9-11 and US Global Hegemony
by Ed Rippy
THE IDEOLOGY OF BENEVOLENT GLOBAL HEGEMONY: "ONLY WE CAN SAVE THE WORLD FROM ITSELF"In his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard," former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski cites Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington: "A world without U.S. primacy will be a world with more violence and disorder and less democracy and economic growth than a world where the United States continues to have more influence than any other country in shaping global affairs."1 Brzezinski is still influential; he is Professor of Foreign Policy at John Hopkins University and has taught at Columbia and Harvard, he is Counselor-in-residence at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and he is a Trilateral Commission trustee.2 To Huntington's statement he adds, "[T]he only real alternative to American [meaning "US" -- ER] leadership in the foreseeable future is international anarchy."3 He names the key requirements for such "leadership:" "To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals [i.e., to make sure they need US protection -- ER], to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."4 Eurasia -- everything from Europe to the North Pacific Ocean -- is the key to the world: "A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. . . . About 75 percent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about 60 percent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources."5 Therefore, he concludes, "The most immediate task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitrating role."6 Within Eurasia the "pivotal" and most volatile area is Central Asia, centered roughly around the Caspian Sea: "Another major uncertainty looms in the large and geopolitically fluid space of Central Eurasia, maximized by the potential vulnerability of the Turkish-Iranian pivots. . . . This huge region, torn by volatile hatreds and surrounded by competing powerful neighbors, is likely to be a major battlefield. . . ."7 The facing page holds a map with the area Brzezinski considers most "volatile" circled; Afghanistan is nearly in the middle. But this "decisive arbitrating role" requires policies, expenses and sacrifices that the US public is not willing to make under ordinary circumstances: "America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) [note Brzezinski's use of the euphemism "defense" when he means "hegemony" -- ER] and the human sacrifice (casualties even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization."8 One infers from this that in Brzezinski's view, for the US to save the world from "international anarchy," democracy will have to go, or at least there must be "a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being." He gives an example: "The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor."9 As we have seen in an earlier paper, the US government provoked and permitted that attack, as well as several others throughout its history.10 Brzezinski is not the only one to see US global military dominance as imperative: according to Steven Mufson in the Washington Post, in March 2001 President Bush "immersed himself" in Robert Kaplan's book "Eastward to Tartary," which paints the Caspian region as "a realm haunted by the specter of conflict over Caspian pipelines" and other tensions. Bush invited Kaplan to the White House and met with him for nearly an hour. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and other top officials also attended. After the meeting, Kaplan gave his impression of Bush's view of the world: "The world is a bad place with a lot of bad people who can do us harm and the most important moral commitment for America is to preserve its power." Kaplan himself, in an article written before September 11, "predicted that international law would play a smaller role in conflicts as wars became increasingly unconventional and undeclared." "[I]n facing adversaries unconcerned with civilian casualties," he argued, "our moral values. . . represent our worst vulnerabilities"11 (ellipsis in original). Others have pronounced similar views: for example, in 1980 Richard M. Nixon wrote: "We cannot win [the struggle against the Soviets] unless we understand the nature and uses of power. . . . We have to recover the geopolitical momentum, marshaling and using our resources in the tradition of a great power."12 Ideological opposition to Communism or even anything which might accommodate Communism has long been a powerful force in US politics, so strong that even presidents have bowed before it. According to Daniel Ellsberg, of "Pentagon Papers" fame, in 1963 President Kennedy said, "In 1965 [after the upcoming election], I'll be damned everywhere as a Communist appeaser [for pulling out of Vietnam]. But I don't care. If I tried to pull out completely now, we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I'm reelected."13 Other presidents felt the same pressure: "Like Kennedy and Johnson before him, Richard Nixon believes he cannot hold the White House for a second term unless he holds Saigon through his first."14 Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Communism has lost its usefulness as a threat, to be replaced by "rogue states" and international terrorism. An example of a threat needed to maintain support for Cold-War levels of military spending is Saddam Hussein, as suggested to President Bush (the elder) by the National Security Council.15 In sum, powerful elements in the US government have long held it necessary for the US to dominate the world militarily, and for threats to US security to maintain public acceptance of the economic, social, and human costs of this dominance.
THE CIA AND WALL STREETThere is a strong connection between the CIA's top officers and Wall Street: Clark Clifford, who wrote the National Security Act of 1947 (which established the CIA) was a Wall Street banker and lawyer, and chairman of First American Bancshares, which made the first US ties with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (known less formally as the "Bank of Crooks and Criminals International" for its huge amounts of money laundering). The Dulles brothers, who gave Clifford the basic design for the CIA and served as Secretary of State and Director of the CIA, were partners in Sullivan and Cromwell, the most powerful law firm on Wall Street. Former CIA director Bill Casey had earlier been chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Dave Doherty, Vice President of the New York Stock Exchange, was previously the general counsel for the CIA. The CIA's Executive Director, A. B. Krongard, used to be the chairman of A. B. Brown (now owned by Deutsche Bank). Former Director of the CIA George Bush (the elder) is a consultant to the Carlyle Group, a holding company which is the eleventh largest military contractor for the US. John Deutch, another former CIA director, is on the board of Citigroup, and CIA Executive Director (under Deutch) Nora Slatkin is a highly placed executive at Citigroup.16 Given these connections, it is not too surprising that where the CIA has been involved, one often finds US banks, weapons, and multinational corporations. There is a symbiotic relationship between economic and military power: it takes money to maintain military forces, and it takes military forces to control resources and markets. As Brzezinsky puts it, "America's economic dynamism provides the necessary precondition for the exercise of global primacy. . . . More important, America has maintained and has even widened its lead in exploiting the latest scientific breakthroughs for military purposes."17 Military research and development is expensive, so keeping US financial centers well lubricated is an aspect of "national security." US economic primacy is not confined to legal markets: "Le Monde Diplomatique," the premier news source for international diplomats, found US intelligence services, banks, and other multinational corporations at the top of a huge global network of organized crime and money laundering -- "a coherent system closely linked to the expansion of modern capitalism." "Diplo" (as the journal is affectionately known to its readers) cites cartels, insider dealing and speculation, fraudulent balance sheets, embezzlement of public funds, spying, blackmail, and betrayal, among a host of other seamy practices. But these cannot succeed without governments willing to "keep restrictive regulations to a minimum, to abolish or override such rules as do exist, to paralyse inquiries. . . and to reduce or grant amnesty from any penalties." In turn, the businesses finance parties' election campaigns, "promoting the most promising political personalities" and having them "followed and closely watched by armies of lobbyists who can be found close to every decision-making authority." Counting only business with a transnational component, "Diplo" says "the world's gross criminal product totals far above $1000bn [i.e., $1 trillion] a year, nearly 20% of world trade." Modern crooks "go for the highest gains: hedge funds, inflating the bubble of financial speculation, emerging markets, property, new technologies." Calling the US "international financial crime's number one partner," "Diplo" says that "the secret services of the world's most powerful state apparatus. . . have moved into economic warfare."18 Given the close links between the CIA and Wall street we have seen above, it is certainly well suited to the task.
