News Articles Worth Reading
FBI $40M Gulfstream V Personal Executive Jet "Essential Tool For Battling Terrorism"
FBI's $40 million Gulfstream V with an annual $3.6 million in maintenance, was acquired under the pretense that it would be "an essential tool for battling terrorism". The Washington Post now reveals FBI Bureau Director Mueller regularly uses the jet for personal travel "to speeches, public appearances and field office visits."
The Plot Thins...MSNBC Countdown Reports on Government's False Flag Ops
Posted: Monday, June 04, 2007 11:30 AM by Countdown
Countdown found it interesting that the New York Times, JFK airport’s hometown paper, not only didn’t put the story of the alleged plot to bomb a fuel pipeline feeding that airport on its front page yesterday morning. It didn’t even put it in the A section of the paper, burying it in the Metro section.
Update: We were wrong about this, as was Bill O'Reilly.
This morning the story got even more curious, with the revelation that the informant in the case was a “twice-convicted drug dealer” who agreed to help in exchange for a lighter sentence. And the "unthinkable devastation" that U.S. officials say was so narrowly averted may have been exaggerated as well, with pipeline experts saying the explosions could have been contained by simply shutting off the fuel flow.
More curious, was that yet another terror plot was announced at a politically opportune time for the Bush administration -- this time, the day before the Democratic debate in New Hampshire. Tonight, Keith will revisit "The Nexus of Politics and Terror", an amazing list of announcements of purported "terror plots' at moments when the administration most needed a distraction from other news and events.
Candidate Fears "Gulf Of Tonkin" To Provoke Iran War
Developments converge to signify inevitable conflict despite ongoing chaos in Iraq
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, January 15, 2007
Republican Congressman and 2008 Presidential candidate Ron Paul fears a staged Gulf of Tonkin style incident may be used to provoke air strikes on Iran as numerous factors collide to heighten expectations that America may soon be embroiled in its third war in six years.
Writing in his syndicated weekly column, the representative of Texas' 14th district warns of "a contrived Gulf of Tonkin-type incident (that) may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran."
The August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, where US warships were apparently attacked by North Vietnamese PT Boats, was cited by President Johnson as a legitimate provocation mandating U.S. escalation in Vietnam, yet Tonkin was a staged charade that never took place. Declassified LBJ presidential tapes discuss how to spin the non-event to escalate it as justification for air strikes and the NSA faked intelligence data to make it appear as if two US ships had been lost.
Mos News Monday, January 15, 2007
U.S. Navy nuclear submarines maintaining vigil off the coast of Iran indicate that the Pentagon's military plans include not only control over navigation in the Persian Gulf but also strikes against Iranian targets, a former commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Eduard Baltin has told the Interfax news agency.
Cheney admits expanded military spying role inside US
Jan 14 10:38 AM US/Eastern
US Vice-President Dick Cheney has admitted that the US military and CIA have been spying on the financial dealings of Americans -- intelligence gathering normally authorized only by civilian policing agencies.
The New York Times broke the story overnight, reporting that the
Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency had been using
"national security letters" to obtain the banking and credit records of
Americans and foreigners suspected of terrorist activities in the United
The US military and the CIA have long been restricted in their spying activities inside the United States and are barred from conducting traditional domestic law enforcement work in the country.
Pentagon Viewing Americans' Bank Records
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon and to a lesser extent the CIA have been using a little-known power to look at the banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage within the United States, officials said Saturday.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Saturday the Defense Department "makes requests for information under authorities of the National Security Letter statutes ... but does not use the specific term National Security Letter in its investigatory practice."
Whitman did not indicate the number of requests that have been made in recent years, but said authorities operate under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the National Security Act.
"These statutory tools may provide key leads for counterintelligence
and counterterrorism investigations," Whitman said. "Because these are
requests for information rather than court orders, a DOD request under
the NSL statutes cannot be compelled absent court involvement."
Pentagon Conducting Probes in U.S.
It has been asking financial and telecom firms for data on people.
By Julian E. Barnes and Greg Miller
Times Staff Writers - January 14, 2007
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has been requesting information from
financial institutions and telecommunications companies to investigate
people within the United States suspected of spying or terrorism, the
Defense Department said Saturday.
