By Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels
Global Research, October 27, 2012
Url of this article:
By Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels
Global Research, October 27, 2012
Url of this article:
Twelve years ago, the American warship USS Cole was the target of a successful terrorist attack when it made a brief stop in the port of Aden, Yemen. This was one of only four attacks attributed to al Qaeda prior to 9/11, according to a 2004 U.S. government report. Like 9/11, there are numerous unanswered questions about the Cole bombing and, as with 9/11, little or no justice has been done. This article examines a few of the unanswered questions in an attempt to make sense of the background story that was later used to produce and justify the official account of 9/11.
The al Qaeda attack that was said to precede the bombing of the Cole was the August 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa. A year later, in 1999, the Washington Post described how people were not convinced by the case made by U.S. officials against al Qaeda.
“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.”
Although the Washington Post and a U.S. government indictment could not, in 1999, convincingly explain how al Qaeda operated, today there is an enormous amount of historical “chatter” available to consider. Some of it is based on investigations into the year 2000 Colebombing and details surrounding the al Qaeda “operations hub” in Yemen. Still, the government’s account of the Cole attack remains unconvincing and problematic.
According to the official account, the Cole, a nearly new, state-of-the-art destroyer, had just come into the Aden port for refueling when it was attacked in broad daylight by two men in a rubber dinghy filled with explosives. Seventeen sailors were killed and 49 others were wounded.
Much has been said about one of the two alleged “masterminds” of the Cole attack, Tawfiq (Khallad) Bin Attash, who has been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay for nine years while awaiting a U.S. military trial related to the 9/11 attacks. Several points are often overlooked regarding Bin Attash and his devious plan, however. These include that he was a handicapped teenager at the time of his alleged involvement in the African bombings, and that the Cole plan he created a year later was, at best, a very simplistic scheme which required an extraordinary amount of luck to have any chance of success.
The evidence against Bin Attash centers on information obtained through his torture, and that of others, and communications intercepted by the National Security Agency. After being captured by U.S. forces in 2003, Bin Attash was said to have confessed to planning theCole attack as well as that of the failed attempt on the USS The Sullivans in early January, 2000. Officials had not been aware of the attempt on the The Sullivans prior to November, 2000, through the interrogation of another suspect.
The Sullivans was the target of a similar bombing plan in the port of Aden. It was not sunk, however, because the masterminds did not bother to calculate how much weight the rubber dinghy could hold and therefore they overloaded it with explosives and it sank as it began to move toward the ship. According to terrorism historian Dennis Piszkiewicz, one of the bombers then left in disgust but the rest stayed on and, when they went for help, their outboard motor was stolen from the sunken boat. Despite the insulting turn of events, they “took the next ten months to buy back their stolen motor, repair the water damage, and prepare for another attack, this time on the USS Cole.” This historical description suggests an incredible lack of sophistication on the part of the terrorists — almost a Three Stooges scenario — and certainly nothing that would lead to the use of the word “mastermind.”
Regardless, it is important to understand that there was never a plan to attack the Cole specifically. Due to the very short period of time that the ship was in port for refueling, it would have been impossible for the attackers to have known in advance that it would be there without having gained some kind of official knowledge about the refueling plan. Although U.S. officials have suggested that perhaps Yemeni authorities tipped-off the terrorists to the incoming vessel, it is still difficult to believe that the suicide bombers and their appropriately packed rubber dinghy (with repossessed motor) could have been made ready on such short notice. A conspiracy of information sharing involving the private Yemeni refueling company is also possible but has been rule out by official reports.
Apparently the plan masterminded by the 20-year old Bin Attash was to have a pre-loaded rubber dinghy at the ready so that the next U.S. warship entering the port might provide an opportunity for success. Since January 1999, U.S. ships had come into the port to refuel 27 times, or approximately once per month. Because al Qaeda could not possibly know when that monthly visit might occur (barring the US government conspiracy theory that the Yemeni government was in on it too), the mastermind’s suicidal associates would need to be sitting in the dinghy full of explosives round the clock in order to have any real chance to respond.
