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The NORAD "No Jets Scrambled" Myth
Mike Ruppert's Conspiracy Timeline, PART I
Mike Ruppert's Timeline, PART II
Mike Ruppert's Timeline, PART III
Mike Ruppert's Timeline, PART IV
[OTHER REQUIRED READING]
::David Corn:"9/11 X-file s"
Jonah Goldberg:"Still an Idiot"
:: Jonah Goldberg:"Representative Awful"
::Normon Solomon:"Media and the Hazards of Political Faith"
::Bruce R. (Flit) on the Israeli "art student" spy scandal
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:: Sunday, July 28, 2002 ::

Mike Ruppert's Bullshit-riddled Conspiracy Timeline, Part III.
NOTE: Ruppert has added several entries to his timeline, so the numbering has shifted slightly. Most of his new entries are derived from the French book Bin Laden: the Forbidden Truth, which he accepts, predictably, as gospel. For the best analysis of the book?s shoddy and flagrantly inaccurate reporting, see David Corn?s response to one of the books authors.

We now return to the timeline, more or less where we left off ?
[late entry in a 7/17 revision] 38. late-August 2001 - Prince Turki, the pro-U.S. head of Saudi intelligence (also known to be close to bin Laden), is replaced by his more neutral half-brother, Prince Nawwaf who is an ally of Crown Prince Abdullah. [Source: Saudi Arabian Information Resource, Aug. 31, 2001; http://www.saudinf.com/ - Thanks to Prof. Peter Dale Scott]

Doesn?t surprise me, although I would be naturally suspicious that Turki was "pro-U.S." Few outside our own State Department would disagree that the Saudi?s have been less than forthright about how widespread al-Qaeda sentiments and organization exists in their country, and that we are deluded if we think that they are truly our allies.

Neither would very many people disagree that the U.S.-Saudi "friendship" is based almost entirely on the politics of oil. This would make our government guilty of shortsightedness, but in no way supports complicity or foreknowledge, either by our government or even the Saudis themselves.
42. Early September, 2001 - An FBI internal document, based upon field noted from Minnesota field agents disclose that the agents had been investigating and had questioned the "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui. The field notes speculate that Moussaoui, who had been taking flight lessons, might crash an airliner into the WTC. Interestingly, the field agents? requests to obtain a search warrant for his personal computer were denied. French intelligence confirms to the FBI that Moussaoui has ties to terrorist groups and may have traveled to Afghanistan. The agents also had no knowledge of the Phoenix memo (See Item#14). One news story states that agents were in "a frenzy," absolutely convinced that he was "going to do something with a plane." [Source NEWSWEEK, May 20, 2002 issue ? story by Michael Isikoff].

What Ruppert doesn?t tell you is that these agents, though admittedly very anxious, were only in the "brainstorming" stages of trying to figure out what Moussaoui was up to. Isikoff?s source further admits that "the agents were only ?speculating? about possible scenarios."

In his typical fashion, Ruppert prefers to quote from Isikoff?s initial, austere reporting on this matter. He could have quoted from Isikoff?s more comprehensive story from the following week, but then, he might have encountered information he didn?t really want to know ? or share with his readers, in any event.
Information such as:
There were, in fact, failures at every level that summer: from the shortcomings in the law-enforcement trenches--the FBI's poor record at domestic surveillance, the CIA's poor record at infiltrating Islamic groups and the lack of cooperation between the two agencies--to the fixed strategic mind-set of the Bush
administration. Between the claims by the FBI and CIA that they didn't get enough information and the White House's insistence that it didn't receive any reports--"He doesn't recall seeing anything," Rice said when asked if Bush had read the Phoenix memo--the buck seems to be stopping nowhere. "If I were an average citizen, I'd be pissed at the whole American government," says a senior official who has worked on counterterrorism.

The question is not so much what the president knew and when he knew it. The question is whether the administration was really paying much attention. Terrorism is by nature stealthy and hard to crack, even in the face of the most zealous efforts to thwart it. What Americans should be asking is why the Bush administration in its first eight months, like the Clinton administration for much of its eight years, did not demand the intelligence cooperation that was needed. At issue is not whom to blame for the past, but how to learn from it to safeguard our future.

Or this ?
NEWSWEEK has learned there was one other major complication as America headed into that threat-spiked summer. In Washington, Royce Lamberth, chief judge of the special federal court that reviews national-security wiretaps, erupted in anger when he found that an FBI official was misrepresenting petitions for taps on terror suspects. Lamberth prodded Ashcroft to launch an investigation, which reverberated throughout the bureau. From the summer of 2000 on into the following year, sources said, the FBI was forced to shut down wiretaps of Qaeda-related suspects connected to the 1998 African embassy bombing investigation. "It was a major problem," said one source familiar with the case, who estimated that 10 to 20 Qaeda wiretaps had to be shut down, as well as wiretaps into a separate New York investigation of Hamas. The effect was to stymie terror surveillance at exactly the moment it was needed most: requests from both Phoenix and Minneapolis for wiretaps were turned down.

Certainly, Ruppert would dismiss all this as disinformation, arrogating to himself the authority to judge which parts of Isikoff?s reporting can be trusted, and which cannot. Finally, in the interest of providing a less-misrepresentative timeline of the events leading up to 9/11, one should note that, also in "early September," the State Department?s counterterrorism branch received warnings of another terrorist threat: against U.S. installations in Japan and Korea.
43. September 1-10, 2001 ? In an exercise, Operation "Swift Sword" planned for four years, 23, 000 British troops are steaming toward Oman. Although the 9/11 attacks caused a hiccup in the deployment the massive operation was implemented as planned. At the same time two U.S. carrier battle groups arrive on station in the Gulf of Arabia just off the Pakistani coast. Also at the same time, some 17,000 U.S. troops join more than 23,000 NATO troops in Egypt for Operation "Bright Star." All of these forces are in place before the first plane hits the World Trade Center. [Sources: The Guardian, CNN, FOX, The Observer, International Law Professor Francis Boyle, the University of Illinois.]

First, the statement that "two U.S. carrier battle groups arrive on station in the Gulf" in the first week of September is simply a lie, as anyone familiar with Navy deployments might suspect. The truth is that one carrier battle group had already been there for months, and the second (Carl Vinson) left Bremerton, Wash., July 23 and was on its way to relieve the first "on station." This has happened every six months for decades.

Likewise, the Bright Star exercise Ruppert mentions is training operation that has been conducted in the Middle East every two years since 1981.

The notion that either Bright Star or the British exercise Swift Sword should be construed as a rehearsal for Operation Enduring Freedom becomes even more idiotic when one considers that they both started roughly at the same time as the real deal. Bright Star began October 8 (!), and lasted until November. Similarly, Swift Sword lasted until the end of October [Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 29, 2001]. Moreover, Bright Star wsa primarily an amphibious operation exercise, which had nothing to do with the tactics employed against the landlocked Afghanistan.
44. September 7, 2001 ? Florida Governor Jeb Bush signs a two-year emergency executive order (01-261) making new provisions for the Florida National Guard to assist law enforcement and emergency-management personnel in the event of large civil disturbances, disaster or acts of terrorism. [Source: State of Florida web site listing of Governor?s Executive Orders.]

Suspiciously, there are not similar developments in New York or Virginia, where the 9/11 targets were located, but only in a state regularly pummeled by hurricanes. I think this can safely be categorized as a coincidence.
45. September 6-7, 2001 ? 4,744 put options (a speculation that the stock will go down) are purchased on United Air Lines stock as opposed to only 396 call options (speculation that the stock will go up). This is a dramatic and abnormal increase in sales of put options. Many of the UAL puts are purchased through Deutschebank/AB Brown, a firm managed until 1998 by the current Executive Director of the CIA, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard. [Source: The Herzliyya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, http://www.ict.org.il/, September 21; The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal.]



46. September 10, 2001 - 4,516 put options are purchased on American Airlines as compared to 748 call options. [Source: ICT ? above]


47. September 6-11, 2001 - No other airlines show any similar trading patterns to those experienced by UAL and American. The put option purchases on both airlines were 600% above normal. This at a time when Reuters (September 10) issues a business report stating, "Airline stocks may be poised to take off."


48. September 6-10, 2001 ? Highly abnormal levels of put options are purchased in Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, AXA Re(insurance) which owns 25% of American Airlines, and Munich Re. All of these companies are directly impacted by the September 11 attacks. [Source: ICT, above; FTW, Vol. IV, No.7, October 18, 2001, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/oct152001.html.]


