Archive for the ‘The Pentagon’ Category

Remember: They Are Liars
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist

Tuesday 08 April 2008

No one is such a liar as the indignant man.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, along with a slew of administration underlings and a revolving-door cavalcade of brass hats from the Pentagon, have been making claims regarding Iraq for many years now.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, “enough to kill several million people,” according to a page on the White House web site titled Disarm Saddam Hussein.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of 500 tons, which equals 1,000,000 pounds, of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of nearly 30,000 munitions capable of delivering these agents.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of several mobile biological weapons labs.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was operating an “advanced” nuclear weapons program.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq had been seeking “significant quantities” of uranium from Africa for use in this “advanced” nuclear weapons program.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes “suitable for nuclear weapons.”

They lied.

They claimed America needed to invade, overthrow and occupy Iraq in order to remove this menace from our world. “It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country,” went the White House line, “to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known.”

They lied.

“Simply stated,” said Dick Cheney in August of 2002, “there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”

Liar.

“Right now,” said George W. Bush in September of 2002, “Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of nuclear weapons.”

Liar.

“We know for a fact,” said White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in January of 2003, “that there are weapons there.”

Liar.

“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction,” said Colin Powell in February of 2003, “is determined to make more.”

Liar.

“We know where they are,” said Donald Rumsfeld in March of 2003. “They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad, and east, south, west and north somewhat.”

Liar.

“The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about,” said Paul Wolfowitz in March of 2003. “Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator.”

Liar.

“No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were,” said Condoleezza Rice in June of 2003, “where they were stored.”

Liar.

“I have absolute confidence that there are weapons of mass destruction inside this country,” said Gen. Tommy Franks in April of 2003. “Whether we will turn out, at the end of the day, to find them in one of the 2,000 or 3,000 sites we already know about or whether contact with one of these officials who we may come in contact with will tell us, ‘Oh, well, there’s actually another site,’ and we’ll find it there, I’m not sure.”

Wrong.

“Before the war,” said Gen. Michael Hagee in May of 2003, “there’s no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.”

Wrong.

“Given time,” said Gen. Richard Myers in May of 2003, “given the number of prisoners now that we’re interrogating, I’m confident that we’re going to find weapons of mass destruction.”

Wrong.

“Do I think we’re going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do,” said Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton in May of 2003, “because I think there’s a lot of information out there.”

Wrong.

Gen. David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, is about to give testimony before the Senate regarding the current state of affairs in that battle-savaged country. He is a political general, one of many America has seen and heard over the last five years, one who would leap nude from the Capitol dome before telling the real truth about matters in Iraq … or who would speak using words fed to him by liars, and thus be wrong.

Remember: they lie. They all lie, from the top man down to the bottom. If their lips are moving, a lie is unfolding. If they say water is wet, get into the shower to make sure.

They lie.

Period.

End of file.

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US investigates Taiwan arms error

The US says it has launched an investigation after four fuses for intercontinental ballistic missiles were mistakenly sent to Taiwan.

The shipment, which should have been helicopter batteries, was made in 2006 but only discovered last week.

The Pentagon says no nuclear materials were shipped and the parts have been returned to the US.

The issue of US arms sales to Taiwan is sensitive as China regards the island as a renegade province.

Second blunder

The BBC’s Jane O’Brien in Washington says senior officials have described the incident as “disconcerting” and “intolerable”.

Taiwan had pointed out the error, but owing to a two-year miscommunication the US administration remained unaware of it until last week.

The shipment had been sent from a US airbase in Wyoming.

Our correspondent says the components are not in themselves nuclear material but do form part of a long-range missile system that could deliver a nuclear weapon.

Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said: “It is a component for the fuse in the nose cone for a nuclear system. We are very concerned about it.”

President George W Bush and the Chinese government were informed about the error.

Beijing vehemently opposes US arms sales to Taiwan and has threatened to attack the island if it declares independence.

The mistaken shipment is the second blunder in recent months.

Last August a B-52 bomber flew across several US states mistakenly armed with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

Please take the time to watch these videos – it’s what’s necessary for all of this to change.

Spread The Word

(CBS) Last month, a government report revealed the U.S. military could not account for 190,000 — or 30 percent — of all weapons issued to Iraqi Security Forces between June 2004 and December 2005.

Thursday, Pentagon officials said $88 billion in spending in Iraq and Afghanistan is now under audit by the Department of Defense for fraud.

