Telecom Immunity: Playing the “9/11 Card” … Again
Telecom Immunity: Playing the "9/11 Card" … Again
By Tom Burghardt
Global Research, March 30, 2008
The Bush administration, never known for its veracity on any issue, once again is playing the "9/11 card" in an desperate attempt to continue violating the Fourth Amendment rights of the American people.
U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, a darling of Senate Democrats prior to his confirmation as Bush’s top lawyer, said in speech on Thursday at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, that the September 11, 2001 attacks could have been prevented "if the government had been able to monitor an overseas phone call to the United States," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mukasey went on to claim that "we knew that there had been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn’t know precisely where it went. You’ve got 3,000 people who went to work that day, and didn’t come home, to show for that."
Correctly calling Mukasey on his mendacious pronouncements, Chronicle reporter Bob Egelko writes,
That we are supposedly to believe that the National Security Agency, the largest and most secretive outfit in the U.S. intelligence "toolbox," was somehow "blinded" by "unreasonable" civil liberties concerns, and were "following the letter of the law" regarding warrantless wiretapping of foreign terrorist organizations, beggars belief.
In fact, prior to, and even after 9/11, the United States and their favorite clique of murderous intelligence assets, the Afghan-Arab database known as al-Qaeda, were preoccupied with a series of destabilization operations that stretched from Central Asia to the Balkans.
From Chechnya to Kosovo, al-Qaeda operatives and their BND-CIA-MI6 handlers were subverting Russian and Yugoslavian national sovereignty and fomenting rebellion alongside dodgy Saudi and Gulf "charities" that served as a cats-paw for Western imperialist interests.
As with all strategic intelligence operations undertaken by the United States and their "friends," the Saudis were playing a double-game: seemingly advancing the regional interests of their U.S. partners in crime, al-Qaeda-linked Saudi "charities" were simultaneously wedded to a game plan they hoped would lead to the creation of a reactionary, far-right Islamist beachhead in the heart of Central Europe. That they did so with U.S.-NATO collusion is beyond question.
According to Balkan analyst, Christopher Deliso,
That the United States and their NATO partners continued their brazen, if underhanded support of al-Qaeda after 9/11, had disastrous consequences that reverberated far-beyond Afghanistan and Iraq. On March 11, 2004 multiple train bombs ripped through Madrid’s public transportation system, killing 191 and wounding 1,755 mostly working-class Spaniards. The two chief organizers of the Madrid attacks, Saud al-Otaibi and Abdel Karim al Meyati, "had both fought for the Izetbegovic government in Bosnia during the 1990s," according to Deliso.
Three years later, when suicide bombers struck the London public transportation system, killing 52 and wounding 700 individuals, an MI6/al-Qaeda operative, Haroon Rashid Aswat, was fingered as the mastermind of the attacks.
According to analyst Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, during a 2001 interview with the London-based Arabic daily, al-Sharq al-Aswat, al-Qaeda/al-Muhajiroun leader Omar Bakri, described the relationship between British intelligence and the operations in Kosovo and al-Muhajiroun; Aswat had joined the operation in 1995:
Undeterred by seemingly insignificant things such as facts, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page heartily endorsed the AG’s "reasoning" at the Commonwealth Club. Mukasey claimed that telecom liability from lawsuits for their "cooperation" with the Bush regime’s illegal surveillance of American citizens caught in NSA electronic driftnets was "vital,"
This finely crafted piece of dissimulation by Bush’s AG is a craven pack of lies worthy of Bill O’Reilly, Fox News or, indeed, the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal.
But what about those phone calls that NSA was presumably unable to monitor and that USAG Mukasey alleges "could have prevented" the September 11 attacks? Paul Thompson and the History Commons demolishes the claim and reports,
Early 2000-Summer 2001: NSA Intercepts Communications between Hijackers in US and Al-Qaeda Communications Hub
As I wrote earlier this month, the NSA–and other U.S. intelligence agencies–did "connect the dots" that may have prevented the 9/11 attacks. That they chose not to do so, reflected Bush administration desires to protect on-going U.S. intelligence operations elsewhere and "certain foreign interests" notably those of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies and Pakistan.
Mukasey’s posturing is a dodge on two fronts: it continues the 9/11 cover-up narrative first floated by U.S. National Security Advisor (now Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice that "no one could have imagined" the 9/11 terrorist operation, that the hijackers "acted alone" without active support networks inside the U.S., and finally, Mukasey’s duplicities serve as a justification for on-going domestic intelligence operations that target the American people.
The retroactive immunity sought by the Bush administration for giant telecommunications corporations have little to do with "protecting the Homeland." It is, however, a propitious mechanism for inoculating corporate executives and their shareholders for their criminal complicity with the Bush regime, as America is transformed into a "post-Constitutional" police state.
Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.