Requesting release of the NIST computer model for WTC7

 by Prof. Steven Jones

Yesterday, I went to a town hall meeting with an aid to US Senator Mike Lee (UT) and expressed my concerns regarding NIST’s report on WTC 7. The Senator’s aid was open minded and well aware that some felt strongly that events of 9/11 were allowed by the US government or even “orchestrated” (his term).

It seems to me that a new investigation by Congress would be most unlikely at this stage. Instead, I requested that NIST’s computer model for the WTC7 failure and fall be released to us so that independent testing can proceed (my letter below). The aid to Senator Lee assured me that he would pass this request along to the Senator and include my concerns in his report to Senator Lee.

Do you think this approach has merit? Could we successfully apply pressure to NIST to release their WTC 7 computer model, via Senators, Congresspersons, polls, etc? Is this a worthwhile goal for the 9/11 Truth Community? Could AE911Truth engineers run the model if it were released?

To: Senator Mike Lee (Utah)
From:
Dr. Steven E. Jones
Professor of Physics, Ret.
[address given]

1. The key to good science is independent verification.
2. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was charged by Congress to explain the complete collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11/2001 (the 47-story building that was not hit by a plane).
3. NIST developed a computer model with adjustable parameters to explain the WTC 7 collapse.
4. I request that this WTC7-fall computer model be released immediately in a computer-ready form so that independent testing/verification can proceed. This model was developed using taxpayer funds.
5. In particular, NIST states in their 2008 report,
“The steel was assumed in the FDS model to be thermally-thin, thus, no thermal conductivity was used.” I challenge that assumption, and wish to insert into the computer model the known physical value for thermal conductivity, to see how this changes things.

6. There are now over 1,700 engineers and architects in the AE911Truth.org society, and I am confident that our combined expertise will permit us to perform the independent verification of the NIST WTC7 computer model, once that computer simulation is released in full to us, in computer-ready form.

7. Contact information for NIST:

NIST WTC Investigation Team
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8610
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8610
Phone: (301) 975-6051
Email: wtc@nist.gov

Sincerely,

Dr. Steven E. Jones

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The nexus between terror propaganda and terrorism: Bremer and Jenkins

 

 

By Kevin Ryan
Posted on July 21, 2012

Terrorism is theater.” – Brian Michael Jenkins

For many years prior to 9/11, two Americans were in unique positions to originate and frame the national conversation about terrorism.  Those same two people, Brian Michael Jenkins and L. Paul Bremer, played extraordinary roles related to aviation security and World Trade Center (WTC) security in the few years before the 9/11 attacks.  Could Bremer and Jenkins have been front men for a program that hyped the threat of terrorism while at the same time manufacturing terrorist events for political purposes?

If so, it would not have been the first time that the American people were subject to the hard sell of a threat to national security only to discover that the threat was overblown or non-existent.  The Soviet military threat to the U.S. after World War II is now widely known to have been a fabrication hyped for political and financial gains.[1]

The propaganda that drove the Cold War was effective in establishing government policy primarily because it was effective in framing the national conversation about what threats were important to consider, and in controlling the media.  The same has been true for the propaganda driving the War on Terror.  A short review of the people and reports that promoted the Soviet communist threat is helpful in understanding the “Islamic terrorist” threat that has evolved from it.

The communist threat and state-sponsored terrorism

One man, Paul Nitze, was behind the three most important reports that promoted the perception of a Soviet threat against the United States after World War II.  The first of these reports, NSC68, was instrumental in changing the policy of the Truman Administration, which initially did not perceive the Soviets as a major threat.  The second Nitze report was the Gaither Report that, in 1957, said the U.S. had fallen behind the Soviets in nuclear weaponry.

As an investment banker turned top government policy maker, Nitze was clearly a powerful man.  Author Burton Hersh has said that Nitze was one of two people who met quarterly in Frank Wisner’s office to select the missions that would be approved for The Office of Policy Coordination, the CIA’s early covert operations group.[2]

Nitze was also the founder of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD). This was a political action group that brought about the remilitarization of the U.S. in the 1950s by promoting the ideas in NSC68.  CPD was resurrected in 1975 and 1976 by Cold War hawks, including Donald Rumsfeld, who wanted to eliminate the policy of détente and Soviet containment in favor of another military build-up.  The group was resurrected yet again in 2004 to promote a more aggressive War on Terror.[3]

Author Peter Dale Scott noted a significant difference in process between the first incarnation of the CPD and the second.  As Scott wrote, the first CPD was created by a consensus within the state to mobilize against a Soviet threat that was open to misunderstanding at the time.  The second iteration, however, “was mounted in opposition to a government policy that threatened to establish a more peaceful and less militarized world. In short, the interests being defended were not those of the nation but of the military-industrial complex itself.”[4]

Nitze became the Secretary of the Navy in 1963, serving until 1967, and therefore he was in that position at the time of the 1964 Tonkin Gulf incident.  The resulting Gulf of Tonkin Resolution brought the U.S. military into Vietnam based on claims about an attack on U.S. Navy vessels.  Government records, produced as early as 1968, indicate that Nitze was responsible for suppressing documents that proved the Tonkin Gulf claims made by the U.S. Navy were false.[5]  The U.S. ships were never attacked.

Despite these troubling facts, Nitze went on to serve as Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1967 to 1969. His boss, Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, essentially left the management of the DOD to Nitze.[6]  But it was Clifford who authored the official report on the 1967 U.S.S. Liberty attack.  Clifford’s report found that the Israeli military was negligent but that the aggression against the Liberty was not pre-meditated.[7]  Many of the survivors maintain that it was deliberate.[8]  Clifford went on to infamy as a leading figure in the terrorist-financing Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

In 1969, Nitze and his mentor, Dean Acheson, began to tutor aspiring politicos that had been recommended by their colleague Albert Wohlstetter of the University of Chicago and the RAND Corporation.  Under Nitze’s supervision, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz had their introduction to the workings and power structure of the U.S. government.[9]

The Tonkin Gulf non-event was undoubtedly an example of false flag manipulation for political purposes and the Liberty incident appears to have been a major cover-up of an attack upon U.S. servicemen. State-sponsored terrorism was already a well-established fact by then, however. For example, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a plan called Operation Northwoods in 1962.

Operation Northwoods called “for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. [This would provide] the public and international backing they needed to launch their war.”[10]  The signed documents are available today and because of this we know that high level U.S. government representatives conspire, on occasion, to commit crimes against the American people for the purpose of starting wars.[11]

Although Operations Northwoods was rejected by President Kennedy, the plan becomes more interesting historically when one considers the ensuing activities of the members of the JCS who approved that plan.  For example, JCS chaiman Lyman Leminitzer went directly from approving Operation Northwoods in 1962 to become Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR), from 1963 to 1969, putting him in charge of NATO forces.  According to author Daniele Ganser, the SACEUR ran an agency called the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC) that was responsible for coordinating Operation Gladio.[12]

Gladio was a well-coordinated covert campaign of terrorism directed by the U.S. and other Western governments against their own populations. Hundreds of innocent people were killed or maimed in terrorist attacks which were then blamed on leftist subversives or other political opponents.  Italian General Paolo Inzerilli commanded the Italian forces of Gladio from 1974 to 1986 and he later said that “the omnipresent United States dominated the secret CPC that directed the secret war.”[13]

From NATO and CPC headquarters in Paris, and later Brussels, the U.S. played a leading role in arming and coordinating the terrorist groups in various European countries from 1960 into the late 1980s.  Run largely by the US, Britain and Belgium, other NATO countries involved included Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, and Greece.  The terrorist attacks of Gladio were coupled with terror propaganda in order to drive public and political will to fund and support ever-increasing military preparation and response to the perceived communist threat.

Incidentally, Donald Rumsfeld was the U.S. Ambassador to NATO in 1973 and 1974 and was living and working amidst the Gladio planners in Brussels during the height of that program’s operations.  Alexander Haig became SACEUR as Rumsfeld left Brussels, and he remained in that position until 1979.  Haig was a Nixon White House colleague of Bremer, Jenkins and Rumsfeld before and after his time as SACEUR.

Paul Nitze got his chance to oversee the third major report that hyped the Soviet threat thanks to another Operations Northwoods signatory. The project known as Team B was initiated through the actions of President Ford’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, led by Operation Northwoods signatory George Anderson.  Team B was a re-evaluation of existing CIA (or Team A) data, by a small group of “outside experts” led by Richard Pipes, that falsely portrayed the Soviet military threat as persistent and growing when all objective evidence said the opposite.  The initiative was approved by CIA Director George H.W. Bush, and Nitze and Paul Wolfowitz were among the lead advisors.

While Rumsfeld was in Brussels, a European “network of private-sector spies” called Cercle Pinay decided to export its propaganda techniques to the United States.  Cercle Pinay operated during the Cold War era to provide “covert funding, black propaganda, and …connections to planned coups de etat” for a private intelligence network that was composed of “rogue agents of the international Right.”[14]

In 1974 the British part of the Cercle complex worked to create a transatlantic bridgehead of its propaganda front, the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC), called the Washington Institute for the Study of Conflict (WISC).  In April 1975, WISC was formally founded.  ISC, staffed by former MI6 agents, “put over the intelligence community’s views to the press under the guise of a neutral academic research body.”  WISC followed suit in the States.

WISC joined forces with an existing propaganda machine based in New York, and founded by William Casey and CPD member Frank R. Barnett, called the National Strategy Information Center (NSIC).   At the same time, the roles of NItze and the other Team B champions of the military-industrial complex grew under the Ford and Reagan administrations.

The last meeting of Cercle Pinay occurred in December 1979, and was attended by William Colby, Federal Reserve Bank chairman Paul Volcker, and Heritage Foundation president Edwin Feulner.  The operations of the Cercle complex were redirected by the new head of the French SDECE, Alexandre de Marenches.  It was de Marenches who then led the formation of the Safari Club.  De Marenches also recommended William Casey as CIA director to Ronald Reagan, and became friends with the Belgian-American propagandist Arnaud de Borchgrave, who was later a shareholder in Stratesec.[15]

As with Nitze’s leadership of the three primary reports on the Soviet threat, two men were primary leaders of the terrorism-related commissions in the years leading up to 9/11.  These men were Brian Michael Jenkins and L. Paul Bremer.  With the help of Nitze and others, Bremer and Jenkins transformed the Soviet threat into a threat of “international terrorism” in the 1970s and 1980s, and further transformed that threat into today’s widely held belief in “Islamic terrorism.”  To better understand the roles that Bremer and Jenkins played related to 9/11, and as terror propagandists, we should examine their personal histories.

Brian Michael Jenkins

From 1989 to1998, Jenkins was the deputy chairman of Crisis Management for Kroll Associates. Kroll directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) response to the 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) bombing in terms of security upgrades. As stated by the PANYNJ program manager for WTC security systems, Douglas G. Karpiloff — “After the bombing, we had the top security consultants in the nation, Kroll Associates, do a complete security analysis for us, and we followed their recommendations.”[16]

During this time, Jenkins reviewed the possibility of airliners crashing into the Twin Towers.[17]  As the leader of the WTC threat assessment, Jenkins was later questioned about plans that might have been made to avoid what happened on 9/11.  Jenkins said –”We knew there was no realistic way to protect the skyscrapers from a suicide mission. We couldn’t very well mount missile batteries above the Windows on the World restaurant.”[18]

Jenkin’s history as a special operations officer and long-time right-wing political advisor contributed to criticism of his role at the WTC.  Not long after the 1993 bombing it was reported that Jenkins was “trotted out” to explain the threat we faced.  Described as one of “the hoariest holdovers from the era of Reagan ‘roll, back,’ RAND’s Brian Jenkins was both an apologist for and one of the architects of the contra war against Nicaragua–a terror war aimed primarily at the civilian population and infrastructure.”[19]

Jenkins played a critical role in planning for future terrorist events at the WTC, including having reviewed the possibility of airliner crashes before they actually happened on 9/11.  Coupled with the claims that he participated in planning and implementing a “terror war” in Central America during the 1980s, these facts should make him a subject of considerable examination with respect to 9/11.

