Sunday, October 25, 2015

Trumping Bush: Why The Donald is Right to Attack the 9/11 Myths

By Sander Hicks

Donald Trump made headlines for sticking a finger into the most protected, tender scar on the U.S. body politic: Bush’s 9/11 Official Story. 9/11 is a taboo topic of heavily guarded myths defended with a zealot-like religiosity by the government and corporate media.

But the truth about 9/11 is a can of worms, there’s a lot more Trump could bother the Bushes about. It’s high time for someone to bring this up. For the Bush Family, the entire 9/11 subject, like Trump himself, is a political minefield.

Trump has no fear. He’s instinctual and speaks from the gut without a script. He’s terrible on immigration, of course, but it’s interesting that he senses a serious weakness here in Jeb Bush. Perhaps Bush’s severe slide in the polls is due to his stubborn refusal to question anything his brother did.

At the recent GOP debate, when Trump pointed out that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch, Jeb resorted to a defensive sound-bite , claiming that since the 9/11 attacks, “My brother kept us safe.”

Jeb, the facts prove you wrong.
The Anthrax attacks began five days after 9/11, sending the U.S. public into two months of frenzied seizures of duct-tape buying, in our anxiety about biochemical attacks. Five U.S. citizens died, on U.S. soil. They never stood a chance. The anthrax unleashed on us in 2001 was an advanced, micro-fine, silicon-coated variety. Scientists have concluded it came from one of two quasi-government U.S. military/contractor institutions: Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, or Ohio’s Battelle Memorial Institute.

Nevertheless, under the cloud of color-coded terror-alerts, in Fall 2001, the Bush White House pressured the FBI to falsely blame “Al-Qaeda” for the anthrax attacks. Is that called “keeping us safe?”

Today, we know that the Bush White House and their FBI deliberately bungled their anthrax investigation. In what may be one of the most under-reported stories of the decade, Richard Lambert, the FBI’s own director of the “Amerithrax” investigation, is now suing the FBI. Lambert sacrificed his own career and suffered harsh reprisals for going whistle-blower.  But his lawsuit makes the case: FBI top brass put young, fresh-out-of-the-academy agents on the Anthrax investigation and hobbled their work. After a seven-year fiasco, the investigation needed to blame someone, before Bush left office.  Lambert claims that its likely that Bruce Ivins was falsely accused, when he was blamed for masterminding the attacks. Ivins did not have the capacity to manufacture micro-fine, silicon-coated anthrax. On the verge of arrest, Ivins committed “suicide” from an overdose of Tylenol, despite being under heavy FBI surveillance in his Maryland home .

From the conservative pulpit of the pages of the National Review, Jeb claimed, “[Trump] has blamed my brother for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation….That Trump echoes the attacks of Michael Moore and the fringe left against my brother is yet another example of his dangerous views on national-security issues.”

Dangerous? To whom? Certainly not  the American people. We sent our sons and daughters off to die in two quagmires in the Middle East in the name of 9/11 revenge and Bush’s lies about weapons of mass destruction. We further sacrificed constitutional freedoms at home, such as the NSA wiretapping of all our phone calls and emails.

After 9/11, George Bush demanded that 28 pages be blacked out from the Congressional “Joint Inquiry” into 9/11. The redacted 28 pages are widely understood to contain details about the funding of the 9/11 terrorists by Saudi Arabia and malfeasance by certain US agencies. It’s no surprise that George Jr. would risk his own political integrity for the Saudis.  After all, he and his father had worked closely with them in two infamous scandals from the past:  Iran/Contra and BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International).

Remember, President Bush resisted the formation of an 9/11 official investigation.  When the 9/11 Commission finally came into being, Bush refused to publicly testify, demanding a closed-door hearing in the company of Dick Cheney, with no recordings allowed. 

Thus, the doubts have grown.  They have become mainstream. They are not fringe left-leaning elements as Jeb Bush desperately wishes. 9/11 skepticism is huge now, it’s part of a critical mass, a tsunami-like demand for a different breed of candidate, someone independent, like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. We need someone sufficiently pumped up to demand a new level of truth and justice for the American people.

In a Q&A last August in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush was asked about the 28 pages. He claimed not to know what the 28 pages were. If that were true, it would show an alarming level of ignorance about 9/11: what actually was inside, and the many more things left out, of two faulty 9/11 investigation reports.

The Bush lack of transparency about 9/11 has opened many people to question the surveillance-loving, truth-adverse, war-making, tax-levying, law-breaking character of today’s U.S. Federal Government. This helps explain Trump’s passionate popularity. With 9/11, Trump has the opportunity to tap into something powerful in the American psyche. Trump himself was warning of a major attack and mentioned the Twin Towers in his 2000 book, The America We Deserve .

