by David Ray Griffin
This lecture was delivered March 30, 2006, at Grand Lake Theater in Oakland for Progressive Democrats of the East Bay. Abbreviated versions of it were given in San Francisco for the Democratic World Federalists on April 2 and the Commonwealth Club on April 3.
Although I am a philosopher of religion and theologian, I have spent most of my time during the past three years on 9/11—studying it, writing about it, and speaking about it. In this lecture, I will try to make clear why I believe this issue worthy of so much time and energy. I will do this in terms of the distinction between myth and reality.
I am here using the term “myth” in two senses. In one sense, a myth is an idea that, while widely believed, is false, failing to correspond with reality.
In a deeper sense, which is employed by students of religion, a myth serves as an orienting and mobilizing story for a people, a story that reminds them who they are and why they do what they do. When a story is called as a myth in this sense—which we can call Myth with a capital M—the focus is not on the story’s relation to reality but on its function. This orienting and mobilizing function is possible, moreover, only because Myths with a capital M have religious overtones. Such a Myth is a Sacred Story.
However, although to note that a story functions as a Myth… Continue reading
by Kristen Breitweiser
December 19, 2005
Recently, President Bush has admitted to carrying out surveillance on U.S. citizens in the interest of national security. He unabashedly admits to doing it. He offers no apologies. With his bellicose swagger, he once again uses 9/11 as his justification for breaking our constitutional laws. The President’s justification of 9/11 to carry out such surveillance begs a closer examination.
President Bush should be stopped in his tracks with regard to his use of 9/11 scare tactics to circumvent constitutional laws that are meant to protect U.S. citizens. His justification for doing so — the inability to conduct surveillance on the 9/11 hijackers — is a red herring. History will bear out the truth — our intelligence agencies held a treasure trove of intelligence on the 9/11 hijackers, intelligence that was gathered through their initially unencumbered surveillance. President Bush should busy himself by investigating why that information was then stymied and not capitalized upon to stop the 9/11 attacks.
MOUSSAOUI, FISA, and FBI SURVEILLANCE — MISUNDERSTANDING #1:
When it comes to the FBI and Zaccarias Moussaoui, one must understand that the FBI met all evidentiary standards to both apply for and be granted a FISA warrant. The information the FBI had to support their FISA request was two files on Moussaoui that were given to the FBI by the French and British intelligence services. Inexplicably, FBI lawyers and supervisors at FBI HQ “misunderstood” the evidentiary standards needed to apply for and receive a FISA… Continue reading
9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow has deep, lasting ties to several members of both the Bush I and Bush II Administrations. Any one of these connections could have been deemed sufficient to eliminate Zelikow from consideration on the basis of non-independence. Consider:
Despite these connections, Zelikow was appointed Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission in November 2003.1 His intimate relationship with the Bush White House did not end with the publication of the Commission Report. Shortly after departing the Commission he became Counselor of the Department of State, where he would once again work alongside Condoleeza Rice.
There are lesser-known facts about Zelikow’s connections to the Bush Administration that are equally disturbing. For instance, in the early 1990s Zelikow directed the Aspen Strategy Group, members of which have staffed key positions in both the Bush and Clinton Administrations. Interestingly, Judith Miller, the former NY Times reporter implicated in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, is another emeritus member of… Continue reading
by William F. Jasper
The ongoing coverup concerning the secret Able Danger operation provides further evidence that the “war on terror” is a farce.
There was nothing in outward appearance to draw attention to the four-bedroom apartment at 54 Marienstrasse. Nonetheless, the attention of the intelligence services of Germany, the U.S., Israel, and other Middle Eastern and European countries had been drawn to the nondescript flat in Hamburg, Germany, as early as 1998. That was when Mohammed Atta signed the lease and he and Ramzi bin al Shibh moved in. Soon thereafter, it was identified by intelligence agencies as a target of interest. It became known as the hub of al-Qaeda’s “Hamburg Cell.”
Over the next two and a half years, dozens of al-Qaeda operatives, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the reputed 9/11 “mastermind,” passed through the 54 Marienstrasse apartment. Twenty-nine al-Qaeda recruits from the Middle East or Northern Africa listed it as their registered address. Mohammed Atta would later be labeled, after the fact, as the “ringleader” of the 9/11 terrorists who hijacked four jetliners to use as missiles against targets in New York City and Washington, D.C. Atta is believed to have been the suicide pilot who flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center. His Hamburg roommate, Ramzi bin al Shibh, captured in Pakistan in 2002, has been described by U.S. officials as the al-Qaeda “coordinator and paymaster” for 9/11. In the months leading up to the terrorist attacks of… Continue reading
A US military intelligence team code-named “Able Danger” identified Mohamed Atta and three other alleged 9/11 hijackers as potential terrorists in the summer of 2000, at a time when Atta was living in Florida, according to yesterday’s New York Times .
