September 12, 2022 in Columnists, News by RBN Staff


*This commentary was originally published (in two parts, both presented here) in the days immediately after the 9/11 Attacks


Source: Center for an Informed America

BY  | SEP 12, 2001 

“We are going to see a great number of articles in the future from so-called experts and public officials. They will warn about more violence, more kidnappings, and more terrorists. Mass media, the armed forces, and intelligence agencies will saturate our lives with fascist scare tactics and ‘predictions’ that have already been planned to come true.”
‘Conspiracy theorist’ Mae Brussell, 1974

I have a friend with whom I frequently disagree on matters of politics. He thinks that I am a crazed conspiracy theorist, and I think that he is a reactionary fascist. There was one thing that we agreed on though.

A few weeks ago, I told him that our fearless leaders seemed to be veering dangerously close to unleashing ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons upon the world. Although he seriously doubted that that was in fact the case, he readily agreed that such an action would be reckless and unconscionable. He stated that he couldn’t envision any scenario under which such a strike would be justified and that we should avoid, at all costs, crossing that threshold. Opening that door, he believed, could only serve to escalate tensions and make this a much more dangerous world in which to live.

He was one of several people who called me yesterday to discuss the alleged terrorist attacks upon America. During the course of that call, he stated flatly that when the perpetrators were identified, they and their backers should be nuked. When I reminded him of our conversation of just a few weeks before, he said that things have changed now. I asked him if he had considered whether that wasn’t perhaps precisely the point of the attacks. Unfazed, he reiterated his belief that I am a crazed conspiracy theorist.

Excuse my cynicism here, but have we Americans completely lost our ability to think? Are we now so thoroughly braindead that we are completely reliant on our media outlets, with their endless supply of ‘experts,’ to make sense of events in the world? Are we really that stupid – or do our leaders just think that we are?

The actions taken on the morning of September 11 were crimes – horrendous crimes against humanity, to be sure, but in the final analysis, not so very different from any other crimes. And the first step in solving any crime is to look at who had a motive and who had the means and opportunity to commit said crime.

As for motive, we are being asked to believe that a band of Islamic terrorists are the most likely suspects. But is that really the case? Was it a state-sponsored terrorist group that had the most to gain by launching such an assault? Or was it our own political, corporate and military leaders?

While the people of the Palestinian territories may well be dancing in the streets today in celebration of the blow struck against the United States, they certainly won’t emerge as the winners in this national tragedy. When the bombs begin to rain down upon them, as they certainly will, the loss of life, property and hope will be far more profound for them than it will be for the people of New York. Their short-term ‘victory’ will be a hollow one indeed.

This is certainly not to suggest that there are no governments, groups, or organizations around the world – or within these borders – that have legitimate grudges against the United States government. The numbers of such entities are legion. Two hundred years of imperialistic covert and overt military ventures have created a lot of enemies of the American ship of state, and a tremendous amount of residual bitterness. Yet none of these groups stood to gain by launching such an attack.

The United States, on the other hand, has much to gain in the aftermath of this chapter of American history. I am not talking here, of course, about the people of this country, who will pay a steep price for the carnage of September 11. Big Brother has assured us that we will be protected from future acts of this sort, and we will welcome with open arms the repressive, overtly fascistic ‘reforms’ that will be enacted.

The people of this country, and of the world, are always the ones to pick up the tab for acts of gross governmental malfeasance. The people of some hapless country (or countries) that is identified as the culprit will pay with their lives and the lives of their children. The people of America, and much of the Western world, will pay with the wholesale stripping away of their remaining human, civil and privacy rights.

Such a scenario only serves to benefit those who sit at the top of the food chain. Our elected leaders – who are elected only in the sense that every couple of years we are given a choice between two interchangeable candidates – will revel in the free reign they will be given to ram through legislation so appallingly reactionary that it would have been unthinkable just days ago. Military spending and the militarization of the country will escalate to a fever pitch.

Welcome, my friends, to the new and improved police state – the largest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced police state the world has ever seen. With the much-lauded U.S. economy tanking, and unemployment figures hitting their highest levels in years, this will come in very handy for the ‘powers that be.’

