Latest Event Updates

Show Details for September 24th, 2006

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Interviews this week are with Joseph L Galloway and Ed Felten

Mark Bebawi will talk to Joseph Galloway about the state of the Army, recruitment and deployment numbers and the current administration’s moves on the issue of torture, detainees and the Geneva Conventions.

Pokey Anderson will talk to Ed Felten about Diebold Voting machines

Joseph L Galloway:

Galloway

Joseph Galloway is the former senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder. His distinguished journalist career spans four decades, and he has covered wars including Vietnam, Desert Storm, Haiti, and East Timor. He is the recipient of a Bronze Star Medal and the Medal of Valor of the U.S. Army awarded to a civilian for service during Vietnam

Galloway is co-author of the best-selling book “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young.” General H. Norman Schwarzkopf has called Galloway “the finest combat correspondent of our generation–a soldier’s reporter and a soldier’s friend.”
His most recent article:

We’ve sunk to Osama’s level
The torture of prisoners is not only illegal under American and international law it is, put simply, immoral and unjust. It is also un-American.

Galloway also wrote a best-seller:
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Read online commentary from military columnist Joe Galloway

Ed Felten


Ed Felten is the director of the Center for Information Technology Policy, a new center at Princeton University that addresses crucial issues at the intersection of society and computer technology.  A professor of computer science and public affairs, he is known for his groundbreaking work in computer security.

Monitor co-host Pokey Anderson will discuss with  Professor Felten his team’s examination of an actual Diebold electronic voting machine (DRE), a type widely used in the U.S.

Among their findings:

Malicious software running on a single voting machine can steal votes with little if any risk of detection. The malicious software can modify all of the records, audit logs, and counters kept by the voting machine, so that even careful forensic examination of these records will find nothing amiss. We have constructed demonstration software that carries out this vote-stealing attack.
…The AccuVote-TS machine we studied is vulnerable to attacks that steal votes from one candidate and give them to another. Such attacks can be carried out without leaving any evidence of fraud in the system’s logs.

Also, in a second article, one of Felten’s staff members discovered that a hotel mini-bar key could open the back of a Diebold voting machine.

The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine – the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes, and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus – can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the Internet. … A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes, and hotel minibars.

ARTICLES:
Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine
by Ed Felten et al.
http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting
(includes video)

“Hotel Minibar” Keys Open Diebold Voting Machines
September 18, 2006
by Ed Felten
Freedom to Tinker
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1064

ADDITIONAL ARTICLE OF INTEREST RE ELECTIONS:
RFK Jr. has added a second major article, following up his first major article in Rolling…

Will the Next Election Be Hacked?
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Rolling Stone
Thursday 05 October 2006 Issue
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092106R.shtml

Show Details for September 17th, 2006

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Interviews this week with David Dante Trout and Mark Schleifstein

David Dante Trout edited “After the Storm: Black Intellectuals Explore the Meaning of Hurricane Katrina”

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David Dante Troutt is a professor of law and Justice John J. Francis Scholar at Rutgers University. Author of The Monkey Suit (The New Press), among other books, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
In one emblematic photograph, a bloated body floats facedown on the left while, to the right, a woman stands on an overpass, oblivious. Both the body and the distracted survivor are black.

With more than a thousand dead, entire neighborhoods destroyed, and a diaspora of tens of thousands of poor, mostly black, and previously invisible people suddenly in view, Hurricane Katrina presents issues of race, space, class, and politics in high relief.

In a book of visceral and scholarly critique, analysis, and prescription, published on the first anniversary of the storm, a dozen prominent black intellectuals face the difficult questions about poverty, housing, governmental decision-making, crime, community development, and political participation that Katrina raised.

Determined to offer insights about renewal, their contributions help the nation to understand what happened in the Gulf region, what is likely to happen in the recovery and redevelopment effort to come, and what these events tell us about poverty and inequality in contemporary America.

