"In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave free press the protection it must have to fullfill its essentuial role in our democracy, the press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor was abolished so that the press would remain foreever free to censure the Government."
–US Supreme Court, New York Times Company vs United States (1971), (authorizing publication of the historical Pentagon Papers)

"Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind."
–US General William Westmoreland, Commander in Vietnam

"There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."
–Katharine Graham, chairman of the board, The Washington Post Company, speaking to a convention of CIA agents

"If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of journalists is to destroy the truth; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell this country and this race for their daily bread. We are the tools and vessels for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
–John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the New York Times and the "Dean of his Profession", in a toast before the New York Press Club, 1953

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Instant Messages To Israel Warned Of WTC Attack

By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
Washington Post
27 Sep 2001, 11:48 AM CST

Officials at instant-messaging firm Odigo confirmed today that two employees received text messages warning of an attack on the World Trade Center two hours before terrorists crashed planes into the New York landmarks.

Citing a pending investigation by law enforcement, the company declined to reveal the exact contents of the message or to identify the sender.

But Alex Diamandis, vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed that workers in Odigo's research and development and international sales office in Israel received a warning from another Odigo user approximately two hours prior to the first attack.

Diamandis said the sender of the instant message was not personally known to the Odigo employees. Even though the company usually protects the privacy of users, the employees recorded the Internet protocol address of the message's sender to facilitate his or her identification.

Soon after the terrorist attacks on New York, the Odigo employees notified their management, who contacted Israeli security services. In turn, the FBI was informed of the instant message warning. FBI officials were not immediately available for comment today.

The Odigo service includes a feature called People Finder that allows users to seek out and contact others based on certain interests or demographics. Diamandis said it was possible that the attack warning was broadcast to other Odigo members, but the company has not received reports of other recipients of the message.

In addition to operating its own messaging service network, Odigo has licensed its technology to over 100 service providers, portals, wireless carriers, and corporations, according to the company.

Odigo is online at http://www.odigo.com .

Reported by Newsbytes, http://www.newsbytes.com .


© 2001 The Washington Post Company


Media Awareness Project

Bush's Faustian Deal With The Taliban

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n922/a09.html
Newshawk: Terry Liittschwager
Pubdate: Tue, 22 May 2001
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/248
Author: Robert Scheer
Note: Robert Scheer Is a Syndicated Columnist.


Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this nation still takes seriously.

That's the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today.

The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that "rogue regime" for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention.

Never mind that Osama bin Laden still operates the leading anti-American terror operation from his base in Afghanistan, from which, among other crimes, he launched two bloody attacks on American embassies in Africa in 1998.

Sadly, the Bush administration is cozying up to the Taliban regime at a time when the United Nations, at U.S. insistence, imposes sanctions on Afghanistan because the Kabul government will not turn over Bin Laden.

The war on drugs has become our own fanatics' obsession and easily trumps all other concerns. How else could we come to reward the Taliban, who has subjected the female half of the Afghan population to a continual reign of terror in a country once considered enlightened in its treatment of women.

At no point in modern history have women and girls been more systematically abused than in Afghanistan where, in the name of madness masquerading as Islam, the government in Kabul obliterates their fundamental human rights. Women may not appear in public without being covered from head to toe with the oppressive shroud called the burkha , and they may not leave the house without being accompanied by a male family member. They've not been permitted to attend school or be treated by male doctors, yet women have been banned from practicing medicine or any profession for that matter.

The lot of males is better if they blindly accept the laws of an extreme religious theocracy that prescribes strict rules governing all behavior, from a ban on shaving to what crops may be grown. It is this last power that has captured the enthusiasm of the Bush White House.

The Taliban fanatics, economically and diplomatically isolated, are at the breaking point, and so, in return for a pittance of legitimacy and cash from the Bush administration, they have been willing to appear to reverse themselves on the growing of opium. That a totalitarian country can effectively crack down on its farmers is not surprising. But it is grotesque for a U.S. official, James P. Callahan, director of the State Department's Asian anti-drug program, to describe the Taliban's special methods in the language of representative democracy: "The Taliban used a system of consensus-building," Callahan said after a visit with the Taliban, adding that the Taliban justified the ban on drugs "in very religious terms."

Of course, Callahan also reported, those who didn't obey the theocratic edict would be sent to prison.

In a country where those who break minor rules are simply beaten on the spot by religious police and others are stoned to death, it's understandable that the government's "religious" argument might be compelling. Even if it means, as Callahan concedes, that most of the farmers who grew the poppies will now confront starvation. That's because the Afghan economy has been ruined by the religious extremism of the Taliban, making the attraction of opium as a previously tolerated quick cash crop overwhelming.

For that reason, the opium ban will not last unless the U.S. is willing to pour far larger amounts of money into underwriting the Afghan economy.

As the Drug Enforcement Administration's Steven Casteel admitted, "The bad side of the ban is that it's bringing their country--or certain regions of their country--to economic ruin." Nor did he hold out much hope for Afghan farmers growing other crops such as wheat, which require a vast infrastructure to supply water and fertilizer that no longer exists in that devastated country. There's little doubt that the Taliban will turn once again to the easily taxed cash crop of opium in order to stay in power.

The Taliban may suddenly be the dream regime of our own war drug war zealots, but in the end this alliance will prove a costly failure. Our long sad history of signing up dictators in the war on drugs demonstrates the futility of building a foreign policy on a domestic obsession.

MAP posted-by: Beth

Media Awareness Project
Porterville, CA 93258
(800) 266-5759

Get The Facts


[Webmaster's Note: Invasion by Special forces officially began on September 12, 2001 and bombing by US Air Force and Navy began on October 7, 2001, with help from Britain, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran. Fifty "suicidal/kamikazi" cruise missles launched at Afgan targets, including Afgan airbase constructed by US CIA in 1980s for use by Bin Laden.]


Tuesday, 18 September, 2001, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK

US 'planned attack on Taleban'

The wider objective was to oust the Taleban

By the BBC's George Arney

A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before last week's attacks.

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.

Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin.

Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.

The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place - possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.

Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were already in place.

He was told that Uzbekistan would also participate in the operation and that 17,000 Russian troops were on standby.

Mr Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.

He said that he was in no doubt that after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks.

And he said it was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if Bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taleban.


New book on NSA sheds light on secrets

U.S. terror plan was Cuba invasion pretext

By Scott Shane and Tom Bowman
Sun Staff

April 24, 2001

WASHINGTON - U.S. military leaders proposed in 1962 a secret plan to commit terrorist acts against Americans and blame Cuba to create a pretext for invasion and the ouster of Communist leader Fidel Castro, according to a new book about the National Security Agency.

"We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington," said one document reportedly prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," the document says. "Casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of indignation."

The plan is laid out in documents signed by the five Joint Chiefs but never carried out, according to writer James Bamford in "Body of Secrets." The new history of the Fort Meade-based eavesdropping agency is being released today by Doubleday.

NSA regularly picks up the conversations of suspected terrorist financier Osama bin Laden, says Bamford, and has monitored Chinese and French companies trying to sell missiles to Iran. He provides new details about an Israeli attack on a Navy eavesdropping ship in 1967, suggesting that the sinking was deliberate. And he reveals the loss of an "entire warehouse" full of secret cryptographic gear to the North Vietnamese in 1975, at the end of the Vietnam War.

Bamford, a former investigative reporter for ABC News who wrote "The Puzzle Palace" about the NSA in 1982, said his new book is based mostly on documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act or found in government archives. "NSA never handed me any documents," he said. "It was a question of digging."

He said he was most surprised by the anti-Cuba terror plan, code-named Operation Northwoods. It "may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government," he writes.

The Northwoods plan also proposed that if the 1962 launch of John Glenn into orbit were to fail, resulting in the astronaut's death, the U.S. government would publicize fabricated evidence that Cuba had used electronic interference to sabotage the flight, the book says.

A previously secret document obtained by Bamford offers further suggestions for mayhem to be blamed on Cuba.

"We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). ... We could foster attempts on lives of Cubans in the United States, even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized," the document says. Another idea was to shoot down a CIA plane designed to replicate a passenger flight and announce that Cuban forces shot it down.

Citing a White House document, Bamford writes that the idea of creating a pretext for the invasion of Cuba might have started with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the last weeks of his administration, when the plan for an invasion by Cuban exiles trained in the United States was hatched. Carried out in April 1961, soon after Kennedy became president, the Bay of Pigs invasion proved a fiasco. Castro's forces quickly killed or rounded up the invaders.

Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, presented the Operation Northwoods plan to Kennedy early in 1962, but the president rejected it that March because he wanted no overt U.S. military action against Cuba. Lemnitzer then sought unsuccessfully to destroy all evidence of the plan, according to Bamford.

Lemnitzer and those who served with him in 1962 as chiefs of the nation's military branches are dead. But two former top Kennedy administration officials said yesterday that they were unaware of Operation Northwoods and questioned whether such a plan was ever drafted.

"I've never heard of Operation Northwoods. Never heard of it and don't believe it," said Theodore Sorenson, Kennedy's White House special counsel. "Obviously, it would be totally illegal as well as totally unwise."

Robert S. McNamara, Kennedy's defense secretary, said: "I never heard of it. I can't believe the chiefs were talking about or engaged in what I would call CIA-type operations."

Bamford writes that besides the Joint Chiefs, then-Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul H. Nitze also favored "provoking a phony war with Cuba."

"There may be a piece of paper" on Northwoods, said McNamara. "I just cannot conceive of [Nitze] approving anything like that or doing it without talking to me."

The book contains many other revelations in its detailed account of NSA, the biggest U.S. intelligence agency and Maryland's largest employer, with more than 25,000 personnel at Fort Meade, site of its global eavesdropping efforts.

Among them:

In recent years, NSA has regularly listened to bin Laden's unencrypted telephone calls. Agency officials have sometimes played tapes of bin Laden talking to his mother to impress members of Congress and select visitors to the agency.

In the late 1990s, NSA tracked efforts by Chinese and French companies to sell missile technology to Iran, particularly the C-802 anti-ship missile. The eavesdropping led to U.S. protests to the Chinese and French governments.

When U.S. troops evacuated Vietnam in 1975, "an entire warehouse overflowing with NSA's most important cryptographic machines and other supersensitive code and cipher materials" was left behind. It was the largest compromise of such equipment in U.S. history, Bamford writes, but the agency still has not acknowledged it.

When Israeli fighter jets attacked the NSA eavesdropping ship USS Liberty in the Mediterranean in 1967, killing 34 Americans and wounding 171, an NSA aircraft was listening in and heard Israeli pilots referring to the American flag on the ship. U.S. officials, including President Lyndon Baines Johnson, decided to forget the matter, Bamford writes, because they did not want to embarrass Israel. To this day, Israeli officials say their forces mistakenly attacked the U.S. ship.

Bamford says the reason for the strike was Israel's desperate effort to cover up its attacks on the Egyptian town of El Arish in the Sinai. The Liberty was sitting offshore and the Israelis feared that the ship would detect the operation, which included the shooting of prisoners.

Yesterday, an NSA spokesperson questioned a point made in the book about the USS Liberty.

"We do not comment on operational matters, alleged or otherwise; however, Mr. Bamford's claim that the NSA leadership was 'virtually unanimous in their belief that the attack was deliberate' is simply not true," the spokesperson said.

When he wrote "The Puzzle Palace" in 1982, Bamford was attacked by some NSA officials, who said his revelations gave the Soviet Union and other U.S. adversaries too much information on the secret agency. One former director referred to him as "an unconvicted felon."

With the end of the Cold War, the agency has been less guarded. NSA's current director, Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, has granted a number of interviews. Hayden "cracked the door open a tiny bit," said Bamford, partly to burnish NSA's public image and correct misconceptions.

Sun staff writer Laura Sullivan contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2001, The Baltimore Sun


Skolnick - US Government Had Prior Knowledge Of Emergency

By Sherman H. Skolnick

America's Reichstag Fire

The most massive so-called "terrorist" attacks on U.S. soil since the Oklahoma City bombings of 1995, were known, a week ahead of time, by the American CIA. Among the foreign intelligence agencies who penetrated the plots were the French CIA and Israel's The Mossad, units of both often working with one another.

Foreign intelligence sources confirm the validity of this story. And they state that they informed the U.S. secret police who absolutely failed, neglected, and outright refused to take action as to known prior specifics of which the top-level of the CIA were informed in advance.

As made known to the CIA, were the following, among other details:

  1. That George Herbert Walker Bush, as President, at the close of the Persian Gulf War, 1991, arranged to bring into the U.S. some four thousand Iraqi military officers, some from intelligence units, and their families.
  2. Some 550 of these officers became residents in Lincoln, Nebraska, AND TWO THOUSAND OF THEM took up residence in Oklahoma City. In a watered down story, CBS' "60 Minutes" Program did a segment once on this about Lincoln, Nebraska but said NOTHING about the Iraqi military officers in Oklahoma City.
  3. The financial and other provisions for them and their families were arranged by the Elder Bush, and then quietly continued by Bill Clinton as President, and perpetuated by George W. Bush as White House "resident" and "occupant". The arrangements included financial subsidies, housing, and employment for the Iraqi officers. [A brave Oklahoma City TV Reporter, Jayna Davis, on their local TV station, put on the air several stories about the Iraqi connection to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, the bombing done with the aid of domestic dissidents as surrogates. A group bought out the TV station and silenced her. Timothy McVeigh's chief defense counsel for the murder trial, Stephen Jones, on behalf of McVeigh, filed an extra-ordinary petition in the next higher court, just prior to the murder trial. To no avail, Jones tried to force Denver U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch to compel the American CIA to disgorge records held by them showing prior U.S. knowledge of the bombing, as confirmed by other known records, some of them also in secret court records. We have a copy of the 185 page U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, petition filed by Jones and almost uniformly ignored by the American monopoly press. The petition raises the Iraqi connection.]
  4. The foreign intelligence agencies informed the American CIA that guns would be planted on-board as many as ten U.S. commercial airflights. This to be done by airplane clean-up crew members who are generally not subject to airport security provisions. These workers most likely did not know the purpose of the gun-planting.
  5. The CIA also was informed prior to the "terrorist" attacks scheduled for "911" Emergency Day [September 11], that highly skilled Iraqi pilots, among the four thousand Iraqi officers resident in the U.S., would take over the commercial flights, by retrieving the weapons concealed onboard, and then commandeering the flight deck.
  6. The Elder Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush, all were in a position to know that the Iraqi officers that they provided for included some double-agents. The FBI Counter-Intelligence Division at no time was instructed to do anything about these double-agents in a position to commit mischief, murder, and mayhem, on U.S. soil.
  7. As I revealed a week prior to the "terrorist" attacks, some foreign television networks were busy preparing lengthy documentaries that would scandalize George W. Bush and other members of the Bush Family, including the Elder Bush and Jeb Bush. The subject matter included how forty million dollars in dope funds were used by the Bush Family to reportedly corrupt South Florida DEMOCRATS to abandon the recount even ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling installing George W. Bush as the "resident" and "occupant" of the White House. The dope funds came reportedly from Bush Family business partner, Carlos Lehder, co-founder of the U.S./Colombia medellin dope cartel. [Visit our website story, "Chandra Levy Affair, Part Two".] I discussed this on radio talk shows.
  8. As part of the targetting of the World Trade Center buildings, a group of surrogates for the Iraqi military officers, reportedly spent considerable time within one of the buildings, with building security officers somehow oblivious of their presence.
  9. As the CIA top officials were informed and had prior knowledge, the purpose of the "terrorist" attacks was to effectively paralyze the financial infrastructure of the U.S. Some of the most important stock and bond houses in the world, with their key people having loads of inside knowledge and hard to replace trading tricks and expertise, were located in the known-to-be-targetted twin towers of the World Trade Center, New York City. It was like blowing up the main "financial factory" and destroying their inventory. The so-called "back-up" records kept parked across the river in New Jersey, are not only inadequate but cannot help reconstruct various accounts and transactions in the works. Financial experts tell us the "back up" records parked in New Jersey, may NOT be sufficient to re-start the American financial apparatus. Some of the experts are loudly grumbling that they should have early on seen Federal Reserve Czar Alan Greenspan on the television explaining about the financial ramifications. Of course, some suppose that Americans would panic and run out of control. So we are dealt with like little children.
  10. It is a serious mistake, according to savvy American and foreign intelligence sources, to blame the Emergency all on Osama bin Laden. As readers of our website are aware, we have long pointed out that bin Laden is reportedly in the Mid-East Construction business. His reputed partners? The family of Sharon PERCY Rockefeller. She is the wife of John D. Rockefeller 4th (D., W.Va.), great grandson of the founder of the infamous Standard Oil Trust that used to bomb their own obsolete buildings to falsely blame onto their competitors. Bin Laden's so-called "secret" accounts, which the White House has said they would like to freeze, are or have been actually reportedly in the Harris Bank, Chicago, joint accounts with the family of Sharon PERCY Rockefeller.
  11. The Saudi Royal Family actually consists of some five thousand members, some of whom actually are for the U.S. and some anti-U.S. Some of them have bankrolled Iraq's war against Iran, 1980 to 1988, to destroy some oil facilities and keep the price of oil HIGH. The foreign intelligence agencies, that penetrated the plots to be carried out on U.S. soil, are aware that some of the Saudi royals are actually sympathetic to the Iraqis destroying the World Trade Center Buildings and in part, wrecking the Pentagon. [As if the American CIA did not ALREADY have their own knowledge of this.]

Whenever there is a political assassination or some other unusual violent event, what is the key question the oil-soaked, spy-riddled monopoly press ALWAYS fails to ask? WHO BENEFITS. With a scandal about to break against George W. Bush, he and his circle had an interest NOT to stop these things from happening. And to divert attention. The White House has a strong motive to silence critics and urge people TO RALLY AROUND THE PRESIDENT. Simple-minded folks, of course, often poorly informed,do not understand how the ruling classes would shed the blood of thousands if not millions of innocent people, in some instigated war, to avoid dealing with the apparent on-coming economic disasters. In the midst of this prior-knowledge emergency, who dares now to point to the Bush Family as reputed business partners of the major kingpin, Carlos Lehder, of the U.S./Colombia medellin dope cartel? Or how huge dope money bought the Electoral College trick in Florida and corrupted the U.S. Supreme Court's "gang of five".

This is America's REICHSTAG fire. Adolph Hitler burned down the German parliament and falsely blamed his enemies and had them rounded up and put in the concentration camps. Has the U.S. Constitution now been revoked? More coming.

Stay tuned.

Censored Cartoon

Boondocks by by Aaron McGruder

Thursday, October 4, 2001


Alleged Highjackers May Have Trained at U.S. Bases
The Pentagon has turned over military records on five men to the FBI

By George Wehrfritz, Catharine Skipp and John Barry

Sept. 15 — U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes that were used in Tuesday's terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s.

