President's Terror Alert Is Necessary Wake-Up Call

Narco News Reported on Cargo-Package Security Threat Last Spring

The discovery Thursday evening of two packages rigged with explosives and destined via cargo jets for Jewish places of worship in Chicago prompted President Barack Obama to tell the nation today that U.S. authorities were addressing a “credible terrorist threat” against the nation.

Already, some in political opposition to the President are raising the specter of the terror plot being a ploy, an “October surprise.”

But the current threat linked to airborne packages should come as no surprise to readers of Narco News, which last May published a report about a whistleblower lawsuit that advanced serious allegations of security shortcomings involving a major air-cargo carrier.

From that story, “Real threat to U.S. national security may be along northern border”:

A document detailing that potential threat to U.S. national security surfaced in a lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Canada. That document, an internal Federal Express Canada Ltd. report dubbed the GTS Update, reveals that a significant percentage of shipments involving high-value merchandise and/or controlled goods exported using FedEx Canada as the carrier appear to be leaving Canada without the proper Customs paperwork.

… The  … lawsuit, filed by a former Federal Express Canada Ltd. customs department employee named Nazir Ghany, alleges that FedEx Canada has engaged in “unlawful activities” that violate the Canadian Customs Act.

… A letter penned by one of the company’s legal representatives and directed to Dharamjit Singh, Ghany’s solicitor, or lawyer, argues that Ghany’s pleadings lack “material facts,” are “time barred” and are otherwise not supported by Canadian law.

The deadly packages discovered Thursday night that prompted the President’s dire warning earlier today were shipped via cargo jets from Yemen and intercepted in the United Kingdom and Dubai, the White House confirmed.

In the aftermath of the discovery of the explosive packages destined for Chicago, suspicious packages also were discovered on UPS planes in Philadelphia and Newark, according to media reports.

Memphis-based Federal Express also reports that it has “embargoed” all shipments from Yemen after seizing a “suspicious package” overseas.

From a statement on the company’s Web site:

In cooperation with the FBI, local authorities have confiscated a suspicious package at the FedEx facility in Dubai. The shipment originated in Yemen and as an additional safety measure, FedEx has embargoed all shipments originating from Yemen. The Company is cooperating fully with the authorities on this matter; any additional information regarding this matter must come from the FBI.

However, based on Narco News investigation into the allegations raised in the Canadian whistleblower lawsuit, U.S. authorities might be wise to keep their eyes on more than Yemen.

Unfortunately, it seems our good neighbor to the north might also prove to be a convenient path for the delivery of unwanted cargo goods to the U.S.

Following is an extended excerpt from the prior Narco News story, for those who missed it or might need a memory refresher:

In the case of controlled goods exported from Canada and destined for the U.S., there is no requirement for a B13A [export declaration] filing under Canadian law. That’s because Canada and the U.S. have in place a memorandum of understanding that calls for each nation to exchange import data.

However, major criticisms have been raised about U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s reliance on self-regulation under programs such as “C-TPAT,” which allows qualifying private-sector companies to oversee their own shipment security. In exchange, these C-TPAT-approved companies are granted a reduction in cargo examinations as well as expedited processing when their shipments are selected for examination.

The rational for such programs is that it allows U.S. border enforcers to better allocate scarce resources toward monitoring the immense volume of goods moved by shippers who have not been prescreened through C-TPAT and similar self-regulation programs.

Over the first six months of fiscal 2009, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, goods shipped via C-TPAT and a sister program called Importer Self Assessment (ISA), accounted for about half of all U.S. import value for the period — some $454 billion worth of goods.

The Washington, D.C.-based Project on Government Oversight (POGO), in a letter sent to members of Congress late last year, pointed out some serious flaws in this self-regulation model.

From the POGO letter:

In our efforts to further this mission, we want to bring to your attention two troubling self-policing programs—the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) programs—administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Inherent in this sort of self-regulation is a reduction of federal oversight of imported goods coming into the country. POGO believes that self-regulation programs, by their very nature, are unsound because they are not objective or reliable, and that they are ripe for abuse, placing U.S. citizens in jeopardy.

