KEVIN RYAN: Playing the “Get into Saudi Arabia free card”


By Kevin Ryan, co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. Kevin's personal blog can be found at Dig Within.


8.28.2011

Recent developments among supporters of the US government’s version of events indicate that they plan to begin blaming Saudi Arabia for the attacks of September 11, 2001. There is, in fact, much evidence suggesting complicity by some elements within the Saudi government. But that fact only further implicates western powers due to the close relationship between the Saudi royal family, which runs the Saudi government, and deep state controlling interests that have partnered with and manipulated the Saudi royal family for many decades. Blaming Saudi Arabia would, however, make a lot of sense if seizing resources, including the world’s greatest oil reserves, was what the war on terror has always been about.

Two weeks ago I spoke to NPR producer, Alex Kingsbury, who asked if I felt the release of the 28-pages of redacted material from the Joint Congressional Inquiry might help to solve the mysteries still surrounding 9/11. Those redacted pages, and much of the 9/11 Commission report that followed, have always seemed to be a kind of "Get into Saudi Arabia free" card for the powers that be. Kingsbury was interested in knowing whether the redacted pages, which are thought to contain significant references to Saudi Arabia, were of interest to me personally. Of course they would be, I said, but we should remember that the government of Saudi Arabia is far from representative of its people.

Similarly, a recent interview with “Counterterrorism Czar,” Richard Clarke, has been the subject of considerable discussion. Ostensibly, Clark’e objective with this interview was to make the controversial suggestion that two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers were targets for recruitment by the CIA. What many have failed to emphasize, however, is that Clarke was simultaneously suggesting that the two alleged hijackers were actually working for the government of Saudi Arabia at the time of the attacks.

About a month ago, military intelligence officer and 9/11 staffer, Miles Kara, wrote to me asking if I was aware of the publication of a book called The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. Kara declared that this new book was – “the definitive work, to date, on 9/11.” Having since had a chance to borrow a copy of this book from the library, I can say that it is a malevolent piece of propaganda that attempts to persuade the ill-informed of three things.

The first thing that the Summers and Swann book attempts to do is malign the 9/11 truth movement. For example, the authors suggest that the movement is well represented by people like video-fakery and Star Wars beam advocate, James Fetzer, and it has been well answered by government employees and simple-minded contrarians like Ryan Mackey. Summers and Swann also state that well-sourced samples of World Trade Center dust, collected using completely appropriate chain of custody forms, are not good sources of information yet long-time propagandist, Gerald Posner, and Weekly Standard contributor, Thomas Joscelyn (who recently tried to link Iran to 9/11), are excellent sources.

The second goal of the book is to propose that the partial release of documents by the 9/11 Commission in the last few years has answered all the unanswered questions about the attacks. It’s not clear if the authors had a chance to look at many of those documents though. For example, one of them says that the training school for Hani Hanjour, whom the 9/11 Commission called “the operations most experienced pilot,” questioned Hanjour’s pilot certificate because he had “no fundamental skills / poor English” and they “wondered if the cert was false.”[1] This is but one of many examples in which these newly released documents directly contradict the 9/11 Commission report, instead of supporting it as Summers and Swann claim.

Most importantly, this new book attempts to blaze a new trail for Saudi complicity in the attacks of 9/11. Unfortunately, although the book details a number of reasons why the Saudi government should be investigated for supporting the alleged perpetrators of 9/11, it paradoxically avoids many of the important Saudi links to 9/11. The authors appear to do this in an effort to accuse the Saudis while simultaneously covering-up evidence that western corporations and western government leaders were really behind many of the Saudi links.

Here are a few of the surprising connections between Saudi Arabia and westerners who were in one way or another related to the 9/11 attacks.

· Bernard Kerik, the New York City police commissioner and “9/11 hero,” spent three years working in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s for a company that occupied one of the WTC towers at the time of the attacks. He then spent another three years in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s as “the chief investigator for the royal family.” It was Kerik who first told the public that explosives were not used at the WTC, and it was his police department that was said to have discovered the magic passport which fell from one of the towers to conveniently provide evidence identifying one of the alleged hijackers.

· One of two primary companies to manage the clean-up of Ground Zero, Bovis Lend Lease, had previously built the Riyadh Olympic stadium in Saudi Arabia.

· The other primary clean-up company at Ground Zero, AMEC, had just completed a $258 million refurbishment of Wedge 1 of the Pentagon, which is exactly where Flight 77 impacted that building. AMEC is a major international player in the oil and gas industry, as well as in other natural resource industries. AMEC had a significant presence in Saudi Arabia dating back to the late 1970s, providing support to the national oil company Saudi Aramco.

· The company that designed the security systems for the WTC complex, Kroll Associates, had strong connections to Saudi Arabia. For example, Kroll board member Raymond Mabus was the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in the mid 1990s.

· All four of the primary contractors that were involved in rebuilding the security systems for the WTC had done significant business with the Saudis. Electronic Systems Associates' parent, S&H, designed King Saud University, and E.J. Electric worked for Saudi Arabian Airlines. Ensec was owned by a former arms dealer to the Saudis. Stratesec, which had contracts not only for the WTC but also for Dulles airport, where Flight 77 took off, and United Airlines which owned two of the three other planes, worked under "a joint venture agreement with Ahmad N. AlBinali & Sons Co., a large Saudi Arabian engineering and construction company, to develop and conduct business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

· The Bush and Bin Laden-financed Carlyle Group owned, through BDM International, the Vinnell Corporation, a mercenary operation that had extensive contracts in the Middle East since 1975 and trained the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Several of Stratesec’s key employees, including COO Barry McDaniel, came from BDM. In 1995, BDM’s Vinnell was one of the first targets of al Qaeda, in Saudi Arabia.

· In the 1990s, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), run by Dick Cheney protégé, Duane Andrews, trained the Saudi Navy and brought Saudi military personnel to company headquarters in San Diego for further study. SAIC played a large part in the NIST WTC investigation after 9/11, but was also involved in the investigation of the 1993 WTC bombing, boasting that -- "After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, our blast analyses produced tangible results that helped identify those responsible." SAIC was paid huge sums to rebuild the NSA and FBI systems that supposedly failed before 9/11.

· While SAIC was training the Saudi Navy, the Carlyle/BDM subsidiary Vinnell Corp was training the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Simultaneously, Booz Allen Hamilton was managing the Saudi Marine Corps and running the Saudi Armed Forces Staff College.

· Former FBI director Louis Freeh, whose agency investigated al Qaeda-attributed terrorism from 1993 to 2001, is now the personal attorney for Saudi ambassador "Bandar Bush."

· Salomon Smith Barney, the company that occupied all but 10 floors of WTC building 7, was taken over by Citigroup in 1998. Citigroup had recently been saved from bankruptcy by Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia, in a deal brokered by The Carlyle Group. It is believed that the money, and more, came from the terrorist financing network, BCCI, as it was dissolving. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney joined the advisory board at Solomon Smith Barney at that time and were on the board until they resigned to join the Bush Administration in January, 2001.

· The Saudi government was sued by thousands of 9/11 victim's family members due to the suspicion that Saudi Arabia helped to finance al Qaeda. The Saudis hired the law firm of Bush Administration insider, James Baker, to defend them in that lawsuit.

Summers and Swann seem to have missed these interesting connections between US government officials and corporations, and Saudi Arabia. That seems odd for a book that pretends to be the definitive work to date. Despite this inconsistency, it is doubtful that Richard Clarke, 9/11 Commission staffer Miles Kara, NPR’s Alex Kingsbury, or any other supporter of the government’s reports, will say anything about it.

[1] See FOIA response “5 AWA 356” received by the 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington http://www.911workinggroup.org/p/foia-research.html page 71 of 447


Source: http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/08/playing-get-into-saudi-arabia-free-card.html

KEVIN RYAN'S QUESTIONS for Richard Clarke on COG, the UAE, and BCCI


Posted on August 20, 2011 by ultruth

The author is indebted to the good people at History Commons for their “Complete 9/11 Timeline.” If a reference is not evident below, it can probably be found there.

A recent interview with former “Counterterrorism Czar,” Richard Clarke, is making a splash in the alternative media.[1] In this interview, Clarke speculates about CIA malfeasance related to the pre-9/11 monitoring of two alleged September 11 hijackers.

This interview is somewhat interesting due to Clarke’s vague suggestion that the CIA had courted 9/11 suspects as sources, but it is far more interesting for what was not said with regard to Clarke’s personal history and associations.


The seeming point of these new statements from Clarke is that the CIA might have withheld information from him, the FBI, and the Department of Defense (DOD) in the twenty months leading up to the 9/11 attacks. Clarke is not suggesting that the CIA did this maliciously, but only that his good friend, George Tenet, and two others made a mistake in their approach.

Clarke says of these CIA leaders — “They understood that al Qaeda was a big threat, they were motivated, and they were really trying hard.” The mild twist that Clarke now puts on the story is that the CIA’s diligent effort to secure much needed sources within the al Qaeda organization was pursued without any suspicion that these sources might turn out to be “double agents.”


Clarke claims that if the CIA had simply told him, the FBI and the DOD, “even as late as September 4th, [2001]” they would have “conducted a massive sweep, we would have conducted it publicly, we would have found those assholes. There’s no doubt in my mind. Even with only a week left.”

There are many obvious problems with these new claims from Clarke. For one thing, the evidence we have indicates that FBI headquarters did everything it could to protect the alleged 9/11 hijackers in the months leading up to 9/11. Another spectacularly obvious problem is that those “assholes” lived with an FBI asset for at least four months and there are reasons to believe the FBI knew that.

More importantly, Richard Clarke personally thwarted two of the attempts the CIA made to capture Osama bin Laden (OBL) in the two years before 9/11. It seems disingenuous at best that Clarke would say he didn’t have enough information to capture two of OBL’s underlings in 2000 when he was responsible for preventing the capture of OBL just the year before.


In an attempt to make sense of these matters, we should take a closer look at Richard Clarke. His own history might shed some light on why he is trying to confuse us today.

Not just another COG

Clarke began his government career in the Ford Administration’s DOD as a nuclear weapons analyst. At the time, several characters that were central to the events of 9/11 were in the highest positions of that administration.

Toward the end of that era, White House chief of staff Dick Cheney and DOD secretary Donald Rumsfeld were fighting a war of public perception to preserve the increasingly unpopular aspects of the CIA. Nuclear policy was a big issue at the time as well, and at least one of Clarke’s closest colleagues in later years, Paul Wolfowitz, worked to present false “Team B” information.


After getting his MA from MIT, Clarke went on to become President Reagan’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence. In this role, Clarke negotiated US military presence in Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. He asked these foreign governments for “access” agreements and the right to enhance existing facilities.

