Sunday, August 17, 2008

Was 9/11 an Inside Job?

By Mark H. Gaffney | Information Clearing House, August 15, 2008

The following is an excerpt from Mark H. Gaffney’s forthcoming book, THE 911 MYSTERY PLANE AND THE VANISHING OF AMERICA, to be released in September 2008.

Regrettably, there is considerable evidence that elements of the Bush administration were complicit in the 9/11 attack, and may even have helped stage it. Let us now examine some of what I regard as the most compelling evidence. However, the following discussion makes no claim to be comprehensive.

We know that within minutes of the “worst terrorist attack” in US history, even before the collapse of WTC-2 at 9:59 am, US officials knew the names of several of the alleged hijackers. CBS reported that a flight attendant on AA Flight 11, Amy Sweeney, had the presence of mind to call her office and reveal the seat numbers of the hijackers who had seized the plane.[1] FBI Director Robert Mueller later said, “This was the first piece of hard evidence.”[2] In his memoirs CIA Director George Tenet emphasizes the importance of the passenger manifests, as does counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke.[3] All of which is very strange because the manifests later released by the airlines do not include the names of any of the alleged hijackers. Nor has this discrepancy ever been explained.

According to MSNBC, the plan to invade Afghanistan and “remove Al Qaeda from the face of he earth” was already sitting on G.W. Bush’s desk on the morning of 9/11 awaiting his signature.[4] The plan, in the form of a presidential directive, had been developed by the CIA and according to Richard Clarke called for “arming the Northern Alliance…to go on the offensive against the Taliban [and] pressing the CIA to…go after bin Laden and the Al Qaeda leadership.”[5]

A former Pakistani diplomat, Niaz Naik, tells virtually the same story. During a BBC interview, three days after 9/11, Niak claimed that senior American officials had informed him in mid-July 2001 that the US would attack the Taliban “before the snows start falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.”[6] Niak said he received this information in Berlin at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan. He also predicted, correctly, that the US attack would be launched from bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. But how could US officials know in mid-July that American forces would invade Afghanistan in October unless they had foreknowledge of the attack?

Foreknowledge probably also explains why General Richard Myers, the acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on 9/11, announced at the first post-9/11 meeting of Bush’s National Security Council, held on video-conference the afternoon of the attack, that “there are forty-two major Taliban bombing targets.”[7] But how did Myers come to have such detailed information about military targets in Afghanistan, so soon after the 9/11 attack? This important detail belies oft-repeated claims that the US military was not prepared to attack Afghanistan, and points to extensive war planning before 9/11. Journalist Steve Coll arrived at a similar conclusion while researching his 2004 book, Ghost Wars, an excellent history of the period leading up to the 9/11 attack. Coll interviewed two Clinton administration officials who informed him that ”the Pentagon had been studying possible targets in the same spring [i.e., 1998] that the CIA had been drawing up its secret plan to raid Tarnack Farm,” located near Kandahar, Afghanistan, where bin Laden had taken up quarters at the invitation of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.[8]

According to Clarke, at the same meeting on the afternoon of 9/11, CIA Director George Tenet informed the president that “Al Qaeda had committed these atrocities.”[9] But, again, how did Tenet know this so soon after the attack, especially given that “security failures” had occurred, unless he had foreknowledge?

Continued . . .

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