… Specifically, POGO has received insider information that importers non-compliant with trade laws and regulations have been approved and are applying for the C-TPAT and ISA programs.

… It must also be noted that a number of the known C-TPAT companies have committed serious trade violations in the past, yet have been granted membership into C-TPAT and ISA, without testing to verify their problems have been corrected.…. It is easy to conclude that all of these programs are, in part, the result of limited resources to monitor the hundreds of billions of dollars of goods that enter the U.S. each year. However, the risk inherent with that strategy becomes a financial, security, and safety issue.

Although CBP does not make public the list of companies participating in C-TPAT or ISA, POGO was able to identify a number of those firms via government and company Web sites. Among the companies in the program, according to POGO, are BP America, Tektronix, Target Corp. and FedEx.

… According to former U.S. Customs supervisory special agent [Mark] Conrad, the questions raised by the Ghany [Canadian whistleblower] case are not new.

“All of us in law enforcement that dealt with technology theft from the U.S. by the old USSR were aware that high-speed, efficient organizations such as FedEx ... were problems because of their need to move things through the system faster than the government could [track it],” Conrad says. “That is still the case today.

“It is it a huge gaping hole. ... The bad guys are always thinking of ways and means to beat us.”

Stay tuned....

Comments

Wake Up Call Redux

When I heard this story today while making potato soup, I realized I needed more info than a blurb.  Thanks, Bill for the refresh.  I went to the original story, reread it and there, to my suprise, was my little comment. 

I love this place.  Send $$ now.

i don't think...

...anyone has gone to sleep since 9-11. They're still talking about it like it was yesterday...

as bogus as the ecuador coupe...

Here's a Franklin for your thoughts

Dennes, your dull insight into this complicated subject reminds me of something Ben Franklin once said:

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do."

Don't take that too hard, by the way. I don't think you are dull or a fool, but I think on this subject, it's best to be straight up about where you stand, with the facts to support the position. Otherwise, it's just a food fight.

With respect to this subject, terrorism, I think it's a lot like what journalist Erwin Knoll said about newspapers: "Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for that rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge."

The terrorism corollary:

"Everything you read about terrorism is absolutely false, except for that rare incident in which you happen to be the victim."

Regardless of your views on 9/11 -- conspiracy theory or otherwise -- there were a lot of victims, and all of them, and their families, were terrorized by it. So it's real, and it needs to be addressed; we can't deny it out of existence because it doesn't agree with our political view of the world. Who and what we blame is another matter, but I think we can all agree that none of us wants to be the next victim. That's the thing about crime -- and to me that's what terrorism is, a crime [once divorced of its political/religous motives] -- none of us wants to be the prey.

And in the case of the latest MO, the use of cargo packages, just like the use of passenger jets, or envelopes, or any other instrument of our commerce, we have to recognize the stakes involved and who suffers the consequences and who, on all sides of it, continues to profit, the wake-up call I refer to in the headline.

Bottom line, though: We can't stop a bomb in the field from detonating with our ideology. 

No, you can only do that with courage, good police work and just systems [trade, security, the courts or otherwise] that value human life [and dignity] over commodities. The rest is just talk, in my view, and a fool's errand. 

as if...

a synagogue would get some strange unsolicited package from yemen and they would open it...

they're probably smarter than that...

certainly makes for good newsprint, though...americans eat this stuff up.

Wrong

The packages were wired to explode remotely ... so the trigger could have been pulled upon delivery or before while in the air. The routing is all done by scanning and computer ... so absent a tip, they can be delivered anywhere ... one among 100s of milions of packages. You underestimate the oponent you lose the game.

they're just making it up as they go along

the guy i saw was saying, most likely it would have been triggered as it was being opened... so much for consistency...

