March 16, 2009

Torture: interesting NYT editorial today (about time!)

Op-Ed Contributor

Tales From Torture’s Dark World

Published: March 14, 2009

ON a bright sunny day two years ago, President George W. Bush strode into the East Room of the White House and informed the world that the United States had created a dark and secret universe to hold and interrogate captured terrorists.

“In addition to the terrorists held at Guantánamo,” the president said, “a small number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives captured during the war have been held and questioned outside the United States, in a separate program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.”

At these places, Mr. Bush said, “the C.I.A. used an alternative set of procedures.” He added: “These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful.” This speech will stand, I believe, as George W. Bush’s most important: perhaps the only historic speech he ever gave. In his fervent defense of his government’s “alternative set of procedures” and his equally fervent insistence that they were “lawful,” he set out before the country America’s dark moral epic of torture, in the coils of whose contradictions we find ourselves entangled still.

At the same time, perhaps unwittingly, Mr. Bush made it possible that day for those on whom the alternative set of procedures were performed eventually to speak. For he announced that he would send 14 “high-value detainees” from dark into twilight: they would be transferred from the overseas “black sites” to Guantánamo. There, while awaiting trial, the International Committee of the Red Cross would be “advised of their detention, and will have the opportunity to meet with them.”

A few weeks later, from Oct. 6 to 11 and then from Dec. 4 to 14, 2006, Red Cross officials — whose duty it is to monitor compliance with the Geneva Conventions and to supervise treatment of prisoners of war — traveled to Guantánamo and began interviewing the prisoners.

Their stated goal was to produce a report that would “provide a description of the treatment and material conditions of detention of the 14 during the period they were held in the C.I.A. detention program,” periods ranging “from 16 months to almost four and a half years.”

As the Red Cross interviewers informed the detainees, their report was not intended to be released to the public but, “to the extent that each detainee agreed for it to be transmitted to the authorities,” to be given in strictest secrecy to officials of the government agency that had been in charge of holding them — in this case the Central Intelligence Agency, to whose acting general counsel, John Rizzo, the report was sent on Feb. 14, 2007.

The result is a document — labeled “confidential” and clearly intended only for the eyes of those senior American officials — that tells a story of what happened to each of the 14 detainees inside the black sites.

A short time ago, this document came into my hands and I have set out the stories it tells in a longer article in The New York Review of Books. Because these stories were taken down confidentially in patient interviews by professionals from the International Committee of the Red Cross, and not intended for public consumption, they have an unusual claim to authenticity.

Indeed, since the detainees were kept strictly apart and isolated, both at the black sites and at Guantánamo, the striking similarity in their stories would seem to make fabrication extremely unlikely. As its authors state in their introduction, “The I.C.R.C. wishes to underscore that the consistency of the detailed allegations provided separately by each of the 14 adds particular weight to the information provided below.”

Beginning with the chapter headings on its contents page — “suffocation by water,” “prolonged stress standing,” “beatings by use of a collar,” “confinement in a box” — the document makes compelling and chilling reading. The stories recounted in its fewer than 50 pages lead inexorably to this unequivocal conclusion, which, given its source, has the power of a legal determination: “The allegations of ill treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill treatment to which they were subjected while held in the C.I.A. program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Perhaps one should start with the story of the first man to whom, according to news reports, the president’s “alternative set of procedures” were applied:

“I woke up, naked, strapped to a bed, in a very white room. The room measured approximately 4 meters by 4 meters. The room had three solid walls, with the fourth wall consisting of metal bars separating it from a larger room. I am not sure how long I remained in the bed. After some time, I think it was several days, but can’t remember exactly, I was transferred to a chair where I was kept, shackled by hands and feet for what I think was the next two to three weeks. During this time I developed blisters on the underside of my legs due to the constant sitting. I was only allowed to get up from the chair to go [to] the toilet, which consisted of a bucket.

“I was given no solid food during the first two or three weeks, while sitting on the chair. I was only given Ensure and water to drink. At first the Ensure made me vomit, but this became less with time.

“The cell and room were air-conditioned and were very cold. Very loud, shouting-type music was constantly playing. It kept repeating about every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day. Sometimes the music stopped and was replaced by a loud hissing or crackling noise.

“The guards were American, but wore masks to conceal their faces. My interrogators did not wear masks.”

So begins the story of Abu Zubaydah, a senior member of Al Qaeda, captured in a raid in Pakistan in March 2002. The arrest of an active terrorist with actionable information was a coup for the United States.

After being treated for his wounds — he had been shot in the stomach, leg and groin during his capture — Abu Zubaydah was brought to one of the black sites, probably in Thailand, and placed in that white room.

It is important to note that Abu Zubaydah was not alone with his interrogators, that everyone in that white room — guards, interrogators, doctor — was in fact linked directly, and almost constantly, to senior intelligence officials on the other side of the world. “It wasn’t up to individual interrogators to decide, ‘Well, I’m going to slap him. Or I’m going to shake him,’” said John Kiriakou, a C.I.A. officer who helped capture Abu Zubaydah, in an interview with ABC News.

Every one of the steps taken with regard to Abu Zubaydah “had to have the approval of the deputy director for operations. So before you laid a hand on him, you had to send in the cable saying, ‘He’s uncooperative. Request permission to do X.’”

He went on: “The cable traffic back and forth was extremely specific.... No one wanted to get in trouble by going overboard.”

Shortly after Abu Zubaydah was captured, C.I.A. officers briefed the National Security Council’s principals committee, including Vice President Dick Cheney, the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and Attorney General John Ashcroft, in detail on the interrogation plans for the prisoner. As the interrogations proceeded, so did the briefings, with George Tenet, the C.I.A. director, bringing to senior officials almost daily reports of the techniques applied.

At the time, the spring and summer of 2002, Justice Department officials, led by John Yoo, were working on a memorandum, now known informally as “the torture memo,” which claimed that for an “alternative procedure” to be considered torture, and thus illegal, it would have to cause pain of the sort “that would be associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure, or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body function will likely result.” The memo was approved in August 2002, thus serving as a legal “green light” for interrogators to apply the most aggressive techniques to Abu Zubaydah:

“I was taken out of my cell and one of the interrogators wrapped a towel around my neck; they then used it to swing me around and smash me repeatedly against the hard walls of the room.”

