Category Archives: Disinformation

Book review of Bruce Riedel’s “What We Won: America’s Secret War in Afghanistan, 1979-89

Book review of Bruce Riedel’s “What We Won: America’s Secret War in Afghanistan, 1979-89

By Elias Davidsson,   August 24, 2014

Unreliable author

The author, a former CIA official, purports to write scholarly books. I have analysed a paper by the author, Bruce Riedel, published on November 30, 2008 by the Brookings Institution entitled “Terrorism in India and the Global Jihad.” The paper was written in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. Approximately half of all factual statements made in this short essay are either baseless, wrong or unsubstantiated. Here are the results of my analysis

  1. “India has been a target for al Qaeda and the global jihadist movement for over a decade.” (No evidence)
  2. “India has often been listed by bin Laden and his accomplice Ayman Zawahiri as a part of the `Crusader-Zionist-Hindu’ conspiracy against the Islamic world.” (No evidence)
  3. “The targets of the killers in Mumbai –Americans, Brits, Israelis and Indians–fit exactly into the profile al Qaeda and its partners vilify and plot against.” (wrong, no Americans and Brits were targeted)
  4. “Both bin Laden and Zawahiri have spoken about the “U.S-Jewish-Indian alliance against Muslims.” (No evidence)
  5. “Usama bin Laden was an early supporter of the group [LeT] and provided some of the initial funding for its start.” (No evidence)
  6. “LeT’s self professed goal is to create an Islamic state in all of south and central Asia, not just Kashmir.” (No evidence)
  7. “LeT’s operatives have worked closely with al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and there are reports of LeT volunteers fighting in Iraq.” (No evidence)
  8. “Like al Qaeda, LeT has raised funds in the Gulf states.” (No evidence)
  9. “Since 9/11 several key al Qaeda operatives arrested in Pakistan have been found in safe houses run by LeT.” (No evidence)
  10. “The first major al Qaeda lieutenant caught after 9/11, Abu Zubayda, was apprehended in an LeT safe house in Faisalabad.” (No evidence)
  11. “Bin Laden was also a key figure in the creation of another Kashmiri group that works closely with global jihadists, the Jaish-e Muhammad (Army of Muhammad).” (No evidence)
  12. “In December 2001 JeM, possibly with help from LeT, was behind an attack on the Indian parliament.” (No evidence)
  13. “By focusing Pakistan’s army on its eastern border with India the attack [on the Indian Parliament] also left the western border with Afghanistan open to the retreating al Qaeda and Taliban leadership including bin Laden, Zawahiri and Mullah Omar who were fleeing the American Operation Enduring Freedom forces in Afghanistan.” (No evidence)
  14. “Trained and armed killers [were] intent on operating in small teams or alone targeting Americans, Brits, Israelis as well as Indians” in Mumbai.” (wrong, Americans and Brits were not targeted; the words “as well as Indians” is a gross misrepresentation. Most victims were Indians)
  15. “Hotels have long been a favorite target of al Qaeda and its allies from the multiple hotel bombings in Amman by Al Qaeda’s Iraq franchise in November 2005 to the attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul this January and the bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad in September.” (No evidence that these attacks had any relation with Al Qaeda or an alleged Al Qaeda “franchise”)
  16. “Many accounts of the incident say the terrorists arrived by sea from the Pakistani megacity port of Karachi.” (Only a single witness, Bharat Tamore, testified in the Mumbai court to have seen “terrorists” arrive by sea, and his credibility was nil)
  17. “Khalid Shaykh Mohammad, the tactical mastermind of 9/11, trained most of the Saudi hijackers in Karachi in a safe house.” (No evidence for the allegation. The claim that KSM was tactical mastermind of 9/11 is baseless and absurd)

The most amusing faked terror of the year


Inside the terror plot that ‘rivaled 9/11’

What really happened in the case that led airlines to bans liquids and gels
By Richard Greenberg, Paul Cruickshank, and Chris Hansen
Dateline NBC, Sept. 15, 2008
[If you like amusement, look at the manufactured “suicide video ” prepared by intelligence services and shown on NBC.  It appears that the authorities – and their presstitutes – believe everybody to be imbecile. – The Webmaster]

In one of the most significant terrorism cases since 9/11, a British jury last week convicted three British citizens, accused of plotting to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners, on a charge of conspiracy to murder. The plot, which disrupted air travel at the time, led authorities to impose permanent restrictions on liquids and gels on airplanes.

But in a decision that surprised many observers, the jury deadlocked on a second murder conspiracy charge that specifically alleged the men intended to detonate explosive devices on board a trans-Atlantic passenger aircraft. Prosecutors are seeking to retry the three men on that charge.

The five-month trial highlighted the continuing threat posed by British-born radicals and the potential for Britain to serve as a staging ground for attacks against the United States

Authorities say the men, arrested in August 2006, planned to smuggle liquid explosives disguised as sports drinks aboard a half-dozen or more flights headed from London’s Heathrow Airport to cities in the United States and Canada. Counterterrorism investigators say that such an attack could have killed well over 1,500 on board the planes, and many more if detonated over densely populated urban areas.

In an interview, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff told Dateline NBC that, if successful, the alleged plot “would have rivaled 9/11 in terms of the number of deaths and in terms of the impact on the international economy.”

A review of the nearly 5,000 pages of trial transcripts and interviews with key British, American and Pakistani officials involved in the investigation offer insights into the current state of al-Qaida and the evolution of its operations, adding to the body of evidence that recruits from the West are being trained and directed by al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan.

The name al-Qaida was not spoken frequently in court, but it loomed over the entire trial.

Prosecutors did not produce any evidence explicitly linking the plot to al-Qaida, but privately, British officials have suggested that al Qaida’s number three at the time, Abu Ubaidah al Masri, authorized the alleged airline plot.  Al Masri reportedly died last year of natural causes.

U.S. officials: Plotters trained by al-Qaida in Pakistan

A senior Bush administration official and two U.S. intelligence officials told Dateline that intelligence shows that some of the men convicted in this case – though the officials did not identify them by name – traveled to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, widely believed to be home to al-Qaida’s leaders, where they received explosives training “from al-Qaida specialists.”

Testifying before a Senate committee last year, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, described the plotters as “an al-Qaida cell, directed by al-Qaida leadership in Pakistan.”

While some have questioned whether an attack really was imminent or even viable, law enforcement and intelligence sources on both sides of the Atlantic insist that it was only weeks away.  “This was no dress rehearsal,” says Andy Hayman, at the time Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations, whose command included counterterrorism.  If the plotters had not been stopped, Hayman adds, “I believe they would have been successful.”

The three convicted of murder conspiracy – Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, Assad Sarwar, 28, and Tanvir Hussain, 27 – were among eight who went on trial last April.  One defendant, Mohammed Gulzar, 27, was acquitted of all charges.  The jury could not reach a verdict on the two murder conspiracy charges against four other men: Ibrahim Savant, 27, Arafat Waheed Khan, 27, Waheed Zaman, 24, and Umar Islam, 30.  The four, whom prosecutors described as foot soldiers in the plot, earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and now face a possible retrial on both murder conspiracy charges.

At trial, prosecutors characterized Ali and Sarwar and the acquitted man, Gulzar, as lead figures in the conspiracy.

Authorities described Ali, who lived in the east London community of Walthamstow and had a college degree in computer engineering, as the cell leader in Britain and the one responsible for developing the mechanics of the bomb design.  Sarwar was essentially the bomb chemist; he purchased and stored the chemicals to make the liquid explosive and detonator.  Authorities alleged that Gulzar “superintended” the plot, traveling into the U.K. on a fraudulent South African passport to oversee the final preparations for the attack.

Ali, Sarwar, and Gulzar all had significant links to Pakistan.  Between 2002 and 2006, Ali and Sarwar made repeated trips there.  In early 2003, according to court testimony, both traveled to a refugee camp in Chaman, Pakistan near the Afghan border, on behalf of a London-based Islamic medical charity. Ali testified that the suffering he saw in the refugee camps made him increasingly angry with U.S. and British foreign policy.

Gulzar, originally from Birmingham, England, fled to Pakistan in 2002 when, according to law enforcement sources, British police sought him for questioning in the murder of a friend’s uncle.  That friend, Rashid Rauf, also fled to Pakistan around the same time and is believed by counterterrorism investigators to have played a critical role in the alleged airline plot, coordinating between the plotters in the U.K. and the al Qaida leadership in Pakistan.

On the stand, Ali, Sarwar, and Gulzar all acknowledged being in frequent communication with men in Pakistan.  Counterterrorism officials say that Gulzar’s main contact was his old friend Rauf.  Ali and Sarwar testified that they were in touch with a Kashmiri militant who went alternately by the names Yusuf and Jamil Shah.  Sarwar told the court that he received explosives training from the man in Pakistan in early summer 2006.  

Ali, who was in Pakistan during that same period, was already on the radar screen of British intelligence, according to British counterterrorism sources, who told Dateline that Ali’s name had surfaced in an intelligence analysis mapping out the associates of suspected terrorists.  The British security service MI5 brought in Scotland Yard, the sources say, and the two agencies coordinated closely from that point on. The sources say that the first clues that Ali might be planning an attack on commercial aviation came to their attention in June 2006, though a more complete picture only emerged several weeks later, in mid-July.

British counterterrorism investigators suggest that the alleged airline plotters may have had links to individuals involved in other plots. If nothing else, they point to an intriguing set of coincidences.  For instance, Mohammed Hamid, a radical preacher who called himself Osama bin London, worked in the same east London charity shop as Ali and Sarwar, the alleged airline plot leaders, and traveled to the same refugee camp in Pakistan.  Earlier this year, the 50-year-old Hamid was convicted of arranging terrorist training in the British countryside for several of those plotting to bomb the London transport system on July 21, 2005.

