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What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children - not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women - not merely peace in our time but peace for all time. . . .
Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable - that mankind is doomed - that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.
We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade - therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable - and we believe they can do it again.
-- President John F. Kennedy, Commencement Address
at American University in Washington, 10 June 1963
To criticize one's country is to do it a service and pay it a compliment . . . it is a compliment because it evidences a belief that the country can do better than it is doing.
-- J. William Fulbright, The Arrogance of Power,
Vintage Books; New York, 1966, p.25
After reading "Sanctions and War on Iraq: In 300 words" by Citizens Concerned for the People of Iraq, and being deeply moved by its concise articulation of that decade-long crisis situation, I wanted to create something similar regarding the conundrum that is 9-11. However, given the scale and multi-dimensional nature of unresolved and unknown factors involving the events of that day, I have elected to record some of the more significant issues people in America must collectively address.
The 9-11 Bombings are not Acts of War The 9-11 Bombings are Crimes Against Humanity
Members of the United States government have contrived many misrepresentations and sins of omission about the events of 11 September 2001. As the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL, a Quaker lobby) observes, "The events of September 11, as destructive as they were, did not constitute an act of war directed against the U.S. by another nation. . . . The greatest threat to the continued existence of a free and democratic U.S. will not come from al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein. Rather, it will come from U.S. leaders who are willing to sacrifice those values to achieve other goals." 
Benjamin Ferencz was the United States Chief Prosecutor at the Einsatzgruppen Trial of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials of World War II Major German War Criminals. He sought to establish a legal precedent that would encourage a more humane and secure world in the future. Ferencz clarifies the FCNL's assertion that the 9-11 bombings were not an act of war:
"What has happened here is not war in its traditional sense. This is clearly a crime against humanity. War crimes are crimes which happen in war time. There is a confusion there. This is a crime against humanity because it is deliberate and intentional killing of large numbers of civilians for political or other purposes. That is not tolerable under the international systems. And it should be prosecuted pursuant to the existing laws. . . . We shouldn't let them kill our principles at the same time they kill our people. And our principles are respect for the rule of law. Not charging in blindly and killing people because we are blinded by our tears and our rage. . . .
"We must first draw up an indictment of the crime and specify what the crimes were, listing all the names of the related organizations. Not merely the direct perpetrators are responsible but all those who aided and abetted them before or after the crime. These should be listed and described. And then a demand made pursuant to existing United Nations resolutions, calling upon all states to arrest and detain the persons named in the indictment so they can be interrogated by U.S. examiners. . . .
"I realize that [the judicial process] is slow and cumbersome but it is not inadequate. I say to the skeptics, Follow your procedure and you'll find out what happens. You have seen what happens. We will have more fanatics and more zealots deciding to come and kill the evil, the United States. We don't want to do that. We want to uphold our principles. The United States was the moving party behind the Nuremberg Trials and behind insisting upon the rule of law. . . .
"We're not re-writing any rules. We don't have to re-write any rules. We have to apply the existing rules. To call them "terrorists" is also a misleading term. There's no agreement on what terrorism is. One man's terrorism is another man's heroism. . . . We try them for mass murder. That's a crime under every jurisdiction and that's what's happened here and that is a crime against humanity." 
It is not accidental that the Bush administration's response to the bombings was to label it an act of war and to label the perpetrators as terrorists. These assertions were deliberate. In doing so, the greatest opportunity to resolve this terrible crime through respect for and adherence to the rule of law was squandered. As Benjamin Ferencz points out, to call them terrorists is also a misleading term because there is no agreement on what terrorism is. To many people, the fact that the United States is the largest arms manufacturer and supplier in the world makes America the most dreaded terrorist of all. Beyond pandering to people's grief, fear, and anger, what interests have been served by committing the United States to a open-war economy and purpose? Mislabeling the perpetrators of these crimes as terrorist serves to confuse people's understanding of the situation. What interests are served by obfuscating these issues?
On 14 September 2001, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) was the one solitary dissenting voice in Congress against giving Bush Jr. full Congressional approval for carrying out his War on Terrorism. She expressed her reasoning and concerns in a responsible, mature, and thoughtful manner:
". . . I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. . . . However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. There must be some of us who say, let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our actions today -- let us more fully understand their consequences. . . . I do not want to see this spiral out of control. This crisis involves issues of national security, foreign policy, public safety, intelligence gathering, economics, and murder. Our response must be equally multifaceted. We must not rush to judgement. Far too many innocent people have already died. . . . [W]e must be careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target. We cannot repeat past mistakes. In 1964, Congress gave President Lyndon Johnson the power to "take all necessary measures" to repel attacks and prevent further aggression. In so doing, this House abandoned its own constitutional responsibilities and launched our country into years of undeclared war in Vietnam. At this time Senator Wayne Morse [cast] one of the two lonely votes against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. . . . Senator Morse was correct, and I fear we make the same mistake today. And I fear the consequences. I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with it in the very painful yet beautiful memorial service today at the National Cathedral. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, `As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.'" 
Last April Rep. Lee received the Wayne Morse Integrity in Government Award for 2002. In 1964 when Senator Wayne Morse voted against the Tonkin Gulf resolution -- giving President Johnson full power to wage war in Vietnam -- he stated, "I believe that history will record that we have made a grave mistake in subverting and circumventing the Constitution of the United States. I believe that with the next century, future generations will look with dismay and great disappointment upon a Congress which is now about to make such a historic mistake."
Whether or not the Tonkin Gulf incident was a fabrication, the ensuing U.S. military involvement in Vietnam was a tragic mistake. Today, an open-ended war against an unspecified enemy in the name of eradicating terrorism from the face of the earth is only about war. There is no pursuit of peace or creative resolution to conflict in such an agenda. It is critical to be clear about the fact that, although most will argue we are "at war," the 9-11 bombings were not an act of war. We are confronted with a crime against humanity and must not fall into the trap of framing this situation as a justification for making war. Erroneously labeling this as a war only further escalates the seige mentality that has been engendered by a succession of "wars" including the War on Poverty, the War on AIDS, the War on Drugs, and now the "war" on terrorism.
We examine here how reclaiming and emphasizing the fact that the 9-11 bombings were crimes against humanity and not an act of war is not simply an intellectual exercise in semantics but rather a struggle for the spirit and hope of what this nation-state symbolizes in its most hopeful expression. We are facing the greatest challenge ever to the preservation and continuity of the constitutional system of liberties and the cherished Bill of Rights, the foundation of our nation.
Rejecting the Foundations of International Law U.S. "Unsigns" the International Criminal Court Treaty
After choosing to misrepresent the fact that the September 11th bombings were crimes against humanity, and dictating a policy of war that will not end "in our lifetime", the Bush II administration exacerbates the 9-11 tragedy by repudiating and scrapping an entire body of codified international law including the International Criminal Court, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), an international convention to regulate the trade in small arms, a verification Protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention, an international convention to regulate and reduce smoking, the World Conference Against Racism, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems Treaty.
On 1 July 2002 a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) was created. The ICC purpose is to have a body that can prosecute serious crimes against humanity (no matter who committed them) and try people for gross violations of human rights. It would serve to guarantee human rights, independently. Sixty countries were needed to ratify the ICC which occurred on 11 April 2002. At the beginning of May, Bush II announced its resolve to "unsign" the Rome Statute creating the ICC. In his article, "Know the Truth About The International Criminal Court," Benjamin Ferencz explains how, "[a]s part of an ongoing campaign against the ICC, the United States threatened to withdraw its peacekeeping forces unless the new international court was divested of any authority to try Americans."
"On July 12, 2002, the United States badgered the Security Council of the United Nations into granting a limited exemption for American peacekeepers. It left no doubt that its opposition would continue unabated. Overwhelming protests from other nations reflected their resentment against every attempt to undermine the new court. . . . The US insistence upon getting advance immunity now and its involvement of the Security Council implies that the ICC, designed to curb major crimes that threaten peace, is seen by our government as a threat to peace. Such unfounded and absurd allegations make other nations nervous about US intentions.
"The US representatives seem to ignore the fact that the tribunal will have the entire Assembly of State Parties looking over its shoulders at all times. The Assembly now numbers 76 nations, including the entire European Community, England, Canada, Australia and other faithful friends of the US. They control the budget and can fire anyone who might be tempted to politicize the office. The ICC has no police force or enforcement mechanism. Its acceptance depends upon its reputation for integrity and competence. Politicization of the court would amount to its suicide.
"The American Bar Association, the New York Bar Association and the leading international lawyers in the country, including every living former Nuremberg prosecutor, all agree that it is in the interest of the US and its military to support the ICC. I believe the majority of the American public, if they knew the truth, would share the same conclusion.
"The Bush Administration's unparalleled renunciation of President Clinton's signature to the treaty astounded and angered many of our allies. . . . The US inspired the world at Nuremberg by demanding that never again would crimes against humanity be allowed to go unpunished. We weaken our standing in the world when we insist that law applies to everyone else but not to the United States. No nation and no person has a sovereign right to commit crimes against humanity with impunity.
"The best way to protect our military, and the peace of the world, is through universal and equal enforcement of the rule of law for everyone." 
Amnesty International challenged the U.S. "unsigning" pointing out that "the reasons it gave -- including that U.S. troops acting in accordance with the laws of war would be vulnerable to prosecution -- do not ring true; rather they sound like lame political excuses and rampant unilateralism."
"By the unprecedented action of `unsigning' a treaty, the U.S. darkens the shadow cast on its global leadership when it comes to international justice and accountability. It also sends a staggeringly dangerous message to nations where human rights are violated: that it is acceptable to `opt-out' of international agreements. After this shameful act, what will others believe is the value of the U.S. government's word or it's president's signature on a treaty?" 
The legal fallout created by the double-standards implemented by United States foreign policy under Bush II is unprecedented in scope and nightmarish in reach. On August 15th the State Department announced "The United States is seeking an agreement with Colombia to protect American military personnel in the South American country against prosecution by the International Criminal Court." Such policy is not only limited to Columbia. Bush II's intentions are to tie further U.S. military aid to a pledge granting the U.S. immunity for any recipient country that has ratified the ICC treaty.
"Department spokesman Philip Reeker noted that the Bush administration is seeking such agreements with a number of countries to ensure there will be no prosecutions for alleged rights abuses by American soldiers. U.S. officials are worried about politically motivated prosecutions. The United States maintains hundreds of troops in Colombia, mostly for training of troops for counternarcotics activities.
"Reeker, recalling comments by Secretary of State Colin Powell, said the administration is not resorting to threats in its attempts to secure immunity for American servicemen overseas.
"Under a new law, U.S. military aid would be cut off to countries that have ratified the treaty creating the court, except those granted a waiver. Countries granting an immunity pledge will continue to receive aid." 
In later July the UN Security Council granted the United States a 12-month grace period in which American peacekeepers would be exempt from prosecution by the ICC. According to Mexico's Representative Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, "The general opinion of the international community is that this is wrong." 
By its actions and deeds, Bush II's contempt for universal and equal enforcement of the same rule of law for everyone belies newspeak assertions "to ensure there will be no prosecutions for alleged [ie, human] rights abuses by American soldiers", or that "U.S. officials are worried about politically [ie, rule of law] motivated prosecutions". Benjamin Ferencz identifies the main argument made by the U.S. against the ICC and refutes it:
"The main argument made by the US is that American peacekeepers might be subjected to politically motivated prosecutions by the new tribunal. The facts have been egregiously misstated. There is no such danger.
"Only crimes committed after July 1, 2002, can be considered by the ICC. Jurisdiction of the court is limited to genocide, crimes against humanity and major war crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. Surely, American soldiers do not intend to commit such crimes. 18 highly qualified judges, male and female, sworn to uphold the law and justice, will be elected from those many nations that have ratified the treaty creating the court.
"No investigation can be started by the prosecutor without prior authorization by a three-judge panel. Appeals can be filed with a five-judge panel. The accused's country must be informed and the case transferred to them if they wish to try the suspect. Only leaders responsible for planning or perpetrating the major crimes are the intended targets and only if their own state is unable or unwilling to give them a fair trial. The US is not in that category." 
The U.S. does not want to be held accountable to the same rule of law as everyone else. Among other things, what Bush II is saying is that it doesn't want to have any independent judicial venue scrutinize its military ventures as reported by independent journalists.
With respect to Iraq, international law professor Francis Boyle emphasizes the Nuremberg Charter and the real reason Bush II is rejecting the authority of the ICC:
"`Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices' who participate in `the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy' to commit any of the crimes proscribed by the Nuremberg Charter `are responsible for all acts performed by any person in execution of such plan.' The language concerning involvement in a criminal conspiracy, Boyle said, comes straight from Supreme Court-approved U.S. law, namely the Pinkerton rule.
"The White House lawyers are well aware that they are engaging in `an on-going criminal conspiracy to conduct a war of aggression,' Boyle said, adding, `The New York Times finally conceded that the reason the United States sabotaged the International Criminal Court (ICC) is because senior members of the Bush administration are afraid that they risk criminal prosecution.' The notion that the U.S. government rejects the ICC because it places military personnel at risk of prosecution is `nonsense,' Boyle said. It is the highly paid civilian planners at the Pentagon and the White House who have most to fear from the ICC because of their involvement in planning war crimes, according to Boyle." 
Making Nuclear War Thinkable Might-Makes-Right Instead of Rule of Law
Among the most disturbing consequences of the other repudiations, U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the ABM Treaty is unraveling three decades of arms control -- posing the paramount threat of global incineration since the close of World War II. Bush II is working to replace such foundations of law as those listed above, with a supreme reliance on the United States military to supposedly maintain security. Again, the FCNL pinpoints the actual threat:
"The events of September 11 did not direct the U.S. to increase its reliance on the military. It is the Administration and its congressional allies that have raised military spending to new heights and that are subtly shifting responsibilities (such as diplomacy and nation-building) from civil society to military control." 
The move to shift political power and responsibilities from civil society to military control has long been underway. Its momentum broke the surface 15 years ago during the Iran Contra hearings when Representative Jack Brooks tried to question Oliver North about martial law plans including suspension of the U.S. Constitution, military commanders running state and local governments, and establishment by the federal government of concentration camps. We will come back to the issue of domestic dictatorship later.
Francis Boyle possesses an impressive background as an international law professor and human rights lawyer. Recently he framed the historical context of the current rash of international legal nihilism and how last January we witnessed another shameless exploitation of the 9-11 tragedy "in order to justify a reckless decision that had already been made for other reasons long before."
"For twelve years the Constitution and the Rule of Law -- whether domestic or international -- never deterred the Reagan/Bush administrations from pursuing their internationally lawless and criminal policies around the world. The same was true for the Clinton administration as well -- invading Haiti; bombing Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Serbia; the Lewinsky scandal, etc. The Bush Jr administration has behaved no differently from its lineal Machiavellian predecessors. Their bellicose handling of the 11 September 2001 tragedy was no exception to this general rule.
The Bush Jr withdrawal from the ABM Treaty
"Then, as had been foreshadowed, whispered, hinted at and finally broadcast over a period of several months, came the monumentally insane, horrendous, and tragic announcement on 13 December 2001 by the Bush Jr administration to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, effective within six months. Of course it was sheer coincidence that the Pentagon released their self-styled Bin Laden Video just as Bush Jr himself publicly announced his indefensible decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty in order to pursue his phantasmagorical National Missile Defense (NMD) Program, the lineal successor to the Reagan/Bush Star Wars dream. Predictably, the Bin Laden Video back-staged this major, pro-nuclear announcement. Once again the terrible national tragedy of 11 September was shamelessly exploited in order to justify a reckless decision that had already been made for other reasons long before. Then on 25 January 2002, the Pentagon promptly conducted a sea-based NMD test in gross violation of Article 5(I) of the ABM Treaty without waiting for the required six months to expire, thus driving a proverbial nail into the coffin of the ABM Treaty before its body was even legally dead." 
Analysing the significance of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) transmitted to Congress on 8 January 2002, Professor Boyle emphasizes that while there may be "some itty-bitty `rogue states' lurking . . . in the Third World, . . . today the United States government has become the sole `rogue elephant' of international law and politics":
"[On] March 10, 2002 . . . defense analyst William Arkin revealed the leaked contents of the Bush Jr administration's Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that it had just transmitted to Congress on January 8. The Bush Jr administration has ordered the Pentagon to draw up war plans for the first-use of nuclear weapons against seven states: the so-called "axis of evil" -- Iran, Iraq, and North Korea; Libya and Syria; Russia and China, which are nuclear armed. This component of the Bush Jr NPR incorporates the Clinton administration's 1997 nuclear war-fighting plans against so-called "rogue states" set forth in Presidential Decision Directive 60. These warmed-over nuclear war plans targeting these five non-nuclear states [Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, and Syria] expressly violate the so-called "negative security assurances" given by the United States as an express condition for the renewal and indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by all of its non-nuclear weapons states parties in 1995." 
Professor Boyle cites relevant sections of Article 6 of the 1945 Nuremberg Charter and the Sixth Principle of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations in 1950, to establish the context for his conclusion of what humanity now faces given the unprecedented rejection of the foundations of established international law with respect to the intentional use of nuclear weapons:
"Notice that both of these elemental sources of public international law clearly provide that the `planning' or `preparation' of a war in violation of international `assurances' such as the aforementioned US negative security assurance constitutes a Nuremberg Crime against Peace. Such is the Bush Jr NPR!" 
World War II's catastrophe of escalating conflict, which ushered in the nuclear age, prompted humanity for the first time to confront the prospect of man-made world annihilation in the span of a few hours. The body of international protocols and laws established in response to this unprecedented calamity sought to prevent such runaway trains from occurring. Today we are witnessing the concerted attempt to dismantle a fundamental core of this body of international law by Bush II. Whose interests are served by the intentional disintegration of the foundations and rule of international law? Tragically, there are recent historical precedents for what is now occurring.
Bush I: Crimes Against Humanity, Rejection of the Rule of Law
On 16 January 1991, a heroic and historically informed call to account was launched by Congressperson Henry Gonzalez when he introduced his Resolution of Impeachment of President George Bush in the House of Representatives.
Representative Gonzalez read into the congressional record five Articles of impeachment citing violations of the U.S. Constitution, federal law and the U.N. Charter including:
- that Bush, "by bribing, intimidating and threatening others, including the members of the United Nations Security Council, to support belligerent acts against Iraq";
- violations of the Hague Conventions of 1907 and 1923, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I thereto, the Nuremberg Charter, the Genocide Convention and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights by President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush who "prepared, planned, and conspired to engage in a massive war against Iraq employing methods of mass destruction that will result in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians, many of whom will be children. This planning includes the placement and potential use of nuclear weapons, and the use of such indiscriminate weapons and massive killings by serial bombardment, or otherwise, of civilians";
- Bush, who "committed the United States to acts of war without congressional consent and contrary to the United Nations Charter and international law . . . embarked on a course of action that systematically eliminated every option for peaceful resolution of the Persian Gulf crisis";
- Bush, who "planned, prepared, and conspired to commit crimes against the peace by leading the United States into aggressive war against Iraq in violation of Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg Charter, other international instruments and treaties, and the Constitution of the United States."
Like Senator Wayne Morse in 1964, Representative Henry Gonzalez in 1991 sought to challenge the contrived pursuit of war by Bush I and in doing so, to remain true to his oath of office, to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States" as well as to uphold the principles of international law. Article 2(4) of the United Nations charter cited above, is as relevant today as it was eleven and-a-half years ago:
"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."
A vindication of the facts cited in Representative Gonzalez's articles of impeachment against President George Herbert Walker Bush was born out after Bush I's bombing war began on the same day, 16 January 1991 and continuing for an additional 42 days. An International Commission of Inquiry into United States war crimes committed during the Persian Gulf War conducted the largest independent world-wide investigation of war crimes in history. From May 1991 to February 1992 the Commission held 30 hearings across the U.S. and in twenty countries across five continents to expose the war crimes inflicted upon the People and State of Iraq by the United States.
On 29 February 1992 in New York City, two days before the International War Crimes Tribunal was convened to hear the evidence of the Commission, Professor Boyle presented a paper to an Albany Law School symposium titled "International War Crimes: The Search for Justice." This paper documents the numerous occasions that international laws were broken and disregarded during the Gulf War. Quoting from near its conclusion:
"Today, the government in the United States of America constitutes an international criminal conspiracy under the NurembergCharter, Judgment and Principles, that is legally identical to the Nazi government in World War II Germany. The Defendants' wanton extermination of approximately 250,000 People in Iraq provides definite proof of the validity of this Nuremberg Proposition for the entire world to see. Indeed, Defendant Bush's so-called New World Order sounds and looks strikingly similar to the New Order proclaimed by Adolph Hitler over fifty years ago. You do not build a real New World Order with stealth bombers, Abrams tanks, and tomahawk cruise missiles. For their own good and the good of all humanity, the American People must condemn and repudiate Defendant Bush and his grotesque vision of a New World Order that is constructed upon warfare, bloodshed, violence and criminality." 
Since 1991, a World Trade Center's worth of Iraqi children continue to die every month
Compared to what occurred over 11 years ago, the dangers today in the expanding quantum breakdown of adherence to the foundations of international law cannot be overstated. We must educate ourselves, friends, and acquaintances about what is being squandered in our name. Otherwise we become accessories after the fact to the destruction and death that threatens to engulf all life on earth.
This brings us to the central meaning of "Sanctions and War on Iraq: In 300 words". What does it say about our society and culture that since 1991, a "World-Trade-Center's worth of Iraqi children continue to die every month" as a direct result of the crimes against humanity perpetrated under the direction of the last three Presidents of the United States? What does this fact mean to each and every person in this nation-state who pays annual taxes, the largest portion of which goes to the ongoing expansion of the United States military? As tax-paying members of the United States, can we reconcile our culpability for these Iraqi deaths with the deaths of people one year ago in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania?
Facing these questions is extremely difficult. But face and resolve them we must. As responsible citizens, confronting these questions does not compare with the experiences of the people who died on 9-11 and those who died throughout Iraq from 1991 to today. As so frequently stated these days, "We will not forget", let us remember there is more to the story than only the events of 9-11.
Concerning the participation every tax-paying citizen of the United States has in the ever-expanding military budget, connecting with people working on challenging this situation makes a positive difference and offsets the misguided priorities of solving conflict by making war. The Pentagon receives about one-half of every dollar that Congress annually allocates. One Million Taxpayers for Peace focuses on encouraging participation to refuse and resist supporting expansion of the military and to add one's voice to those challenging the belief that war is a solution to problems. (See their summary of what our taxes pay for.)
The War Resisters League (WRL) "is committed not only to eliminating war, but the causes of war -- causes intricately linked to the violence that pervades our society". They recognize that "[h]uman survival depends on finding ways to negotiate and cooperate rather than continuing conflict through violence." The WRL "affirms that all war is a crime against humanity. We therefore are determined not to support any kind of war, international or civil, and to strive nonviolently for the removal of all causes of war." Among other strategies, the WRL provides many educational resources including "U.S. Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2003 - Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes" (also as a 2-page PDF file), and a Peace Calendar with 52 True Stories of Nonviolent Successes: "In telling this world's stories, our media, our historians, our generals, and our politicians gravitate toward war. It is the rest of humanity that gravitates toward peace, and it is our stories that this calendar tells."