The little-known practice could raise questions on Capitol Hill about
the military conducting domestic investigations, which are traditionally
reserved for the FBI. The American Civil Liberties Union said Saturday
that the Pentagon activity raised concerns.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Defense Department was not
spying on random American citizens and was primarily requesting the
information in counterintelligence investigations, such as when
department officials or contractors were accused of spying.
The Pentagon practice was first reported Saturday evening by the New
York Times, which said officials estimated that the Pentagon had asked
for the information in as many as 500 investigations over five years.
The CIA has gathered similar information from U.S. companies and other sources, but has done so less frequently, according to U.S. intelligence officials contacted by the Los Angeles Times.
Lawyer Wrongly Arrested in Bombings: 'We lived in 1984'
CNN From Henry Schuster and Terry Frieden
POSTED: 2:11 a.m. EST, November 30, 2006
- Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield says he was constantly watched?
- "We lived in '1984,' " he said, referring to George Orwell's novel
- Mayfield was falsely arrested for taking part in the 2004 Madrid train bombings
- Mayfield settled false arrest suit against the government for $2
PORTLAND, Oregon (CNN) -- The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday it is paying $2 million and apologizing to an Oregon lawyer wrongly accused of being involved with the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, Spain.
Brandon Mayfield was arrested in Portland on a material witness warrant in May 2004, less than two months after the bombings.
H. R. 6166 - MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT
6166 is the number of the act that takes away your constitutional rights.
Do you think that is a coincidence? see The Numbers Game
Another Day In The Empire - Instead of al-Qaeda U.S. Kills Nomads in Somalia
Kurt Nimmo Sunday, January 14, 2007?
As usual, it takes a few days for the truth to emerge, not that the corporate media here in America notices.
Instead of killing Fazul Abdullah Moham-med, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and Abu Taha al-Sudani, supposedly 'al-Qaeda' operatives responsible for the 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the Pentagon killed 'herdsmen' gathered with their animals around large fires at night to ward off mosquitoes in Somalia, according to the Independent.
Oxfam yesterday confirmed at least 70 nomads in the Afmadow district near the border with Kenya had been killed. The nomads were bombed at night and during the day while searching for water sources. Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Kenya has acknowledged that the onslaught on Islamist fighters failed to kill any of the three prime targets, described as backfir[ing] spectacularly by the British newspaper.
All of this runs counter to the assertions of U.S. ambassador, Michael Ranneberger, who said "that no civilians had been killed or injured and that only one attack had taken place." The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, reported that an estimated 100 people were wounded in Monday's air strikes on the small fishing village of Ras Kamboni launched from the US military base in Djibouti.
Charles E. Anderson | Breaking Ranks: Troops Call for Iraq Withdrawal
On Wednesday, January 10, President George W. Bush announced that he would be sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq as early as Monday. "The escalation of this war is very disappointing," said Mass Communications Specialist Third Class, Jonathan Hutto, 29, a sailor stationed aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Ironically, as the additional troops begin arriving in Iraq, Hutto and other active duty troops will travel to Washington to present the Appeal for Redress of Grievances from the US Congress to US Representative Dennis Kucinich.
David Swanson | Why Do We Need a National Conference for Media
"Bush just connected Iraq to 9/11 again, and the media will not tell you it was a lie," says David Swanson. "Bush just gave a list of reasons why this time his escalation of the war will work. A minute later, Bush told us there will still be IED attacks and suicide bombings. The media will not point out that such actions ought really to count as interference."
Shock and Oil: Iraq's Billions & the White House Connection
The American company appointed to advise the US government on the economic reconstruction of Iraq has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into Republican Party coffers and has admitted that its own finances are in chaos because of accounting errors and bad management.
FOCUS | Pentagon Sees Move in Somalia as Blueprint
Military operations in Somalia by American commandos to root out operatives for al Qaeda in the country are a blueprint that Pentagon strategists say they hope to use more frequently in counterterrorism missions around the globe. Some critics of the Pentagon's aggressive use of Special Operations troops have argued that using American forces outside of declared combat zones gives the Pentagon too much authority in sovereign nations and blurs the lines between soldiers and spies.
Official Attacks Top Law Firms Over Detainees
The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation's top firms were representing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms' corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.
FOCUS | Libby Trial Full of Political Intrigue
Former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby goes on trial on Tuesday on charges of perjury in a case that has all the elements of a political thriller. The tale involves a spy's blown cover, the US administration's preparations for war in Iraq and elaborate intrigue among Washington's power brokers.
