A recent book written by veteran CIA officers describes how deception can be identified by simple observational techniques. In Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception, authors Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, and Susan Carnicero outline a number of verbal and visual behavioral clues that are demonstrated by people who lie in response to questioning. These proven techniques for recognizing deception can be easily applied to see that U.S. leaders have lied repeatedly about the attacks of 9/11.
The authors make clear that there are two important guidelines to employ when analyzing these verbal and visual clues. First, timing is important. Due to the fact that people think ten times faster than they speak, the behaviors are more important when the first one occurs within five seconds of the question. Secondly, when the behavioral clues occur in groups of two or more, called clusters, they are more indicative of deception on the part of the person being questioned. The more clues exhibited, the more clear the deception becomes.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
In a December 15, 2001 press conference, President George W. Bush was asked an unexpected question about 9/11. In a remarkably delayed response, Bush exhibited both a verbal clue for deception, the failure to answer, and a visual clue called an anchor-point movement. The latter is when the anxiety raised by the question causes the person questioned to shift his body to relieve physical instability. As Bush replied, he shook his head, moved his hands, and seemed to be shuffling his feet uncomfortably.
Reporter: Do you agree or disagree with the RNC that [a question of your advanced knowledge of 9/11] borders on political hate speech?
Bush: Uh, yeah, there’s time for politics and, uh, you know… time for politics and, uh… I, uh, it’s an absurd insinuation.”
If the reporter had been a CIA interrogator, like any of the three authors of the book, this response would have raised an immediate red flag that the issue needed further examination.
In April 2004, Bush was asked a question about why he could only meet with the 9/11 Commission if Vice President Cheney was with him. He responded in a stuttering, repetitive fashion that demonstrated the “failure to answer” clue as well as something called non-specific denial, in which the question is refuted with unrelated verbiage. As Bush repeated his diversionary answer, he also smiled—another indication of deception when dealing with any serious subject matter.
Reporter: “Why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9/11 Commission?”
Bush: “Because the 9/11 Commission wants to ask us questions. That’s why we’re meeting and I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.”
Reporter: “My question was why are you appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request?”
Bush: “Because it’s a good chance for both of us to answer questions, that the 9/11 Commission is, uh, looking forward to asking us, and I’m looking forward to answering them.”
Not long after Bush and Cheney finally agreed to their unrecorded, secretive interview with 9/11 Commission members, Bush’s national security advisor Condoleezza Rice gave testimony under oath. In that testimony, she demonstrated at least six of the CIA’s verbal clues to deception including isolated denial, selective memory, an overly specific answer, and a process or procedural response. Rice was also seen going into attack mode, responding to Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste with, “I believe you had access,” and using inconsistent statements. She said that a presidential brief was titled “Bin Laden determined to strike inside U.S.” and yet also that no warnings of strikes inside the U.S. were received.
In addition to these highly deceptive behaviors, Rice gave a huge hint in her testimony that exemplifies something the book calls the “truth in the lie.” When Ben-Veniste asked her about Al Qaeda cells in the United States. She said,
Rice: “I remember very well that the president was aware that there were issues inside the United States. He talked to people about this. But I don’t remember the Al Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.”
This extended answer suggested that the White House knew about Al Qaeda cells operating in the United States but that Rice and others were expected to do nothing about them. Ben-Veniste did not pursue the question further. This is not surprising given other lines of questioning in which Ben-Veniste engaged. Here’s an example with General Michael Canavan, who was supposed to be the “hijack coordinator” on 9/11—the one person most responsible for preventing, and initially responding to, the hijackings.
Ben-Vensite: What is your understanding of the first time FAA notified NORAD of the fact that this was a possible hijack or that it had deviated from course, or that there was some anomaly about Flight 77 in the context of everything else that was going on that day?
Canavan: Here’s my answer—and it’s not to duck the question. Number one, I was visiting the airport in San Juan that day when this happened. That was a CADEX airport, and I was down there also to remove someone down there that was in a key position. So when 9/11 happened, that’s where I was. I was able to get back to Washington that evening on a special flight from the Army back from San Juan, back to Washington. So everything that transpired that day in terms of times, I have to—and I have no information on that now, because when I got back we weren’t—that wasn’t the issue at the time. We were— when I got back it was, What are we going to do over the next 48 hours to strengthen what just happened?
Although video is not available for Canavan’s testimony, it’s clear that he was using deceptive verbal behaviors. He failed to answer the actual question, he engaged in perception qualifiers and an overly specific response, and he gave non-answer statements. Because Ben-Veniste immediately dropped the question it is unknown, to this day, who was serving in the critical role of hijack coordinator on 9/11.
There are many more examples of deceptive answers from U.S. leaders regarding 9/11. When asked why an outline was created for the 9/11 Commission Report before the investigation began, Chairman Thomas Kean immediately ran away and went into attack mode. When asked about the CIA’s tracking of two of the alleged hijackers, CIA director George Tenet, who was undoubtedly trained in detecting deception, demonstrated many of the CIA’s clues that he was being deceptive.
One more example is instructive. This involves John Gross, who was the author of both the most critical FEMA World Trade Center (WTC) report and the most critical WTC report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. When asked a question during a presentation he was giving, Gross responded with multiple behaviors that the CIA would find deceptive.
Questioner: “I’m curious about the pools of molten steel that were found in the bottom of the towers.”
Gross (Anchor-point movements, non-answer statement, going into attack mode): “I am, I am too…. tell me about it. Have you seen it?
Questioner: “Well, not personally but eyewitnesses there found huge pools of molten steel beneath the towers and, uh, scientists, some scientists, think that the collapse of the buildings could [sic] have melted all that steel. And a physics professor, Steven Jones, found evidence of a thermite residue, which would explain how the buildings collapsed by means of pre-planted explosives. So have you analyzed the steel for any of those residues?
Gross (Reluctance to answer, Anchor-point movements): “First of all, let’s go back to your basic premise that there was, uh, a pool of molten steel. Um, I know of absolutely nobody, no eyewitnesses, who have said so, nobody has produced it. I was on the site, I was on the steelyards, so I can’t, I don’t know that that’s so.”
When further questioned about the collapse of WTC Building 7, Gross made inconsistent statements and engaged in hand-to-face activity, another two of the deceptive behaviors noted by the CIA. This is not surprising to people who have studied events at the WTC, however, because Gross would have needed to be grossly negligent in his observance of evidence to have not known about the molten metal at the WTC site.
As seen above, the 9/11 Commission hearings and other statements by 9/11 investigation leaders provide a treasure trove of opportunities for people to practice detecting deception. Of course, the 9/11 Commission Report demonstrates many of the same clues for deception that CIA officers would highlight. Its lies of omission are many and its reliance on deceptive language like “we found no evidence” is another clue.
Interestingly, the authors of Spy the Lie introduce their book by recalling the 9/11 attacks in a way that suggests that their deception-identifying skills are needed to avoid such tragedies. Yet these three experts on deception don’t question the official narrative of 9/11 at all and apparently have never seen any evidence for deception in that narrative or its origins. This fact may be the result of extreme bias—with the CIA officers unable to question their own agency. Or maybe it exemplifies a high level of self-deception, perhaps suggesting a sequel to the book.
In any case, the official account of 9/11 continues to provide a most powerful way to see just how much people deceive each other and themselves. When it comes to 9/11, experts on scientific fraud can’t see the most glaring example, journalists can’t see the most obvious examples of negligent reporting, and the CIA’s most skilled detectors of deception can’t see when they are deceived. Since many of us can see these things, we should work harder to reveal the truth because deception is at the root of many of the world’s problems.
Media interest in Saudi Arabian connections to the crimes of 9/11 has centered on calls for the release of the 28 missing pages from the Joint Congressional Inquiry’s report. However, those calls focus on the question of hijacker financing and omit the most interesting links between the 9/11 attacks and Saudi Arabia—links that implicate powerful people in the United States. Here are twenty examples.
- When two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Al-Mihdhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi, came to the U.S. in January 2000, they immediately met with Omar Al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi spy and an employee of a Saudi aviation company. Al-Bayoumi, who was the target of FBI investigations in the two years before 9/11, became a good friend to the two 9/11 suspects, setting them up in an apartment and paying their rent.
- Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi then moved in with a long-time FBI asset, Abdussattar Shaikh, who was said to be a teacher of the Saudi language. Shaikh allowed them to live in his home for at least seven months, later saying that he thought they were only Saudi students. In an unlikely coincidence, both Al-Bayoumi and Shaikh also knew Hani Hanjour, the alleged pilot of Flight 77. Although Shaikh was reported to be a retired professor at San Diego State University, the university had no records of him. He was then said to be a professor at American Commonwealth University but that turned out to be a phony institution. During the 9/11 investigations, the FBI refused to allow Shaikh to be interviewed or deposed. The FBI also tried to prevent the testimony of Shaikh’s FBI handler, which occurred only secretly at a later date. Despite having a very suspicious background, the FBI gave Shaikh $100,000 and closed his contract.
- Journalist Joseph Trento claimed that an unnamed former CIA officer, who worked in Saudi Arabia, told him that Alhazmi and Almihdhar were Saudi spies protected by U.S. authorities.
- After being appointed CIA Director in 1997, George Tenet began to cultivate close personal relationships with officials in Saudi Arabia. Tenet grew especially close to Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Bandar and Tenet often met at Bandar’s home near Washington. Tenet did not share information from those meetings with his own CIA officers who were handling Saudi issues at the agency. These facts are among the reasons to suspect that Tenet facilitated the crimes of 9/11.
- Bernard Kerik, the New York City police commissioner at the time of 9/11, spent three years working in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s. He then spent another three years in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s as the “chief investigator for the royal family.” It was Kerik who first told the public that explosives were not used at the World Trade Center (WTC) in a news conference. It was also his police department that was said to have discovered a passport that fell from one of the burning towers, providing dubious evidence identifying one of the alleged hijackers.
- One of the two major contractors hired to manage the cleanup of debris at Ground Zero—Bovis Lend Lease—had previously built the Riyadh Olympic stadium in Saudi Arabia.
