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Liquid Bombers Prove: “They Hate Our Freedoms!”

By Edgar J. Steele | August 19, 2006

Muslims were planning to blow up a bunch of jetliners enroute from London to America – or so say George Bush and Tony Blair.

Muslims without tickets.

Muslims without passports.

Muslims without bombs.

Muslims without a clue … and they aren’t the only ones, it turns out. Without a clue, that is.

What kind of bombs? TATP bombs, short for triacetone triperoxide. What’s more, Bush and Blair told us that Muslims favor the TATP bomb, mixed on the spot with separate liquids. With that lie, both Bush and Blair foreclosed any possibility that the Muslims involved actually were guilty. With that lie, both Bush and Blair disclosed themselves for the treasonous, lying criminals that they are. Why? Glad you asked.

To Build the Impossible Bomb

You see … it can’t be done. It quite simply cannot be done. Not in any airplane toilet. Not with any resources that might be available aboard any airplane other than Tom Swift’s Flying Lab. Not with the time afforded by a Trans-Atlantic flight. And certainly – not by anybody without chemistry lab training and experience – not under the circumstances claimed, anyway.

If Muslims favor TATP bombs – and there is evidence to support the claim that Muslims use TATP bombs – then Muslims who might do so know full well the limitations and hazards inherent to such an explosive. No Muslim in his right mind would attempt what has been claimed, because he would know it can’t be done – and, believe me, doing it under any circumstances would require a Muslim in his right mind. At best, the guy simply would kill himself, and do little damage to the plane’s toilet. Regardless, nobody would be allowed the opportunity to spend hours in the toilet … not aboard a jetliner. In a moment, I will prove to you why TATP simply cannot be made aboard jetliners, but first, please be really clear about the significance of that fact: that it conclusively proves Bush and Blair to be lying weasels. Not just dumb. Not just stupid. Lying, treasonous, unforgivable, murdering bastards.

TATP or Not TATP? – That is the Question

A friend with a doctorate in chemistry sent me the following:

“According to the official government story, TATP (triacetone triperoxide) was the explosive these conspirators were planning to manufacture aboard the airliners.

“This story is not plausible for a number of reasons, but let’s take a quick look at just enough of the science so as not to provide anybody with a guide to making an actual bomb: TATP is made from hydrogen peroxide solution, acetone and sulfuric acid. The reaction can be carried out with just about any concentration, but is best done with concentrated solutions of both peroxide and acetone.

“The peroxide and acetone can be pre-mixed, but the acid must be added, a drop at a time, to the solution, all the while continuously stirring it and keeping it continuously chilled. This step of the process will take several hours, during which the fumes given off will be substantial and quite overpowering, thus a lab-quality air evacuation system is required. (ES: right here, the whole idea of a TATP bomb becomes ludicrous. Difficult in a lab, but impossible in an airplane due to the environment – the toilet – and the time requirement.)

“One then must let the resulting solution stand for an extended period at temperatures above the freezing point, but definitely below 10 Celsius (50 Fahrenheit). Above 10 Celsius, the TATP does not form; instead, diperoxide forms, which is so unstable it cannot be worked with. The time required for the reaction to go to completion is at least 24 hours and often several days.

“Once the TATP forms, it crystallizes as snowflakes from the solution and must be harvested by filtration and the liquid discarded. The TATP then is dried and carefully stored until needed. It must be stored below 10 Celsius or it converts spontaneously to the unstable diperoxide.

“There is neither the time, the workspace nor the other materials required to make TATP on an airliner. The time required, the temperatures required, the workspace required and the need to dry the chemical prior to use preclude this story being reasonable. This chemical process is much more sensitive than making, for example, nitroglycerin.”

The technically proficient reading this will recognize that a necessary step has been omitted and some others have been altered in critical ways. None of these purposeful camouflages alter the ingredients or the time, care and equipment required. Nor will I describe how TATP can be fabricated beforehand and then detonated aboard an airliner in flight. After all, though we want to demonstrate the impossibility of what has been claimed, we don’t want anybody actually trying this at home – and there really are some genuine whack jobs out there. After all, we elect some of them to public office.

An excellent (and humorous) on-line discussion by British writer Thomas Greene, also as to why TATP simply cannot be made aboard a plane: “Mass murder in the skies: was the plot feasible?” Mr. Greene agrees with my friend, the PhD in chemistry, and concludes his description of the process of creating TATP with: “So the fabled binary liquid explosive – that is, the sudden mixing of hydrogen peroxide and acetone with sulfuric acid to create a plane-killing explosion, is out of the question.”

So it’s impossible to make TATP as claimed, yet still they confiscate liquids from us, including sodas and baby formula, not to mention toothpaste and, even, lipsticks? Even if possible to make TATP as claimed, the individual smells of peroxide, acetone and sulfuric acid are obvious enough to preclude people having to be shaken down and terrorized by the airport Gestapo in this fashion. You have to wonder: Just exactly what is going on?

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Incidentally, British officials often claim that the “London 7/7” train/bus bombings, without any proof whatsoever, were done by Muslims with TATP in their backpacks. Those explosions, per eyewitnesses, came from beneath the floors, where the explosive had to have been placed earlier, then detonated either remotely or via timer. And Blair fed Bush some of the lies he has been caught out in by so many. Need any more proof that Blair is a liar, as well?

Did you know that, with a huge and increasingly restless Muslim population in England, only 12% of all British Muslims arrested on terror charges ever end up being charged with a crime, while only 2% get convicted, almost always of something minor and never of anything related to terrorism? You heard about the arrests, though, didn’t you? Why the difference? Because the war on terror quite simply is a war on us, not on Muslims.

