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Democracy Now 9/11 * Reflecting Pool Tour

29 June 2008
"We're trying to change the paradigm of human democracy,
of human governance, and that’s what this [NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative] is
all about, changing the paradigm of human governance right here in New
York City by asserting that you saw something wrong that took place,
and you want to address it through using the tool of the Initiative, the
legislative power of citizenry to go after that fundamental change."

-- Mike Gravel

Former US Senator
Democracy Now! June 17, 2008

1) Democracy Now & 9/11 - NYC Ballot Initiative +
- - Update on NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative
- - Reflecting Pool on the Road
- - BBC 9/11 Conspiracy Files Producer's New Blog Posting
- - Heartson life threatened for researching 9/11 - Video
2) U.S. escalating covert operations against Iran: report
- - Lawyers Guild Urges Special Prosecutor, War Crimes Commission
- - It Was Oil, All Along
- - Ex-Army scientist to get $5.8M in anthrax lawsuit
3) Leonard Peltier 2008 Oglala Statement – CNN King Assassination
- - The King Assassination and CNN Disinformation by Dr. William F. Pepper
- - Dollar Signs of Unhappiness ~ poems ~ Jonathan Mark

Editor's Notes:

The NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative is gaining momentum. The first item covers an update by Les Jamieson, its volunteer coordinator. The gathering of NYC petitioners for an independent 9/11 investigation will continue through the month of July. What action can be more direct in getting an authoritative commission and report for investigating the truth behind what happened September 11, 2001? Learn more at the next rally this Wednesday, July 2nd, 7pm, at the St. Marks Church (2nd. Ave. & 10th Street) in Manhattan. Following the update is a press release of another major event in NYC in July. Make sure you see the first dramatic film to question the ‘official’ 9/11 conspiracy story, The Reflecting Pool. In the first item, too, please be alerted to the upcoming BBC WTC-7 program. The 3-minute trailer and blog sounds promising, but the BBC has a horrendous record for distorting truth, and especially for its famous reporting of WTC-7 collapsing 20-minutes before it fell! Please note too the video at blogger for my interview with 9/11 researcher and musician, John Heartson.

Item 2 begins with breaking news from Seymour Hersh, with evidence that ‘congressional leaders agreed late last year to President George W. Bush's funding request for a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing its leadership.’ Next item is a press release from National Lawyers Guild urging for a special prosecutor for a War Crimes Commission. Two other articles include one on the energy-oil war and an Army scientist wrongly accused and who is receiving $5.8M from an anthrax lawsuit. Meanwhile, the real perpetrators from the US weapons laboratory where it was produced remain unknown. The third item is a recent and important statement by Leonard Peltier, and an article by William Pepper on CNN’s distortion of the facts regarding Martin Luther King’s assassination. This issue concludes with two poems: dollar signs of unhappiness and another from a garden.

For Independent Investigations
NYC 9/11 Ballot

1) Democracy Now & 9/11 - NYC Ballot Initiative +

- - Update on NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative
- - Reflecting Pool on the Road
- - BBC 9/11 Conspiracy Files Producer's New Blog Posting
- - Heartson life threatened for researching 9/11 - Video

- - Update on NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative
Les Jamieson reports: Big Week For NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative

History was made on Tuesday, June 17th with the appearance of former Sen. Mike Gravel on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. Doug Wight, Jose Rodriguez (Sen. Gravel's assistant) and I were there in the studio. It was an amazing experience, being that we've tried so hard for so long to get decent coverage on Democracy Now. I was totally pleased with Amy's detailed setup of the interview. She basically explained what the Initiative is about, articulating that there is this effort calling for a new 9/11 investigation. It was apparent that she was well studied on this and new just what to say. Sen. Gravel got in some good sound bites. He could have gone into more depth, but considering his flight from CA the night before was delayed 2 hours which caused him to get only 3 hours sleep, I have to give him kudos for what he did get across. Here are some direct results of the broadcast:

Between Tues. and Thurs. of this week 96 people called our Hotline. I think half of them are from around the country and half are in or near NYC. Also, 59 people signed our online Guest Book. Of these, 34 are in or near NYC. With these calls, plus emails gathered at the evening event at St. Marks, I just added over 55 people to the email list of people getting direct news and schedule about the Initiative. This list now has over 600 people.

