The Center for an Informed America NEWSLETTER #14
August 22, 2002
Greetings, once again, to all subscribers!
Good news this week. By the time you read this, there should be at least 100 mil sitting in my bank account. That's because I'm helping out some people who need to transfer huge sums of money out of various countries for reasons that are not entirely clear.
I get so many of these requests that I don't even bother to read them all the way through anymore, but it has something to do with getting the money out of the country before the government seizes it ... I think. I'm not really sure. I'm just glad to help out.
So all these people that I am helping out are going to dump tens of millions of dollars into my account to hold for them. And I get to keep a portion of it for being such a good samaritan.
It surprised me at first that there were so many people out there eager to drop 25 mil into the bank account of a complete stranger in a foreign country. And it further surprised me that they all seemed so desperate to find someone willing to accept a multi-million dollar deposit, as if this was a difficult thing to do.
I finally decided that someone has to make a sacrifice to help these poor people out. Call me a martyr if you will, but I can't just let their cries go unanswered. So I've decided to open my account, and my heart, to anyone suffering political persecution who needs a place to stash some cash.
But that's not really what I wanted to talk about this week. What I wanted to do was to wrap up the discussion of what the 'War on Terrorism' is really about. The problem, however, is that while I've been preoccupied with that issue, and with last week's focus on Iraq, I've built up a large backlog of links to articles that I need to clear out.
So I'm going to have to put off for another week the conclusion of my "what's it all about?" diatribe. Frankly, I'm not even sure I remember what that was all about. I think I may have Attention Deficit Disorder, or one of those other disorders that our clever mental health community is always making up in their never-ending quest to medicalize every social problem in existence.
But that's beside the point. The point here is that I have a lot of postings to comment on, so I better get started.
Remember when I said that I wasn't going to comment on the beating of Donovan Jackson? Well ... I changed my mind. For those who have forgotten already, Jackson is the kid whose beating by Inglewood police officers was captured on videotape, after said officers decided, for no reason that has ever been given, either in news accounts or in police reports, to harass Jackson's father while he was minding his own business pumping gas into his car.
It turns out that just two weeks before beating Jackson, officer Jeremy Morse beat a community activist, known in is his neighborhood as a "peacemaker," so severely that hospital attendants didn't expect him to live. The man, Neilson Williams, spent three days in intensive care.
The L.A. Times noted that: "When asked to compare Williams' condition with other patients hospitalized after altercations with police, Dr. William Hong, one of the physicians who treated him, said, 'probably the worst I've seen.'"
Reading between the lines of the Times story could lead one to conclude that Williams, well respected in his community for his successful efforts at reducing gang tensions and violence, was specifically targeted for the assault. It kind of makes you wonder exactly who officer Morse really is.
I also need to note here that the trial of Morse, and his partner and co-defendant, has been moved from Inglewood to nearby Torrance. Inglewood residents are none too happy about this development, since while Torrance is nearby geographically, it is far, far away demographically.
Inglewood, you see, is 46.4% black. Torrance, just nine miles away, is 2.1% black. Community activists referred to the trial's new venue as "the Simi Valley of the South Bay." Easy there, guys. That's my hometown you're talking about.
Of course, Torrance was different when I was growing up there. In those days, it was approximately 0% black. The only black people I knew were JJ and Rerun, and George and 'Ouisy. And I'm not entirely convinced that those were accurate portrayals of black Americans, though The Brady Bunch certainly provided an accurate snapshot of the white America that I knew. Especially the season when all the boys got 'fros.
But things have changed now. 'Whites only' country clubs now make an exception for Tiger Woods, and Torrance has seen its black population swell to the point that it can now almost be measured. So I'm sure that my hometown will do me proud by handing down a reasoned decision in this case that will see justice served and that will not inflame racial tensions, unlike that jury in Simi Valley that didn't understand that it was wrong for a gang of thugs masquerading as police officers to savagely beat a prone man while some two dozen other officers stood idly by as if waiting for the piñata to burst.
But then again, U.S. courts don't really have a very good record of addressing the issues of police corruption and brutality. The same is true in Buenos Aires, apparently. So the people there decided to take a more grass-roots approach to dealing with police corruption: they stormed and burned down a local police station.
If anyone needs directions to get to the Inglewood station, by the way, let me know ... just in case, I don't know, maybe you want to drop in and see about getting tickets to the Policeman's Ball or something.