In actuality, the plan required that the conspirators depend on a significant amount of luck as well. According to a Congressional Research Service report on the Cole attack, before the destroyer arrived at Aden “for its brief refueling stop” the Cole was “required to file a force-protection plan for the visit.” According to this plan, at the time of the attack the Cole was operating under a heightened state of readiness against a potential terrorist attack. This state of readiness (threat condition Bravo) included steps that were specifically intended to provide protection against attack by small boats.
The captain of the Cole, Kirk Lippold, later recalled that his ship was moving quickly through the area and stopped for refueling at 9:30 am in Aden. Lippold described the situation in which the attack occurred by saying –
“We’d arranged for three garbage barges to come out. And by around 11 o’clock that morning, two boats had come out and the crew was unloading trash. I was turned back to my desk and doing routine paper work when at 11:18 in the morning, there was a thunderous explosion.”
Lippold clarified –
“The first thing that went through my mind was one of these rafts clearly got alongside and has blown up. It turns out, it wasn’t. The two garbage barges that had been alongside the ship had left at about 11:15 transiting back across the harbor. What we didn’t know is Al-Qaeda had been in that port for a number of months observing us, observing Navy ships and the third barge that came out masqueraded as the garbage barge. We were operating under peace time rules of engagement. It didn’t exhibit what we call hostile intent like aiming guns at us or hostile act like shooting at us. So, people thought naturally, it was the third garbage barge, came down the side of the ship, two guys were in it, stood up and even waved to the crew. It came to the exact same spot in the middle of the ship where the previous barge have been and then initiated the explosion.”
This is a very remarkable story. Lippold claims that he ordered three garbage barges to come out and pull alongside his destroyer so that his crew could put out the trash. Two such garbage barges came out and the trash was unloaded. Then a third came out but it was not a barge at all, it was a rubber dinghy filled with explosives. Of course, anyone who knows what a garbage barge looks like – a huge flat steel boat – knows that it looks nothing like a rubber dinghy. But since the two terrorists in the dinghy were waving as they prepared to commit suicide, and were not shooting at anyone, nobody thought twice about it. And despite the Cole’s force protection plan that ensured the crew would take every measure to prevent terrorist attacks, the dinghy was allowed to pull up right next to the ship and blow a huge hole in the port side.
The Yemeni government certainly could not have caused the leadership of a U.S. Navy vessel to be so nonchalant about security, and therefore the U.S. government’s hints that there was a conspiracy between the Yemenis and the bombers carries less weight. Interested 9/11 researchers might also note that just one “Three Stooges” dinghy was able to intercept a U.S. destroyer in less than two hours that day, but the entire U.S. Air Force could not intercept even one of the four hijacked airliners on 9/11 in the same time frame.
In any case, one might think that reliance on gross malfeasance on the part of a U.S. Navy vessel would not make for a good terrorist plan. In fact, that would be a poor plan even for a twenty year old kid, which is what mastermind Bin Attash was in January 2000 when he came up with it. But apparently it worked without a hitch. Perhaps that’s why the 9/11 Commission gave so much credit to Bin Attash. The Commission’s report called him a “senior security official for Bin Ladin,” and a “veteran mujahid,” and mentioned his name 110 times within the report’s narrative and 150 times in the notes. This should be compared to the report’s references to the FAA’s national operations manager (only once) and its hijack coordinator (twice, and neither instance was related to his being the hijack coordinator).
Coincidentally, on 9/11 the Cole’s Captain Lippold was at CIA headquarters, receiving an off-the-record briefing on what the agency knew before, during and after the Cole attack. Lippold recalled that he told an assistant deputy director, only 20 minutes before the first plane struck the WTC, that — “America doesn’t understand. I believe it’s going to take a seminal event probably in this country where hundreds if not thousands die before Americans realize we’re at war with [Osama bin Laden].” Minutes later, that seminal event began.
Several 20-year-old kids were said to be involved in the 9/11 attacks. In fact, the average age of the alleged hijackers on a couple of the planes was only 22 years, and the official accounts depend on these youngsters for a lot of the historical background. For example, twenty year old Salem al-Hazmi was said to have had a “relatively long history with al Qaeda.” Twenty-year-olds Ahmed al-Haznawi and Hazma al-Ghamdi were said to have been (teenage) warriors in Chechnya.