The New York Times | Busywork for Nuclear Scientists
The New York Times writes: "The Bush administration is eager to start work on a new nuclear warhead with all sorts of admirable qualities: sturdy, reliable and secure from terrorists. To sweeten the deal, officials say that if they can replace the current arsenal with Reliable Replacement Warheads (what could sound more comforting?), they probably won't have to keep so many extra warheads to hedge against technical failure. If you're still not sold, the warhead comes with something of a guarantee - that scientists can build the new bombs without ever testing them."
Bush Leaving Out Important Details on Iraq
President Bush and his aides, explaining their reasons for sending more American troops to Iraq, are offering an incomplete, oversimplified and possibly untrue version of events there that raises new questions about the accuracy of the administration's statements about Iraq.
Stacy Bannerman | Iraq Vets Call on Congress to End War
An anti-war organization launched by a 22-year-old Marine and a 29-year-old sailor has accumulated 1,028 signatures from active-duty and Reserve troops calling for an end to the war in Iraq, which has lasted nearly four years. The signatures will be delivered to lawmakers on January 16th.
New Law Could Subject Civilians to Military Trial
Private contractors and other civilians serving with US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan could be subject for the first time to military courts-martial under a new federal provision that legal scholars say is almost certain to spark constitutional challenges.
FOCUS | Khaled El-Masri | I Am Not a State Secret
Khaled El-Masri was mistaken for a terrorist and wrongfully imprisoned by the CIA in Afghanistan four years ago, enduring severe beatings. In a first-person account of his ordeal, he writes, "What I want ... is a public acknowledgment from the US government that I was innocent, a mistaken victim of its rendition program, and an apology for what I was forced to endure. Without this vindication, it has been impossible for me to return to a normal life."
Justice Department Takes Aim at Image-Sharing Sites http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030307G.shtml
The Bush administration has accelerated its Internet surveillance push by proposing that Web sites must keep records of who uploads photographs or videos in case police determine the content is illegal and choose to investigate.
Cheney/Bush Retaliate When Their Crimes Are Exposed
Keith Olbermann | Joseph Wilson: Time for Bush/Cheney to Come Clean http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030707B.shtml In his first live interview since the guilty verdicts in the trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former ambassador Joseph Wilson told Keith Olbermann it's now time for President Bush and Vice President Cheney to be honest with the American public about their roles in the outing of his wife, CIA Operative Valerie Plame.
Ray McGovern | Why Cheney Lost It When Joe Wilson Spoke Out http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030707R.shtml "Testimony at the Libby trial showed a vice president obsessed with retaliating against former ambassador Joseph Wilson for writing, in the New York Times op-ed section on July 6, 2003, that intelligence had been 'twisted' to justify attacking Iraq. How to explain why the normally stoic, phlegmatic Cheney went off the deep end?" asks Ray McGovern.
Fired US Prosecutors Felt Threatened by Republican Lawmakers http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030707C.shtml Thomas D. Williams reports that four US attorneys testified before Congress Tuesday that they believed they were forced to resign for improper reasons. An email from one of the US attorneys, Arkansas's Bud Cummins, was offered by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, as potential Congressional evidence of alleged improper warnings of retribution by high Justice Department officials.
Liar in the White House http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030707E.shtml In a massive new blow to the credibility of the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff Lewis Libby has been convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to the FBI during the investigation into the leaking of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Questions About Cheney Remain http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030707K.shtml With Tuesday's verdict on Mr. Libby - guilty on four of five counts, including perjury and obstruction of justice - the vice president has been diminished. "The trial has been death by 1,000 cuts for Cheney," said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist. "It's hurt him inside the administration. It's hurt him with the Congress, and it's hurt his stature around the world because it has shown a lot of the inner workings of the White House. It peeled the bark right off the way they operate."
Sydney Schanberg | Libby Trial Exposes Neocon Shadow Government http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030207S.shtml "Day by day, witness by witness, exhibit by exhibit, Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the trial of Dick Cheney's man, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, is accomplishing what no one else in Washington has been able to: He has impeached the Presidency of George W. Bush," writes Sydney Schanberg.
'Timid' Congress drives GQ correspondent to draft six articles of
impeachment for Vice President Cheney
RAW STORY Published: Wednesday February 21, 2007
In the March issue of GQ, Wil S. Hylton argues that Vice President Richard Cheney should be impeached for committing "high crimes and misdemeanors."
