Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tour de Peace in Ann Arbor, Michigan

 
 
 
Meet Peace Activist extraordinaire Cindy Sheehan on her Cycling trip across the US from California to Washington DC (deceit), on the Michigan leg of her Tour de Peace April 4th - July 3rd. She will be in:
  
Ann Arbor rally on the Campus Diag, 2-5pm, June 5th.

Co-sponsored by:
Ann Arbor Coalition Against the War, Green Party of Michigan,
Jewish Witnesses for Peace, Meta Peace Team,
Movement for a Democratic Society,
Organization for a Free Society, Peace Nick,
Socialist Party of Michigan, Veterans For Peace,
Washtenaw Community Action Team, Washtenaw Reds

Meet Cindy Sheehan - the Peace Mom speaks to end:
- all wars
- immunity for US war crimes
- supression of our civil rights
- persecution of whistleblowers
- partisan apathy and inaction
- the use of fossil fuels

With a special performance by Detroit's own political activist rock band The Insurgency!
Share.. share.. everywhere..
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The Goddess of Cycling by Cindy Sheehan


The Goddess of Cycling

Tour de Peace woke up in St. Louis in a downpour on May 28th.

What to do? Obviously, there's no riding in lightening and Mike Reid the Executive Director of Veterans for Peace came to our rescue.

We met Mike at a cafe and he laid our day out for us that was to eventually include: a trip to the Logan School of Chiropractic where my butt injury was diagnosed and treated (tore sacrococcygeal ligament when a porch swing collapsed under me ten days ago); the doctor customized the fit of my bike to me since he is a sports medicine doctor who has worked with professional cyclists for years; Mike treated my bike to a tuneup and took Team Tour de Peace out for pizza and I was able to get a delicious gluten free/vegan pie at Pi in The Loop neighborhood of St. Louis. 

Malcolm, Cindy and Mike Reid
 The day with our new best-friend, Mike, was awesome. By the time my bike and butt were tuned-up, the rain had stopped so we said a sad good-bye to Mike and headed to the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

The Arch symbolizes the "Gateway between the East and West" and after we left the Arch, we cycled over Eads Bridge into our 8th state and we will be sadly be leaving Route 66 where it ends for us in Chicago on the 3rd. Route 66 with all its quirkiness and charm has become like a close friend to us as we have very slowly cycled down it, foot by foot for just short of two months. 

On Illinois State Line looking back at Arch (8th State for TdP)
I am very proud of what Tour de Peace has accomplished since we began on April 4th at my son's grave in Vacaville (today, May 29, would have been Casey's birthday if he wasn't killed in another Imperial war for profit and hegemony). We have ridden through eight states and have experienced some wild weather and rough roads. Except for my porch swing mishap, we have come this far unscathed. I pat ourselves on the back, that's for sure!

After we crossed into Illinois, we drove (was too late to bike) to Mt. Olive and made a pilgrimage to the monument/grave of Mother Jones to pay our deepest respects and draw inspiration from the life of the Granny of radical movements. It was a special time for me.

Monument to Mother Jones in Mt. Olive, Illinois
Today, (May 29th) started out clear and humid and just got more hot and humid as we went. I, and my sidekick, Dan, started cycling South of Farmersville and, as we say, the "Goddess of Cycling" was definitely on our side with a tailwind AND mostly flat terrain. It's been a long time since we had a day like today and we were really happy, at least my butt was, to have an easy ride of about 20 miles to Springfield, from where I am writing this piece.

Tour de Peace has some exciting events planned for the remaining month, or so, so please go to our website and check it out! 

www.TourdePeace.org

Me, on the road to Springfield

Casey Austin Sheehan: May 29, 1979 to April 04, 2004 by Cindy Sheehan

I am already crying.

My oldest child, Casey, would have turned 34 years old today if he hadn't been murdered in one of the US Empire's string of needless wars for profit and Imperial hegemony.

Birthdays are more difficult to endure than deathdays. Deathdays are supposed to be sad, but birthdays should be a day of celebration and joy.

