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Steven Gaal

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Topics I've Started

The Less Than Amazing Randi - Critic of 9-11 Truth is Funded by Military Contractors

29 October 2014 - 07:21 PM

February 4, 2014 C

C Bollyn

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The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) is funded by a high-level agent of the U.S. military industrial complex. 

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The Randi "educational" foundation's financial connection to major U.S. military contractors explains why the JREF is so hostile to 9-11 truth.  The JREF is actually headquartered in the same building as General Dynamics - at 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 105, Falls Church, Virginia.

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A LIAR AND A CHEAT - Who is this depraved man and why is he supporting the official lies about what happened on 9-11?

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WHO IS RANDI JAMES AND WHY IS HE OPPOSED TO 9-11 TRUTH?

"The Amazing Randi", (a.k.a. James Randi, born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge, August 7, 1928) is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic, according to Wikipedia, "best known for his challenges to paranormal claims and pseudoscience."

Randi is also the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), which is supposedly engaged in investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims.  Often called a "debunker", Randi prefers to describe himself as an "investigator."

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THE BANNER OF DEPRAVED LIARS - The JREF forum spends a great deal of time attacking me with slanderous comments meant to discredit me and my 9-11 research.  The comments are all written in proper English with correct punctuation, a good indication that the writers are professional disinfo agents.

One thing the JREF seems to specialize in is attacking the 9-11 truth movement and honest investigators like myself.  I recently came across a discussion forum from the JREF website where the anonymous posters who are members of the JREF forum discuss me in a way that is clearly designed to smear my name and discredit my research.  The heading for this discussion is "Why isn't Chris Bollyn a huge story in the conspiracy world?"  

The final comment by "Triterope", the poster who began the discussion, begins with these unkind words, which reveal how he really feels about me and my 9-11 research:

I know I shouldn't care about Chris Bollyn's drivel, but stuff like this makes me want to puke every time I read it:

Originally Posted by Christopher Bollyn
In a letter to Paul P. Moreschi, my second legal counsel, Dr. Shelton wrote: "Now I understand why Helje (Mrs. Bollyn) stated to me she is more afraid of living in this country now than she was under Soviet occupation of Estonia. Seeing your husband viciously attacked by undercover police without warning on your own property, then hearing them make false statements on the stand, seeing them falsify their records, hearing the prosecutor fabricating defamatory baseless statements, and then the judge and jury believing this story, would do this to you."

You know what, Chris? If America is worse than life in a Soviet satellite republic, LEAVE. Get the hell out of this country...

What I have found in more than 12 years of 9-11 research is that most people are supportive of truth-seekers like myself who have spent years of their lives investigating what really happened on 9-11.  The only people who spend their time attacking and slandering me like "Triterope" are paid disinfo agents.  To support the official lies about the mass murder and terrorism of 9-11 is utterly depraved and evil.  People like "Triterope" and James Randi have sold their souls to the master of deception.

In the following video, "Interview with James Randi on 9-11," Randi criticizes 9-11 truth seekers and claims to be an expert in deception. "As a magician, I know about deception.  I know two things with great certainty: how people are fooled, and more importantly, how they fool themselves. And that is my expertise."  His scathing criticism of 9-11 truth seekers, which he describes as crazy, stupid, and silly, and his support for the unproven official version of what caused the Twin Towers to fall strongly suggest that he is being paid to promote the government lies about 9-11.


Video Link - youtu.be/mXZjjBeC8bw

To understand the relationship between James Randi and military contractors like General Dynamics, we need to look at how his foundation was created and where it is based.  The following is from the Wikipedia article on the JREF:

The JREF officially came into existence on February 29, 1996, when it was registered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Delaware in the United States. On April 3, 1996 Randi formally announced the creation of the JREF through his email hotline:

“THE FOUNDATION IS IN BUSINESS! It is my great pleasure to announce the creation of the James Randi Educational Foundation. This is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational foundation under Section 501©3 of the Internal Revenue Code, incorporated in the State of Delaware. The Foundation is generously funded by a sponsor in Washington D.C. who wishes, at this point in time, to remain anonymous. ”

— The Foundation, Randi Hotline, Wed, April 3, 1996

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We now know that the millionaire sponsor of the JREF is Richard L. Adams Jr., the former computer programmer for SAIC and DARPA's Center for Seismic Studies. Adams started as a programmer for San Diego-based Science Application International Corp. (SAIC) and went on to a position as a data-gathering specialist with the Center for Seismic Studies, an outfit hired by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop technology for nuclear testing violation detection.

