29 June, 2007

London bombings on July 7th 2005

WE NEED the truth about what really happened on the day that 56 people were killed and over 700 injured on London transport.

Number 30 bus explosionInitial train operating company reports on the day announced the devastation on the Underground was the result of power surges and this continued to be reported until shortly after the explosion of a number 30 bus in Tavistock Square at 9.47am .

After the bus explosion a very different version of events began to unfold, involving everything from military grade explosives in bombs with timers and placed on, or under, train floors, to highly-volatile, home-made explosives allegedly carried by four young British men.

Sir Ian Blair labelled the investigation into July 7th, 'the biggest criminal inquiry in English history', yet, days after July 7th, British Prime Minister Tony Blair had already refused the British people a Public Inquiry.

On December 15th 2005 Charles Clarke once again refused the British people a public inquiry, offering instead a 'narrative' - nothing more than a story - about how so many were killed and injured on London transport in the events that led to 'the largest criminal inquiry in English history'.

To date, not one piece of evidence has been released that could be used to convict someone in a court of law for what happened on July 7th and the government still has no plans to organise an Independent Public Inquiry into events that day.

We believe this will not suffice to stand as judge, jury and executioner for the accused and the victims, nor is it sufficient explanation for the injured and their families, nor London's commuters, or the wider British public who also have a right to know what happened and how it happened.

In order to address this, we have one simple demand, that the government RELEASE THE EVIDENCE which conclusively proves, beyond reasonable doubt, the official Home Office narrative.



Please sign the J7 RELEASE THE EVIDENCE Petition


Visor Consultants' 'simultaneous bombs' rehearsal on 7 July 2005

wanted for questioningOn the afternoon and evening of 7th July 2005, information came to light about a private company running a terror rehearsal operation at the time that real explosions were reported to have occurred on the London transport network.

These revelations came not from an anonymous source but instead from the Managing Director of the private firm running the terror rehearsal operation. The private firm is Visor Consultants and the Managing Director in question is Peter Power. The client for whom the terror rehearsal was being organised is, thus far, unknown.

Peter Power's 7/7 Terror Interviews

On and after 7/7, Peter Power gave a number of interviews in which he referred to the terror exercise he was running on the morning of 7th July.

Power has since regularly appeared on TV and radio interviews as an independent security expert with no special connection to the events of 7 July 2005, even a year later when called on to discuss the incidents that occurred.

J7 is reproducing these interviews here so you can judge for yourself quite what should be made of such a bizarre and unlikely coincidence of events.

Peter Power on Radio 5 Live's Drivetime

The first of Mr Power's interviews was given on the afternoon of 7th July 2005, presumably after Mr Power had finished orchestrating his private terror rehearsal, when he appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live's Drivetime programme. Below is a transcript from the Radio 5 Live programme, complete with a link to a recording of the interview.:

POWER: ...at half-past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for, er, over, a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing upright!

PETER ALLEN: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?

POWER: Precisely, and it was, er, about half-past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don't want to reveal their name but they're listening and they'll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they'd met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision, 'this is the real one' and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from 'slow time' to 'quick time' thinking and so on.

Listen to Peter Power's Radio 5 Live Drivetime Interview

Note how Power refers to 'simultaneous bombs going off'. Note also that it wasn't until 9th July 2005, two days after the incidents, that it was revealed the explosions on the underground were 'almost simultaneous'. Power's fictional scenario, as explained by the man himself on the day, bears a closer resemblance to the eventual story of 7/7 than it does to the actual story that had been presented to the public by the police and authorities at the time of his interview.

Only ex-Mossad Chief, Efraim Halevi who wrote in the Jerusalem Post on 7th July 2005 of "the multiple, simultaneous explosions that took place today on the London transportation system" with "near pefect execution" was able to demonstrate the same level of 'insight' as Mr Power. Note: The original article is no longer available on the Jerusalem Post web site although copies can be found on the web.

Peter Power on ITV News: 7/7 Vision at 20:20

A short while after his appearance on BBC Radio, at 20:20 on 7/7, Peter Power gave a television interview to ITV news which revealed a little more about the nature of the operation as well as hinting at the sort of organisations for whom the operation might have been organised:

POWER: Today we were running an exercise for a company - bearing in mind I'm now in the private sector - and we sat everybody down, in the city - 1,000 people involved in the whole organisation - but the crisis team. And the most peculiar thing was, we based our scenario on the simultaneous attacks on an underground and mainline station. So we had to suddenly switch an exercise from 'fictional' to 'real'. And one of the first things is, get that bureau number, when you have a list of people missing, tell them. And it took a long time -

INTERVIEWER: Just to get this right, you were actually working today on an exercise that envisioned virtually this scenario?

