excerpts from the book
9/11 and American Empire
Intellectuals Speak Out
Edited by David Ray Griffin and
Peter Dale Scott
Olive Branch Press, 2006, paperback
Catherine Austin Fitts, Assistant Housing
Secretary in the George HW Bush administration
"The official explanation of the
events of 9/11 is false and the evidence indicating an inside
job is significant."
Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst
"The 9/11 attacks were orchestrated
by the [Bush/Cheney] administration precisely so they could be
A conspiracy occurs whenever two or more people conspire in secret
to do something illegal.
... The official narrative about 9/11 is a conspiracy theory,
alleging that the attacks were orchestrated entirely by Arab-Muslim
members of al-Qaeda under the inspiration of Osama bin Laden in
Journalists, editors, and educators ...use the term "conspiracy
theorists" in a pejorative way. They mean people who tend
to see conspiracies, especially involving the US government, everywhere
The official account of 9/11 is false and this false account has
been used to support an agenda that had been worked out in advance
- the further extension of the American empire.
For those Americans who accept the official interpretation of
the event, 9/11 was a surprise attack on the US government and
its people by Islamic terrorists.
For some Americans, "9/11" has
a more complex meaning. This second group, while accepting the
official interpretation of the attacks, thinks of 9/11 primarily
as an event that was used opportunistically by the Bush administration
to extend the American empire.
For a third group of Americans, the term
"9/11" connotes an event with a more sinister dimension.
These citizens believe that the Bush administration knew the attacks
were coming and intentionally let them happen.
According to a fourth view of 9/11, the
attacks were not merely foreknown by the Bush administration;
they were orchestrated by it.
For many Americans, the idea that we are living in a country whose
own leaders planned and carried out the attacks of 9/11 is simply
too horrible to entertain. Unfortunately, however, there is strong
evidence in support of this view.
An extraordinarily high volume of "put options" were
purchased in the three days before 9/11.
To buy put options for a particular company
is to bet that its stock price will go down. These purchases were
for two, and only two, airlines - United and American - the two
airlines used in the
attacks, and for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter which occupied 22
stories of the World Trade Center. The price of these shares did,
of course, plummet after 9/11.
... What is at issue is precisely whether
people other than al-Qaeda knew about the attacks in advance,
perhaps because they had helped plan them.
The behavior of the military both on 9/11 and afterward, combined
with the fact that the 9/11 Commission had to resort to lies to
make the US military appear blameless, suggests that military
leaders were complicit in the attacks.
9/11 was engineered by members of the Bush administration, including
the secretary of defense. As to why they would do this, at least
part of the answer is clear from the way in which they have used
9/11: to advance the American empire. Immediately after 9/11,
members of the Bush administration repeatedly referred to the
attacks as an opportunity.
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America,
published in the Bush administration in September 2002, frankly
The events of September 11, 2001 opened
vast, new opportunities.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were orchestrated by our own leaders
- and that they did this to provide the justification, the fear,
and the funding for the so-called war on terror, which would be
used as a pretext for enlarging the empire.
Donald Rumsfeld asked to Senator Carl Levin, the chair of the
Senate Armed Services Committee
Senator Levin, you and other Democrats
in Congress have voiced fear that you simply don't have enough
money for the large increase in defense that the Pentagon is seeking,
especially for missile defense .... Does this sort of thing convince
you that an emergency exists in this country to increase defense
spending? [Congress immediately appropriated an additional $40
billion for the Pentagon and much more later, with few questions
Traditional value systems say that we should not covet, steal,
and murder, and that we should make sure that everyone has the
necessary means for a decent life. But our government's project
for global domination is carried out in the name of the greed
of the "haves" of the world to have still more, even
if it means killing hundreds of thousands of people and letting
millions more die every year of starvation and poverty-related
Reporters ... will not report their own insights or contrary evaluations
of the official 9/11 story, because to question the government
story about 9/11 is to question the very foundations of our entire
modern belief system regarding our government, our country, and
our way of life. To be charged with questioning these foundations
is far more serious than being labeled a disgruntled conspiracy
nut or an anti-government traitor, or even being sidelined or
marginalized within an academic, government-service, or literary
career. To question the official 9/11 story is simply and fundamentally
H. L. Mencken
I believe that it is better to tell the
truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than
to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to
The strategy of tension targets the emotions of human beings and
aims to spread maximum fear among the target group. "Tension"
refers to emotional distress and psychological fear, whereas "strategy"
refers to the technique of bringing about such distress and fear.
