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The Lies and Crimes of 911 PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Saturday, 11 October 2008 06:33
The Lies and Crimes of 911 - A Canadian View of the War on Terror's Origins

Prof. Anthony J. Hall - Paper Presented at 'Edmonton Questions 9/11': Convention and Film, Stanley A. Milner Public Library Theatre on September 6, 2008.

Framing the Issues

During this, the season of the seventh anniversary of 911, we must continue to increase the effectiveness of our transnational peace lobby aimed at extending the Nuremberg process towards an international investigation into the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the name of the War on Terror. Such an investigation must begin by asking some foundational questions about the underlying crime that gave rise to the War on Terror. Were the events of 911 orchestrated by a very different cast of characters and for very different motives than those identified in the trial by media that began with unseemly haste on the very day of the Great Shock?[i] Is the War on Terror a War on Truth? Did the official conspiracy theory originate in a web of lies, distortions and cover-ups expressed to this day in the dense shroud of public mythology surrounding the events of 911? We must empower a credible international tribunal of esteemed jurists with sufficient independence to asses on its own merits the growing body of evidence to indicate that the destruction of the Twin Towers and World Trade Centre 7, together with the hit on the Pentagon, were caused by something considerably more elaborate than the actions of nineteen young Saudis equipped with nothing but box cutters, flight training and jihadist zeal.

Too much state terror and too much state criminality has occurred since 911 not to revisit the scene of the crime that created the springboard for such systemic and unrelenting abuses of authority and sacred trusts vested in our governments. Was the whole 911 operation really planned and instigated by a band of Islamic extremists acting alone? Was the whole undertaking really planned and coordinated in distant Eurasian caves, ones conveniently located on planned pipeline routes meant to tap the last large reserves of unexploited Middle Eastern oil? Was the role of Wall Street in the events of 911 confined to that of victim? Or are some central figures in America's commercial capital more implicated in the crime's planning, execution and outcomes than our governments and the commercial media would have us believe? Who benefited most from the events of 911? Who had the motives and who had the means? Wouldn't any truly independent inquiry into what actually transpired on 911 begin by addressing such fundamental questions and then work from there?

From Manifest Destiny to the Cold War to the War on Terror

The War on Terror continues old patterns that developed in the transcontinental, hemispheric and global expansions of the United States. This twenty-first century war without end gives new expression to the old mythology of American Manifest Destiny. The term Manifest Destiny is a code to identify the idea that God himself has given ample manifestation of his wish that the people, government and corporations of the United States have a special role to play in realizing the hegemonic destiny of Western civilization. In the nineteenth century the public mythology of Manifest Destiny generated broad public support for the US annexation of Texas, Mexico, Hawaii, and the Philippines. The adherents of Manifest Destiny also planned to acquire the northern portion of North America. My country, however, was saved from falling under the reign of the Stars and Stripes. As I outline in considerable detail in The American Empire and the Fourth World, my country retained its sovereignty because a strategic alliance between Great Britain and the very effective fighting forces of Tecumseh's Indian Confederacy repelled the US Armed Force's invasion of Canada during the War of 1812.[ii]

By presenting the conflict as an epic struggle between savagery and civilization, the War on Terror is being sold to the public in much the same guise as the US Indian wars and the scores of similar invasions that have stripped Indigenous peoples of their lands and resources around the world. The War on Terror's propagandistic subtext would picture our soldiers as champions of democratic salvation shining the light of Judeo-Christian civilization even into those dark Eurasian caves where Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and the axis of false and evil religion are said to dwell.

As Kevin Phillips has outlined in American Theocracy, there are strong motivations behind these dangerous flirtations with the imagery and substance of religious warfare.[iii] The imagery of militant Christianity in armed confrontation with demonic Islam helps energize the evangelical base, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, of the governing Republican Party in the United States. Similarly the War on Terror's religious symbolism helps Canada's Public Safety Minister, Stockwell Day, deliver some evangelical gravy to his own Born-Again constituency. Many of those on the religious right of western Canada played a central role in the founding of the Alberta-based Reform Party, now in a fragile alliance with the supposedly extinct Progressive Conservatives.

