Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The 9/11 Attacks and the Black Eage Trust Fund

"On that fateful day, the Securities and Exchange Commission declared a national emergency, and for the first time in U.S. history, invoked its emergency powers under Securities Exchange Act Section 12(k) easing regulatory restrictions for clearing and settling security trades for the next 15 days. These changes would allow an estimated $240 billion in covert government securities to be cleared upon maturity without the standard regulatory controls around identification of ownership."

Dear friends,

Few people are aware of the huge Black Eagle Trust fund, let alone its critical relation to the 9/11 attacks. A brilliant summary of excellent information regarding this covert fund compiled by meticulous researcher E.P. Heidner ties together many previously unexplained threads in the 9/11 mystery in ways that are most compelling. Heidner presents volumes of solid evidence to support his thesis that one of the main reasons for the attacks was to cover up the laundering of over $200 billion in bonds from this secretive fund that were to come due the day after 9/11.

Serious 9/11 researchers will likely be most grateful for the revealing connections in this careful research made between seemingly unconnected parts of the 9/11 story and the many people and organizations involved. Those less familiar with the 9/11 cover-up will almost certainly appreciate the broad overview given and the hidden history behind it all. If we follow the money, a lot of unexplained things begin to make sense.

Below are key excerpts from this remarkable paper with highlighting provided for those with limited time. If you do have time, the many diagrams, photos, and charts available in the original 58-page essay are most helpful. The full document also includes 232 footnotes for verification filling 17 pages worth of text. In the concise summary below, I've kept the original footnote numbers, so you will find they skip quite a bit. See the full essay to explore these informative footnotes. For the entire original paper with footnotes, click here.

Some readers may feel upset or overwhelmed with this material, yet the fact that you are reading this and that this powerful information is awakening many as it spreads around the Internet shows that we are making a difference. Others may be excited to finally see the bigger picture. See our "what you can do" section at the end of the article for ideas on how you can help spread the word and build a brighter future. Thanks for caring.

Note: For what may be the most powerful single piece of evidence corroborating this theory, click here to read the Reuters news service article on the massive volume of electronic financial transactions conducted from inside the WTC just before the towers collapsed. Yet the investigation results are being kept secret.

Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on 9/11

The September 11th attacks were likely meant as a cover-up for financial crimes being investigated by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), whose offices in the Pentagon were destroyed on September 11th. [1] The attacks ... were intended to cover-up the clearing of $240 billion dollars in securities covertly created in September 1991 to fund a covert economic war against the Soviet Union, during which ‘unknown’ western investors bought up much of the Soviet industry, with a focus on oil and gas.

The 9/11 attacks also served to derail multiple Federal investigations of crimes associated with the 1991 covert operation. Hundreds of billions of dollars of government securities had to be destroyed. A critical mass of brokers from the major government security brokerages in the Twin Towers had to be eliminated to create chaos in the government securities market. A situation needed to be created wherein $240 billion dollars of covert securities could be electronically “cleared” without anyone asking questions – which happened when the Federal Reserve declared an emergency and invoked its “emergency powers” that very afternoon. [4]

There were three major securities brokers in the World Trade Center: Cantor Fitzgerald, Eurobrokers and Garbon Inter Capital. Cantor Fitzgerald was the largest securities dealer in the US [7] and arguably the primary target. [8] 41% of the fatalities in the Twin Towers came from Cantor Fitzgerald and Eurobrokers. [13] 31% of the 125 fatalities in the Pentagon were from the Naval Command Center that housed the Office of Naval Intelligence. 39 of 40 Office of Naval Intelligence employees died. The Naval Command Center had been moved into that newly opened section of the Pentagon only a month earlier. [21] And in the vaults beneath the World Trade Center Towers, any certificates for bonds were destroyed. [14]

On that fateful day, the Securities and Exchange Commission declared a national emergency, and for the first time in U.S. history, invoked its emergency powers under Securities Exchange Act Section 12(k) easing regulatory restrictions for clearing and settling security trades for the next 15 days. These changes would allow an estimated $240 billion in covert government securities to be cleared upon maturity without the standard regulatory controls around identification of ownership. [19]

The Origins of the World Trade Center Attack

Emboldened by the lack of consequences for subverting the U.S. constitution and breaking international law during the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, a Bush administration group known as “the Vulcans” planned a bigger drive to crush Communism once and for all. They waged war against the Soviet Union and Iraq under George H.W. Bush, and against Iraq and Afghanistan under George W. Bush. Belonging to this group were Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice. [31]

The Vulcan’s drive to bring an end to the Cold War was fueled by a covert war chest invisible to congressional oversight. [32] This war chest would be known by several names: Black Eagle Trust, the Marcos gold, Yamashita’s Gold, the Golden Lily Treasure, the Durham Trust or Project Hammer. [33] The program also seems to have lined the pockets of the individuals that executed this policy. This was done to the tune of a staggering $240 billion dollars in covert and allegedly illegal bonds, which appear to have been replaced with Treasury notes backed by U.S. taxpayers in the aftermath of September 11.

The covert securities used to accomplish the national security objective of ending the Cold War ended up in the vaults of the brokers in the World Trade Center, and were destroyed on September 11, 2001. [36] They came due for settlement and clearing on September 12. The federal Agency investigating these bonds – The Office of Naval Intelligence – was in the section of the Pentagon that was destroyed on 9/11. [37]

To this key group of senior National Security officials called the Vulcans, who had participated in the victory of the economic cold war in 1991, the WTC, the Pentagon, the four airliners and their occupants would became ‘collateral’ damage in the ending of the Cold War. Their deaths were required to hide the existence of the Black Eagle Trust, and the covert activities it had funded for over 50 years. The destruction of these lives and buildings constituted a cover-up of continued lawlessness by a fraternity or brotherhood of businessmen and criminals often referred to as ‘the Enterprise’ in the 1980s, though it has remained in the shadows since.

Numerous sources have documented that at the end of WWII, the treasury of the Japanese Empire was discovered in the Philippines by a staff member of General Charles Willoughby, [Edward Lansdale], who was General MacArthur’s chief of Intelligence. Then known as the Golden Lily Treasure, this mass of wealth had been accumulated by the Japanese through over fifty years of pillaging by its army in Southeast Asia and China. It was deposited in the Philippines due to the U.S. submarine blockade of Japan. Reports vary, but documents in the public domain suggest the recovered treasure was in excess of 280,000 metric tonnes of gold, not including jewels and diamonds. [40] After the War [Lansdale] tortured Major Kojima Kashii – General Yamashita Tomoyuki’s driver – until he revealed and created a map of the gold sites. [41]

Lansdale briefed Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy about the findings, and a U.S. Cabinet level decision was made to confiscate the gold and cover-up its discovery. The gold would be added to the Black Eagle Trust fund. It was McCloy, along with Secretary of the Navy Robert B. Anderson and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson who created the Black Eagle Trust. [42]

John McCloy, who had shared a box at the 1936 Olympics with Adolph Hitler, went on to become President of the World Bank. Robert Anderson would go on to operate the Commercial Exchange Bank in the British West Indies, be convicted of running illegal banking operations and tax evasion, and be sentenced to prison. [43] A fourth member of that group – William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan – would go on to found the CIA and distribute the gold to key banks represented by his staffers.

The trust they created takes its name from the Nazi Black Eagle stamped on the gold bars of the Third Reich. Gold bullion confiscated from the Reich and not returned to its rightful owners and their heirs was the original source of funding for this trust. [44] Over the years, the significance of the Nazi gold would pale in comparison to the confiscated Japanese treasure.

The men responsible for initiating and executing the confiscation of Nazi and Japanese treasury gold represented the most senior Intelligence officers in the U.S. and Britain at the end of World War II, and the Cabinet of the President of the United States. The financial institutions represented by these individuals would become the major financial banks in the world, along with the Swiss-German banks they hid their gold in. The Yamashita gold would become the cornerstone of the Black Eagle Fund, from which many covert operations of the U.S. intelligence would be funded. [58]

Lansdale’s operation in the Philippines gave birth to most of the common features of modern covert operations for U.S. Intelligence: bribery, theft, torture, and false flag operations. It would be Lansdale who would initiate a bond between the US intelligence organizations and Israeli intelligence. It would be Lansdale that would set precedents for the Intelligence community to retain the services of organized crime on U.S. soil. Lansdale would hire American Mafia family heads Carlos Marcello, Santos Trafficante, Meyer Lansky, and Lucky Luciano in the U.S. war against Fidel Castro in 1961.

It would be Lansdale’s team that would propose and justify sacrificing innocent U.S. civilians in order to rally the American citizenry to support an invasion of foreign soil. This was done under a program run by Brigadier General William H. Craig, who reported to Lansdale for the Cuba project. [61] This project was called Operation Northwoods. Documents for this project would be accidentally released from the files of Robert McNamara into the public domain some 40 years later, exposing the degree to which Lansdale’s operatives would go to wage war. [62] These declassified documents revealed secret plans of the U.S. military to wage a fabricated “terror” campaign against US citizens as a pretext to justify a second invasion of Cuba.

Barrick Gold would become an investment for nearly every gold bullion bank associated with the Marcos gold recovery. These banks would loan gold to Barrick, which would then sell the borrowed gold as derivatives, with the promise of replacing the borrowed gold with their gold mining operation. The records of many of those transactions disappeared when Enron collapsed and the trading operation and all its records were taken over by UBS, another major recipient of Marcos gold. The FBI was reportedly conducting an investigation into those transactions, and the investigation files were kept on the 23rd floor of the North Tower of the WTC. A review of the personal accounts of September 11 now suggests that office was deliberately targeted with explosives prior to the collapse of the WTC towers. [73]

Taking Control

In November 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected to the White House. Sixty-nine days after the inauguration, John Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Reagan. Eight days prior to that attempt, there were a series of unprecedented policy changes that put George Bush in charge of Foreign Policy and National Security. That conferred new roles and powers on Bush, including "unprecedented powers for a vice president." [85] Vice President George Bush was named the leader of the United States "crisis management'' staff, as a part of the National Security Council system. [86] Then, on March 30, 1981, just eight days after these powers were conferred on Bush, President Reagan was shot.

The father of the assassin that put Bush in power was John (a.k.a. Jack) Hinckley, Sr., the owner of Vanderbilt Oil. Hinckley had been giving maximum donations every year to George H.W. Bush since he started running for Congress. In The Black Hole of Guyana: The Untold Story of the Jonestown Massacre, John Judge painstakingly documents that Jonestown was a CIA operation for converting dispossessed and lonely refugees into assassins. In an operation that was falling under Congressional investigation, the evidence had to be eliminated – and nearly all the inhabitants were murdered to prevent disclosure. [88]

A key player in the Marcos gold would be Banker’s Trust, which was taken over by Alex Brown & Sons, after Banker’s Trust floundered financially on its Russian loans in the mid 1990s. These Russian loans were facilitated by Enron, starting in August of 1993, and very possibly were part of the Project Hammer takeover of Soviet industry. Alex Brown‘s involvement would bring to the forefront the names of three names of individuals who would play multiple roles in this mystery: Buzz Krongard, Mayo Shattuck, and J Carter Beese.

Buzz Krongard is reported as the mentor of Beese and Shattuck from their years together at Alex Brown. Additionally, he managed the merger between Bankers Trust and Deutschebank Alex Brown. Bankers Trust, Zurich was a key Marcos gold holder. Krongard would move on to become Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown, Vice Chairman of Banker's Trust, and Executive Director of the CIA at the time of September 11.

Mayo Shattuck would be reported to be the personal banker for Adnan Khashoggi and Edgar Bronfmann during their partnership at Barrick Gold. [107] He would move on to become the CEO of Deutschebank who would resign for unexplained reasons the day after September 11, and would not be at the WTC office that day when the tower collapsed. It was his bank that was identified as the source of the illegal stock options that indicated there was insider trading taking advantage of the September 11 tragedy.

What happened to the Marcos gold after it was confiscated by U.S. agents in 1986 has never been reported, but throughout the early 1990s, the world gold market would be befuddled by the mysterious appearance of thousands of tonnes of gold which appeared to suppress the price of gold.

In preparation for their war against Communism, and in the years leading up to the failed – or faux – coup of 1991 which initiated the last days of Gorbachev and the rise of Yeltsin, Bush and a cadre of rogue KGB officials built a complex international network of banks and holding companies that would be used to take over ownership of the Soviet economy. Over 300 of these KGB turncoats who supported this operation would later be re-located to the US in the early 1990s and pensioned. [111] Periodic CIA reports to Congress would review KGB and organized crime complicity in the takeover of Russia by criminal elements, but all mention of the formidable role of the U.S. would be expunged from Congressional oversight and the public record. [112]

In the first phase of the economic attack on the Soviet Union, George Bush authorized Leo Wanta and others to destabilize the ruble and facilitate the theft of the Soviet/Russian treasury. This would result in draining the Russian treasury of between 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes of gold bullion, ($35 billion at the time). [113] The gold was ‘stolen’ in March of 1991, facilitated by Leo Wanta and signed off by Boris Yeltsin’s right hand man. The majority of the leaked reports from the CIA and FBI suggest the theft of the Russian treasury was a KGB and Communist party operation, but what those reports omitted was the extensive involvement of Boris Yeltsin, the U.S. banking industry and the CIA.

In the second phase, Wanta, George Soros and a group of Bush appointees would begin to destabilize the ruble. There were two major operations: the largest was coordinated by Alan Greenspan and Oliver North, and implemented by Leo Wanta.

The 9/11 Cover-up and the Black Eagle Trust

With an understanding of the economic war being waged on the Soviet Union, the focus needs to turn to reports that on September 11, 1991, President George Bush was responsible for issuing $240 billion dollars in secretive bonds as a part of this attack on the Russian ruble. There are six lines of evidence from eight sources that suggest this was indeed the case. Many of these instances are corroborated with documents available on the Internet, presented by those making the claims. [174]

The bonds sat for ten years, like a ticking time bomb. They had to be settled – or cashed in by September 12, 2001. The two firms in the U.S. most likely to be handling them would be Cantor Fitzgerald and Eurobrokers – the two largest government securities firms in the U.S. The federal agency mostly involved in investigating those transactions was the Office of Naval Intelligence. On 9/11, those same three organizations: the two largest government securities brokers and the Office of Naval Intelligence in the US took direct hits.

What happened inside the buildings of the World Trade on September 11 is difficult, but not impossible to discern. The government has put a seal on the testimony gathered by the investigating 911 Commission, and instructed government employees to not speak on the matter or suffer severe penalties, but there are a number of personal testimonies posted on the Internet as to what happened in those buildings that day.

Careful reconstruction from those testimonies indicates the deliberate destruction of evidence not only by a targeted assault on the buildings, but also by targeted fires and explosions. In the event that either the hijacking failed, or the buildings were not brought down, the evidence would be destroyed by fires. In addition to the investigative evidence being destroyed, the Federal Register reported that the physical securities held by the brokers in their vaults had been destroyed.

What would be even more revealing would be the actions of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission on that day, and in the immediate aftermath. As one of many coincidences on 9/11, the Federal Reserve Bank was operating its information system from its remote back-up site rather than it’s downtown headquarters. The SEC and Federal Reserve system remained unfazed by the attack. All of their systems continued to operate. The two major security trading firms had their trade data backed up on remote systems. Nevertheless, the Commission for the first time invoked its emergency powers under Securities Exchange Act Section 12(k) and issued several orders to ease certain regulatory restrictions temporarily.

The Federal Reserve Suspends the Rules

On the first day of the crisis, the SEC lifted “Rule 15c3-3: Customer Protection – Reserves and Custody of Securities.” Thus GSCC [Government Securities Clearing Corporation] was thus allowed to substitute other securities for the physical securities destroyed during the attack. “…collateral substitutions can and should be made with regard to immediately maturing collateral.” [191] At this point in time, the Federal Reserve and its GSCC had created a settlement environment totally void of controls and reporting – where it could substitute valid, new government securities for the mature, illegal securities, and not have to record where the original bad securities had come from, or where the new securities went – all because the paper for the primary brokers for US securities had been eliminated.

A review of the explanations for the actions of the Federal Reserve after September 11th exposes an amazingly complex web of analysis and speculation. The reports published by the Federal Reserve argue that the Federal Reserve’s actions increasing the monetary supply by over $300 billion were justified to overcome operational difficulties in the financial sector. While impressive as the reports are, what is noted by the casual reader is that all of the Federal Reserve analysis is speculative and suggestive, using phraseology such as “may have,” “likely,” “presumably,” or “should have.” There are few – if any – definitive statements about root cause and the appropriateness of the Federal Reserve response.

While the Fed was reporting outstanding account balances of over $100 billion per day (while not identifying the banks involved), the Wall Street Journal reported that at one point during the week after 9/11, BoNY was publicly reported to be overdue on $100 billion in payments. [198] The Deutschebank, which sat inside the WTC and was totally decimated, reported no such account balance increase, and JP Morgan, the other of only two clearing banks which uses the same traders and communications hub, reported no such increase in its account balance. No one has publicly asked: why is it that these other two banks were not seriously disrupted, while the Bank of New York – which had no structural damage – seemed unable to operate?

Certain key unknown figures in the Federal Reserve may have ‘conspired’ with key unknown figures at the Bank of New York to create a situation where $240 billion in off balance sheet securities created in 1991 as part of an official covert operation to overthrow the Soviet Union, could be cleared without publicly acknowledging their existence. These securities, originally managed by Cantor Fitzgerald, were cleared and settled in the aftermath of September 11th through the BoNY. The $100 billion account balance bubble reported by the Wall Street Journal as being experienced in the BoNY was tip of a three day operation, when these securities were moved from off-balance-sheet to the balance sheet.

[As reported on page 12 of a Federal Reserve document] “In the absence of complete information on deliveries into and out of its account at BoNY on September 11, and as a result of its assumption of settlement fails on the starting legs of blind-brokered RPs, GSCC recorded (after the close of business on September 11) $266 billion in transactions that apparently failed to settle.… Continuing connectivity problems prevented GSCC from giving BoNY delivery instructions after the close of business on September 11 and prevented it from acquiring information on activity in its account at BoNY during the day on September 12. Consequently, GSCC recorded $440 billion in settlement fails as of the close of business on September 12.” [201]

What appears to be the case is that the Federal Reserve imbalances reported on three consecutive days in the aftermath were largely concentrated at the Bank of New York, which is reported to represent over 90% of the imbalance, suggesting the Bank had been the recipient of massive fund transfers, and unable to send out transfers. Overall transactions for the day of 9/11 were seemingly down even more significantly than volume, but the transactions that came in after closing were extremely large, averaging in size in packages of $35 million or more. This would be consistent with a hypothesis that $240 billion of securities were being pushed surreptitiously into the money supply.

The Federal Reserve, without providing the detail required to substantiate it’s claims, would have the public believe that there were widespread liquidity issues, when in fact the issues were very concentrated primarily, if not singularly, in the BoNY, which has been the subject of an ongoing major money-laundering investigation for many years. These account balance issues resulted in the defacto expansion of the monetary supply, details of which are no longer reported by the Federal Reserve.

The reported cause of this market malfunction is seemingly suspect. By comparison, the Deutschebank which sat inside the World Trade Center reported no such account balance increase, and JP Morgan, the other of two clearing banks which uses the same traders and communications hub, reported no such increase in account balance. Additionally, while problems were being documented between the BoNY and GCSS, no other institution had those problems.

There is a contention that at the core of the September 11th attack, someone was planning to cover the 1991 issuance of $240 billion in covert securities used to finance the collapse the Soviet Union. The facts surrounding the financial aftermath of September 11 suggest this is not only possible, but that reports describing the aftermath have deliberately been misleading.

The US dollar money supply was significantly increased in the aftermath of 9/11; The bank at the core of the illegal money laundering by ex-Soviet criminals was the source of the increased money supply (BoNY);
The generally disseminated rationale for BoNY’s operational problems seems to have affected no other bank in a similar manner or magnitude and is inconsistent with reports on the BoNY operations in the aftermath; A key witness who might provide insight to these issues is a statistically aberrant death; The source of the BoNY’s $330 billion increase in assets is cloaked under the privilege of “private banking;”
The only alleged “severe” disruption to the financial systems was the Federal Reserves account balance and the securities trading fails – both systems required to hide the laundering of $240 billion in covert securities. This is not a ‘proof’ that $240 billion was laundered, but it provides probable cause for paying serious attention.


History has many interpretations, and this report has been just one of many – an interpretation pieced together from the bold admissions and revelations of insiders, whose stories have been ignored and suppressed by the major media organizations. It is an interpretation of history that suggests a few determined men strove to change the world in defense of Western capitalism in ways which they felt needed to be hidden from the public. Whatever emotion or logic that was adequate to cause them to hide their actions from the public was not strong enough to prevent them from committing the acts.

Author’s Note: This is the condensed version of this story. The author cannot vouch for the accuracy of the source materials, although efforts have been made to validate the consistency of the story line with as many references as possible. There is no single fact or reference that this story is dependent on. The author expects some details to be disputed, and possibly disproved, but contends that the story line will hold true regardless.

Note from Fred: Though I doubt this was the only reason for 9/11, it was likely one of the main motivators. For what may be the most powerful single piece of evidence corroborating this theory, click here to read the Reuters news service article on the massive volume of electronic financial transactions conducted from inside the WTC just before the buildings collapsed. Yet the investigation results are being kept secret.

Iftekhar Khan

Those prophesying that Barack Obama in many ways would be similar to his predecessor were right on the spot if his recent speech on Afghanistan is to guide us. He has incessantly talked about 9/11 and Al-Qaeda as indeed did his predecessor, George Bush and his neocon cabal. Obama's proposed surge in troops to bolster demoralised NATO forces in Afghanistan shows his determination to eliminate Al-Qaeda and Taliban resistance. Bush invented Al-Qaeda in the aftermath of 9/11 and Obama has decided to stick to it with the only difference that he has discarded the use of the term War On Terror. Al-Qaeda is in fact nebulous; it is a philosophy to resist. Had it been an organised body, the US killing machine would have snuffed it out long ago.

Who adhere to this philosophy? Those resisting the presence of foreign forces on their soil are its followers. Call them Al-Qaeda, nationalists, or sons of the soil; it is of little consequence. Millions that follow the philosophy are sure that no such thing as Al-Qaeda exists or it ever existed. They are sure that the Al-Qaeda ghost had no role in 9/11 and destruction of Twin Towers because it was an inside job. The Twin Towers were brought down by design, by demolition, by systematically placing detonating devices weeks before the hijacked planes struck. Collision of planes with the towers and their pancake collapse within the perimeters were two different issues. No outside collision however massive in magnitude could cause the collapse of the concrete towers to heap on to the ground as if they were toys made of pulp and sand.

Were a serious inquiry held immediately after the event and not 441 days later, it would have easily established the causes of the collapse. Barrie Zwicker in his book, Towers of Deception, claims that more than half of the New Yorkers believe 9/11 was an inside job; the White House had prior knowledge of it or was in some way complicit. If Al-Qaeda managed to hijack the planes to crash them against the towers, how did it manage to arrange detonation of the buildings? Bush administration failed to provide a plausible answer to one of the most important allegations. In fact, evidence to the contrary is aplenty. Specifically, how millions of tons of steel bars, to obliterate telltale marks, violating federal laws, were quickly shipped abroad. Chemical analysis of the bars and debris could have provided crucial evidence whether the damage had occurred by detonation or by burning airliners' fuel as the official theory propounded.

Mainstream US media published stories skewed in favour of the official version, without highlighting views of the detractors, which was a manifestation of its unethical involvement in the cover up of the truth. Had the media probed as deep into 9/11 as it did to dig out Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair it would have surely found the clues to Twin Towers' destruction.

To claim through corporate media that Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack on the superpower is an unqualified fraud in history. Is not the similarity between gutting of the Reichstag in Germany before invading Europe and destruction of Twin Towers in the US before invading Afghanistan striking? Many in Europe have called Bush 21st century's Hitler. Obama would do well to distance himself from that image by reassessing his Afpak strategy.

Wrapping defeat in euphemism, Bush in his last year in office had said: "We are not winning war in Afghanistan." Obama has inherited Bush's losing war. Instead of reappraising the past strategy to determine the causes of failure, he has decided to inject more troops. Quite erroneously, he thinks troop surge will help NATO forces to gain control, without realising that it will in fact cause an upsurge in resistance. More exposure of troops will result in more killing on both sides. Troops can never control popular uprising of the people.

Therefore, army action in Fata and Swat has not been able to put down the resistance because it was against, as said earlier, an amorphous body - philosophy of resistance, which the Americans prefer to call Al-Qaeda. No army however well laced succeeds against its own people.

We now face the predicament of US blaming the army and the ISI for colluding with Taliban. Imagine! Same network under Musharraf had handed over terror suspects to US in return for bounty, which he confessed in his book In line of fire. Leaving the country in a horrible mess,
he has quietly slipped abroad on a lecturing tour. Who would listen to his pearls of wisdom,
one wonders. However, there is only one word to describe the present situation: pathetic.

US war against Taliban and Al-Qaeda has triggered a class war and anti-Americanism. Lower layers of the impoverished people, maltreated by the system, are on one side and a handful in well-greased positions of authority on the other. That's why the terror attacks are directed against the state authority, which sides with US designs, and not against the common people. Hoi Polloi are by misfortune caught in the crossfire.
Imran Nazar Hosein  

It must be particularly hurtful to that westernized and secularized elite, both in and out of Pakistan, that essays such as this should be penned by scholars of Islam who are unafraid to proclaim the truth in the faces of the world’s greatest tyrants.

I believe that the US President’s recent announcement of a dramatic increase in US troops to be sent to occupied-Afghanistan was camouflaged with psychological ploys. This was hardly surprising since those who truly control power in USA – power to choose someone, anoint him and make him President – are a people who have PhDs in deception.