The Federation of American Scientists website furnishes a wealth of information much of which centers in a nexus named the Military Analysis Network (see also its immensely useful Site Index). The Council for a Livable World also provides many detailed references on U.S. Military Spending.
As seemingly insurmountable and intimidating may be the fear that "there's nothing I can do" about the great transformational events occurring now in the world, encouragement to act comes from knowing there are people who care, people who people stand up and speak out for what is right and true. Nelson Mandela's words on September 10th speaks directly to what needs to be said and addressed, clearly and without obfuscation.
"If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace. Because what [America] is saying is that if you are afraid of a veto in the Security Council, you can go outside and take action and violate the sovereignty of other countries. That is the message they are sending to the world.
"That must be condemned in the strongest terms. And you will notice that France, Germany Russia, China are against this decision. It is clearly a decision that is motivated by George W. Bush's desire to please the arms and oil industries in the United States of America. . . .
". . . Scott Ritter, a former United Nations arms inspector who is in Baghdad, has said that there is no evidence whatsoever of [development of weapons of] mass destruction [by Iraq]. Neither Bush nor [British Prime Minister] Tony Blair has provided any evidence that such weapons exist. But what we know is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction. Nobody talks about that. Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white." 
Representative Ron Paul has just read into the Congressional Record 36 Questions That Won't Be Asked About Iraq in anticipation of hearings on the pending contrived war with Iraq. It is heartening to see that the widespread paralysis a year ago of people in both in and out of Congress -- who did not challenge the Bush II subversion of constitutional liberties as well as respect for domestic and international law -- are recommitting themselves to the principles that this nation-state, in all its imperfections, was founded upon.
U.S. Development of Biological Weapons Watch What We Say, Not What We Do
In April Professor Francis Boyle presented a faculty lecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Bio- Warfare / Terrorism / Weapons. In it he recounted how President Nixon and Henry Kissinger chose to end the U.S. offensive biological warfare program because these items cannot be controlled and the US had a massive superiority in nuclear weapons. The US became a party to the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 that prohibits research, development, testing of biological weapons, agents, components, etc., except for prophylactic and defensive purposes.
But as Professor Boyle notes, when the Reagan administration came to power, "I point out that many of the same people in the Reagan administration dealing with these issues are now back under Bush Jr". He also stated they "took the position that we were going to exploit our superior technology with respect to weapons across the board." In 1985 Professor Boyle was asked by the Council for Responsible Genetics (CRG) to participate in a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill and "explain what was going on here, what the Reagan people really were up to and how dangerous this actually was." Then he was requested by CRG to
"draft the legislation to deal with this problem and in particular the abuse of DNA genetic engineering technology for biowarfare purposes. I worked in conjunction with the CRG scientists and we also worked with the biotech industry. At that time the biotech industry had no desire to get into biowarfare technology -- Monsanto and the others. So they supported our legislation.
"What happened? The Reagan administration fought it tooth and nail. They knew full well that my legislation was designed to stop what they were doing at the Pentagon. I made it very clear that research, development, testing of such biowarfare agents would be punished by life in prison. I do not believe in the death penalty for any reason so I did not put it in there. But it is in there now -- life in prison.
"What we did not know at that time when the Reagan people were fighting us tooth and nail is that they had also authorized at least forty shipments of weapons-specific biological agents to Iraq from the American Type Culture Collection, which is a big scientific institute. It has cultures for scientific purposes of every type of exotic disease in the world. You name it, it is there. It was clear the Reagan administration was shipping all this to Iraq knowing full well Iraq was going to develop biological weapons and use them against Iran, and yet they did it anyway. Now at the time my legislation was coming through we did not know this. It came out later. So we got nowhere with the legislation." 
After Bush Sr took office in 1993 all opposition to this legislation was stopped and, after being repackaged, it was adopted unanimously by both Houses of Congress, signed into law by the President who then wound down this program. However, by the time the program was stopped, serious damage had already been done by covertly shipping some of the biological agents developed under Reagan to Iraq. Since the close of World War II, and the institutionalizing of government secrecy codified in laws like the National Security Act of 1947, again and again we have seen the tragic results of officials of United States government policy seeking to shirk their constitutional oaths and responsibilities by hiding behind the mantle of unaccountability and deception. Fortunately, there are still moments when the veil is lifted, and we are able to see how our government actually operates.
Just this month, Senator Robert Byrd read into the congressional record the full text of a September 23rd Newsweek article by Christopher Dickey and Evan Thomas, "How Saddam Happened". At the same time Senator Byrd asked Defense Secretary Rumsfeld "did the United States help Iraq to acquire the building blocks of biological weapons during the Iran-Iraq war? Are we in fact now facing the possibility of reaping what we have sewn?" Rumsfeld's dissembling and obfuscated responses were a classic example of how government officials strive to deny any accountability for prior actions, the very antithesis of a democratic and free society in action.
At one point, Byrd crystalized a central tenet of constitutional government that Bush II consistently rejects and strives to ignore: "The American people do not need obfuscation and denial. The American people need the truth. The American people need to know whether the United States is in large part responsible for the very Iraqi weapons of mass destruction which the administration now seeks to destroy." The venality and contempt for democratic processes of open information and honest government conduct by officials occupying significant positions of authority like Rumsfeld, is a tragic and deeply disturbing fact of the life of our time.
"[T]o get back to the biological agents shipped to Iraq. As you know in the fall of 1990 as we were going to war against Iraq, Bush and Cheney ordered all U.S. armed forces to take experimental medical vaccines for anthrax and botulin. I had no idea why but the reason why was very simple. It came out later. Under Reagan they had shipped these biological agents to Iraq, Iraq had weaponized them, and we knew full well our troops would be vulnerable. So using some of the same technologies, we put these experimental medical vaccines into our own troops, 500,000 of them. Today they suffer from the Gulf War Syndrome. The Pentagon still denies it, but it is a lie.
"Indeed, I worked over in Britain on an expose there, The Dirty War, a documentary film. Finally the British government admitted there is such a thing as the Gulf War Syndrome. I personally believe they go back to these vaccines. They were experimental medical vaccines in violation of the Nuremberg Code on medical experimentation. I argued this point in the court martial proceedings of Captain Doctor Yolanda Huett-Vaughn, who was court martialed in part for refusing to give these vaccines. And later Senator Jay Rockefeller held hearings in which he also accused Bush, Cheney and Powell of committing a Nuremberg crime on our own troops. Today approximately a minimum of 50,000 U.S. military personnel suffer from what is called the Gulf War Syndrome. The tip off here is that the French Army rejected the vaccines because they knew they were experimental. . . .
"Then what happened? For some reason, in the last two years of the Clinton administration, Clinton decided to get back into this dual-use biological warfare work. And again began putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the stuff, to again research and develop every known exotic disease one could think of, developing the components that then get turned over to the Pentagon where they could be assembled into weapons. This is going on as we speak now.
"Finally, the New York Times broke the story. Yes, the United States government is violating the Biological Weapons Convention. The CIA operation Bacchus. We are developing an immune resistant strain of anthrax with DNA genetic engineering. We have developed super weapons-grade anthrax in quantities and strengths that have no legitimate defensive purpose at all. We had a bomb factory down there where we are simulating the production of biological agents. It is very clear that we are now back into the business of research and development of biological agents, in clear cut violation of the Biological Weapons Convention and my statute the Biological Weapons Anti-terrorism Act of 1989.
"That then is why the Bush Jr. administration repudiated the verification protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention. These negotiations had been underway for quite some time. The Convention has no verification provisions. Finally, this fall all of a sudden out of nowhere, Bush Jr. repudiated the whole thing and tried to kill it. Why? Because it is clear we are involved in this type of work. Whether through the Pentagon, the CIA, or their contractors, or all of them." 
Last May a news release by The Sunshine Project (a non-profit dedicated to providing research and facts about biological weapons and biotechnology) announced "US Armed Forces Push for Offensive Biological Weapons Development". Its information sheds significant light on omissions by Bush II officials about the threat of biological weapons.
"The uncovering of these proposals for an offensive biological weapons program comes at a critical political juncture. The US has rejected a legally-binding system of United Nations inspections of suspected biological weapons facilities. At the same time, the Bush administration is aggressively accusing other countries of developing biological weapons and expanding its so-called `Axis of Evil' based in large part on allegations of foreign biological weapons development.
"But it is increasingly apparent that there are serious questions about the United States' own compliance with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). While US allegations against other countries are generally undocumented, the proposals described in this press release were recently released to the Sunshine Project under the Freedom of Information Act and have been placed on the internet for independent analysis.
"Explicitly for Offense: In the murky world of biological weapons research, many technologies are `dual use', that is, they have both offensive and peaceful applications. The alleged transfer of dual use technologies, such as vaccine research, is a basis of charges made against Cuba on May 6th by US Under Secretary of State John Bolton. The US armed forces documents released here, however, are not about `dual use' technology, they are explicit proposals for offensive weaponsmaking.
"According to the Naval Research Laboratory, `It is the purpose of the proposed research to capitalize on the degradative potential of . . . naturally occurring microorganisms, and to engineer additional, focused degradative capabilities into [genetically modified microorganisms], to produce systems that will degrade the warfighting capabilities of potential adversaries.' The Air Force proposes `genetically engineered catalysts made by bacteria that destroy . . . Catalysts can be engineered to destroy whatever war material is desired.' The proposals indicate these weapons might be used by all the armed forces, including the Special Forces and in peacekeeping and anti-narcotics operations (See the Resources Page for copies of these documents)
"Additional Documents Suppressed: These proposals are probably only the tip of the iceberg. For over one year, the Marine Corps has delayed response to a Sunshine Project Freedom of Information Act request that now includes 147 unclassified documents. The two proposals described here are part of a recent first release of 8 items from that request. 139 related legal and weapons development documents are unreleased. The Marine Corps says the delay is due to a lack of manpower.
"The National Academies are also suppressing related documents. As part of the Marine Corps-commissioned study, in 2001 at least 77 apparently chemical and biological weapons-related documents were deposited in the NAS Public Access Records File, a library open for inspection and copying by all persons (see a bibliography here). After the Sunshine Project requested copies of these documents on March 12th 2002, the National Academies placed a `security hold' on the public file. High-ranking NAS officials have refused to explain who ordered the hold, or to offer a credible explanation as to why it exists (see correspondence here). The Sunshine Project believes that NAS is under pressure from high-ranking US officials to Enron the public record to avoid release of politically sensitive material. Rather than assist a purge of the public record, NAS -- a leading US non-profit scientific body -- must condemn and release the proposals for illegal weapons that is has received.
"Legal Implications: The research proposed by the Air Force and Navy raises serious legal questions. Under the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act, development of biological weapons, including those that attack materials, is subject to federal criminal and civil penalties. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, which the US and 143 other countries have ratified, prohibits development, acquisition, and stockpiling of any biological agents not justifiable for peaceful or prophylactic purposes. There is no such justification for the offensive research proposed by the Navy and Air Force. The proposals are certain to weigh heavily on all countries minds as they prepare for Novembers reconstituted 5th Review Conference of the BTWC." 
As has been the case for decades, when suppression of information is justified under the cloak of "national security," or, as described above, "politically sensitive material," it usually turned out to be a cover for illicit or criminal activity.
The United States has rejected a legally-binding system of United Nations inspections of suspected U.S. biological weapons facilities while at the same time accusing other countries -- including Iraq -- of developing biological weapons. Simultaneously, the United States armed forces, in direct violation of the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, is actively pushing for offensive biological weapons development, despite the fact such activity is illegal and subject to federal criminal and civil penalties.
Professor Boyle and Nelson Mandela speak truth to power when they state it is the United States that is the threat to peace as does the Friends Committee on National Legislation when they summarize this concern:
"The events of September 11 did not involve nuclear or biological weapons, though the events did raise legitimate concerns about possible future use of such weapons. But the Administration, with help from many in Congress, is turning the U.S. away from international cooperation in arms control and disarmament that could reduce such threats. U.S. and global security are diminished as a result." 
Concerning the anthrax attacks last fall, Professor Boyle addressed the issue of who had the means by pointing out that the "technology behind the Daschle letter, and later the Leahy letter, was very sophisticated."
"Trillion spores per gram. That is super-weapons grade. Second, tied in there was a special treatment to eliminate electrostatic charges so it would float in the air. You have to have special equipment, special treatment, special everything.
"The only people who would have the capability to do this would be individuals who either are currently employed by the Department of Defense or the CIA doing biowarfare work, or had been employed by the Department of Defense or the CIA doing biowarfare work. And would probably have access to one of the government's biowarfare labs. This stuff is so dangerous. You could not do it unless you were wearing one of these space suits. And there are only a handful of these labs in the country.
"That very day I called up a senior official in the FBI who handles terrorism and counter-terrorism, he knows who I am because of the work I have done in this field, and discussed this matter with him. I said: Look there are very few people who have this capability. I have a list of them under the Reagan administration. That is where you have to start to look. I went down the list and said, This person worked with this government lab, that person worked with that government lab, etc., etc. He said, We are coordinating our efforts with Ft. Deitrick. I said, Ft. Deitrick could very well be the problem here. They are one of the few labs with the capability to do something like this. And you could have a Timothy McVeigh type situation where someone who was once on the reservation is now off the reservation. So you need to start looking at this list of these people who have worked with the Pentagon. I do not have a list of the CIA people, and my guess is you are going to find your person. He told me he would pass the information along to the right people.
"This was just before I ran the CRG workshop at Harvard on Biowarfare the first weekend in November. There my colleague Jonathan King, Professor of Microbiology at MIT and the head of their electron-microscope lab, publicly stated the same exact conclusion independently of me. He had reached the exact same conclusion that I had. Likewise Dr. Barbara Rosenberg who is now with the Federation of American Scientists, independent of both King and me later reached the exact same conclusion: that whoever did this was working for the United States government now, in the Pentagon or the CIA or had in the immediate past, and must have had access to a U.S. biowarfare lab." 
Back in the early 1970s Nixon and Kissinger chose to end the U.S. offensive biological warfare program for the essential reason that these items cannot be controlled. When people are able to work within a system of legally-sanctioned secrecy pursuing programs that would never survive the light of public scrutiny and inclusive debate, the result is precisely what we have seen and are seeing: a steady, continuing erosion of global security for all. The rejection of international cooperation in arms control and disarmament that seeks to reduce such global threats as biological, chemical and nuclear weapons -- which Bush II is pursuing with frightening determination -- does not serve the needs of humanity and our Earth. Who truly benefits from the renunciation of such international cooperation?
Domestic Terrorism: The "USA PATRIOT Act" of 2001 Serial Assaults on Constitutional Liberties
Such double standards as U.S. government policies on the planning and preparation for first-strike nuclear war, offensive biological weapons, and aggressive Iraq -- where disdain and disrespect for the rule of law is blatantly exercised -- tragically comprise only part of the assault upon world peace now being fomented and directed by Bush II.
Domestically as well as internationally, dissembling has become rampant among official pronouncements from Washington since 9-11. According to Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), members of the House were not able to get printed copies of the "PATRIOT Act of 2001", passed last October, to read before voting on it:
"It's my understanding the bill wasn't printed before the vote -- at least I couldn't get it. They played all kinds of games, kept the House in session all night, and it was a very complicated bill. Maybe a handful of staffers actually read it, but the bill definitely was not available to members before the vote." 
The FNCL again identifies the nature of what is being done in our name but against the fundamental tenets of our constitutional system of law and civilian protections against unwarranted government intrusion into our personal and private lives:
"The events of September 11 did not destroy the Bill of Rights. But the USA-Patriot Act and the continuing maneuvers of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Ashcroft threaten to turn the U.S. into a permanent security state. . . .
"The events of September 11 did not damage the constitutional system of checks and balances nor public accountability. But constitutional protections and democratic government are under great threat from an Administration that seeks to aggrandize power and from members of Congress who are both reluctant to exercise legitimate oversight and eager to strip the courts of their responsibility for oversight." 
There has been much written about the anti-constitutional basis of Attorney General Ashcroft's reactionary and anti-constitutional "PATRIOT Act" as well as subsequent unilateral anti-civil liberties measures such as the monitoring of lawyer-client conversations in federal prisons, unleashing the FBI on the American public, and approving such devices as the Magic Lantern, which allows the FBI to secretly record one's every computer keystroke. Kelly O'Meara wrote last November about our new "Police State":
"If the United States is at war against terrorism to preserve freedom, a new coalition of conservatives and liberals is asking, why is it doing so by wholesale abrogation of civil liberties? They cite the Halloween-week passage of the antiterrorism bill -- a new law that carries the almost preposterously gimmicky title: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act" (USA PATRIOT Act). Critics both left and right are saying it not only strips Americans of fundamental rights but does little or nothing to secure the nation from terrorist attacks." 
An attached list of materials has been compiled concerning the array of dangers posed to people in the United States by the "PATRIOT Act." 
"Repeal the USA Patriot Act" by Jennifer Van Bergen is an article in six parts, exemplary for its elucidation of the wide range of serial assaults on constitutional liberties through mechanisms now defined and on the legal books in the U.S. An excerpt from Part I provides an understanding of what we are now up against:
"The USA Patriot Act . . . should be called the Constitution Shredding Act. In particular, it utterly relinquishes any semblance of due process, violates the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments, and unacceptably mixes aspects of criminal investigations with aspects of immigration and foreign intelligence laws. . . . [D]espite the fact that the USA Patriot Act was passed hastily without any debate or hearings and under a cloak of fear, its provisions were obviously very carefully thought out and crafted to take power out of the hands of courts and ensure absolute lack of oversight of law enforcement and intelligence gathering.
"There is no way that the USA Patriot Act came into existence solely in response to September 11th. In fact, it is clear from prior legislative and case history that law enforcement and intelligence have been trying for many years to obtain these powers. It is only the unreasoning `bunker mentality' that followed September 11th that allowed its planners to pass it.
"Indeed, one might question whether Congress could sincerely have intended this Act, given that portions of it are re-enactments of the 1996 anti-terrorism laws which had been repeatedly ruled unconstitutional by federal courts. . . . Most troubling is that most of these powers do little to increase the ability of law enforcement or intelligence to bring terrorists to justice -- but, they do much to undermine the Constitution and violate the rights of both immigrants and American citizens alike."
A summary of the six parts conveys more of what this article examines and explains:
- Part I states briefly why we should demand the immediate repeal or amendment of the USA Patriot Act.
- Part II looks back in time to look at two acts, which were also passed hastily and in a time of fear. The Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798 parallel the USA Patriot Act in many respects, and offer some important warnings.
- Part III discusses the recent emergence of troubling evidence of violations of civil rights under the USA Patriot Act, and looks at the disturbing possibility of torture being used.
- Part IV covers how sections of the Act mixes criminal law and foreign intelligence work, puts the CIA back in the business of spying on Americans, allows law enforcement to enter your home without you knowing it, and can track your emails and internet activity.
- Part V discusses how the sections of the Act punishes some people for engaging in innocent First Amendment associational activity, violates other civil rights of immigrants, uses secret evidence, curbs judicial oversight, and invades financial and student records.
- Part VI discusses national security concerns, sums up, and closes with a potent exhortation to Americans, made over 200 years ago by Senator Edward Livingston.
One of the most tangible and disturbing threats to our constitutional system of liberties posed by the "PATRIOT Act" is a return to the era of domestic spying and counter intelligence exemplified by the FBI's COINTELPRO programs conducted against American citizens. Committed to the web-as-library paradigm, Paul Wolf has assembled a reading room area in the virtual stacks focusing on the history and consequences of COINTELPRO at www.cointel.org:
COINTELPRO is an acronym for the FBI's domestic "counterintelligence programs" to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO's of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations.
The origins of COINTELPRO were rooted in the Bureau's operations against hostile foreign intelligence services. Counterintelligence, of course, goes beyond investigation; it refers to actions taken to neutralize enemy agents.
"Counterintelligence" was a misnomer for the FBI programs, since the targets were American political dissidents, not foreign spies. In the atmosphere of the Cold War, the American Communist Party was viewed as a serious threat to our national security. Over the years, anti-Communist paranoia extended to civil rights, anti-war, and many other groups. As John Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI, put it
The forces which are most anxious to weaken our internal security are not always easy to identify. Communists have been trained in deceit and secretly work toward the day when they hope to replace our American way of life with a Communist dictatorship. They utilize cleverly camouflaged movements, such as peace groups and civil rights groups to achieve their sinister purposes. While they as individuals are difficult to identify, the Communist party line is clear. Its first concern is the advancement of Soviet Russia and the godless Communist cause. It is important to learn to know the enemies of the American way of life.
Although today this may sound ridiculous, the implications were deadly serious for the thousands of people who became COINTELPRO targets. After many years of investigating and disrupting these groups, the Bureau could not find evidence that any of them were foreign-controlled.
These programs were exposed to the public following an unsolved break-in into the FBI's Media, PA resident agency, separate lawsuits by NBC correspondent Carl Stern and the Socialist Workers' Party, and then a US Senate investigation led by Senator Frank Church. Although the FBI's COINTELPRO's officially ended in 1971, there have been many examples of counterintelligence-type operations against political dissidents since.
Lest anyone think we are not again deeply into a resurgence and resurrection of that era's nightmarish police-state tactics against such supposedly sacred rights as freedom of thought and freedom of speech, consider the corrosive effects already being discovered by the establishment of heretofore unimaginable secrecy and surveillance operations now under consolidation by Bush II:
Secrecy Cloaks Patriot Act:
Administration Loath to Spell Out How Law Being Used
by Frank Davies, Seattle Times, 9/9/02
"Ten months after it was passed because of the Sept. 11 attacks, the USA Patriot Act remains shrouded in complexity and secrecy. The legislation, overwhelmingly approved by Congress after the White House demanded new tools to prevent the next terrorist assault, resulted in the largest expansion of police powers in decades. Yet Americans know little about it, Congress is having difficulty getting questions answered, and Bush administration officials won't say how it has been used. . . .
"The CIA and FBI for the first time ever are allowed to mix foreign intelligence with law enforcement on U.S. soil. Citing the act, Attorney General John Ashcroft also authorized FBI agents to spy on domestic groups without having to show evidence of a crime. The legislation is an amalgam of changes to dozens of federal statutes in 300 subject areas. Businesses, libraries, colleges and Internet service providers still have lawyers and consultants scurrying to decipher how they are affected. . . .
"`What's really dangerous is this administration is using these powers with the attitude that because this is a war, it's not really the business of Congress, or in some cases, the courts,' said Susan Herman, a constitutional law professor at Brooklyn Law School. Bush officials defend the legislation. They say it has helped foil terrorist plots and has been used carefully. But they won't provide details.
"There is no doubt the act is wide-ranging. The Treasury Department recently announced rules that tighten requirements on all financial institutions to check the identity of their customers and whether they appear on lists of terrorist groups and to report "suspicious activity." The act also reduces privacy in libraries and threatens state confidentiality laws that protect book and computer use. Federal agents can easily obtain warrants to review a patron's reading and computer habits. Under the law, a librarian cannot disclose the request for records."
