Did GWB Ever Tell the Truth About 9/11?
Thierry Meyssan started the international campaign that questioned the Bush version of the 9/11 attacks eight years ago. Today he recaps the issues for Odnako, a new Russian periodical but not before criticizing the media's tight "iron curtain" around NATO member populations that isolates from the rest of world opinion. Under heavy media pressure, these populations still imagine that only fringe activists contest the official version of 9/11.
Historic Event or Local Interest News Item?
On October 7, 2001, the UK and US ambassadors to the United Nations formally notified the Security Council that their armed forces had entered Afghanistan in exercise of their right to self defense as a result of the 9/11 attacks that had thrown America into mourning. US ambassador John Negroponte further wrote in his statement his government had obtained "clear, irrefutable" information that Al Qaeda, an organization supported by the Taliban government of Afghanistan, played a key role in the attacks.
On June 29, 2002, Pres. Bush disclosed in his annual State of the Union address that Iraq, Iran and North Korea covertly supported terrorism and that this "Axis of Evil" had entered into a secret pact to destroy the USA. Of course, these three "rogue states" have been keeping lower profiles since Washington crushed the Taliban, but they had not abandoned their common aim.
On February 11 2003, the accusations became more detailed. State Secretary Colin Powell personally told the UN Security how Iraq had supported the perpetrators of 9/11/. After holding up a vial he claimed contained enough anthrax to wipe out an entire continent, he showed a satellite imagery of an Al Qaeda base in northern Iraq that included a chemical weapons facility. He then produced an organization chart to illustrate the terrorist network headed by Abu al Zarkawi in Baghdad. On the strength of this "clear, irrefutable" information, UK and US forces exercised their right to legitimate self-defense in the wake of 9/11 and crossed into Iraq with the support of troops from Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
As ordnance rained down on Baghdad, the 9/11 argument was so useful that the US Congress accused Syria of supporting terrorism on October 15 2003 and authorized Pres. Bush to attack it too if he saw fit. However, Syria was only small change; the real prize was Iran. In July 2004, the president's 9/11 commission published its final report. At the last minute, two pages were added to describe Iran's links to Al Qaeda, claiming that Shia government in Tehran had longstanding ties to Sunni terrorists, allowed them to circulate freely on its territory and had provided them facilities in Sudan. A new war now seemed inevitable and this scenario held the international media in suspense for two years.
The only trouble with all that is that, eight years after 9/11, all the "clear irrefutable proof" of Al Qaeda's responsibility still has not been submitted to the UN Security Council, which has since forgotten about asking for it. In addition, (1) nobody still considers Al Qaeda as a well-structured organization and there is only talk of it as a vague, impalpable "movement" (2) the world's largest military power still hasn't captured Mr. Osama bin Laden, (3) the CIA has disbanded the unit that was supposed to find him, (4) the secret pact binding Iran, Iraq and North Korea plays like a broken record and nobody dares mention the term "Axis of Evil" anymore, (5) Ex-State Secretary Powell has publicly admitted that the information he presented to the Security Council was fabricated and (6) the US leadership still keeps asking Iran and Syria to help to manage the mess in Iraq. Nonetheless, the "diplomatically correct" thing for everyone to do is to pretend that everything is as plain as day: a bearded madman holed up in an Afghan cave managed to strike at the heart of the biggest empire in world history and escape its righteous wrath.
Everyone? Um, not quite. First, the leaders of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Syria did not just deny any hand in the 9/11, they explicitly accused the US military industrial complex of perpetrating the events itself and willfully killing 3,000 of its own people. Secondly, after these denials from those directly accused of involvement in 9/11, the next leaders happy to lampoon the Bush version of 9/11 were Cuba, Venezuela and other countries on poor terms with Washington. Finally, there were national leaders who intended to protect their good relationship with the USA but would not just sit back and buy into a pack of lies: if they remained silent about 9/11 itself, they did state that there was no legal basis for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. These countries were as diverse as Malaysia, Russia, the UAE and now even Japan. Clearly, such a list of skeptics should has nothing to do with being pro- or anti-US, but rather with each country's definition of national sovereignty and the means at its disposal to assert it.
