Friday, May 17, 2002

The Bush Administration now admits that it had foreknowledge that al-Qaeda was planning to hijack airplanes in the United States. They are being extra careful to state that Bush did not know that the planes would be used as missiles to destroy buildings. The problem with this distinction is that it has been known for years, from information obtained in the Philippines, that the general al-Qaeda plan was to use hijacked planes as missiles. Therefore, if Bush knew about hijacked planes and al-Qaeda, he knew or ought to have known that the planes could be used as missiles (Ari Fleischer said: "Philippines - took place overseas." - I guess it doesn't apply in the United States then!). The Bush Administration, staffed by a bunch of political hacks from the days of Reagan, looks more and more like the Nixon Administration (as John Dean keeps pointing out). The admission is a form of 'limited hangout', the political equivalent of pleading guilty to a lesser offence, hoping the issue will go away (it didn't work for Nixon). I think we will find that they knew much more that they are admitting to now, and what they are admitting to now, with the background information on the plans of al-Qaeda to use planes as missiles, should be grounds for impeachment (this really puts the whole Clinton impeachment in perspective). Even as it stands, the admission puts a whole lot of things in a new light:

  1. John O'Neill's concerns about the FBI being called off the investigation of the bin Laden family.

  2. John Ashcroft's decision to no longer take commercial flights.

  3. Bush's extremely odd non-reaction to finding out about the terrorism, his comment that he'd seen it on television before he possibly could have (perhaps he had already imagined it), and his odd day of flying around, perhaps when the damage-control was planned.

  4. Delmart Vreeland's claims - that up until now have been scoffed at - that he as a agent of the U. S. government saw specific warnings of the attack.

  5. The U. S. government's ignoring of all the warnings made to it by other governments (and don't forget Echelon).

  6. The extraordinary speed with which the Bush Administration identified all the hijackers, and the speed with which they identified bin Laden as the culprit.

  7. The fact that some members of the Israeli spy ring lived a few blocks down the street in Hollywood Beach from where Atta and some of the other terrorists lived.

  8. The as-yet-not-and-probably-never-to-be investigated profits made by trading in stock markets based on foreknowledge of the tragedy (even the vaguest foreknowledge that airplanes were going to be hijacked would have led to big profits taking short positions on airline stocks).

  9. The standing down of air defences that would have protected the WTC and the Pentagon.

In some countries, this kind of admission would lead to rioting in the streets, but Americans are so cynical about their politicians that all they can manage to squeeze out is a 'ho' and a 'hum' (although they have no trouble in calling Congresswoman McKinney a traitor for having the temerity to have suggested that this very issue should be investigated). The bottom line is that if the Bush Administration had done anything about the warnings, the September 11 tragedy wouldn't have happened (despite their protestations, it appears they didn't give even the faintest of warnings to any part of the government). When you consider all the benefits that have accrued as a result of the September 11 tragedy to members of the Administration and its friends, you can't help but wonder . . . .