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DOUBT FORECLOSED: U.S. MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Unformatted Document Text:  Doubt Foreclosed 6 controversial presentation by Laurent Murawiec to the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Advisory Board in July 2002, in which he called Saudi Arabia the “kernel of evil” and enemy of the United States (Raimondo, 2002). Curiously, the book did attract critical attention, but from David Corn, 2002, on the web-site of The Nation magazine, which also partnered in the distribution of the volume’s English-language version. Corn complained about lack of sourcing, and demolished the authors’ speculation that 9-11 may have constituted a pre-emptive attack – although one may wonder whether 9/11 planning had been stimulated by Al Qaeda knowledge of neo-conservative writings prior to the 2000 U.S. presidential election that anticipated the neo-imperialistic designs of the forthcoming Bush administration. But Corn had little to say about other major contentions of the work, including that of Saudi financial support for terrorism. Unlike the work of Ahmed Rashid (2000), for which there was superficial media enthusiasm, Brisard and Dasquie centered their inquiries not on the ostensible locus of action (Central Asia), but on the single most important funding source for terrorism, namely Saudi Arabia. U.S. War on the Taliban/Al Qaeda was planned before 9-11 (Arney, 2001; Brisard and Dasquie, 2001; Martin, January 15, 18, 22, 24; June 6, 2002; Mizlaszewski, 2002; Steele, Norton-Taylor, and Harriman, 2001). Negotiations with the Taliban for Osama bin Laden’s extradition, and for pipeline rights across Afghanistan, were ongoing to summer 2001 (Brisard and Dasquie, 2001). Yet mainstream U.S. media were silent on pre 9-11 attack plans until May 2002, when NBC News quoted a National Security Directive indicating that Bush had been ready to sign plans for worldwide war against Al Qaeda, two days before 9-11 (Mizlaszewski, 2002). Other media continued to ignore this story in preference to Congressional revelations of pre 9-11 intelligence “failures”. Another three months passed before the pre 9-11 attack plans were covered in a major investigative report for Time (Elliott, 2002), which claimed that members of the Bush Administration were briefed as early as January, 2001 on the dangers posed to the U.S. by international terrorism, especially Al Qaeda. There already existed a broad-based, Clinton-era plan to undermine Al Qaeda, involving many of the elements put into effect after 9-11, including covert action in Afghanistan and substantial increase in support for the Northern Alliance. The Bush Administration, responding to Elliott (2002) said the plan that was on Bush’s desk by September 4, 2002 was tougher, a plan to “eliminate” rather than simply “roll-back” Al Qaeda. For over ten months following first publication of Brisard and Dasquie’s book, therefore,

Authors: Boyd-Barrett, J..
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Doubt Foreclosed
6
controversial presentation by Laurent Murawiec to the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Advisory Board in July
2002, in which he called Saudi Arabia the “kernel of evil” and enemy of the United States (Raimondo,
2002). Curiously, the book did attract critical attention, but from David Corn, 2002, on the web-site of The
Nation magazine, which also partnered in the distribution of the volume’s English-language version. Corn
complained about lack of sourcing, and demolished the authors’ speculation that 9-11 may have constituted
a pre-emptive attack – although one may wonder whether 9/11 planning had been stimulated by Al Qaeda
knowledge of neo-conservative writings prior to the 2000 U.S. presidential election that anticipated the
neo-imperialistic designs of the forthcoming Bush administration. But Corn had little to say about other
major contentions of the work, including that of Saudi financial support for terrorism. Unlike the work of
Ahmed Rashid (2000), for which there was superficial media enthusiasm, Brisard and Dasquie centered
their inquiries not on the ostensible locus of action (Central Asia), but on the single most important funding
source for terrorism, namely Saudi Arabia.
U.S. War on the Taliban/Al Qaeda was planned before 9-11 (Arney, 2001; Brisard and Dasquie,
2001; Martin, January 15, 18, 22, 24; June 6, 2002; Mizlaszewski, 2002; Steele, Norton-Taylor, and
Harriman, 2001). Negotiations with the Taliban for Osama bin Laden’s extradition, and for pipeline rights
across Afghanistan, were ongoing to summer 2001 (Brisard and Dasquie, 2001). Yet mainstream U.S.
media were silent on pre 9-11 attack plans until May 2002, when NBC News quoted a National Security
Directive indicating that Bush had been ready to sign plans for worldwide war against Al Qaeda, two days
before 9-11 (Mizlaszewski, 2002). Other media continued to ignore this story in preference to
Congressional revelations of pre 9-11 intelligence “failures”. Another three months passed before the pre
9-11 attack plans were covered in a major investigative report for Time (Elliott, 2002), which claimed that
members of the Bush Administration were briefed as early as January, 2001 on the dangers posed to the
U.S. by international terrorism, especially Al Qaeda. There already existed a broad-based, Clinton-era plan
to undermine Al Qaeda, involving many of the elements put into effect after 9-11, including covert action
in Afghanistan and substantial increase in support for the Northern Alliance. The Bush Administration,
responding to Elliott (2002) said the plan that was on Bush’s desk by September 4, 2002 was tougher, a
plan to “eliminate” rather than simply “roll-back” Al Qaeda.
For over ten months following first publication of Brisard and Dasquie’s book, therefore,


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