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“JFK, 9/11 and War”

Dr. Peter Dale Scott | 20.08.2007 15:51 | Analysis | History | Terror War | World

In American history there are two types of event: ordinary events which the information systems of the country can understand and establish. There are also deep events, or meta-events, which the mainstream information systems of the country cannot digest. I mean by a “deep event” an event in which it is clear from the outset that there are aspects which will not be dealt with in the mainstream media, and will be studied only by those so-called “conspiracy theorists” who specialize in deep history.

The events I shall discuss today exhibit continuities with each other and with other deep events, notably the Iran-Contra affair of the mid 1980s and the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995. But the three I shall discuss today – the JFK assassination, the initial Watergate break-ins, and 9/11 – are outstanding in this respect: that while they were attributed to insignificant and very marginal people, they had momentous impact, far more than most daily events by more important people, in redirecting American history. 1

If history is what is recorded, then deep history is the sum of events which tend to be officially obscured or even suppressed in traditional books and media. Important recent deep events include the political assassinations of the 1960s, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and now 9/11. All these deep events have involved what I call the deep state, that part of the state which is not publicly accountable, and pursues its goals by means which will not be approved by a public examination. The CIA (with its on-going relationships to drug-traffickers) is an obvious aspect of the deep state, but not the only one, perhaps not even the dirtiest.

When I talk of a deep state, this term (as opposed to others, like deep politics), is not my own invention. It is a translation of the Turkish gizli devlet, or derin devlet, a term used to describe the networks revealed by the so-called Susurluk incident of 1996, when the victims traveling together in what became a deadly car crash were identified as "an MP, a police chief, a beauty queen and her lover, a top Turkish gangster and hitman called Abdullah Catli.” The giveaway was that “Catli, a heroin trafficker on Interpol's wanted list, was carrying a diplomatic passport signed by none other than the Turkish Interior Minister himself.” 2 He was carrying narcotics with him at the time of the crash. 3

The study of these deep events has slowly become more respectable in the almost half-century since the JFK assassination. A major reason has been the emergence of the Internet and other forms of new media, where the same deep events tend to get far more extensive treatment. 4 If the new media come in time to prevail over the priorities of the old, it is possible that we will see a paradigm shift with respect to what is appropriate for serious public discourse.

What I have learned over the years is that it is helpful to look at all these deep events together. This is true for both external reasons (how the nation and its media handle deep history) and for internal reasons (the content of deep events themselves).

JFK and 9/11: Similarities

I gave a talk in November 2006 which by June 2007 had been seen on line by over 20,000 people. I wish to enlarge three of the comparisons I made, while beginning with five new ones.

1) Stock market speculation:

By this I am not referring to the dip and recovery that followed both events, which is common after any unsettling news. 5 I am referring to the dealings in special stocks which suggested, in both cases, prior knowledge of what was to come.

In early November 1963, David Harold (“Dry Hole”) Byrd and his investment partner, James Ling, bought $2 million worth of stock (132,600 shares) in Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV), Ling’s defense company. Then in January 1964 LTV received the first defense contract from the Pentagon – for a fighter plane to be used in the escalating war in Vietnam. I have calculated that this $2.5 million insiders’ purchase was worth $26 million by the end of 1967. Moreover the prescient purchase was about one hundred times the size of any other insider purchase in aerospace issues in the same period. 6

This does not prove that Byrd and Ling were directly involved in the Kennedy assassination, but it is likely that Byrd may have had inklings of what was going to happen. For Byrd owned the Texas School Book Depository building, where Oswald had been hired as an employee in October 1963. I have hypothesized that Oswald thought he was there on a surveillance assignment, to report on a fellow worker was under investigation by the Dallas Police. Byrd may have been privy to this arrangement, and have suspected more.

This is comparable to the notorious “puts” purchased in advance in 2001, in the stock of United Airlines and American Airlines. 7 Here too the advance purchases suggest special knowledge, but here too the purchasers and the perpetrators may not have been the same, especially if we imagine that intelligence agencies had prior indications of the event about to occur.

2) A number of senior officers were out of the country, including the Secretary of State

On November 22, 1963, six out of ten cabinet members were on their way to Japan, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon, Interior Secretary Stewart Udall and Labor Secretary W.W. Wirtz. 8

On September 11, 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell and CJCS Henry Shelton were traveling outside the country, while Attorney General John Ashcroft was also traveling. 9 Powell and Shelton were leading opponents of the Iraq War, and were eventually ousted, along with Ashcroft.

3) Prior investigations of the eventual suspects were impeded:

Oswald, who had been on the FBI’s Watch List since his travel to the Soviet Union in 1959, was inexplicably taken off watch list on October 9, 1963, just after his arrest in New Orleans and his alleged trip to Mexico City had made him a candidate for increased surveillance. 10 October 9, the day before the CIA reported to the FBI on Oswald in Mexico City, was the day CIA HQ itself received the news.

This is comparable to the obstruction by the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI Headquarters of the Minneapolis FBI’s efforts to interview the so-called twentieth hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, especially after Moussaoui’s arrest on August 15, 2001. 11 Moussaoui knew most of the other nineteen alleged hijackers, and an interview of him, if not have impeded, could have led to the detention of the nineteen. A Minnesota Special Agent, Harry Samit, later testified that he wrote FBI headquarters about seventy memos on Moussaoui between August 16 and September 11, all to no avail. 12

Similarly the CIA failed to tell the FBI that two of the terrorists, Khalid al-Mihdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, were in the United States. 13 The blocking of the Moussaoui investigation, and the withholding of the CIA’s information, have both been blamed on Janet Reno’s so-called Wall memorandum of 1995. But the Wall memo was renewed on August 6, 2001, by Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. 14

Another example of such obstruction was the curtailment of the Army intelligence investigation of al-Qaeda through its Able Danger program. According to Paul Thompson’s Terror Timeline, military lawyers on three occasions forced members of Able Danger to cancel scheduled meetings with the FBI at the last minute. Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer later complained that “critical counterterrorism information [was] never passed from SOCOM [Special Operations Command] to the FBI before 9/11; this information included the original data regarding Atta and the terrorist cells in New York and the DC area.” Rep. Curt Weldon (R), who in 2005 helped bring to light the existence of the program, commented, “Obviously, if we had taken out that cell, 9/11 would not have occurred.” 15

Students of the John F. Kennedy assassination have speculated that Oswald’s name, with or without his knowledge and/or participation, was being used by the CIA in Mexico as part of a complex operation against Fidel Castro. 16 If true, the removal of his name from the FBI watch list would not be absurd, but understandable, to prevent an accidental law enforcement interruption of a CIA operation.

In like manner the obstructions of the FBI’s RFU would be understandable if Atta and Moussaoui or their names were being used as part of a contemporary intelligence operation. In this case what looks outwardly like senseless and incoherent behavior would actually be the result of FBI-CIA coordination. 17

A superficial distinction between the relevant events of 1963 and 2001 actually reinforces this possibility. Marvin Gheesling, the FBI Supervisor responsible for removing the stop on Oswald’s name, was later censured by Hoover for his action. Dave Frasca, the RFU chief who stopped the Minneapolis office from pursuing a criminal warrant against Moussaoui, was later promoted. 18 The difference is attributable to Hoover’s personal hostility to the CIA and his irritation with members of William C. Sullivan’s Intelligence Division of FBI (which included Gheesling) who were too cooperative with it.

4) Commission recommendations to increase power of intelligence agencies, or deep state

It is worth pointing out that the Commission Reports prepared with respect to both JFK and 9/11 were tightly controlled and produced the same recommendation: that the surveillance powers of intelligence agencies should be increased. This was quite paradoxical in the case of the Warren Report, which concluded both that Oswald was a loner and that the CIA should have greater powers to conduct surveillance of organized groups. It was hardly less paradoxical in the case of the 9/11 Report, which concluded its survey of repeated intelligence failures and Pakistani intrigues with recommendations for increased intelligence budgets and maintenance of current aid to Pakistan. (In June 2007 Ahmed Rashid blamed the current Pakistani political crisis on the “bad deal” and “blind bargain” that Washington had made with Musharraf after 9/11.) 19

A truly independent investigation of each event could, and indeed should, have been highly embarrassing to the CIA. Even in 2007 the CIA is still in non-compliance with the Assassination Records Review Act, and withholding documents with respect to an officer, George Joannides, who supervised the Cuban Revolutionary Student Directorate, or DRE, which had recurring contacts with Lee Harvey Oswald. The CIA shared nothing with the Warren Commission about its contacts with the DRE (which may have involved Oswald). Nor did the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) learn anything of significance in 1978, when the CIA assigned Joannides to be its Principal Coordinating Officer working with the House Committee.

Similarly in 2001 the 9/11 Commission learned nothing about why, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, members of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) were aloft in a National Emergency Airborne Command Post (NEACP), or so-called “Doomsday Plane.” 20 Neither in 1964 nor in 2003 was there any chance for such revelations. In 1964 the work of the Warren Commission was carefully constrained by former CIA Director Allen Dulles (who had been fired by President Kennedy because of the Bay of Pigs fiasco). 21 In 2003 the work of the 9/11 Commission, and later the writing of the 9/11 Report, were tightly controlled by Philip Zelikow, who prior to becoming the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission had been appointed by President George W. Bush to PFIAB.

5) Paper trails laid by the designated suspects to facilitate their identification:

In both JFK and 9/11, the designated suspects – Oswald and the hijackers – made their detection easy by implausibly laying paper trails leading to themselves. Oswald is supposed in March 1963 to have purchased by mail order, using the name A. Hidell, the notorious Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, when in Dallas he could have bought a rifle anonymously by walking a few blocks to a gun shop. 22 In August he asked to be interviewed by an FBI agent, to whom he showed a Fair Play for Cuba Committee card with the name A.J. Hidell, which he had already shown to a New Orleans police lieutenant. The information was transmitted to the local Office of Naval Intelligence and to the 112th Army Military Intelligence Group. “On November 22, the 112th MIG file was instrumental, perhaps crucial, in clinching the superficial case against Oswald as an assassin.” 23

Oswald’s self-incrimination via paper trail was more than matched in 1972 by Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt. The whole unraveling of the Watergate story by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein was steered by the abundant evidence, including cashiers’ checks and easily traceable mint sequential hundred dollar bills, which Hunt had arranged for prior to the break-in. 24 In case this was not enough, the burglars took the photographs they made of documents copied to a commercial photographer in Miami, who promptly notified the FBI. 25

This irrational self-incrimination via paper trail was again repeated in 2001 by Mohamed Atta, the principal alleged hijacker. In 2006, “a former FBI agent [Warren Flagg] and a former federal prosecutor … told Newsday that one bag found in Boston contained far more than what the commission report cited, including the names of the hijackers, their assignments and their al-Qaida connections.” The former prosecutor added, "These guys left behind a paper trail…. They had bank accounts. They rented cars. They had to show what they were doing in the United States.” 26

Atta’s trove of information allegedly “provided the Rosetta stone enabling FBI agents to swiftly unravel the mystery of who carried out the suicide attacks and what motivated them.” 27

The belated appearance in 2006 of the Flagg story has caused some to question it. However, other official allegations point precisely to other instances of paper trails left by the hijackers. According to the 9/11 Commission Report (532n188), the FBI found an Express Mail receipt in Nawaf al-Hazmi’s car at Dulles Airport, which led to a package addressed to Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi. As if this was not enough, Atta also is said to have left a FedEx waybill for another package which, the federal indictment of Moussaoui strongly implied, was collected by al-Hawsawi. 28 The details are given in Newsweek, November 19, 2001:

The paper trail [Newsweek’s term] that first led investigators into Ahmed's shadowy financial world began at the bottom of a motel trash can. On the night of Sept. 10, Atta hunkered down in room 233 at the Comfort Inn in Portland, Maine. The next morning he would take a flight to Boston's Logan airport. At the motel, Atta tore up a FedEx Air Waybill and threw it away. Days later, federal agents searching the motel found the receipt, from a package mailed in Florida, where Atta and several other hijackers had lived until days before the bombing. It was addressed to `Almohtaram,’ Arabic for `The Respected One’ — the honorific the terrorists gave to Ahmed. Investigators believe they sealed the connection when they got hold of the video of Ahmed picking up the package.

Thus the paper trails laid by both Oswald and Atta were crucial to a similarity I first discussed in my earlier paper: the speedy identification of the alleged (or designated) culprits.

