Tag Archives: Osama bin Laden

Financial Illiteracy of Those Who Mock Conspiracy Theorists

 Saturday, January 28, 2012 – by Anthony Wile

Anthony Wile


From Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS), a journal from the independent publisher Sage Publications, comes an article that has predictably seen wide distribution on the Internet. It implies that those who believe in globalist conspiracy theories are illogical – even downright nutty.

The article is entitled  “Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories” and the thesis of the article is that people who believe in conspiracy theories eventually become so immersed in them and so mesmerized that they do not realize they are holding contradictory beliefs.

“Conspiracy theories can form a monological belief system: A self-sustaining worldview comprised of a network of mutually supportive beliefs. The present research shows that even mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively correlated in endorsement.”(SPPS Abstract)

“Conspiratorialists” become so distrustful of “government” and “authority” that they will impute any and every kind of malevolence to them.

Thus it is that people can claim, on the one hand, that Osama bin Laden is “dead” and died years ago, while simultaneously claiming that bin Laden remains alive and that US and Pakistan government authorities are not being truthful about him and his physical state.

Of course, I’ve never run into anyone, who claims that bin Laden is ALIVE. But it’s true that here at the Daily Bell we’ve run articles explaining that bin Laden probably died years ago. See, for instance, “Osama bin Laden is Dead Again?

The SPPS article would likely have you believe this is an outrageous conspiracy theory. But given that FOX news ran a report on bin Laden’s death in 2001, and given that Pakistan’s former president Benazir Bhutto herself claimed that bin Laden died in the early 2000s (supposedly as the result of an assassination), it doesn’t seem so far-fetched to speculate that bin Laden didn’t die as the result of a US raid in 2011.

But that’s almost minor stuff. Articles like this, despite their scientific patina, are deeply illiterate. Why so? Because invariably such articles won’t deal with the bedrock financial illiteracy of current economic and political paradigms.

Imagine if the world were based on lies. Well, unfortunately, that’s the truth. The lies go far beyond “who shot JFK” or whether the US government was directly or indirectly involved in 9/11.

When one uses the logical framework of Austrian, free-market analysis to analyze the Way the World Works in the modern age, one inevitably comes to the conclusion that modern society is built around fundamental untruths.

The first one is economic: It is the idea that central bankers can efficiently and effectively set the price of money. They cannot.

Every time central bankers decide on how much money to print or where short interest rates should be, the decisions are “fixing” prices – and price-fixing never works. Price-fixing distorts economies and causes a wealth shift from those who create it to those who don’t and may not know what to do with it. Over time, aggressively mis-priced money causes first recessions and then depressions.

The second lie is that laws and regulations are necessary and that they can save society from “anarchy.” In fact, anarchy is only the absence of government. That’s the real definition. And absence of government does not necessarily imply “chaos.” Just as setting interest rates fixes the price of money, so every law and regulation is a price fix as well, preventing someone from doing something within the context of the marketplace. This also constitutes a wealth transfer.

One can have a perfectly adequate and satisfying society without formal government, certainly without the kinds of intrusive and murderous governments we’ve got today. History is full of examples of societies that flourished with at least minimal government, especially societies where power truly flowed from the bottom up.

The third lie is that government is essential for purposes of defense and defending its citizens. But a quick survey of modern wars shows a disturbing tendency of governments – especially certain Western governments – to foment the very wars that citizens believe they’re being protected from.

War is the “health of the state” – the way that those in power consolidate their hold while punishing their enemies using phony pretexts having to do with “treason” and “leaking classified information.” Sound familiar?

It is what we call the Internet Reformation that has gradually shed light on the fundamental untruths permeating modern society in both the developed and developing world.

The Internet, like the Gutenberg Press before it, is a revolutionary device that has allowed people access to information that was hitherto denied or covered up, especially in the 20th century when the power elite‘s control over society was perhaps at its apex.

A conspiracy likely DOES exist. The Internet easily reveals not just facts that illuminate it, but also PATTERNS that show the same command-and-control strategies implemented throughout history, over and over.

It is easy, unfortunately, to mock those who believe in so-called “conspiracy theories” because the truth of what has occurred in this weary world is so extreme and shocking that most people simply cannot believe it. What truly horrifies us becomes a target for mockery. It’s a defense mechanism.