Journalists are not subject to the same rules of secrecy as diplomats, so we'll tell you what happened on September 11 2001.
Hollywood Blockbuster Budget with a Lame Screenplay
The official story is that a diabolic Islamic extremist called Osama bin Laden had a grudge against US "infidels" for having sullied the sacred soils of Saudi Arabia by littering it with US military bases so he organized a large-scale terrorist operation with insignificant resources consisting of 19 fanatical commandos, some boxcutters and a few flying lessons.
He lives in a well-appointed cave out of a James Bond film. He infiltrates his people into the USA just like in the Chuck Norris film presciently called "Ground Zero".
Four sign up at a flight school. They skip the lessons on take-offs and landings and focus all their attention on actual piloting. Operating in four teams on the agreed day, these fanatics hijack airliners by threatening to slit the throats of the cabin crew with boxcutters.
At 08.29, American Airlines receives a radio message that says the caller is a crewmember on American 11 (Boston/Los Angeles) and that the aircraft has been hijacked. Standard operating procedure is to notify the military immediately and scramble fighters for an intercept within less than eight minutes. But when the World Trade Center suffers the first impact 17 minutes later, the fighters were all still on the ground.
At 08.47, United 175 (Boston/Los Angeles too) turns off its transponder. Civilian radar can now only track it as an unidentified blip. This triggers the alert although air traffic control (ATC) still has no way of knowing whether the dead transponder is due to hijacking or equipment malfunction. When the second impact hits the WTC at 09.07, fighters still have not been scrambled to establish a visual contact.
At 08.46, a Boeing 757 strikes the North Tower of the WTC. It hits the exact center of the façade. Given that the wingspan of a B757 is 63 meters and a speed in excess of 700 kph, the error margin for the maneuver is 3/10ths of a second. Few fighter pilots could repeat that feat, yet we are told that a student pilot did it. The same feat happens again at 09.03 when a second B757 slams into the South Tower, but flying upwind this time.
Still at exactly 09.03, a missile crosses the field of a camera belonging to New York One channel. It was fired from an aircraft behind the smoke on a diagonal trajectory towards the ground. This incongruous footage has not been heard of ever since.
The first witnesses say the two aircraft were cargo planes with no windows. Only later were they re-identified as two regular commercial flights, American11 and United175. There is only one video of the impact but six of the second. Zoom views of the fuselage present no sign of windows.
However, zooms do show a dark, unusual fixture on the underside of each craft. Frame by frame viewing shows, for each aircraft, one flash of light emanating from the point of impact just before actual impact. The aircraft do not crash against the façade but plunge straight in and disappear entirely, with the facade and pillars offering no resistance.
At 08.54, American 77 (Washington DC/Los Angeles) changes heading without ATC authorization, its transponder goes dead and it disappears from civilian radar screens.
At 09.25, the Herndon Command Center determines a major emergency has occurred. It forbids all takeoffs nationwide, orders all airborne craft to land immediately and reroutes all transatlantic flights to Canada. Meanwhile, the New York City Port Authority shuts all bridge and tunnel links to Manhattan.
Still at 09.25, Richard Clarke, the US president's antiterrorism adviser, holds a video conference for the White House, Departments of Defense, Justice and State, plus the CIA and FAA.
From aboard American 77, Fox Anchor Barbara Olson calls her husband on her cellphone. Theodore Olson is now the Attorney General after defending Pres. Bush before the Supreme Court. She tells him her plane has just been hijacked and they exchange emotional farewells. At 09.30, ATC declares AA77 missing. It apparently crashed in a national park in West Virginia before any fighter intercept.
However, also at 09.30, ATC at Dulles Airport in Washington DC picks up an unidentified aircraft with the speed and handling characteristics of a military jet. It penetrates the restricted flying zone around the Pentagon. The Pentagon's automatic air defense batteries do not respond. After making a turn to avoid a highway cloverleaf, the craft penetrates the wall of the Pentagon building before detonation and kills 125 persons. Witnesses identify the craft as a missile. Surviving wall clocks read 09.31.