The media use of the soft word ‘surge’ for example, is a clever ploy detracting attention from the harsh reality of significant and very dangerous US military escalation in that volatile region of the world. Readers must know that Afghanistan is the heart of ancient Khorasan, and it has the unique distinction of never having submitted to western occupation. They must also know that the power-brokers who control the White House are recklessly plunging all of mankind into an abyss the likes of which was never before experienced in history – certainly far worse than anything experienced under George Bush.

There is a ploy in Obama’s confident hope that eight bloody years of wealthy America’s war on the world’s poorest country can now end within the next three years. This announcement was meant to instill a (false) hope in the American people for an end to the increasingly unpopular and unjust US occupation of that beleaguered and impoverished yet defiant country. It was also meant to send a (duplicitous) message of hope to Afghanistan, as well as to neighboring Pakistan, that USA would now be looking for an exit strategy that would permit a military withdrawal from that region of the world within that time-frame – hence a need for negotiations with the Afghan resistance.

There is a reason why the US Government had to resort to such deceptive ploys to support such dangerous and reckless military escalation. It is because the original 9/11 justification for war on Afghanistan long ago evaporated when Americans realized that it was fraudulent. Indeed the only reason why American resentment against the unjust war has not as yet exploded across that country is the powerful and highly effective use of the western-controlled news media to brainwash people around the world (including Pakistan and my own native Trinidad and Tobago). Without television, radio, newspapers, and scribes who sing for their supper, even the US-led so-called ‘war on terror’ would long ago have been recognized as a ‘war on Islam’ that is waged on Israel’s behalf.

It is almost certain that US military escalation in Afghanistan constitutes yet another tangible sign of preparation by the Anglo-American-Israeli triple alliance for their long-planned attack, in concert with India, on nearby Pakistan. This writer has long held the view that the 9/11 false-flag terrorist attack on America was meant to pave the way for the attack on Pakistan that we now consider imminent (see ‘A Muslim Response to the Attack on America’ on my website).

Their primary objective in attacking Pakistan would be to seek to destroy that country’s nuclear plants and nuclear weapons, and to permanently remove Pakistan from the nuclear club. However, in order to achieve that permanent denuclearization of Pakistan they would also have to seek to so dismember Pakistan that it would finally be left with just a harmless rump. Only thus can they be assured that Pakistan would pose no threat to an Israel that is now poised to replace USA as the third and last ruling-State in the modern world.

Israel’s mysterious imperial messianic agenda was explained in my book entitled ‘Jerusalem in the Qur’an’ (available on my website). It is a subject that is located beyond the scope of secular scholarship, hence the profound silence from those who otherwise wield a confident pen on strategic affairs.

If this writer’s views expressed above of events that are to unfold is correct, then Pakistan’s moment of truth would soon arrive. Pakistanis who have misguidedly supported their government and their military in an alliance with USA, and in participation in the US-led so-called ‘war on terror’, would realize too late that they were deceived and were consequently grossly misguided.

I believe that the enemy’s evil plan is for Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, as well as the Province of Balochistan, to be occupied by US troops. USA would then seek to separate that territory from Pakistan and to incorporate it into an Afghanistan that is already under US occupation. However, such a union to create a greater Afghanistan may yet backfire to fulfill a Khorasan prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to later in this essay.

Nearly all Pakistanis (excepting President Asif Zardari and former President Pervez Musharraf, as well as the men and women who willingly serve them) would anticipate that India would gleefully join USA in such an attack on Pakistan, and would seize the opportunity to seek to reunite the rest of Kashmir, as well as at least part of the territory adjoining Indian Punjab and Indian Sind, with mother-India. If that evil plan were to succeed, then the rump of such a truncated Pakistan would remain helpless to avoid Indian hegemony.

Another objective of the attempt to denuclearize and truncate Pakistan would be to so psychologically intimidate and demoralize the entire world of Islam as to render Muslims incapable of offering any resistance to the universal political and economic dictatorship that is now overtaking the world.

If these three main objectives of war on Pakistan are achieved then the way would be clear for Israel to pursue her mysterious imperial messianic agenda. Unfortunately, given the dismal record of Pakistan’s pro-American political and military leadership that has consistently supported and is still supporting the US-led so-called ‘war on terror’, many things are now possible.

Israel will have to wage big bloody wars in order to dramatically increase her territory until it encompasses the (false) Biblical frontiers of the Holy Land (“. . from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates”). Israel may then take steps to rid herself of her non-Jewish Palestinian population that would become even more totally and uncompromisingly hostile to the dramatically-expanded Euro-Jewish State. True to her European heritage, Israel could resort to such ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that would replicate the (white) Euro/American ethnic cleansing of the native (red) Indian people of the Americas. The world may not have to wait long to witness yet another exodus of impoverished Palestinian refugees fleeing for their very lives from a pig-headed and barbaric Israeli war-machine.

The alternative to another Palestinian exodus could of course be the enslavement of the Palestinian people in a manner reminiscent of the western enslavement of the African people. Africans were enslaved and exploited for free labor with which to build a shining new world in the Americas, Southern Africa and elsewhere in the ruling white man’s world. Palestinians would be enslaved for similar reasons in the shining new Pax Judaica.

The world is now likely to witness a continuous increase of troops in Afghanistan – British, French, Canadian, German, Italian, Australian, Japanese, etc. – and with India preparing to attack simultaneously from the East, Pakistan will be surrounded from both sides. I anticipate that Israel would lie carefully concealed in waiting until the very last moment when she would come out from behind the curtains to spear-head missile attacks on Pakistan’s nuclear plants. Then with perhaps as many as half of a million NATO troops invading from the west, and an equal number of Indian troops invading from the east, it is going to be such a bloody and messy affair that it can possibly result in massive violent anti-western uprisings against governments in the entire (pro-western) world of Muslim client-States.

I suspect that this is precisely the kind of colossal world-wide distraction that the US Government would actively seek to exploit for riding the wave of white American resentment against the simultaneous collapse of the US dollar that would now take place. While impoverished black America would certainly suffer from the demise of the US dollar, it is wealthy white America that would really suffer the loss of most of its wealth. That loss of wealth would take place in consequence of ‘substitute money’ being offered to replace the demonetized dollar at an exchange rate of about 5 cents to the dollar. One can now understand why the sharks around the world are busy buying as much gold as they can, while the helpless innocent sardines remain waiting to be sacrificed at Israel’s messianic altar. In fact, thanks to the US Federal Reserve, history is repeating itself. The Feds did it to the American people in April 1931 and they are poised to do it again today.

Our study of the subject of Dajjal the false Messiah or Anti-Christ, as well as Gog and Magog,
led us to the conclusion, more than 15 years ago, that the US dollar must one day collapse in order to make way for a new international monetary system. That new monetary system would eventually be based on invisible and intangible electronic money that would be controlled by an international banking system largely under the control of Jews of European extract. Those who control the new post-Bretton Woods international monetary system would then use it to Israel’s advantage and on Israel’s behalf. Israel’s control over the money-system of the world would in turn assist in delivering to Israel the status of third and last ruling State in the world.

If and when the events described above do occur they are likely to have a positive impact for Islam since they would separate the ‘grain’ from the ‘husk’ Muslim. The ranks of the ‘grain’ who would support or join the armed Islamic resistance against aggression, oppression and occupation, would dramatically increase. Also, just as important, the ‘grain’ would finally realize the bogus and fraudulent nature of western-created money and would now be willing to wage the effort to recover the use of the gold Dinar and silver Dirham as money.

The ‘husk’, from captain to cook, would continue to worship at the altar of a US visa, Green Card and Passport, and would continue their efforts to migrate to the lands of milk and honey. They would consider their residence in western countries to be equivalent to residence in paradise, and would scornfully reject any call to go back home to ‘hell’ in Pakistan. Some of them, still in the queue waiting to go to America, would even acquire a perfect American accent without ever setting foot on American soil.

It must be particularly hurtful to that westernized and secularized elite, both in and out of Pakistan, that essays such as this should be penned by scholars of Islam who are unafraid to proclaim the truth in the faces of the world’s greatest tyrants.

In fact this separation of ‘grain’ from ‘husk’ Muslims is already taking place and it would accelerate as the real reasons for Obama’s Afghan surge are realized.

The enemies who are now waging war on Islam have miscalculated. They have underestimated Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who prophesied that a Muslim army would liberate the Holy Land from Jewish oppression. Every ‘grain’ Muslim knows that the army would come out of Khorasan, and that the North West of Pakistan is a part of ancient Khorasan.

Some Responses

1. ‘Grain’ Muslims now resident in USA, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, etc, whose hearts are touched by views such as to be found in this humble essay must now seek to escape from Dajjal’s clutches so that they can recover the freedom to support or join that armed Islamic resistance to oppression that would uphold the honor of Islam.

2. Pakistani Muslims must lose no time in ridding themselves of the pro-American political and military leaders and information/news czars imposed upon them by their enemies. They probably have just a year’s time left in which to do so. After all, their enemies would not have invested so much in promoting a 2012 ‘doomsday’ had there not been sinister designs to exploit it to their advantage. This writer has responded to one such traitor here in Trinidad, a check-book leader of a pro-American Islamic organization, by publicly declaring that “I would not pray over his body, nor would I ever stand at his grave” (unless he makes taubah and turns away from his treasonous conduct).

3. Muslims around the world must demand the severance of diplomatic and consular relations with all such countries whose troops are waging war in Afghanistan and in other parts of the Muslim world. I have myself stopped traveling to such countries – even while intransit to other places.

4. Someone located in a far-away Caribbean island of Trinidad (as I am), cannot possibly offer a micro-analysis of events that are fast unfolding in Pakistan. Rather, there are competent and articulate analysts already doing that. I advise however, that readers should protect themselves from such radio, television and newspapers that are mere propaganda mouthpieces of those now poised to attack Pakistan..

Appendix (1):

Here is my response to Obama's election victory making him President of USA:

The financial/monetary summit which is now being arranged is certainly linked to Dajjal’s phase three.

It is through a study of events which led to the passage from Dajjal’s phase one to phase two that we can anticipate and recognize events now unfolding, and soon to unfold in the historical process, which would indicate the passage to phase three.

We have long anticipated that the creation of a new international monetary system to replace the tottering Bretton Woods Accord would be precisely such a sign.

We must now look carefully to seek to recognize what is still carefully concealed evidence that would confirm the transfer of the world’s financial capital from Washington to Jerusalem.

We must also anticipate that great wars would also erupt in which Israel would display its military superiority over the rest of the world - including UK and USA.

Not only does Obama’s election as US President now ‘whitewash’ a terribly-soiled US image in the world, but it also allows the cabal to exploit his commitment to widen the war in Afghanistan to their advantage. It is therefore a black Obama administration that would be led by the nose to attack Pakistan’s nuclear facilities (perhaps in concert with an Indian attack on Pakistan) while Israel exploits the opportunity to simultaneously attack Iran’s nuclear plants. The immediate result of such a war would be the astronomical rise in the price of both oil and gold and the consequent total collapse of the US dollar and the US economy in such wise as would cripple the Democratic Party for decades to come.

John McCain’s concession speech indicates that he (as well as the leadership of the Republican Party) are well aware that they have led Obama/Afro-America/the Democratic Party down a path to be sacrificed and slaughtered as a cow. Obama and the Afro-Americans have displayed complete innocence of the fact that they could never have succeeded unless the white cabal had made the choice to have a black man elected as President.

It was not by accident that the present phase of the financial meltdown commenced in early September and immediately impacted on the contest for the White House in a manner that eventually assured victory for Obama.
Ian Henshall

My new book, 911 The New Evidence, is now out. The press release,

which lists some of the main points, and is written for the

mainstream media, is below.

I have now been on about 6 local radio stations with the book, saying

some pretty strong things. My line is that the official story is

complete garbage, a stupid conspiracy theory, but I don't claim to

know what exactly happened. To find out, and we would find out pretty

fast, an independent prosecutor is required. For those interested in

what actually happened perhaps the most intriguing evidence is that

Raytheon were indeed testing remote control systems on civilian

Boeings in summer 2001 and that a series of high level Raytheon execs

were on the apparently hijacked planes.

I was on aljazera English last night and said Al Qaeda was always

hand in glove with the CIA, the new bin Laden video looked nothing

like him, the voice was most likely morphed and even Washington

politicians recognise that the 2004 obl video handed Bush the

election. Perhaps in response to this BBC News deceitfully stated

this morning (radio 4 9.00 am) "analysts confirmed" the video was genuine.

By the way, a series of scientists including Lyn Margolis (world

renowned biologist) and top rank fire engineers, structural engineers

and architects have recently stated the Twin Towers must have been

brought down with pre-set cutter charges (the argument is based on

conservation of momentum, any A level physics student can

understand). The official 911 story is increasingly unsustainable.

Just yesterday a senior member of the National Union of Journalists

told me that the failure of key figures of the establishment Left

(George Monbiot, Greg Palast, New Statesman, Tariq Ali, Alexander

Cockburn, Norman Soloman) to endorse the call for a criminal probe

into the Washington racketeers behind the attacks (or at least who

ensured the success of the attacks) is deplorable. In my view it is a

failure of historic proportions. The cause is a mixture of careerism,

stupidity, laziness, infiltration, and the pervasive power of the

pro-Isreal lobby for whom 911 was a godsend.

The upside to all this is that, perhaps sooner than many of us think,

the media and sections of the public still in denial will be forced

to recognise the enormity of what has happened: a group of racketeers

has participated in the mass murder of Americans as part of a larger

plot to steal Iraqi oil, at the cost of an ongoing genocide in the

Middle East. (Most Iraqis believe the bloodbath there has been

largely created by the occupation to justify their continued

presence, the old divide and rule tactic)

My book finishes with a call for a major independent criminal

commission, supervised by ordinary people (for instance relatives of

the 911 victims), with full subpoena powers to examine any file

anywhere on demand, and particularly those covered by state and

commercial secrecy. This will flush out a great deal more that just

the crimes of 911 and Iraq.

There may before long be a major opportunity to institute near

revolutionary democratic institutional change in US/UK with large

sections of the global elite - political, military, commercial and

particularly the media facing the charge gross failure and in some

cases of being accessories after the fact. There will be the prospect

of a decisive defeat for the centralisers who mean to use corporate

and state power to make us all into virtual slaves and the neonazis

in Washington and London who wish to abolish any vestige of

democratic control and institute Orwellian permanent warfare.

What can you do to help? Call phone in programmes and after you have

had your say on whatever the question add that you think it is

deplorable that national broadcasters refuse to even report that

there is doubt over the 911 official story, that it is a highly

unlikely conspiracy theory, like the lies about the weapons of mass

destruction, mention the anthrax attacks which were traced to US

military grade anthrax. Do NOT order my book from a bookshop unless

they promise to put copies on display (it sells like hot cakes, if

they won't they are operating pure censorship). If you come into

contact with politicians or media people tell them what you think, be

moderate in what you allege (so they can't go into denial and dismiss

you as a nutter) but angry about the cover-up.

Press release

7 September 2007

911 The New Evidence

A new book challenges many of the myths which have grown up around

the 911 attacks. 911 The New Evidence, out now in the UK (Constable)

and soon in the US (pub Carol and Graf), makes the case for a new

fully independent investigation into the 911 attacks. Author Ian

Henshall is available for interview.

Henshall's call for a new enquiry with blanket subpoena powers is

supported by a Zogby poll out today (ref see below): 51% of Americans

support a new congressional enquiry into Bush and Cheney's role

before during and after the 911 attacks, 30% support the immediate

impeachment of Bush and Cheney and 67% say the 911 Commission should

have investigated the still unexplained collapse of Building 7 (which

was announced to the media 30 minutes before it fell symmetrically to

the ground at freefall speed). Previous polls have found that fewer

than 20% of Americans believe they have been told the full story of

the 911 attacks. Although some broadcasters have suggested otherwise,

911 victims groups are in the forefront of demands to reopen the

enquiry. Many witnesses heard by the 911 Commission have denounced it

as a whitewash, concurring with commissioner Max Cleland who resigned early on.

Ian Henshall is co-author with Rowland Morgan of the best seller 911

Revealed, described in the Sunday Times as exposing "vast gaps" in

the official story. 911 Revealed became a non-fiction best seller.

Henshall has now trailed through a wide range of Washington

officials' memoirs, US government documents and mainstream press

reports, concluding that the myths of the 911 attacks - the lack of

warnings, the lucky 19 hijackers, the silent takeovers of the planes'

cabins, the passengers' mobile phone calls - cannot be true.

Interviews and review copies

Henshall is available for interviews. Please respond to this email to

arrange an interview. Bona fide media people should contact the press

officers below for review copies.

Background Information

Henshall has established that:

* The 2006 Moussaoui trial and Inspectors' reports have confirmed

accusations from FBI officers in the field: in summer 2001 a network

of senior CIA, Justice Department and FBI officials systematically

obstructed the FBI field officers who suspected what was planned and

could have foiled the attacks. The FBI was legally the lead agency.

CIA officers at first falsely testified that they had informed the

FBI of the threat posed by alleged hijackers Al Hazmi and Al Mihdhar

and later told inspectors they "could not recall" why they did not.

* The "anti-hijack exercise" scheduled by the Pentagon at the time

the "real" attack took place seems more than an extraordinary

coincidence and a close reading of partially released air traffic

control transcripts indicates that the exercise may have involved at

least one of the planes used in the attacks.

* If video and flight recorder evidence released by the US government

is correct, Flight 77 could not have hit the Pentagon.

* The government admitted at the Moussaoui trial that contrary to the

official myth, reflected in a series of feature films and tv

documentaries, only two mobile phone calls were made from Flight 93.

One reported smoke and an explosion shortly prior to the crash.

* Condoleeza Rice falsely stated on oath to the 911 Commission that

Bush's August 2001 CIA briefing, which warned him of the possibility

of an attack within America and was still secret at the time she

testified, did not mention any specific targets. In fact it mentioned

New York and warned of a possible hostage taking. Intriguingly, the

presumed hijackers apparently told passengers on two planes that this

was their plan.

* The "Independent 911 Commission" misrepresented evidence from

Pentagon officials, made false statements and failed to ask the right

questions. The Commissioners, far from being independent, were

trusted members of Washington's permanent government. Commissioner

Hamilton the leading Democrat was a political ally of Cheney from

when they worked together to limit the Iran-contra scandal in the

late 1980's. Commissioner Cleland resigned in disgust.

* Early official reports into the collapse of the Twin Towers present

clear evidence - vaporised and sulpfurised steel, seismic events

preceding the plane impacts - suggesting that, as eyewitnesses

reported at the time, the neat symmetrical collapse of the Twin

Towers and Building 7 at near freefall speed was the result of

explosions in the buildings.

* Ex UK foreign minister Robin Cook wrote in The Guardian that the

original meaning of Al Qaeda was "the database", ie the list of

Afghan arab freedom fighters closely linked to if not controlled by

the CIA. Recent statements from officials, along with press reports

at the time, make it clear that Al Qaeda had links with the CIA or

the DIA well into the 1990's. Osama Bin laden's move from Sudan to

Afghanistan was managed by Ali Mohamed, Washington's spy at the heart

of Al Qaeda who trained Osama Bin laden's personal bodyguards.

Alleged 911 ringleader Khaled Sheikh Mohammed lived in Pakistan for

years while secretly indicted by the US Justice Department. He was

probably an asset of Pakistan's ISI. US government documents show the

ISI was working closely with George Tenet and the CIA on a secret

project in the months before 911. Its boss General Ahmad was in

secret Washington meetings with top officials and congressmen before

during and after the 911 attacks. Reports from India, supported by

the French media said that the terrorist money trail went back to

Ahmad, who took early retirement shortly after the news came out. The

claim by Washington journalist Gerald Posner that the ISI was

colluding with Al Qaeda against the wishes of the CIA seems an

unlikely explanation.

8. A close examination of the paper trail from 2000 and 2001 shows

beyond doubt that the decision (and probably detailed planning) to

invade Iraq was taken before, not after, the 911 attacks and CIA boss

Tenet was involved in the plans. The record shows an unusual series

of long meetings (denied by Tenet in evidence he gave on oath to the

911 Commission) with Bush in Texas in the weeks up to 911. One such

meeting, still unacknowledged in Tenet's recent memoirs, lasted for a

full day and included the chiefs of staff whose planes apparently

failed to intercept any of four hijacked planes. The official account

has left an unexplained and undocumented black hole of 20 minutes at

the Pentagon situation room at the height of the crisis.

9. Cheney who championed plans to invade Iraq before 911 was in

charge of the Pentagon on the morning of 9/11 and almost certainly in

charge of the hijack exercise.

10. BBC News was recently embarrassed by video surfacing on the

internet which showed an announcer stating the the "Saloman Brothers

Building" (WTC7) had collapsed while in the background it still stood

intact. WTC7 housed the largest Secret Servcice office in the US and

was the repository of high level fraud investigations. Many of these

records were lost in the collapse.

Henshall draws no firm conclusions but ends with a working hypothesis

for investigators to follow up.


pub Sept 2007 Constable (UK) ISBN 978-1-84529-514-1

"9/11 Revealed: The New Evidence"

pub Oct 2007 Carroll & Graf (US) ISBN-10: 0786720417

Zogby Poll details

For the full poll and demographic breakdown of results, see:
How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America
Zbigniew Brzezinski

The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.

The damage these three words have done -- a classic self-inflicted wound -- is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves. The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare -- political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.

But the little secret here may be that the vagueness of the phrase was deliberately (or instinctively) calculated by its sponsors. Constant reference to a "war on terror" did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue. The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Support for President Bush in the 2004 elections was also mobilized in part by the notion that "a nation at war" does not change its commander in chief in midstream. The sense of a pervasive but otherwise imprecise danger was thus channeled in a politically expedient direction by the mobilizing appeal of being "at war."

To justify the "war on terror," the administration has lately crafted a false historical narrative that could even become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By claiming that its war is similar to earlier U.S. struggles against Nazism and then Stalinism (while ignoring the fact that both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were first-rate military powers, a status al-Qaeda neither has nor can achieve), the administration could be preparing the case for war with Iran. Such war would then plunge America into a protracted conflict spanning Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and perhaps also Pakistan.

The culture of fear is like a genie that has been let out of its bottle. It acquires a life of its own -- and can become demoralizing. America today is not the self-confident and determined nation that responded to Pearl Harbor; nor is it the America that heard from its leader, at another moment of crisis, the powerful words "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"; nor is it the calm America that waged the Cold War with quiet persistence despite the knowledge that a real war could be initiated abruptly within minutes and prompt the death of 100 million Americans within just a few hours. We are now divided, uncertain and potentially very susceptible to panic in the event of another terrorist act in the United States itself.

That is the result of five years of almost continuous national brainwashing on the subject of terror, quite unlike the more muted reactions of several other nations (Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, to mention just a few) that also have suffered painful terrorist acts. In his latest justification for his war in Iraq, President Bush even claims absurdly that he has to continue waging it lest al-Qaeda cross the Atlantic to launch a war of terror here in the United States.

Such fear-mongering, reinforced by security entrepreneurs, the mass media and the entertainment industry, generates its own momentum. The terror entrepreneurs, usually described as experts on terrorism, are necessarily engaged in competition to justify their existence. Hence their task is to convince the public that it faces new threats. That puts a premium on the presentation of credible scenarios of ever-more-horrifying acts of violence, sometimes even with blueprints for their implementation.

That America has become insecure and more paranoid is hardly debatable. A recent study reported that in 2003, Congress identified 160 sites as potentially important national targets for would-be terrorists. With lobbyists weighing in, by the end of that year the list had grown to 1,849; by the end of 2004, to 28,360; by 2005, to 77,769. The national database of possible targets now has some 300,000 items in it, including the Sears Tower in Chicago and an Illinois Apple and Pork Festival.

Just last week, here in Washington, on my way to visit a journalistic office, I had to pass through one of the absurd "security checks" that have proliferated in almost all the privately owned office buildings in this capital -- and in New York City. A uniformed guard required me to fill out a form, show an I.D. and in this case explain in writing the purpose of my visit. Would a visiting terrorist indicate in writing that the purpose is "to blow up the building"? Would the guard be able to arrest such a self-confessing, would-be suicide bomber? To make matters more absurd, large department stores, with their crowds of shoppers, do not have any comparable procedures. Nor do concert halls or movie theaters. Yet such "security" procedures have become routine, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and further contributing to a siege mentality.

Government at every level has stimulated the paranoia. Consider, for example, the electronic billboards over interstate highways urging motorists to "Report Suspicious Activity" (drivers in turbans?). Some mass media have made their own contribution. The cable channels and some print media have found that horror scenarios attract audiences, while terror "experts" as "consultants" provide authenticity for the apocalyptic visions fed to the American public. Hence the proliferation of programs with bearded "terrorists" as the central villains. Their general effect is to reinforce the sense of the unknown but lurking danger that is said to increasingly threaten the lives of all Americans.

The entertainment industry has also jumped into the act. Hence the TV serials and films in which the evil characters have recognizable Arab features, sometimes highlighted by religious gestures, that exploit public anxiety and stimulate Islamophobia. Arab facial stereotypes, particularly in newspaper cartoons, have at times been rendered in a manner sadly reminiscent of the Nazi anti-Semitic campaigns. Lately, even some college student organizations have become involved in such propagation, apparently oblivious to the menacing connection between the stimulation of racial and religious hatreds and the unleashing of the unprecedented crimes of the Holocaust.

