I couldn’t think of a better excuse to start over for the new year. We had a decent offer on the domain, “theintercept.com”, so this will be the opportunity to roll out another blog exploring the hypocrisy and origins of the war on terror. Receive updates for the upcoming movie of the same name. The new domain will be www.americanterrorist.com. Join us or die!
It’s good to hear from David Ray Griffin. I have also seen Massimo Mazzucco’s presentation in its entirety. This has been a great year for 9/11 Truth. Griffin’s press release is followed by an embed of “September 11 = the New Pearl Harbor.”:
[Note to readers to whom notices of my 9/11 books have previously been sent: This is my review of a new film about 9/11, the kind of film I would like to have made – if only I had this Italian filmmaker’s abilities.]
Review of “September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor.” A documentary by Massimo Mazzucco.
David Ray Griffin
There have been several good films and videos about 9/11. But the new film by award-winning film-maker Massimo Mazzucco is in a class by itself.
For those of us who have been working on 9/11 for a long time, this is the film we have been waiting for.
Whereas there are excellent films treating the falsity of particular parts of the official account, such as the Twin Towers or WTC 7, Mazzucco has given us a comprehensive documentary treatment of 9/11, dealing with virtually all of the issues.
There have, of course, been films that treated the fictional official story as true. And there are films that use fictional stories to portray people’s struggles after starting to suspect the official story to be false.
But there is no fiction in Mazzucco’s film – except in the sense that it clearly and relentlessly exposes every part of the official account as fictional.
Because of his intent at completeness, Mazzucco has given us a 5-hour film. It is so fascinating and fast-paced that many will want to watch it in one sitting. But this is not necessary, as the film, which fills 3 DVDs, consists of 7 parts, each of which is divided into many short chapters.
These 7 parts treat Air Defence, The Hijackers, The Airplanes, The Pentagon, Flight 93, The Twin Towers, and Building 7. In each part, after presenting facts that contradict the official story, Mazzucco deals with the claims of the debunkers (meaning those who try to debunk the evidence provided by the 9/11 research community).
The Introduction, reflecting the film’s title, deals with 12 uncanny parallels between Pearl Harbor and September 11.
The film can educate people who know nothing about 9/11 (beyond the official story), those with a moderate amount of knowledge about the various problems with the official story, and even by experts. (I myself learned many things.)
Mazzucco points out that his film covers 12 years of public debate about 9/11. People who have been promoting 9/11 truth for many of these years will see that their labors have been well-rewarded: There is now a high-quality, carefully-documented film that dramatically shows the official story about 9/11 to be a fabrication through and through.
This is truly the film we have been waiting for.
Availability: The film is freely available to the world at:
1. The film-maker’s own website, complete with detailed index: http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticle&artid=167″>http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticle&artid=167
2. On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk
The messages in earlier 9/11 truth street demonstrations were as clear and sincere as they are today:
Unable to refute an idea with critical analysis? Difficulty confronting fundamental realities that change your world view? Having trouble articulating a position that successfully refutes an idea you aren’t comfortable with? No problem.
Simply sprinkle a dash of conspiracy bait over the issue and viola! You have made the problem go away with a generous application of our blanket dismissal powder. Never again will media flunkies ever have to address disparities between official statements and what pesky evidence otherwise suggests.
And if you act now, get a special blender designed to mix rotten apples with clean oranges. Never be afraid to lump the most outlandish and discredited positions with those darn contradictions backed by so much evidence! Act now! And as we were first told back in 2003, attacking Iraq for those most elusive WMD’s costs a mere eighty seven billion dollars.
One of the clearest examples of how the elites rely on pushing gross misconceptions and false narratives to justify bombing nations of brown people is the claim that the Assad regime figured it was a good idea to use chemical weapons on its citizens. No stranger to the flawed logic behind U.S.’s campaign to plunder Syria, (now resonating with the public like a skipping Milli Vanilli record of long ago) Senator John McCain was actively peddling the official ‘buildings were demolished because the planes hit them’ schtick. It was enough to put Blair Gadsby off of his food:
Last Summer, as the push for intervention of Syria intensified, the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted immunity for war crimes in Iraq.
Imagine our surprise in 2007, when we discovered how a newly elected so-called progressive house refused to impeach these same characters for pretty much the same thing.
Betrayed by the phony left/right paradigm.
Beyond the despair and sadness caused by 9/11 and it’s exploitation to date, current events will continue to reference 9/11 as a central historic event affecting our predicament. We can follow the truth to help dig our way out of this tyrannical quagmire or let the lies bury us all.