Fifteen minutes later, the damaged walls and floors collapse. The CNN reporter on the scene states there is no sign of any aircraft in view. CNN then shows Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helping rescuers evacuate an injured victim on a stretcher. He then tells Pentagon staffers he saw the wreckage of a Boeing airliner inside the burning building. The missile now becomes American 77.
Using secret presidential transmission codes, an anonymous caller phones the White House to say it is the next target.
At 09.35, Antiterrorism Adviser Richard Clarke triggers the Continuity of Operations Plan and Pres. Bush interrupts a visit to a Florida grade school to return to Air Force One. Meanwhile, Vice Pres. Richard Cheney goes to the emergency command bunker under the White House. Congressmen and administration officials are instructed to remove to bunkers as well.
At 09.42, ABC airs live footage of flames consuming two floors of the White House annex housing the offices of presidential and vice-presidential staffers. This fire has never been explained and all mention has long ceased. Troops deploy manpads around the White House to thwart any paratroop drop. These moves are consistent with precautions against a military coup.
Reeling back to 09.24, ATC learns United 93 (Newark/San Francisco) has unauthorized persons on the flight deck. Radio contact is lost, the transponder goes off and the flight is flagged as a hijack. At 10.03, the aircraft vanishes from ATC radar. It apparently exploded mid-air over Pennsylvania. The crash site shows a large empty crater and wreckage dispersed across several miles.
In a sidewalk press conference, Mayor Rudy Giuliani states the Twin Towers might collapse and orders their evacuation.
At 09.58, an explosion at the base of the South Tower unleashes a massive cloud of dust. Smaller explosions then run top to bottom along the building, releasing small dust clouds horizontally. The building collapses in 10 seconds and covers Manhattan in dust.
Considered potential targets, United Nations HQ in New York and Federal offices in Washington DC are evacuated.
At 10.28, the North Tower collapses identically.
At 10.54, Israel locks down all diplomatic legations worldwide.
At about 11.00, Mayor Giuliani orders the evacuation of Building 7. This structure suffers no aircraft attacks and the authorities claim no link to the attacks on the North and South towers; indeed Building 7 is not mentioned in the 9/11 Commission's final report.
At 13.04, the major TV networks air a short message from Pres. Bush in which he states that government continues to function and that the nation will be defended.
At 13.30, a state of emergency is declared in the nation's capital and the Pentagon puts two carrier battle groups on full alert to interdict any attempt to disembark enemy troops within reach of Washington. The US considers itself in a war situation.
At 16.00, CNN confirms that the US Government has identified Saudi citizen Osama bin Laden as the mastermind of the attacks. Thus there was neither military coup nor third world war.
At 17.21 Building 7 collapses identically to the North and South towers, except that collapse took only 6-1/2 seconds because of its lower height.
At 18.42, Defense Secr. Donald Rumsfeld holds a Pentagon press conference flanked by members of the bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee to affirm they stand united in the face of this national tragedy.
By nightfall, damage assessment still remains sketchy and reports speak of 40,000 deaths. At 20.30, Pres. Bush addresses the nation to state that the danger has passed and that America will engage its enemies. War is in the air.
Controlled Demolition of the World Trade Center
The day's traumatizing events happen too quickly for any serious evaluation of their coherence in real time. We shall now review the key inconsistencies. First, why did the two towers and Building 7 collapse?
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says the burning kerosene contributed much more to the collapse than the impact by two aircraft. They add that flames spread to Building 7, causing it to collapse in the same way.
Alas, experts respond to this theory with skeptical grins because (1) the Twin Towers were built to withstand impact by an airliner, (2) structural steel melts at 1,538°C and kerosene burns at 700°C to 900°C, (3) fires have ravaged numerous skyscrapers worldwide but collapsed none, (4) neither tower toppled but collapsed straight down upon their footprints and above all (5) all three buildings collapsed at freefall speed, i.e. no floor encountered any resistance from the floor beneath it on the way down – each floor disintegrated before it suffered any pressure from the floor above it.
