public attitudes on the eve of the war. He probed polls that found, on the most basic point, that roughly 2 out of 3 Americans backed an assault on Iraq.

But the attitudes driving those numbers raised serious issues about a misinformed public and the media’s role. He found that a startlingly high percentage falsely believed that Saddam helped plan the 9/11 attacks or Iraqi hijackers were involved that day, and that Iraqi WMD had already been found.
When the war dies down, editors and media analysts should catch their breath and ask themselves: How much did press coverage (or lack of coverage) contribute to the public backing for a pre-emptive invasion without the support of the United Nations?

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Where has all the rage gone?

I was twelve in 1968. I remember going to the biggest anti war protest ever in Amsterdam. 10s of thousands of people marching, against the war in Vietnam. My grandfather, who had fought in the resistance in the second world war when my mother was twelve, with my Jewish step grandmother who had lost her husband to the concentration camps in the II WW, and my parents  who had lived through the II WW, the hunger winter, the bombings, the violence and the deportation, of Jews( amongst others my fathers childhood friend a Jewish girl he just to play with),  , Labour leaders, Intelligencia, the gays, the gypsies and other undesirables and me and my sister, who grew up in the aftermath of war torn Europe.
When I was born 11 years after the war, there still was not a single tree in Amsterdam. They had all been chopped down to provide a little fuel in that cold and hungry winter (People would cycle a 100 km on bicycles with wooden tires to get a bag of potatoes or even tulip bulbs, which contrary to  popular  belief  taste horrible and are not on the daily menu of the the Dutch people)  we still no as the “honger winter” the “hunger winter.
We walked strong and proud that day, we all knew what war was about, and it is never about freedom, or democracy, or liberation. It is always about brutal domination of one people over another and the theft of their resources.
Even the “liberation” of Europe at the end of the war was staged and planned after the brutal money men and the military complex and the Bush family had earned their blood money.

We were strong then, and our leaders were scared of us, because they knew that we knew, and we were not going to take another war lying down. We knew that war is always in the end, a war of the leaders against their people, because ” the people”  always wake up to what their leaders are doing in their name, and they always will fight to take the power back.

But we grew complacent and we became  wealthy ourselfes and we forgot: If we the people are not guarding  jealously our freedom, and our peace against the greedy, the corrupted, the manipulators and the power hungry , than we will end up poor and destitute and enslaved again.(travellerev) 

NEW YORK Five years ago today, as the U.S invasion of Iraq continued in its early stages, E&P published an article by Ari Berman, then an intern here, that examined the public attitudes on the eve of the war. He probed polls that found, on the most basic point, that roughly 2 out of 3 Americans backed an assault on Iraq.

But the attitudes driving those numbers raised serious issues about a misinformed public and the media’s role. He found that a startlingly high percentage falsely believed that Saddam helped plan the 9/11 attacks or Iraqi hijackers were involved that day, and that Iraqi WMD had already been found.

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O’Reilly Attends Easter Services At Church Lead by Ex-Nazi

While it is of course entirely possible that someone who was in the Hitler Jugend grew up and saw the error of his ways, the fact that a pundit like hatemongering angry white guy  like Bill O’Reilly attends services in his church sort of tells me he has not. Billo certainly isn’t about forgiveness and compassion.

The Huffington Post has learned that Bill O’Reilly — who claims to love America — spent Sunday at a “church” run by a former Hitler Youth named Joseph Alois Ratzinger. Ratzinger has gone to elaborate ends to hide this connection, including taking on the absurd pseudonym “Pope Benedict XVI.” Which, even if it doesn’t prove anything, certainly makes you think.

This shocking revelation comes only a week after Barack Obama admitted he attends a church formerly run by Jeremiah Wright, who talks smack about America, although probably less than Goebbels did.

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Not the Last Word: New Expose Shreds Credibility of 9/11 Commission Report

“Senior investigators on the 9/11 Commission believed their work was being manipulated by the executive director to minimize criticism of the Bush Administration.”“Investigative staffers at the Commission believe [executive director] Philip Zelikow repeatedly sought to minimize the administration’s intelligence failures in the months leading up to 9/11, which had the effect of helping to ensure President Bush’s re-election in 2004.”