The press conference and reception with Sen. Gravel were also historic. His message was loud and clear. We are on to something huge. A new 9/11 investigation must take place. We must do the necessary work to get the required signatures and we can absolutely get it done if everybody fulfills their role. He sees this as the only way to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their crimes! A main point was that although he would do all he could in his capacity, we must do all we can as well. It was also phenomenal to hear for the first time from a family member, Tom Ruggiero, who we had met petitioning in the subway at Union Sq. Station just a week ago. He thoroughly backs what we're doing. Also, that night at least 1,000 forms were given out to people who want to collect signatures!

Here is a partial transcript of Gravel's statements:

“So when you now have the situation where you can create a commission that does not have a political base, but has a citizen base, now you have an interesting animal to deal with the facts. And so that’s why it’s so important. Now keep in mind, legally, whether you have a federal commission, or a city or state commission, if you’re able to subpoena people and they come forward to testify and they commit perjury, now, it’s still a crime, it’s still a crime.

I can leave you with this one thought; if you don’t scratch away, if you don’t turn the rock over, you’ll never discover what really went on at 9/11, and as a result of 9/11, going into Iraq. And here the crime is done, and we gotta go kill somebody, so we got to the other side of the earth and kill a bunch of people, and so we kill more Americans than died in 9/11. That’s what needs to be investigated. These are criminal acts. Now I have a personal bias. I think that the sooner that we put the president, or a vice president, or a secretary in jail, the sooner we’ll shape up future leaders in the world.

We’re trying to change the paradigm of human democracy, of human governance, and that’s what this [Rally for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative] is all about, changing the paradigm of human governance right here in New York City by asserting that you saw something wrong that took place, and you want to address it through using the tool of the Initiative, the legislative power of citizenry to go after that fundamental change. I leave you with that charge, you go get the signatures in the next thirty days, and I’m doing the best I can, these people organizing this are doing the best they can, the charge is up to you to do the best that you can to bring it about. If it doesn’t happen, shame on all of us."

As a result of the press conference, we got online coverage in a Village Voice blog at . Note the good comments at the end. We also got a great article done in the Villager. See Now we're working on an article and press release which may have the potential of getting picked up on the AP newswire. Many thanks to David Cosgrove, Eric Laursen, and Jesse Richard for their PR work. Also, many thanks to all who did the logistical work like room and food setup to make the reception so pleasant.

Tom Ruggiero, Son of Deceased FDNY 9/11 Victim

For the first time family member Tom Ruggiero, who lost his step-father, one of the 343 members of the FDNY, spoke out publicly at our Press Conference for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative. After experiencing 3 funerals for his father since body parts were found at 3 separate times, he was emotionally spent and tried not to think about 9/11. Then he saw people gathering petition signatures for the Initiative and decided he had to get involved.

Tom shared that he was there to see the towers collapse. He went into detail about the numbers of people lost that day, and the fact that it has led to the devastating war wars resulting in over 600,000 deaths. Ruggiero said, "what started as a bullet hole has become a blood-stained mess. We need to figure out what happened, why it happened, and who is responsible. Politicians coming together and coming up with no answers doesn't work for me and it shouldn't work for anybody else. I'm an American and consider myself a patriot and I demand answers from my government. As a patriot I dont think that means we respect our government. That means we respect each other. I think we need to get together and demand answers. Its the right thing to do. "

Ralph Nader Publicly Acknowledges Need For NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative

At a Nader For President rally on Wed. June 18th at Sympony Space in Manhattan, Ralph Nader answered a question during the Q&A segment which indicated his displeasure with the way this Administration responded to the 9/11 attacks. The question was, “Why is it that Americans understand clearly they were lied to about the leadup to the Iraq war but they’re willing to trust [the government] in terms of the 9/11 attacks. That doesn’t seem to be very logical. I’d like to have your thoughts.”

Nader responded, “I don’t think they believe them in either place…People, when they’re lied to a lot and betrayed a lot, it becomes banal. That is, they internalize it and they give up on it…I’ve seen this happen. When people don’t expect to be lied to they get really angry but when they’re lied to day after day they sort of throw in the towel and go about their daily lives.

