Saturday, October 01, 2005

Betrayal in the Woods: British Columbia Balks at Forest Protection

Gordon Campbell Balks at Promised Great Bear Rainforest Deal

PEJ News
- C. L. Cook - The deadline has come and gone for Premier Campbell's signing on to the deal struck with environmental groups and the timber industry to protect the Great Bear Rainforest. Over the past week, I've conducted an e:mail interview with intrepid local environmental activist, Ingmar Lee from his new digs in India. In case Gordon Campbell's Liberals, or their pals in Big Timber thought Ingmar's departure a welcome thorn out of their side; think again boys!

www.pej.org



Gordon Campbell Balks at Promised
Great Bear Rainforest Deal

An Interview with Ingmar Lee
C. L. Cook


PEJ News
October 1, 2005


"Can we finally stand together now, and start working together against this monstrous, lying, voracious forest-destroying industry/government consortium??!! Can we finally unite behind an uncompromising NO MORE OLD GROWTH LOGGING stance? Can we now go around the world and without fetter, denounce and damage the BC logging industry? - Ingmar Lee


[chris cook] Greetings again, Ingmar; I've just reread your CounterPunch.org piece, "Compromise with a Chainsaw" and the blood boils anew! A while back, I did an e:mail interview with Mickey Z. (I was the interviewee for a change!) It basically goes like this: I pose a question and you respond. If you're into it, we'll go until a logical stopping point presents itself. I'll then clean it up for posting at PEJ and on Gorilla Radio Blog.

So, in reference to your article, I'd like to know the mechanics of the Rain Forest Solutions Project (RSP)?

[Ingmar Lee] Great idea and I'm up for it!

[Lee] It's been impossible to understand the mechanics of the Rainforest Solutions Project (RSP) because it's been an entirely secretive closed circle clique which has not communicated any aspect of its strategies or end-goal vision. It's only been in the last few years that it's begun to come to light amongst the larger enviro-community that a complicated machination between government, industry and the RSP enviros, namely Greenpeace, BC Sierra Club, Forest Ethics and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has been going on.

[chris cook] These are icons of the environmental movement you're talking about. They've spent years, millions of person-hours by hundreds of thousands. Now, they're too suspect?

[Lee] It is apparent that right off the bat, the enviro's accepted major compromises just to be able to sit at the table with industry, the Weyerhaeuser, Interfor, Western, CANFOR and Norske Skog consortium with whom they've been bargaining. Although the RSP negotiators lost enormously in the "Great Bear Rainforest" (GBR) negotiations and have not got a deal which will protect the areas outstanding natural biodiversity, they sacrificed Vancouver Island and the rest of BC's forests in exchange for discussions on the 22 million acre GBR.

[chris cook] We both have lived on Vancouver Island for many years, so perhaps our readers can take this as a biased issue, but living on an island, in a geo-graphically finite environment, the effects of industrial sized forestry is all the more stark.

[Lee] Over the past few years, we've seen all forest initiatives being undertaken by the RSP ENGO's on Vancouver Island shut down. The Sierra Club of BC, a long-time fighter for Vancouver Island's forests shut down all of its Vancouver Island campaigns in spite of its head office being located in Victoria. Have you ever seen Greenpeace on Vancouver Island? RAN has got a huge international campaign going against Weyerhaeuser, with the single exception of BC, because of the GBR negotiations. The logging of Vancouver Island has run amok without a peep of complaint from the big groups. The WCWC [http://www.wildernesscommittee.org/] might send out a print-run of flyers once and a while or a petition here and there, or amass 40-50 people down at the Ledge, [B.C. Legislature Buildings, seat of provincial government, located in Victoria: http://members.shaw.ca/Glenndell2/GlennImages/LegBuilding.jpg] but there's been no concerted, organized campaign whatsoever.

It's outrageous that in 2003, a road was pushed into East Creek, the 85th of 91 primary watersheds on Vancouver Island to face the axe, without the slightest complaint from organized enviro. The Vancouver Island marmot is virtually extinct in the wild due to voracious unconscionable logging, and not a single group is there to defend it. In spite of years of flyers and petitions by the WCWC, clear-cut logging in the Walbran's ancient forests has continued apace and East Creek is being destroyed. The only thing which has put a check on the destruction has been volunteer, anarchist citizens groups and First Nations staging direct-action civil-disobedience blockades.

[chris cook] Tactics has always been a big debate within the community of local and off-islanders concerned with forest practices and the environmental situation both here and throughout B.C. The logic of one argument strives for "mainstream" support, so fears alienating possible allies through either direct action, or being seen to support those actions.

[Lee] The RSP compromise-collaborationist approach, combined with funding commitment obligations and charitable status has been devastating to our forests and has completely neutered our once-strong and proud forest-protection community. Volunteer activists are now expected to show up to lick envelopes for fundraising mail-outs at Big ENGO [Environmental Non-Government Organization] offices and shut up while the professionals sit down and talk. Whenever citizens do take the initiative and get out there to directly confront the logging, not only do they not receive a stitch of help from Big-ENGO, but they are denigrated and even sneered at for being confrontational and 'extremist.' Betty Krawcyzk rotted in jail for 10 months for standing up to Weyerhaeuser in the Walbran and was ignored, and the peace-loving vegan forest activist Tre Arrow continues to languish in a BC jail, utterly ignored and even castigated by professional BC enviros. He's been branded as an "eco-terrorist" by the corporate media, and if he is deported back to the USA, could well be destined for the American-gulag torture chambers at Guantanamo Bay.

[chris cook] British Columbia has an image in the rest of Canada that roughly apes the stereotypes much of the U.S. has of California: A "hang-loose" attitude, essentially Liberal. In the salons of Ottawa and Toronto, we quaint "Left Coasters," in the local parlance, exist in "Lotus Land." But the B.C. political reality is a long way from Berkley.

[Lee] What's also greatly disturbing is how this deal has been manoeuvred in order to accommodate the political ambitions of Gordon Campbell. Let's face it, with the bulk of his election financing derived from Big Logging, the Campbell government is bought lock, stock an barrel. It's so abundantly clear that if Big Logging has bought into the GBR compromise, that Campbell will follow suit. It's not Campbell who calls the shots in the BC forests. Yet with all the current RSP 'down to the wire' "Stand Tall for the GBR ~write the Premier" hype which is blanketing the BC and international media, the compromisers would have the people believe that everybody's on board for the momentous deal except Campbell.

It was expected that he would endorse it in the lead up to the last BC election, to send voters the message that he had "turned over a new Green leaf." But that Campbell political calculus was not to be and he deferred the decision. That was a big mistake, as he really took a beating over his visionless, substance-devoid environmental stance and all his most rampant pro-logging industry MLA's like Rod Visser, Gillian Trumper and Bill Belsey all went down to defeat. Stan Hagen only eked in by the skin of his teeth. It's clear that British Columbian's punished Campbell for his myopic and destructive treatment of the BC forests.

[chris cook] Victoria, Vancouver Island, and the whole of B.C. is an international tourist destination - the old Social Credit Party ads remind: 'Super Natural British Columbia.' - and those visitors lucky enough to connect with the soaring natural world surviving here tend too to feel a responsibility toward it and have mounted huge boycotts against forestry practices here; is that sentiment still strong over there?

[Lee] When I was touring Germany, Denmark and Sweden in November 2003, lecturing on the "Vancouver Island Clear-cutting Massacre" I stopped in at the 'Verbrand Deutsche Papierfabriken' offices in Bonn which is the major conduit through which BC forest products flow into Germany. I went there to plead with the VDP executives to stop purchasing BC forest products derived from ancient forests and I showed them graphic current evidence of what Weyerhaeuser and ilk were doing to our forests. Their response? They pulled out a fax, fresh sent from the Gordon Campbell government, that "all was well in the BC woods because of the momentous RSP/industry/government negotiations which had settled all the GBR issues. The fax even mentioned that the parties had settled on the protection of just 21% of the GBR tract, and now the War in the Woods was over. Campbell was saying to his major global wood-product customers that it was now ethical to purchase such product from BC, and the RSP enviro-endorsement guaranteed it.

So all this nonsense about getting the people to write to Campbell begging him to sign is just a smokescreen to build as much momentum of support for this pathetic deal as possible. The idea is that if Campbell is seen to be balking at signing, then there must be some impressive environmental significance to it. So then when he does sign, the RSP enviro's will claim that they've achieved a monumental victory in bringing on board one of the most ruthless forest-destroying Premiers in BC history.

[chris cook] They will have converted the most blatantly pro-corporate agenda this province has yet known?

[Lee] What a horrific bunch of Greenwash bularky! Campbell signed on to the GBR deal long ago, and all this dragging it out is simply to cater most optimally to his political agenda. The foot-dragging has also allowed the companies to get a major head-start on destroying the area under Campbell's awful 'Forest and Range Practices' Act, and to dither over the as-yet undefined "Eco-system Based Management" which is just more Greenwash for the destruction of intact primeval forest. Just like the scam of 'variable retention' logging took that wind out of the citizen actions to stop clear-cutting 10 years ago, the scam of compromise-collaborationism between BIG ENGO and the government/industry consortium will buy the industry another 10 years to finish off the GBR. By the time the BC public recognizes how severely they were hoodwinked that magnificent Great Bear Rainforest will have been reduced to another BC steaming stump-field.

The crux of the problem is simple: The GBR deal Greenwashes the further destruction of intact primeval forests. These are the final repositories of the Earth's most magnificent biodiversity. Less that 20% of the planets ancient forests remain intact an they're going fast.

The solution is simple: NO MORE LOGGING IN ANCIENT FORESTS

[chris cook] Thanks, Ingmar; but allow me one further question, please: Recent developments here, and I know you're currently on the other side of the world, but the on-going Canada-U.S. softwood lumber trade dispute is turning. In the wake of the recent disaster in New Orleans and the great need there to rebuild, a growing chorus of industry voices in the United States are clamouring for the ditching of U.S. tariffs long levied against Canadian, and especially B.C. wood imports. What's your understanding of the cross-border dispute, and how does its fate effect the future of British Columbia's forests and the creatures calling those woods home?

[Lee] As far as Canada/USA goes, to anyone who looks, the USA is going down, and once the Chinese call the debt home, and fuel prices double, the crash will make the fall of the Berlin Wall look like a picnic. All around the world, Bush has utterly ruined the already widely unpopular USA 'reputation.' I have hardly seen any Americans at all since I've
been on the road here in India, and from the local sentiment, I can see why. Wearing a USA flag anywhere is asking for trouble big time. Even in Victoria, one hardly sees a USA flag on the millions of American tourists who are now swarming to Canada, quite rightly afraid to go elsewhere in the world for their vacations. I take it as a personal
duty in Victoria to remind anyone I see wearing the USA flag, that what it represents around the world today is: attack, invade, occupy, torture and massacre, and it says "See Me, ~I'm in total support of George W. Bush and his global domination agenda."

No ethical or sane American will wear a USA flag outside the United States.

[chris cook] Canada is so tightly tied to the United States: They’re our biggest single trading partner by far, and “we’ve” invested so much time and effort drawing up trade agreements it seems improbable that this country would ever take a stand against American trade, or their odious foreign policies.

[Lee] Canada absolutely must tear up the quisling Mulroney NAFTA scam, and shut off all the southbound oil, water and forest spigots. If we must sell our resources instead of keeping them around for our grandchildren, there are many ethical places around the world thatwill pay just as much or more.

And now we see that Campbell hasn't signed the [GBR] deal after all, although the ever-compliant RSP, grovelling once again, has extended his contract by another two weeks!

Therefore if Gordon Campbell has refused to endorse the "Great Bear Rainforest" 'consensus' reached between the RSP and the logging industry, that has to be because that's what industry told him to do!!