I first met Philip Zelikow, the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, during the “independent” investigative body’s first hearing in New York City in 2003. As Executive Director, Zelikow was to set the course of the investigation and I was curious to hear what Zelikow had to say. After the hearing, gathered in a tight little circle of journalists, Zelikow mused on two monumental and historic investigations, the Warren Commission – created to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and his Commission – created to investigate the mass murder of over three thousand people from over 80 countries. Before cutting himself off and expressing concern about going “on-the-record”, Zelikow insisted he would avoid the fate of the Warren Commission, which many critics have questioned over the years, and announced that Lee Oswald acted alone.

In this one exchange, Zelikow showed just how wrong a choice he was to lead the investigation. His conclusion about Oswald had in fact been undermined by later Congressional findings—revealing an astounding ignorance of the historic record regarding the JFK assassination.

** # # # # **In the shadow of the Warren Commission

In point of fact, an overwhelming majority of Americans today just don’t buy the Warren Commission findings, and for good reason. Our own Congress by way of the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that, “on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” [on page 3 - http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/summary.html]

Though the 9/11 Report has sold over 1.5 million copies, many more millions are just not buying the 9/11 Commissions findings, and like the critics of the Warren Commission – for good reason.

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Spitzer’s mouthpiece has his own secrets to hide

As the sex scandal hurricane engulfed Eliott Spitzer last week, one of his closest advisors at the eye of the storm was Dietrich “Dieter” Snell. An ex U.S. Attorney from the same office conducting the prostitution probe, Snell is now defending Spitzer in the “Troopergate” scandal and reportedly raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for the international law firm he joined last year.A former Southern District prosecutor who later became Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission, Snell is also one of the ex Feds who rewrote history in the Commission’s “Final Report” by relying entirely on the tortured “confession” of 9/11’s purported “mastermind” to pinpoint the origin of the “planes as missiles” plot.

He’s the same investigator who dismissed as not “sufficiently credible” the testimony of a decorated Navy Captain who was part of a secret data mining operation that uncovered evidence of 9/11 hijackers in the U.S. more than a year before the attacks.

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Exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam and al Qaida

We all knew this before the war of course but it’s nice to have it confirmed. Oops, we killed 1.2 million Iraqis, displaced 3 million, and destroyed  ancient culture, and blown them back into the dark ages, with women invisible again, and oh sorry, we polluted their land and their people with tons of depleted uranium which will deform babies for thousands of years to come.

WASHINGTON — An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida terrorist network.

The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam’s regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.

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Incompetence Vs Professionalism & 911

Professionalism– Definition: 1. professional standards: the skill, competence, or character expected of a member of a highly trained profession.

Lately a number of diverse characters from the mainstream have come forth (years later) to decry the so-called incompetence of those involved at the highest echelons of the US government during September 11, 2001.

These diverse characters, from ultra-conservative US Representative, Dana Rohrabacher to New York Times reporter, Phillip Shenon, author of The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 911 Investigation, have lately decried this alleged high level incompetence. Shenon’s book gained considerable mainstream publicity, far more media exposure than any book by David Ray Griffin, a longtime critic of the administration’s role in 911.

Indeed, say these newest media darlings, if the Bush-Cheney administration were not so incompetent, then 911 would never have happened. Not true. By all appearances and especially by the intended results, Bush/Cheney exhibited a great deal of professionalism. If the definition of professionalism is skill, ability & performance, the Neocons set out to do something well, and they exceeded all expectations.

Lets examine briefly this “incompetent” claim and see if it stands up to the light of reality. Or do these late-coming arguments seek to shift blame and muddy the water?

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Marion Cotillard ‘in shock’ over 9/11 row, but will not apologise

A women with cochones, I’m already a big fan.

Marion Cotillard, the Oscar-winning French actress, will not apologise over remarks she made describing the 9/11 attacks as a conspiracy and believes that the comments had been taken out of context and misunderstood.

