Tag Archive: September 11 attacks


An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.
An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.

A new study has concluded that the massive collection of phone data by the clandestine U.S. National Security Agency “has had no discernible impact” on preventing terrorism.

A Washington research group, the New America Foundation, said Monday it studied the investigations of 225 people linked in some way to terrorism in the United States since the deadly September 11th attacks and concluded NSA phone surveillance only played a key role in one instance.

The report said the only piece of NSA phone data that had a clear role in initiating an investigation involved a cab driver in San Diego, California, who was convicted of sending $8,500 to al-Qaida’s Somali affiliate in 2007 and 2008.

The New America Foundation said NSA surveillance may have played a role in other investigations, but about 60 percent of the probes stemmed from traditional investigative methods, such as tips from from a family member or informant, or a report of suspicious activity.

The report’s conclusion mirrors that of a White House-appointed review that concluded in December that the NSA’s collection of millions of records of calls made by Americans “was not essential to preventing attacks.”

Read More Here

Related Articles

Mass surveillance of the National Security Agency (NSA) on people and world leaders have been making headlines for half a year throughout the globe, yet these security programs did little in battle against terrorism, concludes the study by the New America Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit group.

The study of 225 terrorism cases inside the US after 9/11, which is to be released Monday, corroborates the findings of a White House-appointed review group, which said last month that the NSA counterterrorism program “was not essential to preventing attacks” and that much of the evidence it did turn up “could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional [court] orders.”

NSA saves the record of numbers dialed and length of the call of every American. As the intelligence agency suggests, no calls’ content is collected. Then NSA analysts conclude whether the numbers were suspicious or not and it’s linked to a terrorist organization.

As the Washington Post reports, the researchers at the New America Foundation found that the program provided evidence to initiate only one case, involving a San Diego cabdriver, Basaaly ­Moalin, who was convicted of sending money to a terrorist group in Somalia. Three co-conspirators were also convicted. The cases involved no threat of attack against the United States.

“The overall problem for US counterterrorism officials is not that they need vaster amounts of information from the bulk surveillance programs, but that they don’t sufficiently understand or widely share the information they already possess that was derived from conventional law enforcement and intelligence techniques,” said the report, whose principal author is Peter Bergen, director of the foundation’s National Security Program and an expert on terrorism.

In most of the cases proved themselves much more effective. Traditional surveillance warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court were used to obtain evidence through intercepts of phone calls and e-mails, said the researchers, whose results are in an online database.

According to the publication, more than half of the cases were initiated as a result of traditional investigative tools. The most common was a community or family tip to the authorities. Other methods included the use of informants, a suspicious-activity report filed by a business or community member to the FBI, or information turned up in investigations of non-terrorism cases.

Yet, the New America Foundation suggests, it took more than two month after NSA transmitted the allegations to FBI, before the terrorism case was initiated.

Voice of Russia, the Washington Post

…..

Enhanced by Zemanta

NSA mass collection of phone data is legal, federal judge rules

• Dragnet program deemed ‘controversial but lawful’

• Lawsuit brought by ACLU dismissed

NSA phone data collection deemed legal: full ruling

Cell phone data records
Judge said the phone data-collection system could have helped investigators connect the dots before the 9/11 attacks. Photograph: Lucas Jackson /Reuters

A legal battle over the scope of US government surveillance took a turn in favour of the National Security Agency on Friday with a court opinion declaring that bulk collection of telephone data does not violate the constitution.

The judgement, in a case brought before a district court in New York by the American Civil Liberties Union, directly contradicts the result of a similar challenge in a Washington court last week which ruled the NSA’s bulk collection program was likely to prove unconstitutional and was “almost Orwellian” in scale.

Friday’s ruling makes it more likely that the issue will be settled by the US supreme court, although it may be overtaken by the decision of Barack Obama on whether to accept the recommendations of a White House review panel to ban the NSA from directly collecting such data.

But the ruling from Judge William Pauley, a Clinton appointee to the Southern District of New York, will provide important ammunition for those within the intelligence community urging Obama to maintain the programme.

Judge Pauley said privacy protections enshrined in the fourth amendment of the US constitution needed to be balanced against a government need to maintain a database of records to prevent future terrorist attacks. “The right to be free from searches is fundamental but not absolute,” he said. “Whether the fourth amendment protects bulk telephony metadata is ultimately a question of reasonableness.”

Pauley argued that al-Qaida’s “bold jujitsu” strategy to marry seventh century ideology with 21st century technology made it imperative that government authorities be allowed to push privacy boundaries.

“As the September 11 attacks demonstrate, the cost of missing such a threat can be horrific,” he wrote in the ruling. “Technology allowed al-Qaida to operate decentralised and plot international terrorist attacks remotely. The bulk telephony metadata collection programme represents the government’s counter-punch: connecting fragmented and fleeting communications to re-construct and eliminate al-Qaida’s terror network.”

 

Read More Here

…..

