Friday, September 11, 2009

Forgotten history and popular lies

A few posts down, I noted that the 9/11 petition signed (with belated consequences) by Van Jones asked some good questions. Of course, that petition dates from 2004, when the "controlled demolition" crazies had not yet taken over the issue.

So obnoxious are the CD-ers that this blog -- and hardly this blog alone -- has had to institute a censorship policy. If I give one "bombs-in-the-buildings" fanatic a chance to speak, dozens of others will soon rush in -- and they will not allow anyone else a voice. Their free speech will become a scream, an incapacitating high-pitched screech similar to the one emitted by that little mutant girl in X2. At that point, I'll find my own damn blog unendurable.

That crap has happened here before. Never again.

This blog is my home. CDers are not welcome here, for the same reason I would never allow Jehovah's Witnesses, Holocaust revisionists, Klansmen, anti-Clinton wackos or Congressman Joe Wilson to enter my physical home. Controlled demolition zealots remind me of the Puritans of old, forever claiming to be victims of persecution when in fact they were kicked out of Europe because they kept persecuting others.

Although I normally avoid problems by sidestepping the entire issue of 9/11, I will not do so on this day, the anniversary of a great tragedy that threatens to recede into memory. (A surprising number of young Americans cannot name the date on which 9/11 occurred. A surprising number of young Americans are dumber than concrete.)

Many genuine questions stemming from that day continue to haunt us. Perhaps the time has come when we can once again start to ask those questions, now that the CDers have MIHOPped their way onto history's trash-heap of discarded inanities.

Let's start by repeating an inquiry from that infamous petition:
What happened to the over 20 documented warnings given our government by 14 foreign intelligence agencies or heads of state?
In 2003, I saved quite a few "warning" news stories to my hard drive. By some miracle, I've managed to preserve that file folder, despite all the upheavals in my life. My intent today is to discuss those warnings.

But first, the bottom line. (If I don't give the bottom line here and now -- if I save it for the big finish -- then skimmers may miss the whole point of this post.)

If -- as the zealots insist -- the Bush administration destroyed the twin towers using pre-planted bombs, why did foreign governments warn that a massive Al Qaeda attack was in the works?

CD-addled conspiracists tell us that Osama Bin Laden had no link to the destruction of the World Trade Center. Yet 14 governments told the Bush administration of an impending attack by Al Qaeda terrorists. Why would those foreign agencies have issued such warnings if they had not, in fact, learned of an impending attack by Al Qaeda terrorists?

Now, I'm sure that the crazies can come up with a way to rationalize away that problem. They can rationalize pretty much anything. They can even rationalize away the fact that the buildings began to collapse at the points of impact.

I suspect that the rationalizers will retreat to the ever-popular "this thing is bigger than I thought" explanation: Obviously, those 14 governments (including France) were in on Dubya's conspiracy!

For those of you who do not possess such formidable powers of rationalization, let's take a look at those once-shocking, now-neglected news articles from the days of yore. Even if you think you already know this material, those old stories still have the ability to startle. (I don't know how many of these pieces are still linkable on the web. Fire up Google, if ye are of a mind to do so.)

The Times of London, June 12, 2002:
A MOROCCAN secret service agent says that for two years he successfully infiltrated al-Qaeda before breaking cover last summer to warn his bosses that the terror group was plotting “something spectacular” in New York.

Hassan Dabou has told of meetings at which Osama bin Laden vented his fury at al-Qaeda’s failure to demolish the World Trade Centre in 1993 and proclaimed his desire for revenge.
Reports from Casablanca say that Mr Dabou was flown in secret to Washington, where he was co-operating with US intelligence agents when the hijackers struck.
Dabou seems to have vanished from all discussion of 9/11. I wonder why?

