The Internet vs. the TV
There are kinds and classes of magazines. Some are for pastime: sports, films, porn, etc. Some are informative; others are political; a few are socio-economic, and so on.
Our efforts at YMD have been to produce an Islamically educative magazine. This poses a challenge. Religion – pure religion – is not in such high demand. Even if there is some demand, rarely it is tolerated without addition of divertive material touching the informative, pastime, etc.
In addition now we face new challenges. They come mainly from two sources: TV and Internet. The new generation prefers – for a variety of reasons – to watch rather than read. This is a dangerous trend for Islam and Muslims. As for the TV, no amount of watching and listening will educate a man. Twenty years of watching Islamic programs, will only make a man perhaps better informed but not educated. (This also holds true for halaqas). On the other hand, if a person were to read 20 good books during the same 20 years, he could emerge as an educated person.
Internet offers a different challenge. It is overwhelmed so much by the obscene that it is hard to get through them to reach an educative site. By the time a young man is through with the more alluring stuff – sexy things – he would have already done enough of watching, and is fatigued. His stock of energy is too low to allow him a concentrated study.
Thus, the Net also fails to educate – not because it is such a bad tool, but because it is such a bad field for study. It is like trying to read the Qur’an, while watching a circus show.
It is the determined ones who can ignore the trash, and push on to the site that offers real useful material. And determination being not a characteristic of young men, they rarely reach an educative site.
This then is another problem faced by our youth. Which are the truly useful, truly informative, if not educative sites? With this issue, therefore, we shall try to introduce our readers to some of such sites. In some cases we shall directly present material from such sites, since, there are still hundreds of millions in India, who either have a limited access to Internet, or none at all.
In this present issue, we have taken one of the most common concern: terrorism. Knowing as we all do, and as insiders, that there are no terrorists around among the Muslims. You may speak to any number of Muslims, they would not know a terrorist. Is this all a hoax? Many Westerners are saying, yes. It is bogey for taking away the rights of the Western citizen and grab at the resources of weaker nations. These intellectuals are seriously worried that the freedom that they gained in two hundred years is beginning to be taken away. They know the process by which it happened in Germany of the past, and the turmoil that followed. They can see the trail opening up once again. And they believe terrorism is a hoax and anti-terrorism efforts are a hoax. It is all fixed.
Now, this takes them back to the origin: 9/11. Who is truly responsible for what happened?
A noteworthy point is that it is not the common man who is questioning the official version of who did it. It is engineers, scientists, physicists – best of the intellectual class. Robert Fisk says, “Even I question the truth about 9/11.”
But, are Muslims aware of these developments? Are they looking for at least the informative material on the Net, leave alone the educative? What are their viewing habits? Will they sit glued to the state and corporate controlled TV whose reporting is not trusted by the educated class in the West? Are the Muslims aware of the serious, more trustworthy material available on the Net? Are they aware of such sites?
Alas, they are not. We are therefore beginning to present from this issue onward, some material pertaining to the most important issue that is bothering the educated Western class today: questions being raised about 9/11 – as available on the Internet. There are several issues involved, and we shall follow up with other issues later. Our readers’ response will help us know whether this effort at information dissemination is appreciated or not.
Robert Fisk: Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11
Published: 25 August 2007
08/25/07 – …But – here we go. I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It’s not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Again, I’m not talking about the crazed “research” of David Icke’s Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory.
Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard “explosions” in the towers – which could well have been the beams cracking – are easy to dismiss. Less so the report that the body of a female air crew member was found in a Manhattan street with her hands bound. OK, so let’s claim that was just hearsay reporting at the time, just as the CIA’s list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East, was an initial intelligence error.
I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the SalmonBrothersBuilding) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the “raver” bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be “fraudulent or deceptive”.
Seven CIA Veterans Challenge 9/11 Commission Report
September 24, 2007
by Alan Miller
September 23, 2007 – Seven CIA veterans have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and have called for a new investigation. “I think at simplest terms, there’s a cover-up. The 9/11 Report is a joke,” said Raymond McGovern, 27-year veteran of the CIA, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates during the seventies. “There are a whole bunch of unanswered questions. And the reason they’re unanswered is because this administration will not answer the questions,” he said. McGovern, who is also the founder of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity), is one of many signers of a petition to reinvestigate 9/11.
During his 27-year CIA career, McGovern personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials. Upon retirement in 1990, McGovern was awarded the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medallion and received a letter of appreciation from then President George H. W. Bush. However, McGovern returned the award in 2006 in protest of the current George W. Bush Administration’s advocacy and use of torture.
In his blurb for 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, edited by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, McGovern wrote: “It has long been clear that the Bush-Cheney administration cynically exploited the attacks of 9/11 to promote its imperial designs. But the present volume confronts us with evidence for an even more disturbing conclusion: that the 9/11 attacks were themselves orchestrated by this administration precisely so they could be thus exploited. If this is true, it is not merely the case, as the Downing Street memos show, that the stated reason for attacking Iraq was a lie. It is also the case that the whole “war on terror” was based on a prior deception. This book hence confronts the American people—indeed the people of the world as a whole—with an issue second to none in importance and urgency. I give this book, which in no way can be dismissed as the ravings of ‘paranoid conspiracy theorists,’ my highest possible recommendation.”
William Christison, a 29-year CIA veteran, former National Intelligence Officer (NIO) and former Director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis also describes the 9/11 Commission Report as a “joke” and offers even more outspoken criticism. In a 2006 audio interview he said, “We very seriously need an entirely new very high level and truly independent investigation of the events of 9/11. I think you almost have to look at the 9/11 Commission Report as a joke and not a serious piece of analysis at all.”
Earlier this year, in an endorsement of David Ray Griffin’s book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, Christison wrote, “[There’s] a strong body of evidence showing the official U.S. Government story of what happened on September 11, 2001 to be almost certainly a monstrous series of lies.” And in an online essay in late 2006, he wrote, “I now think there is persuasive evidence that the events of September did not unfold as the Bush administration and the 9/11 Commission would have us believe. … An airliner almost certainly did not hit The Pentagon. … The North and SouthTowers of the WorldTradeCenter almost certainly did not collapse and fall to earth because hijacked aircraft hit them.”
Prior to his retirement from the CIA in 1979, Christison served as Director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis, overseeing 200 analysts who collected intelligence and provided analysis on all regions and every country in the world. Prior to that, he served as one of only a handful of NIO’s in the intelligence community. NIO’s are responsible for the intelligence community efforts in a particular area and are the principal advisors to the Director of Central Intelligence. Christison was NIO for Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Africa.
Melvin Goodman, PhD
Melvin Goodman, PhD, is another former senior CIA official who calls the 9/11 Commission Report a “coverup” and who signed the petition to reinvestigate 9/11. Goodman was the Division Chief of the CIA’s Office of Soviet Affairs and served as Senior Analyst from 1966 – 1990. He also served as Professor of International Security at the NationalWarCollege from 1986 – 2004.