The New American

N.Y. Judge: NSA Spying “Imperils Civil Liberties of Every Citizen” but “Legal”

Written by 

 

 

Southern District of New York Judge William Pauley III declared in a December 27 decision that the NSA surveillance program — which draws in every American’s telephone records without a warrant or probable cause — was “legal” even though it “imperils the civil liberties of every citizen.” The decision contrasts sharply with a decision two weeks ago by Washington, D.C. District Court Judge Richard Leon that termed the warrantless surveillance program unconstitutional and “almost Orwellian.”

 

Almost Orwellian was no problem for Pauley, who found that the Constitution should not get in the way of programs the government claims have worked: “The question for this Court is whether the Government’s bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This Court finds it is.”

 

Pauley dismissed the lawsuit by the ACLU despite acknowledging that “This blunt tool works because it collects everything. Such a program, if unchecked, imperils the civil liberties of every citizen.”

 

 

Metadata is the record created by a telephone call, and includes the number calling and the number called, as well as the time and duration of the call. The NSA also has other programs to collect Internet traffic and other data on Americans, but these other programs were not the subject of the lawsuit dismissed by Pauley.

 

Pauley claimed, however, that “Bulk telephony metadata collection is subject to extensive oversight by all three branches of government. It is monitored by the Department of Justice, the Intelligence Community, the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court], and Congress.”

 

Pauley’s claim is not backed up by the facts, nor even by the text of his own 54-page decision. The public record is devoid of any serious restrictions on NSA created by the intelligence community or the Justice Department. And the FISC has turned out to be an NSA lapdog, not a watchdog. The Wall Street Journal reported back on June 9 that “From 1979 through 2012, the court overseeing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has rejected only 11 of the more than 33,900 surveillance applications by the government, according to annual Justice Department reports to Congress.”

 

Indeed, Pauley’s decision — despite touting “extensive oversight” from FISA courts — acknowledged “there is no way for the Government to know which particle of telephony metadata will lead to useful counterterrorism information. When that is the case, courts routinely authorize large-scale collections of information, even if most of it will not directly bear on the investigation.”

 

As for Congress’ surveillance of the NSA, most members didn’t even know about the program until Edward Snowden revealed it to the public. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) noted that NSA briefings of Congress amounted to “a totally ridiculous game of twenty questions.”

 

The court decision read more like an op-ed by NSA chief Keith Alexander than a neutral court ruling, as Pauley derided “judicial-Monday-morning-quarterbacking” by the Leon court. Throughout the wordy 54-page decision, Pauley never articulated any objective restriction on a search that would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Not, at least, an argument on the Fourth Amendment that would be even a “substantial” burden on the government. Pauley noted that “To obtain a section 215 order [under the Patriot Act], the Government must show (1) ‘reasonable grounds to believe the tangible things south are relevant to an authorized investigation.’” But the “reasonable” standard is one defined by the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. Pauley argued that “Under section 215, the Government’s burden is not substantial.” But the Fourth Amendment explicitly defines a “reasonable” search as one with a warrant supported by an oath, probable cause and particularity in describing what will be found and where it will be found.

 

Pauley claimed in his decision that “The collection of breathtaking amounts of information unprotected by the Fourth Amendment does not transform that sweep into a Fourth Amendment search.” Of course, all searches are subject to the Fourth Amendment; the amendment makes no exceptions for non-Fourth Amendment searches. The text of the Fourth Amendment reads:

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta

Americans troubled more by governmental abuse than terrorism

Published time: April 29, 2013 17:55
Edited time: April 30, 2013 17:12

RT

Police and private security personel monitor security cameras at the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative on April 23, 2013 in New York City. (AFP Photo / John Moore)

Police and private security personel monitor security cameras at the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative on April 23, 2013 in New York City. (AFP Photo / John Moore)

Even after a pair of bombings in Boston two weeks ago injured hundreds, more Americans say they are unwilling to sacrifice constitutional liberties for security than those who are.

A handful of polls conducted in the days after the Boston Marathon bombings show that US citizens are responding much differently than in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed roughly 3,000 people. Not only are Americans more opposed now to giving up personal freedoms for the sake of security than they were after 9/11, but other statistics show that distrust against the federal government continues to climb.

Just one day after the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, pollsters with Fox News asked a sample of Americans, “Would you be willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism?” Forty-three percent of the respondents said they would, while 45 percent said no. Comparatively, 71 percent of Americans asked a similar question in October 2001 said they’d be willing to give up personal freedoms, while only 20 percent opposed at the time.

In the dozen years since 9/11, frequent polling conducted by Fox has suggests that the majority of Americans have all the while said they’d give up their freedoms for the sake of security. Only with the latest inquiry though are those answers reversed: the last time a majority of Americans opposed giving up privacy for security was May 2001.