The atmosphere generated by the "war on terror" has encouraged legal and political harassment of Arab Americans (generally loyal Americans) for conduct that has not been unique to them. A case in point is the reported harassment of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for its attempts to emulate, not very successfully, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Some House Republicans recently described CAIR members as "terrorist apologists" who should not be allowed to use a Capitol meeting room for a panel discussion.

Social discrimination, for example toward Muslim air travelers, has also been its unintended byproduct. Not surprisingly, animus toward the United States even among Muslims otherwise not particularly concerned with the Middle East has intensified, while America's reputation as a leader in fostering constructive interracial and interreligious relations has suffered egregiously.

The record is even more troubling in the general area of civil rights. The culture of fear has bred intolerance, suspicion of foreigners and the adoption of legal procedures that undermine fundamental notions of justice. Innocent until proven guilty has been diluted if not undone, with some -- even U.S. citizens -- incarcerated for lengthy periods of time without effective and prompt access to due process. There is no known, hard evidence that such excess has prevented significant acts of terrorism, and convictions for would-be terrorists of any kind have been few and far between. Someday Americans will be as ashamed of this record as they now have become of the earlier instances in U.S. history of panic by the many prompting intolerance against the few.

In the meantime, the "war on terror" has gravely damaged the United States internationally. For Muslims, the similarity between the rough treatment of Iraqi civilians by the U.S. military and of the Palestinians by the Israelis has prompted a widespread sense of hostility toward the United States in general. It's not the "war on terror" that angers Muslims watching the news on television, it's the victimization of Arab civilians. And the resentment is not limited to Muslims. A recent BBC poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries that sought respondents' assessments of the role of states in international affairs resulted in Israel, Iran and the United States being rated (in that order) as the states with "the most negative influence on the world." Alas, for some that is the new axis of evil!

The events of 9/11 could have resulted in a truly global solidarity against extremism and terrorism. A global alliance of moderates, including Muslim ones, engaged in a deliberate campaign both to extirpate the specific terrorist networks and to terminate the political conflicts that spawn terrorism would have been more productive than a demagogically proclaimed and largely solitary U.S. "war on terror" against "Islamo-fascism." Only a confidently determined and reasonable America can promote genuine international security which then leaves no political space for terrorism.

Where is the U.S. leader ready to say, "Enough of this hysteria, stop this paranoia"? Even in the face of future terrorist attacks, the likelihood of which cannot be denied, let us show some sense. Let us be true to our traditions.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, is the author most recently of "Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower" (Basic Books).


Chris Floyd

Here's a purely hypothetical scenario. Let's say you were a dedicated imperial militarist who believed that your country's security, prestige and financial interests could best be served by war and the ever-present threat of war. Let's say you had some really hot and juicy operations going on, endless deadly conflicts that were pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into your war machine and entrenching national policy even more deeply in the militarist philosophy – the machtpolitik – that you believe in.

But there's a problem. The general public – the cow-like herd out there that doesn't understand grand strategy the way you and your fellow elites do – is growing weary, and wary, of your Long War. The national treasury is bankrupt, the national infrastructure is rotting, the nation's communities are dying; millions of people are out of work, losing their homes, losing their dreams, spiraling down into want, privation and despair. Yet you have big plans to escalate the war, expand your war machine, and maintain the global dominance that you believe is the right and natural role for your special nation – and its elites. What to do? How to galvanize the truculent, self-absorbed herd into enthusiastically supporting your vital agenda once more?

Well, here's one purely hypothetical approach you might try. You goad and provoke violent extremist groups into retaliating against your attacks, your civilian-slaughtering invasions and incursions into their territory. Being unable to confront directly your war machine – the largest, most advanced military force in the history of the world, sustained by a tsunami of public money that each year surpasses the military spending of the rest of the world – they naturally respond with "asymmetrical" operations. At first, these are directed at nearby targets: your supply lines, the forces of your local proxies and allies, and other chaos-inducing depredations in the groups' own regions, designed to foul the lines of your control and drive you out. Just as naturally, you use these attacks to justify an even greater military presence in their regions. The cycle inevitably, inexorably ratchets upwards and outwards, until at last the extremists strike at your homeland – either with your connivance, or your covert acquiescence, or, in any event, with your foreknowledge that such an attack was sure to come. This is the moment you have waited for; this is exactly what you wanted. Now you can whip the herd back into a martial frenzy, keep the Long War going, and push aside the rabble's petty, small-minded desires for a peaceful, prosperous life at home, minding their own business.

One never knows exactly what goes on behind the imperial drapery in the Potomac palaces, of course; ordinary American citizens were long ago turned into Kremlinologists of their own government, trying to discern -- through ceremonial signs, backstairs gossip, and slight deviations in ritualized rhetoric -- just what their masters are really up to. But some cynics darkly suspect that scenarios something like the one sketched out above have already been enacted; for instance, in the "new Pearl Harbor" that struck America on September 11, 2001 – one year after a group channeling the views of future Bush Administration bigwigs (including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby and many others) had openly pined for a "new Pear Harbor" to "catalyze" the American people into supporting their militarist agenda, which included an invasion of Iraq – whether Saddam Hussein was in power or not.

But leaving aside for now the ever-thorny matter of divining the varying proportion of connivance, acquiescence, foreknowledge, exploitation, incompetence and fate involved in 9/11, we can say this as an established fact: It is the policy of the United States government to provoke violent extremist groups into action. Once they are in play, their responses can then be used in whatever way the government that provoked them sees fit. And we also know that these provocations are being used, as a matter of deliberate policy, to rouse violent groups on the "Af-Pak" front to launch terrorist attacks.

In other words, just as I first wrote in the Moscow Times more than six years ago (and followed up three years later), the United States is deliberately fomenting terrorist attacks in order to pursue its political and military agendas.

[For more on how these policies and similar uses of terrorism and death squads have been realized in Iraq and elsewhere, see "A Furnace Seal'd: The Wondrous Death Squads of the American Elite," "Ulster on the Euphrates: The Anglo-American Dirty War in Iraq," and "Willing Executioners: America's Bipartisan Atrocity Deepens in Somalia."]

Eagle-eyed Jason Ditz at draws the connection between this policy and the most recent "asymmetrical" strike by a "tickled" terrorist group in Pakistan: the deadly attack on a police center in Lahore by the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The group, led by Baitullah Mehsud, said the attack was in retaliation for the American campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan's frontier regions – strikes which have killed many civilians along with usually unidentified "militants." As Ditz notes, one goal of the campaign – which has been intensified by Barack Obama – is precisely the aforementioned fomenting of terrorist activity:

The Obama Administration has launched an ever growing number of attacks in the FATA, generally aimed at Mehsud’s training facilities in North and South Waziristan. In September, then-CIA Director Michael Hayden said the attacks were an attempt to “provoke a reaction” from the militant groups led by Mehsud. It appears that now, six months later, they have finally done so. [Hayden described this bloodsoaked strategy as "tickling" terrorists into a response.]

What's more, Mehsud has now vowed to carry the fight back to American soil. As The Times notes (via

“Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world," [Mehsud declared.] "The maximum they can do is martyr me. But we will exact our revenge on them from inside America."

Whether or not the rag-tag TTP could actually carry out such a threat is another matter, as Juan Cole notes. But that is not really the point. The point is that once again, a violent group has been knowingly prodded into murderous action. Even better, it has now set itself up as a "deadly terrorist threat" to the sacred Homeland itself: yet another made-to-order supervillain from central casting.

And remarkably, this new, open threat to bring terror to the American heartland comes just days after Barack Obama announced his vaunted surge in the Af-Pak War, citing – what else? – the need to protect the United States from terrorists based in Afghanistan and Pakistan as his chief reason for escalating and expanding the conflict. Yet another astonishing coincidence to justify the militarist agenda, which needs a constant supply of PR-plausible villains and hyped-up, nation-rattling threats like a junkie needs smack. And once again, we are left to puzzle out the varying proportion of connivance, acquiescence, exploitation, luck, etc., involved in this serendipitous pairing of declarations from Obama and Mehsud.


It is worth looking again at the implications of this policy of terrorist-tickling. As we noted recently, such things are not just counters on the Great Gameboard: they are deadly realities that kill, maim and despoil multitudes of innocent people around the world. So let's go back to the first glimmers of this strategy in its Terror War context. This is from the Moscow Times article in November 2001:

In [a Los Angeles Times] article by military analyst William Arkin... [comes] the revelation of Rumsfeld's plan to create "a super-Intelligence Support Activity" that will "bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception." According to a classified document prepared for [Donald] Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization – the "Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)" – will carry out secret missions designed to "stimulate reactions" among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to "counterattack" by U.S. forces.

In other words – and let's say this plainly, clearly and soberly, so that no one can mistake the intention of Rumsfeld's plan – the United States government is planning to use "cover and deception" and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. Let's say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people – your family, your friends, your lovers, you – in order to further their geopolitical ambitions.

For P2OG is not designed solely to flush out terrorists and bring them to justice – a laudable goal in itself, although the Rumsfeld way of combating terrorism by causing it is pure moral lunacy... No, it seems the Pee-Twos have bigger fish to fry. Once they have sparked terrorists into action – by killing their family members? luring them with loot? fueling them with drugs? plying them with jihad propaganda? messing with their mamas? or with agents provocateurs, perhaps, who infiltrate groups then plan and direct the attacks themselves? – they can then take measures against the "states/sub-state actors accountable" for "harboring" the Rumsfeld-roused gangs. What kind of measures exactly? Well, the classified Pentagon program puts it this way: "Their sovereignty will be at risk."

The Pee-Twos will thus come in handy whenever the Regime hankers to add a little oil-laden real estate or a new military base to the Empire's burgeoning portfolio. Just find a nest of violent malcontents, stir 'em with a stick, and presto: instant "justification" for whatever level of intervention/conquest/rapine you might desire.

When the Obama Administration speaks of "continuity" in American foreign policy, this is an integral part of what they are talking about. So look to see much more on TTP and the demon de jure, Baitullah Mehsud, as the bipartisan Long War grinds on and on, with its ever-present need for "catalyzing" – and terrorizing – the American people into support for the militarist project.


Paul Craig Roberts

While we were not watching, conspiracy theory has undergone Orwellian redefinition. A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy.  Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps.  

For example, online news broadcasts of RT have been equated with conspiracy theories by the New York Times simply because RT reports news and opinions that the New York Times does not report and the US government does not endorse.

In other words, as truth becomes uncomfortable for government and its Ministry of Propaganda, truth is redefined as conspiracy theory, by which is meant an absurd and laughable explanation that we should ignore.

When piles of carefully researched books, released government documents, and testimony of eye witnesses made it clear that Oswald was not President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, the voluminous research, government documents, and verified testimony was dismissed as “conspiracy theory.”  

In other words, the truth of the event was unacceptable to the authorities and to the Ministry of Propaganda that represents the interests of authorities.

The purest example of how Americans are shielded from truth is the media’s (including many Internet sites’) response to the large number of professionals who find the official explanation of September 11, 2001, inconsistent with everything they, as experts, know about physics, chemistry, structural engineering, architecture, fires, structural damage, the piloting of airplanes, the security procedures of the United States, NORAD’s capabilities, air traffic control, airport security, and other matters.  These experts, numbering in the thousands, have been shouted down by know-nothings in the media  who brand the experts as “conspiracy theorists.”  

This despite the fact that the official explanation endorsed by the official media is the most extravagant conspiracy theory in human history.  

Let’s take a minute to re-acquaint ourselves with the official explanation, which is not regarded as a conspiracy theory despite the fact that it comprises an amazing conspiracy.  The official truth is that a handful of young Muslim Arabs who could not fly airplanes, mainly Saudi Arabians who came neither from Iraq nor from Afghanistan, outwitted not only the CIA and the FBI, but also all 16  US intelligence agencies and all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel’s Mossad, which is believed to have penetrated every terrorist organization and which carries out assassinations of those whom Mossad marks as terrorists.

In addition to outwitting every intelligence agency of the United States and its allies, the handful of young Saudi Arabians outwitted the National Security Council, the State Department, NORAD, airport security four times in the same hour on the same morning,  air traffic control, caused the US Air Force to be unable to launch interceptor aircraft,  and caused three well-built steel-structured buildings, including one not hit by an airplane, to fail suddenly in a few seconds as a result of limited structural damage and small, short-lived, low-temperature fires that burned on a few floors.

The Saudi terrorists were even able to confound the laws of physics and cause WTC building seven to collapse at free fall speed for several seconds, a physical impossibility in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolition.

The story that the government and the media have told us amounts to a gigantic conspiracy, really a script for a James Bond film. Yet, anyone who doubts this improbable conspiracy theory is defined into irrelevance by the obedient media.

Anyone who believes an architect, structural engineer, or demolition expert who says that the videos show that the buildings are blowing up, not falling down, anyone who believes a Ph.D. physicist who says that the official explanation is inconsistent with known laws of physics, anyone who believes expert pilots who testify that non-pilots or poorly-qualified pilots cannot fly airplanes in such maneuvers, anyone who believes the 100 or more first responders who testify that they not only heard explosions in the towers but personally experienced explosions, anyone who believes University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Niels Harrit who reports finding unreacted nano-thermite in dust samples from the WTC towers, anyone who is convinced by experts instead of by propaganda is dismissed as a kook.  

In America today, and increasingly throughout the Western world, actual facts and true explanations have been relegated to the realm of kookiness.  Only people who believe lies are socially approved and accepted as patriotic citizens.

Indeed, a writer or newscaster is not even permitted to report the findings of 9/11 skeptics.  In other words, simply to report Professor Harrit’s findings now means that you endorse them or agree with them.  Everyone in the US print and TV media knows that he/she will be instantly fired if they report Harrit’s findings, even with a laugh. Thus, although Harrit has reported his findings on European television and has lectured widely on his findings in Canadian universities, the fact that he and the international scientific research team that he led found unreacted nano-thermite in the WTC dust and have offered samples to other scientists to examine has to my knowledge never been reported in the American media.

As I reported earlier, I myself had experience with a Huffington Post reporter who was keen to interview a Reagan presidential appointee who was in disagreement with the Republican wars in the Middle East.  After he published the interview that I provided at his request, he was terrified to learn that I had reported findings of 9/11 investigators.  To protect his career, he quickly inserted on the online interview that my views on the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions could be dismissed as I had reported unacceptable findings about 9/11.

The unwillingness or inability to entertain any view of 9/11 different from the official view dooms to impotence many Internet sites that are opposed to the wars and to the rise of the domestic US police state.  These sites, for whatever the reasons, accept the government’s explanation of 9/11; yet, they try to oppose the  “war on terror” and the police state which are the consequences of accepting the government’s explanation. Trying to oppose the consequences of an event whose explanation you accept is an impossible task.

If you believe that America was attacked by Muslim terrorists and is susceptible to future attacks, then a “war on terror” and a domestic police state to root out terrorists become necessary to make Americans safe. The idea that a domestic police state and open-ended war might be more dangerous threats to Americans than terrorists is an impermissible thought.  

A country whose population has been trained to accept the government’s word and to shun those who question it is a country without liberty in its future.

Paul Schreyer

Global Research, January 28, 2013

“If a mandarinate ruled America, the recruiting committee on September 11 would have had to find someone like Cheney.” Washington Post author Barton Gellman in his book “Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency”

Terrorism. Emergency plans. Political careers. The history of 9/11 can be written from many angles.

But whatever point of view is chosen, Dick Cheney is a central figure. “Principle is okay up to a certain point”, he once said, “but principle doesn´t do any good if you lose the nomination”. He´s surely an elusive character. Not less than Donald Rumsfeld, his close companion. Both of their lifes are inseperably bound with a dark side of recent American history. The core of the following story was originally told by the authors James Mann and Peter Dale Scott whose thorough research is deeply appreciated. Yet a lot of background information was added. Thus a bigger picture slowly took shape, showing a plan and its actors ... 

Cheney and Rumsfeld were an old team. Major parts of their careers they had spent together. Both had no privileged family background. Cheney´s father worked as an employee for the department of agriculture, Rumsfeld´s father had a job in a real estate company. The families´ living conditions were modest. Both sons could go to university only with the backing of scholarships.

Rumsfeld, born 1932, chose political science. He was a rather small and sturdy person, but with energetic charisma. While at university he engaged in sport and was known as a succesful ringer. Later Rumsfeld went to the Navy to become a pilot. The Navy hat paid a part of his scholarship. At the end of the 1950s he eventually started his career in politics as assistant of a congressman. Meanwhile father of a young family, and following a short intermezzo at an investment bank, Rumsfeld himself ran for Congress, at the age of 29 only.

Getting backing

The prospects in his Chicago home district were unfavorable. He was inexperienced and almost without any voter base, compared to the other candidates. But the dynamic and ambitious Rumsfeld impressed some of Chicago´s business leaders, such as the boss of pharma heavyweight Searle. They paid for his campaign. With this economic power in his back also one of Chicago´s newspapers supported him. Rumsfeld won the election in 1962 and went to Washington as a republican representative.

At the beginning of the 1960s he visited lectures at the University of Chicago, where Milton Friedman was teaching, one of the most influential economists of his time. Friedman was one of the founding fathers of neoliberalism. He called for less influence of the state and praised the self regulation of the markets. In 1962 his bestseller Capitalism and Freedom was published. Rumsfeld was impressed by these thoughts. In a speech honoring Friedman 40 years later he remembered: “Government, he has told us, has three primary functions: It should provide for the military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. And it should protect citizens against crimes against themselves or their property.” (1) This self-imposed restriction of politics was also the core of Rumsfeld´s belief while he served in Congress in the 1960s.

An apprentice in politics

Cheney, 9 years younger than Rumsfeld, meanwhile studied political science as well. First at Yale, where he left soon because of poor grades, then at a less prestigious university in the Midwest. Contrary to the forceful Rumsfeld he appeared rather defensive, quiet and cautious. His imminent recruiting to the Vietnam war he avoided by getting deferred from military service because of his study at the university and the pregnancy of his wife, until he couldn´t be recruited because of his age in 1967. 

At the age of 27 Cheney was looking for a job in Washington. He applied for an internship at Rumsfeld´s office. But Rumsfeld rejected him. The failed interview was embarrassing for Cheney who in later times liked to tell the story of this flop as an anecdote. But soon both men found together.

Under president Nixon, Rumsfeld had switched in 1969 from Congress to government. First he ran the Office of Economic Opportunity. There he administered federal social programs – not exactly one of his major concerns, but still one step forward in career. Rumsfeld was looking for new staffers to pass on work. By recommendation of a befriended representative he employed Cheney as his assistant. Cheney was a diligent worker and quickly made himself indispensable. Whoever wanted something from Rumsfeld, learned soon to try it via Cheney.

Rumsfeld´s career developed. People started becoming aware of him nationwide. He looked good, was energetic and had a catching smile. His intelligence was outstanding. But he also liked to exaggerate and escalate conflicts and often was unnecessarily blunt to others. Soon he became president Nixon´s advisor (who would praise him as a “ruthless little bastard”). Three years later he went to europe becoming NATO´s ambassador there – escaping from Washington shortly before the Watergate affair would kill the careers of many of Nixon´s advisors.

Tasting power

In the mid of the 1970s politics in America went through a time of upheaval. The economy was in crisis. With the lost war in Vietnam, nationwide student protests and Watergate the leadership of the superpower showed internal signs of decay, culminating in Nixon´s resignation in 1974. Successor Gerald Ford appointed Rumsfeld to become chief of staff with Cheney shadowing him closely as his deputy.

Now both men had arrived in the centre of power. The position of chief of staff was seen as highly influential in the White House. He was the closest advisor to the president, controlled his schedule and also decided who would meet him. After Nixon, Watergate and the extensively publicly discussed CIA scandals the new administration had to fight with a damaged reputation. This difficult situation, with a relatively weak president, increased the importance of the chief of staff.

Rumsfeld and Cheney were partners now and had great influence on president Ford. When he reshuffled his cabinet abruptly in 1975 in the so-called “Halloween massacre”, firing among others the CIA director and the secretary of defense, many suspected Rumsfeld being the wirepuller. Fact was at least that he and Cheney were profiteering.

Rumsfeld now took over the command at the Pentagon. There he started expensive and prolonged defense projects like the Abrams tank and the B-1 bomber, building economic impact for decades. At the same time the 34 years old Cheney moved up to become chief of staff in the White House. Now he was no longer only assistant but an authority with relevant beliefs. One of his rules went: “Principle is okay up to a certain point, but principle doesn´t do any good if you lose the nomination.” (2)

Revolving doors

However soon just that happened. After the defeat of the Republicans in 1976 both men dropped out of government. Together with their families they spent holidays with each other in the Caribbean. Rumsfeld remembers the relaxing break with pleasure: “We played Tennis, boated, and spent time in the sun talking about life. Cheney grilled steaks and made chili.” (3)

Back home Cheney started capitalizing his Washington insider knowledge by working for a consulting company, helping wealthy clients with their investment decisions. But soon he returned to politics. At the end of the 1970s he went as elected Congressman to the House of Representatives. Yet the stress and pressure had their effect on the cautious and restrained Cheney – at age 37 he suffered his first heart attack.

Rumsfeld on the other hand found his new place for a longer time in private business. Dan Searle, the Chicago pharma magnate who had financed his first election campaign 15 years before, now entrusted him his whole company, appointing him to Searle´s CEO. Financially Rumsfeld climbed to new heights with that job. As CEO he got 250.000 Dollars a year, about four times more than as secretary of defense. (4) And also in his new job he made no half measures. Within short time Rumsfeld fired more than half of the employees, generating a huge increase in corporate profit. The business newspapers praised him as an outstanding manager. 

In the 1980s the Republicans came back to power with Ronald Reagan. The new president conjured up the threatening picture of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” and increased military spending. The Cold War gained new momentum.

The Armageddon Plan

At this time the White House also developed a secret emergency plan, put in action however only at September 11th, 2001 for the first time. Initially it should guarantee that the government could continue its operations even after a Soviet nuclear strike. The plan was called COG (Continuity of Government) and called for a very special emergency measure: when disaster struck, three teams should be sent to different places in the country, replacing the government. Each team would have an own “president” as well as other people standing in for the different departments and government agencies. If one team would be killed, the next one could be activated. So the planners hoped to keep control over the military and the most important parts of the administration, after an atomic bomb or another disaster had wiped out the government in Washington. (5) 

These worries about a possible “decapitation” of the national leadership were deemed very seriously because exactly this course of action was also part of the U.S. war strategy towards the Soviets. (6)

The COG plan existed not only on paper. It was exercised in reality regularly in the 1980s. Once a year the teams, each consisting of a “president”, a “chief of staff” and about 50 staffers, were secretly flown from Washington to a closed military base or a bunker somewhere in the United States. There they played the emergency scenario for several days. Not even their closest relatives knew about the location or purpose of the exercise. (7) 

Richard Clarke, later anti-terror coordinator under the presidents Clinton and Bush junior, recalls one of the maneuvers at that time:

”I remember one occasion where we got the call. We had to go to Andrews Air Force Base and get on a plane and fly across the country. And then get off and run into a smaller plane. And that plane flew off into a desert location. And when the doors opened on the smaller plane, we were in the middle of a desert. Trucks eventually came and found us and drove us to a tent city. You know, this was in the early days of the program. A tent city in the middle of the desert — I had no idea where we were. I didn’t know what state we were in. We spent a week there in tents, pretending that the United States government had been blown up. And we were it. It’s as though you were living in a play. You play-act. Everyone there play-acts that it’s really happened. You can’t go outside because of the radioactivity. You can’t use the phones because they’re not connected to anything.” (8)

Part of every team was one authentic secretary, leading a government department also in real life. He had to play the president. Yet his real life portfolio didn´t matter – at one point even the secretary of agriculture played the president. In the end the secretary taking part in the exercise was usually just the one being dispensable. Apparently more important was the role of the chief of staff. This part was routinely played only by a person who had been White House chief of staff also in real life. (9)

Therefore Rumsfeld and Cheney were regular participants of the secret annual COG exercises. Other attendants described them as being involved in shaping the program. (10) So at a time when the two men had no position whatsoever in government (Rumsfeld, as mentioned, was boss of a pharma company, Cheney was congressman), both of them disapeared every year for a few days to practice the take-over of the government after a disaster.

Above the law

The plan was secret also because it bypassed the constitution. Since the presidential succession was already explicitly fixed by law: if the president died, the vice president took over, then followed by the speaker of the house, after him the longest serving senator, then the secretaries of state, treasury, defense and so forth. However the COG plan simply ignored this well balanced constitutional arrangement. In an emergency it called instead for a president who was not democratically legitimized at all.

The plan was authorized with a secret directive by president Reagan. According to his security adviser Robert McFarlane Reagan personally decided who would lead the individual teams. The COG liaison officer in charge inside the National Security Council was Oliver North, who later became known as the key person in the center of the Iran-Contra scandal. (11)

Only incidentally, in connection with that scandal, the first details of the secret plan came to light in 1987. Under president Reagan Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North had coordinated a series of steps building in effect a shadow government, Congress didn´t know about, let alone having approved it. The Miami Herald wrote about this in 1987: “Oliver North helped draw up a controversial plan to suspend the Constitution in the event of a national crisis, such as nuclear war, violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad. (...) From 1982 to 1984, North assisted FEMA, the U.S. government’s chief national crisis-management unit, in revising contingency plans for dealing with nuclear war, insurrection or massive military mobilization.” (12)

That the COG plan, suspending the constitution, could indeed not only be activated in case of a nuclear war, was laid out in a further directive authorized by Reagan in the last days of his presidency in November 1988. According to this directive the plan should be executed in a “national security emergency”, defined rather vague as a “natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States”. (13) In effect this meant a massive undermining of democratic principles. The COG plan, executed unter the circumstances mentioned, could also be used as cover for a coup d’état.