As a result, the US moved large numbers of contractors into Saudi Arabia. One such contractor, Bernard Kerik, the New York City police commissioner and “9/11 hero” who had worked for Morrison-Knudsen’s Saudi group in the mid-seventies, went back for another three year tour as the “the chief investigator for the royal family of Saudi Arabia.”[2]


During his half a dozen years in Reagan’s State department, Clarke called Morton Abramowitz, the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, his boss and mentor. Abramowitz, who was said to be influential in the career of Clarke, had worked as Assistant Secretary for Defense under Donald Rumsfeld in the seventies when Clarke worked in the DOD.

Abramowitz left his position at State in 1989 to become the Ambassador to Turkey. The next person for whom Abramowitz was boss and mentor was his Deputy Ambassador, Marc Grossman, who is a 9/11 person of interest according to Sibel Edmonds.


In 1984, Clarke was selected to take part in one of the most highly classified programs of the Reagan Administration. This was the highly secret Continuity of Government (COG) program run by the National Program Office that continued up to and after the attacks of September 11.[3] The members of the COG group included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Oliver North, George H.W. Bush, Kenneth Duberstein, James Woolsey, and Richard Clarke.

Although Cheney and Rumsfeld were not government employees throughout the twenty years that Clarke participated in this official government program, they both continued to participate anyway.


COG was developed to install a shadow “government in waiting” to replace the US Congress and the US Constitution in the event of a national emergency like a nuclear war. The first and only time that COG was put into action was when Richard Clarke activated it during the 9/11 attacks.

Clarke had been the one, in 1998, to revise the COG plan to use it as a response to a terrorist attack on American soil. Apparently, COG and the shadow government these men created are still in play to this day. [4]


In 1989, Clarke was appointed by George H.W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, under James Baker. Clarke was in this position until 1992, and his role was to link the Department of Defense and the Department of State by providing policy in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy, military use of space, and defense trade.

One important aspect of his job during this time was that Clarke coordinated State Department support of Operation Desert Storm and led the efforts to design the international security structure after the Gulf War.


Throughout the years of the George H.W. Bush Administration, Clarke worked intimately with many people who should be investigated with regard to the events of 9/11 and the crimes that followed. This included:

James Baker, the Secretary of State who went on to join the Carlyle Group
Donald Rumsfeld, the State Department “Foreign Policy Consultant” who was Chairman Emeritus of the Carlyle Group at that time, and Secretary of Defense on 9/11

Dick Cheney, the Reagan Secretary of Defense who, later as Vice President, coordinated the response to the 9/11 attacks

Paul Wolfowitz, the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy who, in the week before 9/11, ran meetings with Pakistani ISI General Ahmed the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence who left to run SAIC

Robert Gates, the CIA Director who was implicated in the Iran-Contra crimes and later also worked with SAIC

Senate Intelligence Committee representatives George Tenet and William Cohen, the latter of whom, in 1997, dramatically reduced the number of jet fighters protecting the US

And Reagan advisor, Richard Armitage, who participated in the failed air defense teleconference on 9/11

According to his book, Clarke remembers that “Wolfowitz and I flew on to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Salaleh” to coordinate relations with the UAE, at Cheney’ request.

Over the following decade, Clarke negotiated many deals with the Emirates, essentially becoming an agent of the UAE, and he was “particularly close to the UAE royal family.”[5]


Not long after Clarke began going there, the royal family of Abu Dhabi took over full ownership of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). BCCI is significant relative to 9/11 because it was involved in funding terrorists in the late 1980s and was linked to the Pakistani intelligence network from which several alleged 9/11 conspirators came including Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

In fact, Time magazine reported that, relative to BCCI — “You can’t draw a line separating the bank’s black operatives and Pakistan’s intelligence services.”[6]


More importantly, there are strong suspicions that the CIA was involved in the founding of BCCI.[7] The CIA connection to the origins of the BCCI terrorist network is interesting in this context because the royal family of the UAE was also said to have played a primary role in the creation of BCCI.

As the official US government report on the subject pointed out — “There was no relationship more central to BCCI’s existence from its inception than that between BCCI and Sheikh Zayed and the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.”[8]


As stated before, Clarke’s friends in the UAE royal family not only created the BCCI terrorist network, they took it over when the Bank of England shut it down.

“By July 5, 1991, when BCCI was closed globally, the Government of Abu Dhabi, its ruling family, and an investment company holding the assets of the ruling family, were the controlling, and official “majority” shareholders of BCCI — owning 77 percent of the bank. But since the remaining 23 percent was actually held by nominees and by BCCI’s alter-ego ICIC, Abu Dhabi was in fact BCCI’s sole owner.”[9]


Not long after this, in 1992, Clarke was named to the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President for Global Affairs and chairman of the Interagency Counterterrorism Committee.

One might think that Richard Clarke’s close relationship to the royal family of the UAE, and this new role as the NSC head of counterterrorism, might have posed a slight conflict of interest. But no one seemed to notice.


Similarly, few have noticed that the attacks attributed to al Qaeda began just before the first Bush Administration left office. It was in December, 1992, that al Qaeda (as such) is said to have first committed an act of terrorism by bombing US troops in Yemen.

Attacks and plots in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and many others places located near the production and transport routes of fossil fuels have been attributed to al Qaeda since that time.[10]


Clarke was not interested in pursuing the BCCI terrorist network and, instead, he had a different approach to combating terrorism. In 1993, the United States began a practice known as “rendition.”

Throughout the rest of the world, rendition is known as torture. Interestingly, the policy behind this program was proposed by Richard Clarke, who worked to get “snatch teams” in place to kidnap suspects for torture. The success of Clarke’s rendition proposal led to today’s US program of secret kidnappings and torture around the world.


In September 1994, high-ranking UAE and Saudi government ministers, such as Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al-Faisal, began frequent bird hunting expeditions in Afghanistan.

It was reported that — “They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses.”

Two members of the UAE royal family that participated in these trips were Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of the UAE.[11]


As these UAE meetings with OBL occurred, Clarke’s relationship with the UAE royals blossomed. At the same time, he engaged in apparent preparations for terrorist events on US soil. In 1998, he chaired a tabletop exercise in which a Learjet filled with explosives would be flown on a suicide mission into a target in Washington, DC.

At a conference in October 1998, Clarke predicted that America’s enemies “will go after our Achilles’ heel” which is “in Washington. It is in New York.” That was quite a prediction.


Clarke had updated the COG plans in early 1998, to ensure that the shadow government would be put in power in the event of a terrorist attack like the one he predicted that year (and that occurred in 2001).

National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, who was later caught stealing documents that had been requested by the 9/11 Commission, was the one to suggest that Clinton create the new Counterterrorism Czar position that Clarke would fill at the time of his prediction.

Berger was also the one to introduce Clarke’s COG partner, James Woolsey, to Clinton. Woolsey went on to become Clinton’s CIA director.


In early February 1999, Clarke met with Al Maktoum, one of the UAE royals who was known to hunt with Bin Laden, in the UAE. Al Maktoum was a big supporter of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

And although people often forget, two of the 9-11 hijackers were citizens of the UAE and the vast majority of money supporting the attacks flowed through the UAE.


The 9/11 Commission Report has six references to the UAE, most of which can be found on page 138. One of these suggests that “but for the cooperation of the UAE, we would have killed Bin Ladin two years in advance of September 11.”

Therefore it is difficult to understand why the leading authority on counterterrorism in the US would be meeting, and maintaining close personal relationships, with the UAE friends of Bin Laden just two years before 9/11.

This was three years after Bin Laden had first declared holy war against the United States,[12] and one year after his more recent such proclamation.[13]


It is more difficult to understand why Clarke was personally behind the failure of two CIA attempts to kill or capture Bin Laden in 1999.

The first of these occurred just a few days after Clarke’s visit to the UAE. The CIA obtained information that OBL was hunting with UAE royals in Afghanistan at the time, and President Clinton was asked for permission to attack the camp.

Clarke voted down that plan, and others within the US government speculated that his ties to the UAE were behind his decision.[14]


The next month, when the CIA had tracked Bin Laden’s whereabouts again and was prepared to take him out during another of the Afghanistan hunting trips, Richard Clarke took it upon himself to alert his UAE friends about the CIA monitoring their meetings with Bin Laden.

Of course, the UAE royals tipped off Bin Laden and the US lost another opportunity to kill or capture its number one enemy.[15]

Considering that CIA plans are top secret national security priorities, and that OBL was wanted for the bombings in East Africa, Clarke’s action should have been seen as treason.


Somehow, Clarke’s two efforts to keep OBL from being captured or killed in 1999 slipped his mind when he testified to the 9/11 Commission. Apparently, these events were also not important enough for Clarke to mention when recently discussing the two “asshole” hijackers whose presence in the US he now says the CIA kept from him and the FBI.

Who knew about Almihdar and Alhazmi?

Interestingly, although only two of the alleged 9/11 terrorists were said to be from the UAE, those being Marwan al-Shehhi and Fayez Banihammad, others of the alleged hijackers, including Almihdar, Alhazmi, and Ziad Jarrah, spent time in the UAE.

And as stated before, the vast majority of money that financed the attacks flowed through the UAE.


The new interview with Clarke begins with discussion of the CIA’s monitoring of a January, 2000 meeting in Malaysia among top al Qaeda operatives. Khalid Almihdar and Nawaf Alhazmi attended the meeting, as did Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and several other al Qaeda leaders.

Clarke claims in the interview that the CIA followed the alleged 9/11 hijackers out of the meeting in Malaysia but then lost them in Bangkok. Two months later, Almidhar and AlHazmi arrived in Los Angeles, according to the CIA, and Clarke says many CIA agents knew about this.


Clarke claims that the CIA — “stopped [information about Almihdar and Alhazmi] from going to the FBI and the Defense Department.” He then cryptically states — “We therefore conclude that there was a high level decision, in the CIA, ordering people not to share that information” and “I would have to think it was made by the Director [Tenet]”.

To clarify why he suddenly thinks this lack of information sharing was unusual, Clarke says — “You have to understand…we were close friends, he called me several times a day, and shared the most trivial of information.”


But it was not only the CIA that knew about this meeting and the attendees. According to the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Michael Hayden — “In early 2000, at the time of the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, we had the Alhazmi brothers, Nawaf and Salem, as well as Khalid Almihdar, in our sights.

We knew of their association with al-Qaeda, and we shared this information with the [intelligence] community.” The NSA knew about these guys well before that, however, because an early 1999 NSA communications intercept referenced “Nawaf Alhazmi,” so it was clear that the NSA knew about him for more than two years before 9/11.

Oddly enough, the Washington Post reported that Alhazmi, Almihdar and four of the other alleged hijackers were “living, working, planning and developing all their activities” near the entrance to NSA headquarters in Laurel, Maryland, in the months prior to the 9/11 attacks.[16]


Alhazmi had been seen in San Diego as early as 1996 and he traveled extensively throughout the US, spending time in Cody, Wyoming and Phoenix, Arizona, and making a truck delivery to Canada.

