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Unlocking the national cybersecurity initiative The cybersecurity initiative launched by the Bush administration earlier this year remains largely cloaked in secrecy, but it’s already clear that it could have a major and far-reaching effect on government IT operations in the future.
Everything from mandated security measures and standard desktop configurations across government to a recast Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) could influence the way agencies buy and manage their IT.
Overseeing all of this will be a central office run by the Homeland Security Department, the first time that the government’s efforts in cybersecurity will run through a single office tasked with coordinating the work of separate federal cybersecurity organizations. (Federal Computer Week)
Synergy in Security: The Rise of the National Security Complex In his January 17, 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower cautioned: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
Five decades later, this complex, which Eisenhower defined as the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry,” is no longer new. And while Eisenhower’s warning is still pertinent, the scale, scope, and substance of the complex have changed in alarming ways. It has morphed into a new type of public-private partnership—one that spans military, intelligence, and homeland-security contracting, and might be better called a “national security complex.” (Dollars and Sense)
CONTRACTS Booz Allen & Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded an $8,925,518 contract which will develop innovative cyber security capabilities and network defense for Air Force information systems. At this time, $164,682 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-D-4002, Delivery Order 0410). (US Department of Defense)
Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.
The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval was a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.
"This is really a sea change," said a former senior official who specializes in national security law. "It's almost a mainstay of this country that the N.S.A. only does foreign searches." - The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted. (New York Times)
Obama's National Cybersecurity Initiative: Privacy and Civil liberties are Damned -- Puts NSA in the Driver's Seat On March 2, the Obama administration issued a sanitized version of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), releasing portions that discussed intrusion detection systems on federal networks.
The announcement was made by former Microsoft executive Howard A. Schmidt, appointed cybersecurity coordinator by President Obama in December. The partial unveiling came during the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, an annual industry conference for security professionals.
CNCI's 2008 launch was shrouded in secrecy by the Bush administration. Authority for the program is derived from a classified order issued by President Bush. However, the contents of National Security Presidential Directive 54, also known as Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD 54/HSPD 23) have never been released for public scrutiny.
"Virtually everything about the initiative is highly classified," the Senate Armed Services Committee wrote in a 2008 report, "and most of the information that is not classified is categorized as 'For Official Use Only.'" (Global Research)
Senators introduce bill that would allow US to disconnect the Internet en. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), along with one Republican and Democratic senator, introduced a bill late last week that would allow the President to effectively disconnect the internet by emergency decree.
The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act would allow the President to disconnect Internet networks and force private websites to comply with broad cybersecurity measures.
Future US presidents would have their Internet "kill switch" powers renewed indefinitely.
The bill was introduced by Lieberman, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE). A parallel bill was drafted last year by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) which would allow the federal government to unilaterally "order the disconnection" of certain websites. (The Raw Story)
Apple patents 'anti-sexting' technology Apple has patented technology that could be used by parents to prevent their kids from sending sexually explicit text messages -- or "sexting."
The technology, which has not been commercialized, would let a phone's administrator block an iPhone from sending or receiving texts with certain words.
Messages containing blocked material either would not be received or would have the objectionable content redacted. Unlike other text blockers, Apple's version would also be able to filter content based on a child's grade level and claims to filter abbreviated words that maybe missed by other programs. (CNN)
Do We Need a New Internet? Two decades ago a 23-year-old Cornell University graduate student brought the Internet to its knees with a simple software program that skipped from computer to computer at blinding speed, thoroughly clogging the then-tiny network in the space of a few hours.
The program was intended to be a digital “Kilroy Was Here.” Just a bit of cybernetic fungus that would unobtrusively wander the net. However, a programming error turned it into a harbinger heralding the arrival of a darker cyberspace, more of a mirror for all of the chaos and conflict of the physical world than a utopian refuge from it.
Since then things have gotten much, much worse.
Bad enough that there is a growing belief among engineers and security experts that Internet security and privacy have become so maddeningly elusive that the only way to fix the problem is to start over.
