New investigation links anthrax plotters to 911

Ian Henshall 
RINF Alternative News

There are many problems with the official account of the September 11 mass murder, but in recent years campaigners have focused on the unpredicted collapse of three buildings in New York, all symmetrical, all at near freefall speeds. The third building to collapse, 47 storey World trade Centre Building 7 actually hit freefall at one stage. This, says Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth (AE911), contradicts the official story of a fire induced collapse.

Thirteen years and several wars after the event, the 911 truth movement just won’t go away. The New York city administration is looking decidedly shifty in its attempts to stifle demands for a new inquiry into the building collapses. Even if they manage to block a proposed referendum, city officials will still be challenged by a massive AE911 billboard just round the corner from the New York Times.

There are other holes in the official story which have received less attention, but this could change. We are asked to accept that alleged Pentagon 911 attack pilot Hani Hanjour on flight 77 developed in the space of just a few weeks from a dangerous incompetent on a small plane into a pilot so good that he could make a heavy commercial airliner behave like fighter in a pinpoint high speed ground level attack confirmed by Pentagon surveillance cameras.

Then there is the paper trail which takes a new twist with a book just published by Clarity Press. Author Graeme MacQueen is a cofounder of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University, Ontario. The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy is endorsed as a must read for all thinking Americans by Denis Halliday, one time Assistant Secretary-General of the UN.

As Michael Ruppert, an early 911 sceptic and ex police detective, would tersely explain, when it comes to physical issues you can pay expert witnesses to say anything, driving jurors into indecision as they try to distinguish one expert from another. A conclusive paper trail on the other hand can be the governmental equivalent of a signed confession.

Even without MacQueen’s new book the individuals running and supervising the CIA counter terrorist section at the time have quite a lot to worry about.

Two impeccable insider witnesses have stated that a central tenet of the official 911 story – the claim that the CIA knew nothing about the 911 hijackers – is false.

Richard Clarke, anti-terror boss at the Bush White House at the time, is probably the best placed person on the planet to know the truth about what the CIA was up to in the run up to 911. Ali Soufan a top FBI expert on Al Qaeda at the time concurs with Clarke: the CIA were aware of several alleged 911 hijackers in the months before the attacks but they took a “decision” (Clarke) to shield them from the FBI, blocking multiple inquiries from as many as three field offices. What’s more the Agency never informed their line manager Richard Clarke.

Researcher Kevin Fenton has meticulously trailed through Congressional and departmental Inspector General reports and produced the memos, emails, and statements to investigators which confirm Richard Clarke’s claims. Some cynics say that this is why Richard Clarke has spilt the beans, but spill the beans he has, for whatever motive.

911 was not the only terror attack on America in September 2001. Dust containing millions of spores of weapons grade anthrax were posted to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Unable to read their constituents mail, Congress was crippled. Other letters with real or fake anthrax added to the panic. There was little doubt in Washington that this was phase two of the 911 attacks. Who else would want to silence two key lawmakers and virtually close down the US Congress?

MacQueen sets the 911 attacks issue in an interesting political context. Prior to 911 the Bush White House faced a legal imperative: to find some “extraordinary events” that jeopardised the US’s “supreme interests”, the only way to abrogate the ABM treaty, an intention Bush had announced in May 2001. 911 neatly took care of that. But there was still a pressing need to get the USA PATRIOT act through Congress before the public woke up to the implications for the rule of law, especially as Bush had given his orders for illegal mass surveillance before the Act was passed.

The anthrax scare could hardly have come at a better time for the White House, raising a new wave of fear and putting Dashle and Leahy, critics of the legislation as proposed, on the back foot. Peaks in the anthrax panic coincided with the struggle to get the PATRIOT Act passed.

The media were commanded by people like Judith Miller of the New York Times and James Woolsey ex CIA Director who argued that the anthrax panic was not only 911 part two but the smoking gun to prove that Saddam Hussein was behind 911.