Today’s [Oct. 1, 2005] non-announcement is a huge coup for the logging industry, which will have gained 7 years of complete acquiescence from the RSP groups to gut and destroy Vancouver Island and other forests around BC without complaint, and to get a big head start on trashing the GBR. Campbell's non-endorsement of the deal will further set back the agreed-to 2009 'compliance date' by which time GBR loggers were to have switched from clear-cut destruction to some vaguely defined EBM logging system.

It's as rotten as that folks, - the GBR discussions tied down the most powerful voices in ENGO, sat them down behind closed doors for 7 years, sucked millions of dollars out of the movement, neutered direct forest activism, and seriously divided the environmental community.

Weyerhaeuser, Interfor, CANFOR, Norske Skog, Western and their Gordon Campbell lackey has ruthlessly backstabbed their RSP partners and the central coast First Nations.

Today was Campbell's deadline, but the only people celebrating at the Champagne Party are logging corporations and their government lackeys.

Can we finally stand together now, and start working together against this monstrous, lying, voracious forest-destroying industry/government consortium??!! Can we finally unite behind an uncompromising NO MORE OLD GROWTH LOGGING stance? Can we now go around the world and without fetter, denounce and damage the BC logging industry.

Or how much more lying, expense, scamming, grovelling and embarrassment are the RSP groups willing to endure, and expose our community to, over this dreadful, rotten deal?

Disgusted all around, Ingmar


To learn more about forestry and other ecological issues on Vancouver Island and British Columbia, check out Ingmar Lee’s writings on PEJ.org here.


Ingmar Lee is a Vancouver Island environmentalist, whose activism encompasses Nanaimo’s toxic watershed, the too few wild places left on the island, and the protection of its endangered wildlife. He’s been a loud and persistent voice for change across all media, an unflinching critic of corporate irresponsibility and government’s refusal to fulfill their duty to the people of British Columbia and future generations. He’s a graduate student of Asian and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, currently studying in India. Ingmar spent more than two decades working in the coastal woods of British Columbia as a tree-planter, and estimates he’s planted more than a million trees.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program, broad/webcast from UVic. He also serves as a contributing editor to PEJ News. This e:mail exchange took place between late September and October 2005. Interview questions are ‘post-write’ insertions, included to create a conversational flow.


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Friday, September 30, 2005

Indelible Marks: Same Whip, New Stripe

Indelible Marks: Same Whip, New Stripe

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - These last weeks, last days, have borne more fuel for a Bush political pyre greater than any ever witnessed, but the cinders have yet to prove their promise. Sparks that would certainly have torched previous governments lay smouldering and largely unattended. Unprecedented scandals, flowing now over America in waves fast as a tide-surge, and with a disturbingly increasing frequency beg patience: "Is it too soon to hope for the fall of the House of Bush and all the great misery its operation encompasses?" Today, more revelations of wrong-doings perpetrated by more of those inhabiting the rarefied, if shrinking, impunity bubble so far surrounding this administration.



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Here Come Da judge!
www.pej.org



Indelible Marks:
Same Whip, New Stripe
C. L. Cook

PEJ News
September 29, 2005

Yesterday, Tom "The Hammer" DeLay, George Bush's political bully boy heard an indictment in a long festering case of political gerrymandering in the Texas state elections. DeLay is now accused of diverting corporate political donations illegally from national Republican coffers into the hands of select state representatives in Texas for, what has yet to be proved, quid pro agreement of a redrawing of electoral districts that unfairly favoured Republican prospects in then upcoming federal elections. The man whose influence has long been thought second only to Karl Rove's is now staring at jail time and heavy fines for activities done in service of the Bush campaign for president.

There have already been "liberal" allowances made as per court appearance delays, the case now scheduled to convene in late October, but the legal ball is set in motion for what could be a trial capable of bringing down the White House long before 2008. But, before those who would welcome the premature demise of Mr. Bush celebrate, it must be remembered: American Justice is firmly in the hands of those operating in concert with they who would be judged.

Of course, it's no surprise George W. Bush would nominate a cretin politico on the throne of American Justice. If it wasn't John Roberts it would have been an equally vile partisan, sent in with marching orders drafted by the way-out policy wonks running the White House.

Today, the U.S. Senate endorsed Mr. Bush's nominee for Supreme Court Justice, John Roberts 78-22. Roberts' all-American looks and manicured manner mask a hard core ideologue, whose history is intertwined with the original sin against the American constitution that was the inaugural "election" of George W. Bush in 2000, something Danny Schechter, long-time media maven and founder of MediaChannel.org, an influential news site, details. This means a further tilt of a court already skewed enough to grant an unprecedented edict determining the results of a general election.

Timing is everything in politics, and common among PR professionals is simultaneous news release: This is where you send out flak designed to wow the press and, hopefully throw your client's public perfidy into the shadows of a greater mendacity.

That precept may help explain a second explosion in Base Bush today.

Republican Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist is now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of his divestment of stocks in the family business, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), moments before a spectacular dive in its stock value. Think Martha Stewart on steroids. HCA had already been the subject of the single largest fine in U.S. corporate history for its defrauding of billions from government MediCare and MediCaid programs. As prominent as billionaire Senator Frist is, DeLay's disgrace, he being as close to the inner ring of the Bush administration as is possible, is difficult to top.

Just in case the relatively subterranean Frist is too small a log for the diversionary fire, former Reaganite, Bill Bennett made news today for his impolitic suggestion an Indira Ghandi-like abortion campaign against Black America would do wonders for reducing the nation’s crime rate.

There couldn’t be more. Or, could there?

Judith Miller, the New York Times employed Bush administration hack, and rumoured CIA operative, has been released from her inconvenient internment for contempt of court, stemming from her refusal to reveal high-level sources in the Valerie Plame case. If this can be interpreted as her capitulation to Patrick “Bulldog” Fitzgerald’s Grand Jury investigation of that act of treachery, there are more than sparks to come for the Bushists.

On a more parochial note: "Canadian" Senator, Kenny grasped for media straws, wilfully provided via CanWestGoebbels, to double Canada’s military budget. All in view of “Defense” Minister, Bill Graham's crusade to transform traditional Canadian foreign policy to more correctly mirror his government’s cohesion with its southern cousin.



Chris Cook
hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. He also serves as a contributing editor to PEJ News. You can check out the GR Blog here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Basra File

Sinister Events in a Cynical War

By John Pilger

09/28/05 "ICH"
-- -- Here are questions that are not being asked about the latest twist of a cynical war. Were explosives and a remote-control detonator found in the car of the two SAS special forces men "rescued" from prison in Basra on 19 September? If true, what were they planning to do with them? Why did the British military authorities in Iraq put out an unbelievable version of the circumstances that led up to armoured vehicles smashing down the wall of a prison?

According to the head of Basra's Governing Council, which has co-operated with the British, five civilians were killed by British soldiers. A judge says nine. How much is an Iraqi life worth? Is there to be no honest accounting in Britain for this sinister event, or do we simply accept Defence Secretary John Reid's customary arrogance? "Iraqi law is very clear,? he said. ?British personnel are immune from Iraqi legal process." He omitted to say that this fake immunity was invented by Iraq?s occupiers.

Watching "embedded" journalists in Iraq and London, attempting to protect the British line was like watching a satire of the whole atrocity in Iraq. First, there was feigned shock that the Iraqi regime's "writ" did not run outside its American fortifications in Baghdad and the "British trained" police in Basra might be "infiltrated". An outraged Jeremy Paxman wanted to know how two of our boys - in fact, highly suspicious foreigners dressed as Arabs and carrying a small armoury - could possibly be arrested by police in a "democratic" society. "Aren't they supposed to be on our side?" he demanded.

Although reported initially by the Times and the Mail, all mention of the explosives allegedly found in the SAS men's unmarked Cressida vanished from the news. Instead, the story was the danger the men faced if they were handed over to the militia run by the "radical" cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. "Radical" is a gratuitous embedded term; al-Sadr has actually co-operated with the British. What did he have to say about the "rescue"? Quite a lot, none of which was reported in this country. His spokesman, Sheikh Hassan al-Zarqani, said the SAS men, disguised as al-Sadr's followers, were planning an attack on Basra ahead of an important religious festival. "When the police tried to stop them," he said, "[they] opened fire on the police and passers-by. After a car chase, they were arrested. What our police found in the car was very disturbing - weapons, explosives and a remote control detonator. These are the weapons of terrorists."

The episode illuminates the most enduring lie of the Anglo-American adventure. This says the "coalition" is not to blame for the bloodbath in Iraq - which it is, overwhelmingly - and that foreign terrorists orchestrated by al-Qaeda are the real culprits. The conductor of the orchestra, goes this line, is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian. The demonry of Al-Zarqawi is central to the Pentagon's "Strategic Information Program" set up to shape news coverage of the occupation. It has been the Americans' single unqualified success. Turn on any news in the US and Britain, and the embedded reporter standing inside an American (or British) fortress will repeat unsubstantiated claims about al-Zarqawi.

Two impressions are the result: that Iraqis' right to resist an illegal invasion - a right enshrined in international law - has been usurped and de-legitimised by callous foreign terrorists, and that a civil war is under way between the Shi'ites and the Sunni. A member of the Iraqi National Assembly, Fatah al-Sheikh said this week, "There is a huge campaign for the agents of the foreign occupiers to enter and plant hatred between the sons of the Iraqi people and spread rumours in order to scare the one from the other... The occupiers are trying to start religious incitement and if it does not happen, then they will start an internal Shi'ite incitement."

The Anglo-American goal of "federalism" for Iraq is part of an imperial strategy of provoking divisions in a country where traditionally the communities have overlapped, even inter-married. The Osama-like promotion of al-Zarqawi is integral to this. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel, he is everywhere but nowhere. When the Americans crushed the city of Fallujah last year, the justification for their atrocious behaviour was "getting those guys loyal to al-Zarqawi". But the city's civil and religious authorities denied he was ever there or had anything to do with the resistance.

"He is simply an invention." said the Imam of Baghdad's al-Kazimeya mosque. "Al-Zarqawi was killed in the beginning of the war in the Kurdish north. His family even held a ceremony after his death." Whether or not this is true, al-Zaqawi's "foreign invasion" serves as Bush's and Blair's last veil for their "war on terror" and botched attempt to control the world's second biggest source of oil.

On 23 September, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, an establishment body, published a report that accused the US of "feeding the myth" of foreign fighters in Iraqi who account for less than 10 per cent of a resistance estimated at 30,000. Of the eight comprehensive studies into the number of Iraqi civilians killed by the "coalition", four put the figure at more than 100,000. Until the British army is withdrawn from where it has no right to be, and those responsible for this monumental act of terrorism are indicted by the International Criminal Court, Britain is shamed.

John Pilger is an internationally renowned investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. He is currently a visiting professor at Cornell University, New York. His film, Stealing a Nation, about the expulsion of the people of Diego Garcia, has won the Royal Television Society's award for the best documentary on British television in 2004-5. His latest book is Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and its Triumphs (Jonathan Cape, 2004). Visit John Pilger's website: www.johnpilger.com

First published in the New Statesman - www.newstateman.co.uk

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bomber-Blind Media Gropes Forward



http://a.abcnews.com/images/
International/BAG11209191659.jpeg



Blame Iran
Robert Fisk


What we were actually doing in Basra
was to turn a blind eye on abuse, murder and anarchy



09/24/05 "The Independent" - - "Water is your friend" was the advice regularly given to a truly good friend of mine here in the Middle East. The speaker was a member of the One-Thousand- Litres- a-Day-Keeps-Dehydration-at-Bay Brigade, although I have to say that the Arabs take a different view. After generations of sword-like desert heat, they take tea in the morning, endure an oven-like day without sustenance, and then sip another scalding tea at dusk. The less you drink, the less you perspire, the less you need to drink. In a land with few oases, it's a craft worth learning.