The ugly truth is that all ‘anti-terrorist’ measures are designed not to protect the American people from attack or to protect our ‘freedoms,’ but to protect wealth and power – specifically the unprecedented levels of wealth currently held by corporate America – and to restrict those very freedoms that threaten their hold on that wealth. This American tragedy, in other words, plays directly into the hands of the corporate and military elite of this nation, who have for years been propagandizing for a more belligerent and imperialistic foreign policy and for more repressive legislation here on the homefront. Having been presented with a pretext to enact such measures, it is our leaders – elected or otherwise – who stand to gain the most from yesterday’s bloodshed.

As for the question of who had the means and opportunity to commit these crimes, the official story holds that they were the work of a well-organized foreign terrorist organization. Officials have acknowledged that the operation was an exceptionally well-planned and well-coordinated series of attacks that required months of planning and a large network of co-conspirators to pull off. So well-organized was the operation that government spokesmen and television talking-heads (which are really the same thing) have been at a loss to explain some of the day’s events. Many questions have been left unanswered and some haven’t been asked at all. Some of the answers that have been offered have strained credibility far past the breaking point.

One question that has gone unanswered is how a plane was able to penetrate so deeply into the Pentagon’s airspace – even after two other planes had already plowed into the World Trade Center towers. Despite the ridiculous current claims, the airspace surrounding the Pentagon is perhaps the most tightly controlled, militarily secure airspace in the world. This would be all the more true in the immediate aftermath of a large-scale ‘terrorist’ attack on New York City.

Claims have been made that even if the approach of the aircraft had sounded an alarm, it would not have been targeted due to the fact that it was a commercial aircraft with many innocent lives aboard. Nonsense. Anyone who thinks that U.S. military/intelligence personnel would hesitate to target a commercial airliner, particularly in light of the fact that two such aircraft had already been used in suicide attacks, is living in a media-induced fantasy world. The question then of how this plane was able to ‘elude’ the Pentagon’s formidable defenses is one that should receive close scrutiny from America’s ‘free’ and ‘independent’ press. There is virtually no chance that that will happen.

Another question that begs for an answer is how teams of presumably armed hijackers were able to breach the security measures of no less than three major airports and successfully hijack four separate flights. Contrary to the claims now being made, security precautions currently in place in U.S. airports are anything but “lax.” That fact was being implicitly acknowledged by this morning, as reports began to come in claiming that the hijackers had improvised weapons from razor blades and other items carried in their shaving kits. The network and cable news broadcasters reporting this story actually did so with straight faces.

This scenario would be laughable were this story not such a tragic one. According to the latest official accounts, three to five terrorists boarded each of the hijacked aircraft (all of these terrorists, of course, were such religious fanatics that they had agreed to give their lives for the cause they believed in, and none of them presumably had second thoughts about that decision once the operation was underway). Does anyone really believe that a few guys wielding toothbrush handles embedded with razor blades could quickly and efficiently gain control of a commercial airliner? I would think that such a group would have their hands full trying to hold-up a liquor store.

How could, as has been reported, such a ‘terrorist cell’ possibly simultaneously overpower the flight crews and corral all of the flights’ passengers into the rear of the planes? I don’t consider myself to be a particularly brave or heroic sort of guy, but I would not hesitate for a second to take on a couple of guys wielding toothbrushes, particularly if my life, or the life of my family, was on the line and if I knew that I had some sixty people (the average number of passengers on the flights) behind me who would back me up. Maybe that’s just me, but somehow I think most Americans would rise to the occasion.

Nevertheless, these terrorist teams reportedly succeeded where so many other, better-armed terrorists have failed. The majority of hijacking attempts, as officials have acknowledged, end in failure. There hasn’t been one to succeed in this country for a decade. And yet these teams succeeded, and on a spectacular scale, in four-out-of-four attempts and with only the most primitive of weapons. To what are we to attribute that fact? Don’t look to the media for answers.