In testimony before a 2005 Congressional briefing on the 9/11 Commission Report, Goodman said, “I want to talk about the [9/11] Commission itself, about the flawed process of the Commission and finally about the conflict of interest within the Commission that is extremely important to understand the failure of the Commission. … The final report is ultimately a coverup. I don’t know how else to describe it.” Goodman is currently Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and Adjunct Professor of Government at JohnsHopkinsUniversity.
Robert Baer is another well known CIA veteran who has questioned the official account of 9/11. A 21-year CIA veteran and specialist in the Middle East, Baer was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal upon his retirement in 1997. After retirement, he wrote two best-selling non-fiction books about the CIA, See No Evil and Sleeping with the Devil, the former of which was the basis for the Academy Award-winning movie Syriana, starring George Clooney. Baer was also the writer and on-camera commentator for the Emmy Award-nominated documentary Cult of the Suicide Bomber.
Baer has repeatedly questioned whether al-Qaida could have accomplished 9/11 alone. The 9/11 Commission Report categorically found al-Qaida to be entirely responsible for 9/11, stating, “Similarly, we have seen no evidence that any foreign government — or government official — supplied any funding.” However, this 9/11 Commission finding directly contradicts the earlier finding of the Joint House-Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s 2002 Report (p.415) of “sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers.”
In a 2002 essay for The Guardian, Baer wrote, “Did bin Laden act alone, through his own al-Qaida network, in launching the attacks? About that I’m far more certain and emphatic: no.” In subsequent interviews, Baer has suggested that support for the attacks could have come from Saudi Arabia and Iran.
In 2006, during an interview by Thom Hartmann, Baer, after commenting on the financial profits being made from 9/11, was asked: “What about political profit? There are those who suggest that … someone in that chain of command … had pretty good knowledge that 9/11 was going to happen — and really didn’t do much to stop it — or even obstructed efforts to stop it because they thought it would lend legitimacy to Bush’s … failing presidency.” Baer replied: “Absolutely.” Hartmann then asked, “So you are personally of the opinion … that there was an aspect of ‘inside job’ to 9/11 within the U.S. government?” To which Baer replied, “There is that possibility, the evidence points at it.” When Hartmann continued, “And why is it not being investigated?” Baer replied, “Why isn’t the WMD story being investigated? Why hasn’t anybody been held accountable for 9/11? We held people accountable after Pearl Harbor. Why has there been no change in command? Why have there been no political repercussions? Why has there been no — any sort of exposure on this? It really makes you wonder.”
In his blurb for the revised and updated edition of David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 Debunking, Baer wrote: “Until we get a complete, honest, transparent investigation …, we will never know what happened on 9/11.”
Robert David Steele
“I am forced to conclude that 9/11 was at a minimum allowed to happen as a pretext for war,” wrote well-known intelligence analyst Robert David Steele in 2006 in a review of the book, 9/11 Synthetic Terror by Webster Tarpley. Steele is the author of numerous books on the intelligence services and is currently the CEO of OSS.net, a proponent of Open Source Intelligence. Steele has 25 years of combined service in the CIA and the U.S. Marine Corps. He also served as the second ranking civilian (GS-14) in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence from 1988 – 1992 and was a member of the Adjunct Faculty of Marine Corps University. Steele continued, “I have to tell anyone who cares to read this: I believe it. I believe it enough to want a full investigation that passes the smell test of the 9/11 families as well as objective outside observers.”
In a subsequent interview on the Alex Jones Show, Steele said, “The U.S. government did not properly investigate this [9/11] and there are more rocks to be turned over,” and added, “I’m absolutely certain that WTC 7 was brought down by controlled demolition and that, as far as I’m concerned, means that this case has not been properly investigated. There’s no way that building could have come down without controlled demolition.”
In late 2004, a group of 25 intelligence service and law enforcement veterans sent a joint letter to Congress expressing their concerns about “serious shortcomings,” “omissions,” and “major flaws” in the 9/11 Commission Report and offering their services for a new investigation. Their letter was apparently entirely ignored. Among the signers were four CIA veterans; Raymond McGovern and Melvin Goodman (both mentioned above) and Lynne Larkin and David MacMichael.
Lynne Larkin was a CIA Operations Officer who served in several CIA foreign stations before being assigned to the CIA’s Counter-IntelligenceCenter. There, she co-chaired a multi-agency task force, which, among other functions, provided direction to other federal agencies for coordinating intelligence efforts among the many intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
David MacMichael, PhD, is a former Senior Estimates Officer at the CIA with special responsibility for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. Prior to joining the CIA, he served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer for ten years and for four years as a counter-insurgency advisor to the government.
Their letter read:
[W]e the undersigned wish to bring to the attention of the Congress and the people of the United States what we believe are serious shortcomings in the report and its recommendations. …
Omission is one of the major flaws in the Commission’s report. We are aware of significant issues and cases that were duly reported to the commission by those of us with direct knowledge, but somehow escaped attention. …
The omission of such serious and applicable issues and information by itself renders the report flawed, and casts doubt on the validity of many of its recommendations. …
The Commission, with its incomplete report of “facts and circumstances”, intentional avoidance of assigning accountability, and disregard for the knowledge, expertise and experience of those who actually do the job, has now set about pressuring our Congress and our nation to hastily implement all its recommendations. …
We the undersigned, who have worked within various government agencies (FBI, CIA, FAA, DIA, Customs) responsible for national security and public safety, call upon you in Congress to include the voices of those with first-hand knowledge and expertise in the important issues at hand. We stand ready to do our part.
And they and thousands of dedicated, loyal, and experienced military officers, intelligence service and law enforcement veterans, and government officials still stand ready to provide assistance for a thorough, impartial, and honest investigation into the terrible acts of 9/11.
Statements questioning the official account of 9/11 and calls for a new investigation by hundreds of credible individuals can be found at http://PatriotsQuestion911.com.
 Petition to Reinvestigate 9/11. Oct. 26, 2004 http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041026093059633
 I Do Not Wish to be Associated with Torture by Ray McGovern March 2, 2006 http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/58/18096
 Ray McGovern’s blurb for 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out,” edited by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott. March, 2007 http://www.interlinkbooks.com/product_info.php?products_id=1545&osCsid=5a22b94fffd724962a118f454c5d7194
 William Christison interviewed by George Kenney on Electric Politics. Sept. 29, 2006 http://www.electricpolitics.com/podcast/2006/09/the_case_for_intellectual_inte.html
 William Christison’s blurb for David Ray Griffin’s book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking March 2007 http://www.amazon.com/Debunking-11-Mechanics-Defenders-Conspiracy/dp/product-description/156656686X
 Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11 by William Christison Aug. 16, 2006 http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Aug06/Christison14.htm
 Petition to Reinvestigate 9/11. Oct. 26, 2004 http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041026093059633
 The 911 Commission Report – One Year Later, a Congressional Briefing July 22, 2005 http://www.vt911.org/McKinneyReport20050722transcript.pdf
 Congressional Reports: Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 December, 2002 http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/911.html
 See No Evil (part 2) by Robert Baer in The Guardian January 12, 2002 http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,,631434,00.html
 Robert Baer interviewed on The Thom Hartmann Show June 9, 2006 http://www.911blogger.com/2006/06/former-cia-member-robert-baer-comments.html
 Robert Baer’s blurb for the revised and updated edition of David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 Debunking March 2007 http://www.amazon.com/Debunking-11-Mechanics-Defenders-Conspiracy/dp/product-description/156656686X
 Robert David Steele’s review of the book, 9/11 Synthetic Terror by Webster Tarpley Oct. 7, 2006 http://www.amazon.com/dp/0930852370
 Robet David Steele interviewed on The Alex Jones Show Oct. 27, 2006 http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/october2006/271006googlecia.htm
 Letter to Congress signed by 25 intelligence service and law enforcement Sept. 13, 2004 http://www.pogo.org/m/hsp/hsp-911commission-040913.pdf
Take action — click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Alan Miller is author of the website http://www.PatriotsQuestion911.com
How the Government Staged the London Bombings in Ten Easy Steps
Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet | July 13 2005
[For more details, visit this page of links.]
