9/11: “The Big Magic Trick” Ten Years Later
by Gordon Pollard (first published in the Victoria Street Newz)
In the last two editions of Street Newz we looked at how the so-called “terrorist attacks” of September 11th, 2001, were actually a “false-flag” operation orchestrated by a small cabal at the pinnacle of power in Washington, D.C., to provide a pretext for waging two phony wars, pillaging the energy resources of the Middle East and Central Asia, cracking down on political dissidents and pouring hundreds of billions of dollars of public money into the coffers of oil, arms and security companies.
Let’s now conclude our article about what really happened on September 11th, 2001, by looking at some more of the official 9/11 lies and deceptions:
• Of all the phony “false-flag” wars that have been manufactured by various countries over the centuries, none has been more transparently bogus than the present war in Afghanistan. Contrary to all the propaganda and mythology, the U.S. actually made the decision to invade Afghanistan months before 9/11 in order to use the country as a pipeline conduit to “unlock” hundreds of billions of dollars worth of oil and gas in the Caspian Basin – and one of the main reasons why the 9/11 “attacks” were staged was to provide an excuse for the invasion.
For the past ten years it has been almost impossible to have any honest, rational public discussion about the war in Afghanistan since anyone questioning the official story has been immediately denounced by the authorities as crazy, unpatriotic, anti-American, against our troops and even pro-terrorist. This torrent of vicious abuse is not surprising since the last thing the authorities in the U.S. or Canada want is for people to take an honest, open-minded look at this war.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Hal Sisson, the distinguished lawyer, author and activist who was among the first to question “the official 9/11 fairy tale” and who inspired me and others to investigate the events of September 11th, 2001, to try to discover the truth about what really happened that day.
We’ve already seen that the official version of the 9/11 “attacks” (which were ostensibly the main reason for invading Afghanistan) is a pack of lies, and, as we will soon see, the official story about the genesis of the war is equally fraudulent. Indeed, as former British cabinet minister Michael Meacher notes: “The so-called ‘war on terrorism’ is a political myth that was propagated to pave the way for a wholly different agenda: the U.S. goal of world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies required to drive the whole project.”
From the moment the neo-conservative hawks of the Bush-Cheney administration took power in Washington in January, 2001, one of their paramount goals was to gain control of the vast oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Basin and Iraq. And their first specific goal was the construction of multi-billion-dollar hydrocarbon pipelines from the oil and gas fields of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean.
A giant energy consortium called Cent Gas was established to carry out this project, and the U.S. Energy Department couldn’t have been more candid in describing the role it expected Afghanistan to play in this project. A department information bulletin in September, 2000, stated bluntly: “Afghanistan’s significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographic position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes proposed multi-billion-dollar oil and gas export pipelines through Afghanistan.”
Initially, the U.S. hoped the Taliban regime, in power in Afghanistan at the time would agree to rubber-stamp the pipeline project and it started talks with the Taliban, with Leili Helms, niece of former CIA Director Richard Helms, serving as the unofficial U.S. “ambassador.”
At that time, of course, the U.S. was loudly proclaiming in public that it was doing everything it could to try to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, who was living in Afghanistan. But privately, according to Leili Helms, the situation was totally different. In fact, Helms says, the Taliban offered several times to extradite bin Laden to the U.S. or even to assassinate him – but the U.S. government always declined those offers.
While the Taliban was quite prepared to throw bin Laden to the wolves, so to speak, it wasn’t willing to go along with the U.S. pipeline mega-project unless it received a substantial share of the profits. Not surprisingly, Cent Gas refused to offer any concessions to the “uppity” Taliban – and at that point Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld et al decided the Taliban simply had to go.
In July, 2001, U.S. officials summoned some of their key allies to a four-day secret meeting in Berlin, and, according to the respected veteran diplomat Niaz Naik, who represented Pakistan at that meeting, the U.S. made it absolutely clear what was going to happen. Naik later told the BBC: “The American officials told us military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October at the latest – before the snows started falling in Afghanistan.”
