More we're not being told Part IIgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
We are living in a whole New World. We just don't know what it looks like yet. ___
The U.S. Had Advance Warning And Could Have Acted --This Was Not An Intelligence "Failure"
To grasp the meaning of the events of 9-11-01, it is critical to go past the widely acknowledged reports that the U.S. had general warnings of a terrorist attack and to look for evidence that the U.S. government had specific warnings of attacks on airports and aircraft. Further, the task is to look for any warnings that signaled the size and scope of the attack and went beyond the vagaries that we have become used to. These will provide the clues needed to understand that the devastating attacks of Sept. 11 served a distinct purpose for the Bush Administration and those in control of the U.S. economy. Given this year's revelations on The History Channel -- including classified documents and the on-camera testimony of intelligence officers -- that the U.S. knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, and allowed it to happen in order to bring the country into World War II, we cannot be so blind as to overlook evidence that it has happened again.
Leaving aside the intelligence reports that are still secret and will likely remain so, and remembering the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had undercover informants working hand in glove with those who perpetrated the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a preliminary review of solid information showing that this attack could have been prevented is only the beginning of what must remain an essential line of inquiry.
It is premature to jump to conclusions about the rapidity with which the FBI has gathered essential information. I used the word information, instead of intelligence or evidence. Evidence is gathered for the court room. Intelligence is the results of a process done at CIA to evaluate information from various sources. Understanding the differences between work done by the FBI and the CIA is a key to understanding the US counterterrorist work. Hence, use end-result thinking to interpret any counterterrorist discussion and effort.
Any notice of a potential or alleged terrorist act has a well established procedure for its handling. According to a reliable source, the United States government, especially the intelligence community in the early 1980's, had established a clearly defined procedure for handling notices of threat. The State Department was the lead coordinator and member intelligence community agencies participated in evaluations. The key is that everyone understood that the information might be untrue. That is, the information was still circulated and disseminated to the community so that protective measures might be considered if justified. That last word considered was deferred to the agency involved.
However, one thing is certain, based upon what is now known. By itself, neither the CIA nor the FBI can claim that a lack of resources or human intelligence prevented them from predicting this attack. Indeed, there is credible but preliminary and circumstantial information, that certain segments of Wall Street and the U.S. financial community did know of the pending attack. There is also evidence that the U.S. government already had the technical expertise to know what was coming and was likely using it at the time the attacks occurred.
The Cayman Islands - MS-NBC reported on September 14 that a caller to a radio talk show made several warnings of an imminent attack by Osama bin Laden against American Airlines.
Germany - On September 14, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported that "U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies received warning signals at least three months ago that Middle eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture."
According to a report filed by the Post-Newsweek information service, "The FAZ, quoting unnamed German Intelligence sources, said that the Echelon spy network was being used to collect information about the terrorist threats, and that U.K. intelligence services apparently also had advance warning. The FAZ, one of Germany's most respected dailies, said that even as far back as six months ago, western and near-east press services were receiving information that such attacks were being planned.
"Within the American intelligence community, the warnings were taken seriously and surveillance intensified"
NOTE: Echelon is a highly secret technical intelligence gathering system used to monitor worldwide communications and coordinated in the U.S. by the National Security Agency. Participating countries, who eavesdrop on the citizens of the other member countries -- to avoid civil restrictions preventing governments from spying on their own citizens -- then pool and share their information. Participating countries include the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain and Germany. The eavesdropping covers both telephone and email communications.
According to a Feb 13, 2001 UPI story detailing Echelon's use against bin Laden and other terrorist organizations, "The targets of Echelon center on the penetration of the major components of most of the world's telephone and telecommunications systems. This could cover conversations NSA targets. Also included are all the telexes carried over the world's telecommunications networks, along with financial dealings: money transfers, airline destinations, stock information, data on demonstrations or international conferences and much more."