Born in 1942, and commissioned in the infantry at the age of 19, Jenkins was a Special Forces soldier who saw action in many covert operations of the 1960s.  He was in Guatemala in 1965, the year that U.S. security adviser John P. Longan arrived and, “along with a Guatemalan Army élite, launched Operation Cleanup, a death squad operation that throughout 1966 effected kidnappings and assassinations that killed the leaders of Guatemala’s labor unions and peasant federations.”[20]

Jenkins was also part of the 7th Special Forces occupation of the Dominican Republic, in which only “around 75 members of E company of the 7th Special Forces Group were deployed.”[21]  Jenkins then went on to serve with the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam where he lived in the countryside among villagers, “trying to recruit as many as possible into a pro-U.S. counter-guerrilla force.”[22]

During this time Jenkins signed on as a field consultant for the RAND Corporation.  He became well known for a confidential 1968 paper he wrote for RAND entitled “The Unchangeable War.”[23]  Jenkins cited nine obstacles to a U.S. victory in Vietnam and suggested the war could be lost due these symptoms of the military’s “institutional rigidity.”  He also pointed out that his boss, General Cleighton Abrams, was in charge of a pacification program run by Robert Komer, who was credited with managing the mass murder project known as the Phoenix Program and later became a WISC member.

In a 1971 paper that described the last ditch effort to “Vietnamize” the war, Jenkins thanked his RAND colleagues Romer and Fred Ikle.[24]  As a pioneer in psychological operations, Ikle had written reports and memoranda for RAND through the 1960s.  It seems reasonable to wonder if Jenkins was also a psychological operative and if he was part of the Phoenix Program, as is suspected of Richard Armitage.

In 1972, at the age of 30, Jenkins launched RAND’s terrorism research program.  He was “summoned to Washington by the Nixon administration and asked to help set up a Cabinet-level committee to deal with the terrorism threat.”[25]  Two years later, Jenkins wrote that terrorism sometimes works.  He also made clear that the ability to engage in terrorism was not limited to foreigners, but that even U.S. soldiers could be seen as terrorists if they killed civilians.  Jenkins wrote about “government terror” and how national governments would begin to employ terrorists as surrogates.[26]

Jenkins further explained that –“Terrorism is aimed at the people watching, not at the actual victims.  Terrorism is theater.”[27]  He believed that one objective of terrorism was “to enforce obedience and cooperation. This is the normal objective of state or official terrorism” and that “success demands the creation of an atmosphere of fear and the seeming omnipresence of the internal security apparatus.”[28]

Jenkins wrote papers with WISC member George K. Tanham and was published not only by RAND but also through Crane Russak Company, which published papers by WISC member James Theberge, NSIC propagandist Frank R. Barnett., and Paul Nitze.

A 1976 paper by Jenkins described a RAND summit meeting on terrorism that included such luminaries as Andrew Marshall.  In this paper, Jenkins argued for the more flexible military that Rumsfeld later promoted, and he called for the creation of a new kind of special operations unit, just like the Joint Special Operations Command that succeeded the OPC a few years later, to collaborate with the CIA to address terrorism.  It was also suggested that U.S. counterterrorism collaboration with the British, West Germans and Israelis should continue.[29]

In 1981, Donald Rumsfeld became Chairman of the Board for the RAND Corporation, a role he remained in until 1986 and filled again from 1995 to 1996.  As Rumsfeld took over at RAND, Jenkins reviewed media exaggeration of terrorist events and the psychological impact of that coverage.  He wrote – “The media exaggerate the strength of the terrorists, creating the illusion of their omnipresence.”  At the same time, he reviewed public support, via poll responses, for a “special world police force” to combat terrorism.[30]

Around this time, Jenkins began to advocate for using terrorism to psychologically manipulate civilian populations. As an advisor in the construction of a counterinsurgency program in El Salvador, Jenkins recommended that traditional methods be supplemented by the use of propaganda to discredit insurgents as “terrorists.”  In another 1984 paper, Jenkins recommended that the U.S. engage in low-intensity warfare against Nicaragua through a proxy army.  Such actions fall within Jenkins’ own definition of state sponsored terrorism.[31]

By 1986, Jenkins was among a small group that advised Secretary of State George Shultz on matters of terrorism.  It was said that “his trips to Washington became more frequent. He also spent time with CIA Director William J. Casey, Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger and other administration advisors.”[32]  That same year Bremer became the new Ambassador at Large for Counter-terrorism and Richard Armitage was working as the lead counter-terrorism representative for the Department of Defense.

In 1988, it was beginning to become clear that the image of a Soviet threat could no longer be sustained.  The Soviet empire was crumbling economically and that fact could not be glossed over.  At the time, Jenkins began suggesting that long-proclaimed Soviet responsibility for terrorism was not based on evidence but was politically required in the Reagan era.  Jenkins believed that blaming the Soviets going forward could only hurt the anti-terrorism efforts.  A new enemy was needed.

The problem was that a new enemy of Soviet caliber was not evident at the time.  Libya was again blamed for the December 1988 Lockerbie bombing, but the predecessors to al Qaeda, were still working for the CIA in Afghanistan.  In fact, Richard Armitage was meeting and working with the Pakistani ISI and the Mujahideen, parts of which would later be known as al Qaeda.[33]

Between 1988 and 1998 the U.S. /al Qaeda connection grew, as evidenced by the recruiting done in U.S. centers like al-Kifah in New York, and by the revelations about al Qaeda’s operative Ali Mohamed. Known as a key planner for the first WTC attack in 1993 and a trainer for the 9/11 plot, Mohamed was a U.S. Army drill sergeant and an informant for the FBI.  He was allowed to move freely in and out of the U.S. for many years and when detained, he was allowed to plea-bargain.[34]

U.S. protection of operatives like Mohamed was one way to ensure an increase in terrorism.  But to transform the primary threat from one of a monolithic Soviet or communist empire to a more flexible, non-state terrorist organization like al Qaeda, significant amounts of inter-government communication coupled with public propaganda was required.  That is, we needed official commissions to assess and report on the new threat.

In 1996, Jenkins was appointed to the “White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security,” joining Vice President Gore, Stratesec director James Abrahamson, former CIA director John Deutch, and FBI director Louis Freeh.  One recommendation of the Commission urged all-civilian implementation of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices provided by the Defense department.[35]  Other recommendations focused on the passenger profiling and technology related to hijacking prevention.

In 1999 Jenkins co-authored a book entitled Aviation Terrorism and Security with British professor Paul Wilkinson.[36]  Wilkinson was a terrorism propagandist for the Cercle Pinay and ISC, the parent organization of WISC.[37]  He often made public presentations with ISC leaders, including Brian Crozier, Robert Moss and Hans Josef Horchem, head of the German terror propaganda outlet.

As a primary terrorism advisor for Margaret Thatcher, Wilkinson was invited to speak at the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism (JCIT) in July 1979, along with Benjamin Netanyahu, Team B members Richard Pipes and George Keegan, Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson, and George H.W. Bush.

As author Nafeez Ahmed wrote in The War on Truth,

the JCIT established the ideological foundations for the ‘War on Terror.’  The JCIT’s defining theme was that international terrorism constituted an organized political movement whose ultimate origin was the Soviet Union”.[38]

Later, in 1999 and 2000, Jenkins served as an advisor to the National Commission on Terrorism, led by L. Paul Bremer, otherwise known as the “Bremer Commission.”  Details of that Commission’s findings are related below.

Jenkins was also made a primary advisor to the Hart-Rudman Commission, another of the major terrorism related commissions chartered to evaluate the new threat.  Members of the Hart-Rudman Commission included Lee Hamilton, who would later become vice-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Lynne Cheney, who would quit the commission apparently due to other members not agreeing with her claim that a war with China was the biggest threat to the U.S..[39]

The Hart-Rudman Commission reported in January 2001 that “America will become increasingly vulnerable to hostile attack on our homeland, and our military superiority will not help us.” The Commission also predicted that — “Space will become a critical and competitive military environment” and called for “the creation of a new independent National Homeland Security Agency.”[40]

After 9/11, in a 2002 pamphlet called “Countering al Qaeda,” Jenkins wrote – “Al Qaeda constitutes the most serious immediate threat to the security of the United States.” He thanked Bremer.

L. Paul Bremer

Bremer is most well known for being the Iraq Occupation governor after the 2003 U.S. invasion and for having made many of the decisions that drove Iraqi society into a spiraling downturn.  But the man can easily be seen as the most important figure in the U.S. assessment of terrorism prior to 9/11.

Oddly enough, Bremer was at the WTC on 9/11.  His employer at the time of the attacks, insurance giant Marsh & McLennan, occupied the exact eight floors of the north tower impact zone.  In October 2000, Bremer took a job as the CEO of Marsh Political Risk Practice and he had an office in the south tower.  Exactly what political risks he was assessing at the time are not known, but he was in precise position to help take advantage of the political win on 9/11.

On the day of the attacks, he was interviewed on NBC television and stated that Osama bin Laden was responsible and that possibly Iraq and Iran were involved too, and he called for the most severe military response possible. Google removed the interview video from its servers three times, and blocked it once.[41]

Bremer was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1941, making him just a year older than Jenkins.  He was educated at Ivy League prep schools including Phillips Academy a few years before George W. Bush.  Like Bush, Bremer also graduated from Yale University, in 1963.  He went on to earn a Certificate of Political Studies in 1964 from the Institut D’Etudes Politiques of the University of Paris, and then went on to Harvard for an MBA.

In 1966 he joined the Foreign Service, which sent him first to Kabul, Afghanistan, as a general services officer. He was later assigned to Blantyre, Malawi, as economic and commercial officer, from 1968 to 1971.

At the time, the CIA was putting its agents in Foreign Service offices in order to ensure diplomatic immunity, and to provide security for the files and communications. History had led to the “establishment of small to very large contingents of American intelligence officers in most of our embassies and consulates throughout the world.”[42]

Bremer was in Malawi when it was essentially a police state, and only a few years after Frank Carlucci was assigned to the same general area.  Carlucci was urgently expelled from Tanzania by that country’s president after the U.S. was accused of using white mercenaries to attack from neighboring regions.[43]  Carlucci was formally referred to as a “Foreign Service” agent, yet was also expelled from both Congo and Zanzibar for subversive activities.

During the 1970s, Bremer held various domestic posts with the State Department, including as an assistant to Henry Kissinger from 1972 to 1976. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Oslo from 1976-79, during the time that Alexander Haig was SACEUR.

Bremer returned to the US to take a post of Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State from 1979 to 1981.  Interestingly, a 1979 letter to Bremer was seized in the US embassy in Tehran during the revolution. The letter, written two months before the U.S. hostages were taken, assured Bremer that “our interest in continued access to Iran’s oil should be safeguarded by the new government’s ability to maintain order in the oil fields and its need for earnings.”[44]

In 1981 Bremer was made Executive Secretary and Special Assistant to Alexander Haig.  Shortly after Haig’s resignation in June 1982, senior officials in the State Department were told by Bremer, who “runs the nuts-and-bolts operations of the department,” to prepare brief memos on key issues to bring Mr. Shultz up to date.[45]  As Schultz settled in as the new Secretary of State, he specifically chose to retain Bremer and Lawrence Eagleburger among his top aides.