He and Almihdar lived openly in the United States, using their real names and credit cards. They had season passes to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo and liked to hang out at a nude bar in San Diego.

They went to a flight school there and said they wanted to learn how to fly Boeings. Instructor Rick Garza of Sorbi’s Flying Club turned down that request because he said they were “clueless”, didn’t even know how to draw an airplane and could not communicate in English.


Alhazmi even worked at a Texaco gas station, although he didn’t need the money because someone in the UAE was regularly sending him thousands of dollars.

The money Alhazmi received was said to come from a UAE citizen named Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (a.k.a. Ammar al Baluchi), who was the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and cousin of Ramzi Yousef.

Apparently, a majority of money that came to the hijackers was transferred through Ali Abdul Aziz Ali or another UAE citizen named Mustafa al-Hawsawi. The 9/11 Commission reported that Ali “helped them with plane tickets, traveler’s checks, and hotel reservations“, and “taught them about everyday aspects of life in the West, such as purchasing clothes and ordering food.“


Whether he was protecting his UAE friends or not, Clarke failed to act on information about al Qaeda operatives living in the US, just one month before the meeting in Malaysia. After an al Qaeda “millennium plot” was said to be broken up in Jordan, Clarke authorized an investigation of one of the plotters, Khalil Deek, who lived in Anaheim, CA for most of the 1990s.

The investigative team reported to Clarke and the NSC directly in December, 1999, stating that Deek’s next door neighbor was operating an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Anaheim. No action was taken by Clarke or the NSC.


A few months later, in April 2000, Clarke was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that terrorists – “will come after our weakness, our Achilles Heel, which is largely here in the United States.” Although this was a bold statement, it was unfortunate that Clarke did not have time to track down and capture the terrorists that he knew were living and plotting in the US.

The bombing of the USS Cole, which took the lives of 17 American sailors, occurred in October, 2000. It was reported by the Washington Post that Almihdar had received training in Afghanistan in 1999 along with the operatives who were responsible for the Cole bombing. The Guardian reported that the Prime Minister of Yemen accused Almihdar of being “one of the Cole perpetrators.”

At the time, Clarke was part of a high level meeting to discuss the response to the Cole bombing, which included William Cohen, George Tenet, the State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, Michael Sheehan, and several others.

In this meeting, Clarke was the hawk, proposing attacks throughout Afghanistan in response. None of the voting attendees supported Clarke’s plan and, after the meeting, Sheehan told Clarke – “What’s it going to take to get them to hit al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? Does al-Qaeda have to hit the Pentagon?”[17] Once again, that was quite a prediction.


In May 2001, the CIA gave its photos of the January 2000 Malaysian meeting to an intelligence operations specialist at FBI headquarters. One of the photos was of Almihdar, who FBI Director Mueller would later say was likely responsible for coordinating the movements of all the non-pilot hijackers. In June 2001, FBI and CIA officials discussed these photos and one FBI agent remembers that Almihdar was mentioned in these discussions.

Phoenix FBI agent Ken Williams wrote a memo to FBI headquarters, in July 2001, saying that Bin Laden’s followers were going to flight schools to train for terrorist attacks.

If the FBI had followed through on this, it would have found Alhazmi very easily, as he had been reported as staying in Phoenix with Hani Hanjour over a period of months from January to June 2001. The memo was reviewed by the agency’s Bin Laden and Islamic extremist counterterrorism units, but it has been reported that neither Attorney General John Ashcroft nor newly appointed FBI Director Robert Mueller briefed President Bush and his national security staff about these revelations.

Of course, this was well before the September 4th date that Clarke now claims was the best chance for him and the FBI to have first found out.


Zacarias Moussaoui visited Malaysia too, and stayed at the same condominium where the January 2000 meeting took place. The owner of the condo even signed letters that convinced the INS to allow Moussaoui into the US.

Alhazmi and Almihdar were referenced in papers that the FBI confiscated, in August 2001, from Moussaoui when he was arrested. FBI headquarters refused multiple requests from the FBI agents pursuing the case to search Moussaoui ‘s possessions. Those confiscated possessions and papers would have immediately led the FBI agents to Atta, Almihdar, Alhazmi and the other alleged hijackers.


But the FBI had to know about these alleged hijackers well before that, because Alhazmi and Almihdar lived with an FBI informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, for at least four months in late 2000. Shaikh was a “tested” asset working with the local FBI. Shaikh had regular visits from Mohammed Atta and Hani Hanjour as well, and even introduced Hanjour to a neighbor. [18]

Newsweek reported that, once, when Shaikh was called by his FBI agent handler, Shaikh said he couldn’t talk because Almihdar was in the room. This suggests that the FBI knew full well that this future 9/11 hijacker was living with an FBI asset. But a more damning fact is that the FBI refused to allow the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry to interview either Shaikh or his FBI handler.

The FBI absolutely knew about the movements of these alleged 9/11 hijackers. In January, 2001, it was the FBI that gave information to the CIA about how USS Cole bombing operatives had delivered money to al Qaeda planners at the time of the January 2000 Malaysia meeting.

CNN reported, in 2002, that “At that point, the CIA – or the FBI for that matter – could have put Alhazmi and Almihdar and all the others who attended the meeting in Malaysia on a watch list.”


In the new interview, Clarke further speculates that the reason that the CIA information was not shared with him, the DOD and the FBI was because CIA (i.e. Cofer Black as of June, 1999) was courting these two as sources within al Qaeda.

Some might wonder why Clarke never thought of his good friends within the UAE royal family, who met with OBL regularly, as sources on al Qaeda. Surely people who met with OBL personally in the two years before 9/11, and were big supporters of al Qaeda like Clarke’s friend, Al Maktoum, might have some information to provide!


In any case, Clarke goes on in the interview to suggest that Tenet and Black might have recruited Alhazmi and Almihdar (who had been accused of perpetrating the USS Cole bombing) as inside sources on al Qaeda.

To the CIA’s chagrin, Clarke implies, they at some point became double agents. It is amazing that Clarke insinuates that Black and Tenet were too dim-witted to see that these two Saudis might also be working for the Saudis.

Clarke appears to be making the absurd suggestion that a CIA director could not predict that the Saudi, who arranged housing for Alhazmi and Almihdar, arranged payments for them, and arranged to move them to San Diego, might have turned them into double agents.


When Alhazmi and Almihdar arrived in Los Angeles in early 2000, they were met by a strange benefactor named Omar Al-Bayoumi who brought them to Parkwood Apartments in San Diego.

It is Al-Bayoumi that Clarke is referring to when he suggests the — “Saudi has connections to the Saudi government, and some people believe that this guy was a Saudi intelligence officer. If we assume that this Saudi intelligence officer was the handler for these two, then presumably he would have been reporting to the CIA office in Los Angeles.

There was a strong relationship between the CIA director and the minister of intelligence of Saudi Arabia [Prince Turki al Faisal].”


Better questions about strong relationships

Ignoring Clarke’s own strong relationship to the UAE, and therefore to the BCCI network, support for the Taliban and al Qaeda, and OBL, one interviewer then asked: “How long do you think it would take [the CIA] to decide — this isn’t working”? Clark replied: “I don’t know. I do know that in August of 2001 they decide they’re gonna tell the FBI.”

This remark refers to the idea that it was not until August 21 that the FBI figured out that al Qaeda operatives were in the United States. This claim is transparently false as we know they were, at the very least, aware of Moussaoui and the Phoenix memo saying that terrorists were taking flight lessons in the US. But in August, it was said that an FBI analyst assigned to the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center suddenly determined that Alhazmi and Almidhar had entered the US in January 2000.

Additionally, on August 23, 2001, the Israeli Mossad gave US officials an urgent warning in the form of a list of terrorists known to be living in the US and panning to carry out an attack in the near future. The list included the names of Alhazmi, Almihdra, Alshehhi and Atta.

An “all points bulletin” was issued that same day, instructing the FBI and other agencies to put Alhazmi and Almihdar on the watch list. Doing so would have made certain that these two were caught before the attacks. The FBI did not do so, however.

The FBI did not even use this information to check national databases of bank records, drivers license records or the records of the credit cards that were used to purchase the 9/11 tickets. These facts seem to render Clarke’s new, vague insinuations moot, because the FBI wasn’t going to act on such information no matter what it was told.


In yet another example, on August 28, a report was received by the New York FBI office requesting that an investigation be conducted “to determine if Almihdar is still in the United States.” FBI headquarters immediately turned down the request.

An FBI agent wrote an email in response, saying “someday someone will die [because of this]. Let’s hope the [FBI’s] National Security Law Unit will stand behind their decisions then, especially since UBL [Osama bin Laden] is now getting the most protection.”


All this was before September 4th, the date that Clarke now says would have given plenty of time for him and the FBI to catch Alhazmi and Almihdar, if only they had known the two were in the US. But those of us who have been looking into the events of 9/11 and the history behind those events are not likely to put much credence in Mr. Clarke’s new tale.

Clarke’s most recent interviewers didn’t seem too troubled by his statements though, and one of them finished off asking –“ Have you asked George Tenet, Cofer Black or Richard Blee about any of this after the fact?” Clarke responded: “No”.

The second interviewer then asked –” Kind of the facts tripped out to you over time, right, over these investigations”? A smirking Clarke replied — “Took a while.”

For the rest of us, it will still take a while to get to the bottom of all this and Mr. Clarke’s interview does not appear to help. In the meantime, here are a dozen questions for whoever conducts Clarke’s next interview:

Is the COG plan that you and Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Oliver North, George H.W. Bush, Kenneth Duberstein, and James Woolsey created, and that you implemented on 9/11, still in effect?

Do you have any information on how your friends in the UAE royal family used the terrorist network BCCI after they bought it?

Do you have any explanation for how you could have predicted in 1998, at the same time that you updated the COG plan to be a response to a terrorist attack, that America’s enemies “will go after our Achilles’ heel” which is “in Washington. It is in New York.”?

When you met with UAE Defense Minister Al Maktoum in February 1999, just days before the CIA planned to kill or capture Bin Laden as he was meeting with UAE royals, who else did you meet with?

Why did you vote down the CIA plan to kill or capture Bin Laden while he was hunting with UAE royals in February 1999?

Why did you expose the CIA’s secret plan, without approval from the CIA or the president, to kill or capture Bin Laden in March 1999 as he was meeting with UAE royals again?

Don’t you think those two actions on your part were far more detrimental to the United States than any of your current, vague speculations?

Did you ever communicate with NSA Director, Michael Hayden, between January 2000 and the attacks of 9/11?

If so, why did you not, in your recent interview, accuse him of withholding information on Alhazmi and Almihdar?