Here’s the seeming hard truth: A tiny group of Anglosphere banking families controlling most if not all of the world’s major central banks have used the trillions to which they have access in order to foment what can be called a “New World Order.”

This tiny group of intergenerational plotters and their enablers and associates have apparently built a seamless matrix of control around the entire globe to implement their schemes. They are building world government and are putting in place its building blocks.

What is it about the UNIMFWorld BankInternational Criminal CourtWorld Health Organization and hundreds of others lesser known globalist facilities that people who deny or decry modern “conspiracy theory” don’t understand?  

An entire gamut of globalist entities has been superimposed on the world in the past 75 years. Most recently − only this past week, in fact − the US military held a formal exercise over the skies of Los Angeles using the same black helicopters that conspiracy theorists were mocked for mentioning not a decade ago.

But the biggest issue by far – bigger than even the establishment of the facilities of the New World Order – is the fundamental illiteracy of those who choose to support modern society as it is today and as it has evolved over the past 100 years.

While human societies have always been based on fairly bizarre rituals, it is safe to say that the current crop of behind-the-scenes leaders have raised statist insanity to a new level.

Every part of modern society, from its basic economic building blocks to its liturgical belief in dysfunctional “laws and regulations” to its deep-seated reverence for the manipulated destruction of war, is questionable on a factual basis.

The reality of modern society is increasingly pathological – and the ones with the pathology are those who lead the rest of us along using paradigms that are evidently and obviously dishonest and dysfunctional.

Articles that mock the looniness of “conspiratorialists” need to deal with the fundamental economic and sociopolitical dishonesty of their own assumptions. They should begin by admitting the evident and obvious logical fallacies of the “modern” society they celebrate.

I’m not holding my breath.

Anthony Wile:   View Bio 

Internet Reformation :   View Glossary Description 

Gutenberg Press :   View Glossary Description 

These Things Should Bother You!

Warning the video below contains Offensive language. Offensive images and, perhaps, offensive Ideas. Do Not Watch if you Do not want to be offended.

However, if you want to be challenged and want to learn to think for yourself go ahead and watch but beware-You may not be the same afterwards.  Pleas don’t give me a bunch of drivel about conspiracy theories and crazy people who believe this stuff since I is one of them and I think you are crazy if you don’t believe your government is out to get you. I am not going to argue the point since it does no good to argue with those who are mentally deluded (you).

Have a Good Day :()

Thanks to Joe Rogan: War Machine 

What Can We Do About Terrorism?

by Harry Browne

The late Harry Browne wrote three articles on terrorism, here collected into one, immediately after 911. At a time when other libertarians stayed silent or championed the regime, he – as usual – spoke truth to power.

The Ground Rules for Fighting Terrorism

This 3-part series will propose the actions I believe our government should take to fight terrorism.

Before looking at those proposals, however, we need to establish some ground rules.

Perfection Isn’t an Option

Rule #1: No solution is going to be perfect.

Our government has created ill will in many parts of the world. It has bullied smaller countries, imposed new governments upon people who didn’t want them, and demanded that other governments do what our government wants. It’s unrealistic to think that there’s anything that can be done now to quickly undo all the ill will.

I have been criticized for dwelling on what our government has done that led to the terrorist attacks. But if we don’t understand what provoked this, we can’t evaluate any response to it – and we can expect that the faulty policies will continue and provoke more such attacks against Americans.

Foreign Policy Is the Issue

Rule #2: It is American foreign policy that has provoked the attacks, not anything inherent in Muslim fundamentalism.

There are hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world who don’t believe in killing non-Muslims. In fact, Muslims have been killed in Arab terrorist attacks, just as non-Muslims have.

In an interview conducted by John Miller for Esquire in February 1999, Osama bin Laden said: “This is my message to the American people: to look for a serious government that looks out for their interests and does not attack others, their lands, or their honor. And my word to American journalists is not to ask why we did that but ask what their government has done that forced us to defend ourselves.”

The fact that bin Laden uses bad means to achieve his ends doesn’t excuse our own government’s mistakes; nor does it justify our government doing the same things he does.