Germany - The German news agency "online.ie" reported on September 14, "German police have confirmed an Iranian man phoned U.S. police from his deportation cell to warn of the planned attack on the World Trade Center. The Lower Saxony Justice Ministry has confirmed the man warned of impending series of terrorist attacks, but had not been believed. Spokesman Frank Woesthoff said the man phoned America 'several times', but refused to give further details. He said the U.S. Secret Service had not told the ministry about the calls received from the Langehagen prison until after the attacks. 'I cannot say anything about the man and the ministry does not know the content of the conversations,' he added. The Hanover daily Neue Presse reported the 29 year-old was dismissed as mentally unstable when he gave the warning of the terrorist attack to occur this week. The ministry would not reveal when the calls had been made."
France - On September 13, Reuters reported, "The FBI arrested an Islamic militant in Boston last month and received French intelligence reports linking him to Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden but apparently did not act on them, a French radio station said on Thursday.
"Europe 1 radio reported that U.S. police arrested a man with dual French and Algerian nationality who had several passports, technical information on Boeing aircraft and flight manuals.
"The man had been taking flying lessons, it added.
"Asked for information by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, French security services provided a dossier clearly identifying him as an Islamic militant working with bin Laden."
Russia - A former CIA officer told FTW that, according to a Russian newspaper article, Russian intelligence had notified the U.S. government of the attacks. They even stated that they were aware that 25 pilots had been specifically trained for the suicide missions.
Russia - On September 15, Russian president Valdimir Putin told interviewers on MS-NBC that the Russian government had been warning the U.S. of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings in the strongest possible terms for weeks.
The United States - A criminal case proceeding in New York courts at the time of the attacks contradicts the position of conservative news site WorldNetDaily.com which has taken the position that the Clinton Administration had provided bin Laden's terrorists with encryption technology so advanced that the National Security Agency was unable to penetrate bin Laden's most secure communications.
A February 13, 2001 story by UPI terrorism correspondent Richard Sale described Echelon's effectiveness against the bin Laden organization in an active case against him in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. That case, wrote Sale, "is based mainly on National Security Agency intercepts of phone calls between bin Laden and his operatives around the world - Afghanistan to London, from Kenya to the United States."
The UPI story stated that the technology had been used since at least 1995 and Ben Venzke, director of intelligence and special projects for iDefense, a Virginia information warfare firm, was quoted in a key paragraph of that story.
"Since Bin Laden started to encrypt certain calls in 1995, why would they now be part of a court record? 'Codes were broken,' US officials said, and Venzke added that you don't use your highest levels of secure communications all the time. It's too burdensome and it exposes it to other types of exploitation.'"
The UPI story made it clear that much of the evidence in the case had been obtained in Echelon intercepts subsequent to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa and were presumably still effective at the time of the New York attacks.
The United States - Several press reports confirm the writing of veteran journalists Alexander Cockburn and Jeff St. Clair in their Sept. 14 issue of Counterpunch. "Reports kept coming in to us of advanced warnings that an attack of some sort was eminent [sic]. San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown was booked to fly from the Bay area to New York City on the morning of September 11. But Brown says that late Monday evening, a full 8 hours prior to the attack, he received a call from a person brown described as his airport security man telling him that he should be extra cautious about air travel on September 11."
The Financial Markets - Cockburn and St. Clair report, "In addition to what we have previously reported about heightened security at the World trade center itself in the weeks leading to the attack and at the Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway, New Jersey, Counterpunch has also learned that internal memo was sent around Goldman Sachs in Tokyo on September 10 advising all employees of a possible terrorist attack. It recommended all employees to avoid any American government buildings."
Morgan Stanley, the largest tenant of the WTC complex lost none of its 3500 employees occupying some 50 floors according to The Washington Post. Neither did Oppenheimer Funds.
FTW has also verified that at least one Goldman Sachs Vice President had taken the day off to go surfing. This may or may not be a lucky coincidence.
