Archive for the ‘9-11 Commission Report’ Category

BTC – I feel it necessary to dust off a few old records that have been around only long enough to get ignored. In 2002, Jennifer VanBergen reported for TruthOut on the origins and problems with the Homeland Security Act for civil liberty.

One of particular interest is Title III of this law:

Title III concerns “Science and Technology in Support of Homeland Security.” Section 304, according to The National Gulf War Resources Center, Inc., “grants the HHS secretary extraordinary powers to declare a health emergency simply based on a POTENTIAL threat. This means that a hypothetical threat analysis from intelligence agencies that failed to warn of Sept 11th could be used as a reason to suspend civil liberties and start mandatory smallpox vaccinations.”

Editors Note: This a three-part series on the Homeland Security Act (HSA). Part 1 reviews the origins of the Act in the Hart-Rudman Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations. Part 2 discusses Cheney’s plan for global dominance and how that relates to homeland security. Part 3 details some of the HSA provisions themselves and briefly discusses what worries civil libertarians.

National ID Bashing with Cato’s, Jim Harper


I have always regarded standard-setting organizations as serious players who take care to keep slightly boring the work of establishing uniformity in products and protocols. But a press release from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) may cause me to reassess.

“IDSP Issues Report Calling for National Identity Verification Standard” is the release, and it’s bristling with error and malformed policy assertions. IDSP is the “Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel,” an ANSI subgroup.

Take this doozy:

[T]he Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) and the REAL ID Act of 2005 require verification of identity prior to the issuance of birth certificates and driver’s licenses / ID cards, respectively. However, the IRTPA regulations have not yet been released even in draft form and the REAL ID regulations do not provide practical guidance on how to corroborate a claim of identity under different circumstances.

Folks, REAL ID repealed the identity security provisions in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. (It’s a good bet that regulations for a repealed law aren’t going to move out of draft form for a very long time, eh?) And REAL ID does not require verification of identity prior to issuance of birth certificates. What could that even mean?! “Hey you—little baby—let me see some ID before I issue you your birth certificate.”

The release repeats the tired mantra that 9/11 terrorists got U.S. identity documents—”some by fraud.” The 9/11 Commission dedicated three-quarters of a page to its identity recommendations—out of 400 substantive pages—and neither the commission nor anyone since has shown how denying people U.S. identity documents would prevent terrorism.

Are there needs for identity standards? Of course. And there are a lot of projects in a lot of places working on that. If an organization doesn’t know the law, and doesn’t know how the subject matter it’s dealing with functions in society, I don’t know how it could possibly be relied on to set appropriate standards.

ANSI should take a look at this subgroup and see if its work is actually competent. Judging by this press release, it’s not.

BlogTalkRadio Premiere of Waking Up Orwell


You are invited to listen and even call in, as technical proficiencies permit.


Our special featured guest is impeachment activist and now bestselling author, David Swanson. Swanson’s new book DAYBREAK: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union is flying off the shelves for good reason. He was arrested Monday for civil disobedience in Washington during a protest to continue the policies of indefinite detention and endless war in Iraq, Afghanistan and the middle east.
OP-ED News featured this clip from mostly progressive democratic interests in D.C. at the protest where 82 people were arrested for civil disobedience.
I’ll take this opportunity to goad my libertarian sisters and brothers over at Anti-War.com to increase their philosophical tolerances and try to get together with these folks for the sake of fiscal sanity by ENDING THE WAR WE NEVER AGREED TO FUND FOR THE LAST 8 YEARS.
We recently discovered that the Bill of Rights Defense Committee has a campaign to disbarr the legal enablers of the Bush Administration’s crimes against humanity. We will be touching briefly on that.
Debra Sweet and Bob Parson’s from World Can’t Wait and Deadline Live’s, Jack Blood (and his axe to grind) were invited to drop in and “christen” the show. DJ Ball granted permissions to feature his protest music during this webcast.
Swine flu..blah blah blah… Don’t take the shot. Call a lawyer if they threaten to fire you over it. NEXT! And a rhetorical comparative political fruit inspection and news, news, news.
It should be a good time.