49. It has been documented that the CIA, the Israeli Mossad and many other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading in real time using highly advanced programs reported to be descended from Promis software. This is to alert national intelligence services of just such kinds of attacks. Promis was reported, as recently as June, 2001 to be in Osama bin Laden?s possession and, as a result of recent stories by FOX, both the FBI and the Justice Department have confirmed its use for U.S. intelligence gathering through at least this summer. This would confirm that CIA had additional advance warning of imminent attacks. [Sources: The Washington Times, June 15, 2001; FOX News, October 16, 2001; FTW, October 26, 2001; FTW, Vol. IV, No.6, Sept. 18, 2001; FTW, Vol. 3, No 7, 9/30/00

I?ve grouped these items together, as they all say the same thing: the CIA had to have known about (if they were not involved in it themselves) the suspicious trading of "put options" of airline stocks prior to 9/11. Ruppert, apparently with a straight face, suggests CIA involvement based on the fact that the purchases were made through a firm once led by a senior CIA official, Buzzy Krongard. One would think that if the CIA were involved, they would have chosen a broker that couldn?t be linked to them.

Ruppert?s assertion that these trades had to have been monitored by the CIA relies on the assumption that they, regardless of the software they employ, have the manpower to oversee all stock trades in all markets, which is highly questionable. Ruppert has a habit of making the idiotic conclusion that the presence of technology that makes something possible means that it was certainly done.

But suppose, for the sake of argument, that the CIA did know about the put options a week before the 9/11 attacks. By what bizarre calculus should they have interpreted this as a sure sign that a hijacking plot was in the works? And on the following Tuesday morning?

This man needs serious help.
50. Sept. 9, 2001 - President George W. Bush is presented with detailed war plans to overthrow Al Qaeda, according to U.S. and foreign sources speaking to NBC News. [Source: MSNBC, May 16, 2002. Thanks to Prof. Peter Dale Scott]

Here is the MSNBC story referenced.

It?s a tad peculiar that Ruppert uses the phrase "overthrow Al Qaeda" to describe these plans, perhaps to give the impression that the plans alluded to a full-scale invasion of Afghanistan, which they clearly did not:
THE DOCUMENT, a formal National Security Presidential Directive,amounted to a "game plan to remove al-Qaida from the face of the Earth," one of the sources told NBC News? Jim Miklaszewski.

The plan dealt with all aspects of a war against al-Qaida, ranging from diplomatic initiatives to military operations in Afghanistan, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

In many respects, the directive, as described to NBC News, outlined essentially the same war plan that the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon put into action after the Sept. 11 attacks. The administration most likely was able to respond so quickly to the attacks because it simply had to pull the plans "off the shelf," Miklaszewski said.

The United States first would have sought to persuade other countries to cooperate in the campaign by sharing intelligence and using their law enforcement agencies to round up al-Qaida suspects.

The plans also called for a freeze on al-Qaida financial accounts worldwide and a drive to disrupt the group?s money laundering. The document mapped out covert operations aimed at al-Qaida cells in about 60 counties.

In another striking parallel to the war plan adopted after Sept. 11, the security directive included efforts to persuade Afghanistan?s Taliban government to turn al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden over to the United States, with provisions to use military force if it refused.

Nowhere in this detailed plan is there any provision for overthrowing the Taliban. Nor are there any details that support the war-for-oil theory. If anything, it suggests that the Bush administration was getting serious about fighting terrorism before 9/11, but did not act quickly enough.

52. Sept. 10, 2001 - On Sept. 10, Newsweek has learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly cancelled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns. [Source: Newsweek, Sept. 24, 2001 issue, story by Evan Thomas]

A little context ?
Twice a week, the "Threat Committee," a group of top intelligence officials and diplomats, meets in the White House complex to review dozens of terrorist threats at home and abroad. In late June the CIA warned of possible terrorist action against U.S. targets, including those in the United States, for the Fourth of July. Nothing happened, but then in July the agency again warned about possible attacks overseas. The threat seemed grave enough to force U.S. ships in Middle Eastern ports to head for sea. Three weeks ago there was another warning that a terrorist strike might be imminent. But there was no mention of where. On Sept. 10, NEWSWEEK has learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.

Unfortunately, Thomas? story says nothing about the nature of the threat that supposedly cancelled these officials? trip, or even to where they were heading. Remember, the terrorist threats that had reached the highest levels that week were against U.S. installations overseas, so it seems far more likely that the travel cancellations were due to threats on the ground at the destination.

High level Pentagon officials generally do not fly commercial ? they fly out of military installations. So, it appears highly unlikely that the threat to which they were responding was domestic.
53. Sept. 11, 2001 - United Air Lines flight 23, scheduled to fly from New York City to Los Angeles was delayed after four Muslim passengers began demanding that the plane take off immediately. This happened apparently after the first plane had hit the WTC. The passengers were thrown off the flight. [Source: The Globe and Mail, June 13, 2002]

What this is supposed to prove is anyone?s guess. There are no reports that the hijackers on any of the four 9/11 planes acted similarly, and such reactions to the "air rage" phenomenon were not at all uncommon, even before 9/11.
54. September 11, 2001 ? Gen Mahmud of the ISI (see above), friend of Mohammed Atta, is visiting Washington on behalf of the Taliban. He is meeting with the Chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Porter Goss (R), FL and Bob Graham (D), Fl [Sources: MS-NBC, Oct. 7, The New York Times, Feb. 17, 2002.]

This assertion, propped up by baseless assumptions, was dealt with in great detail in WDRH?s post on Michel Chussodovsky, who made the same arguments. Notice how reports that Mahmoud approved a wire transfer of funds to Atta, via an intermediary, have now transformed Mahmoud and Atta into drinking buddies. There is no evidence, of course, that the two had ever even met.

The assertion that Mahmoud was here in the U.S. "on behalf of the Taliban," is equally baseless, as this report clearly shows, flagrant misrepresentations by Chossudovsky notwithstanding.
55. September 11, 2001 ? Employees of Odigo, Inc. in Israel, one of the world?s largest instant messaging companies, with offices in New York, receive threat warnings of an imminent attack on the WTC less than two hours before the first plane hits the WTC. Law enforcement authorities have gone silent about any investigation of this. The Odigo Research and Development offices in Israel are located in the city of Herzliyya, a ritzy suburb of Tel Aviv which is the same location as the Institute for Counter Terrorism which breaks early details of insider trading on 9-11. [Source: CNN?s Daniel Sieberg, 9/28/01; Newsbytes, Brian McWilliams, 9/27/01; Ha?aretz, 9/26/01.].

The Odigo IM report has been a favorite of the "Mossad did it" brand of conspiracy theorists, but to offer it as proof of complicity/foreknowledge by our own government defies logic (not that the Israeli foreknowledge version is much better).

But then, one must understand that Ruppert had originally reported that the Odigo employees had "immediately" notified the authorities of the instant message, and later ran a correction, admitting that this was incorrect. But even in that correction, he asserted that "Press reports have not established whether the information was relayed in time to have changed U.S. response to the remaining three hijacked aircraft." This is just silly. The message contained no specific information on the imminent attacks, so it would have been of little value had it been passed to authorities when it was received, just two hours before the first plane hit. To suggest that it would have assisted authorities in anticipating the other three is patently absurd.

Trust me, there is a light at the end of this tunnel, although it's been moved back a couple of times. We're all most through this cavalcade of lies. And stay tuned, because the most comical entries are yet to come.

But for now, time to come up for air ...
:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:06 PM [+] ::
... :: Friday, July 26, 2002 ::
None dare call it Bigotry. As expected, the Circus Freak (thank you, Tim Blair), has posted yet another regurgitation of his tired, long-debunked Israeli 9/11 conspiracy theory. Surely, there has never been a more self-quoted editorialist in this country's history, as he dusts off the same old fuzzy evidence (and even fuzzier logic), never deigning to answer for the glaring errors pointed out by his critics.

His latest offers just a single piece new information, which he swears is his smoking gun that proves Israeli involvement in 9/11, and he means it this time! The damning piece of evidence is a report that Dominik Suter, the Israeli immigrant at the center of the Urban Moving Systems espionage ring (loosely associated with the larger Art student spy ring), had once shown up on an FBI terrorist watch list. Utterly shocking when one considers that Suder's employees were in FBI custody for months, and that he personally fled the U.S. days after his employees were arrested. In keeping with the Raimondo school of syllogism, this new revelation should not be construed as proof that the Feds, contrary to Raimondo's assertions of a cover-up and treason, actually looked into the matter seriously.