Jim Pavitt of the CIA gave a revealing address at Duke University's Law School on April 11, 2002. On that occasion, he probably said more than he should have:
We had very, very good intelligence of the general structure and strategies of the al Qaeda terrorist organization. We knew and we warned that al Qaeda was planning a major strike. There need be no question about that.
If you hear somebody say, and I have, the CIA abandoned Afghanistan after the Soviets left and that we never paid any attention to that place until September 11th, I would implore you to ask those people how we were able to accomplish all we did since the Soviets departed. How we knew who to approach on the ground, which operations, which warlord to support, what information to collect. Quite simply, we were there well before the 11th of September.
Keep Pavitt's information in mind as we switch from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia. AP, May 21, 2002:
A former employee of a U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia where most of the Sept. 11 hijackers got their visas admitted today that he took money and gifts to provide fraudulent visas to foreigners.

Abdulla Noman had no connection to any of the hijackers, 15 of whom got visas legally through the consulate in Jeddah, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Vilker said.
No evidence linked Noman to terror, although he was convicted of bribery. However...:
...a former visa officer in Jeddah, Michael Springman, has claimed in the past that the Jeddah office was notorious for purposefully giving visas to terrorists to train in the US.
Michael Springmann. Do you recall his name? Nah. Didn't think so. This site offers a good precis of information available elsewhere:
Michael Springmann worked for the US government for 20 years with the foreign service and consulate. He just went public with the story of his involvement in a large scale CIA operation that brought hundreds of people from the middle east to the US, issued them passports and trained them to be terrorists. Springmann says that the CIA is working closely with Bin Laden and his operatives in Jeddah and has been since 1987. The most haunting implication from this interview is that all of the terrorist acts of late were planned and paid for by the CIA with US taxpayers money so that the US could legitimately bomb the hell out of Afghanistan -- not to "get the Taliban" as the official party line states, but to erase all of the evidence of the US's secret operations in Afghanistan left over from its 10 year war with the Soviet Union in that country.

Based on the new information from Mr. Springmann, it is likely that most of those 600+ people who were "rounded up" within days of the September 11 attacks were actually in the US because the CIA brought them there.
In one case, two Pakistanis apply for visas to attend a trade show in the US, but they are unable to name the trade show or city in which it will be held. When Springmann denies them a visa, he gets “an almost immediate call from a CIA case officer, hidden in the commercial section [of the consulate], that I should reverse myself and grant these guys a visa.” Springmann refuses, but the decision is reversed by the chief of the consular section. Springmann realizes that even the ambassador, Walter Cutler, is aware of the situation, which becomes “more brazen and blatant” as time goes on. On one occasion Springmann is even told, “If you want a job in the State Department in future, you will change your mind.”

[CBC Radio One, 7/3/2002; Trento, 2005, pp. 344-6] Springmann loudly complains to numerous government offices, but no action is taken. He is fired and his files on these applicants are destroyed. He later learns that recruits from many countries fighting for bin Laden against Russia in Afghanistan were funneled through the Jeddah office to get visas to come to the US, where the recruits would travel to train for the Afghan war. According to Springmann, the Jeddah consulate was run by the CIA and staffed almost entirely by intelligence agents. This visa system may have continued at least through 9/11, and 11 of the 19 9/11 hijackers received their visas through Jeddah (see November 2, 1997-June 20, 2001), possibly as part of this program (see October 9, 2002 and October 21, 2002). [BBC, 11/6/2001; St. Petersburg Times, 11/25/2001; CBC Radio One, 7/3/2002; Associated Press, 7/17/2002
Is Springmann on the level? Greg Palast found him credible enough to feature him in an interview in a BBC documentary. He speaks for himself here.

Did anyone aside from yours truly note the possible links between Pavitt's revelation and Springmann's testimony? Did we have a national debate about Springmann and his claims? Was the blogosphere abuzz with a contentious give-and-take -- "I believe Springmann and here's why" versus "I don't believe him and here's why"?

No. That debate never happened.

Perhaps now you may begin to see the magnitude of the damage wrought by the bombs-in-the-buildings disinformationists.

The Telegraph, September 16, 2001 -- mere days after the attack (and yes, we will consider the source; note the date and read between the lines):
ISRAELI intelligence officials say that they warned their counterparts in the United States last month that large-scale terrorist attacks on highly visible targets on the American mainland were imminent.

