Watch This Sky-High 2-Minute Video That Will Drive America’s Terrorist Enemies Crazy

In just about a week, the observatory atop New York City’s One World Trade Center will open for visitors. Built on the site where the twin towers destroyed in the 9/11 attacks by Islamic terrorists once stood, the “Freedom Tower” is the tallest building in the United States and the fourth-tallest structure on the planet.

Construction of the 104-story Center began on April 27, 2006. On May 10, 2013, the final segment of the tower’s spire was installed, giving the building a total height of 1,776 feet — certainly a number appropriate for America’s Freedom Tower that stands as a proud symbol of the country’s resilience and stature in the world.

To witness the 8-year span of the construction of the One World Trade Center in just under 2 minutes, you can click on the remarkable time-lapse video above, courtesy of NewsLook.com.

h/t: USA Today

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

USA FREEDOM Act: Just Another Word For Lost Liberty

Apologists for the National Security Agency (NSA) point to the arrest of David Coleman Headley as an example of how warrantless mass surveillance is necessary to catch terrorists. Headley played a major role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that killed 166 people.

While few would argue that bringing someone like Headley to justice is not a good thing, Headley’s case in no way justifies mass surveillance. For one thing, there is no “terrorist” exception in the Fourth Amendment. Saying a good end (capturing terrorists) justifies a bad means (mass surveillance) gives the government a blank check to violate our liberties.

Even if the Headley case somehow justified overturning the Fourth Amendment, it still would not justify mass surveillance and bulk data collection. This is because, according to an investigation by ProPublica, NSA surveillance played an insignificant role in catching Headley. One former counter-terrorism official said when he heard that NSA surveillance was responsible for Headley’s capture, he “was trying to figure out how NSA played a role.”

The Headley case is not the only evidence that the PATRIOT Act and other post-9/11 sacrifices of our liberty have not increased our security. For example, the NSA’s claim that its surveillance programs thwarted 54 terrorist attacks has been widely discredited. Even the president’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies found that mass surveillance and bulk data collection was “not essential to preventing attacks.”

According to the congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 and the 9/11 Commission, the powers granted the NSA by the PATRIOT Act would not have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Many intelligence experts have pointed out that, by increasing the size of the haystack government agencies must look through, mass surveillance makes it harder to find the needle of legitimate threats.

Even though mass surveillance threatens our liberty, violates the Constitution, and does nothing to protect us from terrorism, many in Congress still cling to the fiction that the only way to ensure security is to give the government virtually unlimited spying powers. These supporters of the surveillance state are desperate to extend the provisions of the PATRIOT Act that are set to expire at the end of the month. They are particularly eager to preserve Section 215, which authorizes many of the most egregious violations of our liberties, including the NSA’s “metadata” program.

However, Edward Snowden’s revelations have galvanized opposition to the NSA’s ongoing violations of our liberties. This is why Congress will soon vote on the USA FREEDOM Act. This bill extends the expiring surveillance laws. It also contains some “reforms” that supposedly address all the legitimate concerns regarding mass surveillance.

However, a look at the USA FREEDOM Act’s details, as opposed to the press releases of its supporters, shows that the act leaves the government’s mass surveillance powers virtually untouched.

The USA FREEDOM Act has about as much to do with freedom as the PATRIOT Act had to do with patriotism. If Congress truly wanted to protect our liberties, it would pass the Surveillance State Repeal Act, which repeals the PATRIOT Act. Congress should also reverse the interventionist foreign policy that increases the risk of terrorism by fostering resentment and hatred of Americans.

Fourteen years after the PATRIOT Act was rushed into law, it is clear that sacrificing liberty does little or nothing to preserve security. Instead of trying to fool the American people with phony reforms, Congress should repeal all laws that violate the Fourth Amendment, starting with the PATRIOT Act.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

An Unbearable And Choking Hell: The Loss Of Our Freedoms In The Wake Of 9/11

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

“I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”—Osama bin Laden (October 2001), as reported by CNN

What a strange and harrowing road we’ve walked since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties. We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade a freedom-loving people to march in lockstep with a police state.

What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption, and abuse. Since then, we have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance. The bogeyman’s names and faces change over time—Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and now ISIS—but the end result remains the same: our unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security.

Ironically, just a short week after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we find ourselves commemorating the 227th anniversary of the ratification of our Constitution. Yet while there is much to mourn about the loss of our freedoms in the years since 9/11, there has been little to celebrate.