Support the ReThink 9/11 Campaign:
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Internet Users Targeted In Massive NSA Spy Program
According to a report released by The Washington Post, the National Security Agency and the FBI have been partnering up to take user data from nine major Internet companies. Meghan Lopez explains the PRISM program.
POLICE STATE: Obama Administration Caught Spying on your emails, phones calls, bank records & Internet usage.
In what could be one of the largest scandals, and breach of public trust to come out of the white house, information is coming today suggesting that our government is involved in one of the largest collections of private American public data in the history of our country.
They’re Specifically Targeting Americans
The National Security Agency has long argued that their power allows them to spy on those outside the United States, while always maintaining that private American Communications were off limits. But it looks like the latest Obama Administration scandal has The FBI, on the NSA’s behalf, forcing Verizon Communications to turn over data on millions of U.S. customers.
The order specifically targeted American Citizens, and explicitly excluded those outside of America.
The Obama administration, who had to respond to yet another scandal this morning, tried to defend the actions by claiming that the massive amount of telephone records were part of U.S. counterterrorism efforts that were critical to protecting Americans from attacks.
Do they really expect us to believe that millions of Americans are terrorists?
So based on the Obama administration’s admission, one would have to believe that millions of Americans are now in some way taking part in terrorist activity or plotting to attack America. Do they really think that people are going to buy this crap.
Phone Sex, Banks & Google for Emails: The NSA Spying Is Bigger Than Verizon
“And the NSA isn’t just collecting the things we say. It’s also tracking what we buy and where we go”
CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher…
CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through Smart Products.
Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” — that is, wired devices — at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm.
All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community. Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the “smart home,” you’d be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room’s ambiance.
Whistleblowers: NOT JUST VERIZION.. NSA DEMANDED records from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that “political games” prevented Russia from investigating the data on the use of toxic substances in Aleppo: the UN Secretariat couldn’t respond promptly to Moscow’s demand to look into the matter.
In March, the Syrian government invited the United Nations to investigate possible chemical weapons use in the Khan al-Assal area of rural Aleppo. Military experts and officials said a chemical agent, most likely sarin, was used in the attack which killed 26 people, including government forces.
Several countries, including Israel, the UK, France and the US – all vocal critics of Syrian President Bashar Assad – all claimed they had evidence that chemical weapons were used in Syria.
Damascus denied that a chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian army, blaming the rebels and Turkey for the incident: “The rocket came from a placed controlled by the terrorist and which is located close to the Turkish territory. One can assume that the weapon came from Turkey,” Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi alleged in an interview with Interfax news agency.
Lavrov spoke following the reports that Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained.
The sarin gas was found in the homes of alleged Syrian militants, who were reportedly planning a terrorist attack on the southern Turkish city of Adana.
Russia expressed concern over the incident, urging for a thorough investigation into the matter.
Almost a month ago, the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad said that Damascus was ready to have the UN investigation team look into alleged chemical weapons use in Syria.
“We were ready and we are always ready, right now, to receive the delegation that was set up by [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-moon to investigate what happened in Khan al-Assal,” Muqdad said, referring to the March 19 incident near Aleppo.
Syrian rebels are accused of using a rocket with a chemical warhead, killing 25 people and injuring 86, according to SANA news agency.
Meanwhile, the US and Germany spoke to Russia on the perils of sending Assad any sort of support, arguing it would prolong the war and jeopardize efforts to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, with his German counterpart Guide Westervelle, urged Russia not to supply Assad with its sophisticated S-300 air defense missile system – among other reasons, arguing that it would threaten Israel’s security. Westervelle called the decision “totally wrong”.
Kerry has been actively promoting the upcoming Geneva conference on Syria, having met with Lavrov earlier – although planning has been muddled by the opposition threatening to boycott the talks. Despite this, Western powers have repeatedly chosen to overlook the opposition’s actions as an obstacle.
Still, both Russia and the US remain committed to the talks, with Kerry insisting “If everybody is serious, and we are, and the Russians have said they are, the best chance to save Syria… is through a peaceful resolution that comes about in an organized way.”
Westervelle also pleaded with both sides “not to spoil the conference.”
The Syrian civil war has been raging for more than two years now, with more than 80,000 people killed, according to UN estimates.
In his latest statement on the matter, Lavrov noted the Russian government’s concern over the issue due to the chance of provocations around the situation.
IRAN has dismantled a “terror network” backed by Israel’s Mossad intelligence services which planned to disrupt the upcoming presidential election in the Islamic republic, the state broadcaster says.
“The intelligence ministry has identified and arrested the members of this terror network, and confiscated their weapons,” IRIB said on its website on Sunday, quoting a statement by the ministry.
It said the arrested group was made up of 12 members, but did not say when it had been busted.