"Over the past six years, as the country has spiraled into military misadventure, fiscal madness, and environmental meltdown, the vice president has not merely been wrong about the issues; he has been duplicitous, deceitful, and deliberately destructive to the American democracy," Hylton writes.
"These things can no longer be denied by rational minds: That in the buildup to war in Iraq, the vice president, lacking confidence in the true casus belli, conspired to invent additional ones, misrepresenting the available intelligence, crafting new 'intelligence,' and then spreading these falsehoods to the public, perverting the democratic process that he is sworn to uphold," Hylton adds.
Hylton crafts six "articles of impeachment" because "a timid Republican Congress and a refusal to act by the new Democratic leadership" means that "the Fourth Estate" must "take the mantle of indictment unto ourselves."
How the government treats their own
Paul Krugman | Valor and Squalor http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/030507C.shtml Paul Krugman writes: "The administration uses carefully cooked numbers to pretend that it has been generous to veterans, but the historical data contained in its own budget for fiscal 2008 tells the true story. The quagmire in Iraq has vastly increased the demands on the Veterans Administration, yet since 2001, federal outlays for veterans' medical care have actually lagged behind overall national health spending."
USA Torture State
Independent Reporting Drew Army Coverup, Secrecy, Delays
Officials in the US military from the Pentagon on down tried to thwart reporters for the LA Times who uncovered deaths and possible torture of detainees in Afghanistan.
Lieberman's 9/11 Police State Bill
Total Information Analysis Monday, March 5, 2007
Before the Presidents' Day recess, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Israel) quickly and quietly pushed through his Senate Homeland Security Committee the "Improving America's Security by Implementing Unfinished Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007." That bill will be debated by the full Senate this week, beginning today. [OFFICIAL PDF COPY] The 258-page bill is Lieberman's version of the police-state measure which was the first item to pass the U.S. under Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The full Senate is set to take up the measure on the floor in the next week or two. To tell your Senators to oppose and filibuster this legislation, the number for he Congressional switchboard is as always 202-225-3121.
Civil liberties experts inside Washington have pointed Total911.info to the following provisions in particular as troubling:
Section (j)(1)(a-c) of the bill would have President Bush produce a report within six months on whether it is "feasible" to continue to protect the privacy rights of Americans.
OIL Operation Iraq Liberation
Kathlyn Stone | Iraq Labor vs. ExxonMobil, BP and Shell http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/022207LA.shtml
"The new Iraq hydrocarbon law opens the door for international investors, led by BP, Exxon and Shell, to siphon off 75 percent of Iraq oil wealth for 30 years," writes Kathlyn Stone. "The law is currently under consideration in the Iraq Parliament, with deputy prime minister Salih, chair of the oil committee, carrying the legislation. Iraq's unions, if not its occupied government, are standing firm against the oil law."
Court Out of Control: Judicial Treason
The New York Times | American Liberty at the Precipice http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022207K.shtml
"In another low moment for American justice, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that detainees held at the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, do not have the right to be heard in court. The ruling relied on a shameful law that President Bush stampeded through Congress last fall that gives dangerously short shrift to the Constitution. The right of prisoners to challenge their confinement - habeas corpus - is enshrined in the Constitution and is central to American liberty. Congress and the Supreme Court should act quickly and forcefully to undo the grievous damage that last fall's law, and this week's ruling, have done to this basic freedom." writes the New York Times.
New York Times
| Shielding the Powerful
The editors of the New York Times write: "The Supreme Court's decision yesterday, overturning a nearly $80 million punitive damage award against Philip Morris, is a win for corporate wrongdoers. It stretches the Constitution's guarantee of due process in a way that will make it easier for companies that act reprehensibly to sidestep serious punishments. It also provides unsettling new evidence that the court is more concerned about - and more willing to protect - the powerful than the powerless."
Audit: Anti-Terror Case Data Flawed
Federal prosecutors counted immigration violations, marriage fraud and drug trafficking among anti-terror cases in the four years after 9/11 even though no evidence linked them to terror activity, a Justice Department audit said Tuesday. Overall, nearly all of the terrorism-related statistics on investigations, referrals and cases examined by department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine were either diminished or inflated.
