Never Forget. Never Again.Posted: September 11, 2013 | |
In 2001 America and the world changed. Since those attacks we have lost Habeas Corpus, spent trillions on the war on terror home and abroad causing a recession and loss of more life, and legalized and excused the use of torture.
As we remember the lives lost at WTC1, WTC2, WTC7, the Pentagon, the four planes hijacked and crashed, our soldiers who are dying in the following conflicts, and the countless citizens of the middle east caught between world super powers and religious fanatics, let us not forget how we got there so we aren’t doomed to repeat the folly and loss.
1980s: Osama bin Laden runs a front organization for the mujaheddin—Islamic freedom fighters rebelling against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The CIA secretly backs the mujaheddin. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Bhutto, understanding the ferocity of Islamic extremism, tells then President George Bush, “You are creating a Frankenstein.” [MSNBC, 8/24/98, Newsweek, 10/1/01, more]
1994: Two attacks take place which involve hijacking planes to crash them into buildings, including one by an Islamic militant group. In a third attack, a lone pilot crashes a plane at the White House. Yet after Sept. 11, over and over aviation and security officials say they are shocked that terrorists could have hijacked airliners and crashed them into landmark buildings. [New York Times, 10/3/01]
1996: The Saudi Arabian government is financially supporting Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and other extremist groups. After 9/11, the Bush Administration does nothing to confront the Saudi leadership over its support of terror organizations and its refusal to help in the investigation. [New Yorker, 10/22/01, more]
1996-1999: The CIA officer in charge of operations against Al Qaeda from Washington writes, “I speak with firsthand experience (and for several score of CIA officers) when I state categorically that during this time senior White House officials repeatedly refused to act on sound intelligence that provided multiple chances to eliminate Osama bin Laden.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/5/04]
1996-2001: Federal authorities have known for years that suspected terrorists with ties to bin Laden were receiving flight training at schools in the US and abroad. One convicted terrorist confessed that his planned role in a terror attack was to crash a plane into CIA headquarters. [Washington Post, 9/23/01]
1996-Sept 11, 2001: Taliban envoys repeatedly discuss turning bin Laden over, but the US wants to be handed bin Laden directly, and the Taliban want to turn him over to some third country. About 20 more meetings on giving up bin Laden take place up till 9/11, all fruitless. [Washington Post, 10/29/01]
1997: Former National Security Advisor Brzezinski publishes a book portraying Eurasia as the key to world power, and Central Asia with its vast oil reserves as the key to domination of Eurasia. He states that for the US to maintain its global primacy, it must prevent any adversary from controlling that region. He notes that because of popular resistance to US military expansionism, his ambitious strategy can’t be implemented “except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” [The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives]
1998: An Oklahoma City FBI agent sends a memo warning that “large numbers of Middle Eastern males” are getting flight training and could be planning terrorist attacks. [CBS, 5/30/02] A separate CIA intelligence report asserts that Arab terrorists are planning to fly a bomb-laden aircraft into the WTC (World Trade Center). [New York Times, 9/19/02, Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02, more]
Aug 1998: Within minutes of each other, truck bombs blow up the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, killing more than 220. For some of the time that bin Laden’s men were plotting to blow up the two embassies, US intelligence was tapping their phones. [Newsweek, 10/1/01]
Dec 1998: A Time magazine cover story entitled “The Hunt for Osama,” reports that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet – a strike on Washington or possibly New York City. [Time, 12/21/98]
Late 1998-Early 2000: On at least three occasions, spies in Afghanistan report bin Laden’s location. Each time, the president approves an attack. Each time, the CIA Director says the information is not reliable enough and the attack cannot go forward. [New York Times, 12/30/01, more]
Sept 1999: A US intelligence report states bin Laden and Al-Qaeda terrorists could crash an aircraft into the Pentagon. The Bush administration claims not to have heard of this report until May 2002, though it was widely shared within the government. [CNN, 5/18/02, AP, 5/18/02, Guardian, 5/19/02]
Nov 1999: The head of Australia’s security services admits the Echelon global surveillance system exists. The US still denies it exists. BBC describes Echelon’s power as “astounding.” Every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission can be listened to by powerful computers capable of voice recognition. They home in on key words, or patterns of messages. [BBC, 11/3/99]
Jan 2000: George Bush Sr. meets with the bin Laden family on behalf of the Carlyle Group. He also met with them in 1998. Bush’s chief of staff could not remember that this meeting took place until shown a thank you note confirming the meeting. [Wall Street Journal, 9/27/01, Guardian, 10/31/01]
