From Sibel Edmonds fantastic community of Boiling Frogs:
Archive for the Sounds of Silence category
A new introduction to their emerging view of what happened in New York on 9/11.
And a sketch of what they’re trying to do at the moment.
For files. FBI is a lying sack of stuff. Secret police, nothing more.
This from Democracy Now:
Argentina: U.S. Warplane Carried Unauthorized Weapons
The Obama administration is locked in a diplomatic row with Argentina over allegations a U.S. military warplane brought unauthorized cargo to the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.
The Argentine government says a U.S. Air Force jet was found to be carrying a number of items, including weapons, drugs and spying devices, without proper clearance.
The United States maintains it disclosed the items beforehand and had received approval.
Argentine cabinet chief AnĂbal FernĂˇndez said an Argentine plane carrying similar cargo to the United States would have led to the imprisonment of its crew at the military base in GuantĂˇnamo Bay, Cuba.
AnĂbal FernĂˇndez: “I want them to tell me what would have happened if an Argentinian plane with Argentinian military or armed men from the Argentinian security forces wanted to enter the U.S. with weapons, with machines to intercept communications, with numbered electronic equipment, with high-potential GPSes and all sorts of other things. They would certainly have ended up in GuantĂˇnamo, wearing orange overalls.”
The spat comes on the heels of President Obamaâ€™s announcement of his first state visit to Latin America. Obama plans to stop in El Salvador, Chile and Brazil.
Gist is re April 2001 FBI information out of Afghanistan that “kamikaze pilot” attacks on major US cities were in the offing.
FBI agent who handled and submarined the reports is reached at his consultancy firm inside Beltway and says he can’t talk about such sensitive things.
More fodder, then, for notions that the attacks were nurtured by Friends/Sayonim within the US-Israeli national security apparat.
Boiling Frogs is Sibel’s main activism site. Great interviews with dissident activists and journalists.
Another blow to Untruth — Geraldo is on board !
The Palestine Papers are clear: Obama gave the Cairo Speech, then promptly sold the Palestinian state down the river.
( Here is Al Jazeera’s search page for the approx 2,000 diplomatic cables and the like, chiefly out of Israeli and Palestinian Authority offices. )
The extent of the collapse — complete — of support for the UN resolution that recognized Israel in sync with a plan for a two-state solution â€¦ Shocking.
It’s now clear that when the Israeli foreign minister gave the UN the finger on Palestine this past September, he had the American president in his pocket.
No wonder Knesset member Zaneen Hoabi simply said â€śNo chanceâ€ť last year.
And no wonder the New York Review of Books (our finest periodical) has just published a notice of surrender:
Itâ€™s now clear that the American war in the mideast, pinched upon Iran’s eastern and western borders, was coeval and is conjoined with a final solution in Palestine.
Alan Sabrosky, a Vietnam combat vet, former intelligence officer with the Marines and former director of the Army War College, talks plainly about how the American war got off the ground.
And it’s now clear how the Army of God comes to appoint the Prime Minister of Lebanon. I wonder if Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Zakheim et al. — the creators of the American war under Bush-Cheney — are laughing or crying.
These are the days of miracles and wonder. These are the days when the Justice Department proceeds beyond the bounds of law against Anti-War demonstrators and the free press.
Little wonder, of course, that the American media are all but silent on the truth of 9/11 and, now, the Palestine Papers.
One effect of the latter’s publication in freer worlds abroad seems all but certain: A true war of terror, born of final despair re the fate and treatment of the Arabs of Palestine, in the angry half of the Islamic world. Hope dies last, as Alexander Dubcek observed, but now it is dead.
No more Mr Shoe Bomb. No more Mr Underpants.
Itâ€™s well known amid intel types that nuclear devices are loose in the underworld. Every now and then an attempt to sell one surfaces. 1994 was the beginning of this game. It now seems to me only a question of time before angry young men try to set one off in Tel Aviv or New York.
From Kevin Barrett‘s excellent radio show.
Sabrosky is a Vietnam combat vet and a former director at the Army War College.
Also in the news today, the American ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, a Chicago friend of Obama, calls for the head of a UN official who had the temerity to write that the US government seemed to be involved in a coverup of the 9/11 events.
All the tenants of WTC 1 and 2, it would seem, just released thru FOIA.
Admiral Mike Mullen, the Pentagon boss, whom I admire, is worried about the declining character of the armed forces:
â€śWeâ€™ve learned a lot about ourselves in the last decade; some of itâ€™s been pretty unpleasant stuff,â€ť Admiral Mullen said in an interview. â€śI want us to understand what weâ€™ve seen, to a depth that we can ensure that our moral compass stays true, our ethical compass stays true.â€ť
Mullen’s worries bear relation to the mass assassinations yesterday in Tucson, in that across the past decade the society has being trained to accept perpetual war as a way of life.