6 ) Instant Identification of the Culprits

In the case of Oswald, within fifteen minutes of the assassination and long before Oswald was picked up in the Texas Theater, the Dallas police put out on the police network, and possibly other networks, a description of the killer – five foot ten – 165 pounds, 29 which exactly matched what was in his FBI file, and in CIA documents about him. 30

One problem was that this didn’t match the actual height and weight of the man picked up and charged, which was five foot nine and 140 pounds. 31 The 5’10” measurement was also suspect because it was attributed to Howard Brennan, who saw someone in the sixth floor window, but only from the waist up. Brennan subsequently failed to pick out Oswald in a police line-up. 32 So there is a question where the police were able to get that exact measurement of 5’ 10”, 165 pounds. It appears someone had already determined that Oswald would be the designated culprit, before the police found him in the Texas Theater.

Meanwhile on 9/11 the FBI already had a list of alleged hijackers by 9:59 am on September 11, which was when the second tower collapsed. 33 9:59 AM was at least four minutes before Flight United 93 had hit the ground.

Even within the bureaucracy there were suspicions that the FBI was drawing on pre-9/11 files for its identifications.

"I don't buy the idea that we didn't know what was coming," a former FBI official with extensive counter-terrorism experience has since said. "Within 24 hours [of the attack] the Bureau had about 20 people identified, and photos were sent out to the news media. Obviously this information was available in the files and somebody was sitting on it." 34

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer of the Pentagon Able Danger had a similar reaction:
We were amazed at how quickly the FBI produced the name and pictures of all 19 hijackers. But then again, we were surprised at how quickly they’d made the arrests after the first World Trade Center bombing. Only later did we find out that the FBI had been watching some of these people for months prior to both incidents.” 35
It was in this context of suspicion that Warren Flagg came forward in 2006 with the explanation of Atta’s paper trail:
"How do you think the government was able to identify all 19 hijackers almost immediately after the attacks?" Flagg asked. "They were identified through those papers in the luggage. And that's how it was known so soon that al-Qaida was behind the hijackings.” 36
It is of course possible that an instantaneous investigation of Atta’s effects would explain how the FBI could tell Richard Clarke that they had a list of suspected hijackers by 9:59 AM on September 11. But this would imply that the FBI had the names of all nineteen hijackers by then, including the four on Flight 93 which had not yet crashed.

7) Drug-Traffickers and Deep Events, from the JFK Assassination to 9/11

Pulling back now and looking at the four biggest “deep events” of the last four decades – the JFK assassination, the Watergate break-ins, Contragate, and now 9/11 – we see that their common denominator is drug-trafficking. Why is this? In the first three the deep state worked with assets outside civil society and beyond the rule of law. This is an important hypothesis, so I will repeat it: In the first three deep events, JFK, the Watergate break-ins, and Contragate, the deep state worked with assets outside civil society and beyond the rule of law.

I want to suggest that in 9/11 the same thing happened again. The pattern moreover is that exhibited by the gizli devlet or deep state in Turkey, where a Parliamentary Investigation into the Susurluk Report concluded that the deep state had used the drug-trafficking Grey Wolves and fomented conflicts in the 1970s between the Turkish right and left. 37 The alliance between the deep state and drug traffickers has surfaced in other countries as well, including France, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Japan.

Before I deal with the four American deep events, let me stress that, at the time of the previous events, their drug connections were vigorously denied. But they have since become clear. I will give a few examples. The Warren Report argued that Jack Ruby “was not involved with Chicago’s criminal element.” 38 But in 1979 the House Assassinations Committee assembled a report of over 1000 pages on his organized crime connections. It heard from a close Ruby associate, Lewis McWillie, that in 1959 the two men had visited the Trescornia camp in Cuba, and the “primary reason” for the visit was to meet Giuseppe deGeorge, one of the two top heroin couriers between Europe and Cuba. 39

In Deep Politics, and especially my recently reissued book Deep Politics Two, I discuss the importance of the drug traffic, as a unifying factor in the JFK case. It is a key, I have argued, to Jack Ruby’s special status with the Dallas Police Department. 40 When we look at those who in Mexico manipulated false Oswald story — to suggest that Oswald had been talking about assassination there — we again run into people with drug backgrounds. 41 A key example is Gilberto Alvarado, a Nicaraguan, whose story about Oswald and assassination was so serious that we know FBI Director Hoover discussed it on November 29 with Lyndon Johnson. 42 We now know that Alvarado, the source," reported "directly to General Gustavo Montiel, Chief of the Intelligence Service of the Nicaraguan Army." 43 Montiel was later denounced as a principal in a "massive car theft ring" run by Norwin Meneses, described in other CIA cables as "the kingpin of narcotics traffickers in Nicaragua." 44

I have just finished a draft essay on Watergate, in which I argue that the Watergate burglars assembled by Howard Hunt, all but one Cubans, included at least two men with drug connections, and that they were being used under White House direction to restructure the drug traffic by eliminating, possibly even assassinating, old-time drug-traffickers who formed part of the so-called “French connection.” According to Edward J. Epstein, Hunt contacted a number of Cuban exiles and explained “that he had been authorized by the White House to recruit Cuban exiles into `hit teams’ which would be used ostensibly to assassinate narcotics dealers.” 45 Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis, after his arrest, said that in 1971 he too had joined Hunt in investigating the drug traffic that was entering the U.S. from Mexico, Paraguay, and Panama. 46 Sturgis claimed “that he undertook several missions for Hunt involving tracking narcotics, and he assumed that this was the nucleus of a new supranational police force that would be expanded after Nixon’s reelection.” 47

Then in the 1980s we encounter the involvement in drug-trafficking of some of the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, and more importantly of those who were supplying them with arms. This was emphatically denied at the time, and the two AP reporters who first broke the story both lost their jobs. But after two full-length books on the topic (Cocaine Politics, by myself and Jonathan Marshall, and Dark Alliance, by Gary Webb, the CIA Inspector-General was commissioned to investigate the matter. As the House Intelligence Committee later reported, “Volume II of the CIA IG report explains in detail the knowledge the CIA had that some contras had been, were alleged to be or were in fact involved or somehow associated with drug trafficking or drug traffickers.” 48

We need to stand back and consider the implications of this recurring phenomenon. In deep events the drug connection is at first vociferously denied; then it is belatedly admitted, but only after reporting journalists like Gary Webb have been driven from the journalistic profession. As a result, the role of drug-trafficking in deep events is like the elephant in the American political living room, rarely captured on film, and even more rarely discussed in polite discourse.

If 9/11 is similar to these preceding events, and I believe it is, we have to face the possibility that forces within the American deep state were again allied with drug traffickers. In this case the traffickers would be al Qaeda. And as the Toronto Star speculated in 2001, the alliance was not restricted to the deep state and al Qaeda, but also included elements from the financial overworld:

Earlier this month, the Guardian, a U.K. newspaper, reported that FBI agents had been told by the Bush administration to back off investigating members of the bin Laden clan living in the U.S. In September, the Wall Street Journal documented the lucrative business connections between the bin Laden family and senior U.S. Republicans, including the president’s father, George Bush Sr.

What are we to make of all this? One possible conclusion is that the bin Laden terror problem was allowed to get out of hand because bin Laden, himself, had powerful protectors in both Washington and Saudi Arabia. 49

In The Road to 9/11 I suggest that those protectors included U.S. oil companies eager to invest in Central Asia.

Drugs and Al Qaeda

How important were drugs in the financing al Qaeda? On this important question the British and American government have different positions. The 9/11 Commission Report, released in July 2004, went out of its way to say that While the drug trade was a source of income for the Taliban, it did not serve the same purpose for al Qaeda, and there is no reliable evidence that Bin Ladin was involved in or made his money through drug trafficking. 50

I submit that this claim will look extraordinary in ten years time. The British Parliament was told on October 4, 2001, that “al Qaeda’s activity includes substantial exploitation of the drug trade from Afghanistan.” 51 Only two weeks later, on August 2, 2004, Time magazine ran a major story about Haji Juma Khan …the kingpin of a heroin-trafficking enterprise that is a principal source of funding for the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists. According to a Western antinarcotics official, since slipping out of Afghanistan after U.S. forces released him, Khan has helped al-Qaeda establish a smuggling network that is peddling Afghan heroin to buyers across the Middle East, Asia and Europe, and in turn is using the drug revenues to purchase weapons and explosives.

This was after US Central Command reported that in December 2003 a dhow (an Arab sailing vessel) was intercepted near the Strait of Hormuz, carrying almost two tons of hashish valued at up to $10 million. There were "clear ties" between the shipment and al-Qaeda, the Centcom statement said.” 52 A few days later, on New Year's Eve, a U.S. Navy vessel in the Arabian Sea “stopped a small fishing boat that was carrying no fish. After a search, [said] a Western antinarcotics official, `they found several al-Qaeda guys sitting on a bale of drugs.’" 53

The drug-trafficking Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, like al Qaeda a by-product of CIA-ISI plotting in the 1980s, 54 is said to have come “under the influence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda” after 1998. 55 And Ralf Mutschke, Assistant Director of Interpol, told the US Congress that “according to some estimations IMU may be responsible for 70 % of the total amount of heroin and opium transiting through the area [of Central Asia].” 56 While such quantitative estimates remain uncertain, it is known that the IMU set up heroin labs in territories under its control. 57

In The Road to 9/11 I describe how in Azerbaijan, under oil company cover, veterans of CIA operations in Laos, like Richard Secord, Heinie Aderholt, and Ed Dearborn, set up an airline on the model of Air America which soon was “picking up hundreds of Mujahideen mercenaries from Afghanistan.” 58 The Arab Afghans’ Azeri operations were financed with Afghan heroin.

Loretta Napoleoni has argued that there is an Islamist drug route of al Qaeda allies across North Central Asia, reaching from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan through Azerbaijan and Chechnya to Kosovo. 59 This leads us to the paradoxical fact that in 1998 Clinton came to the support of the al Qaeda-backed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). He did so even though “In 1998, the U.S. State Department listed the KLA … as an international terrorist organization, saying it had bankrolled its operations with proceeds from the international heroin trade and from loans from known terrorists like Osama bin Laden.” 60

Soon Mother Jones reported that in the six months since Washington enthroned the Kosovo Liberation Army in that Yugoslav province, KLA-associated drug traffickers have cemented their influence and used their new status to increase heroin trafficking and forge links with other nationalist rebel groups and drug cartels…. According to recent DEA statistics, Afghan heroin accounted for almost 20 percent of the smack seized in this country — nearly double the percentage taken four years earlier. Much of it is distributed by Kosovar Albanians. 61

It is now clear that the U.S. interventions in both Azerbaijan and Kosovo have beneficial for U.S. oil pipeline projects. BBC News announced in December 2004 that the $1.2 billion pipeline, south of a huge new US army base in Kosovo, has been given a go-ahead by the governments of Albania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. 62

This leads in turn to the allegations of Sibel Edmonds, the Turkish-American former FBI translator, who has been prevented from speaking directly by an extraordinary court order, 63 but whose allegations have been summarized by Daniel Ellsberg:
Al Qaeda, she's been saying to congress, according to these interviews, is financed 95% by drug money - drug traffic to which the US government shows a blind eye, has been ignoring, because it very heavily involves allies and assets of ours - such as Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan - all the 'Stans - in a drug traffic where the opium originates in Afghanistan, is processed in Turkey, and delivered to Europe where it furnishes 96% of Europe's heroin, by Albanians, either in Albania or Kosovo - Albanian Muslims in Kosovo - basically the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army which we backed heavily in that episode at the end of the century.
In other words, the US is in effect, …permitting, or 'not acting against,' a heroin trade - which not only corrupts our cities and our city politics, AND our congress, as Sibel makes very specific - but is financing the terrorist organization that constitutes a genuine threat to us. And this seems to be a fact that is accepted by our top leaders, according to Sibel, for various geopolitical reasons, and for corrupt reasons as well. Sometimes things are simpler than they might appear - and they involve envelopes of cash. Sibel says that suitcases of cash have been delivered to the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, at his home, near Chicago, from Turkish sources, knowing that a lot of that is drug money. 64

In 2005 Sibel Edmonds’ charges were partly aired in Vanity Fair. There it was revealed that Edmonds had had access to FBI wiretaps of conversations among members of the American-Turkish Council (ATC), about bribing elected US officials, and about “what sounded like references to large-scale drug shipments and other crimes.” 65

Once again, as in past deep events, Sibel Edmonds’ charges have been predictably ignored by the traditional media. 66 When I drew attention to her claims last November, I added that “I consider a top priority of the new Democratic Congress should be to give her charges a proper investigation for the first time. These charges are not just pertinent to 9/11 alone, but to the whole fabric of how this country is run.” A massive campaign to have Congressman Henry Waxman hold Hearings on them has however proven totally unproductive. His office has not even answered any of the deluge of emails he has received.