What a new Internet might look like is still widely debated, but one alternative would, in effect, create a “gated community” where users would give up their anonymity and certain freedoms in return for safety. Today that is already the case for many corporate and government Internet users. As a new and more secure network becomes widely adopted, the current Internet might end up as the bad neighborhood of cyberspace. You would enter at your own risk and keep an eye over your shoulder while you were there. (New York Times)
6 reasons to worry about cybersecurity: As new technology opens enterprises to more sophisticated threats, old exploits are getting smarter The threats from increasingly professional cyber criminals, spies and hackers are evolving to address the adoption of new technologies and platforms by government and private-sector enterprises.
“Obviously, the same old stuff is still a problem,” said Patricia Titus, chief information security officer at Unisys Federal Systems and former CISO at the Transportation Security Administration. Botnets continue to proliferate, and known worms such as Zeus continue to bounce back. “Zeus 2.0 is getting ready to hit the streets,” she said.
Attackers are also becoming more sophisticated, doing a better job of covering their tracks, splitting exploits among multiple vulnerabilities to make detection more difficult, and using new platforms such as social networking not only as vectors for delivering malware but also as resources for targeting attacks at high-value victims.
“The bad guys are going to target where the people are, and millions of people are on the social networking sites,” Titus said. (Government Computer News)
Urban model for cybersecurity ed: San Diego A Slovakian antivirus company with its American headquarters in San Diego is trying to make good cybersecurity just as much a part of the local fabric as good beaches and Chargers football.
Eset launched the Securing Our eCity program with the San Diego Chamber of Commerce two years ago to offer free workshops to consumers and small businesses on how to stay safe online. Today it has become a model for similar initiatives being launched in Malaysia, Buenos Aires, and London. And it helped with the creation of the Stop Think Connect campaign launched last week as part of National Cyber Security Awareness month.
"San Diego is the first community to implement the messaging in a complete awareness campaign," with billboards, public service announcements, and radio and print ads, Darin Andersen, chief operating officer at Eset, told CNET in an interview this week. (CNET News)
Senate Homeland Security Committee approves cybersecurity legislation The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved a comprehensive cybersecurity bill on Thursday after amending it to limit the president's authority in the event of a cyber emergency.
The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) would make the Department of Homeland Security responsible for protecting civilian networks in the government and private sector. The bill will now head to the full Senate for a vote, where it will likely be merged with other competing pieces of cybersecurity legislation.
"These cyber attacks are increasingly more sophisticated, more persistent and more successful," Carper said. "In short -- the status quo is simply not enough."
The original bill gave the president indefinite emergency authority to shut down private sector or government networks in the event of a cyber attack capable of causing massive damage or loss of life. An amendment passed Thursday limits that authority further, requiring the president to get Congressional approval after controlling a network for 120 days. (The Hill)
Bond Hatch Introduce Cyber Security Bill - U.S. Senators Kit Bond (R-MO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) today introduced legislation to protect our nation from the silent threat that could devastate our country--cyber attacks.
“After the failed Christmas Day and Times Square attacks, every American is aware of the threat from a terrorist with a bomb, which could take out a city block or bring down an airplane, but there is a silent threat that could devastate our entire nation--cyber attacks,” said Bond, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Our enemies won’t wait for us to do our homework, solve our turf battles, or modernize our laws before using our networks as a deadly weapon; in fact, the attacks have already started. We don’t have another day to waste, and our bill is the best solution to address this threat.” - The legislation Bond and Hatch introduced today, the National Cyber Infrastructure Protection Act of 2010, will put our nation on the right path to securing our networks. The bill is based on three principles: first, Congress must set lanes in the road to protect our nation’s cyber security, but leave flexibility for the private sector and Government to adapt to changing threats. Next, there must be one person who has real authority to coordinate our cyber security efforts across the federal government. The Bond-Hatch bill puts an end to the current authority gap and designates a Senate-confirmed individual, who is accountable to both Congress and the American people and reports directly to the President, to coordinate these efforts. Learning from past Congressional failures, the Senators’ bill gives the new Cyber Director the clout needed to do the job, including clear input into cyber budgets across all federal agencies.
