Conspiracy theorists insist the U.S. government, not terrorists, staged the devastating attacks
by Jonathan Curiel, Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Dylan Avery has a theory that he says casts doubts on Mark Bingham’s actions on Sept. 11, 2001. According to Avery, the San Francisco public relations executive never called his mom on a cell phone from the cabin of Flight 93, and never told her that “some of us here are going to try to do something.” Instead, says Avery, someone using a voice synthesizer — possibly a government official — called Alice Hoglan on the morning that Flight 93 — and Bingham — became part of Sept. 11 lore.
“The cell phone calls were fake — no ifs, ands or buts,” Avery says in “Loose Change,” a film he wrote and directed that’s one of the most-watched movies on the Internet, with 10 million viewers in the past year. “Until the government can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that al Qaeda was behind Sept. 11, the American people have every reason to believe otherwise.”
Avery is one of perhaps millions of Americans who believe the U.S. government — or rogue elements within it — either orchestrated the attacks or tacitly supported them for nefarious reasons.
As the five-year anniversary of the attacks approaches, the clamor of Avery and other conspiracy theorists has gotten stronger — and more widely accepted. According to a poll by Ohio University and Scripps Howard News Service, 36 percent of Americans believe that government officials “either assisted in the 9/ 11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.” Twelve percent of Americans believe a cruise missile fired by the U.S.…Continue reading
By Michael Powell
September 8, 2006
He felt no shiver of doubt in those first terrible hours.
He watched the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and assumed al-Qaeda had wreaked terrible vengeance. He listened to anchors and military experts and assumed the facts of Sept. 11, 2001, were as stated on the screen.
It was a year before David Ray Griffin, an eminent liberal theologian and philosopher, began his stroll down the path of disbelief. He wondered why Bush listened to a child’s story while the nation was attacked and how Osama bin Laden, America’s Public Enemy No. 1, escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora.
He wondered why 110-story towers crashed and military jets failed to intercept even one airliner. He read the 9/11 Commission report with a swell of anger. Contradictions were ignored and no military or civilian official was reprimanded, much less cashiered.
“To me, the report read as a cartoon.” White-haired and courtly, Griffin sits on a couch in a hotel lobby in Manhattan, unspooling words in that reasonable Presbyterian minister’s voice. “It’s a much greater stretch to accept the official conspiracy story than to consider the alternatives.”
“There was massive complicity in this attack by U.S. government operatives.”
If that feels like a skip off the cliff of established reality, more Americans are in free fall than you might guess. There are few more startling measures of American distrust of leaders than the widespread belief that the Bush administration had a hand in the attacks of Sept.…Continue reading
Venezuela’s Chavez Says U.S. May Have Played Part in 9/11 Attacks
By Peter Wilson
September 12, 2006
Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the U.S. government may have been involved in the Sept. 11 attacks to help justify invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The theory that is gaining force is that the U.S. empire planned and conducted this terrible act against its own people to justify its aggression,” Chavez, 52, said during a ceremony broadcast on state-run Venezolana de Television.
Chavez urged American authorities to look into the theory that the World Trade Center twin towers’ collapse was caused by explosions set off after they were struck by hijacked aircraft.
“There was a series of explosions in the towers,” he said. “The theory that the towers were dynamited hasn’t been debunked.”
Chavez, an ally of Cuban President Fidel Castro, says the U.S. has plotted to assassinate or overthrow him. He frequently rails against U.S. President George W. Bush. During his weekly television program on March 19, Chavez called Bush a “coward,” “assassin,” “drunk” and “donkey.”
Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist organization has taken responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks, which killed more than 2,900 people.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jan Edmonson declined to comment today on Chavez’s accusations.
“I don’t think you can print what my response is to that,” Edmonson said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Wilson in Caracas at email@example.com
Fair Use Notice
This page contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.…
By Jerry Mazza, Associate Editor
September 18, 2006
On the morning of
9/11, I couldn’t watch the reading of names on NY1. Not five years in a row. I
clicked off the ritual of bereaved families, somber politicos and media
scripters and went to work on the computer. Before I knew it, it was 1 o’clock.
Something gnawed. I needed to go down to Ground Zero, at least to pay my
respects to the gone. Yet what I found was very alive. Thousands
of 9/11 Truth Movement members shouting,, “9/11 was an inside job,
9/11 was an inside job.” This interspersed with the raspy voice of Alex Jones
booming the facts of the Towers’ demise on a bullhorn. But this was no bull.
This was a whole new ballgame.