- The other primary cleanup company at Ground Zero—AMEC Construction—had just completed a $258 million refurbishment of Wedge 1 of the Pentagon, which is exactly where Flight 77 was said to impact that building. AMEC had a significant presence in Saudi Arabia for decades, working for the national oil company, Saudi Aramco.
- After 9/11, former FBI director Louis Freeh, whose agency failed to stop Al Qaeda-attributed terrorism from 1993 to 2001, became the personal attorney for George Tenet’s dubious cohort, Prince Bandar. Sometimes called “Bandar Bush” for his close relationship to the Bush family, Bandar was the Saudi intelligence director from 2005 to 2015.
- The company that designed the security system for the WTC complex, Kroll Associates, had strong connections to Saudi Arabia. For example, Kroll board member Raymond Mabus, now Secretary of the Navy, was the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. Control of WTC security speaks to the question of how explosives could have been placed in the three tall buildings that were demolished on 9/11.
- All four of the contractors that were involved in implementing Kroll’s security design for the WTC had done significant business in the Saudi kingdom. Stratesec, the company that installed the overall electronic security system at the WTC complex, had also managed security for Dulles airport, where Flight 77 took off, and for United Airlines, which owned two of the three other planes. For many reasons, the company’s managers should be primary suspects in the crimes of 9/11. Stratesec was in partnership with a large Saudi engineering and construction company to develop and conduct business in Saudi Arabia.
- Another interesting connection between Stratesec and Saudi Arabia was that, in the years leading up to 9/11, Stratesec held its annual shareholders’ meetings in an office that was leased by Saudi Arabia. This was an office in the Watergate Hotel occupied by the Saudi Embassy (run by Prince Bandar).
- The Bush and Bin Laden-financed Carlyle Group owned, through BDM International, the Vinnell Corporation, a mercenary operation that had extensive contracts and trained the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Several of Stratesec’s key employees, including its operating manager Barry McDaniel, came from BDM. In 1995, BDM’s Vinnell was one of the first targets of Al Qaeda, in Saudi Arabia.
- In the 1990s, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), run by Dick Cheney’s protégé Duane Andrews, trained the Saudi Navy and instructed Saudi military personnel at its company headquarters in San Diego. SAIC had a greater impact on counterterrorism programs in the United States than any other non-government entity and it profited greatly from 9/11.
- While SAIC was training the Saudi Navy, the Carlyle/BDM subsidiary Vinnell Corporation was training the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Simultaneously, Booz Allen Hamilton was managing the Saudi Marine Corps and running the Saudi Armed Forces Staff College.
- Salomon Smith Barney (SSB), the company that occupied all but ten floors of WTC building 7, was taken over by Citigroup in 1998 after Citigroup was taken over by Saudi Prince Alwaleed, in a deal brokered by The Carlyle Group. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney joined the advisory board for SSB just after Citigroup’s takeover and they only resigned in January 2001 to join the Bush Administration.
- The Saudi government was sued by thousands of 9/11 victim’s family members due to the suspicion that Saudi Arabia helped to finance Al Qaeda. The Saudis hired the law firm of Bush Administration insider James Baker to defend them in that lawsuit.
- The 9/11 families’ lawsuit against Saudi royals was thrown out on a technicality related to the ability to sue a foreign government and, later, the Obama Administration backed the Saudis during the appeal.
- The world’s leading insurance provider, Lloyd’s of London, filed a lawsuit alleging Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Lloyd’s dropped the lawsuit just days later without explanation.
- After 9/11, it became clear that Saudi officials were supporting terrorism. For example, in the case of the would-be “underwear bomber,” it was revealed that the suspect was working for the CIA and Saudi intelligence.
- Saudi Prince Bandar has been accused of coordinating an international ring of terrorism in his role as Saudi intelligence chief. From Egypt to Libya, and now in Syria, evidence suggests that Bandar Bush has led a network of terrorists around the globe, with U.S. support.
Therefore it is not surprising that people who hear claims of Saudi involvement in 9/11 wonder why the discussion remains so limited and always avoids the glaring implications those claims should entail.
Now that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have “reset” their rocky relationship, calls by U.S. leaders to release the “28 pages” may very well die down. Since the new Saudi King came to the U.S. a few weeks ago, the two governments have rediscovered that they are “close allies” and many new deals are in the works. It remains to be seen what cards U.S. and Saudi leaders will play in the ongoing game of terror and deception but discussions of hijacker financing will probably be left behind.
Reprieve | September 25, 2015
Lawyers at human rights NGO Reprieve yesterday filed an emergency motion demanding the US government release information which could exonerate a former Guantanamo detainee facing the possibility of charges in Morocco.
Younous Chekkouri, 47, was transferred to his native Morocco last week. He has been detained ever since and the prosecution in Morocco announced on Wednesday that he is now facing the possibility of charges of ‘attempting to disrupt the internal security of the country.’
It is believed that these charges are based on allegations made years ago by the US – almost every one of which was dropped during Younous’ habeas corpus proceedings in federal court. Yet almost all the files from the case remain held under seal by a Washington D.C. court. Without the files being released, Younous’ lawyers will not be able to defend him against the possible Moroccan charges.
Reprieve first began asking the U.S. government to release the files in 2009, and in 2011 presented a “priority list” of thirteen documents. In the nearly four years since, the government has released only one of the requested files. In the rules governing Guantanamo proceedings, the US is obliged to produce public versions of all filings. The emergency motion filed yesterday demands that the government make available all remaining information by October 1st.
The US government cleared Younous for release from Guantanamo in 2010, a process involving unanimous agreement by six US federal agencies – including the CIA, FBI, and Departments of State and Defense – that he poses no threat to the US or anyone else.
Cori Crider, attorney for Younous and a director at human rights NGO Reprieve, said: “The Americans’ spurious allegations against Younous have already collapsed once when examined in US federal court and it is entirely unfair for him to face any further charges. Yet Younous is now living a Groundhog Day from hell where he may face yet more years of wrongful imprisonment because the US has failed to release information that I could use, this time in a Moroccan court, to prove his innocence yet again. So we are now forced to fight tooth and nail for information that should have been released years ago.”
Reprieve | September 23, 2015
Younous Chekkouri, who was released from Guantanamo last week, is facing the possibility of charges in Morocco that his lawyer has described as ‘utterly baseless’.
The prosecution in Morocco today announced that Younous – who has been held in detention since his release last week – is facing the possibility of charges of ‘attempts to disrupt the security of the country’. A judge will decide in two weeks whether to formally charge him. Meanwhile he has been placed in ‘provisional detention’ in Salé without bail.
Younous, 47, was cleared by the US government in 2010 – a process involving unanimous agreement by six federal agencies including the Departments of State and Defense and the CIA and FBI. He was never charged with a crime. His petition for habeas corpus was litigated through to a hearing, and saw the US government drop almost every allegation it had originally made against Younous.
Cori Crider, Younous’ attorney and director at Reprieve, said: “Younous facing charges is nothing short of an absolute disgrace. The US government, responsible for his being in this position in the first place, saw fit to clear him for release from Guantanamo following an exhaustive review. They never charged him with a crime and indeed they dropped almost every one of the ridiculous allegations they ever made against him while his case was being litigated in federal court. Any charges the Moroccan prosecutors are attempting to lay at Younous’ door are utterly baseless and must be revoked at once. Younous Chekkouri must go free.”
In late August 2013, the Obama administration lurched to the brink of invading Syria after blaming a Sarin gas attack outside Damascus on President Bashar al-Assad’s government, but evidence – reported by investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh – implicates Turkish intelligence and extremist Syrian rebels instead.
The significance of Hersh’s report is twofold: first, it shows how Official Washington’s hawks and neocons almost stampeded the United States into another Mideast war under false pretenses, and second, the story’s publication in the London Review of Books reveals how hostile the mainstream U.S. media remains toward information that doesn’t comport with its neocon-dominated conventional wisdom.
In other words, it appears that Official Washington and its mainstream press have absorbed few lessons from the disastrous Iraq War, which was launched in 2003 under the false claim that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was planning to share hidden stockpiles of WMD with al-Qaeda, when there was no WMD nor any association between Hussein and al-Qaeda.
A decade later in August and September 2013, as a new war hysteria broke out over Assad allegedly crossing President Barack Obama’s “red line” against using chemical weapons, it fell to a few Internet sites, including our own Consortiumnews.com, to raise questions about the administration’s allegations that pinned the Aug. 21 attack on the Syrian government.
Not only did the U.S. government fail to provide a single piece of verifiable evidence to support its claims, a much-touted “vector analysis” by Human Rights Watch and The New York Times – supposedly tracing the flight paths of two rockets back to a Syrian military base northwest of Damascus – collapsed when it became clear that only one rocket carried Sarin and its range was less than one-third the distance between the army base and the point of impact. That meant the rocket carrying the Sarin appeared to have originated in rebel territory.
There were other reasons to doubt the Obama administration’s casus belli, including the irrationality of Assad ordering a chemical weapons strike outside Damascus just as United Nations inspectors were unpacking at a local hotel with plans to investigate an earlier attack that the Syrian government blamed on the rebels.
Assad would have known that a chemical attack would have diverted the inspectors (as it did) and would force President Obama to declare that his “red line” had been crossed, possibly prompting a massive U.S. retaliatory strike (as it almost did).
Plans for War
Hersh’s article describes how devastating the U.S. aerial bombardment was supposed to be, seeking to destroy Assad’s military capability, which, in turn, could have cleared the way to victory for the Syrian rebels, whose fortunes had been declining.
Hersh wrote: “Under White House pressure, the US attack plan evolved into ‘a monster strike’: two wings of B-52 bombers were shifted to airbases close to Syria, and navy submarines and ships equipped with Tomahawk missiles were deployed.
“‘Every day the target list was getting longer,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘The Pentagon planners said we can’t use only Tomahawks to strike at Syria’s missile sites because their warheads are buried too far below ground, so the two B-52 air wings with two-thousand pound bombs were assigned to the mission. Then we’ll need standby search-and-rescue teams to recover downed pilots and drones for target selection. It became huge.’