Bombing Doesn’t Work

Rule #3: Bombing foreign countries doesn’t end terrorism, it provokes it.

Our government has bombed Libya, Iraq, the Sudan, and Afghanistan, among other countries, supposedly to teach terrorists a lesson. But the bombings haven’t caused terrorists or foreign governments to change their policies.

This Is a Crime, Not War

Rule #4: The terrorist attacks are a criminal matter, not a war.

War is by definition an armed conflict between governments. No government has claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks, and no government has been so accused.

Calling the present situation a war is an excuse to impose wartime policies against Americans and foreigners – including violations of the Bill of Rights and killing foreign civilians.

Because the September attacks were a crime, the government’s job is to locate and bring to trial any perpetrators who didn’t die in the attacks. If some of them are located in foreign countries, our government should request extradition – not threaten to bomb the foreign country if we don’t get our way.

If not all the criminals are found and brought to trial, it doesn’t mean that bombing innocent people would have brought the criminals to justice.

Reverse Positions

Rule #5: If you think you or America is entitled to something, reverse the positions and see how you’d react.

If Afghanistan doesn’t turn bin Laden over to our government, ask yourself whether you’d want your government to turn you over to the Iranian government if it accused you of a crime.

If you don’t think that American troops in almost a hundred foreign countries are a source of resentment, ask yourself how you’d feel if Chinese troops were stationed in your city.

If you believe America has a right to bomb foreign countries for the actions of a few, ask yourself whether you’d want foreign governments to bomb your city because of something Bill Clinton did. (Haven’t we already established that the terrorists were wrong to kill innocent civilians because of their hatred for American foreign policy?)

Government Is Incompetent

Rule #6: Government does not do anything well – even those functions delegated to it by the Constitution.

The government has the constitutional authority to operate a Post Office. But if it’s urgent that a package get to the other side of America by tomorrow morning, will you trust the constitutional Post Office or will you use Federal Express?

Don’t assume that just because the government has the legal authority to do something that it will actually succeed. So be careful what you ask for.

What Is the Object?

Rule #7: There’s no way to eliminate all terrorism in the world.

Terrorists have existed since Biblical times. There will always be such criminals – people who will kill innocent bystanders to make a social or political statement, or to bring pressure on a government to change its policies.

Saying that terrorism will be eradicated is not only unrealistic, it is asinine. It indicates that the speaker shouldn’t be trusted in anything else he says.

What is realistic is the goal of reducing considerably the threat of terrorism against the U.S.

In my next two articles, I’ll present proposals for achieving this.

Do We Choose Death or Peace?

“All that’s necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do the wrong thing.”

~ Lawrence Block, The Evil Men Do

Americans have been sold a fantasy by their government and by the “experts” on television.

The fantasy is that our government will flex its muscles overseas, make demands, kill a lot of people, demonstrate that we don’t tolerate terrorism, “bring the terrorists to justice,” and end terrorism forever.

But for decades, our government has been flexing its muscles overseas, making demands, killing people, and teaching terrorists a lesson. And what did it achieve?

It brought about the deaths of 3,000 Americans on September 11.

Those policies by our government have brought us to where there now are only two choices for the future. And you may not like either one of them.

The Choice for War

Choice #1 is to bomb Afghanistan “back to the stone age,” and maybe Iraq, and maybe any other country our government accuses of harboring terrorists. (Except the U.S., of course, where many of the terrorists lived safely for several years.)

This choice won’t eliminate all the terrorists. It probably won’t eliminate any of them. But it will make the politicians feel good. And it will satisfy the understandable lust for vengeance that so many Americans feel right now.

But not only will foreigners die by the thousands, it will feed the desire for vengeance on the part of the terrorists – and inspire other people to help them. The result? . . .

  • We will be attacked on planes, in subways, buildings, schools, sports arenas – in any place innocent Americans can be cornered like lab rats.
  • Our economy will sink further and further downward as people become more and more afraid to lead normal lives.
  • We will see Americans die from bombs, from biological warfare, from assassinations, and from causes we can’t even imagine now.

Our government will react by escalating the violence still further. And that will cause the terrorists to escalate their violence. And with every escalation, more of our friends and relatives will die – and more people around the world will come to hate America.