A terrorist attack in a public place, such as a railway station,
a market place, or a school bus, is the typical technique through
which the strategy of tension is implemented. After the attack
- and this is a crucial element - the secret agents who carried
out the crime blame it on a political opponent by removing and
It must be noted that the targets of the
strategy of tension are not the dead and the wounded of the terrorist
attacks, as many might assume. The targets are the political opponents,
who are discredited through the attack, and those who remain unharmed
but learn of the attack, thereby coming to fear for their lives
and those of their loved ones. Since the aims of the strategy
are to discredit opponents and to create fear, the real targets
are not the people who were killed, whether they number in the
dozens or even thousands, but the millions of people who survive
physically unharmed but emotionally distressed.
The strategy of tension forms part of
what is called "psychological warfare" or PSYWAR. As
the term indicates, this form of warfare does not attack human
bodies, tanks, planes, ships, satellites, and houses in order
to destroy them, but human psyches, human minds.
Strategy-of-tension terrorism that kills innocent people is a
radical and brutal form of psychological warfare.
Concentrated corporate media have acted as a government megaphone,
largely blocking out criticism of the official 9/11 account and
the lies that led our troops into the disastrous war in Iraq.
Universities are an integral part of the establishment... Universities
are big businesses, and growing revenues from government grants,
legislative appropriations, and corporate contracts are key. Noble
purposes still play a role but rarely dominate when they conflict
with more money.
We must desanctify 9/11, showing that, far from being an attack
by rag-tag terrorists that showed American to be so vulnerable
that they must now give up their outmoded ideas about civil liberties
and torture, it was a false-flag attack carried out by forces
within our own government, aided by selected outsiders.
The self-conception of America as supreme on earth in matters
of significance is obligatory in public policy formation and expression
of acceptable opinion in America. Backed by "the greatest
military power the world has ever seen," the divine sign
to believers in the religion of America, the commander-in-chief
always decides with God's blessing. No major decision fails to
invoke the divine sanctification. Accordingly, bipartisan declarations
of certitudes about America's higher calling, supreme power, and
benevolence of will are daily incanted as articles of public faith.
None may be doubted without accusations of treason."
... Propelled by a conviction of overriding
natural right and with mass-homicidal weapons to enforce its convictions,
this fundamentalism overrides natural limits of world ecosystems
and regards the most extreme inequality in history as "America's
greatness... If the religion of America legitimates limitless
money-capital growth and the marketization of all that exists,
then it follows that its wars, too, are divinely sanctioned.
C. Wright Mills, in his 1956 book 'The Power Elite', documents
how World War II solidified a trinity of power in the US that
comprised corporate, military, and government elites in a centralized
power structure motivated by class interests and working in unison
through "higher circles" of contact and agreement. Mills
described how the power elite were those "who decide whatever
is decided" of major consequence.
... The higher-circle policy elites (HCPE)
are a segment of the American upper class and are the principal
decision-makers in society.
Adbusters defined 'Neoconservatism':
The belief that Democracy, however flawed,
was best defended by an ignorant public pumped on nationalism
and religion. Only a militantly nationalist state could deter
human aggression .... Such nationalism requires an external threat
and if one cannot be found it must be manufactured.
The HCPE [higher-circle policy elites] within both major political
parties tend to seek to maintain US world military power. Both
political parties cooperate by encouraging Congress to protect
US business interests abroad and corporate profits at home.
