Dear Friends and Colleagues:
We have returned to campus during "interesting times," when the world's
leading democracies, including the United States, are threatened with
government censorship, and the ironies of history are spliting minorities
against minorities, while the model of 19th Century colonialism has returned
from the grave to haunt us as never before.
Below, our colleague Professor Richard DuBoff of Pennsyulvania has sent
some materials which sholuld shed light on these dark days. First is a
critical statement from "the lesser evil" himself: Jimmy Carter --famous for
his support of the holy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan-- who
seems to be telling it like it is. Will the infamous "invisible government"
finally take over US democracy and establish a modern-day Sparta, a
militarized state run by oligarchs, such as Dick Cheney? Fromer president
Carter sees a distinct threat!
Secondly, the questions never asked (and, of course, never answered)
the 9/11 catastrophe. Has 9/11 realy changed the world, or is the old addage
correct: "plus ça change, plus c'est le même chose!"? Is the Cold War over,
or has the United States simply found a replacement for the "Soviet Threat"?
Our Research Center in Grenoble thanks Professor DuBoff and Professor
Herman for their continued support of critical thinking and for passing on
useful information to our the students and scholars associated with our Center.
We also thank Professor Gabriel Kolko for the copy of his recent book,
"Another Century of War?", which gives historic definition to the events of
9/11 and the actors in this tragic drama.
To all our friends and colleagues we at the Center wish you a productive
As usual, if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please notify
Center, by return mail, above.
Director of Research
University of Grenoble 3
Washington Post, Thursday, September 5, 2002; Page A31
The Troubling New Face of America
by Jimmy Carter
Fundamental changes are taking place in the historical policies of
the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the
community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely
without definitive debates (except, at times, within the
administration). Some new approaches have understandably evolved from
quick and well-advised reactions by President Bush to the tragedy of
Sept. 11, but others seem to be developing from a core group of
conservatives who are trying to realize long-pent-up ambitions under
the cover of the proclaimed war against terrorism.
Formerly admired almost universally as the preeminent champion of
human rights, our country has become the foremost target of respected
international organizations concerned about these basic principles of
democratic life. We have ignored or condoned abuses in nations that
support our anti-terrorism effort, while detaining American citizens
as "enemy combatants," incarcerating them secretly and indefinitely
without their being charged with any crime or having the right to
legal counsel. This policy has been condemned by the federal courts,
but the Justice Department seems adamant, and the issue is still in
doubt. Several hundred captured Taliban soldiers remain imprisoned at
Guantanamo Bay under the same circumstances, with the defense
secretary declaring that they would not be released even if they were
someday tried and found to be innocent. These actions are similar to
those of abusive regimes that historically have been condemned by
While the president has reserved judgment, the American people are
inundated almost daily with claims from the vice president and other
top officials that we face a devastating threat from Iraq's weapons
of mass destruction, and with pledges to remove Saddam Hussein from
office, with or without support from any allies. As has been
emphasized vigorously by foreign allies and by responsible leaders of
former administrations and incumbent officeholders, there is no
current danger to the United States from Baghdad. In the face of
intense monitoring and overwhelming American military superiority,
any belligerent move by Hussein against a neighbor, even the smallest
nuclear test (necessary before weapons construction), a tangible
threat to use a weapon of mass destruction, or sharing this
technology with terrorist organizations would be suicidal. But it is
quite possible that such weapons would be used against Israel or our
forces in response to an American attack.
We cannot ignore the development of chemical, biological or nuclear
weapons, but a unilateral war with Iraq is not the answer. There is
an urgent need for U.N. action to force unrestricted inspections in
Iraq. But perhaps deliberately so, this has become less likely as we
alienate our necessary allies. Apparently disagreeing with the
president and secretary of state, in fact, the vice president has now
discounted this goal as a desirable option.
We have thrown down counterproductive gauntlets to the rest of the
world, disavowing U.S. commitments to laboriously negotiated
Peremptory rejections of nuclear arms agreements, the biological
weapons convention, environmental protection, anti-torture proposals,
and punishment of war criminals have sometimes been combined with
economic threats against those who might disagree with us. These
unilateral acts and assertions increasingly isolate the United States
rom the very nations needed to join in combating terrorism.