“The new target list was meant to ‘completely eradicate any military capabilities Assad had’, the former intelligence official said. The core targets included electric power grids, oil and gas depots, all known logistic and weapons depots, all known command and control facilities, and all known military and intelligence buildings.”
According to Hersh, the administration’s war plans were disrupted by U.S. and British intelligence analysts who uncovered evidence that the Sarin was likely not released by the Assad government and indications that Turkey’s intelligence services may have collaborated with radical rebels to deploy the Sarin as a false-flag operation.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan sided with the Syrian opposition early in the civil conflict and provided a vital supply line to the al-Nusra Front, a violent group of Sunni extremists with ties to al-Qaeda and increasingly the dominant rebel fighting force. By 2012, however, internecine conflicts among rebel factions had contributed to Assad’s forces gaining the upper hand.
The role of Islamic radicals – and the fear that advanced U.S. weapons might end up in the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists – unnerved President Obama who pulled back on U.S. covert support for the rebels. That frustrated Erdoğan who pressed Obama to expand U.S. involvement, according to Hersh’s account.
Hersh wrote: “By the end of 2012, it was believed throughout the American intelligence community that the rebels were losing the war. ‘Erdoğan was pissed,’ the former intelligence official said, ‘and felt he was left hanging on the vine. It was his money and the [U.S] cut-off was seen as a betrayal.’”
‘Red Line’ Worries
Recognizing Obama’s political sensitivity over his “red line” pledge, the Turkish government and Syrian rebels saw chemical weapons as the way to force the President’s hand, Hersh reported, writing: “In spring 2013 US intelligence learned that the Turkish government – through elements of the MIT, its national intelligence agency, and the Gendarmerie, a militarised law-enforcement organisation – was working directly with al-Nusra and its allies to develop a chemical warfare capability.
“‘The MIT was running the political liaison with the rebels, and the Gendarmerie handled military logistics, on-the-scene advice and training – including training in chemical warfare,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Stepping up Turkey’s role in spring 2013 was seen as the key to its problems there. Erdoğan knew that if he stopped his support of the jihadists it would be all over. The Saudis could not support the war because of logistics – the distances involved and the difficulty of moving weapons and supplies. Erdoğan’s hope was to instigate an event that would force the US to cross the red line. But Obama didn’t respond [to small chemical weapons attacks] in March and April.’”
The dispute between Erdoğan and Obama came to a head at a White House meeting on May 16, 2013, when Erdoğan unsuccessfully lobbied for a broader U.S. military commitment to the rebels, Hersh reported.
Three months later, in the early hours of Aug. 21, 2013, a mysterious missile delivered a lethal load of Sarin into a suburb east of Damascus. The Obama administration and the mainstream U.S. press corps immediately jumped to the conclusion that the Syrian government had launched the attack, which the U.S. government claimed killed at least “1,429” people although the number of victims cited by doctors and other witnesses on the scene was much lower.
Yet, with the media stampede underway, anyone who questioned the U.S. government’s case was trampled under charges of being an “Assad apologist.” But we few skeptics continued to point out the lack of evidence to support the rush to war. Obama also encountered political resistance in both the British Parliament and U.S. Congress, but hawks in the U.S. State Department were itching for a new war.
Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a bellicose speech on Aug. 30, 2013, amid expectations that the U.S. bombs would start flying within days. But Obama hesitated, first referring the war issue to Congress and later accepting a compromise brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin to have Assad surrender all of his chemical weapons even as Assad continued denying any role in the Aug. 21 attacks.
Obama took the deal but continued asserting publicly that Assad was guilty and disparaging anyone who thought otherwise. In a formal address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013, Obama declared, “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.”
Suspicions of Turkey
However, by autumn 2013, U.S. intelligence analysts were among those who had joined in the “insult to human reason” as their doubts about Assad’s guilt grew. Hersh cited an ex-intelligence official saying: “the US intelligence analysts who kept working on the events of 21 August ‘sensed that Syria had not done the gas attack. But the 500 pound gorilla was, how did it happen? The immediate suspect was the Turks, because they had all the pieces to make it happen.’
“As intercepts and other data related to the 21 August attacks were gathered, the intelligence community saw evidence to support its suspicions. ‘We now know it was a covert action planned by Erdoğan’s people to push Obama over the red line,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus when the UN inspectors’ – who arrived in Damascus on 18 August to investigate the earlier use of gas – ‘were there. The deal was to do something spectacular.
“‘Our senior military officers have been told by the DIA and other intelligence assets that the sarin was supplied through Turkey – that it could only have gotten there with Turkish support. The Turks also provided the training in producing the sarin and handling it.’
“Much of the support for that assessment came from the Turks themselves, via intercepted conversations in the immediate aftermath of the attack. ‘Principal evidence came from the Turkish post-attack joy and back-slapping in numerous intercepts. Operations are always so super-secret in the planning but that all flies out the window when it comes to crowing afterwards. There is no greater vulnerability than in the perpetrators claiming credit for success.’”
According to the thinking of Turkish intelligence, Hersh reported, “Erdoğan’s problems in Syria would soon be over: ‘Off goes the gas and Obama will say red line and America is going to attack Syria, or at least that was the idea. But it did not work out that way.’”
Hersh added that the U.S. intelligence community has been reluctant to pass on to Obama the information contradicting the Assad-did-it scenario. Hersh wrote:
“The post-attack intelligence on Turkey did not make its way to the White House. ‘Nobody wants to talk about all this,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘There is great reluctance to contradict the president, although no all-source intelligence community analysis supported his leap to convict. There has not been one single piece of additional evidence of Syrian involvement in the sarin attack produced by the White House since the bombing raid was called off. My government can’t say anything because we have acted so irresponsibly. And since we blamed Assad, we can’t go back and blame Erdoğan.’”
Like the bloody U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the near U.S. air war against Syria in 2013 is a cautionary tale for Americans regarding the dangers that result when the U.S. government and mainstream media dance off hand in hand, leaping to conclusions and laughing at doubters.
The key difference between the war in Iraq and the averted war on Syria was that President Obama was not as eager as his predecessor, George W. Bush, to dress himself up as a “war president.” Another factor was that Obama had the timely assistance of Russian President Putin to chart a course that skirted the abyss.
Given how close the U.S. neocons came to maneuvering a reluctant Obama into another “regime change” war on a Mideast adversary of Israel, you can understand why they are so angry with Putin and why they were so eager to hit back at him in Ukraine. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
For years the 9/11 Truth movement has been vainly pleading with mainstream media – and the “alternative” 9/11-Truth-rejecting media (which we’ll include for our purposes as mainstream) to cover any of the endless, obvious problems with any of the Official 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (OCT) tales we’ve been told. Now, all of a sudden, these same mainstream media, echoing prestigious players like former US Senator Bob Graham, are on the rampage about a “9/11 cover-up,” and are pushing for the release of 28 redacted pages from the 2002 Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/11 Inquiry’s report! So…let’s all of us 9/11 Truthers jump aboard this fast moving train with both feet, right?
The Truth movement has gradually been gaining a foothold with the public; a growing number of people countenance some kind of government role in 9/11 and/or its cover-up. Suspicion has likewise grown about the role played by Bush-administration neocons and their Zionist bedfellows. After 15 years of staunch media refusal to report the flagrantly obvious holes in the various OCT stories we’ve been fed, why is this particular issue suddenly headline news? Why at this particular juncture? And how does it just happen to be spearheaded by one of the major contributors to the initial coverup?
Let’s examine the question of why the Deep State might want this story heated up to a fever pitch:
It is now commonly assumed among the public that those 28 pages in some way implicate the Saudi government in the events of 9/11, probably by financing the OCT-alleged hijackers. But consider the not unlikely possibility that the real players in 9/11 were not the Saudis, but rather the Bush neocons and their Israeli partners in crime. If they were looking for a way to deflect increasing public doubt about the OTC, blaming the Saudis would be an excellent choice.
Professional magicians employ misdirection – irrelevant bodily motions and various props – to distract the audience’s attention from what they’re really up to. Some of us in the movement consider the 28 Pages campaign to be just such a classical misdirection, so that the Saudis can be pulled out of the hat as the new scapegoats for 9/11. The benefits of such minor modification of the OTC outweigh its risks:
Risks and benefits
Sure, there’s some risk involved. Releasing the 28 pages (if they say what it is widely believed they will say) would, after all, make it obvious to the public that the government has been involved in some kind of cover-up. Hardly a surprise to the Truth movement, or to that majority of Americans who have lost confidence in the official narrative. But let’s remember that the government survived the Snowden/NSA disclosures virtually unscathed – Big Brother can now legally get all the info he wants, and polls have indicated that many Americans are absorbing this “new normal” by censoring themselves online. So another such embarrassment might be just as easily spun and exploited to the real perpetrators’ advantage.
On the other hand, the benefits of such misdirection would be huge:
- Everyone’s focus would now be on the Saudis and off the Neocons and their Zionist bedfellows.
- The core OCT mythology would not only remain intact, but become solidified in the public mind (i.e., the catastrophic events of 9/11 were entirely the result of 19 hijackers’ actions, whose commandeered airliner crashes were the efficient cause of numerous fire-induced building collapses).
Why does this matter?
On the broadest level of geopolitics, the OCT myth is the basis for Western Islamophobia and the perpetual “Global War on Terror.” Blaming the Saudis only amplifies the assumption of “international Islamic terrorism,” still omitting all reference to Western players.
It is patently clear that the hijacker aspect of 9/11 is logically unsustainable (see below). Whether or not these men ever really existed, whether or not they behaved as devout Muslims, whether or not they were on the planes and whether or not they were financed by the Saudis, Pakistan’s ISI or anyone else – these may be useful questions for some purposes, but not for determining who was ultimately behind 9/11. Moving the public perception in the direction of blaming the Saudis for 9/11 because they supported the “hijackers” – the effect of 28 Pages campaign-support websites like hr14.org, – means abandoning the ever-widening trail of truth so relentlessly blazed by the 9/11 Truth movement, a trail leading close enough to their doors that the real culprits are beginning to feel some heat.