1) Hire a Crisis Management firm to set up an exercise that parallels the terrorist attack you are going to carry out. Have them run the exercise at the precise locations and at the very same time as the attack. If at any stage of the attack your Arabs get caught, tell the police it was part of an exercise.
2) Hire four Arabs and tell them they’re taking part in an important exercise to help defend London from terrorist attacks. Strap them with rucksacks filled with deadly explosives. Tell the Arabs the rucksacks are dummy explosives and wouldn’t harm a fly.
3) Tell four Arabs to meet up at London Underground and disperse, each getting on a different train. Make sure Arabs meet in a location where you can get a good mug shot of them all on CCTV which you can later endlessly repeat to drooling masses on television.
4) While four Arabs are in London, plant explosives in their houses in Leeds. Plant some explosives in one of their cars in Luton for the police to later discover. Remember that Qu’ran and flight manual in the hijackers’ car? Ha ha, they fell for that one hook, line and sinker. No need to change tactics on this one.
5) Before the bombings take place, make sure you warn any of your buddies who are scheduled to be anywhere near where the bombs go off. If this gets leaked to the press, just deny it.
6) 4th Arab goes out partying in London night before and ends up getting out of bed late. No worries, the 9/11 ‘hijackers’ did the same thing but that didn’t cause us a big problem. 4th Arab catches bus to see if other Arabs are waiting for him. 4th Arab starts hearing about explosions in the London Underground. 4th Arab comes to the realization that this he is being set up and freaks out. 4th Arab starts fiddling in his rucksack. 4th Arab sets bomb off and is blown up.
If you hired any additional Arabs and they also got wind of the set up, make sure tere are GPS locators in the rucksacks so you can have police snipers ready to kill them before they can blow the whistle.
7) After the bombs go off, put out a story for over an hour that the explosions are a simple electrical fault. This gives you cover time to make sure the lazy bus Arab is dead and any other hired Arabs who reneged are also dead. Make sure any CCTV footage that doesn’t support your official story is either seized or destroyed.
8) A few hours after the bombings, have one of your boys post an ‘Al-Qaeda statement’ claiming responsibility. Don’t worry about the whole ‘misreferencing the Qu’ran’ thing, these idiots don’t have the attention spans to figure it out.
9) After you have made sure that all the Arabs are dead and you are managing the story accordingly, wait for four days until the police piece together the story and find the explosives you planted in Leeds and in the car in Luton. Remember that Qu’ran and flight manual in the hijackers’ car? Ha ha, they fell for that one hook, line and sinker. No need to change tactics this time either. The time delay will convince the gullible public that a real investigation is taking place. Create a background of the hired Arabs being militant Muslims. The drooling masses, as was the case with the ‘9/11 hijackers,’ will ignore stories of neighbours saying they were the quiet, educated types who liked children and playing sports.
BBC excerpt: One local resident described him as “a nice lad”.
“He liked to play football, he liked to play cricket. I’m shocked.”
Another resident said he was just a “normal kid” who played basketball and kicked a ball around.
10) Sit back and enjoy as Blair and his minions grandstand in front of television cameras about staying the course in the war on terror. The pay raise, extra agency funding, and power to strip more freedoms and liberties made the ten easy steps to staging a terrorist attack a worthwhile venture. The dozens of dead people were necessary collateral damage. This is a dirty war, we need to be less moral than the terrorists to defeat them.
And that’s how the government staged the bombings in ten easy steps.
Granted, you can interchange different pieces of the puzzle. The bombers could be real terrorists that knew exactly what they were doing. All you would need to do is control the ‘mastermind’ behind the attack.
Frequently Asked Questions (about 9/11)
Question 1. How could the attacks be faked in such a massive operation? Surely one of the hundreds of people involved would step forward and declare what they know to the media.
Answer: Three major elements in the operational security of the September 11 Black Op would not be guessed by the average citizen, this amounting to a fourth element.
First, most of the participants in the operation had no idea they were participating in it. Instead, they thought they were involved in a war game scheduled for that day (coincidence number 123). For example several fighter wings had been flown out of the area as part of the games, providing scant air cover in the event. Later, when 911 itself resulted in the call down of all commercial aircraft, this would have made it possible to land three of the hijacked flights in the confusion, while substitute aircraft took over. Thus, 911 acted as its own cover, in effect, as well.
Second, many of the key participants in the operation already belonged to intelligence agencies from one of the participating countries, principally (at a guess) the CIA, MI6, and Mossad. All three agencies are known to have black ops and Mossad, in particular, has a very long history in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD, as it is known in the trade. (This branch of special operations has little to do with “disposal” and much to do with “explosives.”) No intelligence officer is likely to blow the cover on an operation to which he/she is fully committed. Even if an intel type decided to tell all, he or she would be scheduled for immediate “extreme prejudice” treatment, not to mention the barrier he or she would face in the next paragraph.
Third, as our own experience with the media suggests, stories that directly contradict the spin are unwelcome, to say the least, even from undercover agents. The extremely sensitive nature of the story would trigger a series of consultations up the chain of ownership to the top, from which a flat “no” would be issued. The mere possibility of Israel being involved in such a story would send owners into a panic. It is a matter of public record that all five principal owners are committed zionists for whom Israel can do no wrong. (See the MEDIA tab at the top of our index page for further information.)
Question 2. The mere possibility that the attacks were faked just sounds preposterous to me. Who could believe such a thing?
Answer: The true nature of 911 could be called “the secret that keeps itself.” It had predecessors in both American and middle eastern history in which the true perpetrators of “terrorist” acts had already been painted as victims, in effect, by the media. From the Gulf of Tonkin incident which triggered the Vietnam War back to the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1945 which enabled the creation of the the state of Israel, the attack of 911 is hardly an isolated example. Moreover, the Operation Northwoods plan (now public under the FOIA) called for hijackings of passenger aircraft, blowing up a US ship, and orchestrated terrorism in American cities – all to be blamed on Fidel Castro.
