Investing in War • Center of Public Integrity #CarlyleGroup #iraq #afghanistan #911truth

Originally Published on November 18, 2004

Source: The Center for Public Integrity

A dozen companies in which Carlyle had a controlling interest netted more than $9.3 billion in contracts.

Overall, six private investment firms, including Carlyle, received nearly $14 billion in Pentagon deals between 1998 and 2003. (See related report, “The Sincerest Form of Flattery.”)

From its founding in 1987, the Carlyle Group has pioneered investing in the defense and national security markets, and through its takeover of companies with billions of dollars in defense contracts became one of the U.S. military’s top vendors, ranking among better known defense firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing Co., Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

Unlike those firms, however, the Carlyle Group itself is not a manufacturer. It offers no services directly to the Pentagon, and has no defense contracts. Rather, it manages investments—some $18.4 billion from 600 individuals and entities in 55 countries, according to its Web site. The firm’s business is making money for these investors, the vast majority of whose identities are not disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission or other government bodies.

Though Carlyle itself has won no contracts, the companies it has owned or controlled have done billions of dollars worth of business with the Pentagon. The Carlyle unit that brought in the largest share—$5.8 billion—was United Defense Inc., which manufactures combat vehicles, artillery, naval guns, missile launchers and precision munitions. United Defense also owns the country’s largest non-nuclear ship repair, modernization, overhaul and conversion company, United States Marine Repair Inc. Its most famous product may well be the Bradley fighting vehicle. United Defense brought in more than 60 percent of Carlyle’s defense business.

Carlyle took United Defense public in 2001; by April 2004 it had sold all its shares in the company.

Lear Siegler Services, a leading contractor in aircraft logistics support, maintenance, pilot training and ground support, received contracts worth more than $1 billion. Carlyle sold the company in August 2002.

Southwest Marine Inc. also received contracts worth more than $1 billion since 1998, and Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock received contracts worth $827 million. In 1998, Carlyle merged these two companies into United States Marine Repair.

Vought Aircraft Industries, a large subcontractor doing work for military cargo planes, bombers, and fighters, received contracts worth $85 million. Vought is among the few defense contractors that the Carlyle Group has not sold.

Among other private equity firms, New York-based Veritas Capital Management firm that employs many former high-ranking military officials received Pentagon contracts to the tune of more than $2.2 billion. Veritas is the 41st ranked defense contractor.

Companies under the ownership of Vectura Holding Co., another New York-based group, got deals to the tune of $1 billion, while companies controlled by Berkshire Hathaway, led by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, won contracts worth $688 million. Companies owned by Green Equity Investors II LP ($275 million) and Gores Technology Group ($153 million) also received substantial defense money.

New market

Private equity firms did not have any significant presence in the defense industry until the end of the Cold War. Traditionally, the Defense Department depended on mega contractors such as Boeing Corp., Lockheed Martin and Raytheon for weapons and services. But since the 1990s, the military has increasingly outsourced to private contractors a variety of jobs and services, ranging from planning of operations to the supply of linguistic services. A U.S. government decision in the 1990s to encourage small-business participation in contracts also contributed to the expansion of the market for smaller, privately-owned companies.

The Carlyle Group acquired controlling interests in several underperforming defense contractors, installed its own management teams and revitalized the companies, in part by landing big Pentagon contracts. Then, they sold the contractors to other investors for a large profit.

“There have always been [private equities] that went in with management and bankrolled management,” said Stuart McCutchan, editor of Defense Mergers & Acquisitions. “What Carlyle has done differently is they have taken it to a new level both in terms of size and in terms of being committed to an entire sector.”

“Carlyle is the biggest single success in Washington of a venture capital firm,” Dr. Loren B. Thompson Jr., a national security expert at the libertarian Lexington Institute, said.

In 1997, for example, the group made a 650-percent profit when it sold BDM International Inc., a McLean, Va., defense contractor. And in December 2001, Carlyle sold off the majority of its holdings in United Defense Inc. Altogether, Carlyle earned $1 billion in profit from the United Defense investment.

A windfall of war

The group cashed out many of its investments when the stock of defense companies rose dramatically in the aftermath of September 11 and the buildups to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

“Defense properties are too expensive these days,” explained Carlyle spokesman Chris Ullman.

In 1997, Carlyle liked the price of United Defense, and beat out General Dynamics and Alliant Techsystems, which also coveted the underperforming artillery firm. General Dynamics bid more than Carlyle offered for the company, but potentially faced a lengthy, drawn out antitrust battle if it acquired United Defense. Carlyle ended up winning the bid.

Carlyle finally sold its stakes in United after taking it public in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The Washington Post called the hugely successful public offering “one of the most successful single venture investments of recent years.”

But United did not seem all that lucrative before September 11.

“They [Carlyle] were really kind of in a pickle with United Defense,” McCutchan said. “They wanted to cash out on the equity. There wasn’t much money to be made… When 9/11 happened and the defense budget took off, suddenly they had a winner on their hands.”

Even Carlyle, which typically does not disclose its financial and operational details, crowed over the sale.

“It was one of Carlyle’s best investments,” Carlyle’s Ullman told the Center. “We did make more than a billion dollars on that deal, and we are very pleased that we served our investors quite well.”

The reason Carlyle’s defense portfolio is lean at the moment is the high value of defense firms, thanks in part to the ongoing U.S. wars. “If there comes a time when defense properties are priced in a way that we think makes sense for private equity investors, then we will certainly consider investing more of our dollars in that sector,” Ullman told the Center.

Investment expertise

Carlyle has a diversified portfolio, focusing its investments in sectors that have heavy government regulation and contracting—defense, telecommunications and banking. Carlyle has matched its investments with the expertise of high ranking government officials, whom the firm has courted almost from its inception.

It was under the leadership of former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci—first as a managing director, from 1989 to 1993, and as chairman from 1993 to 2003—that Carlyle grew from a small private equity to a global investment giant, and became a major player among defense contractors.