Chew on this

Dennes,

First, the devices in the packages, disguised as copy-machine toner cartridges, were designed to be detonated remotely via cell phone. So they could easily have been set off as the delivery man was at the door or even in the air -- or elsewhere down the line. So there would be no need for the intended targets to open or even take possession of the packages for them to have their desired effect. (Besides, it is highly likely the packages would not have included real return addresses that could lead investigators directly back to the perps, given that is something even a stupid criminal would think about I suspect.)

And on another front, there might be a more insidious plot at play here. Suppose the whole point of this exercise was simply to assemble the bombs overseas and to then deliver them to operatives inside the U.S., who are ready to deploy them at various locations as yet unknown. The problem to date for these operations seems to have come on the front end, in either getting caught gathering the materials for a bomb, or in building faulty bombs stateside. So maybe this is an attempt to address that shortcoming?

Also, it is typical in a delivery of illegal drugs via mail or FedX to send them to a front address first, so that if they are apprehended, the only thing lost is the drugs, not the locations of the key distribution centers and players in the organization -- and sure, there might even be a fall person or two offered up in an effort to lead investigators off the real trail. So I wouldn't get all hung up on the addresses, or return addresses, in this case.

And because I am not so arrogant as you, I also suspect the scenario I just contemplated [overseas assembly] is something US authorities have already thought about and are taking action to address —  which might include keeping some information quiet, or even putting out some misinformation about addresses, etc., to advance the underlying, ongoing investigation. 

Anyway, that's just my opinion as one of those stereotypical Americans who "eats this stuff up." 

the jig on this is so up it's not funny

From what I read/heard the Gov was introducing a bunch of new security measures at airports, so they needed to legitimize the deal... also the constant need to legitimize two illegal invasions and occupations must be overwhelming... c'mon man... so if they can stop this, then they can stop the drugs? no... that's too hard...

the next president...

while campaigning is going to say... ''ok? we're no longer interested in afghanistan, now we're going into yemen... obama's afghanistan war is just a distraction--i'm taking it to the real enemy... vote for me''

Dog logic

I just flew; no new measures other than workers in costume and candy at the check-in desk for Halloween, though I suspect the "orange" alert level means they're checking baggage a bit closer. 

And it sounds like you're the one hawking for another war. The fact that a group of criminals seeks to blow people up, hoping to provoke a reaction, doesn't mean the people reacting are responsible for the first act as you seem to be saying. Your logic is faulty on that front, even if the action and reaction are both wrong.

If your dog soils the neighbor's carpet, and your neighbor gets angry with you and spray paints your front lawn orange, would you assume your dog and your neighbor were acting in a conspiracy directed at you? You don't prove your initial argument, which is that this whole incident is part of some grand conspiracy, with that kind of reasoning.

But somehow, I don't think that will stop you from continuing to spin out arguments made of straw . .....

somehow...

the CIA are supposed to be devils when it comes to drugs, involved in drug running themselves... somehow that's supposed to be all plausible, but suddenly when it comes to terror, they turn into saints? that's not coherent to me. if they're devils when it comes to the war on drugs, most likely they'll repeat the behavior when it comes to the war on terror... that's consistent and logical...

Facts vs. Fictions

Dennes,

You've extrapolated the discussion far beyond any semblance of it's original premise. 

You seem to want to put the world into a neat box to which only you hold the key, and it just ain't like that as I see it. 

I am of the Gary Webb philosophy of journalism. And here's how he put it, based on an interview I did some time ago with another journalist I respect, Chuck Bowden:

Bowden recalled that he first met Gary in a hotel bar in April 1998 while doing the research for the Esquire story. He had already fact checked Gary's Mercury News series and it was all panning out. So he flew out to Sacramento to interview Gary for Esquire.

"He (Gary) was drinking Maker's Mark whiskey," Bowden recalled, "and I remember he slapped his hand down on the table and said, 'I don't believe in conspiracy theories. I believe in conspiracies.'

"I thought, 'I like this guy.' He believed in facts, not theories. In other words, this is."

Bowden himself puts it this way: "You have to beat the theory with the facts."

