A Review of “The New Pearl Harbor”
By Marc Estrin
The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11
David Ray Griffin
Olive Branch Press, 2004
Paper, 214 pp, $15.00
The official story goes something like this:
With no actionable warning from intelligence agencies, four planes were hijacked by terrorists on the morning of September 11, 2001. Two crashed into the Word Trade Center, which then collapsed, and shortly thereafter, the third into the Pentagon. The last plane went down in Pennsylvania after a struggle between passengers and hijackers. Air defense arrived too late to stop the catastrophes. Responding to this attack on the homeland, the president declared a global war on terror which may last for generations until evil is finally eradicated, the security of America firmly established, and the world made safe for freedom and democracy.
In The New Pearl Harbor, David Ray Griffin compiles the evidence that every single assertion in the official story is implausible or impossible, and that something other must explain the inconsistencies and contra-factual assertions.
The implications of the accumulated evidence is that the Bush administration was complicit in the events of September 11th, and not merely a victim of structural problems or incompetence on the part of the intelligence establishment. In a nuanced discussion of “complicity”, Griffin distinguishes eight possible levels, from the lying about events to maximize political ends, through intentionally allowing expected attacks, to actual involvement in the planning of them.
Griffin does not make specific accusations, nor does he hypothesize a “true” version of what happened. But he does demand unflinching investigations of all the contradictions, clear reporting of the results, and most difficult, a courageous drawing of conclusions, no matter how “unthinkable” or outrageous they may appear.
Excellent review of Griffin’s tour de force by the intrepid Counterpunch crew, one of the few lefty journals willing to even look at that day.
In the months since the book was published, we have been swamped with news from the 9/11 Commission concerning both domestic and foreign intelligence which indicated a large and imminent attack on the United States. But the Commission, its members appointed by President Bush, is focusing on the future. According to Vice-Chair Lee Hamilton, “We’re not interested in trying to assess blame…” Their goal is to understand what happened so as to restructure intelligence so that such “a breakdown” may not happen again. Given this limited mandate, almost none of the contradictions Griffin raises is likely to be discussed, or its ramifications analyzed before the case is closed.
The first part of The New Pearl Harbor looks in detail at the timeline and events of 9/11 itself. How is it, Griffin asks, that even the first airplane was not intercepted — given standard procedures, operating normally many times a year, for off-course or otherwise anomalous aircraft? The FAA, NORAD, and the NMCC (National Military Command Center at the Pentagon) have a clear and working set of standard operating procedures which on September 11th, and on that day only, failed to operate. Griffin lays them out, along with the strange, and changing official excuses for their “failure”. Continue reading
24 May, 2004
Dear World Legislators, Parliamentarians, and World Citizens,
We have watched with alarm that the sad and tragic events of 9-11 (11 September, 2001) have resulted in two wars and a global rollback in civil liberties. Iraq had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks, yet it has been attacked in the name of them. People in countries worldwide have suffered reduced civil liberties in the name of 9-11, and intelligence surveillance of ordinary citizens has expanded dramatically.
I submit to you that before any more wars are launched or liberties are lost in the name of the “war on terror” launched by the Bush Administration after 9-11, a full international inquiry into the events leading up to and on 9-11 be held, which includes 9-11 victims’ family members from the U.S. and other nations.
The National Green Party of the United States has requested an open independent 9-11 investigation that would involve 9-11 victims’ family members. This is a good start, but it must also be an international inquiry in addition that includes 9-11 family members from nations worldwide who lost loved ones in the 9-11 attacks.
We need this to occur because many, including the 9-11 Family Steering Committee (U.S.), are growing increasingly frustrated with the stunning lack of hard questions for witnesses appearing before the 9-11 Commission. Until these hard questions are asked and fully answered, we should refuse more wars, and renounce reduced liberty worldwide in the name of 9-11 and it’s resultant war… Continue reading
By Michael Kane, March 27, 2004
Case study: How the Commission went easy on Rumsfeld, Myers and Wolfowitz
“I had no idea hijacked airliners would be used as weapons.”
So said Rumsfeld, in his opening remarks to the Kean Commission on March 23, 2004. His final statement on the topic while under oath was, “I plead ignorance.”
Officials at NORAD have said that when the hijackings first occurred, they initially thought it was part of the Vigilant Guardian drills running that morning. Despite some confusion, once Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center at 8:45 AM, everyone should have known this was not a test.
Former White House terrorism adviser Richard Clarke’s testimony, one day later, was interesting, but amounted to little more than a distraction. There were more cameras on Clarke than on anyone else during the two-day national broadcast of the commission hearings. In reality, his testimony was nowhere near as interesting as the joint appearance by Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Myers the day before. I do not question Clarke’s sincerity at this time, just the timing, which he did not choose. His book was released at a time chosen by the White House, and the testimony depended on the book. He had finished it well over 6 months before, but it was held up by the White House security clearance.
As a result, the book came out on the eve of Rumsfeld’s sworn testimony to the 9/11 Commission. Very clever if intentional, because it distracted everyone from two issues completely ignored by the commissioners, and overshadowed by Clarke and his book when they questioned Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:
ISSUE #1 On the morning of September 11, 2001, NORAD was running war games involving the scenario of hijacked airliners, while the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into a government building, at the exact same time as an identical scenario was perpetrated in reality.…Continue reading