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Letter to Bennie G. Thompson Chairman Committee on Homeland Security U.S. House of Representatives, from Gale D. Rossides, Acting Administrator of the TSA Thank you for your letter of January 21, 2010, regarding the privacy concerns that the Committee on Homeland Security has raised about the capability of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) to store, print, record, and export images.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is committed to providing world class security while preserving privacy in our security programs. The AIT program meets this commitment through TSA's screening protocol that ensures complete anonymity for passengers undergoing AIT scans. TSA has not deviated from these operational protocols, which were first published in a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) in January 2008 before any devices in the AIT pilot went' into operation. That PIA, and every PIA update since, states, "[w]hile the equipment has the capability of collecting and storing an image, the image storage functions will be disabled by the manufacturer before the devices are placed in an airport and will not have the capability to be activated by operators." (Transportation Security Administration)
Mainstream Media Questions Inaccuracies in 9/11 Story: The Washington Times publishes story questioning official account. The mainstream press is showing interest in a taboo, however glaring subject; the inconsistencies in the Bush White House 9/11 account.
As The Washington Times reports today, "A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center."
The problems with the official federal stories are endless and according to some of the world's top minds, the suggested account is impossible.
When we first began to write about these seemingly pressing questions, our Web Designer Matt Lintz caught the U.S. Air Force attempting to hack into Salem-News.com.
One person who has never let the matter fade away is Richard Gage. He's a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Gage told The Washington Times, "In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards."
The federal government wants you to believe that fires brought the buildings to the ground, yet in all recorded history, no fire has ever toppled a skyscraper. They burn to the framework but they don't fall down. (Salem News)
Secret AIG Document Shows Goldman Sachs Minted Most Toxic CDOs When a congressional panel convened a hearing on the government rescue of American International Group Inc. in January, the public scolding of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner got the most attention. Lawmakers said the former head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank had presided over a backdoor bailout of Wall Street firms and a coverup. Geithner countered that he had acted properly to avert the collapse of the financial system.
A potentially more important development slipped by with less notice, Bloomberg Markets reports in its April issue. Representative Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, placed into the hearing record a five-page document itemizing the mortgage securities on which banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA had bought $62.1 billion in credit-default swaps from AIG.
These were the deals that pushed the insurer to the brink of insolvency -- and were eventually paid in full at taxpayer expense. The New York Fed, which secretly engineered the bailout, prevented the full publication of the document for more than a year, even when AIG wanted it released.
That lack of disclosure shows how the government has obstructed a proper accounting of what went wrong in the financial crisis, author and former investment banker William Cohan says. “This secrecy is one more example of how the whole bailout has been done in such a slithering manner,” says Cohan, who wrote “House of Cards” (Doubleday, 2009), about the unraveling of Bear Stearns Cos. “There’s been no accountability.” - E-mails between Fed and AIG officials that Issa released in January show that the efforts to keep Schedule A under wraps came from the New York Fed. Revelation of the messages contributed to the heated atmosphere at the House hearing.
“What date did you know there was a coverup?” Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray of California demanded of Geithner. Lawmakers used the word coverup more than a dozen times as they peppered Geithner with questions. (Bloomberg)
Inside the Beltway: EXPLOSIVE NEWS A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center.
“In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards,” says Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Mr. Gage, who is a member of the American Institute of Architects, managed to persuade more than 1,000 of his peers to sign a new petition requesting a formal inquiry.
“The official Federal Emergency Management [Agency] and National Institute of Standards and Technology reports provide insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction. We are therefore calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials,” Mr. Gage adds. (The Washington Times)
Poland Says “No” to H1N1 Vaccine Of the world’s 193 recognized sovereign states, only Poland refused the H1N1 vaccine because of safety fears and distrust of the pharmaceutical companies producing the injections. The decision by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Health Minister Ewa Kopacz had broad public support, even though Poland has reported 145 deaths from H1N1 flu as of mid-January. Poles saw the vaccine rejection as a praiseworthy act of defiance against pharmaceutical manufacturers, a sentiment bolstered by a growing anti-vaccine movement.