So the stage was now set for the U.S. to proceed with its manufactured war in Afghanistan. In the first week of September 2001, 44,000 U.S. troops and 18,000 British troops were massed in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in preparation for the invasion of Afghanistan – and, as we’ve seen, the phony “terrorist attacks” of September 11th provided the pretext for the invasion, which began on October 7th.
The Taliban regime was quickly toppled and the U.S. installed at the head of the Afghan government a notoriously corrupt, cut-throat wheeler-dealer named Hamid Karzai, who had worked for years as a lobbyist for Unocal and had been one of the most vocal cheerleaders for the Cent Gas pipeline project.
Ten years later Karzai and his cronies are still in power in Kabul and this phony war drags on – and it will undoubtedly continue to do so until the last dollar’s worth of oil and gas has been siphoned from the Caspian Basin and exported through the network of pipelines snaking across Afghanistan – or “Pipelinestan,” as some cynical observers now call it.
In addition, we mustn’t forget the billions of dollars of profits being generated annually by Afghanistan’s opium industry, which had been largely curtailed by the Taliban but which now flourishes under the direction of one of Hamid Karzai’s warlord brothers. Indeed, a recent UN report noted 93 percent of the world’s opium is now being produced from poppies grown in Afghanistan.
Sadly, of course, Canada is one of many countries that has found itself ensnared in the horrific web of greed, deceit and bloodshed in Afghanistan. Indeed, in all the annals of our country’s history, it is difficult to think of anything more tragic and heart-rending than the fact that more than 150 brave and well-intentioned young Canadians have lost their lives in this totally bogus war.
For more details see:
• The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives by Zbigniew Brzezinski
• Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic by Chalmers Johnson
• The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America by Peter Dale Scott
• “This War on Terrorism is Bogus” by Michael Meacher in Global Outlook (Issue 11), 2006
• To fully understand the story of 9/11, it is essential to realize that 9/11 was not just one of history’s greatest frauds but also one of history’s greatest “robberies.” As a direct result of the events of September 11th, 2001 hundreds of millions of dollars flowed into the pockets of “lucky” WTC lease-holders and stock market investors – and hundreds of billions of dollars have poured into the coffers of even “luckier” oil, arms and security companies.
As we’ve already seen, Larry Silverstein, who purchased a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center buildings from the Port Authority of New York just six weeks before 9/11, made a fortune in insurance claims (a total settlement of $4.68 billion) when Buildings 1, 2 and 7 collapsed. But “Lucky Larry” was by no means the only “winner” in the Great 9/11 Bonanza. Thousands of others also cashed in.
Among those who made mega-bucks were a number of investors – still unidentified to this day – who clearly had inside information when they bought massive numbers of “put options” (investments that pay off when a stock nose-dives) in the four companies most drastically affected by the “attacks” (American Airlines, United Airlines, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch) just days before 9/11.
From September 6th to 10th, the number of put options bought for United Airlines was 90 times above normal – and on the Thursday before the “attacks” it was an astounding 285 times higher than usual. During the same period, the number of put options purchased for American Airlines was 60 times above normal. There was no similar trading pattern for any other airline.
Meanwhile, over the same five days, on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the number of put options bought for Morgan Stanley jumped to 12,215 from a normal average of 212, and the number of put options purchased for Merrill Lynch increased to 3,053 from a normal average of 252.
As veteran financial analyst Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Financial News observed: “This trading pattern was absolutely unprecedented. It was either the most extraordinary coincidence in human history – or it was insider trading of the worst, most horrific, most evil kind.”