Ronald Reagan appointed Bremer as Ambassador to the Netherlands in 1983 and Bremer stayed in that position until 1986. The secret wars of Gladio proceeded in The Netherlands while Bremer was there, as they had in Norway when he was Deputy Chief of Mission in that country.[46]

In 1986, Reagan brought Bremer back to the U.S. by appointing him Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism as well as Coordinator for Counterterrorism.  William Casey and the others in the Reagan administration had been meeting with Brian Jenkins that year on the terrorist threat.  At the time, Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi was cited the greatest purveyor of terrorism.  This might have had something to do with Qaddafi’s attempts to convert his oil trade from U.S. dollars to a new African gold dinar. But the bombing of a Berlin discotheque was blamed on Libya and the U.S. bombed the country in response.

While Bremer was the Ambassador to the Netherlands and then the State Department’s counterterrorism lead, Paul Nitze was Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Arms Control.  Nitze went on to serve in a similar role for George H.W. Bush, but Bremer resigned to join Kissinger Associates as Managing Director.

As Bremer resigned, the New York Times reported that Reagan’s Clint Eastwood-style talk about fighting terrorism had come to little or nothing in terms of justice.  During Bremer’s tenure only one terrorist was ever brought to the U.S. for trial, and he was small potatoes.  Abu Nidal was cited as the “most notorious practitioner of terror in the Middle East” yet no indictment for Nidal was issued.[47]

Kissinger Associates had a number of meetings with BCCI representatives, perhaps while Bremer worked there.  BCCI was involved in funding terrorists and was linked to the Pakistani intelligence network, from which several alleged 9/11 conspirators came, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In fact, Time magazine reported that — “You can’t draw a line separating the bank’s black operatives and Pakistan’s intelligence services.”[48]  As the BCCI scandal came to a crescendo, Bremer and his colleagues at Kissinger Associates refused to provide documents requested by the Senate investigators.[49]

At the time of the February 1993 WTC bombing, Bremer made a remark similar to that Jenkins made, in terms of the difficulty in preventing terrorism at the WTC.

There is just going to be less security at a place like the World Trade Center than at the Congress, the White House or the Supreme Court,” said Bremer.  ”It is easier to move around in New York, and it is easier to create a great amount of terror there.”[50]

Again, it seems odd that the American who knew the most about terrorism would remark about the danger to the WTC and then be located in exactly that dangerous spot on 9/11.  It is also curious that his colleague Jenkins, who was perhaps the second most well-known U.S. terrorism expert and who designed the security system for the WTC complex, would make a similar statement about the inability to protect the WTC.

In 1996, while still working for Kissinger Associates, Bremer wrote a scathing article about Clinton’s lack of focus on terrorism.  In this article, Bremer called on Clinton to enforce a strong, ten step plan to address terrorism through uncompromising action.  “These are not options” he wrote.[51]  Apparently Bremer did not see the irony in his comment about options with respect to his own company’s refusal to cooperate with the Senate investigation into the terrorist financing BCCI.

In 1996, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, located near the headquarters of Saudi Aramco, were bombed.  Contrary to claims that al Qaeda was behind the bombing, the U.S. blamed Hezbollah al-Hejaz for the attack.

The U.S. government had attributed only four terrorist attacks to al Qaeda prior to 9/11, cited in a 2002 State Department list and re-published in 2004.[52]  Those attacks were a series of bombings in Yemen in December 1992, the shooting down of U.S. helicopters in Somalia in 1993, the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, and the U.S.S. Cole incident in 2000.

In August 1998, two U.S. embassies in Africa were bombed and the attacks were attributed to Osama bin Laden (OBL) and the as-yet unreported group called al Qaeda.  The US government responded with bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan and, with help from the New York Times, began to drum up an intense myth about OBL and al Qaeda.

”This is, unfortunately, the war of the future,” Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said. ”The Osama bin Laden organization has basically declared war on Americans and has made very clear that these are all Americans, anywhere.”

NSA Samuel Berger: ”This is an evil that is directed at the United States. It’s going to persist.”

Under Secretary of State Thomas R. Pickering: ”We are in this for the long haul.”[53]

State Department representative James Foley: ”A new era, in effect, is upon us. It’s imperative that the American people understand and prepare themselves for facing this kind of a threat into the 21st century for as long as it’s necessary to face the threat.”

In retrospect, it is surprising that this was the first ever reference to al Qaeda in the New York Times, only three years before 9/11.  The first New York Times reference to “Ussama bin Laden” was In April 1994.

However, the first media reference to “al Qaida” was six months after the CIA’s Alec Station started, in August 1996 by UPI.  Alec Station, which focused n the pursuit of OBL, began operations in February 1996.  But the 9/11 Commission suggested that the CIA had knowledge about al Qaeda four or five years before that.  It is not clear why the New York Times did not pick up on al Qaeda as a threat until just a few years before 9/11, and a full ten years after the CIA had.

More surprising is that The Washington Post did not report on al Qaeda until June 1999, and the reporting was highly speculative about the power behind this new threat.

“The indictment describes bin Laden as the leader, or “emir,” of al Qaeda, a “global terrorist organization” with tentacles that allegedly reach from his hideout in the mountains of Afghanistan to followers in Texas, Florida and New York.

…But for all its claims about a worldwide conspiracy to murder Americans, the government’s case is, at present, largely circumstantial. The indictment never explains how bin Laden runs al Qaeda or how he may have masterminded the embassy bombings. Only eight of the 17 suspects are alleged to have been in Kenya and Tanzania around the time the embassies were bombed.” [54]

These statements should be compared to those of Bremer made a year earlier. Bremer was completely confident where the Post was skeptical.

”This is a crusade he’s on, said L. Paul Bremer

There is a quantum difference in the way bin Laden looks at terror,” he said. ”What we are seeing is a shift to terrorism on a more theological basis, to groups that are not after precise political goals. When you start to embrace goals as broad as bin Laden’s, you are no longer constrained by the number of casualties you incur. You are now in a different game.”

‘There’s no such thing as eliminating terror, any more than eliminating crime. What we’re in for, if we’re serious about it, is the kind of sustained effort it took during the cold war — not months, not years, but decades.”[55]

As of that moment, the U.S. had found its new Soviet caliber threat on which to base a new militarization of the country.  It is interesting, however, that Bremer made sensationalist claims of a “crusade” and a “quantum difference” yet a year later The Washington Post was reporting that the government’s case against this new terror group was “largely circumstantial.”

In any case, Bremer was selected for a leading role in several of the ensuing terrorism commissions.  First, he was appointed to the Gilmore Commission, chaired by Virginia Governor James Gilmore.  Donald Rumsfeld was originally a member of the Gilmore Commission as well.[56]  The vice chairman was James R. Clapper, the current director of national intelligence. Coincidentally, James Abrahamson, director of WTC security company Stratesec, later hired Clapper as his fellow director at the satellite spy company Geo-Eye.

The Gilmore Commission was a federally-sponsored effort with RAND oversight that was chartered to assess readiness, and evaluate the terrorism response programs and coordination between federal, state, and local governments.   In total the Commission ultimately “made 164 recommendations regarding the domestic response to terrorism. Of those 164 recommendations, all have been adopted in whole or in part by the Congress and the Federal Government.”[57]

Unfortunately, despite the Commission’s 1999 claim that “All terrorist acts are crimes”[58] the greatest terrorist attack on American soil would happen two years later and would not be treated as a crime.  This could be because the Gilmore Commission excluded “acts of violence committed by bona fide state agents” and therefore we were all free to assume what the 9/11 Commission eventually concluded – that no government supported the 9/11 conspirators.

The Gilmore Commission found no evidence of U.S. sponsored terrorism or state manipulation of policy through violence despite the 1990 revelations of Operation Gladio, the 1997 revelations about Operations Northwoods, and the Tonkin Gulf non-event, which was widely known to be false as of the mid-1990s.

Bremer was then appointed Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism by House Speaker Dennis Hastert in 1999. Other members of the Commission included Jenkins, Fred Ikle, James Woolsey, Maurice Sonnenberg, and Jane Harman.  In July 1999, the sole Muslim nominee for Bremer’s commission was removed after complaints from certain political action groups.[59]  Apparently, the practical outcome of equating Islam with terrorism was already a foregone conclusion.

The “Bremer Commission” based its report on interviews with a number of people who were seen as experts on terrorism.   This included Richard Armitage. Marion Bowman, Richard Clarke, Stephen Cambone, FBI director Louis Freeh, Robert Gates, Jenkins’ RAND cohort Bruce Hoffman, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, soon-to-be acting FBI director Thomas Pickard, Michael Rolince, Michael Sheehan, CIA director George Tenet, and Jenkins’ fellow propagandist and JCIT attendee, Paul Wilkinson.

To clarify how oddly coincidental this interview list was, one should remember that the number of U.S. intelligence failures to capture the alleged 9/11 hijackers was astounding.[60]  And many of the people mentioned above, including Richard Clarke, George Tenet, Louis Freeh, Marion “Spike” Bowman, Michael Rolince and Thomas Pickard played critical roles in those astounding failures.  Others on the list, like Armitage, Casey protégé Gates, Rumsfeld sidekick Cambone and Cheney assistant Libby, benefited from the 9/11 attacks through unprecedented political gain.  Wilkinson’s presence is simply evidence that the Bremer Commission was a propaganda operation from the start.

Surprisingly, according to the Commission’s vice chairman, Maurice Sonnenberg, the Bremer Commission essentially wrote the USA Patriot Act.  Sonnenberg boasted that 20 of the Commission’s 25 recommendations made it into that controversial and poorly reviewed legislation.

A member of what has been referred to as the closest thing America has to a “formal aristocracy,” Sonnenberg described the reasons for terrorism against the U.S. very simply.  “And why do some people out there hate America? We’re the top dog,” he said. “Everybody hates the top dog.”[61]

Sonneberg’s company, Bear Stearns, went on to be at the center of the 2008 financial meltdown, requiring tens of billions in bailout money, and is currently facing a number of securities and investment fraud charges.[62]  These irregularities point to what could be called financial terrorism, as well as the fact that, occasionally, the “top dog’s” formal aristocracy needs to be bailed out by the little people.

The Bremer Commission recommendations included a plan to transfer power to the Department of Defense “during a catastrophic terrorist attack or prior to an imminent attack.”  Another recommendation was to prepare a manual on how to implement legal authority at the federal, state and local levels in case of a catastrophic terrorist attack.  Yet another was to institute annual exercises under the direction of the national coordinator for terrorism (Richard Clarke) for counterterrorism and consequence management during such an event.

Journalist James Risen noted, just after the Bremer report was issued, that one of the recommendations called “on the Central Intelligence Agency to drop its human rights guidelines on the recruitment of terrorist informants.”[63]  That recommendation was clarified by a commission led by propagandist Arnaud de Borchgrave that same year — “It is clear also that FBI and CIA guidelines about recruiting terrorists as informants must be simplified to make it easier to recruit terrorists to provide information.”[64]

As the Bremer Commission report was being issued, Bremer appeared on PBS’ Frontline television program to discuss the report’s claim that international terrorism was an increasingly lethal threat to the United States.[65] Joining Bremer was Larry Johnson, a former CIA covert operative and State Department expert on terrorism.

Johnson’s remarks during this program were interesting:

“What has happened is once the threat of the Soviet Union disappeared, we’ve got a lot of national security bureaucracies and other bureaucracies that are looking for a way to justify their existence, and many are scrambling to get the counter terrorism bonanza.”

On the same program the year before, Johnson was asked if the U.S. government was hyping the threat of terrorism.  Johnson replied –

They’re grossly exaggerating the problem. They are hyping it. They shouldn’t be talking about rising terrorism…. what they should be saying is, “There’s one individual out there that really doesn’t like us…”  Johnson named OBL as that individual and clarified that “the problem is this: the Saudi Arabian government, not just Osama bin Laden but many people in Saudi Arabia, have been sending money to radical Islamic groups for years.”[66]

Only two months before 9/11, Johnson was even clearer.

Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism. They seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism…. None of these beliefs are based in fact….”
[67]

Of course, the 9/11 Commission came to the opposite conclusions.  And Johnson now works with Barry McDaniel, the former COO of Stratesec.[68]

In October 2000 Bremer took his new job as CEO of Marsh Political Risk.  There are few coincidences more startling than this – the man most responsible for fomenting the fear of terrorism in the United States went directly to a job working in the WTC towers less than a year before 9/11.  Bremer’s office was in the South Tower.  In an interview with CNN after the Sept 11 attacks, Bremer claimed that his office was located “above where the second aircraft hit.”

Just days after the 9/11 attacks Bremer was chosen to co-chair the Heritage Foundation’s Homeland Security Task Force, which created a blueprint for the White House’s Department of Homeland Security.  On this the task force was Edwin Meese and, again, Fred Ikle.  The report called for considerable increases in military spending that were not related to terrorism, including much of which Cheney and Rumsfeld had desired before 9/11.

Bremer also started a new division of Marsh & McLennan, which went on to purchase Kroll Associates as well, called Marsh Crisis.  At the same time, a company called Control Risks merged with Bremer’s Marsh Crisis.[69]  Based out of London, Control Risks had been one of the most prominent “terrorism research” outlets supported by Cercle Pinay and its propaganda branch, the ISC.[70]

In 2003, Bremer was selected by Donald Rumsfeld to become the Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq (the Iraq Occupation Governor). His “mistakes” there were monumental.[71]  Bremer’s closest aides during his tenure in Iraq included Clayton McManaway, previously an operative within Robert Komer’s Phoenix Program.

Bernard Kerik, who was New York City Police Commissioner on 9/11, was appointed by George W. Bush to be Minister of the Interior for Iraq and Senior Policy Advisor to Bremer.  Assigned to train the new Iraqi police, Kerik’s work in Iraq was widely recognized as a dismal failure. By the time his remarkably short assignment was over, he had offended the US. military and left the newly forming Iraqi police force in shambles.

Bremer was not without his small successes, however.  At the time of the wildly sensationalized capture of Saddam Hussein from a “spider hole,” Bremer proclaimed — “Ladies and gentlemen… we got him!”[72]  Of course, the man Bremer had previously told us was behind the deadly terrorist network called al Qaeda, and the crimes of 9/11, was never captured.  Instead, OBL was killed by the JSOC which quickly dumped his remains in the sea seven and a half years later.

Bremer and Jenkins have gone on to lend their voices in support of the never-ending War on Terror.  In fact, Jenkins’ assessment today is that — “We are not going to end terrorism, not in any future I see.”[73]  However, considering what we know about these men, their strong links to terror propagandists, and their extraordinary roles with respect to 9/11, it seems an end to terrorism might begin simply through a more close examination of L. Paul Bremer and Brian Michael Jenkins.


[1] John Glaser, CIA Documents: US Drastically Overestimated Soviet Capabilities, AntiWar.com, September 28, 2011, http://news.antiwar.com/2011/09/28/cia-documents-us-drastically-overestimated-soviet-capabilities/

[2] Burton Hersh, The Old Boys, Tree Farm Books, 1992, p 271

[3] Right Web, Committee on the Present Danger, updated November 24, 2009, http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Committee_on_the_Present_Danger

[4] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America, University of California Press, 2007, p 59

[5] Department of the Navy – Navy Historical Center, The Gulf of Tonkin, The 1964 Incidents, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, February 20, 1968, http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/NHC/tonkin1.htm

[6] Douglas Frantz and David McKean, Friends in high places: the rise and fall of Clark Clifford, Little, Brown, 1995

[7] The Liberty Incident, The Clark Clifford Report, http://www.thelibertyincident.com/clifford.html

[8] John Crewdson, New revelations in attack on American spy ship, Chicago Tribune, October 2, 2007, http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-liberty_tuesoct02,0,43090.story

[9] James Mann, Rise Of The Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet, Viking Press, 2004

[10] James Bamford, Body of secrets: anatomy of the ultra-secret National Security Agency. Random House. 2002

[11] U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, “Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba (TS)”, U.S. Department of Defense, March 1962. For online pdf file, see the National Security Archive at the George Washington University Gelman Library, Washington, D.C., http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/northwoods.pdf

[12] Daniele Ganser, Nato’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Frank Cass, 2005

[13] Ibid, page 29

[14] David Teacher, Rogue Agents: Habsburg, Pinay and the Private Cold War 1951 – 1991

[15] Kevin R. Ryan, KuwAm and Stratesec: Directors and investors that link 9/11 to a private intelligence network, DigWithin.net, February 24, 2012, http://digwithin.net/2012/02/24/kuwam-and-stratesec-directors/

[17] History Commons Complete 9/11 Timeline, Profile: New York Port Authority http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/entity.jsp?entity=new_york_port_authority

[18] Greg Krikorian, Calmly taking terror’s measure, Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2008, http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jan/31/nation/na-jenkins31

[19] Gerry O’Sullivan, Boom! – World Trade Center bombing – Column, Humanist, May-June, 1993 issue, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_n3_v53/ai_13818521/

[20] Guatemalan Civil War, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guatemalan_Civil_War

[21] United States occupation of the Dominican Republic (1965–1966), Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_occupation_of_the_Dominican_Republic_(1965%E2%80%931966)

[22] Greg Krikorian, Calmly taking terror’s measure

[23] Brian Michael Jenkins, The Unchangeable War, re-published November 1970 by the RAND Corporation for the Advanced Research Projects Agency, http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/2006/RM6278-2.pdf

[24] Brian M. Jenkins, A People’s Army for South Vietnam: A Vietnamese Solution, RAND Corporation, November 1971, http://www.prgs.edu/content/dam/rand/pubs/reports/2008/R897.pdf

[25] Greg Krikorian, Calmly taking terror’s measure

[26] Brian Michael Jenkins, Terrorism Works –  Sometimes, RAND Corporation, April, 1974, http://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/2006/P5217.pdf

[27] Brian M. Jenkins, International Terrorism: A New Kind of Warfare, RAND Corporation, June 1974, http://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/2008/P5261.pdf

[28] Ibid

[29] Brian Jenkins, George Tanham, Eleanor Wainstein and Gerald Sullivan, Report of a Discussion, October 19-20, 1976 at the RAND Corporation, Washington, DC, July 1977, http://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/2008/P5830.pdf

[30] Brian Michael Jenkins. The Psychological Implications of Media-Covered Terrorism, RAND Corporation, June 1981, http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/papers/2005/P6627.pdf

[31] Powerbase page for Brian Jenkins, http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Brian_Jenkins

[32] Greg Krikorian, Calmly taking terror’s measure

[33] James Mann, Rise Of The Vulcans

[34] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11

[35] White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, Final Report To President Clinton, February 12, 1997, http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/212fin~1.html

[36] Paul Wilkinson and Brian Michael Jenkins, Aviation Terrorism and Security, Frank Cass, Mar 1, 1999

[37] David Teacher, Rogue Agents

[38] Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 3

[39] James Fallows, Gary Hart, Lynne Cheney, and War with China, The Atlantic, July 5, 2007, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2007/07/gary-hart-lynne-cheney-and-war-with-china/7644/

[40] U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (Hart-Rudman), Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change, January 31, 2001, http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/nssg.pdf

[41] Lewis Paul Bremer III on Washington, DC, NBC4 TV, 11 September 2001, Vehmgericht http://vehme.blogspot.com/2007/08/lewis-paul-bremer-iii-on-washington-dc.html

[42] Craig Eisendrath and  Tom Harkin, National Insecurity: U.S. Intelligence After the Cold War, Temple University Press, 2000

[43] Tanzania Expels 2 U.S. Diplomats. AP. New York Times, Jan 16, 1965

[44] Letter to Paul brmer from Victor Tomseth, September 2, 1979, accessed at Wikisource, http://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=File:Documents_from_the_Den_of_Espionage.djvu&page=1

[45] Phil Gailey and Warren Weaver Jr. Briefing, New York Times, July 10, 1982

[46] Daniele Ganser, Nato’s Secret Armies

[47] Stephen Engelberg, The World: Washington’s War on Terrorism Captures Few Soldiers, The New York Times, March 5, 1989,

[48] Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, Scandals: Not Just a Bank, September 2, 1991, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,973732-4,00.html

[49] John Kerry and Hank Brown, The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, December 1992, Senate Print 102-140, http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1992_rpt/bcci/

[50] Catherine S. Manegold, Explosion at the Twin Towers: The Precautions; With Talk of a Bomb, Security Tightens, The New York Times, February 28, 1993

[51] L. Paul Bremer, Terrorists’ Friends Must Pay a Price, The Wall street Journal, August 5, 1996

[52] Congressional Research Service, Memorandum to House Government Reform Committee on Terrorist Attcks by al Qaeda, March 31, 2004, http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/033104.pdf

[53] Tim Weiner, After The Attacks: The Outlook; Raids Are Seen As One Battle In a Long Fight, The New York Times, August 23, 1998

[54] Colum Lynch; Vernon Loeb, Bin Laden’s Network: Terror Conspiracy or Loose Alliance?, The Washington Post, August 1, 1999

[55] Tim Weiner, After The Attacks

[56] RAND National Security Research Division, Gilmore Commission – Panel Chair and Members, http://www.rand.org/nsrd/terrpanel/panel.html

[57] Congressional Record Volume 153, Number 161 (Tuesday, October 23, 2007), Statements by Representative Bennie Thompson (D, MS), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2007-10-23/html/CREC-2007-10-23-pt1-PgH11854-3.htm

[58] First Annual Report to The President and The Congress of the Advisory Panel To Assess the Domestic Response Capabilities For Terrorism Involving Weapons Of Mass Destruction (Gilmore Commisison), RAND Corporation website, http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/www/external/nsrd/terrpanel/terror.pdf

[59] Laurie Goodstein, Gephardt Bows To Jews’ Anger Over a Nominee, The New York Times, July 09, 1999

[60] Kevin Fenton, Disconnecting the Dots: How 9/11 Was Allowed to Happen, Trine Day, 2011

[61] Pranay Gupte, Maurice Sonnenberg: A Concerned Optimist, The New York Sun, March 23, 2005

[63] James Risen, Terrorism Panel Faults U.S. Effort on Iran and 1996 Bombing, The New York Times, June 4, 2000, http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/04/world/terrorism-panel-faults-us-effort-on-iran-and-1996-bombing.html

[64] Defending America in the 21st Centur: New Challenges, New Organizations, and New Policies, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2000, http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/defendamer21stexecsumm.pdf

[65] PBS Online Newshour, Global Threat, Jun e6, 2000, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/international/jan-june00/terror_6-6.html

[66] Wikipedia pager for Larry C. Johnson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_C._Johnson

[67] Ibid

[68] Kevin R. Ryan, The small world of 9/11 players: LS2, Vidient and AMEC, DigWihtin.net, January 1, 2012, http://digwithin.net/2012/01/01/a-small-world/

[69] Sourcewatch, Crisis Consulting Practice of Marsh, Inc., http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Crisis_Consulting_Practice_of_Marsh,_Inc.

[70] David Teacher, Rogue Agents

[72] Max Brockbank, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen — We Got Him!’, Time Magazine, December 1r4, 2003, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,561438,00.html

[73] Greg Krikorian, Calmly taking terror’s measure

Never forget that Bradley Manning, not gay marriage, is the issue.

By John Pilger
16 May 2012

In the week Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he ordered bombing attacks on Yemen, killing a reported 63 people, 28 of them children. When Obama recently announced he supported same-sex marriage, American planes had not long blown 14 Afghan civilians to bits. In both cases, the mass murder was barely news. What mattered were the cynical vacuities of a political celebrity, the product of a zeitgeist driven by the forces of consumerism and the media with the aim of diverting the struggle for social and economic justice.