(CINCINNATI, Ohio) – In John Farmer’s book: “The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11″, the author builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version… is almost entirely untrue…

The 9/11 Commission now tells us that the official version of 9/11 was based on false testimony and documents and is almost entirely untrue. The details of this massive cover-up are carefully outlined in a book by John Farmer, who was the Senior Counsel for the 9/11 Commission.

Farmer, Dean of Rutger Universities’ School of Law and former Attorney General of New Jersey, was responsible for drafting the original flawed 9/11 report.

Does Farmer have cooperation and agreement from other members of the Commission? Yes. Did they say Bush ordered 9/11? No. Do they say that the 9/11 Commission was lied to by the FBI, CIA, Whitehouse and NORAD? Yes. Is there full documentary proof of this? Yes.

Farmer states…“at some level of the government, at some point in time…there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened… I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The [Norad air defense] tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years. This is not spin.”

The 9/11 Commission head, Thomas Kean, was the Republican governor of New Jersey. He had the following to say… “We to this day don’t know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us, it was just so far from the truth. . . ” When Bush’s own handpicked commission failed to go along with the cover up and requested a criminal investigation, why was nothing done?

9/11 Commission member and former US Senator, Bob Kerrey, says, “No one is more qualified to write the definitive book about the tragedy of 9/11 than John Farmer. Fortunately, he has done so. Even more fortunately the language is clear, alive and instructive for anyone who wants to make certain this never happens again.”

With the only “official” 9/11 report now totally false, where do we go from here? Who is hurt by these lies? The families of the victims of 9/11 have fought, for years, to get to the truth. For years, our government has hidden behind lies and secrecy to deny them closure.

What does Farmer’s book tell us? Farmer offers no solutions, only a total and full rejection of what was told and his own his own ideas concerning the total failure of honesty on the part of the government, a government with something to hide.

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Farmer never tells us what. Nobody could keep a job in the public sector speaking out more than Farmer has. What were Farmer’s omissions? There are some. Now that we know that intelligence given the 9/11 Commission wasn’t just lies from our own government but based on testimony coerced through torture from informants forced to back up a cover story now proven false, a pattern emerges.

We know that, immediately after 9/11, many more potential suspects and informants were flown directly to Saudi Arabia by Presidential order than were ever detained and questioned. We will never know what they could have said. Their testimony would have been vital to any real investigation were they not put beyond the reach of even Congress and the FBI.

Putting aside all other questions of recent evidence of CIA involvement with bin Laden prior to 9/11 or altered physical evidence involving the Pentagon attack, any failure to call to account the systematic perjury committed by dozens of top government officials, now exposed as a certainty is an offense to every American.

What do we know? We know the conjecture about 9/11 still stands but for certain, we know we were lied to, not in a minor way, but systematically as part of a plot covering up government involvement at nearly every level, perhaps gross negligence, perhaps something with darker intent.

Are we willing to live with another lie to go with the Warren Report, Iran Contra and so many others? Has the sacrifice of thousands more Americans, killed, wounded or irreparably damaged by a war knowingly built on the same lies from the same liars who misled the 9/11 Commission pushed us beyond willingness to confront the truth?

Have we yet found where the lies have begun and ended? There is no evidence of this, only evidence to the contrary. The lies live on and the truth will never be sought. The courage for that task has not been found.

Can anyone call themselves an American if they don’t demand, even with the last drop of their blood, that the truth be found?

How long have we watered the Tree of Deceit with the blood of patriots?

BTC – The 9-11 tragedy has become THE disaster capital town wolf-crier excuse for federally sanctioned extortion of the people. We are forced to pay to have ourselves surveilled (FISA, Patrot Act) or tagged like pallets of computers or live cattle (Executive Orders for federal emergencies, Real ID).

Well, as a free market hawk I can promote and sell my own post 9-11 disaster capital solutions.

