By Max Parry
Global Research, April 22, 2020
The Unz Review 9 April 2020
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary” — H.L. Mencken
As the global pandemic grips world attention, completely unnoticed by mainstream media was the release of a final report of an academic study pertaining to another previously calamitous event of international significance. On March 25th, the conclusion of a four year investigation by researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was published which determined that the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11th, 2001 was not caused by fire.
The peer-reviewed inquiry was funded by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a nonprofit organization composed of more than 3,000 building architects and engineers who are a signatory to the group’s formal appeal calling for a new investigation into the three — not two — WTC skyscrapers destroyed on 9/11. The researchers infer that the collapse of Building 7 was actually the result of a controlled demolition:
“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.”
With or without a pandemic, it is likely corporate media would have ignored the study anyway, just as they have anything that contradicts the official story of 9/11. However, it is notable that many have drawn parallels between the COVID-19 outbreak and the 9/11 attacks based on the widespread changes to daily life as a result of the crisis going forward. Already there is talk of nationwide lockdowns as a “new normal” with many rightly expressing concerns over civil liberties, press freedoms, the surveillance state, and other issues just as there were following 9/11. By the same measure, a false dichotomy is being established by political gatekeepers in order to silence those who dare challenge the official account as to how the coronavirus began. It is a stigmatization that is all too familiar to those who have never believed the conventional narrative that 19 Arab hijackers loyal to Osama bin Laden armed only with box-cutters were solely responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that fateful day.
There is a common misconception that to believe in so-called “conspiracy theories” is to somehow lose sight of the bigger picture or systemic problems. Behind this phenomenon is a mistakenly presumed conflict between understanding the broader, overarching system versus the sinister motives of those in power who administer it — when they are inextricably linked. Political scientist Michael Parenti, who drew the ire of many of his fellow left-wing colleagues for his work on the Kennedy assassination, refers to it in his lecture “Understanding Deep Politics” as a perceived incompatibility between “the structural and the functional.” The anti-conspiracists wrongly assume that the more impersonal or wider the lens, the more profound an analysis. By this logic, the elite are absolved of conscious intent and deliberate pursuit of nefarious self-interest, as if everything is done by incidental chance or out of incompetence. Not to say efficacy applies without exception, but it has become a required gesture to disassociate oneself from “conspiracies” to maintain credibility — ironically even by those who are often the target of such smears themselves.
This applies not only to mainstream media and academics, but even leading progressive figures who have a mechanical, unthinking resistance to assigning intent or recognizing the existence of hidden agendas. As a result, it disappears the class interests of the ruling elite and ultimately assists them in providing cover for their crimes. With the exception of the Kennedy assassination — coincidentally the subject of a new epic chart-topping song by Bob Dylan — nowhere has there been more hostility to ‘conspiracism’ than regarding the events of 9/11. Just as they assailed Parenti, David Talbot and others for challenging the Warren Commission’s ‘lone gunman’ theory, leading figures on the left such as Noam Chomsky and the late Alexander Cockburn railed against the 9/11 Truth movement and today it is often wrongly equated with right-wing politics, an unlikely trajectory given it occurred under an arch-conservative administration but an inevitable result of the pseudo-left’s aversion to “conspiracies.” If polls are any indication, the average American certainly disagrees with such elitist misleaders as to the believability of the sham 9/11 Commission findings, yet another example of how out-of-touch the faux-left is with ordinary people.
A more recent example was an article by left-wing journalist Ben Norton proclaiming that to call 9/11 a false flag or an “inside job” is “fundamentally a right-wing conspiracy”, in complete disregard of the many dedicated truther activists on the left since its inception. Norton insists the 9/11 attacks were simply “blowback”, or an unintended consequence of previous U.S. foreign policy support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets during the 1980s which later gave birth to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Norton argues “Al-Qaeda’s unofficial strategic alliance with the US eventually broke down” resulting in 9/11 as retaliation, completely overlooking that Washington was still supporting jihadist factions during the 1990s in Bosnia (two of which would be alleged 9/11 hijackers) and Kosovo in the Yugoslav wars against Serbia, even while the U.S. was ostensibly pursuing bin Laden for the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000.
