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Into the Ring with Counterpunch on 9/11: How Alexander Cockburn, Otherwise So Bright, Blanks Out on 9/11 Evidence

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.

 

Show Editor’s Note: »

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

Ali Mohamed, Peter Lance & Peter Dale Scott … and Counterpunch

Triple Cross: Journalist Peter Lance on How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI – And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him

 

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New details have emerged about how an al Qaeda spy named Ali Mohamed penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI before the 9/11 attacks. We speak with investigative journalist Peter Lance about his new book, “Triple Cross.” [includes rush transcript]

Ali Mohamed was a member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle who operated freely within the United States for years before 9/11. Despite being a top al Qaeda operative, he managed to become a naturalized US citizen, join the US Army, get posted to the military base where Green Berets and Delta Force train and infiltrate both the CIA and FBI. And while he was an FBI informant he smuggled bin Laden in and out of Afghanistan and helped plan the attacks on US embassies in Africa. He ended up playing a pivotal role in 9/11.

Journalist Peter Lance joins me here in our firehouse studio. He is a five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and a former ABC News correspondent. His new book is called “Triple Cross: How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI – And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him.”

* Peter Lance, five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and a former ABC News correspondent. His latest book is “Triple Cross.” His previous books include “1000 Years For Revenge” and “Cover Up.” Website: Peterlance.com

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

This transcript is available free of charge.

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Enforcers or Enablers? Will the Democrats Become Part of the Problem?

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.…

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Sources: August Terror Plot is a ‘Fiction’ Underscoring Police Failures

British Army expert casts doubt on ‘liquid explosives’ threat, Al Qaeda network in UK Identified

Filed by Nafeez Ahmed
rawstory.com
09/18/2006

Lieutenant-Colonel (ret.) Nigel Wylde, a former senior British Army Intelligence Officer, has suggested that the police and government story about the “terror plot” revealed on 10th August was part of a “pattern of lies and deceit.”

British and American government officials have described the operation which resulting in the arrest of 24 mostly British Muslim suspects, as a resounding success. Thirteen of the suspects have been charged, and two released without charges.

According to security sources, the terror suspects were planning to board up to ten civilian airliners and detonate highly volatile liquid explosives on the planes in a spectacular terrorist operation. The liquid explosives — either TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide), DADP (diacetone diperoxide) or the less sensitive HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine) — were reportedly to be made on board the planes by mixing sports drinks with a peroxide-based household gel and then be detonated using an MP3 player or mobile phone.

But Lt. Col. Wylde, who was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his command of the Belfast Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit in 1974, described this scenario as a “fiction.” Creating liquid explosives is a “highly dangerous and sophisticated task,” he states, one that requires not only significant chemical expertise but also appropriate equipment.

Terror plot scenario “untenable”

“The idea that these people could sit in the plane toilet and simply mix together these normal household fluids to create a high explosive capable of blowing up the entire aircraft is untenable,” said Lt.…

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Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11

by Bill Christison
August 14, 2006
DissidentVoice.com

However horrendous the crimes of two of the world’s great liars and terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon, it is imperative that we not let the deeds of Ehud Olmert and George W. Bush distract us from another recent event.

The U.S. alliance with Israel and the power of the lobby that lets Israel so easily influence U.S. foreign policy have been major factors in allowing the monstrous slaughter of innocent civilians in Gaza and Lebanon. What is happening in these lands may also encourage Olmert and Bush to start new hostilities in Syria and heavy, possibly nuclear, bombings in Iran — and this entire mess of neocon pottage may lead to a new World War and clashes of civilizations and religious fundamentalisms that these two wretched politicians seem quite literally to want to impose on the rest of us. It’s a tough case to make that anything else going on in the world — anywhere — could possibly be of equal importance.

But on July 29 and 30, and then again on August 1, something else happened that increasing numbers of people believe is of equal importance. On these dates C-SPAN rebroadcast a panel discussion, held originally in late June, sponsored by an organization called the American Scholars’ Symposium to discuss what really happened on September 11, 2001. Held in Los Angeles, the meeting lasted two days, and the C-SPAN rebroadcast covered one almost two-hour wrap-up session. The meeting was attended by 1,200 people interested in hearing something other than the official story of 9/11.…

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Another Ex-CIA Official Speaks Out for 9/11 Truth

Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11

by Bill Christison

www.dissidentvoice.org

Photo of William ChristisonHowever horrendous the crimes of two of the world’s great liars and terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon, it is imperative that we not let the deeds of Ehud Olmert and George W. Bush distract us from another recent event.

The U.S. alliance with Israel and the power of the lobby that lets Israel so easily influence U.S. foreign policy have been major factors in allowing the monstrous slaughter of innocent civilians in Gaza and Lebanon. What is happening in these lands may also encourage Olmert and Bush to start new hostilities in Syria and heavy, possibly nuclear, bombings in Iran — and this entire mess of neocon pottage may lead to a new World War and clashes of civilizations and religious fundamentalisms that these two wretched politicians seem quite literally to want to impose on the rest of us. It’s a tough case to make that anything else going on in the world — anywhere — could possibly be of equal importance.

But on July 29 and 30, and then again on August 1, something else happened that increasing numbers of people believe is of equal importance. On these dates C-SPAN rebroadcast a panel discussion, held originally in late June, sponsored by an organization called the American Scholars’ Symposium to discuss what really happened on September 11, 2001. Held in Los Angeles, the meeting lasted two days, and the C-SPAN rebroadcast covered one almost two-hour wrap-up session. The meeting was attended by 1,200 people interested in hearing something other than the official story of 9/11.…

Continue reading

UPDATED–Daniel Ellsberg Expresses Concerns re Gov 9/11 Complicity, Calls for New Inquiry

Daniel Ellsberg is a former American military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation who precipitated a national firestorm in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the US military’s account of activities during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. The release awakened the American people to a systematic program of organized deception carried out by the Pentagon against the population to continue the Vietnam War.

Daniel Ellsberg, speaking on air to GCN radio host Jack Blood, stated his concerns that criminal elements of the US government were psychologically capable to have carried out 9/11.

“If there’s another 9/11 or a major war in the Middle-East involving a U.S. attack on Iran, I have no doubt that there will be, the day after or within days an equivalent of a Reichstag fire decree that will involve massive detentions in this country.”

– Daniel Ellsberg
Author, Pentagon Papers

 

Editor’s Note:
Infowars has issued a correction to the original story. The corrected version now follows, with a letter from Ellsberg to Infowars, cc’d to others.Pentagon Papers hero Daniel Ellsberg adds his voice to the eminent chorus calling for a new 9/11 investigation. Interviewed by Jack Blood on Alex Jones’ radio show Wednesday, July 19, Ellsberg also expresses his fear of a new Reichstag Fire incident and decree as elements of administration Iran attack plans. Serious warnings from the still diligent and deeply involved dean of the American whistleblower community.

Ellsberg said that he worked with individuals at the highest… Continue reading

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