Other former government officials who have recent or current ties to the firm include former British Prime Minister John Major and former Philippines President Fidel Ramos; former Office of Management and Budget director Richard Darman; former Clinton chief of staff Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty; former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt and former Federal Communications Commission chairman William E. Kennard. Former Secretary of State James Baker works for the firm, as did his former boss, President George H.W. Bush, who was an adviser for the firm’s Asian investment funds until he left Carlyle in 2003.

Critics have long denounced Carlyle’s practice of recruiting former high-ranking government officials at the same time as it invests in companies regulated by their former agencies, dubbing it “access capitalism.” For example, Kennard, who served as Bill Clinton’s FCC chairman, is now managing director for Carlyle’s global telecommunications and media group, directing the firm’s business investments in companies he regulated.

“Carlyle would never have gotten to the level that it is at today had it not been for this premeditated commingling of business and politics,” said Dan Briody, author of The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group, a book that takes a critical look at the rise of the firm.

One of Carlyle’s most controversial hirings was of former president Bush to serve as a senior adviser for its “Asia advisory board.”

“The fact that George H.W. Bush was working for them while his son was president, while his son, in fact, was dramatically increasing defense spending—that seems to me one of the most blatant conflicts of interests in history,” Briody said.

Bush—who joined Carlyle in 1998, before his son, George W. Bush, became president—ended his relationship with the firm in October 2003, Ullman told the Center. But that hasn’t stopped the former president from continuing to give speeches for Carlyle, which he did at a Shanghai event sponsored by the firm in April 2004.

Ullman refused to disclose the remuneration Bush received for his services. “That’s not information that we disclose,” he said. “That’s his personal business. You are certainly welcome to ask him.”

Bush’s office did not respond to the Center’s request for an interview. Written questions faxed to the former president’s Houston office, at an aide’s request, did not elicit any response.

Though none are placed as closely as the president’s father, Carlyle’s other Washington insiders have ties to current Bush administration officials. Current Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Carlucci went to college together, for example, and Secretary of State Colin Powell was Carlucci’s deputy on the National Security Council in the mid-1980s.

The continued presence of Baker and Carlucci riles critics such as Briody. “If you look at the relationship that Frank Carlucci still maintains with Don Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and the reach that he has to those folks—and he has in fact used that reach in the past and tried to influence decisions those folks were making, decisions that could directly or indirectly affect Carlyle’s fortune,” Briody said.

Carlyle dismisses the notion that Carlucci or any other former government or military leader on its payroll has any conflicts of interest. “Are you aware of any solicitations from [Carlucci] to Secretary Rumsfeld to ask for any particular benefits to United Defense or any of our other portfolio companies?” Ullman said. “All they [Carlyle critics] do is, they say: ‘Oh, Carlucci used to work in the government and he went to college with Donald Rumsfeld, and Carlyle has defense investments, and now Secretary Rumsfeld is secretary of defense. Therefore, there is a conflict of interest.’”

Despite Ullman’s assertions, media accounts have noted occasions when former government officials working for Carlyle have approached the Pentagon brass. For example, Fortune magazine reported in March 2002 that Carlucci had contacted at least two senior Pentagon officials, though Carlyle claimed these contacts did not constitute lobbying.

Ullman added that all former government officials working for Carlyle abide by “all of the conflict of interests rules related to lobbying former colleagues for a year.” He pointed out that the Pentagon had cancelled the Crusader artillery system, produced by United Defense, adding, “So if we are as powerful as everyone thinks, why did they cancel it?”

Rumsfeld announced in May 2002 the termination of the artillery system; until then, the Pentagon had paid United Defense some $2 billion to develop the Crusader.

Researcher Sheetal Doshi contributed to this report.

THE TOP 40 REASONS TO DOUBT THE OFFICIAL STORY OF SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001 – #911truth #nyc #dc

Originally Published on September 11, 2011

… An outline in simple talking points … (from 911Truth.org)

We are continuing to compile the best documentation links for every single point on this page, and intend to post the updated version as soon as possible, and create teaching tools and more from the info. This is a significant and time-consuming process–if you have useful links, please send them to janice[at]911truth[dot]org. Thanks for your help!
If you use the search function with title key words, you will discover that 911Truth.org is home to articles backing virtually every point made below. Much of the basic research is available at the Complete 9/11 Timeline (hosted by cooperativeresearch.org), the 9/11 Reading Room (911readingroom.org), and the NY Attorney General Spitzer petition and complaint (Justicefor911.org). For physical evidence discussion, see Point 7.

THE DAY ITSELF – EVIDENCE OF COMPLICITY

1) AWOL Chain of Command
a. It is well documented that the officials topping the chain of command for response to a domestic attack – George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Myers, Montague Winfield – all found reason to do something else during the actual attacks, other than assuming their duties as decision-makers.
b. Who was actually in charge? Dick Cheney, Richard Clarke, Norman Mineta and the 9/11 Commission directly conflict in their accounts of top-level response to the unfolding events, such that several (or all) of them must be lying. 

2) Air Defense Failures
a. The US air defense system failed to follow standard procedures for responding to diverted passenger flights.
b. Timelines: The various responsible agencies – NORAD, FAA, Pentagon, USAF, as well as the 9/11 Commission – gave radically different explanations for the failure (in some cases upheld for years), such that several officials must have lied; but none were held accountable.
c. Was there an air defense standdown?

3) Pentagon Strike
How was it possible the Pentagon was hit 1 hour and 20 minutes after the attacks began? Why was there no response from Andrews Air Force Base, just 10 miles away and home to Air National Guard units charged with defending the skies above the nation”s capital? How did Hani Hanjour, a man who failed as a Cessna pilot on his first flight in a Boeing, execute a difficult aerobatic maneuver to strike the Pentagon? Why did the attack strike the just-renovated side, which was largely empty and opposite from the high command?

