Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pipelines Linked to 9/11 Attacks

Like the presumed Weapons of Mass Destruction had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq, Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with the war in Afghanistan. The real reasons are oil, gas and pipelines around the Caspian Sea.

by Rudo de Ruijter

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, followed by the war in Afghanistan and the 'War on Terror' have changed the world. However, like the presumed Weapons of Mass Destruction had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq, Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with the war in Afghanistan. The real reasons are oil, gas and pipelines around the Caspian Sea. 'Operation September 11' aimed to give a new impulse in the US conquests to gain control over foreign oil and gas.

This article is about the background of the US war against Afghanistan. It is about oil, gas and pipelines around the Caspian Sea. To transport oil and gas from the east side of the Caspian Sea, pipelines had been planned to go through Afghanistan. Because a US company, UNOCAL, had failed to control the Afghan route, the war was prepared. When the military was ready to strike, the terrorists of 9/11 gave Bush the pretext to start this war and obtain support from Congress, the U.S. population and the rest of the world.


Our politicians have shaped the idea many people have about our world. They have divided our world into good and bad. Of course, they are always the good guys and the ones they accuse are the bad guys. Simple, isn't it?

However, if we stick to the facts, and throw out all the information that comes from unverifiable sources, our world looks very different. This research is not meant to offend anyone. If you are pleased with the "official" version of our history, don’t read any further.

Bush said, the attacks of 9/11 were the reason to invade Afghanistan. [1] This article shows that the war was the logical result of an unsuccessful struggle, by he U.S., to build and control pipelines through Afganistan, and that preparations for this war took place before 9/11. In 2000 the neoconservatives said, they needed some catastrophic and catalysing event. This article shows how this event may have taken place on September 11, 2001.

The 1993 attack

The attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 eclipse an earlier attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993. On January 20 1993, William (Bill) Clinton had become president. A month later, on February 26, an "immense blast happened at 12:18 local time in the Secret Service's section of the car park underneath and between what are New York's tallest buildings." [2]

BBC published the words of an eyewitness: "It felt like an airplane hit the building." Apparently the explosion was intended to bring both WTC towers down. The New York Times found out that the FBI was involved in the attacks. The FBI could have infiltrated a group of terrorists, would have known about their intentions but for some unknown reason let it happen. [3] Six people died and a hundred were injured. [2]

Timeline 1989 - 2000

In this chapter I will present a timeline of Afghan events. I will also mention events related to terrorism, which would become U.S. final pretext for war.

Immediately after the attacks on September 11, 2001, U.S. officials accused Osama bin Laden. Since the man had resided in Afghanistan, it provided a pretext for George W. Bush to attack and invade Afghanistan.

Let's have a closer look at the situation prior to 9/11. As promised by Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, the USSR had withdrawn its last soldiers from Afghanistan on February 15, 1989. It was the end of ten years of war. It was also the last war of the Soviet Union.

A few months later, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell. The Iron Curtain broke down. The people living on the other side of the curtain, of whom our leaders had always pretended they were dangerous and ferocious, turned out to be as friendly as us.

With the concept of the Cold War our leaders had divided our world and maintained fear in our minds for over forty years. This terror, fabricated by our own governments, was finally over.

Pipeline projects through Afghanistan

On December 25, 1991, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time. [4] The former Soviet republics became independent. Among them were the countries around the Caspian Sea, all rich in oil and gas. [MAP:]

Before, the oil and gas went through pipelines to their Soviet neighbours, or were exported via Russia to Europe. Now each country could sell its own oil and gas and explore new markets. Buyers showed up from everywhere.

In the beginning, the new leaders still had no experience with the world oil business. One of the first deals of Turkmenistan was to auction an oil well for as little as $100,000. [5] US companies showed up, too.

The biggest challenge was to get the Caspian oil and gas to the world markets. The problem? The region is land-locked. If you trust neither Russia on the North side of the Caspian Sea, nor Iran on the South side, you need to build new pipelines. [MAP: bremmermap]

Today, from the West side of the Caspian Sea, oil is pumped through several pipelines towards the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea from where it can be shipped.

Big business on the East side of the Caspian Sea is still limited. To unlock oil and gas from this side, pipelines have to be built through Afghanistan. Here, since the early nineties, two pipelines - one for gas and one for oil - have been in project. [MAP: greatgamemaps]

The oil pipe should go South to the Indian Ocean, ending at the port of Gwadar in Pakistan. The gas pipe would turn East to Multan in the middle of Pakistan. From Pakistan an extension is planned to Bombay (Mumbai, India), where a U.S. company with close ties with father and son Bush, Enron, has built a power plant. [6]

Contracts for pipelines are not just multi-billion dollar projects to build them. The main contractor also buys and sells the oil or gas going through them. With contracts he disposes of it, determines how much the supplier gets in return, and what fee to charge for recipient countries. He determines who gets it, how much, when, to what price and in which currency it has to be paid.

In fact, he determines a lot in the economical developments of both the selling and the buying countries. With Turkmenistan eager to sell its gas, Pakistan eager to buy it and Enron in India hoping to see it arrive as soon as possible, the pipelines through Afghanistan are of high interest.

However, in 2001, the work in Afghanistan had not yet started. Since the withdrawal of the Soviets in 1989, unrest was still in the country.

The Taliban: From ally to terrorist

The unrest in Afghanistan that blocked the business is worth mentioning. In 1992, the pro-Russian president Mohammad Najibullah was ousted. In 1993, Burhanuddin Rabbani became president, supported by the Tajik minority of the population.

In 1994, the Pashtun, forming half of the population, challenged Rabbani. Because the pipelines have to cross mainly Pashtun territory, their movement, the Taliban, had support from the US and Pakistan.

In March 1995, two companies, BRIDAS from Argentina and UNOCAL from the US, both claimed to have obtained the contracts from the seller of the gas (Turkmenistan) and the buyer (Pakistan). At that moment no deal had yet been signed with the Afghan authorities.

In October 1995, President Niyazov of Turkmenistan signed an official agreement with UNOCAL, but in February 1996, president Rabbani of Afghanistan signed an agreement with BRIDAS for the main section of 875 miles through Afghanistan. [7]

UNOCAL's chances seemed compromised. Fortunately for UNOCAL, the Taliban wanted to oust president Rabbani. In September 1996, they took Jalabad, Kandahar, and then Kabul. President Rabbani fled to join the Northern Alliance.

UNOCAL sighed with relief. It expressed support for the Taliban takeover, saying it makes the pipeline project easier. (UNOCAL later said it was misquoted.)

Would BRIDAS now have lost the game? No. In November 1996, BRIDAS signed an agreement with the Taliban and Gen. Dostum to build the pipeline. Unfortunately, except from Pakistan and Saudi-Arabia, the Taliban government didn't obtain international recognition.

In April 1997, because work on the pipeline still had not started, the Taliban announced it would award the contract to whomever starts first. However, UNOCAL claimed there must be peace first.

In July 1997, Turkmenistan and Pakistan accepted a new delay and signed a new contract with UNOCAL, saying they had to start the work within a year and a half.

In December 1997, UNOCAL tried to become good friends with the Taliban and invited a delegation to their head office in Sugarland, Texas, where they received a VIP treatment while staying in the best hotels. [8]

In Afghanistan, civil war went on. With no internationally recognized legal representative of Afghanistan, the pipeline project seemed to be deadlocked. [9]

US-bombs on Afghanistan after US embassies are attacked in Africa

On February 4, 1998 and May 30, 1998, very heavy earthquakes shook the North East of Afghanistan. They attracted a lot of international attention and many groups of relief workers came into the North-East of Afghanistan to help. According to US accusations, this was the moment that somewhere in this same region of Afghanistan a certain Osama bin Laden would have been planning the bombings of two US embassies in Africa, one in Nairobi (Kenya), and one in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

The bombings had a high impact in the press. 258 people were killed and some 5,000 injured. The bombings occurred on August 7, 1998, apparently for no specific reason. [10]

Apparently only president Clinton benefited from it. In the US, the Monica Lewinsky affair had come to a height. The press and the public were excited and angry. Clinton had stated under oath, that he had had no sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. Proof had come out he had. Clinton was close to the point of being convicted of perjury.

The bombings of the embassies drew people's attention to the drama in Africa. Finally, on August 17, Clinton came away with the perjury charge by arguing that oral sex was not a sexual relation. [11]

A few days later, August 21, 1998, the US military threw bombs on Kandahar and other targets in Afghanistan. Only afterwards Clinton explained to the journalists that this was because of Osama bin Laden, who was supposed to be behind the bombings of the US' embassies in Africa. [12]

Unlike George W. Bush in 2001, Clinton did not invade Afghanistan. An invasion would have given hope to UNOCAL to see the Afghan deadlock broken, but with the Lewinsky affair still being argued, Clinton did not have enough credit for such a war.

On August 28, 1998, UNSC resolution 1193 blamed the Taliban for the problems in Afghanistan. [13]

On November 5, 1998, a US Grand Jury indicted Osama Bin Laden. (Not for the bombings of the embassies in Africa, but essentially for considering the US as his enemy.) [14] & [15]

UNOCAL withdraws

In December 1998 UNOCAL withdrew from the pipeline consortium and, at least for the outside world, the pipeline project seemed halted. [8]

However, in January, 1999, Turkmenistan's foreign minister visited Pakistan, saying the pipeline project was still alive. In February, BRIDAS had talks with leaders in Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Russia.

