START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Feb 3, 2011
Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted: Feb 3, 2011 2:12pm
Nov 4, 2009

Absurd: Joe "You Lie!" Wilson Claims Obama is "Solely Responsible" For Swine Flu

Posted by Steve Benen, Washington Monthly at 1:41 PM on November 3, 2009.


This is despite Wilson's voting down of an appropriations bill that contained special funding to battle H1N1.

 

WILSON'S H1N1 ATTACK.... Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) -- you know, the "you lie" heckler -- has some interesting thoughts on the public health emergency posed by the H1N1 flu virus. Naturally, he blames President Obama, not for the virus, but for the scarcity of the vaccine.

"The current administration is solely responsible. They can't blame this on any prior administration," Wilson said. "This is the responsibility of the current administration. They've put the lives of Americans at risk."

Putting aside the fact that no one has tried to blame Bush/Cheney for a flu virus, Wilson was a little vague as to how the president and his team put American lives at risk. He can't point to anything in particular -- probably because the administration has done everything it could to this point -- but Wilson still insists the White House is "solely responsible" for the problem. Just because.

Of course, the criticism does offer Dems an opportunity to take a closer look at Wilson's record on the same subject.

In a release issued on Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee claimed that any criticism of H1N1 policy by the GOP would amount to hypocrisy.

The DCCC pointed to a June vote on a supplementary appropriations bill as evidence. Wilson joined 95% of Republicans and voted against the bill, which contained special funding to combat H1N1 both domestically and internationally. But the bill also contained other much more money for other plans and programs Republicans at the time viewed as wasteful, including the Cash-For-Clunkers car purchase incentive program.

 

 

Still, the DCCC says that a vote against the bill essentially equaled a vote against combating H1N1 and means Republicans who voted against it like Wilson favored a public health program that would have resulted in even less vaccine than is available now.

"The families, schools, and businesses fighting against the H1N1 flu pandemic deserve better than House Republicans' reckless, knee jerk partisanship and just-say-no approach to helping prepare for this national emergency," DCCC spokesperson Ryan Rudominer said in a statement released Oct. 27.

Here's guessing Wilson hadn't remembered this vote when he decided to describe Obama as "solely responsible" for the problem.

 

Digg!

Tagged as: joe wilson, swine flu

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/143706/absurd:_joe_"you_lie!"_wilson_claims_obama_is_"solely_responsible"_for_swine_flu

Exposed: GOP Congressman Who Yelled "You Lie" at Obama Speech Received $240,000 from Health Care Industry

By Sue Sturgis, Facing South. Posted September 10, 2009.

Major recipient of health industry largesse, this isn't Rep. Joe Wilson's first bizarre outburst -- he once accused a fellow congressmember of "outrageous" "hatred of America."

During President Obama’s address on health insurance reform to a joint session of Congress last night, he observed that some people have been spreading bad information about his proposal — and that contrary to what’s been said it would not cover illegal immigrants.

At that point the president was interrupted by Rep. Addison Graves “Joe” Wilson (right), a Republican from South Carolina.

“You lie!” Wilson shouted from the crowd.

Obama paused for a moment before continuing his address as Wilson’s colleagues looked on in shock following the breach of protocol.

Whether because of his outspokenness or in spite of it, Wilson is a major recipient of contributions from the health care industry.

In fact, over his entire congressional career, health professionals represent Wilson’s top industry contributors, donating a total of $244,196 to his campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics OpenSecrets.org database. He received another $86,150 from pharmaceutical companies, $73,050 from insurance companies and $68,000 from hospitals and nursing homes.

Among Wilson’s top contributors are the American Hospital Association, a lobby group that represents the interests of hospitals and health networks, and the American Medical Association, which represents physicians.

During a post-speech interview with CNN’s Larry King, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Wilson should apologize, calling his behavior “totally disrespectful.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told the New York Times that Wilson’s behavior was “not appropriate.”

Wilson’s office later issued an apology for the outburst:

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

It was not the first time Wilson — attorney, U.S. Army vet and former aide to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond — has raised eyebrows by shouting at political opponents.

Seven years ago this month, the then-freshman Wilson appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” with five-term Congressman Bob Filner (D-Calif.) to discuss whether to go to war in Iraq, action that Filner opposed but Wilson supported. In the course of the discussion, Filner noted that the U.S. supplied weapons to Saddam Hussein’s regime during the Iran-Iraq War — a fact revealed by the investigation into the Iran-Contra Affair, which discovered the Reagan administration secretly sold weapons to Iran, then under an arms embargo, to win support for freeing U.S. hostages in Lebanon and to fund the Nicaraguan contras, a counterrevolutionary rebel force that was fighting the country’s government.

But Filner’s statement incensed Wilson, as the Washington Post reported at the time:

“That is wrong. That’s made up,” Wilson fired back. “I can’t believe you would say something like that.”

When Filner calmly held his ground, advising Wilson to read newspaper reports and other documentation, the Republican erupted: “This hatred of America by some people is just outrageous. And you need to get over that.”

As moderator Connie Brod sat by helplessly, Filner challenged: “Hatred of America? . . . Are you accusing me?”

“Yes!” Wilson shouted. For good measure, over the next minute Wilson accused Filner of harboring “hatred of America” four more times, of being “hateful” three times and of being “viscerally anti-American” once. Filner responded, “This is not worth replying to,” and Brod finally regained control of the discussion by taking viewer phone calls.

http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/142553/exposed:_gop_congressman_who_yelled_"you_lie"_at_obama_speech_received_$240,000_from_health_care_industry/?obref=obnetwork

 

See more stories tagged with: congress, gop, obama, health industry, contributions, rep. joe wilson, rep. addison graves wilso

Facing South is the online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies, a nonprofit research and journalism organization founded in 1970 by veterans of the civil rights movement. Read more here. If you liked this article, you can tip the writer here.

NOW, THE WHOLE REALLY SAD SITUATION OF THIS WHOLE OUTRAGEOUS OUTBURST IS THAT PEOPLE OFTEN SAY THINGS OUT OF EMOTION, (WHETHER THAT BE HATE, DISDAIN, FEAR, OR SOME OTHER SELFISH MOTIVE.  BUT I THINK IT'S CLEAR WHAT JOE WILSON'S MOTIVE WAS FOR DOING WHAT HE DID AND THAT HE WAS SO PIGHEADED THAT HE DIDN'T REALIZE THAT HIS COLDNESS BY NOT VOTING FOR THE APPROPRIATIONS BILL FOR H1N1 JUST MIGHT HAVE AN EFFECT ON HIS OWN HEALTH OR THE HEALTH OF HIS FAMILY MEMBERS.

IT'S BEEN REPORTED ON THE NEWS THAT MRS. WILSON (JOE'S WIFE) HAS CONTRACTED THE H1N1 FLU.  HOW AWFUL THE WHOLE SITUATION HAS TURNED OUT FOR EVERY ONE OF US.  I DO WISH HIS WIFE A SPEEDY RECOVERY, BUT BLAMING OBAMA FOR PUTTING THE PUBLIC AT RISK WHEN YOU VOTED DOWN AN APPROPRIATIONS BILL FOR H1N1 FLU VACINE MUST HAVE SLIPPED JOE'S POOR MIND!!!

 

 

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , ,
Posted: Nov 4, 2009 11:10pm
Sep 28, 2009

PEARL JAM - BLACKPearl Jam-Black [via FoxyTunes / Pearl Jam]

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 5:13am
Aug 24, 2009

TO ADD TO THE SUSPENSE OF MY LAST SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT A LAWSUIT FILED BY A HELPLESS VICTIM ON BEHALF OF HER AND HER CHILD IS CHILLING.  WITHIN THIS PDF DOCUMENT YOU WILL FIND EVERYTHING LAID OUT ON THE NEGLIGENCE OF DICK CHENEY AND RUMSFELD, AND "FINALLY," YOU WILL FIND OUT THAT THE AREA IN WHICH SHE WAS INJURED INSIDE THE PENTAGON CONTAINED THE VERY RECORDS OF THE $2.3 TRILLION DOLLARS THAT WAS FOUND MISSING FROM THE PENTAGON ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2001, OF WHICH DONALD RUMSFELD ON THE 11TH OF SEPTEMBER HAD A PERFECT EXCUSE TO NOT ACCOUNT FOR.