The logic seemed impeccable. The anthrax attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda. Therefore, as they did not have the technical capability, here was the proof that Saddam Hussein was behind 911. Anonymous briefers claiming inside knowledge reinforced the message. ABC News claimed they had four separate sources.

But the facts did not fit the story. The biotechnology world blew the whistle. Examination of the exact strain used, the Ames strain, showed that the anthrax attacks could only come from a group within the US military industrial complex. That, along with the implausible messages from Islamic terrorists that accompanied the letters, showed that this was an inside job aimed at blaming Muslims. Whoever sent the anthrax letters had made a mistake.

The FBI responded with a new theory: a lone wolf employee had somehow got hold of the military grade anthrax. But the anthrax plotters seem to have made another mistake, and this is where we return to the 911 attacks.

A series of apparent links had emerged connecting the alleged 911 hijackers to the anthrax letters. For instance, as well as having a personal link to photo editor Robert Stevens, the first victim of the attacks, alleged hijacker Mohammed Atta reportedly threw an unforgettable temper tantrum at one government office when he demanded loans to buy a crop duster, ideal for distributing anthrax.

Once the impossibility of genuine links is taken into account the apparent links remain unexplained. If they were not an amazing coincidence they must have been created in advance by the anthrax plotters to frame the alleged hijackers ahead of the event. MacQueen argues in great detail that the links go well beyond the level of mere coincidence.

We know from the Clarke/Soufan/Fenton paper trail that a group in the CIA was protecting the hijackers from scrutiny by the FBI while the anthrax plotters were framing them for the anthrax attacks. The question looms: since the alleged hijackers did not have the flying skills needed for 911, and given the reports, never put to rest that some were alive after the event, were they framed for that too?

MacQueen’s thesis is strengthened by the question of foreknowledge in the weeks leading up to the anthrax attacks. For a now forgotten fortnight before the attacks the neocons were hyping anthrax with the gusto they would later show over Iraq’s imaginary nukes.

Stephen Hatfill, the FBI’s first candidate for the role of lone wolf, fought back and received some USD 4M in compensation. But the second, replacement candidate was not as lucky. Bruce Ivens is now dead, apparently driven to suicide by the FBI.

Ivens colleagues do not accept the official story. It would simply not be possible, they say, for Ivens or any lone wolf to obtain and weaponise the anthrax into the deadly state of the art powder that was mailed to Bush and Cheney’s two key enemies in Congress, Daschle and Leahy, holding up approval of the PATRIOT Act.

For anyone seriously trying to get to the bottom of the 911 attacks this is a must read book, and fortunately MacQueen does not demand you read many hundreds of pages. He is crisp and to the point and there will be something new for everybody.

Perhaps the most intriguing is the description of Dark Winter an anti-terror exercise that took place in June 2001, shortly after Bush announced that Cheney was now in charge of all domestic counter terror preparations. Dark Winter mirrored the real anthrax attacks in several respects. James Wolsey and Judith Miller were not only cheerleading in public for the Saddam anthrax link. They were insiders themselves. Both had been participants in Dark Winter.

The sinister presence of Cheney at every stage of the 911 and the Iraq saga, and what we now know from Richard Clarke about the activities of the CIA in the run up to the attacks raises the issue that one time detective Michael Ruppert would call modus operandi. Individuals often have a characteristic method from crime to crime.

The exhaustive media reports around the Iraq fiasco have established one thing clearly. Cheney’s modus operandi was to recruit a small cabal within the CIA to do his bidding, producing the fake evidence needed to convince Congress of the “need” to invade.

The 911 saga has ominous parallels. A cabal in the CIA apparently under Cheney’s orders was protecting the hijackers from arrest and perhaps framing them too. Even more extraordinarily, evidence has emerged of a still largely secret anti-hijack exercise, presumably under Cheney’s ultimate command, running at the same time as the “real” 911 attacks.

For now the mainstream media mostly still refuses to permit any serious 911 questions at all. But given what has come out already campaigners are confident that a real investigation, or even a handful more whistleblowers, could get to the bottom of the story. Thirteen years later, the 911 truth movement is not going to go away.