Tragically, our government is abandoning any sponsorship of
substantive negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Our
apparent policy is to support almost every Israeli action in the
occupied territories and to condemn and isolate the Palestinians as
blanket targets of our war on terrorism, while Israeli settlements
expand and Palestinian enclaves shrink.
There still seems to be a struggle within the administration over
defining a comprehensible Middle East policy. The president's clear
commitments to honor key U.N. resolutions and to support the
establishment of a Palestinian state have been substantially negated
by statements of the defense secretary that in his lifetime "there
will be some sort of an entity that will be established" and his
reference to the "so-called occupation." This indicates a radical
departure from policies of every administration since 1967, always
based on the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories and a
genuine peace between Israelis and their neighbors.
Belligerent and divisive voices now seem to be dominant in
Washington, but they do not yet reflect final decisions of the
president, Congress or the courts. It is crucial that the historical
and well-founded American commitments prevail: to peace, justice,
human rights, the environment and international cooperation.
Former president Carter is chairman of the Carter Center in Atlanta.
City Paper (Philadelphia), September 5-11, 2002
The Truth About Sept. 11. It's time for our government to answer questions.
by Ted Rall
NEW YORK -- A year has passed since Sept. 11. Yet we, the American
people, still don't know exactly what happened. There are still no
plans for a public investigation of how more than 3,000 Americans
lost their lives, nor what could have been done to prevent the
attacks or reduce their impact.
Secrecy has been the watchword of the obsessively inscrutable Bush
administration. So preoccupied are they with keeping the people's
business away from the people that, rather than spark a national
discussion of what went wrong and what we could do better, these
public servants are asking members of Congress to take lie-detector
tests, to find out who's been leaking plans to attack Iraq.
Without a doubt, military intelligence requires secrecy. But there is
no conceivable national security interest in keeping Americans in the
dark about Sept. 11, a horribly public mass murder that devastated
our national sense of invulnerability. A crisis whose first few weeks
were marked by patriotic unity rapidly devolved into a divisive "war
on terrorism" marked by opportunistic assaults on the Bill of Rights,
old-fashioned oil wars and a cynical neo-McCarthyism whereby those
who question Bush and the Republican Party are smeared as
"anti-American." "United We Stand" bumper stickers aside, the
terrorists have skillfully turned us against each other: citizen
against immigrant, Republican against Democrat, Christian against
Muslim. Secrecy only deepens those divisions.
To hell with closed-door congressional hearings. America needs a
full, open, publicly televised investigation into 9/11, and it needs
it last October. Using the post-JFK assassination Warren Commission
as a model is a start, though that panel's lack of openness fed
conspiracy theories that continue to cause Americans to distrust
their government four decades later. The best way to avoid alienating
the public from its public servants is to keep an investigation 100
During times of crisis both the electorate and the elected forget
that this country belongs to the former. The latter are lackeys, not
the other way around. As American citizens and taxpayers, therefore,
we deserve -- and should demand -- honest answers to the following
BEFORE THE ATTACKS
What did Bush know and when did he know it? A few months ago it was
revealed that, while vacationing in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 6, 2001,
Bush had received an "analytical report" warning from national
security advisor Condoleezza Rice that a terrorist attack was
imminent. What was the exact nature of that warning? How detailed was
it? Should Bush have cut short his vacation and headed back to
Washington? The administration has stonewalled on this issue, but
they can only allay suspicions of a September Surprise by coming
clean now about the briefings he received before 9/11.
Did Echelon cough up the 9/10 warnings? The National Security
acknowledges that it "intercepted" two messages (one said "tomorrow
is zero hour") from terrorists indicating that the next day, Sept.