Meanwhile Cheney and Rumsfeld went on secretly exercising the take-over of the government during their annually running maneuvers. Belonging to this inner circle of potential state leaders had to be an uplifting feeling for both men. In case of a huge disaster the fate of the nation would lie in their hands.

Reach for the presidency

At the end of the 1980s Cheney moreover had climbed to the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, the elite network connecting business leaders and politicians, well known for its huge influence on American foreign policy. In the meantime Rumsfeld had become a multimillionaire through the sale of the pharma company he had led. He planned running for the presidency in 1988. But his campaign didn´t succeed. From the outset Reagan´s vice president Bush senior had been the republican frontrunner – and finally also won the election.

But now Cheney got his chance. He became secretary of defense in the new administration, the same position Rumsfeld had already held 12 years before. Cheney successfully managed the first Iraq war in 1991, which led – parallel to the decline of the Soviet Union – to a permanent deployment of U.S. troops in the oil-rich Saudi Arabia. The control over Iraq was now in reach.

After the defeat of the Republicans in 1992 Cheney also considered an own presidential campaign. Yet soon he had to realize that he lacked support. Instead he moved to the private sector, becoming CEO of Halliburton, one of the world´s biggest oil supply companies. As secretary of defense he already had build connections to the firm, leading later to multi-billion-dollar contracts with the Pentagon. The new job now also filled Cheney´s pockets, making him a multimillionaire as well.

Meanwhile Rumsfeld had established himself as a highly effective and ambitious business executive. In the 1990s he first led a telecommunications company, then a pharma corporation.

The COG plan still existed, however with other presumptions. After the fall of the Soviet Union it no longer focused on the Russian nuclear threat, but on terrorism. Though it was reported in the mid 1990s that president Clinton wanted the program to phase out, it later became clear that this announcement only applied to the portion of the plan relating to a nuclear attack. (14) Then anti-terror coordinator Richard Clarke later disclosed that he had updated the COG plan in 1998. (15) The corresponding presidential directive (PDD-67) was secret. Its precise content was never made public. (16)

Cold War reloaded

At the same time a circle of neoconservatives around Rumsfeld and Cheney prepared for return to power. At the end of the 1990s they founded an organisation called “Project for the New American Century” (PNAC). Their self declared desire: “increase defense spending significantly” and “challenge regimes hostile to our interests”. (17)

In parallel Rumsfeld headed a congressional commission assessing the threat of foreign long range missiles. Already in the 1980s Ronald Reagan had started plans for a national missile defense, which burdened the national budget over the years with about 50 billion dollars. Yet in the 1990s even the own intelligence agencies saw no longer a real threat. Because who should fire missiles on Washington in the near future? Yeltsin´s Russia? Or China, that became economically more and more interdependent with the United States? However the so-called “Rumsfeld Commission” revised the assessment of the intelligence agencies. In its 1998 published report new possible aggressors were named: North Korea, Iran and Iraq. (18)

The same year Rumsfeld and his PNAC associates had already written an open letter to president Clinton, urging him to be tougher on Iraq. Saddam Hussein´s regime should be “removed”, the letter demanded. (19)

Finally, in September 2000, two month before the presidential election, PNAC published a lengthy strategy paper, giving policy guidance to the next administration. “Rebuilding America´s Defenses” was its programmatic title and it analysed principles and objections of a new defense policy.

Basically the paper called for a massive increase in defense spending and a transformation of the armed forces into a dominant but mobile, rapidly deployable power factor. The aim was enduring military supremacy, which according to PNAC would urgently require new weapons systems like the missile defense. Yet the paper made also clear that the process of implementing these demands would be a long one and provoke resistance, “absent” – quote – “some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” (20)

A question of energy

After George W. Bush´s inauguration in January 2001 the members of this circle secured important posts in the new administration. Cheney turned into the leading figure. This had become apparent well before the election. As early as April 2000 Bush had asked him to handle the selection of his vice presidential running mate. In the end Cheney had all but proposed himself for the job. (21) Meanwhile the workaholic had survived three heart attacks. One of his first recommendations to Bush was the appointment of Rumsfeld, almost 70, as secretary of defense. Deputy of his old associate became Paul Wolfowitz, a hardliner who had already worked for Cheney as chief strategist in the Pentagon at the beginning of the 1990s. Compared to these men president Bush himself was a newcomer in Washington. Though he was blessed with political instinct and a very practical intuition, he could hardly hold a candle to these old hands intellectually.

One of the first steps of the new administration was the creation of a “National Energy Policy Development Group”. It was headed directly by Cheney. Its final report, issued in May 2001, described the situation quite openly:

“America in the year 2001 faces the most serious energy shortage since the oil embargoes of the 1970s. (...) A fundamental imbalance between supply and demand defines our nation´s en­ergy crisis. (...) This imbalance, if allowed to continue, will inevitably undermine our economy, our standard of living, and our national security. (...) Estimates indicate that over the next 20 years, U.S. oil consumption will increase by 33 percent, natural gas consumption by well over 50 percent, and demand for elec­tricity will rise by 45 percent. If America´s energy production grows at the same rate as it did in the 1990s we will face an ever-in­creasing gap. (...) By 2020, Gulf oil producers are projected to supply between 54 and 67 percent of the world´s oil. Thus, the global economy will almost certainly continue to depend on the supply of oil from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members, particularly in the Gulf. This region will remain vital to U.S. interests.” (22)

Later it was disclosed that Cheney´s energy task force had also secretly examined a map of the Iraqi oil fields, pipelines and refineries along with charts detailing foreign suitors for il-field contracts there. Again, the date was March 2001.

Anticipating the unthinkable

Concurrently to its effort in energy policy the new administration created an “Office of National Preparedness”. It was tasked with the development of plans responding to a possible terror attack and became assigned to the “Federal Emergency Management Agency” (FEMA). (23) FEMA was already responsible for the COG plan since the 1980s. To call it back to mind: “From 1982 to 1984, Oliver North assisted FEMA in revising contingency plans for dealing with nuclear war, insurrection or massive military mobilization.” (24)

Back then Cheney had played a role in shaping these plans. Now he could continue the work – because Bush appointed him to head the new program. (25) Director of FEMA on the other hand became Joe Allbaugh, who had little professional expertise, but could offer other qualities. Allbaugh was Bush´s campaign manager, a man for tough and rather rude matters and also one of the president´s closest confidants. Back in 1994 he had managed Bush´s campaign to become governor of Texas and at the end of 2000 he had helped stopping the recount of votes in Florida. (26) That an expert for political tricks was appointed to head FEMA indicates that the administration had political plans with the emergency management agency from the outset.

Till today it´s undisclosed how the COG plan was refined in detail under Cheney´s direction in 2001. However the following is apparent: in the months leading to 9/11 Cheney linked anti-terror and emergency management measures with national energy policy. Commissions working on both issues were handled by him simultaneously. This connection anticipated the policy after 9/11, which could be summarized as using a terror attack as rationale for extending the power of the executive and waging war to seize control of world regions important for energy supply.

The emergency plans Rumsfeld and Cheney were involved with since the 1980s culminated in autumn 2001. On the morning of September 11th the secret COG program was implemented for the first time. (27) Shortly before 10:00 a.m., after the impact of the third plane into the Pentagon, Cheney gave the order to execute it. (28)

The shadow government

Almost nothing is known about the content of the plan and the specific effects of its activation. The secrecy in this respect appears grotesque. Even the simple fact of the plan´s implementation on 9/11 was concealed for months. After sporadic hints in the press the Washington Post finally disclosed some details in March 2002. In an article titled “Shadow government is at work in secret” it reported that about 100 high-ranking officials of different departments were working outside Washington as part of the emergency plan since 9/11:

“Officials who are activated for what some of them call ‘bunker duty’ live and work underground 24 hours a day, away from their families. As it settles in for the long haul, the shadow government has sent home most of the first wave of deployed personnel, replacing them most commonly at 90-day intervals. (...) Known internally as the COG, for ‘continuity of government’, the administration-in-waiting is an unannounced complement to the acknowledged absence of Vice President Cheney from Washington for much of the past five months. Cheney’s survival ensures constitutional succession, one official said, but ‘he can´t run the country by himself.’ With a core group of federal managers alongside him, Cheney – or President Bush, if available – has the means to give effect to his orders.” (29)

But what orders gave Cheney to his strange “shadow government” while his stays at the bunker? And what justified extending this emergency measure for seemingly infinite time? For the White House clearly hadn´t been wiped out by bombs. The president lived and his administration was able to act. Who needed a permanent second secret government?

After the first disclosure of these facts in spring 2002 leading politicians of the legislative immediately started expressing their astonishment. Soon it became clear that neither Senate nor House of Representatives knew anything about the activation of COG and the work of the “shadow government” in secret. The parliament had simply been ignored. (30) Later the 9/11 Commission experienced similar executive secrecy. Though it mentioned in its final report the implementation of the plan on 9/11, it also admitted not having investigated the issue in depth. Instead the Commission had only been briefed “on the general nature” of the plan. (31)

Patriots under pressure

An immediate response to 9/11 was the Patriot Act, passed only one month later, and allowing a broad range of highly controversial measures, from domestic wiretapping to warrantless detention of foreign terror suspects. The latter legalized the forthcoming procedures at Guantánamo, leading to secret U.S. prisons all over the world.

Two influential opponents of these legal changes were Tom Daschle, Senate Majority Leader, and Patrick Leahy, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both received letters with spores of deadly anthrax. The source was never traced with certainty. After that Daschle and Leahy gave up their resistance against the new legislation and approved the Patriot Act. (32)

In their radical nature the hastily passed changes bore resemblance to decrees while a state of emergency. And indeed were they similarly already part of the COG plan in the 1980s. (33)

Government officials familiar with COG indicated after 9/11 that the plan could really have resulted in martial law – if additionally to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon also large numbers of congressmen and executive branch leaders had been killed on that day. (34)

Is it in this context a coincidence only that the fourth hijacked plane on 9/11 was heading towards Washington to hit the Capitol or the White House? (35)

Killers from Sudan?

There is also circumstantial evidence for an assassination attempt on president Bush in Florida that morning. The Secret Service had received a related warning the night before at 4:08 a.m., according to a TV report by a local ABC affiliate. (36) A few hours later Secret Service agents searched an apartment in Sarasota and arrested four men from Sudan, apparently belonging to the south sudanese liberation army SPLA, a paramilitary force secretly supported by the United States. (37) Also AP reported these arrests mentioning that the suspects had been released soon again because they had “no connection” to 9/11. The whole issue just would have been a “coincidence”. (38)

President Bush spent the night before 9/11 at a resort on Longboat Key, an island right next to Sarasota where he planned to visit an elementary school on the next morning. Longboat Key Fire Marshall Carroll Mooneyhan was a further witness of the possible assassination attempt. He said that at about 6 a.m. on September 11th a van with self-proclaimed reporters of middle eastern descent had pulled up at Bush´s resort, stating they had a “poolside” interview with the president. The men asked for a special Secret Service agent by name but where turned away by the guards. (39)

Were these “reporters” identical with the Sudanese temporarily arrested by the Secret Service later that morning in Sarasota? The incident resembled at least the successful assassination of Taliban foe Ahmed Shah Massoud two days before on September 9th in Afghanistan. The suicide attackers there were also a fake TV team using a bomb hidden in a camera, as the New York Times reported on September 10th. (40)

Additionally three witnesses remembered seeing Mohammed Atta and a companion at Longboat Key´s Holiday Inn on September 7th, three days before Bush would spend the night on that same small island. (41) September 7th was also the day the White House first publicly announced Bush´s schedule to travel to Sarasota. (42) In this context it is surely worth to consider if Atta scouted out the place for an assassination plot.

Completing the plot

The question arises: Did a circle around Cheney, Rumsfeld and some associates use 9/11 for a disguised coup d’état, partly failed in its execution?

Regardless of the answer to that question – 9/11 in fact allowed the implementation of emergency measures, the weakening of the legislative, the start of several wars and a massive increase in defense spending. The amounts in question easily exceed the imagination of observers.

While in the second half of the 1990s the average national defense budget totaled about 270 billion dollars a year, that number nearly doubled in the decade after 9/11, when the average annual budget went up to over 500 billion. (43) For the Pentagon´s private contractors that meant a sales increase of inconceivable 2.300 billion dollars between 2001 and 2010.

A national economy under arms

If one looks at the development of defense spending in the United States since 1940, some far-reaching conclusions arise. (44) It seems as if the attack on Pearl Harbor and the following involvement in World War II led to a structural change of the American economy. The budgetary value of the military was never reduced to a “normal” level after that. On the contrary it increased decade by decade. Thus the whole economy got into a fatal dependency on the defense business.

This ongoing development came to a halt only with the fall of the Soviet Union. Ten years later then 9/11 became the catalyzing event to kick-start the military buildup again – with all its broad economic effects on the country.

Cheney and Rumsfeld don´t seem to be driving forces in this “game”, but merely two talented managers, risen to the top in the stream of events. Author James Mann, who had disclosed their involvement in the COG plan first in 2004, described their political role this way:

“Their participation in the extra-constitutional continuity-of-government exercises, remarkable in its own right, also demonstrates a broad, underlying truth about these two men. For three decades, from the Ford Administration onward, even when they were out of the executive branch of government, they were never far away. They stayed in touch with defense, military, and intelligence officials, who regularly called upon them. They were, in a sense, a part of the permanent hidden national-security apparatus of the United States, inhabitants of a world in which Presidents come and go, but America keeps on fighting.” (45)


(1) US Department of Defense, 09.05.02, “Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld speaking at Tribute to Milton Friedman”

(2) James Mann, “Rise of the Vulcans. The History of Bush ?s War Cabinet”, New York 2004, p. 73

(3) Donald Rumsfeld, “Known and Unknown. A Memoir”, New York 2011, p. 240

(4) Ibid., p. 245

(5) James Mann, “Rise of the Vulcans. The History of Bush ?s War Cabinet”, New York 2004, pp. 138-145

(6) Ibid., p. 139

(7) Ibid., p. 138

(8) ABC, 25.04.04, “Worst Case Scenario – Secret Plan to Control U.S. Government After an Attack Went Into Motion on 9/11?

(9) James Mann, “Rise of the Vulcans. The History of Bush ?s War Cabinet”, New York 2004, p. 140

(10) Ibid., p. 138;

Washington Post, 07.04.04, “‘Armageddon’ Plan Was Put Into Action on 9/11, Clarke Says”, Howard Kurtz

(11) James Mann, “Rise of the Vulcans. The History of Bush ?s War Cabinet”, New York 2004, p. 142

(12) Miami Herald, 05.07.87, “Reagan Aides and the ‚secret‘ Government”, Alfonso Chardy

(13) Peter Dale Scott, “The Road to 9/11. Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America”, Berkeley 2007, p. 185;

Executive Order 12656 – “Assignment of emergency preparedness responsibilities”, 18.11.88

(14) Peter Dale Scott, “The Road to 9/11. Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America”, Berkeley 2007, p. 186

(15) Richard Clarke, “Against All Enemies. Inside America ?s War on Terror”, New York 2004, p. 167

(16) PDD-NSC-67 – “Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations”, 21.10.98

(17) Project for the New American Century, 03.06.97, “Statement of Principles”

(18) New York Times, 16.07.98, “Panel Says U.S. Faces Risk Of a Surprise Missile Attack”, Eric Schmitt

(19) Project for the New American Century, 26.01.98, “Iraq Clinton Letter”

(20) Project for the New American Century, September 2000, “Rebuilding America´s Defenses”, p. 51

(21) Barton Gellman, “Angler. The Cheney Vice Presidency”, New York 2008, Chapter 1

(22) “National Energy Policy – Report of the National Energy Policy Development Group”, 16.05.01

(23) White House press release, 08.05.01, “Cheney to Oversee Domestic Counterterrorism Efforts”

(24) Miami Herald, 05.07.87, “Reagan Aides and the ‚secret‘ Government”, Alfonso Chardy

(25) White House press release, 08.05.01, “Cheney to Oversee Domestic Counterterrorism Efforts”

(26) Peter Dale Scott, “The Road to 9/11. Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America”, Berkeley 2007, p. 210

(27) 9/11 Commission Report, p. 38

(28) “Brief Timeline of Day of 9/11 Events, drafted by White House”

Washington Post, 27.01.02, “America’s Chaotic Road to War”, Dan Balz and Bob Woodward

(29) Washington Post, 01.03.02, “Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret”, Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt

(30) Washington Post, 02.03.02, “Congress Not Advised Of Shadow Government”, Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin

(31) 9/11 Commission Report, p. 555

(32) Salon, 21.11.01, “Why Daschle and Leahy?”, Anthony York

(33) Miami Herald, 05.07.87, “Reagan Aides and the ‚secret‘ Government”, Alfonso Chardy

(34) ABC, 25.04.04, “Worst Case Scenario – Secret Plan to Control U.S. Government After an Attack Went Into Motion on 9/11?

(35) 9/11 Commission Report, p. 14

(36) Daniel Hopsicker, “Welcome to Terrorland”, 2004, p. 42

(37) Ibid., p. 44

(38) Ibid., p. 45

(39) Longboat Observer, 26.09.01, „Possible Longboat terrorist incident – Is it a clue or is it a coincidence?“, Shay Sullivan

(40) New York Times, 10.09.01, „Taliban Foe Hurt and Aide Killed by Bomb“

(41) Longboat Observer, 21.11.01, „Two hijackers on Longboat?“, Shay Sullivan

(42) White House, 07.09.01, „Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer“

(43) US Office of Management and Budget, “Table 3.1 – Outlays by Superfunction and Function: 1940–2016?

(44) Ibid.

(45) The Atlantic, March 2004, “The Armageddon Plan”, James Mann

James Mann, “Rise of the Vulcans. The History of Bush ?s War Cabinet”, New York 2004, p. 145


The top CIA counterterrorism officer who tracked Osama bin Laden through the mountains of Afghanistan says the United States could have captured the terrorist leader if President George W. Bush and the American military had devoted the necessary resources to the hunt and capture.

In addition, says Gary Bernsten, a decorated espionage officer, the post-Cold War downturn in recruitment and attention to espionage has left a crippled spy agency that will need a decade or more to build up its clandestine service for the U.S. war on terrorism.

Berntsen led a paramilitary unit code-named "Jawbreaker" in the war that toppled the Taliban after the September 11 attacks.

He says his Jawbreaker team tracked bin Laden to Afghanistan's Tora Bora region late in 2001 and could have killed or captured the al Qaeda leader there if military officials had agreed to his request for an additional force of about 800 U.S. troops. But the administration was already gearing up for war with Iraq and troops were never sent, allowing bin Laden was able to escape.

His account contradicts public statements by Bush and former Gen. Tommy Franks, who maintained that U.S. officials were never sure bin Laden was at Tora Bora.

Berntsen says CIA Director Porter Goss faces an uphill battle to fill the agency's senior ranks with aggressive, seasoned operatives.

"He's probably more aggressive than most of the senior officers in the clandestine service. So I think he's having to pull them along a bit," Berntsen said in an interview.

"(Goss) is trying to improve the situation. But it's going to be tough. The rebuilding is going to take years. A decade, at least," he told Reuters late last week.

The CIA, widely criticized for lapses involving prewar Iraq and the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, has seen its clandestine staff dwindle to less than 5,000 employees from a peak of over 7,000, intelligence sources say.

Experts blame a post-Cold War downturn in recruitment for a current lack of seasoned clandestine operatives that has been exacerbated by a rush to lucrative private sector jobs in recent years.

"We have a smaller number of really, really aggressive, creative members of our leadership in the senior service," said Berntsen, who recently published a book about his exploits in the war on terrorism, titled "Jawbreaker" (Crown Publishing).

Former CIA Director George Tenet told the September 11 commission in April 2004 the CIA would need five years to produce a clandestine service fully capable of tackling the terrorism threat.

Goss later said at his September 2004 Senate confirmation hearings that rebuilding the clandestine operation would be "a long build-out, a long haul."

President George W. Bush issued an order last year that called for a 50 percent increase in CIA clandestine officers and analysts to be completed "as soon as feasible."

"The CIA is moving aggressively to rebuild and enhance its capabilities across the board," CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said.

But intelligence sources say the rebuilding process has been complicated by disaffection for Goss' leadership within the clandestine service.

Years of double-digit growth in federal spending on intelligence that followed the September 11 attacks may also be about to end.

John Negroponte, the new U.S. director of national intelligence, has endorsed an intelligence budget for fiscal year 2007 that is relatively flat, with current spending levels believed to total about $44 billion for the 15-agency intelligence community. Fiscal 2007 begins in October.

Berntsen, 48, who also led the CIA Counterterrorism Center's response to the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa, sued the CIA in July, accusing the spy agency of trying to stop him from publishing his book.

Gimigliano said the CIA reviewed Bernsten's book before publication only to ensure that it contained no classified information.

In the book, Berntsen says his Jawbreaker team tracked bin Laden to Afghanistan's Tora Bora region late in 2001 and could have killed or captured the al Qaeda leader there if military officials had agreed to his request for an additional force of about 800 U.S. troops.

But the troops were never sent and bin Laden was able to escape, he said.

His account contradicts public statements by Bush and former Gen. Tommy Franks, who maintained that U.S. officials were never sure bin Laden was at Tora Bora.

The text below was mailed as a hardcopy to multiple addresses. Click to view one copy of the original letter sent to Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).
General Advisory

A. K. Dewdney
July 28, 2006


The War on Terror, currently being prosecuted by the United States and its allies, is based entirely on the premise that the “terror attacks” of September 11 2001 were planned and carried out by Arab/Muslim extremists. The War has been given further impetus and justification by additional attacks taking place in Bali, Indonesia, in Madrid, Spain, in London, England, and elsewhere. However, it now appears that Al Qaeda is an extensive “false flag” operation.

There is strong evidence that the attacks of September 11 were not carried out by Arab/Muslim extremists. The aircraft that struck the twin towers, as well as the Pentagon, were not the aircraft alleged to have done so. The twin towers did not collapse as a result of fires caused by the impact of incoming aircraft, but were brought down by controlled demolition. Indeed, the WTC leaseholder at the time has confessed on video to having brought down Building 7 (not struck by any aircraft) by controlled demolition. There is a great deal of evidence, all of it based on credible primary sources, that stands in direct contradiction to the White House scenario, as portrayed in the 9/11 Commission and the NIST WTC reports. The latter documents are notable only for their avoidance of the central issues raised by this evidence.

There is also strong evidence that the aforesaid bombings in Bali, Madrid, and elsewhere were not the work of “terrorists,” but staged affairs.

Sadly, the mistaken nature of the War on Terror leaves us with only two alternatives: Your agency is either aware of these facts or it is not. We ask that you review the evidence and declare immediately for the second alternative, informing your government in the process. We are aware that precedents exist for the first alternative; the plan called Operation Northwoods was approved by the Joint Chiefs in 1962. It called for hijackings of passenger aircraft, blowing up a US ship, and orchestrated terrorism in American cities - all to be blamed on Fidel Castro.

It needs to be stressed that our analyses do not represent “theories” of any kind. They are conclusions based on what can only be described as “forensic analysis.”

This message constitutes an open letter to intelligence agencies generally. Specific versions have been sent by post to the directors of the five major intelligence agencies in North America to see if a response is forthcoming or not. Any such response will be posted here.

Our moral and legal duty to give formal warnings is hereby discharged.


A. K. Dewdney, Coordinator
Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-eleven


The Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-eleven is an organization of scientists, engineers, airline pilots, military and intelligence officers, as well as experts in Islam and Politics. All have professional credentials, with solid contributions in their respective fields. The Panel maintains a website which contains much of the relevant evidence and its analysis

This website also links to other groups, such as as Scholars for 911 Truth, Team Eight, German Engineers, and so on. See Scholars for 9/11 Truth.

Judging from the rapid growth in internet traffic at our sites, we are in a position to declare that our view is rapidly gaining ground and that sooner or later a majority of westerners will no longer believe the official scenario. For example, as early as 2004, a Zogby poll revealed that 49% of New Yorkers believed that the White House had advance knowledge of the attacks.

Reply from CSIS

The text below was re-typed from a hard-copy letter received in the mail. Click on these links to view scans of the original letter: page 1 and page 2.
Mr. A.K. Dewdney
London, Ontario

Octo 30 2006

Dear Mr. Dewdney:

This is to confirm that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) received your correspondence of July 28, 2006, concerning your theories regarding the events of September 11, 2001.

CSIS does not share the views you suggest. The idea that the attacks were carried out by an entity other than Al Qaida was proposed shortly after 9/11, but proved to be not plausible.

As indicated by the Director of CSIS in his June 2006 appearance before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, activities related to the “AI Qaida ideology” are currently the most prominent and immediate terrorist security threat faced globally and domestically. It is a phenomenon that has been manifested in many parts of the world.

Most Western democracies are facing a similar threat and some like the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands have been the targets of terrorist attacks. Canada has also been named on several occasions as one of six Western “target countries” by Al Qaida leaders, most recently last summer. CSIS works closely with its partners such as the RCMP and other Canadian and international agencies to protect Canada from such attacks.

Please be assured that CSIS works diligently to protect Canada’s national security.

Yours sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Director General
Communications Branch

Response to CSIS reply

John M. Dunn

Director General Communications Branch

Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Ottawa, Ontario

November 21 2006

Dear Mr Dunn,

I wish to thank you for replying to my letter of July 28 2006. In your reply you refer to our “theories,” in spite of the general disclaimer in the letter:

“It needs to be stressed that our analyses do not represent “theories” of any kind. They are conclusions based on what can only be described as ‘forensic analysis’.”

If the Director of CSIS, in referring to “Al Qaida,” means the false flag operation run by western intelligence agencies* under that name, we heartily agree that, “Al Qaida” and its “ideology” are “the most prominent and immediate terrorist security threat faced globally and domestically.”