Cotillard, who won the Best Actress statuette last week for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, has claimed that the September 11 atrocity had been orchestrated by the owners of the Twin Towers.

The comments, made in an interview first broadcast a year ago, have resurfaced on the internet since her Oscar victory.

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Israeli Extra-Judicial Executions

At 8:50AM on February 27, an Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a civilian microbus on the coastal road near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. Six members of the Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades were in it at the time. Five of them were killed. The sixth one was seriously injured.

Twenty minutes later, another aircraft attacked a vehicle in which other Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades members were traveling. They escaped harm by fleeing before missiles struck their car and destroyed it.

On March 1, Hamas reported that Israelis killed 91 Palestinians in February, 83 in Gaza and eight in West Bank, and the killing continues to escalate. The International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) said eyewitnesses confirmed that IDF troops and tanks invaded Jabalyia (in Gaza) before dawn on Saturday. They targeted the refugee camp, struck at resident homes, attacked medical relief workers, fired missiles at cars and in residential areas, and killed at least 37 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and injured 120 others by midday. IMEMC later on Saturday raised the toll to 56 dead and updated it again Sunday AM to 98 as IDF forces continued rampaging without letup.

Haaretz first reported 34 deaths on Saturday, including five children and three women. Later in the day, it upped the total to 50, then 59 and by Sunday noon the total known killed was “more than 70.” AP first indicated 33 deaths, then raised it to 45, then 50 late in the day and 66 by Sunday morning (plus about 200 wounded) and nearly 100 deaths since February 27.

The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported 84 deaths since Saturday, 98 in total since February 27 and over 200 wounded, many with mangled bodies and serious life-threatening injuries. Throughout the weekend, Israeli aircraft struck many targets, including Hamas’ headquarters building (unoccupied at the time) that “completely collapsed” and injured five people, according to witnesses.

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A Manchurian Candidate in the White House?

By DAVE LINDORFFWith a viral campaign underway via email, right-wing radio, and on the street suggesting that Barack Obama is a black “Manchurian Candidate,” secretly trained as a Muslim fanatic who will insinuate himself into the White House, thence to undermine all that we hold dear, perhaps it is time to look at the Manchurian Candidate we already have in the White House, who, together with his handler over in Blair House, has pretty much done all the damage already.

George Bush came to office in 2001 promising a new era of integrity, civility and “compassionate conservatism,” an era of humble American foreign policy, and a bi-partisan approach to government.

What did we actually get?

Once in office, this chameleon president almost immediately set out to embroil the country in a major war in the Middle East against the nation of Iraq. The game plan was laid out at the president’s first National Security Council meeting, attended by Vice President Dick Cheney (the man holding Bush’s controller), Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neal (who later spilled the beans about the session).

Bush also famously ignored all warnings about the imminent attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. How much he and the rest of the administration knew about that attack in advance, or whether elements within the administration may have even helped it along, remains the subject of considerable interest and investigation and may never be answered, but it is clear that there were ample warnings about it, and he did nothing-even rudely blowing off a briefer who tried to alert him to the danger. Moreover, it is known that Israeli Mossad agents (who we know have close ties to both the US intelligence apparatus and to the Neocons who infest the Bush White House) did indeed have advance knowledge, and were set up across New York Harbor with a video camera to tape the attack on the Twin Towers (they were subsequently arrested by New Jersey police, only to be later released and sent back to Israel, through intercession by the US government). As well, we know that unidentified people made a killing by placing negative bets, called “puts,” on the stocks, several days before 9-11, of the two airlines that were hijacked, American and United, and of two investment banks that would be seriously hurt by the building collapses, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. (The puts were placed through an investment bank, Alex Brown, which until a year earlier had been headed by a man who moved over to become the number three person in the CIA.) It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Bush/Cheney administration, at a minimum, wanted an attack on American soil, and a national disaster that would put the country on a war footing.

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What is being covered up? Ray McGovern 27 year CIA Veteran asks the question.

