May 23

Many people have written on the 9/11 Commission’s budgetary constraints. See this.

Want to Know has a great new summary of the Commission’s scandalously inadequate budget:

The 9/11 commission was originally allotted only $3 million. Eventually, after much begging and haggling, the commission was given $15 million. Yet a CNN article lists the cost of the Lewinsky investigation at $30 million. A Los Angeles Times article states the cost of the Columbia space shuttle disaster investigation was $175 million.

How could 9/11 – the greatest disaster in American history – be given such a small budget for investigation?

Remember, the Commissioners stated that government did everything it could to cover up and obstruct their investigation:

  • The Commission’s co-chairs said that the CIA (and likely the White House) “obstructed our investigation”
  • The Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission (John Farmer) – who led the 9/11 staff’s inquiry – said “At some level of the government, at some point in time…there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened”. He also said “I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…. This is not spin. This is not true.”

Given such a lack of cooperation, $15 million wasn’t enough to even start getting to the bottom of what happened. $15 million didn’t pay for much other than some press releases and the costs of printing reports. It certainly wasn’t enough to pay for real investigation or legal struggles to discover information which the government was stonewalling.

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Oct 15


A sign at a Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) branch is shown in San Francisco, California September 26, 2008. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal investigators have opened an investigation into the collapse of Washington Mutual Inc, the largest U.S. banking failure.

Jeffrey Sullivan, U.S. attorney for the western district of Washington, said in a statement on Wednesday that he has set up a task force that includes investigators from the FBI, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigations unit.

“Given the significant losses to investors, employees and our community, it is fully appropriate that we scrutinize the activities of the bank, its leaders and others to determine if any federal laws were violated,” Sullivan said in a statement. He said the probe comes on the heels of “intense public interest in the failure of Washington Mutual.”

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Mar 14

WASHINGTON – The president of a slaughterhouse at the heart of the largest meat recall denied under oath on Wednesday, but then grudgingly admitted, that his company had apparently introduced sick cows into the hamburger supply.

He then tried to minimize the significance.

The executive, Steve Mendell of the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company of Chino, Calif., said, “I was shocked. I was horrified. I was sickened,” by video that showed employees kicking or using electric prods on “downer” cattle that were too sick to walk, jabbing one in the eye with a baton and using forklifts to push animals around. Continue reading »

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