Edmonds has been corroborated by Huseyin Baybasin, another Turkish heroin kingpin now in jail in Holland, who after Susurluk went public with revelations about state corruption, later explained his role in his book Trial by Fire: “I handled the drugs which came through the channel of the Turkish Consulate in England.” But as he adds: “I was with the Mafia but I was carrying this out with the same Mafia group in which the rulers of Turkey were part.” Baybasin claimed he was assisted by Turkish officers working for NATO in Belgium. 67

Sibel Edmonds is not alone in alleging a 9/11-drugs connection. 68 There was also another witness, Indira Singh, who said publicly when speaking about 9/11: “I was told that if I mentioned the money to the drugs around 9/11 that would be the end of me.” 69

One thing we can say with confidence: the flow of Afghan heroin west through Turkey is a problem that can be traced back to the CIA’s complex involvement with a) Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service, b) with the drug-linked Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and c) with Islamist Afghan mujahedeen like the drug-trafficker Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the 1980s. 70

In fact the web of influence in America Edmonds describes corresponds closely to BCCI’s influence in the 1980s, when the head of BCCI used to boast to the leader of Pakistan about BCCI’s role in getting aid for Pakistan approved by the US Congress. 71

The ISI and its assets continued to be implicated in drug trafficking after the shutdown of BCCI in July 1991.

In an unusually frank interview in September 1994 – which he later denied – the former Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, disclosed that General Aslam Beg, the army chief of staff, and the ISI boss [from 1990 to 1992], Lieutenant-General Asad Durrani, had [in early 1991] proposed raising money for covert foreign operations through large-scale drug deals….The ISI’s involvement in the Sikh separatist movement was recognized in a 1993 CIA report on Pakistan’s drug trade, which stated the heroin was being used to fund its purchases of arms.” 72

Prominent in ISI’s covert foreign operations at this time were the Arab Afghan terrorists supporting the drug trafficker Hekmatyar in Afghanistan, of whom I am about to say much more.

If the parallels with previous deep events hold true, then 9/11 will prove to be a collaboration between elements in the deep state and outside drug traffickers – in this case elements of al Qaeda. Such a thought is unthinkable if we know only what is in the mainstream media. It looks less unlikely when we look at past U.S. alliances with al-Qaeda-trained Islamists in Azerbaijan and Kosovo. And it seems even less unlikely when we examine the extraordinary case of Ali Mohamed, a top-level CIA asset who became the chief al Qaeda adviser on how to hijack airplanes. 73

8) Double Agents: Oswald and Ali Mohamed

As I have argued elsewhere, Ali Mohamed was a double agent, just as, I suggested 15 years ago, Lee Harvey Oswald was a double agent. (In my Watergate article I argue that Howard Hunt also was a double agent, working both for Nixon and somebody else. But I don’t have time to go into that here.)

In Deep Politics I explored at some length the possibility that Lee Harvey Oswald was a possible “double agent…trying to infiltrate the Dallas Cuban refugee group.” 74 I went on in Deep Politics (written in 1992) to make observations about Oswald as a double agent, observations that I now consider applicable to 9/11:
The preceding chapter considered the possibility that Oswald was associated with anti-Kennedy Cubans in order to investigate them on behalf of a federal agency. But we saw it alleged that Oswald was a double agent collaborating with some of these groups, either (as I suspect) because he or his handlers shared their goals [that is, anti-Kennedy goals], or possibly because he or his handlers had been “turned” by those they were supposed to investigate. Such a possibility was particularly likely with targets, like Alpha 66, about which the government itself was conflicted, of two minds. 75
It is necessary to recall that Alpha 66 in early 1963 conducted a series of raids, not just against Cuba, but against Soviet ships in Cuba. It was obviously trying to shipwreck the US-Soviet understanding on Cuba, thus to torpedo the whole Kennedy policy of détente with the Soviet Union. Unambiguously the raids met with the total disapproval of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department (which cracked down on them and made a public announcement that they had to cease). At the same time there continued to be support for Alpha 66 from the CIA. 76

Double agents frequently become the stars both of the groups they penetrate and the government agencies to whom they report. Recently I have written about an analogous figure in al Qaeda: Ali Mohamed, who was Washington’s double agent inside al-Qaeda, and also a chief 9/11 plotter. 77 Triple Cross, a new book by Peter Lance, confirms that Ali Mohamed, one of al-Qaeda’s top trainers in terrorism and how to hijack airplanes, was an informant for the FBI, an asset of the CIA, and for four years a member of the US Army. 78 This special status explains why one of his protégés, El Sayyid Nosair, was able to commit the first al Qaeda crime in America, back in 1990, be caught along with his co-conspirators, and yet be dismissed by the police and FBI as (and these are actual quotes) a “lone deranged gunman” who “acted alone.”79

In fact, the FBI was aware back in 1990 that Mohamed had engaged in terrorist training on Long Island; yet it acted to protect Mohamed from arrest, even after one of his trainees had moved beyond training to an actual assassination. 80 Three years later, in 1993, Mohamed was actually detained in Canada by the RCMP. But he gave the RCMP the telephone number of his FBI handler in San Francisco, and after a brief call the RCMP released him. 81 This enabled Mohamed to fly later in the year to Nairobi, and begin to organize the eventual al Qaeda attacks on the US embassies in Africa.

Mohamed’s trainees were all members of the Al-Kifah Center in Brooklyn, which served as the main American recruiting center for the Makhtab-al-Khidimat, the “Services Center” network that after the Afghan war became known as al Qaeda. 82 The Al-Kifah Center was headed in 1990 by the blind Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who like Ali Mohamed had been admitted to the United States, despite being on a State Department Watch List. 83 As he had done earlier in Egypt, the sheikh “issued a fatwa in America that permitted his followers to rob banks and kill Jews.” 84

Ali Mohamed was training these Islamists to fight in Afghanistan. However the Soviets had totally withdrawn from Afghanistan by February 1989, and all of this training was going on in late 1989, at a time when the U.S. government, to paraphrase what was just said about 1963, was of two minds about what to do in Afghanistan.

The CIA were backing Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a major heroin trafficker with his own heroin labs, to get rid of the secular, anti-Islamist government in Kabul, which the Russians left behind. 85

Meanwhile a State Department official, Edmund McWilliams, objected that “Pakistani intelligence and Hekmatyar were dangerous allies,” and that the United States was making an important mistake by endorsing ISI’s puppet Afghan interim government. 86 But Ali Mohamed’s training, both in Afghanistan and later around New York, was precisely designed to strengthen the Arab Afghans in Brooklyn who were allied with Hekmatyar. 87

Mohamed Ali’s trainees became involved in terrorist activities in other parts of the world. One of them, Anas al-Liby, became a leader in a plot against Libyan president Mu’ammar Qadaffi. Anas al-Liby was later given political asylum in Great Britain, despite suspicions that he was a high-level al Qaeda operative. 88 As the French authors Brisard and Dasquié point out, Qadaffii’s Libya in 1998 was the first government to ask Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden. They argue that Osama and al Qaeda elements were collaborating with the British MI-5 in an anti-Gaddafi assassination plot. 89

Another of Ali Mohamed’s trainees, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, accepted money from the Saudi Embassy in Washington to recruit Muslim warriors for Bosnia. 90 He was also allowed to go to Fort Belvoir, where an Army major gave him a list of Muslims in the US Army whom he could recruit. 91 Fort Belvoir was the site of the Army’s Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA), whose Information Dominance Center was “full of army intelligence `geeks’” targeting Islamic jihadists. 92

Hampton-El’s recruiting for Bosnia was part of a larger operation. Numbers of Arab Afghans were trained for Bosnia, and later for the Kosovo Liberation Army, by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the top associate of Osama bin Laden in al Qaeda, and also a close ally of his fellow Egyptian, Ali Mohamed. 93 (Ali Mohamed had sworn allegiance to al-Zawahiri in 1984 while still in Egypt, and he twice arranged for al-Zawahiri to come to stay with him in California for fund-raising purposes.) 94

Meanwhile US intelligence veterans like Richard Secord helped bring Arab Afghans recruited by Hekmatyar to Azerbaijan, in order to consolidate a pro-western government there. 95 And in 1998 the US began bombing Kosovo in support of the Kosovo Liberation Army, some of whose cadres were both trained and supported in the field by al Qaeda’s “Arab Afghans.” 96

So Ali Mohammad’s activities intersected with US covert operations, and this fact appears to have earned him protection. 97 Jack Blum, former special investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, commented that one of the big problems here is that many suspects in the [1993] World Trade Center bombing were associated with the Mujahedeen. And there are components of our government that are absolutely disinterested in following that path because it leads back to people we supported in the Afghan war. 98

What agency would have been interested in protecting Mohamed? The CIA claimed to have ceased using him as an operative back in 1984. 99 Yet in 1988 Ali Mohamed flew from Fort Bragg to Afghanistan and fought there, while he was on the US Army payroll. His commanding officer didn’t like it, but Mohammad was apparently being directed by another agency. 100 Ten years later, in 1998, a confidential CIA internal survey concluded that it was “partly culpable” for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, carried out by some of Ali Mohamed’s trainees. 101

After a plea bargain, Ali Mohamed eventually pleaded guilty in 2000 to having organized the bombings of US embassies in Africa, but as of 2006 he had still not yet been sentenced. 102

The Cover-Up Modus Operandi: He “Acted Alone”

Unambiguously Mohamed’s trainees became involved, almost immediately, in terrorism on US soil. In November 1990, three of Mohamed’s trainees conspired together to kill Meir Kahane, the racist founder of the Jewish Defense League. The actual killer, El Sayyid Nosair, was caught by accident almost immediately; and by luck the police soon found his two co-conspirators, Mahmoud Abouhalima and Mohammed Salameh, waiting at Nosair’s apartment. They found much more:
There were formulas for bomb making, 1,440 rounds of ammunition, and manuals [supplied by Ali Mohamed] from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg marked “Top Secret for Training,” along with classified documents belonging to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. The police found maps and drawings of New York City landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square – and the World Trade Center. The forty-seven boxes of evidence they collected also included the collected sermons of blind Sheikh Omar, in which he exhorted his followers to “destroy the edifices of capitalism.” 103

All three had been trained by Ali Mohamed back in the late 1980s at a rifle range, where the FBI had photographed them, before terminating this surveillance in the fall of 1989. 104 The U.S. Government was thus in an excellent position to arrest, indict, and convict all of the terrorists involved, including Mohamed.

Yet only hours after the killing, Joseph Borelli, Chief of NYPD detectives, struck a familiar American note and pronounced Nosair a “lone deranged gunman.” 105 Some time later, he actually told the pressthat “There was nothing [at Nosair’s house] that would stir your imagination…..Nothing has transpired that changes our opinion that he acted alone.” 106

Borelli was not acting alone in this matter. His position was also that of the FBI, who said they too believed “that Mr. Nosair had acted alone in shooting Rabbi Kahane.” “The bottom line is that we can't connect anyone else to the Kahane shooting," an F.B.I. agent said.” 107

The initial reaction of the NYPD had been that Nosair was part of a conspiracy. 108 This impression was strengthened when a detective discovered that Borelli’s car had been moved after Nosair was arrested. As a result, according to the District Attorney prosecutor on the case, William Greenbaum, “We sensed a much bigger conspiracy, and we were sure that more than one person was involved.” 109

How then to explain the ultimate assurances that Nosair was a lone assassin? John Miller, who went on to be the assistant director of public affairs for the FBI, 110 blamed the culture of the NYPD: “The prevailing theory in the NYPD was, `Don’t make waves.’…So in the Nosair case, when Chief Borelli turned a blind eye to the obvious, he was merely remaining true to the culture of the NYPD.” 111 Miller’s unlikely explanation suppressed the relevant fact that the FBI, and eventually the District Attorney’s office which prosecuted the case, turned a blind eye to the obvious as well.

In the light of those 47 boxes of incriminating evidence, it is more likely that the US law enforcement system has a cover-up modus operandi or MO for dealing with a suspect who is marginally attached to intelligence operations, covert operations, even controversial operations which are opposed by other elements of the US government. 112 It is to tell the public (as they did earlier in the case of Oswald) that the suspect “acted alone.”

In thus limiting the case, the police and FBI were in effect protecting Nosair’s two Arab co-conspirators in the murder of a U.S. citizen. Both of them were ultimately convicted in connection with the first WTC bombing, along with another Mohamed trainee, Nidal Ayyad. The 9/11 Report, summarizing the convictions of Salameh, Ayyad, Abouhalima, and the blind Sheikh for the WTC bombing and New York landmarks plots, called it “this superb investigative and prosecutorial effort.” 113 It said nothing about the suppressed evidence found in Nosair’s house, including “maps and drawings of New York City landmarks,” which if pursued should have prevented both plots from developing.