The problem is that today, water is not our "friend". It comes smashing into New Orleans; it drowns the nursing home elderly in their baths; it assaults Galveston and Houston; it kills millions in Bangladesh, dozens in Andhya Pradesh; it floods south from the great ice-cold green bays of the Arctic; it carries 19th-century houses through the centre of Prague, and it bubbles into the bars of English pubs from the ancient, overflowing river-banks of Kent. Water has become our enemy.

There is a beautiful, delicate, inevitably cruel irony at the way in which nature and man conspire to uncover the lies of the rich and powerful. Just as President Bush's disastrous environmental policies are now destroying the southern coast of the United States--yes, it is global warming that causes this massacre of the innocent--America is preparing to receive its 2,000th dead soldier back from Iraq. No bodies, please--let's not dishonour the dead of New Orleans by taking photographs of them. Nor the American dead of Iraq by taking pictures of their coffins en route home. Death, as usual, is what happens to other people.

But the photographs of British soldiers, cowled in fire, hurling themselves from the top of their Warrior fighting vehicle in Basra this week, were the final iconic images of our uniquely British folly in Iraq. Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara's henchmen have concocted another monstrous lie about all this, of course. The Iraqi policemen who protested at Britain's destruction of their prison--and the crowds who set fire to the Warrior (and its crew) -- were only a few hundred people. Who were we to suggest they represented the millions of Shia Muslim voters who solemnly went to the polls last January? Ho, ho, ho. Yes, and who were we to suggest that the "few hundred" Saddam "remnants" identified as troublemakers in mid-2003 represented a Sunni insurgency? And who were we, back in 1971, to suggest that a few hundred stone-throwers in the Falls Road and Short Strand in Belfast represented "the vast majority of ordinary peace- loving Catholics" in Northern Ireland?

I speculated some weeks ago as to when the bubble will burst. With the insurgent capture (and massacre) of a US base in Iraq? With the overrunning of the Green Zone in Baghdad? Every day now brings Vietnam-style evidence of our collapse. The Americans batter their way into Tal Afar and kill, so they say, "142 insurgents". Get that? US forces manage to kill 142 of their enemies, not a single innocent man, woman or child among them!

But let's go back to the Brits. Remember how we were told that our immense experience of "peace- keeping" in Northern Ireland had allowed us to get on better with the Iraqis in the south than our American cousins further north? I don't actually remember us doing much "peacekeeping" in Belfast after about 1969--the rest, I recall, was about biffing the IRA--but in any case the myth was burned out on the uniforms of British troops this week.

Indeed, much of the war in Northern Ireland appeared to revolve around the use of covert killings and SAS undercover operatives who blew away IRA men in ambushes. Which does raise the question, doesn't it, as to just what our two SAS lads were doing cruising around Basra in Arab dress with itsy-bitsy moustaches and guns? Why did no one ask? How many SAS men are in southern Iraq? Why are they there? What are their duties? What weapons do they carry? Whoops! No one asked.

What we were actually doing to "keep the peace" in Basra was to turn a Nelsonian "blind eye" on the abuse, murder and anarchy of Basra since 2003 (including, it turns out, quite a bit of abuse by our very own squaddies). When Christian alcohol sellers were murdered, we remained silent. When ex-Baathists were slaughtered in the streets--including women and their children, a civil war if ever there was one--our British officers somehow forgot to tell the press. Anything to keep our boys out of harm's way.

But this is what has been happening in Basra. As the locally recruited police force (paid by the occupation authorities) sucked into its ranks the riff-raff of every local militia--as it did in Sunni areas to the north--we ignored this. Even when an American reporter investigating this extraordinary phenomenon was murdered--almost certainly by these same policemen--the British remained silent. We were "controlling" the streets. In Amara--by awful coincidence, the very same Kut al-Amara with whose name, I'm sure, my favourite prime minister will soon be ennobled--British soldiers now operate just one heavily armed convoy patrol a day. That is the extent of our "control" over Amara. Now we are reducing our patrols in Basra. You bet we are.

And a familiar bleat is rising from the sheep pen. "Outside powers" are interfering in southern Iraq. Thirty-five years ago, it was the Irish Republic that was assisting Britain's IRA enemies. Now it is Iran that is supposedly urging the Shia of Basra to revolt. In other words, it's not our fault--yet again, it's the bloody foreigners what's to blame.

Alas, it is not. Iraqis do not need Iranian weapons or military expertise. Their country is afloat with weapons and they learned how to make bombs--in their millions--during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Half the Iraqi cabinet are linked to Iran--have the British forgotten that their honourable Dawa party government officials in Baghdad worked for the very same Dawa party that blew up the US and French embassies in Kuwait, and tried to kill the emir in the late 1980s? That these same gentlemen belong to a party which was effectively controlling the western hostages in Beirut during this same period?

No. All this is forgotten. Blame Iran. Later, no doubt, we'll blame those ungrateful Iraqis and then we'll declare victory and do what Defence Secretary John Reid claims we won't do: cut and run. And there again, we're in danger of forgetting the origin of such things. Faced with the imminent destruction of his vessel, a sailing ship captain would cut his anchor or sail ropes to allow his ship to move away from rocks or from being overwhelmed by the waves. Cutting and running was often an eminently sensible thing to do. But not for John Reid. We're not going to cut and run. We're going to be blown on to the rocks.

© 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.

9/11's Still Unanswered Questions



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Unanswered Questions of 9/11:

911 Prewarnings, Building 7 Collapse, Flight 77 and the Pentagon,
Israeli Involvement, United Airlines Put-options, War games,
Atta and the $100,000, 9/11 Terrorists Still Alive

By Peter Phillips, Ambrosia Pardue, Jessica Froiland, Brooke Finley,
Chris Kyle, Rebekah Cohen, and Bridget Thornton with Project Censored
and Guest Writer Jack Massen

Project Censored

For many Americans, there is a deep psychological desire for the 9/11 tragedy to be over. The shock of the day is well remembered and terrorist alerts from Homeland Security serve to maintain lasting tensions and fears. The 9/11 Commission report gave many a sense of partial healing and completion — especially given the corporate media's high praise of the report. There is a natural resistance to naysayers who continue to question the US government's version of what happened on September 11, 2001. This resistance is rooted in our tendency toward the inability to conceive of people we know as evil; instead evil ones must be others, very unlike ourselves.

We all remember, as young children, scary locations that created deep fears. We might imagine monsters in the closet, dangers in a nighttime backyard, and creepy people in some abandoned house down the street. As we get older we build up the courage to open the closet, or walk out into the backyard to smell the night air. As adults there are still dark closets in our socio-cultural consciousness that make it difficult to even consider the possibility of certain ideas. These fearful ideas might be described as threshold concepts, in that they may be on the borders of discoverability, yet we deny even the potentiality of implied veracity — something is so evil it is completely unimaginable.

A threshold concept facing Americans is the possibility that the 9/11 Commission Report was on many levels a cover-up for the failure of the US government to prevent the tragedy. Deeper past the threshold is the idea that the report failed to address sources of assistance to the terrorists. Investigations into this area might have led to a conclusion that elements of various governments — including our own — not only knew about the attacks in advance, but may have helped facilitate their implementation. The idea that someone in the Government of the United States may have contributed support to such a horrific attack is inconceivable to many. It is a threshold concept that is so frightening that it brings up a state of mind akin to complete unbelievably.

Philosophy/Religion professor David Ray Griffin has recently published his findings on the omissions and distortions of the 9/11 Commission report. Griffin notes that the 9/11 Commission failed to discuss most of the evidence that seems to contradict the official story about 9/11— for example, the report by Attorney David Schippers that states that some FBI agents who contracted him had information about attacks several weeks prior to 9/11, along with evidence that several of the alleged hijackers are still alive. Griffin's book brings into question the completeness and authenticity of the 9/11 Commission's work. Griffin questions why extensive advanced warnings from several countries were not acted upon by the administration, how a major institutional investor knew to buy put-options on American and United Airlines before the attack, and how an inexperienced terrorist pilot could have conducted a complicated decent into an unoccupied section of the Pentagon.

Additionally, Griffin notes questions remain on why the 9/11 Commission failed to address the reports that $100,000 was wired to Mohamed Atta from Saeed Sheikh, an agent for Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), under the direction of the head of ISI General Mahmud Ahmed. General Ahmed resigned his position less than one month later. The Times of India reported that Indian intelligence had given US officials evidence of the money transfer ordered by Ahmad and that he was dismissed after the "US authorities sought his removal."

Also, the 9/11 Commission report failed to address the reasons for the collapse of World Trade Center (WTC) building 7 more than six hours after the attack. WTC-7 was a 47-story, steel frame building that had only small fires on a few floors. WTC buildings 5 & 6 had much larger fires and did not collapse. This has led a number of critics to speculate that WTC 7 was a planned demolition.

Overall concerns with the official version of 9/11 have been published and discussed by scholars and politicians around the world including: Jim Marrs, Nafeez Ahmed, Michael Ruppert, Cynthia McKinney, Barrie Zwicker, Webster Tarpley, Michel Chossudovsky, Paul Thompson, Eric Hufschmid and many others (see: http://www.911forthetruth.com). The response to most has been to label these discussions as “conspiracy theories” unworthy of media coverage or further review. Pursuit of a critical analysis of these questions is undermined by the psychological barrier about 9/11 issues as threshold concepts — too awful to even consider.

We may be on the borders of discovery regarding the possibility of a great evil within our own government, and perhaps others outside as well. We must step past the threshold and have the courage to ask the questions, demand answers, and support research into all aspects of this American tragedy. Perhaps the closet isn't as dark and as fearful as we envision. If we don't courageously look and search into the deepest regions of our fears how can we assure our children and ourselves a safe and honest future?

In Censored 2003, Project Censored lists the most important unanswered questions about 9/11. Most of those questions remain unanswered today. Since 2001, researchers have expanded the depth of concerns and the reliability of information that continue to encourage the questioning of the official government version of the 9/11 tragedy. The following is Project Censored's effort to cross the threshold and address the questions that are so difficult to imagine.


9/11 Pre-Warnings
by Jessica Frioland

Paul Thompson’s Terror Timeline, as well as his updated version of the 9/11 timeline located at www.cooperativeresearch.org, was the key reference material used. For further information regarding the information presented, see original articles used in Thompson’s research, mentioned throughout.

In a press conference on April 13, 2004, President Bush stated, “We knew he [Osama bin Laden] had designs on us, we knew he hated us. But there was nobody in our government, and I don't think [in] the prior government, that could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale.” [Guardian, 4/15/04] He also said, “Had I any inkling whatsoever that the people were going to fly airplanes into buildings, we would have moved heaven and earth to save the country.” [White House, 4/13/04; New York Times, 4/18/04 (C)]

This statement is in direct conflict with a May 15, 2002, statement wherein the White House admitted that Bush was warned about bin Laden’s desire to attack the U.S. by hijacking aircraft in August 2001. [New York Times, 5/16/02, Washington Post, 5/16/02, Guardian, 5/19/02]. There is a massive and growing body of evidence that asserts that the United States government was not only aware of the possibility of the specific scenario of a terrorist air strike/suicide attack, but that it had also received dozens of credible warnings from both international and domestic sources.

Many countries warned the US of imminent terrorist attacks: Afghanistan, Argentina, Britain, Cayman Islands, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, and Russia. Warnings also came from within the United States. Information from our own communications intercepts regarding particular individuals with foreknowledge, previous similarly attempted attacks, and from our own intelligence agents in charge of the investigations of al-Qaeda.

