Sunday, June 30, 2002

Although he had absolutely nothing to do with the events of September 11, it is very instructive to consider the case of Ali Mohamed. Ali Mohamed is an Egyptian who was an Islamic fundamentalist. He had earned two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree at the University of Alexandria. He joined the Egyptian army and worked his way up through the ranks to become a major in Egypt's special forces. His fundamentalism became so disruptive that the Egyptian army threw him out in 1984. What did he do? He became a security expert for Egyptair and approached the CIA to offer to supply them with information. The CIA turned him down after a month, claiming he was 'unreliable', possibly because they knew he had secretly joined Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the group responsible for the assassination of Sadat. They even put him on the State Department watch list, warned other U.S. government agencies about him, and urged them to detain him if possible. I guess it wasn't possible, as in 1985 he managed to obtain a visa, emigrated to the United States, married an American (who he had met on his flight over to the United States!), and became an American citizen. In 1986, at the age of 34 (rather old for a recruit) he joined the United States Army as a regular soldier, and worked his way up to become a sergeant (with a level 'secret' security clearance). How can a guy who is too fundamentalist to stay in the Egyptian army, not to mention being on a State Department watch list, so easily get in to the United States and so easily join the U. S. Army? A U. S. government official even said that there was 'no evidence' that the CIA helped Mohamed gain entry to the United States in 1985, which isn't much of a denial. It seems to have been an open secret amongst people who knew him in the army that he was acting as a liason between the CIA and Islamic fundamentalists fighting in Afghanistan and he made absolutely no secret of his fundamentalist beliefs while in the army. Amazingly, he stated that he intended, while on military leave, to fight in Afghanistan without seeking the permission of his army superiors. A report was filed on the matter, and when he returned a second report was filed, but no charges were filed against him! He even claimed to have killed two Soviet soldiers and gave away as souvenirs what he claimed were their uniform belts. Do you think his little adventure was really unauthorized? He left the army officially in 1989, and continued to be involved in the American proxy war against the Russians being fought by Islamic fundamentalists (including, of course, bin Laden). Since it was American policy to support this war, do you think it was possible that he was still working for some part of the U. S. government at this time (he was in the Army Reserves for five years after his honorable discharge)? He was even the guy who brought Dr. Ayman Zawahri, head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and a good candidate as the real leader of al-Qaeda, on his famous fund-raising trip to the United States. Mohamed even found time while smuggling Islamic fundamentalists into the United States from Vancouver to become an FBI informant on smuggling involving Mexicans and other aliens (he gave the FBI their first comprehensive briefing on al-Qaeda in 1993, and as late as 1997 told the FBI that it was bin Laden's men who were responible for the 18 American deaths in Somalia)! All the while, he was assisting in the plotting of terrorism against the United States which led to the bombings of the U. S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and was eventually arrested, pled guilty, and is currently in jail. How is Ali Mohamed useful in considering September 11? He was so obviously an Islamic fundamentalist that he was kicked out of the Egyptain army and put on a U. S. State Department watch list, but had no problem: 1) emigrating to the U. S.; 2) joining the U. S. army, and becoming a sergeant; 3) while on military leave, fighting in Afghanistan (by the way, this sounds much worse than Lindh's case, as Lindh wasn't even in the U. S. army) without any sanction; and 4) becoming an informant for the FBI. The CIA already knew who he was due to his contacting them while in Egypt. Do you think that it is even slightly possible that the CIA didn't really turn him down while in Egypt, but arranged for the whole series of steps which led him to the United States? Do you think that they haven't admitted to any of this because to do so might involve an admission that the CIA was fooled by him, or even - gasp - that they were involved in the African bombing plot? Do you really think that no one noticed that he had spent five years moving back and forth between the U. S. and Afghanistan? Can you see an analogy to the events of September 11? Is it even conceivable that the international Islamic networks linked to bin Laden may have been nurtured and encouraged by elements of the U.S. intelligence community? Two final points:

  1. Some of the September 11 hijackers are said to have attended U. S. military officer's schools, something that soldiers of allies of the U. S. can be invited to do. Ali Mohamed graduated from such a school in 1981 in a program for visiting military officials from foreign countries, and went back to the Egyptian army.

  2. Mohamed Atef, a member of al-Qaeda, refused to let Mohamed know what name and passport he was traveling under. L'Houssaine Khertchou testified at the embassy bombing trial that this was "because he was afraid that maybe he is working with United States or other governments".

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Michel Chossudovsky has written an excellent article on the CIA / ISI / al-Qaeda connection, and how it figures in the events of September 11. People are starting to notice that al-Qaeda appears to have too many inconsistencies to be the simple villain in the story. How is it that bin Laden is supposed to have as a main goal the removal of the current leaders of Saudi Arabia, and yet at the same time derives much of his support from members of the Saudi royal family? How is it that bin Laden used to be an ally of the United States in the fight against the Russians, and now is the greatest enemy of the United States (and how does bin Laden's supposed meeting with a CIA representative in Dubai figure into all of this?)? How is it that bin Laden's family are such great investors in the Carlyle Group, the company partly owned by the father of the current U. S. President which has done so well out of the war on terror (and why is it that more Americans aren't asking questions about this amazing coincidence - it is as if during the Second World War the main American military supplier was partly owned by Roosevelt's father and partly owned by Hitler's brother?)? Just how estranged is bin Laden from his family anyway (he apparently still has phone conversations with his mother)? How is it that the United States is apparently supporting both sides of the war in Macedonia/Kosovo, both the Macedonian side, through NATO, and the Albanian side, which is still closely allied with al-Qaeda? Just how close is the relationship between the CIA and the Pakistani ISI? Is the ISI just an agent of the CIA? What was going on when the ISI apparently sent money to Atta (I still think this is some kind of set up, but I'm not sure who was being set up!)? What was Pakistan's role in the failed U. S. oil company negotiations with the Taliban, and what does Pakistan expect to get out of the Afghan oil pipeline? Is the Pakistani government an enemy or an ally of al-Qaeda? It is becoming clear that the role of al-Qaeda in 9-11 is extraordinarily complex, and that we've been misled by U. S. authorities as to the true nature and role of al-Qaeda. As Chossudovsky notes, Bush's foreknowledge or lack thereof may just be a screen behind which to hide the true involvement of the Bush Administration. When considering the American government, we also always have to consider that parts of it often act independently of the whole, which further adds to the confusion. We are just now starting to see people attempt to come to grips with what really happened on September 11.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Bush's new 'peace' plan for the Palestinians contains the elements of a classic Catch-22: they can have a state only if they demonstrate the attributes of a mature democracy and end the terrorist attacks, both of which are impossible with the institutional mechanisms they have been denied or that Israel has recently destroyed. Requiring them to end the terrorism is a particularly ironic twist, as the ability of the Palestinian Authority to do this has been completely destroyed by recent Israeli war crimes, and it is clear that the main goal of the terrorist attacks is not to destroy Israel directly (as that would be impossible using suicide bombers), but to destroy the Palestinian Authority and the current Palestinian leadership and replace them with more radical anti-Israeli leaders (and in this odd way the goals of Sharon and the instigators of the suicide bombings are identical). Bush's long-promised plan had been delayed, ostensibly because he had not wanted to release it after some terrorist act, thus 'rewarding terrorism'. This cannot be the real reason for the delay, as the plan is so slanted to Israeli interests (a fact which the Israeli right has not hesitated to trumpet) that it could not possibly be construed as a reward for the Palestinians. The real reason for the timing is clearly to wait until the Israelis could establish their current military control and effective 24 hour curfew over the West Bank. The makes it crystal clear to the Palestinians that there is no hope for them to be able to comply with Bush's preconditions, and thus is effectively a part of the long-term Israeli plan to so completely demoralize the Palestinians that they will voluntarily leave the West Bank, or at least consent to be some sort of non-voting second-class citizens of Greater Israel (another Sharon plan is to forcibly move Palestinians from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, a plan that will apparently start when he begins to move the families of suicide bombers, but will no doubt slowly escalate by extending the definition of 'family'). The other kicker is that Sharon does not have to stop building settlements or pull back the existing settlers until the Palestinians meet the conditions that Bush knows Sharon can ensure cannot be met. Therefore, Bush's new 'peace' plan is the first express American sanction to the creation of Greater Israel by the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in the West Bank. Even if by some miracle the Palestinians could meet Bush's conditions, they will then only obtain a 'provisional state'. This is presumably just another method for the Americans to impress upon the Palestinians just how hopeless their cause is. It has become obvious that there is no hope for the Palestinians until the hegemony of the American Empire is over (and given the way things are going, that may be sooner than many think).

