"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"
PutinBush * NuclearLies * SibelHouse * democracy?
03 March 2005 "Whatever you do, you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage
that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson1) Putin and Bush -- a McLaughlin group perspective
- - US Death Toll Reaches 1,500 in Iraq
- - 48 Vermont Towns Vote Against Iraq War2) Nuclear Survivors Say They Were Fed Lies in Government Cover-Ups
3) Two courageous women continue the fight for 9/11 truth!
- - No Plane Hit the Pentagon
- - Rumsfeld Sued over Prisoner Torture
- - Negroponte's Sins...On Film4) Conyers Forces Election Reform on House Floor
- - Support National Election Reform! -- The VOTER Act (H.R. 533) Editor's Notes:
Flyby News is actually a conglomerate blog that began from a mind-set to resist the Cassini flyby, the weaponization of space, and world domination by US military and special interests, and at the time of the phenomena of world Internet news.
Item one opens with a McLaughlin Group discussion on the Putin-Bush dance-meeting in Europe recently. And while we ponder at all the various spins imagined, the reality of a death toll goes up another notch, 1500+ US soldiers dead in Iraq.. The people are arising: "48 Vermont Towns Vote Against Iraq War - Call for State's National Guard to Come Home."
The second item is about survival of nuclear contamination in the Marshall Islands. At the 51st anniversary of the first US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, two survivors ‘accused authorities of lying about the effects of radiation.'
Item 3 is highlighted by a powerful testimony by Sibel Edmonds before the House Committee on Government Reform, (Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and Internal Relations). Sibel Edmonds speaks on behalf for true national security, and deserves our attention, respect, and appreciation. Subsections in this item includes documentation that "No Plane Hit the Pentagon", an article about US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sued over prisoner torture, and an article by David Corn: ‘Negroponte's Sins...On Film'. Stop the BUSH appointment of John Negroponte
as director of National Intelligence
Demand a Congressional Filibuster!
E-mail the Senate Intelligence Committee to do their homework on Negroponte
or call the Congressional Switchboard - the telephone number is 202-224-3121
or link for US Congress contact information
Standing against this appointment is an important step for any leader in the Democratic Party to reclaim an integrity since the disastrous Congressional resolution that supposedly authorized President Bush to be able to conduct war as a preemptive judgement decision. This decision is contrary to principles clearly stated in the US Constitution. Let's hope Senator Barbara Boxer keeps leading a way out of this darkness for a brighter future.
Item 4 is on Rep. John Conyers forcing the issue of Election Reform on the House Floor.Contact Congess today in support of the VOTER Act!.
A free screening of the film:
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED
will be presented at the Keene NH Public Library
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005
1) Putin and Bush -- a McLaughlin group perspective
- - US Death Toll Reaches 1,500 in Iraq
- - 48 Vermont Towns Vote Against Iraq War
- - Putin and Bush -- a McLaughlin group perspective
The following are EXCERPTS
For the complete transcript of:
THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC;
ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK;
TONY BLANKLEY, THE WASHINGTON TIMES;
JAMES HARDING, FINANCIAL TIMES
DATE: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2005
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Stop Criticizing Russia.
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: (From videotape.) Russia has made its choice in favor of democracy 14 years ago. Independently, without any pressure from outside, it made that decision in the interest of itself, in the interest of its people, of its citizens. This is our final choice, and we have no way back.
But I believe -- and a lot of people will agree with me -- the implementation of the principles and norms of democracy should not be accompanied by the collapse of the state and the impoverishment of the people. If we talk about where we have more or where we have less democracy is not the right thing to do. But if we talk about how the fundamental principles of democracy are implemented in this or that historic soil, in this or that country, is an option. It's possible.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Pat Buchanan, what is Putin's point? And is it persuasive?
MR. BUCHANAN: Putin's point is "Get off my case and get out of my face." What he is saying is, "Look, we have our own problems in Russia. We're trying to deal with them as best we can. We've had a lot of crises. And we really do not like the idea of this public hectoring and badgering." It goes all the way back to Gladstone, where you put moral preachments above national interest.
I don't believe the United States or President Bush should be doing this, John. If we've got some problem with him that's serious about Khodorkovsky, you do it behind closed doors. You don't do it in public, because it tends to humiliate a great power.
Now, Russia has been a friend of this country ever since the end of the Cold War. It is a vital interest of ours. We maintain good relations with him. Putin has been a friend to the president. We've got disagreements. But I think the president ought to keep this type of hectoring and badgering really for when he goes behind closed doors.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What he said was the implementation of the principles and norms of democracy should not be accompanied by the collapse of the state and the impoverishment of the people. He's saying there that you have to rein in the oligarchs or it could lead to their taking over the government and the collapse of the government. Correct?