Contributors include:

Devon Carbado
Sheryll Cashin
Michael Eric Dyson
Anthony Farley
Cheryl Harris
Clement Price
Adolph Reed
Katheryn Russell-Brown
John Valery White
Adrien Wing

The 2nd interview is with Mark Schleifstein:

Mark Schleifstein, co-author with John McQuaid of “Path of Destruction”, has worked at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans since 1984. His reporting during and after Hurricane Katrina was among the newspaper’s stories honored with 2006 Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service and Breaking News Reporting and the George Polk Award for Metropolitan Reporting. Stories by Schleifstein and McQuaid prior to Katrina on hurricanes and coastal science issues were honored in 2006 with a special award from the American Geophysical Union. The 2002 series co-authored by Schleifstein and McQuaid,”Washing Away: How south Louisiana is growing more vulnerable to a catastrophic hurricane,” won the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2003 Excellence in Media award and the 2003 National Hurricane Conference media award.
The Book:

Front Cover

People the 9/11 Commission turned away or censored:

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John M. Cole, Former Veteran Intelligence Operations Specialist; FBI – Mr. Cole worked for 18 years in the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division as an Intelligence Operations specialist, and was in charge of FBI’s foreign intelligence investigations covering India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr. Cole had knowledge of certain activities that directly related to the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. He notified the 9/11 Commission during its investigation, but never received a response. His name and contact information was provided to the Commission as a key witness by other witnesses, but he was never contacted or interviewed.

John Vincent, Retired Special Agent, Counterterrorism; FBI – Mr. Vincent worked for the FBI for 27 1/2 years before retiring in 2002.  He worked his last 8 years in counterterrorism in the FBI’s Chicago Field Office. Mr. Vincent, along with Robert Wright, exposed inefficiencies within the FBI in working counterterrorism cases, and certain warnings they had tried to pursue prior to the 9/11 attack that were directly related to Al-Qaeda’s financial network and money laundering activities. Although he was granted an interview, the commissioners’ investigators refused to let him provide them with information related to his case and the 9/11 terrorists network; they insisted on limiting the interview to only administrative and irrelevant questions and issues.

Robert Wright, Veteran Special Agent, Counterterrorism; FBI – Mr. Wright is a veteran special agent in the FBI Chicago Field Office Counterterrorism Unit. He had been investigating a suspected terrorist cell for three years, when he was informed in January 2001 that the case was being closed. Agent Wright, along with Mr. Vincent, exposed inefficiencies within the FBI in working counterterrorism cases and certain warnings they’d tried to pursue prior to the 9/11 attack that were directly related to Al-Qaeda’s financial network and money laundering activities. Three months before September 11, Wright wrote a stinging internal memo charging that the FBI was not interested in thwarting a terrorist attack, but rather “was merely gathering intelligence so they would know who to arrest when a terrorist attack occurred.” The FBI refused to allow Wright to testify before the 9/11 Commission, however, the Commission did not insist or attempt to subpoena Wright; despite the fact that it had subpoena power.

Sibel Edmonds, Former Language Specialist; FBI – Ms. Edmonds worked for the FBI’s Washington Field Office as a language specialist with Top Secret Clearance performing translations for counterterrorism and counterintelligence operations dealing with Turkey, Iran, and Turkic speaking Central Asian countries. She contacted the 9/11 Commission in May 2003 and requested a meeting to provide them with information directly related to the terrorist attack. The Commission investigators refused to meet with Edmonds and informed her that due to their limited resources and time they were not going to interview all witnesses. She was able to provide the commission with information and documents only after certain 9/11 family members intervened directly. Ms. Edmonds’ testimony was completely censored by the Commission.

Behrooz Sarshar, Former Language Specialist; FBI – Mr. Sarshar worked for the FBI’s Washington Field Office as a language specialist with Top Secret  Clearance performing Farsi translations for counterterrorism and counterintelligence operations dealing with Iran and Afghanistan. He had first-hand information of prior specific warning obtained from a reliable informant in April 2001 on the terrorist attacks of September 11. Mr. Sarshar contacted the Commission directly but was refused. He was given an interview with the Commission investigators only after 9/11 family members intervened directly. Mr. Sarshar’s documented testimony was completely omitted from the commission’s final report, despite his case being publicly confirmed by Director Mueller’s Office.