“We are making this decision only in the interest of the Polish patient and the taxpayer,” Tusk said. “We will not take part because it’s not honest and it’s not safe for the patient.” The anti-vaccine movement claims that the H1N1 inoculation is untested or contains unsafe ingredients, such as the preservative thimerosal. The World Health Organization disagrees and points out that more than 150 million people in 40 nations have been vaccinated and suffered no abnormal or dangerous reactions. (Alter Group)
Citigroup Warns Customers It May Refuse To Allow Withdrawals "Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change," Citigroup said on statements received by customers all over the country. (Business Insider)
Accused Christmas Bomber Listened to Music, Slept "Well, I mean, it was a threat, of course, it was a threat because initially, he was trying to blow up the plane but he didn't succeed. I mainly treat him this way because of how he reacted towards what he was doing. And what his actions told me on the plane was that he was in over his head, and that he didn't exactly know what he was doing would entail." (National Public Radio)
Citigroup Stock Proving Irresistible to Hedge Funds “The sum of the parts is worth less than each individual part,” said Garnick. “It is easier for investors to assign value to a company if it is broken up into its many component parts. In this market environment people are starting to reward single business unit companies.” (Bloomberg)
FDA approved cannabis medicines needed for veterans to relieve symptoms of PTSD "It is clear that many veterans are already using herbal cannabis to self-medicate to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. Consequently, there is a clear need for standardized, FDA approved, oral cannabis products which can, and should be, provided to veterans and others who can benefit from its use. Medical cannabis has far fewer and milder side effects than most currently prescribed pharmaceutical products do. We are working hard to have one or more products ready for FDA clinical trials as soon as possible." (The Medical News)
Global Weirding Is Here Therefore, climate experts can’t leave themselves vulnerable by citing non-peer-reviewed research or failing to respond to legitimate questions, some of which happened with both the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (New York Times)
In Supreme Court Ruling on Campaign Finance, the Public Dissents Memo to the Supreme Court: President Obama isn’t the only one who’s annoyed.
Obama raised eyebrows at his State of the Union address last month by criticizing the high court’s ruling throwing out limits on corporate spending in political campaigns. Turns out he’s got company: Our latest ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that 80 percent of Americans likewise oppose the ruling, including 65 percent who “strongly” oppose it, an unusually high intensity of sentiment.
Seventy-two percent, moreover, support the idea of a legislative workaround to try to reinstate the limits the court lifted.
The bipartisan nature of these views is striking in these largely partisan times. The court’s ruling is opposed, respectively, by 76, 81 and 85 percent of Republicans, independents and Democrats; and by 73, 85 and 86 percent of conservatives, moderates and liberals. Majorities in all these groups, ranging from 58 to 73 percent, not only oppose the ruling but feel strongly about it. (ABC)
Another IPCC Error: Antarctic Sea Ice Increase Underestimated by 50% Several errors have been recently uncovered in the 4th Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These include problems with Himalayan glaciers, African agriculture, Amazon rainforests, Dutch geography, and attribution of damages from extreme weather events. More seem to turn up daily. Most of these errors stem from the IPCC’s reliance on non-peer reviewed sources. - This rate of increase is nearly twice as great as the value given in the AR4 (from its non-peer-reviewed source).
So, the peer reviewed literature, both extant at the time of the AR4 as well as published since the release of the AR4, shows that there has been a significant increase in the extent of sea ice around Antarctica since the time of the first satellite observations observed in the late 1970s. And yet the AR4 somehow “assessed” the evidence and determined not only that the increase was only half the rate established in the peer-reviewed literature, but also that it was statistically insignificant as well. And thus, the increase in sea ice in the Antarctic was downplayed in preference to highlighting the observed decline in sea ice in the Arctic.