Read Full Article Here

**************************************************************************************************

 

Was 9/11 landing gear found beside mosque lowered there by opponents of development? Extraordinary claims following stunning find

  • 5-foot piece of landing gear from one of the planes from 9/11 was discovered just blocks from Ground Zero
  • Found near 51 Park Place, the site of the Islamic center Park51
  • Lawyer for mosque developer calls the part discovery a ‘gimmick’
  • Police probing whether the piece was intentionally planted by opponents to the Islamic community center
  • Area is being treated like a crime scene as investigators search for human remains

 

By Meghan Keneally, Joshua Gardner, Snejana Farberov and Associated Press Reporter

 

|

 

 

New York City police are looking into the extraordinary claims that the landing gear from a 9/11 plane, found this week in downtown Manhattan, could have been planted by opponents to the proposed Ground Zero mosque.

The airplane part was discovered wedged between 51 Park Place, the site of the proposed 13-story Islamic cultural center Park51, and 50 Murray Street, a luxury apartment building in TriBeCa.

Now a lawyer for the proposed religious site has suggested to the New York Post that the piece was intentionally placed near the center as part of a ‘gimmick.’

Found: part of a landing gear from one of the 9/11 planes was discovered wedged between buildings with a mysterious rope around it

Found: part of a landing gear from one of the 9/11 planes was discovered wedged between buildings with a mysterious rope around it

 

After news emerged this week about the discovery of the part, a lawyer for Park51 called the find a ‘gimmick’ organized by those who seek to block the center’s development.

 

‘I don’t believe it for one minute,’ said Adam Leitman Bailey, the lawyer for the project’s lead developer, Sharif El-Gamal, in comments tothe Post.

 

‘I think this is a prank, and there’s no way this all of a sudden showed up. It’s hard to believe they now have found evidence that wasn’t put there recently.’

 

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that police would consider the possibility that the part had intentionally been situated between the two buildings.

‘We are also looking at the possibility that it was lowered by a rope.. We are not ruling it out … there’s a rope that is intertwined in the part itself,’ he told reporters at a press conference late on Friday.

Park51 (originally named Cordoba House) is a planned 13-story Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan.
50 Murray Street New York, NY

Discovery: The piece was found between Park51 (left, an artistic rendering of the planned project) and 50 Murray Street (right, a luxury apartment building in TriBeCa)

 

Controversy: Instead of the state of the art facility in the plans, the Islamic center underwent renovations and opened to the public on Sep. 21, 2011 (pictured an NYPD officer standing guard on the center's opening night)

Controversy: Instead of the state of the art facility in the plans, the Islamic center underwent renovations and opened to the public on Sep. 21, 2011 (pictured an NYPD officer standing guard on the center’s opening night)

The piece was discovered on Wednesday, 11 years after the terrorist attacks on September 11 when two Boeing 767s, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the World Trade Center Twin Towers around 9:00am.

Within two hours of the attack, both towers collapsed – killing 2,753 people in New York.

But the developer himself tried to downplay the possible controversy over the part’s proximity to the religious center.

‘Adam Leitman Bailey has no authority to speak on behalf of Sharif El-Gamal, Soho Properties or Park51,’ a spokesman for El-Gamal said.

‘We are cooperating fully with the appropriate authorities to make sure this piece of evidence is removed with care as quickly and effectively as possible.’

The plans for Park51 have attracted considerable attention given the center’s location in the neighborhood near Ground Zero.

When plans for the center became public in 2010, opponents said they didn’t want a mosque so close to where Islamic extremists attacked, but supporters said the center would promote harmony between Muslims and followers of other faiths.

The current building that stands at the location is from the 1850s. It had been previously owned by Burlington Coat Factory before it was damaged in the September 11 attacks.

 

Piece of ‘9/11 plane’ found in Manhattan

 

The developer plans to construct a 13-story, 4,000-square-foot center with a 500-seat auditorium, theater, performing arts a fitness center and swimming pool among the amenities. Construction costs have been estimated to top $100 million.

 

The prayer space for the Muslim community would accommodate 1,000–2,000 people.

But the plans sparked outrage from the families of 9/11 victims and the developer has since pared down the development.

 

In September 2011, the renovated building was opened to the public. The space remains under renovation.

The space now features a prayer center and space for artistic events and lectures but not the ambitious fitness and recreation center the developer had hoped to rival the 92 Street Y, on the Upper East Side.

The twisted metal part – jammed in an 18-inch-wide, trash-laden passageway between the buildings – has cables and levers on it and is about 5 feet high, 17 inches wide and 4 feet long, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday.

‘It’s a manifestation of a horrific terrorist act a block and a half away from where we stand,’ he said after visiting the alley.

Commissioner Kelly said in a news conference on Friday that surveyors were working in the narrow space on Wednesday when they came across an unidentified mechanical part.

Police received a report about the discovery, but officers who responded were not sure what the large piece of metal was resting in a very confined space littered with debris.

 

The FBI, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Medical Examiner’s Office were notified.

Pilots who were consulted ruled that the large piece of steel measuring 5 feet by 4 feet by 17 inches at one time was part of a plane’s landing gear.