THREE OF THE alleged hijackers listed their address on drivers licenses and car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.—known as the "Cradle of U.S. Navy Aviation," according to a high-ranking U.S. Navy source.

Another of the alleged hijackers may have been trained in strategy and tactics at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala., said another high-ranking Pentagon official. The fifth man may have received language instruction at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Both were former Saudi Air Force pilots who had come to the United States, according to the Pentagon source.

But there are slight discrepancies between the military training records and the official FBI list of suspected hijackers—either in the spellings of their names or with their birthdates. One military source said it is possible that the hijackers may have stolen the identities of the foreign nationals who studied at the U.S. installations.

The five men were on a list of 19 people identified as hijackers by the FBI on Friday. The three foreign nationals training in Pensacola appear to be Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmad Alnami, who were among the four men who allegedly commandeered United Airlines Flight 93. That flight crashed into rural Pennsylvania. The third man who may have trained in Pensacola, Ahmed Alghamdi, allegedly helped highjack United Airlines Flight 75, which hit the south tower of the World Trade Center.

Military records show that the three used as their address 10 Radford Boulevard, a base roadway on which residences for foreign-military flight trainees are located. In March 1997, Saeed Alghamdi listed the address to register a 1998 Oldsmobile; five months later he used it again to register a second vehicle, a late model Buick. Drivers licenses thought to have been issued to the other two suspects in 1996 and 1998 list the barracks as their residences.

NEWSWEEK visited the base early Saturday morning, where military police confirmed that the address housed foreign military flight trainees but denied access past front barricades. A base public-information officer and the base's duty officer both said that information about the three students had been turned over to the FBI.

It is not unusual for foreign nationals to train at U.S. military facilities. A former Navy pilot told NEWSWEEK that during his years on the base, "we always, always, always trained other countries' pilots. When I was there two decades ago, it was Iranians. The shah was in power. Whoever the country du jour is, that's whose pilots we train."

Candidates begin with "an officer's equivalent of boot camp," he said. "Then they would put them through flight training." The U.S. has a long-standing agreement with Saudi Arabia—a key ally in the 1990-91 gulf war—to train pilots for its National Guard. Candidates are trained in air combat on several Army and Navy bases. Training is paid for by Saudi Arabia.

© 2001 Newsweek, Inc.

Michael Moore

Dear Subscribers to Mike's Messages:

Many people didn't get one or more of Mike's latest emails -- in particular those delivered through the Majordomo system. I have no idea why, although some say the problem has to do with excessive Internet traffic.

PS. Three days ago, I learned from someone at ABC News that ABC had videotape -- an angle of the second plane crashing into the tower -- that showed an F-16 fighter jet trailing the plane at a distance.

I have not shared this with you as I had not personally witnessed that tape myself and did not want to contribute to all the unsubstantiated rumors. It just came across on the TV that the government admitted they did dispatch fighter jets when they knew the planes were off course.

From this point, I will pass on any censored information to those of you in the mainstream media who are being blocked from reporting.

Is it becoming more clear now that the plane that went down in Pennsylvania was shot down to prevent it from attacking its destination?

The truth is harrowing, unbearable -- but it must be told to us. A free people cannot make an informed decision if they are kept in the dark. Let's hear ALL the truth NOW.

Subject: [Mike's Message] Tears Down the West Side Highway
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 06:32:52 -0400
From: Michael Moore mikemail@cloud9.net

I recall the email I received the night before from a radio station manager in Michigan. He passed on to me a confidential memo from the radio conglomerate that owns his station: Clear Channel, the company that has bought up 1,200 stations altogether -- 247 of them in the nation's 250 largest radio markets -- and that not only dominates the Top 40 format, but controls 60% of all rock-radio listening.

The company has ordered its stations not to play a list of 150 songs during this "national emergency." The list, incredibly, includes "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Peace Train," and John Lennon's "Imagine." Rah-rah war songs, though, are OK.

And then there was this troubling instruction: "No songs by Rage Against the Machine should be aired." The entire works of a band are banned? Is this the freedom we fight for? Or does this sound like one of those repressive dictatorships we are told is our new enemy?

The song the college DJ goes ahead and plays is, "Hey, War Pig," by Katrina and the Waves, and he dedicates it to the "all the war mongers out there." Yes, there is hope, the kids are all right.


US jets were just eight minutes away from shooting down hijacked plane

Terror in America: Military Reaction

By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles

20 September 2001

America's defence establishment has disclosed that it ordered its fighter jets to intercept all the passenger aircraft hijacked in last week's attacks on New York and Washington, and that two F-15s were just eight minutes away when the second airliner crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Centre.

A timeline released yesterday by the North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) showed that two other fighter jets were 12 minutes away from the third passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 77, when it slammed into the Pentagon.

The data made clear that military intelligence was aware of the hijackings – and possibly the suicidal nature of their mission – before any of the aircraft had hit their targets. It also raised questions about who ordered the fighter jets to undertake their intercept mission and what their instructions would have been in the event that they successfully caught up with a passenger aircraft while it was still in the air.

The US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, revealed in a television interview over the weekend that President George Bush had given an order last Tuesday for the military to shoot down any civilian aircraft that disregarded instructions from air traffic control and appeared to be a threat. However, Mr Cheney and Mr Bush explained that the presidential order was given only after the first three planes had hit their targets.

The fourth hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco, was thought to be on its way to Washington but crashed in rural Pennsylvania following some kind of altercation between the hijackers and a group of passengers determined to thwart their plans.

The failure of Norad and other defence agencies to protect the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon has caused serious concern. Senior military officials have explained that their defence systems are geared primarily for threats from outside the United States' borders, not attacks launched from inside the country. At the same time, there have been questions about what military intelligence knew and how it reacted.

Last week, rumours surfaced that Flight 93 had been shot down by the military – rumours that have been squashed by the Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Norad's timeline, the military were tipped off by the Federal Aviation Authority about the first aircraft, American Airlines Flight 11, at 8.40am, eight minutes before it crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre. At 8.43am a second alert was issued concerning United Airlines Flight 175, also heading for the World Trade Centre.

At 8.46am, Norad ordered two F-15s at Otis Air National Guard Base in Falmouth, Massachussetts, to chase the planes. The jets took off at 8.52am. When the United aircraft hit the south tower 10 minutes later, the F-15s were 71 miles away, equivalent to eight minutes' flight time.

At 9.24am, Norad was told about the third aircraft, the one heading for the Pentagon, and two F-16s took off from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia six minutes later. They were 105 miles, or 12 minutes, away when the plane hit.

It was at this point that President Bush is said to have issued his shoot order. F-16s from Langley flew protective patterns over Washington. United Flight 93 crashed outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 10.03am.

The rumours that this plane was shot down are based on the fact that debris was found up to eight miles from the crash site, that one of the passengers talking on a mobile phone reported hearing an explosion and seeing a plume of white smoke in the cabin, and that eyewitnesses saw a second aircraft in the sky at the time of the crash. The FBI has said the wide debris field was probably the result of the explosion on impact.

There has been no official comment on the report of an onboard explosion, or on whether a bomb brandished by one of the hijackers was real. The aeroplane's flight recorders have been recovered, but the FBI has refused to divulge their contents.


Former head of Pakistani Intelligence Service: 'I tell you, it was a coup'

Prejudice In Pakistan

Why is Islamabad reluctant to pressure neighboring Afghanistan into turning over Osama bin Laden?


Sept. 14— When I got Maj. Gen. Hamid Gul on the telephone at his home to ask if I could interview him, his reaction was guarded at first. "What's your nationality?" he asked. "American," I said. "Are you a Jew?" When I said I wasn't, he agreed to the interview. "I'm sorry to ask you that," he added. "It's just that Jews wouldn't understand what I have to say."

INDEED THEY WOULDN'T, and nor would most people. General Gul's basic message is that Osama bin Laden is innocent, and that the attacks on New York and Washington were an Israeli-engineered attempt at a coup against the government of the United States. He rattled off the proof: "You must look inside. F-16s don't scramble in time, though they had 18 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Radar gets jammed. Transponders are turned off. A flight to Los Angeles turns to Washington and is in the air for 45 minutes, and the world's most sophisticated air defense doesn't go into action. I tell you, it was a coup [attempt], and I can't say for sure who was behind it, but it's the Israelis who are creating so much misery in the world. The Israelis don't want to see any power in Washington unless it's subservient to their interests, and President Bush has not been subservient."

If General Gul were anyone else, it would be easy to dismiss him as a crackpot. But here in military-ruled Pakistan, he remains an influential figure, even in semiretirement. And as the former head of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), its intelligence service, he had a key role in making Afghanistan what it is today. Gul is widely considered the architect of the Afghan jihad: the man who, with financial and logistical support from the CIA, engineered the fight of the mujahedin against the Soviet Union and its proxy government in Kabul in the 1980s. Now, he's a big fan of the country's ruling Taliban, even though they're fighting his former mujahedin allies.

And he's wondering why the CIA no longer comes calling to his comfortable home in an exclusive compound for top military brass in Rawalpindi. "Why don't these people talk to me?" Perhaps because they don't appreciate his view that all those Arabic names emerging as suspects are CIA inventions?

"Not your State Department, but the CIA and DOD [Department of Defense], he says. "They're the ones who count. Why don't they talk to me? They know me. They can trust me."

Putting our trust in Pakistan will take, at best, a mighty leap of faith. The country claims to be a partner in the war against terrorism, and the current military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has made such lip service ritually and repeatedly. After Tuesday's attacks, he condemned them as "brutal and horrible acts of terror" and called for the world to "unite to fight against terrorism in all its forms." But the Pakistani government has so far made no effort to bring any real pressure to bear on the Taliban to turn over bin Laden, and it has encouraged and facilitated Islamic extremist groups in the disputed territory of Kashmir, as well.

It's a truism that terrorists cannot function without the support of a state, and in the case of bin Laden he couldn't function without the support of Afghanistan—and at least the tacit support of Pakistan as well. Afghanistan is not only land-locked, but surrounded by enemies—with the exception of Pakistan. Pakistan is the only way in or out of Afghanistan for bin Laden and his supporters, and if, as is widely believed, he is commanding and financing some 3,000 Arab soldiers in the 055 Arab Brigade, he needs a line of supply and that can only go through Pakistan. (Alternative routes, such as Iran and Tajikistan, are out of the question). Even air travel depends on crossing Pakistani air space, and there's nothing to stop the Pakistanis from insisting on vetting the passenger rosters—something they have indeed done in the past.

Much is made of the fact that the Taliban has grown out of control and that Pakistan couldn't even get it to release a wanted Islamic extremist they sought, Riaz Basra. But that raises the question: did Pakistan, with its military and especially its security services infiltrated by Islamic hard-liners, really want to bring that pressure to bear? Similarly, did Pakistan really want to stop the recent destruction of the giant Buddhist statues at Bamiyan?

General Gul made his views clear. Jihad, he said, is not just a matter of realpolitik, as it is to the West in Afghanistan, but a matter of religious conviction. And when Gul visited Afghanistan in August, at the invitation of the Taliban, he didn't see the wrecked, impoverished, famine-stricken land that everyone else sees—but rather a place where women had regained Islamic inheritance rights once denied them, where Taliban police were disarming civilians, where roads were repaired, where the heroin crop had been wiped out and where peace was restored everywhere but in the north. Far from worrying, as so many do, about the Talilbanization of Pakistan, he says "the best way forward is for Pakistan to be more Islamic, which means more just, more tolerant, more honorable—those are Islam's values."

The old general thinks all this will blow over soon, and everyone will eventually forget about the hunt for bin Laden and the terrorists who hit Washington and New York. "They don't really want to find who did it," he says. And he's also certain the Americans will not make the same mistake the Russians and the British before them made, and intervene in Afghanistan. "You can easily go inside Afghanistan," he said, "but you will not come out easily. Afghans are Afghans. If they were not so obstinate, so crude, so uncouth, they would not have defeated two superpowers in 80 years' time. Why does America want to put its hand in that same hole again?"

Presumably Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who has been in a series of meetings with Gul's successor, Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad, has been having a more realistic set of exchanges—though don't bet on it. Mahmoud was on a visit to Washington at the time of the attack, and, like most other visitors, is still stuck there. "It isn't what you say," Armitage reportedly told him, "It's what you do." In the end, despite their inclinations and their raging prejudices, the Pakistanis may do what the United States wants. But they won't be terribly happy about it.


Tuesday, 18 September, 2001, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK

Who is Osama Bin Laden?

Osama Bin Laden: Has called for a holy war against the US Osama Bin Laden is both one of the CIA's most wanted men and a hero to many young people in the Arab world.

He and his associates were already being sought by the US on charges of international terrorism, including in connection with the 1998 bombing of American embassies in Africa and last year's attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.

In May this year a US jury convicted four men believed to be linked with Bin Laden of plotting the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

Bin Laden, an immensely wealthy and private man, has been granted a safe haven by Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement.

During his time in hiding, he has called for a holy war against the US, and for the killing of Americans and Jews. He is reported to be able to rally around him up to 3,000 fighters.

He is also suspected of helping to set up Islamic training centres to prepare soldiers to fight in Chechnya and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

Sponsored by US and Pakistan

His power is founded on a personal fortune earned by his family's construction business in Saudi Arabia.

Born in Saudi Arabia to a Yemeni family, Bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The Afghan jihad was backed with American dollars and had the blessing of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

He received security training from the CIA itself, according to Middle Eastern analyst Hazhir Teimourian.

While in Afghanistan, he founded the Maktab al-Khidimat (MAK), which recruited fighters from around the world and imported equipment to aid the Afghan resistance against the Soviet army.

Egyptians, Lebanese, Turks and others - numbering thousands in Bin Laden's estimate - joined their Afghan Muslim brothers in the struggle against an ideology that spurned religion.

Turned against the US

After the Soviet withdrawal, the "Arab Afghans", as Bin Laden's faction came to be called, turned their fire against the US and its allies in the Middle East.

Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia to work in the family construction business, but was expelled in 1991 because of his anti-government activities there.

He spent the next five years in Sudan until US pressure prompted the Sudanese Government to expel him, whereupon Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan.

Terrorism experts say Bin Laden has been using his millions to fund attacks against the US.

The US State Department calls him "one of the most significant sponsors of Islamic extremist activities in the world today".

According to the US, Bin Laden was involved in at least three major attacks - the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1996 killing of 19 US soldiers in Saudi Arabia, and the 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

Islamic front

BBC correspondent James Robbins says Bin Laden had "all but admitted involvement" in the Saudi Arabia killings.

Some experts say he is part of an international Islamic front, bringing together Saudi, Egyptian and other groups.

Their rallying cry is the liberation of Islam's three holiest places - Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.

Analysts say Bin Laden's organisation is very different from the groups that carried out bombings and hijackings in the past in that it is not a tightly knit group with a clear command structure but a loose coalition of groups operating across continents.

American officials believe Bin Laden's associates may operate in over forty countries - in Europe and North America, as well as in the Middle East and Asia.

The few outsiders who have met Bin Laden describe him as modest, almost shy. He rarely gives interviews.

He is believed to be in his 40s, and to have at least three wives.

Click here to watch Panorama's profile of Osama Bin Laden in full



Usama Bin Laden, 17th son, 50 brothers and sisters


FBI Links USS Cole Bombing and World Trade Center Attack

Hijacker had met with bin Laden agent connected to bombing of destroyer

The USS Cole was attacked last October in Yemen

By Mark Hosenball, Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman

Sept. 24 issue — A little more than two weeks before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the FBI began an investigation into two of the suspected hijackers after receiving information from the CIA that the men were associated with the terrorist organization of Osama bin Laden, NEWSWEEK has learned.

THE FBI PROBE was launched in late August after officials were advised that Khalid Al-Midhar—identified this week as one of the hijackers aboard the American Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon—had been captured on videotape in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, meeting with one of the suspects in the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist bombing of the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, according to law-enforcement and intelligence officials. The bombing, which killed 17 U.S. sailors, was quickly linked by U.S. officials to bin Laden's organization.

The disclosure that the FBI was actively looking for Al-Midhar and one of his associates, Salem Alhamzi—who has also been identified as one of the suspects aboard the American Airlines flight that took off from Washington's Dulles Airport and slammed into the Pentagon—represents the first hard evidence that U.S. officials were aware of possible terrorist ties of at least some of the hijackers prior to Tuesday's attacks. (For NEWSWEEK's complete coverage of the investigation into the terror bombings, see the magazine's Sept. 24 issue on newsstands Monday).

The intelligence linking Al-Midhar to a Cole bombing suspect is also the latest evidence suggesting that Tuesday's attacks may have been the work of the renegade Saudi exile bin Laden. NEWSWEEK reported last March that internal FBI documents identified one of bin Laden's most senior "security officials" as a key conspirator in the Cole attack. President Bush today called bin Laden a "prime suspect" in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks and added: "If he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken."

The FBI probe was being primarily conducted out of the New York and Los Angeles field offices of the bureau and was ongoing right up to Tuesday morning, a law-enforcement official said today. But the bureau's attempts to locate either suspect was unsuccessful, primarily because the only information the two men gave to immigration authorities about their intended destinations turned out to be "completely bogus," the official said.

According to accounts given to NEWSWEEK by U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement officials, the CIA first notified the Immigration and Naturalization Service on Aug. 21 that Al-Midhar should be placed on a terrorist "watch list" because of suspected associations with bin Laden. The prime evidence, one official said, was the videotape showing Al-Midhar at the meeting in Malaysia with one of the architects of the Cole bombing. The man has since been jailed in Yemen.

The INS checked its databases and discovered that Al-Midhar had already entered the United States. After the CIA was informed of this, it passed the names of Al-Midhar and his associate, Alhamzi, with whom he had entered the country, along to the FBI. The FBI then began looking for the two men. When the two entered the United States on business visas earlier this year, they listed as their only addresses the "Marriott hotel" in New York. Marriott operates ten hotels in New York City, and the bureau began methodically checking guest records for each of them. But no record was found. At the same time, the bureau began checking the records of a second hotel chain in the Los Angeles area after discovering that both Al-Midhar and Alhamzi had entered the country last year as well and listed that chain as their address. Again, no records were found.

Law-enforcement officials stressed that the bureau was still actively looking for the two men on Sept. 11 as news of the bombings broke. "We had only two weeks and one small piece of information that was clearly bogus about where they were supposed to be," said an official.

http://www.oocities.org/CapitolHill/5260/headpage.html P

an Am 103 and the Lockerbie Trial

In the evening of December 21st, 1988 flight Pan Am 103 exploded and pieces of the plane fell onto the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 259 people on the plane and 11 people on the ground. This air-disaster of the century has now its own homepage on the internet.

Since 1995, this is the place on the Net to find more than 70 MB of documents, pictures, sounds, films and all kinds of information on the crash of Pan Am 103 at Lockerbie from 1988 and to this day. If you cannot find what you are looking for here on these pages - it's probably not on the web at all !!! Latest news about the crash of Pan Am 103 and the Lockerbie Bombing Trial is updated every day.