Perhaps the most obvious question raised by the attacks, and one that officials have feebly attempted to answer, is how the planning for such an operation could have escaped the attention of the country’s intelligence services. Whenever such an event occurs, the intelligence agencies rather predictably hang their heads, slump their shoulders and sheepishly grin as they explain their powerlessness to predict such things: “We did the best we could,” they explain, “but our resources are limited, our adversaries formidable, and our sources not infallible.”

That’s a real nice story, but the reality is that the CIA – along with the FBI, ONI, DIA, NSC, NSA, DEA, and virtually every other three-letter acronym you could think of – constitutes the largest and most insidious intelligence network the world has ever seen. Its agents have fully infiltrated every foreign government on the planet, as well as every significant ‘terrorist’ group and every domestic resistance movement that has ever posed even a remote threat to the goals of those who helm the American ship of state. It is simply inconceivable that such an ambitious attack could have been planned, coordinated and launched without the knowledge of numerous members of the national security state.

That is the inescapable reality that no amount of media and government spin can erase, though politicians and their media puppets will work overtime to do exactly that. One need only to turn their television set off and their brain on though to see how preposterous is the claim that these attacks took the intelligence community by surprise.

Perhaps the most disturbing question raised by the attacks is what exactly caused the twin towers of the WTC to collapse? The impact of the planes affected only the upper floors of the towers; their foundations were unaffected. The UK’s Guardianacknowledged that the initial impact of the aircraft would result in less stress on the building than is normally caused by high winds. The buildings were specifically designed to handle such horizontal movement.

The Guardian and its expert consultants conclude that the collapse of the buildings was the result of secondary explosions, attributed to the delayed release of the large supply of jet fuel carried by the aircraft. How though could the ignition of the jet fuel have occurred as a delayed, secondary explosion? As the endlessly played videotapes of the attacks graphically illustrate, the initial impacts resulted in enormous fireballs and the immediate engulfing of a portion of the buildings in flames.

It is inconceivable that the aircraft’s fuel tanks would not have burst upon impact, with their contents then immediately ignited. Indeed, if that wasn’t in fact the case, then how are we to explain the initial explosions and fireballs that were witnessed by the world? What exactly was it that created the spectacular initial blasts if it wasn’t the jet fuel? But if that was the case, what was it then that created the secondary explosions that appear to have occurred? These secondary blasts were acknowledged early in the day by an NBC newsman. The correspondent stated on the air that he had just talked with the fire department’s public safety commissioner who verified that large secondary explosions precipitated the collapse of the towers.

A radio broadcaster on WLS in Chicago (according to a correspondent), whose former colleague* is a CBS journalist who was on the scene at the towers, said on the air that this colleague had witnessed an enormous fireball emanating from beneath one of the towers immediately before it came crashing down. What are we to make of these scattered reports, none of which received any follow-up coverage amidst the non-stop blizzard of media attention?

To be sure, the collapse of the towers, captured on tape for all the world to see, had the decided appearance of controlled implosions, facilitated by the precise placement of technologically advanced explosives. The world has never before witnessed such complete destruction of a targeted building by an act of war or a ‘terrorist’ assault. We have seen the United States target many a building for destruction. In the most recent military venture, we saw an embassy building and a television studio, among many others, take direct and multiple hits from state-of-the-art bombs and guided missiles. The buildings were devastated, to be sure, but the damage didn’t come close to matching the pile of rubble that the Twin Towers were reduced to.

We also saw a highrise Israeli apartment building take a direct hit from an Iraqi Scud missile during the Gulf war (actually, most of us probably didn’t see that, except for those who happened to be tuned in to CNN for the brief few moments when the footage was aired; as it turns out, that Scud missile was actually safely intercepted by a trusty Patriot missile, or so it was claimed, just as if the footage had never aired). The point though is that the building was hit and did suffer extensive damage, and undoubtedly at the cost of many lives. But again, the building – though sheared nearly in half – was in considerably better shape than the WTC towers.

