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DOUBT FORECLOSED: U.S. MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Unformatted Document Text:  Doubt Foreclosed 2 in the first few weeks and months after the attacks, 9-11 was far short of total surprise for governing elites. Of numerous prior warnings, several were reported immediately after 9-11, forgotten, then resurrected in May 2002, prompted by Congressional inquiries that also unearthed local FBI attempts to provoke head office reaction to attendance at flight schools by suspected terrorists, and credible whistleblower allegations of deliberate obstruction of terrorist-related inquires (Miller and Eggan, 2002, Eggan, 2002; see also Brisard and Dasquie’s 2001 reports of FBI’s John O’Neill’s complaints; likewise see reports of an August 6, 2001 CIA presidential briefing that warned of airplane hijackings by terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden - see Chin, 2002, who also quotes CIA Deputy Director James Pavitt as saying on April 11, 2001 that “we knew and we warned that Al Qaeda was planning a major strike”). This paper argues that non mainstream, “alternative” news sources, including several web-sites cited here, played at least as important a role, and were probably more assiduous, focused and questioning than mainstream media sources in pursuing the many mysteries and likely scandals that surrounded 9-11 and subsequent events. Many months before the joint House-Senate Intelligence Committee report of September 2002, for example, it was clear from such sources that individuals linked to terrorist groups were known by authorities to be in the United States prior to 9-11, including several flight school students who would later participate in the 9-11 attacks. One suspected participant, Zaccarias Moussaoui, had already been arrested by the INS, but was not transferred to FBI custody until after 9-11. FBI investigators did not get Washington head office permission to further investigate Moussaoui. Allegedly, there was insufficient evidence of a terrorist connection, even though French intelligence sources say they provided specific intelligence of Moussaoui’s associations with Al Qaeda (Brisard and Dasquie, 2002), and even though the kind of warrant sought under FISA legislation has very rarely been denied. NSA officials reportedly acknowledged that the agency had intercepted Al Qaeda messages on September 10, 2001 saying “tomorrow is zero day” and the “match begins tomorrow”, but did not translate these until September 12 (Pincus and Priest, 2002). This disclosure led to an FBI investigation into suspected “leaks” from members of the Joint House and Senate Intelligence Committee. In addition, there were specific warnings to U.S. intelligence from many governments (including Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel,

Authors: Boyd-Barrett, J..
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Doubt Foreclosed
2
in the first few weeks and months after the attacks, 9-11 was far short of total surprise for governing elites.
Of numerous prior warnings, several were reported immediately after 9-11, forgotten, then resurrected in
May 2002, prompted by Congressional inquiries that also unearthed local FBI attempts to provoke head
office reaction to attendance at flight schools by suspected terrorists, and credible whistleblower allegations
of deliberate obstruction of terrorist-related inquires (Miller and Eggan, 2002, Eggan, 2002; see also
Brisard and Dasquie’s 2001 reports of FBI’s John O’Neill’s complaints; likewise see reports of an August
6, 2001 CIA presidential briefing that warned of airplane hijackings by terrorists linked to Osama bin
Laden - see Chin, 2002, who also quotes CIA Deputy Director James Pavitt as saying on April 11, 2001
that “we knew and we warned that Al Qaeda was planning a major strike”).
This paper argues that non mainstream, “alternative” news sources, including several web-sites
cited here, played at least as important a role, and were probably more assiduous, focused and questioning
than mainstream media sources in pursuing the many mysteries and likely scandals that surrounded 9-11
and subsequent events. Many months before the joint House-Senate Intelligence Committee report of
September 2002, for example, it was clear from such sources that individuals linked to terrorist groups
were known by authorities to be in the United States prior to 9-11, including several flight school students
who would later participate in the 9-11 attacks. One suspected participant, Zaccarias Moussaoui, had
already been arrested by the INS, but was not transferred to FBI custody until after 9-11. FBI investigators
did not get Washington head office permission to further investigate Moussaoui. Allegedly, there was
insufficient evidence of a terrorist connection, even though French intelligence sources say they provided
specific intelligence of Moussaoui’s associations with Al Qaeda (Brisard and Dasquie, 2002), and even
though the kind of warrant sought under FISA legislation has very rarely been denied. NSA officials
reportedly acknowledged that the agency had intercepted Al Qaeda messages on September 10, 2001
saying “tomorrow is zero day” and the “match begins tomorrow”, but did not translate these until
September 12 (Pincus and Priest, 2002). This disclosure led to an FBI investigation into suspected “leaks”
from members of the Joint House and Senate Intelligence Committee. In addition, there were specific
warnings to U.S. intelligence from many governments (including Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel,


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