The ministry neither identified any of those arrested nor mentioned their nationality, but said the cell leader originated from an unnamed “regional Arab” country.
On June 14, Iran is to hold its first presidential election since massive street protests, stifled by a brutal state crackdown, marred the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.
Iran accuses its arch foes Israel and the United States of waging a deadly campaign of sabotage against its disputed nuclear program, announcing from time to time the arrest of suspected Israeli or US spies, but provides little or no public evidence supporting the accusations.
The statement on Sunday said the group had been instructed “to conduct terrorist acts ahead of, and in particular, on election day” as well as “creating ethnic and religious divisions” in restive areas of Iran.
It said the group had already “hit several targets in a town,” and that “its main culprit was in contact with a headquarters in Britain”. It did not elaborate.
Last month the Islamic republic said it had hanged two convicted spies, one found guilty of working for Israel, and the other for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
A high-ranking Mexican drug cartel operative currently in U.S. custody is making startling allegations that the failed federal gun-walking operation known as “Fast and Furious” isn’t what you think it is.
It wasn’t about tracking guns, it was about supplying them — all part of an elaborate agreement between the U.S. government and Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa Cartel to take down rival cartels.
The explosive allegations are being made by Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as the Sinaloa Cartel’s “logistics coordinator.” He was extradited to the Chicago last year to face federal drug charges.
Zambada-Niebla claims that under a “divide and conquer” strategy, the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa Cartel through Operation Fast and Furious in exchange for information that allowed the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies to take down rival drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009 — during both Fast and Furious and Bush-era gunrunning operations — as long as the intel kept coming.
This pending court case against Zambada-Niebla is being closely monitored by some members of Congress, who expect potential legal ramifications if any of his claims are substantiated. The trial was delayed but is now scheduled to begin on Oct. 9.
Zambada-Niebla is reportedly a close associate of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the son of Ismael “Mayo” Zambada-Garcia, both of which remain fugitives, likely because of the deal made with the DEA, federal court documents allege.
Based on the alleged agreement ”the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of defendant’s father, Ismael Zambada-Niebla and ‘Chapo’ Guzman, were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States and were also protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels which helped Mexican and United States authorities capture or kill thousands of rival cartel members,” states a motion for discovery filed in U.S. District Court by Zambada-Niebla’s attorney in July 2011.
A source in Congress, who spoke to TheBlaze on the condition of anonymity, said that some top congressional investigators have been keeping “one eye on the case.” Another two members of Congress, both lead Fast and Furious Congressional investigators, told TheBlaze they had never even heard of the case.
One of the Congressmen, who also spoke to TheBlaze on the condition of anonymity because criminal proceedings are still ongoing, called the allegations “disturbing.” He said Congress will likely get involved once Zambada-Niebla’s trial has concluded if any compelling information surfaces.
“Congress won’t get involved in really any criminal case until the trial is over and the smoke has cleared,” he added. “If the allegations prove to hold any truth, there will be some serious legal ramifications.”
Earlier this month, two men in Texas were sentenced to 70 and 80 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to export 147 assault rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition to Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel. Compare that to the roughly 2,000 firearms reportedly “walked” in Fast and Furious, which were used in the murders of hundreds of Mexican citizens and U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry, and some U.S. officials could potentially face jail time if they knowingly armed the Sinaloa Cartel and allowed guns to cross into Mexico.
If proven in court, such an agreement between U.S. law enforcement agencies and a Mexican cartel could potentially mar both the Bush and Obama administrations. The federal government is denying all of Zambada-Niebla’s allegations and contend that no official immunity deal was agreed upon.
To be sure, Zambada-Niebla is a member of one of the most ruthless drug gangs in all of Mexico, so there is a chance that he is saying whatever it takes to reduce his sentence, which will likely be hefty. However, Congress and the media have a duty to prove without a reasonable doubt that there is no truth in his allegations. So far, that has not been achieved.
Zambada-Niebla was reportedly responsible for coordinating all of the Sinaloa Cartel’s multi-ton drug shipments from Central and South American countries, through Mexico, and into the United States. To accomplish this, he used every tool at his disposal: Boeing 747 cargo planes, narco-submarines, container ships, speed boats, fishing vessels, buses, rail cars, tractor trailers and automobiles. But Guzman and Zambada-Niebla’s overwhelming success within the Sinaloa Cartel was largely due to the arrests and dismantling of many of their competitors and their booming businesses in the U.S. from 2004 to 2009 — around the same time ATF’s gun-walking operations were in full swing. Fast and Furious reportedly began in 2009 and continued into early 2011.
According Zambada-Niebla, that was a product of the collusion between the U.S. government and the Sinaloa Cartel.