In the government’s eyes, we are the terrorists. In the memorable words of my buddy, Al: “The Patriot Act – so named because it was designed to find and eliminate Patriots before they expose how corrupt our government has become.” Why does government fear us so? What does it know that we do not? In other words, exactly what is it that our government officials intend to do to us, such that they feel the need to create a police state so as to protect themselves from us?

They Hate Our Freedoms

Don’t forget: They hate our freedoms. Bush, Blair and the others, that is. Not the Muslims. However, the Muslims are getting downright pissed about our wading into their countries, either directly or via Israel, then killing and maiming everybody in sight and destroying their villages, roads and cities. The Muslims now have every reason to hate us. Honestly – do you really blame them?

One week after 9/11, in a televised speech to Congress, Bush laid down the mantra – his justification for eternal war: “Americans are asking, why do they hate us? … They hate our freedoms…

I nearly puked when I first heard Bush say it. I cannot tell you the response it now provokes, else they would come and take me away, for sure.

Just for fun, click here for an excellent video accounting by MSNBC’s otherwise lamentable Joe Scarborough on the verbal and mental acuity of our President.

Bush has run out of the sort of lies that “fool all of the people some of the time.” Now he is left only with fooling “some of the people all of the time.” Regrettably, those people, who believe anything told them by CNN and Fox News, are beyond our reach because, as comedian Ron White likes to say: “You can’t fix stupid!” There is a segment of both America and Britain that quite simply will roll along, believing anything that Bush, Blair and their controlled media have to say.

However, now you and I know better, don’t we? In fact, most of us no longer believe anything that Bush and Blair tell us. What’s more, we now know better than to believe anything Bush and Blair ever did tell us!

Yes, it has become more than clear why there is so much killing all around the world these days. They hate our freedoms. There’s only one problem: “They” are you, Mr. Bush … you and the other members of the blood-thirsty and oil-hungry Zionist regime running America, Britain, Israel and most of the rest of the Western World these days.

You clearly have demonstrated, Mr. Bush, with your appointment of Zionists and incompetent sycophants (all too often, one and the same) into every crack, crevice and cubby of your administration, with your stacking of the courts, with your abandonment of the rule of law, with your purging of the military officer corps, with your shocking misuse of our military enlisted personnel and with your treasonous disdain for the Constitution … that it is you who hates our freedoms! You sort of told us the truth back in 2001. What you neglected to mention was that you meant your entire administration and the criminal cabal for which you are but a belly-crawling, lickspittle lackey.

You first proved just whom you meant hated our freedoms with your abysmally-misnamed Patriot Act. With the increasing revelations of your involvement in 9/11, still more of us awakened. Torture. Murder. Illegal spying on us. Now, with event after event, lie after lie, there is a huge number of Americans wise to your lying. And our number grows every day!

To Dream the Impossible Dream

Meanwhile, your days are numbered, Mr. Bush. First, we’re going to replace every single Congressman, Republican and Democrat alike, who voted you the right to conduct war in our name without a formal declaration – every single Congressman who voted support for Israel’s campaign of genocide against innocent civilians in the Middle East. Lieberman was just the first. Then we’re going to impeach and convict you, then remove you from office, for the highest crimes ever committed against America by a sitting President. Then, Mr. Bush, you will be handed over to an appropriate tribunal to be tried for your war crimes. Finally, Mr. President, it will be our singular honor and pleasure to witness your being hanged by the neck until you are dead, as judges like to say, for your unspeakable crimes against humanity, both at home and abroad.

Oh … and, Mr. Bush? May your soul burn in Hell for all of eternity.

My name is Edgar J. Steele. Thanks for listening. Please visit my web site,, for other messages just like this one.

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | Comments Off on Liquid Bombers Prove: “They Hate Our Freedoms!”

US activists face new repression as political prisoners fight for justice

Nora Barrows-Friedman and Maureen Clare Murphy, The Electronic Intifada, 15 November 2010

For decades the United States government has attempted to criminalize work in the Palestinian community in support of their national liberation cause. But in recent years this repression has increased dramatically. The Electronic Intifada spoke with the daughter of Sami al-Arian and the daughter of Ghassan Elashi — both political prisoners in the US — about the impact this repression has had on their families’ lives. And in an Electronic Intifada exclusive, Hatem Abudayyeh, an organizer and community leader whose home in Chicago was raided by federal agents on 24 September 2010, spoke to the press for the first time about his family’s story.

The Electronic Intifada spoke with al-Arian, Elashi and Abudayyeh as activists across the United States prepare for emergency demonstrations as the subpoenas for three anti-war and solidarity organizers to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago are being reactivated by the Department of Justice.

The three activists are among the 14 who received subpoenas during and soon after coordinated FBI raids on homes and offices across the Midwestern US on 24 September. The government says that the raids and subpoenas are part of an investigation into “material support” of foreign terrorist organizations but it has not arrested or charged anyone.

A grand jury, no longer in use anywhere outside the US, is an investigative tool that allows the government to compel citizens to testify even if they are not suspected of any crime.

The 14 targeted activists are involved with various peace with justice groups, including the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago, Students for a Democratic Society, the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, the Colombia Action Network, Fight Back! newspaper, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera. All the activists had submitted letters to the US attorney — the local Department of Justice prosecutor who convenes the grand jury — stating their intent not to testify; the Department of Justice had withdrawn the original subpoenas, but the grand jury was still convened.

The three activists receiving reactivated subpoenas are expected to be offered “immunity” — meaning that they face the choice of informing the government about the activities of other organizers or being jailed for the duration of the grand jury, and possibly facing further charges for criminal contempt of court.

“What [the US government] is doing is gathering political intelligence to indict people under this idea of providing material support for terrorism,” attorney Michael Deutsch, part of the legal defense team for the activists, told The Electronic Intifada. “The grand jury is not an independent body. It is controlled by the US Department of Justice and they decide who is subpoenaed and what the outcome of the grand jury investigation is. It is a tool of the FBI and the justice department to repress political activists.”