Until you can get your head around that, and stop conflating grand conspiracy theories -- as though they are all interchangeable and not individually subject to a test of evidence -- all to make arcane points that require the sacrifice of measured reason and the surrender of control to fictional omnipotent agencies that have seemingly omniscient powers and ubiquitous reach [despite all the evidence over the years of their multiple layers of dysfunction], all this discussion will lead to is hot air that has no basis in "this is."

I'll let the readers make their choices on this matter [assuming any of them even managed to stick with this arduous thread this long]. Your view, or my view, are of little consequence on their own any way.

I'd say we can agree to disagree, but we aren't even having the same conversation as I see it.

i guess i'm not skilled like that...

i guess i'll settle with being on the side of the conspiracy theorists on this one, and letting you be on the side of the corporate media. not like they've ever been discredited... (wink wink)

any fact i bring up you're going to claim it's not a fact, like say for example if i say: ''bin laden is a CIA agent''... you'll just say ''no he's not'' and so on... what's the point of that...

or that the new guy al-awlaki was at a luncheon at the pentagon, AFTER 9/11, even though he was already thought to have 9-11 connections.

or that initial reports said 'no explosives found' and gave the 'all-clears'

or that whether it came from Yemen or not, what's the net effect but to demonize Yemen, and a Yemeni guy said just yesterday that ''the US is planning to occupy Yemen'', it was at margotbworldnews.com....

or that the day before the event on 10/28, there was a report on roguegovernment.com that new airport security measures were going to be implemented... and also a british airlines guy was complaining about the security measures? so that like shut him up....

or that one of the 9-11 planes that supposedly crashed into the WTC... (i just learned this recently)... that plane?  get this.... wait for it....   bush thought he gave the order to shoot it down....

Stay tuned

It's not really a matter of being "skilled." It's just a matter of sticking to the story at hand and refraining from conflating it into a larger conspiracy absent a trail of hard evidence -- which has to be composed of more than grand speculation generated from factoids. 

The story above points out that Narco News last spring reported on some serious security flaws in free-trade policies enabled by self-regulation of private-sector cargo shipments. Why would some grand conspiracy of capitalists and dastardly CIA agents work against the interest of free-trade policies by exposing those flaws via a phony cargo-explosive plot? It doesn't really make sense, does it?

The story above simply points out that Narco News wrote about this specific flaw in relation to a lawsuit pending in Canada -- which included a hard trail of evidence.

And as a consequence of the recent "Yemen incident," which involves free-trade cargo shipments [not passengers] supposedly packed with explosives, the following has taken place:

From a recent story from Torstar News Service in Canada:

... The [Canadian] senator who chaired the standing committee on national security and defence says it’s not a question of whether a terrorist could get a bomb in the cargo hold of a plane at Pearson — it’s when.

In an interview, Liberal Senator Colin Kenny says there is a “huge” problem with the handling of outgoing cargo at Pearson International Airport, despite a $26-million training program paid for by Transport Canada.

That money went to train couriers at major airports across Canada to inspect their own company’s packages, which Kenny likens to “passengers screening their own luggage. The assumption is that they will do it right, that they are honest, and that they aren’t working for terrorists or are terrorists themselves,” he said. 

The New York Times reported today that Obama administration is "demanding new inspections on 'high risk' shipments headed to the United States on all-cargo flights." 

More from the Times story:

... Security officials remain concerned that larger toner and ink cartridges present a hazard, because explosives could be hidden inside. The ban, which also was adopted on Monday in Canada, applies only to cartridges that weigh at least one pound — typically cartridges for office printers and copy machines. The ban affects checked baggage and carry-on luggage, and will be in place on certain all-cargo flights.

... Homeland Security officials made clear that more changes were imminent, including most likely a demand that airlines and cargo companies provide detailed advance cargo manifests before cargo planes take off for the United States

... The officials said they would push airlines and cargo companies globally to improve their screening equipment, investing in devices now used primarily for passenger planes, so they have a better chance of finding any hidden cargo bombs.