But none of this warrants a post on Raimondo, not even for a blog that is dedicated to such case studies in dementia. There's a much larger issue here ...

Raimondo swears he harbors no ill will toward Israeli Jews - it's just their government he's "begining to hate" (he was only mildly skeptical of them when he brazenly asserted that they sat back and laughed as 3,000 Americans were murdered in a plot they knew about all along). I've been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt on this, as I've never been the type to label those critical of Israel as anti-Semites (I, like many others, wasn't too fond of Israel myself, until around August of 2000).

But what we see with the Circus Freak is a pattern of argumentation that, while not anti-Semitic, employs the same kind of logic used by White Supremacists. You will note that he has consistently attributed the any and all questionable behavior by Israeli individuals to Israel itself. An example:
Probably not, but the unmistakable evidence of something rotten in the state of Israel grows, such as this sickening story in the Jerusalem Post about an IDF company commander and a soldier in the reserves who tortured and sexually abused a Palestinian youth.

Of course, there isn't a country on earth that does not have it's share of sick fucks, but Raimondo's suggestion is that this kind of thing is allowed - if not encouraged - by Sharon himself, despite the fact that operative verb in the story was that they were charged with those offenses. Likewise, the Israeli Art Students, Urban Movers, are all presumed to be acting at the behest of their government.

There are no Israeli individuals.

Could this be explained by simple, equal-opportunity fascist tendencies by Raimondo? Doubt it:
Some dipsh*t web editor [of a government-controlled news site] posts David Duke's rancid ravings on Arab News and Taranto is ready to smear whole populations as Nazis: not that he requires much in the way of evidence.

Amazing. So this is what hypocrisy looks like at absolute zero temperature, eh?

Does this make Raimondo an anti-Semite? I would still hesitate to make such a charge. I'm sure he has lots of Jewish friends, and he may be quite fond of the Naturei Karta crowd. But he has consistently attributed the faults of Israeli individuals as "unmistakable evidence of something rotten in the state of Israel." I don't know what you'd call that, besides bigotry. It may be anti-Israeli bigotry, instead of anti-Jewish bigotry. But it's still bigotry, and it's repugnant.

CORRECTION: I originally made the assumption, using Raimondo's column as a source, that Dominik Suter himself had been in FBI custody for months, along with his employees. This is not the case, as Suter himself fled the country after being questioned just once. His five employees were held in FBI custody for two and a half months.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:04 PM [+] ::
...
:: Sunday, July 21, 2002 ::
And to think, I was only joking. A few weeks ago I noted the similarities between arguments made by the Birkenstock Birch Society and Zacarias Moussaoui's own bizarre conspiracy theory, alleged that the feds placed a monitoring device in the form of a fan on his dashboard, which could prove his innocence. "Mike Ruppert would be proud," I said, sarcastically.

Here's a late entry into Ruppert's 9/11 Conspiracy timeline:
85. July 2, 2002 - Motions from Zacarias Moussaoui are unsealed in federal court, indicating that Moussaoui wants to testify before both a grand jury and Congress about the Sept. 11 attacks. Moussaoui claims to have information showing that the U.S. government wanted the attacks to happen. [Source: The Washington Post, July 3, 2002]

This just isn't fair. The guy's making it fucking impossible to make fun of him.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:33 PM [+] ::
...
:: Monday, July 15, 2002 ::
David Corn: pretty cool for a Leftist. Once again, Corn has diverted himself from his more serious endeavors to respond to the most ignorant jackasses in the Western Hemisphere.

He answers the mail from several irate critics - Mike Ruppert included - and also gives what appears to be the first serious analysis of Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie's Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, which has not yet been published in English (but he got his hands on a manuscript since his magazine is going to be one of the publishers that will do the honors). Like Corn's past work on the subject, his response to Brisard is brilliant:
Their book is a crass exploitation of a tragic event. It violates the most modest of journalistic standards. The authors manipulate an awful event into a story to serve a political end--or, perhaps, only to make money for themselves. The book practically justifies the attacks. Which is foul. It says the September 11 assaults were prompted by these "secret negotiations," not bin Laden's jihad or the geopolitical conditions and conflicts that may have fed that jihad.

One thing about about Brisard & Dasquie's claims that has baffled me is this: if we had threatened the Taliban back in July of last year with "a carpet of bombs" if they refused to give us an oil pipeline (or hand over bin Laden, which is what the "secret negotions" were really about), how is it that Mullah Omar resisted the urge to issue heated denunciations of the infidel plot to commit genocide against the Umma, and to publicly warn that the U.S. would learn the same lesson the Sovies did - kinda like when we really did start bombing Afghanistan and scattering his forces to the wind - for two whole months?

And to this day, no figure from the Taliban regime itself had ever made the same ridiculous claim that these two charlatans have. Were they briefly stricken with a bad case of reticence?

Do read the entire Corn response. It's pretty well-done, considering it's written by " one of the establishment CIA/FBI operatives who has long been planted within so-called progressive circles."
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:55 PM [+] ::
...
:: Sunday, July 14, 2002 ::
This takes the fucking cake! A conspiracy theory based on a prank by Howard Stern fans? Nah, that could never happen. Or could it?

Yes, it's true, just when I thought the Indymidiots couldn't possibly get any dumber, they pick up on the prank call ("initial report") on the LAX El Al killing spree by Hashem Mohamed Hedayat, nearly ten days after everyone else had already fallen for it, then realized their error. The Birkenstock Birch Society known as Indymedia has developed a conspiracy theory around the infamous "Artie took my job!" shooter:
The actual shooter and second gunman was a white, Caucasian, blonde hair, with a pony tail, clearly NOT an Egyptian. (That is assuming that the Egyptian was a gunman patsy as a diversion, rather than what seems to be, an unarmed patsy, shot dead like Lee Harvey Oswald.) According to witnesses, mentioned primarily in early reports but not repeated or in foreign press reports, the "pony tail" wore an El Al identification badge and was identified by among others, those working at the right nearby Mexicana Air Lines ticket counter. He took deliberate, not random, aim at Chandra Levy's close associate working at the ticket counter, Victoria Chen. His shots, however, missed Peres' grand-daughter right nearby.

The "pony tail" had five accomplices in the airport terminal who were apprehended by the secret political police, the FBI, and have fallen into the Bureau's cover-up black hole of history.

PURPOSES OF THE COVER-UP

===To conceal efforts by The Mossad that they gave accurate, prior warning data to the Bush White House of the events that became 9-11, Black Tuesday. And that the Bush White House, as supervised by Daddy Bush running the show, wanted the events to take place. Why? For many poorly-informed Americans, outraged at the violence on their homeland, willing now to scrap the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights to be replaced by promises of "Homeland Security", like the Nazi Gestapo and the Soviet K.G.B. Ordinary Americans, unfortunately, do not understand this horrible mindset of the aristocracy, that foments wars and benefits from great financial debacles, like the Great Depression.

Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling with the Mossad? Oh, that is rich!

Actually, the author of this delusional screed is a self-described "court reformer" named Sherman Skolnick, who has his own Web site espousing countless different conspiracy theories, all of which seem to involve the Mossad. I'm surprised I haven't seen his byline on Arab News yet.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:30 PM [+] ::
...
:: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 ::
The OTHT dilemma. Sometime in the late 1980’s the Department of Defense was confronted with a problem with it’s rapidly improving weapons technologies. It seemed that the ranges of its newer missile systems had become so great that they exceeded the ranges of the radar and other sensors used by the platforms that launched them. This "Over the Horizon Targeting" dilemma is now being solved by different "network-centric warfare" systems that are rapidly bridging that gap.

But the OTHT dilemma now provides an excellent metaphor for the research tactics of a certain columnist. Justin Raimondo’s latest tries to piece together the Independence Day shooting spree at LAX with the Anthrax mystery. In both cases, he has been able to cull a wealth of reportage, displaying great investigative reach.

Being able to process that information, and understand it in its proper context, however, is another matter entirely.

He begins by grossly misstating the position of several critics of the FBI’s reluctance to call the LAX attempted massacre "terrorism," and suggests that this rush to judgement is driven by ideological blinders, and allegiance to ZOG:
Since it advances Israel's interests to maintain that Hadayet was part of a larger terrorist operation, a footsoldier in a worldwide Islamofascist network, then it must be true. Which is why Israeli government officials jumped the gun, as I pointed out in a July 4 piece, and characterized it as an act of organized terrorism before Hadayet had even been identified.

