From BEHIND THE SCENES... (FBS) No. 6 November 2001




Just as the Gulf War in 1991 was basically about oil (see From Behind the Scenes 5) this latest war is no less about oil. It is about access to the vast so far untapped petroleum reserves of Central Asia. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have vast proven reserves of oil and natural gas. Pipelines would need to be laid across Afghanistan and down to the coast of Pakistan to connect these reserves to international markets. Afghanistan itself has significant oil and gas deposits. Soon after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 1996, their leaders were on their way to Houston Texas to be entertained by US oil company UNOCAL. UNOCAL withdrew in 1998 because of US cruise missile attacks on Osama bin Laden’s terrorist training camps in Afghanistan - the US government claimed bin Laden was behind the bombing of its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998. UNOCAL then stated that the project would have to wait until Afghanistan achieved the "peace and stability necessary to obtain financing from international agencies and a government that is recognised by the United States and the United Nations". The overthrow of the Taliban in this war would clearly provide an opportunity of making UNOCAL's wish come true….. (Source: Ranjit Devraj, Asia Times 8/10/01) Once the Taliban have gone, an United Nations peace keeping force is likely to be put in place until a compliant regime has been installed in Kabul!


The Taliban never refused outright to hand over Osama bin Laden. They asked for evidence of his involvement in the September 11th outrages - this is normal for any request to extradite a suspect from one country to another. They also agreed to extradite him to a neutral country (Pakistan ) where the evidence against him was to be put before an international tribunal within the framework of Islamic Sharia law. The US and British governments simply refused to talk to the Taliban. The United Nations, the international body set up after World War 2 to avoid wars and settle international disputes peacefully wherever possible, was sidelined. The UN Security Council in resolution 1368 agreed to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks and to combat all forms of terrorism in accordance with its responsibilities under the UN Charter…. But it has NOT authorised the use of force. An immediate massive international response with food aid etc. to show the people of Afghanistan that we really care about them, could have helped undermine support for the Taliban and the terrorist networks, which the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan point out is very limited in Afghanistan.


No-one directly implicated so far in the 11th. September outrages is an Afghan. Most were Saudis who apparently did their preparation and planning in Germany, where arrests took place in Hamburg within days of 11th. September. Yet one of the poorest most devastated countries in the world is being bombarded by the world’s richest most affluent nation causing outrage in many quarters across the world. There was already a humanitarian crisis before the bombing started – brought about by years of internal fighting between warring factions supported from outside, and a prolonged drought. The bombing has worsened the situation, with the aid agencies unable to provide proper ground based relief operations. (The air drops of food are wholly inadequate). Villages, homes, hospitals, red cross food depots - all have been hit and the civilian death toll climbs daily. Vital time before the onset of winter in which to distribute food, has been lost. Although largely ignored by the media, THERE ARE PROTESTS ALL OVER THE WORLD INCLUDING IN THE UNITED STATES – even some of those who lost loved ones in New York and Washington are passionately opposed to this war. The NORTHERN ALLIANCE, now in control of much of Afghanistan, including Kabul, had an appalling human rights record when previously in control from 1992 to 1996. People have fled Kabul in fear of their return and already there are reports of atrocities in the areas they now control. (Source: Amnesty International news release). But perhaps now it may be possible to get proper relief to the people in some parts of the country.


Osama bin Laden and his supporters were trained in terrorist tactics by the American Criminal Intelligence Agency (CIA) acting in conjunction with Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI), to fight the Russians in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. (Source: Who is Osama bin Laden? by Michel Chossudovsky) However the U.S. has a terrorist training facility at home as well. Set up in 1946, it was called the "School of the Americas" but has recently renamed itself the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Co-operation. Its victims massively outnumber those killed on September 11th. It is based in Fort Benning, Georgia, and it is funded by the US government. It has trained more than 60,000 soldiers and policemen in Central and South America. Among its graduates are many of the continent's most notorious torturers, mass murderers, dictators and state terrorists. For example, in 1993, the United Nations truth commission on El Salvador named the army officers who had committed the worst atrocities of the civil war. Two-thirds of them had been trained at the School of the Americas, including Roberto D'Aubuisson, the leader of El Salvador's death squads; the men who killed Archbishop Oscar Romero; and 19 of the 26 soldiers who murdered the Jesuit priests in 1989. In Chile, the school's graduates ran both Augusto Pinochet's secret police and his three principal concentration camps.
Argentina's dictators Roberto Viola and Leopoldo Galtieri, Panama's Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos, Peru's Juan Velasco Alvarado and Ecuador's Guillermo Rodriguez all benefited from the school's instruction. So did the leader of the Grupo Colina death squad in Fujimori's Peru; four of the five officers who ran the infamous Battalion 3-16 in Honduras (which controlled the death squads there in the 1980s) and the commander responsible for the 1994 Ocosingo massacre in Mexico. SOA graduates are also involved in the dirty war now being waged in Colombia. Last year, Human Rights Watch revealed that seven former pupils are running paramilitary groups there and have commissioned kidnappings, disappearances, murders and massacres. In February this year an SOA graduate in Colombia was convicted of complicity in the torture and killing of 30 peasants by paramilitaries. In 1996, the US government was forced to release seven of the school's training manuals. Among other top tips for terrorists, they recommended blackmail, torture, execution and the arrest of witnesses' relatives.
(Source: George Monbiot The Guardian 30/10/01)

