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Friday, August 24, 2007

More Grisly Details of The Fascist States of America: Verizon NSA and Your Privacy

Telecom Firms Helped With Government's Warrantless Wiretaps

By Ellen NakashimaWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, August 24, 2007; Page D03

The Bush administration acknowledged for the first time that telecommunications companies assisted the government's warrantless surveillance program and were being sued as a result, an admission some legal experts say could complicate the government's bid to halt numerous lawsuits challenging the program's legality.

"[U]nder the president's program, the terrorist surveillance program, the private sector had assisted us," Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said in an interview with the El Paso Times published Wednesday.

Mike McConnell's statements could help plaintiffs in lawsuits against telecommunications companies. (By Alex Wong -- Getty Images For Meet The Press)
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His statement could help plaintiffs in dozens of lawsuits against the telecom companies, which allege that the companies participated in a wiretapping program that violated Americans' privacy rights, former Justice Department officials said. Warrantless surveillance began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and was placed under supervision of a special court in January.

An appeals court in San Francisco is weighing the government's argument that these cases should be thrown out on the grounds that the subject matter is a "state secret" and that its disclosure would jeopardize national security.

The government has repeatedly asserted that any relationship between the telecommunications firms and the National Security Agency's spy program is classified. The firms' alleged cooperation and other details of the program, government lawyers have argued, are so sensitive that they cannot be disclosed. The government has argued the lawsuits against the telecom firms must be dismissed.

"[D]isclosure of the information covered by this [state secrets] privilege assertion reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States," McConnell said in a sworn affidavit filed in a federal court in San Francisco in May.
David Kris, a former Justice Department official in Republican and Democratic administrations, said McConnell's admission makes it difficult to argue that the phone companies' cooperation with the government is a state secret. "It's going to be tough to continue to call it 'alleged' when he's just admitted it," Kris said.

Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for McConnell, declined to comment, as did spokesmen for AT&T and Verizon.

A challenge for the plaintiffs is to make a case using only public facts, said Kris, co-author of a new book, "National Security Investigations and Prosecutions." McConnell has just added to "the list of publicly available facts that are no longer state secrets," increasing the plaintiffs' chances that their cases can proceed, Kris said.

McConnell's statement "does serious damage to the government's state secrets claims that are at the heart of its defenses," said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology and an expert on state secrets privilege.

In his interview, McConnell also said that open discussion on matters such as these "means that some Americans are going to die."

But Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, said that McConnell's disclosure shows that "an important element of a program can be discussed publicly and openly without endangering the nation."

Fein noted that in the 1970s, President Richard Nixon argued national security would be harmed if the Church Committee permitted hearings on government surveillance of civilians. "These Cassandran cries that the earth is going to fall every time you have a discussion simply are not borne out by the facts," he said.

McConnell also said telecom firms should have immunity from lawsuits.

"If you play out the suits at the value they're claimed, it would bankrupt these companies," he said. The Bush administration has urged Congress to pass a law granting immunity to the telecom companies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More Support for the Troops & 14 Dead

while the politicians demand support for the troops...in Iraq
many are dying....and from mysterious "helicopter accidents"

but the pentagon maintains its 'mechanical failure only"...

I guess this excuses the deaths and makes them "easier
to accept"...politically back home...

Maybe this is simply pentagon speak for why supporting our troops
deaths at any level is acceptable...

Can we as a nation, please top partying in this country for one weekend and simply
hold a vigil and demand this congress and this administration to
stop the RED RAIN...

...american soldiers
....falling from sky....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Red Rain Falling; Boston Air Traffic Controller Blows the Whistle on 911