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Time Asia recently published an article on the President of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, which pointed out, amongst other things, that he seemed, at various times and in various contexts: 1) "shaky and lost, less an aging sage than an ordinary old man"; 2) "confused and inattentive"; 3) "half dead"; and 4) to have trouble understanding questions and to stumble over his replies. This wouldn't be quite so interesting if he didn't have his finger over the nuclear button (in fact, there hasn't been such a decrepit old man in such a position since the days of Ronald Reagan, but I hasten to add that there is no evidence that Vajpayee is in anything like the terrible mental condition that Reagan was in). The article has caused some consternation in India, has led to some official responses, and has even led to some questioning regarding the writer's visa situation in India. The writer, Alex Perry, is keeping a low profile.
Why did Jose Padilla (aka Abdullah al-Mujahir) intentionally fill out a currency declaration form incorrectly, thus providing the U. S. government an excuse to arrest him, when he just as easily could have filled it out correctly with no negative repercussions? Did he know he was being followed and acted in a way to ensure he would be arrested? If so, why? Would it surprise you if six months from now we discover that the U. S. government decided to release him on the basis that they had him mixed up with someone else?
If anyone really wants to know whether there was any U. S. government involvement in the September 11 terrorism it will be relatively easy to find out. Convene a congressional hearing so testimony can be delivered under oath and ask the pilots of the American fighter planes who were unable to intercept the terrorist planes whether there was any extraordinary procedure in their being notified of the need to intercept the terrorist planes and, in particular, any unusual delay in their being allowed to take off in pursuit of the terrorist planes. The interceptions appear to be perfectly timed in order to just miss the terrorist planes so that it can appear that a valiant effort was made in each case. Therefore the pilots must have been in their planes on the runways impatiently waiting for a signal to take off and wondering why they had to wait. If there is any plan to ask such questions it is absolutely imperative that the lives of these pilots be guarded by some independent force in order to prevent the almost inevitable 'accidents' or 'suicides' that befall witnesses in such cases. If the witnesses testify to unusual facts, the committee then has to work its way up the chain of command until it finds someone who is unable to explain where his orders came from. None of this will ever happen, or course, as it is becoming quite apparent that no one really wants to know the truth. Perhaps they are right not to want to know.

Monday, June 24, 2002

The classic article supporting a conspiracy theory about the events of September 11 is Michael Ruppert's "Oh Lucy! - You Gotta Lotta 'Splainin To Do", originally published November 2, 2001, and updated since. Everyone should just read it, and see what all the fuss is about. Much of the fuss has been created by David Corn, a writer for The Nation, one of those odd magazines that purports to be 'progressive' but seems to only publish the work of various stripes of reactionaries (e. g., Hitchens), much in the same style as the old The New Republic (or course, The New Republic has expressly and rather defiantly gone completely over to the dark side, which may be the future path of The Nation). The state of The Nation is perhaps best reflected in the fact it now raises funds by hosting an annual cruise, where toffs with more money than sense can lounge on a boat with the magazine's famous journalists. In any event, Corn has developed a distaste for the conspiracy theories surrounding 9-11, and his most recent article on the subject has the great advantage of making his readers aware of Ruppert. In referring to an earlier column that Corn wrote, he writes one of the funniest lines in recent American journalistic history: "I expressed doubt that the Bush Administration would kill or allow the murder of thousands of American citizens to achieve a political or economic aim." Not one to rest on his laurels, he follows it with another: "Having covered the national security community for years, I didn't believe any government agency could execute a plot requiring the coordination of the FBI, the CIA, the INS, the FAA, the NTSB, the Pentagon and others." I can only assume in covering the national security community for years he has somehow missed the JFK assassination, the MLK assassination, the RFK assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the most recent American election. Corn, in what I assume is supposed to be an insult, states: "Ruppert is not a reporter." Given the state of jounalism these days, that is about the nicest thing one man can say about another. Corn goes on to write about Vreeland and the supposedly off-the-wall theories of those crazy people in France, but really pays scant attention to the details of Ruppert's timeline. For a more detailed attack, you have to visit "WhatDIDN'". The great disadvantage of attempting such a detailed refutation of Ruppert is that it will just encourage people to read Ruppert. Ruppert's strength isn't in any particlar part of the timeline, but in the sheer quantity of suspicious details. Unfortunately, critics of conspiracy theories never recognize that it is in the nature of real conspiracies to involve a giant element of subterfuge, and when the entity doing the obfuscating is the U. S. government, the amount of resources that can be applied to hiding the conspiracy is enormous. It is therefore unlikely that any one piece of evidence will remain to serve as a 'smoking gun', and the nature of conspiracy research is to uncover a sufficient number of quality anomalies in the Official Story that intelligent people can see that the Official Story is a lie (and hopefully lead to an investigation where witnesses can be deposed under oath). Other than the fact that he displays quite a lot of the warblogger aggressive attitude, this attempt at refutation is rather thin. While it's a mug's game to get into this type of argument, I note the 'refutation' of the role of Unocal as depicted in Ruppert's paragraphs 3 and 4. Paragraph 3:
"3. December 4, 1997 – Representatives of the Taliban are invited guests to the Texas headquarters of Unocal to negotiate their support for the pipeline. Subsequent reports will indicate that the negotiations failed, allegedly because the Taliban wanted too much money. [Source: The BBC, Dec. 4, 1997]"

is supposed to be contradicted by paragraph 4:
"4. February 12, 1998 – Unocal Vice President John J. Maresca – later to become a Special Ambassador to Afghanistan – testifies before the House that until a single, unified, friendly government is in place in Afghanistan the trans-Afghani pipeline needed to monetize the oil will not be built. [Source: Testimony before the House International Relations Committee.]",
but presumably that doesn't necessarily follow. The 1997 negotiations could have failed over money, and the Unocal Vice President could also have testified before the House that the pipeline would not be built before there was a stable government in Afghanistan. The 'refutation' continues: "Either Unocal backed out over too much money, or the lack of stability. Put together, these two items seem to confirm that Unocal’s desire for such a pipeline was tepid, at best." Again, I don't see how this follows. It seems odd that the House would have a Vice President of Unocal testify about the issue unless Unocal had a big interest in it. Unocal itself has made it very clear on the opening page of its website since at least very shortly after September 11 (I know because I saw a version of it there very shortly after September 11) that it has absolutely no interest in the Afghan pipeline, a case, I dare say, of protesting too much. I recommend reading the attempts at refutation and Ruppert's timeline and drawing your own conclusions. The most interesting question in all of this is why jounalists have an almost visceral hatred of conspiracy theories. The state of jounalism wouldn't be quite as pathetic if just a few reporters got off the boat and started real investigation.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