4) Wargames
a. US military and other authorities planned or actually rehearsed defensive response to all elements of the 9/11 scenario during the year prior to the attack – including multiple hijackings, suicide crashbombings, and a strike on the Pentagon.
b. The multiple military wargames planned long in advance and held on the morning of September 11th included scenarios of a domestic air crisis, a plane crashing into a government building, and a large-scale emergency in New York. If this was only an incredible series of coincidences, why did the official investigations avoid the issue? There is evidence that the wargames created confusion as to whether the unfolding events were “real world or exercise.” Did wargames serve as the cover for air defense sabotage, and/or the execution of an “inside job”?

5) Flight 93
Did the Shanksville crash occur at 10:06 (according to a seismic report) or 10:03 (according to the 9/11 Commission)? Does the Commission wish to hide what happened in the last three minutes of the flight, and if so, why? Was Flight 93 shot down, as indicated by the scattering of debris over a trail of several miles?

THE DAY – POSSIBLE SMOKING GUNS 

6) Did cell phones work at 30,000 feet in 2001? How many hijackings were attempted? How many flights were diverted?

7) Demolition Hypothesis
What caused the collapse of a third skyscraper, WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane? Were the Twin Towers and WTC 7 brought down by explosives? (See “The Case for Demolitions,” the websites wtc7.net and 911research.wtc7.net, and the influential article by physicist Steven Jones. See also items no. 16 and 24, below.)

FOREKNOWLEDGE & THE ALLEGED HIJACKERS

8) What did officials know? How did they know it?
a. Multiple allied foreign agencies informed the US government of a coming attack in detail, including the manner and likely targets of the attack, the name of the operation (the “Big Wedding”), and the names of certain men later identified as being among the perpetrators.
b. Various individuals came into possession of specific advance knowledge, and some of them tried to warn the US prior to September 11th.
c. Certain prominent persons received warnings not to fly on the week or on the day of September 11th.

9) Able Danger, Plus – Surveillance of Alleged Hijackers
a. The men identified as the 9/11 ringleaders were under surveillance for years beforehand, on the suspicion they were terrorists, by a variety of US and allied authorities – including the CIA, the US military”s “Able Danger” program, the German authorities, Israeli intelligence and others.
b. Two of the alleged ringleaders who were known to be under surveillance by the CIA also lived with an FBI asset in San Diego, but this is supposed to be yet another coincidence. 

10) Obstruction of FBI Investigations prior to 9/11
A group of FBI officials in New York systematically suppressed field investigations of potential terrorists that might have uncovered the alleged hijackers – as the Moussaoui case once again showed. The stories of Sibel Edmonds, Robert Wright, Coleen Rowley and Harry Samit, the “Phoenix Memo,” David Schippers, the 199i orders restricting investigations, the Bush administration”s order to back off the Bin Ladin family, the reaction to the “Bojinka” plot, and John O”Neil do not, when considered in sum, indicate mere incompetence, but high-level corruption and protection of criminal networks, including the network of the alleged 9/11 conspirators. (Nearly all of these examples were omitted from or relegated to fleeting footnotes in The 9/11 Commission Report.)

11) Insider Trading
a. Unknown speculators allegedly used foreknowledge of the Sept. 11th events to profiteer on many markets internationally – including but not limited to “put options” placed to short-sell the two airlines, WTC tenants, and WTC re-insurance companies in Chicago and London.
b. In addition, suspicious monetary transactions worth hundreds of millions were conducted through offices at the Twin Towers during the actual attacks.
c. Initial reports on these trades were suppressed and forgotten, and only years later did the 9/11 Commission and SEC provide a partial, but untenable explanation for only a small number of transactions (covering only the airline put options through the Chicago Board of Exchange).

12) Who were the perpetrators?
a. Much of the evidence establishing who did the crime is dubious and miraculous: bags full of incriminating material that happened to miss the flight or were left in a van; the “magic passport” of an alleged hijacker, found at Ground Zero; documents found at motels where the alleged perpetrators had stayed days and weeks before 9/11.
b. The identities of the alleged hijackers remain unresolved, there are contradictions in official accounts of their actions and travels, and there is evidence several of them had “doubles,” all of which is omitted from official investigations.
c. What happened to initial claims by the government that 50 people involved in the attacks had been identified, including the 19 alleged hijackers, with 10 still at large (suggesting that 20 had been apprehended)? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-worldtrade-50suspects,0,1825231.story

THE 9/11 COVER-UP, 2001-2006

13) Who Is Osama Bin Ladin?
a. Who judges which of the many conflicting and dubious statements and videos attributed to Osama Bin Ladin are genuine, and which are fake? The most important Osama Bin Ladin video (Nov. 2001), in which he supposedly confesses to masterminding 9/11, appears to be a fake. In any event, the State Department”s translation of it is fraudulent.
b. Did Osama Bin Ladin visit Dubai and meet a CIA agent in July 2001 (Le Figaro)? Was he receiving dialysis in a Pakistani military hospital on the night of September 10, 2001 (CBS)?
c. Whether by Bush or Clinton: Why is Osama always allowed to escape?
d. The terror network associated with Osama, known as the “base” (al-Qaeda), originated in the CIA-sponsored 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. When did this network stop serving as an asset to covert operations by US intelligence and allied agencies? What were its operatives doing in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya in the years prior to 9/11?

14) All the Signs of a Systematic 9/11 Cover-up
a. Airplane black boxes were found at Ground Zero, according to two first responders and an unnamed NTSB official, but they were “disappeared” and their existence is denied in The 9/11 Commission Report.
b. US officials consistently suppressed and destroyed evidence (like the tapes recorded by air traffic controllers who handled the New York flights).
c. Whistleblowers (like Sibel Edmonds and Anthony Shaffer) were intimidated, gagged and sanctioned, sending a clear signal to others who might be thinking about speaking out.
d. Officials who “failed” (like Myers and Eberhard, as well as Frasca, Maltbie and Bowman of the FBI) were given promotions.

15) Poisoning New York
The White House deliberately pressured the EPA into giving false public assurances that the toxic air at Ground Zero was safe to breathe. This knowingly contributed to an as-yet unknown number of health cases and fatalities, and demonstrates that the administration does consider the lives of American citizens to be expendable on behalf of certain interests. 