The degree Trump pushes Bush on the 9/11 issue is dependent on how much we as citizens push for its discussion, in forums like social media or face-to-face meetings with candidates on the campaign trail. If you support Trump, take a moment now and write his campaign. Encourage Trump to push farther on 9/11. Urge him to support HR 14, a bipartisan bill in Congress, that will release the 28 Pages.  Someday soon, America will thank you for helping to usher in a new era of government transparency.

9/11 is a big scar, surrounded by strong emotions, and a huge fear that something is not quite right. As a country, we have been in denial. Some of us wrap ourselves in shrouds of defensiveness and anger when vocal independent minds prod us to ask the basic questions. But the good thing about Trump, and the many others like him, is that today we have a new fearlessness, a new openness about 9/11. This will lead to a time of greater honesty and clarity for America.

Sander Hicks is author of Slingshot to the Juggernaut: Total Resistance to the Death Machine Means Complete Love of the Truth.


Richard Lambert of FBI sues FBI, regarding Anthrax Cover-Up:

Daily News: Bush White House Blamed Al Qaeda for Anthrax

Trump in year 2000 warning of major terrorist attack:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

New Yorkers for 28 Pages Transparency Writes Maloney

I was a part of this group, which is US Congressional District 12, NYC, voters. We just wrote and sent this letter to Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Check it out:

New Yorkers for 28 Pages Transparency
151 First Ave #265
New York, New York 10003

October 15, 2015

Honorable Carolyn Maloney
Washington, DC

Dear Representative Maloney,

Thank you for bringing relief to New Yorkers with the James Zadroga 9/11 Health Care and Compensation Act.  It was a major accomplishment for first responders. And thank you for your advocacy for the 9/11 Commission itself, despite great resistance from the administration.

As you know, Governor Kean famously stated that the 9/11 Commission was “set up to fail” by the Bush White House.  We are a group of concerned District 12 voters who believe House Resolution 14—a transparency bill to declassify 28 unreleased pages of the Congressional Joint Inquiry on the 9/11 Attacks—is a vital step toward a basic understanding of  9/11. Suppressing evidence—including possible financial support for the 9/11 hijackers—is unacceptable and a grave disservice to New Yorkers.

HR 14 will fully disclose the key 28 pages of the Congressional Joint Inquiry on the 9/11 Attacks inexplicably classified by President George W. Bush in 2003.  Former Senator Bob Graham, Representatives Richard Shelby and Byron Dorgan—as well as Senators Pat Leahy, Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer, Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all supported declassification of this significant evidence.  The former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham, has indicated that the 28 Pages contain details on individuals closely related to the 9/11 hijackers. He has also stated that they detail involvement by “Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries as well as questionable actions by ‘certain U.S. agencies’.”

Since legislation on this issue was introduced, there has been substantial media coverage from  CNN, the New York Times, New York Post, USA Today, CNN, and many more.  Now the stakes have risen.  This September, Saudi Arabia was dropped as a defendant in a landmark suit filed by 9/11 victims families in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York.  Attorney for the plaintiffs, Sean Carter, has stated, “The government's decision to continue to classify that material certainly factored into this outcome. Evidence central to these claims continues to be treated as classified.”

One further point must be made.  According to those familiar with them, the 28 pages contain crucial information necessary to formulate an effective national security policy today—especially given the complex state of conflict in Syria and Iraq.  You, Representative Maloney, will soon be asked to make important decisions, on life and death matters: war, and conflict resolution in this volatile region. Co-sponsor of HR 14, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie, stated at a recent press conference, “Some of the best intelligence we have is in these 28 pages and most of our colleagues in the House have not read them.”  Key members of Congress who have read them have stated that their release would not in any way compromise national security.

As a New Yorker and Congressional leader, you can help.  We urge you to access these materials yourself.  After your review, we’d like to get your assessment.

The Carolyn Maloney who stood up to the Bush White House on 9/11 can take another stand for transparency and truth.  Not only is it the right thing to do, we believe there will be tangible political benefits in making a strong statement of support. The 9/11 victims families still demand their answers in court.  Let’s not let them down!
Thanks for your attention to this vital matter.
Sincerely yours,
Eric Joseph Rassi
Sander Hicks
and the Steering Committee
New Yorkers for 28 Pages Transparency

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

PRAYER FOR PEACE Concert this Saturday

My friend Luna Kaufman is throwing a little concert, at this little hole-in-the-wall uptown, called Carnegie Hall. Actually this is such a big deal, and I'm so excited, because I have always heard about Carnegie Hall, but I in my many years of NYC living, I have never been inside. Come with us? It's this Saturday Night, at 8 PM. Wear something nice. It's serious dude.

