On the eve of the 12th anniversary of 9/11, nearly half of the American people suspect their government is lying about what happened that day.A recent scientific survey by YouGov, sponsored by ReThink911.org, found that only 40% of Americans are fully satisfied with the official account of 9/11, while 48% either doubt the official story or do not believe it at all.
Shockingly, only 23% of Americans believe the government’s story about World Trade Center 7 – a 47-story highrise that imploded for no apparent reason on the afternoon of 9/11. (What is truly shocking is that almost one in four Americans actually believes the government’s claim that WTC-7 imploded in 6 1/2 seconds due to office fires.)
The poll data shows that there is still no consensus among the American people about what really happened on 9/11, despite the government and mainstream media’s all-out efforts to reinforce the crumbing official story and black out the whole issue of WTC-7.
The anniversary of 9/11 this Wednesday will feature major events in New York City and Washington, DC sponsored by groups asking Americans to re-think 9/11.
In Washington DC, the United In Courage coalition will lead the Million American March Against Fear, beginning at noon in the National Mall between 12th and 14th Streets. The Million American March Against Fear will commemorate all of the victims of 9/11, and demand an end to the 9/11-triggered “politics of fear” that has shredded the Constitution, launched illegal wars of aggression, and bankrupted the nation. Dr. Cornel West, regarded by many as America’s leading public intellectual, is the keynote speaker.
At times like this, I really wish Colin Powell had become President. If the US had followed the Powell Doctrine consistently since 1995, we’d be a happier, stronger and far more united nation and more perfect union. As you may recall, the Powell doctrine was fairly simple – Prior to committing US Forces to action, we need to have satisfactorily answered the following questions:
- Is a vital national security interest threatened?
- Do we have a clear attainable objective?
- Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
- Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
- Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
- Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
- Is the action supported by the American people?
- Do we have genuine broad international support?
Beheaded in front of children, Assad's thugs are dragged to their doom and butchered like animals in some of the most brutal scenes to emerge from Syria's civil war
The sword rests briefly on his neck as a blindfolded man kneels under a clear blue sky. Moments later, the executioner raises his right arm, slashes downwards and the prisoner is dead. The whole barbaric episode is watched by a crowd of jeering men, many of them armed. And sitting on a low wall only a few feet from where the wretched captive died so violently is a line of young boys. They were still there as the dead man’s head was dumped on his body. Another child, even younger, was led by the hand past the corpse.
Warning: Graphic content
As a cheering crowd of fighters look on, an executioner - believed to belong to the Al Qaeda-linked faction ISIS - lines up his sword in a practice run before delivering the final blow
A Syrian boy is held by the hand as he walks past the body of a beheaded Islamic militant loyal to Assad. An unnamed photojournalist was given rare access to the public execution in the town of Keferghan in the north of the country
A group of young children sit on a wall as they stare at the dead body
The severed head of a militant is held aloft. The photographer witnessed four public executions on August 31. The public execution was the last of four that took place on August 31 in the town of Keferghan in the north of the country. The picture forms part of a set taken by a photojournalist - whose identity has not been revealed in order to protect him - who was given unprecedented access to the gruesome proceedings. Among the other photos are an executioner lining up his sword before delivering the final blow as his victim kneels in the village square - and a victim's head being held aloft by a jubilant fighter. Although it is difficult to confirm the political affiliation of those involved, an eyewitness told Time that the executioners belonged to ISIS - an Al-Qaeda faction opposed to President Bashar Assad's regime. The captives, meanwhile, are understood to belong to the fearsome Shabiha ('ghosts') - thugs loyal to Assad who are said to roam the country massacring women and children.
The captives are understood to belong to the fearsome Shabiha ('ghosts') - thugs loyal to Assad who are said to roam the country massacring women and children
Above, a captive prepares to meet his fate. Describing the scene, the photographer said: 'That scene in Syria, that moment, was like a scene from the Middle Ages, the kind of thing you read about in history books'. Below is an edited account of the photographer's harrowing experience:
'The man was brought in to the square. His eyes were blindfolded. I began shooting pictures, one after the other. It was to be the fourth execution that day I would photograph. I was feeling awful; several times I had been on the verge of throwing up. But I kept it under control because as a journalist I knew I had to document this, as I had the three previous beheadings I had photographed that day, in three other locations outside Aleppo. The crowd began cheering. Everyone was happy. I knew that if I tried to intervene I would be taken away, and that the executions would go ahead. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to change what was happening and I might put myself in danger. I saw a scene of utter cruelty: a human being treated in a way that no human being should ever be treated. But it seems to me that in two and a half years, the war has degraded people’s humanity. On this day the people at the execution had no control over their feelings, their desires, their anger. It was impossible to stop them.
A member of the notorious Shabiha is held by the scruff of his neck as he is led to his doom
The pictures emerged as the organisation Human Rights Watch released a video and report into brutal summary executions carried out by the other side - Syrian government forces
The executions took place near Syria's largest city, Aleppo, which has seen intense fighting between the rebels and Assad's forces. I don’t know how old the victim was but he was young. He was forced to his knees. The rebels around him read out his crimes from a sheet of paper. They stood around him. The young man was on his knees on the ground, his hands tied. He seemed frozen. Two rebels whispered something into his ear and the young man replied in an innocent and sad manner, but I couldn’t understand what he said because I don’t speak Arabic. At the moment of execution the rebels grasped his throat. The young man put up a struggle. Three or four rebels pinned him down. The man tried to protect his throat with his hands, which were still tied together. He tried to resist but they were stronger than he was and they cut his throat. They raised his head into the air. People waved their guns and cheered. Everyone was happy that the execution had gone ahead. That scene in Syria, that moment, was like a scene from the Middle Ages, the kind of thing you read about in history books. The war in Syria has reached the point where a person can be mercilessly killed in front of hundreds of people who enjoy the spectacle. As a human being I would never have wished to see what I saw. But as a journalist I have a camera and a responsibility. I have a responsibility to share what I saw that day. That’s why I am making this statement and that’s why I took the photographs. I will close this chapter soon and try never to remember it.'
'The war in Syria has reached the point where a person can be mercilessly killed in front of hundreds of people - who enjoy the spectacle,' said the photographer
The picture forms part of a set taken by the photojournalist, whose identity has not been revealed in order to protect him
Wearing a bloodied blindfold, one of the captives kneels before his executioners
The dreadful pictures emerged as the organisation Human Rights Watch released a video and report into brutal summary executions carried out by the other side - Syrian government forces. They massacred at least 248 innocent people in the towns of al-Bayda and Baniyas in May this year, the report said. The executions - which included at least 37 women and children - came after military clashes had ended and opposition fighters had retreated. People were rounded up and shot at close range in an apparent attempt to ‘teach a lesson’ to the townsfolk not to side with the rebels. The United States and Russia undertook a second day of talks in Geneva yesterday to try and achieve a diplomatic solution to the brutal conflict and get Syria to hand over its chemical weapons.
Anti-Assad fighters are seen here near Aleppo, in norther Syria
The U.S. and Russia undertook a second day of talks in Geneva yesterday to try and achieve a diplomatic solution to the brutal conflict and get Syria to hand over its chemical weapons
Syrian government forces massacred at least 248 innocent people in the towns of al-Bayda and Baniyas in May this year. Above, a rebel fighter
The Wiki piece on this tends to say there are a lot of exceptions including such things as humanitarian support wars. I don’t necessarily see that as a good idea. While it might prohibit some action in cases like Syria because of the question of vital national interests, one may reasonably argue that incidents like Libya and Syria are definitely in our geopolitical interests. However, it becomes reasonably obvious that none of our recent conflicts actually fit this model.
Iraq was totally off the scale on the side of not fulfilling these criteria. We now know with a solid base of assurance that there were no vital interests of the United States involved in Iraq; on the contrary, it was counterproductive. When Powell refers to objective, he wasn’t referring to the political objective so much as the strategic military objective combined with the tactical objectives supporting it. If you can’t develop a reasonable objective, don’t commit. Risks and costs were completely disregarded; there was no pressing need to attack when we did. There was no reasonable Exit Strategy, and let me add a corollary—an exit strategy that ends up requiring 10 or 20 or 30 years continued stay is not a particularly meaningful strategy. The consequences predicted for the Iraq war were silly at best; the ultimate result was a nightmare. The American People supported the war initially but that was based on the same lies that got Secretary Powell on board. There was no real International Support for this war. It was a nightmare from start to finish; a wholly preventable nightmare.
Syria is so similar as to be dumbfounding. We do have a vital national interest in not letting the region descend further into hell. However, the Arab League, Turkey, Jordan, and Israel have much more vital interests. If the Alawites become marginalized by Sunnis, Iran has a more pressing problem than Assad presents opportunities. The Gulf States have concerns about Iran and about the basic dominance in the region by l Qaeda and al Qaeda clones. Finally, as the guardian of nonproliferation and the enforcement of international norms, the UN has a vested interest here that far exceeds that of the individual members.
Chemical weapons are bad. We agree on that. However, the ability of the Syrian military to disperse delivery systems, stockpiles and command and control centers make limited strikes really ineffective. If we want to take out the power grid in a nation, that’s easy. Individual missiles, launchers and so on, not so much. What the threat of military action has done is energize the world in seeking some diplomatic solution.
In terms of exit strategy and solutions, the use of cruise missiles and air strikes provides neither. Unless someone is going to put boots on the ground to enforce UN mandates – which isn’t going to happen with the makeup of the Security Council – we are not looking at appropriate force and an exit strategy so much as at the technological equivalent of magic beans as a key to Never Land. Air strikes and cruise missile strikes don’t change the battlefield in and of themselves.
I sum up the Powell doctrine relatively simply: Clear, workable and defined Objective; Commitment of verwhelming, appropriate and effective force; and, Defined, workable exit strategy and time horizon. The Syria plan fails. Drop it.
Putin undoubtedly felt his cred as hemispheric godfather threatened and is reacting to prove he’s the Alpha dog. Let him. No American blood and treasure for Syria; logistics support for the UN or regional coalitions, perhaps. But as it stands, we have no dog in this fight.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after authorising the bombing of neutral Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
I wonder what Lehrer would say about President Barack Obama, who ordered two Cruise missile attacks on targets in Yemen a week before Christmas, allegedly killing 49 civilians, including 17 women and 23 children.
The missiles missed their target, local Al Qaeda leader Qasm al-Rimi.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama, right, ordered two Cruise missile attacks on Yemen which allegedly killed 49 civilians. Entertainer Tom Lehrer, left, gave up writing songs after Henry Kissinger was also awarded the prize
But now there's speculation that the attack prompted Al Qaeda to send the 23-year-old suicide bomber they trained, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, on the Detroit-bound jet.
An official Tehran news website noted: 'U.S. Nobel Peace Prize laureate President Barack Obama has signed the order for a recent military strike on Yemen in which scores of civilians, including children, have been killed.'
Do you find yourself beginning to doubt our own propaganda, which says that while we innocently go about our business in the world, international terrorists are bent on destroying our way of life for no other reason than to gain dominion over our Christian culture?
So it's necessary to bring the 'war on terror' to them, even when this so often means killing innocent people?
An American commentator writing on Slate, the internet news organization, asks: 'When it comes to undermining Al Qaeda, both in Yemen and generally, isn't it painfully obvious that the images of dead Muslim women and children which we constantly create - and which we have again just created in Yemen - will fuel that movement better than anything else we can do?'
He continues: 'Whatever else is true, and even if one believes it's justified to lob Cruise missiles into more countries where we claim suspected Al Qaeda sites are located, one thing seems clear: all of the causes widely recognised as having led to 9/11 - excessive American interference in the Muslim world, our alliance with their most oppressive leaders, and our own military attacks on Muslims - seem stronger than ever.
'As we take more actions of this sort, we will create more terrorists, which will, in turn, cause us to take more actions of this sort in a never-ending, self-perpetuating cycle.
'The U.S.military, and the intelligence community and its partners in the private contractor world, will certainly remain busy, empowered and well-funded in the extreme.'
Excerpts from the Preface of America's "War on Terrorism", Second edition, Global Research, 2005.
At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.
That same evening at 9.30 pm, a "War Cabinet" was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11.00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the "War on Terrorism" was officially launched.
The decision was announced to wage war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in retribution for the 9/11 attacks. The following morning on September 12th, the news headlines indelibly pointed to "state sponsorship" of the 9/11 attacks. In chorus, the US media was calling for a military intervention against Afghanistan.
Barely four weeks later, on the 7th of October, Afghanistan was bombed and invaded by US troops. Americans were led to believe that the decison to go to war had been taken on the spur of the moment, on the evening of September 11, in response to the attacks and their tragic consequences.
Little did the public realize that a large scale theater war is never planned and executed in a matter of weeks. The decision to launch a war and send troops to Afghanistan had been taken well in advance of 9/11. The "terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event" as it was later described by CentCom Commander General Tommy Franks, served to galvanize public opinion in support of a war agenda which was already in its final planning stage.
The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage a war on "humanitarian grounds", with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the "international community".
Several prominent "progressive" intellectuals made a case for "retaliation against terrorism", on moral and ethical grounds. The "just cause" military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11, without examining the fact that Washington had not only supported the "Islamic terror network", it was also instrumental in the installation of the Taliban government in 1996.
In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country of 30 million people.
I started writing on the evening of September 11, late into the night, going through piles of research notes, which I had previously collected on the history of Al Qaeda. My first text entitled "Who is Osama bin Laden?" was completed and first published on September the 12th. (See full text of 9/12 article below).
From the very outset, I questioned the official story, which described nineteen Al Qaeda sponsored hijackers involved in a highly sophisticated and organized operation. My first objective was to reveal the true nature of this illusive "enemy of America", who was "threatening the Homeland".
The myth of the "outside enemy" and the threat of "Islamic terrorists" was the cornerstone of the Bush adminstration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.
Without an "outside enemy", there could be no "war on terrorism". The entire national security agenda would collapse "like a deck of cards". The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.
It was consequently crucial for the development of a coherent antiwar and civil rights movement, to reveal the nature of Al Qaeda and its evolving relationship to successive US adminstrations. Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda was a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet-Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: "he turned against us".
After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive "outside enemy" had been fabricated and transformed into "Enemy Number One".
Michel Chossudovsky, Excerpts from the Preface of America's "War on Terrorism", Second edition, Global Research, 2005.
Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
A few hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, the Bush administration concluded without supporting evidence, that "Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organisation were prime suspects". CIA Director George Tenet stated that bin Laden has the capacity to plan ``multiple attacks with little or no warning.'' Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks "an act of war" and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would "make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them". Former CIA Director James Woolsey pointed his finger at "state sponsorship," implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, "I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution."
Meanwhile, parroting official statements, the Western media mantra has approved the launching of "punitive actions" directed against civilian targets in the Middle East. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: "When we reasonably determine our attackers' bases and camps, we must pulverize them -- minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage" -- and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror's national hosts".
The following text outlines the history of Osama Bin Laden and the links of the Islamic "Jihad" to the formulation of US foreign policy during the Cold War and its aftermath.
Prime suspect in the New York and Washington terrorists attacks, branded by the FBI as an "international terrorist" for his role in the African US embassy bombings, Saudi born Osama bin Laden was recruited during the Soviet-Afghan war "ironically under the auspices of the CIA, to fight Soviet invaders". 1
In 1979 "the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA" was launched in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in support of the pro-Communist government of Babrak Kamal.2:
With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan's ISI [Inter Services Intelligence], who wanted to turn the Afghan jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan's fight between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad.3
The Islamic "jihad" was supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia with a significant part of the funding generated from the Golden Crescent drug trade:
In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166,...[which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies -- a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987, ... as well as a "ceaseless stream" of CIA and Pentagon specialists who traveled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan's ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels.4
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) using Pakistan's military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) played a key role in training the Mujahideen. In turn, the CIA sponsored guerrilla training was integrated with the teachings of Islam:
"Predominant themes were that Islam was a complete socio-political ideology, that holy Islam was being violated by the atheistic Soviet troops, and that the Islamic people of Afghanistan should reassert their independence by overthrowing the leftist Afghan regime propped up by Moscow."5
Pakistan's Intelligence Apparatus
Pakistan's ISI was used as a "go-between". The CIA covert support to the "jihad" operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI, --i.e. the CIA did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen. In other words, for these covert operations to be "successful", Washington was careful not to reveal the ultimate objective of the "jihad", which consisted in destroying the Soviet Union.
In the words of CIA's Milton Beardman "We didn't train Arabs". Yet according to Abdel Monam Saidali, of the Al-aram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo, bin Laden and the "Afghan Arabs" had been imparted "with very sophisticated types of training that was allowed to them by the CIA" 6
CIA's Beardman confirmed, in this regard, that Osama bin Laden was not aware of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. In the words of bin Laden (quoted by Beardman): "neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of American help". 7
Motivated by nationalism and religious fervor, the Islamic warriors were unaware that they were fighting the Soviet Army on behalf of Uncle Sam. While there were contacts at the upper levels of the intelligence hierarchy, Islamic rebel leaders in theatre had no contacts with Washington or the CIA.
With CIA backing and the funneling of massive amounts of US military aid, the Pakistani ISI had developed into a "parallel structure wielding enormous power over all aspects of government". 8 The ISI had a staff composed of military and intelligence officers, bureaucrats, undercover agents and informers, estimated at 150,000. 9
Meanwhile, CIA operations had also reinforced the Pakistani military regime led by General Zia Ul Haq:
'Relations between the CIA and the ISI [Pakistan's military intelligence] had grown increasingly warm following [General] Zia's ouster of Bhutto and the advent of the military regime,'... During most of the Afghan war, Pakistan was more aggressively anti-Soviet than even the United States. Soon after the Soviet military invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Zia [ul Haq] sent his ISI chief to destabilize the Soviet Central Asian states. The CIA only agreed to this plan in October 1984.... `the CIA was more cautious than the Pakistanis.' Both Pakistan and the United States took the line of deception on Afghanistan with a public posture of negotiating a settlement while privately agreeing that military escalation was the best course."10
The Golden Crescent Drug Triangle
The history of the drug trade in Central Asia is intimately related to the CIA's covert operations. Prior to the Soviet-Afghan war, opium production in Afghanistan and Pakistan was directed to small regional markets. There was no local production of heroin. 11 In this regard, Alfred McCoy's study confirms that within two years of the onslaught of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, "the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world's top heroin producer, supplying 60 percent of U.S. demand. In Pakistan, the heroin-addict population went from near zero in 1979... to 1.2 million by 1985 -- a much steeper rise than in any other nation":12
CIA assets again controlled this heroin trade. As the Mujahideen guerrillas seized territory inside Afghanistan, they ordered peasants to plant opium as a revolutionary tax. Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates under the protection of Pakistan Intelligence operated hundreds of heroin laboratories. During this decade of wide-open drug-dealing, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Islamabad failed to instigate major seizures or arrests ... U.S. officials had refused to investigate charges of heroin dealing by its Afghan allies `because U.S. narcotics policy in Afghanistan has been subordinated to the war against Soviet influence there.' In 1995, the former CIA director of the Afghan operation, Charles Cogan, admitted the CIA had indeed sacrificed the drug war to fight the Cold War. `Our main mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets. We didn't really have the resources or the time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade,'... `I don't think that we need to apologize for this. Every situation has its fallout.... There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes. But the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan.'13
In the Wake of the Cold War
In the wake of the Cold War, the Central Asian region is not only strategic for its extensive oil reserves, it also produces three quarters of the World's opium representing multibillion dollar revenues to business syndicates, financial institutions, intelligence agencies and organized crime. The annual proceeds of the Golden Crescent drug trade (between 100 and 200 billion dollars) represents approximately one third of the Worldwide annual turnover of narcotics, estimated by the United Nations to be of the order of $500 billion.14
With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a new surge in opium production has unfolded. (According to UN estimates, the production of opium in Afghanistan in 1998-99 -- coinciding with the build up of armed insurgencies in the former Soviet republics-- reached a record high of 4600 metric tons.15 Powerful business syndicates in the former Soviet Union allied with organized crime are competing for the strategic control over the heroin routes.
The ISI's extensive intelligence military-network was not dismantled in the wake of the Cold War. The CIA continued to support the Islamic "jihad" out of Pakistan. New undercover initiatives were set in motion in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans. Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus essentially "served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia." 16.