Choice #1 doesn’t lead to anything very pretty. It will be disastrous for America. But that’s where our politicians are taking us right now.

The Choice for Peace

Choice #2 is for our President to be a man and acknowledge to the world that our government has made some horrible mistakes in the past – but that our policy is changing.

He must tell the world that our government will no longer impose its will on places like Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia. He must say that we’re returning to the peaceful foreign policy that America followed for its first century – until President McKinley took the country into the Spanish-American War and down the road to empire.

Americans are loved all over the world for what they’ve done – producing low-cost food and medicines, great entertainment, and the kind of voluntary charity that only free and prosperous people can bestow.

At the same time, foreigners hate our government because it uses “foreign aid” and military muscle to impose its way upon the rest of the world.

Our politicians say that most of the world supports the American military campaign. But what they mean is that our government is bribing foreign governments to support the military campaign. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll revealed that individual human beings in 35 major countries oppose American military retaliation by better than 3 to 1.

If American leaders would call a halt to the violence, condemn the terrorist attack, and condemn the killing of innocent foreigners by previous U.S. administrations, there’s a very good chance the cycle of death and destruction could end immediately.

We’re at a Crossroads

Can I guarantee that Choice #2 will lead to peace? Of course not, but it is very likely to do so. And what terrorism remains will be relatively minor compared to the awful future we face now.

And I can assure you that Choice #1 will lead to the deaths of many more Americans – most likely, tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of Americans, in ugly and tragic ways.

It’s very possible the terrorists who weren’t killed in the September 11 attacks will never be caught – whether we pick Choice #1 or Choice #2. So let’s focus instead on ensuring that such a thing never happens again.

But first we must recognize that the fantasy our government is peddling now – of bringing peace by killing foreigners – is just that: a fantasy.

We have only two choices – death or peace. It’s unfortunate that it will take far more courage to choose peace.

Preventing Future Terrorism

Government’s role shouldn’t be to police the world – or even to win wars. Government’s role should be to keep us out of wars – to protect us from foreign enemies, not create them.

In fact the main reason most people tolerate high taxes and invasions of our liberty is because they hope the government will protect them from domestic criminals and foreign problems. And yet, despite a $2 trillion budget, our government protects us from neither.

A libertarian foreign policy would rest on a simple principle:

We’re always ready to defend ourselves, but we threaten no one.

Such a foreign policy should have four elements.

1. Non-Interference

Our government should never interfere in other countries’ disputes, never arm nor aid foreign governments, and never give terrorists a reason to pressure our government.

When the politicians drag us off to someone else’s war, they offer plenty of reasons. The reasons usually include: stopping the conflict from spreading, heading off the emergence of a new Hitler, protecting our allies, doing the moral thing, and ending violations of human rights.

But rarely do they come even close to achieving any of the goals.

Any American who wants to volunteer to fight for a foreign government or revolutionary movement, to negotiate its peace, or to send money to help it should be free to do so. (It is currently illegal for you to help a foreign government or revolutionary movement.) But our government should stay out of such battles.

2. No Foreign Aid or Military Assistance

The Constitution grants our government no authority to use your money for the support of foreign governments.

Not only is it unconstitutional, it is unfair by almost any standard. As Fred Smith pointed out, foreign aid taxes poor people in rich countries for the benefit of rich people in poor countries.

Foreign aid originally was justified as a way of arming countries against Communist aggression. But Cuba, China, and Vietnam all became Communist after receiving American money and weapons.

And so much money and military hardware have been given to Israel’s enemies that it allows the politicians to say we have to give massive aid to Israel to keep it from being destroyed.

Every American should be free to send money or weapons to any government in the world. But you shouldn’t be taxed for the benefit of any foreign government.

3. Security against Attack

How could the bad people of the world conquer America?

They’d have to pulverize American cities to the point that we submit to being occupied – or they’d have to threaten to do that.

In 1983 Ronald Reagan made the most sensible military suggestion of the past 50 years – that America should protect itself against missile attacks. Unfortunately, he gave the job to the Department of Defense – which is really the Post Office in fatigues. And so 18 years later we’re no closer to being protected than we were in 1983.