Casey was born at 1:01 in the morning after a long day of labor at Kaiser Hospital in Bellflower, Ca. When he was little, we still lived near Kaiser and whenever we passed it, he would mix "General Hospital" and "The Dukes of Hazard" and say, "There's the General Lee hospital where I was born." Casey was filled with life and wonder as are most toddlers. Every night when we would tuck him in and kiss him good night, he would say, "this was the best day of my life."

After he was murdered, my life was shattered and my heart was demolished and after nine years, the tears are still spilling over and never far from the surface. However, the only way to go is forward and Casey lives in all of us.

I read somewhere that gravestones give the vital statistics of birth and death, but the "dash" between those dates really tells the story. Casey's "dash" was short, but he was a boy, then man, who had strong principles that he never wavered from. He didn't want to go to Iraq, but he went and was killed a few days after he got there after refusing the order that led to his death. Casey was forced to go on the mission that killed him and I was never comforted by all the "hero" talk until I learned of the true hero he really was. Casey could never kill anyone and I know if he had survived his initial deployment, he never would have been the same.

In honor of my brave son, I am determined to infuse my "dash" with the struggle for peace and a nation where peace reigns and things like education and healthcare are human rights, not privileges for the oligarchy--so our children don't have to fight, kill, and die (or go into onerous debt) to receive the human right of a decent education.

I hope I can live up to the life of my son. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Just think about it...Where would we be?" by Cindy Sheehan on Memorial Day.


Camp Casey: Crawford, Texas


As if one could escape the pervasive jingoism of Empire, I am freshly assaulted by every church on every corner and reminded that this weekend is Memorial weekend while cycling across the country with Tour de Peace,
Since 2004, Memorial Weekend has held special hell for me. My son, Casey, who was needlessly murdered in Iraq because of the lies of his government and the greed of corporations, was born on Memorial Day, so I have double sorrow this weekend.
Being here in the Bible Belt of the nation, we cannot pass a church or synagogue that doesn’t grossly glorify the horrifically deadly sin of war. There are obviously glaring exceptions like Unitarians, Quakers, Catholic Workers and Mennonites, but those sects are definitely far outside the pale of extremist US Christianity.
I am never surprised by the warmongering of some purported followers of Christ, but I can still get mad-sad at the “Yea, war!” messages on the garishly lighted signs at these pseudo-religious appendages of the Pentagon. What will these places of mammon worship do when warfare is fully robotic? Will the billboards and the yellow magnetic ribbons of parishioners read: "Support the Drones?"
One such piece of crapaganda in front of a “Christian” church in St. Louis read: “Think about it…where would we be without the sacrifices of our troops?”
 
Banksy: Peace Army
My first knee-jerk, selfish reaction was: “Well, instead of putting my life on hold for three months and biking across the country for peace and justice, I would be home playing with my grandbabies and Casey would be there, too.” Maybe, just maybe, he would be married with children, himself.
Jesus Loves Nukes
Then, of course, I immediately went to the macro-analysis of that wonderful, "Christ-like" statement. MILLIONS of people would still be alive, and that’s just from this young century! Just think about it...looking back over the life of this war-loving Empire that we live in, the loss of life is practically incalculable and then there’s the loss of limb, sanity, home, security, and reputation that cannot in anyway be quantified. The hearts of millions upon millions of mothers who rarely raise their children to be tools, or victims, of Empire would still be whole and not broken into a million tiny pieces. 
Where would we be? Hmmm…the US wouldn’t be trillions of dollars in debt and perhaps bridges wouldn’t be collapsing and the money we would save on the expansion of Empire could be used to invest in education, infrastructure, healthcare and environmental sustainability, among other things. Just think of an economy based on creating art, literature and manufacturing life affirming and positive products only for consumption and not obscene profit. The war economy the US currently dis-enjoys literally sucks the life out of not just this country, but also the planet.
Just think about it...women and girls in other countries wouldn't be raped and female troops would not be sexually assaulted at the rate of about one out of three. Just think about it...the snake oil salesmen, oops, I mean military recruiters would thankfully be put out of the Murderers for Hire business. 
Just think about it...the stains of places like Gitmo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib would have never been opened and countless "terrorists" would have never been illegally detained, tortured or murdered. 
 
