Tags: Patriot Act

How I Remember September 11, 2001

I wrote the following a year ago today. I’m reposting because it is more important now than ever in light of the most recent war propaganda:

How I Remember September 11, 2001

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I was one year into my Wall Street career. I got up that morning just like every other morning and headed toward Union Square station to get on the subway down to 3 World Financial Center, the headquarters of Lehman Brothers. I had just purchased breakfast in the cafeteria when I saw one of the human resources folks from my floor yelling to evacuate. I was confused but I got my ass downstairs fast. When I got down there I joined the hundreds of others staring in awe skyward at the gaping hole in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. People speculated that a helicopter had hit the building, but I said no way. It looked like a bomb went off to me.

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Two Congressmen Push for Release of 28-Page Document Showing Saudi Involvement in 9/11

I have publicly questioned the official story of 9/11 for many years. Of course, I’ve never claimed to know exactly what happened on that fateful day, but I’ve maintained that the official story stinks to high heaven. I always found it beyond bizarre that the U.S. launched a war against Iraq following the terrorist attacks, yet never really questioned the potential (and obvious) Saudi involvement, despite the glaring fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

Saudi suspicion crept even further into my mind following their anger at the U.S. for not going to war in Syria, in what now seems likely to have been a Saudi provocation to begin with.

Disturbingly, it appears the highest levels of the Bush Administration knew all too well about such a link and intentionally covered it up. The Obama Administration continues the coverup. The Saudi link is made clear in a 28-page, redacted classified document from 2002, which has now been seen by two Congressmen who were “absolutely shocked” by what they read. They are now leading a campaign to have these documents released and we must all support their efforts.

More from the International Business Times:

Since terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, victims’ loved ones, injured survivors, and members of the media have all tried without much success to discover the true nature of the relationship between the 19 hijackers – 15 of them Saudi nationals – and the Saudi Arabian government. Many news organizations reported that some of the terrorists were linked to the Saudi royals and that they even may have received financial support from them as well as from several mysterious, moneyed Saudi men living in San Diego.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any connection, and neither President George W. Bush nor President Obama has been forthcoming on this issue.

But earlier this year, Reps. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., were given access to the 28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry (JICI) of 9/11 issued in late 2002, which have been thought to hold some answers about the Saudi connection to the attack.

“I was absolutely shocked by what I read,” Jones told International Business Times. “What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me. I cannot go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain confidential. But the information I read disappointed me greatly.”

The public may soon also get to see these secret documents. Last week, Jones and Lynch introduced a resolution that urges President Obama to declassify the 28 pages, which were originally classified by President George W. Bush. It has never been fully explained why the pages were blacked out, but President Bush stated in 2003 that releasing the pages would violate national security.

Do we really need an explanation? Whenever the government wants to cover up its own crimes, or the crimes of our allies, they just yell “national security.” It’s a disgrace.

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How I Remember September 11, 2001

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I was one year into my Wall Street career. I got up that morning just like every other morning and headed toward Union Square station to get on the subway down to 3 World Financial Center, the headquarters of Lehman Brothers. I had just purchased breakfast in the cafeteria when I saw one of the human resources folks from my floor yelling to evacuate. I was confused but I got my ass downstairs fast. When I got down there I joined the hundreds of others staring in awe skyward at the gaping hole in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. People speculated that a helicopter had hit the building, but I said no way. It looked like a bomb went off to me.

Shortly afterward, the ground started shaking and I heard an enormous explosion and saw fire and debris shooting out from behind the North Tower. The herd starting running and I was trampled on. We all retreated to safer ground, at which point I ran into some co-workers. I mentioned that I was a bit worried these things could fall, but I was ensured by a higher-up at the firm that this was impossible. It was at that point that some co-workers and I decided to take the long walk home to my apartment on east 12th street. As we walked, we saw people jumping from the buildings, and ultimately we saw the first one collapse in front of our eyes as we traversed through Soho.

