Taliban says it worked to prevent 9/11
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Evidence now available from various sources, including recently declassified US State Department documents, shows that the Taliban regime led by Mullah Mohammad Omar imposed strict isolation on Osama bin Laden after 1998 to prevent him from carrying out any plots against the United States. It also bolsters the credibility of Taliban statements in recent months asserting that it has no interest in Al Qaeda's global jihadist aims.
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America's Secret Afghan Prisons w/ Anand Gopal
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Church Committee [Wikipedia]
The Church Committee is the common term referring to the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-ID) in 1975. A precursor to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee investigated intelligence gathering for illegality by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after certain activities had been revealed by the Watergate affair.
By the early years of the 1970s, the unpopularity of the Vietnam War and the unfolding Watergate scandal brought the era of minimal oversight to an abrupt halt. Congress was determined to rein in the Nixon administration and to ascertain the extent to which the nation's intelligence agencies had been involved in questionable, if not outright illegal, activities.
A series of troubling revelations started to appear in the press concerning intelligence activities. First came the revelations of Christopher Pyle in January 1970 of the U.S. Army's spying on the civilian population and Sam Ervin's Senate investigations that resulted. The dam broke on 22 December 1974, when The New York Times published a lengthy article by Seymour Hersh detailing operations engaged in by the CIA over the years that had been dubbed the "family jewels". Covert action programs involving assassination attempts against foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments were reported for the first time. In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of US citizens.
These revelations convinced many Senators and Representatives that the Congress itself had been too lax, trusting, and naive in carrying out its oversight responsibilities.
In 1975 and 1976, the Church Committee published fourteen reports on the formation of U.S. intelligence agencies, their operations, and the alleged abuses of law and of power that they had committed, together with recommendations for reform, some of which were put in place.
Among the matters investigated were attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, the Diem brothers of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and President John F. Kennedy's plan to use the Mafia to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba.
Under recommendations and pressure by this committee, President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11905 (ultimately replaced in 1981 by President Reagan's Executive Order 12333) to ban U.S. sanctioned assassinations of foreign leaders.
Together, the Church Committee's reports have been said to constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but more than 50,000 pages have since been declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.
The Church Committee learned that beginning in the 1950s, the CIA and FBI intercepted, opened and photographed more than 215,000 pieces of mail by the time the program called "HT Lingual" was shut down in 1973. This program was all done under the "mail covers" program. A mail cover is when the government records without a warrant or notification all information on the outside of an envelope or package, including the name of the sender and the recipient. The Church report found that the CIA was zealous about keeping the Postal Service from learning that mail was being opened by government agents. CIA agents moved mail to a private room to open the mail or in some cases opened envelopes at night after stuffing them in briefcases or coat pockets to deceive postal officials.
The Ford administration and the Church Committee
On May 9th the Church Committee decided to call acting CIA director William Colby. That same day Ford's top advisers (Henry Kissinger, Donald Rumsfeld, Philip W. Buchen, and John Marsh) drafted a recommendation that Colby be authorized to brief only rather than testify, and that he would be told to discuss only the general subject, with details of specific covert actions to be avoided except for realistic hypotheticals. But the Church Committee had full authority to call a hearing and require Colby's testimony. Ford and his top advisers met with Colby to prepare him for the hearing.
The Ford administration, particularly Rumsfeld, was concerned about the effort by members of the Church Committee in the Senate and the Pike Committee in the House to curtail the power of U.S. intelligence agencies. Frontline quotes a Nixon White House staffer:
"They were very specific about their effort to destroy American intelligence [capabilities]," remembers Robert Ellsworth, a U.S. diplomat. "It was Senator Church who said our intelligence agencies were 'rogue elephants.' They were supposedly out there assassinating people and playing dirty tricks and so forth...Well, that just wasn't true." Rumsfeld and Ellsworth prevented the committees from dismantling the CIA and other intelligence organizations.
Results of the investigation
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) were inspired by the recommendations of the Church Committee. Today, the FISC oversees requests for surveillance warrants of suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the United States by federal police agencies. Also as a result, Colby was replaced by George H.W. Bush as CIA director.