Meanwhile, Islamic missionaries of the Wahhabi sect from Saudi Arabia had established themselves in the Muslim republics as well as within the Russian federation encroaching upon the institutions of the secular State. Despite its anti-American ideology, Islamic fundamentalism was largely serving Washington's strategic interests in the former Soviet Union.
Following the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, the civil war in Afghanistan continued unabated. The Taliban were being supported by the Pakistani Deobandis and their political party the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). In 1993, JUI entered the government coalition of Prime Minister Benazzir Bhutto. Ties between JUI, the Army and ISI were established. In 1995, with the downfall of the Hezb-I-Islami Hektmatyar government in Kabul, the Taliban not only instated a hardline Islamic government, they also "handed control of training camps in Afghanistan over to JUI factions..." 17
And the JUI with the support of the Saudi Wahhabi movements played a key role in recruiting volunteers to fight in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.
Jane Defense Weekly confirms in this regard that "half of Taliban manpower and equipment originate[d] in Pakistan under the ISI" 18
In fact, it would appear that following the Soviet withdrawal both sides in the Afghan civil war continued to receive covert support through Pakistan's ISI. 19
In other words, backed by Pakistan's military intelligence (ISI) which in turn was controlled by the CIA, the Taliban Islamic State was largely serving American geopolitical interests. The Golden Crescent drug trade was also being used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In last few months there is evidence that Mujahideen mercenaries are fighting in the ranks of KLA-NLA terrorists in their assaults into Macedonia.
No doubt, this explains why Washington has closed its eyes on the reign of terror imposed by the Taliban including the blatant derogation of women's rights, the closing down of schools for girls, the dismissal of women employees from government offices and the enforcement of "the Sharia laws of punishment".20
The War in Chechnya
With regard to Chechnya, the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. 21 The summit, was attended by Osama bin Laden and high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. In this regard, the involvement of Pakistan's ISI in Chechnya "goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war". 22
Russia's main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington's perfunctory condemnation of Islamic terrorism, the indirect beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin.
The two main Chechen rebel armies (respectively led by Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab) estimated at 35,000 strong were supported by Pakistan's ISI, which also played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army:
"[In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defense General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf, (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev."23
Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In 1997-98, according to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) "Chechen warlords started buying up real estate in Kosovo... through several real estate firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia" 24
Basayev's organisation has also been involved in a number of rackets including narcotics, illegal tapping and sabotage of Russia's oil pipelines, kidnapping, prostitution, trade in counterfeit dollars and the smuggling of nuclear materials (See Mafia linked to Albania's collapsed pyramids, 25 Alongside the extensive laundering of drug money, the proceeds of various illicit activities have been funneled towards the recruitment of mercenaries and the purchase of weapons.
During his training in Afghanistan, Shamil Basayev linked up with Saudi born veteran Mujahideen Commander "Al Khattab" who had fought as a volunteer in Afghanistan. Barely a few months after Basayev's return to Grozny, Khattab was invited (early 1995) to set up an army base in Chechnya for the training of Mujahideen fighters. According to the BBC, Khattab's posting to Chechnya had been "arranged through the Saudi-Arabian based [International] Islamic Relief Organisation, a militant religious organisation, funded by mosques and rich individuals which channeled funds into Chechnya".26
Since the Cold War era, Washington has consciously supported Osama bin Laden, while at same time placing him on the FBI's "most wanted list" as the World's foremost terrorist.
While the Mujahideen are busy fighting America's war in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, the FBI --operating as a US based Police Force- is waging a domestic war against terrorism, operating in some respects independently of the CIA which has --since the Soviet-Afghan war-- supported international terrorism through its covert operations.
In a cruel irony, while the Islamic jihad --featured by the Bush Adminstration as "a threat to America"-- is blamed for the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, these same Islamic organisations constitute a key instrument of US military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the truth must prevail to prevent the Bush Adminstration together with its NATO partners from embarking upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.
- Hugh Davies, International: `Informers' point the finger at bin Laden; Washington on alert for suicide bombers, The Daily Telegraph, London, 24 August 1998.
- See Fred Halliday, "The Un-great game: the Country that lost the Cold War, Afghanistan, New Republic, 25 March 1996):
- Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs, November-December 1999.
- Steve Coll, Washington Post, July 19, 1992.
- Dilip Hiro, Fallout from the Afghan Jihad, Inter Press Services, 21 November 1995.
- Weekend Sunday (NPR); Eric Weiner, Ted Clark; 16 August 1998.
- Dipankar Banerjee; Possible Connection of ISI With Drug Industry, India Abroad, 2 December 1994.
- See Diego Cordovez and Selig Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal, Oxford university Press, New York, 1995. See also the review of Cordovez and Harrison in International Press Services, 22 August 1995.
- Alfred McCoy, Drug fallout: the CIA's Forty Year Complicity in the Narcotics Trade. The Progressive; 1 August 1997.
- Douglas Keh, Drug Money in a changing World, Technical document no 4, 1998, Vienna UNDCP, p. 4. See also Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 1999, E/INCB/1999/1 United Nations Publication, Vienna 1999, p 49-51, And Richard Lapper, UN Fears Growth of Heroin Trade, Financial Times, 24 February 2000.
- Report of the International Narcotics Control Board, op cit, p 49-51, see also Richard Lapper, op. cit.
- International Press Services, 22 August 1995.
- Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs, November- December, 1999, p. 22.
- Quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, 3 September 1998)
- Tim McGirk, Kabul learns to live with its bearded conquerors, The Independent, London, 6 November1996.
- See K. Subrahmanyam, Pakistan is Pursuing Asian Goals, India Abroad, 3 November 1995.
- Levon Sevunts, Who's calling the shots?: Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, The Gazette, Montreal, 26 October 1999..
- See Vitaly Romanov and Viktor Yadukha, Chechen Front Moves To Kosovo Segodnia, Moscow, 23 Feb 2000.
- The European, 13 February 1997, See also Itar-Tass, 4-5 January 2000.
- BBC, 29 September 1999.
DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.
This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.
Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into this military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. On that night, says this medical worker who wanted her identity protected, they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them. She says it was treatment for a very special person. The special team was obviously up to no good.
"The military had him surrounded," says this hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, "and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time," he says, "I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after." Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments, back and stomach problems. Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, says the military was often there to help before 9/11.
PETERSEN (on camera): Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they refused our request to see any records. Government officials tonight denied that bin Laden had any medical treatment on that night.
(voice-over): But it was Pakistan's President Musharraf who said in public what many suspected, that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he thinks bin Laden may be near death. His evidence, watching this most recent video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush administration officials admit they don`t know if bin Laden is sick or even dead.
DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: With respect to the issue of Osama bin Laden`s health, I just am -- don`t have any knowledge.
PETERSEN: The United States has no way of knowing who in Pakistan`s military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Laden maybe up to the night before 9/11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the United States may not know if those same people might help him again perhaps to freedom.
Barry Petersen, CBS News, Islamabad.
(END VIDEOTAPE) END
(CBS News, 28 January 2002 emphasis added, the complete transcript of CBS report sis contained in annex to this article)
It should be noted, that the hospital is directly under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. U.S. military advisers based in Rawalpindi. work closely with the Pakistani Armed Forces. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America's best known fugitive, but then maybe bin Laden was serving another "better purpose". Rumsfeld claimed at the time that he had no knowledge regarding Osama's health. (CBS News, 28 January 2002)
The CBS report is a crucial piece of information in our understanding of 9/11.
It refutes the administration's claim that the whereabouts of bin Laden are unknown. It points to a Pakistan connection, it suggests a cover-up at the highest levels of the Bush administration.
Dan Rather and Barry Petersen fail to draw the implications of their January 2002 report. They suggest that the US had been deliberately misled by Pakistani intelligence officials. They fail to ask the question:
Why does the US administration state that they cannot find Osama?
If they are to stand by their report, the conclusion is obvious. The administration is lying. Osama bin Laden's whereabouts were known.
If the CBS report is accurate and Osama had indeed been admitted to the Pakistani military hospital on September 10, courtesy of America's ally, he was either still in hospital in Rawalpindi on the 11th of September, when the attacks occurred or had been released from the hospital within the last hours before the attacks.
In other words, Osama's whereabouts were known to US officials on the morning of September 12, when Secretary of State Colin Powell initiated negotiations with Pakistan, with a view to arresting and extraditing bin Laden. These negotiations, led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, head of Pakistan's military intelligence, on behalf of the government of President Pervez Musharraf, took place on the 12th and 13th of September in Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's office.
He could have been arrested at short notice on September 10th, 2001. But then we would not have been privileged to five years of Osama related media stories. The Bush administration desperately needs the fiction of an "outside enemy of America".
Known and documented Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda is a construct of the US intelligence apparatus. His essential function is to give a face to the "war on terrorism". The image must be vivid.
According to the White house, "The greatest threat to us is this ideology of violent extremism, and its greatest public proponent is Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden remains the number one target, in terms of our efforts, but he's not the only target." Recent Statement of White House Assistant for Homeland Security Frances Townsend, 5 September 2006).
The national security doctrine rests on the fiction of Islamic terrorists, led by Osama who are portrayed as a "threat to the civilized World". In the words of President Bush, "Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say? We are on the offensive. We will not rest. We will not retreat. And we will not withdraw from the fight until this threat to civilization has been removed." (quoted by CNN, September 5, 2006)
The "hot pursuit" of Osama in the rugged mountainous areas of Pakistan must continue, because without Osama, referred to ad nauseam in news reports and official statements, the fragile legitimacy of the Bush administration collapses like a deck of cards.
Moreover, the search for Osama protects the real architects of the 911 attacks. While there is no evidence that Al Qaeda was behind the 911 attacks, as revealed by nuerous studies and documents, there is mounting evidence of complicity and coverup at the highest levels of the State, Military and intelligence apparatus.
The continued arrest of alleged 911 accomplices and suspects has nothing to do with "national security". It creates the illusion that Arabs and Muslims are behind the terror plots, while shunting the conduct of a real criminal investigation into the 911 attacks. And what were dealing with is the criminalization of the upper echelons of State.
Chossudovsky calls it a complete fabrication "based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden (from a cave in Afghanistan and hospital bed in Pakistan) outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus." He calls it, instead, what, in fact, it is - a pretext for permanent "New World Order" wars of conquest serving the interests of Wall Street and the financial community, the US military-industrial complex, Big Oil, and all other corporate interests profiting hugely from a massive scheme harming the public interest, in the name of protecting it, and potentially all humanity unless it's stopped in time.
On the morning of 9/11, the Bush administration didn't miss a beat telling the world Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center (WTC) and Pentagon meaning Osama bin Laden was the main culprit - case closed without even the benefit of a forensic and intelligence analysis piecing together all potential helpful information. There was no need to because, as Chossudovsky explained, "That same (9/11) evening at 9:30 pm, a 'War Cabinet' was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. At 11:00PM, at the end of that historic (White House) meeting, the 'War on Terrorism' was officially launched," and the rest is history.
Chossudovsky continued "The decision was announced (straightaway) to wage war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in retribution for the 9/11 attacks" with news headlines the next day asserting, with certainty, "state sponsorship" responsibility for the attacks connected to them. The dominant media, in lockstep, called for military retaliation against Afghanistan even though no evidence proved the Taliban government responsible, because, in fact, it was not and we knew it.
Four weeks later on October 7, a long-planned war of illegal aggression began, Afghanistan was bombed and then invaded by US forces working in partnership with their new allies - the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan or so-called Northern Alliance "warlords." Their earlier repressive rule was so extreme, it gave rise to the Taliban in the first place and has now made them resurgent.
Chossudovsky further explained that the public doesn't "realize that a large scale theater war is never planned and executed in a matter of weeks." This one, like all others, was months in the making needing only what former CentCom Commander General Tommy Franks called a "terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event" to arouse enough public anger for the Bush administration to launch it after declaring their "war on terrorism." Chossudovsky, through thorough and exhausting research, exposed it as a fraud.
He's been on top of the story ever since uncovering the "myth of an 'outside enemy' and the threat of 'Islamic terrorists' (that became) the cornerstone (and core justification) of the Bush administration's military doctrine." It allowed Washington to wage permanent aggressive wars beginning with Afghanistan and Iraq, to ignore international law, and to "repeal civil liberties and constitutional government" through repression laws like the Patriot and Military Commissions Acts. A key objective throughout has, and continues to be, Washington's quest to control the world's energy supplies, primarily oil, starting in the Middle East where two-thirds of known reserves are located.
Toward that end, the Bush administration created a fictitious "outside enemy" threat without which no "war on terrorism" could exist, and no foreign wars could be waged. Chossudovsky exposed the linchpin of the whole scheme. He uncovered evidence that Al Queda "was a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet-Afghan war" era, and that in the 1990s Washington "consciously supported Osama bin Laden, while at the same time placing him on the FBI's 'most wanted list' as the World's foremost terrorist." He explained that the CIA (since the 1980s and earlier) actively supports international terrorism covertly, and that on September 10, 2001 "Enemy Number One" bin Laden was in a Rawalpindi, Pakistan military hospital confirmed on CBS News by Dan Rather. He easily could have been arrested but wasn't because we had a "better purpose" in mind for "America's best known fugitive (to) give a (public) face to the 'war on terrorism' " that meant keeping bin Laden free to play the role. If he didn't exist, we'd have had to invent him, but that could have been arranged as well.
The Bush administration's national security doctrine needs enemies, the way all empires on the march do. Today "Enemy Number One" rests on the fiction of bin Laden-led Islamic terrorists threatening the survival of western civilization. In fact, however, Washington uses Islamic organizations like Islamic Jihad as a "key instrument of US military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union" while, at the same time, blaming them for the 9/11 attacks calling them "a threat to America."
"America's War on Terrorism" - In-Depth
The book is in four parts, each discussed enough below to convey the essence and flavor of the heavily documented power-packed amount of information in the volume's 365 pages - a healthy serving for each day of the year.
Part I - September 11
September 11, 2001 is a day that will live in infamy, but not for how official accounts portray it. It wasn't the first September 11 of note and may not be the last. Chileans remember theirs in 1973 when General Augusto Pinochet, aided by CIA, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, ousted and murdered democratically elected President Salvador Allende by military coup d'etat. It ended the most vibrant democracy in the Americas ushering in a 16 year fascist reign of terror Chileans are still healing from 18 years later. Now it's our turn with Bush administration officials using the myth of an "outside enemy" to hide the real threat we face from within from real enemies in our own government. They're waging war on the world, destroying our civil liberties, and shredding our social state paying for it.
It began long before 9/11, but that day plans became policy, then hardened, expanded and now threatening all humanity. Chossudovsky spells in out stating straightaway "The world is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history (having) embarked upon a military adventure" threatening everyone unless exposed and stopped.
He begins with vital heavily documented background information about 9/11 already covered above. It explained we needed cover for our "war on terrorism." Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda provided it as "Enemy Number One" and his network, hiding the fact he and thousands of Mujahideen fighters were recruited for the largest ever CIA operation in the 1980s. They were organized, financed and sent to "destabili(ze) the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan, but (more importantly) destroy...the Soviet Union." CIA's Milton Beardman once explained "If Osama bin Laden did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
In fact, we did, using Pakistan's Military Intelligence ISI as intermediary, so bin Laden and Mujahideen fighters weren't aware who their real paymaster was or why they were recruited. ISI played a crucial role for Washington in the 1980s. Then, from the end of the Cold War to the present, it's been "the launch pad for CIA covert operations in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Balkans" turning Bosnia into a "militant Islamic base" and later Kosovo with help from NATO and Washington. This isn't speculation. It's fact. The ISI-Osama-Al Queda-Taliban nexus is a matter of public record, but the "American people have been consciously and deliberately deceived (about it) by their government."
They have no knowledge the Taliban gained power in 1996 the same covert way - helped by US military aid funneled through Pakistan's ISI. Jane's Defense Weekly confirmed "half of Taliban manpower and equipment originate(d) in Pakistan under the ISI." Just like today, our hidden agenda was "oil" with Taliban officials "whisked off to Houston" to meet with US oil company giant, Unocal, "regarding the construction of the strategic trans-Afghan pipeline." Afghanistan is strategically located "at the hub of five nuclear powers: Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Kazakhstan." It also borders Russia, China and Iran. It's why Washington wants a permanent military presence in the country run by a puppet client government masquerading as a democratically elected one, and why we're at war so that status won't ever change.
Chossudovsky explains behind the scenes, "military planners in the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA call the shots on foreign policy." They're in league with NATO, the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization (all US-dominated organizations). The real powers controlling everything are "the global banks and financial institutions, the military-industrial complex, the oil and energy giants, the biotech and pharmaceutical conglomerates," other corporate giants and the dominant media, or de facto ministry of state information and propaganda, disseminating deception while suppressing the truth.
The result is catastrophic. The rule of law has been suspended, the Republic hangs by a thread, and "the foundations of an authoritarian state apparatus have emerged" that, in an emergency, could become as harsh as in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia at its worst under Stalin. It's no understatement. Its early disturbing signs are already present and recognized.
The entire scheme is based on the myth of an "Islamic Jihad" being a "threat to America" when, in fact, the CIA and the US intelligence community have close ties to the "Islamic Militant Network." The CIA even admits bin Laden was an "intelligent asset" (as distinct from an "agent") during the Cold War, but that information's long gone down "the memory hole" and forgotten. He was used by four presidents beginning with Ronald Reagan, then GHW Bush, Bill Clinton, and now GW Bush writ large today as "Enemy Number One" in the phony "war on terrorism."
Part II - War and Globalization
Washington's "hidden agenda" involves waging preventive wars to "extend...the global market system (and) open...up new 'economic frontiers' for US corporate capital....in close liaison with Britain." US-British ties in areas of banking, oil and defense industries drive our joint military operations in the Middle East, Central Asia and most anywhere else from this marriage wreaking hell on earth wherever it marauds.
"America's New War" post-9/11 was "in the 'pipeline' for at least three years prior to....September 11." Beginning with the Clinton administration's illegal war of aggression against Yugoslavia, NATO was enlarged to include Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. Inclusion of former Soviet satellites took aim directly at Yugoslavia as the West's next target with Russia designated a future one. With that in mind, GUUAM was formed in 1999 comprised of four post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) - Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. It's a Western financed regional military alliance, under US-controlled NATO, "strategically at the hub of the Caspian oil and gas wealth with Moldova and Ukraine offering (pipeline) export routes to the West." A key immediate aim of this alliance is to fracture CIS, exclude Russia from Caspian resources Washington wants to control, and politically isolate Moscow combined in one strategic blow.
"Militarization of the Eurasian Corridor" was the plan to do it with Congress adopting the Silk Road Strategy Act (SRS) in March, 1999. It was a framework to develop "America's business empire along an extensive geographical corridor" as well as undermine and destabilize Russia, China and Iran. It was also planned as a first step toward incorporating all former Soviet republics into "America's business empire" and sphere of influence, further isolating Russia and China. The area involved is vast, extending from the Black Sea to the Chinese border in a strategically vital part of the world rich in energy resources a new "Great Game" is being waged for.
As already explained, Afghanistan lies "at the strategic crossroads of the Eurasian oil pipeline and transport routes." Under US control, it's part of making SRS work that requires the "militarization of the Eurasian corridor (for) control over extensive oil and gas reserves (and for protecting) pipeline routes (planned by) Anglo-American oil companies" like BP-Amoco and others.
SRS also aims to prevent "former Soviet republics from developing economic, political and defense ties with China, Iran, Turkey and Iraq (and to) cut the Russians off altogether from the Caspian oil and gas fields." What's planned is a number of pipeline routes (transiting west, south and east) from the Caspian through countries controlled by the Western military alliance. The whole scheme aims to benefit the US-Anglo alliance, cut off Russia, China and Iran, and "weaken competing European oil interests in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia."
When George Bush took office, negotiations with the Taliban were resumed on behalf of Unocal, after the Clinton administration first tried and then broke them off in 1999. The talks failed a few months before 9/11 leading to the Afghan war a scant four weeks later on October 7. It ended after five weeks on November 12 when the Taliban fled Kabul allowing US-recruited and financed Northern Alliance forces to enter the city the next day.