The award of the Nobel Prize to the first black president because he “offered hope” was both absurd and an authentic expression of the lifestyle liberalism that controls much of political debate in the west. Same-sex marriage is one such distraction. No “issue” diverts attention as successfully as this: not the free vote in Parliament on lowering the age of gay consent promoted by the noted libertarian and war criminal Tony Blair: not the cracks in “glass ceilings” that contribute nothing to women’s liberation and merely amplify the demands of bourgeois privilege.

Legal obstacles should not prevent people marrying each other, regardless of gender. But this is a civil and private matter; bourgeois acceptability is not yet a human right. The rights historically associated with marriage are those of property: capitalism itself. Elevating the “right” of marriage above the right to life and real justice is as profane as seeking allies among those who deny life and justice to so many, from Afghanistan to Palestine.

On 9 May, hours before his Damascene declaration on same-sex marriage, Obama sent out messages to campaign donors making his new position clear. He asked for money. In response, according to the Washington Post, his campaign received a “massive surge of contributions”. The following evening, with the news now dominated by his “conversion”, he attended a fundraising party at the Los Angeles home of the actor George Clooney. “Hollywood,” reported the Associated Press, “is home to some of the most high-profile backers of gay marriage, and the 150 donors who are paying $40,000 to attend Clooney’s dinner will no doubt feel invigorated by Obama’s watershed announcement the day before.” The Clooney party is expected to raise a record $15 million for Obama’s re-election and will be followed by “yet another fundraiser in New York sponsored by gay and Latino Obama supporters”.

The width of a cigarette paper separates the Democratic and Republican parties on economic and foreign policies. Both represent the super rich and the impoverishment of a nation from which trillions impoverishment of a nation from which trillions of tax dollars have been transferred to a permanent war industry and banks that are little more than criminal enterprises. Obama is as reactionary and violent as George W. Bush, and in some ways he is worse. His personal speciality is the use of Hellfire missile-armed drones against defenceless people. Under cover of a partial withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, he has sent US special forces to 120 countries where death squads are trained. He has revived the old cold war on two fronts: against China in Asia and with a “shield” of missiles aimed at Russia. The first black president has presided over the incarceration and surveillance of greater numbers of black people than were enslaved in 1850. He has prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any of his predecessors. His vice-president, Joe Biden, a zealous warmonger, has called WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange a “hi-tech terrorist”. Biden has also converted to the cause of gay marriage.

One of America’s true heroes is the gay soldier Bradley Manning, the whistleblower alleged to have provided WikiLeaks with the epic evidence of American carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the Obama administration that smeared his homosexuality as weird, and it was Obama himself who declared a man convicted of no crime to be guilty.

Who among the fawners and luvvies at Clooney’s Hollywood moneyfest shouted, “Remember Bradley Manning”? To my knowledge, no prominent spokesperson for gay rights has spoken against Obama’s and Biden’s hypocrisy in claiming to support same-sex marriage while terrorising a gay man whose courage should be an inspiration to all, regardless of sexual preference.

Obama’s historic achievement as president of the United States has been to silence the anti-war and social justice movement associated with the Democratic Party. Such deference to an extremism disguised by and embodied in a clever, amoral operator, betrays the rich tradition of popular protest in the US. Perhaps the Occupy movement is said to be in this tradition; perhaps not.

The truth is that what matters to those who aspire to control our lives is not skin pigment or gender, or whether or not we are gay, but the class we serve. The goals are to ensure that we look inward on ourselves, not outward to others and never comprehend the sheer scale of undemocratic power, and to that we collaborate in isolating those who resist. This attrition of criminalising, brutalising and banning protest can too easily turn western democracies into states of fear.
On 12 May, in Sydney, Australia, home of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, a protest parade in support of gay marriage filled the city centre. The police looked on benignly. It was a showcase of liberalism. Three days later, there was to be a march to commemorate the Nakba (“The Catastrophe’), the day of mourning when Israel expelled Palestinians from their land. A police ban had to be overturned by the Supreme Court.

That is why the people of Greece ought to be our inspiration. By their own painful experience they know their freedom can only be regained by standing up to the German Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and their own quislings in Athens. People across Latin America have achieved this: the indignados of Bolivia who saw off the water privateers and the Argentinians who told the IMF what to do with their debt. The courage of disobedience was their weapon. Remember Bradley Manning.

The 7-Lesson Schoolteacher

  The 7-Lesson Schoolteacher
                          by John Taylor Gatto
                      New Society Publishers, 1992

      Call me Mr. Gatto, please.  Twenty-six years ago, having nothing
better to do at the time, I tried my hand at schoolteaching.  The
license I hold certifies that I am an instructor of English language and
English literature, but that isn't what I do at all.  I don't teach
English, I teach school -- and I win awards doing it.

      Teaching means different things in different places, but seven
lessons are universally taught Harlem to Hollywood Hills.  They
constitute a national curriculum you pay more for in more ways than you
can imagine, so you might as well know what it is.  You are at liberty,
of course, to regard these lessons any way you like, but believe me when
I say I intend no irony in this presentation.  These are the things I
teach, these are the things you pay me to teach.  Make of them what you
will:

                                   I.

      A lady named Kathy wrote this to me from Dubois, Indiana the other
day:

      "What big ideas are important to little kids?  Well, the biggest
idea I think they need is that what they are learning isn't
idiosyncratic -- that this is some system to it all and it's not just
raining down on them as they  helplessly absorb.  That's the task, to
understand, to make coherent."

      Kathy has it wrong.  The first lesson I teach is confusion.
Everything I teach is out of context...  I teach the unrelating of
everything.  I teach disconnections.  I teach too much: the orbiting of
planets, the law of large numbers, slavery, adjectives, architectural
drawing, dance, gymnasium, choral singing, assemblies, surprise guests,
fire drills, computer languages, parent's nights, staff-development
days, pull-out programs, guidance with strangers you may never see
again, standardized tests, age-segregation unlike anything seen in the
outside world...  what do any of these things have to do with each
other?

      Even in the best schools a close examination of curriculum and its
sequences turns up a lack of coherence, full of internal contradictions.
Fortunately the children have no words to define the panic and anger
they feel at constant violations of natural order and sequence fobbed
off on them as quality in education.  The logic of the school-mind is
that it is better to leave school with a tool kit of superficial jargon
derived from economics, sociology, natural science and so on than to
leave with one genuine enthusiasm.  But quality in education entails
learning about something in depth.  Confusion is thrust upon kids by too
many strange adults, each working alone with only the thinnest
relationship with each other, pretending for the most part, to an
expertise they do not possess.

      Meaning, not disconnected facts, is what sane human beings seek,
and education is a set of codes for processing raw facts into meaning.
Behind the patchwork quilt of school sequences, and the school obsession
with facts and theories the age-old human search lies well concealed.
This is harder to see in elementary school where the hierarchy of school
experience seems to make better sense because the good-natured simple
relationship of "let's do this" and "let's do that now" is just assumed
to mean something and the clientele has not yet consciously discerned
how little substance is behind the play and pretense.

      Think of all the great natural sequences like learning to walk and
learning to talk, following the progression of light from sunrise to
sunset, witnessing the ancient procedures of a farm, a smithy, or a
shoemaker, watching your mother prepare a Thanksgiving feast -- all of
the parts are in perfect harmony with each other, each action justifies
itself and illuminates the past and future.  School sequences aren't
like that, not inside a single class and not among the total menu of
daily classes.  School sequences are crazy.  There is no particular
reason for any of them, nothing that bears close scrutiny.  Few teachers
would dare to teach the tools whereby dogmas of a school or a teacher
could be criticized since everything must be accepted.  School subjects
are learned, if they can be learned, like children learn the catechism
or memorize the 39 articles of Anglicanism.  I teach the un-relating of
everything, an infinite fragmentation the opposite of cohesion; what I
do is more related to television programming than to making a scheme of
order.  In a world where home is only a ghost because both parents work
or because too many moves or too many job changes or too much ambition
or something else has left everybody too confused to stay in a family
relation I teach you how to accept confusion as your destiny.  That's
the first lesson I teach.

      The second lesson I teach is your class position.  I teach that
you must stay in class where you belong.  I don't know who decides that
my kids belong there but that's not my business.  The children are
numbered so that if any get away they can be returned to the right
class.  Over the years the variety of ways children are numbered has
increased dramatically, until it is hard to see the human being plainly
under the burden of numbers he carries.  Numbering children is a big and
very profitable business, though what the strategy is designed to
accomplish is elusive.  I don't even know why parents would allow it to
be done to their kid without a fight.

      In any case, again, that's not my business.  My job is to make
them like it, being locked in together with children who bear numbers
like their own.  Or at the least endure it like good sports.  If I do my
job well, the kids can't even imagine themselves somewhere else because
I've shown how to envy and fear the better classes and how to have
contempt for the dumb classes.  Under this efficient discipline the
class mostly polices itself into good marching order.  That's the real
lesson of any rigged competition like school.  You come to know your
place.

      In spite of the overall class blueprint which assume that 99
percent of the kids are in their class to stay, I nevertheless make a
public effort to exhort children to higher levels of test success,
hinting at eventual transfer from the lower class as a reward.  I
frequently insinuate that the day will come when an employer will hire
them on the basis of test scores and grades, even though my own
experience is that employers are rightly indifferent to such things.  I
never lie outright, but I've come to see that truth and schoolteaching
are, at bottom, incompatible just as Socrates said they were thousands
of years ago.  The lesson of numbered classes is that everyone has a
proper place in they pyramid and that there is no way out of your class
except by number magic.  Until that happens you must stay where you are
put.

      The third lesson I teach kids is indifference.  I teach children
not to care about anything too much, even though they want to make it
appear that they do.  How I do this is very subtle.  I do it by
demanding that they become totally involved in my lessons, jumping up
and down in their seats with anticipation, competing vigorously with
each other for my favor.  It's heartwarming when they do that, it
impresses everyone, even me.  When I'm at my best I plan lessons very
carefully in order to produce this show of enthusiasm.  But when the
bell rings I insist that they stop whatever it is that we've been
working on and proceed quickly to the next work station.  They must turn
on and off like a light switch.  Nothing important is ever finished in
my class, nor in any other class I know of.  Students never have a
complete experience except on the installment plan.

      Indeed, the lesson of the bells is that no work is worth
finishing, so why care too deeply about anything?  Years of bells will
condition all but the strongest to a world that can no longer offer
important work to do.  Bells are the secret logic of schooltime; their
argument is inexorable.  Bells destroy the past and future, converting
every interval into a sameness, as an abstract map makes every living
mountain and river the same even though they are not.  Bells inoculate
each undertaking with indifference.

      The fourth lesson I teach is emotional dependency.  By stars and
red checks, smiles and frowns, prizes, honors and disgraces I teach you
to surrender your will to the predestined chain of command.  Rights may
be granted or withheld by any authority, without appeal because rights
do not exist inside a school, not even the right of free speech, the
Supreme Court has so ruled, unless school authorities say they do.  As a
schoolteacher I intervene in many personal decisions, issuing a Pass for
those I deem legitimate, or initiating a disciplinary confrontation for
behavior that threatens my control.  Individuality is constantly trying
to assert itself among children and teenagers so my judgments come thick
and fast.  Individuality is a contradiction of class theory, a curse to
all systems of classification.  Here are some common ways it shows up:
children sneak away for a private moment in the toilet on the pretext of
moving their bowels; they trick me out of a private instant in the
hallway on the grounds that they need water.  I know they don't but I
allow them to deceive me because this conditions they to depend on my
favors.  Sometimes free will appears right in front of me in children
angry, depressed or happy by things outside my ken; rights in such
things cannot be recognized by schoolteachers, only privileges which can
be withdrawn, hostages to good behavior.