Just think about it…a world without the destructive nature of the US Military Empire. Like sociologist, Robert Jay Lifton said, "War is an atrocity producing event," and when some smarmy coward of a politician or slimy representative of god on earth starts spewing crap about "freedom," "democracy," "national security threat," "evil dictator," "weapons of mass destruction" "humanitarian intervention," or any number of other lies: RUN THE OTHER WAY. 
Just think about it. Think about it carefully, I have and have come to the only conclusion there can be: this planet would be a vastly different and wonderful place.

SUPPORT THE TROOPS?
HOW ABOUT NO WARS, NO TROOPS?











Stop MonSATANo by Cindy Sheehan

March Against Monsanto
May 25, 2013


On May 25th, hundreds of protests against the evil corporation, Monsanto were held globally with over one million people participating. 

Monsanto and other meddling corporations are vying to control 100% of the world's food supply with their toxic seed and poisonous Round Up. This is just a reminder: Monsanto brought Agent Orange, pcbs, Round Up and bovine growth hormone to us. Monsanto is responsible for killing millions AND has recently been the recipient of some very favorable legislation and SCOTUS rulings because MonsantObama and Justice Elena Kagan are in its pockets.

Of course, our government's revolving door of the executives of evil corporations, banks and Wall Street and Presidential appointees make the conditions ripe for such corporate friendly government.

I don't know about you, but I do not want my children and grandchildren eating poison and our family goes out of its way to make sure we don't ingest any of Monsanto's poison, but it's not easy since Monsanto made sure that California defeated the mandatory labeling law. Over 50 countries require GMO labeling, but of course not the United States of Monsanto. These countries have intelligently banned GMOs all together: 

Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, South Australia, Russia, France, and Switzerland!

Recently, China refused four shipments of toxic corn from the US. Governments are starting to pay attention, and we need to force ours to do the same.

Yesterday, Tour de Peace was in St. Louis, so we joined about 600 people in the pouring rain to register our vehement opposition to Monsanto. I am posting the pictures I took and I received permission from everybody to do so.

We were very impressed by the young people there and the diversity of the protest. I believe this is an issue that we can all rally around. 

PHOTOS

(NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

Me

 






One of these days, cops will be on the correct side: we fight for them and their children, too!





 

Stop US Imperialism Now! (Soapbox Podcast May 26)

Dear Friend,

We had a wonderful, yet strange week on

Tour de Peace.

I injured my tailbone in a non-cycling related incident, yet that's the worse place to be injured if a person is cycling across the US.

Also, we were fleeing from tornadoes and experiencing other extreme weather.

I have worked back up to cycling about 25 miles per day and today finds the Tour in St. Louis. We are going to join an anti-Monsanto protest there later today.

Needless to say, with the other challenges and the fact that we have spotty cell and wifi, I am playing an interview that I did with
Eric Draitser of Stop Imperialism.



Eric is a bright and articulate young man and I always enjoy talking to him.

We chat about the death of Chavez and the implications for Vz
(in hindsight, seems like my predictions are working out), Syria and other evil-imperialist actions by the US.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SHOW

Me riding over bridge near Devil's Elbow in Missouri

TO DONATE TO CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX
(CLICK PHOTO)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cruising 66 in the Ozarks By Cindy Sheehan




Today, (May 22) is day 48 of Tour de Peace (42 left) and was probably the most beautiful day of our ride.

We have had pretty days, weather-wise, and gorgeous views, but today, as we rode between Springfield, MO and Lebanon, the two combined with gorgeous weather AND a breathtaking view.

Tour de Peace is in the Ozarks here in Missouri and we rode down Route 66 with lush and beautiful forest lining both sides of the “Mother Road.”