One thing about kids is that overall they have much less history which can be challenged through examination of the evidence provided by experiences and relationships. What we know about them comes from brief periods of their independence for which the official investigations provide all the information. This ability to control the story could be why, since 9/11, we have seen the FBI caught in several attempts to entrap teenagers in terrorist plots manufactured by the FBI itself.
Interestingly, a Yemeni government official’s investigation into the Cole bombing came to an alarming and contradictory conclusion in July, 2001. It suggested that the U.S. government bombed its own ship in order to provide a pretext for military or covert action. The leading Egyptian newspaper reported that a senior Yemeni security official claimed that “there was evidence that the US itself was responsible for the explosion as part of a conspiracy to take control over the port of Aden.” The Yemeni’s investigation determined that “one explosion happened from within the destroyer, along with another, external, explosion that hit the body of the destroyer, as a result of the booby-trapped dinghy.”
Years later, the President of Yemen repeated a similar claim, saying on national television that the U.S. had plans to invade and occupy Aden after the bombing. These back and forth accusations and insinuations continued. There were claims that the U.S. ambassador to Yemen, Barbara Bodine, was sympathetic to the Yemenis and obstructed the investigation led by the FBI. And not long after the Yemen president’s claim of a U.S. plan for occupying Aden, CIA officer Robert Baer claimed that he “was given information by a Saudi military contact that a Saudi merchant family had funded the USS Cole bombing and that the Yemeni government was covering up information related to that bombing.”
The end result was that the investigation into the Cole bombing collapsed completely. A few defendants had been convicted in Yemen but all of them escaped or were freed by the government. Only two of the alleged planners remain in custody of the U.S. government, Bin Attash and his alleged colleague Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who was labeled “al-Qaeda’s operations chief in the Arabian Peninsula.” Al-Nashiri is said to have confessed under torture to being the second mastermind of the Cole bombing.
What little we know about what happened on October 12, 2000 in the port of Aden is not comforting. We know that 17 sailors were killed by a terrorist plot that, on its face, was simply absurd. Two men in a rubber dinghy waited for a monthly visit by a U.S. warship and then depended on the crew of that warship to mistake their approach, in broad daylight, for that of a garbage barge. The terrorists also depended on the leaders of that U.S. vessel, which was in a heightened readiness against a terrorist attack, to disregard a dozen safety measures required by the force protection plan that the ship had filed for the visit. All of this was dreamed up by the 20-year old Bin Attash and his colleagues who had only recently bought back their stolen outboard motor so that the plan could go forward.
Meanwhile Captain Lippold has gone on to write a book and join the board of directors for the Homeland Security industry company, HALO Defense Systems. The U.S. has been accused by Yemeni officials of facilitating and/or profiting from the attack and has declined to punish the captain for his apparent gross negligence. Instead, the vague and unconvincing story of the Cole attack has been used by the 9/11 Commission and the mainstream media as one of the most significant pieces of historical background supporting the official account of what happened on 9/11.