Furthermore, British court records reveal an intriguing coincidence in the timing of trips to Pakistan made by leaders of four major terrorist plots in Britain: a 2004 fertilizer bomb plot, the July 7 and July 21, 2005 London transit attacks, and the alleged airline plot.  Some counterterrorism investigators wonder if these plots may have been part of a campaign by al-Qaida to hit Britain with a rolling sequence of attacks.

Andy Hayman refuses to comment directly on that possibility.  “Until you absolutely know for sure through evidence, intelligence what happened when they went to Pakistan, you could never reliably answer that question.  “But,” adds Hayman, “on the balance of probability, do you not find it rather strange that the country that they visited, and whatever went on there precipitated them coming back to the U.K. and committing acts of terrorism?  I leave that open for others to draw their own conclusions.”

Piecing together a timeline

Testimony established that Ali, the alleged airline plot ringleader, was in Pakistan in the fall of 2004 and traveled back to Britain in early 2005.  During that same period, additional court records show, key figures in the July 7 and July 21, 2005 bombings were also in Pakistan, including July 7 suicide bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, and July 21 ringleader Muktar Said Ibrahim, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  Ali may have been in communication with Said Ibrahim in the spring of 2005, according to British officials, who explain that a cell phone police recovered from Ali contained a number used by Said Ibrahim.

That information was not presented at trial, nor was the jury told that Mohammed Gulzar, the alleged airline plot supervisor, who was acquitted, met several times with Mohammed al Ghabra, 28, a British citizen, who has been designated an al-Qaida facilitator by the U.S. government. At the trial, al Ghabra was referred to only by a nickname, “Gabs, ” according to counterterrorism sources.  Al Ghabra (seen in the picture below) and Gulzar’s meetings took place in South Africa and London in the spring and summer of 2006.

In announcing al Ghabra’s designation on December 19, 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department stated: “Al Ghabra has organized travel to Pakistan for individuals seeking to meet with senior al Qaida individuals and to undertake Jihad training.” It also stated that al Ghabra “maintains contact with… senior al Qaida officials in Pakistan.” 

Al Ghabra has denied the allegations.  In 2004, according to the Times of London, al Ghabra was acquitted on unrelated charges of fraud and “possession of a document or record that could be useful to terrorism.”

Al Ghabra is currently living openly in east London.

Ali, the alleged airline plot ringleader, made four trips to Pakistan between 2003 and 2006, according to trial testimony. Something about a trip he made there in the spring of 2006 – officials will not disclose exactly what – heightened their suspicion.  According to the Daily Telegraph, when Ali arrived in London on June 24, 2006, British agents “were waiting at Heathrow to secretly open his baggage in a back room.”

Soon after Ali’s return, the probe became “red hot,” former Assistant Police Commissioner Hayman says. “This was, at that time, the only show in town.”  Investigators began round-the-clock surveillance.  Counterterrorism investigators say that following Ali led them to the others he was recruiting, which led to more surveillance.

British counterterrorism investigators say that it eventually became the biggest operation of its kind.  At its peak, they say the investigation involved as many as a thousand intelligence and police officers, including surveillance teams that kept tabs on Ali, Sarwar, and the other suspected cell members. At trial, prosecutors introduced evidence of meetings in restaurants, parks, over games of tennis, and even by a Muslim cemetery.  Security camera footage showed the operatives on a veritable shopping spree for what authorities alleged were parts to make the explosives.

While the plotters had not yet assembled a complete device, prosecutors stated that they had acquired all the constituent parts for the three key components: the liquid explosive, the detonator, and the trigger – enough to produce at least 20 bombs.  

Their purchases included more than 40 liters of hydrogen peroxide, the main ingredient for the liquid explosive, which they bought from health food and hydroponics suppliers in Britain. Ali had brought some of the materials back from Pakistan, including packets of the sugar-based powdered drink Tang and AA batteries.  Authorities alleged that the Tang would function as fuel for the hydrogen peroxide-based explosive; the AA batteries would conceal the chemical compound hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD) for the detonator.  Sarwar purchased the key chemicals for that compound at local pharmacies.

Their bomb design, which has been widely reported, had striking similarities to explosives used in previous terrorist plots, authorities say. Hydrogen peroxide was the main ingredient in the explosives used in both the July 7 and July 21 plots, while HMTD was also used as the detonator in the July 7 attack, which killed 52 people in addition to the four suicide bombers.

In late July 2006, Ali set up shop in an east London apartment his brother had just purchased as an investment.  Ali testified that he told his brother he would help fix it up for resale.  According to further court testimony, Ali and one of his associates went to work experimenting with the bomb components. They drilled holes in the sports drink bottles to drain them; the plan was to refill them with the explosive mixture and reseal the bottles with superglue.  Ali also figured out how to remove the AA battery contents in order to insert the HMTD.  Beyond that, they were working on the trigger, for which they planned to use a disposable camera wired to the detonator.

Every move being watched

The plotters were unaware that by early August, the British secret service MI5 had broken into the apartment and installed video and audio probes to record their every move. On Aug. 3, 2006, investigators watched as two of the plotters made an apparent breakthrough in their bomb design. “That’s the boom,” one said, followed later by this phrase, “We’ve got our virgins.” In court, prosecutors said the comment referred to the rewards the men hoped to receive in the afterlife for carrying out their impending suicide mission.

John Reid, who oversaw the investigation as U.K. Home Secretary in 2006, says he had no doubt that the bomb could have worked. “They had the components.  And they had them cunningly, very sophisticated, but very simply made as everyday commodities that you might take onto a plane with you.”

Dateline, in conjunction with the British broadcaster ITN, commissioned a demonstration by an explosives expert.  It showed that a device similar to the one described in the court case – a half-liter hydrogen peroxide explosive with an HMTD detonator – could blow a hole in the side of an aircraft fuselage.

U.S. and British officials agree that the potential threat of the alleged airline plot drove them to new levels of trans-Atlantic cooperation.  According to the senior Bush administration official, it also prompted “a new paradigm of counterterrorism intelligence sharing” among U.S. agencies, including CIA, NSA, FBI, DHS, and TSA, all of which played significant roles. The official declined to offer specifics, but made it clear that the CIA and NSA, for instance, gathered intelligence for the investigation “in real time” using “the intelligence tools available.”

Several counterterrorism sources say the CIA provided critical help in identifying and tracking people involved in Pakistan.  “The Brits gave us a number or a name,” says one U.S. counterterrorism source speaking on condition of anonymity, “and we came back and said, ‘Here are these email addresses, these phone numbers, and more names.’” 

On Aug. 6, 2006, authorities grew increasingly concerned when they monitored Ali, the cell leader, looking up timetables for transatlantic flights departing between August and October 2006.  Adding to their worry: several of the plotters were seeking new British passports, apparently so they would have no trace of prior travel to Pakistan, making it easier to board flights to the United States.  The passports had not been issued, but expedited applications were pending. Several of the men also had applied for loans they allegedly never intended to repay, a tactic used by previous terrorist cells.

The next day, Aug. 7, according to officials at the Department of Homeland Security, there was a tense moment when they feared an attack might be underway.  Authorities discovered that a person on board an American Airlines flight from Heathrow to Boston was on the No Fly list.  Secretary Chertoff says, “The first concern that we had was, have we either missed something, or has someone decided on their own they are going to accelerate an element of the plot and we therefore, we are perhaps a little bit late?”  The airliner was sent back mid-flight to London; it turned out to be a false alarm.

On Aug. 8, 2006, at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush was briefed on the case.  Chertoff would not disclose the President’s specific comments, but told Dateline, “Generally, the president’s concerns were, first and foremost, ‘Let’s make sure no lives get lost.’”

Counterterrorism sources say that, by that time, U.S. intelligence services were tracking the movements of Rashid Rauf, the suspected al-Qaida point man in Pakistan, and officials saw indications that Rauf might be heading into the tribal areas of Pakistan, where they feared he could evade capture.

According to counterterrorism investigators, the situation created some friction. U.S. officials did not want to risk losing Rauf and pressed the Pakistani authorities to arrest him immediately.  British officials preferred to wait a few more days to gather more intelligence and evidence. The Pakistanis found themselves in the middle, says a former senior Pakistani official with knowledge of the investigation, who described the pressure from the U.S. as “enormous.”

On Aug. 9, the case reached critical mass: bugs planted in the terrorist safe house picked up audio of one of the men recording a suicide video, one of six such videos investigators eventually recovered. That evening, British police learned that Pakistani authorities had arrested Rauf.  British officials feared that if the plotters found out about Rauf’s arrest, it could serve as a “go signal” to trigger an attack.  “Given how high the stakes were, you couldn’t second guess,” says Andy Hayman.

Overnight, British police arrested more than two dozen suspects, including the eight whose trial just concluded.  Several were let go.  Four other men are expected to face trial in the coming months on conspiracy murder charges. Ali’s wife, Cossar, was also charged with failure to disclose information about the plot.  She is awaiting trial. 

On the witness stand at the trial just ended, the defendants claimed that they never intended to kill anyone, only to set off a bomb inside an airline terminal as a publicity stunt, and then release those suicide tapes as propaganda to draw attention to “the plight of Muslims.”  They also said they considered other targets in Britain, including the Parliament.  But they were hard-pressed to explain several contradictions.  For one, they claimed to disavow al-Qaida’s techniques; at the same time as they said they wanted the explosive to bear the hallmarks of al-Qaida, so they would be taken seriously.

During the trial, all the defendants except Gulzar pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.  Three – Ali, Sarwar, and Hussain – pleaded guilty to an additional charge of conspiring to cause explosions. Those guilty pleas did not stop the jury from convicting the three men of murder conspiracy.

