Bulletin N°312




The Fourth of July 2007
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

We wish you a happy American Independence Day.

The American historian William Appleman Williams once told me that he re-read Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and its sequel at the end of every academic year, just to retain a perspective on academic life : "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty told Alice in Through the Looking Glass, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

Linguistics is not an exact science, and it seems inevitable that each generation in the social sciences will experience confusions caused by words such as power, freedom, contradiction, opposite, and the like . . . .

Power, for example, as a political term (unlike its meaning in the physical sciences), usually implies autonomy which is entirely misleading, according to British anthropologist Gregory Bateson. No individual or group is independent of the social and ecological system of which we are all a part! Or to take another example, when we hear the word freedom in political discourse, we are expected to believe that freedom can be more than an individual experience. This, too, is a lie, according to American historian Eugene Genovese, who has argued that only individuals can enjoy freedom. (The collective experience of freedom does not exist, and what goes by this name is usually no more than the replacing of one form of tyranny by another.) Abraham Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" and the "freeing" four million American slaves after the military defeat of the Confederacy in 1865, is a case in point; as is Franklin D. Roosevelt's January 1941 declaration of "Four Freedoms" against fascist expansion in Europe and Asia. To be sure many African American individuals gained a measure of "freedom" after the American Civil War, and many European and Asian individuals experienced more "freedom" after the defeat of European and Asian fascism, but servitude, want, fear and political repression were never removed from these societies after the Second World War. Freedom is never given, but always taken; it is never achieved collectively, but can only be an individual experience, unlike real collective experiences such as economic equality or political justice.

Another term which seems to cause significant confusion is social contradiction. It carries a technical meaning, according to Canadian professor of communications, Anthony Wilden, which implies conflict between different levels in an illegitimate, dependent hierarchy. It is not a social contradiction, for example, to support terrorism and to support counter-terrorism, as the U.S. government is currently doing in the Middle East; nor is it a social contradiction to support democracy and to oppose democracy, as the CIA is doing around the world.


terrorist                                                          counter-terrorist

Image                             Image           


democracy activist                                                    anti-democracy activist

Image                                 Image           

In all these cases, illegitimate power hierarchies are protected by the force of military, paramilitary, and political interventions.

By contrast, logical contradiction involves levels of communication, according to Wilden. An affirmation is a statement about a situation. The situation (which may be symbolic, imaginary, or real) is located at a level different from that of the statement. When the affirmation is negated by inserting "not," "anti-," "counter" (or some other negative word) into the affirmation, the negation or contradiction is, in fact, a statement about the affirmation, thereby introducing a third level, a metacommunication, which is not the opposite of the affirmation. Thus the two sides of the imaginary equation between opposites (say, for example, "man/woman") are seen in the imaginary as symmetrical, existing at the same level in a competitive relationship of "either/or." The illegitimate hierarchy of men over women is, of course, real and constitutes a social contradiction maintained by force, but according to the rules of formal logic (which exists outside the constraints of time), all oppositions are differences, but not all differences are oppositions. This fact, we are told, can be ignored only at our peril.

It seems axiomatic that in order for an individual or group to harness political power there must be a systemic understanding of how things work, an analysis of the interconnections of constituent parts (including our own existence) that as a whole system produce certain predictable results. When things go awry in our organic system (as opposed to the operations of an externalized mechanical system), it is the system that must be questioned --it is not simply a matter of introducing interchangeable parts. The recent high jacking of American democracy, for example, cannot be understood as the work of a few diabolical individuals entering from the outside. It is, rather, symptomatic of a larger systemic failure, which to be understood must take into account the history of interconnections within the system of the U.S. political economy. Without a systemic analysis we are reduced to moral confusion and delusions.

It would appear equally self-evident that the necessary preconditions for individual political freedom must include a measure of individual security. Many individuals live lives of "quiet desperation," plagued by financial worries and other insecurities, and are more or less forced to do  what they do just to survive. This basic fact should surprise no one. We see it all around us on a daily basis, and yet it is often overlooked in political discourse.

Common errors in thinking, like misidentifying a paradox as a contradiction, and misidentifying as oppositions what in reality are only differences, have caused much mischief to mankind throughout history. These were epistemological errors at the end of the Cold War, which Gorbachev and Shevardnadze understood only too late (and Kissinger, Brzezinski & Co. have yet to understand).  They have possibly killed the goose that laid the golden egg by destabilizing the same environment that assured them great wealth and privilege.

It seems to me that most of us live as prisoners of the inexactitude of the words we use. We fail to set our priorities, to devise methods, and to seek political support for changes in the public sphere largely because we are inept, and our ineptitude is the result, among other things, of the endless media bombardments that have caused cognitive change and that have provoked much confusion and anxiety when trying to cope with collective questions such as who are we, what are our needs, and how de we interact with our environment in order to best satisfy these needs?

Our early ancestors were perhaps less confused because they spoke to one another at more meaningful levels, and they lived in a symbiotic relationship with their environments. The freedom most of us experience today, in modern consumer society, is packaged in disinformation. We are perhaps freer than ever before to pursue our private desires, but the objects of our collective desires no longer represent a rich diversity of interests, and we find ourselves seeking a greater variety of the same old things, and at a terrible cost of employing the terminology and collaborating with the restrictive rules of a corporate structure over which we have no real influence.

The 8 items below that CEIMSA recently received reflect different aspects of illegitimate power hierarchies that are being increasingly challenged by academics and activists in Europe, the United States, and in parts of the Third World.