Now, the government and private sector have known about this flaw in the free-trade cargo business for years, ever since NAFTA and other free-trade pacts opened wide the barn doors to essentially unfettered cross-border commerce. Why is it now only being addressed? Could it be the recent cargo-explosive threat was all too real, exposing a serious security weakness in the self-regulated free-trade model that can no longer be kept under wrap? Narco News has already written about how a similar weakness is being exploited allegedly by narco-trafficking organizations. 

From that story, Juarez Narco-Violence Marked by Maquiladora Exception:

Given the billions of dollars at stake in the game of moving drugs across the U.S. border, it should not be a surprise to anyone in a position of power that the maquila industrial zones in Juarez have become essentially a “Green Zone” within that city’s long-running narco-turf war?

Even in the highly unlikely scenario of there being absolutely no corruption within the maquila business community in Juarez — no payment of protection money or harboring of illegal drug-trafficking fronts — the U.S. and other foreign corporations who profit from the cheap labor of the maquilas, the Mexican government that earns tax revenue off of those factories, and the drug-trafficking organizations that cloak the movement of their prohibited products within the legal flow of maquila-produced goods appear to have a mutually aligned business interest in keeping that stream of commerce safe from harm.

Do you honestly think the CIA is behind some plot to slow down or disrupt the advance of neo-liberal free-trade policies? Isn't that what many critics of the agency allege is supposedly one of the CIA's missions, to advance a U.S.-centric economic hegemony that benefits multi-national corporations?

Look, I try to report the news, and when it's done right, it's done way ahead of the curve, as I think can be argued happened in this case — and many others over the years. And that isn't done by magic, or telepathy, or by being a couch-potato conspiracy theorist. It can only happen if a journalist has spent years digging into a beat, developing deep sourcing and scratching open a lot of scabs — and dealing with the reactions, not all pleasant, that come with it.

If you were reading Narco News last spring (and actually going back to early 2004, beginning with the publication of the online book Borderline Security), you would not be in the dark about these issues and the hypocrisy and dysfunction that mark this nation's drug-war, security and free-trade agendas, and consequently you would not be trying to conflate them, as you have, into wrong-minded, spurious conspiracy theories that actually make advancing reforms even more difficult.

As I said, like Gary Webb did, I strive to report what "is," not what you or anyone else thinks I must report because it "should be" based on some preconceived ideology.

If that's not the kind of journalism that appeals to you, and you prefer to keep your view of the world safe from the facts, then you are free to change the channel.

For all those who can appreciate where I'm coming from, know that I appreciate you, and please stay tuned .... 

 

no disrespect to you...

dear Bill: look, I wasn't trying to pick a fight or question your entire repertoire of stories... but several sites reported on the inconsistencies in this particular story...  I'm not trying to say i have all the answers, but I just have a sense of the general corruption and scheming that goes on behind the scenes, starting with the bogus War on Drugs, and continuing on with the bogus War on Terror, and everything else. If you can't see how it's all one giant scheme to get us to occupy Islamic countries, and steal their resources, then  you don't see it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink it... similar to the war on drugs, and how that allows us to go into Colombia, Mexico or anywhere else we see fit. The parallels are obvious. Moreover this new Al Qaida leader, al-Awlaki, was reported to have been killed in 2009, by Al Jazeera and Fox News amongst others... Suddenly he resurfaces as the new plotter of every alleged terror plot. Something smells here... I wasn't expecting Narco News to be on the same page as the corrupted mainstream media... I thought we were a team fighting the corrupt CIA, but I see you switching sides... there is no cohesiveness of purpose...  The government picks things they know they can't defeat so they can fight their damn wars forever...  Neither drugs nor terror can ever be totally defeated, because then they would cease to have an excuse for meddling in everyone else's affairs...

Don’t spook yourself

Dennes,

For someone not looking to “pick a fight,” you sure like to throw a lot of below-the-belt cheap shots:

Bill: look, I wasn't trying to pick a fight or question your entire repertoire of stories... but several sites reported on the inconsistencies in this particular story...