It occurs to me then that perhaps America has invested entirely too much time and money in pursuit of creating ever more powerful and efficient weapons systems. Who would have ever thought that the best weapon with which to reduce an entire tower to rubble was the plane itself. It doesn’t even have to be a military plane – any old commercial aircraft will do. Someone obviously should have followed up on the early work done in this area by the Japanese during World War II.

In the final analysis, we must ask ourselves the following questions: Who had the means to get highly-trained commando teams onto four commercial aircraft flying out of three separate airports? Who had the ability to violate the Pentagon’s airspace, completely unmolested and unchallenged? What weapons were really used to commandeer those aircraft and who had the means to get them on the planes? Who had the ability to plan and execute such an ambitious, multi-pronged attack without the interference of the U.S. intelligence services? Who had the means to staff each of the four teams with at least one well-trained, and suicidal, pilot? Who had the means and opportunity to plant secondary explosive charges, if in fact these were used?

Finally, perhaps the most important question to be asked is: who stands to gain the most in the bleak aftermath? It is certainly not the American people, or any resistance movement within these borders. It’s definitely not the still-to-be identified target(s) of the nation’s wrath (which will likely include Iraq). That would seem to limit the remaining choices.

It is quite possible, indeed quite likely, that members of some ‘extremist’ group served as the foot soldiers of these attacks. But it is just as likely that they were used as pawns in the global chess game that serves as our collective reality. It is also likely that these ‘terrorists’ were motivated by legitimately perceived grievances with the U.S. government. Those motivations weren’t likely shared by their puppeteers, however, who cynically manipulated those belief systems to serve their own ends. Most of the participants probably did not know that they were embarking on suicide missions. Quite likely only the pilots knew that, and they may very well have received a little more ‘training’ than your average pilot.

All of this is, by necessity, just speculation at this point. The true facts of the case will emerge over time in bits and pieces, mixed in with a healthy dose of disinformation. It matters little though in which direction those facts point. The official story has already been written.

It was previously mistakenly reported here that the woman making the call was the broadcaster’s wife. She was actually a long-time colleague. The correspondent who alerted me to this report contacted the station to inquire about purchasing an audiotape of the broadcast for September 11, and received the following brief reply: “Legally, we’re not allowed to provide program tapes.”






“Nothing just happens in politics. If something happens you can be sure it was planned that way.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

It seems as though more people have been watching the Discovery Channel than the planners of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon may have accounted for. A good number of people are questioning exactly why the collapse of the towers looked so much like controlled implosions. Anyone who has seen a documentary clip of a building being professionally demolished using explosive charges couldn’t help but be struck by the remarkable similarity.

One demolition and explosives expert from New Mexico has already gone public with his suspicions that the buildings were deliberately imploded. Architects and engineers who designed the buildings were at a loss to explain how they could react in such a manner. One expert, prompted by his interviewer to comment on if more steel in the structures could have prevented the tragedy, could only say that it was hard to imagine how any more steel could have been incorporated into anystructure.

And it was, as we all know, not just one tower that literally crumbled before our very eyes, but both of them – in an identical fashion. As I myself was pondering that rather curious fact, I stumbled upon yet another article giving a first-person report on the tragedy. This particular account concerned an architecture student who viewed the unfolding drama from across the bay. Some of his first thoughts – after the buildings had been struck, but before they disappeared – were that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to fight a fire at that height, and that it would without question be impossible to repair the damaged buildings. He found himself pondering what would become of the imposing towers, being no longer fit to be occupied. And then, of course, they just sort of vanished.

Suddenly a possible plan began to come into focus. The initial crashes and explosions, which were essential for the shock value of being so utterly audacious, would by necessity destroy the buildings. It would have therefore been necessary, at some time in the future, to implode the buildings. Why not then include it as part of the show?

To stir up as much outrage as possible, it was of course necessary to get footage of the implosions, as well as the crashes themselves, although it seems a little odd that the first crash was recorded so graphically – as if someone was waiting for it, camera in hand (at least two people, actually, according to a British correspondent who claims to have seen footage on the BBC taken from a different angle). That footage, of course, has incalculable propaganda value.

