9/11 Skepticism

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"September
11 is a defining moment in our history, and it's certainly a defining
moment in my presidency, and the question is whether or not we learned
the lessons," the War President told Rush Limbaugh the other
day (AP dispatch, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 1,
2004, p. 13A). Yes, the treachery of that day three years ago continues
to gnaw away at the nation. But to draw enlightened lessons, we've
got to know what really happened. The problem, to paraphrase Democritus,
is that the Bush administration has buried truth at the bottom of
the sea.

Nowhere
does this hunger to know burn more intensely than in New York City,
site of the worst devastation. Despite a freshly polished conspiracy
theory displayed in The 9/11 Commission Report, released
five weeks ago and selling in the millions, doubt about the official
tale is growing rather than waning. A new Zogby
International poll shows that half of New York City residents

believe some government leaders "knew in advance that attacks
were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously
failed to act." We might expect this eye-brow-raising opinion
from Paris, France, or Munich, Germany, but are surprised when such
skepticism comes from New York City. Conducted on the eve of the
Republican National Convention, an even larger number of New Yorkers,
two of three, want Congress or New York's attorney general to open
up a new investigation into the "unanswered questions"
surrounding the attacks. The poll was sponsored by 911truth.org,
a group hostile to the official account, but with the reputation
of Zogby polling, there's not much reason to doubt the survey's
accuracy.

Bush
and the Republican party invoke 9/11 for personal profit, playing
the fear card daily, but the downside for these fools is that it
fans the thirst for real information about what happened on 9/11.
True, the war party has the silent cooperation of a self-censored
mainstream media, but that won't be near enough to carry the day
in the information age. Excellent investigations are headed our
way and will stir the pot to boiling. To name two, David Ray Griffin,
the author of The
New Pearl Harbor
, soon will publish a new book, The 9/11
Commission's Omissions and Distortions: A Critique of the Zelikow
Report, and journalist/activist Michael C. Ruppert will publish
his shocking Crossing
the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the
Age of Oil
.

The
9/11 Commission can't quell skepticism about what happened three
years ago for three major reasons: First, the event was just too
big, too important, to accept a slipshod account and then forget
about it. Too many big consequences flow from 9/11 daily, not least
of which is the bogus "war on terror." Second, the Bush
government has boosted suspicion by getting so darned much benefit
out of the whole deal. Where would this bunch be without the horrors
of that day? Cui bono?, after all, is the linchpin
of criminal investigation. Third, the Commission left way too many
unanswered questions and avoided too much evidence.

The
failure of the 9/11 Commission to investigate diligently and tell
the truth was pathetically predictable. In the Reagan years the
cliché was that "personnel is policy" and that's
why Bush negotiated for the power to appoint the Commission leadership.
Result? By the standards of a court of law, all of the top personnel
on the Commission would have been dismissed from the 9/11 case for
cause – conflicts of interest – rather than serve as judges to hear
testimony on the crime of the century. Rather than being impartial
and independent, the key players were "mobbed up," as
a prosecutor might say.