THIS WOMAN AND HER INFANT CHILD ARE NOW TOLD THAT SHE CANNOT HAVE MEDICAL TREATMENT AS AN EMPLOYEE AT THE PENTAGON THROUGH THE VA AND THAT "SHE" SOMEHOW OWES THE PENTAGON $14,000 FOR SOMETHING.

HORRENDOUS IN THE LINK BELOW:

complaint[1].pdf  Download File

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: ,
Posted: Aug 24, 2009 3:37pm
Aug 24, 2009
SOME PEOPLE HARMED BY 9/11 BELIEVE THAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED, AND PILOTS FOR 9/11 TRUTH AND 9/11 JUSTICE ARE STILL CURRENTLY ENDORSING A RE-OPENING OF THE INVESTIGATION.  THE 9/11 COMMISSION'S VERSION STILL DOESN'T FLY WITH VICTIMS AND PROFESSIONALS ALIKE.  THERE'S NEW INFORMATION ON THE BLACK BOX, THE USE OF PHONES WHICH DIDN'T EXIST, AND THE PROBABILITY THAT DEFIES PHYSICS:

Pilots For 9/11 Truth Sign Affidavit In Lawsuit Brought By Pentagon Survivor

07/15/2009 - (Pilotsfor911truth.org) April Gallop, a survivor of the Pentagon Attack on September 11, 2001, is now suing Cheney, Rumsfeld, Myers and other officials for their possible role in the attack and failure to evacuate the Pentagon. The lawsuit cites Flight Data Recorder Analysis. Pilots For 9/11 Truth have been called upon to sign our names and professional reputations to the analysis which will be presented before a judge in a court of law.

Several individuals who make excuse for the govt story such as Glenn Beck, some who refuse to put their names and faces to their claims such as those who spend their days and nights obsessed with us, and those who endlessly attempt to smear anyone who questions 9/11 (albeit poorly), constantly complain we will never take our concerns to court. They have once again been proven wrong.

To read pdf copies of the affidavit's being filed please visit -

http://www.centerfor911justice.org/news/index.html

or Download directly here. (right click and save target as..)

For full complaint filed by April Gallop, and discussion, please visit http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum//index.php?showtopic=15787

Pilots For 9/11 Truth is an organization of aviation professionals from around the globe. The organization has analyzed Flight Data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTS. The data does not support the government story. See http://pilotsfor911truth.org/pressrelease for a summary of Pentagon Analysis. The NTSB/FBI refuse to comment. Pilots For 9/11 Truth Core member list continues to grow.

http://pilotsfor911truth.org/core.html for full member list.

http://pilotsfor911truth.org/join to join.

 GO TO THE CENTER FOR 9/11 JUSTICE.ORG AND SEE THE "COMPLAINT WORD DOC" LINK AT THE BOTTOM AND READ THE WHOLE COMPLAINT; BACKS UP WHAT WE'VE BEEN SAYING THE WHOLE TIME

Could Barbara Olson Have Made Those Calls?
An Analysis of New Evidence about Onboard Phones

David Ray Griffin and Rob Balsamo

Prefatory Note: When we, in this jointly authored article, need to refer to only one of us, the appropriate initials---DRG or RB--are used.

06/26/07 - Did American Airlines 77---the flight that, according to the official conspiracy theory about 9/11, struck the Pentagon---have onboard phones? This question is relevant to the possible truth of the official theory, because Ted Olson, who was then the US Solicitor General, claimed that his wife, Barbara Olson, called him twice from this flight using an onboard phone.

He did, to be sure, waver on this point. CNN, which mentioned in a story posted just before midnight on 9/11 that Barbara Olson had used a cell phone to call her husband, reported in a more extensive treatment, posted at 2:06 AM (EDT) on September 12, that Ted Olson had told it that his wife “called him twice on a cell phone from American Airlines Flight 77.”1 But on September 14, Olson said on Hannity & Colmes (Fox News) that she had called collect and therefore must have been using the “airplane phone”---because, he surmised, “she somehow didn’t have access to her credit cards.”2 On CNN’s Larry King Show later that same day, however, Olson returned to his first version. After saying that the second call from her suddenly went dead, he surmised that this was perhaps “because the signals from cell phones coming from airplanes don’t work that well.”3 On that same day, moreover, Tony Mauro, the Supreme Court correspondent for American Lawyer Media, published an account saying that Barbara Olson “was calling on her cell phone from aboard the jet.”4 Two months later, however, Ted Olson returned to the second version of his story. In the “Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture” delivered to the Federalist Society, he said that she used “a telephone in the airplane to [make] those two telephone [calls].”5 This second version was repeated in March 2002. “[C]alling collect,” he told the London Daily Telegraph, his wife “us[ed] the phone in the passengers’ seats.” She called collect, he again surmised, because “she didn’t have her purse” and hence her credit card.6

This revised version of his story has evidently gone virtually unnoticed in the American press. A year after 9/11, for example, CNN was still reporting that Barbara Olson used a cell phone.7 Nevertheless, Ted Olson’s statement to the Federalist Society and the Telegraph---that she called collect using a passenger-seat phone---was apparently his final word on the matter.

The claim that she must have called collect because she did not have her credit card, however, does not make any sense, because a credit card is needed in order to activate a passenger-seat phone.8 If she did not have a credit card, therefore, she could not have used a passenger-seat phone, whether to call collect or otherwise.9

By settling on this version of his story, nevertheless, Olson at least appeared to make defensible his claim that the calls occurred. We say this because of the extremely strong evidence that her reported calls could not have been made on a cell phone, given the cell phone technology in 2001. Cell phone calls from an airliner were, as DRG has argued extensively elsewhere, generally possible only if it was flying slowly and low,10 but Barbara Olson’s first call, according to the 9/11 Commission, occurred “[a]t some point between 9:16 and 9:26,”11 when the plane was flying too fast and too high for cell phone calls to have been possible. According to the Flight Data Recorder information released by the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane at 9:16 would have been over 25,000 feet, which is far too high (as well as too fast: 281 knots [324 mph]), while at 9:26 the plane would have been flying at 324 knots (370 mph), which is much too fast (as well as still too high: almost 14,000 feet).12 By settling on the claim that his wife used an onboard phone instead of a cell phone, Ted Olson avoided this problem.

But was a call from an onboard phone even possible? In 2004, Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan, having asked American Airlines whether their “757s [are] fitted with phones that passengers can use,” received this reply from an AA spokesperson: “American Airlines 757s do not have onboard phones for passenger use.” To check on the possibility that Barbara Olson might have borrowed a phone intended for crew use, they then asked, “[A]re there any onboard phones at all on AA 757s, i.e., that could be used either by passengers or cabin crew?” The response was: “AA 757s do not have any onboard phones, either for passenger or crew use. Crew have other means of communication available.”13

Henshall and Morgan then found this information corroborated on the AA website, which, while informing travelers that telephone calls are possible on AA’s Boeing 767 and 777, does not mention its 757.14 On the assumption that the AA spokesperson and this website were talking about AA 757s as they had been for several years, not simply as they were at the time of the query (2004), Henshall and Morgan concluded that, in the words of an essay written by Morgan, “Barbara Olson’s Call from Flight 77 Never Happened.”15

DRG, interpreting the information in the same way, wrote in the first edition of his book Debunking 9/11 Debunking: “[G]iven the evidence that Barbara Olson could not have called from Flight 77 using either a cell phone or an onboard phone, we have very good evidence that the calls to Ted Olson, like the call to [flight attendant] Renee May’s parents, were fabricated---unless, of course, he simply made up the story.”16

 

 

Correcting an “Error”

Later, however, DRG received two items suggesting that, although AA 757s did not have onboard phones in 2004, they probably did in 2001. One item was a 1998 photograph, said to show the inside of an AA 757, revealing that it had seat-back phones. The other was a news report from February 6, 2002, which said: “American Airlines will discontinue its AT&T in-flight phone service by March 31, a spokesman for the airline said Wednesday.”17 This report, DRG realized, did not specifically mention 757s, so this notice did not necessarily imply that AA 757s had had onboard phones up until that date. However, by taking into consideration this article, the photograph, and the realization that the letters from AA in 2004 were couched entirely in the present tense, DRG concluded that the claim that AA 77 had not had onboard phones was probably an error. He published an essay, “Barbara Olson’s Alleged Call from AA 77: A Correction About Onboard Phones,”18 which contained a section entitled “My Error.”