New York City firefighters are adamant: they heard and saw a series of explosions that destroyed the building from top to bottom. There is video footage with sound to support their statements.
Finally, Prof. Niels Harrit at the University of Copenhagen published an article in the peer-reviewed Open Chemical Physics Journal to report finding traces of nanothermite at Ground Zero. Nanothermite is a military explosive.
In short, explosive charges were methodically laid throughout the towers in such a way as to cut the base of the metal columns for subsequent destruction floor by floor from top to bottom. Photos taken immediately after 9/11 show cleanly-sliced metal columns with no evidence of heat deformation.
In violation of standard criminal investigation procedures, samples of the metal columns were not collected for laboratory analysis. Instead, they were rapidly removed by Carmino Agnello's scrap metal enterprise and exported for sale on the Chinese market. Mr. Agnello allegedly heads the Gambino crime syndicate.
On Building 7, WTC owner/operator Larry Silverstein stated in a TV interview that he had "told them to pull it" after being warned that it might collapse. Mr. Silverstein later retracted that remark but the video recording lives on.
Building 7's noteworthy tenants, included the New York City Crisis Center and a CIA station second in size only to its headquarters in Langley, Virginia. That station spied on UN delegations and, since the Clinton Administration, on the finances of major corporations in NYC. If indeed it served as the command post for 9/11 attacks, the "pulling" of Building 7 destroyed any material evidence of such a function.
In late July 2001, Mr. Silverstein (who is also Benjamin Netanyahu's election fund treasurer) would seem to have struck a poor bargain in acquiring the WTC because of all the asbestos it contained, which was already a violation of the building code. He did however have the lucky hunch to insure it against terrorist attack with payout based on the number of attacks rather than actual losses incurred. Thus, he claimed for two attacks, one for each aircraft and cashed in twice for a total of USD 4.5 billion.
However that may be, it would have taken complex math operations to develop a demolition plan and several days of work to install the nanothermite charges throughout Building 7. WTC security would not have failed to detect the installing demolition teams.
Mr. Silverstein had outsourced WTC security to Securacom, headed by Marvin Bush, the US president's brother.
On the evening of September 11, Mayor Giuliani ordered extra equipment and consumables so that NYC morgues could cope with the 40,000 deaths he had estimated. After several updates, the final death toll fortunately fell to just under 2,200 civilians and 400 rescuers. The numbers include no senior executive any major corporation; most were maintenance staff and office workers. How do we explain this miracle?
At about 07.00, Odigo employees received cellphone text messages warning them not to go to their offices across the street from the WTC because of an impending attack on it. Odigo is a small Israeli company with leading edge text messaging technology. Owners are the Netanyahus and Aman, aka Israeli military intelligence.
At about 08.00, Mr. Warren Buffett opened his annual benefit breakfast at Offutt AFB in Nebraska where he is based. Setting one precedent, he invited every top executive with an office in the WTC. Setting a second precedent, he hosted them on a USAF base, not an upscale hotel. Offutt AFB is headquarters to the US Strategic Command, which controls the nuclear deterrent. The guests had arrived the night before and slept on base. Breakfast was interrupted by announcement of an accidental aircraft collision into the North Tower, followed by announcement of the second collision into the other tower. Guests now realized the collisions were deliberate. This was confirmed by 55th wing commander Gen. Gregory Power's sudden departure to the underground command bunker. US airspace was locked down, grounding all the top corporate executives at Offutt AFB.
After 9/11, Mr. Buffett became the world's richest individual, with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as an occasional rival. He campaigned for Barack Obama but declined that president's offer to become Treasury Secretary.
In the early afternoon of 9/11, Air Force One landed at Offutt AFB and Pres. Bush made a video conference call from the command bunker to the White House and various Federal agencies. He also recorded an initial TV speech there.