Adams is famous for his role in developing UUNet, a backbone of the Internet, which was bought in 1996 by MFS Communications, formerly Kiewit Communications, which was then bought by MCI, which then went out of business in a huge bankruptcy case. MFS Communications began in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kiewit Diversified Group Inc., which in turn was a wholly owned subsidiary of Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc., one of the largest construction and mining companies in the United States. The Kiewit family of Omaha does a great deal of business with the U.S. military. 

Adams took UUNet public in 1995, and a year later agreed to a $2 billion buyout offer from MFS Communications, which was acquired by WorldCom shortly thereafter. An instant millionaire from the sale of UUNet, in 1996, Rick Adams donated one million dollars to the James Randi Educational Foundation and he has served as the treasurer of the tax-exempt "educational" foundation ever since.

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Richard L. Adams Jr. is the millionaire sponsor of the JREF. He is also the landlord of General Dynamics corporate headquarters, which is his main tenant and occupies half of his building. 

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The JREF is located in Suite 105 of the 2941 Fairview Park Drive building, which is the business office of Rick Adams' 2941 Fairview Park Drive, LLC, who is the legal owner of the building. Adams' biggest tenant is General Dynamics, whose corporate headquarters leases half the building and has their main office just down the hall from Adams' office - in Suite 100.

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The JREF tax filing for 2012 shows Rick Adams as unpaid treasurer of the foundation. Why would a millionaire businessman give his time and name to a bogus educational foundation run by a former stage magician who is strongly opposed to 9-11 truth?

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The James Randi Educational Foundation, Inc. is registered at 2941Fairview Park Drive, in Suite 105.  This is also the registered address of the owner of the building, 2941 Fairview Park Drive, LLC, as well as several other companies associated with Rick Adams:  2900 Fairview Park Drive, LLC; 2941 Fairview, LLC; 2941, LLC; Fairview Property Development, LLC; Jose Alvarez Art Studio, LLC; and Northeast Quadrant Owners Association.

As the Washington real estate news website Bisnow.com reported in 2008, "We had lunch last week with David Orr at that great 2941 restaurant in Fairview Park, and he seemed to know everyone who passed. Maybe that's because he built the building five years ago and even negotiated General Dynamics' 15-year lease for half the 390k SF space... Dave built the 2941 building for UUNet founder Rick Adams in 2001: a $36M building on spec, part of 1.5M buildable SF Adams bought in Fairview Park." 


Rick Adams' 2941 Fairview Park Drive building is corporate headquarters for General Dynamics, a leading defense contractor controlled by the Crown family of Chicago.  General Dynamics and the Crown family have a vested interest in supporting the lies about 9-11: they profit greatly from the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan and the fraudulent "War on Terror."  To understand the Crown family's relationship to the 9-11 cover-up, I recommend reading my article,"JFK and 9-11: Henry Crown and the Cover-Ups of Our Time".

I called Rick Adams to ask about his relationship with the JREF but he refused to discuss it and hung up the phone.  I also called Daniel W. Denman, who works as a Director in the Division of Information Technology at the University of Maryland, but he also refused to discuss his role as a director and unpaid secretary of the JREF.  These men have a good reason for not wanting to discuss their work with the James Randi Educational Foundation with me - they know that they are involved in a very evil project to deceive the public about what really happened on 9-11.  To be involved in such an evil deception should make them wonder what they value in this life.

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Sources and Recommended Reading:

"GMAC Commercial Mortgage Arranges $74 Million Loan on Trophy Office Tower in Falls Church, Va.", BusinessWire.com, September 13, 2004 
www.businesswire.com/news/home/20040913005635/en/GMAC-Commercial-Mortgage-Arranges-74-Million-Loan#.Uu4r8PvAiZR

"James Randi," Wikipedia, February 4, 2014
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi

"James Randi Educational Foundation," Wikipedia, February 4, 2014
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi_Educational_Foundation 

List of companies registered at 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, VA
www.bizapedia.com/addresses/2941-FAIRVIEW-PARK-DR-FALLS-CHURCH-VA-22042.html

"MFS Communications Company, Inc. History," FundingUniverse.com, February 4, 2014
http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/mfs-communications-company-inc-history/ 