DRG made clear, to be sure, that even if AA 77 did have onboard phones, this did little to make Ted Olson’s story believable, because all the other problems remained. Five such problems were mentioned: (1) The incredible idea that although all the passengers and the crew were herded to the back of the plane, Barbara Olson was the only one to grab a phone from a passenger seat to make a call (an idea that was made even more incredible by the report that flight attendant Renee May was the only person on the flight to make a cell phone call19). (2) The equally incredible idea that three or four short, slight men armed with knives and box-cutters would not have been easily overpowered by these 60-some people---led perhaps by the pilot, Charles “Chic” Burlingame, a former Navy pilot whose brother said, “they would have had to incapacitate him or kill him because he would have done anything to prevent the kind of tragedy that befell that airplane," and whose sister said, "We want to tell his story so that people who had loved ones on that flight will know that he would have sacrificed himself to save them.”20 (3) Ted Olson’s oscillations on whether his wife had used a cell phone or an onboard phone. (4) Rowland Morgan’s point that, having settled on the claim that the calls were collect calls from a passenger-seat phone, “Ted Olson could . . . shut his critics up by simply producing the Department of Justice’s telephone accounts, showing a couple of hefty reverse-charges entries charged from Flight 77’s Airfone number at around about 9:20 AM on 11th September, 2001.”21 (5) Morgan and Henshall’s point that, if the Department of Justice had actually received these calls, the FBI, which is part of the DOJ, could have easily produced the records, and yet, according to The 9/11 Commission Report, the FBI’s report about this issue, which is entitled “American Airlines Airphone Usage,” makes no mention of any DOJ records.22

DRG concluded, however, that although the idea that the calls occurred was highly implausible, they could not be ruled out as strictly impossible, because the claim that AA 77 did not have onboard phones was erroneous in a twofold sense: not only in the sense of being based on inadequate evidence but also in the sense of simply being wrong, at least probably.

 

Correcting the Correction

The publication of DRG’s retraction, however, set off a process that has led us to correct this correction, because we discovered three new pieces of evidence supporting the contention that AA 77 did not have onboard phones.

 

The Chad Kinder Email: One piece of evidence was brought to our attention by a member of the Pilots for 9/11 Truth forums who goes by the alias “Kesha.” Using one of these forums, “Kesha” reported that the following email exchange had been posted February 17, 2006, on a German political forum. A person using the alias “the Paradroid” had sent this email to American Airlines:

 

Hello, on your website . . . there is mentioned that there are no seatback satellite phones on a Boeing 757. Is that info correct? Were there any such seatback satellite phones on any Boeing 757 before or on September 11, 2001 and if so, when were these phones ripped out?

 

This was the reply received by “the Paradroid” (except that his real name has been crossed out):

 

Dear Mr. XXXXXXXX:

 

Thank you for contacting Customer Relations. I am pleased to have the opportunity to assist you.

 

That is correct we do not have phones on our Boeing 757. The passengers on flight 77 used their own personal cellular phones to make out calls during the terrorist attack. However, the pilots are able to stay in constant contact with the Air Traffic Control tower.

 

Mr. XXXXXXXX, I hope this information is helpful. It is a privilege to serve you.

 

Sincerely,
Chad W. Kinder
Customer Relations
American Airlines

 

 

This exchange, if authentic, would provide very strong evidence for the conclusion that Barbara Olson could not have called her husband, as he claimed, from a passenger-seat phone. But was the exchange, which came from a second-hand source, authentic? We received three types of confirmation that it was.

In the first place, DRG, after obtaining from RB the email address of “Kesha,” asked the latter if he could “vouch for the authenticity of the letters” to and from Chad Kinder. In an email of June 2 (2007), “Kesha” replied: “I am able to vouch for the authenticity of the mentioned correspondence; the person who initiated it in February 2006 is reliable. I know ‘Paradroid’ from endless debates in our German 911 forum. His opinions are strictly based on facts.”

In the second place, after locating the correspondence between Kinder and “the Paradroid” on the German forum in question,23 DRG read several other contributions by “the Paradroid,” thereby seeing for himself that he is a serious, well-informed student of 9/11.

In the third place, RB, after some difficulty in discovering whether American Airlines actually had an employee named “Chad Kinder,” was able to contact him by telephone on May 31 (2007). After reading the two letters to Kinder, RB asked if he had indeed written the reply. Kinder answered that he could not specifically recall having written it---he writes so many letters, he explained, and this one would have been written over a year earlier. But, he added: “That sounds like an accurate statement.” Kinder indicated, in other words, that it was a letter he might well have written, because what it said---that AA 757s in 2001 did not have onboard phones, so the passengers on AA 77 had to use cell phones---was, to the best of his present knowledge, accurate.

 

The 757 Aircraft Maintenance Manual: Besides learning about and confirming this letter from Kinder, we also obtained another piece of evidence supporting the conclusion that passengers on AA 77 could not have used onboard phones. One of RB’s colleagues sent him a page from the Boeing 757 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (757 AMM) dated January 28, 2001. This page states that the passenger phone system for the AA 757 fleet had (by that date) been deactivated.24 According to the 757 AMM, in other words, the onboard phones had been deactivated at least seven and a half months prior to 9/11.

This information is relevant to the earlier-cited news report from February 6, 2002, which said: “American Airlines will discontinue its AT&T in-flight phone service by March 31.” As we pointed out earlier, that report did not mention 757s in particular, so it does not necessarily indicate that the 757 fleet had any in-flight phone service to be discontinued; the report may have referred only to other types of AA airplanes. But if American’s 757s did still have passenger-seat phones in September 2001, these phones, according to the information from the 757 AMM, would have been deactivated. If so, one of them could not have been used by Barbara Olson on 9/11 (even if she had a credit card).

 

A USA Today Report: Henshall and Morgan’s conclusion, to recall, was that although AA 777s and 767s had onboard phones in September of 2001, AA 757s did not. That conclusion is given some support by a 2004 USA Today story that stated: “Several years ago, American installed seatback phones, which could be used with a credit card, on many of its planes but ripped them out except in some Boeing 777s and 767s on international routes.”25 This statement by itself would not show that Flight 77 had no onboard phones, because it does not indicate exactly when the phones were ripped out. But it does show that the previously cited photographic evidence, showing that there were seat-back phones in AA 757s in 1998, does not prove that these phones were still present on September 11, 2001.

This report in USA Today appears, moreover, to have influenced the email sent by “the Paradroid” to American Airlines, which, as we saw, asked: “Were there any . . . seatback satellite phones on any Boeing 757 before or on September 11, 2001 and if so, when were these phones ripped out?” Kinder’s reply did not explicitly respond to the question as to when, if 757s had passenger-seat phones prior to 9/11, they were “ripped out.” Implicitly, however, Kinder’s reply said: With regard, at least, to the 757 that was AA 77, the seatback phones were ripped out prior to September 11, 2001.26

 

 

United States v. Ted Olson

In the course of doing research for this article, we learned, to our amazement, that even if, contrary to our evidence, Flight 77 did have functioning onboard phones, the US government has now said, implicitly, that Ted Olson’s claim about receiving two calls from his wife that morning is untrue.

