Five years after the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that shook the world, scepticism about the Bush administration account of what happened, as well as of the "War on Terror" in general, has increased exponentially. This has accompanied the emergence of all kinds of pet theories about what happened, some of them truly bizarre, others intriguing but vacuous, and perhaps a few based on compelling facts.
For someone not familiar with these theories, it's difficult to know where, and why, to start. And particular variants of 9/11 "truth", such as the "no planes" theory that the whole event was merely an audiovisual technicolor chimera concocted on our TV screens, don't help.
But is it all just a pile of lunacy? If only it was, I could sleep much better at night. Unfortunately, beneath the mountain of theories and speculations, there remain disturbing and persistent anomalies that have yet to be resolved. In this respect, the mainstream media's approach to criticism of the 9/11 official narrative has been wanting in the extreme, focusing largely on bizarre pet theories and fringe speculations, suggesting that anybody who has doubts about the official story must be delusional, dumb, or both.
Among those sceptical of the government's account of the 9/11 attacks, for instance, are the bereaved families of the 9/11 victims. "We hoped that our thousands of unanswered questions would be addressed and answered" said Lauri van Auken, whose husband Kenneth died in the attacks, in her opening address at an all-day Congressional hearing on 22nd July 2005 sponsored by Hon. Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Hon. Rep. Raul Grijalva, where I had the honour of testifying alongside a host of former intelligence officials, scholars and journalists. "Yet, incredibly, we have found that the Commission's definitive final report has actually yielded more questions than answers," continued van Auken on behalf of the 9/11 Families Steering Committee. She indicted the 9/11 Commission Report as just "some statements that truly insulted the intelligence of the American people, violated our loved ones' memories, and might end up hurting us one day soon."
Her characterisation of the Commission Report was the most damning condemnation that the 9/11 Families Steering Committee had ever made about the official inquiry process. Yet it was met with resounding silence from the American media, which refused to report the hearing in general, and ignored von Auken's heart-rending testimony on behalf of the 9/11 families
Collusion with the Enemy
In fact, overwhelming evidence confirms that al-Qaeda networks in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Asia-Pacific, have been penetrated and manipulated by Western intelligence services. Conspiraloonery? If only it was. As I argue in my 3rd book, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism (2005), the evidence for this is extremely well-documented, deriving from innumerable, credible intelligence sources. But why? Largely to destabilize regional environments to pave the way for new "security" policies that serve to protect not people, but foreign investors taking over regional markets -- especially markets with significant oil and gas deposits.
Although it is widely acknowledged that our governments used al-Qaeda to repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, after the Cold War our geostrategic connections with al-Qaeda did not end. Actually, they proliferated in surprising and disturbing ways. Indeed, one CIA analyst described the covert strategy in plain words to Swiss television journalist Richard Labeviere, currently chief editor at Radio France International: "The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia."
Areas where Western power continues to intersect, both directly and indirectly, with al-Qaeda networks around the world include Algeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Phillipines, Kosovo and Macedonia. So we're talking about the regions of North Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific and the Balkans. These are just a few examples from the public record, and documentary evidence is available in great detail in The War on Truth.
Al-Qaeda operatives as senior as Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's own right-hand man, have been recruited by the CIA. According to Yousef Bodansky, former Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism, reporting in Defense & Foreign Affairs: Strategic Policy, the al-Qaeda deputy leader was approached by a CIA emissary in November 1997, who offered him $50 million to protect US interests in the Balkans, a deal he apparently accepted. Ayman and his brother, Muhammed, personally oversaw the establishment of al-Qaeda training camps in Kosovo and Macedonia after this point according to Bosnia, Albanian, Yugoslav, Macedonian, American and European intelligence sources, to train the same people -- the KLA (now operating as the NLA) receiving advanced weapons and military training from the CIA and NATO.
The implication is dire, but it is one supported by other academics such as University of Ottawa professor Michel Chossudovsky and University of California (Berkeley) professor Peter Dale Scott: that al-Qaeda in many ways has continued to function throughout the post-Cold War period as an instrument of Western statecraft, a covert operations tool. The geostrategic arc of this policy across Central Asia, the Balkans and North Africa is charted more specifically in the latter one-third of my latest book, The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry (2006), which draws on some of my War on Truth research and expands on it directions more relevant for understanding the context of 7/7.
The thesis that Western power continues to connect with al-Qaeda in the pursuit of strategic and economic interests in the key regions mentioned, flies in the face of everything we are force-fed by the official narrative sponsored by governments and mass media. But consider the fact that my research in The War on Truth has been endorsed by people like Robert D. Steele, a retired Marine Corps infantry and intelligence veteran who worked as an operations officer in all four CIA Directorates. Apart from that, Steele was responsible for founding and setting-up the newest US intelligence facility, the Marine Corps Intelligence Center. He described The War on Truth as
"... consistent with both my years of experience as a clandestine case officer, and my extensive reading on national security misadventures. ... I find the author's speculation that the US, the UK, and France, among others, have been actively using terrorists, nurturing terrorists, as part of a geopolitical and economic strategy... to be completely credible."
Who Dunnit? "Er, Ahem, Don't Ask, We're Still Not Sure..."