War at Any Cost?

by Rep. Ron Paul
In recent months the undeclared war in Iraq seems not to have been on the minds of most Americans. News of the violence and deprivation which ordinary Iraqis are forced to deal with on a daily basis rarely makes it to the front pages. Instead, we read in the newspapers numerous slanted stories about the how the surge is succeeding and reducing violence. Never does anyone dare to discuss the costs of the war or its implications.There are the direct costs of the war, the costs of maintaining bases, providing food, water, and supplies, which the administration vastly underestimated before embarking on their quest in Iraq. These costs run into the tens of billions of dollars per month, and I shudder to think what the total direct costs will add up to when we finally pull out.

Then there are the opportunity costs, those which decision makers in Washington almost never discuss. Imagine that the war in Iraq had never happened, and the hundreds of billions of dollars we have spent so far were still in the hands of taxpayers and businesses. How many jobs could have been created, how much money could have been saved, invested, and put to productive use?

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Causes and Consequences of Our Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Causes and Consequences of Our Foreign Policy in the Middle East

What It Means for Americans

By Karen Kwiatkowski

The following is the text of a speech given at Virginia Tech on February 12, 2008.

02/28/08  — – -I want to thank the Libertarians at Virginia Tech, the Political Science Club and the Institute for Humane Studies for the kind invitation to speak to you tonight.

I want to talk about the “Causes and Consequences of our Foreign Policy in the Middle East and What it Means for Americans.” The original title of this speech was “Causes and Consequences of our Foreign Policy in the Middle East and What it Means for Libertarians.” But I interchanged Americans for Libertarians. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy in Berlin, 1963, in times like these, when the American dream seems overwhelmed by what has become known as the American empire, perhaps we are all libertarians.

Let me start first with the consequences of our foreign policy in the Middle East, circa 2008.

  • We are nearly five years past the moment where George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished.”
  • 400,000 to 1.2 million Iraqis are dead by our decisions and actions. Over two million are internally displaced, and over two million Iraqis have fled the country.
  • 5,000 Americans are dead (soldiers and contractors) as a result, 30–50,000 physically injured, and over 100,000 mentally disturbed, receiving or awaiting treatment.
  • Army and Marines are morally and physically bankrupt – and burdened by executive pressure for more forces in Afghanistan, Pakistan and trouble in Iran.
  • A trillion dollars has been spent, another trillion to be spent before we are finished – and if McCain has his way, we will never be finished, and we will bleed ourselves for the duration of the 21st century.
  • Beyond Iraq, we have Secretary of Defense Bob Gates alternately screaming in an empty room and crying in despair because NATO won’t pick up the slack of propping up our preferred government in Kabul.
  • The one republic with nuclear weapons and a means to deploy them is led by an unstable dictator, threatened by his own subordinates, at odds with his very powerful and well-funded intelligence arm, and disliked by the majority of his citizens. And in case you were wondering, I am talking about Perez Musharraf.
  • Jordan, once reliable and trustworthy, is feeling the heat of over two million unemployed and impoverished Iraqis swelling their refugee camps.
  • Syria – who helped us with torture and renditions after 9-11 – has been both accused and attacked by her neighbor, our other nuclear-armed friend in the region.
  • Lebanon suffered a silly war in the summer of 2006 – a war that was considered an embarrassing defeat for Israel, and a war that Washington, D.C. collaborated on and quietly cheered.
  • Our steadfast friends, the House of Saud, don’t understand us anymore.
  • We publicly threaten Iran for all kinds of reasons, even though Tehran is signatory to and compliant with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and even as we happily work with all kinds of Iranian-backed interests in southern Iraq.
  • Four key undersea communication cables get cut in a week, isolating and seriously degrading much of the banking and communication traffic for our friends in the region, including in Dubai, which just bailed out some of our banks and credit card companies. Instead of decrying bad cable construction, and offering to send our own teams to help repair these cables in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, our government has said nothing. The entire region thinks we did it, either to send a message, test a military strategy, or to funnel information into a channel our vast intelligence bureaucracy can monitor.
  • The price of oil, adjusted for inflation, is not yet at the level of the 1979 oil crisis. But it is within 10% of that. Given the drastic increase in global demand for oil today, relative to that in 1979, our foreign policy in the Middle East might be said to be harmful, but not disastrous. But you must consider two things – the amount of oil the United States imports from the Middle East is around 10–15% of all the oil we import – but interfering with the free market in this region costs the American taxpayer billions and billions every year in maintaining a large overseas military presence, military and economic aid to major and minor allies in the region, the costs of periodic off-the-book interventions, like Iraq, and the costs involved with protecting your countrymen from people who hate you enough to want to kill you and topple your tall buildings.

