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9-11 Inside Job and Neocons Hacked 2004


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September 11 Revisited
By  William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective 
Sunday 11 September 2005
... and the shock was subsonic
and the smoke was  deafening
between the setup and the punch line
cuz we were all on time  for work that day
we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then while  the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we  all held hands
and jumped into the sky ... 
- Ani DiFranco, "Self Evident"
I have a small glass of whiskey sitting beside me on  the desk as I write
this. I have no intention of drinking it - it is not even  noon yet, and despite
the notoriously dissolute reputation writers carry around,  I have no
intention of getting sloshed before the sun crosses the yardarm - but  I need it to be
there for the smell. The smell, you see, is my memory trigger  for September
11. I was teaching that day, and shepherded a building filled with  children
through their own terror while stuffing mine down into my stomach, and  walked
out of school with my brave face still on, and stopped on the way home  for a
bottle of Bushmills, and sat down in front of my television with a glass,  and
poured, and watched, and wept.
The smell still reminds me, and so here sits the  glass as I look back down a
blood-soaked corridor of four years gone. I remember  the day before that
awful morning, Monday September 10th, looking forward to the  Newsweek cover
story that was going to put the bricks to the woeful Bush v. Gore  decision. I
remember scanning the headlines of virtually every major publication  in the
country that day, all of which had nothing but hard words for the wild  boys in
the White House. I remember thinking that things had been pretty bad,  but maybe
it was all about to turn around. I remember thinking that the country  was
finally waking up to a hard fact: this administration was thrashing around  in
the dark, and has no idea what it was doing.
And then, the smell of whiskey. Suddenly, mystically,  the Bush
administration could do no wrong, they walked on water, they were the  exemplar of all that
was good and strong and righteous. The flags came out. The  double-barreled
blast of "How dare you criticize the president at a time like  this!" and "No
one could have expected such a thing to happen!" drowned out  anything but
bullhorn blather, and we were off to the races. The bodies started  to drop, the
press lined up in stalwart support behind the administration and  its policies,
and a shroud of fearful stupidity descended over our public  discourse.
Anyone with a question, a concern or a critique was wrapped in  plastic sheeting
and duct tape, smothered by everyone's knee-jerk need to cling  to an image of
strength so as to cleanse their eyes and minds of what they had  seen on that
sun-blessed Tuesday morning.
We've had four years to let this all cook, and the  cake coming out of our
collective mental oven reeks of failure. The  merry-go-round has rolled and
rolled, and as we look things over after four long  years, we are finding
ourselves right back at the spot I found myself on that  innocent Monday four years
gone: this administration is thrashing around in the  dark, and had no idea what
it is doing.
Perspective these days is a beast with damned sharp  teeth. Four years ago,
we got kicked down onto our knees. In the aftermath, all  we heard was that
there was no way such an awful attack could have been stopped,  so there was no
fault to be found. Four years later, we hear the same kinds of  excuses coming
from our elected leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane  Katrina. I'm
waiting for the moment when some Bush-bot gets on television and  says that
criticizing the president at a time like this only strengthens the  resolve of the
Here's the thing, though. Katrina was the single most  anticipated natural
disaster in the history of the country. Report after report,  study after study,
everything and everyone for years and years said that a  hurricane making a
direct hit upon New Orleans would flood the city out of  existence and kill a
lot of people. The National Weather Service dipped into  dire poetics to try to
warn all of officialdom that the ram was coming. Yet  despite all this, the
catastrophe happened anyway.
Where is the parallel to September 11? Let's see.
In 1993, a $150,000 study was undertaken by the  Pentagon to investigate the
possibility of airplanes being used as bombs. A  draft document of this was
circulated throughout the Pentagon, the Justice  Department, and to the Federal
Emergency Management Agency.
In 1994, a disgruntled Federal Express employee  invaded the cockpit of a
DC10 with the intention of crashing it into a company  building.
Again in 1994, a pilot crashed a small airplane into  a tree on the White
House grounds, narrowly missing the building itself.
