On Liberals, Phil Agee, and the 9-11 Truth Movement

The Anti-Empire Report

An Unreasonable Man

I recommend the new documentary about Ralph Nader, which was recently shown on PBS television, “An Unreasonable Man”. Its primary focus is on Nader’s argument for having run in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections despite the alleged harm done to the Democratic Party candidates. As I’ve written earlier: The choice facing people like myself was not Ralph Nader or Albert Gore or John Kerry. The choice facing us was Ralph Nader or not voting at all. If Nader had not been on the ballot, we would have stayed home. It’s that simple. The film shows a clip of a TV network newscast just after the 2000 election in which star news anchors Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw are discussing this very question, and much to my surprise they both come to this same conclusion — Nader did not cost the Democrats many votes at all. If he had not been on the ballot, the great bulk of his supporters would NOT have voted Democratic instead.

This escapes Nader’s critics, such as the two featured in the film, Nation magazine columnist Eric Alterman and author and 60s icon Todd Gitlin. NASA should check them out — just mention “Ralph Nader” and they go ballistic. They engage in an orgy of angry name calling, labeling Nader an egomaniac, irrational . . . “prefabricated purity” . . . “borders on the wicked” … responsible for the Iraq war and the destruction of the environment . . . They don’t directly challenge anything of substance amongst the views of Nader or his supporters. They’re not at all impressed with what I find most exhilarating — the unique phenomenon of a noted public political figure consistently standing on principle. Nader’s critics can’t admit that there’s principle involved in all this, for fear of revealing their own lack of that quality, as they cling to defending the indefensible — the idea that the Democratic Party is a force for even liberal change, never mind progressive.

The film also gives time to other Nader critics, amongst them Michael Moore, whom I admire more than the likes of Alterman or Gitlin. However, it shows Moore speaking during the 2000 campaign in behalf of Nader, telling the audience not to be afraid to vote their conscience; it then shows him in 2004, making fun of those who call for voting for one’s conscience — Yes, the hypocrisy is that blatant. Moore is indeed a strange political animal. The maker of “Fahrenheit 911″ and “Sicko” was until not long ago a super-avid supporter of Hillary Clinton (admitting to even a sexual crush on her), and he has supported General Wesley Clark for president, a genuine war criminal for his merciless 78-day bombing assault upon Yugoslavia.

Defenders of the Democrats now ask: “Would Al Gore have invaded Iraq?” Maybe not. He might have invaded Iran instead; that apparently was the first choice of Israel and their American lobby. Remember that the Clinton-Gore administration imposed eight years of heartless and needless sanctions upon the people of Iraq, simultaneously bombing them hundreds of times, costing the lives of more than a million people, ruining the lives of millions more. Al Gore has already invaded Iraq.

It’s an old and painful story. Democrats can not be trusted ideologically, not even to be consistently liberal, and certainly not progressive or radical, no matter how much we wish we could trust them, no matter how awful the Republicans may be. In 1968 Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota was the darling of the left. He ran in the Democratic presidential primaries on an anti-Vietnam war platform that excited a whole generation of young people. Peaceniks and hippies, the story goes, were getting haircuts, dressing like decent Americans, and forsaking dope, all to be “clean for Gene” and work in his campaign. Yet, in 1980, Gene McCarthy came out in support of Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter.1

It’s most often foreign policy which separates liberals from those further to the left. In the post World War Two period, one of the most revered American liberals was Senator Hubert Humphrey. But he was at the same time a fanatical anti-communist. In 1954 he introduced a bill to outlaw the Communist Party on the grounds that it was “an illegal conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the United States by force and violence and not a legitimate political party.” When he became Lyndon Johnson’s vice-president in 1965 he supported the Vietnam War. Two years later he was actually moved to declare to American troops in Vietnam: “I believe that Vietnam will be marked as the place where the family of man has gained the time it needed to finally break through to a new era of hope and human development and justice. This is the chance we have. This is our great adventure — and a wonderful one it is.”2

It was the administration of the liberal Jimmy Carter that instigated the Soviet intervention into Afghanistan in 1979, leading to Washington’s decisive role in the overthrow of a government which, compared to what replaced it, was extremely progressive.3 It was also Carter who gave Iraq the OK to invade Iran in 1980, with terrible consequences for the two countries.4

No, I don’t know what we should do about our leaders. The US electoral process which we’re all suffering through right now, which feels like it’s been going on non-stop forever, is replete with continual cries from the leading candidates about some kind of “change”. Whatever can they mean? They mean nothing. And the media treats it all like some kind of horse race, a spectator sport. Is there any election system in this world as lacking in intellectual discussion, as hopelessly corrupted by money, and as undemocratic as the one Americans are blessed with? Where else in the world is the candidate with the most votes not necessarily the winner? If we could interview each and every American voter to determine exactly why they voted for a particular candidate, compared to what the actual facts are about that candidate, and the results were widely publicized, it would be such a national embarrassment the next election might be called off. What does winning an election mean other than that the sales campaign was successful? An outright auction for the presidency would be more efficient, and more honest.

Another Tale of a Liberal

Gilbert Harrison, former editor and publisher of the influential Washington magazine, New Republic, departed this world on January 3. I never met the man, but in 1975, while living in London, I submitted a review of former CIA officer Philip Agee’s new book, Inside the Company: CIA Diary, to the magazine. The book was a shocker, providing more detail about CIA covert operations in Latin America than any book ever written, revealing the names of hundreds of CIA officers, agents, and front organizations. The book had not yet appeared in the United States and the New Republic was pleased to have what would be one of the first reviews. At that time the magazine was still firmly in the liberal camp. At last my writing résumé would list something other than the alternative press.