"Richard L Adams," Encyclopedia of Ecommerce, February 4, 2014
ecommerce.hostip.info/pages/2/Adams-Richard-L.html
 

"Rick Adams," Wikipedia, February 4, 2014
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Adams_%28internet_pioneer%29

"The Biggest Developer You've Never Heard Of", Bisnow.com, January 28, 2008
www.bisnow.com/commercial-real-estate/washington-dc/the-biggest-developer-youve-never-heard-of/

"Why isn't Chris Bollyn a huge story in the conspiracy world?" forum discussion started by Triterope, James Randi Educational Foundation forum, under 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, June 26, 2007
67.228.115.45/showthread.php  

Articles by Christopher Bollyn about the Crown family and General Dynamics:

“Chicago's Elders of Zion and Obama's War for Profit” by Christopher Bollyn, October 14, 2011
http://www.bollyn.com/chicagos-elders-of-zion-and-obamas-war-for-profit/

“James Crown: The Israeli Connection in the Madoff Scam” by Christopher Bollyn, October 26, 2013
http://www.bollyn.com/14419/

“JFK and 9-11: Henry Crown and the Cover-Ups of Our Time” by Christopher Bollyn, November 7, 2013
http://www.bollyn.com/jfk-and-9-11-henry-crown-and-the-cover-ups-of-our-time/

“The Crown Family Connections to the Kennedy Assassinations” by Christopher Bollyn, November 21, 2013
http://www.bollyn.com/the-crown-family-connections-to-the-kennedy-assassinations/


Fraud possible in Brazil's e-voting system

25 October 2014 - 03:14 PM

Summary: Vulnerabilities found in the pioneering electronic voting system could lead to tampering in the country's upcoming general elections.

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By Angelica Mari for Brazil Tech |

 

October 3, 2014 -- 22:37 GMT (15:37 PDT)

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Flaws found in the Brazilian electronic voting system could open up the possibility of fraud as more than 140 million people go to the polls in the general elections taking place on Sunday.

E-voting was introduced in Brazil in 1996 as a means to ensure secrecy and accuracy of the election process, as well as speed: the system underpinned by about 530,000 voting machines currently in place enables results to be processed within a matter of minutes within closing of the ballots.

However, a public test of the equipment conducted by security and encryption specialists from Unicamp and Universidade de Brasília, two of the top computer science universities in Brazil, suggests that it is possible to easily break the secrecy of the machine and unscramble the order of votes recorded by the device.

 

"Brazilians unconditionally believe the [security of the] country's electoral authority and processes. The issue is that common citizens actually have no other option because of the lack of independent checks," says Unicamp professor and encryption specialist, Diego Aranha.

Another issue is that the Brazilian machines, which are based on the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) model, do not produce a physical proof that the vote has been recorded. This means there is a constant danger of large-scale software fraud, as well as other non-technical tampering that could be perpetrated by former or current electoral justice staff and go totally undetected, according to Aranha.

The Brazilian Electoral Tribunal (TSE, in the Portuguese acronym) did not allow new public tests since the faults were discovered by Aranha's team in 2012, when the TSE granted access to more than 10 million lines of code for five hours. Since the system holes were found, the Tribunal said it would not allow further independent tests. 

"[The TSE] said that my attitude was disrespectful and a threat to democracy, which is bizarre given that I am a professor at a public university," Aranha says.

"The reality is that there appears to be a conflict of interests, since the government wants to portray the system as bullet-proof and at the same time cover up these vulnerabilities," the academic adds.

In an attempt to introduce more transparency to the voting process in Brazil, Aranha then created a mobile app, Você Fiscal ("You Inspector," in Portuguese), that captures information from images sent by users of printed statements from the voting machines with the total vote counts, which are displayed publicly upon closing of the ballots.

The issue is that common citizens actually have no other option because of the lack of independent checks."
— Diego Aranha

The results produced from the information in the public's photos is then compared with the official results, creating an alternative version of the truth.

"If anything out of order has happened to the voting machine after the closing of the ballots, the system will detect it," the professor points out.

The Você Fiscal app has received over $30,000, more than double the amount of funding it originally sought on Brazilian crowdfunding website Catarse.

The professor's medium to long-term goal is to develop a prototype of a new electronic voting system that offers not only a printed proof that the vote has been processed, but also a more robust fraud detection system as well as auditing.