The Cliff Baxter 'suicide' sham continues. Now the Sugar Land Police Department has concluded that it is certain that Baxter's death was a suicide. This conclusion is silly on its face (I also have to wonder if Sugar Land was a place where a lot of high Enron executives lived, executives who could put political pressure on local police, and note without comment that Sugar Land is the home of Tom DeLay). I've written about this before, but as it is so outrageous, I have to do so again:

  1. Baxter was so high up in Enron that he would have been aware of every single major problem in Enron's operations. In particular, he would have had detailed knowledge of all the connections of Enron to the Bush Administration. He resigned before the problems became apparent because he disagreed with the illegal and immoral policies of company management. He was a man who got out of Enron on principle. He therefore had no fear of punishment as a result of the revelations in any testimony he might give. He was in a completely unique position, and at the time of his death was the most politically dangerous man in the United States. His testimony, by showing the depths of criminality of the executives of Enron coupled with the obscenely close relationship between Enron executives and the Bush Administration, could have completely destroyed the Bush Administration and permanently damaged the current American mantra that completely unregulated corporate greed is a good thing. Although he left before the Enron bankruptcy, he probably could have provided information regarding the odd relationship between the Bush Administration and the Taliban as the Bush Administration hurried to coerce the Taliban into allowing the pipeline to go through in time to keep Enron afloat.

  2. Baxter was safely out of Enron, filthy rich, living in a mansion with his family, and awaiting the delivery of a new yacht.

  3. Baxter stated in the days before his death that he felt he needed to hire a bodyguard, and that he felt agitated about harassment he felt he was receiving.

  4. The new revelation that local police find so important is that when Baxter left his house the morning of his 'suicide', he put pillows under his bed covers so that it would appear that he was still in bed. This is somehow supposed to prove that he intended to commit suicide, but of course it proves the opposite. The reason you put pillows under the bed covers is so you can sneak out and come back without anyone knowing you've been away.

  5. Baxter's supposed suicide note makes no sense. It is addressed to his wife but shows no emotion. It is like a generic form of suicide note (and what's up with the wife trying to keep the contents of the note from the public when it contains nothing that would require any privacy?). It is printed in block letters (when he was in the habit of writing in longhand), including the signature, and the printing shows no emotion. Apparently, his fingerprints aren't on the note. It was left in his wife's car. Although he is supposed to have killed himself due to worries over the Enron situation, it makes no mention of Enron.

  6. Baxter is said to have been very heavily sedated with sleeping pills at the time of his death. In fact he was probably so heavily drugged that it would have been very easy for anyone to get him to do anything. He could not have put up a fight if he were attacked.

  7. Baxter was apparently not killed with rat shot, as originally reported, but with Glaser ammunition. Blood spatter tests prove that no one was in the passenger side of the vehicle when he was shot, but of course can't prove that he wasn't shot from outside the vehicle. If he was shot in the right side of the head, the shot could have come from outside the vehicle in through the open passenger's-side window. The police story is now that an officer saw Baxter driving down the street (i.e., he could identify that it was Baxter driving at around 2:30 a. m.!) a convenient three minutes before he found Baxter's body in the parked car, but this seems not to be the original police story which was that the officer saw the vehicle parked and investigated it 15 minutes later when he saw it parked in the same place.

What do we make of all this? The police work was sloppy (including not bagging the hands, which puts in question the results of the tests which the police say show Baxter shot himself with his right hand), perhaps intentionally, and the Houston County Medical Examiner who conducted the autopsy and determined in a big hurry that it was a suicide has a 'history' (and there was nearly no autopsy at all due to the unusual reluctance of the Sugar Land police to have an autopsy conducted), but we still have quite a few facts to work with. Here's a possible scenario. Baxter gets a phone call from someone who wanted to talk about the Enron situation. He knows the caller and doesn't trust him, but decides to go anyway. The caller has him bring some letterhead with him on some excuse. Baxter doesn't want to alarm his wife so he doesn't tell her, and he puts the pillows under the bed covers so she won't even know he has been out. He is nervous about the person he is to meet, so he takes his gun, and takes a lot of sedatives. He drives to the meeting place. The person he was to meet comes up to the passenger-side window of his vehicle and threatens him with a gun to hand over the letterhead and Baxter's gun. Due to the sedatives, Baxter is in no position to put up a fight. The assassin shoots Baxter using Baxter's gun, wipes it clean of fingerprints, and places it in the vehicle on Baxter's lap. He prints the 'suicide' note using block letters so he doesn't have to forge Baxter's handwriting, leaves it in Baxter's wife's car, and disappears (he forced Baxter to lick the envelope before he died or obtained saliva after he died to smear on the envelope which would account for the fact that Baxter's DNA was on the envelope). Nothing in this scenario is inconsistent with the work of a professional assassin.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Now, when it fits within the Islamic terrorist model of the Bush Administration, we are hearing that before the 1995 Oklahoma City attack the U. S. government had specific warnings that U. S. government buildings were under danger of attack by Islamic terrorists. These warnings were apparently taken seriously enough that security was increased around federal buildings. What is of course striking about this is that at the time of the attack and all through the trial of Timothy McVeigh the U. S. government position could not have been clearer - the attack was entirely the work of right-wing militia groups and there was no Middle-Eastern involvement whatsoever.
Chris Matthews, usually a Media Whore of the lowest sort, really drags Tom DeLay over the coals for DeLay's weird End-Times Christian views of the future of the Palestinians, i. e., they have no future as they have the misfortune of living in Greater Israel and the 'Rapture' or some such nonsense won't happen until they give up any plans of statehood. DeLay keeps trying to change the subject, but Matthews, to his credit, won't let him get away from the question of whether the Palestinians are entitled to their own state. Matthews states:
"You--you gave a speech recently where you said to APAC, the Israeli lobby that--that when you fly over Jenin and Samaria which is the Likud line from the West Bank, that that's all Israeli territory. If that's the case, then why should we even ask the Palestinians to play ball with us or to be peaceful and negotiate with us, if you've decided that there's nothing for them to negotiate, they can't have a homeland. You've said that."

He has absolutely nailed the issue here, and leaves DeLay sputtering. If the end game of the Israelis and the nutty Christian Americans is the subjugation of the Palestinians under the dominence of Israel as second-class citizens within Greater Israel, what reason would the Palestinians have to negotiate? What reason could they be given for them to stop the terrorism? A spokesman for Hamas, Ismail Abu Shanab, recently said in referring to the suicide bombing campaign: "If we have an effective weapon in our hands and the whole world is trying to take it off us, this kind of reaction shows it to be the most effective way." It's not just the most effective way, it's the only way that the Israelis/Americans have left for the Palestinians to try to avoid the fate that is planned for them. The general mantra of Sharon and his stooge George Bush is that negotiations can't start until the suicide bombing ceases, but we can start to see the degree of bad faith in this position when we realize that the only conclusion the 'negotiations' can lead to is the destruction of any chance of a Palestinian state. This bad faith is getting so obvious that even Matthews can feel safe in pointing it out. It's too bad Matthews couldn't more often use his abilities for good rather than the usual evil. (I found the Matthews-DeLay interview on the exemplary site "Fontenelles – Palestine Archive" but used another link to it as I couldn't get the permanent link to work.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

The Delmart Vreeland case is getting stranger and stranger. He has always had a tendency to add unbelievable details to his story, a tendency that has not served his credibility well when he has appeared in front of Canadian judges. In fact, he seems to lack the normal ability that good liars have of knowing how far to go before the elaborations destroy the credibility of the whole story. Recently, his additions to the story are completely beyond belief. Three possible reasons come to mind: 1) he simply lacks the ability to distinguish between truth and lies, or doesn't care; 2) he has decided to make his living as a conspiracy lecturer, and believes, not without some justification, that the people who support such conspiracies require a constant stream of new 'information' to continue to be interested; and/or 3) someone has told him that his continued good health may depend on his scuppering his own credibility. While not forgetting that credibility is important, we have to remember that Vreeland has three parts to his story that have outside support:

  1. His claim to have an association with the U. S. military is backed up by the famous phone call to the Pentagon made from court. Efforts have been made to counter this by claiming that Vreeland was able to have himself inserted in Pentagon phone records by sending an e-mail, but when you think about this for a moment it is even less credible than Vreeland's story. Do you think you could get your name inserted in the Pentagon phone records by sending an e-mail? To start with, who would you send it to?

