Post 9/11, U.S. Swapped Freedoms for Security

December 4, 2011

by David Crary   source: AP      Dec 4, 2011

In the early months after the 9/11 terror attacks, America’s visceral reaction was to gird for a relentless, whatever-it-takes quest to punish those responsible and prevent any recurrences.

To a striking extent, those goals have been achieved. Yet over the years, Americans have also learned about trade-offs, about decisions and practices that placed national security on a higher plane than civil liberties and, in the view of some, above the rule of law.

* * * * *It’s by no means the first time in U.S. history that security concerns spawned tactics that, when brought to light, troubled Americans. But the past decade has been notable, even in historical context, for the scope and durability of boundary-pushing practices.

Abroad, there were secret prisons and renditions of terror suspects, the use of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques that critics denounced as torture, and the egregious abuse of detainees by U.S. military personnel at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere.

At home, there has been widespread warrantless wiretapping authorized by the National Security Agency and the issuance of more than 200,000 national security letters ordering an array of Americans — including business owners and librarians — to turn over confidential records.

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10 Years and 30 Million Security Cameras Later

October 5, 2011


source: Yahoo News    Oct 5, 2011 cites research reporting an increase of 30 million security cameras installed in post 9/11 America, with the cameras populating both public and private areas.

Security cameras, once reserved for airports, Fortune 500 corporations, and retail stores, are now speckled throughout all areas of life – from public parks to elementary schools and the sidewalks our kids play on., home security cameraexperts, cites data from IMS Research that 30 million security cameras have been sold in just the last decade following the footprint of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

“SpyTown is based in Long Island, so we saw front and center the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It made us all aware of how vulnerable we are, and security cameras help give us some peace of mind. They may not be able to fight terror, but they are a tool in preventing it,” reflects Howard Geschwind, Sales Director.

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Family of Kings Scout Mark Bavis Issues Statement on 9/11 Settlement

September 23, 2011

related: Lloyd’s Insurers Drop 9/11-Related Claims Lawsuit

source: LA Times   Sep 23, 2011

The family of Mark Bavis, one of two Kings scouts killed when United Flight 175 was hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, issued a statement Wednesday on its decision to accept a settlement and agree to end its lawsuit against United and the airline’s security contractor.

Bavis, 31, was traveling to Los Angeles with fellow scout Ace Bailey to attend the Kings’ training camp when the planes were hijacked during the day’s terrorist attacks.

Mike Bavis, Mark’s twin, had been adamant about pursuing the suit and it was the last remaining 9/11 wrongful death suit. His public letter explains why the family changed course.

“After ten long years, our family has had a change in position regarding the litigation on behalf of our son and brother, Mark. Mark was a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into the World Trade Center. This change is the result of a recent ruling by the Honorable Judge Alvin Hellerstein. With the stroke of his pen, Judge Hellerstein very cleverly changed this lawsuit.

“The lawsuit was about wrongful death, gross negligence and a complete lack of appreciation for the value of human life. He instead made it a case about a federal regulation. He ignored 100 years of aviation law and relied on an environmental case to apply federal preemption. He essentially gutted the case so that the truth about what led to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, would never be told at trial.”To the families of the 9/11 victims: We can honestly say that our family envisioned a day when you could hear all the evidence, evidence that would provide an important step in moving beyond the events of that day.  This process has taken a toll on us that only you could understand.”We fought this long for two reasons, because we valued Mark’s life in the time spent together, the shared experiences and the expectation of what life would continue to be. Secondly, the truth as to why this happened so easily should be important. Mark did not have to endure the tragedy that ended his life and neither did your loved ones.

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No Liberty or Security Ten Years After 9/11

September 16, 2011

But there is plenty of paranoia! – Brian @ NCT

by Robert Taylor   source: SF Examiner   Sep 16, 2011

As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, many Americans have  unfortunately had a casual disregard for infringements on our civil  liberties that have occured since that fateful day.

The most glaring examples of government abuses include the TSA, warrantless wiretaps and searches, and  the violations  of financial and personal privacy by the PATRIOT Act.