Item A. is an article by Professor Noam Chomsky analyzing the military significance of President George W. Bush's decision to build a weapons system in Poland, despite the protests from Moscow.

Item B. is an oral history from George Kenney interviewing Captain Boston, chief investigator of the unprovoked Israeli attack on the USS Liberty while sailing in international waters in 1967, when 34 American servicemen were killed after their lifeboats on the vessel had been destroyed.

Item C. is a defense of Professor Norman Finkelstein by Professor Noam Chomsky, speaking against the "unprincipled" attack by Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz.

In item D. Dr. Bertell Ollman, Professor of politics at New York University and President of the left-wing think tank, The International Endowment for Democracy, has sent us an Internet link containing a recent critique of The National Endowment for Democracy, the CIA front organization founded in 1983, which has pursued the game of political destabilization and faction-building for neo-liberal agendas in countries from Central America to Eastern Europe, and in many other parts of the world.

Item E. is a series of articles by Michael Barker on the politics of factionalism and phoney democracy building in the guise of exporting U.S. democracy.

Item F., is a pod cast from Information Clearing House in which Independent journalist Dahr Jamail, and author Chalmers Johnson, discuss the military bases in Iraq that are being consolidated from over a hundred to a handful of "megabases" with lavish amenities.

Item G. is the manuscript of a talk given last fall semester at Palo Alto, California by U.C.- Berkeley Professor Peter Dale Scott , who discussed  the history of Ali Mohamed, Washington D.C.'s double agent inside al-Qaeda, who has been identified as a "chief architect of 9/11."

And finally, item H. is a text by the Russo-American anarchist, Emma Goldman, sent to us by Professor Candace Falk, Director of the prestigious U.C.-Berkeley Emma Goldman Papers Project, which is now under attack by neoliberals in the United States for its sustained interest in "everybodys' right to beautiful, radiant things."

We conclude this communication by recommending that CEIMSA readers visit Information Clearing House's large documentary film archives on "War : from World War I to the current U. S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq", where, among other topics, you will find discussions of what has been described as military and paramilitary training to create psychological addictions to the taking of human lives, "because it feels good."

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3

from Noam Chomsky :
25 June 2007
No Base Initiative


Letter from Noam Chomsky to Jan Tamáš

by Noam Chomsky

he installation of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe is, virtually, a declaration of war. Simply imagine how the US would react if Russia or China or Iran or in fact any foreign power dared even to think about placing a missile defense system at or near the borders of the US, let alone carrying out such plans. In these unimaginable circumstances, a violent US reaction would be not only almost certain but also understandable for reasons that are simple and clear.

It is well known on all sides that missile defense is a first strike weapon. Respected US military analysts describe missile defense as "not simply a shield but an enabler of U.S. action." It "will facilitate the more effective application of U.S. military power abroad.” “By insulating the homeland from reprisal, [missile defense] will underwrite the capacity and willingness of the United States to `shape' the environment elsewhere." "Missile defense isn't really meant to protect America. It's a tool for global dominance.” “Missile defense is about preserving America's ability to wield power abroad. It's not about defense. It's about offense. And that's exactly why we need it.” All quotes, from respected liberal and mainstream sources -- who favor developing the system and placing it at the remote limits of US global dominance.

The logic is simple, and well understood. A functioning missile defense system informs potential targets that “we will attack you as we please, and you will not be able to retaliate, so you cannot deter us.” The system is being marketed to Europeans as a defense against Iranian missiles. Even if Iran had nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, the chances of its using them to attack Europe are lower than the chances of Europe being hit by an asteroid, so if defense is the reason, Czech Republic should be installing a system to defend the country from asteroids. If Iran were to indicate even the slightest attention of such a move, the country would be vaporized. The system is indeed aimed at Iran, but as a first strike weapon. It is a component of the escalating US threats to attack Iran, threats that are in themselves a serious violation of the UN Charter, though admittedly this issue does not arise in outlaw states.

When Gorbachev agreed to allow a unified Germany to join a hostile military alliance, he was accepting a very severe threat to Russian security, for reasons too familiar to review. In return, the US government made a firm pledge not to expand NATO to the East. The pledge was violated a few years later, arousing little comment in the West, but raising the threat of military confrontation. So-called “missile defense” ratchets the threat of war a few notches higher. The “defense” it provides is to increase the threat of aggression in the Middle East, with incalculable consequences, and the threat of terminal nuclear war.

Over half a century ago, Bertrand Russell and Alfred Einstein issued an extraordinary appeal to the people of the world, warning them that they face a choice that is “stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?” Accepting a so-called “missile defense system” makes that choice, in favor of an end to the human race, perhaps in the not-too-distant future.

Taken from the website of the "No Base" Initiative in the Czech Republic (Iniciativa NE základnám) All material on the site is for free redistribution and publishing.