  2. Vreeland correctly told the RCMP that Marc Bastien had been murdered at a time when the RCMP was not investigating the Bastien death as a murder. We still don't know if Bastien was murdered, but his death is very suspicious, and Vreeland's suspicions about Bastien help Vreeland's general credibility, especially since Bastien lived and died in Moscow.

  3. Of course, Vreeland's ace is his note showing that he had foreknowledge prior to September 11 of some large attack on a possible number of targets, the first of which was the World Trade Center. No one has as yet showed that his general story of giving this note to his jailers prior to September 11 is false.

There have been a lot of efforts to attack Vreeland's credibility using, among other things, the fact that he has a substantial criminal record. As I have written before, it is likely that the kind of person that would be picked to do some rough-and-tumble intelligence work would be the kind of person with such a record. Besides demonstrating a tendency for the kind of violent adventure that this type of intelligence requires, the criminal record provides a perfect method for the agency hiring the operative to destroy his credibility should he decide to talk. I fact, I would not believe anyone with a Vreeland-type story who did not have at least some kind of criminal record. Having said all that, I admit I find the massive elaborations on the Vreeland story very troubling, troubling to the point where it seems to me we have to be very skeptical of the details of Vreeland's account, including how it was that he came by the information. If we consider the history of this whole terrorism story, Vreeland's part in it was historically important as his was one of the first indications that the Bush Administration had some foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks. Remember that evidence of this type of foreknowledge was hard to come by, in no small part due to the fact that the Bush Administration outright lied about how much it knew (Fleischer lied about the issue almost immediately, claiming there were "no warnings" - this has turned out to be such an outright lie that it is amazing Fleischer is still around as Press Secretary). Since then, we have amassed ample evidence that the Bush Administration had complete foreknowledge of an attack exactly like the September 11 attacks, and, in light of the warnings given to Pentagon officials not to fly on September 11, may have even known the timing of the attacks (the only thing we're still not sure of is whether they were completely aware of the identity of the specific targets, though given that al-Qaeda had already taken a stab at the WTC, it wouldn't take a rocket scientist borrowed from the 'Star Wars' program to figure it out). The odd thing about it is that if much of Vreeland's story is disproved, the result may in fact be more damning for the Bush Administration. Say Vreeland didn't work as a U. S. Naval Intelligence agent, and was never in Moscow, and never obtained his foreknowledge in the way he said he obtained it. How did he obtain it? Say he had done some work for Naval Intelligence at a very low level (which would explain his being in the Pentagon phone records). Say, as an example, he sat down at a bar in a strip club in Toronto beside a guy crying in his beer about the death of his friend Marc Bastien. Say the guy turns out to be a Canadian intelligence operative who, in a drunken state, spills the whole story of Bastien's murder and the reason he was murdered. I'm obviously making all this up. The point is that a September 11 type of attack on major targets, particularly in the United States, was common knowledge among intelligence people all over the world. A smart operator like Vreeland, if he kept his ear to the ground, could have picked up enough information to create an elaborate story if it should turn out he needed something to help him out of a legal scrape. The ease with which someone like Vreeland could obtain foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks demonstrates the weakness of the Bush Administration's claim that it didn't do anything to prevent 9-11 because no one could have predicted it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Miracles can happen, as we have seen in the events of September 11:

  • the flight data recorder was recovered from Flight 77, the plane that is supposed to be involved in the Pentagon crash. The flight data recorder must be made out of Kryptonite. The rest of the plane was apparently completely vaporized, including the engines. The flight data recorder apparently provided altitude, speed, headings and other information, but the voice recorder contained nothing useful.

  • despite the fact that the heat from the jet fuel was so hot that it actually melted the fusilage of the planes while they were in the towers before their collapse, a passerby found one of the hijacker's passports on the street near the site of the World Trade Center.

  • in the wreckage of Flight 93, in a field in Pennsylvania, the investigators found the German work permit of Jarrah's distant cousin which we are supposed to believe Jarrah carried with him to his death, although I can see no plausible reason for Jarrah to be carrying around such a useless item.

Afghanistan is holding its traditional democratic forum, a loya jirga. It is obvious to the delegates that this forum is a sham engineered by U. S. oil oligarchs to install a former executive of a U. S. oil company as leader of the country in order to run it entirely for the purposes of enriching the U. S. oil company interests at the expense of everyone else. In other words, it is exactly the same as the last American election. Unlike the Americans, however, the Afghans actually care about their democracy and more than half the delegates have walked out of the loya jirga in protest. The key unsolved issues are the representative structure of the legislative body and the composition of the new cabinet. Of course, a proper resolution of both these issues might help to lessen the control that the U. S.-stooge leader will have over the country.

Monday, June 17, 2002

This is a good article on the relationship between George Bush Texas politics, big oil, and environmental devastation. Read the last sentences: "On 11 September, while Al-Qaeda's planes slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Carlyle Group hosted a conference at a Washington hotel. Among the guests of honour was a valued investor: Shafig bin Laden, brother to Osama." I thought it was suspicious enough that Carlyle was having a board meeting at the same time as the terrorist attacks, and could watch them on television. Carlyle is a company partly owned by the father of the President of the United States, and the President himself may have a direct ownership stake in it (in any event, he stands to inherit some of his father's stake). Carlyle is making out like a bandit on the massive military expenditures caused in fighting Bush's war on terror. The war on terror is based on the rather specious notion that the way to stop terrorism is to start lots of wars, and the excuse for the war on terror was acts of terrorism blamed on Osama bin Laden, a guy whose brother is being feted at the exact time of the terrorist attacks by a corporation that stands to gain immensely from the wars occasioned by the war on terror and in which the President who started the war on terror has a significant personal interest. The mind reels . . .
Isn't it ironic that that the Judi Bari trial, a trial that was basically an unmasking of FBI COINTELPRO tactics and a condemnation of such tactics, is decided at the same time that Ashcroft is unleashing the FBI to start up COINTELPRO-like operations again?
Could the fellow who played the role of 'Mohamed Atta' who supposedly crashed into the World Trade Center still be alive? Consider:

  1. It is odd to sacrifice the mastermind of an operation as complex as the September 11 terrorism. It would make much more sense to allow the mastermind to survive to plan more terrorism.

  2. The trip to Portland remains unexplained. It might have been intended to make the arrival of a group of Arab-looking men on Flight 11 less suspicious, by having some of them arrive from a different airport. The problem with this is that once the two terrorists arrived in Boston from Portland they still had to pass through the same security gate as the others, and thus the flight from Portland did absolutely nothing to make the arrival of the terrorists less suspicious. In fact, the late arrival of the plane from Portland to Boston almost made Atta, or the person now claiming to be 'Atta', miss his Boston flight (and the clumsy way that the 'Atta' passing through Boston security claimed not to speak English made things worse, and doesn't seem like the always-in-control Atta we've come to know from his other actions). Similarly, the terrorists may have believed that weapons could be smuggled through Portland Airport more easily than through Logan Airport. Again, this doesn't work as an explanation, as on arrival at Logan the two terrorists still had to pass through the same Logan security they would have had to pass through if they had gone directly to Logan Airport. In fact, if they were carrying weapons, going through two airport security systems would have increased their risk of detection. You might argue that they didn't know that they would have to pass through Logan security, but that seems highly unlikely given the planning which obviously went into the terrorism.