In March, Turkmenistan's Foreign Minister Sheikh Muradov met with Taliban leader Mullah Omar in Kandahar to discuss the pipeline. In April, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and the Taliban signed an agreement to revive the pipeline project. In May, a Taliban delegation signed an agreement with Turkmenistan to buy gas and electricity. [8]

Terror warning

On June 25, 1999, the US State Department announced: "As some of our embassies in Africa have been under surveillance by suspicious individuals, we are taking the precaution of temporarily closing our embassies in Gambia, Togo, Madagascar, Liberia, Namibia and Senegal from June 24 through the 27th of June - that is Sunday." [16]

The speaker seemed to have no idea where these countries are, considering the strange order of announcing them. Besides, the only African countries, where incidents like attacks and hostage taking have been reported that year, are Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Burundi and Ethiopia. None of these countries is on the list. [17]

On July 4, 1999, President Clinton issued an executive order prohibiting commercial transactions with the Taliban. [18]

Back to Cold War budgets

On September 23, 1999, presidential candidate George W. Bush exposed his views on the US military. He complained that since the end of the Cold War the Defence budget had fallen 40 percent and that the army had never been in such a bad shape since Pearl Harbor.

"As president, I will order an immediate review of our overseas deployments - in dozens of countries. ... My second goal is to build America's defences on the troubled frontiers of technology and terror."

Among his views of arms: "In the air, we must be able to strike from across the world with pinpoint accuracy - with long-range aircraft and perhaps with unmanned systems." [19]

On October 15, 1999, things were getting more serious for the Taliban. UN resolution 1267 against the Taliban threatened an aircraft ban and fund freezing, if Osama Bin Laden was not handed over before November 14, 1999. [20] & [2]

On November 11, 1999, during a press conference, the Taliban minister of Foreign Affairs said Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were unable to organize attacks like those on the embassies in Africa and condemned these actions.

In 2000 the US had presidential elections. It was time to postpone delicate decisions.

On April 2, 2000, Richard Clarke, who had been appointed counter-terrorist coordinator a few months before the attacks against the embassies in Africa (on May 22), predicted: "They will come after our weakness, our Achilles heel, which is largely here in the United States." [21]

Curious No-Fly list

On April 21, 2000, something remarkable happened. As an antiterrorist measure, the US Congress announced a single unified terrorist watch list, the TID (or Terrorist Identities Database), into which all international terrorist related data available to the US government - mainly the TIPOFF no-fly list - would be stored in a single repository. In airports, this list is used to prevent suspected people from going on board and from entering the US. [22]

However, the same day that Congress announces the unified TID list, the FAA created a new and separate domestic no-fly list and put only six names on it. Two weeks before 9/11, the list was expanded with six other names, making it a total list of 12 names.

Thanks to this separate list the hijackers of 9/11, using domestic flights, and not listed among the 12 names, could board the planes without difficulties. On August 23, 2001, two names, later published as being two of the hijackers, had been added to the official TID-list, which counted 60,000 suspects, but was discarded for domestic flights. [23]

Neo-conservative ideas

This second chapter starts with September 2000, when the neo-conservatives present their views. Their ideas will spread through the White House Administration with the election of George W. Bush. Even before he enters the White House, two imperialistic wars are on the agenda: Iraq and Afghanistan. Afghanistan gets the priority.

In September, 2000, the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century (PNAC) published their imperialistic views for the US. [24] In the document, they warned that the process of transforming the US into "tomorrow's dominant force" would likely be a long one in the absence of "some catastrophic and catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbor". [25]

After 9/11, to those who would not yet have understood the benefits of the events at Pearl Harbor in 1941, Bush would explain: "The four years that followed transformed the American way of war" and "even more importantly, an American President and his successors shaped a world beyond a war." And, to make sure that people understood that 9/11 was just like Pearl Harbor, he would add "September 11th, 2001 - three months and a long time ago - set another dividing line in our lives and in the life of our nation." [27]

Many PNAC members would become members of the Bush administration. Those members include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and Richard Perle. [26]

On October 12, 2000, three weeks before the presidential elections, the US population was shortly reminded of the terrorist threat in the world. The US Navy destroyer USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden was rammed with an inflatable raft with explosives and was damaged. Published detail: it looked as if the raft was coming to help the warship to moor to a buoy. [28] Message: you can trust nobody.

On November 7, 2000 the elections took place. George W. Bush or Al Gore would become President. The counting gave an extremely close result. The results in the State of Florida became decisive, but the counting was and remains far from clear.

The opponents fought in many different courts until December 13. It turned out that in Florida, 180,000 votes had been thrown out of the counting. This way Bush led by less than 600 votes. Partial recounts resulted in much lower estimates. Finally, all recounts could not be executed within the time limit set by the intervening Supreme Court. This is how Bush won the elections. [29]


A few days later, on December 18, speaking at the Capitol, Bush joked about his new relationship with some congressional leaders: "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier....just so long as I'm the dictator." [30]

Just a slip of the tongue? Not really. In July 1998, about governing Texas, he said already: "A dictatorship would be a lot easier." [31] And on July 26, 2001, speaking once again about his struggles with Congress he repeated: "a dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier." [32]

Well, for the ambitious plans of the neoconservatives, the US Congress was a major hurdle to clear. The budget of the military had shrunk by 40 percent after the Cold War and with the wars they had in mind they would need a lot more money.

How would they get the budget they wanted? If the US would be attacked, there would be no problem. They would receive all the budget, political support and public sympathy they needed. But, as written in their document, without a new Pearl Harbor things would go slowly. [25]

When Bush started his presidency, many neoconservatives considered Iraq as the first target to hit. In their document of September 2000 they had named Iraq as a "potential rival" of the US. [24]

First Target Iraq?

Iraq has the world's second largest oil reserves. The country was exhausted. It had tried to conquer Iran from 1980 to 1988, had invaded Kuwait in 1990, had been defeated by Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and a subsequent UN embargo had brought the Iraqi economy to a standstill and the population to the edge of starvation.

Since 1996, the Oil For Food program of the UN had brought some relief for the Iraqi people. The country had been disarmed. Extensive weapon inspections had concluded the country formed no threat anymore. Well, at least, not military. In 2000, Saddam had still found a trick to hit the main pillar of US hegemony, the dollar. He started to sell his oil in euros, instead of dollars. [raisethehammer, see: Dollar Hegemony]

Afghanistan back on the agenda

However, not even a week after George W. Bush had been declared winner of the elections, Afghanistan was back on the international agenda. UN SC resolution 1333 of December 19, 2000, imposed the sanctions the UN had promised more than a year before, if the Taliban would not hand over Osama bin Laden before November 14, 1999 (aircraft ban and funds freezing). [33]

Afghanistan in the Caspian context

Geopolitically, Afghanistan had become a more urgent target. Since 1996, the US had experienced severe setbacks in their ambition to control gas and oil on the East side of the Caspian Sea and was loosing influence. The lack of control over Afghanistan was leading to severe complications.

As mentioned earlier, the problems had started in February 1996, when Afghan president Rabbani signed a contract with UNOCAL's competitor BRIDAS for the construction of the gas pipeline through Afghanistan, between Turkmenistan and Pakistan. [8] In March 1996, the US tried to block this deal, putting pressure on Pakistan and telling them they should grant exclusive rights to UNOCAL. This resulted in a diplomatic clash with the Pakistani government. [8]

Still in the same month, Pakistan officially agreed to allow a proposed Iranian pipeline to run over Pakistani territory on its way to India, thus enabling Iranian gas sale to India. The gas would come from Iran's giant South Pars Field in the Persian Gulf and cross the South of Iran from West to East through a pipeline still to be constructed. [34]

Meanwhile, in February 1996, Turkmenistan had showed it did not want to depend exclusively on the delayed Afghan pipeline project and had signed a contract with Turkey to supply Turkmen gas via a pipeline to be constructed along the North coast of Iran. If necessary, Turkey would be able to absorb all the Turkmen gas. [34]

Iranian-Libyan Sanctions act

With these two aforementioned Iranian pipelines, the Afghan pipelines would become more or less useless. To prevent the construction of the Iranian pipelines the US Congress passed the Iranian-Libyan Sanctions act, [35] threatening anyone who would help Iran to construct them, and forbid transactions with Iran of $ 4 million or higher. That was on June 18, 1996.

Nevertheless on August 30, 1996 Turkey signed a 20-year deal to buy gas from Iran. [34] & [36] The Turkish president would be punished for his Islamic solidarity by a military coup forcing him to resign. That was on June 18, 1997. [37]

With the Iranian-Libyan Sanctions act in place, another US company, Enron, expanded its activities in the region. In Uzbekistan, Enron had obtained a contract for 11 gas fields. In April 1997, George W. Bush himself had intervened to help Enron obtain Uzbeki contracts. [38] Enron counted on a US controlled pipeline through Afghanistan to export a part of the Uzbek gas to its power plant in India. [39]

The US threatened sanctions and blocked the completion of the Turkish pipeline connection to Iran. Therefor the gas deliveries from Iran to Turkey were delayed several years. In August 2000, Iran and Turkey agreed the gas deliveries would start on July 30, 2001, which would be a few days before the expiration date of the Iranian-Libyan Sanctions act. [40]

Despite the Iranian-Libyan Sanctions act, the construction of the northern pipeline had started on the East side of Iran. With Iranian funding, Iran and Turkmenistan opened an international pipeline connection of 200 km by the end of 1997. [36]

Subsea shortcut avoiding Iran

To frustrate further development of the Iranian pipeline to Turkey, the US came up with an idea for an alternative route from Turkmenistan, crossing the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and from there to Turkey. Enron did the study for this project. [39]

By that time it appeared as if the Afghan pipeline project would be abandoned. In June 1998, Enron withdrew from its Uzbek gas projects [41] and in December UNOCAL withdrew from its consortium for the Afghan pipeline. [8]

The US threats did not prevent big companies like Shell and Total from signing deals with Iran for exploration of oil and gas. [42] Nevertheless, Shell withdrew from its pipeline project in Northern Iran. [43]

The undersea pipeline crossing the Caspian Sea now existed on the drawing table, but in the waters the five surrounding countries (Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran) had not yet come to an agreement about each other's borders, and thus about the ownership of oil fields. As long as this would last, according to an existing agreement of 1940, Russia and Iran would have to agree with the pipeline project first. And they did not. [44]

In 2000, the Turkmen president had blamed the US for the delay in the trans-Caspian pipeline and had resumed gas deliveries to Russia. [45] That May, president Putin had even come to Turkmenistan to offer extended deals for several years. [9] Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan, the oil from the Tengiz field (world's sixth largest oil field) was going to be pumped via Russia to the Black Sea. [46]

Wealthy actors and influences

George W. Bush sworn in

On January 20, 2001, George W. Bush was sworn in as president of the US. He is the son of ex-president George H.W. Bush. The family is from Texas and has close ties with the oil and energy related companies there. These companies have contributed a lot to Bush's election campaign.