Contact info: (420) 604 357 215, (420) 608 731 162 - info@nezakladnam.cz  www.nezakladnam.cz

from George Kenney :
Subject: Podcast Interview with Captain Ward Boston (USN, Ret.)
29 June 2007

Dear Francis,
        As you probably know, on June 8, 1967, Israeli forces attacked the USS Liberty, inflicting heavy damage and loss of life, and almost sinking her. Since then, the story of the USS Liberty has occupied a unique position in U.S. history, first being white-washed then covered up by the government, the only attack on a U.S. military vessel during peacetime never to be investigated by the U.S. Congress.
        Decades after the Navy Board of Inquiry found Israel blameless, Captain Ward Boston, its chief counsel, is setting the record straight: the attack on the USS Liberty was a deliberate act, he says, and there was an official cover up.
        In the slanging matches between defenders of Israel and defenders of the truth sometimes it's been too easy to give insufficient attention, and weight, to the personal recollections and judgment of those directly involved. Listen and decide for yourself whether you think Captain Ward Boston is credible -- I certainly do.
        And whatever your views about Israel's intentions, the undeniable, sorry history of the suppression of the USS Liberty story should serve as a cautionary lesson about the establishment's abuse of power.
        I do hope you find time to listen to this one. As always, if you think it appropriate please feel free to re-distribute the link.


from Noam Chomsky
Subject: Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Amy Goodman on Democracy Now !
19 April 2007
Democracy Now!

Noam Chomsky Accuses Alan Dershowitz of Launching a "Jihad"
to Block Norman Finkelstein From Getting Tenure at Depaul University

by Noam Chomsky, with Howard Zinn and Amy Goodman

We turn now to the second part of our conversation with Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, two of the leading dissidents in this country today. I spoke to them yesterday here in Boston in a rare joint interview. Howard Zinn is one of America’s most widely read historians. His classic work A People’s History of the United States has sold over a million and a half copies, and it’s altered how many people teach the nation’s history. His latest book is A Power Governments Cannot Suppress. Noam Chomsky began teaching linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge over half a century ago. He is the author of dozens of books on linguistics and US foreign policy. His most recent book is called Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.

 In a wide-ranging interview, we talked about US wars from Iraq to Vietnam, about resistance and about academia. I asked Noam Chomsky about political science professor Norman Finkelstein, one of the country’s foremost critics of Israel policy, and his battle to receive tenure at DePaul University, where he has taught for six years. Professor Finkelstein’s tenure has been approved at the departmental and college level, but the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at DePaul has opposed it. A final decision is expected to be made in May. Finkelstein has accused Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz of being responsible for leading the effort to deny him tenure. In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, Dershowitz admitted he had sent a letter to DePaul faculty members lobbying against Finkelstein’s tenure. I asked Noam Chomsky about the dispute.

NOAM CHOMSKY: The whole thing is outrageous. I mean, he's an outstanding scholar. He has produced book after book. He's got recommendations from some of the leading scholars in the many areas in which he has worked. The faculty -- the departmental committee unanimously recommended him for tenure. It's amazing that he hasn't had full professorship a long time ago.

And, as you were saying, there was a huge campaign led by a Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, to try in a desperate effort to defame him and vilify him, so as to prevent him from getting tenure. The details of it are utterly shocking, and, as you said, it got to the point where the DePaul administration called on Harvard to put an end to this.

AMY GOODMAN: That's very significant, for one university to call on the leadership of another university to stop one of its professors.

NOAM CHOMSKY: To stop this maniac, yeah. What's behind it? It’s very simple and straightforward. Norman Finkelstein wrote a book, which is in fact the best compendium that now exists of human rights violations in Israel and the blocking of diplomacy by Israel and the United States, which I mentioned -- very careful scholarly book, as all of his work is, impeccable -- also about the uses of anti-Semitism to try to silence a critical discussion.

And the framework of his book was a critique of a book of apologetics for atrocities and violence by Alan Dershowitz. That was the framework. So he went through Dershowitz’s shark claims, showed in great detail that they are completely false and outrageous, that he's lying about the facts, that he’s an apologist for violence, that he’s a passionate opponent of civil liberties -- which he is -- and he documented it in detail.

Dershowitz is intelligent enough to know that he can’t respond, so he does what any tenth-rate lawyer does when you have a rotten case: you try to change the subject, maybe by vilifying opposing counsel. That changes the subject. Now we talk about whether, you know, opposing counsel did or did not commit this iniquity. And the tactic is a very good one, because you win, even if you lose. Suppose your charges against are all refuted. You’ve still won. You’ve changed the subject. The subject is no longer the real topic: the crucial facts about Israel, Dershowitz’s vulgar apologetics for them, which sort of are reminiscent of the worst days of Stalinism. We’ve forgotten all of that. We’re now talking about whether Finkelstein did this, that and the other thing. And even if the charges are false, the topic's been changed. That's the basis of it.

Dershowitz has been desperate to prevent this book from being -- first of all, he tried to stop it from being published, in an outlandish effort, which I’ve never seen anything like it, hiring a major law firm to threaten libel suits, writing to the governor of California -- it was published by the University of California Press. When he couldn't stop the publication, he launched a jihad against Norman Finkelstein, simply to try to vilify and defame him, in the hope that maybe what he’s writing will disappear. That’s the background.

It’s not, incidentally, the first time. I mean, actually, I happen to be very high on Dershowitz's hit list, hate list. And he has also produced outlandish lies about me for years: you know, I told him I was an agnostic about the Holocaust and I wouldn't tell him the time of day, you know, and so on and so forth.

AMY GOODMAN: You mean that he made that charge against you?

 NOAM CHOMSKY: Of course, and on and on. I won’t even talk about it. What's the reason? It's in print. In fact, you can look at it in the internet. In 1973, I guess it was, the leading Israeli human rights activist, Israel Shahak, who incidentally is a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Bergen-Belsen and headed a small human rights group in Israel, which was the only real one at the time, came to Boston, had an interview with the Boston Globe, in which he identified himself correctly as the chair of the Israeli League of Human Rights. Dershowitz wrote a vitriolic letter to the Globe, condemning him, claiming he’s lying about Israel, he’s even lying about being the chair, he was voted out by the membership.