Life in Afghanistan's been surreal ever since. In parts of Kabul, an opulent elite emerged grown rich from rampant corruption and drugs trafficking discussed further below. This opulent Potemkin facade hides the harsh, dangerous, desperate conditions for the vast majority of 26 million Afghans made worse by a US-led war and occupation allowing Northern Alliance warlords back in power. It reinstated their repressive rule that helped bring Taliban to power in the first place over two-thirds of the country including the capital, Kabul. Today it's de jeva vu all over again with Afghans fed up with occupation and Northern Alliance brutality. That's allowed Taliban forces to capitalize on the turmoil and reemerge reclaiming most Southern parts of the country. It's why war rages on with no resolution in site and likely will be as unwinnable as the lost cause in Iraq already acknowledged in US high circles.
The Taliban was ousted in 2001 for various reasons. Among them was its near-eradication of opium production now flourishing again under Northern Alliance-occupation forces rule. Drugs trafficking is big business writ large with Chossudovsky explaining it's "the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade" annually grossing up to $500 billion according to a UN estimate. That's more than double the revenue generated by legal prescription drugs Big Pharma reported in 2005.
A well-hidden Afghan war objective was reinstating opium production that was achieved writ large post-2001. UN anti-drug chief, Antonio Maria Costa, said it was at a record 6100 tons in 2006 (enough for 610 tons of heroin) or 92% of total world supply and 30% more than the amount consumed globally.
Chossudovsky explained narcotics are a major source of wealth, not just for organized crime, but also for the "US intelligence apparatus" representing powerful "spheres of finance and banking." Intelligence agencies and legal business syndicates are allied with criminal enterprises blurring the lines between them, at times indistinguishable. Included are Western international and other banks and their offshore affiliates in tax havens. Multi-billions from illicit drugs trafficking pour into them making this revenue source a huge profit center. None of this is secret, but it remains unreported below the radar. So is how the money is laundered and recycled into legal enterprises in real estate, manufacturing, other businesses as well as used for transactions in stocks, bonds, and other speculative investments.
It's also well documented that CIA trafficked in drugs (directly or indirectly) throughout its 60 year existence and especially since the 1980s when it used cocaine revenues funding the Contra wars in Nicaragua. Today, CIA is partnered with Afghan "warlords" and criminal syndicates in the huge business of heroin trafficking. Along with its other illicit drug dealings, it guarantees the intelligence agency billions in revenue supplementing its annual budget Mary Margaret Graham, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Collection, disclosed at $44 billion in 2005.
This year it's likely higher with rogue operations ongoing almost anywhere and CIA able to get whatever it wants just for the asking. This is how a rogue agency operates Chalmers Johnson calls a global Mafia-style hit squad in his new book, "Nemesis." It's a "personal, secret, unaccountable army of the president" with mischievous covert illegal operations its main function. They include overthrowing democratically elected governments, assassinating foreign heads of state and key officials, recruiting and training secret paramilitary armies, propping up friendly dictators, and snatching targeted individuals for "extraordinary rendition" to secret torture-prison hellholes from which they may never emerge.
Under George Bush, CIA is more active than ever with double the number of covert operatives. Johnson explains "CIA's bag of dirty tricks....is a defining characteristic of the imperial presidency. It is a source of unchecked power" gravely threatening the nation and shortening the life of the Republic and democratic rule he believes won't survive unless the agency is disbanded.
Along with CIA and Homeland Security, Chossudovsky highlights "America's War Machine" and the major buildup in it begun after 1999. The aim: "to achieve (an unchallengeable) position of global military hegemony....through the largest military buildup since the Vietnam war" with large annual increases planned in future years and no end to this in sight. For FY 2006, the Pentagon's reported budget was $499.4 billion (excluding multi-billions off-the-book for Iraq and Afghanistan). For fiscal 2007, it increased to over $583 billion.
Astonishingly, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, Robert Higgs, says high numbers mask the total annual amount spent on defense in all forms, at home and abroad, that's almost double the budgeted amounts. For FY 2006, his total is $934.9 billion broken down as follows in billions:
-- Department of Defense: $499.4.
-- Department of Energy: $16.6
-- Department of State: $25.3
-- Department of Veterans Affairs: $69.8
-- Department of Homeland Security: $69.1
-- Department of Justice (one-third of FBI): $1.9
-- Department of the Treasury (for Military Retirement Fund: $38.5.
-- NASA: $7.6
-- Net interest attributable to past debt-financed defense outlays: $206.7.
Using published budgeted numbers alone, the US now spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined. In 2005, China spent around $30 billion, today it's surely higher but even if $50 billion it's around 8.6% of our FY 2007 defense budget and about 5% of it with all other expenditures Higgs includes. Hyping China's threat to the US, however, Department of Defense (DOD) claimed Beijing spent $65 billion in 2005, $90 billion in 2006 and $120 budgeted for 2007.
Note, Higgs US defense spending numbers exclude secret budgets for CIA, NSA, and other off-the-books intelligence operations. It also excludes smaller budgets for the Selective Service System, the National Defense Stockpile Center, and the Treasury's program blocking financial flows to "terrorists." Nonetheless, in total, the numbers are huge, growing, and already out-of-control with Higgs estimating FY 2007 numbers an astonishing $1.028 trillion.
What is it buying us and at what cost? Chossudovsky explains it's for plenty including refurbishing our nuclear arsenal with the latest technology targeting Russia and China. There's also a new generation of "tactical nuclear weapons" or so-called "mini-nukes" including "bunker buster" earth penetrating bombs targeting underground facilities. They're designed to explode deep below ground destroying their targets while containing toxic radioactive fallout. It's already known the latter objective fails based on observed tests so far. The information, however, is suppressed and won't deter the Pentagon from using these weapons even knowing they spread harmful radiation.
Billions are also being spent developing advanced weapons systems including the hugely expensive F22 Raptor fighter plane, Joint Fighter (JF) program and controversial Strategic Defense Initiative "National Missile Defense Shield" intended for offense, not defense. It's now caused a public row with Russia over its planned deployment in Eastern European states close enough to raise justifiable alarm in the Kremlin. Then there's the ultimate imperial project in space under the doctrine of "Full Spectrum Dominance" assuring land, sea, air and space supremacy. It's outlined in the 1998 US Space Command document titled "Vision for 2020" with the cost to achieve this likely to run into trillions of dollars.
Even worse is the danger post-9/11 since the Bush administration scrapped the notion of "nuclear deterrence." A secret report leaked to the Los Angeles Times state three conditions under which nuclear weapons may be used henceforth:
-- "against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack;
-- in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; or
-- in the event of surprising military developments" meaning anything the administration or Pentagon cook up as justification.
The administration cites "rogue states" as potential targets, but clearly new policy has Russia, China and Iran in mind and maybe North Korea.
China and Russia aren't ignoring the threat adding to the arms race along with other countries, like Iran, fearful of a US attack. In 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a new "National Security Doctrine" marking "a critical shift in East-West relations." It's further intensified today with Interfax recently reporting Putin saying Washington is turning Europe into a "powder keg" referring to it's missile shield deployment plans.
Putin also used harsh rhetoric ahead of the June G-8 summit accusing the Bush administration of imperialism and starting a new arms race. At a lengthy well-attended news conference, he had plenty to say that was suppressed in the West because of his candor. He voiced the concern of many in the Kremlim that Washington is targeting Russia by surrounding it with military bases, installing missiles on its borders, and allying with CIS states to isolate the country in preparation for regime change.
He emphasized Russia didn't start confrontation and isn't threatening to attack anyone. However, the nation is preparing for the worst and in late May test-fired a sophisticated new intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple warheads and new cruise missiles Russian generals claim will assure the country's security for the next 40 years. With Washington intent on destabilizing their country, Russia isn't ignoring the threat and will act responsibly to defend itself. That includes targeting US and European sites with "ballistic missiles, cruise missiles or some completely new systems" according to Putin. Earlier, Russia also confirmed it wouldn't exclude "a first-strike use" of nuclear warheads "if attacked even by purely conventional means," having only one country in mind as a potential aggressor - the US.
Former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, also aimed sharp comments against Washington and Britain for its support in an early June BBC interview. He said Russia is trying to be constructive, but America is squeezing them out of global diplomacy (and is responsible) for the current state of relations between his country and the West. He also said the Iraq War undermined Tony Blair's credibility and accused America of "empire-building." He added Blair has "himself in the embrace of a military monster (and lost) his credibility in the world and in Europe."
Chossudovsky further deconstructs Washington's agenda post-9/11 saying "the world is at an important crossroads in its history." The US "campaign against terrorism" is a "war of conquest" for empire, threatening future humanity with devastating consequences. "America's New War" isn't confined to the Middle East and Central Asia. It's aimed everywhere by militarizing "vast regions of the world, leading to the consolidation of what is best described as the "American Empire." The "war on terrorism" is cover to "re-colonize not only China (and) the former Soviet bloc, but also Iran, Iraq and the Indian (subcontinent)." Chossudovsky stresses "war and globalization" are bedfellows umbilically linked. They benefit Wall Street and the banking community, Big Anglo-American Oil, US-UK defense contractors and other corporate giants backing this process to extend "the frontiers of the global market system" giving them total control everywhere.
The dominant media claim "free trade" and "free market" reforms will bring the benefits of western civilization to everyone. Unmentioned is how it's being done - through imperial wars of conquest as the method of choice, bringing with them massive death and destruction, extreme exploitation, devastating poverty, totalitarian control, and, in Iraq, the end of the "Cradle of Civilization" dating back thousands of years. Washington's rampaging military juggernaut turned a modern prosperous nation into a surreal lawless armed wasteland with few essential services like electricity, clean water, medical care, fuel and most everything else needed for sustenance and survival including safe streets, homes, schools and all public places. It also contaminated vast areas of Iraq with deadly depleted uranium and other hazardous chemicals and pollutants making the country the most toxic environment on earth and unsafe to live in.
So much for the benefits of Western civilization and "free market" reforms. They champion deregulation and privatizing everything to steal a country's wealth for corporate predators, taking it from the people it belongs to. They get nothing back but misery and persecution if they complain. This is democracy American-style that's all illusion and no reality, and it's coming soon to a neighborhood near you unless resisted and stopped.
Chossudovsky also deconstructs the language as Orwell would do. He justifiably calls the "war on terrorism" a cruel hoax. "Realities," he says, "have been turned upside down."
-- "Acts of war are heralded as 'humanitarian interventions' (to restore) democracy.
-- Military occupation and (killing civilians are called) 'peacekeeping operations.'
-- The derogation of civilities (through totalitarian 'anti-terror' legislation) is called providing 'domestic security' and upholding civil liberties.
-- ....expenditures on health and education (and most other essential social services) are curtailed to finance the military-industrial complex and police state."
-- Mass human poverty is created worldwide through conquest, colonization and countries "transformed into open territories" for savage exploitation.
-- "US protectorates are installed with the blessing of the 'international community.'
-- 'Interim (or illusory democratically elected) governments are formed" run by designated political puppets selling out their nations' sovereignty to the lord and master of the universe for a sliver of the spoils.
Sum it up - this is what "New World Order" rule looks like those now under it can explain better than any writer. It's tyranny masquerading as humanitarian intervention, liberation and democracy. Here's how Orwell once described it: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." Today, it's sustained by the illusion of a phony "war on terrorism" publicly supported through fear of nonexistent enemies, ignoring instead a real one that does - our own government destroying our freedoms in the name of protecting them.
Chossudovsky stresses what's vitally needed now to fight back in our own self-defense - "an unprecedented degree of solidarity (to build) meaningful mass movements" for real change (restoring) the balance of power within society...." He explains "militarization....enforces the capitalist market system....Military bases must be shut down; the war machine....must be dismantled....The 'structures of ownership' must be transformed disempowering banks, financial institutions and transnational corporations (plus instituting) a radical overhaul of the state apparatus." A key priority is "stall(ing) the privatization of collective assets, infrastructure, public utilities (including water and power), state institutions (like hospitals, schools and law enforcement including prisons), communal lands" and all else in the commons.
Further, an illegitimate tyrannical system must end by removing and prosecuting criminal politicians and bureaucrats. The corrupted judiciary must be replaced by one upholding domestic and international law. Our system of checks and balances must be restored, and the Constitution again respected and obeyed, not discarded to the rule of law by what the chief executive says it is, meaning none at all. The "New World Order" must end, consigned to the dustbin of history, lest we end up there or wish we did rather than endure endless misery and abuse.
Part III - The Disinformation Campaign
It's an age-old trick that always works. It's why it's used so often even after being exposed as phony time and again but quickly forgotten in what Gore Vidal calls "the United States of amnesia." It's creating a climate of fear through fictional enemies made to seem real by the pursuasive power of the dominant media. Wars and propaganda are partnered at a time truth is the first casualty. Chossudovsky explains "the main objective of war propaganda (to convince the public war is justified) is to fabricate an enemy (by) drown(ing) out truth."
The war is waged "from the Pentagon, the State Department, the CIA" and other parts of the government using the dominant media to instill fear through disinformation and lies justifying anything in self-defense. Logic and reality are manipulated and twisted to create a phony enemy made to look real. An illusion is created that homeland security is threatened and under attack justifying wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are pure acts of illegal aggression for conquest and colonization. Preventive wars are justified even though common sense and any knowledge of international law says they never are for any reason.
Chossudovsky explains how propaganda campaigns follow "a consistent pattern." They need "to instill credibility and legitimacy" based on claimed "reliable" information sources. The dominant media then transmit them through endless repetitions of warnings of the following kinds of information:
-- References to "reliable sources (and a) growing body of evidence" from government, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
-- Claimed evidence linking terrorist groups to bin Laden, Al Queda or sympathetic to them.
-- Threats of imminent terrorist attacks "sooner or later."
-- Vulnerability of "soft targets" likely causing civilian casualties.
-- Possible terror attacks in "allied countries" like Britain, France or Germany where public opinion opposes the US "war on terrorism."
-- "Confirm the need...preventive actions" are justified against "terrorist organizations and/or foreign governments which harbor" them.
-- Claim "terrorist groups" likely have WMDs and are linked to "rogue states" like Iran or Syria.
-- Cite warnings with frightening color-coded alerts based on uncovered information (later proved phony) of impending "attacks on US soil (and/or) in Western cities."
-- Cite law enforcement efforts "to apprehend alleged terrorists."
-- Feature headlined news stories of suspects arrested, nearly always Muslims/Arabs, that usually turn out to be fabricated hoaxes using innocent victims to hype fear.
-- Stressing Homeland Security repressive legislation (like Patriot Acts I and II and the Military Commissions Act) is justified as well as "ethnic profiling" and mass sweeps and arrests.
All this is done to convince the public harsh "emergency measures" and preventive wars are in the public interest even though that turns reality on its head endangering everyone. It works, however, by giving the enemy a face with Osama bin Laden in the lead role. He's still got it, but so did Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi up to the time of his reported death in June, 2006. Al-Zarqawi was called "the new terrorist mastermind" even overshadowing "Enemy Number One" bin Laden. Unmentioned in the media was that Al-Zarqawi, like bin Laden, was recruited by CIA, through Pakistan's ISI, to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and that US intelligence maintained links to the "Islamic militant network" ever since.
While Al-Zarqawi was reigning top threat, he was linked to Ansar Al-Islam, an "obscure Islamist group, based in Northern Iraq." He was also called Al Qaeda's "chief biochemical engineer" and was blamed for "the suspicious white powder found in a letter sent to (former) Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist," also containing deadly ricin poison. In January, 2003, a ricin terror alert was issued signaling Al-Zarqawi responsible, later proved phony by British police. As already stressed, the US needs a face on terror to justify illegal wars purportedly against it. While he was alive, Al-Zarqawi provided it along with bin Laden before and since. If neither of these men existed, others would be invented for their leading roles as "Enemy Number One" with still more designees in supporting roles. Without them, there's no justification for the "war on terrorism," and without media disinformation they'd be no way to get the public to go along.
Part IV - The New World Order
This "new world" flaunts the law, wages illegal wars on the world against nonexistent threats, and condemns its own people to state repression in the name of protecting national security it's endangering by its actions everywhere. One of its most outrageous acts is condoning and practicing torture as official state policy. Chossudovsky explains what's now widely known and accepted - that orders to torture Iraqi, Afghan and Guantanamo prisoners came from the highest government levels. Thus, prison guards and military and CIA interrogators followed "precise guidelines" from command directives. A secret FBI email, dated May 22, 2004, confirmed George Bush "personally signed off on certain interrogation techniques in an executive order (authorizing) sleep deprivation, stress positions, use of military dogs, sensory deprivation" using hoods, and who knows what else so far not made public.
What is known is that CIA and the Pentagon have considerable knowledge how damaging these acts are to human beings forced to endure them for extended periods. The current Army field manual states this about sensory deprivation alone: (It) "may result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, depression, and anti-social behavior (and) significant psychological distress." Now try imagining how worse it is on victims undergoing physical abuse and intimidation daily combined with the damaging effects of sensory deprivation, never knowing when or if it will end. George Bush, his Justice Department, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates and others at the highest levels of the Pentagon and CIA ordered these tortures. It's not because they work, but because they effectively destroy human beings, control those who survive it, and intimidate everyone thinking they may be next. It doesn't matter to officials in charge that most of their victims are innocent of any crime.
Unreported is who these prisoners are being tortured. Seton Hall University Law School professors, including Mark Denebeaux, analyzed unclassified government data obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Their report was based on evidentiary summaries from 2004 military hearings on whether 517 Guantanamo "detainees" were "enemy combatants." They learned the majority of Afghan prisoners at Guantanamo weren't accused of hostile acts, but more shockingly, that 95% were seized by Afghan bounty hunters and sold to US forces for $5000 per claimed Taliban and $25,000 for supposed Al Queda members. In addition, at least 20 detainees were children, some as young as 13.
Chossudovsky calls such actions: "reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition" in brazenness "when there was no need to conceal acts of torture." According to administration twisted logic and indifference to international law and norms, "torture is public policy with a humanitarian mandate (because) democracy and freedom are....upheld by 'going after terrorists.' " The 400 year ruling feudal order Inquisition aimed to "maintain and sustain those in authority," and that end justified any means doing it. Today, the Pentagon, Homeland Security and CIA are similar to yesteryear's "great Inquisitor" dispensing justice through a network of religious courts for political and social control. It's mandate was: destroy the heretics, and those charged were guilty by accusation given only a choice to repent and be strangled to death or stay silent and be burned alive.
It's hard calling those times "the good old days," but it's no better today, just more sophisticated. Through years of experimenting, we've become expert inflicing maximum pain making victims endure it the longest time possible before expiring or going insane. Chossudovsky cites this as one example on our "road towards a police state" we're well advanced toward already, or maybe now there. We have outrageous laws in place, Nazis and Stalin would have been proud of, but now can do what Orwell imagined 58 years ago in his 1984 "Big Brother" society controlling everyone. Technology allows near-unlimited surveillance and abusive spying to watch, categorize, tag, and label us through information from our most personal records and behavior. Only the recesses of our hearts, minds and souls remain unpenetrated - so far.
Nothing will change at this "critical juncture in our history" unless we "break the Inquisition." Doing it means "breaking the consensus (and) disabl(ing) its propaganda" campaign of fear and intimidation. That entails "unseat(ing) the Inquisitors" and prosecuting those in high office guilty of crimes of war and against humanity. Without this, they'll be no justice or an end to "New World Order" tyranny safe in the hands of a carefully chosen new "Grand Inquisitor" elected in 2008 picking up where the old one leaves off. He (or she) will follow ruling order policy assuring Congress and the courts are as much in lockstep as today with "the military-intelligence establishment calling the shots on US foreign policy." Benefitting hugely at our expense will be predatory corporate giants licking their chops for more gains ahead from continuing "militarization of (our) civilian institutions" fast disappearing under military/police state control.
Chossudovsky raises the issue of administration foreknowledge of 9/11. He notes the Pentagon conducted a test simulation of a passenger plane crashing into the Pentagon in October, 2000. Ironically, the CIA held a similar (quickly hushed up for a year) test at its Chantilly, Virginia Reconnaissance Office on the morning of 9/11. Both tests refute administration lies they could not predict events they were preparing for.