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest financial “winners” was none other than Dick Cheney, whose company Halliburton and its various subsidiaries such as Kellogg, Brown and Root gorged themselves on contracts resulting from 9/11 and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Indeed, at Senate hearings in December, 2005, Senator Frank Lautenberg was shocked to discover that the value of Halliburton stock options held by Cheney (even though he was still Vice-President at that time) had grown by 3,281 per cent in just a little over a year to be worth more than $8-million, largely, he noted, “because Halliburton has already raked in more than $10-billion from the Bush-Cheney administration for work in Iraq.” In one of the greatest understatements of all time, Senator Lautenberg observed: “It is unseemly for the Vice-President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his administration funnels billions of dollars to it.”
Even more mind-boggling was the disclosure at hearings chaired by Congressman Henry Waxman that a no-bid contract had given Halliburton-KBR the authority to administer all of Iraq’s oil fields and to distribute the oil.
Ten years after 9/11 Halliburton and its hundreds of subsidiaries and affiliates continue to loot the energy resources of Iraq and Central Asia, with no end in sight. And, unfortunately, Halliburton isn’t the only corporate vulture that has grown fat over the past decade by preying on the carnage of 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Thousands of other companies have also made fortunes, including, of course, the legions of “private contractors” (i.e. mercenaries) who have swept across Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade like giant swarms of locusts. U.S. political commentator Thom Hartmann estimates that over the past ten years more than a trillion dollars from U.S. taxpayers alone has been funneled into the coffers of oil, arms and security companies as a direct result of 9/11.
And for all of these companies the “good times” keep rolling right along.
Dick Cheney is at least right about one thing. As he says, “the war on terrorism will never end in our lifetimes.” For Cheney and all the others who have enriched themselves by exploiting the events of September 11th, 2001, 9/11 is the gift that will keep on giving for decades to come.
For more details see:• 9/11 Revealed: Challenging the Facts Behind the War on Terror by Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan• Crossing the Rubicon by Michael C. Ruppert• Towers of Deception by Barrie Zwicker• Drugs, Oil and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia and Indochina by Peter Dale Scott• The official 9/11 commission – which the Bush-Cheney administration appointed very reluctantly after stonewalling for 441days – was not really an honest attempt to discover the truth about 9/11 but was actually a pseudo-inquiry intended to givethe public the impression that an investigation was being carried out while making absolutely sure the truth would remainconcealed.
For obvious reasons, the Bush-Cheney administration had hoped it could avoid calling any inquiry into the events of September 11th, 2001, and it stalled for as long as it possibly could. But eventually it came under so much pressure, especially from the families of some of the 9/11 victims, it had to fall back on Plan B: call an “investigation” but keep it so tightly controlled that the truth would never come out.
The so-called National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 commission) was co-chaired by two pillars of Washington’s political establishment, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, but it was under the total de facto control of its executive director Philip Zelikow, a leading neo-con ideologue and long-time close associate of Dick Cheney. Indeed, some wags had even referred to Zelikow as “Dick Cheney’s Dick Cheney.” He could be absolutely counted on to produce a whitewash – which is exactly what he did.
We’ve already looked at many of the most significant lies in the commission report, but the list goes on – and on, and on, and on! Another of the commission’s most flagrant lies, for example, is its claim that none of the four “black boxes” onboard the planes that hit the towers were recovered – when, in fact, all four were found. Recovery workers Mike Bellone and Norman De Masi watched as FBI agents confiscated “black box” materials from first-responders at Ground Zero and they say FBI officials warned them to “shut up” about what they had observed.
Several times the commission cites as its source for various claims “disclosures” by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whom it describes as “one of the masterminds” of 9/11. But the commission report doesn’t mention that U.S. interrogators, by their own admission, subjected Khalid to water-boarding torture no fewer than 183 times – so any “evidence” he provided was obviously useless. As for Khalid being a 9/11 “mastermind,” all of the evidence indicates he was nothing more than a pathetic, mentally disturbed patsy, and he probably couldn’t have even “masterminded” the robbery of a neighbourhood convenience store.