Companies contributing to election campaigns is a common phenomenon in the US. The financial support for a candidate's campaign determines how much marketing they can afford and, ultimately, their chances to win an election. Of course, when these companies invest a lot of money, they expect something in return when their candidate wins, such as nominations within the administration, influence for big business orders or favourable laws and amendments. [47]


Enron had been the biggest contributor of the Bush 2000 election campaign. [48] In fact, the company had generously contributed to both father and son's election campaigns since 1985. Enron's chairman, Kenneth Lay, had close personal contacts with the Bushes. He had even been a sleeping guest at the White House. [49] During these years, Enron had expanded from a regional energy supplier to a giant multinational company, and the seventh biggest in the US.

Although loaded with debts caused by its giant investments abroad, Enron always showed splendid results. How? In 1997 the Securities and Exchange Commission had exempted Enron from the Investment Company Act of 1940 that prohibits US companies from leaving debt from overseas projects off the books. [47] At the same time Andy Fastow, Enron's senior vice president of finance, had started his "creative" financing. [50]

Since 1993, in India, Enron had invested $ 2.9 billion for a power plant near Bombay. Originally it had counted on cheap supply of gas from Turkmenistan via the planned pipeline through Afghanistan. The power plant project had turned into a nightmare.

Enron had faced severe criticism over their contemptuous way of doing business. They had experienced severe opposition from the local population after hiring police officers to beat down protests of opponents. Charges had been filed against the company for human right violations. [39]

Last but not least, Enron’s deliveries to the regional electricity company were invoiced more than double the price of power from other suppliers. [51] Taking into account the real cost beared by the regional electricity company, Enron's price was even 700 percent higher. [52] The regional electricity company could not pay Enron's bills anymore. As retaliation, in January 2001, Enron had cut the power to 200 million people in Northern India, while demanding three times the normal price. [53] (Around the same time, Enron was provoking power cuts in California as well, to force higher prices. [54])

In 1997 Enron had started gas projects in Uzbekistan, for which George W. Bush had had personal contacts with the Uzbek ambassador.

As soon as the Bush administration was in place, vice president Cheney would reward Enron for their support during the elections. Enron's chairman, Kenneth Lay, had a wish list that was almost entirely included in Cheney's proposals for the new US energy policy. [55] Cheney also intervened to help Enron collect a $64 million debt for its power plant near Bombay, during a meeting with Indian opposition leader Sonia Ghandi in Washington on June 27 2001. [56]

Enron - BinLaden

Enron had also connections with the construction firm BinLadin from Saudi Arabia, with which it constructed a power plant in the Gaza strip. (The power plant would not be finished before Enron's bankruptcy in December 2001.) [57]

Binladen - Carlyle

The wealthy bin Laden family is well known to the Bush family. Salem bin Laden supplied part of the money for George W. Bush’s first oil company, Arbusto, in 1978. [58] His father, George H.W. Bush, joined the Carlyle group after being US' president, [59] and developed relations with the BinLadin company. [60] He met the family in November 1998 and in January 2000. [61]

Bin Laden also invested in the Carlyle group. H.W. Bush still met with Shafig bin Laden, Osama's brother, on September 10, 2001, the day before the attacks, at the annual investor conference of the Carlyle Group. [62] Like Enron, Carlyle had grown tremendously.

In the early 1990s son Bush had been member of the board of a catering service company for airliners. [60] Carlyle had bought the catering company. Although the catering service crashed, Carlyle grew to be an important defence contractor in the US. [61] A bunch of well-known former politicians, including George W. Bush father, former UK Prime Minister John Major and former president of the Philippines Mister Ramos, are making a lot of money from the "war on terror". [59]


There is a terrible lot of information available about bin Laden's son, Osama. However, almost all of it comes from sources that cannot be verified, like comments by unknown people who would have known him or met him. Other stories are based on allegations by people who have big business interests in the "war on terrorism", like the Bush. One step further, you find the comments by officials "convinced" that everything that has been said about Osama is true.

On the other extremity, there is the image Osama draws of himself in an interview by CNN reporter Peter Arnett in 1997. According to this interview he is, first of all, a man of faith, who understands people who fight against the US soldiers that came to steal the oil and who attacked the Islamic religion. He denies having organized any attacks against the US himself. [63] (Many people will remember a videotape with “Osama's confession”, that he knew about the attacks of 9/11 in advance, which turned out to be a fake. [64])

Osama would become Bush's key excuse to invade Afghanistan. On September 17, 2001 Bush would declare Osama bin Laden was wanted "dead or alive". [65]

Why did Osama bin Laden stay in Afghanistan? Here too, different sources give different stories. He had already been in Afghanistan during the eighties, helping the mudjahedeen fight against the Soviet occupation (as did the US). Back in Saudi Arabia in 1989, he had opposed the king's alliance with the US.

When his passport was confiscated, he at first fled back to Afghanistan, and then settled in Sudan in 1992, where all Muslims were welcome after a regime change the year before. In 1994, because of his support to fundamentalist Muslim movements, Saudi Arabia revoked his citizenship and froze his funds. [66]

After the assassination attempt against Egyptian president Mubarak in Ethiopia on June 26, 1995, Sudan was accused of being behind it. The relations between Egypt and Sudan deteriorated in the current of 1995.

At this point, let us jump to Afghanistan. In February 1996 things went wrong for the US pipeline project in Afghanistan. President Rabbani of Afghanistan contracted the Argentinean BRIDAS instead of UNOCAL for the construction and exploitation of the gas pipeline. For the US, to get the pipeline project back in the hands of UNOCAL, Rabbani would have to disappear. But who could be accused if Rabbani were killed?

Back to Sudan. March 8, 1996, the US suddenly asked Sudan to extradite Osama. It did not specify to which country. Since the Saudis took his passport and nationality away, Osama had few options. On May 18, 1996, he left Sudan and returned to Afghanistan. [67]

Years afterward, many people were still wondering why he had not been arrested at that occasion.

In Afghanistan, events would take a different turn. From March 20 to April 4, 1996, Taliban leaders had held a shura (meeting) and concluded with a jihad against Rabbani. [68] Osama arrived on May 18, but would not get involved. On September 27, the Taliban conquered Kabul and president Rabbani fled and joined the Northern alliance. At that moment things must have looked hopeful for the UNOCAL pipeline project. Unfortunately for them, in November 1996 BRIDAS signed a new contract with the Taliban.

Ultimately this would lead to the Taliban being evicted from power. Clinton would not attack Afghanistan after the US embassy bombings in Africa in 1998, maybe thanks to Monica Lewinsky. Bush did, after "the catastrophic and catalysing events" of 9/11.

After having used the presence of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan as his key excuse to invade the country, Bush would state, on March 13, 2002, he wasn't truly that concerned about Osama bin Laden. [69]


After the US conquest of Afghanistan (or at least of its capital), UNOCAL's advisor Hamid Karzai would be appointed Chairman of the interim administration of Afghanistan. On June 16, 2002, even before there was an elected president, Karzai would sign an official agreement with Turkmenistan and Pakistan for a gas pipeline through Afghanistan. [70]

But even if the gas pipeline would come too late to transport Turkmen gas to Pakistan, Afghanistan remains an interesting booty. It has its own gigantic gas field south of the Turkmen field, near Mazar e Sharif. It has also several oil fields and coal. Furthermore, in the 1970s British geologists had already found 1600 locations with minerals.

Preparations for 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan

Timing of the attacks

As noticed above, the timing for the attacks on the US embassies in Africa helped Clinton, as it drew away the attention from his threatening conviction of perjury in the Monica Lewinsky affair, and focused on the common enemies: the terrorists.

The invasion of Afghanistan would have to wait for the next US president. Between 1998 and 2001 there was enough time to plan everything carefully. Below we will notice, that the attacks of 9/11 occurred at the very moment everything was in place. The only thing missing was a pretext to get support from Congress, from the US population and the rest of the world…

Military preparations

For the US to invade Afghanistan at the other side of the world was a delicate operation. Step by step the US had pushed its influence and control in the former Soviet republics. US oil and gas related companies had started up activities in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the U.S. military had gained influence in the region, challenging Russia and China in their backyards.

