Viewpoint: Many questions, no answers–WTC

Many questions,

no answers—WTC

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Part Four

Last January, in an interview with the Berlin newspaper, Tagesspiegel, former German Minister of Technology Andreas von Buelow said: “I see that after the horrifying attacks of Sept. 11, all political public opinion is being forced into a direction that I consider wrong. I wonder why many questions are not asked?”

Instead, the national news media in this country have devoted themselves to promulgating the official story of what happened on that day. Now more people are beginning to ask the questions the media should have asked immediately afterward.

We have already discussed the failure of America’s air defense to halt those attacks. In his interview, von Buelow commented: “For 60 decisive minutes, the military and intelligence agencies let the fighter planes stay on the ground. Forty-eight hours later, however, the FBI presented a list of suicide attackers. Within 10 days, it emerged that seven of them were still alive.”

Two American journalists, Jared Israel and Illarion Bykov (, contend the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon could not have taken place without the aid of top U.S. officials. They point to President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They are the upper level of authority in the national chain of command.

The questions swirling around the events of Sept. 11 begin with these three men. We know that President Bush, who was in Florida, knew about the first plane being hijacked and hitting the WTC before he left his hotel that morning.

With multiple planes being hijacked and buildings being struck, Bush still kept a publicly announced appearance at a Florida grade school near an airport. How can anyone help but conclude that he was not concerned about his own safety because he apparently knew the plans for the day and knew the school would not be attacked.

His and Cheney’s Dr. Strangelove-like actions after the nation became fully aware of the crisis make many wish the shadow government had been in charge.

Since that day, Bush and his Vice-President Dick Cheney have done all in their power to restrict or prevent a full, open, honest and thorough investigation of the attacks. They have insisted only the intelligence agency aspects should be examined and that, behind closed doors. What are they trying to hide? What don’t they want the American people to know?

Within minutes of the attacks, we were being told by the television networks that the hijackings were carried out by Islamic fundamentalist extremists and that the mastermind of the assaults was Osama bin Laden. No evidence of that was presented. For that matter, no hard evidence of bin Laden’s involvement has been presented to this day.

From his perspective in Europe, von Buelow observed: “The enemy image of anti-communism doesn’t work anymore; it is to be replaced by peoples of Islamic belief. But the idea of the enemy image doesn’t come from me, it comes from Zbigniew Brzezinski and Samuel Huntington, two policy makers of American intelligence and foreign policy. Already in the middle of the 1990s, Huntington believed people in Europe and the U.S. needed someone they could hate. This would strengthen their identification with their own society. Brzezinski campaigned for the exclusive right of the U.S. to seize all the raw materials of the world, especially gas and oil.”

Read Brzezinski’s article in the Sept./Oct. 1997 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, a publication of the Council of Foreign Relations. He says in that 1997 article, “In a volatile Eurasia, the immediate task is to ensure that no state or combination of states gains the ability to expel the United States or even diminish its decisive role.” The article goes on to describe what any rational person might question and call an “Axis of Oil.”

The list of questions about the attacks is a long one. Perhaps the first is about the alleged hijackers themselves. Not only did some of those identified by the FBI as the perpetrators turn up alive after the attacks, but the passenger lists of the attack planes that were released did not contain a single name of any of the identified hijackers. Either the full lists were not released, or the government has no idea who was on those planes, or there were no hijackers.

We are asked to believe that Mohamed Atta and the other “pilots” flew these highly sophisticated airliners through some complex maneuvers and crashed them into the buildings in New York and Washington. Yet, their flight instructors said they did not consider them competent to fly a single-engine Cessna aircraft.

That has given rise in some quarters to speculation that a 1970s technology was employed to remotely control the aircraft. Some pilots say such a thing does not exist, but pilots would not necessarily know of it because it was covert technology, designed to thwart hijacks.

The technology was developed by Northrop Grumman for use in Global Hawk, an automated American military jet. It has about the same wingspan as a Boeing 737. Von Buelow knew of this because of his links to German intelligence. He knew, for instance, that the German airline, Lufthansa, had removed American-made automatic pilots from its planes because the airline feared the aircraft could be taken over without their permission.

Also, the U.S. has touted its remote-controlled surveillance drones that fly just where we want them to and broadcast real-time video images. They have been used extensively in Afghanistan.

If the story of Arab hijackers was bogus, what about the reports of passengers on the hijacked planes making phone calls to spouses or relatives?

The first story, early in the morning, was that Barbara Olson, a CNN commentator and wife of U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, made two calls from American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that smacked the Pentagon.

CNN’s report of this alleged incident never quoted Mr. Olson directly. One question, if you were Ted Olson and you suspected your wife had just died in the crash at the Pentagon, would your first impulse be to call CNN?

A British newspaper later quoted Olson as saying his wife called from the telephone at her seat because she did not have her cell phone and apparently did not have her purse. In order to use the built-in seat phone, the user must have a credit card. Barbara’s was in her purse.

Strangely, no record of these calls and others supposedly made from other flights, has ever turned up. Additionally, with the plane flying at high speed, at a low level and making violent maneuvers, use of a telephone would be nearly impossible.

What about the heroic passenger on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania? We are told that a man named Todd Beamer placed a call from the ill-fated aircraft. But the story goes that he did not talk to his wife. We are asked to believe that the hijackers allowed him to talk for 13 minutes with a telephone operator and describe what was happening on the plane. No call to his wife; she was told about his conversation by the operator, so we’re told.

The Olson story was the first and the most vital. Without that, there would have been no Arab hijackers, no Osama bin Laden, no “War on Terrorism” and no bombing of Afghanistan. It started the wave of revulsion and anger among the U.S. populace and got them in line behind the administration.

So here we are, more questions than answers. First, there are the multiple hijackings, something unprecedented in our history. Then there is a lack of response from our air defense for an hour.

President Bush isn’t told about it for an hour and 20 minutes, and then he gives no orders, but continues to listen to a story about a child’s pet goat. Bush makes no statement about these events for another 25 minutes.

Why did all these things happen? Those few questions are just the very tip of the iceberg. Treated as individual points, they are seemingly easily refuted by glib media pundits, but put all together in one unified view, they are not so easily dismissed.

At the very least, they should cause any American not on Prozac to ask some questions.

Consider these comments: “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State.” The author of those words was the Nazi propaganda master, Dr. Joseph Goebbels.

Lies and “damned lies,” such as the statistics of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, are hard to prove or disprove as the American Journalism Review points out in its April issue. Reliability and access on all sides are strained.

How ironic—despite all of our technological advancement and supposedly democratic society—questions pepper the truth, and an ancient culture and secrecy still prevail.

Perhaps WTC should stand for Wait, Truth Critical.

Editor & Publisher Frank Schier also contributed to this editorial.

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