TO ASCERTAIN WHO MIGHT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A CRIME ASK: WHO BENEFITS..? Are the powers that be the real beneficiaries of September 11th?

The September 11th. horrors are being used first as the excuse for the war against Afghanistan (and perhaps much more) and secondly as the excuse to bring in a mass of legislation seriously curtailing personal liberties and to curb political dissent across the western world. These plans were announced immediately after the attacks, suggesting maybe they were ready laid in advance. There is virtually no published evidence against bin Laden – the government dossier containing 70 points published at the beginning of October (of which I have a copy) is widely regarded as no more than conjecture, supposition and unsupported assertions of fact. So might US policy makers have played a role in what happened? This may not be as far fetched as it seems. American policy makers have repeatedly employed their intelligence services and military in the blatant interference in the sovereign affairs of foreign governments. Pro-US governments have been installed, and those administrations with an unfavourable disposition towards the U.S. have been deliberately toppled. These are not the acts of a "peaceful nation". These are generally covert operations, often involving the CIA. Having noted US intelligence agencies capacity for foreign intrigue, we should look at the use of a tactic of self-inflicted injuries to promote a war response:-

The U.S. Government lied to the American people about the following events, each of which led the United States to war.

1898 - Sinking of the battleship Maine
. (Spanish American War) - The battleship Maine was not in fact attacked by the Spanish, but was blown up by an internal explosion we have since learned. The desire for revenge was translated into the capture of the Philippines, which harbour US military bases to this day.

1915 - The sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania – torpedoed by a German submarine. Over 1000 people, including many Americans, died. This hardened public opinion in the US against neutrality and helped bring the US into World War 1. U.S. intervention was needed to break the stalemate on the western front. The Lusitania’s cargo included war munitions, she was built to battle cruiser specifications, painted grey and was allowed to pass through U boat infested waters in broad daylight instead of at night. (Source: The Lusitania Sinking – Outrage or Provocation? – Barnes Review, May 1996)
1941 - The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour which brought the U.S. into World War 2

Officially this took everyone completely by surprise. However a new book "Day of Deceit: the Truth about Roosevelt And Pearl Harbour" reveals that President Roosevelt and his top advisers were aware of a planned Japanese attack as was Winston Churchill. The military at Pearl Harbour were kept in the dark. Economic sanctions were used to help provoke an attack, because it was reckoned that without the US entering the war, Britain had little hope of defeating Germany. With Germany and Japan tied by an alliance, war against Japan by the US meant war against Germany. The so called "surprise" led to public outrage and immediate support for entering the war. More than 2000 people died in the attack .

1964 - The Gulf of Tonkin affair. (Vietnam War)

The Gulf of Tonkin Incident gave President Johnson an excuse to escalate the Vietnam War. Supposedly, in that incident, a North Vietnamese boat launched torpedoes in an attempt to sink an American warship. It is now generally accepted by historians that the attack did not occur, and that Johnson had been preparing to escalate all along.

History shows that when the U.S. has embarked on a major military venture, this has been made possible by a dramatic incident which aroused public sentiment overwhelmingly in favour of military action. These incidents have always been accepted at face value when they occurred, but in each case, it emerges later that the incidents were highly suspicious, and the ensuing military action served some greater geopolitical design.


1991 - The attack itself resembles a 1991 plan to crash hijacked planes in Madrid. (Source: The Times 14/9/01)

According to Rafael Vera, Spain’s then Secretary for Security, Islamic extremists had planned to hijack 2 planes and crash them into the Royal Palace which was to host a reception for world leaders , and a hotel housing the Russian delegation. The plan was foiled thanks to help from Arab intelligence agencies, but the warning was clear.