The Brazilian Electoral Justice system has made efforts to disseminate the electronic voting system, with trade missions to countries including Mozambique, South Africa and Guinea-Bissau, as well as Japan.

According to the government, Peru, Bolivia, Haiti and Panama have requested technical information on the Brazilian electronic voting system, while the UK and US have made recent visits to learn more about the platform.

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Professor Aranha, who has presented several times about the Brazilian e-voting system to international audiences, remains skeptical about its possible replication elsewhere.

"The government likes to promote our voting system as one of the most advanced in the world, mainly because we can get the results a lot faster than other countries using more traditional methods. However, speed is desirable, but not the most important feature of an e-voting platform," Aranha points out.

"And the TSE presents the international interest in the system in a way that is convenient to them. But the reality is that many countries have been here, the Brazilian government presents it all through rose-tinted glasses, but how many countries have actually adopted our system?" he adds.

"These countries haven't done so because our system does not have appropriate transparency features that you would expect."

The TSE states that the electronic voting process has "essential mechanisms to ensure voters' safety" in place, such as digital signature.

Security tests in the voting machines were not carried out ahead of this year's elections, but a security working group has been put together by the TSE to map requirements in that area and plan for a roadmap of e-voting security, counting and auditing in Brazil.

However, the group's agenda is moving at a slow pace and has no specific deadline to deliver the recommendations.


NSA Lied About Knowledge Of 2 9/11 Hijackers In U.S., Didn't Inform The FBI

12 October 2014 - 01:57 AM

NSA Lied About Knowledge Of 2 9/11 Hijackers In U.S., Didn't Inform The FBI
Posted by Jon Gold on Sat, 08/09/2014 - 4:11pm

By Jon Gold
8/9/2014

For a long time now, I've been trying to figure out just exactly what the NSA knew about the hijackers and 9/11.

The main reason for this was because the 9/11 Commission barely looked at them, and the information they did come across tried to tie Iran to Al-Qaeda and 9/11. "[For executive director Philip] Zelikow and other staff on the commission, it was just more interesting—sexier—to concentrate on the CIA."

In late 2003, the NSA will allow the 9/11 Commission access to its archives on Al-Qaeda. "[P]erversely, the more eager [NSA director] General Hayden was to cooperate, the less interested [9/11 Commission executive director Philip] Zelikow and others at the commission seemed to be in what was buried in the NSA files."

Towards the end of the 9/11 Commission, "Zelikow would later admit he too was worried that important classified information had never been reviewed at the NSA and elsewhere in the government before the 9/11 commission shut its doors, that critical evidence about bin Laden’s terrorist network sat buried in government files, unread to this day. By July 2004, it was just too late to keep digging."

Interesting, since he seems to be the main reason the 9/11 Commission stayed away from the NSA.

According to this entry from www.historycommons.org:

 

"...both the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission examine the NSA’s intercepts of various calls made by the hijackers to an al-Qaeda communications hub in Sana’a, Yemen." The portion of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry that touches on this "is heavily redacted so most details remain unknown. It states that, although the NSA intercepted the calls and disseminated dispatches about some of them, THE NSA DID NOT REALIZE THE HIJACKERS WERE IN THE U.S. AT THE TIME THE CALLS WERE MADE (emphasis mine)."

On 12/17/2005, George W. Bush says, "as the 9/11 Commission pointed out, it was clear that terrorists inside the United States were communicating with terrorists abroad before the September the 11th attacks, and the commission criticized our nation’s inability to uncover links between terrorists here at home and terrorists abroad. Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, communicated while they were in the United States to other members of al-Qaeda who were overseas. But we didn’t know they were here until it was too late."

 

"The 9/11 Commission Report contains a briefer section on the intercepts and deals with those which led to the surveillance of the al-Qaeda summit in Malaysia. In addition, it mentions that Almihdhar called his wife from San Diego in the spring of 2000, but fails to mention that his wife lived at an al-Qaeda communications hub and that the calls were intercepted by the NSA."

In her book "Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow," 9/11 Family Member Kristen Breitweiser states:

Author Lawrence Wright makes two statements on the issue:

"Unfortunately, the NSA never checked to see where al Mihdhar’s calls were originating from— i.e., San Diego. The NSA’s oversight in not checking to see where the phone calls were being made from seems hard to believe. Nevertheless, the NSA’s negligence in this regard has been excused and overlooked. So for the nearly five months al Mihdhar was in this country and living with al Hazmi in San Diego, the NSA listened in to his phone calls back to Yemen. Notably, because NSA assumed that al Mihdhar was overseas, they passed all of their information regarding al Mihdhar solely to the CIA— not the FBI. If only the billions budgeted to NSA for intelligence had had room for caller ID. If they had just informed the FBI about the presence of al Mihdhar within our borders, the FBI would have been able to begin its investigation more than a full year before 9/ 11. " (pp. 181-182)

 

"[h]ad a line been drawn from the [communications hub] in Yemen to Alhazmi and Almihdhar’s San Diego apartment, al-Qaeda’s presence in America would have been glaringly obvious."

So basically, we are led to believe that the NSA was monitoring calls from San Diego to Yemen from the hijackers, but the NSA could not identify that the calls were coming from within the U.S. Meaning they had no idea the hijackers were in the United States.

[…]

"You know, this is the key. The NSA is all over this phone. And everybody, you know, that has any connection with it is drawing links from that phone. Now imagine eight lines from Yemen to San Diego. How obvious would it be that al-Qaeda is in America[?]"

On 5/14/2012, an article entitled "NSA Analyst: We Could Have Prevented 9/11" was released on HuffPo. In that article, NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake said:

 

"I can't say fully, because it's classified. But I showed that NSA knew a great deal about the 9/11 threats and Al Qaeda, electronically tracking various people and organizations for years -- since its role is to collect intelligence. The problem is, it wasn't sharing all of the data. If it had, other parts of government could have acted on it, and more than likely, NSA could have stopped, I say stopped 9/11. Later, it could have located Al Qaeda -- at the very time the U.S. was scouring Afghanistan."

Obviously, that tidbit of information further sparked my curiosity. I went to www.historycommons.org, and found every entry on the NSA that I could find, but could not see what Thomas Drake was talking about.

On 1/7/2014, in this article written by several NSA Whistleblowers, we get a clue about one of lies about 9/11.

 

"NSA knew the telephone number of the safe house in Yemen at least by 1996 and was, of course, keeping track of calls to it from the U.S. Would Mueller, Morell and Cheney have us believe NSA doesn’t know about caller ID? As William Binney has explained, automated systems take over when such calls are made and as long as you have one valid number you can obtain the other. Was it a case of gross ineptitude on NSA’s part; or was NSA deliberately withholding information linking al-Mihdhar to the known al-Qaeda base in Yemen?"

On 6/4/2014, Abby Martin has on two NSA Whistleblowers on her show "Breaking The Set." They are William Binney and Kirk Wiebe. During this interview, William Binney tells us:

 

"I know specifics… like six or seven phone calls from San Diego back to the Yemen facility. And by the way, BOTH ENDS WERE KNOWN. I MEAN BOTH NUMBERS WERE THERE. THAT'S HOW CALLER ID WORKS (emphasis mine)."

What do we learn from all of this? It seems the NSA lied, had BOTH numbers, and presumably knew the hijackers were in the United States and did not tell the FBI about it.

Is this what Thomas Drake was talking about? I don't know, but it is a pretty big lie. Personally, I would like access to all of the transcripts of the intercepts, and all other information the NSA had on Al-Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks.

Maybe someday.

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see http://politicalfilm...san-diego-lied/

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NSA intercepts of hijackers' calls – update
Posted by Kevin Fenton on Sun, 09/10/2006 - 2:56pm

I noticed this passage in the One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind (pp. 93-94). It is further evidence that the NSA intercepted some of the hijackers' calls to/from the US before 9/11:

“FBI investigators had been interviewing [FBI agent] Coleman and others throughout the winter, seeking context on several key NSA dispatches that had been discovered in the days after 9/11. Most notable among them were calls NSA had collected in 2000 from San Diego to a number in Yemen. The Yemen number was for the daughter of a man who, Coleman told investigators, “was the uncle of half the violent jihadists we knew of in the country.” This was the number—so familiar to Coleman from his work prosecuting al Qaeda that he knew it by heart—the 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar had called while he hid out in San Diego. In fact, Coleman and other FBI al Qaeda specialists had even placed an order with the NSA back in 1998—that any calls between the Yemen line and the US be passed to the bureau—that the NSA didn't fill. “For us,” Coleman said, “anyone who called the Yemen number is white-hot, a top suspect.”