Third, the Bond-Hatch bill creates a voluntary, public-private partnership, the Cyber Defense Alliance, to facilitate the flow of information about cyber threats and the latest technologies between the private sector and government. The Senators pointed out that since the private sector is often on the front lines of cyber attacks, encouraging their sharing of information with the government—and the government’s sharing of information with them—will make all our networks more secure. (Kit Bond)
Cybersecurity Act of 2010 Passes Senate Committee This year's version of the Cybersecurity Act was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs after amending it to limit the president's authority in the event of a cyber emergency, reported The Hill.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Tom Carper (D-Del.), is an update to a bill from last year that was also worked on by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). At that time, people were concerned about reports that it would give the President a "kill switch" to shut down the Internet, though the technical details of exactly how a single switch could shut down the Internet were not specified.
"Giving government, especially the president, unprecedented control over America's trunk line of information, over electronic free speech and over business activities simply invites suspicions about whether it would be used politically to frighten people at election time—as did the color-code alerts—and to trample on constitutional rights like the Patriot Act did," wrote the Idaho Mountain Express, noting that Lieberman said he had modeled that aspect of the bill on governmental rights in Communist China. (Daniweb)
Internet 'Kill Switch' Would Give President Power To Shut Down The Web A new Senate bill, sponsored by Senator Joseph Lieberman, proposes to give the president the authority "to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet," according to CNET.
The authority granted to the government in the bill, known as the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), has been likened to an Internet "kill switch."
The bill would require that private companies--such as "broadband providers, search engines, or software firms," CNET explains--"immediately comply with any emergency measure or action" put in place by the Department of Homeland Security, or else face fines.
It would also see the creation of a new agency within the Department of Homeland Security, the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC). Any private company reliant on "the Internet, the telephone system, or any other component of the U.S. 'information infrastructure'" would be "subject to command" by the NCCC, and some would be required to engage in "information sharing" with the agency, says CBS4. (Huffington Post)
Rogue ad hits New York Times site The New York Times' Web site is grappling with problems created by an "unauthorized advertisement," but it is unknown how the ads managed to appear on the site and whether the site had been compromised.
The rogue ad warns readers that their computer may be infected with a virus and redirects them to a site that purports to offer antivirus software, according to a note posted to the newspaper's Media & Advertising section:
Some NYTimes.com readers have seen a pop-up box warning them about a virus and directing them to a site that claims to offer antivirus software. We believe this was generated by an unauthorized advertisement and are working to prevent the problem from recurring. If you see such a warning, we suggest that you not click on it. Instead, quit and restart your Web browser. (CNet News)
Drudge Report accused of serving malware, again For the second time in less than six months, visitors to the Drudge Report say they got malware in addition to the Web site's usual sensational headlines.
Matt Drudge denied that his site was infecting visitors, however it's likely that the malware is coming from ads delivered by a third-party ad network and not the site itself.
"I can personally vouch for disinfecting my mom's desktop yesterday after visiting this Web page, even taking a screenshot after beginning remedial steps to address the attempted infection," a CNET reader wrote in an e-mail early on Tuesday. "I'm an IT professional in South Carolina so I know and understand the technology involved."
The screenshot the reader provided to CNET shows a pop-up warning the viewer that the system is infected with malware and looks like a typical fake antivirus warning that criminals use to scare people into paying for software they don't need.
The reader, who asked to remain anonymous, said he did not know exactly where on the site his mother had clicked before the fake warning appeared. (CNet News)
Microsoft: Keep internet healthy by isolating infected PCs Computers infected with malware should be disconnected from the internet to prevent them posing a risk to the rest of the online community, a top security executive at Microsoft has urged. - In a paper delivered to the ISSE 2010 computer security conference in Berlin on Wednesday, Scott Charney, Microsoft's vice president of Trustworthy Computing, proposed the move as part of a re-think of global IT cybersecurity along public-health lines. Quarantining infected PCs would help prevent malware from spreading and could help battle botnets, he said.
"If a device is known to be a danger to the internet, the user should be notified and the device should be cleaned before it is allowed unfettered access to the internet, minimising the risk of the infected device contaminating other devices," Charney said. (ZD Net)
Microsoft's PC Quarantine Plan A plan by Microsoft Security Chief Scott Charney would place infected or unsecured PCs in an Internet isolation ward. And block users from Internet access.
How might this work? Let's try this potential scenario.
