9/11 Unveiled (part 1 of 10): Attack, Response
by Enver Masud
On September 11, 2001, America was attacked.
At 8:47 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 out of Boston, bound for Los Angeles, crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York.
At 9:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 out of Boston, bound for Los Angeles, crashed into the south tower.
At 9:38 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 out of Washington’s Dulles International Airport, bound for Los Angeles, crashed into the western wall of the Pentagon.
At 10:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 out of Newark, bound for San Francisco, crashed near Pittsburgh.
The 110-story towers of the World Trade Center were obliterated. The Pentagon suffered massive damage. Aircraft debris was found in Pennsylvania.
According to reports, the death toll was 2750 persons—mostly civilian nationals of 90 countries—at the World Trade Center, 125 persons at the Pentagon, and 265 passengers and crew on the four planes.
Seven years later, what really happened on 9/11, remains shrouded in a veil of doubts and secrecy.
Terrorists were reported to have hijacked the planes, and two days later, Secretary of State Colin Powell identified Osama Bin Laden as the prime suspect.
Europol’s director, Jurgen Storbeck, stated (Telegraph, September 15, 2001): “It’s possible that he [bin Laden] was informed about the operation; it’s even possible that he influenced it; but he’s probably not the man who steered every action or controlled the detailed plan.”
On September 16, President Bush, brushing off doubts about Osama bin Laden, declared a “crusade” to “rid the world of evil-doers”.
On the day of the attack on America, the Washington Times quoted a paper by the Army School of Advanced Military Studies which said that the MOSSAD, the Israeli intelligence service, “Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”
After 9/11, dozens of Israelis were reported to have been arrested, but the role played by this “huge Israeli spy ring that may have trailed suspected al-Qaeda members in the United States without informing federal authorities” remained unclear, and “it is no longer tenable to dismiss the possibility of an Israeli angle in this story,” wrote Justin Raimondo (antiwar.com, March 8, 2002).
Field reports by the Drug Enforcement Administration agents, and other U.S. law enforcement officials, on the alleged Israeli spy ring have been compiled in a 60-page document (John F. Sugg, Weekly Planet, April 22, 2002).
DEA agents say that the 60-page document was a draft intended as the base for a 250-page report. The larger report has not been produced because of the volatile nature of suggesting that Israel spies on America’s deepest secrets.
Others suggest that Israel’s MOSSAD had foreknowledge of 9/11. Fox News’ Carl Cameron did a 4-part series on this episode (December 2001) .
The attacks on 9/11 led to the U.S. war on Afghanistan—a war planned prior to 9/11, after negotiations with the Taliban for a pipeline had broken down.
The Taliban, after initially negotiating with Unocal, had begun showing a preference for Bridas Corporation of Argentina. During the negotiations—which ocurred prior to 9/11—“U.S. representatives told the Taliban (Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, Bin Laden, The Forbidden Truth), ‘either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs’.”
Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October (BBC News, September 18, 2001).
And the Irish Times (February 11, 2002) reported:
The Pakistani President, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and the Afghan interim leader, Mr. Hamid Karzai, agreed yesterday that their two countries should develop “mutual brotherly relations and cooperate in all spheres of activity”— including a proposed gas pipeline from Central Asia to Pakistan via Afghanistan.
It’s curious that these two leaders, who only later vowed to “bury the recent history of poisonous relations” between their nations (Washington Post, April 3, 2002), could agree so quickly to the pipeline. Afghanistan’s interim president Hamid Karzai, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the Bush-appointed special envoy to Afghanistan, probably facilitated the agreement.
According to George Monbiot (Guardian, February 12):
Both Hamid Karzai, the interim president, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy, were formerly employed as consultants to Unocal, the U.S. oil company which spent much of the 1990s seeking to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.
Zalmay Khalilzad drew up Unocal’s risk analysis on its proposed trans-Afghan gas pipeline. In 2003, Zalmay Khalizad became the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, and on June 22, 2005 was sworn in as ambassador to Iraq.
While the identities of the hijackers remained in doubt, despite U.S. statements that 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that the Taliban had stated their willingness to give up Osama bin Laden for trial to an international court, on October 7, 2001, without the benefit of a UN resolution, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom launched their war on Afghanistan—one of the world’s poorest countries, already devastated by 23 years of war and civil strife resulting from the Russian invasion of 1979.
U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said (Irwin Arieff, Reuters, October 8, 2001), in a letter to the 15-nation Security Council, that the investigation into the attacks on his country “has obtained clear and compelling information that the al-Qaeda organization, which is supported by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, had a central role in the attacks.”
The letter added, “there is still much we do not know. Our inquiry is in its early stages”—but that did not prevent the U.S. from launching a war on Afghanistan.
The war in Afghanistan created a million new refugees (adding to the existing five or six million), caused the death of 5,000 civilians by bombing, another 20,000 were killed indirectly.
President George H. W. Bush is reported to have told U.S. troops in Kuwait that they were “doing the Lord’s work” (AFP, January 19, 2000). President George W. Bush would claim “he was told by God to invade Iraq and attack Osama bin Laden’s stronghold of Afghanistan” (Independent, October 7, 2005).
More than six months after the U.S. launched its “war on terrorism,” hard evidence regarding the 9/11 attack remained scarce.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III admitted (Los Angeles Times, April 30, 2002):
In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper—either here in the United States, or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere—that mentioned any aspect of the September 11 plot.
