Prior Knowledge -- Part 2 of 2
This article provides a referenced introduction to some of the information available that leads to the conclusion that the government of the United States was aware of the possibility (if not likelihood) of the attacks that occurred on 9-11, and made decisions that allowed them to occur.
You are welcome and encouraged to share this document in whole or in part with others in any way except for profit. This is part 2 of 2
Prior Knowledge of 9-11
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1. Purpose and Scope (repeated)
This essay provides a referenced introduction to some of the information available that leads to the conclusion that the government of the United States was aware of the possibility (if not likelihood) of the attacks that occurred on 9-11, and made decisions that allowed them to occur. Sections 2 and 3 provides some of the direct evidence of the prior knowledge of our government. The subsequent sections provide indirect or circumstantial evidence that shows how the actions of our leaders and our government, and how our history are consistent with the hypothesis that the attacks were preventable but allowed to happen. Section 3 examines the breathtaking failure of the Air Force to respond to defend our national airspace on 9-11. Section 4 examines the specific decisions made by our government that allowed the attacks. Section 5 examines the historical precedents for our government to employ deception to conduct warfare. Section 6 examines the evidence of possible motives for deciding not to prevent these attacks.
5. Precedents for American Wars
"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 for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the 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 tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." --Hitler's #2 Man, Hermann Goering
The history of the United States demonstrates that our people and leaders are no exception to these observations made by Georing. Moreover, the record shows that the people of the United States have entered no conflict without significant deception by its leaders about the threat of being attacked.
This section provides examples from three conflicts that have great significance in the history of the United States, and may be seen as precedents for the current conflict in which we are engaged.
5.1 From the beginning, the shock and surprise experienced by American citizens was compared to that experienced before the second world war when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. In 1995, Robert Stinnett published Day of Deception which details the evidence that President Roosevelt not only knew about the attack several weeks before it occurred, but also followed a detailed script intended to provoke the Japanese into making precisely that attack and took steps to ensure that no one prevented those attacks. He knew that it would require an Overt Act of War against the United States to mobilize the citizens of the United States for this war.
Briefly the evidence consists of the detailed script (in the form of a memo to the president by Lt. Commander Arthur McCullum) for provocation, the subsequent orders by Roosevelt to follow that script and the detailed information about our specific awareness of the attack at the time that it occurred. The reason that this decision was made was that the president thought it essential to United States interests that we enter the war against Germany, and that the American people were not in favor of the idea. In fact, Roosevelt had campaigned against entry into the war and had promised that he would never do it.
The memo to the president by Lt Commander Arthur McCullum detailing the plan to provoke the Japanese into an Overt Act of War, included the following elements:
1) Keep most of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor
(as bait to draw the attack),
2) Send a division of US Cruisers into Japanese territorial waters
(this was done regularly to threaten access to oil),
3) Deny the Japanese Oil
(the Dutch and the British also agreed to this embargo),
4) Send submarines into the territorial waters,
8) The last step was to seize all assets in the United States.
We were monitoring the Japanese fleet with directional radio sensors so we knew its location and movement just prior to the attack. We had broken the diplomatic and naval encryption codes and had clear warning at least a month in advance from these sources. This information was withheld from those responsible for the defense of Hawaii who were subsequently court marshaled for their failure. Roosevelt issued orders to all other commanders (including MacArthur) to stand aside and allow the overt act of war by the Japanese which would be the only way to motivate the American people to enter the war against Germany.
Based on Stinnett's research the Congress finally acceded to the family of the prime commander of Hawaii [Admiral Kimmel] to restore his rank and reputation. They passed a law to that effect (which has yet to be signed by either Presidents Clinton or Bush). This understanding of the beginning of the second World War is now so accepted by the mainstream that it is being broadcast regularly by the History channel.
It is worth noticing that even though there had been quite a number of official and intensive investigations into the causes of the failures around Pearl Harbor, the truth about those events was not revealed until early in 1995, presumably because all of those involved in the decisions had died.
