A Clue to the Truth about 9/11 ?

8. The Northwoods context

How could the Naudet shot be shown many thousands of times, all around the world, without attracting the suspicion it deserves ? He makes filming the plane, a moving subject, look just as easy as filming the burning tower, a stationary one : simplicity itself. In reality, what could be harder than capturing an unexpected and unrepeatable scene of a jet flying at 1,200 feet for two seconds at 450 miles an hour, from a ground level street in New York, the city of skyscrapers ? But to most viewers — and the people behind it were doubtless relying on this — the idea that the film was staged by their own government would be literally unthinkable: it wouldn't even occur to them.

Even those prepared to think the unthinkable — to believe the 9/11 attacks themselves were an "inside job" — might not realise the film was part of it, set up by the same people. How could documentary film of one of the attacks, shot by someone with no apparent link to the government, be suspect ? But would they be stupid enough to use someone linked to them ? Perhaps, too, another element is that people were so pleased that someone managed to film the plane that no-one questioned how they managed it: it was just accepted as presented. The "accidental picture" story obviously has a deep and wide appeal, probably datable to 22 November 1963 (although the only reason we are reliant on accidental film of that event is that, for some inexplicable reason, all the national networks stopped filming the motorcade before it reached Dealey Plaza, almost at the very end of its journey). But the Naudet film's uniqueness demands an explanation that fits logic and objectivity, and if luck fails that test, which it does, we have to attempt to construct an alternative, however disturbing.

What could be more unthinkable than the most senior military officers in the USA planning terrorist attacks against their own country, to be falsely blamed on a foreign state, as an excuse for invading it ? In November 1997, the world — or the tiny minority interested — found out that this scenario was that rare creature, a conspiracy fact. Operation Northwoods, produced in 1962 but only declassified from its Top Secret status decades later, may never have been carried out, but its creators fully intended it to be, and seriously expected their government to endorse it: not, one presumes, because they were certifiable, or liked wasting their own time as well as other people's, but because similar ideas must have been approved and successfully carried out in the past. Conspiracies always leak, we're told: this one immediately disposes of that totally false claim. Lemnitzer and everyone else party to it either took it to the grave with them or never said one word until it was declassified — or later.

Until his death in July 2009, Robert McNamara, Defense Secretary in 1962, claimed amnesia on the subject, as if he had never heard of written records, and never in 90 years had any use for them. (How would Chomsky deal with a politician like that ? "No documents ?! He's a conspiracy theory — he doesn't exist."). "From the records, please — not from memory — did you or did you not have a meeting with the JCS Chairman on Tuesday 13 March 1962, and if so, did you discuss Operation Northwoods ?" — a question someone like John Pilger should have put to him (Errol Morris never did in his film biography "The Fog of War"). How could McNamara possibly forget a document like that ? [Some day, Kennedy researchers are going to wake up to the fact that of all the possible candidates with a motive for taking JFK off the scene — and both cynical enough and powerful enough to help organise it — Lemnitzer must be among the top half-dozen].

The Northwoods conspirators: the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1962 — left to right: Admiral George Whelan Anderson Jr (Chief of Naval Operations) 15 December 1906—20 March 1992; General George Henry Decker (Chief of Staff, US Army) 16 February 1902—6 February 1980; General Lyman Louis Lemnitzer (JCS Chairman) 29 August 1899—12 November 1988; General Curtis Emerson LeMay (Chief of Staff, US Air Force) 15 November 1906—1 October 1990; General David Monroe Shoup (Commandant, US Marine Corps) 30 December 1904—13 January 1983.


Lyman Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 1 October 1960—30 September 1962: could this All-American Paragon really have said things like these ? "We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated)." "We could blow up a US ship in Guantαnamo Bay and blame Cuba." "Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." Yes he could, and did — in secret — not that most of us found out until he had been in Arlington National Cemetery, next to the Pentagon, for a decade — where he still is, with the other heroes.