As we mentioned earlier, the FBI report on phone calls from AA planes on 9/11 does not cite records from the DOJ showing that any calls from AA 77 were received that morning. Instead, the FBI report refers merely to four “connected calls to unknown numbers.” The 9/11 Commission, putting the best possible spin on this report, commented: “The records available for the phone calls from American 77 do not allow for a determination of which of [these four calls] represent the two between Barbara and Ted Olson, although the FBI and DOJ believe that all four represent communications between Barbara Olson and her husband’s office.”27 That is, it must be said, a very strange conclusion: If Ted Olson reported receiving only two calls, why would the Commission conclude that the DOJ had received four connected calls from his wife?

That conclusion is, in any case, starkly contradicted by evidence about phone calls from Flight 77 presented by the US government at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in 2006.28 Far from attributing all four of the “connected calls to unknown numbers” to Barbara Olson, as the 9/11 Commission suggested, the government’s evidence here attributes none of them to her, saying instead that each of them was from an “unknown caller.” The only call attributed to Barbara Olson, moreover, is an “unconnected call” to the Department of Justice, which was said to have been attempted at “9:18:58” and to have lasted “0 seconds.” According to the US government in 2006, in other words, Barbara Olson attempted a call to the DOJ, but it did not go through.29 The government itself has presented evidence in a court of law, therefore, that implies that unless its former solicitor general was the victim of two faked phone calls, he was lying.

It may seem beyond belief that the US government would have failed to support Ted Olson’s claim. We ourselves, as we indicated, were amazed at this development. However, it would not be the first time that the FBI---surely the agency that prepared this report about phone calls from the flights30---had failed to support the official story about 9/11. We refer to the fact that when Rex Tomb, the FBI’s chief of investigative publicity, was asked why the bureau’s website on “Usama bin Laden” does not list 9/11 as one of the terrorist acts for which he is wanted, he replied: “[T]he FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”31

In any case, an interesting question about the government’s claim concerning the four “connected calls” from AA 77 is whether they were supposedly made from cell phones or passenger-seat phones. The government’s Moussaoui-trial evidence does not explicitly say. We can, however, make an inference based on its evidence for phone calls made from United Flight 93.

Although it had been generally believed that there had been approximately ten cell phone calls from UA 93---including the four widely publicized calls reported by Deena Burnett from her husband, Tom Burnett---the government’s document on this flight identifies only two calls as cell phone calls: those made at 9:58 by passenger Edward Felt and flight attendant CeeCee Lyles. One might conclude from this information, to be sure, that the government simply remained neutral on some of the other calls that had been thought to be cell phone calls, such as the Burnett calls, leaving open whether they were from cell or onboard phones. But that is not the case. A reporter at the Moussaoui trial wrote:

 

In the back of the plane, 13 of the terrified passengers and crew members made 35 air phone calls and two cell phone calls to family members and airline dispatchers, a member of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force testified Tuesday.32


The government explicitly said, therefore, that only two of the calls from UA 93---which were identified in the government’s report on this flight as being from Felt and Lyles33---were cell phone calls.

We can infer, therefore, that because these calls from Felt and Lyles are the only two calls from all the flights that are identified as cell phone calls, all the calls from the other flights are now said by the government to have been made from onboard phones.34

The distinctive thing about the calls from Felt and Lyles is that they reportedly occurred at 9:58, after United 93 had descended to about 5,000 feet. By limiting the cell phone calls from all four flights to these two from UA 93, the government is no longer, even implicitly, supporting the view that high-altitude cell phone calls from airliners are possible. The government has thereby implicitly overcome, by conceding the point, one of the 9/11 movement’s main arguments against the government’s conspiracy theory.

This is a rather amazing development. Much of the official story about 9/11 has been based on the assumption that high-altitude cell phone calls were made. The film United 93, for example, portrayed five cell phone conversations. The 9/11 Commission Report, discussing UA 93, said: “Shortly [after 9:32], the passengers and flight crew began a series of calls from GTE airphones and cellular phones.”35

Four cell phone calls from UA 93 were, as mentioned earlier, supposed to have been made by Tom Burnett.36 His wife, Deena Burnett, repeatedly said Tom used his cell phone. She knew this, she said, because the Caller ID identified his cell phone as the source.37 Her testimony has been repeated countless times in the media. For example, a special segment about her on CBS’s Early Show said: “Tom Burnett made four cell phone calls from Flight 93 to Deena Burnett at home, telling her he and some other passengers were going to ‘do something.’” In a letter published in the National Review, Tom’s father spoke of “Tom's four cell-phone calls from Flight 93 to his wife, Deena.”38

The government’s evidence presented in 2006 at the Moussaoui trial, however, implies that she was mistaken, even though, given her statement that she saw her husband’s Caller ID number, the government’s new position means that she was either lying or, as we believe, the victim of a faked call using a device that, besides morphing her husband’s voice, faked his Caller ID number.39

However, although the government has undercut much of the basis for the official and popular accounts of 9/11 by denying the occurrence of any high-altitude cell phone calls, it has, by paying this price, protected itself from the 9/11 truth movement’s charge that the official story is falsified by the fact that such calls are impossible.

We come now, in any case, to the implication of the government’s Moussaoui-trial evidence about phone calls for the government’s position on whether AA 77 had onboard phones. According to this evidence, there were five connected calls from AA 77: one from Renee May and four from “unknown callers.” Given what we have learned from the government’s evidence about calls from UA 93---that all calls not identified as cell phone calls are said to have been made from onboard phones---we can conclude that, by virtue of not identifying any of the five “connected calls” from this flight as cell phone calls, the government is implying that this plane did have onboard phones. It does not, therefore, support our view on this issue.

Nevertheless, whether one accepts our evidence, which indicates that there were not any onboard phones on AA 77 from which calls could have been made, or trusts the government’s evidence presented at the Moussaoui trial, the conclusion is the same: The two conversations reported by Ted Olson did not happen.

 

Final Reflections

The implications of this conclusion for the credibility of the official narrative about 9/11 are enormous. Surely one of the most well-known elements of this narrative is that Barbara Olson, while on the plane that was soon to hit the Pentagon, called her husband. If people learn that this is a lie---whether because Ted Olson was a victim of faked phone calls or because he deliberately told a false story---most of them will probably be led to wonder if the whole official story is not a fabrication.

The strongest reason for considering false Ted Olson’s claim about two passenger-seat phone calls from his wife would be proof that such calls simply could not have occurred. It is important, therefore, for researchers to continue the quest to determine positively whether Boeing 757s in September 2001 had functioning onboard phones. Although we believe our evidence that they did not have such phones is very strong, we cannot yet claim to have proof; evidence to the contrary might still emerge. Finding proof one way or the other, however, should not be impossible, if others join in the task.

If further investigation should reveal that Flight 77 did, after all, have onboard phones, Ted Olson’s story would still be extremely implausible, for many reasons. Five of those reasons, mentioned in DRG’s previous essay, were summarized above. Three more have been added in this article: the absurdity of Ted Olson’s claim that his wife called collect because she did not have a credit card, the US government’s apparent endorsement of the view that high-altitude cell phone calls from airliners are not possible (thereby foreclosing the possibility that Ted Olson could return to the claim that she called from a cell phone), and the US government’s implicit rejection of his claim that the DOJ received two calls from AA Flight 77 that morning.

For those eight reasons alone, we would be justified in concluding, from simply this aspect of the official story, that the entire official story about 9/11 was a fabrication. This conclusion is greatly strengthened, however, by the almost definitive evidence that, besides the fact that Barbara Olson’s alleged calls could not have been made from a cell phone (which the US government now appears implicitly to have acknowledged), they also could not have been made from an onboard phone.40


---------------

David Ray Griffin is the author of five books about 9/11, most recently Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, a revised edition of which is appearing in July 2007.

Rob Balsamo is co-founder of Pilots for 9/11 Truth (www.pilotsfor911truth.org) and producer of Pandora’s Black Box (a DVD series).

