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by Jim Smith
Monday, Sep. 24, 2001 at 7:24 PM
firstname.lastname@example.org 310-399-8685 POB 644, Venice, Calif. 90294
Who besides Muslin fundamentalists would have a motive for the Sept. 11 attacks? How about the intelligence "community" which has been bridling under the reforms of the 1970s that prohibited assassinations and kept them under congressional oversight. A terrorist attack of unimagined proportions on the U.S. would open the spigots of cash and let them "do their thing" without accountability.
errorWHO'S BEHIND THE SEPT. 11 ATTACKS?
by Jim Smith
L.A. Labor News
The U.S. government, media and much of public opinion has already tried and convicted Osama bin Laden and the Taliban for the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
How will we as a people response to these ghastly events? On one side, our worse instincts are represented by the Queen of Hearts: "First the verdict, then the evidence. Off with their heads." Mark Lane's term about the Kennedy assassination, "Rush to Judgment" certainly applies here.
On the other side, there is the calm, logical Detective Columbo who accepts nothing at face value. His popular TV show invariably started with a crime. There would be an initial explanation that made sense but always turned out to be wrong. Likewise in this case, Columbo might say, "something here just doesn't add up."
For starters, how did a worldwide fugitive hiding in a cave in Afghanistan, or even the wretched Taliban, pull off such a coordinated work of evil genius? How were they able to infiltrate operatives into the country, into flight schools, and complete their deadly missions three out of four times?
COLUMBO WOULD SAY: "LET'S LOOK AT MOTIVE AND OPPORTUNITY."
Who had a motive? Certainly the Taliban and bin Laden, who look at everything through the prism of religious fundamentalism would relish striking a blow against the "Great Satan" in retaliation for the U.S. government's one-sided support of Israel, the constant bombings of innocent women and children in Iraq and a general hostility toward Arabs and Muslins.
Who else would have a motive? The intelligence "community" which has been bridling under the reforms of the 1970s that prohibited assassinations and kept them under congressional oversight. A terrorist attack of unimagined proportions on the U.S. would open the spigots of cash and let them "do their thing" without accountability. In addition, those fascists within the secret services must be foaming at the mouth about the complete freedom of the internet. Now a crackdown will sure come. The attacks also set back the efforts for amnesty for immigrants. The influx of immigrants into the U.S. is "diluting the purity of the American race," according to extreme racists and right-wingers. Now we may see our borders slammed shut to protect fortress America. And that lady with the torch in the New York harbor had better shut up. She's being watched!
WHAT ABOUT OPPORTUNITY?
It's hard to imagine bin Laden and other Muslin terrorists performing such a flawless attack that would have been impossible for most foreign government security agencies to execute. In addition, as Russian scholar Boris Kagarlitsky points out , the scale and complexity of the Sept. 11 attacks is far beyond anything that terrorists have done in the past, and it doesn't fit their modus operandi. Even in the movies, only aliens from another planet are given credit for being able to wreck this much destruction.
What about U.S. intelligence agencies? Or not to hurt anyone?s feelings, how about a "rogue" group within the intelligence agencies. Such a group could likely protect suspected terrorists as they come into the U.S. and move around the nation with impunity. This group could also hold up notifying airlines that these individuals should be on their "watch" list.
There are stories in the news that certain people had advance warning of the attacks. If true, they are a tipoff that there was an intelligence connection. Several newspapers reported San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown saying that he had been told, in advance, by a security friend to use caution in flying on Sept. 11. A story by Sameer Salama in the Dubai Gulf News repeats news accounts that Israelis who worked in the World Trade Center were told by their government not to report for work on Sept. 11. This simply may be an attempt at disinformation, but it should be investigated.
There are three possible scenarios for a broader conspiracy (this is not a lone gunman situation). First, U.S. intelligence operatives were not involved. The terrorists were just incredibly lucky. But it strains the imagination to believe that U.S. intelligence could have been oblivious to a terrorist operation of this magnitude. (A report in the Sept. 20 London Daily Telegraph says the CIA and FBI were warned about the attack by the the Israeli Mossad.) Second, intelligence operative knew of the plot and did nothing to thwart it for their own cynical purposes. Third, the attack was conceived and orchestrated by intelligence operatives. Fanatics operating in small groups were recruited by convincing them that their spiritual leaders - or God - were behind the operation. The small terrorist cells could have been taken over by intelligence operatives without the terrorists knowing it. There?s no need to invoke mind control, even though the CIA has been fascinated by it for the past 50 years. In this case, good acting by intelligence agents posing as the terrorists' "control" people could have accomplished the same thing.
In any case, there are a multiplicity of links between U.S. intelligence, bin Laden and the Taliban. It was the U.S. government that cultivated the terroristic tendencies of these fundamentalists, and aimed them at the Soviets and the secular government they supported in Afghanistan. Now the worm has turned, but the contacts must surely continue.
WILL WE EVER KNOW WHO'S TO BLAME?
No evidence has been released linking bin Laden to the crime. Indeed, many of the hijackers were misidentified by the government. Lately, a number of people have surfaced in the Middle East who supposedly died in the fiery crashes. This doesn't lend credibility to the government's investigation, or conclusions.
So much for facts. We know bin Laden and his band of crazy fanatics did it. Don't we? Certainly the word "allegedly" has been notable in its absence.
But not to worry. We have the best people conducting the investigation and determining guilt, all without a public airing or trial. In the worst case, some of those conducting the investigation were also involved in the plot. Frame ups and covering one?s tracks are commonplace in our country, from the LAPD's Ramparts Division scandal to the ongoing suspicion that there was more to the assassinations of the 60s than is contained in the official story.
Unfortunately, our country also has a long history of vigilante "justice" and lynchings. In wasn?t long ago in the South that a white woman?s allegation of rape could bring about the quick death of a Black man without any evidence whatsoever.
The ingrained racism of Americans is one reason why this story plays so well. Middle Easterners are dark skinned and therefore "untrustworthy." There's also something in it for the liberals. The Taliban and Muslin extremist (like Christian extremists) degrade women and treat them like the personal property of their husbands. The Taliban are also known for their religious intolerance, notably by their disgraceful destruction of the centuries-old giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. And sadly, some who should know better will look at the unfolding tragedy from the standpoint of how it will affect Israel, not how will justice be done.
Even so, we must begin asking - as Columbo would - "just a few more questions" before going off to war.
FEAR STALKS THE NATION
No matter what the level of involvement of fascists within our government, the result is horrific for democracy. In the name of fighting terrorism, elements of a police state are being put in place. Normally rational people are being driven by fear to agree with the most outrageous violations of democracy as shown in recent polls. We even have a Minister of State Security for the first time, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. Does anyone believes that violations of Constitutional rights will only apply to immigrants or suspected terrorists. If so, then the lessons of Nazi Germany have not been learned.
If we don't want our usual greeting to become "Hail Bush," then all progressives had better get out on the streets and into every conversation, pubic or private, with the message that we will not allow our rights to be undermined. We must stand against racism and racial profiling in the spirit of that old labor slogan, "An injury to one is an injury to all."
These are dangerous times in the United States but not primarily for the reasons given on the TV news. The anti-terrorism laws promoted by the Clinton and Bush administrations are a Trojan Horse in the citadel of democracy. Those of us standing guard over our civil liberties had better yell our heads off if we are to wake our fellow citizens from their deadly dreams of violence and retribution.
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