Yet movement veterans who should know better are falling all over each other to jump on the campaign bandwagon, and indeed, to be seen as leading the parade for “HR14,” the Congressional resolution demanding that the administration declassify those 28 pages! As 9/11 activists, they are well aware that the whole OCT story is a fabrication, and that the Saudis could not possibly have masterminded 9/11. Here’s their rationalization in a nutshell: Because the mainstream media are suddenly embracing the topic, any wide public revelation of a “cover-up” will eventually lead to an unraveling of the real cover-up, and therefore represents Truth movement’s first – and perhaps last – real opportunity to break into the wider realm of acceptable public opinion. But meanwhile, to “protect” the politicians (and the uninformed public?) whose support is needed for the passage of this bill, these websites, whilst making a pretense of advancing the cause of 9/11 Truth, implicitly embrace the long-debunked OCT (now twisted ever so slightly to incriminate the Saudis).
But consider the past fourteen years of consistent derogatory treatment by the corporate (and even many “alternative”) media of those who seriously question the basic OCT myth, and the media consolidation this represents – the control of these sources by corporate directors and the Deep State agents who write their playbook. These people are not fools – they don’t launch a propaganda ploy without Plans B, C, etc. in place for potential damage control. Based on the mainstream media’s track record of the past fourteen years, the chances of their running away with this story in a way that genuinely promotes 9/11 Truth seem vanishingly small. And the Achilles’ heel of such an overly optimistic hope is that the solid research and evidence gathered by the Truth movement fall outside (and contradict) the Saudi-financed hijackers-dunnit scenario, so the media is unlikely to seriously reference any of it in its treatment of any forthcoming 28-pages “revelation.”
Looking ahead, where will this leave the Truth movement? How is it going respond if the 28 pages say exactly what people are expecting them to say, and movement leaders are credited for their release? Will these same activists now tooting the horn for hr14 be able to credibly turn around and say “Wait, this information is misleading because ‘the real 9/11’ was something far beyond the abilities of the Saudis to manage!”? And will the media do an about-face with them, and obligingly lavish coverage on what it has complicitly covered up since 9/11?
About those “hijackers”
Our position on the irrelevance of Saudi “financing” admittedly hinges on the question of the alleged “hijackers.” If these alleged 19 hijacked and flew the jetliners in question, Saudi involvement might be argued to have significance (albeit still not the key to 9/11 perpetration). But there are a host of reasons for rejecting the entire OCT hijack scenario:
- The “hijackers’” publicly documented behavior was not that of devout Muslims 
- There is no credible time-stamped video record of them boarding planes, much less arriving at the departing airports. 
- The stories told about Muhammed Atta and whomever it was who allegedly accompanied him to Portland, Maine changed constantly. 
- There is no original flight manifest showing Middle Eastern names. 
- The FBI came up with a list of hijackers within just a few hours of the first 9/11 event, a number of whom they replaced with substitutes shortly afterwards. 
- The transmission of cockpit comments of “hijackers” heard by the control towers could have been generated anywhere.
- The simple button-press sequence (“squawk”) signaling a hijacking was not executed on any of the four planes. 
- The initially-alleged cellphone calls that reported hijackings in progress were proven in most cases to have been technically impossible; most were later changed to on-board phone calls, some from planes that didn’t have on-board phones, and some calls (per the FBI) were never completed or didn’t exist – particularly the only one referencing “box cutters.” 
- The conditions in the planes’ passenger cabins that would have existed under the alleged flight behavior of the planes at the time of the calls were completely inconsistent with the background sounds on the calls and the behavior of the alleged callers .
- With one exception, the alleged “pilots” had never flown a jet-liner; one had flown a simulator of a different plane with a completely different cockpit layout; the one who allegedly made the almost-impossible maneuver over the Pentagon had been declared by his instructors to be unable to even fly a single-engine plane. 
- The claims of finding a “hijacker” passport unscathed on the ground in NYC, and undamaged red bandanas (indicative of the wrong Muslim sect, in any case) in Pennsylvania, given the alleged physical reality of those crashes, are absurd on their face. 
- With respect to the question of how 9/11 could have happened without human hijackers, it is vital to note that as of 2001, the technology for complete remote takeover, isolation and control (takeoff, flying, landing) of commercial jetliners was well advanced and had been fully tested in the types of aircraft involved in 9/11, and the air traffic auto-pilot navigation lanes in the sky were precise to within a few feet. 
The list goes on. . . As one considers each piece of evidence, the chance that “hijackings” took place approaches zero. The real role of the alleged hijackers is not yet known – those with documented flying lessons may very well have been unwitting patsies. In any case, the question of who might have been financing their stay in this country, Saudi or otherwise, is at best tangential to the larger picture of what really happened on 9/11. No matter what the motive, then, any attempt to persuade people that the final answer to the question of 9/11 perpetration lies in this direction can only be construed as dangerous misdirection. The real price already being paid by the Truth movement is the subversion of unwitting activists who help promote such meretricious campaign propaganda, thereby betraying the movement’s hard-won, fact-based alternative perspective.
The 28 Pages campaign: 9/11 Truth bonanza or limited hangout?
Our own concern about the 28 Pages campaign was triggered by the emergence of several websites supporting it, which hold out the promise that the 28 pages will answer the question of who was really behind 9/11 (and that this will turn out to be Saudi Arabia). Examples are 28pages.org and most especially hr14.org. As the latter is controlled by a veteran 9/11 truther, we appealed to him as fellow activists – an ad hoc group of 9/11 activists sent him a letter critiquing the website from the standpoint of 9/11 Truth, requesting specific revisions of its message. Because his reply failed to substantially address the issues we raised, we have now published it as an open letter.
We are hardly the first to find serious problems with the direction of the 28 Pages campaign. Perhaps the first notable critique came from the blog of Kevin Ryan; whilst this early criticism was on the milder side, its excoriation of the leadership of the 28 Pages campaign – Bob Graham and his “CIA protege” Porter Goss – is not to be missed! Years earlier, in fact, Ryan had opined in Washington’s Blog : “Those redacted pages, and much of the 9/11 Commission report that followed, have always seemed to be a kind of ‘Get into Saudi Arabia free’ card for the powers that be.” Given the recent sea change in Saudi foreign policy – its nearer alignment with Russia and the BRICS bloc – such a prospect cannot be overlooked. What better way to incite public animosity towards the Saudis than by playing the tried and true 9/11 blame game?
Calling for the official release and publication of the 28 page classified section of the joint inquiry report pertaining to Saudi Arabia is an obvious red-herring. The objective is to confuse matters, create divisions within the 9/11 Truth movement and ultimately dispel the fact that the 9/11 attacks were a carefully organized False Flag event which was used to declare war on Afghanistan as well as usher in sweeping anti-terrorist legislation.
Both the Congressional inquiry as well the 9/11 Commission report are flawed, their objective was to sustain the official narrative that America was under attack on September 11, 2001. And Graham’s role in liaison with the CIA, is “damage control” with a view to protecting those who were behind the demolition of the WTC towers as well [as] sustaining the Al Qaeda legend, which constitutes the cornerstone of US military doctrine under the so-called “Global War on Terrorism”.
As the 28 Pages campaign unfolds, such scathing criticism has proven remarkably prescient. We urge our fellow 9/11 Truth activists to take it to heart, and to approach the 28 Pages campaign juggernaut, if at all, with extreme caution, so long as it faithfully clings to the OTC . Caveat emptor!!
- Agents of terror leave their mark on Sin City / Las Vegas workers recall the men they can’t forget; Kevin Fagan, SFGate, 4 Oct 2001 http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/04/MN102970.DTL * Terrorists partied with hooker at Hub-area hotel; Dave Wedge, Boston Herald, 10 Oct 2001 (retrieved from Wayback Machine 11 Sep 2015) http://web.archive.org/web/20011010224657/http://www.bostonherald.com/attack/investigation/ausprob10102001.htm * Suspects’ actions don’t add up; Jody Benjamin, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 16 Sep 2001 (retrieved from Wayback Machine 11 Sep 2015) http://web.archive.org/web/20010916150533/http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-warriors916.story * Welcome To Terrorland; Daniel Hopsicker (Trine Day, 2004) http://www.amazon.com/dp/0970659164/
- Point Video-2: Was the Airport Video of the Alleged AA 77 Hijackers Authentic?: Official 9/11 Videotaped Evidence; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-video-2/ * Point Video-1: The Alleged Security Videos of Mohamed Atta during a Mysterious Trip to Portland, Maine, September 10-11, 2001; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-video-1/
- 9/11 Contradictions: Mohamed Atta’s Mitsubishi and His Luggage; David Ray Griffin, Global Research, 9 May 2008 http://www.globalresearch.ca/9-11-contradictions-mohamed-atta-s-mitsubishi-and-his-luggage/8937
- The FBI took control of the original flight manifests and still refuses to release them, while the airlines defer to the FBI. It has been said that the following versions had the hijackers removed to spare the feelings of the victims’ relatives. The reader must draw his/her own conclusions. The following from CNN on 17 Sep 2001 were retrieved from Wayback Machine 11 Sep 2015 ) * Flight 11: https://web.archive.org/web/20010917033844/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/AA11.victims.html * Flight 175: https://web.archive.org/web/20010917034224/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/ua175.victims.html * Flight 77: https://web.archive.org/web/20010917033858/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/AA77.victims.html * Flight 93: https://web.archive.org/web/20010917033913/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/UA93.victims.html
- Not a shred of evidence that any 9/11 ‘hijackers’ boarded any planes; Craig McKee, Truth and Shadows https://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/hijackers-did-not-board-planes/
- Point Flt-1: A Claim Regarding Hijacked Passenger Jets; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-flt-1/
- * Project Achilles Report Parts One, Two and Three; A.K. Dewdney, 23 Jan – 19 Apr 2003 http://physics911.net/projectachilles/ * Point PC-3: Cell Phone Calls From the Planes: The First Official Account; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-pc-3/ * September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor, Part 1; Massimo Mazzucco, YouTube [at 1:38:35] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk&t=5915 * Point PC-4: Cell Phone Calls from the Planes: The Second Official Account; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-pc-4/ * Methodical Illusion Series with Rebekah Roth, Part 2 [1:57:50]; Wake Up To the Truth (BlogTalk Radio); 19 Nov 2014 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/911falseflags/2014/11/19/methodical-illusion-series-w-rebekah-roth-part-2 * Ted Olson’s Report of Phone Calls from Barbara Olson on 9/11: Three Official Denials; David Ray Griffin, Global Research, 1 Apr 2008 http://www.globalresearch.ca/ted-olson-s-report-of-phone-calls-from-barbara-olson-on-9-11-three-official-denials/8514
- Methodical Illusion Series with Rebekah Roth; Wake Up To the Truth (BlogTalk Radio); 17 Nov 2014 * Part 4 [17:50-1:09:50] http://www.blogtalkradio.com/911falseflags/2014/11/21/methodical-illusion-series-wrebekah-roth-part-4 * Part 3 [1:05:23-1:17:30, 1:28:00-1:31:15, 1:42:00-1:45:20] http://www.blogtalkradio.com/911falseflags/2014/11/20/methodical-illusion-series-w-rebekah-roth-part-3 * Part 1 [35:35-55:35] http://www.blogtalkradio.com/911falseflags/2014/11/18/methodical-illusion-series-wrebekah-roth-part-1
- Hani Hanjour: 9/11 Pilot Extraordinaire; What ReallyHappened http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/hanjour.html * September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor, Part 1; Massimo Mazzucco, YouTube [at 1:07:06] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk&t=4026
- FBI agent Dan Coleman explains how the passport of 9/11 hijacker Satam Al Suqami was “found”; 9/11 Blogger, 14 Nov 2011 http://911blogger.com/news/2011-11-14/fbi-agent-dan-coleman-explains-how-passport-911-hijacker-satam-al-suqami-was-found * Jihadist bandana – the “in” fashion for fall; Pilots for 9/11 Truth, 8 Nov 2006 http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum/lofiversion/index.php?t1383.html
- Plausibility of 9/11 Aircraft Attacks Generated by GPS-Guided Aircraft Autopilot Systems; Aidan Monaghan (with extensive references), Oct 2008 http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/AutopilotSystemsMonaghan.pdf
Dick Atlee is a member of the Maine 9/11 Truth group.