Within minutes of the first impact, FEMA emergency teams deployed to the WTC. As luck would have it, they had arrived in NYC on September 10 for a training exercise on September 11 to respond to a simulated biological or chemical attack on the WTC. This prepositioning enabled fast response that saved many lives. FEMA was headed by Joe Allbaugh, Pres. George W. Bush's election campaign treasurer who would later handle all government tendering in occupied Iraq.
The Pentagon Missile
The fully-automated air defense systems protecting the restricted flying zone around the Pentagon did not react to the craft that penetrated its perimeter. This could only happen if (1) they had been shut down, leaving the building undefended, or (2) the system identified the intruder as a friendly. Every aircraft carries a friend/foe identification unit that enables authorized aircraft to circulate safely inside that zone.
To strike the Pentagon, the intruder had to make a turn to avoid a cloverleaf intersection. It hit the building wing furthest from the defense secretary's personal office.
Offices inside the killbox had two purposes. Some of the offices were for the US Navy chief of staff but under renovation while others belonged to the Auditor General. Staff in the latter offices were investigating the largest embezzlement of Defense funds in history. This explains why no general/flag officers were killed and why the fraud investigation was dropped after destruction of all documents.
The missile penetrated one reinforced wall and detonated well inside the building. The heat was so intense that firefighters needed asbestos suits to operate. Water was chosen for their purpose because of its high heat absorption properties. They used water, not flame retardants, as would be the case in the presence of burning kerosene, and flatly stated they had seen no evidence of kerosene or aircraft wreckage. Finally, contrary to Def. Secr. Rumsfeld's claim, no one in a business suit, as he was, could have reached the point of detonation.
The authorities then proceeded to destroy and rebuild the entire damaged wing. The rubble was removed by a firm equipped to vitrify it. Vitrification is expensive and used to stabilize radioactive waste. In all likelihood, the cruise missile was jacketed with depleted uranium in order to enhance its ability to penetrate concrete and Kevlar. It also likely had a shaped charge in order to obtain a very brief explosion of intense heat.
As plainly visible in the first photos taken after impact, the missile entered the building without damaging the façade. It flew at ground level and entered through a delivery vehicle entrance. It damaged neither door cases nor window frames.
The Pentagon grounds are under constant video surveillance. The missile was necessarily picked up by at least 80 CCTV cameras. The authorities have refused to release all but a handful of footage and stills showing the explosion; none shows the aircraft itself.
The Pentagon lawn also escaped unblemished. The explosion totally destroyed two helicopters and numerous cars in the parking lot. There was much metal wreckage but none that can be traced to a Boeing airliner, not even the engines. The authorities made much of a photo showing a metal fragment about 90cm long that presented traces of a dedicated aeronautic paint on one side, plus red, white and blue markings on the other. Actually, this fragment does not match anything on an Boeing sporting an American Airlines paint scheme. It is however of aeronautical origin and probably belonged to one of the two helicopters at the heliport.
In a bid to buttress the official version, the Pentagon's top physician identified human remains in the Pentagon killbox as belonging to American 77 passengers. Cremation ashes were presented to victims' families and the urns specified whether they had been identified by DNA or fingerprint analysis.
However, the Pentagon later said the extreme heat had vaporized the entire airliner wreckage, engines included. If so, it is hard to see how human flesh would have survived such vaporization.
Manual Hijacking or Autopilot?
The hijack theory is based on (1) assuming that the aircraft were airliners and (2) release of inflight cellphone calls to people on the ground.
A number of people have reported receiving inflight calls from relatives. The content of these calls was pieced together into a story of flight attendants taken hostage with boxcutters and the passenger mutiny aboard United 93. United 93 became the basis for two full-length feature films. However, FBI agents at the trial of suspected terrorist Zacarias Massaoui testified that cellphone calls to the ground from airliners at altitude were technologically impossible in 2001. After verification, all reports of inflight cellphone calls received on September 11 proved false. Either the people receiving the calls were lying or they had been duped.