PROXIES: SAUDI ARABIA, PAKISTANThe US makes heavy use of proxies in its international power politics. This confers several advantages: it lowers the direct expense, makes it harder for others to know what it's doing, and provides deniability, especially keeping the US Congress and public in the dark -- important since many of its activities are illegal or otherwise unacceptable (the drug trading19 comes immediately to mind). Further, proxies can enlist others who would not knowingly aid the US. The proxies we are most concerned with regarding 9-11 and the Afghan war are the Saudis, Pakistan's secret service (the Inter-Services Intelligence Service or ISI), and the Taliban. Osama bin Laden also figures largely in the plot. In 1945 President Roosevelt held a secret meeting with King Ibn Saud. They cut a deal that the US would get priviledged access to Saudi oil and in return would guarantee the Saud family's throne.20 The Saudis matched US contributions to the Mujaheddin when they were fighting the Soviets, gave $26 million to the ISI to help set up a friendly government in Afghanistan in 1989,21 and bankrolled Osama bin Laden's first training camp in Pakistan (in collaboration with the CIA).22 The CIA had built up the ISI and used it and Pakistan's military both to run the covert war against the Soviets and the burgeoning heroin trade.23 In 1986 the CIA started helping the ISI recruit fundamentalist Muslims from around the world to join the Mujaheddin. Osama bin Laden was one of the young recruits, a great prize because his family was very rich and close to the Saudi royal family.24 He rounded up Middle Eastern youth and sent them to the US visa bureau in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), which issued them illegal visas to the US (Michael Springman, visa officer at the time, protested long and loud, and lost his job as a reward. He later found out that the Muslims went to the US for training in covert military operations before going to Afghanistan). Apparently this arrangement continued: fifteen of the suspected September 11 hijackers allegedly got visas from the same bureau.25 Labeviere calls bin Laden "one of the top agents recruiting Arab volunteers for the great crusade against the Communist invaders."26 Due to his increasing notoriety, bin Laden lost his Saudi citizenship in 1994, and his family disowned him, but he is said to remain secretly in close contact with Saudi intelligence as well as his family.27 There is at least one contradictory report, saying that according to an extensive dossier supplied by his friends, bin Laden never got any money from the CIA and "has never had any contact with US officials."28 The first claim may be true, since Saudi Arabia supplies money at the CIA's behest, but the other contradicts multiple other sources and is difficult to credit. After the defeat of the Soviets, military advances by the Taliban regularly followed visits by high-level US State Department officials.29 When the Taliban had overextended themselves and were vulnerable, some of the same officials arranged a cease-fire and arms embargo -- but Pakistan resupplied the Taliban, who proceeded to take over most of Afghanistan. The resupply happened in plain view and if US officials had wanted to stop it they surely could have. As Dana Rohrabacher, senior member of the House Committee on International Relations put it, "This [Clinton] Administration is responsible for the Taliban."30 The Taliban, in league with the local drug and transport mafias, managed the smuggling routes, which had been split between several competing warlords. They charged a (relatively) low and uniform tax, and smuggling of all sorts boomed.31 Since US banks and stock markets are heavily dependent on criminal money,32 the CIA probably protected the smuggling, especially since it had built up the drug business to begin with. In fact, terrorist networks are in cahoots with organized crime of all sorts, and the Islamist terrorists are no exception. If local governments get in the way, the terrorists can use their crime networks to transport weapons to attack them with: for example, auto theft rings supplied cars to transport guns in Algiers for the Armed Islamic Group there. And the criminals' ill-gotten gains, when laundered, fatten the (otherwise) legitimate businesses of their friends.33 The White House has continued to obstruct investigations into Saudi-based terrorists: the FBI suspected the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, and run by a relative of Osama bin Laden, of financing terrorism. But the White House ordered agents to "back off" their investigation.34 John O'Neill, former head of counterterrorism for the FBI, met such obstruction in his investigations of al-Qaeda that he resigned in protest. He became head of security for the World Trade Center and died there on September 11.35 Despite attacks on US forces in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Khobar, and Aden, the US has continued to protect Islamist terrorists because they are so useful to US geopolitics ("Islamism" being the fundamentalist ideology stemming from the Koran which transcends -- and rejects -- the secular state). These Islamists are ready to do business with just about anyone to finance their activities. As Swiss journalist Richard Labeviere puts it, through them the US "generates a new zone of political instability" in Central Asia that renders first US "presence," then "arbitration," necessary. The Central Asian states "have little chance" of becoming "future exporters of products with high added value" -- i.e., competitors. Thus, Islamism is "soluble in capitalism," "an antidote to nationalist temptations," and "a rampart against the ever-present threat of a return of socialism."36 After the fall of the Soviet Union, the various warlords of the anti-Soviet alliance began competing for power, and the US State Department grew nervous at the Islamist extremists who were gaining it. But the CIA and the Saudis did not want to give up "the assets of such a profitable collaboration." In 1991, bin Laden, the CIA, and the Saudi secret services held a series of meetings; exactly what they agreed remains secret, but the CIA was determined to maintain its influence in Afghanistan, "the vital route to Central Asia where the great oil companies were preparing the energy eldorado for the coming millenium." The Saudis also wanted to preserve the bin Laden-Hekmatyar-Pakistan alliance "at all costs." The Islamists are of the Sunni branch of Islam, like the Sauds, and thus an ally against Iran, which is heavily in the Shi'ite school.37 In fact, the French newspaper Le Figaro reported that a CIA official visited bin Laden in July 2001 while he was undergoing kidney treatment at the US hospital in Dubai38 (the CIA issued a denial the day after the