1995 - Bin Laden supporter tells of a plot to hijack planes and crash them into targets in the US. (Source: Maria Ressa of CNN)

Abdul Hakim Murad, arrested in the Phillipines told of plans to target the CIA headquarters and the Pentagon. Phillipine intelligence officers passed this information on to US intelligence.

U.S. planned military action before 11th. Sept. A former Pakistani diplomat told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Afghanistan before September 11th. Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by mid October. Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan in Berlin. Mr Naik said that US representatives said that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly, America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. The wider objective would be to topple the Taliban and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place - possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah. (Source: BBC website mid late September)

This may explain why:- 1) If it exists, no real evidence about bin Laden’s involvement is being made public – if it was, it might show that US intelligence services must have known or suspected that something was going to happen. 2) The intelligence services were able to put together a picture of what they claimed happened so quickly after the event. 3) If the war was planned ahead they may have known that an atrocity was imminent to provide the excuse for the war.


1)Terrorists usually claim responsibility for acts of terror to highlight their cause – bin Laden has repeatedly denied involvement in September 11th.

2) No alert was issued despite the departure from their flight path of four aircraft and the switching off of their transponders, which enable radar tracking. No reports of aircraft contacting airports to communicate a disturbance during the period they were taken over, or of air traffic controllers trying desperately to contact the planes once they left their designated flight paths. Why was it 2 months (16th. Nov.) before the release of a voice recording said to relate to the take-over of the aircraft that crashed before reaching its target.
3) Whilst Boeing planes are said to be straightforward to fly, it also said that the piloting expertise actually necessary to strike the Trade Centre towers with the accuracy, and in particular the altitude, required was a task involving the greatest experience and skill.
4) The wife of a US Senator on board one of the doomed airliners asked by phone, in the final moments, "what shall we ask the pilot to do?" This clearly indicates that the pilot was seen to be in a position to do
something and strongly implies that the pilot, not one of the hijackers, was in control of the aircraft at that point – having previously agreed to adjust altitude and direction to bring the plane close to a mass civilian population!

5) In the first few hours after the attack, it was reckoned that the pilots themselves were part of the attack. Astonishment was expressed by several experienced commentators at the level of organisation required to train pilots for suicide missions, find them employment, then so accurately timetable and synchronise their suicide missions. This scenario has since been completely ignored. But if the pilots themselves, or some of them, were part of the attack, this would suggest a highly sophisticated level of organisation completely at odds with the pen-knife theory.

6) The use of FOUR aircraft. Military analysts have stated the use of just two aircraft does not double the complexity of the operation, it increases the risk and co-ordination demands by perhaps 100 fold. The risks of prior detection, and thus complete failure of the project, were simply vast and highlights again the competence of the hijackers, incompetence of the intelligence services, or it suggests that the missions were, in some way, assured.
7) All four of the aircraft - less than 25-30% of the seats were occupied, which is well below average for such flights. This fact has been taken by some to imply that the passenger numbers were somehow kept down in order to ensure the hijackers were able to gain control of the aircraft. Again, extensive prior organisation is implied.

The connections between the hijackers and Islamic terrorist groups seems very clear. But could Islamic terrorists really have pulled off this extraordinary operation unassisted and without detection? Is it now a question of whether what happened can be more fully explained as the work of Islamic extremism plus other agencies? Is Islamic extremism is being harnessed by a greater power, and if so what might that greater power might be? At present there are many more questions than answers. A final observation:-


Although a number of banks and financial institutions had offices in the towers, only their back office people worked there. The big bosses – "the masters of the universe" - housed themselves in smart offices in some cases nearby, but often well away in midtown Manhatten. It seems that they regarded the towers as too much of a risk, especially after the 1993 basement bomb. The people who worked and died there were ordinary folk - bus and subway commuters including numerous government employees. (Source: "An Ordinary Life" – The Independent, Saturday Review 15/9/01)

The source for much of pages 2 and 3, unless otherwise indicated is a 17 page detailed account "Written in Belief" by economist and teacher Michael Rowbotham who has written two books on debt, the global economy and monetary reform. I can supply a copy for 1.30 by post, or free by e-mail.

RICHARD GREAVES The Old Stables, Cusop, Herefordshire, HR3 5RQ. Tel 01497 821406 E-mail: