September 11: The circumstantial case


September 11: The circumstantial case
By Bill Molson
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Apri115, 2002—Since September 11, reports have been dribbling out, one at a time, that are by themselves disturbing, but taken all together lead to a shocking conspiracy involving the highest levels of government.

The reports have been scattered across newspapers and Internet sites all around the world, consequently, they have not been collected in one single place to date save for independent news sites on the Internet. For whatever reasons, the corporate media have steadfastly avoided dealing with them in any significant way. Perhaps they do not want to enter thorny speculative ground or be labeled as "conspiracy theorists." Or perhaps they believe the necessary conclusions would offend a nation focused on its own unity and patriotism. Consequently, these facts have been swept under the rug. Yet, they are there for all to see.

It is precisely for reasons of patriotism that these avenues need to be pursued. If they are true, they represent a clear and present danger to the United States from within our borders and from the very people we entrust to protect us. A failure to listen to facts and conclusions that are unpleasant or disturbing will not help us, rather it will only play into the hands of those who want to make us less free.

Here we will examine, and make a circumstantial case, that the CIA and the executive branch knew in advance about the attacks, and may have even encouraged them. Since the smoking gun has yet to be found, this is the best that can be offered. Because the CIA is one of our nation's most important, and most secretive, investigative bodies, it might be impossible to ever ascertain the truth of the matter. However, steps need to be taken now by Congress to deal with these facts on some level, either to prove or disprove them. The people, who are being asked to sacrifice by their government, ought to be told the whole truth.

Insider Trades

On September 29, 2001, not long after the attacks, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that 2.5 million dollars in stock profits made from United Airlines went uncollected. The money was made using two stock market tricks that net investors big profits when stocks fall—"put" options and "short selling." Put options are agreements to sell a certain stock on a certain date at a fixed price, meaning the owner profits when the stocks fall below that price. Short selling involves borrowing stock and then selling it, hoping to buy it back at a lower price.

In the three business days before the attack, put options on United and American Airlines skyrocketed. The Chronicle reports that on one day, put options on United Airlines shares jumped 25 percent from the year-to-date average. In the month before the attacks, short sales on American and United jumped by 20 and 40 percent, respectively. The trades were not replicated in the stocks of any other airlines.

Some of the United Airlines put options were purchased through Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, which is the American investment banking arm of Deutsche Bank, one of the world's largest investment firms. Deutsche Bank was also the source in unusual trading patterns of Merrill Lynch stock, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter stock, and stock in Munich Re and the AXA Group, two of the insurers of the World Trade Center.

What makes this particularly of note is that, until 1997, the head of Alex Brown was A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, who is now the third in command of the CIA. He is essentially the agency's chief operating officer. He was appointed to that position in March 2001, after serving for three years as a counselor to CIA Director George Tenet.

Krongard presided over the sale of Alex Brown to Bankers Trust Corp in 1997. The new company was bought out by Deutsche Bank AG in 1999.

Mayo Shattuck III was the CEO of private banking and asset management for the Americas at the time of the attacks. He had been Krongard's second-in command, and was a major player in both of the bank's recent mergers. In September of 2001, he resigned from his $7 million a year position.

Where he turned up is interesting. According to his "Businessperson of the Year" profile in the Baltimore Business Journal, Shattuck was named president and CEO of Constellation Energy in what the Journal described last October as "a surprise move." Even Shattuck described it as coming "from right field." The article points out that Shattuck has no experience in the energy industry, and "lacks in-depth knowledge on many issues facing Constellation."

Constellation Energy is a major player in the nuclear power plant industry. On May 23, 2001, the head of Constellation Energy and Shattuck's predecessor, Christian Poindexter, met with Vice President Dick Cheney, Bush political advisor Karl Rove, and energy task force director Andrew Lundquist. Poindexter is quoted in The New York Times: "In my wildest dreams when I was over at the White House in March, I couldn't imagine them getting so behind us." Shattuck's appointment raises questions given Cheney's extraordinary measures to keep the dealings of his energy panel secret.

The current assumption is that somehow Osama bin Laden or one of his lieutenants was the source of the transactions. But consider, according to the video of bin Laden speaking to some of his accomplices which was released by the Pentagon, not even all of the hijackers knew the details of their mission. It seems unlikely bin Laden would reveal the details to anyone with the need for secrecy inherent in the mission. Surely he would have known his assets would be frozen and that he would be hunted down. Why would he risk detection to try and attain profits he would never see? And if not bin Laden, who else would be in a position to cleverly play the market this way? Although bin Laden has (or had) wide-ranging investments, there is no evidence to indicate he was a stock market wizard. Would he have done enough homework find out who the insurers of the World Trade Center were? And why use an American investment banking firm with clear ties to the CIA?