Ken Freeland is a member of Houston 9/11 Truth (http://houston911truth.net/) and is facilitator of the monthly 9/11 Truth and Other Deep State Crimes Teleconference (http://houston911truth.net/9-11TruthTeleconferenceArchives.html).
Cheryl Curtiss is a member of the Connecticut 9/11 Truth group and host of the radio show “9/11 Wake-Up Call” produced at the University of Hartford and archived at http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/4212.
September 10, 2015
On the tenth anniversary of the Attacks of September 11th, 2001, expert witnesses gathered at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada to provide evidence-based research that called into question the official story of 9/11. This was known as The Toronto Hearings on 9/11.
Over a period of four days, these experts in Structural Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, and History gave researched and professional testimony to an international panel of distinguished judges. The panel of judges, in conjunction with the steering committee would go on to publish their final analysis of the evidence provided, which called for a new investigation into the Attacks of September 11th, 2001.
This film is a summary of the strongest evidence given over the four days of hearings. To see the hearings in their entirety please visit http://torontohearings.org/ or read the final report available on the aforementioned website.
For the full 6 hour DVD visit:
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These politicians become much more honest after they retire. Former Afghan PM Karzai hints at the fictitious and entirely malleable concept of “Al-Qaeda” and even says he “doesn’t believe or disbelieve” the US government version of 9/11.
Millions of refugees from Washington’s wars are currently over-running Europe. Washington’s 14-year and ongoing slaughter of Muslims and destruction of their countries are war crimes for which the US government’s official 9/11 conspiracy theory was the catalyst. Factual evidence and science do not support Washington’s conspiracy theory. The 9/11 Commission did not conduct an investigation. It was not permitted to investigate. The Commission sat and listened to the government’s story and wrote it down. Afterwards, the chairman and co-chairman of the Commission said that the Commission “was set up to fail.” For a factual explanation of 9/11, watch this film.
Here is a presentation by Pilots For 9/11 Truth:
Here is an extensive examination of many of the aspects of 9/11.
Phil Restino of the Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace wants to know why national antiwar organizations buy into the official 9/11 story when the official story is the basis for the wars that antiwar organizations oppose. Some are beginning to wonder if ineffectual peace groups are really Homeland Security or CIA fronts?
The account below of the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory reads like a parody, but in fact is an accurate summary of the official 9/11 conspiracy theory. It was posted as a comment in the online UK Telegraph on September 12, 2009, in response to Charlie Sheen’s request to President Obama to conduct a real investigation into what happened on September 11, 2001.
The Official Version of 9/11 goes something like this:
Directed by a beardy-guy from a cave in Afghanistan, nineteen hard-drinking, coke-snorting, devout Muslims enjoy lap dances before their mission to meet Allah. Using nothing more than craft knifes, they overpower cabin crew, passengers and pilots on four planes.
And hangover or not, they manage to give the world’s most sophisticated air defence system the slip.
Unfazed by leaving their “How to Fly a Passenger Jet” guide in the car at the airport, they master the controls in no-time and score direct hits on two towers, causing THREE to collapse completely.
The laws of physics fail, and the world watches in awe as asymmetrical damage and scattered low temperature fires cause steel-framed buildings to collapse symmetrically through their own mass at free-fall speed, for the first time in history.
Despite their dastardly cunning and superb planning, they give their identity away by using explosion-proof passports, which survive the destruction of steel and concrete and fall to the ground where they are quickly discovered lying on top of the mass of debris.
Meanwhile in Washington
Hani Hanjour, having previously flunked Cessna flying school, gets carried away with all the success of the day and suddenly finds incredible abilities behind the controls of a jet airliner. Instead of flying straight down into the large roof area of the Pentagon, he decides to show off a little. Executing an incredible 270 degree downward spiral, he levels off to hit the low facade of the Pentagon. Without ruining the nicely mowed lawn and at a speed just too fast to capture on video.
In the skies above Pennsylvania
Desperate to talk to loved ones before their death, some passengers use sheer willpower to connect mobile calls that would not be possible until several years later.
And following a heroic attempt by some to retake control of Flight 93, the airliner crashes into a Pennsylvania field leaving no trace of engines, fuselage or occupants except for the standard issue Muslim terrorist bandana.
During these events
President Bush continues to read My Pet Goat to a class of primary school children.
In New York
World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein blesses his own foresight in insuring the buildings against terrorist attack only six weeks previously.
The Neoconservatives are overjoyed by the arrival of the “New Pearl Harbor,” the necessary catalyst for launching their pre-planned wars.
Point H-2: The Claim that ‘Able Danger’ Failed to Identify Mohamed Atta’s Probable Presence in the US in January 2000
Able Danger was the code name for a high-level intelligence operation co-founded by Generals Hugh Shelton and Peter Schoomaker, Commanders in Chief of the Defense Department’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
Telling the story about Able Danger takes time, but it is important, because its work strongly indicated that the man identified as “Mohamed Atta” had been in the United States in January-February 2000, about 18 months before the 9/11 attacks, whereas the official story said he arrived in June, 2000.
Furthermore, the official story claimed that US intelligence didn’t know he was in the country before 9/11, whereas an important part of US intelligence knew he had been there since Jan-Feb, 2000. (For the reason why we speak of “the man identified as ‘Mohamed Atta,’” see the footnote. )
However, the Able Danger evidence was consistently ignored by government officials; the 9/11 Commission failed to mention the evidence; and the Defense Department’s Inspector General covered it up.  Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, called the 9/11 Commission’s claim that it was not historically significant “astounding.”
Here are the details of this story:
Tasked with collecting open-source Internet data on worldwide al-Qaeda networks and terrorist financing, this massive “data- mining” operation employing 80 people began in late 1999.
It used a link-mapping strategy to download and analyze data from thousands of websites. The terrorist network data were then presented visually on wall charts.
The Able Danger leadership team included:
- Navy Captain Scott Phillpott (the head of Able Danger)
- US Army Lt. Col. Anthony E. Shaffer (on loan from the Defense Intelligence Agency)
- Erik Kleinsmith (Army Major and the Chief of Intelligence of the Land Information Warfare Activity)
- James D. Smith (a civilian defense contractor from Orion Scientific Systems)
- Dr. Eileen Preisser (Dual PhD, analytical lead, from the Land Information Warfare Activity)
By January-February 2000, the team had discovered the surprising probability of al-Qaeda members within a terrorist cell in Brooklyn. 
In mid-2000, Lt. Col. Shaffer was asked by Captain Phillpott to open communications between the head of Able Danger and the FBI in order to collaboratively take down the cell in Brooklyn. However, SOCOM attorneys rejected this effort three times, leaving the FBI unaware of information that suggested the man identified as Atta was inside the U.S. in early 2000. 
Soon after 9/11, when photos of the suspected terrorists were released, Phillpott, Shaffer, Preisser, and Smith were shocked to recognize alleged lead hijacker Mohamed Atta and two other alleged hijackers from an Able Danger chart.
Two weeks later, Dr. Preisser, along with three Republican Congressmen – Curt Weldon, Chris Shays, and Dan Burton – showed the “Atta chart” to Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley in the White House, who said he would show it to President Bush. 
In October 2003, Lt. Col. Shaffer contacted 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow, while both were in Afghanistan, to report that Able Danger had identified Atta over a year before the attacks.
In March 2004, Shaffer’s Defense Intelligence Agency security clearance was suspended, preventing him from further accessing the documents. 
In June 2005, Congressman Curt Weldon (Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees) told about Able Danger in an interview with the Norristown Times Herald,  and in a subsequent speech on the floor of the House he called for an investigation. 
Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, which had not mentioned Able Danger in its July 2004 final report, stated in August 2005 that Able Danger was not “historically significant.” 
One day before a 2005 U.S. Senate Hearing on the matter, key Able Danger witnesses Shaffer, Phillpott and Smith were placed under a gag order by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. 