The prisoner was then put in a coffin-like black box, about 4 feet by 3 feet and 6 feet high, “for what I think was about one and a half to two hours.” He added: The box was totally black on the inside as well as the outside.... They put a cloth or cover over the outside of the box to cut out the light and restrict my air supply. It was difficult to breathe. When I was let out of the box I saw that one of the walls of the room had been covered with plywood sheeting. From now on it was against this wall that I was then smashed with the towel around my neck. I think that the plywood was put there to provide some absorption of the impact of my body. The interrogators realized that smashing me against the hard wall would probably quickly result in physical injury.”

After this beating, Abu Zubaydah was placed in a small box approximately three feet tall. “They placed a cloth or cover over the box to cut out all light and restrict my air supply. As it was not high enough even to sit upright, I had to crouch down. It was very difficult because of my wounds. The stress on my legs held in this position meant my wounds both in the leg and stomach became very painful. I think this occurred about three months after my last operation. It was always cold in the room, but when the cover was placed over the box it made it hot and sweaty inside. The wound on my leg began to open and started to bleed. I don’t know how long I remained in the small box; I think I may have slept or maybe fainted.

“I was then dragged from the small box, unable to walk properly, and put on what looked like a hospital bed, and strapped down very tightly with belts. A black cloth was then placed over my face and the interrogators used a mineral water bottle to pour water on the cloth so that I could not breathe. After a few minutes the cloth was removed and the bed was rotated into an upright position. The pressure of the straps on my wounds was very painful. I vomited.

“The bed was then again lowered to horizontal position and the same torture carried out again with the black cloth over my face and water poured on from a bottle. On this occasion my head was in a more backward, downwards position and the water was poured on for a longer time. I struggled against the straps, trying to breathe, but it was hopeless.”

After being placed again in the tall box, Abu Zubaydah “was then taken out and again a towel was wrapped around my neck and I was smashed into the wall with the plywood covering and repeatedly slapped in the face by the same two interrogators as before.

“I was then made to sit on the floor with a black hood over my head until the next session of torture began. The room was always kept very cold.

This went on for approximately one week.”

Walid bin Attash, a Saudi involved with planning the attacks on American embassies in Africa in 1998 and on the Navy destroyer Cole in 2000, was captured in Pakistan on April 29, 2003:

“On arrival at the place of detention in Afghanistan I was stripped naked. I remained naked for the next two weeks.... I was kept in a standing position, feet flat on the floor, but with my arms above my head and fixed with handcuffs and a chain to a metal bar running across the width of the cell. The cell was dark with no light, artificial or natural.”

This forced standing, with arms shackled above the head, seems to have become standard procedure. It proved especially painful for Mr. bin Attash, who had lost a leg fighting in Afghanistan:

“After some time being held in this position my stump began to hurt so I removed my artificial leg to relieve the pain. Of course my good leg then began to ache and soon started to give way so that I was left hanging with all my weight on my wrists.”

Cold water was used on Mr. bin Attash in combination with beatings and the use of a plastic collar, which seems to have been a refinement of the towel that had been looped around Abu Zubaydah’s neck:

“On a daily basis during the first two weeks a collar was looped around my neck and then used to slam me against the walls of the interrogation room. It was also placed around my neck when being taken out of my cell for interrogation and was used to lead me along the corridor. It was also used to slam me against the walls of the corridor during such movements.

“Also on a daily basis during the first two weeks I was made to lie on a plastic sheet placed on the floor which would then be lifted at the edges. Cold water was then poured onto my body with buckets.... I would be kept wrapped inside the sheet with the cold water for several minutes. I would then be taken for interrogation.”

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the key planner of the 9/11 attacks, was captured in Pakistan on March 1, 2003.

After three days in what he believes was a prison in Afghanistan, Mr. Mohammed was put in a tracksuit, blindfold, hood and headphones, and shackled and placed aboard a plane. He quickly fell asleep — “the first proper sleep in over five days” — and remains unsure of how long the journey took. On arrival, however, he realized he had come a long way:

“I could see at one point there was snow on the ground. Everybody was wearing black, with masks and army boots, like Planet X people. I think the country was Poland. I think this because on one occasion a water bottle was brought to me without the label removed. It had [an] e-mail address ending in ‘.pl.’”

He was stripped and put in a small cell. “I was kept for one month in the cell in a standing position with my hands cuffed and shackled above my head and my feet cuffed and shackled to a point in the floor,” he told the Red Cross.

“Of course during this month I fell asleep on some occasions while still being held in this position. This resulted in all my weight being applied to the handcuffs around my wrist, resulting in open and bleeding wounds. [Scars consistent with this allegation were visible on both wrists as well as on both ankles.] Both my feet became very swollen after one month of almost continual standing.”

For interrogation, Mr. Mohammed was taken to a different room. The sessions lasted for as long as eight hours and as short as four.

“If I was perceived not to be cooperating I would be put against a wall and punched and slapped in the body, head and face. A thick flexible plastic collar would also be placed around my neck so that it could then be held at the two ends by a guard who would use it to slam me repeatedly against the wall. The beatings were combined with the use of cold water, which was poured over me using a hose-pipe.”

As with Abu Zubaydah, the harshest sessions involved the “alternative set of procedures” used in sequence and in combination, one technique intensifying the effects of the others:

“The beatings became worse and I had cold water directed at me from a hose-pipe by guards while I was still in my cell. The worst day was when I was beaten for about half an hour by one of the interrogators. My head was banged against the wall so hard that it started to bleed. Cold water was poured over my head. This was then repeated with other interrogators. Finally I was taken for a session of water boarding. The torture on that day was finally stopped by the intervention of the doctor.”

Reading the Red Cross report, one becomes somewhat inured to the “alternative set of procedures” as they are described: the cold and repeated violence grow numbing. Against this background, the descriptions of daily life of the detainees in the black sites, in which interrogation seems merely a periodic heightening of consistently imposed brutality, become more striking.

Here again is Mr. Mohammed:

“After each session of torture I was put into a cell where I was allowed to lie on the floor and could sleep for a few minutes. However, due to shackles on my ankles and wrists I was never able to sleep very well.... The toilet consisted of a bucket in the cell, which I could use on request” — he was shackled standing, his hands affixed to the ceiling — “but I was not allowed to clean myself after toilet during the first month.... I wasn’t given any clothes for the first month. Artificial light was on 24 hours a day, but I never saw sunlight.”