Already in 1997, north of Afghanistan, the US had considerably expanded its military "cooperation" with Kazakhstan, which forms the buffer with Russia. [71] In 1999, closer to Afghanistan, the US expanded its presence in Kyrgyzstan [72], and in Uzbekistan, one of Afghanistan's direct neighbours. [73] In April 14-15, 2000, Uzbek and US troops conducted joint military exercises. [74]

East of Afghanistan the US administration has strong ties with the Pakistani intelligence service. Its director, Lieutenant-General Mahmoud Ahmad, was with U.S. officials the week before and during the attacks of 9/11. [75] On the west side, F-15s were based in Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey and the Fifth fleet was permanently based in the Persian Gulf. [76]

For the war in Afghanistan, huge transports of troops and material had to be organized well before the invasion. On November 7, 2000, the day all US-citizens were occupied with the election of their president, the UK announced its biggest military exercise since the Gulf War, operation Swift Sword (Saif Sareea in Arabic), involving 24,000 troops and a lot of heavy material. [77]

The exercise took place on the coast of Oman, a strategic location, since all oil tankers from the Persian Gulf region (Saudi-Arabia, the United Arabic Emirates, Qatar, Quait, Iraq and Iran) have to cross the Gulf of Oman. Here the UK maintains a War Material Storage. [78] The exercice had been scheduled from September 15 until the end of October 2001, [79] The UK would start moving troops and material to Oman in August 2001.[80] The UK participated in the invasion. [81]

From October 8 until the end of October, 2001 another military operation was planned in Egypt: NATO Operation Bright Star. It was the world's largest exercise including more than 11 Nations, and more than 70,000 troops (among which 23,000 from the US) participating. [82]

Among several other "coincidental" military moves towards Afghanistan, we notice that on July 23, 2001, the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson was sent out from Bremerton (on US West coast) to the Arabian Sea. It arrived just in time to launch the first air strikes on Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. [83]

Diplomatic preparations

On the diplomatic front, to lower the risk of upsetting China, on June 19 2001, Bush had proposed to attend the APEC summit in Shang Hai and was expected to meet president Zemir between October 15 and October 21 2001. [84] & [85] (Bush's meeting with presidents Zemir and Putin took place on October 20, 2001) [86]

Besides, in 2001 China was completing its bilateral agreements with all 37 WTO members to become a full WTO-member. China wanted to become member since many years. China's bilateral agreement with Mexico would be the last and this would complete China's membership. [87] In July 2001 Bush would polish his relations with Mexico, "lobbying" against US unfair import restrictions on Mexican trucks. [88]

This was probably not only to get the Mexicans in the right mood to sign with China, but also because Mexico would be a member of the UN Security Council in 2002 and 2003. China reached its bilateral agreement with Mexico and became a WTO member on September 13, 2001. [89]

Bush's unmanned systems

In the summer of 1999, a number of US embassies on the African continent were closed for the weekend because of suspicious people hanging around. [16] A few days later Clinton had issued his order prohibiting commercial transactions with the Taliban. [18] A few months later George W. Bush presented his ideas of defence "on the troubled frontiers of technology and terror."

He said, "In the air, we must be able to strike from across the world with pinpoint accuracy - with long-range aircraft and perhaps with unmanned systems." [19]

In September 1999 Bush still said "perhaps". He was still considering. This was at a time when the market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) for both military as well as civil aviation was rapidly developing. [90] By 2001 there were more than 60 types of UAVs world wide, from small models to big planes. [91]

At the time of Bush's speech in 1999, the US was developing the Global Hawk [92], a military UAV with a wing span comparable to a Boeing 737, which had made its first flight from Edwards Air Force Base, CA on 28 February 1998. [93] After Bush became president, on April 23, 2001 the Global Hawk made a historical first unmanned test flight to Australia. [94]


Not all of the material about 9/11 has been released to the public. Some of the reliable evidence has been confiscated by the CIA. [95] Statements of officials often turned out to be contradictory. And, in particular about possible advanced knowledge, the White House has confiscated dozens of documents from the 9/11 Commission. [96] It doesn't make truth finding easier.

The official version of the events on 9/11 involves a very high number of coincidences that facilitated the "success" of the attacks.

A nationwide military exercise, Global Guardian, originally planned for November 2001, is in full swing, creating confusion between exercises and real-world events. [97]

A large-scale military exercise, Vigilant Guardian, is taking place and involves all of NORAD, that normally sends fighter jets after civil airplanes several times a week, when flight control operators report incidences. [97]

The Vigilant Guardian exercise simulates an air attack on the United States. [97]

NORAD is also running a planned real-world operation named Operation Northern Vigilance, for which many NORAD fighters are located in Alaska and Canada. [98]

Operation Northern Vigilance also creates false blips on radar screens at least until the second plane crashes into the World Trade Centre. [99]

In Washington a planned National Reconnaissance Office exercise involves a scenario of an airplane as a flying weapon. [97]

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is flying across the Atlantic on the way to Europe. [97]

The Federal Emergency Management Agency Director is at a conference in Montana. [97]

FAA hijack coordinator, who has to contact the National Military Command Centre in case of hijacks, is in Puerto Rico and cannot be reached. [97]

All of the FBI's anti-terrorist and top special operations agents are, together with the members of the CIA's anti-terrorist task force, on a training exercise in Monterey, California. [97]

For the day of 9/11, the commander of the National Military Command Centre had requested to be replaced by someone without experience. [97]

For FAA's new National Operations Manager it is the first day on the job. [98]

The hijackers can board without trouble, since the official no-fly list is only used for international flights and, curiously, not for domestic flights. [22] & [23]

Informed a few minutes after the start of the first hijack (Flight 11), American Airlines top management decide to "keep it quiet". [97]

Boston flight controllers do not follow normal procedures and waste time by contacting various military bases, instead of NORAD. [97]

After NORAD is finally informed, two F-15s will remain on the ground and only take off when Flight 11 already crashes into the WTC. [97]

For various reasons F-16s will only arrive on the scene after the last plane has crashed. [97] & [99]

A decision is taken to ground not only civil airplanes, but also all military planes. [99]

The presumed hijacker pilot of flight 77 was not able to fly a Cessna without difficulty in August, but succeeded to spiral down a Boeing 757 and hit the Pentagon a few meters above the ground on September 11. [100]

The President doesn't give any orders responding to the attack until just before the last plane crashes. [97]

Above I only mentioned those coincidences that facilitated the success of the attacks. If I were to build a story on such series of coincidences, no one would believe me. Well, I would not either. Keeping the things in their context, it makes more sense to look at them as facts, and not as coincidences.

All released details show that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out with military precision. However, the hijackers on the planes would have been improvised pilots without the extraordinary skills needed to fly in the way that has been reported. [101] & [102]

In addition, they would not have been intelligent enough to foresee the reactions triggered by their actions. Apparently they had so little political awareness, that they had not heard about the neoconservatives waiting for such a "catastrophic and catalysing event" to speed up US' conquests.

The success of the plan relied on a lot of advanced knowledge of the situation that day, like the confusion offered by planned military exercises and the scenarios played by them, like the confusion offered by fake radar blibs, like traffic controllers lacking of primary radar images in specific areas, like the absence of several experienced officers in the command chains responding to the hijacks, like the absence of armed jet fighters to frustrate their plans.

All this seems more likely to be the work of a more influential and well trained organization, an organization willing to provide the justification for the neoconservatives' conquest plans, with Afghanistan as the first target.

It does not seem likely to me, that such an organization would let the success of its operation depend on the improvised skills of the hijackers. It makes more sense to suppose the hijackers were not in control. (In spite of an overheard phrase in the cockpit of the fourth plane, having been translated as "Pull it down" and by officials interpreted as "Crash the plane" [102]) It seems more likely the operation was conducted on the “troubled frontier of technology and terror”, and that technology had taken over the controls.


The two types of planes used, the Boeing 757 and 767, can be controlled remotely. Robert Ayling, a former boss of British Airways, suggested in the Financial Times a few days after 9/11, that those aircraft can be commandeered from the ground and controlled remotely in the event of a hijack. [13] On 9/11 the remote control would have been in the hands of the wrong people.

If we look closer to the remote control scenario, we notice that if the published details about the transponders are right:

1. the transponder of the second 767 is turned off shortly after the first 767 crashes.
2. the transponder of the second 757 is turned off shortly after the first 757 crashes.

So, it looks as if one remote pilot handled the two 767s one after the other, and another remote pilot handled the two 757s one after the other. ([104] 9/11 Commission Report, P.32, 8:47 & 9:41)

It has also been reported that a C-130 military cargo plane was tailing flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon. The same C-130 was behind flight 93 when it crashed. Did the plane play a role? Or was it just a coincidental tourist, flying around while all other planes had been ordered to land? [101], [105], [106]

The hijackers hijacked?

Although the official story expects us to believe the hijackers wanted to fly into the WTC and the Pentagon, the released pieces of cockpit conversations offer no indications to support this theory. Although mountains of stories and counter-stories have been published about the hijackers, I did not find a single verifiable element.

If the hijackers were to support some Arabic or Islamic cause, they would probably have been in a stronger position if they had returned to airports with four planes and hundreds of US citizens in their might. They could have negotiated the release of political prisoners. They could have demanded a retreat of US forces from Saudi Arabia. They could have pleaded any cause they were after.

Did the hijackers really have in mind to strike the WTC and the Pentagon or were they overruled by the organization that had "contracted" them? Will we find out? According to the official story, all radio contact and overhearing of cockpit conversations stopped before the planes made their final approach to the WTC and the Pentagon. If the hijackers were to create the biggest possible spectacle, wouldn't they have shouted a last accusation against the US? Or a last glorious prayer to Allah? Or were they surprised and in panic when they flew into the buildings?


The Afghan pipelines are only one step in US political moves to take over the influence in the oil and gas rich former Soviet republics. Consuming 25 percent of the world oil consumption, their imperialism is first of all about energy. Today the US already relies for over 60 percent on foreign oil, a percentage that is quickly increasing. The neoconservative ideas to transform the US into a "dominant force" do not come out of nowhere.

The thought that they needed a "catastrophic and catalysing event" was not just motivated by the personal financial benefits several of them get from the war industries. It was also a sign of panic of a nation facing drying up oil wells and preparing itself to conquer foreign oil wells until the last drip is gone.


