The 9/11 Commission claims that “we found no evidence”

by Kevin Ryan

When Underwriters Laboratories fired me for challenging the World Trade Center (WTC) report that it helped create with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), it said “there is no evidence” that any firm performed the required fire resistance testing of the materials used to build the Twin Towers. Of course, that was a lie.

With this experience in mind, I checked to see how many times the 9/11 Commission Report used the phrase “no evidence,” and noted in particular the times the Commission claimed to have “found no evidence” or that “no evidence was uncovered.”  I discovered that the phrase “no evidence” appears an amazing 63 times.  An example is the dubious statement — “There is no evidence to indicate that the FAA recognized Flight 77 as a hijacking until it crashed into the Pentagon (p 455).”

Of these 63 instances, some variation of “we found no evidence” appears three dozen times.  This seems to be an unusually high number of disclaimers begging ignorance, given that the Commission claims to have done “exacting research” in the production of a report that was the “fullest possible accounting of the events of September 11, 2001.”

The number of times these “no evidence” disclaimers appear in the report is doubly amazing considering how infrequently some of the most critical witnesses and evidence are referenced.  For example, the FAA’s national operations manager, Benedict Sliney, who was coordinating the FAA’s response that day, appears only once in the narrative (and twice in the notes).  And the FAA’s hijack coordinator, Michael Canavan, appears only twice in the narrative, with neither of those citations having anything to do with Canavan’s assigned role as the key link between the military and the FAA, a role whose failure the Commission says caused the attacks to succeed. Similarly, the testimony of FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who says Bin Laden worked with the U.S. government up until the day of the attacks, is mentioned only once in the notes. William Rodriguez, the WTC janitor who has publicly testified to basement level explosions, is not mentioned at all despite having given testimony to the Commission.

It seems a good idea to look more closely at the instances in which the attorneys, myth experts and military intelligence operatives who wrote the 9/11 Commission Report said that they did not find evidence.  Here are a few of the most interesting examples.

  • We found no evidence, however, that American Airlines sent any cockpit warnings to its aircraft on 9/11.” p11
  • Concerning the hypothesis that one of the alleged hijackers was sitting in the cockpit jump seat since takeoff on Flight 93:  “We have found no evidence indicating that one of the hijackers, or anyone else, sat there on this flight.” p12
  • Within minutes of the second WTC impact, Boston Center asked the FAA Command Center (Benedict Sliney’s team) to advise aircraft to heighten cockpit security, but the Commission said:  “We have found no evidence to suggest that the Command Center acted on this request or issued any type of cockpit security alert.” p23
  • With respect to requests to warn aircraft to heighten cockpit security — “While Boston Center sent out such warnings to the commercial flights in its sector, we could find no evidence that a nationwide warning was issued by the ATC system.” p455

These first four examples highlight the little discussed fact that the 9/11 Commission did not explain how any of the alleged hijackers entered the cockpits of any of the four hijacked planes.

With regard to Flight 11 the Commission states — “We do not know exactly how the hijackers gained access to the cockpit (p 5)” and — “FAA rules required that the doors remained closed and locked during the flight.”  Based on a recording attributed to flight attendant Betty Ong, the report speculates that they might have “jammed their way in.”  One problem with this hypothesis is that the act of breaking down the locked cockpit door would certainly have given the professional flight crew plenty of time to enter the four-digit hijack “squawk code” into the transponder.  This is a simple, standard operating procedure which the crew was trained to follow but none of them accomplished.

Yet another problem is that, according to the story, Atta and his co-conspirators disagreed with the “jamming” hypothesis.  The report states that Atta “had no firm contingency plan in case the cockpit door was locked” and …”he was confident the cockpit doors would be opened and did not consider breaking them down to be a viable idea (p 245).”  These were, apparently, very bold and optimistic hijackers who walked onto the plane assuming that normal operating procedures would not be followed and who did not have any kind of back-up plan in case they were wrong.  In any case, these claims certainly seem to contradict the words of Acting Director of the FBI, Thomas Pickard, who testified that – “these 19 and their superiors operated flawlessly in their planning, communications and execution of this event. They successfully exploited every weakness from our borders to cockpit doors.”

For Flight 175, the Commission report does not describe how the alleged hijackers got into the cockpit nor does it even mention that this first critical step in a hijacking was omitted from the explanation.   Similarly, for Flight 77 and Flight 93, the alleged hijackers just appear in the cockpit and in control of the aircraft.  As with Flight 11, all three crews failed to follow the simple procedure to squawk the hijack code.

What makes this even less believable is that the Commission admits that Flight 93 received and acknowledged a warning (although not from the FAA Command Center) to secure the cockpit four minutes before the hijacking began.  This means that 37-minutes after the third plane was hijacked, and 25-minutes after the second plane crashed into the WTC, the crew of the fourth plane could not secure it’s cockpit or enter the hijack squawk code despite having four minutes warning that hijackers might try to break in.

  • Saudi Arabia has long been considered the primary source of al Qaeda funding, but we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” p171
  • Concerning the origins of the funding for the attacks, the report says — “Ultimately the question is of little practical significance.”  But it clarifies that – Similarly, we have seen no evidence that any foreign government – or foreign official – supplied any funding.”  p172
  • We have found no evidence that Saudi Princess Haifa al Faisal provided any funds to the conspiracy, either directly or indirectly.” p498

Recently, the world’s leading insurance provider, Lloyd’s of London, filed a lawsuit alleging the exact opposite of these claims made by the 9/11 Commission.  Although Lloyd’s dropped the lawsuit just days later without explanation, one would think that at least some small amount evidence must have been available for the company to have gone to all the trouble of putting together a case and filing it against the Saudis.  If there was no such evidence, Lloyd’s could be sued for false or frivolous litigation.

Lloyd’s was not the first to contradict the Commission on this topic, however, as the many of the 9/11 victims’ relatives had joined together not long after the attacks to file a 15-count, $116 trillion lawsuit against Saudi royals, including some who were among top government leaders in Saudi Arabia.  That lawsuit was thrown out on a technicality related to the ability to sue a foreign government and, later, the Obama Administration backed the Saudis during the appeal.  What’s important to realize, however, is that it was only the 9/11 Commission that claimed no evidence for Saudi financing could be found.  Obviously, such evidence could be found, it just could not be used to prosecute the Saudi government in the United States.

  • Exhaustive investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, FBI, and other agencies have uncovered no evidencethat anyone with advance knowledge of the attacks profited through securities transactions.” p172

The “exhaustive investigations” conducted by the FBI, on which the 9/11 Commission report was based, were clearly bogus.  The FBI did not interview the suspects and did not appear to compare notes with the 9/11 Commission to help make a determination if any of the people being investigated might have had ties to al Qaeda.  The Commission’s memorandum summary suggests that the FBI simply made decisions on its own regarding the possible connections of the suspects and the alleged terrorist organizations.  Those unilateral decisions were not appropriate, as at least three of the suspected informed trades involved reasonably suspicious links to Osama bin Laden or his family.  Another suspect was a soon-to-be convicted criminal who had direct links to FBI employees who were later arrested for securities-related crimes.

The FBI also claimed in August 2003 that it had no knowledge of hard drives recovered from the WTC, which were publicly reported in 2001.  According to the people who retrieved the associated data, the hard drives gave evidence for “dirty doomsday dealings.”

The evidence for informed trading on 9/11 includes many financial vehicles, from stock options to Treasury bonds to credit card transactions made at the WTC just before it was destroyed.  Today we know that financial experts from around the world have provided strong evidence, through established and reliable statistical techniques, that the early expert suspicions were correct, and that 9/11 informed trading did occur.

  • First, we found no evidence that any flights of Saudi nationals, domestic or international, took place before the reopening of national airspace on the morning of September 13, 2001.”  p329
  • Second, we found no evidence of political intervention [with regard to the Saudi flights which did not occur before national airspace was reopened].”  p329
  • We found no evidence that anyone at the White House above Richard Clarke participated in a decision about the departure of the Saudi nationals.”  [Clarke claimed — “I asked the FBI, Dale Watson, to handle that…” and “I have no recollection of clearing it with anybody at the White House.”]  p329
  • Third, we believe the FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals who left the United States on chartered flights….They have concluded that none of the passengers was connected to the 9/11 attacks and have since found no evidenceto change that conclusion.” and “Our own independent review of the Saudi nationals involved confirms that no one with known links to terrorism departed on those flights.”  p329

For the 9/11 Commission to have made four separate “no evidence” claims related to the widely-reported flight of Saudi nationals out of the U.S. just after 9/11, there must have been a strong reason for this failure of “exacting research.”

Months before the Commission report was published, it was well known that numerous members of the Bin Laden family were among those flown out of the U.S. at a time when no other commercial or private flying was allowed.  “Counter-terrorism Czar” Richard Clarke was the one to make this decision, although he did not coordinate it with Dale Watson of the FBI.  Clarke’s FBI coordinator for these flights was Michael Rolince, the assistant director of the International Terrorism Operations Section (ITOS).

It was reported that Rolince decided the Saudis could leave the country and required only the most superficial examination of their passports and checking for their names on terrorist watch lists.  The fact that many of them were the relatives of the man accused of perpetrating the 9/11 attacks did not lead to any concern or even to basic interviews of the passengers by the FBI.

Rolince, who now works for Booz Allen Hamilton, appears to have been behind several of the inexplicable failures of the FBI to track down the alleged 9/11 conspirators before the attacks.  In 1999, the FBI failed to follow-up on information provided to Rolince about fundraising done in the U.S. by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the alleged “number 2” of al Qaeda.  In April 2001, Rolince also failed to follow-up on a memo sent to him by Dale Watson that warned of a terrorist operation that might have been the plan for the 9/11 attacks.  Dave Frasca, one of Rolince’s direct reports, was the one who disrupted the Minneapolis FBI’s attempt to search the belongings of Zacharias Mousaoui, and Rolince is apparently the one who failed to let the FBI directors know of the arrest of Mousaoui.