… I wasn't expecting Narco News to be on the same page as the corrupted mainstream media... I thought we were a team fighting the corrupt CIA, but I see you switching sides...

Look, I don’t speak for Narco News, just myself, and on that note, I would not want you on my side in any battle that mattered. If you were in my foxhole, I’d fully expect to get stabbed in the back, if it offered you enough cover to run for the hills.

As an example of how untrustworthy I find you and your disinformation efforts, I’d point to your claim that “several sites reported on the inconsistencies in this particular story,” leaving a casual reader to infer that that you are referring to my “particular story.” What “sites” questioned my story? You bring up Fox News and Al Jazeera reports about Awlaki, who is not even mentioned in my story. Are you talking about your global conspiracy theory again? 

I also find off-putting your disoriented point of view that argues if I don’t agree with your New-World-Order-Illuminati-Mason-inspired conspiracy theories [that require belief in a demi-god-like government agency controlling the world], then I must be on the side of the “CIA" and “corrupted mainstream media.”

On the latter, the last time I checked, my work for Narco News is volunteer; I don’t draw a check, nor do I intend to. So how exactly is my work for Narco News “corrupted?” Is it simply because I refuse to be controlled and bullied by you?

Also, I hate to break it to you, but the CIA -- like the FBI and DEA, DIA, NSA, ICE and all the other three-letter agencies -- is just another government bureaucracy that is, in the main, far too concerned with protecting its own turf and the careerist objectives of its leadership to be effective in any quest for world domination. Much of what you attribute to god-like planning and design by such an agency [someone is dead, then undead] is really the result of CYA dysfunction and one hand not knowing what the other is doing.

Within that soup there are certainly what might be deemed evil people [I prefer to think of them as criminals] making dastardly, typically flawed, plans for their own benefit, but there also are a number of good people trying to do the right thing within the frame in which they are allowed to operate. And then there is an even larger group just going along to get along.

But I know that diversity and dysfunction in human nature works against your grand conspiracy theory of a world controlled by the CIA, and that’s a hard reality for you to accept, because it means you can’t blame all the world’s problems on clandestine ghouls, goblins and spooks. Sometimes, you have to look in the mirror, too.

Like Bob Dylan said: … Even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.

i was talking about the ink toner cartridges

this was an obvious plot by whoever (did not mention masons or the illuminati, that i recall) to increase security measures at airports... roguegovernment.com has been posting story after story on this... but people won't go for it, unless they are afraid of the evil muslims coming to conquer us... i realize these same folks exposing Obama probably would have been all gung-ho about the security measures, had Bush been the one implementing them. I understand there are ulterior motives to discredit Obama, don't get me wrong. But whatever their motive is, it did sound like a bogus story from the git-go... Obviously I wish they had acted like this when Bush was in power, also. I mean, I can't control that. I only know bogus when I see it... I just find it funny that they can stop every tiny bomb hiding in ink toner cartridges, but they can't stop tons and tons of drugs in HUGE packages.... can you see how that is not consistent? As far as Awlaki goes, maybe you didn't mention him per se, but he's purported to be behind this and all the other recent terror plots, like the underwear bomber, and Major Hassan shooting up an army base... I mean, if he's dead, there's not a lot he can say about the whole situation, know what I'm saying?

to expand

examples of rigged disasters or false-flags:

virus scare originating in mexico -- the tamiflu folk benefit

gulf of mexico oil spill -- the dispersants folk benefit

ink toner cartridges from yemen -- the security folk benefit

-----

always some sort of stock swap goes on just days prior or what not...

ever wonder if computer viruses aren't released by antivirus folk?

terrorism

As a 9/11 sceptic I resent the use of the phrase conspiracy theory in connection with 9/11. It would be more accurate if applied to the official 9/11 story.

I am amused by the comment that these parcels could have been blown up in the air by a mobile phone, this reveals ignorance of one of the basic issues that came up in the 9/11 issue.

