Wednesday 22 August 2007

Donald Rumsfeld's Eerie 9/11 Premonition

During a recent Congressional hearing on the "friendly fire" death of football star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan in 2004, Representative John Mica (R-Fla) gave new details about an 8 o'clock breakfast meeting held at the Pentagon the morning of 9/11 by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Mica told the hearing, which was attended by Rumsfeld:

I think on my dying day, I'll remember September 11th, when I was with Donald Rumsfeld in the Pentagon for breakfast that morning. He invited me and half-a-dozen members [of Congress], I think, over to the Pentagon. And the subject of the conversation Donald Rumsfeld was interested in was: the military had been downsized during the '90s since the fall of the Berlin Wall. And what we were going to do about [the] situation is we had another--the word you [i.e. Rumsfeld] used was "incident," I remember, in the conversation, sitting in the room right off of his office for coffee that morning. And he was trying to make certain that we were prepared for something that we might not expect. [1]

Mica, who in September 2001 was the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Aviation [2], has previously commented: "Little did we know that within a few minutes of the end of our conversation and actually at the end of our breakfast, that our world would change and that incident that we talked about would be happening." [3]

Mica's remarkable account is similar to Rumsfeld's own recollection of the breakfast meeting on 9/11. He told CNN's Larry King: "I had said ... that sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong healthy defense department that contributes to--that underpins peace and stability in our world." Soon afterwards: "[S]omeone walked in and handed [me] a note that said that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center." [4]

Furthermore, this breakfast meeting is curious not just because of Rumsfeld's eerie premonition, but also because numerous key individuals attended it. Then-Secretary of the Army Thomas White, who was at this meeting, has said the "chairmen of the four oversight committees" were there. And, describing the meeting to PBS, he said: "Don Rumsfeld had a breakfast, and virtually every one of the senior officials of the Department of Defense--service chiefs, secretary, deputy, everybody, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And as that breakfast was breaking up, the first plane had hit the World Trade tower." [5]

How very curious! Right before the 9/11 attacks began, the secretary of defense just happened to be meeting with "virtually every one of the senior officials of the Department of Defense." Perhaps it could have been fortuitous that all these military leaders were together at this time, ready to leap into action and coordinate a response to the unfolding emergency. But this did not happen. As White has said, after the meeting ended: "We all went on with the day's business." (For example, White continued on to give a pre-planned talk at the nearby Army Navy Country Club.) [6]

A strange day, indeed.

[1] House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; Subject: The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew. 110th Cong., 1st sess., August 1, 2007.
[2] "Congressman John L. Mica: Official Biography." U.S. House of Representatives.
[3] "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's Remarks at Pentagon's Riverfront Entrance." U.S. Department of Defense, September 10, 2004.
[4] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Larry King, CNN." Larry King Live, CNN, December 6, 2001.
[5] "Interview: Thomas White." Frontline, PBS, August 12, 2004; "Rumsfeld's War." Frontline, PBS, October 26, 2004.
[6] "Interview: Thomas White." Frontline, PBS, August 12, 2004.

Sunday 12 August 2007

The British Establishment Revealed

In his 1998 book Who Killed Diana? Simon Regan presents a clear definition of what the British establishment is. He also describes a "Super-Establishment" -- a ruling elite that, despite being entirely unelected, retains significant power over how Britain is governed.

Simon Regan was an investigative journalist who, after having worked with various newspapers in Britain and overseas, in 1989 founded the anti-establishment magazine Scallywag. He was the editor of this magazine during its short existence in the early 1990s.

In Who Killed Diana? Regan writes: "Only when I launched Scallywag and really began looking into how Britain is run did I ever even envisage how manipulated we all are. And how innocent we are to that manipulation." [1] To learn about the establishment, and how government really takes place, is to learn about this manipulation of the general public.

To define what the "establishment" is, Regan outlines a "pyramid theory" of how British society is made up. At the base of the pyramid, forming its wide foundation, "is the proletariat--ordinary people like you and me." According to Regan: "In a democracy, ideally, the basic structure dominates the rest of the pyramid. Without us, at least, it is logical to suppose that the entire edifice would topple."

Next up the pyramid, on the middle stratum, "are the people who appear to make the country tick. The universities and academics, the church, the City and the (in particular Tory) press." Then above this is the government itself, including "top-level police officers, the judiciary [and] senior echelons of the armed forces." It is in this level of the pyramid "that the old school tie, gentlemen's clubs, and probably the Freemasons are most prevalent."