Mystery: Commissioner Kelly (pictured) told reporters a rope was wrapped around the gear and that aspect of the find would be investigated

Mystery: Commissioner Kelly (pictured) told reporters a rope was wrapped around the gear and that aspect of the find would be investigated

9/11 picture: ground zero not long after the twin towers collapsed

Ground Zero

Photograph by Alex Fuchs, AFP/Getty Images

The smoldering remains of the World Trade Center lie at the center of what would soon be dubbed ground zero. As the tenth anniversary of the attacks approaches this week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the term should now be phased out.

“We will never forget the devastation of the area that came to be known as ground zero. Never. But the time has come to call those 16 acres [6.5 hectares] what they are: The World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum,” he said during a recent speech hailing rebuilding efforts.

******************************************************************************

Debris could be part of hijacked 9/11 jetliner, police say

. Police have now turned the area into a crime scene. If the pieces contain human DNA, scores of victims who have never been positively identified may bring closure to many families. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

A 5-foot-long chunk of airplane debris found near the World Trade Center site is believed to be a piece of landing gear from one of the planes that hit the towers more than 11 years ago, NBC 4 New York first reported.

Police confirmed Friday that the part was found wedged between two buildings in a very narrow alley only about 18 inches wide between the rear of 50 Murray St. and back of 51 Park Place, the site where a mosque and community center has been proposed three blocks from ground zero.

See original report at NBCNewYork.com

The part bears a “Boeing” stamp, followed by a series of numbers, as seen in an exclusive photo obtained by NBC 4 New York.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly visited the alley Friday evening and viewed the debris from about 30 feet away.

“It brings back terrible memories to anyone who’s here, and obviously I think the families could very well be impacted by this finding,” he said.

Kelly described the piece as being about 5 feet by 4 feet and around 17 inches high, lying in a “very, very narrow, confined area.”

Read Full Article And Watch Video Here

 

************************************************************************************************

WTC “Boeing landing gear”: Lamest planted evidence ever?

|
Veterans Today

The New York Daily News photo of where the “Boeing landing gear” was lowered by ropes and then “discovered” – in order to generate the New York Post “news story” reporting the “discovery”

You Just Can’t Make Stuff Like This Up (Or Can You?)

 

 

The Israeli Ministry of Propaganda’s (IZMOP’s) favorite New York newspaper (and they have plenty to choose from) is the New York Daily News, which recently reported the discovery of alleged Boeing landing gear – allegedly from one of the alleged Boeing 767s that allegedly hit the World Trade Center.

The lead sentence: “The horrors of 9/11 were revisited Friday when landing gear from a hijacked plane was discovered hidden behind the controversial ‘Ground Zero Mosque.’”

IZMOP’s carefully-crafted psy-op language casts the evil “Ground Zero Mosque” as a house-of-horrors, where monsters have “hidden” the bloody evidence of their awful crime.

The only problem: That piece of landing gear was obviously planted by IZMOP operatives. The Daily News saves the most important information for the article’s final sentence: “Cops were investigating how the gear got there, including the possibility it was lowered into place because a piece of rope was found intertwined with the metal.” (Emphasis mine.)

So that piece of landing gear didn’t just fall into the crack between the “Ground Zero Mosque” and the building behind it. It was lowered by ropes!

It’s just like the worst black-and-white B-grade horror films, where you can see the string that is moving the monster’s jaws. Here, in the final sentence of ISMOP’s genocide-propaganda “news article,” we can see the deus-ex-machina – the bloody evidence lowered onto the stage like the god who saves the day in an ancient Greek play. This deus-ex-machina is designed to save the 9/11 perps, and their genocidal anti-Islam myth, from evidence that no Boeings crashed at any of the four alleged 9/11 crash sites.

 

Read Full Article Here


*************************************************************************************************************************************

West Texas Explosion Might Have Been Triggered by Militarized Blast, Eyewitness Says ‘It Was a Plane’

Independent video of the tragic explosion that devastated the small town of West shows that the plant was likely detonated from an outside source, and/or a possible bomb or missile.

West Texas: An explosion measured 2.1 on the Richter scale sending a massive mushroom cloud into the sky.

West Texas: An explosion measured 2.1 on the Richter scale sending a massive mushroom cloud into the sky.

by Shepard Ambellas
Intellihub.com

April 20, 2013

WEST — A massive blast that measured 2.1 on the Richter scale hit the small Texas town on Wednesday leveling buildings and other structures, killing and injuring a number of civilians in what most local witnesses could only describe as a “bomb blast”. In fact, some witnesses have even stated on video when asked that, “It was a plane”.

Although it has been reported as a fertilizer plant fire explosion by the entire mainstream media and government sources, there could be more to the story as local reports suggest otherwise.

Good people in the area are questioning the events that took place on that grim day, and for good reason.

Intellihub.com reporter Matthew Short’s investigation concludes with video evidence that emergency response vehicles were in the area before the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West and drills were being ran as stated by the hospital’s CEO in an interview.