Propaganda is certainly something that we have seen a lot of in the last week. The sheer volume of, and the monotony of, the media coverage has been astounding. Every station across the television dial playing the same footage and providing the same unquestioning commentary, continuously, around the clock, from the moment the first plane hit the tower. The media barrage is unavoidable. Absurdly large headlines scream out from every newspaper and magazine, and every radio station seems to sound the same. There is no escape. And there is likely a reason for that. Somewhere in the halls of power, there just may be an awareness that the official story of the ‘terrorist’ attacks isn’t very convincing.

It isn’t by chance that there is nothing else to be found on the television dial beyond images of planes crashing into buildings. It was reported on Saturday that the networks had been demonstrating what was said to be an unusually high level of cooperation during this crisis. They’ve actually been talking amongst themselves to decide how long the bombardment of the national consciousness should go on.

It has likely been deemed necessary to browbeat the country into accepting the unlikely scenario that is being passed off as fact. It is the media’s job at this point to prevent the people, as much as possible, from actually thinking for themselves. And with such extensive coverage, haven’t our news commentators already thought everything out for us anyway? Apparently not, as people seem to be scurrying about the Internet like cockroaches, trying desperately to snatch up any little morsel of information that the media are holding back on – trying to make sense of a story that makes no inherent sense.

Some additional details have been added that appear to be an attempt to bolster some of the more flimsy aspects of the official story. After reports began to air that home-made knives were the weapon of choice, it was quickly added that bomb threats were made on at least some of the flights. But does that really add to the credibility of the story? If a guy waving a “knife-like” object claims to have a bomb in a box, would he be believed? Would it seem credible that someone who couldn’t get anything more threatening than a razor blade onto the plane had somehow smuggled aboard an unseen bomb? And if pulling off such a bluff was so easy to do, shouldn’t we have seen some other hijackings in the last decade?

Some reports have claimed that cellular telephone calls coming from the doomed flights, allegedly caught on tape, confirm the official story. If true, this raises a number of interesting questions. The first of these is: if these tapes in fact exist, then why haven’t we heard them (or, for that matter, the tapes contained within the ‘black boxes’)? Why, with wall-to-wall coverage of this great American tragedy, have these harrowing tapes not been burned indelibly into the American psyche? Such tapes would obviously have considerable propaganda value in further inflaming the passions of the masses and promoting the genocidal agenda being pursued. Strange then that we haven’t been treated to the poignant final words of some of the victims of this mass murder.

The media certainly weren’t shy about airing such gut-wrenching footage as the images of hapless victims leaping to their certain deaths. Why then haven’t we heard the farewell messages of the passengers aboard the suicide flights? Strange also that some of those alleged calls just happened to be placed to one of the most notorious members of the current administration, Solicitor General Theodore Olson (see “A Supreme Injustice,” Parts I and II).

There is also the question of how such tapes would even exist. There are two possibilities here, and both of them have rather disturbing implications. The first is that all cellular communications are routinely recorded, which would speak volumes about the state of ‘democracy’ in this country. The other possibility is that calls coming from the hijacked aircraft were specifically monitored. That of course raises the obvious question of why, if the flights were being so closely monitored, they were nevertheless allowed to proceed unimpeded to their intended targets.

It has been reliably reported that it was known fairly early on that the flights had been hijacked. It was also known (even though the transponders were disabled, by someone with a high degree of technical knowledge) that the planes had changed their flight paths. It is inconceivable then that the wayward flights were not being tracked and monitored.

According to the official timelines that have appeared in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, by 8:15-8:20 AM, air traffic controllers had received clear indications that flight 11 out of Boston, in flight for just twenty minutes, had been hijacked – the aircraft’s transponder had been shut off and the pilot was not responding to radio calls. By 8:28 AM, the aircraft had radically changed course and there was no question that the flight had been hijacked, a fact acknowledged by the FAA. By this time, flight 175 out of Boston and flight 77 out of Dulles were also in the air. Just two minutes later, flight 175 deviated from its flight path as well, indicating that it had also been hijacked.