11, would be the date of a major attack. Unfortunately, those
messages weren't processed and evaluated until it was too late, on
Sept. 12. The NSA maintains a sophisticated voice- and
keyword-recognition computer system called Echelon. A former NSA
director told the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur that Echelon
uses automation to monitor every phone call, fax transmission, e-mail
and wire transfer in the world. Did the 9/10 warning come from
Echelon? Is Echelon being used to monitor ordinary Americans? Is
there any way to speed up the rate at which the NSA processes
SEPT. 11, 2001
Why didn't our Air Force shoot down the hijacked planes? Air traffic
controllers lost contact with all four aircraft within minutes of
takeoff. Two were off course and ignored controllers for more than an
hour and a half, yet the mightiest air defense network in the world
failed to prevent the suicide bombers from striking their targets.
Did overworked air traffic controllers fail to notice the errant
planes? How long did it take them to get the word to military
authorities? Did a bureaucratically inept Air Force fail to react
Why were only 12 jets patrolling U.S. airspace? According to The New
York Times, only 12 Air Force National Guard planes, most of them on
the ground, were assigned to patrol the entire continental United
States at the time of the attacks. Whose judgment determined that
this level of protection was adequate? What would happen in the event
of a nuclear first strike against the U.S.? Would an increased budget
have increased that number, and what is our current field strength?
What is American policy concerning hijackings? Had an Air Force jet
successfully intercepted one of the doomed flights, would its pilot
have been ordered to shoot it down? If so, would that order have had
to come from the president, or would a lower-ranked official be
sufficient? If a shooting were authorized, would it ever be
implemented over a densely populated area? Passengers need to know
where they stand before they board a plane.
Was United Flight 93 shot down over Pennsylvania? The Pentagon has
neither denied shooting down United 93 nor confirmed that its heroic
passengers caused the flight to crash while trying to wrest its
controls from the hijackers. The flight was airborne some two and a
half hours before crashing outside of Shanksville, leading many to
speculate that it was fired upon to protect the White House or other
likely targets in Washington. It seems unlikely that a cockpit-voice
recording of a struggle between passengers and jihadis exists; if it
did, why not release such an inspiring artifact to a public hungry
for inspiration? All 9/11 flight information, including any Flight 93
recordings, ought to be given to the media. And it's time for the
military to indicate whether or not they, rather than the passengers,
brought down the jet.
Why didn't federal law require reinforced cockpit doors? This
common-sense proposal had been adopted by carriers in other countries
years earlier, but not in the United States. Did the airlines lobby
against the move because of increased costs? If so, which airlines?
And which federal officials and/or members of Congress are criminally
responsible for jeopardizing the safety of the flying public for the
sake of a few bucks?
Who locked the roof doors at the World Trade Center? During the 1993
World Trade Center bombing, hundreds of workers escaped smoke by
going to the roofs. On Sept. 11, hundreds died when they went up
dozens of flights of stairs only to find those same roof doors
locked. Why did city fire officials order those doors locked between
1993 and 2001, and more importantly, why didn't they post notices
through the World Trade Center complex to advise that roof doors
would no longer be unlocked? Prosecution may be in order for criminal
Who skimped on FDNY communications? Scores of New York firefighters
died in the stairwells of the World Trade Center after they'd been
ordered to evacuate the buildings -- because they couldn't hear those
orders on their antiquated radio system. The fire department had
requested up-to-date equipment years earlier. Which city officials
refused to allocate the necessary funding, causing firefighters to
die needlessly? Do FDNY and other urban fire departments have better
communication systems now?
How much asbestos was released by the World Trade Center collapse?
World Trade was one-third completed when builders stopped using
asbestos fire retardant, which means that the equivalent of four
normal-width 60-story skyscrapers full of a banned carcinogen was
pulverized and released in a cloud that blanketed lower Manhattan and
Brooklyn. The Environmental Protection Agency has never come clean on
what may eventually become known as America's Chernobyl, but New
Yorkers deserve to know the full extent of their exposure.
Why was the Pentagon so vulnerable? Not only did Defense Department
employees perish at the Pentagon, the attack revealed that even the
headquarters of American military power can be successfully targeted.
Does the Pentagon have a surface-to-air missile system that could
avert similar catastrophes in the future? If not, one should be
What about the other knives? After American planes were grounded,
investigators found box cutters attached under seats on Delta flights
out of Boston's Logan Airport and from Atlanta bound for Brussels.
