Sunday, March 31, 2002

The set-up: "Despite strict orders to troops besieging the Palestinian leader's compound not to harm him, IDF officers said at the weekend that the situation at the site was very sensitive and that it would be impossible to rule out the possibility of Arafat being harmed, by accident, during clashes."
What are the Israelis up to in the occupied territories? We know they fear a demographic crisis, as both the Arabs and the pseudo-Jews they've been accepting as immigrants have much higher birth rates than 'real' Jews. We also know they are building new illegal settlements in the occupied territories at an alarming rate, settlements which require huge expense in security and make no sense if Israel is eventually going to have to remove them and compensate the settlers. The settlements are scattered in such a way that they make any workable Palestinian government in the area impossible, both due to the way Palestinian territory is broken up and due to the Israeli military/police presence, along with transportation routes, required to guard the settlements. We also know that Israel fears Arab control of large portions of its water supply, of which Israel now takes an obscenely disproportionate share. Finally, the economic and psychological effect of the suicide bombers is starting to become serious. The Israeli immediate problems are thus demographics, security of settlements, water, and security against terrorism. The obvious answer to their problems is to annex the areas in which the settlements are, and expel all Palestinians into small areas completely enclosed by a secure border. The settlements have been built over aquifers, which thus brings this water supply within the boundaries of Israel. The security problem of the settlements is removed as the Palestinians are now completely within a sealed boundary. Eventually, the demographic problem would be addressed by expelling all Arabs within Israel (but where would they go?). The terrorism problem is contained by the new sealed borders (a new problem will probably arise with missiles fired from what remains of the Palestinian areas into Israel, but Israel can deal with that with a war at some time in the future - the Israelis seem to have decided that they can deal with long-term Palestinian unrest, and in fact use it to their advantage, as long as it is confined to Palestinian areas). The general program of senseless brutality towards the Palestinians, which makes absolutely no sense as a method of supressing terror as it actually creates more terrorists, can be understood as an intentional act to drive Palestinian politics away from moderates towards radicals, whose actions will then excuse Israeli brutality. The brutality may even escalate to a form of genocide, which the 'best' minds of Israel think is politically possible (I think it is sad that so obviously brilliant a man as van Creveld turns out to hold such views). Certainly the American approach to Israel would excuse any crimes against humanity, as just about anything Israel does is excused by the almost completely one-sided American press. The alarming parallels of the Israeli approach to the Palestinians to the Nazi treatment of the Jews are even more alarming when you consider that the Israeli intelligentsia doesn't seem to consider the parallels to be a problem. Israeli popular opinion is dealt with by censorship of the brutality, and American popular opinion is dealt with by making no reference to the issue at all in the popular media (it's amazing how steadfast the average American is in his beliefs based entirely on the ridiculously one-sided view of every issue presented by the U. S. television stations). While this entire Israeli program sounds completely insane, it is the only way I can understand the series of horrible Israeli acts as what might appear to a psychopath as a possible solution to real Israeli problems.

Saturday, March 30, 2002

It will be interesting to see if the Easter attack by the Israelis on Arafat will be regarded by future historians as the beginning of the end of the state of Israel. Since Arafat either can't or won't (or, most likely, a combination of can't and won't) control the suicide bombers, this attack will do nothing to deter them, and will probably just encourage them. It is almost certain that this attack is exactly what the instigators of the suicide bombings want. Israel can't possibly kill or chase away sufficient Palestinians to make a difference, and the obvious Israeli brutality has an effect both on world popular opinion and on internal Israeli politics. It also increases the suffering and feeling of hopelessness in the Palestinians, thus paradoxically creating more suicide bombers. The Israeli propaganda program to rid itself of Arafat and with him any need to negotiate with the Palestinians, and in particular to avoid having to fulfil the terms of the Oslo peace accords, has been planned for years. Sharon provoked the current intifada in order to create the need for security that allowed him to get power (showing how foolish it is to elect a psychopath if you're seeking security). Now the best conspiracy theory has Sharon and Hamas either explicitly or implicitly agreeing to a plan where the suicide bombings are increased to a point where Israel has an excuse to attack Arafat directly, and kill him. Thus removes Arafat, whose political flexibility infuriates both Hamas, who find him too conciliatory to Western politicians, and Sharon, who has always hated Arafat and finds his negotiating skills a barrier to the kind of brutality Sharon favours. The only problem with this theory is that Sharon has apparently promised Colin Powell that he won't kill Arafat (I guess the interesting point will be if they 'accidentally' kill him). If Arafat survives, he will be in an even stronger position with the Palestinians, who have always preferred Arafat the brave fighter to Arafat the politician. It also leaves the Israelis with no end game - unless the plan is to start a complete program of ethnic cleansing, which they would never get away with, all they will be able to do is either withdraw, or permanently stay. If they withdraw, they've accomplished nothing except improving Arafat's position with the Palestinians. If they stay, they begin the same set of mistakes which Sharon got into in the occupation of Lebanon.

Friday, March 29, 2002

The Israelis have been caught spying in the United States, the U. S. government is trying to pretend it didn't happen, reports on the issue are suppressed, and some people are up in arms about it. Not only spying, but spying on those people who would turn out to be 9-11 terrorists. Not only that, but observing and filming the WTC at the time of the first terrorist attack, and cheering it on. The darkest theories are that the Israelis are behind the 9-11 attacks, or at least had specific foreknowledge of them and let them happen by failing to warn the U. S. These theories don't make sense to me: 1) If the Israelis were behind 9-11, why did they have to follow the terrorists around? Why would they surveil their own people? 2)The result of being caught by the U. S. as being behind 9-11 would be the immediate end of Israel, and isn't worth the risk, even for a benefit such as providing the U. S. with an excuse to attack Iraq. If this was a set-up to provide a reason for the U. S. to attack Iraq, why didn't they make some effort to tie the 9-11 terrorists to Iraq (there was an effort to tie Atta to an Iraqi intelligence agent through a meeting in Prague, but surely they could have done better than that?)? 3) We know the Israelis had foreknowledge of 9-11, as Israel was one of the countries that tried to warn the U. S. prior to September 11, so why would they give the U. S. any kind of warning if they were hoping to catch the U. S. by surprise? The fact of the matter is that Israel is always spying on the U. S. (they probably have a couple of programs going on right now). Usually, it is industrial espionage, and the U. S. seems to regard its toleration of this kind of spying as part of its contribution to Israel. There appear to be two unwritten rules: 1) don't do anything with the information you get which would seriously affect U. S. national security (the U. S. got really mad when the Israelis sent the Pollard information to the Russians in trade for some emigration concessions); and 2) be professional and discrete enough that you don't get caught and embarrass the U. S. by making it look like a chump. Israel appeared to use semi-amateur spies in this case, got caught, and embarrassed the U. S. government, which is now pretending nothing happened so as not to appear too ridiculous, as well as trying to ignore the fact that the U. S. intelligence agencies should have been able to do the surveillance that the Israelis were doing on the terrorists (the same embarrassment they have over Lindh - just how did he get to meet bin Laden when such a feat was impossible for the CIA?). What is the real story behind all this? My guess is that the Israelis came to the U. S. authorities at a very high level with detailed intelligence as to what was planned by the terrorists, information which dovetailed with the intelligence of the Americans. Immediately, the U. S. junta realized that allowing this to happen would provide the excuse they wanted to immediately attack Afghanistan (and possibly save Enron), get control of the Central Asian oil reserves, drastically increase defence spending, and introduce a fascist security state to the United States. They could handle the big details of standing down the air defence system and planning a fake attack on the Pentagon. What they couldn't handle was the rather mundane task of continuing to keep an eye on the terrorists to ensure thay didn't get up to any unexpected terrorism. The U. S. junta couldn't send their own people to watch the terrorists, because the danger was too great that such surveillance would be detected or that one of the surveilling agents would put two and two together, thus proving U. S. government foreknowledge of, and thus complicity in, the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Fortunately, as it happens the Israelis were mounting a major intelligence operation in the U. S., using fake 'art students' selling or showing paintings to gain access to U. S. security and military installations, and in particular, the offices of the DEA and the homes of DEA agents. Some people think that Israeli-owned companies have access to all U. S. government wiretaps, including those of the DEA. One can only guess that the Israelis were looking for information as to which DEA agents could be blackmailed or bribed in order to facilitate some form of Israeli sponsored drug smuggling or money laundering operation. Just by chance, good police work by the DEA (it is a shame that such excellent police talent is wasted on the asinine and counterproductive war on drugs) uncovered the whole spy ring. Against the common view that the Mossad is some kind of super-efficient espionage agency, this was practically an amateur operation, and interrogation of the spies, who followed an amazingly similar pattern and didn't even have their stories well memorized, broke the whole thing open. The only problem was that by accident the DEA managed to reveal that a good number of the 'art students' were in Florida, living in the same place and only a few blocks from Atta and in other places in close proximity to Arabs under scrutiny by the U. S. government (how would thy know where these people were unless they were getting the information from the U. S. government?). Once a draft (pdf) of this report came out, it was immediately hushed up, the spies were quietly deported or allowed to escape, and the U. S. junta tried to pretend that it didn't happen. Of course, the whole point of using the Israelis was just for this eventuality - if someone were discovered spying on the terrorists, it could be covered up by blaming it on those sneaky Israelis, whose excuse was that they were actually spying on the DEA (I feel that many of the acts of perfidity by the Israelis, including the Pollard and Liberty cases, have to them an aspect of cooperation between the Israeli and American security operations). The cheering spies watching the WTC crash were probably pleased with themselves for predicting what happened, or expressing the surprisingly (to an American) normal anti-Americanism that exists in most places in the world. I can see no good reason for the Israelis to have anything directly to do with the September 11 terrorism. Their role was to provide some 'plausible deniability' to the U. S. government while conducting some much needed discrete intelligence.
The use of thermobaric bombs in Afghanistan is supposed to be a way of killing al-Qaeda members hiding in deep caves, but on all accounts these al-Qaeda (or, rather, the tribal militia which the U. S. chooses to call 'al-Qaeda') simply escape through mountain passes. Could the U. S. military be using these bombs as an experiment to see if they could trigger earthquakes for use as a military weapon? This is in line with American military strategy which seems to be to commit war crimes against civilians of sufficient horror that the government being attacked concedes to avoid more suffering to its people (weather modification is another example of this sort of weapon). The glib statements from geologists that these bombs couldn't possibly trigger earthquakes are, on their face, unscientific (how could they know without empirical tests?) and suspiciously convenient. If this operation were a big military experiment, it would be the war crime to end all war crimes.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