POWER: Er, almost precisely. I was up to 2 oclock this morning, because it's our job, my own company. Visor Consultants, we specialise in helping people to get their crisis management response. How do you jump from 'slow time' thinking to 'quick time' doing? And we chose a scenario - with their assistance - which is based on a terrorist attack because they're very close to, er, a property occupied by Jewish businessmen, they're in the city, and there are more American banks in the city than there are in the whole of New York - a logical thing to do. And it, I've still got the hair....

Click PLAY to watch Peter Power's ITV interview.

Peter Power on the Canadian Broadcasting Service

In the days after 7th July, rather than face questioning about his role, in conjunction with a 'company of over a thousand people' on the day that 56 were killed on London transport, Power flew to Toronto for the 15th World Conference on Disaster Management.

Power appeared on a discussion panel for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's news discussion programme CBS: Sunday Night, in which the host remarked upon the 'extraordinary' coincidence of Power's rehearsal scenario:

Evan Solomon: We've heard something quite extraordinary - could be a coincidence or not - that your firm, on the very day that the bombs went off in London, were running an exercise simulating three bombs going off, in the very same tube stations that they went off. How did this happen? Coincidence, or were you acting on information that you knew?

Peter Power: I don't think you could say that we had some special insight into the terrorist network, otherwise I would be under arrest myself. The truth of it is -

Solomon: But it is a coincidence.

Power: It's a coincidence, and it's a spooky coincidence. Our scenario was very similar - it wasn't totally identical, but it was based on bombs going off, to the time, the locations, all this sort of stuff. But it wasn't an accident, in the sense that London has a history of bombs, and the reason why our emergency services did so well, and prepared probably better than any other city in the world, sadly they have to be. So it wasn't exactly rocket science or totally out of the pale to come up with that scenario unusual though it be to stop the exercise and go into real time, and it worked very well, although there was a few seconds when the audience didn't realize whether it was real or not.

Mr Power went on to tell delegates at the disaster management conference that Canadians needed to open their eyes. He said, "You can't just lay back and say, 'Well it's cozy, we've been lucky. We're just nice guys. It won't happen to us. Sorry. The alarm bell is ringing now. When it happens, you don't want to say, 'well that was a wake-up call'."

'Mock Broadcasts' and the 7/7 terror rehearsal

On 8th July 2005, the day after the death and destruction in London, an interview with Peter Power appeared on page 5 of the Manchester Evening News in which Mr Power revealed that, not only had he coincidentally been running a terror rehearsal 'based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened' on 7th July, he had also organised a series of 'mock broadcasts' for the rehearsal operation that were apparently so realistic those participating in the exercise became confused about what was real and what was not:

Mr Power said: "I was an inspector at the time of the King's Cross fire and was involved in co-ordinating the operation.

"After leaving the Met, I set up my own crisis managment consultancy. Yesterday we were actually in the City working on an exercise involving mock broadcasts when it happened for real.

"When news bulletins started coming on, people began to say how realistic our exercise was - not realising there was an attack.

We then became involved in a real crisis which we had to manage for the company."

Mr Power added: "During the exercise we were working on yesterday, we were looking at a situation where there had been bombs at key London transport locations - although we weren't specifically looking at a scenario where there had been a bomb on a bus.

"It's a standard exercise and briefing that we carry out."

Manchester Evening News, Page 5 - 8th July 2005

Peter Power's Response to Inquiries

Perhaps unsurprisingly, news of a terror rehearsal based on simultaneous bombs going off at precisely the stations they did caused more than a little consternation among those members of the public and alternative media who knew of its existence. So great was the deluge of queries and questions about the nature of the exercise that Peter Power issued the following, single, generic response:

Thank you for your message. Given the volume of emails about events on 7 July and a commonly expressed misguided belief that our exercise revealed prescient behaviour, or was somehow a conspiracy (noting that several websites interpreted our work that day in an inaccurate / naive / ignorant / hostile manner) it has been decided to issue a single email response as follows:

It is confirmed that a short number of 'walk through' scenarios planed [sic] well in advance had commenced that morning for a private company in London (as part of a wider project that remains confidential) and that two scenarios related directly to terrorist bombs at the same time as the ones that actually detonated with such tragic results. One scenario in particular, was very similar to real time events.

