September 11 and the Origins of the ‘War on Terrorism’: A Revisionist Account

By Dr Stephen J. Sniegoski

I offer here what might be called a moderate revisionist account of the September 11 terror and the origin of the U.S. ‘war on terrorism.’

The official story permeating the major media runs something like this: the U.S. war on Afghanistan was simply an ad hoc response to the horrific events of September 11, which struck as a bolt from the blue, totally unexpected by American security agencies. The Afghanistan war emerged overnight as a simple effort to punish, and thus bring to justice, the perpetrators of the abominable deeds - namely, the al Qaeda terrorist network masterminded by the infamous Osama Bin Laden, ensconced in his cave in Afghanistan (accompanied, no doubt, by his dialysis machine). Presumably, the punishment of the perpetrators would make America safer from terrorism.

Because the Taliban government of Afghanistan harbored Bin Laden - the official line goes - it was necessary and just for the United States to overthrow that regime, which according to the U.S. Department of Justice was not actually a government at all but simply a vipers’ nest of terrorists, as evil as Bin Ladin and al Qaeda. [1] In the event, the United States’s elimination of the nefarious terrorists had the effect of liberating the oppressed Afghan people from tyranny.

The media, quoting government sources, identified Bin Laden as the likely culprit within hours of the attacks on the Twin Towers. It took more time for the story to evolve to the point where the Taliban became equivalent in evil with Bin Laden and al Qaeda, but soon enough, the whole affair was openly presented as a Manichæan conflict between good and evil, even including the claim that the United States was attacked because evil folk hate good folk.

Manichæan conflict between good and evil

The official line has finally begun to wear thin, and even such mouthpieces of Establishment platitudes as Chris Matthews and Michael Kinsley are now able to discern that the war is directed toward much broader purposes than a simple effort to punish the actual culprits of September 11. Kinsley writes: ‘But how did the “war on terrorism’ change focus so quickly from rooting out and punishing the perpetrators of 9-11 - a task that is still incomplete - to something (what?) about nuclear proliferation?’ (Parenthesis in original.) [2] In Matthews’s view, the limited punitive war has been ‘hijacked’ by people with other, broader aims - including, as he specifies, the proposed effort to prevent members of the ‘axis of evil’ from developing weapons of mass destruction. Matthews writes:

‘A month ago, I knew why we were fighting. You knew why we were fighting. We were getting the killers of Sept. 11 before they could get us again. If that meant tracking down Osama Bin Laden and his filthy gang to the ends of the Earth, we were up to the task.

So what happened to that gutsy war of bringing the World Trade Center and Pentagon killers to justice? Who hijacked that clear-eyed, all-American front of September-to-January and left our leaders mouthing this ‘axis of evil’ line? Who hijacked the firefighters’ war of righteous outrage and got us reciting this weird mantra about Iran, Iraq - and North Korea, of all places?’ [3]

Kinsley and Matthews make significant (though very obvious) observations here. The war is far different from a simple effort to punish those responsible for the September 11 atrocities. There is absolutely no connection between that event and President Bush’s current concern with his ‘axis of evil.’ In fact, the White House does not even attempt to make such a connection. As columnist Robert Novak notes, commenting on the 2002 State of the Union speech, ‘Bush abandoned seeking some connection between the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the next step in the war on terrorism. Indeed, the nexus between the three rogue nations and any kind of terrorism was slender, with the president asserting these countries “could provide” weapons of mass destruction “to terrorists.”’ [4]

September 11 events given as an excuse

Even the idea that the war has transmuted from its original intent represents a revisionist interpretation. And it is a short step from the transmutation thesis to the position that the war was never intended to be a simple, straightforward ‘firefighters’ war of righteous outrage’ and that from the very outset the September 11 events simply gave America’s foreign policy elites the excuse to put their prewar agendas into action. As I will show, American penetration of energy-rich Central Asia has been a much-discussed foreign policy objective for some years. Moreover, there is evidence that, prior to September 11, the United States had actually been making plans to remove the Taliban regime.

Further, Zionist elements in the American ruling establishment have always sought to direct the United States against the ‘terrorist’ states, which are, not coincidentally, the enemies of Israel. Certainly, that - - which has had its tentacles in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations - has long talked of taking a tougher line toward Iran and Iraq, as well as giving greater support to Israel’s war on ‘terrorists.’

In short, it is apparent that the war was anything but an overnight improvisation to address the September 11 atrocity; rather, the September 11 atrocities provided the pretext for the United States to put her existing war plans into motion.

Anything but an overnight improvisation

There is nothing novel about policymakers taking advantage of certain events to achieve a pre-existing agenda. In the 1840s James K. Polk exploited the Mexican army’s firing on American troops in the disputed region of south Texas in order to achieve his goal of acquiring Mexican territory by military means. In 1898, the explosion of the battle-ship Maine in Havana harbor provided the pretext for American imperialists to launch a war to grab overseas colonies, notably including the far-distant Philippines. And, of course, in 1941 the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor provided Franklin Roosevelt his long-sought opportunity to enter World War II against Germany. If a real incident doesn’t present itself, it becomes necessary for the crafty politico to fabricate one - as Lyndon Johnson did with the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Examples could be provided ad infinitum.

Populace has to be persuaded

So let me simply say that latching onto events to justify the implementation of a pre-existing militaristic agenda has long been the standard operating procedure of ruling elites, especially in formal democracies where a war-averse populace has to be persuaded of the righteousness of whatever policy of mayhem and murder government leaders intend to pursue. (I should add that in today’s context the word ‘persuaded’ is too strong a term, since the contemporary American public needs minimal intellectual persuasion. Instead, like the less-intelligent creatures of Orwell’s Animal Farm, it believes whatever story the government and the official media feed it.)

Even if only this much were true - that the September 11 events served as a pretext to achieve preexisting aims by military action - the meaning of the war on Afghanistan would depart radically from the conventional public presentation. But going even further, there are intimations that the United States (and her close ally Israel) had prior knowledge of the impending attack and did nothing to impede it, in order to obtain the needed justification for war. Since that more-extreme thesis is more difficult to prove, this article will devote considerable space to the evidence for it.

I acknowledge that my counter-interpretation of September 11 is hardly original. While the mainstream media have naturally eschewed it, and assiduously, it is quite evident on the Web. [5] In its purest conspiratorial form - that the U. S. government had prior knowledge or actually facilitated the atrocities - it is most popular on the hard Left and the conspiratorial far Right. In its milder form - that from its very outset the purpose of the war was to achieve broader goals than simply the punishment of those responsible for September 11 - the revisionist thesis actually seems to predominate outside the United States.

Cui bono?

What evidence exists for the revisionist thesis? According to the traditional adage, when a crime is committed, the first question to be asked is ‘Cui bono?’ - ‘Who benefits?’

The Afghanistan war has obviously been advantageous for American Big Oil and for policymakers who think in terms of U.S. world hegemony. It has enabled the United States to position herself so that she can secure the immense oil and gas reserves of Central Asia. The stabilization of Afghanistan is a crucial element for the attainment of that prize. [6] As a consequence of the war on Afghanistan, it appears that U.S. military and political influence will be a permanent fixture in Central Asia, a region of key geostrategic importance for American global hegemony. Later in this article I will develop at greater length the issue of American resources and geostrategic interests.

Obviously, the other primary beneficiary has been Israel. For Israel the ‘war on terrorism’ not only provides a green light for the crushing of the Palestinian people, entailing their expulsion or total bantustanization[7], but also puts American power on the side of Israel against her enemies across the entire Middle East. [8] That is because the officially designated ‘terrorists’ and countries that ‘harbor terrorists’ turn out to be the major enemies of Israel. Note that Iran and Iraq make up two-thirds of President Bush’s diabolical ‘axis’ and that North Korea is mainly included because she supplies weapons to those countries. It is interesting to note that the very phrase ‘axis of evil’ was coined by Bush’s speechwriter, David Frum, a hyper-Zionist who holds dual United States/Canadian citizenship. (It is not apparent that the protection of American national interests is foremost in Mr. Frum’s mind. I think Mr. Frum is one of those people whom the perceptive Joe Sobran would never accuse of dual loyalty. I also expect that Mr. Frum’s single loyalty would not be to Canada.)

A policy of militarily restraining and diminishing the military strength of her neighbors serves ipso facto to maintain nuclear-armed Israel’s monopoly of power in the Middle East, which has been the long-standing fundamental objective of Israeli foreign and military policy. As illustrated in 1981 by her military strike on the Osiraq reactor in Iraq, Israel has been willing to use force to maintain her regional nuclear monopoly. Long before September 11, the United States was actively helping Israel preserve that monopoly by maintaining a hypo-critical double standard: ignoring Israel’s acquisition of weapons of mass destruction while opposing the transfer of even peaceful nuclear technologies to others.

Israel currently views Iran as the neighboring state most likely to develop nuclear weapons, and she has been pushing to have that blocked, using the issue of Iran’s alleged support of terrorism as the ostensible justification for a military attack. Hints are even floating about that if the United States doesn’t do something, Israel herself will act. [9] The initial move of the U.S. military into Afghanistan saw efforts on Iran’s part to improve relations with the United States, but that tentative rapprochement has now been aborted, and for the fundamental cause of that one must look at the influence of Israel and her American supporters.