Today the US seems more interested in a long lasting occupation of Afghanistan. This way they can exploit the Afghan reserves at a convenient moment in the future. Also, they keep the power to decide if Pakistan and India may, or may not profit from gas and oil from the Caspean Sea, from Turkmenistan or from Afghanistan. About Iraq too, I get more and more the impression, that today’s purpose is to make the war last as long as possible. As long as oil and gas is sold in US-dollars, the benefit is for the US. These changes in politics have to do with the the fact the US have become aware that oil wells are drying up. Since 2001 the US makes a rapid switch to nuclear energy. At the same time they appropriate a dominant role on the world market for nuclear fuel. At this very moment a strategic coup takes place to divide the market and close it hermetically by imposing new rules. For this, Iran is the pretext and the test case. (

6 juni 2008, Message from Afghan Ambassy in Tokyo:

The Ministry of Mines and Industries signed a deal with China. Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC), which will lead a consortium including China's Jiangxi Copper Company to mine the Aynak copper deposit in Logar province and build infrastructure. The project includes the construction of a coal-fuelled 400MW power plant and a rail-road network connecting the north of Afghanistan to the southeast.

Ambassador Zikria explained, "The entire project is estimated to cost up to $10 billion (Dh36.7bn) and will be completed in phases. The copper mining deal is for 30 years with an annual extraction of 200,000 tons. Aynak contains sufficient ore to produce 11 million metric tons of copper.

"This and all the other exploration projects, including oil and gas schemes, offer great potential to the UAE and GCC investors. The Aynak rail-road network will link Central Asia to Pakistan, India and the Arabian Sea."
Ambassador Zikria said a major survey of Afghanistan's natural resources was being carried out by the US Geological Survey and local engineers. "The initial results revealed that Afghanistan had 10 times more gas and 15 times more oil reserves than was previously thought. “ There are significant oil deposits in the south of the country, including ones at Katawaz and in Helmand province. The government will soon announce an oil and gas exploration project in the northern province of Jozjan and will invite foreign investors and exploration firms to become involved. (











































































































For reactions and reply you can contact the author via .

If you wish, you may copy this article and forward it or publish it in newspapers and on websites.

Honoring late 9/11 responder: Documentary urging Congress to help ill emergency workers premieres day after N. Babylon man's death

Michael Frazier
Newsday (New York)
2008 Aug 29

NEW YORK -- Racked by pain and the ravages of leukemia, firstresponder Gregory Quibell of North Babylon allowed film crews to record poignant moments of his life.

For weeks, his visits to doctors and his struggles to pay medical bills were captured for a documentary called Save the Brave, which premiered last night at the Bellmore Theatre in Bellmore.

The film's opening is dedicated to Quibell, 53, who died Wednesday night at his home, friends said. The film features three other firstresponders living with Sept. 11-related illnesses.

"The movie had no actors in it. They were real-life heroes," said John Feal, the film's producer, who is president of the nonprofit FealGood Foundation and advocates for sick Sept. 11 responders. "Greg is proof that heroes are dying, and it's unacceptable."

The three others featured in Save the Brave are former New York City firefighter John McNamara of Shirley, former FDNY chief Jim Riches of Brooklyn and former emergency services worker Charlie Giles of Barnegat, N.J.

A DVD of the film will be sent to Congress to highlight the need for a national Sept. 11 health bill, Feal said. Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would create federal programs for medical treatment and compensation for ill responders and residents living near Ground Zero.

Anne Marie Baumann, senior vice president of the FealGood Foundation, said she became involved in the foundation after her husband, Christopher Baumann - an NYPD officer - had multiple health issues after working at Ground Zero.

She said if one thing comes from the documentary being released, she hopes it's "that the bill is passed. I know the sickness isn't going to stop, but the pain can stop."

In February, Quibell, a state correction department worker, traveled to Washington and demanded more money for health programs for those who responded to the terrorist attacks.

Quibell was one of several dozen search-and-rescueworkers deputized by federal authorities to assist at Ground Zero. In the aftermath, he suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and then was diagnosed late last year with leukemia.

He said exposure to toxins at the World Trade Center site led to his health problems.

Feal said yesterday that he was at Quibell's bedside when he died. The two had a final, full conversation on Friday. The movie, which took two months to make, didn't come up during that talk. They focused on family: Quibell's four children and fiancee, Theresa Galoppe.

"He knew he was dying," Feal said. "He just said please make sure Theresa and the children are taken care of. He died a hero. He didn't complain. He just wanted to make sure everyone is taken care of when he was gone."

Kenny Porpora contributed to this story.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

UK union posts link to anti-Semitic article

Aug 26, 2008 21:02 | Updated Aug 26, 2008 23:01


A member of the British academic union that voted to reintroduce a boycott of Israeli academia has posted a link on the union's Web site to an anti-Semitic article on the Web site of former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Jenna Delich, a member of the University and College Union, posted a message on the UCU Web site's activist list with a link to the article.

Delich's message was in support of a colleague who backs the boycott call. It reads: "John, in support to your link this may be a long but also an interesting reading: No comment necessary. The facts are speaking for themselves, Jenna."

The article, "Racism, not Defense, at the Heart of Israeli Politics," is an attack on the "Israeli oligarchs" and was circulated to hundreds of the union's active members. It was written by a 9/11 conspiracy theorist named Joe Quinn.

In the article he writes: "There is much evidence to warrant an in-depth investigation of the role played by agents of Israel in the 9/11 attacks. Yet the ubiquitous, tiresome and completely baseless threat of being labelled "anti-Semitic‚" for criticizing the actions of the Israeli government effectively prevents all but the most courageous from following the leads. Coincidence? We think not...

"Just what level of power do Israeli interests wield in the halls of power in the US that any investigation into Israeli spying activities on US soil against US intelligence agencies can be so completely quashed? Would this constitute a level of power and control that would allow those interests to carry off a terrorist attack like 9/11 and have it blamed on 'Arab terrorists?'"

Quinn links to the Web site of convicted Holocaust-denier David Irving saying: "On the morning of 9/11 and just as the WTC towers were crumbling, the five Israelis were caught doing the 'happy dance' as they videotaped the Twin Towers fall." The piece closes with the claim: "Either someone does something about these sick psychopaths, or they, and their kind in Washington and around the world, will destroy us all."

The link was discovered by Engage, a group of left-wing trade unionists and academics active in the anti-boycott campaign.

Dr. David Hirsh, lecturer at University of London's Goldsmiths College and editor of the Engage Web site, said: "Since 2003 academic unions have been dominated by a campaign to exclude Israelis, and nobody else, from UK campuses. We have warned the [UCU] general-secretary on numerous occasions that this campaign has imported anti-Semitic ways of thinking into our union, she either didn't understand or didn't care. That the union is now circulating racist material should be understood as a manifestation of its institutional anti-Semitism; it cannot be written off as yet another random accident."

Hirsh said Delich's e-mails on the activist list had already been the subject of two formal complaints to the union. However, the UCU judged that the evidence was unpersuasive.

Dr. Jon Pike, a member of the UCU national executive but speaking in a personal capacity, said: "I'm not surprised that anti-Semitic material has again dropped into my inbox from the union activists' list. What is shocking is the failure of the union's internal procedures to do anything about this. UCU prides itself on being an anti-racist union. In fact, it is probably the most complacent public institution in Britain in relation to increasing anti-Semitism and the leadership turns a blind eye, or worse, to the racism in the union. Behind all this is the campaign of discrimination against Israeli academics which is fostered by some in the union and encouraged by the leadership."

Eve Garrard, senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Keele University in Staffordshire, said: "This is precisely the kind of thing which drove me recently to resign from the UCU. It has become a union which is complacent about anti-Semitism: It regards prejudicial hostility toward Jews, from within the union itself, as something too unimportant for it to bother with. I didn't feel able to remain in an institution which treats anti-Semitism indulgently, as a special exception to a generally anti-racist stance."

The UCU activist e-mail list contains around 700 members. Any union member may subscribe and the list is administrated and monitored by the union.

"Anti-Semitism is routinely tolerated on the activist list when it is expressed in the language of hostility to Israel," Hirsh said. "Only a small group of Jews and anti-racists have been standing up against this culture on the list. Some have been excluded from the list on trumped up charges; others have been driven off the list by continual accusations of bad faith. Some have left the union because they cannot bear to pay their dues to what they consider to be an anti-Semitic organization."

In May, the UCU voted on a motion at its annual conference in Manchester to reintroduce an academic boycott of Israel. The called on union members "to consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues with whom they are collaborating."

The Financial Times and the “Self-Confessed Mastermind of 9/11”

By James Petras
August 27th, 2008

In recent days there is mounting evidence of the advance of totalitarianism in the political and media mainstream. The entire Western world, led by the United States, has embraced a Georgian regime, which invaded South Ossetia totally demolishing its capital city of 50,000 residents, assassinated 1500 men, women and children and dozens of Russian peace keepers. The US has mobilized a naval and air armada off the Iranian coast, prepared to annihilate a country of 70 million people. The New York Times published an essay by a prominent Israeli historian, which advocates the nuclear incineration of Iran. All the major mass media have mounted a systematic propaganda campaign against China, supporting each and every terrorist and separatist group, and whipping up public opinion in favor of launching a New Cold War. There is little doubt that this new wave of imperial aggression and bellicose rhetoric is meant to deflect domestic discontent and distract public opinion from the deepening economic crises.