While many of these warning have been covered in the world media a collective analysis and summary context has been avoided by the US corporate media.


The Actual 9/11 Pre-Warnings

1993: An expert panel commissioned by the Pentagon raised the possibility that an airplane could be used to bomb national landmarks. [Washington Post, 10/2/01]

1994: Two attacks took place that involved using hijacked planes to crash into buildings, including one by an Islamic militant group. In a third attack, a lone pilot crashed a plane at the White House. [New York Times, 10/3/01]

1996-1999: The CIA officer in charge of operations against Al Qaeda from Washington writes, “I speak with firsthand experience (and for several score of CIA officers) when I state categorically that during this time senior White House officials repeatedly refused to act on sound intelligence that provided multiple chances to eliminate Osama bin Laden.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/5/04]

1996-2001: Federal authorities had known that suspected terrorists with ties to bin Laden were receiving flight training at schools in the US and abroad. An Oklahoma City FBI agent sent a memo warning that "large numbers of Middle Eastern males" were getting flight training and could have been planning terrorist attacks. [CBS, 5/30/02] One convicted terrorist confessed that his planned role in a terror attack was to crash a plane into CIA headquarters. [Washington Post, 9/23/01]

Dec 1998: A Time magazine cover story entitled "The Hunt for Osama," reported that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet—a strike on Washington or possibly New York City. [Time, 12/21/98]

February 7, 2001: CIA Director Tenet warned Congress in open testimony that “the threat from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving.” He said bin Laden and his global network remained “the most immediate and serious threat” to US interests. “Since 1998 bin Laden has declared that all US citizens are legitimate targets,” he said, adding that bin Laden “is capable of planning multiple attacks with little or no warning.” [Associated Press, 2/7/01; Sunday Herald, 9/23/01]

In June of 2001, German intelligence warned the CIA, Britain's intelligence agency, and Israel's Mossad that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to attack “American and Israeli symbols which stand out.” A later article quoted unnamed German intelligence sources, stating that the information was coming from Echelon surveillance technology, and that British intelligence had access to the same warnings. However, there were other informational sources, including specific information and hints given to, but not reported by, Western and Near Eastern news media six months before 9/11. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9/11/01; Washington Post, 9/14/01; Fox News, 5/17/02]

June 28, 2001: George Tenet wrote an intelligence summary to Condeleezza Rice stating: “It is highly likely that a significant al-Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks” [Washington Post, 2/17/02]. This warning was shared with “senior Bush administration officials” in early July. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02]

July 5, 2001: Richard Clark gave a direct warning to the FAA, to increase their security measures. The FAA refused to take such action. [New Yorker, 1/14/02; www.cooperativeresearch.org].

June-July 2001: President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and national security aides were given briefs with headlines such as “Bin Laden Threats Are Real” and “Bin Laden Planning High Profile Attacks.” The exact contents of these briefings remain classified, but according to the 9/11 Commission, they consistently predicted upcoming attacks that would occur “on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil, consisting of possible multiple—but not necessarily simultaneous—attacks.”

CIA Director Tenet later recalled that by late July, he felt that President Bush and other officials grasped the urgency of what they were being told. [9/11 Commission Report, 4/13/04 (B)] But Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin, later stated that he felt a great tension, peaking within these months, between the Bush administration's apparent misunderstanding of terrorism issues and his sense of great urgency. McLaughlin and others were frustrated when inexperienced Bush officials questioned the validity of certain intelligence findings.

Two unnamed, veteran Counter Terrorism Center officers deeply involved in bin Laden issues, were so worried about an impending disaster, that they considered resigning and going public with their concerns. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (C)] Dale Watson, head of counter terrorism at the FBI, wished he had “500 analysts looking at Osama bin Laden threat information instead of two.” [9/11 Commission Report, 4/13/04 (B)]

July 5, 2001: At issue is a July 5, 2001 meeting between Ashcroft and acting FBI Director Tom Pickard. That month, the threat of an al-Qaida attack was so high; the White House summoned the FBI and domestic agencies and warned them to be on alert. Yet, Pickard testified to the 9/11 commission that when he tried to brief Ashcroft just a week later, on July 12, about the terror threat inside the United States, he got the “brush-off. "[MSNBC, 6/22/04]

July 10, 2001: A Phoenix FBI agent sent a memorandum warning of Middle Eastern men taking flight lessons. He suspected bin Laden's followers and recommended a national program to check visas of suspicious flight-school students. The memo was sent to two FBI counter-terrorism offices, but no action was taken. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03] Vice President Cheney said in May 2002, that he was opposed to releasing this memo to congressional leaders or to the media and public. [CNN, 5/20/02]

July 16, 2001: British spy agencies sent a report to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other top officials warning that al-Qaeda was in “the final stages” of preparing a terrorist attack in the West. The prediction was “based on intelligence gleaned not just from [British intelligence] but also from US agencies, including the CIA and the National Security Agency”. The report stated that there was “an acute awareness” that an attack was “a very serious threat.” [Times of London, 6/14/02]

In July of 2001: President Bush took the unusual step of sleeping on board an aircraft carrier off the coast of Italy after receiving a warning from the Egyptian government that the summit of world leaders in the city of Genoa would be targeted by al Qaeda. [New York Times, 9/26/01] The Italians meanwhile highly publicized their heightened security measures of increased police presence, anti-aircraft batteries, and flying fighter jets. Apparently the press coverage of defenses caused al-Qaeda to cancel the attack. [BBC, 7/18/01, CNN, 7/18/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/27/01]

On July 26, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airlines due to a threat assessment. [CBS, 7/26/01] The report of this warning was omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report [Griffin 5/22/05].

Late July 2001: CBS reported, “Just days after [Mohamed] Atta return[s] to the U.S. from Spain, Egyptian intelligence in Cairo says it received a report from one of its operatives in Afghanistan that 20 al-Qaeda members had slipped into the US and four of them had received flight training on Cessnas.” Egypt passed on the message to the CIA but never received a request for further information. [CBS News, 10/9/02]

Late July 2001: Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil was given information regarding a large attack on targets inside America, from the leader of the rebel Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Tahir Yildash. Muttawakil relayed this information to the U.S. consul general, yet wasn’t taken seriously. One source blamed this on the administration’s “warning fatigue.” [Independent, 9/7/02; Reuters, 9/7/02]

Aug 6, 2001: President Bush received a classified intelligence briefing at his Crawford, Texas ranch, warning that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. The memo was titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”. The entire memo focused on the possibility of terrorist attacks inside the US and specifically mentioned the World Trade Center. Yet Bush later stated that the briefing “said nothing about an attack on America.” [Newsweek, 5/27/02; New York Times, 5/15/02, Washington Post, 4/11/04, White House, 4/11/04, Intelligence Briefing, 8/6/01] .

Early August 2001: Britain gave the US another warning about an al-Qaeda attack. The previous British warning on July 16, 2001, was vague as to method, but this warning specified multiple airplane hijackings. This warning was said to have reached President Bush. [Sunday Herald, 5/19/02]

August, 2001: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US that suicide pilots were training for attacks on US targets. [Fox News, 5/17/02] The head of Russian intelligence also later stated, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/16/01]

Late Summer, 2001: Jordanian intelligence (the GID) made a communications intercept and relayed it to Washington. The message stated that a major attack, code-named “The Big Wedding,” had been planned inside the US and that aircraft would be used. “When it became clear that the information was embarrassing to Bush administration officials and congressmen who at first denied that there had been any such warnings before September 11, senior Jordanian officials backed away from their earlier confirmations.” [International Herald Tribune, 5/21/02; Christian Science Monitor, 5/23/02]

On September 10, 2001, a group of top Pentagon officials received an urgent warning which prompted them to cancel their flight plans for the following morning. [Newsweek, 9/17/01] The 9/11 Commission Report omitted this report. [Griffin, 5/22/05]

Given all the pre-warnings and information available before 9/11 it seems unconscionable that on May 16, 2002, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice could still claim to the press: “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile.” She added that “even in retrospect” there was “nothing” to suggest that. [White House, 5/16/02] On June 7, 2002, President Bush stated, “Based on everything I’ve seen, I do not believe anyone could have prevented the horror of September the 11th.” [Sydney Morning Herald, 6/8/02]

With so many warnings, it is difficult to explain inaction as mere incompetence. The existence of all of these warnings suggests, at least, that people within the US government knew the attacks were coming and deliberately allowed them to happen. This evidence would, however, be consistent with an even more frightening scenario— that the attacks were orchestrated by, or with the help of, people within our government.


Additional Sources:

Paul Thompson, “The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11—and America’s Response,” Regan Books, September 1, 2004.

Jim Marrs, “Inside Job: Unmasking the Conspiracies of 9/11,” Origin Press, June 2004.

The 9/11 Commissioners, “The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorists Attacks Upon the United States,” W.W Norton & Company, Inc.

Griffin, David Ray, "The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-page lie," www.911truth.org/index.php?topic=911commission, May 22, 2005


The Building 7 Collapse Mystery
By Josh Parrish

The collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 is one of the more mysterious events that occurred on September 11, 2001. It was not struck by an aircraft as the Twin Towers were and video of the collapse appears to resemble those of buildings brought down by a controlled demolition. These facts have led to speculation that the building was brought down deliberately. Deficient investigations that followed only served to fuel this speculation.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted the first official inquiry into the collapse the World Trade Center buildings. The report is merely a collection of supposition and hypotheses arrived at through the examination of photographic evidence and eyewitness interviews. FEMA’s reasoning behind the collapse of Building 7 is as follows: Debris from the collapse of the Twin Towers caused structural damage to Building 7 and ignited fires on several different floors; including floors 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 19.

There were diesel generators located throughout the building to supply electricity in the event of a power outage. These generators were fed by pressurized fuel lines from large tanks on the lower floors. The falling debris also damaged these pressurized lines and provided a continuous source of fuel for the fires. According to FEMA, neither fire nor structural damage alone would have been sufficient to cause the building’s collapse. It was the combination of the structural damage, which diminished the load bearing ability of the structure, and the fire, which weakened the steel, that brought the building down.

While this explanation may sound plausible, it is not based on an examination of any physical evidence. Specifically, the investigators were unable to confirm how much, if any, diesel fueled the fires. “There is no physical, photographic, or other evidence to substantiate or refute the discharge of fuel oil from the piping system. The following is, therefore, a hypothesis based on potential rather than demonstrated fact.”

The investigators seem to have little faith in their own theories, “Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence.” When subjected to critical analysis, the investigation by FEMA appears to be nothing more than an attempt to formulate theories that conform to the official version of the events of September 11th, rather than a rigorous scientific study.

One of the ways in which the FEMA investigation was hampered was by the destruction of evidence. Almost immediately following the disaster, the structural steel was removed from the site and placed on ships headed for Asia to be recycled.

The New York Times reported on 12/25, 2001 that, "In calling for a new investigation, some structural engineers have said that one serious mistake has already been made in the chaotic aftermath of the collapses: the decision to rapidly recycle the steel columns, beams and trusses that held up the buildings. That may have cost investigators some of their most direct physical evidence with which to try to piece together an answer…"

"Dr. Frederick W. Mowrer, an associate professor in the fire protection engineering department at the University of Maryland, said he believed the decision could ultimately compromise any investigation of the collapses. 'I find the speed with which potentially important evidence has been removed and recycled to be appalling,' Dr. Mowrer said…"

"Interviews with a handful of members of the [FEMA funded] team, which includes some of the nation's most respected engineers, also uncovered complaints that they had at various times been shackled with bureaucratic restrictions that prevented them from interviewing witnesses, examining the disaster site and requesting crucial information, like recorded distress calls to the police and fire departments."