At the same Senate Hearing, Able Danger team member Erik Kleinsmith testified that he was ordered, under Army oversight regulations, to destroy all 2.5 terabytes of the Able Danger material, which he did in May or June of 2000. 
In October 2005, Congressman Weldon called for “a full independent investigation by the Inspector General [IG] of the Pentagon.”  The IG investigation reported that the five Able Danger witness “recollections were not accurate.” 
The Official Account
- As The 9/11 Commission Report informed us, Mohamed Atta was the “tactical leader of the 9/11 plot.”  He first arrived in the United States on a tourist visa, June 3, 2000.  The 9/11 Commission also said that “American intelligence agencies were unaware of Mr. Atta until the day of the attacks.” 
- In August 2005, a year after the 9/11 Commission had closed, Commissioners Kean and Hamilton explained to the media why Able Danger had not been included in The 9/11 Commission Report:
- They had been informed about Able Danger in 2003, but were “never told that it had identified Mr. Atta and the others as threats.”  Although the project leader Captain Phillpott was interviewed by the Commission about Atta in July 2004, his “knowledge and credibility” were not “sufficiently reliable” to warrant further investigation of Able Danger, so they concluded that the project was not “historically significant.” 
- When the Commission asked the Pentagon for all its documents relating to Able Danger, “none of the documents turned over to the Commission mention Mohamed Atta or any of the other future hijackers.” 
According to an Associated Press story reported in mid-September 2005:
“The commission’s former chairman, Thomas Kean, said there was no evidence anyone in the government knew about Atta before Sept. 11, 2001. … Kean said the recollections of the intelligence officers cannot be verified by any document.”“ ‘Bluntly, it just didn’t happen and that’s the conclusion of all 10 of us,’ said a former commissioner, former Senator Slade Gorton.” 
- Although several of Able Danger’s officers and intelligence analysts had been scheduled to testify at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee September 21, 2005, the Defense Department said that open testimony “would not be appropriate [because of] security concerns.” 
- In a September 2006 investigative report, the DOD Office of the Inspector General (IG) wrote:“We concluded that prior to September 11, 2001, Able Danger team members did not identify Mohammed [sic] Atta or any other 9/11 hijacker. While we interviewed four witnesses who claimed to have seen a chart depicting Mohammed Atta and possibly other terrorists or ‘cells’ involved in 9/11, we determined that their recollections were not accurate.” 
The Best Evidence
I. Regarding Mohamed Atta’s Date of Arrival in the United States:
- Three senior staff from the Able Danger project gave written testimony to a September 2005 Senate Hearing that Mohamed Atta was identified as a potential member of a terrorist cell in New York in January-February 2000, four months earlier than the June 2000 date stated by the official account. A fourth member of the project, Mr. Kleinsmith, was asked during the same Hearing:“Are you in a position to evaluate the credibility of Captain Philpott [sic], Colonel Shaffer, Mr. Westphal, Ms. Preisser, or Mr. J.D. Smith, when they say they saw Mohammed [sic] Atta on the chart?”Mr. Kleinsmith: “Yes, sir. I believe them implicitly from the time that I had worked with all of them.” 
- After 9/11, civilian sightings of Atta during the spring of 2000 were reported in the news:
- Johnelle Bryant of the US Department of Agriculture, talking to Brian Ross of ABC News “in defiance of direct orders from the USDA’s Washington headquarters,” said that Atta came into her office “sometime between the end of April and the middle of May 2000,” asking for a loan to buy a small airplane (which she refused to give). Bryant reported that when she wrote down his name, she spelled it A-T-T-A-H, leading him to say: “No, A-T-T-A, as in Atta boy!” 
- In April 2000 and into the summer, Atta was, according to the head of security and a reference librarian, seen repeatedly using the computers in the Portland Maine Public Library. 
- A federal investigator reported to Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Atta and another hijacker rented rooms in Brooklyn and the Bronx in the spring of 2000. A senior Justice Department official reported that Atta’s trail in Brooklyn began with a parking ticket issued to a rental car he was driving. 
II. Regarding the reasons given in the Kean-Hamilton 2005 statement for not including Able Danger in The 9/11 Commission Report:
- The 9/11 Commission staff members were briefed twice by Able Danger project members:
- The first briefing was by Colonel Anthony Shaffer on October 23, 2003. Although he was no longer with the Able Danger project, he was given clearance to meet with 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow and some Commission staff members who were visiting Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan, where Shaffer was stationed.In an hour-long meeting, Shaffer told Commission staff about the Able Danger project and how it had identified Atta in early 2000. In 2005, answering the Kean-Hamilton claim that he had not mentioned Atta to the Commission, Shaffer insisted that he had named Atta, saying: “I kept my talking points (from the meeting). And I’m confident about what I said.” 
- The second briefing was by Navy Captain Scott Phillpott (who had held four US Naval commands) on July 13, 2004. Phillpott, the leader of Able Danger, was interviewed by Commission staff member Dieter Snell.  Although Phillpott’s statement clearly reinforced Shaffer’s October 2003 statement, The 9/11 Commission Report had included neither, because as mentioned above, the Report said that Captain Phillpott’s “knowledge and credibility” were not “sufficiently reliable” to warrant further investigation of Able Danger. 
- Kean and Hamilton also rejected Able Danger’s Atta claim on grounds that the Pentagon records contained no documentary evidence. They thus disregarded the consistent briefings and testimony from four members of the project’s senior management team. A clue to why may be provided by Anthony Shaffer’s report (backed up by Curt Weldon; see IV-a below) that when Christopher Kojm, Deputy Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, was asked by Congressman Curt Weldon’s chief of staff why the Commission had not included Able Danger in its report, Kojm replied, “It did not fit with the story we wanted to tell.” 
- With regard to the Commission’s claim that Able Danger was not historically significant, former FBI Director Louis Freeh said that “[t]he Able Danger intelligence, if confirmed, is undoubtedly the most relevant fact of the entire post-9/11 inquiry,” calling the Commission’s claim “astounding.” 
III. Regarding the Pentagon concern that “it is simply not possible to discuss Able Danger in any great detail in an open public forum” such as the Senate Judiciary Committee:
- Phillpott, Shaffer and Smith had already made their written submissions when testifying before the September 21, 2005, Senate Hearing on Able Danger.
- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said he was surprised by the Pentagon’s decision because “so much of this is already in the public domain,”  and “[t]hat looks to me like it may be obstruction of the committee’s activities.” 
IV. Regarding the Inspector-General’s 2006 conclusion that the Able Danger team’s recollection of an Atta chart was not accurate:
- In late June 2005, Congressman Curt Weldon, during an address to the House, had presented an enlarged version of the chart that he had received from Dr. Eileen Preisser and had then given to Stephen Hadley in the White House. Pointing out Mohamed Atta’s name in the center of the chart, Weldon had asked: “Why is there no mention, Mr. Speaker, of a recommendation in September of 2000 to take out Mohammed [sic] Atta’s cell which would have detained three of the terrorists who struck us? We have to ask the question, why have these issues not been brought forth before this day? I had my Chief of Staff call the 9/11 Commission staff and ask the question: Why did you not mention Able Danger in your report? The Deputy Chief of Staff [Christopher Kojm] said, well, we looked at it, but we did not want to go down that direction.So the question, Mr. Speaker, is why did they not want to go down that direction? Where will that lead us? Who made the decision to tell our military not to pursue Mohamed Atta?” 
- In late August, 2005, three members of the Able Danger team had gone public, confirming the Atta chart: Defense intelligence analyst Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer,  project leader Scott Phillpott,  and defense contractor James D. Smith, saying he was “absolutely positive that Atta was on our chart.”  Important testimony from Smith came in a Hearing of the House Arms Services Committee on February 15, 2006. Explaining that he had used Arab intermediaries in Los Angeles to buy a photograph of Atta, Smith added that it was one of some 40 photos of al-Qaeda members on a chart that he had given to Pentagon officials in 2000.  Smith also said: “I have recollection of a visual chart that identified associations of known terrorist Omar Abdul-Rahman within the New York City geographic area. … Mohamed Atta’s picture … was on the chart. … The particular Atta chart is no longer available, as it was destroyed in an office move that I had in 2004. [Smith later, explaining to the Pentagon’s Inspector General how his Atta chart was destroyed, said: [I]t had been up there so long I had quite a lot of tape up there because it had been rolled up. In the process the tape was tearing the chart. … It shredded itself as I was trying to pull it off the wall carefully … so I just threw it away.”  During questioning by Weldon, the following exchange had occurred: “Weldon: Mr. Smith? I have direct recollection of the chart because I had a copy up until 2004. … At the time, after 9/11 when the pictures were released in newspapers and I did the compare on the chart, when I saw [Atta’s] picture there, I was extremely elated and, to anyone that would listen to me, I showed them the chart that was in my possession. Weldon: How sure are you that it was Mohammed Atta’s name and picture [on the chart]? Smith: I’m absolutely certain. I used to look at it every morning …Weldon: And was that the chart you think that was given to me that I gave to the White House?Smith: Yes, sir. It was.
Weldon: And you’re aware that when I gave that chart to the White House, Dan Burton, the chairman of the Government Ops Committee, was with me and stated to the New York Times, that he actually showed the chart to Steve Hadley and explained the linkages?
Smith: Yes, sir.” 
- Confirming the public statements released in August, 2005, by Phillpott, Shaffer, and Smith, two more people reported having seen a chart with Atta’s name on it when the Pentagon interviewed 80 Able Danger employees in early September 2005. Dr. Eileen Preisser and a Mr. (probably Christopher) Westphal brought the number of people who had seen the chart up to five, four of whom remembered Atta’s picture. 
- A purported image of one of Able Danger’s charts, shown below, is available online,  supporting the existence of the charts and what they looked like:
- Regarding the Pentagon Inspector General’s 2006 90-page summary claiming that the team’s recollections were not accurate, Dr. David Ray Griffin has provided a detailed analysis, showing its lack of transcripts, circular reasoning, and prejudicial treatment of witnesses. 