He has spoken openly of having known about their presence in the US and said that he did share it with the intelligence community.

Why did you take no action in December 1999, as “Counterterrorism Czar”, when you and the NSC were given evidence that Khalil Deek’s next door neighbor was operating an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Anaheim, CA?

You appear to be saying that neither you nor the FBI knew that Almihdar and Alhazmi lived with Abdussattar Shaikh, a tested FBI asset, for at least four months in the year 2000. Is that correct and, if so, don’t you think that contradicts your claim in this interview that – “I know how all this stuff works, I’ve been working it for 30 years. You can’t snowball me on this stuff.”?

Do you know why the FBI would not allow Abdussattar Shaikh or his FBI handler to be interviewed as part of the 9/11 investigation?

These days, when you’re talking with your UAE friends in your own offices in the UAE, do you ever discuss 9/11, the hijackers that spent their time there, and the UAE money that financed the 9/11 attacks?

Clarke currently works with his COG partner and former CIA Director, James Woolsey, at Paladin Capital, which has offices in New York and the UAE. Clarke is also the chairman of Good Harbor Consulting, where he is in partnership with many people who are making a fortune off the war on terror.

Good Harbor Consulting has had an office in Abu Dhabi since 2008, and Clarke is known to have a “big footprint” in the UAE.[19]

Footnotes:

[1] Interview with Richard Clarke, SecrecyKills.com, http://secrecykills.com/

[2] NYPD Confidential, Charm school for top cops, May 6, 1996, http://nypdconfidential.com/columns/1996/960506.html

[3] Peter Dale Scott, Continuity of Government: Is the State of Emergency Superseding our Constitution?, GlobalResearch.ca, November 24, 2010, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22089

[4] Peter Dale Scott, ‘Continuity of Government’ Planning: War, Terror and the Supplanting of the U.S. Constitution, Japan Focus, http://www.japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/3362

[5] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=zayed_bin_sultan_al_nahyan_1

[6] Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, Scandals: Not Just a Bank, September 2, 1991, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,973732-4,00.html

[7] Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, The World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire, Houghton Mifflin, 1992

[8] The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, December 1992, Abu DhabiI: BCCI’S founding and majority shareholders, http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1992_rpt/bcci/14abudhabi.htm

[9] Ibid

[10] Congressional Research Service, Terrorist Attacks by Al Qaeda, March 31, 2004, http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/033104.pdf

[11] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: United Arab Emirates (UAE), http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=united_arab_emirates

[12] PBS News Hour, Bin Laden’s Fatwa, August, 1996, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html

[13] PBS News Hour, Al Qaeda’s Fatwa, February 23, 1998, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1998.html

[14] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Penguin Books, 2004, pp 447-450

[15] The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, p 138, http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf

[16] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Context of ‘August 2001: Six 9/11 Hijackers Live Near Entrance to NSA’, http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a0801nsaentrance

[17] Richard Miniter, Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror, Regnery Publishers, 2003

[18] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Alhazmi and Almihdhar: The 9/11 Hijackers Who Should Have Been Caught, http://www.historycommons.org/essay.jsp?article=essaykhalidandnawaf

[19] Intelligence Online, Richard Clarke’s Big Footprint in United Arab Emirates

Journal of Psychohistory: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and 9/11


By Matt Everett
Journal of Psychohistory, Volume 32, No. 3, Winter 2005, pp. 202-238


At the beginning of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld promised: "What will follow will not be a repeat of any other conflict. It will be of a force and scope and scale that has been beyond what has been seen before." The invasion that ensued was, like all wars, destructive and resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. Yet Baghdad fell in a mere three weeks, and just six weeks after the invasion commenced, President Bush announced: "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." Despite the death and destruction, it was hardly a war of a 'force,' 'scope' and 'scale' beyond what had been seen before.

However, before it began, there were indications that some people wanted a far more destructive war than that which ensued. For example, ridiculous as it may now sound, it was suggested that Britain and America might use nuclear weapons against Iraq. As The Guardian reported at the time:

"From last year's US defence review and the testimony of the Defence Secretary, Geoffrey Hoon ... it was clear that a major change in the US and UK nuclear policy was taking place. For the first time, Britain and America were contemplating using nuclear weapons against an enemy using only chemical or biological weapons. Referring to 'states of concern', and Saddam Hussein in particular, Mr Hoon []: 'They can be absolutely confident that in the right conditions we would be willing to use our nuclear weapons.'" [1]

A month before the invasion, Hoon repeated his warning: "Saddam can be absolutely confident that in the right conditions we would be willing to use nuclear weapons." [2] As investigative journalist John Pilger points out: "No British minister has ever made such an outright threat." [3]

Thankfully, the invasion passed without our resorting to nuclear weapons. But it seemed the desire for a bigger conflict remained, with attempts beginning almost immediately to find a new, more formidable enemy. In particular, Iran and Syria seemed next on the list for 'liberation.' At a press conference in July 2003, President Bush issued a stern warning to both countries, accusing them of harboring terrorists. "This behaviour is completely unacceptable," he said, "and states that continue to harbour terrorists will be held completely accountable." [4] Three months later, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton told journalists: "There is awareness of the threat posed by Iran and consensus that threat has to be eliminated." [5] Yet these warnings failed to capture much public interest.

Instead, there was a growing interest around the investigation into the attacks of September 11, 2001. Previously, the press had largely ignored the work of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, better known as the "9-11 Commission." When it held its second public hearings in May 2003 on the key issue of air defense, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times failed to write any articles about it. [6] Suddenly though, in March 2004 the Commission became the center of attention when former White House security expert Richard Clarke publicly testified before it and criticized the Bush administration for failing to address terrorism when it first came into office.

Since then, the 9/11 Commission remained a major news story and the book of its final report became an instant bestseller. However, the mass media were still overlooking the fact that increasing numbers of people were seriously questioning the entire official account of 9/11. More and more books had been released around the world giving evidence of possible U.S. government complicity in the attacks.

Polls suggested that millions of people were suspicious: A Zogby poll in late August 2004 found 49 per cent of New York City residents and 41 per cent of New York citizens overall agreed that "some leaders in the U.S. Government knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to take action." [7] A survey three months earlier found 63 per cent of Canadians believed the U.S. Government had "prior knowledge of the plans for the events of September 11th, and failed to take appropriate action to stop them." [8] A July 2003 poll had found almost a fifth of Germans believed the U.S. Government, or elements within it, were responsible for organizing the attacks. [9]

With attempts at identifying a new 'external enemy' so far failing, I believe it is possible that, instead, this growing suspicion around 9/11 will develop into an unprecedented public scandal. But what are these suspicions about? Are they simply the result of rumour and 'urban legend,' or could some of the disturbing allegations now being made be found true in the future? In this article, I will examine some of the arguments put forward by 9/11 skeptics, along with supporting evidence. Then I will examine some of the psychohistorical evidence that shows why we could be heading for a major scandal over the events of 9/11.

Until the controversy around 9/11 is brought into the open and investigated properly, it is up to individuals to draw their own conclusions. However, in my opinion, the volume of evidence now gathered is enough to suggest a massive scandal is a real possibility. The implications of this would be extraordinary. As one of the most prominent 9/11 skeptics, former German government minister Andreas von Bülow, says: "If what I say is right, the whole US government should end up behind bars." [10]

DONALD RUMSFELD ON 9/11

As U.S. secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld was on 9/11 second in the military chain-of-command behind the president. Yet details of what he did during the attacks are sketchy and from what we currently know, he did nothing in response to the crisis until it was too late to make a difference.

According to Rumsfeld, on the morning of September 11 he was hosting a breakfast meeting at the Pentagon for some members of Congress. He told them that "sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong healthy defense department." [11]

Soon after, someone walked in and gave him a note saying a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Yet Rumsfeld apparently was not moved to take action. "[W]e adjourned the meeting, and I went in to get my CIA briefing," he has said. [12] Whilst in his office with the CIA briefer, Rumsfeld says he was told of the second plane hitting the WTC. Yet he went ahead with a meeting in his private dining room at the Pentagon with his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz and U.S. Representative Christopher Cox, to discuss how to win votes for Bush's defense plan.

During this meeting, Rumsfeld was apparently oblivious to the fact that an airplane was heading towards Washington. However, he made another prediction: "let me tell you, I've been around the block a few times," he told Representative Cox. "There will be another event." For emphasis, he repeated: "There will be another event." [13] Just minutes later the Pentagon was hit.

Rumsfeld says: "I went outside to determine what had happened. I was not there long because I was back in the Pentagon with a crisis action team shortly before or after 10:00 a.m. On my return from the crash site and before going to the executive support center, I had one or more calls in my office, one of which was with the president." [14] Rumsfeld didn't enter the National Military Command Center within the Pentagon though until 10.30. Brigadier General Montague Winfield says: "For 30 minutes we couldn't find him." [15] As the 9/11 Commission conclude: "The Secretary of Defense did not enter the chain of command until the morning's key events were over." [16] Nor is Rumsfeld on the record as having given any orders that morning.

Yet, according to military procedure, if the Federal Aviation Administration were to notify the National Military Command Center of a hijacking, with the exception of "immediate responses" the NMCC was required to "forward requests for DOD assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval." [17] Of course, 9/11 would easily come under the heading of "immediate responses." All the same, Rumsfeld has yet to be asked whether he was contacted in line with this military procedure and, if so, what did he do in response?

Interestingly, since 9/11 Donald Rumsfeld has made statements suggesting why he may have wanted an event like 9/11 to occur. For example, in a televised interview two years after the attacks, he described how he thinks about what a senior leader in the Gulf told him, that maybe 9/11 was "a blessing in disguise," and a "wake-up call" for the world to deal with the growing threat of terrorism. Rumsfeld said he agreed with this, that 9/11 was indeed a 'wake-up call.' [18] He wrote a similar thing in his prepared testimony to the 9/11 Commission:

"Think about what has been done since the September 11th attacks: two state sponsors of terrorism have been removed from power, a 90-nation coalition has been formed which is cooperating on a number of levels… All of these actions are putting pressure on terrorist networks. Taken together, they represent a collective effort that is unprecedented. [19]

DICK CHENEY ON 9/11


Based upon mainstream accounts, Vice President Cheney's actions during the attacks appear less suspicious than those of Bush and Rumsfeld. However, there are some odd contradictions in the reports of what he did. On the morning of September 11, before learning about the attacks, Dick Cheney was in his office in the White House. According to the 9/11 Commission, just before 9 a.m. he was preparing for a meeting when his assistant "told him to turn on his television because a plane had struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center." [20]

Cheney subsequently saw the second aircraft hitting the South Tower. Then, "just before 9:36," the Secret Service ordered the evacuation of the vice president and agents took him down to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, the bunker below the East Wing of the White House. "The Vice President entered the underground tunnel leading to the shelter at 9:37." [21]

However, according to White House photographer David Bohrer who was present at the time, this evacuation occurred just after 9 a.m. [22] Furthermore, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta described before the 9/11 Commission how a young man had come into the PEOC to inform the vice president of the approach towards Washington of the aircraft that hit the Pentagon. According to Mineta, this occurred around 9:25 or 9:26. [23]

This suggests that the report of Cheney only reaching the underground tunnel leading to the shelter at 9:37 is incorrect. If Cheney were in fact evacuated soon after 9, why would it later be claimed this took place about half an hour later? One possibility is that it was to make the failure of the Secret Service to evacuate President Bush from his location that morning appear less suspicious. (See below.) Alternatively, if Michael Ruppert's allegations about the vice president's involvement in the attacks are correct, then this claim could simply be an attempt to conceal his complicity.