One crucial point must be clear: a military effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons has nothing to do with an effort to punish the perpetrators of the September 11 atrocities, an operation with which Iran has cooperated extensively. [10]

Interests of Big Oil and Israel converged on Afghanistan issue

It is significant that the interests of Big Oil and Israel converged on the Osama/Afghanistan issue. In the past, the interests of the two groups have often diverged - with the oil interests seeking to placate Israel’s oil-producing enemies. It is not clear that either group could have achieved success on its own. While the oil interests loom large in the Bush administration, Zionist influence reigns supreme in the Establishment media. It is unlikely that any major military action could succeed without the media’s being favorably disposed - witness the contributions of a hostile media to the Vietnam fiasco.

However, while the interests of Big Oil and Israel coincide on Afghanistan, their overall interests are not identical. Big Oil seems to desire a more limited war - restricted largely to Afghanistan and benefiting from the cooperation of an ‘anti-terrorist’ coalition of ‘moderate’ Islamic states. Secretary of State Colin Powell appears to be the administration spokesman for that position. In contrast, Israel and her American supporters want a broader war against ‘terrorism’ - that is, a war against the enemies of Israel. In that corner, one finds Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol and the Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer, William Safire, Richard Perle, and neoconservatives in general. [11] Such a ‘war against terrorism’ would work against Big Oil’s desire to form a coalition of moderate Islamic governments to counter Islamic ‘fundamentalism.’ Zionists, for their part, understand that a coalition of ‘moderate’ Islamic states in bed with the United States could be used to put diplomatic pressure on Israel to moderate her policies toward the Palestinians.

Benefits from September 11

Other important groups have benefited from September 11, especially the Bush administration itself. With the country going nowhere and the economy sliding downward, September 11 was a godsend to the beleaguered regime. Bush’s popularity has soared to astronomical heights. More than that, the entire Republican Party has sought to capitalize on the popularity of the war. Karl Rove, the president’s top political adviser, has been urging Republicans to focus on the war theme. [12] Paraphrasing Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins’s notorious election-winning formula - ‘Tax, tax; spend, spend; elect, elect’ - a Republican activist jokingly said to me: ‘Bomb, bomb; elect, elect.’ For that matter, even Franklin Roosevelt, seeing his popularity flagging, found it necessary to transform himself from ‘Dr. New Deal’ to ‘Dr. Win-the-War.’

Also benefiting from the war and its accompanying fever is the once-denigrated military-industrial complex, which naturally will expand in size and prestige. An influential, though often overlooked, element of that complex are the old Cold Warriors (and the institutions that house them), who need an Enemy to justify their existence. Many of those people would face unemployment should there ever be a ‘peace scare.’ [13]

However, these latter two groups - Republican politicos and the military-industrial complex - serve largely as auxiliaries in the pro-war movement, rather than as seminal forces. They would tend to support any war, anywhere. The point is that while these groups are predisposed to support war per se, they have not determined the specific parameters of this particular war with its focus on Central Asia and on Israel’s enemies. [14]


How did it happen that the September 11 tragedy led to developments long sought by Big Oil and by Israel? Were the terrorist attacks really a bolt from the blue - truly fortuitous - a case of pure serendipity? Or is there any evidence that the U.S. government and Israel had prior knowledge of the impending terrorist strikes but allowed them to take place or perhaps even facilitated them?

Even operatives of the Establishment media recognize the improbability of September 11’s coming as a complete surprise. As Howard Kurtz wrote in the Washington Post: ‘How could we not have known? How is it that America was totally blindsided by the Sept. 11 attacks?’ [15]

As Bill Clinton might put it, it all depends on what ‘we’ means. In fact, considerable evidence has come to light suggesting that certain Americans, and others, were not blindsided at all.

Instant messages to Israel

Employees in the Israel office of the instant-messaging firm Odigo received messages from the company’s New York office warning of the terrorist aerial strikes about two hours before they occurred. Originally it was stated that the World Trade Center was specifically mentioned, but that was later denied. [16]

Stock-market speculation

Just prior to September 11, sudden and unexplained speculation occurred in the stock of American and United airlines. An inordinate number of ‘put’ options - bets that a stock will go down - were placed on those two listings. No other airlines saw such speculation. Similar ‘put’ options were placed on the stock of various companies - including Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley - that were housed in the World Trade Towers. Since it is common for stocks of companies that suffer tragedies to plunge, this stock speculation would imply that someone had foreknowledge of the horrific event. American intelligence should have been aware of the abnormal speculation, since the CIA and other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading closely. [17]

It is interesting that many of the ‘put’ options on United Airlines were purchased through Deutschebank/AB Brown, a firm managed until 1998 by the current executive director of the CIA, A.B. ‘Buzzy’ Krongard. [18]

Private warnings

Some people outside the intelligence organs seem also to have gotten warnings. For example, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown was scheduled to fly to New York City on the morning of September 11, but he claimed later that he received a call the night before from his ‘security people at the airport’ telling him that he should be extra-cautious about air travel on the eleventh. [19] The FAA prevented the author Salman Rushdie, who is under special protection because of threats on his life, from flying to the United States during the week leading up to September 11, and Rushdie connects that prohibition to terror warnings in the possession of the government. [20] In August 2001, Drs. Garth and Mary Nicolson, a husband-and-wife medical team who are among the foremost Gulf War Syndrome investigators, reported to Department of Defense and National Security Council officials that a number of personal friends in the intelligence and diplomatic communities had told them that a terrorist attack on the Pentagon would take place on September 11. [21] And CounterPunch, the newsletter edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, reported that the extremely influential and well-connected investment firm Goldman Sachs circulated an internal memo in its Tokyo office on September 10 advising all employees to avoid any U.S. government buildings because of a possible terrorist attack. [22]

It is highly significant that knowledge of the planned aerial onslaught seems to have leaked outside the terrorist network, for if outsiders knew about the planned attack, one would not expect the CIA itself to be excluded from that knowledge. Bin Laden and his associates had been funded and trained by the CIA in the war against the Soviet Union. It is hard to fathom how the CIA, the best-financed intelligence organization in the world, would be unable to secure information on an organization made up of its former employees.

Public warnings

The fact of the matter is that it was public knowledge that Osama Bin Laden was planning terrorist acts in the United States. On June 23, 2001, Reuters dispatched a story headlined ‘Bin Laden Fighters Plan Anti-U.S. attack,’ with this lead sentence: ‘Followers of exiled Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden are planning a major attack on U.S. and Israeli interests.’ And a June 25 UPI dispatch stated: ‘Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden is planning a terrorist attack against the United States.’ [23]

Warnings to the U.S. government

Dire warnings flowed to the U.S. government from various sources. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak claims to have warned the United States 12 days prior to September 11 that ‘something would happen.’ [24] According to Russian news reports, Russian intelligence notified the CIA during the summer that 25 terrorist pilots had been specifically training for suicide missions. In an interview September 15 with MSNBC, Russian -President Vladimir Putin confirmed that in August he had ordered Russian intelligence to warn the United States ‘in the strongest possible terms’ of imminent terrorist strikes on airports and government buildings. [25] According to a story in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies received warning signals in the early summer that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to destroy important symbols of American and Israeli culture. [26] German police have confirmed that an Iranian man phoned the U.S. Secret Service from his deportation cell in Germany to warn of the planned terrorist assault on the World Trade Center. [27]

U.S. was aware of hijacked-planes scenario

A key aspect of the official story is that while U.S. authorities did expect acts of terrorism in the United States, the hijacked-planes scenario was completely unforeseen. The truth is, however, that terrorist use of hijacked planes had been talked about for some time. As columnist Robert Novak pointed out in his column of September 27: ‘From the moment of the September 11th attacks, high-ranking federal officials insisted that the terrorists’ method of operation surprised them. Many stick to that story. Actually, elements of the hijacking plan were known to the FBI as early as 1995 and, if coupled with current information, might have uncovered the plot.’ [28]

In January 1995, police in the Philippines arrested Abdul Hakim Murad, an associate of Ramzi Yousef, leader of the group involved in the 1993 World Trade Towers bombing. Under interrogation, Murad spoke of a plan by the Ramzi group to hijack a commercial airliner and crash it into CIA headquarters in Virginia. Murad, who had attended flight schools in the United States, said that he was going to be the pilot. Filipino investigators also turned up evidence that commercial buildings in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City were to be targeted. That information was passed on to the FBI. [29]

Notably, U.S. security officials had considered and prepared for possible attacks by suicide planes during the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996. [30] Furthermore, measures to avert suicide airliner crashes were in effect during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and were on track for the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City. As a matter of fact, International Olympic Committee officials have revealed that suicide plane-crash scenarios had been considered in their security planning for every Olympics since 1972. [31] In addition, the FAA’s Criminal Acts against Civil Aviation report for 2000 warned that Bin Laden and his followers were a threat to U.S. civil aviation. [32] Finally, since 1996 the FBI had made numerous inquiries about suspected Bin Laden associates’ taking flight training in the United States and abroad. [33]

U.S. monitored Bin Laden’s conversations

U.S. authorities acknowledge that they electronically monitored Bin Laden’s conversations in the past, but the official story maintains that Bin Laden stopped engaging in electronic communication after he learned that monitored communications had aided the U.S. cruise missile strike on his Afghanistan training camp in 1998. However, some knowledgeable observers reject that account. For example, the eminent Egyptian journalist and former government spokesman Mohammed Heikal, in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, maintained that ‘Bin Laden has been under surveillance for years: every telephone call was monitored and al Qaeda has been penetrated by American intelligence, Pakistani intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Egyptian intelligence. They could not have kept secret an operation that required such a degree of organisation and sophistication.’ [34]

Moreover, in February, 2001, UPI terrorism correspondent Richard Sale reported that U.S. intelligence agencies were able to monitor some of Bin Laden’s electronic communications. [35] If, as the official story has it, the September 11 events required long-term planning, it would seem likely that American intelligence picked up some information about the plan.

