Monday, April 16, 2007

[wvns] Elias Davidsson: 9/11 Matters!

This is why 9/11 matters!
by Elias Davidsson
edavid @ simnet.is
2 April 2007


A number of people, particularly in the Left, maintain that it does
not really matter who committed the atrocities of September 11, 2001 -
reactionary Muslim fanatics, the US imperialists, or whoever.
According to this view, insisting on identifying the culprits does not
advance the interests of the working class or of oppressed people
around the world but constitutes a bourgeois diversion. What matters,
say some, are the consequences of 9/11, such as the wars of aggression
against Afghanistan and Iraq, the establishment of secret prisons,
policies of prolonged detention of suspects without due process and
access to lawyers, policies of torture, increased police powers
typical of states of emergency, etc. Another argument against
focusing on the events of 9/11 is the fact that in terms of human
harm, these events are minute in comparison to the daily deaths of
about 30,000 children from preventable causes (the equivalent of 10
nine-elevent calamities, every single day), or the deaths of 4-5
million people in the civil war in Congo in recent years. The last
argument has undoubtedly merit. Prioritizing problems according to
their extent in terms of human suffering is certainly a legitimate
approach but is not necessarily the most effective one.

To be fair, there has been no real debate whether it does or does not
matter who committed the atrocities of 9/11. Most Leftists take the
official account on these events for granted and show no interest in
even examining the issue from a moral, legal or political perspective.

In the following article, I will attempt to show that there are a
number of compelling reasons why determining the truth on the events
of 9/11 is of acute relevance to all people who are concerned about
world peace, justice, the rule of law and democracy. It is my view
that the quest for the truth on the events of 9/11 may be the most
potent, and possibly only, revolutionary strategy available today to
oppose imperialism, militarism and the neoliberal agenda.

I will first dispose of the claim that combating for the full truth on
9/11 is a diversion from more important political issues. It must be
remembered that most 9/11 skeptics are also opponents of the US wars
against Iraq and Afghanistan and of the human rights violations
committed by the US government against its citizens and foreigners in
the name of the "war on terror". The issue is thus not either/or but
that of prioritizing issues. The question of priorities can only be
pursued, however, once the facts are established. Governments are not
forthcoming in revealing the true facts on 9/11. With this article, I
attempt to demonstrate the potency of 9/11-truth as a revolutionary
democratic tool.

1. The first reason why 9/11 matters is rather mundane and might seem
trivial to some people. The reason is that the victims of a crime -
and this includes relatives of the dead - are entitled to know the
truth, namely the What, How, When, Who and Where of the crime. This
entitlement is both moral and legal. While US domestic law does not
provide victims of a crime with a legal right to the truth,
international and regional human rights judicial bodies have inferred
the right to the truth from various fundamental human rights. States
have also recognized the right to the truth by the establishment of
Truth Commissions. The right to the truth is also regarded as one of
the remedies due to victims of crimes. To deny to relatives of
victims the right to know how, when and where their loved-one died and
who was responsible for the death, is cruel. In many cases,
determining the facts of a crime is the key for relatives of victims
to obtain compensation. In order to circumvent the obligation to
provide the truth, the US government offered relatives of 9/11 victims
a deal: It would provide them with a substantial financial
compensation - at the average $1.8 million per victim - if they
accept not to sue anyone, that is not to force discovery of
incriminating evidence through the courts. To claim that it is
"irrelevant" who committed the mass murder would be rightly regarded
as cynical by the stakeholders.