Mike German, Special Agent, Counterterrorism; FBI – Mr. German served sixteen years as an FBI Special Agent and is one of the rare agents credited with actually having prevented acts of terrorism before it became the FBI’s number one priority.  He contacted the Commission in the spring of 2004, but did not receive a response. In 2002 he reported gross mismanagement in a post 9/11-counterterrorism investigation, which included serious violations of FBI policy and federal law. Mr. German contacted the 9/11 Commission during its investigation and requested that he be given an interview session in order to provide them with certain domestic counterterrorism investigations that he’d pursued. According to Mr. German there were links between certain domestic and international counterterrorism related to the September 11 attacks. The 9/11 Commissioners refused to acknowledge his request and never interviewed him.

Gilbert Graham, Retired Special Agent, Counterintelligence; FBI – Mr. Graham worked for the FBI’s Washington Field Office Counterintelligence Division until 2002. In February 2004 his name and contact information were provided to the Commission as a key witness with information pertinent to the Commission’s investigation. The 9/11 Commission refused to follow up and never contacted Mr. Graham.

Coleen Rowley, Retired Division Counsel; FBI – In May 2002, Coleen Rowley, as the Division Counsel at the FBI Minneapolis Office, blew the whistle on the FBI’s failure to pursue Zacarias Moussaoui’s case prior to 9/11, despite all attempts made by the Minneapolis division counterterrorism agents. She reported that FBI HQ personnel in Washington, D.C., had mishandled and neglected to take action on information provided by her division. Despite her high-profile case the commission chose not to interview Ms. Rowley. According to Ms. Rowley, no one from the FBI Minneapolis Office (several Agents had direct information) was ever asked to provide testimony, information, to the 9/11 Commission.

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer, DIA – Colonel Shaffer provided the Commission with detailed information on intelligence and pre warning information obtained by his unit’s data mining project, Able Danger. The 9/11 commission staff received not one but two briefings on Able Danger from Mr. Shaffer and his former team members, yet did not pursue the case, did not follow up on this documented report and refused to subpoena the relevant files. Mr. Shaffer’s testimony, together with other witnesses who corroborated his testimony and information, were censored by the 9/11 Commissioners and never made it to its final report.

Dick Stoltz, Retired Special Agent; ATF- Mr. Stoltz, a veteran undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, had played an important role in Operation Diamondback between 1998 and 2001. The sting operation involved a group of Middle Eastern men living in New Jersey who were caught on tape in an ATF weapons sting conspiring to buy millions of dollars of weapons including components for nuclear bombs. The case came to a screeching halt with the arrest of only a handful of suspects in June of 2001 even though there was ample evidence that some of the people who were attempting to buy these weapons had connections with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden himself. The 9/11 Commission refused to contact Agent Stoltz despite all attempts made by several witnesses from the intelligence & Law Enforcement Communities, and the 9/11 Family group, Jersey Moms.

Bogdan Dzakovic, Former Red Team Leader; FAA – Mr. Dzakovic had worked for the Security Division of the Federal Aviation Administration since 1987 as a Special Agent, as a Team Leader in the Federal Air Marshals, and from 1995 until September 11, 2001 was a Team Leader of the Red Team (terrorist team). Mr. Dzakovic had tried for several years prior to the 9-11 attacks to improve aviation security in the face of the ever-increasing terrorist threat. He provided the 9/11 Commission with his testimony and documented reports. His testimony and report to the Commission was completely omitted from the final report.