In addition, Washington had numerous "intelligence warnings" and that senior administration officials lied under oath to the 9/11 Commission they had no foreknowledge or forewarning. They had plenty. "Carefully documented research" also reveals:
-- The US Air Force got stand-down orders on 9/11 not to intervene.
-- A cover-up of World Trade Center (WTC) and Pentagon investigations occurred.
-- WTC rubble was hastily removed and disposed of before it could be examined.
-- Plane debris at the Pentagon was unaccounted for.
-- Huge financial gains were made through insider trading in the days prior to 9/11.
-- WTC Building 7 either mysteriously collapsed or was "pulled" the afternoon of 9/11.
-- Critics accuse the White House of "criminal negligence" for disregarding crucial intelligence that might have prevented the 9/11 attack. These critics contend "they knew (in advance) but failed to act" preventively.
Chussodovsky rebukes this line of reasoning saying revealing Bush administration lies regarding foreknowledge contributes to reinforcing the 9/11 cover-up. Foreknowledge then "becomes part of the disinformation campaign (serving) to present Al Queda as a threat (to American security), when, in fact, Al Queda is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus" and is still being used by it. Pinning responsibility on Islamic terrorists justifies the "war on terrorism" and against Iraq and Afghanistan. It also provides cover for repressive police state legislation shredding our civil liberties and dismantling our social state to pay for militarizing it.
While debate centers around "incompetence" or "an intelligence failure," Al Queda and "Enemy Number One" are blamed," and the beat goes on allowing the administration to get away with (mass) murder literally. Explained above, this is Washington's strategy. Without Al Queda to blame and a gullible public believing it, the Bush house of cards collapses, there's "no war on terrorism" nor all it spawned at home and abroad.
The 9/11 (whitewash) Commission was part of the scheme. It revealed Bush administration officials lied under oath, then did nothing about it. "Yet nobody had begged the key question," Chossudovsky asserts: "What is the significance of these 'warnings' emanating from the intelligence apparatus, knowing that the CIA is the creator of Al Queda and that Al Queda is an 'intelligence asset' (as distinct from an agent)." Were Bush administration officials deliberately lying to the 9/11 Commission to cover up a bigger lie no one's been held accountable for?
Chossudovsky debunks another 9/11 lie asking "On the Morning of 9/11: What Happened on the Planes?" Events in their cabins were based on supposedly "corroborating evidence" from cell and air phone conversations to family members or others. Only one cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was recovered - from UAL 93. The 9/11 Commission gave the impression cell phone communications to and from the planes were of good quality. It was never mentioned prevailing technology made it near impossible to place a wireless cell call from an aircraft travelling at high speed above 8000 feet. Installed air phones, in contrast, provide clear communications.
The Commission's timeline suggests the planes were at higher altitudes so claimed cell phone conversations reported were dubious at best and likely contrived, exaggerated or plain lies. Reports of these calls on the day of the attack were crucial "to sustain the illusion" America was under attack. It was "part of the disinformation campaign....dispel(ling) the historical role played by US intelligence in supporting the development of the (Al Queda) terror network."
Heightening the level of fear and conditioning the public for what may lie ahead, we're now warned about a "Second 9/11." Former CentCom Commander General Tommy Franks did it in an interview in December, 2003 saying "another mass, casualty-producing event" would result in the Constitution being suspended and martial law declared - in other words, the end of the Republic officially replaced by tyranny. Chossudovsky stresses Franks' comment wasn't opinion. It was "consistent with the dominant viewpoint....in the Pentagon....and Homeland Security....in case of a national emergency." Further, the "war on terrorism" is the cornerstone of Bush's National Security doctrine providing "justification for repealing the Rule of Law" in the event of a significant external threat or event.
Should this happen, it will amount to the "Criminalization of the State, the repeal of democracy," and the end of America as we know it - officially. From all available evidence, it appears this is planned using a fabricated terrorist threat and second 9/11 to pull it off with public consent believing it's for our own security, henceforth compromised and lost.
Chossudovsky discusses the major Pentagon 2005 document outlining what's planned ahead for global military dominance along with police state control at home. It's called "The National Defense Strategy of the United States of America (NDS). It extends the "contours of Washington's global military agenda (envisaging possible) military intervention against countries (not constituting) a threat to the US homeland." This goes beyond preventive war to a more "proactive" strategy against declared enemies to "preserve peace (and) defend America." This is insanity, yet four major threats are considered:
-- "Traditional challenges" from recognized military powers.
-- "Irregular threats" from forces using "unconventional" means.
-- "The catastrophic challenge" from WMDs.
-- "Disruptive challenges" from "potential adversaries" using new technologies against us.
NDS listed 25 countries "deemed unstable and, thus, candidates for (military) intervention." Those named remain secret, but some have been identified including Venezuela, Nepal, Haiti, Algeria, Peru, Bolivia, Sudan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire. It's hard imagining Iran, Syria and Lebanon aren't targets as well with others qualified for membership by failing to place our sovereignty above their own. Helping them "stabilize" is used as the pretext for any planned military intervention. That means any nation opting out of our "free market" model can expect the Marines to show up to return them to the fold. It's called democracy American-style.
At home, as already explained, creating fear is the method of choice keeping the public on board supporting the phony "war on terrorism." That's what color-coded terror alerts are all about. They're seen daily on TV, and raised to "high risk" Code Orange at strategic moments when elevated fear levels are needed to get legislation passed, divert attention from administration embarrassments, diffuse anti-war protests, or simply re-stoke public angst about terror threats so people don't forget them. Never mind, as Chossudovsky documents, these threats, headlining for days at times, are nearly always based on "fabricated intelligence."
So in the run-up to the March, 2003 Iraq war, a disinformation campaign was waged about WMDs and linking Saddam with Al Queda and 9/11. It was to build public support for the war and weaken anti-war protests against it that were unprecendented in size worldwide before it began. Once the truth on both counts came out, it was too late, and it was on to the next scare scam.
Chossudovsky cites the Air France Christmas, 2003 stand down orders based on phony evidence Al Queda and Taliban operatives were on Flight 68. It was a lie, but it kept Los Angeles International Airport on "maximum deployment" throughout the holiday period and FBI officials working around the clock - for nothing because of "fake intelligence" to heighten fear. The nation was on "high risk" Code Orange alert, six heavy-traffic Air France flights paid the price, and so did the public getting scammed.
Whenever a strategic moment arises or Washington thinks public fear is ebbing, get ready for more headlined news of terror plots and arrests made or suspects being hunted down. It happened in early June with hyped stories of a plot to blow up JFK Airport's jet fuel tanks and supply lines some reports claimed would be "more devastating than 9/11." This nonsense keeps being used because people believe it.
This time, four men were charged even though no crime was committed, the suspects had no apparent means to carry out the supposed plot, and the only so-called "evidence" comes from conversations recorded between "the source" (identified as an unnamed drug trafficker) and defendants. We're told the informant agreed to infiltrate the "terror cell" in return for leniency on his pending sentence, guaranteeing he'd say anything to get himself off.
This plot gets thicker, but the point is once again hyped accounts have again been used to stoke public fear. And once again, Muslims are vicimized as "terrorists." Sadly, even though likely innocent, these men may end up convicted and imprisoned just like other high-profile targets Sami Al-Arian and Rafil Dhafir. They're both innocent men now serving hard time victimized by Washington's "war on terrorism."
Chossudovsky explains we live in a "Big Brother, Homeland Security State." A July, 2004 Homeland Security Council (HSC) report refers to a "Universal Adversary" (UA) defined as four categories of "conspirators:"
-- "foreign (Islamic) terrorists;"
-- "domestic (anti-war, civil and human rights) groups;"
-- "state-sponsored adversaries" ("Rogue States, unstable or failed states"); and
-- "disgruntled employees" (labor and union activists).
Chossudovsky explains the notion of a "Universal Adversary" is being used to prepare the public for a "real life emergency situation" under which no political or social dissent will be tolerated. If it happens, it will trigger a Code Red Alert signaling the highest threat level of severe or imminent terrorist attack preparing the public for imposition of martial law and suspension of the Constitution. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, anti-terrorist "drills" were held in major cities to build "a broad consensus among 'top officials,' within federal, State and municipal bodies, as well as within the business community and civil society organizations that the outside enemy exists and that 'the threat is real.' " Chossudovsky calls it "a world of fiction (that) becomes fact."
In the event of an emergency, the military will be involved that was forbidden under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, never enforced, and now repealed since October 17, 2006. That was when George Bush signed the Military Commissions (torture authorization) Act and National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2007 containing a provision annulling the 1807 Insurrection Act. Now the president can (legally) deploy federal or National Guard troops on the nation's streets for whatever he calls public disorder, including peaceful anti-war protests. These laws, along with Patriot Acts I and II (violating our most personal privacy rights) have set the table for martial law imposition whenever the chief executive orders it.
Chossudovsky explains media disinformation is preparing the public "for the unthinkable" likely to be police state rule under the facade of a "functioning democracy." Its parameters have already been defined:
-- "the Big Brother surveillance apparatus, through....consolidated data banks on citizens;
-- the militarization of justice and law enforcement;
-- the disinformation and propaganda network;
-- the covert support to terrorist organizations;
-- political assassinations, torture manuals, and (homeland) concentration camps (being built); and
-- extensive war crimes and the blatant violation of international law."
Chossudovsky wrote an important book in 2002 titled "War and Globalization." This volume, "America's War on Terrorism," updated it with voluminous, heavily documented new information on the state of America today under both parties and the threat that poses for the Republic, hanging by a thread. Though published in 2005, it's as fresh now as when it first appeared, and his conclusion is essentially the same as what Chalmers Johnson wrote in his 2006 book, "Nemesis - The Last Days of the American Republic." Johnson explained our well-entrenched militarism and single-minded pursuit of empire saying we have a choice. We can keep on this path and lose our democracy, but history is clear: we can't have both.
Chossudovsky and Johnson both agree - the signs are ominous, and conclusive evidence post-9/11 proves it, amply spelled out in "America's War on Terrorism." That doesn't mean we're doomed or change can't come. It can, but never from the top down. The lessons of history are clear. Mass-action grassroots efforts can achieve what governments won't do willingly. Scare tactics to bring us in line won't work if we don't let them. But it will take millions mobilized to resist to do it. Is saving the Republic incentive enough to try? We better hope so.
See Ten Years War in Afghanistan
In the wake of the 911 terror attacks, Americans everywhere recited the collective mantra, “Things will never be the same”. Actually things had changed very little.
Fifteen of the nineteen alleged hijackers were born in Saudi Arabia, where the House of Saud dictatorship has financed Muslim Brotherhood modern-day Assassins and CIA covert operations since its inception for the benefit of the Eight Families banking cartel and their Four Horsemen – whose ARAMCO oilfields are protected via US military occupation of the Kingdom.
The Assassins this time were members of al Qaeda, the cadre of former Afghan mujahadeen fighters that the CIA trained, then used to carry out proxy wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Chechnya, Dagestan, Indian Kashmir, East Turkistan Province in China, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Somalia, Algeria and Uzbekistan. The CIA brought al Qaeda spiritual leader and Anwar Sadat assassin Sheik Abdul Rahman to the US to recruit Islamic fundamentalists willing to fight in these CIA wars. 
Al Qaeda was headed by Osama bin Laden, who built the CIA’s mujahadeen training camps in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was House of Saud point man in recruiting Arab fighters for CIA shenanigans in Central Asia and the Balkans. Bin Laden’s brother Salem was a business partner and good friend of James Bath. His father Mohammed provided seed money for Bath’s good friend George W. Bush’s Arbusto Energy. The bin Laden family fortune was managed by Carlyle Group principal George Bush Sr.
According to a PBS spokeswomen, within three days of 911 both Vice-President Dick Cheney and Queen Elizabeth II called PBS to request copies of two video documentaries the station had done – one on bin Laden and the other on Islam. Since US intelligence knew all it needed to know of their foot soldier bin Laden, Cheney and Her Majesty were more concerned with what the US public had already been told of the Saudi paymaster so they could factor this into their forthcoming public relations blitz.
Bin Laden’s second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri heads Egyptian Islamic Jihad – a Muslim Brotherhood front whose assassins had help from the CIA in escaping justice in Egypt so they could go to Albania to fight with the Kosovo Liberation Army. Al-Zawahiri’s sidekick Ali Mohammed came to the US in 1984. He trained terrorists in Brooklyn and Jersey City on weekends and instructed US Special Forces at Fort Bragg.  He was later involved in the US Embassy bombings in Africa.
According to the FBI, five of the nineteen alleged 911 hijackers were trained by the US military – three at Pensacola Naval Air Station and two at other facilities. 
Alleged 911 ring leader Mohammed Atta received the $100,000 he needed to plan and carry out the terror attacks from Standard Chartered accounts in gold bullion haven Dubai – where US Naval vessels often berth. Standard Chartered was founded by the Illuminated Cecil Rhodes. The bank is one of five London “gold-fixers” and prints Hong Kong’s currency. These accounts were controlled by 911 paymaster and UAE citizen Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi.
According to British MP Michael Meacher in an article for The Guardian, M16 recruited up to 200 British Muslims to fight in Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. Meacher says a Dehli-based foundation describes Omar Saeed Sheikh – the man who beheaded US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 – as a British agent.
Meacher says it was Sheikh who – at the behest of Pakistani ISI General Mahmood Ahmed – had al-Hawsawi wire $100,000 to Mohammed Atta before 911, a fact confirmed by Dennis Lomel, director of the FBI’s financial crimes unit.  An October 11, 2001 article in The Times of India also corroborates this.
At a June 25, 2002 conference in Calgary, University of Ottawa Economics Professor Michel Chossudovsky and former Los Angeles police officer Michael Ruppert further corroborated this information based on ABC News reports. They added that ISI Chief Ahmad was in Washington on September 4, 2001 meeting with CIA Director George Tenet, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) and the heads of two Congressional intelligence committees. 
The New York Times reported on February 17, 2002 that the two congressmen Ahmed met with were Joint Senate Intelligence Committee Co-Chairs, Florida Senators Bob Graham and Porter Goss. Goss is a former CIA operative and was appointed Bush Jr. CIA Director in 2004.
When President Clinton and Defense Secretary Cohen had earlier pressed UAE officials to crack down on the al Qaeda money shuffle, a senior UAE sheik told them it was difficult to discern between criminal money and that going to fight CIA proxy wars in Bosnia and Chechnya. 
Ruppert cited a BBC report by Gregg Palast that details how the Bush Administration ordered curtailment of an FBI investigation of the bin Laden family. Minneapolis FBI whistle-blower Colleen Rowley and Robert Wright – who worked for the bureau in Chicago – described the same unnamed superior who “obstructed”, “deliberately thwarted” and “intimidated” their attempts to track down US-based al Qaeda operatives.
Wright was investigating an al Qaeda money laundering ring based in Chicago that may have been plugged into the Nugan Hand/Bank of Cicero/CIA/P-2 black network based in Chicago – often disguising its dirty transactions via the freewheeling Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Chossudovsky stated his belief that 911 served the US in its quest to control both Central Asian oil supplies and the Afghan opium trade. He told the Calgary crowd, “Osama bin Laden is and remains to this day a CIA asset. Even now his al Qaeda operatives are working with the Kosovo Liberation Army who are US allies and with the US-backed forces in Macedonia. Members of al Qaeda have been protected as they moved into Kashmir where they are now fomenting conflict between India and Pakistan.”
Many of the alleged hijackers were in the country on legitimate US visas. Most were issued at the US consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. According to Mike Springmann, Chief of the Visa Section at Jeddah during the late 1980’s, CIA officials ran roughshod over the visa operation, often overruling Springmann’s decisions not to issue visas to people he considered dangerous. Often CIA officials would stamp the questionable applicants’ visas themselves in clear violation of US law. 
Bush blocked Secret Service investigations into US-based al-Qaeda terrorist “sleeper” cells while he continued to negotiate secretly with Afghan Taliban officials. The last meeting, headed by Bush NSA and former Unocal official Zalmay Khalilzad, was in August 2001, just five weeks before the terror attacks.  The Unocal-led consortium offered the Taliban, through current Afghan President Hamid Kharzai, $100 million to run its natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean. The Bush team offered additional aid to the Taliban, whom they’d already given over $132 million in 2001, and told them, “You either accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”
Considering the history of CIA/Four Horsemen/Eight Families treachery in the Middle East and the toll these schemes have taken on the Arab world, one could easily interpret 911 as an Arab response to US imperialism. The trouble is that explanation defies the facts.
Mohammed Atta’s father, a prominent Cairo physician, said his son was afraid of flying and insists that he was not a trained pilot. Atta believes his son was kidnapped and made a patsy by the Israeli Mossad. He believes Israelis used his son and the other 18 Arabs’ identities as cover to carry out the 911 plot because this would turn Americans against the Arab world, enhance the Israeli bargaining position vis-à-vis the Palestinians and draw the US further into the Middle Eastern cauldron. Atta’s father stated, “This was done by Mossad using American pilots.”
Lending credence to the doctor’s charges is the assertion that the official passenger flight logs for all four American and United flights that became fuel-air bombs on 911 listed no Arab passengers.  The Dallas Morning News reported that in July 2001 a federal task force pulled the plug on over 500 Arab websites in the US when they raided InfoCom Corporation in Texas. Did the Feds want to silence cyber-chat concerning the actual whereabouts of the “hijackers”? Reports emerged from the Arab world that many of them had been sighted after 911.
According to Daniel Hopsicker who wrote, Welcome to Terrorland..., Mohamed Atta began working for the US government in Hamburg in 1992. He was later enrolled in an elite officer training course at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL. Hopsicker says Atta had pilot licenses from six countries and wonders why, except to establish a paper trail, he would even have needed to attend flight school. 
Atta spoke Hebrew, snorted coke and lived with a stripper. He met with various German and Swiss nationals just prior to 911 and was part of an email discussion on the Middle East that included numerous employees of US defense contractors. Atta and up to seven other 911 hijackers had received flight training at US military facilities.
Most interestingly, Atta was part of an elite international exchange program run by the American/German Congress-Bundestag Program – an organization with close ties to both David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger. The group funded Atta trips to Istanbul, Cairo and Damascus; where he played the role of Islamic fundamentalist. 
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) wrote in his 2005 book that two weeks after 911 he presented a chart to the Bush Administration showing that Atta and other hijackers were being monitored as part of the Pentagon’s Able Danger program. In September 2006 the Pentagon Inspector General put out a statement denying Atta’s existence on this chart. An infuriated Weldon stated, “I am appalled that the DOD IG would expect the American people to actually consider this a full and thorough investigation”. 
The Florida flight school where the 911 hijackers trained was Huffman Aviation – co-owned by Bill Clinton chum Wally Hilliard and Rudy Dekkers, who met with Atta less than one month prior to 911. One Huffman employee told Hopsicker, “Early on I gleaned that these guys had government protection…They were let into the country for a specific purpose. It was a business deal.”
Huffman’s hangar at Venice Airport is used to maintain the planes of Caribe Air, a known CIA-front airline which had twenty of its planes seized by federal authorities at Mena, AR after they were found to have curried billions of dollars worth of contra cocaine. Hopsicker says Caribe could also be tied to Enron, since many of that now-defunct company’s Caribbean tax shelters had the word “Caribe” in their name. 15]
While much of the Arab world’s mainstream media echoed Atta’s father’s viewpoint, all US media – corporate and progressive alike – dismissed these claims as “outrageous conspiracy theories”. Yet no one could deny that Israel gained a great deal from the 911 attacks. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – wanted in Belgium for war crimes – began targeting Palestinian leaders for assassination as soon as Bush took office, causing US public support for Israel to wane.
Sharon used 911 to turn the tide, labeling all Palestinians, “bin Laden terrorists”, and occupying yet more Palestinian territory. Bush sent General Anthony Zinni to Tel Aviv as Middle East envoy to lend legitimacy to Sharon’s aggression, while refusing to deal with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. The Samuel Huntington CFR Clash of Civilizations crowd had their pretext for a global war against Arabs and Muslims.
US defense giants reaped the 911 harvest. In October 2001 Lockheed Martin led a consortium of corporations awarded the largest single defense contract ever – a $200 billion deal to build an F-35 joint strike fighter. The Lockheed-led group included Northrup Grumman and several British companies including British Aerospace and Rolls Royce.  Amidst the post-911 flag-waving frenzy, the all-American bidder McDonnell Douglas would have seemed a more discretionary choice.