      The fifth lesson I teach is intellectual dependency.  Good people
wait for a teacher to tell them what to do.  It is the most important
lesson, that we must wait for other people, better trained than
ourselves, to make the meanings of our lives.  The expert makes all the
important choices; only I can determine what you must study, or rather,
only the people who pay me can make those decisions which I enforce.  If
I'm told that evolution is fact instead of a theory I transmit that as
ordered, punishing deviants who resist what I have been to think.

      This power to control what children will think lets me separate
successful students from failures very easily.  Successful children do
the thinking I appoint them with a minimum of resistance and decent show
of enthusiasm.  Of the millions of things of value to study, I decide
what few we have time for, or it is decided by my faceless employer.
The choices are his, why should I argue?  Curiosity has no important
place in my work, only conformity.

      Bad kids fight this, of course, even though they lack the concepts
to know what they are fighting, struggling to make decisions for
themselves about what they will learn and when they will learn it.  How
can we allow that and survive as schoolteachers?  Fortunately there are
procedures to break the will of those who resist; it is more difficult,
naturally, if the kid has respectable parents who come to his aid, but
that happens less and less in spite of the bad reputation of schools.
Nobody in the middle class I ever met actually believes that their kid's
school is one of the bad ones.  Not a single parent in 26 years of
teaching.  That's amazing and probably the best testimony to what
happens to families when mother and father have been well-schooled
themselves, learning the seven lessons.

      Good people wait for an expert to tell them what to do.  It is
hardly an exaggeration to say that our entire economy depends upon this
lesson being learned.  Think of what would fall apart if kids weren't
trained to be dependent:

      The social-service businesses could hardly survive, they would
vanish I think, into the recent historical limbo out of which they
arose.  Counselors and therapists would look on in horror as the supply
of psychic invalids vanished.  Commercial entertainment of all sorts,
including television, would wither as people learned again how to make
their own fun.  Restaurants, prepared-food and a whole host of other
assorted food services would be drastically down-sized if people
returned to making their own meals rather than depending on strangers to
plant, pick, chop and cook for them.  Much of modern law, medicine, and
engineering would go, too, the clothing business and schoolteaching as
well, unless a guaranteed supply of helpless people poured out of our
schools each year.

      The sixth lesson I teach is provisional self-esteem.  If you've
ever tried to wrestle a kid into line whose parents have convinced him
to believe they'll love him in spite of anything, you know how
impossible it is to make self-confident spirits conform.  Our world
wouldn't survive a flood of confident people very long so I teach that
your self-respect should depend on expert opinion.  My kids are
constantly evaluated and judged.  A monthly report, impressive in its
precision, is sent into students' homes to signal approval or to mark
exactly down to a single percentage point how dissatisfied with their
children parents should be.  The ecology of good schooling depends upon
perpetuating dissatisfaction just as much as commercial economy depends
on the same fertilizer.  Although some people might be surprised how
little time or reflection goes into making up these mathematical
records, the cumulative weight of the objective-seeming documents
establishes a profile of defect which compels a child to arrive at
certain decisions about himself and his future based on the casual
judgment of strangers.

      Self-evaluation, the staple of every major philosophical system
that ever appeared on the planet, is never a factor in these things.
The lesson of report cards, grades, and tests is that children should
not trust themselves or their parents, but need to rely on the
evaluation of certified officials.  People need to be told what they are
worth.

      The seventh lesson I teach is that you can't hide.  I teach
children they are always watched by keeping each student under constant
surveillance as do my colleagues.  There are no private spaces for
children, there is no private time.  Class change lasts 300 seconds to
keep promiscuous fraternization at low levels.  Students are encouraged
to tattle on each other, even to tattle on their parents.  Of course I
encourage parents to file their own child's waywardness, too.  A family
trained to snitch on each other isn't likely to be able to conceal any
dangerous secrets.  I assign a type of extended schooling called
"homework", too, so that the surveillance travels into private
households, where students might otherwise use free time to learn
something unauthorized from a father or mother, or by apprenticing to
some wise person in the neighborhood.  Disloyalty to the idea of
schooling is a Devil always ready to find work for idle hands.  The
meaning of constant surveillance and denial of privacy is that no one
can be trusted, that privacy is not legitimate.  Surveillance is an
ancient urgency among certain influential thinkers, a central
prescription set down Republic, in City of God, in Institutes of the
Christian Religion, in New Atlantis, in Leviathan and many other places.
All these childless men who wrote these books discovered the same thing:
children must be closely watched if you want to keep a society under
tight central control.  Children will follow a private drummer if you
can't get them into a uniformed marching band.

                                   II.

      It is the great triumph of compulsory government monopoly mass-
schooling that among even the best of my fellow teachers, and among the
best of my student's parents, only a small number can imagine a
different way to do things.  "The kids have to know how to read and
write, don't they?"  "They have to know how to add and subtract, don't
they?"  "They have to learn to follow orders if they ever expect to keep
a job."

      Only a few lifetimes ago things were very different in the United
States; originality and variety were common currency; our freedom from
regimentation made us the miracle of the world, social class boundaries
were relatively easy to cross, our citizenry was marvelously confident,
inventive, and able to do many things independently, to think for
themselves.  We were something, we Americans, all by ourselves, without
government sticking its nose into our lives, without institutions and
social agencies telling us how to think and feel; no, all by ourselves
we were something, as individuals.

      We've had a society increasingly under central control in the
United States since just before the Civil War and such a society
requires compulsory schooling, government monopoly schooling to maintain
itself.  Before the society changed, schooling wasn't very important
anywhere.  We had it, but not too much of it and only as much as an
individual wanted.  People learned to read, write, and do arithmetic
just fine anyway, there are some studies which show literacy at the time
of the American Revolution, at least on the Eastern seaboard, as close
to total.  Tom Paine's Common Sense sold 600,000 copies to a population
of 2,500,000, 20 percent of which was slave and another 50 percent
indentured.

      Were the colonists geniuses?  No, the truth is that reading,
writing and arithmetic only take about 100 hours to transmit as long as
the audience is eager and willing to learn.  The trick is to wait until
someone asks and then move fast while the mood is on him.  Millions of
people teach themselves these things; it really isn't very hard.  Pick
up a fifth grad textbook in math or rhetoric from 1850 and you'll see
that the texts were pitched then on what would today be college level.
The continuing cry for "basic skills" practice is a smoke screen behind
which schools preempt the time of children for 12 years and teach them
the seven lessons I've just taught you.

      We've had a society increasingly under central control in the
United States since just before the Civil War: the lives we lead, the
clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the green highway signs we drive
by from coast to coast are the products of this central control.  So,
too, I think, are the epidemics of drugs, suicide, divorce, violence,
cruelty, and the hardening of class into caste in the U.S., products of
the dehumanization of our lives, the lessening of individual and family
importance that central control imposes.  The character of large
compulsory institutions is inevitable, they want more and until there
isn't any more to give.  School takes our children away from any
possibility of an active role in community life -- in fact it destroys
communities by reserving the training of children to the hands of
certified experts -- and by doing so it ensures that they cannot grow up
fully human.  Aristotle taught that without a fully active role in
community life you could not hope to become a healthy human being.
Surely he was right.  Look around you the next time you are near a
school or an old people's reservation, that will be the demonstration.

      School as it was built is an essential support system for a vision
of social engineering that condemns most people to be subordinate stones
in a pyramid that narrows as it ascends to a terminal of control.
School is an artifice which makes such a pyramidal social order seem
inevitable, although such a premise is a fundamental betrayal of the
American Revolution.  In colonial days right through the period of the
early Republic we had no schools to speak of -- read Franklin's
Autobiography for a man who had no time to waste in school -- and yet
the promise of Democracy was beginning to be realized.  We turned our
backs on this promise by bringing to life the ancient dream of Egypt --
compulsory subordination for all.  That was the secret Plato reluctantly
transmitted in The Republics when Glaucon and Adeimantus exhorted from
Socrates the plan for total state control of human life that would be
necessary to maintain a society where some people took more than their
share.  "I will show you," said Socrates, "how to bring about such a
feverish city, but you will not like what I am going to say."  And so
the blueprint of the seven lesson school was first sketched.

      The current debate about whether we should have a national
curriculum is phony -- we already have one, locked up in the seven
lessons I just taught you and a few more I decided to spare you.  Such a
curriculum produces physical, moral, and intellectual paralysis and no
curriculum of content will be sufficient to reverse its hideous effects.
What is currently under discussion in our national school hysteria about
failing academic performance is a great irrelevancy that misses the
point.  Schools teach exactly what they are intended to teach and they
do it well -- How to be a good Egyptian and where your place is in the
pyramid.

                                  III.

      None of this is inevitable, you know.  None of it is impossible to
overthrow.  We do have a choice in how we bring up young people and
there is no one right way; if we broke the power of Egyptian illusion we
would see that.  There is no life and death international competition
threatening our national existence, difficult as that is to even think
about, let alone believe, in the face of a constant media barrage of
myth to the contrary.  In every important material respect our nation is
self-sufficient, including energy.  I realize that runs counter to the
most fashionable thinking of political economists, but the "profound
transformation" of our economy these people talk about is neither
inevitable nor irreversible.  Global economics does not speak to the
public need for jobs, affordable homes, adequate schools and medical
care, a clean environment, honest and accountable government, social and
cultural renewal, or simple justice.  All global ambitions are based on
a definition of productivity and the good life so alienated from common
human reality that I am convinced it is wrong and that most people would
agree with me if they had a choice.  We might be able to see that if we
regained a hold on a philosophy that locates meaning where meaning is
genuinely to be found -- in families, in friends, the passage of
seasons, in nature, in simple ceremonies and rituals, in curiosity,
generosity, compassion, and service to others, in a decent independence
and privacy, in all the free and inexpensive things out of which real
families, real friends and real communities are built.  Then we would be
truly self-sufficient.

      How did these awful places, these "schools", come about?  Well,
casual schooling has always been with us in a variety of forms, a mildly
useful adjunct to growing up.  But total-schooling as we know it is a
byproduct of the two "Red Scares" of 1848 and 1919, when powerful
interests feared a revolution among our own industrial poor.  Partly,
too, total schooling came about because old-line American families were
revolted by the home cultures of Celtic, Slavic, and Latin immigrants --
and revolted by the Catholic religion they brought with them.  Certainly
a third contributing cause to making a jail for children called school
must be located in the prospect with which these same families regarded
the free movement of Africans through the society after the Civil War.

      Look again at the seven lessons of schoolteaching:  confusion,
class assignment, dulled responses, emotional and intellectual
dependency, conditional self-esteem, surveillance -- all of these things
are good training for permanent underclasses, people derived forever of
finding the center of their own special genius.  And in later years it
became the training shaken loose from even its own original logic -- to
regulate the poor; since the 1920s the growth of the school bureaucracy
and the less visible growth of a horde of industries that profit from
schooling just exactly as it is, has enlarged this institution's
original grasp to where it began to seize the sons and daughters of the
middle classes.

      Is it any wonder Socrates was outraged at the accusation that he
took money to teach?  Even then, philosophers saw clearly the inevitable
direction the professionalization of teaching would take, preempting the
teaching function that belongs to everybody in a healthy community.
Professional teaching tends to another serious error: It makes things
that are inherently easy to learn, like reading, writing, and
arithmetic, seem difficult by insisting they be taught through
pedagogical procedures.  With lessons like the ones I teach day after
day, it should be little wonder we have a national crisis the nature of
the one we have today, young people indifferent to the adult world and
to the future, indifferent to almost everything except the diversion of
toys and violence.  Rich or poor, schoolchildren who face the 21st
century cannot concentrate on anything for very long, they have a poor
sense of time past and to come,they are mistrustful of intimacy like the
children of divorce they really are (for we have divorced them from
significant parental attention); they hate solitude, are cruel,
materialistic, dependent, passive, violent, timid in the face of the
unexpected, addicted to distraction.