An article in The Christian Science Monitor, which states that nearly 1400 people have been arrested in connection with the recent terrorism, and only one has been charged in connection with the terrorism, is entitled 'Legal war on terror lacks weapons'. The article goes on to say: "even serious suspicions and apparently concrete proof can evaporate in the face of challenges from a defense lawyer, as happened in the case of Lotfi Raissi". This would be the case where the American authorities lied to a British court in order to attempt to get Mr. Raissi extradicted. I guess pointing this out to the British court could be called 'challenges from a defense lawyer'. The gist of the article seems to be that the complete and utter failure of American and European authorities to find either any evidence of al-Qaeda cells or any connections between the people they arrested and either al-Qaeda or the 9-11 terrorism means that citizens just have too many damn civil liberties. The more complicated conclusion, that al-Qaeda in fact had nothing to do with 9-11, opens up too many uncomfortable questions, not the least of which is the uncertanty of not knowing who or what you are seeking (apparently, the U. S. authorities knew it was al-Qaeda almost immediately). It is much easier simply to pass a lot more laws restricting civil liberties.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

The Afghan earthquake has killed thousands and on a balance of probabilities was caused by the new U. S. bunker-busting 'thermobaric' (or should that be, 'thermo-barbaric'?) bombs which are being used in a quest to kill one man, Osama bin Laden. If the Americans claim that their bombs wouldn't cause an earthquake if used in a seismically unstable area, perhaps they can demonstrate their confidence by testing them near the San Andreas fault.
There has been some discussion as to whether the number of Afghans dead as a result of the U. S. war on Afghanistan exceeds the number of civilian deaths caused by the September 11 terrorism. I wonder if the U. S. media will notice the day when the number of civilian deaths caused by the September 11 terrorism is surpassed by the number of dead American soldiers in Afghanistan?
So much information on the 9-11 incidents, the Pentagon 'crash', the Israeli spy ring, the odd relationship of the United States with the Taliban prior to September 11, the peculiar standing down of the FBI investigation of the bin Laden family, U. S. foreknowledge of the 9-11 terrorism supplied by foreign governments, and the general geopolitical use by the American government of 9-11, are all supplied by journalists from one country. France! One can only speculate that someone in the U. S. intelligence/defence establishment at a high level is dissatisfied with what is going on, and is leaking information to his counterparts in France, who in turn are instructing French journalists.
The concept of 'peacekeeping' keeps getting more and more stretched. Canadian pilots were involved in the NATO action in dropping bombs on Serbia in order to force the Serbs out of governing Kosovo (at least that was the desired result, whatever the official NATO excuse was). Months later, Canadian peacekeepers were in Kosovo, in many cases protecting Serbs from being attacked by the now-ruling Kosovar Albanians. I don't know if the Canadian peacekeepers saw the irony in this, but I'm sure the Serbs did. The British are now taking this a step further. They are simultaneously fighting in the war in Afghanistan and serving as peacekeepers in the same country (at least the Canadians had the decency to wait a few months). Someone should invent a helmet for the British troops that can, with the flip of a switch, change from having their normal war markings to having U. N. blue markings. They could even make it so it flashed back and forth, the rule being that the Afghans could only fire at them when their British war markings were on. The British situation reminds me of how the Americans manage to fight a war on terror in Afghanistan against the evil al-Qaeda, while simultaneously siding with forces allied with al-Qaeda in Macedonia/Kosovo.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

To summarize where I am in understanding the September 11 terrorism: 1) At least some of the hijackers were probably brought in to the U. S. on some sort of special visa program run by the CIA out of the U. S. embassy in Saudi Arabia. This program was originally set up to provide U. S. training to selected men in the Middle East to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, and was so successful that it was continued after the Soviet defeat for purposes that we can only guess at. The program is against U. S. immigration laws, and is corruptly run by people who are allowed by the U. S. and the Saudis to illegally smuggle alcohol into Saudi Arabia. The men on this program are trained in U. S. military facilities or in private flight schools run for the CIA. The same people who thought it would be a symbolic victory to attack the United States using symbols of its power also thought it would be clever to use this program to infiltrate terrorists into the United States. They would be brought into the United States without visa problems, supported by the U. S., and trained by the U. S., all before turning on the U. S. The visa program explains why at least some of the men were obtaining training at U. S. military facilities or at mysterious private flight training schools, explains why the American authorities were so quick to come up with names and pictures of the terrorists, and explains why so many of these names were wrong (the terrorists used stolen identities when they joined the program - note that the connivance of some Middle Eastern governments or militaries was probably required for this deception to work). 2) The terrorists almost certainly had guns and explosives on the planes, and needed help from the organized crime drug smuggling rings at the airports in order to bring these on the planes (this has been covered up as it is necessary to maintain the illusion that new security procedures mean everything is now safe). 3) There is a terrorist group called al-Qaeda, but it probably had very little if anything to do with the 9-11 terrorism (my guess is that the terrorism was planned by a small group based mostly in Europe which was associated with some pre-existing terrorist group, perhaps Egyptian Islamic Jihad, but it is a bit of a mug's game to figure it out as the identification of the groups is intentionally obscure). 4) Osama bin Laden almost certainly had nothing to do with the planning of 9-11, but due to his role as a financier of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism may have been kept informed generally as to what was being planned (he was blamed by the U. S. because of his role in other acts of terrorism and, most importantly, for his geographic position in Afghanistan). 5) The war in Afghanistan was pitched to the American people as a response to the terrorism of September 11, both as retribution and prevention of further attacks against the United States. In fact, the war had nothing to do with the September 11 terrorism. U. S. authorities used extremely flimsy evidence to tie the terrorism to al-Qaeda, blamed the Taliban for 'harboring' al-Qaeda (when in fact the Taliban had no choice in the presence of al-Qaesa in Afghanistan), and thus had an excuse for a war where there was no natural excuse. If the U. S. government really wanted to catch and punish the 9-11 perpetrators, a police action would have made much more sense that a war. The U. S. government wanted the Taliban removed for geopolitical reasons involving oil and opium, and wanted a general excuse for a series of wars to radically increase defence spending and control the Central Asian petrochemical reserves. 6) No terrorist plane hit the Pentagon. Flight 77 wasn't intercepted by U. S. air defence (at least not before some obscure place in a state like Colorado!) because it was known that it was not headed for the Pentagon (it was well on its way to the west coast when the Pentagon 'crash' occurred) and was needed to be the patsy plane to explain the explosion. 7) The anthrax killer hasn't been arrested, probably because the U. S. doesn't want to reveal the extent of its biowarfare research (the deaths of at least some of the odd series of dead microbiologists are almost certainly connected with biowarfare as well). 8) The general terrorist threat to the United States has been overblown (and is largely the product of U. S. government propaganda, with various fake warnings and now, colored degrees of excitation!), as at least some of the terrorists had at least inadvertent U. S. government assistance (which could be fixed if the covert programs were ended or at least more rigorously checked), together with very advertant assistance in lifting normal U. S. air defences, meaning that the restrictions on civil liberties and the war on terrorism are unnecessary. 9) The 'Mohamad Atta' who died on September 11 isn't the Mohamad Atta who planned the attacks. 10) At least one of the terrorists served as an informant to U. S. authorities, allowing them to stand down normal air defences and prepare the fake Pentagon attack (which was needed as an additional excuse for the Afghan war and the restrictions on civil liberties should the real terrorists provide insufficient horror to serve as an excuse). There was also information available to U. S. authorities from plenty of other countries, and it appears from the Vreeland case that the coming attack may have been common gossip in spy circles in Moscow. The cleverness of the whole operation (you might say, almost Angleton-ian) is to use an actual terrorist attack of which you have foreknowledge, allow it to happen and beef it up with your own attack on the Pentagon, and then use the horrors of the attacks as your political excuse to accomplish your geopolitical and liberty-restricting goals. 11) At least one of the few connections between the terrorists and al-Qaeda was probably set up by the old friends of the CIA, the Pakistani ISI, and finding out about this may have played some role in the death of Daniel Pearl. 12) It is quite possible that the whole Afghan war was a last-ditch effort to save Enron by making the Afghan pipeline possible and thus making the Enron Indian assets saleable.