Even if one accepts the Bush administration’s official version of the events of that day, there were still compelling reasons to study the evidence. The engineering and construction community could have greatly benefited from a thorough examination of the structural steel.

Prior to September 11th, there had never been a fire-induced collapse of a steel framed building. If Building 7 did actually collapse due to fire and falling debris, then a careful examination of the evidence would certainly be warranted; if for no other reason than to learn some valuable lessons about the safety of high-rise buildings in general. Destroying evidence of a disaster of this magnitude is unprecedented. The fact that it occurred raises questions about the motives of those involved in making the decision.

As incomplete and inadequate as FEMA’s investigation was, theirs was not the only one conducted. The World Trade Center was heavily insured, and the companies that were due to pay those claims commissioned their own private investigation. The difference between the insurance investigation and FEMA’s study is quite remarkable.

The insurance companies had unfettered access to the site of the collapse beginning on the very afternoon of September 11th. They were also granted access to powerful computer programs used by the Pentagon for classified research; the FEMA investigators were not. The insurance companies have produced thousands of pages of analysis and an equally staggering number of diagrams and photographs. However, the results of these investigations have remained private.

It is interesting to note that a shareholder in Allianz Group proposed denying payment due to evidence of insurance fraud. Allianz Group carried a significant portion of the insurance policy on the World Trade Center. In response to the shareholders’ claim, the company made the following statement: “When the company makes insurance payments it does so on the basis of careful scrutiny – especially with payments in the order of magnitude referred to here. Two official commissions in the USA have examined the incidents of 11 September 2001 in detail. Their findings provided no indication that the allegations submitted by the proposer are correct.”

The mission of Project Censored is not to draw conclusions in the field of structural engineering; it is to examine mainstream media coverage of newsworthy events. In the case of World Trade Center Building 7, there has been very little coverage of the surrounding issues. The collapse of Building 7 had the appearance of a perfectly executed controlled demolition; it fell straight down into its own footprint, at virtually free-fall speed, yet this issue has hardly been raised in the mainstream media, and was completely ignored by the 9/11 Commission.

The lack of news coverage coupled with the destruction of key evidence and the lack of a credible investigation has given rise to numerous questions and accusations of government complicity in the attacks of that day.

The list of tenants that occupied the building lends itself to these theories. Occupants of the building included: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), The FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Department of Defense, IRS, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management. Some detractors claim that the building was brought down to destroy evidence against Enron and Ken Lay that was contained in the SEC offices. Others claim that the CIA offices housed the evidence of government involvement in the attacks and thus needed to be destroyed.

Investigations into the destruction of Building 7 have been performed and conclusions have been reached. Those who are not inclined to trust the current administration will inevitably find fault with the investigation, but the fact that the administration directed the evidence to be destroyed leaves them open to this criticism. The facts surrounding the destruction of Building 7 will likely remain a mystery, unless there is a full and truly independent investigation, using subpoena power.


Endnotes:

1 World Trade center Performance Study, May 2002, pg. 5-1
2 World trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002, pg. 5-20
3 Chertoff, Benjamin, et al. “9/11: Debunking the Myths”, Popular Mechanics, March 2005. 8 April 2005, http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html?page=&c=y
4 Wor World Trade center Performance Study, May 2002, pg. 5-1
ld Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002, pg. 5-28
5 World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002, pg. 5-31
6 Manning, Bill, “$elling Out the Investigation”, Fire Engineering, Jan. 2002 8 Apr. 2005, http://fe.pennet.com/Artilces/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ARCHI&ARTICLE_ID=133237&VERSION_NUM=1
7 New York Times, 12/25/01
8 Manning, Bill, “$elling Out the Investigation”, Fire Engineering, Jan. 2002 8 Apr. 2005, http://fe.pennet.com/Artilces/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ARCHI&ARTICLE_ID=133237&VERSION_NUM=1
9 Glanz, James, and Eric Lipton, “Vast Detail on Towers’ Collapse May Be Sealed in Court Filings”, New York Times, 30 Sept. 2002 8 Apr. 2005
10 Allianz Group – Shareholder Proposals, 20 Apr. 2005 13 May 2005, http://www.allianzgroup.com/Az_Cnt/az/_any/cma/contents/750000/saObj_750776_05_04_20_Gegenantr_ge_ENGLISH.pdf
11World Trade Center Performance Study, May 2002, pg. 5-2


Concerns About Flight 77 and the Pentagon

By Bridget Thornton

At 8:20 a.m. on September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 77 left Dulles Airport en route to Los Angeles. Between 8:51 and 8:54, four men hijacked the plane. At 9:38, Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. Minutes before impact, the 757, headed for the White House, made a 330 degree turn, while descending 2200 feet, flew over a highway packed with rush hour cars and crashed into the least populated area of the Pentagon which was under construction at the time. This, at least, is the official report as stated in the 9/11 Commission Report.

In the days and months that followed the Pentagon attack, questions arose about the veracity of the investigation and the amount of information available to the public. How could the alleged pilot, with no commercial plane experience, and complaints from his flight school about poor performance, maneuver the airplane with such precision? Why did the White House oppose an independent investigation? Why did mainstream media fail to provide investigative coverage of the attack? Could the government be complicit?

The main question is whether the government knew about or assisted in the attacks. In fact, a Zogby International Poll in August 2004 revealed that 66% of New Yorkers want a new probe of unanswered questions by Congress or New York’s Attorney General.1 Many people believe the official investigation lacked public scrutiny and suffered from uncooperative behavior by the White House. The media also failed to provide the American public with significant investigative journalism. Here lie some of the questions concerning the attack on the Pentagon.


Where were our air defenses?

The 9/11 Commission Report states that American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into an area of the Pentagon that was under construction, and therefore the least populated area of the complex. This crash occurred at 9:38.2 The report explains that North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) never heard about Flight 77 and Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) concentrated instead on American Airlines Flight 11, which was mistakenly still thought to be aloft.3 The report goes on to say that the Indianapolis air traffic controller reported the missing flight to Langley Air Force Base at 9:08 and that a C-130 cargo plane followed, identified, and witnessed the crash.4 This same cargo plane happened upon the smoking wreckage of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.5 The report concludes that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, likely flown by Hani Hanjour and that fighter jets were called to assistance only four minutes before the impact.

Within this confused document, inconsistencies exist. An audio recording reveals that Langley jets did not follow explicit instructions given to them by their mission crew commander. Based on audio reports, the mission crew commander discovered at 9:34 that the jets headed east, not north as instructed by their crew commander. The reason places blame on lack of information about the position of Flight 77, incorrect assumptions, and generic flight plans that allowed the pilots to follow a due east path.6 However, the mission commander immediately orders the planes to “crank it up” and goes on to say, “I don’t care how many windows you break.” Could this mean the commander ordered the planes to fly at top speed? If so, did they follow the command? The report does not address this.


How did an inexperienced pilot perform an intricate crash landing?

How did the pilot maneuver the plane with such skill that experienced military aviation experts noted skills similar to a ‘crack’ military pilot?7 How did Hani Hanjour, the alleged hijacker who flew Flight 77, make a 330 degree turn, away from the White House and south towards the Pentagon, while descending 2200 feet, advance to full throttle and perform a crash landing with exact precision into the Pentagon? CBSNews reported, “And the complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed.”8 There is serious doubt that Hani Hanjour possessed the ability to maneuver a commercial plane in such an experienced fashion. According to another CBSNews report, managers at the flight school placed five complaints with the FAA expressing serious concern about his ability to fly safely.9 The Commission Report acknowledges his performance but does not acknowledge a possible problem with this information. The question remains unanswered by the United States government and invisible on mainstream media.


Where are the media?

The media could have played an important role in the investigation of the Pentagon attack. In the months following the attack, few reports surfaced that questioned the validity of the independent investigation.10 Investigative reports emerged that addressed the skills of the alleged pilot and why Langley jets did not respond to the crisis. Rena Golden, executive vice-president and general manager of CNN International says, “Anyone who claims the U.S. media didn’t censor itself is kidding you.”11

Mainstream media reported the official theory, that four Muslim fundamentalists controlled the plane that hit the Pentagon. The media portrays most deviating explanations as conspiracy theories. A recent article in the March 2005 edition of Popular Mechanics featured an article in which they “debunked the 9/11 myths.”

CNN interviewed Jim Meigs; editor-in-chief of the magazine, on the Anderson Cooper show and the exchange that followed proves there are biases and an unwillingness to investigate the attacks. Mr. Meigs told Anderson Cooper, “Well, you know, one thing that conspiracy theorists do is they ignore mounts of evidence that support the ordinary view, then they seize on one or two little inconsistencies and they say, see, how do you explain this?” Mr. Meigs states further, “What we did at Popular Mechanics was to actually take those claims by the conspiracy theorist, and subject them to ordinary journalistic fact checking. None of them add [sic] up”. 12 Mr. Meigs and CNN exemplify the type of news Americans receive. Questions that search beyond the common theory suffer ridicule and therefore, lack credibility with the public.


Is our government capable of this?

Michael Ruppert includes a document in his book Crossing the Rubicon called the Northwoods Project. This was a report to the Kennedy administration from his National Security Advisors that outlined a similar attack in which the government would shoot down commercial aircraft, blame it on Cuba and use it as a pretext to war.13 Ruppert does not claim that this document is inspiration to the current administration but that we have in our possession historical evidence that proves our government considers covert and complicit attacks.

David Griffin mentions a document by the Project for the New American Century released in September 2000 entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” The document states that “…the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a New Pearl Harbor”.14 Professor Griffin asserts that 9/11 gave the Bush administration a pretext to war and the unquestioned authority to change fundamental institutions in this country. In Crossing the Rubicon, Michael Ruppert offers compelling historical analysis as to why our government has interests in a Middle East war.

The government refuses to examine valid questions and denies information to the American public under the guise of national security. The attack on the Pentagon contains too many unanswered questions about the pilot, the forensics evidence, and the lack of defense for America’s military headquarters.

There is an overwhelming amount of information about the Pentagon attack and the 9/11 Commission did not provide it to the public. For this reason, the Pentagon attack deserves thoughtful media attention and open investigation by our government.


ENDNOTES:

1 SCOPE: The poll covered five areas of related interest: 1) Iraq— do New Yorkers think that our leaders "deliberately misled" us before the war (51.2% do); 2) the 9/11 Commission—did it answer all the "important questions" ( 36% said yes); 3) the inexplicable and largely unreported collapse of the third WTC skyscraper on 9/11— what was its number (28% of NYC area residents knew); 4) the question on complicity; and 5) how many wanted a new 9/11 probe. All inquiries about questions, responses and demographics should be directed to Zogby International. SPONSOR: 911truth.org is a coalition of researchers, journalists and victim family members working to expose and resolve the hundreds of critical questions still swirling around 9/11, especially the nearly 400 questions that the Family Steering Committee filed with the 9/11Commission which they fought to create. http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=855 (Accessed May 8, 2005).
2 9/11 Commission Report, 1st ed. W.W. Norton: New York, 26.
3 9/11 Commission Report, 26.
4 9/11 Commission Report, 26.
5 9/11 Commission Report, 30.
6 9/11 Commission Report, 27
7 Ruppert, Michael C. Crossing the Rubicon. New Society Publishers, British Columbia, 2004.
8 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/11/national/main310721.shtml
9 Griffin, David. The New Pearl Harbor. Olive Branch Press: Massachusetts, 41.
10 This is based on a Lexis-Nexis search of 9/11 Pentagon coverage in U.S. news sources from September 2001 to February 2005.
11 Griffin, xiv.
12 CNN ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES 7:00 PM EST, February 21, 2005.
13 Northwoods document located at http://aztlan.net/lavoz_northwoods/northwoods2.htm . (Accessed 29 April 2005).
14“Rebuilding America’s Defenses: A report of The Project for the New American Century”, September 2000, www.newamericancentury.org.