In view of the irrefutable nature of the evidence we have adduced and in view of the fact that a growing proportion of North Americans (currently nearing the 40 percent mark}understand the War on Terror to be largely bogus, I can only suggest that CSIS prepare a public response in advance of widespread demands for a review of CSIS’ role in the “War on Terror.”

I say this as a committed Canadian Citizen who is very concerned about the kind of world we now live in.

A. K. Dewdney

Coordinator - Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-eleven

* I refer here to a subset of North American, British and Israeli agencies.

Paul Craig Roberts

The anti-war movement has proven impotent to stop the war in Iraq despite the fact that the war was initiated on the basis of lies and deception. The anti-war movement stands helpless to prevent President Bush from attacking Iran or any other country that he might demonize for harboring a future 9/11 threat.

September 11 enabled Bush to take America to war and to keep America at war even though the government’s explanation of the events of September 11 is mired in controversy and disbelieved by a large percentage of the population.

Although the news media’s investigative arm has withered, other entities and individuals continue to struggle with unanswered questions. In the six years since 9/11, numerous distinguished scientists, engineers, architects, intelligence officers, pilots, military officers, air traffic controllers, and foreign dignitaries have raised serious and unanswered questions about the official story line.

Recognition of the inadequacy of the official account of the collapse of the twin towers is widespread in the scientific and technical community. One of the most glaring failures in the official account is the lack of an explanation of the near free-fall speed at which the buildings failed once the process began. Some scientists and engineers have attempted to bolster the official account with explanations of how this might happen in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolitions.

One recent example is the work of Cambridge University engineer, Dr. Keith Seffen, published in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics and reported by the BBC on September 11, 2007. Dr. Seffen constructed a mathematical model that concludes that once initiation of failure had begun, progressive collapse of the structures would be rapid.

Another example is the work of retired government scientist Dr. Manuel Garcia, commissioned by CounterPunch to fill the gaping void in the official report. Garcia concludes, as does Seffen, that explosives are not necessary to explain the near free-fall speed at which the WTC buildings collapsed.

Seffen and Garcia each offer a speculative hypothesis about what could have happened. Their accounts are not definitive explanations based on evidence of what did happen. Thus, Seffen and Garcia bring us to the crux of the matter: To understand the buildings’ failures, we must rely on theoretical speculative models, because the forensic evidence was not examined. Their explanations thus have no more validity than a speculative hypothesis that explains the failure of the buildings as a result of explosives.

To rationally choose between the hypotheses, we would need to see how well each fits with the evidence, but most of the evidence was quickly dispersed and destroyed by federal authorities. Most of the evidence that remains consists largely of human testimony: the hundred witnesses who were inside the two towers and who report hearing and experiencing explosions and the televised statement of Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the WTC properties, who clearly said that the decision was made “to pull” WTC 7.

Today, six years after 9/11, money, ideologies, accumulated resentments, and political careers are all allied with the official story line on 9/11. Anyone on a Republican mailing list or a conservative activist list, such as Young Americans for Freedom, knows that fundraising appeals seldom fail to evoke the 9/11 attack on America. The 9/11 attacks gave neoconservatives their “new Pearl Harbor” that enabled them to implement their hegemonic agenda in the Middle East. The 9/11 attacks gave Americans boiling with accumulated frustrations a foe upon whom to vent their rage. Politicians, even Democrats, could show that they stood tall for America. George W. Bush has invested two presidential terms in “fighting terror” by invading countries in the Middle East.

September 11 doubters are a threat to the legitimacy of these massive material and emotional interests. That is why they are shouted down as “conspiracy theorists.” But if the government’s story has to be improved by outside experts in order to be plausible, then it is not irrational or kooky to doubt the official explanation.

Elements of the American left-wing are also frustrated by 9/11 doubters. CounterPunch, for example, views 9/11 as blowback from an immoral US foreign policy and as retribution for America’s past sins in the Middle East. Manuel Garcia shares this viewpoint. In the September 12, 2007, CounterPunch, Garcia writes that “rationalists and realists” are people who see 9/11 “as blowback from decades of inhuman US foreign policy.” Viewing 9/11 as a government conspiracy lets US foreign policy off the hook.

This is a legitimate point of view. But it has a downside. September 11 was the excuse for committing yet more inhuman deeds by initiating open-ended wars on both Muslims and US civil liberties. Defending the government’s account, instead of pressing the government for accountability, was liberating for the Bush administration.

Even in the official account, the story is one of massive failures: the failures of US intelligence services, the failures of airport security, the failures to intercept the hijacked airliners, the failures to preserve evidence. If a common front had taken the Bush administration to task both for failing to prevent the 9/11 attacks and for an explanation of 9/11 so inadequate that its plausibility depends on outside experts, Bush could not have so easily shifted the blame to Afghanistan and Iraq. Most 9/11 doubters do not insist on the US government’s complicity in the deed. Failure to protect, or incompetence, is a sufficient charge to deter an administration from war by turning it against itself with demands for accountability.

But no one was held accountable for 9/11 except Muslim countries. This is the reason the anti-war movement is impotent.


“Thou shalt not commit false witness” - Holy Bible

Violence can only be concealed by a lie

and the lie can only be maintained by violence

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

As everyone was reeling from the shocking events of September 11, politicians and the corporate media instantly framed them as an iconic ‘Attack on America’, i.e. something justifying an international response, rather than, say, ‘the Manhattan murders’, necessitating good domestic policework. The upshot has been a new global Crusade (‘War on Terror’) involving invasion, occupation, torture, increased racism and Islamophobia, the curtailment of civil liberties and the accumulation of emergency powers in the US of which Hitler would have been envious.

But who really was behind Sept 11? Terrorists for sure – because harmless civilians people died. But Arab fanatics misusing the religion of Islam? or was 9/11 an example of ‘false-flag terrorism’ by a public/private network of agency insiders using secret hi-tech able to make huge buildings disintegrate into dust in front of our eyes, and aiming to make Arab Muslims look bad so as to kick-start a geo-political crusade whose real aims were oil, money, drugs and world control?

Do you find this latter possibility disturbing, ridiculous, scary?

All of us have a deep yearning to rest secure in the certainty of being protected by people we can utterly trust. Such feelings are natural, but they become unhealthy when we look to inappropriate parental figures such as governments, broadcasters and ‘experts’ to meet these needs and when we cling to states of denial about real abuses.

Now that the US-UK lies about WMD have been officially admitted in the cases of Iraq and Iran, lovers of Peace will do well to re-examine the story which these same people told us about the 9/11 AMD (Act of Mass Destruction), which was the official reason given for invading Afghanistan.

“Ye who are conscious of God – If a fasiq [untrustworthy violent person] comes to you with alarming news, make sure you verify their word, lest you afflict people out of your ignorance, and regret your actions.” - Holy Qu’ran, Surah 49:6

So, if you have tended to take the word of these mainstream media sources which brought us Saddam’s WMD, may we please humbly beg you to overcome any ingrained feelings of contempt (‘crazy conspiracy theories’!) which these same media may have inculcated in you, and invite you to check whether your belief in the official Bin Laden conspiracy theory is as well founded as you have hitherto assumed.

We ask this as people of various faiths, in the trust that your faith mandates you to care enough to want to mitigate the damage done to our world by 9/11, and will also enable you to be open enough to reconsider the Official (and other) theories about Sept 11 according to reason and evidence.

‘…. and the Truth shall make you [us] free’

Interfaith Declaration


Gathered on the sixth anniversary of September 11th at Carrington St Al-Furqan mosque in Glasgow, Scotland

Committed in a spirit of Interfaith respect and dialogue to bring to bear the best insights of our spiritual traditions in the search for peace, justice and truth and against all forms of terrorism;

Aware of the value placed in all our traditions on the preciousness of life and thus on defending harmless people from attack from whatever source or sources, using whatever supposed justifications and whatever kinds of technology, large or small, publicly displayed or secretly deployed;

Mindful of the harmful effects, not solely of giving out false witness and racist rumours which collectively blame all the members of an ethnic or religious group, but also of naively accepting such deceptions and passing them on uncritically;

Recalling that several States have long histories of procuring war through the dissemination of lies and the staging of false-flag terror attacks as pretexts for wars and imperial expansion;

Believing that only the truth honours the dead and protects the living from an increased likelihood of the repetition of terrorist events staged so as to ignite new wars or mounted in falsely claimed ’retaliation’;

Valuing not solely the role in our individual lives of true Faith and deep Acceptance of reality beyond our current preconceptions, but also such related qualities and collective practices as

independent inquiry, critical thinking in a spirit of discernment, ability to tolerate uncertainty and steadfastness in following the trails revealed by evidence and reason even at the cost of being ridiculed, marginalised or threatened by those in power or those who subconsciously over-identify with the perspectives of those with most power;

Humbly aware of all our need for sensitive mutual support as we grow out of unconscious denial, and begin to face up to the frightening and painful truths surrounding 911, including the role of virtually all mainstream Western media in suppressing the voices of whistleblowers and those who question the official story of this pivotal tragedy;

Seeking no partisan or power-political objective but moved by the terrible suffering which has resulted from the ‘war on terror’ and thus resolving to embark on a healing non-violent ‘jihad’ (campaign) of ‘right speech’, which has been known as ‘a word of truth to an oppressive ruler’ by Muslims and ‘speaking truth to power’ by Quakers;

We therefore Declare that in the absence of any credible evidence [see below] we can no longer go along with the official conspiracy theory and myth of the Manhattan murders of Sept 11th 2001 as ‘an attack on America’ by 19 Arab/Muslim hijackers masterminded by Osama bin-Laden;

that, although there is much that we don’t know about what really happened on Sept 11, we are now in a position, due to the clear evidence of the speed of the destruction of the triple towers (Buildings 1, 2 and 7), to rule out with complete certainty the official conspiracy theory that the towers ‘fell in a gravity-driven collapse’ consequent upon fire and ‘aircraft damage’;

that despite Hollywood elaboration of hijacker legends we have no good evidence of any Arab hijackers that fateful day and every reason not to jump to racist or Islamophobic conclusions that these terrible murders must have been done by Arab/Muslim fanatics motivated by hope of religious salvation in an afterlife;  And so We Appeal to all people of goodwill and of faith and to all practitioners involved in Interfaith dialogue and organised networks ….

Do not leave one faith-community under the burden of supposedly having some special connection to September 11th and the phenomenon of international terrorism;

Grasp with us the nettle of 9/11 Truth, and join us in an overdue journey of self-education, not just into the truth about 9/11, but also into the mental and emotional resistances which so many of us experience when asked to awaken to the crimes and deceptions of the powerful;

Use the truth about 9/11 as a portal to further, deeper realisations about the state of our world today and what we people of faith can do to reduce fear and help to heal ‘clash of civilisations’ divisions, establish the centrality of accountable truthfulness in public life, and build a diverse alliance of civilisations capable of ending war and bringing sustainable peace and economic justice to the affairs of our one troubled, beautiful, threatened world.

If you feel this Declaration goes further than you or your faith group feel happy to go at this time, please feel free to adapt it, or for example, the following shorter version:

We People of Faith who believe in Peace Declare

Our conviction that whether or not religion was a factor in causing 9/11, the great religions of the world can and must draw on and share their spiritual resources so as jointly to help to put an end to terrorism of all kinds;

Our readiness to study the truth of 9/11 from a wide variety of literature, dvds, websites, presentations, etc and not solely the mainstream media,

Our willingness to engage in dialogue about 9/11 and the ‘war on terror’ with people of other backgrounds,

Our support for authoritative and genuinely independent inquiries into what really happened on 9/11 and with other high-profile terrorist incidents and scares before and since (such as Omagh, the London bombings of July 7th 2005 and the ‘binary liquids’ planes scare of August 2006, etc);

And our solidarity with any faith-community which finds itself collectively blamed for events which may or may not have been carried out by any of its members in the first place!

And in the unhappy event of further terrorist murders we appeal to all community leaders, journalists, and members of all faiths and none, NOT to jump to automatic conclusions about who has really been behind them, but to consider with open minds the possibility of some or other degree of involvement from secret state, corporate and private networks (which may have ranged from encouragement, instigation, assistance, allowing, carrying it out entirely).

Resources for further study

Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action, David Ray Griffin (Westminster John Knox Press, July 2006, ISBN 0664231179); see also his Debunking 9/11 Debunking (Arris Books, Glos, 2007, ISBN 978 184437 069 6) or google his 9/11 Myth and Reality.

9/11 and American Empire, Vol 2: Christians, Jews and Muslims Speak Out; eds. Kevin Barrett, John Cobb Jr and Sandra Lubarsky (Olive Branch Press, Mass, USA ISBN 978 1 56656 660 5) – lively interfaith website for 911 truth, now moving to Christian leadership after initial Muslim lead (the site contains many of the articles in above book, look especially for the very enlightening articles by Kevin Barrett, Faiz Khan and Nafeez Ahmed).

More generally: - Scholars for 911 Truth – see especially the work of Judy Wood and Morgan Reynolds about the World Trade Centre complex. See also or – British and Irish campaign website. On False-flag Terrorism see Webster Tarpley’s 9/11 Synthetic Terror – Made in USA and Nato’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, D. Ganser (Frank Cass, 2005).

HOME OFFICE INTERFAITHISM - DON'T MENTION 9/11? (Strategy for stopping war and Islamophobia)

I have recently sent e-mails around Christian and other contacts in Scotland, including this to the excellent Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (sister organisation to CACC), arguing that grasping the nettle of 911 can no longer be put off. The letter then quotes a letter to the Scottish Interfaith Council, which quotes my protest to the Scottish Catholic Bishops after Cardinal O'Brien recently said that now that the Pope had apologised [??] for his remarks he would like to see Muslims apologise for 911, 77 and the killing of some nuns in Africa - and why not the 'suicide' of David Kelly and the murder of Princess Diana too, your eminence?  

The exact details of this latest reliance on this 911 blood libel don't need to detain us (though they will make life more dangerous for Muslims in parts of Glasgow), but I suggest that we could use this thread to discuss how what preconditions (including non-Muslim support) need to be assembled for Muslim leadership successfully to overthrow the 'Blowback' model of the StoptheWar Left which hasn't and the Interfaith promoters of religious harmony who haven't (at least not successfully so far).

Dear Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, and SACC supporters,

You may be interested in this reply to Cardinal O'Brien's ominous call for Muslims to apologise for 911 and 77 which I have sent to the Scottish Catholic Bishops and other Christian leaders in Scotland.

Those of us with contacts in the Interfaith world should try to get 911 discussed as a major fount of current Islamophobia.

911 is as much rubbish as Saddam's WMD.  After 911, Bali, Downing St memo, Madrid, July 7, 'ricin plot', terror planes nonsense, etc it is arguably racist for well-meaning liberals, Interfaith practitioners and even 'radicals' of all faiths/ideologies and none to be so ready (for fear of being accused of being 'conspiracy theorists') to adopt intel/police/media rumors which accuse Muslims/Arabs of carrying out or planning atrocities etc without our exercising due scepticism, reason and evidence.

Most Muslims know fine well what happened on 9/11 but their leadership has hitherto (understandably) shrunk from the hostility which would fall upon them if they alone went out on a limb to expose the 911 and other false-flag terror frame-ups. lies. They urgently need solidarity in the war of ideas, a little intellectual respect and willingness to investigate with an open mind (not automatic fear of this new body of evidence which 'we' don't control; and not further sneering about 'conspiracy theories' for instance.)

So far as Christians are concerned, please encourage them to take their lead from the fearless David Ray Griffin, whose book on Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 911 (Westminster John Knox, 2006) is their best guide on the facts and the theology of 911.

Another vital text will be 911 and the American Empire: Vol 2 - Muslims, Jews and Christians Speak Out , ed Kevin Barrett, Olive Brand Press 2006, which includes Nafeez Ahmed which  demolishes the usual neocon proposition that there is any special relationship between International terrorism and Islam. Without destroying this proposition we are all the time building bricks without straw, or dealing downstream with individual incidents and oppressions, when all the time the 911 inside job  (which is a Myth in a full anthropological sense) and other frame-ups are poisoning people's minds at source.

After five years Stopthe War hasn't - and the Islamophobia is getting worse! SACC members who agree with me that, without being a magic bullet in itself, the truth about 911 is a vital missing ingredient for any successful fightback against Imperialism and Islamophobia are welcome to get in touch to join or Scottish911 network and receive information about our Scottish working conference on Nov 18th in Edinburgh.

Best wishes,  and keep up the good work,
Keith Mothersson

Dear Interfaith Council of Scotland,

I see it was in the Scotsman on Sunday , Nov 22
This carries the story in the Daily Record, Nov 23:

In the present climate these remarks are extremely serious. Like all unaware blood libels, they have the potential to lead to pogroms, however contrary to the wishes of those who casually repeat these untrue rumours.

Please can the good Cardinal's views be a wake-up call to our entire Interfaith community to no longer postpone a searching enquiry together into the truth or otherwise of 9/11 and the reality of false-flag terrorism.

Please allow me (or ask Bishop [name deleted]) to write a review of David Ray Griffin's 'Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11 - a call to reflection and action'. ...

This 911 nettle keeps stinging only because we do not grasp it!

I write as the son of a manse, deeply influenced at University by Catholic layman Donald Nicholl, and now a practising Buddhist, who attends numerous Sufi events!

Goodness knows what terrible things about Buddhist extremists the Western media  would be full of if we Buddhists were sitting on the biggest oil fields!

Please do feel free to draw me in on any round table discussions on this important issue, which is devitalising the Interfaith movement and poisoning the well of intercommunal respect. (No wonder most Muslims are luke warm about what they see as 'Home office style Interfaithism' (don't mention the war, don't mention 911), when they see their own religious and political leaders 'having to' pretend to believe something that 90 percent of UK Muslims have long ago seen through!)

With best wishes,
Keith Mothersson

911 Truth Movement (Scottish coordinator)
Associate Member of Scholars for 911 truth (
Supporter of Muslims, Jews and Christians United Against 911 False Witness (
Founder of sober and factual website

To: Mgr Henry Docherty.
Bishops' Conference of Scotland
General Secretariat
(and copy to Catholic media office;
also to Daily Record and Osama Saeed)

Dear Mgr Docherty,

Should Muslims apologise for 9/11?
Please encourage Cardinal O'Brien to retract his comments, which will be deeply unhelpful in the present difficult situation.

I fear that the good Cardinal is inadvertently 'guilty' (we all make mistakes) of the error of racism, which happens when we believe the worst about a group on the basis of not checking the possibility of false witness (which is integral to the workings of our godless world).

The truth about 9/11 is clear for anyone with the courage to use their own eyes, for how could three buildings collapse at speed of air resistance when hit by two planes and taking the path of max resistance down through themselves; except that explosives had been set in the buildings?

Once it is clear that the Bush adminstration lied about the buildings, why believe its simplistic 'conspiracy tale' about 'Islamist hi-jackers' - in absence of CCTV, black box evidence and any Arab names on the supposed flight manifests?

And  why believe in this tale of evil Muslims in the  presence of numerous witness statements of office-workers, fire-fighters, onlookers and masses of film footage all attesting to explosions, not to forget eight of the 'suicide hi-jackers' turning up alive and the owner's own admission that WTC7 Building had been 'pulled' ?!

We all have a right to live in freedom from attack, including the good people of Afghanistan and Iraq (estimated 665,000 excess deaths since invasion on trumped up charges) - so please will the Cardinal reconsider and reflect that he may also have been lied to about 911 and other 'false-flag terrorist events' such as London, Madrid, Bali but also dating way back to Cold War days when it was phoney 'red brigades' who used to get the blame for e.g. the Bologna railway station massacre of 1980?

I speak as a 'son of the manse' and a practicing Buddhist. If the Buddhists happened to live above such rich oilfields, I truly believe you would be reading about Buddhist hi-jackers and suicide bombers.

I realise that it may be shocking for Cardinal O'Brien and others to re-perceive such iconic events, but true faith helps us open to truth, and not push it away because it upsets us! If there is any way I or my colleagues can help with a one-to-one briefing, discussion, or dvd film showing, etc then please do not hesitate to ask.

With sincere best wishes, and in the name of Interfaith dialogue founded on truth, reason and evidence (as I believe your Holy Father recently called for),

Keith Mothersson
Scottish co-ordinator, 911 Truth Campaign (Britain and Ireland)
associate member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth (
supporter of Muslims, Jews and Christians United against 911 False Witness (
founder of the fact-based website

2b Darnhall Cres,
Perth PH2 0HH

I will also append the letter I recently sent to many church and other religious bodies concerning the work of David Ray Griffin whose book on 'Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11 - a Call to Reflection and Action' (WJK, 2006) is of inestimable value for Christians of all denominations.

5th Anniversary of September 11th –  

False witness dishonours the dead

An Open Invitation to Members of the Abrahamic Faiths and others to attend a presentation by distinguished Interfaith philosopher, Prof David Ray Griffin, raising disturbing questions about the official story of 9/11.

Dear Friends,            
Shalom Aleichem!  Slaama!  Salaam Alaykum!  Peace be with you!

Please may we invite you to join us at a major public meeting at the Conway Hall in Red Lion Sq, Central London on the evening of Saturday 9th Sept to reflect on what is true and what is or may be false concerning the terrible human tragedy that was 9/11, and thereby to help replace the Clash of Civilisations framework in which it is too often seen with one of Interfaith Co-operation in the struggle for a truthful, peaceful world.

For 9/11 has mushroomed into the centre of a nationalistic and self-righteous civic cult, the founding myth of a War on Terror. This pivotal initiatory event into a new post-911 world requires, so we are assured, heightened security alerts, draconian legislation and repeated invasions and threats against oil-rich and/or Muslim lands.

Yet, strangely, for all its importance, 9/11 does not apparently require critical analysis of the facts alleged to have taken place! The 9/11 Commission was packed with insiders and ignored every kind of evidence which ran counter to the official story (firefighter and office-worker accounts of explosions, physics of building collapse and mobile phone performance from airplanes, lack of CCTV and flight recorder evidence, foreknowledge clearly reflected in supposedly untraceable stock-market put options, etc)

Despite the modern self image of the West as being capable of responding to reason and evidence, those who question the official story of 911 are often ridiculed as conspiracy theorists and dismissed out of hand - as if creating phoney events to throw blame on minorities and provide an excuse for war and dictatorship is something that no government in human history has ever perpetrated!

In late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Germany many strains of ancient anti-semitism were revived and modernised. But the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were police forgeries. Today ancient crusading stereotypes are being whipped up and each one of us needs to consider carefully whether some, perhaps many, of the big Terror attacks, are not likewise forged events (often coupled with forged videos).

All of us have a deep yearning to rest secure in the certainty of being cared for and protected. Such feelings are natural, but they become unhealthy when we look to inappropriate father figures to meet these needs and when we cling to states of denial about real abuses. The continuing blackout in the mainstream media of articles and films which question the official account purveyed by those who also brought us the Iraq War (enough said) suggests our society is drifting into a state of dysfunctional denial which dishonours the memory of the dead of 9/11 (and ensuing disasters), endangers us all and distracts from the real problems of finding just and sustainable ways to live together on the basis of true spiritual values, not cosy tales of juicy evil-doers.

Few people are as well qualified as Interfaith philosopher and theologian Prof David Ray Griffin, to calmly guide us to a new understanding of 9/11, not just the historical and scientific details, but sociological issues concerning conspiracy and social theory and the philosophical issues surrounding alternative hypotheses, probability and proof. These qualifications he amply demonstrated in his best-selling books, The New Pearl Harbour and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. In his latest book, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action, Prof Griffin combines these earlier qualities with theological creativity (Chapter 8 on The Divine and the Demonic breaks vital new ground) and a moving but unstrident call to prophetic wrestling with this issue worthy of a Bishop George Bell, a Dietrich Bonhoeffer or a Desmond Tutu. (It is published by Westminster John Knox Press, July 2006, ISBN 0664231179).

It promises to be a tremendous occasion! Meanwhile, if you would like to help publicise this event, please do pass on a copy of this invitation to whoever you think can benefit or pass the word (e.g. faith-based newspapers). You may also care to prepare by studying the fine essays on the website of Scholars for 911 Truth, which David co-founded: .

We began this letter by invoking Peace. May we draw to a close by quoting the Russian Orthodox Christian and anti-Soviet resister, Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.

IF 9/11 is a lie, or even if it may be a lie,  it matters! Surely such a momentous question deserves the personal attention of us all. And if in fact 9/11 was Operation False Witness, then all of us who oppose racism, war and authoritarianism must work together to expose this mythic Blood-libel at the heart of the War on Terror, before evermore human rights abuses and further rounds of violence are unleashed, e.g. against Syria and Iran.

Yours Sincerely,

Angela McBride  
European representative of Muslims, Jews, Christians Alliance for 911 Truth;

AbdulWahid Hamid    
author of Islam  the Natural Way

Keith Mothersson    
Interfaith Outreach, 9/11 Truth Movement, Britain and Ireland


I also agree that 911 lies - and people's readiness to believe them - are key to the impotence of the Western peace movements.

Herewith I copy part of a letter I wrote to Muad'Dib, the creator of the very fine 7/7 Ripple Effects film, whose film had quite a disappointing response from people involved in the (excellent) website and associated discussion forum, here and following six pages: [They are worried mostly about 'speculation' whereas I contributed a post at the end of page 5 defending disciplined story-making as crucial for paradigm shifts to deeper truths.]