Official claims of an intelligence blackout in the run-up to September 11 seem odd in light of other official claims that U.S. intelligence was able to successfully monitor the Bin Laden network’s electronic communications immediately after the attacks. According to Newsweek magazine, the key reason that the authorities identified Bin Laden as the culprit was that U.S. intelligence picked up communications among his associates relaying the message: ‘We’ve hit the targets.’ [36]

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah gave a similar account to the Associated Press on September 11, claiming that U.S. government monitors had overheard two Bin Laden aides celebrating the successful terrorist strike. [37] Hatch repeated the story to ABC News the same day, adding that he had received the information from both CIA and FBI officials. The validity of Hatch’s story was confirmed by the hostile reaction of Bush administration officials, with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld condemning the unauthorized disclosure of allegedly classified information. [38]

It’s hard to deny that Bin Laden would have to rely heavily upon electronic communications in order to direct a global terrorist operation. And if U.S. intelligence agencies were able to monitor his communications immediately after the September 11 attack, it is difficult to believe that they were totally unable to do so before that time.

Hijackers were known to authorities

Interestingly, the suicide hijackers were actually known to U.S. authorities, and they seem to have made little effort to conceal their identities. For example, the FBI placed two of the hijackers, Kahlil Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhamzi, on an FBI ‘watch list’ on August 23, after the CIA received information linking the pair to Bin Laden. But the authorities somehow failed to pass along that information to the airlines, and the two were able to buy first-class one-way airline tickets, and then board and hijack a jetliner on September 11. [39]

The case of Ziad Samir Jarrah, one of the suspected hijackers aboard the United Airlines jet that crashed in Pennsylvania, has its oddities also. Authorities in the United Arab Emirates detained and questioned Jarrah at the Dubai International Airport after he arrived there from Pakistan on January 30, 2001. The request for the interrogation had been made by the U.S. government. According to an unnamed United Arab Emirates official: ‘The Americans told us that he was a supporter of terrorist organizations, that he had connections with terrorist organizations.’

Jarrah was allowed to leave the U.A.E., traveling on to Hamburg via Amsterdam. Later he flew to the United States. Despite the interest of U.S. authorities in him and his activities and his connections, Jarrah was allowed to enter the country. He then enrolled in a flight school.

Jarrah was stopped for speeding in Maryland on September 9, two days before the hijacking. The Maryland State Police apparently ran his name through their computers but, inexplicably enough, found nothing on him. They issued him a ticket and allowed him to proceed. [40]

The strange case of Mohammed Atta

Mohammed Atta, the alleged ringleader of the terrorist strike team, was reportedly an object of attention for Egyptian, German, and American authorities, and yet managed to travel without hindrance between Europe and America throughout 2000 and 2001. U.S. agents in Germany had monitored Atta’s group there before September 11; after the attacks, according to the British paper The Observer, ‘A team of agents dispatched by the FBI to Germany has been focusing on the northern city of Hamburg, where three of the men who died in the planes and four others who were on the FBI’s initial list of suspects studied at universities.’ Atta ‘was under surveillance between January and May last year [2000] after he was reportedly observed buying large quantities of chemicals in Frankfurt, apparently for the production of explosives and for biological warfare.’ [41]

Atta came to the attention of U.S. authorities several times in 2001. On January 10, 2001, he was allowed to enter the United States on a tourist visa, even though he admitted to immigration officials that he would be attending flight school, an activity that requires a student visa. The executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association told the Washington Post that ‘nine times out of ten’ a person in that situation would have been denied entrance. Oddly enough, federal immigration police overlooked Atta’s visa status violation even though he had previously been under FBI surveillance for stockpiling bomb-making materials. [42]

During the summer of 2001, the FBI discovered that Atta received a wire transfer of $100,000 from an account in Pakistan alleged to be controlled by a representative of Osama Bin Laden. [43] It is difficult to understand how such a large sum of money could be transmitted with impunity to someone under FBI surveillance.

The strange case of Zacarias Moussaoui

The government’s seeming lack of interest in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui is also very strange. On January 3, 2002, Moussaoui was arraigned on terrorism conspiracy charges in connection with the September 11 attacks. He had been arrested in Minnesota on August 16 after officials of a flight school there alerted the FBI of his suspicious behavior. Though lacking the most basic flying skills, he was seeking flight training on a commercial jet simulator. Moreover, he reportedly did not want to learn how to take off or land, only how to steer the jet while it was in the air. Moussaoui was detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service on charges of violating the terms of his visa.

Local FBI investigators in Minneapolis immediately viewed Moussaoui as a terrorist suspect and sought authorization for a special counterintelligence surveillance warrant in order to search the hard drive of his home computer. Higher-level officials in Washington rejected the request, claiming there was insufficient evidence to meet the legal requirements for the warrant. On August 26, French intelligence notified FBI headquarters that Moussaoui had connections to Osama Bin Laden, but even that revelation had little effect. A special counterterrorism panel of the FBI and CIA concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show that Moussaoui represented any threat, and he was not even transferred from INS detention to FBI custody until after September 11. [44] In an analysis published December 22, the New York Times commented that the Moussaoui case ‘raised new questions about why the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies did not prevent the hijackings.’ [45]

What did the U.S. government know?

In early August, the CIA informed the White House and other high government officials that Osama Bin Laden intended to mount a terrorist attack in the United States. [46] In its September 24 issue, Newsweek made the startling revelation that on September 10, ‘A group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.’ [47] That would imply that some federal officials knew of the exact timing of the attack. It appears that while federal officials might have made use of such knowledge to save their own skins, they had no desire to actually prevent the terrorist attack from taking place; or, to be more precise, that certain government officials at the highest levels had no desire to prevent it from taking place.

David P. Schippers, noted Chicago lawyer and the House Judiciary Committee’s chief investigator in the Clinton impeachment trial, has charged that elements of the U.S. government had foreknowledge of the September attack. He claims that lower-echelon FBI agents in Chicago and Minnesota contacted him about a month and a half before September 11 and told him that a terrorist attack was going to occur in lower Manhattan.

According to Schippers, the agents had been developing extensive information on the planned attack for many months. However, the FBI command pulled them off the terrorist investigation and threatened them with prosecution under the National Security Act if they went public with the information. As a result, some of them went to Schippers in hopes of prompting someone influential to persuade the government to take action. Schippers tried to pass the information on to high government officials - including some in the attorney general’s office - but his efforts apparently were ignored. One would have thought that Schippers’s background would have made him a credible witness, especially in the eyes of the intelligence and security appointees of a Republican regime.

He is now representing at least ten of the FBI agents in a suit against the U.S. government in an attempt to have their testimony subpoenaed, which would enable them to legally tell what they know and legally get it on record. [48]

Alleged terrorists acted like boobs

In an interview that appeared on January 13 in the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel, Andreas von Bülow - who served on a parliamentary commission that oversaw the three branches of German intelligence from 1969 to 1994 - finds the modus operandi of the alleged terrorist highjackers to be very suspicious. In particular, he regards the clues that they left behind to be very amateurish, if not idiotic. He describes them as ‘assailants who ... leave tracks behind them like a herd of stampeding elephants. They made payments with credit cards with their own names; they reported to their flight instructors with their own names. They left behind rented cars with flight manuals in Arabic for jumbo jets. They took with them, on their suicide trip, wills and farewell letters, which fell into the hands of the FBI, because they were stored in the wrong place and wrongly addressed. Clues were left like behind like in a child’s game of hide-and-seek, which were to be followed.’ [49]

How could terrorists who were capable of secretly carrying out a very complicated plan, undetected beforehand, leave evidence behind that even the Keystone Cops could detect? Or was the evidence left behind for the express purpose of incriminating the Bin Laden network?

Reporter Robert Fisk points out that the alleged evidence does not mesh with the notion that the terrorist highjackers were devoted Muslims. Fisk writes: ‘If the hand-written, five-page document which the FBI says it found in the baggage of Mohamed Atta, the suicide bomber from Egypt, is genuine, then the men who murdered more than 7,000 innocent people believed in a very exclusive version of Islam - or were surprisingly unfamiliar with their religion.’ [50]

Other strange revelations

Two other pieces of evidence frequently cited by conspiratorial believers are most intriguing but are of uncertain validity. One odd case is that of a 35-year-old American by the name of Delmart Edward ‘Mike’ Vreeland II. Vreeland claims to be a lieutenant in a U.S. Navy intelligence unit and says he knew in advance about the September 11 attacks. He has been imprisoned in Canada since December 2000, being initially arrested on fraud-related charges. While in prison, he tried to warn Canadian authorities about possible terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, as well as on targets in Ottawa and Toronto, but was ignored. He then wrote the warning on a piece of paper, sealed it in an envelope, and handed it to jail guards a month before the attacks. The guards opened the letter on September 14 and immediately forwarded the information to Ottawa.