Also in 1994, an Air France flight was hijacked by  members of a terrorist
organization called the Armed Islamic Group, who intended  to crash the plane
into the Eiffel Tower .
The 1993 Pentagon report was followed up in September  1999 by a report
titled "The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism." This report  was prepared for
the American intelligence community by the Federal Research  Division, an
adjunct of the Library of Congress. The report stated, "Suicide  bombers belonging
to Al Qaida's martyrdom battalion could crash-land an aircraft  packed with
high explosives into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the CIA, or  the White
Ram zi Yousef was one of the planners and participants  in the first bombing
of the World Trade Center in 1993. Yousef's right-hand man,  Abdul Hakim Murad,
was captured and interrogated in 1995. During that  interrogation, Murad
described a detailed plot to hijack airplanes and use them  as weapons of
terrorism. The primary plan was to commandeer eleven commercial  planes and blow them
up over the Pacific Ocean . The secondary plan was to hijack  several planes,
which would be flown into CIA headquarters, the World Trade   Center , the Sears
, the White House and a variety of other targets.
Ram zi Yousef eluded capture until his final  apprehension in Pakistan . During
his 1997 trial, the plot described by Murad  resurfaced. FBI agents testified
in the Yousef trial that, "The plan targeted  not only the CIA, but other
U.S. government buildings in Washington , including  the Pentagon."
Abdul Hakim Murad described plans to use hijacked  commercial airplanes as
weapons in 1995. Ram zi Yousef's trial further exposed  the existence of these
plans in 1997. Two reports prepared by the American  government, one from 1993
and another from 1999, further detailed again the  existence and danger of
these plots. The Federal Express employee's hijacking  attempt in 1994, the
attempted airplane attack on the White House in 1994, and  the hijacking of the Air
France flight in 1994 by terrorists intending to fly  the plane into the
Eiffel Tower , provided a glaring underscore to the data.
FBI agents in Phoenix issued a warning in the summer  of 2001 about
suspicious Arab men receiving aviation training in American flight  schools. The
warning was never followed up. An agent in the Arizona field office  commented in
his case notes that Zacarias Moussaoui, arrested in August after  suspicious
activity at one of these flight schools, seemed like a man capable of  flying
airplanes into the World Trade Center .
Newspapers in Germany , France , Russia and London   reported in the months
before September 11th a blizzard of warnings delivered to  the Bush administration
from all points on the compass. The German intelligence  service, BND, warned
American and Israeli agencies that terrorists were planning  to hijack
commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to attack important  American targets.
Egypt warned of a similar plot to use airplanes to attack Bush  during the G-8
summit in Genoa in June of 2001. This warning was taken so  seriously that
anti-aircraft missiles were deployed around Columbus Airport in  Italy .
In August of 2001, Russian intelligence services  notified the CIA that 25
terrorist pilots had been trained for suicide missions,  and Putin himself
confirmed that this warning was delivered "in the strongest  possible terms"
specifically regarding threats to airports and government  buildings. In that same
month, the Israeli security agency Mossad issued a  warning to both the FBI and
CIA that up to 200 bin Laden followers were planning  a major assault on
America , aimed at vulnerable targets. The Los Angeles Times  later confirmed via
unnamed U.S. officials that the Mossad warnings had been  received.
On August 6, 2001, George W. Bush received his  Presidential Daily Briefing.
The briefing described active plots to attack the  United States by Osama bin
Laden. The word "hijacking" appeared in that  briefing. Shortly after this
briefing, George W. Bush departed to Texas for a  month-long vacation.
"No one could have anticipated an attack like this,"  right? Nonsense. Just
as with the hurricane, the warnings were there but the  disaster happened
anyway. The attacks became enveloped in this asinine  mysticism, as if they were
magic, as if they were some kind of unstoppable bolt  from Heaven itself. This
was politically expedient, and was also the product of  a stunned populace that
didn't want to even begin to consider the possibility  that their leadership
could screw up so catastrophically. In fact, the attacks  had been
anticipated, feared, described before they ever happened, and warned  against. The
attacks should have been stopped, should never have happened in the  first place.