First of all, no one has alleged that Hadayet was an "agent of the International Islamofascist Conspiracy" – except a certain Arabic newspaper based in London, that is. Making the presumption that all Israeli individuals who do anything wrong within the U.S. must be agents of their government, now that's a conspiratorial argument. For the Warbloggers, the argument has been solely about motive and what should be considered terrorism (see the difference?). There is evidence that Hadayet harbored virulently anti-Jewish sentiments, which are corroborated by the ranting denial of his wife, ironically enough.

Secondly, if Hadayet was driven by a hatred of Jews to go gun down Jewish targets, it would seem an understatement to call it a mere "hate crime," when we use the T-word to describe threats made by an NBA star. Hadayet didn’t have to go to any meetings of the Wahabbist international to be considered a terrorist. All he needed was to share their views and motives.

Raimondo also points to apparent "wildly differing versions" of certain aspects of the case as proof that it is far too soon to judge things like motive. He counts one inaccurate report which stated that Hadayet had been on an FBI watch list as clouding the issue, when in fact this was merely bad reporting (it was the Sydney Morning Herald, for fuck’s sake), that was pointedly corrected on July 5 (not July 6, as he claims):
There have been some reports coming out in the media that supposedly this individual was on a list or a watch list. That is not true. He has not been on any FBI or any FAA watch list. And we did confirm that this morning to ensure that we could at least let you know that.

He then meanders into his Anthrax cover-up theories (has it been five days already?), scoffing at the recent conventional wisdom which suggests a self-professed Rhodesian double agent should be a suspect in the bioterror that immediately followed 9/11.:
Laura Rozen's piece nowhere contains a single iota of solid evidence: sure, Hatfill has the knowledge, but his motive is barely sketched out beyond some vague megalomania mixed with right-wing malevolence.

Let me get this straight – you were ready to hang 60 Israeli art students for espionage based on some distorted reports of odd public behavior and a motive that was a figment of your imagination, but you don’t think a guy bragging about being a double agent and having lost his security clearance due to a failed polygraph isn’t enough to go on?

Once again, Raimondo rehashes the tale of his own theory, on how an anti-Arab cabal at the Ft. Detrick lab harassed an Egyptian doctor, eventually trying to frame him for the attacks with an anonymous letter, which somehow proves that they were the guilty ones. It never occurred to him that these bigots – being bigots and all – may have truly believed that the Arab scientist was behind the attacks. But it should strike those familiar with Raimondo’s creative writing as odd that he would so confidently declare that the Egyptian, Dr. Ayaad Assad "was questioned and completely cleared."

Kind of like those art students, huh, Raimondo? Me, I don’t have a theory on the anthrax attacks, be it Hatfill, Zack, or al-qaeda. But it was certainly terrorism, and if the indications that Hadayat’s motive was to strike fear in the hearts of Jews and other "kaffir" elements, then so was his rampage. And right now, those indications seem infinitely more compliant with reality than Raimondo’s Zionist plots. And what was that about ideological blinders?
At this stage of the game, when what little is known is ambiguous or contradictory, for Israel's partisans to try to capitalize on the July 4 shootings as part of a vast conspiracy is not only absurd but unseemly.

G-d damn. I never realized irony could get so friggin’ palpable.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:21 PM [+] ::
...
Must ... fight ... urge to kill ... With an MLB work stoppage seeming so imminent, coupled with Bud Selig's shameful decision to call the All-Star game a friggin tie, we may soon need to designate a new National Pastime. I respectfully submit McKinney bashing. I'm speaking, of course, of the Georgian Congresswoman to whom this blog is an homage, and not the Canadian comedian of Kids in the Hall and SNL fame (please don't crush my head, Mark).

Jake Meister (if that is indeed his real name), sends this rallying cry in support of the deluded gentlelady, which puts Michael Jackson's hypocritical tantrum to shame:
She has come under attack by "Jewish" leaders who are not willing to be honest about the war, about their brothers the Palestineans about the treatment of Black folks. These are the same Jewish leaders that can ask
for money for a Holocaust, but can not support our need for money during a Hell of A Cost - Slavery. These are the same White Supremacist that refuse to allow a Black Woman the voice to speak out against wrongs, clear
and evident wrongs. These are the same White Supremacists that told Maxine Waters to be quiet when she broke the news that the CIA intentionally placed drugs in the community.

We ask all of you who support Cynthia McKinney to contact me personally so that we can rally support. They are stating to her that she has 202 more days until they get rid of her. They being the same Vigilantes that tried to scare us out of office during the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and now 2002 they are still making threats against those Black folks that speak up. They are still making threats against those Black folks that are not going to compromise their position. If you are not a certified Uncle Tom willing to do what they ask you to do even if it means compromising the truth, then they will do whatever they can to attack you.

But didn't the Romans do that to Jesus?
Didn't they tell Muhammad he was crazy?
Don't they (those that hide from the truth) try to label and stigmatize
you.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:35 AM [+] ::
...
:: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 ::
Ruppert's Bullshit-riddled Timeline, Part II (items 18-37). Resumed right where we left off. Enjoy.
18. July, 2001 – FBI agents in Arizona write a memorandum warning about suspicious activities involving a group of Middle Eastern men taking flight training lessons in Arizona. The memorandum specifically mentions Osama bin Laden and warns of connections to terrorist activities. [Source: The New York Times, May 14, 2002]

Ruppert doesn’t even bother to make an argument for why this cannot be explained by bureaucratic morass and incompetence – he takes it for granted, and expects his readers to as well. It has been widely reported that the memo never went higher than mid-level managers, preventing the proper context that could have made it more useful, and Ruppert offers no reason to doubt these accounts. Here is the exact quote from the NYT story that Ruppert apparently cites:
The memorandum said terrorist groups like Mr. bin Laden's might be sending students to the schools as the first step in what could be a concerted effort to
place Islamic militants in the civil aviation industry around the world as pilots, security guards or aircraft-maintenance workers.

Not at all as specific as Ruppert makes it sound. And a week later, the same NYT authors wrote:
The Phoenix agent's memorandum was not based on intelligence but on concerns and recommendations based on "conjecture and assumptions," said a senior official who has read it.

"There appeared to be a lot of Middle Eastern guys taking flying lessons in the Phoenix area," the official said. "This was just a good investigator taking a look at something. It was pure hunch."

And while the Phoenix memo mentioned suspected al-qaeda operatives, none of the 9/11 hijackers had been identified by agent Ken Williams. Hence, nothing short of the comprehensive sweep of all Middle Eastern flight school students is likely to have turned up anything valuable. Given the FBI’s recent embarrassments stemming from botched investigations such as the Wen Ho Lee case, it is understandable that these mid-level bureaucrats would shy away from such broad racial profiling.

Even after 9/11, the "sweeping" detentions of Middle Eastern men that have led to objections and lawsuits by civil libertarians, actually accounted for just one-tenth of the total number of Middle Eastern men (58,000) here illegally. It is not likely that the public before 9/11 would have stood for the "harassment" of so many foreigners attending flight school, most of whom were here legally, based on what investigators have described as a a hunch – a very good hunch, but a hunch nonetheless.
19. Summer, 2001 – The National Security Council convenes a Dabhol working group as revealed in a series of government e-mails obtained by The Washington Post and the New York Daily News. [Source: The Albion Monitor, Feb. 28, 2002]

Curiously, Ruppert prefers to cite the Albion Monitor's secondhand reporting rather than the specific Washington Post or Daily News stories. I wonder why? Ruppert may not want you to read the actual stories they cited, but I do:
"Good news is that the veep mentioned Enron in his meeting with [Indian opposition leader] Sonia Gandhi yesterday," a National Security Council aide wrote in a June 28 E-mail.

Two other E-mails indicate preparations were made for President Bush to bring the subject up with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but the idea was scrapped before they met. The documents are the latest indication that there were contacts between the Bush administration and Enron on issues directly related to the company's business. The White House maintains Enron enjoyed no special favors from the White House or Cheney.

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans have conceded they spoke with Enron chief Kenneth Lay last fall about the energy giant's impending failure, but they insist they refused to help.

The new documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, indicate Cheney took a key role in pushing the Maharashtra State Electricity Board to make good on the huge debt claimed by Enron for a gas project in Dabhol, India.[New York Daily News, Jan. 18, 2002]

Ruppert incorrectly alleges that the Dabhol plant "was floundering in red ink because Enron could not access inexpensive natural gas via a proposed trans-Afghani pipeline from Turkmenistan." Quite the opposite is true.