The attacks on the World Trade Centre's twin towers and the Pentagon were humiliating blows to the intelligence services, which failed to foresee them, and to the defence forces of the most powerful nation in the world, which failed to deflect them.

The Telegraph has learnt that two senior experts with Mossad, the Israeli military intelligence service, were sent to Washington in August to alert the CIA and FBI to the existence of a cell of as many of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation.

"They had no specific information about what was being planned but linked the plot to Osama bin Laden and told the Americans that there were strong grounds for suspecting Iraqi involvement," said a senior Israeli security official.
The "blame Iraq" meme was, we now know, bullshit. So too -- perhaps -- was the exculpatory proviso that Mossad had no specific information concerning date and place. (See here.) But we should not ignore how much the Israelis admitted to knowing in advance.

The planting of this quote from an Israeli "security official" so soon after the event indicates that even then -- at a time when only three percent of the American population blamed Saddam Hussein -- plans were afoot to use the 9/11 as a pretext for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

AP, December 17, 2001:
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he warned the United States that "something would happen" 12 days before the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.
Mubarak did not reveal how he learned in late August of a possible terror attack on the United States.
"We expected that something was going to happen and informed the Americans. We told them," Mubarak said. He did not mention a U.S. response.
The Independent, September 17, 2001:
Over the weekend, for example, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller, said he had been taken entirely by surprise by the revelation that a number of last Tuesday's hijackers had received pilot training in the United States. "If we had understood that to be the case, we would have, perhaps one could have, averted this," he said on Saturday.

And yet, during the trial earlier this year of four defendants charged with involvement in the 1998 embassy bombings, it emerged that two suspected contacts of Mr bin Laden's, Essam al Ridi and Ihab Ali Nawawi, had received pilot training in Texas and Oklahoma. Mr al-Ridi, a naturalised US citizen of Egyptian origin who testified that he had bought a military aircraft at Mr bin Laden's request and flown it to Sudan, had been in contact with federal authorities since 1998. That would suggest, contrary to Mr Mueller's statement, that the FBI had solid information about the pilot-training scheme for three years.
Some of you will probably recall the following. Newsweek May 27, 2002:
Back in July 2001, Bill Kurtz and his team hit pay dirt, and no one seemed to care. A hard-driven supervisor in the FBI’s Phoenix office, Kurtz was overseeing an investigation of suspected Islamic terrorists last July when a member of his team, a sharp, 41-year-old counterterrorism agent named Kenneth Williams, noticed something odd: a large number of suspects were signing up to take courses in how to fly airplanes. The agent’s suspicions were further fueled when he heard that some of the men at the local Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University were asking a lot of questions about airport security.
Remember the Phoenix memo? It used to be big news. FBI counterintelligence chief John O'Neill got the memo in July and tried to act on it, only to be opposed by the Bush administration. O'Neill was told that the administration had a "hands off" policy toward Bin Laden because Bush did not want to rile the Saudis. O'Neill quit the FBI. In a ghastly coincidence, he died in the crash of the twin towers.

The story is starting to come back to you, innit?

Alas, if you are like most people, the CD disinfo made you forget all about the Phoenix memo and John O'Neill. Most of the Bomb Boyz want you to believe that no jet planes hit any buildings on 9/11/01. Those jets (they will tell you) were actually holograms. Thus, all of those news stories and hearings about the Phoenix memo were simply theatricals intended to divert you from the Truth of Truths, the Gospel According to Controlled Demolition.

Ask the average 21 year old kid on the bus about 9/11. He'll tell you all about that "controlled demolition" disinfo. He may believe in that theory or he may disbelieve in it -- but at least he will know about it. He won't know a damn thing about the Phoenix memo or John O'Neill.

Mmmm, that's good cover-up!

Oh...and the French angle? We learned about that in the Village Voice of May 28, 2002:
A key point in unraveling why the FBI failed to follow up leads on Al Qaeda terrorism now centers on the Bureau's contemptuously brushing aside warnings from French intelligence a few days before 9-11....
The French were incensed at the Americans for discarding intelligence about a specific Al Qaeda-linked individual in the U.S.