For those who are outside this loop: you cannot make or receive mobile phone calls from a plane except when it is near the ground and then it is very unlikey to work. And yes there were phone calls from the 9/11 planes but they were airphone calls. The problem: the calls were cut off abruptly, in many cases at about the point when recipients might have started to wonder if the calls were genuine, hence the media assumption that the calls were on mobiles. Who could have been making fake calls? Well we now know the Pentagon had an anti-hijack exercise running at the same time the "real" hijacks were taking place.

It would be a pity if the excellent narconews, so aware of the gross corruption that has poisoned the American system from top to bottom, should buy into the official 9/11 story. What happened? Well that's off topic and I don't know. I just told you I'm not a conspiracy theorist. But we know who gained: Bush, the heroin traffickers out of Afghanistan, the CIA, the Pentagon.

By the way, are you aware of the spectacular testimony of Craig Murray, UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, now resigned: he saw the heroin convoys waved across the border with their brand new 4x4s.

A warning to the publishers; I have been in alternative publishing for many years. The worst problem is contributors who are looking to further their hoped for careers in the corporate media: they will give you copy aimed not at your readers but at their hoped for future employers. The misuse of the phrase conspiracy theorist to mean dissident is a worrying sign IMO

 

Ian Henshall, author 911: The New Evidence

@Ian Henshall

Sir,

As the publisher of one of the few online publications of authentic journalism to survive the last ten-plus years, if you're going to be bandying about "a warning to the publishers," well, that's me.

First of all, I don't see you personally mentioned or critiqued in this story. When you take your self-described "resentment" over how others are characterized (and I just read the story for the second time and still haven't found the supposedly offending words) and apply words not about you to yourself, that's clearly not our problem, but yours.

Secondly, if were you're such an "expert" in all things 9/11 that your comment claims to be, you would know that it was this publication that first published Stan Goff's critique of the official version of that story way back on October 10, 2001, when nobody else would publish anything critical or even that raised questions. There have been, and still are, worthy critics of the official 9/11 story but there has also emerged a kind of cottage industry of people who could also be defined as "conspiracy theorists." And the only thing that distinguishes their theories is that they are so often directly contrary to the theory of another guy working the same beat!

These folks are much like those who throughout my life have gone around with a shopping bag of press clippings to prove that JFK wasn't killed by a lone gunman in 1963. The only difference now, is that their successors do it with Internet files and documents. They seem to think that "if only everybody would understand what happened the way I do" then somehow there will be a revolution or some big change. But you know what? According to polls in every decade since, most Americans, too, don't believe that JFK was shot by a lone gunman, and that opinion has changed nothing in terms of how the US is governed! The level of importance some put on the 9/11 story so often has similar illusions of grandeur. And, again, the sloppy conduct of so many in that genre doesn't help anyone, like Goff, or Mike Ruppert, or others who have done solid investigation contrary to official stories gain reach or credibility. If anything, the bottom feeders of the genre have been a weight that pulls downward on good works, too.

Speaking for myself, I just do not believe that anything that happened a decade ago is "the most important story" of 2010. The most important story for me is always the one that is happening right now, because that's the one that reporting does have a chance to help along to bring authentic change. Let the historians debate all they want. Until they come up with something new and relevant to the present, they're history, not news.

Finally, casting aspersions on a journalistic giant like Bill Conroy, whose honesty, independence, strength, metal and rejection of the careerist path as somehow writing as an audition for corporate media only shines badly on you for having suggested it. He's gone through hotter fire than you'll probably ever face. I would trust him with my life, and, in fact, have and lived to tell it. And, by the way, I also think it's kinda creepy that in your comment, while accusing him and our writers of self promotion, in the end your comment was just a cheap publicity stunt to publish your own book!

- Al Giordano, publisher, Narco News.

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name) { $notebooks[] = l($row->name, 'blog/' . $row->uid); } } print theme('item_list', $notebooks); ?>

About Bill Conroy