The Financial Times (FT), once the liberal, enlightened voice of the financial elite (in contrast to the aggressively neo-conservative Wall Street Journal) has yielded to the totalitarian-militarist temptation. The feature article of the weekend supplement of August 16/17, 2008 — “The Face of 9/11” — embraces the forced confession of a 9/11 suspect elicited through 5 years of hideous torture in the confines of secret prisons. To make their case, the FT published a half-page blow-up photo first circulated by former CIA director George Tenet, which presents a bound, disheveled, dazed, hairy ape-like prisoner. The text of the writer, one Demetri Sevastopulo, admits as much: The FT owns up to being a propaganda vehicle for a CIA program to discredit the suspect while he stands trial based on confessions obtained through torture.

From beginning to end, the article categorically states that the principle defendant, Khalet Sheikh Mohammed, is the “self-confessed mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the US.” The first half of the article is full of trivia, designed to provide a human-interest feel to the courtroom and the proceedings — a bizarre mixture discussing Khaled’s nose to the size of the courtroom.

The central point of departure for the FT’s conviction of the suspect is Khaled’s confession, his ‘desire for martyrdom’, his assumption of his own defense and his reciting the Koran. The crucial piece of the Government’s case is Khaled’s confession. All the other ‘evidence’ was circumstantial, hearsay and based on inferences derived from Khaled’s attendance at overseas meetings.

The FT’s principle source of information, an anonymous informant “familiar with the CIA interrogation program” states categorically two crucial facts: 1. How little the CIA had known about him before his arrest (my emphasis) and (2) that Khaled held out longer than the others.

In other words, the CIA’s only real evidence was extracted by torture (the CIA admitted to ‘water boarding’ — an infamous torture technique inducing near death from drowning). The fact that Khaled repeatedly denied the accusations and that he only confessed after 5 years of torture in secret prisons renders the entire prosecution a case study in totalitarian jurisprudence. Having been subjected to unspeakable torture by US judicial investigators, facing accusations based on a confession extracted through torture, it is no wonder that Khaled refused a court appointed military lawyer — a lawyer who is part of a system of secret prisons, torture and ‘show trials’. Rather than portray Khaled as a fanatic seeking martyrdom for rejecting a lawyer, we must recognize that he is completely in his right mind to at least preserve the limited space and time allocated to him to state his beliefs and to relate his willingness to die for those beliefs. Confessions extracted from torture, have no validity in any court, especially after 5 years of solitary confinement. What the FT calls “the super terrorist” based on his stated “desire for martyrdom” is the admission of an individual who has suffered beyond human endurance and looks to death to end his horrible sub-human existence.

The FT’s embrace of the CIA and military’s coerced evidence and therefore their use of torture, puts them squarely in the camp of the totalitarian state. The right-turn of the FT mirrors the European turn toward US military confrontation with Russia, and the military build-up in Poland, the Czech Republic, Kosova, Iraq and Georgia. The FT by legitimizing torture has opened the door to making totalitarian judicial practices, arbitrary arrests, secret prisons, prolonged solitary confinement, torture, show trials and cover-up feature stories part of normal Western political life. Genteel British fascism is no less ugly than its blustery US version.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras’ forthcoming book, Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power, is due from Clarity Press, Atlanta, in August 2008. He can be reached at: Read other articles by James, or visit James's website.“self-confessed-mastermind-of-911”/

Letters: WTC 7 Explanation Falls Short

" ... The computer model presented on the NIST Web site does not even match the video of the actual collapse. ... "

Houston Chronicle
Aug. 24, 2008

After I read Friday's Page A8 article, "Sept. 11 building enigma solved in investigation," and reviewed the National Institute of Standards and Technology Web site, I can only conclude that the "final" and official government explanation of why World Trade Center tower 7 collapsed is a far cry from a plausible explanation.

WTC 7, which was not struck by a plane and had only minor isolated fires, collapsed in perfect symmetry at literally free-fall speed. Prior to 9/11 no steel structured building had ever collapsed or even come close to collapsing due to fire. The official explanation that this symmetrical eight-second collapse was due to "thermal expansion" of the steel structure because of scattered and isolated fires defies common sense and the most elementary laws of physics. The computer model presented on the NIST Web site does not even match the video of the actual collapse.

A controlled demolition model was dismissed, allegedly because explosions were not heard. This conclusion totally defies eyewitness accounts of explosions prior to the collapse, which are widely available on the Internet. Additionally, since the controlled-demolition hypothesis was not considered, no attempt was made to examine debris for explosive residue.

Further objective investigation is clearly needed. If evidence suggests explosives were planted prior to the collapse, perhaps Securacom, the company in charge of WTC security, should be investigated as well. Since Securacom was run by the president's brother Marvin Bush and cousin Wirt Walker, I'm sure we can count on their full cooperation.

The Woodlands

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pakistan Daily News: Indict All of the George W Bush US Government Officials - Impeachment Not Enough for September 11 World Trade Center Attacks

Indict all of the US government officials and their allies who planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks

26 AUGUST 2008

A preponderance of evidence shows that the highest officials of the Bush Administration, in collusion with many other officials from the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, FEMA, NSA, NORAD, New York City officials, air-traffic contollers, airline executives, controlled demolitions experts, computer graphics technicians, media executives, and others together planned and committed the horrible attacks of 9/11/2001 against the Pentagon and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 9/11 attacks were immediately blamed on some bogus 'Arab highjackers', a half dozen of whom were later confirmed to be still alive, and therefore innocent, after the 9/11 attacks.

The false-flag 9/11 attacks provided the excuse for the US government's 'War on Terrorism', the chief purpose of which is for the USA to gain control of the lucrative oil fields of the Middle East. A secondary purpose is to increase the taxation of US citizens for defense spending in support of the USA's enormous Military/Industrial Complex, and a tertiary purpose is to establish justification of the enactment of Police State measures within the USA under the vast, far-reaching, and politically ambiguous umbrella of 'Homeland Security'. When the rights of freedom of speech and assembly are curtailed for the citizens of the USA, the US government will be able to pursue its agenda of world domination without the domestic distraction of dissident opinions, protests, and demonstrations.

The Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and other agencies and officials of the US government have perpetrated many crimes, assassinations, and false-flag bombings and attacks against US citizens and US interests during the past fifty years, including, but by no means limited to, the State political assassinations of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Martin Luther King; the 1988 Berlin Disco bombing; the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; and the anthrax letter attacks of October 2001. The US government and its allies also committed the Bali bombings of 2002 and 2005; the Madrid train bombings of 2004; the London 7/7/2005 bombings; and the recent spate of bombings in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Bangalore, and at the Indian Embassy in Kabul during the summer of 2008.

Since the end of World War Two, fanatic right-wing ideologues with corporate connections have gradually gained complete control of the US military, the US intelligence agencies, the US government, and the USA's 'Mainstream Media'. Fascism in the USA is not merely a current threat posed by the Republican Administration of George W. Bush; it is an already-accomplished situation that has been many decades in the making. Fascism in the USA is actually a 'done deal'.

The USA's long descent into fascism cannot be halted or stopped merely by electing a member of the Democrat Party to the Presidency, or by electing a Democrat majority to Congress. The infiltration and control of the US government by right-wing extremists is far too advanced and complete -- they manipulate our elected officials like puppets on a string, and a great many of our elected officials are themselves part of the fascist establishment. The right-wing takeover of the US government has been a gradual and very successful fascist coup that will not be reversed without a very serious and deadly struggle. Given the history of extreme and indiscriminate violence shown by the ruling junta of the USA, it appears quite obvious to me that restoring democracy to the USA would inevitably require a violent armed Revolution in which the American people are opposed against the forces of the US government and the US military.

As a US citizen and as a human being, I personally consider the killing of innocent people in foreign countries by the CIA, the US military, and their puppets in support of the economic interests of multinational US-based corporations to be totally immoral and intolerable, and I consider it my solemn duty to oppose US aggression and Imperialism in any way that I can. US government and Mass Media propaganda promote a climate in which the actions and activities of US troops abroad are regarded as beyond reproach, but there is nothing noble or 'heroic' about unprovoked military aggression and genocide against vulnerable and innocent foreign populations.

George W. Bush, George H. Bush, Jeb, Neil, and Marvin Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condaleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Wolfowitz, Perle, Powell, Armitage, Ashcroft, Abrams, Adelman, Feith, Bolton, Libby, Kissinger, Mueller, Tenet, Goss, Giuliani, Hayden, Chertoff, Baker, and many hundreds of other individuals working for the White House, CIA, FBI, FEMA, the Pentagon, NSA, NORAD, the airline industry, and the US news media together planned and executed the 9/11 attacks. All of the above-named and their accomplices need to be tried for Treason and Mass Murder, with the death penalty as the just and very necessary reward for their conviction of those crimes.

We need a Nuremberg-style trial for Treason and Mass Murder for all of the members of the US government, the US military, the US intelligence agencies, and their civilian accomplices in the airline industry and the news media who participated in the murderous crimes of 9/11. The death penalty should be applied to all of the principals and their accomplices, even if that means executing several hundred or even several thousand people, because crimes of this magnitude against the American people and the US Republic cannot go unpunished, and the punishment must be extreme to send a message that the American people will not tolerate such Treason -- not now or in the future. If allowed to remain unpunished and at liberty, these individuals represent a grave threat to the safety and security of all Americans. If convicted of the heinous crimes of 9/11, the death penalty is the only way to ensure that they or their allies will not somehow manage to attack America and Americans again. The executions should be performed in public and be internationally televized for the entire world to witness.

I do realize that there are some very worthy reasons to oppose capital punishment in many situations. However, it is also quite apparent to me that any show of clemency that might be given to the US government perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks leaves open the possibility that they and their sympathizers could revive their subversion of American democracy and their violence toward peace-loving Americans. That is why I advocate a policy of capital punishment without any consideration of mercy, plea-bargaining, or probation for the US government perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and their allies.

