By David Kubiak, May 27, 2004:
The 9/11 truth community and our democracy are facing a critical season. The Kean Commission’s public hearings have ended with a whimper – and unuttered concern about issues like the 67 “routine scrambles” that characterized our air defense and FAA/NORAD collaboration the year before June, ’01, or the $100,000 wired to the hijackers in August by Pakistan intelligence, or the three different air war games being coincidentally held on 9/11, or the stupefying repetition of the myth: “Planes as missiles?! Who could have imagined?” The point is that the next few months will decide what, if any, September 11th truth will ever be revealed for many years to come.
The 9/11 community and our democracy are facing a critical season. The Commission’s public hearings have ended with a whimper – and unuttered concern about loud issues like the 67 “routine scrambles” that characterized our air defense and FAA/NORAD collaboration the year before June, ’01, and the $100,000 wired to the hijackers in August by Pakistan intelligence, and the three different air war games being coincidentally held on 9/11, and the stupefying repetition of “Planes as missiles?!? Who could have guessed?” surprise, and, well, you get the drift.
The point is that the next six months will decide what, if any, September 11th truth will ever be revealed for many years to come.
Worst Case Scenario (and current odds-on favorite in Vegas and DC)
The final 9/11 Commission hearing and lingering questions quickly fell victim to the media attention span squeeze. Worsening conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Court TV war zone here at home again reclaimed the headlines as 9/11 is again demoted to “been there, done that” back page news.
The July release of 9/11 Report will revive the story for a brief 2~3 day swan song. The Report will doubtless dish out some harsh but impersonal criticism and then itself come under withering attack. The 9/11truth crew will assail the Commission for asking too little, and the Limbaugh/Rove right will damn it for going too far.
Given the relative media power, these charges and countercharges will appear to balance and cancel each other out — just like a cable news holler fest or USA Today debate. These conflicting critiques will then be labeled — and neutralized — as just another partisan shootout. Kean and Hamilton will tour the talk shows chuckling that if both sides are attacking them, they must have done it right. The White House will spotlight bits incriminating Clinton era players and offer fulsome endorsements of the suggested reforms (at least those that give Ashcroft and Ridge more powers, bread and guns).
And thus 9/11 will whisper away, overtaken by celebrity scandals, war screams and/or the street hoots and stage noise from the Dem and GOP coronations.
And that, if our rulers have their way, will effectively be that, and the end of media and public interest in 9/11 questions for a long, long time. They will simply fade into the blur of just-so-yesterday news like Enron, Halliburton fraud, and Bush’s AWOL stint.
Dismal prognostication? You bet, but likely to a fault. Yet there is another very different course reality could take.
The thousands still hungry for 9/11’s answers, those who feel the Commission has caved, and those who fear our last best chance to expose the truth might slip silently away — all now face an acid test. Do they let 9/11 slide into silence and shadow like the long smothered truth of Pearl Harbor, JFK, Iran-Contra and the USS Liberty? Or do they finally rise up and shout “Enough!” as if we still deserved a say in determining our future and our past?
Indeed, there is another sound track possible — a crescendo of awakened 9/11 voices rising across the land choired by anti-war legions, fiscal conservatives, civil libertarians and the abandoned populists of Kucinichville, Dean-world and Buchanan-land.
To keep this history alive until all questions are answered the 911 Truth coalition has launched a Summer of Truth campaign. The campaign will build upon the findings of their International 9/11 Inquiries in San Francisco (3/26-28/04) and Toronto (5/25-30/04 — http://911inquiry.org), over 80 hours of taped testimony, and thousands of pages of documented evidence. Together this material presents a compelling prima facie case that grave crimes were committed before, during, and after the 9/11 attacks, crimes that must finally be exposed and explored.
At minimum they currently have proof that high-ranking officials within the government had more than enough forewarnings and resources to prevent 9/11, but inexplicably declined. This evidence substantiates probable cause charges ranging from gross dereliction of duty and criminal negligence right up to foreknowledge, passive abetment, and complicity.
But who will bring these charges? And in what forum? Should the next step in this quest for justice be toward a grand jury, an impeachment hearing, a People’s Truth Tribunal, or the International Criminal Court? Where should we as a people take a probable cause case of this magnitude to have its probability verified?
This is the long overdue national debate that we now propose to start.
THE BASIC ARGUMENT
“Facts when justly arranged interpret themselves.”
— Lincoln biographer Albert J. Beveridge
If we rightfully confront 9/11 as a still unsolved crime, a commonsense rural prosecutor might lay out the case this way.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, we shall present a range of suspects here – some who hijacked planes to kill our people and some who let them through. The hijackers are now all dead. Their sponsors and accomplices are not. The army and CIA are supposedly searching for the foreign perpetrators abroad, but given this government’s history of lies, inexplicable negligence and investigative obstruction, uncovering their domestic accomplices is largely up to us. The 9/11 Commission repeatedly promised it would not “point fingers” and sadly it has kept its word. It has even ignored the scores of vital questions the victim families have been asking since day one. With your help, we intend to finally answer those questions and demand accountability.