[Excerpts from the video:]
Question: Just tell us a little bit about your background.
Answer: My name is Robin Hordon. I am now a 58-year-old fellow and I kinda got into aviation before I graduated from [inaudible].
Q: So you worked from Boston Center.
A: ... I … came [to Boston Center] from my aviation career. That qualified me to be accepted into the FAA and then we just had to go through the rigorous training to either make it or break it.
And my destination indeed was the Boston Center. Not selected by me because I didn’t know it at that time but that’s kind of where I ended up. And that’s in Nashua, New Hampshire. I moved to Nashua, New Hampshire, with my young family after flying down at [Cape?] Island.
In any event, I ended up being engaged in the system itself. And I spent over three of my final eleven years engaged in procedures and other levels of management.
Q: So you have a good grasp of the whole air traffic control system.
A: Yes. I have a good grasp of the whole thing. ...
Q: OK.
A: And go ahead with your question.
Q: As far as September 11, how does this tie in to what happened that day and how our system reacted once we found out….
A: On September 11, I’m one of the few people who was in really for quite a few hours of the whole event taking place and just simply knew that it was an inside job.
And it wasn’t because of, you know, the visuals, the collapses, whatever, OK? I knew that it was an inside job I think within about four or five o’clock that afternoon and the reason I knew was because when those aircraft did collide and then we got the news information somewhere along the line and they could kind of roughly say where the aircraft went, I said, well, OK, wait a minute now, if they knew where the aircraft were and they were talking to them at a certain time, I said, then normal protocol is to get ... you know … fighter jet aircraft up to assist, OK? and I knew the edginess of the system at that time, who were always ready at that time, so I presumed that they were still fairly ready.
Q: Yes, right.
A: Uhmm, and …
Q: And you still know people that are working there, that have pretty much said the same thing, right?
A: Yes, I know people there who have confirmed to me that the FAA was not asleep, that the controllers and the controller desk was not asleep, they did their job, they followed their own protocols and actually, I think, created a few of their own for the emerging situation.
So the bottom line is that the only way that those, uhm, airliners could not have been intercepted is if there had been a major system failure, meaning electrical telecommunications, you know, a backhoe had just dug up all of the cables and nobody could talk to anybody, whatever, which is a huge coincidence if it would happen.
Q: But that didn’t actually happen. It was more mass confusion.
A: But that didn’t happen. There is no way.
So, as soon as I saw the information that the FAA or somebody had provided to the public, I said, well, that’s enough information for me to know that all of the systems in the centers were working well, and so I said, alright, so therefore, there is no way, OK? that American 11, 175, 93, and then 77, there is just no way they would have been able to be successful at their missions if there were any type of standard at all, if all of the equipment were available. It was just outside [inaudible].
Q: So obviously that day, there must have been things in place such as the war games and everything else that was on then.
A: Yah, I did not know at that time what was in place. What I did know was that it was abnormal. OK? And it took some time before we found some information. Actually it took a year or two before we found out about the key element in that entire day is that here had been some emergency handling, emergency aircraft handling protocol change, OK, that, that … I remember what emergency protocol was and I also remember what hijacking protocol was and they were two very different things.
And, uhm, so… these guys after the event have always been looking at hijacking protocols. My experience … I’ve had a save … and I’ve had other situations where I’ve handled hijackers go through my area and so I have handled both protocols personally.
And I knew that something was very wrong and that the first line of duty of an air traffic controller is to continually observe the well-being and positioning and success of all of the flights that are going through their sectors. That’s what we do. We do that a hundred percent of the time.
Q: And you’ve handled hijacked aircraft before, correct?
A: I’ve handled hijacked aircraft before. They were hijacked before they got to my sector. And I have handled emergency aircraft that we declared … we declared … as being emergency aircraft in my sector, OK? So I’ve handled the whole scope of events and I know what basically goes on.
And as far as American 11, what bothers me is that I know that the, uh, and I believe, that the controllers handling American 11 just knew something was seriously wrong as soon as it stopped responding and then, bang, it lost its primary target and then it’s on another routing.
You know, you absolutely know, OK, that there is significant and serious trouble going on in that flight right at that moment.
One of the things that most of the people don’t understand is what, how actually much air traffic controllers know.
You know, the aircraft is just way off course. It’s just not, it’s not rocket science. It’s unbelievably simple. You sit there and you see things go wrong. Then you start to take action.
And so the protocol on American 11 is it’s not a hijacker because that did not really occur as being a hijacker until somebody heard some possible voices or whatever. Well before that time, American 11 was really in significant trouble and the emergency aircraft protocol that air traffic controllers have, OK, calls for taking immediate action to deal with the situation and what you do is you don’t wait for the judge, jury and executioner to prove it’s emergency.
Q: Right.
