History Commons Groups

February 26, 2009

Grant Recipients Rockin the Commons

Now that’s what I’m talking about.


Three of our recipients are busily adding entries, kicking butt, and, no doubt, gnashing their teeth while they learn the system. Excellent. The other four are preparing to jump in; expect lots of new entries by new contributors over the next few days and weeks.

Maybe this is a bit juvenile, but I know I was secretly thrilled at the first entry I had posted. Why not do a little justified backslapping?

Veteran readers, if you’ve ever had an itch to become a History Commons contributor, now’s a great time to do it. There are seven new contributors all learning the ropes together, and hopefully helping one another in the process. You can be part of this “next wave” of Commons contributors, taking the site into the new millennium. Join this band of information activists today.

U.S. Military Veterans Afflicted with Asbestos-Related Illness

Filed under: community,US Military — Max @ 9:32 pm
Tags: ,

Allen Dutton, the Veteran Liaison of the Mesothelioma Cancer Center, recently sent me a piece for posting. He, and I, hope it will raise some awareness of the severe health problems faced by our veterans due to asbestos exposure. I am pleased and proud to give Allen the rest of this space.


February 25, 2009

9/11 Commission Staffers Involved in Search of NSA Records Knew of Hijackers’ Monitored Calls from US

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 3:52 pm

Did Not Find Recordings, Transcripts, Reports

One of the most serious omissions in the 9/11 Commission report was its failure to discuss NSA intercepts of calls between two of the alleged hijackers in the US, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, and al-Qaeda’s central communications hub in Yemen. Why the commission failed to deal with the intercepts properly is still unknown, but information newly released by the National Archives shows that two of the staffers involved in searches of NSA records for 9/11-related information must have known of the calls, as they attended a meeting with then-NSA Director Michael Hayden at which Hayden offered an explanation for why the NSA did not exploit the calls.


February 20, 2009

Unsuccessful FOIA Requests (Updated, February 2009)

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 3:39 pm

This is a reposting, with one more failed FOIA request being added at the bottom (item number 8). For a list of succesful FOIA requests see here.



February 11, 2009

Books We Read: American Lightning

Filed under: Books We Read — Max @ 9:56 pm

American Lightning, by Howard Blum
2008 Crown Publishers

Nothing from this book is likely to appear on the History Commons any time soon: it deals with the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building in 1910 and the repercussions and rationales behind the bombing, which claimed 21 lives. The Commons doesn’t yet have a project dealing with US labor relations (the driving issue behind the bombing), nor does it, as a rule, cover events from a hundred years past.

Too bad, because it’s a hell of a good read about a historical incident that has long been forgotten by most, but at the time an incident that rocked the nation.


February 10, 2009

Bamford Answers One Question: What NSA IG Report?

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 10:26 am
Tags: , ,

A couple of weeks ago I submitted several questions to James Bamford, who was doing a public Q and A to mark the showing of a PBS Nova documentary he had helped make about an al-Qaeda communications hub in Yemen, the hiding of two of the 9/11 hijackers from the FBI by the CIA and the warrantless wiretapping controversy.


February 6, 2009

Mixed Reaction to James Bamford’s Spy Factory – Precious Truths Surrounded by a Body of Secrets

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 3:28 am

I just watched PBS Nova’s Spy Factory with James Bamford and I have a number of comments about it, both good and bad.

Starting off with the good, having been writing about al-Qaeda’s communications hub in Yemen for the last two years, I was thrilled to actually see it on the screen. Bamford actually went to Yemen and filmed it from the outside, shame he didn’t go in.


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