Hello this is your ISP. We regret to inform you that your system has been quarantined and will not be allowed to access the Internet. We have detected that your system may be infected with malware and that you are not running the approved and certified security software to protect your system. Please remove the malware and update your security software (how you can do this without an Internet connection is your problem). Sorry about any important emails, business opportunities, emergency notices and VOIP-based phone calls that you are now missing. Have a nice day. (Information Week)
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)
India halt vaccine programmes after the deaths of four children Vaccine programmes grind to a halt in India once more, when four children died after they received the measles vaccination in Lucknow. The four children were reported to have fainted soon after they were vaccinated and witnesses reported seeing the children's eyes roll back as they began to have seizures. All of the children were under the age of two years of age, with the youngest being just six months. Sadly the children died before medical aid workers could reach them.
As news of the deaths spread, immunization drives in 41 villages have been halted until further investigations have taken place.
The Indian Express stated in their article 4 children die within minutes of vaccination - www.indianexpress.com that-
"The immunisation programme was being conducted as part of the government's Jachha Bachha Suraksha Abhiyan launched on August 15. Minutes after vaccination, the children started gasping for breath." (Blitz)
Devices detonated at Discovery gunman's home A gunman who burst into the Discovery Communications headquarters with explosive devices strapped to his body and took three people hostage on Wednesday was armed with starter pistols, Montgomery County Police said Thursday.
The two weapons in gunman James J. Lee's possession were starter pistols, and not handguns as police previously thought, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Starter pistols are incapable of firing bullets.
Authorities also found four explosive devices during a search of Lee's home in the 2500 block of Kimberly Street in Wheaton on Thursday morning. Those devices were successfully detonated. (WTOP)
James J Lee Manifesto: The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY: 1. The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My Ishmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other's inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!! ... (James J Lee)
Will the media call the Silver Spring/Discovery Channel gunman an environmental terrorist? In Silver Spring, Maryland a gunman has entered the headquarters of the popular cable network the Discovery Channel and taken at least one hostage. The gunman appears to have been protesting the cable channel for sometime, and has left behind an internet manifesto dedicated to pushing a radical environmental and anti-population growth philosophy. In the manifesto, he demands: “The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY.” (Washington Examiner)
Group Attacks Google Privacy, Schmidt with Times Square Ad Just in time for the holiday weekend, a California-based consumer group has purchased space on a Times Square jumbotron to display a video that attacks Google chief executive Eric Schmidt and his company's privacy policies.
The effort is part of Consumer Watchdog's "Don't Track Me" campaign, which is pushing Congress to pass legislation that would create a list of consumers who do not want Internet companies tracking their online activities – much like the "do not call" list bans unsolicited telemarketing calls.
"We're satirizing Schmidt in the most highly-trafficked public square in the nation to make the public aware of how out of touch Schmidt and Google are when it comes to our privacy rights," Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said in a statement. (PC Mag)
Worries about US data on Iraqis: Privacy advocates, those scanned fear misuse if files shared Over the past seven years, US soldiers in Iraq have used sweeping wartime powers to collect fingerprints, iris scans, and even DNA from ordinary people and suspected insurgents, an effort that has helped the Pentagon amass one of the world’s most comprehensive databases of biometric information collected during a war.
As the war draws down, however, the collection of so much personal information has raised questions about how data gathered during wartime should be used during times of peace, and with whom that information should be shared. - Nearly 7 percent of Iraq’s 29 million people are cataloged — their names, facial scans, and often other details about them, such as whether they were considered a friend or foe. Now, US officials are debating about how much of the powerful data should be shared with Iraq and how much Iraq’s own troubled security forces should be encouraged to continue collecting information.
Some Iraqis fear that the transfer of data to their government could create a “hit list’’ of Iraqis who worked with the US military or a tool for settling ethnic or sectarian scores.
“Those people, they trusted the US government and worked with them,’’ said Naseer Nouri, 52, who helps run an organization to assist Iraqi refugees in adjusting to life in the United States. - Today, the Pentagon’s database, which is kept separate from the FBI files, contains information on some 4 million people from around the world, about 40 percent of whom are Iraqis. Officials would not divulge from where the rest of the information was gathered.