A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Policy Committee (RPC) throws light on how Washington never discontinued its practice in Afghanistan of using jihadist proxies to achieve its foreign policy goals in the Balkans. Although it was a partisan GOP attack meant to discredit then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, nevertheless the memo accurately presents how the U.S. had “turned Bosnia into a Militant Islamic Base”:
“In short, the Clinton administration’s policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network not only involves Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities. For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden , a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups…”
It was also in Bosnia where a raid was conducted in 2002 by local police at the Sarajevo branch of a Saudi-based purported charitable organization, Benevolence International Foundation, which was discovered to be a front for Al-Qaeda. Seized on the premises was a document, dubbed the “Golden Chain”, which listed the major financial sponsors of the terrorist organization to be numerous Saudi business and government figures, including some of Osama bin Laden’s own brothers. By the 9/11 Commission Report’s own admission, this same fake Islamic charity “supported the Bosnian Muslims in their conflict with Serbia” at the same time as the CIA.
It cannot go without mentioning that the common link between Al-Qaeda and subsequent extremist groups like ISIS/Daesh and Boko Haram is the doctrine of Wahhabism, the puritanical sect of Sunni Islam practiced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and founded in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the religious leader who formed an alliance with the founder of the first Saudi state, Muhammad bin Saud, whose descendants make up the House of Saud royal family. The ultra-orthodox teachings of Wahhabism were initially rejected in the Middle East but reestablished by British colonialism which aligned with the Saud family in order to use their intolerant strain of Islam to undermine the Ottoman empire in a divide-and-conquer strategy. In a speech to the House of Commons in 1921, Winston Churchill admitted the Saudis to be “intolerant, well-armed and bloodthirsty.”
This did not stop the British from supporting the House of Saud so long as it was in the interest of Western imperialism, an unholy alliance which continues to this day. However, U.S.-Saudi relations did come under scrutiny when the infamous 28 redacted pages of the December 2002 report of the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” conducted by the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence were finally disclosed in 2016. The section revealed not only the numerous U.S. intelligence failures in the lead-up to the attacks but the long suspected culpability of Saudi Arabia, whose nationals were not the focus of counterterrorism because of Riyadh’s status as a U.S. ally. The declassified pages show that some of the hijackers, 15 of them Saudi citizens, received financial and logistical support from individuals linked to the Saudi government, which FBI sources believed at least two of which to be Saudi intelligence officers. One of those Saudi agents received large payments from Princess Haifa, the wife of Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a stipend from the latter’s bank account which inevitably went from the go-betweens to the sleeper cell.
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Legal team also reveals that murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi was ‘potential witness’ in lawsuit
By MEE staff in Washington
Published date: 5 March 2020 20:39 UTC | Last update: 2 days 1 hour ago
A legal team representing survivors and families of victims of the 9/11 attacks has accused Saudi authorities of trying to silence several witnesses.
An almost two-decades-old lawsuit brought to court by thousands of victims and their families accuses Saudi officials of having ties to the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. About 3,000 people were killed.
On Wednesday, lawyers representing the families said that four of their witnesses in the case had been threatened or intimidated by alleged Saudi agents.
On those grounds, the plaintiffs’ legal team requested that the identities of the witnesses in the drawn-out legal battle be protected and kept secret.
Lawyers representing the Saudi government denied the allegations of witness tampering, saying the claims were “based on hearsay within hearsay”.
The defense also accused the plaintiffs’ lawyers of trying to gain a “tactical advantage” in legal deposition interviews with witnesses set to be organised later this month.
Jamal Khashoggi: ‘A potential witness’
The lawyers of the 9/11 victims invoked the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi officials in Turkey as evidence of the kingdom’s potential threat against their witnesses.
The 9/11 lawsuit looming over Saudi Arabia’s ambitions
Andrew Maloney, one of several attorneys representing the plaintiffs, also for the first time revealed that Khashoggi, an ardent critic of the Saudi government, had been “a potential witness” before he was murdered.
“He had valuable information,” Maloney told the judge on Wednesday.
Maloney, during the emergency hearing that took place at a federal court in lower Manhattan, did not provide further details regarding what that information might have been.
US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn said she was “troubled by the allegations” and asked for a submission from the plaintiffs’ lawyers detailing the claims to be turned in by 18 March.
“I take these allegations incredibly seriously,” Netburn said.
In court papers, Maloney described some of the allegations made by the four witnesses who said they feared they were being targeted by Saudi officials.
One witness said his family had been approached and “directly threatened by Saudi government officials” within the past year, Maloney wrote. He said the witness was given to understand that he or his relatives “would be murdered” if he spoke out.