The fanatical guerrillas protecting Osama bin Laden were secretly trained in remote hills of Lockerbie in Dumfries, Scotland in 1983



The reconstructed fuselage of the Flight 103

By BBC News Online's Tarik Kafala

The US and Israel

There is one more theory, more convoluted and startling than these, that brings Israel, the CIA and US Military intelligence, or the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), into the frame.

An internal investigation by Pan Am is believed to have found that the bomb planted on Flight 103 was put on the plane during a stop-over in Frankfurt, and not in Malta by the Libyan suspects, as alleged by the prosecution in the trial.

The Pan Am report is believed to have concluded that the bomb was not aimed at the killing of Americans in general, but was targeted specifically to kill a small band of DIA operatives that had uncovered a drugs ring run by a "rogue" CIA unit in Lebanon.

The CIA unit is alleged to have been selling drugs to raise funds to buy the freedom of six US hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon at the time.

The drugs-ring and the connection to Hezbollah is said to have been set up by Israeli Mossad agents.


Pan Am 103 & The Charge Against Libya:
Case Closed or More Disinformation?

by William Blum

Pan Am Flight 103? Oh yes, Christmas time 1988, those two Libyans did it, but the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Qaddafi has refused to allow them to be tried in an American or British court. He knows they'll be found guilty, and the whole world will condemn him.

He does indeed. But not necessarily because the two men are guilty. The acquittal of the Los Angeles police in the Rodney King beating was sufficient confirmation of the Libyan leader's lack of illusions about the workings of the American justice system.1 The verdict in the O.J. Simpson case may well have reinforced that view, while "The Guilford Four," the "Birmingham Six," and other infamous miscarriage-of-justice cases in Britain have reportedly imparted to Qaddafi a similar lesson about the U.K.2

Now, with December 21 having marked the tenth anniversary of the tragedy that took two hundred and seventy lives in Lockerbie, Scotland, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Libya have agreed, at least in principle, to try the two Libyan suspects in the Netherlands, before Scottish judges, and under Scottish law.

In actuality, the evidence against the Libyans, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, who worked for Libyan Arab Airlines at the Malta airport, is thin to the point of transparency. There is no forensic evidence to support the charge that they placed a suitcase containing the fatal bomb in an Air Malta plane in Malta, tagging it so it would eventually be transferred to Flight 103 in London. No witnesses, no fingerprints. Nothing to tie them to that particular brown Samsonite suitcase. No past history of terrorism.

Among the reported pieces of evidence casting suspicion on the two Libyans or on the Libyan government is an entry on December 15, 1988, in a diary kept by Fhimah, which, according to the U.S. indictment, says: "Abdel Basset is coming from Zurich with Salvu...take taggs from Air Malta." It is all in Arabic except for the misspelled "taggs." "Salvu" is not explained.3

However, the indictment further states that "Air Malta...was the handling agent for Libyan Arab Airlines" for flights to and from Malta, "and as such utilized Air Malta luggage tags on luggage destined for Libyan Arab Airline flights." It therefore seems rather unsurprising that Fhimah might have had some normal business reason to be using such tags. More importantly, if he were actually planning a murderous covert operation using the tags, why would he mention them on paper? And then leave the diary in his office where it could be taken?

Another piece of evidence presented by U.S./U.K. investigators, out of which they derived much mileage, is that the type of timing device used in the bomb was sold only to Libya. It was later revealed that, in fact, the investigators were told in 1990 by the Swiss manufacturer that it had also sold the same timers to East German intelligence, which had close contact with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and numerous other "terrorist" groups.4


The investigators' failure to disclose this information can best be described by the word "coverup." And in any event, there is no reason to assume that Libya could not have given one of their timers to another party.

Malta became a focus for investigators, even before serious Libyan involvement was presumed, when tests indicated that the suitcase which contained the bomb also contained several items of clothing manufactured in Malta and supposedly sold in a particular clothing shop on the island. The present U.S./ U.K. version of events would have the world believe that al-Megrahi has been identified by the shopkeeper, Tony Gauci, as the purchaser of the clothing. But there is no such evidence. Al-Megrahi has never been presented to Gauci in person, and there has been no report that Gauci has even been shown his photo. Moreover, the Maltese shopkeeper has already made several erroneous "positive" identifications, including one of a CIA asset.5

Before the indictment of the two Libyans, the press reported police findings that the clothing had been purchased on November 23.6 But the indictment of al-Megrahi states that he made the purchase on December 7. Can this be because the investigators can document his being in Malta on that date but cannot do so for November 23?

The identification of al-Megrahi is even more questionable than the above indicates.7 The fact that the investigative authorities do not make clear exactly how al-Megrahi was identified by Gauci is indicative of the weakness of their case.

Furthermore, after the world was assured that these items of clothing were sold only on Malta, it was learned that at least one of the items was actually "sold at dozens of outlets throughout Europe, and it was impossible to trace the purchaser."8

Once Malta became a focus due to the clothing, it appears that the next "logical" conclusion for the investigators was that the suitcase containing the bomb and the Maltese clothing was put together there; and thus the suitcase was somehow put aboard Air Malta flight KM180 to Frankfurt without an accompanying passenger, on the first leg in its fateful journey. News reports presenting the latter as a certainty have alternated with reports like the following: The Lockerbie investigating team "discovered [that] the list of luggage checked into the hold against passengers' names on Air Malta KM180 to Frankfurt bore no resemblance to what the passengers had checked in. The Air Malta list was a shambles, one officer said."9

Air Malta itself made an exhaustive study of this matter and has categorically denied that there was any unaccompanied baggage on KM180 or that any of the passengers transferred to the Frankfurt to London flight.10 And a report sent by the FBI from Germany to Washington in October 1989 reveals profound doubts about this thesis. The report concludes: "There remains the possibility that no luggage was transferred from Air Malta 180 to Pan Am 103."11

In January 1995, more than three years after the indictment of the two Libyans, the FBI was still of the same mind. A confidential Bureau report stated: "There is no concrete indication that any piece of luggage was unloaded from Air Malta 180, sent through the luggage routing system at Frankfurt airport, and then loaded on board Pan Am 103." The report added that the baggage records are "misleading" and that the bomb suitcase could have come from another flight or was simply a "rogue bag inserted into the system."12

To accept the Malta scenario is to believe that the suitcase itself led the following charmed life: 1) loaded aboard the Air Malta flight to Frankfurt without an accompanying passenger; 2) transferred in Frankfurt to the Pan Am 103A flight to London without an accompanying passenger; 3) transferred in London to the Pan Am 103 flight to New York without an accompanying passenger.

To the magic bullet of the JFK assassination, can we now add the magic suitcase?

Under international airline rules, baggage unaccompanied by passengers should not be allowed onto aircraft without being searched or x-rayed. Actual practice is, of course, more lax, but how could serious professional terrorists count on this laxness occurring three times in a row for the same suitcase? Regular airline passengers would not make such an assumption. Moreover, since the perpetrators in all likelihood wanted to time the explosion to occur over the ocean, adding Malta as an extra step could only add much more uncertainty.

In any event, the Pan Am x-ray operator at Frankfurt on December 21 testified in court that he had been told to look for a radio in such baggage, but found none.13

A passenger could conceivably have accompanied the suitcase on the first, and/or second leg, but this would carry with it the sizeable risk of subsequent identification.

We must also ask why Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, writing in her 1993 memoirs about the U.S. bombing of Libya in 1986, with which Britain had cooperated, stated: "But the much vaunted Libyan counter-attack did not and could not take place. Qaddafi had not been destroyed but he had been humbled. There was a marked decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism in succeeding years."14

Finally, it should be pointed out that even if the two Libyans were involved, there is no reason to assume they knew that the suitcase contained a bomb, and not drugs, or some other contraband.

Alternative Theory

There is, moreover, an alternative scenario, laying the blame on Iran and Syria, which is much better documented and makes a lot more sense, logistically, politically, and technically. Indeed, this was the Original Official Version, delivered with Olympian rectitude by the U.S. government– guaranteed, sworn to, Scout's honor, case closed– until the Gulf War came along and the support of Iran and Syria was needed, and Washington was anxious as well to achieve the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by groups close to Iran. The distinctive scurrying sound of backtracking then became audible in the corridors of the White House. Suddenly–or so it seemed–in October 1990, there was a New Official Version: It was Libya, the Arab state least supportive of the U.S. buildup to the Gulf War and the sanctions imposed against Iraq, that was behind the bombing after all, declared Washington.

The two Libyan airline employees were formally indicted in the U.S. and Scotland on November 14, 1991. "This was a Libyan government operation from start to finish," declared the State Department spokesman.15 "The Syrians took a bum rap on this," said President Bush.16 Within the next 20 days, the remaining four American hostages were released along with the most prominent British hostage, Terry Waite.

The Original Official Version accused the PFLP-GC, a 1968 breakaway from a component of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of making the bomb and somehow placing it aboard the flight in Frankfurt. The PFLP-GC was led by Ahmed Jabril, one of the world's leading terrorists, and was headquartered in, financed by, and closely supported by, Syria. The bombing was done at the behest of Iran as revenge for the U.S. shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988, which claimed 290 lives.

The support for this scenario was, and remains, impressive, as this sample indicates:

In April 1989, the FBI–in response to criticism that it was bungling the investigation–leaked to CBS the news that it had tentatively identified the person who unwittingly carried the bomb aboard. His name was Khalid Jaafar, a 21-year-old Lebanese-American. The report said that the bomb had been planted in Jaafar's suitcase by a member of the PFLP-GC, whose name was not revealed.17

In May, the State Department stated that the CIA was "confident" of the Iran/Syria/ PFLP-GC account of events.18

On September 20, The Times of London reported that "Security officials from Britain, the United States, and West Germany are 'totally satisfied' that it was the PFLP-GC" behind the crime.

In December, Scottish investigators announced that they had "hard evidence" of the involvement of the PFLP-GC in the bombing.19

A National Security Agency (NSA) electronic intercept disclosed that Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, Iranian interior minister, had paid Palestinian terrorists ten million dollars to gain revenge for the downed Iranian airplane.20

Israeli intelligence also intercepted a communication between Mohtashemi and the Iranian Embassy in Beirut "indicating that Iran paid for the Lockerbie bombing."21

Even after the Libyans had been indicted, Israeli officials declared that their intelligence analysts remained convinced that the PFLP-GC bore primary responsibility for the bombing.22

In 1992, Abu Sharif, a political adviser to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, stated that the PLO had compiled a secret report which concluded that the bombing of Pan Am 103 was the work of a "Middle Eastern country" other than Libya.23

In February 1995, a former Scottish Office minister, Alan Stewart, wrote to the British Foreign Secretary and the Lord Advocate, questioning the reliability of the evidence which had led to the accusations against the two Libyans. This move, wrote The Guardian, reflected the concern of the Scottish legal profession, reaching into the Crown Office, the equivalent of the office of the Attorney General, that the bombing may not have been the work of Libya, but of Syrians, Palestinians, and Iranians.24

Key Question

A key question in the PFLP-GC version has always been: How did the bomb get aboard the plane in Frankfurt, or at some other point? One widely disseminated explanation was in a report, completed during the summer of 1989 and leaked in the fall, which had been prepared by a New York investigating firm called Interfor. Headed by a former Israeli intelligence agent, Interfor–whose other clients included Fortune 500 companies, the FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service25–was hired by the law firm representing Pan Am's insurance carrier.

The Interfor report said that in the mid-1980s, a drug and arms smuggling operation was set up in various European cities, with Frankfurt airport as the site of one of the drug routes. The Frankfurt operation was run by Manzer Al-Kassar, a Syrian, the same man from whom Col. Oliver North's shadowy network purchased large quantities of arms for the contras. At the airport, according to the report, a courier would board a flight with checked luggage containing innocent items; after the luggage had passed all security checks, one or another accomplice Turkish baggage handler for Pan Am would substitute an identical suitcase containing contraband; the passenger then picked up this suitcase upon arrival at the destination.

The only courier named by Interfor is Khalid Jaafar, although this may well have derived from the many news reports already citing Jaafar as a prime suspect.

The report spins a web much too complex and lengthy to go into here. The short version is that the CIA in Germany discovered the drug operation at the airport and learned also that Al-Kassar had the contacts to gain the release of American hostages in Lebanon. He had already done the same for French hostages. Thus it was that the CIA and the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA, Federal Criminal Office) allowed the drug operation to continue in hopes of effecting the release of American hostages.

According to the report, this same smuggling ring and its method of switching suitcases at the Frankfurt airport were used to smuggle the fatal bomb aboard Flight 103, under the eyes of the CIA and BKA. Because of several warnings, these same officials had reason to suspect that a bomb might be aboard Flight 103, possibly in the drug suitcase. But the CIA, for various reasons, including not wanting to risk the hostage-release operation, told the BKA to do nothing.

Interfor gave three of the baggage handlers polygraphs, and two of them were judged as being deceitful when denying any involvement in baggage switching. However, neither the U.S., U.K. or German investigators showed any interest in the results, or in questioning the baggage handlers. Instead, the polygrapher, James Keefe, was hauled before a Washington grand jury, and, as he puts it, "they were bent on destroying my credibility–not theirs [the baggage handlers]." To Interfor, this attempt at intimidation was the strongest evidence of a coverup.26

Critics claimed that the report had been inspired by Pan Am's interest in proving that it was impossible for normal airline security to have prevented the loading of the bomb, thus removing the basis for accusing the airline of negligence.

The Interfor report was likely the principal reason Pan Am's attorneys subpoenaed the FBI, CIA, DEA, State Department, National Security Council, and NSA, as well as, reportedly, the Defense Intelligence Agency and FAA, to turn over all documents relating to the crash of 103 or to a drug operation preceding the crash. The government moved to quash the subpoenas on grounds of "national security," and refused to turn over a single document in open court, although it gave some to a judge to view in private.

The judge later commented that he was "troubled about certain parts" of what he had read, that he did not "know quite what to do because I think some of the material may be significant."27

Drugs Revelation

A year later, on October 30, 1990, NBC News reported that "Pan Am flights from Frankfurt, including 103, had been used a number of times by the DEA as part of its undercover operation to fly informants and suitcases of heroin into Detroit as part of a sting operation to catch dealers in Detroit."

The TV network reported that the DEA was looking into the possibility that a young man who lived in Michigan and regularly visited the Middle East may have unwittingly carried the bomb aboard Flight 103. His name was Khalid Jaafar. "Unidentified law enforcement sources" were cited as saying that Jaafar had been a DEA informant and was involved in a drug-sting operation based out of Cyprus. The DEA was investigating whether the PFLP-GC had tricked Jaafar into carrying a suitcase containing the bomb instead of (or in addition to?) the drugs he usually carried.

The report added that "Informants would put [suit]cases of heroin on the Pan Am flights apparently without the usual security checks...through an arrangement between the DEA and German authorities."28

These revelations were enough to inspire a congressional hearing, held in December 1990, entitled, "Drug Enforcement Administration's Alleged Connection to the Pan Am Flight 103 Disaster."

The chairman of the House committee, Rep. Robert Wise (Dem.-W. Va.), began the hearing by lamenting the fact that the DEA and the Department of Justice had not made any of their field agents who were most knowledgeable about Flight 103 available to testify; that they had not provided requested written information, including the results of the DEA's investigation into the air disaster; and that "the FBI to this date has been totally uncooperative."

The two DEA officials who did testify admitted that the agency had, in fact, run "controlled drug deliveries" through Frankfurt airport with the cooperation of German authorities, using U.S. airlines, but insisted that no such operation had been conducted in December 1988.

The officials denied that the DEA had had any "association with Mr. Jaafar in any way, shape, or form." However, to questions concerning Jaafar's background, family, and his frequent trips to Lebanon, they asked to respond only in closed session. They made the same request in response to several other questions. (NBC News had reported on October 30 that the DEA had told law enforcement officers in Detroit not to talk to the media about Jaafar.)

The hearing ended after only one day, even though Wise had promised a "full-scale" investigation and indicated during the hearing that there would be more to come. What was said in the closed sessions remains closed.29

One of the DEA officials who testified, Stephen Greene, had himself had a reservation on Flight 103, but he canceled because of the warnings. He has described standing on the Heathrow tarmac, watching the doomed plane take off.30

There have been many reports of heroin being found in the field around the crash, from "traces" to "a substantial quantity" found in a suitcase.31 Two days after the NBC report, however, the New York Times quoted a "federal official" saying that "no hard drugs were aboard the aircraft."

The DEA of course knew of its sting operation in Frankfurt two years earlier when the tragedy occurred, but they said nothing, not even to the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, which held hearings in the first months of 1990 in response to the Flight 103 bombing.

The Whistleblowers

Lester Coleman, author and radio talk-show host, who spent several years with the Defense Intelligence Agency and the DEA, beginning in the mid-1980s, has revealed that when he was working with the DEA station in Cyprus, he met Khalid Jaafar several times, that Jaafar was working for the DEA, and that the young man had run two or three controlled deliveries of heroin into Detroit.32

Because Coleman did not keep what he knew to himself, but repeated his story in an affidavit for Pan Am's action against the U.S. government, and then co-authored a highly revealing book, he was hounded for several years, across continents, and severely punished by various institutions of that same government, including being imprisoned on phony charges to damage his credibility. His tale reads like something out of Les Miserables with the U.S. government as Inspector Javert.

At one point, a federal judge warned Coleman: "If you attack the government on the radio, I will take that very, very seriously."33

Several other individuals who have raised questions about a U.S. government role in the Pan Am 103 disaster have also paid a heavy price, including Juval Aviv, the head of Interfor. His office suffered a series of break-ins; the FBI visited his clients; his polygrapher was harassed, as mentioned; and a contrived commercial fraud charge was brought against him. Even though Aviv eventually was cleared in court, it was a long, expensive, and painful ordeal.34

There was also Allan Francovich, who made a documentary film, The Maltese Double Cross, which presents Jaafar as an unwitting bomb carrier with ties to the DEA and the CIA. Showings of the film in Britain were canceled under threat of lawsuits, and venues burglarized or attacked with arson. When Channel 4 agreed to show the film, the Scottish Crown Office and the U.S. Embassy in London sent press packs to the media, labeling the film "blatant propaganda," and attacking some of the film's interviewees, including Coleman and Aviv.35 Additionally, Francovich said he had learned that five CIA operatives had been sent to London and Cyprus to discredit the film while it was being made, that his office phones were tapped, and staff cars sabotaged, and that one of his researchers narrowly escaped an attempt to force his vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck.36

Lockerbie investigators went so far as to ask the FBI to investigate the film. The Bureau later issued a highly derogatory opinion of it.37

The film's detractors made much of the fact that the film was initially funded jointly by a U.K. company (two-thirds) and a Libyan government investment concern (one-third). Francovich said that he was fully aware of this and had taken pains to negotiate a guarantee of independence from any interference.