[ http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=5123 provides an excellent interview with Robert Stinnett on this subject. See also the information from the Independent Institute Forum, where Stinnett spoke and answered questions on his book. http://www.independent.org/tii/forums/events.html]
5.2 The War on Iraq conducted by the first President Bush provides a very useful precedent because it is our last major conflict and may be our next. Before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, our ambassador at the time assured him that "the United States would view it as a local matter" (i.e. would not object or interfere). This was revealed in Congressional hearings and is understood to be a major reason that the invasion of Kuwait was undertaken by Saddam at the time. Subsequent to the invasion a Publicity Relations firm completely fabricated a video news story about babies being taken out of incubators and left on the floor to die by Iraqi soldiers. This story was timed to mobilize American support of the invasion of Iraq. Subsequently, the policies of embargo imposed by the United States and our allies on Iraq has been responsible for the death of more than 1.5 million of its citizens. When asked about whether these deaths were warranted, Madeline Albright responded that that the price was worth it. [?reference?]
5.3 As our intervention in Columbia morphs from a Drug War to a War on Terrorism, it provides many clear precedents for the War on Terrorism. Since its inception under the Reagan administration the Drug War has served as a reason for intervention in foreign governments to ensure the interests of major corporations and for the incarceration of American citizens. The current interventions in Columbia have more to do with suppressing dissent and ensuring corporate access to oil and labor than with the interdiction of the drug trade. Just as the Drug War replaced our War on Communism as a pretext for such intervention in the past, the War on Terrorism now replaces the Drug War.
During this time, the prison population in the United States has risen from about 300,000 to over 2,000,000; and spawned a new growth industry in privatized prisons. Most of this increased population has come from the draconian drug laws (very similar to the anti-terrorism legislation) under which possession of prohibited substances warrant sentences equal to those of felony arson. Most of this increased incarceration (up to 70-80%) comes from Afro-American and Hispanic populations.
During this time the use of drugs in the United States has, if anything, increased.
During this time the votes removed from the electoral process by felony convictions have made it increasingly difficult for Democrats to be elected at any level of government.
6. Possible Motives for Allowing 9-11
"To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good... Ideology - that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Although it is difficult to effectively judge the motivations of others, the historical record provides some evidence of the reasons behind the policies of the United States government that seem to apply directly to this situation. Anyone who believes that the War in Afghanistan was waged primarily because terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (or that the last and next wars against Iraq were/are undertaken for the reasons given) are likely to be mistaken. The record shows that the reasons given are almost always a deception. In this section, we attempt to assess these reasons from an objective and historical point of view.
FIRST a DISCLAIMER. It seems likely that the loss of life and damage to the World Trade Center was greater than expected. (Isn't it always?) It is not the intention of this article to argue that anyone intended the loss of human life on such a scale. On the other hand, as Commander McCullum said of Pearl Harbor, the unity of the American people is worth a few thousand lives.
The real question addressed in this section is what have we been united for.
6.1 One obvious and highly reported dimension of this conflict (at least outside the United States) is oil. Monitoring the world supply of oil is a highly evolved science and experts predict that the production of oil will peak in 2006, never again to be exceeded. Meanwhile, the consumption, led by the United States continues to increase worldwide. This means that in the very near future, oil will become increasingly and rapidly scarce. One of the most under-exploited reserves of oil and gas resources lie in the Caspian Sea basin to the north of Afghanistan. For some time, the United States has been seeking to develop a route to market for these resources through Afghanistan. Taking this route under American custody will mean that it will not be controlled by China or by Russia who are also interested in these resources, Russia as a world supplier and China as a consumer. It will also mean that we will be less dependent on Saudi Arabia and have more leverage with China.