This alliance between the Reform Party's constituency and the Progressive Conservatives came about in direct violation of the precise terms of a signed agreement between David Orchard and Peter MacKay. MacKay is the ex-leader of the Progressive Conservatives whose willingness to sabotage his Party resulted in his appointment by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Foreign Affairs Minister and now as Minister of National Defence. Hence MacKay's violation of his signed promise to David Orchard and his supporters not to join Stephen Harper's Alliance Party forms the underlying episode of fraud and deceit that created Canada's current minority government, a government that has invested considerable political capital in elaborating a Canadian version of the War on Terror. Make no mistake about it. Canada's contribution to George Bush's War on Terror is enormous because the ecologically brutal assault on the Alberta tar sands is now the source of more energy for the United States than the oil wells of Saudi Arabia. It is largely Canadian energy that is fueling the rise of the US terror economy and the building of the global police state.

Even more than the well orchestrated psychological warfare on the capitalist side in the Cold War, the War on Terror's propagandists renew, amend and exploit some of the most deep-rooted symbols to emerge from the transcontinental expansion of the United States. The mythology of this saga of Manifest Destiny served to lionize the US Armed Forces, but especially during the era when its main military function was to clear the land of hostile Indians in order to prepare the ground for the operation of railway companies, land speculators and Euro-American settlers. From its inception the close partnership between the US military establishment and the largest US corporations has had as its goal the creation of a New World Wealth Machine. [iv] This partnership between business and the Armed Forces formed the essential axis of collaboration in building up an Anglo-American superpower to the point where it could replace many of the functions of imperial Europe after its internal wars exhausted its capacity to dominate and exploit colonized peoples.

The open ended construction of a never ending War on Terror assures a constant supply of new enemies to justify the unbroken expansion of the most heavily militarized economy the world has ever seen. The US government has continued to finance its permanent wartime economy ever since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. After emerging victorious from the Second World War, the US government extended its imperial control over its informal empire by building the machinery of the national security state, the core polity in charge of capitalism's primary police force. At the jurisdictional core of the national security state resides the executive power of the US president. Throughout the Cold War the CIA would emerge as one of the most active agencies of the national security state. In its early years the CIA integrated much of the anti-communist apparatus of the defeated Nazi regime into its own worldwide anti-Soviet, anti-communist crusade.

The incorporation of Hitler's anti-communist brain trust into the CIA's espionage, assassination, torture, and thought control operations was just one aspect of a more elaborate history that made many of the largest US cartels and financial institutions, including Ford, IBM, and the J.P. Morgan/Rockefeller concerns, major participants in the industrial rise of the fascist axis.[v] Many of the largest US corporations and financiers, therefore, invested in the military industrialization of both sides during the Second World War. This fact goes far to explain the totalitarianism implicit in the Pentagon's preoccupation with objectives like Full Spectrum Dominance and Total Information Awareness'[vi] The fascistic thrust inherent in this kind of dark enterprise has derived so much momentum from the authoritarian deployment of fear that it will continue no matter who is elected as president of the United States or as Prime Minister of Canada this autumn. As long as the truth of 911 continues to be subordinated to the political exploitation of the event's public mythology we shall continue to see the evaporation of the freedoms and civil liberties some of us have so long taken for granted .

In Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Iraq, Indonesia, Chile and many, many other polities, the CIA and other branches of the national security state intervened covertly to oust and kill those leaders who sought to express the principles of decolonization by attempting to nationalize their peoples' indigenous natural resources. The War on Terror now extends and intensifies the Cold War's heritage of illegal intervention in the sovereign self-governance of Indigenous peoples the world over. The War on Terror continues to provide cover for the continued promotion of an unjust regime of property relations that empowers an entitled minority at the expense of a disentitled majority. This phony War on Terror entails one of the most ambitious and insidious campaigns of psychological warfare ever mounted. It provides a justification for entrenched elites everywhere to jail, torture and kill their opponents in the name of quelling terrorism. The War on Terror helps draw attention away from the huge and pressing threats to humanity's environmental security, our health security, our food security, and our education security. This diversionary war is being mounted at a crucial moment when our very survival depends on our collective capacity to plan and implement coordinated global solutions to the very real menaces we collectively face. Most of this threat emerges from the accelerating pace of the industrial degradation of Earth's ecosystems, the only true source of healthy life and genuine wellbeing available to humanity.