" I do agree with you about the tendency of intellectuals to become over-rationalistic and to lose touch with what affects and moves ordinary folk. Interestingly Chomsky (who has of course done tremendous work) on the one hand has a whole discourse about the intellectuals (teachers, journalists, lawyers, readers of the posh papers and watchers of prestigious TV 'news' programmes) being the most heavily indoctrinated of all - and studies of those who still believe in the official 911 story show a very high correlation with higher 'education' ha ha.

And at the other hand Chomsky himself scorns 'conspiracy theories' - in favour of what he calls historical and structural approaches and institutional analyses (e.g. of minutes of committees, papers of record,  - as if a conspiracy doesn't exist unless we can lay hands on minutes of the 911 conspirators in session!) This leads him to absurd 911  denial - the truth will never be known, nor will it make any difference, I can see no evidence !! [maybe he has been promised he will be killed if he speaks out? and thus into the same bed as people like Aaronovitch and

Cohen and the Times and Telegraph and the BBC's Conspiracy Series with their highly patrician discourse positing something wrong psychologically (the 'conspiracist mindset') with us poor peasants who lack the education to make sense of a fast changing world, and so end up seizing on simplistic and dualistic conspiracy theories [as if this didn't apply to the Official
Coonspiracy Theory!]

So long as Chomsky and Galloway/SWP/Stop the War and MPAC and Mil Rai and Bruce Kent

and the International Peace Bureau etc fear for their 'credibility' if they allow themselves to

put 2 and 2 together on 911, then the Establishment reckons it can shrug off our challenges.

But suppose these good people with their anti-racist discourse found themselves accused of racism as egregrious as many white people in Wolverhampton and the dockers who marched to support Enoch Powell after he peddled baseless stories about poor white people having grinning picanninnies shove shit throught their letter boxes, and all with NO evidence but the racist mindset was there to believe Powell - and now to believe the Bush adminstration's equally unsubstantiated, indeed disproven, story (stories) about these Arabs/Muslims who hate our way of life.

"Ye who are conscious of God - if a fasiq comes with alarming news, make

sure to verify their word, lest you afflict people out of your ignorance,

and regret your actions."

Holy Qu'ran, 49:6

To which Muad'Dib replied with his own translation:

King of kings' Bible - Sura 49:6. O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to

you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and

afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.

It hurts to find people so ready to believe the racist hi-jacker legend on grounds that the (white/'Judeo-Christian') administration would never lie to us would they!? 'I can't believe that the governemtn would do that' = I can readily believe Muslims/Arabs/savages would do that!! = I trust them and you less than I trust George Bush.

[b]Even so, one can at least work with people who are prepared to follow our arguments and reply to them - but of course subconsciously people are programmed not to be able to 'see' the crimes of the powerful in this and many other contexts. (Hypnotists can induce a hypnosis in people to tell them that they can only see five chairs in the room, and not be able to see the chair just in front of their seat. Once brought back to 'normal' then the hypnotist asks the subject to cross the room and open a window, and the one who can't see the chair in one context, doesn't just walk straight into it on his way to the window, but knows well enough what it is that he mustn't see, so goes round it. Likewise people cans see/sense what it is (such as 911) that they mustn't let themselves see.) All very sad, but at least let us not add our denial (and contempt and ill will) about their denial to the basic problem of helping scared people awaken. [/b]

Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

One of the most telling signs of the political naiveté of liberals and the Left in the United States has been their steadfast faith in much of the worldview that blankets the imperial state they call home.  Nowhere has this critical failure been more evident than in their acceptance of the premise that there really is something called a "war on terror" or “terrorism”[1]—however poorly managed its critics make it out to be—and that righting the course of this war ought to be this country's (and the world’s) top foreign policy priority.   In this perspective, Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than Iraq ought to have been the war on terror's proper foci; most accept that the U.S. attack on Afghanistan from October 2001 on was a legitimate and necessary stage in the war.  The tragic error of the Bush Administration, in this view, was that it lost sight of this priority, and diverted U.S. military action to Iraq and other theaters, reducing the commitment where it was needed.

Of course we expect to find this line of criticism expressed by the many former supporters who have fled from the sinking regime in Washington.[2]  But it is striking that commentators as durably hostile to Bush policies as the New York Times's Frank Rich should accept so many of the fundamentals of this worldview, and repeat them without embarrassment.  Rich asserts that the question "Who lost Iraq? is but a distraction from the more damning question, Who is losing the war on terrorism?"  A repeated theme of Rich's work has been that the Cheney - Bush presidency is causing "as much damage to fighting the war on terrorism as it does to civil liberties."  Even in late 2007, Rich still lamented the "really bad news" that, "Much as Iraq distracted America from the war against Al Qaeda, so a strike on Iran could ignite Pakistan, Al Qaeda's thriving base and the actual central front of the war on terror."[3]

Other expressions of faith in something called the "war on terror" abound. Thus in a long review of several books in which she urged "[r]evamping our approach to terrorism" and "recapturing hearts and minds" around the world, Harvard's Samantha Power, a top lieutenant in the humanitarian brigade, wrote that "most Americans still rightly believe that the United States must confront Islamic terrorism—and must be relentless in preventing terrorist networks from getting weapons of mass destruction.  But Bush's premises have proved flawed…."[4]   Most striking was Power's expression of disappointment that "millions—if not billions—of people around the world do not see the difference between a suicide bomber's attack on a pizzeria and an American attack on what turns out to be a wedding party"—the broken moral compass residing within these masses, of course, who fail to understand that only the American attacks are legitimate and that the numerous resultant casualties are but “tragic errors” and  “collateral damage.”[5]  

Like Samantha Power, the What We're Fighting For statement issued in February 2002 by the Institute for American Values and signed by 60 U.S. intellectuals, including Jean Bethke Elshtain, Francis Fukuyama, Mary Ann Glendon, Samuel Huntington, Harvey C. Mansfield, Will Marshall, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Michael Novak, Michael Walzer, George Weigel, and James Q. Wilson, declared the war on terror a “just war.”   "Organized killers with global reach now threaten all of us," it  is asserted in one revealing passage. "In the name of universal human morality, and fully conscious of the restrictions and requirements of a just war, we support our government's, and our society's, decision to use force of arms against them."[6]  The idea that "killers with global reach" who are far more deadly and effective than Al Qaeda could be found at home doesn’t seem to occur to these intellectuals.  And like Power, they also make what they believe a telling distinction between the deliberate killing of civilians, as in a suicide bombing, and "collateral damage"-type casualties even in cases where civilian casualties are vastly larger and entirely predictable, though not specifically intended.[7]  Throughout these reflections, the purpose is to distinguish our murderous acts from theirs.  It is the latter that constitute a "world-threatening evil...that clearly requires the use of force to remove it."[8]  

In the same mode, Princeton University international law professor Richard Falk's early contributions to The Nation after 9/11 found a "visionary program of international, apocalyptic terrorism" behind the events.  "It is truly a declaration of war from the lower depths," Falk wrote, a "transformative shift in the nature of the terrorist challenge both conceptually and tactically….There is no indication that the forces behind the attack were acting on any basis beyond their extraordinary destructive intent….We are poised on the brink of a global, intercivilizational war without battlefields and borders…."  Some weeks later, in a nod to "just war" doctrine, Falk argued that the "destruction of both the Taliban regime and the Al Qaeda network…are appropriate goals….[T]he case [against the Taliban] is strengthened," he added, "to the degree that its governing policies are so oppressive as to give the international community the strongest possible grounds for humanitarian intervention."[9]  

Peter Beinart, a liberal-leaning former editor of the New Republic and the author of the 2006 book The Good Fight: Why Liberals—-and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, wrote in the aftermath of Cheney - Bush's 2004 re-election: "Today, the war on terrorism is partially obscured by the war in Iraq, which has made liberals cynical about the purposes of U.S. power.  But, even if Iraq is Vietnam, it no more obviates the war on terrorism than Vietnam obviated the battle against communism.  Global jihad will be with us long after American troops stop dying in Falluja and Mosul.  And thus, liberalism will rise or fall on whether it can become, again, what [Arthur] Schlesinger called 'a fighting faith'."[10]

Even David Cole and Jules Lobel, authors of a highly-regarded critique of Cheney - Bush policies on “Why America Is Losing the War on Terror,” take the existence of its "counterterrorism strategy" at face value; this strategy has been a "colossal failure," they argue, because it has "compromised our spirit, strengthened our enemies and left us less free and less safe."  The U.S. war in Iraq "permitted the Administration to turn its focus from Al Qaeda, the organization that attacked us on 9/11, to Iraq, a nation that did not.  The Iraq war has by virtually all accounts made the United States, the Iraqi people, many of our allies and for that matter much of the world more vulnerable to terrorists.  By targeting Iraq, the Bush Administration not only siphoned off much-needed resources from the struggle against Al Qaeda but also created a golden opportunity for Al Qaeda to inspire and recruit others to attack US and allied targets.  And our invasion of Iraq has turned it into the world's premier terrorist training ground."[11]  

Elsewhere, appearing at a forum in New York City sponsored by the Open Society Institute to discuss his work, David Cole made the remarkable assertion that "no one argued" the post-9/11 U.S. attack on Afghanistan was “not a legitimate act of self-defense.”  No less remarkable was Cole's statement shortly thereafter that the United States' "holding [of prisoners] at Guantanamo would not have been controversial practice had we given them hearings at the outset," because, as Cole explained it, such hearings "would have identified those people as to whom we had no evidence that they were involved with Al Qaeda and then they would be released."[12]  

Cole's first remark ignores the UN Charter, which allows an attack on another state in self-defense only when an imminent attack is threatened, and then only until such time as the Security Council acts on behalf of the threatened state.  But given the absence of such urgency and the absence of  a UN authorization,  and given that the hijacker bombers of 9/11 were independent terrorists and not agents of  a state, the October 2001 U.S. war on Afghanistan was a violation of the UN Charter and a “supreme international crime,” in the language of the Judgment at Nuremberg.[13]  Would Cole have defended Cuban or Nicaraguan or Iraqi bombing attacks on Washington D.C. as legitimate acts of self-defense at any juncture in the past when the United States was attacking or sponsoring an attack on these countries?  We doubt it.  Cole also seems unaware that the United States attacked after refusing the Afghan government’s offer to give up bin Laden upon the presentation of evidence of his involvement in the crime.[14] Furthermore, the war began long after bin Laden and his forces had been given time to exit, and was fought mainly against the Taliban government and Afghan people, thousands of whom were killed under targeting rules that assured and resulted in numerous “tragic errors” and can reasonably be called war crimes.

Given the illegality and immorality of this war—now already well into its seventh year—the killing of people in Afghanistan cannot be regarded as “legitimate”—and neither can the taking of prisoners there under any conditions.  Cole's second remark also ignores the modes of seizure of prisoners, some turned over in exchange for cash bounties; or their treatment in Afghanistan, en route to Guantanamo, and in rendition facilities, apart from delays in or absence of  “hearings at the outset.”  Last, Cole is wrong even on the alleged general agreement on the legitimacy of this act of  “self-defense” in Afghanistan.  Despite the domestic hysteria in the United States at the time, a number of  lawyers here contested its legitimacy .[15]  Furthermore, a series of opinion polls in 37 different countries by Gallup International in late September 2001 found that in no less than 34 of these countries, majorities opposed a U.S. military attack on Afghanistan, preferring instead to see the events of September 11 treated as crimes (i.e., non-militarily), with extradition and trial for the alleged culprits.  The three countries where opinion ran against the majority in the other 34 were the United States (54%), India (72%), and Israel (77%).  Otherwise, it appears that significant and sometimes overwhelming majorities of the world's population were opposed to the U.S. resort to war.[16]

What War on Terror?

But talk of the "failure" of the war on terror rests on the false premise that there really is such a war.   This we reject on a number of grounds.  First, in all serious definitions of the term,[17] terror is a means of pursuing political ends, an instrument of struggle, and it makes little sense to talk about war against a means and instrument. Furthermore, if the means consists of  modes of political intimidation and publicity-seeking that use or threaten force against civilians, a major problem with the alleged “war” is that the United States and Israel also clearly use terror and support allies and agents who do the same. The “shock and awe” strategy that opened the 2002 invasion-occupation of Iraq was openly and explicitly designed to terrorize the Iraq population and armed forces. Much of the bombing and torture, and the attack that destroyed Falluja, have been designed to instill fear and intimidate the general population and resistance.  Israel’s repeated bombing attacks, ground assaults, and targeted assassinations of Palestinians are also designed to create fear and apathy, that is, terrorize.  As longtime Labour Party official Abba Eban admitted years ago, Israel’s bombing of  Lebanon civilians was based on “the rational prospect, ultimately fulfilled, that afflicted populations [i.e., civilians deliberately targeted] would exert pressure for the cessation of hostilities.”[18]  This was a precise admission of the use of  terrorism, and surely fits Israeli policy in the years of the alleged “war on terror.”  Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has also acknowledged an intent to attack civilians, declaring in March 2002 that "The Palestinians must be hit and it must be very painful: we must cause them losses, victims, so that they feel the heavy price."[19]

The United States and Israel actually engage in big-time terror, like strategic bombing, helicopter attacks, torture on a continuing basis, and large-scale invasions and invasion threats, not lower-casualty-inflicting actions like occasional plane hijackings and suicide bombings.   This has long been characterized as  the difference between wholesale and retail terror, the former carried out by states and on a large scale, the latter  implemented by individuals and small groups, much smaller in scale, and causing fewer civilian victims than its wholesale counterpart.[20]  Retail terrorists don’t maintain multiple detention centers in which they employ torture (at the height of its state terror activities in the 1970s the Argentinian military maintained an estimated 60 such centers, according to Amnesty International;[21] the United States today, on land bases and naval vessels and in client state operated facilities, uses dozens of such centers).

Furthermore, retail terror is often sponsored by the wholesale terrorists—notoriously, the Cuban refugee network operating out of the United States for decades, the U.S.-supported Nicaraguan contras, Savimbi’s UNITA in Angola in the 1980s, backed by both South Africa and the United States, the South Lebanon Army supported by Israel for years, and the Colombian rightwing death squads still in operation, with U.S. support.  Thus, a meaningful war on terror would surely involve attacks on the United States and Israel as premier wholesale terrorists and sponsors, a notion we have yet to find expounded by a single one of the current war-on-terror proponents.

In short, one secret of  the widespread belief that the United States and Israel are fighting—not carrying out—terror is the remarkable capacity of the Western media and intellectual class to ignore the standard definitions of terror and the reality of who does the most terrorizing, and thus to allow the Western political establishments to use the invidious word to apply to their targets. We only retaliate and engage in “counter-terror”—our targets started it and their lesser violence is terrorism.

A second and closely related secret of the swallowing of war-on-terror propaganda is the ability of the swallowers to ignore the U.S. purposes and program. They never ask: Is the United States simply responding to the 9/11 attack or do its leaders have a larger agenda for which they can use 9/11 terrorism as a cover?  But this obvious question almost answers itself: Documents of the prior decade show clearly that the Bush team was openly hoping for another "Pearl Harbor" that would allow them to go on the offensive and project power in the Middle East and across the globe.  In the rightfully infamous words of the Project for the New American Century (2000), "the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor."[22]  The huge military forces that have been built up in this country conveniently permit this power-projection by threat and use of force, and their buildup and use has had bipartisan support, reflecting in large measure the power and objectives of the military establishment, military contractors, and transnational corporations. The military buildup was not for defensive purposes in any meaningful sense; it was for power-projection, which is to say, for offense.

In this connection we should point out that at the time of 9/11 in the year 2001, Al Qaeda was considered by most experts to be a small non-state operation, possibly centered in Afghanistan and/or Pakistan, but loosely sprawled across the globe, and with at most only a few thousand operatives.[23]  It is clear that such a small and diffuse operation called for an anti-crime and intelligence response, not a war.  Of course a war could be carried out against the country which was their principal home, but given the lags involved and the threat that a war, with its civilian casualties and imperialist overtones, would possibly strengthen Al Qaeda, the quick resort to war in the post-9/11 period suggests covert motives, including vengeance and taking advantage of  9/11 for power-projection.  And while a war could be launched against Afghanistan and an attack made on Al Qaeda headquarters, this was hardly a war on terror.  Nor could the huge military buildup that ensued  have been based on a fight in Afghanistan or against tiny Al Qaeda.[24]

It is also notable that there has been no attempt by the organizers of the war on terror  to try to stop terrorism at its source by addressing the problems that have produced the terrorists and provided their recruiting base. In fact, for the organizers and their supporters in the "war on terror," raising the question of “why” is regarded as a form of apologetics for terror, and they are uninterested in the question, satisfied with clichés about the terrorists envy, hatred of freedom, and genetic or religious proclivities. This is consistent with the view that getting rid of terror is not their aim, and that in fact they need the steady flow of  resisters-terrorists which their actions produce to justify their real purpose of  power projection virtually without limit.  Failure to end terrorism is not a failure of the “war on terror,” it is a necessary part of its machinery of operation.    

In short, the war on terror is an intellectual and propaganda cover, analogous—and in many ways a successor—to the departed “Cold War,” which in its time also served as a cover for imperial expansion. Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, Indonesia, Zaire (and many others) were regularly subverted or attacked on the ground of an alleged Soviet menace that had to be combated. That menace was rarely applicable to the actual cases, and the strained connection was often laughable. With that cover gone, pursuing terrorists is proving to be an admirable substitute, as once again a gullible media will accept that any targeted rebels are actual or potential terrorists and may even have links to Al Qaeda. The FARC rebels in Colombia are terrorists, but the government-supported rightwing paramilitaries who kill many more civilians than FARC are not and are the beneficiaries of U.S. “counter-terrorism” aid.  Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, on the other hand, which does not kill civilians, is accused of  lack of cooperation in the U.S. “counter-terrorism” program, and is alleged to have “links” to U.S. targets such as Iran and Cuba, which allegedly support terrorists.[25] Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, and other torture-prone states are “with us” in the war on terror; states like Venezuela, Iran and Cuba are not with us and are easily situated as terrorist or “linked” to terrorist states.

If Al Qaeda didn’t exist the United States would have had to create it, and of course it did create it back in the 1980s, as a means of  destabilizing the Soviet Union. Al Qaeda’s more recent role  is a classic case of “blowback.”  It is also a case of resistance to power-projection, as Al Qaeda's terrorist activities switched from combating a Soviet occupation, to combating U.S. intervention in Saudi Arabia, Palestine and elsewhere.  It was also spurred by lagged resentment at being used by the United States for its Soviet destabilization purposes and then abandoned.[26]

While U.S. interventionism gave Al Qaeda a strong start, and while it continues today to facilitate Al Qaeda recruitment, it has also provoked resistance far beyond Al Qaeda, as in Iraq, where most of the resistance has nothing to do with Al Qaeda and in fact has widely turned against it. If as the United States projects power across the globe this produces resistance, and if this resistance can be labeled “terrorists,” then U.S. aggression and wholesale terror are home-free!  Any country that is willing to align with the United States can get its dissidents and resistance condemned as "terrorists," with or without links to Al Qaeda, and get U.S. military aid. The war on terror is a war of superpower power-projection, which is to say, an imperialist war on a global scale.

The issue of who terrorizes whom is hardly new. Back in 1979, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman's The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism featured the U.S. terror gulag in great detail, and even had a frontispiece showing the flow of economic and military aid from the United States to 26 of the 35 countries using torture on an administrative basis in that era. Herman's The Real Terror Network of 1982 also traced out a U.S.-sponsored terror gulag and showed its logical connection to the growth of the transnational corporation and desire for friendly state-terrorists who would produce favorable climates of investment (recall Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos's statement to U.S. oil companies back at the time of his 1972 accession to power: “We’ll pass laws you need—just tell us what you want.”[27]). But these works were ignored in the mainstream and could hardly compete with Claire Sterling's The Terror Network, which traced selected retail terrorisms—falsely—to the Soviet Union.  This fit the Reagan-era “war on terror” claims, which coincided with the Reagan era support of Israel's attack on Lebanon and subsequent  “iron fist” terrorism there, Reagan's support of the Argentine military regime, Suharto, Marcos, South Africa, the Guatemalan and Salvadoran terror regimes, Savimbi, the Cuban terror network, and the Nicaraguan contras.

This historical record of  U.S. terrorism and support of terrorism occasionally surfaces in the mainstream, but is brushed aside on the ground that the United States has taken a new course, so that long record can be ignored.  In a classic of this genre, Michael Ignatieff, writing in the New York Times Magazine, claimed that this was so because President George Bush said so!  "The democratic turn in American foreign policy has been recent," he wrote, adding that at long last, the current George Bush has "actually risked his presidency on the premise that Jefferson might be right."[28] This capacity to ignore history, and the institutional underpinning of that history, complements the mainstream media and intellectuals' ability to take as a premise that the United States is virtuous and in its foreign dealings is trying to do good or is just defending itself against bad people and movements who for no good reason hate us. As noted, the amazing definitional systems in use are de facto Alice-in-Wonderland: Terrorism is anything I choose to target and so designate.

Two novelties of the Bush era projection of power and wholesale terrorism are their brazenness and scope.  Past U.S. employment of torture, and of gulags in which to hold and work-over alleged or possible terrorists or resisters, were more or less sub rosa, the cruelties and violations of  international law and U.S. involvement kept more or less plausibly deniable. The Bush team is open about them, calling for legalization of torture and their other violations of  international law, which they rationalize by heavy-handed redefinitions of  “torture” and claims of the inapplicability of international law to their new category of “enemy combatants.”[29] Bush also brags in public about the extension of the U.S. killing machine to distant places and the extent to which declared enemies have been removed, implicitly by killing, obviously without hearing or trial.  On September 17, 2001, Bush signed a "classified Presidential Finding that authorized an unprecedented range of covert operations," the Washington Post later reported, including "lethal measures against terrorists and the expenditure of vast funds to coax foreign intelligence services into a new era of cooperation with the CIA."[30] And in his State of the Union speech of 2003, Bush asserted that “more than 3,000 suspected terrorists” had been arrested across the globe “and many others have met a different fate—Let’s put it this way: They are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.”[31] As Chris Floyd has pointed out, this represents the work of  a “universal death squad,”[32] the authorization and accomplishments of which were barely acknowledged in the mainstream media.

U.S. state-terrorism has also been broadened in scope and is a facet of globalization.  In accord with the principles of globalization, there has been a major increase in the privatization of  terrorism.  Blackwater Worldwide is only the best known of mercenary armies in Iraq that now outnumber regular armed force members, and who are free from some of the legal constraints of the armed forces in how they treat the local population. The global American gulag of secret prisons and torture centers to which an unknown number of people have been sent, held without trial, worked over and sometimes killed as well as tortured, is located in many countries: The "spider's web" first described by a Council of Europe investigation identified landings and takeoffs at no fewer than 30 airports on four different continents;[33] and earlier research by Human Rights First estimated that the United States was operating dozens of major and lesser known detention centers as part of its "war on terror": These included the obvious cases of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq, the U.S. Air Force base at Bagram in Afghanistan, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, and other suspected centers in Pakistan, Jordan, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean,  and on U.S. Navy ships at sea.[34]  Still others are operated by client and other states at the torture-producing end of the “extraordinary rendition” chain (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Morocco).  Given the vastness of this U.S. enterprise, surely we are talking about tens-of-thousands of prisoners, a great many picked-up and tortured based on rumor, the inducement of bonus payments, denunciations in vendettas, and accidents of name or location.[35] We know that a great majority of those imprisoned in sweeps in Iraq were taken without the slightest information on wrong-doing even on aggressor-occupier terms.[36] There is strong anecdotal evidence that suggests that the same is true in Afghanistan.

Another notable feature of  the “war on terror” is the extent to which this mythical war has been advanced via the UN and the "international community," the UN’s work in particular serving as an extension of U.S. policy.  This has been in marked contrast to their treatment of open aggression and violations of the UN Charter's prohibition of aggressive war.  Time and again the United States and Israel have violated this fundamental international law during the past decade, and they are clearly the global leaders in state-terrorism that many observers believe to be the main force inspiring a global resistance and spurring on various forms of Islamic terrorism, including Al Qaeda.  But instead of focusing on the causal wars and state-terrorism, following the U.S. lead the UN and international community have focused on the lesser and derivative terrorism, and taken the "war on terror" at face value.  In other words, they have once again assumed the role of servants of U.S. policy, in this instance helping the aggressor states and wholesale terrorists struggle against the retail terror they inspire.

We can trace this pattern at least as far back as October 1999 (almost two years before 9/11), when the Security Council adopted Resolution 1267 "on the situation in Afghanistan."  This Resolution deplored that the "Taliban continues to provide safe haven to Usama bin Laden," and it demanded that the "Taliban turn over Usama bin Laden without further delay to appropriate authorities in a country where he has been indicted."  1267 also created the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee to manage this effort to squeeze the Taliban and anyone linkable to either of them.[37]  At the time, bin Laden had been indicted by a U.S. Federal Court for his alleged involvement in the August 1998 suicide bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing some 250 people; Al Qaeda had also been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State.  "The international community has sent a clear message," President Bill Clinton announced.  "The choice between co-operation and isolation lies with the Taliban."  But the Taliban complained that "This unfair action was taken under the pressure of the United States….So far, there has not been any evidence of Osama's involvement in terrorism by any one"—essentially the same retort that the Taliban made to Bush White House demands after 9/11 that the Taliban surrender bin Laden.[38]  1267 thus extended key components of the 1996 U.S. Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act's category of states designated "not cooperating with U.S. anti-terrorism efforts" beyond U.S. borders to the level of internationally-enforceable law.