Defense stocks surged. Raytheon stock was up 36% in the month following 911 while the rest of the stock market crashed. The hawks and their generals pushed for huge Pentagon budget increases, some advocating a $500 billion defense budget by 2005. In January 2002, President Bush approved a defense budget of $317 billion. Three weeks later he increased it to $379 billion, while setting a marker for a $471 billion defense budget by 2007.
The money will line the pockets of the Eight Families banking cartel which owns the defense companies, pockets already deepened by Bush tax cut and the subsequent increase in US debt – which the international bankers make a healthy living financing. Their point man Bush – cousin to the House of Windsor – saw his dismal approval ratings skyrocket to over 80% as a fear-driven US public rallied around the Four Horsemen President.
The Rockefeller-controlled airlines, near bankruptcy before 911, glad-handed their way to a $15 billion taxpayer bailout. The insurance industry, railroads and travel industry soon got in line at the government trough; their phony far-right anti-government venom temporarily muted.
The CIA was a major 911 beneficiary, marching out an array of “old hands” like Richard Armitage, General Barry McCafferty and United Brands grant recipient Major Andy Messing to extol the virtues of dealing with unsavory underworld characters when gathering intelligence. The Clinton Administration had clamped down on this common CIA practice after revelations of CIA involvement in the Guatemalan death squad murders of American citizens. CIA torture chambers were once again open for business.
Global civil liberties were a major casualty of 911. Within a week of the attacks Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft announced plans to unleash the CIA and FBI, expanding and combining their already sweeping powers. With no public debate and near unanimous Congressional approval – despite the fact that not one Congress member read it – Bush gleefully signed the ironically-titled USA Patriot Act into law, suspending big chunks of the US Constitution and bringing the nation a step closer to outright martial law. Similar legislation was passed in numerous other countries.
Section 802 of the Patriot Act designated a federal crime broadly defined as “domestic terrorism”, which cast a broad net over political dissidents and seemed especially targeted at the growing ranks of WTO/IMF protestors who have taken a frontal assault on the Eight Families. Section 411 posed an ideological litmus test for foreigners wishing to come to the US in a direct affront to the First Amendment. Section 215 obliterated the Fourth Amendment, allowing the FBI to obtain a court order to seize a person’s “tangible things”, including books, documents and computer disks; without suspecting that person of wrongdoing and without informing that person of the seizure until well after the fact. Section 218 gave the FBI a green light to spy on domestic “enemies” and threatened to return the US to the dark days of J. Edgar Hoover. 
Later Ashcroft marched out his new TIPS program, which encouraged mailmen, utility workers and neighbors to spy on their fellow citizens. In November 2002 the Bush Administration pushed through the new Homeland Security Act, whose name conjures memories of Hitler’s Office of Fatherland Security, which he established within one month of the staged Reichstag fire and later became the SS. 
One provision of the act created an Information Awareness Office, which would compile a computer database on every American. The office emerged from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – a JASON Society affiliate - that earlier spawned both the Internet and stealth technology. Heading the office was Admiral John Poindexter, the five-count convicted felon of Iran/Contra fame.
The Center for Public Integrity revealed an even more draconian version of the Patriot Act being drafted at Georgetown University. Dubbed the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, the draft called for secret arrests – never before allowed in US history – and carte blanche deportation of legal immigrants. Another provision allowed chemical companies to quit disclosing toxic emissions to the communities in which they operated.
As of February 2003 there had been over 300 rollbacks of the Freedom of Information Act.  In 2004 Patriot Act II passed. Provisions included a National ID. In 2003 the General Accounting Office dropped its lawsuit against Vice President Cheney, which would have forced him to reveal which energy executives he met with secretly to craft the Bush Energy policy. The right of US citizens to acquire information by which they could hold their government accountable was seriously eroded by the events of 911 and the culture of secrecy that emerged in its aftermath.
But it was the Eight Families banking cartel that had the most to gain from dialing 911. The day of the terror attacks there was an unusually heavy volume of financial transactions being handled at the WTC. The bulk of investment bankers killed in the WTC worked for competitors of the Big Six old money investment banks. Cantor Fitzgerald was particularly hard hit.
Merrill Lynch had its own building nearby, as did Deutsche Bank. Lehman Brothers moved from the WTC to a newly built headquarters just prior 911. Only seven weeks before 911 a group of wealthy oligarch investors terminated their lease on the WTC. Investor Larry Silverstein bought a 99-year lease on the property in July 2001, while the old money slid out from under it. Silverstein filed a $7.2 billion insurance claim after the tragedy. The Eight Families insurance companies involved offered only $3.6 billion.
The President’s brother, Marvin Bush, was on the board of directors at Securacom – now Stratesec – from 1993-2000. The company provided security for the WTC, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines. It had the security contract at Los Alamos Laboratories, when there had been a number of security breaches at that facility. The firm is backed by a Kuwaiti-American investment firm known as KuwAm. Current clients include the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force and Department of Justice. They carry a Blanket Purchase Agreement with the GSA – meaning that no other company can compete for these security contracts.
According to David Icke’s bombshell book Children of the Matrix, Securacom is a subsidiary of Crown Agency- a British Crown entity which Icke says also owns the Agha Khan Foundation. Khan is based in Pakistan and is spiritual torch-bearer for Islamism, from which groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban take their cues. This important fact points to Buckingham Palace involvement in the prosecution of 911.
Marvin Bush also sat on the board at HCC Insurance Holdings until November 2002. That company carried some of the insurance on the WTC. Brother Jeb – Governor of Florida – declared a state of emergency in his state one week prior to 911. He personally escorted the alleged hijackers' flight school documents to Washington, DC shortly after the attacks. 
New York Mayor Rudolf Guliani was portrayed as the hero of 911. Yet on November 2, 2001 Guliani ordered New York firefighters to thin their ranks at ground zero. The day before, 200 tons of gold buried in vaults beneath the WTC belonging to Silver Triangle gold kingpin/drug money laundry Bank of Nova Scotia was recovered. Gold prices soon began their meteoric rise. The Bank of Nova Scotia has extensive ties to both Israel and the House of Windsor.
No one in the fawning corporate media bothered to ask Guliani where that gold went. Nor did they ask him why. According to Internet reports, he had ordered 6,000 gallons of fuel stored beneath WTC #7 to supply his personal bomb shelter. 
The explosion of this fuel may have caused WTC #7 – which was clearly not hit by an airplane – to collapse, destroying sensitive Enron-related CIA and FBI documents stored there. The CIA ran an undercover station on the 47th floor of #7. The 23rd and 24th floors of the WTC North Tower housed FBI covert operations and boatloads of agency documents.
Louie Cacchioli, a firefighter with Engine 47 in Harlem said he was in an elevator to the spook-occupied 24th floor of the North Tower, when he heard explosions. His crew – the first in that building – believes bombs were set off inside the towers.
In a statement to the Albuquerque Journal shortly after the disaster, Van Romero, Vice-President for Research at the world-renowned New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology, agreed. Romero, one of the world’s foremost demolitions experts, stated, “My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse.”
Numerous experts agreed that jet fuel alone burns too fast to have melted the massive steel structure of the WTC on its own. The orderly nature of the collapse of both towers also begged inquiry. The contractor awarded the $7 billion job of cleaning up the WTC rubble was eerily named Controlled Demolition – the same outfit that quickly disposed of the evidence of the Alfred T. Murrah Federal Building after the Oklahoma City bombing.
WTC scrap metal was expeditiously shipped to China. Brigham Young physics Professor Steven Jones, who studied the WTC rubble, says he found traces of thermite explosives all over the stuff. In September 2006, Brigham Young placed Jones on paid leave for his efforts at seeking the truth.
Was Time’s 2001 Man of the Year Rudy Guliani part of a covert operation to consolidate Crown/Eight Families control over Persian Gulf and Central Asian oil? In February 2002 Guliani was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Iraq War Timeline, Part 1: 1973-1993
Before and After the First Gulf War
March 20, 1973: Iraq launches a limited military offensive on Kuwait along the two nations’ 99-mile border in an attempt to control the Persian Gulf islands of Warba and Bubiyan. The islands are strategically located around the Iraqi oil port of Umm Qasr. Kuwaiti radio says an Iraqi military unit occupied a Kuwaiti police station at Sameta, two miles inside the Kuwaiti border, with Iraqi shelling of a border post near Umm Qasar. Saddam Hussein is vice president of Iraq at the time.
April 4, 1973: Iraq pulls back its forces from Kuwaiti territory.
June 30, 1973: An attempted assassination of Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr and Vice President Saddam Hussein fails.
July 16, 1979: Iraqi President al-Bakr resigns. Saddam Hussein assumes absolute power and executes scores of potential rivals.
July 25, 1990: Saddam Hussein summons April Glaspie, the American ambassador to Baghdad, to a meeting “to hold comprehensive political discussions,” Hussein told her, and to send “a message to President Bush.” During the meeting, Glaspie says, according to a transcript in The New York Times: “[W]e have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait. I was in the American Embassy in Kuwait during the late 60's. The instruction we had during this period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and that the issue is not associated with America. James Baker has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction. We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via Klibi or via [Egyptian] President [Hosni] Mubarak. All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly. With regard to all of this, can I ask you to see how the issue appears to us? […]
“Frankly, we can only see that you have deployed massive troops in the south. Normally that would not be any of our business. But when this happens in the context of what you said on your national day, then when we read the details in the two letters of the Foreign Minister, then when we see the Iraqi point of view that the measures taken by the U.A.E. and Kuwait is, in the final analysis, parallel to military aggression against Iraq, then it would be reasonable for me to be concerned. And for this reason, I received an instruction to ask you, in the spirit of friendship—not in the spirit of confrontation—regarding your intentions.”
Glaspie’s comments have been variously interpreted as raising concerns or giving Saddam Hussein a tacit green light to deal with Kuwait as he will.
August 2, 1990: Saddam Hussein launches invasion of Kuwait. Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait is virtually complete within 48 hours of the invasion.
August 7, 1990: After a secret trip by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where Cheney secures agreements to base American military forces on Saudi soil and let U.S. Navy ships pass through the Suez Canal, President George H.W. Bush orders U.S. troops deployed in Saudi Arabia and begins building a multi-national coalition to defend the Saudi regime. The deployment is dubbed Operation Desert Shield.
January 17, 1991: Operation Desert Shield becomes Operation Desert Storm as President Bush orders an air assault on Kuwait and Iraq, beginning at 3 a.m. Iraqi time. The air war lasts 38 days. Iraq launches seven Scud missiles at Israel and other Scuds at Daharan, Saudi Arabia, headquarters of the American forces.
February 23, 1991: Iraq ignites some 700 oil wells in Kuwait.
February 24, 1991: After 38 days of air assaults, Allied forces launch ground offensive. Kuwait is cleared of Iraqi forces within 100 hours.
February 28, 1991: At 8:01 a.m. Iraqi time, allies declare a cease-fire. President Bush, on advice from Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refuses to pursue Iraqi forces beyond a certain point in Southern Iraq, or to unseat Saddam Hussein. Bush encourages Kurds in the north of Iraq and Shiites in the south to rebel and unseat Hussein. Rebellions follow.
March 25, 1991: Bush administration officials concede that Hussein is close to crushing the Shiite rebellion in the south of Iraq.
March 28, 1991: Hussein’s offensive against Kurds in the north of the country gains. The New York Times reports that “the official Iraqi press said Government forces had captured the city, Kirkuk, the most important site in Kurdish hands. Kurdish rebels would not confirm that Kirkuk had fallen, but the Baghdad television showed what it said was footage of an Iraqi official touring the city.”
April 9, 1992: A military court in Jordan sentences Ahmad Chalabi, in absentia, to 22 years in prison for embezzling money from a Jordanian bank he had managed. In 2002 and 2003, Chalabi would emerge as the Bush administration’s choice—and particularly Vice President Dick Cheney’s choice—to be the Iraqi president following the downfall of Saddam Hussein.
August 1992: President Bush declares a “no-fly” zone for Iraqi aircraft in southern Iraq, adding to a similar no-fly zone declared over the Kurdish north of Iraq in 1991. The policy is aimed at protecting Kurds and Shiits in the two regions from being attacked from the air by Saddam’s forces. But it applies only to fixed-wing aircraft. Saddam continues to attack rebellious Shiites in the South with helicopter gunships. By then, at any rate, Hussein had crushed the Kurdish and Shiite rebellions Bush had encouraged, but not defended.
August 14, 1992: Speaking at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney says Bush was right not to invade Iraq and seek the ouster of Saddam Hussein: “The question in my mind,” Cheney says, “is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.”
April 14, 1993: Ex-President George Bush travels to Kuwait. Kuwaiti authorities say they’ve foiled an attempt to assassinate Bush, and blame the attempt on Iraqi agents.
June 3, 1993: The Project for the New American Century, a group of neo-conservative politicians and journalists, releases its founding statement, claiming that “American foreign and defense policy is adrift.”
April 15, 1994: In an interview at the American Enterprise Institute, Dick Cheney repeats that invading Baghdad would have been unwise, and would have led to a “quagmire.”
January 26, 1998: The Project for the New American Century writes a letter to President Bill Clinton that states that his Iraq policy is failing: “The only acceptable strategy,” the letter’s signatories say, “is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.” Signatories include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Zalmay Khalilzad.
January 20, 2001: President George W. Bush is inaugurated president.
January 30, 2001: Ten days after Bush’s inauguration, the president meets with the principals of his National Security Council for the first time. “So, Condi, what are we going to talk about today? What’s on the agenda?,” the president asked Condoleeezza Rice, his national security adviser. “How Iraq is destabilizing the region, Mr. President,” she replied. According to the account reported by then-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, who was in the meeting, to author Ron Suskind in “The Price of Loyalty,” CIA Director George Tenet pulled out the poster-size surveillance photograph of a factory in Iraq. The photograph looked grainy, hard to decipher, but Tenet said the factory might be “a plant that produces either chemical or biological materials for weapons manufacture.” Secretary of State Colin Powell declared the sanctions against Iraq ineffective. The president ordered Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to explore military options. The meeting was adjourned after an hour. “Ten days in,” Suskind wrote, “and it was about Iraq.”
September 12, 2001: Speaking to Richard Clarke, his chief counter-terrorism adviser, and others in the White House Situation Room, President Bush, referring to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon the day before, says: “Look, I know you have a lot to do and all… but I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this. See if he’s linked in any way.” Clarke, taken aback, tells the president that “al-Qaeda did this.” According to Clarke, who reports the exchange in “Against All Enemies” (Free Press, 2004), Bush replies: “I know, I know, but… see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any shred… Look into Iraq, Saddam.”
January 29, 2002: In his State of the Union message, President Bush declares Iraq part of the “axis of evil,” which includes Iran and North Korea.
February 2002: The Defense Intelligence Agency issues an assessment discrediting links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
Late February 2002: Joseph Wilson, a career foreign service officer and ambassador, travels to Niger on behalf of the CIA to investigate a claim that Saddam had acquired yellowcake uranium from Niger in the late 1990s. Wilson finds no evidence supporting the claim. The CIA transmits the results of the trip to Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. The yellowcake-uranium document is later shown to be a forgery.
September 16, 2002: Quoted in the Wall Street Journal, White House Economic Adviser Lawrence Lindsay estimates the cost of war on Iraq at between $100 million to $200 million. Lindsay is ousted three months later. In December, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, tells The New York Times that “the cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion.” Congressional Democrats estimate the cost at $93 billion, not including post-war peacekeeping and reconstruction.
October 10-11, 2002: The U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 10, and the U.S. Senate on Oct. 11, pass the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution, better known as the Iraq War Resolution.
January 28, 2003: In his State of the Union message, Bush says that the “British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” He presses the case for war on Iraq.
February 6, 2003: Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking to the United Nations Security Council, shows satellite photographs, projected on two big screens, of what he said were chemical and biological facilities, and claims Hussein is making nuclear weapons and developing missiles deliver them. “Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world,” Powell says.
March 7, 2003: Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector, tells the Security Council that his searches have found “no evidence” of production facilities of biological agents in Iraq. The same day, the International Atomic Agency’s Mohamed el Baradei, tells the council that “After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq.” He reasserts the find that the Niger uranium documents were a forgery.
March 8, 2003: In a national radio address, Bush says: “He possesses weapons of terror. He provides funding and training and safe haven to terrorists who would willingly deliver weapons of mass destruction against America and other peace-loving countries. The attacks of September the 11, 2001 showed what the enemies of America did with four airplanes. We will not wait to see what terrorists or terror states could do with weapons of mass destruction.”
March 8, 2003: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awards KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton (the oil giant once headed by Dick Cheney), a no-bid monopoly contract to restore and operate Iraq’s oil infrastructure. The $2.4 billion contract has a total potential value of $7 billion, according to a House Committee on Government Reform report.
March 17, 2003: As the United Nations Security Council refuses to pass a resolution, sought by Bush, authorizing war on Iraq, Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair end their attempt to convince the United Nations to do so. That evening, Bush gives Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war.
March 19, 2003: The U.S.-led war on Iraq begins.
Top US Government Insider: Bin Laden Died In 2001, 9/11 A False Flag (confirmed!)
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations Steve R. Pieczenik
says he is prepared to tell a federal grand jury the name of a top general who told him directly 9/11 was a false flag attack
“Bin Laden had already been “dead for months,” and that the government was waiting for the most politically expedient time to roll out his corpse. Pieczenik would be in a position to know, having personally met Bin Laden and worked with him during the proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan back in the early 80′s”
Top US government insider Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, a man who held numerous different influential positions under three different Presidents and still works with the Defense Department, shockingly told The Alex Jones Show yesterday that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001 and that he was prepared to testify in front of a grand jury how a top general told him directly that 9/11 was a false flag inside job.
Pieczenik cannot be dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations, Nixon, Ford and Carter, while also working under Reagan and Bush senior, and still works as a consultant for the Department of Defense. A former US Navy Captain, Pieczenik achieved two prestigious Harry C. Solomon Awards at the Harvard Medical School as he simultaneously completed a PhD at MIT.
Recruited by Lawrence Eagleburger as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Management, Pieczenik went on to develop, “the basic tenets for psychological warfare, counter terrorism, strategy and tactics for transcultural negotiations for the US State Department, military and intelligence communities and other agencies of the US Government,” while also developing foundational strategies for hostage rescue that were later employed around the world.
Pieczenik also served as a senior policy planner under Secretaries Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, George Schultz and James Baker and worked on George W. Bush’s election campaign against Al Gore. His record underscores the fact that he is one of the most deeply connected men in intelligence circles over the past three decades plus.
The character of Jack Ryan, who appears in many Tom Clancy novels and was also played by Harrison Ford in the popular 1992 movie Patriot Games, is also based on Steve Pieczenik.
Back in April 2002, over nine years ago, Pieczenik told the Alex Jones Show that Bin Laden had already been “dead for months,” and that the government was waiting for the most politically expedient time to roll out his corpse. Pieczenik would be in a position to know, having personally met Bin Laden and worked with him during the proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan back in the early 80′s.
Pieczenik said that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001, “Not because special forces had killed him, but because as a physician I had known that the CIA physicians had treated him and it was on the intelligence roster that he had marfan syndrome,” adding that the US government knew Bin Laden was dead before they invaded Afghanistan.
Marfan syndrome is a degenerative genetic disease for which there is no permanent cure. The illness severely shortens the life span of the sufferer.
“He died of marfan syndrome, Bush junior knew about it, the intelligence community knew about it,” said Pieczenik, noting how CIA physicians had visited Bin Laden in July 2001 at the American Hospital in Dubai.
“He was already very sick from marfan syndrome and he was already dying, so nobody had to kill him,” added Pieczenik, stating that Bin Laden died shortly after 9/11 in his Tora Bora cave complex.
“Did the intelligence community or the CIA doctor up this situation, the answer is yes, categorically yes,” said Pieczenik, referring to Sunday’s claim that Bin Laden was killed at his compound in Pakistan, adding, “This whole scenario where you see a bunch of people sitting there looking at a screen and they look as if they’re intense, that’s nonsense,” referring to the images released by the White House which claim to show Biden, Obama and Hillary Clinton watching the operation to kill Bin Laden live on a television screen.