A couple of weeks later, another letter arrived from the magazine’s literary editor. She was sorry to inform me that the Editor-in-Chief, Gilbert Harrison, had vetoed publication of my review at the last moment. The article was returned to me, already edited for publication, even with an issue date marked on it. Some years later, I came to appreciate that Harrison was a typical Cold-War, anti-communist liberal — no matter how progressive their views concerning the individual and society, the basic tenets, assumptions, and objectives of American foreign policy were held sacrosanct. In 1961 the New Republic obtained a comprehensive account of the preparations by the CIA for its upcoming invasion of Cuba. Harrison was a friend of President Kennedy and he dutifully submitted the magazine’s planned article to the White House for advice. We thus have a case here of the United States about to initiate what the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called “a war of aggression . . . not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime.” And an American journalist did not know whether he should expose this. When Kennedy asked that the story not be printed, Harrison complied.5 If the story had been published, it might have led to the cancellation of the invasion, and thus the saving of a few thousand lives on the two sides.

Ironically and sadly, just four days after Harrison’s death, Philip Agee died. We had been friends since I met him in England in 1975, shortly after his book came out. Phil was truly a hero. He gave up his career, his financial security, a normal family life, and his safety to work against the CIA in one country after another that was threatened by the Agency — Cuba, Jamaica, Grenada, Chile, Nicaragua, Venezuela. The CIA revoked his US passport, spread all manner of false stories about him (such as his being in the pay of the KGB), and hounded him in Europe, getting him expelled from the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, and other countries. The Agency had him under surveillance for much of the rest of his life. The extreme strain this put on him may well have contributed to the perforated ulcer which led to his death.

The CIA was, as it still is, a force for dreadful things. What could a man of principle and idealism, with so much inside knowledge of the workings of the Agency, do but devote his life to fighting such a force?

Oh, By the Way, the Iraqis Don’t Really Want Us

Did you miss this? It should have been the lead story in every newspaper and radio and TV program in America. In the Washington Post it was on page 14. In virtually all of the rest of the media it was on page zero, channel zero, 0000 AM or 00.0 FM.

The US military in Iraq hired firms to conduct focus groups amongst a cross section of the population. A summary report of the findings was obtained by the Post. Here are some of the highlights of the report as disclosed by the newspaper:

Until the March 2003 US occupation Sunnis and Shiites coexisted peacefully.

Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the US military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them.

After the United States leaves Iraq, national reconciliation will happen “naturally.”

A sense of “optimistic possibility permeated all focus groups … and far more commonalities than differences are found among these seemingly diverse groups of Iraqis.”

Dividing Iraq into three states would hinder national reconciliation. (Only the Kurds did not reject this option.)

Most would describe the negative elements of life in Iraq as beginning with the US occupation.

Few mentioned Saddam Hussein as a cause of their problems, which the report described as an important finding, implying that “the current strife in Iraq seems to have totally eclipsed any agonies or grievances many Iraqis would have incurred from the past regime, which lasted for nearly four decades — as opposed to the current conflict, which has lasted for five years.”

The Washington Post added this note: “Outside of the military, some of the most widespread polling in Iraq has been done by D3 Systems, a Virginia-based company that maintains offices in each of Iraq’s 18 provinces. Its most recent publicly released surveys, conducted in September for several news media organizations, showed the same widespread Iraqi belief voiced by the military’s focus groups: that a U.S. departure will make things better. A State Department poll in September 2006 reported a similar finding.”6

This just in: The US has found the perfect way to counteract such foolish attitudes of the Iraqi people. On January 10, the Associated Press reported: “U.S. bombers and jet fighters unleashed 40,000 pounds of explosives on the southern outskirts of Baghdad within 10 minutes Thursday in one of the biggest air strikes of the war, flattening what the military called safe havens for al-Qaida in Iraq.” There was no mention of whether the planes had also dropped pamphlets saying: “We bomb you because we care about you.”

On December 20, the legislature of Panama declared the date to be a day of “national mourning” in memory of the American invasion on that day in 1989. “This is a recognition of those who fell on Dec. 20 as a result of the cruel and unjust invasion by the most powerful army in the world,” said Rep. Cesar Pardo, of the governing Democratic Revolutionary Party, which holds a majority in the legislature. U.S. officials downplayed the issue. “We prefer to look to the future,” said a U.S. Embassy spokesman. “We are very satisfied to have a friend and partner like Panama, a nation that has managed to develop a mature democracy.”7 As with their attack on Iraq on March 19, 2003, the United States, with no provocation or international legality (yes, another war of aggression), first bombed Panama, then staged a ground invasion, killing as many as a few thousand, while offering no believable reason for their psychopathic behavior.8

Will we some day see in a free and independent Iraq the setting of March 19 as a day of national mourning?

Some Further Thought Regarding the 9/11 Truth Movement

When I say, as I did in last month’s report, that I don’t think that 9-11 was an “inside job”, it’s not because I believe that men like Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, et al. are not morally depraved enough to carry out such a monstrous act; these men each has a piece missing, a piece that’s shaped like a social conscience; they consciously and directly instigated the current Iraqi and Afghanistan horrors which have already cost many more American lives than were lost on 9/11, not to mention more than a million Iraqis and Afghans who dearly wanted to remain amongst the living. In the Gulf War of 1991, Cheney and other American leaders purposely destroyed electricity-generating plants, water-pumping systems, and sewage systems in Iraq, then imposed sanctions upon the country making the repair of the infrastructure extremely difficult. Then, after twelve years, when the Iraqi people had performed the heroic task of getting these systems working fairly well again, the US bombers came back to inflict devastating damage to them all once more. My books and many others document one major crime against humanity after another by our America once so dear and cherished.