The Constitution has been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded to such an extent that what we are left with today is but a shadow of the robust document adopted more than two centuries ago. Most of the damage has been inflicted upon the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—which historically served as the bulwark from government abuse.

Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, roving VIPR raids, and the like—all sanctioned by Congress, the White House, and the courts—a recitation of the Bill of Rights would understandably sound more like a eulogy to freedoms lost than an affirmation of rights we truly possess.

As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the Constitution has been on life support for some time now. We can pretend that the Constitution, which was written to hold the government accountable, is still our governing document. However, the reality we must come to terms with is that in the America we live in today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.

Consider the state of our freedoms, and judge for yourself whether this Constitution Day should be a day of mourning, celebration or a robust call to action:

The First Amendment is supposed to protect the freedom to speak your mind and protest in peace without being bridled by the government. It also protects the freedom of the media, as well as the right to worship and pray without interference. In other words, Americans should not be silenced by the government. Yet despite the clear protections found in the First Amendment, the freedoms described therein are under constant assault.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

OOPS! See How Obama’s Bizarre 9/11 Photo-Op Was Dissed By A Disappointed Sixth-Grader

Obama dissed

Western Journalism reported a few days ago on the controversy that erupted over the “shockingly inappropriate way” the Obamas chose to remember 9/11…and to make a big deal about it on social media. A lot of critics of the photo-op showing President Obama and First Lady Michelle stuffing “KaBOOM!” backpacks for the needy felt the association of explosive tragedies of 9/11 with the “KaBOOM!” imagery was rather odd, to say the least.

Well, it turns out those critics of the first couple’s self-congratulatory “community service” outing in “honor” of the 9/11 dead were not the only ones expressing disappointment with the event.

Thanks to huffingtonpost.com, we know that one of the kids shown with the president was bummed that Obama showed up at the event and not the person she really wanted to be there – Beyoncé.

You can see the exchange between the president and his backpack-stuffing partner Madison in the short video above.

 

H/T: huffingtonpost.com    Image Credit: ABC News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Listen: The Day Before 9/11, Bill Clinton Described How He Could Have Stopped Bin Laden, But Didn’t

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As the adage proclaims, hindsight is 20/20; however, some actions — or failures to act — are later proven to have literally world-changing repercussions. One such case involves then-President Bill Clinton’s ability to take out the terrorist mastermind behind the deadliest attack in U.S. history.

Sky News host Paul Murray recently presented never-before-heard audio of Clinton defending his decision to let bin Laden continue planning his terror plots in an Australian address given mere hours before the planes crashed into multiple targets, killing nearly 3,000 individuals.

Murray explained that Clinton had “a chance to change history but he chose not to — and the result was thousands of people who died.”

He went on to charge that the Democrat, only months removed from the White House, “almost brags about not killing the person who took so many lives.”

Former Australian Liberal Party President Michael Kroger had possession of the audio tape, only recently realizing the potential merit of the clip Murray played for his audience. He explained that Clinton was speaking before a group of Australian business leaders when he made the ominous statement.

“Ten hours before the planes hit the World Trade Center,” Kroger recalled, “Bill Clinton was answering a question from a member of the audience about terrorism … and he made some extraordinary remarks which have hitherto remained in my vault.”

Speaking about Bin Laden, Clinton confirmed that he had a clear shot at wiping out the menace, then residing in Afghanistan.

“I nearly got him,” he said, “and I could have killed him; but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent children. And then I would have been no better than him; so I didn’t do it.”

Kroger cited the magnitude of Clinton allowing bin Laden “to continue with his terrorist activities,” explaining that the comment was not forgotten among those present for the meeting.

“He tells the business people in Australia this on Sept. 10,” Kroger said, “and of course in the days after that, Paul, everyone’s ringing each other, saying ‘Oh my God, do you remember what he said at the meeting that he could have killed bin Laden and he didn’t?’”

The result, he concluded, is that “the world changed, and of course we’ve never been the same since.”

Murray added that, in light of what happened hours later, Clinton likely tried to distance himself from that decision.

“What’s very definite,” he said, “is I’m pretty sure he’s dropped that part of the anecdote from the after-dinner speaking circuit in the past couple of years. Best not to talk about it, methinks.”

Photo credit: Juli Hansen / Shutterstock.com

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom