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Thursday, February 11, 2010

9-11 Photos and Crotch-bomber hint at more than negligence

As I look at recently released aerial photographs from 9-11, the cloud issuing forth from the collapsing building looks like a banana peel. I'd seen in the documentary Loose Change how similar the building's collapse was to a pyroclastic flow. A pyroclastic flow is one generated by heat, like a volcano, and it puts out a distinctive smoke cloud.

Looking at the photos, ask yourself: doesn't the trajectory of the smoke and debris indicate an explosion? Since when does a collapsing building send smoke in a pattern like that, which looks more like the impact of an artillery shell?

Then of course there are all the inconvenient truths like the fires that burned for weeks in the basements. Where no air can get in, only thermite can burn. Or the reports of explosions. A sequence of explosions triggered by nano-thermite would pulverize the concrete and send it up into the air, not a simple collapse.

No wonder these photographs weren't released for more than eight years after the event! And then, it took a Freedom of Information request to get them out in the public view.

Seeing what I could dig up new on the photos at the site 911truth.org and came across a cross-posted article, "Amid media blackout-Congressional hearing reveals US intelligence agencies shielded Flight 253 bomber," by Alex Lantier of wsws.org.

On first read, in its beginning the article doesn't really surprise me as the superficial elements of the Abdulmutallab story were pretty clear. Young extremist gets radicalized. Gets on plane. Detonates bomb. Fails. Kind of like the shoe bomber Richard Reid. Not a lot there. At first.

Personally, I'd dismissed the story. It'd come on Christmas. The bomb hadn't detonated. No one had been killed.

As I'd read things through, I saw that much could have been attributed to government ineptitude. We all know that the much ballyhooed National Security State has holes in it bigger than Swiss cheese. So it'd come as no big surprise that the young Nigerian's name hadn't come up on a no-fly list-or had, yet been misspelled or some such clerical error.

So what if Abdulmutallab hadn't made the list of terrorists? Heck, Edward Kennedy had been on it at one time. Its membership had expanded to over 500,000, with many false positives. The performing artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, a convert to Islam now named Yusuf Islam, had necessitated a redirection of one inbound cross-Atlantic flight some years ago. He'd apparently given money to some Islamic charity.

After a certain point, a list of that size begins to lose meaning and reads probably more like a list of enemies of the state than a list of real threats, who aren't likely at all to get their name out as martyrs for their cause, at least until after they've been martyred. See the great article "The Backfiring of the Surveillance State" by Glenn Greenwald, first appearing in Salon.

Then there were the details about the so-called "crotch-bomber," as Abdulmutallab has been referred to in less than glorifying terms. Details provided in an interview with an American waiting in the terminal area. He'd said Abdulmutallab had been accompanied by an older man of Indian descent, and that he'd listened in to an extended conversation between the Indian man and the airline employee at the check-in desk in Amsterdam airport.

The Indian succeeded in getting Umar onto the plane without a passport! This was a clear breach of every airline protocol imaginable. No identification? The thought that someone could board the plane without any ID boggles the mind.

Then fast-forward to the full-body scanners that have since been installed at Heathrow Airport. These devices are prone to abuse because they reveal the human body by seeing through clothes. Apparently a celebrity's picture had been kept and passed around among the screeners at Heathrow.

Then there are the people selling the body scan machines, which are slated to be installed in airports everywhere. Not surprisingly, they are sold by companies directed by former intelligence agencies people, including former Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff. Chertoff has been accused of leading a massive cover-up for the real participants in the 9-11 bombings. I can't attest to the validity of those accusations, but Chertoff is a hardcore Zionist sympathizer, and any involvement in 9-11 by our own government would certainly involve people like Chertoff whose loyalty clearly lies with the interests of Israel, which were and are to justify an open-ended war against Islam.

Anyway, back to Abdullmutallab and the Lantier article. Lantier explains that during a Congressional hearing a State Department official admitted that "US intelligence officials had interceded to block a visa revocation."