Another potential witness said that relatives in Saudi Arabia “feared for their lives”, Maloney said. A third reported being stalked, and another was reportedly thinking of buying a bulletproof vest.
He added that law enforcement authorities had been notified of the alleged threats.
“We categorically deny these allegations,” said Michael Kellogg, a DC-based lawyer representing Saudi Arabia.
Kellogg accused the plaintiff’s legal team of trying to “pick and choose which witnesses will testify”.
“We should be allowed to know who these witnesses are,” Kellogg told Judge Netburn. “We think these allegations are absolutely false.”
Following Kellogg’s statements, the plaintiffs’ lawyer accused the defense of wanting to know the identities of the witnesses so that Saudi officials could be notified and “dissuade them from testifying”.
“[No] Saudi Arabian government official, employee, agent, or anyone acting on Saudi Arabia’s behalf has attempted to threaten any potential witness or any witness’s family members in this proceeding,” a Saudi government minister said in court papers.
Saudi diplomat linked to 9/11
The US government has never released documentation indicating that the Saudi government was involved in 9/11.
US judge allows 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia to proceed
Still, last year during a meeting at the White House with victims’ families on the anniversary of the attacks, US President Donald Trump promised the visitors that he would order the attorney general to release the name of a Saudi diplomat who had apparently been linked to 9/11 in an FBI report years earlier.
The next day those hopes were dashed, as Attorney General William Barr said the release of such records would not be possible.
Their disclosure risked “significant harm to the national security,” Barr said at the time.
The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
In March 2018, a US judge in New York rejected Saudi Arabia’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
Tulsi Gabbard: U.S. Government ‘Is Hiding The Truth’ About 9/11 Terror Attacks
By Ryan Saavedra
November 04, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said during a Fox News interview on Thursday night that the United States government is “hiding the truth” about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Gabbard, a Representative from Hawaii, told Tucker Carlson that she believes that the U.S. government is covering up Saudi Arabia’s role in the attacks which killed thousands of Americans.
“This story that we’re hearing from the families of those who were killed on 9/11 pushes this issue to the forefront where, for so long, leaders in our government have said, ‘well, Saudi Arabia is our great ally, they’re a partner in counterterrorism’ — turning a blind eye or completely walking away from the reality that Saudi Arabia time and again, has proven to be the opposite,” Gabbard said.
“They’re undermining our national security interests … they are the number one exporter of this Wahhabi extremist ideology,” Gabbard continued. “They’re a fertile recruiting ground for terrorists, like al Qaeda and ISIS around the world. They’re directly providing arms and assistance to al Qaeda, in places like Yemen, and in Syria.”
“And as we are seeing here, it is our government, our own government that is hiding the truth … and the many other families of those who were killed on 9/11,” Gabbard concluded. “For what? Where do the loyalties really lie?”
Gabbard concluded her remarks by saying that people should “follow the money trail. It goes back to the military-industrial complex.
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By Kristen Breitweiser, one of the four 9/11 widows – known as the “Jersey Girls” – instrumental in forcing the government to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 2001 attacks. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kdbreitweiser.
Road to Damascus Conversion: Derived from the Biblical story of Paul, the term “Damascus road conversion” is commonly used to refer to an abrupt about-face on a serious issue of religion, politics or philosophy. In this type of change, a single, dramatic event causes a person to become aligned with something he or she previously was against or support a position that he or she previously opposed. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-damascus-road-conversion.htm#didyouknowout
As a 9/11 widow who has spent the last 17 years fighting for accountability with regard to the 9/11 attacks that killed my husband and 3,000 others, I find the recent uproar over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder interesting and out of character for many of those decrying his disappearance and demanding an investigation and accountability.
Frankly, 9/11 Family members keep a running list of all those in Washington who have proved by their past actions to be against U.S. victims of terrorism and in support of nations like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a nation with a long history of supporting global Wahhabist terrorism. As victims of terrorism, we are ever vigilant and watchful about all those named on our lists. We follow these folks actions, their speeches, their legislation, because we know that they are never looking out for our best interests as U.S. victims of terrorism. As a group, our institutional memory is broad and long. And we never forget.
That’s why we all happened to notice the uncharacteristic behavior of so many of those on our lists with the advent of Jamal Khasoggi’s disappearance. And it made us wonder why so many people, who had previously always blindly supported the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were now so vociferously jumping Saudi ship.