I'm thinking that maybe I should break with a long-standing policy and head down to the courthouse to sign up for jury duty. It's the same court building where Judge Woods was one of the presiding judges when I was growing up. Judge Wood's son was the guy you wanted to see if you were looking to score some drugs. Another good connection was Torrance Mayor Jim Armstrong's son. But that's also really beside the point.
Admittedly, I might have to fudge a little to get myself seated on officer Morse's jury. I probably, for example, shouldn't mention the time when six baton-wielding, jack-booted Torrance officers decided to throw my teenage ass across the hood of my brother's car, after which they apparently mistook my body for a drum set. That can happen.
I was all of 5' 2" tall at the time, and weighed in at about 120 pounds, sopping wet. My crime, for the record, was rather colorfully relating to the officers exactly what I thought of the fact that they had just cracked a buddy across the face with a baton, shattering his jaw. I may have been small, but I had a pretty substantial pair of balls on me. Beer will do that to you.
A few days later, fueled by drunken bravado, several friends and I marched into the Torrance police station around midnight and loudly demanded that we be allowed to file a police brutality complaint. The desk sergeant, who didn't appear to be amused by our demand, informed us that we had two choices: leave quietly, or face arrest. We chose the first option, more or less.
One of the officers had told me that I needed an "attitude adjustment." As you can clearly see, my attitude towards the police has improved considerably since that time. So I'm pretty sure that I would make an impartial juror on the Jackson case. I'm thinking that I might even make a good jury foreman. I'm going to look into it ... but enough about that.
Leave it to those party-poopers over at the World Socialist Web Site to ruin the feel-good story of the summer - the rescue of the nine trapped Pennsylvania miners - by insisting on providing some much-needed context that the media chose to ignore during the non-stop coverage.
And leave it to the Los Angeles Times to bury the story of how the miners' union is being stonewalled in its request for public hearings into the cause of the flood that trapped the miners. Apparently, the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration feels that "a public hearing, which would give investigators power to subpoena witnesses and documents, wouldn't reveal any more information than the routine investigation already under way into the accident at the Quecreek mine."
I could add here, rather gratuitously, that I happen to come from a long line of miners (with a few 'carnies' in the mix as well, but we don't like to talk about that). A lot of them tended to live rather short lives. Something about Miner's Lung. I've never been in a mine in my life, but to show solidarity with my ancestors, I smoke like a fiend.
In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm attempting here to claim some kind of personal connection to every one of these stories. So far, I have been able to do so without making anything up, but I don't know how long I can keep it up.
Now here's a bit of weirdness: the Washington Post runs a story on July 27 about two F-16s being scrambled to pursue a UFO. Yes, that's right, a UFO. Then, on August 5, Space.com posts a piece claiming that what many people believe to be alien UFOs are in fact secret U.S. military craft.
Now to me, the Space.com piece sounds like the most likely explanation for sightings such as the one reported by the Post. I believe that the government kind of likes the fact that so many people believe in UFOs, and even actively, though covertly, encourages such beliefs with a steady stream of official 'leaks.'
To many others though, the Post story is yet further proof that we are in fact being visited from afar, and the Space.com story fairly reeks of disinformation intended to debunk UFO sightings. Which reminds me of the time when I was abducted and .... oh, never mind. Two words should suffice here: "anal probe."
Moving on then, here is an interesting quote: "The Fascist battle against freedom is often carried forward under the false slogan of 'Down with Communism!'" Says who? Says Time Magazine, that's who. Or at least they did, on January 2, 1939, while naming Adolf Hitler their Man of the Year for 1938.
That "Down with Communism" business has a lot of miles on it now. We kind of wore that one out during the 'Cold War.' As the kids say today, that is 'Old School.' The fascist battle against freedom is now carried forward under the banner of the 'War on Terrorism.' I just thought I'd point that out.
I also thought I'd point out that Time acknowledged that "the 'socialist' part of National Socialism might be scoffed at by hard-&-fast Marxists ..." Actually, the "socialist" part of National Socialism should be scoffed at by anybody who understands what the various 'isms actually mean.
And, since I'm discussing the Time piece, I suppose I should also mention that it noted that "radio can be a tremendous force in whipping up mass emotion." Indeed ... though not nearly as effective as television, especially when the televised images feature planes spectacularly crashing into buildings.
All this talk of Hitler reminds me, for some reason, that Alvaro Uribe, a death squad-coddling narcotics trafficker, has now taken office in Colombia. And as I said before, that's definitely not good news for the long-suffering Colombian people.