Rumors of Israeli Involvement in 9/11

By Brooke Finley

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, many stories circulated about Israeli involvement. There was the story of the five Israelis filming the burning of the World Trade Center and the “art student” spy ring that warned of the attacks. While most of this information has been glossed over by mainstream media, the reports remain extremely important to understanding the overall picture of what happened on September 11, 2001. As the writer, I attempt to cover the facts without any bias and hope to be able to present them as clearly as possible to the reader. I used Paul Thompson’s book The Terror Timeline, as a guide for the dates and incidents reported and then used his reference articles and any others that I could find, as research.

In January 2000, a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) document was leaked to the press suggesting that a large Israeli spy ring had congregated in the United States. [DEA Report, 6/01] In April of that same year, USA Today reported that certain DEA documents revealed that the Israeli spy ring, now commonly called the Israeli “art student” spy ring, “has been linked to several ongoing [Ecstasy] investigations in Florida, California, Texas and New York.” [Insight, 3/11/02] Members of the “art student spy ring” would go door-to-door, claiming that they were selling artwork. Many of their areas of interest were offices and homes of DEA officials.

Between December 2000 and April 2001, Germany reported that Israeli counter-terror investigators were posing as art students and following terrorist cells within the United States. These “art students” identified Atta and Marwan Alshehhi as possible terrorists, while living within several feet of them in the town of Hollywood, Florida. The “art students” were discovered in April and were immediately deported, supposedly terminating the investigation of Atta and Alshehhi. [Der Spiegel, 10/01/02] It was later reported by Fox News that an additional 80 agents were taken into custody between the months of June and December 2001. [Fox News, 12/12/01]

In related foreign press reports, the Mossad learned of four terrorists, living in the U.S., who appeared to be planning an attack in the near future, on the U.S., through information gathered by its “art student” spy ring. [Die Zeit, 10/01/02; Der Spiegel, 10/01/02; BBC, 10/02/02; Ha’aretz, 10/03/02] By June 2001, close to 120 Israeli “art students” were apprehended. [le Monde, 3/05/02; Salon, 5/07/02] A leaked DEA document titled “Suspicious Activities Involving Israeli Art Students at DEA Facilities,” described dozens of reports of the “apparent attempts by Israeli nationals to learn about government personnel and office layouts.” [DEA Report, 6/01] “The report connects the spies to efforts to foil investigations into Israeli organized crime activity involving the importation of the drug Ecstasy. The spies also appear to be snooping on top secret military bases.” [www.cooperativeresearch.org]

At some point, between August 8-15, 2001, two high ranking agents from the Mossad came to Washington and warned the FBI and the CIA that an al-Qaeda attack on the United States was imminent. [Fox News, 5/17/02] On September 20, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that Mossad officials stated that indications point to a “large scale target” and that Americans would be “very vulnerable.” [Telegraph, 9/16/01; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01; Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/01] The Los Angeles Times retracted this story on September 21, 2001, because a CIA spokesman stated, “there was no such warning” and that the allegations were “complete and utter nonsense.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01] Israel denied that there was ever a meeting between agents of the Mossad and the CIA. [Ha’aretz, 10/03/02] The United States has denied knowing about Mohamed Atta prior to the 9/11 attacks. [www.cooperativeresearch.org]

Between December 12-15, 2001, the FBI, the DEA and the INS informed Fox News that there were no connections between the “art students” and the incidents of 9/11. They told Fox News that to continue pursuing this topic would be a form of “career suicide.” On December 16, 2001, Fox News pulled any information regarding the “art student spy ring” from its website. Fox never made a formal correction. [www.cooperativeresearch.org]

The mainstream media continued to deny any information about the Israeli spy ring, which turned the original stories into “conspiracy theories” and myths. Jane’s Intelligence Digest blatantly stated on March 13, 2002, “It is rather strange that the US media seems to be ignoring what may well be the most explosive story since the 11 September attacks—the alleged breakup of a major Israeli espionage operation in the USA.” [Jane’s Intelligence Digest, 3/13/02]

On March 11, 2002, the Palm Beach Post mentioned the DEA report about the Israeli “art students.” The newspaper stated that the DEA determined that all of the students had “recently served in the Israeli military, the majority in intelligence, electronic signal intercept or explosive ordnance units.” [Palm Beach Post, 3/11/02]

On March 15, 2002, Forward published the claim that “the incidents in question appear to represent a case of Israelis in the United States spying on a common enemy, radical Islamic networks suspected of links to Middle East terrorism.” [Forward, 3/15/02]
May 7, 2002, Salon carried a story on the “art student” spy ring, mentioning that a government source suggested that the majority of the “art students” were a “smoke screen.” The source suggested that while most were getting caught up in the DEA’s Escasty case, others could complete other missions, such as the monitoring of potential terrorists, without being noticed. [Salon, 5/07/02]

There are other Israeli incidents revolving around September 11, 2001 that should be mentioned. On September 4, 2001, an Israeli-owned shipping company entitled Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co., moved their North American headquarters from inside the World Trade Center, to Norfolk, Virginia— one week before the 9/11 attacks. [Virginian-Pilot, 9/04/01] Zim had announced its move 6 months before the attacks, [Virginian-Pilot, 4/03/01] yet 10 employees were still in the building on Sept. 11, taking care of the final moving arrangements. They were able to escape, unharmed. [Jerusalem Post, 9/13/01; Journal of Commerce, 10/18/01] A year later, a Zim-American ship was caught attempting to ship Israeli military equipment into Iran. [AFP, 8/29/02]

About 2 hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2002, Odigo, one of the world’s largest instant messaging firms, received warnings of “an imminent attack in New York City.” Odigo’s headquarters are located two blocks from the World Trade Center but the warnings were received in their Israel location. The FBI was notified immediately after the attacks began. [Ha’aretz, 9/26/01; Washington Post, 9/27/01] The internet address of the instant message was given to the FBI by Odigo in an attempt to find the name of the sender. [Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 9/26/01] Two months after the attacks, the FBI reported that they were still in the process of investigating the instant message and reports have been nonexistent ever since. [Courier Mail, 11/20/01]

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) memo written on Sept 11 explained a situation where a passenger on Flight 11 was shot and killed by a gun prior to the plane crashing into the World Trade Center. The passenger who was killed was Daniel Lewin. On September 17, the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, identified Lewin as a former member of the Israeli special-operations unit, the Israeli Defense Force Sayeret Matkal. [UPI, 3/06/02] The gun story has been denied by officials, claiming that Lewin was most likely, stabbed to death. [UPI, 3/06/02; Washington Post, 3/02/02]

On June 21, 2002, ABC News reported that five Israelis were arrested on Sept 11, 2001 after being caught filming the burning of the World Trade Center from the roof of the “Urban Moving Systems” building, shouting cries of joy. The police found them driving in the company van. [Bergen Record, 9/12/01] Investigators said that there were maps of the city with certain places highlighted, found in the van. The FBI confirmed that two of the five men were Mossad agents and that all five were on a Mossad assignment. [Forward, 3/15/02] They were held on immigration violations, questioned excessively and then released after 71 days in custody. [ABC News, 6/21/02] The owner of Urban Moving System, fled the United States to Israel on Sept 14, 2001. The FBI later told ABC News that the company “may have been providing cover for an Israeli intelligence operation.” [Forward, 3/15/02; New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, 12/13/01; ABC News, 6/21/01]

While little has been mentioned in the mainstream press about the “art student” spy ring, the questions still remain as to their involvement with the events of 9/11. Were they helping the U.S. government track information regarding the possibilities of an attack within the United States, or were there deeper connections of which the public is unaware? Mainstream media began this story as an investigation, but immediately stopped when officials claimed that it was a farce.


Additional Sources:

Paul Thompson, “The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute”, Regan Books, September 1, 2004.
For the online version of Paul Thompson’s 9/11 Timeline: The Center for Cooperative Research, “Complete 9/11 Timeline: Israeli spy ring, Israeli foreknowledge”,
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&theme=israel
DEA Report, “Suspicious Activities Involving Israeli Art Students of DEA Facilities”, http://cryptome.org/dea-il-spy.htm, No date available.
Transcript of Fox News four part Israeli spy ring series, http://cryptome.org/fox-il-spy.htm, no date available.
Michael C. Ruppert, “Crossing the Rubicon: The decline of the American empire at the end of the age of oil”, New Society Publishers, 2004.
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed & The Institute for Policy Research & Development, “The War On Freedom: How and Why America Was Attacked September 11, 2001”, Tree of Life Publications, 2002.
Intelligence Online, “Israeli Spy Operation Confirmed”, http://www.911truth.org/readingroom/whole_document.php?article_id=136, March 14, 2002.

Unanswered Questions about the Put-options and 9/11
By Ambrosia Pardue

It was widely reported immediately after 9/11 that insider trading occurred in which trading skyrocketed on put-options that bet on a drop in UAL Corp. and AMR Corp. (parent company to American Airlines) stock in the days before the attacks. According to Bloomberg data, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. and Merrill Lynch & Co. also experienced pre-attack trading twelve, to more than twenty-five times the usual volume of put-options. Morgan Stanley put-options jumped to 2,157 contracts between September 6 and September 10—almost twenty-seven times a previous daily average of twenty-seven contracts. Merrill Lynch’s daily activities previous to September 11th were 252. 12,215 contracts were traded from September 5 to September 10th. Citigroup Inc. had a jump in trading of about 45 percent. One day before the American Airlines planes were hijacked and crashed, 1,535 contracts were traded on options that let investors profit from the American Airlines stock falls. 1 All companies were linked to the hijacked airplanes or to the World Trade Center. Morgan Stanley occupied twenty-two stories of the WTC and Merrill Lynch had offices nearby.2 Christian Berthelsen and Scott Winokur of The San Francisco Chronicle wrote on September 29, 2001 that as of that date investors had yet to collect more than $2.5 million in profits made in these put stock options of United Airlines, and “the uncollected money raises suspicions that the investors—whose identities and nationalities have not been made public—had advanced knowledge of the strikes.”3

A put option is a contract that gives the holder the right to sell a specified number of shares in a particular stock, usually at a predetermined price, called the strike price, on or before the option’s expiration date—these are the stock index or dollar face value of bonds. The buyer (holder) pays the seller (writer) a premium and the buyer profits from the contract if the stock price drops. If the buyer decides to exercise the option, as opposed to selling it, the seller must buy the security. The seller profits when the underlying security’s price remains the same, rises or drops by less than the premium received.4 A short sale is where an investor borrows stock from a broker and sells it, hoping to buy it back at a lower price.5 A put option bets that a stock will fall, and a call option bets that stock will rise; there were far more put options than call options in the days proceeding September 11th.6 Cooperative Research states that “assuming 4,000 of the options were bought by people with advance knowledge of the imminent attacks, these ‘insiders’ would have profited by almost $5 million.”

Of interesting note is that the firm that handled the purchase of many of the put options on United Airlines, the Bank of Alex Brown, was headed by ‘Buzzy’ Krongard until 1998. Krongard was the deputy director of the CIA during G.W.Bush's first four years. Tom Flocco reported on July 16, 2002 that European reporters found most of the suspicious pre-September 11th trading “passed through Deutsche bank and Alex Brown investment division by means of a procedure called portage, which assures the anonymity of individuals making the transactions.”7

Cooperative Research reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission published a list that included some thirty-eight companies whose stocks may have been traded prior to September 11th by people who had “advanced knowledge” of the attacks. From the Wilderness reported that the CIA, the Israeli Mossad, and many other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading in real time using highly advanced programs. Stock trading irregularities could be used to alert national intelligence services of possible terrorist attacks.