We should rely as little as possible on politics and bureaucracy to achieve anything. The government should simply post a reward – say, $25 billion – to go to the first private company that produces a functioning, fool-proof missile defense. With such an offer, we’d probably have a missile defense within five years.

Will that make us perfectly secure? Of course not. Nothing will.

But it will make us far safer than we are today and eliminate a principal excuse for meddling in other countries’ affairs.

4. Target the Aggressors, Not the Innocent

Even with a missile defense, suppose America truly were threatened by a foreign ruler.

A Libertarian President would target the aggressor himself. He wouldn’t order bombers to kill the aggressor’s innocent subjects.

He would warn the ruler that an actual attack would trigger the posting of a reward of, say, $100 million for the person who kills the ruler. Everyone would be eligible to collect the reward – including the ruler’s guards and wives.

This response would spare both innocent foreigners and innocent Americans. Only those who try for the reward would be at risk. Americans wouldn’t be drafted to fight and die invading a foreign country – nor taxed to pay for volunteers.

This isn’t a way to force dictators to change their spots or submit to U.S. dictation. It’s only a way to discourage a direct attack on America. If the dictator withdrew his threat, the U.S. would withdraw the reward.

With a libertarian foreign policy, it’s unlikely any foreign ruler would threaten us. So such a reward probably would never be posted. But if a foreign ruler were tempted to threaten us, the fear of assassination would be more of a deterrence than the threat to bomb his civilian subjects.

If you don’t believe assassination is a nice way to handle this, what’s the alternative? Would you rather kill thousands of innocent foreigners and innocent Americans?

Peace for All Time

When America can defend itself against missile attack, the politicians will lose their best excuse for butting into the affairs of other countries and making demands upon you.

And when our government no longer interferes in other countries with military adventures and foreign aid, foreign terrorists will have little reason to threaten your city.

If some foreign leader still tried to make trouble for America, we should target the leader for assassination, not target innocent civilians for bombing. But an American government that minded its own business and had a secure defense isn’t likely to need to resort to assassination.

The policies I’ve outlined are the only ones that will produce a strong national defense, instead of a strong national offense, and leave terrorists with no reason to attack us.

Once they’re in place, we must find a way to keep politicians away from loaded weapons forever.

Here’s a start – a proposed constitutional amendment:

Section 1. The United States shall be at war only after a declaration of war, naming the specific enemy nations, is approved by the President and by a two-thirds vote of the eligible members in both houses of Congress.

Section 2. The only members of the House of Representatives and the Senate eligible to vote on a declaration of war are those who are between the ages of 18 and 35, or who have children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren between those ages.

Section 3. In the absence of a Congressional declaration of war, the President may deploy the military to repel an invasion of United States territory, but may not deploy troops or engage in hostilities outside the United States.

Section 4. The United States shall enter into no treaty with any nation or organization if such treaty could oblige the United States to be at war without a declaration of war by Congress, and the United States shall not be bound to engage in war by any action taken by any organization of which they are a member.

Section 5. Except in time of war, as specified in Sections 1 and 2, the United States will provide no weapons or other resources to foreign governments, will engage in no military action outside the borders of the United States, and shall deploy no military personnel or weapons outside the boundaries of the United States except that at any one time up to one thousand members of the military may be outside the United States for no longer than thirty days.

Section 6. Upon any violation of this article by the President, Congress shall institute impeachment proceedings within 14 days.

Sections 3 and 5 don’t preclude a missile defense or any other kind of defense of this nation. It requires only that the President wait before attacking a foreign nation until a declaration of war has been issued. Even if some incapacity prevents Congress from making a declaration quickly, America could still defend itself. It just couldn’t attack anyone else.

War is too dangerous an enterprise to leave in the hands of people who routinely lie in their own self-interest.

I welcome any suggestions for making the Amendment more precise.

The late Harry Browne, the author of Why Government Doesn’t Work and many other books, was the Libertarian presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000. See his website.

Copyright © 2001 Harry Browne

Harry Browne Archives

Original Article Here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/browne/browne63.html


It Is Official: The US Is a Police State

by Paul Craig Roberts

Recently by Paul Craig Roberts: The True Cost of the War

On September 24, Jason Ditz reported on Antiwar.com that “the FBI is confirming that this morning they began a number of raids against the homes of antiwar activists in Illinois, Minneapolis, Michigan, and North Carolina, claiming that they are ‘seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism.’”