Was anyone ever arrested in connection with would-be hijackings of
these other flights? What were the intended targets of those aborted
hijackings? Were those box cutters, and those on the four hijacked
flights, placed there by personnel who service aircraft ("These look
like an inside job," a U.S. official told Time magazine) or were they
smuggled aboard through lax security checkpoints by would-be
Were there other plots? American officials have questioned thousands
of individuals in connection with 9/11. Have they uncovered other
schemes intended for that day, or for later on?
AFTERMATH: THE WAR ON TERRORISM
Did anyone take responsibility or make demands? It's difficult to
imagine that the group that carried out an act as expensive and
carefully planned as 9/11 chose not to take credit for it.
Furthermore, terrorist organizations typically make demands --
requests for changes in policy, say, or the release of political
prisoners. Secretary of State Colin Powell initially promised to
provide proof of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda group's leading role as
instigators of 9/11, but have since reneged on that pledge. Moreover,
that assertion doesn't fit bin Laden's known methods; rather than
plan or carry out operations himself, he usually agrees to fully or
partially fund plots conceived and executed by other Islamist groups.
If the Bush administration received communiques from a group or
groups claiming responsibility for 9/11, Americans need to know that.
When did the U.S. decide to invade Afghanistan? As recently as April
2001, the Bush administration funneled millions of dollars in aid to
the Taliban in order to reward the hardline Islamic regime for
virtually eliminating opium production. By June, however, relations
had cooled noticeably and invasion plans were being prepared. Would
we have invaded Afghanistan if Sept. 11 hadn't happened? Were there
any discussions between future U.S. puppet Hamid Karzai and the Bush
administration before or immediately after 9/11?
Where was bin Laden on 9/11? Afghans told reporters that bin Laden
and his entourage fled Afghanistan for Kashmir on Sept. 10, yet
military officials were saying as late as January that the world's
most wanted man was holed up in the Tora Bora region. Did the U.S.
really know where Osama was on 9/11, and if so, where was he? Why
weren't American commandos inserted into Afghanistan or Pakistan in
order to apprehend him? If the U.S. knew that he had left
Afghanistan, is this why it refused to negotiate with the Taliban for
How many civilians died in Afghanistan? Perhaps the most deliberately
nderreported story of 2001-2002 was the number of Afghan civilians
killed by American bombs, missiles, mines and bullets. (Estimates
begin at CNN's conservative 3,500.) While the Pentagon's argument
that it's difficult to track these things from satellites and
high-flying planes rings true, there's no doubt that they know more
than they care to admit. We deserve to know how many innocent people
our tax dollars have killed, and how many of their relatives now have
reason to despise America.
Is the government spying on American citizens? Not only is the
federal government asking postal workers and meter readers to report
on anything unusual they see in our homes, anecdotal evidence
suggests that opponents of administration policy are being targeted
for wiretaps and other forms of harassment and intimidation by
government intelligence agencies. Obviously there is no place for
such retro-Cold War behavior in this country; the FBI, CIA and NSA
must reveal and cease all such unconstitutional activities against
Why doesn't the Bush administration want a real investigation of
9/11? The House and Senate, whose intelligence committees are now
meeting in private, are considering bills that would set up limited,
closed-door independent investigative panels, but Bush has stymied
even those watered-down efforts at openness, arguing they "would
cause a further diversion of essential personnel from their duties
ighting the war." What is he hiding? Americans pay Bush's salary,
and Americans deserve to know what he's doing.
Ted Rall's new book, a graphic travelogue about his recent coverage
of the Afghan war titled To Afghanistan and Back, is now in its
second edition. Ordering and review-copy information are available at :
Questions unanswered...unasked? The Truth About Sept. 11.; It's time
government to answer questions. by Ted Rall.
City Paper(Philadelphia), September 5-11,2002.
if you are not already, you should have this general source. They get
their hands on and release all kinds of useful documents. just clik
this backwards and you will get the general site.
I R A N
1 9 7 7 - 1 9 8 0
* <http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/publi cations/iran/iran.html
Francis McCollum Feeley
Research Center Director <http://www.u-grenoble3.fr/ciesimsa>
and Professor of North American Studies