16) Disposing of the Crime Scene
The rapid and illegal scrapping of the WTC ruins at Ground Zero disposed of almost all of the structural steel indispensable to any investigation of the collapse mechanics. (See also item no. 23, below.) 

17) Anthrax
Mailings of weapons-grade anthrax – which caused a practical suspension of the 9/11 investigations – were traced back to US military stock. Soon after the attacks began in October 2001, the FBI approved the destruction of the original samples of the Ames strain, disposing of perhaps the most important evidence in identifying the source of the pathogens used in the mailings. Were the anthrax attacks timed to coincide with the Afghanistan invasion? Why were the letters sent only to media figures and to the leaders of the opposition in the Senate (who had just raised objections to the USA PATRIOT Act)? 

18) The Stonewall
a. Colin Powell promised a “white paper” from the State Department to establish the authorship of the attacks by al-Qaeda. This was never forthcoming, and was instead replaced by a paper from Tony Blair, which presented only circumstantial evidence, with very few points actually relating to September 11th.
b. Bush and Cheney pressured the (freshly-anthraxed) leadership of the Congressional opposition into delaying the 9/11 investigation for months. The administration fought against the creation of an independent investigation for more than a year.
c. The White House thereupon attempted to appoint Henry Kissinger as the chief investigator, and acted to underfund and obstruct the 9/11 Commission.

19) A Record of Official Lies
a. “No one could have imagined planes into buildings” – a transparent falsehood upheld repeatedly by Rice, Rumsfeld and Bush.
b. “Iraq was connected to 9/11” – The most “outrageous conspiracy theory” of all, with the most disastrous impact.

20) Pakistani Connection – Congressional Connection
a. The Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, creator of the Taliban and close ally to both the CIA and “al-Qaeda,” allegedly wired $100,000 to Mohamed Atta just prior to September 11th, reportedly through the ISI asset Omar Saeed Sheikh (later arrested for the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was investigating ISI connections to “al-Qaeda.”)
b. This was ignored by the congressional 9/11 investigation, although the senator and congressman who ran the probe (Bob Graham and Porter Goss) were meeting with the ISI chief, Mahmud Ahmedon Capitol Hill on the morning of September 11th.
c. About 25 percent of the report of the Congressional Joint Inquiry was redacted, including long passages regarding how the attack (or the network allegedly behind it) was financed. Graham later said foreign allies were involved in financing the alleged terror network, but that this would only come out in 30 years. 

21) Unanswered Questions and the “Final Fraud” of the 9/11 Commission:
a. The September 11th families who fought for and gained an independent investigation (the 9/11 Commission) posed 400-plus questions, which the 9/11 Commission adopted as its roadmap. The vast majority of these questions were completely ignored in the Commission hearings and the final report.
b. The membership and staff of the 9/11 Commission displayed awesome conflicts of interest. The families called for the resignation of Executive Director Philip Zelikow, a Bush administration member and close associate of “star witness” Condoleezza Rice, and were snubbed. Commission member Max Cleland resigned, condemning the entire exercise as a “scam” and “whitewash.”
c.The 9/11 Commission Report is notable mainly for its obvious omissions, distortions and outright falsehoods – ignoring anything incompatible with the official story, banishing the issues to footnotes, and even dismissing the still-unresolved question of who financed 9/11 as being “of little practical significance.”

22) Crown Witnesses Held at Undisclosed Locations
The alleged masterminds of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed (KSM) and Ramzi Binalshibh, are reported to have been captured in 2002 and 2003, although one Pakistani newspaper said KSM was killed in an attempted capture. They have been held at undisclosed locations and their supposed testimonies, as provided in transcript form by the government, form much of the basis for The 9/11 Commission Report (although the Commission”s request to see them in person was denied). After holding them for years, why doesn”t the government produce these men and put them to trial?

23) Spitzer Redux
a. Eliot Spitzer, attorney general of New York State, snubbed pleas by New York citizens to open 9/11 as a criminal case (Justicefor911.org).
b. Spitzer also refused to allow his employee, former 9/11 Commission staff member Dietrich Snell, to testify to the Congress about his (Snell”s) role in keeping “Able Danger” entirely out of The 9/11 Commission Report.

24) NIST Omissions
After the destruction of the WTC structural steel, the official Twin Towers collapse investigation was left with almost no forensic evidence, and thus could only provide dubious computer models of ultimately unprovable hypotheses. It failed to even test for the possibility of explosives. (Why not clear this up?)

25) Radio Silence
The 9/11 Commission and NIST both allowed the continuing cover-up of how Motorola”s faulty radios, purchased by the Giuliani administration, caused firefighter deaths at the WTC – once again showing the expendability, even of the first responders. 

26) The Legal Catch-22
a. Hush Money – Accepting victims” compensation barred September 11th families from pursuing discovery through litigation.
b. Judge Hallerstein – Those who refused compensation to pursue litigation and discovery had their cases consolidated under the same judge (and as a rule dismissed).

27) Saudi Connections
a. The 9/11 investigations made light of the “Bin Ladin Airlift” during the no-fly period, and ignored the long-standing Bush family business ties to the Bin Ladin family fortune. (A company in which both families held interests, the Carlyle Group, was holding its annual meeting on September 11th, with George Bush Sr., James Baker, and two brothers of Osama Bin Ladin in attendance.)
b. The issue of Ptech.

28) Media Blackout of Prominent Doubters
The official story has been questioned and many of the above points were raised by members of the US Congress, retired high-ranking officers of the US military, the three leading third-party candidates for President in the 2004 election, a member of the 9/11 Commission who resigned in protest, a former high-ranking adviser to the George W. Bush administration, former ministers to the German, British and Canadian governments, the commander-in-chief of the Russian air force, 100 luminaries who signed the “9/11 Truth Statement,” and the presidents of Iran and Venezuela. Not all of these people agree fully with each other, but all would normally be considered newsworthy. Why has the corporate-owned US mass media remained silent about these statements, granting due coverage only to the comments of actor Charlie Sheen?