 

1 “FBI Targets Florida Sites in Terrorist Search,” CNN.com, September 11, 2001, 11:56 PM EDT (http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/09/11/america.under.attack); Tim O’Brien, “Wife of Solicitor General Alerted Him of Hijacking from Plane,” CNN, September 12, 2001, 2:06 AM (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/11/pentagon.olson).

 

2 Hannity & Colmes, Fox News, September14, 2001.

 

3 Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.html).

 

4 Mauro’s statement is quoted in Rowland Morgan, “Barbara Olson’s Call from Flight 77 Never Happened,” Global Echo, December 2, 2004 (http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/12/305124.shtml).

 

5 Theodore B. Olson, “Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture,” November 16, 2001, Federalist Society, 15th Annual National Lawyers Convention (http://www.fed-soc.org/resources/id.63/default.asp).

 

6 Toby Harnden, “She Asked Me How to Stop the Plane,” Daily Telegraph, March 5, 2002 (http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/telegraph030502.html).

 

7 See “On September 11, Final Words of Love,” CNN, September 10, 2002 (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/09/03/ar911.phone.calls), which says: “Unbeknown to the hijackers, passenger and political commentator Barbara Olson, 45, was able to call her husband---Solicitor General Ted Olson---on her cellular phone.”

 

8 The American Airlines website entitled “Onboard Technology” says: “Slide your credit card through the side of the phone and then dial 00 + country code + area or city code + number followed by the # key” (http://www.aa.com/content/travelInformation/duringFlight/onboardTechnology.jhtml).

 

9 Some defenders of the official story have, to be sure, suggested that she reversed the charges because she had borrowed someone else’s credit card. But in that situation, would anyone have been worrying about a few dollars?

 

10 See David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2007), 87-91, 292-97.

 

11 The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004) (available online at http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf), 9.

 

12 See the National Transportation Safety Board’s flight path study for AA Flight 77 (http://www.ntsb.gov/info/AAL77_fdr.pdf). This study has been subjected to extensive analysis by Pilots for 9/11 Truth (http://pilotsfor911truth.org/pentagon.html). Our use of the information from this Flight Data Recorder (FDR) does not imply our acceptance of the NTSB’s claim that it is from AA Flight 77. Our scepticism is made clear in Debunking 9/11 Debunking, 372 n. 217, which quotes an email from RB saying, “The NTSB claims the Flight Data Recorder is from AA77, but it could really be from any type of aircraft.” Our reference to the data from this FDR is simply for the purpose of showing an internal contradiction within the official story.

 

13 This exchange occurred on December 6, 2004; see Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The Unanswered Questions (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005), 128-29. Although the letters themselves were not printed in that book or in Morgan’s Flight 93 Revealed: What Really Happened on the 9/11 ‘Let’s Roll’ Flight? (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2006), in which they are also mentioned, they were published (with Henshall and Morgan’s permission) in Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, first edition, 267.

 

14 American Airlines, “Onboard Technology” (https://www.aa.com/content/travelInformation/duringFlight/onboardTechnology.jhtml), quoted in Morgan, “Barbara Olson’s Call from Flight 77 Never Happened.”

 

15 See note 4.

 

16 Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, first edition, 267.

 

17 Sam Ames, “Airline Grounds In-flight Phone Service,” CNET News.com (http://news.com.com/2100-1033-831093.html). The photograph is at http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0020665/L. Both items were sent by Elias Davidsson of Iceland.

 

18 David Ray Griffin, “Barbara Olson’s Alleged Call from AA 77: A Correction About Onboard Phones,” Information Clearing House, May 7, 2007 (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17659.htm).

 

19 It has been widely accepted that the (alleged) call from Renee May was made on a cell phone, because this is what was stated in a story published in her mother’s home town. See Natalie Patton, “Flight Attendant Made Call on Cell Phone to Mom in Las Vegas,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 13, 2001 (http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-13-Thu-2001/news/16989631.html). However, the government’s report on calls from this flight, which was presented as evidence at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in 2006, did not indicate that the call was a cell phone call (see United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 [http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution.html]; this information is more readily accessible in “Detailed Account of Phone Calls From September 11th Flights” [http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html#ref1]). However, even if the government is now implying, as we discuss later, that the call from Renee May was from a passenger-seat phone, the idea that only two people availed themselves of these phones would be little more credible than the idea that only one did.

 

20 “In Memoriam: Charles ‘Chic’ Burlingame, 1949-2001,” USS Saratoga Museum foundation (available at http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/analysis/chic_remembered.html).

 

21 Morgan, “Barbara Olson’s Call from Flight 77 Never Happened.”

 

22 This FBI report on phone usage from AA 77 refers merely to four “connected calls to unknown numbers.” The 9/11 Commission commented: “The records available for the phone calls from American 77 do not allow for a determination of which of [these four calls] represent the two between Barbara and Ted Olson, although the FBI and DOJ believe that all four represent communications between Barbara Olson and her husband’s office” (The 9/11 Commission Report, 455 n. 57). The fact that the Commission speaks merely about what the FBI and the DOJ “believe” indicates that they produced no records to prove the point.

 

23 See the submission of February 17, 2006, by “the Paradroid” on the Politik Forum (http://www.politikforum.de/forum/archive/index.php/t-133356-p-24.html).

 

24 This document is available at Pilots for 9/11 Truth (http://pilotsfor911truth.org/AA757AMM.html).

 

25 “Cell Phones Test Positive on AA Flight,” USA Today, July 16, 2004 (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2004-07-16-jet-phones_x.htm).

 

26 We believe, incidentally, that the statement by the 757 AMM that the phone system was “deactivated” and the statement by USA Today that the phones were “ripped out” refer to two different processes, so that within AA’s records there would be a work order for the phones to be physically removed from the 757 fleet at some point between the time at which they were deactivated, perhaps late in 2000, and September 11, 2001. Locating such a work order would provide the final confirmation of the claim that Flight 77 had no onboard phones.

 

27 The 9/11 Commission Report, 455 n. 57.

 

28 United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution.html). If unable to download this document, see “Detailed Account of Phone Calls From September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html#ref1).

 

29 How the government could have concluded that this call was attempted by Barbara Olson is not clear.

 

30 It would appear that the FBI report referred to above, “American Airlines Airphone Usage,” is simply one portion of the complete report the FBI presented on telephone calls from all four flights at the Moussaoui trial. Note also, as mentioned in the text below, that it was a member of the FBI who stated at the Moussaoui trial that only two calls from UA 93 were cell phone calls.

 

31 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Most Wanted Terrorists (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm); Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11’” Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006 (http://www.teamliberty.net/id267.html).

 

32 Greg Gordon, “Prosecutors Play Flight 93 Cockpit Recording,” KnoxNews.com, April 12, 2006 (http://www.knoxsingles.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=MOUSSAOUI-04-12-06&cat=WW); quoted in Morgan, Flight 93 Revealed, 182, n. 87.

 

33 For graphics about the phone calls from Felt and Lyles, see “United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui: Prosecution Trial Exhibits,” Exhibit P200055 http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/flights/P200055.html).

 

34 For the government’s summary of the phone calls from all four flights, see exhibit P200054 or P200055 (they are identical) under Phase 2 of the Prosecution Trial Exhibits, “United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui” (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution.html) or “Detailed Account of Phone Calls From September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html#ref1).

 

35 The 9/11 Commission Report, 12. At that time, the plane was reportedly at about 35,000 feet.

 

36 Surprisingly, however, the film United 93 portrayed Tom Burnett as using a seat-back phone.

 

37 Greg Gordon, “Widow Tells of Poignant Last Calls,” Sacramento Bee, September 11, 2002 (http://holtz.org/Library/Social%20Science/History/Atomic%20Age/2000s/Sep11/Burnett%20widows%20story.htm). See also Deena L. Burnett (with Anthony F. Giombetti), Fighting Back: Living Beyond Ourselves (Longwood, Florida: Advantage Inspirational Books, 2006), 61.