Now, in his exclusive report CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian has learned some of those missing weapons have ended up in the worst possible hands.

CBS News has learned that the CIA has photographic evidence that Austrian-made Glocks intended for Iraqi security forces and paid for by U.S. taxpayers are now in the hands of Iraqi insurgents — in numbers that the intelligence community believes are in the thousands.

According to an intelligence source, the U.S. contractor in charge of the Glocks somehow lost track of an entire shipment. That mysterious disappeance is now part of a massive military bribery investigation centered around a contracting office run out of a small trailer at a military base in Kuwait. Eighteen federal investigators are digging into the actions of dozens of high-ranking U.S officers and military contractors.

Thursday, at a House Armed Services Committee hearing, lawmakers took aim at what the chairman called “a culture of corruption” surrounding billions in Iraq war contracts, but stopped short of publicly saying where some of the weapons wound up.

“The number of folks who have enormous responsibilty to this country are involved has, I think, made this a real tragedy for our country,” says Duncan Hunter, the committee’s ranking member.

After the hearing, Keteyian confronted Army Lt. General Ross Thompson, who admitted the Inspector General at the Defense of Department is looking at the CIA’s evidence.

“We are going to report tonight that thousands of Glock pistols intended for Iraq security forces instead ended up in the hands of insurgents,” says Keteyian. “What is your reaction to that?”

“I don’t know that for a fact,” Thompson says. “It is something that is being investigated by the DOD IG right now and that’s something that is not within my responsibility or my area of expertise to comment on, but it is being actively investigated.”

As Congress prepares to send another $2 billion to the Iraq security forces, Dept. of Defense officials testified they are working to find better ways to maintain appropriate accountability and control over military material.

It’s small comfort to American soldiers in Iraq who may now be staring down the barrel of guns paid for by the U.S. government.

From CBSNews.com

OpEd News

By Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., National Commander, The Patriots

Dear Comrades in Arms,

You are facing challenges in 2007 that we of previous generations never dreamed of. I’m just an old fighter pilot (101 combat missions in Vietnam , F-4 Phantom, Phu Cat, 1969-1970) who’s now a disabled veteran with terminal cancer from Agent Orange. Our mailing list (over 22,000) includes veterans from all branches of the service, all political parties, and all parts of the political spectrum. We are Republicans and Democrats, Greens and Libertarians, Constitutionists and Reformers, and a good many Independents. What unites us is our desire for a government that (1) follows the Constitution, (2) honors the truth, and (3) serves the people.

We see our government going down the wrong path, all too often ignoring military advice, and heading us toward great danger. And we look to you who still serve as the best hope for protecting our nation from disaster.

We see the current Iraq War as having been unnecessary, entered into under false pretenses, and horribly mismanaged by the civilian authorities. Thousands of our brave troops have been needlessly sacrificed in a futile attempt at occupation of a hostile land. Many more thousands have suffered wounds which will change their lives forever. Tens of thousands have severe psychological problems because of what they have seen and what they have done. Potentially hundreds of thousands could be poisoned by depleted uranium, with symptoms appearing years later, just as happened to us exposed to Agent Orange. The military services are depleted and demoralized. The VA system is under-funded and overwhelmed. The National Guard and Reserves have been subjected to tour after tour, disrupting lives for even the lucky ones who return intact. Jobs have been lost, marriages have been destroyed, homes have been foreclosed, and children have been estranged. And for what? We have lost allies, made new enemies, and created thousands of new terrorists, further endangering the American people.

But you know all this. I’m sure you also see the enormous danger in a possible attack on Iran , possibly with nuclear weapons. Such an event, seriously contemplated by the Cheney faction of the Bush administration, would make enemies of Russia and China and turn us into the number one rogue nation on earth. The effect on our long-term national security would be devastating.

Some of us had hoped that the new Democratic Congress would end the occupation of Iraq and take firm steps to prevent an attack on Iran , perhaps by impeaching Bush and Cheney. These hopes have been dashed. The lily-livered Democrats have caved in, turning their backs on those few (like Congressman Jack Murtha) who understand the situation. Many of us have personally walked the halls of Congress, to no avail.

This is where you come in.