GEOPOLITICS, TIMING AND POSSIBLE MOTIVES 

29) “The Great Game”
The Afghanistan invasion was ready for Bush”s go-ahead on September 9, 2001, with US and UK force deployments to the region already in place or underway. This followed the failure earlier that year of backdoor diplomacy with the Taliban (including payments of $125 million in US government aid to Afghanistan), in an attempt to secure a unity government for that country as a prerequisite to a Central Asian pipeline deal. 

30) The Need for a “New Pearl Harbor”
Principals in US foreign policy under the current Bush administration (including Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and others) have been instrumental in developing long-running plans for worldwide military hegemony, including an invasion of the Middle East, dating back to the Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. They reiterated these plans in the late 1990s as members of the “Project for a New American Century,” and stated a clear intent to invade Iraq for the purpose of “regime change.” After 9/11, they lost no time in their attempt to tie Iraq to the attacks.

31) Perpetual “War on Terror”
9/11 is supposed to provide carte-blanche for an open-ended, global and perpetual “War on Terror,” against any enemy, foreign or domestic, that the executive branch chooses to designate, and regardless of whether evidence exists to actually connect these enemies to 9/11.

32) Attacking the Constitution
a. The USA PATRIOT Act was written before 9/11, Homeland Security and the “Shadow Government” were developed long before 9/11, and plans for rounding up dissidents as a means for suppressing civil disturbance have been in the works for decades.
b. 9/11 was used as the pretext to create a new, extra-constitutional executive authority to declare anyone an “enemy combatant” (including American citizens), to detain persons indefinitely without habeas corpus, and to “render” such persons to secret prisons where torture is practiced.

33) Legal Trillions
9/11 triggers a predictable shift of public spending to war, and boosts public and private spending in the “new” New Economy of “Homeland Security,” biometrics, universal surveillance, prisons, civil defense, secured enclaves, security, etc.

34) Plundered Trillions?
On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld announced a “war on waste” after an internal audit found that the Pentagon was “missing” 2.3 trillion dollars in unaccounted assets. On September 11th, this was as good as forgotten.

35) Did 9/11 prevent a stock market crash?
Did anyone benefit from the destruction of the Securities and Exchange Commission offices at WTC 7, and the resultant crippling of hundreds of fraud investigations? 

36) Resource Wars
a. What was discussed in the Energy Task Force meetings under Dick Cheney in 2001? Why is the documentation of these meetings still being suppressed?
b. Is Peak Oil a motive for 9/11 as inside job?

37) The “Little Game”
Why was the WTC privatized just before its destruction?

HISTORY

38) “Al-CIA-da?”
The longstanding relationship between US intelligence networks and radical Islamists, including the network surrounding Osama Bin Ladin. (See also point 13d.)

39) Historical Precedents for “Synthetic Terror”
a. In the past many states, including the US government, have sponsored attacks on their own people, fabricated the “cause for war,” created (and armed) their own enemies of convenience, and sacrificed their own citizens for “reasons of state.”
b. Was 9/11 an update of the Pentagon-approved “Project Northwoods” plan for conducting self-inflicted, false-flag terror attacks in the United States, and blaming them on a foreign enemy?

40) Secret Government
a. The record of criminality and sponsorship of coups around the world by the covert networks based within the US intelligence complex.
b. Specifically also: The evidence of crime by Bush administration principals and their associates, from October Surprise to Iran-Contra and the S&L plunder to PNAC, Enron/Halliburton and beyond.

REASON NUMBER 41: RELATED MOVEMENTS AND PARALLEL ISSUES

Ground Zero aftermath movements:
– Justice for the air-poisoning cover-up (wtceo.org)
– “Radio Silence” (radiosilencefdny.com)
– Skyscraper Safety (www.skyscrapersafety.org).

Election fraud and black box voting, 2000 to 2004. (BlackBoxVoting.org)

Lies to justify the invasion of Iraq. (afterdowningstreet.org)

Use of depleted uranium and its multi-generational consequences on human health and the environment.

Longstanding development of contingency plans for civil disturbance and military rule in the USA (See, “The War at Home”)

Oklahoma City Truth movement. (Offline, but not forgotten – May 9, 2008!)

Whether you call it “Globalization” or “The New World Order” – An unsustainable system of permanent growth ultimately requires warfare, fraud, and mass manipulation.

GOING FORWARD …

“But an inside job would involve thousands of people! How could they keep a secret?” Counter-arguments, red herrings, speculations and false information.

Selected essays, books and websites that make the case for 9/11 as inside job. (See Resources)

Demanding a real investigation of the September crimes – Not just a patriotic duty, but a matter of survival.

Will the Military Industrial Complex Permit Good Relations Between the U.S. and China? • Strategic Culture Foundation

Source: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/11/16/will-military-industrial-complex-permit-good-relations-between-us-and-china/

The world would benefit enormously if Joe Biden terminated its ascent by coming to terms with China and Russia, Brian Cloughley writes.

At the recent semi-successful United Nations COP26 conference on climate change there was an unexpected revelation that the U.S. and China had engaged in some thirty virtual meetings on the subject over the past year. Their decision to “jointly strengthen climate action” was very welcome from the environment point of view, and even more welcome because it demonstrated that Washington and Beijing could actually get along in one aspect of international relations. It also raised the question as to whether they could ever sit down together and discuss the equally pressing problem of looming conflict.

When U.S. climate envoy John Kerry announced the agreement he acknowledged that although “the United States and China have no shortage of differences” it seemed that “on climate, cooperation is the only way to get this job done.” In this, however, he seemed to be taking a different track to President Joe Biden, who played into the ever-welcoming hands of Washington hawks on November 2 when he castigated Presidents Xi and Putin for non-appearance at the COP gathering. This, he declared, was a “big mistake” and contrasted with the fact that “we showed up” but “they didn’t show up… It is a gigantic issue and they just walked away. How do you do that and claim to have any leadership mantle?”