The FBI had made no comments about Theodore Olson, Pres. Bush's personal lawyer during the election campaign, who was later to become attorney general. Mr. Olson too claimed to have received two cellphone calls from Fox Anchor Barbara Olson just before her death on American 77.
The declassified archives of ex-Def. Secr. Robert McNamara suggest another theory. In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff presented Pres. John F. Kennedy with Operation Northwoods, a false flag operation that would justify an invasion of Cuba. The plan was to shoot down an airliner with MiG fighters painted over in Cuban Air Force markings.
The USAF had already acquired the needed jets from a developing country and repainted them to order. An entire cast was recruited to fly out of Miami after making home movies for later distribution to the news media. Once airborne, the airliner was to shut down the transponder so that civilian radar could no longer identify it. At this point it would be replaced inflight by an empty airliner except for a crew that would bail out after turning on the autopilot. The MiGs would then shoot it down over Miami Bay in front of thousands of witnesses on the ground. For enhanced credibility, the JCS wanted to include people posing as Cuban spies to make telephone calls the FBI would intercept.
Applying this template to 9/11, it would explain (1) why the transponders ceased transmitting, (2) release of faked cellphone calls and (3) absence of windows on the aircraft that struck the WTC. The only update is that in 2001, a crew is no longer needed to fly a Boeing 757. It can operate in drone mode. This obtains more operational flexibility.
Domestic flights are very frequent in the USA and airlines regularly overbook. Passengers simply wait for the next free seat. Yet the four allegedly hijacked flights were filled to only 1/3 of seating capacity.
After a detailed study, the Iranian daily Kheyan concluded that all the passenger victims were close relatives of Defense Department employees, defense contractors or connected in some way to the White House, e.g. Barbara Olson.
The possibility of an airliner striking the Pentagon roof (not façade) was examined in the 1990s. The Defense Department even ran a series of such simulations under the direction of Capt. Charles Burlingame (USN). This officer then resigned from active duty and signed on with American Airline. He was captain aboard American 77 when it allegedly hit the Pentagon.
No Hijacking Means No Hijackers
It took the Justice Department three days to process the passenger cellphone call information, establish the modus operandi of the hijackers, identify them and piece together their biographies. The call from a flight attendant on American 11 said there were five hijackers and that their leader had been assigned Seat 8D, marking him as Mohammed Atta.
However, we now know the cellphone calls were all faked and the actual airliners replaced inlfight with drones. Even more inconveniently, the passenger lists released by the airlines shortly after the 9/11 attacks show that none of the 19 alleged hijackers had ever boarded.
Nonetheless, there is one piece of evidence that Mr. Atta was aboard the airliner that struck the North Tower. A few days after 9/11, a police officer found Mr. Atta's passport in perfect condition among the smoking debris of the WTC. Everything had been destroyed except this godsend of absolute proof.
The Bush Administration followed up this unconvincing discovery with CCTV footage showing Mr. Atta and his friend Mr. al Omari embarking. Although the footage was indeed shot on September 11th, it was unfortunately shot at Portland Airport where they were making a connection and not at Boston Airport, from where American 11 took off.
Never short of ideas, Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Times published in 2006 a US Defense Department video dated to 2000 that showed Mr. Atta at one of Osama bin Laden's training camps in Afghanistan.
Scrutiny of the official list of kamikaze hijackers has more surprises. Some turned out to be alive, e.g. Walid al Asheri, who was supposed to be a member of Atta's skyjack team – he actually works as a commercial pilot by Royal Air Maroc. He lives in Casablanca and started giving press conferences until the king asked him to keep a lower profile.
That said, 13 of the 19 alleged hijackers were mercenaries who had taken part in various terrorist operations organized by Prince Bandar bin Sultan on behalf of the CIA in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzogovina and/or Russia. They are Khalid Almihdhar; Salem and Nawaf Alhazmi; Ahmed Alhaznawi; Ahmed and Hamza Alghamdi; Mohand, Wail and Waleed Alshehri; Ahmed Alnami; Fayez Ahmed Banihammad and Majed Moqed. They fought as readily for the Taliban's Islamic Emirate as for Ichkeria, the hoped-for Chechen state.