During the Clinton administration, neoconservatives within the
HCPE [higher-circle policy elites] were advocating military global
dominance. Many of the neoconservatives and their global dominance
allies found various positions in conservative think tanks and
with Department of Defense contractors. They continued close affiliations
with each other through the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise
Institute, Hoover Institute, Jewish Institute for National Security
Affairs (JINSA), Center for Security Policy, and several other
conservative policy groups. Some became active with right-wing
publications such as the National Review and the Weekly Standard.
In 1997, they received funding from conservative foundations to
create the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
HCPE advocates for a US-led "New
World Order," along with Reagan/Bush hard-liners and other
military expansionists, founded PNAC [Project for a New American
Century] in June of 1997. Their statement of principles called
for guiding principles for American foreign policy and the creation
of a strategic vision for America's role in the world. PNAC set
forth its aims with the following statement:
* we need to increase defense spending
significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities
today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
* we need to strengthen our ties to democratic
allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
* we need to promote the cause of political
and economic freedom abroad;
* we need to accept responsibility for
America's unique role in preserving and extending an international
order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.
* Such a Reaganite policy of military
strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it
is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes
of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness
in the next."
The statement was signed by Elliott Abrams,
Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A.
Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg,
Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. IkIe, Donald Kagan, Zalmay
Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter
W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld,
Vin leber, George Weigel, and Paul Wolfowiitz.
... In September 2000, PNAC produced a
76-page report entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy,
Forces, and Resources for a New Century." The report was
similar to the Defense Policy Guidance document written by Lewis
Libby and Paul Wolfowitz in 1992-not surprisingly, since both
men participated in the production of the 2000 report. Steven
Cambone, Dov Zakheim, Mark Lagan, and David Epstein were also
heavily involved. Each of these individuals would go on to hold
high-level positions in the George W. Bush administration."
Rebuilding America's Defenses called for
the protection of the American homeland, the control of space
and cyberspace, and the ability to wage simultaneous theater wars
and perform global constabulary roles. It claimed that the decade
of the 1990s had been one of defense neglect and that the US had
to increase military spending to preserve its geopolitical leadership
as the world's superpower. The report claimed that in order to
maintain a Pax Americana, potential rivals-such as China, Iran,
Iraq, and North Korea-needed to be held in check. As many writers
in this volume and elsewhere have pointed out, the report also,
in calling for a transformation of the military, said that "the
process of transformation... is likely to be a long one, absent
some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor.""
September 11, 2001 was exactly the kind of catastrophe that the
authors of Rebuilding America's Defenses thought was needed to
accelerate a global dominance agenda.
Before 9/11, the development of strategic
global dominance policies were likely to be challenged by members
of Congress and liberal HCPE [higher-circle policy elites], who
continued to hold a détente foreign policy that had been
traditionally advocated by the Council of Foreign Relations and
the State Department. Liberal and moderate HCPE in various think
tanks, policy councils, and universities still hoped for a peace
dividend, resulting in lower taxes and the stabilization of social
programs, and the maintenance of a foreign policy based more on
a balance of power than on unilateral US military global domination.
Additionally, many HCPE were worried that the costs of rapidly
expanding the military would lead to deficit spending.
These liberal/moderate HCPE [higher-circle
policy elites] were so shocked by 9/11 that they became immediately
united in their fear of terrorism and in full support of the Patriot
Act, Homeland Security, and legislation to support military action
in Afghanistan and later Iraq. The resulting permanent war on
terror led to massive government spending and the rapid acceleration
of the neoconservative HCPE plans for military control of the
Only 118 people comprise the membership on the boards of director
of [America's ten big media organizations]. These 118 individuals
in turn sit on the corporate boards of 288 national and international
... Given an interlocked corporate media
network, it is safe to say that big media in the United States
effectively represent the interests of corporate America. The
media elite, a key component of the HCPE [higher-circle policy
elites], are the watchdogs of acceptable ideological messages,
the controllers of news and information content, and the decision-makers
regarding media resources.
Vice President Henry Wallace, New York Times, April 9, 1944:
The really dangerous American fascist...
is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American
way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American
fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison
the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem
is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best
to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist
and his group more money or more power.
... They claim to be super-patriots, but
they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.
They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly
and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their
deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using
the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously,
they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.