Please purchase our SPECIAL “PORK FREE” TRUTH EDITION T-SHIRT.
Dated 9-11-09 to celebrate your fiscal independent spirit, because YES YOU CAN live without the government’s intervention.

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c/o PARADE Magazine ::: Click the link to take the poll and view current results.

Congress is considering a controversial new plan called Pass ID that would require all American driver’s licenses to meet a set of national standards—creating, in effect, a national ID card. On one side of the debate are those who say the cards are necessary for national security. The idea arose after the 9/11 Commission called for standardized IDs, noting that “travel documents are as important as weapons” for terrorists operating on U.S. soil. Privacy advocates oppose the cards, saying they’d give the government too much access to citizens’ personal information.

The plan’s first iteration, called Real ID, was approved by Congress in 2005 but met resistance from states, which balked at its $11 billion price tag. By eliminating some of the technical requirements and providing additional funding, the new plan is winning some support: Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, who opposed Real ID as governor of Arizona, now says that Pass ID represents “a cost-effective, commonsense solution.”


But not everyone is happy—some Congressmen who supported Real ID say the new plan doesn’t do enough to stop terrorists. On the other side, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union say the plan threatens personal privacy by requiring states to keep copies of identifying documents and by easing government access to information, such as where and when Americans travel. “It still amounts to a national ID that will require state departments of motor vehicles to retain information and documentation on citizens,” says Chris Calabrese, an ACLU lawyer.

National ID bashing with CATO’s policy brand Jim Harper


Let’s fisk a DHS press release! It’s the “Statement by DHS Press Secretary Sara Kuban on Markup of the Pass ID Bill by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.” Here goes [DHS news release in italics]:

On the same day that Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Department’s efforts to combat terrorism and keep our country safe during a speech in New York City,

This part is true: Secretary Napolitano was in New York speaking about terrorism.

Congress took a major step forward on the PASS ID secure identification legislation.

There was a markup of PASS ID in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It’s a step — not sure how major.

PASS ID is critical national security legislation

People who have studied identity-based security know that knowing people’s identities doesn’t secure against serious threats, so this is exaggeration.

that will break a long-standing stalemate with state governments

Thirteen states have barred themselves by law from implementing REAL ID, the national ID law. DHS hopes that changing the name and offering them money will change their minds.

that has prevented the implementation of a critical 9/11 recommendation to establish national standards for driver’s licenses.

The 9/11 Commission devoted three-quarters of a page to identity security — out of 400+ substantive pages. That’s more of a throwaway recommendation or afterthought. False identification wasn’t a modus operandi in the 9/11 attacks, and the 9/11 Commission didn’t explain how identity would defeat future attacks. (Also, using “critical” twice in the same sentence is a stylistic no-no.)

As the 9/11 Commission report noted, fraudulent identification documents are dangerous weapons for terrorists,

No, it said “travel documents are as important as weapons.” It was talking about passports and visas, not drivers’ licenses. Oh — and it was exaggerating.

but progress has stalled towards securing identification documents under the top-down, proscriptive approach of the REAL ID Act

True, rather than following top-down prescription, states have set their own policies to increase driver’s license security. It’s not necessarily needed, but if they want to they can, and they don’t need federal conscription of their DMVs to do it.

– an approach that has led thirteen states to enact legislation prohibiting compliance with the Act.

“. . . which is why we’re trying to get it passed again with a different name!”

Rather than a continuing stalemate with the states,

Non-compliant states stared Secretary Chertoff down when he threatened to disrupt their residents’ air travel, and they can do the same to Secretary Napolitano.

PASS ID provides crucial security gains now by establishing common security standards for driver’s licenses

Weak security gains, possibly in five years. In computer science — to which identification and credentialing is akin — monoculture is regarded as a source of vulnerability.

and a path forward for ensuring that states can electronically verify source documents, including birth certificates.

We’re on the way to that cradle-to-grave biometric tracking system that will give government so much power over every single citizen and resident.

See? That was fun!


PASS ID: A kinder, gentler National ID
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