CIA spokesman Tom Crispell denied that the CIA was monitoring U.S. equity markets trading activity prior to September 11th. Tom Flocco has found growing evidence that the FBI and other government intelligence agencies were more closely linked to the pre-September 11th insider trading.8 The San Diego Union-Tribune January 5, 2005 article stated that “a former FBI agent admitted that he gave online stock traders confidential details of federal investigations, including a probe of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.”9

The New York Times, on September 28, 2001, reported that the “short positions and volume of put options rose sharply across the travel industry— which has been cited repeatedly in news reports as possible evidence of illegal trading.” The London Telegraph quoted Ernst Weltek, president of Bundesbank, on September 23, 2001 as saying that “there are ever clearer signs that there were activities on international financial markets that must have been carried out with the necessary expert knowledge.”10 Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News said that “this could very well be insider trading at the worst, more horrific, most evil use you’ve ever seen in your entire life. This would be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind if it was a coincidence.”11 CBSNews.com quoted McLucas, former Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Director, as saying that “the options trading in particular suggests to me that somebody, somewhere, may have had an inkling that something bad was going to happen to certainly those airlines stocks.”12

The 9/11 Commission report scantly covers the stock options issue. On page 499, footnote #130, the 9/11 Commission reports that, "some unusual trading did in fact occur, but such trade proved to have an innocuous explanation….A single U.S. based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda purchased 95% of the UAL puts on September 6 as part of a trading strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10." This explanation only addresses the UAL and American put-options, ignores trades in other companies, and fails to identify the purchaser, thereby leaving even more unanswered questions.

This issue cannot be discounted, overlooked, or debunked as a conspiracy theory. The questions remain: who put in the calls for these options, and are the calls tied to Krongard, the CIA, the alleged terrorists, or others?


End Notes:

1 www.themodernreligion.com/terror/wtc-unusualtrading.html
2 www.themodernreligion.com/terror/wtc-unusualtrading.html
3 www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/29/MN186128
4 www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/29/MN186128
5 http://66.159.17.51/cooperativeresearch/www/wot/sept11/suspicioustradingact.html
6 www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/29/MN186128
7 www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/19/eveningnews/printable311834.shtml
8 scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0207/S00119.htm
9 scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0207/S00119.htm
10 www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050105/news_1b5elgindy.html.
11 http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main/jhtml?xml=/news/2001/09/23/widen23.xml
12 http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/051602_liewontstand.html
13 www.cbs.news.com/stories/2001/09/26/archive/printable 312663.shtml


The 9/11 War Games

By Rebekah Cohen

Among the many mysteries surrounding 9/11 is the emerging information that several government/military war games were taking place on the morning of 9/11/2001. The military war games on that day could have been a particularly interesting coincidence, or served the much greater purpose of confusing, distracting, and potentially even facilitating the September 11th terrorist attacks.

In May of 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney was nominated to oversee Domestic Counter terrorism Efforts. According to Michael Ruppert’s book, Crossing the Rubicon this position put domestic military control in the hands of Cheney, giving him the power to issue a scramble or a direct stand-down order in the unlikely case of a terrorist attack. Without Cheney’s consent the military would not act. (Ruppert 2004).

Interestingly enough, several “live-fly” (as opposed to simulated) war games were taking place the week of 9/11. “I have an on-the-record statement from someone in NORAD that on the day of 9/11, the Joint Chief of Staff (Richard B. Myers) and NORAD were conducting a joint, live-fly, hijacked Field Training Exercised (FTX) which involved at least one (and almost certainly more) aircraft under US control that was posing as a hijacked airliner,” said Mike Ruppert (Kane 6/8/2004).

The confirmed war game taking place on 9/11 was ‘Vigilant Guardian.’ An annual drill in its second day, Vigilant Guardian was allegedly an exercise focusing on old Cold War threats and was conducted by NORAD. This “live-fly” war game was actually being used to test national air response systems – involving hijacking scenarios (Kane 6/8/2004).

Another drill taking place on 9/11 was titled ‘Northern Vigilance.’ This exercise was also conducted by NORAD once a year and involved deploying fighter jets to locations in Alaska and Northern Canada (Ruppert 2004). This drill succeeded in pulling military personnel and equipment north, away from the East Coast and away from the pending terrorist attacks. There is also evidence suggesting a war game, titled ‘Vigilant Warrior,’ was also being played on 9/11. This is a drill from the 1996 Persian Gulf. The name ‘Vigilant’ in both ‘Vigilant Guardian’ and ‘Vigilant Warrior’ suggests a possible connection between the two drills. The common first name suggests the possibility of the two games playing opposing forces (Ruppert 2004).
Another potential drill going on was hosted by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). They have claimed to have been “running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into its NRO headquarters (coincidentally, located only four blocks from Dulles airport in Washington D.C.)” (Kane 6/8/2004).

As early as 8:30 A.M., on the morning of September 11th, air force Major General Larry Arnold, involved with the Vigilant Guardian war game, questioned the validity of the calls in regards to possible terrorist activity. Upon hearing of the hijackings, he wondered if it was all apart of the exercise or the real thing. It was apparently around this time that the FAA, NORAD, and other agencies (FBI and CIA) were on an open line discussing the possibility of a hijacked plane. When the whereabouts of the taped conversation between these various agencies was questioned, it was revealed that FAA manager Kevin Delaney, destroyed the air traffic control tapes just months after 9/11. No reason was stated and the issue has gone un-pressed (Haupt, 5/30/2004).

Also taking place around 8:30 A.M., Colonel Deskins, Head of Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and mission crew chief for ongoing exercise Vigilant Guardian, was quoted as saying “uh, we have a hijacked aircraft and I need you to get some sort of fighters out here to help us out.” Although, contrary to Colonel Deskins, Major General Eric Findley, who was in charge of NORAD on 9/11 in Colorado, claimed that no calls for help took place until 10:01 A.M. Another conflicting statement made by General Rick Findley claims that he commanded fighters into the air as early as 8:46 A.M (Haupt, 5/30/2004).

The controversial 2003 9/11 hearing revealed that their logs indicated 8:40 to be the first time the FAA reported a possible hijacking. Although, the “tower logs” were not physically present at the hearing and the fact was based on recollection only. Other reports claimed that NEADS was most likely aware of a potential hijacking as early as 8:20 A.M (Haupt, 5/30/2004).

There was never a direct mention of war games on 9/11 in the 9/11 Commission hearings. So the names of the possible war games and the people in charge of them on September 11th were not overtly specified or further subjected to mainstream criticism. However, when General Eberhart was questioned about the authority heads behind the war games, he replied with, “No comment.” His unwillingness to divulge names of the people in charge is highly suspicious and warrants further explanation (Kane 1/18/2005).

Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-Altanta) attempted to bring some attention to the 9/11 war games during the House Hearing on FY06 Department of Defense Budget, on March 11th, 2005. She questioned Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Richard Myers about the four war games that took place on September 11th. Myers responded to the question with very ambiguous explanations. He claimed that war gaming was being held by several different departments and it was not NORADs overall responsibility to respond to the attacks, but the FAA’s. Nonetheless, he felt the gaming actually provided “an easy transition from an exercise into a real world situation” and contributed to a quick response. Myers failed to comment on McKinney’s question of who was actually in charge of managing the war games on 9/11 (Kane 3/1/2005).


SOURCES:

Michael Kane, “Mr. Chairman, I have a Question: Representative Cynthia McKinney
Rocks Rumsfeld on War Games”, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/030105_mckinney_question.shtml , March 1, 2005
Michael Kane, “Crossing the Rubicon simplifying the case against Dick Cheney”, http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/011805_simplify_case.shtml, Jan. 18, 2005
Michael Kane, “9/11 War Games – No Coincidence”, http://inn.globalfreepress.com/modules/news/print.php?storyid=387, June 8, 2004
Nico Haupt, “The lost war drill? (Chapter 9)”, http://inn.globalfreepress.com/modules/news/print.php?storyid=325, May 30, 2004
Michael Ruppert, “Crossing the Rubicon: The decline of the American empire at the end of the age of oil”, New Society Publishers, 2004.


Atta and the $100,000
By Rebekah Cohen and Ambrosia Pardue

General Mahmoud Ahmad, Chief of Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), secret service, is said to have had connections to the alleged terrorist “ring leader” and hijacker Mohamed Atta, as reported by the Times of India (October 9, 2001).1 Times of India also reported that the $100 thousand wired to Atta six months prior to 9/11 from Pakistan by Ahmad Uhmar Sheikh was at the instance of General Ahmad.2

Michel Chossudovsky reported that General Mahmoud Ahmad was in the United States from September 4th until several days after 9/11. He had meetings at the State Department and with CIA and Pentagon officials during the week prior to September 11th. The nature of his visit has not been disclosed. There has been no evidence confirming his pre-September 11th consultations were routine, or if they were in any way related to his subsequent post-September 11th consultations pertaining to Pakistan’s decision to cooperate with the White House.3

According to the Indian government intelligence report, the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks had links to Pakistan’s ISI, which in turn has links to US government agencies. This suggests that key individuals within the US military intelligence establishment may well have known about the ISI contacts with the September 11 terrorist “ring-leader” Mohamed Atta and failed to act.4 The Times of India further reported the possibility of other ISI official’s contacts with terrorists, suggesting that the attacks were not an act of “individual terrorism,” but rather were part of a coordinated military intelligence operation stemming from the ISI.

Nicholas Levis of 911Truth.org raises the question about the reports that the ISI wired $100k to Mohamed Atta. Saying that the “ISI has often been credited as the creator of the Taliban, and its operatives have been linked to the bin Ladin networks. ISI is also linked to CIA as a historically close ally”.5

The 9/11 Commission report claims that "between $400,000 and $500,000 to plan and conduct the attack….was funded by alQaeda…" (pg.172). There is no mention of the Times of India report.

Early October 2001, General Ahmad was dismissed from his position of Chief of ISI at the request of the FBI.6

Though one would think that this topic would cause a stir among journalists, it has barely been touched and has remained stagnate. The links are there, but unexamined. One can only speculate as to the connections between General Mahmoud Ahmad, Mohamed Atta, the $100k, and the United States government.


Endnotes

1 http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CH0111A.html#c
2 www.globalresearch.ca
3 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http://www.fromthewilderness.co…
4 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http://www.fromthewilderness.co…
5 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http://www.fromthewilderness.co…
6 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http://www.fromthewilderness.co…

Some 9/11 Terrorists Still Alive? And Other Troubling Inaccuracies
By Chris Kyle

In the 9/11 Commission Report, the original list of hijackers is repeated, and their pictures are presented. However, at least six of the named hijackers are confirmed to be alive. Waleed al-Shehri is reported to have been on American Airlines Flight 11, which hit the North Tower. Yet he was interviewed by a London based Arab-language daily, Al-Quds al Arabi, after September 11, 2001.

Among the named hijackers are Salem al-Hazmi, Saeed al-Ghamdi, Ahmed al-Nami, and Waleed al-Shehri. Al-Hazmi lives in Saudi Arabia and works for a petroleum/chemical plant in Yanbu. At the time of the events of 9/11, he had not left Saudi Arabia for two years. Al-Ghamdi is alive in Tunisia and had not left the country for ten months prior. He is learning to fly an air bus. Al-Nami, meanwhile, is an administrative supervisor for Saudi Arabian Airlines and lives in Riyadh. Both al-Ghamdi and al-Nami told David Harrison of the Telegraph (London 9/23/01) that they were quite shocked to hear that they had died in Pennsylvania, a place they had not heard of.