Soon after 9:15, Cheney spoke over the phone with the president, who was at a school in Florida that morning. Also, "sometime before 10:10 to 10:15," he reportedly phoned the president to discuss the rules of engagement for the combat air patrol above Washington. Supposedly, he recommended the president authorize the military to shoot down any civilian airliners that might be under the control of hijackers. Bush later recalled his response being "You bet." [24]

The president also emphasized in his private meeting with the 9/11 Commission that he had authorized the shootdown of hijacked aircraft. [25] This is an important point, because the shooting down of a wayward aircraft before it crashed into a populated area could save many lives.

Yet, according to the 9/11 Commission, "there is no documentary evidence for this call." [26] Newsweek adds: "Nor did the real-time notes taken by two others in the room, Cheney's chief of staff, 'Scooter' Libby -- who is known for his meticulous record-keeping -- or Cheney's wife, Lynne, reflect that such a phone call between Bush and Cheney occurred or that such a major decision as shooting down a U.S. airliner was discussed." [27]

According to Newsweek, some of the Commission's staff were highly skeptical of Cheney's account, with one well-informed source claiming some of them "flat out didn't believe the call ever took place." [28] All the same, whether or not Bush authorized him to do so, "by the time Cheney issued his shoot-down order, between 10:10 and 10:15 a.m., United Flight 93, the last plane-turned-missile on 9/11, had already crashed in Pennsylvania (at 10:03 a.m.)." [29]

Furthermore, it appears that Cheney -- along with Bush -- was reluctant for 9/11 to be investigated: When then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle appeared on NBC's Meet the Press in May 2002, he said Cheney had, on January 24 that year, urged him not to investigate the events of September 11.

Daschle added that four days later Bush made the same request. When the program's moderator Tim Russert asked: "It wasn't, 'Let's not have a national commission, but let's have the intelligence committees look into this,' it was 'No investigation by anyone, period'?" Daschle replied: "That's correct." He added that the request had been repeated on "other dates following." [30]

GEORGE W. BUSH ON 9/11

September 11, 2001 was the most important day of George W. Bush's life. As American president he was commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces. His actions were crucial. According to the 9/11 Commission, the only people that day with authority to order the shooting down of a civilian plane if, say, it were heading towards a populated area (like the World Trade Center or the Pentagon) were the president or the secretary of defense. [31] I have already shown that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was apparently 'out of the loop' during the attacks. What then did Commander in Chief Bush do?

Before examining this question, it is important to recognise that the U.S. president does not travel alone. He takes with him an entire staff, including members of the Secret Service, who are responsible for his safety. The president's travelling entourage have the best communications equipment in the world. They have contact with, or can easily reach, the cabinet, the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon, the FAA and other Secret Service agents. [32] We might therefore assume George Bush would have been one of the first people informed of the extraordinary chain of events unfolding on September 11.

Furthermore, Bush's location for that morning was made public four days previously, on September 7: He would be in Sarasota, Florida, to "continue his focus on reading and education." [33] We might assume then that once it was recognised that America was under attack, the president would have been considered a potential target and immediate action would have been taken to protect him and ensure the safety of all around him.

Yet, despite the horrifying sequence of events in progress, Bush continued with his pre-planned visit to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, where he listened to a class full of children reading. He remained at the school until around 9:35 a.m. [34] -- nearly 50 minutes after the first plane hit the WTC and over half an hour after the second plane hit. Incredibly, the president's support team, including the Secret Service, allowed this.

According to Philip Melanson, an expert on the Secret Service, Bush should have been removed from the school immediately after Flight 175 hit the second WTC tower. Melanson says: "With an unfolding terrorist attack, the procedure should have been to get the president to the closest secure location as quickly as possible, which clearly is not a school. You're safer in that presidential limo, which is bombproof and blastproof and bulletproof." [35]

Furthermore, considering the president's responsibilities as commander in chief, Melanson adds that Bush's limousine had key advantages: "In the presidential limo, the communications system is almost duplicative of the White House -- he can do almost anything from there but he can't do much sitting in a school." [36]

Bush was informed of the second plane hitting the WTC when, around 9:05, his Chief of Staff Andrew Card came across the classroom and reportedly whispered to him: "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack." [37] According to the 9/11 Commission: "The President told us his instinct was to project calm, not to have the country see an excited reaction at a moment of crisis." [38]

Furthermore, "The Secret Service told us they were anxious to move the President to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door." [39] Yet this inaction could have had disastrous consequences. In the words of 9/11 researchers Allan Wood and Paul Thompson: "Why hasn't Bush's security staff been criticized for their completely inexplicable decision to stay at the school? And why didn't Bush's concern for the children extend to not making them and the rest of the 200 or so people at the school terrorist targets?" [40]

As the reporter Gail Sheehy concludes, the final report of the 9/11 Commission shows that on the morning of September 11, "the president and the other top officials in charge of the systems to defend the country from attack were, in essence, missing in action: They did not communicate, did not coordinate a response to the catastrophe, and in some cases did not even get involved in discussions about the attacks until after all of the hijacked planes had crashed." [41]

With the best communications in the world available to him, we might assume Bush would have been one of the first people informed of the hijackings and the first plane hitting the WTC. Yet according to official accounts, he remained oblivious even whilst millions of people saw what had happened on television. Strangely, there have been at least seven different accounts of when and from whom Bush first heard of Flight 11 crashing into the WTC. [42] As Allan Wood and Paul Thompson note, Bush's own recollections only add to the confusion:

"Less than two months after the attacks, Bush made the preposterous claim that he had watched the first attack as it happened on live television…. On December 4, 2001, Bush was asked: "How did you feel when you heard about the terrorist attack?" [As reported on CNN,] Bush replied, "I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on…. I said, it must have been a horrible accident." [43]

Yet, as Wood and Thompson point out, "There was no film footage of the first attack until at least the following day." They continue: "It's doubly strange why his advisors didn't correct him or -- at the very least -- stop him from repeating the same story only four weeks later. On January 5, 2002, Bush stated: "Well, I was sitting in a schoolhouse in Florida ... and my Chief of Staff -- well, first of all, when we walked into the classroom, I had seen this plane fly into the first building. There was a TV set on." [44]

On the morning of 9/11, Bush promised that he had "ordered that the full resources of the federal government go ... to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act." [45] Yet it appears more like he has tried to hinder investigations. As Salon reported in June 2003:

"The White House long opposed the formation of a blue-ribbon Sept. 11 commission, some say, and even now that panel is underfunded and struggling to build momentum. And, they say, the administration is suppressing a 900-page congressional study, possibly out of fear that the findings will be politically damaging to Bush.

"We've been fighting for nearly 21 months -- fighting the administration, the White House," says Monica Gabrielle. Her husband, Richard, an insurance broker who worked for Aon Corp. on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center's Tower 2, died during the attacks. "As soon as we started looking for answers we were blocked, put off and ignored at every stop of the way. We were shocked. The White House is just blocking everything."

Another 9/11 family advocate ... was more blunt: "Bush has done everything in his power to squelch this [9/11] commission and prevent it from happening." [46]

After opposing the creation of the 9/11 Commission, the White House wanted to limit any appearance by the president to just one hour spent with two of the commissioners. A compromise was met such that George Bush did eventually meet with the Commission on April 29, 2004, but only under stringent conditions. Bush had to have Dick Cheney at his side, testifying at the same time; testimony was given in private and not under oath; no press coverage was allowed; and no recordings or transcripts were made of what they said. [47]

Further suspicion had been raised just over two weeks earlier, when the White House was forced to release a daily intelligence briefing given to the president whilst on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, five weeks before 9/11.

The briefing was titled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US," and stated: "FBI information ... indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York…. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Laden supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives." [48] Despite receiving this, according to the New York Times, "Bush broke off from work early and spent most of that day fishing." [49]

What is also interesting is that several key members of the Bush administration, including Cheney, Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, had been members of a neoconservative think-tank called the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In September 2000, PNAC wrote a report called Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, which they hoped would be "a road map for the nation's immediate and future defense plans." In it they complained: "The post-Cold War world will not remain a relatively peaceful place if we continue to neglect foreign and defense matters."

However, they added: "serious attention, careful thought, and the willingness to devote adequate resources to maintaining America's military strength can make the world safer and American strategic interests more secure now and in the future." [50] They stated that to "preserve American military preeminence in the coming decades" America would need to undergo a "military transformation." [51] However, they wrote, this transformation would be "a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor." [52] One year later, 9/11 happened. As George W. Bush wrote in his diary that night: "The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today." [53]

After this catastrophic, catalyzing event, actions proposed by the Project for the New American Century soon came into force. As John Pilger wrote of PNAC:

"[In 2000] it recommended an increase in arms-spending by $48bn so that Washington could "fight and win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars". This has happened. It said the United States should develop "bunker-buster" nuclear weapons and make "star wars" a national priority. This is happening. It said that, in the event of Bush taking power, Iraq should be a target. And so it is. [54] Furthermore, during his 2000 election campaign and after, Bush repeatedly promised a budget surplus, except in the event of a recession, war or a national emergency. In the days after 9/11, he said to his budget director: "Lucky me. I hit the trifecta." [55] (A 'trifecta' is a kind of bet that requires picking the top three finishers in a race.)

With so much suspicious evidence, one lawyer, Stanley Hilton -- a former aide to Senator Bob Dole -- has filed a $7 billion suit on behalf of the families of 14 victims of the 9/11 attacks, alleging that Bush, along with Cheney, Rumsfeld and others, actually ordered 9/11 to happen for political gain. Hilton says he has incriminating documents and witnesses showing this. Calling it "the biggest act of treason and mass murder in American history," he claims that 9/11 was a 'decoy operation': "You make the people focus on the decoy to avoid looking at the real criminals. So they are focusing on these so-called nineteen hijackers and saying, 'Oh, it must have been these Arabs.' When, in fact, the guilty person is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- sitting in the Oval Office." [56]

I have already discussed White House attempts to prevent or hinder any official inquiry into 9/11. But another less known example, where there has been a lack of investigation and a suppression of important evidence relating to 9/11, is in the unlikely situation of the retirement community that is Venice, in southwestern Florida.