It is barely credible that the President of the United States would state that the Presidents of the world’s other most important countries are not effective leaders. The BBC’s record of his diatribe is disturbing, as it demonstrates a desire for confrontation rather than a genuine preparedness to calm things down. He said that “the fact that China is trying to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader — not showing up, come on.” He continued by declaring that Russia’s wilderness was burning while President Putin “stays mum” about the problem. He did not know, or deliberately ignored the fact that, as the BBC reported, “before Mr Biden’s speech Mr Putin virtually addressed a meeting on forest management at the COP26 summit on Tuesday, saying that Russia takes the ‘strongest and most vigorous measures to conserve’ woodlands.”

There was little surprise that as COP26 was drawing to a close, President Xi warned against a return to “Cold War-era” divisions when it was made known that he and President Biden would meet on November 15. He said plainly that “attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds are bound to fail,” and China’s Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, expanded on the subject at a function in Washington of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, saying that China “always bears in mind the fundamental interests of the people of both countries and the whole world, and handles China-U.S. relations from a strategic and long-term perspective”.

Most people are aware that China has a long-term view on its place in the world, and even President Biden, in his message to the gathering, declared that “from tackling the Covid-19 pandemic to addressing the existential threat of climate crisis, the relationship between the U.S. and China has global significance. Solving these challenges and seizing these opportunities will require the broader international community to come together as we each do our part to build a safe, peaceful and resilient future.” He did not, however, place any emphasis on bilateral negotiations, which was left to President Xi, who wrote that “China-U.S. relations are at a critical historical juncture. Both countries will gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Cooperation is the only right choice.”

President Xi’s desire that China should get together with the United States specifically to plan a joint way ahead for a peaceful future has not been echoed in Washington where, as reported by the Straits Times, “the White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that Washington and Beijing had ‘an agreement in principle’ to have a virtual summit before the end of the year.” Her explanation was that “this is part of our ongoing efforts to responsibly manage the competition between our countries,” while stressing that it was “not about seeking specific deliverables.” In other words, don’t let anybody get their hopes up that Mr Biden would pursue collaboration that will lead to improved bilateral relations. He might not go so far down into the insult sewer as to reiterate his previous public declaration that Mr Xi doesn’t have a “leadership mantle”, but it is unlikely there will be long-term substance.

It is not surprising that Mr Biden is reluctant to compromise, because the Pentagon and its associates have already notified the world they consider China to be menacing and that the United States should “meet the pacing challenge presented by the PRC’s increasingly capable military and its global ambitions”.

In its November 3 Report to Congress, the Pentagon details “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” and presents the Pentagon’s case for continuing to expand the U.S. military and acquire even more staggeringly expensive weaponry. As the New York Times reported, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said that China “is clearly challenging us regionally, and their aspiration is to challenge us globally… they have a China dream, and they want to challenge the so-called liberal rules-based order.” The Washington Post noted the Report’s concern about China’s global vision, in that it “already has established a military base in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. To support its goals, it wants to build more facilities overseas and is considering more than a dozen countries that include Cambodia, Pakistan and Angola. Such a network could interfere with U.S. military operations and support offensive operations against the United States.”

The Pentagon’s warning that China’s establishment of a military base in a foreign country constitutes a threat is absurd to the point of risibility, especially in the context of the U.S. military footprint which extends to “750 military base sites estimated in around 80+ foreign countries and colonies/territories.” Further, it is calculated that the U.S. spends more on its military than the combined defence budgets of eleven major countries : China, India, Russia, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Australia.

It is not surprising that William Hartung and Mandy Smithberger wrote in TomDispatch on November 9 that “The arms industry’s lobbying efforts are especially insidious. In an average year, it employs around 700 lobbyists, more than one for every member of Congress… A 2018 investigation by the Project On Government Oversight found that, in the prior decade, 380 high-ranking Pentagon officials and military officers had become lobbyists, board members, executives, or consultants for weapons contractors within two years of leaving their government jobs.” And of even more concern for the workings of democracy it is sinister, in the words of Dan Auble, that “defence companies spend millions every year lobbying politicians and donating to their campaigns. In the past two decades, their extensive network of lobbyists and donors have directed $285 million in campaign contributions and $2.5 billion in lobbying spending to influence defence policy.”

Good luck to Mr Biden. Let us hope that he will sacrifice popularity for peace and that he will bear in mind the words of his illustrious predecessor President Eisenhower, sixty years ago, that “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Indeed it has risen. But the world would benefit enormously if Joe Biden terminated its ascent by coming to terms with China and Russia.

Out-Thought, Out-Bought, Out-Fought: Why the “9/11 Truth” Movement Failed • Unz Review

By: Alan Sabrosky

Source: Unz Review

I have cited my late friend “Mick” Trainor’s words elsewhere, and kept them in mind since he said them to me in the late 1980s.They ought to be graven in granite in the minds of everyone of good heart in public life. They are also an indictment of the “9/11 Truth” movement as a whole, which tried to speak the truth about this atrocity to the people as well as to those in power, but increasingly lied to itself about the effect it was having. It finally ended in complete failure, lacking only a decent funeral oration.

An Overview

It gives me no pleasure at all to write these words. I personally came to the movement late in 2009, then met many excellent people and worked with many fine editors at a time when overt censorship was still minimal. The best of the “Truthers” shared one thing in common: they were right that the US Government explanation of the 9/11 attacks was singularly flawed, in whole and in all its major parts. But they – and I include myself here – were never able to convey that message in a politically significant way to enough of the American public to matter.

The net effect is that despite innumerable articles, speeches, seminars, videos, protests and the like by tens of thousands of activists, the 20th anniversary of 9/11 came and went with barely a whimper. It was preceded by the collapse of the 9/11 lawyers effort in New York City on which so many had staked their hopes, and the dismissal of Richard Gage – the founder of the seminal “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth” – from his own organization by his own board. It is tragic enough when evil triumphs, which is what the real planners and perpetrators of 9/11 did. It is even worse when the collapse of the efforts to expose them and to bring them to justice ends in farce.

So Why Did We Fail?