Luna survived the Holocaust, turned around, and dedicated her life to inter-faith understanding.

"There is such a multitude of religions in this country. We are all people working toward a common goal."

I have hung out with her, uptown. I learned a little Yiddish. "These soldiers are dying, for what? This SCHMATA [trans."rags" her term for military uniforms.]

She's friends with Thomas Keane, and toured the Holocaust sites with him. The liberal NJ Governor, is the same one who had the guts to denounce the 9/11 Commission process, after he ran the investigation that was "set up to fail." Come out Saturday, and I will introduce you. Oh, and yes this is the same Luna Kaufman I wrote the piece for Huffington Post about, back in 2010.

MidAtlantic Opera and Seton Hall University present
A Prayer for Peace
Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 8 PM
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Third Concert in the Peace Trilogy Concert Series Featuring
Works by Ranjbaran, Saygun, Bernstein, and Vaughan Williams

Performed by the MidAtlantic Opera Chorus and Orchestra and Seton Hall University Choir
Conducted by Jason C. Tramm and Featuring
Soloists Mihai Marica, Rochelle Bard, Sara Murphy, Ray Chenez, Theodore Chletsos, and Kevin Short

Net Proceeds to Be Donated to UNHRC for Refugee Relief
MidAtlantic Opera and Seton Hall University will present the third concert in conductor Jason C. Tramm’s Peace Trilogy Concert series, entitled A Prayer for Peace, on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8 pm in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall.
Ticket prices range from $10 - $90. Order tickets online at, by phone at CarnegieCharge (212-247-7800) or at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue in New York City. Student and senior discounts are available at the box office only.  Group ticket discounting is available to your organization by calling 212-903-9705 Monday-Friday, 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM or Online One-third of the net proceeds will be donated to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for refugee relief.