On April 17, 1997, Allan Francovich suddenly died of a heart attack at age 56, upon arrival at Houston Airport.38 His film has had almost no showings in the United States.39

Abu Talb

The DEA sting operation and Interfor's baggage-handler hypothesis both predicate the bomb suitcase being placed aboard the plane without going through the normal security checks. In either case, it eliminates the need for the questionable triple-flight unaccompanied-baggage scenario. It does not eliminate the matter of the clothing purchased in Malta, but we do not need the Libyans for that.

Mohammed Abu Talb fits that and perhaps other pieces of the puzzle. The Palestinian had close ties to PFLP-GC cells in Germany which were making Toshiba radio-cassette bombs, similar, if not identical, to what was used to bring down Flight 103. In October 1988, two months before Lockerbie, the German police staged several raids against these cells, uncovering all but one of their five known bombs. In May 1989, Talb was arrested in Sweden, where he lived, and was later convicted of taking part in several bombings of the offices of American airline companies in Scandinavia. In his Swedish apartment, police found large quantities of clothing made in Malta.

Police investigation of Talb disclosed that during October 1988 he had been to Cyprus and Malta, at least once in the company of Hafez Dalkamoni, the leader of the German PFLP-GC, who was arrested in the raid. The men met with group members who lived in Malta. Talb was also in Malta on November 23, which was originally reported as the date of the clothing purchase before the indictment of the Libyans, as mentioned earlier.

After his arrest, Talb told investigators that between October and December 1988 he had retrieved and passed to another person a bomb that had been hidden in a building used by the PFLP-GC in Germany. Officials declined to identify the person to whom Talb said he had passed the bomb. A month later, however, he recanted his confession.

Additionally, Talb was reported to possess a brown Samsonite suitcase, and to have circled December 21 in a diary seized in his Swedish flat. After the raid upon his flat, his wife was allegedly heard to telephone Palestinian friends and say: "Get rid of the clothes."

In December 1989, Scottish police, in papers filed with Swedish legal officials, made Talb the only publicly identified suspect "in the murder or participation in the murder of 270 people."40 Since that time, the world has scarcely heard of Abu Talb, who was sentenced to life in prison in Sweden, but never charged with anything to do with Lockerbie.

In Allan Francovich's film, members of Khalid Jaafar's family–which long had ties to the drug trade in Lebanon's notorious Bekaa Valley–are interviewed. In either halting English or translated Arabic, or paraphrased by the film's narrator, they drop many bits of information, but they are difficult to put together into a coherent whole. Among the bits: Khalid had told his parents that he had met Talb in Sweden and had been given Maltese clothing; someone had given Khalid a tape recorder, or put one into his bag; he was told to go to Germany to friends of Ahmed Jabril who would help him earn some money; he arrived in Germany with two kilos of heroin; "He didn't know it was a bomb. They gave him the drugs to take to Germany. He didn't know. Who wants to die?"

It cannot be stated with certainty what happened at Frankfurt airport on that fateful day, if, as seems most likely, that is the place where the bomb was placed into the system. Either Jaafar, the DEA courier, arrived with his suitcase of heroin and bomb and was escorted through security by the proper authorities, or this was a day he was a courier for Manzer al-Kassar, and the baggage handlers did their usual switch.

International Law

Contrary to what American officials and the media have stated on numerous occasions, the 1992 U.N. resolutions do not demand that Libya turn the two men over to the United States or Scotland. No specific venue is mentioned.41

In 1992, Qaddafi declared that if the U.S. could demand that al-Megrahi and Fhimah be turned over for trial, he could ask for the surrender of the American airmen who bombed two Libyan cities, killing 37 people, including his daughter.

The United States refuses to accede to the request of Costa Rica for the extradition of John Hull, an American who was a major player in Iran-Contra, and who is wanted in Costa Rica for drug trafficking and other crimes. Similar requests from Cuba over the years for the terrorists harbored by the U.S. in Washington and Miami have also been ignored.

It is surprising that Qaddafi has agreed to subject the two Libyans to a Scottish judge and Scottish law, without a jury. Even though it would take place in the Netherlands, there is no reason to assume that the Scottish judges would be any less biased than in Scotland. To return home after acquitting the men could not be a pleasant thing to face.

At the same time, it is unlikely that any U.S. or British official really believes that Libya played a significant role, if any. And for that reason, they probably do not actually want to see the trial of the two men take place.42 Not only would the paucity of their evidence be exposed for all the world to see, but they might be obliged to reveal information they'd rather not see the light of day, perhaps touching upon the role played by one or more U.S. intelligence agencies.

William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), portions of which can be read at http://members.aol.com/bblum6/American_ holocaust.htm.

1. The Times (London), May 11, 1992, p. 11.

2. "God Bless America–A Personal View," paper written by Dr. Jim Swire, spokesman for the bereaved U.K. families of Pan Am 103 victims, Oct. 20, 1995. Copy in author's possession. Swire met with Qaddafi in Libya.

3. Grand Jury indictment, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1991.

4. Der Spiegel (Germany), Apr. 18, 1994, pp. 92-7; Sunday Times (London), Dec. 19, 1993, p. 2; The Times (London), Dec. 20, 1993, p. 11; Los Angeles Times, Dec. 20, 1993.

5. Mark Perry, Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA (New York: Wm. Morrow, 1992), pp. 342-47. See also Time, Apr. 27, 1992, p. 27, for another example of the unreliability of the shopkeeper's identification.

6. See, e.g., Sunday Times, Nov. 12, 1989, p. 3.

7. See The Independent (London), Jan. 24, 1995, p. 3, for more on this matter.

8. Sunday Times, Dec. 17, 1989, p. 14. Malta is, in fact, a major manufacturer of clothing, especially denims, sold throughout the world.

9. The Independent, Oct. 30, 1989, p. 2.

10. The Guardian (London) July 29, 1995, p. 26.

11. Time, Apr. 27, 1992, p. 28.

12. The Independent, Jan. 30, 1995, p. 3. The newspaper reported it was a five-page official briefing paper that had been leaked to them. It is possible this is the same 1989 report referred to in note 11. Time magazine also said it was a five-page document.

13. Donald Goddard with Lester Coleman, Trail of the Octopus: Behind the Lockerbie Disaster (London: Penguin Books, 1994), p. 420.

14. Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (New York: Harper-Collins, 1993), pp. 448-49.

15. New York Times, Nov. 15, 1991, p. 1.

16. Los Angeles Times, Nov. 15, 1991, p. 25.

17. New York Times, Apr. 13, 1989, p. 9; David Johnston, Lockerbie: The Tragedy of Flight 103 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989), pp. 157, 161-62. Johnston says investigators believed that the person who put the bomb into Jaafar's bag was Abdul Dalkamoni, the brother of Hafez Dalkamoni, whom we shall meet later.

18. Washington Post, May 11, 1989, p. 1.

19. New York Times, Dec. 16, 1989, p. 3.

20. Department of the Air Force–Air Intelligence Agency intelligence summary report, March 4, 1991, released under an FOIA request made by lawyers for Pan Am. The intercept appears to have taken place in July 1988, shortly after the downing of the Iranian plane. Reports of the intercept appeared in the press long before the above document was released; see, e.g., New York Times, Sept. 27, 1989, p. 11; Oct. 31, 1989, p. 8; Sunday Times, Oct. 29, 1989, p. 4. But it was not until January 1995 that the exact text became widely publicized and caused a storm in the U.K., although ignored in the U.S.

21. The Times, Sept. 20, 1989, p. 1.

22. New York Times, Nov. 21, 1991, p. 14. It should be borne in mind, however, that Israel may have been influenced because of its hostility toward the PFLP-GC.

23. Reuters dispatch, datelined Tunis, Feb. 26, 1992.

24. The Guardian, Feb. 24, 1995, p. 7.

25. National Law Journal (New York), Sept. 25, 1995, p. A11, from papers filed in a New York court case.

26. Barron's (New York), Dec. 17, 1990, p. 22.

27. Ibid., p. 18.

28. Goddard/Coleman, op. cit., n. 13, p. 205; Washington Times, Oct. 31, 1990, p. 3; The Times, Nov. 1, 1990, p. 3.

29. Government Information, Justice, and Agriculture Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, Dec. 18, 1990, passim.

30. The film, The Maltese Double Cross (see below).

31. Sunday Times, Apr. 16, 1989 (traces); Johnston, op. cit., n. 17, p. 79 (substantial). The Maltese Double Cross mentions other reports of drugs found by a Scottish policeman and by a mountain rescue man.

32. Goddard/Coleman, pp. 40-43.

33. Goddard/Coleman, passim, and conversations with Coleman by the author in 1998. Coleman was eventually obliged to plead guilty to a contrived perjury charge in order to be released from detention while seriously ill.

34. Article by John Ashton, The Mail on Sunday (London), June 9, 1996; Wall Street Journal, Dec. 18, 1995, p. 1, and Dec. 18, 1996, p. B2.

35. Ashton, op. cit., n. 34, and Financial Times (London), May 12, 1995, p. 8.

36. The Guardian, Apr. 23, 1994, p. 5.

37. Sunday Times, May 7, 1995.

38. Francovich's former wife told the author that he had not had any symptoms of a heart problem before. However, the author also spoke to Dr. Cyril Wecht, of JFK "conspiracy" fame, who performed an autopsy on Francovich. Wecht stated that he found no reason to suspect foul play.

39. It was shown once in San Francisco, and once, privately, in the offices of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, for a number of African ambassadors.

40. Material on Abu Talb from the following sources, all dates 1989: New York Times, Oct. 31, Dec. 1, Dec. 24; Sunday Times, Nov. 12; The Times, Dec. 21.

41. U.N. Resolution 731, Jan. 21, 1992, and Resolution 748, Mar. 31, 1992.

42. See The Guardian, June 8, 1995, p. 1, "Clinton ends fight to try Lockerbie suspects"; and The Times, Sept. 20, 1997, p. 9, "Britain gives up fight over Lockerbie.

(c) 2000 Covert Action Publications, Inc.

Police Mentality: A Military Perspective


by John Lee

Another personal incident can shed light upon the skillful role our government plays in the manipulation of the American citizenry. As mentioned previously, my job in the Air Force was aircraft armament and weapons systems specialist, i.e., nuclear-bomb loader.

In fact, that is exactly what I was doing when a president of the United States went on live international television and declared that, "Russia has been outlawed forever, the bombing begins in five minutes." (It was just a joke, and he didn't realize the cameras were turned on. Somehow, we avoided another "Cuban Missile Crisis" and nuclear world war. Isn't it a crime to yell "fire" in a crowded theater?) Seeing as how our nukes were targeted at Western Europe around that time, due to the White House illegally and secretly selling off NATO weapons stockpiles to Iran and Iraq, that is a doubly chilling lack of intelligence. (The Alzheimers had apparently been in effect for over a decade by then, according to the president's eldest son, who wrote the then-governor of California did not even recognize him at his high school graduation.). One morning in 1986, as I ate my scrambled eggs for breakfast, I watched live T.V. news broadcasts from Libya, showing a dead woman's brains splattered on the ground, as a result of a surprise American air raid (I can never look at scrambled eggs in the same way). A few minutes later, I went to work on the returning jets; our squadron's break room displayed a huge mural of a grinning skull atop an atomic mushroom cloud. When we had loaded the bombs the day before, we had assumed it was just another exercise, not the real thing. The Libyan bombing by F-111 aircraft based from England, was (fortunately) the only NATO-based U.S. air combat mission during the Cold War.

Colonel Robert Venkus, vice wing commander who helped lead the raid, alleges in his book, Raid On Qaddafi, that the U.S. federal leadership had apparantly attempted to assassinate the leader of Libya by targeting one of his homes. In the pursuit of media attention, the White House had modified the battle plan, tripling the number of aircraft, against the advice of military commanders.

This political override of professional military advice led to the international fiasco of one F-111 being shot down and 2 dead aircrew, due to sending in extra aircraft after the target had been obscured by smoke and anti-aircraft defenses had been alerted to the raid. 20,000 American soldiers had worked together as a professional team to attempt to apparantly assassinate a political head of state, and kill 37 innocent noncombatant civilians, including a daughter of Libya's leader.

Despite the bold propaganda attempt to allegedly assassinate a world leader, and despite ingenuine denials by the Bush Sr. White House that it was not a murder attempt, at least one Pentagon insider alleges it was exactly the opposite. Dr. Stoney Merriman, a Master Gunnery Sargeant, military journalist and Public Affairs Chief for the Marine Corps (Division of Public Affairs) at the Pentagon, and a former newspaper editor in Carthage, Tennessee (Vice President Al Gore's hometown), said US special forces preceeded the air invasion. Their mission as accomplished was to meet Colonel Quaddafi and escort him away from the bombing zone at his home. If any other dignitaries were present they were to be protected as well. This was to prevent "an international incident" should a group of international leaders be assassinated at the same time.

As Merriman put it, "You wouldn't believe what really goes on." Though retired from the Marine Corps in 1983, the master propagandist still worked as a contract employee on occasion, and alleged he was utilized during and after the invasion of Libya, presumably due to his expertise in working the news media machine. Presumably a first strike bombing that only kills a world leader's daughter, dozens of innocent civilians and 2 US pilots is not an international incident (though to be fair, this part of the fiasco was not planned by the White House or military commanders).

Shortly after his admission of history, Merriman died of a brain tumor. As his wife described it, he sufferred a significant personality change prior to his early demise. Before dying, he completed his book on Prohibition in Tennessee, a biography of a retired bootlegger titled, Midnight Moonshine Rondeveus, Secrets of Luke Alexander Denny's Moonshine Running Adventures (1930s to 1960s), which was based on a series of newspaper articles he published in the Carthage Courier in 1986. Since Prohibition did not end in Tennessee with the national repeal of the Vorstead Act in 1933, the fun-loving gangster serviced thirsty Tennesseans until the 1960s, and occasionally thereafter as financial needs arose. (M. Stone Publishing, 209 Pine Orchard Rd. Smithville, Tenn. 37166, copyright 1990.)

Subject: [Mike's Message] Tears Down the West Side Highway
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 06:32:52 -0400
From: Michael Moore mikemail@cloud9.net

I recall the email I received the night before from a radio station manager in Michigan. He passed on to me a confidential memo from the radio conglomerate that owns his station: Clear Channel, the company that has bought up 1,200 stations altogether -- 247 of them in the nation's 250 largest radio markets -- and that not only dominates the Top 40 format, but controls 60% of all rock-radio listening.

The company has ordered its stations not to play a list of 150 songs during this "national emergency." The list, incredibly, includes "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Peace Train," and John Lennon's "Imagine." Rah-rah war songs, though, are OK.

And then there was this troubling instruction: "No songs by Rage Against the Machine should be aired." The entire works of a band are banned? Is this the freedom we fight for? Or does this sound like one of those repressive dictatorships we are told is our new enemy?

The song the college DJ goes ahead and plays is, "Hey, War Pig," by Katrina and the Waves, and he dedicates it to the "all the war mongers out there." Yes, there is hope, the kids are all right.

Published on Saturday, October 13, 2001 by the Associated Press

Campus Free Speech?
Debating Terrorism Can Be Costly

by Arlene Levinson

Around the country, college faculty and staff who express opinions on the terrorist attacks and U.S. bombardment of Afghanistan are facing rebuke in public and private, suspension and investigation. At least two professors were asked to leave their schools as a security measure.

Colleges campuses take pride in nurturing debate but that tradition is being tested in the wake of Sept. 11. People across the political spectrum are feeling the chill.

Some examples:

–UCLA library assistant Jonnie Hargis was suspended without pay for five days after he criticized U.S. support for Israel in an e-mail sent on the school's computers. He was responding to a co-worker's mass e-mailing that praised America. Hargis gave The Associated Press copies of both e-mail messages.

The day the 53-year-old Hargis was penalized, the staff was also told library policy forbids using its e-mail to send unsolicited political or patriotic messages.

Hargis has worked at the library 22 years. He said the policy was news to him, and that he was the only one punished. Library officials declined to talk about the case, but furnished a copy of the policy.

–Political science professor Ken Hearlson, 57, was placed on indefinite, paid leave from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif., after four Muslim students complained he singled them out as "Nazis," "terrorists" and "murderers" in a heated class discussion of the attacks, a school spokesman said. Hearlson may face discipline at the community college, which called in an outside investigator.

–University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian was placed on indefinite, paid leave for his safety and that of the Tampa campus, a school spokesman said. The university acted after receiving a death threat and angry calls following Al-Arian's appearance on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" where he was asked about his ties to two suspected terrorists.

Al-Arian said he only knew the men as academics, and that their later links to terrorism "shocked" him. The computer engineer was also founder of a now-defunct think tank on Middle East issues the FBI investigated. Al-Arian was never arrested or charged.

–The day of the attacks, University of New Mexico history professor Richard Berthold told a freshmen-level course on Western civilization: "Anyone who can blow up the Pentagon has my vote."

Soon after his comment became public, violent threats followed and the 55-year-old Berthold agreed to leave the campus for a week for his safety, a spokeswoman said. He has apologized, saying, "I was a jerk. But the First Amendment protects my right to be a jerk." An internal investigation is under way.

Such incidents highlight an erosion of free academic expression that existed before Sept. 11, said Thor Halvorssen, head of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The Philadelphia-based organization finds free legal help for faculty who feel their rights were trampled. Hearlson and Berthold are receiving the group's assistance.

"Now people can see it clearly," Halvorssen said. "No matter the politics, free speech and vigorous debate is verboten at college campuses."

The very vulnerability of free speech in these highly charged times, however, prompted extra restraint at Pennsylvania State University, an administrator said.

Math professor Stephen Simpson's personal Web page, on the school's computers, links to an essay by another writer asserting that the U.S. military must destroy the governments of Afghanistan and Iran, "regardless of the suffering and death this will bring to the many innocents caught in the line of fire."

When some students complained, vice provost Robert Secor passed on their comments to the 56-year-old professor, but refrained from asking that the controversial statement be removed.

"There's no action, there's no reprimand," Secor said. "We have to be very careful about protecting the rights of free speech, and we do."

Simpson's only response, he said in an interview, was that he wants the school to clarify where he has a right to air his views.

Many campuses now face quandaries like Penn State's, Secor said.

"These are real conflicts," he said, between "what universities feel is civilized behavior – and free speech that they feel we must protect. I think we still haven't sorted it out yet."

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press


Media Beat, July 27, 1994

30-Year Anniversary: Tonkin Gulf Lie Launched Vietnam War

By Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon

Thirty years ago, it all seemed very clear.

"American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression", announced a Washington Post headline on Aug. 5, 1964.

That same day, the front page of the New York Times reported: "President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and 'certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam' after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin."

But there was no "second attack" by North Vietnam -- no "renewed attacks against American destroyers." By reporting official claims as absolute truths, American journalism opened the floodgates for the bloody Vietnam War.