I knew the facts. In fact, he's an old friend, Shahak. So I wrote a letter to the Globe, explaining it wasn't true. In fact, the government did try to get rid of him. They called on their membership to flood the meeting of this small human rights group and vote him out. But they brought it to the courts, and the courts said, yeah, we’d like to get rid of this human rights group, but find a way to do it that's not so blatantly illegal. So I sort of wrote that.

But Dershowitz thought he could brazen it out -- you know, Harvard law professor -- so he wrote another letter saying Shahak's lying, I’m lying, and he challenged me to quote from this early court decision. It never occurred to him for a minute that I’d actually have the transcript. But I did. So I wrote another letter in which I quoted from the court decision, demonstrating that -- as polite, but that Dershowitz is a liar, he’s even falsifying Israeli court decisions, he's a supporter of atrocities, and he even is a passionate opponent of civil rights. And this is like the Russian government destroying an Amnesty International chapter by flooding it with Communist Party members to vote out the membership.

Well, he went berserk, and ever since then I have been one of his targets. In fact, anyone who exposes him as what he is is going to be subjected to this technique, because he knows he can't respond, so must return to vilification.

And in the case of Norman Finkelstein, he sort of went off into outer space. But it's an outrageous case. And the fact that it’s even being debated is outrageous. Just read his letters of recommendation from literally the leading figures in the many fields in which he works, most respected people.

AMY GOODMAN: Most interesting, the letters of support from the leading Holocaust scholars like Raul Hilberg.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Raul Hilberg is the founder of Holocaust studies, you know, the most distinguished figure in the field. In fact, he says Norman didn't go far enough. And it's the same -- Avi Shlaim is one of the -- maybe the leading Israeli historian, has strongly supported him, and the same with others. I can't refer to the private correspondence, but it's very strong letters from leading figures in these fields. And it's not surprising that the faculty committee unanimously supported him. I mean, there was, in fact -- they did -- the faculty committee did, in fact, run through in detail the deluge of vilification from Dershowitz and went through it point by point and essentially dismissed it as frivolous.

 AMY GOODMAN: They rejected a 12,000-word attack, point by point.

 NOAM CHOMSKY: Aside from saying that the very idea of sending it is outrageous. You don’t do that in tenure cases.

AMY GOODMAN: So, how do you think it will turn out?

 NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the usual story: this depends on public reaction.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. We'll come back to them in a minute.

from Bertell Ollman:
29 June 2007

Just received a good article on the activites of National Endowment for Democracy (NED) around the world that made good use of the IED library. Here is a reference to our organization, International Endowment for Democracy, in a recent article by William Clark, " Philanthropic imperialism: the National Endowment for Democracy." You can find this article at Spinwatch. This should be useful for your Russian television interview - and it's very recent - so I'll forward it to you. Also is something to consider for your web site.



from Michael Barker :
28 June 2007

Michael Barker's Four Articles on "Color Revolutions" :

1/4 = http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=10987

2/4 = http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?itemid=11295

3/4 = http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=74&ItemID=11311


4/4 = http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=11326

All Michael Barker articles in ZMag between April 2006 and February 2007:


from Information Clearing House :
1 July 2007

Official policy promises an eventual departure, while warning of the dire consequences of a "premature" withdrawal. But while Washington equivocates, facts on the ground tell another story. Independent journalist Dahr Jamail, and author Chalmers Johnson, are discovering that military bases in Iraq are being consolidated from over a hundred to a handful of "megabases" with lavish amenities.

The Bases Are Loaded : Video: Will the U.S. ever leave Iraq?

from Peter Dale Scott :
Subject : Professor Peter Dale Scott's Talk in Palo Alto, California on October 27, 2006.
1 July 2007

9/11's Trainer in Terrorism Was an FBI Informant

by Peter Dale Scott

If I had an hour, I would talk to you about how the 9/11 Report failed to reconcile Dick Cheney's conflicting accounts, which cannot all be true, of what he did on the morning of 9/11 in the bunker beneath the White House. But that story takes two whole chapters of my forthcoming book, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America . So instead I will expand on what I spoke about a month ago in Berkeley, concerning Ali Mohamed, Washington's double agent inside al-Qaeda, and also a chief 9/11 plotter.(1) I want to add important new material tonight. Ali Mohamed, an Egyptian, was a close ally of Osama bin Laden. As he later confessed in court, he also aided the terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, a co-founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and by then an aide to bin Laden, when he visited America to raise money.(2) It is now generally admitted that Ali Mohamed worked for the FBI, the CIA, and U.S. Special Forces.

Patrick Fitzgerald, who testified to the 9/11 Commission about Ali Mohamed, knew him well. In 1994 he had named him as an unindicted co-conspirator in the New York landmarks case, yet allowed him to remain free. This was because, as Fitzgerald knew, Ali Mohamed was an FBI informant, from at least 1993 and maybe 1989.(3) Thus, from 1994 "until his arrest in 1998 [by which time the 9/11 plot was well under way], Mohamed shuttled between California, Afghanistan, Kenya, Somalia and at least a dozen other countries."(4)

What I first wrote in 2004, and again in 9/11 and American Empire, has to my knowledge has not yet been in the US press: it is that in 1993 Ali Mohamed had been detained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada, (when he inquired at an airport after an incoming al Qaeda terrorist who turned out to be carrying two forged Saudi passports). Mohamed immediately told the RCMP to make a phone call to the FBI in the United States, and the call secured his release.(5) This release enabled Ali to go on to Kenya, take pictures of the U.S.. Embassy, and deliver them to bin Laden for the Embassy bombing plot.