Monday, March 25, 2002

An examination of bin Laden's satellite phone records shows he made calls to Britain (260+), Yemen (200+), the Sudan (131), Iran (106), Azerbaijan (67), Pakistan (59), Saudi Arabia (57), a ship in the Indian Ocean (13), Italy (6), the U. S. A. (6), Malasia (4), and Senegal (2). Since al-Qaeda ties to Iraq are going to be used as the American excuse to attack Iraq, it is odd that no calls were made to Iraq. The newspaper article writers, not bowed at all by this problem, suggest that the absense of calls to Iraq is just more evidence that Iraq is involved, proved by bin Laden's extra care in not leaving a record of calling there! On that logic, the Americans had better start attacking the Pope, for there were also no calls made to the Vatican.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, why did the United States need to blame Afghanistan, and why did the United States need to attack Afghanistan immediately? These are the kind of questions that almost answer themselves. The U. S. junta was trying to save Enron from bankruptcy. In the summer of 2001, the writing was already on the wall. Baxter had resigned; even Skilling had resigned. Those in the know knew that the scam that was Enron was coming to an end. The only things Enron had going for it was that it owned: 1) the Bush administration; and 2) 65% of a huge energy plant in Dabhol, India. It had built this plant on some wild theory that it would supply energy to India, but India could not afford to buy this energy at its cost of production and got so far behind in payments that the plant was never operated. Enron had its interest in the plant for sale at $2.3 billion, but as it was a white elephant, neither the Indian government nor anyone else wanted to buy it. Enron even enlisted the services of its good friend Dick Cheney to try to strong-arm the Indian government into agreeing to pay Enron's bill for building the plant, but India was not interested in paying either that or an amount to buy the plant (the whole issue had become highly politicized in India, with strong feelings that corruption and human rights abuses were involved). Enron's share in the sale of the plant, or the promise that sale proceeds were going to be available and could be borrowed against, could have been sufficient to get Enron over its short-term financial crisis, at least until it could find some more corrupt ways to stay in business. How was it going to be able to sell the energy plant? By packaging it with Enron's interest in the new pipelines to be built through Afghanistan. Not only would these pipelines make the package more saleable, but cheap energy from the pipelines would serve to make the energy plant viable. The problem was the Taliban. The U. S. junta had done everything it could to get the Taliban to agree to the pipelines, including threats of war, but the Taliban kept holding out for more (it is not impossible that they realized that the Enron situation was deteriorating rapidly, thus increasing their bargaining position). It was absolutely critical to have a war in Afghanistan and have it quickly, before Enron went into bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the war bogged down (remember how the Northern Alliance didn't do anything for weeks), and the Taliban wasn't removed quickly enough for Enron to be able to present a package of the Indian power plant and its interest in the Afghan pipelines in time to get the funds to stave off bankruptcy (the Enron share price really started to tank in November, and it was November 8 when it was revealed that Enron had filed false statements hiding a half billion dollars in losses, at which point the U. S. government immediately ceased all efforts on behalf of Enron, including cancelling George Bush's plans to intercede with the Indian government on Enron's behalf). It was Enron's impending insolvency that made it necessary to connect the 9-11 terrorism with Afghanistan and juice up the terrorism with a fake attack on the Pentagon to ensure that there would be enough excuse to start a war to quickly remove the Taliban.

Sunday, March 24, 2002

This is an absolutely devastating satire by Chris Floyd demonstrating how silly the American imperialist world-view must appear to its victims.
There are ways in which George Bush is indeed Reagan-esque.
It is possible that the plan was to allow the two planes to make the attack on the WTC, but because the target of Flight 93 was unacceptable to the junta (a nuclear power plant, perhaps), shoot it down. If undiscovered, Flight 93 could have served as the Pentagon patsy plane. There are lots of mountains in northern Pennsylvania where such an operation could be hidden. Once Flight 93 was shot down in southern Pennsylvania, in an area with sufficient population that the crash was noticed, another plane had to be shot down secretly to assume the role of the Pentagon patsy plane. Flight 77 was chosen because it had the proper characteristics (departed at the right time from an appropriate airport before the airports closed and headed for the west coast with lots of fuel). It may well be that the terrorists had control of only three planes.
The famous photos of the Pentagon which show a hole insufficiently wide to fit the damage that would have been caused by a Boeing 757 are somewhat misleading. Except for the last photos of the series, these pictures show the damage after the wall collapsed. Pictures before the wall collapsed, when the firefighters were still trying to put the (oddly small) fire out, show an even smaller hole, insufficient for even the fuselage of the patsy plane (I call it 'Lee Harvey Boeing'), let alone the wings. Perhaps the defenders of the official story would like us to believe that the plane went in through an open window.