There were cordons
of cops in black and blue, white shirt officers, the brass, the suits, the
shooters with burp guns and helmets, tactical cops in caps. There were police
cars, SUVs, double-decker tourist buses crawling down Church Street, beeping
traffic streaming up it, both sides lined with protestors in front of the PATH
train entrance, the entrance to the hole, Ground Zero, visitors gawking, some
raising fists, with or against us.
But above all the
chant went on: “9/11 was an inside job, 9/11 was an inside job.” I slipped
inside the passionate crowd of protestors whose black t-shirts were lettered in
white: “Investigate 9/11.” Suddenly, that warm September sun, that cloudless
sky, that 9/11 day, felt good again.…
“If you can’t march when they are torturing people, when can you march?”
That was the question posed by Samantha Hamlin, Columbia College student speaking for World Can’t Wait on Sept 26, right at Mayor Daley’s door in City Hall, as the Chicago Chapter of World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime brought together an impressive array of voices from across the political spectrum to speak out against the City of Chicago’s denial of our permit application to march on Oct 5th.
The press conference was lead off by Samantha Hamlin of the Chicago Chapter Steering Committee, followed by Judge R. Eugene Pincham; Nick Egnatz from Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Vets for Peace; Donnie Moore, University of Illinois student; Bob Bossie, 8th Day Center for Justice who has made numerous trips to Iraq; Ali Khan, Executive Director of the American Muslim Council; Andy Thayer, gay and anti-war activist; Rev. Greg Dell of Broadway United Methodist Church (id only); high school students from Wells HS; and Dennis Dixon from the Chicagoland Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights.
Against the back drop of the WCW’s burning globe logo, these voices spoke truth. Ali Khan asked, “How could the government say they are fighting for democracy when everyday they are violating human rights, torturing people, denying them due process, they are crossing the line and violating the law.” Nick Egnatz from VVAW and Vets for Peace underscored this point by asking “when will the American people speak up?”… Continue reading
September 29, 2006
Listen to Segment ||
The Senate has agreed to give President Bush extraordinary power to detain and try prisoners in the so-called war on terror. The legislation strips detainees of the right to challenge their own detention and gives the President the power to detain them indefinitely. The bill also immunizes U.S. officials from prosecution for torturing detainees who the military and the CIA captured before the end of last year. We get reaction from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
On Capitol Hill, the Senate has agreed to give President Bush extraordinary power to detain and try prisoners in the so-called war on terror. The editors of the New York Times described the law as tyrannical. They said its passage marks a low point in American democracy and that it is our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts. The legislation strips detainees of the right to file habeas corpus petitions to challenge their own detention or treatment. It gives the president the power to indefinitely detain anyone it deems to have provided material support to anti-U.S. hostilities. Secret and coerced evidence could be used to try detainees held in U.S.…Continue reading
There has been a great deal of discussion about the Military Commissions Act
of 2006 [.pdf], recently passed by both houses of Congress, and most of it has
to do with the provisions allowing torture of alien detainees, that is, of non-citizens
apprehended in, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, and their treatment at the hands of their American captors. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Warner,
all Republicans, grandstanded for weeks over the torture provisions, then capitulated.
Another “Republican maverick,” Arlen Specter, zeroed in on the real
issue, however, when he said the bill would set us back 800 years by repealing
the habeas corpus protections against arbitrary arrest and jailings — and then went ahead and voted for it, anyway.
Liberal opposition mainly centered around the morality
— or, rather, immorality — of torture, but the debate largely ignored the ticking time-bomb at the heart of this legislation, scheduled to go off, perhaps, in tandem with some future crisis, e.g., another terrorist attack on American soil: the redefinition of the “unlawful combatant” concept that lays the foundations for this administration’s reconstruction of the gulag. Here is the new, broadened definition, as enunciated in the legislation recently passed by the House:
“The term ‘unlawful enemy combatant’ means Ã± (i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or associated forces); or (ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense.”
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
October 9, 2006
Dateline — Buenos Aires, Argentina
For some 30 years, the Argentine women known as the Madres (Mothers) de La
Plaza de Mayo have marched every Thursday in front of the Presidential Palace
of Argentina. They gather in memory of their children and grandchildren, who
were among the estimated 30,000 people who disappeared during “Operation
Condor.” Another 50,000 people were murdered.
(image: One of the Madres (Mothers) de la Plaza de Mayo displaying a photo of her son who was one of an estimated 30,000 “disappeared” during “Operation
photo taken on October 5, 2006)
Condor” reached its peak in the 1970s. With assistance from
the United States, and the support and knowledge of Henry Kissinger, five of
the southern cone South American nations conducted a campaign of unspeakable
torture and killing against their own citizens.
When you look at the photos carried by many of the Madres de La Plaza de Mayo,
you see middle class men in suits and ties and nicely dressed women. You see
young children with smiling faces.