  •  “Although Whitman told us she spoke with White House senior economic advisor Lawrence Lindsay regarding the need to get the markets open quickly” – “We found no evidence of pressure on EPA to say the air was safe in order to permit the markets to open.”  P555

Like some of the other carefully worded claims in the Commission report, this might be technically true, but the premise is probably false.  Christine Whitman, who was director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just after 9/11, did claim that the air in lower Manhattan was safe to breathe when it was known that was not the case.  This was probably not done for the purpose of re-opening the stock market, however.  It is far more likely that these false claims were made in order to expedite the removal of evidence at the WTC site.

In any case, interested citizens should examine the many “we found no evidence” disclaimers from the 9/11 Commission Report more closely.  Doing so leads one to a better understanding of  how false that report really is, and the Commission’s feigned ignorance of evidence might help lead us to the truth about what happened that day.

Concerning the idea that some in Washington might have known about the hijacking of Flight 11 before it struck the WTC – “While that information circulated within the FAA, we found no evidence that the hijacking was reported to any other agency in Washington before 8:46.”p35

Regarding the secure video teleconference headed by Richard Clarke in the White House situation room — “We found no evidence that video teleconference participants had any prior information that American 77 had been hijacked and was heading directly toward Washington.” p36

At the time of the NMCC’s 9:37 air threat conference call — “We found no evidence that, at this critical time, NORAD’s top commanders, in Florida or Cheyenne mountain, coordinated with their counterparts at FAA headquarters to improve awareness and organize a common response.” p38

With regard to vague claims of meetings between Iraqi officials and Bin Laden or his aides – “But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed in to a collaborative operational relationship.” p66

Regarding the idea that plans to use Special Forces to fight al Qaeda might have been drawn up – “We have found no evidence that such a long-term political-military approach [ie Clarke’s Politico-Military Delenda] for using Special Operations Forces in the region was proposed to or analyzed by the Small Group [a minority of the Principals Committee set-up by NSA Berger to hear the most sensitive counterterrorism information],even though such capability had been honed for at least a decade within the Defense Department.” p137

“We have found no evidence that the Hamburg Cell members (Atta, Shehhi, Jarrah, and Binalshibh) received funds from al Qaeda before late 1999.” p172

“no evidence had yet been found that Bin Laden himself had ordered the attack [on the USS Cole].” p201

“No evidence has been found that Atta was in the Czech Republic in April 2001.” p228

“The CIA and FBI have uncovered no evidence that Atta held any fraudulent passports.” p229

In mid-March 2001, Atta and Shehhi were traveling around Florida and Georgia, and Jarrah was separately staying in Georgia too, but the Commission could “found no explanation for these travels” and “There is no evidence that the three pilots met, although Jarrah and Atta apparently spoke on the phone.” p229

“We found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah were aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack.” p241

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Fact-finding mission regarding the anthrax-attacks

The following blog-entry is focused on the anthrax-attacks and tries to connect the dots. It will present some interesting, partly new, results, which could support deeper investigations by experts.

Project for the New American Century

This organization published September 2000 a paper, called “Rebuilding american defenses”, which described their aimed revolutionary changes in US policies, but “ (…) the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” (Link to wikipedia)

The “Neo-cons” had also published following attitude towards bioweapons: “And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” (Link to german wikipedia)

Anthrax-letters were sent to two Senators, who were in positions to block the Patriot Act. Senator Daschle, was the Majority Leader of the Senate. Senator Leahy was the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. (Link to abovetopsecret)

According to wikipedia, the former secretary of defense, Frank Carlucci, was affiliated with the Project for the New American Century. (Link to wikipedia)

Member of this organization were the acting secretary of defense during 9/11, Donald Rumsfeld, Vice-President, Dick Cheney, and Jeb Bush, the brother of George W. Bush, who was president during 9/11. (Link to wikipedia.org)

Who benefited from the attacks?

After 2001, the civilian biodefense funding increased drastically; in the 12 years after 9/11 (including the budget of 2012), the US-government has spent $66.91 billion in biodefense (Link to upmc-biosecurity)

BioPort

Just BioPort has in the U.S. license to produce Anthrax-Vaccine (Link to wikipedia). One stakeholder of Bioport was Admiral William Crowe, former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving under former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci. (Link to wikipedia.org)

“In 2002 BioPort launched a lobbying blitz, urging lawmakers to back a national immunization for civilians” and “went to Capitol Hill with a report predicting a deadly wave of anthrax attacks; due to the ease of engineering antibiotic-resistant strains.” (Link to classic-scientist)

According to the medicine-doctor and anthrax-expert Dr. Meryl Nass (Link to her Curriculum Vitae), the “FBI claims it investigated Bioport and others who had a financial motive for the letters attack, and ruled them out. However, FBI provides not a shred of evidence from such an investigation.” (Link to anthraxvaccine.blogspot)

Bayer

One profiteer of the attacks was the german company BAYER, which hold the patent for the anthrax medicine “CIPRO”. The patent was defended by the Bush-Administration shortly after the anthrax-attacks. “A generic drug from reputable suppliers costs only $10 a month in India, for example, while Bayer sells a month’s supply of Cipro in the US for $350. (…) An official close to the administration acknowledged the White House had “clearly made a political decision” to defend Bayer’s patent.” (Link to organicconsumers)

The governmental support for BAYER explains Jerry White from the Organic Consumer Association with the close ties of the Bush administration to the pharmaceutical industry. Especially former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should have been one of two Bush cabinet members with strong ties to drug companies: “Rumsfeld led Searle, which changed into Pharmacia, from 1977 to 1985.”(Link to organicconsumers)

Pharmacia

Pharmacia is a drug giant and based in New Jersey. Don W. Schmitz serves as Secretary of Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc. (Link to investing.businessweek). It would be an interesting, but open question, whether Don W. Schmitz could be connected to Dietrich A. Schmitz, who was the brother of Hermann Schmitz (he was chief of IG Farben, from where BAYER was split up after the second world war, Link to wikipedia.org). Dietrich A. Schmitz was a naturalized American citizen, president of American I. G. and director of the bank for International Settlements. (see Link to online book “Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler”, Antony C. Sutton)

Since December 1997 on Pharmacias board of directors was Mr. Carlucci, who “has been a Managing Director of The Carlyle Group since 1989 and Chairman Emeritus since January 2003. He served as the Chairman of The Carlyle Group from 1993 to 2003.” (Link to investing.businessweek)

The Carlyle Group

The Carlyle – Group benefited from the “war on terror” according to Dan Briody from the “Red Herring magazine”. “On September 11, 2001 the Carlyle Group was ‘the eleventh largest’ recipient of U. S. Department of Defense contracts, according to GlobalSecurity.org. Among the Caryle’s Board of Directors on 9/11/01 were former U. S. President George H.W. Bush, former U.S. Secretary of State and former U. S. Secretary of the Treasury James Baker, and Osama bin Laden’s brother Shafiq of the billionaire bin Laden family, all of whom were coincidentally present for a Carlyle Group meeting at the Washington, DC Ritz-Carlton on September 10-11, 2001. (…) Dan Briody: ‘As the Caryle investors watched the World Trade towers go down, the group’s prospects went up.‘ [62]” (Link to 911review.com)

On interesting person is Barry McDaniels, who is connected to the Carlyle Group. In 1998 he came to Stratesec to become its Chief Operating Officer, according to investigation of Kevin Ryan: “McDaniel was therefore in charge of the security operation at the WTC in terms of what he called a “completion contract,” to provide services “up to the day the buildings fell down.”(…) But McDaniel came to Stratesec directly from BDM International, where he had been Vice President for nine years. BDM was a major subsidiary of The Carlyle Group for most of that time. When Barry McDaniel started at BDM, the company began getting a large amount of government business “in an area the Navy called Black Projects,” or budgets that were kept secret.” (Link to 911review.com)

According to the website “nationmaster” Securacom went public on September 11, 1997: “AT IPO, it listed among its clients the World Trade Center, Dulles Airport, United Airlines and Los Alamos National Laboratory.” (Link to nationmaster)

Los Alamos National Laboratory

According to wikipedia… “Los Alamos National Laboratory (or LANL; previously known at various times as Project Y, Los Alamos Laboratory, and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory) is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security (LANS), located in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The laboratory is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world, and conducts multidisciplinary research in fields such as national security, (…) medicine, nanotechnology (…).” (Link to wikipedia)

According to 911-research, Los Alamos “removed document posted on the Los Alamos National Laboratory website” describing aluminothermic material as “enhanced explosive” (Link to 911-research). In April 2009, a team of researches around Prof. Steven E. Jones, Prof. Niels Harrit and Dr. Kevin Ryan published a paper in “The Open Chemical Physics Journal”, were they examine active, explosive nano-thermitic material, which was found in the WTC-Dust from the 9/11. (Link to NielsHarrit)

According to Deborah Baker, on November 2001, Los Alamos Lab was “now conducting crucial biological detective work to solve the anthrax attacks wreaking havoc on the East Coast. Using increasingly sophisticated DNA detection technologies, scientists here are working to identify the deadly microbe’s biological fingerprints. (…) The lab maintains the world’s largest bank of genetic information on Bacillus anthracis, the organism that causes anthrax.(…) Until now, Los Alamos has not used actual bacteria in its studies.” (Link to Washingtonpost.com)

In the years prior to 2001, LANL performed studies, how to deactivate dirty spores by Ozone and published the study “Deactivation of Clumped and Dirty Spores of Bacillus globigii” on January, 2001. (Link to air-zone)

Cyclopss Com.

On February 2000 Cyclopss, Utah-based ozone technology developer Cyclopss Co.’s relocated its research and development arm to permanent facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Link to “connection”)

On October, 22, 2001 the company announced, that it developed a 22 cubic feet stainless steel chamber, which … “was commissioned by the nationally recognized laboratory in March of this year and uses a proprietary ozone gas process to kill biological pathogens on carts and equipment used in the lab in order to prevent biological cross contamination between sterility studies. The Ster-O-Zone Chamber was designed, constructed and tested at the Company’s R&D facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexiko. (…) The Cyclopss chamber, which was installed last week, has repeatedly demonstrated the capability to destroy a minimum of 99.9% of the Bacillus Subtilis spore within 30 minutes. Bacillus Subtilis is in the same genus as Bacillus Anthracis, the viral spore that causes Anthrax. (…).” (Link to thefreelibrary.com)

Who had access to Bacillus Subtillis?