Our kids, our soldiers, growing up, are trained to envision life as a video game. And Obama’s Secretary of Education spent most of the past decade turning five Public Schools in Chicago into military academies.
The Spectre of the Gun haunts the society’s blood, born as we were coeval with Industrialism, with no time, as in Europe, to prepare for that onslaught, in a protracted war for control of the continent against nature and its natives.
Armies destroy countries — often their own.
Japan and Bismarck’s Germany — reduced to cinders by 1945, having provoked with their martial successes and crimes the remainder of the industrialized world into alliance.
The Russian empire in its Soviet phase — an elephantine Military-Industrial Complex riding the backs of an impoverished and well policed working class, an inverted pyramid, an unstable equillibrium nevertheless held in place for several generations by secret police, radio and television.
For people like Gore Vidal, whom I admire, it’s a given: the American empire was born in 1898 with our adventurism contra Spain in the Philipines and the Caribbean. We then built a huge permanent army to help win the world wars. That work done, the monster turned upon Dr Frankenstein. The republic’s cancer exhibited itself in 1963. We’ve been watching it die all our lives. The installation of Bush-Cheney, in retrospect, seems the end. The full-page tombstone in the New York Times.
However one might parse our history, no Western society could withstand in perpetuity the things we’ve done here and abroad for the reasons we’ve done them since October 2000. Mullen seems to sense this, and indeed, almost to be saying as much out loud.
And the eloquent Sheriff Dudnick of Pima County yesterday echoed him:
“This has not become the nice United States of America that most of us grew up in and I think its time we do the soul-searching,” he said. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately, Arizona has become the capital. We have become the mecca of prejudice and bigotry.”
Hero Mark Lane will have a documentary this year featuring hero Abraham Bolden, former Secret Service agent and author of THE ECHO FROM DEALEY PLAZA, who was imprisoned for trying to publicize the story of the attempted assassination of JFK in Chicago in early November 1963.
Here’s the two of them speaking.
And here — perhaps more informative — is Mr Bolden with Thom Hartmann (three clips total there on youtube).
And here’s a panel with James Douglass, author of the excellent JFK AND THE UNSPEAKABLE – Why He Died and Why It Matters (2008), with Oliver Stone and Lisa Pease (latter whom has dropped here a few times in the past …) Five clips total.
Graeme MacQueen is founder of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University and now a retired professor from that university. Laurie Manwell is a professor at Guelph University in Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Sciences.
The interview (linked above) took place this year on an Indiana radio station, in conjunction with a travelling public presentation: Peace Through Truth: 9/11 and State Crimes Against Democracy.
Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig is a good way to begin to remember.
The author of Blowback in 2000, The Sorrows of Empire in 2004, and Nemesis in 2007 — all about the death march of American militarism.
And, just this past August, Dismantling the Empire, a collection of half hopeful essays about how the worst might yet be averted.
Here’s a good and comprehensive chat, from 2007 or so it seems:
From Kevin Ryan, the former Underwriter Labs engineer among the first to blow the whistle re the collapse of the towers.
The former SEAL and Governor of Minnesota speaking about Huffington Post pulling his story re Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Simple things. Well worth watching.
Daniel Hopsicker here elaborates his investigation of the businesslike drug importation business run in Florida by members of the American so-called intelligence apparat.
This follows Hopsicker’s WELCOME TO TERRORLAND, the astounding book that details Mohammed Atta’s activities in Florida, including an extended interview with his local girlfriend there. The picture that emerges is one of a fellow working with western so-called intelligence apparatchiks.
The Venice, Florida airport has been used to import narcotics on a businesslike basis, with labor and protection provided by so-called intelligence apparatchiks, for a long time. Wally HIlliard has been the boss there for a while.
Atta and friends were housed and given their fight training by one of Hillard’s aviation outfits in Venice, despite the fact that their photos were hanging on the Able Danger corkboard in the Pentagon — until “Pentagon lawyers” under Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith, found out and had Able Danger shut down.
James Bamford’s latest book, The Shadow Factory, about the National Security Agency shortly before and since the 9/11 attacks, leaves his first two re same (The Puzzle Palace and Body of Secrets) seeming quaint, jolly, the Good Old Days. That Obama has only elaborated what Bush-Cheney began means we are surely beyond the pale and point of return.
But for the moment, a look back, to the weeks preceding the attacks.
Mr Bamford writes that:
– Mohammed Atta & co bought their airline tickets August 25-29, 2001.
– Up until then, across the summer, Atta had been refusing pressure from his Al Qaeda contact to set the date of the attack and git it done.