  3. We've seen lots of pictures taken of Atta and Alomari as they were recorded by various video cameras in Portland, but no other images taken in Logan Airport. Is that because a search of the video tapes taken at Logan shows no images of the two terrorists, or images which don't match the picture of 'Atta' that we are so used to seeing?

  4. It was originally thought that at least some of the hijackers came in from Canada. That is apparently not the case. However, there are rumours of a dinner at a Halifax restaurant on September 10 attended by a group of Arab-looking men. Could this be a dinner of Atta and his terrorist colleagues? The timing is off, as Atta was still in Portland on the morning of September 11, but the rememberance of the date of the meal may also be off.

  5. The passenger manifests apparently do not contain the names of any of the hijackers, and so do not help us determine who was on the planes. In fact, there appears to be no evidence of which hijackers got on the planes (when you get right down to it, with no hijacker names on the manifests and no video of the hijackers from the airports, we have no evidence that any of the hijackers were on the planes except for those very odd cellphone calls!).

I wonder whether Atta and Alomari actually went to Logan Airport from Portland. Is it possible that they flew to Halifax from Portland, and then from Halifax to Europe? This would preserve the actor who played 'Atta' to plan more terrorism. I would explain why he went to Portland: presumably he bought a ticket to Boston, but then didn't use it, thus throwing investigators off the scent. It would explain why we have no images of him from Logan Airport. The dinner in Halifax may have been a celebration of a job well done before he flew off to parts unknown. (On a possibly unrelated note, isn't it a weird coincidence that the motel Atta stayed at when visiting Las Vegas was around the corner from the FBI office?)

Sunday, June 16, 2002

The countries that we know tried to warn the United States about the impending September 11 terrorist attacks:

  • Israel (the Mossad)

  • Great Britain (MI6)

  • Egypt

  • Argentina (although they're being coy about it, perhaps looking for some financial help)

  • France

  • Russia

  • Jordan

  • Morocco

  • since there were warnings from Echelon surveillance, presumably warnings were obtained from all the Echelon countries that monitor and share surveillance (Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), or they assumed no warnings were necessary as the U. S. already knew everything about the attack

  • Germany (not to mention a mysterious call from Germany by a man from Iran)

  • the Philippines (not, as far as we know, specific warnings given about this attack, but it was the original warnings from the Philippines that told the United States to expect an attack by hijacked airplanes crashing into buildings).

It is also probable that there were warnings from other countries that we don't know about because these countries don't want to embarrass the United States (it is interesting that we learned of the warnings from Egypt and Israel only due to the anger of their respective leaders at what they each felt was improper American policies on the Palestinian problem). Do you think that at some point someone in the Bush junta might have thought that there just might be something to these warnings, or do they not act until they receive a warning from everybody in the United Nations? Is this an example of the famous Bush unilateralism (them stoopid furriners don't know nothin')? Or did they not pay attention to the warnings because they already knew what was going to happen?

Saturday, June 15, 2002

In considering the question of foreknowledge of the September 11 terrorism, we have to at some point deal with the fact that few if any really 'important' (I use quotes in my general anarchist view that all people are important) people died in either the WTC towers or the Pentagon. Interestingly enough, a lot of 'important' people died on the four planes. Consider:

  1. The crash at the Pentagon apparently killed no really senior Pentagon officials. Of course, we know that senior Pentagon officials were warned on September 10 not to fly on September 11, and thus avoided any of the hijacked planes (too bad they didn't see fit to share this information with anyone else, but I guess such knowledge spread among the great unwashed would be bad for business). Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude, the U.S. Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (i. e., an important soldier but not likely a key player in the military-industrial complex), was the highest ranking soldier who died in the blast (I guess he didn't get the memo). Considering that the Pentagon is lousy with generals, that is a pretty good record. Avoiding flying on September 11 meant that senior Pentagon officials knew the time and the method; avoiding that part of the Pentagon on September 11 meant that they knew the fine details of the attack.

  2. Considering that well over 2,000 prople died in the twin towers, it is more than somewhat remarkable that there were no CEO's or senior partners among them (the highest appear to be mostly senior vice presidents - the highest titles seem to be that of: 1) David D. Alger, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Fred Alger Management; 2) Joseph J. Berry,
    chairman and CEO, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods; 3) Jeffrey L. Fox,
    chief financial officer, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods; 4) Jeffrey Grant Goldflam,
    senior vice president and chief financial officer, Cantor Fitzgerald; 5) Takashi Kinoshita,
    president, Mizuho Capital Markets Corp.; and 6) Edward Joseph Mardovich,
    president, Euro Brokers Inc.). I have read various anecdotal stories of 'important' people who missed death because of something that caused them to be outside of the office that morning. The fact that the first crash occurred before 9 a. m. may have saved some of them, but don't we always read, in these turbo-capitalist times, of how early these people get in to work? In this context, being an 'important' person means someone who is so important to the Powers That Be that it is worth the risk of warning him that he might want to come in to work a little late. Is it possible that some people received a memo similar to that circulated by Goldman Sachs in Tokyo on September 10 advising all employees of a possible terrorist attack and recommending that all its employees avoid any American government buildings?

  3. A number (it hasn't been reported exactly how many but it was called 'a small group of business leaders') of CEO's from New York, including at least one from the WTC, were attending a breakfast meeting at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska on the morning of September 11, guests of Warren Buffett (isn't he the same guy who has guaranteed that the United States will suffer a nuclear attack by terrorists?). Offutt Air Force Base is the base that Bush flew to on September 11, supposedly because it is the headquarters of the E-4B, the aircraft which is the "command, control and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities". He wanted to be on the scene in person, particularly as there was fear that the terrorists were in possession of the secret codes by which they could electronically impersonate Bush in giving military commands (interesting how we have heard nothing more of that story). So how much of a coincidence is it that this meeting with Warren Buffett was at the same air force base that Bush flew to (apparently Bush intended to fly directly to Offutt, but had to stop for refuelling in Louisiana)? Is it possible that Buffett's invitation to a bunch of 'important' New York City executives for a breakfast meeting at an air force base in Nebraska (just think about how weird that is!) was an attempt to save the lives of the invitees?

  4. In stark contract to the miraculous way that 'important' people escaped death on the ground on September 11, many 'important' people died in the crashed planes. The only conclusion you can draw from this is that foreknowledge only extended to the timing and targets of the attacks, but not to the specific planes that would be used. People with the foreknowledge (John Ashcroft, high Pentagon officials, and, oddly enough, friends of Willie Brown and Salman Rushdie) simply avoided all planes on September 11.

It has to be statistically impossible that no 'important' people died in the WTC or the Pentagon on the morning of September 11. Therefore, these people had foreknowledge or were in some way protected by others who had foreknowledge. Of course, foreknowledge by 'important' people probably ties in to the short-selling profits made as a result of the terrorism, short-selling which unbelievably remains uninvestigated.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Does this remind you of this?
Isn't the manipulation of the news on September 11 getting a bit obvious? Consider:

  1. The recent revelations of Atta's amazing application for a $650,000 loan to buy a cropduster is just coming out now, although the loan officer claims she told the authorities shortly after September 11 when she recognized Atta's picture.

  2. In the continual blame tossing game of the FBI and CIA, we've recently heard about the two terrorists who managed to move around the United States completely unimpeded despite being on a CIA watch list. The failure of the FBI to do anything to prevent the terrorism has been blamed by the FBI (using a 'detailed chart'!) on the CIA's failure to tell them about these two terrorists (although the CIA claims in rebuttal that the FBI did know about them, and the FBI then claims that it didn't know enough, etc., etc.). The odd thing is that this isn't news. The fact that these terrorists were on a watch list was reported (with 'Salem Alhamzi' confused with Nawaf Alhazmi) shortly after September 11 (not to mention that the FBI had been looking for the two 'for weeks').

