one nation, under surveillance
number 68   09.03.06
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FBI Secretly Reviews College Student Financial
The US Department of Education was
revealed to have cooperated with the
FBI between 2001 and 2006
reviewing the financial records of
millions of American college students
with no court order and without
advising the students of the

The program, called Project Strike
Back, was developed after the 9-11
terror attacks and was intended to
identify terrorists who gain entry to
the US by applying for student visas.  
In the end, more than 14 million
financial aid applications filed by
American students were reviewed
each year to make sure that students
on a “select list of a couple of
hundred names” did not apply for
financial assistance.

Documents that revealed the
existence of the program were
obtained by journalism students at
Northwestern University’s Medill
School through a freedom of
information request.  Memorandums
from the FBI Office of the Inspector
General obtained by the student
journalists reported that “details
developed during this project will be
disclosed to the FBI and Justice
Department attorneys.”  The memo
also disclosed that Project Strike
Back was initiated 13 days after the 9-
11 terror attacks.

The FBI data-mining project was just
of many agency initiatives,
according to FBI spokespersons,
where records of US citizens were
disclosed to government agents
with no warrant or court order.  

The FBI said that the warrentless
surveillance of college student’s
financial records was legal
because law enforcement
agencies investigations are
exempt from adhering to privacy
laws.  A spokes-person for the
Justice Department said that the
project is "one of the many utilized
by the FBI to identify potential
people of interest”.  No arrests
resulted from the  
its all true
interpreting the constitution

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Pentagon, Transportation Testimony Flies in Face of  Facts
To Contain Leaks,
NSA Will Spy on
Members of the independent
commission that investigated the
terrorist attacks of September 11,
2001 strongly suspected that
Pentagon and Federal Aviation
Administration officials deliberately
misled the panel when they provided
testimony that later proved to be
inaccurate or simply false. According
to recent accounts, frustrated
commissioners considered bringing
their suspicions to the Justice
Department for criminal investigation,
but decided instead to refer the
matter to the inspectors general of
the agencies involved. Now two
reports, by the Department of
Defense and the Department of
Transportation, have concluded that
there is no evidence that any officials
knowingly made false statements to
the commission.
The investigation centers on
testimony before the 9/11 panel
regarding the response by NORAD,
the North American Air Defense
Command, to the hijackings of four
civilian aircraft. The recent
publication of tape transcripts from
the morning of the attacks confirms
that, contrary to the sworn
statements of numerous officials from
both the Pentagon and the FAA, the
emergency response was slow,
confused, and inefficient, with
NORAD personnel unaware of key
developments until after the attacks
had ended. The tapes reveal that
NORAD scrambled two fighter jets in
pursuit of American Airlines flight 11
after it had already crashed into the
World Trade Center.

The transcripts also cast doubt upon
accuracy of statements made by
Vice President Dick Cheney, who
has claimed that the White House
considered giving the order to
shoot down United Airlines flight
93, which eventually crashed in
Pennsylvania. The tapes reveal
that Cheney was briefed on the
situation just one minute before
the flight went down, and that the
executive authority to engage the
aircraft was given after it had

Commission co-chairman Thomas
Kean told the
Washington Post,
“We to this day don’t know why
NORAD told us what they told us.
It was just so far from the truth…It’
s one of those loose ends that
never got tied.”                          
all true
The National Security Agency
has amended its policies
regarding unauthorized
disclosure of classified
information to the media, in the
wake of a series of revelations
about domestic surveillance
programs carried out by the
agency since 2001. In addition
to the updated policy directive,
NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith
Alexander has issued four
separate memos to agency
staff this year on the subject of
leaks, according to a report by
Baltimore Sun. The new
policy mandates that all NSA
personnel “actively monitor
media” for the purposes of
identifying leaks and their
potential sources.