Such is the only available conclusion to be reached once the  mystical nonsense
is ripped away.
The magical qualities attributed to 9/11 helped the  Bush administration to
pursue what has since become yet another colossal and  bloody disaster: the
invasion of Iraq . Had the proper perspective been in place,  no one in their
right mind would have allowed these fools to pursue an attack of  this magnitude
after screwing up on 9/11 so badly. Like September 11, like  Katrina, this was
a scenario that had oodles and oodles of people warning that  chaos was in the
offing. Like September 11, like Katrina, the Bush  administration blew right
through the warnings to do as it pleased.
One such warning came from me, in a book published in  August of 2002 titled
"War on Iraq - What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know."  In that book, I
said, "The case for war against Iraq has not been made. This is  a fact. It is
doubtful in the extreme that Saddam Hussein has retained any  functional aspect
of the chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons programs so  thoroughly
dismantled by the United Nations weapons inspectors who worked  tirelessly in Iraq
for seven years. This is also a fact. The idea that Hussein  has connections to
fundamentalist Islamic terrorists is laughable - he is a  secular leader who
has worked for years to crush fundamentalist Islam within  Iraq, and if he
were to give weapons of any kind to al Qaeda, they would use  those weapons on
him first."
"The coalition that came together for the Gulf War is  nonexistent today,"
continued the book, "and a vast majority of the  international community stands
furiously against another war on Iraq. If Bush  decides unilaterally to
attack, he will be in violation of international law. If  Bush does attack Iraq , he
will precipitate the exact conflict of cultures  between the West and Islam
that Osama bin Laden was hoping for when his agents  flew three planes into the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon. An attack on  Iraq could bring about a
wider world war America cannot afford, and that a vast  majority of Americans do
not desire. These are facts."
Later in the book, in the section dedicated to an  interview with former UN
weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Ritter said, "This is  truly becoming the clash
of cultures Osama bin Laden wanted. That's one reason  he attacked us: he
wanted to turn this into a war between the West and Islam.  Almost everyone said
that's ridiculous. But the United States is turning this  into a war between
the West and Islam. And we won't win. It's not that we'll  suddenly be
occupied, but we'll lose by not winning. It could be a humiliating  defeat for the
United States , a significant defeat that could mean the beginning  of the
retrograde of American influence around the world. It could be  devastating to our
"We can kill more efficiently than anyone else in the  world," continued
Ritter. "The question is, what will constrain us? When you  start talking about
urban warfare and digging people out of a built-up area  loaded with civilians,
your options are very limited as to what you can do.  Understand that we will
also take considerable casualties. Our death toll will  be in the high
hundreds, if not thousands."
That book is three years old now. The warnings within  remain eerily
accurate, and mine was but one voice among a large chorus that  included Mr. Ritter

and a whole slew of very smart, experienced people. Despite  these warnings,
Bush blundered into Iraq anyway. One thousand, eight hundred  ninety-six American
soldiers have died there. One hundred and one other soldiers  from the
"Coalition" have died there. Thousands and thousands more have been  horribly
wounded. Because we don't do body counts, we don't know how many Iraqis  have been
killed and wounded, but the most conservative estimates put the toll  in the
tens of thousands. The invasion has cost hundreds of billions of dollars,  and
there is no end in sight.
Perspective is a hell of a thing. Perhaps now that we have Iraq under our
belt, perhaps now that we have Katrina under our belt, perhaps now that we have
had a few unspeakably costly lessons on just how wretched, stupid, useless,
blind, willfully ignorant, dangerous, petulant, frightening, narrow-minded,
foolish and ultimately deranged this administration is, perhaps now we can
look at September 11 for what it really was: just another Bush administration
failure that came with another massive body count.
Hell with it. I'm drinking the whiskey. Here's to you, America . May you
finally wise up.