So it’s not the moral question that makes me doubt the inside-job scenario. It’s the logistics of it all — the incredible complexity of arranging it all so that it would work and not be wholly and transparently unbelievable. That and the gross overkill — they didn’t need to destroy or smash up ALL those buildings and planes and people. One of the twin towers killing more than a thousand would certainly have been enough to sell the War on Terror, the Patriot Act, and Homeland Security. The American people are not such a hard sell. They really yearn to be true believers. Look how they scream hysterically over Hillary and Obama.

To win over people like me, the 9/11 truth people need to present a scenario that makes the logistics reasonably plausible. They might start by trying to answer questions like these: Did planes actually hit the towers and the Pentagon and crash in Pennsylvania? Were these the same four United Airline and American Airline planes that took off from Boston and Newark? At the time of collision, were they being piloted by people or by remote control? If people, who were these people?

Also, why did building 7 collapse? If it was purposely demolished — why? All the reasons I’ve read so far I find not very credible. As to the films of the towers and building 7 collapsing, which make it appear that this had to be the result of controlled demolitions — I agree, it does indeed look that way. But what do I know? I’m no expert. It’s not like I’ve seen, in person or on film, numerous examples of buildings collapsing due to controlled demolition and numerous other examples of buildings collapsing due to planes crashing into them, so I could make an intelligent distinction. We are told by the 9/11 truth people that no building constructed like the towers has ever collapsed due to fire. But how about fire plus a full-size, loaded airplane smashing into it? How many examples of that do we have?

But there’s one argument those who support the official version use against the skeptics that I would question. It’s the argument that if the government planned the operation there would have to have been many people in on the plot, and surely by now one of them would have talked and the mainstream media would have reported their stories. But in fact a number of firemen, the buildings’ janitor, and others have testified to hearing many explosions in the towers some time after the planes crashed, supporting the theory of planted explosives. But scarce little of this has made it to the media. Likewise, following the JFK assassination at least two men came forward afterward and identified themselves as being one of the three “tramps” on the grassy knoll in Dallas. So what happened? The mainstream media ignored them both. I know of them only because the tabloid press ran their stories. One of the men was the father of actor Woody Harrelson.

  1. San Francisco Chronicle, October 24, 1980, p.7 []
  2. United Press International (UPI) dispatch from Saigon, October 31, 1967. []
  3. See interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser. []
  4. www.consortiumnews.com/archive/xfile5.html. []
  5. Victor Marchetti and John Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1975), p.307; Peter Wyden, “Bay of Pigs: The Untold Story” (1979), p.142-3. []
  6. Washington Post, December 19, 2007, article plus accompanying sidebar; see also the Anti-Empire Report of August 18, 2006, last item, for another Post article demonstrating the belief of the Iraqi people, as well as American military personnel, that things would be better if the US left the country. []
  7. Associated Press, December 20, 2007. []
  8. For the full details, see William Blum, Killing Hope, chapter 50. []

William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. He can be reached at: bblum6@aol.com. Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.

30 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. George Salzman said on January 14th, 2008 at 12:50pm #

    Oaxaca, Monday 14 January 2008
    Ah, Bill, This has got to be one of your best reports ever. I can almost never find anything to even quibble over when I read you, but this time there’s a tiny morsel to nibble on. My nibbles are inserted in square brackets right after your questions. You wrote, “Is there any election system in this world as lacking in intellectual discussion [Mexico], as hopelessly corrupted by money [Mexico], and as undemocratic [Mexico] as the one Americans are blessed with? Where else in the world is the candidate with the most votes not necessarily the winner? [Mexico]”
    We probably ought to be thankful that the Bush regime is bringing the empire to a rapid end. But then we’ll have a world dominated by those other giant capitalist nation-states. No bargains in sight.
    All the best,
    George george.salzman(at)umb.edu

  2. George Thompson said on January 14th, 2008 at 1:58pm #

    As far as 9/11 goes. The fires caused by the burning jet fuel did not get hot enough to melt or even weaken structural steel. Most of the fuel was burned up on impact so there was no source of further fuel to get the temperature any hotter than right after impact. Debris from the rubble has been analyzed and determined to have thermite/thermate composition. Thermite is used to lower the melting point of steel and is used in controlled demolitions of skyscrapers all the time. The pools of molten metal at the bottom of all three buildings, including WTC7 which wasn’t hit by a plane, all confirm this. It took weeks for the fires to subside enough to remove the debris. Of course the debris was clandestinely removed and shipped to China. We’ve seen nothing more of it except a few fragments people collected that have been analyzed. This is what and how they did it. Now the why:

    Gold, insurance and fear. There was plenty of gold under the Twin Towers and much of it was never recovered. Who made off with it? No one knows. All three buildings were owned by Larry Silverstein and in the days running up to 9/11 he had purchased insurance to cover just these type of airplace attacks. Coincidence. No way man. Silverstein collected the insurance from his money pits and then some. WTC7 has been rebuilt and the euphemistically named Freedom Tower construction continues. Of course the fear gave them all the pretense they needed to ramp up for another oil war in against a country that did nothing to us, all according to the PNAC agenda, which is brazenly posted on their web site.

    Let’s look at some other interesting information. Why did people in the Tower complain about all the construction happening on upper floors in the days before the attack? Whoever did this had a crew of people planting bombs and thermite at strategic points in the building. There were even times when the building was completely shut down, probably to plant explosives on the lower floors. There is no way Islamic terrorists could’ve gotten access to this building for this long without anyone noticing. Impossible. Why was Marvin Bush, the current president’s brother, in charge of security on that day at the Towers? There is ample evidence and excessive coincidence that disprove the official story, regardless of what actually did happen. I happen to believe that this government not only knew about the attacks but they were instrumental in carrying them out because only the government has access to the level of access and the amount of thermite required to carry this out. They are beyond war criminals. They are traitors and deserve the death penalty no less.