And proper surveillance of this circle might have led investigators to the developing 9/11 plot as well. “Lance pinpoints how, in 1991, the FBI, knowing of a New Jersey mail box store with direct links to al-Qaida, failed to keep it under watch. Just six years later, two of the 9/11 hijackers got their fake IDs at the same location.” 114

The Repeated Modus Operandi for Cover-up

There is a repeated cover-up MO here which is observed in both the JFK assassination and the two WTC attacks. These deep events were not properly solved, because the designated principals in them could not be properly investigated. The pre-selected candidates were ones about whom the truth did not emerge, because of the candidates’ controversial involvement in previous covered-up operations. This ensured that an institutional cover-up, already in place, was extended to cover the new crime, even though it was a major one.

Oswald was one such pre-selected candidate. Those conspiratorially involved with Ali Mohamed and with 9/11 would also seem to fit the same description. That is what struck me most when I went back to compare the two meta-events: the killings of Kennedy and of Meir Kahane. Both Oswald and Nosair were quickly declared “lone” assassins, to protect someone or something else.

(Another man about whom the whole truth never emerged was Howard Hunt in Watergate, of whom President said to his aide Haldeman, “Hunt…will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there’s a hell of a lot of things.” 115 This became the key to the cover-up that eventually cost Nixon his presidency. Fear of the Hunt “scab” apparently induced both Nixon and Helms to collude in ordering the FBI to suspend its interviews.) 116

I should make clear that with respect to 9/11, I have certain knowledge of only one fact: that there has been and continues to be a massive cover-up. I have not yet properly integrated the earlier cover-up in 1990 of Nosair’s associates, including Ali Mohamed, into my theory of what happened in 2001. I do however believe that the earlier cover-up is relevant to the later one, as exemplified by the strange treatment of the first WTC attack in the 9/11 Commission Report.

The similarity between the cover-up of Oswald in 1963 and Nosair in 1990 is striking. In both cases the truth about the predesignated culprit was unpursuable, because he was part of an operation too embarrassing to disclose. In the case of the Ali Mohamed trainees, this is a major scandal. These people could have been stopped back in 1990, before they attacked the World Trade Center. And they weren’t.

I conclude from this that it is a matter of paramount importance to learn more about these meta-events and their cover-ups. Because when we can understand what has happened before, we will be more able to deal with such a meta-event when it happens again. As I have said so many times, to understand any of these events in real depth, you have to look at what is on-going in all of them.

The traditional media seem determined, predictably, not to help in this matter. In November 2006, six weeks after Lance’s Triple Cross was released, Lexis Nexis recorded only one post-publication reference to it or to Ali Mohamed — the Toronto Sun of 11/19/06. 117 But there is no lack of interest on the Internet, where at the same time there were 43,600 hits on Triple Cross.) 118

The gravity of the Ali Mohamed matter is compounded by the context of the drug traffic. To get to the level where we can cope and deal with these recurring problems in our country, we will have to understand the continuity, and deal with it every time it surfaces.


Some of the similarities noted here are probably extrinsic to the events described. But others point to a strong common denominator between JFK and 9/11. We can mention in particular the following features of a common modus operandi:

1) The prior designation of a suspect or suspects. These had a past intelligence involvement, which obstructed proper investigation of them, and of the deep events attributed to them. In both cases the suspects either were or involved double agents, with life stories or legends on two different levels.

2) The laying of a paper trail. This was strong enough to ensure that investigation would lead promptly to the designated suspects.

3) The immediate attribution of the deep event to the designated suspects.

4) The announcement that the suspect or suspects acted alone, even when there was clear evidence to show this was not true. 119

5) Both deep events involved experienced criminals, drawn from the world of organized drug trafficking.

JFK and 9/11 as Gateways to Already-Intended Wars

As I prepared this list of similarities for a June 2007 lecture in Vancouver, I had to recognize in myself a profound resistance to acknowledging this pattern. I didn’t want to accept this indication that there might be a hidden force intervening to affect our history at least twice over a forty-year period.

So after the lecture I laid this paper to one side. I shared it only with a few intimate correspondents for their opinions, hoping that they would persuade me to discount the pattern.

And then, six weeks later, it struck me that I had suppressed, even to myself, what should have been for me the most obvious and relevant similarities of all between JFK and 9/11:

6) Both events opened the path to major wars (Vietnam in 1964-65, Afghanistan followed by Iraq in 2001), upon which a small but powerful group were already intent. In the case of Vietnam, so-called OPLAN 34A plans for escalating the war against North Vietnam were already approved at a DOD/CIA Conference in Honolulu on November 20, 1963, even though Kennedy had never seen these plans and would in all probability (I believe) not have approved them.120 (The 34A Operations led in August 1964 to the first bombing of North Vietnam with U.S. planes, something which “President Kennedy for two and one-half years had resisted.”121 In October 1963 Kennedy had set in motion plans to withdraw the bulk of U.S troops from Vietnam by late 1965.)122 Right after 9/11, a former Pakistani diplomat, Niaz Naik, told the BBC that senior American officials had told him in mid-July 2001 that military action against Afghanistan was likely to go ahead “before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.”123

If this founding similarity is recognized, two more follow quickly:

7) Both wars were followed by explosive increases in opium and heroin production. Thanks to the Vietnam War, opium production in the Golden Triangle expanded from about 80 tons in the early 1950s, to 300-400 tons in 1963, to a peak of 1,200 tons a year. 124 The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, accomplished with the aid of professional drug traffickers, has seen an increase in Afghan opium production from 3,276 metric tonnes of opium in 2000, and 185 tonnes in 2001 (the year of the Taliban prohibition) to a new record high of 6,610 metric tonnes in 2006, a 43 percent increase over 2005. 125 As a result Afghanistan’s share of global opium production increased from 70 percent in 2000 to 82 percent in 2006. 126 U.N. figures to be released in September 2007 are expected to show that Afghanistan now accounts for 95 percent of the world's crop. 127

8) Both wars served the interests of international oil companies, and prior to the relevant deep events had been actively lobbied for by them. Before 1963 one of the most active lobbyists for U.S. military engagement in Southeast Asia had been William Henderson, adviser on International Affairs to Socony Mobil and an officer of American Friends of Vietnam. 128 The threats delivered to the Taliban before 9/11 were in support of Unocal’s desire to build oil and gas pipelines through the country from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. 129

Elsewhere I have looked at these recurring overlapping patterns of drugs, oil, and war, in a book of the same name. It is a tribute to force of psychological denial that, even having written about them previously, I so long repressed their relevance to the subject now being discussed: why certain events in the assassination of John F. Kennedy replicated themselves in the events of 9/11.

Thinking in this way about the Vietnam War made me realize that the pattern of recurrence outlined in this chapter was not (as I first thought) a total novelty for me. It was similar to examples of unexplained recurrences that I had written about in The War Conspiracy, and that had contributed to the initiation and escalation of the Vietnam War. For example the falsified accounts of the spurious second Tonkin Gulf incident of 1964 shared many features with the falsified accounts about North Korea’s seizure in 1968 of spy ship Pueblo. (Both incidents involved vessels on electronic intelligence or ELINT missions; both incidents involved manipulation of evidence from alleged intercepts of enemy cable traffic, etc., etc.)130

And then I realized that I had looked at a similar pattern of recurrence in my book Drugs, Oil, and War, when I asked the uncomfortable question (which I did not pursue): “Did successive crises in the illicit drug traffic induce some drug-trafficking U.S. interest groups and allies to press successfully for U.S. involvement in an Asian war?”131

I invite readers to consider and investigate all these patterns, whose import I do not claim to fully understand. However, as I also said in Vancouver in June 2007, our country faces the risk of another 9/11 incident, followed by another military engagement that Cheney has lobbied for: in Iran.

1 In this paper the term “Watergate” will refer to the initial Watergate break-ins only, to the exclusion of all the other dirty tricks that were ultimately traced to the Nixon House.

2 Adrian Gatton, “The Susurluk Legacy,” http:// Both Catli and the terrorist Grey Wolves network from which he emerged had global intelligence connections. In 1978 “Catli linked up with notorious Italian right-wing terrorist Stefano Delle Chiaie and together they traveled to Latin America and the United States” (Daniele Ganser, NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe [London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2005], 237-38.

3 Martin A. Lee, “On the Trail of Turkey's Terrorist Grey Wolves,” ConsortiumNews, 1997, http://

4 Even the vocabularies of the old and new media diverge. A Lexis Nexis search in December 2006 for the word “parapolitics” in major newspapers yielded five entries, only two of them from the United States. The same search on Google yielded 86,100 hits. Meanings of “parapolitics”: 1) “A system or practice of politics in which accountability is consciously diminished” (Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy [New York: Bobbs Merrill, 1972], 171). 2) The intellectual study of parapolitical interactions between public states and other forms of organized violence. See Robert Cribb and Peter Dale Scott, “Introduction,” in Eric Wilson and Tim Lindsey (eds.), Government of the Shadows: Parapolitics and Criminal Sovereignty (London: Pluto, 2007).

5 The dip and recovery of the stock market on November 22, 1963 were given prominent attention in Lincoln Lawrence, Were We Controlled.

6 Petr Dale Scott, “The Dallas Conspiracy” (unpublished ms., 1973), Ch. III, 36. Cf. Joan Mellen, “The Kennedy Assassination and the Current Political Moment,” http://

7 Paul Thompson, Terror Timeline, ; timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&before_9/ 11=insiderTrading.

8 "We believe it was by design," J. Gary Shaw writes in his book Cover-Up, "that Secretary of State (Dean) Rusk, Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon, Interior Secretary Stewart Udall and Labor Secretary W.W. Wirtz, as well as other administration officials like White House Press Secretary (Pierre) Salinger, were trapped in an airplane over the Pacific Ocean at such a critical time." 1 (The other two Cabinet members aboard were Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges and Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman. (http://

9 Thompson, Terror Timeline, 400.

10 FBI HQ Supervisor W. Marvin Gheesling was censured and transferred to Detroit “for removing stop on Oswald in Ident on 10/9/63” (NARA RIF #124-10371-10033; FBI file 62-117290-Admin Folder-V3, Response to SSC re Gayle Memo 9/30/64, 21, viewer/ Cf. John Newman, “Oswald and the Mexico City Tapes,” JFK Lancer Conference, Dallas, November 19, 1999, 3, http:// “Now, the day before the Mexico City story hits the FBI they cancel the flash on Oswald. This is an example of what I'm talking about, dimming the switches.”

11 For details see Terrorist Timeline under “Maltbie,” entity.jsp?entity=michael_maltbie: “RFU chief Dave Frasca stops the Minneapolis office from pursuing a criminal warrant (see August 21, 2001); When French authorities discover that Moussaoui is connected to the Chechen rebels, RFU agent Mike Maltbie insists that the FBI representative in Paris go through all telephone directories in France to see how many Zacarias Moussaouis live there (see August 22, 2001); When RFU agent Rita Flack, who is working on the Moussaoui case, reads the Phoenix memo suggesting that bin Laden is sending pilots to the US for training, she apparently does not tell her colleagues about it, even though it was addressed to several of them including Frasca (see July 10, 2001 and August 22, 2001); The RFU does not provide the relevant documentation to attorneys consulted about the request. In particular, Flack does not tell them about the Phoenix memo, even though one of the attorneys will later say she asked Flack if anyone is sending radical Islamists to the US to learn to fly (see August 22-28, 2001).”

12 Newsday, March 21, 2006, mous214670355mar21,0,2844591.story.

13 9/11 Commission Report, 269-72; Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York: Knopf, 2006), 339-44.

14 Thompson, Terror Timeline, 101.

15 http://; citing Shaffer testimoiny to US Congress, 2/15/2006. Government Security News, August 2005.

16 E.g., Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1993), esp. 141-42; John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1995), 318-419; Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann, Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK (New York: Carroll and Graf, 2006), 531-46.

17 Particularly suggestive in this respect is RFU Agent Michael Maltbie’s weakening of a proposed FISA application by editing it and removing a statement by a CIA officer that Chechen rebel leader Ibn Khattab was closely connected to Osama bin Laden (“Michael Maltbie,” Terror Timeline, August 28, 2001, entity.jsp?entity=michael_maltbie. 18 Coleen Rowley Report, 5; quoted in Steve Moore, “The FBI's Radical Fundamentalist Unit in Washington D.C.,” Global Research, August 18, 2002, http://

19 Ahmed Rashid, “America's Bad Deal With Musharraf, Going Down in Flames,” Washington Post, June 17, 2007, article/2007/06/15/AR2007061502073.html: “The roots of the crisis go back to the blind bargain Washington made after 9/11 with the regime that had heretofore been the Taliban's main patron: ignoring Musharraf's despotism in return for his promises to crack down on al-Qaeda and cut the Taliban loose. Today, despite $10 billion in U.S. aid to Pakistan since 2001, that bargain is in tatters; the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda's senior leadership has set up another haven inside Pakistan's chaotic border regions.”