Deutsch wrote for The Electronic Intifada in 2008: “In the last forty years the government has used the grand jury as a tool of political inquisition subpoenaing and resubpoenaing activists the government knows will refuse to cooperate, stripping them of their constitutional right against self-incrimination and forcing upon them the choice of informing on their movement or going to jail for contempt.”

In an article contributed to the Mondoweiss site, Deutsch explains: “The search warrants and grand jury subpoenas make it quite clear that the federal prosecutors are intent on accusing public nonviolent political organizers … of providing ‘material support,’ through their public advocacy, for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colobmia” (“US Justice Department prepares for the ominous expansion of law prohibiting ‘material support’ for terrorism,” 10 November 2007).

The investigation’s legal basis is the bipartisan Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act passed under the Clinton administration in 1996 and expanded with the bipartisan Patriot Act enacted during the Bush administration. In June of this year the implications of the legislation — already used after 11 September 2001 to shut down major Muslim charities in the US — was broadened even further. According to Deutsch in Mondoweiss, in the decision Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project, the US Supreme Court “decided that nonviolent First Amendment speech and advocacy ‘coordinated with’ or ‘under the direction of’ a foreign group listed by the Secretary of State as ‘terrorist’ was a crime.”

The “foreign terrorist organization” designation is unilaterally declared by the US Secretary of State and virtually impossible to challenge. The Center for Constitutional Rights describes “the government’s current fervor to use the label of terrorism as a brand for groups and organizations that are not toeing the line on US foreign policy” (“Factsheet: Material Support“).

At the height of the movement to bring an end to white supremacist rule in South Africa — the US was among the apartheid regime’s longest-standing supporters — the Reagan administration declared Nelson Mandela’s party, the African National Congress, a foreign terrorist organization. Critics observe that had these laws been enacted then, the entire anti-apartheid movement in the US, which took direction from the ANC, would have been criminalized for providing “material support to terrorism.”

According to the Center for Constitutional Rights fact sheet, “these material support provisions violate the First Amendment as they criminalize activities like distribution of literature, engaging in political advocacy, participating in peace conferences, training in human rights advocacy and donating cash and humanitarian assistance, even when this type of support is intended only to promote lawful and nonviolent activities.”

These laws have had a tremendously chilling impact on civil liberties and humanitarian and domestic political organizing in the US, particularly amongst the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities.

Hatem Abudayyeh

Hatem Abudayyeh was asleep on his parents’ couch the morning of 24 September after spending the night with his mother in the emergency room when his wife frantically called him to report that federal agents had raided their home. A Palestinian community leader and solidarity activist, Abudayyeh is also Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network, which provides social services to thousands of families in and around Chicago.

“I ran into my house, passed all the agents and grabbed my daughter and went into the bedroom with her and held her and made sure she was OK,” Abudayyeh told The Electronic Intifada. Abudayyeh, his wife and five-year-old daughter were mainly confined to their small living room while a multi-agency task force searched through all their belongings.

“I wanted to see what they were searching for and grabbing but they wouldn’t allow us to do that,” Abudayyeh said. “They basically grabbed everything that said ‘Palestine’ on it.” During the search that Abudayyeh said went on for more than three hours, the agents went through his wife and daughter’s personal belongings, the family’s library, CD and DVD cases and financial documents. Amongst the materials confiscated were home movies Abudayyeh’s wife had recorded during a family visit to Palestine this summer.

Abudayyeh eventually learned that the home of his friends Joe Iosbaker and Stephanie Weiner, a Chicago couple who are long-time union and anti-war activists, was raided as well. That same morning more than 70 federal agents raided and served subpoenas to prominent organizers in the Twin Cities and Michigan, and called and otherwise harassed activists throughout the country. The office of the Twin Cities-based Anti-War Committee — which led demonstrations against the Republican National Convention, one of the largest anti-war protests in the US in recent years — was raided as well.

“The most accurate assessment is that on the political level, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not going so well for the administration. There are a lot of developments happening in Colombia and Palestine that are probably also not considered to be what the administration wants to see in those countries,” Abudayyeh said. “This attack on the anti-war movement is another example of the administration, whether Obama’s or Bush’s, trying to criminalize the activities of organizers in the US [working to change] foreign policy in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Colombia.”

Of the 14 activists targeted on 24 September, Abudayyeh is the only Palestinian or Arab (profiles of those targeted are currently available on

“The administration needs to put a local face on the enemy abroad and for many years that has been Arab and Muslim faces. It is interesting that in this case, I’m the only Arab. But the essential goal is the same — to criminalize anti-war activism and criminalize international solidarity activism in defense of a foreign policy that has gone awry and has caused the deaths of many thousands of American troops and many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans.”

Abudayyeh and others say there hasn’t been government repression of a social movement in the US on this scale since COINTELPRO — an FBI program implemented in the 1950s and 1960s to infiltrate and disrupt domestic political organizations, particularly the Black Panthers and other oppressed nationality movements.

“We all know what McCarthyism did in this country in the ’50s,” Abudayyeh said. “It’s pretty frightening and disconcerting that in 2010, this can still happen.”

Abudayyeh recognizes that he is hardly the first Palestinian in the US to be targeted for his political views and organizing. “People who are activists in the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim community — especially since 11 September, but for decades before than — have dealt with this government repression,” he said.

Abudayyeh referenced the case of seven Palestinian immigrants and a Kenyan — dubbed the LA 8 — who were subjected to 20 years of prosecution and deportation proceedings for their activities educating Americans about US policy towards Israel and the Palestinians. The US government arrested the eight in 1987 and accused them of organizing in support of a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. According to Abudayyeh, persecution of Palestinian activism began with the wave of Palestinian immigrants to the US after Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967.