Now They Check the Books You Read
by Joan E. Bertin, Newsday, 9/16/02
"Among the less well-known aspects of the Patriot Act are provisions permitting the Justice Department to obtain information secretly from booksellers and librarians about customers' and patrons' reading, Internet and book-buying habits, merely by alleging that the records are relevant to an anti-terrorism investigation. The act prohibits librarians and booksellers from disclosing these subpoenas, so the objects of investigation don't know and therefore cannot defend themselves and their privacy, or contest the government's actions in court.
"In a sample of 1,000 libraries responding to a survey last February, 85 reported receiving requests to turn over information about patrons to police or FBI agents. We have no way to know how many other libraries, and how many booksellers, received similar requests. We don't know how many requests were made under the Patriot Act, because of its secrecy provisions. What we do know is that the Patriot Act authorizes the government to obtain information secretly from librarians and booksellers about customers' and patrons' interests and activities, and that law enforcement officials are seeking such information. The Justice Department has refused to provide any data about these investigations, even to Congress.
"Librarians and booksellers have voiced their dismay at being conscripted, under court order and threat of prosecution, to report covertly on their patrons and customers. Secretly obtaining information about what people read, to try to figure out what they think, undermines more than privacy; it threatens core First Amendment principles, as many librarians and booksellers understand.
"The Constitution clearly protects the right to read a book, embrace an idea or express a thought -- even an unpopular or `unpatriotic' book, idea or thought. The freedom of thought and expression is so fundamental to our democracy that, as the Supreme Court recently noted, the ``government may not prohibit speech because it increases the chance an unlawful act will be committed `at some indefinite future time'.'' In so holding, the court relied on the `vital distinction between words and deed, between ideas and conduct.' In other words, the government is free to prohibit and punish illegal conduct, but may not criminalize ideas or punish people for their thoughts. Perversely, under the Patriot Act, reading certain books or researching certain topics -- both constitutionally protected activities -- now apparently provide grounds for criminal investigation.
"The Justice Department's recent decision to repeal the domestic terrorism surveillance guidelines unmistakably sends this signal. The guidelines were adopted in 1976 in response to revelations that, under the infamous COINTELPRO (`counterintelligence') program, civil rights and anti-war activists who were neither accused nor suspected of crimes became targets of government investigation because of their outspoken criticism of government policies. To prevent such abuses, the 1976 guidelines authorized surveillance of political, religious and other groups only if there was actual evidence of criminal activity. Without this restriction, covert surveillance of political dissidents with no known connection to criminal activity is bound to resume.
"According to a brief recently filed by the Justice Department in defense of secret immigration hearings, the `First Amendment creates no general right of access to government information or operations.' The gag order imposed on librarians and booksellers goes even further in withholding information from the object of an investigation. As a result, proceedings under the act will be shrouded in secrecy, not only making it impossible for targeted individuals to counter the government's allegations, but also preventing the public at large from making an informed judgment about whether the government is effectively countering terrorism or unfairly targeting innocent people.
"The rush to enact programs with reassuring-sounding names may have been understandable a year ago. Now, however, it would be patriotic to consider whether, despite their appealing acronyms, some hastily enacted programs threaten the freedoms we value most. It is peculiar, to say the least, for our government to fight terrorists by adopting their techniques -- secrecy and intimidation. Besides, exactly how many terrorists does the FBI expect to find through the local library or the bookstore?"
Joan E. Bertin is executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship.
Statement of James X. Dempsey Deputy Director
Center for Democracy & Technology
before the House Committee on the Judiciary
Forum on National Security and the Constitution, 1/24/02
"COINTELPRO had several key characteristics: It was intended to be absolutely secret. Its tactics were never meant to see the light of day. The FBI assumed that its conclusions about individuals would never be tested by the adversarial process. COINTELPRO was not aimed at arresting those planning criminal conduct. The FBI knew that if a black bag job uncovered evidence of a crime, that information could not be used as the basis for an arrest and indictment. COINTELPRO was at base an intelligence operation cut loose from the guidance of the criminal code: it focused not on the investigation of crimes but on collecting information about legal activity. The program relied on guilt by association. Success was defined in part by how large a net could be cast, how many people could be identified as adherents of a group or movement or ideology. And in the end, one of the most important facts about COINTELPRO is this: the exercise was essentially worthless from a security standpoint. Millions of dollars were expended investigating non-violent activity."
Ashcroft Watch - The Terror of Pre-Crime
by Nat Hentoff, The Progressive, September 2002
"John Ashcroft recently released his guidelines for investigating people he suspects as terrorists, and these guidelines exceed even J. Edgar Hoover's contempt for due process. . . .
"On page four of the Ashcroft Guidelines: `The nature of the conduct engaged in by a [terrorist] enterprise will justify an inference that the standard [for opening a criminal intelligence investigation] is satisfied, even if there are no known statements by participants that advocate or indicate planning for violence or other prohibited acts.' (Emphasis added.)
"The Attorney General, furthermore, extends the dragnet to make individuals in a group under suspicion responsible for what other members say or write: `A group's activities and the statements of its members may properly be considered in conjunction with each other. A combination of statements and activities may justify a determination that the threshold standard for a terrorism investigation is satisfied, even if the statements alone or the activities alone would not warrant such a determination.' (Emphasis added.) . . .
"Keep in mind the massive, pervasive electronic surveillance -- with minimal judicial supervision under the USA Patriot Act -- of inferential `pre-crime' conversations and messages, both sent and received. Add to that the FBI's power, under the same law, to break into your home or office, with a warrant, while you're not there, and inset `The Magic Lantern' into your computer to record every one of your keystrokes, including those not sent. Then add the Patriot Act's allowing the FBI to command bookstores and libraries to reveal the books bought or read by potential domestic terrorists.
"You may now appreciate the prophecy of Senator Frank Church -- who was instrumental in exposing the constitutional crimes of J. Edgar Hoover's Cointelpro operation -- when he said in 1975 that future government intelligence capabilities could `at any time be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left -- such is the capacity to monitor everything, telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter.' And that was before the omnivorous, permeable Internet. The Web can be a spider web.
"Senator Church, referring to `potential' enemies of the state, warned: `There would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know.'
"There is still time to fight back."
It is both chilling and inspiring to see what the American Library Association (ALA) now presents on its web site about the "PATRIOT Act" and how it is affecting rights to privacy and confidentiality. The Office for Intellectual Freedom page provides a good entry point into issues involving intellectual freedom, censorship, the freedom to read, and a host of other concerns relevant to the "PATRIOT Act," government surveillance and secrecy.
Fulfilling its purpose of providing the means to educate and inform one's self, Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights provides a wealth of information in a 3-page document. It affirms that
"[i]n a library (physical or virtual), the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one's interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf. . . The ALA has affirmed a right to privacy since 1939. Existing ALA policies affirm that confidentiality is crucial to freedom of inquiry. Rights to privacy and confidentiality also are implicit in the Library Bill of Rights guarantee of free access to library resources for all users." (http://www.ala.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Our_Association/Offices/Intellectual_Freedom3/Statements_and_Policies/Intellectual_Freedom2/Interpretations/Privacy.htm)
A section on "FBI in Your Library" includes extremely relevant quotes such as "Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us," Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Other sections include the "ALA Policy on Government Intimidation," information on "The Attorney General's Guidelines," "In the News," links and more.
"Confidentiality and Coping with Law Enforcement Inquiries: Guidelines for the Library and its Staff" includes a very detailed and sobering description of "Recommended Procedures for Law Enforcement Visits" covering the contingencies for:
- "Before any visit",
- "During the visit",
- "If the court order is in the form of a subpoena",
- "If the court order is in the form of a search warrant",
- "If the court order is a search warrant issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (USA Patriot Act amendment)", and
- "After the visit".
People now working in public libraries must feel something similar to what their counterparts experienced in Germany in the middle and later 1930s.
Domestic Terrorism: Homeland Security Paving the Way for Our Constitutional Dictatorship
It is not only the "PATRIOT Act" that threatens the United States Bill of Rights and on which the liberties this nation-state was founded. Attorney General Ashcroft, the leading law enforcement officer in the land, is singularly engaged in an unprecedented assault on constitutional liberties. Although General Ashcroft's TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) domestic spy system -- which would have had more spies at the start of operations than Joseph Stalin or the Nazi SS dreamed about -- appears to be dead, there are a number of indications that he is involved with preparations that could lead to the declaration of martial law and the implementation of internment camps for "enemy citizens."
John Dean, former Counsel to President Nixon, considered the potential for martial law in his 7 June 2002 column, "PRESIDENTIAL POWERS IN TIMES OF EMERGENCY: Could Terrorism Result In A Constitutional Dictator?"
"Congress has the power to determine whether it wants the American equivalent of a constitutional dictator in the White House. The only way to be certain that we don't make that decision during a crisis, is to revise and codify our emergency laws now -- before fear and anger in the aftermath of a possible attack might cause us to make bad decisions, and too easily trade liberty for security in numerous areas.
"As I write this column, President Bush has announced that he will address the nation about his plans for restructuring the government for fighting the war on terrorism. None of Professor Rossiter's observations about our history is more chilling than his finding that each national crisis has left the nation a little less democratic than before. With the President's announcement, it is not too soon to consider whether, in fighting terrorism, we really want a constitutional dictator to lead us. I certainly don't, nor do I know anyone who does, but if a future attack comes, and is devastating, the pressure to resort to constitutional dictatorship may be irresistible." 
An essential component of any move to suspend the constitution is the creation of a new Executive branch Department of Homeland Security which, as Representative Ron Paul (Texas) has observed, "represents the biggest government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in the 1940s, and potentially the single biggest expansion of the federal government in our history."
With the coming of the Department of Homeland Security, Bush II has stepped up its onslaught on constitutional liberties with increasing focus on changing the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which for more than a century has kept the U.S. military out of local law enforcement. The history of this law, and how "Congress has deliberately eroded this principle by involving the military in drug interdiction at our borders" is presented in an extensive 1997 paper by the Washington University Law Quarterly.
"The Posse Comitatus Act [Latin for `power of the county'] criminalizes, effectively prohibiting, the use of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus[+] to execute the laws of the United States. It reads:
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.[++]
"Though a criminal law, the PCA has a more important role as a statement of policy that embodies `the traditional Anglo-American principle of separation of military and civilian spheres of authority, one of the fundamental precepts of our form of government.'" [+++]
In July, Congress established the Office and Department of Homeland Security, a new Executive Branch cabinet position that mimics the National Security Council. This is something that has been in the works for a number of years. One of the first recommendations of Tom Ridge, the new head of this mammoth organization, has been to call for a re-examination of the Posse Comitatus Act. Representative Ron Paul wrote about "The Homeland Security Non-Debate" in his July 27th weekly column:
"Late Friday evening, after only a few short hours of debate, Congress passed legislation creating a new Department of Homeland Security. The new department represents the biggest government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in the 1940s, and potentially the single biggest expansion of the federal government in our history. Over 175,000 federal employees will be part of the new DHS, and if history is any guide, it will take decades to get all of them working together even marginally. In fact, some estimate that the process of buying and leasing new offices, moving existing offices, and getting all of the new DHS personnel using the same computer and phone systems could take twenty years. So much for streamlining the intelligence gathering process.
"Every American should know how quickly and thoughtlessly this massive new bureaucracy is being created. A special House committee made up of just a handful of members began writing the bill only one week before the vote. In that short time they managed to transform the President's 50 page proposal for consolidation of certain agencies into a 250 page spending spree filled with unnecessary provisions to satisfy scores of special interests. Most members did not see the final bill until Wednesday, nor did they see many of the 100+ amendments to the bill until Friday. The House debated the body of the bill itself late Thursday night for only two hours! This may serve the interests of members looking to highlight their `accomplishments' at election time, but the American people deserve far more serious consideration of possibly the most important legislation passed during their lifetimes. Without question, the new DHS will have a profound impact on the freedom, prosperity, and safety of every American and their grandchildren for decades to come.
"I did vote for several amendments to the bill that would maintain the strength and independence of federal agencies that are vitally important to the 14th congressional district in Texas. However, I voted a resounding NO on final passage. This legislation will have an even greater negative impact than the terrible "PATRIOT Act" passed shortly after September 11th."
Thus, possibly the most important legislation passed during our lifetimes with even greater negative impact than the "PATRIOT Act" is being adopted for the expediency of winning re-election. And just who are the people assuming positions of authority in the chain-of-command hierarchy of this appointed-by-the President Department? John Stanton, a Virginia-based writer on national security affairs, wrote this month about "Homeland Security Department - Another Production from the Real Shadow Government" and how it has "its genesis in defense and security study `think tanks' in Washington, DC."
"These groups wield enormous influence on local, state and national policy and arguably constitute the real shadow government of the United States. Eliminate the US Congress, Presidency and Supreme Court, and the three branches of government could just as well be the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security and the Center for Security Policy. Add the Institute for Defense Analysis as a place for the "nonprofit" government to hold "classified" meetings and most Americans would probably not notice any substantial difference. . . .
"As reported by CounterPunch, Tom Ridge, apparently one of the folks fitting the above description, and current Homeland Security Czar (with an unsettling resemblance to Fox's Simpson cartoon character Chief Wiggam) -- recently telegraphed what Homeland Security's more sinister functions may become. One of them is union busting. Ridge made a telephone call to the International Longshoremen Workers Union warning them that any large scale strike contemplated against Pacific Maritime will be viewed as a threat to national security. A veiled threat of police action and subsequent arrest if there ever was one. Finally, CounterPunch reported that a Phoenix Project (an assassination program in Vietnam) operative, Major General Bruce Lawlor (USA), will play a key role in US Homeland Security prevention and protection.
"And so it's just these types of folks who will be recruited for and make up the US Department of Homeland Security and its affiliates at the state and local levels. The prospect of a national internal security agency staffed by such people should be the stuff of a national debate." 
The tide is rising in the quest by some to replace liberty with security. Benjamin Franklin's maxim, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"  is being played out in such a grand scale today, it is difficult to believe the promise of this nation-state's basis of constitutional liberties founded on the individual can survive and be resurrected rather than defaulting to the police state being pursued by Bush II. As long as there are those who endeavor to renew this government of and by and for the people, it is our obligation to join them and continue using our wits and gifts to contribute to this work. A selection of other articles on this brand new, highly significant national internal security agency is included in the footnotes.
How the War on Terrorism Affects Access to Information and the Public's Right to Know
The need for accurate, detailed, and complete information about the changes occurring in the fabric and texture of our political and security landscape is critical. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has just released the second edition of their white paper, "Homefront Confidential, How the War on Terrorism Affects Access to Information and the Public's Right to Know."  This invaluable report details the increasingly dangerous risks posed by the suppression of information. Excerpts from the Foreword include:
"We live in a nation built on the concept of balance. When the government, with the best of intentions, goes too far in its efforts to shield information from the public, it is up to the public and the media to push back. Through a vibrant, information-based democratic process in our legislatures and through an independent judiciary, we as a society will come to a balance that hopefully will protect our liberties for generations to come.
"The Reporters Committee's Homefront Confidential `White Paper' was first published in March 2002. This second edition published on the first anniversary of September 11 incorporates a threat assessment to the public's right to know based on the color-coded scheme used by the Department of Homeland Security. Just as the government assesses threats to the nation's security, this report assesses how government actions have affected the media's ability to provide information to the public.
"We believe the public's right to know is severely threatened in the areas of changes to freedom of information laws, war coverage and access to terrorism and immigration proceedings. This report describes in detail why the public should be concerned about the information it is not getting." 
Also available as a 66-page PDF file, this report is essential reading to educate our selves, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, on the dangers we face with the concerted and expanding moves by U.S. government officials to limit, control, and/or stop the flow of information, a core element of any free society. It includes a four-page chronology of events listing 91 days of news over the past year that identify key issues regarding information access. This is followed by eight chapters identified with threat levels (indicating Severe risk to a free press, High risk to a free press, etc.) and color codes based on those created by the Department of Homeland Security.
Covering the warDespite improvements in access to battlefields abroad in the United States' war on terrorism, military officials continue to keep journalists at a long arm's length from the action. The result: A war carried on in the name of the American people with the possibility of little public accountability either now or in years to come. Military tribunalsA year after the September 11 attacks, the United States has yet to initiate a military tribunal. But the paperwork and guidelines are in place. And open government advocates worry that should the White House embark on the tribunal option to try suspected terrorists, another casualty would be openness. Access to terrorism & immigration proceedingsTraditionally, hearings involving immigrants and material witnesses operated under a presumption of openness. But post-September 11, secrecy stands as the default status for access, making it difficult -- if not impossible -- for the American public and the press to learn about detainees and material witnesses. Domestic coverageAfter facing sporadic restrictions on domestic newsgathering after September 11, reporters stateside have enjoyed mostly restraint-free coverage in the last few months. The reporter's privilegeA recent court decision and the development of a national terrorism watch program heighten worries that law enforcement and judges might become more likely to treat journalists as government agents. The USA PATRIOT ActIt is still unclear how or when the FBI's expanded wiretapping powers will affect journalists, but the Justice Department has shown that it intends to use its powers aggressively, notwithstanding a rare public rebuke by a secret court that almost always approves the department's warrant requests. Freedom of InformationFederal FOI Act officers now act under directions from the Attorney General to give strong consideration to exemptions before handing out information, and from the White House to protect "sensitive but unclassified" information. Federal Web sites have come down. And a measure to protect "homeland security" records could be passed soon. The rollback in state opennessA number of states jumped into the legislative fray soon after September 11, but many of the more severe proposals died before a vote or were modified to accommodate access concerns.
Direct and unfettered public access to government information is critical to the vitality of a free society. Bush II has a propensity for secrecy and obfuscation. On 1 November 2001, Bush Jr. signed Executive Order 13233, which violated the 1978 Presidential Records Act (PRA). The PRA was passed in 1978 as a response to President Nixon's attempt to control access to his documents and the infamous Watergate tape recordings. It decreed that the records of presidents and vice-presidents are public property, and must be made available to historians, journalists and the public no later than twelve years after the president or vice-president leaves office. This Executive Order halted the pending release to the public of some 68,000 pages of records of former President Ronald Reagan, which should have been released in January 2001, twelve years after President Reagan left office. Much has been written about how Bush Jr.'s move prevents knowledge of more of the classified facts of Reagan's eight years including the constitutional crises known as Iran Contra, while Bush Sr. was Vice President.
The Freedom to Read Foundation (organized by the American Library Association in 1969) provides an educational entry point into the Freedom of Information Act, an essential tool in the struggle for freedom of information, freedom of expression, and other first amendment rights in our age of increasingly secretive governance. Established in 1958, the Freedom of Information Center serves the general public and the media on questions regarding access to government documents and information. The FoI Center and its founders were central to the effort to enact the national Freedom of Information Act. The FoI Center is part of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, and supports its mission of providing an independent voice to protect the public's right to know.
Domestic Terrorism: General Ashcroft's "Enemy Citizens," Martial Law and Internment Camps
One of General Ashcroft's campaigns that has received a minimum of coverage in the press are efforts to set up detention and internment camps in the United States as part of preparations for the possibility of declaring martial law. This past summer, journalist Ritt Goldstein wrote two articles -- "Foundations are in place for martial law in the US" and "Internment Camps and Authoritarian US Fast Becoming Reality"  -- that detail how "democratic freedoms which have long defined American life are under seige."
This goes back to President Jimmy Carter's creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through Executive Order 12148 in 1979. While FEMA's charter originally called for planning and training activities concerning "natural disasters, nuclear war, the possibility of enemy attack on U.S. territory, and incidents involving domestic civil unrest," it was with the advent of the Reagan era in 1981 that FEMA's scope was augmented to be a "national emergency" entity, headed by a federal "emergency czar".
"The birth of FEMA's dark side originated in secret during the Reagan administration. FEMA's domestic disaster management role was then broadened to allow it to practice for the imposition of martial law and the internment of so-called aliens and radicals. During this period, a joint exercise was held with the military to prepare for such a contingency, Rex-84. Concurrently, FEMA began assembling files on those whom the Agency might target. . . . The exercise's purpose was to test military capabilities in anticipation of `civil disturbances, major demonstrations', incidentally illustrating the evolution of civil defense into civil control." 
After a period of abuse of power, culminating with the constitutional crisis later labeled Iran Contra (which was never fully revealed in public as vital moments during congressional hearings were conducted behind closed doors ), then Attorney General William French Smith concluded that activities FEMA had been involved in were openly unconstitutional including compiling dossiers on those it might seek to intern. "The FBI challenged FEMA's right to pursue domestic spying, resulting in FEMA's turning over `12,000 political dossiers' to the Bureau." 
FEMA's involvement in martial law plans surfaced momentarily during the Iran Contra hearings. What was arguably the most important question of those hearings never got a public answer. In July 2002, Southwestern University School of Law Professor Butler Shaffer pondered the question, "Will a Police State Protect Your Liberty?":
"It requires no great genius or years of scholarly study to understand how the future is implicit in the present. In July, 1987, the Miami Herald, along with some other newspapers, ran news stories about secret plans, in the Reagan White House, to suspend the Constitution, establish martial law, turn over the functioning of the US government to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and have military commanders running state and local governments, in the event of a national crisis. One of the architects of this plan was the conservative godling, Lt. Col. Oliver North. There were even rumors, in some circles, that government concentration camps were being readied for such a possibility.
"While news of such a plan failed to arouse the attention of most legislators, there was one -- Congressman Jack Brooks of Texas -- who, during the Iran-Contra hearings then being conducted, sought to question North about such reports. Brooks was quickly cut off by the Committee chairman, Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye. In the New York Times report of July 14, 1987, Inouye told Brooks: `that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area,' to which Brooks responded: `I read in Miami papers and several others that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency [NSC], a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American Constitution.' Inouye concluded: `May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon, at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I'm certain arrangements can be made for an executive session.' In other words, Sen. Inouye was determined to live up to the pronunciation of his name: `in no way' are we going to let the public know what we have planned for them!" 
It is not publically known what process and command structures of FEMA's past are deceased, dormant or active today. Goldstein cites an August 15th 2002 Los Angeles Times story recounting ``Ashcroft's announced desire to create "camps for US citizens he deems to be `enemy combatants'" [and that] Ashcroft aides "have indicated that a `high-level committee' will recommend which citizens are to be stripped of their constitutional rights and sent to Ashcroft's new camps"''. This is described in conjunction with a July 15th NewsMax.com story that FEMA is pursuing a "crash effort" to build "sprawling temporary cities to handle millions".
John Ashcroft resorts to euphemistic subterfuge when he pretends that he can simply rename a citizen of the U.S. as an "enemy combatant". With Ashcroft's penchant for portraying 9-11 as an act of war, he is now seeking to strip any American he wants to target of their constitutional rights and liberties by labeling them "enemy combatant". In terms of Americans, General Ashcroft should call such person's "enemy citizens" since such person is still protected by our constitutional system of law, even if Ashcroft would rather deny them their rights.
Given General Ashcroft's zeal to create camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be "enemy combatants" (although FEMA's public claim is to handle millions of displaced persons in the event of a terrorist attack), it is not unreasonable to expect such camps will be employed to intern Americans. What would be Ashcroft's grounds for internment? Many people will go to the streets to challenge the brazen and continued aggrandizement of power in the hands of the Chief Executive and his officers if another alleged terrorist attack supplies them with more justification to identify and lock up enemy citizens.
