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The Road to 9/11

The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America

Peter Dale Scott
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Pages: 432
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pngjq
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  • Book Info
    The Road to 9/11
    Book Description:

    This is an ambitious, meticulous examination of how U.S. foreign policy since the 1960s has led to partial or total cover-ups of past domestic criminal acts, including, perhaps, the catastrophe of 9/11. Peter Dale Scott, whose previous books have investigated CIA involvement in southeast Asia, the drug wars, and the Kennedy assassination, here probes how the policies of presidents since Nixon have augmented the tangled bases for the 2001 terrorist attack. Scott shows how America's expansion into the world since World War II has led to momentous secret decision making at high levels. He demonstrates how these decisions by small cliques are responsive to the agendas of private wealth at the expense of the public, of the democratic state, and of civil society. He shows how, in implementing these agendas, U.S. intelligence agencies have become involved with terrorist groups they once backed and helped create, including al Qaeda.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-92994-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface. THE AMERICA WE KNEW AND LOVED: Can It Be Saved?
    (pp. xi-xviii)
    Peter Dale Scott
  5. ONE INTRODUCTION: Wealth, Empire, Cabals, and the Public State
    (pp. 1-25)

    In this book I try to explain the paradoxes that distress most of the Americans I’ve met over the past few years. Whether they live in Berkeley, New England, or West Texas, these people wonder why the United States steered deliberately—and seemingly inevitably—into a war with Iraq that had little domestic support. They wonder why so many open processes of our government have been replaced by secret decisions at the uppermost levels. They wonder why our country, which is not currently facing any major enemies, is increasing its defense budget more rapidly than ever before.

    A stock answer...

  6. TWO NIXON, KISSINGER, AND THE DECLINE OF THE PUBLIC STATE
    (pp. 26-49)

    In 1968, roiled in domestic conflict and paranoia, the United States elected its most paranoid president ever—Richard Nixon.¹ Six years later, as the Vietnam War was winding down, Nixon resigned from office and the public paranoia subsided. Especially with the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976, there was a prevailing sense that an era of domestic conflict was over and that with peace would come a healing of divisions. On the surface this may have been true. Only a few secret players knew that plans for martial law and so-called psychological warfare or mind control in America, far from...

  7. THREE THE PIVOTAL PRESIDENCY: Ford, Rumsfeld, and Cheney
    (pp. 50-64)

    Historians of the 1970s once tended to overlook Gerald Ford’s presidency as an unimportant interlude, a time of relatively tranquil confusion and indecision between the more dynamic eras of Nixon-Kissinger and Carter-Brzezinski. The events of 9/11 suggest the opposite, however: that the Ford presidency, in which the management team of Rumsfeld-Cheney first emerged, was a pivotal moment, one during which the prerogatives of the deep state and the military-industrial complex were reasserted, following the massive (and at first glance apparently successful) congressional revolt against them in the Watergate crisis.

    Books about Watergate inevitably structure that crisis as an Aeschylean drama...

  8. FOUR BRZEZINSKI, OIL, AND AFGHANISTAN
    (pp. 65-79)

    In 1976 Jimmy Carter campaigned vigorously against both Donald Rumsfeld’s plans for increased defense spending and Henry Kissinger’s style of secret diplomacy, attacking “a one man policy of international adventure” that “is not understood by the people or the Congress.”¹ Carter’s speeches proclaimed a vision of replacing “balance of power with world order politics” and of reducing war-peace issues to be “more a function of economic and social problems than of . . . military security problems.”²

    But after four years “Carter had come full circle—from an enthusiast of global interdependence who hoped to develop concrete structures of cooperation...

  9. FIVE CARTER’S SURRENDER TO THE ROCKEFELLERS ON IRAN
    (pp. 80-92)

    Not since World War II has there been such a naked exercise of overworld power as in the disastrous decision of October 1979 to permit the shah, in flight from Iran, to enter the United States. President Carter’s reluctant action—“the crowning indignity” in the sad history of postwar U.S.-Iran relations¹—has been called “one of the most controversial and detrimental decisions any president has made since the end of World War Two.”² In this matter Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance were ultimately overruled, in support of a policy decision dictated and enforced by David Rockefeller.³

    As had...

  10. SIX CASEY, THE REPUBLICAN COUNTERSURPRISE, AND THE BANK OF CREDIT AND COMMERCE INTERNATIONAL, 1980
    (pp. 93-113)

    In the previous chapters I have detailed how first Kissinger and then Brzezinski used private assets and foreign cut-outs to implement policies, some of which were grievously shortsighted and detrimental to the cause of freedom and democracy. In so doing, they often excluded the agencies of the public American state from their stratagems. This set the stage for the off-the-books machinations of William Casey, the last survivor of the freewheeling style of William J. Donovan and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Casey carried secretive and unilateral behavior even further than his two predecessors, often cutting himself off even from...

  11. SEVEN AFGHANISTAN AND THE ORIGINS OF AL QAEDA
    (pp. 114-137)

    The CIA-backed resistance to the 1980s Soviet occupation of Afghanistan has been called “the largest covert operation in history.”¹ It was also in some respects the worst conceived. I am not talking about earlier decisions—the CIA’s backing of the SAVAK’s efforts in the 1970s to destabilize Afghanistan and incite disruption by Islamic fundamentalists, or national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski’s blocking of secretary of state Cyrus Vance’s efforts to neutralize the region, or the almost inevitable decision to support the Afghan resistance.