The allegedly democratically elected Uribe was sworn into office behind closed doors, with 200,000 troops and 20,000 police/'security personnel' swarming the streets of Bogota. Several security rings were established around the presidential palace, all air traffic was grounded, and a U.S. spy plane was dispatched to circle overhead. Apparently, Uribe has a lot of popular support.
On his very first day in office, Uribe began implementing his plan to recruit and train 1,000,000 citizen spies. Now where have I heard of that plan before? The citizen groups are expected to rapidly evolve into paramilitary death squads -- terrorists, by any honest definition, though not by Washington's.
Uribe has wasted no time in moving to consolidate power in the executive branch and in proposing a 'unicameral,' powerless Congress. He has also proposed doubling the size of both the police and the armed forces of Colombia.
After only five days in office, Uribe declared a state of emergency, essentially placing the country under martial law with civil liberties indefinitely suspended. He has proposed restrictions on movement, detentions without warrants, removal of judicial oversight of wiretaps, and restrictions on the media and on public demonstrations.
It sounds almost as though he's been sneaking peeks at George Bush's script.
This flurry of reactionary legislation has been justified, in part, as a response to an attack that took place during Uribe's inauguration. The attack, by either homemade bombs or missiles, according to varying press accounts, was attributed to FARC, though FARC has thus far declined to take credit for it.
The fact that the attack occurred despite the extraordinary security precautions, and the fact that the damage was primarily to a poor neighborhood several blocks from the presidential palace, suggest that it could well have been a staged provocation by elements of the Uribe administration and the military.
Colombia, by the way - which used to include the 'nation' of Panama, before it was taken by force by the United States - is overflowing with two commodities near and dear to the hearts of Wall Street and Washington: drugs and oil. That's why it is near the very top of the list when it comes time for Uncle Sam to hand out military supplies and training. One hundred million dollars of that aid is to go towards training troops to guard an oil pipeline.
Colombia is also teeming with U.S. Special Forces operatives, who seem to be just about everywhere these days. When they're not home at Ft. Bragg killing their wives, they can be found around the world, conducting covert operations and training repressive secret police forces in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, the Philippines, and various other places.
So valuable are these covert warriors that all branches of the U.S. armed forces are looking to expand their numbers (http://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-te.troops03aug03.story). There is also open talk of using Special Forces teams as covert assassination squads -- as though that hasn't been one of their primary functions for decades.
And, in other Special Forces news, an explicit request has been made to U.S. scientists to create "genetically engineered offensive biological weapons," for use by Special Forces operatives.
And while we're on the subject of biological weapons, Japan Today recently reported that filmed evidence has been discovered by Japanese researchers "indicating the United States conducted germ warfare against China and North Korea during the Korean War."
One final comment on the situation in Colombia is in order here, and it concerns Colombia's neighbor, Venezuela. Actually it is more of a question than a comment, and the question is this: what do you suppose the official U.S. response would be if Hugo Chavez were to shred the constitution of his country, and run roughshod over his citizens' civil liberties, in the manner in which Uribe has done in Colombia? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be to increase military aid to the country.
In other news, in that other country in the Americas currently suffering from an acute case of Hitler envy, Gestapo chief John Ashcroft, in a little publicized move, has announced a desire to set up concentration camps for American citizens whom he considers to be "enemy combatants."
If I remember this story correctly from the first time that I read it, the next step should be firing up the ovens ...
Seriously people, how obvious do the parallels with Nazi Germany have to become before the mass of humanity known as America wakes from its collective trance? The progress that we have already made towards becoming a full-fledged fascist police state in less than a year is truly staggering. What is already accepted as the new reality would have been absolutely unthinkable on September 10, 2001. It can't happen here? Guess again. It already has.
A vast erosion of privacy rights and civil liberties via wholesale spying and rapidly encroaching surveillance technology (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,59262,00.html, as just one example), open talk of institutionalized torture (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/torture020813.html), the Orwellian 'Patriot Act' (full text: http://22.214.171.124/docs/usa.act.final.102401.html), military tribunals, indefinite 'detentions' of U.S. citizens with no judicial oversight, talk of setting up concentration camps, plans to do away with Posse Comitatus, repression of protests (http://www.legitgov.org/front_bush_north_carolina_072702.html) ...
And it's only going to get worse. Anis Shivani, writing for Counterpunch, has provided an unflinching look at where the road we are on leads and how we will get there.