Saturday, March 23, 2002

An Indian newspaper reported in October that Lt-Gen Mahmud Ahmad, the leader of the Pakistani security agency, ISI, arranged to direct $100,000 to Mohamad Atta, leader of the September 11 terrorists, by sending it through Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, later the alleged abductor and murderer of Daniel Pearl and probably a part of al-Qaeda (he worked for bin Laden when bin Laden was in the Sudan). When you read this, particularly in light of the murder of Pearl, you say, 'ah ha!'. This appears to be the smoking gun that ties together ISI, al-Qaeda, the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the murder of Daniel Pearl. Pearl was presumably murdered because he was getting too close to the truth that the Pakistani government was not really serious about cracking down on Islamic fundamentalists (Musharraf, after Pearl's death, even said something to the effect that the murder was because Pearl was getting too close to the truth). Everything ties together so neatly. Or is it too neatly? We've been fed lots of information about how ISI is staffed with radical Islamic fundamentalists, and how Musharraf is trying to take back the country from them and put it on a modern, pro-Western, secular path. I have no doubt that ISI is riddled with fundamentalists. We know that the al-Qaeda training camps were originally set up by ISI to provide soldiers to rid Afghanistan of the infidel Russians. Subsequently, ISI has promoted Islamic fundamentalism in India and Kashmir, and has supported the Taliban. I have never, however, heard of an elite intelligence unit that does not end up supporting the interests of the power elite in the country which it nominally serves. What are the interests of the notoriouly debauched and un-Islamic power elite in Pakistan? Will they not make a fortune if a pipeline is built through Afganistan, in building it, maintaining it, and charging rent for the part that goes over Pakistan? Was the Taliban not in the way of making that fortune? Is it not therefore likely that ISI was assisting in the removal of the Taliban? Was not the first step in removing the Taliban giving the Americans an excuse to attack Afghanistan by providing a connection between the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the September 11 terrorists? What better connection than a payment shipped from a Pakistani al-Qaeda member to terrorist Atta? Think about the lack of logic in the payment: 1) Why does ISI, an organization which presumably has access to all manner of sophisticated and covert banking techniques, decide to send money to Atta through using the traceable services of an al-Qaeda member in Pakistan? 2) How does the Indian newspaper find out about this, unless it was leaked to them? 3) When Musharraf mused that Pearl was getting close to revealing the truth, that truth couldn't be the idea that ISI was supporting al-Qaeda or the idea that the Pakistani army and ISI were filled with fundamentalists, as everyone knew these things - what Pearl may have been discovering was that the connection between ISI and al-Qaeda and Atta was a complicated frame-up, aimed at providing an excuse for the Americans to attack the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pearl might have been killed for insulting his captors by pointing out to them how they'd been had. On and before September 11, where was Lt-Gen Mahmud Ahmad, the leader of ISI? Washington, D. C. (and it wouldn't surprise me if he spent some time in Langley). Remember that ISI's confederate in establishing the camps to train soldiers against the Russians was the CIA (Brzezinski is still proud of the success of this mission). Lt-Gen Mahmud Ahmad's presence in Washington on September 11 was later regarded as suspicious, as were his possible ties to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, and he was fired (or, rather, allowed to 'retire') as head of ISI by Musharraf, a firing which may be part of the deception. On top of all this is the rather odd reticence of the Wall Street Journal to make the connection between the murderer of its reporter, Daniel Pearl, and the ISI. Why would the American newspaper, which you would think would want to play up the Atta connection to al-Qaeda, be so coy? Is it just because they wanted to protect U. S. ally Musharraf from being tainted by connections to Islamic fundamentalism? Musharraf has fired the leader of ISI and said all the right things. Could it be that the Wall Street Journal doesn't want to draw attention to the ISI-Atta connection since it is no longer needed as an excuse for an attack on Afghanistan, and bringing attention to it might make someone realize how suspicious it seems (not to mention that it may be the real cause of Pearl's death)?

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Afghanistan is as likely a source of the terrorism on September 11 as Tuvalu, Madagascar, or the Cook Islands. In fact, Afghanistan is so unlikely a place to be the source of the terrorism that its immediate selection by U. S. authorities as the culprit is itself very instructive. None of the terrorists has been identified as being Afghan. None of the thousands of detainees has apparently been connected to al-Qaeda. Interrogation approximating torture has apparently uncovered no September 11 information from the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Al-Qaeda appears to be an umbrella organization created by various Islamic groups, possibly led by Egyptian Islamic Jihad, to utilize the training camps set up in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the CIA and ISI originally to train troops to fight the Russians. These camps have been funded, in part by bin Laden, to provide more soldiers for the following purposes: 1) to assist the Taliban in fighting Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan; 2) to provide terrorists to attack India on behalf of Muslim fundamentalism; and 3) to fight for the succession of Kashmir from India as an Islamic state (and puppet of Pakistan). While no one can prove that al-Qaeda didn't have anything to do with September 11, it is highly implausible. The planning meetings apparently took place in Europe, and planning such a complex operation would be ridiculous in a country with such bad communications as Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda has shown no signs of using such methods in Afghanistan. In fact, except for some very tenuous financial ties, some suggestive but hardly conclusive documents found in Afghanistan, and an odd connection between the man who allegedly killed Daniel Pearl and the former head of the Pakistani intelligence service (an issue I will write about at another time), there is nothing to suggest that al-Qaeda had anything to do with September 11 (and it is somewhat amazing that U. S. propagandists have been so successful at having everyone believe that it did - the success of the propaganda is so great that al-Qaeda has become almost legendary). The rather pathetic video of 'bin Laden' just emphasizes the point that the U. S. has no solid evidence linking al-Qaeda or bin Laden to September 11. Obviously, the terrorists were connected with some Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization, quite possibly linked to Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The sole reason al-Qaeda and bin Laden were picked as patsies in this matter is that they gave a reason for the U. S. to attack the Taliban on the rather flimsy excuse that the Taliban were harboring terrorists (in fact, it doesn't appear that the Taliban had any choice in the matter, and al-Qaeda was putting a big strain on traditional Afghan hospitality). The U. S. focus has shifted to Iraq, and even the American propagandists are downplaying the strength of al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda/bin Laden were selected as patsies because the United States had an immediate need to attack Afghanistan. Why did the United States have to attack Afghanistan immediately? The answer to that question is our Rosetta Stone that will allow us to decipher everything else.
I've been thinking about Pakistani leader General Musharraf, former ISI director-general Lt-Gen Mahmud Ahmad, Daniel Pearl, and Pearl's alleged killer, Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh. The stories that connect these people don't add up . . . .
There was much gloating about the American success in the war in Afghanistan, most notably by Hitchens. Now that it is becoming apparent that the war was an utter disaster, the gloating is going the other way. The stated purpose of the war was to eliminate or at least reduce the terrorist threat to the United States by killing or capturing bin Laden, and destroying the al-Qaeda network. Of course bin Laden and al-Qaeda are still around. The Taliban have been replaced by a group of thuggish warlords, who will continue to fight each other and anyone else for the foreseeable future. The situation of the average Afghan, except perhaps for those in Kabul, has worsened both by the disruptions of war and the reductions in personal security (one of the reasons for the acceptance of the Taliban was that they managed to eliminate or reduce the banditry and general lawlessness that has now returned due to the warlords). Many Afghans have been killed or maimed by American bombs, and no doubt new hatred for Americans has been created. The brutality of the American attack has reinforced any hatreds of the United States held throughout the Middle East by Islamic fundamentalists. The Taliban had stopped the production of opium in what was once the world's largest producer, and the warlords have started production again. Battles with what the Americans call 'al-Qaeda', but what appear to be warlord militias, are inconclusive at best. The real reason for the war was to eliminate the Taliban and create a puppet government that would allow the building of a pipeline through Afghanistan. The serious problems will arise when construction of this pipeline begins. Since much of the territory remains hostile, permanent military bases will have to be established to protect the workers building the pipeline and to protect the pipeline from sabotage. There will be a low level of U. S. casualties which the Americans will try to prevent by gradually increasing the number of troops and equipment. An extremely expensive and permanent war seems inevitable. It is difficult to imagine how this little war could have turned out any worse for the Americans.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