However, anyone with knowledge about such ongoing threats to our capital city will be aware that (a) the emergency services have already practiced several of their own exercises based on bombs in the underground system (also reported by the main news channels) and (b) a few months ago the BBC broadcast a similar documentary on the same theme, although with much worse consequences. It is hardly surprising therefore, that we chose a feasible scenario - but the timing and script was nonetheless, a little disconcerting.

In short, our exercise (which involved just a few people as crisis managers actually responding to a simulated series of activities involving, on paper, 1000 staff) quickly became the real thing and the players that morning responded very well indeed to the sudden reality of events.

Beyond this no further comment will be made and based on the extraordinary number of messages from ill informed people, no replies will henceforth be given to anyone unable to demonstrate a bona fide reason for asking (e.g. accredited journalist / academic).

Peter Power

Despite running a terror rehearsal on 7th July 2005, Peter Power has repeatedly been used as an independent expert on terrorism, sitting in judgement on such things as the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station as well the official reports which have been released about the events of 7th July 2005. In each instance, Power is presented as a someone who has no special connection with the events of 7/7, nor has he been questioned further about the exact nature and scope of the rehearsal operation he was running, not even about the "One scenario in particular" which "was very similar to real time events."

Can it possibly be that no accredited journalist or academic has dared approach Peter Power about his operation that day, or the 'wider project' of which it was a part? If the complete lack of information about the nature of the exercise is anything to go by, it would appear not, save for one timid article on the Channel 4 News web site which attempted to distract from the potential significance of the coincidence.

Peter Power Terror Rehearsal 'de-bunked' by Channel 4 News

While the curious coincidence the Visor Consultant's terror drill on the day of 7th July 2005 received very little in the way of follow-up media coverage, aside from the occasional passing mention in the days that followed, Channel 4 News published an article on 17th July 2005 in which, rather than set about finding out more about the nature of the operation in which Power was involved, journalist JJ King went to great lengths to explain how, some time after the event, presumably after the hairs on the back of Mr Power's neck were no longer standing upright, Power changed his line of, "running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people" that had so alarmed everyone to, "involving, on paper, 1000 staff".

According to the article's author, JJ King, this minor revision by Power of his original statement is sufficient reason to ignore Power's original statement. King further contends that because such rehearsal operations are common-place, there is nothing unusual about such a rehearsal running at the same time as a real attack. In instances where the rehearsal and real-time events didn't match so closely, this might be true. Significantly, perhaps, one other notable occasion where coordinated attack rehearsals were running at the same time as a real attack happens to be the day of 11th September 2001 when a number of wargame exercises involving simulated attacks on the World Trade Center featured.

Interestingly, King also notes the observations of the one of the CBS show's associate producers:

Colman Jones, an Associate Producer on CBS:Sunday Night, claimed in his blog that, while escorting participants from the building, he enquired of Power 'why there had not been more media coverage of this.' 'They were trying to keep it quiet,' Power purportedly responded, with what Jones called 'a knowing smile.'

JJ King concludes his article with:

'When you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras,' goes the often-quoted popularisation of Occam's Razor.

In the absence of journalistic nous, bloggers would do well to stick by it.

In the face of investigative journalists that have repeatedly failed to report, or even investigate, the huge number of errors and inconsistencies in the Official Report and the many stories willfully spun by the media about the events of July 7th, J7 contends that bloggers and the general public would do well to stick by something other than the 'journalistic nous' which has consistently and repeatedly failed them to date.

Peter Power's mainstream media terror operations

16th May, 2004:

"The Home Secretary has said the attacks bear the hallmark of Al-Qaeda..."

Source: Panorama, London Under Attack
Simulating a fictional terrorist attack on London

7th July, 2005:

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the coordinated blasts in trains and a bus bore "the hallmarks of an al Qaeda-related attack"

Source: Yahoo News

peter power on panoramaAs Peter Power claimed in the Manchester Evening News of his 7th July terror rehearsal, "It's a standard exercise and briefing that we carry out." Indeed, Peter Power had previous experience of rehearsing bombs on the Underground for he was one of a small but select panel of advisors that helped create the BBC's Panorama programme London Under Attack in May 2004, over a year before the events of July 2005.