    It’s time to get on board with the truth and the facts man. 9/11 didn’t go off perfectly but it went off perfectly enough when the media is controlled by the very corporations that promote perpetual war for their darling military industrial complex. The Bilderbergers, Freemasons, Illuminati, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, and others hellbent of world depopulation, must be happy as pigs in shit to see the utter lack of action by Americans against a homicidal government that values only money, power, control and its own existence.

  3. Mike McNiven said on January 14th, 2008 at 2:03pm #

    Blum,

    How about the massacre of the protesting poor of Mexico City in 1968?

    Did the survivors forgive the station chief who was personally supervising the machinegun operators at the scene? Don’t they deserve to have answers to their legitimate questions after all these years — like you and the 9/11 survivors?

  4. simuvac said on January 14th, 2008 at 3:28pm #

    William,

    Your reservations about 9/11 are somewhat odd. You question the “logistics” of an inside job. You are putting a priori reasoning to work, my friend. Don’t ask for reasons prior to the evidence; simply look at the evidence, whatever it may imply.

    I don’t know why somebody exploded the WTC towers; I’m not even sure how it would be done. But that doesn’t change what I have observed a thousand times on video.

    Why destroy both towers, you ask? My guess is threefold: urban renewal (insurance money, development); terror; believability. Yes, I think people would have more questions about the collapses if only one tower had collapsed. Why didn’t the other collapse in an explosive fashion, they would say? They had to take down both. But I think the urban renewal issue is more important.

    Why destroy WTC7? Some people think it was the command center, where Giuliani and the Secret Service had offices. Destroy the evidence, including files on various Wall Street criminals.

    But who cares “why” it was done? The essential point here is that the official story does not make sense.

  5. simuvac said on January 14th, 2008 at 3:29pm #

    Also, let’s not forget there are more issues regarding 9/11 than controlled demolition theories.

  6. Michael Kenny said on January 14th, 2008 at 3:42pm #

    Re Philip Agee. There was an obituary of him in the London “Independent”, which was far from critical. Just goes to show how times have changed!

  7. James Hollander said on January 14th, 2008 at 3:49pm #

    Mr. Blum,
    As an activist in the 9/11 truth movement, I feel that a serious response is in order.
    Actually, the matter is quite simple. The point is not to necessarily believe that 9/11 was an inside job. The real objective of the movement is to first of all acknowledge that we do not know the whole truth, and that the evidence we do have strongly points to official complicity in the plot – but that we seek to achieve a real investigation to determine the truth, because determining the truth and having it known and acknowledged is important (if you don’t think that’s important, you would bear the burden of explanation, seems to me).
    The logistical problems you bring up seem to be just that, logistical in nature that a real investigation could and should clear up, and do not provide grounds for objection in principle. Why demolish building 7? Indeed, we can only speculate, but that is why we must strive for knowledge, not just speculation. The argument you use is unfair: since we don’t know, then we know it couldn’t be an inside job….???
    Your objection based on “overkill” is purely subjective, and my subjective memory of 9/11 itself runs counter to it. I remember the absolute shock and awe of seeing the towers fall and knowing intuitively then and only then, that war was inevitable, whereas the crashing of the planes into the towers would have been a terrible, but not earth-shaking event.
    As it was, the reality goes in precisely the opposite direction. Whoever planned the attacks actually MINIMIZED the damage and fatalities in certain obvious ways. Flight 11 flew over Indian Point nuclear power plant. The planes hit the towers early, when many people had not yet arrived for work. They hit the towers high up, allowing many people to get out of the buildings. The Pentagon attack occured in a barely occupied section of the building that was under renovation. Yet if they were Islamic fundamentalists bent on killing as many Americans as possible, they certainly passed up some clear opportunities.
    Think about this.
    James Hollander.

  8. Max Shields said on January 14th, 2008 at 4:28pm #

    You know sometimes you get contributers to DV like William Blum who you can just sit back, read and enjoy. He says it just fine.

    Thanks, Mr. Blum.
    Max

  9. Diane said on January 14th, 2008 at 5:03pm #

    Hi
    Its great being on holidays with access to 24 hour broadband, I can post comments :-)
    This one has been rumbling around in my consciousness for some time, it goes like this, there are a number of American left intellectuals that I admire, and am in general agreement with, except in the case of 9/11.
    (by the way I am not American, and have no desire to be one)
    Why is this so I have asked myself, why am I not convinced of their arguments? At the risk of being labelled a mad feminist conspiracy theorist here is my own subjective irrational little list
    In the 1970’s many women challenged the patriarchal structures, both micro and macro that oppressed their lives; it was more difficult for men as no matter what their class status their benefited directly or indirectly and were not as motivated to change.
    This is particularly true of male intellectuals of whom many have accepted the social darwinism of Dawkins and the like as some sort of extension of scientific materialism and therefore not to be looked to closely at, less they have to observe their own prejudices
    Don’t worry I’m getting to 9/11, I am still a bit agnostic on the whole issue, there are a couple of issues that really need to be cleared up
    1. Bin Laden. He was a creature of the CIA, I am not convinced by the arguments that he became a rogue islamist. Sure he was always an islamist but he must have had a pretty big falling out with them, and I know he’s wealthy but where talking about going up against the cash cow CIA here. Like Jackson Browne I want to know who the men in the shadows are I want to hear somebody asking them why; personally I don’t believe bin Laden could have done it without help.
    2. War Games. How did they know to schedule the attack at the same time as the War Games ?
    Got Lucky, nah;
    Information given to them by foreigners with access to the info; possibly but would the details be accessable, where talking America the Paranoid here
    Seems fairly logical it would have to be some one/s pretty high up and having worked in data protection, I know that all access to that sort of info is logged and the source can easily be traced ,yet I haven’t seen any results of this sort of investigation. Perhaps the perps are languishing in some Egyptian gaol and we are not told because of security reasons, but this is not transparency and given the awesome destruction the Americans have unleashed, the world has a right to know.
    3. Believing your own rhetoric.
    Here I am drawing a pretty long bow, but for me it seems a central issue. American left intellectuals hang on tightly to the Myth, in all its patriarchal spendour, America the Great, one may grumble about big Daddy and recognise his inadequacies ,but to truly say the emperor has no clothes requires a shift of consciousness that is hard to make within the materialist/rationalist paradigm. There is to me an underlying refusal to believe that the American government could turn on its own people.
    Welcome to the real world guys