The first point is in tune with the FBI’s public chronology of the alleged terrorists’ actions. But the second point is new to my eyes.
Mr Bamford writes that on July 8, with all 19 of the supposed hijackers now safely arrived in the US, Atta flew to Spain to meet Ramzi Binalshibh — “his former roommate and the man who was helping bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed coordinate the operation from his base in Germany.” (p59)
Binalshibh told Atta that bin laden wanted the attacks carried out as soon as possible because he was concerned about the large number of operatives in the US at the same time. But Atta said he was still unable to provide an exact date for the attacks because he was too busy organizing the arriving soldiers. In addition, he still needed to coordinate the timing of the flights so that the crashes would occur simultaneously. Atta said he needed about five to six more weeks before he could provide an accurate attack date. (p60)
The rationale for delay sounds rather weak.
Note that Mr Bamford does not provide a single citation for the chapter in which he tells this story of how Atta finally came to select the date and set the attacks in motion. Given Bamford’s history, readers seem invited to assume the sources are NSA intercepts (phone calls and emails) and deep background interviews with the NSAyers who handled them.
This newly public story of the date’s selection folds into old thoughts about the leasing and securitization of the Twin Towers, a refinancing project with curious consequences that — in contrast to Atta — was racing across that summer toward the day of infamy in September.
Two things to note about the date of the attacks:
– The nexus of military exercises those early days of that week in September was such that most of the east coast was stripped of jet fighter protection. (Webster Tarpley’s book is perhaps the best source for this.)
– the complex deal that financed the long-term leasing of most of the Trade Center by Silverstein Properties Inc had only recently closed — on August 21 — when the Twin Towers were securitized in a bond issuance.
Housekeeping note: The leasing by SPI (agreed to in the spring and finalized on July 24) and the bond sale by its banker that followed in August, each encompassed WTC buildings 1 and 2 (the towers) and 4 and 5 — four of the seven that comprised the Trade Center complex. (References henceforth to “Twin Tower bonds” are to the whole package, ie, bonds based on the securitization of buildings 1, 2, 4, and 5.)
Not part of the deal were: Building 3 — a big hotel on site. Building 6 — the US Custom House. And building 7 — the Spook House, where about every police and secret police agency one might call to mind rented space.
WTC 7 is the odd man out for a number of reasons. It was not truly part of the WTC complex, having been built across the street during the 80s — by none other than Larry Silverstein, the principal of SPI. The building was then refinanced by a (separate) securitization and bond sale (in the late 90s, if memory serves). And, of course, shortly after 5 pm on 9/11, the building, having suffered only minor damage in the attacks, suddenly collapsed in its footprint in what seems to have been a Controlled Demolition.
And now, our featured presentation.
There are three details worth noting about the August securitization of 1-2-4-5.
(1) The SECURITIZATION was RUSHED and SHABBILY DONE.
In particular, the insurance coverage for the buildings required by the securitization was inconsistent with the coverage required by the lease. And a good deal of the insurance coverage stipulated was not contracted before the securitization closed — even though such coverage was a precondition to the sale of the bonds.
And note that time just kept on flying: A big chunk of the stipulated insurance remained uncontracted when the jetliners arrived on 9/11.
All of this came out at the two insurance trials subsequent to the attacks. The insurance broker for SPI testified at gory length as to the chaos and unprecedented (in his experience) late summer rush to get the bond deal done without dotting Is and crossing Ts. (The best sources here are the insurance trade journals, which covered the trials in depth.)
(2) The KEY MONEY on the LEASE was substantial. When SPI finalized its 99-year managerial lease of 1-2-4-5 on July 24, it paid $491 million in cash to the Port Authority in key money.
SPI borrowed borrowed this key money (and more, $563 mm) the same day from its anchor banker, GMAC, the then-proud new-age investment bank run by General Motors. Henceforth much of the monthly rent paid by WTC tenants would go not to the PA or SPI but rather to GMAC, as interest on the loan.
EXCEPT that, a month later, GMAC got all its money back in a lump — by selling $563 million in Twin Tower bonds to institutional investors worldwide. Henceforth much of the monthly WTC rents would flow to these numerous, scattered investors, tagged as interest on their new bonds.
That is: The whole point of the securitization of 1-2-4-5 was to make GMAC whole by transferring the SPI key-money loan to the new bondholders.
(3) There was AN UNUSUALLY LARGE RESERVE FUND built into the securitization and funded at closing.
That is, an unusually large amount of the proceeds of the bond sale were held in reserve by the bond trustee (Wells Fargo), rather than delivered to the issuer of the bonds (a new shell vehicle, more or less a “trust,” created to issue the bonds on behalf of GMAC).