A pattern took hold: continuous government lies passed on by pliant mass media...leading to over 50,000 American deaths and millions of Vietnamese casualties.

The official story was that North Vietnamese torpedo boats launched an "unprovoked attack" against a U.S. destroyer on "routine patrol" in the Tonkin Gulf on Aug. 2 -- and that North Vietnamese PT boats followed up with a "deliberate attack" on a pair of U.S. ships two days later.

The truth was very different.

Rather than being on a routine patrol Aug. 2, the U.S. destroyer Maddox was actually engaged in aggressive intelligence-gathering maneuvers -- in sync with coordinated attacks on North Vietnam by the South Vietnamese navy and the Laotian air force.

"The day before, two attacks on North Vietnam...had taken place," writes scholar Daniel C. Hallin. Those assaults were "part of a campaign of increasing military pressure on the North that the United States had been pursuing since early 1964."

On the night of Aug. 4, the Pentagon proclaimed that a second attack by North Vietnamese PT boats had occurred earlier that day in the Tonkin Gulf -- a report cited by President Johnson as he went on national TV that evening to announce a momentous escalation in the war: air strikes against North Vietnam.

But Johnson ordered U.S. bombers to "retaliate" for a North Vietnamese torpedo attack that never happened.

Prior to the U.S. air strikes, top officials in Washington had reason to doubt that any Aug. 4 attack by North Vietnam had occurred. Cables from the U.S. task force commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, referred to "freak weather effects," "almost total darkness" and an "overeager sonarman" who "was hearing ship's own propeller beat."

One of the Navy pilots flying overhead that night was squadron commander James Stockdale, who gained fame later as a POW and then Ross Perot's vice presidential candidate. "I had the best seat in the house to watch that event," recalled Stockdale a few years ago, "and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets -- there were no PT boats there.... There was nothing there but black water and American fire power."

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson commented: "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there."

But Johnson's deceitful speech of Aug. 4, 1964, won accolades from editorial writers. The president, proclaimed the New York Times, "went to the American people last night with the somber facts." The Los Angeles Times urged Americans to "face the fact that the Communists, by their attack on American vessels in international waters, have themselves escalated the hostilities."

An exhaustive new book, The War Within: America's Battle Over Vietnam, begins with a dramatic account of the Tonkin Gulf incidents. In an interview, author Tom Wells told us that American media "described the air strikes that Johnson launched in response as merely `tit for tat' -- when in reality they reflected plans the administration had already drawn up for gradually increasing its overt military pressure against the North."

Why such inaccurate news coverage? Wells points to the media's "almost exclusive reliance on U.S. government officials as sources of information" -- as well as "reluctance to question official pronouncements on 'national security issues.'"

Daniel Hallin's classic book The "Uncensored War" observes that journalists had "a great deal of information available which contradicted the official account [of Tonkin Gulf events]; it simply wasn't used. The day before the first incident, Hanoi had protested the attacks on its territory by Laotian aircraft and South Vietnamese gunboats."

What's more, "It was generally known...that `covert' operations against North Vietnam, carried out by South Vietnamese forces with U.S. support and direction, had been going on for some time."

In the absence of independent journalism, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution -- the closest thing there ever was to a declaration of war against North Vietnam -- sailed through Congress on Aug. 7. (Two courageous senators, Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska, provided the only "no" votes.) The resolution authorized the president "to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression."

The rest is tragic history.

Nearly three decades later, during the Gulf War, columnist Sydney Schanberg warned journalists not to forget "our unquestioning chorus of agreeability when Lyndon Johnson bamboozled us with his fabrication of the Gulf of Tonkin incident."

Schanberg blamed not only the press but also "the apparent amnesia of the wider American public."

And he added: "We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth."

Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon are syndicated columnists and the authors of Adventures in Medialand: Behind the News, Beyond the Pundits (Common Courage Press).



Published on Thursday, September 13, 2001

Bin Laden Ties to Harvard


With federal authorities investigating Osama bin Laden, Harvard has come under fire as a recipient of bin Laden family money.

Sheik Bakr Mohammed bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's brother, made two gifts to the University in 1993 and 1994 to fund fellowships for advanced study in Islamic culture. One such fellowship, at the Harvard Law School, provides funds for "research on the history of legal institutions in Islamic states past and present, particularly insofar as they uphold or apply the Islamic shari'a." Another, at the Harvard Design School, provides money for "advanced studies in Islamic architecture...and appropriate building technologies as they pertain to Islamic built environments."

Yesterday, University officials quickly distanced themselves from Osama bin Laden, saying the gifts are "in no way connected" to the terrorist.

"The bin Laden family is very large, with dozens of siblings and half siblings who bear the bin Laden name," read a statement released by the University. Harvard's ties to bin Laden money have come into question before. In 1998, after Osama bin Laden was accused of the embassy bombings in Africa, then-University spokespeson Alex S. Huppé said, "It's clear the Saudi bin Laden money is being put to good use here."

Copyright © 2001, The Harvard Crimson Inc.



'Well-Trained' Pilots Left Little to Chance


Pilots and air traffic control specialists agree that the terrorists who crashed hijacked aircraft into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had to be experienced pilots who had received some training in the Boeing 757/767.

Simulators for the 757/767 are accessible at 27 locations outside the U.S., and 11 more within the country.

Even at gunpoint, it is inconceivable that an airline pilot would intentionally turn his aircraft into a kamikaze attack, they reason, so a hijacker had to be at the controls. The military precision of the whole operation, starting with the launch of four aircraft from three airports within a 20-min. period, indicates how little was left to chance.

WITHOUT MAKING AN ACCUSATION, Air Force Gen. (ret.) Charles Horner pointed out that Iraq and Iran have a base of experienced pilots and a training capability. Horner, who led the air forces during the 1991-92 Persian Gulf war, said Iraqi pilots flew captured Kuwaiti Boeing-made airliners back to Baghdad even though no one was aware that any had training on the aircraft.

"The link to the state [that supported the attacks] is how the suicide bombers were trained," a defense official said. "[Osama bin Laden] doesn't have that capability. Moreover, they had to fly extemporized routes, turn off identifying transponders and fly below radar detection level, at least in the Pentagon attack, the defense official said. Flying very low--at a few hundred feet--and very fast with a large aircraft presents another set of problems for a pilot, he said. "You have to know how to trim out the aircraft to manage the forces," the defense official said. "As you go faster, the aircraft handles differently. It's not easy [to control]."

WITH THE SUCCESS of the mission dependent on both timing and hitting the targets, the feeling is that even seasoned pilots would want some familiarization training in a Boeing 757/767 as insurance. While flying the actual aircraft might be nice, most think a little time in a full-motion simulator would suffice.

One senior Boeing 747 captain with 30 years' experience said the pilots would need technical, systems knowledge (navigation, for example), more than than stick-and-rudder skills. Although the weather was clear on the day of the attack, the two aircraft that struck the World Trade Center flew for about 50 min. and would have needed some navigation help to reach the towers. The on-board system would make that easy, if a pilot were able to operate the flight management computer. He could also have used the VHF radio to coordinate attack timing with the other three aircraft.

For basic cockpit familiarization, a terrorist could easily gain access to one of the many 757/767 aircraft parked on ramps overnight around the world. This would allow checkout of controls and equipment such as the transponders. The terrorists reportedly turned the transponders off to confuse air traffic controllers by removing the altitude readout. The location of key circuit breakers could also be identified, such as the one for disabling passenger telephones. Still, to gain a "feel" for flying the aircraft, access to some kind of simulator would be invaluable.

Since the Boeing 757/767s have been operational for more than 20 years, full-motion flight simulators for the identical cockpits are available at many locations around the globe. An official for one such company speculated that a terrorist seeking training for a U.S. attack probably would not train in this country, but in one where he could blend in more easily. Nevertheless, the FBI descended on Huffman Aviation, a flight school in Venice, Fla., after learning that two of the suspected terrorists--one on the manifest of one of the hijacked aircraft and the other, a relative--trained there last year.

EUROPEAN CARRIERS commonly train pilots of many different nationalities for small airlines. They also accept payment in cash--a common practice for simulator trainees and one that would fit well with a terrorist's desire to keep a low profile.

It is also common to rent "dry" simulator time, meaning the trainees provide their own instructor, which would allow the senior terrorist pilot to tailor the training for his assistants outside of prying eyes--particularly important if he wanted to practice flying around the New York skyline. Those graphics are commonly included in the software for simulator visual systems.

An experienced multiengine jet pilot might only need a few hours in a 757/767 simulator to be able to fly these limited missions, since no takeoffs, landings or mastery of emergency procedures are required. Expensive full-motion simulator training would likely be augmented with personal computer practice in which a pilot can gain confidence setting navigation waypoints, tuning radios and using the automatic flight control system.


09/22/2001 - Updated 06:21 AM ET

Transmissions of doomed aircraft offer some clues

By Alan Levin, USA TODAY

The terrorists, who apparently steered the jets into their targets, displayed what appear to have been excellent piloting skills.

They knew enough about jets to turn off the transponder, a radio beacon that gives radar monitoring an aircraft its precise position, speed and altitude.

In fact, controllers in the FAA's air traffic control facility in Leesburg, Va., assumed that American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, was flying below radar.


No evidence of bin Laden windfall

Frankfurt stock market says its data showed no trading irregularities


Sept. 17 — Responding to news reports, a spokesman for the German stock exchange Sunday said an investigation had found no evidence that Osama bin Laden or others profited from advance knowledge about Tuesday's terror attacks through stock trades.

THE COMMENTS BY the spokesman for the Deutsche Bourse, the Frankfurt stock market, came after NBC News and newspapers in the United States and Europe reported that investigators were checking stock movements of three big European reinsurance companies to see if there were evidence that bin Laden reaped a financial windfall.

"The market supervision of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange has looked into the trading data of some stocks but didn't find any irregularities on the basis of this data," said the spokesman, who spoke with Reuters on condition of anonymity.

He said the investigators looked at share trading on Sept. 11, the day of the attack — which occurred at about 3 p.m. Frankfurt time. He declined to say which stocks were checked or whether other days were investigated.

NBC News reported Saturday that German officials had asked the FBI and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to look into whether bin Laden's associates may have "sold short" stock in a Munich company that holds secondary insurance on the World Trade Center.

A report in the New York Times indicated that investigators were also checking whether airline stocks may have been sold short.

Short selling can produce huge profits when a stock plummets because of unanticipated bad news — unanticipated, that is, by all except those involved in a conspiracy to cause that bad news.

In a short sale, an investor would borrow a certain number of shares from a broker, immediately sell them, and then once the stock price had fallen, buy shares to return to the broker.

Those who reaped profits from the European short sales may have deposited their profits in American banks, giving U.S. law enforcement agencies jurisdiction.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra reported Saturday that the FBI is looking into possible short selling of the stocks of reinsurance companies in the four trading days before the terrorist attacks on the United States on Tuesday. Reinsurance firms assume risk by providing backup insurance for insurance companies.

The stocks of the three reinsurance companies — AXA in France, Munich Re in Germany and Swiss Re in Switzerland — dropped 13 percent to 15 percent in the week before the attack.

Analysts suggested at the time that the drops were anomalous — unexplained — since the reinsurance business was healthy and premium payments were on the way up.

In fact, before the terrorist attacks, the Financial Times on Tuesday published a positive report on the industry.

Munich Re spokesman Rainer Kueppers said Sunday the legal department of his company knew nothing about an investigation by German authorities into suspicious trades in its shares.

At Swiss Re, spokesman Johann Thinnhof declined to comment.

In France, AXA officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

NBC's Robert Windrem and Andrea Mitchell and Reuters contributed to this story.


Some Light Shed on Saudi Suspects

By Caryle Murphy and David B. Ottaway
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 25, 2001; Page A12

As many as a dozen of the 19 suicide hijackers who staged America's worst terrorist attack were young Saudis dedicated to fighting for Islamic causes, the majority of them with roots in a remote, southwestern region of their country that has been a center of religious dissent, according to a U.S. government official and experts on Saudi Arabia.

Six of the men -- mostly in their twenties -- left their homes in the past two years, telling their families they were going to fight with Muslim rebels in the breakaway Russian province of Chechnya, according to Saudi newspaper reports.

Many of the hijackers appear to have come from the isolated, poverty-stricken provinces of Asir and Baha, a stronghold of traditional beliefs and distrust of the central Saudi government. In several instances, family members reported that they had grown increasingly pious before leaving home.

Since the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a good deal has become known about how the hijackers blended into American society, studied at flight schools and moved around the United States. In a few cases, the trail has led back to Germany and Egypt. But only now is information beginning to emerge about the origins, mind-sets and families of most of the 19 men.

The Saudi government, which is extremely sensitive about the participation of its citizens in the plot, has not granted visas to reporters for major U.S. publications to trace the hijackers' roots. Saudi officials have repeatedly pointed out that some of the suicide hijackers adopted the names of real people who are still alive and had no involvement in the attack. But U.S. investigators believe they have positively identified 15 of the 19 hijackers.

Saudi newspapers also have used photographs released by U.S. authorities to find the families of alleged hijackers. A U.S. official familiar with the overseas investigation confirmed much of the information that has been in the Saudi papers.

Some of the stunned families said they did not believe their sons were capable of taking thousands of innocent lives, although one father told a Saudi newspaper that his son had psychological problems, and the parents of another suspected hijacker said he had asked for forgiveness and prayers when he last called home.

Among the alleged hijackers whose origins seem to be clear are:

• Fayez Ahmad Al Shehri, first identified by the FBI as Fayez Ahmed, who was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. He left his home in the Asir region more than a year ago, his father, Muhammad Al Shehri, a school principal, told the Arab News, an English language newspaper in Jidda. The younger Al Shehri told his family that he was going to join the International Islamic Relief Organization, and his last contact with his family was a phone call earlier this year.

• Ahmad Abdullah Alnami, 23, also from Asir, who was on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. The Arab News reported that a photograph of a youth by that name published locally was identical to one provided by the FBI.

Alnami has been missing since December, and his family did not know his whereabouts, according to Al Watan, another Saudi newspaper. It reported that Alnami, who became very religious about 2 1/2 years ago, had been the prayer leader at a mosque in Asir's capital of Abha and had studied Islamic law at King Khaled University there.

Al Watan quoted Alnami's father as saying that his son never returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca 15 months ago and had last called his family four months ago.

• Wael and Waleed M. Alshehri, brothers who were aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the plane that hit the World Trade Center's North Tower. They came from the small town of Khamis Mushayt outside Abha, where the Saudi Air Force has its main base for protecting southwest Saudi Arabia.

The brothers' pictures matched those released by the FBI, the Arab News reported. Their father, Mohammed Ali Asgley Al Shehri, a businessman, told Al Watan that his son Wael, 25, had psychological problems and had gone to Medina in December with his brother Waleed, 21, to seek help from religious officials for this problem. He said that they did not return from the trip and that he had not heard from them since.

The brothers came from a family of 11 boys and one girl, the paper said. Wael had a degree in physical education from the Abha Teachers College, where his younger brother had also studied, according to their father.

The paper cited sources close to the family as saying that both men had become very religious before disappearing and had spoken of joining Muslim fighters in Chechnya. The sources said the brothers spoke limited English.

Previous reports that Waleed Alshehri was the son of a Saudi diplomat have been denied.

• Hani Hasan Hanjour, believed to have been the pilot who flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. He came from the city of Taif and left his home for the United Arab Emirates last December, Arab News reported. His family has been accepting condolences, believing that their son died in the attack, the paper said.

But the family disputed suggestions Hanjour was a hijacker. "We don't know what happened to our son on the plane," the family told Al Watan. "He had contacted us eight hours before the incident to inquire about our health. He was very normal."

• Hamza Saleh Alghamdi, 20, who was aboard Flight 175. He is from Baljurshi in Baha Province, the same town as two other Saudis believed to have been among the hijackers: Ahmed Ibrahim Alghamdi, who also was on Flight 175, and Ahmad Ibrahim Alhaznawi, who was on Flight 93 and whose father is a prayer leader at a Baljurshi mosque.

Al Watan said a young man with the name Hamza Saleh Alghamdi left the country 18 months ago for Chechnya. A graduate of a religious high school, he phoned home several times from abroad but did not tell his family where he was, the Arab News said. In a call four months ago, he asked his parents to forgive him and pray for him, the paper reported.

Still, the father of Alghamdi told Al Watan that the picture provided by the FBI was not that of his son. "It has no resemblance to him at all," he said.

Arab and U.S. analysts have been struck by the number of suspects with connections to the mountainous provinces of Asir and Baha.

Asir was the last region of the kingdom conquered by the ruling Saud family and did not come under central government authority until the early 1930s. It remained a wild backwater of unruly tribes for the next 50 years. It is just north of Yemen, where the alleged terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has his family roots.

The oil boom of the 1970s that brought much wealth to the Saudi kingdom almost completely bypassed Asir. Many of its impoverished inhabitants turned to the government for jobs, seeking employment in the military and security services where they hold mostly lower and middle-ranking jobs, according to Saudi sources.

For the past 30 years, Asir has had the same governor, Prince Khalid al Faisal, who has been credited with bringing it a measure of modernity and prosperity. In the past few years, he has sought to use its natural beauty and cool climate to attract Arab tourists. But many inhabitants are resentful that the oil-based welfare state has not provided for them.

The region also has been a reservoir of Islamic militants eager to enroll themselves in jihad, or holy war. One reason may be that many members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, another fundamentalist group, have served as teachers there, according to Charles W. Freeman, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia who now heads the Middle East Policy Council.

One of the kingdom's leading dissident clerics, Safar al Hawali, comes from Abha. He has scorned the U.S. military presence in the kingdom in his anti-government preachings. No evidence has yet surfaced that any of the hijackers was a follower of Hawali. But most of them probably were aware of his militant views, which gained widespread publicity after the United States sent hundreds of thousands of troops to Saudi Arabia following Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Staff writer Hanna Rosin contributed to this report.

© 2001 The Washington Post Company


All flights stopped nationwide

Posted: September 11, 2001

(CNN) -- All airports in the United States have been closed by order of the Federal Aviation Administration -- the first time in U.S. history that air traffic nationwide has been halted.

All international flights heading for the U.S. have been diverted to Canada, the FAA said.

The orders came after two separate airliners crashed into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center Tuesday morning, collapsing them in clouds of smoke in what U.S. officials called "an apparent terrorist act."

Another aircraft crashed at the Pentagon and part of that building collapsed.

And in another incident, an airliner crashed near Somerset, Pennsylvania, and police said initial reports indicated no survivors.

American Airlines said it had lost two planes in "tragic incidents" and United Airlines said one of its planes was the crash in Pennsylvania and another had also crashed, but would not say where.

United Airlines has grounded all of its flights worldwide.

A 9:45 a.m. EDT message from the FAA hotline in Atlanta, Georgia, said that all domestic flights en route to their destinations will be able to continue. The pilot and airline involved will make the decision on where they will land.