Even posing this question is certain to prompt some – perhaps many – to assert that they are still fighting, and as long as they do, they have not yet lost. This assumes that effort without effect matters, and perhaps in a metaphysical sense, it does.

But nothing we have done to date has produced a corresponding result. We went from Bush to Obama to Trump to Biden, and each administration saw a continuous growth in Jewish influence within the government and in Israeli power (which was a major goal of 9/11, after all). Trump was easily the most pro-Israel president in my long (80 years) memory, which took some doing, and Biden’s administration is cast in the same mould. None ever called into question the essential elements of the original US Government case on 9/11. None even hinted in the most oblique manner that Israel abroad and the assorted mostly Jewish neo-conservatives at home had any part to play in that event and what ensued. How could they? Many of those responsible were or still are in the government.

Countering the official narrative on the 9/11 attacks and exposing the real culprits was admittedly a daunting task from the beginning. The real perpetrators – not the handful of hapless named Arabs including pilots who could not fly the type of aircraft hijacked, but the ones who wired three buildings at the World Trade Center for controlled demolition, arranged for the attack on the Pentagon which conveniently wiped out the team auditing the missing $2.3 trillion in Pentagon funds, and orchestrated the US Government support and protection apparatus for them – held all the aces. Not just what the US Government itself could and did marshal on their behalf, but virtually all of the mainstream media increasingly echoed the official 9/11 narrative. Hollywood and country music (CMT has the same type of owners as Hollywood and the networks) combined to produce movies and music reinforcing the official narrative. The wars in Afghanistan and then Iraq as part of the illusory “war on terror” both nailed that down, and later shifted focus away from 9/11 to the wars themselves – not coincidentally, another major goal of the 9/11 attacks.

So where did it all go wrong, given the mountain of evidence and analyses on the side of the “Truthers” – enough to make the mountain of evidence about actual fraud in the 2020 elections seem like a molehill? First of all, we were out-thought. We knew what we were against: the US Government case on 9/11. But we did not know how to present that case to the public in a coherent way that mattered to them – there were many (I would say too many) ideas, but no strategy. Think of the 9/11 Truth movement as a variant of China’s “Hundred Flowers” campaign in Mao Zedong’s early years in power. That one’s slogan was “let a hundred flowers bloom, let a thousand thoughts contend.” And when those thoughts did contend, after a while the Chinese government cut them down. It hasn’t been that gruesome (yet) for 9/11 Truthers, but the sheer number of contending – and often contradictory or mutually exclusive – ideas presented, some sensible but many not, without any overarching design meant a good deal of activity with little or no practical effect.

Our opponents, in contrast, seized the initiative from the outset, and never lost it. (I would love to meet with whoever devised their plan, and I do not mean the 1990s PNAC document on “A New American Century” – it was masterful.) Their strategy was simple: name an enemy, attack at once while people are still stunned (the long-standing “rally around the flag” syndrome), take the war home (the misbegotten “Patriot Act” and its bastard offspring, the “War on Terror”), keep reminding people of it (e.g. TSA at airports), and never ever let people forget any of the above.

To safeguard the narrative, any who question what is being done (the “Truthers”) are dismissed as quacks, derided as fools, or treated as handmaidens to the terrorists. Governance by fear is not in theory the best form of governing, but it keeps most people from rethinking just why in the hell are we doing this? And it worked – forget what happened to the “9/11 Truth” movement, which never really found an effective response – just look at how quickly the corresponding peace movement faded into insignificance.

Second, we were out-bought. It is an old saying that when money talks, everything else walks, and I expect that has been true throughout history. It certainly determined the course of the 9/11 Truth movement, and all but dictated its failure. For all their efforts individually and collectively, the Truthers were never able to garner the support of even one major individual, non-profit or corporate donor. Not one. Financing of our efforts was done on a literal shoestring, via monetizing videos or Patreon or similar pay-per-view efforts – IF they were permitted, and increasingly they were demonetized. None of the conservative billionaires or foundations supported our efforts, with anything more than a pittance – and that only rarely. Nor did Arab-Americans – especially Palestinian-Americans – step forward in support, even though they ought to have understood that pinning 9/11 on Israel and its supporters would inevitably work to their own benefit.

So why was this the case? I expect insofar as American donors were concerned, almost all – no matter which political party they preferred – supported Israel by 2001. And the more perceptive of them (or their program directors) knew, suspected or feared that a close examination of the evidentiary trail to 9/11 would lead directly or indirectly to Israel and its supporters in the United States – which would mean the wrath of the American people, would be visited on both. This they did not want. As for Arab-Americans and especially Palestinian-Americans, those I knew simply did not want to be bothered – they were safe, their investments were prospering, and that was enough.

The 9/11 planners and perpetrators, on the other hand, had a much easier task financially. The US Government and its immense resources were at their beck and call. Billionaires and multi-billion dollar individuals, foundations and corporations funded their activities and those of the organizations which supported them. The American Jewish lobby – yes, it does exist – look at the website of the “Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations” which has 51 member organizations (of which AIPAC and ADL are but two) and 3 adjunct organizations plus the SPLC – threw all of its considerable political and monetary support into the balance against the Truthers. Incidental Patreon payouts and occasional YouTube proceeds didn’t much matter against those odds. And not surprisingly, they prevailed.

Third, we were out-fought. We fought the war for 9/11 Truth as badly as the US fought the wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan, and like the US in those places, absent a coherent strategy, we lost. The movement was infiltrated from the outset, those of us who fought the good fight knew it, but lacking any organization, any strategy, or any monetary resources, were powerless to excise or even counter them. Many Truthers seemed in all too many instances to have spent as much effort attacking or criticizing one another as we did pursuing the supposed goal of undermining the government case.

Moreover, most of us – and I am a prime transgressor here – misunderstood the proper focus of our criticism. I and many others focused on the WTC – especially WTC7 – because it was so blatantly obvious that the three towers were brought down by controlled demolitions, with the impacting planes (or whatever) serving merely as gruesome distractions from that fact. But we forgot that even if we had convinced people that this did happen, they had no way to organize and do anything about it, given the near-total subservience of the mainstream media and increasingly the social media to Israel. The proper focus should have been the Pentagon attack – convince the military then of what had happened and who had done it, and they had the means to do something about it. Today, it is probably too late: means or not, the will is mostly gone.