Hattip: PT

I have some comments:
(1) If you hadn't already heard, the NSA intercepted some of the hijackers' calls.

(2) Al Mihdhar did not hide out in San Diego. Although he was a terrorist known to several intelligence agencies by this time he used a passport and visa in his own name, opened a bank account in his open name, rented an apartment in his own name, obtained a driving licence in his own name, etc.

(3) Dispatches! I would have thought that the NSA's first line of defence would be to claim the calls didn't meet its reporting threshold. If dispatches were drafted, then they can't use this argument.

(4) Dispatches! Would these dispatches not have been dispatched somewhere – for example to some Other Government Agency? Which one(s)? Would this Other Government Agency not then have a paper (electronic) trail related to them? I guess a paper trail like that would make it difficult for them to claim they didn't know Al Mihdhar was in the US.

(5) FBI agent Coleman indicates that in the calls Al Mihdhar talked to his wife (who was Ahmed Al Hada's daughter) as opposed, for example, to discussing operational information with her brother or father. The 9/11 Commission also made the same claim: “Mihdhar's mind seems to have been with his family back in Yemen, as evidenced by calls he made from the apartment telephone. When news of the birth of his first child arrived, he could stand life in California no longer.” (p. 222). Presumably, therefore, the Commission had some access to the NSA material. However, in the relevant endnote (No. 38 on p. 518) the Commission fails to reference the NSA dispatches (or transcripts of the calls). The relevant section only reads, “On Mihdhar's phone calls, see. e.g., FBI report, “Hijackers Timeline,” Nov. 14, 2003 (Mar. 20, 2000 entry, citing 265A-NY-280350-19426).” (Note: one of the calls was made on 20 March 2000, according to the FBI OIG report). Why would the Commission omit a story as important as the NSA intercepting the hijackers' calls? Surely it should have investigated this and found why they weren't disseminated (as Al Mihdhar was “white hot, a top suspect”) or, if they were disseminated, to whom?

(6) According to an edition of MSNBC Hardball broadcast on 21 July 2004, the calls did not end when Al Mihdhar returned to the Middle East in summer 2000 and “The final call from Yemen to the hijackers came only weeks before 9/11.”
Link: MSNBC Hardball

 


Declassified transcripts suggest Oppenheimer remained loyal

12 October 2014 - 01:35 AM

 

 

Declassified transcripts suggest Oppenheimer remained loyal  
By William J. Broad  | New York Times   October 11, 2014
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Associated Press file

J. Robert Oppenheimer is seen at Princeton in this 1957 photo.

 

At the height of the McCarthy era, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the government’s top atomic physicist, came under suspicion as a Soviet spy.

After 19 days of secret hearings in April and May of 1954, the Atomic Energy Commission revoked his security clearance. The action brought his career to a humiliating close, and Oppenheimer, until then a hero of American science, lived out his life a broken man.

Continue reading below

But now, hundreds of newly declassified pages from the hearings suggest that Oppenheimer was anything but disloyal.

Historians and nuclear experts who have studied the declassified material — roughly a tenth of the hearing transcripts — say that it offers no damning evidence against him, and that the testimony that has been kept secret all these years tends to exonerate him.

“It’s hard to see why it was classified,” Richard Polenberg, a historian at Cornell University who edited a much earlier, sanitized version of the hearings, said in an interview. “It’s hard to see a principle here — except that some of the testimony was sympathetic to Oppenheimer, some of it very sympathetic.”

A crucial element in the case against Oppenheimer derived from his resistance to early work on the hydrogen bomb. The physicist Edward Teller, who long advocated a crash program to devise such a weapon, told the hearing that he mistrusted Oppenheimer’s judgment, testifying that “I would feel personally more secure if public matters would rest in other hands.”

But the declassified material, released Oct. 3 by the Energy Department, suggests that Oppenheimer opposed the hydrogen bomb project on technical and military grounds, not out of Soviet sympathies.

Richard Rhodes, author of the 1995 book “Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb,” said the records showed that making fuel to test one of Teller’s early H-bomb ideas would have forced the nation to forgo up to 80 atomic bombs.

“Oppenheimer was worried about war on the ground in Europe,” Rhodes said in an interview. He saw the need for “a large stockpile of fission weapons that could be used to turn back a Soviet ground assault.”