report, but the Figaro stood by its story).39 This continued support by the CIA has created great tension with the FBI: for example, Ramzi Youssef, lead defendant in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was recruited by the CIA in Pakistan.40 We shall return to the issue of high-level obstruction of FBI investigations of al-Qaeda below. However, many Islamists and other Arabs have a deep hatred of the US and its policies, so any collaboration must be well-hidden and confined to people far removed from the rank and file. Many within the CIA may be alarmed at the monster they helped create, but the dependence of US banks and stock markets on the criminal money which it generates41 makes letting go difficult. And Saudi Arabia, the original partner (with Pakistan and the CIA) in setting up the "Afghan Arabs," also has a sizable chunk of cash parked in the US: "as much as two-thirds of the estimated $1000 billion that Arabs hold abroad [i.e., $667 billion] is thought to be invested in the US or deposited in American banks."42 While this figure is for all Arabs, not just Saudis, the latter certainly represent a major share. The Daily Telegraph puts Saudi investment in the US at $750 billion, saying that Saudis are threatening to withdraw their money in retaliation for a lawsuit by September 11 victims’ families. The suit charges wealthy Saudis with financing al-Qaeda.43 Another benefit bin Laden's fighters confer on the US government is their ability to influence the succession of governments in the Middle East: for example, the current Saudi king's health has declined and Crown Prince Abdullah is running the country in his stead. The succession is uncertain,44 and Abdullah has distanced himself somewhat from the US and warmed a bit towards Iran, Syria, and Iraq. The US would prefer another prince, Sultan, on the Saudi throne -- and "various qualified observers estimate" 3,000 of bin Laden's troops in northern Yemen -- just across the Saudi border where they can intervene to see that the next Saudi king has values similar to the current one.45
OIL, AFGHANISTAN, AND RUSSIAN POWERRussia, through its pipelines, controls most Caspian oil,46 and since the fall of the Soviet Union the US has wanted to keep Russia from maintaining control over the Central Asian Republics.47 Pipelines and rail connections to the Mediterranean and Arabian seas are necessary to link the Central Asian economies to the West (and coincidentally enrich Western businesses) and enable them to avoid remaining under the sway of Russia.48 Further, the military importance of oil49 means that a US presence in the Caspian oilfields would bolster US military power in the area. According to Unocal oil vice-president John J. Maresca, the best route for a pipeline to the Arabian Sea runs through Afghanistan.50 Both a US company (Unocal) and an Argentinean company (Bridas) had been negotiating with the Taliban to build such a pipeline from the mid-1990s.51 However, the negotiations were unfruitful, and Maresca told Congress that Afghanistan needed an internationally recognized government (unlike the Taliban) in order for Unocal to build the pipeline.52 Two analysts at the RAND Corporation, one a former official in the Reagan and Bush (the elder) Administrations, also wrote that "Afghanistan could prove a valuable corridor for [Central Asian] energy as well as for access to markets in Central Asia.53 Two days after the US began bombing Afghanistan, the US ambassador to Pakistan visited Pakistan's Petroleum Minister, who told her that the pipeline now appeared possible "in view of the recent geo-political developments in the region." The Ambassador told him that the US had lifted a number of sanctions against Pakistan and hoped that "US investors would avail [themselves of] the opportunities."54 Unocal may be back in the mix, but reports differ: A natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to a seaport in Pakistan has won approval from the governments involved, and the Afghan Minister for Mines and Industries told Reuters that Unocal would be the lead company in the consortium building it. However, Unocal denies any interest.55 Several sources report that Hamid Karzai, head of Afghanistan's interim government, once worked as a consultant for Unocal,56 but the company denies this.57
OPIUM IN CENTRAL ASIAThe CIA has a long history of protecting the drug trade on several continents,58 and Afghanistan was producing over 60% of the world's heroin by 1989.59 Aside from bankrolling covert armies, money from drugs (and other crime) supports international banks, businesses, and stock markets: the amount of laundered drug money alone equals an estimated 8-10 percent of all world trade.60 US banks handle tens of billions of dollars a day from their foreign correspondent banks, many of which launder criminal money.61 And major publicly-traded US corporations enjoy a loophole in the banking laws which makes it easy for them to launder money with a low risk of detection62 (but several of them have been detected doing it anyway, prompting high-level meetings with US Department of Justice officials).63 In 2000, the Taliban eliminated poppy farming in the areas they controlled, causing about a 95% drop in Afghanistan's harvest.64 However, this did little to reduce the heroin flow because of large existing opium stockpiles; indeed some believe the ban was imposed to keep the price from falling due to oversupply.65 Another possibility is that the Taliban hoped to gain international recognition by stopping poppy growing.66 While the ban on cultivation did not immediately impact drug-related cash flows, if it had continued until the stocks ran low, it would have. However, when the US started bombing, the farmers started replanting poppies, and since the Taliban's removal Afghanistan's opium crop is booming again.67 Despite perfunctory vows to fight drugs, the new government in Afghanistan has taken the office and equipment away from its drug control agency,68 and the US has exempted Afghanistan (as well as Haiti) from sanctions for its drug production.69 Further, Uzbekistan, bordering Afghanistan to the north and also under strong US influence, is "awash in a sea of poppies."70