A: If things start to go wrong you have the authority to simply say, OK, I am going to treat this craft as though it is an emergency because if everybody is wrong, fifteen minutes later, no big thing.
Q: Yah, and that’s the same way anywhere in aviation. That’s the same thing with pilots as well. Yah.
A: Absolutely. I know. Of course.
Q: Now once they have realized that American 11 was a hijack, what happens then?
A: I think there’s another set of protocols that go on. But before that, I don’t want to talk about when they discover or decide or somebody decides that it’s a hijack because, number one, you want to tell me exactly what it is, the evidence you will need that will prove that it’s a hijack? The only way that you can get absolute proof that it’s a hijack is for the captain of the airplane or some replacement to say that this aircraft is hijacked.
Q: Right.
A: Short of that what you do is that you just collect some evidence. That’s irrelevant.
The FAA, NORAD, the government, OK, what I call the high perps, the people who were, who perpetrated this whole thing at high levels, the high perps, what they want us to focus on is the hijack issue.
Q: Right.
A: That’s not what I focus on.
The air traffic controller is responding to the emergency condition of that aircraft well before he even thinks of it as being a hijack because they deal with aircraft in emergencies like this, not all the time, but often enough to understand that there needs to be another protocol. And then you boom, boom, boom, you try to get contact, you try the company, you try other aircraft in the area, you check stuff out.
And as the testimony in front of the 9/11 Commission admits, OK, NORAD admits that they saw when American 11 lost its transponder. Now they don’t jump out and do what they are protocoled to do.
My position is that this controller at the center followed the emergency aircraft protocol and started to reach out beforehand. And those are the communications in the tapes that have not been made available.
The only focus has been on the hijack protocol that is written down and the hijack protocol is something that takes place, uhm, after somewhere along the line, it might even be like over the North Atlantic that some trans-Atlantic flight has been hijacked and all of a sudden we get the information. And that protocol is put into place. So it’s a more, you know, it’s a different protocol after an emergency.
What the American … what the controller was seeing at Boston Center was … had very little to do with a hijack at that point, but it had everything to do with a jet airliner in significant electronic trouble. And when a jet airliner, a modern jet airliner, is in electronic trouble and it’s steering all over the sky and no responses, you assume a massive electrical failure and you assume that the aircraft is having difficulty controlling itself.
Q: But once they have pretty much determined that it’s been a hijack, what’s the protocol at that point?
A: The protocol at that time, uhm, has the … to make sure that the military, the military are involved first. Let’s just call the military either “Rummy’s military” or “the Pentagon.” What that means is that the Pentagon is alerted and they say, OK, uhm, we acknowledge that. It’s been confirmed as a hijacker. We want to monitor and follow that thing. And what we will do is, we will, if necessary, put up a fighter on its tail.
Q: When the hijack protocol is put into motion, basically what happens then as far as all the other systems … all the other centers in the system?
A: As soon as notification is given, as soon as this is discovered to be or decided to be that it was a hijacker, OK, what happens now in the protocol is that all sorts of people are informed about the situation – just say, Rummy’s military, OK, and civilian FAA, and it goes right down to Herndon [the FAA’s air traffic control command center]. And then the information is spread really all over the system.
Q: So the whole system is notified?
A: The whole system. And this has been admitted to … the fact … I mean, Cleveland knew, Indianapolis knew, New York knew. Everybody knew as soon as American 11 was declared a hijack. That’s what we knew. [Inaudible.]
Q: And then after, after 175 hit, of course the whole world knew that the United States was under attack and, by that time of course, all the centers would definitely know that….
A: My position is that as soon as … that, that the controllers at the New York Center who were controlling American 175, OK, indeed were already informed through the system, OK, that the hijackings had been recorded and that the system needs to be put on alert.
Now I want to remind people that there hadn’t been an active hijacking in what? a decade or something like that. So lemme just tell ya, even if they had walkie-talkies in the men’s rooms, OK, of all the air-traffic facilities across this country, if this unusual and highly-volatile event had occurred, there were enough experienced controllers to just spread this word like you couldn’t believe.
Q: Right.
A: This was information that’s like unbelievable, did you hear this? And bang, it’s across the system and it was formally across the system…
Q: Right.
A: … and it was acknowledged by the terrible tapes … the insufficient tapes and testimony that was presented to the 9/11 Commission … that indeed the system was alerted so everybody knew.
Q: Everybody knew.
A: Everybody in the system knew.
The problem was because of the hijacking protocol that was now into place ... and this is what happens … you get these hijackers, you get these circumstances that you’re not particularly familiar with, you break out your books. When you break out your books…
Q: Right. You follow the book.
A: … you start to reading and check, check, check.
And then all of a sudden….
And what that means is that the system now had to make some phone calls into … let’s call it … Rummy’s Pentagon. And Rummy’s Pentagon is the one that would then make the decision.