To most people, this government level of the pyramid represents the "establishment." However, there is a topmost level above it, which really controls the country. "The base of the pyramid hardly knows they exist." [2]

Regan writes that it is Whitehall, where most government ministries are located, "which really runs the country with a close-knit Mafia-like clique, which forms a sort of uncontrolled Super-Establishment." This "Super-Establishment" is made up of "a handful of powerful, but low-key, City brokers and financiers; definitely the top brains at the Foreign Office, the Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and the Trade Department. Key figures in the security forces--although not necessarily the top person--would be included, and so would at least one key member of the prime minister's secretariat." At least until recently, it would also have included the top courtiers who "run" the royal family.

While the police and judiciary might not be directly part of this clique, "through the Home Office they can certainly be manipulated." The Super-Establishment's power is based upon its ability to manipulate the level below it--the individuals that most people believe are governing our country. The elected government, in fact, "is almost irrelevant" to the overall power of the Super-Establishment.

The world in which the Super-Establishment exists is "a grey and murky world in which sensitive matters of state are planned and executed in gentlemen's clubs (Reform and Oxford and Cambridge preferred). It is where manipulation plots are hatched. Whether it be manipulation of a certain minister towards a certain viewpoint, or the wholesale orchestration of a Foreign Office ploy to bring down a foreign government." Regan calls this secretive form of government "twilight politics," because "it never enjoys the slightest glare of sunlight. And if it is ever in danger of doing so, manipulation normally sorts it out."

Regan continues that it is "very much within the interests" of the Super-Establishment "to protect the status quo." In fact, it is "almost the divine mission of the secret services in the UK to protect the status quo, and hitherto it has been their full intention to thwart anyone who tried to disrupt it. It is a scary combination of unofficial officialdom and a blind trust that they have got it right and everyone else has got it wrong and is in need of their 'protection.'" [3]

Regan concludes: "[T]he actual existence of the Super-Establishment is not a flight of fancy. It really does exist. It is entirely manipulative and, even under the guise of democracy and being 'answerable' to the government," it exercises "a great deal of power behind the scenes." Even the British monarchy "is a sham power. All of the royals, but particularly [Prince] Charles, are constantly manipulated by a small clique of very powerful mandarins and courtiers who in turn work hand-in-glove with top civil servants in such ministries as the Foreign Office." [4]

It is no wonder that the world is in such a mess.

[1] Simon Regan, Who Killed Diana? An Investigation Into the Various Conspiracy Theories Concerning the Death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. London: Scallywag Publications, 1998, p. 110.
[2] Ibid. pp. 26-27.
[3] Ibid. pp. 27-28.
[4] Ibid. p. 31.

Monday 6 August 2007

New Details About The 9/11 Mystery Plane

The 'Doomsday' plane on 9/11
The morning of 9/11, CNN reported a mystery jet plane flying above Washington, DC. At 9:54 a.m., correspondent John King, who was standing near the White House, reported that about ten minutes earlier (hence, around 9:44 a.m.), there was "a white jet circling overhead." He added: "Now, you generally don't see planes in the area over the White House. That is restricted air space. No reason to believe that this jet was there for any nefarious purposes, but the Secret Service was very concerned, pointing up at the jet in the sky. It is out of sight now, best we can tell." [1] Shortly after, another CNN correspondent, Kate Snow, also reported having seen a plane, "circling over the Capitol" building at around the same time. She said: "Now whether that may have been an Air Force plane, it's unclear. But that seemed to be the reason, according to security guards that I talked with, towards the evacuation of the Capitol." [2]

Yet the identity of this "white jet" aircraft has been a mystery. Indeed, there has been virtually no discussion of its existence, even though it was flying above Washington at a time when America was under attack, and when the only aircraft in the area should have been fighter jets, there to protect against possible further attacks. The 9/11 Commission, which claimed that its aim had been to present "the fullest possible account of the events surrounding 9/11" appears not to have investigated the identity of this plane, and made no mention of it in its final report.