The claims seem to fall in line with statements made last month by Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico who said U.S. agencies ”don’t fight drug traffickers,” instead “they try to manage the drug trade.”
David Ray Griffin
The idea that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks has been an article of faith for public officials and the mainstream media. Calling it an “article of faith” points to two features of this idea. On the one hand, no one in these circles publicly challenges this idea.
On the other hand, as I pointed out at length in two of my books – 9/11 Contradictions1 and The New Pearl Harbor Revisited,2 no good evidence has ever been publicly presented to support it.
Colin Powell’s Withdrawn Promise Two weeks after 9/11, Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking to Tim Russert on Meet the Press, said that he expected “in the near future . . . to put out . . . a document that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking [bin Laden] to this attack.”3
Powell reversed himself, however, at a press conference with President Bush in the White House Rose Garden the next morning, saying that, although the government had information that left no question of bin Laden’s responsibility, “most of it is classified.”4 According to Seymour Hersh, citing officials from both the CIA and the Department of Justice, the real reason for the reversal was a “lack of solid information.”5
This was the week that Bush, after demanding that the Taliban turn over bin Laden, refused their request for evidence that bin Laden had been behind the attacks.6 A senior Taliban official, after the US attack on Afghanistan had begun, said: “We have asked for proof of Osama’s involvement, but they have refused. Why?”7 Hersh’s answer was that they had no proof.
Tony Blair’s Weak Document
The task of providing such proof was taken up by Bush’s chief ally in the “war on terror,” British Prime Minister Tony Blair. On October 4, 2001, Blair made public a document entitled: “Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States.” Listing “clear conclusions reached by the government,” it stated: “Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the terrorist network which he heads, planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September 2001.” Blair’s report, however, began by saying: “This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against Osama Bin Laden in a court of law.”8 Although the case was not good enough to go to court, Blair seemed to be saying, it was good enough to go to war.
The weakness in Blair’s report, in any event, was noted the next day by the BBC, which said: “There is no direct evidence in the public domain linking Osama Bin Laden to the 11 September attacks. At best the evidence is circumstantial.”9
The FBI’s Surprising Statement
What does our own FBI say? Here is a surprising but little-known fact, because it has scarcely been reported in the mainstream media: The FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” webpage on “Usama bin Laden” does not list the 9/11 attacks as one of the crimes for which he is wanted. It does list bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi as terrorist acts for which he is wanted. But it makes no mention of 9/11.10 In 2006, Rex Tomb, then the FBI’s chief of investigative publicity, was asked why not. He replied: “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”11
After this story started flying around the Internet and was even covered by a TV station in Louisiana,12 Dan Eggen tried to downplay its significance in an August 2006 Washington Post article entitled “Bin Laden, Most Wanted For Embassy Bombings?”13 Complaining about “conspiracy theorists” who claimed that “the lack of a Sept. 11 reference [on the FBI's "Most Wanted" webpage for bin Laden] suggests that the connection to al-Qaeda is uncertain,” Eggen quoted the explanation offered by a former US attorney, who said that the FBI could not appropriately “put up a wanted picture where no formal charges had been filed.”
But that explanation, while true, simply pushes the issue back a step to this question: Why have such charges not been filed? Rex Tomb’s fuller statement, which Eggen failed to mention, had answered this question the previous June, saying:
The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, Bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.14
The 9/11 Commission
What about the 9/11 Commission? Its report gave the impression that it was in possession of solid evidence of bin Laden’s guilt. But the Commission’s co-chairs, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, undermined this impression in their follow-up book, which they subtitled: “The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.”15 (I discussed this book at length in Chapter 2 of my 2007 book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking.16)
As the endnotes for The 9/11 Commission Report reveal, whenever the Commission referred to evidence of bin Ladin’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, the Commission was always referring to CIA-provided information, which had (presumably) been elicited during interrogations of al-Qaeda operatives. By far the most important of these operatives was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, generally called simply “KSM,” who has been called the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. The Commission, for example, wrote:
Bin Ladin . . . finally decided to give the green light for the 9/11 operation sometime in late 1998 or early 1999. . . . Bin Ladin also soon selected four individuals to serve as suicide operatives. . . . Atta – whom Bin Ladin chose to lead the group – met with Bin Ladin several times to receive additional instructions, including a preliminary list of approved targets: the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the U.S. Capitol.17
The note for each of these statements says: “interrogation of KSM.”18
Kean and Hamilton, however, reported that they had no success in “obtaining access to star witnesses in custody . . . , most notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”19 Besides not being allowed to interview these witnesses, Commission members were not even permitted to observe the interrogations through one-way glass or to talk to the interrogators.20 Therefore, Kean and Hamilton complained: “We . . . had no way of evaluating the credibility of detainee information. How could we tell if someone such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed . . . was telling us the truth?”21
An NBC “deep background” report in 2008 pointed out an additional problem: KSM and the other al-Qaeda leaders had been subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e., torture, and it is now widely acknowledged that statements elicited by torture lack credibility. “At least four of the operatives whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report,” NBC pointed out, “have claimed that they told interrogators critical information as a way to stop being ‘tortured.’” NBC then quoted Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, as saying: “Most people look at the 9/11 Commission Report as a trusted historical document. If their conclusions were supported by information gained from torture, . . . their conclusions are suspect.”22
The “Bin Laden Confession Tapes”
As we have seen, neither the 9/11 Commission, the Bush-Cheney White House, the FBI, the British government, nor the 9/11 Commission provided good evidence that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Many people, however, have assumed that the question of his responsibility was settled by the existence of videotapes and audiotapes in which he himself confessed to the attacks. There are, however, good reasons to believe that these so-called confession tapes are fakes. I will illustrate this point in terms of the two best-known videotapes of this nature.