As I noted in Part 1 (addressing his No. 6), Enron had secured LNG supplies from Oman and Abu Dhabi, (20-year contracts, according to the July 27, 2001 edition of Financial Times). One might also recall Ruppert’s allegation that the Dabhol venture had lost access to Qatari sources in April 1999. Hmm. Then explain why the LA Times would report on May 22, 2001 that Enron had pulled out of its deal with Qatar (not the other way around)?

The Dabhol power plant has remained dormant since June 2001, after Enron ceased funding because the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) refused to pay what it viewed as astronomical fees to the Enron-controlled company. Albion’s assertions that this was all due to a failed trans-Afghan pipeline is completely baseless.
20. Summer 2001 - According to a Sept. 26 story in Britain’s The Guardian, correspondent David Leigh reported that, "U.S. department of defense official, Dr. Jeffrey Starr, visited Tajikistan in January. The Guardian’s Felicity Lawrence established that US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan. There were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana."

"Unconfirmed reports," being the operative phrase, Leigh’s rather confused reporting in no way supports Ruppert’s thesis. His own conclusion is that "the hawks in Washington thought they were backing Bin Laden into a corner," leading him to strike pre-emptively. But within the story, Leigh admits that this conclusion is rather weak:
Some analysts say Bin Laden had evidently prepared his suicide pilots up to a year beforehand, thus making Washington's behaviour in July beside the point. Others ask why US threats of military strikes in July should be of any more concern to Bin Laden than previous episodes, such as Clinton's rocketing of his camps.

There is nothing suspicious about military emissaries trying to foster relationships with their counterpart in the friendly Tajik, Kyrghyz, and Uzbek governments. Only the truly deluded would see this as evidence of imminent military operations. The U.S. has such relationships with many foreign militaries, with whom we conduct routine training exercises, but have not engaged in any conquests.

Leigh’s assertion that our past efforts to rid the world of bin Laden, because they were not successful, actually led al-qaeda to more aggressively pursue terrorist operations is a fair one. 9/11 is an important lesson about Clinton’s "tit for tat" approach to dealing with bin Laden. But that in no way supports the allegation that the invasion was planned in advance. That is probably why the Guardian dropped the story after September.
21. Summer 2001 (est.) – Pakistani ISI Chief General Ahmad (see above) orders an aide to wire transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta who was, according to the FBI, the lead terrorist in the suicide hijackings. Ahmad recently resigned after the transfer was disclosed in India and confirmed by the FBI. The individual who makes the wire transfer at Ahmad’s direction is Ahmad Umar Sheik, the lead suspect in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. [Source: The Times of India, October 11, 2001.]

As I’ve said before, there is nothing untoward about U.S. intelligence officials meeting with their Pakistani counterparts, considering the multitude of different security issues in South Asia that we were wise to follow closely. Also, there is no indication that any U.S. officials knew of the transfer while Ahmed was here in the U.S. No one, outside of Ruppert’s fellow conspiracy clowns, has even made the allegation. Speaking of clowns, Ruppert’s colleague at the University of Ottawa did make this allegation, in much greater detail, and my refutation of his intellectually dishonest arguments are here.
22. Summer 2001 – The online newswire online.ie reports on Sept. 14, 2001 that an Iranian man phones U.S. law enforcement to warn of an imminent attack on the World Trade Center in the week of September 9th. German police confirm the calls but state that the U.S. Secret Service would not reveal any further information. [Source: http://www.online.ie/news/viewer.adp?article=1512332.]

This article does not specify which law enforcement agency the Iranian detainee called "several times," but it does say this:
The Hanover daily newspaper Neue Presse reported the 29-year-old was dismissed as mentally unstable when he gave the warning of a terrorist attack to occur this week.

Considering that there is no indication this individual has ever been charged by German officials for complicity in the 9/11 attacks, it is safe to assume that the Germans have stuck to that conclusion. Ruppert, of course, does not. As they say, great minds think alike.
23. Summer, 2001 - Jordanian intelligence (the GID) makes a communications intercept deemed so important that King Abdullah’s men relay it to Washington, probably through the CIA station in Amman. To make doubly sure the message got through it was passed through an Arab intermediary to a German intelligence agent. The message: A major attack was planned inside the US and that aircraft would be used. The code name of the operation was The Big Wedding." - "When it became clear that the information was embarrassing to Bush Administration officials and congressmen who ate first denied that there had been any such warnings before Sept. 11, senior Jordanian officials backed away from their earlier confirmations." This case was authenticated by ABC reporter John K. Cooley. [The International Herald Tribune (IHT), May 21, 2002]

Here’s what else Cooley had to say about this:
The message showed clearly that a major attack was planned inside the continental US. It said aircraft would be used. But neither hijacking nor, apparently, precise timing nor targets were named. The code name of the operation was mentioned: in Arabic, Al Ourush al-Kabir, "The Big Wedding."


24. Summer, 2001 (est.) - The National Security Agency intercepts telephone conversations between bin Laden aide Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Mohammed Atta and does not share the information with any other agencies. [Jonathan Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers, June 6, 2002]

Summer 2001? Actually, these intercepts occurred on September 10, as would be evident to anyone who has anything more than Landay’s facile reporting on the subject. The NSA did not share the intercepts with other agencies because they had not even translated them until two days later, after the attacks occurred. Moreover, experts doubt the transmissions could have prevented the attacks even if they had been translated immediately.
25. June 26, 2001 – The magazine indiareacts.com states that "India and Iran will ‘facilitate’ US and Russian plans for ‘limited military action’ against the Taliban." The story indicates that the fighting will be done by US and Russian troops with the help of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. [Source: indiareacts.com, June 26, 2001.]

Except for the part about Iran "facilitating" our invasion of Afghanistan, the part about the Russian troop involvement, and the stuff about "limited military action," this is an example of good journalism.
Indian officials say that India and Iran will only play the role of "facilitator" while the US and Russia will combat the Taliban from the front with the help of two Central Asian countries, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to push Taliban lines back to the 1998 position 50 km away from Mazar-e-Sharief city in northern Afghanistan.
[…]
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will lead the ground attack with a strong military back up of the US and Russia. Vital Taliban installations and military assets will be targeted. India and Iran will provide logistic support. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already hinted of military action against the Taliban to CIS nation heads during a meeting in Moscow in early June.

Now that’s just silly. But even if there were any validity to this report, I don’t think pushing the Taliban back to its 1998 position would have been enough to get that pipeline!
26. May 31, 2002 – Russian intelligence notifies the CIA that 25 terrorist pilots have been specifically training for missions. This is reported in the Russian press and news stories are translated for FTW by a retired CIA officer. See Izvestia story here.

Izvestia? Seriously? Here is another excerpt of that story, which bears little resemblance to reality:
A terrorist group which realized actions against the USA consisted of at least 25 people. All of them had a special training on the territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan including piloting of an aircraft.

Besides, Russian Intelligence Service warns White House that present terrorist attacks are only the beginning of the wide-scale action. Ben Laden has the plans to attack nuclear units on the territory of the USA. Among Islamic targets are space objects and large financial centers of the USA.[emphasis mine]

If Izvestia had waited a few days to print this bullshit, they could have gotten the part about the hijackers’ flight training right at least.
27. July 4-14, 2001 – Osama bin Laden receives treatments for kidney disease at the American hospital in Dubai and meets with a CIA official who returns to CIA headquarters on July 15th. [Source: Le Figaro, October 31st, 2001.]

See the opening of Part 1 for how weak this allegation is, and for how Ruppert has misrepresented the reporting on it. Pay the man his $1000, Mike.
28. July, 2001 - The G8 summit at Genoa, Italy is surrounded by anti-aircraft guns and local airspace is closed off after Italian and Egyptian officials (including President Hosni Mubarak) warn American intelligence that airliners stuffed with explosives might be used to attack President Bush. US officials state that the warnings were "unsubstantiated." (But I wonder if they would have taken away the anti-aircraft artillery?) [The LA Times,
Sept. 27, 2001].

Obviously, these warnings were unsubstantiated. But even if they had merited a response, the notion that the U.S. should have been wary of a similar terrorist attack inside the U.S. every day hence is ridiculous.
29. July 26, 2001 - CBS News reports that John Ashcroft has stopped flying commercial airlines due a threat assessment. Ashcroft told the press that he didn’t know anything about what had caused it.