Summer 2000: A secret military operation named Able Danger identifies four future 9/11 hijackers, including lead hijacker Mohamed Atta, as a potential threat and members of Al Qaeda. Yet none of this is mentioned later in the 9/11 Commissions’ final report. When questioned, the 9/11 commission’s chief spokesman initially says that staff members briefed about Able Danger did not remember hearing anything about Atta. Days later, however, after provided detailed information, he says the uniformed officer who briefed two staff members had indeed mentioned Atta. [New York Times, 8/11/05, more]
Sept 2000: The think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC) writes the blueprint for a global “Pax Americana.” Written for the Bush team before the 2000 election, Rebuilding America’s Defenses is a plan for maintaining global US preeminence and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests. The plan shows Bush intends to take control of the Persian Gulf whether or not Saddam Hussein is in power. It advocates the transformation of the US military. But, “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbour”. [BBC, 2/14/07,Sunday Herald, 9/7/02, read report, more]
2000 – 2001: The military conducts exercises simulating what the White House later says is unimaginable: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties. One imagined target is the WTC. [USA Today, 4/19/04] Another is the Pentagon. [Military District of Washington (Army), 11/3/00]
Jan 2001: A flight school alerts the FAA. Hijacker Hani Hanjour lacks English and flying skills needed for his commercial pilot’s license. An FAA official then sits next to him in class. The official offers a translator to help him pass, but the flight school says this is against the rules. [AP, 5/10/02] Yet despite poor flying skills, official reports later state Hanjour executes a 330 to 360 degree turn of AA Flight 77 over Washington on 9/11 in under four minutes and manages a precision hit on the Pentagon. [NY Times, 10/16/01, NTSB, 2/19/02]
Jan 2001: After the elections, US intelligence agencies are told to “back off” investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals. There have always been constraints on investigating Saudis. [BBC, 11/6/01,more]
Spring 2001: Military and government documents are released that seek to legitimize the use of US military force in the pursuit of oil. One article advocates presidential subterfuge in the promotion of conflict and “explicitly urge[s] painting over the US’s actual reasons for warfare as a necessity for mobilizing public support for a conflict.” [Sydney Morning Herald, 12/26/02, more]
May 2001: Secretary of State Powell gives $43 million in aid to the Taliban government. [Los Angeles Times, 5/22/01, CNN 5/17/01] This follows $113 million given in 2000. [State Dept. Fact Sheet, 12/11/01]
May 2001: The US introduces “Visa Express” program allowing any Saudi Arabian to obtain visas through their travel agent instead of appearing at a consulate in person. [US News and World Report, 12/12/01] Five hijackers use Visa Express to enter the US. [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/20/02]
May-Aug 2001: A number of the 9/11 hijackers make at least six trips to Las Vegas. These “fundamentalist” Muslims drink alcohol, frequent strip clubs, and smoke hashish. Some even have strippers perform lap dances for them. [San Francisco Chronicle, 10/4/01, Newsweek, 10/15/01]
June 13, 2001: Egyptian President Mubarak through his intelligence services warns the US that bin Laden’s Islamic terrorist network is threatening to kill Bush and other G8 leaders at their July economic summit meeting in Italy. The terrorists plan to use a plane stuffed with explosives. [NY Times, 9/26/01]
June 28, 2001: CIA Director George J. Tenet has been “nearly frantic” with concern. A written intelligence summary for national security adviser Condoleezza Rice says: “It is highly likely that a significant al Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks.” Rice will later claim that everyone was taken by complete surprise by the 9/11 attack. By late summer, one senior political appointee says, Tenet had repeated this threat “so often that people got tired of hearing it.” [Washington Post, 5/17/02]
July 4-14, 2001: Bin Laden reportedly receives kidney treatment from Canadian-trained Dr. Callaway at the American Hospital in Dubai. Telephoned several times, the doctor declines to answer questions. During his stay, bin Laden allegedly is visited by one or two CIA officers. [Guardian, 11/1/01, Sydney Morning Herald, 10/31/01, Times of London, 11/1/01, UPI, 11/1/01, more]
July 10, 2001: A Phoenix FBI agent sends a memorandum warning about Middle Eastern men taking flight lessons. He suspects bin Laden’s followers and recommends a national program to check visas of suspicious flight-school students. The memo is sent to two FBI counter-terrorism offices, but no action is taken. [New York Times, 5/21/02] Vice President Cheney says in May 2002 that he opposes releasing this memo to congressional leaders or to the media and public. [CNN, 5/20/02]
July 24, 2001: Larry Silverstein’s $3.2 billion 99-year lease of the WTC is finalized. Silverstein hopes to win $7 billion in insurance from the destruction of the WTC towers. [NY Times, 02/16/03, Newsday, 09/25/02]
July 26, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft stops flying commercial airlines due to a threat assessment. [CBS, 7/26/01] He later walks out of his office rather than answer questions about this. [AP, 5/16/02,more]