Linda Lewis, Retired Emergency Programs Specialist; USDA – Ms. Lewis worked for 13 years evaluating and coordinating federal, state and local preparedness for nuclear, radiological and chemical weapons emergencies. Prior to September 11, 2001, she had reported numerous inadequacies and dysfunctions in emergency preparedness, including a culture of intimidation that discouraged federal evaluators from reporting inadequacies in state and local plans and preparedness. USDA officials had thwarted her efforts to bring in terrorism experts to help the agency prepare for attacks on federal buildings, including bio-weapons attacks such as the anthrax attacks of 2001. In vain, she had urged FEMA officials to develop a national emergency communications plan and require interoperability of federally funded emergency communications equipment.  In the absence of these preparations, New York City firefighters and police officers were unable to communicate critical information on September 11 at theWorld Trade Center. Ms. Lewis contacted the Commission and offered to provide information regarding dysfunctional government preparedness, but the Commission never responded. 

Mark Burton, Senior Analyst; NSA Mr. Burton served as an all-source threat analyst in NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) for most of his 16-year career.  He was the editor of IAD’s premier threat document; the 300+ page ISSO Global Threat Summary, and was an adjunct faculty member at NSA’sNational Cryptologic School.  He provided dozens of pages of relevant information to the 9/11 Commission, but was completely ignored and never asked to testify.

The above list does not include many others from the intelligence and law enforcement communities who had similarly contacted or reported to the commission but had been either turned away or censored, and of course many others’ who are still working within these agencies and are fearful of making their identities known, due to the relentless pursuit of and retaliation against whistleblowers by government agencies.

Get more detail on this and the topic of National Security Whistleblowers from The National Security Whistleblowers Coalition – www.nswbc.org

Show Details for September 10th, 2006

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One day before the 5th anniversary of 9/11, I spent the hour with Paul Thompson. We talked about 9/11, his book and a new documentary he is featured in. As part of the introduction to show I read parts of an article by John W Dean. The article is posted in the ‘Mentioned on Air’ section.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson is the author of The Terror Timeline, A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11 and America’s Response:

 

Thompson participated in The Citizens’ Commission on 9-11 and works with the Center for Cooperative Research

Paul is also featured prominently in a new documentary:

In 9/11 Press for Truth, five of the most prominent members of the Family Steering Committee tell their story for the first time, providing the most powerful argument yet for why 9/11 still needs to be investigated. The documentary is based in part on Paul Thompson’s Complete 9/11 Timeline.

Show Details for August 27th, 2006

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This week’s feature interview is with John W. Dean and is followed by an interview with Trita Parsi

Conservatives without Conscience – John Dean:

John W. Dean was White House Counsel to U.S. President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973. As White House Counsel, he became deeply involved in events leading to the Watergate first break-in and the subsequent Watergate scandal cover up, even referred to as “master manipulator of the cover up” by the FBI, and went on to become the star witness of the Watergate prosecution.

Dean earned his bachelor’s degree from The College of Wooster in 1961, and his law degree from Georgetown University in 1965. After graduation, he joined a Washington, D.C. law firm.

He was subsequently employed as the chief counsel to the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee in the United States House of Representatives. A National Commission on the Reform of Federal Criminal Law was created in 1967: Dean was appointed its associate director. He volunteered to write position papers on crime for Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1968. The following year he became an Associate Deputy at the office of the Attorney General of the United States in the Nixon administration and later became counsel to the president after the previous holder of this post John Ehrlichman became the president’s chief domestic adviser.

Dean has been on the Monitor several times already. This time Mark Bebawi spends 30+ minutes talking about his latest book: Conservatives without Conscience. Viking Adult. ISBN 0670037745.

Trita Parsi:

Dr. Trita Parsi is the author of the forthcoming book Treacherous Triangle – The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press, 2007.)He wrote his Doctoral thesis on Israeli-Iranian relations under Professor Francis Fukuyama (and Drs. Zbigniew Brzezinski, R. K. Ramazani, Jakub Grygiel, Charles Doran) at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies while heading the largest Iranian-American organization in the US, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).Mark Bebawi talks to Parsi about the latest developments in the Iran uranium enrichment issue, the offers and counter-offers at the UN and the prospects of a resolution of the issue.

Show Details for August 20th, 2006

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Three guests tonight: the British terror plot; federal judge rebukes NSA spying

After the headlines, Mark Bebawi talks to Craig Murray:

Craig Murray was ambassador to Uzbekistan, and was recalled as ambassador in 2004
after voicing concerns about torture by the Uzbek authorities. He published
secret documents on his website relating to torture policies of Britain.