- In an unusual departure from government and military investigation procedures, the Inspector General’s 2006 report refers only to the positions of its witnesses, and does not identify them by name, thus offering witness protection through anonymity, although it was not a criminal investigation. In Congressman Weldon’s words, “The report trashes the reputations of military officers who had the courage to step forward and put their necks on the line to describe important work they were doing to track al-Qaeda prior to 9/11. … I am appalled that the DOD IG would expect the American people to actually consider this a full and thorough investigation.” 
Summary and Conclusion
The official 9/11 account is discredited by the evidence below:
- The 9/11 Commission Report described Mohamed Atta as the “tactical leader of the 9/11 plot.”
- According to the official story, Mohamed Atta entered the US in June of 2000, but in fact he had come months earlier (January-February, 2000).
- According to the official story US intelligence didn’t know he was in the country before 9/11, whereas a major research agency co-founded by two Commanders in Chief of the Defense Department’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) produced evidence showing that the man being called Mohamed Atta was probably in the United States from January 2000 onward.
- This evidence was blocked from the FBI on three occasions.
- The Commission was notified of the Atta evidence in October 2003 and July 2004, yet failed to include the evidence in its July 2004 Report, and later described it as having no “historical significance.”
- The five witnesses to the evidence were later claimed to have been unreliable or deficient in memory.
- The official story may imply not just incompetence but deliberate cover-up, with serious implications.
Given this evidence, at best, the 9/11 official account is discredited, and the public is apparently faced with lies and cover-up.
At worst, the man called Mohamed Atta was protected by elements within the Pentagon and allowed to act and travel freely until 9/11.
References for Point H-2
There is considerable evidence that the man who was calling himself “Mohamed Atta” in the United States prior to 9/11, and who after 9/11 was accused of being one of the (alleged) hijackers, was not the real Mohamed Atta. In the first place, the behavior and attitudes of the two men were reportedly very different:
Also, the physical appearances of the two men were reportedly very different.
“Lt. Col. Shaffer’s Written Testimony: Able Danger and the 9/11 Attacks,” Armed Services Committee, US House of Representatives, February 15, 2006; see also this “Statement of Anthony A. Shaffer, Lt.Col. … ,” and Atta Reportedly Identified on Pre-9/11 Chart by Able Danger Team Members (historycommons).
“Lt. Col. Shaffer’s Written Testimony: Able Danger and the 9/11 Attacks,” Armed Services Committee, US House of Representatives, February 15, 2006; see also this “Statement of Anthony A. Shaffer, Lt.Col. … .”
Representative Curt Weldon (R-Penn.), US House of Representatives,“Congressional Record: June 27, 2005 (House),” and “Lt. Col. Shaffer’s Written Testimony: Able Danger and the 9/11 Attacks,” Armed Services Committee, US House of Representatives, February 15, 2006, and see also this “Statement of Anthony A. Shaffer, Lt.Col. … .”
Jacob Goodwin, “Inside Able Danger – The Secret Birth, Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death of a U.S. Military Intelligence Program,” Government Security News, circa August 23, 2005.
Keith Phucas, “Missed chance on way to 9/11,” Times Herald, June 19, 2005.
US Congressional Record, June 25, 2005, p. H5249.
“Able Danger and Intelligence Information Sharing,” Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, September 21, 2005.
Curt Weldon Address to the House: “Able Danger Failure,” US Congressional Record, October 19, 2005, p. H8983.
US Department of Defense. Office of Inspector General, “Report of Investigation: Alleged Misconduct by Senior DOD Officials Concerning the Able Danger Program and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony A. Shaffer, U.S. Army Reserve,” September 18, 2006.
The 9/11 Commission Report, July 2004, p. 434.
Thomas R. Eldridge et al., “9/11 and Terrorist Travel: Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States,” p. 11. See also The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 519, and the Kean-Hamilton statement.
Philip Shenon, “Second Officer Says 9/11 Leader Was Named Before Attacks,” New York Times, August 23, 2005.
Philip Shenon and Douglas Jehl, “9/11 Panel Seeks Inquiry on New Atta Report,” New York Times, August 10, 2005.
Devlin Barrett, “Panel Rejects Assertion US Knew of Atta before Sept. 11,” Associated Press, September 15, 2005.
Philip Shenon, “Pentagon Bars Military Officers and Analysts From Testifying,” New York Times, September 21, 2005.
US Department of Defense. Office of Inspector General, “Report of Investigation: Alleged Misconduct by Senior DOD Officials Concerning the Able Danger Program and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony A. Shaffer, U.S. Army Reserve,” September 18, 2006.
“Able Danger and Intelligence Information Sharing,” Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, September 21, 2005.
Brian Ross, “Face to Face with a Terrorist: Government Worker Recalls Mohamed Atta Seeking Funds Before Sept. 11,” ABC News, June 6, 2002.
“The Night before Terror,” Portland Press Herald, October 5, 2001.
Pat Milton, “Investigator: Hijack leader Atta visited New York before attacks,” Associated Press, December 10, 2001.
Keith Phucas, “Able Danger Source Goes Public,” The Times Herald, August 17, 2005. Shaffer’s attorney Mark Zaid, testified: “It is Lt Col Shaffer’s specific recollection that he informed those in attendance, which included Defense Department personnel, that Able Danger had identified two of the three successful 9/11 cells to include Atta.” See “Prepared Statement of Mark S. Zaid,” “Able Danger and Intelligence Information Sharing.” Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, September 21, 2005.
The 9/11 Commission, “Memorandum for the Record: Interview – Commander Scott Phillpott,” July 13, 2004.
Lt. Col. Shaffer’s written testimony to the September 21, 2005 Senate Hearing.
“An Incomplete Investigation: Why did the 9/11 Commission ignore ‘Able Danger’?” Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2005.
Philip Shenon, “Pentagon Bars Military Officers and Analysts From Testifying,” New York Times, September 21, 2005.
Curt Weldon, Address to the House, Congressional Record, June 27, 2005, p. H5250.
Keith Phucas, “Able Danger Source Goes Public,” The Times Herald, August 17, 2005.
Philip Shenon, “Naval Officer Says Atta’s Identity Known Pre-9/11: Captain is Second Military Man to Say Terrorist Was Named.” New York Times, August 23, 2005, picked up by San Francisco Chronicle.
“Third Source Backs ‘Able Danger’ Claims About Atta,” FoxNews.com, August 28, 2005. Note that Christopher Kojm’s name is incorrectly reported as Cojm in the news story.
James Rosen, “Able Danger Hearing Sets Intelligence Officers at Odds,” The News & Observer, February 16, 2006.
US Department of Defense. Office of Inspector General, “Report of Investigation, Alleged Misconduct by Senior DOD Officials Concerning the Able Danger Program and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony A. Shaffer, U.S. Army Reserve,” September 18, 2006, p. 32.
Joint Hearing on the Able Danger Program. Subcommittees on Strategic Forces and on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats, and Capabilities, House Armed Services Committee, February 15, 2006.
Sherman de Brosse, “Able Danger, Mohamed Atta and Ali Mohammed,” November 5, 2010.
David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Interlink, 2008), pp. 187-195.
US Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, “Report of Investigation: Alleged Misconduct by Senior DOD Officials Concerning the Able Danger Program and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony A. Shaffer, U.S. Army Reserve,” September 18, 2006, p. 32.
“Weldon Rejects DOD Report on Able Danger & Harassment of Military Officer,” September 21, 2006.
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
—Queen Gertrude, Hamlet.
Whenever someone insists too strongly about something not being true, we tend to suspect that maybe it is. In their denials of involvement in 9/11, do Israel’s apologists “protest too much”?
While it would take a small book to adequately document the Israeli connection to 9/11—as Antiwar.com editor Justin Raimondo attempted to some extent in The Terror Enigma—let us briefly recall some of the more intriguing facts as reported in the mainstream media, involving dancing Israelis, Odigo warnings, and Zim’s timely move.
The story of the five Israelis who were seen celebrating and filming as the Twin Towers burned and collapsed was investigated by Neil Mackay in Scotland’s Sunday Herald. The so-called “dancing Israelis” worked for Urban Moving Systems, later deemed to be a Mossad front by the FBI. Despite failing numerous polygraph tests, the young men were deported to Israel two months later. Back home, several of the men appeared on a TV chat show, in which one of them amazingly said, “Our purpose was to document the event.”
Two employees of Odigo, an Israeli instant messaging service, received messages two hours before the World Trade Center attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen, Ha’aretz reported.
Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co., part-owned by the Israeli government, moved their North American headquarters from the 16th floor of the WTC to Norfolk, Virginia one week before the 9/11 attacks, incurring a $50,000 fine for breaking its lease, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Despite being in the public domain, none of these relevant facts are mentioned in the 9/11 Commission’s 567-page report.
Moreover, Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, is concerned about the spread of such inconvenient facts to the wider public. “Our worry,” he says, “is when things become infectious…. [then] this stuff can be deeply corrosive to public understanding. You can get where the bacteria can sicken the larger body.”
But was Zelikow speaking here as an American government official or as a pro-Israeli insider?
In the same month that he authored the so-called “Bush Doctrine” of preemptive war, which provided the justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Zelikow made this candid admission: “Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990—it’s the threat against Israel.”
Yet, instead of investigating the Israeli connection, Zelikow used the 9/11 Commission to sell the Israeli-inspired Iraq war to the American people.
Zelikow’s “bacteria” quote is cited in a 2008 paper entitled “Conspiracy Theories.” Co-authored by Cass Sunstein, who went on to head President Obama’s White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the main focus of the paper “involves conspiracy theories relating to terrorism, especially theories that arise from and post-date the 9/11 attacks.”
Rather than attempting to debunk such theories, Sunstein and Vermeule claim that those who suspect Israeli involvement in 9/11 suffer from a “crippled epistemology.” This, the authors argue, is due to “a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational sources.” In other words, “they know very few things, and what they know is wrong.”
To counter these suspicions, Sunstein recommends “cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby government agents, or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of those who subscribe to such theories. They do so by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity.”