20 Mark H. Gaffney, “The 911 Mystery Plane,” general76/missing.htm; citing U.S. Department of Defense, News Transcript, "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with the Washington Post," January 9, 2002, posted at t02052002_t0109wp.html; Joe Dejka, "Inside STRATCOM on September 11: Offutt exercise took real-life twist," Omaha World-Herald, February 27, 2002.

21 Assistant Attorney-General Nicholas Katzenbach later testified that he was “astounded” that Dulles did not at least share with the other commissioners what he knew about the CIA’s involvement in relevant assassination plots at the time (Peter Grose, Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles (Boston: Richard Todd/Houghton Mifflin, 1994), 552; citing House Select Committee on Assassinations, Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Vol. 3, 699-71.

22 Scott, Deep Politics, 249.

23 Scott, Deep Politics, 258.

24 Emery, Watergate, 111-12. In addition Hunt deposited photographic evidence of the Fielding break-in at CIA headquarters, which surely can have served no other purpose than to leave an incriminating trail.

25 Haldeman, The Ends of Power, 30.

26 Newsday, April 17, 2006, uslugg0417,0,3743892.story?coll=ny-homepage-bigpix2005.

27 Newsday, April 17, 2006. The belated airing of the Flagg story in 2006 has aroused suspicions that it was invented to allay the many earlier questions raised about how the FBI learned the names of the alleged hijackers so quickly (see next section). FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Commonwealth Club of California on April 19, 2002 that "The hijackers also left no paper trail. In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper – either here in the U.S. or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere – that mentioned any aspect of the September 11th plot” (http:// But CNN had reported on September 28, 2001, that “among [Atta’s] belongings they also found the names and phone numbers of possible associates;” ( ltm.01.html); and that this “information compliments the release of photos of the suspected hijackers” (http:// I am grateful to Jon Gold for bringing these matters to my attention.

28 United States of America vs. Zacarias Moussaoui, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, ag/moussaouiindictment.htm, items 88, 92.

29 WR 5, 17 WH 397 (Transcript of Dallas Police Channel One, before 12:45 PM, 11/22/63).

30 E.g. CIA Cable 74830 of 10 Oct 63 to Mexico City, archive/viewer/; reproduced in John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1995), 512.

31 Manning Clements FBI FD-302 of 11/23/63; in Warren Report, 614.

32 WR 5. Brennan subsequently failed to pick out Oswald in a police line-up (Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact [Mary Ferrell Foundation Press, 2006], 10-13, 78n).

33 Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terrorism (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004), 13-14.

34 William Norman Grigg, “Did We Know What Was Coming?” New American, 3/11/02, 2002/vo18no05_didweknow.htm.

35 Peter Lance, Triple Cross (New York: Regan/HarperCollins, 2006), 383.

36 Newsday, April 17, 2006.

37 Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT): Annual Report 1997; Martin A. Lee, “On the Trail of Turkey's Terrorist Grey Wolves,” ConsortiumNews, 1997, http://

38 Warren Report, 785.

39 Scott, Deep Politics, 180-81

40 Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 70-71, 132, 136-38.

41 Scott, Deep Politics Two, 130-36.

42 Michael Beschloss, ed., Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963-1964 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), 53. In a memorandum of the same day Hoover noted that it was Johnson, not Hoover, who initiated the call (3 AH 476). The call logs of the LBJ Library (available on its website) indicate that the call was from Hoover to Johnson.

43 Attachment to CIA Memo of 12 December 1963 from DDP to FBI, "Mexican Interrogation of Gilberto Alvarado;" NARA #104-10018-10043.

44 Webb, Dark Alliance, 55-56 (Montiel); Scott, Drugs, Contras, and the CIA, 15 ("kingpin”).

45 Epstein, Agency of Fear, 205.

46 Scott, Hoch, Stetler, The Assassinations, 402.

47 Epstein, Agency of Fear, 205n

48 House Select Committee on Intelligence on Report of CIA Inspector-General Frederick Heitz, quoted in Robert Parry, “CIA Admits Tolerating Contra- Cocaine Trafficking in 1980s,”, June 8, 2000, http://

49 Toronto Star, November 27, 2001; quoted with discussion in Scott, The Road to 9/11, 176.

50 9/11 Report, 171. I find this statement one-sided and misleading, but less so than the opposite claim of Yossef Bodansky: “The annual income of the Taliban from the drug trade is estimated at $8 billion. Bin Laden administers and manages these funds – laundering them through the Russian mafia… (Yossef Bodansky, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America [New York: Random House/Prima, 2001], 315).

51 "Evidence Presented to the British Parliament, 4th October 2001," Los Angeles Times, 10/4/01. Cf. e.g. Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 9/30/01; Asia Times, 12/8/01; New York Times, 10/4/01, 10/11/01; San Francisco Chronicle, 10/4/01. For further documentation, see Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 32, 36.

52 US `seizes al-Qaeda drugs ship'," BBC News, 12/19/03.

53 Time, August 2, 2004.

54 Robert Dreyfuss, Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2005), 287: “There is no question that the Casey-ISI actions aided the growth of a significant network of right-wing Islamist extremists [including] the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.”

55 Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (New York: Columbia UP, 2002), 170. Cf. New York Times, 5/3/01: “There are sketchy but widely circulated stories that the [IMU] militants are trained by the Taliban and receive money from drug traffickers and from Osama bin Laden, the exiled Saudi accused of leading an international terrorist group.” Cf. Guardian, 5/17/05 “Both the US and Britain link the IMU to al-Qaida, and the Afghan heroin trade.”

56 "The Threat Posed by the Convergence of Organized Crime, Drugs Trafficking and Terrorism,” Written Testimony of Ralf Mutschke, Assistant Director, Criminal Intelligence Directorate, International Criminal Police Organization – Interpol General Secretariat, before a hearing of the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, December 13, 2000, http:// Rashid quotes from the last sentence.

57 Wall Street Journal, 5/3/01.

58 Thomas Goltz, Azerbaijan Diary: A Rogue Reporter’s Adventures in an Oil-Rich, War-Torn, Post-Soviet Republic (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1999), 272-75. Richard Secord was allegedly attempting also to sell Israeli arms, with the assistance of Israeli agent David Kimche, another associate of Oliver North. The mujahedin were recruited in Afghanistan by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leading recipient of CIA assistance in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and most recently a leader of the al Qaeda-Taliban resistance to the US and its client there, Hamid Karzai. See Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 7, 8, 20.

59 Loretta Napoleoni, Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars behind the Terror Networks (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005), 90-97: “[IMU leader] Namangiani’s networks in Tajikistan and in Central Asia were used to smuggle opium from Afghanistan. It was partly thanks to Namangiani’s contacts in Chechnya that heroin reached Europe” (91)….. “It was thanks to the mediation of Chechen criminal groups that the KLA and the Albanian mafia managed to gain control of the transit of heroin in the Balkans” (96). Napoleoni does not mention Azerbaijan, which however lies between Uzbekistan and Chechnya.

60 “KLA Funding Tied To Heroin Profits,” Washington Times, 5/3/99.

61 Peter Klebnikov, “Heroin Heroes,” Mother Jones, Jan.-Feb. 2001. I have written elsewhere of how what I called a meta-group affiliated with Adnan Khashoggi took advantage of the NATO bombing of Kosovo to consolidate the Kosovar drug route via Abkhazia (and Turkey). See "The Far West Drug Meta-Group — Part 1." Article for Nexus: New Times Magazine, 13.3, June-July 2006, 25-31, 82, http:/ / This version is without footnotes; go to "The Global Drug Meta-Group: Drugs, Managed Violence, and the Russian 9/11" (Lobster, 10/29/05, http://, for a footnoted version. In February 2006 a member of the meta-group confirmed part of my hypothesis: namely, that the so-called “Pristina dash” of Russian troops to seize Kosovo’s main airport had been prepared for by his meta-group colleague Vladimir Filin (Anton Surikov, Pravda-info, 2/8/06, http://; cf. http://

62 BBC News, 12/28/04. Those who charged that such a pipeline was projected were initially mocked but gradually vindicated (Guardian, 1/15/01; Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 34).

63 On October 18, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the State Secrets Privilege in order to prevent disclosure of the nature of Edmonds' work on the grounds that it would endanger national security.

64 Daniel Ellsberg with Kris Welch, KPFA, 8/26/06, ellsberg-hastert-got-suitcases-of-al.html.

65 Vanity Fair, September 2005. According to the ATC web site, “As one of the leading business associations in the United States, the American-Turkish Council (ATC) is dedicated to effectively strengthening U.S.-Turkish relations through the promotion of commercial, defense, technology, and cultural relations. Its diverse membership includes Fortune 500, U.S. and Turkish companies, multinationals, nonprofit organizations, and individuals with an interest in U.S.-Turkish relations.” It is thus comparable to the American Security Council, whose activities in 1963 are discussed in Scott, Deep Politics, e.g. 292.

66 In December 2006 a Lexis Nexis search of major newspapers for “Sibel Edmonds” and “drug” produced no relevant results. A similar search on Google yielded 99,100.

67 “The Susurluk Legacy,” By Adrian Gatton, Druglink Magazine, Nov/Dec 2006,

68 The most sensational charge of a direct 9/11-drug connection is made by Daniel Hopsicker in his self-published book Welcome to Terrorland. “Hopsicker is still researching the three Huffman-trained 9/11 pilots, who he says had financial, drug-trafficking and military intelligence ties to the U.S. government. He is developing suspicions that Atta and the entire school were involved with Osama bin Laden in heroin trafficking. Hopsicker reports that on July 25, 2000, the DEA in Orlando discovered more than 30 pounds of heroin inside a Learjet owned by Wally Hilliard, owner of Huffman Aviation. Earlier that month, on July 3, Atta and Marwan Al-Shehri had started flight lessons at Huffman. Hopsicker claims it's not a coincidence that Atta was allegedly importing heroin with Hilliard's help, selling Afghanistan's notorious opium and heroin to finance the Taliban. Hilliard would not be interviewed for this story. `The apparatus that Osama bin Laden set into place along with the CIA back in the '80s, still exists,’ Hopsicker says. `The FBI is protecting an operation set in place back in the '80s...a money-laundering device to funnel money to the Afghan Mujahedeen and to flood this country with heroin’” (Sander Hicks, Long Island Press, 2/26/04, http:// modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=82). Hopsicker’s charges are reported, but only minimally corroborated, in Sander Hicks, The Big Wedding (Vox Pop #2, 2005), 31-39. Most other researchers, myself included, are looking for more independent corroboration.

69 Indira Singh testimony, 9/11 Citizen’s Commission, 128, http:// Indira Singh was a one-time senior employee of J.P. Morgan, who was fired after she shared her concerns about an Arab-financed contracting firm with her bank and the FBI.

70 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 27-58.

71 Peter Truell, and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, the World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992), 132.

72 Michael Griffin, Reaping the Whirlwind: The Taliban Movement in Afghanistan (London: Pluto Press, 2001), 149-50; Washington Post, 9/12/94. A13.

73 Scott, The Road to 9/11, 150-58, etc.

74 Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 252; quoting Lucille Connell, 26 WH 738.

75 Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 257.

76 Hinckle and Turner, Deadly Deceits, 173-76. Cf. Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked, 177-78.

77 Peter Dale Scott, "The Background of 9/11: Drugs, Oil, and US Covert Operations," in David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott (eds.), 9/11 & American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2006), 73-78. For updates, see my website at

78 Lance, Triple Cross, xxvii, etc.

79 Newsday, 11/8/90; quoted in Peter Lance, 1000 Years for Revenge, (New York: Regan Books/ Harper Collins, 2003), New York Times, 12/16/90.

80 Lance, 1000 Years for Revenge, 29-37.

81 Lance, Triple Cross, 123-25.

82 Robert Dreyfuss, Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2005), 278; John K. Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America, and International Terrorism (London: Pluto Press, 1999), 87-88; Lance, 1000 Years for Revenge, 29-31; Independent, 11/1/98.

83 Rahman was issued two visas, one of them “by a CIA officer working undercover in the consular section of the American embassy in Sudan” (Peter L. Bergen, Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden [New York: Free Press, 2001], 67). FBI consultant Paul Williams writes that Ali Mohamed “settled in America on a visa program controlled by the CIA” (Paul L. Williams, Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror [[Upper Saddle River, NJ]: Alpha/ Pearson Education, 2002], 117). Others allegedly admitted, despite being on the State Department watch list, were Mohamed Atta and possibly Ayman al-Zawahiri (Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism [Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005], 205, 46).