But there are also smaller and creeping threats to civil liberties that have  not surfaced, but threaten to radically change basic constitutional protections  in America. The Department of Justice recently arrested and indicted Jubair Ahmad, a  24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, for the dangerously  vague crime of “providing material support” to a designated terrorist  organization. Ahmad uploaded a YouTube video showing Abu Ghraib photos, U.S.  Iraqi war footage, and Islamic prayers. For this, he faces more than twenty  years in prison.

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9/11 Death Headed for Civil Trial

October 21, 2010

source: ESPN    Oct 21, 2010

A judge set a June trial date for the first — and possibly only — civil wrongful death trial to result from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks after years of litigation that produced settlements in every other case.

The lawsuit was filed by the family of Mark Bavis, a West Newton, Mass., scout for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team who was aboard United Flight 175 when it struck the World Trade Center. The lawsuit blames the airline and several other firms for security failures that led to the attacks.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein on Wednesday set June 13 as the date to begin the trial. The Bavis’ lawyer, Donald Migliori, said outside court in Manhattan that the family was grateful they would get to fully air their claims.

“The Bavis family feels very strongly that the information about how checkpoint security failed wholesale on Sept. 11 needs to be brought out into the public light,” Migliori said.

He said the family, which includes the victim’s twin brother, his mother and other siblings, has the support of many other families who had brought 95 lawsuits on behalf of 96 victims. All other lawsuits were settled.

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“In Light of the Events of 9/11..”: Golden Gate Bridge Remaining Closed to Pedestrian Walk on 75th Anniversary

July 24, 2010

More reasons to prove that 9/11 is the biggest lie that affects our lies every day: From war and economic bottom-less pits to the loss of  our civil liberties, and to the loss of celebratory events like this one reported here. People are getting kicked off planes, strip searched, and delayed at airports all the time - we aren’t even allowed to bring liquids through security gates. Will any of this have an impact on air-security the next time NORAD or NEADS stands down for an hour and a half (like 9/11) ?  When will the rest of America realize how bad it really is?

source: Press Democrat   July 24, 2010

Those hoping to walk the Golden Gate Bridge when the span celebrates its 75th birthday in 2012 won’t get that chance.

Bridge officials have nixed the walk out of concerns for security and crowd control and will instead focus on an undetermined event in the area, possibly at Crissy Field in San Francisco with the assistance of the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy.

When the bridge turned 50 in 1987, an estimated 300,000 people poured onto the bridge when the famed roadway was shut down. The weight of humanity caused the span to lose its arch and become level.

“We looked at a walk along the lines of what occurred in 1987, but in light of the events of 9/11 and in light of all the construction projects going on, it was decided by the 75th anniversary advisory committee that we would not have a bridge walk,” said Mary Currie, bridge district spokeswoman.

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Washington Post Investigates Post 9/11 Secrecy/Security Apparatus in America; Still won’t Touch 9/11, Building 7

July 19, 2010

“The Post remains firmly committed to this kind of accountability journalism.” - Hmmm, really? To the Post: Please find accountability for the collapse of building 7, because NIST sure can’t. Actually, NIST should be held accountable for their lack of a proper investigation into the collapse of WTC #1, #2, and #7.

source: Washington Post   July 19, 2010

The Washington Post today published the first story in a new series exploring the Top Secret world created in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The series titled “Top Secret America” (, describes and analyzes a defense and intelligence structure that has become so large, so unwieldy, and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, or whether it is making the United States safer.

Among the highlights:

-Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on Top Secret programs related to counter-terrorism, homeland security, and intelligence at over 10,000 locations across the country. Over 850,000 Americans have Top Secret clearances.

-Redundancy and overlap are major problems and a symptom of the ongoing lack of coordination between agencies.

-In the Washington area alone, 33 building complexes for Top Secret work are under construction or have been built since September 2001.

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N.Y. Officials Seek U.S. Help to Reopen Street Shut Since 9/11

June 18, 2010

Well what do you know, flasely  hyped terror threats aren’t good for our economy. This other popular street was shut down after the highly dubious Oklahoma City Bombing.

source: Business Week    June 18, 2010

A street between New York police headquarters and the Ma nhattan federal courthouse closed since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks should be reopened to save businesses there, local politicians wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler and four fellow Democrats, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, wrote to Napolitano today urging the department to work with local law enforcement to help determine how the street, Park Row, can be opened.

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Why Did We Lose Our Rights if the Government Isn’t Even Keeping Us Safe?