If you can't really get yourself too worked up over the rather obvious transformation of the country into an overt police state, then maybe you also don't care that even while the American people are being robbed of their rights, they are also being quite literally robbed blind of their earnings and their financial futures.
Just as in the 1920s, the 1990s saw millions of middle income people who had previously showed no interest in the stock market lured in with the promise of guaranteed riches. And just as in 1929, the falsely created bubble of prosperity burst, leaving many small investors wiped out.
Corrupt accounting practices, fraudulent investment advice, and a media perpetually presenting glorified images of wealth and the ease with which it could be attained, all contributed to the flood of new investors that entered the market in the 1990s. Most of those new investors have been ripped off, and their prior wealth will not be returning.
As for the corrupt CEO's, accountants, brokers, lawyers, politicians, and all the media flacks that sold the American people a worthless bill of goods ... they will keep their millions, and don't expect to see too many of them being carted off to jail anytime soon. A few sacrificial lambs, perhaps, but not many.
The World Socialist Web Site has done a superb job of looking at some of the ways the American people are being ripped off: through the 401(K) scam, for example (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/aug2002/401k-a15.shtml), and through newly passed bankruptcy 'reform' (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/aug2002/bank-a08.shtml).
(see also: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/aug2002/econ-a17.shtml)
Before I forget, in the editorial piece concerning Ashcroft's desire to construct concentration camps, author Jonathan Turley - a professor at George Washington University and a frequent cable television talking-head - treats this plan as though it is something that Ashcroft came up with all by himself, as though Ashcroft actually has the power to design and implement such a plan.
The implication is that if we get rid of Ashcroft, the problem will be solved (as though Ashcroft is not just an easily replaced front man for the fascist cabal ruling America). And I believe that. I really do. I also believe that George Bush alone will be making the decision about how to deal with the Iraq 'problem.' And I believe that Henry the K has suddenly become a peace activist. And that George Bush the elder has been sending signals to George Bush the younger through Brent Scowcroft -- as though Little George has ever even wiped his own ass without first running the idea past his dad.
I believe all of that, just as I believe that the honorable men and women in Congress gave James Traficant the boot because they were offended to have such a corrupt individual in their ranks. It's funny though that I'm having a hard time remembering when the last time was that the folks on the Hill decided that one of their members was too corrupt to sit with the likes of ... I was going to start listing some names here, but there are far too many of them to even know where to begin.
Clearly, there had to be a hidden agenda behind the ouster and conviction of James Traficant. As one of the jurors who handed down the conviction said: "I know it's after the fact, but now I believe that there's no doubt that the government was out to get him, and if they want you, they'll find enough evidence to make you believe that the Earth is flat."
And if that fails, they'll find enough evidence to convince you that another problematic Representative, Cynthia McKinney, is financed by terrorists.
Let's see now ... what else is happening in the world? Oh, yes ... the UK's The Times reported that: "The US Congress has been warned that President Bush’s proposed attack on Iraq could escalate into a nuclear conflict." This would come as quite a surprise to me were it not for the fact that I have been issuing the same warnings for several years now.
The Guardian also seems to think that Iraq will soon become a nuclear testing ground -- for what they call the "new nukes." According to an August 6 report: "For the first time since the height of the cold war, the US is seriously contemplating the use of nuclear weapons. But this time they would not be used, as they would have been then, against another nuclear power. The proposal is that they would be used against countries developing weapons of mass destruction - chemical and biological as well as nuclear weapons."
According to Aviation Now, Iraq is also to be the target of microwave weapons. I guess the vast quantities of high explosives, incendiary bombs, cruise missiles, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, fuel-air bombs, and napalm which we have already dumped on the people of Iraq just aren't doing the job.
While we're on the subject of Iraq, I need to note here that there was an error in the last newsletter which was pointed out by a couple of alert readers. The U.S.-led weapons inspections teams were not actually kicked out of the country by Hussein and company; they actually were withdrawn in preparation for a round of massive air strikes.
The FAIR organization (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) covered this very topic just last week. The FAIR posting also reminded readers that the weapons inspections teams were in fact, as charged by Iraq, riddled with spies.
Meanwhile, the UK's Independent quietly noted that the United States provided "important intelligence assistance" to Iraq even as the Iraqi military was deploying chemical weapons against neighboring Iran.
Bill Blum, writing for Yellow Times, added that it was more than just intelligence assistance that America provided.