We know that many of you share our concern and our determination to protect our republic from an arrogant, out-of-control, imperial presidency and a compliant, namby-pamby Congress (both of which are unduly influenced by the oil companies and other big-money interests). We know that you (like us) wouldn’t have pursued a military career unless you were idealistic and devoted to our nation and its people. (None of us do it for the pay and working conditions!) But we also recognize that you may not see how you can influence these events. We in the military have always had a historic subservience to civilian authority.

Perhaps I can help with whatever wisdom I’ve gathered from age (I retired in 1978, so I am ancient indeed).

Our oath of office is to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Might I suggest that this includes a rogue president and vice-president? Certainly we are bound to carry out the legal orders of our superiors. But the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which binds all of us enshrines the Nuremberg Principles which this country established after World War II (which you are too young to remember). One of those Nuremberg Principles says that we in the military have not only the right, but also the DUTY to refuse an illegal order. It was on this basis that we executed Nazi officers who were “only carrying out their orders.”

The Constitution which we are sworn to uphold says that treaties entered into by the United States are the “highest law of the land,” equivalent to the Constitution itself. Accordingly, we in the military are sworn to uphold treaty law, including the United Nations charter and the Geneva Convention.

Based on the above, I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack on Iran (for example), you are duty-bound to refuse that order. I might also suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest whoever gave the order as a war criminal.

I know for a fact that in recent history (once under Nixon and once under Reagan), the military nuclear chain of command in the White House discussed these things and were prepared to refuse an order to “nuke Russia .” In effect they took the (non-existent) “button” out of the hands of the President.. We were thus never quite as close to World War III as many feared, no matter how irrational any president might have become. They determined that the proper response to any such order was, “Why, sir?” Unless there was (in their words) a “damn good answer,” nothing was going to happen.

I suggest that if you in this generation have not had such a discussion, perhaps it is time you do. In hindsight, it’s too bad such a discussion did not take place prior to the preemptive “shock and awe” attack on Baghdad . Many of us at the time spoke out vehemently that such an attack would be an impeachable offense, a war crime against the people of Iraq , and treason against the United States of America . But our voices were drowned out and never reached the ears of the generals in 2003. I now regret that I never sent a letter such as this at that time, but depended on the corporate media to carry my message. I must not make that mistake again.

Also in hindsight, President Bush could be court-martialed for abuse of power as Commander-in-Chief. Vice President Cheney could probably be court-martialed for his performance as Acting Commander-in-Chief in the White House bunker the morning of September 11, 2001 .

We in the U.S. military would never consider a military coup, removing an elected president and installing one of our own. But following our oath of office, obeying the Nuremberg Principles, and preventing a rogue president from committing a war crime is not a military coup. If it requires the detention of executive branch officials, we will not impose a military dictatorship. We will let the Constitutional succession take place. This is what we are sworn to. This is protecting the Constitution, our highest obligation. In 2007, this is what is meant by “Duty, Honor, Country.”

Thank you all for your service to this nation. May God bless America , and sustain us in this difficult time. And thanks for listening to the musings of an old junior officer.

Respectfully,

Robert M. Bowman, PhD, Lt. Col., USAF, ret.

We do not think of ourselves as conspiracy theorists – but we do have to admit that, when you add them up, there are WAY too many “coincidences” for us not to increase our questions. Here’s one man’s take on it:

I don’t think I have seen such an amount of strange goings at the same time in a very long time; maybe never. The last time this happened was 9/11 and I didn’t see any of that until afterwards.

There’s this stranger than fiction aspect to the nukes in flight. Here’s an excellent article where you can inform yourself if you aren’t informed yet http://freeworldsurvey.blogspot.com/2007/09/6-nukes-fly-over-us-big-problems-with.html here’s the nukes http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=3548 does any of this seem strange to you? I’ll tell you what looks strange to me, grounding entire air defense squadrons of fighters on the 14th of the month when it is bombers that were involved. Read the first link above and you’ll be in the picture. The other thing is how did that squadron commander get control of those nukes? There are all of these fail-safes and protocols in place so; who waved them through? Who waved them through? Surely someone would have been named. Surely this is the sort of thing the press would be right on top of… surely. “Don’t call me Shirley.”