FEMA's activities during Reagan's terms included national training exercises in preparation for a suspension of the constitution in case of massive domestic political turmoil. The Department of Homeland Security intends to "build upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as one of its key components."  Goldstein stresses that FEMA's 1980s downfall (of pursuing openly unconstitutional goals) "was a direct outgrowth of its pursuit of proactive methods, its attempt to legitimize the assumption of extraordinary powers under the very cloak of `counterterrorism'."
"At present, the final contents and disposition of the Reagan security initiatives, part of a national crisis plan, remains beyond public knowledge. But given the `War On Terror's' scope, even if a formal crisis is not declared, speculation exists that a de facto drift into an effective deployment of FEMA's crisis powers could occur. And this February, the former FEMA executive, John Brinkerhoff, who reportedly drafted the martial law/internment portions of the national crisis plan, revealed it was `approved by Reagan, and actions were taken to implement it.'" 
"A Miami Herald article on July 5, 1987, reported that the former FEMA director Louis Guiffrida's deputy, John Brinkerhoff, handled the martial law portion of the planning. The plan was said to be similar to one Mr Giuffrida had developed earlier to combat `a national uprising by black militants'. It provided for the detention `of at least 21 million American Negroes' in `assembly centres or relocation camps'." 
General Ashcroft clearly is up to the task he believes he faces. Given last December's performance, when he aggressively bullied the Senate Judiciary Committee with extreme doublespeak such as "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: your tactics only aid terrorists" and "terrorists are taught how to use America's freedoms as a weapon against us", it would be more accurate to charge the General with applying newspeak tactics to promote his idea of freedoms as a weapon against the people of this nation-state.
It is not clear how far the General's zealotry will carry him and us. Nat Hentoff, writing on September 4th about "General Ashcroft's Detention Camps, Time to Call for His Resignation" notes the status of two American citizens, Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla, currently "locked up in military brigs as `enemy combatants.'"
"In Hamdi's case, the government claims it can hold him for interrogation in a floating navy brig off Norfolk, Virginia, as long as it needs to. When Federal District Judge Robert Doumar asked the man from the Justice Department how long Hamdi is going to be locked up without charges, the government lawyer said he couldn't answer that question. The Bush administration claims the judiciary has no right to even interfere. . . .
"Returning to General Ashcroft's plans for American enemy combatants, an August 8 New York Times editorial -- written before those plans were revealed -- said: `The Bush administration seems to believe, on no good legal authority, that if it calls citizens combatants in the war on terrorism, it can imprison them indefinitely and deprive them of lawyers. This defiance of the courts repudiates two centuries of constitutional law and undermines the very freedoms that President Bush says he is defending in the struggle against terrorism.'
"Meanwhile, as the camps are being prepared, the braying Terry McAuliffe and the pack of Democratic presidential aspirants are campaigning on corporate crime, with no reference to the constitutional crimes being committed by Bush and Ashcroft. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis prophesied: "The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people." And an inert Democratic leadership." 
As with the bedrock of law in the international arena, we are now witnessing the Bush II repudiation of two centuries of the domestic span of constitutional law undermining the basis of freedoms we presume to be cast in concrete and impermeable to the wiles of such aggrandizement of power. This nullification is being justified behind the all-encompassing façade of a holy "war" against, not a another national entity, but an ambiguous idea that means different things to different people. The supine leadership of Congress is in collusion with this renunciation of constitutional law proceeding apace, given that Congress is not exercising its constitutionally mandated powers of oversight over the Department of Justice.
Last month Mr. Hentoff wrote about retired California Congressman Don Edwards as "the Congressman from the Constitution". On August 10th Edwards received the American Bar Association's Thurgood Marshall Award for his "unswerving devotion to the Constitution and its values throughout his career."
"He served in the House from 1962 to 1995; for 23 years, Don was chair of the House Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights-which has oversight of the FBI. Himself a former FBI agent, Don set unprecedentedly high standards for containing the FBI within the bounds of the Constitution, very much including the Bill of Rights. . . .
"In the 1970s, Edwards -- along with Senator Frank Church and his committee -- exposed the FBI's pervasive abuses of civil liberties in J. Edgar Hoover's Cointelpro (counter-intelligence program), which monitored, infiltrated, and disrupted entirely lawful civil rights and anti-war organizations.
"Edwards . . . worked with Gerald Ford's attorney general Edward Levi in formulating FBI investigative guidelines faithful to the Constitution. It is these guidelines that John Ashcroft has contemptuously discarded in order to allow the FBI to go back to the hunting fields of Cointelpro.
"Characteristically, Edwards, though respected even by his opponents in Congress, refused a repeated request that he join the Intelligence Committee. He said that the people's business should be done in public, and through his influence in the House he blocked various expansions of unreviewable intelligence-authorization powers.
"Recently, I asked Don Edwards what he thought of the Bush-Ashcroft conception of the Bill of Rights. `The Bill of Rights,' he said, `is under assault. For example, locking people up-citizens or noncitizens-without being charged and without access to a lawyer is wrong. Under our system of justice, you must have a lawyer if you're imprisoned.
"`Also,' he added vigorously, `Congress is not exercising its oversight powers over the Department of Justice, including the FBI. Committees should be hauling in Justice Department officials to justify what they're doing.'" 
So far General Ashcroft and Bush II have felt justified in locking up two citizens of the United States without access to a lawyer and claiming the judiciary has no right to interfere. Aides to Ashcroft "have indicated that a `high-level committee' will recommend which citizens are to be stripped of their constitutional rights and sent to Ashcroft's new camps." We find ourselves living our own contemporary Scoundrel Time and must draw inspiration from Lillian Hellman and her accounts of how people stood up to and challenged the unconstitutional authority of an earlier pack of scoundrels: ruthless, ambitious politicians who engaged in their own assault on our constitutional laws and principles.
Domestic Terrorism: The Big Lie The "War" On Terrorism is a Total Fabrication
The government's explanation of precisely who is the enemy has never been buttressed with facts that would stand up in a court of law. In the 2002 edition of his book The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, Could The U.S. War On Terrorism Go Nuclear? Professor Francis Boyle describes how "the accounts provided by the United States government [of those responsible for the 9-11 bombings] simply do not add up."
The October 3 edition of the New York Times recounted the definitive briefing by a US ambassador to NATO officials on the alleged facts as follows:
One Western official at NATO said the briefings, which were oral, without slides or documents, did not report any direct order from Mr. Bin Laden, nor did they indicate that the Taliban knew about the attacks before they happened.
A senior diplomat for one closely allied nation characterized the briefing as containing "nothing particularly new or surprising," adding: "It was rather descriptive and narrative rather then forensic. There was no attempt to build a legal case."
In other words, there was no real case against Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, and the Taliban government of Afghanistan. Such was the conclusion of senior diplomats from friendly nations who attended the so-called briefing.
The Powell/Blair White Paper
Secretary of State Colin Powell publicly promised that they were going to produce a "White Paper" documenting their case against Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organization concerning September 11. . . . What happened here? We never received a "White Paper" produced by the Untied States government as publicly promised by Secretary Powell, who was later overridden by President Bush Jr. What we got instead was a so-called White Paper produced by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Obviously, Blair was acting as Bush Jr's surrogate . . . -- neither an elected or administrative official of the U.S. government, not even an American citizen. Conveniently, no American could be brought to task for or even questioned about whatever errors of inadequacies Blair might purvey.
The Powell/Blair White Paper fell into that hallowed tradition of a "White Paper" based upon insinuation, allegation, rumors, propaganda, lies, half-truths, etc. Even unnamed British government officials on an off-the-record basis admitted that the case against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda would not stand up in court. And as a matter of fact the Blair/Powell White Paper was widely derided in the British news media. There was nothing there.
[Note that the preamble to this white paper -- "Responsibility for the terrorist atrocities in the United States," 10/4/01 -- explicitly confirms Professor Boyle's assertion:
"This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against Usama Bin Laden in a court of law. Intelligence often cannot be used evidentially, due both to the strict rules of admissibility and to the need to protect the safety of sources. But on the basis of all the information available HMG is confident of its conclusions as expressed in this document."http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/page3554.asp --DTR]
Despite the clear import of the matter, the U.S. Congress has decided not to empanel a Joint Committee of the House and of the Senate with subpoena power giving them access to whatever hard evidence they want throughout any agency of the United States government -- including the National Security Council, FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA -- and also to put their Officials under oath to testify as to what happened and why under penalty of perjury. Obviously a cover-up is underway for the express purpose of not determining (1) who was ultimately responsible for the terrible attacks of 11 September 2001; and (2) why these extravagantly funded U.S. "intelligence" agencies were either unable or unwilling to prevent these attacks despite numerous warnings of a serious anti-American attack throughout the Summer of 2001 -- and yet, amazingly, could assert the identity of those responsible with such certainty in the space of hours thereafter as to preclude any serious investigation of other possible perpetrators. And for reasons not necessary to get into here, there is also an ongoing governmental cover-up of the obvious involvement of the Pentagon/CIA, or one of their contractors, in the anthrax attack upon the American People and all three Branches of the U.S. Federal Government.
In what follows, be mindful of the fundamental contradictions that misrepresent the very foundations of Bush II's purported "war" on terrorism. Our U.S. intelligence agencies, funded annually for decades with increasingly extravagant budgets, claim they were unable to prevent the 9-11 bombings due to the lack of correlated intelligence gathered. Yet within the span of less than a day, these same agencies asserted the identity of those responsible with such certainty as to preclude any serious investigation of other possible perpetrators. Whose interests are truly served by such investigations and their near instantaneous conclusions?
How quickly the devils of yesterday become the discarded wraiths of today. A story by Reuters on August 20th described the current status of America's "Enemy Number One": "Bin Laden: from `Evil One' to Unmentionable One" . What is the significance of bin Laden being reduced to an unmentionable status by government officials when less than a year ago his alleged presence in Afghanistan caused such massive firepower to be targeted where at least 3,767 innocent people were killed there by U.S. bombs between October and December?  Again, as taxpaying supporters of the United States second-to-none military, how do we reconcile our complicity in these deaths of innocents with the innocents who were killed one year ago in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania? When will enough people have been killed that more not need to be sacrificed on the altar of such justice?
Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, is the editor of the Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG). He and others have written extensively on the interconnecting dimensions of what occurred before, during, and after the September 11th bombings and what these crimes against humanity have initiated. The CRG "is an independent research and media group of progressive writers, scholars and activists committed to curbing the tide of [corporate] `globalisation' and `disarming' the New World Order. The CRG webpage at globalresearch.ca based in Montréal publishes news articles, commentary, background research and analysis on a broad range of issues, focusing on the interrelationship between social, economic, strategic, geopolitical and environmental processes." 
One of the areas relevant to the purported culpability of Osama bin Laden includes CRG-published articles detailing the long-time associations between the "ISI-Osama-Taliban axis" (ISI is Pakistan's Military Intelligence) and the U.S. intelligence community, State Department and other federal agencies. Numerous sources substantiate these facts. In light of such research, one is left to deconstruct the purpose of the misrepresentations U.S. officials in the Pentagon and Bush II administration presented within hours after the bombings -- without supporting evidence -- that "Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organisation were prime suspects."
"Corroborated by the House of Representatives International Relations Committee, US support funneled through the ISI to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden has been a consistent policy of the US Administration since the end of the Cold War:
``. . . [T]he United States has been part and parcel to supporting the Taliban all along, and still is let me add . . . You have a military government [of President Musharraf] in Pakistan now that is arming the Taliban to the teeth. . . . Let me note; that [US] aid has always gone to Taliban areas . . . We have been supporting the Taliban, because all our aid goes to the Taliban areas. And when people from the outside try to put aid into areas not controlled by the Taliban, they are thwarted by our own State Department . . . At that same moment, Pakistan initiated a major resupply effort, which eventually saw the defeat, and caused the defeat, of almost all of the anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan.'' (US House of Representatives: Statement by Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, Hearing of The House International Relations Committee on "Global Terrorism And South Asia", Washington, July 12, 2000.)
"The existence of an "ISI-Osama-Taliban axis" is a matter of public record. The links between the ISI and agencies of the US government including the CIA are also a matter of public record." 
The Clinton Administration supported what has been called the "Militant Islamic Network". A 1997 Congressional report provides evidence from official sources of the links between the Islamic Jihad and the US government. In "Who Is Osama Bin Laden?" Chossudovsky outlines the history of Osama Bin Laden and the links of the Islamic "Jihad" to the formulation of US foreign policy during the Cold War and its aftermath. In "OSAMAGATE" he describes how the main justification for the war we are now committed to has been totally fabricated.
"`Now the Taliban will pay a price' vowed President George W. Bush, as American and British fighter planes unleashed missile attacks against major cities in Afghanistan. The US Administration claims that Osama bin Laden is behind the tragic events of the 11th of September. A major war supposedly "against international terrorism" has been launched, yet the evidence amply confirms that agencies of the US government have since the Cold War harbored the "Islamic Militant Network" as part of Washington's foreign policy agenda. In a bitter irony, the US Air Force is targeting the training camps established in the 1980s by the CIA.
"The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future." 
The consistently echoed claim of how 9-11 was the result of a massive U.S. `intelligence failure' is especially significant given the fact that "on the morning of September 11, Pakistan's Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged `money-man' behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees."
"The media's spotlight on `foreknowledge' and so-called `FBI lapses' served to distract public attention from the broader issue of political deception. Not a word was mentioned concerning the role of the CIA, which throughout the entire post-Cold War era, has aided and abetted Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, as part of its covert operations.
"Of course they knew! The foreknowledge issue is a red herring. The `Islamic Brigades' are a creation of the CIA. In standard CIA jargon, Al Qaeda is categorized as an `intelligence asset'. Support to terrorist organizations is an integral part of U.S. foreign policy. Al Qaeda continues to this date (2002) to participate in CIA covert operations in different parts of the World. These `CIA-Osama links' do not belong to a bygone era, as suggested by the mainstream media.
"The U.S. Congress has documented in detail, the links of Al Qaeda to agencies of the U.S. government during the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as in Kosovo. More recently in Macedonia, barely a few months before September 11, U.S. military advisers were mingling with Mujahideen mercenaries financed by Al Qaeda. Both groups were fighting under the auspices of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), within the same terrorist paramilitary formation.
"The CIA keeps track of its `intelligence assets'. Amply documented, Osama bin Laden's whereabouts were always known. Al Qaeda is infiltrated by the CIA. In other words, there were no `intelligence failures'! In the nature of a well-led intelligence operation, the `intelligence asset' operates (wittingly or unwittingly) with some degree of autonomy, in relation to its U.S. government sponsors, but ultimately it acts consistently, in the interests of Uncle Sam.
"While individual FBI agents are often unaware of the CIA's role, the relationship between the CIA and Al Qaeda is known at the top levels of the FBI. Members of the Bush Administration and the U.S. Congress are fully cognizant of these links.
"The foreknowledge issue focusing on `FBI lapses' is an obvious smokescreen. While the whistleblowers serve to underscore the weaknesses of the FBI, the role of successive U.S. administrations (since the presidency of Jimmy Carter) in support of the `Islamic Militant Base', is simply not mentioned.
". . .
"In a bitter irony, Rep. Porter Goss and Senator Bob Graham, -- the men who hosted the mysterious September 11 breakfast meeting with the alleged `hijacker's high commander' (to use the FBI's expression), had been put in charge of the investigation and public hearings on so-called `intelligence failures'." 
- There are numerous documents, which prove beyond doubt the links between Al Qaeda and successive U.S. administrations. See Centre for Research on Globalisation, Foreknowledge of 9-11: Compilation of key articles and documents, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CRG204A.html, May 2002, section 3.
- U.S. Congress, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, Republican Party Committee, Congressional Press Release, Congress, 16 January 1997, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html. See also Michel Chossudovsky, `Osamagate', Centre for Research on Globalisation, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html, 9 October 2001.
- See Centre for Research on Globalisation, Foreknowledge of 9-11: Compilation of key articles and documents, op. cit. section 3. See articles by Isabel Vincent, George Szamuely, Scott Taylor, Marina Domazetovska, Michel Chossudovsky, Umberto Pascali, Lara Marlowe and Macedonian dailies.
- See "Bin Laden Whereabouts Before 9-11," CBS Evening News with Dan Rather; CBS, 28 January 2002, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CBS203A.html and Alexandra Richard, "The CIA met bin Laden while undergoing treatment at an American Hospital last July in Dubai," Le Figaro. http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/RIC111B.html .
- The Boston Globe, 5 June 2002.
How can Senator Bob Graham, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, be expected to exert any constitutionally meaningful oversight of the murky world and dealings of the U.S. intelligence community (and its relations to the equivalent in other governments), if he was having breakfast on 9-11 with the alleged money-man behind the 9-11 hijackers? 
A May 5th CNN story is an example of the shell-games played in the press: the focus here is on bin Laden's connection to "Arab students taking aviation lessons."
"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. authorities failed to recognize clues before September 11th about a potential terrorist attack, including an internal FBI memo that questioned whether Osama bin Laden was behind Arab students taking aviation lessons in the Unied States, a key Senate leader said Wednesday.
"In an interview with CNN, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham, D-Florida, said the House and Senate intelligence panels will hold hearings soon about various memos and reports, including one dubbed the Phoenix document, written by an FBI agent last summer.
"A key question, Graham said, would be `why these dots weren't seen and connected. . . . We failed to put the puzzle together before the horrific event.'" 
Either Senator Bob Graham is aware of General Mahmoud Ahmad's relationship to Mohammed Atta and is complicit with foreknowledge of the 9-11 bombings, or he is ignorant of this and is incompetent.
Controlling the scope and limits of official investigations in the House and the Senate to minimized exposure of sensitive history is nothing new. It happened with the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in the late 1970s and with Iran Contra in the late 1980s. John Judge, one of the cofounders of the National Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA), a network of independent researchers and investigators into the John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King assassinations, has written extensively on the events of September 11th. In May he commented on the story of national security advisor Rice opposing a public panel to investigate 9-11.
"They want to contain it to the House and Senate intelligence committees which they control. Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla), chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a longtime secrecy advocate . . . was actually promoted to run by Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Two boys from the state that brought us the current unelected President in the first place. The heads of these committees are traditionally awarded medals by the CIA for their `services'.
"Past committees (Church, Pike) at all critical of the intelligence agencies are now fingered for the failures of 9-11 for supposedly taking away their ability to function. But intelligence gathering was never challenged or defunded, only intelligence activities, which were often illegal, unconstitutional and ill-advised." 
A Washington Post article in July describing an "Independent 9-11 Commission Gaining Ground" prompted Judge's observation that the only kind of investigation that might succeed in this situation would be one that exists outside the U.S. government.
"After living through the politicized debacle of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and even the Church Committee and the Ervin Committee attempts to get at the truth about intelligence dirty tricks, I have come to the conclusion that, like the Rockefeller Commission, it is mostly a case of asking the intelligence agencies to contemplate their own navels.
"Not only are the oversight committees well-larded with [people like] Inouye and now those two stellar Floridians Bob Graham and Porter Goss (all of whom have gotten medals of commendation from the CIA itself), I don't think it is possible to use them to get at much of anything. They never do a full blown investigation, and if one starts to get close to the truth it is dismantled like the HSCA was, and put under control of the cover artists. They define the investigation at the start so narrowly it will never see the iceberg below the tip, and they go into closed session when anything really matters.
"We are better off now calling for an independent Truth Commission outside the government. It has been amusing to watch the debate over using a Presidentially appointed blue-ribbon commission (like the Warren Commission) -- which was opposed by Senator Arlen Spector, who must know their shortcomings after inventing the single-bullet theory on JFK to get them out of their collision with the facts.
"Recently I heard Senator Lieberman talking about this `independent, bipartisan' Congressional investigation in front of a rally of the victims' families who only want the truth not the government payoff. He said at one point that `security is the basis of all our other liberties'. He has it exactly backwards." 
The claim that "security is the basis of all our other liberties" reminds us once more of Benjamin Franklin's assertion that those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither. Prompted by the dimensions of "Unresolved issues that need to be investigated" articulated on the Cooperative Research website, Judge reminds us of our ignored history providing necessary context to the United States involvement in Afghanistan in the 1980s as well as tie-ins to officials indicted during Iran Contra many of whom are now in positions of significant power in Bush II.
"More grist for the mill. Sources on Pakistani ISI head Mahmud Ahmad visiting US officials and wiring money to Mohammed Atta. Also meeting with Armitage, and Senators Graham, Biden and Rep. Goss, who are the `investigators'.[1, 2, 3] Also information on another ISI operative using opium profits to fund covert operations.
"CIA's William Casey ran the Mujehaddin covert war against the Soviet union using the same funding methods. The opium production continues to date. Armitage was part of the Afghanistan operation, very close to it, and well known in Pakistan as well. Armitage was a Congtragate figure, close to North. Contragate was also an off-the-shelf drug-financed operation run by Casey.
"The Contragaters are back in high official positions running this new game. Poindexter is now in charge of data mining computers and phone tapping; [1, 2, 3] Colin Powell moved the TOW missiles through Israel for sale to Iran at bargain prices; and Otto Reich and others were involved in the dirty Contra war (also drug financed). They are back in position now, with the same old agenda for control.
"North was behind destroying detente with the `evil empire' USSR via KAL 007, he was the liason of the DOD to FEMA for martial law planning (a fact that had to go into `closed committee' during the investigation and came out being falsely denied), and he was behind the phony terrorism scenarios of the 80s, using Abu Nidal as the threat (recently `suicided') while his company was selling him arms.
"Does it then make sense of the fact that Mohammed Atta was living in Sarasota, Florida with one of the Contragate pilots? Is this just Casey's unfinished legacy come to haunt us, using the same methods and even the same personnel in a new and improved scam? BCCI money floats around these same operations and Saudi billions. There is more work to be done to get at the bottom of all this." 
In addition to the central question of who directed and was responsible for the airliner bombings of 9/11, when did the planning and preparation for the so-called war on terrorism actually occur? A great deal of data exists concerning the creation of favorable conditions for U.S. oil corporations to operate in central Asia. In 1997 Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote The Grand Chessboard -- American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives asserting "it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book."
In 1998 John Maresca, Vice President, International Relations Unocal Corporation, testified before the House Committee On International Relations Subcommittee On Asia And The Pacific on three issues concerning Central Asia oil and gas reserves: "The need for multiple pipeline routes for Central Asian oil and gas. The need for U.S. support for international and regional efforts to achieve balanced and lasting political settlements within Russia, other newly independent states and in Afghanistan. The need for structured assistance to encourage economic reforms and the development of appropriate investment climates in the region."
A 1999 RAND Corporation book, Countering the New Terrorism contains elements of the blueprint that has been openly embraced by Bush II since 9/11. News stories in the summer of 2001 indicate detailed planning for military action to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan to "take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest."
A report commissioned by former US Secretary of State James Baker entitled "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century," and sponsored by Rice University and the Council on Foreign Relations, was submitted to Cheney in April 2001. It argues that "the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma," with one of the "consequences" being a "need for military intervention" to secure its oil supply.
Cheney was the president of Halliburton, an oil services industry provider. For nearly a decade, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice worked with Chevron, while Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans was CEO of Tom Brown, Inc, Denver-based oil and gas company. Many US officials now working on Bush II's Afghanistan policy also have extensive backgrounds in the world of multinational oil giants. A list of concentrated sources and key articles  provide details about the pre-9/11 advance planning and preparation for the so-called war on terrorism. Exploration of the background of the call for an American global imperium prior to 9/11 is included in the Official 9-11 Misrepresentations section.