US PREPARATIONS FOR WAR, US WARNINGS OF WAR, AND WARNINGS OF ATTACK WHICH THE US DIDN'T HEEDUS Green Berets and regular troops have gone to Uzbekistan to train and establish ties with the Uzbek military since 1996, and 30-40 Uzbek officers have come to the US for military training since 1995. At least one of these has helped US troops get settled in Uzbekistan for the current occupation. Some US soldiers have even married Uzbek women.71 US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan.72 In an unofficial meeting in Berlin in July 2001, former US officials told a former Pakistani official that the US was planning to attack Afghanistan by mid-October. British papers confirm that the Pakistani ISI relayed the threats to the Taliban.73 Just days before September 11, Bush's national security advisors presented him with a plan for a war against al-Qaeda, including attacks on Afghanistan and other elements of the actual war.74 By early September 2001, tens of thousands of US and allied troops, including two aircraft carrier battle groups, were converging in Egypt and the Arabian Sea -- not far west and south of Afghanistan -- for exercises75 (of course, such "contingency plans" and exercises do not mean that a country is definitely planning to go to war, but they do mean that it intends to be prepared for a war. However, one report says that the plan to attack al-Qaeda was definite, and that it had been completed near the end of Clinton’s tenure; but that administration decided not to launch the attack since it was soon to leave office76). In 1997, the trial of one of the bombers in the previous attack on the World Trade Center revealed a plan to hijack airliners and crash them into civilian targets. A 1999 report prepared for the National Intelligence Council warned that al-Qaeda members might use hijacked airplanes as bombs, and in October 2000, the Pentagon held a drill to prepare for a hijacked airliner crashing into it. In June 2001, German intelligence warned the CIA that Middle Eastern terrorists are "planning to hijack commercial aircraft" to "attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture." In July 2001, FBI agents wrote a memo describing Middle Eastern men taking flight lessons, and specifically mentioning Osama bin Laden and connections to terrorism. Also in the summer of 2001, Jordanian intelligence intercepted a communication stating that a major attack using aircraft was planned in the US. The Jordanians relayed the warning to the US through two separate channels to make sure it got through. Also, the US National Security Agency intercepted conversations between an aide to Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta (the alleged lead hijacker), but didn't share the information with any other agencies. Russian intelligence warned the CIA that 25 terrorist pilots had been training to fly hijacked airliners. And at the G8 summit in Genoa, Italian and Egyptian officials warned that President Bush might be attacked with hijacked airplanes filled with explosives. Although US officials called these warnings "unsubstantiated," Italian security forces closed off local airspace and deployed anti-aircraft guns.77 In July 2001 US Attorney General Ashcroft quit flying on commercial airlines due to an unspecified "threat assessment" from the FBI.78 In August 2001 the FBI arrested an Islamic militant who was taking flying lessons and had technical manuals for Boeing aircraft. Despite confirmation from French sources that he was a key member of bin Laden's network the FBI did not subject him to special interrogation (see Agent Rowley's accusation below). That same month Russian President Putin ordered his intelligence service to warn Washington "in the strongest possible terms" of impending attacks on airports and government buildings.79 Also, a US Office of Naval Intelligence Lieutenant, in a Canadian jail on trumped-up charges, had been trying to warn the US of terrorist attacks in the upcoming weeks, and gave a sealed note to his jailers which listed both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, among other possible targets.80 This lieutenant had also gotten a Russian memo which specified a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania -- the state where the fourth hijacked plane crashed. The memo also gave the exact date: 9/11/01. He reported it to Canadian authorities at least a month before the attacks, and they notified US authorities.81 President Bush received an intelligence briefing that bin Laden might be planning to hijack aircraft, but the White House says that they had no idea that the aircraft might be used as weapons.82 During the week of September 9 an Iranian man made several phone calls to US police warning of an imminent attack on the World Trade Center (but was dismissed as mentally unstable).83 Also in early September, someone called a Cayman Islands talk show several times warning of an imminent attack on the US by bin Laden. Since the Caymans are among the world leaders in money laundering, and terrorists launder a lot of money, it is reasonable for counterterror services to pay close attention to such shows. At roughly the same time, thousands of "put" options (versus a few hundred "call" options) were placed against United Airlines, American Airlines, and two reinsurance companies which are heavily invested in the World Trade Center (put options pay off very well if the stock in question goes down significantly; call options do the reverse). No large numbers of options were placed against any other airlines.84 This is a way for terrorists to make a lot of money from their attacks, and intelligence agencies monitor such trading closely for clues to upcoming attacks.85 The US Securities and Exchange Commission is supposedly investigating these trades, but has been silent on the issue for months. Given several warnings that terrorists might use hijacked airliners as weapons, and the Pentagon's drill using exactly that scenario, it is strange that the White House said it had no inkling of that possibility. In fact, as legislators evacuated the Capitol Building after the attacks, a member of the Armed Services Committee told a National Public Radio correspondent that "just recently the Director of the CIA warned that there could be an attack -- an imminent attack -- on the United States of this nature. So this is not entirely unexpected."86 Conveniently, the (then) head of Pakistan's ISI was in Washington from September 4 2001 until after the attacks. He met with several US intelligence officials, and on the morning of September 11 he was in a breakfast meeting with the chairmen of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. After the attacks, he coordinated Pakistan's collaboration with the US in the war on Afghanistan. But he had been busy before that: in the weeks prior to September 11, he ordered a total of $100,000 wired to Mohammed Atta, who has been fingered by the FBI as the hijackers' ringleader. The FBI knew about this (although it is not clear exactly when they found out), and Pakistan replaced the ISI chief in a "routine reshuffling" -- but Indian press reports say that the US was behind his dismissal.87 Despite this rather shocking link between Pakistan and the September 11 attacks, the US has continued its warm relations with Pakistan and the ISI, and this writer has found no report of further US action against the "reshuffled" intelligence chief.