The Anthrax Attacks

On February 5 of this year, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg of the Federation of American Scientists dropped a bombshell. Although it received inexplicably scant attention in the corporate media, the report makes an almost airtight case that an element in the CIA was the source for the anthrax attacks which occurred following the September 11 attacks. From her report:

The anthrax was the Ames strain, which is possessed by only 20 labs in the U.S., of which only four possess the capability to "weaponize" it. Genetic analysis showed that the letter strain was identical to the anthrax stocks at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland; Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, the UK defense establishment at Porton Down, Gruinard island in northwest

Scotland; Louisiana State University, and Northern Arizona State University. USAMRIID provided the strain to the Canadian defense establishment at Suffield, the University of New Mexico, and Battelle Memorial Institute. Excluding the universities, which are involved in the investigation, and the foreign labs, suspicion falls on USAMRIID, Dugway and Battelle as the source of the anthrax.

While insiders report that it would have been easy to remove 10 grams of anthrax from Fort Detrick, removing 10 grams of weaponized anthrax would have been extremely difficult.

The "weaponization" process was extremely effective. The extraordinary concentration of spores (1 trillion per gram) and purity is characteristic of the optimal U.S. process, which is a secret. The anthrax was unmilled, as per the optimal U.S. process. There is no evidence that any other country possesses the formula. The Daschle letter used a special form of silica, used in the U.S. process, and does not contain Bentonite which is used by Iraq.

A classified report dated February 1999 discusses responses to an anthrax attack through the U.S. mail. The report was prepared by the holder of the secret weaponization process patents—Bill Patrick, and was prepared under a CIA contract to the SAIC. The report describes an anthrax attack using eerily similar methods to those actually used in the real attacks. The report assumed 2.5 grams of poor quality anthrax per envelope, while the Daschle letter contained two grams of high quality anthrax.

The block handwriting on the letters was chosen by design to throw off investigators. While the letters contained statements such as "death to America" and "Allah is great!" the tilt of the writing clearly indicates it was written by someone not from the Middle East.

The danger of handling the anthrax indicates that the perpetrator had been vaccinated, and the anthrax vaccine is in short supply and not readily available. In addition, it requires a yearly booster shot, meaning the handler had an up-to-date shot before the attacks. Also, whoever handled the letters was able to conceal his identity, indicating forensic experience.

The choice of the media as targets seems to indicate that the perpetrator was more interested in publicity than murder, which would be the inverse of an actual anti-American terrorist who would want to kill without detection. The letters warned recipients that they contained anthrax, and some even suggested taking antibiotics. It is unlikely the perpetrator knew that some of the spores would penetrate the letters during the mail handling process. It is also telling that the only two political recipients of the anthrax were Democrats—Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Majority Leader Tom Daschle of North Dakota, both opponents of Bush's policies. No one in the executive branch was targeted.

An anonymous letter sent before the attacks attempted to frame an Egyptian-born scientist who was laid off from USAMRIID. The letter claimed that the anonymous author has worked with the man, Dr. Ayaad Assaad, and had details about him that only an insider would know. The FBI questioned Assaad, and cleared him of any suspicion in the case.

It is widely known that due to knowledge requirements of both microbiology and engineering, only terrorists with state sponsorship could carry out a sophisticated biological attack. Clearly the anthrax attacks were meant to indicate that anti-American terrorists were being sponsored by a foreign state, almost certainly Iraq. A lone rogue would have no reason to frame Iraq, but the Bush administration would have a clear mandate and overwhelming public support to take out Saddam Hussein. Given the Bush administration's subsequent intention to invade Iraq no matter what, suspicion must be cast on elements who are favorable to the Bush administration.

One thing is certain, the attacks have stopped. Rosenberg has publicly stated that the FBI knows who the perpetrator is, but is not revealing its findings. Doesn't the public have a right to know what its own investigative body has found?

The Mysterious Le Figaro Article

On November 1, the French Newspaper Le Figaro reported a stunning assertion—that a lone CIA agent met with Osama bin Laden in July of 2001 while he was undergoing kidney dialysis at a hospital in Dubai. The article claims that the agent bragged to friends about meeting bin Laden, and was then called back to CIA headquarters. The agent was, according to the article, "known by many in Dubai." The article also states that bin Laden was visited by several family members.

Perhaps because of the astonishing nature of the claim, or perhaps because of the lack of corroboration, this has gone virtually unreported in by the U.S. corporate media. Yet, Le Figaro continues to stand by the story.

The assertion that bin Laden was visited by family members appears to contradict the assertion that he has been completely disowned. Two of bin Laden's relatives, including his brother Abdullah, lived in Falls Church, Virginia, near CIA headquarters and just down the street from a house that four of the hijackers listed as their address. The FBI had been investigating their connections to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, which was suspected of helping fund terrorists. However, the FBI was told to back off the investigation soon after Bush became president.

Finally, Le Figaro is owned by the Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group is the eleventh largest defense contractor in the U.S., and one of the world's largest and most powerful private equity investment firms. Its current directors include former President George H. W. Bush, and until September, one of its investors was the bin Laden family. In fact, Shafig bin Laden, Osama's brother, was attending a Carlyle conference in Washington D.C. on September 11. In a recent article in Fortune Magazine on the Carlyle Group, writer Melanie Warner mentions receiving an email from a tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley stating, "Be careful, the rabbit hole runs really deep on this one."

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