      All the peripheral tendencies of childhood are nourished and
magnified to a grotesque extent by schooling, which prevents effective
personality development by its hidden curriculum.  Indeed, without
exploiting the fearfulness, selfishness, and inexperience of children
our schools could not survive at all, nor could I as a certified
schoolteacher.  No common school that actually dared to teach the use of
dialectic, the heuristic, or other devices that free minds should employ
would last very long without being torn to pieces.  School has become a
replacement for church in our secular society, and like church its
teachings must be taken on faith.

      It is time that we faced the fact squarely that institutional
schoolteaching is destructive to children.  Nobody survives the 7-Lesson
Curriculum unscathed, not even the instructors.  The method is deeply
and profoundly anti-educational.  No tinkering will fix it.  In one of
the great ironies of human affairs, the massive rethinking schools
require would cost so much less than we are spending now that powerful
interests cannot afford to let it happen.  You must understand that
first and foremost, the business I am in is a jobs project and an agency
for letting contracts.  We cannot afford to save money by reducing the
scope of our operation or by diversifying the product we offer, even to
help children grow up right.  That is the Iron Law of institutional
schooling -- it is a business neither subject to normal accounting
procedures nor to the rational scalpel of competition.

      Some form of free-market system in public schooling is the
likeliest place to look for answers, a free market where family schools
and small entrepreneurial schools and religious schools and crafts
schools and farm schools exist in profusion to compete with government
education.  I'm trying to describe a free market in schooling just
exactly like the one the country had right up until the Civil War, one
in which students volunteer for the kind of education that suits them,
even if that means self-education.  It didn't hurt Benjamin Franklin
that I can see.

      These options now exist in miniature, wonderful survivals of a
strong and vigorous past, but they are unavailable only to the
resourceful, the courageous, the lucky, or the rich.  The near
impossibility of one of these better roads opening for the shattered
families of the poor or the bewildered host camped on the fringes of the
urban middle class foretells the disaster of 7-Lesson Schools is going
to grow unless we do something bold and decisive with the mess of
government monopoly schooling.

      After an adult lifetime spent teaching school I believe the method
of mass-schooling is the only real content it has, don't be fooled into
thinking that good curriculum or good equipment or good teachers are the
critical determinants of your son and daughter's schooltime.  All the
pathologies we've considered come about in large measure because the
lessons of school prevent children from keeping important appointments
with themselves and with their families, to learn lessons in self-
motivation, perseverance, self-reliance, courage, dignity and love and
lessons in service to others, which are among the key lessons of home
life.

      Thirty years ago these things could still be learned in the time
left after school.  But television has eaten up most of that time, and a
combination of television and the stresses peculiar to two-income or
single-parent families have swallowed up most of what used to be family
time.  Our kids have no time left to grow up fully human, and only thin-
soil wastelands to do it in.  A future is rushing down upon our culture
which will insist that all of us learn the wisdom of non-material
experience; a future which will demand as the price of survival that we
follow a pace of natural life economical in material cost.  These
lessons cannot be learned in schools as they are.  School is like
starting life with a 12-year jail sentence in which bad habits are the
only curriculum truly learned.  I teach school and win awards doing it.

I should know.

Obama Seizes Control of All Communications Systems With Executive Order

 

By Susanne Posel

Global Research, July 9, 2012
occupycorporatism.com

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31838

President Obama has usurped all available forms of communication for use and discretion of the US government. Under executive order (EO june 6, 2012), Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions, Obama has enabled the executive branch to control communications “under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies, and improve national resilience.” (for full text of the Executive Order, seen Annex below)

Radio and wired communications systems “of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications policies, programs, and capabilities.”

Cellular phone corporations like Sprint owned Boost Mobile have released messages to their customers concerning the US government’s allocation of their phone communications at the whim of the President. In a text message to customers, Boost Mobile said that: “. . . you can receive national and local emergency alerts directly on your phone.”

Back in 2011, Hillary Clinton admitted that the US government, via the mainstream media, is losing their “information war” with the American public. As alternative media becomes more prevalent, the propaganda must be taken up a notch in order to keep the masses onboard with the agendas of the US government.

Danny Schechter, filmmaker and investigative journalist, explains that MSM cannot compete with the alternative media. Schechter says that “America feels on the defensive because it can no longer” monopolize the thoughts of citizens domestically and abroad. Since the US government thinks “its point of view is the only point of view” these new news outlets are “extremely damaging” to the US continual purveyance of propaganda.

The Presidential Alert was announced in August of 2011, wherein the Commissioners for the FCC required that television, radio stations and cable systems (including satellites) will redirect broadcasting if the President wants to “alert Americans of impending danger”.

This EO explains that the establishment of a NS/EP Communications Executive Committee (CEC) will “serve as a forum to address NS/EP communications matters”. The CEC will answer to the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and advise Obama on the “prioritization of radio spectrum and wired communications that support NS/EP functions”.

Designees of DHS and Department of Defense will be co-Chairs of the CEC. While the CEC will now advise on policy to Obama; they will have control over the “future architecture of the NS/EP communications” and define those communications in a “long-term strategic vision”.

The funding for this all-encompassing control over our radio, television and digital communications will be taken from the taxpayers by way of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Under Obama’s discretion, all radio and digital communications can be intercepted with recommendation by the assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP. The executive branch’s authority derives from the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 606), Section 706.

The US governmental agencies involved in this endeavor are the heads of:

• Department of Justice
• Department of Defense
• Department of State
• Department of Commerce
• Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
• Office of the director of National Intelligence (DNI)
• General Services Administration
• Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The President enables the “regimes to test, exercise, and evaluate the capabilities of existing and planned communications systems, networks, or facilities” and provides “quarterly updates to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP”.

The Secretary of Homeland Security (SHS) will create an Executive Committee Joint Program Office (JPO) that has been tasked with “coordination of programs that support NS/EP missions, priorities, goals, and policy. The JPO and the CEC will meet with governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to decide on “development of policies”.

The SHS also has the responsibility of facilitating communications in the event and support of Continuity of Government on the federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal levels. In an emergency the SHS will alert “non-military executive branch communications systems; critical infrastructure protection networks; and non-military communications networks, particularly with respect to prioritization and restoration”.

The Secretary of Defense will develop, implement and sustain NS/EP communications in response to national security needs as directed by “the President, Vice President, and senior national leadership, including: communications with or among the President, Vice President, White House staff, heads of state and government, and Nuclear Command and Control leadership; Continuity of Government communications; and communications among the executive, judicial, and legislative branches to support Enduring Constitutional Government”.

In conjunction with EO 12333, established by former President Ronald Reagan; wherein the powers of all US intelligence agencies were extended and all heads of federal agencies were admonished to comply with information requests from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), this new EO further empowers that already established fact.

All communications avenues must allow for the receipt, integration and dissemination of NS/EP communicational information that is supplied by the US government for the intention of American citizens. Whether private or publicly owned, those communications resources can and will be usurped by the President and/or governmental agencies.

“Relevant supporting entities” like the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service, Wireless Priority Service, Telecommunications Service Priority program, Next Generation Network Priority program will provide organization and management structure with the CEC, SHS and the President.

In the event of an “emergency” the Secretary of Commerce will allow for the takeover of radio frequencies as well as television and digital communications with the use of electromagnetics. These communicative abilities are now “belonging to and operated by the Federal Government” as resources to be utilized “during a crisis or emergency”.

The Administrator of General Services will purchase all necessary equipment to provide the US government capabilities to take over communications.

If the CIA or DNI deem it so, they are enabled to influence policy directives, procedures and guide issues that are relevant to the securing of national security.

The FCC’s role in this is to acquiesce “all entities licensed or regulated” by the FCC to ensure that messages are received and disseminated to the American public.

This latest EO is but one in a long string of presidential shows of authority that lays the foundation for the establishment of a dictatorship in America.

ANNEX

[White House. June 6, 2012]

Executive Order — Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions

EXECUTIVE ORDER

ASSIGNMENT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMUNICATIONS FUNCTIONS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions. Survivable, resilient, enduring, and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial, and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies, and other nations. Such communications must be possible under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies, and improve national resilience. The views of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications policies, programs, and capabilities.

Sec. 2. Executive Office Responsibilities.

Sec. 2.1. Policy coordination, guidance, dispute resolution, and periodic in-progress reviews for the functions described and assigned herein shall be provided through the interagency process established in Presidential Policy Directive-1 of February 13, 2009 (Organization of the National Security Council System) (PPD-1).

Sec. 2.2. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) shall: (a) issue an annual memorandum to the NS/EP Communications Executive Committee (established in section 3 of this order) highlighting national priorities for Executive Committee analyses, studies, research, and development regarding NS/EP communications;

(b) advise the President on the prioritization of radio spectrum and wired communications that support NS/EP functions; and

(c) have access to all appropriate information related to the test, exercise, evaluation, and readiness of the capabilities of all existing and planned NS/EP communications systems, networks, and facilities to meet all executive branch NS/EP requirements.

Sec. 2.3. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP shall make recommendations to the President, informed by the interagency policy process established in PPD-1, with respect to the exercise of authorities assigned to the President under section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 606). The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP shall also jointly monitor the exercise of these authorities, in the event of any delegation, through the process established in PPD-1 or as the President otherwise may direct.

Sec. 3. The NS/EP Communications Executive Committee.

Sec. 3.1. There is established an NS/EP Communications Executive Committee (Executive Committee) to serve as a forum to address NS/EP communications matters.

Sec. 3.2. The Executive Committee shall be composed of Assistant Secretary-level or equivalent representatives designated by the heads of the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Commerce, and Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the General Services Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission, as well as such additional agencies as the Executive Committee may designate. The designees of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense shall serve as Co-Chairs of the Executive Committee.

Sec. 3.3. The responsibilities of the Executive Committee shall be to: (a) advise and make policy recommendations to the President, through the PPD-1 process, on enhancing the survivability, resilience, and future architecture of NS/EP communications, including what should constitute NS/EP communications requirements;

(b) develop a long-term strategic vision for NS/EP communications and propose funding requirements and plans to the President and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), through the PPD-1 process, for NS/EP communications initiatives that benefit multiple agencies or other Federal entities;

(c) coordinate the planning for, and provision of, NS/EP communications for the Federal Government under all hazards;

(d) promote the incorporation of the optimal combination of hardness, redundancy, mobility, connectivity, interoperability, restorability, and security to obtain, to the maximum extent practicable, the survivability of NS/EP communications under all circumstances;

(e) recommend to the President, through the PPD-1 process, the regimes to test, exercise, and evaluate the capabilities of existing and planned communications systems, networks, or facilities to meet all executive branch NS/EP communications requirements, including any recommended remedial actions;

(f) provide quarterly updates to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP, through the Co-Chairs, on the status of Executive Committee activities and develop an annual NS/EP communications strategic agenda utilizing the PPD-1 process;

(g) enable industry input with respect to the responsibilities established in this section; and

(h) develop, approve, and maintain a charter for the Executive Committee.

Sec. 4. Executive Committee Joint Program Office.

Sec. 4.1. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish an Executive Committee Joint Program Office (JPO) to provide full-time, expert, and administrative support for the Executive Committee’s performance of its responsibilities under section 3.3 of this order. Staff of the JPO shall include detailees, as needed and appropriate, from agencies represented on the Executive Committee. The Department of Homeland Security shall provide resources to support the JPO. The JPO shall be responsive to the guidance of the Executive Committee.

Sec. 4.2. The responsibilities of the JPO shall include: coordination of programs that support NS/EP missions, priorities, goals, and policy; and, when directed by the Executive Committee, the convening of governmental and nongovernmental groups (consistent with the Federal Advisory Committees Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.)), coordination of activities, and development of policies for senior official review and approval.

Sec. 5. Specific Department and Agency Responsibilities.