Gonzales rejects calls for resignation
By Andrew Zajacand Christi Parsons Washington Bureau Published March 13, 2007, 10:32 PM CDT
"The Justice Department had characterized the involvement of the White House as minimal, but in recent days, the House Judiciary Committee has released e-mails and other documents that show heavy involvement by former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and other top presidential aides.
In 2005, Miers asked Sampson about the feasibility of firing all 93 U.S. attorneys, a plan that was rejected as too disruptive."
Instead, the White House and Sampson settled on a plan to evaluate and rank U.S. attorneys and fire those deemed to be "underperforming," according to those documents. Such status included being regarded as insufficiently loyal to President Bush or Gonzales.
Bartlett acknowledged that Bush had passed along complaints from Domenici and other members of Congress about election fraud investigations to Gonzales, but that he didn't tell the attorney general how to handle them.
Lawmakers Threaten FBI Over Spy Powers
JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS Associated Press Tuesday, March 20, 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans and Democrats sternly warned the FBI on Tuesday that it could lose its broad power to collect telephone, e-mail and financial records to hunt terrorists after revelations of widespread abuses of the authority detailed in a recent internal investigation.
Their threats came as the Justice Department's chief watchdog, Glenn A. Fine, told the House Judiciary Committee that the FBI engaged in widespread and serious misuse of its authority in illegally collecting the information from Americans and foreigners through so-called national security letters.
If the FBI doesn't move swiftly to correct the mistakes and problems revealed last week in Fine's 130-page report, "you probably won't have NSL authority," said Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., a supporter of the power, referring to the data requests by their initials.
"From the attorney general on down, you should be ashamed of yourself," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. "We stretched to try to give you the tools necessary to make America safe, and it is very, very clear that you've abused that trust."
If Congress revokes some of the expansive law enforcement powers it granted in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Issa said, "America may be less safe, but the Constitution will be more secure, and it will be because of your failure to deal with this in a serious fashion."
The FBI's failure to establish sufficient controls or oversight for collecting the information constituted "serious and unacceptable" failures, Fine told the committee.
Democrats called Fine's findings an example of how the Justice Department has used broad counterterrorism authorities to trample on privacy rights.
"This was a serious breach of trust," said Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the Judiciary chairman. "The department had converted this tool into a handy shortcut to illegally gather vast amounts of private information while at the same time significantly underreporting its activities to Congress."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said Congress should revise the USA Patriot Act, which substantially loosened controls over the letters.
"We do not trust government always to be run by angels, especially not this administration," Nadler said. "It is not enough to mandate that the FBI fix internal management problems and recordkeeping, because the statute itself authorizes the unchecked collection of information on innocent Americans."
Some Republicans, however, said the FBI's expanded spying powers were vital to tracking terrorists.
"The problem is enforcement of the law, not the law itself," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the panel's senior GOP member. "We need to be vigilant to make sure these problems are fixed."
Fine said he did not believe the problems were intentional, although he acknowledged he could not rule that out.
"We believe the misuses and the problems we found generally were the product of mistakes, carelessness, confusion, sloppiness lack of training, lack of adequate guidance and lack of adequate oversight," Fine said.
"It really was unacceptable and inexcusable what happened here," he added under questioning.
Valerie Caproni, the FBI's general counsel, said she took responsibility for the abuses and believed they could be fixed in a matter of months.
"We're going to have to work to get the trust of this committee back, and we know that's what we have to do, and we're going to do it," she said.
In a review of headquarters files and a sampling of just four of the FBI's 56 field offices, Fine found 48 violations of law or presidential directives during between 2003 and 2005, including failure to get proper authorization, making improper requests and unauthorized collection of telephone or Internet e-mail records. He estimated that "a significant number of ... violations throughout the FBI have not been identified or reported."
The bureau has launched an audit of all 56 field offices to determine the full extent of the problem. The Senate Judiciary Committee is to hear Wednesday from Fine on his findings, and will likely question FBI Director Robert Mueller on it at a broader hearing March 27.
In 1986, Congress first authorized FBI agents to obtain electronic records without approval from a judge using national security letters. The letters can be used to acquire e-mails, telephone, travel records and financial information, like credit and bank transactions.
In 2001, the Patriot Act eliminated any requirement that the records belong to someone under suspicion. Now an innocent person's records can be obtained if FBI field agents consider them merely relevant to an ongoing terrorism or spying investigation.
Fine's review, authorized by Congress over Bush administration objections, concluded the number of national security letters requested by the FBI skyrocketed after the Patriot Act became law in 2001.
