By Tim Buchholz
It was early morning (for me) when my roommate got a call from his mother in Wisconsin telling him to turn on the TV. That's when we saw the first building on fire. We ran to our roof in Brooklyn that overlooked Manhattan and saw the plumes of smoke filling the air, and that's when we saw the second plane hit. We were in shock; we couldn't believe what we just saw. We thought the world was ending.
As soon as the trains were running again, my friend and I went in to the city and got off at Union Square/14th Street, where anything below 14th was blocked off. Makeshift hospitals lined the streets as gurney's rushed past us with bleeding bodies through the smoke clouded air.
"How could this have happened?" we asked ourselves as a soldier motioned with his machine gun that we could not go any further.
In 1997, many of the names we have seen so often since the War in Iraq began were listed as members of a neoconservative think tank called "Project for a New American Century," or PNAC. Founded by William Kristol (not the comedian) and Robert Kagan, its stated goal according to Wikipedia was "to promote American global leadership. Fundamental to the PNAC are the views that American leadership is both good for America and good for the world and support for a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity." And their Statement of Principle ends with, "While such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today, it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next." They felt that America was the most powerful country in the world and it was their duty to keep it that way, protecting the world while serving the interests of the United States.
PNAC called for an increase in military spending, and a redeployment of our troops oversees to meet modern needs.
George W. Bush was elected in 2000, and his Vice President (Dick Cheney), the VP's Chief of Staff (I. Lewis Scootter Libby), Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld), Deputy Secretary of Defense (Paul Wolfowitz), Deputy Secretary of State (Richard Armitage), and his appointed Ambassador to the UN (John R. Bolton) were all members of PNAC, as well as many members of his cabinet and his brother Jeb, who was Governor of Florida during the recount that made him president.
PNAC published a 90 page report entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources for a New Century" which explains exactly how they planned to implement their program, and also states, "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor." They knew the American people wouldn't go for the plan without a major catastrophe, and they were about to get it.
But let's backtrack just a bit.
Dick Cheney had been Secretary of Defense under George Bush Sr., and as we all know moved on to Halliburton after Bush Sr.'s presidency. During the Clinton Administration, the stock value for Halliburton dropped significantly, and they were rumored to be doing business through their subsidiary businesses with Iran, even though sanctions forbid such dealings. George Jr. asked Cheney to help him pick a VP for his presidential run, and Cheney suggested … Cheney.
Once elected, Bush put Cheney in charge of a national energy policy team called "National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG)." According to www.halliburtonwatch.org, Cheney's group "met secretly with lobbyists and representatives of the petroleum, coal, nuclear, natural gas, and electricity industries. Many of these individuals work for energy companies which gave large campaign contributions to Bush/Cheney 2000. Environmental groups were mostly excluded from the task force."
Congress asked Cheney to release the information from these meetings, and he declined. Judicial Watch sued under "The Freedom of Information Act" to make these reports public, and finally managed to get some released in July 2003. According to www.halliburtonwatch.org, "Those documents include maps of Iraqi and other mid-east oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, two charts detailing various Iraqi oil and gas projects, and a March 2001 list of "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts." They also sate that, "In January 2003, The Wall Street Journal reported that representatives from Halliburton, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron-Texaco Corp. and Conoco-Phillips, among others, had met with Vice President Cheney's staff to plan the post-war revival of Iraq's oil industry. However, both Cheney and the companies deny the meeting took place." The War didn't begin until March 2003, but we already had maps showing who would get Iraq's Oil Fields when the war was over, drawn up in meetings held between January and May, 2001.
According to "Crossing the Rubicon - Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney" by Michael Kane, "On May 8, 2001 - four months prior to 9/11 - the president placed Dick Cheney in charge of all federal programs dealing with weapons of mass destruction consequence management within the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies… This included all training and planning which needed to be seamlessly integrated, harmonious and comprehensive in order to maximize effectiveness. This mandate created the Office of National Preparedness in FEMA, overseen by Dick Cheney."
Michael Kane goes on to say that Cheney and the Secret Service were running War Games on 9/11, "that placed 'false blips' on FAA radar screens. These war games eerily mirrored the real events of 9/11 to the point of the Air Force running drills involving hijacked aircraft as the 9/11 plot actually unfolded. The war games & terror drills played a critical role in ensuring no Air Force fighter jocks - who had trained their entire lives for this moment - would be able to prevent the attacks from succeeding. These exercises were under Dick Cheney's management."
As the planes hit, Dick Cheney was rushed to a secret bunker/command center, while George W. Bush read to school children. Who was really in charge that day? And was this the new "Pearl Harbor" that PNAC had said it would take to implement their plans?