THE MOHAMED ATTA MYTH

Of the four alleged 9/11 suicide-pilots, three had been in attendance at two flight schools at the tiny airport in Venice, Florida: Huffman Aviation and Florida Flight Training. Both were owned by Dutch men who purchased the schools within months of each other, in 1999. Soon after they took over, the schools began training unprecedented numbers of Arab flight students. [57] Yet Huffman Aviation and Florida Flight Training, along with the dubious characters who ran them, have so far avoided any serious investigation or media attention.

One man who has tried to make up for this is investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker, who spent two years following the attacks in Venice, examining the training of the alleged hijackers. He reports his findings in his book Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta & the 9-11 Cover-up in Florida. As well as describing evidence of large-scale illegal activity going on in and around the Venice Airport, this book casts serious doubt upon the official account of who the hijackers really were.

We have all heard how these 19 alleged hijackers were Islamic extremists. Yet evidence uncovered by Hopsicker, particularly regarding alleged ringleader Mohamed Atta, depicts unlikely personalities and lifestyles for a bunch of religious fanatics. For example, almost totally ignored by the mainstream press is that Atta had an American girlfriend for over two months whilst in Venice, with whom he would go out clubbing almost every night.

At the time, this attractive young woman -- Amanda Keller -- had spiky pink hair and was working as a 'lingerie model' for an escort service called Fantasies & Lace. Atta is known to have been a heavy drinker who snorted cocaine. Local newspapers reported how in February 2001, along with Keller, he went on a three-day binge of drinking and drug taking in Key West. [58]

Just days before 9/11, Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi (another of the alleged suicide-pilots) spent the evening drinking heavily at a bar in Fort Lauderdale. The bar's manager later told reporters that the men "got wasted," drinking "Stolichnaya and orange juice, and Captain Morgan's spiced rum and Coke." Bartender Patricia Idrissi concurred, saying: "Atta drank Stoli vodka for three straight hours…. They were wasted." [59]

Amanda Keller describes a typical night out at a club with Atta: "Marwan [al-Shehhi] was in the reggae room drinking with a bunch of women at the bar, there were a lot of women around him, and he was just flaunting money." As Hopsicker points out: "It's one thing to hear Atta described as living it up with wine, women and song. But Marwan flaunting money at the bar pretty much puts the lie to the 'Islamic fundamentalist' tag." [60]

Hopsicker suggests that, rather than being a fundamentalist Muslim, Mohamed Atta better fits the profile of a member of Arab society's privileged elite and also a spy. Amongst many oddities contradicting the 'fundamentalist' label is the fact that his e-mail list included the names of several employees of U.S. defense contractors. [61] More alarming, he and as many as six of the other alleged 9/11 hijackers appear to have trained at U.S. military bases. Hopsicker writes:

"On the Saturday following the Tuesday attack, the Los Angeles Times broke the story in a long article on their front page. 'A defense official said two of the hijackers were former Saudi fighter pilots, 'reported the paper, 'who had studied in exchange programs at the Defense Language School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.'"

The story went wide the next day, Sunday, September 15th. Newsweek, the Washington Post and the Miami Herald all reported as many as seven of the terrorist hijackers in the September 11th attacks received training at secure U.S. Military installations.

"Two of 19 suspects named by the FBI, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alghamdi, have the same names as men listed at a housing facility for foreign military trainees at Pensacola. Two others, Hamza Alghamdi and Ahmed Alnami, have names similar to individuals listed in public records as using the same address inside the base," the Washington Post reported.

"In addition, a man named Saeed Alghamdi graduated from the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, while men with the same names as two other hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari, appear as graduates of the U.S. International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and the Aerospace Medical School at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, respectively," the Post said. [62]

Newsweek detailed how U.S. Military facilities routinely trained pilots for other countries: "A former Navy pilot told NEWSWEEK that during his years on the base, 'we always, always, always trained other countries' pilots…. Whoever the country du jour is, that's whose pilots we train.' Candidates begin with 'an officer's equivalent of boot camp,' he said. 'Then they would put them through flight training.'" [63]

Hopsicker explains how this crucial story came to be dismissed:

"Someone was going to have to answer ... for a lot."

"But Atta is a fairly common surname in the Middle East," the Post quoted Laila Alquatami of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee as saying, and the suspected hijacker's first name is "probably the No. 1 name that is given to babies, in honor of the prophet Mohamed."

The Boston Globe reported the Pentagon's denial: "Some of the FBI suspects had names similar to those used by foreign alumni of U.S. Military courses," said the Air Force in a statement. "Discrepancies in their biographical data ... indicate we are probably not talking about the same people."

How easy was it to tell the Pentagon was lying? Think about it. It is neither plausible nor logical that the reports were false because of seven separate cases of mistaken identity. One or two, maybe. But seven? [64]

None of the newspapers retracted the story, yet it disappeared. One person who sought answers was Senator Bill Nelson, who faxed Attorney General John Ashcroft, demanding to know if the story was really true. However:

"The Senator has still not received a reply, we heard from his spokesman, when we called his office eleven months later. In the wake of those reports, we asked about the Pensacola Naval Air Station but we never got a definitive answer from the Justice Department," stated the Senator's press spokesman. "So we asked the FBI for an answer 'if and when' they could provide us one. Their response to date has been that they are trying to sort through something complicated and difficult." [65]

Deciding to investigate for himself, Hopsicker phoned the Pentagon and spoke with the public information officer who helped write and disseminate their original denial of the story:

"Biographically, they're not the same people," she explained patiently, using the same language contained in the Air Force's press release. "Some of the ages are twenty years off." … Was she saying that the age of the 'Mohamed Atta' who had attended the Air Force's International Officer's School at Maxwell Air Force Base was different than that of 'terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta?'

Not exactly, she admitted. She could not confirm that -- in this specific instance -- they had different ages. What she could do was once again deny that the International Officer's School attendee named Mohamed Atta had been the Mohamed Atta who piloted a passenger plane into the World Trade Center.

However, she could offer no specifics for her assertion, and repeatedly declined requests for biographical details about the Mohamed Atta who had trained at Maxwell Air Force Base. [66]

After Hopsicker's persistent questioning, she finally said in exasperation: "I do not have the authority to tell you who attended which schools." Hopsicker reflects: "It was hard to read this as anything other than a back-handed confirmation. When she said that she didn't have the authority, the clear implication was that someone else does… Somewhere in the Defense Dept. a list exists with the names of Sept. 11 terrorists who received training at U.S. Military facilities. She just didn't have the authority to release it." [67] Furthermore, Hopsicker spoke to a woman who works at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama:

"I have a girlfriend who recognized Mohamed Atta. She met him at a party at the Officer's Club," she told us. "The reason she swears it was him here is because she didn't just meet him and say hello. After she met him she went around and introduced him to the people that were with her. So she knows it was him."

Saudis were a highly visible presence at Maxwell Air Force Base, she said. "There were a lot of them living in an upscale complex in Montgomery. They had to get all of them out of here. "They were all gone the day after the attack." [68]

Despite it being a key 9/11 crime scene, there has been a surprising absence of investigations into the goings on in Venice, Florida. In fact, to the contrary, "the FBI's full attention seemed to have been engaged -- not in investigating what had happened -- but in suppressing evidence and even intimidating the witnesses who had seen and heard things that fly in the face of the 'official story.'" [69]

For example, Mohamed Atta's former girlfriend Amanda Keller says that even after she left Venice, the FBI called on her every other day for several months, telling her not to talk to anybody. Similarly, a woman called Stephanie Frederickson who lived next-door to Atta and Keller in Venice reported how she and other residents at the same apartment building were harassed and intimidated by FBI agents, to prevent them from talking to reporters.

According to Frederickson: "The question [the FBI] asked was always the same. You aren't saying anything to anybody, are you? At first, right after the attack, they told me I must have been mistaken in my identification. Or they would insinuate that I was lying. Finally they stopped trying to get me to change my story, and just stopped by once a week to make sure I hadn't been talking to anyone. [70]

What is more, the FBI arrived in Venice just hours after the 9/11 attacks. A former manager from Huffman Aviation said: "They were outside my house four hours after the attack." He added: "My phones have been bugged, they still are…. How did the FBI get here so soon? Ask yourself: How'd they got here so soon?" [71]

Within 24 hours of the attacks, records from Huffman Aviation, where Atta and al-Shehhi attended, were escorted aboard a C-130 cargo plane to Washington by Florida governor and brother of the president Jeb Bush. Similarly, according to a sergeant with the Venice police, the FBI took all their files and flew them to Washington with Jeb Bush aboard. (Presumably this was on the same flight as the Huffman records.) Hopsicker notes: "The important point was that taking files was a lot different than copying them. The FBI wasn't taking any chances." [72] He concludes: "There is a demonstrable, provable, and massive federally-supervised cover-up in place in Florida." [73]

As this and my previous evidence shows, there are countless unanswered questions about 9/11 that at some point are going to have to be properly examined. Even an investigation into just a few of these questions, such as those around the war games on 9/11, could be enough to start a major scandal. However, as numerous writers and independent researchers have found, there are so many suspicious circumstances that the truth could be very different to what we have been led to believe.

Human rights lawyer Richard Falk has written: "There are so many gaping holes in the official accounts of 9/11 that no plausible coherent narrative remains, and until now we have been staggering forward as if the truth about these traumatic events no longer mattered." [74] But if the mainstream press start investigating properly, it could lead to a completely unprecedented '9/11 scandal.'

PSYCHOHISTORICAL REASONS BEHIND 9/11 AND ENSUING WARS

There are in fact specific psychohistorical reasons I have identified why there could be a major 9/11 scandal in the future. I detail some of these in my previous article, "Killer Women Group-Fantasies and the 9/11 Controversy," in which I examined signs of the current public mood in Britain and America. [75] My evidence suggested both countries are in a state of particularly high anxiety and will need some kind of large crisis to make us all feel better. But with no new 'external enemy' having been found, I suggested we might instead be veering towards 'regicidal solution' -- where we somehow 'sacrifice' our own leaders. But what is the cause of the current public anxiety? And why have our leaders been unable to find a new 'external enemy' to invade?