The “Jalalabad Video” Released December 13, 2001: The first and most famous of the “Osama bin Laden confession video tapes” was released by the Pentagon on December 13, 2001. It had purportedly been made on November 9, 2001, after which it was allegedly found by US forces in a private home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. In this video, an Osama bin Laden figure is seen talking about the 9/11 attacks with a visiting sheikh. During the course of the conversation, the bin Laden figure boasts about the success of the attacks, saying that he had planned them.23 Both US and British officials claimed that this tape left no doubt about bin Laden’s guilt.24
Stories in both the Canadian and British media, however, raised questions about the tape’s authenticity. These stories, besides pointing out the existence of the technical ability to create fake video tapes, also mentioned the suspicion of some people that the bin Laden figure was not Osama bin Laden himself.
A BBC News report said: “Washington calls it the ‘smoking gun’ that puts Bin Laden’s guilt beyond doubt, but many in the Arab world believe the home video of the al-Qaeda chief is a fake.”25 This report was, in fact, entitled, “Could the Bin Laden Video Be a Fake?”
This question was also raised in Canada by CBC News, which pointed out that some people had “suggested the Americans hired someone to pretend to be the exiled Saudi.”26
This question was raised even more insistently in a Guardian story with the title, “US Urged to Detail Origin of Tape.” Reporting “growing doubt in the Muslim world about the authenticity of the film,” writer Steven Morris said:
The White House yesterday came under pressure to give more details of the video which purports to show Osama bin Laden admitting his part in the September 11 attacks.27
Morris, pointing out that the White House had provided no details about how the Pentagon came to be in possession of the tape, added:
According to US officials the tape was found in a house in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, and handed to the Pentagon by an unnamed person or group. . . . But for many the explanation is too convenient. Some opponents of the war theorise that the Bin Laden in the film was a look-alike.
Morris then quoted one such opponent in Pakistan, who said: “This videotape is not authentic. The Americans made it up after failing to get any evidence against Osama.”
Morris also cited Bob Crabtree, the editor of Computer Video magazine, who explained that it was impossible to determine whether the video was authentic without more details of its source, adding: “The US seems simply to have asked the world to trust them that it is genuine.”28
This skepticism about the authenticity of this “Jalalabad video” was based on sound reasons. For one thing, this video’s bin Laden figure appeared too heavy and healthy, compared with the bin Laden who made the last of the undoubtedly authentic bin Laden videos, which was made sometime in 2001 between November 16 (on which occurred an event mentioned on the tape) and December 27 (the date on which the tape was released). In this post-November 16 video, bin Laden’s beard was white, he had a “gaunt, frail appearance,” and his “left arm hung limply by his side while he gesticulated with his right.”29 This immobile left arm, Dr. Sanjay Gupta observed on CNN, suggested that bin Laden had suffered a stroke, adding that this plus a “frosting of the appearance” suggested that bin Laden was in the final stages of kidney failure.30
But in the “Jalalabad video,” which was reportedly made at about the same time (being dated November 9 and released December 13), the bin Laden figure was heavier and also darker, in both skin and beard color; his nose had a different shape;31 and his hands were shorter and heavier than those of Osama bin Laden as seen in undoubtedly authentic videos.32
Still another problem is that, whereas bin Laden was left-handed, the man in the “Jalalabad video” wrote with his right hand. Although it might be thought that this was because his left arm was immobile, the bin Laden figure in this video was easily able to lift his left arm above his head.33
If this video was made on November 9, as claimed, then it would have been made at most only a few weeks before the post-November 16 video. It is very hard to believe that the heavy, dark-skinned, healthy-looking man with a dark beard could have, within two or three weeks, turned into the pale, gaunt, white-bearded, man seen in the post-November 16 video.