SUPPRESSION OF FBI INVESTIGATIONS OF AL-QAEDABesides the White House orders to "back off" the investigation of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the obstruction which the late John O'Neill reported before his death on September 11, there are further reports of active suppression of investigations which might have prevented the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Washington attorney David Shippers represents several FBI agents in Oklahoma City and other places who say they have been prevented from proceeding in cases against Middle Eastern men involved in the Oklahoma City bombing and who had information relating to other planned attacks (including some involving airplanes) -- they say there is even a videotape, not released, showing a Middle Eastern man running away from the Murrah building along with Timothy McVeigh. They also say that eyewitnesses confirm this.88 FBI agent Coleen Rowley claims that supervisors rewrote a warrant she had written for a search of Zacarias Moussaoui's (the al-Qaeda operative arrested in Boston referred to above) computer hard drive, resulting in the denial of the warrant. She also said that the FBI ignored a memo from an agent in Phoenix which described terrorists taking flying lessons.89 In a press conference on May 30 2002 FBI agent Robert Wright said that his bosses "prevented," "thwarted," and "obstructed" his investigations into al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and that they "intimidated" him with "retaliation" for his efforts. Wright said that for years there had been conflicts between the intelligence and criminal investigation agencies, with the result that there had been almost no attempt to neutralize known and suspected terrorists living in the US. One reason Wright cited was that these terrorists laundered huge amounts of money through US banks which were tied to powerful US interests (this corroborates Labeviere's thesis).90 As recently as March 2002 there has been "considerable conflict inside the U.S. government between law enforcement officials seeking to cut off funding for international terrorism and diplomatic and political officials unwilling to permit investigations that would undermine the regime in power in Saudi Arabia." In April 2002 President Bush met with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and formed (in Bush's words) a "strong personal bond" with him. Jean-Charles Brisard, a French intelligence analyst who co-authored (with Guillaume Dasquie) "Ben Laden: La Verite Interdite" ("Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth"), said that although "some have been shut down, most of the so-called [Islamic] charities [which, according to numerous sources, finance terrorism] controlled by Saudi families in Northern [sic] Virginia and elsewhere are still in operation. The assets of some of these organizations have been frozen, but the Saudi sponsors have not been touched and the most important work remains to be done." According to "Democrats.com," "The U.S. Department of State has confirmed that there were high level contacts between the U.S. and the Taliban prior in [sic] the spring and summer of 2001."91
LAWSUIT ALLEGES US DELIBERATELY LET ATTACKS HAPPENStanley Hilton, a San Francisco lawyer and former aide to Senator Bob Dole, filed a class action lawsuit against top Bush Administration officials on behalf of 400 plaintiffs (members of families of 14 victims of the September 11 attacks). He says the government benefited from installing an oil-friendly puppet government in Afghanistan and has used the attacks to consolidate political power at home. Hilton says his information comes from contacts in the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, and Office of Naval Intelligence. One source tells him that bin Laden died "years ago" from kidney failure, which if true means that there has been an active double taking his place for years.92
MISTAKEN HIJACKER IDENTITIESAlthough (perhaps to save face), the FBI released a list of 19 people alleged to have hijacked the aircraft on September 11, there is serious doubt that they know who did it. Seven of those named have been reported alive in other parts of the world, and at least one other is reported to have died elsewhere.93 On April 30 2002 FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that although investigators have been able to track the accused hijackers' movements for months before the attacks, they found "no evidence of their plotting." The FBI's statements are fascinating: an official said "There was never even anything saying 'Something is planned in the United States'" -- despite the multiple warnings from foreign intelligence sources outlined above. Further, officials seem oblivious to the reports that seven of their targets are still alive -- and no reporter seems to have asked about that! The unnamed FBI official said that the lack of evidence shows that the alleged terrorists had "really taken a quantum leap in their ability to carry out an operation without all the traditional accouterments"94 -- but another possibility is that they simply didn't do it. This leaves the question, "Who did?" -- and why is the FBI barking so noisily up such an unproductive tree?
US MILITARY TRAINING OF "HIJACKERS"Five men with names matching those of alleged hijackers trained at US military bases in the 1990s. The Pentagon had said that the names were simply coincidences, although three of the alleged hijackers had listed their addresses as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. But the spokesman wouldn't give any biographical details of the alleged hijackers which would distinguish them from the men who trained in the US. Finally, under intense questioning, the spokesman said, "I do not have the authority to tell you who [among the alleged hijackers] attended which schools."95
THE HISTORY OF ARRANGED PROVOCATIONS FOR US WARSThe US, certainly not alone in this, has a long history of provoking or fabricating attacks on its interests, troops, or territory to "justify" military action. Historical research shows that the Boston Massacre (before there even was a US!) was an act of self-defense; the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was deliberately provoked and allowed to happen; CIA covert troops had been raiding North Vietnam in order to provoke an attack to "justify" US bombing (although the Gulf of Tonkin "incident" never actually happened); and the US (through Kuwait) provoked Saddam Hussein's invasion, and then falsely claimed that Iraqi troops were massing on the Saudi Arabian border to invade it. Further, the Joint Chiefs of Staff planned a series of staged terrorist and military acts which they would blame on Cuba to "justify" a US war on Cuba, and the Navy planned an incursion into disputed waters off North Korea in order to provoke an attack which would lead to a war there in the late 1960s. Fortunately these plans were not carried out.96
ANTHRAX CAME FROM US GOVERNMENT LAB; FBI HAS A GOOD IDEA WHO SENT ITThe anthrax which someone sent through the US mails last year "originally came from a US military laboratory,"97 and Barbara Rosenberg, director of the biological warfare division of the Federation of American Scientists, says that at least five inside experts have singled out one man as best fitting the FBI's suspect profile -- but the FBI hasn't arrested him, possibly to protect other agencies which have "a vested interest in shielding the truth." Rosenberg quotes a former US bioweapons director as saying, "I think a lot of good has come from it. From a biological or a medical standpoint, we've now five people who have died, but we've put about $6 billion in our budget."98
TROUBLE IN THE STOCK MARKETThe US stock markets were showing signs of weakness by early 2001; in fact in March Michael Ruppert predicted that the US would soon go to war in order to bolster them.99 And on September 9, he issued an urgent bulletin warning of a monstrous bubble of inflated stock speculation which was about to burst -- leading not only to a global depression but a "'reign of terror' or mindless bloodletting."100 And a San Diego stock trader sold off $300,000 in stocks on September 10, saying that the market would soon go down 3,000 points. He is under indictment along with a current and a former FBI agent (and two others) for insider trading; the prosecutor suspects that he knew of the upcoming attacks, but it is possible that he simply read the same signs others read.101 Since wars mean fat contracts for companies in the military business, and the resources which come under US control after the military has wiped out the competition are available to US-based multinational corporations, war is popular among the movers and shakers of the world economy for keeping corporate cash flows up and thus preventing stocks from crashing--or at least postponing the crash for a while, giving the insiders a chance to sell off their holdings before their value dives. Ruppert predicted war in Colombia, and although Afghanistan has been "center stage" since September 11, the Bush Administration has been increasing its military aid to Colombia and asking Congress to use it for fighting "terrorists" as well as the drug trade.102 Besides cocaine, oil is also a target in Colombia: it is Latin America's third largest producer, and increasing its output.103 And the US and its allies are not going to leave Afghanistan soon: "counterinsurgency operations" in the area "could last beyond this summer." In May 2002 the US announced "a new level of cooperation with Pakistan," and "American Special Forces, who built relationships with anti-Taliban commanders during the first phase of the war, have been assigned to remain with those leaders as they have become provincial governors wielding control." Keeping tribal warlords from fighting amongst each other requires "a long-term American military presence in Afghanistan." While some US troops are pulling out of Afghanistan to "balance their worldwide troop commitments," a three-star general has been slated to replace the two-star general who was the commander of ground forces "to consolidate the growing international coalition forces under a single command."104
SUMMARYA number of influential people within the US government and foreign policy establishment hold that the US must be dominant, both militarily and economically, throughout the world. Although they do not speak of overt empire, they speak of "primacy" and a "decisive arbitrating role." Some see this as a "benevolent hegemony" necessary to maintain order and economic growth in the world; others see it as a necessary defense against a world with "a lot of bad people who can do us harm." This "primacy" requires immense military forces, lots of money, and a lack of scruples. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has built up both its mobile military forces and foreign arms sales. Eurasia is a key strategic area in this global power game, and Central Asia is key to Eurasia. Since the US populace as a whole does not share this "imperial" ideology and is unwilling to pay the high economic, human, and social costs it requires (and other countries are unlikely to cooperate), proponents of US "benevolent hegemony" need threats to "justify" the needed military power and political control. We have seen the "marketing" of these "threats" in the post-Cold War maneuvering by US military and intelligence agencies (the author's "US Military Policy Since the Fall of the Soviet Union" covers this in more detail). The boom in US weapons sales served to supplement US military power with that of allies, maintain the US weapons establishment, reduce security throughout the world and create yet more markets for weapons as nations see their rivals become more powerful, and supply a steady stream of threats as one-time allies or clients became "rogue" states. In recent years international terrorism has replaced individual states as the primary "threat." Since the Boston Massacre, the US (or the colonies) has repeatedly deliberately provoked attacks, fabricated them, or a combination, to sway public opinion in support of war. At Pearl Harbor, this policy got thousands of people killed, including civilians (the author's "How the US Has Gotten Into Wars" covers this history in greater depth). And the anthrax which killed five people after September 11 came from a US government lab; the prime suspect is still walking around free while the US bioweapons programs have gained six billion dollars out of the deal. The global military and economic power which the US has sought demands two key elements: control of oil supplies and international crime (primarily the drug trade). The need to control oil supplies has led to a long-standing, secretive partnership between the US and Saudi Arabia, committing the former to support of a conservative monarchy which embraces a conservative strain of Islam. The Saudi monarchy is allied with the international "political Islam" network which has spawned terrorist groups around the world. Central Asia is another area which contains major oil reserves, which oil companies have been wanting to develop for years. Dominance of international financial systems (particularly money laundering conduits) is key in the criminal realm, and the revolving door between the CIA and top Wall Street firms has positioned the US intelligence community to be king of the hill. The long-standing, close, and largely hidden relationship between the US government and the Saudi royal family has maintained privileged access for the US to the largest oilfields in the Persian Gulf, and Saudi money has bolstered US financial markets. The CIA's decades of managing the drug trade around the world has also built up US financial markets, and it has created a global network of criminal clients, proxy armies, and tainted banks which are dependent on government protection. The US and Saudi Arabia, along with Pakistan, built up the Islamic Mujaheddin in Afghanistan to overthrow the socialist government there and weaken Soviet influence in Central Asia. In the process, they built up the heroin trade, making Afghanistan the source of about two-thirds of the world's supply (the author's "Guns and Drugs: The CIA's Admissions" treats CIA drug dealing in depth, and his "Where the Narcodollars Go" explains the relationship between drugs, banks, and stock markets). Osama bin Laden was a key figure in this arrangement. After the Soviet Union left, the US-Saudi-Pakistani axis arranged for the Taliban to take over almost all of Afghanistan (along with its opium trade). Islamist terrorist groups, while increasingly hostile to the US and its values, nonetheless provide vital services to the US foreign policy establishment: they are formidable clandestine warriors, they manage much of the drug and weapons trade and other criminal enterprises, they have worldwide financial networks, and they provide a highly visible threat to the West. However, as long as the upper levels of Western financial and intelligence communities can manipulate the Islamists and infiltrate their upper levels, they can remain relatively safe and take advantage of the havoc the terrorists wreak in other countries and even the US. While rank-and-file FBI and State Department agents are trying to "neutralize" the terrorists, the top-level CIA, State Department, and FBI officials continue to protect them and their financial and criminal networks, to the benefit of the large US banks and multinational corporations. The corporations also use the terrorists as guards to protect their investments in far-flung places. The US has been building military and economic ties to the former Soviet republics just north of Afghanistan for years, while maintaining its close working relationships with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and sheltering the Islamic terrorists. As early as 1997, an accused Islamic terrorist testified to plans to crash hijacked airliners into civilian targets, and in late 2000 the Pentagon rehearsed its response to just such an attack. Security forces guarded the G8 summit in Genoa from suicide pilots, but US officials say they had no idea anyone was planning attacks with airplanes. From June up to early September 2001 US authorities received at least nine warnings which have been reported in the open press. Five of these came from other intelligence agencies, three mentioned airplanes as weapons, two others mentioned flying, one mentioned airports or government buildings, three mentioned the World Trade Center, and one mentioned the Pentagon. Besides this, Attorney General Ashcroft had stopped using commercial airlines due to a threat assessment, President Bush had been briefed on the possibility of an al-Qaeda hijack, FBI reports about known al-Qaeda members and flying lessons had been quashed, and an astounding number of highly suspicious stock trades had been overlooked. The warning from Canada, which mentioned both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and correctly specified the date, originated from a US Naval Intelligence officer whom the Pentagon had disowned and the US was trying to extradite. About two months before the attacks former US diplomats put out an unofficial message that the US would attack Afghanistan in mid-October, two days before the attacks US planners finished "contingency plans" for a war on al-Qaeda and Afghanistan, and tens of thousand of US and allied troops (including two aircraft carrier battle groups) were converging in the area around Afghanistan for exercises. Since the rout of the Taliban, oil companies are signing deals for pipelines across Afghanistan and the heroin business is booming as never before (and the US has exempted the provisional Afghan government from penalties for its failure to stop drugs while that government has gutted its drug eradication agency). Considering all this, some people wonder whether there is more to the September 11 attacks than the US government is telling.