The facts and context of our secret, buried, or ignored history, are there: each of us can contribute our share of getting to the bottom of all this. Through omission as well as dissembling and deception, the context is woefully lacking. Ignoring that our elected and non-elected members of government would consciously and intentionally lie denies the lessons of history and of human nature. Where is the conflict-of-interest more heightened than at the seat of political power, within the biggest superpower on earth? The Atomic Energy Commission lethal deceptions (1950s and 60s), U-2 incident (1960), Bay of Pigs (1961), JFK assassination (1963), Gulf of Tonkin Incident (1964), Martin Luther King assassination (1968), Robert Kennedy assassination (1968), Vietnam (1950s and 60s and 70s), Watergate (1972), overthrow of Chilean President Allende and his assassination (1973), Iran Contra (1980s), Looting of U.S. Savings and Loans Industry (1980s), Iraq-Iran war (1980s), Gulf War (1991), 2000 Presidential election . . . these events demonstrate how susceptible humans are to the corrupting influence of power and the belief that one's actions do not have to be publically accountable.
As paralyzing as the enormity of what is happening may feel, there is a wealth of sources on which one can focus that provides a wider range of world views, facts, context, and analysis of what is happening and what is at stake including (but not limited to) the following:
- The Centre for Research on Globalisation has loads of articles and independent research in one place with links branching out to many related topics;
- both t r u t h o u t and CommonDreams provide "news center" sites with a rich tapestry of articles and analysis presenting a more representative world view of all our humanity;
- the Center For Cooperative Research is employing an experimental research framework for decentralized production and distribution of information goods -- includes a great deal of information that is methodical and academic;
- United Flight 93 Crash Theory Home Page - The Real Story of Flight 93 -- everything you wanted to know about Flight 93 can be found here;
- Antiwar.com -- note especially Justin Raimondo's Behind the Headlines column;
- Peter Dale Scott -- veteran writer focusing on the deep politics behind events and recently, drugs and oil connections to 9-11;
- Political analyst and human rights activist Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is published in Media Monitors; see his book, The War on Freedom, How and Why America was Attacked September 11, 2001 (July 2002);
- US government manipulation of perceptions: The Gatekeepers, The Progressive / Left establishment and the marginalization of conspiracy research - the debate begins in earnest;
- The War in Context - weekly weblog of mostly corporate media presenting alternative perspectives of the "war on terrorism" and Middle East conflict;
- Unanswered Questions: Thinking For Ourselves is compiling the many questions that need answering;
- the Emperor's Clothes independent analysis includes a listing of Articles On 9-11;
- CounterPunch -- a wide array of writers with analysis outside corporate America;
- Online Journal offers investigative reporting "building a new news media of, by and for the people";
- The War Against Terrorism News, a vast array of global links updated weekly;
- Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) - State Within A State is devoted to collecting stories on the ISI;
- A Timeline of Oil and Violence is well organized on the rush to grab Central Asia's oil.
We are being told to accept an assemblage of facts that would not stand up in a court of law to prove the guilt of a man, bin Laden and his organization, that somehow succeeded in penetrating the most restricted airspace in the world approximately 55 minutes after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. These facts, while not sufficient to prevent the day that changed the world, nonetheless were more than sufficient to identify the culprit in less than the next 24 hours; who was then the justification for embarking on a war that, according to Dick Cheney, "may never end. At least, not in our lifetime" ; and who less than a year later has dropped off the world stage slowing down this lifetime war, on his behalf, not one iota. Whose interests are advanced by this monumental campaign to trade our liberty for security?
9-11 Timeline: minute-by-minute Stand Down from Incompetence or Complicity?
From the morning of September 11th, official explanations for how three planes managed to fly into their respective targets without being shadowed by United States Air Force jets engaged in standard, aerial reconnaissance as per all the rules in the book, is simply not credible.
What is most revealing about the four hijacked flight timelines of September 11th is that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations of standard intercept procedures for dealing with these kinds of situations have been in force and on-line for decades in the United States, 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Air Traffic Controller (ATC) procedures are explicit and unambiguous: if a plane goes two miles off course, that is an emergency situation. Since 9-11 we have not needed new laws; we needed for the existing laws to be adhered to. Last December, R. Anderson posted a summary of rules governing Instrument flight rules (IFR) requirements on the net with links to specific FAA and other U.S. government agencies' documentation.
The following excerpts are quoted from Paul Thompson's exemplary research work, "The Complete 9-11 Timeline."  At some point in the past, this work would have been investigated and produced by members of the press. It is unfortunate that in this era of corporate governance, this caliber of independent thinking and journalism is rarely published. Thompson's reasoning is articulate and well-considered. As he points out in the introduction:
The mainstream media is the one that's failed to "connect the dots". There are an amazing amount of intriguing news stories that have squeaked into the media but not reached a wide audience, and/or have not been properly followed up or placed into context. I haven't seen anything that pulls it all together, so I've felt compelled to make this.
You might call some or all of this "conspiracy theory." The term "conspiracy theory" is bandied about to discredit ideas that run counter to what is widely believed. But sometimes the official story turns out to be a lie -- look at what the Nixon Administration was claiming and the press generally reporting when the Watergate story was in its early stages, for instance. The alternative to conspiracy is coincidence theory. At some point, when enough "dots" line up, the thought that everything is just coincidence becomes the wildest theory of all.
To be honest, I don't know exactly what happened on 9-11. I have my theories and hunches, but its an extremely complicated plot, and there are a number of plausible explanations for part or all of the story's aspects. Also, I don't want to force my ideas down your throat. I'm using the timeline to draw attention to interesting stories that you may not have read. I have tried to let the stories speak for themselves, and reduce my voice as much as possible. When I do add my own comments, I put those at the end of a summary in question form and in italics. I hope you come to your own conclusions.
Two-and-half centuries ago in the thirteen colonies this sort of thinking and ensuing action lead to the American Revolution. Our present era in human history is defined by a more critical set of crisis elements than what the forerunners of the United States faced. The old ways no longer work. Those who believe might-makes-right are attempting to retain their influence and control over economic and political structures of power through naked force, omission, misrepresentation and deception. Operating from a worldview that believes violence can be controlled by increasing scale-of-magnitudes of firepower and technologically sophisticated weaponry shows that we are dealing with people who are informed and motivated by lethally irrational and unconscious assumptions.
It is up to each of us, to be our own leader, to find out for ourselves what the facts are and learn what truths may be discerned about how our world operates. Thompson's acknowledgement regarding the complexity and interconnections comprising our world resonates with the common sense Thomas Paine emphasized.
This document I have made is veeeeery, very long. Its chock-full of information and may be difficult to get through. You may want to tackle a bit at a time . . . But 9-11 was possibly one of the most pivotal events in world history, and its impact will be felt on all of our lives for years to come. You owe it to yourself to go beyond the sound bites and the simplified official story. This is an extremely complicated story with numerous players and motives. Not everything makes sense or fits neatly together. Its a story full of espionage, deceit, and brazen lies. But if there are forces out there tricking us, they can only succeed if we, the general public, remain ignorant and passive.
The Complete 9/11 Timeline is presented on the Center For Cooperative Research website which uses frames to display its contents. Although they are an expedient method where quick site creation is concerned, frames are ill-conceived for ease of navigation and accessibility. You may find the active mirrors of Paul's work at http://billstclair.com/911timeline/ and http://www.unansweredquestions.net/timeline/ are more accessible and easy to navigate. (The following excerpts link to http://billstclair.com/911timeline/.)
Sections of the Timeline:
Here then are excerpts from "Part 3: Day of 9/11":
This timeline analyzes the events of 9/11 minute by minute. What's the point of such detail? Perhaps the greatest "smoking gun" that shows the Bush Administration knowing about the 9/11 beforehand and not acting is what they DIDN'T do on 9/11. Just how slow was the government's response? Was it criminally slow? Every minute counts in determining this, which is why there is controversy on exactly when so many events took place. I have tried to include as many difference sources for timing as I can, that appear to be independent and not just repeating what someone else said.
Approximate times are marked in parentheses.
Points to keep in mind when you read the below:
The scrambling of fighter aircraft at the first sign of trouble is a routine phenomenon. Between 9/11 and June, 2002, jets were scrambled after aircraft 462 times. Obviously there was great nervousness after 9/11, but in the same time period the year before, fighters were still scrambled 67 times. [AP, 8/13/02]
"Consider that an aircraft emergency exists . . . when: . . . There is unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with any . . . aircraft." [FAA regulations]
"If . . . you are in doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency or potential emergency, handle it as though it were an emergency." [FAA regulations]
"Pilots are supposed to hit each fix with pinpoint accuracy. If a plane deviates by 15 degrees, or two miles from that course, the flight controllers will hit the panic button. Theyll call the plane, saying "American 11, youre deviating from course." Its considered a real emergency, like a police car screeching down a highway at 100 miles an hour. When golfer Payne Stewarts incapacitated Learjet missed a turn at a fix, heading north instead of west to Texas, F-16 interceptors were quickly dispatched." [MSNBC, 9/12/01]
"A NORAD spokesman says its fighters routinely intercept aircraft. When planes are intercepted, they typically are handled with a graduated response. The approaching fighter may rock its wingtips to attract the pilot's attention, or make a pass in front of the aircraft. Eventually, it can fire tracer rounds in the airplane's path, or, under certain circumstances, down it with a missile." [Boston Globe, 9/15/01]
"In October, Gen. Eberhart told Congress that `now it takes about one minute' from the time that the FAA senses something is amiss before it notifies NORAD. And around the same time, a NORAD spokesofficer told the Associated Press that the military can now scramble fighters `within a matter of minutes to anywhere in the United States.'" [Slate, 1/16/02]
The commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, Anatoli Kornukov said the day after 9/11: "Generally it is impossible to carry out an act of terror on the scenario which was used in the USA yesterday . . . As soon as something like that happens here, I am reported about that right away and in a minute we are all up." [Pravda, 9/12/01]
Supposedly, on 9/11, there are only 4 fighters on ready status in the Northeastern US, and only 14 fighters on ready status in the entire US. [BBC, 8/29/02]
American Airlines Flight 11
- Left Boston at 7:59, crashed into north tower, 1 World Trade Center (WTC) at 8:46.
United Airlines Flight 175
- Left Boston at 8:14, crashed into south tower 2 WTC at 9:03
American Airlines Flight 77
- Left Washington DC at 8:20, crashed into the Pentagon at 9:41
United Airlines Flight 93
- Left Newark at 8:42, crashed about 80 miles sw of Pittsburgh at 10:06
(At 8:20) Flight 11 starts to veer dramatically off course around this time. [USA Today flight path image, on this page] Recall that if a plane goes two miles off course, that is an emergency situation. [MSNBC, 9/12/01]
(At 8:20) Boston flight control decides that Flight 11 has probably been hijacked, but they don't notify other air traffic control centers for another 5 minutes, and don't notify NORAD for about another 20 minutes. ["about 8:20," Newsday, 9/23/01, "about 8:20," New York Times, 9/15/01] ABC News will later say of this, "There doesn't seem to have been alarm bells going off, traffic controllers getting on with law enforcement or the military. There's a gap there that will have to be investigated." [ABC News, 9/14/01] Did the controllers really decide this now, or did they do it at 8:15, when they determined the flight was not responding and had turned off its transponder?
At 8:24 the pilot of Flight 11, John Ogonowski, activates the talk-back button, enabling Boston air traffic controllers to hear a hijacker on Flight 11 say to the passengers: "We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you will be OK. We are returning to the airport." A controller responds, "Who's trying to call me?" The hijacker continues, "Everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet." [8:24:38, Guardian, 10/17/01, 8:24:38, New York Times, 10/16/01, 8:24, Boston Globe, 11/23/01, 8:28 New York Times, 9/12/01, before 8:28, Channel 4 News, 9/13/01] Immediately after hearing this voice, the controller "knew right then that he was working a hijack." [Village Voice, 9/13/01] The transponder beacon and radio have been off for 9 minutes, the flight has been off course for about 4 minutes and only now he knows its a hijack? Yet still, no one notifies NORAD for another 14 minutes?
At 8:25 Boston air traffic controllers notify other air traffic control centers of the Flight 11 hijacking, but supposedly they don't notify the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) for another 13 minutes. [8:25:00, Guardian, 10/17/01] Doesn't it seem logical that NORAD was notified at this time along with everyone else, but they claim otherwise to cover up the lack of sending any fighters after the plane in response? Note that this means the controllers working Flight 77 and Flight 93 would have been aware of Flight 11's hijacking from this time. [Village Voice, 9/13/01]
At 8:28 Boston Air Traffic Control radar sees Flight 11 making an unplanned 100 degree turn to the south (they're already way off-course). Flight controllers say they never lost sight of the flight, though they could no longer determine altitude once the transponder was turned off. [Christian Science Monitor, 9/13/01] However, in other media reports, "Boston airport officials said they did not spot the plane's course until it had crashed, and said the control tower had no unusual communication with the pilots or any crew members." [Washington Post, 9/12/01] The lack of unusual communication is an incredible lie, as other prior entries show. Before this turn, the FAA had tagged Flight 11's radar dot for easy visibility, and at American Airlines headquarters at least, "All eyes watched as the plane headed south. On the screen, the plane showed a squiggly line after its turn near Albany, then it straightened." [Wall Street Journal, 10/15/01] Why such blatant lies? They expect people to believe they didn't know the flight was a hijacking until after it crashed? Why should the same people be expected to tell the truth about other incidents of the day?
(At 8:38) Boston Air Traffic Control supposedly notifies NORAD that Flight 11 has been hijacked. This is 23 minutes after traffic control noticed the plane had its transponder beacon and radio turned off. [8:40, NORAD, 9/18/01, 8:38, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:38, Washington Post, 9/12/01] Such a delay in notification would be in strict violation of regulations. Doesn't it seem at least plausible that NORAD was notified long before this, but did absolutely nothing in response, and then fudged the official times to hide their criminal behavior?
At 8:41 the pilots of Flight 175 tell ground control, "We figured we'd wait to go to your center. We heard a suspicious transmission on our departure out of Boston. Someone keyed the mike and said: `Everyone stay in your seats.' It cut out." [Guardian, 10/17/01, 8:41:32, New York Times, 10/16/01] Alternate version, "We heard a suspicious transmission on our departure from B-O-S [Boston's airport code]. Sounds like someone keyed the mike and said, `Everyone, stay in your seats.'" [Boston Globe, 11/23/01]
At 8:42 Flight 175 veers from its official course. ["Within 90 seconds" of the above item, Boston Globe, 11/23/01] (CNN had an early report that the deviation happened at 8:50, but that's probably when the plane, already off-course, made a complete u-turn north.) [CNN, 9/17/01]
At 8:42 a flight controller says of Flight 175, ". . . looks like he's heading southbound but there's no transponder no nothing and no one's talking to him." [New York Times, 10/16/01]
At 8:43 NORAD is notified that Flight 175 has been hijacked. [8:43, NORAD, 9/18/01, 8:43, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:43, Washington Post, 9/12/01] Note that this means the controllers working Flight 77 and Flight 93 would have been aware of both Flight 175 and Flight 11's hijacking from this time.
At 8:46 According to Robert Marr, commander of NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), NORAD is unable to find the location of Flight 11. Finally, someone sees a "green dot that's not identified. Almost as soon as it's discovered, it disappears. It's 8:46 a.m." At the time, "there are no other missing aircraft." But then, at 9:02, they see a second unidentified aircraft on a screen, which is Flight 175 crashing into the WTC. The whole time, NORAD staff "were constantly on the phone with the FAA, airlines and others, looking for clues. `If we could get good last-known-positions and tail numbers, that would help the fighters pick out the right aircraft,'" says one staff member. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02] Recall this from a previous entry: Before a turn at 8:28, the FAA had tagged Flight 11's radar dot for easy visibility, and at American Airlines headquarters, "All eyes watched as the plane headed south. On the screen, the plane showed a squiggly line after its turn near Albany, then it straightened." [Wall Street Journal, 10/15/01] So American Airlines says Flight 11 was never lost, and this corresponds with other reports. For instance, "Controllers scrambled to direct other planes out of the way of both United 175 and American Airlines Flight 11", and several collisions were barely averted. [Washington Post, 9/17/01] The airlines would have no reason to lie about this, NORAD would have a very big reason to lie.
(At 8:46) Flight 77 from Washington goes severely off course. It heads due north for a while then flies due south and gets back on course. [see USA Today's Flight 77 flight path] It was off course by around 15 miles, and stayed off course for about 5 minutes. According to regulations a fighter should have scrambled to see what was going on, regardless of any excuses from the pilot.
(After 8:46) "During the hour or so that American Airlines Flight 77 was under the control of hijackers, up to the moment it struck the west side of the Pentagon, military officials in a command center on the east side of the [Pentagon] were urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do." [New York Times, 9/15/01] Since the Pentagon was struck around 9:41, this means that shortly after the first signs of trouble, the military knew that Flight 77 was hijacked, even though, supposedly, NORAD is not notified until 9:24.
At 8:46 Flight 11 slams into the north tower, 1 World Trade Center. Investigators believe it still had about 10,000 gallons of fuel and was traveling 470 mph. [New York Times, 9/11/02] Approximately 2662 people are killed on the ground between this crash and the crash of Flight 175. [AP, 8/19/02] [ 8:45, CNN, 9/12/01, 8:45, New York Times, 9/12/01, 8:46, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:46, NORAD, 9/18/01, 8:46, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 8:47:00, Guardian, 10/17/01, 8:48, MSNBC, 9/22/01, 8:46:26, New York Times, 9/11/02, 8:46:26, seismic records]
At 8:46 Air Force General and acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers later claims that he is in Washington, talking to Senator Max Cleland at this time. A few minutes later, he sees a television report that a plane had hit the WTC, but he claims, "They thought it was a small plane or something like that," so he goes back to his call. He remains oblivious to what is happening until after the Pentagon is hit almost an hour later. [American Forces Press Service, 10/23/01] Yet, in testimony on Sept. 13, he states, "after the second tower was hit, I spoke to the commander of NORAD, General Eberhart. And at that point, I think the decision was at that point to start launching aircraft." [Myers Confirmation Testimony, 9/13/01] Doesn't that expose his first story that he didn't know what was happening until later as a lie? If the second statement is true, then doesn't that make all the details of planes being scrambled before 9:03 all lies?
At 8:46, the time of the first WTC crash, 3 F-16's assigned to Andrews Air Force Base 10 miles from Washington are flying an air-to-ground training mission on a range in North Carolina, 207 miles away. Eventually they are recalled to Andrews and land there at some point after Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 9/9/02] F-16's can travel a maximum speed of 1500 mph. Traveling even at 1250 mph, at least one of the F-16's could have returned to Washington within 10 minutes and started patrolling the skies well before 9:00 A.M. Why were they recalled so late, and then ordered back to base (and then to take off again) instead of being sent straight to Washington?
(After 8:46) According to NORAD command director Capt. Michael H. Jellinek, at some point not long after the first WTC hit, telephone links are established with the National Military Command Center (NMCC) located inside the Pentagon, Canada's equivalent command center, Strategic Command, theater Cincs and federal emergency-response agencies. An Air Threat Conference Call is initiated. At one time or another, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and key military officers are heard on the open line. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02]
At 8:50 the last radio contact with Flight 77 is made when the pilots ask for clearance to fly higher. But then they fail to respond to a routine instruction. [Guardian, 10/17/01, Boston Globe, 11/23/01, 8:50:51, New York Times, 10/16/01] Note that normal communications continues with Flight 77 about 4 minutes after the plane went significantly off course, suggesting the original pilot continued to fly the plane for at least a while after it was hijacked. Again, evidence that a hijacker was in the cockpit at the start of the hijacking?
At 8:52 two F-15's take off from Otis ANG Base, 6 minutes after being ordered to go after Flight 11, which has already crashed. [8:52, NORAD, 9/18/01, 8:52, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:53, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 8:52, Washington Post, 9/15/01] This is 38 minutes after flight controllers lost contact with the plane. They go after Flight 175 instead. According to Maj. Gen. Paul Weaver, director of the Air National Guard, "the pilots flew `like a scalded ape,' topping 500 mph but were unable to catch up to the airliner." [Dallas Morning News, 9/16/01] NORAD Major Gen. Larry Arnold says they were headed straight for New York City and traveling about 1100 to 1200 mph. [Slate, 1/16/02] "An F-15 departing from Otis can reach New York City in 10 to 12 minutes, according to an Otis spokeswoman." [Cape Cod Times, 9/16/01] According to Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy, one of the pilots, before takeoff, a fellow officer had told him "This looks like the real thing." He says, "It just seemed wrong. I just wanted to get there. I was in full-blower all the way." A NORAD commander has said the planes were stocked with extra fuel as well. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02] Full-blower is very rare -- it means the fighters are going as fast as they can go. F-15's can travel over 1875 mph. [Air Force News, 7/30/97] An at average speed of 1600 mph, they would have reached New York City in 7 minutes -- 8:59. An at average speed of 1125 mph, they would have reached it in 10 minutes -- 9:02 -- still before Flight 175 crashes. Yet according to the NORAD timeline, these planes take about 19 minutes to reach New York City -- less than 600 mph. Why so slow??
(At 8:56) according to the New York Times, by this time (if not earlier), it is clear Flight 77 has gone missing. Yet the same newspaper points out NORAD is not notified about it for another 28 minutes! [New York Times, 10/16/01] Why were fighters not scrambled now to find Flight 77?
At 9:00 The Pentagon moves its alert status up one notch from normal to Alpha. It stays on Alpha until after Flight 77 hits, and then goes up two more notches to Charlie later on in the day. [USA Today, 9/16/01]
(At 9:01) Bush later makes the following statement: "And I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on, and I use to fly myself, and I said, `There's one terrible pilot.' And I said, `It must have been a horrible accident.' But I was whisked off there -- I didn't have much time to think about it." [CNN, 12/4/01] Given that there actually was no film footage of the first attack on TV until much later (and no footage of the plane actually hitting the tower), isn't this a clear lie to make it seem he didn't know what was happening? By 8:38, NORAD knew that Flight 11 was hijacked, and by 8:43, they knew Flight 175 was hijacked. As the New York Times points out, they also probably knew Flight 77 was hijacked a few minutes after 8:48. [New York Times, 9/15/01] He's had time to think about it -- he's been briefed by his National Security Advisor on the situation. So by this time Bush certainly knew two planes were hijacked and headed towards New York City, and probably knew of a third hijacking. Yet he can only think "There's one terrible pilot"?
At 9:03 Flight 175, hits the south tower, 2 World Trade Center. Approximately 2662 people are killed on the ground between this crash and the crash of Flight 175. [AP, 8/19/02] F-15 fighter jets from Otis Air National Guard Base are still 71 miles or 8 minutes away. [9:02, CNN, 9/17/01, 9:02, NORAD, 9/18/01, 9:02, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 9:03, New York Times, 9/12/01, 9:03, Guardian, 10/17/01, 9:03, CNN, 9/12/01, 9:05, MSNBC, 9/22/01, 9:05, Washington Post, 1/27/02, 9:02:54, New York Times, 9/11/02, 9:02:54, seismic records] The Otis Air National Guard Base is 188 miles from New York City. According to NORAD's timeline, fighters left Otis 11 minutes earlier. If they were still 70 miles away, then that means they must have been traveling about 650 mph, when the top speed for an F-15 is 1875 mph!