When, if ever, are we going to find out the kind of things his avuncular, but Harley-Davidson-riding, successor 40 years later said and did in secret ? What can we know from a photograph — or an official Pentagon biog that doesn't even give his date of birth ?
"In my opinion, the armed forces responded well on 9/11": General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 1 October 2001—30 September 2005, in public, with a straight face, sober, in evidence to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, 17 June 2004.

Just to demonstrate that the dirty tricks people are still in business 40 years later, it was recently revealed by Philippe Sands, QC — in a scandal that must have lasted a whole five minutes before meeting the usual brick wall of denial — that early in 2003, George W. Bush was prepared to fly an American spy plane over Iraq disguised in UN colours, in the hope that it would be shot down, providing an excuse for invasion. Did this brilliant idea originate from the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I wonder — maybe even from the Chairman personally ? It could have come straight from the pages of Northwoods, which includes plans for aircraft being used to provoke Cuba.

For anyone remotely interested in the principles of international law — which obviously excludes every member of the Bush Cabinet — Geneva Conventions, 1977 Protocol, Article 37: "It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy ... The following acts are examples of perfidy ... The feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations ..." ; Article 38: "It is prohibited to make use of the distinctive emblem of the United Nations, except as authorised by that Organisation." If the spy plane brainwave is legal, 9/11 is legal — and John Ashcroft would have been just the man to say so.

9/11 represents a face of the USA that has been put on public display countless times before, and only the naive, self-deluded or mendacious can deny it. This is the USA of My Lai — the USA of Abu Ghraib and Guantαnamo — the USA of Bay of Pigs and U-2 — the USA of Guatemala 1954, Chile 1973, Grenada 1983, Panama 1989, Iraq 2003 and many others — the USA of Hussein, Pinochet, Suharto, Somoza, Mobutu, and many others — the USA of the Khmer Rouge being sponsored at the UN for years after their genocide was ended by Vietnam — the USA of Richard Nixon and Watergate — the USA of Kennedy, Kennedy, King and others — the USA of slavery and the KKK — the USA of eugenics, 40 years before Hitler — the USA of Hitler's heroes, Henry Ford and Madison Grant — the USA of Hitler's scientists and spy chiefs, of Wernher von Braun and Reinhard Gehlen — the USA of Operation Paperclip — the USA of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — the USA of the firebombing that preceded them, and killed more (directed by Curtis LeMay of Northwoods, notorious long before it) — the USA of the amnesty for Shiro Ishii and his Unit 731 colleagues — the USA of MK-ULTRA and Dr Sidney Gottlieb — the USA of Tuskegee — the USA of Edward Teller and Henry Kissinger — the USA of the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations, Richard Myers' last gift to the world before he retired — the USA of Wounded Knee and entire peoples who only survive in placenames — etc, ad infinitum. Could the USA have committed 9/11 ? With a history like that, the question is as frankly insulting as "Why do they hate us ?"

With America now based, long-term, in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iraq, and everyone else under US domination — by general consensus, unthinkable (that word again) before 2001 — who can deny that, in those terms, 9/11 was a "success" ? But hardly for those alleged to be behind it. What kind of success is it to make your supposed enemy not weaker, but stronger than ever ? And how strange — or not — that should be the result every time the USA is the alleged victim, rather than the victimiser: Mexico 1846 — Cuba 1898 — Hawaii 1941 — New York and Washington 2001 — the attacks variously provoked, engineered or self-inflicted; where there's a need, there's a way.

Every 50 years or so, the same con pulled on a US public that seems to learn nothing: you have to be totally brainless not to see the pattern — but that description would suit the millions of Americans, the shame and laughing stock of the civilised world, who all along have dutifully swallowed every word of the Evil Terrorist Mastermind story, straight from a Superman comic or a Hollywood fantasy, because they are incapable of handling anything more complex, like the real world around them.