Late July 2001: The US and UN ignore warnings from the Taliban foreign minister that bin Laden is planning an imminent huge attack on US soil. The FBI and CIA also fail to take seriously warnings that Islamic fundamentalists have enrolled in flight schools across the US. [Independent, 9/7/02, more]
Summer 2001: Intelligence officials know that al Qaeda both hopes to use planes as weapons and seeks to strike a violent blow within the US, despite government claims following 9/11 that the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks came “like bolts from the blue.” [Wall Street Journal, 09/19/02, CNN, 9/12/02]
Summer 2001: Russian President Putin later says publicly that he ordered his intelligence agencies to alert the US of suicide pilots training for attacks on US targets. [Fox, 5/17/02]
Late summer 2001: Jordanian intelligence agents go to Washington to warn that a major attack is planned inside the US and that aircraft will be used. Christian Science Monitor calls the story “confidently authenticated” even though Jordan later backs away from it. [CS Monitor, 5/23/02]
Aug 5-11, 2001: Israel warns US of an imminent Al Qaeda attack. [Fox News, 5/17/02]
Aug 6, 2001: President Bush is warned by US intelligence that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. The White House waits eight months after 9/11 to reveal this fact. [New York Times, 5/16/02] Titled “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,” the intelligence briefing specifically mentions the World Trade Center. Yet Bush later states the briefing “said nothing about an attack on America.” [CNN, 4/12/04, Washington Post, 4/12/04, White House, 4/11/04, CNN, 4/10/04,Intelligence Briefing, 8/6/01, more]
Aug 22, 2001: Top counter-terrorism expert John O’Neill quits the FBI due to repeated obstruction of his al-Qaeda investigations and a power play against him. He was the government’s “most committed tracker of bin Laden and al-Qaeda.” The next day he starts a new job as head of security at the WTC. He is killed weeks later in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attack. [New Yorker, 1/14/02]
Aug 24, 2001: Frustrated with lack of response from FBI headquarters about detained suspect Moussaoui, the Minnesota FBI begins working with the CIA. The CIA sends alerts calling him a “suspect 747 airline suicide hijacker.” Three days later an FBI Minnesota supervisor says he is trying to make sure that Moussaoui does not “take control of a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center.” [Senate Intelligence Committee, 10/17/02] FBI headquarters chastises Minnesota FBI for notifying the CIA. [Time, 5/21/02] FBI Director Mueller will later say “there was nothing the agency could have done to anticipate and prevent the [9/11] attacks.” [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02, more]
Sept 10, 2001: A particularly urgent warning may have been received the night before the attacks, causing some top Pentagon brass to cancel a trip. “Why that same information was not available to the 266 people who died aboard the four hijacked commercial aircraft may become a hot topic on the Hill.” [Newsweek, 9/13/01] “A group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.” [Newsweek, 9/24/01, more]
Sept 10, 2001: Former president Bush is with a brother of Osama bin Laden at a Carlyle business conference. The conference is interrupted the next day by the attacks. [Washington Post, 3/16/03]
Sept 10, 2001: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announces that by some estimates the Department of Defense “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” CBS later calculates that 25% of the yearly defense budget is unaccounted for. A defense analyst says, “The books are cooked routinely year after year.” [DOD, 9/10/01, CBS, 1/29/02] This announcement was buried by the next day’s news of 9/11.
September 11, 2001
Sept 11, 2001: Warren Buffett, the second richest man on Earth [BBC, 6/22/01], schedules a charity event inside Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. A small group of business leaders attend, including at least one who would otherwise have died in the WTC. [SF Business Times, 2/1/02, Forbes 10/15/01] Bush flies to this same base that day, where there is an underground command center. [CNN, 9/12/01,CBS, 9/11/02]
Sept 11, 2001: Recovery experts extract data from 32 WTC computer drives revealing a surge in financial transactions. Illegal transfers of over $100 million may have been made through some WTC computer systems immediately before and during the disaster. [Reuters, 12/18/01, CNN, 12/20/01,more]
Sept 11, 2001: In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence, a US intelligence agency (the National Reconnaissance Office or NRO) was all set for an exercise at 9 AM on September 11th in which an aircraft would crash into one of its buildings near Washington, DC. [AP, 8/22/02] Four wargames were also in progress at the time of the attacks. [C-SPAN Congressional Testimony, 3/11/05,more]
(All information from http://www.wanttoknow.info/911/9-11-facts used without permission)
As with The Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf of Tonkin, the tragedy which pushed the American people our current wars were both avoidable and the cause falsified to point the barrels of our guns to the targets the people in power chose.
In avenging the acts of 9/11 what have we lost?
The general consensus puts the fiscal cost between $4 and $6 trillion. Unlike WWII’s war bonds and victory gardens, these wars have been paid for largely by loans and the FED.