At 9:05 Bush is still reading to 18 Booker Elementary School second-graders a story about a girl's pet goat. His chief of staff Andrew Card, whispers into his ear, "A second plane has hit the World Trade Center America is under attack." [Telegraph, 12/16/01] He says nothing in response, but continues reading the goat story after a brief pause. Then, in an event noticeable in its absence, as one newspaper put it, "for some reason, Secret Service agents [do] not bustle him away." [Globe and Mail, 9/12/01] At some point shortly after, reporters ask him if he is aware of the two crashes and explosions. He nods and says he will talk about the situation later. [CNN, 9/12/01] Bush continues to read about goats for the next 20 minutes or so. The reason given is that they didn't want to scare the children.
At 9:06 all air traffic facilities nationwide are notified that the Flight 11 crash in the WTC was probably a hijacking. [Newsday, 9/23/01]
At 9:09 supposedly, NORAD orders F-16's at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, on battle stations alert. Yet the order to scramble won't come till 9:27 or so, and they won't take off until 9:30. Around this time, the FAA command center reports 11 aircraft either not in communication with FAA facilities, or flying unexpected routes. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02] So why aren't planes scrambled immediately, at 9:09 or even before, to find out what's going on? One of the pilots who actually took off from Langley says the battle stations alert isn't sounded until 9:24. [Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 & The Passengers & Crew Who Fought Back, by Jere Longman, HarperCollins, July 2002, pp. 64-65]
At 9:16 the FAA informs NORAD that Flight 93 may have been hijacked. No fighters are scrambled in specific response, now or later (there is the possibility some fighters sent after Flight 77 later headed towards Flight 93). Although this is what CNN learned from NORAD, its not clear why NORAD claims it was hijacked at this time (NORAD's own timeline inexplicably fails to say when the FAA told them about the hijack, the only flight they fail to provide this data for). [CNN, 9/17/01, NORAD, 9/18/01] However, there may be one explanation: Fox News TV reported that "Investigators believe that on at least one flight, one of the hijackers was already inside the cockpit before takeoff." Cockpit voice recordings indicate that Flight 93's pilots believed their guest was a colleague "and was thereby extended the typical airline courtesy of allowing any pilot from any airline to join a flight by sitting in the jumpseat, the folded over extra seat located inside the cockpit." [NewsMax, 9/25/01] Note that all witnesses later report seeing only 3 hijackers, not 4. So perhaps one hijacker tenuously held control of the cockpit as the original pilots still flew it, while waiting for reinforcements? Could this have happened before 9:01, when Flight 93 got a warning to beware of cockpit intrusions? Note that the crash of Flight 77 is still 25 minutes away. F-16 fighters from the far off Langley Air Force Base could have reached Washington in 6 minutes if they traveled at 1300 mph (maximum speed for an F-16 is 1500 mph). Even if the fighters were traveling slower and it took some minutes to get the plane off the ground, they still could easily have made it to Washington in those 25 minutes and prevented the Flight 77 crash.
At 9:24 the FAA notifies NORAD that Flight 77 "may" have been hijacked and appears to be headed towards Washington. [9:24, NORAD, 9/18/01, 9:25, CNN, 9/17/01, 9:25, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 9:25, Guardian, 10/17/01] This notification is 34 MINUTES after flight control lost contact with the plane and well after two planes have crashed, and even then the FAA only says "may"? Is such a long delay believable, or has that information been doctored to cover the lack of any scrambling of fighters? Additionally, with the exception of Vice President Cheney and possibility a few others, no one is evacuated in Washington until after the Pentagon crash. A Pentagon spokesman says, "The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way." Even Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his top aides in the Pentagon remain unaware of any danger up to the moment of impact 17 minutes later. [Newsday, 9/23/01] Yet since at least the Flight 11 crash, "military officials in a command center [the National Military Command Center] on the east side of the [Pentagon] were urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do." [New York Times, 9/15/01] Is it believable that everyone in the Pentagon outside of that command center, even the Secretary of Defense, would remain uniformed?
At 9:24 a fighter pilot codenamed Honey who flew one of the F-16's from Langley offers a different story than the official one. He claims that at 9:24 a battle stations alert sounds, and two other pilots are given the order to climb into their F-16's and await further instructions. Then, Honey, who is the supervisor, goes and talks to the two other pilots. Then, "five or ten minutes later," a person from NORAD calls, and Honey speaks to him at the nearby administrative office. He is told that all three of them are ordered to scramble. Then, Honey goes to his living quarters, grabs his flight gear, puts it on, runs to his plane and takes off. It's hard to know exactly how long all of this took, but clearly his recollection doesn't jibe with the official timeline, that NORAD ordered the fighters scrambled at 9:27 and they took off at 9:30. [The book Among the Heroes, 7/02, p. 64-65] Is NORAD fudging the numbers to hide their inexplicable behavior?
(At 9:27) NORAD orders 3 F-16 fighters scrambled from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to intercept Flight 77. Langley is 129 miles from Washington. Ready aircraft at Andrews Air Force Base, 10 miles away, are not scrambled. [Newsday, 9/23/01] [9:24, NORAD, 9/18/01, 9:27, CNN, 9/17/01, 9:25, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 9:35, CNN, 9/17/01, 9:35, Washington Post, 9/15/01] Note that according to the official NORAD timeline, they ordered the F-16's scrambled the same minute they were told about the hijacking. A rare example of competence. But earlier, according to their own timeline, they waited 6 minutes before scrambling fighters after Flight 11. Why? Flight 77 had supposedly been missing from the radar screen since 8:56. Why wait 31 minutes to send a plane and find out where it is?
At 9:30 the F-16's scrambled towards Flight 77 get airborne. [9:30, NORAD, 9/18/01, 9:35, Washington Post, 9/12/01] If the NORAD departure time is correct, the F-16's would have to travel slightly over 700 mph to reach Washington before Flight 77 does. The maximum speed of an F-16 is 1500 mph. [AP, 6/16/00] Even traveling at 1300 mph, these planes could have reached Washington in 6 minutes -- well before any claim of when Flight 77 crashed. Yet they obviously don't.
At 9:33, according to the New York Times, Flight 77 was lost at 8:56 when it turned off its transponder, and stayed lost until now. Washington air traffic control sees a fast moving blip on their radar at this time and sends a warning to Dulles Airport in Washington. [New York Times, 10/16/01] Is it conceivable that an airplane could be lost inside US air space for 37 minutes? One doesn't need a transponder signal to get a radar signal! If this is true, that why did the FAA warn that the plane was headed towards Washington at 9:24?
At 9:41 Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon. The section of the Pentagon hit consists mainly of newly renovated, unoccupied offices. Approximately 125 are later determined killed or missing. The surface-to-air missiles presumably surrounding the Pentagon are not fired in defense. Fighters are supposedly still 105 miles or 12 minutes away. [Newsday, 9/23/01, NORAD, 9/18/01] [9:37, NORAD, 9/18/01, 9:37, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 9:38, CNN, 9/17/01, 9:38, Guardian, 10/17/01, 9:39, Washington Post, 1/27/02, 9:43, CNN, 9/12/01, 9:43, MSNBC, 9/22/01, 9:43, New York Times, 9/12/01, 9:45, Boston Globe, 11/23/01, 9:41:30 according to timing devices on ABC, CBS and CNN TV news footage] NORAD states the fighters took off from Langley at 9:30, 129 miles away, yet when Flight 77 crashes they are still 105 miles away. [NORAD, 9/18/01] So that means they must have been flying at an average of about 130 mph! Even if one uses the NORAD crash time of 9:37 (which we know is untrue), that still averages to only about 205 mph!
At 9:41 the F-16 pilot codenamed Honey later offers a different explanation of where the F-16's are when Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon. He says they are flying towards New York, when they see a black column of smoke coming from Washington, about 30 or 40 miles to the west. He is then asked over the radio by the North East Air Defense Sector of NORAD if he can confirm the Pentagon is burning. He confirms it. The F-16's are then ordered to set up a defensive perimeter above Washington. [Among the Heroes, 7/02, p. 76] This contradicts the official NORAD claim that the F-16's were still 105 miles away when the Pentagon was hit. [NORAD, 9/18/01] If his account is true, it shows that the F-16's would have been over Washington in time to shoot down Flight 77 if they had been given orders to fly to Washington, and not to New York, which was already defended by 2 F-15's! (additionally, subtract 8-10 miles (Sidewinder missile) or 12-20 miles (Sparrow missile) from the flight distance required for the fighters [Slate, 1/16/02]) Well before these F-16's took off, NORAD already knew there was a threat to Washington and that New York was being defended by F-15's, and yet they were ordered to New York and Washington was left undefended? At 9:36, a C-130, a slow and large transport plane, was ordered to intercept and identify Flight 77, and these F-16's were not? If Honey's account is true, and the F-16's took off at, say, 9:34, they would have been averaging a speed of about 1100 mph up to the Pentagon crash, much more reasonable than the crazy speeds of 200 mph and the like if one follows the NORAD story. It would also explain eyewitness claims of fighters over Washington only a couple of minutes after the Pentagon crash, not at 9:56 when they supposedly arrived. At 1100 mph, it would have taken about 3 minutes for Honey to reach Washington from where he says he was.
(At 9:49) 3 F-16's scrambled from Langley at 9:30 reach the Pentagon. The planes, armed with heat-seeking, Sidewinder missiles, are authorized to knock down civilian aircraft. According to NORAD, they were flying at 650 mph. The official maximum speed for F-16's is 1500 mph. [9:49, CNN, 9/17/01, 9:49, NORAD, 9/18/01, 9:56: "15 minutes after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon", New York Times, 9/15/01, "just before 10:00," CBS, 9/14/01] Using the New York Times arrival time and given that Langley is 129 miles away, this means the fighters were flying at an average speed of about 300 mph! But using NORAD's official departure time of 9:30 and even the generous CNN arrival time, the journey takes 19 minutes, or a speed of about 410 mph!
The timeline of the United States air response and lack of it on 11 September 2001 is the biggest single indicator of fundamental violations of responsibilities by people acting in their official capacities that day as employees and officials of state and federal government agencies. The above timeline excerpts are woefully inadequate to properly represent the complexity of what occurred during the 8:20-to-9:41 window of time that morning. The segments included were chosen to highlight facts and to emphasize the lack of credibility for official explanations of how Flight 77 was able to reach the Pentagon.
Given that an aircraft emergency exists when "There is unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with any IFR [Instrument flight rules] or VFR [Visual flight rules] aircraft" (FAA Order 7110.65M, Air Traffic Control, (Includes Change 3, Effective: July 12, 2001), Chapter 10. Emergencies, Section 2. Emergency Assistance, 10-2-5. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS) and that a "NORAD spokesman, said its fighters routinely intercept aircraft" (Boston Globe, 9/15/01), there are too many contradictions and unacknowledged, unaddressed questions to explain how the standard operating procedures were not adhered to on 9-11.
The previous timeline excerpts highlight a glaring inconsistency: why these F-16s and F-15s consistently flew so slowly, compared to their maximum speeds. If they had flown anywhere near these speeds -- 1500 mph for an F-16 and 1875 mph for an F-15 --, Flight 175 and Flight 77 would not have been able to reach the south WTC tower and the Pentagon unchallenged.
- At 8:46, one of the 3 F-16's (from Andrews AFB) flying a training mission on a range in North Carolina (207 miles away), flying at 1250 mph, could have returned to Washington D.C. within 10 minutes and started patrolling the skies well before 9:00am.
- At 8:52, 2 F-15's take off from Otis Air National Guard (ANG), 6 minutes after being ordered to go after Flight 11 -- which has already crashed -- and 38 minutes after flight controllers lost contact with the plane. They go after Flight 175 instead, supposedly topping 500 mph -- flying `like a scalded ape,' according to Gen. Paul Weaver (director of the ANG). However NORAD Major Gen. Larry Arnold claims they were flying between 1100 and 1200 mph. And Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy (one of the pilots) says he was in "full-blower all the way". Full-blower means F-15's are going their fastest speed -- 1875 mph. Notwithstanding the above statements, and according to the NORAD timeline, these planes take 19 minutes to reach NYC -- traveling at less than 600 mph.
- At 9:16, Flight 77 is still 25 minutes away from the Pentagon. F-16's from Langley AFB could have reached Washington in 6 minutes traveling at 1300 mph (max speed is 1500 mph). Even if F-16's were traveling slower and it took some minutes to get the plane off the ground, they still could have easily beaten Flight 77 to Washington in under 25 minutes.
- At 9:27, NORAD orders 3 F-16's scrambled from Langley AFB to intercept Flight 77. Langley is 129 miles from Washington. Ready aircraft at Andrews Air Force Base, 10 miles away, are not scrambled. Why did NORAD not order available jets scrambled from Andrews AFB that could have reached the Pentagon in less than 3 minutes traveling at 500 mph, one-third their maximum speed? Why did NORAD wait 31 minutes to order Langley's 3 F-16's to find out where a plane is that had supposedly been missing from the radar screen since 8:56?
- At 9:30, the F-16's scrambled at 9:27 from Langley get airborne. If NORAD's departure time is correct, the F-16's would have to travel slightly over 700 mph to beat Flight 77 to Washington. Why did these planes, at this point fly less than one-fifth of their top-flight speed of 1500 mph? --given that NORAD says they are still 105 miles away at 9:41 when Flight 77 hits the Pentagon.
The inconsistencies and contradictions mushroom to a dizzying proportion. Note Paul Thompson's analysis in the first 9:24 excerpt about how it takes 34 minutes after flight control lost contact before the FAA warns NORAD that Flight 77 may have been hijacked: "Is such a long delay believable, or has that information been doctored to cover the lack of any scrambling of fighters?" One of the most grotesque doctoring of facts by the press and the military is the situation of the flight-ready aircraft fifteen miles away from the Pentagon at Andrews Air Force Base  that are not scrambled. From the PART 4: Sept. 11, 2001 - Dec. 2001 section of Paul's timeline:
September 11-16, 2001: Andrews Air Force Base is 10 miles from Washington, Langley Air Force Base in 130 miles away. The official story is that there were no fighters at Andrews so none took off from there, but it takes a few days for the media to come around to that point of view:
The official story is that fighters from Langley didn't arrive over Washington until 12 minutes after the Pentagon was struck, but witnesses see fighters well before then. [Newsday, 9/23/01, Denver Post, 9/11/01] One year later, a new article writes extensively about Andrews, saying, "Within minutes of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Air National Guard F-16s took off from [Andrews]." However, the article also claims that the Andrews fighters were not on alert, and so, of the first two to take off, one was partially armed and the other was unarmed. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 9/9/02] 
- A few minutes after the Pentagon was hit, "fighter jets scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base . . ." [Denver Post, 9/11/01]
- "It was after the attack on the Pentagon that the Air Force then decided to scramble F-16's out of the DC National Guard Andrews Air Force Base . . ." [NBC Nightly News, 9/11/01]
- San Diego Union Tribune: "Air defense around Washington is provided mainly by fighter planes from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland near the District of Columbia border. The D.C. Air National Guard is also based there and equipped with F-16 fighter planes, a National Guard spokesman said. But the fighters took to the skies over Washington only after the devastating attack on the Pentagon . . ." [San Diego Union Tribune, 9/12/01]
- "Within minutes of the attack American forces around the world were put on one of their highest states of alert -- Defcon 3, just two notches short of all-out war -- and F-16's from Andrews Air Force Base were in the air over Washington DC." [Telegraph, 9/16/01]
- "Andrews Air Force Base, home to Air Force One, is only 10 miles away from the Pentagon, but it had no fighters assigned to it." [USA Today, 9/16/01]
- "The District of Columbia National Guard maintained fighter planes at Andrews Air Force Base, only about 15 miles from the Pentagon, but those planes were not on alert and not deployed." [USA Today, 9/16/01]
- ". . . As part of its dual mission, the 113th provides capable and ready response forces for the District of Columbia in the event of a natural disaster or civil emergency." "In the best tradition of the Marine Corps, a `few good men and women' support two combat-ready reserve units at Andrews AFB." [DC Military website]
- The District of Columbia Air National Guard website is changed shortly after 9/11. Previously it had stated its mission is "to provide combat units in the highest possible state of readiness." Afterwards, it now has a "vision" to "provide peacetime command and control and administrative mission oversight to support customers, DCANG units, and NGB in achieving the highest levels of readiness." [DCANG Home Page (before and after the change)]
In 1998 John Judge was planning a demonstration at the Pentagon for the inauguration of the annual celebration, `A Day Without the Pentagon'. He recounts how the head of security, while taking him on a tour of the Pentagon, said the building was on alert Delta -- their highest security alert -- and that there was working radar on the roof to prevent planes from crashing into the building. Contrast this with how, on 9-11 at 9:00am, the Pentagon moves its alert status one notch up from normal to Alpha, how it stays on Alpha until after Flight 77 hits, and then goes up two notches to Charlie, the highest it ever gets to that morning. The U.S. was consistently on a higher alert -- the highest there is -- in 1998 than at any point prior to midday on 9-11.
Here we arrive at another unthinkable fact: the time sequence in Washington, D.C. up to the point when Flight 77 reached the Pentagon belies statements by public officials that "we didn't know the plane was coming". Judge lives very near to the city of Washington, D.C. and could hear the boom when Flight 77 hit. The official claim that the United States military was unprepared to fend off Flight 77 because there was not sufficient advance warning flies in the face of the facts.
"There is a point when everyone had advance knowledge that planes were being used as weapons, that was 9:05 am on 9/11. By 8:55, Flight 77 had turned and was known to be headed for DC. Local TV news announced its course and destination and Cheney was taken immediately into the Situation Room to start continuity of government (which I am convinced continues to this day). Bush and Cheney conferred and agreed on a shoot down order. The White House, Capitol, Congressional offices and the Pentagon began to be evacuated. This is well before it shook my windows at 9:48. We all knew it was coming and that it was a weapon. Yet not a single local fighter went up to intercept it, not a single surface-to-air missile at White House or Pentagon aimed at it. The Pentagon stood down, it looped all the way around until it could hit the empty side." 
"They have spent 13 trillion tax dollars since the end of WWII on this military/intelligence complex, and it cannot protect its own headquarters? . . . How were they allowed to come into the most restricted air space in the world with no challenge or defense? That is the question that answers both when Bush knew in advance and begs any rational response." 
To claim United States military forces were unable to respond to the most extreme form of attack -- directly on the primary headquarters of the country's armed forces -- once Flight 175 hit the WTC at 9:03 (and it was no longer possible to think there had been two independent accidents), forces one to conclude that the thousands of billions of dollars spent since World War II to make us safe have been for naught.
What are we being asked to believe? That the Commander-in-Chief and his staff were more concerned about frightening a group of school children than responding to the fact that "A second plane has hit the World Trade Center. America is under attack" as White House Chief of Staff, Andrew Card informed Bush Jr. at 9:03? That a plane was able to fly unchallenged in any way into the most restricted airspace of the country for upwards of fifty-five minutes? Given that the official answers have not addressed these questions, the only conclusion is that Flight 77 was allowed to reach its destination without any interference; that a stand down occurred on September 11 2001 that left the United States open to a historically unprecedented attack.
"I want to know why the Secret Service did not whisk [Bush] away. I want to know why he is the commander-in-chief of the United States of America, our country was clearly under attack, it was after the second building was hit. I want to know why he sat there for 25 minutes [reading to schoolchildren] . . . And I think that I have a lot of problems with the Pentagon. I don't understand how a plane could hit our Defense Department, which is the Pentagon, an hour after the first plane hit the first tower. I don't understand how that is possible. I'm a reasonable person. But when you look at the fact that we spend a half trillion dollars on national defense and you're telling me that a plane is able to hit our Pentagon, our Defense Department, an hour after the first tower is hit? There are procedures and protocols in place in this nation that are to be followed when transponders are disconnected, and they were not followed on September 11th . . . There are 3,000 lives lost and three million questions remaining."Kristen Breitweiser, widow of 9-11 south tower, 2 WTC victim,
on the Phil Donahue show, 8/13/02 
As long as official explanations do not address people's legitimate questions and concerns regarding the mass of contradictions, misrepresentations, omissions, and verifiable deceptions about 9-11, we need to find out for ourselves what took place to understand and address the root causes of these crimes against humanity. Otherwise such violence and its ensuing repression will continue.
Official 9-11 Misrepresentations Reclaiming Our Voice and Liberties
"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."--Hermann Goering, April 18, 1946 
In the early 1960s, the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff (America's top military leaders) drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba. The declassified TOP SECRET fifteen-page document was made available at the National Security Archive website on 30 April 2001. The introductory text to this document, "Pentagon Proposed Pretexts for Cuba Invasion in 1962," is at http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/ and is reproduced here:
"In his new exposé of the National Security Agency entitled Body of Secrets, author James Bamford highlights a set of proposals on Cuba by the Joint Chiefs of Staff codenamed OPERATION NORTHWOODS. This document, titled `Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba' was provided by the JCS to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, as the key component of Northwoods. Written in response to a request from the Chief of the Cuba Project, Col. Edward Lansdale, the Top Secret memorandum describes U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba. These proposals -- part of a secret anti-Castro program known as Operation Mongoose -- included staging the assassinations of Cubans living in the United States, developing a fake `Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington,' including `sink[ing] a boatload of Cuban refugees (real or simulated),' faking a Cuban airforce attack on a civilian jetliner, and concocting a `Remember the Maine' incident by blowing up a U.S. ship in Cuban waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban sabotage. Bamford himself writes that Operation Northwoods `may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government.'"
"Friendly Fire", a 1 May 2001 ABCNEWS.com article, describes how the plans defined in OPERATION NORTHWOODS "were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's . . . Fidel Castro."  The article observed that "Ironically, the documents came to light . . . in part because of the 1992 Oliver Stone film JFK, which examined the possibility of a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy. As public interest in the assassination swelled after JFK's release, Congress passed a law designed to increase the public's access to government records related to the assassination." The law was the JFK Records Act, which has released over six million files, the largest release of classified documents in American history.
Secrecy and unaccountability are two sides of the same coin. At the heart of this story is the fact that secrecy and democratic governance cannot long exist side-by-side. People who occupy positions of authority and whose decisions and activities are shielded from public scrutiny and evaluation, are seduced by the belief that they alone know what is best for the rest of us. As historian Lord Acton pointed out, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
Bamford points out in the "Friendly Fire" article that "[t]he whole point of a democracy is to have leaders responding to the public will, and here this is the complete reverse, the military trying to trick the American people into a war that they want but that nobody else wants." The article describes an unthinkable scenario of deception carried out against the United States civilian population by its own military leaders.
"America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: `We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,' and, `casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.' . . .
"The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.
"`These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing,' Bamford told ABCNEWS.com. . . . .
"Afraid of a congressional investigation, Lemnitzer had ordered all Joint Chiefs documents related to the Bay of Pigs destroyed, says Bamford. But somehow, these remained. `The scary thing is none of this stuff comes out until 40 years after,' says Bamford." 