The forest we cycled through is dotted with rolling farms and surrounded by blue skies. Having a really good friend in Northwest Arkansas, I have spent a lot of time in the Ozarks, but I am always flying over at a couple of hundred of miles an hour, or zooming up and down the wavelike hills at about 65 mph. Of course, cycling slows one down and just today, while we were on two different short breaks, two gentlemen approached the Peace Van and we were able to talk to them about our mission. The first man said he wished he could quit his job and join us today and the second gave us $20!

I can hardly believe that we have already ridden over half way across the country and are now in our seventh. State: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and now, Missouri. Two days ago we rode in three states: Oklahoma (where the wind really does go whipping down the plains); Kansas (shortest distance on Route 66: 11 miles); and we will be here in Missouri for a few more days before heading north from St. Louis through Illinois to end our journey on 66 where it ends (for us) in Chicago on June 2nd. (On to WashedUp, DeCeit after that). 

We’ve cycled in pouring down rain, taken cover from golf ball sized hail, and recently fled from tornadoes. We’ve almost been blown away by high winds, sweated up many, many hills in 100-degree weather, and froze while camping.

I have suffered from belly pains and recently bruised my tailbone in a non-bike related mishap and I miss my grandkids and kids, but I can’t remember when I have had so much fun doing something that is so meaningful to me and the hundreds of other people that our Tour has been able to reach.

I highly recommend crossing this country by bicycle at least once in ones life and I am already contemplating my next trip.

I was talking to my youngest daughter and she asked me if cycling across the USA was helping me “like it” more. I have never hated the country of my birth, or most of its people.

What I do loathe about the US is the government and the Robber Class that puts temporary and obscene profit over human need and environmental sustainability.

I understand there are many scandals affecting the scoundrels in DC these days, and I have to say, what’s happening in Springfield where a community is coming together to grow healthy food and raise healthy children in a peaceful environment is more important than what the murdering schemers are up to.
  
That’s why I ride, but I have to say, it’s not quite the sacrifice that most of the rest of my life has been since Casey died. 

If you can, join us for all or part of the rest of the journey.

The route can be found here:


Tour de Peace in the Ozarks

Friday, May 17, 2013

Assata Shakur and the "First Black President" (Soapbox Podcast; 5/19/2013)

Assata Shakur

This week on Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, Cindy interviews Margaret Kimberley (Editor and author for Black Agenda Report) about the recent placement of Assata Shakur on the Most Wanted Terrorist list and the implications of that for the Black Liberation movement and Cuban/American relations.

 Margaret Kimberley writes a column called Freedom Rider and along with her colleagues at Black Agenda Report has been a constant voice of integrity during the administration of the

"First Black President."

Support Assata Shakur at your own risk 

By Margaret Kimberley   

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE INTERVIEW

or Listen at 2pm (Pacific Time) on Sunday, May 19th

Community Progressive Radio  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tour de Peace has One-Month Birthday! (Soapbox Podcast; May 12, 2013)

Road Trip for Peace and Justice

TOUR de PEACE

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
May 12, 2013

On the"One-Month Birthday" of 
Tour de Peace,

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox presents a  
"Team Tour de Peace Check-in" 
caller participation show.


 CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SHOW

OR LISTEN AT 2PM (PACIFIC)
  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tour de Peace National Press Release





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Contact: DeDe Miller 562/500-9079 or 916/996-9170  cvsl@att.net                           http://tourdepeace.org


Background video:


CROSS COUNTRY BIKE for PEACE:
Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan Finishes First Month
of a 3,000-Mile Cross Country 'Tour de Peace'; Began
at Son Casey's Grave in CA & Ends in Washington D.C.

TEXAS – Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan has finished her first month of a 3,000-mile cross country 'Tour de Peace" bike ride for peace, which started April 4 in California at the gravesite and the birthday of her son, who was killed in Iraq nine years ago.

This week, Cindy left California, Arizona and New Mexico behind her and headed into Texas, where she held her peace vigil outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch to protest the Iraq War.

Thursday (May 9), Cindy and fellow riders head into Oklahoma. In three months she'll finish the bike ride for peace at Arlington National Cemetery and the White House.