Question 3. What benefit would the perpetrators of the 911 attacks, the ones you claim are most probably behind them, get from such an operation?
Answer: In a nutshell, American and British Oil interests would benefit hugely from the resulting invasions of Afghanistan, namely in a pipeline corridor from the central Asian oil fields to the existing middle eastern pipeline network, including new terminal facilities at Haifa. The Iraqi oil fields are the main prize, however. They are likely to remain in American hands for the foreseeable future. The ultimate profits from such operations are enormous and swell the coffers of companies owned by the Bush (Carlyle Group and Zapata Oil) and Cheney (Halliburton) Families, not to mention Unocal and other oil giants. There would be additional benefits to the arms industry in the manufacture of arms and war materiel to accommodate the new conflict.
In addition, a global master plan for the conquest of the Middle East had already been worked out by the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) drawn up by the neocon element in Washington. The plan even called for a “new Pearl Harbor” as the trigger that would set it in motion.
Finally, Israel would get a green light for a new wave of oppression in Gaza and the West Bank. World opinion would not turn against draconian new projects such as “The Wall,” if neighboring Islamic Countries (including Palestine) were viewed generally as a source of terrorism. There appears to be a long-term plan in effect, one that passes from government to government in Israel. The plan calls for a “divide and conquer” strategy by which all of Palestine will eventually become part of Israel.
Question 4. If the attacks of September 11 were faked, what about the long string of terrorist attacks and suicide bombings attributed to Al Qaeda?
Answer: Al Qaeda is almost certainly a long-term black operation that began shortly after the end of close cooperation between Ousama Bin Laden and the Mujahadeen with the United States in Afghanistan during the 1990s. Bin Laden, who is known to have suffered from terminal kidney disease, was visited by the CIA section chief in a hospital in Dubai in mid-2001. He survived just long enough after 911 to issue a statement that the attacks were not his work or the work of any Muslim. The denial appeared in a Pakistani newspaper, but was ignored by western news sources. In the words of one of a Panel member from the intel community, “Al Qaeda is us.”
In view of the fact that the same pattern of anomalous circumstances surrounds both previous and subsequent attacks attributed to Al Qaeda (see OTHER ATTACKS – this website), Al Qaeda appears to serve as a kind of universal boogeyman to herd frightened western legislators into a neo-fascist political program that will, in the long run, result in dictatorial powers concentrated in the hands of a small cadre in Washington.
Question 5. If you people are right, why aren’t you all dead by now?
Answer: If you’re asking why we haven’t been “taken care of” by the true perpetrators, the answer is twofold. a) There are far too many of us to be “taken care of” without raising more suspicion than the perpetrators could handle. There are now literally hundreds of 911-skeptical websites, thousands of people working on the issue, and millions of people who have reached the same degree of skepticism or suspicion. (b) We assume that the perpetrators have enough control/influence over the mainstream media to keep 911 issues off the page and off the screen. (See the answer to Question 1.) Thus, they may not be particularly worried about our efforts – so far.
If they are worried, they will launch (or already have launched) a disinformation campaign. This would consist of one or more elements in an internet setting of articles and websites: Limited Hangout (a partial analysis, along with blame placed on the military-industrial complex, for example); Well-poisoning (the appearance of an investigative effort accompanied by stories or ads that refer to UFOs, mental telepathy, or what have you); Blackballing (a mixture of name-calling and misdirected analysis that leaves the impression that legitimate websites are either run by “conspiracy nuts” or are themselves engaged in a disinformation campaign run by terrorists); Denial of Evidence (a specific piece of 9/11 evidence is analyzed with seeming care – but for the omission of one or two crucial elements. The analysis may conclude that a particular video or photo or document was faked, unreliable, or in some other way unacceptable as evidence.)
The fact that websites with some of these qualities already exist (not a large percentage) creates problems with interpretation; there would be no easy way to distinguish such a website mounted by a trained psyops professional from one designed by a well-meaning but off-track investigator.
Question 6. Are you saying the Jews are behind 911?
Answer: Certainly not. Although Israel is ostensibly a Jewish state, its actions in the middle east are in direct conflict with Jewish Law, ethics and morality. The European (Khazarite) Jews may be described as double victims, suffering not only from centuries of persecution after the fall of Muslim Spain, but from the deceptive practices adopted by the Zionist planners responsible for Israel. Myths such as “a land without people for a people without land” (both questionable propositions) misled thousands of settlers in the Jewish proto-state, followed by millions later.
As a general rule, zionist organizations in the west have only one tool with which to counter revelations of the myth-building exercise. Whoever makes such claims is labeled an “anti-semite,” a peculiarly ironic charge under the circumstances.
Question 7 . What can the average citizen do about the situation revealed on your website, as well as the multitude of other sources?
Answer: Although some people may come up with more creative approaches to the publicity problem, we strongly suggest that you refer your friends and acquaintances to this and similar websites. As well, you could:
1. Place an inexpensive ad in your local paper suggesting that the reader visit the website of the (printed) URL.
2. Write a brief letter to your elected federal representative, urging him or her to think twice about 911 and to visit an appropriate website. (If you have printed material or a video on the subject, send it.)
3. Print up some cards outlining the problem and leave them in public places.
4. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, briefly stating the questions raised by the publicly available evidence left in the wake of 911, being sure to provide a URL.
5. Send financial support to the 911-oriented websites that request it. (See our list under LINKS, for example.)
Don’t be shy!
THE TOP 40
REASONS TO DOUBT THE OFFICIAL STORY OF SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001
… An outline in simple talking points …
8/3/07 NOTE: We are presently compiling the best documentation links for every single point on this page, and intend to post the updated version by September 1, 2007.
Version of May 22, 2006: This overview is in development. If you use the search function with key words, you will discover that 911Truth.org is home to articles backing virtually every point made below. Much of the basic research is available at the Complete 9/11 Timeline (hosted by cooperativeresearch.org), the 9/11 Reading Room (911readingroom.org), and the Spitzer petition and complaint (Justicefor911.org). For physical evidence discussion, see Point 7.
THE DAY ITSELF – EVIDENCE OF COMPLICITY
1) AWOL Chain of Command
a. It is well documented that the officials topping the chain of command for response to a domestic attack – George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Myers, Montague Winfield – all found reason to do something else during the actual attacks, other than assuming their duties as decision-makers.
b. Who was actually in charge? Dick Cheney, Richard Clarke, Norman Mineta and the 9/11 Commission directly conflict in their accounts of top-level response to the unfolding events, such that several (or all) of them must be lying.
2) Air Defense Failures
a. The US air defense system failed to follow standard procedures for responding to diverted passenger flights.
b. Timelines: The various responsible agencies – NORAD, FAA, Pentagon, USAF, as well as the 9/11 Commission – gave radically different explanations for the failure (in some cases upheld for years), such that several officials must have lied; but none were held accountable.
c. Was there an air defense standdown?