MR. HARDING: Yeah, that's right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to know whether his essential point is a valid point, that democracy takes many forms or several forms.
MR. HARDING: Well, personally I don't. And I don't agree with Pat either. I think that --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And you were there.
MR. HARDING: I was there, yeah. One of the great missions of the U.S. and of the West in the second half of the 20th century was, of course, advancing democracy, pressing for the institution of democracy in the Soviet Union. And this is no time to abandon that mission. And it seems to me as though the president, in an artful way, in a very delicate way, made clear that democracy should not come with any qualifications, that there are certain things that are fundamental about it.
And I thought that Mr. Putin's defense of Russian-style democracy, of Putin-style democracy, was actually very alarming, because I think that quote that you picked up on, the collapse of the state and the impoverishment of the people, essentially said, "We must have democracy, but as long as it defends the power of the Kremlin." And that's precisely the problem today.
MR. BUCHANAN: But why is that a problem of the United States of America? Khodorkovsky and these other guys stole that place, robbed it blind. So he locked him up like we locked up Martha Stewart. But why is whether the governors of Russia are appointed or elected any business of the United States of America?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's move on, because Bush responded; President Bush responded to this, quote/unquote, "question." Quote: "I live in a transparent country. I live in a country where decisions made by government are wide open. Every decision we have made is within the Constitution of the United States. So I'm perfectly comfortable in telling you our country is one that safeguards human rights and human dignity, and we resolve our disputes in a peaceful way."
It's wide open. This government is wide open. The press believes it's wide open, right?
..Yeah, and the press has no difficulty getting information out of Don Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney -- or George Bush. They're all very forthcoming, aren't they?
MR. HARDING: I have to say one thing. At some point you stop and you think, this was an extraordinarily adroit performance by two great politicians. But at some level it's disappointing on both sides, that actually Bush is not making a real defense of the U.S., and more importantly, he's not really drawing attention to the issues in Russia...
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The human toll: U.S. military dead in Iraq, including suicides, 1,480; U.S. military amputee, wounded, injured, mentally ill, all now out of Iraq, 35,500; Iraqi civilians dead, 106,900.
Issue Two: Transatlantic Unity.
..MS. CLIFT: Bush's rhetoric rarely has anything to do with reality. He said all the things that he thought people expected him to say. But I wouldn't count on a weak Europe. First of all, he is uniting them. Second of all, our finances are so compromised in this country and the Euro is doing real well. And we don't have the military might to go plundering over there, and the Europeans know that.
..: So I think Bush has his preemptive war, and that's it..
The above was excerpted; for the complete transcript, see:www.mclaughlin.com/library/transcript.asp?id=455
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = - - US Death Toll Reaches 1,500 in Iraq
Military Families Speak Out
as Death Toll Reaches 1,500 in Iraq www.truthout.org/docs_2005/030305Z.shtml
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - 48 Vermont Towns Vote Against Iraq War
Call for State's National Guard to Come Home
Posted by Democracy Now! - March 2nd, 2005www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/02/154235
2) Nuclear Survivors Say They Were Fed Lies in Government Cover-Ups
Published on Tuesday, March 1, 2005
by the Agence France Presse
Nuclear Survivors Say They Were Fed Lies in Government Cover-Ups
MAJURO -- Survivors of two severe cases of nuclear contamination met in the Marshall Islands to mark the 51st anniversary of the first US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, and accused authorities of lying about the effects of radiation.
"The reason the exposure was so bad is that we were lied to all the time," Dr Lyudmyla Porokhnyak, a survivor of the world's worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986, told a conference on raising awareness of radiation dangers.
Marshall Islanders nodded in agreement, confirming what they saw as the similarities between the two experiences.
While Porokhnyak recounted how authorities in the then-Soviet Union initially tried to cover up the Chernobyl reactor meltdown and downwind contamination, Marshall Islanders described similar efforts by the United States in 1954 to downplay the impact of the Bravo test.
Bikini Islanders were not evacuated for two to three days after the Bravo test, even though their land was covered by snow-like radioactive fallout.
Although many islanders developed severe radiation burns and had their hair fall out, the US Atomic Energy Commission issued a statement saying "there were no burns" and islanders were in good health.
US officials later allowed islanders to return home to live in radioactive environments without any clean up.
Rayon William, a Rongelap Islander, said she returned home with other islanders when US authorities said it was safe in 1957. But she said the food she ate then was laced with radioactivity from the test three years earlier.
"I've experienced many illnesses as a result of living in a contaminated island," she said.
It was not until after Rongelap residents evacuated themselves in 1985 that the US Congress funded scientific studies which confirmed islanders' fears that their home atoll was still contaminated.
Subsequently Congress funded a 45 million dollar trust fund that is now paying for a clean up and resettlement program.