American law-enforcement officials want Vreeland returned to the United States, where he would face fraud-related criminal charges in five states. Vreeland and his lawyers are fighting extradition, claiming that a return to this country could mean his death. [51] The entire story is fascinating, but Vreeland does appear to be a con artist. [52] That he was in naval intelligence and was involved in various secret operations seems implausible. His prediction of the attacks could have been a lucky guess.

More intriguing are remarks that Tom Kennedy, a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Urban Search and Rescue Team, made during a nationally telecast interview with CBS News anchor Dan Rather on September 13. Kennedy told Rather that FEMA sent the Urban Search and Rescue Team to New York City on Monday night, which was the night before the attacks occurred!

Kennedy recounted: ‘We’re currently one of the first teams that was deployed to support the City of New York in this disaster. We arrived on late Monday night [September 10] and went right into action on Tuesday morning’ [September 11]. FEMA officials said Kennedy misstated his team’s arrival date. Kennedy has never been reached for comment. The easy explanation is that this was a slip of the tongue, but since the interview took place on September 13, it would seem that Kennedy must have fallen victim to an extremely poor memory - perhaps signaling early-onset Alzheimer’s Syndrome. [53]

Bush administration hindered Bin Laden probes

FBI and military intelligence officials in Washington have claimed that they were prevented for political reasons from carrying out full investigations into members of the Bin Laden family and Saudi activities in the United States before the attacks of September 11. [54] FBI deputy director John O’Neill, who for years led U.S. investigations into Bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, resigned in August 2001 in protest over the obstruction. [55]

Ironically, after his resignation O’Neill took a new job as head of security at the World Trade Center. He died on September 11.

Big Oil - and Big Policy

Since their motives for war differ, it is necessary to discuss the actions of Big Oil and Israel separately. (Israel’s moves - and movers - will be examined in the fourth and concluding part of this article.) President Bush and his top advisors, most significantly Vice President Dick Cheney, have had close connections with major oil companies. And major oil interests have for some time been eyeing the vast, largely untapped oil and gas resources of the Caspian Basin and Central Asia.

The Caspian Sea reserves comprise 10 percent of the world’s known supply - worth about $5 trillion at today’s prices. However, Central Asia’s oil and gas reserves are land-locked, which means that the energy wealth must be sent through long pipelines to reach global markets. Control of Afghanistan is valuable not because of any oil or gas reserves of her own but because of her crucial geographic location. Potential transit routes for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea run through Afghanistan. American oil companies have sought to lay such a pipeline across that country, but political stability must first be established in the turbulent region.

Afghanistan’s key role

The value of Afghanistan, however, far transcends the oil-pipeline issue. Elie Krakowski, a former Department of Defense specialist on Afghanistan, points out that Afghanistan has traditionally been, and remains, a key area in global power politics:

Why then have so many great nations fought in and over Afghanistan, and why should we be concerned with it now? In short, because Afghanistan is the crossroads between what Halford MacKinder called the world’s Heartland and the Indian subcontinent. It owes its importance to its location at the confluence of major routes. A boundary between land power and sea power, it is the meeting point between opposing forces larger than itself. Alexander the Great used it as a path to conquest. So did the Moghuls. An object of competition between the British and Russian empires in the 19th century, Afghanistan became a source of controversy between the American and Soviet superpowers in the 20th. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has become an important potential opening to the sea for the landlocked new states of Central Asia. The presence of large oil and gas deposits in that area has attracted countries and multinational corporations. Russia and China, not to mention Pakistan and India, are deeply involved in trying to shape the future of what may be the world’s most unchangeable people. Because Afghanistan is a major strategic pivot what happens there affects the rest of the world.’ [56]

U.S. control over Central Asia

Leftist critics of American imperialism frequently portray American policy as based simply on the desire for corporate profits - in the case of Central Asia, profits from oil. And their argument contains an element of truth. Most Persian Gulf countries place stringent restrictions on American investment, which means that Central Asia is one of the few remaining growth regions for U.S. oil companies. [57] Undoubtedly some individuals profit monetarily from those restrictions; but the policies that American state officials pursue go far beyond providing mere personal wealth for themselves or their cronies.

American policies reflect certain geopolitical beliefs - connected to the economic interests of particular groups, indeed, but not necessarily related to the immediate financial gain of particular policymakers. The United States, or at least her foreign-policy elite, sees a need for the United States to dominate Central Asian energy resources as she dominates the Persian Gulf oil fields. Obviously, the development of those energy resources will mean financial gain for American investors. But control of the area will also enhance U.S. global power, and such control is thus a critical part of a geostrategic strategy to achieve global hegemony.

U.S. geostrategic models

Among the higher circles, views differ on how best to achieve the agreed goal of American dominance of Central Asia. Opinions fall along a continuum between two contrasting foreign-policy models: competitive and cooperative. According to the competitive model, other powers are adversaries in the quest for world power and wealth. It’s a zero-sum game - anything that benefits the United States’s adversaries automatically harms the United States. America’s goal is to achieve world hegemony - any lesser achievement would leave the United States vulnerable to her enemies. To achieve hegemony America must act unilaterally. In particular she must monopolize the world’s crucial energy sources to keep that wealth out of the hands of potential enemies such as Iran, Russia, and China.

One of the foremost articulators of the competitive position is Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor in the Carter administration. In his 1997 work The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, Brzezinski portrays the Eurasian landmass as the linchpin for world power, with Central Asia being key to the domination of Eurasia. [58] For the United States to maintain the global primacy that Brzezinski equates with American security, the United States must, at the very least, prevent any possible adversary, or coalition of adversaries, from controlling that crucial region. And, of course, the best way for the United States to prevent adversaries from controlling a region is to control it herself. [59] With considerable prescience, Brzezinski remarks that, because of popular resistance to U.S. military expansionism, his ambitious strategy could not be implemented ‘except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.’ [60]

The second model envisions cooperation, rather than competition, in seizing and managing the resources of Central Asia. The idea that cooperation with Russia and China in an expanded world state-capitalism, with its (notional) concomitant prosperity, would enhance world peace closely resembles the old Kissinger/Rockefeller 1970s vision of détente with the Soviet Union. Better transport and communications links in the Central Asian region could transform presently isolated countries into key trading centers at the crossroads of Europe and Asia - reminiscent of the Silk Road of the Middle Ages. U.S. officials predict the 21st Century Silk Road running through Central Asia will include railroads, oil and gas pipelines, and fiberoptic cables. [61]

One twist on the cooperation thesis has it that energy production in Central Asia, hinging on cooperation between the United States and Russia, is intended to lessen the industrial world’s dependence on the unstable Middle East. Making Central Asia safe for state-managed capitalistic development aimed at enhancing the prosperity of the great powers entails, of course, the suppression of trouble-some destabilizing elements such as Islamic fundamentalism and ethnic nationalism. [62]

It appears that actual U.S. policy in Central Asia leans toward the competitive model, but with elements of cooperation.

U.S. policy toward Afghanistan

Whereas U.S. officials now portray the Taliban as the essence of evil, that was not their prevailing view in the past. It certainly was not their view in the first part of 2001, when the United States saw the Taliban as a friendly government, and negotiated with it as such.

Officially the United States condemned the Islamic groups that used Afghanistan as their base for terrorism, and officially the United States demanded the extradition of Osama Bin Laden to face trial in the August 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. (After the 1998 bombings, the Clinton regime even launched missile strikes on Bin Laden’s guerrilla camps.) Although the record is convoluted and murky, it seems that, while the United States wanted to apprehend Bin Laden, she also sought to improve relations with the Taliban government, and that the latter goal often took precedence. Alternatively, one might argue that although Washington preferred to use negotiation to turn the Taliban against terrorism and achieve the stability necessary for regional energy exploitation, she had for some years considered the military option to remove the Taliban.

U.S.-Taliban relations can be roughly divided into four periods, though there is much overlap:

• From perhaps two years before the Taliban captured the capital city of Kabul in 1996 until the embassy bombings in August 1998 the United States was, at the very least, covertly friendly toward the Taliban.

• From August 1998 to the beginning of the Bush administration in January 2001, the U.S. attitude toward the Taliban cooled, and Washington made plans to eliminate Osama Bin Ladin; at the same time, however, some covert cooperation with the Taliban may have continued.

• After the present U.S. regime took power, it attempted to improve relations with the Taliban but abandoned that approach in August 2001, owing to a paucity of results, and made concrete preparations to remove the Taliban militarily.

• And after the September 11 tragedy, of course, the U.S. regime implemented the military option to eliminate the Taliban regime.

Oil companies’ interests

American oil companies had cozied up to the Taliban from the time it took over Kabul in 1996. In 1996, the U.S. oil company Unocal (Union Oil of California) reached an agreement with the Taliban to build a pipeline, but the continuing Afghan civil war prevented that project from getting started. According to Ahmed Rashid, a Central Asia specialist and author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, ‘Between 1994-96 the U.S. supported the Taliban politically through its allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, essentially because Washington viewed the Taliban as anti-Iranian, anti-Shia, and pro-Western.’ From 1995 to 1997, Rashid says, ‘U.S. support was driven by the UNOCAL oil/gas pipeline project.’ [63] Private companies conducted the actual negotiating, but their actions were ‘encouraged by the U.S. government.’ [64]

In May 1997 the New York Times wrote: ‘The Clinton Administration has taken the view that a Taliban victory ... would act as a counterweight to Iran ... and would offer the possibility of new trade routes that could weaken Russian and Iranian influence in the region.’ [65] The Wall Street Journal opined that Afghanistan could provide ‘a prime transshipment route for the export of Central Asia’s vast oil, gas, and other natural resources.’