A Word About Promis Software
In the Sept, 2000 issue of FTW (Vol III, No 7) we described recent developments in the decades-long saga of the legendary Promis software and this writer's interaction with members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's national security section over its current use by various intelligence agencies. Promis (Prosecutor's Management Information System) was specifically reengineered and mated with artificial intelligence during the 1980s for the purpose of tracking terrorists. One of its main strengths was its ability to integrate diverse pieces of data and predict the movement of terrorists based upon financial (e.g. credit card transactions), entries through various border checkpoints, car rentals and airline ticket purchases. This special software, refined and enhanced many times since then, is capable of integrating and coordinating precisely the kind of information described above and then setting off warning bells. We have confirmed many times over that Promis' unique abilities have also been specifically targeted at financial markets to track sudden shifts in currency and stock speculation as well as the laundering of money.
That being said, we find it extremely disturbing that the UPI and the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet both published September 14 reports indicating that Osama Bin Laden had possibly engaged in large scale stock speculation in the U.S. and Europe just before the attacks. Both stories suggested that Bin Laden had bought large amounts of "shorts.' Taking a short position means that an investor, betting that a stock's price will go down, places a large number of shares up for sale at a given price usually just at or below the current market price. If a stock is in short supply, buyers will purchase the stock rapidly and the "short seller" then has a given period of time to produce the actual shares which he or she is not required to own at the time of the sale.
The future sale of the stock at a given price is a fixed contract that cannot be altered. The seller pockets the money before he has to go out and buy the shares. Therefore, if the seller agrees to sell 10,000 shares of XYZ company at $100 each and enters into a contract at that price, and if the stock price falls to $60 the following day, he can make a quick profit of $400,000 when he buys the stock to complete the contract.
It is inconceivable that such movements were not detected before the WTC attacks.
Given all of the above, which is only the beginning of what will be revealed as time passes, only a cretin would believe that the United States government could not and did not know that these attacks were coming, and then chose to remain silent. Given these tiny bits of knowledge that are now public how much more was available to the intelligence community? How could they have apparently ignored it?
Dissenters will say, "Yes but the CIA has been hamstrung and prevented from taking pre-emptive action by those liberal do-gooders in Congress." Not so. A September 14 Reuters story reported accurately, "The CIA has been authorized since 1998 to use covert means to disrupt and pre-empt terror operations allegedly planned abroad by Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden, The Washington Post reported Friday.
"The newspaper said the directive, signed by President Clinton and reaffirmed by his successor, George W. Bush, adhered to a legal ban on the assassination of foreign leaders but sanctioned the use of lethal force in self-defense.
"Quoting government sources, the paper said the CIA had used such force several times to stop armed groups before they initiated attacks."
A final question: Why, in light of all the information we now know the government had about imminent attacks, did the Bush Administration gift the Taliban with $43 million in May of this year? The move by the White House, sorely criticized by columnist Robert Scheer in the May 22, 2001 Los Angeles Times, was an alleged reward by the U.S. for the Taliban's destruction of Afghan opium crops in February. Now, the U.S. government is rushing to mate with a Pakistani regime that sustains itself by, and derives liquid currency from, the drug trade. The result of that is that opium production will surely blossom again in Afghanistan - under U.S./CIA control. The obvious suggestion here is that the U.S., directly or indirectly, helped to fund the WTC attacks.
It took 60 years for The History Channel, this year, to disclose to us through U.S. government documents and the statements of intelligence personnel who participated in it, that the highest levels of both government and finance knew that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. And they kept silent about it. Historically, the key fact that made the attack suspicious was that all five aircraft carriers of the Pacific Fleet were conveniently and safely out to sea when the attacks occurred. In 2001, it appears that the aircraft carriers of American finance enjoyed the same advantage, one that was not afforded to those who died in New York, or even to members of the U.S. Congress. That should tell us where the real power lies. ___
Osama bin Laden's Bush family Business Connections
Alliance With Pakistan Will Stimulate Drug Trade, Bring Revenues Under U.S. Control - Colombian Opium Production Will Soar
The Taliban's Biggest Economic Attack on the U.S. Came in February With The Destruction of Its Opium Crop
FTW - Money connections between Bush Republicans and Osama bin Laden go way back and the political and economic connections have remained unbroken for 20 years. And what appears to be a "new" alliance with Pakistan is merely a new manifestation of a decades-long partnership in the heroin trade.