If one accepts the Jalalabad video as authentic, one not only has to accept these radical changes in bin Laden’s physical appearance; one must also accept a complete change in his statements about 9/11. In the previous weeks, he had repeatedly – on September 12, 16, 17, and 28 – stated that he had had nothing to do with the attacks.34 In the September 28 statement, he had even declared:
I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle. . . . [W]e are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.35
Is it likely that he would have made such statements if he himself had authorized the attacks and thereby the killing of innocents?
Whatever be one’s opinion about that, the bin Laden figure in the “Jalalabad video” made other statements that Osama bin Laden himself would surely not have made. For example, he said:
[W]e calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy who would be killed based on the position of the tower. . . . [D]ue to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for.36
But in light of the real bin Laden’s “experience in the field” as a building contractor, he would have known that high-rise buildings are framed with steel, not iron. Even more important, he would have known that the buildings’ support columns – whether made of steel or iron – would not have been melted by the “fire from the gas in the plane.” Why? Because he would have known, on the one hand, that a building fire, even if fed by jet-fuel (which is essentially kerosene), could not, even under the most ideal conditions, have risen above 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius). And he would have known, on the other hand, that iron and steel do not begin to melt until they are heated to a temperature far higher than that: to almost 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit (1,540 degrees Celsius). The real bin Laden, therefore, would not have expected any iron or steel to melt.
A final reason to consider the “Jalalabad video” a fake is that bin Laden experts have declared it to such. When Dr. Bruce Lawrence, a Duke University history professor widely considered the country’s leading academic bin Laden expert,37 was asked what he thought about this video, he said, bluntly: “It’s bogus.” Some friends of his in the US Department of Homeland Security assigned to work “on the 24/7 bin Laden clock,” he added, “also know it’s bogus.”38
General Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistan’s ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), suggested that the man in the video was an “Osama bin Laden lookalike.”39
Former Foreign Service officer Angelo Codevilla, after saying “[t]he guy just does not look like Osama,” added: “The fact that the video had been made for no self-evident purpose except perhaps to be found by the Americans should have raised suspicion.”40
A fourth expert opinion has been issued implicitly, it would seem, by the Department of Justice and its FBI. If they considered this “confession video” authentic, would they not consider it “hard evidence” of bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11? They say, however, that they have no such evidence, so they must not consider this video authentic.
The “October Surprise Video of 2004: The other most famous of the “bin Laden confession tapes” is the video tape that was released on October 29, 2004, just before the presidential election between George W. Bush and John Kerry, leading to its being called “the October Surprise video.” In this one, for the first time, a bin Laden figure directly addressed the American people. The Associated Press, focusing on the most important aspect of the speaker’s message, entitled its story: “Bin Laden, in Statement to U.S. People, Says He Ordered Sept. 11 Attacks.”41 However, although the AP accepted the authenticity of the tape, there are serious reasons to doubt it.
A reason to be at least suspicious is the very fact that it appeared just four days before the presidential election and seemed designed to help Bush’s reelection – an assessment that was made even by CIA analysts.42 The video, moreover, evidently did help: Bush’s lead over Kerry in national polls increased right after it appeared,43 and both Bush and Kerry said that this tape was significantly responsible for Bush’s victory.44 Given the fact that this video would quite predictably help Bush win reelection, it would seem to have been issued by his friends, not his enemies.
There are also substantive reasons to doubt this tape’s authenticity, one of which is the speaker’s language. The clearly authentic bin Laden messages were filled with religious language. A bin Laden video released October 7, 2001, for example, began thus:
Praise be to God and we beseech Him for help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with the Lord of our bad and evildoing. He whom God guides is rightly guided . . . . I witness that there is no God but God and Mohammed is His slave and Prophet.45
Even though this talk as a whole had only 725 words, bin Laden referred to God (Allah) 20 times and to the prophet Mohammed 3 times. Likewise, his message of November 3, 2001, which contained 2,333 words, referred to God 35 times and to the prophet Mohammed 8 times.46 By contrast, the 2004 October Surprise video, which had almost the same number of words as the November 3 video, referred to God only 12 times. The only “Mohammad” mentioned, moreover, was Mohamed Atta.