In August 2006 there was a National Geographic Special on Ali Mohamed. We can take this as the new official fallback position on Ali Mohamed, because John Cloonan, the FBI agent who worked with Fitzgerald on Mohamed, helped narrate it. I didn't see the show, but here's what TV critics said about its contents:

Ali Mohamed manipulated the FBI, CIA and U.S. Army on behalf of Osama bin Laden. Mohamed trained terrorists how to hijack airliners, bomb buildings and assassinate rivals. [D]uring much of this time Mohamed was ... , an operative for the CIA and FBI, and a member of the U.S. Army.(6) ... Mohamed turned up in FBI surveillance photos as early as 1989, training radical Muslims who would go on to assassinate Jewish militant Meir Kahane and detonate a truck bomb at the World Trade Center. He not only avoided arrest, but managed to become an FBI informant while writing most of the al Qaeda terrorist manual and helping plan attacks on American troops in Somalia and U.S. embassies in Africa.(7)

That Mohamed trained al Qaeda in hijacking planes and wrote most of the al Qaeda terrorist manual is confirmed in a new book, The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright, who has seen US Government records.(8) Let me say this again: one of al-Qaeda's top trainers in terrorism and how to hijack airplanes was an operative for FBI, CIA, and the Army.

But what we have heard so far is a fall-back cover-up of even worse truths. Peter Lance, who first wrote the script for the National Geographic special, told about Mohamed's detention and release in Toronto. This important detail, along with others, was cut from the program. Lance withdrew from the project and complained on his website about these and other cuts, such as this one:

"Within days of 9/11 Cloonan ... interviewed Ali, whom the Feds had allowed to slip into witness protection, and demanded to know the details of the plot. At that point Ali wrote it all out - including details of how he'd counseled would-be hijackers on how to smuggle box cutters on board aircraft and where to sit, to effect the airline seizures."(9)

So let us sum up what we know so far about Ali Mohamed:

A key planner of the 9/11 plot, and trainer in hijacking, was simultaneously an informant for the FBI.
This operative trained the members for all of the chief Islamist attacks inside the United States -- the first WTC bombing, the New York landmarks plot, and finally 9/11, as well as the attacks against Americans in Somalia and Kenya.
And yet for four years Mohamed was allowed to move in and out of the country as an unindicted conspirator. Then, unlike his trainees, he was allowed to plea-bargain. To this day he may still not have been sentenced for any crime, and may even be in witness protection.(10)

Peter Lance has charged that Fitzgerald had evidence before 1998 to implicate Mohamed in the Kenya Embassy bombing, yet did nothing and let the bombing happen.(11) In fact, the FBI was aware back in 1990 that Mohamed had engaged in terrorist training on Long Island; yet it acted to protect Mohamed from arrest, even after one of his trainees had moved beyond training to an actual assassination.(12)

Mohamed's trainees were all members of the Al-Kifah Center in Brooklyn, which served as the main American recruiting center for the Makhtab-al-Khidimat, the "Services Center" network that after the Afghan war became known as al Qaeda.(13) The Al-Kifah Center was headed in 1990 by the blind Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who like Ali Mohamed had been admitted to the United States, despite being on a State Department Watch List. (14) As he had done earlier in Egypt, the sheikh "issued a fatwa in America that permitted his followers to rob banks and kill Jews."(15)

In November 1990, three of Mohamed's trainees conspired together to kill Meir Kahane, the racist founder of the Jewish Defense League. The actual killer, El Sayyid Nosair, was caught by accident almost immediately; and by luck the police soon found his two co-conspirators, Mahmoud Abouhalima and Mohammed Salameh, waiting at Nosair's house. They found much more: There were formulas for bomb making, 1,440 rounds of ammunition, and manuals [supplied by Ali Mohamed] from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg marked "Top Secret for Training," along with classified documents belonging to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. The police found maps and drawings of New York City landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square -- and the World Trade Center. The forty-seven boxes of evidence they collected also included the collected sermons of blind Sheikh Omar, in which he exhorted his followers to "destroy the edifices of capitalism."(16)

All three had been trained by Ali Mohamed back in the late 1980s at a rifle range, where the FBI had photographed them, before terminating this surveillance in the fall of 1989.(17)

The U.S. Government was thus in an excellent position to arrest, indict, and convict all of the terrorists involved, including Mohamed.

Yet only hours after the killing, Joseph Borelli, Chief of NYPD detectives, struck a familiar American note and pronounced Nosair a "lone deranged gunman.."(18) Some time later, he actually told the press that "There was nothing [at Nosair's house] that would stir your imagination ... ..Nothing has transpired that changes our opinion that he acted alone."[19]

Borelli was not acting alone in this matter. His position was also that of the FBI, who said they too believed "that Mr. Nosair had acted alone in shooting Rabbi Kahane." "The bottom line is that we can't connect anyone else to the Kahane shooting," an F.B.I. agent said."(20)

In thus limiting the case, the police and FBI were in effect protecting Nosair's two Arab co-conspirators in the murder of a U.S. citizen. Both of them were ultimately convicted in connection with the first WTC bombing, along with another Mohamed trainee, Nidal Ayyad. The 9/11 Report, summarizing the convictions of Salameh, Ayyad, Abouhalima, and the blind Sheikh for the WTC bombing and New York landmarks plots, calls it "this superb investigative and prosecutorial effort" (i.e. by Cloonan and Fitzgerald).(21) It says nothing about the suppressed evidence found in Nosair's house, including "maps and drawings of New York City landmarks," which if pursued should have prevented both plots from developing.