Only four days after 1267, the Council adopted companion Resolution 1269 "on the responsibility of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security."  1269 condemned the "practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation," and stressed the "vital role" of the UN "in combating terrorism."[39]  Similarly, Resolution 1373, adopted shortly after the 9/11 attacks and just days before the United States launched its war to remove the Taliban, greatly expanded the UN's involvement in the U.S. "war on terror," creating the Counter-Terrorism Committee to manage the fight against terrorism and criminalizing all forms of support for individuals and groups engaged in terrorism.  Like 1267 and, later, 1540 (April 24, 2004), which created a committee to prevent "non-State actors" from acquiring "weapons of mass destruction,"[40] the Security Council adopted each of these resolutions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, on the basis of which the Council is to supposed to respond to "threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression."

All of this vigilance with respect to "terrorism," and the notion that "non-State actors" and "terrorists" of the Al Qaeda variety deserve this intense UN concern, stands in dramatic contrast with the treatment of literal aggression, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, and genocidal actions such as the U.S.-U.K.-UN "sanctions of mass destruction" that killed possibly a million Iraqi civilians during the years between the first and second wars against Iraq, ca. 1991-2003.[41]  Yet, in his report In larger freedom (March, 2005), Kofi Annan argued that "It is time to set aside debates on so-called 'State terrorism'.  The use of force by States is already thoroughly regulated under international law.  And the right to resist occupation must be understood in its true meaning.  It cannot include the right to deliberately kill or maim civilians."[42]

But these comments contain a major falsehood and reflect serious pro-state-terrorism and anti-resistance bias—there is no "thorough" regulation of state-terrorism, and in fact there is none at all, as evidenced by the fact that the United States and its allies have been able to attack  three countries in a single decade (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq) without the slightest impediment from Kofi Annan's United Nations,[43] but also in each case with the UN's ex post facto assent.  Note also Annan's failure to suggest that states should not have the "right to deliberately kill or maim civilians," a concern that he exhibits only as regards resisters to state violence and occupation.  This despite the fact that in their recent and ongoing wars the United States and its allies have killed, maimed, starved, and driven from their homes vastly more civilians than has Al Qaeda or all of the world's retail terrorists combined.  Note also that within the targeted countries, political leaders have been captured by these aggressors, and subjected to trial by tribunals—but never the leadership of the great powers.  In pursuing their enemies to the farthest reaches of the earth, they continue to enjoyed complete impunity.[44]  

Concluding Note

In sum, the war on terror is a political gambit and myth used to cover over a U.S. projection of power that needed rhetorical help with the disappearance of the Soviet Union and Cold War. It has been successful because U.S. leaders could hide behind the very real 9/11 terrorist attack and pretend that their own wars, wholesale terrorist actions, and  enlarged support of  a string of countries—many authoritarian and engaged in state terrorism—were somehow linked to that attack and its Al Qaeda authors. But most U.S. military actions abroad since 9/11 have had little or  no connection with Al Qaeda; and you cannot war on a method of  struggle, especially when you, your allies and clients use those methods as well.

It is widely argued now that the war on terror has been a failure. This also is a fallacy, resting on the imputation of  purpose to the war’s organizers contrary to their actual aims—they were looking for and found the new “Pearl Harbor” needed to justify a surge of  U.S. force projection across the globe. It appears that Al Qaeda is stronger now than it was on September 11, 2001; but Al Qaeda was never the main target of the Bush administration.  If Al Qaeda had been, the Bush administration would have tried much more seriously to apprehend bin Laden, by military or political action, and it would not have carried out policies in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere that have played so well into bin Laden’s hand—arguably, policy responses that bin Laden hoped to provoke. If Washington really had been worried at the post-9/11 terrorist threat it would have followed through on the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for guarding U.S. territory (ports, chemical plants, nuclear facilities, airports and other transportation hubs, and the like).[45] The fact that it hasn’t done this, but instead has adopted a cynical and politicized system of terrorism alerts, is testimony to the administration's own private understanding of the contrived character of the war on terror and the alleged threats that we face.

Admittedly, the surge in power projection that 9/11 and the war on terror facilitated has not been a complete and unadulterated success.  But the “war on terror” gambit did enable this surge to come about, and it should be recognized that  the invasion-occupation of Iraq was not a diversion, its conquest was one of the intended objectives of this war. That conquest may be in jeopardy, but looked at from the standpoint of  its organizers, the war has achieved some of the real goals for which it was designed; and in this critical but seldom appreciated sense it has been a  success. It has facilitated two U.S. military invasions of foreign countries, served to line-up many other states behind the leader of the war, helped once again to push NATO into new, out-of-area operations,  permitted a further advance in the U.S. disregard of international law, helped bring about quasi-regime changes in some major European capitals, and was the basis for the huge growth in U.S. and foreign military budgets. While its destabilization of the Middle East has possibly benefited Iran, it has given Israel a free hand in accelerated ethnic cleansing, settlements, and more ruthless treatment of  the Palestinians, and the United States and Israel still continue to threaten and isolate Iran.

Furthermore, with the cooperation of the Democrats and mass media, the “war on terror” gave the “decider” and his clique the political ability to impose an unconstitutional, rightwing agenda at home, at the expense of  the rule of law, economic equality, environmental and other regulation, and social solidarity.  The increased military budget and militarization of U.S. society, the explosive growth in corporate "counter-terrorism" and "homeland security" enterprises, the greater centralization of power in the executive branch, the enhanced inequality, the unimpeded growth of the prison-industrial complex, the more rightwing judiciary, and the failure of  the Democrats to do anything to counter these trends since the 2006 election, suggests that the shift to the right and to a more militarized society and expansionist foreign policy may have become permanent features of life in the United States.  Is that not a war on terror success story, given the aims of  its creators?

 ---- Endnotes ----


[1] We will use the phrases 'war on terror' and 'war on terrorism' interchangeably.  Nor are we aware of any nuance in meaning to be gained by distinguishing one phrase from the other.  This caveat also holds for the similar phrase 'global war on terror'.  (Etc.)  

[2] See, e.g., Francis Fukuyama, America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and the Neoconservative Legacy (Yale University Press, 2006).  Along with 24 others that included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Zalmay Khalilzad, Lewis Libby, Paula Dobriansky, and Norman Podhoretz, Fukuyama was a founding member of the Project for the New American Century, whose efforts to "rally support for the cause of American global leadership" and a "Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity" the world continues to suffer beneath.—See the Project's "Statement of Principles," June 3, 1997.

[3] Frank Rich, "Where Were You That Summer of 2001?" New York Times, February 25, 2007; "The Wiretappers That Couldn't Shoot Straight," January 8, 2006; and "Noun + Verb + 9/11 + Iran = Democrats' Defeat?" New York Times, November 4, 2007.

[4] Samantha Power, "Our War on Terror," New York Times Book Review, July 29, 2007.—Power also used this review to lavish praise on the recently updated The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual (University of Chicago Press, 2007), assembled by U.S. Army General David Petraeus et al., the current commander of the U.S.-led Multinational Force in occupied Iraq, along with critical input from members of the humanitarian brigades, including Sarah Sewall, a colleague of Power's at Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

[5] Note that Samantha Power implies that an "American [bombing] attack on what turns out to be a wedding party" is a unique and excusable "error."  This is false.  It was not even the only wedding party bombed in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. forces, and the notable feature of both U.S. wars in these countries is the lavish use of devastatingly powerful explosives in places where civilian casualties are certain.  In Afghanistan, the United States has bombed every kind of civilian infrastructure—dams, telephone exchanges, schools, power stations, bridges, trucks on roads, mosques, Al Jazeera radio, and even the well-marked Red Cross facilities in Kabul. It has also used cluster bombs on a massive scale. In his exhaustive analysis of civilian casualties, Marc W. Herold states that the 3,000-3,400 civilian deaths resulting from U.S. bombing in the period October 7, 2001 - March 2002 can be explained best by “the low value put upon Afghan civilian lives by U.S. military planners and the political elite, as clearly revealed by their willingness to bomb heavily populated areas."  He concludes that “the U.S. bombing campaign which began on the evening of October 7th, has been a war upon the people, the homes, the farms and the villages of Afghanistan, as well as upon the Taliban and Al Qaeda.”  (Marc W. Herold, "A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan," Revised Edition, March 2002.)  This bombing war relied heavily on people like Samantha Power and the media to keep the ruthlessly anti-civilian character of this war out of public sight.  (Also see Tom Engelhardt, "'Accidents' of War: The Time Has Come for an Honest Discussion of Air Power," TomDispatch, July 9, 2007.)

[6] What We're Fighting For: A Letter from America, Institute for American Values, February, 2002. This document is also reproduced in David Blankenhorn et al., The Islam/West Debate: Documents from a Global Debate on Terrorism, U.S. Policy, and the Middle East (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), pp. 21-40.

[7] For a critique of this notion of civilian deaths as "collateral damage," a legal ploy by which Americans distinguish the "unintended" deaths caused by their "far more terrifying violence" from the "premeditated" deaths caused by enemies, see Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity (Pluto Press, 2004), pp. 46-56.

[8] In their discussion "A Just War?" the Institute for American Values asserted: "Although in some circumstances, and within strict limits, it can be morally justifiable to undertake military actions that may result in the unintended but foreseeable death or injury of some noncombatants, it is not morally acceptable to make the killing of noncombatants the operational objective of a military action." They continued: "On September 11, 2001, a group of individuals deliberately attacked the United States….Those who died on the morning of September 11 were killed unlawfully, wantonly, and with premeditated malice - a kind of killing that, in the name of precision, can only be described as murder….Those who slaughtered more than 3,000 persons on September 11 and who, by their own admission, want nothing more than to do it again, constitute a clear and present danger to all people of good will everywhere in the world, not just the United States.  Such acts are a pure example of naked aggression against innocent human life, a world-threatening evil that clearly requires the use of force to remove it."  (What We're Fighting For: A Letter from America, Institute for American Values, February, 2002.)    

[9] Richard Falk, "A Just Response," The Nation, October 8, 2001; and "Defining a Just War," The Nation, October 29, 2001.—To his credit, Falk was under no illusions that the Cheney - Bush regime would heed any limits on the use of force.

[10] Peter Beinart, "A Fighting Faith," New Republic, December 13, 2004 (as posted to the Free Republic website).  Also see his The Good Fight: Why Liberals—-and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again (HarperCollins, 2006).

[11] David Cole and Jules Lobel, "Why We're Losing the War on Terror," The Nation, September 24, 2007.  Also see their Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (The New Press, 2007), esp. Ch. 5, "The Costs of Overreaching," pp. 129-146.  

[12] "OSI Forum—Less Safe, Less Free," Open Society Institute, November 14, 2007. —David Cole's own words were: "I just don't see anybody around the world who has questioned the notion that the United States has the right to respond to the attacks that we suffered [on September 11, 2001] by going to Afghanistan.  There are people who say it wasn't the best policy.  But no one argued it was not a legitimate act of self-defense."  And: "If you have the right to go to war—you have the right to kill the people you're fighting against—surely you have the right to hold them for the duration of that conflict.  So that's not a controversial issue.  And holding them at Guantanamo would not have been controversial practice had we given them hearings at the outset.  Which, for one, would have identified those people as to whom we had no evidence that they were involved with Al Qaeda  and then they would be released—and then we wouldn't have the problem of innocent people being held at Guantanamo."  (Our transcription picks-up Cole's remarks beginning at approximately the 49:35 minute mark of the full-length audio clip.)  

[13] "The charges in the Indictment that the defendants planned and waged aggressive wars are charges of the utmost gravity. War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."  See Final Judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of German Major War Criminals (September 30, 1946), specifically "The Common Plan or Conspiracy and Aggressive War," from which this passage derives.

[14] According to Radio Voice of Shari'ah in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh province in northern Afghanistan, "senior officials" of the Taliban released a statement as early as September 13, 2001 in which they "honestly asked America to give clear and substantial evidence for what it considers Usamah to be responsible for, and the [Taliban] will hand him over to one of the Islamic courts of the world in order to be tried. The stance of the [Taliban] is clear in this regard. Otherwise, nobody can accuse others by bringing false and groundless allegations." In the same statement, the Taliban "condemn" the events of 9/11, calling them "against the welfare and interests of the world."  The Taliban also "expresses its sympathy for the American people," adding that it "expects the USA not to resort to irreparable measures before discovering the facts."  ("Afghan Taleban ready to hand Bin-Ladin to Islamic court if USA provides evidence - radio," BBC Monitoring Central Asia, September 13, 2001.)  News of this and subsequent offers communicated by Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban's foreign minister, and by Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, were reported by Reuters, The Herald (Glasgow), the New York Times, the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, and The Independent (London).  But as the record makes clear, no one will ever know how genuine these offers really were—the Bush White House categorically rejected them, and the offers died there.

[15] Among the professors of law at U.S. universities who contested the legality of the U.S. war on Afghanistan are Marjorie Cohn, currently president of the National Lawyers Guild, Michael Ratner, now president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Francis Boyle, Brian Foley, Jordan Paust, and John Quigley.

[16] See "Gallup International poll on terrorism in the U.S. (figures)," Gallup International, late September, 2001.  Also see Abid Aslam, "Polls Question Global Support for Military Campaign," Inter-Press Service, October 8, 2001; and David Miller, "World Opinion Opposed the Attack on Afghanistan," Sterling Media Research Center, Scotland, November 21, 2001 (as posted to the Religion-online website).  Miller noted that "When polling companies do ask about alternatives [to the war-option], support for war falls away."  Hence, he added, this was the reason why so much news media coverage systematically distorts the facts away from informing people about real alternatives and the real impact of the war on Afghanistan.  In Pakistan, a case with great resonance today, a Gallup International poll sponsored by Newsweek in the early days after the start of the U.S. war found that "Eighty-three percent of Pakistanis surveyed say they side with the Taliban, with a mere 3 percent expressing support for the United States."  ("Shifting Sympathies," Newsweek Web Exclusive, October 18, 2001.)  

[17] Here we are content to cite two definitions of terrorism.  (1) "[V]violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;" and that "appear to be intended - (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping…."  (United States Code, Title 18, Part I, Ch. 113B, Section 2331, 1984.)  And (2) "Any action…that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act."  (A more secure world: Our shared responsibility. Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats (New York: United Nations, 2004), par. 164(d).)

[18] Abba Eban, "Morality and Warfare," Jerusalem Post, August 16, 1981.

[19] In Matt Rees, "Streets Red With Blood," Time Magazine, March 10, 2002.  

[20] See, e.g., Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda (South End Press, 1982), esp. Ch. 2, "The Semantics and Role of Terrorism," pp. 21-45; and with Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (Pantheon Books, 1989), esp. Ch. 3, "The Western Model and Semantics of Terrorism," pp. 37-51.

[21] Oscar Alfredo González and Horacio Cid de la Paz, Testimony on Secret Detention Camps in Argentina (Amnesty International, 1980).

[22] Thomas Donnelly et al., Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century, Project for the New American Century, September, 2000, p. 51, col. 1.—Also see n. 2, above.

[23] The last major "terrorism" report by the U.S. Department of State prior to 9/11 was Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000 (April 30, 2001).  Within its Appendix B, "Background Information on Terrorist Groups," the entry for "al-Qaida" stated that the group "May have several hundred to several thousand members," adding that "Bin Ladin…is said to have inherited approximately $300 million that he uses to finance the group."  In the Congressional Research Services' last major assessment of "Near Eastern Terrorism" published the day before 9/11, the CRS reported that "Bin Ladin is estimated to have about $300 million in personal financial assets with which he funds his network of as many as 3,000 Islamic militants."  (Kenneth Katzman, Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2001, Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2001, p. 13.)  

[24] According to conservative estimates on global military trends in the annual Yearbook published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, whereas the last Clinton budget for fiscal year 2001 devoted $345 billion to military account, by fiscal year 2006, Bush's fifth, this had increased to at least $529 billion (i.e., both in constant 1985 dollars).  The SIPRI Yearbook 2007 reports that "U.S. outlays…increased by 53 percent…between 2001 and 2006, primarily as a result of allocations of $381 billion for military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere."  World military expenditure in 2001 was $839 billion, but by 2006 was "estimated to have reached $1204 billion in current U.S. dollars," an increase of "37 percent between 1997 and 2006."  The primary driver of these huge increases: The mythical Global War on Terror which, in reality, has witnessed the most aggressive U.S. and allied military expansion in history.  (See SIPRI Yearbook 2002 Summary, pp. 12-13; and SIPRI Yearbook 2007 Summary, pp. 12-13.)

[25] See, e.g., Larry Birns and Michael Lettieri,  "Washington May Soon Try to Pin the Venezuelan Uranium Tail on the Iranian Nuclear Donkey," Council on Hemispheric Affairs, May 9, 2006; and Larry Birns and Tiffany Isaacs, "Chávez Could Fuel U.S. Propaganda Campaign with Upcoming Bilateral talks with Kim Jong Il, If Misguided Strategy Is Adopted," Council on Hemispheric Affairs, July 16, 2006.

[26] See Chalmers Johnson, "Abolish the CIA!," TomDispatch, November 5, 2004.  Also see Johnson's Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, 2nd. Ed. (Metropolitan Books, 2004).  

[27] "Philippines: A government that needs U.S. business," Business Week, November 4, 1972.

[28]  Michael Ignatieff, "Who Are Americans to Think That Freedom Is Theirs to Spread?"  New York Times Magazine, June 26, 2005 (as posted to the Harvard University website).

[29] See, e.g., Marjorie Cohn, Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law (PoliPoint Press, 2007).

[30] Dana Priest, "Foreign Network at Front of CIA's Terror Fight," Washington Post, November 18, 2005.

[31] George W. Bush, "President Delivers 'State of the Union'," White House Office of the Press Secretary, January 28, 2003.

[32] Chris Floyd, "Sacred Terror," Moscow Times, December 8, 2005 (as posted by the Information Clearing House).

[33] Dick Marty et al., Alleged secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states (Doc. 10957), Council of Europe, June 12, 2006,.  Annex, "The global 'spider's web'."  Also see Christos Pourgourides et al., Enforced Disappearances (Doc. 10679), Council of Europe, September 19, 2005; and Dick Marty et al., Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: Second report (AS/Jur/2007/36), Council of Europe, June 7, 2007.

[34] Deborah Pearlstein et al., Ending Secret Detentions, Human Right First, June, 2004.

[35] Also see Deborah Pearlstein and Priti Patel, Behind the Wire: An Update to Ending Secret Detentions, Human Rights First, March, 2005; and Guantanamo and beyond: The continuing pursuit of unchecked executive power, Amnesty International, May 13, 2005.  

[36] Based on interviews that it conducted in late 2003 and early 2004 with U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq, a confidential report that the International Committee of the Red Cross used to highlight prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib and other prisons run by the occupying forces is reputed to have estimated that "70 percent to 90 percent of prisoners had been wrongly arrested"—and, we might add, this is assuming that the occupying forces had any right to arrest anybody.  See Peter Slevin, "System Failures Cited for Delayed Action on Abuses," Washington Post, May 20, 2004; and R. Jeffrey Smith, "Army Report Warned in November About Prison Problems," Washington Post, May 30, 2004.

[37] Resolution 1267 (S/RES/1267), October 15, 1999.  

[38] Anthony Goodman, "UN sanctions on Taliban to surrender Bin Laden force," The Independent, October 16, 1999; "Taleban slams U.N. sanctions over Osama bin Laden," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 16, 1999.—Among the body of statements attributed to bin Laden over many years are several that identify the United Nations with the United States precisely because, in his view, various agencies of the UN have aligned themselves with the U.S. "war on terror."

[39] Resolution 1269 (S/RES/1269), October 19, 1999.  Barbara Crossette, "U.N. Council in Rare Accord: Fight Terrorism," New York Times, October 20, 1999.

[40] Resolution 1373 (S/RES/1373), September 28, 2001; Resolution 1540 (S/RES/1540), April 28, 2004.

[41] John Mueller and Karl Mueller, "Sanctions of Mass Destruction," Foreign Affairs, May/June, 1999.—These authors noted that economic sanctions (i.e., warfare) have been "deployed frequently, by large states rather than small ones, and may have contributed to more deaths during the post-Cold War era than all weapons of mass destruction throughout history….The destructive potential of economic sanctions can be seen most clearly, albeit in an extreme form, in Iraq….No one knows with any precision how many Iraqi civilians have died as a result, but various agencies of the United Nations, which oversees the sanctions, have estimated that they have contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths….If the U.N. estimates of the human damage in Iraq are even roughly correct,…it would appear that…economic sanctions may well have been a necessary cause of the deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction throughout history."

[42] Kofi Annan, In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all (A/59/2005), United Nations, March 21, 2005, par. 91.

[43] In the case of Operation Allied Force, the U.S.-led NATO bloc's 1999 aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Kofi Annan had quietly advocated on behalf of war for as many as nine months in advance of it.—See, e.g., Kofi Annan, "Secretary-General Reflects on Intervention" (SG/SM/6613), Ditchley Foundation Lecture, United Kingdom, June 26, 1998; and Kofi Annan, "Secretary-General Calls for Unconditional Respect for Human Rights of Kosovo Citizens" (SG/SM/6878), NATO Headquarters, Belgium, January 28, 1999.  As Annan delivered these lectures in the context of NATO's threats of war, we hardly believe that they can be taken as calls for NATO to stand down.  

[44] In the Legality of Use of Force cases (1999 - 2004), brought by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia against ten of the members of NATO that attacked it in 1999, the International Court of Justice ruled that as the defendant-powers refused to recognize the ICJ's jurisdiction in the cases brought before it by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the ICJ "manifestly lacks jurisdiction to entertain Yugoslavia's Application" and "cannot therefore indicate any provisional measure whatsoever"—that is, lacking jurisdiction, it cannot issue an injunction or rule on the legality of NATO's use of force.  (See, e.g., Yugoslavia v. United States of America, June 2, 1999.  Each of the other nine cases wound up the same.)

[45] The 9/11 Commission Report, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, July 22, 2004, esp. Ch. 12, "What To Do? A Global Strategy," and Ch. 13, " How To Do It? A Different Way of Organizing the Government."  As recently as the first week of January 2008, former Commission co-chairs Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton complained about the CIA's withholding of evidence and obstruction of the Commission's inquiry.  See "Stonewalled by the C.I.A.," New York Times, January 2, 2008.

Part 1

B12624 / Tue, 31 Jan 2006 18:29:11 / "War on Terror"

This text was presented in part as a speech on December 15th, 2005 at the Perdana Global Peace Forum and is re-presented here with permission by the author.

Nafeez Ahmed is the author of The War on Freedom and most recently, The War on Truth


International terrorism has routinely been understood as a phenomenon integrally linked to radical Islamism. After 9/11, this trend of thought, already prevalent in official circles, became the defining discourse of Western international relations, now permanently configured within the paradigm of the “War on Terror”.

So widespread is this notion, that it has penetrated even the discourse of mainstream Islam itself. Thus, the respected moderate American Muslim cleric Hamza Yusuf declared after 9/11 that: “Islam has been hijacked by a discourse of anger and a rhetoric of rage1”.

Consequently, much of the debate on the roots of international terrorism both among Western policymakers and among Muslims themselves, concerns the role of Islam as an exploited ideological facilitating factor in the intensification of terrorist attacks around the world. Prominent Muslim commentators such as Ziauddin Sardar lamented after 9/11 that:

“Muslims everywhere are in a deep state of denial. From Egypt to Malaysia, there is an aversion to seeing terrorism as a Muslim problem and a Muslim responsibility. ... Terrorism is a Muslim problem … Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Algeria, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Iran – there is hardly a Muslim country that is not plagued by terrorism. ... Muslims have stubbornly refused to see terrorism as an internal problem. While the Muslim world has suffered, they have blamed everyone but themselves. It is always ‘the West’, or the CIA, or ‘the Indians’, or ‘the Zionists’ hatching yet another conspiracy. This state of denial means Muslims are ill-equipped to deal with problems of endemic terrorism2”. A number of salient points can be derived here. Sardar, articulating a narrative very much supportive of Western officialdom’s perspective of international terrorism, sees terrorism as ultimately a question of Muslim responsibility. The consequence of this for Muslims is that they should firstly lend their wholehearted support in principle to the West’s fight against international terrorism, and secondly that they should manifest such support by routing out extremism within their own midst. Moreover Sardar, once again echoing officialdom’s perspective, supports President Bush’s resounding a priori condemnation of “outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty3”. By implication, the guilty, then, are not merely the terrorists themselves, but Muslims as such for whom terrorism is an “internal problem” regarding which they persist in “denial”.

This paradigm, however, is not based in an objective analysis of international terrorism itself. Indeed, it is devoid entirely of meaningful historical and empirical content. As such, it generally tends to generate two conventional forms of rebuttal, both of which are equally devoid of relevant historical and empirical analysis of the very phenomenon under discussion. The first comes from within Islam itself, and attempts to challenge the idea using Islamic scripture—namely the Qur’an (considered to be the Word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammed) and Ahadith (historical records of the Prophet’s life, sayings and actions)—that terrorism can be justified on its basis. Thus, it is argued that an authentic understanding of Islam delegitimizes terrorism. The second rebuttal comes from what might be amorphously described as the antiwar movement, and attempts to explore the dynamics of precisely why Muslims have developed the “internal problem” of terrorism. Those dynamics are found to be located precisely in a series of devastating historical conjunctures between the West and the Muslim world, proceeding for several centuries, whereby Western imperialism has subjugated predominantly Muslim regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. Events such as the 2003 Iraq War are considered to be merely extensions of this world-historical process.

The content of these rebuttals, on their own terms, is well-documented and highly persuasive. However, in one simple way, they are exactly similar to the very argument which they attempt to refute, by failing to comprehend the reality of the phenomenon of international terrorism itself. As such, by refusing to confront this phenomenon directly, they inadvertently perpetuate the defactualization of analytical discourse which supports Western officialdom’s bold equation of international terrorism with radical Islamism, and henceforth as a distinctly Muslim problem which needs to be dealt with by finding some sort of Muslim solution, even if that be a peaceful one4.

