Sunday, February 27, 2005

Luntz Watch: 9/11, The Perfect Distraction

From Think Progress

In his memo on how to manipulate American perception on the economy, right-wing spinmeister Frank Luntz advises conservatives to “resist the temptation’ to use facts and figures about the economy. (You know, all those pesky statistics about lower wages, unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, etc.) Instead, he advises, you can’t go wrong if you continuosly remind people about the terrorist attacks of 9/11. “This is the context that explains and justifies why we have $500 billion deficits, why the stock market tanked, why unemployment climbed to 6%.”

Oh, yes, he advises preying on the emotions tied to the terrorist attacks to distract Americans from the truth about the economy, writing, “Much of the public anger can be immediately pacified if they are reminded that we would not be in this situation today if 9/11 had not happened.” It’s also an easy way to get President Bush off the hook: Luntz points out that convincing people that the struggling economy is a consequence of 9/11 (as opposed to, say, Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy) will convince people “it is unfair to blame the current political leadership”

Finally, Luntz advises, 9/11 is the perfect way to dodge responsibility for sinking the country in red ink. In a section headed “Without the context of 9-11, you will be blamed for the deficit,” he points out “supporters are inherently turned off to the idea of fiscal irresponsibility.” The best way to counter that fact? “The trick then is to contextualize the deficit inside of 9/11.”

So, Who Benefits?

Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks

September 17, 2001 Posted: 11:21 AM EDT (1521 GMT)

DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- Islamic militant leader Osama bin Laden, the man the United States considers the prime suspect in last week's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, denied any role Sunday in the actions believed to have killed thousands.

In a statement issued to the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, bin Laden said, "The U.S. government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it. [...]

Saturday, February 26, 2005

False Trail

Many of the investigators believe that some of the initial clues that were uncovered about the terrorists' identities and preparations, such as flight manuals, were meant to be found. A former high-level intelligence official told me, "Whatever trail was left was left deliberately—for the F.B.I. to chase."

From : WHAT WENT WRONG, by SEYMOUR M. HERSH, New Yorker Issue of 2001-10-08

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

They Knew

On September 10, 2001, high-ranking Pentagon officials cancelled travel plans for the morning of September 11.

From Newsweek: “On Sept. 10, Newsweek has learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.”

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Censorship Started Immediately

Between the pull of patriotism and self-censorship:
The US media in torment after 11 September

11 October 2001

[...] The most flagrant examples of corporate censorship - when media bosses sanction a journalist for his or her opinions - came from the dailies The Texas City Sun and the Daily Courier in the state of Oregon. On 23 September Les Daughty Jr, owner of the Texas City Sun for 17 years writes an apology to his readers for an article by one of his editors-in-chief Ron Gutting, who said in an article critical of President Bush on the day after the attacks, that he was "flying around the country like a scared child seeking refuge in his mother's bed after having a nightmare". In an article on the front page of the newspaper Daughty apologised to all the leaders of the country and particularly to President George Bush for having published such an article which could only provoke "anger and disgust". Ron Gutting was sacked from the newspaper.

His colleague Dan Guthrie of the Daily Courier at Grant's Pass met the same fate and for similar reasons. He wrote on the 15 September on a humorous page in the newspaper that George Bush had "skedaddled" in the face of the attacks, accusing him of being "an embarrassment" for "hiding in a Nebraska hole" on the day of the terrorist attacks. The newspaper's editor-in-chief Dennis Mack wrote for his readers that to say that the head of state was hiding at a time when America was trying to unite after the bloody attacks was neither responsible nor appropriate. As a result Dan Guthrie lost his job but for "personal reasons", according to his employer. [...]

Friday, February 18, 2005


EMAD MEKAY, ASIAN TIMES - Iraq under Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the United States, but it did to Israel, which is one reason why Washington invaded the Arab country, according to a speech made by a member of a top-level White House intelligence group.

Inter Press Service uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001 - the 9/11 commission - in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch US ally in the Middle East. . .

Zelikow made his statements about "the unstated threat" during his tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which reports directly to the president. He served on the board between 2001 and 2003.

"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990 - it's the threat against Israel," Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of September 11 and the future of the war on al-Qaeda.