Almost certainly, the 9/11 Commission knew more about this scandalous situation than they let on. It cannot be just a coincidence that they selected to write the staff reports about al Qaeda and the 9/11 plot, and conduct the relevant interviews, Dietrich Snell, who had been Fitzgerald's colleague in the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney's office. (Thus Snell presumably drafted the praise for the superb effort by his former colleague Patrick Fitzgerald and the FBI). Of the nine people on Snell's team, all but one had worked for the U.S. Government, and all but two for either the Justice Department or the FBI.(22)

If you go to my website, www.peterdalescott.net, you will know that: Shortly after 9/11, in October 2001, U.S. and British newspapers briefly alleged that the paymaster for the 9/11 attacks was a possible agent of the Pakistani intelligence service ISI, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. There was even a brief period in which it was alleged that the money had been paid at the direction of the then ISI Chief, Lieutenant-General Mahmoud Ahmad.(23)

Others have since argued that Saeed Sheikh worked for both America and Britain, since "both American and British governments have studiously avoided taking any action against Sheikh despite the fact that he is a known terrorist who has targeted U.S. and UK citizens."(24) The claim what Saeed Sheikh was recruited by MI-6 in Great Britain has been made by myself, by John Newman, and by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed; recently it has been pointed to in the new book by Pervez Musharraf, the President of Pakistan.(25)

And there may have been other double agents. Last month Robert Baer, a former CIA officer, told an Australian newspaper that ''In 1996, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [the al-Qaeda mastermind of the 9/11 plot] was in Doha [the capital of Qatar], the CIA found out about it, and wanted to arrest him and people in Washington stopped them. That has never been answered in the 9/11 commission report, why that arrest was stopped."(26)

One week after 9/11, in a story for Pacific News Service, I wrote the following (which is still on my website):

It is important to learn from the serious mistakes made by the United States and CIA in the past. The usual CIA mode of undermining foreign governments it does not like -- from Russia to Cuba to Iran -- has been to organize and train their opponents in criminal activities, including sabotage and smuggling. But time and again this strategy backfires. The problem is that as soon as the United States loses interest in its agents' cause, the sabotage techniques it has taught will more than likely be turned back against it.(27)

This is what happened with al Qaeda.

When I wrote this I did not yet know about the scandal of Ali Mohamed's tolerated terrorism. In 2004, when I did know, I reported a story in the London Independent (but not this country) that Mohamed was on the U.S. payroll at the time he was training the Arab Afghans, and that the CIA, reviewing the case five years after the first WTC bombing, concluded in an internal document that the CIA itself was "partly culpable" in the World Trade Center attack.(28)

I cannot tell you whether (as I would like to think) Mohamed and Saeed were examples of rogue agents out of control (in which case we have a CIA problem), or whether they were agents not out of control (in which case we have of course a much worse CIA problem). One way or the other, we have a fundamental and on-going problem, for which we need a more serious remedy than just putting a Democrat in the White House. As has happened after past intelligence fiascoes, our intelligence agencies were strengthened as a result of the 9/11 Commission, not brought under control, and their budgets were increased.

It's time to confront the reality that these agencies themselves, and their own sponsorship and protection of terrorist activities, have aggravated the greatest threats to our national security. Scott Ritter and others have written that, at this very moment, CIA-backed bombings are being undertaken in Iran by the Mujahideen e-Khalq (MEK or MKO), an opposition group listed by the United States State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.(29) It appears that, as if having learned nothing, the CIA is still sponsoring terrorists.

I want to admit, in all fairness, that certain notable victories have been achieved in the narrow pursuit of al Qaeda. At the same time, after five years of the new broadened war on terrorism, we can say with confidence that the net result to date is a far more dangerous world than we had before.

Peter Dale Scott's latest book (co-edited with David Ray Griffin) is 9/11 & American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (Olive Branch Press, 2006). His website is http://www.peterdalescott.net


[1] I discuss Ali Mohamed in a book I co-edited with David Ray Griffin: David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott (eds.), 9/11 & American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2006), 74, 76-77.