In the days following the collapse, all I wanted was for the towers to be rebuilt just like before. I wanted the skyline back to what I had know since the day I came into this earth at a New York City hospital to be restored exactly as I had always known it. Career-wise, I felt I should leave Wall Street. I thought about going back to graduate school for political science, or maybe even join the newly created Department of Homeland Security (yes, the irony is not lost on me). I read a lengthy tome on Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. I was an emotional and psychological mess, and it was when I was in this state of heightened distress that my own government and the military-industrial complex took advantage of me.

It wasn’t just me of course. It was an entire nation that was callously manipulated in the aftermath of that tragedy. The courage and generosity exhibited by so many New Yorkers and others throughout the country and indeed the world was rapidly transformed into terrifying fear. Fear that was intentionally injected repeatedly into our daily lives. Fear that translated into pointless wars and countless deaths. Fear that was used to justify the destruction of our precious civil rights. Fear that was used to initiate a gigantic power grab and the source of tremendous profits for the corporate-statists and crony-capitalsits. Unfortunately, that is the greatest legacy of 9/11.

While all of the above is true, I now see a very bright silver lining. Although it took me an embarrassingly long time, I did wake up from the deep haze of propaganda and am now able to see things for what they really are. Of course, I am only one of millions globally who now recognize how badly we have been duped and are working to restore all of the precious things we have lost.

So let’s take 9/11 to remember all the people that were lost on that day, as well as all of those to whom we have done injustice in the name of the Orwellian never-ending “War on Terror.” Let’s strengthen our resolve to right all of these wrongs and make us proud of these United States once again. That is how I remember September 11, 2001.

In Liberty,
Mike

Introducing a Brilliant Parody Website of the NSA

This parody site of the NSA came across my Twitter feed today and I was very impressed with what I saw. At first, I expected it to just present me with a ton of laughs like a mainstream media article or The Onion might, but I quickly realized that much of the information on this site is accurate and may actually represent a great resource. Simply click on the picture of the homepage below to be redirected to the site. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 3.06.30 PM

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NSA Holds “Top Secret” Meeting to Stop Powerful Anti-Spying Amendment

In case you aren’t aware, there is a very significant amendment set for a vote in the House of Representatives tomorrow. The amendment was authored by libertarian-Republican of Michigan Justin Amash, and it is to be attached to the Defense Appropriations Bill (which provides funding for the NSA). It is a bipartisan amendment, co-sponsored by Michigan Democrat John Conyers, and it would remove funding for NSA programs using the Patriot Act for blanket collection of phone records and metadata from phone service providers. Here is a summary as it appears on the House of Representatives website:

Ends authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. Bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215.

The amendment’s supporters have even set up a web page dedicated to spreading the word and I strongly suggest you check it out at www.defundthensa.com 

While I know many people will tend to dismiss such amendments by saying “it doesn’t matter,” I would say that if it “doesn’t matter” then why did NSA chief Keith Alexander hold a secret meeting today to lobby against it? Because it matters. From the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency called for a “top secret” meeting with members of the House on Tuesday to lobby against the first House amendment to challenge the agency’s authority to cull broad swaths of communications data, according to an invitation circulated in Congress.

NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander scheduled a last-minute, members-only briefing in response to the amendment, according to an invitation distributed to members of Congress this morning and forwarded to HuffPost.

The invitation warned members that they could not share what they learned with their constituents or others. “The briefing will be held at the Top Secret/SCI level and will be strictly Members-Only,” reads the invite.

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Google Transparency Report: Government Surveillance Requests Up 33% in 2012

Don’t worry I’m sure the increase is certainly related to finding Al Qaeda in the U.S., as opposed to targeting domestic civil rights activists.  I wonder how many of these requests were related to Aaron Swartz, the computer genius that federal prosecutors drove to suicide because they were still bitter about the role played in destroying SOPA.  Or are the requests aimed at “far right” extremists, folks that can be identified according to West Point by their defense of “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government.”

Once again, the EFF deserves our highest praise for bringing this info to us.  From the EFF:

This morning, Google released their semi-annual transparency report, and once again, it revealed a troubling trend: Internet surveillance around the world continues to rise, with the United States leading the way in demands for user data.