Lloyd deMause describes how wars have generally occurred after periods of increased prosperity and social progress, especially when accompanied by more personal freedom. He has found that increased wealth and social change causes many individuals anxiety and discomfort:

"That personal achievement and prosperity often make individuals feel sinful and unworthy of their success is a commonplace observation of psychotherapy ever since Freud's first case studies of people 'ruined by success.' Yet no one seems to have noticed that feelings of sinfulness are usually prominent in the shared emotional life of nations after long periods of peace, prosperity, and social progress, particularly if they are accompanied by more personal and sexual freedom." [76]

As deMause points out: "wars between great powers occur during periods of economic expansion, while stagnation hinders their outbreak." [77] Furthermore, "Wars not only occurred far more frequently after prosperous periods, but were longer and bigger after prosperity, 'six to twenty times bigger as indicated by battle fatalities." [78]

DeMause has found recurrent images of guilt and poison blood in the media, following periods of prosperity and progress. The progress and increased wealth are felt to have "polluted the national bloodstream with sinful excess, making men 'soft' and 'feminine,' a frightful condition that can only be cleansed by a blood-shedding purification." [79]

DeMause continues: "Wars have often been thought of as purifying the nation's polluted blood by virtue of a sacrificial rite identical to the rites of human sacrifice so common in early historical periods, when the blood of those sacrificed was believed to renew all the people. War, said those preparing for the bloody Finnish Civil War, purges guilt-producing material prosperity through the blood of soldiers sacrificed on the battlefield." [80]

So, in the case of the 1991 Gulf War, once it was over: "The sacrificial ritual had been carried out. The nation had been cleansed of its emotional pollution. The President's popularity rating rose to 91 percent, the highest of any American leader in history. The stock market soared. The country had been united by slaughter as it had never been by any positive achievement. We felt cleansed, purified, as though we had been reborn." [81]

To summarize then, periods of growth and prosperity cause much discomfort to many people: feelings of guilt, sinfulness, being 'soft' or 'feminine,' etc. And one way that nations frequently relieve these unpleasant feelings is by going to war.

The 1990s and the beginning of the new millennium certainly rank as a period of prosperity and change. Along with increasing wealth and social change, we have experienced a technological revolution, with cheaper and increasingly powerful home computers, DVD players, digital cameras, and many other previously unavailable gadgets. One writer recently concluded: "We live in the freest, happiest, least bigoted, healthiest, most peaceful and longest-lived era in human history... [W]e are richer and have the power to alter and control our environment in ways that would have seemed like magic 200 years ago." [82]

Considering deMause's observations about wars correlating with change and economic growth, it seems the conditions have been right for a particularly large war to occur. Although we have had recent wars in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), these have been small in comparison to some key wars of the 20th century. For example, the Vietnam War lasted many years, from the 1960s through to the early 70s.

During this conflict, the U.S. used weapons of mass destruction, spraying South Vietnam with a deadly chemical called 'Agent Orange,' which causes fetal death, congenital defects and cancer. [83] Several million Southeast Asians were killed, along with around 58,000 American soldiers. The recent attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq pale in comparison. So surely we'll need a bigger war than either of these, considering all the prosperity and change of the last decade. However, as I said at the start of this article, following the 2003 Iraq invasion attempts by Britain and America to find a new, more formidable enemy to attack have so far failed.

I believe the reason for this is because there are now larger than ever numbers of people opposing war. This in turn, I believe, is thanks to improvements in childrearing during the latter half of the 20th century. For years, psychohistorians have observed a steady evolution in childrearing that is now more rapid than ever before. Lloyd deMause writes:

"Progress in childrearing evolution may be extremely uneven, but the trends are nonetheless unmistakable. The overall direction is from projection to empathy, from discipline to self-regulation, from hitting to explaining, from incest to love, from rejection to overcontrol and then to independence... Just the sheer cost of raising a child in dollars has been going up. The families I know in my section of Manhattan easily devote over half of their spare time and half their income to their children. Compare this to the small fraction of parents' time and money given over to children in earlier centuries with children even spending most of their lives working for adults in various ways and one can begin to comprehend the overall direction of childrearing evolution." [84]

Similarly, in 1998 psychohistorian Robert McFarland wrote: "Improvements in parenting practices can now be measured in decades rather than in centuries. Since Sweden banned hitting children in 1979, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Austria have followed." [85] And whereas in 1992 over 90 per cent of American parents hit their young children, by 1999 this had dropped to 57 per cent. [86]

Due to this steady 'evolution of childhood,' the average level of childrearing experienced by today's young adults in developed countries will have been better than that experienced by previous generations. Consequently there are now more and more people in the higher 'psychoclasses': individuals who, due to their more loving childhoods, have a higher level of psychological health. These individuals will be more able to enjoy their increased prosperity and the new technology that has become available over recent years, along with any increased personal freedoms. As a result, they will have less, if any, desire for war.

This relationship between childhood experience and support for, or opposition to war, has been found by, amongst others, political psychologist Michael Milburn. Milburn says:

"We found that, particularly for males who had never had any psychotherapy, when they reported a high level of childhood punishment, they were significantly more likely to endorse a range of punitive public policies like ... support for the use of military force... [T]he higher level of punitiveness among political conservatives is really strongly associated with experiences, generally, of harsh punishment from childhood. It's not just going to be that they were spanked; there's a whole family climate, and punishment is just going to be one of those indicators of that." [87]

If a person who experiences a severe and punitive childhood is likely to grow up into the kind of adult who favours the use of military force, we might logically assume the opposite is true: Individuals who had better childhoods will be less supportive of wars. Lloyd deMause confirms this, describing his observations of young adults today who have experienced far more loving childhoods:

"[These individuals] are far more empathic and therefore more concerned about others than we ever were, and this has made them far more activist in their lives in trying to make a difference and change the world for the better, mostly involving themselves in local activities rather than global political changes. They lack all need for nationalism, wars, and other grandiose projects, and in the organizations they start are genuinely nonauthoritarian. There is no question that if the world could treat children with helping-mode parenting, wars and other self-destructive social conditions we still suffer from in the twenty-first century will be cured." [88]

With the gradual improvement in the average level of childrearing over recent decades (in developed countries at least), we would expect a corresponding decrease in support for war. This was clearly evidenced by the unprecedented level of opposition to the 2003 Iraq invasion. In London, for example, on Saturday February 15, 2003, an estimated one to two million people marched in protest against the imminent invasion: the largest public demonstration ever to occur in Britain. The following month, 400,000 marched through London, the biggest protest in Britain against a war during wartime. [89]

Weeks before the war started, Tony Blair suffered the biggest Commons revolt of his premiership when 199 MPs rejected his direction over Iraq. As the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy, observed: "Despite investing masses of political and parliamentary capital, the government has still failed to persuade a third of the House of Commons." [90]

According to leading political scholar and critic of American foreign policy Noam Chomsky, in an interview around this time: "There's never been a time that I can think of when there's been such massive opposition to a war before it was even started... Even in the United States there is overwhelming opposition to the war and the corresponding decline in the leadership that is driving the war." [91]

Chomsky points out how even our governments are aware of this new reluctance towards war and have had to modify their actions accordingly: "[W]hen any administration comes into office the first thing it does is have a worldwide intelligence assessment -- 'What's the state of the world?' -- provided by the intelligence services...

When the first Bush administration came in 1989, parts of their intelligence assessment were leaked, and they're very revealing about what happened in the subsequent 10 years about precisely these questions. The parts that were leaked said that it was about military confrontations with much weaker enemies, recognising they were the only kind we were going to be willing to face, or even exist. So in confrontations with much weaker enemies the United States must win 'decisively and rapidly' because otherwise popular support will erode, because it's understood to be very thin. Not like the 1960s when the government could fight a long, brutal war for years and years practically destroying a country without any protest. Not now." [92]

Although the peace movement failed to prevent the Iraq invasion, when the war began it seemed they had made a significant difference. As Jonathan Freedland wrote in The Guardian:

"The campaign began not with 'shock and awe' but a subtler knife, aimed at the surgical decapitation of Saddam Hussein and his regime. One night's bombing of Baghdad lasted no more than an hour... There could be a stack of explanations for that initial deployment of the short, sharp blow... But there may be another motive for the initial preference for short-and-sweet over shock-and-awe. The US might have wanted to avoid a wave of worldwide revulsion. A series of tight, well-aimed strikes at the regime would have confounded the global fear of colossal Iraqi civilian casualties. It's as if Washington had heard the peace movement's objection to this war--that too many innocents would die--and was attempting to heed it." [93]

Freedland continues: "[P]erhaps the clearest proof of the anti-war camp's efforts came from our own prime minister: 'I know this course of action has produced deep divisions of opinion in our country,' he said, just seconds into his own TV message to the nation. No leader wants to go into a war admitting such a thing. But Blair had no choice. As with much else, the peace movement has changed the landscape for this conflict--and the men of war are having to deal with it." [94]

What peace activists may well have achieved is the prevention of further invasions of 'axis of evil' countries. As Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition said, "does anyone think Tony Blair can ever stand up in parliament again and say the words, 'trust me'? As they talk up targeting Iran and Syria, do you think anyone will ever believe this government when they say we've got the intelligence to prove it?" [95]

Maybe the improvements in childrearing over recent decades that account for this unprecedented opposition to war, will also mean there are now enough people less afraid to challenge authority and face unpleasant truths, so as to help bring about a 9/11 scandal. Compare this to, say, the truth about the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. We now know that President Franklin Roosevelt and his top military advisers knew in advance that Japan was planning a 'surprise attack' on America. Japanese radio messages had been intercepted and it was known when and where they would attack the U.S.

Despite this foreknowledge, Roosevelt allowed the attack to go ahead so as to create a pretext for America to join World War II. Yet these facts only became more widely known in 2000, with the release of Robert B. Stinnett's book Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor. [96] Robert McFarland points out: "While it was 58 years before Stinnett's book made the facts about Pearl Harbor widely known, two important books about 9/11 came out within a year... Since these books came out quickly, we are apparently more willing to look at bad news than we were in 1941." [97]

While a 9/11 scandal would be a sufficiently large public crisis to help ease the particularly high level of public anxiety ('growth panic') among the lower psychoclasses, unlike a massive war it ought also be acceptable to the more peaceful higher psychoclass individuals. If we do have such a scandal, the emotional effect will undoubtedly be intense. Consider how the general public would feel if people start openly accusing some within the Bush administration of complicity in the 9/11 attacks. How would Americans feel who had voted for these men, trusted and respected them? I can imagine many people finding such events devastating.

What if security camera footage of the attack on the Pentagon had to be made public at some point and it showed something other than a Boeing 757 hitting the Pentagon? [98] Surely millions of people would feel horrified. The full implications of a 9/11 scandal would be colossal. It would be the emotional equivalent of a massive war. So maybe instead of the war "of a force and scope and scale that has been beyond what has been seen before," that Donald Rumsfeld promised back in 2003, there is going to be a scandal of a "scope and scale" that is "beyond what has been seen before."