This statement of Cyclopss could be a interesting hint, because according to Dr. Meryl Nass some anthrax in the attack-letters “… contained a Bacillus subtilis contaminant, and silicon to enhance dispersal. FBI has never found the Bacillus subtilis strain at USAMRIID, and it has never acknowledged finding silicon there, either. If the letters anthrax was made at USAMRIID, at least small amounts of both would be there.”  (Link to anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com)

The FBI was not able to find Bacillus subtilis strains neither in the workplace (at USMRIID) nor at home of the alleged key suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks, Bruce Edwards Ivins, who should have thrown the letters in postal drop box – in Princeton, New Jersey (Link to wikipedia). The supervisor of Ivins and microbiologist, Dr. Henry S. Heine, asks, how Ivins should have dried the anthrax – without harming others. Heine explains, that “the spores in the anthrax letters were in a dry powder form that spread easily. (…) When you dry spores, they fly everywhere and you can’t see ’em. (…) Had Bruce made it during all those late nights in the hot suite, we would’ve been his first victims.” (Link to 911blogger).

According to another leading anthrax-expert Prof. Hugh-Jones (Link to his homepage), the presence of Bacillus Subtilis in the letters would suggest “that somebody grew anthrax using equipment contaminated during earlier b. subtilis experiments. (…) This was not an incidental finding (…) The FBI had what I would call an institutional fingerprint. Whoever had that strain of (bacteria) has to answer to the investigators. (Link to globalsecuritynewswire.org)

In March 2007, a high-ranking FBI official confirmed, that the contaminant “may be the most resolving signature found in the evidence to date,” according to a now-public memo from the investigation. (Link to globalsecuritynewswire.org) … but according to journalist Greg Gordon, the FBI did the decision “to stop hunting for bacillus subtilis”:

 

Dr. Meryl Nass writes in her blog, that it is a “very suspicious omission”, that “since FBI knew that identifying the origin of the B. subtilis contaminant was crucial to solving the case, but failed to make the needed efforts to do so.” (Link to anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com)

Another interesting statements comes from a researcher from Los Alamos Laboratory, Dr. Majidi. As the source for the silica in the anthrax, he said: “Well, the water in New Mexico has ten times more silicant in it then the water in some other states.” (Link to anthraxinvestigation.com) Should this mean, that the Anthrax could have been produced in New Mexico?

It would be interesting, what kind of Bacterias Los Alamos Laboratory had in their inventory in this time. According to Dr. Meryle Nass, the FBI refused to identify potential labs: “FBI says that only a small number of labs had Ames anthrax, including only 3 foreign labs. (…) By failing to identify all labs with access to Ames, the FBI managed to exclude potential domestic and foreign perpetrators.” (Link to anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com)

Cyclopss Completes First Phase of PHARMACIA Decontamination System

On October, 29, 2001, Cyclopss Corporation announced, “that it has entered into a system development contract with the New Jersey based pharmaceutical company PHARMACIA (formerly Pharmacia Company). The contract calls for Cyclopss to utilize a proprietary ozone technology to develop a new process for decontamination, disinfection and aseptic maintenance in the manufacturing and packaging of certain PHARMACIA’S products.(…) Management further stated, that while the development of both of these products was underway long before the current Anthrax threat, they may prove to be very timely and effective weapons in the war against Bioterrorism. (…) The chamber has recently demonstrated the ability to effectively destroy these spores on mail that may have been cross contaminated from postal equipment that has come in contact with Anthrax laden letters.” (Link to thefreelibrary.com)

On November, 5, 2001, Cyclopss announced, that the United States Navy is using their new decontamination technology in Navy facilities in San Diego, California and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (Link to thefreelibrary.com)

History of Pharmacia Co.

In the year 1985 the company G.D. Searle & Company was bought by Monsanto. In the year 2000, Monsanto merged with Pharmacia and Upjohn, and ceases to exist. The new company was called Pharmacia Corporation. In 2002, Pharmacia spinned off its Monsanto subsidiary into a new company, the “new Monsanto.” (Link to wikipedia.org)

One best-seller of G.D. Searle & Company was Aspartarme, which is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. Around 1965 it was discovered by researchers. (Link to wikipedia)

There is a controversy about the safety of Aspartame. It was not approved in dry foods until 1981. On July 15, 1981 the new FDA commissioner Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr. overruled past decisions of FDA and the recommendation of the “Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI)”, which was against approving aspartame, citing unanswered questions about cancer in laboratory rats. The background could have been, that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was CEO of G.D. Searle & Company and, in the same time, in the transition team of Ronald Reagan, who was sworn in January 21, 1981. So in April 1981 Richard Schweiker, Secretary of Health and Human Services, appointed Hayes to lead FDA (Link to FDA.gov). “In November 1983, a little more than a year after approving aspartame Hayes left the FDA and joined public-relations firm Burson-Marsteller, Searle’s public relations agency at the time, as a senior medical adviser.” (Linkto wikipedia.org). This success contributed surely to the bonus pay-out for Donald Rumsfeld of at least 12 Million Dollars (Link to wikipedia.org) as 1985 Monsanto bought SEARL.

The medical doctor and neuropathologist Dr. John Olney published in the year 1996 the study “Increasing brain tumor rates: is there a link to aspartame?”. He got on 60 Minutes, where Michael Friedman, as FDA representative, got on as well and “defended Monsanto by saying aspartame did not cause brain tumors.”  (Link to healingnaturallybybee.com)

According to wikipedia “The Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a US-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as “Roundup”. Monsanto is also the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed; it provides the technology in 90% of the genetically engineered seeds used in the US market.” (Link to wikipedia.org)

There is a controversy about the safety of genetically engineered seeds. Nevertheless “In 1992 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled, against the recommendations of their own staff scientists, that GE foods are “substantially equivalent” to traditional foods.” (Linkto nofamass.org)

From 1995 until June 1999, Dr. Michael Friedman served as Deputy Commissioner for Operations for the Food and Drug Administration, and was Acting Commissioner and Lead Deputy Commissioner from 1997 to 1998 (Link to reuters.com). In this time fell the “Pusztai affair”: On June 22, 1998 “protein scientist Arpad Pusztai went public with research he was conducting with genetically modified potatoes. In a short interview he reported that rats fed potatoes engineered to express a plant lectin had stunted growth and a repressed immune system. This resulted in a media frenzy and Pusztai was suspended.” (Link to wikipedia.org) There could have been political pressure on Rowett Institute Director Philip James. In this Institute Pusztai was conducting his study. “According to Rowell professor Robert Orskov, who was working at Rowett at the time, heard that Clinton rang Blair who then rang James to tell him to put a lid on Pusztai. (…) James denied receiving any phone calls from Government or Cabinet.” (Link to wikipedia.org)

This affair remembers on the aggressive campaign surrounding the early retirement of Prof. Steven Jones at BYU-university: “Further, we understand from press releases that Dick Cheney’s office or the White House approached BYU leaders, and this resulted in Cheney’s coming to BYU to give a commencement address just three months after my “early retirement” from BYU, in April 2007.” (Link to 911blogger.com).

According to Monsanto in the years 2008, 2009 and early 2010, “a firm called Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS) provided Monsanto ’s security group with reports about activities or groups that could pose a risk to the company, its personnel or its global operations.” (Linkto monsanto.com). According to wikipedia, TIS “is owned by The Prince Group, a private company led by Erik Prince.” (Link to wikipedia). In 2005 Joseph E. Schmitz “resigned as Defense Department Inspector General on September 9, 2005 in order to take a position with the Prince Group, a holding company for Blackwater Worldwide (…).(Link to wikipedia.org)

Dr. Michael Friedman and Anthrax

According to “insidedefense”, Friedman as FDA’s lead deputy commissioner paved the way for a disputed Anthrax vaccine program in the military. “On March 4, 1997, Dr. Stephen Joseph, then assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, wrote to FDA to ascertain whether the Defense Department could use the approved vaccine to prevent inhaled anthrax, delivered by a weapon, despite the lack of specificity on the label.” Friedman responded on March 13, 1997 with a letter that laments the limitations in research data but ultimately accedes to DOD’s interpretation. “While there is a paucity of data regarding the effectiveness of anthrax vaccine for prevention of inhalation anthrax, the current package insert does not preclude this use,”.

Then “Defense Secretary William Cohen approved the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program on Dec. 15, 1997, and launched it on May 18, 1998, citing an increased threat of biological warfare from terrorists and rogue nations. Since then, more than 400,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have received one or more anthrax shots, part of a six-injection regime over 18 months, with annual boosters after that. By about 2005, the entire military is to have received the vaccine. But the program has spawned a growing rebellion among service members who have heard reports about how the vaccine manufacturer, BioPort, and its predecessor organizations have failed FDA inspections of their Lansing, Michigan, production facilities. And although the Defense Department says there have been fewer than 100 cases of significant side effects since the vaccine program started, program critics say serious adverse reactions are more common than that.” (Link to insidedefense.com).

Just three weeks after the anthrax-attacks, on 30th of October 2001 the president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Alan F. Holmer, declared: Former head of the FDA, Michael Friedman, M.D., will lead the pharmaceutical industry’s initiative to protect public health as PhRMA’s Chief Medical Officer for Biomedical Preparedness. “America’s pharmaceutical companies are committed to doing everything they can to protect the public health in the face of bioterrorism, (…) Dr. Friedman is uniquely qualified to coordinate our efforts to meet the nation’s needs.” (Link to newsrx.com)

Dr. Friedman and Pharmacia

“From July 1999 until September 2001, he was a senior vice president of Searle, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company. From July 1999 on Dr. Michael Friedman was senior vice president of Clinical Affairs at Searle&Monsanto. From September 2001 until April 2003, Dr. Friedman held the position of Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Medical and Public Policy, for Pharmacia Corporation.” (Link to reuters.com) Around 2003 Friedman left Pharmacia.