In the United States, even the most sophisticated and supicious minds aren't ready to admit that the war in Afghanistan had nothing to do with the events on September 11. Everywhere else, it is considered a banality to think that the war was entirely about U. S. interests in petrochemicals.
The Carlyle Group are making out like bandits on the promise of all the war profiteering to come from the worldwide never-ending war on terror. George Bush either has an interest in Carlyle, or stands to inherit some of his father's interest. Calling that a conflict of interest is nothing short of communist.
Here is yet another interesting analysis of the photographs of damage to the Pentagon. As time goes on, it appears that the only evidence that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon is the statements of a few eyewitnesses. Other eyewitnesses contradict them, there is no physical evidence, and the only video evidence shows everything except a plane. It is as if we convicted a man for murder based on the statements of a few eyewitnesses, when other eyewitnesses said it was somone else who committed the murder, a video camera at the murder scene records the victim falling down but no one else around, the victim is supposed to have died of a shotgun blast from the accused's shotgun but has a tiny hole in him from a small caliber bullet, there is no murder weapon or any evidence proving that the accused was even in the area, and the bullet cannot be found although it apparently did not exit the body.
Some find it odd how American authorities find what they need to make a propaganda point exactly when they need it. Need to identify the main hijacker? What do you know, everything else is blown to smithereens but Atta's passport drifts gently down into the files of the FBI. Then Atta is kind enough to leave all kinds of incriminating evidence, much of which is very un-Islamic, in his car at the airport. When people start to grumble about how could it be that bin Laden in a cave in Afghanistan planned all the terrorism, miraculously a home video falls into the hands of American authorities proving bin Laden's culpability (the guy in the video looks more like Dick Cheney than bin Laden, and the 'translation' is highly questionable, but the press seems not to be bothered by these minor inconsistencies). As the Americans make their way through houses abandoned by fighters in Afghanistan, they have the good fortune to stumble on all sorts of incriminating material left behind. The Wall Street Journal goes shopping for computer equipment in Kabul (where I understand they do all their shopping for high technology), and what do you think they find on the hard drive? Not memos from the al-Qaeda leaders on using chemical and biological warfare?! Now, all of a sudden, it turns out that Saddam is behind the Oklahoma City bombing (when we were assured it was just a few right-wing wackos acting alone), he's got a prisoner of war the Americans have ignored for ten years but have miraculouly rediscovered, and the Iraqis are plotting with al-Qaeda against the Kurds. All this and much more only goes to show that either God really is on the side of the Americans, dispensing forensic miracles every day, or the American government quite rightly holds the American people in such disdain that it realizes that there is no lie too absurd that it won't be swallowed whole by the most gullible people on earth.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Apparantly the anti-establishment views of the Pentagon crash have now reached the elevated status of an internet urban legend, and have been debunked by Snopes. Despite Snopes' usually high standards, this is a very poor effort. I particularly like the one photogenic piece of debris that is shown on all debunking sites, sitting all alone and many, many yards away from the 'crash' site.
More photos of the Pentagon are available by someone who claims to have seen the crash. Unfortunately, his photos don't seem to help the case of those who believe that Flight 77 was the crashing plane. It is supposed to have hit the helipad and slid into the Pentagon. Note the third and fourth photos. They show an almost pristine helipad and some upright poles that were not hit by anything. Here's another 'final word', which purports to solve the issue based on what appears to be a pile of office equipment (I think I see a filing cabinet) posing as luggage.
There are important unanswered questions about the passenger lists for the four airplanes involved in the September 11 attacks. These questions all tie in to the alarming alacrity with which U. S. authorities identified the hijackers. The passenger lists make it clear that the identification was based on information not released to the public. Just what kind of information does the U. S. government have so readily available that it can identify both the number and names of the hijackers so easily?
The Israeli settlements on the Occupied Territories (or should it be 'Terrortories'?) are morally and legally (not to mention, eventually, militarily) indefensible, but may make perfect sense on some eschatological grounds.
The current American imperialism based on the war on terror has separated out the 'fair-weather' progressives from the true progressives. All it takes is a good war to find out what people really think. My opinions of people like Said and Sontag have gone up; Chomsky and Vidal are as highly regarded as ever; Hitchens and Dershowitz (torture, indeed) have revealed themselves for what they truly are.
What Israel has been up to against the Palestinians seems to be a combination of mindless revenge and the beginnings of ethnic cleansing of the Palestine. The zionists realize that the demographics are not on their side, and seem to have determined that they only have a small window of opportunity to remove all or most of the non-Jews from the occupied terrorities. Ethnic cleansing is one of the main reasons Milosevic is in The Hague. How long is it going to take to get Sharon there?
What the Israeli soldiers do to the Palestinians would never, ever be called 'terrorism'. Interestingly, the reactions to the casual brutality of the Israeli soldiers are always called 'terrorism'. The only moral high ground the Israelis now have is that they have a newspaper which occasionally prints the truth about the sheer brutality of official Israeli government actions.

Monday, March 18, 2002

So why did the conspirators feel it necessary to take the trouble and risk of faking an attack on the Pentagon, given the fact that they knew an attack on each of the towers of the WTC was going to occur on the morning of September 11? Their problem was that they didn't know exactly what was going to happen. They had all kinds of warnings from countries like Israel, Germany, Russia and Egypt. They were aware of plans from the Philippines for an Islamic terrorist organization to use planes as bombs. They also probably had an intelligence source inside the terrorist organization operating in the United States. The source would have been able to tell them the day of the planned attacks and that it involved hijacked planes, but it is not clear that anyone but the leaders knew the actual targets up to the last moment. Even if the conspirators knew it was to be an attack on the WTC, they could not have known if the attack would be successful. Even if one or both towers were hit, no one could have been certain that one or both towers would fall. So it is possible that the events of 9-11 would have been some dramatic hijackings and nothing more. Why, then, fake a crash into the Pentagon? It was necessary to start a war in Afghanistan almost immediately. Nothing short of a massive attack on the symbols of U. S. power by a group that could be tied to Afghanistan could serve as an excuse to start such a war. The terrorists' own actions might not have turned out to be enough provocation. It was thus decided to piggyback on the efforts of the terrrorists by creating other more certain atrocities (the Pentagon, the bomb outside the State Department, a fire at or near the White House, etc., with as many being used as were needed). The Pentagon attack, which would be a sure thing, together with whatever the terrorists managed to accomplish, would be sufficient provocation to start a war immediately in Afghanistan, as well as use the war on terrorism as an excuse to radically ratchet back civil liberties, as civil liberties for the average person are annoying to the elites, and start wars all over the world, both to increase military expenditures and to meet the geopolitical desires of the military-industrial complex. Two questions remain: 1) How would the terrorism be tied to Afghanistan (which, when you think about it, is an absurdly unlikely place for it to originate)?; and 2) Why did they need a war immediately in Afghanistan?

Sunday, March 17, 2002

One problem that any conspiracy theory has is the inherent implausibility of organizing so many people in so many parts of an organization to get a scheme to work. Some people find any 9-11 conspiracy theory involving the U. S. government to be impossible just due to the unwieldy numbers of conspirators from different parts of government that would have to be involved in the plot and the cover-up. I've always had this problem with conspiracies as well. Each conspiracy must be analyzed on its own terms. You have to break the various aspects of the conspiracy down into component parts to see just how many or how few government agents would be involved. If you look at 9-11 as the plot of a Middle Eastern terrorist group that intends to attack each tower of the WTC and one other building (perhaps a nuclear power plant), almost all of the mechanics of the attacks can be left to the terrorists, with no government involvement. Even breaches in airport security can be entirely the work of the terrorists. There are only three areas that require government involvement: 1) the standing down of air defence, which is a matter under the control of the Pentagon, and presumably can be ordered by one man, with everyone below him following orders unquestioningly (and after the fact can be internally blamed on incompetence, with everyone involved keeping quiet because of the perceived embarrassment to the organization); 2) the disposal of Flight 77, which one fighter pilot can look after; and 3) the planting of bombs in the Pentagon or the firing of a missile at the Pentagon, either of which is entirely under the control of the Pentagon, and the mechanics of which could be handled by a very small group of specialists trained to do this type of job and keep a secret. That's it! The beauty of the scheme is that it hides under the skirts of a real, independent terrorist operation, which then bears all the blame for whatever happened (of course the unanswered question is why stand down the planes and plan a separate attack on the Pentagon, a question I will deal with in a future posting). There is no conspiracy required for the cover-up (other than perhaps a few planted 'eyewitnesses'), as it is merely the re-typing of U. S. government press releases by those people who are pleased to be known as 'journalists'. If any conspiracy nuts are foolish enough to raise any questions they are scoffed into silence by the common sense notions that conspiracies are impossible because they involve too many different parties, and because the government would never do anything so evil.

Friday, March 15, 2002

If there was a program run by the CIA to provide easy visas in Saudi Arabia to non-Saudis in order to bring them to the U. S. for training to engage in some sort of covert operation (initially, at least, fight in Afghanistan against the Russians), this would explain: 1) how the terrorists obtained visas so easily (but I note that U. S. visas for Saudis are relatively easily to obtain anyway and apparently can be obtained from travel agencies) and then had no problems with the immigration system; 2) how Atta was able to abandon a plane at Miami Airport with no repercussions (not to mention the fact that he was allowed to re-enter the U. S. despite overstaying his visa, a fact which alone should indicate some form of preferential treatment, and also failed to show up for court on a speeding ticket); 3) that the recently sent visa approvals for Atta and co-terrorist were not a mistake, but a form of protest by the immigration bureaucracy at what is regarded as misuse of the visa system; 4) how the U. S. embassy alcohol smuggling scam in Saudi Arabia is allowed to continue to operate as a form of pay-off for cooperation with issuing visas to those identified by the CIA (and why the Saudis don't complain about it); 5) how U. S. authorities were able to intentify the hijackers so quickly - they had names and visa pictures in one file!; 6) odd connections between the flight school used by the terrorists in Florida and the CIA; 7) the possibility that some of the terrorists received training at U. S. military installations; and 8) the story of the former U. S. Army sergeant, Ali Mohamed, who came from Egypt, rose in rank in the Army, left to fight in Afghanistan without permission and was not disciplined for it (Lindh should ask him for some advice on how he managed this!), and is now in jail for involvement in conspiracy to blow up the U. S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