 Congressional Research Service, Memorandum to House Government Reform Committee on Terrorist Attacks by al Qaeda, March 31, 2004, http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/033104.pdf
 Colum Lynch; Vernon Loeb, Bin Laden’s Network: Terror Conspiracy or Loose Alliance?, The Washington Post, August 1, 1999
 Dennis Piszkiewicz, Terrorism’s War With America: A History, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, p123
 Raphael Perl and Ronald O’Rourke, CRS Report for Congress, Terrorist Attack on USS Cole: Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, Updated January 30, 2001,http://fl1.findlaw.com/news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/crs/coleterrattck13001.pdf
 Interview with Kirk S. Lippold, Q&A (C-SPAN series), July 8, 2012, http://www.q-and-a.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1399
 Interview with Kirk S. Lippold
 ABC News, No Punishment for Cole Captain, January 8, 2001, http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=81741&page=1
 Interview with Kirk S. Lippold
 Wikipedia page of Salem al-Hazmi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_al-Hazmi
 Glenn Greenwald, The FBI successfully thwarts its own Terrorist plot, Salon, November 28, 2010, http://www.salon.com/2010/11/28/fbi_8/
 The Middle East Media Research Institute, Al-Ahram Al-Arabi: A High-Ranking Yemenite Intelligence Official Blames the US for the Cole Bombing, July 17, 2001, http://www.memri.org/report/en/print479.htm
 Jane Novak, Al-Qaeda Escape in Yemen: Facts, Rumors and Theories, February 18, 2006, http://www.globalpolitician.com/21614-yemen-arab
 Craig Whitlock, Probe of USS Cole Bombing Unravels, Washington Post, May 4, 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/03/AR2008050302047.html
There is a truth so simple, so obvious, and yet so elusive to those who seek it. It is hidden in plain sight. And it it is verifiable if you can walk a straight line without getting sidetracked by conspiracies. This is not to say that conspiracies aren’t happening all around you. On the contrary, this simple truth I speak of actually verifies these plans between two or more people (the definition of conspiracy).
Now, the hardest part about seeing this simple truth is in fact these 100′s of conspiracies that redirect your conscious thought. Yet subconsciously, the truth sits there and waits for logic and reason to pull you towards it. For, like a grove of aspens, all of these “plans between two or more people” are connected and supported by one central root system, and are dependent on this truth for their secrecy and continuity.
So what is this truth… this central root system?
As we seek the source of these conspiracies, we get distracted by the very conspiracies themselves and by the players involved. And I am by no means immune from this never-ending, reproducing fork in the road. We feel that this truth is constantly in front of us, but these conspiracies keep diverging our focus, and our path forks once again. Our frustration mounts, and we either fall by the wayside or keep trudging through.
When we sufficiently uncover the evidence of one plan, deciding that there is still a higher cabal that is guiding the hand of the perpetrators of that plan, certain shock jocks and even other sincere truth-seekers throw us three more conspiracies, often not even realizing that they are doing nothing more than obfuscating the truth, and creating another fork. But for some, this is an intentional effort.
Then someone like Walter Burien comes along and says, “Here it is… here is the truth that you seek”.
But we ask, “Yeah, but what about the Rothschilds?”
And Walter simply says, “Don’t look right, look straight ahead to the source.”
But we ask, “Yeah, but what about chemtrails?”
And again, Walter states, “Don’t look up, don’t get sidetracked, look straight ahead. Who funds these weather experiments? Look at the source.”
And as we walk for a few steps on that path, we yet again diverge and ask, “Oh, look over here… what about the Federal Reserve?”
And as Walter smiles with a mix of empathy and frustration, he simply says, “No. Don’t look backwards, look straight ahead at the source.”
But the conspiracies flow like fireflies, distracting us from that path. And we say, “Oh my, what about fluoride in the water supply?”
And once again, Walter says, “Don’t look down either. You cannot change this without looking at who funds and allows this to happen. Will you please look straight ahead at the source.”
And we do, and we know who is responsible, and we know who funds this poison in our water with our own taxpayer dollars. But still we get distracted from this simple truth.
And so we say, “Ah… but what about Bilderberg, Bohemian Grove, the CFR, and the Tri-Lateral Commission? Alex Jones says…”
And Walter in anger says, “Why aren’t you listening? Why aren’t you comprehending? Don’t look left, for that is where you are being fooled into looking. These things are just part of the source. Look at the source. It is straight ahead. Follow the path.”
And then every once in a while, not too often, but every once in a blue moon, someone gets it. They still may stray off the path every once in a while, but once the source is comprehended, all other paths eventually lead to the source. It becomes impossible not to see down the straight path, no matter how many curves and side roads we take.
So again, what is this truth? What is the source.
Well, let’s face it. Nothing happens in this country without some branch of the government knowing, approving, and regulating that thing. No conspiracy happens without government and its spy agencies being a part of it, or at least profiting from it. And no person, corporation, or business can operate within this country without the government knowing about it. Since all corporations are indeed government entities, taking direction from and following the rules of the government, no corporation is above government. This includes the banks, the Federal Reserve, investment companies, and the rest. And they all follow the Federal Law that states that all corporations must file a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), including the banks, the Federal Reserve, and the rest. There are no exceptions.