It is little wonder why, considering that the AR4 found that “Sea ice is projected to shrink in both the Arctic and Antarctic under all SRES scenarios.” (World Climate Report)
Airport scanners 'may be unlawful' "National security policies are intended to protect our lives and our freedoms, but it would be the ultimate defeat if that protection destroyed our other liberties." (UKPA)
Scandinavia-gate Yet again, we have a situation where the data doesn’t match the full-gloss coloured graphs produced by the PR agency for global warming called the IPCC. - all the IPCC graphs minimize the cooling. It would be reasonable to conclude from the data that the temperature today in Scandinavia is roughly similar to that of the 1930’s. (Jo Nova)
UN must investigate warming ‘bias’, says former climate chief ‘Every error exaggerated the impact of change’ - Professor Watson, who served as chairman of the IPCC from 1997-2002, said: “The mistakes all appear to have gone in the direction of making it seem like climate change is more serious by overstating the impact. That is worrying. The IPCC needs to look at this trend in the errors and ask why it happened.” (London Times)
Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995 Data for vital 'hockey stick graph' has gone missing ~ There has been no global warming since 1995 ~ Warming periods have happened before ~ but NOT due to man-made changes - The academic at the centre of the 'Climategate' affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble 'keeping track' of the information.
Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.
Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is 'not as good as it should be'.
The data is crucial to the famous 'hockey stick graph' used by climate change advocates to support the theory. - Professor Jones departed from this consensus when he said: 'There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.
'For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.
'Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented.' (UK Daily Mail)
U.N. climate panel admits Dutch sea level flaw The U.N. panel of climate experts overstated how much of the Netherlands is below sea level, according to a preliminary report on Saturday, admitting yet another flaw after a row last month over Himalayan glacier melt. (Reuters)
Climategate: the official cover-up continues If there’s one thing that stinks even more than Climategate, it’s the attempts we’re seeing everywhere from the IPCC and Penn State University to the BBC to pretend that nothing seriously bad has happened, that “the science” is still “settled”, and that it’s perfectly OK for the authorities go on throwing loads more of our money at a problem that doesn’t exist. (London Telegraph)
Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power “We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff. - The use of executive authority during times of legislative inertia is hardly new; former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush turned to such powers at various moments in their presidencies, and Mr. Emanuel was in the thick of carrying out the strategy during his days as a top official in the Clinton White House. (New York Times)
'Climate-gate' review member resigns Within hours of the launch of an independent panel to investigate claims that climate scientists covered up flawed data on temperature rises, one member has been forced to resign after sceptics questioned his impartiality. (UK Channel 4)
Lobbyists for cap and trade face daunting task The U.S. Senate's stalled climate bill is getting a last big push from an unlikely ally -- a group of energy companies who say a carbon market will help them get financing for the next generation of energy production. (Reuters)
Has the IPCC outlived its usefulness? With Elisabeth Rosenthal’s page-one story in the New York Times yesterday, it’s possible that the American press may finally start to examine the controversies that have erupted over the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its head, Rajendra Pachauri. One can only hope. (CE Journal)
Attempted bombing of Flight 253: Terror Suspect Kept Visa to Avoid Tipping off Larger Investigation The State Department didn't revoke the visa of foiled terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab because federal counterterrorism officials had begged off revocation, a top State Department official revealed Wednesday.
Patrick F. Kennedy, an undersecretary for management at the State Department, said Abdulmutallab's visa wasn't taken away because intelligence officials asked his agency not to deny a visa to the suspected terrorist over concerns that a denial would've foiled a larger investigation into al-Qaida threats against the United States. (Global Research)
Lawrence Solomon: IPCC faces another desertion – its own past chair! In this latest high-profile IPCC gaffe, which has been repeated around the world, including by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the IPCC seems to have relied on a 2003 report from a Winnipeg-based think tank called the International Institute for Sustainable Development. The report, which was not peer-reviewed, in turn seems to have relied on submissions to the UN by civil servants from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, which also appear not to have been peer-reviewed. (National Post)
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