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October 8, 2013

Academics examine the events of 9/11

Scott Stockdale

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The 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States were a false flag operation meant to provide a doorway into 9/11, according to Graeme MacQueen, professor emeritus and founder of the Centre of Peace Studies at McMaster University.

Speaking at a recent presentation at the University of Toronto entitled “9/11 and the Fictions of  the National Security State”, Dr. MacQueen said this fiction, that was originally more than useful, is collapsing and threatening to take down the story of 9/11 with it and, “this War on Terror”.

A week after 9/11, on September 18, 2001, the first anthrax letter was mailed. In the following weeks, at least seven additional anthrax letters were mailed. The offices of Senate Majority Leader, South Dakota Democratic Senator Tom Daschle and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy received anthrax letters, as did several US media outlets. At least 22 people were infected and five died.

Dr. MacQueen said the death of innocent civilians outside the formal political arena was crucial because it creates fear amongst the public, which results in civil society asking the state for more security. This, of course, means indefinite suspension of many civil liberties that were once a part of a liberal democracy.

He also said the targeting of representatives of the public state – in this case two Democratic Senators who may have been able to block the passage of the Patriot Act – facilitated the passage of legislation. On October 26, 2001, two days after the death of the first anthrax victim, Robert Stevens, the Patriot Act was passed into law.

And it's still in effect today. On May 26, 2011, President Obama signed a bill to authorize a four-year extension of three key provisions of the Patriot Act: roving wire taps, searches of business records (the “library records provision”) and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves"—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities, not linked to terrorist groups.

Immediately after the anthrax attacks - which occurred in the weeks following 9/11 - both President Bush and Vice President Cheney, in public statements, speculated about the possibility of a link between the anthrax attacks and Al Qaeda.

The Guardian reported in early October 2001 that American scientists had implicated Iraq as the source of the anthrax, and the next day the Wall St. Journal editorialized that Al Qaeda perpetrated the mailings, with Iraq the source of the anthrax. A few days later, Senator John McCain suggested, on the Late Show with David Letterman, that the anthrax may have come from Iraq.

However, analysis of the anthrax determined the genetic strain and method of preparation indicated that it came from one of three laboratories serving the US military and security apparatus. In January 2002, Tom Ridge, head of US Homeland Security announced that the anthrax appeared to be from a domestic source. With the original narrative of Al Qaeda and Iraq perpetrating the anthrax attack falling apart, the FBI tried to disconnect the anthrax and 9/11 attacks, and instead focused on a “lone wolf” theory. In August 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft labeled Dr. Steven Hatfill - a virologist and bio-weapons expert – as a "person of interest in a press conference”, no charges were brought against him. On June 27, 2008, the US government announced it would pay Dr. Hatfill $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit for violating his constitutional rights and violating the Privacy Act. Despite these events, Dr. MacQueen said attempts to frame Muslims continued into 2002.

Moreover, the above-mentioned facts didn't deter the US Secretary of State Colin Powell from holding up a bottle of simulated anthrax - in front of the U.N. Security Council on February 5, 2003, and making the case that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  Summaries of cherry-picked intelligence omitted evidence that Iraq no longer had WMDs.

Meanwhile, the US Attorney General John Ashcroft was showing pictures of crop dusters to the US media and telling them that they could be used to distribute anthrax; but huge quantities would be needed, which only a state - i.e. Iraq – could supply.

There is no way to reconcile the positions taken by Mr. Powell with regard to the anthrax attacks, and the facts. However, his performance at the UN succeeded in increasing US public support for an invasion of Iraq.

Michael Keefer, professor emeritus in the English Department, at the University of Guelph, began his talk by explaining that a country is a country because its citizens have been convinced that they and the rest of the people who share a particular living space are in fact a country. This idea in the imaginations of masses of people, Dr. Keefer referred to as the social imaginary. Thus if those who control public opinion can change the social imaginary, they can change the country, for better or for worse.

Dr. Keefer said Richard Clarke, the chief counter-terrorism adviser on the National Security Council, in the Bush administration, said he came up with the idea of aircraft being used to target key installations in the US, more from Tom Clancy novels, than from intelligence reports.

Dr. Keefer then proceeded to show that the 9/11 Commission Report closely resembled much of the story line in Tom Clancy's trilogy: Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of all Fears. He said that while CNN news commentator Wolf Blitzer asked if terrorists read Tom Clancy novels, Dr. Keefer: “Could US intelligence officials have these novels in their minds?”

In writing the 9/11 Commission report, Philip Zelikow, Executive Director of the report, dramatically reshaped the social imagery so that events from 9/11 on are now totally discontinued from past history. This in turn led to suspension of civil liberties and state brutality, Dr. Keefer said.

“Philip Zelikow radically redirected the social imagery. Every September the president issues a letter stating that the state of emergency continues. This means representative democracy has been supplanted by a military dictatorship, by an official document. The Washington Post said we have a “shadow government, whereby members of Congress only get the title of a document; they don't know what's in it.”

Dr. Keefer said Mr. Zelikow actually wrote the outline of the 9/11 Commission report and then it was given to the commissioners to fill in the details. In part because significant amounts of the information given to them by the CIA was obtained by torture, he said the commissioners asked to interview the prisoners and the interrogators, but the request was denied. He added that in 2005, tapes of the interrogations were destroyed, so it will be much more difficult find the truth.

“In every significant detail, the 9/11 report is false and misleading to: intimidate the occupied population; perpetrate the fiction of Al Qaeda and Iraq, and then Al Qaeda and Iran are behind terrorist attacks; and getting people (prisoners) to admit that Al Qaeda was supported by the state of Iraq. 9/11 is one big fictive tale.”

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