"The world's energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the U.S. Department of energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia's economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea." (THE GRAND CHESSBOARD - Zbigniew Brzezinski, p.125)
Before beginning to threaten the Taliban, Bush tried to woo them into providing a passage to market for these resources. [Propaganda Matrix story] The threats began after these discussions broke down. While the United States demanded that the Taliban turn over Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts, we did so in a way that made it impossible for them to comply. For example, we did not give them a list of individuals that would have made it possible for them to comply. We would not agree to have them turned over to a third party like the United Nations International Court. We did not agree to provide them with proof, which seems a reasonable request in any extradition process.
6.2 Zbigniew Brzezinski who led the National Security Council under President Carter makes it clear that this is just not about profits for the oil companies but about the strategic geopolitical interests of the United States. "In that [geopolitical] context, how America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geo-politically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geo-politically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." [THE GRAND CHESSBOARD - Zbigniew Brzezinski, page 31]
"The three grand imperatives of imperial geo-strategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (p.40)
Our efforts to secure bases in Uzbekistan and adjoining countries (which began before 9-11) seem to be following the script to pursue these interests that Zbigniew Brzezinski lays out in his book. Ominously, he says that the American society will not support the mobilization of strategic imperial force that are required to pursue these objectives without a direct external threat, and a shock effect such as was experienced from the attack on Pearl Harbor (pp 24-5, p.211).
The suppression of dissent from pursuing these strategic geopolitical interests, according to Zbigniew Brzezinski is going to require massive force overseas and significant coercion domestically. This is precisely what the Drug War was seeking to accomplish on a much more modest scale. We are now moving much closer to the full consequences of this vision of pursuing our geopolitical interests. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed in his new book this year, describes the current situation through eyes that are less enthralled with the ideology of neo-liberalism.
"The virtually unhindered expansion of the American Empire is simultaneously and systemically eroding the very values that America claims to stand for. Throughout the West and beyond, civil liberties, basic freedoms and human rights are being curtailed in the name of fighting terrorism, while military interventions with nuclear implications are being planned to pursue brute strategic and economic interests, at the expense of indigenous populations--- and for the benefit of corporate elites. Under U.S. leadership, it seems that the entire world is moving towards a situation of global apartheid governed by the Western-based international institutions of what is fast becoming a global police state, administered by the powerful for their own profit."
[The War on Freedom, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed]
6.3 Globally these interests (as embodied in the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the G-8 and the World Trade Organization) had been under increasing pressure prior to 9-11. From the confrontations in Seattle in 1999 to those in Genoa in July of 2001, it was becoming increasingly clear that the pursuit of these policies of geopolitical domination were under attack. After Genoa, these meetings began to be scheduled in completely in accessible venues to preclude such confrontations because the leaders of global policy had found themselves increasingly unable to manage them. The next meeting of these groups (which was too soon to be rescheduled without severe embarrassment) was scheduled to take place in late September, 2001 in Washington DC. In preparation for that event security forces were preparing to build a multi-million dollar wall around a 20-40 square block area of the core of the city where the conference was sited. During the last meeting during July 2002 in Canada, costs for security ranged in the hundreds of millions of dollars even though the site chosen was extremely remote and inaccessible.
6.4 During the summer of 2001, Bush was mooned in England as an expression of extreme disrespect by hundreds of demonstrators. This was his first visit to Europe after refusing to participate in the Kyoto agreements and he got less than the usual warm welcome for a new American president. Domestically for the Bush administration the situation was even more dire. The legitimacy of Bush's presidency was still in serious question, particularly among the African-American population. Publication of the final consensus analysis was due to be published in September (after the holidays). It would not be favorable. Bush's popularity was waning. He withdrew to Texas during August to develop a campaign to improve it. Anti-Bush protest was being suppressed by moving demonstrators blocks away from any venue where Bush spoke. Demonstrators moving closer than these approved zones were intimidated and arrested. The White House had decided not to release the Reagan presidential records, as required by law. The White House had decided not to release the records of its development of its oil policy, as required by law.
During a financial audit, the Department of Defense had been unable to account for the expenditure of more than $3 billion dollars. All priority for the defense budget had been undermined by Bush's tax cut and the defense department financial scandal.