And then, like a jack in the box, up comes the animated corpse of the long dead Bin Laden in a video that stops for minutes at a time while the voiceover continues unimpeded. What you are to take away from this is that when Bin Laden pops up it means another terror attack is about to happen. Right on cue, the head of the CIA announces that Al Qaeda is planning another terror attack http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14523542&vsv=SHGTslot2

Meanwhile the Fed is pumping money into the system like no tomorrow because of an immense financial crisis that isn’t being discussed at the level it really exists at and Israeli fighter jets are violating airspaces all over the Middle East and America and ‘unnamed allies’ are all upset with El Baradei and there’s booga-booga here and booga-booga there. It really feels like the carnival has come to town. The carnival has come to town folks and the freak show is the big attraction.

I could put so many links in here that there wouldn’t be an article when I was done. Maybe you should head over the http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ and http://www.signs-of-the-times.org/ and inform yourself. Look over what’s been showing up in the last couple of weeks and then see what your reasonable mind makes of all the happenings and signs.

Shortly before all of this the History Channel did a smear job on the 9/11 truth movement and that is because no one with a brain in their head believes the official version any more. You can see who owns what in the media here http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart.php and then you can speculate on why whoever owns the History Channel felt that they needed to do a big disinfo special at this time. Then you might remind yourself that fascism occurs when corporations control the government. Finally you can check out this 3 part rebuttal of the History Channel’s hit piece here http://www.innworldreport.net/video_launcher.php?2007-08-29i and here http://www.innworldreport.net/video_launcher.php?2007-08-30i and here http://innworldreport.net/video_launcher.php?2007-09-04i

Okay, that’s it for the links. Have you checked out some of what is available for you here? Have you looked at the two major sites that I included which give a comprehensive view of all the news the mass media has spun or ignored these last weeks? Then you should be up to speed.

Let’s add to the whole picture the strange legislation that put the country solely into the hands of lil’ Bush should anything go wrong enough- according to him- to implement it. This happened around May 8th. Think about what happened to Posse Comitatus and all the other weird things, from Ashcroft’s sickbed to grabbing your property if the government feels you are supporting terror and… ask… yourself… why all of these things; all of the things I have mentioned so far and what is presented in all of the links has been happening. Remember too that Bush only does what he is told.

Is it all coincidence? Is it the result of the workings of deep and penetrating intellects with big hearts who are trying to protect all of us from an army of people who hate your freedom? Is it the natural out-workings of the collective mathematics of life? More likely it is none of the above.

This blog has been at pains to point out the psychopathic players behind all the smoke and mirrors. I don’t think that needs to be done one more time. This blog has mentioned a number of times, what an ordinary citizen can do; collectively strike in such a way that the money and product stops flowing. I don’t expect the ordinary citizen to do anything about any of this until they are forced to and the good news and the bad news is that I suspect that’s going to happen. I suspect you will find yourself in this position.

Trends are indicators, folks. If you watch trends you can see patterns. Life is composed of trends and the more successful among us are very mindful of them. Various organized groups of the successful often engineer the very trends they profit from. Depending on the industry they are a part of depends on the trends they engineer or manipulate. Observing the passage of trends can have a lot to do with your level of comfort and often whether you survive at all.

Right now, booga-booga and strange unexplained events have become trends. Those who profits off of the blood- sweat and tears of the rank and file know that there are certain primal instincts that you can always appeal to. You can generate a collective response from the public by inflaming desire or instilling fear. It’s a little more complex but mostly it has to do with activating people’s appetites or amplifying their fears.

Are you hungry yet? Are you scared? Most of you aren’t even thinking about any of this. Most of you are going along with the program the way sheep go along with the program until the day they become lamb chops; that’s part of the program too. Is there any truth to the fact that that bomber left with six nukes and arrived with five? I just put that in there because I love how it makes the rah-rah lemmings scream with outrage. People are talking about this though. People are saying there are weird things happening with Fosset’s missing plane and that unheimlich ‘flight of the nukes’.

I don’t know who did what, when. I don’t know the identity of “the man who squats behind the man that works the soft machine.” There are a lot of things that I don’t know and I’m happy to admit that. We don’t do advertising here. We don’t answer to a paycheck or write in hope of one. We just wonder a lot and we hope to make you wonder too. We would like you to be more informed. You might not wind up knowing any more than we do but at least you’d be wondering what the Hell is going on and maybe the more we all wonder, the more the smoke and mirrors will look exactly like smoke and mirrors.

Whatever is going on it is beginning to ratchet up. There’s an increase of tension and excitement. It’s kind of like getting to that part of the film where something is about to happen. If nothing happens you feel let down. Well, hopefully nothing does happen in this film. I would prefer that.