Of course, the bombs-in-the-buildings battalion will tell you to ignore the French connection. The CD theorists hold that Al Qaeda had no involvement in the attacks; you should therefore ignore any news stories about foreign sources warning that Al Qaeda was poised to strike. So why did the French offer such warnings? Obviously, they were part of the conspiracy, and all of that stuff we heard about Bush's animosity toward France was simply a ruse.

(I'm reminded of Jim Angleton, who similarly went to his grave insisting that the Sino-Soviet split was fake.)

On September 15, 2001, in an interview on MSNBC, Vladimir Putin revealed that his intelligence services had warned the United States of an upcoming attack on "airports and government buildings." Of course, the Bomb Boyz would have you think that Putin, too, was in on the conspiracy. Putin pointed toward Al Qaeda terrorists, and no Al Qaeda personnel were involved. So runs the CD catechism; all other facts are mutable.

The CIA had been tracking Al Qaeda terrorists Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar for years, yet they were allowed into the country. (NYT, June 3, 2002.) Public records indicate that Alhamzi may have been in and out of this country since 1998. (San Diego Union-Tribune, September 7, 2002.) They lived openly, under their own names, using listed phone numbers and addresses, along with drivers licenses and Social Security cards. They even roomed with an FBI informant named Abdussattar Shaikh (Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2001). Neighbors saw them associating with Mohammed Atta. (AP, September 29, 2001.) Despite being on a CIA watch list, they flew in and out of the country without hindrance. They also attended the above-referenced flight schools in Phoenix, Arizona. (Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2002.) Eventually, they participated in the hijack scheme.

Put all of these elements together and you'll have a story that is quite embarrassing to the Bush administration. More than embarrassing: Damning.

But however embarrassing or damning the facts, the CDers want you to ignore them. They insist that Al Qaeda had nothing to do with the attacks; thus, we need pay no heed to the strange behavior of the CIA and FBI vis-a-vis Alhamzi and Almidhar.

So down the memory hole they go.

During the past four years, America has fallen prey to the most obscene cover-up in its history. The "controlled disinformationists" have done a remarkably effective job of distracting us from the important questions. They've made America's collective head spin by proferring inane theories involving space lasers and holograms and nonexistent "thermite" bombs. Alas, pseudoscientific malarky will always prove popular in a nation where an appallingly large percentage of the citizenry dismisses Darwinian natural selection as "just a theory."

So grand a distraction does not happen by accident. Yes, I really do believe that at least a few of the leading CDers were paid to spread lies -- and if you consider that opinion overly paranoid, I cannot pretend to care.

(Before you write in, heed the Rules for Comments. If you feel offended by what I've said, you can go romp and scamper throughout such fine and respected sites as Rigorous Intuition and Prison Planet, where you can screech about how much you hate That Bastard Cannon. Back to the internet ghetto ye go, for I want not your company.)


RedDragon said...

Pretty good break down Joe.

The "Jones" group will never give up the "Gummint" thing.

Personally, I believe Bush should have been held accountable for ignoring the warnings. I am still somewhat dumbstruck as to why this monkey isn't in jail for his irresponsibility!

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that many of the more far-out and wacko ideas have been deliberately fostered in order to "poison the well" of ideas. After all, who could take seriously a group of people who subscribe to the idea that the towers were brought down by holograms/space lasers/aliens/whatever?

It's an old technique used frequently to denigrate or marginalize the opposition. You see it in another form where peaceful protests are tainted through the action of agents provocateurs. Just another variation of the same old theme.

One further thoughts to add (disinformation or true?):

- Some alleged hijackers still alive.
"It believes that some of the hijackers used false identities, possibly even names of people who are still alive"
If some were proven to be false, what's to say they weren't all false identities? That opens up potentially interesting avenues.

Mike Rogers

mondo said...

Hey Joseph, did you ever see the indy film "Who Killed John O'Neill"? IT was really good and was posted online for a long time. Haven't seen it for a couple of years but it may still be up.

This film influenced WTC Marsh Mcllellan worker Richard Allen Grove to come forward and tell all he knows. He put together some amazing podcasts under the moniker "8th Estate". If you haven;t checked out Groves whistleblowing, definitely look into it. His site was

Zee said...