"And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell," said Zelikow.

link via UnderNews

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Worldwide Attack Matirx

[...] The scope of George Bush's war was suggested within days of 9/11 when the director of the CIA made a presentation to the President and his inner circle, called "Worldwide Attack Matrix," that described active or planned operations of various kinds in eighty countries, or what Woodward calls "a secret global war on terror." Early on, the President had the view that "this war will be fought on many fronts" and that "we're going to rout out terror wherever it may exist." Although envisaged long before 9/11, the invasion of Iraq could be seen as a direct continuation of this unlimited war; all the more so because of the prevailing tone among the President and his advisers, who were described as eager "to emerge from the sea of words and pull the trigger." [...]

From American Apocalypse
by Robert Jay Lifton
December 4, 2003

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A Bomb Went Off

Louie Cacchioli, 51, is a firefighter assigned to Engine 47 in Harlem.

We were the first ones in the second tower after the plane struck. I was taking firefighters up in the elevator to the 24th floor to get in position to evacuate workers. On the last trip up a bomb went off. We think there was bombs set in the building. I had just asked another firefighter to stay with me, which was a good thing because we were trapped inside the elevator and he had the tools to get out.

There were probably 500 people trapped in the stairwell. It was mass chaos. The power went out. It was dark. Everybody was screaming. We had oxygen masks and we were giving people oxygen. Some of us made it out and some of us didn't. I know of at least 30 firefighters who are still missing. This is my 20th year. I am seriously considering retiring. This might have done it.

From, September 12, 2001, A Nation Under Siege

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Co-opting the 9/11 Truth Movement

[...] For any investigator to come out and say that a 757 plane definitely hit the Pentagon is to rob the public of the singularly most important aspect of 9/11 and the one that has the chance to blow the whole dastardly plot wide open. [...]

Ruppert and Hopsicker: Co-Opting the 9-11 Truth Movement
Or Exposing the Big Con: Lies and Disinformation At The End Of Civilisation As We Know It

No Doubt

From the "Underreported News" file: On November 22, 2004, a Gulfstream III jet crashed on approach to Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, where it had reportedly been scheduled to pick up George H.W. Bush and shuttle him off to Latin America (likely on some drug-related business, but that's not really the point here). The jet crashed, curiously enough, after clipping a light pole! Here is how the esteemed Los Angeles Times described the incident:
The Gulfstream III jet, descending in heavy fog, clipped a light pole and slammed into a field south of downtown ... Authorities said the Gulfstream III was 1½ miles from the runway when it hit a light pole on Beltway 8, a toll road that encircles the outskirts of the city. Part of the jet's wing was sheared off by the impact; the pole was bent in half. (Lianne Hart "Jet Bound for Bush's Father Crashes," Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2004)
That sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it? I mean, except for the part about a portion of the jet's wing being sheared off ... and the part about the light pole being bent in half (even though a Gulfstream III is a considerably smaller and lighter aircraft than a Boeing 757) ... and the part about the plane crashing right after the impact with the light pole (even though the Gulfstream was presumably piloted by a professional crew, rather than a reject from a Florida puddle-jumper school, and even though the plane only hit one light pole, rather then five light poles, a chain-link fence and a large generator).

None of that, of course, should cast any doubt on the official story of what happened at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Right?

Continue reading article at The Center for an Informed America

Monday, February 14, 2005

Bin Laden Tape Fake

Bin Laden tape a fake, Swiss lab says

Nov. 28, 2002. 06:23 PM

Scientists compared recording to 20 other tapes of terror chief

PARIS (AP) - The latest audiotape statement attributed to accused terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden is not authentic, a Swiss research institute said.

The Lausanne-based Dalle Molle Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence said it is 95-per-cent certain the tape does not feature the voice of the long-absent terrorist leader. [...]

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Too Fast for a 757

I was living in NYC on that fateful day, of September 11th. I want to know the whole truth, and I don't like it when people stand in my way of the truth. It makes me angry.

The terrorist attacks on US soil have been used to justify war and removal of civil liberties. I will expropriate the phrase, "Never forget" for my own, and post one small nugget of info about 9/11, hopefully every day.

There are all kinds of obscure events that disappear from the collective conscious related to that fateful day. I plan on dredging them back up, one small piece at a time. Other times I will post new articles that are related.

I will be adding an RSS feed link soon.

Today's byte:

[...] O'Brien asked the controller sitting next to her, Tom Howell, if he saw it too.

"I said, 'Oh my God, it looks like he's headed to the White House,'" recalls Howell. "I was yelling … 'We've got a target headed right for the White House!'"

At a speed of about 500 miles an hour, the plane was headed straight for what is known as P-56, protected air space 56, which covers the White House and the Capitol.

"The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane," says O'Brien. "You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe." [...]