‘Like them or not,’ the Journal continued, ‘the Taliban are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history.’ [66]

The U.S. government’s main objective in Afghanistan was to consolidate the position of the Taliban regime, which would be friendly to the United States, in order to exploit the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia. Moreover, Washington saw the Taliban as the enemy of Iran, which had her own proxy in Afghanistan - the Northern Alliance.

Military support for the Taliban came from Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence). In fact, the Taliban was a virtual creation of Pakistani intelligence, which viewed Afghanistan as a potential client state. [67] The United States, in turn, supported Pakistan as a counterweight to Iran.

Throughout the period when the United States took a favorable stance toward the Taliban, the Taliban was massacring civilians, oppressing women, and, in general, depriving the Afghan people of their basic liberties. It was those very same horrors that the United States, after September 11, 2001, would cite as justification for her use of military force to overthrow the tyrannical regime and, presumably, liberate the downtrodden populace.

Amnesty International, which was concerned not with gas and oil concessions but rather with the Taliban’s violations of human rights, commented negatively about Washington’s apparent friendliness toward that regime. According to Amnesty International, ‘Many Afghanistan analysts believe that the United States has had close political links with the Taliban militia. They refer to visits by Taliban representatives to the United States in recent months and several visits by senior U.S. State Department officials to Kandahar including one immediately before the Taliban took over Jalalabad.’ [68]

U.S. backing of the Taliban

After the 1998 embassy bombings, the Clinton administration does seem to have moved to a position of opposition to the Taliban, pushing the UN Security Council to adopt UN Resolution 1267, which called on the Taliban to hand over indicted terrorist Osama Bin Laden and to deal with the issue of terrorism. Economic sanctions were imposed to pressure the Taliban to comply. The United States also engaged in some covert operations on Afghanistan’s borders and within the country itself, aimed at ultimately removing the regime. [69]

But still Washington seems to have mixed its opposition with covert support. The International Herald Tribune reported that in the summer of 1998, ‘the Clinton administration was talking with the Taliban about potential pipeline routes to carry oil and natural gas out of Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean by crossing Afghanistan and Pakistan.’ [70]

In 1999, Rep. Dan Rohrabacher, a Republican who was a senior member of the House international relations committee, with oversight responsibility on policy toward Afghanistan, complained that ‘there is and has been a covert policy by this [Clinton] administration to support the Taliban movement’s control of Afghanistan.’ Rohrabacher surmised that U.S. policy was ‘based on the assumption that the Taliban would bring stability to Afghanistan and permit the building of oil pipelines from Central Asia through Afghanistan to Pakistan.’ [71]

In July 2000, Rohrabacher pressed his charge that the United States was aiding the Taliban in his testimony on global terrorism before the committee. Rohrabacher said: ‘We have been supporting the Taliban because all of our aid goes to the Taliban areas, and when people from the outside try to put aid into areas not controlled by the Taliban, they are thwarted by our own State Department.’

He continued: ‘Let me state for the record [that] at a time when the Taliban were vulnerable, the top person in this administration, Mr. [Karl F.] Inderfurth [assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs], and [Secretary of Energy] Bill Richardson personally went to Afghanistan and convinced the anti-Taliban forces not to go on the offensive. Further-more, they convinced all of the anti-Taliban forces and their supporters to disarm and to cease their flow of support for the anti-Taliban forces.’ [72]

U.S. humanitarian aid to Afghanistan did help prop up the Taliban regime. The United States provided an estimated $113 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in 2000 and a comparable sum in 2001 prior to September 11. [73]

Taliban do not submit

In 2001, the new Bush administration greatly expanded American efforts to come to terms with the Taliban on oil and terrorism. From February to August, the Bush regime conducted detailed negotiations with Taliban diplomatic representatives, meeting several times in Washington, Berlin, and Islamabad. A recent book by French intelligence analysts Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, tells that story and tells it well. [74]

But the Taliban balked at any pipeline deal and refused to eliminate the terrorist camps in their country. Instead of serving as a pliable government that could provide requisite stability for American exploitation of energy resources, the Taliban were exporting their revolutionary Islamic fundamentalism to nearby Central Asian countries, thus destabilizing the entire energy-rich region. According to Brisard and Dasquie, U.S. negotiations with the Taliban broke down in August after a U.S. negotiator threatened military action against the Taliban, telling them to accept the American offer of ‘a carpet of gold, or you’ll get a carpet of bombs.’ [75]

Preparations for military action

Months before August 2001, however, the United States had been making plans to remove the Taliban. In this connection, note that it is not unusual for a country to have a multifacted foreign policy, with contingency plans that vary widely. In any case, the United States seems to have sought to solve her differences with the Taliban through negotiations, while at the same time making plans to remove the regime if negotiations failed.

Washington had considered projecting its military power into the Central Asian region for some years. For example, in 1997, U.S. Special Forces took part in the longest-range airborne operation in American history, to reach Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in order to engage in joint military operations with military forces from Russia and the former Soviet Central Asian republics. U.S. News and World Report opined that this demonstration of America’s military muscle was primarily aimed at ‘Iran’s Islamic-fundamentalist regime. But it also could be seen as a warning to other potential rivals, including China and the fundamentalist Taliban militia of Afghanistan.’ [76]

After the September 11 attack, it transpired that the United States and Uzbekistan had been sharing intelligence and conducting joint covert operations against the Taliban for two to three years. That prior secret relationship helps explain the rapid emergence of the post-September 11 military partnership between the two countries, making Uzbekistan a base for launching attacks on Afghanistan. [77] Furthermore, since 1997 special military units of the CIA had been inside Afghanistan, working with Taliban opposition forces. Not only did the CIA work with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, it also helped establish an anti-Taliban network in southern Afghanistan, the area of the Taliban’s greatest support. [78]

With the advent of the Bush administration in 2001, U.S. officials settled on concrete plans for military action, in cooperation with other countries, to remove the Taliban regime. Significantly, some information on those plans leaked to the public before September 11. On March 15, 2001, the British-based Jane’s International Security reported that the new U.S. regime was working with India, Iran, and Russia ‘in a concerted front against Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.’ India was supplying the Northern Alliance with military equipment, advisors, and helicopter technicians, the magazine said, and both India and Russia were using bases in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for their operations.

‘Several recent meetings between the newly instituted Indo-U.S. and Indo-Russian joint working groups on terrorism led to this effort to tactically and logistically counter the Taliban’, Jane’s reported. ‘Intelligence sources in Delhi said that while India, Russia, and Iran were leading the anti-Taliban campaign on the ground, Washington was giving the Northern Alliance information and logistic support.’ [79]

According to a June 26, 2001, article in the Indian public-affairs Web magazine, the United States, Russia, Pakistan, and India made a pact for war against the Taliban. Iran was considered a covert participant. The powers planned to begin the war in mid October. [80]

A similar story, reported by the BBC on September 18, was provided by Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani foreign secretary. He said he was told by senior U.S. officials in mid July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. The broader goal was the removal of the Taliban and the installation of a compliant pro-American regime. According to Naik, he was told that the United States would launch her operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American military advisors were already in place. [81]

Four days later, on September 22, The Guardian newspaper confirmed Naik’s account and added that Pakistan had passed a warning of the impending attack to the Taliban. The story implied that the warning may have spurred Osama Bin Laden to launch his attacks, stating that ‘Bin Laden, far from launching the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon out of the blue 10 days ago, was launching a preemptive strike in response to what he saw as U.S. threats.’ The warning to Afghanistan came out of a meeting of senior U.S., Russian, Iranian, and Pakistani officials at a hotel in Berlin in mid July. [82]


Despite her preparations for war, the United States couldn’t just launch an attack on Afghanistan; U.S. officials required a compelling pretext in order to mobilize the American public into supporting a war in that faraway, and, to most people, unknown land. As Brzezinski had acknowledged, American military expansion into Central Asia could not be undertaken ‘except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.’ [83] Even more importantly, an irresistible provocation was needed to prevent strong opposition to such a war in Iran and Pakistan. Support - or, in the case of Iran, acquiescence - was seen as necessary to allow for the successful conduct of such a war.

Was September 11 just a fortuitous event that meshed perfectly with U.S. strategic designs for foreign oil resources and with actual U.S. military planning? Such serendipity does occasionally occur. However, even if the 9-11 attacks were such a case, they would still deserve to be placed in historical and political context, since they allowed the United States to capitalize upon them by implementing a preexisting military agenda. Hitler may not have started the Reichstag fire, but he certainly intended to become dictator and was able to exploit the fire to achieve his goal; and that would be worth putting in context. But the official media portrayal of the ‘war on terrorism’ as simply an effort to remove the evil people who attacked America is contextless. The aims of the war are quite different. If the terrible tragedy of September 11 had not served as a pretext for America’s war policy, something else probably would have, though undoubtedly less effectively.

But given the evidence presented in this article, it is also conceivable that high U.S. officials had advance knowledge of a terrorist attack and decided to let it proceed, perhaps without envisioning the magnitude of the destruction, in order to provide a catalyst for their already planned war in Afghanistan. (We can probably exclude from that knowing circle President Dodo, who doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what’s going on beyond believing that we are good and they are bad.)