[2] This admitted connection to al-Zawahiri has led some to identify Mohamed (Abu Mohamed al Amriki) with the al-Amriki alleged by Yossef Bodansky to have acted as go-between between Zawahiri and the CIA: "In the first half of November 1997 Ayman al-Zawahiri met a man called Abu-Umar al-Amriki (al-Amriki means "the American") at a camp near Peshawar, on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. High-level Islamist leaders insist that in this meeting Abu-Umar al-Amriki made al-Zawahiri an offer: The United States would not interfere with or intervene to prevent the Islamists' rise to power in Egypt if the Islamist mujahideen currently in Bosnia-Herzegovina would refrain from attacking the U.S. forces there. Moreover, Abu-Umar al-Amriki promised a donation of $50 million (from unidentified sources) to Islamist charities in Egypt and elsewhere. This was not the first meeting between Abu-Umar al-Amriki and Zawahiri. Back in the 1980s Abu-Umar al-Amriki openly acted as an emissary for the CIA with various Arab Islamist militant and terrorist movements ... then operating under the wings of the Afghan jihad ... . In the late 1980s, in one of his meetings with Zawahiri, Abu-Umar al-Amriki suggested that Zawahiri would need "$50 million to rule Egypt." At the time, Zawahiri interpreted this assertion as a hint that Washington would tolerate his rise to power if he could raise this money. The mention of the magic figure, $50 million, by Abu-Umar al-Amriki in the November 1997 meeting was interpreted by Zawahiri and the entire Islamist leadership, including Osama bin Laden, as a reaffirmation of the discussions with the CIA in the late 1980s about Washington's willingness to tolerate an Islamic Egypt. In 1997 the Islamist leaders were convinced that Abu-Umar al-Amriki was speaking for the CIA -- that is, the uppermost echelons of the Clinton administration" (Bodansky, Bin Laden, 212-13). As we shall see, it is the case that Mohamed was allowed to travel to Afghanistan even after his designation as an unindicted co-conspirator in 1994 (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/21/01).

[3] Peter Lance, "Triple Cross: National Geographic Channel's Whitewash of the Ali Mohamed Story," Huffington Post, 8/29/06, http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20060829/ cm_huffpost/028270. Unfortunately Lance's book on Mohamed, Triple Cross, was not yet available as this book went to press. Cf. Lawrence White, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York: Knopf, 2006), 181-82; Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror (New York: Random House, 2002), 236; Lawrence Wright, New Yorker, 9/16/02: "In 1989 -- Mohamed talked to an F.B.I. agent in California and provided American intelligence with its first inside look at Al Qaeda."

[4] Raleigh News & Observer, 10/21/01, http://www.knoxstudio. com/shns/story.cfm?pk=ALIMOHAMED-10-24-01&cat=AN.

[5] Toronto Globe and Mail, 11/22/01, http://www.mail-archive. com/hydro@topica.com/msg00224.html; Peter Dale Scott, "How to Fight Terrorism," California Monthly, September 2004, http://www.alumni.berkeley.edu/Alumni/Cal_Monthly/September_2004/How_to_fight_terrorism.asp . Mohamed's companion, Essam Marzouk, is now serving 15 years of hard labor in Egypt, after having been arrested in Azerbaijan. Mohamed's detention and release was months after the first WTC bombing in February 1993, and after the FBI had already rounded up two of the plotters whom they knew had been trained by Ali Mohamed.

[6] Dave Shiflett, Bloomberg News, 8/28/06, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aNWwkZYujCIs&refer=home .

[7] Glenn Garvin, Miami Herald, http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/entertainment/columnists/glenn_garvin/15310462.htm

[8] Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York: Knopf, 2006), 181. The Report claims (56) that "Bin Ladin and his comrades had their own sources of support and training, and they received little or no assistance from the United States." But Wright reports that Mohamed, while on a leave from the U.S. army, went to Afghanistan and trained "the first al-Qaeda volunteers in techniques of unconventional warfare, including kidnappings, assassinations, and hijacking planes." This was in 1988, one year before Mohamed left active U.S. Army service and joined the Reserve.

[9] Peter Lance, "Triple Cross: National Geographic Channel's Whitewash of the Ali Mohamed Story," Huffington Post, 8/29/06, http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20060829/cm _huffpost/028270.

[10] According to publicity for the National Geographic special, Mohamed is "currently in U.S. custody," but "his whereabouts and legal status are closely guarded secrets" (Rocky Mountain News, 8/28/06, 2D). Lance wrote that Mohamed was put into the witness protection program. "David Runke [Ruhnke], a defense attorney in the African embassies bombing case, says, ``I think the most likely thing that will happen is he'll be released, he'll be given a new name and a new identity, and he will pick up a life someplace.''' (Shiflett, Bloomberg News, 8/28/06). As of November 2001, Mohamed had not been sentenced and was still believed to be supplying information from his prison cell.

[11] "Ali Mohamed had stayed in [El-Hage's] Kenyan home in the mid 90's as they plotted the bombings. Another agent in Fitzie's squad Dan Coleman, had searched El-Hage's home a year before the bombings and found direct links to Ali Mohamed and yet Fitzgerald failed to connect the dots" (Lance, "Triple Cross," Huffington Post, 8/29/06).

[12] Peter Lance, 1000 Years for Revenge (New York: Regan Books/ Harper Collins, 2003), 29-37.

[13] Robert Dreyfuss, Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2005), 278; John K. Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America, and International Terrorism (London: Pluto Press, 1999), 87-88; Lance, 1000 Years for Revenge, 29-31; Independent, 11/1/98.

[14] Rahman was issued two visas, one of them "by a CIA officer working undercover in the consular section of the American embassy in Sudan" (Peter L.. Bergen, Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden [New York: Free Press, 2001], 67). FBI consultant Paul Williams writes that Ali Mohamed "settled in America on a visa program controlled by the CIA" (Paul L. Williams, Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror [[Upper Saddle River, NJ]: Alpha/ Pearson Education, 2002], 117). Others allegedly admitted, despite being on the State Department watch list, were Mohamed Atta and possibly Ayman al-Zawahiri (Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism [Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005], 205, 46).

[15] Wright, The Looming Tower, 177.

[16] Lance, 1000 Years, 34.