Now we know what Homeland Security (sic) secretary Janet Napolitano meant when she said on September 10: “The old view that ‘if we fight the terrorists abroad, we won’t have to fight them here’ is just that – the old view.” The new view, Napolitano said, is “to counter violent extremism right here at home.”

“Violent extremism” is one of those undefined police state terms that will mean whatever the government wants it to mean. In this morning’s FBI’s foray into the homes of American citizens of conscience, it means antiwar activists, whose activities are equated with “the material support of terrorism,” just as conservatives equated Vietnam era anti-war protesters with giving material support to communism.

Anti-war activist Mick Kelly whose home was raided, sees the FBI raids as harassment to intimidate those who organize war protests. I wonder if Kelly is underestimating the threat. The FBI’s own words clearly indicate that the federal police agency and the judges who signed the warrants do not regard antiwar protesters as Americans exercising their Constitutional rights, but as unpatriotic elements offering material support to terrorism.

“Material support” is another of those undefined police state terms. In this context the term means that Americans who fail to believe their government’s lies and instead protest its policies, are supporting their government’s declared enemies and, thus, are not exercising their civil liberties but committing treason.

As this initial FBI foray is a softening up move to get the public accustomed to the idea that the real terrorists are their fellow citizens here at home, Kelly will get off this time. But next time the FBI will find emails on his computer from a “terrorist group” set up by the CIA that will incriminate him. Under the practices put in place by the Bush and Obama regimes, and approved by corrupt federal judges, protesters who have been compromised by fake terrorist groups can be declared “enemy combatants” and sent off to Egypt, Poland, or some other corrupt American puppet state – Canada perhaps – to be tortured until confession is forthcoming that antiwar protesters and, indeed, every critic of the US government, are on Osama bin Laden’s payroll.

Almost every Republican and conservative and, indeed, the majority of Americans will fall for this, only to find, later, that it is subversive to complain that their Social Security was cut in the interest of the war against Iran or some other demonized entity, or that they couldn’t have a Medicare operation because the wars in Central Asia and South America required the money.

Americans are the most gullible people who ever existed. They tend to support the government instead of the Constitution, and almost every Republican and conservative regards civil liberty as a coddling device that encourages criminals and terrorists.

The US media, highly concentrated in violation of the American principle of a diverse and independent media, will lend its support to the witch hunts that will close down all protests and independent thought in the US over the next few years. As the Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels said, “think of the press as a great keyboard on which the Government can play.”

An American Police State was inevitable once Americans let “their” government get away with 9/11. Americans are too gullible, too uneducated, and too jingoistic to remain a free people. As another Nazi leader Herman Goering said, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. Tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace-makers for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger.”

This is precisely what the Bush and Obama regimes have done. America, as people of my generation knew it, no longer exists.

September 25, 2010

Paul Craig Roberts [send him mail], a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random House.

Copyright © 2010 Paul Craig Roberts

The Best of Paul Craig Roberts

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9/11 Cover-Up Remains While Questions Mount

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

Image via Wikipedia

by Eric Margolis

Recently by Eric Margolis: Mideast Peace Talk Kabuki

“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in Palestine, which inevitably invites terrorist attacks against US citizens and property.”

Ever since 9/11, readers keep asking me my views on these attacks. I have been barraged with emails until my head spins with engineering studies about melting steel, controlled explosions, claims about nefarious plots, and wreckage analysis.

One of the most colorful theories comes from Gen. Hamid Gul, former director of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI. He insists that 9/11 was staged by Israel’s Mossad and a cabal of rightwing US Air Force generals.

I inspected the ruins of the New York’s Twin Towers, atop which I often dined, right after the attack. Downtown Manhattan was enveloped by a hideous, stinking miasma from the attack. I have never smelled anything so awful. It took me days to scrub the foul odor off my body. As a native New Yorker, I was shaken to the core by 9/11 – but hardly surprised, as I had predicted a major attack on the US nine days earlier.

