Friday, December 11, 2009

Official Lies about 911 Exposed

Guest Columnist, Dr. David Ray Griffin
Although John Farmer's "The Ground Truth" has attracted a lot of favorable attention, it is a deeply flawed book, containing misleading claims and providing an extremely one-sided account of 9/11.

Much of the attention received by the book has been prompted by misleading claims made by Farmer and his publisher. The book's dust-jacket calls it the "definitive account" of 9/11, but it actually deals almost entirely with only one question about that day: why the airliners were not intercepted.

Also, the book's subtitle calls it "the untold story" of 9/11 and its dust-jacket says that it "breathtakingly revises" our understanding of that day. In reality, however, it simply provides new support for the story told about the planes in "The 9/11 Commission Report," which appeared in 2004, and in two publications that appeared in 2006: Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton's book "Without Precedent," and Michael Bronner's essay in "Vanity Fair."

Most provocatively, Farmer presents his book as a rejection of the "official" account of 9/11, which was given by "the government," by which he means primarily the FAA and the Pentagon. But this rhetoric is misleading for three reasons.

First, Farmer's book is a defense of the 9/11 Commission's report, which he calls "accurate, and true" (2), and the Commission was itself a governmental body: its chairman, Thomas Kean, was appointed by Bush; the other members were appointed by Congress; and the executive director, Philip Zelikow, was essentially a member of the Bush White House.

Second, the "official account of 9/11," as generally understood, is the Bush-Cheney administration's conspiracy theory, according to which the 9/11 attacks resulted from a conspiracy between Osama bin Laden and some members of al-Qaeda, and Farmer supports this theory.

Third, in rejecting the "official version," Farmer is referring only to the first version of the official account. It was replaced in 2004 by the 9/11 Commission's version, which since then has been the official version of the official account. In spite of his rhetoric, therefore, Farmer is defending the official account of 9/11 produced by the government in 2004, so the book is far less radical than it has been promoted as being.

Even more serious than the book's misleading rhetoric is its one-sidedness. Rather than containing an impartial examination of various types of relevant evidence, this book by Farmer - a former prosecuting attorney - reads like a lawyer's brief: Besides citing a large number of facts that appear to support the Bush-Cheney conspiracy theory and trying to undermine some of the contrary evidence (which supports the alternative theory, according to which 9/11 was an inside job), it seeks to suppress, by simply ignoring, the enormous bulk of this contrary evidence.

This one-sided approach is acceptable within an adversarial law court, given the presence of an opposing lawyer, but it does not result in a book that is acceptable by scholarly standards.

The one-sidedness of Farmer's book is manifest in his endnotes, which include no reference to any writings aimed at exposing serious problems with the 9/11 Commission: Besides not referring to any of my own books, one of which is entitled "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions," Farmer does not even mention "The Commission" by former New York Times writer Philip Shenon - who pointed out, among other things, that Zelikow had secretly written a detailed outline of the Commission's report before his research staff had even begun its work.

This bibliographic one-sidedness is important because it is reflected in substantive one-sidedness, one form of which is the ignoring of a great number of relevant facts. I will mention 15.

1. Claiming that the military did not have information about AA 77 in time to prevent it from striking the Pentagon, Farmer strongly attacks the claim (in the first version of the official account) that the FAA had notified the military about this flight at 9:24 AM. In doing so, he ignores a memo - even though it was discussed and read into the Commission's record in May 2003 - that was sent by the FAA's Laura Brown, explaining that 9:24 was only the time of the "formal notification" - that the FAA had set up phone bridges with the Pentagon and that "real-time information . . . about . . . Flight 77 . . . was conveyed continuously during the phone bridges before the formal notification" (Griffin, "The New Pearl Harbor Revisited" [NPHR] Chs. 1 & 2).

2. Simply assuming that Osama bin Laden authorized the 9/11 attacks, Farmer fails to mention that the FBI has admitted that "no hard evidence" supports this assumption (Griffin, "9/11 Contradictions" [9/11Contra] Ch. 18).

3. While mentioning that some of the alleged hijackers spent time in Las Vegas (62), Farmer fails to point out that, while there and in other places, they drank, went to strip clubs, and did other things that contradicted the Commission's portrayal of them as devout Muslims ready to die for their faith (9/11Contra Ch. 15).

4. Farmer calls Hani Hanjour, who allegedly flew AA 77 (a Boeing 757) through an extremely difficult trajectory to crash into the Pentagon, a "trained pilot" (45), failing to mention the much-documented fact that Hanjour could not even safely fly a single-engine plane (9/11Contra Ch. 19).