Dr. Friedman & “City of Hope”

Dr. Friedman serves as the president and CEO of City of Hope, a leading cancer research and treatment facility in California. According to “PRWatch” Dr. Friedman is “on the Board of Directors of the Rite Aid Corporation, the same cigarette purveyor that allied with the American Heart Association to “fight heart disease in women.” (Link to prwatch.org) Following video-clip wonders, how somebody can fight cancer and “selling tobacco at the same time.” (Link to youtube)

Vatican Council Calls for World Government, Central Bank

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WRITTEN BY MICHAEL TENNANT
WEDNESDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2011 08:59

A “global political authority” and a “central world bank”: These are the solutions that the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace recommends for the worldwide financial crisis. “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority,” the document outlining the council’s recommendations, is, in the words of author and Roman Catholic Thomas E. Woods, Jr., “deeply confused,” at once recognizing that central bank-driven inflation and easy credit are at the root of the world’s financial woes and prescribing even bigger government and more highly centralized banking as the cure.

There is some debate over the extent to which the document presents the church’s position on the matter. The council’s president, Cardinal Peter Turkson, made it clear at the press conference that launched the paper that the statement was “not in any way the opinion of the pope,” but solely of those who composed it. The council’s secretary, Bishop Mario Toso, when questioned, said the document was reviewed only by the Secretariat of State and then released; the Pope had not read it. While press accounts have often referred to it as if it were a papal pronouncement, National Review’s George Weigelinsists that such attribution is “rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.” “The document is a ‘Note’ from a rather small office in the Roman Curia,” Weigel maintains, adding that it “doesn’t speak for the Pope, it doesn’t speak for ‘the Vatican,’ and it doesn’t speak for the Catholic Church.”

Woods, responding to similar criticism from a reader of his blog, argued: “I’m supposed to distinguish between the Pontifical Council and the Pope, you say. Fair enough. But did those people appoint themselves? Is Rome consistently surprised by how liberal its appointees turn out to be? Fewer and fewer people believe this anymore.” Indeed, the council’s recommendations mirror those of Pope Benedict XVI, who in a 2009 encyclical called for “a true world political authority” to, among other things, “manage the global economy.”

As noted above, the council appears to have a good grasp of the underlying cause of the present financial distress:

In recent decades, it was the banks that extended credit, which generated money, which in turn sought a further expansion of credit. In this way, the economic system was driven towards an inflationary spiral that inevitably encountered a limit in the risk that credit institutions could accept. They faced the ultimate danger of bankruptcy, with negative consequences for the entire economic and financial system….

Since the 1990s, we have seen that money and credit instruments worldwide have grown more rapidly than revenue, even adjusting for current prices. From this came the formation of pockets of excessive liquidity and speculative bubbles which later turned into a series of solvency and confidence crises that have spread and followed one another over the years.

As Jeffrey Tucker put it, “Some people at the Vatican have gotten the message about the dangers of the fiat money system that generates unlimited amount[s] of credit, and even traced it all to the monetary reforms of 40 years ago.” Those “reforms” were the dissolution of the Bretton Woods system and the end of the dollar’s convertibility into gold under President Richard M. Nixon, turning the dollar into a purely fiat currency to be manipulated by the Federal Reserve. “Every problem we’ve had since — inflation, bubbles, credit addiction, bank racketeering — can be traced to this one act,” Tucker avers.

The council, however, does not seem to understand that governments and their central banks were behind the inflation and credit expansion. Instead, the document blames “an economic liberalism that spurns rules and controls,” which is to say laissez-faire capitalism, and recommends even bigger, more centralized government and banking to prevent a recurrence. “This,” Woods remarks, “is a delusion, albeit a common one.”

In the United States we have 115 agencies that regulate the financial sector, and the Securities and Exchange Commission never had a bigger budget or staff than under George W. Bush. There has been a threefold (inflation-adjusted) increase in funding for financial regulation since 1980…. There is no repealed regulation that would have prevented the crisis consuming the world right now.

The banking industry is by far the least laissez-faire sector of the U.S. economy; it is a cartel arrangement overseen by the Federal Reserve and shot through with monopoly privilege, bailout protection, and moral hazard.

Having misdiagnosed the problem as too little regulation, the council then draws the faulty conclusion that it “seems obvious” that “a world political authority” is needed to prevent future economic meltdowns. The council goes on to describe its utopian vision of this global government. It “cannot be imposed by force, coercion or violence.” It must be “impartial” in its decision-making. It “should put itself at the service of the various member countries.” It should step in “only when individual, social or financial actors are intrinsically deficient in capacity, or cannot manage by themselves to do what is required of them.”

In other words, the council expects humans, given the opportunity to rule the world, to adopt selfless behavior entirely at variance with that which they display when put in charge of much smaller fiefdoms. Government, by its very nature, employs force. It is never impartial but always bends to the will of interest groups. It seeks not to serve but to be served unquestioningly. And it always finds ways to blame “market failure” or other perceived private-sector deficiencies for its continual interventions.

The document also calls for “some form of global monetary management.” “In fact,” it says, “one can see an emerging requirement for a body that will carry out the functions of a kind of ‘central world bank’ that regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges similar to the national central banks.”

“This is beyond naïve,” observes Tucker. “It seems to illustrate a near total absence of clear thinking. Centralization of money and credit caused this problem. Centralization of political authority caused this problem. Why would anyone imagine that more centralization is therefore the answer? This approach takes a terrible situation and makes it much worse.”

Needless to say, such a governing body as the council envisions would necessarily erode the sovereignty of existing nation-states. The council suggests using the United Nations as a “reference” for setting up this world authority and is positively giddy with the thought that “this transformation will be made at the cost of a gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation’s powers to a world Authority and to regional Authorities.” The dangers of such a system are obvious.

“In a world on its way to rapid globalization,” the council concludes, “the reference to a world Authority becomes the only horizon compatible with the new realities of our time and the needs of humankind.” It then goes on to caution readers of the lesson of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), which the council claims is “how the ‘diversity’ of peoples can turn into a vehicle for selfishness and an instrument of division.”

A fairer reading of that passage would, however, indicate that the lesson is not that “diversity” is dangerous but rather that centralized power is. God, after all, caused the diversity of language specifically to frustrate a unified humanity’s attempts to set itself up as a god. Had the council drawn the correct conclusion from Scripture, it would have thought twice before recommending that humans attempt once more to usurp the Lord’s role as ruler of the Earth.

‘Peace Candidate’ Signals More Middle Eastern Regime Change

 Three down, two to go: Obama warns other Middle Eastern dictators as Libyan fighters set their sights on the the ‘germ of Syria’

RICK DEWSBURY
UK Daily Mail
Friday, October 21, 2011

President Barack Obama hailed Muammar Gaddafi’s death yesterday as a warning to dictators across the Middle East that iron-fisted rule ‘inevitably comes to an end.


Obama said the fall of Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya in revolutions dubbed the Arab Spring proved that the leaders of Syria and Yemen should be fearful of similar endings.

Protests broke out in March in Syria and more than 3,000 people have been killed after a violent military response from the leadership.

Washington has demanded that Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad halt his crackdown on democracy protests in Syria and step down. The White House is also pressing Yemen’s longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to leave office in the face of political upheaval.

Obama has also condemned Iran’s human rights record and is seeking further sanctions against Tehran over an alleged foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

‘For the region, today’s events prove once more that the rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end,’ Obama said.

Obama stressed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had lost his legitimacy to rule.

The Pacifica Radio ”Twin Towers Debate” on 9/11/2011


by Ron Brookman, S.E.

Thank you to Mickey Huff and KPFA radio for hosting the Twin Towers debate on the tenth anniversary of September 11. Richard Gage and Niels Harrit described hard evidence for the controlled-demolition hypothesis; Dave Thomas and Richard Muller promoted the fire-induced collapse hypothesis. Listen to the entire debate at http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/73245.

Richard Gage, AIA is a San Francisco Bay Area architect and founder of AE911Truth—a nonprofit organization with over 1,600 professional architects and engineers plus over 13,000 others who are calling for a science-based investigation of the destruction of the three high-rise buildings.1

Dr. Niels Harrit, associate professor emeritus of chemistry from the University of Copenhagen, has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals including ”Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.”2

Dave Thomas, physicist and mathematician, has been researching 9/11 conspiracy theories since 2009. He is president of New Mexicans for Science and Reason and a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.3

Dr. Richard Muller, professor of physics, has a long resume of research and academic appointments at UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the Space Sciences Laboratory. Dr. Muller is well known for his book Physics for Future Presidents—the Science Behind the Headlines (2008).4

Dave Thomas started by framing the debate in a political context with a statement supporting an investigation—into the rationale for the Iraq War. He categorically denied empirical evidence of explosions stating ”…there was no boom, boom, boom that you always hear…” Apparently Thomas has never read eyewitness accounts of first responders in the FDNY Oral Histories5; he has never heard exhausted and bleeding firefighters describing explosions on video released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to the International Center for 9/11 Studies6. Thomas’s opinion—that the Towers’ unique design was vulnerable to catastrophic collapse following aircraft impact and fire—was not supported by science. The Structural Engineer of Record, John Skilling, understood the design and construction of the towers when he stated (after the first demolition attempt in 1993) that the ”building structure would still be there.” Skilling knew the Towers were designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 without a catastrophic failure.7

Gage’s introductory statement emphasized that the official account is a grand conspiracy theory for which there is little evidence. Key points made by Gage include: NIST has repeatedly denied the existence of relevant evidence in its seven-year study; NIST concluded the collapses were due to impact and fire damage, and no explosives were present; NIST, however, never tested for explosives residues. Esteemed scientist Dr. Lynn Margulis, recipient of the President’s Medal of Science and the Da Vinci Award, agrees:

 

So this is what NIST has done, denied and ignored crucial evidence. It doesn’t fit their preconceived notions.8

Dr. Muller’s introductory statement was intended to stick to the physics, and his reaction to seeing the Towers collapse was ”Oh—of course.” He may be the first person on record who was not surprised upon seeing two massive 110-story office towers each dissolve into an avalanche of debris. Muller proceeded to explain why he expected the Twin Towers to collapse:

Gasoline, the reason we use it, the reason we love it is because it has so much energy.