That disgusting cartoonist Ted Rall has the temerity to draw cartoons intended to make people think and question. Since people don't like to think, and are afraid to question, he takes a lot of abuse. He responds to the critics of his now infamous cartoon on the issues involving compensation to the 9-11 victims, an issue which involves race, class, the role of celebrity in U. S. society, the 'commodification' of grief (it's now used to sell things), the every-man-for-himself general ethos of American culture, and corporate welfare. As Rall points out, the main reason for the government compensation is to let the airlines off the hook for their criminally lax airport security. He also has a good cartoon on the unfortunate U. S. trait of attempting to fight wars using helicopters. Helicopters are great for the military suppliers, as they are very expensive, need constant repair with expensive parts, and constantly crash, leading to a need to buy more helicopters. Of course the crashes lead to deaths of those in the helicopters. The Vietnam war was a good example of how stupid helicopters are, unless you want to kill a lot of your own troops.
Sharon seems to have gotten so much joy out of his role in the civil war in Lebanon that he is attempting to restage the whole bloody mess in the Palestinian refugee camps. Each time something outrageous occurs I naively believe that the Israelis could not possibly top themselves, and each time they do.
More fears that Hugo Chavez in Venezuela will receive the same delightful U. S. treatment that Salvador Allende enjoyed in Chile.
This is an amazing series of photographs of what appears to be the murder, by Israeli police, of a subdued and handcuffed suicide bombing suspect. The police story is that they had to kill him so he wouldn't detonate a bomb, but as they had him stripped down to his underwear this doesn't seem very plausible.
Just why did Bush call the FBI off the investigation of the bin Laden family? The obvious reason is that the bin Laden family was involved in Carlyle Corporation, and Bush called the FBI off as a favor to the family and as a way to avoid possible embarrassment if the FBI had found anything. A more interesting theory (and not inconsistent with the first theory) is that the United States was bringing Saudi nationals into the United States through some form of CIA control of the U. S. visa granting process in Saudi Arabia, an operation which Bush may have been trying to protect from FBI meddling. The Saudis would then be trained by the CIA and sent to commit terrorist acts in other countries. It would be tremendously embarrassing if it should turn out that some of the 9-11 terrorists were in the United States as the guests of the CIA, perhaps even guests that the CIA had lost track of (but it would explain why so many of them were Saudis, and how U. S. authorities identified them so quickly). I also find very interesting the suggestion that the visa granting process may have been tied up in an illegal alcohol smuggling operation being run out of the U. S. embassy in Saudi Arabia. The whole ex-pat alcohol smuggling issue, with murder and bombings, remains completely mysterious.
Pentagon crash eyewitnesses: People are saying that it is odd that the hole in the Pentagon isn't big enough for the plane and that it is odd that more fire damage didn't result and that it is odd that there is only one video of the crash and that it is odd that this video shows the explosion but no plane and that it is odd that there is no debris and that it is odd that light standards that should have been hit by the plane appear to be standing after the explosion and that it is odd that the Pentagon is not protected by anti-aircraft weapons and that it is odd that the U. S. military had 40 minutes to intercept a hijacked plane bearing in on the seats of government of the U. S. but apparently did nothing. It is odd, they say, so odd, but what about the eyewitnesses? Ah, yes, the eyewitnesses. One apparently saw a helicopter crash into the Pentagon, one says he saw a small commuter jet crash into the Pentagon, one says he saw a 'cruise missile with wings' crash into the Pentagon. I'm waiting for the one who says he saw a flying yellow submarine. Most say they saw a plane fly low overhead, followed immediately by the sound of an explosion (which is just what you'd expect if the crash were faked - they'd fly a plane low to the ground and pass it right over the Pentagon, followed immediately by the explosion). A few of the reports very explicitly say they saw an American Airlines plane and followed it by eye right into the Pentagon. While such reports are compelling, you have to remember: 1) eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, and people can and do imagine what they think they must have seen in light of what they believed happened; and 2) if the Pentagon bombing were an inside job, you can be sure that fake eyewitnesses would be provided as part of the plot. What I find odd is the naivete and innocence that Americans have about their government - they really want to believe.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

The new U. S. military presence in Georgia will reduce the insurance costs of building the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. It is also interesting to note that the Turks, famous enemies of Armenians, have successfully lobbied to kill the alternative route which would have gone through Armenia.
The U. S. military operation near Gardez in Afghanistan is being spun as an attack against Taliban/al-Qaeda holdouts. In fact, it appears to be an attack against a local militia commander whose existence, along with the existence of others like him, poses a threat to the rule of the U. S. puppet, Hamid Karzai. The basic American story, that Afghanistan has been liberated of the Taliban and is now united under Karzai, is belied by the fact that the whole country is now governed by a patchwork of local militia leaders, who are going to keep fighting each other, and any colonial interloper, for the foreseeable future.
One of the witnesses to the Pentagon crash, Mike Walter, said: 'I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings, went right there and slammed into the Pentagon'. A cruise missile has wings, and would be impossible to confuse with a Boeing 757.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Six months after September 11, the problems with the official story grow with each passing day. The main issues: 1) the identification of the actual hijackers, both the speed with which they were identified and the certainty of the identification; 2) the confident connection made between the group of hijackers and an organization named al-Qaeda, particularly in light of the seeming inability of the FBI to connect any of the thousands of U. S. detainees to terrorism, or to find any new al-Qaeda cells in the U. S., or to connect any of the soldiers detained in Cuba to al-Qaeda or terrorism; 3) the utter lack of evidence connecting any September 11 terrorism to bin Laden (very important, for bin Laden's presence in Afghanistan is the only excuse the U. S. had for attacking Afghanistan); 4) the large issue of ulterior motives involving an oil pipeline through Afghanistan; 5) the implausibility of the hijackers operating without some kind of assistance, particularly involving airport security; 6) the issue of whether any hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon; 7) the complete lack of response by the U. S. military to the hijackings, as if they were told to stand down; 8) the extremely odd actions of George Bush on the morning and the afternoon of September 11; 9) the transactions in the financial markets attempting to make money off the reactions to the terrorism, much noted at the time, presumably heavily documented, and completely ignored since; 10) not only the mystery of the anthrax attacks, but the mystery of the FBI's reticence to arrest anyone; 11) the peculiar fact that no evidence has made available to the public from such sources as recordings of cell phone calls, recordings of air traffic controller discussions and interviews with air traffic controllers and other pilots who may have heard radio conversations, air traffic control logs and records, and black boxes.

Monday, March 11, 2002

There are serious discrepancies in the biography of the man we know as Mohamed Atta, and I think there are two people involved in 9-11 who used the name 'Mohamed Atta'. One, born Mohamed Atta, is probably still alive. The other is an aircraft pilot who took Atta's name and died crashing into the WTC on September 11. I'll call the real Mohamed Atta 'Real Atta' and the user of the name 'Pseudo Atta'. Real Atta was born in Egypt on September 1, 1968. He trained as an architect and moved to Hamburg, Germany, where he became involved in planning terrorist acts. According to his father, he does look like his passport photo but not like a published security camera photo taken the morning of September 11 (which presumably is a photo of Pseudo Atta). His father also said that his son feared flying. He is devoutly Muslim, pious, and ascetic. Pseudo Atta was born somewhere in the Middle East, probably Saudi Arabia (and he may even be a Saudi prince with his own bodyguard!). He learned to fly military jets in a Middle Eastern airforce, and probably continued his studies in a U. S. military training program. He was Muslim but not at all devout (a drinker, gambler and frequenter of bars), and may have been homosexual. Unlike Real Atta, who was quiet and polite, Pseudo Atta was a 'jerk'. He started to use the name 'Mohamed Atta' in order to disguise his own background (due to his prominent family), and to put the authorities off trying to find Real Atta. Real Atta continues his work plotting terrorism, now made easier as everyone assumes he is dead. Papers referring to Real Atta were left behind in a car in Logan Airport parking lot to back up this ruse, but were probably created by Pseudo Atta, who wasn't well versed in Islam, so don't appear to be genuine. Real Atta, the mastermind, was thus not wasted in the attacks, and given the perfect protection from detection. It is quite possible that Real Atta has never set foot in the United States.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