 

38 “Two Years Later...,” 10 September 2003 (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/09/earlyshow/living/printable572380.shtml); for the National Review letter, which appeared May 20, 2002, see http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_9_54/ai_85410322.

 

39 As DRG reported in Debunking 9/11 Debunking, 297, there is an ad headed “FoneFaker--Call Recorder and Voice Changer Service with Caller ID Spoofing,” which says: “Record any call you make, fake your Caller ID and change your voice, all with one service you can use from any phone” (“Telephone Voice Changers,” Brickhouse Security [http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/telephone-voice-changers.html]).

 

40 We wish to thank Matthew Everett, Tod Fletcher, Ian Henshall, Rowland Morgan, Elizabeth Woodworth, and Aldo Marquis along with a couple of people who wish to remain anonymous, for help with this essay.

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , ,
Posted: Aug 24, 2009 2:26am
Aug 23, 2009

FRIENDS, SOMEONE BROUGHT THIS TO MY ATTENTION, AND I WAS NEVER AWARE OF IT BEFORE.  A FRIEND ASKED ME FOR A FAVOR BY GETTING THE WORD OUT TO SIGN A PETITION THAT CAN HELP THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH THE PROCESS OF CONTROLLING THE KILLING OF ANIMALS THROUGH FACTORY FARMING.  IT'S HURTING THE ENVIRONMENT.  ANYBODY WITH A PHD AND THIS KIND OF KNOWLEDGE DESERVES OUR SUPPORT ON A PETITION, AND IT'S REALLY "FOOD" FOR THOUGHT:

GO TO THIS LINK TO FIND THE PETITION:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/49/stop-killing-our-animals---find-another-way

 

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/49/stop-killing-our-animals---find-another-way

You  can find Matthew's Page at http://www.care2.com/c2c/people/profile.html?pid=828846113

Visibility: Everyone
Tags:
Posted: Aug 23, 2009 10:14pm
Aug 8, 2009

ALL THE WAY FROM THREATS TO LAWMAKERS VIA ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THESE, WHO ARE NOT LEGITIMATE, TO THE PHONEY RECOUNT PROTESTORS, WHOSE JOBS WERE AS CONGRESSIONAL AIDES TO STIFFLE THE RECOUNT PROCESS, TO THREATS OF WORLD WAR III IF AL FRANKEN WAS SEATED AFTER THE MINNESOTA RECOUNT PROCESS, TO THE BLOCKING OF ALMOST EVERY CABINET MEMBER OBAMA HAS CHOSEN, THE LUNATIC FRINGE HAS MANY ELITES IN THEIR GRASP. 

FROM GLENN BECK, TO JOHN CORNYN, RICK PERRY, MY CONGRESSMAN JOHN CARTER OF THE 31ST DISTRICT OF TEXAS (A BIRTHER MOVEMENT PARTICIPANT), TO THE PHONY PROTESTORS PAID FOR BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND PROFESSIONAL LOBBYISTS LIKE DICK ARMY, THE MINORITY CAN ALWAYS USE THE MEDIA IN SOME FORM OR FASHION AS A CONSTANT REMINDER THAT THEIR LOSS OF POWER IN A LEGITIMATE ELECTION HAS TURNED TO CALLING OUR PRESIDENT SOCIALIST, COMMUNIST, TERRORIST, AND EUTHANASIAIST) , PLAYING THE SAME FEAR CARD AS HAS WORKED FOR THEM IN THE PAST.  NO AMOUNT OF THREATS OR OUTLANDISH BEHAVIOR DONE BY BIG MONEY AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BEHIND THE SCENES WILL EVER CONVINCE ME THAT HEALTHCARE FOR AMERICANS AND FIXING THE BUSH DEBACLE AND ERRORS OF THEIR OWN MAKING IS IS NOT LEGITIMATE AND THE REASON WHY AMERICANS THREW THEM OUT OF THE CONGRESS AND THE WHITEHOUSE IN NOVEMBER OF 2008.  BROWNSHIRTS, YES, THEY ARE.  I WANT THE LIBERTIES BACK THAT WERE TAKEN BY THE REPUBLICANS FROM US DURING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND ALL WAR CRIMINALS TRIED AS SUCH.

 

All through the dark years of the Bush Administration, progressives watched in horror as Constitutional protections vanished, nativist rhetoric ratcheted up, hate speech turned into intimidation and violence, and the president of the United States seized for himself powers only demanded by history's worst dictators. With each new outrage, the small handful of us who'd made ourselves experts on right-wing culture and politics would hear once again from worried readers: Is this it? Have we finally become a fascist state? Are we there yet?

And every time this question got asked, people like Chip Berlet and Dave Neiwert and Fred Clarkson and yours truly would look up from our maps like a parent on a long drive, and smile a wan smile of reassurance. "Wellll...we're on a bad road, and if we don't change course, we could end up there soon enough. But there's also still plenty of time and opportunity to turn back. Watch, but don't worry. As bad as this looks: no -- we are not there yet."

In tracking the mileage on this trip to perdition, many of us relied on the work of historian Robert Paxton, who is probably the world's pre-eminent scholar on the subject of how countries turn fascist. In a 1998 paper published in The Journal of Modern History, Paxton argued that the best way to recognize emerging fascist movements isn't by their rhetoric, their politics, or their aesthetics. Rather, he said, mature democracies turn fascist by a recognizable process, a set of five stages that may be the most important family resemblance that links all the whole motley collection of 20th Century fascisms together. According to our reading of Paxton's stages, we weren't there yet. There were certain signs -- one in particular -- we were keeping an eye out for, and we just weren't seeing it.

And now we are. In fact, if you know what you're looking for, it's suddenly everywhere. It's odd that I haven't been asked for quite a while; but if you asked me today, I'd tell you that if we're not there right now, we've certainly taken that last turn into the parking lot and are now looking for a space. Either way, our fascist American future now looms very large in the front windshield -- and those of us who value American democracy need to understand how we got here, what's changing now, and what's at stake in the very near future if these people are allowed to win -- or even hold their ground.

What is fascism?
The word has been bandied about by so many people so wrongly for so long that, as Paxton points out, "Everybody is somebody else's fascist." Given that, I always like to start these conversations by revisiting Paxton's essential definition of the term:

"Fascism is a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline."

Elsewhere, he refines this further as

"a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."

.
Jonah Goldberg aside, that's a basic definition most legitimate scholars in the field can agree on, and the one I'll be referring to here.

From proto-fascism to the tipping point
According to Paxton, fascism unfolds in five stages. The first two are pretty solidly behind us -- and the third should be of particular interest to progressives right now.

In the first stage, a rural movement emerges to effect some kind of nationalist renewal (what Roger Griffin calls "palingenesis" -- a phoenix-like rebirth from the ashes). They come together to restore a broken social order, always drawing on themes of unity, order, and purity. Reason is rejected in favor of passionate emotion. The way the organizing story is told varies from country to country; but it's always rooted in the promise of restoring lost national pride by resurrecting the culture's traditional myths and values, and purging society of the toxic influence of the outsiders and intellectuals who are blamed for their current misery.

Fascism only grows in the disturbed soil of a mature democracy in crisis. Paxton suggests that the Ku Klux Klan, which formed in reaction to post-Civil War Reconstruction, may in fact be the first authentically fascist movement in modern times. Almost every major country in Europe sprouted a proto-fascist movement in the wretched years following WWI (when the Klan enjoyed a major resurgence here as well) -- but most of them stalled either at this first stage, or the next one.

As Rick Perlstein documented in his two books on Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, modern American conservatism was built on these same themes. From "Morning in America" to the Rapture-ready religious right to the white nationalism promoted by the GOP through various gradients of racist groups, it's easy to trace how American proto-fascism offered redemption from the upheavals of the 1960s by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America. This vision has been so thoroughly embraced that the entire Republican party now openly defines itself along these lines. At this late stage, it's blatantly racist, sexist, repressed, exclusionary, and permanently addicted to the politics of fear and rage. Worse: it doesn't have a moment's shame about any of it. No apologies, to anyone. These same narrative threads have woven their way through every fascist movement in history.