Bamford sanitizes history when he claims the JCS desired to cloak the Northwoods documents because they were embarrassing. The Joint Chiefs of Staff engaged in treasonous acts when they crafted this exercise in state-sponsored terrorism against their own people. Their objective was to manipulate the public's perception to unleash aggressive war against a tiny country 90 miles offshore. What exists today in our government's institutionalized system of secrecy that may only be revealed forty years from now? What documents now exist that may be completely destroyed before ever seeing the light of day?
Before 9-11, the Bush II administration operated under a cloud of illegitimacy because of its actions during the aborted 2000 Presidential election. Two components made this happen: the anti-democratic commandeering of the corrupted voting process in the key state of Florida  and the improper actions warranting censure of five U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Before 9-11 there was no political mandate to lead our government when devastating violence was visited upon key symbols of U.S. economic and military control.
Bush II intentionally chose to mislabel the 9-11 bombings as an act of war to justify initiating lengthy, large scale, and open-ended wars rather than treat the events of September 11 as a crime to be addressed through legal means. By rejecting the latter course, and truly seek a redress of grievances, the opportunity to alter the vicious spiral of violence, inflamed by the long-term pursuit of U.S. global economic and military domination, was squandered. Instead of embarking on a methodical and thorough investigation to determine who was responsible for these horrendous crimes against humanity, destructive and violent hi-tech warfare was used to kill thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan. An investigation could be done through the creation of an ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal to try these criminals on charges of mass murder, applicable under existing international laws.
As Hasan Abu Nimah wrote recently,
"Instead of taking Sept. 11 as the long awaited wake-up call, the US administration inconsiderately eliminated any possible advantage and quickly resorted to the old style of handling a major world crisis and a devastating national tragedy -- by imposing hegemony, pursuing short-sighted goals, and settling old scores.
"This is consolidating, rather than alleviating the bitterness and vast fears which many believed were behind the culture of hate and vindictiveness that produced the brutal September attacks.
"Two significant blunders seriously compromised the American effort. One was US submission to Israeli pressure advocating that any Palestinian or Arab action resisting or opposing the continued Israeli occupation of Arab lands, should be put on the list of targets. The other was the frenzied calls for an attack on Iraq with the declared intention of bringing down Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime." 
Bush II deliberately chose to further confuse the situation by mislabeling the perpetrators as terrorists. Since there is no internationally agreed upon definition of terrorism, this decision increased the complexity and ambiguity of the situation and decreased the likelihood of it being successfully resolved.
The cynical way these people have taken advantage of the 9-11 bombings is not surprising, given the pervasive contempt Bush II has repeatedly expressed for the foundations and rule of international law and the U.S. constitutional system. Bush II has exploited people's fears, grief, distress, and the desire to see true justice and reconciliation established, to pursue other goals that serve the interests of those now illegitimately holding political power in the U.S.
The Quaker lobbying group, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), is a member of The Religious Society of Friends. Quakers are religious witnesses for peace going back to 1660. They represent a genuine and inclusive expression of the yearnings of people throughout the world to peacefully co-exist. This is in stark contrast to the incoherent thinking, speaking and acting on behalf of the interests Bush II represents. It is critical to re-emphasize the FCNL's understanding that the true danger we face is the threat from within:
"Violent acts such as occurred on September 11 must be addressed. However, it is not those acts that pose the greatest threat to U.S. society. Rather, the threat will come and is already coming from elected officials carrying out their lawful duties. . . . The events of September 11, as destructive as they were, did not constitute an act of war directed against the U.S. by another nation. . . . The greatest threat to the continued existence of a free and democratic U.S. will not come from al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein. Rather, it will come from U.S. leaders who are willing to sacrifice those values to achieve other goals." 
What are the fundamental interests of the people at the top of the hierarchy now occupying the Executive Branch of the United States government? Bush II has the distinction in the 2002 Guinness Book of World Records of being the most devoted representative yet of corporate interests in the Oval Office:
"George W. Bush (inaugurated as the 43rd US president on January 20, 2001) has assembled the wealthiest cabinet in American history by appointing more multi millionaires to the top rank of his government than any of his predecessors. Of the 16 full government members at the heart of the Bush administration, 13 are multimillionaires, seven of them own assets more than $10 million. His cabinet has acquired the nickname `tycoon's club.' Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill each have declared assets of at last $61 million, while Secretary of State Colin Powell has a least $18 million." 
"The Bush Administration - Corporate Connections" (opensecrets.org) provides a corporate connections profile for most of the Bush II cabinet. As the above points out, "As the first president to have an MBA, Bush has surrounded himself with people with similar (and more successful) corporate backgrounds. Vice President Dick Cheney was, until last year, the CEO of Halliburton, the world's largest oil field services company. Halliburton, through its European subsidiaries, sold spare parts to Iraq's oil industry, despite U.N. sanctions."
Condoleezza Rice sat on the board of Chevron for ten years (her assets totaled 250,000 shares ) between her prior 1990-91 position in Bush I's NSC (specializing in Soviet foreign relations) and her current promotion as Bush II's National Security Advisor. What conflict-of-interest is presented by her advising the office of the Chief Executive of the United States on matters pertaining to national security with the financial interests she has had with Chevron and her on-going connections in maximizing the profits of Chevron and the other giants of the U.S. oil industry?
In August 2000 on Fox News Sunday, Rice commented on her experience with Chevron: "I'm very proud of my association with Chevron, and I think we should be very proud of the job that American oil companies are doing in exploration abroad, in exploration at home, and in making certain that we have a safe energy supply." What does having such a "safe energy" supply cost us? An example can be found in Nigeria, where for over a decade oil multinationals have been accused of complicity in human rights abuses at the hands of the military and mobile police. In one instance, Chevron is facing suit in U.S. federal court as a result of two attacks on civilians.
The financial conflicts-of-interest people in Bush II have with the corporate interests they are associated with is a fundamental indicator of the degree of corporate governance our society is now dominated by. Editors and publishers who ignore and obscure this situation perform the greatest disservice to the majority of people in the world who aspire to the same ideals and dreams of those in 1700s North America who challenged the European monarchistic worldview and revolted against that system of authority to establish the United States of America.
The only interests corporate executives are mandated to serve are those that financially benefit their stockholders. Morals and ethics play no part in such enterprises. The Bush II corporate executives favor the interests of the corporations on which boards they have served, in which they have significant financial interests, and whose purposes and objectives they share and promote. These people are now attempting to manage the United States the way lesser mortals manage individual transnational corporations. To expect other than this from such beholden people is unreasonable and irrational.
The allegiance of the people comprising Bush II is devoted to implementing and expanding systems of corporate governance, both in the worlds of finance as well as politics, where the wholesale embrace of central planning and control is an underlying constant. The hostile takeover corporate mentality of the 1980s and 90s now directs the aggressive government we see moving to militarily and economically secure global control. It operates on the basis of amorally and assertively managing perceptions as it manipulates and manages crisis after crisis. This manipulation began with the crisis of illegitimacy during the Presidential election of November 2000, and has moved through and beyond the world-changing watershed crisis of 9-11.
The increasingly arrogant and bellicose demand for endless war being pursued by Bush II is not unique to the post-9-11 world. The call has been made previously for an imperial America to openly embrace the global pursuit of empire. An August 2001 article in the Washington Post, "Empire or Not? A Quiet Debate Over U.S. Role"  describes "[t]he leading advocate of this idea of enforcing a new `Pax Americana' [being] Thomas Donnelly, deputy executive director of the Project for the New American Century, a Washington think tank that advocates a vigorous, expansionistic Reaganite foreign policy." This month, an article by Matthew Riemer entitled "America's war on the world"  describes a September 2000 report that Donnelly was the primary author of titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century."  Says Riemer,
"Donnelly previously wrote a piece called `The past as prologue: an imperial manual' for Foreign Affairs in which he concludes: `the United States may find itself with little alternative to waging ``the savage wars of peace''.' . . .
"[T]he report is noteworthy for the remarkable exuberance displayed towards unchecked militarism and the concept of Pax Americana; moreover, it highlights the desire and the will of a broad and politically significant cross-section of the Washington elite to truly carry out what many might dismissingly label as think-tank pipe dreams. Furthermore, because of the presence of important Bush administration figures, there's no reason to doubt that such ideology as espoused by this document is not the sine qua non of current foreign policy.
"Here are some of the report's highlights . . . : the `unification' of the Korean peninsula; continued nuclear proliferation, accompanied by a first-strike mentality; continued development of chemical and biological weapons; increases of up to $20 billion on defense annually; the ability to wage war in two major theatres at once and be victorious; increased troop proliferation in Southeast Asia; the establishment of permanent military facilities in Southeast Asia and Southeast Europe; obtaining complete control of both space and `cyberspace'; regardless of Saddam Hussein or Iran, the permanent and increased presence of American military in the Persian Gulf." 
The September 2000 "Rebuilding America's Defenses" report declares that its legacy is predicated upon a 1992 document by the Defense Department:
"In broad terms, we saw the project [for the New American Century] as building upon the defense strategy outlined by the Cheney Defense Department in the waning days of the [George Herbert Walker] Bush Administration. The Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) drafted in the early months of 1992 provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests. Leaked before it had been formally approved, the document was criticized as an effort by "cold warriors" to keep defense spending high and cuts in forces small despite the collapse of the Soviet Union; not surprisingly, it was subsequently buried by the new administration." 
The crimes against humanity of one year ago have been used to justify and actively embark upon a virtual declaration of war on the world by America. Fighting "savage wars of peace" operating from a declared "first-strike mentality" stance, is confirmed this September 20th in the New York Times with, "Bush Unveils Global Doctrine of First Strikes."  The most current version of the government document entitled "The National Security Strategy of the United States,"  has just been released by Bush II. Writing on September 21st, Roland Watson of the UK Times asserts that "Military Supremacy at Heart of Bush Strategy." 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jay Bookman analyses more of the background for this in his 9/29/02 article "The president's real goal in Iraq." Bookman's account provides more details to understand the legacy of what we are dealing with.
"The official story on Iraq has never made sense. . . . The pieces just didn't fit. . . . In recent days, those missing pieces have finally begun to fall into place. . . . This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman. It would be the culmination of a plan 10 years or more in the making, carried out by those who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination, even if it means becoming the `American imperialists' that our enemies always claimed we were.
"Once that is understood, other mysteries solve themselves. For example, why does the administration seem unconcerned about an exit strategy from Iraq once Saddam is toppled? Because we won't be leaving. Having conquered Iraq, the United States will create permanent military bases in that country from which to dominate the Middle East, including neighboring Iran. . . .
"And why has the administration dismissed the option of containing and deterring Iraq, as we had the Soviet Union for 45 years? Because even if it worked, containment and deterrence would not allow the expansion of American power. Besides, they are beneath us as an empire. Rome did not stoop to containment; it conquered. And so should we. . . .
"More specifically, they argue that we need permanent military bases in the Middle East, in Southeast Europe, in Latin America and in Southeast Asia, where no such bases now exist. That helps to explain another of the mysteries of our post-Sept. 11 reaction, in which the Bush administration rushed to install U.S. troops in Georgia and the Philippines, as well as our eagerness to send military advisers to assist in the civil war in Colombia.
"The [Rebuilding America's Defenses] 2000 report directly acknowledges its debt to a still earlier document, drafted in 1992 by the Defense Department. That document had also envisioned the United States as a colossus astride the world, imposing its will and keeping world peace through military and economic power. When leaked in final draft form, however, the proposal drew so much criticism that it was hastily withdrawn and repudiated by the first President Bush.
"The defense secretary in 1992 was Richard Cheney; the document was drafted by [deputy defense secretary Paul] Wolfowitz, who at the time was defense undersecretary for policy.
"The potential implications of a Pax Americana are immense.
"One is the effect on our allies. Once we assert the unilateral right to act as the world's policeman, our allies will quickly recede into the background. Eventually, we will be forced to spend American wealth and American blood protecting the peace while other nations redirect their wealth to such things as health care for their citizenry. . . .
"`You saw the movie ``High Noon''? . . . We're Gary Cooper.'
"Accepting the Cooper role would be an historic change in who we are as a nation, and in how we operate in the international arena. Candidate Bush certainly did not campaign on such a change. It is not something that he or others have dared to discuss honestly with the American people. To the contrary, in his foreign policy debate with Al Gore, Bush pointedly advocated a more humble foreign policy, a position calculated to appeal to voters leery of military intervention. . . .
"Are peace and security best achieved by seeking strong alliances and international consensus, led by the United States? Or is it necessary to take a more unilateral approach, accepting and enhancing the global dominance that, according to some, history has thrust upon us?
"If we do decide to seize empire, we should make that decision knowingly, as a democracy. The price of maintaining an empire is always high. Kagan and others argue that the price of rejecting it would be higher still.
"That's what this is about." 
Bush II intends to take the United Nations and all other nations to a lawless world of endless wars where the rule of law is to be replaced with the rule of the fist -- of who can hit hardest, to savagely strike for peace. Who benefits by replacing the present day rule of law with its might-makes-right historical precursor?
Since the U.S. declaration of the global war on terrorism, other countries have followed suit, claiming the right to strike first. India and Pakistan have now come the closest of any two countries since October 1962 to igniting a nuclear conflagration. They have imitated the U.S. justification of an unrestrained right to hunt down and kill so-called terrorists, to attack any nation protecting so-called terrorists, acting unilaterally and not consulting the United Nations, while not presenting any verifiable facts to support claims that given targets are so-called terrorists.
Beyond India and Pakistan, governments across the globe have used the war on terrorism as an excuse to step up domestic repression of their own people. This past summer Amnesty International published an extensive 44 country evaluation, "Charting the `War on Terrorism'", in which, "[f]rom Australia to Zimbabwe, using new laws and old-fashioned brute force, governments are sacrificing human rights on the altar of antiterrorism." The analysis includes "Responses to Terrorism" an extensive PDF world map listing 17 issues of concerns to human rights organizations under the headings of Antiterrorism legislation, Extra-legal action, and Status of legislation.
The ultimate enemy that was communism, occupying a position of preeminence for more than four decades, has now been fully supplanted by the equally supreme threat of terrorism. However today, there is no agreement on exactly what is the definition of terrorism. In 1955 Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty was assigned to the Pentagon to help write the formal paper, "Military Support of the Clandestine Operations of the United States Government." For the next eight years he operated the Pentagon Focal Point Office for the CIA implementing the day-to-day business of providing logistical support to U.S. covert operations worldwide based upon the procedures defined in the above paper. Years after he retired from the Air Force, Prouty wrote about how people in the United States created a Manichaean Devil to justify spending $6 trillion on the Cold War:
"Those who believed that our only road to salvation lay in greater stockpiling of atomic bombs . . . began to create the idea of the `enemy threat.' . . . The things that have been done since that period in the name of `anti-enemy' would make a list that in dollars alone would have paid for all the costs of civilization up to that time, with money to spare.
"Such an enemy is not unknown. Man has feared this type of enemy before. It is a human, and more than that, it is a social trait, to dread the unknown enemy. This enemy is defined in one context as the Manichaean Devil. Norbert Weiner says, `The Manichaean devil is an opponent, like any other opponent, who is determined on victory and will use any trick of craftiness or dissimulation to obtain this victory. In particular, he will keep his policy of confusion secret, and if we show any signs of beginning to discover his policy, he will change it in order to keep us in the dark.' The great truth about this type of enemy is that he is stronger when he is imagined and feared than when he is real. One of man's greatest sources of fear is lack of information. To live effectively one must have adequate information." 
Today, Bush II frightens people by claiming Saddam is developing weapons of mass destruction. Yet Bush Jr. did not present incontestible evidence of this when he spoke at the U.N. this month as U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson did in 1962 when there were nuclear missile silos being constructed in Cuba. Contrast this with nations like India, Pakistan and Israel that do have these weapons and threaten to use them. The most significant issue of all is the fact that the United States has the largest number and variety of weapons of mass destruction, and has now openly declared it will use them whenever it chooses. And recall that the U.S. has rejected a legally-binding system of United Nations inspections of suspected U.S. biological weapons facilities while simultaneously, in direct violation of the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the U.S. is actively pushing for offensive biological weapons development.
Last May James Carroll wrote about "America the Fearful". The former priest, playwright, novelist, and columnist explored the dynamic of how our growing power escalates our sense of fear.
"The war on terrorism is not the only manifestation of heightened levels of our national fear. This week Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin will sign an arms reduction treaty that includes a US-sponsored provision allowing for the indefinite mothballing of thousands of disarmed nuclear weapons. Notice this: The United States, breaking with the primordial assumption of nuclear arms control, is now saying that the overkill supply of warheads must be preserved against future threats -- as yet entirely unimagined. . . . In one stroke, Bush has taken us from `reduction' to `storage.' He has reversed the most positive foreign policy track of our lifetimes, and he has done it out of fear.
"Here is the irony: The surest way to make the world an even more dangerous place is to posit danger as the most important thing about it. This week's treaty is the clearest case in point. America's determination to preserve thousands of excess nuclear warheads means that now Russia, despite its firm preference for elimination, will certainly preserve them as well.
"And what will happen over time to those warheads? When the urgency of keeping such material out of the hands of rogue elements is clear, the American move away from full elimination of nukes, especially in Russia, makes no sense. But that very irrationality is the revelation.
"We are like a nation that has had a psychological break and is descending into rank paranoia. The destruction of the twin towers shows that there are things to be afraid of, but our government's mad responses are making us more vulnerable to such things, not less.
"The `war on terrorism' has strengthened the hand of those who hate America. The US example of `overwhelming force' has pushed the Middle East into the abyss and has dragged India-Pakistan to its edge. The only real protections against cross-border terrorism are international structures of criminal justice like the recently established International Criminal Court, yet an `unsigning' United States slaps the court down with contempt.
". . . The president's rejection, in principle, of arms `reduction' could seem to serve his larger political and economic purpose of restoring the American war industry to its place of preeminence. The president and his closest advisers, in other words, could be cynically exaggerating threats to our national security for their narrow purposes.
"But it may be worse than that. The shape of their dread is useful to them in these ways, but, also, like the mentally disturbed, they seem convinced that any danger they imagine is real. Our nation is being led by men and women who are at the mercy of their fears. That they work hard to keep the American people afraid might seem to suggest that they want merely to deflect any second-guessing about the course they have set, but in fact our fear reinforces theirs.
"Fear has become Washington's absolute and is shaping its every response to the future. America is being led by cowards." 
The promotion and encouragement of fear forms the core of the Bush II agenda since 9-11. Whether the United States is currently being ruled by people who are cynically exaggerating threats to our security for their own narrow purposes, or, like the mentally disturbed they are convinced that any danger they imagine is real, we are, like Europeans in 1936, following the dictates of Bush II who proceeds "with the assurance of a sleepwalker"; that is, Bush II is not conscious of where it is going, and by its actions it does not see the approaching holocaust it is fomenting. Today, England's Labour MP Tam Dalyell states "We are sleep-walking to disaster" in the "most dangerous crisis since Cuba." 
The danger confronting us has occurred because of our fearful acceptance of what has been done in our name with the military power of our government prior to 9-11 and since. While it may be difficult to acknowledge the costs to maintain our way of life, this does not alter our responsibility to do so. We must face squarely the fact that we consume a great deal more than our share of earth's resources.
What does war cost? What does war produce? Who benefits from war? Major General Smedley Butler (USMC), twice awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (1914, 1917) and the Distinguished service medal (1919), spoke from experience in 1933 about how war is just a racket.
"I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
". . . I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. . . . I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. . . .
"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." 
One way to gauge the cost of our lifestyle is use the Ecological Footprint Calculator, provided by Redefining Progress. This web utility asks twelve questions to assess one's use of nature. A question for most of us who use the calculator is "How many planets would we need if everyone was to live like me?" Just as adolescent humans must come to the point where they must accept responsibility for their actions to grow into healthy, mature adults, so must our adolescent culture. We must grow up as a society, and accept responsibility for the consequences of what has been, and continues being done, in our name. As mature beings, our choice is between the furtherance of the moral imperative to love and respect thy neighbor or continue down the suicidal path we are being urged to follow by those who are acting out their unconscious, immature yearnings for control and power.
The human behavior exhibited by Bush II and the interests these people represent, most resembles the attributes of an adolescent person: aggressive actions hiding a lack of self-confidence; short-sightedness; ignorance of other cultures and beliefs motivated by fear; egocentricity; the stubborn rejection of criticism, and the obnoxious and reckless misuse of information and insecure excuses for one's behaviour. These behavioral characteristics are offset and tempered by adults who encourage, balance, and teach the adolescent about the limits and constraints all human beings must confront and assimilate.
Today, physically mature adults with demonstrably pronounced adolescent attitudes are running the United States government. They operate in a way that will surely spell suicide for our society and very possibly the entire planet. We must challenge their childish claim to supreme hegemony. Consider this 9/27/02 story from a Pakistan news company:
"The United States should maintain its military superiority in the world and keep other nations from challenging it because it is `a very special country,' a top White House official said late Wednesday.
"`The United States is a very special country in that when we maintain this position of military strength that we have now, we do it in support of a balance of power that favors freedom,' said national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, appearing on PBS's `The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer' program.
"She made the comment as she defended a new United States national security strategy that was unveiled last Friday and that lays the foundation for preemptive military strikes. The strategy also declares that Washington will not allow any other country to attain military superiority or even parity with the United States.
"The document has been roundly criticized at home and abroad as a claim to United States dominance in the world. Rice said that in its quest to maintain its current military status, the United States did not want to act alone and welcomed military contributions from other like-minded states.
"`But if it comes to allowing another adversary to reach military parity with the United States in the way that the Soviet Union did, no, the United States does not intend to allow that to happen,' the national security adviser said.
"`Because when that happens, there will not be a balance of power that favors freedom,' she stressed. `There will be a balance of power that keeps part of the world in tyranny the way that the Soviet Union did.' the national security adviser said." 
The worldview expressed above by the National Security Advisor of the United States is astonishing in its twisted simplicity: because the U.S. is "a very special country", it should maintain its military superiority over the rest of the world. This imperious mentality is commonly expressed in children's circular reasoning; e.g., because I am good, I can do whatever I want. The puerile claim that the United States will maintain global military superiority to support a balance of power that favors freedom is as dangerous as it is absurd. What balances the over-arching one-sided imperial hegemony the U.S. now asserts its singular right to? Bush II's insistence that the U.S. can, for the first time in its history, wage aggressive, pre-emptive war when it decides the time is right is adolescent: impulsively arrogant, self-serving, and dictatorial.
There is nothing balanced about acting unilaterally or rejecting an entire body of world law painstakingly crafted as a response to the past's might-makes-right barbarism. To assert that a single country can unilaterally decide for the world where tyranny is to be forcibly overthrown denies the reality that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Bush II pretends it is capable of rendering supreme, impartial judgement on the rest of the world's behalf. This dazzling array of hubris is the same deadly mixture that destroyed Greek civilization.
Bush II claims it is ready to assume the title of supreme arbiter of all conflict and that the U.S. alone knows best how to dispense freedom. What arbiter of freedom would intentionally plan the destruction of an entire country's civilian water supply?  What arbiter of freedom justifies the death of thousands of Iraqi children each month since 1991?  What arbiter of freedom increases the disrespect for and degradation of the freedoms and liberties of Americans? Congressional Representative Ron Paul points out the sham of the "USA PATRIOT Act" and how this legislation is destroying what Bush II claims to be championing.