I see nothing to love about the destructive energy displayed on 9/11. Muller continued with a brief introduction to engineering mechanics as it applies to high-rise building destruction by fire:

These columns are designed to hold up twice as much weight as they actually hold, but once they lose half of their strength they are bound to buckle…Once a column buckles—take a soda straw and squeeze it between your hands…

Did it ever occur to Dr. Muller that there may be structural engineers listening who know the difference between buckling of steel columns and buckling of plastic drinking straws, and some listeners may find this analogy offensive? The modulus of elasticity of steel is roughly 100 times that of plastics used for drinking straws, and the slenderness ratio of a drinking straw is roughly three times the slenderness ratio of a perimeter column in the upper stories of the WTC. You could not buckle the same straw by hand if it was made of steel.

Typical columns may be designed with a safety factor of approximately two. The columns of the Twin Towers, however, were not typical columns. They were designed to equalize axial stresses and column shortening during construction due to their extreme height. This enabled the high-strength steel perimeter columns to have much greater reserve capacity than ”typical” columns. An Engineering News Record article from July 8, 1965 stated:

A design procedure that will be used for structural framing of the 1,350-ft high twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City gives the exterior columns tremendous reserve strength. Live loads on these columns can be increased more than 2,000% before failure occurs…Exterior columns will be spaced 39 inches c-c. Made of various high-strength steels, they will be 14-inch square hollow-box sections, for high torsional and bending resistance, and windows will be set between them. Spandrels welded to the columns at each floor will convert the exterior walls into giant Vierendeel trusses…Thus, the World Trade Center towers will have an inherent capacity to resist unforeseen calamities. This capacity stems from its Vierendeel wall system and is enhanced through the use of high-strength steels.9

For some reason Dr. Harrit was not given a three-minute statement of introduction. His one-minute rebuttal emphasized the importance of historical precedent and observation in science. Fire has never caused a steel-frame high-rise building to collapse prior to 9/11, and the energetic jet fuel was quickly consumed in the initial fireball and the first few minutes of fire. Fuel was primarily office furnishings. So how do burning desks and papers create molten-iron residues discovered in abundance in the debris?10

Gage’s second statement explored the collapse of WTC7 and David Chandler’s measurements of free-fall acceleration. NIST has admitted free fall, but has yet to provide any rational explanation for this.11 An important question was raised: What happened to the column resistance to allow free-fall motion to occur?

Column buckling requires energy, and deforming steel beyond the elastic range dissipates energy. But free fall—or gravitational acceleration—converts gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy with nothing left to perform the mechanical work required to squash a structural steel frame supporting 40 stories. Additional energy was required to overcome the resistance of structural elements. Dr. Sunder of NIST acknowledged this during the technical briefing held on August 26, 2008 as he attempted to answer Chandler’s question: ”How can such a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity be set aside?12

Dr. Sunder’s response included:

…a free-fall time would be an object that has no structural components below it…

…you had a sequence of structural failures that had to take place, and everything was not instantaneous.

Unfortunately none of these comments were acknowledged in the final NCSTAR reports issued in November 2008. There was clearly no rational explanation in the final reports for the observed free-fall motion.

Thomas’s rebuttal addressed the question of free fall by invoking the NIST report’s three-stage collapse.13 Anyone can see that the global-collapse simulation of WTC 7 does not correlate to the video documentation. There is no video or photographic evidence showing stage one—allegedly a buckling failure of 58 perimeter columns within two seconds.

Dr. Harrit emphasized the inadequacy of the NIST three-stage collapse progression. The global-collapse simulation of WTC 7 does not demonstrate the observed motion, so there’s no compelling reason to accept the NIST conclusions.

Dr. Muller’s rebuttal consisted of more mechanics of buckling.

I really recommend members of the audience take a sheet of paper, 8×10, roll it into a cylinder, put a little scotch tape on it and then put it on its end and put a book on top. It’s amazing that paper can hold up a book. Then put a second book on top, then a third and add them up until the thing collapses. You’ll find that when it collapses, it doesn’t take energy, it doesn’t take time. The whole thing collapses very suddenly. This is the nature of buckling. It doesn’t take very much energy, and it is very fast.

I tried Dr. Muller’s experiment with a sheet of paper rolled into a cylinder 8.5 inches long and about 3.5 inches in diameter. The third book crumpled the cylinder and flattened it in a blink. A second experiment with the paper rolled to about two-inch diameter required four books to crumple one end, and the cylinder collapsed to one side. Both experiments can be described as local-buckling failures of thin-walled cylinders.

What does this say about structural steel columns in the lower stories of a 47-story building? Nothing, other than buckling is a real failure mode that must be considered in the design of columns, and don’t try supporting buildings of any size on paper cylinders. To imply buckling of steel columns takes little energy is nonsense. Columns require excessive strain energy due to applied axial load before they can reach their critical buckling strength. There was no excess weight straining the columns of WTC 7 on the afternoon of 9/11, so why should 58 perimeter columns and 24 interior columns all buckle roughly simultaneously?

Thomas claimed that WTC7 had ”huge fires that raged for seven hours” referring to the period between 10:30 a.m. when the North Tower collapsed and 5:20 p.m. when WTC 7 collapsed. Gage stated correctly that this claim is grossly exaggerated as the photographic record proves. The earliest visual evidence showing flames in WTC 7 is a video clip of the southwest corner recorded after 12:00 p.m.14 The northeast corner of WTC 7 was photographed at around 4:00 p.m. NIST says ”…there is no indication of fires burning on the east side of the 12th floor at this time.”15 The north face at floors 10 through 14 was also photographed at around 4:38 p.m. In NIST’s words ”All of the visible windows on the 12th and 13th floors are open in Figure 5-149. There is no indication of fire at these locations on either floor.”16 Indeed, all the windows appear dark where the NIST fire simulation indicated raging fires. Thomas’s claim is easily disproven by reading NCSTAR 1-9 Chapter 5.

On one hand Thomas favors the NIST report, and on the other hand he indicated that some building professionals have disagreed with the NIST draft report. What Thomas did not say was that most of the public comments submitted to NIST were ignored.17 Free fall, however, was not ignored for good reasons stated previously. How many building professionals have embraced NIST’s final reports?

Dr. Muller continued with the structural engineering lessons:

…buildings are like houses of cards…They are made lightweight on purpose so that you don’t have to have a huge structure at the bottom to hold it up…

What? Buildings are like houses of cards? This is not what I recall learning in the College of Engineering at UC Davis or in 25 years practicing structural engineering. What would the UC Structural Engineering professors say about Muller’s characterization of structural design principles? Fortunately he added:

…these things [the Twin Towers] are really solid at the bottom too.

Observing scientific principles, Dr. Harrit stated facts regarding the Cardington fire tests performed in the UK where unprotected steel beams achieved temperatures of up to 1,150° Centigrade without failure.18 Steel samples from the fire-affected floors of the Twin Towers were tested by NIST but reached only 250 degrees Centigrade.19 The highest column temperatures in WTC 7 were estimated at 300 degrees Centigrade20 —not hot enough to weaken steel.

Gage’s statement regarding molten steel, iron microspheres and extreme temperatures21 was clear and concise. Anyone listening who was not already familiar with this evidence would be alarmed. Thomas, far from being alarmed, simply dismissed the molten steel as molten aluminum from the aircraft or building exterior cladding.

Thomas claimed the chemical signature of thermite (a mixture of iron oxide and aluminum) was not found in the WTC dust. His ”explanation” for the energetic red-gray chips found by Dr. Steven Jones was that they were primer paint from open-web steel trusses used in the original construction of the towers. The research done by Harrit and others tested this possibility, and the chips were not red-oxide primer paint.22

Readers who have come this far should now have a sense of the nature of this debate. The conclusion will be left for listeners to discover at http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/73245, and I will close this discussion with a few words about Dr. Muller’s book mentioned previously.

Physics for Future Presidents—the Science Behind the Headlines, Chapter One, briefly discusses aircraft impact, energy contained in the jet fuel, and the ”sledgehammer” effect crushing the intact structure floor by floor. His hammer-and-nail analogy, however, does not explain the lack of deceleration at the moment of floor impact—otherwise known as the missing jolt.23 A brief and tenuous theory for the collapse of WTC 7 concludes Chapter One, and it does not even mention free fall.

When the building [WTC 1] collapsed, it brought down with it whatever jet fuel had not yet been consumed. The continued burning of this fuel caused the collapse (again, because of weakening of columns) of the nearby Building 7.

The FEMA 403 report, however, states:

…it is believed that almost all of the jet fuel that remained [following the initial fireball] on the impact floors was consumed in the first few minutes of the fire.24

This makes sense. And NIST NCSTAR 1-9 states:

…exterior columns and core columns [of WTC 7] also did not heat significantly on the fire floors.25

How—after 103 minutes of fire in WTC 1—was there enough jet fuel remaining to bring down WTC 7? And how could scattered fires on several floors cause a complete collapse at free-fall acceleration? This defies common sense. Future presidents and alert citizens deserve an honest explanation that meets strict standards for scientific integrity.

Thank you to all participants in the Twin Towers debate for an enlightening hour. With all due respect for their accomplishments, if Dave Thomas and Richard Muller are the most qualified proponents for the fire-induced collapse hypothesis put forth in the NIST reports, then I’ll continue studying the science and standing with Richard Gage and Niels Harrit.