The 9/11 report would have never occurred if it wasn’t for the families. In other words, we had this complex attack on the United States and the federal government was not going to have an official inquiry. The families of the deceased kept pressuring so they finally appointed this Commission and it said right at the outset it wasn’t going to name names or hold anybody accountable. What kind of investigative commission is this? Is it just a narrative? …Because they weren’t going to hold anybody responsible there are questions they didn’t ask, there is testimony they didn’t obtain, and they allowed Bush and Cheney to sit in a room with the doors closed, and they would answer questions without being under oath, and the Commission members were not allowed to take notes. This is not a commission.

That’s why here in New York they are collecting 50,000 signatures to put it on the ballot in the city of New York so in November you can vote in a new inquiry with subpoena power. So that there are no excuses, there is no budget for it. It’s really interesting. You can raise a budget privately and that will be easy to do given what I hear around the country. So, it’s too easy to say it was a colossal sequence of massive, serial, repetitive incompetence. Without going into conspiracy theories, we need a more probing, honest, subpoena-driven inquiry. It is interesting that very, very few people were reprimanded or fired. Doesn’t that tell you something? Obviously, things went wrong and people should have been held responsible. But in Washington failure incurs no penalty. Actually you can get a talk show or get elected if you mess up. So, that’s what they’re doing now to get to the bottom of it.”

To learn more, and support the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative, visit Please direct any residents you know in or near NYC to the site to download the petition and learn how they can participate in the "campaign whose time has come".

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- - Reflecting Pool on the Road

We are proud to announce the much anticipated World Theatrical Premiere of the groundbreaking investigative drama THE REFLECTING POOL at the Pioneer Theater in New York City on July 11, 2008. This is a historic event. The first time a film challenging the official version of 9/11 has been given a theatrical run in The United States. Please join us for these landmark shows from 7/11-7/18 and pass this message to all your New York friends. We will be doing Q&A after every show.

You can listen to the RP filmmaker WBAI radio interview (just over twenty minutes into the hour), here: or download at - Wake-Up Call - Monday, June 30, 2008 8:00 am.

Read about the New York 9/11 Ballot Initiative in The Village Voice. THE REFLECTING POOL supports this important action to establish a new independent investigation of the most controversial tragedy of our time.

We will follow the New York run with a series of screenings on the North-East and North-West coasts, culminating with Colorado.
In late August and early September, we will be screening in New Zealand and Poland.

Press Release:

Thank you for your continued support!
Joseph Culp, Jarek Kupsc, Jodie Baltazar

“The Reflecting Pool”
Summer 2008 Tour Schedule

July 11-18
(except 17)
7PM, 9PM
Pioneer Theatre
155 East 3rd Street
New York, NY
(212) 591-0434

July 19
Maine Int’l Film Festival
Railroad Square Cinema
17 Railroad Square,
Waterville, ME
(207) 861-8138

July 21
Time TBA
Railroad Square Cinema
17 Railroad Square,
Waterville, ME

July 23
Show 7pm
Meeting 6pm
Media Education Foundation
(Community Meeting Space)
60 Masonic Street
Northampton, MA

August 4
7 PM
Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA
(510) 642-1412

August 7
Hollywood Theatre
4122 NE Sandy Boulevard
Portland, OR
(503) 493-1128

August 8
7 PM
Trinity United Methodist Church
6512-23rd Avenue Northwest
Seattle, WA
(206) 784.2227

August 10
Time TBA
The Pickford Cinema
1416 Cornwall Ave.
Bellingham, WA
(360) 647-1300

August 29-31
Times TBA
Moondance Int’l Film Festival
Boulder, CO

The Reflecting Pool

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- - BBC 9/11 Conspiracy Files Producer's New Blog Posting

[Post@ 911blogger -Mike Rudin, the producer of "The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 - The Third Tower," has just posted the following new entry on his blog. Check out the original posting to view the comments at the end.]