In the second stage, fascist movements take root, turn into real political parties, and seize their seat at the table of power. Interestingly, in every case Paxton cites, the political base came from the rural, less-educated parts of the country; and almost all of them came to power very specifically by offering themselves as informal goon squads organized to intimidate farmworkers on behalf of the large landowners. The KKK disenfranchised black sharecroppers and set itself up as the enforcement wing of Jim Crow. The Italian Squadristi and the German Brownshirts made their bones breaking up farmers' strikes. And these days, GOP-sanctioned anti-immigrant groups make life hell for Hispanic agricultural workers in the US. As violence against random Hispanics (citizens and otherwise) increases, the right-wing goon squads are getting basic training that, if the pattern holds, they may eventually use to intimidate the rest of us.

Paxton wrote that succeeding at the second stage "depends on certain relatively precise conditions: the weakness of a liberal state, whose inadequacies condemn the nation to disorder, decline, or humiliation; and political deadlock because the Right, the heir to power but unable to continue to wield it alone, refuses to accept a growing Left as a legitimate governing partner." He further noted that Hitler and Mussolini both took power under these same circumstances: "deadlock of constitutional government (produced in part by the polarization that the fascists abetted); conservative leaders who felt threatened by the loss of their capacity to keep the population under control at a moment of massive popular mobilization; an advancing Left; and conservative leaders who refused to work with that Left and who felt unable to continue to govern against the Left without further reinforcement."

And more ominously: "The most important variables...are the conservative elites' willingness to work with the fascists (along with a reciprocal flexibility on the part of the fascist leaders) and the depth of the crisis that induces them to cooperate."

That description sounds eerily like the dire straits our Congressional Republicans find themselves in right now. Though the GOP has been humiliated, rejected, and reduced to rump status by a series of epic national catastrophes mostly of its own making, its leadership can't even imagine governing cooperatively with the newly mobilized and ascendant Democrats. Lacking legitimate routes back to power, their last hope is to invest the hardcore remainder of their base with an undeserved legitimacy, recruit them as shock troops, and overthrow American democracy by force. If they can't win elections or policy fights, they're more than willing to take it to the streets, and seize power by bullying Americans into silence and complicity.

When that unholy alliance is made, the third stage -- the transition to full-fledged government fascism -- begins.

The third stage: being there
All through the Bush years, progressive right-wing watchers refused to call it "fascism" because, though we kept looking, we never saw clear signs of a deliberate, committed institutional partnership forming between America's conservative elites and its emerging homegrown brownshirt horde. We caught tantalizing signs of brief flirtations -- passing political alliances, money passing hands, far-right moonbat talking points flying out of the mouths of "mainstream" conservative leaders. But it was all circumstantial, and fairly transitory. The two sides kept a discreet distance from each other, at least in public. What went on behind closed doors, we could only guess. They certainly didn't act like a married couple.

Now, the guessing game is over. We know beyond doubt that the Teabag movement was created out of whole cloth by astroturf groups like Dick Armey's FreedomWorks and Tim Phillips' Americans for Prosperity, with massive media help from FOX News. We see the Birther fracas -- the kind of urban myth-making that should have never made it out of the pages of the National Enquirer -- being openly ratified by Congressional Republicans. We've seen Armey's own professionally-produced field manual that carefully instructs conservative goon squads in the fine art of disrupting the democratic governing process -- and the film of public officials being terrorized and threatened to the point where some of them required armed escorts to leave the building. We've seen Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to "a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress."

This is the sign we were waiting for -- the one that tells us that yes, kids: we are there now. America's conservative elites have openly thrown in with the country's legions of discontented far right thugs. They have explicitly deputized them and empowered them to act as their enforcement arm on America's streets, sanctioning the physical harassment and intimidation of workers, liberals, and public officials who won't do their political or economic bidding.

This is the catalyzing moment at which honest-to-Hitler fascism begins. It's also our very last chance to stop it.

The fail-safe point
According to Paxton, the forging of this third-stage alliance is the make-or-break moment -- and the worst part of it is that by the time you've arrived at that point, it's probably too late to stop it. From here, it escalates, as minor thuggery turns into beatings, killings, and systematic tagging of certain groups for elimination, all directed by people at the very top of the power structure. After Labor Day, when Democratic senators and representatives go back to Washington, the mobs now being created to harass them will remain to run the same tactics -- escalated and perfected with each new use -- against anyone in town whose color, religion, or politics they don't like. In some places, they're already making notes and taking names.

Where's the danger line? Paxton offers three quick questions that point us straight at it:

1. Are [neo- or protofascisms] becoming rooted as parties that represent major interests and feelings and wield major influence on the political scene?

2. Is the economic or constitutional system in a state of blockage apparently insoluble by existing authorities?

3. Is a rapid political mobilization threatening to escape the control of traditional elites, to the point where they would be tempted to look for tough helpers in order to stay in charge?

By my reckoning, we're three for three. That's too close. Way too close.

The Road Ahead
History tells us that once this alliance catalyzes and makes a successful bid for power, there's no way off this ride. As Dave Neiwert wrote in his recent book, The Eliminationists, "if we can only identify fascism in its mature form—the goose-stepping brownshirts, the full-fledged use of violence and intimidation tactics, the mass rallies—then it will be far too late to stop it." Paxton (who presciently warned that "An authentic popular fascism in the United States would be pious and anti-Black") agrees that if a corporate/brownshirt alliance gets a toehold -- as ours is now scrambling to do -- it can very quickly rise to power and destroy the last vestiges of democratic government. Once they start racking up wins, the country will be doomed to take the whole ugly trip through the last two stages, with no turnoffs or pit stops between now and the end.

What awaits us? In stage four, as the duo assumes full control of the country, power struggles emerge between the brownshirt-bred party faithful and the institutions of the conservative elites -- church, military, professions, and business. The character of the regime is determined by who gets the upper hand. If the party members (who gained power through street thuggery) win, an authoritarian police state may well follow. If the conservatives can get them back under control, a more traditional theocracy, corporatocracy, or military regime can re-emerge over time. But in neither case will the results resemble the democracy that this alliance overthrew.

Paxton characterizes stage five as "radicalization or entropy." Radicalization is likely if the new regime scores a big military victory, which consolidates its power and whets its appetite for expansion and large-scale social engineering. (See: Germany) In the absence of a radicalizing event, entropy may set in, as the state gets lost in its own purposes and degenerates into incoherence. (See: Italy)

It's so easy right now to look at the melee on the right and discount it as pure political theater of the most absurdly ridiculous kind. It's a freaking puppet show. These people can't be serious. Sure, they're angry -- but they're also a minority, out of power and reduced to throwing tantrums. Grown-ups need to worry about them about as much as you'd worry about a furious five-year-old threatening to hold her breath until she turned blue.

Unfortunately, all the noise and bluster actually obscures the danger. These people are as serious as a lynch mob, and have already taken the first steps toward becoming one. And they're going to walk taller and louder and prouder now that their bumbling efforts at civil disobedience are being committed with the full sanction and support of the country's most powerful people, who are cynically using them in a last-ditch effort to save their own places of profit and prestige.

We've arrived. We are now parked on the exact spot where our best experts tell us full-blown fascism is born. Every day that the conservatives in Congress, the right-wing talking heads, and their noisy minions are allowed to hold up our ability to govern the country is another day we're slowly creeping across the final line beyond which, history tells us, no country has ever been able to return.

How do we pull back? That's my next post.