Al-Shehri lives in Casablanca, Morocco, and was there during the attack. He is a pilot for Royal Air Marco.Then there is the case of Mohamed Atta, the supposed ringleader of the attack. The Commission describes him as a devout Muslim. However, various accounts prove this not to be the case. Atta gambled, drank alcohol, and paid for lap dances. According to reporter Daniel Hopsicker, Atta at one time lived with a prostitute in Florida. While there, he drank heavily, used cocaine, and ate pork chops. None of these acts are those of a devout Muslim. (Griffin, 2005)

There is also the matter of Atta's bags. Two bags supposedly belonging to Mohamed Atta failed to get on Flight 11. In these bags were a copy of the Koran, Boeing flight sim manuals, a religious cassette, a note to other hijackers regarding mental preparation, his personal will, passport, and international driver's license. The rest aside, who tries to bring their Will aboard a plane they know, is going to explode? This is a question the Commission could have looked into, but instead ignored. (Griffin, 2005)

Of course, this is not the only matter which the Commission ignored. There is also the matter of the flight manifests for the hijacked planes. The manifests that have been released have no Arab names listed. Efforts have been made by independent researchers to get the final flight manifests from these planes, but all such requests have been refused. (Griffin, 2005)

Work Cited:
David Ray Griffin, “The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions”, Olive Branch Press, 2005


The Democratic Party, Like The Republican Party and The Media, Covered Up The Deep Complicity In The 9/11/01 Attack By Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Myers
By John B. Massen, Guest Writer — Summary Analysis

On March 11, 2003, Congressman John Conyers, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, called an emergency meeting of 40+ top advisors, mostly lawyers, to discuss immediately initiating impeachment against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft, to head off the impending war against Iraq, which began eight days later. Also invited were Francis A. Boyle, professor of law at University of Illinois School of Law, and Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General, both of whom had drafted Bills of Impeachment, to argue the case for impeachment. The meeting ended with a second revised draft Bill of Impeachment, because eminent lawyers believed that Bush et al deserved impeachment for multiple violations of international treaties and laws. However, influential Democrats opposed impeachment on the ground that the effort would hurt their party's interest in gaining control of the federal government in the 2004 election.

On 9-13-01, the Senate Armed Services Committee, with a Democratic Chairman and majority membership, heard General Richard Myers testify that fighter aircraft responded to an apparently hijacked plane inbound to the U.S. and forced it to land in a remote base in Canada. Standard operating procedures were clearly in effect outside, but not inside, the U.S. on 9-11-01. If there had been no advance warning of the attack, fighter planes responding under standard operating procedures would have prevented all attacks inside the U.S. The Bush regime must have decided to permit the attack to succeed.

A comprehensive report was written, by myself, which cited Myers' testimony, the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks, Bush's behavior at the Florida school, and evidence of planning, long before 9/11/01, aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. The report was sent, by myself, to Conyers on 11/17/03, to Rep. Barbara Lee on 1/3/04, and to all 257 Democrats in the House and Senate plus DNC Chairman McAuliffe on 1/26/04. The transmittal letters all strongly appealed for impeachment of the Bush regime for complicity in permitting the 9/11 attack to occur, and stressed that Democrats might receive, and should request, effective political support by a comprehensive political-educational campaign by MoveOn.Org and United For Peace and Justice that would assure a majority vote in the House and a 2/3 vote in the Senate. The Report was sent to MoveOn.Org and UFPJ, for use as they wished to inform and motivate their members.

David Ray Griffin's vital book, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, was released in April 2004. It presented comprehensive evidence indicating deep complicity by the Bush regime in the 9/11 attack. The simplest "snapshot" of that evidence is this: (a) the North Tower (WTC-1) was struck at 8:46 AM, and collapsed 102 minutes later at 10:28 AM; (b) the South Tower (WTC-2) was struck at 9:03 AM and, with a much smaller fire, collapsed 56 minutes later (55% of WTC-1 time) at 9:59 AM; and (c) the 47-story WTC-7, which was two blocks away and not struck by a plane and had smaller interior fires, collapsed at 5:20 PM. (p.12) The collapse of WTC-2 before WTC-1 indicates the cause was not fires, but controlled demolition. (p.17)

Copies of Griffin's book were sent by myself to these Democrats: Dennis Kucinich on 3/27/04 with an impassioned plea; DNC Chair McAuliffe, Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi, and Senators Daschle, Feinstein and Boxer on 3/31/04; Congress members John Conyers, Elijah Cummings (Black Caucus Chair), Ciro Rodriquez (Hispanic Caucus Chair), Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter (Co-chair of Women's Issues Caucus), and Tom Udall, between 4/05 and 4/28/04. All transmittal letters urged impeachment action, contending that such action and injecting the "complicity issue" into the 2004 presidential campaign was the only way to assure Bush's defeat; and repeated that Congressional Democrats might receive, and should request, effective political support from a comprehensive political-educational campaign waged by MoveOn.Org and UFPJ.

Of course, many Congressional Democrats received, from other persons, much information about the Bush regime complicity in addition to that reported above.

All Congressional Democrats and especially its leaders, and DNC Chair MCAuliffe, were adequately informed of the Bush regime complicity and had staff and other resources to investigate further. Congressional Democrats had sworn to protect and uphold the constitution. They utterly failed in their obligations to the constitution and to their constituents to be an effective opposition party. The title of this essay is fully justified: the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party and the Media, covered up the deep complicity in the 9/11/01 attack by Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Myers.

Why does the principal opposition party join the ruling party in covering up what are probably the worst presidential crimes in U.S. history? In response to my request for his evaluation of my report (cited above), Michael C. Ruppert, on 1/1/2004, provided an astute evaluation of how Congress operates:

"The flaw in your work is not in the legal foundation or in the way the evidence is presented, [but] in your basic assumption that the system functions and operates as you think it should or the way it is described in textbooks. History is replete with instances of impeachable or prosecutable conduct which are much better documented, more easily proven, and more glaring than what you have described."

"In Watergate, there was an abundance of evidence that Richard Nixon had committed offenses far greater than the one which brought him to the brink of impeachment—obstruction of justice. The issue was not what offense would be used to remove him, but (as far as Congress was concerned) finding an offense which could remove a sitting president without destroying the entire American system of government. The same question governs Congressional response to 9/11," Ruppert wrote.

Ruppert went on to write, "The entire system is corrupt. Those who participate in it rationalize— in order to protect their seat at a crap table— that when one player gets out of line the primary objective is to protect the crap game. (I thank Peter Dale Scott for this analogy). I can guarantee you that many members of Congress are aware of every detail you have documented, and much, much more. . . To impeach Bush et al on the grounds you have delineated would open a can of worms that would call into question the legitimacy of the entire government. That will never be permitted.

“In the late 1990s I secured hard documents (much better evidence than you have presented from a legal standpoint) showing an active conspiracy to protect drug traffickers by the CIA that was sanctioned by the White House. An impeachment trial would have been open and shut. It never came about for the reasons I have stated above.

“In the case of the Clinton impeachment, while there were perhaps ten (or more) offenses upon which that president could have been removed and jailed, none of them were ever pursued. Why? Because they involved the simultaneous exposure of Republican corruption and/or demonstrated that the entire government was complicit in one degree or another. So what did they go after Clinton on? Extramarital sex and lying about it. It was the only charge available that did not bring down the whole system.

“I believe that (as it was with Watergate) Bush will likely be impeached after winning the 2004 election. On what charge? The forged Niger documents about alleged attempts by Saddam Hussein to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program and the malicious exposure of Valerie Plame (wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson who was critical in exposing that lie) as a CIA case officer. That offense does not expose the whole crap game.

“There is no legal argument you can make that will make a broken system function the way that you want it to function."

Another valuable insight about the Democratic Party was provided on 2/20/05 by Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. Gagnon writes:

"Hillary Clinton, who hopes to become president, is on the Sunday morning talk shows saying that our troops might be in Iraq for some time to come. ‘We've been in Korea for 50 years,' she said. ‘We are still in Okinawa,' she told the TV cameras.

“That is it. Pack up your bags, peace movement, and just go home. Hillary has made the pronouncement. She is in sync with George W. Bush, the neo-con crowd, Haliburton, Bechtel....she wants to be president and she knows that the road to the White House has to pass through the gates of the military industrial complex....and the oil corporations....and the globalization crowd that intends to create a ‘market economy' in Iraq (read privatization of everything there.) Hillary has totally sold out.

"The war in Iraq, and the very long presence of U.S. troops there, will bleed America to the bone. The Democratic party, with few very noble exceptions, is on their knees in loyal complicity with the war machine. How can any self-respecting peace activist contemplate for a moment supporting such a party in the next election?”

Obviously, our nation is in very deep trouble. All citizens must unite and take back our nation from the corporate oligarchs!

John B. Massen finally retired at 90 in San Francisco this year. Massen's peace activism was principally in the United Nations Association of the USA, climaxed by his creation in 1980 and wide distribution of his highly acclaimed 16-poster exhibit on the Effects and Dangers of Nuclear War, co-sponsored by seven national organizations.

E-mail: JackMassen@aol.com


1 www.themodernreligion.com/terror/wtc-unusualtrading.html
2 www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/29/MN186128
3 www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/29/MN186128
4 http://66.159.17.51/cooperativeresearch/www/wot/sept11/suspicioustradingact.html
5 www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/29/MN186128
6 www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/19/eveningnews/printable311834.shtml
7 scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0207/S00119.htm
8 scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0207/S00119.htm
9 www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050105/news_1b5elgindy.html.
10 http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main/jhtml?xml=/news/2001/09/23/widen23.xml
11 http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/051602_liewontstand.html
12 www.cbs.news.com/stories/2001/09/26/archive/printable 312663.shtml
13 http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CH0111A.html#c
14 www.globalresearch.ca
15 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http://www.fromthewilderness.co…
16 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http://www.fromthewilderness.co…
17 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http://www.fromthewilderness.co…
18 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/cgi-bin/MasterPFP.cgi?doc=http://www.fromthewilderness.co…


Recommended 9/11 Resources:

Global Research- Michel Chossudovsky's site:
http://www.globalresearch.ca

Center for Cooperative Research- Paul Thompson's Timeline
www.cooperativeresearch.org

9-11 Review- Jim Hoffman's Site
http://www.911review.com

RICO- Rodriguez Versus Bush
http://www.911forthetruth.com

International Citizen's Inquiry into 9-11
http://www.911inquiry.org

From the Wilderness- Michael Ruppert's Site
http://www.fromthewilderness.com

Questioning the War on Terrorism- Carol Brouillet's Site
http://www.communitycurrency.org/9-11.html

9-11 Truth Alliance
http://www.911truth.org/

Crimes Against Humanity- Dave Ratcliffe's Site
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH

Online Journal-
http://www.onlinejournal.com

Justice for 9-11- Spitzer Complaint
http://www.justicefor911.org

The Great Conspiracy- Barrie Zwicker's site
http://www.greatconspiracy.ca

Global Outlook
http://www.globaloutlook.ca

Guerrilla News Network
http://www.gnn.tv/

Citizen's for Legitimate Government-
http://legitgov.org/

Oil Empire
http://www.oilempire.us/

New York 9-11 Truth
http://www.ny911truth.org/

The Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance-
http://www.sf911truth.org

What Really Happened?
http://whatreallyhappened.com

9-11 Visibility Project
An activist oriented site...
http://www.septembereleventh.org

MUJCA-NET: Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth
A new Interfaith group, based in Milwaukee
http://mujca.com

9-11 Citizen's Watch
http://www.911citizenswatch.org/

Propaganda Matrix
http://www.propagandamatrix.com/archiveprior_knowledge.html


Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored. For a listing of current censored news stories see http://www.projectcensored.org/



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