“What they are targeted for is challenging US policy as it relates to Palestine,” Abudayyeh added. “Israel receives the largest amount of US foreign and military aid … which they use to occupy and oppress Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and they use that aid to threaten their neighbors, like Syria and Lebanon. Most of the leading activists around the war in Lebanon in 2006 in the US were Palestinians because we saw that as an extension of the war on the Palestinian people. We don’t separate the US occupation and invasion of Iraq from US support of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.”

However, Abudayyeh said, despite this repression the Palestine support movement in the US has only grown, and today’s generation of student activists are doing even stronger work than what was happening during his youth.

“It’s incumbent for us in the US and everywhere else to speak out against these policies … It is probably the main liberation and social justice issue in the world today. I may be the individual who is being targeted today, but this isn’t an issue of an individual or organizations I work for or are affiliated with; it’s a historical repression and attack on the Palestine support movement in the US.”

There have been several other high-profile cases against Palestinian, Arab and Muslim activists since 11 September 2001. Political prisoners continue to serve draconian sentences as the Department of Justice under the Obama administration enforces the policies of the Bush-era PATRIOT Act and the Clinton administration’s material support laws.

Michael Deutsch told The Electronic Intifada that former university professor and stateless Palestinian Dr. Abdelhaleem Ashqar remains in a federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia following his sentence of 135 months for refusing to testify to a grand jury and inform on the activities of other activists in the US and Palestine. Deutsch said that Dr. Ashqar’s legal defense is filing a habeas corpus petition challenging his sentence, arguing that his rights were violated at his trial.

The US government accused Dr. Ashqar and his co-defendant Muhammad Salah, a Palestinian American, of participation in alleged racketeering activity in support of Hamas after dropping initial material support charges. The government presented as evidence a confession Salah made while he was tortured for 80 days in an Israeli prison and the prosecution’s main witnesses were Israeli intelligence agents who were allowed to testify anonymously with severely restricted cross-examination.

Despite vast resources spent by the US government to convict the two, Salah and Dr. Ashqar were acquitted by a jury of all conspiracy and terrorism-related charges. But Salah was convicted of obstruction of justice for filing false answers to interrogatories in a civil case and was sentenced to 21 months in prison, a sentence he has served out.

“No amount of jailing by the court will compel me to testify against others struggling for Palestinian freedom,” Dr. Ashqar stated in an affidavit given on 12 July 2003 published on the Free Dr. Ashqar Committee website (“Case History – 2003 Affadavit of Abdelhaleem Ashqar).

But Ashqar’s 11-year sentence for refusing to testify to a grand jury is unprecedented in US history and contrasts, for example, with the mere 30-month sentence received by Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to US Vice President Richard Cheney who was convicted in 2007 for actively lying to a grand jury investigating the disclosure of classified information about CIA agent Valerie Plame. Libby served no time, however, as then President George W. Bush commuted the sentence on the grounds that it had been “excessive.”

Sami al-Arian

Meanwhile, Dr. Sami al-Arian, a former professor at the University of South Florida and a longtime political and civil rights activist, has been under house arrest for more than two years following nearly a decade of political prosecution by the federal government. In early 2003, the US government launched a much-publicized assault against al-Arian — then-Attorney General John Ashcroft declared that he was among one of the “most dangerous people in the world” — which led to his imprisonment in solitary confinement for 43 straight months during a five-year detention.

Dr. Sami Al-Arian (Arab American News)

In December 2005, a Florida jury acquitted al-Arian on eight of the seventeen counts, and deadlocked in favor of acquittal on the remaining nine. No guilty verdicts were returned. About five months later, in April 2006, Dr. al-Arian decided to accept a plea agreement from the US government in an effort to spare his family the process of another lengthy trial.

According to the case background, Dr. al-Arian plead guilty to violating a Clinton-era presidential executive order by providing “immigration services” in the 1990s “to persons associated with the PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad], a Palestinian organization listed on the US forbidden organizations (terrorist) list” (“Case background in brief,” Tampa Bay Coalition for Peace). In return, al-Arian agreed to be deported from the US, despite having lived in the country for more than thirty years and despite the fact that he is a stateless Palestinian with no country to return to.

Despite lengthy trials, plea deals and hearings following the acquittals, the Bush administration refused to give up and placed Dr. al-Arian under house arrest in September 2008. After years in detention under deplorable conditions, Dr. al-Arian was convicted of criminal contempt charges relating to another case outside the one in which he had originally been involved. A leading prosecutor who — according to Sami’s daughter Laila al-Arian, has a history of making Islamophobic and anti-Arab comments — tried to force Dr. al-Arian into testifying against another Muslim organization in Virginia.

Laila al-Arian, an award-winning journalist and author, spoke to The Electronic Intifada days after a hearing was canceled at the last minute that could have finally decided whether her father could be released or put back on trial.

“My father refused to testify,” Laila al-Arian said. “If he refused to testify, he would be charged with criminal contempt. And if he did testify, he’d be charged with perjury. The prosecutor tried to put him in a catch-22 situation.”

According to al-Arian, the judge in this criminal contempt case, after reading the arguments, said that the very integrity of the justice department is at stake.

“She said that it was beginning to emerge that there was evidence that my father was misled and lied to by the Department of Justice,” al-Arian said. “Because when they signed a plea agreement with him in Florida in 2006, they told him that he wouldn’t have to cooperate or testify, or be forced to be involved in any other case other than his own. And that they would recommend the minimum sentence and that he would be released and deported. That of course never happened. The judge said if the justice department made this deal with my father then everyone in the justice department would be bound to that.”

The judge scheduled a hearing first in April 2009, but it was canceled. In September 2010, the prosecution asked the judge to reschedule a hearing for 29 October — and it was canceled again, with no reason given.