It was still nearly thirty minutes before the first plane would plow into the WTC and there were already very clear indications that this wasn’t a normal day for air traffic in America; two civilian passenger planes had been hijacked simultaneously, an unprecedented occurrence, and yet no action was immediately taken to avert the tragedy that was to come.

At 8:38 AM, the Air Defense Command was allegedly first notified of the hijacking of flight 11, twenty minutes after air traffic controllers first became aware of that fact. Reports give no indication that notification was given at that time that the second flight had changed course as well. Five more minutes passed before the military was informed by the FAA of the second hijacking. At 8:45 AM, flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the WTC. Ten minutes later, flight 77 abruptly turned around and turned off its transponder. Three flights were then known to have been hijacked, with two still in the air and one having already spectacularly crashed into a heavily occupied building. The most technologically advanced and militarily prepared nation on earth proceeded to sit on its hands.

After ten more minutes had passed, flight 175 crashed even more spectacularly into the south WTC tower. There was absolutely no question at that point that this was a serious national emergency. Flight 93 out of Newark had by then radically changed course as well, clearly indicating that yet a fourth aircraft had been hijacked and was a potential guided missile. It was allegedly then, and only then, that George W. Bush – the Commander in Chief of U.S. Armed Forces, the man entrusted with the defense of the nation – was notified that there might be a problem. According to the Associated Press, “Bush was reading to children in a classroom at 9:05 a.m. when his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered in his ear. The president briefly turned somber before he resumed reading.”

With New York’s most visible landmark in flames and two hijacked flights in the air, America’s formidable national security apparatus sat idle while its purported commander, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “listened to 18 Booker Elementary School second-graders read a story about a girl’s pet goat.” Are the American people really so blinded by propaganda that they can’t see the absurdity of this situation?

First of all, it is absolutely inconceivable that Bush would not have been appraised of the situation prior to 9:05. The first aircraft had been hijacked forty-five minutes prior to that. That very first action constituted the most serious ‘terrorist’ act to occur on these shores for a number of years. Yet we are to believe that Bush was not notified of the first hijacking, nor of the second hijacking, nor of the first crash into the World Trade Center tower, nor of the third hijacking, nor even of the fourth hijacking.

In the real world, or at least the one that we think we are living in, the President would have been notified immediately of the first hijacking and would have canceled his morning plans, particularly if they were of no more importance that providing a photo-op with a second-grade class to feign interest in an issue – education – that won’t be receiving any attention in Washington for a long, long time. But we don’t live in the world that we think we live in. We live in a world where, even after the President is informed of the magnitude of the problem, he chooses – in the most bizarre scenario imaginable – to continue listening to seven-year-olds read about a pet goat. And while Nero fiddled ….

According to the Associated Press report, “He addressed the tragedy about a half-hour later.” Meanwhile, by 9:10 AM, the Pentagon’s radar had reportedly picked up flight 77, which was still a half-hour away from plowing into what is frequently described as the military’s nerve center. At 9:25 AM, the FAA purportedly notified Air Defense that flight 77 was heading for Washington, though radar had determined that fact fifteen minutes earlier and it had been known for a full half-hour that the plane had turned around and was headed back east.

At 9:35, two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled, at least an hour and twenty minutes after the first flight had been hijacked and nearly an hour after it had crashed. The jets were dispatched, strangely enough, from Langley Air Force Base rather then the much closer Andrews Air Force Base. The Pentagon was struck just minutes later, some fifteen minutes before the F-16s arrived on the scene, but nearly an hour-and-a-half after the rash of hijackings began.

A steady stream of talking heads have taken to the airwaves to claim that no contingency plans were in place for such an attack. Despite decades of military planning for every possible type of attack on these shores, and despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on civil defense measures, no one – we are to believe – ever envisioned such an assault. We are not talking here, it should be noted, about some type of technologically advanced ‘terrorist’ tactic that should have caught the supposed guardians of our national security off-guard. The use of aircraft as guided missiles has been a technique of warfare that has existed since airplanes became a part of the world’s military arsenal.

