History Commons Groups

June 28, 2009

Plenty of Evidence Links Khalld Bin Attash to Cole Bombing and Al-Qaeda

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline — kevinfenton @ 6:03 am

In relation to US President Barack Obama’s new preventative detention proposal, the Washington Post today ran a story which claimed that al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash could not be tried in a US court and must therefore be kept in preventative detention. Quote:

Tawfiq bin Attash, who is accused of involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 and who was held at a secret CIA prison, could be among those subject to long-term detention, according to one senior official.

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June 26, 2009

History Commons 2.0 — Your Thoughts and Opinions

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 11:13 am
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We’re discussing how to make the History Commons more efficient and usable, both for users and contributors/editors. This is part of the much-discussed “History Commons 2.0” initiative.

What do you like about the way the HC web application works? What do you not like? How could it work better to suit your needs? What could we add? Fix? Drop entirely? We’re talking about navigation, searches, finding information, timeline/project organization, everything.

Your opinions will shape how HC 2.0 progresses, so please, be frank and be detailed. We want to know.

Thanks for your participation!

History Commons Projects, Update for June 25, 2009


Over the next few months, the History Commons will begin working towards making some dramatic upgrades in the website, including revamping the web application, and adding much more content and information. These changes will, we trust, make the History Commons a much more effective resource for you and your fellow users. While you may not see the results of these changes for some time, they will, when finished, completely transform the site to make it far more usable and comprehensive. To help move this process forward, we need your financial support like never before. We accept donations through PayPal, credit cards, and personal checks.

Please make your tax-deductible donation today.

We sincerely appreciate all you do to make the History Commons a viable resource for information and citizen activism.

You can help steer the transformation of the History Commons by making your comments and observations on this blog. Over the next few weeks, we will begin polling our users to determine what they want to see in the new and improved “History Commons 2.0.” You are a valuable part of the History Commons, and we want to know what you think. Look for posts soliciting your thoughts and opinions very soon — hopefully by the time you read this.


About a dozen timelines have been updated in the past week, and one of the most active was the Economic Crisis project. One contributor points out that unemployment is already at 21 million peole in the European Union, whereas globally it could reach 51 million, according to the International Labor Organization. Another highlights the fictitious “light switch tax,” as well as much-needed tax cuts for millionaires.
Read more.

In the US Health Care Timeline, a contributor has started to cover the recent murder of late-term abortion provider George Tiller.
Read more.

In the Neoliberalism and Globalization Timeline, a contributor has started to document the cultural diversity movement, beginning with a group of entries about a UNESCO agreement on cultural diversity.
Read more.

A contributor to the Global Warming Timeline has added entries about recent comments by Republican Congressmen on global warming.
Read more.

Similarly, in the Domestic Propaganda Timeline a contributor has input more material about criticism of President Obama, and more about the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.
Read more.

Finally, in the Loss of Civil Liberties Timeline, a contributor highlights a recent statement by former Defense official Douglas Feith, who said he had nothing to do with the Bush administration’s torture policy.
Read more.

Kevin Fenton Is on Holiday

Filed under: community — kevinfenton @ 10:01 am

I will be on holiday practically for the whole month of July and will not always have access to the internet. Therefore, posting will be even more sporadic than usual, but should resume at the start of August.

How the 9/11 Commission’s Investigation of the EPA Got Started

Filed under: 911 Environmental Impact,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 9:42 am

A document paxvector found at the National Archives tells us how the 9/11 Commission’s investigation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) got started. The commission’s final report did not mention the EPA in its main text, but included a long endnote about it (No. 13 to Chapter 10). The document paxvector found comprises minutes from a commission meeting in the autumn of 2003, which has been posted to the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. They say:

EPA/CEQ Investigation. Commissioner Ben-Veniste inquired about the status of an offer to receive pro-bono work from a private law firm in order to investigate allegations of White House interference with EPA health warnings after the 9-11 attacks. The General Counsel stated that he was reluctant to use private law firms to conduct investigative work for the Commission, and furthermore, that the matter was a relatively small investigative piece that he believed could be handled by Commission staff. The Executive Director and General Counsel agreed to develop a plan on how the investigation would be staffed.

