- 5 minute introductory segment can be
viewed here with realplayer
- For four months I've been waiting in
vain for the North American media to pursue questions about the startling
events of September 11th. Here's what I want to know:
- The multiple hijackings are unprecedented.
The first occurs at 7:45 in the morning. It's a full hour before the first
plane hits the World Trade Center. But it's an hour and 20 minutes -- and
after the second plane hits ñ that the President allegedly becomes
informed. Think about that.
- Then, he gives no orders. Why? He continues
to listen to a student talk about her pet goat. Why?
- It's another 25 minutes until he makes
a statement, even as flight 77 is making a bee-line for Washington, DC.
- In the almost two hours of the total
drama not a single U.S. Air Force interceptor turns a wheel until it's
too late. Why? Was it total incompetence on the part of aircrews trained
and equipped to scramble in minutes?
- Well, unlike the U.S. Air Force, I'll
cut to the chase. Simply to ask these few questions is to find the official
narrative frankly implausible. The more questions you pursue, it becomes
more plausible that there's a different explanation: namely, that elements
within the top U.S. military, intelligence and political leadership ñ
which are closely intertwined ñ are complicit in what happened on
September the 11th.
- Why U.S. complicity, you ask?
- Well, to stampede public opinion into
supporting the so-called war on terrorism, to justify a war on Afghanistan
for a future oil pipeline, the grab for Middle East oil, big budget increases
for the military, and the general drive for global domination by the American
- I know it sounds incredible.
- But here's some historical context from
this book, Body of Secrets. Its author is James Bamford. Bamford until
recently was Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's World News tonight
with Peter Jennings. I learned of this book on ABC's website.
- Bamford's information comes from interviews.
With, for instance, the former dean of the U.S. intelligence community.
And from government documents. It takes 80 pages to list Bamford's more
than 600 information sources.
- Here's the story. It's 1962. John F.
Kennedy is U.S. president. Robert McNamara is Secretary of Defence. And
Admiral Lyman Lemnitzer heads the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CIA has
failed in its illegal Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
- JFK decides, Bamford writes, to back
away from military solutions to the Cuban problem.
- But Lemnitzer, the CIA and others at
the top remain obsessed with Cuba. Writes Bamford: "As the Kennedy
brothers appeared to suddenly ëgo soft' on Cuba, Lemnitzer could see
his opportunity to invade - quickly slipping away. -attempts to provoke
the Cuban public to revolt seemed dead-"
- Continues Bamford: "Lemnitzer and
the other chiefs knew there was only one option left that would ensure
their war. They would have to trick the American public and world opinion-"
- Lemnitzer comes up with Operation Northwoods.
- "We could blow up a U.S. ship in
Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba-casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause
a helpful wave of national indignation."
- "We could develop a Communist Cuban
terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in
- An elaborate variation: create "an
exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft-" "At a designated
time the duplicate would be-loaded with-selected passengers, all boarded
under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would
be converted to a drone [a remotely controlled unmanned aircraft]"-
"the destruction of (that) aircraft will be triggered by radio signal."
- The Cubans would be blamed.
- Finally, another variation is described
by Bamford: "On February 20th, 1962 (John) Glenn was to lift off from
Cape Canaveral-on his historic journey. Lemnitzer "proposed - that
should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, ëthe objective is to provide
irrevocable proof that-the fault lies with (Cuba)-" "by manufacturing
various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on
the part of the Cubans."
- Thus, Bamford notes, "as NASA prepared
to send the first American into space, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing
to use John Glenn's possible death as a pretext to launch a war."
- The Operation Northwoods plan shows the
Pentagon was capable, according to Bamford, "of launching a secret
and bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick
the American public into supporting a (war on Cuba)."
- Can we be sure, therefore, that complicity
by the Pentagon in the events of Sept. 11th is entirely out of the question?
- Next week, a more precise look at the
events of that fateful day.
- And what about bin Laden? I'll have more
on him too. And the arrests of people named as terrorists around the world.
- PART 2
- Next, more troubling questions. Part
2 in my series of commentaries about the events of September 11th.
- As you've heard in the panel discussion,
a common explanation as to why no U.S. military interceptors took to the
skies on September 11th until it was too late, is that it was "simple
- Well, let me deal with the "incompetence
theory." By first taking you back to October 26th, 1999. That is the
day the chartered Learjet carrying golfer Payne Stewart crashes, killing
all on board. This from the official National Transportation Safety Board
crash report:Ý 9:19 a.m.: the flight departs 9:24: The Learjet's
pilot responds to an instruction from air traffic control 9:33: The controller
radios another instruction. No response from the pilot. For 4 * minutes
the controller tries to establish contact.Ý 9:38: Having failed,
the controller calls in the military. Note that he did not seek, nor did
he require, the approval of the President of the United States, or indeed
anyone. It's standard procedure, followed routinely, to call in the Air
Force when radio contact with a commercial passenger jet is lost, or the
plane departs from its flight path, or anything along those lines occurs.
9:54 ñ 16 minutes later -- the F-16 reaches the Learjet at 46,000
feet and conducts a visual inspection. Total elapsed time: 21 minutes.
- So what does this prove? Well, it proves
that standing routines exist for dealing with all such emergencies, for
instance loss of radio contact. All personnel in the air and on the ground
are trained to follow the routines, which have been fine-tuned over decades,
as the Learjet incident illustrates.
- For large scheduled aircraft, tracked
throughout on radar, to depart extravagantly from their flight paths, would
trigger numerous calls to the military, especially after two have hit the
World Trade Centre and now one is speeding toward Washington, D.C.
- It flies over the White House, turns
sharply and heads toward the Pentagon. Everyone ñ and I mean everyone
ñ now knows these planes are very bad news. It's been reported on
all TV networks for more than half an hour that this is a terrorist attack.Ý
- Now, Andrews Air Force Base is a huge
installation. It's home to Air Force One, the President's plane. It's home
base for two combat-ready squadrons of jet interceptors mandated to ensure
the safety of the U.S. capital. Andrews is only 12 miles from the White
- On September 11th the squadrons there
were: The 121st Fighter Squadron of the 113th Fighter Wing, equipped with
F-16s The 321st Marine Fighter Attack Squadron of the 49th Marine Air Group,
Detachment A, equipped F/A-18s
- This information was on the website of
the base on September 11th. [POSSIBLE (cuts)] On September 12th, Andrews
chose to update its website. I find it odd that after the update there's
no mention of the F-16 and F-18 fighters. The base becomes, according to
the website, home to a transport squadron only.
- Yet at 6:30 the evening of September
11th NBC Nightly News, along with many outlets, reported: "It was
after the attack on the Pentagon that the Air Force then decided to scramble
F-16s out of the DC National Guard Andrews Air Force Base to fly - a protective
cover over Washington, D.C."Ý
- Throughout the northeastern United States
are many air bases. But that morning no interceptors respond in a timely
fashion to the highest alert situation. This includes the Andrews squadrons
which have the longest lead time and are 12 miles from the White house.
- Whatever the explanation for the huge
failure, there have been no reports, to my knowledge, of reprimands. This
further weakens the "Incompetence Theory." Incompetence usually
- This causes me to ask ñ and other
media need to ask ñ if there were "stand down" orders.
- Next week, bin Laden was a longtime close
ally of the CIA, according to the CIA itself. Why did he suddenly turn
against them? Or did he?