January 2, 2010

source: Washingtons Blog     Jan 2, 2010

Forget that the government’s spying on Americans began before 9/11 (confirmed here and here).

Forget that the draconian Patriot Act was written before 9/11.

Forget that the Bush administration used its heightened powers granted under the state of emergency declared in 2001 (and continuing to the present day) to harass those who disagreed with its policies. See this, this and this.

Errington Thompson says:

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Ron Paul Suggests ‘Agenda’ to Expand Terror War, Attack American Liberty

December 31, 2009

source: Raw Story

How does a massive, costly security apparatus fail to stop a known terrorism threat from boarding an airplane and wrecking devastation?

It happened on Sept. 11, 2001, and again on Dec. 25, 2009.

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The War Against Muslim Extremists is Wholly Unnecessary for Our National Security

November 30, 2009

Source: Washington’s Blog

In response to my essays documenting that war is harmful to the American economy and produces a huge carbon footprint, some commentators have argued that the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are necessary to combat Muslim extremists.

Even putting aside the fact that Saddam was an atheist who hated Muslims, the argument holds no credibility.

A leading advisor to the U.S. military, the Rand Corporation, released a study in 2008 called “How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida“.

The report confirms what experts have been saying for years: the war on terror is actually weakening national security (see this, this and this).

As a press release about the study states:

“Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism.”

And key war on terror architect Douglas Feith has now confirmed Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Wesley Clark in admitting that the so-called War on Terror is a hoax.

In fact, starting right after 9/11 — at the latest — the goal has always been to create “regime change” and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon so as to protect Israel. And the goal was never really to destroy Al Qaeda.

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NY Times: “The Cover-Up Continues”

October 27, 2009

Source: New York Times

No, no mention of 9/11. Just a reminder that for the mainstream press you can talk about Bush’s “abuses of power,” but you can’t cross the imaginary line that protects the 9/11 Commission. -9/11blogger

The Obama administration has clung for so long to the Bush administration’s expansive claims of national security and executive power that it is in danger of turning President George W. Bush’s cover-up of abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism into President Barack Obama’s cover-up.

We have had recent reminders of this dismaying retreat from Mr. Obama’s passionate campaign promises to make a break with Mr. Bush’s abuses of power, a shift that denies justice to the victims of wayward government policies and shields officials from accountability.

In Britain earlier this month, a two-judge High Court panel rejected arguments made first by the Bush team and now by the Obama team and decided to make public seven redacted paragraphs in American intelligence documents relating to torture allegations by a former prisoner at Guantánamo Bay. The prisoner, Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born British national, says he was tortured in Pakistan, Morocco and at a C.I.A.-run prison outside Kabul before being transferred to Guantánamo. He was freed in February. Read the rest of this entry »

DHS Video Portrays Average Americans As Terrorists

October 8, 2009

   (Video Below)

source: Infowars

A new video produced in association with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI and narrated by former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway urges people to report suspicious activity that could constitute terrorism, behavior that includes buying gold, owning guns, using a watch or binoculars, donating to charity, and all manner of mundane things.

The eight minute video was produced by the Colorado-based Center for Empowered Living and Learning (CELL) in conjunction with the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference to promote CELL’s $7 million dollar exhibit entitled “Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: Understanding the Threat of Terrorism,” which is currently on display at the Mizel Museum in Denver, Colorado.

The production was funded by a $30,400 grant from the Department of Homeland Security and made in association with the Colorado Information Analysis Center.

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And now…Body Signal Scanners. Signs of a High-Tech Police State, not Sci-Fi Living

October 7, 2009

Of course, in a post 9/11 world your personal medical information that was obtained without your permission is used to screen you for things you have not done. It will be done in the name of security that we shall give up our freedoms. And in order to acheive peace, we will wage war…. I swear, ever since 2001 we have gotten closer and closer to 1984.-ed

source: CNN

BOSTON, Massachusetts  — The days of being able to walk through airport security checkpoints while wearing shoes and a jacket could return if an experimental program proves successful, some Department of Homeland Security officials say.

The Homeland Security-funded project is Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST. Instead of focusing on whether you have hidden explosives or whether you’re carrying a weapon, sensors and cameras located at security checkpoints would measure the natural signals coming from your body — your heart rate, breathing, eye movement, body temperature and fidgeting.

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