Abu Zubaydah, Walid bin Attash, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed — these men almost certainly have blood on their hands. There is strong reason to believe that they had critical parts in planning and organizing terrorist operations that caused the deaths of thousands of people. So in all likelihood did the other “high-value detainees” whose treatment while secretly confined by the United States is described in the Red Cross report.

From everything we know, many or all of these men deserve to be tried and punished — to be “brought to justice,” as President Bush vowed they would be. The fact that judges, military or civilian, throw out cases of prisoners who have been tortured — and have already done so at Guantánamo — means it is highly unlikely that they will be brought to justice anytime soon.

For the men who have committed great crimes, this seems to mark perhaps the most important and consequential sense in which “torture doesn’t work.” The use of torture deprives the society whose laws have been so egregiously violated of the possibility of rendering justice. Torture destroys justice. Torture in effect relinquishes this sacred right in exchange for speculative benefits whose value is, at the least, much disputed.

As I write, it is impossible to know definitively what benefits — in intelligence, in national security, in disrupting Al Qaeda — the president’s approval of use of an “alternative set of procedures” might have brought to the United States. Only a thorough investigation, which we are now promised, much belatedly, by the Senate Intelligence Committee, can determine that.

What we can say with certainty, in the wake of the Red Cross report, is that the United States tortured prisoners and that the Bush administration, including the president himself, explicitly and aggressively denied that fact. We can also say that the decision to torture, in a political war with militant Islam, harmed American interests by destroying the democratic and Constitutional reputation of the United States, undermining its liberal sympathizers in the Muslim world and helping materially in the recruitment of young Muslims to the extremist cause. By deciding to torture, we freely chose to embrace the caricature they had made of us. The consequences of this choice, legal, political and moral, now confront us. Time and elections are not enough to make them go away.

Mark Danner, a professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and Bard College, is the author of "Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror.” This essay is drawn from a longer article in the new issue of The New York Review of Books, available at

The Bakken Formation, in North Dakota and Montana

The USGS has determined that the Bakken Formation, in North Dakota and Montana, has 25 times more technically recoverable oil than was estimated in the USGS's 1995 assessment.

We sit down with USGS scientists Brenda Pierce and Rich Pollastro to learn more.

Subject: Oil Shortage ??

1. Before you read the story below, go to this NGS site first.

http://www.usgs. gov/newsroom/ article.asp? ID=1911

The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April ('08) that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since '95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota; western South Dakota ; and extreme eastern Montana ...... check THIS out:

The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay , and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels.. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable. ... at $107 a barrel, we're looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion 'When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea.' says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature' s financial analyst. 'This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years.' reports, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It's a formation known as the Williston Basin , but is more commonly referred to as the 'Bakken.' And it stretches from Northern Montana , through North Dakota and into Canada .. For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a deadend. Even the 'Big Oil' companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves.... and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL! That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight.

2. And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one should - because it's from TWO YEARS AGO! U. S. Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World! Stansberry Report Online - 4/20/2006

Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:

  • - 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
  • - 18-times as much oil as Iraq
  • - 21-times as much oil as Kuwait
  • - 22-times as much oil as Iran
  • - 500-times as much oil as Yemen
  • - and it's all right here in the Western United States .

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we've got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East -more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post. Don't think 'OPEC' will drop its price - even with this find?

Think again! It's all about the competitive marketplace, - it has to.

Got your attention fire up yet? Hope so! Now, while you're
thinking about it .... and hopefully P.O'd, do this:

3. Pass this along. If you don't take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next time you want to complain about gas prices .. because by doing NOTHING, you've forfeited your right to complain.


Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you sent this to everyone in your address book.

GOOGLE it or click on this link.

http://www.usgs. gov/newsroom/ article.asp? ID=1911

March 15, 2009

War crimes update(s)

The world's great genocide test

Nat Hentoff
Monday, March 16, 2009

In 2005, after I had long been covering the atrocities committed by Sudan's president, Gen. Omar Hassanal-Bashir, on black Christians and animists in the south - followed by his genocide against black Muslims in Darfur - I saw an urgent message in The Washington Post by two senators, Democrat Barack Obama of Illinois and Republican Sam Brownback of Kansas. With the United Nations characteristically useless, the senators gave me some hope this holocaust could be ended.

In "Policy adrift in Darfur," the senators (Mr. Brownback has actually gone to Darfur) wrote: "If the United States does not change its approach to Darfur, an already grim situation is likely to spiral out of control. ... When the history of this tragedy is written, nobody will remember how many times officials visited the region or how much humanitarian aid was delivered. They will only remember the death toll."

As the death toll continued to mount, there was hope again on March 4 when the International Criminal Court at last issued an arrest warrant for Africa's Hitler, Gen. al-Bashir. He is charged with five crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, forcible transfer (of civilian populations), torture and rape.

This personification of evil will also be tried, if he can be apprehended, for two war crimes: intentionally directing attacks against civilians and for pillaging, his forces stealing livestock and burning villages, with black infants sometimes tossed into the flames. Strangely, the charge of genocide is not included, although there is ample evidence that Gen. al-Bashir fully intended to destroy the black tribes of Darfur - as his ruthless Janjaweed killers kept gleefully assuring their victims.

Also on March 4, before an orchestrated, huge crowd in Khartoum, Gen. al-Bashir, as he was dancing and swaying, told the ICC to "eat" its arrest warrant while the cheering crowd burned in effigy the court's undeviating chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who clearly should have been Time magazine's "Man of the Year."

In further strutting his contempt of the ICC, Gen. al-Bashir commanded 13 foreign humanitarian organizations to get out of the country within 24 hours as his thugs ransacked their offices, taking computers and whatever cash they could find.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at last summoning what appeared to be real clear anger at the bloodthirsty head of a sovereign state, emphasized that 4.7 million of Gen. al-Bashir's people are in need of aid. These are such basic needs as food, drinking water and medical care.

Amid clinics closing and deteriorating sanitation, such infectious diseases as cholera will spread. On March 6, The Washington Times and the Associated Press quoted World Health Organization spokeswoman Fadela Chaib on an outbreak of meningitis in Nyala, south of Darfur. Precisely in that area the Dutch branch of Doctors Without Borders was carrying out meningitis vaccinations. But this indispensable humanitarian organization was one of the 13 expelled by Gen. al-Bashir.