  • Thomas
    Kean, appointed chairman of the Commission by Bush, is a "moderate"
    Republican politician and member of the board of directors and
    shareholder of Amerada Hess, which is involved in the Hess-Delta
    joint venture with Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia, reportedly owned
    by the [Khalid] Bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans. This company
    participated in planning a Trans-Afghan oil pipeline just before
    9/11, and 9/11 provided the basis to invade Afghanistan, install
    a puppet government headed by a former Unocal employee and place
    military bases along the proposed route. Khalid
    Bin Mahfouz is Saudi Arabia's largest banker and former senior
    executive with the legendary organized crime bank BCCI
    .
    Clients include the Saudi Royal family and the Saudi Bin Ladin
    group of companies. Mahfouz was linked to George W. Bush when
    he was in the oil business and in the BCCI scandal, as well
    as to Bush's father and the American investment firm, Carlyle
    Group.
  • Lee Hamilton,
    vice chair (not co-chair), is a Democratic politician who has
    always sought "bipartisanship." He chaired the House
    committee to investigate (cover up) the Iran/Contra affair in
    1987 and performed a similar service on the House Committee
    to investigate the "October surprise" in which the
    Reagan-Bush campaign team had secretly negotiated with the Iranian
    revolutionary government to release the American hostages after
    the November presidential election in exchange for future weapons
    shipments to the Iranian government. The always-reliable Hamilton
    couldn't find any wrong-doing in either investigation.
  • Philip
    Zelikow, appointed by Bush as executive director, served in
    Bush I with Condoleezza Rice, co-authored a 1997 book with the
    current national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, was on the
    transition team to advise the incoming Bush II administration
    on terror-related intelligence, and served on the Bush II foreign
    intelligence advisory board after 9/11 until appointment to
    the Commission. Zelikow admitted multiple contacts with Karl
    Rove, top political adviser in the White House, prior to appointment.
    Victims'
    families repeatedly called for his resignation and limitations
    on his responsibilities
    .

Talk
about conflicts of interest! There's
dirty laundry throughout the Commissioners
. Only former Georgia
Senator Max Clelland had the integrity to resign when he saw what
was coming, calling the Commission a "sham."

Knowing
the personnel of the Commission, its abysmal Report is no surprise.
It did its best for the White House, not the nation. Michael
C. Ruppert is one of the more radical 9/11 researcher-critics around
.
Let's follow his logic for a bit. He says, put aside the acrimonious
debate over the physical evidence about what really caused the twin
towers, WTC building 7, and the west wall of the Pentagon to collapse;
put aside obstructionism by FBI headquarters, the mysterious U.S.
military lay down on 9/11, the nonchalant behavior of Bush and the
Secret Service on 9/11, the exploded airliner over Pennsylvania,
Saudi flights out of the country, the skullduggery of the Pakistani
secret service and the Israeli Mossad and a thousand other gaps
in the official theory.

Instead,
focus on the suspects. If it can be demonstrated via incriminating,
irrefutable evidence that the suspects had means, motive and opportunity,
then we're on our way to criminals convicted in the court of truth.
Ruppert says that the pivotal evidence that opens up the case and
exposes the government conspirators is the secretive yet undisputed
air war games that were going on the morning of 9/11. These games,
conducted to protect against hijacked airliners as well as a Russian
attack, included Vigilant Guardian, Northern Guardian, Vigilant
Warrior, and Tripod II. All were reported on by major press organizations
relying on quotes from participating military personnel, as well
as NORAD press releases.

Now
prepare yourself a jolt: "Ruppert's
new book
will name Vice President Richard Cheney as the prime
suspect in the mass murders of 9/11 and will establish that, not
only was he a planner in the attacks, but also that on the day of
the attacks he was running a completely separate Command, Control
and Communications system which was superseding any orders being
issued by the FAA, the Pentagon, or the White House Situation Room."

Can
this be right? Preposterous? Traitorous? Is Ruppert just another
wild-eyed crackpot? I don't know, but at least he's not "mobbed
up." That's more than the Commissioners can say. By its incredible
behavior before, during and after 9/11, the government brought this
spreading disbelief on itself. The issue-shirking Commission Report
just means that more and more citizens realize the official account
is a lie. Like New Yorkers, I'm still looking for truth. Based on
Ruppert's
address to the elite Commonwealth Club of San Francisco
, I might
find some in his new book. Maybe it can prove its appalling thesis,
maybe not. We should be able to check out its purported facts. As
John Milton wrote, "Who ever knew truth put to the worse in
a free and open encounter?" (H.L. Mencken, A New Dictionary
of Quotations, 1989, p. 1221).

September
7, 2004

Morgan
Reynolds [send him mail],
retired professor of economics at Texas A&M University and former
chief economist, US Department of Labor, lives in Hot Springs Village,
Arkansas.

Morgan
Reynolds Archives

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