While visiting the Pentagon to consult on the Mideast, I also inspected its outside wall hit by the third hijacked aircraft.

I saw photos of the impact site and could not understand what had happened to all the aircraft wreckage. There was almost none.

In 1993, I was hijacked over Germany on a Lufthansa flight bound for Cairo. The Ethiopian hijacker took us all the way back to New York City. The hijacker was threatening to crash our A310 jumbo jet into Wall Street.

Our flight was shadowed by US F-15 fighters that had orders to shoot, if necessary. Where, then, was US air defense on 11 Sept. 2001?

A day after 9/11, I was asked on CNN if Osama bin Laden was behind the attack. “We have yet to see the evidence,” I replied. I maintain this position today.

Bin Laden denied he or al-Qaida was behind 9/11 and the death’s of nearly 3,000 people. The plot was hatched in Hamburg, Germany and Madrid, Spain, not in Afghanistan. A Pakistani, Khaled Sheik Mohammed, claimed he was the mastermind – after being tortured by near-drowning 183 times by the CIA.

While denying involvement, Osama bin Laden did say he believed the attack on New York was in part motivated by Israel’s destruction of downtown Beirut during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon that inflicted some 18,000 civilian deaths.

Tapes that appeared to confirm bin Laden’s guilt were clumsy fakes. They were supposedly “found” in Afghanistan by the anti-Taliban Afghan Northern Alliance, which was created and funded by Russian intelligence.

I had met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and told CNN viewers that he was not the man in the tapes.

After 9/11, Secretary of State Colin Powell promised Americans the State Department would issue a White Paper detailing bin Laden’s guilt. Afghanistan’s Taliban government asked for this document before it would extradite bin Laden, as the US was demanding. The White Paper was never produced, and the US ignored proper legal procedure and invaded Afghanistan. We still wait for evidence.

I remain uncertain that Osama bin Laden was really behind the attacks. Much circumstantial evidence points to him and al-Qaida, but conclusive proof still lacks. One thing is certain: the attacks were planned and mounted from Germany, not Afghanistan. Of the 19 hijackers, 15 were Saudis, two from the United Arab Emirates, one an Egyptian and a Lebanese.

By the way, I’ve said ever since 9/11 that the danger and size of al-Qaida has been vastly exaggerated – as an explosive report this week by the London’s esteemed International Institute for Strategic Studies has just confirmed. Al-Qaida, dedicated to fighting the Afghan Communists, never had more than 300 members at its peak.

Today, according to CIA chief Leon Panetta, there are no more than 50 al-Qaida men in Afghanistan. Yet President Barack Obama has tripled the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 120,000 because of what to calls the al-Qaida threat. What is going on?

Many people abroad believe al-Qaida is an American invention used to justify foreign military operations. I do not share this view. Osama bin Laden was never a US agent, though his group indirectly received funds from CIA to fight the Communists.

Back to 9/11. I still cannot understand how amateur pilots could manage to maneuver in low to hit the World Trade Center and Pentagon. As a Pakistani intelligence agent told me, “if they were really amateur Arab pilots, they would have crashed into one another, not the World Trade Center!”

The arrest of Israeli “movers” filming the attack and dancing with joy, and the subsequent arrest of groups of Israeli “students” supposedly tracking the would-be hijackers remains a deep mystery. So does the immobilization of US air defenses.

The US 9/11 Commission was a whitewash, as are all such government commissions. They are designed to obscure, not reveal, the truth.

A 2006, a Scripps Howard/Washington Post poll found that 36% of the 1,000 Americans sampled believed the US government was behind 9/11. Many Americans still do not believe the official version of 9/11.

Neither do many Europeans. The entire Muslim world believes 9/11 was the work of Israel and far right American neocons, led by Dick Cheney.

If the official story about 9/11 is true, the attacks caught the Bush administration asleep on guard duty. Bush’s incompetent national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, brushed off serious warnings of the impending attack and actually cut spending on anti-terrorism just before 9/11.

The White House and media were quick to blame Muslims who hated America’s lifestyle and values, launching the concept of “Islamic terrorism” – i.e. that the Muslim faith, not political issues, prompted the attacks.