2. The second reason is simply that the perpetrators of any crime
should be identified, prosecuted and punished. Law-enforcement serves
both to protect society from harm, deter further crime through
punishment and attempt to rehabilitate the offender. This is one of
the obligation states bear towards its citizens. Due to the massive
and premeditated nature of this mass murder, the events of 9/11 should
be designated as a crime against humanity. The UN General Assembly
has proclaimed by its resolution 3074(XXVIII) of 3 December 1973 the
principles of international cooperation in the detection, arrest,
extradition and punishment of persons guilty of war crimes and crimes
against humanity. According to Principle 1, "war crimes and crimes
against humanity, wherever they are committed, shall be subject to
investigation and the persons against whom there is evidence that they
have committed such crimes shall be subject to tracing, arrest, trial
and, if found guilty, to punishment." According to Principle 8,
"States shall not take any legislative or other measures which may be
prejudicial to the international obligations they have assumed in
regard to the detection, arrest, extradition and punishment-of persons
guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity." While this
Proclamation by the General Assembly is not binding on states, it
contributes - because it was not opposed by any member state - to the
crystallization of an international customary norm, which then becomes
a binding upon states even without any formal treaty. This
Proclamation, incidentally, was adopted without opposition. The
establishment of the International Criminal Court was one additional
step in ensuring that individuals who commit international crimes be
brought to justice, even when states are unwilling or unable to do so.
On September 12, 2001, the UN Security Council, by resolution
1368(2001). called on all member states to "work together urgently to
bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these
terrorist (sic) attacks [of September 11, 2001] and stresses that
those responsible for aiding, supporting or harboring the
perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held
accountable; cooperate in view of securing the prosecution of those
who committed this crime." As the perpetrators, organizers and
sponsors of 9/11 have not been brought to justice, the resolution of
the Security Council has not been fulfilled. The United States
government has failed to "investigate" the crime of 9/11. Exactly four
weeks after 9/11, former US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, and
former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, specifically ordered FBI
personnel to put aside the investigation of this mass murder if any
suspicion arises about new terrorist threats. It is therefore no
wonder that the FBI did not publicize any results of its investigation
and that no person has been charged, let alone prosecuted, for
planning or participating in this mass murder. By claiming that it
"does not matter" who committed 9/11, the speaker would implicitly
endorse the principle of impunity for a crime against humanity and
show disregard for international legal norms.

3. The third reason is related to our individual and collective
security. No person has been prosecuted for planning, organizing
and/or participating in the crime of 9/11, because none has been
actually identified and linked to the crime. This may come as a
surprise to some readers. Yet, there is no verifiable evidence that
the 19 individuals named by the FBI as the 9/11 hijackers, actually
boarded the aircraft which crashed on that day: Their names do not
appear on passenger lists; no person has testified to have seen them
board the aircraft; and their bodily remains have not been identified.
As far as we know, the claim that Muslim fanatics hijacked four
aircraft on 9/11 remains an unsubstantiated allegation, not a fact.
As for the planners of 9/11, the US holds in custody a person by the
name of Khaled Mohammed Sheikh, who US leaders have designated as the
mastermind of 9/11. He allegedly confessed in March 2007 to have
planned the mass murder of 9/11 and 30 other terrorist crimes around
the world. Yet, the person who made this confession has not been seen
by any outside observer, judge, journalist or human rights worker,
since his alleged arrest. That person's identity remains shrouded in
mystery. It is not certain that the person who made this alleged
confession is at all Khaled Mohammed Sheikh, or any other person, for
that matter. Apart from the failure to properly identify that person,
it is not known under which conditions that person's confession was
made, whether that person was tortured or whether certain promises
were made to that person in order to secure his "confession".
Serious questions remain about the authenticity of the confession,
particularly because the alleged prisoner confessed to crimes, which
he could not have planned (because he was already in prison by that
time). And even if the real Khaled Mohammed Sheikh made that
confession, his confession would not prove that the 19 individuals
accused of having committed the mass murder, actually did it, unless
he, or other persons, can prove that these 19 Muslims actually boarded
the aircraft, were capable of executing their crime and did actually
execute it. The bottom line is that we do not actually know who
planned and committed the mass murder of 9/11. Much more evidence
actually exists which suggests that the US government, not a gang of
Muslims has planned and perpetrated the mass murder of 9/11. As no
conclusive evidence has been presented as to the identity of the
planners and perpetrators, it follows that they may be still out in
freedom and able to mount further atrocities. This danger is
particularly grave if the crime of 9/11 had been perpetrated at the
behest of the US government. So much is at stake here, that those who
refuse to inquire who committed 9/11, engage in reckless and
irresponsible conduct towards themselves, their families and their
societies.