Controversy and conspiracies II
Mike Rudin | 27 Jun 08, 04:40 PM

In my last blog earlier this month about the London bombings of 7 July 2005 there was a lot of concern expressed by people who say that when they question such events they're told they're "mad, crazy or in a state of shock". I haven't done this and won't.

What we will do is investigate an issue. For the new series we have looked for key proponents of alternative theories.

So for the new programme about World Trade Center Building 7 ("The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 - The Third Tower" for next Sunday) we have interviewed at length the architect Richard Gage, the former professor of physics Steven Jones and the writer of Loose Change Dylan Avery.

We have then taken their questions and arguments and tested them.

We've looked for new photographic and physical evidence, for key eyewitnesses and spoken to experts and investigators who have been involved in trying to understand what exactly happened to bring down Tower 7.

It does matter that a lot of people think the US Government is "hiding something" about 9/11. According to one American poll more than a third of those questioned thought government officials either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or allowed them to happen.

And it does matter that according to the official explanation Tower 7 was the first skyscraper to collapse because of fire. Smaller buildings have collapsed due to fire but never a 47-storey skyscraper.

The final official report on 9/11 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology is eagerly awaited not just by critics but also by those who want to know how safe skyscrapers are.

I'm happy to debate the issues. In next week's programme we will look at the what some people have said was the neat symmetrical collapse of Tower 7, we will look at the dust found around Ground Zero, we will look at the BBC's alleged involvement in a conspiracy, and many other issues.

But I've seen there's already a campaign for letters of complaint well before the programme has been aired.

Alex Jones' Prison Planet website ended an article headlined BBC Hit Piece by urging readers to comment on this blog. And comments in urged people to prepare a "counter strike" and to start letter writing and e-mailing. A lot of the later comments on my last blog came soon after those.

It would be good if people watched the programme first. So far we've put out a three minute trailer.

In response to dotconnect: yes I'm interested in investigating a host of issues such as the death of Anna Politkovskaya, the financing of al-Qaeda, British agents in Northern Ireland - and it does not as you suggest hinge on whether "our side" was allegedly "behind it". But the BBC has already covered these stories and is currently investigating many of them.

In response to cyncastical: the original allegation made in the papers was that we had paid Nicholas Kollerstrom to appear in the programme about 7/7. We did not. We reimbursed him for Ł30 worth of his expenses. The newspapers corrected their original copy.

"The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 - The Third Tower" to be broadcast on BBC 2 at 2100 BST on Sunday 6 July, repeated on BBC 2 at 1120 BST on Tuesday 8 July, and on Signzone at 0130 BST on Wednesday 9 July.

Mike Rudin is series producer, The Conspiracy Files

and posted at

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- - Heartson life threatened for researching 9/11 - Video

Why did the 9/11 Attacks Happen? One Man's Independent Investigation.

Jonathan Mark of interviews John Heartson.

In this interview, John Heartson shares his story as an independent 9/11 researcher, beginning 2002. Why did this make John Heartson a target of domestic spying, secret investigations, several unconstitutional home searches, and a direct threat to stop investigating 9/11 or he 'might end up dead'? Heartson has an engineering degree, has a friend in an intelligence agency, and continues to research facts based on evidence on what really happened on September 11, 2001. This 90-minute (video) has interspersed segments of the interview, (which took place on December 20, 2007 at GCTV in Greenfield, MA), and combined with music of the next night by John Heartson and Scott Cheney at a benefit concert for Valley 9/11 Truth and Flyby News. These songs written by Heartson were inspired by overcoming his fears to go public with what happened to him. For Heartson's 9/11 research and music, see: For video and article, see:

2) U.S. escalating covert operations against Iran: report

- - Lawyers Guild Urges Special Prosecutor, War Crimes Commission
- - It Was Oil, All Along
- - Ex-Army scientist to get $5.8M in anthrax lawsuit

- - U.S. escalating covert operations against Iran: report
July 29, 2008
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. congressional leaders agreed late last year to President George W. Bush's funding request for a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing its leadership, according to a report in The New Yorker magazine published online on Sunday.

The article by reporter Seymour Hersh, from the magazine's July 7 and 14 issue, centers around a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which by U.S. law must be made known to Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders and ranking members of the intelligence committees.

"The Finding was focused on undermining Iran's nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change," the article cited a person familiar with its contents as saying, and involved "working with opposition groups and passing money."

Hersh has written previously about possible administration plans to go to war to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, including an April 2006 article in the New Yorker that suggested regime change in Iran, whether by diplomatic or military means, was Bush's ultimate goal.

Funding for the covert escalation, for which Bush requested up to $400 million, was approved by congressional leaders, according to the article, citing current and former military, intelligence and congressional sources.

Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. U.S. Special Operations Forces have been conducting crossborder operations from southern Iraq since last year, the article said.

These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of "high-value targets" in Bush's war on terrorism, who may be captured or killed, according to the article.

But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which include the Central Intelligence Agency, have now been significantly expanded, the article said, citing current and former officials.

Many of these activities are not specified in the new finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature, it said.

Among groups inside Iran benefiting from U.S. support is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People's Resistance Movement, according to former CIA officer Robert Baer. Council on Foreign Relations analyst Vali Nasr described it to Hersh as a vicious organization suspected of links to al Qaeda.

The article said U.S. support for the dissident groups could prompt a violent crackdown by Iran, which could give the Bush administration a reason to intervene.

None of the Democratic leaders in Congress would comment on the finding, the article said. The White House, which has repeatedly denied preparing for military action against Iran, and the CIA also declined comment.

The United States is leading international efforts to rein in Iran's suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, although Washington concedes Iran has the right to develop nuclear power for civilian uses.

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- - Lawyers Guild Urges Special Prosecutor, War Crimes Commission

Natl. Lawyers Guild Urges Special Prosecutor, Congressional War Crimes Commission
June 26, 2008
4:37 PM

CONTACT: National Lawyers Guild (NLG)
Marjorie Cohn, NLG president,, 619-374-6923
Jeanne Mirer, NLG International Committee,, 313-515-2046
Dan Mayfield, NLG Military Law Task Force,, 408-287-1916

John Yoo, David Addington Stonewall Congress;
National Lawyers Guild Urges special Prosecutor, Congressional War Crimes Commission

NEW YORK - June 26 - Today the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties continued its investigation into the role played by key administration lawyers in the development of aggressive interrogation techniques. This was the third hearing of this subcommittee on this topic. The witnesses who testified were former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo; Cheney's former legal counsel and now chief of staff, David Addington; and Christopher Schroeder, professor at Duke Law School.

NLG President Marjorie Cohn had testified at the first subcommittee hearing on May 6, articulating the law of torture, and stating that torture is never allowed under U.S. law. Today’s hearing was attended by Jeanne Mirer, co-chair of the NLG’s International Committee.

Yoo's testimony revealed that the guiding principle of his work at the Justice Department was his belief in the overriding power of the President to order anything he thinks necessary in the "war on terror." When specifically asked, "Is there anything that the President cannot order?" Yoo answered "I believe there are things an American President WOULD not order." He was asked again, "Are there things the President COULD not order?" Yoo replied that he would "have to know the context." Dan Mayfield from the NLG Military Law Task Force stated, "This is consistent with Yoo's previous statement that the President could order torture of a person up to and including the crushing of the testicles of a person's son in order to make the person talk." When asked whether a President could order that someone be buried alive, Yoo's answer was non-responsive: "No American president would ever have to order that," he said.

While Yoo claimed there was little in the law which helped to define torture, Shroeder pointed out the wealth of guidance that exists in the areas of asylum and immigration law. Yoo admitted that the Convention Against Torture and the U.S. Torture Statute both define torture. Yet he wrote his memos to re-define torture so that those following his re-definition could state, "We do not torture." Marjorie Cohn said, "Yoo's memos so vastly narrowed the definition of torture, the interrogator would nearly have to kill someone for it to constitute torture."

Yoo and Addington were evasive, repeatedly stonewalling members of the subcommittee. The Justice Department evidently placed limitations on what Yoo was allowed to discuss, but he invoked privileges where it did not appear privilege was authorized. This led to Yoo's refusal to answer several direct questions. Jeanne Mirer stated, “The evasiveness of Yoo and Addington did not earn them credibility with the subcommittee, and frustrated many of the questioners. These tactics prevented the subcommittee from getting answers to the many important questions about the source of legal authority for the positions espoused in the 'torture memos' regarding aggressive interrogation techniques.”

The NLG has decried the use of torture techniques as well as efforts by lawyers to try to justify them. The NLG has called for holding accountable those who violated the law. While these hearings have helped to establish the record, there is a need for a full blown investigation which could lead to a call for criminal prosecution. The NLG calls for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor, and the establishment of a congressionally appointed commission to investigate potential wrongdoing, including the commission of war crimes, by high officials and lawyers of the Bush administration.

Founded in 1937 as an alternative to the American Bar Association, which did not admit people of color, the National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.

Posted at

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- - It Was Oil, All Along
By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
June 27, 2008

Oh, no, they told us, Iraq isn't a war about oil. That's cynical and simplistic, they said. It's about terror and al Qaeda and toppling a dictator and spreading democracy and protecting ourselves from weapons of mass destruction.

But one by one, these concocted rationales went up in smoke, fire and ashes. And now the bottom line turns out to be....the bottom line. It is about oil.

Alan Greenspan said so last fall. The former chairman of the Federal Reserve, safely out of office, confessed in his memoir, ".Everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

He elaborated in an interview with the Washington Post's Bob Woodward, "If Saddam Hussein had been head of Iraq and there was no oil under those sands, our response to him would not have been as strong as it was in the first Gulf War."

Remember, also, that soon after the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, told the press that war was our only strategic choice.

"We had virtually no economic options with Iraq," he explained, "because the country floats on a sea of oil."

Shades of Daniel Plainview, the monstrous petroleum tycoon in the movie "There Will Be Blood." Half-mad, he exclaims, "There's a whole ocean of oil under our feet!" then adds, "No one can get at it except for me!"

No wonder American troops only guarded the Ministries of Oil and the Interior in Baghdad, even as looters pillaged museums of their priceless antiquities. They were making sure no one could get at the oil except... guess who?

Truncated, for the complete article, see:

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- - Ex-Army scientist to get $5.8M in anthrax lawsuit
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 27, 7:30 PM ET
WASHINGTON - A former Army scientist who was named as a person of interest in the 2001 anthrax attacks will receive $5.8 million to settle his lawsuit against the Justice Department. Steven Hatfill claimed the Justice Department violated his privacy rights by speaking with reporters about the case.

Settlement documents were filed in federal court Friday. Both sides have agreed to the deal, according to the documents, and as soon as they are signed, the case will be dismissed.

The deal requires the Justice Department to pay $2.825 million up front and buy Hatfill a $3 million annuity that will pay him $150,000 each year for 20 years.

"Our government failed us, not only by failing to catch the anthrax mailers but by seeking to conceal that failure," Hatfill's lawyers said in a statement. "Our government did this by leaking gossip, speculation, and misinformation to a handful of credulous reporters."

Truncated, for the complete article, see:

3) Leonard Peltier 2008 Oglala Statement – CNN King Assassination

- - The King Assassination and CNN Disinformation by Dr. William F. Pepper
- - Dollar Signs of Unhappiness ~ poems ~ Jonathan Mark

Leonard Peltier 2008 Oglala Commemoration Statement
The following statement from Leonard Peltier was read
at the Oglala Commemoration. June 26, 2008

Greetings my relatives,

I say relatives because you are all my family. I am honored, greatly honored today that you would listen to my words and come together in this way so that our future generations' will not forget what happened here in this land.

You can't imagine how much I miss walking on the bare earth. Or brushing against a tree branch or hearing birds in the morning or seeing an antelope or deer cross my path. I have been here in federal prison for 32 years; if you could imagine being in your own home stuck in one room for one year without leaving it, multiply that by 32 and you might have some idea of how imprisonment plays on your feelings. I really get tired sometimes living here in this cell, this prison. Yet at times I feel really good because for some reason I know that there are those out there who have prayed for me in some way. And it helps me because there are moments when a peaceful feeling will wash over me in my solitude.

I try to keep up with world events like the war in Iraq, where those people are going through the same thing our Indian people went through and over the same things. The US wants their resources and they have divided those people against each other. Those children over there and families for generations will still feel the effects of that onslaught of destruction.