We also find repeated in the commission report all of the lies we heard at the time of 9/11 about the highly-publicized, but totally fake, phone calls that some passengers aboard the “hijacked” planes supposedly made to relatives and friends – including the two notorious “farewell phone conversations” that Flight 77 passenger Barbara Olson was said to have had with her husband, U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson. American Airlines records revealed – and even the FBI acknowledged in 2006 – that the “Olson phone conversations on 9/11” never actually occurred.
Another particularly noteworthy lie is the claim by the commission that U.S. officials were caught completely off guard by the “attacks” and there had been no advance warnings of any kind. That is totally untrue. Actually, in the period leading up to 9/11, U.S. officials had received warnings from eleven foreign intelligence agencies – including a detailed briefing from two senior representatives of Israel’s Mossad -- that Arab “terrorists” might be planning to carry out a major operation in New York City, possibly involving crashing hijacked planes into buildings. Incredibly, however, the U.S. authorities seemed strangely unconcerned and didn’t look into any of these reports.
Moreover, high-profile Washington attorney and long-time political operative David Philip Schippers says he received similar intelligence information from three FBI agents several weeks before 9/11 and tried repeatedly to contact Attorney-General John Ashcroft but was unable to reach him. The U.S. authorities, Schippers says, seemed to have a very peculiar lack of interest in this information.
We should also look briefly at one more of the commission’s major lies -- which concerns the military “war games” that Vice-President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had arranged to stage, by the strangest of “coincidences,” on September 11th, 2001. Although the commission report states there was just one small-scale “war game” that day and it was of no consequence, there were actually five large-scale “war games” on 9/11 and they were of great consequence. They caused a huge amount of disruption and confusion for the air force with its flight patterns and communication systems. It was obviously no coincidence that Cheney and Rumsfeld had scheduled these “war games” for September 11th. They served as the perfect cover for their “false-flag” operation. Indeed, the “war game” that was officially known as “Northern Vigilance” could more appropriately have been called “Northern Diversion”!
In addition to all of the outright lies in the commission report, a lot of key evidence was deliberately omitted from the document. As we’ve already noted, for example, there isn’t a single word in the report about the collapse of WTC Building 7 or the startling testimony by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta about what Dick Cheney said and did in the basement bunker of the White House while the 9/11 drama unfolded. Also totally omitted from the report is WTC custodian William Rodriguez’s testimony describing the explosions in the North Tower.
And there are many other omissions. For example, Sibel Edmonds, who worked for the FBI translating highly sensitive intelligence documents, testified for 3 _ hours before the 9/11 commission in closed session, but all of her testimony has been labelled “classified” and remains suppressed to this day. Edmonds has publicly disclosed, however, she provided the commission with evidence that senior U.S. officials maintained “intimate relations” with Osama bin Laden right up to 9/11 and “were especially interested in cooperating with him to gain control of the huge energy supplies in Central Asia.”
For a detailed, comprehensive analysis of the 9/11 commission report, check out David Ray Griffin’s devastating critique, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. Griffin blitzes through the 571-page document like a machine-gun, exposing dozens of the most significant lies, deceptions, distortions and omissions.
Indeed, even John Farmer, who served as senior counsel for the 9/11 commission, admitted in his recent book, The Ground Truth, that almost every person involved in the 9/11 investigation lied to varying degrees about the events of that day. “At some level of the government, at some point in time,” Farmer states, “there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened.”
Personally, having studied the 9/11 commission report line by line -- or, more to the point, lie by lie -- I can hardly find words strong enough to condemn this document. It is a totally cynical and dishonest response to one of the greatest tragedies in history. To put it bluntly, the 9/11 commission produced a report that is fraudulent from the first page to the last, and in doing so it showed utter contempt not only for the people of the United States but for all of humanity.
For more details see:
• The 9/11 Report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Thomas A Kean, chair)
• “The 9/11 Commission Report -- A 571-page Lie” by David Ray Griffin in Global Outlook (Issue 11), 2006
• 9/11: The Big Lie by Thierry Meyssan
• The Hidden History of 9-11-2001 by Paul Zarembka
• Of the hundreds of lies that the U.S. authorities have told about 9/11, perhaps the most vicious and outrageously false of all is their claim that critics of the official story are “unpatriotic” and “anti-American.”