Jury’s reaction came as a surprise to many
Still, many counterterrorism officials were surprised by the jury’s indecision, given what they believed was one of the strongest terrorism cases to date.  Some suggested that the case would have been even stronger if prosecutors had been able to introduce intercept evidence.  Currently, wiretaps cannot be introduced in British courts.  In February this year, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he supports changing that law.

The mixed verdicts also have prompted some finger pointing in Britain, with critics accusing the U.S. government of forcing British police to shut down the operation too soon.  The critics speculate that given more time, authorities could have obtained more evidence. 

But both U.S. and British officials insist that the investigation was a success because it broke up the plot.  In a televised statement last week, British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith thanked the police and security services for saving “countless lives.”

Could bin Laden himself have signed off on the alleged airline plot?

Back in January 2006, bin Laden did warn Americans of major attacks in the works: “And you will witness them, in your own land, as soon as preparations are complete.” It is not clear if he was referring to the alleged airline plot, but counterterrorism experts believe that is a possibility.

“I can’t tell you whether operationally it went up to bin Laden,” Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff says, “but I think the links to the al-Qaida network are, in my mind, pretty clear.”

For now, British and U.S. authorities are satisfied they put all the main players out of action, at least in Britain. 

In Pakistan, it is a different story. The one suspect arrested in the case there, Rashid Rauf, escaped from custody last December. “Unfortunately, he is now no longer in the custody of Pakistan government,” Pakistan’s former interior minister Aftab Sherpao told Dateline.

A spokesman for Rauf’s wife’s family in Pakistan told Dateline they do not know where Rauf is and they insist he is innocent.  “They say he’s not involved in this.”

U.S. officials are circumspect.  Asked about Rauf, Secretary Chertoff says: “There I think we’re getting into an issue that I probably can’t get into.”

As for others involved in training and orchestrating the alleged airline plot from Pakistan, another senior administration official says they have been identified.  “They could be in Pakistan still. Some might be in other countries.  There are efforts underway to capture them.” 

Richard Greenberg is Supervising Investigative Producer for NBC News, Paul Cruickshank is a Fellow at the NYU Center on Law and Security, and Chris Hansen is Correspondent for Dateline NBC.

NBC News Senior Investigative Producer Robert Windrem contributed to this report.


Camp David ‘Crash’ More Evidence Of 9/11 Media Scripting?

Camp David "Crash" More Evidence Of 9/11 Media Scripting?

CBS News reported that United Airlines Flight 93 had crashed at Camp David – 90 miles away from its alleged resting place in Somerset County, PA

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Uncovered archive video showing CBS News reporting that United Airlines Flight 93 had crashed at Camp David, 90 miles away from its supposed final resting place at Somerset County PA, has led to more charges that the media were reading off a de facto script as the events of 9/11 unfolded.

According to a CBS News report on 9/11, an FBI official in Washington was informed by the FAA that United Airlines Flight 93 had crashed "into the vicinity of or at Camp David," the presidential retreat.

The Secret Service are later cited as the source for confirming a crash near Camp David and that Camp David itself was not damaged, but that it was the intended target.

As the video clip below points out, Camp David Maryland is around 90 miles away from the alleged crash site of Flight 93 in Somerset Country Penslyvania.

Watch the video .

Many in the 9/11 truth community are now charging that this represents another example of foreknowledge or media scripting of the events that were unfolding on the morning of September 11.

Quite how a commerical airliner that crashed 90 miles away could be confused for having crashed at Camp David is certainly bizarre – one could entertain the notion that officials were simply mistaken amidst the chaos of the day if the crash sites had been a few miles apart – but 90 miles?

Were high level officials feeding a script to the media about the intended targets of hijacked airliners on 9/11 before they had crashed? If so, how did they have foreknowledge of what the targets would be? Was Flight 93 intended to be crashed in the Camp David area before it was either shot down or crashed into a field by brave passengers?

The news anchor subsequently noted that the date marked the anniversary of the signing of the Camp David Accords on September 11, 1978 and tied the coincidence to the fact that the Accords are still disputed in the Arab world. However, the Camp David Accords were actually signed on September 17, 1978 – so why such an obvious error would be made is unclear.

The video is strewn with examples of how the media were aggressively pushing the "Bin Laden did it" explanation from the very first minutes of the attack and before any evidence had surfaced.

As we previously reported, BBC News seemingly also had access to some kind of script or were being told what was about to happen in advance when they reported that WTC Building 7 had collapsed when in fact it still stood in the live shot behind the reporter's head.

Cousin of Dept. of Homeland Security head wrote 9/11 propaganda for Popular Mechanics


Posted By: Christopher Bollyn
Date: Friday, 4 March 2005, 1:36 p.m.


By Christopher Bollyn
Exclusive to American Free Press

Dictators like Saddam Hussein have always used nepotism to protect their secrets and maintain control. Like a dictatorship, the inner cabal that directs the actions of the Bush administration uses the same tactics to confuse the public and conceal the truth of 9/11.