This is the same fingerprint we have seen during events such as the attacks on September 11, 2001, the London bombings in July of 2005, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and even the Patriot’s Day bombing in Boston most recently.

These examples show the classic layout of an advanced governmental sponsored false flag event, which in turn is used to further subject the populace to surveillance and the removal of our god given rights and freedoms by a government which now seems to be overran by a tyrannical force.

Information also exists the suggest nuclear preparedness mass casualty drills were being ran in the area. According to the North Central Texas Trama Regional Advisory Council’s official website the regional full scale exercise took place on the dates of April 17th and 18th, 2013;

Regional Full Scale EMTF Exercise – Black Rain
Start Date/Time: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:00 AM
End Date/Time: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:00 PM
Recurring Event: One time event
Importance: Normal Priority
Category:
Exercises
Location: NCTTRAC Offices
Description:

Regional Full Scale EMTF Exercise – Black Rain

Scenario:
The North Central Texas region is impacted by a radiological catastrophe at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant. The blast and residual fallout results in many injuries and fatalities within the immediate hazard area and the densely populated DFW Metroplex area is affected by blackouts and rolling brownouts due to loss of power generation. Blast and fallout damage results in a critical taxing of the medical community and generates a potential need for medical evacuation and vast number of worried well within the metropolitan population. Region 2 of the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) must activate and deploy its Ambulance, AMBUS and MMU Strike Teams to assist with the first response and contamination monitoring efforts of the medical community.

……

Read Full Article Here

************************************************************************************************************************************

Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Registers As Earthquake

Les Grossman Les Grossman

Published on Apr 18, 2013

Fertilizer planet explosion texas. WEST, Texas — Rescue workers searched rubble that witnesses compared to a war zone early Thursday for survivors of a fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others. The blast left the factory a smoldering ruin and leveled homes and businesses for blocks in every direction.

The explosion in downtown West, about 20 miles north of Waco, shook the ground with the strength of a small earthquake and could be heard dozens of miles away. It sent flames shooting into the night sky and rained burning embers, shrapnel and debris down on shocked and frightened residents.

“They are still getting injured folks out and they are evacuating people from their homes,” Waco police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton said early Thursday morning. He added later, “At some point this will turn into a recovery operation, but at this point, we are still in search and rescue.”

Swanton said authorities believe that between five and 15 people were killed in the blast, but stressed that is an early estimate. There is no indication the blast was anything other than an industrial accident, he said.

Among those believe to be dead: Members of a group of volunteer firefighters and a single law enforcement officer who responded to a fire call at the West Fertilizer Co. shortly before the blast. They remained unaccounted for early Thursday morning.

The explosion that struck around 8 p.m. leveled a four-block area around the plant that a member of the city council, Al Vanek, said was “totally decimated.” The toll included 50 to 75 houses, an apartment complex with about 50 units that one state police officer said was reduced to “a skeleton,” a middle school and the West Rest Haven Nursing Home, from which first-responders evacuated 133 patients, some in wheelchairs.

Other witnesses compared the scene to something from the Iraq War or the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and authorities said the plant made materials similar to that used to fuel the bomb that tore apart that city’s Murrah Federal Building.

Although authorities said it will be some time before they know the full extent of the loss of life, they put the number of those injured at more than 160 early Thursday. West Mayor Tommy Muska told reporters that his city of about 2,800 residents needs “your prayers.”

“We’ve got a lot of people who are hurt, and there’s a lot of people, I’m sure, who aren’t gonna be here tomorrow,” Muska said. “We’re gonna search for everybody. We’re gonna make sure everybody’s accounted for. That’s the most important thing right now.”

In the hours after the blast, many of the town’s residents wandered the dark and windy streets searching for shelter. Among them was Julie Zahirniako, who said she and her son, Anthony, had been playing at a school playground near the fertilizer plant when the explosion hit. She was walking the track, he was kicking a football.

The explosion threw her son four feet in the air, breaking his ribs. She said she saw people running from the nursing home and the roof of the school lifted into the air.

“The fire was so high,” she said. “It was just as loud as it could be. The ground and everything was shaking.”
video credit russia today
description huffpost

************************************************************************************************************************

Moment Texas fertiliser plant exploded injuring ‘hundreds’ caught on camera

Published on Apr 18, 2013

Hundreds of people are thought to have been injured, with many feared dead, after a large explosion tore through a fertiliser plant in Texas.

A deadly explosion ripped through a Texas fertilizer plant near Waco late on Wednesday, injuring more than 100 people, leveling dozens of homes and damaging other buildings including a school and nursing home, authorities said.

“We do have confirmed fatalities,” Texas Public Safety Department spokesman DL
Wilson told a news conference about four hours after the explosion. “The number is not current yet. It could go up by the minute. We’re in there searching the area right now and making sure that it’s safe.”

The blast, which was preceded by a fire at the plant, was reported at about 8pm local time in West, a town of some 2,700 people about 80 miles south of Dallas and 20 miles north of Waco.