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George Bush Is Engaged in an Epic Battle to Cover His Ass

Something astonishing happened the other day in the House: The Democratic leadership found some courage. After over a year of demoralizing, often inexplicable capitulation, they actually gathered the fortitude to push back slightly against Republicans on so-called national security issues. The Republicans’ response was swift: They took their ball and went home, after a brief stop at a prearranged press conference on the Capitol steps.

Two issues caused the dispute: One, in a stunning display of rudimentary oversight, the House issued contempt citations for two former Bush staffers, Harriet Meiers and Josh Bolten, who’ve been ducking House subpoenas for months now. This was predictably dismissed by weepy Minority Whip John Boehner as a “partisan fishing expedition,” a boilerplate clich if ever there was one.

The second issue, which the indignant Republicans preferred to discuss, for obvious reasons, was the House Democrats’ refusal to cave on retroactive immunity for telecom companies, like AT&T and Sprint, for collaborating with the White House in spying on domestic internet and phone communications, which, to be clear, was tremendously illegal.

What’s less encouraging, but interesting, is that the Democrats were ready to sign off on extending the repugnantly named Protect America Act, except for telecom immunity. To Bush, this made the bill dead on arrival. That’s right; Bush promised to veto the bill if it reached his desk without a get out of jail free card for Comcast.

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FBI documents contradict 9/11 Commission report

Hijacker had post-9/11 flights scheduled, files say

Newly-released records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request contradict the 9/11 Commission’s report on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and raise fresh questions about the role of Saudi government officials in connection to the hijackers.

The nearly 300 pages of a Federal Bureau of Investigation timeline used by the 9/11 Commission as the basis for many of its findings were acquired through a FOIA request filed by Kevin Fenton, a 26 year old translator from the Czech Republic. The FBI released the 298-page “hijacker timeline” Feb. 4.

The FBI timeline reveals that alleged hijacker Hamza Al-Ghamdi, who was aboard the United Airlines flight which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, had booked a future flight to San Francisco. He also had a ticket for a trip from Casablanca to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

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Bush: no compromise on phone immunity in spy bill

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush said on Thursday he would not compromise with the Democratic-led Congress on his demand that phone companies that took part in his warrantless domestic spying program be shielded from lawsuits.Bush has demanded Congress protect companies like AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications from civil lawsuits that accuse them of violating Americans’ privacy rights in the administration’s anti-terrorism program.

The Senate approved a measure that would grant the companies retroactive immunity but the House of Representatives has opposed it. The surveillance program began in 2001 after the September 11 attacks and some 40 lawsuits are pending.

House and Senate Democrats said they would try to find a compromise even as they said their Republican counterparts refused to permit staff to meet with them on Thursday.

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Afghanistan sitting on a gold mine: minister

Of course, thats why the Americans wanted it, duhhh.

KABUL (AFP) – Afghanistan is sitting on a wealth of mineral reserves — perhaps the richest in the region — that offer hope for a country mired in poverty after decades of war, the mining minister says.

Significant deposits of copper, iron, gold, oil and gas, and coal — as well as precious gems such as emeralds and rubies — are largely untapped and still being mapped, Mohammad Ibrahim Adel told AFP.

And they promise prosperity for one of the world’s poorest countries, the minister said, dismissing concerns that a Taliban-led insurgency may thwart efforts to unearth this treasure.

Already in the pipeline is the exploitation of a massive copper deposit — one of the biggest in the world — about 30 kilometres (20 miles) east of Kabul.

“There has not been such a big project in the history of Afghanistan,” Adel said.

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