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 exploited."


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 Afghanistan.

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 said:

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 asked.]

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 diseases.

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 revolutionary.

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 be ignorant.

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 planting evidence.

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 world.

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 corporations.

... 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.

September 1, 2001

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