It looked like the Bush administration was under siege.
That's the way things were. How things have changed!
7. A Few Questions and Answers
7.1 Why are these ideas rejected by so many leaders on the left?
These are a few thoughts that cover the topic from a thread of postings at the San Francisco indymedia site. [ http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2002/03/117429.php]
Certain organizations such as ZMag have the perspective that a discussion of possible U.S. government foreknowledge and/or complicity is at odds with critical theory. An analysis of institutions is what's necessary, they say, and talking about government involvement is a form of conspiracy theory, whose focus is corrupt individuals rather than the overall structure of the system, and whose promoters often espouse simplistic if not all-out right wing politics. True enough, all events happen in the context of global capitalism and its dynamics, especially the accumulation imperative. But within these constraints, corporate and state managers act to facilitate their ends. And pretending that they don't act deliberately and in secret to promote their goals flies in the face of history, such as the events of Pearl Harbor, or the Gulf of Tonkin pseudo-attack which led to dramatically-escalated U.S. involvement in Indochina. A determination to not deal with what the elites actually do to enforce their policies is a good way to disarm yourself and let them have
their way. [August West, http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2002/03/117429.php]
I [also] see striking parallels between the Left's reaction in the present situation and its reaction in 1914, as the supposedly socialist Second International turned its back on numerous pledges to never allow a war, and its constituent parties joined the various national war efforts. This amounted to sending many of their own (particularly working class) members to be slaughtered on behalf of a struggle for markets and the "national (capital) interest". [August West, http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2002/03/117429.php]
Here's my concern: I worry that by emphasizing US involvement you risk two things politically that are maybe not worth risking considering eternally inconclusive evidence: 1) You risk implying that the US has not made real enemies out there who are furious and want retaliation (this plays down the brutal legacy of US presence in the Middle East.) So you obscure an understanding of the effects of US military presence. 2) Also, it is difficult enough to get people to look at scandals like Enron in a way which leads them to radical conclusions...And you want anarchists to organize on the basis of the arguments you offer? I know this sounds instrumentalist, and I hate sounding that way, but even if I were to be convinced that somehow the US was involved enough in a direct fashion to warrant the use of the term "insider job" at the same time I am very wary about how to use this kind of info politically. Most of the US is happily asleep and shopping as the stock market supposedly begins to recover and there are reported rises in the consumption of luxury goods... most of the liberal/left is caught up in their paid activist jobs...so how do you envision challenging the different sectors with this info? I am truly curious and would like your reflections; because this is where I am getting stuck. [another comment at the same link]
This is extremely difficult material, and I would advise patience with anyone who does not understand things in this way. I would be even more grateful if the truth of this line of thinking can be disproved. However, I disagree with those who believe that walking down this path, if this is indeed where the truth seems to lie, is counter-productive. If we deny the value of inquiry because it does not support our agenda, it seems to me that we continue to contribute to this same syndrome of corruption. On the other hand, we must also each respect each other's right to contribute in the ways that they feel are the most effective. It does not mean that we must, in all cases, support them or allow them to do so.
It is more than ironic that Bush and Osama are both doing the right thing and following the truth as they see it. It is humbling.
7.2 Why should I treat such a conspiracy theory seriously?
[see also the answer to the previous question]
A conspiracy theory focuses on the individuals and on blame. This process is difficult to resolve. For a variety of reasons, it can turn into a labyrinth; and is easily manipulated by generating conflict and confusion around endless counter theories. This essay has only indirectly been about the actions and inactions of individuals. It is primarily evidence that we are being deceived, with some clear evidence about the nature of the situation in which we find ourselves.
This essay is not about a conspiracy because it is not about the people in the current government who have been a party to allowing this tragedy to occur. It is not these individuals who are the primary cause of this terrible tragedy, but a system of oppression and exploitation that has been taking place for at least a century. For earlier era, England was the leader of this system. Since the end of the second world war, the United States has been the primary organizing force. Most of the Western civilization has been complicit in this conspiracy. It is only now that conditions are making it possible for more of us in America to realize the nature of these conditions. The people in the third world have been aware of them from the beginning because they have been more affected by them. The people in Europe are more aware of them because their societies are less effectively propagandized than ours.