  10. Dwightvw said on January 14th, 2008 at 5:05pm #

    I disagree that the burden is on 9/11 truth people to prove their case. The government has the burden and duty of properly investigating crimes in its jurisdiction, and of openly describing what happened. The 9/11 truth movement has shown that this has not been done, and that is enough. 9/11 is not only an uninvestigated, untried crime, it is the premise for violations of civil liberties, military spending, and war.

    Please read these articles to understand why the burden is on the government, not the people:

    http://www.aldeilis.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1612&Itemid=107

    http://www.aldeilis.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1612&Itemid=107

    I concur with Simuvac that the financial aspects must be considered. Leaving one tower, or two towers, standing after the attacks would have left unprofitable buildings containing asbestos and requiring very expensive demolition or dismantlement. WTC7 may also have been cleared as part of the plan.

  11. Travellerev said on January 14th, 2008 at 6:14pm #

    Dear William,

    Thank you for at least being willing to look at the events of 911 as perhaps something other than an Arab terrorist attack. Whoever did it certainly had terrorism on his mind so that sad fact remains.

    I found on the http://www.journalof911studies.com/letters.html site this interesting little pdf: http://www.journalof911studies.com/letters/e/VisualizationAidsWTCTowers.pdf. It shows gloriously simple why the plane and the kerosene would not be enough to topple the towers.

    I suggest that you also visit my blog which has a handy page called 911 for beginners.

    I do have theories about the need for the mayhem but that’s all they are, theories.
    I don’t know who committed the horrors of 911 but I do know that 19 young Arabs and one kidney impaired fanatic in a cave in Afghanistan were not able to suspend the laws of physics. That, and the fact that the air force did not respond for some one and a half hours, would logistically be impossible for them to arrange, and that is enough for me to know that a new investigation is necessary

  12. BenFranklin said on January 14th, 2008 at 6:26pm #

    Obviously the spewing powderization of the main buildings, the pulverized sand-like concrete and the 30 foot cuts of steel girders with partially evaporated and sulfidized steel ends were completely natural. Once the collapse got going any fool could see it would all end up in either course dust or even cuts of steel.

    And even though if a crane had take the upper sections off (above each crash sit), swung them over and dropped them into thin air they would obviously fall at the same free fall speed as they did when they splashed down through the most heavily redundant steel cored buildings in history. Everyone knows that the path of most resistance is the same as the path of least resistance; these nutters would have you think otherwise. Truthers don’t have any valid questions whatsoever. And so what about building 7, so it splashed down at free fall speed into it’s own footprint. “Walk away, McFly. McFLY, walk away!”

    I agree with Blum, instead of looking at available evidence, make up a theory that makes sense, because nothing gets more respect right now than theories.

    Ben Franklin

  13. Headspin said on January 14th, 2008 at 7:06pm #

    Mr Blum,
    Logisitics? you haven’t thought this through.
    they’re bad-ass enough to do it, but not competent enough? JFK did not plan operation northwoods, nor would he have executed it. JFK made the decision whether to execute the operation or not, thankfully he decided against it, but what decision would Bush have made in his place? clearly from your article you know the answer to that. Northwoods was going to be a military-intelligence operation, they are pretty good at logistics. logisitically speaking they do a fine job of importing all the drugs on the quiet, ask Gary webb, oh we can’t, he shot himself in the head…twice. There are too many coincidences, far too many, a lot of which obviously provide fall back positions for the perpetrators. They were running live fly drills of hijacked planes, that’s real passenger planes with real passengers and real (as can be) hijackers. Raytheon were testing out their remote control anti-hijack systems in 2001 designed to electronically take back control of aircraft from unsuspecting hijackers, quite a few raytheon and defence contractor employees on those planes y’know. too many coincidences – the head of the NMCC General Winfield gave command of the NMCC to his deputy Captain Leidig at 8:30am, 10 minutes after the first known hijack, he took command back from Leidig at around 10:00 just after flight 93 went down – Winfield and Leidig had arranaged this the day before on september 10th! Leidig had never commanded the NMCC before and had only recently qualified as deputy, he got promoted to Admiral shortly after.
    Too many coincidences – the one side of the pentagon that was being rennovated with blast walls was the side that flight 77 allegedly struck. the rennovations had just been completed on that very day, so the construction workers had gone home, and the pentagon staff were mostly not yet back in their offices reducing casualties, except for the civilian auditors that had been temporarily moved into the outer rings at precisely the point the plane impacted. my soul cries when i read an article like yours, why ask us to explain it all? we can’t without a proper investiagtion. ask the NMCC commander Winfield where he was between 8:30 and 10:00, the 911 commission didn’t ask. i have your book killing hope waiting to be read, not sure whether its worth reading now to be honest.
    Look at the targets (real and false alarms) of the Anthrax attacks traced back to the Ames strain held by Fort Derick and possibly Battelle (who also hold patents for alumino-thermic demolition devices, otherwise known as thermites). Anthrax is not wmd, it is an assassins weapon, congress and the media were coerced to shut up and stay on the gravy train.
    “Why did building 7 collapse” – maybe flight 93 (40 minutes late on takeoff) was meant to hit it or maybe one of the other 22 planes reportedly hijacked and/or foiled by vigilant ATCs was intended to hit it, maybe it was intended to explode when the north tower exploded. maybe there is a reason no-one has thought of, its a clue that their plans didn’t go without hitch. why do you need speculation when there is so much evidence – read Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert, no speculative discussion on skyscrapers there, just solid evidence and enquiry, or watch one of his presentations on youtube.
    “how about fire plus a full-size, loaded airplane smashing into it” – oops you seemed to have forgotten that no airplane hit wtc7.