Of course, the fact that there was any "threat assessment" proves that the FBI knew of the 9/11 plot all along. Is there any logic fallacy this jackass doesn’t use?
30. August 2001 – The FBI arrests an Islamic militant linked to bin Laden in Boston. French intelligence sources confirm that the man is a key member of bin Laden’s network and the FBI learns that he has been taking flying lessons. At the time of his arrest the man is in possession of technical information on Boeing aircraft and flight manuals. [Source: Reuters, September 13.]

The origin of this report was a French radio station called Europe 1. Reuters reported French authorities "could not immediately confirm" the radio station’s report, and Reuters never followed up on the story. Moreover, there’s no indication that the individual – if he even exists – had ties to the real hijackers, or could have provided any information to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
31. August 11 or 12 – US Navy Lt. Delmart "Mike" Vreeland, jailed in Toronto on U.S. fraud charges and claiming to be an officer in U.S. Naval intelligence, writes details of the pending WTC attacks and seals them in an envelope which he gives to Canadian authorities. [Source: The Toronto Star, Oct. 23, 2001; Toronto Superior Court Records]

It should first be noted that after David Corn eviscerated the Vreeland story, Ruppert’s "strong response" to Corn only addressed the Vreeland issue by saying:
It’s OK that you misrepresent and state that I have hung the entirety of my credibility on the Delmart "Mike" Vreeland case. I have published 56 stories since 9/11/01 and only six of them have been about Mike Vreeland.

Looks like a white flag to me. But for those of you who still aren’t convinced, or are just starving for more Vreeland trivia, go here.
32. August, 2001 - As reported in the IHT both a French magazine (name not given) and a Moroccan newspaper simultaneously report that a Moroccan agent named Hassan Dabou had penetrated Al Q’aeda to the point of getting close to bin Laden who was "very disappointed" that the 1993 bombing had not toppled the WTC. Dabou was called to the US after reporting this which curtailed his ability to stay in touch with the organization and gather additional intelligence that might have prevented the attacks. Though not proved beyond a doubt these stories have been met with a wall of silence. [The IHT, May 21, 2002].

Just when I think he’s reached the bottom of the world journalism barrel, he comes up with a Moroccan newspaper and a French magazine that IHT won’t even mention by name. Unbelievable, especially the part about our fiendish plot to prevent Dabou from gathering further intelligence by expressing an interest in what he had to say. Now that’s crafty!
33. August 2001 – Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian intelligence to warn the U.S. government "in the strongest possible terms" of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings. [Source: MS-NBC interview with Putin, September 15.]

Again, no specific information that could have prevented the attacks. I guess Ruppert thinks that providing all of these unconfirmed "warnings" – all of which were reported by dubious media outlets after the attacks – proves his case. Actually, this preponderance of vague information only proves the point of just how difficult it is to sift through all this bullshit to find actionable intelligence. I’m beginning to think that Ruppert himself is part of a psyops disinformation campaign to support the government’s "cover story."
34. August, 2001 – President Bush receives classified intelligence briefings at his Crawford, TX ranch indicating that Osama bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. [CBS News, CNN – May 15, 2001]

This "briefing," also termed an "analytic report that summed up bin Laden’s methods of opteration," once again provided no specific threat information. I suppose the whole purpose of Ruppert’s listing this kind of information in "timeline" format is to convince the reader that these separate individual warnings create a confluence the points directly to the 9/11 plot. They do no such thing, and no one described the "static" effect in intelligence analysis than Jim Pinkerton:
But the definitive work on 12/7 argues that, yes, indeed, some Americans knew that Japanese were going to bomb Pearl Harbor. But we also "knew" that the Japanese were going to bomb the Panama Canal, the Philippines and other points around the Pacific. In "Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision," Roberta Wohlstetter used the word "static" to describe the dull roar of complementary and contradictory information, such that nobody could reasonably have known what the Japanese had in mind.

Static. That's the word to bear in mind as the 9/11 investigations fly forth, on and off Capitol Hill. And the sound will grow louder in the multimedia mixer, as the farrago of facts and factoids echo from here to cyberspace eternity. In the din, it will be easy for conspiracists to connect data-dots to "prove" that Bush or the FBI or Karl Rove knew that 9/11 was coming. But the fair-minded will see that such retrospective blaming is easy. What's hard is prospective threat-assessing. And so, while it's likely that Bush will be tarnished by the investigating and scooping to come, it's hard to believe he'll be revealed as treacherous.[Newsday, May 17, 2002]

Ruppert’s various warnings, even if we are to accept his deceptive portrayals of them all, are exactly that: static. Put together, they do not make the picture any clearer. Rather, they make it cloudier, and give the sensible reader a greater appreciation for the difficulty of sifting through such vague, and even disparate, information.
35. August/September, 2001 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops nearly 900 points in the three weeks prior to the attack. A major stock market crash is imminent.

The decline started much earlier than the three-week period prior to 9/11. The second largest single-day decrease for the DJIA (617 points) occurred on April 14, 2000. This is second only to September 17, 2001 (684 points), the first day the markets opened after 9/11. Sane and intelligent people realize that this is due to many factors, not the least of which is the hangover from the technology stock bubble from the 90's.
36. August/September, 2001 - According to a detailed 13-page memo written by Minneapolis FBI legal officer SA Colleen Rowley FBI headquarters ignores urgent direct warnings from French intelligence services about pending attacks. In addition, a single Supervisory Special Agent in Washington expends extra effort to thwart the field office’s investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui, in one case rewriting Rowley’s affidavit for a search warrant to search Moussaoui’s laptop. Rowley’s memo uses terms like "deliberately sabotage," "block," "integrity," "omitted," "downplayed," "glossed over," "mis-characterize," "improper political reasons, "deliberately thwarting," "deliberately further undercut," "suppressed," and "not completely honest." These are not terms describing negligent acts but rather, deliberate acts. FBI field agents desperately attempted to get action to no avail. One agent speculated that bin Laden might be planning to crash airliners into the World Trade Center while Rowley ironically noted that the SSA who had committed these deliberate actions had actually been promoted after September 11th. [The AP, May 21, 2002].

Of course there were "deliberate acts." That’s the whole point of the memo. But only the most flagrant misinterpretation would construe this to support complicity or foreknowledge of the attacks. Ruppert seems to have a knack for taking isolated words out of context. That’s why I took the liberty of placing his selected terms in their proper context, as a public service:
Why?--Why would an FBI agent(s) deliberately sabotage a case? (I know I shouldn't be flippant about this, but jokes were actually made that the key FBIHQ personnel had to be spies or moles, like Robert Hansen, who were actually working for Osama Bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort.) Our best real guess, however, is that, in most cases avoidance of all "unnecessary" actions/decisions by FBIHQ managers (and maybe to some extent field managers as well) has, in recent years, been seen as the safest FBI career course.
[…]
Even after the attacks had begun, the SSA in question was still attempting to block the search of Moussaoui's computer, characterizing the World Trade Center attacks as a mere coincidence with Misseapolis'[sic] prior suspicions about Moussaoui.
[…]
The issues are fundamentally ones of INTEGRITY and go to the heart of the FBI's law enforcement mission and mandate. Moreover, at this critical juncture in fashioning future policy to promote the most effective handling of ongoing and future threats to United States citizens' security, it is of absolute importance that an unbiased, completely accurate picture emerge of the FBI's current investigative and management strengths and failures.
[…]
By the way, just in the event you did not know, let me furnish you the Webster's definition of "careerism - - the policy or practice of advancing one's career often at the cost of one's integrity". Maybe that sums up the whole problem!
[…]
I feel that certain facts, including the following, have, up to now, been omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mis-characterized in an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political reasons:
[…]
Also intertwined with my reluctance in this case to accept the "20-20 hindsight" rationale is first-hand knowledge that I have of statements made on September 11th, after the first attacks on the World Trade Center had already occurred, made telephonically by the FBI Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) who was the one most involved in the Moussaoui matter and who, up to that point, seemed to have been consistently, almost deliberately thwarting the Minneapolis FBI agents' efforts (see number 5).[note the qualifier before "deliberately thwarting that Ruppert apparently missed]
[…]
You do have some good ideas for change in the FBI but I think you have also not been completely honest about some of the true reasons for the FBI's pre-September 11th failures. Until we come clean and deal with the root causes, the Department of Justice will continue to experience problems fighting terrorism and fighting crime in general.