This may be the great blessing of our time. That we are becoming aware of this together.
[see also the answer to the next question.]
"We have seen the enemy, and it is us." [Pogo]
(This essay is not directed at exposing a conspiracy, but at exposing a corruption in which many of us have had some role. Certainly I have had, though I dearly endeavored otherwise. Although this essay is not about conspiracy, it was greatly aided by many whose primary interest is represented in that light; and for which I am grateful. And then, on the other hand, what is the whole story of Osama and the hijackers if not a conspiracy theory? Isn't any war essentially a conspiracy? Perhaps its just a matter of being on the "wrong" side.)
7.3 What can we do about this?
We each and all have our agenda. Using this crisis to move it forward is just what Bush did and I would not want to be one to follow in those footsteps. I would however, take common cause with anyone who is interested in taking control of our agenda as a people again, and moving forward in solidarity with all people. This goes far beyond voting Bush and his associates out of office, and stopping the War on Terrorism. It means organizing the ways we live, so that we can renew ourselves as a vital democratic society; and it means reversing the trends that have take us so far away from that for at least the last 50 years and probably longer.
Any feelings of revenge that I may harbor toward those individuals involved is tempered by my own realization that I should have known more about what was being done in my name by our government for the last 50 years; and by some understanding about how much more important it is for me to learn how to live differently than it is for me to punish "those responsible". For in many, many ways I have prospered at the expense of others for far too long myself. Perhaps even more importantly I have also passed up many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. I deeply regret that so much of the damage of this corruption of our society has been done during the maturing of my generation. I hold my ancestors much less responsible than myself for this, and regret providing such an unfriendly world for those more recently become adults.
Some ideas that I have heard from others that I think may be helpful in this regard; and that I am trying to follow.
a. -- Love those who are close to me, and widen the circle of those with whom my heart is open.
b. -- Keep myself informed on issues that interest me.
c. -- Reach out to others to discuss, exchange information and discover issues of mutual interest.
d. -- Find and develop groups with mutual interests and take action together.
Relying on others to do this for us may be a large part of how we got here in the first place.
If you have a player for Real Media and a good link, this is my favorite group action -- Not IN OUR NAME PLEDGE. [ http://la.indymedia.org/uploads/nion.pi2zye.ram] I found this video eloquently expressed my heart's own true desire. Is a 39 minute video of a rally in Los Angeles in June of this year. The Pledge is also described in text here (And it may be coming to a city near you this fall) : http://www.notinourname.net/NIONcall.pdf
These are my current thoughts today on what we can do.
I would be very grateful to hear from you about yours.
A few of the best sites IMO for general information about the Prior Knowledge issue are:
well-referenced fact sheets in many categories relating to 9-11 and
http://unansweredquestions.org summarizes and introduces the categories
of discrepancies very neatly and in audio format too. Has a great
list of questions to which all can add and vote on the most important
in each category.
http://www.propagandamatrix.com/archiveprior_knowledge.html has an
extraordinary catalog of original sources
http://www.falloutshelternews.com/9_11_ODDITIES.html has a large list
of analysis articles and commentary (as opposed to original sources)
very good in elaborating and documenting the detailed events of 9-11
at least for the moment. At least two of these sites reports a history of cyber attacks.
A Short List of Related Books:
Stupid White Men -- Michael Moore
Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace -- Gore Vidal
9-11 -- Chomsky
War and Terrorism -- Zinn
Day of Deception -- Stinnett
Body of Secrets -- Bamford
Heart of Darkness -- Conrad
Brave New World -- Huxley
1984 -- Orwell
The New Nuclear Danger -- Caldicott ( http://www.nuclearpolicy.org)
The War on Freedom -- Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
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