No one in or out of the US government should be exempt from prosecution and capital punishment for the Treasonous attacks of 9/11. The planners and participants in the 9/11 attacks within the US government and their accomplices must not be allowed to protect themselves behind the specious excuse of "National Security." The true security and survival of our Republic depends entirely on this.

Senate Candidate Works with 9/11 Truth Group

Allison Bruce and Dan Kelley
Rocky Mountain News
August 25, 2008

Gates Crescent Park -- Buddy Moore, independent candidate for U.S. Senate, showed up in a baseball cap and paint-splattered shorts at the park this morning to help members of We Are Change Colorado set up the site.

The organization, which has a permit for the week, will increase its presence during the week and occupy the picnic tables and parking lot across the interstate from Invesco Field as Barack Obama makes his anticipated acceptance speech Thursday night.

Moore said he was “loosely affiliated” with We Are Change. He supports the 9/11 Truth campaign, which calls for new investigations and raises questions about the 9/11 attacks.

He said he was living in France after 9/11 and saw a very different view of America.

“Our aggression towards Iraq was completely unfounded,” he said.

He has been campaigning for about six months, attending small events and peace rallies.

Moore said a key part of his campaign is to get a citizen’s amendment to the Constitution to ban the import or export of arms in the U.S.

With such a ban, the profit incentive would be taken out of war, he said.

Siddiqui: Mystery of 'ghost of Bagram' - victim of torture or captured in a shootout?

Mother of three in court after five-year disappearance ends in Afghanistan amid conflicting claims

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington and Saeed Shah in Islamabad
The Guardian
August 6 2008

For five years, no one would say for certain whether Aafia Siddiqui, a mother of three with a PhD from an elite American university, was alive or dead. Her family did not know and authorities in Pakistan and the US were not saying.

Yesterday, as Siddiqui was produced before a magistrate in New York to face charges of attacking US army officers in Afghanistan last month, that central mystery was resolved.

The devout Pakistani-American Muslim, once named by the US as a top al-Qaida operative, is indeed alive and now in US custody. But almost nothing can be said for certain about her whereabouts since March 2003, when she was last seen getting into a taxi with her three children in Pakistan's biggest city, Karachi.

Some campaigners believe Siddiqui was snatched by Pakistani intelligence agents, passed to the Americans, and held in solitary confinement at the US base in Bagram, Afghanistan. There she acquired mythical status - prisoner 650 - whose wails haunted other inmates.

But the US, which has made multiple allegations against Siddiqui over the years depicting her as a courier of blood diamonds and a financial fixer for al-Qaida, has denied holding her, raising the question: where has she been for five years?

Siddiqui's emergence three weeks ago in Afghanistan is riddled with confusion. The official complaint against Siddiqui says she was picked up outside the governor's compound in the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni on July 17 by police who became suspicious of her inability to speak either of Afghanistan's main languages, Pashtu or Darri. They searched her handbag, discovering documents detailing how to make dirty bombs and biological weapons and descriptions of New York landmarks, as well as sealed glass jars of "numerous chemical substances".

A day later, the complaint says, two US army officers and two FBI agents arrived in Ghazni with their interpreters for a meeting - not realising that Siddiqui was standing behind a yellow curtain in the same room.

Siddiqui is then alleged to have jumped out from behind the curtain and snatched up the assault rifle one of the officers had placed on the floor by his feet, pointing it at the Americans, and screaming threats in English. She is said to have fired at least two shots by the time an interpreter managed to wrestle the gun away from her.

According to the complaint, one officer heard her yell "Allahu Akbar" as she opened fire. One interpreter claimed she shouted: "Get the fuck out of here."

She was shot and hit at least once in the torso but, according to the complaint, continued to hit and kick the officers before losing consciousness.

Siddiqui's lawyer, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, told CNN the scenario was utterly implausible. "This is a very intelligent woman. What is she doing outside of the governor's residence?" Sharp said.

"The woman is a PhD. Is a woman like this really that stupid? There is an incongruity, and I have trouble accepting the government's claims."

Yesterday, Afghan police in Ghazni offered another competing version of her detention, telling Reuters that the US troops had demanded she be handed over. When Afghan police refused, they were disarmed. The Americans shot at Siddiqui, thinking she was a suicide bomber. A teenage boy who was with Siddiqui remained in Afghan police custody.

Before yesterday's court appearance in New York, Siddiqui was last seen heading for Karachi's railway station, where, along with her three children, then aged seven, five and six months old, she planned to catch a train to visit an uncle in Islamabad.

Her life before that was exemplary. She had studied in America, earning a degree from MIT before moving on to a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Brandeis University. She was unhappily married, to a Pakistani.

Acquaintances over her years in Boston have described her commitment to Islam. She returned to Pakistan in 2002, where her marriage broke up and she was living with her family at the time of her disappearance. Siddiqui's relatives believe that she was abducted by Pakistani intelligence agents and later transferred to US custody. She first appeared on the radar of US intelligence services in 2001 because of a series of donations to a now-banned Islamist charity that also had Saudi connections. But she became of greater interest after the capture of the alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, in March 2003, who named her under interrogation. The US argues that Muhammed would not have mentioned her unless she was connected to al-Qaida.

The BBC yesterday reported on its website that Siddiqui had married a nephew of Muhammed's called Ali Abd'al Aziz Ali following her divorce. Siddiqui's family denies the connection, but the BBC said it had confirmation from security sources and Muhammed's family.

US and Pakistani officials initially admitted that she was indeed in detention, and some reports said she was being held by the Americans outside Kabul.

But by 2004 John Ashcroft, then US attorney general, said she was among seven high-level al-Qaida suspects still at large.

In the meantime, concern for her grew after accounts emerged from prisoners at Bagram of a solitary woman inmate. Anger at her disappearance was further stoked last month when Yvonne Ridley, a British Muslim journalist, flew to Pakistan and held a press conference claiming that Siddiqui was Prisoner 650 at Bagram.

Imran Khan, the cricketer turned politician, hosted the event, where Ridley, who also now does human rights work, said: "I call her the 'grey lady' because she is almost a ghost, a spectre whose cries and screams continue to haunt those who heard her."

A group of Arab prisoners who escaped from Bagram in 2005 said they saw a woman being taken to the toilets at the base. After breaking out, Abu Yahya al-Libi told an Arabic news channel that there was a woman from Pakistan at Bagram who was referred to simply as prisoner 650, held in solitary confinement.

The American account of her capture was dismissed yesterday. "This is one of the greatest lies of the 21st century ... " said IA Rehman, director general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), an independent organisation.

Siddiqui's sister, Fauzia, said she had been raped and tortured. "Her rape and torture is a crime beyond anything she was accused of," she said. "This is the real crime of terror here." She pleaded for the child who was with her sister when she was captured, according to the American authorities, to be immediately handed over to the family. It is unclear what has happened to the other two children.

"She has had no access to any lawyer ... presume her to be innocent before proven guilty, please. How can this punishment be fit for any crime?" said Fauzia Siddiqui.

Asim Qureshi, a London-based investigator for Cage Prisoners, a campaign group, said the US had in the past denied holding other prisoners, such as Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a Spaniard of Syrian descent also captured in Pakistan.

"They just release the information when it suits them ... everything we know about Bagram means that we know she [Siddiqui] would have suffered abuse."

Friday, August 22, 2008

COINTELPRO 2.0: Mukasey Loosens Guidelines on Domestic Spying

" ... The directive uses 9/11 as an all encompassing justification to wage a witch hunt against dissenting citizens ... Under the new regulatory regime proposed by Mukasey, state and local police would be given free rein to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch criminal intelligence investigations based on the 'suspicion' ... Outsourced contractors from communications, defense and security corporations such as AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, Boeing ... Science Applications International Corporation [and] many more, have collaborated with Bush regime war criminals in fashioning a hypermodern, high-tech police state. ... "

by Tom Burghardt
August 21, 2008

The waning months of the Bush administration can be characterized by an avalanche of changes to long-standing rules governing domestic intelligence operations.

The revisions proposed by U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and other top administration officials represent the greatest expansion of executive power since the Watergate era and should been viewed as an imminent threat to already-diminished civil liberties protections in the United States.

The slippery slope towards open police-state methods of governance may have begun with the 2001 passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, but recent events signal that a qualitative acceleration of repressive measures are currently underway. These changes are slated to go into effect with the new fiscal year beginning October 1, and are subject neither to congressional oversight nor judicial review.

Bush allies in Congress kicked off the summer with the shameful passage by the House and Senate of the FISA Amendments Act, an unconstitutional domestic spying bill that gutted Fourth Amendment protections. With broad consensus by both capitalist political parties, the FISA Act eliminates meaningful judicial oversight of state surveillance while granting virtual immunity to law-breaking telecoms.

Despite posturing by leading Democrats, including the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, the FISA legislation legalized the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and set the stage for further assaults on the right to privacy and dissent.

Further attacks were not long in coming.

In the last month alone, mainstream media have reported that the FBI illegally obtained the phone records of overseas journalists allegedly as part of a 2004 “terrorism investigation.”

Other reports documented how the Department of Homeland Security asserts the right to seize a traveler’s laptop and other electronic devices for an unspecified period of time and without probable cause. Still other reports revealed that the administration has expanded the power of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to issue “overarching policies and procedures” and to coordinate “priorities” with foreign intelligence services that target American citizens and legal residents.