What happened during Operation Condor is so horrific — all done in the name of the safety and security of “the nation” — that it is barely speakable. The torture included one of the Bush Administration’s favorite techniques — waterboarding — and many other methods. Families were forced to watch or listen to their love ones being mutilated. Friends were required to conduct torture on those that they knew.…Continue reading
Sam Gardiner and David Kay to Testify
Oct 10, 2006
Congressman Kucinich will lead a briefing Wednesday on Iran. Kucinich wants to find out what the Bush Administration plans for Iran, and what actions are already underway.
Testifying will be retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner, author of The End of the Summer of Diplomacy. Gardiner is convinced that the US has been executing military operations inside Iran for at least 18 months. On September 18, Gardiner told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “The evidence is overwhelming … From both the Iranians, Americans, and from congressional sources.”
Also testifying will be David Kay, former UN nuclear weapons inspector. Kay headed the team searching for WMD in Iraq throughout 2003, but resigned on January 24, saying he did not believe Iraq possessed large stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons.
The hearing will be held October 11 at 10 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Watch for more about this briefing on our forum.
September 26, 2006 6:56 pm ET
Among Hundreds of Books, The Strongest Approach to Truth
October 7, 2006
Reviewer: Robert D. Steele (Oakton, VA United States)
It is with great sadness that I conclude that this book is the strongest of the 770+ books I have reviewed here at Amazon, almost all non-fiction. I am forced to conclude that 9/11 was at a minimum allowed to happen as a pretext for war (see my review of Jim Bamford’s “Pretext for War”), and I am forced to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to indict (not necessarily convict) Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and others of a neo-conservative neo-Nazi coup d’etat and kick-off of the clash of civilizations (see my review of “Crossing the Rubicon” as well as “State of Denial”). Most fascinatingly, the author links Samuel Huntington, author of “Clash of Civilizations” with Leo Strauss, the connecting rod between Nazi fascists and the neo-cons.
This is, without question, the most important modern reference on state-sponsored terrorism, and also the reference that most pointedly suggests that select rogue elements within the US Government, most likely led by Dick Cheney with the assistance of George Tenet, Buzzy Kronguard, and others close to the Wall Street gangs, are the most guilty of state-sponsored terrorism.
The author draws on historical examples of US fabrication of threats (e.g. the bombing of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor) and many others (Jim Bamford publicized Operation Northwoods). It is an undeniable fact that the U.S. Government has been willing to kill… Continue reading
By Carla Binion
October 21, 2006
Consortiumnews Editor’s Note: Many Americans are in denial about what
is happening to the United States. They don’t want to believe that a totalitarian
structure could be put in place in their own country. They don’t want to view
the various pieces of George W. Bush’s “anti-terror” system in that
broad a context. They hope that someone or something — the Supreme Court
maybe — will strike down the excesses of the Republican-controlled Congress
and the Executive Branch.
Though there are still obstacles that stand in Bush’s way — the Nov.
7 elections, for instance — America’s march down a road to a new-age totalitarianism
has advanced farther than many understand, as freelance reporter Carla Binion
argues in this disturbing guest essay:
On October 17, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act
of 2006. This new law gives Bush power similar to that possessed by Stalin or
Hitler, and grants agencies within the Executive Branch powers similar to those
of the KGB or Gestapo.
Bush justifies this act by claiming he needs it to fight the “war on terror,”
but a number of critics, including former counterterrorism officials, have said
the administration has greatly exaggerated the threat and used illogical methods
to combat terrorism. (Examples are listed below.)
Except for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, few television news reporters have bothered
to mention that the Military Commissions Act has changed the U.S. justice system
and our approach to human rights. As Olbermann said of the new law on his October
17 Countdown program, the new act “does away with habeas corpus, the right
of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned.”
Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor,
was Olbermann’s guest.…
Panelists raise doubts over 9/11
Speakers at CU say government deceiving citizens
By John Aguilar
Monday, October 30, 2006
The idea was to turn the concept of a conspiracy theory on its head.
A panel of scientists and scholars, gathered in a classroom Sunday afternoon at the University of Colorado at Boulder, suggested to several hundred vocal supporters that the true conspiratorial types when it comes to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are the federal government and the mainstream media.
“They pounded a script into our heads that we now know is backed by zero evidence,” said Kevin Barrett, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Barrett was one of a trio of speakers who came to CU to lay out their case that the World Trade Center towers didn’t collapse as a result of jet fuel melting and softening of the buildings’ steel structure, but rather from a deliberate demolition effort perpetrated by the United States government to justify its invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and assert its power around the world.