The conference was sponsored by a survivors' group known as ERUB -- an acronym for the four most heavily exposed islands Enewetak, Rongelap, Utrik and Bikini, and which also means "broken" or "damaged" in Marshallese.
Delegates expressed concern that even today, studies and reports on the US nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands remain classified.
Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse
This article is posted at:www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/headlines05/0301-02.htm
3) Two courageous women continue the fight for 9/11 truth!
- - No Plane Hit the Pentagon
- - Rumsfeld Sued over Prisoner Torture
- - Negroponte's Sins...On Film
Received via email Wed, 2 Mar 2005 20:16:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Two courageous women continue the fight for 9/11 truth!
Dear 9/11 truth activists and concerned citizens,
Below is a transcript of FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds' testimony today before the House Committee on Government reform. And here is a link to an article and video of congresswoman Cynthia McKinney challenging Donald Rumsfeld on the 9/11 wargames at the Feb 16th House Armed Services Committee meeting (reported by Michael Kane):www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/030105_mckinney_question.shtml
Thank you Sibel and Cynthia!
Towards peace and truth,
Statement of Sibel Edmonds
Before the House Committee on Government Reform,
Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and Internal Relations
March 2, 2005
Emerging Threats: Overclassification and Pseudo-classification
Good afternoon, my name is Sibel Edmonds. I have been invited to provide you with testimony today regarding my direct experience with the use of excessive secrecy, rare privileges, and over-classification by the Department of Justice against me during the past three years. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I believe that my case clearly illustrates how the government uses secrecy laws and classification to avoid accountability, to cover up problems and wrongdoing, and to gain unfair legal advantage in court.
I began working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a language specialist for several Middle Eastern languages starting shortly after 9/11, and was granted Top Secret Clearance. During my work, I became aware of problems within the translation unit involving criminal conduct against our national interests, potential espionage, serious security breaches threatening our intelligence, intentional mistranslation, and blocking of intelligence. I was asked, and later ordered, to refrain from reporting these allegations. I reported them, together with evidence, to higher management within the bureau. They refused to take any action, and again, they asked me not to pursue them. I then took these issues and evidence to the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and to the Senate Judiciary Committee, because I believed that according to our laws these were the appropriate steps to take in this situation. As a result, I was retaliated against, was ordered to submit to a polygraph, and had my home computer confiscated. Finally, in March 2002 I was fired. The only explanation I received for getting fired was 'for the convenience of the government.'
In March 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee began investigating my case and allegations, and in June and July 2002, during two unclassified briefings with the staff of Senators Grassley and Senator Leahy, the FBI publicly confirmed all of my core allegations. These two Senators issued public statements and letters regarding these confirmations and my case, demanding expedited investigation by the Inspector General and response from the FBI. These letters and statements were widely disseminated in the media and on the Internet; including on the Senators' own websites. When the judge overseeing my legal cases asked the government to produce any unclassified materials that was relevant to the substance of my allegations, the government took a truly extraordinary step: it moved to retroactively classify these letters, statements, and news releases that had been public for almost two years. It is quite clear that the government's motivation was not to protect national security, but rather to protect itself from embarrassment and accountability. Senator Grassley characterized this retroactive classification as 'ludicrous,' and 'gagging the congress.'
However, the Congress complied. Only after this highly unusual retroactive classification was challenged in court by POGO, a government watchdog organization, did the Department of Justice reverse itself and declare that this information was not considered classified and a danger to national security after all. I would like to request that these letters from Senators Grassley and Leahy be included in the record of today's hearing.
In March 2002, the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General began investigating my allegations, and in July 2004, after almost two years delay, completed its investigation. The Department of Justice immediately moved to classify the entire report and its findings. Six months later, they allowed the Inspector General to release only an unclassified version of its executive summary. This unclassified version confirmed my core allegations; concluded that I was fired for reporting misconduct; and stated that the FBI had failed to investigate the reported espionage, even though other facts, witnesses and evidence supported my allegations. I would like to request that the Inspector General's report also be included in the record of today's hearing.
In the summer of 2002 I also began to pursue legal remedies to challenge my unjust dismissal, and filed cases under First Amendment and Privacy Act, and the Freedom of Information Act. Rather than respond to the merits of my claim, in October 2002, Attorney General Ashcroft asserted a rarely invoked 'State Secrets Privilege', arguing that the entire case must be dismissed in the name of national security, even if my allegations were correct. The Department of Justice asked the courts to throw out the case without any hearings, depositions, or discovery. Even though the Department of Justice's own Inspector General has confirmed the seriousness of my allegations and concluded that I was fired for raising them, the DOJ has continued to insist that my case cannot go forward because it would jeopardize national security. So far, the DOJ has been successful in this effort to silence me. In June 2004, the court ruled in favor of this far-reaching assertion of the "state secrets privilege".Currently I am appealing my case, and the Department of Justice is still invoking the "state secrets privilege" and arguing that everything about my issues is covered by classification.