  3. The NSA has managed to keep its head down while the CIA and the FBI duke it out. Now someone is raising the issue that the NSA had all the information on the terrorist plans due to its recording the communications of bin Laden and his henchmen, and knew on September 10 that 'something big' was coming. The fact that the NSA had knowledge of the attack through its Echelon program was known almost immediately after September 11 (reported in Germany on September 14, 2001, with specific knowledge that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture), but is presumably being raised now as part of the game of the Bush junta to pass the blame around.

  4. Abdullah al-Muhajir has been arrested for planning to build a 'dirty bomb' in Chicago, and for being linked to al-Qaeda. This is certainly dramatic news, and is particularly interesting as the junta seems to be planning to give an American citizen either a military trial, or if such a trial might not produce the desired result, just permanently lock him up with no trial (so now Americans know why they should have complained at the treatment of non-citizen detainees - ' . . . they first came for the Communists . . .', and they then came for the American citizens). Everyone seems to have noticed the oddity that he was arrested on May 8 but his arrest was only announced by Ashcroft on June 10. Now it is coming out that he didn't actually do anything, but there is a slight possibility that he might have been sort of thinking about maybe looking for some radioactive material, but as there was none around he didn't actually come close to finding any, but had he found some this street punk with presumably training in advanced nuclear physics from the al-Qaeda Institute of Technology in a field in Afghanistan would have considered possibly building some sort of a bomb from it! The whole thing stinks, and people have started to notice.

It is fairly obvious that the Bush junta is playing the mass media like a violin, largely in order to deflect the current criticisms of why it did absolutely nothing to prevent the terrorism. Will there ever be a time when Americans will rise up and say they've had enough of the obvious lies, the obvious false alarms to hide various errors and crimes of the Bush junta, and the increasingly numerous shreddings of the American Constitution?
I have to apologize for my remarks in my posting of June 5 when I snidely noted that Bush's statement that he read the EPA report confirming the fact that global warming is largely caused by human activities "contains the amazing admission that Bush can and does actually read!" This type of remark is completely uncalled for. As it turns out, Bush lied when he said he read the report, and we still have no conclusive proof that he either can or does read. I humbly apologize.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Zacarias Moussaoui is in jail facing the death penalty, and not the tiniest part of his story makes any sense:

  1. He was arrested when he made himself conspicuous by being unnecessarily argumentative and refusing to speak French to a French speaker. This is exactly the kind of behaviour that the famous al-Qaeda manual would caution against. It is as if Moussaoui were trying to be arrested. This is yet another example of one of the terrorist suspects courting disaster for the whole project by being gratuitously visible to people in authority.

  2. Moussaoui was arrested for odd reasons. In fact, his arrest still has not been satisfactorily explained. He was turned in by a flight instructor who phoned the FBI (and even made the connection that the type of plane he was training on could be used as a weapon, a connection that is supposed to have been beyond the ken of the Bush Administration!). It appears that local FBI suspicions were raised by his disruptive behaviour and the fact that he was an Arab man taking flying lessons. Apparently, the story that he claimed to only want to learn to fly in the air and not to take off or land is misinformation (although it is still being presented as fact), and may have been created to give the FBI an excuse to detain him. The main story is that the suspicions were raised when he spent a lot of money for a few lessons on a Boeing 747 flight simulator when he didn't have a pilot's license. Much of the rationale for arresting Moussaoui has appeared after September 11. It now appears that he may have had financial connections to a man (al Shibh) who was also financing some of the September 11 hijackers. On the other hand, this financier may simply have been forwarding charitable help to Moussaoui to allow him to learn to fly and obtain a job in the United States. The case against Moussaoui was so weak that he was actually originally detained only for being in breach of immigration law.

  3. Moussaoui is facing the death penalty. Apparently this is a prosecutorial trick to obtain a jury more likely to convict (another reason that the existence of the death penalty makes the U. S. criminal justice system unjust). Given the paucity of evidence against him, the death penalty seems like an extreme overreaction. The authorities also seem to be psychologically torturing him by keeping him isolated, which may explain his bizarre courtroom behaviour. The main evidence against him seems to be the fact that he owned a crop-dusting manual and knew some suspicious people. There does not appear to be any evidence that he had anything to do with the terrorist planning, and, in particular, no evidence that he conspired with anyone to do an illegal act. If they eventually throw the switch and fry him, he will be the first person in the United States to be executed for owning a book.

  4. Moussaoui has commonly been referred to as the '20th hijacker', i. e., the missing 5th hijacker on Flight 93 (all the other hijacked planes are said to have had 5 hijackers). It seems highly unlikely that he was a part of the hijacking group. The hijackers were careful to train together, live together, travel together, and generally associate in as public a manner as possible. As far as we know, Moussaoui did not associate with any of the others. The closest he came to the others was that he was living in Norman, Oklahoma when one of the hijackers (Alhazmi) got a speeding ticket nearby, an interesting fact, particularly given the oddly important role that Oklahoma City plays in the September 11 terrorism, but hardly enough to tie him to the terrorist group.

  5. There has been much made of the fact that the FBI and the Department of Justice in Washington, D. C. refused to obtain a FISA warrant to allow local Minnesota FBI agents to search Moussaoui's hard drive. Indeed, this refusal now forms the crux of the attack on the FBI for its mistakes made prior to September 11. It appears that this wasn't just the usual bureaucratic bungling - there appears to be active intervention to prevent the warrant from being obtained, including much quibbling about the validity of evidence obtained from French intelligence sources and possibly going as far as efforts to sabotage the local FBI's investigation of Moussaoui. The right-wingers blame this on a bureaucratic fear of being accused of racial profiling, but if there was any racial profiling it had already been done when he was detained in Minnesota and so hardly seems to be the concern of Washington officials. The oddest thing about all this is that a post-September 11 search of his hard drive revealed: 1) a manual on crop-dusting (not an unlikely thing to have for someone training to be a pilot in the midwestern United States); 2) the phone number of someone who may have been a former roommate of Atta's (Ramzi bin al Shibh), the same guy who allegedly sent Moussaoui money; and 3) correspondence signed by a Malaysian named Yazid Sufaat, who the CIA had tied to the two hijackers who had been put on the CIA watch list. However, even if the FBI had contacted the roommate prior to September 11 (and they still don't know where he is), it is highly unlikely that they would have been led to Atta in time to stop the terrorism. Since the FBI wasn't aware, or at least fully aware, of the investigation by the CIA, the connections to the Malaysian almost certainly wouldn't have meant anything to them. It is therefore unlikely that a timely investigation of Moussaoui's hard drive would have prevented September 11, and it is odd that so much is being made of this unless someone is using it for political purposes to deflect the blame from the real responsible parties and, as a bonus, attack the restrictions on racial profiling (fear of racial profiling was an excuse used by the FBI early on to justify their lack of action in obtaining the FISA warrant). It is very telling that the CIA Director, George Tenet, is reported to have immediately thought of Moussaoui and bin Laden when he was informed of the September 11 terrorism, but there appears to have been no reason for the FBI to make that connection.

So what are we to make of all this weirdness? I have three possible solutions:

  1. Moussaoui might have been a double-agent who had infiltrated the terrorist group and was working for some U. S. counterintelligence agency. This might explain his attempting to get arrested (an attempt to get out of the situation) and might explain the odd behaviour of Washington FBI in failing to obtain a FISA warrant. On the other hand, it is unlikely that they would be treating Moussaoui so badly if he had once worked for the U. S. government.

