9/11: The New Pearl Harbor?
In a little over four months, our country will experience the sad remembrance of the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center. Television news shows will replay some of the more horrific and terrifying witness videos available in an effort to remind us of our loss, through which we are expected to re-pledge ourselves to an imaginary war on terrorism. Television and radio talk show hosts will revisit the carnage, rehashing the tragic events of the day, while adding commentary about the developments resulting in the aftermath. Americans will discuss where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with when the news of the first attack reached them.
What few will be loath to discuss is the fact that Americans, in their shock and anger, were willfully led down a side path toward a goal we believed was honorable and righteous. We were skillfully channeled into agreement with the leaders of our nation that a war directed at the offending country was the only way to launch our plans for halting terrorist atrocities against our country. We were led to believe that our mission would not be taken seriously unless we took an offensive stand rather than a defensive one.
Even with overwhelming evidence staring them in the face, in the form of formal documents and various scandals, many Americans are still reluctant to acknowledge that they've been duped by the government they believe is here to carry out our edicts, to protect, guide, and serve. Ten years after the tragic event, there are still hundreds of thousands of American citizens simply unwilling to scrutinize what they suspect may be closer to the truth than anything they've been told by their leaders. The relatively few who are willing to open their minds even a tiny bit, draw back in outrage at the idea that our government willfully employed deception. If it's even possible to sway them at all, they will only concede that possibly “honest” mistakes were made.
The resultant war against Iraq isn't the first time the US government has fabricated an excuse to initiate war in an effort to follow its own agenda. In the early 1960s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff put together a long list of pretexts on which they believed the citizens of the US would back a war against the Cuban government with Fidel Castro at its head. These plans, code named Operation Northwoods, had the signed approval of all the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The actual document is dated March 13, 1962 which is when it was presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara.
Though it was apparently rejected by our civilian leaders, the document was kept secret for more than 40 years. This document, which can be accessed at www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/northwoods.pdf, provides a long list of possible scenarios to contrive or enact as a means for gaining the support of the people. Among the suggestions were plans for sinking a US ship in the vicinity of Cuba, carrying out “pretend” funerals for the sailors killed, and placing casualty lists in public newspapers. There were suggestions of assassinating Cuban exiles, hijacking planes, and even orchestrating violent acts of terrorism in major US cities.
Sound familiar? It should, considering that New York City is a major city which suffered extreme terrorist violence brought about by the hijacking of several airplanes. Even scarier is the fact that George H. W. Bush was tied to the scandal surrounding the Bay of Pigs, through his affiliation with the CIA. Still more frightening is the fact that he insists he doesn't know where he was when JFK was assassinated, but he was photographed at the entrance to the Texas School Book Depository on the very day of the assassination.
Though no official declaration has been made as to the person pictured being President Bush, Sr., the photo came to light after President Gerald Ford's death in 2007. When personal belongings in his estate were sifted through, the picture as well as some notes surfaced which provided damning evidence of what is yet another scandal: that of the official Warren Commission findings. The notes found in Ford's personal belongings were portions of the secret codicils that the 1998 Assassinations Review Board ordered withheld until after President George H. W. Bush's death. Why would notes going back 45 years need to be held in secrecy until after the death of one particular person, unless they implicated him in something deemed detrimental to his continued well-being?
The focus of this article isn't to rehash old conspiracies and scandals. Past occurrences have been listed as a means of underscoring my stand that such outrageous practices and methods are not as unlikely as the perpetrators would have us believe. Government leaders have used violent attacks against Americans as a means to cultivate support of unpopular agendas, or have chosen to ignore the justifiable rage against perpetrators in an effort to downplay events that would derail those same agendas, depending on which way the wind blows.
On October 23, 1983, 241 US service personnel, on a U.N. peace-keeping mission in Beirut, were killed by Muslim terrorists intent on continuing their war against anything and anyone that was non-Muslim. The group responsible for the bombing of the Beirut barracks was a splinter group of the Iranian and Syrian supported Hezbollah organization. Less than two years later, in June of 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked by Lebanese Shia extremists who were later identified as members of Hezbollah. During the three day ordeal, U.S. Navy diver, Robert Dean Stetham, was tortured and murdered.
Both incidents occurred during George H. W. Bush's terms as Vice President under Ronald Reagan. During this time, Vice President Bush also cast three tie-breaking votes to renew chemical weapons production, in support of missiles sale to Iran, and not only voted for, but was actively involved in the illegal arming of the Nicaraguan contras, as well as other paramilitary groups he referred to as “freedom fighters.” One of those groups was the Mujahedeen of Afghanistan. It's obvious that our leaders aren't always swayed by the will of the people. What American citizens would actively look to put more weapons into the very hands of the groups who had already perpetrated crimes against them and theirs?