Another substantive difference involved the type of causal analysis provided. Bin Laden’s clearly authentic messages had portrayed historical events as occurring only because they were caused, or at least allowed, by God. In his message of October 7, 2001, for example, he said: “God Almighty hit the United States. . . . He destroyed its greatest buildings.” Human agents were involved, to be sure, but they were successful only because “Almighty God . . . allowed them to destroy the United States.”47 In his message of November 3, likewise, bin Laden said that, if people are helped or harmed, it is always by “something that God has already preordained for [them].”48
The message on the 2004 confession video, however, reflected a worldview in which events can be understood through a causal analysis based on secular rationalism. “One of the most important things rational people do when calamities occur,” the lecturer asserted, “is to look for their causes so as to avoid them.” He himself, in analyzing “the [Iraq] war, its causes and consequences,” provided a causal analysis involving purely human actors: Bush, al-Qaeda, and the American people. Far from suggesting that everything is finally in the hands of God, he said to the American people: “Your security is in your own hands” – a statement that a devout Wahabi Muslim such as Osama bin Laden would surely have considered blasphemous.
Still another reason to doubt the authenticity of this 2004 video is that, although the speaker was addressing the American public, he spoke Arabic rather than English. This is strange, because Osama bin Laden was reportedly fluent in English, which he had started studying when he was 11 years old.49 A British journalist reported that, when he and bin Laden met in 1989, they conversed in English for 45 minutes.50 General Hamid Gul, speaking to United Press International in 2001, said: “I know bin Laden and his associates. They are graduates of the best universities and . . . speak impeccable English.51 If bin Laden spoke impeccable English, would he not have used it when speaking directly to the American people?52
Accordingly, this video does not, any more than the “Jalalabad video,” provide evidence that Osama bin Laden himself confessed to planning the 9/11 attacks.
I showed in a previous essay that, according to the best evidence presently available, Osama bin Laden has been dead for many years.53 In the present essay, I have shown that there is not even any good evidence for the claim that bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Accordingly, insofar as the justification for the continuation of the AfPak war is based on the fact that bin Laden in the region both before and after the 9/11 attacks, that justification would seem to be doubly baseless.
David Ray Griffin is the author of 36 books, nine of which are about 9/11. His most recent book is The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Olive Branch, 2009). In 2008, he put out two books: The New Pearl Harbor: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (which was named a “Pick of the Week” by Publishers Weekly) and Osama bin Laden: Dead Or Alive? (which has generated considerable media coverage in England).
David Ray Griffin is professor emeritus at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of The New Pearl Harbor – Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 , The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions — A Critique of the Kean-Zelikow Report as well as Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?
- 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008), Chap. 18, “Does the Government Have Hard Evidence of Bin Laden’s Responsibility?”
- The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008). This book was named Publishers Weekly’s “Pick of the Week” on November 24, 2008 (http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6617001.html?industryid=47159).
- “Meet the Press,” NBC, September 23, 2001 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/nbctext092301.html).
- “Remarks by the President, Secretary of the Treasury O’Neill and Secretary of State Powell on Executive Order,” White House, September 24, 2001 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010924-4.html).
- Seymour M. Hersh, “What Went Wrong: The C.I.A. and the Failure of American Intelligence,” New Yorker, October 1, 2001 (http://cicentre.com/Documents/DOC_Hersch_OCT_01.htm).
- “White House Warns Taliban: ‘We Will Defeat You,’” CNN, September 21, 2001 (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/09/21/ret.afghan.taliban).
- Kathy Gannon, “Taliban Willing to Talk, But Wants U.S. Respect,” Associated Press, November 1, 2001 (http://nucnews.net/nucnews/2001nn/0111nn/011101nn.htm#300).
- Office of the Prime Minister, “Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States,” BBC News, October 4, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/1579043.stm).
- “The Investigation and the Evidence,” BBC News, October 5, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1581063.stm).
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Most Wanted Terrorists: Usama bin Laden” (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm).
- Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11′” Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006 (http://www.teamliberty.net/id267.html).
- “Bin Laden’s FBI Poster Omits Any 9/11 Connection,” KSLA 12 in Shreveport, Louisiana
- “Bin Laden, Most Wanted For Embassy Bombings?” Washington Post, August 28, 2006 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/27/AR2006082700687.html)
- Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.’”
- Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, with Benjamin Rhodes, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006).
- David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, revised and updated edition (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2007). This book won a bronze medal in the 2008 Independent Publishers Book Awards.
- The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, authorized edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 149, 155, 166; henceforth 9/11CR.
- See 9/11CR Ch. 5, notes 16, 41, and 92.
- Kean and Hamilton, Without Precedent, 118.
- Ibid., 122-24.
- Ibid., 119. I have discussed this issue at greater length in Ch. 8, “9/11 Commission Falsehoods about Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Pakistanis, and Saudis,” of The New Pearl Harbor Revisited.
- Robert Windrem and Victor Limjoco, “The 9/11 Commission Controversy,” Deep Background: NBC News Investigations, January 30, 2008 http://deepbackground.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/01/30/624314.aspx).