“It’s difficult to say what this all means,” al-Arian said. “It could be conjecture, but we’re hoping my father will be released and finally deported so that we can all move on with life. It’s been almost eight years since his arrest. Eight years is a very long time. We’re anxious for him to be able to move on. He’s lost so many important years already, and we want him to live as a free man. House arrest is not freedom.”

Because Dr. al-Arian is a stateless Palestinian refugee, it is still unknown to where he could be deported.

“Even if the judge rules in my father’s favor and he is released, he still doesn’t have a country to go to,” al-Arian said. “And we really hope that there will be a country that will open its doors to a persecuted political prisoner and a victim of the Bush administration, a victim of a wave of anti-Palestinian activism. It’s mind-boggling that in the 21st century, there is a group of people who don’t have a country. Hopefully someone will be able to adopt him. It’s one more battle we have to fight.”

Ghassan Elashi and the Holy Land Foundation

Similar to Dr. Sami al-Arian and his family, the founders of a US-based Muslim charity and their families are holding out hope that justice could prevail during a new appeals process.

In 2009, Ghassan Elashi, a Palestinian-American cofounder of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), once the largest Muslim charity in the US, was sentenced to 65 years following a targeted campaign launched by the Bush administration after 11 September 2001. Based in Dallas, Texas, the HLF sent direct humanitarian aid to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, as well as to Eastern Europe and across the US. The HLF established food banks on the East Coast, helped victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and provided assistance after floods and tornadoes devastated parts of Iowa and Texas in the 1990s.

As The Electronic Intifada previously reported, just months after the 11 September 2001 attacks, the US Department of the Treasury froze the HLF’s bank accounts as the executive branch of the US government shut down the organization under the auspices of the Patriot Act. Using the Material Support Law provision, the US State Department accused the five HLF founders — now dubbed the Holy Land Five — of providing “assistance” to designated “terrorist groups” (namely Hamas) in Palestine. The Bush administration immediately closed the organization and issued aggressive charges against the charity workers. The federal prosecution team was allowed to use secret evidence, and there was no hearing before the sentencing of the HLF’s cofounders in 2009.

On 27 October 2010, US Attorney General Eric Holder personally awarded the entire local, state and federal prosecution team involved in the HLF case with the second-highest honor in the justice department — the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Noor Elashi, Ghassan Elashi’s daughter, told The Electronic Intifada that the attorney general’s award comes as the defense team is preparing to argue an appeal in front of a three-judge panel on the grounds that the prosecution team violated the constitution at several instances, including the unprecedented use of an anonymous expert witness. If the panel agrees with just one of the arguments made, Elashi said, then that will invalidate all of the convictions, and the prosecution will have to re-try the case.

Another constitutional violation related to the HLF case was found by a federal judge in Dallas, Texas, on 7 November. Judge Jorge Solis ruled during an appeals process that the unsealing of a document which put 246 individuals and groups on a list of so-called “un-indicted co-conspirators” associated with the HLF violated the constitutional Fifth Amendment due process rights of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). In other words, the US government’s prosecution team’s release of this list condemned organizations such as NAIT to guilt by association without affording them their constitutional right to defend themselves in court. In the atmosphere of fear induced after 11 September 2001 such aspersions can be lethal to the reputation of any organization or individual.

However, West Bank-based Ma’an News Agency reported that “despite the Fifth Amendment violation … [Judge] Solis denied NAIT’s request, along with that of the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, to have its name taken off the government’s list, finding ‘ample evidence’ linking it to Holy Land [Foundation]” (“US court ‘should not have publicly released’ co-conspirators list“, 8 November 2010).

“The whole appeals process typically takes a year to two years before an oral argument is made,” Elashi said. “We don’t expect to hear anything soon. It could take anywhere between a few months to a few years … But knowing the relentless nature of the prosecution team, they won’t stop. What’s happened to Sami al-Arian is a perfect example of that.”

For now, the Elashi family is anticipating being able to visit Ghassan in prison for the first time in 18 months. Ghassan is currently being held in a Communications Management Unit (CMU) prison facility in Illinois, a block within some prisons that are nicknamed “little Guantanamos” due to the overwhelming majority of Muslims and persons of Arab and Middle Eastern descent being held in them and the draconian detention conditions that are applied.

According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, people imprisoned in CMU facilities are systematically denied any physical contact with family members and are forbidden from hugging, touching or embracing their children, spouses or loved ones during visits. Phone calls are also severely limited. The center says that the CMU units are “an experiment in social isolation” (“CMUs: The Federal Prison System’s Experiment in Social Isolation“).

“There was a one-year visitation ban that was just lifted,” Elashi said. “On Thanksgiving weekend, my family and I are finally going to see my father. He’s become a ghost-like figure to me. When a loved one is being incarcerated, when the only communication is one 15-minute phone call every two weeks, they really start to sort of dissipate in your eyes. I am looking forward to seeing him.”

The Elashi family will be separated from Ghassan by a plexiglass wall, and they will only be able to communicate through a telephone receiver. The entire conversation, Noor Elashi said, will be live-monitored from the justice department in Washington, DC, and can be terminated at any moment.

“Even when you get to the prison itself, there is this sense that something may happen during the security process that may deny you entry,” Elashi added. “It’s sort of like being at [an Israeli-controlled] border crossing — for example, I’ve never been allowed into Palestine.”

Elashi said that although her family remains hopeful with the appeals process now underway, the widespread attacks on US-based activists and charity workers is increasingly troubling.

“I think that it’s finally hitting closer to home, and is becoming more apparent than ever in 2010 — nearly a decade after 11 September — that everyone’s at risk,” Elashi said.