SOURCE ARTICLE:  http://www.alternet.org/rights/141819/is_the_u.s._on_the_brink_of_fascism/?page=4


JUST REMEMBER THAT THE NAZI PARTY DID NOT WIN A MAJORITY IN THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH, BUT WERE BULLIED INTO ACCEPTING HITLER AND HIS JEWISH SOLUTION AS THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC WENT DOWN.  IF ONE OF THE LUNATIC FRINGE DATAMINES MY EMAIL INFORMATION FROM ANY SOURCE, I'LL FIND OUT PERSONALLY HOW THEY BOUGHT THE LISTS OF EMAILS TO PUT OUT TO PEOPLE WHO ARE AGAINST THEM.  THIS IS AN AGE-OLD REPUBLICAN TRICK, AND LIVING IN A STATE WHERE VIOLENCE HAS BROKEN OUT AND GOTTEN OUT OF HAND IN A TOWN HALL MEETING ON OTHER ISSUES BECAUSE REPUBLICANS WERE THERE TO ENSURE THAT THE LAWMAKERS WOULDN'T HAVE A CHANCE TO SPEAK AND TO OFFICIALLY DISRUPT, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THEY BETTER NOT TRY TO BUY MY EMAIL ADDRESS, OR I WILL TURN IT INTO THE WHITEHOUSE.  THEY ARE ALREADY GETTING TOO MUCH MEDIA ATTENTION, BUT BRAINWASHING DOESN'T DO IT FOR ME VIA TELEVISION.

 

Visibility: Everyone
Tags:
Posted: Aug 8, 2009 12:53pm
Aug 8, 2009

ALL THE WAY FROM THREATS TO LAWMAKERS VIA ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THESE, WHO ARE NOT LEGITIMATE, TO THE PHONEY RECOUNT PROTESTORS, WHOSE JOBS WERE AS CONGRESSIONAL AIDES TO STIFFLE THE RECOUNT PROCESS, TO ...

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted: Aug 8, 2009 6:39am
May 11, 2009
DON'T LET PERRY FOOL YOU TEXANS WHEN HE SAYS THAT TEXAS HAS A LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. HE'S SAYING IT FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES, AND WATCH OUT FOR HOW HE AND OTHERS SPEND THE STIMULUS BILLIONS. TOO BAD THEY JUST DON'T CARE TO FIND OUT WHAT THE TRUE NUMBERS REALLY ARE OF THE UNEMPLOYED IN THIS COUNTRY. SHAMEFUL!!! WATCH EM HERE:

FIRST THE TEXAS STIMULUS BILLIONS, MINUS, OF COURSE, THE GUVNA'S TURNDOWN OF $550 MILLION FOR THE UNEMPLOYED, WHO HE REFERS TO AS "JUNKIES," INSTEAD OF TAX PAYING CITIZENS. DID YOU KNOW THAT EVEN PEOPLE WHO DRAW UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAX ON THAT MONEY TO THE IRS?

www.txstimulusfund.com

PUT IT INTO YOUR BROWSER AND SEE THE BILLIONS GO TOWARDS THE POLITICAL FUTURES OF PERRY'S CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS. HEARD THE OTHER DAY THAT HE'S WAY AHEAD OF KAY BAILEY HUTCHINSON IN RAKING IN THE DOUGH FOR 2010'S RUN:

Actual U.S. Unemployment: 15.8%
By Frank Ahrens
That U.S. unemployment has hit 13.7 million, pushing the rate to 8.9 percent, tells only half the story of this recession.
http://informationclearinghouse


Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted: May 11, 2009 9:23pm
Apr 29, 2009
EXACTLY WHY OBAMA WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT IS BECAUSE OF THE HEALTHCARE ISSUE THAT PLAGUES THIS COUNTRY. ALL THOSE REMARKS ABOUT MAKING AMERICA MORE "EUROPEAN" BY THE REPUBLICAN RIGHT. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE MORALS OF A COUNTRY THAT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ITS SICK, ITS OPPRESSED, ITS POOR, OR EVEN ITS MIDDLE CLASS? DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF VOTERS AND TAX BREAKS FOR THE RICH ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE COMMON GOOD OF THE PEOPLE. NO WONDER RUSH LIMBAUGH COULDN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES (THE PREAMBLE); HE'S NEVER TAKEN THE TIME TO READ THEM, AFTER MAKING $50 MILLION A YEAR BASHING EVERY GOOD PUBLIC SERVANT THAT COMES ALONG TO HELP HIS FELLOW MAN/WOMAN. WHAT A LONELY EXISTENCE IT MUST BE TO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR AMERICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS IS NOW HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY. IT'S ABOUT TIME, AFTER HAVING BEEN BLOCKED (AS USUAL) BY THE REPUBLICANS WHO WANT TO TELL WOMEN HOW TO REPRODUCE AND WHO COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE HEALTH OF OUR CITIZENRY!!!!!!!!!!!

THANKS TO THOSE WHO SIGNED THIS PETITION ALONG WITH ME:


http://action.seiu.org/confirmed

Immediately following the vote, Sebelius was on a plane to Washington to take her oath of office. President Obama explained the urgency of her confirmation:

"We wanted to swear her in right away because we've got a significant public health challenge that requires her immediate attention...We need all hands on deck."

Today, Secretary Sebelius is already hard at work. She's calling on Congress to increase funding for pandemic flu preparedness, vaccine production, and aid to state and local governments. With more infections occurring daily, her confirmation is not a moment too soon.

In the past few days, our efforts drove dozens of media outlets to ask tough questions about the Senate Republicans' hold on Sebelius. Because of you, reporters from CNN to the New York Times put the Senate GOP in the spotlight as they played politics with the health of our nation.

Click here to see the results of your efforts: http://action.seiu.org/confirmed

Real leadership during difficult times - that's all we ask from our elected officials. And, because of you, that's what we now have with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.


Thanks for making it happen,

Jessica Kutch

Online Campaign Manager

SEIU Healthcare

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted: Apr 29, 2009 10:42pm

 

 Next >
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Eva Cox
, 1, 2 children
Austin, TX, USA
Shares by Type:
All (264) | Blog (217) | Alert (23) | Tribute (2) | Message (22)
SHARES FROM EVA'S NETWORK
Feb
18
(0 comments  |  discussions )
COME TO:  Tucson's 32nd Annual Peace Fair and Music Festival2014 Theme: Climate JusticeThis FREE event is Arizona's largest gathering of Peace, Justice, and Environmental groups, with Live Music, Tables, Food, Entertainment, Children's Activit...
Feb
15
(0 comments  |  discussions )
New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle. Urge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast http://www.thepetitionsit e.com...
Feb
13
(0 comments  |  discussions )
New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle. Urge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast http://www.thepetitionsit e.com...
Feb
4
(0 comments  |  discussions )
YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND IN PERSON, TUNE IN ON TV, OR WATCH ONLINE: Friday,  February    7 , 2014  To watch the TV series: World Harmony: Can It Happen? (which tries to create mo...
Feb
3
(0 comments  |  discussions )
A simple one page website has gone up with a very intriguing and important message. The site, Patriots for America is organizing w hat could be the march on Washington that all of the others have been a lead up to. The anger and frus...
Feb
1
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Message to the President, and to the Congress:It's very simple. We can aim for a UNIVERSAL Standard of $15 an hour Minimum Wage for ALL - that would be {frugally} a living wage these days. One should not have to be employed, and on government assistan...
Jan
26
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Nothing that happens in Somalia could possibly be important enough for the USA to get involved in yet another pointless war. What is the Mission? Is there a Mission? or are we just there to sell weapons?For your information: Somalia is on the Coast o...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Let's invent our bright future.http://www.wired.c om/business/2013/11/bill- gates-bill-clinton-wired/ all/The goal in much of what we do is to provide seed funding for various ideas. Some will fail. We fill a function that government cannotâ€...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
This is my Message that I send every week or so, to the President, my Representative, and my two Senators. {And in this instance, to the Vice President also.} The Majority of the people of this country, approve that the President {and Vice Presiden...
(0 comments  |  0 discussions )
Written statements were provided to a U.S. District Court in Chicago, confirming the alliance between the DEA and Mexico's largest cocaine cartel.For decades, it has been rumored the United States government was secretly sponsoring the smuggling of c...