Fine found more than 700 cases in which FBI agents obtained telephone records through "exigent letters" which asserted that grand jury subpoenas had been requested for the data, when in fact such subpoenas never been sought.
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Address Illegality of So-Called Enemy Combatant Detainees
Little redress in US courts for detainees
Christian Science Monitor
from the April 3, 2007 edition
The Supreme Court avoided a test of Bush's terror-fighting powers
Monday, letting stand a ruling denying Guantánamo detainees access.
By Warren Richey | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
WASHINGTON - A sharply divided US Supreme Court has declined to take up one of the thorniest legal issues in the Bush administration's war on terror – whether detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are entitled to federal court hearings to challenge their open-ended detention.
Instead, in a significant victory for the White House, the nation's highest court on Monday let stand a Feb. 20 appeals court ruling that the detainees are not entitled to immediate access to US federal courts.
Lawyers representing 45 of the 385 detainees at the terror detention camp at the US Naval base at Guantanamo had asked the justices to take up the case on an expedited basis. They wanted the high court to hear arguments during a special oral argument session in early May so a decision could be released by the term's end in late June.
But the court refused to wade into the controversy at all. Instead, the detainees must now exhaust the legal and other avenues established by Congress and the military at a federal appeals court in Washington before bringing their cases to the nation's highest court.
Four of nine justices must vote to take up a case. In issuing the denial on Monday, three justices, Stephen Breyer, David Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, saying the court should have taken up the cases.
The decision means that detainee review procedures and military commission trials will move forward this spring without the threat of an adverse Supreme Court ruling hanging over military prosecutors and other Defense Department officials.
But two justices, John Paul Stevens and Anthony Kennedy, issued what appeared to be a warning to the Bush administration. They said legal analysts should not see the high court's refusal to take up the case as an endorsement of the government's treatment of the detainees. They said that Guantánamo detainees could file future appeals to the Supreme Court if their cases were subject to unreasonable delays.
"Alternative means exist for us to consider our jurisdiction" in the cases, Justice Stevens writes in a brief statement.
In the two companion appeals denied on Monday, lawyers for the detainees challenged President Bush's expansive view of his war powers and asked the justices to clearly delineate what rights, if any, are owed to terror suspects under the US Constitution.
"What ultimately is at stake here is America's commitment to its core values and the rule of law," wrote Washington lawyer Thomas Wilner in his brief to the court on behalf of the detainees.
"That commitment requires ... that this court make clear that our government cannot evade the core constitutional limits on its authority – and the fundamental values of fairness for which our country is known – simply by placing its prisoners in areas beyond our technical sovereignty," Mr. Wilner said.
The two consolidated cases, Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States, would have presented the first opportunity for the high court to assess the constitutionality of a 2006 law that sought to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to consider the detainees' plight.
At issue was whether the Military Commissions Act (MCA), passed by the prior Republican-controlled Congress, violated the constitutional right of prisoners under habeas corpus provisions to ask a neutral judge to assess the legality of their detention.
A federal appeals court panel in Washington ruled 2 to 1 on Feb. 20 that the new law did not violate the habeas safeguards. The Constitution does not confer rights on noncitizens being held at a military base outside US territory, the court ruled.
Lawyers for the detainees said the appeals court was wrong. They said the Supreme Court ruled in June 2004 in a case called Rasul v. Bush that habeas protections historically extended beyond sovereign limits to any place under the government's control. Thus, federal judges have jurisdiction to hear the detainee cases at Guantánamo, the lawyers said.
Some 385 detainees are being held at Guantánamo Bay and many have been in US custody for more than five years without charge. US officials say under the law of war and the MCA they can be held indefinitely as enemy combatants.
It is unclear how the court might have ruled had it accepted and heard the cases. Since the Rasul decision, two justices have left the court and been replaced by new justices appointed by President Bush. They include Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
Lawyers for the detainees said that Congress overstepped its authority when it attempted in the MCA to strip federal court jurisdiction to hear detainee cases.
The Constitution says that the right to habeas corpus review "shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."
Banning federal court review of detainee cases is the equivalent of suspending habeas review, detainee lawyers said. But the US is not facing a rebellion or an invasion, they said.
Government lawyers countered that detainees at Guantánamo do not have a constitutionally protected right to habeas corpus. The Supreme Court recognized a potential statutory right to habeas in its Rasul decision, not a constitutional right, said US Solicitor General Paul Clement in his brief to the court.