The government invoked the state secrets privilege a second time in an attempt to block me from being deposed in a case brought by families of those killed on September 11 against Saudi individuals and entities alleged to have financed al-Qaeda. The government insisted that almost every single question that the families wished to ask me would require the disclosure of classified information.
The problems I have reported have serious consequences to our national security; and have already been confirmed by the Inspector General's report and the inquiry of Senators Grassley and Leahy. Translation units are the frontline in gathering, translating, and disseminating intelligence. A warning in advance of the next terrorist attack may, and probably will, come in the form of a message or document in a foreign language that will have to be translated. If an attack then occurs, which could have been prevented by acting on information in such a message, who will tell family members of the new terrorist attack victims that nothing more could have been done? There will be no excuse that we did not know, because we do know.
Yet, knowing full well the seriousness of these confirmed issues and problems, rather than addressing them the FBI and the Department of Justice spend time and effort to cover them up by over use of secrecy and excessive classification. Contrary to their claims, they seem to be far more concerned with avoiding accountability than protecting our national security. I believe that my case clearly illustrates the federal government's capricious use of secrecy laws and classification to cover up problems and wrongdoing, and to avoid accountability, regardless of the damage to our national security. It demonstrates as well how excessive secrecy and pseudo classification can be used as retaliation tactics against national security whistleblowers.
This type of excessive classification and the effort to expand the "statesecrets privilege" does not increase our national security but actually makes us less safe and it impedes oversight of the executive branch, as part of the checks and balances demanded by our Constitution.
Thank you again for inviting me to testify today. You are the first Congressional Committee after three years to request my testimony and hear my story. I believe this testimony is a good first step in examining this situation but what is really needed is an actual Congressional investigation. Therefore, with respect for your critical role in our Constitution's system of checks and balances, I request that you be the first Congressional Committee to investigate not just my case but what is going on over at the FBI and the Justice Department regarding the very serious problem of over-classification and the abuse of secrecy. Thank you.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - No Plane Hit the Pentagonthewebfairy.com/911/pentagon/index.html
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Rumsfeld Sued over Prisoner Torturewww.truthout.org/docs_2005/030105A.shtml
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Negroponte's Sins...On Film
Published March 2, 2005 by The Nation
Negroponte's Sins...On Film
by David Corn www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=2229
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
For FN's resources to Stop John Negroponte's Confirmation
as Director of US Intelligence, see:www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1108913627,6876,
4) Conyers Forces Election Reform on House Floor
- - Support National Election Reform! -- The VOTER Act (H.R. 533)
Conyers Forces Election Reform on House Floor
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Thursday 03 March 2005
Rep. John Conyers forced the issue of election reform on the House floor this afternoon.
The House is now considering a bill to provide continuity in congressional representation. In plain english, the bill attempts to address the problem of what would happen should a significant portion of congress get wiped out by a terrorist attack. Basically, it establishes a new system of deadlines and special elections in that event.
Rep. Conyers finds it ridiculous that the House is spending so much energy (and acting with such speed) to solve a hypothetical problem, about a hypothetical election, when there are so many real problems with our real elections.
In a surprise maneuver, which is called a 'Motion to Recommit' (basically an amendment offered at the end of consideration of a bill; the GOP generally do not get more than five minutes notice of it, and the debate is five minutes per side), Conyers forced the issue.
His official statement reads as follows:
Mr. Speaker, for a measure that purports to protect our democracy, I have to admit the manner by which this legislation has been brought before us today considerably undermines those very principles.
On the substance, this bill - the subject of so much concern - falls for short of fixing what is wrong with our democracy.
When it comes to elections, this is not even close to our biggest concern. Why are we worrying so much about hypothetical problems about a hypothetical election when we have had two consecutive elections in this country where ACTUAL VOTERS were disenfranchised?
On those issues, this House remains silent. It remains silent about the ten hour lines that disenfranchised minority voters in Ohio. It remains silent about the 4,000 votes lost in North Carolina because of a faulty voting machines. It remains silent about the intimidating tactics, fake letters and fliers, and other illegal acts designed to disenfranchise minority voters that have been used by one political party to bolster their electoral fortunes..
the complete article is posted at:www.truthout.org/docs_2005/030305Y.shtml
Discussion of this development is taking place on the truthout FYI blog.forum.truthout.org/blog/story/2005/3/3/113728/5055
- - Support National Election Reform! -- The VOTER Act (H.R. 533)
Contact Congress today in support of the VOTER Act!.
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