Ronald H. Brookman, SE

 


[1] See http://www.ae911truth.org.
[2] See http://nielsharrit.org.
[3] See http://www.nmsr.org.
[4] See http://muller.lbl.gov.
[5] See http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/met_WTC_histories_full_01.html.
[6] See http://www.youtube.com/user/IC911STUDIES#p/u/5/IO1ps1mzU8o.
[7] See http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930227&slug=1687698.
[8] See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-GFBEX5bjY.
[9] See http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/guardian2/wtc/eng-news-record.htm.
[10] Steven E. Jones et al., ”Extremely High Temperatures during the World Trade Center Destruction”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, Volume 19, January 2008. See http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp.pdf.
[11] S. Shyam Sunder et al., NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, November 2008, p. 45.
[12] See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDvNS9iMjzA&list=PL206C1F5EDFC83824&index=1.
[13] Sunder et al.
[14] Therese P. McAllister et al., NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, November 2008, p. 194.
[15] NCSTAR 1-9, Fig. 5-141, p. 227.
[16] NCSTAR 1-9, p. 235.
[17] See http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/wtc/upload/combined2008publicComments-2.pdf.
[18] See http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/guardian2/fire/cardington.htm.
[19] Frank W. Gayle et al., NIST NCSTAR 1-3, Mechanical and Metallurgical Analysis of Structural Steel, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, September 2005, p. xli.
[20] Sunder et al., p. 21.
[21] Jones et al.
[22] Harrit et al.
[23] Graeme MacQueen and Tony Szamboti, ”The Missing Jolt: A Simple Refutation of the NIST-Bazant Collapse Hypothesis”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, Volume 19, January 2008. http://journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/TheMissingJolt7.pdf.
[24] Ronald Hamburger et al., FEMA 403, Ch.2, ”WTC 1 and WTC 2”, p. 2-22.
[25] NCSTAR 1-9, p. 394.

Insiders voice doubts about CIA’s 9/11 story: Former FBI agents say the agency’s bin Laden unit misled them about two hijackers

Source, w/ hyperlinks: http://www.salon.com/2011/10/14/insiders_voice_doubts_cia_911/singleton/

Friday, Oct 14, 2011 8:00 AM EST
Insiders voice doubts about CIA’s 9/11 story
Former FBI agents say the agency’s bin Laden unit misled them about two hijackers
By Rory O’Connor and Ray Nowosielski

A growing number of former government insiders — all responsible officials who served in a number of federal posts — are now on record as doubting ex-CIA director George Tenet’s account of events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Among them are several special agents of the FBI, the former counterterrorism head in the Clinton and Bush administrations, and the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, who told us the CIA chief had been “obviously not forthcoming” in his testimony and had misled the commissioners.

These doubts about the CIA first emerged among a group of 9/11 victims’ families whose struggle to force the government to investigate the causes of the attacks, we chronicled in our 2006 documentary film “Press for Truth.” At that time, we thought we were done with the subject. But tantalizing information unearthed by the 9/11 Commission’s final report and spotted by the families (Chapter 6, footnote 44) raised a question too important to be put aside:

Did Tenet fail to share intelligence with the White House and the FBI in 2000 and 2001 that could have prevented the attacks? Specifically, did a group in the CIA’s al-Qaida office engage in a domestic covert action operation involving two of the 9/11 hijackers, that — however legitimate the agency’s goals may have been — hindered the type of intelligence-sharing that could have prevented the attacks? And if not, then what would explain seemingly inexplicable actions by CIA employees?

As we sought to clarify how the CIA had handled information about the hijackers before 9/11, we found a half dozen former government insiders who came away from the Sept. 11 tragedy feeling burned by the CIA, particularly by a small group of employees within the agency’s bin Laden unit in 2000 and 2001, then known as Alec Station.

This is not a conspiracy theory or the speculation of uninformed people. Gov. Thomas Kean, co-chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which was responsible for investigating 9/11, agreed to an on-camera interview for our documentary in 2008. He surprised us by voicing many doubts and questions about the CIA’s actions preceding Sept. 11 — and especially about former CIA director George Tenet.

Four years after Tenet testified to the commission, Kean said the CIA director had been “obviously not forthcoming” in some of his testimony. Tenet said under oath that he had not met with President Bush in the month of August 2001, Kean recalled. It was later learned he had done so twice.

Did Tenet misspeak? we asked the New Jersey Republican.

“No, I don’t think he misspoke,” Kean responded. “I think he misled.”

A tale of two hijackers

The story buried in footnote 44 of Chapter 6 of the 9/11 Commission report was this:

The commission became aware in early 2004 of a warning written by Doug Miller, an FBI agent working inside the CIA’s Alec Station. In January 2000, Miller tried to inform his bosses about a man named Khalid Al Mihdhar, who had previously been identified as a member of an al-Qaida operational cadre. By the spring of 2000, the CIA had learned that Mihdhar and another suspected al-Qaida operative, Nawaf Al Hazmi, had likely arrived in Southern California. But the CIA did not pass along the information to the FBI.

The draft cable — blocked by Miller’s CIA superiors — was not turned over to the commissioners or to the earlier congressional investigation. It was discovered in CIA records by an investigator working for a concurrent inquiry conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Apparently it had been missed by Tenet’s DCI Review Group, convened immediately after the attacks to examine CIA records in order to prepare the director for the coming government investigations.

Kean was disturbed by the revelation.

“The idea that that information was left out of something that was so essential for the FBI, whose job it is to work within the United States and track these people … you know, it’s one of the most troubling aspects of our entire report, that particular thing,” Kean said.

We pushed Kean. Could it be this was a simple mistake, a failure to recognize the significance of Mihdhar and Hazmi, as the CIA had initially characterized it?

“Oh, it wasn’t careless oversight,” Kean replied. “It was purposeful. No question about that in my mind … In the DNA of these organizations was secrecy.”

Mihdhar and Hazmi boarded American Flight 77 at Washington Dulles airport on the morning of Sept. 11. After the plane took off, they joined three other men in commandeering the aircraft and flying it into the Pentagon, killing a total of 184 people.

So how then had George Tenet and those responsible at the CIA managed to get away with misrepresenting the incident as a mistake for so long?

“Tenet was a likable guy,” Kean concluded. “He got away with some stuff because people liked him.”

“Malfeasance and misfeasance”

In 2009, former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke took the scenario further. In an on-camera interview he suggested that Tenet, once a close friend and colleague, had ordered the withholding of the information about the two al-Qaida operatives from the FBI and from the White House.

Clarke explained why he had come to that remarkable conclusion. Tenet, he said, followed all information about al-Qaida “in microscopic detail” and would call Clarke at the White House several times a day to share “the most trivial of information.” In addition, there were terrorism threat meetings held in person every other day.

We must have had dozens, scores of threat committee meetings over the time when they knew these guys had entered the country … They told us everything except this … So now the question is, why?

The only explanation Clarke could offer was admittedly speculative: that the CIA may have been running an operation to recruit the two al-Qaida operatives while they were living under their own names in Southern California. This might appear to have been a reasonable thing for the CIA to do. After all, Bill Clinton’s White House had long complained to the agency about the lack of penetration agents in al-Qaida.

But if the CIA was following or recruiting or monitoring Mihdhar and Hazmi in the United States, that might well have qualified as operating on U.S. soil, a violation of the agency’s charter. Once the two men were identified as hijackers on Flight 77, CIA officials may have begun a coverup of their earlier “malfeasance and misfeasance,” as Clarke charges.

His language is blunt, especially for a national security policymaker.

“I am outraged and have been ever since I first learned that the CIA knew these guys were in the country,” explained Clarke. “But I believed for the longest time that this was probably one or two low-level CIA people who made the decision not to disseminate the information. Now that I know that 50 CIA officers knew this, and they included all kinds of people who were regularly talking to me, saying I’m pissed doesn’t begin to describe it.”

Clarke said he assumed that “there was a high-level decision in the CIA ordering people not to share that information.” When asked who might have issued such an order, he replied, “I would think it would have been made by the director,” referring to Tenet — although he added that Tenet and others would never admit to the truth today “even if you waterboarded them.”

The view from the FBI

We found the same suspicion was also prevalent among FBI counterterrorism agents from the time, particularly those who had worked under a legendary FBI agent named John O’Neill in New York. O’Neill, movingly portrayed in Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Looming Tower,” was one of the special agents in charge of counterterrorism in the FBI’s New York office. He retired to serve as chief of security at the World Trade Center and was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, only three weeks after leaving the bureau.

O’Neill’s deputy for counterterrorism was Pasquale D’Amuro, who was appointed inspector in charge of the FBI’s investigation into the attacks.

“I am cautious about saying it, because you have to deal with the facts,” D’Amuro told us. He said that he was told that Richard Blee, the chief of Alec Station, and his deputy, Tom Wilshere, had blocked the sharing of intelligence on Mihdhar and Hazmi with the FBI.

“I had heard that Blee stopped it from coming over, that Blee and Wilshere had had the conversation and stopped it,” D’Amuro said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that that went up further in the agency than just those two guys. And why they didn’t send it over — to this day, I don’t know why.”

Jack Cloonan, former manager at the FBI’s al-Qaida-busting I-49 Squad, is another insider pained by the CIA’s actions.

“If you start to look into everything that’s Khalid Al Mihdhar and Nawaf Al Hazmi, you can’t help but conclude to most people’s minds that this is it,” Cloonan, said during an emotional interview in his New Jersey living room. “9/11 occurred not because the systems failed. The systems actually worked. Somebody made a critical decision not to share this information … If you look at this, it’s really just a handful of people. I don’t know how they sleep at night, I really don’t.”

The CIA’s failure to inform the FBI meant that a last chance to stop the hijackers was missed, says Clarke.

“And if they had….” Clarke told us, his voice trailing off. “Even as late as Sept. 4,” he went on, “we would have conducted a massive sweep. We would have conducted it publicly. We would have found those assholes. There’s no doubt in my mind — even with only a week left — we would have found them…”

Clarke is not an infallible or even a disinterested witness. As a top counterterrorism adviser at the time of the attack, he cannot help but take the tragedy personally. That said, the fact that at least three FBI agents share his views certainly enhances his credibility.

A spokesman for the CIA rejects the notion, telling Salon, “any suggestion that the CIA purposely refused to share critical lead information on the 9/11 plots with the FBI is simply wrong.” The spokesman cited the 9/11 Commission report and a report of the CIA’s independent inspector general. (The latter study, completed in 2004, has never been made public.)

The story of the alleged CIA intelligence failure attracted little other media interest until this August. That’s when Tenet, Richard Blee and another CIA official criticized by Clarke, Counterterrorism Center director J. Cofer Black, replied to our request for an interview. We had asked them to respond to Clarke’s speculation.

Although they declined to be interviewed, Tenet, Black and Blee sent us a joint written statement that charged Clarke was “reckless and profoundly wrong” and that he had “suddenly invented baseless allegations which are belied by the record and unworthy of serious consideration.”