Although the National Security Act was passed in 1947, it was not until the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower that the vast and elaborate national security state went seriously into the business of assassinating foreign leaders and covertly changing regimes in order to protect and advance the global business interests of US corporations. Given his background as America's most celebrated general in the Second World War and his experience as a two-term Republican president, Eisenhower well understood the elaborate links connecting the US military establishment to the interests of capitalism's biggest corporations. As Eisenhower was passing the presidential torch to his doomed young successor, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the departing Commander-In-Chief coined a telling phrase to identify the tight convergence of political and economic power in a single US sector. Eisenhower warned against the betrayal of democratic ideals through the concentration of too much influence in something he called 'the military-industrial complex.'

Eisenhower's flagging of the military-industrial complex's potential to generate tyranny is even more apt on the seventh anniversary of the events of 911 than it was in 1960. In the post 911-world the military-industrial complex appears more and more like a force of global mayhem than an asset to protect humanity's collective security. In the post-911 world the vast influence of the military-industrial complex and the national security state extends deep into the commercial media extending the psychological warfare that began in the Cold War to new extremes of censorship, perception management, and outright thought policing. The depth of the problem is well illustrated in the striking unwillingness of any major commercial news venues to report in a serious and unrelenting way on the growing disconnect between the published evidence on 911 and the public mythology of 911. [vii] But a critical mass of informed public opinion is at this very moment coalescing on the events of 911 and on the appalling litany of lies shot through virtually every aspect of the so-called War on Terror. Some reckoning, however, with all the self-censorship and strategic silence on the part of those with the responsibility to keep the public well informed cannot be postponed indefinitely. The chips shall fall where they will. Indeed, I predict that the day is not too far distant when many of our most influential opinion makers will be in a hurry to declare retroactively that they knew all along that something was terribly inconsistent between the compelling visual evidence of controlled demolitions on 911 and the implausible official explanation that makes burning jet engine fuel, melting steel and the force of gravity the basis of the pancake theory of the Twin Towers' demise.

Since Eisenhower's day the military economy of the United States and its satellites is becoming a privatized terror economy dominated by companies like Halliburton and the Blackwater Mercenary Army Corporation.[viii] For the propagandists of the War on Terror and for the primary beneficiaries of the terror economy, even the CIA is seen as too liberal to be trusted in the engineering the New World police state whose capacity for domination is strategically poised on how the public perceives the events of 911.

911 in the Political Culture of Canada, the Public Mythology of the United States, and in the Popular Culture of the Internet

While the War on Terror recycles many old patterns of US conduct in the Indian Wars and in the Cold War, there is, nevertheless, something unprecedented in the intensity of the undisguised contempt displayed by many of the top figures in the US executive branch for the rule of law and the ideals of universal human rights. The official conspiracy theory of the events of 911 has been deployed to bring us to this point where we are being walked through a series of steps that Naomi Wolf, a child of Holocaust survivors, has recently identified as the classic points of transition along the road to fascism.[ix] The national security state is creating the basis of a global police state that violates the sovereign status of every national government on earth. We live in an era when the US government has asserted the unique authority of its president to designate unilaterally any person anywhere in the world as an unlawful enemy combatant. We can guesstimate that possibly tens of thousands of individuals have already been rounded up and transported to known and unknown locations around the world on the basis of the illegitimate claim that the US executive branch possesses some sort of worldwide jurisdiction that supersedes the sovereign character of all national entities. Those targeted by the national security state are being jailed in a global network of gulags and secret concentration camps where they may be tortured or even eliminated without any prospect of receiving a fair trial.