“Not only people like my father, who founded a charity, but anybody,” Elashi added. “Even a former president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, is at risk of being prosecuted under the Material Support Law because he helped supervise Lebanese elections, and has associated with [Lebanese political movement] Hizballah. American newspapers are at risk, because they’ve printed op-ed pieces by Hizballah and Hamas officials, an act that could be argued that, under the Material Support Law, aids these people and these parties by furthering their goals and giving them a voice.”

Lives disrupted, movements at stake

Amidst the mounting reports of federal raids on the Somali community in the US, the conviction of four African-American Muslim men accused of plotting to bomb a synagogue in what critics say was a case of entrapment, and reports of FBI informants infiltrating the Muslim community in the US, there is a growing movement to fight back against what many view as repressive, racist policies.

Following the raids and subpoenas of the 14 anti-war and solidarity activists in September, emergency demonstrations were held outside of FBI and other federal buildings in at least 62 US cities. Thousands have called in to the offices of President Obama, Attorney General Holder and US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Civil rights and liberties organizations, social justice and faith groups and trade unions have issued dozens of statements of solidarity. Ad-hoc groups have formed around the US to push back against what many view as a test case that will have repercussions for the wider social justice movement in the country. And the first national meeting of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression was held in New York City earlier this month.

“It’s definitely time for Americans, for all of us, to respond to this and join a massive campaign that would really approach Congress about revising the Material Support Law,” Elashi said. “It’s flawed. And it’s one that is responsible for [targeting] many innocent people — not only my father but activists all over the country whose only crimes are supporting the Palestinian cause, as well as causes in Colombia and other places.”

Laila al-Arian echoed this sentiment. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen that the Obama administration isn’t much better than its predecessor when it comes to American Muslims and civil liberties — and even anti-war activists,” she said. “Anyone who’s espousing views that are in any way controversial or unpopular can be a target. It’s just a way to stifle dissent and activism, which are completely lawful activities that are seen as unpopular. I just hope that people begin to make their voices heard when it comes to these kinds of crackdowns.”

Hatem Abudayyeh said that “National organizations like the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Arab American Institute, the National Network for Arab American Communities and other national organizations which have civil rights and liberties at the forefront of their agenda should leverage the relationships they have with the administration, the Department of Justice, the US attorney’s offices to put pressure … to drop this investigation and to end these grand juries.”

“We have powerful institutions and we have prominent individuals across the country from the Arab and Muslim community,” Abudayyeh added. “Those organizations have put their names on to sign-on letters, they’ve made phone calls to US Attorney General Eric Holder and the US attorney and the president, and we need to continue to put that pressure on.”

Meanwhile, the Elashi family prepares to see Ghassan for the first time in a year and a half, the al-Arian family awaits the deportation of Sami, and countless other families pay an unbearable price for their first amendment activity supporting the Palestine liberation struggle.

“In one sense I’m a bit luckier than others,” Abudayyeh said, “because there are some couples in which both partners have been subpoenaed and who have young children. So if they continue to refuse to testify and there’s a possibility they might be held in civil contempt, then they have really difficult decisions to make in terms of their children … I know that my daughter will be in good hands with her mother and my parents and my siblings and everyone else in the extended family providing support.”

Nora Barrows-Friedman is an award-winning independent journalist, writing for The Electronic Intifada, Inter Press Service, Al-Jazeera, Truthout and other outlets. She regularly reports from Palestine.

Maureen Clare Murphy is managing editor of The Electronic Intifada and an organizer with the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago.

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on US activists face new repression as political prisoners fight for justice

Geraldo Rivera changes mind on WTC 7 demolition

ae911truth | November 13, 2010

‘Building What?’ lands on Fox TV’s Geraldo At Large

By Jerry Mazza | Online Journal | November 16, 2010

Miracle of miracles, memories of an even younger, crusading Rivera talking on his show, Geraldo at Large on Fox News about the “Building What?” TV ad campaign!

Geraldo began with the standard reference to all those edgy protestors who rallied in front of Larry Silverstein’s new Building 7, shouting “9/11 was an inside job.” He added “c’mon, get a life.” But then, lo, he turned the phrase to say perhaps these protestors weren’t so nutty after all.

Now, he said, there was evidence that Building 7 was taken down in a classic internal demolition. He then introduced his panel, Bob McIlvaine (who looked ready to jump out of his skin). Bob had lost a son in Tower 1 and still carried a deep grief that often, understandably turned to anger. Geraldo treated him with all due respect. He also introduced engineer Tony Szamboti to explain the technical aspect of the internal demolition. It was good to see Rivera willing to help explain the technical talk in TV speak to his audience.

The first was that “Building What?” had been the response of Justice Edward Lehner, who did not know about Tower 7 not being hit by airliner but being “pulled” instead at the request of its owner, Larry Silverstein, at 3 PM on 9/11/2001. See Silverstein’s YouTube film with his exact words, ending with we (the firemen and he) had decided to “pull it.” The truth is that the fires caused by any falling debris from Tower 1 were out. But the “pull it,” or internal demolition Silverstein was asking for occurred only two hours and 20 minutes later at 5:20 PM on 9/11. Experts claimed it was impossible to create an internal demolition like Tower 7’s in two hours and 20 minutes. You’d need more like two and a half months. So it clearly implies there was extended pre-planning before for the tragedy of 9/11.

The occasion for Justice Lehner making his “Tower What?” statement was his denial to a proposal from NYCCAN for a ballot initiative to ask NYC voters if they wanted a new investigation of 9/11’s events (beyond the 9/11 Commission of Omission Report, which did not even mention Tower 7). NYCCAN had delivered 81,000 signatures, more than originally required, which had been checked for accuracy, yet rejected by Justice Lehner because he felt the voting booth was not the venue for making the request. Either that or the authorities were frightened out of their wits that so many people had responded.

