The History Commons Needs Your Support

Historycommons.org (fka cooperativeresearch.org) is a unique and useful web-based tool for documenting facts that are suppressed or spun in Establishment narratives, for researching complex events and sometimes murky relationships between entities and events, and for educating the public (thus increasing transparency and facilitating accountability). The principal feature is the ‘timeline’, which is composed of written entries based on events and facts from mainstream or otherwise credible sources. These facts and events may or may not be well-known; often important details, which may have been buried in a document release, court filing, congressional testimony, the end notes of a government publication, or in a mainstream news report, can be discovered by skimming or searching a timeline. Also, the significance of certain facts, events and relationships generally becomes clearer in the contexts provided by the entry and through association with other entries; the timelines also reveal the bigger picture. Members of the public are welcome to contribute information or edits to historycommons.org, but, unlike Wikipedia, each new entry or edit undergoes at least two levels of editorial review, to help ensure accuracy and stylistic consistency.

The History Commons has received praise from a number of respected independent journalists, such as Glenn Greenwald, Craig Unger, Philip Shenon, James Ridgeway and Peter Lance.

If you’re unfamiliar with historycommons.org, or are mainly familiar with the Complete 9/11 Timeline that it has primarily become known for, please explore the site. In the last several years, the 9/11 coverage has been improved and expanded, and the site has grown to include more than 30 timelines covering a diverse range of topics, including health care, climate change, elections, foreign interventions and civil liberties: http://www.historycommons.org/timelines.jsp. Many more have been proposed: http://www.iraqtimeline.com/hctopics/index.html.

This website, first as cooperativeresearch.org, and then as historycommons.org, has existed continuously since 2002, but it is now in dire need of financial assistance; if funding does not significantly increase, the site may go offline by the end of this summer. The History Commons does not accept advertising and has never received funding from government, corporations or foundations. It has relied on the support of the grassroots, and needs to in order to remain independent. More information, including links for donating, is available here: https://hcgroups.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/fundraising-alert-2/

If you can’t offer financial support but do believe in the work the History Commons is doing, you can still help by letting others know about historycommons.org. And if you’d like to contribute research, writing or editing on any timeline topic, that would be welcomed. Also, any feedback or ideas you have would also be appreciated.

Erik
Volunteer History Commons admin, editor, contributor

DOJ Confirms Previously-Denied File Said to Implicate US Officials in Nuclear Espionage by Erik Larson

In a March 12, 2012 FOIA appeal response, the US Dept. of Justice (DOJ) implicitly acknowledged the existence of FBI File 203A-WF-210023, which FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has said contains evidence of top US officials’ complicity in the trafficking of nuclear secrets, arms and drugs, in addition to bribery, blackmail, money-laundering and obstruction of investigation into 9/11. In 2008, the Sunday Times of London reported that the FBI, in response to a different FOIA request, denied the existence of the file.

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Flaws in the Citizens’ 9/11 Commission Campaign by Erik Larson

A new investigation of 9/11 is needed, as all investigations so far have been superficial or corrupted, and have failed to meaningfully address significant issues. However, the Commission proposed by the Citizens 9/11 Commission Campaign will be unable to meaningfully address these issues, and there are significant problems with the Campaign itself; this essay will address three. First, state authority will be of little value in a 9/11 investigation due to the ‘sovereign immunity’ of the US federal government. Second, the Campaign and proposed Commission are not structured in a way that makes them accountable to the public; mechanisms are not built in to ensure the public has adequate oversight of the course of investigation, the use of funds and those entrusted with responsibility for these things — short of passing another ballot initiative, or petitioning their state legislature to act. Finally, the Campaign has made inaccurate and misleading representations: The proposed Campaign promotes itself as a way to circumvent the federal government’s failure to adequately investigate 9/11, but state-level authority does not meaningfully provide a way to do this. And, despite rhetoric to the contrary, the Campaign and the Commission do not truly represent direct democracy, as the Campaign Steering Committee and Board of Directors are self-selected and the commissioners would by chosen by them, not by the people. The first two points will be addressed in separate sections below, and the third point will be addressed in both sections.

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Deconstructing the 9/11 Dot Disconnection: a book review by Erik Larson

Disconnecting the Dots: How CIA and FBI officials enabled 9/11 and evaded government investigations, by Kevin Fenton. Waltersville, OR: Trine Day, 2011. 416 pages.

“Enabling 9/11 was a job done at the office, with memos” (15).