In contrast to this haphazard and misguided approach to working through 9/11, the “bad guys and gals” did well. We Truthers (to reuse an apt analogy applicable here] were like a thousand or more people standing in a circle, shooting arrows in all directions (and sometimes at one another) with no attention to impact or effectiveness. We told ourselves that we were firing arrows, and that more people understood why we were doing it. That we hit little or nothing never seemed to register. But our opponents were like that same number of archers in a circle shooting collectively into the center: they were on target, largely did no damage to one another – and at least marginalized the 9/11 Truth movement, and ultimately made it irrelevant. If there is anything worse than fighting and failing, it is fighting and being meaningless.

L’Envoi

So where do we go from here? It ought to be abundantly clear that simply refilling our quivers, doing more podcasts or articles or whatever, won’t work. More of the same when that same has failed in the past is never smart. Nor are we going to alter the financial framework much, and the political situation is grim: We have an America that is on the verge of social and economic collapse, overlaid by an impending Democrat party dominance of the political system for the foreseeable future. If we are lucky, there’ll be a civil war that precludes that outcome. If not, worrying about who did 9/11 and what it means will be the least of our problems.

From my point of view, anyone who wishes to pursue 9/11 Truth, should reorient their focus to the Pentagon attack. Stop this nonsense about whether the 757 really hit: the plane simply doesn’t fit, the visual damage doesn’t support such a plane impacting the building, and onsite witnesses an hour after the attack found nothing to support a that happening. Don’t waste time arguing about what it was: Simply point out that a 757 did not hit, that the named pilot who could not fly a propeller-driven Cessna could not possibly have flown a 757 if it had been there, and use that as the point of departure. That woke pansy of a Chairman JCS aside, there are still some officers who lost friends there and who still have a sense of professionalism – they are your proper target audience.

For my part, doing what I can to try and stave off the coming train wreck that is the United States is far more important. Our country, our society, our very culture is being eroded from within. Anyone who does not see impending disaster is living in a dream world. It may well be too late to avert catastrophe: 2020 was the time to do it, and faced with the choice of standing up and fighting – and I mean fighting with weapons, not words – conservative patriots did nothing. If the ship of state wrecks on the rocks and shoals, do not blame the Left – or those who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks – look into a mirror. It was our fault – not others, but ours – and none other. If you want to do better, put 9/11 on the back burner and save the country – 9/11 will still be there when the smoke clears if we win, and if we lose, it won’t matter.

Alan Ned Sabrosky (PhD, University of Michigan) is a ten-year US Marine Corps veteran. He served two tours in Vietnam with the 1st Marine Division and is a graduate of the US Army War College. He can be contacted at docbrosk@comcast.net

US Response To China’s Hypersonic Missile Test Fails For Third Time – National Justice

Source: National Justice

By: Eric Striker

Earlier this week, the Financial Times broke the story that China successfully tested a hypersonic glider capable of delivering a nuclear payload. 

The alleged launch, which Chinese officials are publicly denying, occurred in late July. American defense systems are incapable of countering the technology, which travels through space to complete a revolution around earth. 

The combination of a glider with an orbiter is not groundbreaking and has been replicated in the past by the US. What makes the Chinese prototype unique is that it is designed to strike a target with a mounted nuclear weapon that evades current radar and missile defense technology.  

The timing of the Pentagon leaking this story to the Financial Times appears to have been a deliberate act to build hype for the US’ most recent hypersonic weapons tests this week. 

Yet, in a shocking embarrassment, the booster rockets meant to propel America’s version of the device failed during a trial in Alaska. As a result, the prototype’s hypersonic body could not be tested

This is now the Pentagon’s third failed attempt at launching the space-age weapon since April. Analysts are now warning that China and Russia may be further ahead of the US in the arms race than previously thought. 

The weapons contractor Lockheed Martin has been tasked with taking the lead in developing hypersonic missiles. The company is able to secure contracts from the Pentagon by lobbying and buying off politicians in Congress.

The amount of corruption involved in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) contracts with the military defense industry appears to be catching up to Washington. Last February the US Air Force admitted that Lockheed’s expensive F-35 jet, which was meant to revolutionize American air supremacy, is a failure. The F-35 program in total is expected to waste an eye-watering $1.7 trillion by the time its over. 

China’s military budget is $252 billion a year while America’s is $733 billion. US military spending has long been criticized as a source of graft and fraud that appears to be causing problems for America’s ability to project imperial power as competitors arise.

The Biden administration’s appointment of Lloyd Austin to lead the DoD despite his massive conflicts of interest related to his deep financial ties to the weapons industry has been noted as a personification of this issue. 

Pentagon Believes Its Precognitive AI Can Predict Events ‘Days In Advance

‘ from the predicting-the-future dept.


The Drive reports that US Northern Command recently completed a string of tests for Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDE), a combination of AI, cloud computing and sensors that could give the Pentagon the ability to predict events “days in advance,” according to Command leader General Glen VanHerck. Engadget reports:
The machine learning-based system observes changes in raw, real-time data that hint at possible trouble. If satellite imagery shows signs that a rival nation’s submarine is preparing to leave port, for instance, the AI could flag that mobilization knowing the vessel will likely leave soon. Military analysts can take hours or even days to comb through this information — GIDE technology could send an alert within “seconds,” VanHerck said.

The most recent dry run, GIDE 3, was the most expansive yet. It saw all 11 US commands and the broader Defense Department use a mix of military and civilian sensors to address scenarios where “contested logistics” (such as communications in the Panama Canal) might pose a problem. The technology involved wasn’t strictly new, the General said, but the military “stitched everything together.” The platform could be put into real-world use relatively soon. VanHerck believed the military was “ready to field” the software, and could validate it at the next Globally Integrated Exercise in spring 2022.