In fact, the affiliated organization, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, led by architect Richard Gage, had gathered some 1300 plus signatures of engineers and architects from around the US and the world, and sent it with a signed petition for a new investigation to the United States Congress.

Cynics of course will argue that 81,000 out of 8 million New Yorkers (even discounting infants, children, teens, the infirm and non-voters) was a small percentage of the electorate. But considering that a working New York justice did not know what Tower 7 stood for was indicative of the huge gap in 9/11 knowledge, a gap that crossed the spectrum of class, age, education, profession, ethnicity, race, religion, and political parties. This general gap of hard data on what happened on 9/11 has largely been due to the lack of mass media presentation. This makes Rivera’s coverage, short as it was, more laudable and courageous.

The 30-second “Building What?!”TV spot goes a long way to triggering the interest of all those who need to need to know more. Tower 7’s takedown is the smoking gun, the paradigm for the internal and external explosions that had taken down Towers 1 and 2. See the TV spot here.

Of course, with the help of Szamboti, Rivera explained to the Fox audience that this internal demolition couldn’t have been set up in such a short time but more likely in advance. And now there was a TV commercial that had been produced with quick cuts of four victim family members, including McIlvaine and Manny Badillo, then a woman who lost a nephew, another woman who lost her son, continuing the narrative. The commercial then cut to Tower 7’s top floors as they literally plummeted downward in two seconds, the entire 47-floor, steel-frame building going down into its footprint in 6.5 seconds. The visual was repeated several times.

Of Course, Silverstein received $500 million in insurance to rebuild a taller, wider Tower 7, the only completed WTC building in sight nine years later.

Rivera was helpful too in framing questions to MacIlvane and Szamboti that almost answered themselves, though the responses of his guests added to what he said. When he asked MacIlvane if he thought 9/11 was an inside job, Bob pushed the question aside and said, “I’m interested in finding out who murdered my son.” Both guests acknowledged that time constraints of TV sound-bite news did not allow for fuller explanations. But the visual that Building 7 went down as described was right there in the commercial for anyone to see. As a result, Geraldo admitted he believed there was more to 9/11 than had met his previous experience.

Now take a look at the full Geraldo At Large Segment, Note: the “Building What?” TV campaign is presently running and needs your support to keep running. It’s as worthwhile a contribution as you can possibly make to the well-being of New York City, America and the world, since 9/11 was the inciting incident for George Bush’s War on Terror. All the pain, death, and cost in blood and money, rest on understanding this keystone event and its true perpetrators.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer and life-long resident of New York City. Reach him at

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | 2 Comments

Israeli troops raid and loot house, commercial property of businessman

Palestine Information Center – 15/11/2010


TULKAREM — A large number of Israeli troops raided at dawn Monday the house of an imprisoned noted businessman called Ali Al-Dudu as well as his furniture showroom and stores in Tulkarem city and looted some contents of the house, all the merchandise and three of his vehicles.

Local sources said that a large number of troops aboard more than 30 military vehicles, bulldozers and big cargo trucks stormed Tulkarem at two o’clock this morning and confiscated lots of furniture from his home and everything stored in the showroom and its warehouses.

The invading Israeli troops also confiscated two cars and one truck owned by the businessman before withdrawing from the city with everything they stole. The things seized during this raid are worth millions of shekels.

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped the businessman last June only two days after they detained his daughter Yasmine, a student at Birzeit university, and his son Ziya’a. Both of his children were interrogated in Jalama prison.

Security forces from the Palestinian authority kidnapped his son Ziya’a immediately after his release from Israeli jails and interrogated him, in full coordination with the Israeli side, about his father’s business activities and alleged financial ties with Hamas Movement.

In a separate incident, the IOF kidnapped on the same day at dawn 11 Palestinian citizens from different West Bank areas only one day before Eid Al-Adha vacation, according to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

Local sources said the detainees were kidnapped during raids on homes in the cities of Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem and Al-Khalil.

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | 2 Comments


Malcom Lagauche | November 14, 2010

This is the time of the year when we are inundated with propaganda about the U.S. holiday, Thanksgiving. Recently, the History Channel showed its rendition. The same old story: weary Pilgrims were taught how to plant crops in the new land of America by some savvy Native Americans. Then, to thank the Indians and God, the Pilgrims held a celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Everybody had a great time. This was brotherhood among human beings at its best. Then, the documentary went forward in time to the 18th century. What happened between 1621 and 1675 was completely ignored. Most U.S. history books rarely mention the fate of the Indians who helped the Pilgrims survive.

Growing up in the U.S., I was told that we should be thankful and Thanksgiving is the time for this. School teacher-after-school teacher told their students to “thank God” for what they had. There was never any thought or consideration whether the students did not believe in God. God was always present and had to be thanked once a year.

In the sixth grade, I had the audacity to ask the teacher, “What about poor people? Should they be thankful?” I got my ass reamed for making such a flippant inquiry. “Poor people especially have to be thankful,” I was told. “God works in mysterious ways.” I did not have the nerve to tell her I did not believe in God.

In my 12 years of schooling in Rhode Island and Fall River, Massachusetts, I was taught nothing about Native American culture of the area, except at Thanksgiving. In grammar school, it was obligatory for students to create a drawing with Crayola crayons that depicted the first Thanksgiving: some weary, but benevolent white settlers mingling with Native Americans over a feast. The Indians always looked savage and the whites so civilized.

We also were told that turkey was the main fare for the feast, but again we were told another lie. Fish and small fowl, along with native vegetables, some of which the Pilgrims were unaware, adorned the menu.

The Wampanoag Indians, under Chief Massasoit, welcomed the Pilgrims to Massachusetts and provided food for what we now call the first Thanksgiving. The goodwill between the two peoples lasted only a short time, however.