Mark Bebawi will be talking with him about the news that a terror plot involving airplanes and liquids was broken up by British authorities. Murray has been skeptical of elements of the story.

BOOK:
Murder in Samarkand – A British Ambassador’s Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror (released in Britain in June 2006)

WEBSITE:
www.craigmurray.co.uk

Ray McGovern:

Ray McGovern is a frequent Intelligence Analyst guest on The Monitor. He arrived in Texas today to take part in Discussion of Findings of International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration.
Ray McGovern’s 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush.  Ray is now co-director of the Servant Leadership School, which provides training and other support for those seeking ways to be in relationship with the marginalized poor.  The School is one of ten Jubilee Ministries, not-for-profit organizations inspired by the ecumenical Church of the Saviour and established in an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, DC.
The department Ray heads at the School deals with the biblical injunction to “speak truth to power,” and this, together with his experience in intelligence analysis, accounts for his various writings and media appearances over the past year.  His focus dovetails nicely with the passage carved into the marble entrance to CIA Headquarters:  “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”—the ethic mandating that CIA analysts were to “tell it like it is” without fear or favor.
In January 2003, when it became clear that that ethic was in serious jeopardy, a handful of intelligence community alumni/ae, including Ray, created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.  VIPS now includes over 35 former professionals from CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Army Intelligence, the FBI, and the National Security Agency.  VIPS’ first effort (of ten thus far) was a same-day critique of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s address to the UN on February 5.
In addition to co-authoring some of VIPS’ issuances, Ray has published some 20 op-eds over the past year on intelligence-related issues.  These have appeared in newspapers and journals around the country like The Birmingham News, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Miami Herald, Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung, The International Herald Tribune, and Der Berliner Tagespiegel, for example.
Over the past several months, he and his VIPS colleagues have made numerous TV, radio and lecture appearances in the US and Europe.  They also have appeared in several recent video documentaries—notably, “Uncovered: the Whole Truth About the Iraq War” (Robert Greenwald) and “Break the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror” (John Pilger).
Ray’s duties at CIA included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’ Daily Brief (PDB).  These, the most authoritative genres of intelligence reporting, have been the focus of press reporting on “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq and on what the president was told before 9/11.  During the mid-eighties, Ray was one of the senior analysts conducting early morning briefings of the PDB one-on-one with the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
At his retirement ceremony, Ray received the Intelligence Commendation Medal and a letter from then-president George H. W. Bush wishing him well in his transition to non-profit work in inner-city Washington.  Ray served on the board of Bread for the City from 1989-94, the latter two years as president, before becoming co-director of the Servant Leadership School.

Marjorie Cohn

Law professor Marjorie Cohn is a frequent legal analyst on The Monitor.

She was on the Monitor last month to discuss the major Supreme Court decision relating to rights of those detained at Guantánamo. “Congress has not issued the executive a ‘blank check,'” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote. The court ruled 5 to 3, rejecting the administration’s claims that in wartime Bush could basically hold whomever he wanted for as long as he wanted, without having to deal with complications such as due process and legal representation.

This week, Monitor Mark Bebawi will discuss with her the clear rebuke of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the US District Court in Detroit against the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping. Judge Taylor ruled that Bush’s eavesdropping program is in violation of the Fourth Amendment as well as the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Bush administration immediately appealed the ruling.

Majorie Cohn is a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law. She lectures throughout the world on international human rights and US foreign policy. Professor Cohn writes columns for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal, is a news consultant for CBS News, and a legal analyst for Court TV. She provides legal and political commentary on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR and Pacifica Radio.

Co-author of the book Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice, Professor Cohn is the President-elect of the National Lawyers Guild. She was a legal observer in Iran on behalf of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and she has participated in delegations to Cuba, China and Yugoslavia. She lived in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.
ARTICLE:
The Constitution: Checking a Would-Be King    By Ray McGovern