The MidAtlantic Opera Chorus and Orchestra and Seton Hall University Choir will be conducted byJason C. Tramm. Soloists include: cellist Mihai Marica; soprano Rochelle Bard; mezzo-soprano Sara Murphy; countertenor Ray Chenez; tenor Theodore Chletsos; and bass-baritone Kevin Short.
A Prayer for Peace will feature classical music selections from composers of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths whose music transcends its individual context and gives voice to the composers’ visions of peace in response to conflict and violence. The program includes the Elegy for cello and strings by Behzad Ranjbaran, selections from Ahmed Adnan Saygun’s rarely performed Yunus Emre oratorio, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem. Each composition expresses a universally resonant message, possessing the power to transcend time and place, uniting audiences in “A Prayer for Peace.”
Leonard Bernstein eloquently stated, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” In response to current world violence and inspired by Bernstein's mandate, Maestro Jason C. Tramm has fashioned a concert performance designed to underscore humanity's universal connection through music.
A Prayer for Peace is the third in a series of “Peace Trilogy” Concerts presented by Dr. Tramm during the 2015-16 season. The first and second concerts in the trilogy, Prince of Peace and Grace and Peace took place on July 12th and August 23rd in the Great Auditorium at Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Tramm has fashioned a trilogy of concert performances designed to underscore humanity’s universal connection through music.
Behzad Ranjbaran, born in Tehran in 1955, is known particularly for his orchestral and chamber compositions. His works have been recorded on the Naxos, Delos, Albany, and Cala labels. Based in the U.S., he is a long-standing member of the Juilliard School faculty and is also Composer-in-Residence at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His Elegy for solo cello and strings is a transcription of the lyrical second movement of his Cello Concerto (1998). The sinuous melodic line of the principal theme is strongly influenced by the melismatic figuration common to Persian vocal music.  Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society CMS Two artist Mihai Marica will perform on the cello.
Ahmed Adnan Saygun (1907-1991) was one of the most important Turkish composers of the 20th century. In 1936, he travelled with Béla Bartók across Turkey collecting, annotating, and transcribing local folk music. This interest is reflected in the score of his oratorio Yunus Emre (1946), a humanistic representation of the eponymous thirteenth century Sufi mystic and poet, scored for four vocal soloists, mixed chorus and orchestra. His other large-scale compositions include five symphonies and five operas. He was also a celebrated teacher and worked to establish several new music conservatories in Turkey. Three movements from Yunus Emre will be performed at this concert.
Leonard Bernstein composed his Chichester Psalms for the Chichester Cathedral’s 1965 music festival during a sabbatical year from his duties as music director of the New York Philharmonic. Each of the three movements uses a pair of psalm texts set in the original Hebrew. The second movement, which includes a setting of the 23rd Psalm for countertenor solo, uses material from a musical version of Thornton Wilder’sThe Skin of Our Teeth (which was never completed), with a violent contrasting middle section for men’s chorus comprised of excised material originally composed for the Jets in West Side Story.
Ralph Vaughan Williams composed Dona Nobis Pacem in 1936, as Europe veered toward World War II, for the centenary of the Huddersfield Choral Society. The oratorio is scored for large orchestra and chorus with soprano and baritone soloists, and uses settings of texts from the Latin liturgy as well as three poems by Walt Whitman and an anti-war speech given in the British Parliament by the 19th century Quaker orator John Bright. One of the Whitman movements is a setting of the “Dirge for Two Veterans,” originally composed in 1911, on the brink of the previous World War.
Romanian-born cellist Mihai Marica is a first prize winner of the Dr. Luis Sigall International Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile, and the Irving M. Klein International Competition. He has performed with the Symphony Orchestra of Chile, the Hermitage State Orchestra of St. Petersburg in Russia, and the Louisville Orchestra, among others, and in recital in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Holland, South Korea, Japan, Chile, and Canada. He is a member of the award-winning Amphion String Quartet and is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program.
A specialist in the bel canto repertoire, soprano Rochelle Bard recently sang the title role of Norma with Knoxville Opera and will sing Maria Stuarda there in 2017. Her Verdi roles include Violetta in La Traviata and Leonora in Il Trovatore. Other roles range from the four heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann through the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and The Merry Widow. Her extensive concert repertoire includes Messiah and the Poulenc Gloria. She has won major awards in the Classical Singer Competition and from the Gerda Lissner Foundation.
Highlights of mezzo-soprano Sara Murphy‘s past season include works of Ligeti, Schnittke, and Hindemith, all with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra; Messiah and the Verdi Requiem with Oratorio Society of New York conducted by Kent Tritle; and a return to the Cincinnati May Festival in recital. In 2013, she debuted at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under James Conlon. Next season she returns to the May Festival in Elijah and Otello, and performs Mahler and Messiah (again at Carnegie Hall) with the Oratorio Society of New York.
Winner of the prestigious 2014 George London Award, countertenor Ray Chenez is rapidly establishing a major international career. He recently made his European debut in the role of Marzia in Leonardo Vinci’sCatone in Utica at Versailles, Wiesbaden, Bucharest, and Bergen, conducted by Riccardo Minasi and alongside star countertenors Max Emanuel Cencic and Franco Fagioli, a role he will reprise this coming season in Vienna. He is also slated to make debuts at the Opéra National de Lorraine à Nancy (in Rossi’sOrfeo) and with Opera Omaha (in Handel’s Semele).
Theodore Chletsos has performed many roles in the standard tenor repertoire with regional companies across the United States, as well as in such contemporary works as Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath, Laurent Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick, dit Elephant Man, Michael Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost, and Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra. He has a large concert repertoire ranging from Bach and Handel to Verdi and Menotti and has won numerous awards, including the Shoshana Foundation’s Richard F. Gold Career Grant.
Bass-baritone Kevin Short continues to thrill audiences around the globe in a wide range of repertoire ranging from Monteverdi and Mozart to Verdi and Stravinsky with the most prominent opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, the Opéra Comique in Paris, and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. He also has a vast concert repertoire which he has sung with major orchestras and festivals including the Czech Philharmonic, the orchestras of Boston and Philadelphia, and the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.
Jason C. Tramm’s work in the symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire has been acclaimed both nationally and internationally. He is currently Artistic Director of the MidAtlantic Opera, Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Seton Hall University’s College of Communication and the Arts, and Director of Music Ministries for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. From 2008–2012 he served as Artistic Director of the New Jersey State Opera, where his tenure included a celebrated performance ofPorgy and Bess at Newark’s Symphony Hall. He was recently appointed Artistic Director of the NJ-based Adelphi Orchestra.
In 2003, Jason joined the ranks of Metropolitan Opera stars Renée Fleming and Stephanie Blythe when he was honored with the Rising Star Award from the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association. A frequent guest conductor, Tramm has led operatic and symphonic performances, and made recordings, in Italy, Romania, Albania, and Hungary. This concert, the third in his Peace Trilogy series, continues his commitment to building bridges and uniting people of all ages, cultures, races, socioeconomic standing and beliefs through the universal language and power of music.