1. Zbigniew Brzezinski, "The Grand Chessboard" (New York: Basic Books, 1997) p. 31.
2. Johns Hopkins University, Faculty Profile.
3. Brzezinsky, "The Grand Chessboard" p. 195.
4. ibid., p. 40.
5. ibid., p. 31.
6. ibid., p. 198.
7. ibid., p. 52.
8. ibid., pp. 35f.
9. ibid., pp. 24f.
10. Ed Rippy, "How the US Has Gotten Into Wars;" see also Robert B. Stinnett, "Day of Deceit" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000).
11. Steven Mufson, "The Way Bush Sees the World," The Washington Post 2/17/02.
12. Richard Nixon, "The Real War" (New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1980) pp. 2f.
13. Daniel Ellsberg, "Papers on the War" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972) p. 97.
14. ibid., p. 260.
15. Ramsey Clark, "The Fire This Time" (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992) p. 23.
16. Guns and Butter: The Economy Watch, "The CIA's Wall Street Connections," interview with Michael Ruppert 10/12/01 on KPFA Radio (transcript).
17. Brzezinsky, "The Grand Chessboard" p. 23.
18. Christian de Brie, "Thick as Thieves," Le Monde Diplomatique 4/5/01 (translated by Malcolm Greenwood).
19. Ed Rippy, "Guns and Drugs: The CIA's Admissions."
20. Richard Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror." Translated by Martin DeMers (NY: Algora Publishing, 2000) p. 33; see also Daniel Yergin, "The Prize" (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991) pp. 403f.
21. Ahmed Rashid, "Taliban" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001) pp. 197f.
22. ibid., p. 132.
23. Alfred McCoy, "The Politics of Heroin" (New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991) pp. 449ff.
24. Rashid, "Taliban" p. 129ff.
25. Greg Palast, "Has someone been sitting on the FBI?" Transcript of BBC Newsnight, 11/6/01; see also Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, interview with Michael Springman 1/19/01.
26. Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror" p. 21.
27. Rashid, "Taliban" p. 133; see also Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror" p. 22, pp.107f.
28. Chris Blackhurst "Osama bin Laden: The truth about the world's most wanted man," The Independent (UK) 9/16/01.
29. House Committee on International Relations, "Russia: How Vladimir Putin Rose to Power and What America Can Expect."
30. House Committee on International Relations hearing, 7/12/00; see also House of Representatives, "Challenge Facing America" 9/17/01.
31. Rashid, "Taliban" pp. 190f.
32. Ed Rippy, "Where the NarcoDollars Go."
33. Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror" p. 133.
34. Palast, "Has Someone Been Sitting."
35. V. K. Shashikumar, "America's dirty Afghan secret: it's a war over oil;" see also Julio Godoy, "US Taliban Policy Influenced by Oil."
36. Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror" p. 50.
37. ibid., pp. 104f.
38. Alexandra Richard, "La CIA aurait rencontre Ben Laden en juillet," Le Figaro 10/31/01 (translation).
39. Alain Penel, "Ben Laden et la CIA: l'histoire rebondit a Dubai," Tribune de Geneve 11/1/01.
40. Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror" pp. 220f.
41. "Senate Minority Staff of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Report on Correspondent Banking: A Gateway For Money Laundering" (2/5/01); see also Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror" p. 57; Judicial Watch, "News Conference with Special Agent Robert Wright" 5/30/02 (Broadcast on C-SPAN).
42. Riad al Khouri, "The Arab World in 2002," The Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
43. Simon English, "Saudi threat to withdraw billions in US investments," Daily Telegraph 8/20/02.
44 Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror" pp. 115f.; see also Edward Pilkington, "Like Dallas policed by the Taliban," The Guardian (UK) 7/2/02.
45. Labeviere, "Dollars For Terror" p. 118.
46. Rashid, "Taliban" p. 144.
47. Brzezinsky, "The Grand Chessboard" pp. 51f.
48. ibid., p. 148.
49. Ed Rippy, "Guns, Drugs, and Oil: the Realpolitik of the Afghan War Part 2."
50. John Maresca, testimony before the House Committee on International Relations, 2/12/98.
51. Rashid, "Taliban" p. 6.
52. Maresca testimony.
53. Zalmay Khalilzad and Daniel Byman, "Afghanistan: The Consolidation of a Rogue State," The Washington Quarterly Winter 2000 p. 71.
54. The Frontier Post, "US companies to invest in Pak oil, gas sectors" 10/10/01; see also Ruppert, "A Timeline Surrounding Sept. 11th," From The Wilderness.
55. BBC, "Afghanistan plans gas pipeline" 5/13/02; see also BBC "Afghan pipeline given go-ahead" 5/30/02.
56. Le Monde, "Hamid Karzaï, un Pachtoune nomme president" 12/13/01; see also Wayne Madsen, "Afghanistan, The Taliban, and the Bush Oil Team," http://www.democrats.com (undated).
57. Bill Weinberg, "Unocal Denied Report that Karzai Was Consultant," World War 3 Report 1/26/02.
58. Rippy, "The CIA's Admissions."
59. McCoy, "The Politics of Heroin" p. 19.
60. Christian de Brie, "Thick as Thieves."
61. Senate Minority Staff, "A Gateway For Money Laundering."
62. US Department of Justice, "Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering -- Comptroller's Handbook" 12/00 p.9.