Said one of its ousted workers, who had been assigned to one of Darfur's largest refugee camps, "People have nothing there. The meningitis outbreak alone could lead to thousands of deaths." (The Washington Post, March 5.)

On Feb. 21, anticipating the ICC's issuance of this first arrest warrant for a sitting head of state, Gen. al-Bashir's rightly feared head of Sudan's National Security and Intelligence Service, Salah Gosh (a sometimes CIA Intelligence source about terrorists in Africa, but not in Khartoum) has warned anyone anywhere who intended to actually arrest his commander in chief:

"Anyone who attempts to put his hands to execute [International Criminal Court] plans, we will cut his hands, head and parts because it is a non-negotiable issue." And with unexpected frankness, he added (as reported by the invaluable

"We [the government] were Islamic extremists, then became moderate and civilized, believing in peace and life for everyone. However, we will revert back to how we were if necessary. There is nothing any easier than that." Mr. Gosh somehow omitted saying actually when the former National Islamic Front government had become civilized.

Presumably, Gen. al-Bashir is a wanted man anywhere he travels. The ICC's court registrar, Silvana Arbia, declares that the obligation to surrender Gen. al-Bashir falls on all 108 countries that are part of the ICC; members of the U.N. Security Council; "and any other state as may be necessary." And chief Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo insists:

"The judges were clear. There is no immunity for heads of states before the ICC. As soon as al-Bashir travels through international air space, he can be arrested. It will be two months or two years, but he will face justice."

Will he really be in the dock at The Hague?

Next week: With Gen. al-Bashir still a free genocidaire, the only realistic way, so far, to ensure he and justice will finally meet begins with, as I shall explain, no-fly zones over Sudan. It will be up to NATO; the European Union, particularly France; and President Obama. George W. Bush was the first head of state to call this Sudan holocaust genocide. But it continued, and grew. Barack Obama's administration is "urgently" reviewing what should be done. We'll see.

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

And this on Tony Blair:

March 10, 2009

Will Bush Ever Face World Court? (update)

The International Criminal Court recently issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a move Sudanese officials denounced as politically motivated. Will it ever be the case that the ICC takes former U.S. President George W. Bush to task?

March 04, 2009

The 60th Birthday Blues: How to become an (overstressed) spiritwalker

When life is so overwhelming

you can not cope,

what happens then?

Well, there is the post traumatic stress disorder response and that can become compounded (see: Judith Lewis Herman's book, Trauma and Recovery). Dissociation/panic "disorder" can become the order of the day.

But what occurs when life conspires to be so


that your adrenals fail


- you MUST keep functioning and cannot afford going insane while being totally victimized -


This is a measure of my life's state and the political reality in which we are living.

I am locating a creative solution to the IMPOSSIBLE in the only way my psyche can find with the resources available. I cannot afford to feel helpless and hopeless.

This ministry becomes something referred to in shamanic circles as


I walk.

I rap

in rhythm and time.

I prophesize.

I read your hand and see who you are.

I'll guess your sign.

I hand you an angel card or a biscuit for your dog.

I ask you to pray.

I dance for your souls.

and why?

It is my "gift" from The Creator.

I have three massive ongoing traumatic issues and I bring them and get damned personal on this blog today as it is my sixtieth birthday and I have every single right to bring up THE TRUTH.

I wanted to have a semi sane dinner with my son tonight; yet instead I ate alone and was threatened with arrest TWICE today for merely trying to explain myself and stick up for my son.

I am burnt out and have become a spiritual entity, while having few REAL social supports to help me out. Yet, I am political and have a message. I am talented and can dance and sing. I dream ... on.

As we say in Minnesota: How come?

I was raised in a mixed race family. My mother (and I AM her daughter) kept my brother, Ronnie at a time such "things" were not the done thing. Despite a violent childhood, my elder brother and I were very close.

My mother was killed by my father, who committed suicide the same steamy day in July. It is my surmise he did this while in a black out. As children we went to live with my grandparents who were ritual abusers. No, they did not wear funny costumes. They were "nice": pillars of the community but people feared my grandfather and no one intervened. I left home at 15, taking my brother out of the end-of-the-line white family as quickly as I possibly could. Ronnie never lived with us.

I was a flower child/hippie during the 1960's. A conundrum I assure you. An original SDSer and I helped found the American Indian Movement, which grew out of the Minneapolis welfare rights movement.

I have been married and lost my eldest son. I've lived in high and low places. I am not going to publish my resume here, though. I just want you to understand the politics of this thang. I am firm believer in communication not CONTROL nor war.

My husband James Simson, Miles and I came to Canada as refugees in 1994 under the War on Drugs - and it took eight years for us to gain admittance, which was resolved as a Humane Compassionate Relief decision. This is the second longest immigration resolution in Canadian history; no NATO country is going to accept another nation's citizens as refugees. Trust me on that. Our final adjudicator was Alex Neve - who I unkindly refer to as Michael Never- who is the head of Canada's Amnesty International.

The "case" went through the appeals process and we lost there, too. By the time our number came up it was decided in Miles' best interest that we remain in Canada. Miles suffered extreme sexual abuse at the hands of his father and it was horrible to be removed from the United States as we had just gotten settled in and were doing really well when turfed out.

We lived in FEAR of the United States ever since. By the time the decision was made, we had been abandoned by my husband, James. This caused Miles to shutdown and resort to drug usage: he smoked tainted pot. Later, he turned to XTC for relief as he feared my death following an accident and he became a paranoid schizophrenic.

What brought us to this state of being summarily kicked out of the United States? I stood up for Leonard Peltier, the native activist to Senator Paul Wellstone. It is my profound belief that he and my ex-husband, Scott Borene, an immigration attorney colluded to have me thrown out. Not everyone wonderfulizes those two.

Two years ago I was given substandard housing by the City of Toronto following a disastrous affair whereby everything was thrown away: my son and I - who have no relatives here in Canada - had everything thrown away.

I took this substandard apartment because I followed the need to get out of the shelter system following a depressive/PTSD episode over this traumatic event. I applied for an immediate transfer two years ago as my chemical sensitivities just could NOT take the environmental impact. At that time I suffered SEVERE fibromyalgia and was overweight, despite having spent years doing yoga and being extremely flexible earlier. Yet, I was saved by a friend who helped me find orthomolecular medicene.