Passing the buck from State, Director of National Counterterrorism Center Michael Leiter said there'd been a failure. This was an obvious statement. Leiter went on to talk about the threat posed AQAP, the Al Qaeda-affiliated (for whatever that's worth) group in Yemen.

Lantier goes on to decipher all the intelligence-ese concluding the inaction to push Abdulmutallab onto the watch-list "came despite the fact that US intelligence agencies were well aware of the threat posed by AQAP." Lantier then acknowledges that "the US government did not declare AQAP a terrorist group until January 19, 2010"!

Ok, enough said about the official explanation. No one appears to have been held responsible for the blatant breach of security. Chertoff's scanners of course have now been funded and scheduled for installation in airports throughout the world.

That change of perspective could be attributed to simple bureaucratic mismanagement or something darker--like disaster capitalism, the classic form of opportunism outlined so eloquently by Naomi Klein, in which government incompetence feeds the impetus to privatize, which ends up costing taxpayers big. Of course the contracts for work previously done by government flows to cronies and those with the most influence--like former officials and politicians.

The process of doling out juicy contracts to the private sector is clearly one that requires close cooperation between government and the private sector, a role that typically calls for former bureaucrats and politicians to act as go-betweens and lobbyists. Naturally career bureaucrats nearing retirement are quite sympathetic to private industry efforts being that many find a second job at companies like Chertoff's once they retire.

The body scanners are a motive that can't be dispelled by simple bureaucratic incompetence. I'd say the enlargement of the National Security State creates demand for terrorism, as if without it the massive bureaucracy would be starved of money, power, and influence. Naturally, with such power at its fingers, the NSS is prone to find threats everywhere; upon discovery of these threats--in places where they're least expected--the NSS justifies an expanded mission for itself.

Scarily, it's only a matter of time before the NSS turns its eyes on the domestic security environment. Creating a surveillance society is clearly one way to find threats: scrutinize any population hard enough and the boogeyman will be surely be found, which invites persecution of minorities, and anyone who dares resist the expanding power of the state.

Lanier ends his article noting similarities between 9-11 and Abdulmutallab's case. In both examples, the intelligence agencies who are supposed to protect us took odd and unusual steps to prevent doing their jobs as effectively as possible. Of course bureaucratic incompetence becomes a great cover whether or not the intelligence lapses were intentional.

Fortunately, the crotch bomber didn't end up killing anyone. Yet we find ourselves wrestling with the explanation of why the event occurred, and discovering lapses in judgement that seem far too deliberate. Yes, it's possible that Abdulmutallab was being farmed along in order to disrupt the organization which radicalized him, and planned his mission. And I guess the intelligence services would want to see the plan go along, but only up to a point that it doesn't threaten American lives.

At a certain point those responsible for our safety must intervene to stop acts of terror that they know will likely be committed. If they don't maintain an accurate list of radicalized Islamic threats (especially those whose parents specifically warn us, like Omar's) they act not in our defense but in support of the enemy. And if our military and intelligence services aren't protecting us, what good are they?

See Lantier's article here.


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  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger jbpeebles said…

    Found a good article by Elizabeth Woodworth describing the trend in international media to treat 9/11 with greater objectivity. It says, "increasingly, the issue is treated as a scientific controversy worthy of debate, rather than as a 'conspiracy theory' ignoring science and common sense."

    Nano-thermite is also discussed, as its presence has been found in the area surrounding the wreckage. The article goes on to summarize examples of myth dissolution in various foreign press.

    See it here.

    This issue won't go away. Better it would be if the authorities admitted to the possibility of a bombing, but that would lead to the next question: who really did it? As I've said, the absence of terror convictions (even the Grey Lady of Bagram, Ms. Siddiqui, was convicted on other charges) demonstrates why torture was needed: false conviction built up the myth that it was Al-Qaeda acting alone. When tortured, people will say anything to make the torture stop, so it's an effective method not for fighting terror but fabricating conspiracies.


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