Israel’s involvement

As important as the interest of Big Oil is, the success of America’s foreign policy requires the backing of the supporters of Israel, who hold a dominant place in the official media. Israel’s supporters in America, unsurprisingly, constitute the vanguard of those who are working to enlarge the war into one against Israel’s enemies. But Israel is more than simply a beneficiary of the 9-11 attack. Considerable evidence exists that Israel had some connection to the attack, at least to the extent that her intelligence agents possessed prior knowledge of it.

For years stories have circulated that Israeli agents - especially those of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad - have infiltrated Arab terrorist networks and have sometimes actually involved themselves in deceptive terroristic activities designed to appear as the work of Arabs. For example, it has been claimed - by Victor Ostrovsky, for one - that the Mossad had foreknowledge of the attack on the U.S. Marine Barracks in Lebanon in 1983. [84]

Other observers allege that the Mossad thoroughly infiltrated the nefarious terrorist group Abu Nidal and even turned some of its terrorist activities to Israel’s benefit. [85]

Anent the notorious Lavon Affair, even mainstream writers - and, to some extent, the Israeli government itself - have acknowledged Israel’s deceptive terrorism. In July 1954, Egypt was plagued by a series of bomb outrages directed mainly against American and British property in Cairo and Alexandria. The bombings, generally assumed to be the work of Arab nationalists, had the effect of heightening tensions at a time when Egypt was negotiating with Britain over the evacuation of Britain’s military bases in the Suez Canal Zone. Ultimately, the bombings contributed to the attack on Egypt by the British and French (and Israel) in the Suez crisis of 1956. The terrorist bombings were actually carried out by Egyptian Jews in the service of Israel. [86]

The belief that Israel might engage in such deceptive terrorism against the United States is expressed in a recent study by the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). A reference to this study appeared, poignantly, in a frontpage article in the Washington Times on September 10, 2001 - one day before the horrific attacks. According to the article, ‘Of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, the SAMS officers say: “Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”’ [87]

Intimations of a possible Israeli connection emerged immediately after the September 11 tragedy (and, naturally, were publicized by Islamic sources). Initial reports from Israel said that 4,000 Israelis worked in the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, or in their vicinity. However, it turned out that only one Israeli (or at most a very few Israelis) died. The Islamic media inferred from this that Israelis in the target areas had received prior warning. Jewish groups and the Establishment media have labeled that inference ‘anti-Semitic.’ It is undeniable that the Islamic media did embellish the story; they have offered no evidence that Israel actually provided a warning. On the other hand, unless the initial figure of 4,000 Israelis has been credibly recanted or refuted, the minute death ratio would seem to seriously challenge the laws of probability. [88]

Mysterious Israeli ‘movers’

Law enforcement officials took at least three different groups of Israelis into custody after eyewitnesses reported seeing them celebrating in several locations in New Jersey, across the river from lower Manhattan, as the September 11 attacks occurred. In two cases, men were reported to have videotaped the initial attack on the World Trade Center. Witnesses say it appeared that they knew what would happen before it happened.

It is also alleged that some of the men arrested were carrying maps linking them to the blasts. All the detained Israelis were connected to Israeli-owned moving companies operating out of New York and New Jersey. [89] A clear implication is that the moving companies were fronts for an Israeli spy network.

Fox story on Israeli spies in the U.S.

On December 12, Fox News with Brit Hume, featuring reporter Carl Cameron, broke an eye-opening story that federal law enforcement officials had detained approximately 60 Israeli citizens, including some described as active Israeli military or intelligence operatives, in the course of the post-September 11 roundup of potential terrorists. U.S. officials suspected that the Israelis were part of an extensive Israeli intelligence network active in America, which probably had obtained advance information of the September 11 attacks.

Regarding the September 11 connection, Cameron reported: ‘There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are “tieins.” But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, “Evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.”’ [90]

Muddying these already murky waters are claims that Israel did pass on warnings to the U.S. government that agents of Osama Bin Laden were preparing a major assault on the United States. [91] However, the alleged warnings do not seem to have been as specific as the information Fox News implies Israel possessed. In short, the alleged Israeli warnings did not offer the United States any more information than the many other warnings that were flowing in. Conceivably, the apparently vague warnings could simply represent an effort on the part of Israeli intelligence to protect itself from the charge that it was with-holding vital information from the United States. The U.S. government seems to tolerate, unofficially, a high level of Israeli spying in the United States, but surely Washington expects to derive some benefit in return.

The question of state terrorism

A considerable number of intelligence experts have contended that the whole September 11 event was too complicated to have been successfully conducted by al Qaeda and that it required state sponsorship. Some have pointed to Iraq, a few to Iran; however, no evidence inculpating either of those states has turned up. Intelligence specialists committed to the mainstream have refrained, of course, from pointing any accusatory fingers at Israel or the United States.

In a January 3 interview in the German daily Tagesspiegel, intelligence expert Andreas von Bülow maintains that ‘the planning of the attacks was technically and organizationally a master achievement. To hijack four huge airplanes within a few minutes and within one hour, to drive them into their targets, with complicated flight maneuvers! This is unthinkable, without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the state and industry... I have real difficulties, however, to imagine that all this sprang out of the mind of an evil man in his cave.’ [92]

Even if we assume that Bin Laden is an evil genius capable of directing a complex attack from halfway around the globe, fundamental problems with the official story persist. For in the official view, Bin Laden somehow orchestrated the attack without relying on electronic communications. And not only that: intelligence agencies had already identified, as his associates, the men who allegedly received his instructions. How could Bin Laden have directed a complicated scheme, executed by people known to be his associates, without the authorities detecting anything? That the September 11 event took place in the way that the official story claims it did is highly unlikely.


As I stated at the beginning, I hold a moderate revisionist view of America’s current war on terrorism. We may divide 9-11 revisionism into four different categories, from mild to hardline. The mildest form would be that of Kinsley and Matthews, in which the purpose of the war has been illicitly broadened from its original intent: punishing the perpetrators of the September 11 crime. A somewhat harder version holds that the broader war was intended from the very outset and that the September 11 atrocities simply provided a pretext to put the war plan into action. More hardline is the view that the U.S. government was aware of the attack before it occurred and allowed it to proceed in order to achieve a pretext for war. And the hardest line of all would have it that the beneficiaries of the war actually facilitated the atrocities. Among the claims of this version are that U.S. warplanes intentionally allowed the hijackers to reach their targets; that the U.S. government placed bombs in the World Trade Center to make sure it would collapse; and that Osama Bin Laden had nothing to do with the attack but was simply a convenient scapegoat.

It seems obvious that the events of September 11 did provide a pretext to achieve, by military action, already-existing foreign policy goals. To believe thatAmerican military action was aimed simply at bringing to justice the perpetrators of the act - Matthews’s ‘firefighters’ war’ - is sheer naiveté. It not only ignores significant information but also fails to reflect any understanding of how policymakers work.

Similarly, the extreme revisionist version whereby the U.S. government actually perpetrated the horrific events of September 11 represents a move into conspiratorial la-la-land. Such loopy ideas actually serve Establishment interests by discrediting any more-sober attempt to revise the official account. (As I have implied, one might want to be a little slower to ridicule the hypothesis of Israeli sponsorship.)

As for the evidence that points to prior knowledge by the United States and Israel, this writer is just not sure. But such a scenario must not be written off as an absurd impossibility, as the Establishment media and academia customarily do with ‘conspiracy theories’ that are in some way ‘anti-Establishment’ (while simultaneously promoting a host of other conspiracy theories that comport better with their own world-view). Obviously, the whole affair cries out for a rigorous investigation - in fact the qualifier rigorous should be deleted because the only evidence so far has come from the news media. Apparently, no official investigation whatsoever of the ‘foreknowledge scenario’ has occurred, and, of course, no government documents have been subjected to public perusal; most interesting among the latter would be information from the intelligence agencies, such as intercepts and surveillance tapes.

However, having studied the background of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, [93] I am struck by the amount of information already available that runs counter to the official line. It took years to reach a comparable stage in the analysis of Pearl Harbor, and it required numerous investigations. Granted, the Pearl Harbor investigations were largely government whitewashes; but, willy-nilly, those probes dragged numerous anomalies into the light. In fact, they eventually forced the Establishment to retreat from its original ‘bolt-from-the-blue while a totally unsuspecting America was listening to Jack Benny on the radio’ fable.

Unfortunately, in the case of the September 11 catastrophe, the anomalous information that was released, incautiously or unavoidably, right after the event seems to have been thrown down the memory hole and officially forgotten. The leads simply have not been investigated - which is understandable in a world always short of heroes, because pulling on those threads would probably not be a career-enhancing activity. Who is to say? - it might not even be life-enhancing.

I have one final observation about the overall Establishment position, an observation which is so obvious it is often over-looked. ‘Defensive’ wars are intended to stop some action from continuing or from taking place - such wars are aimed, classically, at ‘driving the invader from our country.’ Now, many commentators justify the ‘war on terrorism’ as a defense of the United States. But the fact of the matter is that government officials make little effort to demonstrate how their ‘war on terrorism’ will eliminate, or even lessen, the terrorist threat to the United States. As their critics have pointed out, it is none other than U.S. military interventionism that provokes terrorists to target the United States for attacks. [94] Thus, as the United States expands and intensifies her war against terrorism around the globe, she actually increases the likelihood of terrorist strikes against the American homeland.

