History Commons Groups

November 30, 2008

Writing Entries for ‘Dummies’

Filed under: community,Mini-Grant Program — Max @ 4:04 pm
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With the prospect of several new contributors coming on board in the next few days or weeks, I’m thinking we need to write a more user-friendly supplement to our style manual. What do you guys think? I’d like to hear what the users think, and hopefully someone who is already a veteran contributor will step up and help me put this together.

Edit: The official page for this guide is here:

Contributors’ Guide

The unofficial but more currently updated page for this guide is here:

Unofficial Version

and has just been updated again.

It will be a week or so before the official page catches up with the unofficial version. Until then, you should visit and comment on the unofficial version. Thanks.

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November 25, 2008

Almihdhar and Alhazmi Were Already Part of 9/11 Plot when They Obtained US Visas


There is a story put about by the 9/11 Commission that when 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar obtained US visas in April 1999 , they had not yet been selected for the 9/11 operation. Although this is a fourth-hand account of information allegedly tortured out of a detainee who was demonstrably lying some, if not most of the time, and is contradicted by other evidence, it has gained some currency. I was most displeased to see the claim repeated in James Bamford’s new book The Shadow Factory , which motivated me to write this up.

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November 24, 2008

Final Decision on MiniGrants

Filed under: community,Mini-Grant Program — Max @ 5:20 pm
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The final decision for the History Commons mini-grants will be made on or before December 1. We are doing an initial sort of the applicants now. I am not at liberty to say anything specific, but I will note two things:

  1. The roster of applicants is VERY strong.
  2. If you feel you ought to submit supplementary sample entries (not generic writing samples) to strengthen your application, then by all means do so NOW. We may ask individual applicants to submit further sample entries as well.

We will inform each applicant as soon as a decision is reached. Thanks for everyone’s patience!

November 18, 2008

Michael Hayden Caught in a Lie

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 4:12 pm
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Current CIA and former NSA Director Michael Hayden claimed to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry in prepared remarks on 17 October 2002:

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November 16, 2008

MiniGrant Application Deadline

Filed under: community,Mini-Grant Program — Max @ 12:41 pm
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The deadline for the mini-grant applications has now passed. Thanks to everyone who applied. We have some tremendous submissions, and it will take us some time to sort everything out and make some decisions. If you’re waiting to find out whether or not you’ve been approved, just hang loose, we will inform each of you as to the status of your application. Thanks again!

November 11, 2008

Thoughts on the Elevate Festival


Elevate Festival logo

Elevate Festival logo

A few thoughts on the just-concluded Elevate Festival, in Graz, Austria. Remember, all of my observations about the History Commons are from my perspective as a contributor, NOT as any statement of official site policy. No one’s made any decisions about anything yet, and the decisions are not mine to make. We do them as a group.

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The October Surprise according to Mark Bowden


A couple of years ago, the author and journalist Mark Bowden, most famous for writing Black Hawk Down about a battle between US troops and local forces in Somalia, wrote an extremely long history of the Iranian Hostage Crisis entitled Guests of the Ayatollah. It goes on for over six hundred pages and on page 627-628 we find the following paragraph, the only one in the book, about the alleged agreement between the Reagan campaign and the Iranian leadership known as the October Surprise:

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November 8, 2008

Liveblogging from Austria

Filed under: community — Max @ 9:06 am
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I’m in Graz, Austria, representing the History Commons at the Elevate Festival — look for the English tab). This will be a very short post, mostly because I am using my host Daniel Erlacher’s laptop (insert complaints about German keyboards and laptop keyboards here). I’m leaving in about 24 hours, perhaps less, for a brief, touristy sojourn in Vienna before flying back to America.

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November 4, 2008

Response to Peter Dale Scott: Alec Station Must Have Known


Over the last few months, former diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott has published a series of articles about one of the 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar, and the parallels between his handling by Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, and events in the 1960s, such as an apparent CIA operation involving Lee Oswald, John Kennedy’s alleged assassin. They are Deep Events and the CIA’s Global Drug Connection, The JFK Assassination and 9/11: the Designated Suspects in Both Cases and The Assassinations of the 1960s as “Deep Events”.

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