To no one’s surprise, the first name mentioned as a suspect, before the first shards of glass hit the pavement from the impact of the first plane, was everyone’s favorite bogeyman, Osama bin Laden. He is, as our media have been telling us for years, responsible for every act of barbarism committed in the last decade, so why wouldn’t he be behind this as well?

Though a mind-boggling amount of media coverage has been devoted to demonizing our all-purpose prime suspect, there seems to be a number of things about bin Laden that the media insist on ignoring – such as that he is almost entirely a creature of our own making. As any number of more honest journalists (as well as MSNBC) have pointed out, it was our very own CIA that armed, trained and funded his organization during our escapades in Afghanistan. In fact, there is certainly a possibility that we are still doing so today. After all, he makes such a great villain, and having a readily available villain is absolutely essential for scaring the American people into line and justifying obscenely high military and intelligence budgets. It’s not like we have the ‘Evil Empire’ anymore. And Fidel is getting a little long in the tooth to make much of a credible villain.

As some reports have noted, bin Laden has very close ties to the Saudi royal family. What none of these reports note though is that the Saudi regime was installed decades ago in a coup sponsored by lifetime U.S. intelligence asset Allen Dulles, working in tandem with British intelligence asset Jack Philby. The country, which is essentially a family-run oil cartel, and which was actively complicit with the fascist European powers during World War II, has largely been an American puppet-state ever since then. So if bin Laden is still functioning as a covert U.S. intelligence asset, he likely has a lot of company in his social circles, both in Afghanistan and in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking of oil cartels, Dick Cheney made his first appearance before the American people today. I hadn’t seen him all week and I was beginning to wonder if he hadn’t taken the opportunity to have another one of those minor little surgical heart procedures done. Then I realized that he was just laying low to give Bush a much-needed chance to try to look ‘presidential,’ as the press is fond of saying. Dick was on the airwaves claiming that the White House had received what he said was a “credible threat” that Air Force 1 was one of the potential targets that the ‘terrorists’ were aiming for. This has to be the most ridiculous claim that has yet been made.

How could any such threat, even if it were actually made, ever be considered credible? We are talking here, after all, about an unarmed, civilian passenger plane. Was there really ever any danger of it eluding Air Force 1’s military escorts (state-of-the-art fighter aircraft) and plowing broadside into the presidential plane? First of all, the ‘terrorists’ would have had to know precisely where it was. Unlike the World Trade Center towers, Air Force 1 isn’t a stationary target. And it’s a really big sky out there. The last time I checked, it wasn’t standard procedure to post the coordinates and the flight path of AF 1 on the Internet. And even if it was, a civilian airliner doesn’t exactly have the capability to track and hone in on those coordinates.

So this little fable of Cheney’s was a rather obvious fabrication whose intent was clearly to create the illusion that an assassination attempt had been made on our president, thereby creating some kind of ‘rally around the flag’ effect – all part of the plan to herd the American people behind our fearless leader as he is given unprecedented authority to wage war anywhere in the world that suits the interests of corporate America.

The U.S. military response won’t be long in coming and will arrive with a vengeance. It’s always best to strike, as they say, while the iron is hot. There’s no sense in whipping up all this blood-lust among the American people if you don’t use that emotion that has been generated. What we will likely see is a massive, multi-pronged military venture. Who it is aimed at doesn’t really seem to matter. The headline above a column in the L.A. Daily News on Sunday read: “It’s Time to Strike, Not Compare: We Know Well Enough Who the Perpetrators Are.”

Well, I guess if we know well enough, then by all means let the bombing begin.

The funny thing is, this country’s military response will look for all the world as though it has been carefully planned and mapped-out over many years. But we will all know that that isn’t the case, because no one knew these attacks were coming until a few days ago. The other funny thing is, even as we are showcasing for the world exactly what a wholesale assault on human life years of bloated military/intelligence budgets can buy, commentators will continue to talk of how we left ourselves vulnerable to this attack by neglecting the military and intelligence sectors for years.

And the people will stare at their TVs and nod in agreement.