If a hybrid bank such as the Federal Reserve was above the government, or above the law, they certainly would not hand in a complete audit of themselves every year to the government, now would they? No. They are incorporated within the United States and under the government. They operate within the laws set by government. They are granted the favor of extreme power over the economy. But this is not total power, for they and their assets can be immediately seized at any time by the government. They are but pathetic, dangerous, but fragile men in expensive suits. They are not powerful without the consent of the people through their consent of the government. This is the truth.
Who sprays these chemtrails? Well, these planes would not be allowed to fly over U.S. airspace without government permission, right? Therefore the truth is that the government not only allows this spraying of our skies, but funds and benefits from this strangest of conspiracies. Simple logical deduction. No other theory is needed, only the knowledge of who these planes must get permission from to fly over U.S. airspace. This is the path of knowledge that can only be obtained by focusing straight ahead. Sure, look into the chemtrail theory, but don’t get sidetracked from the truth. This has to be a government or government approved operation. There is no other option.
Ok, let’s take the Rothschild family. So what. What are you going to do about them? They have oodles of money and investments. So what. One is a Senator. Ok. They own banks. Good for them. Those banks operate within the United States with government permission, under Federal charter or law. The Rothschilds’ are not above the government. Now, they may have their Zionist agents seated deep within our government, and indeed we see not only a fervent support for Israel, but a multitude of duel-Israeli citizens being appointed into that Federal Government. But government is still in charge, and it still runs the show. It is the people in that government that are the problem. They do not represent the people. And everything that happens and all of the conspiracies that take place must happen with government approval.
Yes, yes… there is fluoride in the water. Yes, it is a main ingredient in rat poison. Yes, it is the by-product of the aluminum industry. It calcifies the pineal gland of the brain. And yes, it has a calming effect on the people who ingest it, which is the only reason I can think of to explain why people aren’t charging Washington D.C. in droves, with pitchforks and guns and ropes… and Tazors! But the simple truth is that government must approve its use. It funds and owns stock investment in the companies that produce it. Government approves the dumping of this toxic waste into the water supply to save on the costs of properly disposing of this substance, thus improving its majority stock share value. Simple. Logical. No theory needed.
What is Bohemian Grove? It is where government goes to relax. What is the Council On Foreign Relations? It is a think tank funded by government. What is the Tri-Lateral Commission? A government entity. What is the Bilderberg Group? An obscure think-tank meeting of global government. And since it sometimes meets in the United States, and since the U.S. government officials who attend this meeting against multiple Federal laws are not punished for their actions, one must concede to the truth. Government is in control of these officials, and allows them to attend.
I was on this switchback trail for a number of years, turning over one conspiracy only to reveal three more, and never comprehending this simple truth, until fortune or fate brought me to cross paths with Walter Burien.
Now, the truth is clear. I can look at the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and see the vast stock investments, real estate investments, hedge funds of currency from every nation in the world, gold holdings and gold certificates, Special Drawing Rights, and junk backed securities and derivatives. I can see that government owns it all, through stock investment. I can see that through stock investment, government owns the Fortune 500 and other corporations for which it also regulates.
And so here is the truth…
The government as it stands today is in a complete and utter conflict of interest.
Simple. Logical. Provable by the CAFR.
A body which regulates, deregulates, sets the laws for, polices, audits, and then also owns the controlling interest in the corporate business world it is supposed to impartially oversee, is the biggest conflict of interest in the history of such conflicts.
So, the next time you get distracted from the straight path, from the true nature of government ownership and control of every facet of America and the world, just think of the CAFR. And remember that nothing happens in this country without government approval.
If you want to fix the nation and solve most of the worlds problems… replace government and elect non-corporate poor people in jeans and a tee-shirt, with no assets, no stock investments, or any other interest except in that of the people.
Follow the straight path. Go to the source.
Kill the conflict of interest. Save the world!
–Clint Richardson (realitybloger.wordpress.com)
Sunday, April 3rd, 2011