[17] Lance, 1000 Years, 31; Peter Lance, Cover Up: What the Government Is Still Hiding about the War on Terror (New York: Regan Books/ HarperCollins, 2004), 25.

[18] Newsday, 11/8/90; quoted in Lance, 1000 Years, 35.

[19] New York Times, 11/8/90; Robert I. Friedman, Village Voice, 3/30/93.

[20] New York Times, 12/16/90.

[21] 9/11 Report, 72.

[22] Kean and Hamilton, Without Precedent, 273 (chapters); Lance, Cover Up, 212-20 (reports). Snell was assisted by Douglas MacEachin, the former CIA deputy Director for Intelligence.

[23] Peter Dale Scott "Who Paid the 9/11 Hijackers? Al-Hawsawi? Mahmoud Ahmad?" GlobalResearch.ca, 10/14/04, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/SCO410A.html. Cf. David Ray Griffin, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press/Interlink, 2004), 104-07; Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), 137-44; Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry (London: Duckworth, 2006), 169; Peter Dale Scott, "The CIA's Secret Powers: Afghanistan, 9/11, and America's Most Dangerous Enemy." Critical Asian Studies, 35:2 (2003), 233-258.

[24] Ahmed, The War on Truth, 142; cf. John Newman, Remarks, Omissions and Errors in the Commission's Final Report, Rep. McKinney 9/11 Congressional Briefing, 18 August 2005, http://911readingroom.org/bib/whole_document.php?article_id=422.

[25] Pervez Musharraf, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir (New York: Free Press, 2006), 225: "It is believed in some quarters that while Omar Sheikh was at the LSE he was recruited by the British intelligence agency MI6. It is said that MI6 persuaded him to take an active part in demonstrations against Serbian aggression in Bosnia and even sent him to Kosovo to join the jihad. At some point he probably became a rogue or double agent."

[26] Courier Mail (Australia), 9/23/06; cf. Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003), 18-19.

[27] Peter Dale Scott, "Made in the U.S.A. - How the U.S. Manufactures Terrorists," Pacific News Service, Sep 19, 2001.

[28] Peter Dale Scott, "How to Fight Terrorism." California Monthly, September 2004; citing Andrew Marshall, Independent, 11/1/98, http://billstclair.com/911timeline/1990s/independent110198.html.

[29] Scott Ritter, "The US war with Iran has already begun," ZNet, 6/21/05, http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?itemid=8126.: "President Bush has taken advantage of the sweeping powers granted to him in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, to wage a global war against terror and to initiate several covert offensive operations inside Iran. The most visible of these is the CIA-backed actions recently undertaken by the Mujahadeen el-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein's dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA's Directorate of Operations. It is bitter irony that the CIA is using a group still labelled as a terrorist organisation, a group trained in the art of explosive assassination by the same intelligence units of the former regime of Saddam Hussein, who are slaughtering American soldiers in Iraq today, to carry out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq." I have not yet seen Scott Ritter, Target Iran: The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change (New York: Avalon Publishing Group, 2006)..

from From: Candace Falk :
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007
Subject: Re: A gift of words from the Emma Goldman Papers!  for June 27th!

Hi Francis... I thought you would appreciate this... as we too appreciate you!  

To friends and supporters of the Emma Goldman Papers feisty fighters for freedom, the right to self-expression, everybodys' right to beautiful, radiant things

On June 27, 1869 Emma Goldman was born. In 1917, during the First World War she was imprisoned for speaking out against the draft, and in 1919 she
was deported to Bolshevik Russia. Emma celebrated her 51st birthday six months later and received this message from Ben Reitman, the Hobo activist
who had been her lover and the manager of her speaking tours across the U.S. for almost ten years:

   Its June 27 again.
   Your birthday
   Man, may be unjust Governments cruel.
   But time is always just and kind.
   You will come to your own.
   And your own shall receive you
   Brains, integrity courage are always rewarded
   You will come back.
As Wednesday, June 27, 2007 draws near, the staff of the Emma Goldman Papers thanks you for helping us bring back the documentary history of the
daring Emma. To honor this day, we send you a timely excerpt from Emma's closing statement at her 1917 trial-expressing an immigrants complex
relationship to patriotism:

        Gentleman of the jury, we respect your patriotism, we would not,
if we could, have you change its meaning for yourself. But may there not be
different kinds of patriotism as there are different kinds of liberty? I
for one cannot believe that love of ones country must... consist in
blindness to its social faults, in deafness to its social discords,
in articulation to its social wrongs. Neither can I believe that the mere
accident of birth in a certain country or the mere scrap of a citizens
paper constitutes the love of country. I know many people I am one of
them who were not born here, nor have they applied for citizenship, and
who yet love America Our patriotism is that of the man who loves a woman
with open eyes.  He is enchanted by her beauty, yet he sees her faults.
So we, too, who know America, love her beauty, her richness, her great
possibilities; we love her mountains, her canyons, her forests, her
Niagara, and her deserts above all do we love the people that have
produced her wealth, her artists who have created beauty, her great
apostles who dream and work for liberty but with the same passionate
emotion we hate her superficiality, her cant, her corruption, her mad,
unscrupulous worship at the alter of the Golden Calf...We say that if
America has entered the war to make the world safe for democracy, she must
first make democracy safe in America.


Greetings and hopes for better days ahead from the Emma Goldman Papers    < http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman>
--stirring the embers of the past to inspire the future---

Speak out, shout out, cogitate, and celebrate champions of freedom and justice for all!