5. While claiming that "American 77 crashed into the Pentagon at a speed of 530 miles per hour" (186), Farmer does not point out that, according to the official seismic report, no station, including one only 63 km away, recorded the impact. He also fails to mention that many witnesses at the scene, both inside and outside, reported seeing no crashed airliner (NPHR Ch. 2).

6. Claiming that the alleged hijackers purchased tickets and boarded planes (62, 106), Farmer fails to mention that none of their names - indeed, no Arab names whatsoever - were on the passenger manifests of the flights released by the airlines or on the Pentagon autopsy report (NPHR Ch. 6).

7. Repeating the Commission's claim that Mohamed Atta and Abdul Aziz al Omari took an early morning flight from Portland (Maine) to Boston to catch American Flight 11 (103-05), Farmer does not point out that this story was a late invention, created after authorities learned that Adnan and Ameer Bukhari, originally said to have taken that flight, had not died on 9/11 (9/11Contra Ch. 16).

8. Writing as if the alleged phone calls from the airliners actually happened, Farmer does not point out that, after originally supporting the view that many of the reported calls were made on cell phones, the FBI in 2004 - after members of the 9/11 Truth Movement showed that cell phone calls from high-altitude airliners would have been impossible - quietly withdrew its support for such calls. The FBI thereby contradicted, among others, Deena Burnett, who was positive that she had been called by her husband, Tom Burnett (whom Farmer mentions), because she recognized his cell phone number on her Caller ID (9/11Contra Ch. 17).

9. Farmer repeats the claim, supported in 2004 by "The 9/11 Commission Report," that CNN commentator Barbara Olson had twice called from AA 77 to talk to her husband, Solicitor General Ted Olson (163, 166). But Farmer fails to point out that in 2006, after members of the 9/11 Truth Movement had reported that American's 757s did not have onboard phones, the FBI - in its report for the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui (the so-called 20th hijacker) - said that Barbara Olson's (one) attempted call did not go through and therefore lasted "0 seconds" (9/11Contra Ch. 8).

10. Farmer endorses the claim that the hijackers had box-cutters (161, 163), not mentioning the fact that this claim had been made only in the reported calls from Barbara Olson, which the FBI now says never happened (9/11Contra Ch 8).

11. While repeating the Commission's claim that al-Qaeda hijackers finally succeeded in breaking into UA 93's cockpit 30 seconds after they started trying (189), Farmer fails to ask why, in all that time, the pilots did not use the transponder to squawk the hijack code - a procedure that takes about 2 seconds (NPHR Ch. 6).

12. While claiming, like the Commission, that "Vice President Cheney learned that the Pentagon had been hit while he was in the tunnel under the White House leading to the shelter" (207), Farmer does not point out that Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta told the Commission that Cheney had been in the shelter (the Presidential Emergency Operations Center) at least since 9:20 AM, hence about 20 minutes before the reported time of the Pentagon attack - an observation that was supported by other witnesses, including counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke (9/11Contra Ch. 2).

13. While acknowledging that Richard Clarke's account of his White House videoconference contradicts the 9/11 Commission's claims about the whereabouts of not only Cheney but also Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, Farmer simply asserts that Clarke's account "does not square in any significant respect with what occurred that morning" (184), failing to point out that the question of who told the truth could be cleared up simply by looking at the videotape.

14. Suggesting that the Twin Towers came down because each one was "fragile at its core" (28), Farmer implicitly denies the fact that each tower was supported by 47 massive core columns and ignores the question of why several scientific studies, including one by the US Geological Survey, showed that the dust at Ground Zero contained various elements that, unless explosives had been used to bring down the buildings, should not have been there (Griffin, "The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7," Ch. 4).

15. Although Farmer's entire case for the 9/11 Commission's version of the official account, which involves his accusing a remarkable number of people of lying, rests entirely on logs and audiotapes not examined by the Commission until several years after 9/11, he fails to consider reasons that have been provided for believing that these tapes and logs had been doctored (NPHR Chs 1-3, 10).

There would be much more to say in a complete review, but the above points suffice to suggest that Farmer's book is deeply flawed, providing an account that is far from the "ground truth" about 9/11.

--David Ray Griffin, PhD

If 911 had not been an inside job, it would have been investigated! The cover up that followed has only one purpose: the protection of the guilty! It is not only the absurd, alleged conspiracy of 19 Arab hijackers, a cover story for which there is absolutely no convincing or admissible evidence, it is the fact that the events that day were deliberately covered up and access to evidence denied investigators.
It was odd to me that I was dispatched to go to New York even before the second plane hit the South Tower, while the media was still reporting only that a “small plane” had collided with the North Tower — far too small of a catastrophe at that point to involve FEMA . FEMA was mobilized within minutes, whereas it took ten days for it to deploy to New Orleans to respond to Hurricane Katrina, even with abundant advance warning! It was odd to me that all cameras were so fiercely prohibited within the secured perimeter of Ground Zero, that the entire area was declared a crime scene and yet the “evidence” within that crime scene was so rapidly removed and destroyed. And then it was very odd to me when I learned that FEMA and several other federal agencies had already moved into position at their command center at Pier 92 on September 10th, one day before the attacks! ...

We are asked to believe that all four of the “indestructible” black boxes of the two jets that struck the twin towers were never found because they were completely vaporized, yet I have footage of the rubber wheels of the landing gear nearly undamaged, as well as the seats, parts of the fuselage and a jet turbine that were absolutely not vaporized. This being said, I do find it rather odd that such objects could have survived fairly intact the type of destruction that turned most of the Twin Towers into thin dust. And I definitely harbor some doubts about the authenticity of the “jet” turbine, far too small to have come from one of the Boeings!

--Kurt Sonnenfeld, 9/11 FEMA videographer at Ground Zero goes public
Among the many lies about 911, the most egregious are the 'official ones' put forward by the Bush administration and Bush personally. Make no mistake about it: the story of 19 Arab hijackers co-ordinated from a cave in Afghanistan by a man who was most certainly already dead of kidney failure, is the most absurd lie among them. If Bush had taken his 'case' to court, a 'burden of proof' would have been imposed. It would have been interesting to see the government prosecutor attempt to 'prove' a case against a man that that could not have been proven to have been alive let alone co-ordinate multiple hijackings with cell phones from inside a remote cave in Afghanistan!

The many lies about 911 are evidence of guilt. The guilty are most always most motivated to cover up their crimes and only an idiot would suppress evidence if it would exonerate him!

Bush ordered the destruction of evidence, in fact, the cover up of 911. He and his administration shut down every investigation. Bush hid the truth. At the very least, the Bush administration obstructed justice because it is fully culpable for the inside job we call 911. And the lot of them should be indicted and put on trial for the crimes of high treason and mass murder.

911: An Inside Job
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CIA Efforts to Control World Distribution of 'Illicit' Drugs

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

DEA agents were photographed among first responders on 911. That's curious. What interest have drug enforcement agents in this alleged act of 'terrorism'?

Connect some dots: upon the 911 pretext, the US invaded Afghanistan whose 'cash crop' of 'poppies' was under threat. Without poppies, US drug dealers may be hard pressed to stay in business. That applies, as well, to the CIA which most certainly financed Iran-Contra almost entirely 'off the books'.

If the US/CIA hoped to control this lucrative trade, the Taliban had to go. I wonder how many CIA 'black ops' have been financed 'off the books' (as was Iran/Contra) with the proceeds of its various drug sales?
An August, 1996, series in the San Jose Mercury News by reporter Gary Webb linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the contras, a guerrilla force backed by the Reagan administration that attacked Nicaragua's Sandinista government during the 1980s. Webb's series, "The Dark Alliance," has been the subject of intense media debate, and has focused attention on a foreign policy drug scandal that leaves many questions unanswered.

This electronic briefing book is compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive, including the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort, and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included.

--The Contras, Cocaine, and Cover Operations
U.S. govt 'Dirty Tricks' are bankrolled 'off the books', primarily drug sales. It should be clear by now --drug revenues are the source of US/CIA interest in Afghanistan and its antipathy to the Taliban which had insisted upon upon control of its own cash crop --poppies.
“Given the global context of the war on drugs-coupled with growing recognition since September 11, 2001 (9/11), of the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism-the mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and efforts to forge effective interagency partnerships and coordination are increasingly important. the Government Accountability Office was asked to examine, in the context of the post-9/11 environment, DEA’s priorities, interagency partnerships and coordination mechanisms, and strategic plan and performance measures. GAO reviewed DEA policy, planning, and budget documents and visited 7 of DEA’s 21 domestic field offices and 3 of its 7 regional offices abroad-sites selected to reflect diverse drug-trafficking threats, among other factors. GAO also contacted other relevant federal agencies-including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-and various state and local partner agencies.