The formerly secret testimony “was immensely relevant to Oppenheimer’s opposition,” he said, adding, “There’s a lot here for historians to digest.”

Robert S. Norris, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists and the author of “Racing for the Bomb,” a biography of Lt. Gen. Leslie R. Groves, the military leader of the World War II project to develop the atomic bomb, said a reading of the formerly secret testimony showed it had little or nothing to do with national security.

“In many cases, they deleted material that was embarrassing,” he said in an interview. “That’s pretty obvious.”

The Energy Department, a successor to the Atomic Energy Commission, offered no public analysis of the 19 volumes and no explanation for why it was releasing the material now. It did, however, note that the step took 60 years. Sidestepping questions of guilt or innocence, it referred to the 1954 hearing as a federal assessment of Oppenheimer “as a possible security risk.”

Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ project on government secrecy, called the release “long overdue” and added, “It lifts the last remaining cloud from the subject.”

Priscilla McMillan, an atomic historian at Harvard and author of “The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” applauded the release but also expressed bafflement at its having taken six decades, saying her own research suggested that the transcripts held “zero classified data.”

An eccentric genius fond of pipes and porkpie hats, Oppenheimer grew up in an elegant building on Riverside Drive in Manhattan, attended the Ethical Culture School and graduated from Harvard in three years. After studies in Europe, he taught physics at the University of California, Berkeley.

As a young professor, he crashed his car while racing a train, leaving his girlfriend unconscious. His father gave the young woman a painting and a Cézanne drawing.

In the 1930s, like many liberals, Oppenheimer belonged to groups led or infiltrated by communists; his brother, his wife and his former fiancée were party members.

In the 1940s at Los Alamos in New Mexico, in great secrecy, he led the scientific effort that invented the atom bomb. Afterward, as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission’s main advisory body, he helped direct the nation’s postwar nuclear developments.

Oppenheimer’s downfall came amid Cold War fears over Soviet strides in atomic weaponry and communist subversion at home. In 1953, a former congressional aide charged in a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the celebrated physicist was a Soviet spy.

Troubled by the allegation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered “a blank wall” erected between Oppenheimer and any nuclear secrets.

No evidence came to light that supported the spy charge. But the security board found that Oppenheimer’s early views on the hydrogen bomb “had an adverse effect on recruitment of scientists and the progress of the scientific effort.” He died in 1967, at 62.

Experts who have looked at the declassified transcripts say they cast startling new light on the Oppenheimer case. Polenberg of Cornell, for example, expressed bewilderment that 12 pages of testimony from Lee A. DuBridge, a friend and colleague of Oppenheimer’s who discussed the atomic trade-offs and the European war situation, had remained secret for 60 years.

“A difference of opinion doesn’t mean disloyalty,” he said. “It’s hard to see why it was redacted.”

Polenberg also pointed to 45 pages of declassified testimony from Walter G. Whitman, an MIT engineer and member of the Atomic Energy Commission’s advisory body.

“In my judgment,” Whitman said of Oppenheimer, “his advice and his arguments for a gamut of atomic weapons, extending even over to the use of the atomic weapon in air defense of the United States, has been more productive than any other one individual.”

Asked his opinion of Oppenheimer as a security risk, he called him “completely loyal.”

(STORY CAN END HERE. OPTIONAL MATERIAL FOLLOWS.)

Alex Wellerstein, an atomic expert at the Stevens Institute of Technology, said in a comment on the secrecy blog of the Federation of American Scientists that years ago he had asked the government to declassify the secret Oppenheimer testimony.

The department’s public silence on his request, he said, made the unveiling look like “the result of an internal interest in the files rather than prodding from an outside historian.”

A few of the declassifications cast new light on what were already famous moments in Oppenheimer’s downfall.

Isidor I. Rabi, a Nobel laureate and veteran of the Manhattan Project who staunchly defended the beleaguered physicist, told atomic investigators that he found the hearing “most unfortunate” given what “Dr. Oppenheimer has accomplished.”

The restored transcript adds a deleted phrase in which Rabi mentioned the hydrogen bomb, then also known as the Super. It underscored the depth of his fury.

“We have an A-bomb,” he told the hearing, as well as “a whole series of Super bombs.” He added: “What more do you want, mermaids?”

 


9/11 coincidences and oddities page!

04 October 2014 - 03:42 PM

9/11 coincidences and oddities page!

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