- “U.S. Releases Videotape of Osama bin Laden,” Department of Defense, December 13, 2001 (http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=3184); “Pentagon Releases Bin Laden Videotape: U.S. Officials Say Tape Links Him to Sept. 11 Attacks,” National Public Radio, December 13, 2001 http://www.npr.org/news/specials/response/investigation/011213.binladen.tape.html). The entire video can be viewed at this NPR Web page.
- See my book Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009), 23-26.
- “Could the Bin Laden Video Be a Fake?” BBC News, December 14, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1711288.stm).
- “‘Feeble’ to Claim Bin Laden Tape Fake: Bush,” CBC, December 14, 2001 (http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2001/12/14/bush_osama011214.html).
- Steven Morris, “US Urged to Detail Origin of Tape,” Guardian, December 15, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/dec/15/september11.afghanistan).
- Toby Harnden, “US Casts Doubt on Bin Laden’s Latest Message,” Telegraph, December 27, 2001
- “Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Bin Laden Would Need Help if on Dialysis,” CNN, January 21, 2002
(http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/01/21/gupta.otsc/index.html). For the tape, see “”Osama Bin Laden Tape Dezember [sic] 2001″ (http://www.myvideo.de/watch/3760193/Osama_Bin_Laden_Tape_Dezember_2001).
- For a nose comparison, see “Osama bin Laden Gets a Nose Job” (http://www.awitness.org/news/december_2001/osama_nose_job.html),
or “Bruce Lawrence,” Radio Du Jour (http://www.radiodujour.com/people/lawrence_bruce).
- Compare his hands with bin Laden’s hand as shown in the post-November 16 video (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1729882.stm).
- This can be seen in a portion of the Jalalabad video placed on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0FVeqCX6z8).
- For documentation and discussion, see Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? 27-29.
- “Interview with Usama bin Laden,” Ummat (Karachi), September 28, 2001
Bin Laden’s statement about innocents repeated what he had said in an interview with John Miller of ABC News in 1998: “Our religion forbids us from killing innocent people such as women and children”
- “Transcript of Usama bin Laden Video Tape,” Department of Defense, December 13, 2001 (http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2001/d20011213ubl.pdf).
- Bruce Lawrence is the editor of Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden (London and New York: Verso, 2005).
- Lawrence made these statements on February 16, 2007, during a radio interview conducted by Kevin Barrett of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. It can be heard at Radio Du Jour (http://www.radiodujour.com/people/lawrence_bruce).
- BBC News, “Tape ‘Proves Bin Laden’s Guilt,’” December 14, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1708091.stm).
- Angelo M. Codevilla, “Osama bin Elvis,” American Spectator, March 2009 (http://spectator.org/archives/2009/03/13/osama-bin-elvis/print).
- Maggie Michael, “Bin Laden, in Statement to U.S. People, Says He Ordered Sept. 11 Attacks,” Associated Press, October 29, 2004 (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/terror/20041029-1423-binladentape.html).
- Ron Suskind, The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), 336.
- Philip Sherwell, “Bush Takes a Six-Point Lead After New Bin Laden Tape,” Telegraph, November 1, 2004 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1475515/Bush-takes-a-six-point-lead-after-new-bin-Laden-tape.html).
- “Kerry Blames Defeat on Bin Laden,” BBC News, January 31, 2005 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4222647.stm); “Bush Says Bin Laden Tape Aided Re-Election: Report,” Reuters, February 28, 2006 http://www.redorbit.com/news/politics/408991/bush_says_bin_laden_tape_aided_reelection_report/).
- “Bin Laden’s Warning: Full Text,” BBC News, October 7, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1585636.stm).
- “BBC Transcript Of Osama Bin Laden Statement,” November 7, 2001 (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0111/S00049.htm).
- “Bin Laden’s Warning: Full Text.”
- “BBC Transcript Of Osama Bin Laden Statement.”
- See “In the Footsteps of Bin Laden,” CNN, August 23, 2006 http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0608/23/cp.01.html), and Steve Coll, “Young Osama,” New Yorker, December 12, 2005 http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/12/12/051212fa_fact).
- “In the Footsteps of Bin Laden.”
- “Arnaud de Borchgrave Interviews Hameed Gul, Former Chief of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence,” UPI, September 26, 2001 (http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/594-499.aspx; also available at(http://www.robert-fisk.com/hamid_gul_interview_sept26_2001.htm).
- I have given a more thorough analysis of the problems in these two “confession videos” in my book Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books, 2009).
- “Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?” Veterans Today, October 22, 2009 (http://www.veteranstoday.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=9079