If the war has not reduced the terrorist threat to America, what has it done? - what might it do? It has been partly successful, at best, in bringing to justice the perpetrators of 9-11. It has disrupted the al Qaeda network, though Osama Bin Laden and many of his leading associates remain at large. But at the same time, the war has achieved the establishment of an American military presence in energy-rich Central Asia and a pliable government in Afghanistan. Moreover, the war has given a green light to Israel to smash the Palestinians; and it has smoothed the path for a U.S. assault against Israel’s major enemies, starting with Iraq.

When a war advances the long-sought aims of a power and its chief ally, may we not infer the purpose of the war from those results? But perhaps that kind of logic is too old-fashioned.

March 22, 2002


For further questions and comments concerning the articles please contact the editors of Current Concerns, who will pass them on to the author.


(*) Stephen J. Sniegoski received a Ph. D. in United States History from the University of Maryland. He published articles dealing with history, foreign policy and education.

Further articles by Dr. Sniegoski:




[1] In regard to the treatment of Taliban prisoners, the Office of Legal Counsel of the Justice Department has opined that the ‘Taliban and its forces were, in fact, not a government, but a militant, terrorist-like group.’ Rowan Scarborough, ‘Powell urges POW status,’ Washington Times, January 26, 2002,

[2] Michael Kinsley, ‘The War Keeps Growing,’ Washington Post, February 8, 2002, p. A31,

[3] Chris Matthews, ‘Who hijacked our war?,’ San Francisco Chronicle, February 17, 2002

[4] Robert Novak, ‘The war President,’ January 31, 2002,

[5] Patrick Martin has written an excellent series of articles on this issue on the World Socialist Web Site:

[6] The United States has established a pliable government under Musharraf Karzai, who is already talking of developing the pipeline. See ‘Musharraf, Karzai agree major oil pipeline in cooperation pact,’ The Irish Times, February 16, 2001, ZAI .html.

[7] Actually the condition of the Palestinians is far worse than that of South Africa‘s Blacks in the Bantustans of the former white-ruled South Africa. Compared to the Bantustans, the preserves for the Palestinians are tiny and are lacking the necessary elements for survival - most crucially water. In reality, the Palestinian reserves fall somewhere between a Bantustan and a Nazi concentration camp, sans homicidal gas chambers.

[8], the intelligence Website, devoted an article to showing how Israel was the big winner from the Sept. 11 tragedy: George Friedman, ‘The Israeli Dimension,’ September 11, 2001. The piece cannot be accessed gratis at Stratfor (, but it is posted in the news groups.

[9] David Hirst, ‘Israel thrusts Iran in line of US fire,’ The Guardian, February 2, 2002,,2763,643734,00.html. Also see ‘Iran, Israel and Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East,’

[10] The pro-Zionist American media have recently been presenting anti-Iranian stories implying that Iran has actually protected al Qaeda members. If true, that would be quite ironic since Iran fought the Taliban for years.

[11] Jim Lobe, ‘Hawks Take Aim at Iraq,’ November 30, 2001,;‘US Hawks Say Taliban Is Not Enough,’ November 9, 2001,; and Jude Wanniski, ‘Israel and the Terrorist Attack,’ October 10, 2001,

[12] Bill Press, ‘Bill Press: Making political hay out of 9/11,’ January 23, 2002,; and Mark Halperin, ‘Bush Adviser KARL ROVE Suggests Republicans Benefit from War,’, January 18, 2002.

[13] Julian Borger, ‘Washington hawks get power boost,’ The Guardian, December 17, 2001. Borger writes: ‘The mostly casualtyfree military successes in Afghanistan have significantly boosted the power of Washington‘s ‚super-hawks‘ - a tight-knit group of former Cold Warriors who have returned from more than a decade in policy exile to grasp the levers of power once more.‘“It‘s taken us 13 years to get here, but we‘ve arrived,” the evening‘s host, Frank Gaffney, the head of a hawkish Washington thinktank, declared to applause and murmurs of agreement’:’200’ ?IFRWIDTH=’200’?IFRAMEBGCOL=’000000’?SPACEDESC=popupbig38.

[14] Members of these two groups can, of course, also be proponents of the interests of Big Oil or of Israel.

[15] Howard Kurtz, ‘The Reluctant Scrutiny of 9/11,’ Washington Post, February 7, 2002, 2002Feb7.html.Kurtz, of course, tries to account for this improbability in his own way.

[16] Brian Williams, ‘Instant Messages to Israel Warned of WTC Attack,’ Newsbytes, September 27, 2001,

[17] Chris Blackhurst, ‘Mystery of terror “insider dealers,”‘ Independent, October 14, 2001, .

[18] Don Radlauer, ‘Black Tuesday: The World‘s Largest Insider Trading Scam?,’ The International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism, September 19, 2001,

[19] Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, ‘Willie Brown got low-key early warning about air travel,’ San Francisco Chronicle, September 12, 2001,

[20] ‘Rushdie claims US authorities knew of attack ,’, September 27, 2001,; Joseph Farrah, ‘The failure of government,’, October 19, 2001,

[21] ‘26 Reasons Why “White Collar Terrorists” are to Blame for “America’s New War” and the Impending World War III,’

[22] Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, ‘After-shocks,’ CounterPunch, September 14, 2001,

[23] Simon Marks, ‘Asleep at the switch,’ Society of Professional Journalists, [Membership site - ed.]

[24] ‘Egypt Leader Says He Warned America,’ AP, December 7, 2001,;‘Mubarak says he warned U.S. of an attack before Sept. 11,’ Associated Press, Virtual Jerusalem, var.

[25] September 15, 2001 MSNBC interview with Vladimir Putin cited in Nevada Democratic News,

[26] Ned Stafford, ‘Newspaper: Echelon Gave Authorities Warning of Attacks,’ Newsbytes, September 13, 2001,

[27] ‘German police confirm Iranian deportee phoned warnings,’ Ananova, September 14, 2001,

[28] Robert Novak, ‘Tom Ridge’s challenge,’ Septem-ber 27, 2001,

[29] Raymond C. Burgos, Acuin Papa, and Dave Veridiano, ‘Plot to use planes in US attacks uncovered in RP,’ Inquirer News Service, September 12, 2001,

;Doug Struck, Howard Schneider, Karl Vick, and Peter Baker, ‘Borderless Network of Terror, Bin Laden Followers Reach across Globe,’ Washington Post, September 23, 2001, p. A1,

Sep22;Maria Ressa, ‘U.S. warned in 1995 of plot to hijack planes, attack buildings,’ CNN, September 18, 2001, html.

[30] Mark Fineman and Judy Pasternak, ‘Suicide Flights and Crop Dusters Considered Threats at ‘96 Olympics,’ Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2001,

[31] Jacquelin Magnay, ‘Jet crash on stadium was Olympics nightmare,’ Sydney Morning Herald, September 20, 2001,

[32] FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security, Criminal Acts against Civil Aviation, 2000,

[33] Steve Fainaru and James V. Grimaldi, ‘FBI Knew Terrorists Were Using Flight Schools,’ Washington Post, September 23, 2001, p. A-24,;Kevin Cullen and Ralph Ranalli, ‘FBI coming under renewed scrutiny,’ Boston Globe, Sept. 25, 2001, p. A8.

[34] Mohammed Heikal, ‘There isn’t a target in Afghanistan worth a $1m missile,’ Guardian, October 10, 2001,,4273,4273924,00.html.

[35] Richard Sale, ‘Making cyberwar on Bin Laden,’ United Press International, February 8, 2001.

[36] Michael Hirsh, ‘We’ve Hit the Targets,’ Newsweek, September 13, 2001,

[37] David Crary and Jerry Schwartz, Associated Press, September 11, 2001, ‘World Trade Center collapses in terrorist attack,’ [Link may have expired - ed.]

[38] John Diamond and Jill Zuckman, ‘Leak of CIA data angers officials,’ Chicago Tribune, September 14, 2001,

[39] Bob Drogin and Eric Lichtblau, ‘Search for Suspects Was on for Weeks,’ Los Angeles Times,

[40] John Crewdson, ‘Hijacker held, freed before Sept. 11 attack,’ Chicago Tribune, December 13, 2001,; Associated Press, ‘Official: Hijacker Was Detained at Dubai Airport,’ Washington Post, December 14, 2001, p. A-23,

[41] Martin Bright, et al., ‘The Secret War: Part 2,’ The Observer, September 30, 2001,’200’ ?IFRWIDTH=’200’?IFRAMEBGCOL=’000000’?SPACEDESC=popupbig38;Tony Helm, ‘German secret service “failed to act on terrorist warnings,”’ Daily Telegraph (London), November 24, 2001;Hugh Williamson, ‘Crash pilot “was being watched” investigation,’ Financial Times (London), November 24, 2001.