"This was a measure we took because we thought it was prudent," FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said.


By Marc Fisher and Don Phillips
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 12, 2001; Page A01

There was not even the grace of instant death. Instead, there was time to call from the sky over Virginia, fingers pumping cell phones, terrified passengers talking to loved ones for one final time.

Herded to the back of the plane by hijackers armed with knives and box-cutters, the passengers and crew members of American Airlines Flight 77 -- including the wife of Solicitor General Theodore Olson, a Senate staffer, three D.C. schoolchildren and three teachers on an educational field trip and a University Park family of four headed to Australia for a two-month adventure -- were ordered to call relatives to say they were about to die.

About an hour after takeoff from Dulles International Airport yesterday morning, Flight 77, a Boeing 757 headed for Los Angeles with 64 people aboard, became a massive missile aimed at the White House. The target would change suddenly, but the symbolism was equally devastating.

By about 9:40 a.m., when thediving plane carved out a massive chunk of the Pentagon, its passengers had experienced unspeakable terror, hundreds died, and the nation's greatest symbol of security lay shattered, thick plumes of smoke camouflaging a gaping hole in its heart.

Barbara K. Olson, the former federal prosecutor who became a prominent TV commentator during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, called her husband twice in the final minutes. Her last words to him were, "What do I tell the pilot to do?"

"She called from the plane while it was being hijacked," Theodore Olson said. "I wish it wasn't so, but it is."

The two conversations each lasted about a minute, said Tim O'Brien, a CNN reporter and friend of the Olsons. In the first call, Barbara Olson told her husband, "Our plane is being hijacked." She described how hijackers forced passengers and the flight's pilot to the rear of the aircraft. She said nothing about the number of hijackers or their nationality.

Olson's first call was cut off, and her husband immediately called the Justice Department's command center, where he was told officials knew nothing about the Flight 77 hijacking.

Moments later, his wife called again. And again, she wanted to know, "What should I tell the pilot?"

"She was composed, as composed as you can be under the circumstances," O'Brien said.

But her second call was cut off, too.

"Incidentally, she wasn't even supposed to be on this flight," O'Brien added on CNN. "She was booked on a flight yesterday, but today is Ted's birthday, so she wanted to be here this morning to have breakfast with him before she left."

On the ground, air traffic controllers watching Flight 77's progress westward suddenly lost touch with the plane, which disappeared from radar screens andcut off radio contact.

Someone on board Flight 77 had flipped off the transponder, the device that sends a plane's airline identification, flight number, speed and altitude to controllers' radar screens.

But soon after losing contact, Dulles controllers spotted an unidentified aircraft speeding directly toward the restricted airspace that surrounds the White House. Federal aviation sources said Dulles controllers noticed the fast-moving craft east-southeast of Dulles and called controllers at Reagan National Airport to report that an unauthorized plane was coming their way.

Controllers had time to warn the White House that the jet was aimed directly at the president's mansion and was traveling at a gut-wrenching speed -- full throttle.

But just as the plane seemed to be on a suicide mission into the White House, the unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it reminded observers of a fighter jet maneuver. The plane circled 270 degrees to the right to approach the Pentagon from the west, whereupon Flight 77 fell below radar level, vanishing from controllers' screens, the sources said.

Less than an hour after two other jets demolished the World Trade Center in Manhattan, Flight 77 carved a hole in the nation's defense headquarters, a hole five stories high and 200 feet wide.

Aviation sources said the plane was flown with extraordinary skill, making it highly likely that a trained pilot was at the helm, possibly one of the hijackers. Someone even knew how to turn off the transponder, a move that is considerably less than obvious.

Details about who was on Flight 77, when it took off and what happened on board were tightly held by airline, airport and security officials last night. All said that the FBI had asked them not to divulge details.

"Because of the heightened security due to the nature of today's events," American Airlines said in a statement, the airline "is working closely with U.S. government authorities and will not release more information at this time."

But some passengers on the flight were identified by friends and family. Flight attendant Michelle Heidenberger had been trained to handle a hijacking. She knew not to let anyone in the cockpit. She knew to tell the hijacker that she didn't have a key and would have to call the pilots.

None of her training mattered. "I'm just so heartbroken," said Ruby Ramer, Heidenberger's neighbor in Chevy Chase, where she lived with her husband, Tom, a pilot for US Airways, and their 11-year-old son and college-age daughter. "I just can't believe she won't be one of our neighbors."

Flight 77 was to be the first leg of a long, happy journey for Leslie A. Whittington and Charles S. Falkenberg, both 45, and their two young girls. The University Park family was on its way to Australia, where Whittington, a Georgetown University professor of public policy, was to work as a visiting fellow at Australian National University. Her husband, a software engineer and nature buff, was looking forward to exploring and encountering the wildlife -- kangaroos, koala bears, scorpions and snakes -- said James Gekas, a neighbor who hosted a farewell dinner for the family Sunday night.

Three District schoolchildren and three teachers were on Flight 77, headed to Santa Barbara, Calif., for an ecology conference sponsored by National Geographic. School board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz said the students and educators, whose names were not released, were from elementary and middle schools.

In the hazy hours that followed the attack, it was unclear which of four hijacked planes ended up where. But witnesses soon identified the aircraft that smashed into the Pentagon as an American flight, and then as Flight 77, which was unusually light on passengers this day.

On a Metro train to National Airport, Allen Cleveland looked out the window to see a jet heading down toward the Pentagon. "I thought, 'There's no landing strip on that side of the subway tracks,' " he said. Before he could process that thought, he saw "a huge mushroom cloud. The lady next to me was in absolute hysterics."

At the Dulles Airport Marriott, which American Airlines used last night as a bereavement center, families of passengers began arriving about 11 a.m.

Paul Sharp, a hotel manager, said three or four families, totaling about 10 people, were meeting with grief counselors and clergy in private suites.

In the lobby, dozens of anxious travelers whose flights had been diverted watched news programs solemnly.

Kathy Foley, 49, a United Airlines flight attendant from Chicago, was stranded in the hotel lobby after mechanical problems delayed her 9 a.m. flight. "Everything was perfect at 8 o'clock this morning," she said. "Nobody had any idea anything was happening. This is not what our country was about. As horrible as it is to say it, I want revenge."


Sun focus of national media attention

From staff reports

The Texas City Sun

Published September 28, 2001 12:26 AM CDT

The Texas City Sun has become the focus of national media attention in the wake of a controversial opinion column written by a staff member last week and the publisher's subsequent front page apology and rebuttal to the piece.

Former Sun City Editor Tom Gutting lashed out at President Bush in his Saturday opinion column, which was deemed inappropriate by the newspaper's management and a huge portion of the Sun's readership.

The column was published without the knowledge of editorial supervisors.

Sun Editor and Publisher Les Daughtry Jr. wrote a front page apology and a rebuttal on Page 4A in Sunday's edition of the Texas City Sun.

Daughtry was later interviewed by the widely circulated news industry trade magazine, Editor & Publisher, which published an article on the situation on its website and upcoming issue.

The issue is also being featured as a debate topic by the media think tank, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

Since those appeared, the Sun and Daughtry have been inundated by press inquiries about the matter from organizations across the nation, including The New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News and more.

"I was cooperative and responded as best I could to their questions," Daughtry said.

"I did not ask nor did they volunteer information as to when of if they might publish.

"I have seen the Editor & Publisher report on their website," he added.

"Mr. (Joel) Davis does not attribute any incorrect quotes to me, which is all I ask for.

"I have no problem with the report."

The Sun has also received scores of emails from citizens and journalists across the country.

"The responses to those who I've already spoken with is the same I'll be providing to others that may follow," Daughtry said. "That response is, I have already published the apology and opinion column and have nothing further to add or delete from either.

"I stand by my decision to publish both pieces and stand by comments made in both.

"As a part of policy I did not and will not discuss any decisions pertaining to personnel."

Gutting's employment with the Sun was terminated on Tuesday.

Texas City Sun staff members can be reached at 945-3441 or by email at newsroom@texascitysun.com

Microscopic critiques of USA's thrice-convicted Nazi/CIA/Mafia Dictator who deserted from the military draft got these professionals instantly fired or terrorized by treasonous CIA infiltraitors at infotainment and university corporations. This author gets bullet holes, arson, death threats and attempts, phone calls from chief of police and Skull & Bones mayor, failed/bogus criminal prosecutions, and car theft


<BGSOUND SRC="audio_censored_nightline3.wav" LOOP="">


Thursday October 28, 1993 Page A1

Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast

By Ralph Blumenthal

Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.

The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad Salem, should be used, the informer said.

The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings that Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as being in a far better position than previously known to foil the February 26th bombing of New York City's tallest towers.

The explosion left six people dead, more than a thousand people injured, and damages in excess of half-a-billion dollars. Four men are now on trial in Manhattan Federal Court [on charges of involvement] in that attack.

Mr. Salem, a 43-year-old former Egyptian Army officer, was used by the Government [of the United States] to penetrate a circle of Muslim extremists who are now charged in two bombing cases: the World Trade Center attack, and a foiled plot to destroy the United Nations, the Hudson River tunnels, and other New York City landmarks. He is the crucial witness in the second bombing case, but his work for the Government was erratic, and for months before the World Trade Center blast, he was feuding with th F.B.I.

Supervisor `Messed It Up'

After the bombing, he resumed his undercover work. In an undated transcript of a conversation from that period, Mr. Salem recounts a talk he had had earlier with an agent about an unnamed F.B.I. supervisor who, he said,

"came and messed it up."

"He requested to meet me in the hotel,"

Mr. Salem says of the supervisor.

"He requested to make me to testify, and if he didn't push for that, we'll be going building the bomb with a phony powder, and grabbing the people who was involved in it. But since you, we didn't do that."

The transcript quotes Mr. Salem as saying that he wanted to complain to F.B.I. Headquarters in Washington about the Bureau's failure to stop the bombing, but was dissuaded by an agent identified as John Anticev.

Mr. Salem said Mr. Anticev had told him,

"He said, I don't think that the New York people would like the things out of the New York Office to go to Washington, D.C."

Another agent, identified as Nancy Floyd, does not dispute Mr. Salem's account, but rather, appears to agree with it, saying of the `New York people':

"Well, of course not, because they don't want to get their butts chewed."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Prior Knowledge

The New American
by William F. Jasper

Powerful evidence exists that federal agents were not surprised by OKC blast One of the most persistent and vexing questions to arise in the immediate aftermath of the April 19th terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City concerns the matter of prior knowledge: Did agents and agencies of the federal government know about the bomb plot ahead of time? If so, could not this mass murder have been prevented?

Questions along these lines have been shouted down by politicians and media mavens as the perfervid rantings of dangerous militia partisans, "hate mongers," and "conspiracy kooks." Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, himself a former FBI official and Treasury Department functionary under James Baker, has been especially quick to lead the chorus in denouncing all those who raise legitimate questions about troubling discrepancies in the federal investigation. The shock and anger Americans have felt over this abominable crime have been shamelessly directed at principled critics of Clintonista socialism and new world order internationalism. Such critics have been cast as "voices of hate" and "right-wing, anti-government forces."

Lies and Cover-up

In the ensuing months since the bombing, however, the unanswered questions have festered and multiplied as new evidence and witnesses have piled on top of old.

These include:

A conspicuous absence of ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) personnel at the Murrah Building on April 19th.

An official ATF explanation of the whereabouts of office personnel on April 19th which contains a demonstrable lie.

Admissions by ATF personnel at the bomb scene that they had been tipped off in advance.

Conflicting stories by ATF officials concerning whether or not they were expecting "trouble" on April 19th.

Admissions by sources connected to the Oklahoma City FBI office that they had been tipped off prior to the explosion.

Admissions by personnel of the Oklahoma City Fire Department that they had been notified by the FBI of an impending bomb attack.

Witness accounts of police bomb squads outside the Murrah Building an hour before the blast.

A U.S. Marshals Service memorandum warning of an impending major bomb threat.

An informant for the U.S. Department of Justice who provided very accurate and specific advance warning of an impending bomb attack.

A federal judge in Oklahoma City who told of heightened security concerns immediately before the bombing.

A federal grand juror who has charged federal prosecutors with covering up the identities of additional suspects in the crime.

Accusations by a highly decorated scientist at the FBI's vaunted crime lab that some of his colleagues -- including a major expert in the Oklahoma bombing -- tampered with evidence, fabricated evidence, and committed perjury concerning evidence in major cases.

Taped conversations between an informant in the New York Trade Center bombing and an FBI agent indicating that the FBI may have had specific prior knowledge about that plot and may have been in a position to foil that deadly blast but for some reason failed to do so.

A Can of Worms

The "prior knowledge" can of worms spilled before the public eye on national television when bombing victim Edye Smith zeroed in on troubling rumors of an ATF tip-off. Smith, who lost her two young sons, Chase and Colton, in the explosion, told CNN reporter Gary Tuchman that she was troubled by unanswered questions, such as: "Where was ATF? All 15 or 17 of their employees survived, and they lived -- they're on the ninth floor. They were the target of this explosion, and where were they? Did they have a warning sign? And did they think it might be a bad day to go into the office? They had an option to not go to work that day, and my kids didn't get that option. Nobody else in the building got that option. And we're just asking questions, we're not making accusations. We just want to know, and they're telling us, 'Keep your mouth shut, don't talk about it.'"

The ATF responded immediately, claiming, "Rumors that employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) had evacuated the Murrah Building prior to the April 19th bombing are entirely false." Lester D. Martz, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas ATF office, stated in a May 23rd press release: "I strongly suspect that these malicious rumors are fueled by the same sources as the negative rhetoric that has been recently circulating about law enforcement officers. The facts are that ATF's employees in Oklahoma City were carrying out their assigned duties as they would any work day, and several of them were injured in the explosion."

Moreover, claimed Martz, "Several ATF employees were actually heroes on April 19th." His press release then went on to describe this ill-devised apocryphal tale of heroism:

ATF's Resident Agent in Charge Alex McCauley was with a DEA agent in the elevator when the bomb exploded. The elevator dropped in a free fall from the eighth floor to the third. The two men were trapped in the smoke-filled elevator .... On their fourth attempt, they managed to break through the doors and escape from the elevator. The agents made their way to the stairwell and brought with them 10 or 15 people they found along the way ....

The McCauley elevator story was repeated again the following day on CNN by ATF director John Magaw. But the story was refuted by those who were on the scene and were in a position to know the facts. The free-falling elevator yarn was first subjected to media scrutiny by J.D. Cash of the McCurtain Daily Gazette in Idabel, Oklahoma. Cash interviewed members of the elevator inspection and repair crew who were at the site minutes after the explosion. Repairman Duane James told the Gazette that McCauley's story was "pure fantasy." James said that he and other members of his crew checked and double-checked each elevator that terrible morning to make certain that no one was trapped inside. J.D. Cash reported in the Gazette:

Of the six passenger elevators, five were stopped between floors, their doors blown inward, prompting the safety mechanisms to freeze them in place ....

"Once that occurs, the doors cannot be opened -- period," James said. "What I and some others did was kick in the ceilings on each of those elevators and determined that no one was in them."

He said only one passenger elevator could later be repaired and operated manually, "and that one was sitting at floor level on three or four...." Certainly it had not "free fallen," he said, nor had any of the others.

According to James, the elevators were equipped with safety switches to protect against excessive speed and acceleration. "None of those switches were tripped on any of the elevators in that building," James told Cash. "I, along with other men with our company, checked the equipment several times. Absolutely no elevators dropped that morning." In fact, said James, it is impossible for modern elevators like those in the Murrah Building to drop "unless you cut the cables, because they are counter-balanced to protect occupants from just that sort of danger."

Oscar Johnson, the president of Midwestern Elevator, the company which employs Duane James, agrees that the falling elevator scenario may make for good drama in a Schwartzenegger action feature, but it is not something that happens in real life. "None of the elevators fell," Johnson told THE NEW AMERICAN. "All of the elevators' cables were intact." Moreover, Johnson pointed out that, even if a free-fall of five stories had occurred, those inside would have suffered severe injuries.

Johnson said that on the morning of April 19th two of his technicians were about to begin an inspection of the Murrah Building's elevators when the bomb went off. The men had met with a General Services Administration inspector at the federal courthouse across the street from the south side of the Murrah Building at nine o'clock. All three men were walking through the tunnel under 4th Street to the Murrah Building when the explosion occurred. Within just a couple minutes of the blast they were at the scene of the devastation, checking elevators, assisting survivors, searching for trapped victims, and removing bodies.

Another of Johnson's technicians was sitting in his pickup truck in front of the YMCA, across the street from the north side of the Murrah Building, just a few dozen yards from the Ryder truck. He was preparing for an inspection of the YMCA elevator when the bomb detonated. Although chunks of concrete and metal shot through the cab of his vehicle, shattering the windows and windshield, he was unharmed and was soon helping with the rescue effort.

"Within about eight to ten minutes, we had about ten people at the scene," Johnson told THE NEW AMERICAN.

Getting the elevators operational again was a top priority for the rescue effort. On Thursday, April 20th, he and his crew had one passenger elevator running, and the following day had the freight elevator operating. Johnson, who had serviced the Murrah Building elevators for many years and was intimately familiar with the building, insists that the ATF account of Agent McCauley's experience is patently false.

ATF Tip-off

In the May 24th interview with ATF Director John Magaw, CNN's senior Washington correspondent Charles Bierbauer asked, "Was there some warning?" Magaw replied that "there was not any warning. We do have 15 employees there. Five of them were in the building, and three or four of those were injured. One was trapped on the ninth floor and escaped later, one was in the hospital for about two weeks. And she [Edye Smith] is right, we did not have any fatalities."

According to Magaw, most of the ATF agents were either in court or "out working on the street." "And so," said the ATF director, "you will never find any time, unless you're having some office meeting of some kind, where all 15 or 17 people will be in that particular office."

However, according to others who worked in the building and who prefer to remain unnamed, the normal contingent of ATF personnel at 9:00 a.m. in the Murrah Building was considerably more than the five who were supposedly there on April 19th.

"Was there a bomb threat to ATF in Oklahoma City the day before?" asked Bierbauer. "Were people told not to come into the offices...?" "No," answered Magaw, "there was ... no bomb threat specifically to ATF or any threat that I'm aware of. And they were not told to not come in.

This is -- this is false information...." Perhaps. Or perhaps not. On September 12th, television station KFOR Channel 4, Oklahoma City's NBC affiliate, broadcast interviews with three witnesses who attested that ATF agents admitted to them to being tipped in advance of the bombing. The witnesses, whose identities were shielded in "shadow" interviews, arrived at the bomb scene shortly after the blast. The first witness works just a few blocks from the Murrah Building and rushed to the explosion site to find his wife who worked inside the Murrah Building. Spotting an ATF agent, he asked him to contact other ATF agents to see if his wife had been found. The witness told KFOR's Brad Edwards that the ATF agent "started getting a little bit nervous. He tried reaching someone on a two-way radio, [but] couldn't get anybody. I told him I wanted an answer right then. He said they were in debriefing, that none of the agents had been in there. They'd been tipped by their pagers not to come in to work that day. Plain as day out of his mouth. Those were the words he said."