In his recent Internet article "The 9/11 Mystery Plane," Mark H. Gaffney presented compelling evidence--including a clear photo and video footage--indicating that this "white jet" had in fact been an E-4B National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) plane. These are highly modified Boeing 747s that act as flying military command posts. [3]

Important new evidence corroborates Gaffney's conclusion, and raises further questions about the role played by the E-4B planes on 9/11. This evidence appears in the 2003 book Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism, written by Dan Verton, a former intelligence officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and former senior writer for Computerworld magazine, who has written extensively on national security, the intelligence community, and national defense topics. Verton reported that, the morning of September 11, an E-4B was launched from "an airfield outside of the nation's capital." (He did not, however, state which specific base.) This plane was carrying "civilian and military officials," and was going "to conduct a previously scheduled Defense Department exercise." This exercise would involve "the use and testing of the aircraft's various advanced technology and communications equipment."

According to Verton, the E-4B launched from near Washington "had only just taken off" at the time of the Pentagon attack, which was at 9:37 a.m. This would mean it could, quite plausibly, have been circling above the White House and Capitol building at around 9:44 a.m., when CNN's John King and Kate Snow spotted a plane up above. Verton adds that, once airborne, the E-4B "was immediately ordered to cease the military exercise it was conducting and prepare to become the actual national airborne operations center." [4]

The exercise the E-4B was participating in would have been Global Guardian, which was being conducted at the time by the U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom), to test its ability to fight a nuclear war. The Omaha World-Herald has reported that three National Airborne Operations Center planes were airborne the morning of 9/11 for this exercise. Following the attacks, all three remained in the air. [5] According to the World-Herald, Global Guardian was canceled after the second WTC tower was hit, at 9:03 a.m. [6] This is what we would logically expect, since it was quite obvious by that time that America was under attack, and an ongoing massive war exercise could, presumably, have led to great confusion within the military about what was real and what was just simulation. Yet, according to Verton's account, it was only around the time of the Pentagon attack that the E-4B launched near Washington was ordered to stop the exercise. This would therefore have been over half an hour after the second attack had occurred. If Verton is correct, we need to know why there was such a delay in pulling this aircraft out of the exercise.

It is important to note that the E-4B is no ordinary aircraft. It is a militarized version of a Boeing 747-200, equipped with advanced communications equipment, and capable of carrying a crew of up to 112 people. Nicknamed "Doomsday" planes during the Cold War, E-4Bs serve the president, the secretary of defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In times of national emergency, they can act as highly-survivable command, control, and communications centers to direct forces, execute war orders, and coordinate actions by civil authorities. The U.S. military possesses four of them in total. One is always kept on alert, with a full battle staff. Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska is the "Main Operating Base" for the E-4B, though there are also numerous "Forward Operating Bases" (FOB) throughout the U.S. [7]

As well as the three E-4Bs in the air the morning of September 11 due to the Global Guardian exercise, what appears to have been the fourth of these planes--presumably the one kept on alert--was apparently activated and launched simply in response to the attacks. Reportedly, minutes after the attack on the Pentagon, it took off from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, bound for an undisclosed location. The plane returned to the base at some unspecified time later on in the day. [8] Like the E-4B launched near Washington, little attention has been paid to this aircraft and what its purpose was on 9/11. Again, no mention was made of it in the 9/11 Commission Report.

This highlights the fact that, approaching the sixth anniversary of the attacks, we still only really know a very small fraction of what was going on during the day of 9/11. As Mark Gaffney rightly concludes, there is an "urgent need for a new 9/11 investigation: It must be nonpartisan, independent, adequately funded, and empowered with the authority to subpoena witnesses." [9]

[1] "The White House Has Been Evacuated." Breaking News, CNN, September 11, 2001. The clip can be viewed online at:
[2] "America Under Attack: Terrorists Attacks in Both Washington, DC and New York." Breaking News, CNN, September 11, 2001. The clip can be viewed online at:
[3] Mark H. Gaffney, "The 9/11 Mystery Plane.", April 5, 2007.
[4] Dan Verton, Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism. New York: Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 2003, pp. 143-144.
[5] Joe Dejka, "Inside StratCom on Sept. 11 Offutt Exercise Took Real-life Twist." Omaha World-Herald, February 27, 2002.
[6] Joe Dejka, "When Bush Arrived, Offutt Sensed History in the Making." Omaha World-Herald, September 8, 2002.
[7] Stephen I. Schwartz (Editor), Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U. S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1998, p. 210; "E-4B National Airborne Operations Center." Federation of American Scientists, April 23, 2000; "E-4B." U.S. Air Force, August 2007.
[8] Timothy R. Gaffney, "Wright-Pat Air Force Base Goes to Highest Alert." Dayton Daily News, September 12, 2001.
[9] Mark H. Gaffney, "The 9/11 Mystery Plane."