Well, Rummy’s Pentagon on American 11 didn’t answer the phone. Neither 175: didn’t answer the phone. I maintain they didn’t answer the phone until they absolutely were embarrassed into answering the phone somewhere along the flight of United 93 and American 77. Our first formal contact was at this particular time.
That is all distractionary. That is all designed to keep people off the focus. The real focus is what the air traffic controller did immediately upon seeing that American 11 was in trouble. And what we do as air traffic controllers is we get eyes and ears on this flight. We reach out and we hit the buttons, the communications buttons, between NORAD, which I will call ADC, Air Defence Command, OK, and we start to point out the targets and we say, what do you see? They admitted that they saw American 11 lose its transponder. They knew it. They saw it. That’s what they do. They monitor.
So my feeling is this. If the air traffic controller was going by emergency procedures, which he is trained to do, he would have reached out directly, OK, to ADC [Air Defence Command] and somebody and say, what do you see? I got a high-speed target, he says. It’s last reported at this altitude. It’s northwest, he’s x number of miles northeast of Albany, north of Keene, whatever it might be, heading … in this direction.
Q: Southwest of Dulles.
A: OK? And what do you see out there? So he would have reached out to ADC to get them involved right away.
Q: And what is ADC?
A: Air Defence Command. When I say ADC, I’m talking about the actual controllers who are sitting at the scopes in what is commonly known as NEADS [North Eastern Air Defence System] right now or the general NORAD system.
Q: Military [inaudible] defence.
A: These are the controllers. Let’s call them sector controllers, the same way that the guy working American 11 was called the sector controller.
Because when you push a button from your sector and you connect to Air Defence Command, you’re connecting to the controller within, or the observer within, NORAD who has jurisdiction on that air space. You push the button -- you are not talking to Denver [NORAD HQ]. You’re talking to the guy who is responsible for x number of square miles up in the northeast quadrant of the United States of America.
Q: What’s the [inaudible: “disinfo?”] of American 11 and the lack of response based on what we knew at that time, at 5 minutes, 8 minutes after the hour of 9:00 that morning, uhm, after American 11 and 175 has [sic] already hit the North and the South Tower and American 77 is still a half an hour away from Washington, D.C., and supposedly hijacked. Uhm, Indianapolis Center is trying to contact them. They contact Langley at 9:08 and let them know that American 77 is missing at that time. Now Indianapolis Center at that time should have already been notified of American 11 and United 175, is that correct?
A: As soon as American 11 was considered to be hijacked, the entire FAA system from coast to coast, all facilities, OK, ah, enroute centers, OK, approach tracons, and towers were all, would be normally all informed. Everybody, the flight service stations, would receive a general notice. Everybody gets information on what would be considered … what used to be considered a teletype but now is probably just e-mail type messages or whatever it might be.
Q: So by the time American 77 had turned off their transponder and…
A: This is so way after the fact.
Q: Yah.
A: So way after the fact.
Let me just break that down about this information. Once the Boston Center plugged into the National down at Herndon and they got the information out, Herndon is immediately going to generate a message to all facilities coast to coast.
Now in all facilities coast to coast, especially in the major facilities, there are people who are sitting there, right there, it is their job to keep track of the national airspace system is what’s going on.
So when this hot potato comes across their teletype or comes onto their e-mail message, OK, they have protocols, they have procedures. They are to take that information and immediately dispense it to the supervisors covering all of the sectors and all of the airspace in there.
Then when these on-floor, these, you know, let’s call them on-duty or active supervisors who are right beside the controllers themselves, they’re mixed right in, we see that on TV, we see that all over the place, uhm, they go right to their sectors, they go right to the controllers right at the sectors, and they say, OK, here’s a national update, uh, we just got information that a hijacking has occurred up at Boston Center. And, uhm, OK, so just give me any information that you get if you see anything unusual.
I’m going to tell you. If any …
Q: So when Indianapolis Center…
A: Wait a minute. Lemme ….
Q: … saw that there was something unsual of American 77 turning around, that should automatically raise some red flags.
A: They already knew. Lemme explain it. They already understood after American 11.
Q: OK.
A: Let’s say that at arbitrarily 8:30, let’s just make it arbitrary and say 8:30, somebody there said, OK, this is a hijacking, at that point that other hijacking protocol kicks into place. That calls for the national FAA system to be notified. Now let’s say it’s 8:34, maybe 8:35. I’m going to tell you straight out. Every air traffic controller and flight service station position in this country was probably notified by their supervisor. They don’t mess around. They get that information out to them.
So let’s say it’s now 8:35. The entire system is notified that, OK, to be on alert for hijacked aircraft, aircraft acting strangely. OK? That means from what I understand about the timing, that as soon as United 175 started to do its dippity-do in the sky that the air traffic controller sitting there already would have been briefed as would his area supervisor.
And indeed that is in fact testified to. Because as soon as United 175 started to do a major course change and couldn’t be raised, bang, OK? the guy said, I think I’ve got a hijacking here too.