The second witness interviewed by KFOR was the first witness' boss, and had accompanied him to the Murrah Building. He was standing with the first witness when the ATF agent made the comments, and he confirmed to KFOR the accuracy of the first witness's testimony. The third witness was a female rescue worker. When she asked an ATF agent on the scene if any of his fellow agents were still in the building, she was told that the agents "weren't here" at the office that morning.

In his May 24th interview, CNN correspondent Bierbauer asked the ATF's Magaw about the relationship of the April 19th bombing to the second anniversary of the Branch Davidian holocaust, an issue over which there has been some marked inconsistencies. "Was there any sense that you needed to be more alert because of that?" Bierbauer queried.

"Clearly there was an interest all over the country to do that," replied Magaw. "And I was very concerned about that. We did some things here in headquarters and in all of our field offices throughout the country to try to be more observant. But ... we didn't anticipate something like this. We were thinking about, you know, demonstrations and things like that that might cause problems." (Emphasis added.)

However, at the very time Magaw was claiming on national television that his agency in Washington and all his field offices throughout the country had been on heightened alert for the Waco anniversary, ATF representatives in Oklahoma City were telling the families of bombing victims an entirely different story. On the morning of May 24th, ATF agents Luke Franey and Chris Cuyler visited Edye Smith at the home of her parents, Glenn and Kathy Wilburn. Glenn Wilburn recalls:

They told us that they didn't have the slightest hint that April 19th had any significance, that they weren't anticipating anything, and that they had treated it like any other day -- nothing special. I said, "You mean to tell me that you're not aware that April 19th is a real red letter day for many militia radicals... You mean you weren't aware of this and didn't anticipate any activity?" They assured me they hadn't known about the significance of the date and they hadn't had any clue that anything might happen. They basically had me convinced and had allayed my concerns about the rumors of their prior knowledge.

But a couple hours later, when I turned on CNN, I saw John Magaw saying exactly the opposite, that ATF had been on a "Waco alert" nationwide. Somebody wasn't telling the truth.

Bomb Squad on the Scene

Okay, but there is a difference between being on a general alert because of a possible generalized threat, and more precise knowledge of a specific threat at a specific time and place. Federal agencies and facilities receive many bomb threats, most of which turn out to be hoaxes. The burning question is whether or not federal authorities had specific knowledge of a plot to bomb the Murrah Building or other facilities in Oklahoma City around the time of the actual crime. There is compelling evidence that this is the case.

On April 23rd, the Sunday after the bombing, the Panola Watchman of Carthage, Texas reported on the story of a local Carthage businesswoman whose sister was involved in the explosion. The sister, who was identified only as "Norma," works in the federal courthouse building across the street from the south side of the Murrah Building and was there on the morning of April 19th. That same fateful morning, Norma's son Eddy was stopped at a red light three blocks from the blast site when the explosion occurred. Neither Norma or her son were harmed by the bomb even though they were very near to ground zero. But Norma had been in a position to witness a significant occurrence that tends to support claims of official prior knowledge of the plot. Shortly after the bombing, Norma recounted to Panola Watchman reporter Sherry Koonce what she had seen prior to the explosion:

The day was fine, everything was normal when I arrived at 7:45 to begin my day at 8 a.m., but as I walked through my building's parking lot, I remember seeing a bomb squad. I really did not think about it -- especially when we did not hear more about it ....

There was some talk about the bomb squad among employees in our office. We did wonder what it was doing in our parking lot.

Jokingly, I said, "Well I guess we'll find out soon enough"....

Around nine or maybe a little after I heard and felt it. It was a huge explosion and our building was shaking with vibrations....

Norma explained that when she and her co-workers fled the building, "There was smoke and dust everywhere -- and bodies." The newspaper continued Norma's account of that harrowing experience:

We were walking fast and everyone seemed to be in a daze. We were simply shocked and confused about what had happened.

Then someone said, "It had to be a bomb" ... and then we all knew, I remember the bomb squad in our parking lot and knew what had happened.

According to the Watchman, Norma does not wish to give any further interviews, so THE NEW AMERICAN has been unable to confirm her story. However, another woman who works in the federal courthouse and whose child was killed in the Murrah Building day care center has confirmed Norma's story of the bomb squad.

Insisting on anonymity, this grieving mother recounts that she was late for work that tragic day, and remembered seeing the bomb squad as she hurried into the building shortly after eight o'clock. An attorney who works in the area has also attested to seeing the bomb squad in the same area.

Denial, Confirmation

The Oklahoma City Fire Department, it appears, was also given advance warning of the terrorist attack. Glenn Wilburn had heard several reports concerning FBI tip-offs to the fire department before the blast, and decided to check them out himself. When he asked Assistant Chief Charles Gaines about the matter, he was met with denial. Walking out of the chief's office, he went down the hall to Chief Dispatcher Harvey Weathers' office and asked the same question. "Harvey said yes, they had received a message from the FBI on the Friday before the bombing that they should be on alert," Wilburn told THE NEW AMERICAN. He said he then told Weathers, "Well, you're going to be surprised to learn that Chief Gaines' memory is failing. He says it never happened." According to Wilburn, Weathers then responded, "Well, you asked me and I told you. I'm not going to lie for anybody. A lot of people don't want to get involved in this." According to Wilburn, two other dispatchers corroborated Weathers' story. All members of the Oklahoma City police and fire departments have since been ordered not to speak to anyone concerning events surrounding the bombing unless it has first been cleared through official channels.

Judge Recalls Blast

On April 20th, the day after the explosion, the Oregonian, Oregon's largest daily newspaper, interviewed Judge Wayne Alley, who was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and who was soon to become a central figure in the bombing case. In light of other revelations that have surfaced in the ensuing months, Judge Alley's remarks in the immediate aftermath of the bombing take on an added significance.

Reporter Dave Hogan wrote in the Oregonian:

As a federal judge whose office faces the Alfred P. Murrah Building across the street in Oklahoma City, Wayne Alley felt lucky that he didn't go to his office Wednesday .... The judge said the bombing came just a few weeks after security officials had warned him to take extra precautions.

"Let me just say that within the past two or three weeks, information has been disseminated ... that indicated concerns on the part of people who ought to know that we ought to be a little bit more careful," he said.

Alley, who started his law career in Portland, said he was cautioned to be on the lookout for "people casing homes or wandering about in the courthouse who aren't supposed to be there, [and] letter bombs. There has been an increased vigilance."

He said he was not given an explanation for the concern.

Asked if this might have just been a periodic security reminder, he said, "My subjective impression was there was a reason for the dissemination of those concerns."

Alley has since been appointed as the judge who will preside over the trial of chief bombing suspects Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

Islamic Threat

Still another hint of federal prior knowledge comes from the U.S. Marshals Service. On March 22nd, a little more than three weeks before the Oklahoma bombing, the Newark, New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that "U.S. law enforcement authorities have obtained information that Islamic terrorists may be planning suicide attacks against federal courthouses and government installations in the United States. The attacks, it is feared, would be designed to attract worldwide press attention through the murder of innocent victims."

The story, by Star-Ledger correspondent Robert Rudolph, continued:

The Star-Ledger has learned that U.S. law enforcement officials have received a warning that a "fatwa," a religious ruling similar to the death sentence targeting author Salmon Rushdie, has been issued against federal authorities as a result of an incident during the trial last year of four persons in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.

The disclosure was made in the confidential memorandum issued by the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington calling for stepped-up security at federal facilities throughout the nation ....

According to the memo, the information about the threat was obtained from an unidentified "informed source" who said the death sentence was specifically directed against U.S. Marshals Service personnel....

The Marshals Service memo said the agency believes that "there is sufficient threat potential to request that a heightened level of security awareness and caution be implemented at all Marshals Service-protected facilities nationwide."

The memo, issued by U.S. Marshals Service Director Eduardo Gonzalez, warned that attacks may be designed to "target as many victims as possible and draw as much media coverage as possible" to the fundamentalist cause. "The terrorists, possible suicide bombers, will not engage in negotiations," the memo warned, and "once the press is on the scene, the new plans call for blowing everyone up."

Early Informant

While no "Islamic fundamentalists" have taken credit for the Oklahoma City bombing, many details of the warning and the timing of the Oklahoma blast seem to indicate that the memo certainly may have pertained to the mass murder at the Murrah Building.

An even more intriguing and compelling piece of evidence comes in the form of a warning allegedly delivered to the U.S. Justice Department offices in Denver less that two weeks before the Oklahoma bombing. U.S. Attorney Henry Solano confirmed that his Denver office granted immunity last September to an informant who claimed to have information about a plot to bomb a federal building.

This same informant reportedly delivered a letter to the Justice Department on April 6th claiming to have "specific information that within two weeks" a federal building was to be bombed. The informant's hand-written letter stated:

After leaving Denver for what I thought would be a long time, I returned here last night because I have specific information that within two weeks a federal building(s) is to be bombed in this area or nearby ....

I would not ignore this specific request for you personally to contact me immediately regarding a plot to blow up a federal bldg. If the information is false request Mr. Allison to charge me accordingly. If you and/or your office does not contact me as I so request herein, I will never again contact any law enforcement agency, federal or state, regarding those matters [indecipherable word] in the letter of immunity.

After the April 19th bombing, spokesmen for the Justice Department stated that they had not -- and still do not -- deem the informant to be credible. However, last September they had apparently deemed him credible enough to grant him immunity. That is not a prize which federal prosecutors dispense frivolously to every "informant" who walks through the door. The informant's immunity letter of September 14, 1994 on U.S. Justice Department stationery reads:

This letter is to memorialize the agreement between you and the United States of America, by the undersigned Assistant United States Attorney. The terms of this agreement are as follows:

1. You have contacted the U.S. Marshals Service on today's date indicating that you have information concerning a conspiracy and/or attempt to destroy United States court facilities in [redacted] and possibly other cities.

2. The United States agrees that any statement and/or information that you provide relevant to this conspiracy/conspiracies or attempts will not be used against you in any criminal proceeding. Further, the United States agrees that no evidence derived from the information or statements provided by you will be used in any way against you....

The informant claims that he was acting as a courier transporting illegal drugs from Kingman, Arizona to Las Vegas and Denver when he discovered C-4 explosives in a delivery envelope. He also says he overheard discussions about a plot to blow up a federal building, or buildings, in the Midwest sometime in mid-April 1995.

The alleged conspirators were Latin American or Middle Eastern with Arabic names. Kingman, Arizona, of course, was home to Timothy McVeigh and Michael Fortier, both of whom are charged in the bombing of the Murrah Building. According to our information the informant did not report seeing McVeigh or Fortier or hearing their names in connection with the bomb plot.

However, as we have reported previously in THE NEW AMERICAN (September 4th, "Searching for John Doe No. 2" and October 16th, "Startling OKC Developments"), reliable witnesses have identified apparent Middle Eastern accomplices in the company of McVeigh in the days prior to April 19th and on that fateful morning with McVeigh in and near the Ryder truck.

Grand Juror Speaks Out

In the November 27th issue of THE NEW AMERICAN ("New Charges of OKC Cover-up"), we reported on the serious charges leveled against federal prosecutors in the case by grand juror Hoppy Heidelberg. Heidelberg had attempted to expose improper interference with the grand jury's duties by federal prosecutors. Specifically, he accused the government of covering up the identity of the still missing John Doe No. 2, arguably the most sought after fugitive in history. For his civic-minded efforts he was dismissed from the jury and threatened with possible fines and imprisonment.

Fortunately, Heidelberg has continued to speak out. And, amazingly, he has even received some positive coverage from certain vehicles of the controlled Establishment media which have otherwise performed deplorably with virtually all of their reporting on Oklahoma City. A prime example of this rare and responsible journalism could be found on CNN's Burden of Proof program on November 11th. In an amazing turn of events, the program's co-hosts, Greta Van Susteran and Roger Cossack, as well as the panel of three legal experts, all came down on the side of Heidelberg. Cossack even exclaimed ardently, "I think Hoppy's a hero." Plainly, the government's credibility in this case is in tatters.

Adding to this credibility crisis are the recent revelations of FBI scientist Dr. Frederic Whitehurst. Special Agent Whitehurst, a top chemist in the FBI's celebrated crime lab, has shaken the Bureau and the Justice Department with accusations of perjury, evidence tampering, and evidence fabrication in hundreds of high-profile cases stretching back several years. Moreover, he charges that his superiors have refused to correct these criminal malpractices and have covered up for the guilty parties.

Although we have not yet been able to satisfactorily verify Whitehurst's charges, many of them appear to have merit. If even a fraction of them prove to be true, they should serve to topple Janet Reno, Louis Freeh, and others leading the government's effort in the Oklahoma City case.

However, the Whitehurst accusations, serious as they are, pale into relative insignificance next to the explosive allegations of Emad E. Salem, an FBI informant in the World Trade Center bombing. Salem, a 43-year-old former Egyptian army officer, was used by the U.S. government to infiltrate the group of Muslims convicted of the New York City bombing which left six dead and more than 1,000 injured. According to Salem, he was originally supposed to substitute "phony powder" for the explosive ingredients used in the bomb, but was foiled by an FBI supervisor who "came and messed it up."

Although hardly a paragon of virtue, Salem has brought forth taped conversations with FBI agents that seem to lend credibility to his fantastic claim. Did the FBI fail to prevent the Trade Center bombing when it was well within its power to do so? If so, why? Who was responsible? If federal officials -- due to incompetence, negligence, or other reasons -- did indeed fail to stop the New York bombing (or even contributed to its perpetration), is it not appropriate to ask if some similar "foul-up" may have occurred in Oklahoma?

Is dismissed grand juror Hoppy Heidelberg correct in claiming that the federal investigators are covering up the identity of John Doe No. 2? Why were some of the most important witnesses in the Oklahoma City case not called before the grand jury? Why was the Denver informant granted immunity and then not listened to?

Why is he still considered "not credible" after providing details in advance of the event which would require either the inside knowledge he claims or special clairvoyant skills? Why did the ATF lie about the events of April 19th? Why have the Oklahoma City fire, police, and sheriffs departments been placed under gag orders?

Clearly, there are many. pieces of this puzzle that point toward foreknowledge of the bombing plot by federal officials prior to the terrible moment at 9:02 a.m. on April 19th, when the murderers' bomb (or bombs) ended the lives of 169 people. These witnesses and pieces of evidence cannot be ignored or summarily dismissed.

They deserve a thorough and fair investigation. And Americans must demand one, or face the certain prospect of additional -- and perhaps more heinous -- terrorist acts.

(Four Reports)


Feb. 17, 1997 issue
The Washington Weekly

A still secret Justice Department Inspector General draft report raises sharp criticism of the FBI crime lab.

The internal findings basically confirm the allegations by FBI whistleblower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst of massive, systematic tampering of evidence, slanting of results, covering up of facts, and sloppy science at the FBI crime lab. Whitehurst was suspended last week after the FBI received the report Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who is following the case closely, said that the suspension looked like a retaliation for Whitehurst's whistleblowing.

Three other FBI lab officials, who were involved in the handling of evidence in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation, were suspended last week as well.

The problems at the lab now call into question its handling of evidence in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation as well as the Atlanta Olympic Games bombing and the New York Trade Center bombing.

But we know that the problems at the crime lab are just the tip of the iceberg. As detailed in the Washington Weekly over several years, there has been a systematic fabrication of evidence and falsification of testimony by the FBI in cases that involve the federal government: most notably the death of Vince Foster and the Oklahoma City bombing. In the Vince Foster case, witness Patrick Knowlton has stepped forward to detail the harassment, intimidation, and falsification of testimony he has been subjected to in the investigation [FBI refused a Clinton White House request to dust the murder weapon for fingerprints].

In the Oklahoma City bombing case, witnesses like Connie Smith have stepped forward to reveal the intimidation and falsification of testimony she has been subjected to because of her knowledge of John Doe II (see news story elsewhere in this issue).

It is obvious that this is not merely "prosecutorial bias" but that an active cover-up of the role of the government in those two cases is ongoing. After more than three years, the FBI is still unable to determine whether Vince Foster committed suicide or was murdered. Clearly, the evidence does not yet support the conclusion the government wants.

"There's been too much covering up by the FBI for too long," said Senator Charles Grassley on ABC News last week.

The courage and integrity of Dr. Frederic Whitehurst is now legendary. Despite intimidation, threats, and harassment -- he was transferred from top level scientist to paint chip analyzer trainee after coming forward and is now suspended--he stood up for what is right. Congress should bestow upon him its medal of honor. People like Whitehurst--one man out of the thousand of FBI employees--are the only ones that stand between us and tyrannical government.

Published in the Feb. 3, 1997 Issue of The Washington Weekly

BATE ANFO bomb expert present in Oklahoma on day of bombing
by David Hoffman

Was the BATF in fact responsible, knowingly or unknowingly, for the explosion that destroyed the Murrah building? Consider the following article which appeared in the June 5, 1995 issue of Newsweek:

"For the past year, the BATF and the Army Corps of Engineers have been blowing up car bombs at the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico. The project, codenamed Dipole Might, is designed to create a computer model to unravel terrorist car-and truck-bomb attacks. By coincidence, a BATF agent assigned to Dipole Might, happened to be in Oklahoma City on April 19th, working at the Federal Courthouse, which stands across the street from the Murrah Building. He saw the devastation and called the BATF office in Dallas. The Murrah Building had just been hit by 'ANFO' (ammonium material) bomb of at least several thousand pounds, he reported. Within minutes, explosives agents trained under Dipole Might were dispatched to the scene. They identified the type and size of the bomb almost immediately."

Just how this agent (Harry Everhart) was able to immediately ascertain the building had been blown up by an ANFO bomb, when no forensic analysis had yet been conducted, is unclear. When Phil O'Halloran, a freelance journalist, attempted to ask the BATF Public Relations Bureau why a Dipole Might expert just happened to be in the courthouse at that moment, and how he could immediately have known the exact nature of the bomb, O'Halloran, rather than be given a rational explanation, was accused of attacking the agency and was promised a fax of agency views on right-wing conspiracists (which never arrived). . . .

It also seems that the "coincidence" of the BATF's Dipole Might tests were uncannily similar to the May 24, 1990 bombing of Earth First! activist Judi Bari. The FBI claimed that Bari and her companion Daryl Cherney, who were on their way to a peaceful protest rally, had inadvertently blown themselves up with their own pipe-bomb.