I continued the blogging I had begun: it was mostly on spiritual and health matters and I ran a group that numbered roughly 50 people called Earthlings Anonymous that aimed to find solutions to problems for seven generations in the future.

To my astonishment, an "Anonymous" commentator began to appear with regular "private" comments and I followed the suggestions made to me to the letter.

I was given information on Blackwater, Infragard, war crimes, and all manner of US political information. I followed instructions to the letter. I was a good investigator and found out much and my blog was a smash success many days.

It was suggested to me in the secret comments that I was Canada's newest member of the International Criminal Court and that I should expect deep Canadian support for what I was doing; I was picked because I was "special." I assumed I would go The Hague and have a nice plump salary!! Yeah, right. War crimes HAVE been committed and I do know much about them. But if you saw my life today you'd wonder where I EVER got that idea !!

(And let this be my first statement that ALWAYS get real evidence before you ever believe anything, as the evidence clearly does not support that anonymous assertion. A similar claim was made to me via International Clearinghouse online by this same poster that my "case" regarding my illegal expulsion from the United States was being investigated by the Department of Justice.)

During this entire time, my house was being regularly invaded by stalkers and a mysterious person(s) who took things at night. I thought that it was some sort of alphabet souper (ya know, CIA, CSIS or something) - but it was cigarettes, bras, and then LARGE sums of money that would disappear. Sometimes I would have to go over to my son's house to get supplies and walk many miles. I socially as I knew I was being followed and surveilled, particularly by Blackwater.
Last year, things got SO fraught that I tried to commit suicide on my birthday because the walker I had been promised was taken away and not one single birthday card arrived. This resulted in my THIRD near death experience - a phenomena that adds import to what is to follow.

Fortunately, my son and an online friend caught it and my life was saved.

Meanwhile the psychiatric reports and specialist opinions continued to pour in that I NEEDED to move out of this unhealthy environment. I was in physical pain and I dissociated.

During this entire time, my house was being regularly invaded by stalkers and a mysterious person(s) who took things at night. I thought that it was some sort of alphabet souper (ya know, CIA, CSIS or something) - but it was cigarettes, bras, and then LARGE sums of money that would disappear. Sometimes I would have to go over to my son's house to get supplies and walk many miles. I would go to the police and complian long and hard.

In my son's police district I spoke to them about prosecuting George W. Bush and spoke to the District Attorney about it not knowing that this approach had been tried before.

I walked the streets handing out cards about my blog to get support.

I was promised help getting to the Andover War Crimes Conference by my local MP's office. I sold hundreds of copies of the Bugliosi book: yet since I could not raise $20,000 to set up an office and meet our needs I have never received much more than a few paltry donations and no commission on the sale of the book. I invited them to come to a Town Hall I had to put on myself after other arrangements fell through at my own expense. Peculiar, I have NEVER met the local MP yet.

However, this town hall never materialized. I had spent my own money trying urgently to get a town hall preparation meeting in order through the local Native Friendship Centre. However, at the last minute on TWO occasions they were abruptly cancelled. This was to provide funds for me and another law student to travel to Massachusetts. I was threatened by the head of the Centre, a Mr. Larry Frost. There is a key to the blog which could net the native community money AND the sales of the book at the event would have added to their coffers.

In the end one of my fellowship friends helped me get the money by saying I had moved into her apartment and I went to Andover alone.

When I got there I was shocked that Jordan J. Paust did not attend. I was sure he knew about my blog. I believed "testing" was NOT W. Richard West and he was not going to attend. I still do not know who that individual is; but I assure you that the assertion that my "back is covered" is certainly not true. The Robert Jackson Conference was extremely important and I am proud that I attended. But as a nonregistered participant I get no updates and none of the materials.

Instead when I came back, the crap began hitting the fan. My son was in a hospital and the police would not tell me where he was. Since then, he has been in three hospitals and none of them the correct one !! He has been formed, arrested and I have been humiliated publically by these hospitals and I could not get anyone to help me sue them for their misconduct.

I have been in total distress. I have been attacked physically five times in the past six months.

The man who claimed to be a Special Forces officer and an ally turned out to be the local crack dealer and he has threatened me on several occasions. No one arrests HIM, but they do my son.

Yes, I have even called Centre for the Victims of Torture for help. I have asked for therapeutic support. Even from senior's groups. None of it is forthcoming. It's been six months of attrition of anything approaching normalcy or legality !!

The disability people have treated me horribly and I went without electricity for a long time. My neighbors have thrown my belongings away !! My friends are horrified at the conditions in my apartment and don't come back.

Due to the theft of all my property two years ago and the fact that the US did not mail back my passport after I applied, the blog cannot accept donations even if they are made.

I have not gotten my $14,000 plus in back US taxes nor the nearly $2,000 I paid out in cab fares back so I am stuck in the apartment with the mouse shit even now !!

I have called the local City Councillor numerous times about my problems; he does nothing and I have filed an official complaint against the local police department.

I have found out James has died so there is no way to appeal to him for assistance. Further, my law suit against Scott has failed because I cannot prove he owes me money, but he does.

No lawuist has gone up against Sunnybrook nor St. Joseph's hospital, who are guilty under Canada's Mental Health Act of violating both Miles and my rights.

I now suffer extreme traumatic arthritis from the physical attacks I took from Miles and the crack addict.

I have become extremely interested in the symptomology that the war crimes have produced here in our cities, though.

The synthesis of urban decay, military keynesianISM, the fiscal crisis and people's responses is key. We must be prepared for what is ahead and Dmitri Orlov has said it best. People must not self medicate with drugs and alcohol to avoid facing what is going to happen very soon in our suburbs and urban areas.

But there are solutions and I have been proposing them to everyone that I can. These include using Shipping crate container buildings/solar energy to rebuild our city housing; this will eliminate the homelessness. And our spaces must be better utilized. To this end I say I will run against our local City Councillor during my "raps": it only costs $200 to run. And I could pay it all in pennies. But Dreamwalkers make horrible politicians although we have our fingers right on the pulse. I feel I have become an urban minister, but the pay is zilch and the energy expended enormous, but I had to do something while I cannot get get Miles released !!

Would I really run for office? I'd have to get Canadian Citizenship and to my surprise I don't have it and only found out when applying for a Canadian passport.


