Friday, March 11, 2011
by Staff Report
The Daily Bell
A controversial congressional hearing Thursday on the radicalization of
Muslim Americans touched on sensitive questions involving terrorism and tolerance
a decade after the 9/11 attacks. At times emotional and theatrical, the four-hour
session of the House Homeland Security Committee included calls from moderate
Muslims for support in overcoming extremists seeking to indoctrinate their children,
as well as protests from Democratic legislators who complained the hearing unfairly
implicated all Muslims for the criminal acts of a small minority. In the end,
committee Chairman Peter King (left), R-New York, said the hearing that generated
widespread media coverage “actually went a lot easier than it could have.” He
… promised additional hearings in coming months, with the next perhaps focusing
on the radicalization of Muslims in U.S. prisons. — CNN
Dominant Social Theme: Don’t trust the Muslims.
Free-Market Analysis: Yesterday’s hearing on radicalization
of Muslim Americans brings up a larger perspective regarding what is going on
in America and a close look into Western-style democracy. The incessant harping
on “terrorist Islam” as presented in these US congressional hearings (see above
article excerpt) does seem to indicate a trend regarding America’s — in fact
the entire West’s — descent into authoritarianism, driven by hysteria over
a religion that many of its worshipers (ironically) conflate with “peace.”
Peter King is promising more hearings on Islamic terror and one has no reason
to doubt they will occur. King has come under attack for these hearings, which
some believe are deliberately whipping up hysteria against Muslims, but he has
branded such accusations as false and baseless. In fact, ever since 9/11, King
has been voicing concerns about Muslim fundamentalism and even wrote a novel
about an Al Qaeda penetration in Long Island that resulted in a string of bombings.
The protagonist of the book, a blunt, Irish congressman, investigates and eventually
exposes the plot.
There is about King — and certainly about the larger military industrial
complex — a sense that they are manufacturing an industry as much as they
are responding to legitimate threats. One has to go all the way back to 9/11
to piece together the genesis is what is taking place today. In this article
we shall try.
9/11 is widely held to be the product of a band of Islamic terrorists who flew
large planes into the World Trade Towers. But certain members of the 9/11 Commission
itself have virtually disavowed the official narrative. The Commission’s lead
counsel, Rutgers’s Law Dean John Farmer, even wrote a book, The Ground Truth:
The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11 that accused the Washington
intelligence and military establishment along with the Bush administration of
lying serially to the Commission about many aspects of 9/11.
There are so many anomalies and questions about the attacks that it is difficult
to know where to begin. Three obvious — clear-cut — issues stand
out. The first has to do with the calls made from the planes. Initially, the
FBI said the calls were made from cell phones but it eventually emerged that
the cell phone technology of the day was not viable from the altitudes at which
the calls were supposedly made. The FBI then explained that the calls were made
from phones installed within the planes themselves. Unfortunately, more research
eventually showed that the planes in question did not have the phone technology.
To date, there is no good explanation how passenger phone calls — widely
reported at the time — took place. Neither cell phones nor in-plane phones
Then there is the issue of the Afghanistan cave “bunkers” from where
Bin Laden is said to have plotted and carried out the attacks of 9/11. Donald
Rumsfeld conducted several interviews on national TV networks in which he provided
colorful schematics of six-story caves complete with elaborate technology communications
gear and even various high-tech vehicles stored in subterranean garages. Videos
of these presentations were on Youtube.com, though they appear to have been
taken down. More importantly, not a single one of these elaborate cave bunkers
were ever discovered despite months of searches by US soldiers in Afghanistan.
Apparently, they never existed.
Finally, the FBI provided descriptions of the terrorists as well as their names
but it later turned out that many of the identifications were incorrect. Individuals
living in Europe and the Middle East came forward to complain that they had
been incorrectly identified. The FBI admitted as much but it is still not clear
who the terrorists actually were given the confusion about their IDs and the
initial misinformation. Photos of the terrorists that were released showed them
boarding a plane, but it later turned out that the plane being boarded was in
Maine, not Boston, which was a later connection.
These three issues are only a fragment of hundreds of anomalies — questionable
information and misinformation — that continue to plague the “official” 9/11
narrative. It has been reported that up to 70 percent of American adults would
be in favor of a new commission — a non partisan one — that would attempt
to clarify what was obviously a botched job so that some real closure can be
achieved about the 9/11 narrative.
It us unfortunate that 9/11, in all its confusion, remains at the heart of
the changes that have taken in place in the United States. Even though the narrative
as it is currently constituted has been disavowed by members of the Commission
themselves, the conclusions have been used to justify the virtual erection of
a police state in America that has suspended civil rights and created a burgeoning
intelligence-industry complex dedicated to spying on American citizens.
Since the 9/11 narrative itself remains unclear, everything that has flowed
from it, including the endless Afghanistan war and even Homeland Security, must
be seen as built on a shifting foundation of unreconciled facts and even misinformation.
Rather than seeking to clarify issues that should be made clear for historical
purposes as well as policy ones, federal legislators like Peter King march further
afield with investigations into “Islamic terrorism.”
King’s point is that the Muslim community is not engaging forcefully enough
with the FBI and other policing agencies that are trying to keep citizens safe
from a growing Islamic threat. But here, too, we would argue that the points
on which he seeks clarity are not the ones that need to be clarified initially.
There is still a good deal of confusion about what Al Qaeda is and where it
came from. It has been argued that it was an initial creation of the CIA during
the Afghanistan fight against USSR occupation and that the name simply means
“the list.” Bin Laden himself is said to have denied involvement in
9/11 and to this day he has not formally been accused of involvement in 9/11
by US law enforcement.
With so much confusion over basic facts surrounding 9/11 and additional questions
about the fundamentalist group that supposedly sponsored the attacks, it is
no wonder that King’s hearing on Thursday spawned a sharp backlash. What was
unspoken in many of the complaints was the bottom-line distrust in the central
narrative of 9/11 itself.
If the official story is riddled with logical inconsistencies, then one would
believe that King might use some of the Congressional resources at his disposal
to clarify some of the remaining questions regarding that fateful day and those
behind it. Instead, he treats the narrative as a given — using it as a
template and touchstone on which to launch his larger concerns about Muslim
Conclusion: Without taking steps to clarify the initial narrative,
King runs the risk of looking exploitative rather than genuinely concerned.
This is probably the way that some in the Muslim community see it and an unspoken
reason as to why the hearings caused such a public furor. There still is no
clarity to aspects of the official story and everything that has come thereafter
must be seen as questionable if not suspect as well. This is the type of democracy
King wants the Islamic community to embrace?