Eventually, Metacomet (Anglicized name, Philip), Massasoit’s son, became chief after his father’s death. During the time of the new regime, the Puritans were launching a land-grab from the Indians and were hostile toward the Natives, who had benevolently given them the rights to thousands of acres of land while asking for nothing in return.

When Metacomet called “foul,” the Puritans upped the ante. He approached the governing authorities of the Puritans and complained that they were encroaching on Indian land and stealing their crops. When a court met, it was run by three Puritain judges who negated the complaints of Metacomet and then ordered the Indians to be disarmed. That was the last straw for the Indian leader.

Over the next few years, tensions rose with Indians and Puritans alike being killed in raids. The more the Puritans encroached, the more the Indians resisted.

In 1675, all-out war began. The name given to the war was King Philip’s War. Maybe it should have been the Puritan War, but history has been unkind to the Natives.

In the beginning, Metacomet’s forces were dominating. At one time, the Puritans were pushed back and were discussing going back to England. But, the Natives began running out of food. Their demise was at hand.

Within two years, most of the proud Wampanoag Indians were massacred. A nation that included more than 30,000 people with highly-organized governments and social structures became a shabby band of no more than 2,000 Indians at the end of the war. They were ordered into slavery. Until this day, they have never recovered. The descendants of the Wampanoags of the 17th century live today in southeastern Massachusetts and most live in poverty.

Metacomet was killed when the Puritans paid an Indian informant to spy on him and report his location. The turncoat Indian was the person who pulled the trigger and murdered Metacomet. His body parts were put on public display throughout the region. Within six decades of landing at Plymouth Rock, the whites had forever destroyed a culture that had inhabited the area for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Mayflower.

One of Metacomet’s strongest allies was the Pocasset tribe, who went to war with the Wampanoag. The Pocassets were led by Weetamoe, a fierce warrior who held an unbending allegiance from her tribal members. When the Puritans turned the corner in the war, she fled and drowned trying to swim across the Taunton River. Like Matacomet, her body was cut into pieces and parts were displayed at various venues in southern New England.

The legacy of Metacomet should be that of America’s first resistance hero. However, few Native Americans have been given credit in U.S. history for acts of bravery, so he is still listed in our history books as a belligerent Indian who began a war against the civilized Anglos. According to white history, he was the perpetrator of the war, not the victim.

In 1675, the Boston Indian Imprisonment Act was established. It ordered the arrest of any Indian entering the city. To this day, the law is still on the books.

Despite living in a town where Native American names abound, (Pocasset School, Conanicus Street, Nonquit Pond, Sakonnet River, Quechechan River, and many others) in 12 years of school, nothing was mentioned about the origins of these monikers. Only within the last few years have I discovered that from the front porch of my house, looking across Mount Hope Bay, I could see the exact location of the murder of Metacomet in what is today’s Bristol, Rhode Island.

A tribal leader of the Kumeyaay Nation of southern California once told me that the two most sorrowful days of the year for Native Americans are Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. He could not understand why U.S. citizens in this day and age still celebrate the two days of Native American catastrophe with all the knowledge that has been forthcoming in the past few decades about the Native American holocaust.

Each year, at Plymouth, a mock Thanksgiving feast is held for the public to view. The clothing and the food are meant to be identical to those of the original Thanksgiving. A couple of years ago, the script for this event had to be re-written. Members of the Wampanoag tribe, who normally participate, decided to boycott the show. They have had enough.

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Jewish Extremists Assault Palestinians

Annan Yaghmour, 21

Annan Yaghmour, 21
SILWANIC – 12 November, 2010

Jerusalem — Silwan resident Annan Jawad Yaghmour, 21, was severely assaulted, beaten, and abused by a group of extremist Jews this Saturday, November 6, 2010, as he was walking late at night near Hillel Street in West Jerusalem. According to Annan, he was walking along when a girl stopped him and asked him for a cigarette, and during a brief chat discovered that he was Palestinian. Shortly after they parted ways, Annan was attacked by a number of Jewish extremists. He tried to scream that he was a Jew of Moroccan descent, until finally his attackers stopped assaulting him long enough to look for his identity card. Upon confirming he was Palestinian, however, the men tortured him, beating him in the face and head with stones and spraying him with gas, as well as stealing his mobile phone. Annan managed to escape his attackers and was able to reach a main street, where he lost consciousness. From there he was transferred to a hospital, where he was treated for severe injuries to the eyelid, forehead and ear, as well as significant bruising and injuries to the head resulting from the brutal attacks with stones.

The following day, Annan’s father filed a complaint with the police and called on the Israeli authorities to put up surveillance cameras on the streets of Hillel, Musrara, and the bell garden, in West Jerusalem where assaults against Palestinians are becoming increasingly common.

Ahmed Sbaih, 41, suffered a similar attack on the night of October 31, 2010, after an Israeli stopped him to ask for a cigarette near the Ma’man Allah cemetery in West Jerusalem. Shortly afterward, Ahmed came upon a large group of Jewish extremists who demanded cigarettes from him and asked his name. When they determined he was Palestinian, the men began beating him with large stones that they had concealed under their clothes. Sbaih suffered three broken teeth as well as deep injures to the gums and head.

According to Sbaih, “I was bleeding, but I was able to pull away from three of them and escaped. They chased me and threw stones at me until I reached the main road and called the police, who hung up the phone twice before telling me that a police car would come in a minute.” Sbaih was left bleeding for more than half an hour before he was transferred to a hospital by an ambulance that had received his number from the police, who didn’t arrive at the hospital until more than an hour after being called.

Ahmed went to the police station to file a complaint, but says that “when they realized the reason for my presence, they treated me as though I were guilty. The policewoman began screaming at me and tried to justify the police’s late presence at time of the incident, claiming that the police were busy.”

Photos taken by Maisa Abu Gazaleh

Annan Yaghmour, 21


November 15, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | 1 Comment