What had caused this Road to Damascus conversion?
Take for example those who fought against the release of The 28 Pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress(JICI) that detailed the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks for fear that The 28 Pages public release might harm the Saudi’s reputation and its very special relationship with the United States. A relationship, in large part, based on oil, weapons, money, and shared intelligence operations—things that have little to do with keeping American citizens safe. https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=27164
Regarding The 28 Pages, CIA Director, John Brennan once said, “releasing a classified section of the congressional investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States would be a mistake. A reason to keep them under wraps is they contain “unvetted information” that some could use to unfairly implicate Saudi Arabia in the terror attacks.” https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/278313-cia-director-28-pages-contains-inaccurate-information
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Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected an appeal by survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to publish a report into the role of Saudi Arabia in funding Islamic extremism in Britain.
She had no ulterior motive, by the way:
By Wayne Madsen
Global Research, June 05, 2016
waynemadsenreport.com 31 May 2016
Three conspirators—American neocons, Saudi Arabia, and Israel—that successfully pulled off the crime of the 21st century, namely the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, are infighting to the point that the layers of secrecy surrounding the 9/11 attacks are beginning to wither away.
The weakest link in the troika of conspirators is Saudi Arabia, the country that provided the manpower, finances, and hijacker personnel for the cover story—”Al Qaeda did it”—for 9/11. Stung by U.S. congressional moves to allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia and calls for the Obama administration to release 28 classified pages in the joint Congressional Inquiry on 9/11 intelligence failures to the public, the Saudi government is now pushing the story that the U.S. government was responsible for carrying out the 9/11 attack.
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May 19, 2016Special Dispatch No.6438
Article In Saudi Daily: U.S. Planned, Carried Out 9/11 Attacks – But Blames Others For Them
On the eve of President Obama’s April 2016 visit to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Congress began debating the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), that would, inter alia, allow the families of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue the Saudi government for damages. Also in April 2016, the New York Times published that a 2002 congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks had found that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot. The commission’s conclusions, said the paper, were specified in a report that has not been released publicly.
The JASTA bill, which was passed by the Senate on May 17, 2016, triggered fury in Saudi Arabia, expressed both in statements by the Saudi foreign minister and in scathing attacks on the U.S. in the Saudi press. On April 28, 2016, the London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat published an exceptionally harsh article on this topic by Saudi legal expert Katib Al-Shammari, who argued that the U.S. itself had planned and carried out 9/11, while placing the blame on a shifting series of others – first Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, and now Saudi Arabia. He wrote that American threats to reveal documents that supposedly point to Saudi involvement in 9/11 are part of standard U.S. policy of exposing archival documents to use as leverage against various countries – which he calls “victory by means of archives.”
Following are excerpts from Al-Shammari’s article:
“Those who follow American policy see that it is built upon the principle of advance planning and future probabilities. This is because it occasionally presents a certain topic to a country that it does not wish [to bring up] at that time but [that it is] reserving in its archives as an ace to play [at a later date] in order to pressure that country. Anyone revisiting… [statements by] George H.W. Bush regarding Operation Desert Storm might find that he acknowledged that the U.S. Army could have invaded Iraq in the 1990s, but that [the Americans] had preferred to keep Saddam Hussein around as a bargaining chip for [use against] other Gulf states. However, once the Shi’ite wave began to advance, the Americans wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein, since they no longer saw him as an ace up their sleeve.
“September 11 is one of winning cards in the American archives, because all the wise people in the world who are experts on American policy and who analyze the images and the videos [of 9/11] agree unanimously that what happened in the [Twin] Towers was a purely American action, planned and carried out within the U.S. Proof of this is the sequence of continuous explosions that dramatically ripped through both buildings… Expert structural engineers demolished them with explosives, while the planes crashing [into them] only gave the green light for the detonation – they were not the reason for the collapse. But the U.S. still spreads blame in all directions. [This policy] can be dubbed ‘victory by means of archives.’
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Saudi Arabia’s threat to sell off billions in American assets if 9/11 bill passes
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 April, 2016, 4:11pm
Saudi Arabian government has threatened to sell of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets should the US Congress pass a bill that could hold the kingdom responsible for any role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, The New York Times reported.
The newspaper reported that Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir told US lawmakers last month that “Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in Treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.”
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