Conveniently ignored in all of the press coverage since the tragic events of Sept. 11 is the fact that on May 17 Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a gift of $43 million to the Taliban as a purported reward for its eradication of Afghanistan's opium crop this February. That, in effect, made the U.S. the Taliban's largest financial benefactor according to syndicated columnist Robert Scheer writing in The Los Angeles times on May 22. But -- as we described in FTW's March 2001 issue -- the Taliban's destruction of that crop was apparently the single most important act of economic warfare against U.S. economic interests that the Taliban had ever committed. So why the gift?
Critics of the Gulf War well recall how, just prior to Sadam's invasion of Kuwait, President Bush (Sr.) dispatched Ambassador April Glaspie to visit Sadam with a letter and a "wink and a nod" telling the Iraqi leader that it was OK to invade his smaller neighbor. The May gift from Uncle Sam could well have been sending the same kind of message, along with necessary funds to complete the attacks. Drugs and terrorism go hand in hand.
Until February, Afghanistan had been the world's largest producer of opium/heroin, claiming close to 70% of the world's total production. That opium, consumed largely in Western Europe and smuggled through the Balkans, was a direct source of cash deposits in Western financial institutions and markets.
I specifically commented on this at an economic crisis conference in Moscow, Russia on March 7. In my formal statement to the Russian conference I said,
"Just before coming to this conference I read in the Associated Press, Agence France Press and other reliable sources that the Taliban has recently eradicated most of its 3000 ton opium crop in Afghanistan. If true, I view this as a form of economic warfare against Russia [and the U.S.] because it would drive opium production more into Southeast Asia and Colombia. However, I now suspect that this will result in a shift of opium production to the Caucasus under the Kurds which will see an increase in smuggling through Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. I should note that both Vice President Richard Cheney and the designated Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage are members of the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. Such a move would have the effect of drastically shortening smuggling routes and costs into Western Europe and of bypassing unstable areas of the Balkans.
I have received additional reports that Uzbekistan is now awash in the opium poppy and, as in the US with the CIA, that Russian military and intelligence agencies facilitate the trade as a means of protecting access to hard currency. The point here is not that the US it totally evil or the only country doing these things. But the US is far and away the most advanced nation when it comes to the use of such methods to achieve superiority. As [Russian economist Michael] Khazin has noted, the US and Britain and Germany started the conflict in Kosovo in 1999 to stave off a collapse of western markets following the Asian collapse of 1997-8. Now Colombia is a last-ditch effort to protect the US markets and European opposition is jeopardizing that plan."
The Taliban's actions this year severed the ruling military junta in Pakistan from its primary source of foreign revenues and made bin Laden and the Taliban completely expendable in the eyes of the Pakistani government. It also cut off billions of dollars in revenues that had been previously laundered through western banks and Russian financial institutions connected to them.
Now as US military action will replace the Taliban government and fresh crops will be planted in Afghanistan, the slack in cash flow will assuredly be replaced by dramatically increased opium production in Colombia; the revenues from that effort being needed to maintain the revenue streams into Wall Street. Prior to the WTC attacks, credible sources, including the U.S. government, the IMF, Le Monde and the U.S. Senate placed the amount of drug cash flowing into Wall Street and U.S. banks at around $250-$300 billion a year.
In that context, the real history of Osama bin Laden, as America's useful terrorist-du-jour reveals a long and continuous history, interwoven with the drug trade and the Bush family, of supporting conflicts that have benefited U.S. military and economic interests.
-- Gregg (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 2001
The Bush family? Aw, come on. That's going light-years into whaco-dom.
-- Wellesley (email@example.com), September 25, 2001.