“It’s a total make-up, make believe, we’re in an American theater of the absurd….why are we doing this again….nine years ago this man was already dead….why does the government repeatedly have to lie to the American people,” asked Pieczenik.
“Osama Bin Laden was totally dead, so there’s no way they could have attacked or confronted or killed Osama Bin laden,” said Pieczenik, joking that the only way it could have happened was if special forces had attacked a mortuary.
Pieczenik said that the decision to launch the hoax now was made because Obama had reached a low with plummeting approval ratings and the fact that the birther issue was blowing up in his face.
“He had to prove that he was more than American….he had to be aggressive,” said Pieczenik, adding that the farce was also a way of isolating Pakistan as a retaliation for intense opposition to the Predator drone program, which has killed hundreds of Pakistanis.
“This is orchestrated, I mean when you have people sitting around and watching a sitcom, basically the operations center of the White House, and you have a president coming out almost zombie-like telling you they just killed Osama Bin Laden who was already dead nine years ago,” said Pieczenik, calling the episode, “the greatest falsehood I’ve ever heard, I mean it was absurd.”
Dismissing the government’s account of the assassination of Bin Laden as a “sick joke” on the American people, Pieczenik said, “They are so desperate to make Obama viable, to negate the fact that he may not have been born here, any questions about his background, any irregularities about his background, to make him look assertive….to re-elect this president so the American public can be duped once again.”
Pieczenik’s assertion that Bin Laden died almost ten years ago is echoed by numerous intelligence professionals as well as heads of state across the world.
Bin Laden, “Was used in the same way that 9/11 was used to mobilize the emotions and feelings of the American people in order to go to a war that had to be justified through a narrative that Bush junior created and Cheney created about the world of terrorism,” stated Pieczenik.
During his interview with the Alex Jones Show yesterday, Pieczenik also asserted he was directly told by a prominent general that 9/11 was a stand down and a false flag operation, and that he is prepared to go to a grand jury to reveal the general’s name.
“They ran the attacks,” said Pieczenik, naming Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Hadley, Elliott Abrams, and Condoleezza Rice amongst others as having been directly involved.
“It was called a stand down, a false flag operation in order to mobilize the American public under false pretenses….it was told to me even by the general on the staff of Wolfowitz – I will go in front of a federal committee and swear on perjury who the name was of the individual so that we can break it open,” said Pieczenik, adding that he was “furious” and “knew it had happened”.
“I taught stand down and false flag operations at the national war college, I’ve taught it with all my operatives so I knew exactly what was done to the American public,” he added.
Pieczenik re-iterated that he was perfectly willing to reveal the name of the general who told him 9/11 was an inside job in a federal court, “so that we can unravel this thing legally, not with the stupid 9/11 Commission that was absurd.”
Pieczenik explained that he was not a liberal, a conservative or a tea party member, merely an American who is deeply concerned about the direction in which his country is heading.
THE VIETNAM WAR COURTESY OF LBJ WHERE 58,000 AMERICAN SOLDIERS DIED AND BILLIONS OF $ IN OUR TREASURY SQUANDERED FOR NOTHING.
The U.S. war in Vietnam essentially began on August 4, 1964 when North Vietnam made an unprovoked torpedo boat attack upon two Navy ships, the destroyers USS Maddoxand USS Turner Joy, while they were steaming peacefully on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin. At least, that is what President Lyndon Johnson reported to Congress the next day.
Although there was a U.S. military presence in Vietnam before then, the soldiers were called military advisors. The August 4 attack reported by Johnson led to congressional action that allowed him (and, later, President Richard Nixon) to escalate our military presence enormously and to wage full-scale war not only in Vietnam but also covertly across Southeast Asia. That action was the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, passed on August 7, 1964. It stated:
Whereas naval units of the Communist regime in Vietnam, in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law, have deliberately and repeatedly attacked United States naval vessels … and Whereas these attacks are part of a deliberate and systematic campaign of aggression … and Whereas the United States is assisting the peoples of southeast Asia to protect their freedom and has no territorial, military or political ambitions in that area … Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.
It is important to note that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was predicated on the August 4 attack, not an earlier attack that took place. There had been an attack on the Maddox on August 2, which North Vietnam acknowledged. But on that date, the Maddox was conducting spying electronic countermeasure studies on North Vietnam’s radar system for coastal defense, and its tactics involved going close to shore — several miles inside the territorial limit claimed by North Vietnam — to provoke and capture the electronic signals. Simply put, the North Vietnamese repelled an act of aggression on the part of the United States. In response to American incursions, several North Vietnamese torpedo boats launched several torpedoes, which the Maddox dodged. The torpedo boats were repelled by the Maddox’s gunfire and by fighters from the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga.
However, accusations leveled against North Vietnam stating that it attacked U.S. Navy ships in international waters two days later were strongly denied by North Vietnam, which claimed that the United States was using that claim as a pretext to go to war. What really happened on August 4, 1964? Did President Johnson report the truth to Congress?
The answer: No, it was a lie. There was no August 4 attack, and in fact, Defense Department planning for war had begun weeks, even months, earlier.
I know it was a false-flag operation from personal experience.
My Place in the Puzzle
Among the many books written about the Vietnam War, half a dozen note a 1967 letter to the editor, published by a Connecticut newspaper, that was instrumental in pressing the Johnson administration to tell the truth about how the war was started. The letter was mine. On the 50th anniversary of the Tonkin events, this is an account of my role and its aftermath.
Though I was not on either of the ships that were supposedly attacked by the North Vietnamese on August 4, giving me firsthand knowledge of events, as a Navy officer, I was privy to classified Navy communications, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time to find out what happened.
I was the nuclear weapons officer on the USS Pine Island. The Pine Island, which had been in Japan at the time of the claimed August 4 attack, was the first ship to enter the war zone from outside, although several other U.S. naval ships besides Maddox and Turner Joywere already there. My ship anchored in Danang Harbor in mid-August 1964, and stayed there for about two weeks. I had responsibility for 20-plus atomic depth bombs (technically known as Mark 101 Lulus) in the ship’s nuclear weapons storage area. Our mission was to provide naval operations support and, if ordered, to load those atomic depth bombs onto seaplanes whose targets would be enemy submarines.
En route to Vietnam, I had occasion to read the classified messages sent from the Maddox to higher command on the night of the claimed August 4 attack. At first they said the ships were maneuvering at high speed to avoid numerous torpedoes. Then about two hours after the start of the incident, a message said, in effect, “Oops! Looks like our sonar was malfunctioning and the torpedoes were really false images on the scope.”
Some months later, while in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, I happened to meet the chief sonarman of what I later recalled as theMaddox, although I did not remember his name. As we walked together toward the main gate to catch a bus, we “talked shop.” I asked him what happened during the August 4 incident, and he said the torpedoes were actually large underwater swirls of water created by the ship’s rudder being moved at high speed, creating an underwater effect which produces a sonar image appearing to be a solid object.
While I was in Vietnam, I’d felt the United States was right to be there, defending “democracy” against communism. But after leaving naval service in June 1965, I began to have doubts as I learned disturbing things about the design and aim of U.S. foreign policy (see, for instance, Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter’s 1977 Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy).
In time I came to feel that I’d been conned by America’s leaders and that America had no moral right to be in Vietnam. Moreover, the war itself looked to me to be more and more unwinnable by America. As the body count mounted, I became active in the anti-war movement as a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. I didn’t march in the streets carrying a placard, but I did sign an ad by VVAW that was published in The New Republic with the names of several hundred Vietnam vets, including mine.
Although I felt the ad wouldn’t bring the war to a conclusion, I was unsure of what else I might do. Then in November 1967, I heard Senator Wayne Morse (D-Ore.) say on the evening news that President Johnson was replacing the Constitution with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Morse’s remark dissolved my perplexity and crystallized something deep within me. Because of his comment, I thought I could help the anti-war effort and my country by undercutting the basis on which the war was conducted — namely, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
I knew the resolution was based on false information. So after several weeks’ anxious reflection on the situation — wondering “Will I get fired from my teaching job?” and “Will I hear a knock on the door from the FBI?” — I wrote my letter to the editor.
In late November 1967, I sent it to my local newspaper, the New Haven [Connecticut] Register, accusing President Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of giving false information to Congress in their report about American destroyers being attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 4, 1964. My letter appeared on December 6, 1967. I identified myself as a former naval officer aboard the seaplane tender USS Pine Island, and said I based my charge upon classified radio messages and a conversation with the sonarman on the Maddox on the night of the claimed attack.
Those two sources were in agreement that the ships had not been attacked on August 4. I wrote about the incident:
I recall clearly the confusing radio messages sent at that time by the destroyers — confusing because the destroyers themselves were not certain they were being attacked. Granted that some North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats were in the area and used harassing maneuvers, the question is this: Did they actually fire shells or torpedoes at U.S. warships? The answer is no.
I learned this by speaking with the chief sonarman of the Maddox who was in the sonar room during the “attack.” He told me that his evaluation of the sonar scope picture was negative, meaning that no torpedoes were fired through the water, at the ship or otherwise. And he also said that he consistently reported this to the commanding officer during the “attack.” My naval experience as an antisubmarine warfare officer makes it clear that a chief sonarman’s judgment in such a situation is more reliable than that of anyone else on the ship, including the commanding officer. No one is in a better position to know than the chief, and in this case his judgment was that there was no attack.
Yet the Pentagon reported to the President that North Vietnam had attacked us.
My letter got worldwide attention. I was covered by wire services, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS Evening News, and TV crews from Japan and the Netherlands. I was also covered by local media and interviewed by radio shows across the country and for a documentary film, In the Year of the Pig. Even the Soviet Military Review got into the act, saying I had “confessed” to a frame-up in Vietnam. The letter became, in the words of one book about the Tonkin Gulf events, “a national sensation.” Make that “international.”
Though my letter helped Senator J. William Fulbright (D-Ark.) launch the Senate Foreign Relations Committee into a full-scale investigation of the Tonkin events, my veracity was questioned repeatedly, as were my sanity and patriotism.
My problem lay in the fact that the radio messages sent by the Maddox and Turner Joy were classified and therefore not publicly disclosed in full, and the fact that neither the U.S. military nor the executive branch wanted the truth to come out.
Evidence of government’s reticence to disclose the truth was made apparent during the Senate hearings when the government did not produce the chief sonarman from the Turner Joy. A thorough investigation would have produced every sonarman on both ships — a mere handful of people — for an official inquiry. As well, there was no reason, other than coverup, to not make available to the Senate investigation all of the radio transmissions made by the ships about the incident.
In the aftermath of writing the letter, I was personally vilified. As the political scene heated up owing to the Senate investigation, an editorial entitled “Is John White’s Sonarman Listening?” appeared in the Register. It said, “If this mysterious chief sonarman does indeed exist, surely he would have come forward or had been produced by now. We’re certain that even if the Navy wanted to, it couldn’t keep such a key witness concealed.... We wonder whether White even wants to believe the destroyers were attacked when he remarks, ‘I think that an admission by North Vietnam would be the most conclusive evidence [that an attack took place].’ The title for ‘most naive man’ has another strong contender.”
The matter — and my public shaming — rested there for two decades. Then validation happened.
Unraveling the Mystery
In 1987, I located the missing chief sonarman. He is Joseph E. Schaperjahn, then retired and living in Richmond, Virginia.
I found Chief Schaperjahn thanks to Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, coauthor with his wife, Sybil, of a 1984 book, In Love and War, which was dramatized on television in 1987. At the time of the Tonkin events, Stockdale was a fighter pilot on the aircraft carrierOriskany; he flew air defense for the destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy on the night of August 4, 1964. He was later shot down, held as a POW for nearly eight years, and served as commanding officer of the POWs at Hoa-Lo Prison in Hanoi. (The prison, now destroyed, is better known as the infamous Hanoi Hilton.) For his heroic action there, Stockdale was awarded the Medal of Honor. As I watched Stockdale’s story unfold on television, I was struck by his statement about not seeing any torpedo boats that night. Here is how he put it in his book as he described his debriefing after returning to the carrier:
“Did you see any boats?”
“Not a one. No boats, no boat wakes, no ricochets off boats, no boat gunfire, no torpedo wakes — nothing but black sea and American firepower. But for goodness’ sake, I must be going crazy. How could all of that commotion have built up out there without something being behind it?”
“Have a look at this. This is what Herrick, the commodore on the Maddox, has been putting out, flash precedence, plain language to Washington and the world in general tonight.”
I was handed a few sheets of a rough communications log — on which were transcribed all the messages from the Maddox since I had left the ship.... The document as a whole read like a monologue of a man turning himself inside out. For the first hour or so, it was all assertive.... Then every so often a message of doubt, a message expressing reservations, would pop up — about sonars not operating properly, about radars not locking on targets, about probable false targets, about false perceptions due to lack of visibility. But still, it mainly reflected the tone of victimized vessels being attacked — that is, until I got to the last page and a half; then, as I read down them, everything seemed to flip around. There was denial of the correctness of immediately preceding messages, doubt about the validity of whole blocks of messages, ever more skeptical appraisal of detection equipment’s performance, the mention of overeager sonar operators, the lack of any visual sightings of boats by the destroyers, and finally there were lines expressing doubt that there had been any boats out there that night at all. The commodore urged a complete evaluation of the mixup before any further action be taken.
After watching the program, I wrote to Stockdale. A few weeks later, to my surprise, he called me. “I think I know where you can find your sonarman,” he said, and pointed to a passage in Eugene Windchy’s 1971 book, Tonkin Gulf. In fact, there were several references to Schaperjahn, identifying him as chief sonarman of the Turner Joy — not the Maddox, as I had incorrectly recalled — and noting his evaluation of the situation that night.
I called Schaperjahn, with the gratifying result of confirming, after 20 years, that I hadn’t been substantially wrong and that those who thought I was lying would finally face the full truth. Schaperjahn had not spoken publicly about any of that night’s happenings, except for his comments to Windchy, who had sleuthed him out in 1970.
It became clear why “John White’s sonarman” was never found. It hinged on the fact that I made a simple mistake by saying he was on the Maddox when he was actually on the Turner Joy. That error was owing to faulty memory, nearly three years after my brief chance encounter with him in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in March 1965, after we’d returned from WestPac duty. Although the complete list of crew members on the two ships was requested by the Senate investigators, after the hearings reporter Joseph C. Goulden discovered that eight sonarmen were missing from the “complete” list. In his 1969 book Truth Is the First Casualty, Goulden commented that this incident “is indicative of the enthusiasm the Pentagon has for inquiries into the Tonkin episode.” Put simply, the Navy Department kept off its “complete” list the sonarman I had spoken to, and never pointed out the fact — clearly known to it — that I’d misidentified Schaperjahn’s ship.
In a telephone conversation, Schaperjahn confirmed that he was the man with whom I had spoken. He also reiterated that he informed his commanding officer during the Tonkin events that there were no torpedoes being fired at the ships, and that the images on the sonar scope were “knuckles” in the water, large subsurface swirls formed by the violent motion of a ship’s rudder at high speed that give a sonar return that appears as a solid object. And, most important, he said he was told during the event that the ship’s commander didn’t want to hear his negative reports; the same thing was said to him in a debriefing afterward in the Philippines. That left him, he said, with the uneasy feeling there may have been a type of script from higher authority played out that night in the Gulf of Tonkin to give the semblance of unprovoked attack. (Making the night’s incident even more suspicious is the fact that the United States retaliated almost instantly for the alleged attack by flying sorties against North Vietnamese vessels and military sites. Johnson reported those attacks to America on television on August 5. The operation would have taken weeks of planning.)
Coverup and Conspiracy?
In our recorded conversation, Schaperjahn told me that when the Senate investigation got under way, he was in the Portsmouth, Virginia, Naval Hospital. An admiral called him from the Pentagon to ask whether he knew me. Schaperjahn’s recollection of my name was not clear at the time, so he answered “no.” That closed the conversation, but he was left with the distinct feeling that if he’d said yes, there would have been a lot of flak coming at him. Later on, he realized he did indeed know me because of our brief meeting, but by then the investigation was over. The Defense Department had used a cloak of silence about my error in naming Schaperjahn’s ship to stonewall the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, apparently, the admiral wanted to be sure there would be no corroboration by Schaperjahn in exposing the coverup.
To reinforce that cloak of silence, Schaperjahn was immediately transferred to a ship in the Black Sea and was virtually incommunicado during the Gulf of Tonkin hearings. At the time, he was just two months short of retirement. It is customary for such a senior person with so little time left in service to be stationed ashore prior to discharge. Schaperjahn’s urgent reassignment was totally out of the ordinary and later led him to think that it was directly connected to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s search for John White’s missing sonarman.
The testimonies of Stockdale and Schaperjahn should be sufficient to show that the August 1964 “attack” was a hoax intended to plunge the United States into the Vietnam War, but there is additional evidence.
The now-declassified radio messages by the destroyers were made public in 1987. Captain John Herrick, commodore of the two-ship patrol, radioed this message to the commander in chief of the Pacific at 12:30 a.m. on August 5, 1964: “Review of action makes many reported contacts and torpedoes fired appear doubtful.” He also stated, “It was the echo of our outgoing sonar beam hitting the rudders, which were then full over, and reflected back into the receiver. Most of the Maddox’s, if not all of the Maddox’s, reports were probably false."
And North Vietnam, even after winning the war, has always strongly denied ever firing torpedoes at the destroyers. When former Vietnam-era Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara met Vietnam’s retired military strategist and war hero, 85-year-old General Vo Nguyen Giap in 1995, he asked him what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 4, 1964. Giap replied, “Absolutely nothing.” In a follow-up interview with the Washington Post, McNamara said he was now absolutely sure the August 4 attack never happened. But it was precisely that non-event that McNamara reported as fact to President Johnson, who in turn reported it to Congress, deceiving it into passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
Twenty years after I’d come forward, with more than a bit of apprehension about being charged with treason for revealing secret information, I was pleased to have my story completed and to feel “cleared” of the “crime” of speaking out against what I saw as governmental deception. That deception was real and, as we now know, ultimately led to the tragic loss of more than 58,000 Americans, spending billions of dollars on materiel, and national disunity at home.
It was far worse for Vietnam and southeast Asia, of course, where the destruction was enormous and the death toll ran into the millions — many of those deaths were committed by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong against their own people.
It is the duty of soldiers to follow orders, not to question the mission they’re sent on by their government. But in a self-governing republic such as ours, it is the duty of citizens to inspect, question, and, if need be, challenge the missions on which government sends soldiers into action, especially where the commitment of American lives is involved.
Americans have learned the hard way that the U.S. government sometimes sacrifices American GIs for worthless causes such as “nation building” in Haiti and Serbia, and “pacification” in Mogadishu and Kosovo, where there is no threat to our national security but a lot of power and wealth to be gained by what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. (Today it is the military-industrial-intelligence-financial complex.)
We the people are the owners of the country and the masters of the government, and if one has to take some heat for uncloaking scoundrels who wrap themselves in the flag to justify their illegal, immoral actions, so be it.