Mr Wilson said 50 to 75 homes were damaged by the explosion and a fire that followed, and that a nearby 50-unit apartment complex had been reduced to “a skeleton standing up”. He said 133 people had been evacuated from the badly damaged nursing home, but it was not immediately clear how many of them were hurt.

Overall more than 100 people are estimated to have been injured in the disaster.

**************************************************************************************************************************

Fertilizer plant explosion near Waco Central Texas

paulus1st

Published on Apr 17, 2013

credits to fox44 No copyright infringement intended .Plant explosion near Waco ,City of West being evacuated.REPORTS says that there are more than 15 killed (some official says 35 killed now), and more than 160 injured.FOX 4 News is reporting that as many as 30 people have been taken away from scene in wheelchairs, many of them injured at a nearby nursing home.

For those of you with loved ones in West, Hillcrest has released an official hotline for people looking for loved ones possibly injured in West. The number is 254-202-1100.

UPDATE: The evacuees are being moved from the football field to a location six blocks away.

One policeman and five firefighters have been reported dead.

Hospitals have been told to prepare for up to 200 patients.

The entire city of West is being evacuated due to fear of a second explosion.

Many of the injuries at the nursing home were from shards of glass.

There are so many injuries right now that DPS troopers are loading their patients into their units and taking them to the hospitals individually.

Residents in homes near the plant are being evacuated.

***********************************************************************************************************************

fema type trucks set up in waco day before explosion…just documentation no other conclusions…

Published on Apr 17, 2013

update !!! fema drill in the area confirmed, Update on the drill (posted 4/18): Due to the events in West, Texas last night, North Hills Hospital and the NCTTRAC have chosen to cancel today’s emergency preparedness drill. Many of the same resources planned for the drill have already deployed to West to help care for the victims down there. http://northhillshospital.wordpress.c… end of update… This citizen journalist on 04/16/2013 out of curiosity recorded the video asking the question, what are these fema type trucks doing here, thats all these videos are just documentation thats all, the next day when the explosion occurs he live streams the event for the world to see…these are just documentations with no other conclusions, just documentations… his original posts and other recordings are linked here… http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/31556057 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/31559283

Published on Apr 4, 2013

An American activist says the US is branding the Occupy Wall Street movement as a domestic terrorism threat just as it has always labeled all anti-regime opposition movements and figures in the country as terrorists. The comment comes as new documents show that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spied on peaceful Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters during the height of the anti-capitalist movement in the country. The documents released by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) on Tuesday revealed that the DHS routinely spied on peaceful First Amendment activities and required daily briefing on the extent of media attention being given to OWS activities. The PCJF obtained the 252 pages of documents under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing with the DHS, the sprawling Federal agency ostensibly created to combat terrorism after the September 11 attacks.

Press TV has conducted an interview with John Parker with the International Action Center to further discuss the issue.

 

***********************************************************************************************************

 

Enemies of the Warfare State: Government Spying on Peaceful Political Dissidents

John Glaser, April 03, 2013

2012-01-31-hq-napolitano-and-obama-in-oval-office

Just-released declassified documents reveal new details about government surveillance of peaceful political activism in the name of fighting terrorism:

Government documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) through its FOIA records requests reveal that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency created after the September 11 attacks under the rubric of combating terrorism, conducts daily monitoring of peaceful, lawful protests as a matter of policy.

Functioning as a secret political police force against people participating in lawful, peaceful free speech activity, the heavily redacted documents show that the DHS “Threat Management Division” directed Regional Intelligence Analysts to provide a “Daily Intelligence Briefing” that includes a category of reporting on “Peaceful Activist Demonstrations” along with “Domestic Terrorist Activity.” (p. 68)

The nationwide surveillance system has become the contemporary version of J. Edgar Hoover’s Gestapo-style FBI, watching, subverting, and harassing political dissenters in an extra-legal environment that disregards the First Amendment.

The DHS has used the inflated powers granted to it post-9/11 to expand the definition of “domestic terrorist” to anyone who disagrees with the government and acts on it. Senate investigations on what are called “fusion centers” – essentially DHS intelligence-sharing centers – concluded they did not act to disrupt terrorist plots and spent most of their time monitoring and trying to disrupt political dissidents, specifically “Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights.”

Muslim communities across the nation have been acutely spied on, intimidated, and persecuted by the FBI and DHS, as revealing Associated Press investigations have repeatedly demonstrated. More than that, as Trevor Aaronson’s new book The Terror Factory painstakingly documents, Muslims have also served as a scapegoat under an elaborate system of entrapment that targets vulnerable lowlifes with little capacity to do harm absent FBI enabling.

In the summer of 2011, The Washington Post reported on “a mysterious, ongoing nationwide terrorism investigation [by the FBI] with an unusual target: prominent peace activists and politically active labor organizers.”

The apparent targets, all vocal and visible critics of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South America, deny any ties to terrorism. They say the government, using its post-9/11 focus on terrorism as a pretext, is targeting them for their political views.

