By Washington's Blog
Sep 15, 2010
3 facts show that the government "fixed the facts" regarding 9/11 around a policy decision to exonerate the government from any blame whatsoever.
1. 9/11 Commission's Chief Counsel says Official Story "Almost Entirely Untrue . . . There Was an Agreement Not to Tell the Truth about What Happened"
As Daily Kos notes in a recent recommended story, the senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission - John Farmer - states in a new book that the official story of 9/11 "almost entirely untrue".
As I noted last month, he also says:
At some level of the government, at some point in time...there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened.
I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described .... The [Norad air defense] tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years.... This is not spin. This is not true.
If you think that Farmer has gone nuts, you should see what his colleagues on the 9/11 Commission say.
2. The Government Used Communist-Style "Minders" to Intimidate Witnesses
The government used "minders" to intimidate witnesses to the 9/11 Commission. In fact, according to an internal memo:
- Minders “answer[ed] questions directed at witnesses;”
- Minders acted as “monitors, reporting to their respective agencies on Commission staffs lines of inquiry and witnesses’ verbatim responses.” The staff thought this “conveys to witnesses that their superiors will review their statements and may engage in retribution;” and
- Minders “positioned themselves physically and have conducted themselves in a manner that we believe intimidates witnesses from giving full and candid responses to our questions.”
3. The Main Sources of Information Were Not Even Remotely Credible
The fact that people were tortured in order to justify the Iraq war by making a false linkage between Iraq and 9/11 is gaining attention.
Many people are starting to understand that top Bush administration officials not only knowingly lied about a non-existent connection between Al Qaida and Iraq, but they pushed and insisted that interrogators use special torture methods aimed at extracting false confessions to attempt to create such a false linkage.
Indeed, the Senate Armed Services Committee found that the U.S. used torture techniques specifically aimed at extracting false confessions (and see this).
And as Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times:
Let’s say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.
But many people still assume that the basics of the 9/11 Commission Report must be accurate, and based on reliable evidence. However, that is incorrect.
For example, according to NBC news:
- Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
- At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being "tortured."
- One of the Commission's main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ
- The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves
In fact, the self-confessed "mastermind" of 9/11 also confessed to crimes which he could not have committed. He later said that he gave the interrogators a lot of false information - telling them what he thought they wanted to hear - in an attempt to stop the torture. We also know that he was heavily tortured specifically for the purpose of trying to obtain false information about 9/11 - specifically, that Iraq had something to do with it.
(By the way, the supposed corroborating witness who "independently" fingered the "mastermind" was clinically crazy, so his testimony would be thrown out in any real trial).
Remember, as discussed above, the torture techniques used by the Bush administration to try to link Iraq and 9/11 were specifically geared towards creating false confessions (they were techniques created by the communists to be used in show trials).
So why do people believe the torture confessions regarding 9/11 itself?
The above-linked NBC news report quotes a couple of legal experts to this effect:
Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, says he is "shocked" that the Commission never asked about extreme interrogation measures.
"If you’re sitting at the 9/11 Commission, with all the high-powered lawyers on the Commission and on the staff, first you ask what happened rather than guess," said Ratner, whose center represents detainees at Guantanamo. "Most people look at the 9/11 Commission Report as a trusted historical document. If their conclusions were supported by information gained from torture, therefore their conclusions are suspect."...
Karen Greenberg, director of the Center for Law and Security at New York University’s School of Law, put it this way: "[I]t should have relied on sources not tainted. It calls into question how we were willing to use these interrogations to construct the narrative."
The interrogations were "used" to "construct the narrative" which the 9/11 Commission decided to use.
Remember ( as explored in the book The Commission by respected journalist Philip Shenon), that the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission was an administration insider whose area of expertise is the creation and maintenance of "public myths" thought to be true, even if not actually true. He wrote an outline of what he wanted the report to say very early in the process, controlled what the Commission did and did not analyze, then limited the scope of the Commission's inquiry so that the overwhelming majority of questions about 9/11 remained unasked (see this article and this article). Just as the "facts" about Saddam's WMDs were "fixed around" the policy of launching a war in Iraq, the use of specialized torture techniques geared towards extracting false confessions appear to have been "used" to "construct the narrative" which Zelikow and other administration insiders had decided to use.
As constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley stated:
[The 9/11 Commission] was a commission that was really made for Washington - a commission composed of political appointees of both parties that ran interference for those parties - a commission that insisted at the beginning it would not impose blame on individuals.
Am I saying that 9/11 was an inside job? No, this essay is not addressing that issue one way or the other.
For the sake of clarity, however, it should be noted that there are 4 possibilities:
(1) 9/11 was carried out entirely by Muslim extremists
We already know that the Bush administration tried to falsely create evidence for the third option. Whether or not they also tried to falsely create evidence in favor of the first option and contradicting the second (or fourth) option is an important question, one which lies beyond the scope of this essay.
(2) 9/11 was carried out by Muslim extremists, but elements within the United States government and/or defense industry aided them either actively or by passively failing to stop them
(3) 9/11 was carried out by Muslim extremists, but they were aided by the secular Iraqi government
(4) 9/11 was not carried out by Muslim extremists
See also this.