The human life cost: All of the war’s recorded dead — including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians — shows that over 330,000 people have died due to direct war violence, many more indirectly. Indirect deaths from the wars, including those related to malnutrition, damaged health infrastructure, and environmental degradation, must also be tallied. In previous wars, these deaths have far outnumbered deaths from combat and that is likely the case here as well. The number of war refugees and displaced persons –7.4 million– is equivalent to all of the people of Connecticut and Oregon fleeing their homes. At least 6,600 of our own soldiers have died and new disability claims continue to pour into the VA, with over 750,000 disability claims already approved. Many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been identified. Even after this war ends the cost of the veterans (heroes) will fall to our children.
As to our freedoms we have lost:
1st AMENDMENT FREEDOM OF SPEECH
• The Patriot Act broadly expands the official definition of
terrorism, so that many domestic groups that engage in
nonviolent civil disobedience could very well find themselves
labeled as terrorists.
• The Government may now prosecute librarians or keepers
of any other records if they reveal that the government
requested information on their clients or members in the
course of an investigation. It has become a crime for these
individuals to try to safeguard your privacy or to tell you
that you are under investigation.
1st AMENDMENT FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
• Government agents may now monitor the First Amendmentprotected activities of religious and political institutions, and
then infiltrate these groups with no suspicion of criminal
activity. This is a return to domestic spying on law-abiding
religious and political groups.
• You may now be the subject of a government investigation
simply because of the political, activist, or advocacy
groups you are involved in, or the statements you make
within these groups.
1st AMENDMENT RIGHT TO ACCESS
• A U.S. Department of Justice directive actively encourages
federal, state, and local officials to resist and/or limit access
to government records through Freedom of Information Act
• The Government has conducted immigration hearings in
secret behind closed doors. Such proceedings were once
open to the public. Hundreds, if not thousands, of immigrants
have already been deported in secret.
4th AMENDMENT FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE
• Law Enforcement authorities may now conduct secret searches and wiretaps in your home or office
without showing “probable cause.” They need only to claim that intelligence gathering is “a significant
purpose” of their intrusion, even when the primary goal is ordinary law enforcement. They may also
monitor where and to whom you send and receive e-mail, or where you go on the Internet, recording
every e-mail address and website you have been in contact with.
• Law Enforcement may now demand any personal records held by any source including your doctor,
employer, accountant, or library. All they have to do is claim that it is related to an investigation into
“terrorism.” The record keepers may not reveal that your records were provided to the government.
• Judicial oversight of secret searches has been effectively minimized. The Patriot Act directs judges to
consent to secret searches based only on the Government’s assertion that a “significant” purpose of
an investigation is gathering information related to “terrorism,” as the government defines it.
5th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS & FREEDOM FROM BEING
HELD WITHOUT CHARGE
• Americans can now be jailed without a formal charge & without the right to confront the witnesses or
evidence against them. American citizens are now being held in military jails without charge and without a clear path of appeal for their indefinite confinement.
• Hundreds of Arab, Muslim and South Asian men were rounded up in the Ashcroft raids following
September 11, and held for weeks without charges until all were cleared of terrorism charges
6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION
• Hundreds of U.S. residents have been detained for months at a time, and denied access to the advice
and advocacy of an attorney. The Government may now monitor conversations between attorneys &
clients in federal jails.
• The Bush Administration filed papers in court that arguing that an American citizen held in a military
jail without charge should be denied access to legal counsel because such access would interfere with
the process of his interrogation.
6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL
• The U.S. Government may now jail its residents and citizens indefinitely without charge & without a public trial.
8th AMENDMENT FREEDOM FROM CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS
• The U.S. Government has taken into custody individuals they identify as “material witnesses,” transported them across the country, and held them for months in solitary confinement without charge or
contact with their family.
• According to the Justice Department’s own Inspector General, immigrant men rounded up in the
Ashcroft raids following September 11 and held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY
were subjected to a pattern of “physical and verbal abuse.”
14th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION
• Over 82,000 men from Arab, Muslim and South Asian countries registered with the Government
under the Special Registration program. Over 13,000 are now in deportation proceedings. None
have been charged with terrorism.
We know Osama Bin Ladin was hiding in Pakistan, funded by Saudi Arabians, and is dead.
We know Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with Sept 11, 2001. We also know he did not have weapons of mass destruction. He is also dead.
President Bush and Obama have said we would bring stability, peace and democracy to the Middle East. The complex answer goes back to the early 1900’s and isn’t worth getting so far off topic. The short answer is “no”.
As our government rattles its saber at Syria, today of all days let us hold it accountable. Let us honor those who died and are dying because of the events of 9/11 by saying, “Not another war! End the current wars! Give us back our rights! Give us back our country! Give us back our fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters! 9/11 Never Forget! Never again!
Drive Fast. Take Chances. Thanks for reading.