We need to wonder more and we need to ask more questions. We need to be less satisfied with the bullshit we are being fed. We need to stop being a nation of people that are glad to eat shit as long as they serve it to us warm. I don’t expect you to do much now. I hope you will act when the time comes and I hope the time never comes. For the moment it looks like the Boogeyman has shown up well before Halloween. Keep thinking; keep wondering and why not start being better informed?

From Smoking Mirrors

We will not be posting Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007. We are participating in the STRIKE FOR PEACE.

If you’ve had enough, you need to say “When.” Say-when.org

The last time the Air Force was asked to “stand down” was on September 11, 2001.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Six nuclear warheads on cruise missiles were mistakenly carried on a flight from North Dakota to Louisiana last week, prompting a major investigation, military officials have confirmed.

The plane took the cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base for decommissioning Thursday, the Air Force said.

“This is a major gaffe, and it’s going to cause some heads to roll down the line,” said Don Shepperd, a retired Air Force major general and military analyst for CNN.

Shepperd said the United States had agreed in a Cold War-era treaty not to fly nuclear weapons. “It appears that what happened was this treaty agreement was violated,” he said.

The warheads should have been removed from the missiles before they were attached to the B-52 bomber, according to military officials.

The crew was unaware that the plane was carrying nuclear weapons, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the extraordinary sensitivity and security surrounding the case.

The mistake was discovered after the plane’s flight to Louisiana.

Minot Air Force Base is in north central North Dakota, and Barksdale Air Force Base is in northwest Louisiana near the Texas border.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell made clear that concerns about the “error” had escalated to the highest levels.

“Secretary [of Defense Robert] Gates was quickly informed of this incident … and he has been receiving daily briefings from Gen. Buzz Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, on actions that the Air Force is taking and the progress of their investigation,” Morrell told reporters Wednesday.

“I can also tell you that it’s important enough that President Bush was notified of it.”

Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton, head of the House Armed Services Committee, called the revelation “deeply disturbing.” He said Wednesday that the committee will press the military to “strengthen controls” after the incident.

Military officials told CNN that the incident was a major breach of security rules surrounding nuclear weapons. One official said that he could not recall anything similar happening.

The Air Force announced that all flights of fighters and bombers in the United States will be halted on September 14 to allow for a review of procedures. [Our emphasis.]

Once the mistake was discovered, the Air Force immediately began an inventory of all of its nuclear weapons, a military official said.

Maj. Gen. Douglas Raaberg, director of Air and Space Operations at the Air Combat Command in Langley, Virginia, has been ordered to investigate how the nuclear-tipped missiles were flown across the country without anyone knowing, officials said.

The squad commander responsible for the munitions has been relieved of duty, and several others have been “decertified” from handling nuclear weapons, officials said.

A military official told CNN there was no nuclear risk to public safety because the weapons were not armed. Officials believe that if the plane had crashed or the missiles somehow had fallen off the wings, the warheads would have remained inert and there would have been no nuclear detonation, though conventional explosive material in the warhead could have detonated.

Military officials also say the missiles could not have been launched because of multiple security procedures required to be enacted before any launch would have been authorized.

Shepperd agreed with military officials that the situation could not have caused a nuclear detonation.

But he added, “Any time you have nuclear material on board, if the airplane crashes, nuclear material can be spread in the immediate area of the crash, so you get radioactivity in the immediate area of the crash.”

“This is serious business, but it was not dangerous business,” Shepperd said.

The story was first reported by the Military Times, a group of privately published newspaper.

Here is what an ex-military officer said about this accidentHow stupid would anyone have to be to ‘accidentally’ load nukes onto planes from alarmed and secure bunkers, against regulations, at the risk of being shot on the spot? They don’t ship live nukes on airplanes because of the risk of crash. Those are usually shipped by truck with armed guards with full-auto M-16’s and armored vehicles in caravans, not on public roads, and definitely never by air. No one could have gained access to those nukes without written permission, given the failsafe backups and security measures.”

***Update Sept. 9

Another ex-military man heard from – I’m not an expert, but after a 24 year career with the USAF I can’t believe how this could have been an honest mistake. First of all, nuclear weapons are protected by two policies- the no lone zone, which means that no one individual is allowed in a nuclear storage area without an escort,and 2, verfiable custody. This means that the identity of the object being removed is positively identified and all steps of custody are fully documented. Now, even if these weapons are unique, the USAF would still keep dummy missiles of the same type on hand to train the munitions technicians responsible for loading. But training missiles are easily identified by the manner in which they are painted. Even then verifiable custody should have exposed the error before the missles left the munitions storage area. Methinks there’s something rotten in Denmark- or in this case, Barksdale.