Sec. 5.1. The Secretary of Defense shall: (a) oversee the development, testing, implementation, and sustainment of NS/EP communications that are directly responsive to the national security needs of the President, Vice President, and senior national leadership, including: communications with or among the President, Vice President, White House staff, heads of state and government, and Nuclear Command and Control leadership; Continuity of Government communications; and communications among the executive, judicial, and legislative branches to support Enduring Constitutional Government;

(b) incorporate, integrate, and ensure interoperability and the optimal combination of hardness, redundancy, mobility, connectivity, interoperability, restorability, and security to obtain, to the maximum extent practicable, the survivability of NS/EP communications defined in section 5.1(a) of this order under all circumstances, including conditions of crisis or emergency;

(c) provide to the Executive Committee the technical support necessary to develop and maintain plans adequate to provide for the security and protection of NS/EP communications; and

(d) provide, operate, and maintain communication services and facilities adequate to execute responsibilities consistent with Executive Order 12333 of December 4, 1981, as amended.

Sec. 5.2. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall: (a) oversee the development, testing, implementation, and sustainment of NS/EP communications, including: communications that support Continuity of Government; Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal emergency preparedness and response communications; non-military executive branch communications systems; critical infrastructure protection networks; and non-military communications networks, particularly with respect to prioritization and restoration;

(b) incorporate, integrate, and ensure interoperability and the necessary combination of hardness, redundancy, mobility, connectivity, interoperability, restorability, and security to obtain, to the maximum extent practicable, the survivability of NS/EP communications defined in section 5.2(a) of this order under all circumstances, including conditions of crisis or emergency;

(c) provide to the Executive Committee the technical support necessary to develop and maintain plans adequate to provide for the security and protection of NS/EP communications;

(d) receive, integrate, and disseminate NS/EP communications information to the Federal Government and State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, as appropriate, to establish situational awareness, priority setting recommendations, and a common operating picture for NS/EP communications information;

(e) satisfy priority communications requirements through the use of commercial, Government, and privately owned communications resources, when appropriate;

(f) maintain a joint industry-Government center that is capable of assisting in the initiation, coordination, restoration, and reconstitution of NS/EP communications services or facilities under all conditions of emerging threats, crisis, or emergency;

(g) serve as the Federal lead for the prioritized restoration of communications infrastructure and coordinate the prioritization and restoration of communications, including resolution of any conflicts in or among priorities, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense when activities referenced in section 5.1(a) of this order are impacted, consistent with the National Response Framework. If conflicts in or among priorities cannot be resolved between the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, they shall be referred for resolution in accordance with section 2.1 of this order; and

(h) within 60 days of the date of this order, in consultation with the Executive Committee where appropriate, develop and submit to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, a detailed plan that describes the Department of Homeland

Security’s organization and management structure for its NS/EP communications functions, including the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service, Wireless Priority Service, Telecommunications Service Priority program, Next Generation Network Priority program, the Executive Committee JPO, and relevant supporting entities.

Sec. 5.3. The Secretary of Commerce shall: (a) provide advice and guidance to the Executive Committee on the use of technical standards and metrics to support execution of NS/EP communications;

(b) identify for the Executive Committee requirements for additional technical standards and metrics to enhance NS/EP communications;

(c) engage with relevant standards development organizations to develop appropriate technical standards and metrics to enhance NS/EP communications;

(d) develop plans and procedures concerning radio spectrum allocations, assignments, and priorities for use by agencies and executive offices;

(e) develop, maintain, and publish policies, plans, and procedures for the management and use of radio frequency assignments, including the authority to amend, modify, or revoke such assignments, in those parts of the electromagnetic spectrum assigned to the Federal Government; and

(f) administer a system of radio spectrum priorities for those spectrum-dependent telecommunications resources belonging to and operated by the Federal Government and certify or approve such radio spectrum priorities, including the resolution of conflicts in or among such radio spectrum priorities during a crisis or emergency.

Sec. 5.4. The Administrator of General Services shall provide and maintain a common Federal acquisition approach that allows for the efficient centralized purchasing of equipment and services that meet NS/EP communications requirements. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the procurement authorities granted by law to an agency or the head thereof.

Sec. 5.5. With respect to the Intelligence Community, the DNI, after consultation with the heads of affected agencies, may issue such policy directives and guidance as the DNI deems necessary to implement this order. Procedures or other guidance issued by the heads of elements of the Intelligence Community shall be in accordance with such policy directives or guidelines issued by the DNI.

Sec. 5.6. The Federal Communications Commission performs such functions as are required by law, including: (a) with respect to all entities licensed or regulated by the Federal Communications Commission: the extension, discontinuance, or reduction of common carrier facilities or services; the control of common carrier rates, charges, practices, and classifications; the construction, authorization, activation, deactivation, or closing of radio stations, services, and facilities; the assignment of radio frequencies to Federal Communications Commission licensees; the investigation of violations of pertinent law; and the assessment of communications service provider emergency needs and resources; and

(b) supporting the continuous operation and restoration of critical communications systems and services by assisting the Secretary of Homeland Security with infrastructure damage assessment and restoration, and by providing the Secretary of Homeland Security with information collected by the Federal Communications Commission on communications infrastructure, service outages, and restoration, as appropriate.

Sec. 6. General Agency Responsibilities. All agencies, to the extent consistent with law, shall: (a) determine the scope of their NS/EP communications requirements, and provide information regarding such requirements to the Executive Committee;

(b) prepare policies, plans, and procedures concerning communications facilities, services, or equipment under their management or operational control to maximize their capability to respond to the NS/EP needs of the Federal Government;

(c) propose initiatives, where possible, that may benefit multiple agencies or other Federal entities;

(d) administer programs that support broad NS/EP communications goals and policies;

(e) submit reports annually, or as otherwise requested, to the Executive Committee, regarding agency NS/EP communications activities;

(f) devise internal acquisition strategies in support of the centralized acquisition approach provided by the General Services Administration pursuant to section 5.4 of this order; and

(g) provide the Secretary of Homeland Security with timely reporting on NS/EP communications status to inform the common operating picture required under 6 U.S.C. 321(d).

Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) For the purposes of this order, the word “agency” shall have the meaning set forth in section 6.1(b) of Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009.

(b) Executive Order 12472 of April 3, 1984, as amended, is hereby revoked.

(c) Executive Order 12382 of September 13, 1982, as amended, is further amended by striking the following language from section 2(e): “in his capacity as Executive Agent for the National Communications System”.

(d) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(e) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(f) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Questioners Vs. Believers

By 

In response to our article, “Someone Would Have Talked,” a reader posted this comment. We think it deserves wider exposure:

“Someone would have talked”: On Believers and Questioners

By “Capt. America”

***

Person #1: [States a plausible theory concerning how the government may have conducted a nefarious operation and then lied to the public about it.]
Person #2: That’s impossible.  There would have to have been so many people involved.  Someone would have talked.

Who is right: Person #1 or Person #2?

No matter how much research Person #1 does, he can never attain absolute certainty about his theory.  Absolute certainty about empirical matters is impossible.  See Rene Descartes, Meditations I.  However, the difference between Person #1 and Person #2 is not in the truth-value of their respective beliefs, but rather their orientation towards truth itself.

Person #2 is a Believer whereas Person #1 is a Questioner.  Most Questioners used to be Believers;  it is rare to find a Believer who used to be a Questioner.

Questioners are a tortured lot.  On one hand, they are constantly attempting to save Believers from their certainty in the “consensus opinion.”   On the other hand, Questioners are constantly attempting to test those few beliefs that they have attained, which they acknowledge to have been imperfectly established.  This is a never-ending task and the Questioners are never satisfied.

Believers, by contrast, spend most of their time in blissful ignorance.  They see the world as “given” and spend their time worrying about things like sports, interpersonal relationships or career advancement.  While some Believers get their worldview from watching or reading the News, most get it by osmosis, by referring to what “most people think” as a guide.

Believers and Questioners are fundamentally at odds.  Questioners either view Believers as simpletons or (as stated above) as naive souls to be saved. While many Questioners find Believers boring or pathetic, Questioners do not usually hate Believers.  However, Believers invariably detest Questioners.  See Plato, The Trial of Socrates.

The reason for Believer’s hate of the Questioner is based on the fact that the Questioner, simply by posing the question, succeeds in momentarily jolting the Believer out of his blissful ignorance.  This momentary jolt is painful, of course, which causes the Believer to recoil at whatever idea the Questioner had momentarily created in his mind.   The Believer’s salve is to reject that idea outright as preposterous.  He will rely on any handy method to do so.

The “someone would have talked” argument is a handy method that Believers use to get rid of an uncomfortable idea.  If the “someone would have talked” phenomenon is as true as the law of gravity, then why, the Questioner asks, does the government go to the pains of conducting background checks?  Why did no one talk about Operation Northwoods before it became declassified?  Why does barely anyone talk about it now?

The Questioner is relentless.  If he goes to too far, though, the Believer is going to have to rely on other means to get back to the blissful state to which he has become attached.  When he fails to refute the Questioner on his own, he will resort to others.  He will turn to other Believers and say “Look at this guy! How crazy is he!?”  The other Believers will be quick to rally around the irked Believer-cum-leader.  Before you know it, the Questioner has become an outcast. Or worse.

When the Believers are done with him, the Questioner will eventually become “no one.”

This is the reason why the “someone would have talked” argument fails: because whoever talks is no longer someone worth being listened to, at least as far as the Believer is concerned.

But I wouldn’t try to explain this to a Believer, if I were you.

Ernest Borgnine Remembered

George W. Bush knew of bin Laden terrorist threat before 9/11, CIA documents show MONDAY, 09 JULY 2012 10:22 

BY MATTHEW R. FARRELL NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM COMMENTARY

Recently released CIA documents show that President George W. Bush was warned of an imminent terrorist attack months before 9/11. Although the Senior Executive Intelligence Briefings were very vague at first, they began to increasingly suggest an attack by al-Qaeda in a major U.S. city as September approached. The warnings began in late June. A June 23 brief, titled “Bin Laden Attacks May Be Imminent [redacted],” reported that multiple sources had suggested that authorities should “expect Bin Laden to lauch attacks over the coming days, possibly against U.S. or Israeli interests.” Two days later another brief corroborated, if not wholly confirmed, the information in the previous brief. It reported that an Arabic news channel interviewed Bin Laden, where he told them to expect a “severe blow” to U.S. and Israeli interests over the next two weeks. According to the brief, there was no footage of the interview, but accounts of the Bin Laden’s security measures were consistent with CIA intelligence. Five days later, the president recieved a brief in which CIA officials guessed at possible locations for the attack or attacks, which were expected to produce “major casualties” and “uproar in the next two weeks.” Possible targets mentioned in the brief included the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan and Europe. With so many scattered possible targets and such vague intentions, the last thing one might predict from these briefs would be an attack on the World Trade Center. Another brief, this one from August 8, would change that. This brief, titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S. [redacted],” mentioned the World Trade Center by name. “Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and ‘bring the fight to America.'” The brief also mentioned that a New York al-Qaeda cell was attempting to recruit Muslim-American Youth for an attack. While this brief certainly suggests that the World Trade Center was a target for al-Qaeda, hindsight is 20/20, and there were many other possible targets that were not attacked. Still, this brief and others like it prove that American intelligence officials knew that a major plan was in the works. The idea that 9/11 came as a shock to the intelligence community can no longer be given serious credence. It should also be pointed out that although these briefs were released, they were highly censored with large parts of them, sometimes even the majority of the copy, redacted. No one without a security clearance can even begin to guess what else was in them and whether or not it suggested the likelyhood of the 9/11 attacks. The American intelligence community thwarts plots like 9/11, and sometimes worse, every day without the average citizen even knowing about it. For that, they deserve thanks. When it comes to protecting the country though, no amount of successes can outweigh one failure and 9/11 should, and as more information comes out likely will, forever be looked upon as a failure of the intelligence community and the president it served.