But the Times story obscures at least as much as it reveals.
The 9/11 Commission was made aware of the Able Danger program in 2003, but failed to mention it in its 2004 report.
The Times calls yesterday’s revelation “the first assertion that Mr. Atta… was identified by any American government agency as a potential threat before the Sept. 11 attacks.” In fact, such assertions date back to German press reports of September 2001 and October 2002, when several German newspapers reported that the CIA had Atta under observation during the first six months of 2000, while he was still living in Germany.
According to the German reports of Sept. 2001, the CIA in 2000 watched as Atta “bought chemicals” in Frankfurt and later tracked him to Berlin, where he received an entry visa from the US consulate in May 2000.
(According to official US timelines of his activities, Atta entered the United States for the first time in June 2000, although witness accounts reported in local papers after 9/11 place him in Florida months earlier.)
The CIA did not inform German authorities about its surveillance of Atta on their soil in 2000, and the Germans learned about it only after the 9/11/01 attacks. The German authorities themselves also… Continue reading
by Thomas Hansen, Ph.D.
It is nearly a year since the 9/11 Commission report was finished and the investigation of the events of 9/11 officially came to a close. But unofficially, many Americans have unanswered questions, and at least some of this hesitancy to close the book on 9/11 is because of the long-standing connection between the Bush Administration and the man who was the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Dr. Philip Zelikow.
In a new book by Professor Emeritus David Ray Griffin of the Claremont School of Theology (The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, Olive Branch Press, 2005), the case is made that the staff of the 9/11 Commission acted as gatekeepers who followed the official explanation of events of 9/11, rather than acting as true independent investigators. Griffin gives detailed and abundant evidence that he feels shows Philip Zelikow and his staff did not thoroughly investigate information that was contrary to what the Bush Administration had already accepted as the facts of 9/11.
Last fall I had a conversation with Zelikow, which I feel supports the ideas and evidence of Professor Griffin’s book. But before I go into what… Continue reading
by David Ray Griffin
Testimony at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference 2005 (September 21-24, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC) for the session, ‘The 9/11 Omission: What the Commission Got Wrong,’ September 23, 2005, sponsored by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA):
There have been two main theories about 9/11, each of which is a conspiracy theory. The official conspiracy theory says that the attacks were planned and carried out entirely by al-Qaeda. The alternative theory says that the attacks could not have succeeded without the involvement of forces within our own government.
In examining The 9/11 Commission Report , I have focused on how it dealt with evidence supportive of the alternative theory. I have found that it did so by distorting or simply ignoring this evidence. This is no surprise, because the man running the Commission, Philip Zelikow, was essentially a member of the Bush-Cheney administration. But it is a fact that needs to be brought to light.
Because there are so many omissions and distortions—in my book I identified at least 115—I can point to a significant percentage of them only by moving through my representative list quite quickly.…Continue reading
Philip Zelikow, executive director of the Kean Commission, has compared popular doubts about the 9/11 Commission report to a dangerous disease. Nicholas Levis of 911Truth.org responds to his comments in the Washington Post of Oct. 7, 2004 …
An open Letter to Philip Zelikow and The Washington Post
By Nicholas Levis
[also featured at summeroftruth.org]
NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2004 –
Philip Zelikow, a high-level national security adviser to both Bush administrations, acknowledges that America faces a new infectious disease: lack of faith in the U.S. government’s 9/11 Commission report.
As executive director of the freshly-retired Kean Commission, Zelikow was a principal author of the 567-page document, which purports to explain everything that matters about September 11th, 2001.
Sales of the 9/11 report have far outpaced those of his earlier study in statecraft, “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed.” He co-wrote that book in 1999 together with one of his closest associates from the original Bush White House, Condoleeza Rice.
Despite blockbuster sales for the 9/11 report, Zelikow tells the Washington Post he is alarmed by the concurrent spread of “conspiracy theories” about the attacks, which he describes as pathogens:
“Our worry is when things become infectious, as happened with the [John F. Kennedy] assassination,” Zelikow says. “Then this stuff can be deeply corrosive to public understanding. You can get where the bacteria can sicken the larger body.” (1)
It’s too late, Dr. Zelikow. The “bacteria” are winning, and your own work is to blame.
Perhaps… Continue reading
IN THE THIRD YEAR AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, the U.S. government still has not answered the most important questions about what really happened. And the official 9/11 Commission has failed to ask.
For too long we have allowed the government to operate in the shadows.
