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Summary of Adam Curtis Power of Nightmares Part 3

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The Power of Nightmares Part 3 by Adam Curtis - "The Shadows in the Cave"

"The final episode addresses the actual rise of al-Qaeda. Curtis argues that, after their failed revolutions, bin Laden and Zawahiri had little or no popular support, let alone a serious complex organisation of terrorist............After the American invasion of Afghanistan fails to uproot the alleged terrorist network, the Neo-Conservatives focus inwards, searching unsuccessfully for terrorist sleeper cells in America. They then extend the war on "terror" to a war against general perceived evils with the invasion of Iraq in 2003."

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Summary of Power of Nightmares - "The Shadows in the Cave"

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By Pal Simon

This section repeats much of what is shown in Parts 1 and 2, and generally the newest observations are as follows:

In 2001 in Federal Court in New York Americans were prosecuting the four bombers on charges related to the simultaneous bombings at two American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 7, 1998 which killed 224 people and wounded thousands. Prosecutors wanted to be able to establish the existence of a large organization of terror so that any of their leaders could be tried in absentia for the crimes of the member followers, (as was the law of case for Mafia prosecutions.) But bin-Laden had no large "criminal organization so they invented one for him. They got help for this from Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl who was to become a witness in the case.

In an interview on this video, Jason Burke (See note 1) said of Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl that he was a Sudanese ex-militant who had no credibility but was taken up by the prosecutors as a key prosecution witness and given a great deal of taxpayer money.

He said they got al-Fadl and a number of other witnesses that were willing to make a case from "raw material" and to turn this into testimony that would fit the needs which the prosecutors told them they required. This turns into an extremely influential "first al-Qaeda myth." Curtis said that "In fact, Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl, having stolen money from bin-Laden, was actually on the run. In return for his evidence Americans gave him witness protection and hundreds of thousands of dollars."

The Defense lawyer Sam Schmidt stated in interview that he believed Al-Fadl fabricated much of his testimony to meet the needs of prosecutors.

Curtis said the evidence produced by prosecutors painted a mythical picture of a huge organized terror network under bin-Laden, who had also given this network the name "al-Qaeda." But the reality was that al-Qaeda was not a huge organization, only a "loose association of dissident groups who planned their own operations and looked to bin-Laden for funding. He was not their commander. There was also no evidence that bin-Laden had ever used the term al-Qaeda until after September 11th, when he realized this was the term Americans had given them." And Brock in interview agreed and reiterated that there is no such organization called al-Qaeda with sleeper cells all over the world that obeys commands from a central figure or organization, spreading its tentacles out.... this "simply does not exist." And yet, now having al-Queda recognized as a world wide criminal organization, the government could prosecute any members and commanders of such an organization anywhere around the world in the same way they could legally do so for a mafia member. (See Notes 2 and 3.)

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Just as the neocons had exaggerated the will and power of the Soviet Union to impose tyranny upon the world, they also exaggerated the power and extent of a network of terrorists attempting to impose their own tyranny on the world. In reality the Soviet Union was on its last legs, collapsing from within, and jihadists were, at the same time, losing influence in the world. And yet, the idea of neocons was that it was to be and should be "America's destiny to fight an epic battle against the forces of evil." Vincent Cannistraro, Head of Counter-terrorism CIA 1988-90 in interview also agreed on this position.

This myth became a reality in the minds of almost everyone on September 11, 2001 when the attack on the World Trade Center made the pervasive al-Queda threat seem even more real in the minds of Americans.

Curtis states that the actual "brainchild" of the WTO attack was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [See Notes 3 and 4 Motive] who had gone to Osama in search of funds for the project. Before the attack George W. Bush publicly indicated he did not believe in going into other countries to force them to "live as we live."

But neocons, "in the wake of the panic" of World Trade Center, blamed the vast network of al-Queda for the crime".and Bush's rhetoric publicly changed. After the attack, he spoke of al-Queda, with the words "mafia as the terror and al-Queda the crime"". the work of "thousands of terrorists in more than 60 countries," and that the vast terror network recruited terrorists from all over the world, "brought to camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror."

Curtis says that this was the event that brought the neoconservatives back to power in America. Where Bush's administrators, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld had previously been ignored during the 1990s, (especially during the Clinton years) they now were able to show evidence of their predictions. These neocons had been working under the Reagan Administration 20 years before, and were now again appointed within the administration of George W.

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Palsimon, formally educated in journalism & law, is an independent progressive activist & writer, focusing on guarding integrity of media & government. (.)

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