“Three thousand lives were lost at the World Trade Center as a means to global domination,” Barrett said.
He characterized the 9/11 attacks as a “false flag operation” carried out by the United States with the intention of stirring up the passions and buying the allegiance of its people.
“A false flag operation is a contrived event — shocking and spectacular — used to achieve political ends, start wars and justify suppression,” he said.…Continue reading
In November 2004, more than 200 million people were eligible to vote in the presidential election… but almost 40% of them stayed home.
That nearly 80 million people didn’t make it to the polls that day was a special punch in the gut to my friends and me, because we were watching the election results from deep within Iraq’s Sunni Triangle. Some Americans heard political commentary that night- we heard mortar fire.
Our country is at war. A 60% voter turnout isn’t good enough. To find your local polling place, click here.
Just like in 2004, your vote today will affect the lives of every man and woman serving on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan (Ed.: and every civilian living there). Your choices will determine how long we fight in Iraq, what kind of equipment we have on the ground, and what treatment we receive when we get home.
Today, you can make your voice heard. Please vote today, and forward this email to remind your friends and family to make it to the polls.
Veteran, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
November 9, 2006
It only took six years for Americans to comprehend George Bush and the Republican Party and to realize that the Republicans were not leading America in any promising directions.
Exit polls and interviews with voters across the country by CNN political analyst Bill Schneider show that the November 2006 election was a vote against both Bush and the war in Iraq. Schneider reports that voters did not even know the name of the Democrats for whom they voted. Voters said: “I am going to vote Democrat, because I don’t like Bush, I don’t like the war. I want to make a statement.”
I believe that voters recognized that the peril of one-party rule is that political accountability exists no where except at the ballot box. With the Republican built and programmed electronic voting machines, even accountability at the ballot box was disappearing.
Americans realized that they had made a serious mistake giving power to one party, and they rectified it.
With Republican control of the legislative branch ended, Pentagon Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was immediately swept from power. With the troops, generals, and the service newspapers calling for Rumsfeld’s head, only the delusional warmonger, Vice President Richard Cheney, wanted to keep Rumsfeld in power.
It was a battle that Cheney lost. Cheney’s defeat is an indication that reality has elbowed its way back into Republican consciousness, pushing hubris and delusion away from the control they have exercised over political power.
The lust for unbridled power proved to be too strong a temptation for normally cautious Republicans.…Continue reading
November 15, 2006
THE HIGHJACKING OF A NATION
Part 1: The Foreign Agent Factor
By Sibel Edmonds
In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned that America must be constantly awake against “the insidious wiles of foreign influence…since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”
Today, foreign influence, that most baneful foe of our republican government, has its tentacles entrenched in almost all major decision making and policy producing bodies of the U.S. government machine. It does so not secretly, since its self-serving activities are advocated and legitimized by highly positioned parties that reap the benefits that come in the form of financial gain and positions of power.
Foreign governments and foreign-owned private interests have long sought to influence U.S. public policy. Several have accomplished this goal; those who are able and willing to pay what it takes. Those who buy themselves a few strategic middlemen, commonly known as pimps, while in DC circles referred to as foreign registered agents and lobbyists, who facilitate and bring about desired transactions. These successful foreign entities have mastered the art of ‘covering all the bases’ when it comes to buying influence in Washington DC. They have the required recipe down pat: get yourself a few ‘Dime a Dozen Generals,’ bid high in the ‘former statesmen lobby auction’, and put in your pocket one or two ‘ex-congressmen turned lobbyists’ who know the ropes when it comes to pocketing a few dozen who still serve.…Continue reading
By Sibel Edmonds
“The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.”– – Justice Felix Frankfurter
It used to be the three branches – congress, the executive, and the courts – that we considered the make-up of our nation’s federal government. And some would point to the press as a possible fourth branch, due to the virtue of its influence in shaping our policies. Today, more and more people have come to view corporate and foreign lobby firms, with their preponderant clout and enormous power, as the official fourth branch of our nation’s government. Not only do I agree with them, I would even take it a step further and give it a higher status it certainly deserves.
Operating invisibly under the radar of media and public scrutiny, lobby groups and foreign agents have become the ‘epicenter’ of our government, where former statesmen and ‘dime a dozen generals’ cash in on their connections and peddle their enormous influence to the highest bidders turned clients. These groups’ activities shape our nation’s policies and determine the direction of the flow of its taxpayer driven wealth, while to them the interests of the majority are considered irrelevant, and the security of the nation is perceived as inconsequential.
by Michael Keefer
December 4, 2006
The first thing to say by way of preliminaries (and I’d better get it in quickly before someone suggests that I’ve turned up late or over-weight for a pre-match weighing-in) is that I’m not overjoyed with the pugilistic metaphor of my title.