This reserve fund came in handy when the business-basis of the bonds went up in smoke twenty days after they were sold — the most dramatic instance of “collateral decay” in finance history, one imagines. Despite that calamity, the reserve allowed the bonds to continue paying interest until insurance money started to dribble in.
Perhaps the import of the three points noted above is as clear as mud.
The gist is this: When the bonds were sold on August 21, it completed a two-step deal that:
(a) via the lease, took the Port Authority of NY & NJ — which owned the Trade Center and until July 2001 had always managed it — off the hook for a lot of headaches and for the next five years of rent on 1-2-4-5.
(b) via the August securitization, took GMAC — which had financed the leasing with (in essence) a bridge loan — off the hook.
The Port Authority was off the hook in two simple respects:
(i) The $491 million in key money it received at lease signing constituted over five years worth of rent on 1-2-4-5. If by chance the buildings were to disappear from the face of the earth tomorrow, well, the PA had five years to rebound. And as for the headaches …
(ii) The 99-year managerial lease transferred responsibility for rebuilding in case of mishap from the PA to SPI.
In short sum: The SPI lease had the effect of cushioning the Port Authority from the blast of 9/11.
And the bank that provided the financing to make it happen backed out of the deal twenty days before the jetliners arrived.
Readers of the news wondering or already persuaded that controlled demolition was employed on 9/11 might surmise that somebody wanted the Twin Towers to come down that day, but nobody wanted to destroy the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the process.
The leasing & securitization, willy nilly, served that end, by transferring the lion’s share of the risk of owning WTC 1-2-4-5 across the next five years from the PA to the bondholders, the insurance companies and SPI.
Funny — The first interest payment on the bonds was made on September 10. One imagines a proud bondholder, early the next morning, hanging up after confirming the payment with his broker and turning to his wife — “Honey, we got a piece of the Rock!” — while she aghast over the ironing board watches the North Tower burn.
And interesting — The Twin Tower bonds never defaulted. Interest continued to be paid out of the reserve fund, and then the bonds were called and cashed out early, when enough insurance money came in and was approved for the purpose. The bonds were built stronger than the towers, one might say.
To return, then, to the business of selecting a date.
As seen above, circa July 9 in Spain, Atta told Binalbshih he needed another five or six weeks to pick a date. In emails across the subsequent weeks (Bamford writes) Atta:
suggested that the attacks not happen until after the first week in September, when Congress reconvened. [ED: Again the rationale seems weak.] For months Binalbshih had been communicating bin Laden’s impatience and his desire for a date for the operation, and by mid-August Atta was ready to give it to him. (p71)
About three or five business days before closing a securitization, the “pricing” of the deal occurs. This is the final negotiation among the bankers, the rating agency analysts and (usually) the institutional investors who will buy the bulk of the bonds, which process, when complete, fills in all the blanks — dates, dollar amounts and percentage figures — in tune with current interest-rate and other market variables.
So — in Bamford’s “mid August,” when Atta was finally ready to give Binalbshih a date — the Twin Tower bonds were priced. And days later they were sold, on August 21, leaving GMAC whole and closing the two-step process of leasing the Trade Center for 99 years.
Then, Bamford writes:
With the date now set in stone, Atta again flew up to Newark [on August 23] to meet with Hazmi and begin coordinating the complex task of picking just the right seats on just the right flights on just the right type of aircraft … (p 71)
We all recall, I hope, Atta’s picture on the Able Danger corkboard in the Pentagon.
And anyone who has read Welcome to Terrorland by Daniel Hopsicker has reason to believe that Atta was playing two or three sides of the table in the so-called intelligence world.
So readers of the news may wonder:
– if the securitization was rushed and shabbily done because someone with the power to influence it, and with a wish to get GMAC off the hook, knew that the window in early September when the Air Force would be elsewhere was fast approaching; and
– if that same or a similar someone made sure that the reserve fund was fat enough to pay the interest on the Twin Tower bonds for a year or so; and
– if, in order to hit that window in September and to give GMAC time to close its deal, all across the summer the attacks were delayed — frustrating Al Qaeda central — by Atta’s colleagues/controllers somewhere within the world wide web of so-called intelligence operators. Maybe, for instance, the “Pentagon lawyers” who, we were told, turned off Able Danger in 2000 due to concerns for the rights of its targets.
Even if all those IFs are in fact counterfactual — it’s fascinating to learn (assuming Bamford is accurate) that Atta organized his calendar such that it fell into sync with those of the Air Force and the WTC leasing project, even as Al Qaeda Central pressed for attacks in summer.
Kevin Ryan points to interesting correlations between structural upgrades to the twin towers during 1999-2000 and the impact and failure zones of 9/11/01.