It is a non-controversial fact that the NSA, CIA and FBI missed a number of opportunities to disrupt the 9/11 plot. Many, but not all, of these failures were documented by the four main investigations that dealt with pre-9/11 intelligence failures: those by the Congressional Joint Inquiry, the 9/11 Commission, the Department of Justice Inspector General and the CIA Inspector General. The best-known investigation, the 9/11 Commission, ultimately concluded that 9/11 was preceded by “four kinds of failures: in imagination, policy, capabilities, and management” (339). This is the narrative largely held to by mainstream politicians and media, but these explanations do not credibly account for what happened at the NSA, CIA and FBI in the years, months and weeks leading up to 9/11. This has been demonstrated by a number of researchers, but Kevin Fenton’s* book, Disconnecting the Dots, has the most comprehensive documentation and in-depth analysis to date. Primarily using the official reports, the available source records and some reporting by mainstream media and journalists, Fenton documents how specific CIA and FBI officials engaged in deliberate efforts to protect the 9/11 plot from discovery and disruption by FBI investigators, and that the most probable explanation is that this was done in order to enable the 9/11 attacks.

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FOIA Responses: FBI File 203A-WF-210023 and Tom Lantos

The FBI confirmed it has 3429 pages potentially responsive to my FOIA request for records and references re: FBI File 203A-WF-210023, including Tom Lantos. Then in a subsequent letter it said, “the FBI neither confirms nor denies the existence of records which would indicate whether an individual or organization is or has ever been of investigatory interest.”

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Critique of David Ray Griffin’s 9/11 Fake Calls Theory by Erik Larson

Beginning with his book New Pearl Harbor (2004) David Ray Griffin raised questions concerning the veracity of reports of phone calls from the 9/11 hijacked airliners, specifically, Ted Olson’s account. Since at least 2006, he has promoted a theory that the 9/11 plane passenger phone calls were faked, and has speculated this was done with ‘voice-morphing’ technology. He’s done this in many different articles, in books, in speaking appearances, in interviews on radio and television, and in a debate with Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine. In his 1/12/10 essay, Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners: Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview, David Ray Griffin gives the most comprehensive overview of this theory to date, as well as a response to critics, which include people who support a new 9/11 investigation. A Professor Emeritus and skilled rhetorician, Griffin makes a case that is seemingly compelling. However, as I show in this essay, there is no actual evidence the phone calls were faked, while there is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating the calls were not only possible, but did happen. There are many credible reasons to doubt the official 9/11 story and support a full investigation, but the cause of compelling a new 9/11 investigation is undermined by the promotion of theories that are flawed, and not based on hard evidence. In addition, the claim that the phone calls were faked is obviously offensive to those family members who spoke with passengers before they died, and it has the potential to drive a wedge between truth and justice activists and potential allies among the family members, many of whom support a full investigation.

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Summary of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ August 8, 2009 deposition under oath

August 8, 2009: Sibel Edmonds Testifies Under Oath

FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds testifies under oath in a deposition for theSchmidt v. Krikorian case. David Krikorian, a 2010 Democratic candidate for US Representative of Ohio, had been sued by Jean Schmidt (R-OH) in response to his claim that she had accepted “blood money” from the Turkish lobby in exchange for opposing an Armenian genocide resolution. As part of his defense against Schmidt’s charge that he had libeled her, Krikorian subpoenaed Edmonds’s testimony, as she had previously spoken and written about corruption of members of Congress by the Turkish Lobby. In two unrelated lawsuits prior to this one, Edmonds had been blocked from testifying by former Attorney General John Ashcroft, under the State Secrets Act. In Schmidt v. Krikorian, however, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder does not reinvoke the claim of “state secrets” or otherwise move to block the testimony, and does not dispatch legal counsel to raise objections during the deposition. At the deposition, Krikorian is represented by Dan Marino of Mark Geragos’ law firm, Schmidt is represented by Bruce Fein, and Edmonds has retained Stephen M. Kohn of the National Whistleblower Center. Kohn says he has “asked [Sibel Edmonds] to limit her responses only to the information that she believes to be publicly available or she has learned from sources outside of her employment.” Marino begins his examination of Edmonds by asking basic questions about her background and work with the FBI, then works through a lengthy series of questions based on public statements Edmonds had made regarding events she witnessed. Much of this information has previously been reported, but for the first time, Edmonds is swearing to it under oath. [EDMONDS, 8/8/2009]

The following subjects were covered in attorney Dan Marino’s initial examination of Sibel Edmonds:

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9th Anniversary of September 11th Attacks Welcomes 9/11 Truth News: A Website Focused on Responsible News and Information

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‘Terrorist Threats’ Covered by CA Penal Code Sec. 422 by Erik Larson [updated 1/1/2011]

Update January 1, 2001 – October 31, 2010,  I posted the following comment on an update and appeal for funds which Bruno Bruhwiler posted at 911Blogger. As of today, Bruno has not responded, though he left a comment following mine:

Questions

War Protest Arrests: Eight Put Their Bodies on the Gears of the War Machine

Corrected, revised and updated March 27, 2010

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