They are “public non-violent activists with long, distinguished careers in public service, including teachers, union organizers and antiwar and community leaders,” said Michael Deutsch, a Chicago lawyer and part of a legal team defending those who believe they are being targeted by the investigation.

Think of the resources – billions of dollars and massive human effort – wasted on abridging the free speech rights of America’s political dissidents. This is what happens when the government is given the power and a blank check to perform seemingly legitimate functions like protecting us from terrorists.

 

Read Full  Article Here

 

 

Flight Attendants: TSA Policy To Allow Small Knives Onto Planes ‘Dangerous’

March 6, 2013 8:49 AM
File photo of a TSA checkpoint. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a TSA checkpoint. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Airline passengers will be able to carry small knives, souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes beginning next month under a policy change announced Tuesday by the head of the Transportation Security Administration.

The new policy conforms U.S. security standards to international standards, and allows TSA to concentrate its energies on more serious safety threats, the agency said in a statement.

The announcement, made by TSA Administrator John Pistole at an airline industry gathering in New York, drew an immediate outcry from unions representing flight attendants and other airline workers, who said the items are still dangerous in the hands of the wrong passengers.

Transport Workers Union Local 556, which represents over 10,000 flight attendants at Southwest Airlines, called the new policy “dangerous” and “shortsighted,” saying it was designed to make “the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer.”

“While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin,” the union said in a statement.

The policy change was based on a recommendation from an internal TSA working group, which decided the items represented no real danger, said David Castelveter, a spokesman for the agency.

The presence on flights of gun-carrying pilots traveling as passengers, federal air marshals and airline crew members trained in self-defense provide additional layers of security to protect against misuse of the items, he said. However, not all flights have federal air marshals or armed pilots onboard.

The new policy permits folding knives with blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and are less than 1/2-inch wide. The policy is aimed at allowing passengers to carry pen knives, corkscrews with small blades and other knives.

Passengers also will be allowed to bring onboard as part of their carry-on luggage novelty-sized baseball bats less than 24 inches long, toy plastic bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs, the agency said. The policy goes into effect on April 25.

Security standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. agency, already call for passengers to be able to carry those items. Those standards are non-binding, but many countries follow them.

 

 

Read Full Article Here

 

……

Some 9/11 families angry over loosened TSA rules on knives

Knives allowed on flights from April 25, 2013.

Knives allowed on flights from April 25, 2013. / Transportation Security Administration

NEW YORK Some family members of Sept. 11 attack victims are speaking out against new airport security rules that permit small knives on planes.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday that people will be allowed to carry folding knives with blades 2.36 inches or less onto planes.

The new rules, to go into effect next month, also permit souvenir baseball hats, golf clubs and other previously banned sports equipment.

Debra Burlingame’s brother Charles Burlingame, the pilot of Americans Airlines Flight 77, was killed when his plane was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. She told CBS News that the TSA’s plan is dangerous.

 

 

Read Full Article Here

 

……

Fliers call knives-on-planes policy ‘common sense’

Fliers call knives-on-planes policy 'common sense'Credit: Getty Images

by RAQUEL MARIA DILLON / Associated Press

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Updated yesterday at 8:44 AM

 

LOS ANGELES  — Passengers reacted with shrugs but largely agreed with a new policy announced by the Transportation Security Administration that airline passengers will be able to carry small knives and previously forbidden sports equipment on planes.

“It’s common sense,” said Pat O’Brien, who stood at Los Angeles International Airport after arriving from Durango, Colo. “You can make anything into a knife so I don’t have a problem with it at all. You can sharpen a credit card to make a sharp implement.”

Aviation security consultant John L. Sullivan agreed with O’Brien, saying a pen or toothbrush can be sharpened like the “shivs” inmates sometimes make in prison.

“There are a lot of things you can use on an airplane if you are intent on hurting someone,” said Sullivan, co-founder of the Welsh-Sullivan Group in Dallas. “Security is never 100 percent.”

The changes announced by the TSA Tuesday take effect April 25. Box cutters, razor blades and knives that don’t fold or that have molded grip handles will still be prohibited.

The new policy also allows for souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment to be carried on instead of checked, a move that brought a thumbs up from Dean Rhymer, who plays club hockey for the Junior Los Angeles Kings and strode into the terminal at LAX carrying his hockey stick.

“I think it’ll be helpful,” Rhymer said. “It’s easier to carry it on to bring it places.”

Sullivan, speaking as a passenger not a consultant, worried more about the sporting goods than the small knives, saying the “last thing I need is someone getting on a plane taking up valuable space with their pool cues and hockey sticks.”

 

Read Full Article Here

Indoctrination is  a  very interesting thing.  How  do you  accustom a population to having their civil liberties  encroached  upon?

…..

Declare the  need  for  enhanced security and the need  to  remove  security  risks  that  would come from certain objects  or  personal  belongings.  Yell terrorist activity,  possible  endangerment  of a  flight  due to  liquids and gels (  in some  cases  even  breast milk and  that life threatening  full tube of  toothpaste).