NYU should fire 9/11 nutter "Scholars for Truth" Mark Crispin Miller.

Actually, Truther Miller should resign in shame and beg forgiveness. He went off his nut over Hillary's win in NH, too.

Thanks, Joseph for bringing back some of the stories, such as O'Neil's. I especially love your logic in the foreign warnings...but I think you give TOO much credence to the CDers and their backyard barbecue "thermite" proofs.

I've never seen one explain away the foreign fact, they seem to hold multiple theories at once and never bother to reconcile them. They are fixated on the CD and never address the leaps of logic.

I used to write to some of them and ask what became of all the people on the planes? To me, that was the million-dollar question. Either they believe that these planes went somewhere and the people were bought off...or they went somewhere and the people were systematically executed.

Did Americans carry out this execution? Can you imagine? Or can you imagine the amount of money you, personally, would accept to let all your loved ones believe you died a horrifying death and never see any of them again? Or maybe they were threatened to keep quiet and "disappear" lest harm come to their loved ones? There would not be one soul brave enough to defy such a thing?


Some other tidbits from the past...SF Mayor Willie Brown was warned not to fly. Is this not a story of interest that should be followed up on? And Ted Olson's wife was on the plane that hit the Pentagon...just a small irony, since she delayed her trip one day due to Ted's birthday. Bush Sr and the Carlyle Group were in the WH while Gee Dumbya had been shipped off to Florida to read My Pet Goat to the kiddies, because apparently there was nothing more important to do after a month-long vacation...his brother, the governor, already had the national guard called out, in another coincidence.

Mr. X said...

The problem with talking about this is that the official story is crazier than anything conspiracy theorists could come up with.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I heard Springman's story, probably in 2002. The more complete 9/11 conspiracy books cover much or all of that background detail.

George Tenet himself said in a speech that the CIA had penetrated al Qaeda to the top (electronically and by secreting double agents in that org), and the Mossad is said (perhaps themselves saying it) to have penetrated every jihadist terror organization. We had OBL's satellite phone tapped for years.

Remembering back to the Project Northwoods plan, we (well, the Pentagon) was planning to use 'friendly' Cubans, expatriates who had fled the Castro regime, to act in a false flag operation, to dress up in Cuban army regulars' uniforms while attacking Gitmo and other facilities.

By Springman's account, and the fact that either 4 or 5 of the alleged hijackers had lived and trained at Pensacola Naval Air Base (proven by post office addresses and driver's license addresses-- alibied by the Pentagon or the Navy by saying it was OTHER people with the same names?!?!), it seems that we were also setting up some 'friendly' jihadists for false flag purposes.

When the 'celebrating Middle-Easterners' (aka 'dancing Israelis') who were celebrating during their filming of the WTC destruction from New Jersey across the harbor, returned to their home in Israel, their television interview found them admitting they had been sent to 'document the event.' I think two of them were identified as Mossad agents. This would mean a better time and place knowledge than seems otherwise indicated.

There is nothing contradictory about having an intended false flag operation pre-publicized, in order to better sell it when it happens. Especially if one knows that one can prevent any pre-emption based on foreknowledge by relying on the actions of well placed actors, such as the FBI supervisor for Coleen Rowley whom she and fellow field agents half-jokingly said must be an agency mole acting for al Qaeda.

So, no, I do not consider the discussion in the post above to disprove the possibility of government sponsorship of the al Qaeda involvement, if they were involved, or simply setting up that (false flag) appearance.

Remembering the first WTC attack in '93, THAT one came out of a jihadist cell headed by the blind Sheik Rahman (allowed in the country despite his presence on a customs watchlist out of CIA sponsorship), with an FBI-informant/provocateur double agent supplying the cell with both the idea of the bomb, and the bomb itself (acquired from his FBI handlers, and supposed to be disarmed).


Eric said...

@Mike Rogers:

The BBC covered that further two days later and about five years later explained the error behind the reporting.

Anonymous said...

