Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Judicial Watch and the Pentagon 'video'

Judicial Watch was known as a Republican Party attack dog against the Clinton Administration, but went a long way to rehabilitating its partisan image when it went after the secret activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, eventually revealing some maps of hydrocarbon deposits and oil and gas installations in Iraq and neighboring countries, seemingly showing that the war in Iraq was about oil.  Now it has apparently ‘forced’ the Pentagon to release a video of the crash into the Pentagon building.  This video appears to be the source of the stills that have already been released, and remains the only purported visual evidence of what crashed into the Pentagon.  I have a few comments:

  1. If you look at the video (I downloaded a copy from here), you can see that it is a collection of stills joined together, and of such bad quality that you cannot tell what hit the Pentagon.  It is a manufactured product, and therefore can’t be analyzed to provide any evidence as to the speed of the plane, and can’t be analyzed to see if there are anomalies in the video.  It is literally mostly smoke.  It really is of no more use than the stills that have already been released, and the most amazing thing about it is that people claim that it now settles the issue of what hit the Pentagon.  It certainly does not.  You would think that if the American government had evidence that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon - and we know they have other tapes - they might allow us to see it.  Now that the Pentagon has established the precedent of releasing one ‘video’, there is absolutely no reason to withhold the other tape evidence.  This release indicates to me that they are afraid to show us the real evidence.  It is far past the time when the critics of the conspiracy theories ought to be admitting that the unexplained and mysterious absence of evidence is in itself evidence of a cover-up.   
  2. What (or who) leaves a shadow in front of the camera on the bottom left about forty per cent through?
  3. From Judicial Watch: 

“Judicial Watch originally filed a Freedom of Information Act request on December 15, 2004, seeking all records pertaining to September 11, 2001 camera recordings of the Pentagon attack from the Sheraton National Hotel, the Nexcomm/Citgo gas station, Pentagon security cameras and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The Department of Defense admitted in a January 26, 2005 letter that it possessed a videotape responsive to Judicial Watch's request. However, the Pentagon refused to release the videotape because it was, ‘part of an ongoing investigation involving Zacarias Moussaoui.’ Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on February 22, 2006 arguing that there was ‘no legal basis’ for the Defense Department's refusal to release the tape.

‘We fought hard to obtain this video because we felt that it was very important to complete the public record with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11,’ said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

‘Finally, we hope that this video will put to rest the conspiracy theories involving American Airlines Flight 77. As always, our prayers remain with all those who suffered as a result of those murderous attacks.’”

Although Judicial Watch asked for all the recordings, it pronounced itself satisfied after getting just one, one which did not, and could not, put to rest the conspiracy theories.  I smell a rat.

It is probably time to question whether the Bush Administration really wanted to hide the Cheney Energy Task Force information, or only wanted to appear to be hiding what Judicial Watch claims to have forced out.  We still don’t know anything of what Cheney was up to except the released documents, which the ‘left’ was happy to accept as proof that the attack on Iraq was all about oil.  Or was that what we were supposed to think?  From the John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt devastating and cool reply to critics:

“Probably the most popular argument made about a countervailing force is Herf and Markovits’s claim that the centrepiece of US Middle East policy is oil, not Israel. There is no question that access to that region’s oil is a vital US strategic interest. Washington is also deeply committed to supporting Israel. Thus, the relevant question is, how does each of those interests affect US policy? We maintain that US policy in the Middle East is driven primarily by the commitment to Israel, not oil interests. If the oil companies or the oil-producing countries were driving policy, Washington would be tempted to favour the Palestinians instead of Israel. Moreover, the United States would almost certainly not have gone to war against Iraq in March 2003, and the Bush administration would not be threatening to use military force against Iran. Although many claim that the Iraq war was all about oil, there is hardly any evidence to support that supposition, and much evidence of the lobby’s influence. Oil is clearly an important concern for US policymakers, but with the exception of episodes like the 1973 Opec oil embargo, the US commitment to Israel has yet to threaten access to oil. It does, however, contribute to America’s terrorism problem, complicates its efforts to halt nuclear proliferation, and helped get the United States involved in wars like Iraq.”

The United States has effectively abandoned the Iraqi oil fields and the pipelines to the insurgency, and the oil production, small to begin with, continues to drop month by month.  Indeed, abandoning maintenance of the oil fields means that significant production will be lost permanently.  There is not the slightest indication that the United States cares a whit about Iraqi oil, or about allowing American firms to develop it.  The ‘forced’ release of the Cheney documents was another Judicial Watch charade, intended to fool us into thinking we’d uncovered the real reason for the attack.  The ‘forced’ release of this ridiculous manufactured ‘video’ of the attack on the Pentagon is another example of Judicial Watch carrying the can for the same people for whom it has continued to work since its days of attacking Clinton.

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