The policy document lays out a
detailed procedure for
identifying an unauthorized
disclosure to the media,
assessing the significance of
the disclosure, and reporting
the incident to various officials
within the NSA and in other
intelligence agencies. The
directive defines “media” as
“any print, electronic, or
broadcasting outlet (including
blogs) where information is
made available to the general
public.” A copy of the
document, marked
“Unclassified / For Official Use
Only,” was obtained by the
Federation of American

According to the
Sun, the NSA
Director's memos urge staff to
focus on their work and to
avoid speaking to the media,
“as the national debate on
intelligence oversight
its all true
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Airport Security Enforces Dress Code
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A passenger traveling from New York
to Oakland was prevented from
boarding a plane because he was
wearing a tee shirt that said, “We will
not be silent” in both English and
Arabic.  Raed Jarrar, a recent émigré
from Iraq who is also an Arab human
rights advocate, was questioned by
officials who did not identify
themselves at Kennedy Airport in

Jarrar was selected for secondary
screening when he checked in for his
transcontinental flight.  After he he
sat down in the waiting area at his
departure gate, Jarrar was
approached by four individuals who
questioned him about the tee shirt he
was wearing.  

After being advised that “people
were feeling offended“ by the tee
shirt, Jarrar was asked to change out
of the shirt, but
he had checked all his luggage.  

Jarrar told the officials that the
message on his tee shirt was not
offensive and that he felt he should
be allowed to wear the shirt as a
matter of free expression; after all the
shirt said, ‘We will not be silent’.  

Jarrar was told by one of the airport
officials that “people here in the US
don’t understand these things about
constitutional rights.”  The official
further advised Jarrar that, “We can’t
be sure that your tee shirt means
‘We will not be silent’, we don’t have
a translator.  It may mean something

Jarrar eventually negotiated to have
Jet Blue buy him another tee shirt so
he could board the airplane.     
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source: Institute for Policy






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Links of the Week

Central Intelligence Agency
Electronic Reading Room

US Department of Housing and
Urban Development:  Housing
Market Conditions Survey
1st Quarter, 2006

Chet Atkins: Mister Guitar

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Oversight of Programs Demands Leap of
Prices Set to Soar as
World Grain Stocks
A study of the Bush administration’s
Faith Based Initiatives found that,
while the federal government has
given billions of dollars to religious
organizations under the program, the
majority of government grant
recipients have failed to establish
protections against discrimination in
hiring practices and measures that
guarantee that the services provided
are available to all citizens,
irrespective of their religious faith.

The Office of Faith Based and
Community Initiatives was established
in 2001 by President Bush motivated
by his belief that religious
organizations are better equipped to
tend to social services than
government. Bush believes that
“Much of today’s poverty has more to
do with troubled lives than a troubled
economy,” and ordered the
government to fund religious
programs. Since its creation the
federal program has given billions of
dollars to Christian groups and other
religious organizations. In the year
2005 grants totaling over $2.1 billion
were awarded by the federal

Government agencies that oversee
the usage of grant monies under the
president’s Faith Based program are
required to monitor grantees in the
same manner as they supervise
monies granted to secular
organizations. The report found that
recipients of grant money from the
OFBCI were generally non-compliant
with reporting requirements and also
failed to strenuously guard against

The GAO found that in 60 percent of
the programs they investigated,
federal agencies failed to provide
faith-based organizations with a
statement on nondiscrimination in
program participation. This led to
situations where less than 15 percent
of the programs reviewed by the
GAO had policies that guarantee
nondiscrimination in hiring practices,
and less than a quarter had policies
in place that separated religious
activities from provision of services
supported by federal grants.
Representative George Miller of
California,  who is the senior
Democrat on the Committee on
Education and the Workforce, said
that the lack of information and
oversight has led to a situation
where, “We don’t know if Americans
who are eligible for services are
missing out on them because of their
religious beliefs.”                     
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World grain production will fall
short of consumption this year by
more than 60 million tons, further
reducing critical carryover stocks,
and setting the stage for steep
rises in grain prices. 2006 will
mark the sixth year out of the last
seven that grain harvests have
failed to meet growing demand,
according to a report by the Earth
Policy Institute. The report
calculates that world carryover
stocks of grain have fallen to just
57 days of consumption, the
lowest level in 34 years.

Rising average temperatures and
pervasive water shortages have
made it impossible for grain
production to keep pace with
demand, as the world population
grows by about 70 million a year.
A sharp increase in the use of
grains for fuel production has also
squeezed the commodities market.

Wheat prices are up 14 percent
for the year, and corn prices have
increased by some 22 percent.
Rice is up more than 23 percent,
and is expected to double in price
by the end of next year.               
its all true
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May Day  
March in
Brown Tribute
verbatim                                                                      number 13.3
"I'm a thoughtful guy, I
listen to people.  I'm
open minded...
...I'm all the things
you know I am."    
Washington DC 08.21.06