The only way that he could have come to that conclusion, Rob, was that he was pre-informed to look out for suspicious-behaving aircraft.
Q: Right, now you wanted to make some other points?
A: Yah, one of the points I wanted to talk about is one of the things that came through in the Vanity Fair issue, which is that NORAD can’t do anything, ADC can’t do anything, unless they get latitudes or coordinates, OK, of the particular aircraft, and insinuating that the aircraft involved, all but American 77, were not radar-identified all the way through their flight.
Well, it’s very clear now through testimony and documents given to us by the federal government, that indeed … and testimony in front of [the] 9/11 [Commission] that was kind of a little slipped into there that nobody picked up … that the Boston Center actually tracked American 11 as a primary target after it lost its radar, after it lost its transponder, all the way to World Trade Center. It tracked it.
Further information later indicates that the ADC radars or NORAD radars had it tracked, OK, because they could tell some possible altitudes about it. Uhm, so American 11 was tracked all the way.
NORAD admits, OK, that United 175 never really turned off its beacon, its transponder.
Q: Right. And that’s when that occurs, right?
A: OK? They may have switched codes or whatever. But the bottom line is that that aircraft never lost real tracking. 93 is basically the same. And the only one we really lost was American 77.
And people will come eventually in this project to understand, or into [sic] this movement, to understand, that, when American 77, being the only aircraft that actually lost target, we lost its radar return, primary and secondary, in the mountains of, I think, West Virginia, that type of area, OK, it’s going to really play a big role.
The bottom line of the story is all of those aircraft were always tracked all the time by the Boston [sic] … by the FAA air traffic control centers and my position is, if we really got the tapes from all of the sectors, we would find that the sector controllers would have reached out to the military, the Air Defence Command guys, and started doing the point-outs.
The reason we’re not getting that information and the reason that it’s locked down is because that puts the finger and responsibility right onto Rummy’s military because I maintain they knew where all of these aircraft were all of the time with the one exception that, ah, once American 11’s radar … excuse me, 77’s radar, was lost west of West Virginia, out in Indianapolis Center some place, that, uhm, that the radar targets that emerged west of Dulles was [sic] never positively identified by anybody anywhere at any time, as actually being American Airlines, Flight 77. It was only identified as ….
Q: It was simply identified as the target that hit the Pentagon.
A: That’s correct, OK. But every other target was fundamentally tracked right into where it crashed. So when NORAD or anybody else says, well, we couldn’t find them in this maze of whatever, excuse me, the bottom line is you had some FAA personnel who tracked the aircraft who were on the line, pointing these aircraft out to you in reference to known geographical positions.
Ah, that’s why we don’t have the tapes. That’s why we don’t have some of the flight data recorders that many people said have been found. This is why we don’t have the evidence that was carted away and trucked away from the bottom of the World Trade Center building collapse. It’s evidence. It’s gone. They needed to get rid of all that evidence because if they had a chance to evaluate it properly, then it would be very clear who’s behind this whole thing.
Additionally this is why the, uhm, the civilian air traffic control personnel have been muted. Their voices have been completely shut down by the government.
Rummy always had the ability to shut down any military person involved in it with NEADS, with NORAD, with any of the other air defence command situations, because they’re military people and they have to follow orders.
And any tapes, any recordings, any information that we get from them could be simply identified as being, you know, it’s just “Top Secret” type stuff, it’s classified, OK? Now, the FAA tapes and whatever it might be isn’t classified, but I believe that that’s why the … somebody told me that the FBI absconded with them … but, one way or another, only certain portions of the tapes throughout the entire events of those days, from all the FAA facilities, only portions have been given. Not all controllers, all supervisors, all pilot communications, all intersector communications, and all interfacility communications have been allowed to be studied and analyzed. They’re holding them because they tell the true story.
Instead what they did is they cherry-picked transmissions, communications and statements made all along these four flights that were able to paint and write a story that the public would look at and say, ooh wow, this really happened. Blah blah blah.
But it wasn’t factual. It was a story. And it did not tell anything other than what, OK, the high perps wanted the public to hear. They cherry-picked this information.
And really if there is another research into 9/11 and it’s a really honest one, we need all the tapes and we need to be able to get testimony from all of the air traffic control staff, including the wide number of observers that were around at Boston Centre, New York Center, Cleveland Center, and Indianapolis Center.
There’s always different people around [inaudible], doing this, doing that. When these events occur, people are there. We need to have their testimony, free and clear. Right now it’s all been shut down.
So the radar was good almost all the way with the exception of American 77 and all of the voices, testimony, tapes, and whatever, have not been made available. ...
Q: That was excellent. Thank you.
(Former Boston FAA air traffic controller Robin Hordon.)
Pilots for 9/11 Truth, Aviation Reality on 9/11. http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/129.html, downloaded 28 July 2007.