 WHAT: The Tour de Peace bike ride across the United States will follow historic Route
66 to Chicago, and other roads from there on to D.C.  Bicyclers will join in for all or part of the tour, which will include public events organized by local groups along the way. 
Complete route: http://tourdepeace.org/the-route.html

WHY: This August will mark 8 years since Cindy Sheehan began a widely reported protest at then-President George W. Bush's "ranch" in Crawford, Texas, demanding to know what the "noble cause" was for which Bush claimed Americans were dying in Iraq.  Neither Bush nor President Obama has yet offered a justification for a global war now in its 12th year.  The Tour de Peace will carry with it these demands:

  • To end war
  • To end immunity for U.S. war crimes
  • To end suppression of our civil rights
  • To end the use of fossil fuels
  • To end persecution of whistleblowers
  • To end partisan apathy and inaction
 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Legendary Bobby Seale on the Soapbox (Podcast, May 5)

Bobby Now
Bobby Then

This week finds Cindy Sheehan in Asheville, NC
(speaking at a conference, taking a short break from the bike tour)

Cindy was able to catch up with one of the founders, and chairmen of the Black Panther Party, Bobby Seale.

Bobby is trying to get a movie made about his interesting (to say the least) life and comes on the Soapbox to talk about it, and his struggles.

For more information, please check out Brother Bobby's website:


RELATED:

(OBAMA SHOULD BE ON IT)  

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SHOW

 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT SHOW ARCHIVES 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Tour de Peace One-Month Check-In (Conference Call; Tues May 7th)

Tour de Peace Conference Call


WHEN:
 Tuesday, May 7th

TIME:

 7pm to 8pm Central
(8pm Eastern; 6 Mountain; 5 Pacific)

PHONE NUMBER:
218-632-0995

CONFERENCE CODE:
73223#

WHY?

Cindy Sheehan and Team Tour de Peace have been on the road, cycling for peace & justice, for ONE MONTH now.

Call into this "live Soapbox" to listen to Cindy and the Team 
recount their experiences and check-in about our progress so far!

Cindy, Dan Levy and Malcolm Chaddock are still pedaling along and will be phoning in from our stop in beautiful
Groom, Texas.

Hopefully, we will also hear from past participants:
Dede Miller, Ron Toppi and Jon Gold.

 IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR CINDY/TEAM TdP, EMAIL THEM IN ADVANCE TO 
CINDYSHEEHANSSOAPBOX@GMAIL.COM

*******************************************
(the call will be recorded to be played on the Soapbox podcast)

****************************************** 
 
 www.TourdePeace.org

       

   

The Road and Sky (TdP in New Mexico)

 
"When we come to the place where the road and the sky collide
Throw me over the edge and let my spirit glide
They told me I was going to have to work for a living
But all I want to do is ride
I don't care where we're going from here
Honey, you decide"
Jackson Browne: The Road and Sky

Tour de Peace in Amarillo, Tx: Monday, May 6


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Have A Question About The NSA And 9/11

"You can do an investigation, and if you don't really want to research an area, you just don't look at it. If you don't ask them all of the questions, or you don't let them tell you the whole story, ya know... then you can write a report based on half-truths." - 9/11 Family Member, September Eleventh Advocate, "Jersey Girl" Mindy Kleinberg
Jon Gold
5/1/2013
Updated: 5/5/2013

Hopefully, you remember the time right after 9/11. A time when we were told repeatedly that there were absolutely no warnings, and that no one had any idea something like that could happen. If not, feel free to browse the "9/11 Denials" section available at www.historycommons.org.

On May 15th, 2002, the first indication that they were aware of a threat became public. Since that time, so many more "indications" that they were aware of a threat have come to light.

On September 10th, 2001, the NSA intercepted two messages having to do with the attacks, but "the NSA will claim that they are not translated until September 12, and that even if they had been translated in time, “they gave no clues that authorities could have acted on.” One states, “the match is about to begin” and the other states, “tomorrow is zero hour.” Later reports translate the first message as, “the match begins tomorrow.”

During the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, which both Bush and Cheney asked Tom Daschle not to have, those two messages were leaked. Supposedly by Richard Shelby.