Early on, critics such as Bing Crosby and Paul Harvey accused the committee of treasonous activity. The 1975 assassination of Richard Welch, a CIA station chief in Greece, intensified the public backlash against its mission. The Committee's work has more recently been criticized after the September 11th attacks, for leading to legislation reducing the ability of the CIA to gather human intelligence. In response to such criticism, the chief counsel of the committee, Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr., retorted with a book co-authored by Aziz Z. Huq, denouncing the Bush administration's use of 9/11 to make "monarchist claims" that are "unprecedented on this side of the North Atlantic".
In September 2006, the University of Kentucky hosted a forum called "Who's Watching the Spies? Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans," bringing together two Democratic committee members, former Vice President of the United States Walter F. Mondale and former U.S. Senator Walter "Dee" Huddleston of Kentucky, and Schwarz to discuss the committee's work, its historical impact, and how it pertains to today's society.
Sections of the Church Committee report
- Volume 1: Unauthorized Storage of Toxic Agents (249 pages)
- Volume 2: Huston Plan (409 pages)
- Volume 3: Internal Revenue Service (128 pages)
- Volume 4: Mail Opening (264 pages)
- Volume 5: The National Security Agency and Fourth Amendment Rights (169 pages)
- Volume 6: Federal Bureau of Investigation (1010 pages)
- Volume 7: Covert Action (234 pages)
- Book I: Foreign and Military Intelligence (659 pages)
- Book II: Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans (412 pages)
- Book III: Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans (989 pages)
- Book IV: Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Foreign and Military Intelligence (181 pages)
- Book V: The Investigation of the Assassination of President J.F.K.: Performance of the Intelligence Agencies (112 pages)
- Book VI: Supplementary Reports on Intelligence Activities (384 pages)
 Books II and III "Church Committee" report
Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. United States Senate, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, April 26 (legislative day, April 14), 1976. [AKA "Church Committee Report"]. Archived on COINTELPRO sources website. Transcription and HTML by Paul Wolf. Retrieved April 19, 2005.
- Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, Book II
- I. Introduction and Summary
- II. The Growth of Domestic Intelligence: 1936 to 1976
- III. Findings
- (A) Violating and Ignoring the Law
- (B) Overbreadth of Domestic Intelligence Activity
- (C) Excessive Use of Intrusive Techniques
- (D) Using Covert Action to Disrupt and Discredit Domestic Groups
- (E) Political Abuse of Intelligence Information
- (F) Inadequate Controls on Dissemination and Retention
- (G) Deficiencies in Control and Accountability
- IV. Conclusions and Recommendations
- Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports, Book III
- COINTELPRO: The FBI's Covert Action Programs Against American Citizens
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Case Study
- The FBI's Covert Action Program to Destroy the Black Panther Party
- The Use of Informants in FBI Intelligence Investigations
- Warrantless FBI Electronic Surveillance
- Warrantless Surreptitious Entries: FBI "Black Bag" Break-ins And Microphone Installations
- The Development of FBI Domestic Intelligence Investigations
- Domestic CIA and FBI Mail Opening
- CIA Intelligence Collection About Americans: CHAOS Program And The Office of Security
- National Security Agency Surveillance Affecting Americans
- Improper Surveillance of Private Citizens By The Military
- The Internal Revenue Service: An Intelligence Resource and Collector
- National Security, Civil Liberties, And The Collection of Intelligence: A Report On The Huston Plan
- Rockefeller Commission
- Family jewels (Central Intelligence Agency)
- Hughes-Ryan Act
- Project MKULTRA
- Operation Gladio (included in the classified part of the report)
- Pike Committee
 Further reading
- Johnson, Loch K. (1988). A Season Of Inquiry, Congress And Intelligence. Chicago: Dorsey Press. ISBN 0-256-06320-6.
- Smist, Jr., Frank J. (1990). Congress Oversees the United States Intelligence Community, 1947-1989. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 0-87049-651-4.
- ^ ABC News
- ^ Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
- ^ http://www.archive.org/details/militarysurveill00unit
- ^ Hersh, Seymour (1974-12-22). "Huge C.I.A. operation reported in U.S. against antiwar forces, other dissidents in Nixon years". New York Times. p. 1.
- ^ Benjamin, Mark (January 5 2007). The government is reading your mail. http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/01/05/mail_cover/.
- ^ Prados, John (2006). Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512847-8. p. 313
- ^ "Frontline". www.pbs.org. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/pentagon/etc/cronfeld.html. Retrieved 2006-07-30.