84 Wright, The Looming Tower, 177.

85 Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (New York: Penguin Press, 2004), 195. In retrospect, the decision to back Hekmatyar against Najibullah appears to have been disastrous. As Ahmed Rashid predicted accurately in 1990, “If Afghanistan fragments into warlordism, the West can expect a flood of cheap heroin that will be impossible to stop …Afghanistan's President Najibullah has skillfully played on Western fears of a drugs epidemic by repeatedly offering co-operation with the DEA and other anti- narcotic agencies, but the West, which still insists on his downfall, has refused. If President [George Herbert] Bush and Margaret Thatcher continue to reject a peace process, they must prepare for an invasion of Afghan-grown heroin in Washington and London” (Ahmed Rashid, “Afghanistan heroin set to flood West,” Independent (London), 3/25/90: “In early 1988 the State Department negotiators had been preparing to accept an end to CIA assistance.” They then reversed themselves and held out for a matching of Soviet and CIA support to the two factions. Apparently the policy shift was motivated by an unscripted remark by Reagan to a television interviewer (Coll, Ghost Wars, 176-77).

86 Coll, Ghost Wars, 196; cf. 197-202; Barnett Rubin, The Fragmentation of Afghanistan (New Haven: Yale UP, 2002), 251. McWilliams’ argument found support among mid-level State Department officials in Washington; “Still, the more State Department officials mouthed the McWilliams line, the more Langley argued the contrary” (Coll, Ghost Wars, 197).

87 Cf. Lance, Triple Cross, 20, 66.

88 Lance, Triple Cross, 104-05. In May 2000 al-Liby’s house in Britain was raided; and the police discovered an al Qaeda terror manual which was largely written and translated by Ali Mohamed.

89 Brisard and Dasquié, Forbidden Truth, 97-102, 155-59. A leader in the plot was Anas al-Liby, who was later given political asylum in Great Britain, despite suspicions that he was a high-level al Qaeda operative. He was trained in terrorism by the triple agent Ali Mohamed, while Mohamed was still on the payroll of the U.S. Army (Peter Lance, Triple Cross: How Bin Laden's Chief Security Adviser Penetrated the CIA, the FBI, and the Green Berets [New York: Regan, 2006], 104; see also Chapter IX).

90 United States v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel Rahman et al., Federal Court, SDNY, 15629-30, 15634-35, 15654, 15667-68, 15671, 15673; Kohlmann, Al-Qaida’s Jihad, 72-74; J.M. Berger, “Al Qaeda Recruited U.S. Servicemen: Testimony Links Plot To Saudi Gov't,”, http://

91 United States v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel Rahman et al., Federal Court, SDNY, 15629-30, 15634-35, 15654, 15667-68, 15671, 15673; Kohlmann, Al-Qaida’s Jihad, 72-74; J.M. Berger, “Al Qaeda Recruited U.S. Servicemen: Testimony Links Plot To Saudi Gov't,”, http:// In my talk, I said erroneously that Hampton-El was recruiting for Afghanistan.

92 Lance, Triple Cross, 331.

93 Marcia Christoff Kurop, “Al Qaeda’s Balkan Links,” Wall Street Journal, 11/1/01: “For the past 10 years…Ayman al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps [and] weapons of mass destruction factories throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia.”

94 Lance, Triple Cross, 11, 194-98.

95 Peter Dale Scott, “The Background of 9/11: Drugs, Oil, and U.S. Covert Operations,” in David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott (eds.), 9/11 & American Empire, 75-76.

96 Yossef Bodansky, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America (Roseville: Prima, 2001), 298, 397-98.

97 Cf. Robert Friedman, Village Voice, 3/30/93: “In the aftermath of the bombing, many are wondering why there wasn't a comprehensive, wide-ranging investigation of Meir Kahane's murder. One possible explanation is offered by a counterterrorism expert for the FBI. At a meeting in a Denny's coffee shop in Los Angeles a week after the Kahane assassination, the 20-year veteran field agent met with one of his top undercover operatives, a burly 33-year-old FBI contract employee who had been a premier bomber for a domestic terrorist group before being `turned’ and becoming a government informant. `Why aren't we going after the sheikh [Abdel Rahman]?’ demanded the undercover man. `It's hands-off,’ answered the agent. `Why?’ asked the operative. `It was no accident that the sheikh got a visa and that he's still in the country,’ replied the agent, visibly upset. `He's here under the banner of national security, the State Department, the NSA [National Security Agency], and the CIA.’"

98 Robert I. Friedman, Village Voice, 3/30/93.

99 Lance, Triple Cross, 16.

100 Lance, Triple Cross, 43: “Ali Mohamed defied his commanding officer and prepared to go [to Afghanistan] anyway. At that point, it seems clear that he was serving two sets of masters at Bragg.”

101 Andrew Marshall, Independent, 11/1/98.

102 Lance, Triple Cross, 3, 7. The CIA has shown through the years the lengths it will go to, to prevent having its sometime assets testify in open court. Cf. Scott and Marshall, Cocaine Politics, 36; Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Contras and the CIA: Government Policies and the Cocaine Economy. An Analysis of Media and Government Response to the Gary Webb Stories in the San Jose Mercury News (1996-2000) (Los Angeles: From the Wilderness Publications, 2000), 39-40, etc.

103 Lance, 1000 Years, 34.

104 Lance, 1000 Years, 31; Peter Lance, Cover Up: What the Government Is Still Hiding about the War on Terror (New York: Regan Books/ HarperCollins, 2004), 25.

105 Newsday, 11/8/90; quoted in Lance, 1000 Years, 35.

106 New York Times, 11/8/90; Robert I. Friedman, Village Voice, 3/30/93.

107 New York Times, 12/16/90.

108 “Nosair, the NYPD had already learned, had apparently not acted alone…Lieutenant Eddie Norris…seemed to be looking at a conspiracy involving three and possibly more assassins.” (John Miller and Michael Stone, with Chris Mitchell, The Cell [New York: Hyperion, 2003), 43].

109 Lance, Triple Cross, 59.

110 Lance, Triple Cross, 115.

111 Miller et al., The Cell, 44-45.

112 John Miller, who went on to be the assistant director of public affairs for the FBI (Lance, Triple Cross, 115), blames the culture of the NYPD: “The prevailing theory in the NYPD was, `Don’t make waves.’…So in the Nosair case, when Chief Borelli turned a blind eye to the obvious, he was merely remaining true to the culture of the NYPD” (The Cell, 44-45.) Miller’s unlikely explanation suppresses the relevant fact that the FBI turned a blind eye to the obvious as well.

113 9/11 Report, 72.

114 Toronto Sun, 11/19/06.

115 Haldeman, The Ends of Power, 33.

116 Emery. Watergate, 193. Helms testified under oath that he had no knowledge of any CIA exposure by Hunt’s activities. Yet unmistakably he sent a memo to Vernon Walters, the CIA Deputy Director, repeating that the FBI should “confine themselves to the persons already arrested or directly under suspicion and…desist from expanding this investigation.”

117 The New York Times (8/28/06) did cover, albeit disparagingly, an earlier National Geographic TV special in August 2006, which drew selectively from Lance’s work.

118 The silence of the US press about Triple Cross was broken very slightly on 12/19/06, with the following bland reference in the New York Times in the wake of the firing by News Corp of the book’s publisher, Judith Regan: “Peter Lance, the author of '`Triple Cross,'’ an investigative work about the F.B.I. and the terror network of Osama Bin Laden, said Ms. Regan abandoned his book, released in late November, when the media storm erupted over the O. J. Simpson project, even canceling a scheduled interview with him on her own radio program.”

119 In the case of 9/11, the restriction was not confined to the nineteen hijackers, but to al Qaeda as an organization.

120 Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy: The Secret Road to the Second Indochina War (New York: Bobbs Merrill, 1972), 53-55, 66, 162-63.

121 Kaiser, American Tragedy, 211.

122 See Scott, Deep Politics, 24-37; "Exit Strategy: In 1963, Kennedy ordered a Complete Withdrawal from Vietnam," by James K. Galbraith (Boston Review, Oct.-Nov. 2003).

123 BBC News, September 18, 2001, Naik accurately predicted to BBC not only the timing of the October U.S. attack, but its source in Tajikistan. Cf. Abid Ullah Jan, Afghanistan: The Genesis of the Final Crusade (BookSurge Publishing, 2007), 27; John Pilger, The New Rulers of the World (London: Verso, 2003), 109; Richard D. Mahoney, Getting Away with Murder (Arcade, 2004), 176.

124 Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 40; citing McCoy, Politics of Heroin, 162, 286-87.

125 International Herald Tribune, July 17, 2007, Afghanistan.php.

126 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, The Opium Economy in Afghanistan: An International Problem, 2003, afg_opium_economy_www.pdf; World Drug Report, 2007, 195, wdr07/WDR_2007_3.1.1_afghanistan.pdf.

127 Matthew Lee, “Another record poppy crop in Afghanistan,” Associated Press, August 4, 2007, us_afghanistan.

128 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 40, 100.

129 Scott, Road to 9/11, 166-67.

130 Scott, War Conspiracy, 51-78, 111-50. There are other instances of such recurrences in the book, some of them multiple recurrences.

Dr. Peter Dale Scott
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Updated PDF version of this article

01.11.2007 15:18

The Journal of 911 Studies has just published a new version of the article:

9/11, JFK, and War: Recurring Patterns in America’s Deep Events,911,andWar.pdf

Journal of 911 Studies
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Hide the following 4 comments

See Also

20.08.2007 16:27

Two more article by Peter Dale Scott on this site.

The strategy of tension in Europe and America

How the FBI protected Al Qaeda’s 9/11 Hijacking Trainer

It is also worth noting that "9/11 Cult Watch" , who clearly don't say that the official story is true, although many that cite them seem to think that they do, cite Peter Dale Scott, among others, for background reading about 9/11:


Original talk on this matter

20.08.2007 19:21

JFK and 9/11 - Insights Gained From Studying Both

In this wide-ranging talk, researcher Peter Dale Scott points out similarities that arise when you look at the assassination of JFK and the events of 9/11.

Recorded at the 2006 "Coalition on Political Assassinations" (COPA) Regional Meeting in Dallas, Texas, November 18, 2006.

For more information on Peter Dale Scott, visit his website;

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MICHAEL PARENTI: The JFK Assassination and the Gangster Nature of the State

20.08.2007 21:42

When Oliver Stone’s movie JFK opened in December 1991 a huge PR campaign was mobilized against the film. Even progressives spoke out. Noam Chomsky wrote in support of the Warren Commission's findings – in contrast Michael Parenti gave one of his highly acclaimed talks criticizing the lone assassin theory. The bitter questions that haunted defenders and critics alike was whether government agencies of a democratic country would do such a thing as assassinate an elected President.

In this talk Michael Parenti turns to that question first – he examines, in part one, what he calls “the gangster nature of the state.” In part two he goes over details of the assassination and critiques The Nation, The Progressive, Chomsky and Cockburn. He spoke in Berkeley, CA, on the 30th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

This is one of many "standing ovations" talks by Parenti. The master for this program was lost and this appears to be the only copy of the original recording.

Part ONE:
Part TWO:

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Conspiracy Phobia on The Left

30.08.2007 08:19

The following essay by Michael Parenti was penned in the wake of the furor over Oliver Stone's JFK, but it contains many points about prevailing mindsets that are perfectly relevant to the current refusal of some otherwise activist and politically-minded people to allow honest and open consideration of the growing evidence for official prior knowledge of 9/11 and covert planning and manipulation behind the so-called "War on Terror." It was emailed to me out of the blue by a visitor to, and much to my delight follows much of the same line of reasoning that I have been pursuing in past articles such as And Now... Will the Real Skeptic Please Stand Up? — albeit much more expertly, of course, and with more historical depth.

As a preface and for background, this article may be of interest as well:

JFK Conspiracy: The Intellectual Dishonesty and Cowardice of Alexander Cockburn and Noam Chomsky, by Michael Worsham

As reported in the Washington Post, a top-notch scientific study of audio recordings from the JFK assasination recently presented its findings: it is more than 99% certain that shots were fired by at least one additional gunman from the notorious "grassy knoll." So how does it look now, seeing that Chomsky and Cockburn have stood behind the Warren Commission's findings of a lone gunman and "magic bullet" and, as you will read below, have simply refused to become acquainted with the mountains of evidence to the contrary?

Does "America's leading dissident" have anything to say?

In any case, Parenti's writing affirms for me a disturbing conclusion at which I had already arrived some time ago: that the adamant, knee-jerk critics of "conspiracy theory" on the old ideological Left are, under the sly rubric of guarding against "extremism" and "captivating populist myths," waging war on real truthseeking. I have personally seen, over and over, what Parenti laments here: those who most loudly disparage "conspiracy theory" are most often the ones with the least knowledge of the actual evidence being presented. A second issue which Parenti deals with here is the tired canard of a simplistic "conspiracy theory vs. structural / institutional analysis" dichotomy which is constantly hammered out by the Left foes of conspiracy investigation, who then turn around and offer little of their preferred "institutional analysis" at all, instead usually engaging in typical headline-chasing. Truly, the Emperor wears no clothes.