3) Pentagon Strike
How was it possible the Pentagon was hit 1 hour and 20 minutes after the attacks began? Why was there no response from Andrews Air Force Base, just 10 miles away and home to Air National Guard units charged with defending the skies above the nation”s capital? How did Hani Hanjour, a man who failed as a Cessna pilot on his first flight in a Boeing, execute a difficult aerobatic maneuver to strike the Pentagon? Why did the attack strike the just-renovated side, which was largely empty and opposite from the high command?
a. US military and other authorities planned or actually rehearsed defensive response to all elements of the 9/11 scenario during the year prior to the attack – including multiple hijackings, suicide crashbombings, and a strike on the Pentagon.
b. The multiple military wargames planned long in advance and held on the morning of September 11th included scenarios of a domestic air crisis, a plane crashing into a government building, and a large-scale emergency in New York. If this was only an incredible series of coincidences, why did the official investigations avoid the issue? There is evidence that the wargames created confusion as to whether the unfolding events were “real world or exercise.” Did wargames serve as the cover for air defense sabotage, and/or the execution of an “inside job”?
5) Flight 93
Did the Shanksville crash occur at 10:06 (according to a seismic report) or 10:03 (according to the 9/11 Commission)? Does the Commission wish to hide what happened in the last three minutes of the flight, and if so, why? Was Flight 93 shot down, as indicated by the scattering of debris over a trail of several miles?
THE DAY – POSSIBLE SMOKING GUNS
6) Did cell phones work at 30,000 feet in 2001? How many hijackings were attempted? How many flights were diverted?
7) Demolition Hypothesis
What caused the collapse of a third skyscraper, WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane? Were the Twin Towers and WTC 7 brought down by explosives? (See “The Case for Demolitions,” the websites wtc7.net and 911research.wtc7.net, and the influential article by physicist Steven Jones. See also items no. 16 and 24, below.)
FOREKNOWLEDGE & THE ALLEGED HIJACKERS
8) What did officials know? How did they know it?
a. Multiple allied foreign agencies informed the US government of a coming attack in detail, including the manner and likely targets of the attack, the name of the operation (the “Big Wedding”), and the names of certain men later identified as being among the perpetrators.
b. Various individuals came into possession of specific advance knowledge, and some of them tried to warn the US prior to September 11th.
c. Certain prominent persons received warnings not to fly on the week or on the day of September 11th.
9) Able Danger, Plus – Surveillance of Alleged Hijackers
a. The men identified as the 9/11 ringleaders were under surveillance for years beforehand, on the suspicion they were terrorists, by a variety of US and allied authorities – including the CIA, the US military”s “Able Danger” program, the German authorities, Israeli intelligence and others.
b. Two of the alleged ringleaders who were known to be under surveillance by the CIA also lived with an FBI asset in San Diego, but this is supposed to be yet another a coincidence.
10) Obstruction of FBI Investigations prior to 9/11
A group of FBI officials in New York systematically suppressed field investigations of potential terrorists that might have uncovered the alleged hijackers – as the Moussaoui case once again showed. The stories of Sibel Edmonds, Robert Wright, Coleen Rowley and Harry Samit, the “Phoenix Memo,” David Schippers, the 199i orders restricting investigations, the Bush administration”s order to back off the Bin Ladin family, the reaction to the “Bojinka” plot, and John O”Neil do not, when considered in sum, indicate mere incompetence, but high-level corruption and protection of criminal networks, including the network of the alleged 9/11 conspirators. (Nearly all of these examples were omitted from or relegated to fleeting footnotes in The 9/11 Commission Report.)
11) Insider Trading
a. Unknown speculators allegedly used foreknowledge of the Sept. 11th events to profiteer on many markets internationally – including but not limited to “put options” placed to short-sell the two airlines, WTC tenants, and WTC re-insurance companies in Chicago and London.
b. In addition, suspicious monetary transactions worth hundreds of millions were conducted through offices at the Twin Towers during the actual attacks.
c. Initial reports on these trades were suppressed and forgotten, and only years later did the 9/11 Commission and SEC provide a partial, but untenable explanation for only a small number of transactions (covering only the airline put options through the Chicago Board of Exchange).
12) Who were the perpetrators?
a. Much of the evidence establishing who did the crime is dubious and miraculous: bags full of incriminating material that happened to miss the flight or were left in a van; the “magic passport” of an alleged hijacker, found at Ground Zero; documents found at motels where the alleged perpetrators had stayed days and weeks before 9/11.
b. The identities of the alleged hijackers remain unresolved, there are contradictions in official accounts of their actions and travels, and there is evidence several of them had “doubles,” all of which is omitted from official investigations.
c. What happened to initial claims by the government that 50 people involved in the attacks had been identified, including the 19 alleged hijackers, with 10 still at large (suggesting that 20 had been apprehended)? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-worldtrade-50suspects,0,1825231.story
THE 9/11 COVER-UP, 2001-2006
13) Who Is Osama Bin Ladin?
a. Who judges which of the many conflicting and dubious statements and videos attributed to Osama Bin Ladin are genuine, and which are fake? The most important Osama Bin Ladin video (Nov. 2001), in which he supposedly confesses to masterminding 9/11, appears to be a fake. In any event, the State Department”s translation of it is fraudulent.
b. Did Osama Bin Ladin visit Dubai and meet a CIA agent in July 2001 (Le Figaro)? Was he receiving dyalisis in a Pakistani military hospital on the night of September 10, 2001 (CBS)?
c. Whether by Bush or Clinton: Why is Osama always allowed to escape?
d. The terror network associated with Osama, known as the “data base” (al-Qaeda), originated in the CIA-sponsored 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. When did this network stop serving as an asset to covert operations by US intelligence and allied agencies? What were its operatives doing in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya in the years prior to 9/11?
14) All the Signs of a Systematic 9/11 Cover-up
a. Airplane black boxes were found at Ground Zero, according to two first responders and an unnamed NTSB official, but they were “disappeared” and their existence is denied in The 9/11 Commission Report.
b. US officials consistently suppressed and destroyed evidence (like the tapes recorded by air traffic controllers who handled the New York flights).
c. Whistleblowers (like Sibel Edmonds and Anthony Shaffer) were intimidated, gagged and sanctioned, sending a clear signal to others who might be thinking about speaking out.
d. Officials who “failed” (like Myers and Eberhard, as well as Frasca, Maltbie and Bowman of the FBI) were given promotions.
15) Poisoning New York
The White House deliberately pressured the EPA into giving false public assurances that the toxic air at Ground Zero was safe to breathe. This knowingly contributed to an as-yet unknown number of health cases and fatalities, and demonstrates that the administration does consider the lives of American citizens to be expendable on behalf of certain interests.
16) Disposing of the Crime Scene
The rapid and illegal scrapping of the WTC ruins at Ground Zero disposed of almost all of the structural steel indispensable to any investigation of the collapse mechanics. (See also item no. 23, below.)