Dictators have always employed nepotism, the placing of family members in key positions, for one simple reason: only loyal family members can be trusted with the secrets that keep them in power. For this reason the shameless nepotism of the Bush administration should alarm Americans because it indicates that a dictatorship is encroaching upon the United States.

The Defense Department defines nepotism as the situation when relatives are in the same chain-of-command.

An egregious example of dictatorial-style nepotism occurred when George W. Bush won the White House ? twice ? thanks to the key "swing state" of Florida, where the presidential candidate's younger brother is governor. In 2000 and 2004, against all odds, Florida swung decisively, the Bush way.

The official canvass from the 2004 election in Florida, certified less than a fortnight after the election by three hand-picked lieutenants of Governor Jeb Bush, shows Republican Members of Congress winning, such as Tom Feeney, without congressional seats without even appearing on the ballot. In other races, a handful of candidates for the Florida state house won with 100 percent of the vote against write-in candidates who didn't even receive 1 vote.

With high federal offices being given to the wives, sons and daughters of senior members of the Bush administration, the Hearst Corporation executives that publish Popular Mechanics magazine probably didn't worry about the ethical considerations of hiring a cousin of Michael Chertoff, a former Assistant Attorney General and the new Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as senior researcher.

But the March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics (PM) plumbs new depths of nepotism and Hearst-style "yellow journalism" with its cover story about 9/11. PM's senior researcher, 25-year-old Benjamin Chertoff, authored a propagandistic cover story entitled "Debunking 9/11 Lies" which seeks to discredit all independent 9/11 research that challenges the official version of events.

"Conspiracy theories can't stand up to the hard facts," the cover reads. "After an in-depth investigation, PM answers with the truth," it says. But the article fails to provide evidence to support its claims and doesn't answer the key question: What caused the collapses of the twin towers and the 47-story World Trade Center 7?

The lead editorial by James Meigs, Editor-in-Chief of PM carries the title "The Lies Are Out There." It continues: "As a society we accept the basic premise that a group of Islamist terrorists hijacked four airplanes and turned them into weapons against us."

But do we, "as a society" accept this basic premise? None of the 19 "Islamist terrorists" were even found on the passenger lists that day.

"Sadly," Meigs continues, "the noble search for truth is now being hijacked by a growing army of conspiracy theorists."

What Meigs fails to acknowledge is that while the fact that a conspiracy is behind the 9/11 attacks is obvious, the question being raised by independent researchers is: Who was involved in this conspiracy?

The Meigs' editorial concludes, "But those who peddle fantasies that this country encouraged, permitted or actually carried out the attacks are libeling the truth ” and disgracing the memories of the thousands who died on that day."

Nobody says that the United States of America did anything on 9/11, Mr. Meigs. "This country," the USA doesn't do anything, Mr. Meigs, people do. In the case of 9/11 we are dealing with a very small group of people, perhaps no more than a dozen or so at the highest "architectural" level, and there is no guarantee that they are from any one country ? most likely they are not.

The Chertoff article goes on to confront the "poisonous claims" of 16 "myths" spun by "extremist" 9/11 researchers like myself with "irrefutable facts," mostly provided by individuals in the employ of the U.S. government.

But who is Benjamin Chertoff, the "senior researcher" at Popular Mechanics who is behind the article? American Free Press has learned that he is none other than a cousin of Michael Chertoff, the new Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

This means that Hearst paid Benjamin Chertoff to write an article supporting the seriously flawed explanation that is based on a practically non-existent investigation of the terror event that directly led to the creation of the massive national security department his "cousin" now heads. This is exactly the kind of "journalism" one would expect to find in a dictatorship like that of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Because the manager of public relations for Popular Mechanics didn't respond to repeated calls from American Free Press, I called Benjamin Chertoff, the magazine's "senior researcher," directly.

Chertoff said he was the "senior researcher" of the piece. When asked if he was related to Michael Chertoff, he said, "I don't know." Clearly uncomfortable about discussing the matter further, he told me that all questions about the article should be put to the publicist ? the one who never answers the phone.

Benjamin's mother in Pelham, New York, however, was more willing to talk. Asked if Benjamin was related to the new Secretary of Homeland Security, Judy said, "Yes, of course, he is a cousin."

Did the 9/11 hijackers have a U.S. accomplice?

Did the 9/11 hijackers have a U.S. accomplice?

Yemeni man under investigation two years after U.S. deported him

? Did 9/11 hijackers have U.S. helpers?

Sept. 8: Many believe the 19 hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks had accomplices inside the United States. NBC's Lisa Myers reports on the theories.

By Lisa Myers, Jim Popkin & the NBC Investigative Unit
Updated: 11:48 p.m. ET Sept. 8, 2006

WASHINGTON – It's one of the most pressing questions after the 9/11 terrorist attacks: Did the 19 hijackers have any accomplices inside the United States? The FBI has always said "no," but NBC News has learned that because of new information, the FBI has now renewed its investigation of a man the 9/11 Commission said was "perfectly suited" to help the hijackers with their mission.