The situation would almost be funny if it weren't so pathetic. And dangerous.

From Dirty Truths by Michael Parenti
(1996, City Lights Books) (Pages 172 - 191)


Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. There are people who believe that the United States has been invaded by a secret United Nations army equipped with black helicopters, or that the country is secretly controlled by Jews or gays or feminists or black nationalists or communists or extraterrestrial aliens. But it does not logically follow that all conspiracies are imaginary.

Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon's downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as "a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery," the greatest financial crime in history.

Conspiracy or Coincidence?

Often the term "conspiracy" is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against "overheating" the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, "Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?" In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people.

At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, "Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?" I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that "free-market reforms" are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, "more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies" (New York Times 11/25/95).

Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: "Do you actually think there's a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?" For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together - on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot - though they call it "planning" and "strategizing" - and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.

Yet there are individuals who ask with patronizing, incredulous smiles, do you really think that the people at the top have secret agendas, are aware of their larger interests, and talk to each other about them? To which I respond, why would they not? This is not to say that every corporate and political elite is actively dedicated to working for the higher circles of power and property. Nor are they infallible or always correct in their assessments and tactics or always immediately aware of how their interests are being affected by new situations. But they are more attuned and more capable of advancing their vast interests than most other social groups.

The alternative is to believe that the powerful and the privileged are somnambulists, who move about oblivious to questions of power and privilege; that they always tell us the truth and have nothing to hide even when they hide so much; that although most of us ordinary people might consciously try to pursue our own interests, wealthy elites do not; that when those at the top employ force and violence around the world it is only for the laudable reasons they profess; that when they arm, train, and finance covert actions in numerous countries, and then fail to acknowledge their role in such deeds, it is because of oversight or forgetfulness or perhaps modesty; and that it is merely a coincidence how the policies of the national security state so consistently serve the interests of the transnational corporations and the capital-accumulation system throughout the world.

Kennedy and the Left Critics

In the winter of 1991-92 Oliver Stone's film JFK revived popular interest in the question of President John Kennedy's assassination. As noted in part I of this article, the mainstream media launched a protracted barrage of invective against the movie. Conservatives and liberals closed ranks to tell the public there was no conspiracy to murder the president for such things do not happen in the United States.

Unfortunately, some writers normally identified as on the Left have rejected any suggestion that conspiracy occurred. While the rightists and centrists were concerned about preserving the legitimacy of existing institutions and keeping people from seeing the gangster nature of the state, the leftists had different concerns, though it was not always clear what these were.

Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, and others challenge the notion that Kennedy was assassinated for intending to withdraw from Vietnam or for threatening to undo the CIA or end the cold war. Such things could not have led to his downfall, they argue, because Kennedy was a cold warrior, pro-CIA, and wanted a military withdrawal from Vietnam only with victory. Chomsky claims that the change of administration that came with JFK's assassination had no appreciable effect on policy. In fact, the massive ground war ordered by Johnson and the saturation bombings of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos ordered by Nixon represented a dramatic departure from Kennedy's policy. On some occasions, Chomsky says he refuses to speculate: "As for what JFK might have done [had he lived], I have nothing to say." Other times he goes on to speculate that Kennedy would not have "reacted differently to changing situations than his close advisers" and "would have persisted in his commitment to strengthen and enhance the status of the CIA" (Z Magazine, 10/92 and 1/93).

The evidence we have indicates that Kennedy observed Cambodian neutrality and negotiated a cease-fire and a coalition government in Laos, which the CIA refused to honor. We also know that the surviving Kennedy, Robert, broke with the Johnson administration over Vietnam and publicly stated that his brother's administration had committed serious mistakes. Robert moved with the tide of opinion, evolving into a Senate dove and then a peace candidate for the presidency, before he too was murdered. The two brothers worked closely together and were usually of like mind. While this does not provide reason enough to conclude that John Kennedy would have undergone a transition comparable to Robert's, it still might give us pause before asserting that JFK was destined to follow in the direction taken by the Johnson and Nixon administrations.

In the midst of this controversy, Chomsky wrote a whole book arguing that JFK had no intention of withdrawing from Vietnam without victory. Actually, Kennedy said different things at different times, sometimes maintaining that we could not simply abandon Vietnam, other times that it ultimately would be up to the Vietnamese to fight their own war.1

One of Kennedy's closest aides, Kenneth O'Donnell, wrote that the president planned to withdraw from Vietnam after the 1964 elections. According to Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, who headed military support for the clandestine operations of the CIA, Kennedy dictated "the rich parts" of NSAM 263, calling for the withdrawal not only of all U.S. troops but all Americans, meaning CIA officers and agents too. Prouty reflects that the president thereby signed "his own death warrant." The Army newspaper Stars and Stripes ran a headline: "President Says - All Americans Out by 1965." According to Prouty: "The Pentagon was outraged. JFK was a curse word in the corridors."

Concentrating on the question of withdrawal, Chomsky says nothing about the president's unwillingness to escalate into a ground war. On that crucial point all Chomsky offers is a speculation ascribed to Roger Hilsman that Kennedy might well have introduced U.S. ground troops in South Vietnam. In fact, the same Hilsman, who served as Kennedy's Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, the officer responsible for Vietnam, noted in a long letter to the New York Times (1/20/92) that in 1963 "President Kennedy was determined not to let Vietnam become an American war - that is, he was determined not to send U.S. combat troops (as opposed to advisers) to fight in Vietnam nor to bomb North Vietnam." Other Kennedy aides such as Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and General Maxwell Taylor made the same point. Taylor said, "The last thing he [Kennedy] wanted was to put in our ground forces . . . I don't recall anyone who was strongly against [the recommendation], except one man and that was the President." Kennedy opposed the kind of escalation embarked upon soon after his death by Lyndon Johnson, who increased U.S. troops in Vietnam from 17,000 to approximately 250,000 and committed them to an all-out ground war.

Kennedy and the CIA

Chomsky argues that the CIA would have had no grounds for wanting to kill JFK, because he was a dedicated counterinsurgent cold warrior. Chomsky arrives at this conclusion by assuming that the CIA had the same reading of events in 1963 that he has today. But entrenched power elites are notorious for not seeing the world the way left analysts do. To accept Chomsky's assumptions we would need a different body of data from that which he and others offer, data that focuses not on the Kennedy administration's interventionist pronouncements and policies but on the more private sentiments that festered in intelligence circles and related places in 1963.

To offer a parallel: We might be of the opinion that the New Deal did relatively little for working people and that Franklin Roosevelt actually was a tool of the very interests he publicly denounced as "economic royalists." From this we might conclude that the plutocrats had much reason to support FDR's attempts to save big business from itself. But most plutocrats dammed "that man in the White House" as a class traitor. To determine why, you would have to look at how they perceived the New Deal in those days, not at how we think it should be evaluated today.

In fact, President Kennedy was not someone the CIA could tolerate, and the feeling was mutual. JFK told one of his top officials that he wanted "to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds" (New York Times, 4/25/66). He closed the armed CIA camps that were readying for a second Bay of Pigs invasion and took a number of other steps designed to bring the Agency under control. He fired its most powerful and insubordinate leaders, Director Allen Dulles, Deputy Director Charles Cabell, and Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell. He tried to reduce its powers and jurisdiction and set strict limits as to its future actions, and he appointed a high-level committee to investigate the CIA's past misdeeds.

In 1963, CIA officials, Pentagon brass, anti-Castro Cuban émigrés, and assorted other right-wingers, including FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, hated JFK and did not believe he could be trusted with the nation's future. They referred to him as "that delinquent in the White House." Roger Craig records the comments of numerous Dallas police officers who wanted to see Kennedy done away with. Several years ago, on a San Francisco talk show on station KGO, I heard a listener call in as follows: "this is the first time I'm saying this. I worked for Army intelligence. In 1963 I was in Japan, and the accepted word around then was that Kennedy would be killed because he was messing with the intelligence community. When word came of his death, all I could hear was delighted comments like 'We got the bastard'."

In his book First Hand Knowledge, CIA operative Robert Morrow noted the hatred felt by CIA officers regarding Kennedy's "betrayal" in not sending the U.S. military into the Bay of Pigs fiasco. One high-level CIA Cuban émigré, Eladio del Valle, told Morrow less than two weeks before the assassination: "I found out about it last night. Kennedy's going to get it in Dallas."2 Morrow also notes that CIA director Richard Helms, "knew that someone in the Agency was involved" in the Kennedy assassination, "either directly or indirectly, in the act itself - someone who would be in a high and sensitive position . . . Helms did cover up any CIA involvement in the presidential assassination."

Several years after JFK's murder, President Johnson told White House aide Marvin Watson that he "was convinced that there was a plot in connection with the assassination" and that the CIA had something to do with it (Washington Post, 12/13/77). And Robert Kennedy repeatedly made known his suspicions that the CIA had a hand in the murder of his brother.

JFK's enemies in the CIA, the Pentagon, and elsewhere fixed on his refusal to provide air coverage for the Bay of Pigs, his unwillingness to go into Indochina with massive ground forces, his no-invasion guarantee to Krushchev on Cuba, his overtures for a rapprochement with Castro and professed willingness to tolerate countries with different economic systems in the Western hemisphere, his atmospheric-test-ban treaty with Moscow, his American University speech calling for reexamination of U.S. cold war attitudes toward the Soviet Union, his antitrust suit against General Electric, his curtailing of the oil-depletion allowance, his fight with U.S. Steel over price increases, his challenge to the Federal Reserve Board's multibillion-dollar monopoly control of the nation's currency,3 his warm reception at labor conventions, and his call for racial equality. These things may not have been enough for some on the Left but they were far too much for many on the Right.

Left Confusions and the Warren Commission

Erwin Knoll, erstwhile editor of the Progressive, was anther left critic who expressed hostility toward the conspiracy thesis and Oliver Stone's movie in particular. Knoll admitted he had no idea who killed Kennedy, but this did not keep him from asserting that Stone's JFK was "manipulative" and provided false answers. If Knoll had no idea who killed Kennedy, how could he conclude that the film was false?

Knoll said Stone's movie was "a melange of fact and fiction" (Progressive, 3/92). To be sure, some of the dramatization was fictionalized - but regarding the core events relating to Clay Shaw's perjury, eyewitness reports at Dealey Plaza, the behavior of U.S. law officers, and other suspicious happenings, the movie remained faithful to the facts unearthed by serious investigators.

In a show of flexibility, Knoll allows that "the Warren Commission did a hasty, slipshod job" of investigation. Here too he only reveals his ignorance. In fact, the Commission sat for fifty-one long sessions over a period of several months, much longer than most major investigations. It compiled twenty-six volumes of testimony and evidence. It had the investigative resources of the FBI and CIA at its disposal, along with its own professional team. Far from being hasty and slipshod, it painstakingly crafted theories that moved toward a foreordained conclusion. From the beginning, it asked only a limited set of questions that seemed to assume Oswald's guilt as the lone assassin.

The Warren Commission set up six investigative panels to look into such things as Oswald's background, his activities in past years and on the day of the assassination, Jack Ruby's background, and his activities on the day he killed Oswald. As Mark Lane notes, there was a crying need for a seventh panel, one that would try to discover who killed President Kennedy. The commission never saw the need for that undertaking, having already made up its mind.

While supposedly dedicated to bringing the truth to light, the Warren Commission operated in secrecy. The minutes of its meetings were classified top secret, and hundred of thousands of documents and other evidence were sealed for seventy-five years. The Commission failed to call witnesses who heard and saw people shooting from behind the fence on the grassy knoll. It falsely recorded the testimony of certain witnesses, as they were to complain later on, and reinterpreted the testimony of others. All this took careful effort. A "hasty and slipshod" investigation would show some randomness in its errors. But the Commission's distortions consistently moved in the same direction in pursuit of a prefigured hypothesis.

Erwin Knoll talks disparagingly of the gullible U.S. public and says he "despises" Oliver Stone for playing on that gullibility. In fact, the U.S. public has been anything but gullible. It has not swallowed the official explanation the way some of the left critics have. Surveys show that 78 percent of the public say they believe there was a conspiracy. Both Cockburn in the Nation and Chomsky in Z Magazine dismiss this finding by noting that over 70 percent of the people also believe in miracles. But the fact that people might be wrong about one thing does not mean they are wrong about everything. Chomsky and Cockburn are themselves evidence of that.

In any case, the comparison is between two opposite things. Chomsky and Cockburn are comparing the public's gullibility about miracles with its unwillingness to be gullible about the official line that has been fed to them for thirty years. If anyone is gullible it is Alexander Cockburn who devoted extra column space in the Nation to support the Warren Commission's tattered theory about a magic bullet that could hit both Kennedy and Connolley while changing direction in mid-air and remaining in pristine condition.