You can find that on page 17 of the .pdf file. The General Counsel was Daniel Marcus, the Executive Director was Philip Zelikow. This indicates that the commission may not have investigated the air quality and controversial statements made by the EPA had it not been for the law firm’s offer. AFAIK the commission’s investigation of this was led by Barbara Grewe of the Special Projects team.

All the documents we find about the EPA angle of the commission’s work are grouped here (not many yet, but I’m sure there must be more).

Miscellaneous Withdrawal Notices from the 9/11 Commission Files (last updated 10 January 2010)

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 9:33 am
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This post lists withdrawal noices for documents moved from the 9/11 Commission’s files to the National Archives, but not released by the archives. The withdrawal notices  have been posted at the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. This post will be updated continuously.

You might wonder why we are posting withdrawal notices. It’s paxvector’s idea and we figure it will at least give people a decent idea of what is being kept secret.

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June 18, 2009

9/11 Commission Staffer Confirms Military Exercises Document

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 2:36 pm

Miles Kara, the 9/11 Commission staffer we suspected drafted the NORAD EXERCISES Hijack Summary we posted a few days ago, has confirmed its authenticity. At his own blog, he wrote:

Yesterday, June 15, 2009, I received an email from author Phil Shenon asking what I knew about a recent document posted on Scribd by History Commons. That document, posted and discussed here, is one of many work papers I created during my work on the 9-11 Commission Staff. I had forgotten about it until Phil jogged my memory. The document was prepared to list what we knew about exercises before we traveled to NORAD Headquarters.

It was certainly good to have confirmation of the document’s authenticity, but I was a little surprised Kara could have forgotten it. Quite frankly, when paxvector found it, we were all a little sceptical of its authenticity–the military practiced responding to a suicide hijack targeting New York just two days before 9/11?! In the end, we saw that the handwriting on the document was similar to the handwriting on other documents found close to it at the National Archives, and the summary quoted from other documents the commission got from NORAD.

I left a comment at Kara’s blog, asking whether the commission got a recording and/or transcript of the White House video conference, which is, I think, my number one question for Team 8, but it seems Kara is not taking comments–there are none for any of his postings but Kara replied that he does not know, so I asked him something else.

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Perhaps the most interesting thing this week is that an HC contributor found a document in the National Archives showing that, two days before 9/11, the military practiced responding to a simulated hijacking by suicide terrorists targeting New York. The document also mentioned a number of other previously-unknown hijacking-response exercises, and has been written up at the contributors’ blog.
Read more.

There are also several additional entries in the 9/11 Timeline, about the 9/11 Commission and the day of the attacks.
Read more.

The Domestic Propaganda Timeline focuses on the back-and-forth of Sonia Sotomayer’s nomination to the US Supreme Court, and Karl Rove instructs readers that the word “empathy” is actually code for “liberal activism.”
Read more.

The Economic Crisis Timeline marks the 30th bank failure in the US this year, which was Silverton Bank in Atlanta.
Read more.

Lastly, a contributor to the A. Q. Khan Timeline highlights possible Saudi funding for Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
Read more.

Thank you for being part of the History Commons!

June 14, 2009

Two Days Before 9/11, Military Exercise Simulated Suicide Hijack Targeting New York

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 7:19 am

The US military conducted a training exercise in the five days before the September 11 attacks that included simulated aircraft hijackings by terrorists, according to a 9/11 Commission document recently found in the US National Archives. In one of the scenarios, implemented on September 9, terrorists hijacked a London to New York flight, planning to blow it up with explosives over New York.

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June 10, 2009

Unsuccessful FOIA Requests (Updated, June 2009)

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 2:57 pm
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This is a reposting, with one more failed FOIA request being added at the bottom (item number 9). For a list of successful FOIA requests see here.

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