  14. Carol said on January 14th, 2008 at 7:53pm #

    So how come people still blame Nader? I sent out William Blum’s comments on Nader to someone who just sent me a new article blaming Nader with new numbers. He called it bullshit.
    There is also Greg Palast’s investigations —-with Katherine Harris & Choicepoint & the suppression of the African American vote that dis-counted tens of thousands of votes.

  15. Danse said on January 14th, 2008 at 8:11pm #

    You wanna talk logistics? Let’s talk logistics:

    “There is no way that an aircraft . . . would not be intercepted when they deviate from their flight plan, turn off their transponders, or stop communication with Air Traffic Control …Something is rotten in the State.”

    Capt. Daniel Davis, U.S. Army – Former U.S. Army Air Defense Officer and NORAD Tac Director.

    “I knew within hours of the attacks on 9/11/2001 that it was an inside job.
    Robin Hordon – Former FAA Air Traffic Controller at the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center

    “Osama bin Laden and “Al Qaeda” cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks.”

    General Leonid Ivashov – Former Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces on 9/11/2001, and Department Chief for General affairs in the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Defense.

    I could go on all day here. The point is that all sorts of respectable military and intelligence professionals have stated point blank that it is the official story, not the alternative explanation, that is impossible, logistically and otherwise.

    I recommend reading up on the war games to get a better idea of how the operation was pulled off. Military exercises “simulating” the exact same scenario were planned for the morning of 911. The same occurred with the 7/7 bomibings in London (same time, same place, same scenario) and the Oklahoma city bombing (again, same time, place and scenario). War games allow the perpetrators to carry out these operations under the guise of a drill.

    Members of the Russian FSB were actually caught planting Hexogen explosives in an apartment complex in Ryazan with the presumed goal of pinning the attacks on Chechen separatists. In flagrante delicto, they claimed that the operation was in in fact a drill, and that the explosives were fake. The local police chief testified otherwise; the bomb was live and set to a timer. No action was taken. The culprits were allowed to flee the country by authorities.

    It is not the responsibility of the 911 truth movement to provide you with a detailed account of how the attacks were carried out. It is sufficient that we prove that the official story impossible, which we have.

    The “progressive” movement has dropped the ball big time on 911 truth. It makes no difference if you think the Bush administration is “incompetent” or that the operation would have been extremely difficult to pull off without getting caught (they have been “caught”, incidentally). The reality is that false flag operations are a mainstay of intelligence services all over the world and have been for quite some time. The evidence speaks for itself. It’s time to do the right thing and speak out.

  16. Danse said on January 14th, 2008 at 8:36pm #

    One other thing I would add is that the “left” should actually be leading the charge on the subject of 911 truth, not only because it is the moral thing to do but because socialists and progressives have long been a target of the same types of operations.

    Operation Gladio — a series of bombings and “random” shootings attributed to communists over a period of several decades in Western Europe — was carried out by fascist cells (a so-called “stay behind” network ostensibly created to fight a Soviet invasion after WWII) funded by the CIA and NATO intelligence. As you are no doubt aware, similar operations were a mainstay of CIA operations in Latin America throughout the cold war. Anarchists have long been a target of provocateurs, and any study of COINTELPRO will surely include examples of FBI agents encouraging activists to resort to violence.

    Gladio also puts to rest most of the evasions to 911 truth trotted out by the so-called “left gatekeepers”, of which I’m hoping you are not. It was a much larger operation than 911, encompassing dozens of countries and hundreds of bombings yet was not revealed (in an Italian parliamentary investigation) for some thirty years.

    “Blowback” gels with the leftist critique of imperialism but the reality is much more complicated and much more sinister, I’m afraid. Take a hard look at any large scale terrorist attack and you’ll find the fingerprints of the state and her intelligence agencies. It’s a rational recourse for agents of state to terrify their citizens, demonize their political opponents and whip the population into a war frenzy. The only surprising thing about false flag operations is they don’t occur even more often than they already do.

    The “left” needs to get up to speed and develop a more sophisticated analysis of terrorism — and quick. The category of “terror” is a contrivance long prepared. We are indeed at the mercy of the (real) terrorists until we come to terms with 911.

  17. Russ Hallberg said on January 14th, 2008 at 9:42pm #

    You attempt to discredit the JFK conspiracy FACT? The magic bullet that passed through John Connelly’s arm, reversed direction and struck President Kennedy in the throat? That was the same PRISTINE bullet found on President Kennedy’s gurney at Parkrose Hospital. Even the 1978 House Committee on Assassinations concluded that President Kennedy’s murder was the result of a conspiracy!

    The plane that allegedly flew into the Pentagon did so 34 minutes after the second World Trade Center Tower was struck. That was 34 minutes after it was a confirmed fact the United States was in a state of war! One of the world’s most heavily defended buildings was stuck by an amateur pilot who could barely keep a Cessna in the air! NORAD failed to intercept the plane due to at least five war games in operation on 9/11. On any other day, any derelict plane in US airspace could have been intercepted in less than 15 minutes!