In the very same issue of the Independent, by the way, was an article whose Donald Rumsfeld-supplied headline screamed: "Rogue nations may use cruise missiles." I'd say that's a pretty safe prediction, seeing as how at least one rogue nation has been using them on a regular basis for years now.
Some readers will recall that a previous newsletter contained a link to a report of a huge 'war game' scheduled to be held in the California desert. Sent in by a reader was another report of said war games that contained an interesting tidbit of information: "The details of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan which fought the Taliban and al-Qaeda after the September 11 attacks, were largely taken from a scenario examined by Central Command in May 2001."
Imagine that. U.S. armed forces were rehearsing for the attack on Afghanistan in May of 2001. I'll have to check the calendar to be sure, but I think that was before the attacks which allegedly triggered the war. That seems a little peculiar to me, but then again, I'm something of a cynic.
Speaking of the just completed round of war games, I should probably mention here that the simulation was, according to the retired general who commanded the 'enemy' forces, "rigged so that it appeared to validate new war-fighting concepts it was supposed to test."
Meanwhile, in Marina del Rey, the army is working closely with Hollywood to design new and improved battle scenes to help the armed forces train for future wars. Leave it to those damn 'liberals' in Hollywood ...
Several weeks ago, the Independent reported that civilian casualties were on the upswing in Afghanistan. The report added that civilians "have been deliberately targeted by precision bombers" -- albeit adding that that was due to "flawed intelligence."
Fran Shor, writing for Counterpunch, astutely noted that, "the desensitizing of the American public to the deaths of these differently constituted others (by ethnicity, class, and nationality) is a form of psychic numbing that may allow for the larger massacre of civilians in Iraq."
I just realized that I have now referenced two postings from Counterpunch in a single newsletter. If they keep this up over there at Counterpunch, I might have to start taking back some of those nasty things I have said about Alexander Cockburn over the years.
This next posting is why, even if he is a few sandwiches short of a picnic on the oil issue, I still love Jared Israel and his web site, The Emperor's New Clothes. Where else are you going to read about how a key prosecution witness in the Milosevic trial exonerated the defendant, and informed the court about how he was tortured to get him on the prosecution's side to begin with? (http://emperors-clothes.com/milo/rade.htm) Actually, there is one other place you can read about it: on Steve Gowans' web site. (http://www3.sympatico.ca/sr.gowans/markovic.html)
Also worth checking out on Emperor's is the series of postings dealing with the unanimous vote by some 2,000 representatives of the firefighter's union to boycott Bush's hypocritical tribute -- thereby denying the shallow one yet another craven photo-op.
Here is an interesting bit of information that comes courtesy of the Palm Beach Post: according to senior FBI officials, there are only 200 full-fledged al Qaeda members on the entire planet, including the ones already incarcerated at Guantanamo. So for nearly a year now, the most formidable military machine the world has ever seen, working in conjunction with a slew of allied military forces, has been fighting, unsuccessfully, against 200 individuals.
There are two possible explanations for this: either the U.S. military is hopelessly inept, or else al Qaeda isn't really the target of our wrath. Personally, I'm leaning heavily towards the latter explanation.
Believe it or not, I still have a long list of links here that I want to include in this newsletter, so I'm going to have to largely stop with the ranting and get on with listing them, beginning with this look by the Independent at some of the still-unanswered questions surrounding flight 93.
This offering from the Guardian, concerning something called the "Z Machine" in New Mexico, makes for fascinating reading. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4110977,00.html) So too do these two postings that look at a rather scary scenario -- the privatization of the nation's, and the world's, water supplies.
This article, from the BBC, reveals that in the post-September 11 world, G.I. Joe is considered a terrorist (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/2173150.stm). Someone better give TIPS a call, or America's Most Wanted. Oh wait ... I just remembered ... they're pretty much one and the same.
CNN, which is currently in the process of airing a batch of alleged al Qaeda training videos (which I haven't yet seen and so will refrain from commenting on, for now), recently aired a documentary on the massacre at the Qala-i-Janghi prison fortress which, despite heavy doses of disinformation, nevertheless revealed that the U.S. was indeed complicit in horrendous war crimes.