Mailings of weapons-grade anthrax – which caused a practical suspension of the 9/11 investigations – were traced back to US military stock. Soon after the attacks began in October 2001, the FBI approved the destruction of the original samples of the Ames strain, disposing of perhaps the most important evidence in identifying the source of the pathogens used in the mailings. Were the anthrax attacks timed to coincide with the Afghanistan invasion? Why were the letters sent only to media figures and to the leaders of the opposition in the Senate (who had just raised objections to the USA PATRIOT Act)?
18) The Stonewall
a. Colin Powell promised a “white paper” from the State Department to establish the authorship of the attacks by al-Qaeda. This was never forthcoming, and was instead replaced by a paper from Tony Blair, which presented only circumstantial evidence, with very few points actually relating to September 11th.
b. Bush and Cheney pressured the (freshly-anthraxed) leadership of the Congressional opposition into delaying the 9/11 investigation for months. The administration fought against the creation of an independent investigation for more than a year.
c. The White House thereupon attempted to appoint Henry Kissinger as the chief investigator, and acted to underfund and obstruct the 9/11 Commission.
19) A Record of Official Lies
a. “No one could have imagined planes into buildings” – a transparent falsehood upheld repeatedly by Rice, Rumsfeld and Bush.
b. “Iraq was connected to 9/11” – The most “outrageous conspiracy theory” of all, with the most disastrous impact.
20) Pakistani Connection – Congressional Connection
a. The Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, creator of the Taliban and close ally to both the CIA and “al-Qaeda,” allegedly wired $100,000 to Mohamed Atta just prior to September 11th, reportedly through the ISI asset Omar Saeed Sheikh (later arrested for the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was investigating ISI connections to “al-Qaeda.”)
b. This was ignored by the congressional 9/11 investigation, although the senator and congressman who ran the probe (Bob Graham and Porter Goss) were meeting with the ISI chief, Mahmud Ahmed, on Capitol Hill on the morning of September 11th.
c. About 25 percent of the report of the Congressional Joint Inquiry was redacted, including long passages regarding how the attack (or the network allegedly behind it) was financed. Graham later said foreign allies were involved in financing the alleged terror network, but that this would only come out in 30 years.
21) Unanswered Questions and the “Final Fraud” of the 9/11 Commission:
a. The September 11th families who fought for and gained an independent investigation (the 9/11 Commission) posed 400-plus questions, which the 9/11 Commission adopted as its roadmap. The vast majority of these questions were completely ignored in the Commission hearings and the final report.
b. The membership and staff of the 9/11 Commission displayed awesome conflicts of interest. The families called for the resignation of Executive Director Philip Zelikow, a Bush administration member and close associate of “star witness” Condoleezza Rice, and were snubbed. Commission member Max Cleland resigned, condemning the entire exercise as a “scam” and “whitewash.”
c.The 9/11 Commission Report is notable mainly for its obvious omissions, distortions and outright falsehoods – ignoring anything incompatible with the official story, banishing the issues to footnotes, and even dismissing the still-unresolved question of who financed 9/11 as being “of little practical significance.”
22) Crown Witnesses Held at Undisclosed Locations
The alleged masterminds of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed (KSM) and Ramzi Binalshibh, are reported to have been captured in 2002 and 2003, although one Pakistani newspaper said KSM was killed in an attempted capture. They have been held at undisclosed locations and their supposed testimonies, as provided in transcript form by the government, form much of the basis for The 9/11 Commission Report (although the Commission”s request to see them in person was denied). After holding them for years, why doesn”t the government produce these men and put them to trial?
23) Spitzer Redux
a. Eliot Spitzer, attorney general of New York State, snubbed pleas by New York citizens to open 9/11 as a criminal case (Justicefor911.org).
b. Spitzer also refused to allow his employee, former 9/11 Commission staff member Dietrich Snell, to testify to the Congress about his (Snell”s) role in keeping “Able Danger” entirely out of The 9/11 Commission Report.
24) NIST Omissions
After the destruction of the WTC structural steel, the official Twin Towers collapse investigation was left with almost no forensic evidence, and thus could only provide dubious computer models of ultimately unprovable hypotheses. It failed to even test for the possibility of explosives. (Why not clear this up?)
25) Radio Silence
The 9/11 Commission and NIST both allowed the continuing cover-up of how Motorola”s faulty radios, purchased by the Giuliani administration, caused firefighter deaths at the WTC – once again showing the expendability, even of the first responders.
26) The Legal Catch-22
a. Hush Money – Accepting victims” compensation barred September 11th families from pursuing discovery through litigation.
b. Judge Hallerstein – Those who refused compensation to pursue litigation and discovery had their cases consolidated under the same judge (and as a rule dismissed).
The issue of Ptech.
28) Media Blackout of Prominent Doubters
The official story has been questioned and many of the above points were raised by members of the US Congress, retired high-ranking officers of the US military, the three leading third-party candidates for President in the 2004 election, a member of the 9/11 Commission who resigned in protest, a former high-ranking adviser to the George W. Bush administration, former ministers to the German, British and Canadian governments, the commander-in-chief of the Russian air force, 100 luminaries who signed the “9/11 Truth Statement,” and the presidents of Iran and Venezuela. Not all of these people agree fully with each other, but all would normally be considered newsworthy. Why has the corporate-owned US mass media remained silent about these statements, granting due coverage only to the comments of actor Charlie Sheen?
GEOPOLITICS, TIMING AND POSSIBLE MOTIVES
29) “The Great Game”
The Afghanistan invasion was ready for Bush”s go-ahead on September 9, 2001, with US and UK force deployments to the region already in place or underway. This followed the failure earlier that year of backdoor diplomacy with the Taliban (including payments of $125 million in US government aid to Afghanistan), in an attempt to secure a unity government for that country as a prerequisite to a Central Asian pipeline deal.
30) The Need for a “New Pearl Harbor”
Principals in US foreign policy under the current Bush administration (including Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and others) have been instrumental in developing long-running plans for worldwide military hegemony, including an invasion of the Middle East, dating back to the Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. They reiterated these plans in the late 1990s as members of the “Project for a New American Century,” and stated a clear intent to invade Iraq for the purpose of “regime change.” After 9/11, they lost no time in their attempt to tie Iraq to the attacks.
31) Perpetual “War on Terror”
9/11 is supposed to provide carte-blanche for an open-ended, global and perpetual “War on Terror,” against any enemy, foreign or domestic, that the executive branch chooses to designate, and regardless of whether evidence exists to actually connect these enemies to 9/11.
32) Attacking the Constitution
a. The USA PATRIOT Act was written before 9/11, Homeland Security and the “Shadow Government” were developed long before 9/11, and plans for rounding up dissidents as a means for suppressing civil disturbance have been in the works for decades.
b. 9/11 was used as the pretext to create a new, extra-constitutional executive authority to declare anyone an “enemy combatant” (including American citizens), to detain persons indefinitely without habeas corpus, and to “render” such persons to secret prisons where torture is practiced.
33) Legal Trillions
9/11 triggers a predictable shift of public spending to war, and boosts public and private spending in the “new” New Economy of “Homeland Security,” biometrics, universal surveillance, prisons, civil defense, secured enclaves, security, etc.