    Conspiracy theory? I call it common sense!

  18. Bov said on January 14th, 2008 at 11:36pm #

    As you know, it’s no one’s job to convince you of anything, certainly not to convince you of the truth.

    Challenging anyone to do so is only to get hits here. The 9/11 movement has been preyed upon by internet candidate Ron Paul for a reason, and it isn’t because the world can’t understand how an inside job could possibly have happened, or why.

    >>just mention “Ralph Nader” and they go ballistic

    What else is the agency to do?

  19. Dwightvw said on January 14th, 2008 at 11:54pm #

    I’m always amazed and disgusted by people who blame Nader, rather than speaking out against vote supression in Florida and the coup by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. Some respond that yes, that’s bad, but if Nader hadn’t run and gotten 60,000 votes or whatever he got, Gore would have won. This is incredibly naive, especially in light of what we know now about the lack of integrity in our voting system. As far as I’m concerned, the fix was in regardless, and Nader running just gave a way to divert attention and let Democrats blow off steam. How can he and we be blamed for that, and why haven’t supporters of the Democratic Party doing anything, even after the 2004 election was again stolen in Ohio? But not to worry, it’s time for a Democratic president to consolidate the gains by being the good cop.

  20. Dwightvw said on January 14th, 2008 at 11:55pm #

    I’m always amazed and disgusted by people who blame Nader, rather than speaking out against vote supression in Florida and the coup by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. Some respond that yes, that’s bad, but if Nader hadn’t run and gotten 60,000 votes or whatever he got, Gore would have won. This is incredibly naive, especially in light of what we know now about the lack of integrity in our voting system. As far as I’m concerned, the fix was in regardless, and Nader running just gave a way to divert attention and let Democrats blow off steam. How can he and we be blamed for that, and why haven’t supporters of the Democratic Party doing anything, even after the 2004 election was again stolen in Ohio? But not to worry, it’s time for a Democratic president to consolidate the gains, or clean up the mess, by being the good cop.

  21. Robert B. Livingston said on January 15th, 2008 at 7:37am #

    I have been fascinated by an idea that there are parallels between the media and common public perception of 9/11 (that either supports the official version or shaky explanations that tend to mislead activists) and Nader’s supposed consequential effect on the 2000 election (not). The parallel could be extended to Blum’s insightful description of the public disconnect “liberals “have when it comes to foreign policy. All three topics seem to inhabit a doppelganger-world in which reason matters little and perception is everything.

    One thing is certain: the public is relentlessly manipulated by propaganda.

  22. ivanguarneri said on January 15th, 2008 at 12:36pm #

    I can’t believe the arguments William Blum uses to doubt the theory of the inside job.
    There are a thousand loose ends in the government’s theory about 9/11.
    May be more.
    Let me just point out one. Only one.
    Larry Silverstein has admited that Building 7 was brought down by demolition in an interview that has been in youtube for a couple of years. Whoever hasn’t seen it yet, it’s only for luck of interest.
    This admitance on the part of Silverstein is crucial in the dismounting on the whole lie about 9/11.
    Bringing building 7 down by control demolition implyes the fact that said building had to be pre-rigged in advance for controlled-demolition.
    It is absurd to believe that such a building could be wired just in a few hours in the middle of fires and caos.
    So, that pre-wiring of building 7 has been kept a taboo subject for the MSM, because this fact is the proof that the other 2 buildings could have also been pre-rigged, for the same people and in the same secrecy.
    The pre-rigging of building 7, as SIlverstein admits it, clearly prooves that it is possible to pre-plan de controlled demolition of an extremely large building, in a public place, in front of everybody’s nose, while keeping the action and the team of riggers in complete secrecy.
    For further proof about the control demolition of building 7, please observe the videos that clearly show beyond any doubt that the first structure to colapse is the penthouse, where there were no fires at all.
    A clear top down demolition-implosion.
    This is only one loose end of the official explanation and a proof of the possibility of the inside job theory.
    There are about a hundred more.

  23. Sean said on January 16th, 2008 at 4:23am #

    A mere peak at American history will indicate what the American establishment are capable of. Since the Declaration of Independence they have perpetrated countless false flag operations designed to maintain a constant state of war. I think it’s fair to say that they have managed that objective quite well to date. As for the 9/11 debate, I find it quite amazing that the explanation by the 9/11 commision was so readily excepted by educated people who clearly flunked their basic physics. How you can turn 3 building into dust in the space of 2 hours and find nothing remotely suspicious beggers belief. All the laws of physics were defied on that terrible murdurous day and the fact that building 7 collapsed despite not being damaged in any real way added to which the fact that the 9/11 commision didn’t even include it in their report. Gimme a break. In the 100 years of steel frame buildings only three have ever collapsed and that was the all on the same day in the same place. yeah right. The tiny hole in the Pentagon was laughable. We’re asked to believe that a giant airliner made that hole. Snap out of it. The buildings were proffessionally demolished and many problems facing the business community were solved in one fell swoop. Hey but those guys are saints, they would never do anything like that and Nixon was not a crook. Get real.

  24. PatrickSMcNally said on January 16th, 2008 at 7:12am #

    Some of the claims about war games on 911 have been disputed:

    http://911myths.com/html/war_games_cover_for_9-11.html

  25. Dwightvw said on January 16th, 2008 at 1:48pm #

    I suspect we may disagree on what shaky explanations tend to mislead activists, but otherwise, I quite agree. Thank you for your comment.

    I’ve also wondered why people like Chomsky, Blum, Michael Albert, etc. don’t extend their structural analyses to how and why a fraudulent 9/11 could happen and be covered up.