    I’m talking about the disastrous details of the U.S. covert support policy under CIA Director William Casey and...

  12. EIGHT THE AL-KIFAH CENTER, AL QAEDA, AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, 1988–98
    (pp. 138-150)

    The9/11 Commission Report, although widely decried by its critics, is useful for having provided a footnoted account of the government’s claims concerning the events of 9/11. If the report is read in context, it can be used to define and highlight the key matters that these claims either ignore altogether or brazenly distort. One ignored background area in the report is the lengthy U.S. relationship with those in al Qaeda and its allies, whom today the press and the administration call terrorists but whom President Reagan and the U.S. Congress once referred to as “freedom fighters.”¹ As discussed in...

  13. NINE THE PRE–9/11 COVER-UP OF ALI MOHAMED AND AL QAEDA
    (pp. 151-160)

    The extraordinary cover-up concerning the United States’ relationship to the 9/11 plot is the denouement of this book. But it is inseparable from the extraordinary cover-up preceding 9/11, with respect to one of the plot’s central figures: Ali Abdelsaoud Mohamed. In the last chapter we looked at Mohamed as a man who was important in al Qaeda and personally close to Osama bin Laden.¹ He was also intimate and important to U.S. intelligence, although one would never guess this from the9/11 Commission Report.² Finally, he was the principal trainer for the al Qaeda terrorists who bombed the World Trade...

  14. TEN AL QAEDA AND THE U.S. ESTABLISHMENT
    (pp. 161-179)

    What is slowly emerging from the revelations of al Qaeda’s activities in Central Asia throughout the 1990s is the extent to which the group acted in the interests of both American oil companies and the U.S. government. ¹ In one way or another a few Americans in the 1990s cooperated with al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, and possibly Bosnia. In other countries—notably Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan—al Qaeda terrorists have provided pretexts or opportunities for a U.S. military commitment and even troops to follow. This has been most obvious in the years since the end of the...

  15. ELEVEN PARALLEL STRUCTURES AND PLANS FOR CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT
    (pp. 180-193)

    The idea that sectors of government might sponsor extremists in acts of terrorism against their own people is, initially, almost unthinkable. Yet this unthinkable possibility has clearly happened in Italy, with the celebrated bombings of Milan’s Piazza Fontana in 1969 and the Bologna railway station in 1980. (Sixteen people were killed in Milan, and eighty-five in Bologna.) Although anarchists took part in these bombings, and were initially blamed for them, it developed that the bombings were part of a “strategy of tension” orchestrated by Italian military intelligence.¹

    The responsibility of Italian intelligence services has been definitively established by Italian courts...

  16. TWELVE THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT AND VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY
    (pp. 194-211)

    9/11 was the largest homicide by far in American history, yet it has never been adequately investigated. The public has been told of a conspiracy that included terrorist conspirators organized and financed abroad. But if U.S. defenses had functioned on that day as they had previously, the four planes at a minimum should have been intercepted by fighter aircraft. Yet we are told that even this did not happen. There is a domestic side to 9/11 as well, about which we still know next to nothing. Key evidence requested by the commission was initially withheld until subpoenas were issued, and...

  17. THIRTEEN THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT’S AND CHENEY’S DECEPTIONS ABOUT 9/11
    (pp. 212-235)

    As we saw in the last chapter, the 9:21 report of an approaching plane also corroborates Cheney’s original account of his movements (that he arrived in the PEOC before Flight 77 hit the Pentagon at 9:37). It renders suspect the 9/11 report’s estimate that an approaching plane at 9:34 or 9:35 “prompted the Secret Service to order the immediate evacuation of the Vice President [from his White House Office] ‘just before 9:36.’”¹ It is time to compare his two divergent accounts more closely and to see that by both accounts his hurried departure from his office led to an unexplained...

  18. FOURTEEN CHENEY, THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, AND CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT
    (pp. 236-245)

    In chapter 11 we saw that Cheney had a strong agenda for U.S. involvement in Iraq before 9/11, and that on 9/11 he argued for an immediate invasion. In this chapter I detail a similar pattern with respect to the 1980s plans for continuity of government (COG). These plans, secretly developed under President Reagan by Cheney and Rumsfeld, had as far as we know been given lower priority during the Clinton presidency, as FEMA became more focused on dealing with natural disasters. But COG was implemented at least partially on 9/11, before the last hijacked plane had hit the ground....

  19. FIFTEEN CONCLUSION: 9/11 and the Future of America
    (pp. 246-266)

    9/11 represents a double challenge to the American way of life: the external threat of terrorist attacks and also the internal threat of subversion of the Constitution by cabals and a deep state that are threatening to get out of control. The United States faces a fundamental choice of what and in whom to trust. Will we deal with the problem of terrorism primarily by working to resolve issues that provoke conflict and projecting values that the rest of the world will wish to share? Or will we trust primarily in our own military power and become increasingly a garrison...

  20. Glossary of Open Politics
    (pp. 267-272)
  21. Notes
    (pp. 273-390)
  22. Bibliography
    (pp. 391-404)
  23. Index
    (pp. 405-423)
  24. Back Matter
    (pp. 424-424)