Instead of being a member of the International Criminal Court, I might become a participant in Voices from the Street, if I am fortunate. I certainly understand the issues of mental health, addiction and homelessness in a very deep mannner. I do wish I could have capitalized on some celebrity coming up to Toronto, particularly Vincent Bugliosi, but this never materialized.

So my three traumas: getting Ontario Disability to live up to their mandate and give me my cab funds; getting Toronto Housing to get me transferred and give me a hearing which is now two months overdue; and then to get the police department and Toronto City Housing to due its duty against CRIMINALS. Miles is owed $100,000 in back social security and the doctors don't let him out to collect it nor even get his disability allowance money !! So we live in dire straights which is totally INSANE.

Find housing with social supports and a chance to grow things, have a dog and go back to school if Voices does not work out.

I want my eldest son to realize he is NOT recovering and that the restraining order he put out on me after not seeing me or his brother for fourteen years is mean and cruel. I want to meet my grandchildren. I worked very hard to give him the opportunities and blessings that make his life extremely comfortable financially. I have post traumatic stress and am not a "mental case" as he insists.

Is it too much to ask??? I think I have at least another 30 years to accomplish some of this.

* S * P * I * R * I * T *

W * A *
L * K * I * N * G

I am your sister.

Please treat me as such.

You would not want your sister treated this way.

Don't take the spirit out if spirituality.

I ride the Zuvuya for you.

Remember: what happened to me could happen to anyone who faces an orphaned existence.

How many tears can this old woman cry?

Yet only kindness to others can help me out.

Widowed, orphaned and homeless now.

Knowing we are all ONE fellowship, really.

My name is Virginia:

remember my name.

How can they arrest my vulnerable son and yet let the real criminals go free?

Megweetch for reading

This was the saddest birthday I have ever had, really.

I want my son restored to sane living and a chance to have real therapy not poison thrown down his throat .

I want to have sane, deep social contacts outside that horrible building.

Your friend,

Many Rivers
Dharam Kaur

Who dances the message into your palm:

Mitayake Oyasin

Mohawk Nation update


MNN. March 1, 200 9. On June 14, 2008, Kahentinetha and Katenies, two Mohawk women, were viciously attacked at the Cornwall Ontario border by a special squad of about twelve barking Canadian Border Services Agents CBSA dressed for combat. One woman was put into a torture stress situation meant to kill her. She suffered a trauma induced heart attack and is still recovering. The other was severely beaten and held incommunicado without access to medical attention or outside help. She is still recovering from her injuries.

Kahentinetha and Katenies live in the Mohawk communities of Akwesasne and Kahnawake. They think that everyone should be able to pass the illegal colonial border without being assaulted or killed.

No employee or official has shown any concern for the near fatal assault committed by the CBSA. They filed formal complaints for a full investigation, appropriate charges to be made against the offenders and reasonable compensation for their arrest, assault and illegal jailing. They sent requests to the Hon. Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP, the Mohawk Akwesasne Police and the CBSA. They all refused to investigate.

The two women have no money and no lawyer. They had no choice but to represent themselves. They filed a Federal Court of Canada lawsuit to force the police and government agents to investigate this attempted murder. For $2 they filed a Statement of Claim on the ”Assault, arrest and illegal detention” by Canada Border Services Agents [Kahentinetha & Katenies v. Queen, Section 48, Federal Court Act, T-1309-08]. At first the court registry employees seemed helpful. As time went on they issued misinformation and lost documents to sabotage the lawsuit.

The crown’s first response was to file an unprecedented countersuit for Kahentinetha and Katenies to pay for Canada‘s costs. To start they wanted over $20,000 on deposit before the case could be tried, plus all subsequent costs thereafter. They justified this by claiming that Kahentinetha and Katenies are “not residents of Canada”. They based this deceptive false argument on an unsubstantiated article from a newspaper published on the internet that speculated that Katenies lived in the U.S. Kahentinetha and Katenies submitted evidence that they live in Akwesasne and Kahnawake which are located in the portion of the colony of Canada known as “Quebec”. They are considered residents of Canada by the Canadian government. The court refused to accept the evidence.

Kahentinetha and Katenies were pleased with FCC’s order that respects Indigenous jurisdiction over Turtle Island. According to Canada’s own order and laws, the demand for money is a human rights violation and Canada must remove its border control.

Prothonotary Mireille Tabib of FCC issued the order that the two women must put $6,500 before the case would proceed. Kahentinetha and Katenies appealed. They argued that Canada cannot claim that Kahnawake and Akwesasne are not part of Canada so as to classify them as “non-residents” to make them pay court costs, while they treat these communities as parts of Canada, including having a border control in the center. This was a very strong argument. So they stooped to skullduggery. They “lost” the appeal documents.

When the crown did not reply, Kahentinetha phoned the FCC registry. She was told the documents were lost. Then they suddenly found them. Kahentinetha and Katenies were instructed to re-file the appeal and to ask “for an extension of time”.

FCC Judge Francois Lemieux then issued an order denying them the extension of time. He made no ruling on the unconstitutional posting of money by victims of a crime carried out by agents of the state. His deflection made it impossible for the women to appeal. Such a cynical and willful obstruction of justice was unexpected.

Kahentinetha and Katenies, having no money, no jobs and no attachable assets, had to abandon the case. Then on February 26, 2009, Kahentinetha filed a brand new suit on the “Reckless disregard for the safety and security of Indigenous Women at the Canadian Border, Akwesasne” [FCC File No. T-288-09, Kahentinetha v. Queen]. Not forgotten is that men are also abused at the border.

Canada continues judicial chicanery with blindness to the rule of law. As a signatory to international human rights instruments, Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982, states everyone is equal before the law. People, no matter what part of the world they come from, cannot be beaten up by state agents with impunity.

Hardball bullying that Kahentinetha and Katenies got from the FCC shows that it is impossible for Indigenous to get our issues discussed rationally and resolved according to generally accept Canadian and international legal principles. Canadian and international opinion does not support this high handed and unethical behavior.

Kahentinetha is not a Canadian citizen and Kahnawake and Akwesasne are not part of Canada as recognized by Prothonotary Mireille Tabib’s order of 23 October, 2008 [FCC No. T-1309] and by Judge Francois Lemieux’s order of 29 January 2009 [ FCC No. T-1309-08].

The assault can be proven by both civilian and government of Canada witnesses, by medical and hospital records and by videotape evidence which is in the hands of the CBSA.