Can you guess who was enraged that the information was leaked? Here's a hint, it was Dick Cheney. According to CNN, "Vice President Dick Cheney phoned the House and Senate committee chairmen Thursday to complain about the leaks. Cheney thinks an investigation by the attorney general is a "good idea," a senior administration official told CNN." According to CBSNews, "Vice President Dick Cheney complained to lawmakers Thursday about what the administration is calling inappropriate leak of the intercepts to the press. At President Bush's direction, Cheney called Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, "to express the president's concerns about this inappropriate disclosure," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said."

It's interesting to note that Scooter Libby's staff were regularly reading "unvetted transcripts of National Security Agency intercepts" even though "policy makers are not supposed to have direct access to raw intelligence. The information is supposed to first be scrutinized and vetted by professional analysts in the intelligence community to ensure that the information is sound. This filtering process, which has been in place for some 50 years, is also intended to prevent intelligence from being used to service a particular political agenda." It is unclear, however, if Libby's staff were reading those transcripts before 9/11. Scooter Libby was Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff.

During the time of the 9/11 Commission, the NSA was hardly looked into according to Phil Shenon. You can read about it here, here, here, here, and here.

The 9/11 Commission was mandated to give a “full and complete accounting” of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future." Since they barely investigated the NSA, I think it's safe to say that they failed meeting the requirements of their mandate (reason #2,527,203).

I have several questions about the NSA and 9/11, but my big question is this… did the NSA give Cheney or anyone else in the Bush Administration information about 9/11 prior to the attacks?

I think that's a reasonable question, don't you? Especially when you consider how angry Cheney was about the leak (something you don't want us to know about at the NSA Dick?), and how the 9/11 Commission seemingly wasn't that interested in the NSA.

On Facebook, I asked author James Bamford this question, and here is what he said:
"With regard to whether NSA gave Cheney or anyone else in the Bush Administration information about 9/11 prior to the attacks, my answer is no since NSA was caught totally by surprise. The two messages, even if they were translated on 9/10, offered no clue as to what, when, or where. However, in my book, The Shadow Factory, and my PBS documentary, The Spy Factory, I show that NSA knew at least two of the terrorists were in the U.S. and failed to pass on details about them to any other agency. Had they done so, the plot might have been prevented."
I responded with:
"I believe that is the myth with regards to all alphabet agencies. That they were caught totally by surprise. We don't actually know what the NSA intercepted prior to 9/11 because we haven't been allowed to see it. We know they were monitoring many of the hijackers phone calls (but we don't know what was said). Thanks for the reply!"
NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake claims that the "NSA knew a great deal about the 9/11 threats and Al Qaeda, electronically tracking various people and organizations for years."

Some related information:

Early 1999: NSA Monitoring Hears 9/11 Hijacker Names, This Information Is Not Shared with CIA or FBI

Summer 1999: NSA Intercepts More of Almihdhar’s Calls

Late Summer 1999: NSA Intercepts Calls Mentioning 9/11 Hijacker Almihdhar, Does Not Disseminate Information

December 29, 1999: NSA Tells CIA about Planned Al-Qaeda Summit Involving Future Hijackers

Early 2000-Summer 2001: NSA Intercepts Communications between 9/11 Hijackers in US and Al-Qaeda Communications Hub

(Spring 2000): NSA Does Not Inform FBI that 9/11 Hijacker Almihdhar Is in US, Reason Unclear

Early April 2000: 9/11 Hijacker Alhazmi Talks to 9/11 Facilitator in Dubai, Possibly Using Phone Monitored by NSA

Summer 2000: NSA Continues to Intercept Calls between 9/11 Hijackers and Yemen Communications Hub

Mid-October 2000-Summer 2001: NSA Intercepts Calls between Hijacker in US and Al-Qaeda Communications Hub

May 2001: NSA Analyst Warns of Terrorist Planes into Buildings Plot; But Described as ‘Obsessed’ By Superiors

May-July 2001: NSA Picks Up Word of ‘Imminent Terrorist Attacks’

Here's a movie I made that relates to this...