34) Plundered Trillions?
On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld announced a “war on waste” after an internal audit found that the Pentagon was “missing” 2.3 trillion dollars in unaccounted assets. On September 11th, this was as good as forgotten.
35) Did 9/11 prevent a stock market crash?
Did anyone benefit from the destruction of the Securities and Exchange Commission offices at WTC 7, and the resultant crippling of hundreds of fraud investigations?
36) Resource Wars
a. What was discussed in the Energy Task Force meetings under Dick Cheney in 2001? Why is the documentation of these meetings still being suppressed?
b. Is Peak Oil a motive for 9/11 as inside job?
37) The “Little Game”
Why was the WTC privatized just before its destruction?
The longstanding relationship between US intelligence networks and radical Islamists, including the network surrounding Osama Bin Ladin. (See also point 13d.)
39) Historical Precedents for “Synthetic Terror”
a. In the past many states, including the US government, have sponsored attacks on their own people, fabricated the “cause for war,” created (and armed) their own enemies of convenience, and sacrificed their own citizens for “reasons of state.”
b. Was 9/11 an update of the Pentagon-approved “Project Northwoods” plan for conducting self-inflicted, false-flag terror attacks in the United States, and blaming them on a foreign enemy?
40) Secret Government
a. The record of criminality and sponsorship of coups around the world by the covert networks based within the US intelligence complex.
b. Specifically also: The evidence of crime by Bush administration principals and their associates, from October Surprise to Iran-Contra and the S&L plunder to PNAC, Enron/Halliburton and beyond.
The Iraq oil grab that went awry
By: Dilip Hiro
Here is the sentence in The Age of Turbulence, the 531-page memoir of former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, that caused so much turbulence in Washington last week: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Honest and accurate, it had the resonance of Bill Clinton’s election campaign mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.” But, finding himself the target of a White House attack – an administration spokesman labeled his comment “Georgetown cocktail party analysis” – Greenspan backtracked under cover of verbose elaboration. None of this, however, made an iota of difference to the facts on the ground.
Here is a prosecutor’s brief for the position that “the Iraq war is largely about oil”.
The primary evidence indicating that the administration of US President George W Bush coveted Iraqi oil from the start comes from two diverse but impeccably reliable sources: Paul O’Neill, the treasury secretary (2001-03) under President Bush; and Falah al-Jibury, a well-connected Iraqi-American oil consultant, who had acted as president Ronald Reagan’s “back channel” to Iraqi president Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran War of 1980-88. The secondary evidence is from material that can be found in such publications as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
According to O’Neill’s memoirs, The Price of Loyalty: George W Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O’Neill, written by journalist Ron Suskind and published in 2004, the top item on the agenda of the National Security Council’s first meeting after Bush entered the Oval Office was Iraq. That was January 30, 2001, more than seven months before the September 11 attacks. The next NSC meeting, on February 1, was devoted exclusively to Iraq.
Advocating “going after Saddam” during the January 30 meeting, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, according to O’Neill, “Imagine what the region would look like without Saddam and with a regime that’s aligned with US interests. It would change everything in the region and beyond. It would demonstrate what US policy is all about.” He then discussed post-Saddam Iraq – the Kurds in the north, the oilfields, and the reconstruction of the country’s economy (Suskind, p 85).
Among the relevant documents later sent to NSC members, including O’Neill, was one prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). It had already mapped Iraq’s oilfields and exploration areas, and listed US corporations likely to be interested in participating in Iraq’s petroleum industry.
Another DIA document in the package, titled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts”, listed companies from 30 countries – France, Germany, Russia and Britain, among others – their specialties and bidding histories. The attached maps pinpointed “super-giant oilfield”, “other oilfield” and “earmarked for production sharing” and divided the basically undeveloped but oil-rich southwest of Iraq into nine blocks, indicating promising areas for future exploration (Suskind, p 96).
According to high-flying oil insider Falah al-Jibury, the US administration began making plans for Iraq’s oil industry “within weeks” of Bush taking office in January 2001. In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp’s Newsnight program, which aired on March 17, 2005, he referred to his participation in secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East, where, among other things, he interviewed possible successors to Saddam.
By January 2003, a plan for Iraqi oil crafted by the State Department and oil majors emerged under the guidance of Amy Myers Jaffe of the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy at RiceUniversity in Houston. It recommended maintaining the state-owned Iraq National Oil Co, whose origins dated to 1961 – but open it up to foreign investment after an initial period in which US-approved Iraqi managers would supervise the rehabilitation of the war-damaged oil infrastructure. The existence of this group would come to light in a report by the Wall Street Journal on March 3, 2003.
Unknown to the architects of this scheme, according to the same BBC Newsnight report, the Pentagon’s planners, apparently influenced by powerful neo-conservatives in and out of the administration, had devised their own super-secret plan. It involved the sale of all Iraqi oilfields to private companies with a view to increasing output well above the quota set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for Iraq to weaken, and then destroy, OPEC.
On October 11, 2002, the New York Times reported that the Pentagon already had plans to occupy and control Iraq’s oilfields. The next day The Economist described how Americans in the know had dubbed the waterway demarcating the southern borders of Iraq and Iran “Klondike on the Shatt al-Arab”, while Ahmad Chalabi, head of the US-funded Iraqi National Congress and a neo-con favorite, had already delivered this message: “American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil – if he gets to run the show.”
On October 30, Oil and Gas International revealed that the Bush administration wanted a working group of 12-20 people to (a) recommend ways to rehabilitate the Iraqi oil industry “to increase oil exports to partially pay for a possible US military occupation government”, (b) consider Iraq’s continued membership of OPEC, and (c) consider whether to honor contracts Saddam Hussein had granted to non-US oil companies.
By late October 2002, columnist Maureen Dowd of the New York Times would later reveal, Halliburton, the energy-services company previously headed by US Vice President Dick Cheney, had prepared a confidential 500-page document on how to handle Iraq’s oil industry after an invasion and occupation of that country. This was, commented Dowd, “a plan Halliburton wrote several months before the invasion of Iraq, and before it got a no-bid contract to implement the plan (and overbill the US)”. She also pointed out that a Times request for a copy of the plan evinced a distinct lack of response from the Pentagon.
In public, of course, the Bush administration built its case for an invasion of Iraq without referring to that country’s oil or the fact that it had the third-largest reserves of petroleum in the world. But what happened out of sight was another matter. At a secret NSC briefing for the president on February 24, 2003, titled “Planning for the Iraqi Petroleum Infrastructure”, a State Department economist, Pamela Quanrud, told Bush that it would cost US$7 billion to $8 billion to rebuild the oil infrastructure if Saddam decided to blow up his country’s oil wells, according to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in his 2004 book Plan of Attack (pp 322-323). Quanrud was evidently a member of the State Department group chaired by Amy Myers Jaffe.
When the Anglo-American troops invaded on March 20, 2003, they expected to see oil wells ablaze. Saddam proved them wrong. Being a staunch nationalist, he evidently did not want to go down in history as the man who damaged Iraq’s most precious natural resource.