US forces started collecting fingerprints in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, as part of interrogations of agents of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The US military also helped computerize Iraq’s fingerprint files from Hussein’s era. US soldiers reportedly collected fingerprints and DNA samples from 80,000 detainees in their custody. (It is not clear how those samples have been used.) (Boston Globe)
Did market manipulation cause Wall Street ‘flash crash?’ The Securities and Exchange Commission is keeping a close eye on a stock market practice that may violate rules against market manipulation, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The practice, called quote stuffing, happens when stock exchanges are flooded and, at times, clogged by huge numbers of buy and sell orders orders that are ultimately cancelled.
Regulators are trying to determine if traders are using rapid-fire computerized trading systems to cause the inundation by design, purposefully gumming up the exchanges and giving traders an information advantage on small price movements in stocks.
The Journal reported that the SEC is investigating whether quote stuffing may have been one of the causes of the May 6 flash crash, when the Dow briefly plunged 1,000 points in a matter of minutes.
To get an idea of the volume of quotes produced by high-speed, computerized trading, consider this: During the day of the flash crash, there were hundreds of times that a single stock had over 1,000 quotes from one exchange in a single second, according to Nanex, a ticker of quotes and trades. (The Raw Story)
Texas probing Google over search results The attorney general of the US state of Texas has opened an inquiry into whether Internet giant Google manipulates search results.
Google disclosed the antitrust probe in a blog post late Friday following a report by technology website SearchEngineLand.com on the investigation by the Texas authorities.
“We recognize that as Google grows, we’re going to face more questions about how our business works,” Google’s deputy general counsel Don Harrison said. (Agence France-Presse)
No defence left against double-dip recession, says Nouriel Roubini The United States, Japan and large parts of Europe have exhausted their policy arsenal, leaving them defenceless against a double-dip recession as recovery slows to ‘stall speed’. - “The US has run out of bullets,” said Nouriel Roubini, professor at New York University, and one of a caste of luminaries with grim forecasts at the annual Ambrosetti conference on Lake Como.
“More quantitative easing (bond purchases) by the Federal Reserve is not going to make any difference. Treasury yields are already down to 2.5pc yet credit spreads are widening again. Monetary policy can boost liquidity but it can’t deal with solvency problems,” he told Europe’s policy elite.
Dr Roubini said the US growth rate was likely to fall below 1pc in the second half of the year, despite the biggest stimulus in history: a cut in interest rates from 5pc to zero, a budget deficit of 10pc of GDP, and $3 trillion to shore up the financial system.
The anaemic pace compares with rates of 4pc-6pc at this stage of recovery in normal post-war recoveries.
“We have reached stall speed. Any shock at this point can tip you back into recession. With interbank spreads rising, you can get a vicious circle like 2008-2009,” he said, describing a self-feeding process as the real economy and the credit system hurt each other.
“There is a 40pc chance of double-dip recession in the US, and worse in Japan. Even if it is not technically a recession it will feel like it,” he added. (London Telegraph)
I am happy that truth has come out: Pachauri Cleared of financial wrongdoing, R K Pachauri, who heads the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, is weighing reforms put forth by a UN-ordered probe.
You have emerged unscathed out of the accusations about your role as chairman of the IPCC... - Anything in the UN probe report you completely or partly disagree with?
They have talked about quantifying uncertainties. To some extent, we are doing that, though not perfectly. But the issue is that in some cases, you really don't have a quantitative base by which you can attach a probability or a level of uncertainty that defines things in quantitative terms. And there, let's not take away the importance of expert judgment. And that is something the report has missed or at least not pointed out. (Times of India)
The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda. The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis”, Part I As the 9th anniversary of 9/11 nears, and the war on terror continues to be waged and grows in ferocity and geography, it seems all the more imperative to return to the events of that fateful September morning and re-examine the reasons for war and the nature of the stated culprit, Al-Qaeda.
The events of 9/11 pervade the American and indeed the world imagination as an historical myth. The events of that day and those leading up to it remain largely unknown and little understood by the general public, apart from the disturbing images repeated ad nauseam in the media. The facts and troubled truths of that day are lost in the folklore of the 9/11 myth: that the largest attack carried out on American ground was orchestrated by 19 Muslims armed with box cutters and urged on by religious fundamentalism, all under the direction of Osama bin Laden, the leader of a global terrorist network called al-Qaeda, based out of a cave in Afghanistan.