THE 1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING: Brian Rolchford stands outside the World Trade Center after walking down from the 105th floor. Smoke swept through the 110-story building after an explosion caused the ceiling of a train station to collapse on February 26, 1993. The explosion set off a fire below the twin towers. (TIM CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING: A police photographer adjusts a light at the edge of the crater in an underground parking garage at the World Trade Center on February 28, 1993. The explosion killed 6 people and injured over 1,000. (MARK D.PHILLIPS/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING: New York City police and firefighters inspect the bomb crater inside the World Trade Center on February 27, 1993, one day after the fatal attack by an Islamic faction. Six people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in the bombing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) #
THE 1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING: An injured man is aided by rescue workers after an explosion rocked the World Trade Center in New York, Feb. 26, 1993. (AP Photo/Joe Tabacca) #
THE 1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING: Two New York City police officers help an injured women away from the scene of the World Trade Center explosion on Feb. 26, 1993. (AP Photo/Joe Tabacca, File) #
THE 1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING: A clock, which reflects the time of the blast at the World Trade Center, sits in the wreckage of a vehicle at an impound lot in Brooklyn, March 9, 1993. (AP Photo/Kevin Larkin) #
THE 1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING: Nidal A. Ayyad, 25, a chemical engineer arrested in connection with the World Trade Center bombing, is led away by U.S. Marshalls at Federal Court after being denied bail on March 12, 1993. (TIMOTHY CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1993 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING: Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, 49, shown in file picture dated August 6, 1989 sits and prays inside an iron cage at the opening of court session in Cairo. Rahman, spiritual leader of Egypt's main armed group the Moslem fundamentalist Jamaa Islamiyya, was jailed for life in January 1996 for his role in a terrorist plot against the United States and an assassination bid against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He has also been implicated in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. (MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1993 BOMBAY BOMBINGS: A police officer stands beside a charred automobile outside the Air India building March 13, 1993, one day after a series of bombs exploded in this western port city, India's financial and commercial center. More than 250 people were killed, and more than 1,250 were injured by the bombs. Among the targets were the Bombay Stock Exchange, luxury hotels, a bus, a movie theater and shopping centers. (DOUGLAS E. CURRAN/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1993 BOMBAY BOMBINGS: People cover their faces from the stench of decaying bodies March 14, 1993 while attempting to identify relatives at a morgue attached to the King Edward Memorial Hospital. More than 250 people were killed after a series of powerful bomb blasts rocked the city two days earlier. (DOUGLAS E. CURRAN/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1993 BOMBAY BOMBINGS: A double-decker bus passes the crater of a March 12th bomb blast, one of a series of bombs that rocked this western port city in India. More than 300 people were killed in the blasts, which a senior police official has blamed on Bombay's criminal underworld. (DOUGLAS E. CURRAN/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: People help rescue one of the people injured when a bomb exploded near the US embassy and a bank in Nairobi August 7, 1998, killing at least 60 people, including eight Americans, and leaving more than 1000 injured. US ambassador Prudence Bushnell was slightly hurt in the blast, which which reduced a six-story building to rubble. Another bomb exploded in Dar-el-Salaam, Tanzania, killing six people. (AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: People and firemen work to remove the bodies of people who died when a bomb exploded near the US embassy and a bank in Nairobi August 7, killing at least 60 people, including eight Americans, and leaving more than 1,000 injured. US ambassador Prudence Bushnell was slightly hurt in the blast, which which reduced a six-story building to rubble. Another bomb exploded in Dar-el-Salaam, Tanzania, killing six people. (AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Rescuers and officials stand at the site in front of US embassy August 12 in Nairobi after a ceremony for those killed in the August 7 bomb attack at the embassy. (THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Kenyan rescuers carry a dead body to Nairobi hospital, August 11, five days after the deadly bomb attack here that killed 211 people. Bulldozers continue to clear a huge pile of rubble in search of more bodies and survivors. (THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Rescuers work to help survivors amid the devastation brought by a bomb explosion in Al-Qaeda's first major international attack near the US embassy and a bank in Nairobi on August 7, 1998 that killed at least 60 people, including eight Americans, and left more than 1,000 injured. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Cars burn in the parking lot outside the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, August 7, 1998, after a huge explosion ripped apart a building and heavily damaged the embassy. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: People walk past the bomb damaged Co-Operative Bank House following an explosion in Nairobi, Friday, August 7, 1998. An undetermined number of people inside and outside the bank were reported killed, and hundreds were injured after a bomb exploded outside the U.S. embassy. U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Prudence Bushnell, was cut on the lip and helped from the nearby Cooperative Bank House, where she had just given a news conference, embassy spokesman Bill Barr said. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Rescue workers carry Susan Francisca Murianki, a U.S. Embassy office worker, over the rubble of a collapsed building next to the embassy, Friday, August 7, 1998 in Nairobi, Kenya. Terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart outside the U.S. embassies in the Kenyan and Tanzanian capitals Friday. Americans were among the dead, and the U.S. ambassador to Kenya was injured, the State Department said. More than 40 people were killed and 1,000 wounded in Nairobi alone. (AP PHOTO/KHALIL SENOSI) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Rescue workers remove a dead body from the collapsed building next to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi Saturday, Aug. 8, 1998. Terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart outside the U.S. embassies in both Kenya and Tanzania, killing at least 107 people, injuring over 2,200 and turning buildings into mountains of shattered concrete. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Teams from Israel, the U.S. and France work with Kenyan rescuers during the evening Tuesday, Aug. 11, 1998 to recover bodies trapped under the building adjacent to the U.S. embassy, left, which collapsed in the explosion. Twin terrorist bombings in Kenya and Tanzania claimed at least 217 lives and injured nearly 5,000, and the death toll was rising. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: One day after the bomb blast exploded on the compound of the U.S. Embassy to Tanzania, a nurse watches over patients in a ward set aside for those wounded in the bombing at the Muhimbili Medical Center in the capital Dar es Salaam Saturday, Aug. 8, 1998. Almost simultaneously, bombs hit the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Friday killing over 130 and injuring over 2,200. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: One day after the bomb blast, a U.S. ballistics investigator looks for clues as he examines the burned-out wreakage of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania in a residential neighborhood of the capital Dar es Salaam Saturday, Aug. 8, 1998. Almost simultaneously, bombs hit the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Friday killing over 130 and injuring over 2,200. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: One day after a bomb blast exploded on the compound of the U.S. Embassy to Tanzania, a Tanzanian Army soldier helps keep watch over the burned-out building wreakage, in the capital Dar es Salaam Saturday, Aug. 8, 1998. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: U.S. Ambassador Prudence Bushnell, center, is helped by unidentified men, as she is evacuated from the area of the U.S. Embassy following an explosion in downtown Nairobi, Friday, Aug. 7, 1998. Terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart outside the U.S. embassies in both Kenya and Tanzania, turning buildings into mountains of shattered concrete. Bushnell, was cut on the lip and helped from Cooperative Bank House, near the embassy, where she had just given a news conference, embassy spokesman Bill Barr said. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: One day after the bomb blast, the burned-out wreakage of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania is seen in a residential neighborhood of the capital Dar es Salaam Saturday, Aug. 8, 1998. Almost simultaneously, bombs hit the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania killing over 130 and injuring over 2,200. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Shirley Wambui, 5, weeps during the burial of her aunt Alice Ndutu Gachiri in the Nairobi Langata cemetery Saturday August 15, 1998. Gachiri died on Friday Aug. 7 in the building next to the US embassy destroyed by a car bomb. The blast killed 247 and injured more than 5,500 people. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: In this Aug. 15, 1998 photo, a United States Marine talks with an FBI investigator in front of the damaged U.S. Embassy in the capital Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: Orie Rogo-Manduli weeps during a memorial service for victims on the site of the U.S. embassy bombing Friday, Aug. 14, 1998. With rescue operations wrapped up, and the death toll at 257, the focus was on cleanup work and the all-out push to learn who perpetrated the nearly simultaneous bombings in Nairobi and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: On the day of the burial of Bakari Nyumbu, a guard at the U.S. Embassy killed in last Friday's bombing, female family members say Muslim prayers for him in front of Nyumbu's house in the Tandale suburb of the capital Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Monday, Aug. 10, 1998. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: The coffin containing the body of Bakari Nyumbu, who was killed in last Friday's U.S. Embassy bombing while he was on duty as an embassy guard, is passed into a grave beneath a blanket inscibed with Koranic writing, during a traditional Muslim burial ceremony, in the Tandale suburb of the capital Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Monday, Aug. 10, 1998. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: An unidentified member of the Jean Dalizu family, clutching a photo of Jean Dalizu, wipes her eye August 13 prior to the start of a memorial ceremony for 10 US victims of the terrorist bombings at the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Dalizu was one of 12 US citizens killed in the bombing attacks on the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. (STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 1998 US EMBASSY BOMBINGS: US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton hold their hands over their hearts August 13 at Andrews Air Force Base during a memorial service for victims of the August 7th terrorist bombing at the US Embassy in Nairobi. (JOE MARQUETTE/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2000 USS COLE BOMBING: The U.S. Navy released this view of damage sustained on the port side of the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Cole after a suspected terrorist bomb exploded during a refueling operation in the port of Aden, Yemen, Thursday, Oct.12, 2000. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy) #
THE 2000 USS COLE BOMBING: Family members of the USS Cole crewmen that were killed console each other during a memorial service October 18, 2000 in Norfolk, VA. President Clinton attended the service that honored the wounded and dead from the U.S. Navy destroyer that was bombed while on a refueling stop in the Yemeni port of Aden. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Newsmakers) #
THE 2000 USS COLE BOMBING: A U.S. Air Force Honor Guard carries the coffin of a victim of the terrorist attack to a waiting hearse from a C-17 Air Force aircraft, at the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany Friday, Oct. 13, 2000. 17 U.S. Navy sailors from the USS Cole were killed in Aden, Yemen, on Thursday, Oct.12, 2000, in a terrorist attack. Five of the victims arrived at the base. (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle) #
THE 2000 USS COLE BOMBING: Experts examine the hole on the side of the USS Cole in Aden on Friday October 13, 2000. A powerful explosion ripped a hole in a U.S Navy destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden, killing at least six sailors and injuring some 30 others in what U.S. officials described as a possible terrorist attack. Eleven sailors was still missing. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #
THE 2000 USS COLE BOMBING: An unidentified U.S. Navy sailor, who was injured at the terrorist attack on USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, on Thursday Oct.12, 2000, is lifted on an ambulance car after he arrived on a U.S. Air Force aircraft on the U.S. airbase in Ramstein, Germany, Saturday, Oct.14, 2000. In total, 11 injured U.S. soldiers arrive with this plane for medical treatment in the nearby U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl. (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle) #
THE 2000 USS COLE BOMBING: An unidentified sailor, second from left, injured in the attack on the USS Cole, is greeted by a family member on the tarmac at the Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Va. on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2000. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta) #
THE 2000 USS COLE BOMBING: An injured sailor from aboard the USS Cole cries during a memorial service at Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Va., Wednesday Oct. 18, 2000. President Clinton attended the service for the dead and injured from the ship. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) #
THE 2000 USS COLE BOMBING: Unidentified family members of victims of the deadly explosion to the USS Cole attend a memorial service 18 October, 2000 at Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. At right is First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. The apparent terrorist attack in Yemen left 17 American sailors presumed dead and 39 injured. US President Bill Clinton, Defense Secretary William Cohen, Joint Chiefs Chairman Hugh Shelton and Attorney General Janet Reno were in attendance. (MARIO TAMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: A woman reacts in terror as she looks up to see the World Trade Center go up in flames September 11, 2001 in New York City after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Smoke spews from a tower of the World Trade Center September 11, 2001 after two hijacked airplanes hit the twin towers in an alleged terrorist attack on New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Firefighters watch as smoke rises from the site of the World Trade Center collapse September 11, 2001 in New York City after two hijacked airplanes crashed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: People walk away from the area where the World Trade Center buildings collapsed September 11, 2001 after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Smoke pours from the World Trade Center after it was hit by two hijacjked passenger planes September 11, 2001 in New York City in a terrorist attack. (Photo by Robert Giroux/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: A police officer patrols in the street after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers September 11, 2001 in New York City after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: An injured civilian is treated as a tower of the World Trade Center collapses September 11, 2001 after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Smoke comes out from the west wing of the Pentagon building September 11, 2001 in Arlington, Va., after a plane crashed into the building and set off a huge explosion. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Policemen and firemen run away from the huge dust cloud caused as the World Trade Center's Tower One collapses after terrorists crashed two hijacked planes into the twin towers, September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Rescue workers and Pentagon personnel attend to the wounded outside the Pentagon after a hijacked plane crashed into the building September 11, 2001 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Whitesell/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: New York City firefighters hug each other during rescue operations at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: A fiery blasts rocks the south tower of the World Trade Center as the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the building September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: New York City firefighters take a rest at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Ron Agam/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Smoke rises from the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attack September 15, 2001 in New York City. (Pool photo courtesy of NYC Office Of Emergency Management/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Two people hug in front of the Wall of Prayers for victims of the World Trade Center disaster September 14, 2001 at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. The World Trade Center towers collapsed September 11th after two hijacked commercial airliners slammed into it. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: The World Trade Center burns after two airliners crashed into the buildings in New York City, Tuesday September 11, 2001. Photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: This 11 September 2001 photo shows a man standing amid rubble, calling out asking if anyone needs help, following the collapse of the first World Trade Center tower in New York after two hijacked planes crashed into the buildings. (DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Offiials examine the crater on September 11, 2001 at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The plane from Newark, New Jersey, and bound for San Francisco, California, is believed to have been hijacked and crashed in the field killing all 45 people on board. (DAVID MAXWELL/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Rescue workers conducting search and rescue attempts on September 14, 2001, descend deep into the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Rescuers are dwarfed by the size of the rubble and debris of where the World Trade Center once stood, one day after the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001. (RUTH FREMSON/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: A man coated with ash and debris from the collapse of the World Trade Center south tower coughs near City Hall in lower Manhattan Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Smoke billows from one of the towers of the World Trade Center and flames and debris explode from the second tower, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. In one of the most horrifying attacks ever against the United States, terrorists crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center in a deadly series of blows that brought down the twin 110-story towers. (AP Photo/Chao Soi Cheong) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Firefighters carry an injured fireman from the World Trade Center area in New York after the buildings collapsed when two planes crashed into the structure on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Matt Moyer) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: In this September 13, 2001 photograph, a woman poses with a picture of a missing loved one who was last seen at the World Trade Center when it was attacked on September 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: People flee the scene near New York's World Trade Center after terrorists crashed two planes into the towers on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. In a horrific sequence of destruction, terrorists hijacked two airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center in a coordinated series of attacks that brought down the twin 110-story towers. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: A woman and man hold candles on Sept. 14, 2001 in memoriam of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: Mary Ortele, left, of Brooklyn, N.Y., holds a picture of herself with her missing husband, Peter, as she is hugged by her mother, Kathy Adlun, at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York Saturday, Sept. 15, 2001. Ortele's husband went missing in the September 11th terrorist attack against the World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Matt Moyer) #
THE 2001 SEPTEMBER 11th ATTACKS: This is an undated photo taken by Joel Meyerowitz, a photographer who was granted unparalleled access to Ground Zero. Meyerowitz was able to photograph over 8,500 images from the site. (Ap Photo/Joel Meyerowitz) #
THE 2002 BALI BOMBINGS: Buildings and cars are on fire after a bomb blast at the tourist site of Kuta, Bali on October 13, 2002. At least 53 people including 10 foreigners, were killed when a bomb exploded in a popular nightclub on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. (DARMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2002 BALI BOMBINGS: Inggrid (C) one of the bomb blast victims, reports her missing husband, Douglass Warner (a British citizen), to the Identification Center at Sanglah hospital on October 14, 2002, in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Foreigners fled Bali after a bomb blast rocked the city center of Kuta, Bali of October 12, 2002 at 11:15 pm local time. The blast occurred in front of the busy disco in a popular tourist area, leaving 188 dead and 132 injured. (Photo by Edy Purnomo/Getty Images) #
THE 2002 BALI BOMBINGS: A foreign tourist (R) looks at the destroyed building of the Padi club the day after a bomb blast in Denpasar, on the Indonesian island of Bali, October 13, 2002. The huge car bomb ripped through two bars late on October 12th packed with foreign tourists. (CHOO YOUN-KONG/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2002 BALI BOMBINGS: Foreign tourists carry their luggage pass the site of a bomb blast at Kuta Beach on the Indonesian island of Bali. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye) #
THE 2002 BALI BOMBINGS: Women light candles on a beach in memory of friends who died in a bomb explosion at a popular Kuta, Bali night club on October 14, 2002. Nearly 200 people were killed and hundreds injured when what is believed to be a car bomb exploded in the early hours of Sunday. (AP Photo/Ed Wray) #
THE 2003 ISTANBUL BOMBINGS: Turkish police inspect wreckage hours after the explosion of a bomb in a truck outside the Neve Shalom synagogue November 15, 2003 in Istanbul, Turkey. Explosives went off in front of two of the city's synagogues in the morning of traditional Sabbath prayers, killing at least 16 people, including 6 Jews, and injuring hundreds others. Turkish and Israeli intelligence and police are investigating the attacks. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #
THE 2003 ISTANBUL BOMBINGS: Ali Coskun, father of a victim Murat Coskun, 20, cries where two car bombs exploded in front of the Neve Shalom synagogue 15 November 2003. At least 15 people were killed and scores injured as explosive-rigged vehicles blew up outside synagogues in a historic part of Istanbul that has been home to Jews for 500 years. (CEM TURKEL/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2003 ISTANBUL BOMBINGS: Turkish police investigate the rubbles of the Neva Shalom synagogue 15 November 2003 in Istanbul, Turkey. Powerful blasts rocked two Jewish quarters of old Istanbul 15 November, killing at least 20 people and partly destroying the city's biggest synagogue as worshippers were at their Sabbath prayers. Both blasts went off outside synagogues. Officials said they were probably caused by explosive-laden vehicles activated by remote control or timer. (CEM TURKEL/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2003 ISTANBUL BOMBINGS: Turkish policeman stands in front of a devastated street in Istanbul after powerful blasts rocked two Jewish quarters of the old city 15 November 2003. (CEM TURKEL/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2003 ISTANBUL BOMBINGS: A Turkish policeman investigates the rubbles of a car in front of the Neva Shalom synagogue 15 November 2003 in Istanbul, Turkey. (CEM TURKEL/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2003 ISTANBUL BOMBINGS: Police forensic officers examine and collect evidence in front of the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul, Turkey. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici) #
On the night of the 27th of February, the 10,192-ton ferry sailed out of Manila for Cagayan de Oro City via Bacolod City and Iloilo City with 899 recorded passengers and crew aboard. A television set containing an 8-pound (3.6 kilograms) TNT bomb had been placed on board in the lower, more crowded decks.
An hour after its 11 p.m. sailing, just off either El Fraile or Corregidor Island an explosion tore through the vessel, starting a fire that engulfed the ship and caused the confirmed deaths of 63 people while another 53 were recorded as missing and presumed dead. As the fire spread across the vessel most of the survivors jumped into the sea or boarded rescue boats and, by the 29th of February, officials had accounted for 565 of the 744 recorded passengers and all but two of the 155 crew members.
In the days following the blast, the recovery of the dead and missing, calculated at around 180 on February 29, would be slow. Officials stated the missing may have been trapped inside the blazing ferry, have drowned in Manila Bay and that others may had been picked up by fishing boats. The recovery of bodies would take several months, with only four bodies recovered by Coast Guard divers from the half-submerged ferry in the first week alone, despite it having been towed to shallower waters near Mariveles town, west of Manila. At least another 12 bodies, some displaying blast injuries, were recovered by divers in the days up until the 7th. Eventually, 63 bodies would be recovered while another 53 would remain missing, presumed dead. Despite claims from various terrorist groups, the blast was initially thought to have been an accident, caused by a gas explosion, and sabotage was ruled out initially.
However, stated Philippine media reports, at the marine board of inquiry hearing in late March, 2004, a safety supervisor with the ship’s owner, WG&A, testified that about 150 survivors told him an explosion took place in the tourist section around the general area of bunk 51. The Captain of the ferry, Ceferino Manzo, testified in the same hearing that the entire tourist section was engulfed in “thick black smoke [that] smelled like gunpowder.” After divers righted the ferry, five months after it sank, they found evidence of a bomb blast. A man named Redondo Cain Dellosa, a Rajah Sulaiman Movement member, confessed to planting a bomb, triggered by a timing device, on board for the Abu Sayyaf guerrilla group. He held a ticket on the ferry for bunk 51B, where the bomb was placed, and disembarked before the ship’s departure.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced on October 11, 2004, that investigators had concluded that the explosion had been caused by a bomb. She said six suspects had been arrested in connection with the bombing and that the masterminds, Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Sulaiman, were still at large. It was believed that Abu Sayyaf bombed Superferry 14 because the company that owned it, WG&A, did not comply with a letter demanding USD 1 million in protection money
THE 2004 SUPERFERRY BOMBING IN THE PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Coast Guard and other vessels fight a fire aboard "Superferry 14" Friday, Feb. 27, 2004, 70 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of Manila. Coast guard Rear Adm. Danilo Abinoja said at least 665 people had been rescued and one body recovered. Another eight people were injured. (AP Photo) #
THE 2004 SUPERFERRY BOMBING IN THE PHILIPPINES: A silhouette of the rescue boat and the Superferry as Philippines Coast Guard search operation continues, 01 March 2004, for more than 140 passenger still missing. Philippine President Gloria Arroyo 01 March rejected Muslim guerrilla group's claim that it bombed the passenger ferry which caught fire last week. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2004 SUPERFERRY BOMBING IN THE PHILIPPINES: A ferry survivor carries her two children on their arrival at the Manila port, 27 February 2004 after they were rescued from the burning Superferry 14. One person died while 200 people are unaccounted for when fire broke out after an explosion in the engine room around 1:00 am. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2004 SUPERFERRY BOMBING IN THE PHILIPPINES: The half-submerged Superferry 14 is shown March 4, 2004 in Mariveles, Philippines. Divers recovered 6 bodies in the afternoon from the ferry that caught fire in a possible terrorist attack. (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images) #
Most Tragic Acts of Terrorism in History – 2004 Super Ferry 14 Bombing: Philippines
The Philippines had also suffered numerous terrorist attacks one of the most notable and most tragic attacks occurred on February 27, 2004 and was known as the SuperFerry 14 bombings.