Kahentinetha and Katenies’ main purposes for their legal actions are to demand a full and fair investigation of: 1) the assault; 2) the failure to investigate; 3) the loss of documents and unethical treatment by the FCC; and 4) the action to be tried without delay in the FCC at 30 McGill Street, Montreal, Quebec.

Canada continues to use its courts as a political weapon to allow its agents to abuse us with impunity. This case cannot be swept under the carpet of judicial chicanery.

Ieriwaonni & MNN Staff Mohawk Nation News Note: Your financial help is needed and appreciated. Please send your donations by check or money order to “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0. Nia:wen thank you very much. Go to MNN “BORDER” category for more stories; New MNN Books Available now! Purchase t-shirts, mugs and more at our CafePressStore; Subscribe to MNN for breaking news updates; Sign Women Title Holders petition!
Cases FCC T-1309-08 and FCC T-288-09, Kahentinetha v. Queen.
POLITICAL, JUDICIAL & BUREAUCRATIC “DOUCE BAGS”: Hon. Robert “Contemptible-flunkey-who-protects state-criminals-and-other-agents-of-repression” Nicholson, Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada, Tel: 613-941-6900,, Hon. John “”Judicial-hit-man” Sims, Deputy Attorney-General of Canada, Dept. of Justice, 284 Wellington St. TSA-6032, Ottawa Ontario K1A0H8 Tel: 613-946-2774, 613-992-3452, 613-942-4238, L. Bisson, Manager, Ministerial Correspondence Unit; Charles Payette 613-952-3653, Anil Kamal 613-943-2302 Fax: 613-952-6006; Federal Court of Canada, 30 McGill St., Montreal Quebec H2Y 3Z7 Tel: 1-800-927-5499, 514-283-4820, Prothonotary Mireille “Twisted-judicial-storm-trooping-gate-keeper-with-a-history-of-unconscionable-chicanery-against-Ongwehone” Tabib, Judge Francois “Rubber-stamping-petti-fogging-cheater” Lemieux; Sgt. J.L. Pettit, RCMP Headquarters, 1200 Vanier Parkway, Ottawa K1A 0R2 Tel: 613-993-7267 Fax: 613-993-0260; Louise Steele, Ontario Provincial Police, 777 Memorial Avenue, Orillia Ontario L3V 7V3 Tel: 705-329- 6051;
COLONIAL DOUCHE BAG PUPPETS: Phil Fontaine of the AFN is a partner in CBSA’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-9; Chris Kealey, Canada Customs Excise, Immigration Taxation Board, CBSA Media Relations 613-991-5197; President CBSA 613-952-3200, 613-957-0612,; National Aboriginal Initiative CHRC 204-983-2189 1-866-772-4880; Canada Customs Port of Entry at Cornwall Island Ontario; Quebec Human Rights; Akwesasne Mohawk Police 613-575-2250 ex 2400; Mohawk Security at the border 613-932-5183, 613-575-2340; Lance Markel, District Director CBSA 613-930-3234, 613-991-1214; Brent Lefebvre, Investigator CBSA; Susan St. Clair, Canadian Human Rights Commission, 344 Slater, Ottawa 613-995-1151, 1-888-214-1090, 613-943-5188; CBSA National Spokesperson 613-957-6500; Quebec Media Relations CBSA 514-350-6130; Chief Mohawk Council Akwesasne 613-575-2250; Minister Stockwell Day, Ottawa 613-995-4432; Melissa Leclair Communications Pub. Safety 613-991-2863.

February 24, 2009

Aspertame (think: Donald Rumsfield profiteer) update

New Mexico Senate
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Honorable Frank Torti, M.D.

February 12, 2009

Acting Commissioner,
United States Food and Drug Administration
5400 Fisher's Lane
Rockville, Maryland

Dear Dr. Torti:

I am the New Mexico sponsor of the enclosed Senate Memorial 9, 2009, asking the Food and Drug Administration to rescind its approval for the artificial sweetener, aspartame.

You may know that the FDA, to its credit, turned down G.D. Searle's application for aspartame's approval from 1966 to 1981, at which point, approval was forced through the FDA at the insistence of Searle's CEO, Donald Rumsfeld.
Numerous physicians' petitions as well as many private petitions have been filed with FDA since 1981 asking for the rescinding of aspartame's approval. These have all been routinely ignored and responded to with industry assurance about how many industry financed "tests" aspartame has been through, all of which showed "aspartame to be safe."
FDA used to keep records on consumer complaints on aspartame, accruing a minimum of 92 alleged symptoms from ingesting aspartame, ranging from headaches, blurred vision, skin rashes, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis to that ultimate symptom, DEATH.

Dr. Torti, this chemical has produced a massive mountain of medical and neurodengenerative evidence, which I believe would lead you to order it removed from the market. While it is too late to do this now as a "precaution"; it is even more imperative to do this as a means of preventing further medical harm to future victims.

This Memorial is advancing in the New Mexico Senate, after being cosponsored by ten of my colleagues. A similar version of the Memorial has also been introduced by Hawaii Senator Chun Oakland, and is cosponsored by ten members of the Hawaii Senate. That resolution will create an evidentiary repository for Hawaii victims, especially those with diabetes and epileptic seizures, now statistically epidemic in Hawaii, with links to aspartame.In January 2009, Hawaii Senator Kalani English introduced SB576 in that state. It would ban aspartame entirely in Hawaii. This bill is cosponsored by an astonishing 14 members of the 25 member Hawaii Senate. At the same time, Representative Mele Carroll has introduced HB669, also banning aspartame's sale and use in Hawaii.

I realize a permanent FDA Commissioner has not yet been selected by the Obama Administration, but when one is appointed, I will send a similar letter to him/her to again request this action in order to protect the American public from further harm from a chemical that the FDA has known for 43 years is metabolized as methanol, formaldehyde, aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and the proven carcinogen, diketopiperazine.This regulatory failure of epic proportions entirely resulted from the actions of Donald Rumsfeld when he was with the original patent holder for aspartame. There is sufficient evidence to warrant such a rescinding, a situation not unlike that in 1969 when President Richard Nixon similarly ordered the FDA to take away the approval for another group of carcinogens, cyclamates, which occurred very quickly.