Senior U.S. law enforcement officials tell NBC News that the FBI is again actively investigating a good friend of the 9/11 hijackers ? two years after the U.S. allowed the man to be deported to his home country.

His name is Mohdar Abdullah, a Yemeni student who admits befriending two 9/11 hijackers ? Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar ? when they lived in San Diego.
Story continues below ↓

NBC News has learned that the renewed FBI investigation was triggered, in part, by surveillance videotapes from inside the Los Angeles Airport shot in June 2000 ? a year before 9/11.

Law enforcement officials tell NBC the grainy tapes show terrorist Nawaf al-Hazmi with Abdullah and an unidentified man. Sources say the men appear to be scouting out the airport. Some FBI agents believe that one of the men may be holding a video camera and rotates in a circle while secretly videotaping near the security area.

"This is very consistent with what the hijackers did," says 9/11 Commission former co-chair Tom Kean, adding, "if he's on tape here with the hijackers, then this is something that should really be investigated further."

No chance to quiz suspect
The 9/11 Commission says Abdullah had extremist sympathies, helped the two hijackers get drivers licenses and flight training and, after 9/11, "expressed hatred for the U.S. government."

But before the 9/11 Commission could question him, the U.S. deported him.

"He should not have been let out of the country when the 9/11 commission wanted to interview him," Kean says.

The airport tapes were not found until after Abdullah was deported. The grand jury subpoena for the tapes, obtained by NBC news, is dated October 2004 [PDF link].

Some law enforcement officials now regret deporting Abdullah. One official tells NBC he is now "more suspicious" that Abdullah had some prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

But in an exclusive interview with NBC in 2004, Abdullah said the hijackers tricked him.

"They never even mentioned they had training before," Abdullah said. "They didn't mention they have such hatred to the United States."

Abdullah's former lawyer, Randall Hamud, tells NBC that his client never knew the hijackers were here to harm the U.S. He says that the FBI has thoroughly investigated the case, and that the U.S. never would have deported Abdullah to Yemen if he had been guilty of knowingly supporting the 9/11 terrorists.

As to the LAX videotape, Hamud suggests there may be an innocent explanation:

"The problem is that in the paranoid times today, a lot of law enforcement people and Americans think that any Arab, Muslim, or South Asian carrying a video camera is a terrorist up to no good," Hamud says. "I have seen no information or evidence to indicate that Mohdar Abdullah was anything other than an innocent victim of the two hijackers who duped him, along with a lot of other people in the San Diego, as to why they were here."

Law-enforcement officials tell NBC News that the FBI is now re-examining all of Abdullah's contacts with friends and associates in the U.S., especially anyone he's contacted since returning to Yemen.

FBI Assistant Director John Miller issued the following statement to NBC News: "At the time of his release, the FBI did not have sufficient evidence to charge [Mohdar Abdullah] with a crime. ICE did not have a legal basis to hold him indefinitely. Since deporting him, through investigation, the FBI has uncovered some additional information but not enough on its own to bring any formal charge. We continue to examine the contacts between the 19 hijackers and a number of persons."

Why didn't they find these tapes until 2004 isn’t known ? especially since the FBI knew that on the day these tapes were shot in June 2000, one of the hijackers went to Los Angeles Airport for a flight home to Yemen. Critics are certain to question whether the FBI again missed an important clue, and let a possible accomplice get away.

The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-Page Lie

The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-Page Lie

by Dr. David Ray Griffin
9/11 Visibility Project
Sunday, May 22, 2005

In discussing my second 9/11 book, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, I have often said, only half in jest, that a better title might have been “a 571-page lie.” (Actually, I was saying “a 567-page lie,” because I was forgetting to count the four pages of the Preface.) In making this statement, one of my points has been that the entire Report is constructed in support of one big lie: that the official story about 9/11 is true.

Another point, however, is that in the process of telling this overall lie, The 9/11 Commission Report tells many lies about particular issues. This point is implied by my critique’s subtitle, “Omissions and Distortions.” It might be thought, to be sure, that of the two types of problems signaled by those two terms, only those designated “distortions? can be considered lies.

It is better, however, to understand the two terms as referring to two types of lies: implicit and explicit. We have an explicit lie when the Report claims that the core of each of the Twin Towers consisted of a hollow steel shaft or when it claims that Vice President Cheney did not give the shoot-down order until after 10:10 that morning. But we have an implicit lie when the Commission, in its discussion of the 19 alleged suicide hijackers, omits the fact that at least six of them have credibly been reported to be still alive, or when it fails to mention the fact that Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed. Such omissions are implicit lies partly because they show that the Commission did not honor its stated intention “to provide the fullest possible account of the events surrounding 9/11.” They are also lies insofar as the Commission could avoid telling an explicit lie about the issue in question only by not mentioning it, which, I believe, was the case in at least most instances.

Given these two types of lies, it might be wondered how many lies are contained in The 9/11 Commission Report. I do not know. But, deciding to see how many lies I had discussed in my book, I found that I had identified over 100 of them. Once I had made the list, it occurred to me that others might find this summary helpful. Hence this article.