63. The New York Times, U.S. Companies: "Tangled in Web of Drug Dollars" 10/10/00.
64. B. Raman, telephone interview with author, 1/4/02; see also Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, "Opium and Afghanistan," Counterpunch 3/6/02.
65. B. Raman, interview with author.
66. Rashid, "Taliban" p. 118.
67. Associated Press, "Afghan Drug Trade Seen Flourishing" 12/1/01; see also Khilafah.com, "Heroin producing factories re-established in Afghanistan," 12/8/01, Richard Lloyd Parry Opium farmers rejoice at defeat of the Taliban, The Independent 11/21/01.
68. Patrick Cockburn, "Drug Control Agency in Kabul is Evicted," Counterpunch 1/29/02.
69. CNN, Bush excuses Afghanistan, Haiti from drug penalties 2/26/02.
70. Michael Ruppert, "Statement for the International Finance Congress at the Bor Presidential Hotel and Retreat, Moscow, Russia," From The Wilderness 3/7/01.
71. The New York Times, "Long Before War Green Berets Built Military Ties to Uzbekistan" 10/25/01 (available for fee from archives).
72. Michael Ruppert, "Timeline."
73. George Arney, "US 'planned attack on Taleban,'" BBC 9/18/01; see also Michael Ruppert, "Timeline;" Jonathan Steele, Ewen MacAskill, Richard Norton-Taylor and Ed Harriman, "Threat of US strikes passed to Taliban weeks before NY attack," Guardian (UK) 9/22/01.
74. MSNBC, "US planned for attack on al-Qaida" 5/16/02.
75. Ruppert, "Timeline."
76. Michael Elliott, "They Had a Plan," TIME 8/4/02.
77. Ruppert, "Timeline;" see also CBS News, "Report Warned of Suicide Hijackings" 5/17/02.
78. CBS News, "Ashcroft Flying High" 7/26/01.
79. Ruppert, "Timeline."
80. Michael Ruppert, "Spy Case in Canadian Courts Suggests US Naval Officer Had Foreknowledge of 9-11," From The Wilderness.
81. KPFA Radio, "What's the Verdict" 6/5/02, interview with Delmart Vreeland (partial transcript).
82. The New York Times, "Bush Was Warned bin Laden Wanted to Hijack Planes" 5/16/02 (available for fee from archives).
83. online.ie, "German police confirm Iranian deportee phoned warnings" 14 Sep 2001.
84. The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, "International Probe of Unusual Trading Before Attacks" 9/19/01.
85. Ruppert, "Timeline."
86. NPR, "Morning Edition" 9/11/01. Russ Kick has archived the statement, which occurs 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 40 seconds into the program.
87. Michel Chossudovsky, "New Revelations on 9-11;" see also Manoj Joshi, "India helped FBI trace ISI-terrorist links," The Times of India 10/9/01.
88. David Shippers, interview on Alex Jones Radio Show 10/10/01.
89. James Vicini, "Agent Complains FBI Covered Up Moussaoui Case," Reuters 5/24/02; see also James Risen and Davis Johnston, "Agent Complaints Lead FBI Director to Ask for Inquiry," The New York Times 5/23/02 (available for fee from archives); John Solomon, "Agent: FBI Rewrote Moussaoui Request," Associated Press 5/25/02; James Risen, "FBI Agent Says Superior Altered Report, Foiling Inquiry," The New York Times 5/25/02 (available for fee from archives).
90. Judicial Watch, "News Conference With Robert Wright" 5/30/02.
91. David Lytel, "The War at Home: Federal Law Enforcement Officials Follow International Terrorism's Money Trail from Northern Virginia to Saudi Arabia, but President Bush Says That's Far Enough," www.democrats.com 4/29/02.
92. David Kiefer, "S.F. attorney: Bush allowed 9/11," San Francisco Examiner 06/11/2002.
93. Mujahideen, "Seven of the WTC Hijackers Found Alive!" (undated); see also Wal Fadjri, "Les Americains se trompent sur 5 des 19 terroristes," AllAfrica.com 9/21/01; BBC, "Hijack suspects alive and well" 9/23/01.
94. Eric Lichtblau and Josh Meyer, "Details of Sept. 11 Plot Elude U.S. Investigators," The Los Angeles Times 4/30/02.
95. Daniel Hopsicker, "Pentagon Lied: Terrorists Trained at US Bases," Mad Cow Productions 10/14/01.
96. Rippy, "How the US Has Gotten Into Wars."
97. Debora MacKenzie, "Anthrax attack bug 'identical' to army strain," New Scientist 5/9/02; see also Raymond Whitaker and James Palmer, "Don't always trust what they tell you in the war on terror," The Independent (UK) 3/31/02.
98. Nick Peters, "FBI 'guilty of cover-up' over anthrax suspect," The Scotsman 6/16/02; see also Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, "Analysis of the Anthrax Attacks," Federation of American Scientists.
99. Michael Ruppert, "Bush Renames, Expands Plan Colombia -- Adds $550 Million in Prep for War," From The Wilderness.
100. Michael Ruppert, "Global Economic Collapse Likely, Derivatives Bubble About to Burst," From The Wilderness.
101. The Washington Times, "Investor held amid Sept. 10 concerns" 5/25/02; see also FBI, "Short Seller Amr I. Elgindy, a Current and a Former FBI Special Agent, and Two Others Charged With Racketeering, Insider Trading, Market Manipulation, Extortion and Obstruction of Justice" (press release) 5/22/02.
102. Howard LaFranchi, "US poised to take terror war to Colombia," The Christian Science Monitor 5/31/02; see also The Center for International Policy's Colombia Project, "U.S. Military and Police Aid" 4/18/02.
103. Yahoo Finance, "Colombia April Crude output 581,525 bpd, up yr/yr" 6/19/02; see also American University Trade and Environmental Database, "Petroleum Mining and the U'wa Indian Community."
104. The New York Times, "U.S. Raids Along Afghan Border Seen as Lasting Past Summer" 5/6/02 (available for fee from archives).