The elusive Dick Cheney has been in the news recently. A federal district judge ruled against Cheney's cynical attempts to prevent the release of the details of his Energy Task Force meetings. (http://www.rockrivertimes.com/trrtcgi/viewnews.cgi?category=13&id=1027548627) In related news, White House staffers " threatened a process server with arrest over his attempt to serve Vice President Cheney with a complaint filed against him by Judicial Watch on behalf of shareholders of Halliburton. It is a crime to interfere with service of process." (http://www.judicialwatch.org/2221.shtml) And while we're on the subject of Haliburton, a subsidiary of the company, Brown & Root, "was chosen the exclusive contractor for overseas Army troop support and Navy construction despite being under federal investigation for fraud." (http://tampatrib.com/nationworldnews/MGA7EB3WH4D.html)
The Times reported that the second front in the 'War on Terrorism' will be opening soon in Southeast Asia.
I guess that means that Iraq will be the third front. Or maybe the fourth, if we count the increased attention we've been paying to Colombia as the third front. Actually, I guess it will be the fifth, since we have to count the unmentioned front in the 'War on Terrorism' -- the one right here at home. Someone really needs to devise a numbering system to keep track of all these fronts.
Here is a shocking bit of news: 'free markets' have failed Latin America (http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0723-05.htm). Imagine that. And here's an even more shocking revelation: the leader of Germany's most notorious post-war neo-Nazi party, the man who "came closer than anyone to giving the far-right real influence over postwar German politics," was a British MI6 agent.
Here's some more shockers for you:
The U.S. is still #1 in global arms sales (http://commondreams.org/views02/0810-02.htm); the government has no case against alleged 'dirty bomber' Jose Padilla (http://www.msnbc.com/news/792462.asp?cp1=1); Washington has moved to block a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil for alleged human rights violations at an Indonesian installation (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=808&u=/dowjones/20020806/bs_dowjones/200208060343000163&printer=1); and to suppress evidence pertaining to civil lawsuits arising from September 11 (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/aug2002/bush-a02.shtml); and to roll back medical privacy legislation enacted during the Clinton administration (http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/08.11A.med.data.htm); and, finally, DynCorp whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac has been fired for revealing UN involvement in the sex trade. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-376444,00.html)
Just a few more things here to get through and we'll be all done. This editorial from the San Francisco Chronicle theorizes that Bush is channeling Orwell. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/07/28/IN244190.DTL) And here's an in-depth look at the insider trading that preceded the September 11 attacks. (http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0207/S00119.htm) And here's a couple of postings that look beyond the disinformational headlines to boldly ask: "who says there was no massacre at Jenin?" (http://www3.sympatico.ca/sr.gowans/jenin.html and http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/aug2002/jeni-a08.shtml)
And here is a piece from the New York Times Magazine that David Corn wishes he had penned. Looking at the untimely, violent deaths of a string of microbiologists, the author of the piece, Lisa Belkin, comes up with a theory that can best be summarized as: "shit happens."
Last but not least, I have here an Associated Press report dated August 13 that was sent in by a reader. Unfortunately, I do not have a link to this article, entitled "Military Jets 7 Times as Busy as Before Sept. 11." This posting is fascinating both for what it has to say, and for what it doesn't say.
Describing the procedures for intercepting suspect aircraft, based on statements by NORAD spokesman Maj. Douglas Martin, the article relates: "Jet fighters approaching a suspicious plane might radio the pilot, dip their wings or simply identify the aircraft and break off. No intercepted planes have been fired upon since Sept. 11, he said; for that, an order must come from President Bush or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld."
Unstated here, but clearly implied, is the fact that a high-level order is not required to merely intercept an errant aircraft. It is in fact a routine procedure, but one which nevertheless was not followed on September 11. Another interesting passage from the AP dispatch reads as follows:
"The first two military interceptors, Air Force F-15 Eagles from Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts, scrambled airborne at 8:52 a.m., too late to do anything about the second jet heading for the Trade Center or a third heading toward the Pentagon."
Too late to do anything about the second plane headed toward the World Trade Center, perhaps, but too late to intercept the plane allegedly headed toward the Pentagon? At 8:52 a.m.? When the Pentagon wasn't hit until nearly an hour later?
An F-15, last time I checked, can fly at speeds of up to 1,500 miles per hour. How then is it possible that F-15s in the air not far from the Pentagon at 8:52 a.m. did not have time to intercept a plane that did not arrive at its target until approximately 9:40 a.m.?
Anyone not thoroughly blinded by knee-jerk 'patriotism,' and not burrowed deeply into a state of denial, should recognize that there isn't any explanation for this anomaly that doesn't involve direct complicity of the highest levels of the Bush regime. That, my friends, is undeniable.
It is a harsh reality, but it is one that we have to face. And that's all for this week ....