We have a question – why are fighters being grounded? The nuclear-tipped cruise missiles were on bombers, not fighters! According to experts, fighters don’t carry nukes.

9/14 – it was reported today by a spokesman for NORAD that fighters were NOT part of the stand-down.

Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11

Robert Fisk, Independent

 

25 August 2007

Each time I lecture abroad on the Middle East, there is always someone in the audience – just one – whom I call the “raver”. Apologies here to all the men and women who come to my talks with bright and pertinent questions – often quite humbling ones for me as a journalist – and which show that they understand the Middle East tragedy a lot better than the journalists who report it. But the “raver” is real. He has turned up in corporeal form in Stockholm and in Oxford, in Sao Paulo and in Yerevan, in Cairo, in Los Angeles and, in female form, in Barcelona. No matter the country, there will always be a “raver”.

His – or her – question goes like this. Why, if you believe you’re a free journalist, don’t you report what you really know about 9/11? Why don’t you tell the truth – that the Bush administration (or the CIA or Mossad, you name it) blew up the twin towers? Why don’t you reveal the secrets behind 9/11? The assumption in each case is that Fisk knows – that Fisk has an absolute concrete, copper-bottomed fact-filled desk containing final proof of what “all the world knows” (that usually is the phrase) – who destroyed the twin towers. Sometimes the “raver” is clearly distressed. One man in Cork screamed his question at me, and then – the moment I suggested that his version of the plot was a bit odd – left the hall, shouting abuse and kicking over chairs.

Usually, I have tried to tell the “truth”; that while there are unanswered questions about 9/11, I am the Middle East correspondent of The Independent, not the conspiracy correspondent; that I have quite enough real plots on my hands in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Gulf, etc, to worry about imaginary ones in Manhattan. My final argument – a clincher, in my view – is that the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?

Well, I still hold to that view. Any military which can claim – as the Americans did two days ago – that al-Qa’ida is on the run is not capable of carrying out anything on the scale of 9/11. “We disrupted al-Qa’ida, causing them to run,” Colonel David Sutherland said of the preposterously code-named “Operation Lightning Hammer” in Iraq’s Diyala province. “Their fear of facing our forces proves the terrorists know there is no safe haven for them.” And more of the same, all of it untrue.

Within hours, al-Qa’ida attacked Baquba in battalion strength and slaughtered all the local sheikhs who had thrown in their hand with the Americans. It reminds me of Vietnam, the war which George Bush watched from the skies over Texas – which may account for why he this week mixed up the end of the Vietnam war with the genocide in a different country called Cambodia, whose population was eventually rescued by the same Vietnamese whom Mr Bush’s more courageous colleagues had been fighting all along.

But – here we go. I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It’s not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Again, I’m not talking about the crazed “research” of David Icke’s Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory.

I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the “raver” bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be “fraudulent or deceptive”.

Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard “explosions” in the towers – which could well have been the beams cracking – are easy to dismiss. Less so the report that the body of a female air crew member was found in a Manhattan street with her hands bound. OK, so let’s claim that was just hearsay reporting at the time, just as the CIA’s list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East, was an initial intelligence error.

But what about the weird letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker-murderer with the spooky face, whose “Islamic” advice to his gruesome comrades – released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Atta mentioned his family – which no Muslim, however ill-taught, would be likely to include in such a prayer. He reminds his comrades-in-murder to say the first Muslim prayer of the day and then goes on to quote from it. But no Muslim would need such a reminder – let alone expect the text of the “Fajr” prayer to be included in Atta’s letter.

Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Spare me the ravers. Spare me the plots. But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious “war on terror” which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East. Bush’s happily departed adviser Karl Rove once said that “we’re an empire now – we create our own reality”. True? At least tell us. It would stop people kicking over chairs.


…”Some of the details that emerged after Tillman’s death included that he was close enough to see the men shooting at him when he was killed; his uniform was burned after his death; medical examiners’ suspicions about the bullet holes in his head were ignored; and comrades were also ordered not to discuss his death.”…

Read the entire unbelievable article at CNN.com.