"`This legislation wouldn't have made any difference in stopping the Sept. 11 attacks,' he says. `Therefore, giving up our freedoms to get more security when they can't prove it will do so makes no sense. I seriously believe this is a violation of our liberties. After all, a lot of this stuff in the bill has to do with finances, search warrants and arrests.'
"For the most part, continues Paul, `our rights have been eroded as much by our courts as they have been by Congress. Whether it's Congress being willing to give up its prerogatives on just about everything to deliver them to an administration that develops new and bigger agencies, or whether it's the courts, there's not enough wariness of the slippery slope and insufficient respect and love of liberty.'
"What does Paul believe the nation's Founding Fathers would think of this law? `Our forefathers would think it's time for a revolution. This is why they revolted in the first place.' Says Paul with a laugh, `They revolted against much more mild oppression.'" 
The nonviolent stand of people challenging the growing tide of authoritarian repression in America is increasingly necessary. In Portland, Oregon, on August 22nd, thousands of protestors assembled outside the Hilton Hotel where Bush Jr. was attending a political fundraiser. Eyewitness accounts from the streets of Portland describe a terrifyingly violent response from the police to a protest by peacefully assembled American citizens.
"The protesters responded by hammering on the hoods of police cars and screaming, `We are not the enemy!' . . . The streets of Portland were filled on August 22nd by average American citizens seeking to inform the President of their disfavor regarding the manner in which he is governing their country. They were rewarded with the business end of a billy club, a face-full of pepper spray, and the jarring impact of a rubber bullet.
"If America needed one more example of the cancer that has been chewing through the guts of our most basic freedoms since Mr. Bush assumed office, they can look to Portland. The right to freely assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances has been rescinded at the point of a gun.
"The imperative is clear. Such violence by the authorities cannot go unchallenged. The next time Mr. Bush appears in public, there must be even more concerned Americans to greet him. They must face the baton and the pepper spray, they must stare into the shielded faces of the police, and they must stand in non-violent disobedience of the idea that they are not allowed to be there. The men and women who faced the brunt of police fury in Portland are to be lauded as American patriots, and their actions must be duplicated by us all. The groups which organized this protest, and the ones to come, deserve our praise." 
In the 1960 Presidential primary, John Kennedy spoke to the question of what do we honor and what do we stand for in our lives today? What value do we give to the millions of Americans who have fought and died and lived for this country to keep alive the promise and the hope of the Bill of Rights and our constitutional liberties?
"And I want to be sure that we haven't lost something important in this country. That we haven't gone soft. That we don't have so many cars and ice boxes and television sets that we just look to our own private interests and not the welfare of the country.
"We who sit here today are the beneficiaries of millions of Americans who have fought and died and lived for this country to make it what it is. I will describe to you only one of them.
"A young American, who was taken prisoner in the Korean war, was brought out in front of his comrades and he was asked by his Chinese captors, what he thought of General George C. Marshall. `Genearal George C. Marshall,' he said, `is a great American.'
"Immediately he was hit by the butt of a rifle and knocked to the ground. And he picked himself up and they asked him the same question, `What do you think of George C. Marshall?' He said, `I think General George C. Marshall is a great American.'
"This time there was no rifle butt. They had classified him and found that he had courage. And the question is where are all of us as Americans, and as a nation, going to be when we are asked to step out and say what we stand for?" 
Have we become sufficiently co-opted by the addictive lures of consumerism, corporate profit, and the false claim that what is now being implemented is done in our name and is for our own good and benefit? Will we consent to being passive witnesses to the destruction of the principles and foundations on which this country was established? As it has been for every person in previous generations, the choice is still there for us to make. Our responsibility as active aware citizens of this world is to act on what our consciences inform us to be right and true. As active aware citizens we need to augment our perspectives by thoroughly examining all the information available to us. (See the end of Domestic Terrorism: The Big Lie section listing additional sources of information.)
Hermann Goering's statement at the beginning of this section, that the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders, must continually be revisited if we are to remain vigilant about the exercise of power for destructive purposes. Paul Wolf points out the historical significance of the defining moment in the Nazi regime's rise to power and the results that ensued from that seminal event.
"The rise of the Nazi Party in Germany can be traced to February 27, 1933. Someone had set fire to the German Reichstag building, the house of the parliament. Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch Communist, was found at the scene. Adolph Hitler quickly seized on the opportunity, and directed the outrage of the wounded German people against their already imagined enemies -- the Communists and and Jews. Van der Lubbe was convicted, civil rights were suspended, and Hitler took power shortly thereafter.
"Historians disagree as to whether the Nazis deliberately burned down the Reichstag, or whether they just took advantage of the situation. But does it really matter? We become mesmerized by these historical questions. But in retrospect, it's apparent that the real issue was the rise of fascism in Germany, not determining who was really responsible for the Reichstag fire." 
Last January, both Dick Cheney and Bush Jr. asked Senate Majority Leader Daschle to limit any congressional investigation into the events of 9-11 because, as Cheney said, "a review of what happened on September 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism."  In the history of the United States, the ferocity of destruction on September 11th was unprecedented. Since Bush II chose to represent the 9-11 bombings as an act of war and not as a crime against humanity, it is doubly suspect that Cheney claims the demands of this contrived war on terrorism take precedence over conducting a thorough investigation of that unique day's events. In April, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney questioned the purpose of Bush II's drive to prevent a thorough investigation of 9-11:
"We deserve to know what went wrong on September 11 and why. After all, we hold thorough public inquiries into rail disasters, plane crashes, and even natural disasters in order to understand what happened and to prevent them from happening again or minimizing the tragic effects when they do. Why then does the Administration remain steadfast in its opposition to an investigation into the biggest terrorism attack upon our nation? . . .
"I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of 9-11. A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case. For example, it is known that President Bush's father, through the Carlyle Group had -- at the time of the attacks -- joint business interests with the bin Laden construction company and many defense industry holdings, the stocks of which, have soared since September 11.
On the other hand, what is undeniable is that corporations close to the Administration, have directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the aftermath of September 11. The Carlyle Group, DynCorp, and Halliburton certainly stand out as companies close to this Administration. Secretary Rumsfeld maintained in a hearing before Congress that we can afford the new spending, even though the request for more defense spending is the highest increase in twenty years and the Pentagon has lost $2.3 trillion.
All the American people are being asked to make sacrifices. Our young men and women in the military are being asked to risk their lives in our War Against Terrorism while our President's first act was to sign an executive order denying them high deployment overtime pay. The American people are being asked to make sacrifices by bearing massive budget cuts in the social welfare of our country, in the areas of health care, social security, and civil liberties for our enhanced military and security needs arising from the events of September 11; it is imperative that they know fully why we make the sacrifices. If the Secretary of Defense tells us that his new military objectives must be to occupy foreign capital cities and overthrow regimes, then the American people must know why. It should be easy for this Administration to explain fully to the American people in a thorough and methodical way why we are being asked to make these sacrifices and if, indeed, these sacrifices will make us more secure. If the Administration cannot articulate these answers to the American people, then the Congress must.
This is not a time for closed-door meetings and this is not a time for se crecy. America's credibility, both with the world and with her own people, rests upon securing credible answers to these questions. The world is teetering on the brink of conflicts while the Administration's policies are vague, wavering and unclear. Major financial conflicts of interest involving the President, the Attorney General, the Vice President and others in the Administration have been and continue to be exposed. " 
The intention to limit and control the investigation of the historically unprecedented bombings on United States soil is entirely consistent with the misrepresentations and obfuscations fomented and directed by Bush II. Historian Robert Conot wrote about the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials in his book Justice at Nuremberg. His assessment of Hitler's understanding and use of the "big lie" is timeless in its relevance. How power can corrupt and how unaccountable power can pervert a free and open society, is the paramount issue we must address while there is time to exercise any of the constitutional rights we claim are still ours.
"Hitler's dictum that `the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people . . . more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a little one' has once more come into vogue.
"The most effective means to combat such distortions is to make the facts accessible, and, with them, expose the statements for what they are. At Nuremberg, General Telford Taylor, the prosecutor of more war criminals than any other man, said: `We cannot here make history over again. But we can see that it is written true.'" 
Today, making the facts about 9-11 accessible to all our human family is how we can reclaim our world and renew our hope for ourselves and each other. The misrepresentations, omissions, and deceptions described above, that have defined the Bush II agenda since 9-11 occurred, are summarized in the following list.
- The 9-11 bombings were a crime against humanity of mass murder of civilians. Bush II intentionally chose to misrepresent these crimes as an act of war, rejecting legal remedies, and pursuing wars that they claim may never end, at least not in our lifetime.
- The evidence, as presented to the world, claiming Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9-11 bombings would not stand up in a court of law.
- The real reason Bush II is sabotaging the International Criminal Court is that senior officials fear prosecution for their criminal conspiracy to conduct a war of aggression.
- The 1/8/02 Bush II Nuclear Posture Review, ordering the Pentagon to draw up war plans for the first-use of nuclear weapons, constitutes a Nuremberg Crime against Peace by "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances."
- Since 1991, a World Trade Center's worth of Iraqi children have died every month as a direct result of U.S. policies. Bush II only mentions the loss of American lives on the single day of 9-11-01.
- The United States has rejected a legally-binding system of United Nations inspections of suspected U.S. biological weapons facilities while at the same time accusing other countries -- including Iraq -- of developing biological weapons. Simultaneously, the United States armed forces, in direct violation of the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, is actively pushing for offensive biological weapons development, despite the fact such activity is illegal and subject to federal criminal and civil penalties.
- The October 2001 "USA PATRIOT Act" is turning the U.S. into a permanent police state. It vastly expands the structures of government secrecy and surveillance, utterly relinquishes any semblance of due process, categorically violates the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments, and unacceptably mixes aspects of criminal investigations with aspects of immigration and foreign intelligence laws, while it simultaneously extinguishes the accountability of elected and non-elected government officials.
- The creation of the Department of Homeland Security, representing the biggest government reorganization since the establishment of the Department of Defense in the 1940s, will further erode if not overturn the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which has kept the U.S. military out of local law enforcement for more than a century.
- Attorney General Ashcroft, the leading law enforcement officer of the land, is mounting a series of assaults on the United States Bill of Rights that deny a host of constitutional liberties to U.S. citizens, as well as preparation on many fronts for the imposition of martial law and the creation of internment camps for enemy citizens of Ashcroft's choosing.
- Bush II's war on terrorism is founded on political deceptions and deceits directed at the civilian population of the United States. These include omissions that supposed enemies like Al Qaeda are categorized as U.S. intelligence assets and that the Islamic Brigades are a creation of the Central Intelligence Agency.
- A broad range of data and sources indicate the United States has planned for war in Asia long before 9/11. The beneficiaries and proponents of such military campaigns include U.S. oil corporations, the interests of which are well-represented in Bush II.
- Given all indications from the four commercial airliner's timeline sequences on 9-11, there was a stand down of defensive U.S. Air Force response. United States military and/or civilian incompetence or complicity is the only rational explanation for this situation.
- Bush Jr. and Cheney have expressly asked Senate Majority Leader Daschle to limit any congressional investigation into 9-11 because, as Cheney said, "a review of what happened on September 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism."
Nat Hentoff described former Congressman Don Edwards as a soldier of the Constitution (above). Of the group of authentic contemporary American patriots who truly walk their talk, Don Edwards stands out. The contrast between Edwards' worldview and that of General Ashcroft is especially striking.
"Characteristically, Edwards, though respected even by his opponents in Congress, refused a repeated request that he join the Intelligence Committee. He said that the people's business should be done in public, and through his influence in the House he blocked various expansions of unreviewable intelligence-authorization powers."
We need structures of governance where the people's business is conducted in public. Creating more government by secrecy will not resolve the conflicts that engendered the 9-11 bombings. Unaccountable power will only accelerate the slide into the abyss and guarantee oblivion and non-existence for all. There are a number of people in the Congress of the United States who strive to keep the legacy of people like Don Edwards alive including Congresspersons Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Ron Paul, John Conyers, and Senator Russ Feingold.
Historian Arthur Schlesinger, special assistant to President Kennedy, in August articulated the understanding of people everywhere when he said, "Unilateral preventive war is neither legitimate nor moral. It is illegitimate and immoral. For more than 200 years we have not been that kind of country."  Notwithstanding the current low ebb in our system of governance, all people in the United States possess the greatest power on earth to stand up for what their conscience calls for, and demand our government act in accordance with our values and beliefs.
One person can make such a difference with the light of their conscience and devotion to open government and an informed and free society. A standout is Representative Henry Gonzalez's efforts (in 1991 and 1992) to inform people about more of the facts surrounding the 1991 Gulf War. An archive of the Congressional Record during these two years reminds us how deeply the conflicts-of-interest of elected and appointed government officials can run. These records are of supreme value as we are poised on the brink of possibly committing yet another crime against humanity by waging aggressive war on Iraq.
Martin Luther King spoke so presciently in 1967 in his Beyond Vietnam speech. Substitute "Terrorism" for "Communism" and "Iraqi" for "Vietnamese" in the following, and ponder anew the true costs and consequences of seeking a Pax Americana and invading Iraq.
"This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote:
``Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the hearts of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.'' . . .
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. . . .
"War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. . . .
"We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate." 
As an example of critical information omitted from our headlines was that on 8 December 1999, a Memphis Tennessee jury found that "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by a conspiracy that included agencies of his own government." Speaking at the family press conference the next day, Coretta Scott King said,
"There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court's unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. . . . I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law. As we pursued this case, some wondered why we would spend the time and energy addressing such a painful part of the past. For both our family and the nation, the short answer is that we had to get involved because the system did not work. Those who are responsible for the assassination were not held to account for their involvement. This verdict, therefore, is a great victory for justice and truth." 
At the press conference William F. Pepper, the King family's lawyer-investigator spoke to crux of this trial.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, this great republic has throughout it's history, has been afraid to face the issues that Martin Luther King tried to confront at the end of his life. . . . This nation has not faced the problems that Martin Luther King, Jr. died trying to face and confront. They still exist today, the forces of evil, the powerful economic forces that dominate the government of this land and make money on war and deprive the poor of what is their right, their birthright. They still abound and they rule.
"The jury heard the background of Dr. King's crust. They understood, finally, the reason why he was stained. He was not a civil rights leader when he was stained. He was an international figure of great stature. He had a moral banner that he was waving and it was heard and seen all over the land. Here and in Europe, Southeast Asia. He had that kind of compelling presence. He was a danger and a threat to the status quo. So he was eliminated.
"What the jury also heard, from all of those witnesses for almost four weeks, was that he was assassinated because of the removal of the all police protection when he was in the city of Memphis. . . . Then the proof goes into the broader conspiracy. . . . Did you know ladies and gentlemen that the assassination was photographed? That there were photographs buried in the archives at the Department of Defense? No you did not know. And you know why you did not know? Because there was no police investigation in this case. . . .
"The tragedy of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. is a tragedy for this family here. This family in my view is America's first family because of their struggle and for what they have stood for, going back for generations, going back to 1917, the first world war period, this family was under surveillance by military intelligence back then. Up to the present time they have been feared. So that is a tragedy for this family. It is a tragedy for this nation and to the world that this man was taken from us when he was." 
Apart from the courtroom participants, journalist Jim Douglass was the only person who attended the complete trial other than a local TV reporter. He wrote about the trial and its significance in the spring of 2000.
"Hatred and fear of King deepened, Lawson said, in response to his plan to hold the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D.C. King wanted to shut down the nation's capital in the spring of 1968 through massive civil disobedience until the government agreed to abolish poverty. King saw the Memphis sanitation workers' strike as the beginning of a nonviolent revolution that would redistribute income. `I have no doubt,' Lawson said, `that the government viewed all this seriously enough to plan his assassination.' . . .
"Pepper went a step beyond saying government agencies were responsible for the assassination. To whom in turn were those murderous agencies responsible? Not so much to government officials per se, Pepper asserted, as to the economic powerholders they represented who stood in the even deeper shadows behind the FBI, Army Intelligence, and their affiliates in covert action. By 1968, Pepper told the jury, `And today it is much worse in my view' -- `the decision-making processes in the United States were the representatives, the footsoldiers of the very economic interests that were going to suffer as a result of these times of changes [being actived by King].'
"To say that U.S. government agencies killed Martin Luther King on the verge of the Poor People's Campaign is a way into the deeper truth that the economic powers that be (which dictate the policies of those agencies) killed him. In the Memphis prelude to the Washington campaign, King posed a threat to those powers of a non-violent revolutionary force. Just how determined they were to stop him before he reached Washington was revealed in the trial by the size and complexity of the plot to kill him. . . .
"Perhaps the lesson of the King assassination is that our government understands the power of nonviolence better than we do, or better than we want to. In the spring of 1968, when Martin King was marching (and Robert Kennedy was campaigning), King was determined that massive, nonviolent civil disobedience would end the domination of democracy by corporate and military power. The powers that be took Martin Luther King seriously. They dealt with him in Memphis.
"Thirty-two years after Memphis, we know that the government that now honors Dr. King with a national holiday also killed him. As will once again become evident when the Justice Department releases the findings of its `limited re-investigation' into King's death, the government (as a footsoldier of corporate power) is continuing its cover-up--just as it continues to do in the closely related murders of John and Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X." 
The full trial transcript is available online at King Center, including "Chapter 9: The Trial" (PDF format), ``[A]n excerpt from a soon to be published book by W.F. Pepper entitled Vindication, © 2001 William F. Pepper. This also serves as the family's detailed analysis of the Department of Justice "limited investigation" report.'' A "Trial Transcript - Summary" is also available as well as the "Transcription of the King Family Press Conference quoted above.
This trial and its significance should have been frontpage news across our land. The story of how agencies of our government killed Martin Luther King, and then covered up the evidence of complicity, needs to be common knowledge. It is only when we face the dark side of life in ourselves and in the life of our society that these disparate experiences and the thoughts and feelings engendered can be healthfully re-integrated into the wholeness of life.
In his latest book about the American soul, Jacob Needleman points out the transformational powers available to us when we genuinely accept the truths about ourselves. The hope of America cannot be renewed without acknowledging such failures as the reality of genocide of the original peoples of this land and of slavery imposed on African people. This renewal will transpire when we experience humility and remorse as balanced by the same esteem we hold for liberty and equality of every person on earth. As long as people of the United States relate to the rest of the world as something to be dominated and controlled, we will see the continued degradation of the people's vision that started and have expanded this experiment in government of, by, and for the people.
There is much that can be done to make the facts of our time accessible to all our human family. Restoring our constitutional system of law and championing the rights and security of people everywhere requires that we extend ourselves to others who share our concerns. An inspiring movement gaining ground in the United States is the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, committed to restoring civil liberties through grassroots efforts nationwide. A number of other projects offer information and can further the work of making the facts accessible.
A healthy approach to augmenting our perspectives is to ask thoughtful, deliberate questions. Why does our government fear a comprehensive investigation of 9-11? How does a country that purports to champion and favor freedom justify the dissolution of its own Bill of Rights and constitutional liberties? How do we justify our self-exemption from the code of established and evolving international law? Our government must allow the continuation of this kind of exchange of questions and ideas and citizens throughout the world must continue to exercise these inalienable rights. That is the true measure of a balance of power that favors freedom.
"Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable - that mankind is doomed - that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.
"We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade - therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable - and we believe they can do it again."-- President John F. Kennedy, Commencement Address
at American University in Washington, 10 June 1963
"The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
"(a) Crimes against peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
" . . .
"Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan."
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;[Emphasis added.]
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
About the Centre for Research on Globalisation
The Centre's objective is to unveil the workings of the New World Order.
War and globalisation go hand in hand, leading, in the post Cold War era, to the destruction of countries and the impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people. In turn, this global economic system is marked by an unprecedented concentration of private wealth. The institutions of war, police repression and economic management interface with one another. NATO is not only in liaison with the Pentagon and the CIA, it also has contacts with the IMF and the World Bank. In turn, the Washington based international financial bureaucracy, responsible for imposing deadly "economic medicine" on developing countries has close ties to the Wall Street financial establishment.
The powers behind this system are those of the global banks and financial institutions, the military-industrial complex, the oil and energy giants, the biotech conglomerates and the powerful media and communications giants, which fabricate the news and overtly distorts the course of world events. In turn, the police apparatus represses, in the name of "Western democracy", all forms of dissent and critique of the dominant neoliberal ideology.
This "false consciousness" which pervades our societies, prevents critical debate and masks the truth. Ultimately, this false consciousness precludes a collective understanding of the workings of a World economic and political system, which destroys people's lives. The only promise of global capitalism is a World of landless farmers, shuttered factories, jobless workers and gutted social programs with "bitter economic medicine" under the WTO and the IMF constituting the only prescription.
The New World Order is based on the "false consensus" of Washington and Wall Street, which ordains the "free market system" as the only possible choice on the fated road to a "global prosperity". The GRG purports to reveal the truth and disarm the falsehoods conveyed by the controlled corporate media.
29 August 2001
"The FBI had information on the money trail. They knew exactly who was financing the terrorists. Less than two weeks later, the findings of the FBI were confirmed by Agence France Presse (AFP) and the Times of India, quoting an official Indian intelligence report (which had been dispatched to Washington). According to these two reports, the money used to finance the 9-11 attacks had allegedly been "wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan, by Ahmad Umar Sheikh, at the instance of [ISI Chief] General Mahmoud [Ahmad]." (India helped FBI trace ISI-terrorist links, by Manoj Joshi, The Times of India, 10/10/02) According to the AFP (quoting the intelligence source):
"The evidence we have supplied to the U.S. is of a much wider range and depth than just one piece of paper linking a rogue general to some misplaced act of terrorism."(AFP, 10/10/01)
The Wall Street Journal's
Opinion Journal -
Best of the Web Today by James Taranto, 10/10/01
"Our Friends the Pakistanis"
". . . Top sources confirmed here on Tuesday, that the general lost his job because of the `evidence' India produced to show his links to one of the suicide bombers that wrecked the World Trade Centre. The US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen Mahumd. Senior government sources have confirmed that India contributed significantly to establishing the link between the money transfer and the role played by the dismissed ISI chief."
"Gen Mahmud's exit due
to links with Umar Sheikh"
DAWN - Top Stories; 10/9/01
". . . Informed sources said there were enough indications with the US intelligence agencies that it was at Gen Mahmud's instruction that Sheikh had transferred 100,000 US dollars into the account of Mohammed Atta, one of the lead terrorists in strikes at the World Trade Centre on Sept 11, it adds."
Smoking Gun: The Many Faces of Saeed Sheikh"
by Paul Thompson, Center For Cooperative Research 9/4/02, updated 9/9/02
"Just who is Saeed Sheikh? He has gone by many names and had many roles. Most recently he made headlines in July 2002 when he was convicted and sentenced to death for killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Ironically, he may be innocent of that crime while guilty of far more serious crimes. He is deeply implicated in the Sept. 11 attacks, yet the mass media and Pakistani and US governments have obscured his role and his background, and soon will hang him. The cover-up may have something to do with the fact that he wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Sept. 11 hijackers at the orders of Pakistan's secret service, the ISI."
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