Here are some other passages -- complete sentences, mind you – that are worth noting:
The term "cover up" would be too strong a characterization which is why I am attempting to carefully (and perhaps over laboriously) choose my words here.
[…]
In the Moussaoui case, it was the opposite -- the process allowed the Headquarters Supervisor to downplay the significance of the information thus far collected in order to get out of the work of having to see the FISA application through or possibly to avoid taking what he may have perceived as an unnecessary career risk.
[…]
It's true we all make mistakes and I'm not suggesting that HQ personnel in question ought to be burned at the stake, but, we all need to be held accountable for serious mistakes. I'm relatively certain that if it appeared that a lowly field office agent had committed such errors of judgment, the FBI's OPR would have been notified to investigate and the agent would have, at the least, been quickly reassigned.
[…]
Our best real guess, however, is that, in most cases avoidance of all "unnecessary" actions/decisions by FBIHQ managers (and maybe to some extent field managers as well) has, in recent years, been seen as the safest FBI career course. Numerous high-ranking FBI officials who have made decisions or have taken actions which, in hindsight, turned out to be mistaken or just turned out badly (i.e. Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc.) have seen their careers plummet and end. This has in turn resulted in a climate of fear which has chilled aggressive FBI law enforcement action/decisions.
[…]
Another factor that cannot be underestimated as to the HQ Supervisor's apparent reluctance to do anything was/is the ever present risk of being "written up" for an Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) "error." In the year(s) preceding the September 11th acts of terrorism, numerous alleged IOB violations on the part of FBI personnel had to be submitted to the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) as well as the IOB. I believe the chilling effect upon all levels of FBI agents assigned to intelligence matters and their manager hampered us from aggressive investigation of terrorists.

And my personal favorite, "Mr. Director, I hope my observations can be taken in a constructive vein."

Since Ruppert seems to prefer isolated terms, I have another for you: the word "failure" (including its plural) appears in the memo 12 times. Not exactly a word you associate with the willful, treasonous behavior Ruppert alleges. Nice try.
37. Sept. 3-10, 2001 – MS-NBC reports on September 16 that a caller to a Cayman Islands radio talk show gave several warnings of an imminent attack on the U.S. by bin Laden in the week prior to 9/11.

Uh-huh. Someone who knew about the plot just happened to call a radio talk show in the Caymans. I can’t for the life of me understand why the FBI – nay, I say the CIA and NSA – wouldn’t immediately act upon these premonitions. There are hundreds of such cranks who pester all levels of law enforcement (as well as hapless talk radio hosts) on any given day. People like this lady, for example.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:05 PM [+] ::
...
:: Monday, July 08, 2002 ::
Posterboy for Conspiracy freaks.


The latest from the Moussaoui defense:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. –– Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks, claims the FBI planted a tracking device in an electric fan that mysteriously appeared on his car in Oklahoma four months before his arrest in Minnesota, according to court records unsealed Monday.

The motion, one of more than four dozen Moussaoui has filed since becoming his own lawyer last month, adds a new element to the 34-year-old French citizen's contention that U.S. authorities know he is innocent of the attacks on New York and Washington because they had him and the 19 hijackers under surveillance for months.

He knew the FBi had the other 19 hijackersthose other 19 Arabs with whom he had no connection, even though he wasn't really associated with them. He's also a film critic:

Moussaoui took a shot at President Bush in one motion, comparing him to the Roman emperor in the movie "Gladiator."

"The one who say that he was going to return honors to the office was definitely talking about Ceasar Type Honors like in Gladiator: Stabbing the enemy in the back before the fight. Not surprising for Daddy son. Leading (or I must say cheating) from the back," he wrote.

Mike Ruppert must be proud.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:58 PM [+] ::
...
:: Sunday, July 07, 2002 ::
Never listen to a man named Michel. Another common theme among the Nazimedia circus freaks is that the CIA maintained ties to Osama bin Laden and other jihadists through Pakistan’s Iinter-Service Intelligence (ISI) apparatus. A colleague of Ruppert, Michel Chossudovsky (a professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa), has tirelessly tried to convince the world of the notion that the 9/11 attacks were funded and orchestrated by ISI, and that the U.S. government had to have known about them.

Chossudovsky’s smoking gun (or "missing link," as he calls it, though his argument contains scores of them) is the fact that ISI chief Gen. Mahmoud was meeting with U.S. officials the week of the attacks:
Pakistan's chief spy Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad "was in the US when the attacks occurred." He arrived in the US on the 4th of September, a full week before the attacks. He had meetings at the State Department "after" the attacks on the WTC. But he also had "a regular visit of consultations" with his US counterparts at the CIA and the Pentagon during the week prior to September 11.

What was the nature of these routine "pre-September 11 consultations"? Were they in any way related to the subsequent "post-September 11 consultations" pertaining to Pakistan's decision to cooperate with Washington. Was the planning of war being discussed between Pakistani and US officials?

What’s so suspicious about U.S intelligence officials meeting with their Pakistani counterparts? Well, it just so happens that Ahmad was, in addition to being sympathetic to the Taliban, an active promoter of jihadi terrorist activities, and had ties to the 9/11 hijackers themselves:
Although there is no official confirmation, in all likelihood General Mahmoud Ahmad met Dr. Rice during the course of his official visit. Moreover, she must have been fully aware of the $100,000 transfer to Mohammed Atta, which had been confirmed by the FBI.

Here, Chossudovsky cites an October 9, 2001 Times of India story (which was picked up by AFP) that established a clear link between Ahmad and the transfer of money to Atta.
Top sources confirmed here on Tuesday, that the general lost his job because of the "evidence" India produced to show his links to one of the suicide bombers that wrecked the World Trade Centre. The US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen Mahmud.

Neither the Times of India nor the AFP version of the story say exactly when the Indian intelligence reports were "confirmed by the FBI," so Chossudovsky takes it upon himself to determine, either out of dishonesty or sheer stupidity, to conclude that this confirmation took place before the ISI chief’s visit to the U.S. There is simply no basis for this inference at all.

Chossudovsky’s difficulty with timelines does not end there. Repeatedly referring to Mahmoud Ahmad as the 9/11 "money man," he makes another baseless assumption that the $100,000 transfer occurred during "Summer 2001." Reading a few lines further, we see an Indian journalist asking National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice at a May 16, 2002 press conference whether she was aware of a $100,000 transfer on September 10 (as a sidenote, Chossudovsky’s most bizarre allegation is that CNN and FDCH transcripts were intentionally altered to remove the words "ISI chief" from the exchange. Though this White House press office does have a history of removing embarrassing remarks from its briefing transcripts – and then reinstating those remarks after their removal proved even more embarrassing – it’s quite a stretch to argue that they did so here. The rest of the exchange remains in the transcript, including the damning reference to the $100,000 transfer). Chossudovsky also quotes this ABC News report that claims that some of this money was wired "in the days just beore the attack."

Bolstered by this sloppy and austere research, Chossudovsky goes on to state the mother of all nonsequiturs:
While General Ahmad was talking to U.S. officials at the CIA and the Pentagon, he had allegedly also been in contact (through a third party) with the September 11 terrorists. What this suggests is that key individuals within the U.S. military-intelligence establishment knew about these ISI contacts with the September 11 terrorist ‘ring leader', Mohammed Atta, and failed to act. But this conclusion is, in fact, an understatement. Everything indicates that CIA Director George Tenet and ISI Chief General Mahmoud Ahmad, had established a close working relationship.

He provides nothing to support either of these conclusions, but he does provide this handy chart, that spells it out for those of you who don’t need evidence:

Attempting to dig deeper into history, Chossudovsky alleges a consistent and seamless collaboration among the U.S., Pakistan’s ISI, the Taliban, and, by extension, al-Qaeda. "Amply documented," he notes, "the ISI owes its existence to the CIA." He fails to provide any of this "ample" documentation. This assertion is silly, when one considers that the ISI was founded in 1948, just a year after the CIA’s inception. The CIA did provide much in the way of training and, especially during the campaign against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan, a great deal of funding. But the assertion that the ISI has ever been subservient to its American counterparts is without merit.

Chossudovsky’s unsupported assertions in regard to the CIA’s hold on the ISI don’t end there. Quoting himself, he says:
In assessing the alleged links between the terrorists and the ISI, it should be understood that Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad as head of the ISI was a "US approved appointee".

Even within his own quoted essay, there is nothing to support this claim. In fact, Mahmoud Ahmad is not even mentioned in the piece. A more lucid discussion of the relationship between the CIA and ISI can be found here.