It could, of course, be argued that Sunstein’s work also suffers from a crippled epistemology—his research relies heavily on pro-Israeli sources, most notably the notorious Islamophobe Daniel Pipes.
Pipes is a bit of an expert on conspiracy theories, having written two books on the subject. “Conspiracism provides a key to understanding the political culture of the Middle East,” Pipes opines in The Hidden Hand: Middle East Fears of Conspiracy. “It helps explain much of what would otherwise seem illogical or implausible, including the region’s record of political extremism and volatility, its culture of violence, and its poor record of modernization.”
Like Sunstein, Pipes is concerned that many in the region suspect Israeli involvement in 9/11. “The implications in the Middle East are quite profound,” Pipes told the LA-based Jewish Journal. “It’s one more brick in the edifice of fear and loathing of Israel and the Jews.”
In the absence of a proper 9/11 investigation, there remains a broad range of opinion about the precise nature of Israeli complicity. In The Terror Enigma, Justin Raimondo tentatively concludes that the Israeli connection to 9/11 amounts to “foreknowledge and passive collaboration with Bin Laden’s jihad.”
It’s hardly surprising then that some of the most obsessive critics of 9/11 “conspiracy theories” have ties to Israel. If Americans ever find out that their “staunchest ally” had anything to do with the mass murder of their fellow citizens on September 11, 2001, the would-be conspiracy debunkers have good reason to be afraid.
A version of this article was first published on April 3, 2010.
KITCHENER, Ontario — As this is being written, Congress is experiencing extensive and dramatic hand-wringing as it decides between doing what is best for the country and the world or doing what is best for the American Israel Political Affairs Committee. This is no easy task for members of Congress, especially Democrats who, on the one hand, want to assure a “victory” for President Barack Obama, but who are also loathe to displease the Israeli lobby. Whether preventing a war factors into their deliberations is not known.
AIPAC and its countless minions in Congress are painting the recent agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany), as nothing short of the end of Israel.
If this deal preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is approved, they warn darkly, Iran will secretly develop nuclear weapons. This will mean the destruction of Israel, they say. But if it isn’t approved, Iran will develop such weapons. This, they say, will also mean the destruction of Israel. Feel free to re-read those sentences whenever time allows.
From this point of view, the only alternative is war, with the ostensible purpose of destroying Iran’s nuclear capabilities — capabilities that the Islamic Republic has always said are for peaceful energy purposes. Yet the risk of Iran ever having nuclear weapons is too great. If it did obtain them, then Israel would have a hostile nation to counterbalance its power in the Middle East, and, of course, it doesn’t want that competition. And whatever Israel wants, the U.S. wants. Hence the fear-mongering.
This is a tried-and-true method in the U.S. of getting wars started: Tell lies about some situation that can be construed as a threat to U.S. security (or in this case, Israel’s national security, which seems to be threatened by just about everything), get the populace riled up with jingoistic fervor, watch pompous politicians proclaim their great patriotism on the evening news, and then go bomb some country or other.
The U.S. again gets to flex its international muscle, the citizenry is, for some bizarre reason, proud of the destruction the country has caused, the weapons manufacturers spend all their time tallying their astronomical profits, and all is once again right in the twisted world of U.S. governance.
A few examples will suffice to show that this means of starting wars has been used repeatedly. The examples discussed herein do not by any means represent an exhaustive list, but only show that lying to the world to make the citizenry believe that the U.S. or its citizens had been threatened in some way, and that war was the only response, is business as usual in the U.S.
The War of 1812 (June 18, 1812 – Feb. 18, 1815)
Less than 40 years after the American Revolution, the still-new U.S. government felt constrained in areas of international trade, despite tremendous growth in such trade in the years leading up to the war. In 1811, Britain issued an Order-in-Council, excluding American salted fish from the West Indian colonies and imposing heavy duties on other U.S. imports. This, the U.S. could not countenance.
Additionally, although the heady concept of Manifest Destiny would not actually be defined for several more years, territorial expansion was always on the minds of the leaders of the fledgling nation. Canada, with its rich abundance of natural resources and wide expanses of land, was coveted.
The Battle Lake Borgne Hornbrook, War of 1812.
Yet trade and expansion were not foremost on the minds of the populace, at least not sufficiently for them to support a war. But many nations at this time had a policy of impressment, wherein the ships of another country were boarded, and their sailors kidnapped and forced to work for the kidnapping navy. This was something with which the common man and woman could identify. Although this wasn’t a common occurrence, it was exaggerated and combined with the trade issues to introduce the rallying cry of “Free Trade and Sailor’s Rights,” Carl Benn wrote in his 2003 book “Essential Histories: The War of 1812.” However, this wasn’t a simple, spontaneous cry of justice. It seems to have been promoted by annexationists running the government, and was sufficient for the U.S. to start an unsuccessful war against Canada.
Spanish-American War (April 25, 1898 – Aug 12. 1898)
Fast-forward to the end of the 19th century. On Feb. 15, 1898, the battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor, killing 266 men. According to Hyman George Rickover, in his 1976 book “How the Battleship Maine was Destroyed”:
“Lieutenant Frank F. Fletcher, on duty at the Bureau of Ordnance, wrote in a personal letter to [Lieutenant Albert] Gleaves: ‘The disaster to the Maine is the one topic here now. Everybody is gradually settling down to the belief that the disaster was due to the position of the magazine next to the coal bunkers in where there must have been spontaneous combustion.’”
Theodore Roosevelt (center front, just left of the flag) and his “Rough Riders,” 1898.
The official inquiry into the disaster, however, concluded that an underwater mine had been the culprit. With the battle cry “Remember the Maine,” the U.S. quickly declared war on Spain.
But this “inquiry” was more than a bit flawed. Two widely-recognized experts in ordnance volunteered their services for the investigation, but were not invited to participate. One of them, Prof. Philip Alger, had greatly displeased Secretary of the Navy, and future president, Theodore Roosevelt, when he commented on the disaster in an interview for the Washington Evening Star a few days after it happened. He said, in part, the following, as reproduced by Rickover:
“As to the question of the cause of the Maine’s explosion, we know that no torpedo that is known to modern warfare, can of itself cause an explosion of the character of that on board the Maine. We know of no instances where the explosion of a torpedo or mine under a ship’s bottom has exploded the magazine within. It has simply torn a great hole in the side or bottom, through which water entered, and in consequence of which the ship sunk. Magazine explosions, on the contrary, produce effects exactly similar to the effects of the explosion on board the Maine. When it comes to seeking the cause of the explosion of the Maine’s magazine, we should naturally look not for the improbable or unusual causes, but those against which we have had to guard in the past.”
But Roosevelt was anxious to establish the U.S. as a world power, especially in terms of its Navy. By accusing Spain of blowing up the ship, he had the perfect excuse to launch the Spanish-American War.
The Vietnam War (major U.S. involvement: 1964 – 1975)
Off the coast of China and northern Vietnam is the Gulf of Tonkin, which was the staging area for the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the early 1960s. On the evening of Aug. 4, 1964, the U.S. destroyers Maddox and the C. Turner Joy were in the gulf, when the Maddox’s instruments indicated that the ship was under attack or had been attacked. Both ships began firing into the darkness, with support from U.S. warplanes. However, they “later decided they had been shooting at ghost images on their radar. … The preponderance of the available evidence indicates there was no attack.”
U.S. Huey helicopter spraying Agent Orange over Vietnam. (Photo by the U.S. Army Operations in Vietnam R.W. Trewyn, Ph.D.)
Yet something needed to be done about Vietnam, with anti-Communist hysteria still rampant in the U.S., and this gave Congress the perfect ploy to escalate the war. This non-incident was presented to the world as an act of aggression against the U.S. Congress quickly passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. By the end of the following year, the number of U.S. soldiers invading Vietnam increased from 23,000 to 184,300. Eleven years later, with over 55,000 U.S. soldiers dead, hundreds of thousands wounded, and, by conservative estimates, 2,000,000 Vietnamese dead, the U.S. fled Vietnam in defeat.
The Gulf War (Aug. 2, 1990 – Feb. 28, 1991)
In order to gain support for the Gulf War of 1990, Congress and President George Bush relied heavily on what is commonly referred to as the Nayirah testimony. In early October 1990, a 15-year-old girl referred to only as “Nayirah,” who claimed to have been a hospital volunteer, testified of seeing babies dumped by Iraqi soldiers from hospital incubators. This, in the eyes of Congress and the president, highlighted the monstrosity of Iraq, and was widely used to gain support for the war.
However, like nearly all of the information the government feeds to the citizenry to start its wars, this testimony was all lies. “Nayirah” was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. She later admitted that she had once visited the hospital in question, but only for a few minutes. She did see an infant removed from an incubator, but only very briefly. A group called Citizens for a Free Kuwait had hired one of the world’s foremost public relations firms, Hill and Knowlton, to create the illusion of legitimacy for an invasion. They coached “Nayirah” on what to say and how to say it when she appeared before Congress.
We will do no more than mention the U.S.’s drafting of a letter for Grenada to send to the U.S., requesting military intervention when that small island nation’s government was overthrown in 1983. Nor will we dwell on the weapons of mass destruction that Iraq was said to possess in 2002, which justified in the eyes of U.S. citizens the disastrous 2003 invasion of that nation. But as we look at this ugly record of lies that the U.S. has used to expand its territory, power and/or influence around the world, we must consider that it is once again using the same tactics to march the nation toward war with Iran.
The U.S. for generations was successful in deceiving its citizens, and a good part of the world, that it was a beacon of freedom and peace, despite the fact that it has been at war for most of its bloody existence. That myth began to crack during the Vietnam War, broke into pieces with the Iraq War, and may have been dealt a fatal blow by the U.S.’s support of Israeli atrocities in 2014.
Regardless of the outcome of the congressional vote on the Iran agreement, the U.S. will find itself less able to lie its way into corporate wars in the future. That capacity diminished during the lead-up to the Iraqi invasion, and while no one ever went broke betting on the gullibility and short-term memory of the U.S. citizenry, people are beginning to wake up. When they finally do, much of the carnage in the world will end. That day cannot come soon enough.