An elaborate conspiracy involving hidden explosives would be pointless. Those jet liners were filled with high octane fuel - they were flying bombs already.

Anyone with the capacity to secretly wire both towers for demolition could much more easily arrange the hijackings and find four suicide pilots to fly the planes. That would be less complicated and if the plan failed there wouldn't be any incriminating explosives to explain.

The only people that needed to know it was a suicide mission were the pilots - the other terrorists could have been told it was just going to be a hijacking.

As long as the planes crashed somewhere the terrorists wouldn't be talking - dead men tell no tales. If the towers were rigged to blow a whole lot of people would have to be in on it, and it's hard to kill that many people without attracting attention.

While the WTC and Pentagon were targeted, the terrorists could have picked other targets and created the same horrific effect. Destroying the WTC wasn't going to bring the whole country to its knees.

The WTC wasn't picked because it was strategically valuable, it was picked because it had high visibility. The terrorists wanted to make a big splash.

New York has lots of skyscrapers, and so do many other cities. The terrorists could have hit a crowded stadium during a baseball or football game, or crashed into a nuclear reactor.

I don't think they expected the towers to collapse, I think they wanted to cause structural damage and kill people with the impact and fire.

I was kind of surprised that the terrorists didn't aim as low as they could on the towers in hope of trapping more people in the upper floors.

Sadly, the whole plot would have been thwarted by locks on the cockpit doors.

wxyz said...

The French warnings were not only a few days before 9/11. Eight months earlier the French advised the Paris CIA station chief that they had penetrated al Qaeda "at the highest levels." Apparently they even advised them that attacks on the US were coming using United and American airlines.

wxyz said...

...also here

Nibbles said...

myiqX2, thanks for mentioning all that. I've had controlled demolition freakazoids try to tell me that the reason the bombs had to be in the buildings even though, you know, airplanes flying into them was more than enough to get the job done was because half the point of 9/11 was to destroy the Twin Towers specifically (because of all the Threats to the Neo Cons hidden within those walls, doncha know).

And, interesting side-note: why aren't there locks on cockpit doors?

daniel hopsicker said...

charlie sheen told me it was a controlled ejaculation.

MrMike said...

The Truthers, like the Birthers are there to throw sand in your eyes.
Making a racket about CD and government involvement obscures George Bush's criminal negligence of 911.
The birthers are there to bollix the news when Patrick Fitzgerald indicts Obama.

Anonymous said...

Since you quoted Mubarak, you should also take a look at what he said about the required skill level of the pilots who attacked the WTC and the Pentagon. Mubarak, if I recall correctly, served in the Egyptian Air Force.

CD or planes (and for argument's sake, the two are not mutually exclusive), there is much we still don't know and/or understand about 911.


Anonymous said...

@Eric. Here we enter the world of spooks, smoke and mirrors. Which is truth and which is lie?

The follow-up is covered in what I believe to be a balanced way in the following article, dated June 24 2003:

Bottom line: They've muddied the waters. Again.

Mike Rogers

Anonymous said...

the collapse of the towers was a result of a mistake in the design of the towers. the impact shouldn't have done all that damage. The builders themselves admitted to that

Zee said...

Wasn't it Ashcroft or someone who quit using commercial flights that summer of 2001?

They had plenty of warnings. Bush should've been impeached for criminal negligence.

Anonymous said...

I recall reading about a certain time frame the towers were built to withstand a fire before the collapse.

I read this shortly after the attack.

(the linked article has more detail on the towers failure to maintain their uniform integrity )

I remember feeling angry that people did not appear to have been alerted to the time frame they had to escape. I remember watching the people stumble up First Avenue covered in soot and shock-feeling a complete betrayal of humanity. But- at the end of the day, we are still debating the issue of how the towers fell and not who got away with what-who is guilty and complicit.

It reminds me of the magic bullet, even with the magic bullet theory pretty conclusively debunked, we still don't know who to blame for the other bullets. Many theories are made available, but the real investigation was blunted over and over. Too much time has passed to ever see justice -many are probably already dead and gone.

Too many people screaming about nothing to hear any voice of inquiry.