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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/10/08

Twenty-Six Things We Now Know Seven Years After 9/11

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Message Bernard Weiner

By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers

Each year around the anniversary of 9/11, I summarize what we ordinarycitizens have learned since that awful day in 2001. This is the seventh annual look backwards, a 2008 update that contains new information and surmisings about those horrific events and what followed.

1. One 9/11 Size Fits All. What we now more fully understand is how the CheneyBush Administration utilized the murderous terrorism of 9/11 as the linchpin justification for their unfolding domestic and foreign agenda, much of it illegal, immoral and impeachable.

By and large, one can sum up that overall agenda as: Amass and control powerin the U.S. and much of the world ("full-spectrum dominance"), and, in cahoots with their corporate supporters such as Halliburton and Blackwater, loot the federal treasury. All this was to be carried out secretly, with no accountability.

2. Iraq War Planning Began Before 9/11. We also know more about the nature of the lies (including forged documents) used by the Administration to sell the Iraq War, which attack already was in the planning stages well before 9/11.

The first faked document, by CIA forgers at the behest of White House
officials, was a 2005 letter (back-dated 2001) supposedly coming from the then-Iraqi intelligence chief to his boss Saddam Hussein mentioning alleged "facts" that established a tie-in between 9/11, Al-Qaida and Iraq and about Saddam's supposed purchase of uranium. The official, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, who had been an informant for the U.S. during the run-up to the war, actually had written his CIA handlers at the time, reported author Ron Suskind, that there were no WMD, no 9/11 or Al-Qaida connections; that letter was deep-sixed by the CIA and Habbush was taken into protective custody, hidden away in Jordan and given $5million for services rendered (which later included his signature on the phony letter).

The second fake document, which was used by the Brits and Americans in the run-up to the war, supposedly was from the African nation of Niger. It was an amateurish botch job (incorrect letterhead, signature of a minister of state who no longer was in that office, etc.) that came from the Italian Secret Service, but the idea for it might have originated elsewhere, perhaps from a clandestine American service. It was designed to bolster the fiction that Iraq was
purchasing uranium "yellowcake" from Niger. Since the yellowcake theory was of great value to the CheneyBush plans to bomb Iraq -- as Ambassador Joe Wilson had made plain in his various articles --the tendency worldwide was to believe that the U.S. might well have been involved in having the phony letter written.

3. Domestic Spying Started Before 9/11 Similary, we know more about the illegal and widespread domestic spying ordered by CheneyBush seven months BEFORE 9/11. We still don't fully understand the reasons for this top-secret, massive data-mining, to be carried out without proper legal warrants. But the point is that the CheneyBush Administration, for its own reasons, and long before 9/11, asked the giant communications companies to furnish them with the private records of its customers, which then were passed on to the relevant governmental security departments.

All this new information has made fringe theorists about 9/11 all the more numerous: If CheneyBush did all those illegal things to fool the population --the forgeries, the lies, the coverups, the deceptions, the police-state tactics BEFORE 9/11 -- how far, they ask, might they have gone to order or carry out or be in some complicit relationship with the 9/11 attacks?

4. McCain and 9/11/Iraq. We also know that one of the two major contenders for the presidency in the 2008 elections swallowed the CheneyBush line about 9/11 and propagandized for the Iraq War and Occupation because, he said, Iraq was tied to the events of 9/11 and to Al-Qaida and to WMD stockpiles. None of those was true, but even though John McCain had problems with how Rumsfeld was managing the war, the Arizona senator placed himself right in the neo-con corner about the necessity for the war. He continues to this day to justify the U.S. Occupation as necessary for a U.S. "victory," whatever that term may mean -- even, he says, if it it takes another hundred years and trillions of dollars. (His opponent, Barack Obama, is more dedicated to drawing down troops in Iraq, "re-deploying" some of them to the anti-Taliban war in Afghanistan, and sending the rest home.)

So, with that introduction, let's take a look at the rest of the list. Some
of what follows has appeared in my previous articles, and some is new or


5. 9/11/Anthrax and Iraq. Let's remember the chronology of how we got here: The Administration's far-right domestic agenda was bogged down in 2001 after Jim Jeffords left the Republican caucus and joined the now-majority Democratic one in the Senate. The murderous terrorism of 9/11 occurred several months later. As did the mysterious anthrax attacks aimed at Congress and the media, which seven years later was blamed conveniently on a single scientist at the Army's Fort Detrick biological weapons lab), who committed suicide a few months ago. Both the anthrax attack and the 9/11 terror attacks had the effect of providing the CheneyBush Administration pretty much a free ride in putting police-state tactics in place. Those tactics were embodied in the so-called "Patriot Act," which superseded Constitutional protections, and which succeeded in greasing the wheels for all sorts of questionable domestic legislation that otherwise might have been bottled up forever.

The planning for an attack on Iraq, as Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill later
told us, already had begun at the first cabinet meetings after Inauguration
Day in early 2001. After 9/11, those plans proceeded apace, even when the
intelligence indicated that it was not an Iraq operation but an al-Qaida terrorist
attack, out of Afghanistan.

It appeared that the U.S. military over time would capture or kill Osama bin
Laden in Afghanistan and effectively wipe out most of al-Qaida, which had
attacked America on 9/11. But CheneyBush abruptly pulled the U.S. forces from
Afghanistan and sent them to Iraq, a country that was no real danger to the U.S.
and its allies. (Addendum: By Fall of 2008, the Taliban regrouped and began
mounting more and and more attacks on U.S. and Western coalition forces in
Afghanistan and now once again control a good share of the country. If the U.S.
troops had not been precipitously pulled out and dispatched to Iraq, instead of
taking care of business in Afghanistan, today's reality there might well have
been significantly different.)

6. Unanswered 9/11 Questions. There still are numerous unanswered questions about the horrific events of September 11, 2001, mainly centered around: A. Why Bush sat there in the Florida school for seven minutes reading the "Pet Goat" book after he'd been informed by his chief of staff, after the second plane struck the World Trade Center, that "America is under attack," and why the Secret Service, as they are trained to do when the President is believed to be in danger, didn't surround him and get him the hell out of that classroom. The clear implication is that a delay-operation was in progress. B. Why NORAD didn't scramble its fighters in time to do anything. (Same implication). C. Whether World Trade Center Towers 1, 2 and 7 collapsed into their footprints as a result of fire/structural damage or from pre-set demolition charges (there are
reputable scientists on both sides of that one). D. How to explain all the "put"
options on American Airlines and United Airlines stocks just prior to the
attacks, clearly suggesting someone knew which airlines were going to be hijacked and was trying to profit from the pending attacks?

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Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked for two decades as a writer-editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (more...)
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