We will present abundant testimony and evidence indicating that powerful players within this government had unquestionable motive, means and opportunity to allow these attacks to succeed, and have profited enormously — both personally and politically — in their wake.
The following is a very minimal preview of the many facts we shall present. It sketches out the flow of our argument and substantiates probable cause and our prosecution of this case. (For the record, “probable cause exists where known facts and circumstances, of a reasonably trustworthy nature, are sufficient to justify a man of reasonable caution or prudence in the belief that a crime has been committed.” — Draper v. U.S. 1959)
MOTIVE ISSUES: “GO FIND ME A WAY” TO WAR
- In September 2000 the Bush administration’s premier think tank, the Project for a New America Century, published a bold plan to steeply boost defense spending, gain control of Iraq and other oil-rich lands, and assert military dominance over every region in the world. They called it “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” and candidly admitted that selling this agenda would take forever without a “cataclysmic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor.”(We presume this view was accurate and recognized as such by many concerned. If a new Pearl Harbor was deemed necessary what degree of complicity or benign neglect would be required to bring it about?)
- According to Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, during his first Cabinet meeting in January 2001, the president told them to “go find me a way” to invade Iraq, and oil concession maps were circulated and discussed.(Many in power saw an Iraq invasion as a sure-fire deal. If they succeeded immediately as promised, they would control world oil, bolster Sharon, and have an indomitable Mideast garrison on the ground. If they failed and were fiercely resisted, their bloody counterattacks and collateral damage would outrage the entire Muslim world and create such a fearsome new enemy that Americans would never ever question the bloated military budget again.The critical importance of the 9/11 Pearl Harbor in justifying this administration’s foreign wars and domestic repression cannot be overstated. As recently as last month Republican language-smith Frank Luntz issued a secret advisory memo entitled “Communicating the Principles of Prevention & Protection in the War on Terror” to all important GOP officials and candidates. This revealing document baldly states “WHAT MATTERS MOST — #1: ‘9/11 changed everything’ is the context by which everything follows. No speech about homeland security or Iraq should begin without a reference to 9/11.” — www.pbs.org/now/politics/luntz.html)
MEANS ISSUES: PREPARING UNPREPAREDNESS
- Having been warned of escalating Al Qaeda threats by the outgoing Clinton team, VP Cheney took control of the Counterterrorism task force, but never convened a single meeting until September 2001.
- Despite over 23 Al Qaeda/terrorism warnings from eleven foreign governments from May to August 2001 (aka the “Summer of Threat”), the President refused to meet with Richard Clark, his chief counterterrorism advisor, who has also testified that this White House reduced the priority of terrorism issues to a footnote concern.
- Several FBI officials systematically quashed field agent reports and Al Qaeda investigations before 9/11 and were then promoted afterward. FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley testified that Minneapolis field agents probing Zacarias Moussaoui faced aggressive obstruction and the Phoenix office trying to track Al Qaeda flight students bitterly joked bin Laden “must have a mole” at headquarters. When briefed on increasing “Summer of Threat” concerns by FBI Deputy Director Thomas Pickard, Attorney General Ashcroft told him he “did not want to hear about terrorism anymore.”
- In June of 2001, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld rewrote the Standard Operating Procedures for NORAD’s response to hijackers and other air emergencies (which had been in place since the ’70s. allowed the FAA and NORAD to initiate interceptions within minutes on their own authority, and had worked flawlessly 67 times during the previous year). His new rules required that whatever the FAA alert NORAD jets should not be scrambled without first consulting him.
- On August 6, 2001 CIA chief George Tenet gave the president a security briefing entitled “Bin Laded Determined to Strike in the US” that mentioned agents already in country and hijacking concerns. Bush ordered no emergency measures, requested no follow-up, and continued to vacation at his ranch the rest of the month.
- On Aug. 9, three days after Bush received the CIA warning above, Ashcroft distributed a chart titled “Strategic Plan – Attorney General Priorities” inside the Justice Department. It listed seven goals and 36 objectives under them. Thirteen of the objectives were highlighted and explained as “Highlight=AG Goal,” including reducing gun violence, increasing prison capacity and strengthening internal financial systems. Only one of the 36 items referred to intelligence and investigation concerning terrorists, and it was not highlighted. (NY Times, 2/28/02)
To be continued (at great length)?Indeed each of the foregoing issue summaries could and will stretch to many, many pages as will similar lists on Opportunity, Obstruction of Justice, and “Cui Bono?” — “Who most profited” from these events. (Cf., 9/11 widow Ellen Mariani’s current RICO suit against the White House, which offers nearly 90 pages of similar evidence that 9/11 was “intentionally allowed to happen for personal and political gain.”)The point is that when the existing evidence is organized this way — a way familiar to all viewers of Perry Mason, LA Law, and Court TV — the real questions of 9/11 and our desperate need for answers finally begin to clearly emerge.Perhaps all this amounts to is a truly miraculous series of coincidences, but at this point the facts now known would also seem to “justify a man of reasonable caution or prudence” to suspect a crime has taken place.
w. david kubiak