In perhaps his most deceitful quotation-splicing, Chossudovsky distorts this report by Amir Mateen of Pakistan’s The News, on the purpose of the ISI chief’s visit to Washington:
"ISI Chief Lt-Gen. Mahmoud's week-long presence in Washington has triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council. Officially, he is on a routine visit in return to CIA Director George Tenet's earlier visit to Islamabad. Official sources confirm that he met Tenet this week. He also held long parleys with unspecified officials at the White House and the Pentagon. But the most important meeting was with Marc Grossman, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. One can safely guess that the discussions must have centred around Afghanistan . . . and Osama bin Laden. What added interest to his visit is the history of such visits. Last time Ziauddin Butt, Mahmoud's predecessor, was here, during Nawaz Sharif's government, the domestic politics turned topsy-turvy within days."

Compare this paragraph with this slightly less editied version of the same passage (with the bits Chossudovsky missed in bold):
ISI Chief Lt-Gen Mahmood's week-long presence in Washington has triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council. Officially, State Department sources say he is on a routine visit in return to CIA Director George Tenet's earlier visit to Islamabad. Official sources confirm that he met Tenet this week. He also held long parleys with unspecified officials at the White House and the Pentagon. But the most important meeting was with Mark Grossman, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. US sources would not furnish any details beyond saying that the two discussed 'matters of mutual interests.'
What those matters could be is a matter of pure conjecture.
One can safely guess that the discussions must have centred around Afghanistan, relations with India and China, disarmament of civilian outfits, country's nuclear and missiles programme and, of course, Osama Bin Laden. What added interest to his visit is the history of such visits. Last time Ziauddin Butt, Mahmood's predecessor, was here during Nawaz Sharif's government the domestic politics turned topsy-turvy within days.

This passage alone distinctly spells out what kind of intellectual dishonesty we’re dealing with here. Shameless. Truly shameless.

But Mateen goes on to add a bit more "conjecture" to the purpose of Ahmad’s visit in the very next paragraph:
Mahmood's visit comes close to General Musharraf's scheduled meeting with Vajpayee in New York. It is not clear what role the US would play in bringing about any breakthrough. What does it expect from Pakistan to do in the countdown to the historic meeting? It is obvious that the US officials would like to discuss these issues with somebody they know is 'in the know' and being a trusted colleague of Musharraf, capable of 'delivering'. He is not like the foreign minister who did not know whether he was pleading the case of his president or chief executive.

Now for some context from U.S.-Pakistani relations that Chossudovsky completely ignores. The Ahmad visit to the U.S. occurred on the tail end of a three-year regime of economic sanctions against Pakistan.

Finally, Chossudovsky claims that his contention that "US support funneled through the ISI to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden has been a consistent policy of the US Administration since the end of the Cold War" is "corroborated" by the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee transcripts. Once again, actually reading the footnote tells you a decidedly different story. The "corroborating" quotation was actually the testimony of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who has never represented the "sense of the Congress" on any issue. Moreover, Rohrabacher’s allegations (and far from being "corroboration," that is exactly what they are) were vehemently denied by both Alan W. Eastham, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South Asian Affairs, and Michael Sheehan, Ambassador-at-large for Counterterrorism:
The idea that we support the Taliban I also reject, as well, completely. I have spent 18 months in this job leading the effort within the U.S. Government and around the world to bring pressure on the Taliban. After the bombing of the embassies in East Africa, when I got hired for this job, I have made it my sole effort, my primary effort in this job to bring pressure on that regime.

The U.S. Government leads that effort in providing pressure on that regime. My office leads that effort within the U.S. Government. We started with an executive order in August 1999 that brought sanctions to bear on the Taliban. We led the effort in the United Nations to bring international sanctions against them.

We are also leading the effort internationally right now to look at further measures against the Taliban. It is the U.S. Government that is leading that effort. We are ahead of everybody else to bring pressure on the Taliban, and the Taliban knows it. Those other member states within the United Nations and the other communities know our efforts to bring pressure to bear on that organization because of its support for terrorism.

UPDATE: For the administration's actual policy toward the Taliban regime at the time, one doesn't need to rely on Congressional testimony. President Clinton's Executive Order 13129 (July 7, 1999) is available here.

Getting back to U.S.-Pakistani relations, the record shows quite irrefutably that Pakistan has acted independently of its purported CIA "masters," even in the heyday of the CIA-ISI pipeline that supported the precursors to the Taliban.

Respected critics of the Reagan policy note that U.S. goals in the region were "myopic," and not extending beyond the application of pressure against the Soviets, to weaken their hand in the grand scheme.

Pakistan, under Muhammed Zia ul Haq, had much greater ambitions:
"You Americans wanted us to be a front-line state," Zia said. "By helping you we have earned the right to have a regime to our liking in Afghanistan. We took risks as a front line state and we won't permit it to be like it was before - with Indian and Soviet influence and claims on our territory. It will be a real Islamic state, a real Islamic confederation, part of a pan-Islamic revival that will one day win over the Muslims in the Soviet Union. We won't have passports between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Who knows, perhaps Tajikistan and Uzbekistan may join, maybe some day even Iran and Turkey."

As Ahmed Rashid notes, the CIA was relegated to the role of disbursing agent, while the ISI, with its greater expertise, made the decisions as to how the money was spent and which groups were funded. The divergent Pakistani motives won under this arrangement, as Yossef Bodansky illustrates in Bin Laden:
The United States was convinced that it was supporting a genuine national liberation struggle, albeit with a strong Islamic foundation, and Islamabad went to great lengths to ensure that the United States did not discover firsthand the kind of mujahideen the American taxpayers were sponsoring. Toward this end the CIA was isolated by theISI from the training infrastructure it financed.

"When the Soviet Union left the region in 1989, MSNBC reports, "the CIA pulled out, too. But the zealots remained, and Pakistan’s own intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence bureau or ISI, took over as their sponsors." Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan turned sour, primarily because of the behavior of the ISI. Chossudovsky’s beloved Times of India noted October 12 that it was "an open secret that many Pakistani operatives have long since turned against the agency that once mentored them."
Although the two agencies fell out in the early 1990s amid reports of financial skulduggery by the ISI and a spat over weapons inventory, especially missing Stinger missiles, Washington continued to engage important Pakistani spooks. It was mandatory for all new ISI chiefs to pay their respects in appearance at least - to Langley and Foggy Bottom, home of the CIA and the State Department respectively.

In Chossudovsky’s black-and-white world, bilateral relations between two countries’ intelligence agencies have only two positions: on and off. But in the real world, such agencies at the very least maintain contact even when relations are at their worst. This does not entail the sharing of closely held secrets, and only the most simplistic worldview would dictate that such contact only occurs among allies.

The ISI’s inability to control the inventory of stinger missiles provided by the U.S. angered the incoming Clinton administration, which in 1993, placed Pakistan on the watch list of state sponsors of terrorism, where it remained throughout the 1990’s. And in addition to imposing economic sanctions against Pakistan over three years ago, the U.S. also imposed sanctions against China last year – for selling missile components to Pakistan.

U.S. intelligence sources have long suspected that the ISI had notified bin Laden of the cruise missile attacks on his training camps in 1998. Even as the U.S. launched its October 7 operations to topple the Taliban, "renegade ISI operatives visited Kabul, say Pakistan intelligence sources, to help the Taliban prepare its defenses." As the Guardian reported, Musharraf’s decision to turn against the Taliban and support the U.S. war against terror was not met with the obedience Chossudovsky suggests:
This time the atmosphere was cold. Gen Musharraf laid out his proposal to support America in the imminent war against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. There was, he told them, simply no other choice. Officially the public was told the officers supported Gen Musharraf unanimously. But now it has emerged that four of his most senior generals opposed him outright. The Guardian has learned that the four openly challenged the president's pro-US stance. In military terms it was a stunning display of disloyalty.

According to a source close to the military leadership the most angry among the four that night was Lieutenant General Mehmood Ahmed, the religious hardliner who headed the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) -responsible for internal security and covert operations - and was once Gen Musharraf's closest ally.

The story also asserts that even after Musharraf’s purges, "several hundred in the core of 2,500 ISI officers remain opposed to Gen Musharraf's alliance with America."

I suppose Chossudovsky would try to explain all this away as a decades-long cover, while the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI continued to work behind the scenes for the same nefarious ends. Even without this contradictory information, his assumptions are supported only by a thin tissue of distorted information.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:19 AM [+] ::
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