THE 2004 SUPERFERRY BOMBING IN THE PHILIPPINES: Philippines Coast Guard members prepare to search the half-submerged Superferry 14 for missing persons March 4, 2004 in Mariveles, Philippines. Divers recovered 6 bodies in the afternoon from the ferry that caught fire in a possible terrorist attack. (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images) #
Lavilla is one of the top ideologues in the Rajah Solaiman Movement, a group of former Christians who converted to Islam and claim affiliation with the al Qaeda-linked regional terrorist groups Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf, Blancaflor said.
Blancaflor said authorities suspect Lavilla helped plot the bombing of a superferry near Manila on February 27, 2004, in which at least 116 people died. They believe Lavilla also helped plan the bombing of a bus behind the Intercontinental Hotel in Manila on February 14, 2005, an attack that killed at least four people and came to be known as the Valentine's Day Bombing.
The bus bombing was part of a trio of attacks that happened that day. The two other blasts, both fatal, happened in the southern cities of General Santos and Davao.
Blancaflor said he suspects Lavilla was also involved in the planning of several bomb attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Manila, all of which were thwarted by Philippine police.
In describing Lavilla's arrest in Bahrain, Blancaflor said only that police there arrested him as they were enforcing U.N. Security Council resolution 1276, which imposed air travel and financial sanctions on the Taliban.
Jemaah Islamiyah aims to create a Muslim "superstate" across much of Southeast Asia. Authorities blame the group for the Bali, Indonesia nightclub bombings of 2002, which killed more than 200 mostly Western tourists.
The group is also suspected of subsequent attacks on the Australian Embassy and J.W. Marriott hotel, both in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
The Abu Sayyaf group is one of several Islamic militant groups fighting the government in and around the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
THE 2004 MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS: Rescue workers cover up bodies by a bomb damaged passenger train following a number of explosions on trains in Madrid, Spain, March 11, 2004, just three days before Spain's general elections, killing more than 170 rush-hour commuters and wounding more than 500 in Spain's worst terrorist attack ever. (AP Photo/Paul White) #
THE 2004 MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS: Victims comfort each other after a train exploded at the Atocha train station in Madrid 11 March 2004. At least 198 people were killed and more than 1,400 wounded in bomb attacks on four commuter trains. (RICARDO CASES/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2004 MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS: Forensic experts inspect the train which exploded the day before 12 March 2004 at the Atocha train station. At least 198 people were killed and more than 1,400 wounded in bomb attacks on four commuter trains, 11 March 2004. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2004 MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS:: A woman cries as she leaves El Pozo train station in memory of the victims of the near-simultaneous explosions on four trains, 12 March 2004 in Madrid. At least 198 people were killed and more than 1,400 wounded in bomb attacks on four commuter trains, 11 March 2004. (PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2004 MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS:: Rescue workers remove a victim from a train at Atocha train station after explosions killed 191 people and injured some 1,800 in Madrid Thursday, March 11, 2004. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) #
THE 2004 MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS: Part of a crowd of tens of thousands march during a peace protest in Barcelona, Spain, Friday March 12, 2004 to protest against the bomb attacks on trains in Madrid that killed nearly 200 people and injured more than 1,400. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #
THE 2004 MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS: A man holds his mouth near the scene of the commuter train March 11, 2004 after it was devastated by a bomb blast during the morning rush hour in Madrid, Spain. According to Madrid officials at least 182 people were killed in the series of three blasts. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images) #
THE 2003 ISTANBUL BOMBINGS: A candle and flowers are diplayed on the rails at the Atocha train station in memory of the victims one day after the near-simultaneous explosions on four trains, 12 March 2004 in Madrid. At least 198 people were killed and more than 1,400 wounded in bomb attacks on four commuter trains, 11 March 2004. (JOHANNES SIMON/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 LONDON BOMBINGS: Emergency services arrive at Edgware Road following an explosion which has ripped through London's underground tube network on July 7, 2005 in London, England. Blasts have been reported on the underground network and buses across the capital. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 LONDON BOMBINGS: A police officer assists a woman at Edgware Road following an explosion which has ripped through London's underground tube network on July 7, 2005 in London, England. Blasts have been reported on the underground network and buses across the capital. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 LONDON BOMBINGS: Emergency services are seen outside the main line station at Kings Cross following an explosion which has ripped through London's tube network on July 7, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 LONDON BOMBINGS: Paul Dadge, right, helps injured tube passenger Davinia Turrell away from Edgware Road tube station in London following an explosion. (AP Photo/Jane Mingay) #
THE 2005 LONDON BOMBINGS: In this image provided by commuter Alexander Chadwick, taken on his mobile phone camera, passengers are evacuated from an underground train in a tunnel near Kings Cross station in London, on July 7, 2005. At least 33 people were killed in three explosions in London's subway system. (AP Photo/Alexander Chadwick, File) #
THE 2005 LONDON BOMBINGS: A forensic officer walks next to the wreckage of a double decker bus with its top blown off and damaged cars scattered on the road at Tavistock Square in central London. (AP Photo/Sang Tan) #
THE 2005 SHARM EL-SHEIKH BOMBINGS: Destruction in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh after a bomb attack early 23 July 2005. At least 65 people were killed, including eight foreigners, in a string of bomb attacks that rocked the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh early Saturday, medics and officials said. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 SHARM EL-SHEIKH BOMBINGS: Destruction after a bomb attack in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, early 23 July 2005. At least 65 people were killed, including eight foreigners, in a string of bomb attacks that rocked the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh early Saturday, medics and officials said. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 SHARM EL-SHEIKH BOMBINGS: Egyptian wounded men are seen in a ward in the Sharm El-Sheikh International Hospital following three explosions that rocked the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh early 23 July 2005. Suicide car bombers unleashed a trail of carnage in Egypt's tourist-packed Red Sea resort killing at least 83 people, including nine foreigners. The attacks on the popular Sinai water sports centre at the peak of the tourist season were the deadliest targeting foreigners in Egypt, topping the 62 people, most of them holidaymakers, killed in Luxor eight years ago, and drew swift condemnation from across the globe. (CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 SHARM EL-SHEIKH BOMBINGS: A picture shows a destroyed vehicle and a crater left after a car bomb attack in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh early 23 July 2005. An Al-Qaeda-linked group claimed the bombings in Egypt's tourist-packed Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that killed at least 75 people, including foreign tourists. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 SHARM EL-SHEIKH BOMBINGS: Destruction at a hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh after a bomb attack early 23 July 2005. An Al-Qaeda-linked group claimed the bombings in Egypt's tourist-packed Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that killed at least 75 people, including foreign tourists. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 SHARM EL-SHEIKH BOMBINGS: Egyptians police are seen through the remains of a burnt-out car at the scene of a car bombing that wrecked a shopping mall July 23, 2005 at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. An group claiming links to Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility the triple bombings in the tourist-packed vacation town that killed at least 83 people, including foreign tourists. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 AMMAN HOTEL BOMBINGS: Jordanian policeman stand guard outside the Radisson hotel in Amman after three explosions rocked three hotels in Jordan's capital late Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005. Suicide bombers simultaneously attacked three hotels frequented by foreigners in Jordan's capital, killing at least 53 people and injuring more than 300, Jordan's deputy prime minister said. One police official said they appeared to be al-Qaida attacks. (AP Photo/ Muhammad Al-Kisswani) #
THE 2005 AMMAN HOTEL BOMBINGS: An injured man is moved to an ambulance in front of the Hyatt hotel November 9, 2005 in Amman, Jordan. Explosions rocked three hotels, Hyatt, Radisson Sas and Days Inn, in the Jordanian capital killing at least 31 people and injuring about 200 others. (Photo by Salah Malkawi/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 AMMAN HOTEL BOMBINGS: Blood stains are seen on the street outside the Days Inn hotel in Amman following an explosion there 09 November 2005. At least 53 people were killed in the blasts that rocked three hotels in the Jordanian capital in the evening, Deputy Prime Marwan Moasher said on state television. Two of the blasts appear to have been caused by bombers with suicide belts and a third by a suicide car bomb, Jordan's deputy prime minister told CNN. (KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 AMMAN HOTEL BOMBINGS: People gather outside the emergency ward of a hospital in Amman following explosions that hit three hotels in the Jordanian capital 09 November 2005. At least 53 people were killed in the blasts that rocked three hotels in Amman in the evening, Deputy Prime Marwan Moasher said on state television. Two of the blasts appear to have been caused by bombers with suicide belts and a third by a suicide car bomb, Jordan's deputy prime minister told CNN. (KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 AMMAN HOTEL BOMBINGS: The main entrance of Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman after an explosion believed to have killed at least five people and wounded 20 others, Wednesday Nov 9 2005. Explosions rocked three hotels in the Jordanian capital late Wednesday, killing at least 18 people, injuring more than 120. (AP Photo/Nader Daoud) #
THE 2005 AMMAN HOTEL BOMBINGS: Jordanian policeman walk amid rubble at the Radisson Hotel in Amman 10 November 2005 a day after a deadly attack. Jordan said it had arrested several suspects over hotel bombings that killed 56 people in the worst attacks in the kingdom's history, claimed by homegrown extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's militants. (RAMZI HAIDAR/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2005 AMMAN HOTEL BOMBINGS: Jordanian civilians and police help an injured man in front of the Grand Hyatt hotel hotel in Amman, Jordan after three explosions struck three hotels in Jordan's capital late Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005. Killing at least 18 people, and injuring more than 120. The explosions struck the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels. (AP Photo/Nader Daoud) #
THE 2006 MUMBAI TRAIN BOMBINGS: Railway officials and workers clear the debrise of the first class compartment of a local train which was ripped open by a bomb blast at Khar Mumbai, late 11 July 2006. Seven explosions ripped through commuter trains and stations during evening rush hour in India's financial capital Mumbai, killing at least 163 people in an attack the prime minister blamed on terrorists. (SEBASTIAN D'SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2006 MUMBAI TRAIN BOMBINGS: A couple weeps after identifying the dead body of their relative in a mortuary at the Bhabha hospital in Mumbai, 12 July 2006. The death toll from a wave of co-ordinated blasts on commuter trains in India's financial capital Mumbai, 11 July has risen to 183 with 624 people injured, according to latest police figures. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2006 MUMBAI TRAIN BOMBINGS: A railway compartment of one of the train bomb blasts stands on the tracks at Khar Mumbai, late 11 July 2006. Seven explosions ripped through commuter trains and stations during evening rush hour in India's financial capital Mumbai, killing at least 163 people in an attack the prime minister blamed on terrorists. (SEBASTIAN D'SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2006 MUMBAI TRAIN BOMBINGS: Indian forensic experts collect samples from a damaged coach at the site of a bomb blast, at Kandivli in Mumbai, 12 July 2006. The death toll from a wave of coordinated blasts on commuter trains in India's financial capital Mumbai has risen to 174 with 485 people injured, police said. Relatives of the dead, injured and missing from Mumbai's devastating train bombings tearfully trawled the city's hospitals 12 July, searching for people who failed to return from work. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2006 MUMBAI TRAIN BOMBINGS: A relative of a train blast victim breaks down at a hospital in Mumbai, 12 July 2006. The death toll from a wave of co-ordinated blasts on commuter trains in India's financial capital Mumbai has risen to 183 with 624 people injured, according to latest police figures. (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2006 MUMBAI TRAIN BOMBINGS: Indian Muslim men shout slogans during a protest held to condemn attacks on commuters trains a day earlier in Mumbai, in Bangalore 12 July 2006. Indian police said the bombs which ripped through trains in the financial hub Mumbai, killing more than 180 people and wounding hundreds more, bore the hallmark of Islamic militants. (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2007 ALGIERS BOMBING: Algerian firemen extinguish a burning vehichle after a suicide car bomb attack near the Government Palace in the center of Algiers 11 April 2007. Several explosions hit the Algerian capital targeting the Government Palace and Police stations, resulting in around 17 dead and a hundred injuried. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2007 ALGIERS BOMBING: Algerian rescuers evacuate a seriously injuried man following a huge blast outside the Government Palace in the center of Algiers City 11 April 2007. At least 17 people were killed and scores injured in a series of car bombs that rocked the Algerian capital, including one that targeted the government headquarters. Though no claim of responsibility was made, the attacks came as Algeria, a former French colony, and neighbouring Morocco battle mounting Islamic extremism. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2007 ALGIERS BOMBING: Algerian staff official employees and rescuers inspect damages of the buildings of Prime minister's offices following a suicide car exploded near the Governmental Palace in the center of Algiers City 11 April 2007. At least 23 people were killed and scores injured in a series of car bombs that rocked the Algerian capital, including one that targeted the government headquarters. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2007 ALGIERS BOMBING: Police look for evidence in a car which exploded next to a police station in Algiers, Wednesday, April 11, 2007. Bombs ripped through the Algerian prime minister's office and a police station, coordinated terror attacks that Algerian authorities said killed at least 23 people and wounded 160 others. (AP Photo/Ouahab Hebbat) #
THE 2008 KANDAHAR BOMBING: Afghan policemen and bystanders inspect the site of a bomb blast in Kandahar on February 17, 2008. A bomb that tore through a dog fighting match in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar has killed 80 people and wounded many more, provincial governor Assadullah Khalid said. "Sixty dead bodies have been taken to a civilian hospital and 20 others are taken to other hospitals," Khalid told a press conference. (HAMID ZALMY/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2008 KANDAHAR BOMBING: Afghan policeman, right, stands near the damaged police vehicles near the site of a suicide attack on the western edge of Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, Feb. 17. 2008. A suicide bombing at an outdoor dog fighting competition killed 80 people and wounded dozens more Sunday, a governor said. It appeared to be the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan) #
THE 2008 DANISH EMBASSY BOMBING: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) adjacent to the Denmark embassy following a suicide attack in Islamabad on June 2, 2008. A suicide car bombing outside the Danish embassy in the Pakistani capital Islamabad killed at least eight people and wounded nearly 30 others, state television and officials said. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2008 DANISH EMBASSY BOMBING: Pakistani volunteers carry a body in front of the Denmark embassy following a suicide attack in Islamabad on June 2, 2008. A suicide car bombing outside the Danish embassy in the Pakistani capital Islamabad killed at least eight people and wounded nearly 30 others, state television and officials said. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2008 DANISH EMBASSY BOMBING: A Danish Embassy staff member sits in shock outside the Danish Embassy following an explosion on Monday June 2, 2008 in Islamabad, Pakistan. A suspected car bomb exploded outside the embassy at midday, killing at least 8 people and wounding more than a dozen, according to reports. It is not yet known who bears responsibility for the blast, though militant Islamic groups have threatened Danish embassies around the world with retribution for the publications of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed, first printed in September 2005. (Photo Warrick Page/Getty Images) #
THE 2008 DANISH EMBASSY BOMBING: A Pakistani security official stands amid the rubble of the adjacent building and cars after a bomb explosion outside the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday, June 2, 2008. Three people were killed and seven hurt after the huge explosion badly damaged the embassy. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) #
THE 2008 DANISH EMBASSY BOMBING: A Pakistani bomb disposal personnel examines a crater caused by a suicide attack in front of the Denmark embassy in Islamabad on June 2, 2008. A suicide car bombing outside the Danish embassy in the Pakistani capital Islamabad killed at least eight people and wounded nearly 30 others, state television and officials said. The blast left a huge crater outside the embassy, damaging the building and a nearby development agency. Several cars were destroyed by the force of the explosion and some were on fire, an AFP reporter said. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2009 PLOT TO BOMB NORTHWEST FLIGHT 253: This picture provided by J.P. Karas shows Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on the runway after arriving at Detroit Metropolitan Airport from Amsterdam on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009. A passenger aboard the plane set off firecrackers Friday, causing a commotion and some minor injuries, a Delta official said. (AP Photo/J.P. Karas) #
THE 2010 ATTACKS ON MOSQUES IN LAHORE: Pakistani commandos take up position at one of two mosques stormed by gunmen in Lahore on May 28, 2010. Gunmen stormed two minority sect mosques, taking worshippers hostage and sparking gun battles with police that have left 17 people dead, officials said. Gunfire and blasts rang out as the attackers, at least one of whom wore a suicide vest, stormed a mosque in the upscale neighbourhood Model Town and another in the busy Garhi Shahu area as people gathered for Friday prayers. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2010 ATTACKS ON MOSQUES IN LAHORE: Pakistani commandos make way for a colleague carrying an injured, bloodied worshiper at one of two mosques stormed by gunmen in Lahore on May 28, 2010. Gunmen stormed two minority sect mosques, taking worshippers hostage and sparking gun battles with police that have left 17 people dead, officials said. Gunfire and blasts rang out as the attackers, at least one of whom wore a suicide vest, stormed a mosque in the upscale neighbourhood Model Town and another in the busy Garhi Shahu area as people gathered for Friday prayers. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2010 ATTACKS ON MOSQUES IN LAHORE: Pakistani Ahmadi community members gather at their mosque after a suicide attack earlier on May 28, 2010 in Lahore. Gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed two Pakistani mosques firing guns, throwing grenades and taking hostages bringing carnage to Friday prayers and killing around 80 people. (FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2010 ATTACKS ON MOSQUES IN LAHORE: Pakistani police take cover outside one of two mosques stormed by gunmen in Lahore on May 28, 2010. At least 56 people were killed when gunmen wearing suicide vests and carrying grenades attacked two mosques in the Pakistani city of Lahore on May 28, said police and an administration official. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2010 ATTACKS ON MOSQUES IN LAHORE: A man mourns at the scene of an attack and siege at a mosque in the area of Garhi Shahu on May 28, 2010 in Lahore, Pakistan. Gunmen attacked two mosques in the Pakistani city of Lahore. The gunmen took hostages from among people gathered for Friday prayers in at least one building. Over 30 people were killed in the attack, responsibility of which has been claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). (Photo by Nadeem Ijaz/Getty Images) #
THE 2010 ATTACKS ON MOSQUES IN LAHORE: Pakistani media take cover outside one of two mosques stormed by gunmen in Lahore on May 28, 2010. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2010 ATTACKS ON MOSQUES IN LAHORE: Pakistani relatives mourn outside one of two mosques stormed by gunmen in Lahore on May 28, 2010. In one of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan's second city, which has been increasingly hit by Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence, squads of militants stormed into prayer halls, firing off guns and grenades, and taking hostages. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2010 ATTACKS ON MOSQUES IN LAHORE: Ahmadi Pakistanis mourn the death of a relative in a religious attack as burials take place at an Ahmadi graveyard in Rabwa on May 29, 2010, a spiritual center for the Ahmadi community in Pakistan about 160 kilometre west of Lahore. Victims of deadly May 28 attacks on two Pakistani mosques were buried separately after community members cancelled a mass funeral for more than 80 people, fearing further attacks. (FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images) #
THE 2010 ATTEMPTED BOMBINGS OF JEWISH CENTERS: A selection of UK national front pages on October 30, 2010 feature headlines and images of the alleged attempted bomb plot that grounded a number of cargo planes and sparked security alerts in the UK and US. Police in Dubai have confirmed that a US-bound parcel intercepted in Dubai contained explosives and bore al-Qaeda hallmarks. Yesterday security officials in the UK and Dubai intercepted two cargo planes bound for the US from Yemen. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images) #