Chomsky says that it is a "curious fact that no trace of the wide-ranging conspiracy appears in the internal record, and nothing has leaked" and "credible direct evidence is lacking" (Z Magazine, 1/93, and letter to me, 12/15/92). But why would participants in a conspiracy of this magnitude risk everything by maintaining an "internal record" (whatever that is) about the actual murder? Why would they risk their lives by going public? Many of the participants would know only a small part of the picture. But all of them would have a keen sense of the immensely powerful and sinister forces they would be up against were they to become too talkative. In fact, a good number of those who agreed to cooperate with investigators met untimely deaths. Finally, what credible direct evidence was ever offered to prove that Oswald was the assassin?

Chomsky is able to maintain his criticism that no credible evidence has come to light only by remaining determinedly unacquainted with the mountain of evidence that has been uncovered. There has even been a decision in a U.S. court of law, Hunt vs. Liberty Lobby, in which a jury found that President Kennedy had indeed been murdered by a conspiracy involving, in part, CIA operatives E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis, and FBI informant Jack Ruby.4

Nixon advisor H.R. Haldeman admits in his memoir: "After Kennedy was killed, the CIA launched a fantastic coverup." And "In a chilling parallel to their coverup at Watergate, the CIA literally erased any connection between Kennedy's assassination and the CIA."

Indeed, if there was no conspiracy, why so much secrecy and so much cover-up? If Oswald did it, what is there to hide and why do the CIA and FBI still resist a full undoctored disclosure of the hundreds of thousands of pertinent documents? Would they not be eager to reveal everything and thereby put to rest doubts about Oswald's guilt and suspicions about their own culpability?

The remarkable thing about Erwin Knoll, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, and others on the Left who attack the Kennedy conspiracy findings is they remain invincibly ignorant of the critical investigations that have been carried out. I have repeatedly pointed this out in exchanges with them and they never deny it. They have not read any of the many studies by independent researchers who implicate the CIA in a conspiracy to kill the president and in the even more protracted and extensive conspiracy to cover up the murder. But this does not prevent them from dismissing the conspiracy charge in the most general and unsubstantiated terms.

Let's Hear It for Structuralism

When pressed on the matter, left critics like Cockburn and Chomsky allow that some conspiracies do exist but they usually are of minor importance, a distraction from the real problems of institutional and structural power. A structural analysis, as I understand it, maintains that events are determined by the larger configurations of power and interest and not by the whims of happenstance or the connivance of a few incidental political actors. There is no denying that larger structural trends impose limits on policy and exert strong pressures on leaders. But this does not mean that all important policy is predetermined. Short of betraying fundamental class interests, different leaders can pursue different courses, the effects of which are not inconsequential to the lives of millions of people. Thus, it was not foreordained that the B-52 carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos conducted by Nixon would have happened if Kennedy, or even Johnson or Humphrey, had been president. If left critics think these things make no difference in the long run, they better not tell that to the millions of Indochinese who grieve for their lost ones and for their own shattered lives.

It is an either-or world for those on the Left who harbor an aversion for any kind of conspiracy investigation: either you are a structuralist in your approach to politics or a "conspiracist" who reduces historical developments to the machinations of secret cabals, thereby causing us to lose sight of the larger systemic forces. As Chomsky notes: "However unpleasant and difficult it may be, there is no escape from the need to confront the reality of institutions and the policies and actions they largely shape." (Z Magazine, 10/92).

I trust that one of the institutions he has in mind is the CIA. In most of its operations, the CIA is by definition a conspiracy, using covert actions and secret plans, many of which are of the most unsavory kind. What are covert operations if not conspiracies? At the same time, the CIA is an institution, a structural part of the national security state. In sum, the agency is an institutionalized conspiracy.

As I pointed out in published exchanges with Cockburn and Chomsky (neither of whom responded to the argument), conspiracy and structure are not mutually exclusive dynamics. A structural analysis that a priori rules out conspiracy runs the risk of not looking at the whole picture. Conspiracies are a component of the national security political system, not deviations from it. Ruling elites use both conspiratorial covert actions and overtly legitimating procedures at home and abroad. They finance everything from electoral campaigns and publishing houses to mobsters and death squads. They utilize every conceivable stratagem, including killing one of their own if they perceive him to be a barrier to their larger agenda of making the world safe for those who own it.

The conspiracy findings in regard to the JFK assassination, which the movie JFK brought before a mass audience, made many people realize what kind of a gangster state we have in this country and what it does around the world. In investigating the JFK conspiracy, researchers are not looking for an "escape" from something "unpleasant and difficult," as Chomsky would have it, rather they are raising grave questions about the nature of state power in what is supposed to be a democracy.

A structuralist position should not discount the role of human agency in history. Institutions are not self-generating reified forces. The "great continuities of corporate and class interest" (Cockburn's phrase) are not disembodied things that just happen of their own accord. Neither empires nor national security institutions come into existence in a fit of absent-mindedness. They are actualized not only by broad conditional causes but by the conscious efforts of live people. Evidence for this can be found in the very existence of a national security state whose conscious function is to recreate the conditions of politico-economic hegemony.

Having spent much of my life writing books that utilize a structuralist approach, I find it ironic to hear about the importance of structuralism from those who themselves do little or no structural analysis of the U.S. political system and show little theoretical grasp of the structural approach. Aside from a few Marxist journals, one finds little systemic or structural analysis in left periodicals including ones that carry Chomsky and Cockburn. Most of these publications focus on particular issues and events - most of which usually are of far lesser magnitude than the Kennedy assassination.

Left publications have given much attention to conspiracies such as Watergate, the FBI Cointelpro, Iran-Contra, Iraq-gate, CIA drugs-for-guns trade, BCCI, and savings-and-loans scandals. It is never explained why these conspiracies are important while the FJK assassination is not. Chip Berlet repeatedly denounces conspiracy investigations while himself spending a good deal of time investigating Lyndon LaRouche's fraudulent financial dealings, conspiracies for which LaRouche went to prison. Berlet never explains why the LaRouche conspiracy is a subject worthy of investigation but not the JFK conspiracy.

G. William Domhoff points out: "If 'conspiracy' means that these [ruling class] men are aware of their interests, know each other personally, meet together privately and off the record, and try to hammer out a consensus on how to anticipate and react to events and issues, then there is some conspiring that goes on in CFR [the Council for Foreign Relations], not to mention the Committee for Economic Development, the Business Council, the National Security Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency." After providing this useful description of institutional conspiracy, Domhoff then conjures up a caricature that often clouds the issue: "We all have a tremendous tendency to want to get caught up in believing that there's some secret evil cause for all of the obvious ills of the world." Conspiracy theories "encourage a belief that if we get rid of a few bad people, everything will be well in the world."

To this simplistic notion Peter Dale Scott responds: "I believe that a true understanding of the Kennedy assassination will lead not to a few bad people but to the institutional and parapolitical arrangements which constitute the way we are systematically governed." In sum, national security state conspiracies are components of our political structure, not deviations from it.

Why Care About JFK?

The left critics argue that people who are concerned about the JFK assassination are romanticizing Kennedy and squandering valuable energy. Chomsky claims that the Nazi-like appeals of rightist propagandists have a counterpart on the Left: "It's the conspiracy business. Hang around California, for example, and the left has just been torn to shreds because they see CIA conspiracies . . . secret governments [behind] the Kennedy assassination. This kind of stuff has just wiped out a large part of the left" (Against the Current 56, 1993). Chomsky offers no evidence to support this bizarre statement.

The left critics fear that people will be distracted or misled into thinking well of Kennedy. Cockburn argues that Kennedy was nothing more than a servant of the corporate class, so who cares how he was killed (Nation 3/9/92 and 5/18/92). The left critics' hatred of Kennedy clouds their judgment about the politcal significance of his murder. They mistake the low political value of the victim with the high political importance of the assassination, its implications for democracy, and the way it exposes the gangster nature of the state.

In 1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus was a conservative militarist. Clemenceau once conjectured that if the man's name had not been Dreyfus, he would have been an anti-Dreyfusard. Does that mean that the political struggle waged around l'affaire Dreyfus was a waste of time? The issue quickly became larger than Dreyfus, drawn between Right and Left, between those who stood with the army and the anti-Semites and those who stood with the republic and justice.

Likewise Benigno Aquino, a member of the privileged class in the Philippines, promised no great structural changes, being even more conservative than Kennedy. Does this mean the Filipino people should have dismissed the conspiracy that led to his assassination as an event of no great moment, an internal ruling-class affair? Instead, they used it as ammunition to expose the hated Marcos regime.

Archbishop Romero of El Salvador was a member of the Salvadoran aristocracy. He could not have risen to the top of the church hierarchy otherwise. But after he began voicing critical remarks about the war and concerned comments about the poor, he was assassinated. If he had not been murdered, I doubt that Salvadoran history would have been much different. Does this mean that solidarity groups in this country and El Salvador should not have tried to make his murder an issue that revealed the homicidal gangster nature of the Salvadoran state? (I posed these questions to Chomsky in an exchange in Z Magazine, but in his response, he did not address them.)

Instead of seizing the opportunity, some left writers condescendingly ascribe a host of emotional needs to those who are concerned about the assassination cover-up. According to Max Holland, a scribe who seems to be on special assignment to repudiate the JFK conspiracy: "The nation is gripped by a myth . . . divorced from reality," and "Americans refuse to accept their own history." In Z Magazine (10/92) Chomsky argued that "at times of general malaise and social breakdown, it is not uncommon for millenarian movements to arise." He saw two such movements in 1992: the response to Ross Perot and what he called the "Kennedy revival" or "Camelot revival." Though recognizing that the audiences differ, he lumps them together as "the JFK-Perot enthusiasms." Public interest in the JFK assassination, he says, stems from a "Camelot yearning" and the "yearning for a lost Messiah."

I, for one, witnessed evidence of a Perot movement involving millions of people but I saw no evidence of a Kennedy revival, certainly no millenarian longing for Camelot or a "lost Messiah." However, there has been a revived interest in the Kennedy assassination, which is something else. Throughout the debate, Chomsky repeatedly assumes that those who have been troubled about the assassination must be admirers of Kennedy. In fact, some are, but many are not. Kennedy was killed in 1963; people who today are in their teens, twenties, thirties, and forties - most Americans - were not old enough to have developed a political attachment to him.

The left critics psychologize about our illusions, our false dreams, our longings for Messiahs and father figures, or inability to face unpleasant realities the way they can. They deliver patronizing admonitions about our "conspiracy captivation" and "Camelot yearnings." They urge us not to escape into fantasy. They are the cognoscenti who guide us and out-left us on the JFK assassination, a subject about which they know next to nothing and whose significance they have been unable to grasp. Having never read the investigative literature, they dismiss the investigators as irrelevant or irrational. To cloak their own position with intellectual respectability, they fall back on an unpracticed structuralism.

It is neither "Kennedy worship" nor "Camelot yearnings" that motivates our inquiry, but a desire to fight back against manipulative and malignant institutions so that we might begin to develop a system of accountable rule worthy of the name democracy.


1 Kennedy's intent to withdraw is documented in the Gravel edition of the Pentagon Papers ("Phased Withdrawal of U.S. Forces, 1962-1964," vol. 2, pp. 160-200). It refers to "the Accelerated Model Plan . . .. for a rapid phase out of the bulk of U.S. military personnel" and notes that the administration was "serious about limiting the U.S. commitment and throwing the burden onto the South Vietnamese themselves." But "all the planning for phase-out . . . was either ignored or caught up in the new thinking of January to March 1964" (p. 163) - the new thinking that came after JFK was killed and Johnson became president.

2 Del Valle's name came up the day after JFK's assassination when Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade announced at a press conference that Oswald was a member of del Valle's anti-communist "Free Cuba Committee." Wade was quickly contradicted from the audience by Jack Ruby, who claimed that Oswald was a member of the leftish Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Del Valle, who was one of several people that New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison sought out in connection with the JFK assassination, was killed the same day that Dave Ferrie, another suspect met a suspicious death. When found in Miami, del Valle's body showed evidence of having been tortured, bludgeoned, and shot.

3 The bankers of the Federal Reserve System print paper money, then lend it to the government at an interest. Kennedy signed an executive order issuing over $4 billion in currency notes through the U.S. Treasury, thus bypassing the Fed's bankers and the hundreds of millions of dollars in interest that would normally be paid out to them. These "United States Notes" were quickly withdrawn after JFK's assassination.

4 See Mark Lane, Plausible Denial; Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK? (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1991). For testimony of another participant see Robert Morrow: First Hand Knowledge: How I Participated in the CIA-Mafia Murder of President Kennedy (New York: S.P.I. Books, 1992).

Michael Parenti (repost)
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