Our concern must be the overarching concerns of preventing further neurodengenerative and carcinogenic damage to hundreds of millions of Americans, who have no other government entity to trust and depend on than the United State Food and drug Administration!
I believe that President Obama, Congressman Bart Stupak, and Congresswoman Rosa Delauro all want to see the rebuilding of an FDA that merits the restored trust of the American people. I certainly want to see this come about, and I hope you do as well.Rescinding aspartame's FDA approval would be a major credible first step in the right direction.

Sincerely yours,
Gerald Ortiz y Pino
New Mexico State Senator
District 12Albuquerque

KaKaKarl update

Rove Skips House Judiciary Deposition

Submitted by Chip to afterdowningstreet on Tue, 2009-02-24 02:31.

John Bresnahan reports:

Former Bush adviser Karl Rove was a no-show today at his scheduled deposition deadline for the House Judiciary Committee's ongoing probe into the U.S. attorney firings -- setting up a major decision for President Obama on how to respond to congressional subpoenas.

Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) subpeonaed Rove to find out what he knows about the Dec. 2006 firings which eventually toppled former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

When Rove was subpoenaed in 2007, President Bush asserted "absolute immunity" for his top aides, refusing to allow them even to appear before a congressional panel. House Democrats eventually sued, and won an initial legal victory. The Bush White House, through the Justice Dept., appealed the ruling, and when Bush left office in January 2009, the case was still undecided.

White House Counsel Greg Craig has urged the two sides to cut a deal, but Rove and his attorney, Robert Luskin, have kicked it back to the White House, saying it is up to them to assert executive privilege or not.

So the next big development will occur on March 4, when the Obama administration is scheduled to file a motion in federal appeals court laying out its position on the issue.

Text of H.R. 645: National Emergency Centers Establishment Act

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This version: Introduced in House. This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the House for consideration. This is the latest version of the bill available on this website.

HR 645 IH


1st Session

H. R. 645

To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations.


January 22, 2009

Mr. HASTINGS of Florida introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘National Emergency Centers Establishment Act’.


(a) In General- In accordance with the requirements of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations.

(b) Purpose of National Emergency Centers- The purpose of a national emergency center shall be to use existing infrastructure--

(1) to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster;

(2) to provide centralized locations for the purposes of training and ensuring the coordination of Federal, State, and local first responders;

(3) to provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations; and

(4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.


(a) In General- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate not fewer than 6 military installations as sites for the establishment of national emergency centers.

(b) Minimum Requirements- A site designated as a national emergency center shall be--

(1) capable of meeting for an extended period of time the housing, health, transportation, education, public works, humanitarian and other transition needs of a large number of individuals affected by an emergency or major disaster;

(2) environmentally safe and shall not pose a health risk to individuals who may use the center;

(3) capable of being scaled up or down to accommodate major disaster preparedness and response drills, operations, and procedures;

(4) capable of housing existing permanent structures necessary to meet training and first responders coordination requirements during nondisaster periods;

(5) capable of hosting the infrastructure necessary to rapidly adjust to temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance needs;

(6) required to consist of a complete operations command center, including 2 state-of-the art command and control centers that will comprise a 24/7 operations watch center as follows:

(A) one of the command and control centers shall be in full ready mode; and

(B) the other shall be used daily for training; and

(7) easily accessible at all times and be able to facilitate handicapped and medical facilities, including during an emergency or major disaster.

(c) Location of National Emergency Centers- There shall be established not fewer than one national emergency center in each of the following areas:

(1) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions I, II, and III.

(2) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV.

(3) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions V and VII.

(4) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region VI.

(5) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions VIII and X.

(6) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IX.

(d) Preference for Designation of Closed Military Installations- Wherever possible, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate a closed military installation as a site for a national emergency center. If the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense jointly determine that there is not a sufficient number of closed military installations that meet the requirements of subsections (b) and (c), the Secretaries shall jointly designate portions of existing military installations other than closed military installations as national emergency centers.

(e) Transfer of Control of Closed Military Installations- If a closed military installation is designated as a national emergency center, not later than 180 days after the date of designation, the Secretary of Defense shall transfer to the Secretary of Homeland Security administrative jurisdiction over such closed military installation.

(f) Cooperative Agreement for Joint Use of Existing Military Installations- If an existing military installation other than a closed military installation is designated as a national emergency center, not later than 180 days after the date of designation, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense shall enter into a cooperative agreement to provide for the establishment of the national emergency center.

(g) Reports-

(1) PRELIMINARY REPORT- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) an outline of the reasons why the site was selected;

(B) an outline of the need to construct, repair, or update any existing infrastructure at the site;

(C) an outline of the need to conduct any necessary environmental clean-up at the site;

(D) an outline of preliminary plans for the transfer of control of the site from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of Homeland Security, if necessary under subsection (e); and

(E) an outline of preliminary plans for entering into a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f).

(2) UPDATE REPORT- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) an update on the information contained in the report as required by paragraph (1);

(B) an outline of the progress made toward the transfer of control of the site, if necessary under subsection (e);

(C) an outline of the progress made toward entering a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f); and

(D) recommendations regarding any authorizations and appropriations that may be necessary to provide for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site.

(3) FINAL REPORT- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) finalized information detailing the transfer of control of the site, if necessary under subsection (e);

(B) the finalized cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f); and

(C) any additional information pertinent to the establishment of a national emergency center at the site.

(4) ADDITIONAL REPORTS- The Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, may submit to Congress additional reports as necessary to provide updates on steps being taken to meet the requirements of this Act.


This Act does not affect--

(1) the authority of the Federal Government to provide emergency or major disaster assistance or to implement any disaster mitigation and response program, including any program authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.); or

(2) the authority of a State or local government to respond to an emergency.


There is authorized to be appropriated $180,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010 to carry out this Act. Such funds shall remain available until expended.


In this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1) CLOSED MILITARY INSTALLATION- The term ‘closed military installation’ means a military installation, or portion thereof, approved for closure or realignment under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (part A of title XXIX of Public Law 101-510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note) that meet all, or 2 out of the 3 following requirements:

(A) Is located in close proximity to a transportation corridor.

(B) Is located in a State with a high level or threat of disaster related activities.

(C) Is located near a major metropolitan center.

(2) EMERGENCY- The term ‘emergency’ has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122).

(3) MAJOR DISASTER- The term ‘major disaster’ has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122).

(4) MILITARY INSTALLATION- The term ‘military installation’ has the meaning given such term in section 2910 of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (part A of title XXIX of Public Law 101-510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note).