  2. The FBI and Department of Justice might have been in the middle of a sting operation to stop and arrest as many terrorists as possible. Right in the middle of this, bungling local FBI agents stumbled onto Moussaoui, detained him, and then wanted to rummage through his hard drive. Washington had no way of knowing what may have been on Moussaoui's hard drive, were afraid that information contained on it might have prejudiced the whole sting operation, and therefore intentionally stalled for time by delaying the warrant until the operation could be concluded. This might explain why the agent who stalled the warrant was promoted. Of course, the problem with such an operation is that you have to wait until the last possible moment to make the arrests, both to get the maximum amount of evidence to make the strongest possible charges stick, and to try to capture the leaders of the terrorist group. If you wait too long, or if you are intentionally misled by your spy in the group that the attack is to take place later than it actually occurs, tragedy ensues. At that point, the investigatory agency who has conducted the sting tries to sweep it under the rug to avoid the inevitable questions of why it didn't act in a timely manner and what was it doing playing with the lives of the victims by taking risks just to make the operation look better. There is good reason to believe that just this sort of thing happened in the first WTC attack in 1993, and I've long been of the belief that the Oklahoma City bombing was a similar situation, with the spy (who might have been the mysterious Andy Strassmeir or even Timothey McVeigh himself) misleading the authorities as to when the bombing was to take place.

  3. Some part of the United States government, perhaps in collusion with another government, might have been involved in the September 11 attack. The FBI would have been ordered to stall the FISA application in order to ensure that the operation was not stopped before September 11. There is at present no conclusive evidence that any part of the U. S. government was involved in September 11, but it is clear that many people close to the present administration have benefitted greatly from the terrorism, and so we have to keep this possibility in mind. I note that this possibility is not inconsistent with the previous one - a U. S. government counterterrorism sting operation might have been going on at the same time as some other part of the same government was actively involved in plotting the terrorism.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Mohamed Atta apparently visited a U. S. government office (Department of Agriculture) to apply for a $650,000 loan to buy a cropdusting airplane. An interesting point is that he is supposed to have visited the office in the spring of 2000, about 17 months before September 11, 2001, i. e., the end of April (or perhaps May), but he is officially supposed to have arrived in the United States in June 2000! While discussing this doomed mission with the loan officer who turned him down because it did not make sense, Atta made many odd statements, all of which are an obvious attempt to leave the impression that he was really and truly a crazed fundamentalist Islamic terrorist. He lays it on so thick, I don't know how he managed to keep from laughing:

  1. He almost refused to deal with her, because she is a woman.

  2. He admired a picture of Washington, D. C. that she had hanging on the wall of her office to a ridiculous degree, pointing specifically to the White House and the Pentagon, and then offered to buy it with theatrical flourish by throwing a wad of money down on the desk. When she refused to sell it to him she recounts: "I believe he said, 'How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it' like the cities in his country had been destroyed?" This is very weird, as Atta is supposed to come from Egypt, where cities haven't been destroyed for a long time.

  3. He gave her evil, terrorist looks with his 'very scary' black eyes.

  4. She said he referred to a safe in her office and she recounts: "He asked me what would prevent him from going behind my desk and cutting my throat and making off with the millions of dollars in that safe."

  5. He talked of the massive size of the chemical tank he wanted to install, filling the whole inside of the plane except for the pilot's seat.

  6. He became 'very agitated' when he found out that there was an application process and she presumably wouldn't just hand him $650,000 in cash there and then.

  7. He asked her about security at the World Trade Center and what she knew of Phoenix, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles, and was particularly interested in open-topped Texas Stadium.

  8. He mentioned Osama bin Laden, who she had never heard of, and said that bin Laden "would someday be known as the world's greatest leader."

Of course, seeing as he was in the United States on a student visa, how he ever thought he would be entitled to such a loan is beyond belief. He knew he wasn't allowed to stay to ever be able to use the airplane for any plausibly legitimate purpose. Even if he mistakenly thought he could get away with this, what was his reasoning for sending three other terrorists to the same office on the much the same mission? In one case, he put on glasses as a disguise and pretended to be the accountant of one of the other hijacker-applicants, another obvious attempt to draw attention to himself. The whole thing must have sounded like a Monty Python sketch (it reminds me of the Dead Parrot sketch when Michael Palin puts on the fake mustache). The ridiculous overacting left the bureaucrat completely unsuspicious. I imagine if he had asked her if it would be OK for him to fill the plane full of explosives and fly it into the World Trade Center, she would have replied that she would strongly object to that as blowing up the collateral would be a breach of one of the terms of his loan agreement. If this isn't some kind of hoax, what we have here is another example of Atta creating his 'legend', filling out his terrorist personal identity before a witness who would surely remember him. Notice again that he appears to have no fear that this bureaucrat will report him before September 11 and end the terrorist project he has spent so much work on. One question: why has it taken this long for this story to come out when she is supposed to have informed the authorities about the incident shortly after September 11?

Saturday, June 08, 2002

The following September 11 hijackers all received speeding tickets:

  1. Nawaf Alhazmi

  2. Mohamed Atta - Atta was stopped and received a warning for speeding while there was an arrest warrant outstanding against him for driving without a licence in the next county, a warrant issued because he failed to show up at a hearing with respect to a ticket he received for driving without a licence!

  3. Hani Hanjour

  4. Ziad Jarrah.

There probably weren't all that many of the hijackers who could or did drive. It seems that just about all who did drive got speeding tickets. What did all these people know which led them to draw attention from the authorities with such wild abandon and no concern? Didn't they fear that a routine check of their identities against computer records might have disclosed information that could have led to their arrest and/or deportation and may very well have prejudiced or ended their whole mission? We also have to remember that some of them had extraordinary contact with the INS (Atta had visa problems when he returned from his trip to Spain, and even got into an argument with the INS over the length of al-Shehhi's visa), the FAA (Atta and al-Shehhi abandoned a plane on a runway at Miami airport, an FAA official placed an angry call to their flight school threatening to investigate, and, needless to say, nothing happened), and airport security (Atta arrived at the very last minute, drew attention to himself by pretending not to speak English, and almost missed the plane, and Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, despite being on a CIA watch list, went through airport security without any problems). When Alhazmi got his speeding ticket the officer "ran a routine check on Alhazmi's valid California driver's license but found nothing pending against him on the National Crime Information Center computer system" - you'll have to agree it is quite a 'watch list'!
What allowed all these people to know that routine checks of computerized records would never trip them up? In other words, did they know that all their records had been 'pulled' from central databases, allowing them to move freely through the usual bureaucratic snares while establishing a paper trail to enhance their composite personal identities as terrorists? How could al-Qaeda have managed to interfere with U. S. law enforcement and intelligence computer records?