Therefore, my approach here will not be to pursue the arguments of conventional rebuttals to the paradigmatic perspective of the underpinnings of international terrorism, but rather to critique this paradigm on its own terms using a historical and empirical analysis.

My argument is not that there are no violent interpretations of Islam within the Muslim world that might be seen to endorse terrorism. Of course there are. And my argument is not that the West’s imperial role in the Muslim world should be ignored. Certainly, it should not. Rather, my argument is that when international terrorism is scrutinized impartially, scientifically, the conventional understanding of its supposed inextricable origination in the dynamics of radical Islamism is fundamentally weakened in surprising ways.

The evidence that 9/11 was the result of a distinctly radical Islamist plan is highly questionable. The nature of “al-Qaeda” as a distinctly radical Islamist organization is also questionable. Finally, compelling evidence that identifiable groups involved in terrorist activity around the world are, in fact, manipulated on behalf of entirely non-Islamist Western geostrategic interests challenges the entire official narrative of the “War on Terror”.

Deconstructing the al-Qaeda 9/11 Mythology9/11 and the Myth of Islamic Suicide Bombers According to the official narrative, 19 Muslim fundamentalists belonging to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist network, hijacked four civilian planes on the morning of 9/11 and flew them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But this narrative, widely accepted by both proponents and critics of US imperial foreign policy, is problematic at its core: the very identities of the alleged hijackers.

It is now known that at least 10 of the 19 alleged hijackers are alive according to multiple, credible news accounts by the BBC, CNN, the Telegraph, the Independent, and other international media. As Jay Kolar observes, “at least ten of those named on the FBI’s second and final list of 19 have turned up and been verified to be alive, with proof positive that at least one other ‘hijacker’, Ziad Jarrah, had his identity doubled, and therefore fabricated”. Reviewing video evidence furnished by the government to support its narrative—including alleged footage of the hijackers at Dulles Airport and the infamous Osama bin Laden confession tape—Kolar finds them to be riddled with impossibilities and anomalies, and concludes that they are utterly unreliable at best, and downright forgeries at worst5.

The abject failure of the Bush administration and its key allies to substantiate its narrative of what happened on 9/11 with regards to the most basic issue of who perpetrated the terrorists attacks, obviously raises fundamental questions about the official narrative as such. Why has such a failure not been rectified, if the evidence exists? There are a number of possible explanations, the simplest of which is that the alleged hijackers were not, in fact, hijackers at all; or rather, that there were no Arab hijackers on board the planes. Another explanation is that there were hijackers, but that disclosing their real identities and the extent of the evidence of their connection to 9/11 might inevitably disclose a large number of related connections that would be deeply embarrassing, to say the least, for the US government. So we will not attempt to answer this question here. Suffice it to say that with the identities of the alleged hijackers not only in dispute, but essentially unknown, the core underpinning of the official narrative is vacuous; it is merely an unknown, a question.

Such questions extend to the very activities of the alleged hijackers as conventionally identified prior to 9/11. A variety of reports based on journalistic investigations and eye-witness testimonials provide a bizarre picture at odds with the conventional portrayal of the alleged hijackers as Islamic fundamentalists. Two of them, Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, visited the popular Woodland Park Resort Hotel in the Philippines several times between 1998 and 2000 according to numerous local residents and hotel workers who recognized them from news photographs. They reportedly “drank whiskey with Philippine bargirls, dined at a restaurant that specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine and visited at least one of the local flight schools.” Al-Shehhi threw a party with six or seven Arab friends in December 2000 at the Hotel according to former waitress Gina Marcelo. “They rented the open area by the swimming pool for 1,000 pesos,” she recounts. “They drank Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey and mineral water. They barbecued shrimp and onions. They came in big vehicles, and they had a lot of money. They all had girlfriends.” But one big mistake they made was that unlike most foreign visitors, “[t]hey never tipped. If they did, I would not remember them so well.” Victoria Brocoy, a chambermaid at the Woodland, recalls: “Many times I saw him let a girl go at the gate in the morning. It was always a different girl6.”

According to US investigators, five of the hijackers including Atta, Al-Shehhi, Nawaq Alhamzi, Ziad Jarrah, and Hani Hanjour visited Las Vegas at least six times between May and August 2001. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that here, they “engaged in some decidedly un-Islamic sampling of prohibited pleasures in America’s reputed capital of moral corrosion,” including drinking alcohol, gambling, and visiting strip-clubs7. As the South Florida Sun Sentinel observed, the hijackers’ frequent debauchery was at odds with the most basic tenets of Islam:

“Three guys cavorting with lap dancers at the Pink Pony Nude Theater. Two others knocking back glasses of Stolichnaya and rum and Coke at a fish joint in Hollywood the weekend before committing suicide and mass murder. That might describe the behavior of several men who are suspects in Tuesday’s terrorist attack, but it is not a picture of devout Muslims, experts say. Let alone that of religious zealots in their final days on Earth”.

For instance, specialist in Islamic and Middle East studies Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub, Professor of Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia, noted that the prohibition of alcohol, gambling, and sex outside marriage are Islam’s most fundamental precepts: “It is incomprehensible that a person could drink and go to a strip bar one night, then kill themselves the next day in the name of Islam. People who would kill themselves for their faith would come from very strict Islamic ideology. Something here does not add up8.”

Similar reports abound regarding other al-Qaeda terrorists connected to 9/11. Even alleged 9/11 mastermind, al-Qaeda icon Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, reportedly “met associates in karaoke bars and giant go-go clubs filled with mirrors, flashing lights and bikini-clad dancers,” according to evidence collected by Philippine investigators:

“He held meetings at four-star hotels. He took scuba-diving lessons at a coastal resort. When he wasn’t engaged with the go-go dancers, he courted a Philippine dentist. Once, to impress her, he rented a helicopter
and flew it over her office, then called her on his cell phone and told her to look up and wave”. Mohammad’s al-Qaeda associates engaged in much the same behavior. They had local girlfriends and held a drinking party “to celebrate the anniversary of the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 explosion over Lockerbie, Scotland9.”

Clearly, this pattern of debauchery is not by any standard commensurate with the strict requirements of al-Qaeda’s brand of Islamic fundamentalism. As Professors Quintan Wiktorowicz and John Kaltner point out, al-Qaeda is “a radical tendency within a broader Islamic movement known as the Salafi movement…

“The term Salafi is derived from the Arabic salaf, which means ‘to precede’ and refers to the companions of the Prophet Muhammed. Because the salaf learned about Islam directly from the messenger of God, their example is an important illustration of piety and unadulterated religious practice. Salafis argue that centuries of syncretic cultural and popular religious rituals and interpretations distorted the purity of the message of God and that only by returning to the example of the prophet and his companions can Muslims achieve salvation. The label ‘Salafi’ is thus used to connote ‘proper’ religious adherence and moral legitimacy, implying that alternative understandings are corrupt deviations from the straight path of Islam”. Thus, although there are various schools of thought within Salafism—including al-Qaeda’s violent jihadist interpretation—they all emphasize and indeed attempt to derive their legitimacy from the Salafist goal of “piety and unadulterated religious practice” based directly on the piety and practice of the Prophet10. In this context, the depraved conduct of the alleged 9/11 hijackers in terms of their routine violation of the most basic Islamic precepts contradicts al-Qaeda’s strictly puritan Salafist philosophy.

The Takfir Paradigm
How to explain this anomaly? Time Magazine reports that intelligence officials claim many al-Qaeda terrorists are “followers of an extremist Islamic ideology called Takfir wal Hijra (Anathema and Exile). That’s bad news: by blending into host communities, Takfiris attempt to avoid suspicion. A French official says they come across as ‘regular, fun-loving guys—but they’d slit your throat or bomb your building in a second.’” Another French official says that the goal of Takfir “is to blend into corrupt societies in order to plot attacks against them better. Members live together, will drink alcohol, eat during Ramadan, become smart dressers and ladies’ men to show just how integrated they are11.”

However, this depiction of al-Qaeda and Takfir wal Hijra is thoroughly inaccurate. Takfir wal Hijra was the title given to a radical Islamic movement known as the Society of Muslims. The latter was founded in Egypt by Muslim Brotherhood member Shukri Mustafa after his release from prison in 1971. The group disintegrated after Mustafa was arrested and executed by the Egyptian government, but some of its followers went on to join other radical groups such as al-Jihad and/or fled to North Africa. Rather than attempting to integrate into modern society to carry out attacks as intelligence officials now claim, Takfiri ideology advocated the very opposite: “As contemporary society was infidel, he argued, Takfir would set up its own alternative community that would work, study and pray together…. Takfir declared that not only the regime but the society itself was infidel and under excommunication. This entailed… a personal withdrawal from society.” Even Takfir’s rival radical Islamic group in Egypt, Jama’at al-Jihad, known as the Society of Struggle, espoused such a harsh perspective of Islamic practice that it advocated as Islam’s top priority “jihad against unbelievers—including ‘Muslims’ who did not observe the religion’s requirements properly”—let alone endorsing in any manner a violation of those requirements12.

So extreme is Takfir’s ideology, that it sees bin Laden as not sufficiently Islamic in his violent approach. The Sunday Times reported a month after 9/11 that Takfir “regards Osama bin Laden as an infidel who has sold out.” The group’s members “have embarked on killing sprees in mosques against fellow Muslims in the belief that a pure Islamic state can be built only if the corrupt elements of the last one are wiped out.” Takfir’s enmity toward al-Qaeda is based on the perception that Osama bin Laden is “excessively liberal.” In 1995, four Takfir members attempted to assassinate bin Laden at his home in Khartoum. Takfiris continue to be “angered” at bin Laden’s leadership of a “compromised jihad.” According to the Times, “Takfir denounces all but those who copy the behaviour of the prophet Muhammad as infidels and promises to kill them.” One senior Sudanese government source confirmed that Takfir “regard [bin Laden] as a sellout… the Takfir think that everything in contemporary Muslim society is corrupt and should be destroyed13.”

Djamel Beghal and Kamel Daoudi—alleged UK-based terrorists arrested in September 2001 for plotting a series of spectacular terrorist assaults on Europe—were both supposed to be members of Takfir wal Hijra. But according to one Algerian in London who knew Beghal, integrating into Western culture by engaging in various acts of debauchery in violation of Islamic tenets was the last thing this alleged Takfiri would ever do: “Believe me, you do not want these people in your country… they will kill anybody, including their own family, if they are caught smoking or drinking14.”

Thus, the new scenario being proposed by Western intelligence officials to explain the patently un-Islamic behavior of the 9/11 hijackers is largely incoherent. Despite claims to the contrary, Takfir wal Hijra is aggressively opposed to al-Qaeda and its strict ideology is fundamentally incommensurate with the prospect of permitting defiance of Islamic rules under any circumstances. Furthermore, al-Qaeda is in turn staunchly opposed to Takfir. Therefore, the anomaly of the 9/11 hijackers persists: They clearly did not possess the conduct of hardened Islamic fundamentalists connected to al-Qaeda. So, who were they?

Agents of the US Military?
According to reports in Newsweek, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, US military officials confirmed to the FBI “that five of the alleged hijackers received training in the 1990s at secure US military installations15.” Knight Ridder news cited defense sources confirming that Mohamed Atta had attended International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama; Abdulaziz Alomari had attended Aerospace Medical School at Brooks Air Force base in Texas; and Saeed Alghamdi had been to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. ( New York Times, September 16, 2001) The Washington Post revealed that as many as “four of 19 suspected hijackers may have participated during the 1990s” in a “flight training program for foreign military trainees” at Pensacola Naval Air Station. “Two of 19 suspects named by the FBI, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alghamdi, have the same names as men listed at a housing facility for foreign military trainees at Pensacola. Two others, Hamza Alghamdi and Ahmed Alnami, have names similar to individuals listed in public records as using the same address inside the base16.” Among these, Abdulaziz Alomari, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alnami are reportedly alive (Kolay), proving that whoever these US military trainees were, they were using fraudulent aliases.

Not long after these embarrassing reports of US military ties to al-Qaeda terrorists, the US Air Force issued an official statement of denial, arguing that “the name matches may not necessarily mean the students were the hijackers because of discrepancies in ages and other personal data.” Although some terrorists “had similar names to foreign alumni of US military courses,” these biographical discrepancies “indicate we are probably not talking about the same people.” But the government has refused to substantiate the denial, by preventing the publication of the relevant biographical data that would actually prove the discrepancies. On September 16, 2001, news reports asserted that: “Officials would not release ages, country of origin or any other specific details of the three individuals”—and have refused to do so to date. ( Washington Post, 22 September 2001)

By October 30, 2001, journalist Daniel Hopsicker—who has been a producer at PBS Wall Street Week, an executive producer of NBC TV’s Global Business, and an investigative reporter for NBC News—queried a major in the US Air Force’s Public Affairs Office who “was familiar with the question.” She explained: “Biographically, they’re not the same people. Some of the ages are 20 years off.” But when questioned to substantiate the specific discrepancy, she was forced to admit that there was no discrepancy. According to Hopsicker: “‘Some’ of the ages? We told her we were only interested in Atta. Was she saying that the age of the Mohamed Atta who attended the Air Force’s International Officer’s School at Maxwell Air Force Base was different from the terrorist Atta’s age as reported? Um, er, no, the major admitted.” Hopsicker asked if he could contact the other alleged “Mohamed Atta” at the International Officer’s School at Maxwell Air Force Base, who was purportedly confused with the chief 9/11 hijacker, so that he could confirm that they were indeed two different individuals. The major declined without explanation, stating that she did not “think you’re going to get that information17.”

In a separate interview, Hopsicker was told by a spokesman for the US Defense Department that some terrorists did attend US military installations, but declined to release any further details:

“Despite earlier denials, terrorists in the Sept. 11 attacks received training at secure US military bases, a Defense Department spokesman admitted.… the Defense Dept spokesman was asked to explain the particulars of fuzzy statements in which officials said … ‘we are probably not talking about the same people.’
“Pressed repeatedly to provide specifics, the spokesperson finally admitted, ‘I do not have the authority to tell you who (which terrorists) attended which schools.’ So it appears certain that at least some of the previous denials have been rendered inoperative, and that a list exists in the Defense Dept which names Sept 11 terrorists who received training at US military facilities, a list the Pentagon is in no hurry to make public18”. In other words, it can now be confirmed that individuals identified by the FBI as al-Qaeda’s 9-11 terrorists, whether or not those identities were aliases, were connected to US military operations.

Al-Qaeda and the Myth of a Radical Islamist International Terrorist Organization I will not attempt to answer the preceding question here. It suffices to point out that firstly, the connection of the alleged 9/11 hijackers to the actual events of 9/11 is deeply questionable at best, and secondly, even assuming the validity of such a connection, the notion that the alleged hijackers were Islamist fundamentalists is simply unsustainable.

The problem is not isolated to these individuals believed to be members of bin Laden’s international al-Qaeda terrorist network. The same questions can be addressed to al-Qaeda itself. Given that according to the official narrative, these individuals were members of an elite al-Qaeda cell, what does their un-Islamic conduct reveal about the real character of al-Qaeda? Two alleged hijackers, Mohamed Atta, who was reportedly leader of the cell, and Khalid Almidhar, another elite member, were reportedly members of the Islamic Jihad group led by bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri19. According to intelligence sources, “Atta and several others in the group” responsible for the attacks, “met with senior Al Qaida leaders, most notably Ayman al-Zawahiri” in Afghanistan shortly before 9-1120. Thus, these distinctly un-Islamic characters had very close relationships to the senior leadership of al-Qaeda.

Other prominent members of al-Qaeda also reportedly behave in distinctly un-Islamic ways. The example of Syrian al-Qaeda leader Laui Sakra provides a case in point. Suspected of involvement in the November 2003 bombings of UK and Jewish targets in Istanbul which killed 63 people, Sakra was arrested in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey21.

Turkish officials said that Sakra is “one of the 5 most important key figures in Al Qaeda”. By his own off-the-record account to police, “he knew Mohamed Atta” and had aided the 9/11 cell, providing money and passports.” He also claimed involvement in the July 7th 2005 London bombings22, confessed to be in frequent contact with bin Laden, and admitted involvement in terrorist activity in the US, Britain, Egypt, Syria and Algeria23.

Citing further official revelations, the Turkish daily Zaman revealed that Sakra, like many of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, did not act in accordance with basic Islamic edicts. When Turkish Security Directorate officials told him that “he might perform his religious practices to have a better dialogue with him and to gain his confidence”, Sakra responded: “I do not pray. I also drink alcohol.” Curiously, his fellow al-Qaeda detainees and underlings, Adnan Ersoz and Harun Ilhan, did “perform their religious practices.” Police officials admitted that “such an attitude at the top-level of al-Qaeda was confusing24.”

Sakra’s story confirms the bizarre mixture of un-Islamic conduct penetrating the elite membership of al-Qaeda and the radical puritan exterior apparent in the use of Islamist language and symbols by its members. It is impossible to explain this within the parameters of the official narrative, which views al-Qaeda as one of the most militant elements of a radical Islamist tendency. In fact, the evidence perused so far fundamentally challenges the idea that al-Qaeda can be properly categorized as a genuinely Islamist entity. Other statements by Sakra further challenge the very idea of al-Qaeda as constituting an international organization in any meaningful sense, and throw further light on what might explain its duality between apparent fundamentalist Islamist and patently un-Islamic conduct. In his own words:

“Al-Qaeda organizes attacks sometimes without even reporting it to Bin Laden. For al-Qaeda is not structured like a terrorist organization. The militants have the operational initiative. There are groups organizing
activities in the name of al-Qaeda. The second attack in London was organized by a group, which took initiative. Even Laden may not know about it25”. Sakra’s description of al-Qaeda contradicts entirely the official narrative. But he went even further than that. Zaman reported incredulously the most surprising elements of Sakra’s candid revelations during his four-day interrogation at Istanbul Anti-Terror Department Headquarters: “Amid the smoke from the fortuitous fire emerged the possibility that al-Qaeda may not be, strictly speaking, an organization but an element of an intelligence agency operation.” As a result of Sakra’s statements:

“Turkish intelligence specialists agree that there is no such organization as al-Qaeda. Rather, Al-Qaeda is the name of a secret service operation. The concept ‘fighting terror’ is the background of the ‘lowintensity- warfare’ conducted in the mono-polar world order. The subject of this strategy of tension is named as ‘al-Qaeda’.
... Sakra, the fifth most senior man in Osama bin Ladin’s al-Qaeda… has been sought by the secret services since 2000. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interrogated him twice before. Following the interrogation CIA offered him employment. He also received a large sum of money by CIA… in 2000 the CIA passed intelligence about Sakra through a classified notice to Turkey, calling for the Turkish National Security Organization (MIT) to capture him. MIT caught Sakra in Turkey and interrogated him… Sakra was [later] sought and caught by Syrian al-Mukhabarat as well. Syria too offered him employment. Sakra eventually became a triple agent for the secret services… Turkish security officials, interrogating a senior al- Qaeda figure for the first time, were thoroughly confused about what they discovered about al-Qaeda. The prosecutor too was surprised26.” According to Sakra then, himself a paid CIA recruit, al-Qaeda is less a coherent centralized organization than a loose association of mujahideen often mobilized under the influence of Western secret services. His own lack of traditional Islamic piety at a senior level within al-Qaeda further discredits the widespread perception of al-Qaeda as a truly Islamist Salafist group.

Two key issues arise here – firstly the question of the manner in which al- Qaeda exists; and secondly, the question of Turkish intelligence’s interpretation of al-Qaeda as integral to a “secret service operation” within a wider “strategy of tension”.

As for the first issue, it is indeed difficult to identify any way in which al-Qaeda genuinely exists as a concrete international terrorist organization—or at all—as conventionally promulgated by Western government and security sources.

Award-winning film maker Adam Curtis in his series of BBC documentaries The Power of Nightmares, went so far as to argue that al-Qaeda does not even have members, a leader, “sleeper cells”, or even an overall strategy. As a concrete international organization “it barely exists at all, except as an idea about cleansing a corrupt world through religious violence.”27 Dr Andrew Sike, a criminologist and forensic psychologist at the University of East London serving on the UN Roster of Terrorism Experts, similarly notes that al-Qaeda lacks “a clear hierarchy, military mindset and centralised command”. At best, it constitutes a loose network of “affiliated groups sharing religious and ideological backgrounds, but which often interact sparingly”. Al-Qaeda is less an organization than “a state of mind”, encompassing “a wide range of members and followers who can differ dramatically from each other28.”

Numerous other experts have thus questioned conventional portrayals of al-Qaeda, concluding that there is no solid evidence that it exists, let alone that it might function as an organized network. Conversely, mainstream studies that have endorsed such a perspective in support of the official narrative are profoundly flawed. Rohan Guranatna’s Inside Al-Qaeda, for instance—widely acclaimed as the most comprehensive, authoritative and well-documented analysis of al-Qaeda available—is consistently unreliable and inconsistent, to the point that the book’s British publishers inserted a disclaimer in its edition cautioning readers to avoid interpreting its content as factual, but rather as “nothing other than a suggestion29”.

This, of course, raises yet another question. If al-Qaeda does not exist in the conventional sense, then how does this fit with Sakra’s description of al-Qaeda as a “secret service operation” operating within the parameters of a “strategy of tension”? The answer to this can be best sought in an examination of precisely what is denoted by what Turkish officials describe as “a strategy of tension”. And to answer this, we must delve deeper into history to discover the roots of international terrorism in the Cold War.
Continued in Part 2


1 BBC News, “Islam ‘hijacked’ by terror”, October 11, 2001

2 Ziauddin Sardar, Islam has become its own enemy, The Observer

3 Remarks by the President to the United Nations General Assembly, “President Bush Speaks to United Nations”

4 Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, 9/11 ‘Conspiracies’ and the Defactualisation of Analysis: How Ideologues on the Left and Right Theorise Vacuously to Support Baseless Supposition’

5 Jay Kolar, “What We Know About the Alleged 9/11 Hijackers”, in Paul Zarembka (ed.) The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Research in Political Economy, Volume 23, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006.

6 Kirk, Don, ‘Filipinos Recall Hijack Suspects Leading a High Life’, International Herald Tribune, 5 October 2001,

7 Fagan, Kevin, ‘Agents of terror leave their mark on Sin City: Las Vegas workers recall the men they can’t forget’, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 October 2001,

8 Benjamin, Jody A., ‘Suspects actions don’t add up’, South Florida Sun Sentinel, 16 September 2001,

9 McDermott, Terry, ‘Early Scheme to Turn Jets into Weapons: Philippines: Police say Khalid Shaikh Mohammed led a cell aiming to blow up planes in ‘95’, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2002.

10 Wiktorowicz, Quintan and Kaltner, John, ‘Killing in the Name of Islam: Al Qaeda’s Justification for September 11’, Middle East Policy, Vol. X, No. 2, Summer 2000,

11 Elliot, Michael, ‘Hate Club: Al-Qaeda’s Web of Terror’, Time Magazine, 4 November 2001.

12 Zeidan, David, ‘Radical Islam in Egypt: A Comparison of Two Groups’, Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 3, No. 3, September 1999,

13 Hellen, Nicholas, ‘Ultra Zealots: If you think Bin Laden is extreme – some Muslims want to kill him because he’s soft’, Sunday Times, 21 October 2001. Mirrored here.

14 Barnett, Anthony, et. al., ‘London-based terror chief plotted mayhem in Europe’, The Observer, 30 September 2001.

15 Wheeler, Larry, et. al, Pensacola NAS link faces more scrutiny, Pensacola News Journal, September 17, 2001, mirrored here.

16 Gugliotta, Guy and David S. Fallis, ‘2nd Witness Arrested: 25 Held for Questioning,’ Washington Post, September 16, 2001, mirrored here.

17 Hopsicker, Daniel, ‘Did Terrorists Train at US Military Schools?’ Online Journal, October 30, 2001, (pdf – 113kb)

18 Hopsicker, Daniel, ‘Pentagon Lied: Terrorists Trained at US Bases,’ Mad Cow Morning News, October 14, 2001,. [emphasis added]

19 Foden, Giles (2001) ‘The hunt for ‘Public Enemy No 2’: Egyptian may now be running terror operations from Afghanistan,’ The Guardian, September 24,

20 Waller, Douglas (2001) ‘Was Hijack ‘Ringleader’ in Bin Laden Orbit?’, Time Magazine, October 5,

21 Turkey arrests al Qaeda suspects, BBC News, August 10, 2005,

22 A ‘Strange’ Al Qaeda Leader: ‘I Don’t Pray, I Drink Alcohol,’ Journal of Turkish Weekly [contributions from Turkish dailies, Zaman and Hurriyet], August 14, 2005,

23 Gun, Ercun, ‘Sakra: I Dispatched Men to US and UK for Terrorist Activity,’ Zaman, August 15, 2005,

24 Gun, ‘Interesting Confession: I Provided 9/11 Attackers with Passports, Zaman, August 14, 2005,

25 Gun, Ercun, ‘Sakra: I Dispatched Men to US and UK for Terrorist Activity,’ Zaman, August 15, 2005,

26 Gun, ‘Al-Qaeda: A Secret Service Operation?” Zaman, August 14, 2005,

27 Beckett, Andy, ‘The making of the terror myth,’ The Guardian, October 15, 2004,

28 Sike, Andrew, ‘Profiling terror,’ Janes Police Review, August 7, 2003,

29 For further discussion see Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, “Terrorism and Statecraft: Al-Qaeda and Western Covert Operations after the Cold War”, in Paul Zarembka (ed.) The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Research in Political Economy, Volume 23 (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006).

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 4 Guest(s)