- ^ Cohen, David; John Wells (Apr 17, 2004). American National Security and Civil Liberties in an Era of Terrorism. Palgrave. ISBN 1-4039-6199-9. p. 34
- ^ Church Committee Created www.senate.gov
- ^ Knott, Stephen F (November 4 2001). "Congressional Oversight and the Crippling of the CIA". History News Network. http://hnn.us/articles/380.html.
- ^ Mooney, Chris (November 5 2001). "The American Prospect". Back to Church. http://web.archive.org/web/20061205025524/http://prospect.org/print/V12/19/mooney-c.html.
- ^ Burbach, Roger (October 2003). "State Terrorism and September 11, 1973 & 2001" ([dead link]). ZMag 16 (10). http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Oct2003/burbach1003.html.
- ^ "Debate: Bush's handling of terror clues". Cable News Network. May 19 2002. http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/05/19/bush.decision.911.cnna/.
- ^ Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror (New Press, 2007).
- ^ "UK Hosts Historical Reunion of Members of Church Committee". University of Kentucky News. September 14 2006. http://news.uky.edu/news/display_article.php?category=1&artid=1568.
- Church Committee reports (Assassination Archives and Research Center)
- Church Report: Covert Action in Chile 1963-1973 (U.S. Dept. of State)
- History Matters: Church Committee
- On the dangers of an unchecked bully boy
- The Pike Committee Investigations and the CIA
- Back to Church." Chris Mooney. The American Prospect. November 5, 2001.
- Debate: Bush's handling of terror clues." Cable News Network. May 19, 2002.
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Why hasn't the lying sack of shit, US President George W. Bush, been arrested, handcuffed, processed, fingerprinted, have his mugshot taken, put in lock-up, complete with leg irons, and then prosecuted to the full extent of the law? If I can be sentenced to a year in prison for resisting being mugged on my own property, that sack of shit Bush can be prosecuted for war crimes. I wrote Bush 9-15-01 about being under siege on my own property. I was then attacked on my property by a felon dirtbag police informant, 10-11-01, and then got a year in prison for resisting being beaten up. Click for larger version of letters, scroll down.
The below was uploaded September 12, 2006:
Matt Lauer goes after Bush over secret prisons and torture
Text with video:
Matt Lauer went after Bush over his secret prisons and the use of torture on the captured terrorists via The Today Show this morning. He was uncommonly strong and didn't back down when Bush gave his pet answer. He hits the right note because if what we've been doing is legal then why was there the need for secret prisons? When Bush gets cornered--he starts saying he's not going to talk about it anymore...
Matt Lauer: And yet you admitted that there were these CIA secret facilities. OK?
President Bush: So what? Why is that not within the law?
Matt Lauer: The head of Amnesty International says secret sites are against international law.
President Bush: Well, we just disagree with him. Plus, my job is to protect you. And most American people, if I said [to them] that we had who we think is the mastermind of the 9/11, they would say, "Why don't you see if you can't get information without torturing him," which is what we did.
Matt Lauer: I don't want to let this "within the law issue" slip though. I mean, if, in fact, there was water boarding used with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and for the viewers, that's basically when you strap someone to a board and you make them feel as if they're going to drown by putting them underwater, if that was legal and within the law, why couldn't you do it at Guantanamo? Why did you have to go to a secret location around the world?
President Bush: I'm not going to talk about techniques. And, I'm not going explain to the enemy what we're doing. All I'm telling you is that you've asked me whether or not we're doing things to protect the American people, and I want the American people to know we are doing so.
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I mailed a letter to President Bush on 9-15-01 discussing the problems I was having. I was then attacked on my property 10-11-01 by a police informant. I pepper sprayed my attacker in my dark driveway. Police were right there to arrest me. If the Bush administration was not so deceitful and arrogant, I think I and so many other citizens would not have been ripped off needlessly and abused. Our economy and national reputation would also be better. My letter to Bush:
If you click on it and save it, you can use a view to make it bigger.
The HUD response telling me Bush actually read my letter:
In the follow up report I am called the victim:
I was current on mortgage payments on 3 rental properties. Two of which I fixed up from a boarded up condition spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of my labor. I had also built up a contracting business over 2 decades. My reward was that a strong armed robber, a mugger, a felon, could threaten my life while demanding money in my own dark driveway, beat me, and he is not arrested, I am for using pepper spray and I go to prison.
A short video of my former properties [click]
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I wrote the US Dept. of Justice, last Thursday. The text of that letter [found here]
This blogger's email: email@example.com