  26. Dan said on January 16th, 2008 at 6:47pm #

    Here is an email exchange I had with William Blum regarding his most recent article:

    My initial email:

    Mr. Blum,

    In your most recent anti-empire report, you stated:

    “So it’s not the moral question that makes me doubt the inside-job scenario. It’s the logistics of it all — the incredible complexity of arranging it all so that it would work and not be wholly and transparently unbelievable.”

    I would like to know how a man of your intelligence and experience has trouble believing that the most powerful, well-financed intelligence groups in the history of the world (Mossad, CIA, MI5, etc.) could have carried out the logistics of the 9/11 operation, yet you don’t extend those same doubts to the handful of angry Muslims who allegedly carried out the plot.

    Thank you for your continuing coverage of world affairs via your newsletter. I look forward to reading it each month.

    William Blum’s response:

    Because I’ve been TOLD how they did it, albeit with a thousand holes in the story. The 9/11 Truth people have not told me how the US government did it.
    BB

  27. Dan said on January 16th, 2008 at 6:58pm #

    My response to William Blum’s email:

    With all due respect, that’s a very strange answer, Mr. Blum. You were TOLD how they did it by the same government that you’ve been railing against for your entire career. You admit that there are “a thousand holes in the story,” yet you seem to need a precise reworking of the plan by the “9/11 Truth people” in order to even begin to consider that it did not happen the way the government and media have presented it to us. I find that quite odd, particularly from someone who is as familiar with intelligence capabilities and operations as you are, and who is as skeptical of official orthodoxy as you are.

    Incidentally, the “9/11 Truth people” aren’t all trying to prove that the US government did it. They’re just trying to get at the truth, no matter what it may be. For many, it has led them to Israel and Mossad. Others have been led elsewhere. The point is to keep investigating and keep the pressure on those in power, rather than succumb to an official story that is so full of holes one hardly knows where to begin.

    I still don’t understand why you need to be told how the operation was carried out in order to change your perspective. Obviously, no one knows exactly how the operation was carried out. That is the point of continuing the investigation. I would think you would know that.

  28. Dan said on January 16th, 2008 at 7:25pm #

    William Blum’s response to my second email:

    I don’t know where to begin. Every single sentence is based on fallacious thinking on your part or a misunderstanding of my point of view. Please read what i wrote again. Carefully. Without too much anger. I can’t spend the time I’d need to deal with all your erroneous thinking. Sorry.
    BB

    My third email to William Blum:

    I’m not angry at all, and I don’t know why you are insinuating that I am (the bold letters in the word “told” were simply taken from your initial response). In fact, your response would indicate that you are the one who is mad. I think I presented a reasoned approach to why I find your thinking on this issue quite odd, based on your career body of work. If I am mistaken, then I apologize. I realize you are busy, but if you could please find the time to at least give me one concrete example, rather than using vagaries such as “fallacious thinking,” “erroneous thinking” and other such euphemisms which, frankly, are a bit insulting.

    If you do nothing else at all, then please tell me if you agree with my contention that referring to people who don’t believe the official story of 9/11 as “9/11 Truth people” leaves a false impression with your readers of a few wacko “conspiracy theorists” when in fact there are multitudes of professional people from all levels of government, academia, and private industry who refute the official story and who are actively working to investigate and put pressure on government officials. And further, would you be willing to publicize this fact in one of your columns?

    Thank you

    I sent that last email earlier today and I have yet to hear back from William Blum.

  29. MisiekM said on January 18th, 2008 at 12:36am #

    There is a great book “The Secret Team” online about first 20 years of the CIA, what happened in Vietnam, Bay of Pigs, how CIA places agents within the government and any other useful institution such as media, academics, the secrecy within secrecy, access to any gov’s resources, agents without a state, and especially that it’s power formed like spilled water looking for any cracks make understanding what goes on in the government easier, but as the author warns, one cannot trust everything ex- CIA writes, because they live in a waaay different world. The author describes not the president, but his briefing officer as the most powerful man, and considering same club gave us the Fed, U.N., CIA, CFR, who knows what’s goin on. What people would carry out the work itself? Blackwater maybe, they have experts in annihilation and destruction from many other countries than the U.S. and they serve money, so would have no emotional ties to this country at all, how could Americans do it? I read something about former FBI translator that has more info to offer as to why the cover up of the finances of the operation. We are doomed, Lord come back and save us… :)

  30. Jim Klingbeil said on January 18th, 2008 at 2:37pm #

    I watched an entire four hour 9/11 Truth dvd. It started out making a lot of fairly reasonable arguments but ended in a mess of black helipoter, UN armies ready to invade kind of stuff. In the above comments, in Mr. Blum’s article and on the 9/11 dvd there is no mention of the “Israeli art students”, the “high fivers”, etc. It is a fact that several “middle eastern” looking men pulled up in a van to Liberty State Park in Union City, NJ on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 and were observed setting up a video camera on top of their van. A women in her apartment slipping coffee saw them and also saw the first plane hit the twin towers. In shock she observed the “middle eastern” looking men dancing around and giving each other high fives. When they left she called the police. These “middle eastern” looking men were picked up by the New Jersey State Police a few mile away. FOX got hold of the story and ran with it big time. Within eight hours of their arrest the FBI showed up and took them away. Within 24 hours they were on their way back to Israel. FOX dropped the story like a red hot potato. There was no mention of the Mossad in the four hours of the 9/11 dvd and of all the alleged agents of satan they pictured almost none were important Jews. And in everything above the Mossad is mentioned only once. I myself do not believe the towers were brought down by controlled expolsions, the planes, the fuel and the way the towers were constructed was enough, but i do believe that there was fore knowledge of the attack by members of the criminal ruling elite.