But since the 2004 Rasul decision, Congress has amended the habeas statute to withdraw federal court jurisdiction. In its place the Defense Department and Congress established a military review and appeals procedure.
The new procedure provides detainees a legal mechanism to challenge their detention both at Guantánamo and in federal court in the US that fully satisfies the habeas requirements, Mr. Clement said. Under Pentagon rules, detainees are brought before a panel of military officers called a combat status review tribunal (CSRT). The detainee is permitted to present any information that he is innocent and being wrongly held. The panel then weighs that information against evidence presented by the government justifying the individual's detention as an enemy combatant.
Such CSRT reviews must be conducted for each of the detainees at Guantánamo. Any final decision by a CSRT panel can be appealed to the federal appeals court in Washington.
Recent highly publicized statements by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were made during his CSRT hearing on March 10.
Although Mr. Mohammed admitted many of the charges against him, he nonetheless told the panel that many other detainees at Guantánamo had no connection to Al Qaeda, terrorism, or hostilities against the US. He said they had been wrongly arrested and were being wrongly detained.
Lawyers for the detainees have been making a similar argument for more than four years.
"The government claims an immense power unprecedented in our history: to imprison foreign nationals, without bringing criminal charges or providing fair process, for an indefinite period," writes former US Solicitor General and Washington lawyer Seth Waxman in his brief filed on behalf of detainee Lakhdar Boumediene and others. "It is difficult to imagine a public controversy more in need of this court's guidance."
Mr. Boumediene is one of six Algerian immigrants to Bosnia arrested as terror suspects in 2001 by Bosnian authorities. The arrests came at the urging of the US. After an investigation, Bosnia's supreme court ordered the six released because of a lack of evidence of involvement in terrorism.
The six were released, but were then turned over to the US and flown to Guantánamo Bay where they have been held since January 2002.
Mr. Wilner represents Fawzi Al Odah, a Kuwaiti, and 38 other prisoners at Guantánamo, all of whom say they never engaged in combat against the US and are innocent of wrongdoing.
All 45 of the detainees in the two appeals were asking for the same remedy. They want a hearing before a neutral judge to decide the legality of their detention.
Fox's Bill O'Reilly Threatens Celebrities
That Question Governments 9/11 Coverup
In May 2007, O'Reilly threatened both Charlie Sheen and Mark Cuban that he'll be "looking out" for them if they continued their involvement in the upcoming release of the Loose Change Final Cut movie. On his Friday show, O'Reilly demanded Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, be thrown in jail.
Rosie O'Donnell revealed that Fox News Bill O'Reilly threatened to "go after" her and her colleagues after they mentioned O'Reilly's sex scandal on The View. O'Donnell is under pressure after she questioned the official story behind 9/11.
In October of last year, O'Reilly threatened Jim Fetzer and Kevin Barrett that he would use his influence to push for an FBI investigation of the 9/11 truth professors, in an attempt to discover if they had links with terrorists.
In March of 2006, O'Reilly threatened disagreeing callers to his own radio show that their information would be turned over to law enforcement and that they would receive a visit from Fox security personnel. One such caller was actually contacted by Fox security after he mentioned Keith Olbermann on O'Reilly's show, an action classified by O'Reilly as obscene.
- see more on the outstanding Alex Jones website http://propagandamatrix.com/articles/april2007/020407oreillymafia.htm
Fox's Bill O'Reilly Looses It &
Censors Army Veteran
Fox's Bill O'Reilly cut the microphone of retired Colonel Ann Wright, a veteran with 29-years service in the US Army after O'Reilly's intent to falsely malign the Col. Wright started to backfire.
WRIGHT: "I want to make sure the United States treats people properly.."
O'REILLY: "Sure you do. Sure you do."
WRIGHT: "I surely do. That's what I spent 29 years of my life trying to do."
O'REILLY: "Sorry. No you didn't. You know what happened to you, somewhere along the line you started to dislike your own country?."
WRIGHT: "I served 29 years. How many did you serve? Where did you teach the Geneva Conventions?"
O'REILLY: "Cut her mic."?
LFL: One should seriously question and investigate any individual who dares to protect government cover up or who objects to any question raised by We The People. Crimes committed by our own government against the people are even worse than crimes committed against us by other nations.