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Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and 9/11

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by Matt Everett
The Journal of Psychohistory Volume 32, No. 3
Winter 2005

If what I say is right, the whole US government should end up behind bars.
- Andreas von Bülow, former German government minister and author of “Die CIA und der 11. September”

 

Image of Andreas von Bülow 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.

Show Editor’s Note »

Extensive excerpt from Everett’s absorbing psychohistorical analysis of movers and motives behind the 9/11 tragedy. Everett is a research colleague of Paul “Terror Timeline” Thompson and documents his work with painstaking rigor.

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, to the defence select committee last March 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 told the committee: “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.”7A 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 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

Image of Bush, Cheney and RumsfeldAs 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. And just as we began to worry, he walked into the door of the National Military Command Center.”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 — which has undoubtedly saved lives, and made us safer than before September 11th.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?” 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 [Italics mine] 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? No way.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. The 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.’

ENDNOTES

1 David Hearst, “Nato directionless on nuclear policy.” The Guardian, January 19, 2003.
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.
4 Duncan Campbell, “Bush in new threat to Iran and Syria.” The Guardian, July 22, 2003.
5 Richard Norton-Taylor, “US hawk warns Iran threat must be eliminated.” The Guardian, October 10, 2003.
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://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=855.
8 Antonia Zerbisias, “Poking holes in the official story of 9/11.” Toronto Star, May 26, 2004.
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.
11 From “Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Larry King.” Larry King Live, CNN, December 5, 2001. Transcript at: http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2001/t12062001_t1205sd.html.
12 Ibid.
13 From “Chairman Cox’s Statement on the Terrorist Attack on America.” September 11, 2001. Online at: 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 at: http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/2002/cnn090402.html; “9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings.” ABC News, September 11, 2002. Transcript at: http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/2002/abcnews091102.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/911ReportExec.pdf.
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.
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.
28 Ibid.
29 Ibid.
30 Meet the Press, NBC, May 26, 2002. Transcript online at: http://www.dashpac.com/home/agenda/speeches.cfm?SpeechID=12.
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 Ibid.
44 Ibid.
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.
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.