The statement, which we shared with the Daily Beast, was newsworthy because the three men had never before felt the need to explain their actions directly to the American public.

“We testified under oath about what we did, and what we didn’t know,” they stated. “We stand by that testimony.”

The relevance of their testimony to Clarke’s theory is hard to assess. Tenet and Black were never asked about the surveillance of Mihdhar and Hazmi, at least in their public testimony. Blee’s testimony has never been made public.

“You’re not going to say anything”

The CIA’s explanation is not convincing to Mark Rossini, an FBI agent who was assigned to Alec Station in 2000 and 2001. The assignment of tracking Khalid Al Mihdhar, he told us, had been given to a young staff operations officer who shared responsibility for watching events in Yemen along with Alec Station deputy chief Tom Wilshere.

Rossini, who resigned from the FBI in the wake of legal troubles, recalled in a phone interview that the staff officer’s direct supervisor was a redheaded analyst working directly for Wilshere. He says that this supervisor, not referred to by even so much as an alias in any of the government reports on 9/11, is the same woman who told congressional investigators that she had hand-delivered Mihdhar’s visa information to FBI headquarters. This was later proven false when the investigators checked the log books at the FBI headquarters, discovering that she had never set foot in the building. Eleanor Hill, staff director of the congressional inquiry, also told us that her investigators found no evidence that the FBI had ever received the information.

Rossini remembered that the staff operations officer working under that redhead had ordered him and his fellow FBI agent Doug Miller not to tell their colleagues at the bureau, including John O’Neill’s New York office, that Mihdhar was likely on his way to the United States in early 2000.

“She got a little heated,” Rossini recalled. “She just put her hand on her hip and just said to me, ‘Listen, it’s not an FBI case. It’s not an FBI matter. When we want the FBI to know, we’ll let them know. And you’re not going to say anything.’”

Only two days before, this same officer had sent a message internally throughout the CIA misleading her fellow agents into believing that the information had been passed on to the FBI. Her later conversation with Rossini makes it appear that this was a deliberate misstatement. According to the Justice Department inspector general, she sent the misleading message only hours after posting an electronic note on Doug Miller’s draft warning to the FBI: “pls hold off … for now per [the CIA deputy chief of bin Laden unit],” a reference to Tom Wilshere.

We now know the staff officer is a woman named Michael Anne Casey. Her red-haired supervisor was a woman named Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.

Google penetrates the CIA

How we learned the names of those two CIA personnel can be summarized in one word: Google. In the case of the redhead, an Associated Press article from February 2011 seemed to refer to her. She had also been referenced in Jane Mayer’s book “The Dark Side,” by her middle name, Frances. The AP article stated that she had an unusual first name. After searching State Department nominations from the past decade — often cover positions for CIA personnel but still entered into the Congressional Record -– a contemporary historian named Kevin Fenton with whom we work closely found a name that seemed to fit.

For the staff officer, we knew three important facts. She had a “man’s name” — most likely Michael, the name used in the Commission Report. She was in her late 20s at the time of the incident, and was a “CIA brat,” meaning she had at least one parent or another family member inside the agency. We wondered if she might be related to a prominent CIA figure, as her boss Richard Blee had turned out to be. One of the first names that came to mind, given her probable birth year, was William J. Casey, Ronald Reagan’s CIA director.

Pairing the first name “Michael” with the last name “Casey,” we found a number of people with that name working in State Department or military positions. Again looking in the Congressional Record, we found the name Michael Anne Casey — a woman with a man’s name — and another website listing Casey as 27 years old in 1999 and living in the D.C. area, which seemed to make her very likely the person in question. (Incidentally, we were later informed that she is no relation to William J. Casey.)

A CIA threat

When we informed the agency’s Public Affairs office that we planned to release an investigative podcast on iTunes on Sunday, Sept. 11, that named Bikowsky and Casey, the agency replied immediately.

“We strongly believe it is irresponsible and a potential violation of criminal law [emphasis added] to print the names of two reported undercover CIA officers who you claim have been involved in the hunt against al-Qaida,” said spokesman Preston Golson.

Erring on the side of caution, we took the names out of our podcast. On the day we released the revised podcast on our website, we heard from Sibel Edmonds. A former FBI analyst and prominent whistleblower, Edmonds posted a story on her blog Sept. 21 stating that she had three credible sources and a document confirming that the redhead in our revised story was Bikowsky. She also stated that the staff officer involved was Michael Anne Casey and cited our website, Secrecy Kills. It was only then that we discovered our webmaster had briefly and inadvertently placed our entire email to the CIA on our site. Edmonds saw the information and published it.

Within minutes the information had spread widely through social media on the Internet. Before long Gawker breathlessly announced the latest of the CIA’s problems: that Bikowsky, who had risen to become the head of the CIA’s global jihad unit, had been outed. The rather more significant story — that a CIA intelligence failure had contributed to the 9/11 attacks — got short shrift from the popular gossip site.

In an effort to clarify the story, we asked the CIA two factual questions. We asked if Bikowsky’s statement to the congressional 9/11 inquiry — that she had delivered Mihdhar’s visa information to the FBI prior to the attacks — was accurate.

We also asked if former FBI agent Mark Rossini’s recollection that Michael Anne Casey had told him not to report information about Mihdhar and Hazmi was accurate.

The agency did not address the specifics of either question.

“We do not, as a rule, publicly confirm or deny the identities of currently serving agency officers,” a spokesman replied. “That includes those dedicated to the disruption of terrorist plots. The officers involved in those critical efforts have, thanks to their skill and focus, saved countless American lives.”

The story of Mihdhar and Hazmi could easily be clarified, says Robert Baer, a retired CIA officer in the Middle East who worked directly with some of the people involved.

“A lot of these people who withheld this information were not covert operatives,” he explained. “There was no reason to hide their names. They are out there in the public. You can find them in data and credit checks and the rest of it … They certainly could have been brought before the House or the Senate in closed session and an explanation and a report put out there.”

Langley on the defensive

The CIA prefers not to disclose but to protect the handful of people at the heart of this story.

Tenet remained George W. Bush’s CIA director for another two and a half years, where he was famously involved in passing along faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction that justified the disastrous invasion of Iraq. On Dec. 14, 2004, George Tenet was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush.

Richard Blee, chief of Alec Station in 2001, reportedly took over the CIA operation during the invasion of Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama bin Laden when bin Laden was surrounded in the mountains of Tora Bora three months after 9/11. According to 23-year career CIA officer Gary Berntsen, as reported in his book, “Jawbreaker,” Blee was in charge at the time bin Laden managed to slip away to Pakistan to live comfortably for nearly a decade. Harper’s Ken Silverstein reported that Blee was active in the controversial renditions and detainee-abuse programs. He is now retired and living in Los Angeles.

We do not know exactly what became of Tom Wilshere, a mysterious figure who has managed to maintain an even lower profile than the rest. Dale Watson, former head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, told us that us that Wilshere became a White House briefer during the Bush era.

Casey and Bikowsky have risen in the CIA’s ranks, despite the fact that Bikowsky has been associated with at least one major blunder. The AP reported that Bikowsky was at the center of “the el-Masri incident,” in which an innocent German citizen was renditioned (a euphemism for kidnapped) by the CIA in 2003 and held under terrible conditions (a euphemism for tortured) in a secret Afghan prison. The AP characterized it as “one of the biggest diplomatic embarrassments of the U.S. war on terrorism.” It was no doubt something more to Khaled el-Masri. Despite that episode Bikowsky was promoted.

As chief of the counterterrorism center, Cofer Black was the boss of Casey, Bikowsky and Blee. He too was associated with the abuses of the extraordinary rendition program. He resigned shortly after George Bush was elected to a second term. Black then served as vice chairman of Blackwater USA, the controversial U.S.-based private security firm, from 2005 to 2008. Earlier this month Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that Black would join his campaign as a foreign policy adviser.

Rory O’Connor is an award-winning journalist, author and filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the international media firm Globalvision. Producer-writer Ray Nowosielski made his documentary debut directing “Press for Truth” in 2006. Co-founder of the media production company Banded Artists, he also was a senior producer for Globalvision. More Rory O’Connor and Ray Nowosielski

The “Very Scary” Iranian Terror Plot

By Glenn Greenwald

October 13, 2011 “Salon” —  The most difficult challenge in writing about the Iranian Terror Plot unveiled yesterday is to take it seriously enough to analyze it. Iranian Muslims in the Quds Force sending marauding bands of Mexican drug cartel assassins onto sacred American soil to commit Terrorism — against Saudi Arabia and possibly Israel — is what Bill Kristol and John Bolton would feverishly dream up while dropping acid and madly cackling at the possibility that they could get someone to believe it. But since the U.S. Government rolled out its Most Serious Officials with Very Serious Faces to make these accusations, many people (therefore) do believe it; after all, U.S. government accusations = Truth. All Serious people know that. And in the ensuing reaction one finds virtually every dynamic typically shaping discussions of Terrorism and U.S. foreign policy.To begin with, this episode continues the FBI’s record-setting undefeated streak of heroically saving us from the plots they enable. From all appearances, this is, at best, yet another spectacular “plot” hatched by some hapless loser with delusions of grandeur but without any means to put it into action except with the able assistance of the FBI, which yet again provided it through its own (paid, criminal) sources posing as Terrorist enablers. The Terrorist Mastermind at the center of the plot is a failed used car salesman in Texas with a history of pedestrian money problems. Dive under your bed. “For the entire operation, the government’s confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents,” explained U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and “no explosives were actually ever placed anywhere and no one was actually ever in any danger.’”

But no matter. The U.S. Government and its mindless followers in the pundit and think-tank “expert” class have seized on this ludicrous plot with astonishing speed to all but turn it into a hysterical declaration of war against Evil, Hitlerian Iran. “The US attorney-general Eric Holder said Iran would be ‘held to account’ over what he described as a flagrant abuse of international law,” and “the US says military action remains on the table,” though “it is at present seeking instead to work through diplomatic and financial means to further isolate Iran.” Hillary Clinton thundered that this “crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for.” The CIA’s spokesman at The Washington Post, David Ignatius, quoted an anonymous White House official as saying the plot “appeared to have been authorized by senior levels of the Quds Force.” Meanwhile, the State Department has issued a Travel Alert which warns American citizens that this plot “may indicate a more aggressive focus by the Iranian Government on terrorist activity against diplomats from certain countries, to include possible attacks in the United States.”