In this country on the eve of a national election, the minority government of Stephen Harper seems thoroughly complicit with many US incursions on Canada's national sovereignty. Indeed our Prime Minister seemed perfectly content to run his minority government as some sort of franchise or branch plant operation of George Bush's White House. When has Prime Minister Stephen Harper uttered even a hint of criticism directed at US violations of international law and global human rights inflicted in the name of 911 and the War on Terror' The ongoing incarceration of Canadian citizen Omar Khadr in the infamous US concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay epitomizes the problem. Canadian General Romeo Dallaire recently condemned Khadr's US jailers and their Canadian enablers for violating those laws and treaties that prohibit the abusive treatment of child soldiers. Khadr was fifteen when he was apprehended in 2002 by US forces in Afghanistan.[x] Dallaire's insistence on the need to respect international law contrasts dramatically with the attitudes displayed by Gordon O'Connor, a retired Brigadier General in the Canadian Army who served for two years as the Harper government's Minister of National Defence. In January of 2007 O'Connor was called upon to justify the Canadian commitment of almost 3,000 soldiers to serve the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan.[xi] O'Connor said, 'When the Taliban or al-Qaeda came out of Afghanistan, they attacked the Twin Towers and those in the Twin Towers, 25 Canadians were killed [sic]. The previous government and this government will not allow Canadians to be killed without retribution.'[xii]

O'Connor's comment brings us to the core issues we have come to address at this convention. On what basis did Gordon O'Connor or anyone else in the Canadian government decide who is responsible for the attacks on the Twin Towers and those in the Twin Towers' What is the evidentiary base of the Canadian government's contention that the portion of the Afghani people who identify themselves as Taliban or supporters of the Taliban are the primary culprits responsible for the crimes of 911 including the murder of 25 Canadians? Why has not the Canadian government undertaken its own independent investigation to decide for itself the identity of those most responsible for the death of our citizens in the explosive pulverization of the Twin Towers? In this season when many politicians in North America are asking us for our vote, what can we do to exact a commitment that a proper investigation will yet take place, ideally in a way that helps stimulate a larger international process aimed at bringing to justice those genuinely responsible for the crimes of 911?

The Canadian investigation will have to address the issues involved in keeping our soldiers in a civil war zone where the factions known variously as the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Northern Alliance have all in recent times been united mujahadeen backed and armed by the US government in order to overthrow a Soviet-backed puppet regime. This US government's backing of the mujahadeen through Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency was one episode of a more pervasive pattern during the Cold War when the US national security state encouraged, helped organize, and richly financed religious extremists of all stripes in the name of opposing the atheism of Godless Marxism. In the Canadian investigation of the genesis, events and outcome of 911, careful consideration must be devoted to the role and legacy of CIA agent Osama bin Laden as well as to the background of Hamid Karzai, the current CIA agent and pipeline consultant in charge of the US-client regime in Kabul. Careful consideration must be given to the great increase in the export of opium from Afghanistan since the US-backed Northern Alliance ousted from Kabul the governing Taliban.[xiii] Does it make sense to continue to put our sons and daughters in harm's way in order to visit Canadian 'retribution' on Afghani citizens, Taliban or not? We need our own Canadian inquiry, emphasizing our own national perspectives and our own national interests?

As we mourn the terrible loss of our Canadian soldiers, diplomats and aid workers we must not lose sight of those Afghanis who have been killed and maimed because of the way the events of 911 have been interpreted, spun and exploited? How many Afghani lives have been lost or ruined because of the actions our own military personnel? How many of those Afghanis detained by our own people have ended up in torture chambers, including those reported to exist in the US Armed Force's notorious Bagram Theatre Internment Facility? How many Afghanis have been wrongfully subjected to the same kinds of nightmares visited on Maher Arar. Arar and his wife, Monia Mazigh, are Canadian heroes with ample cause to understand the kinds of injustice that can occur when overzealous officials abuse the arbitrary powers invested in them by this so-called War on Terror?[xiv] Why should we betray our national identity and international reputation as peacemakers and peacekeepers on the basis a foreign government's absurd proposition that warfare diminishes terror. How is terror being diminished by the US weaponization of space, by the US financing of newer and ever more devastating technologies of mass destruction, or by the massive privatization of state violence through the large-scale deployment of mercenary armies empowering contractors with guns?

The fast and circus-like media trial that almost immediately assigned blame for the crimes of 911 formed a rude introduction to the attempt by the US executive branch to extinguish habeas corpus
Last Updated on Saturday, 11 October 2008 06:33

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