Bush administration is sitting on a ticking time-bomb that
may be just about to go off. The chairman of the 9/11 Commission,
charged with discovering the truth about that seminal event,
is taking his job very seriously: and that means President
Bush is in some potentially very big trouble. CBS
you read the report, you're going to have a pretty clear idea
what wasn't done and what should have been done,' [Kean] said.
'This was not something that had to happen.'"
doubt the Commission report will deal with the more well-known
examples of what appears to be sheer incompetence at the highest
levels of the U.S. government – the bungling of the Zacarias
Moussaoui case, ignoring evidence coming in from Arizona
– but we may be in for more shocking revelations, as CBS hints:
whether we should at least know if people sitting in the decision-making
spots on that critical day are still in those positions, Kean
said, 'Yes, the answer is yes. And we will.'
"Kean promises major revelations in public testimony beginning
next month from top officials in the FBI, CIA, Defense Department,
National Security Agency and, maybe, President Bush and former
a Republican former governor of New Jersey, is stirring up
a hornets' nest: this, and not the conduct (or misconduct)
of the war may prove the President's undoing. The Kean Commission
is hitting the administration in its most vulnerable spot:
9/11 happened on their watch, after all, and yet the biggest
terrorist attack in American history did not cost a single
high-ranking official his or her job.
sort of "major revelations" might come out is impossible to
say. But this renewed attention to the question of what happened
in the crucial months prior to 9/11 is bound to bring up the
question of foreknowledge – of warnings that were issued,
might have been issued, and weren't issued.
addition to alarm bells going off inside our own law enforcement
apparatus, we also received alerts from a number of foreign
intelligence agencies: As readers of my recently released
Terror Enigma, will know, the Brits, the French, the
Russians, the Germans, and even the Argentines sent us clear
warnings that were either brushed aside or just not acted
on. A number of Middle Eastern spooks also sent warnings,
including the Moroccans, the Egyptians, the Jordanians
and the Israelis.
role of the Israelis may prove to be particularly interesting,
as a pertinent and much-asked question is raised yet again:
just what were the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement
agencies doing while the 19 hijackers were living in our midst,
planning to dive-bomb the Pentagon and the World Trade Center?
Readers of The
Terror Enigma will know that they had a lot on their
plates at the time:
the months prior to 9/11, the Mossad had launched a major
covert operation in the U.S., involving hundreds of agents,
who not only kept a close watch on the terrorists, but also
effectively blinded U.S. anti-terrorism investigators to the
activities of Al Qaeda on American shores. The evidence is
in the U.S. government's own documents, leaked by its own
employees, and in its public pronouncements before the decision
was made to quash this story at any cost."
and his fellow commissioners have access to the same documents,
the same leaks, and the same publicly available information
that I do. The Israeli connection to 9/11 may be about to blow
Kean Commission is not being watched very closely in the media,
but the recent resignation
of former U.S. Senator Max Cleland is not a good sign.
Cleland had been a vociferous opponent
of White House efforts to stonewall the Commission. They shut
him up with a plush appointment to
the Export-Import Bank board. A man's gotta live: Cleland,
I'm told, was broke.
Kean, however, seems not to be intimidated by the absolute
refusal of nearly every government agency – including
the New York City government – to cooperate with the Commission
in any way. He's slapping all kinds of
people with subpoenas,
and more power to him.
real weapons of mass destruction feared by this administration
aren't in Iraq, they're in New Jersey in the form of four New Jersey widows
who lost their husbands on 9/11. These ladies are largely
responsible for lobbying to have this Commission created
in the first place, over opposition from the White
House and the leadership of both parties in Congress.
Disdaining Condolezza Rice's denial that anyone could have
predicted a terror attack utilizing an airliner as a bomb,
one of the four, asks:
is it possible we have a national security advisor coming
out and saying we had no idea they could use planes as weapons
when we had FBI records from 1991 stating that this is a possibility?"
heck with former Senator and noted war criminal
Bob Kerrey, who was appointed
to take Cleland's place: why not appoint Kristen Breitweiser
to the Commission? Surely she qualifies as an "expert"
on the subject, not only because she is unusually knowledgeable
on the subject, and because she is asking questions that none
dare ask. Who has more of a right to be seated on this Commission
– and more of a motivation to get at the truth?
was the seminal event of our time, but we can't understand
its consequences until we know how it might have been prevented.
Because it could have been prevented, for one, by our Israeli
"allies" who were "watching the hijackers 24/7,"
as Die Zeit, the respected German weekly magazine,
the Israelis warned us: in August 2001 an Israeli delegation
traveled to Washington and informed U.S. officials of a possible
attack on an overseas target, but offered no other details.
administration frames its policy of preemptive imperialism
entirely in terms of 9/11, and it is impossible to counter
their program of perpetual war without refuting the central
myth of the War Party's theology. We are told that 9/11 ushered
in a new era in which the ordinary rules of morality and common
sense are repealed, where we must stand practically alone
– but for a reluctant
Britain and an overeager Israel
– against the whole world. It's "us against them."
as we zoom in on the details, and focus on the crucial months
before 9/11, the picture that emerges is more complex than
"us versus them." "You're either with us," intoned George
W. Bush, "or with the terrorists." What the Kean Commission
promises to raise is the vital question of what is meant by
the context of 9/11, complicity means nothing less than a
monstrous crime on the same level as the hijackers', if not
worse. For Mohammed Atta and his fellow death cultists were
avowed enemies of America, openly sworn to destroy us by any
means. The Israelis, on the other hand, are supposed to be
our bosom buddies.
if Israeli spooks really were living "next door to Mohammed Atta,"
as Die Zeit put it, they must have known something.
So why didn't they tell us?
often asked what is the key to understanding how we got where
we are today – embroiled in a senseless and increasingly
out-of-control war in Iraq, threatened by terrorists at home and abroad,
hated across the globe.
(Right up there with
Israel). To those looking for such "root cause" explanations,
I can do no better than to say: read The
Terror Enigma. It will change everything about the
way you look at 9/11 – and all the sorrow that followed.
The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection
is available from
the publisher, or from
IN THE MARGIN
was going to write about a recent conference co-sponsored
by the Hudson Institute and The New Republic magazine,
"Is the Neoconservative Moment Over?", but I see that Michelle
Goldberg has done such an incisive job that anything I
might add would be superfluous. Here's a delicious taste:
from Marshall, few of the assembled were interested in contemplating
the possible end of the zeitgeist that has empowered them,
especially the day after the triumphant capture of Saddam.
The real theme of the conference, then, wasn't "Is the Neoconservative
Moment Over?" It was more like, 'Are Critics of Neoconservatism
Paranoid Anti-Semites Who Live in a Fantasy World?' In his
introduction, Perle ascribed the left's "obsession with neoconservativism"
to its "visceral anti-Americanism." Yet if the left is obsessed
with neoconservatives, neoconservatives are becoming obsessed
with that obsession."
here to watch the actual conference, if you can stand
it. Even if he was badly outnumbered and down
with a cold to boot, Joshua Marshall did a great job standing
toe-to-toe with Richard Perle and his fellow Nazgul.
excellent piece, "Is this the neoconservative century?" is
posted on Salon.com, which requires the reader to either subscribe
or get a "day pass" by watching an ad. The effort, I believe,
is well worth it. On the basis of just this single piece,
I would consider subscribing.
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