The war on Afghanistan seemed to follow the script written by The Project for the New American Century.
Award-winning journalist, author, and filmmaker, John Pilger, wrote (December 16, 2002):
Two years ago a project set up by the men who now surround George W. Bush said what America needed was ‘a new Pearl Harbor’. Its published aims have, alarmingly, come true.
Thousands of Muslim immigrants were rounded up after the attacks of September 11. They were subjected to long-term detentions without due process of law, and immediate deportation. The homes and offices of prominent Muslim leaders were raided. There was FBI surveillance of Muslim activity, secret evidence was used by government prosecutors, and several Islamic charities were closed.
Next it was Iraq’s turn—the decision had been made in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 (Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire, 2004):
In the hours immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks . . . Rumsfeld again insisted that Iraq should be “a principal target of the first round in the war against terrorism.” The president allegedly replied that “public opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is possible”.
Prodded by the neocons, on March 19, 2003, the U.S. launched a preemptive war on Iraq.
Israeli journalist Ari Shavit (Haaretz, April 5, 2003) wrote:
The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history.
In June 2005, Michael Smith, a reporter for the Sunday Times of London, revealed the secret Downing Street memo, dated July 23, 2002, outlining an agreement between President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair to fix the facts and intelligence on Iraq.
Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
To further prepare Americans for war, they were led to believe that Islamic extremists were responsible for anthrax attacks in the U.S. that began on September 18, 2001, and continued for several weeks.
White House officials repeatedly pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by al-Qaeda (James Gordon Meeks, New York Daily News, August 2, 2008).
On October 15, 2001, President Bush said, “There may be some possible link” to Bin Laden, adding, “I wouldn’t put it past him.” Vice President Cheney also said Bin Laden’s henchmen were trained “how to deploy and use these kinds of substances, so you start to piece it all together.”
But by then the FBI already knew anthrax spilling out of letters addressed to media outlets and to a U.S. senator was a military strain of the bioweapon.
On October 18, 2001, Senator McCain, on the David Letterman show, said the anthrax may have come from Iraq, and that Iraq was the “second phase” of the war in Afghanistan.
Several days later, on Meet the Press, Joe Lieberman made a “concerted effort to try and link the anthrax in the public mind to Saddam Hussein” and to Iraq and Islamic radicalism (democracynow.org, August 4, 2008).
9/11 was a godsend for the U.S. military-industrial complex. A $48 billion increase in the defense budget sailed through both houses of Congress, bringing U.S. military spending to $379 billion.
This represented (Washington Post, January 27, 2002)
the biggest one-year rise since the Reagan buildup two decades ago and a suspension of “the peace dividend.” . . . It matches the combined military spending of the 15 countries with the next biggest defense budgets.
U.S. energy companies also received a dividend.
In July 2008, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Total were granted no-bid contracts in Iraq (Naomi Klein, democracynow.org, July 15, 2008)
to manage existing fields in Iraq and hold onto 75 percent of the worth of those contracts and leave only 25 percent for Iraqis . . . where 51 percent for the country is the baseline for new exploration, for new fields.
In the past couple of years, many Americans have begun to believe that the U.S. government’s version of 9/11 is either incomplete, or incorrect.
In August 2006, Scripps Howard News Service reported:
More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.
In September 2006, Time magazine reported that 36 percent of Americans believed the government’s complicity in the events of 9/11.
In October 2006, Angus Reid Global Monitor reported:
Many adults in the United States believe the current federal government has not been completely forthcoming on the issue of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 53 per cent of respondents think the Bush administration is hiding something, and 28 per cent believe it is lying.
The 9/11 Commission’s chairman Thomas H. Kean and vice-chairman Lee H. Hamilton have written that they were “setup to fail” (Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, 2007). Senator Max Cleland resigned from the 9/11 Commission saying “It’s a scam”. Senator Bob Kerrey “threatened to resign”.
The 9/11 investigation was directed by Philip Zelikow who seemed to have little interest in finding out what really happened on 9/11. This is clear from the way he structured the investigation.
Zelikow divided the staff into nine teams: al-Qaeda and its history, intelligence collection, counter-terrorism policy, terrorist financing, border security and immigration, the FBI and other domestic law enforcement agency, aviation and transportation security, emergency response, federal government’s emergency response (Philip Shenon, The Commission, 2008, p86).
Zelikow, author of The National Security Strategy of the United States—the new preemptive war doctrine of the Bush administration written for then NSC Director, Condoleezza Rice—had worked on the Bush transition team. He had a hidden agenda: connect al-Qaeda and Iraq (Shenon, p130).
The rationale for the war on Iraq, to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, soon unravelled, and gave a boost to the “9/11 Truth” movement.
The Family Steering Committee were the first to push for an investigation of 9/11. A milestone of sorts was C-Span’s broadcast of Prof. David Ray Griffin’s talk from Wisconsin in April 2005—arranged by Kevin Barrett, of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth. Now Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Pilots for 9/11 Truth, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and others demand a new investigation, and the issue is about to be placed on the ballot in New York.
The demands for a new investigation are based on fatal flaws in The 9/11 Commission Report. The following sections reveal what did, or did not, happen on 9/11. But first . . .
Tomorrow: 9/11 Unveiled (Part 2 of 10): Pretexts and Coverups
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