When I look at our own people's situation I see a people who have not recovered from the destruction put upon them in the past. Today, the greater society of America doesn't want to accept us for who we are because we will always stand as a reminder of the immoral wrongs that they do and have done all over the world, all in the name of technology and progress. Our people have told them from the very beginning about the consequences of mistreatment of individuals and mistreatment of Mother Earth. There are history books that quote our chief headmen and medicine people cautioning them about there destruction of the earth and nature.

We know the first concentration camps America ever had held Indian prisoners. The first biological warfare was used on our people with poisonous blankets. The first atomic bomb dropped was dropped on Indian land in Nevada. Today there are abandoned uranium quarries in Navajo country that cause genetic defects on a lot of their people. When you look into the past, America has used us Indians as their social experiment. They tried to destroy us with boarding schools, relocation, and even the first slavery practice was with American people. However Indian people would fight or commit suicide than to become slaves, and so they imported Africans.

Forgive me if I am repeating things you already know, but I just wanted to bring these things up because these are the reasons behind the Wounded Knee takeover in 73 happened and the shootout at Oglala happened. Our people were not just taking a stand against this government for themselves; they in essence represented Indian people all across the Americas. Our resistance wasn't to kill anyone; our resistance was to remain alive while we let the world know what had been and what was being done to us, the Indigenous people.

I know for a fact from communication all around the world, that we Indian people inspired many other indigenous people to stand up and defend themselves because of our actions. I have gotten letters from all over the world where people said "if the native Americans can stand up to people like that being in the belly of the beast, surely we can do likewise in some way."

I recognize that my being here isn't all about me; my continued imprisonment in essence serves as a warning to others willing to stand up for their people.

The US has violated their own constitution they violated the treaties we had with them, they violated all kinds of moralities to bring about my conviction. The average non Indian American either doesn't know or couldn't care less. As long as they can keep their high standard of living our struggles mean nothing to them. Most recently other nations have raised the issues of America's mistreatment of the people in the concentration camp in Guantanamo; issues of lack of a fair trial, issues of physical, mental abuse and of sanctioned torture of prisoners. I want to also mention that our people were the first to be tortured by this government and we were the first to be victims of scalping by the Europeans. The colonizers were paying for our men, woman and children's scalps.

I may sound angry in what I am saying, but all this goes back to why we are here today. We must not forget what has happened in the past but we must also find a way to heal from those things that have happened and be stronger in the future. We need to heal our families; we need to heal our family's structures so that what happened to our people in the past can't happen to us again. For several generations our children were shipped off to boarding schools which destroyed their understanding of family and family responsibilities, and you think of the statistics today facing this, they don't have to kill us anymore with guns, our children and adults both are killing themselves.

Again, like I said before we have not healed from the destruction that was put upon us, I know each one of us can be better than what we are, it takes effort, it takes getting back to our ceremonies, it takes getting back to our respect for one another, the earth, the Creator and our respect for our brothers' and sisters' vision. It takes men being men and being strong fathers and uncles and grandfathers and brothers, not just as a matter of birth but as a matter of responsible behavior. It also takes our women to stand as the strong mothers they were meant to be and the sisters, grandmothers and aunties.

We need to repair ourselves and not wait for some grant from the government to tell us or guide us in our recovery. We need to take that responsibility ourselves and mend the sacred hoop.

Again I want to say as I have said many times in the past, though my body is locked into this cell, my heart and soul is with you today. In closing I would like to acknowledge the great loss of my brother Floyd Westerman, a tireless advocate for Indigenous rights. I'm sure that he as well as many others, who like him devoted their time and energies to better the conditions our people face, are here with us today in spirit. We have no guarantees of the time of our own passing but until that time or my time I will miss them greatly as I miss you my family. Be kind to one another, and remember my words; for I have spoken to you from my heart of hearts. And you will always be in my prayers.