4. The fourth reason is that the events of 9/11 have been used to
justify wars of aggression. The events of 9/11 have allowed the
United States and NATO to legitimate wars of aggression and military
occupation of sovereign states. The aggression against Afghanistan
was justified directly by the reference to 9/11. On October 2, 2001,
the NATO Council was presented by the US emissary with "evidence" of
links between Osama bin Laden and the events of 9/11. On that base the
Council, representing all NATO states, invoked for the first time
Article 5 of the Atlantic Charter, by which NATO equated the "attack
on the United States" as an attack on all NATO members. By virtue of
the concept of collective security, NATO fully endorsed US aggression
against Afghanistan. The United Nations Security Council was
bamboozled as early as September 12, 2001 to designate the events of
the previous day as "international" terrorism. Yet the Council was not
provided with even a shred of evidence that the mass murder had
emanated from outside the United States, let alone from Afghanistan.
It is not known whether some members of the Security Council had
foreknowledge of the events, were bribed to designate the events in
such a language or simply engaged in sloppy drafting. It became
shortly later obvious, however, that the Security Council gladly
espoused the official account peddled by the US administration and
designated terrorism as one of the "most serious threats to peace and
security", without even bothering to substantiate this factual
designation. NATO and the European Union equally placed the fight
against international terrorism at the top of their priorities in
security issues. This campaign relies on the maintenance of a public
fear of terrorism. If it can be shown that the events of 9/11 were
not an act of international terrorism, but a "false flag operation" by
the US government, it becomes easier not only to expose the foreign
policies of the United States as illegal, but to expose the deceptive
nature of the counter-terror ideology promoted by the Security
Council, NATO and the European Union. It must be recalled that "false
flag operations", (terrorist acts staged by secret services and
attributed to enemies) have been committed both by the US and NATO in
the last decades (see
http://www.aldeilis.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=24&id=257&Itemid=141).

5. The fifth reason is that the events of 9/11 were followed by the
most successful propaganda operation in contemporary history. No
precedent exists for such a mass indoctrination under conditions of
peace, the free flow of information and the Internet age. Historians
and media scholars have not yet come to grips with this phenomenon.
The success of this operation can be gauged by the fact that
practically entire nations, including nations' intellectual elites and
political classes, were made to believe that the mass murder of 9/11
had been masterminded by Osama bin Laden and carried out by 19 fanatic
Muslims. An analysis of this mass propaganda easily reveals the
techniques used to establish this myth. Among these techniques were
stories disseminated by the FBI, such as that a Qur'an and a flight
instruction manual were found in a car left by the hijackers at the
airport in Boston; that a will in Arabic was found in a suitcase which
"did not make it to the flight"; that an intact passport of one of the
"hijackers" was found in the ruins of the World Trade Center minutes
after the crash of the aircraft, and other such stories impressing
upon ordinary citizens that the perpetrators were fanatic Muslims. At
the same time, mass media consciously refused to publicize information
relative to 9/11 which might have undermined the official account,
such as testimonies of firefighters who reported having seen, heard or
experienced multiple explosions in the World Trade towers prior to the
collapse of the towers (suggesting that pre-placed explosives
demolished the towers) or testimonies by residents of a village in
Pennsylvania who did not see any evidence of a plane crash at the
alleged crash site. Lately, as millions of Americans are beginning to
doubt the official account, mass media started a campaign to ridicule
and disparage through ad hominem attacks those who express doubts
about that account. This campaign reflects desperate efforts to
contain the proliferation of facts through the Internet, which the
media has shut out. By demanding the full truth on the events of
9/11, it becomes easier to expose the role that mass media play in
today's world, as adjunct of the ruling elite. Demanding the truth on
9/11 can serve as a powerful educational tool.

6. The sixth reason is that the official account on 9/11 has been one
of the main justifications for restrictions to human rights and for
increased police powers, verging on police-state methods. Some people
claim that to oppose these measures it is unnecessary to find out who
actually committed the mass murder of 9/11. On other hand, if one
accepts the official discourse on 9/11 and the ideology on the rise of
Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, one must accept at least some
justifications for these measures. If, however, it can be shown that
the official discourse on 9/11 and on Islamic terrorism is fraudulent,
it becomes much easier to expose not only the various human rights and
constitutional violations as unjustified, but demand the complete
cancellation of these measures.

7. The seventh reason is that the events of 9/11 have helped
governments to increase the level of secrecy and thus reduce
government accountability. Such development is not new but reduces
still further the existing rests of democracy. By demanding the full
truth on the events of 9/11, the failure of democracy can be made more
apparent. The quest for the truth on 9/11 can lead to the quest of
accountability on other issues and help to reclaim democratic rights.
Those who support democracy, namely the rule by the people, of the
people, will find that demanding the truth on 9/11 would help to
restore some of the lost features of democracy.

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