Friday, June 07, 2002

It is now being reported that, at least in 1998, al-Qaeda was fully aware of the state of negotiations between the United States and the Taliban over the Afghan pipeline. There is good reason to believe that in 2001 the Bush Administration was using threats of bombing in order to force the Taliban to agree to the terms proposed by the oil company friends of the Bush Administration. One can only surmise that if al-Qaeda was kept fully informed of the earlier negotiations, it would also be aware of the American threat in 2001. If all this is true, and it certainly sounds plausible, it clearly ties the war in Afghanistan to the oil pipeline negotiations, and puts the lie to the U. S. claim that the war on Afghanistan was a war intended to attack al-Qaeda and bin Laden, both as punishment for September 11 and to stop further terrorism. In addition, al-Qaeda knowledge of the U. S. threats against the Taliban may have actually led to the September 11 terrorism, as the first step in a war between the U. S. and al-Qaeda that was started by the United States when the negotiators made it clear that Afghanistan would be bombed if the good oily friends of the Bush Administration didn't get the highly favorable terms they were looking for. Al-Qaeda's knowledge of the American negotiating position (and even if it was just a threat, it was at the very least highly negligent for the U. S. to allow the Taliban and al-Qaeda to believe that this was the American position) is a 'smoking gun' which ties the September 11 terrorism to the Bush Administration's overly friendly ties to specific U. S. oil corporate interests. In effect, the Bush Administration allowed the interests of the whole country to fall behind the interests of the companies which would benefit from the Afghan oil pipeline, and allowed individual corporate interests to use the threat of war from the United States to improve their negotiating position. There may even be a connection to Enron, and a possible argument that the intentional obfuscation by Cheney of the Enron connection to the Taliban negotiations also made it impossible for FBI or CIA counterterrorism experts to 'connect the dots'! You could of course go even further and wonder if the United States government 'let one happen' (in the words of Delmart Vreeland) to provide the excuse to attack Afghanistan, but the mere fact that al-Qaeda knew of the illegitimate U. S. negotiating position - where U. S. military might and the threat of war was used as a tool in commercial negotiations for the benefit of friends of the Bush Administration at the terrible expense of the United States as a whole - is enough to damn the Bush Administration and to make it partly responsible for September 11. One might also think that U. S. counterterrorism experts would have reacted more quickly to knowledge that an attack was coming soon if they were aware that al-Qaeda was aware of the U. S. government threat against the Taliban and Afghanistan. On the other hand, we mustn't forget that the role of al-Qaeda in 9-11 is still an open question. I personally think it unlikely that either bin Laden or al-Qaeda had much of a role in 9-11 other than as a patsy, willing to take credit for the terrorism in order to increase their own reputations. At the very least, al-Qaeda must have had a lot of help. Consider the following:

  1. Al-Qaeda couldn't have established the elaborate set of false identities used by the hijackers, combining U. S., European and Arab components (remember that Mueller himself admits that he has no idea as to who the hijackers really are). In fact, only the central intelligence agency of a major country would be capable of such work.

  2. Al-Qaeda didn't ignore all the warnings of imminent terrorist attack given to the Bush Administration, and didn't allow people on a CIA watch list to move freely around the United States and board aircraft.

  3. Al-Qaeda couldn't have stood down the U. S. air defence system.

  4. Al-Qaeda couldn't be continuing the cover-up that for some reason the Bush Administration feels is necessary (why does the victim have to cover up the truth?).

The bottom line is that while this is important information involving further nuances of the guilt of the Bush Administration for the events of September 11, we still have to read it with a critical mind. What al-Qaeda actually is, and its highly complicated relationship with the U. S. government (for example, even after September 11 the U. S. government was still supporting al-Qaeda operatives in Macedonia/Kosovo), are still completely open questions.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

It is very interesting that the Bush Administration now admits that global warming exists and is mostly caused by human behavior, but everyone is just going to have to live with it as there is nothing that can be done. Bush himself admits he "read the report put out by the bureaucracy", which I assume is a method of dismissing it without actually stating that it is wrong (and contains the amazing admission that Bush can and does actually read!). It is amusing to see the flexibility of the apologists for the Bush regime, as they instantly move from confidently asserting that there is absolutely no scientific proof that human activity causes global warming to agreeing with the regime that such proof does in fact exist (see Rush squirm). The striking thing about the new Bush position is the admission that there is this terrible future coming, but there is nothing that can be done about it. Everyone is just going to have to learn to live (or not) with it so Bush's pals can continue to rake in the big bucks selling hydrocarbons. At the same time, the same Administration continues to issue warnings of terrorist attacks, including what is being described as inevitable nuclear attacks on the United States. Again, the Bush Administration admits that it is helpless to stop these attacks, but helpfully keeps issuing warnings (I guess so you will have enough warning to kiss your ass goodbye!). Isn't this extreme defeatism the same sort of thing that still has so many Americans mad at Jimmy Carter? What is the point of having politicians if they are completely helpless to do anything about the only issues that really count? There is a certain grim logic to the Bush position - if Americans are all going to die in the inevitable terrorist attacks there is really no point in worrying about the inevitable global warming!

Monday, June 03, 2002

The world was completely outraged when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas at Bamiyan in northern Afghanistan. This destruction appears to have been done for a combination of reasons - xenophobia, iconoclasm, and a general defiance in the face of promised American aggression. The Israelis are doing exactly the same sort of thing in the Occupied Territories, and as usual no one notices. The destruction of cultural heritage is a violation of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, a treaty to which Israel is a signatory. The Israeli actions have been condemned by the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee (see under heading XVI). The Director-General of UNESCO has also expressed concerns. The Israelis have been destroying mosques, churches and other buildings of religious, historical and cultural significance. The Israelis have two motives: 1) the existence of historical artifacts and art in the Occupied Territories is inconsistent with the Zionist story that there was no settled Palestinian existence in the area; and 2) the destruction of cultural artifacts is part of the degradation of the Palestinian people and is part of the slow-motion plan of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from Greater Israel. The Israelis, needless to say, have excuses for what they do, and really don't like being criticized. If the world is upset at what the Taliban did, the world should be at least as upset by the permanent destruction of art and culture being slowly but systematically carried out by the Israelis against the Palestinians.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

It has become clear that everyone now accepts that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, and it has even become good sport to laugh at the stupid French who have the gall (gaul?) to write otherwise. The only evidence against the fact that the plane crashed into the Pentagon is the following:

  1. The hole left in the Pentagon isn't large enough to fit the plane through.

  2. No debris was left by the plane. In particular, the wings, which could not possibly fit through the hole and therefore must be outside the building, have disappeared without a trace. Are we to believe that everything was completely vaporized, including the engines?

  3. The eyewitnesses are all over the map, some having seen what seems to be more of a missile or small plane attack. The only witnesses who are completely sure of the identification of the plane are in some way connected to the Pentagon.

  4. The only video of the crash appears to show absolutely nothing, although it has been presented as being a video of the crash. It is almost totalitarian how the American media has accepted this - it reminds me of how the controlled media in a place like North Korea accept pictures of starving people as pictures of healthy citizens. On top of all this, we are supposed to believe that there are no other video cameras on the Pentagon when there must have been dozens which would have captured everything that actually happened.

  5. We are supposed to believe that the Pentagon is not protected by any anti-aircraft defence. On top of that, we are supposed to believe that it was simply some kind of human error that led to the plane not being intercepted, when there was almost one hour between the time of the first WTC crash and the Pentagon crash, and at least 40 minutes from the time it was determined that Flight 77 had turned around and was returning to Washington not under control of its original crew until it supposedly hit the Pentagon.

  6. Pentagon officials were told not to fly on September 11 ("On Sept. 10, NEWSWEEK has learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.") Recent revelations have made it completely clear that people in the know were expecting some form of major attack, and yet apparently nothing was done by these same 'Pentagon officials' to secure the center of the American military (and, miraculously, not one of these senior Pentagon officials was killed in the 'crash').

On the other hand, we have one big piece of evidence, and only one, to prove that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon - the say-so of the American government. It comes down to whether you consider that you believe the American government in the face of all evidence to the contrary ("Who are you going to believe? Me or your own lying eyes?"). This as you may remember is the same government responsible for the lies of the JFK assassination, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the lies surrounding the assassinations of RFK and MLK, the My Lai massacre and cover-up, Watergate, the 'October Surprise', the Iran-Contra affair, and many other outrageous lies too numerous to mention. Each incident of lying seems to be part of a long experiment to see just how much the American government can get away with. We seem to have reached the ultimate stage, where video of an absence of a plane crash is accepted by the media and the public as conclusive evidence that the crash occurred. The continuing gullibility isn't just stupid, it is also very dangerous, as each example of acceptance of lies just leads to more and more deadly lies.