By now, almost everyone has been made aware of the Bush-Bin Laden family and business connections. Everyone also knows that Osama Bin Laden is the heir to a Saudi construction fortune and has used that fortune to finance countless attacks on US interests as far back as the early 1990s. However, many haven't stopped to take a good look at what was happening in the mid-80's that has led us to 9/11 and beyond.
In 1979, Bin Laden left his home country of Saudi Arabia to fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan after Moscow's invasion. Within five years he was running a front organization which channeled money, arms and fighters into the Afghan war effort. Maktab al-Khidamat, as the organization was called, was sponsored by Pakistan. What most people don't know is that the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) also supported the group. The ISI was the CIA's main causal agency for conducting the covert war against the Soviets.
Though Bin Laden certainly was not the leader of Afghanistan's mujahedin, he was a person with influence, given his proximity to available cash and arms. And while the CIA recognized that there may be problems later, they opted to support Arabs they deemed anti-Soviet, becoming partners with them. However, once the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, and Bin Laden returned home to the family construction business, he split from the conventional organization of the MAK. Including many of the more extremist MAK members he had become acquainted with in Afghanistan, Bin Laden formed al-Qaida.
At home in the United States, recruits to be armed and trained by the CIA, had begun arriving in the mid to late 1980s. In a dank and dreary inner-city building used as the CIA's recruiting post, a multitude of young Arab men willing to die for their Islamic beliefs, gathered at what was called the Al-Kifah Refugee Center located in Brooklyn, N. Y. Most of these new recruits had arrived with passports provided by the CIA and were designated as fresh troops to replenish the Mujahedin.
Another name used to identify the organization known as Maktab al-Khidamat is al-Kifah. The first branch of this pseudo-charity opened in Tucson, AZ around 1984. By 1986, an informal branch of the organization was founded and quickly became the most important branch in the US. On December 29, 1987, three men formally filed papers incorporating Al-Kifah, which is called the Al-Kifah Refugee Center. At first it was located inside the Al-Farooq mosque, but eventually it moved into office space next to it.
The office was run by one of the three men who incorporated al-Kifah, Mustafa Shalabi, and his two assistants, Mahmud Abouhalima and El Sayyid Nosair. Though only Nosair was convicted of shooting a Jewish leader in 1990, both assistants were convicted of crimes connected to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. In addition, another employee of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center was none other than one Jamal al-Fadl, a founding member of al-Qaeda.
Perhaps the most damaging activities were the series of lectures centered around the topic of jihad, featuring CIA sponsored speakers. In fact, some of the speakers are reputed to have been American military personnel schooled in the Arabic language who lectured about the importance of being “warriors of the Lord.”
During this intentional influx of extremist Muslim militants, the Al-Farooq Mosque was administering to the growing Muslim population. The mosque in question has since been cited as a center for fund raising with money being sent to fund terrorist operations. During the series of jihad lectures, the mosque often allowed use of its larger upstairs rooms. These rooms were offered in 1990 when Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman (Blind Sheikh convicted in 1993 World Trade Center bombing) arrived on a CIA-supported visa. He moved to New York during the same year on another CIA-supported visa and soon took over the Al-Kifah Refugee Center. Following a severe disagreement over how raised funds should be spent, Shalabi was killed in mysterious circumstances within a year. With Shalabi's demise and the subsequent take over of the office by Abdul-Rahman, the Al-Kifah/MAK network was totally under the control of Bin Laden and associates.
Perhaps one of the most eye-opening facts that can't be denied is the fact that the Blind Sheikh had been on the Terrorist Watch list for three years prior to being granted admission on a tourist visa by an undercover CIA agent. Even more outrageous is the knowledge that he was encouraged in his missions by our own government, while he continued toward his primary goals of overthrowing the governments of the United States and Egypt. After his alleged and infamous role in the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, by issuing the kill order, Abdul-Rahman was permitted to come and go from the United States at will without being stopped or detained by our government officials who knew of his activities.
Bin Laden's mentor and co-founder in Maktab al-Khidamat, Abdullah Azzam was also a frequent lecturer in the area. At one such lecture, he told a group of several hundred attendees that only through blood and martyrdom can a Muslim society be created. During the same lecture, he claimed that all humanity is the enemy of every Muslim. In 1989, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the future al-Qaeda second-in-command, personally made a recruiting trip to the office.
Nosair's notorious gunning down and consequent death of an Arab hating Jewish rabbi at a New York Marriott should have been an open and shut case, but the bungling police failed in their handling of the evidence. Nosair got off with just a weapons rap. Instructions for building bombs as well as photos of the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center were discovered during a search of Nosair's apartment. The evidence was never inventoried, nor were the documents translated until after the van carrying the 1,500 pound bomb exploded in the underground garage of the World Trade Center. Then, investigators discovered that the plotters who had actually meant to bring the towers down, were followers of the Blind Sheikh. Making sure to guard their own interests, the CIA gave no cooperation to the Federal investigators attempting to locate Abdul-Rahman.
Continued at 9/11: The New Pearl Harbor pt. 2
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