Prince Bandar became Saudi ambassador to Washington in 1982, as soon as King Fahd took over from his predecessor who was killed by a drug-addicted prince armed by the CIA. He remained ambassador until King Fahd's final days in 2005. George Bush Sr. considered him as his adopted son and throughout the Arab world, he is known as "Bandar Bush". Exploiting the many privileges at his disposal, Bandar ran a slush fund for the CIA for over 20 years that was funded by kickbacks on arms sales such as the al Yamamah deal that compromised several prominent British political leaders. He also hired Islamic fundamentalists for covert operations anywhere from Morocco o Xinjiang, China.
Meanwhile, the Bush Administration preferred to keep the spotlight on Osama bin Laden and duck questions about the 19 alleged hijackers. The Saudi golden boy's brother was Salem bin Laden, a business associate of Pres. Bush at Harken Energy Corporation, a small oil and gas producer. US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski had hired him in Beirut in the late 1970s, at which time he joined the World Anti-Communist League (now World League for Freedom and Democracy) and organized funding for the mujahideen fighting the USSR in Afghanistan. His "Arab Legion" would later serve in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other combat zones. In a move to set him up as a front for Prince Bandar's doings, the CIA changed his image from that of a jetset socialite into one of a religious fanatic. Indeed, no self-respecting Islamic radical would have anything to do with the corrupt, disreputable King Fahd, but many found it palatable to subscribe to the fundamentalist, anti-Western rhetoric of "Sheik Osama", who remained a key pawn on the CIA's Middle East chessboard. One Arab head of state gave me details of his personal visit to bin Laden in 2001 at the American Hospital in Dubai, where he was undergoing major therapy for his kidneys. He added that Osama's CIA interfaces were present bedside when he arrived.
In 2001, bin Laden was unknown to the US general public except for fans of "Ground Zero" by filmmaker Chuck Norris. Over an eight year period, the Bush Administration released a series of videos and voice tapes of "Sheik Osama" to prop up its anti-terrorism soap opera.
One of the most famous videos shows bin Laden claiming he calculated how two airliners could take down the Twin Towers and how he ordered the attack on the Pentagon. We now know that's not how it happened.
In 2007, the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Switzerland examined the voice and video recordings. Dalle Molle is reputedly the world leader in voice and video identification. They said they were 95% certain that all bin Laden recordings after 2001 were fakes. That includes the confession tape.
Do the US Armed Forces Exist?
The data presented so far invalidate the Bush Administration's version but should not distract attention the oddest fact of all: On September 11th, the "world's most powerful armed forces" were powerless, if not AWOL.
Standard operating procedure is for fighter jets to establish visual contact with hijacked airliners within a matter of minutes yet not a single fighter ever got anywhere near the hijacked airliners. Asked to explain this, Vice JCS Chairman Gen. Richard Myers (who was filling in for his boss away on business in Europe on September 11th) became flustered in front of congressional investigators. Gen. Myers told the Congressmen he did not remember what he did that day and kept contradicting himself throughout the hearing.
Yet the US armed forces were indeed on alert that day. They were holding Global Vigilance, their largest annual military exercise. This war game simulates an incoming air attack from Russia across Canadian airspace. It mobilizes the entire USAF and the nation's entire satellite surveillance capability. The war game is headquartered at Offutt AFB, where Mr. Buffet and his WTC friends happened to be, and where Pres. Bush joined them early that afternoon.
On that day more than any other, the skies were thick with US warplanes, backed by prepositioned satellites linked to command centers tracking every airliner in order to prevent accidental collisions.
Not only were US forces on maximum alert, but so were the general staffs of other major powers in order to monitor and evaluate US performance in the war game. When the 9/11 attack happened, each tried to discover its origin and monitor developments.