Fighter planes were not dispatched in a timely manner to intercept the 9/11 flights – in blatant violation of longstanding, standard operating procedures. Why? Why did the U.S. chain of command (Bush, Rumsfeld, Gen. Myers) by their own admission remain inactive during the actual attacks?
On the morning of Sept. 11 itself, the U.S. military conducted scheduled wargames to rehearse scenarios that included plane hijackings and an “errant aircraft” crashing into a government building (AP, Aug. 2002).
Even granted this was a coincidence: How can high officials like Condoleeza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld get away with testifying that “no one could have imagined” planes would be used as weapons against buildings?
Why won’t the government identify who made profits by short-selling the stock of United Airlines, American Airlines and the WTC re-insurers in the week before the attacks? Where did the many known advance warnings of the attacks originate? Were these warnings really missed?
The Kean Commission (the official 9/11 investigation currently making headlines) was called to life only after Sept. 11th families lobbied stubbornly for 14 months. The same families have demanded the resignation of the Commission’s executive director, Philip Zelikow, for his evident conflicts of interest. Although Zelikow… Continue reading
MAY 16, 2004:
Condoleezza Rice is a household name. But most Americans still have never heard of the man who wrote a book with her, Philip Zelikow.
As the executive director of the Kean Commission, Zelikow is responsible for framing the agenda. He leads the research staff. He decides what evidence the commission sees.
In April, the world media focused on Rice’s appearance before the commission. She claimed, not for the first time, that no one could have imagined terrorists would use hijacked planes as weapons against buildings. This is a demonstrable falsehood, which Bush himself inadvertently exposed a week later. (See “Bush, Rice and the Genoa Warning”)
Rice’s testimony received mostly bad reviews. The commission was credited with investigative fervor. Few reports bothered to note that in the late 1980s, Rice and Zelikow worked closely together on George H.W. Bush’s national security staff.
Zelikow and Rice co-authored a 1999 book about their experiences in the first Bush White House, “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft.” The book presents “a detailed and fascinating account of behind-the-scenes discussions and deliberations” during the fall of the Soviet empire, according to Library Journal.
Zelikow again served alongside Rice as a member of the Bush transition team in 2000- 2001, when he took part in White House meetings on the terror threat. Since this was of interest to the 9/11 investigation, the Kean Commission recently called Zelikow as a witness, in a closed-door session.
Now imagine if the judge in a trial was a close associate of the star witness.…Continue reading
NEW YORK CITY, May 16, 2004 – The Kean Commission was called to life in Nov. 2002, when the White House dropped its objections to an independent 9/11 investigation, after many months of persistent lobbying by September 11th families. At the time, this was seen as a victory for the relatives of those killed on September 11th, and for their allies in the fight for open government and accountability. As the Kean Commission nears the end of its work, it is informative to ask what those families are saying today.
“Mr. Bush, who approved the flight of the bin Laden family out of the United States, when all commercial flights were grounded?“
That is one of 23 explosive questions that George W. Bush and his subordinates must face in public testimony, under oath and pain of perjury–that is, if leaders of September 11 family groups get their way.
The question refers to private flights for Saudi royalty, cleared by the White House during the otherwise total civilian flight ban in the days immediately after September 11. Members of the Bin Laden clan, including two of Osama Bin Laden’s many brothers, were allowed to leave the United States before federal investigators had a chance to question them.1
Despite confirmed reports dating back to September 2001, the story of the Bin Laden family airlift was denigrated as urban legend until April, when former White House terror adviser Richard Clarke and Secretary of State Colin Powell both confirmed it.…Continue reading
The 9/11 Commission came to New York the second week of May for a two-day set of hearings at The New School University. As hundreds of Sept. 11th family members, reporters and curious New Yorkers lined up for airport-style security checks, they received copies of a new 24-page booklet published by NY 9/11 Truth, with help from 911Truth.org.
“Scamming America: The Official 9/11 Cover-up Guide” is named after a quote by former Sen. Max Cleland, who resigned from the commission last November with the words, “Bush is scamming America.”
Cleland attacked his own commission after the other members cut a deal to accept highly limited access to CIA reports to the White House that may indicate advance knowledge of the attacks on the part of the Bush administration. “This is a scam,” Cleland said. “It’s disgusting. America is being cheated.”
“As each day goes by,” Cleland said, “we learn that this government knew a whole lot more about these terrorists before September 11 than it has ever admitted…. Let’s chase this rabbit into the ground. They had a plan to go to war and when 9/11 happened that’s what they did; they went to war.”
|The booklet featured articles about the Kean Commission’s breathtaking conflicts of interest and complete failure to ask any of the questions about September 11 that really matter.
It is now out of print, but some of the articles are available on this site:
|The Kean Commission and the Sept.|