FOOTNOTES:

1 David Hearst, "Nato directionless on nuclear policy." The Guardian, January 19, 2003.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/nuclear/article/0,2763,871128,00.html
2 "UK restates nuclear threat." BBC News, February 2, 2003.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/2717939.stm
3 John Pilger, "John Pilger investigates US plans for mini-nukes." New Statesman, August 18, 2003.
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0815-06.htm
4 Duncan Campbell, "Bush in new threat to Iran and Syria." The Guardian, July 22, 2003.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/jul/22/usa.duncancampbell1
5 Richard Norton-Taylor, "US hawk warns Iran threat must be eliminated." The Guardian, October 10, 2003.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/oct/10/iran.richardnortontaylor
6 From Paul Thompson, "The Failure to Defend the Skies on 9/11." Center for Cooperative Research. http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/essay.jsp?article=essayairdefense
7 "Half of New Yorkers Believe US Leaders Had Foreknowledge of Impending 9-11 Attacks and 'Consciously Failed' To Act; 66% Call For New Probe of Unanswered Questions by Congress or New York's Attorney General, New Zogby International Poll Reveals." Zogby International, August 30, 2004. Online at: http://zogby.com/news/2004/08/30/half-of-new-yorkers-believe-us-leaders-had-foreknowledge...
8 Antonia Zerbisias, "Poking holes in the official story of 9/11." Toronto Star, May 26, 2004.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0528-09.htm
9 Michael Gavin, "September 11 conspiracy claims find large readership." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 5, 2003.
10 Quoted in Kate Connolly, "German Sept 11 theory stokes anti-US feeling." The Telegraph, November 20, 2003.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/1447232/German-Sept-11-theory...
11 From "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Larry King." Larry King Live, CNN, December 5, 2001. Transcript at: http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=2603
12 Ibid.
13 From "Chairman Cox's Statement on the Terrorist Attack on America." September 11, 2001. Online at: http://web.archive.org/web/20020817051201/http://cox.house.gov/html/release.cfm?id=33
14 From "Day One Transcript: 9/11 Commission Hearing." Washington Post, March 23, 2004. Online at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17798-2004Mar23
15 From "'The Pentagon Goes to War': National Military Command Center: A look at 9/11 at the Pentagon's National Military Command Center." American Morning With Paula Zahn, CNN, September 4, 2002. Transcript here, and "9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings," ABC News, September 11, 2002. Transcript at: http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/pentagon/attack/abcnews091102_jenningsinterviews.html
16 The 9/11 Commission Report: The Full Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Executive Summary. 2004, p. 15. Online at: http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Exec.htm
17 See Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CJCSI 3610.01A, June 1, 2001. Online at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/cjcsd/cjcsi/3610_01a.pdf. Due to the fact that this new procedure was introduced just three months before 9/11, several individuals have questioned whether this new instruction, requiring secretary of defense approval in responding to hijackings, was introduced deliberately so as to hinder the interception of the hijacked planes on 9/11. However, this requirement was not new: The previous instruction for dealing with hijackings, dated July 31, 1997, also required approval from the defense secretary. See: http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/cjcsd/cjcsi/3610_01.pdf
18 The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS, September 10, 2003. Transcript at:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec03/rumsfeld_09-10.html
19 "Testimony of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld Prepared for Delivery to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States." March 23, 2004, p. 21. Online at: http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing8/rumsfeld_statement.pdf
20 The 9/11 Commission Report: The Full Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004, p. 35.
21 The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 39-40.
22 "Sept. 11 Scramble." ABC News, September 14, 2002.
http://abcnews.go.com/onair/DailyNews/sept11_moments_2.html
23 "9/11 Commission Hearing." May 23, 2003. Transcript at: http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing2/9-11Commission_Hearing_2003-05-23.pdf
24 Dan Balz and Bob Woodward, "America's Chaotic Road to War." Washington Post, January 27, 2002.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42754-2002Jan26.html
25 The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 40.
26 Ibid., p. 41.
27 Daniel Klaidman and Michael Hirsh, "Who Was Really In Charge?" Newsweek, June 28, 2004.
http://www.newsweek.com/2004/06/27/who-was-really-in-charge.html
28 Ibid.
29 Ibid.
30 Meet the Press, NBC, May 26, 2002. Transcript online at: http://www.kolumbus.fi/sy-k/911/Daschle.htm
31 The 9/11 Commission states: "Prior to 9/11, it was understood that an order to shoot down a commercial aircraft would have to be issued by the National Command Authority (a phrase used to describe the president and secretary of defense)." From The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 17. Previous news reports had said the president was the only person with the authority to order the shooting down of a civilian plane. See Jamie McIntyre, "Pentagon never considered downing Stewart's Learjet." CNN, October 26, 1999. http://edition.cnn.com/US/9910/26/shootdown/ Kevin Dennehy, "'I Thought It Was the Start of World War III'." Cape Cod Times, August 21, 2002.
32 From Illarion Bykov and Jared Israel, "Guilty for 9-11, Part 3: Bush in the Open." The Emperor's New Clothes, January 18, 2002, revised September 12, 2003. http://www.emperors-clothes.com/indict/indict-3.htm
33 "Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer." September 7, 2001. Online at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010907-1.html#week
34 From Allan Wood and Paul Thompson, "An Interesting Day: President Bush's Movements and Actions on 9/11." Center for Cooperative Research, May 9, 2003.
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/essay.jsp?article=essayaninterestingday
35 Quoted in Susan Taylor Martin, "Of fact, fiction: Bush on 9/11." St. Petersburg Times, July 4, 2004.
36 Ibid.
37 The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 38.
38 Ibid., p. 38.
39 Ibid., p. 39.
40 From Allan Wood and Paul Thompson, "An Interesting Day."
41 Gail Sheehy, "Who's in Charge Here?" Mother Jones, July 22, 2004.
42 See Allan Wood and Paul Thompson, "An Interesting Day."
43 CNN Transcript of President Bush's town meeting in Orlando, Florida on December 4, 2001.
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0112/04/se.04.html
44 Transcript on White House website of President Bush's comments at a town hall forum in Ontario, California on January 5, 2002
http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020105-3.html
45 "Remarks by the President After Two Planes Crash Into World Trade Center." September 11, 2001. Online at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010911.html
46 Eric Boehlert, "Bush's 9/11 coverup?" Salon, June 18, 2003.
47 From Julian Borger, "Bush to face tough questions on 9/11." The Guardian, April 29, 2004; "Hiding in the White House." The Boston Globe, April 30, 2004.
48 This briefing is available online at: http://edition.cnn.com/2004/images/04/10/whitehouse.pdf
49 Frank Rich, "Thanks for the Heads-Up." New York Times, May 25, 2002.
50 The Project for the New American Century, Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century. September 2000, p. iii.
51 Ibid., p. 50.
52 Ibid., p. 51.
53 Dan Balz and Bob Woodward, "America's Chaotic Road to War."
54 John Pilger, "Two years ago a project set up by the men who now surround George W. Bush said what America needed was 'a new Pearl Harbor'. Its published aims have come alarmingly true." New Statesman, December 16, 2002.
55 "Remarks By Office Of Management And Budget Director Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. At Conference Board Annual Meeting." October 16, 2001. Online at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/pubpress/daniels_conference_board_speech10-16-01.html
56 From "Alex Jones Interviews Stanley Hilton." The Alex Jones Show, September 10, 2004. Transcript at: http://www.serendipity.li/wot/hilton_interview.htm
57 From: Daniel Hopsicker, Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta & the 9-11 Cover-up in Florida. Eugene: The MadCow Press, 2004, pp. 171-182.
58 Ibid., pp. 68-69.
59 Ibid., p. 81.
60 Ibid., p. 284.
61 Ibid., p. 105.
62 Ibid., pp. 135-136.
63 George Wehrfritz, Catharine Skipp and John Barry, "Alleged Hijackers May Have Trained at U.S. Bases." Newsweek, September 15, 2001.
http://www.newsweek.com/2001/09/14/alleged-hijackers-may-have-trained-at-u-s-bases.html
64 Daniel Hopsicker, Welcome to Terrorland, pp. 136-137.
65 Ibid., p. 138.
66 Ibid., p. 139.
67 Ibid., p. 140.
68 Ibid., p. 141.
69 Ibid., p. 301.
70 Ibid., pp. 62-63.
71 Ibid., p. 150.
72 Ibid., p. 31.
73 Ibid., p. 301.
74 From his forward to David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor, p. vii.
75 Matt Everett, "Killer Women Group-Fantasies and the 9/11 Controversy." Journal of Psychohistory 32(1): 2-39.
http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2004-16371-001
76 Lloyd deMause, The Emotional Life of Nations. New York: Karnac, 2002, p. 17
77 Ibid., p. 159.
78 Ibid., p. 141.
79 Ibid, p. 51.
80 Ibid., p. 52.
81 Ibid., p. 38
82 Michael Hanlon, "There's no time like the present." The Spectator. August 7, 2004.
83 See John Pilger, "Nuclear war, courtesy of Nato." The Guardian, May 4, 1999; John Pilger, "Blair is a coward." Daily Mirror, January 29, 2003.
84 From Lloyd deMause, "Childhood and Cultural Evolution." Psychohistory Web site. http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/eln07evolution.html
85 Robert B. McFarland, "Improvements in Parenting are Real." Journal of Psychohistory 25(3):237.
86 Tracy L. Dietz, "Disciplining Children: Characteristics Associated With the Use of Corporal Punishment." Child Abuse & Neglect 24(2000): 1529, 1536. Quoted in Lloyd deMause, The Emotional Life of Nations, p. 339.
87 Brian Braiker, "See No Evil: A political psychologist explains the roles denial, emotion and childhood punishment play in politics." Newsweek Web site, May 13, 2004. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4972441/site/newsweek/
88 Lloyd deMause, The Emotional Life of Nations, p. 430.
89 Carmel Brown, "Weapon of mass democracy." The Guardian, September 26, 2003.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/sep/26/politics.antiwar
90 Matthew Tempest, "Labour Mps revolt over Iraq." The Guardian, February 26, 2003.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/feb/26/foreignpolicy.uk2
91 Matthew Tempest, "Full transcript: Noam Chomsky on the anti-war movement." The Guardian, February 4, 2003.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/feb/04/interviews.iraq
92 Ibid.
93 Jonathan Freedland, "Peaceniks lost the war but changed the shape of the battle." The Guardian, March 22, 2003.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/mar/22/iraq.antiwar
94 Ibid.
95 Quoted in Carmel Brown, "Weapon of mass democracy."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/sep/26/politics.antiwar
96 Robert B. Stinnett, Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor. London: The Free Press, 2000.
97 Robert B. McFarland, "A Psychohistorical Comparison of the Pearl Harbor and September 11 Attacks." Journal of Psychohistory 31(1):75.
98 The Pentagon has many dozens of videos of the 9/11 Pentagon hit, yet has refused to release all but a few of these videos which are decidedly unconvincing as to what it was that hit the building.