In Moscow, Pres. Vladimir Putin tried a hotline call to Pres. Bush to assure him the Russia had nothing to do with it and thereby prevent unwarranted retaliation. However, Pres. Bush refused to take the call, almost as if he found such confirmation pointless. Russian JCS Chairman Gen. Leonid Ivashov ordered investigations of disturbing questions as soon as they arose. His staff concluded that the straight-down collapse of the towers indicated the official story was only intended as a diversion to mask a vast pre-orchestrated set-up. It took him three days to reconstitute the substance of the 9/11 and affirm that the attack resulted from a clash of interests among US leaders. He said the operation was ordered by a faction with the US military industrial complex and carried out by a private security contractor.
Public opinion was dazed and incapable of hard thinking after the blitz of heavyhanded propaganda that included national days of mourning in some countries and a mandatory minute of silence throughout the European Union. Afghanistan soon heard the sound of boots on the ground.
Yet this author was already publishing online articles skeptical of the official story. First written up in French, translations appeared and became the subject of public debate. Six months later, the book 9/11, The Big Lie was published and translated into 28 languages and it triggered a worldwide movement. From there, ex-German Defense Minister Andreas von Bülow added more details, as did ex-CIA Regional Director Oswald Le Winter in Portugal, Political Scientist Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed in the UK and Historian Webster Tarpley in the USA. The movement developed along two tracks.
This author led a worldwide campaign, met with top military officers, statesmen and diplomats and enlisted international organizations. These initiatives have been helping to limit the lethality of Neo-Conservative plans for a "clash of civilizations" by raising awareness about their nature.
Meanwhile, the families of 9/11 victims in the USA stopped condemning our movement, started asking questions and ultimately demanded a new investigation. The Bush Administration intimidated these troublemakers, forcing some like the billionaire Jimmy Walter to go into exile; it then blocked any Congressional inquiries and set up a presidential commission. The commission issued a report that unsurprisingly concluded that that Al Qaeda was guilty and the Bush Administration, innocent. However, it never produced the "clear, irrefutable proof" expected of it. Private individuals created "Loose Change" and other video animations to illustrate the inconsistencies of the official story over the Internet. Professional associations of architects, firefighter, engineers, lawyers, physicians, clerics, academics, artists and political leaders have been set up to find out the truth about the 9/11 attacks. Today tens of thousands of their members have convinced most Americans that Washington lied. They have found a leader in David Ray Griffin, professor of philosophy of religion and theology.
The mainstream media have so far managed to contain the impact of this dissidence. First, it has managed to keep the public in the dark about the worldwide discussion of this issue. Tucked behind a new iron curtain, the mainstream media ignored any public statements by world leaders or foreign governments that questions the official story. It also handled any Western dissidents as leftwing lunatics or, worse still, as rightwing anti-Semitic extremists.
Pres. Obama's election has not changed this situation. The White House website, which invites citizens to express their concerns, has been flooded with demands for a new 9/11 investigation and the official reply was laconic: "The new Administration wants to "look forward" and not revive the pains of the past.
During his campaign, Obama had his speeches reviewed by Benjamin Rhodes, the young scholar who drafted the final report of the 9/11 Kean-Hamilton commission. Rhodes ensured that no reference would be made to 9/11 or anyone involved in it, lest it open a can of worms. He now works for the White House and sits on the National Security Council. All Obama appointees have been required to retract any prior reservations they may have stated on the record about the official 9/11 story. Van Jones had to resign his appointment precisely because he refused to do that.
However, events of the highest importance may be opening the door to new information about 9/11. King Fahd died in August 2005. His successor, King Abdullah, has been trying to work out the suffocating network of ties between Saudi Arabia and the USA. At first, Prince Bandar was national security adviser but the relationship deteriorated and, in early 2009, Bandar unwisely tried to kill the king so that his father could ascend the throne. Since then, Prince Bandar has not been heard of while 200 members of his family either went to prison or followed him into exile in Morocco. Tongues may soon loosen.