Google received over 21,000 requests for data on over 33,000 users in the last six months from governments around the world, a 70% increase since Google started releasing numbers in 2010. The United States accounted for almost 40% the total requests (8,438) and the number of users (14,791). The total numbers in the US for 2012 amounted to a 33% increase from 2011. And while Google only complied with two-thirds of the total requests globally, they complied with 88% of the requests in the United States.

And the most troubling part?

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How to Spot a Hypocrite in the Gun Debate and Other Reflections on Newtown

Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.

– Justice Louis D. Brandeis

How to Spot a Hypocrite in the Gun Debate and Other Reflections on Newtown
For those of you that follow me on twitter, some of the statements and themes you will read in this article will sound familiar.  What happened on December 14, 2012 was obviously a horrific tragedy that my simple mind can’t possibly wrap itself around, but what I can do is send my deepest thoughts, prayers and sympathies to all of those affected.  I can’t imagine the level of pain and suffering you are all experiencing.  This article; however, isn’t directed at you.  There is nothing I can do to ease your pain.  This article is for the rest of us who weren’t directly affected by the incident, but may be indirectly affected by certain parties’ emotional response to it and by those that will exploit it to justify agendas.

One of the key lessons from all of human history is that the easy way to deal with any tragedy is to scapegoat.  In some cases, like in Nazi Germany, the scapegoat proved to be unpopular minorities, especially Jews.  These days, many Americans have fallen into the trap of scapegoasting Muslims and the Islamic religion for all the bad things that happen on the planet.  The key similarity I see in these sorts of situations is that the population affected by some trauma (hyperinflation and economic collapse in Germany and 9/11 in the United States) tends to resort to the knee-jerk reaction of scapegoating an easy target rather than diving into the complexities of the issue and engaging in societal self-reflection.  This is extraordinarily dangerous.

From what I can tell, some of the most ridiculous polices are the direct result of a trauma, people getting emotional, and then begging for a response.    In my own lifetime, 9/11 is the perfect example.  Our national response to a gruesome attack that killed thousands of innocent civilians was to tear up the Constitution, specifically the cherished Bill of Rights, with insane Big Brother type legislation like the “Patriot” Act.  We basically launched the war on terror by waving a white flag.  Truly defeating terrorists wouldn’t have consisted of running to the mall and shopping, as George W. Bush insisted, or giving up the freedoms that made America the most attractive country to move to for the last two hundred years.  The way to judge victory or defeat in the “war on terror” eleven years later is not to check the statistics on terrorist attacks.  They way to judge victory or defeat is to look at the nation economically, socially and politically and ask yourself are we better off or worse off?  I think the verdict is clear on that front, and I do in large part blame our childish and emotionally reaction to the national tragedy of 9/11.

Well here we stand in mid-December 2012, just days from the Mayan end of the world and another national tragedy has been unleashed on the land.  Most of the victims were innocent, helpless six and seven year old children that never even had the chance to fulfill their potential on this planet.  Unfortunately, just as Ron Paul told us, key parts of the Patriot Act were written and desired by certain factions well before 9/11, there is a powerful faction in the highest echelons of the elite that have wanted and continue to want to remove guns from the hands of innocent American citizens.  These people are not interested in easing violence; these folks want to disarm the public before the mathematically inevitable economic collapse occurs (see my article “Slaves are Always Disarmed”).  While many of these folks claims publicly that there is an “economic recovery” and happy days are just over the horizon, they know better and privately want to get all their ducks in a row before the final and horrific collapse occurs.  This is why the surveillance state is making such aggressive strides at the moment.  It is also why there is a panic to remove firearms from the public.

The person who bothers me the most on this entire topic is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, of my hometown NYC.  You can tell when someone is disingenuous if they freak out over gun violence like it is the biggest issue in America today and at the same time protect the banksters and their “too big to fail” culture, which has and continues to systemically steal trillions of dollars from the poor.  This is Michael Bloomberg to a tee, so this man should have no credibility on any moral subject when he protects and coddles the most dangerous criminal organizations on this planet.  I guess there is something “liberal” about white collar crime.

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