As we’ve seen, the official version of 9/11 is a pack of lies from beginning to end, so it obviously cannot be defended on any rational basis. That is why the U.S. authorities, from the moment the first plane hit the North Tower, didn’t try to present evidence rationally but declared instead that “you’re with us or you’re against us.” Anyone who didn’t blindly accept the official story was viciously demonized as a foolish conspiracy theorist, a lunatic, an anti-American wacko, a terrorist sympathizer etc. And, of course, as soon as the phony wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, anyone criticizing the official version of 9/11 was denounced as “unpatriotic” and “against our troops.”
Unfortunately, this intensive campaign of brainwashing and intimidation was highly effective in the atmosphere of fear and hysteria that followed the 9/11 “attacks.” Even among the usually vocal critics on the left, only a few exceptionally courageous individuals, such as Hal Sisson here in Victoria, were willing to speak out publicly and question the official story.
Astonishingly, some of the authorities’ well-trained attack-dogs in the corporate media even claimed that 9/11 critic and prominent theologian David Ray Griffin “can’t really be a true Christian if he doesn’t believe the official story of 9/11.” But Griffin brilliantly refuted that claim in a wonderfully thoughtful book, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11. Griffin observed: “The evidence that 9/11 was an inside job is overwhelming to anyone with eyes to see, and Christian faith at its best serves to open people’s eyes to this evidence. When Christian faith is subordinated to faith in American ‘goodness,’ however, it becomes a blinding faith, producing Christians with eyes wide shut.”
In trying to discredit the 9/11 critics, the authorities have repeatedly dismissed them as “a bunch of unpatriotic anti-American left-wingers.” But, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. For example, friends of retired Air Force Captain Russ Wittenberg say he is “so patriotic he bleeds red, white and blue.” Those who know former WTC custodian William Rodriguez say he “would do anything for his country -- except lie.” San Francisco architect Richard Gage had been a life-long Republican and a strong supporter of George W. Bush before studying the 9/11 issue. And physicist Steven E. Jones comes from very conservative Mormon roots in Utah.
Indeed, while carrying out my research over the past five years, one of the things I found most interesting was the fact that ideology plays practically no role in the 9/11 issue. This is truly not a question of right or left but one of right or wrong.
I also came to recognize that we should be much more careful about how we use the words “patriot” and “hero,” which tend to be thrown around in our society today with reckless abandon. When using these words, we should always make a clear distinction between genuine patriotic heroes and pseudo-patriotic zeroes.
Genuine patriotic heroes are people like William Rodriguez and David Ray Griffin who are willing to risk their careers and reputations, and even their lives, in pursuit of the truth. Pseudo-patriotic zeroes are people like Dick Cheney and his cronies who constantly wrap themselves in the flag -- but only to try to cover up their moral nakedness.
As William Rodriguez has observed, there is only one way “to truly honour what is great and positive in the American tradition and reject what is evil and negative,” and that is not by blindly accepting the official lies about 9/11 but by demanding the truth.
And, most importantly of all, we must never forget that hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been killed or maimed as a direct result of the 9/11 fraud, and we have a compelling moral responsibility to every one of those people to insist that we be told the truth about what really happened on September 11th, 2001.
For more details see:
• 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press by David Ray Griffin
• The Terror Conspiracy: Provocation, Deception and 9/11 by Jim Marrs
• 9/11 and American Empire: Muslims, Christians and Jews Speak Out -- essays by leading religious thinkers
• What Really Happened on 9/11 (DVD) by William Rodriguez
Gordon Pollard, who is a native of Victoria, has a MA in History from Columbia University in New York City and a BA in History and English from the University of Victoria. After working for 10 years as a journalist in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario, Gordon spent 20 years teaching English and History in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.