The myth sweeps aside the facts and complex nature of terror, al-Qaeda, the American empire and literally defies the laws of physics. As John F. Kennedy once said, “The greatest enemy of the truth is not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, pervasive, and unrealistic.”
This three-part series on “The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda” examines the geopolitical historical origins and nature of what we today know as al-Qaeda, which is in fact an Anglo-American intelligence network of terrorist assets used to advance American and NATO imperial objectives in various regions around the world.
Part 1 examines the origins of the intelligence network known as the Safari Club, which financed and organized an international conglomerate of terrorists, the CIA’s role in the global drug trade, the emergence of the Taliban and the origins of al-Qaeda. (Global Research)
House GOP leaders: 9/11 first responders aid bill 'a massive new entitlement program' House Republican leadership is advising its members to vote against a bipartisan bill that would, among other things, bolster medical support to Sept. 11 victims.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), would provide medical monitoring to those exposed to toxins at ground zero, bolster treatment at specialized centers for those afflicted by toxins on Sept. 11 and reopen a compensation fund to provide for the economic loss of victims.
And it’s all paid for by closing a tax loophole on foreign companies with U.S. subsidiaries, Democrats said.
But according to Republicans, it’s a job-killing growth of government that would create a new entitlement and waste taxpayer dollars. (Politico)
Airway Injury Plaguing 9/11 First Responders New research suggests that airway injuries account for the asthma that has afflicted many New York City Fire Department rescue workers who were exposed to dust from the World Trade Center collapse.
The dust appears to be causing symptoms similar to those seen in decades past in miners exposed to toxins, said Dr. Michael D. Weiden, a New York City fire department medical officer and lead author of the new study on the lung problems of the 9/11 rescue workers.
“You usually think people get an injury and they heal,” he said. “In this case, they continued to have symptoms and present for medical attention for a long time after a relatively brief exposure. It shows that the irritation caused ongoing inflammation which affected the airways of these people.”
Experts estimate that as many as 40,000 people breathed noxious pollution, including dust, in the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Protective masks weren’t always immediately available for first responders. (Health.com)
BP Thugs Threatening Independent Scientists That Have Found Corexit And Oil In BP Gulf Oil Spill Waters I just received a phone call from a member of Testings The Waters a citizen’s initiative to push for independent BP Gulf Oil Spill water testing who told me some alarming news.
He pointed me over to a WKRG news report about independent water tests confirming that Corexit is being found in washing up in Orange Beach Alabama waters. - If tests results are true, the absorbent boom being brought to Margaret Longs house on Cotton Bayou may already be too late.
“My chemist found the corexit,” she yells to a neighbor. She first got suspicious when she saw something in the water she had never seen before. She even took photographs, “Some times it’s about the size of a half dollar. Some times it streams along and its like floating sand.”
When the opportunity arose she took some samples. “It was floating in the water. A boat goes by making a bigger wake than its suppose to and it came over the seawall and I had puddles of water along here.”
She got samples and sent them to chemist Bob Naman in Mobile whose tests results show 13 point 3 parts per million of the chemical dispersant corexit. (Alexander Higgins)
'It's as if a Nuclear Apocalypse has Gone Off in the Gulf' There are a few new, developing BP-related stories that should greatly disturb any American who values openness and transparency in their democracy.
First, a chemist named Bob Naman claims samples he received from Orange Beach Alabama waters tested positive for the dangerous neurotoxin pesticide 2-butoxyethanol, the main ingredient of Corexit 9527A. The government has been claiming they discontinued the use of that version of Corexit in the Gulf. Now, Naman says he's worried because BP called him and "threatened him."
Next, Dr. Nyman of Louisiana State University, who began comparative tests early May to determine the impact of oil and the impact of Corexit laced oil on maritime life, says, while marine life may recover quickly from oil exposure, the same cannot be said about exposure to Corexit. (Huffington Post)
BP spill: White House says oil has gone, but Gulf's fishermen are not so sure Counsellors and lawyers are busier than seafarers in Louisiana, as some experts warn that fishing industry will never recover - High tide, and the remains of a late summer storm, and it is hard to tell on this strip of land between the Mississippi and the marsh where land ends and water begins. It was here – in the most southerly reaches of Louisiana on terrain that is slowly sliding into the sea – that oil from BP's Macondo well first started coming ashore, about a week after the 20 April explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. Eleven men were killed when the drilling platform blew up.