-GAO Report on DEA’s Post-9/11 Drug Control Responsibilities
Let's cut to the chase: that 'nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism' is called the CIA. The CIA finances 'black ops' and 'secret operations' off the books by trafficking in drugs. Is there any doubt that Bush Sr's sudden disillusionment with Manuel Noriega had to do with Noriega either demanding a bigger cut or daring to control the supply?
He [Bush Sr] ordered the invasion of Panama, which began just after midnight on December 20, 1989. It was the twelfth U.S. invasion of that country since 1903. The mission of U.S. forces was to depose long-time CIA asset General Manuel Noriega, an indicted drug trafficker. It was the largest airborne assault since World War II. When it was over, the Army excluded the press and Red Cross from entering heavily bombed areas for three days while soldiers incinerated some civilian casualties and buried others in mass graves.

Bush’s Defense Secretary, Richard Cheney claimed a death toll of between 500 and 600. But independent human rights groups put the death toll between 3,000 and 5,000 with about 25,000 left homeless. This military operation turned out to be practice for even greater press censorship, propaganda and human rights violations during and after Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. air and ground attack that failed to depose Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, in 1990. That failure eventually eroded public confidence in Bush and contributed to his defeat by Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential election.

--Famous Texans, George H.W. Bush
In Afghanistan, a similar motive may be ascribed to US 'interests' but, certainly, a different modus operandi. The Taliban had, in fact, threatened to wipe out the poppy fields and end the traffic. Could the CIA tolerate this affrontery? Would the CIA tolerate the loss of revenue?
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: "We'll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us." The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy).

--Steve Kangas, A Timeline of CIA Atrocities

Pakistan is a case in point.
Since 9/11, the Bush administration has been propping up Musharraf's military regime with $3.6 billion in economic aid from the US and a US-sponsored consortium, not to mention $900 million in military aid and the postponement of overdue debt repayments totaling $13.5 billion. But now the administration is debating whether Musharraf has become too dependent on Islamic extremist political parties in Pakistan to further US interests, and whether he should be pressured to permit the return of two exiled former prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who have formed an electoral alliance to challenge him in presidential elections scheduled for next year.

--Pakistan: Friend or Foe? The US shouldn't prop up President Musharraf's military regime, Selig S. Harrison

The late Benazir Bhutto revealed the truth before she was brutally gunned down in the streets of Karachi: US policy causes world terrorism. She died before she could tell the rest of the story.
When the United States aligns with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, it compromises the basic democratic principles of its foundation -- namely, life, liberty and justice for all. Dictatorships such as Musharraf's suppress individual rights and freedoms and empower the most extreme elements of society. Oppressed citizens, unable to represent themselves through other means, often turn to extremism and religious fundamentalism.

Benazir Bhutto, A False Choice for Pakistan

--Why the CIA is the World's Number One Terrorist Organization
The amount of monies involved is not chicken feed.
Last year, Afghanistan produced nearly 4,000 tons of opium, about 75 percent of the world's supply, U.N. officials said. Opium -- the milky substance drained from the poppy plant -- is converted into heroin and sold in Europe and North America. The 1999 output was a world record for opium production, the United Nations said -- more than all other countries combined, including the "Golden Triangle," where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet.

Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's supreme leader, banned poppy growing before the November planting season and augmented it with a religious edict making it contrary to the tenets of Islam.

The Taliban, which has imposed a strict brand of Islam in the 95 percent of Afghanistan it controls, has set fire to heroin laboratories and jailed farmers until they agreed to destroy their poppy crops.

The U.N. surveyors, who completed their search this week, crisscrossed Helmand, Kandahar, Urzgan and Nangarhar provinces and parts of two others -- areas responsible for 86 percent of the opium produced in Afghanistan last year, Frahi said in an interview Wednesday. They covered 80 percent of the land in those provinces that last year had been awash in poppies.

--Afghanistan, Opium and the Taliban

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Banality of Evil Applies to Everyone

by Guest Columnist, Jacob G. Hornberger

One of the aspects of the Iraq War that has fascinated me the most is how CIA agents and U.S. soldiers could actually bring themselves to kill, torture, and sexually abuse Iraqis. After all, don’t forget that neither the Iraqi people nor their government participated in the 9/11 attacks. The worst “crime” that any Iraqi committed against any American was resisting an unlawful invasion of his country.

Nonetheless, even though the Iraqi people were innocent of any attacks on the United States, many CIA agents and most U.S. soldiers have been able to bring themselves to kill and maim hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in an invasion and occupation of a country that never attacked the United States, and murder, torture, and sexually abuse dozens of Iraqis detainees and prisoners.

How is a government able to bring men and women to do such things to people who never did anything to harm the United States?

I’m currently reading a fascinating book entitled Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning. It’s about a police unit from Hamburg, Germany, which was assigned the task of rounding up hundreds of Jews in villages in Poland and shooting them at point-blank range.
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