And on Wednesday, The Washington Post exposed how the federal government has used “its system of border checkpoints to greatly expand a database on travelers entering the country by collecting information on all U.S. citizens crossing by land, compiling data that will be stored for 15 years and may be used in criminal and intelligence investigations.” Ellen Nakashima writes,

The disclosure of the database is among a series of notices, officials say, to make DHS’s data gathering more transparent. Critics say the moves exemplify efforts by the Bush administration in its final months to cement an unprecedented expansion of data gathering for national security and intelligence purposes. (”Citizens’ U.S. Border Crossings Tracked,” The Washington Post, August 20, 2008)

The Post also revealed that the information will be linked to a new database, the Non-Federal Entity Data System, “which is being set up to hold personal information about all drivers in a state’s database.” Posted at the Government Printing Office’s website, the notice states that the information may even be shared with federal contractors or consultants “to accomplish an agency function related to this system of records.”

But perhaps the most controversial move towards increasing the federal government’s surveillance powers were unveiled by the Justice Department in late July. According to the Washington Post, “a new domestic spying measure… would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.”

New rules for police intelligence-gathering would apply to any of the 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive some $1.6 billion each year in federal grants. These proposed changes, as with other administration measures, were quietly published July 31 in the Federal Register.

The McClatchy Washington Bureau reported August 13 that Mukasey confirmed plans to “loosen post-Watergate restrictions on the FBI’s national security and criminal investigations,” under cover of improving the Bureau’s “ability to detect terrorists.” Marisa Taylor wrote,

Mukasey said he expected criticism of the new rules because “they expressly authorize the FBI to engage in intelligence collection inside the United States.” However, he said the criticism would be misplaced because the bureau has long had authority to do so.

Mukasey said the new rules “remove unnecessary barriers” to cooperation between law enforcement agencies and “eliminate the artificial distinctions” in the way agents conduct surveillance in criminal and national security investigations. (”FBI to Get Freer Rein to Look for Terrorism Suspects,” McClatchy Washington Bureau, August 13, 2008)

While the Justice Department’s draft proposals have been selectively leaked to the media, and DoJ is expected to release its final version of the changes within a few weeks, even then the bulk of these modifications will remain classified on grounds of “national security.”

Under the new regulatory regime proposed by Mukasey, state and local police would be given free rein to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch criminal intelligence investigations based on the “suspicion” that a target is “engaged in terrorism.” The results of such investigations could be shared “with a constellation of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and others in many cases,” according to Post reporters Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson.

With probable cause tossed overboard, domestic intelligence as envisaged by the Bush Justice Department is little more than a fishing expedition intended to cast a wide driftnet over Americans’ constitutional rights, reducing guarantees of free speech and assembly to banal pieties mouthed by state propagandists.

These changes are intended to lock-in Bush regime surveillance programs such as warrantless internet and phone wiretapping, data mining, the scattershot issuance of top secret National Security Letters to seize financial and other personal records, as well as expanding a security index of individuals deemed “terrorist threats” by the corporatist state.

Simultaneous with the release of new DoJ domestic spying guidelines, the Bush administration’s “modernization” of Reagan-era Executive Order 12333, as the Washington Post delicately puts it, also calls for intensified sharing of intelligence information with local law enforcement agencies.

In addition to consolidating power within the ODNI, E.O. 12333 revisions direct the CIA “and other spy agencies,” in a clear violation of the Agency’s charter, to “provide specialized equipment, technical knowledge or assistance of expert personnel” to state and local authorities.

The latest moves to expand executive power follow close on the heels of other orders and rule changes issued by the Bush regime. As researcher and analyst Michel Chossudovsky reported in June, the Orwellian National Security Presidential Directive 59/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24 (NSPD 59/HSPD 24), entitled “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security,” is directed against U.S. citizens. Chossudovsky wrote,

NSPD 59 goes far beyond the issue of biometric identification, it recommends the collection and storage of “associated biographic” information, meaning information on the private lives of US citizens, in minute detail, all of which will be “accomplished within the law.”

The directive uses 9/11 as an all encompassing justification to wage a witch hunt against dissenting citizens, establishing at the same time an atmosphere of fear and intimidation across the land.

It also calls for the integration of various data banks as well as inter-agency cooperation in the sharing of information, with a view to eventually centralizing the information on American citizens. (”Big Brother” Presidential Directive: “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security,” Global Research, June 11, 2008)

Indeed, NSPD 59/HSPD 24 creates the framework for expanding the definition of who is a “terrorist” to include other categories of individuals “who may pose a threat to national security.”

In addition to al Qaeda and other far-right Islamist terror groups, many of whom have served as a cat’s paw for Western intelligence agencies in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Balkans, NSPD 59/HSPD 24 has identified two new categories of individuals as potential threats: “Radical groups” and “disgruntled employees.”

In other words, domestic anarchist and socialist organizations as well as labor unions acting on behalf of their members’ rights, now officially fall under the panoptic lens of federal intelligence agencies and the private security contractors who staff the 16 separate agencies that comprise the U.S. “intelligence community.”

These moves represent nothing less than an attempt by the Bush administration to return to the days of COINTELPRO when the Bureau, acting in concert with state and local police “red squads” targeted the left for destruction.

“After 9/11, the gloves come off”

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. national security state has ramped-up its repressive machinery, targeting millions of Americans through broad surveillance programs across a multitude of state and private intelligence agencies.

While the FBI, CIA, NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be the federal “tip of the spear” of current intelligence operations, they certainly are not alone when it comes to domestic spying.

Outsourced contractors from communications, defense and security corporations such as AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Verizon Communications, Northrop Grumman, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), L-3 Communications, CACI International and many more, have collaborated with Bush regime war criminals in fashioning a hypermodern, high-tech police state.

That these corporations have staked-out “homeland security” as a niche market to expand their operations has been explored by Antifascist Calling in numerous articles. As I have previously reported, it is estimated that some 70% of the personnel employed by U.S. intelligence agencies are now private contractors holding top secret and above security clearances.

Unaccountable actors virtually beyond congressional scrutiny, outsourced intelligence agents first and foremost are employees answerable to corporate managers and boards of directors, not the American people or their representatives. Chiefly concerned with inflating profit margins by overselling the “terrorist threat,” the incestuous relationships amongst corporate grifters and a diminished “public sector” demonstrate the precarious state of democratic norms and institutions in the U.S.

New rules governing FBI counterintelligence investigations will allow the Bureau to run informants for the purpose of infiltrating organizations deemed “subversive” by federal snoops. Many of the worst abuses under COINTELPRO, the CIA’s Operation CHAOS and the U.S. Army’s deployment of Military Intelligence Groups (MIGs) for illegal domestic operations during the 1960s, employed neofascists as infiltrators and as nascent death squads.

While the Bureau may have eschewed close collaboration with fascist gangs, will sophisticated, high-tech private security corporations now play a similar role in Bureau counterintelligence and domestic security operations?

If history is any judge, the answer inevitably will be “yes.”

Currently equipping the “intelligence community” with electronic specialists, network managers, software designers and analysts, will defense and security corporations bulk-up the Bureau and related agencies with “plausibly deniable” ex-military and intelligence assets for targeted infiltration and “disruption” of domestic antiwar and anticapitalist groups?

It can’t happen here? Why its happening already! As investigative journalist James Ridgeway revealed in April, a private security firm,

organized and managed by former Secret Service officers spied on Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from the late 1990s through at least 2000, pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant undercover operatives within groups, casing offices, collecting phone records of activists, and penetrating confidential meetings. According to company documents provided to Mother Jones by a former investor in the firm, this security outfit collected confidential internal records–donor lists, detailed financial statements, the Social Security numbers of staff members, strategy memos—from these organizations and produced intelligence reports for public relations firms and major corporations involved in environmental controversies. (”Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups,” Mother Jones, April 11, 2008)

The firm, Beckett Brown International (later called S2i) provided a range of services for corporate clients. According to Ridgeway, the private snoops engaged in “intelligence collection” for Allied Waste; conducted background checks and “performed due diligence” for the Carlyle Group; handled “crisis management” for the Gallo wine company and Pirelli; engaged in “information collection” for Wal-Mart. Also listed as BBI/S2i records as clients were Halliburton and Monsanto.

Mike German, a former FBI agent and whistleblower who is now the policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said that once proposed changes are implemented, police may collect intelligence even when no underlying crime is suspected. This is nothing less than “preemptive policing” and a recipe for tightening the screws on dissent. The Post averred,

German, an FBI agent for 16 years, said easing established limits on intelligence-gathering would lead to abuses against peaceful political dissenters. In addition to the Maryland case [that targeted antiwar and death penalty opponents], he pointed to reports in the past six years that undercover New York police officers infiltrated protest groups before the 2004 Republican National Convention; that California state agents eavesdropped on peace, animal rights and labor activists; and that Denver police spied on Amnesty International and others before being discovered.

“If police officers no longer see themselves as engaged in protecting their communities from criminals and instead as domestic intelligence agents working on behalf of the CIA, they will be encouraged to collect more information,” German said. “It turns police officers into spies on behalf of the federal government.” (Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson, “U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules,” The Washington Post, August 16, 2008)

In a related report on Fusion Centers, that German coauthored with Jay Staley for the ACLU, they documented how so-called “counterterrorist” national collection agencies are “characterized by ambiguous lines of authority, excessive secrecy, troubling private-sector and military participation, and an apparent bent toward suspicionless information collection and data mining.”

As I reported earlier this month, citing research from German and Staley’s report, U.S. Marine Corps officers, enlisted personnel and an analyst with U.S. NORTHCOM, pilfered intelligence files and shared them with private defense contractors in hope of securing future employment.

Money talks, particularly in a political culture where the business of government is, after all, business!

With little oversight from a compliant Congress, and an “opposition” party in league with their “constituents”–multinational corporate grifters out to make a buck–the final nails are being hammered into the coffin of America’s former democratic Republic.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press. Read other articles by Tom, or visit Tom's website.