This dangerous canard has infected America, leading to a rising tide of Islamophobia. This week’s continued uproar over a Muslim community center in downtown New York, and a Florida preacher’s threat to burn Korans, are the latest doleful example of cultivated religious hatred.

The suicide team that attacked New York and Washington made clear its aim was: a. to punish the US for backing Israel’s repression of Palestinians; and b. what they called US “occupation” of Saudi Arabia. Though they were all Muslims, religion was not the motivating factor.

As the CIA’s former bin Laden expert Michael Scheuer rightly observed, the Muslim world was furious at the US for what it was doing in their region, not because of America’s values, liberties or religion.

These motives for the 9/11 attack have been largely obscured by the whipping up hysteria over “Islamic terrorism.” The planting of anthrax in New York, Florida and Washington soon after 9/11 was clearly designed to promote further anti-Muslim furor. The perpetrators of this red herring remain unknown. But the anthrax attack hastened passage of the semi-totalitarian Patriot Act that sharply limited the personal freedoms of Americans and imposed draconian new laws.

Faked bin Laden videos and audio tapes. Planted anthrax. An intact Koran implausibly found at ground zero. Evidence in a hijacker’s bag that had somehow failed to make his ill-fated flight. Immediate claims that al-Qaida was behind the attacks. Those amateur kamikaze pilots and collapsing towers.

Perhaps most damning, tapes taken in London of meetings between President George Bush and PM Tony Blair revealed a sinister proposal by the US president to provoke war with Iraq by painting US aircraft in UN colors, then buzzing Iraqi air defenses until they fired on them, thus providing a “casus belli.” Bush also reportedly told Blair that after Iraq, he would “go on” to attack Saudi Arabia, Syria and Pakistan.

In 1939, Nazi Germany dressed up soldiers in Polish uniforms to provoke a border fire-fight to justify Berlin’s ensuing invasion of Poland. Bush’s plan was of the same ilk. A president who would contemplate such a criminal operation might go a lot further to achieve his imperial dreams.

As a veteran journalist, to me, all this smells to high heaven. There are just too many unanswered questions, too many suspicions, and that old Roman legal question, “cui bono” – “to whose benefit?”

On 28 February, 1933, fire, set by a Dutch Jew, ravaged the Germany’s parliament, the Reichstag. While the Reichstag’s ruins were still smoking, Adolf Hitler’s government declared a war against “terrorism.” A “Decree for the Protection of People and State” was promulgated suspending all legal protections of speech, assembly, property, and personal liberties. The Reichstag fire allowed the government to round up “terrorism” suspects without due process of law and made police powers near absolute.

Sound familiar? Here’s another startling coincidence. Two years before 9/11, a series of mysterious apartment building bombings in Russia killed over 200 people. “Islamic terrorists” from Chechnya were blamed.

Panic swept Russia and boosted former KGB agent Vladimir Putin into full power. Russian security agents of FSB were caught red-handed planting explosives in another building, but the story was hushed up. A former FSB agent, Alexander Litvinenko, who tried to reveal this story, was murdered in London by radioactive polonium.

Similarly, the Bush administration’s neocons shamelessly used 9/11 to promote the invasion of Iraq. Just before the attack, polls showed 80% of Americans erroneously believed Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. Dr. Goebbels would have been proud.

So what, in the end, can we conclude? 1. We still do not know the real story about 9/11. 2. The official version is not credible. 3. 9/11 was used to justify invading strategic Afghanistan and oil-rich Iraq. 4. The attacks plunged America into wars against the Muslim world and enriched the US arms industry. 5. 9/11 boosted pro-Israel neoconservatives, formerly a fringe group, into power, and with them America’s totalitarian far right. 6. Bush’s unprovoked war against Iraq destroyed one of Israel’s two main enemies. 7. 9/11 put America in what may turn out to be a permanent state of war with the Muslim world – a key goal of the neoconservatives .

But I’ve seen no hard evidence to date that 9/11 was a plot by America’s far right or by Israel or a giant cover-up. Just, perhaps, the Mother of All Coincidences. In the end, it may just have been 19 angry Arabs and a bumbling Bush administration looking for someone else to blame.

September 11, 2010

Eric Margolis [send him mail] is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website.

Copyright © 2010 Eric Margolis

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