On entering Baghdad on April 9, US troops stood by as looters burned and ransacked public buildings, including government ministries – except for the Oil Ministry, which they guarded diligently. Within the next few days, at a secret meeting in London, the Pentagon’s scheme of the sale of all Iraqi oilfields got a go-ahead in principle.
The Bush administration’s assertions that oil was not a prime reason for invading Iraq did not fool Iraqis, though. A July 2003 poll of Baghdad residents – who represented a quarter of the Iraqi national population – by the London Spectator showed that while 23% believed the reason for the Anglo-American war on Iraq was “to liberate us from dictatorship”, twice as many responded, “to get oil” (Cited in Dilip Hiro, Secrets and Lies: Operation ‘Iraqi Freedom’ and After, p 398).
As Iraq’s principal occupier, the Bush White House made no secret of its plans to dismantle that country’s strong public sector quickly. When the first US proconsul, retired General Jay Garner, focused on holding local elections rather than privatizing the country’s economic structure, he was promptly sacked.
Hurdles to oil privatization impassable
Garner’s successor, L Paul Bremer III, found himself dealing with Philip Carroll – former chief executive officer of the US operations of (Anglo-Dutch) Royal Dutch Shell in Houston – appointed by Washington as the Iraqi oil industry’s supreme boss. Carroll decided not to tinker with the industry’s ownership and told Bremer so. “There was to be no privatization of Iraqi oil resources or facilities while I was involved,” Carroll said in an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight program on March 17, 2005.
This was, however, but a partial explanation for why Bremer excluded the oil industry when issuing Order 39 in September 2003 privatizing nearly 200 Iraqi public-sector companies and opening them up to 100% foreign ownership. The Bush White House had also realized by then that denationalizing the oil industry would be a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions, which bar an occupying power from altering the fundamental structure of the occupied territory’s economy.
There was, as well, the vexatious problem of sorting out the 30 major oil-development contracts Saddam’s regime had signed with companies based in Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Russia, Spain and Vietnam. The key unresolved issue was whether these firms had signed contracts with the government of Saddam Hussein, which no longer existed, or with the Republic of Iraq, which remained intact.
Perhaps more important was the stand taken by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the senior Shi’ite cleric in the country and a figure whom the occupying Americans were keen not to alienate. He made no secret of his disapproval of the wholesale privatization of Iraq’s major companies. As for the minerals – oil being the most precious – Sistani declared that they belonged to the “community”, meaning the state. As a religious decree issued by a grand ayatollah, his statement carried immense weight.
Even more effective was the violent reaction of the industry’s employees to the rumors of privatization. In his Newsnight interview Jibury said, “We saw an increase in the bombing of oil facilities and pipelines built on the premise that privatization is coming.”
In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, much equipment was looted from pipelines, pumping stations, and other oil facilities. By August 2003, four months after US troops entered Baghdad, oil output had only inched up to 1.2 million barrels per day (mbpd), about two-fifths of the pre-invasion level. The forecasts (or dreams) of American planners that oil production would jump to 6mbpd by 2010 and easily fund the occupation and reconstruction of the country were now seen for what they were – part of the hype disseminated privately by American neo-cons to sell the idea of invading Iraq to the public.
With the insurgency taking off, attacks on oil pipelines and pumping stations averaged two a week during the second half of 2003. The pipeline connecting a major northern oilfield near Kirkuk – with an export capacity of 550,000-700,000 barrels per day – to the Turkish port of Ceyhan became inoperative. Soon, the only oil being exported was from fields in the less disturbed, predominately Shi’ite south of Iraq.
In September 2003, President Bush approached Congress for $2.1 billion to safeguard and rehabilitate Iraq’s oil facilities. The resulting Task Force Shield project undertook to protect 340 key installations and 6,400 kilometers of oil pipeline. It was not until the spring of 2004 that output again reached the prewar average of 2.5mbpd – and that did not hold. Soon enough, production fell again. Iraqi refineries were, by now, producing only two-fifths of the 24 million liters of gasoline needed by the country daily, and so there were often days-long lines at fueling stations.
Addressing the 26th Oil and Money conference in London on September 21, 2005, Issam Chalabi, who had been an Iraqi oil minister in the late 1980s, referred to the crippling lack of security and the lack of clear laws to manage the industry, and doubted whether Iraq could return to the 1979 peak of 3.5mbpd before 2009, if then.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi government found itself dependent on oil revenues for 90% of its income, a record at a time when corruption in its ministries had become rampant. On January 30, 2005, Stuart W Bowen, the special inspector general appointed by the US occupation authority, reported that almost $9 billion in Iraqi oil revenue, disbursed to the ministries, had gone missing. A subsequent US congressional inspection team reported in May 2006 that Task Force Shield had failed to meet its goals because of “lack of clear management structure and poor accountability”, and added that there were “indications of potential fraud” that were being reviewed by the inspector general.
The endorsement of the new Iraqi constitution by referendum in October 2005 finally killed the prospect of full-scale oil privatization. Article 109 of that document stated clearly that hydrocarbons were “national Iraqi property”. That is, oil and gas would remain in the public sector.
In March 2006, three years after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, the country’s petroleum exports were 30-40% below pre-invasion levels.
Bush pushes for flawed law
In February 2007, in line with the constitution, the draft hydrocarbon law the Iraqi government presented to Parliament kept oil and gas in the state sector. It also stipulated re-creating a single Iraqi National Oil Co that would be charged with doling out oil income to the provinces on a per capita basis. The Bush administration latched on to that provision to hype the 43-article Iraqi bill as a key to reconciliation between Sunnis and Shi’ites – since the Sunni areas of Iraq lack hydrocarbons – and so included it (as did Congress) in its list of “benchmarks” the Iraqi government had to meet.
Overlooked by Washington was the way that particular article, after mentioning revenue-sharing, stated that a separate Federal Revenue Law would be necessary to settle the matter of distribution – the first draft of which was only published four months later in June.
Far more than revenue sharing and reconciliation, though, what really interested the Bush White House were the mouthwatering incentives for foreign firms to invest in Iraq’s hydrocarbon industry contained in the draft law. They promised to provide ample opportunities to America’s oil majors to reap handsome profits in an oil-rich Iraq whose vast western desert had yet to be explored fully for hydrocarbons. So Bush pressured the Iraqi government to get the necessary law passed before Parliament’s vacation in August – to no avail.
The Bush administration’s failure to achieve its short-term objectives does not detract from the overarching fact – established by the copious evidence marshaled in this article – that gaining privileged access to Iraqi oil for US companies was a primary objective of the Pentagon’s invasion of Iraq.
[Dilip Hiro is the author of Secrets and Lies: Operation ‘Iraqi Freedom’ and After, as well as, most recently, Blood of the Earth: The Battle for the World’s Vanishing Oil Resources, both published by Nation Books. (Copyright 2007 Dilip Hiro.)]
26.09.2007 [15:35 ]