After Bari sued the FBI for false arrest and civil rights violations, she found out through court discovery that the FBI ran a "bomb school" at Eureka College of the Redwoods in April of 1990 for both FBI and local police. The classes included blowing up cars with pipe bombs, ostensibly to demonstrate tactics used by terrorists (the same reason cited in the BATF case). The instructor for this "school of terrorism" was none other than Frank Doyle Jr., the FBI bomb squad expert who showed up at the scene of Bari's car bombing one month later.

According to Freedom of Information Act records, the Treasury Department's (BATF is under the Treasury Department) Project Dipole Might was actually initiated under the authorization of Clinton's National Security Council. One of the stated purposes of the Dipole Might project was to produce computer models of bombings to "be displayed in a courtroom to aid in the prosecution of defendants." Naturally, the Justice Department plans on using the video tapes shot at White Sands during the trial of McVeigh and Nichols to "prove" that an ANFO bomb blew up the building. As Lawrence Myers, writing in Media Bypass magazine wrote:

Why the National Security Council would fund such an ATF project, despite the absolute rarity of the crime, has not been explained. Nor has it been explained as to what specific threat assessment information the need for detailed information regarding ANFO truck-bomb attacks?

Was the BATF expecting such a bombing? Were they in fact responsible for blast or the secondary damage to the building? Or was the building wired for demolition as part of a larger plot?

"I'm firmly convinced that the BATF is guilty of an awful lot of things," said Bud, our ex-Green Beret friend. "I mean, if you look at what the BATF and the FBI did to Randy Weaver (and at Waco), it's just awful. They've gone hog wild and have [become] a power unto themselves."

Asked if he thought a rogue group or special unit within the military/intelligence community could or would commit such an act?

"It wouldn't really stun me," said Bud.

Published in the Feb. 3, 1997 Issue of The Washington Weekly


Michael William Brescia, who has been linked to the Oklahoma City bombing as John Doe II, has been arrested on bankrobbing charges by the FBI.

Brescia was indicted together with four other members of the Aryan Republican Army white separatist group last week. The FBI denied that his arrest had anything to do with the Oklahoma bombing. The FBI now even denies that John Doe II exists.

But Edye Smith, the mother of two children who died in the bombing, in a private law suite has named Brescia as the John Doe II that the FBI was looking for immediately after the bombing in response to eyewitness accounts. Brescia, together with Andreas Strassmeir were government informants who infiltrated the underground resistance movement. For a time they lived together at Elohim City, Oklahoma. A few days before the bombing, Strassmeir received a telephone call at Elohim City. The call was from Timothy McVeigh.

The FBI has been outright hostile to witnesses who claim to have seen Timothy McVeigh and Michael Brescia together. Eyewitness Connie Smith last year told the London Telegraph that "I kept telling them that the man in the [John Doe II] sketch was that Mike guy, a nice-looking guy, dark-skinned. But the FBI made me feel guilty, then ignorant, as if I didn't know what I was saying. Then, later, I tried to call in with more information and they wouldn't even talk to me."

It is difficult to gauge the motive of the FBI in this arrest. Operating under the assumption that the FBI is covering up something in the Oklahoma bombing, the arrest could be seen as an interference in the law suit brought by Edye Smith. Prosecution on phony charges is the most frequently used device to destroy the credibility offormer government employees or informants who know too much.

Published in the Feb. 3, 1997 Issue of The Washington Weekly

But The Mainstream Media Are Still In Denial
By Edward Zehr

A paid informant of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) has revealed to an Oklahoma newspaper that she reported to the agency late in 1994 that three federal buildings, two of them in Tulsa and the other in Oklahoma City, were being discussed as potential targets for bombing by members of an extremist group located in Elohim City, Oklahoma. The story has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, although NBC News on February 7 carried a somewhat different version of the revelations that later appeared in the McCurtain Daily Gazette, ambiguously suggesting that although Howe gave the government information regarding "alleged threats" prior to the bombing, there is "no evidence" that she reported "specific threats" against the Murrah Building until two days after the bombing.

Reporter J.D. Cash, writing in the February 11 McCurtain (County, Oklahoma) Daily Gazette, is unequivocal in asserting that the government had prior warning ofthe attack, however:

"During a series of clandestine interviews, Howe told the McCurtain Daily Gazette that the BATF knew as far back as the fall of 1994 that the Murrah Federal Building and two other Oklahoma federal buildings had been targeted for destruction by residents of and frequent visitors to an eastern Oklahoma religious cult known as Elohim City."

Mike Vanderboegh, who edits the John Doe Times, a newsletter that covers current developments in the Oklahoma City bombing story, has alleged that ABC News had a more detailed story on the government's prior knowledge of the bombing ready to run, only to have it spiked by the network's management. Once more, the American mainstream media have given convincing demonstration of their inability to deal objectively and openly with a politically sensitive story ofvital interest to the public.

Lolling about on Air Force One shortly after the election, President Clinton told reporters who accompanied him on the flight that the Oklahoma bombing had been "a turning point in his political fortunes." The militias, who played no part whatever in the bombing, but like Richard Jewell, had much of the blame affixed to them through the deft use of innuendo by the mainstream press, found themselves lumped together with the bombers under the designation "Right-wingers" as the designated villains of the piece. "It broke a spell in the country as the people began searching for our common ground again," said Clinton, with self-serving unctuousness.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the Washington bureau chief of the London Telegraph, whose keen observation of the American political scene is unparalleled, since the time of Alexis de Toqueville anyway, put it all in perspective:

"Clinton seized the moment. He blamed Right-wing radio talk shows for sowing distrust of government institutions and for creating a climate of "hate" that fostered recourse to violence. He did not name the Republicans as co-conspirators; he did not have to. The US media made the connection for him.

"Tim McVeigh was the military expression of the Gingrich agenda, opined the commentators. Republicans had failed to understand that rhetoric has consequences, and now look what had happened."

The Republicans were utterly cowed by the audacity of Clinton's attack, unable to articulate a defense. Those few who attempted to remind the public that it had all started with the savagery of the government assault on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco were quickly shouted down by an intensely partisan and tendentious mainstream press.

"It worked like magic for Clinton," Evans-Pritchard observed. "With control over the Justice Department and the FBI - which he has politicized to an extraordinary degree - he has been able to shape perception of the bombing."

The British journalist expressed doubt, however, in an article appearing in the London Telegraph last November, that the government would be able to "keep the lid on this case" much longer. A number of local newspapers have reported allegations that federal investigators have failed to pursue all of those suspected of involvement in the bombing, in order to protect some who were informants. And in October the Canadian Broadcasting Company ran a documentary that put the story in an entirely different perspective. To trace the story to its origins, it is necessary to go back a dozen years or so to the group of self described "racialists" who live in a small settlement in the Ozark mountains of Eastern Oklahoma which they call Elohim City.


These people are adherents of a religious sect known as "Christian Identity" which teaches that white northern Europeans are God's chosen people, although they deny that they are "racists", or even "white separatists." The distinction is a fine one, to be sure. The movement's spiritual leader is an aging Canadian named Robert G. Millar, who was once a Mennonite pacifist. Millar settled in the location near Muldrow, Oklahoma 24 years ago with a small group of followers. Now the 71 year-old leader is known as "Grandpa" to his flock of 80 or so adherents, many of whom are related to him by birth or marriage.

Millar told the CBC journalist who interviewed him that his followers are trained in the use of firearms when they reach the age of 13 or 14. Local police who visited the site several years ago to serve legal papers were greeted by armed teenagers.

Deborah Hastings of the Associated Press observes that, "People seeking the company of like-minded zealots travel between Elohim City and other extremist encampments, including the Hayden Lake, Idaho, compound of Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler and the Pennsylvania farm of Aryan Nations leader Mark Thomas."


Thomas, who was recently arrested in connection with a series of bank robberies, is a pivotal figure in the Aryan Republican Army, an armed, militant (some would say terrorist) organization. But the Oklahoma sect's connection with militant extremists began a good deal earlier. During the early 1980s, a man named Richard Snell made frequent trips to Elohim City accompanied by his followers. Snell was a key figure in a group of Arkansas extremists known as the CSA (The Covenant, The Sword and the Arm of the Lord). Their goal was the violent overthrow ofthe federal government.

In the words of the script writer of the CBC documentary, "Millar taught them about God, they taught Millar about guns."

According to the CBC, in 1983 Snell and an associate named Jim Ellison came up with several schemes to punish the nation which they perceived to have strayed from the pathway of righteousness. One of their plans was "to blow up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, the same building that would be destroyed 13 years later."

Kerry Noble, a follower of Millar and second in command ofthe CSA is shown in the documentary saying, "I still look at things like this and realize how close we were, and, you know, that this could have been me having done this. . . It was one of the targets that we had talked about at CSA in '83. The day it happened, as soon as I heard it on the news, I said, the right wing's done [it], they finally took that step."

Noble explained that the Murrah Building had been considered as a target because it was in a low security area and housed so many government agencies. He said the plotters thought that it would have more effect on the country "than if you did a building, say, in New York City or something."

Jim Ellison, who was subsequently charged with sedition, admitted during his trial that he had "scoped out" the Murrah building and several others for Snell and one of his "associates." They did not have a chance to act on this information, though, for on April 19, 1985 (note the date) they were besieged by federal agents and, after holding them off for a time, surrendered and were taken into custody. Kerry Noble was imprisoned for 26 months after being convicted on weapons charges.

Richard Snell was later arrested for the murder of a pawnbroker, whom he mistakenly thought to be Jewish, and of a black state trooper. In March of 1995 the State of Arkansas set an execution date for Snell -- April 19. This was particularly infuriating to Snell's supporters, who associated the date with the Waco atrocity. Possibly this is what motivated Tim McVeigh to choose the false birth date of April 19 on the fake driver's license which he used in the Oklahoma bombing.

Kerry Noble is convinced that McVeigh was influenced by Snell. Asked ifhe thought it a coincidence that the ARA chose the Murrah building as a target, Noble replied, "No, I don't think it's any coincidence. When you bring that into account with the declaration of war that we made, the pressure that the older leaders of the groups are putting on the younger followers to do something in a major way before they die - no, it's no coincidence."

Millar, who visited Snell frequently in prison was non-committal when asked whether he thought it possible that McVeigh was inspired by Snell's execution to blow up the Murrah Building although he conceded that it was quite a coincidence and expressed hope that the truth would come out at the trial.


An Oklahoma grand jury concluded in its final report that the bombing of the federal building had been financed with a theft of guns in Arkansas on November 5, 1994, yet federal authorities have concluded that the components of the bomb used in the attack had already been purchased at the time of the robbery. McVeigh's attorney has witnesses who place him hundreds of miles from the scene of the theft at the time it occurred. How then were McVeigh and Nichols able to support themselves during their extensive travels in 1994 and 1995? Both of them made trips back and forth across the country during the year prior to the bombing, and Nichols traveled several times to the Philippines with his wife during that time. Yet the two men were employed only sporadically and the profits from their gun show business were not adequate to finance their travels. A possible answer is suggested by the fact that McVeigh's whereabouts are unknown for several days preceding and following 11 of the 12 robberies committed by the ARA during this period.

A possible clue was provided by Terry Nichols former wife, Lana Padilla, who told federal investigators that she found more than $60,000 in silver bullion in a Las Vegas storage locker rented by her ex-husband, together with several masks and wigs. She later told them that she had also discovered a bag containing $20,000 hidden in her utensil cabinet.


Bank robber Kevin McCarthy referred to Elohim City in testimony he gave at the trial of Peter Langan, the leader of the ARA gang, and Millar has confirmed that McCarthy lived there prior to the Oklahoma bombing and that Stedeford, another member ofthe gang, had also visited there from time to time. According to Millar, both McCarthy and Stedeford were closely associated with Andreas Strassmeir, who is thought by some observers to have been a BATF informant, and Michael Brescia, who has been identified by several witnesses as John Doe II.

The McCurtain Gazette has interviewed witnesses who claim to have seen Strassmeir and Brescia with McVeigh on various occasions right up to the period several days before the bombing. Two women from Herington, Kansas who identified Brescia as John Doe II told the FBI that Strassmeir, McVeigh, and Brescia were old friends. This has been denied by Strassmeir's attorney Kirk Lyons. Brescia has declined to comment on this or any other allegations made against him.

Although McVeigh denies having visited Elohim City, law enforcement authorities have told the McCurtain Gazette that their intelligence reports have placed him there on a number of occasions. There is also a record of McVeigh getting a traffic ticket just a few miles from the entrance of Elohim City on Oct. 12, 1993. McVeigh is believed to have participated in military maneuvers directed by Strassmeir at Elohim City on Sept. 12, 1994. About 70 people are said to have taken part in the exercise. Records show that McVeigh was checked in to a nearby motel at the time. Telephone records show that on Sept. 24 somebody made the first of a series of calls for the purpose of acquiring the components of a bomb. The call was made from the home of Terry Nichols in Kansas where McVeigh was visiting at the time.

Eleven days before the bombing Strassmeir, Brescia and McVeigh were seen together at Lady Godiva's, a strip club located in Tulsa, by several ofthe women who worked there. A video tape that was made in the dressing room of the club that night was shown in the CBC documentary. One of the dancers who appears in the tape mentioned that a customer had told her that "You're going to remember me on April 19, '95; you're going to remember me for the rest of your life."

Witnesses identified the customer as McVeigh. One of the women who worked at the club said, after being interviewed by the FBI, that she might have to testify at McVeigh's trial.


Carol E. Howe is a 26-year-old former actress and beauty queen who has won awards for steeplechase competition and hunting. She was an honors student in high school and college. More recently she has worked as an infiltrator of extremist groups and paid informant for the BATF, as has been revealed by the McCurtain Gazette and confirmed by the Justice Department.

The newspaper conducted a series of interviews with Ms. Howe after learning her identity in early December and contacting her on Christmas Eve. During the course ofthe interviews she told them ofthe white supremacist ARA at Elohim City that had made plans to blow up a government building and had selected three potential targets in Oklahoma. She also described "in great detail" the work she did for Special Agent Angela Finley of the Tulsa office of the BATF. The agency has confirmed that Howe worked for them. In more than 70 reports she filed with the agency, Howe revealed that two of the subjects from Elohim City, Strassmeir and a man named Dennis Mahon, a former Oklahoma Klansman, had been casing the targeted buildings. Howe went along on one of the three trips the pair made to Oklahoma City for this purpose.

According to Evans-Pritchard, Howe revealed in her monthly informant's reports that the subjects she had under surveillance had set a target date of April 19th of 1995 for the attack. She submitted these reports to Angela Finley before the April 19th bombing, not afterward, as erroneously reported by NBC. The McCurtain Gazette is unequivocal in reporting what "Howe says is the indisputable truth -- that the government had 'detailed prior knowledge' of the plot to bomb the building, but somehow failed to stop it."

Within hours of the bombing, Howe was taken to the basement of the old Pepco building in downtown Oklahoma City for a debriefing. She was able to identify John Doe I and John Doe II immediately from sketches provided by federal agents. According to Evans-Pritchard, she identified Brescia as John Doe II, but John Doe I was not McVeigh as has been commonly assumed. The British journalist told Jim Quinn in a radio interview that he knows the identity of John Doe I, but is reluctant to divulge it at present.

In the same interview, Evans-Pritchard dropped a bombshell of his own. Although the government claims to have witnesses who identify McVeigh as the person who came to the Ryder agency, under the alias of Robert Kling, to rent the truck used in the bombing, he could not have been there. McVeigh's defense team have a video tape taken from a surveillance camera that shows him sitting in a McDonald's in Junction City, eating a hamburger, at the time the truck was rented. This might explain why the description of John Doe I circulated by the FBI referred to a man with "pock-marked skin, fairly stocky" who stood about 5'10", whereas McVeigh is about 6' 3" tall, thin as a rail (160 Ibs) and has a smooth complexion.

Ms. Howe's story is supported by recently discovered documents that the government is required by law to turn over to the McVeigh defense team a request by McVeigh's attorneys, the prosecution told Judge Richard Match that they had no information linking Strassmeir to the bombings. The judge is reported to have been outraged by the deception, telling one ofthe prosecutors, "You lie to me one more time and you'll be off this case! " He then ordered the government to turn over copies of all pertinent documents to the defense. Consequently, McVeigh's lawyers now have copies of all of the monthly reports that Howe filed with the BATF. Presumably, this is what prompted NBC to air their version of the story.

In addition to details regarding Mahon's and Strassmeir's alleged surveillance of the targeted buildings, the intelligence reports describe statements they are alleged to have made about their plans to bomb federal installations.

The McCurtain Gazette further reveals that, "Howe was routinely polygraphed by the government during the time she was making her monthly reports to the BATF. The government's own documents indicate she passed,'showing no deception on her part in any polygraph examination."'

In a story that ran last July, the same newspaper quoted "a high-level, anonymous source in the intelligence division of the FBI who described Strassmeir as an 'intelligence asset' ofthe BATF."

The Gazette says that "a former government undercover agent" told them, "It is typical for agencies such as the CIA, FBI and BATF to place multiple 'moles' inside a place like Elohim City and play one resource off the other, without either one knowing the identity of the other."

Dennis Mahon claims that Howe is the one who advocated most of the violent acts at Elohim City. Depicting himself as the fall guy in the affair, he told the press, "They want to drag me into this thing and I barely remember even meeting Tim McVeigh. It was Strassmeir who was meeting with McVeigh, not me."


Meanwhile, the mainstream press continue to spin the story to government specifications. A recent piece by the AP's Steven K. Paulson repeats the statement by "government officials" that "they never received specific threats about the Alfred P. Murrah building before the bombing," and devotes much space to Mahon's denials of the allegations made by Howe (which are outlined rather sparsely). The following excerpt should suffice to indicate just how far behind the power curve the AP is on this story:

"The only apparent public link between McVeigh and Mahon's white-supremacist group is a telephone call made by someone using McVeigh's long-distance calling card two weeks before the bombing."

A quick survey of the "Three Blind Mice," who provide the news coverage for 70 percent of the population, reveals that ABC apparently spiked the story. Referring to a segment on the Oklahoma bombing that recently ran on "20/20", Jim Quinn commented that, "There was a tremendous amount of pressure put on ABC not to run that report, and, according to Reed [Irvine at Accuracy In the Media], it came from the highest levels of the Justice Department."

Presumably one story on such a taboo topic is about all we can expect a network to hazard. The single network that carried the Carol Howe story, NBC, apparently decided to settle for a "limited hangout." (That is the journalist's equivalent of copping to a lesser charge). The government knew all about the plot, but no matter, they learned of it too late to do anything about it. It will be interesting to see how NBC handles this if the intelligence reports are made public in McVeigh's trial. Will their statement be "no longer operative," or will they simply mumble that "mistakes were made?" As for the other network, Evans-Pritchard observed that, "As far as CBS is concerned, they're so far out to lunch, they don't know what they're doing."

Nice going, mainstream media--keep up the good work. And whatever you do, don't allow yourselves to be distracted by those gadflies in the "Right Wing Media Cabal." While you carry on with the coverup, they'll just go on eating your lunch.

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