Carry on until you take the  fight  out  of them.  Once  the populace  has become  accustomed to  being  molested  or  irradiated they are told  it is  safe  to  relax and  begin to allow   all the  items  they  told you  were a  danger to  your  safety.

…..

It  seems  they are  no longer  dangerous  after all,  hehehehe,   Our Bad…..    But ,  good   news,  you  don’t have  worry because   we  are here  to  stay.  That  way  we can ensure  your safety from  all those potential terrorist  weapons as  you  fly  while  coping a  feel,

   
Image source                                                        Image  source

Image source                                                Image source

messing  with  your  colostomy  bag,   rummaging  around in  your  adult  diapers,

or  scaring the  living  daylights  out of  your  children.

Image source                                                 Image source

    

Image source                                          Image source

because  we can .  Just  to  let  you  know  who’s really in charge.

Have a  nice  flight !!

~Desert Rose~

********************************************************************************

By Jeff Plungis – Mar 5, 2013 1:05 PM CT

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will let people carry small pocketknives onto passenger planes for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with golf clubs, hockey sticks and plastic Wiffle Ball-style bats.

The agency will permit knives with retractable blades shorter than 6 centimeters (2.36 inches) and narrower than 1/2 inch, TSA Administrator John Pistole said today at an aviation security conference in Brooklyn. The change, to conform with international rules, takes effect April 25.

Passengers will also be allowed to board flights with some other items that are currently prohibited, including sticks used to play lacrosse, billiards and hockey, ski poles and as many as two golf clubs, Pistole said.

The changes attracted criticism from labor unions representing flight attendants.

“This policy was designed to make the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer,” Stacy Martin, president of the Transportation Workers Union local that represents Southwest Airlines Co. flight attendants, said in a statement.

“While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin,” Martin said.

‘Shortsighted Decision’

Pistole’s announcement reflects “a poor and shortsighted decision by the TSA,” the Flight Attendants Union Coalition, representing five labor groups, said in a statement. “We believe that these proposed changes will further endanger the lives of all flight attendants and the passengers we work so hard to keep safe and secure.”

Changes removing items like sporting goods from the prohibited list are based on recommendations from a TSA working group that’s trying to weed out commonly confiscated items that don’t present a security threat, agency spokesman David Castelveter said.

“These are popular items we see regularly,” Castelveter said. “They don’t present a risk to transportation security.”

Pistole, the former No. 2 official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has stressed the use of intelligence and “risk- based” security during his tenure leading TSA. The agency is moving away from uniform procedures that apply to every passenger and toward efforts to perform background checks on passengers before they arrive at an airport.

Read Full Article Here

American Airlines employee suspended after DHS put him on no-flight list with no apparent reason

RT
American Airlines aircraft

© The Associated Press/Tony Gutierrez

After ending up on the US government’s no-fly list under suspicion of terrorism, an American Airlines employee had to stop going to work after being with the airline for 13 years. The no-fly list sent the now-unemployed man spiraling into debt.

Luis Montano ended up on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) no-fly list in August and has struggled financially ever since. The American Airlines employee was told to “go home” after the government prohibited him from boarding a plane. As an airline employee labeled as a potential terrorist, the man could not fulfill the duties that his job demanded.

“[I was] in shock,” Montano said. “Just like, I couldn’t understand how you can just be put on a list for no reason, haven’t been contacted by the government.”

Montano had spent 13 years working for American Airlines as a gate agent, in cargo operations, and at the company’s Florida headquarters. Now, he is struggling to pay his bills and his employers told him he could lose his job permanently.

“Two months without work because of being on the no-fly list,” he told NBC Miami. “I basically have been doing a lot of research concerning the TSA’s no-fly list. I have been trying to basically reach out for help.”

Help came in the form of the news media. After NBC’s Team 6 Investigators contacted TSA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI, he was removed from the no-fly list and told in a letter that he was no longer considered a potential terrorist.

Montano is waiting to be cleared by American Airlines’ security before being granted permission to return to work, but the man still remains baffled about the ordeal.

“In July I traveled and in August, I’m told on the no-fly list,” he said.

The list, which was created during the George W. Bush administration and is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security’s Terrorist Screening Center, contains thousands of names that US officials view as a potential threat. Almost 90,000 names have been on the list at one point. It was established after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and more than doubled the number of names after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to bring a bomb hidden in his underwear onto a US flight.

The American Civil Liberties Union considers this list, which often adds names of individuals who are lawful US residents or citizens, unconstitutional. The no-fly list has sometimes left travelers stranded in foreign countries, unable to return to their homes in the US.

“The Constitution does not permit such a fundamental deprivation of rights to be carried out under a veil of secrecy and in the absence of even rudimentary due process,” the ACLU writes on its website. “The government has provided no process for individuals denied boarding on commercial flights to or from the United States or over U.S. airspace to find out the reasons for their inclusion on the no-fly list or to rebut the evidence or innuendo against them.”

The no-fly list has often been criticized for instigating racial profiling.