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Review: Kevin Barrett (ed.), We Are Not Charlie Hebdo: Free Thinkers Question the French 9/11 (2015)

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We Are Not Charlie Hebdo by
Great American tradition

Blum is a legend from the 1960s, as the first to amass detailed proof of false flags by the US government. If you still have any trust in the US government's foreign policy, you haven't read Blum's Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since WWII (2004), which documents more than 50 blatant US overthrows of democratic government in the 3rd world, though溶ote溶one occurred in the US (Pearl Harbor is suspicious but no slam-dunk).

There's no question that the false flag experts in the US government weren't aware of the greatest terrorist event in US history. There are a string of whistle-blowers that show how evidence was ignored or buried building up to the event, evidence which if properly shared by the intelligence agencies, with their special al-Qaeda and Taliban watch groups, could have prevented 9/11. David Shipler interviews several of these forgotten heroes in Freedom of Speech:Mightier Than the Sword (2015).

But I still can't imagine that the US government is so cynically bloodthirsty as to orchestrate the deaths of 3,000 westerners in the 9/11 fireworks, or of the hundreds of innocent Africans in the embassy bombings in 1999, both of which Barrett argues they did. The latter massacre is both openly acknowledged by Zawahiri and the plan has been documented and culprits found (but can we believe anything we read?).

Curiously, there still are no smoking guns on 9/11, despite its miraculously flawless operation and the melting of the buildings into a pool of hot metal. Yes, eminent scientists insist that the official version is scientifically uncredible, and proffer various possibilities of there being no planes, robotic planes, pre-planned demolition bombs planted, and more. But the disputes over what could have happened continue.

Then there is cui bono (who benefited). But proof of conspiracy does not live on cui bono alone. I have long assumed that the US government and elite are the bad guys and must be fought. Just how they manage to pull off their many grand schemes is not easy to trace, and I am grateful to Barrett and others for following the trail as best he and his truther colleagues can.

Another American legend of investigative journalism is Seymour Hersh, author of Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (2004), who insists the only way to bring the US government to account for its blatant lies is if western journalists can find their backbone. In June. He spoke to London journalist students recently after his expose of the lie of Bin Laden's assassination (which the New Yorker refused, and which then went viral thanks to the London Review of Books): "Our job is to find out ourselves, our job is not just to say -- here's a debate' our job is to go beyond the debate and find out who's right and who's wrong about issues. That doesn't happen enough. It costs money, it costs time, it jeopardizes, it raises risks. There are some people -- the New York Times still has investigative journalists but they do much more of carrying water for the president than I ever thought they would " it's like you don't dare be an outsider any more."

Neither Blum nor Hersh have tried to parse 9/11, complaining that the government denies public access to key documents. To date, the smoking gun is the 28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry of 9/11, censored by the government but seen by Senator Graham during his official work on the 9/11 investigation. They point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier of the September 11 attacks and Saudi ties to some of the alleged hijackers. It also gives evidence that Saudi support of bin Laden lasted years after 9/11 (as did of course the Pakistani ISI).

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The messy "terrorist" events of 9/11 and other suspicious such events before and after require monitoring and analysis, which Barrett does zealously (and the massive government bodies supposedly created to do this don't). Whether or not all of what Barrett claims is true, the debate is stimulating and instructive. His fine analytic skills should have more outlets than just bombings and state-supported violence. But that's the fare we're handed. I'm glad he can stomach it.

Who dun Hebdo?

Barrett's premise from the get-go on the the January shooting deaths of twelve staff of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and two national police officers, followed two days later in the death of five hostages", was that it was the "French 9/11", "a likely false flag operation, designed to produce the kind of mythic consensus that followed 9/11 and Pearl Harbor."

There is no question that the Hebdo journal was/is scurrilous and was intentionally provoking Muslims, that the editors had every intention of creating an event of some kind. They got more than they counted on. Evidence of government complicity is not convincing, though the state moved in quickly to respond, cracking down in various ways and sponsoring an orchestrated campaign of mass outrage, mobilizing four million a few days later. The phrase "Je suis Charlie" became a worldwide advertising brand name supposedly supporting free speech and opposition to violence.

Suspicions about it being a false-flag operation are shared by a wide variety of public figures.

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*Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared it to Operation Gladio (see below): "The culprits are clear: French citizens undertook this massacre and Muslims were blamed for it."

*Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek said that "Mossad [the Israeli spy agency] is definitely behind such incidents . . . it is boosting enmity towards Islam." Gokcek said Israel staged the attacks to retaliate for French recognition of Palestine.

*Ali Sahin, a parliamentarian and foreign affairs spokesman for the ruling AK Party, listed no less than eight reasons why the Charlie Hebdo affair was a false flag.

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Eric writes for Al-Ahram Weekly and PressTV. He specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs. His "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games" and "From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization" are available at (more...)

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