[42] George Lardner Jr., ‘Lawyers Say Terrorist’s Entry into U.S. Could Have Been Barred,’ Washington Post, October 28, 2001, p. A8,

[43] Aditya Sinha, ‘In need of cash to pay for army, Taliban dump opium,’ October 3, 2001,

[44] Martin, ‘The strange case of Zacarias Moussaoui: FBI refused to investigate man charged in September 11 attacks,’ World Socialist Web Site, July 5, 2002,;Dan Eggen, ‘Hijack Plot Suspicions Raised With FBI in Aug.,’ Washington Post, January 2, 2002, p. A1,;Greg Gordon, ‘Eagan flight trainer wouldn’t let unease about Moussaoui rest,’ Minneapolis Star-Tribune, December 21, 2001,

[45] Patrick Martin, ‘The strange case of Zacarias Moussaoui: FBI refused to investigate man charged in September 11 attacks,’ World Socialist Web Site, January 5, 2002,

[46] Bob Drogin, Eric Lichtblau, and Greg Krikorian, ‘CIA, FBI Disagree on Urgency of Warning,’ Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2001, 1801cable.

[47] Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, ‘Bush: “We’re at War,”’ Newsweek, September 24, 2001, p. 26.

[48] David Shippers, ‘Government Had Prior Knowledge,’ The Alex Jones Show, October, 10, 2001, sage?to picID=14.topic.

[49] ‘German Minister’s Interview Rips 911 Case Open,’ Tagesspiegel, January 13, 2002, tm.

[50] Robert Fisk, ‘The time of fun and waste is gone,’ The Independent, September 29, 2001, http://www.

[51] Michael C. Ruppert, ‘A White Knight Talking Backwards / Spy Case in Canadian Courts Suggests US Naval Officer Had Foreknowledge of 9-11,’ html;‘American Spy Warned Canadian Government about Sept. 11 Attacks,’ The Intelligence Digest,

[52] Det. Rick Pengelly of the Toronto police said that Vreeland ‘seems to exist solely by committing frauds.’ Tom Godfrey, ‘Cops Catch Up with Artful Dodger,’ Toronto Sun, January 13, 2001.

[53] ‘U.S. Knew of Attacks in Advance?’,

[54] Greg Palast and David Pallister, ‘FBI and US Spy Agents Say Bush Spiked Bin Laden Probes before 11 September,’ The Guardian, November 7, 2001,;Greg Palast, ‘BBC: Did Bush Turn a Blind Eye to Terrorism?,’ BBC Newsnight, November 6, 2001,

[55] O’Neill expressed this view in an interview for a recent book by French authors Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, ‘Bin Laden: La Verite Interdite (Bin Laden: The Hidden Truth)’. Laura Marlowe, ‘US efforts to make peace summed up by ‘oil,’ Irish Times, November 19, 2001,; ‘Three reviews of Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie,’

[56] Elie Krakowski, ‘The Afghan Vortex,’ IASPS Research Papers in Strategy, April 2000. No. 9, [Hitting this link currently seems to produce odd results. - ed.]

[57] ‘Asia’s big oil rush: count us in,’ U.S. News & World Report, Sept 29, 1997, p. 42.

[58] Zbigniew Brzezinski, ‘The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives’ (New York: Basic Books, 1997). A similar argument that the control of vital resources is the key to global power and global warfare is presented by Michael T. Klare, Resource Wars: ‘The New Landscape of Global Conflict’ (New York: Henry Holt, 2001).

[59] Brzezinski is echoing the geopolitical theory of 19th-century British geostrategist Halford Mackinder. See Christopher J. Fettweis, ‘Sir Halford Mackinder, Geopolitics, and Policymaking in the 21st Century,’ Parameters, Summer 2000, pp. 58-71,

[60] Brzezinski, ‘The Grand Chessboard’, p. 211.

[61] Stuart Parrott, ‘Azerbaijan: International Conference Convened to Revive Silk Road,’ Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 2, 1998,

[62] Anne Applebaum, ‘Russia, Oil, and Conspiracy Theories,’ Slate, November 27, 2001,

[63] Quoted by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, ‘Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the United States: The Role of Human Rights in Western Foreign Policy,’ Institute for Policy Research & Development, January 2001, 

[64] Josh Martin, ‘Pipeline wrangle continues,’ The Middle East, May 1997, n267 p24(2).

[65] New York Times, May 26, 1997.

[66] Wall Street Journal, May 23, 1997.

[67] Institute for Afghanistan Studies, ‘CIA worked in tandem with Pak to create Taliban,’ March 7, 2001, [Hitting this link currently seems to produce odd results. - ed.]

[68] Quoted by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, ‘Afghanistan, the Taliban and the United States: The Role of Human Rights in Western Foreign Policy,’ Institute for Policy Research & Development, January 2001,

[69] Thomas E. Ricks and Susan B. Glasser, ‘U.S. Operated Secret Alliance With Uzbekistan,’ Washington Post, October 14, 2001,;

Bob Woodward, ‘Secret CIA Units Playing a Central Combat Role,’ Washington Post, November 18, 2001, p. A-1,; and Barton Gellman, ‘Broad Effort Launched After ‘98 Attacks,’ Washington Post, December 19, 2001,

[70] Quoted by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, ‘Afghanistan, the Taliban and the United States: The Role of Human Rights in Western Foreign Policy,’ Institute for Policy Research & Development, January 2001, 

[71] Statement of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, ‘U.S. Policy toward Afghanistan,’ hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on South Asia, April 14, 1999,;

Kevin Foley and Julie Moffett, ‘Afghanistan: U.S. Denies It Secretly Supports Taliban,’ Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, April 15, 1999,

[72] Testimony of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, ‘Global Terrorism: South Asia - The New Locus,’ hearing before the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, 106th Congress, 2nd Session, July 12, 2000, 106-173, p. 22.

[73] U.S. Department of State, ‘Fact Sheet: Humanitarian Aid to the Afghan People,’ October, 15, 2001,;

Brett Schaefer, ‘Afghanistan’s Worst Enemy,’ Heritage Foundation,

[74] Julio Godoy, ‘US policy on Taliban influenced by oil,’ Asia Times Online, November 20, 2001,;‘Three reviews of Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie,’

[75] Godoy.

[76] ‘Asia’s big oil rush: count us in,’ U.S. News & World Report, Sept 29, 1997, p. 42; R. Jeffrey Smith, ‘U.S., Russian Paratroops Join in Central Asian Jump; Exercise Shows Airborne Units’ Long Reach,’ Washington Post, Sept 16, 1997, p. A12.

[77] Thomas E. Ricks and Susan B. Glasser, ‘U.S. Operated Secret Alliance with Uzbekistan,’ Washington Post, October 14, 2001,

[78] Bob Woodward, ‘Secret CIA Units Playing a Central Combat Role,’ Washington Post, November 18, 2001, p. A-1,

[79] Rahul Bedi, ‘India joins anti-Taliban coalition,’ Jane’s, March 15, 2001, 010315_1_n.shtml.

[80] ‘India in anti-Taliban military plan,’, June 26, 2001,∓c tg=policy.

[81] George Arney, ‘US ‘planned attack on Taleban,’ BBC, September 18, 2001, 1550366.stm.

[82] Jonathan Steele, Ewen MacAskill, Richard Norton-Taylor and Ed Harriman,

 ‘Threat of US strikes passed to Taliban weeks before NY attack,’ Guardian, September 22, 2001,,4273,4262511,00.html.

[83] Brzezinski, ‘The Grand Chessboard’, p. 211.

[84] Ostrovsky made the accusation in his By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990). For a review by Joe Sobran, see ‘Allies don’t let our soldiers die: Did Israel deliberately allow 241 American Marines to die?’,

[85] Patrick Seale, Abu Nidal, ‘A Gun for Hire’ New York: Random House, 1992.

[86] Doron Geller, ‘The Lavon Affair,’ Jewish Virtual Library,;David Hirst, ‘The Lavon Affair,’ Excerpts from his book The Gun and the Olive Branch, (Futura Publications, 1977, 1984),; and Livia Rokach, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism (Belmont, Mass.: AAUG Press Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc., 1986), Chapter 7, ‘The Lavon Affair’,

[87] Rowan Scarborough, ‘US troops would enforce peace under Army study,’ Washington Times, September 10, 2001, pp. A1, A9,

[88] The initial 4,000 figure was reported in ‘Hundreds of Israelis missing in WTC attack,’ Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2001,;Ed Toner, ‘Evidence of Mossad Treachery in the WTC,’ November 25, 2001,

[89] Yossi Melman, ‘5 Israelis detained for “puzzling behavior” after WTC tragedy,’ Ha’aretz, September 17, 2001,;Scott DaVault, Urban Moving Systems and Detained Israelis,; and ‘The Stories of 9/11 the American Media Hopes You Forget,’

[90] This story was quickly erased from the Fox News Website but still appears elsewhere on the web. See ‘Carl Cameron Reports,’ December 12, 2001,; and Michael Collins Piper, American Free Press, ‘Israel Conducts Massive Spying Operation in U.S.,’ December 24, 2001,

[91] Richard A. Seranno and John-Thor Dahlburg, ‘Officials Told of “Major Assault” Plans,’ Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2001,; andDavid Wastell and Philip Jacobson, ‘Israeli security issued urgent warning to CIA of large-scale terror attacks,’ (London) Sunday Telegraph,

[92] ‘German Minister’s Interview Rips 911 Case Open,’ Rense.Com, posted January 16, 2002,

[93] Stephen J. Sniegoski, ‘The Case for Pearl Harbor Revisionism,’ Occidental Quarterly 1:2 (Winter 2001),

[94] Ivan Eland: ‘Does U.S. Intervention Overseas Breed Terrorism? The Historical Record,’ Cato Foreign Policy Briefing No. 50, December 17, 1998,


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