And it is here where local people will take the most convincing that the worst of the oil spill is behind them and that recovery is under way.
Barack Obama's point man on the spill, the US Coast Guard's former commander, Thad Allen, said at the weekend that the well no longer posed any threat to the Gulf. Crews will begin the last few remaining operations needed to abandon the well this week.
People here live and die by the water. On a fine day the docks in Venice empty out, with seaworthy boats and able-bodied crew off to look for oil contamination, at sea and in the marsh grass.
No one, it seems, believes the assurances from the White House or government scientists that the oil is largely gone. And no one really believes BP when oil company executives say they will stay in Louisiana for the long haul. (London Guardian)
The Right Comparison Between Recoveries The Wall Street Journal ran a graph this weekend claiming, “The private sector is adding jobs … but the recovery is slower than in past cycles.” In fact, even though it is not fast enough, the rate of job growth is actually faster now than was the case at comparable points of the past two recoveries.
How did the Wall Street Journal get it wrong? The problem is that their graph indexes job growth to the start of the recession, not the start of the recovery. The economy stopped contracting at the end of the second quarter last year and has since expanded for four straight quarters. So June 2009 is a reasonable date to pick for the start of the recovery, although the “official” date has not yet been set by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Private sector job growth started six months after GDP started expanding in the current recovery. By contrast, in the 2001 recovery private sector job growth did not begin until 22 months after the official NBER end date of the recession, and in the 1991 recovery job growth did not start until 12 months after the official NBER end date of the recession. (White House)
Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request No. 2009USMS13697, Subject: Images To John Verdi, Esq. of the Electronic Privacy Information Center - In response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and the litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia pertaining thereto, the Marshals Service has completed a supplemental search for records relating to the component of your request seeking "All unfiltered or unoscured images captured using Whole Body Imaging technology." (Department of Justice)
Secretary Napolitano Announces Additional Recovery Act-Funded Advanced Imaging Technology Deployments Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the deployment of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded advanced imaging technology (AIT) to 28 additional airports nationwide - strengthening security at airports throughout the nation while creating local jobs.
"As part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to* best protect the traveling public and detect terrorism threats, we continue to deploy state-of-the-art advanced imaging technology across the country," said Secretary Napolitano. "The rapid deployment of this critical technology, made possible by Recovery Act funds, will strengthen security at even more airports nationwide."
"The deployment of advanced imaging technology demonstrates TSA's ongoing commitment to stay ahead of evolving threats to aviation security and protect the traveling public," said TSA Administrator John Pistole. - ARRA, signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, committed more than $3 billion for homeland security projects through DHS and the General Services Administration (GSA). Of the $1 billion allocated to TSA for aviation security projects, $734 million is dedicated to screening checked baggage and $266 million is allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technologies. (Department of Homeland Security)
"Keep your eye on that building, it'll be coming down soon." Firemen evacuated the area as they prepared for the collapse of Building Seven. "We heard a Mayday for everybody to get out of the building [140 West] -- no, I'm sorry, an urgent, three urgents, and we came out of the building [before 4 p.m.]. ... We were then positioned on Vesey Street between North End and the West Side Highway because there was an imminent collapse on 7 World Trade, and it did collapse." [Brian Fitzpatrick, Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.)]
"It's blowin' boy." ... "Keep your eye on that building, it'll be coming down soon." ... "The building is about to blow up, move it back." ... "Here we are walking back. There's a building, about to blow up..."
When buildings such as WTC 7 are demolished the collapse is initiated by an explosion in the central area of the basement. This causes the building to collapse in on itself and minimizes damage to surrounding structures (CNN)
Carpenter Marlene Cruz Survives Explosions in WTC Basement On September 12, 2001, Peter Jennings interviews Marlene Cruz, a carpenter injured in one of the pre-collapse explosions in the sub-basement level B of the WTC North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane's point of impact at floors 93 to 98. She was the first casualty of 9/11 admitted at Bellevue Hospital. Cruz is a living witness whose testimony proves that pre-planted explosives were used to weaken the foundations of the towers as part of a well-planned controlled demolition. This clip was taken from original, unedited archive footage of ABC's broadcast on 9/12. (ABC)
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