In case that’s not enough to frighten you — and, really, how could it not be? — some Very Serious Experts are very, very afraid and want you to know how Serious this all is. Within moments of Holder’s news conference, National Security Expert Robert Chesney  – without a molecule of critical thought in his brain —announced that this “remarkable development” was “very scary.” Very, very scary. Chesney then printed large blocks of the DOJ’s Press Release to prove it. Self-proclaimed “counter-terrorism expert” Daveed Gartenstein-Ross tapped into his vast expertise to explain: ”Holder weighing in on the plot’s connection to Iran means the administration is deadly serious about it.” Progressive think-tank expert and Atlantic writer Steve Clemons decreed that if the DOJ’s accusations are true, then ”the US has reached a point where it must take action” and “this is time for a significant strategic response to the Iran challenge in the Middle East and globally,” which “could involve military.”

The ironies here are so self-evident it’s hard to work up the energy to point them out. Outside of Pentagon reporters, Washington Post Editorial Page Editors, and Brookings “scholars,” is there a person on the planet anywhere who can listen with a straight face as drone-addicted U.S. Government officials righteously condemn the evil, illegal act of entering another country to commit an assassination? Does anyone, for instance, have any interest in finding out who is responsible for the spate of serial murders aimed at Iran’s nuclear scientists? Wouldn’t people professing to be so outraged by the idea of entering another country to engage in assassination be eager to get to the bottom of that?

Then there’s the War on Terror irony: our Hated Enemy here (Iran) is a country which had absolutely nothing  to do with the 9/11 attack. Meanwhile, our close ally, the victim on whose behalf we are so outraged (Saudi Arabia), is not only one of the most tyrannical and aggressive regimes on the planet, but produced 15 of the 19 hijackers and had extensive and still-unknown involvement in that attack. If the U.S. is so deeply offended by the involvement of a foreign government in an attack on U.S. soil, it would be looking first to its close friend Saudi Arabia, where “elements of the government” were likely involved in an actual plot rather than a joke of a plot.

To make sure you understand just how dastardly and evil the Iranian plotters here are, the DOJ in its complaint highlighted that the used-car-salesman-Terrorist-Mastermind said that he preferred that nobody else be killed when the Saudi Ambassador was assassinated, but if it were absolutely necessary, he could accept some unintended deaths! Here’s how the NYT summarizes that:

The complaint quotes Mr. Arbabsiar as making conflicting statements about the possibility of bystander deaths; at one point he is said to say that killing the ambassador alone would be preferable, but on another occasion he said it would be “no big deal” if many others at the restaurant — possibly including United States senators — died in any bombing.

What kind of monster thinks that way, we are supposed to ponder. Behold the warped mind of the Terrorist! He’s actually willing to accept that others die besides his intended targeted! Is that not the mentality that drives U.S. behavior in multiple countries around the world every day? The U.S. flattened an entire civilian apartment building in Baghdad with a 2,000-pound bomb when it thought Saddam Hussein was there (he wasn’t — oops — but lots of innocent people were). NATO repeatedly bombed structures in Tripoli where it thought (mistakenly) Moammar Gadaffi was located, in the process almost certainly killing large numbers of unintended targets. The U.S. just killed one of its own citizens that it insists (not very credibly) it did not intend to kill in order to eradicate the life of Anwar Awlaki, and killed dozens of innocent people when it previously tried to kill Awlaki with cluster bombs.

The U.S. is the living, breathing symbol of this “collateral damage” rationale. It’s what drives all the multi-nation American wars and occupations and drone campaigns and assassinations that continuously pile up the corpses of innocent people. But we’re all going to gather in righteous disgust at the idea that this monstrous International Terrorist would be willing to incur some unintended civilian deaths in order to assassinate an official of the peaceful, freedom-loving Saudi regime. Really, for brazen irony, how can this be beat?

Tom Kean, former chairman of the 9/11 Commission said the alleged plot “surprises me.” Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett, Kean said the plot is “pretty close to an act of war. You don’t go in somebody’s capital to blow somebody up.”

Meanwhile, President Obama decried this plot as “a flagrant violation of US and international law.” But maybe some Persian Marty Lederman in Tehran wrote a secret legal memo concluding that this was all in accordance with domestic and international law, which — as we know — is conclusive and provides a full shield of immunity.

So facially absurd are the claims here — why would Iran possibly wake up one day and decide that it wanted to engage in a Terrorist attack on U.S. soil when it could much more easily kill Saudi officials elsewhere? and if Iran and its Quds Force are really behind this inept, hapless, laughable plot, then nothing negates the claim that Iran is some Grave Threat like this does — that there is more skepticism expressed even in establishment media accounts than one normally finds about such things. Even the NYT noted — with great understatement — that the allegations “provoked puzzlement from specialists on Iran, who said it seemed unlikely that the government would back a brazen murder and bombing plan on American soil.” The Post noted that “the very rashness of the alleged assassination plot raised doubts about whether Iran’s normally cautious ruling clerics supported or even know about it.” The Atlantic‘s Max Fisher has more on why this would be so out of character for Iran.

But while some attention has been devoted to asking what motive Iran would have for doing this, little attention has been paid to asking what motive the U.S. would have for exaggerating or concocting the connection of Iran’s government to this plot. Aside from the benefits the FBI and DOJ receive when breaking up a “very scary” plot — the bigger, the better — it has been one of Obama’s highest foreign policy priorities to isolate Iran and sanction it further: as a means of placating Israel and punishing Iran for thwarting America’s natural right to rule that region (so monstrous is Iran that, as the U.S. has repeatedly complained, they actually continue to “interfere” in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan!). As Ignatius explains, the U.S. Government instantly converted this plot into a vehicle for furthering those policy ambitions:

With its alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Iran has handed the United States an opportunity to undermine Tehran at a moment when U.S. officials believe the Iranian regime is especially vulnerable. . . . “We see this as a chance to go out to capitals around the world and talk to allies and partners about what the Iranians tried to do,” the [White House] official said. “We’re not going to tolerate targeting a diplomat in Washington. We’re going to try to use this to isolate them to the maximum extent possible.”

Meanwhile, Joe Biden announced today that the U.S. is “working to unite the world” behind a response to Iran’s “outrageous” actions and that ”nothing has been taken off the table.” So Iran’s supposed involvement in this plot is the ideal weapon for the U.S. to advance its long-standing goals with regard to that country. Maybe that warrants some serious skepticism about whether the U.S. Government’s claims are true? But we all know that only Bad Muslim countries exploit foreign policy exaggerations or fabrications for political gain, and not the United States of America (especially not with Barack Obama, rather than a Republican, in the White House).

What’s most significant is that not even 24 hours have elapsed since these allegations were unveiled. No evidence has been presented of Iran’s involvement. And yet there is no shortage of people — especially in the media — breathlessly talking about all of this as though it’s all clearly true. If the Obama administration decided tomorrow that military action against Iran were warranted in response, is there any doubt that large majorities of Americans — and large majorities of Democrats — would support that? As I said when discussing the Awlaki killing, the truly “scary” aspect of all of this is that the U.S. Government need only point and utter the word “Terrorist” and hordes of citizens will rise up and demand not evidence, but blood.

 

UPDATE: Perpetual war-cheerleader Ken Pollack of Brookings says that, if true, this plot “shows that Tehran is meaner and nastier than ever before” and “would represent a major escalation of Iranian terrorist operations against the United States.” Also, he announces, this “should remind us that Iran also is not a normal country by any stretch of the imagination.” That — self-anointed arbiter of who is and is not a “normal country” — from a person as responsible as any pundit or think-tank expert for the attack on Iraq that killed at least 100,000 human beings, denouncing as Terrorists and abnormal a country that has invaded nobody.

 

UPDATE II: On NPR this morning, Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations — and Ken Pollack’s co-author on Iran — said this when asked if he has any doubts about the accuracy of U.S. government statements: “The only unusual aspect of this is actually having a terrorist operation on American territory. I don’t know what the evidence about this is, but I’m not in a position to doubt it.” That perfectly summarizes the political, media and “expert” class’ attitude toward U.S. Government claims: they’re keeping everything secret about their accusations, so there’s no reason to doubt what they’re claiming. The National Security Priesthood that uncritically amplified every U.S. Government claim and fanned the flames of war against Iraq is alive, well, and more mindless and dutiful than ever.

 

UPDATE III: The Christian Science Monitor details the many reasons why “Iran specialists who have followed the Islamic Republic for years say that many details in the alleged plot just don’t add up.”

 

UPDATE IV: On Good Morning America this morning, Joe Biden warned that “the Iranians are going to have to be held accountable” and “nothing has been taken off the table,” and then promised: “And when you see the case presented you will find there is compelling evidence for the assertion being made.” Except — after 24 hours of media hysteria — there’s this Reuters article, which — under the headline “Officials concede gaps in U.S. knowledge of Iran plot” — reports:

Iran’s supreme leader and the shadowy Quds Force covert operations unit were likely aware of an alleged plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, but hard evidence of that is scant, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

The United States does not have solid information about “exactly how high it goes,” one official said. . . .The U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said their confidence that at least some Iranian leaders were aware of the alleged plot was based largely on analyses and their understanding of how the Quds Force operates.

I wouldn’t exactly call that — what was the phrase Biden used? — “compelling evidence for the assertions being made.” In fact, it reminds me of the language anonymous government officials began using to describe their “knowledge” of Anwar Awlaki’s alleged operational role in plots against the U.S. once they killed him: “patchy”; “partial”; “suspicion.” But what we learned with Awlaki is likely what we’ll see here: many people reflexively believe government accusations even when unaccompanied by evidence, and that belief is not diluted even when government officials began acknowledging (albeit anonymously) that they do not possess and never did possess any conclusive evidence to support their accusations.

 
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