The Hague trial of Milosevic is turning into a big problem for the NATO/'international community' that is behind it. The problem goes back to the first set of wars in Yugoslavia, involving Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims. These wars involved atrocities committed by everybody, but I think it is fair to say that the Bosnian Muslims were by far the greatest victims. There were clearly enough war crimes around to put all those responsible, including Milosevic, in jail for a long time (and we mustn't forget, as many apparently have, that the Croats committed atrocities, including murder and ethnic cleansing, against the Serbs). However, because Western countries didn't want to take any risks or spend any money to save the lives of Yugoslavians, all the atrocities were allowed to continue unabated. When everything ended in the Dayton Peace Accords, Milosevic was treated as one of the good guys, a guy you could do a deal with. Lying behind all this was the fact that the Yugoslavian wars were caused by a combination of: 1) destruction of the Yugoslavian economy by the usual methods of the IMF; and 2) meddling in the politics of Yugoslavia, particularly by Germany, who shamefully encouraged the breaking off of Slovenia, and then even more shamefully stirred up their old allies from Nazi times, the Croats, to pick a fight with the Serbs (not to mention, in these oil-war crazy days, that there are probably good U. S. geopolitical reasons for keeping the Balkans in a state of flux). As Milosevic got away with murder in Bosnia and Croatia, he seems to have gotten the idea that he could extend his political power by continuing to appeal to extreme Serbian nationalism, and decided to make an example of Kosovo. While it is impossible to defend his manipulation of Serbian politics for his own selfish political ends, it is also true that the Kosovar Albanians were planning to break away from Serbia, probably with the intention of forming a Greater Albania. It is also true that the Kosovar separatists were drug-dealers on a massive scale, and, as now appears important, associates of al-Qaeda. Finally, it is also true that under international law, Serbia had every right to suppress these terrorists who were attempting to cause the forced separation of a part of Serbia (and of which large portions contain a majority population of ethnic Serbs). NATO decided to attack Serbia at this point, not because of any atrocities that may have been committed by the Serbs (and it now appears that the extent of Serbian atrocities has been magnified by NATO propagandists), but because it was feared that Serbian mishandling of the Kosovo crisis, together with the appearance that Milosevic was going to go on to pick fights in other areas (Montenegro, Vojvodina), would eventually lead Greece (and possibly Hungary, Bulgaria, etc.) to become involved, and an effective World War III started in the Balkans. In effect, the NATO attack on Serbia was made necessary, looking backwards, by their not attacking Serbia to defend the Bosnian Muslims in the first Yugoslavian wars, and, looking forwards, to prevent what Milosevic might do if he saw more political success for himself stirring up more trouble in the future. Since the international community effectively excused the earlier atrocities through dealing with Milosevic in the Dayton Accords, they should be left with trying to prove he is a war criminal based solely on Serbian supression of Kosovar terrorists, but have had to add former atrocities because of a fear that atrocities related to Kosovo may be insufficient for a conviction. Since the Serbs are still able to intimidate many witnesses, and since most of what was done can be explained as acts of war against terrorism, there is going to be very little real evidence on which to convict Milosevic. Sadly, this trial is going to hurt the whole concept of international war crimes trials: either they find him guilty, in which case good arguments will be made that he has been 'railroaded', or they let him off (which is inconceivable), in which case the whole concept of such trials will be permanently damaged.
There is a problem with air defence at the Pentagon on September 11. Before 9:00 a. m., the air traffic controllers lost communication with Flight 77, and at least by 9:25 they knew that Flight 77 had turned and was headed back to Washington (and all this took place in the context of the first New York crash at 8:45 and the second at 9:08, a time when everyone should have been on notice that other attacks were possible). The explosion at the Pentagon took place at 9:38. We're supposed to believe that the most powerful empire in the world was unable, in about 40 minutes, to scramble jets to intercept this plane, which could have been headed for the White House or Congress. We're also supposed to believe that the Pentagon is completely undefended by anti-aircraft weapons. A C130 military transport aircraft, a huge slow unarmed lumbering plane, was diverted to do, well, whatever it could to stop Flight 77. Perhaps they could have flown alongside, opened a window, and thrown something at it (the C130 may figure in some of the witness statements). There are only two stark choices: either the U. S. military, which receives a budget that is beyond rational belief and is being radically raised, is so utterly incompetent that it cannot defend the seats of government of the United States, or the guard planes were stood down, an act of pure treason. Actually, there is a third possibility: Flight 77 did not crash into the Pentagon and the explosion was caused by a missile fired at the Pentagon or bombs placed within the building. If it was known that Flight 77 was not headed for Washington, it would have been unnecessary to attempt to intercept it.
The junta is now drawing up contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against China (?!), Russia(?!), Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria. If there are terrorists on American soil with some sort of nuclear weapons, something the junta has been trying to scare the American public with in order to keep up defence insanity and hide domestic embarrassments, those terrorists may actually feel that they are involved in a war and are bound by some rules of war. One of these rules might be that they wouldn't use their nuclear weapons against civilians unless thay had to in self-defence. The announcement that some countries they are fighting to protect may be subject to American nuclear attack may be enough of an excuse for them to decide that they have to make the first strike. Why would the junta gratuitously and senselessly reveal plans that could provoke such a reaction?

Saturday, March 09, 2002

The 9-11 Pentagon crash witness Steve Patterson, one of the witnesses who claims to have actually seen the plane crash into the Pentagon, says he saw a 'silver commuter jet' 'which appeared to hold about eight to 12 people'. Flight 77, the plane that we've been told crashed into the Pentagon, was a Boeing 757-200, over 155 feet long with a capacity of 239 passengers.