In the spirit of Crazy Horse and every Indian man or person that stood for their people,

Leonard Peltier
# 89637-132

USP Lewisburg
US Penitentiary
P.O. Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837-1000


Free Leonard Peltier -- "Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner whose avenues of redress have long been exhausted....Amnesty International recognizes that a retrial is no longer a feasible option and believes that Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released." Documents show that although the prosecution and government pointed the finger at Peltier for shooting FBI agents at close range during the trial in 1976, for three years the prosecution withheld critical ballistic test results proving that the fatal bullets could not have come from the gun tied to Leonard Peltier. This trial also denied evidence of self defense. The U.S. Prosecutor, during subsequent oral arguments, stated: "we can't prove who shot those agents". The Eighth Circuit found that "There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies casting strong doubts upon the government's case." Yet, a new trial was denied. Judge Heaney, who authored the denial now supports Mr. Peltier's release, stating that the FBI used improper tactics to gain Mr. Peltier's conviction. A good way to learn about Leonard Peltier is to read his book: Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance. For excerpts, see the following link, under article by Louise Erdich: Time for Human Rights on Native Ground. For more resources: Free Leonard Peltier!

Online Petition for Executive Clemency - {lobby Obama for his first 100 days}

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- - The King Assassination and CNN Disinformation by Dr. William F. Pepper


(To coincide with the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., CNN broadcast the first episode in a series titled "Black in America". The initial program was a "documentary", but a documentary in the sense of the Warren Commission... cherry picked testimony, the exclusion and downplaying of virtually all contrary evidence, and the reinforcement of the "Official Conspiracy Theory". Here, William Pepper details some of the major problems with the broadcast. Keep an eye out for a re-run of "Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination", and then compare that to the 1999 MLK Trial footage, and try not to vomit. -rep.)

The King Assassination and CNN Disinformation
By Dr. William F. Pepper

As a friend and colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the last year of his life, James Earl Ray’s attorney, for the last ten years of his life and, finally, lead Counsel for Dr. King’s family in the 1999 civil trial which brought forward evidence from 70 witnesses over 30 days in Memphis, I am compelled to comment, for the record, on the most recent documentary on the assassination by CNN which is being aired on an ongoing basis. The fact that my participation in the program was used to give it some credibility makes this comment even more relevant.

It is one matter to distort the truth of how this great American prophet was taken from us, but quite another to have mainstream media perpetuate disinformation on matters of such public importance to the citizens of the Republic. An expert witness, at the King family civil trial, William Schapp, set out the historical use of government disinformation through mainstream media, dating back to the 1920’s.

Truncated, for the complete article, see:

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- - Dollar Signs of Unhappiness ~ poems ~ Jonathan Mark
{February 7, 2008}
In dollar signs of unhappiness the depression shoots through my void
in existence – the cold smirk of misleading corrupt politicians
echo doom beyond consequences, or from misfits of logic,
stake their lives to acquisitions or desperate maintenance,
categories of self worth above everything else –

While time shoots through the pain where even one’s family
breeds contempt, familiar patterns with dead ends and alone
I must dwell as hope continues to breathe
endlessly, it seems, or barraged into whole dimensions
while ignorance captures a ray of faith
hardened by will and brittle beyond belief.

When one’s child pursues the almighty dollar
before the tomb resurrects (beyond time and space)
life and death struggles in uncertainty,
while sanity vanishes in the collective will to tolerate
an official version (lie) of 9/11, and actions from thereon
quiver its existence dividing and conquering
the whole truth and nothing else – survives,
an elitist’s theory as carbon dioxide takes over
the balance of biologically diverse Earth.
She succumbs and nothing else matters, afterwards –
Or so we think

{This following poem
was written 24 July 1980}

Happiness comes from a large garden
full of the fruits of the most sacred things..
The delicate flowers unfold a fragrance
to behold the image worth living.
O' purple majesty, violet rays of God's tranquility,
tell us about compassion, and the green depth of grass and pines do heal,
swirling leaves in the wind say, "Come out into the sun and feel."
And air currents carry the moisture, in its core the life force,
absolutely pure, and we bathe in light and color and learn to see
the positive behind everything.. and the backdrop of blue, blue sky,
brings the heavens closer to the real world of dreams and visions that one can fly..
and to understand the shapes of clouds creates an artistic eye . . .
to know the spiritual wonders of illumination, to be on Earth and reach out ever so high!

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