THE ROVING EYE
More questions on 9/11
By Pepe Escobar
Osama "dead or alive" bin Laden would rather lose his kidney than pass up the opportunity to celebrate the eighth anniversary of September 11, 2001, on the United States. And like clockwork, he resurfaced in an 11-minute, al-Sahab-produced audiotape last week (sorry, no video, just a still picture), where he states how a series of grievances had "pushed us to undertake the events of [September 11]".
But there may be no mobile dialysis machine operating in a mysterious cave somewhere in one of the Waziristan tribal areas of Pakistan after all. According to David Ray Griffin's new book, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? and based on a Taliban leader's remarks at the time, the mellifluous Saudi jihadi died of kidney failure in Tora Bora on December 13, 2001. Problem is, by that time, according to local mujahideen, Bin Laden had already escaped across the mountains with a bunch of al-Qaeda diehards to Parachinar, in Pakistan, and then to a shadowy underworld.
A decoy? A ghost? The devil himself? Who cares? Bin Laden, the brand, is still very good for ("war on terror") business. All this with the Barack Obama administration insisting the US is fighting the elusive, seemingly eternal Taliban leader Mullah Omar and the Taliban plus al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, while General Stanley McChrystal - General David Petraeus' former top death squad operator in Iraq - insists there is no al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (but he wants up to 40,000 extra troops anyway).
Last week, Asia Times Online published Fifty Question on 9/11. The article stressed the questions were only a taste of the immense, mysterious 9/11 riddle. (Arguably the best 9/11 timeline on the net may be seen here.
Due to overwhelming reader response, here's a follow-up with 20 more questions - with a hat-tip to all who joined the debate.
1. In the first months of 2001, three years after Bin Laden's 1998 fatwa against the US, Mullah Omar wanted to "resolve or dissolve" the Osama-Taliban nexus in exchange for Washington maneuvering to lift United Nations sanctions. Would anyone from the first George W Bush administration confirm a solid Taliban offer? Kabir Mohabbat, a Houston-based, Paktia (Afghanistan)-born businessman also involved in the (failed) 1990s negotiation for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan pipeline, and then named by Bush's National Security Council as a key Taliban contact, has sustained that was the case.
2. Eight names on the "original" (FBI) list of 19 Muslim hijackers happened to be found alive and living in different countries; the FBI has always sustained that the identity of the hijackers was established from DNA collected at all four sites - (WTC), the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania, crash site. Would the FBI explain how is that remotely possible?
3. All four planes referenced in the official narrative have thousands of parts with a serial number, plus tail numbers. Any one of these would have been enough to identify the plane(s). How come all of these parts disintegrated or vaporized? Why was not a single one of them recovered and/or matched up with all the mass of data about these four flights?
4. How come cell phones miraculously find a signal and work properly at 10,000 meters?
5. How to explain the enormous surge in "option puts" on both United Airlines on September 10? and American
6. How come the passport of alleged hijacker Satam al Suqami (and not Mohammed Atta, as reported) was miraculously found amid massive World Trade Center debris - either by "police and FBI" or by "a passerby who gave it to the NYPD", according to different versions?
7.Why was a military grade of thermite - a super-explosive - found at all sample sites surrounding Ground Zero? A peer-reviewed, scientific journal analysis is here.
8. How come Barry Jennings, who worked for New York City's Housing Department, reported on 9/11 to ABC News how he heard an explosion on the 8th floor of WTC 7? Jennings happened to die just a few days before the release of the NIST report on the WTC 7 collapse. A great number of actual 9/11 witnesses also heard and saw explosions going off inside the Twin Towers long before their collapse. A montage of news reports about these explosions can be seen here.
9. Why did the BBC confirm live on air the collapse of the WTC 7 building - which was not even hit by any plane - no less than 23 minutes before it actually collapsed? In the BBC live report, the WTC7 building is shot still standing.
10. Why there has been no investigation of Dov Zakheim? He was a prominent member of the Project for the New American Century group, and of SPC - making systems for of airplanes - for four years prior to 9/11. Six months before 9/11, he became supervisor of a group of Pentagon comptrollers responsible for tracking no less than $2.3 trillion missing from the Pentagon books; many of these comptrollers died on 9/11.
11. The "five dancing Israelis" question. How come Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari, Paul Kurzberg, Sivan Kurzberg and Yaron Shmuel had set up a video camera on top of their white van pointing at the Twin Towers even before they were hit? Later they were seen celebrating. The FBI established that two were Mossad agents and that their employer, Urban Systems, was a front operation. The investigation about them was killed by the White House. After being deported from the US, they admitted on Israeli TV that they had been sent to New York to "document" the attacks. How about other reports of vans packed with tons of explosives intercepted on New York bridges?
12. How come two US employees of Odigo, an Israeli instant messaging company based in Herzliya, the headquarters of Mossad, received an SMS about an attack on the WTC two hours before the fact?
13. How come there was no investigation of ICTS International, owned by Ezra Harel and Menachem Atzmon, and crammed with former Israeli Shin Bet agents? This was the company responsible for airport security at Dulles, Logan and Newark airports on 9/11.
14. Why was there no full investigation of the circumstances related to how Larry Silverstein leased the WTC only seven weeks before 9/11 - as facilitated by chairman Lewis Eisenberg? Silverstein over-insured the WTC against terrorism and made an astonishing profit.
15. Why were anthrax packages mailed to the only two US senators who voted against the Patriot Act?
16. Why did situation room director Deborah Loewer follow Bush to Florida on 9/11 - considering that's not part of her job description?
17. Where are the full tapes from the Pentagon's security cameras? The hole in the Pentagon may be the most glaring hole in the official narrative - as the destruction caused by a Boeing 757 was simply not compatible with the size of the hole. Why were no significant plane debris and remains of passengers ever found?
18. Why did the 9/11 not consult reputed engineers and architects to show that in the real world, steel and concrete skyscrapers simply cannot dissolve into molten metal and fine powder in only 10 seconds after very localized and relatively low-temperature fires? Kerosene simply cannot melt steel.
19. Why did the 9/11 Commission not consult airline specialists who insist trainee pilots who had practiced on very light aircraft for a few weeks simply cannot land a jet on the ground floor of the Pentagon after allegedly slicing through half a dozen and evading a series of trees, cars and overpasses?
20. How come no one investigated claims by the two co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, who wrote in on January 2008 that the "failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot [and] obstructed our investigation?"
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.