One caveat: Although in some of the cases it is obvious that the Commission has lied, in other cases I would say, as I make clear in the book, that it appears that the Commission has lied. However, in the interests of simply giving a brief listing of claims that I consider to be lies, I will ignore this distinction between obvious and probable lies, leaving it to readers, if they wish, to look up the discussion in The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. For ease in doing this, I have parenthetically indicated the pages of the book on which the various issues are discussed.

Given this clarification, I now list the omissions and claims of The 9/11 Commission Report that I, in my critique of that report, portrayed as lies:

1. The omission of evidence that at least six of the alleged hijackers—including Waleed al-Shehri, said by the Commission probably to have stabbed a flight attendant on Flight 11 before it crashed into the North Tower of the WTC—are still alive (19-20).

2. The omission of evidence about Mohamed Atta—such as his reported fondness for alcohol, pork, and lap dances—that is in tension with the Commission’s claim that he had become fanatically religious (20-21).

3. The obfuscation of the evidence that Hani Hanjour was too poor a pilot to have flown an airliner into the Pentagon (21-22).

4. The omission of the fact that the publicly released flight manifests contain no Arab names (23).

5. The omission of the fact that fire has never, before or after 9/11, caused steel-frame buildings to collapse (25).

6. The omission of the fact that the fires in the Twin Towers were not very big, very hot, or very long-lasting compared with fires in several steel-frame buildings that did not collapse (25-26).

7. The omission of the fact that, given the hypothesis that the collapses were caused by fire, the South Tower, which was struck later than the North Tower and also had smaller fires, should not have collapsed first (26).

8. The omission of the fact that WTC 7 (which was not hit by an airplane and which had only small, localized fires) also collapsed—an occurrence that FEMA admitted it could not explain (26).

9. The omission of the fact that the collapse of the Twin Towers (like that of Building 7) exemplified at least 10 features suggestive of controlled demolition (26-27).

10. The claim that the core of each of the Twin Towers was “a hollow steel shaft?—a claim that denied the existence of the 47 massive steel columns that in reality constituted the core of each tower and that, given the “pancake theory” of the collapses, should have still been sticking up many hundreds of feet in the air (27-28).

11. The omission of Larry Silverstein’s statement that he and the fire department commander decided to “pull? Building 7 (28).

12. The omission of the fact that the steel from the WTC buildings was quickly removed from the crime scene and shipped overseas before it could be analyzed for evidence of explosives (30).

13. The omission of the fact that because Building 7 had been evacuated before it collapsed, the official reason for the rapid removal of the steel—that some people might still be alive in the rubble under the steel—made no sense in this case (30).

14. The omission of Mayor Giuliani’s statement that he had received word that the World Trade Center was going to collapse (30-31).

15. The omission of the fact that President Bush’s brother Marvin and his cousin Wirt Walker III were both principals in the company in charge of security for the WTC (31-32).

16. The omission of the fact that the west wing of the Pentagon would have been the least likely spot to be targeted by al-Qaeda terrorists, for several reasons (33-34).

17. The omission of any discussion of whether the damage done to the Pentagon was consistent with the impact of a Boeing 757 going several hundred miles per hour (34).

18. The omission of the fact that there are photos showing that the west wing’s fa

Why is the media burying new revelations about 9/11?

Why is the media burying new revelations about 9/11?

By Joseph Kay and Barry Grey
11 August 2005


The revelation that a military intelligence unit had identified four September 11 hijackers as Al Qaeda operatives working in the US a year before the 9/11 attacks has sparked a flurry of disclaimers and denials from official sources, while most media outlets have ignored the story altogether.

The fact that the government had long been tracking some of the hijackers, including the putative leader, Mohammad Atta, was revealed in a front page article in the New York Times on Tuesday. Citing Republican Congressman Curt Weldon and an unidentified former military intelligence officer, the article reported that a Pentagon unit known as Able Danger had by the middle of 2000 identified Atta and three of the other September 11 hijackers as members of an Al Qaeda cell operating in the US.

The former intelligence officer said that Able Danger was prevented by the militarx’s Special Operations Command from passing on the information to the FBI.

The former intelligence officer also said that he was in a group that briefed members of the staff of the 9/11 commission on this information in October of 2003. The 9/11 commission made no mention of Able Danger in its final report, nor did it reveal that any government agency had identified Atta as an Al Qaeda operative prior to the hijack bombings of the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Weldon has said he talked to top-level administration officials about Able Danger, including then-Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, as early as September or October 2001.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, government officials and members of the September 11 commission scrambled to discount the significance of the revelations, while the media refrained from publicizing the story. The New York Times on Wednesday followed up its front-page report of the previous day with an article placed inconspicuously at the bottom of page 13.

The Washington Post published on an inside page a five-paragraph Associated Press dispatch which explained nothing about the significance of the revelations. The Wall Street Journal did not even take note of the Times expos