Friday, March 08, 2002

Moussaoui is the guy who just wanted to learn to fly a plane, without bothering to learn the uninteresting skills of take off and landing. He drew attention to himself by claiming to be French and then angrily refusing to speak French, and by basically being loud and noticable (it still strikes me that he was attempting to be caught). When Minnesota FBI agents arrested him they obtained his laptop computer. This being before September 11, when there were still civil rights in the U. S., the Minnesota agents approached FBI headquarters to ask the Justice Department to obtain a warrant for them under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (which applied because there was reason to believe that Moussaoui was a foreign intelligence agent, and the investigation was not a criminal investigation, but an intelligence investigation) to search the contents of the laptop (it would later prove to contain information on crop-dusting, which may very well have raised suspicions even in those apparently innocent days before September 11). Such a warrant was required at the time (the law has of course been made more Orwellian since September 11). The warrant requires a court application, but is so easily obtained that of more than 12,000 applications only one had ever been denied (ironically, and not surprisingly, the nutty right wingers have used the non-obtaining of the warrant as an excuse to claim that the law as it stood was too lax, blaming 'liberalism's attack on American intelligence'!). Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department wanted to bother to obtain this warrant. It appears that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department wanted the contents of the laptop to be known, at least not before September 11. For them to refuse what appears to be a routine request looks like they were protecting Moussaoui, for reasons we can only wonder about. The general model of conspiracies is that normal protections against crime (e. g., military air defence by scrambling jets to intercept suspicious planes, normal criminal investigation procedures, normal police and Secret Service protection, normal FBI investigation of possible terrorist suspects) are mysteriously lifted or weakened just before disaster occurs. In rare cases, we find out about the change in normal procedure (e. g., Bush's ordering the FBI to back off the investigation of the bin Laden family). It is the inexplicable change in normal bureaucratic procedures, when any normal bureaucracy resists even the tiniest change, that raises alarms in the naturally suspicious mind.
I'm still confused about the peculiarities and mysteries of the identities of the 9-11 terrorists: 1) How did the FBI know so quickly (for all intents and purposes, immediately) how many terrorists there were and who they were (with pictures, no less)? I assume the terrorists didn't identify themselves by their real names (even if they didn't care if they were identified after they died they wouldn't want to be caught on a routine computer check at the check-in desk at the airport). I also assume that there was no way to know, by looking at the manifest, who were terrorists (or did the FBI just identify them by circling Arab-looking names?). The FBI are supposed to have obtained some information from a phone call from one of the planes as to what seats the terrorists were occupying, but that still doesn't get around the problem that they couldn't have known the terrorists' real names even if they knew where they were on one plane. This whole issue screams out that the FBI was monitoring all these people before September 11. 2) How is it that many of the identified terrorists are real people living in the Middle East who are clearly not terrorists and claim to have not had any identification stolen? This problem arose very shortly after September 11, but seems to have been swept under the rug. Does this mean that the identification made by the FBI is partially or even completely bogus, meaning that at least the public doesn't know who really was involved? 3) Why would the supposed mastermind, Atta, have killed himself along with the rest of the terrorists? While that type of self-sacrifice may be good for the morale of the foot-soldiers, it is very inefficient for an organization that presumably wants to do this sort of thing again. 4) If there are problems with the official identification, what is the purpose of misleading the public? Does the U. S. government want to obscure the real background of the terrorists? Were they trained to fly by the U. S. military? Were at least some of them not even of Arab background, thus putting into question the whole Islamic fundamentalist terrorist story? Were some of them of family background that might embarrass a U. S. ally? Were at least some of them, the ones engaged in un-Islamic behavior, not connected with the rest, and perhaps even mercenaries?
If the Pentagon wasn't hit by a plane, it wouldn't have been damaged, particularly in the way that it was, by a truck bomb (Americans seem awfully gullible about the destructive power of truck bombs!). It would have been explosive devices planted in the walls of the Pentagon while the renovations to that part of the building were being completed.
BUSH/HARKEN/BCCI/CIA/BIN LADEN/ENRON (amended to add, in italics, more evidence of easy corruption): George W. Bush (Bush 43) made his first real money out of shares he acquired in Harken Energy, a worthless oil exploration company that became valuable when it was granted oil exploration rights in Bahrain, rights it obtained because Bush 43's father, then-President George Bush (Bush 41) was pals with the Sheikh of Bahrain (Bush 43 got the Harken shares when Harken acquired the worthless shares in Bush 43's own company, an acquisition which was clearly made to get use of the connections of Bush 43, through his father, Bush 41). Harken was partially owned by Union Bank of Switzerland (USB) (to which Enron Online trading operations have recently been sold), which, with the infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), owned Banque de Commerce et de Placements, which invested $25 million in Harken, a deal arranged through the auspices of infamous financier, Jackson Stephens. (Remarkably, the financing also involved a critical investment from Harvard Management Company which manages the investments of Harvard University, an extremely odd type of investment - and as it turned out, a very bad one - for such an endowment.) Khalid bin Mahfouz, currently under house arrest in Saudi Arabia at the behest of the U. S., was: 1) a big original investor in BCCI; 2) involved in the Carlyle Group with the family of bin Laden and Bush 41; and 3) a big funder of the projects of bin Laden, sometimes through the use of Islamic charities. USB and BCCI sold their interest in Harken to Saudi real estate developer Abdullah Bakhsh, who is linked to bin Mahfouz and to Ghaith Pharaon, a front man for BCCI. James Bath was: 1) a flying (or, perhaps more accurately, non-flying) pal of Bush 43; 2) an original partner in Harken; 3) a probable CIA liason to Saudi Arabia (and Bush 41 used to head the CIA and probably worked for the CIA prior to that); 4) a business representative for bin Laden's half-brother, who was killed in a mysterious airplane crash in 1988, and possibly a representative of bin Laden's father; 5) operator of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Limited, a company based in the Cayman Islands which may have obtained planes from the CIA and which was owned by bin Mahfouz; and 6) an investor in Main Bank of Houston with Pharaon and bin Mahfouz. BCCI was in effect an early version of al-Qaida, intended to make money by committing fraud in Western countries and use some of the money to fund Islamic terrorist operations against the West. When Harken started to fail, Bush 43 sold his shares in violation of insider trading rules, violations that were whitewashed by regulators appointed by Bush 41. (Of course, Bush 43 has appointed his own regulators who turned a blind eye to the depredations of Enron.) We can see how Bush 43 was financially tied to Bath through Harken, and Bath was tied to the CIA, bin Laden's half-brother, and bin Mahfouz, and bin Mahfouz was in turn tied to BCCI and to bin Laden. The bin Laden family is closely tied to the Bush family through their shared interest in Bush 41's company, Carlyle (a company in which Bush 43 still probably holds an interest), which is poised to make a fortune off the massively increased defence spending entailed by the new war on terror involving attacking countries who are said to have had some sort of relationship with bin Laden (I imagine that there is much laughter in the boardrooms that Carlyle will do so well by being involved in chasing bin Laden) . Bin Laden was set up by the CIA as a leader of the 'freedom fighters' in Afghanistan, and is said to have met with a CIA representative as recently as the summer, probably betraying that bin Laden still has a relationship with the CIA. When the FBI started to get too close in their investigation of bin Laden, Bush 43 told them to back off, and Bush 43 now uses his bogus world war against bin Laden to advance U. S. oil/drug interests around the world, including those of Enron (a company heavily involved in the proposed pipeline through Afghanistan, and generally in the development of the Eurasian petrochemical deposits, particularly with respect to transporting energy to India and beyond, an issue which raises the possibility that special efforts were made by the Bush 43 administration in an effort to stave off the bankruptcy of Enron), and to hide the stench of his regime's dirty involvement in the Enron debacle. Bush 43's involvement with Enron, despite his assertions that he hardly knows Kenneth Lay, go back at least until 1986 or 1987, when Harken and Enron were involved in an oil development together. Enron helped to finance the legal shenanigans that got Bush 43 appointed President by the U. S. Supreme Court. And so it goes . . . .

Thursday, March 07, 2002

After the video of 'bin Laden' which clearly didn't contain anyone who even slightly resembled bin Laden, now we are presented with photographs that purport to show the plane crashing into the Pentagon. It must be my lying eyes again, but I see a big explosion and I don't see any plane! This may be the proof that we've been seeking!
The Vreeland case is still making waves. However implausible, it doesn't appear that the fabric of his story has been successfully attacked in any way. There are two interesting issues: 1) Vreeland seems to have a remarkable criminal history, something that appears to impugn his credibility. Intelligence agencies are apt to use just such petty criminals for their 'cutouts', intelligence assets who are contracted to do work that is too embarrassing for the intelligence agency itself to be caught doing. If things go bad and the work is discovered, the agency then disclaims any connection with the cutout. The type of person who is hired for such work is the type of person who would get involved in criminal activities. Sometimes the agency sets up the cutout to be caught, then rescues him from the law, simultaneously making the cutout beholden to the agency and providing remarkable evidence that the cutout is the criminal type and not to be trusted should the agency need to destroy his credibility when he later attempts to defend himself from criminal charges by claiming to work for them. 2) Vreeland's note could be said to be too vague as it is merely a list of targets, only one of which is the World Trade Center. This has to be seen in the context of a man who we know was so agitated about the matter in August that he attempted unsuccessfully to pass his information on, and wrote it down and sealed it in an envelope and gave the envelope to his jailers before September 11. The chilling line is 'let one happen stop the rest'. This sounds like the plan of an intelligence agency that knew that there would be a terrorist attack, but not exactly on which target, and wanted to allow one attack to occur to use the attack as an excuse for some wider agenda (the agenda we're living in now). The fact that Vreeland was vague about the target fits with the kind of intelligence he might very well have picked up, possibly from gossip with his Russian counterparts whose information was itself partial and vague. The most interesting part is not the list of targets, for they are the type of targets that could have been guessed, but the timing of his warning and the apparent plan of an intelligence agency (and it would have to be an intelligence agency with the power to allow one attack and shut down others) to manipulate history for its own ends.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Why were the four planes that crashed on September 11 only about one quarter full? Why did the flight that crashed into the Pentagon, flight 77, take 91 minutes from take-off to crash, while flight 11, which seemed to fly almost as far (at least based on maps drawn to show the flight routes), take only 46 minutes (is the answer just a difference in flying speed?)? Why was smoke reported at the White House on September 11?
Eyewitness accounts of the 9-11 crash into the Pentagon: some are quite compelling evidence that a plane did crash into the Pentagon; others are consistent with a plane passing over followed immediately by a bomb. The release of any video evidence would go a long way to clearing the matter up.
More people are doubting that the death of Cliff Baxter was a suicide. It would be a very odd way to commit suicide if you had to hold the gun two feet away from your head while pulling the trigger. That's far enough away that you wouldn't feel comfortable that you wouldn't miss!