But some sort of response to the volley of attacks on 9/11 researchers and activists with which the Counterpunch website marked the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 seems called for.
Michael Keefer strikes just the right tone in responding to Alexander Cockburn’s attempt to banish “conspiracy nuts” from the kingdom of the left.Keefer accounts for Cockburn’s hostility to conspiracy by locating him in the “class of academics and public intellectuals, for whom a migration of power into military, deep-political, and corporate-media hands may…. be difficult to acknowledge.” We’d add that when those intellectuals are wedded to a brand of analysis that cannot satisfactorily account for what they see transpiring before their eyes, that difficulty is only magnified.
Slowly but surely, the academic left is coming to understand that the deep politics paradigm offers the most promising analytic tools for understanding the dynamics of geopolitical struggle. Don’t be surprised by the discomfort associated with the paradigm shift to continue to produce rhetorically overheated, but substantively lacking, complaints like Cockburn’s for quite some time. But really, that’s his problem.
Counterpunch co-editor Alexander Cockburn set the tone of these pieces with an article describing theologian and ethicist David Ray Griffin, the author of The New Pearl Harbor (2004) and of The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005), as a “high priest” of the “conspiracy nuts””whom Cockburn denounces as cultists who “disdain all answers but their own,” who “seize on coincidences and force them into sequences they deem to be logical and significant,” and who “pounce on imagined clues in documents and photos, [“.] contemptuously brush[ing] aside” evidence that contradicts their own “whimsical” treatment of “eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence.”
It’s a characteristically forceful performance, if at times slipshod. One small sign of carelessness may be the manner in which Cockburn slides from calling 9/11 skeptics a “coven” to comparing them, a few sentences later, to “mad Inquisitors” torturing the data (as the old joke goes about economists) until the data confess.” Readers brought up to think that the victims and perpetrators of witch-crazes have not customarily been the same people may find this unintentionally amusing.
Despite the sometimes distinctly nasty tone of this polemic, the idea of exchanging even metaphorical blows with Cockburn and his colleagues is unappealing. The overall quality of the essays that he and Jeffrey St. Clair publish in Counterpunch makes it easy on most days of the week to agree with Out of Bounds Magazine‘s description of it (trumpeted on Counterpunch‘s masthead) as “America’s best political newsletter.” And I’ve admired Cockburn’s own political essays for many years: he’s written movingly, sometimes brilliantly, on a wide range of subjects1 even if his flashes of brilliance sometimes alternate with breathtaking pratfalls: among them his dismissal, as recently as March 2001, of the evidence for global warming; his scoffing, in November 2004, at the rapidly gathering indications that the US presidential election of 2004 had been stolen; and a year later, his mockery of the well-established theory of peak oil and his adherence to the genuinely daft notion that the earth produces limitless quantities of abiotic oil.2 One can forgive a journalist’s slender grasp of the rudiments of scientific understanding. But given his self-appointed role as defender of the progressive left against a horde of fools, It’s dismaying to find him sliding as frequently as he does into positions that seem not just quirky but (dare I say it) unprogressive. Continue reading
Published today, 12/18/06, in New York Megaphone, print run: 40,000, circulation: 66,700, NYC and Environs
by Sander Hicks
Daniel Hopsicker is an independent journalist working in Venice, Florida, outside the decommissioned military airstrips where three pilots from the 9/11 attack were trained. Hopsicker found the secret life of 9/11 ring-leader Mohamed Atta, who lead the operation by piloting the first plane into the World Trade Centre. Hopsicker found Atta’s American girlfriend, Amanda Keller. What she said broke new ground for truth-seekers worldwide. Atta had social connections and a party-boy life that indicated there was more to his story than people had been told. The American media establishment turned a blind eye to Hopsicker’s work, however. He has been called a “conspiracy theorist” in mainstream media in Florida, when he’s paid any attention at all.
Yet, in November, 2006, Hopsicker’s career turned a corner. Sources connected to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) told The Megaphone that his work began to be used to track Atta’s former associates. A researcher close to JTTF, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Megaphone that the “JTTF relied heavily on Daniel’s research on Atta and Amanda [Keller]. I faxed them pages from [Hopsicker’s book] Welcome to Terrorland.”
The lead paid off: on November 16, 2006, the Joint Terrorism Task Force issued a “Terror Alert” for a certain Wolfgang Bohringer, a German-born, naturalized U.S. citizen who had reportedly partied with and protected Mohamed Atta in Florida. Bohringer’s name came up often in interviews with Amanda Keller.…Continue reading