The panel also included the former British Army and British Intelligence operative, Crispin Black, one of the first people to publish a book about the London bombings, in which he wrote:

We need an official inquiry - now. Not a whitewash inquiry like Lord Hutton's. Or a punch-pulling inquiry like Lord Butler's. But an inquiry run by plain Mr or Mrs somebody."

As a brief aside, Crispin Black's statement - in part - provided some of the impetus behind the growing group of plain Mr or Mrs Somebodies that have worked together to establish the July 7th Truth Campaign, the J7 web site, the J7 People's Independent Inquiry Forum and the J7 Petition calling on the government to RELEASE THE EVIDENCE that conclusively proves or disproves the official Home Office narrative.

The May 2004 edition of Panorama focused on London falling victim to a terrorist attack and, coincidentally, featured three explosions on underground trains and one explosion on a land-based transportation device, a rehearsal scenario not entirely dissimilar to Mr Power's rehearsal operation on 7th July 2005 and the apparent reality of events that day.

The BBC described Panorama's London Under Attack on their web site:

This film is a mock exercise of what might happen in London if there was a terror attack now.

In a unique fusion of drama, detailed research and expert discussion Panorama puts Britain's emergency plans to the test.

Set in the future - but only just - the city of London is thrown into chaos by a series of terrorist attacks.

The fictional day of terror unfolds through the immediacy of rolling news bringing the catastrophic attack into our living rooms.

For those that missed the documentary, the BBC has kindly provided a copy of "'How the fictional attack unfolded", a page dedicated to revealing how news of the fictional attack was presented to the world via a series of 'mock broadcasts'. The key events unfolded like this:

8.20am Tuesday 25 May: We're receiving news of an explosion in the London underground near Hyde Park. This has not yet been confirmed by the police

8.27am: There has been a 2nd explosion on the underground, this time close to Oxford Circus. Both explosions appear to have occurred on the trains as they were moving.

8.40am: Reports are coming in that a third explosion has now occurred on an underground train approaching Vauxhall station.

explosion map9am: News 24 headlines: In the past hour there have been three major explosions on the London Underground. The first at 8.10am on the Piccadilly Line between Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner. The second at 8.16 on the Central Line between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus and the third at 8.27 as a train was arriving at Vauxhall station in Stockwell on the Victoria line. Emergency services have been called to all three scenes. There are no reports on number of casualties and the police say its too early to identify a possible cause. London underground is now closed and police are now urging people not to travel.

10.10: We're just getting reports that there has been a further explosion in central London in the region around Liverpool street station, we will of course bring you more news on that as soon as we can. Meanwhile traffic problems continue in central London as the full effects of the emergency police cordons are being felt.

london under attack10.41: We can now confirm that a tanker carrying chlorine has exploded at the junction of Shoreditch high Street and commercial street. Chlorine is extremely toxic in this form and police are issuing express warnings for people to stay indoors, close windows and remain there until the all clear is given.

10.44: Police are still urging people to stay indoors until the extent of the chlorine release is known. They are repeating again, chlorine is extremely toxic.

Peter Power and Panorama's 'mock broadcasts' detailed the unfolding of the fictional terror attack, along with graphics showing the fictional blast locations and simulating how news of the attack might be presented, had such an attack actually occurred.

The unfolding of the Panorama sequence of events bears an uncanny resemblance to how the initial stories of 7 July 2005 were rolled out; three explosions underground, with timings staggered over the space of half an hour, before a fourth explosion occurred some time later on an above ground transportation device. For Panorama, the land-based transportation device was a chlorine tanker. On 7 July 2005, it was a number 30 bus.

A copy of the Panorama programme does not appear to be available from the BBC web site, however you can read a transcript of BBC Panorama's London Under Attack programme here . A mirror copy of the transcript can be found here.

What is interesting to note are the findings of the Panorama documentary of May 2004, as summarised below:

The programme reveals that police, ambulance and fire services communications systems are incompatible with each other in London and across the UK and that in the deep underground, Metropolitan Police radios do not work.

Radios incompatible

The communications system used by Civil Contingency Reaction Force (CCRF) - a specialist groups of reservists whose role is to help out in the event of disaster scenarios - is also incompatible with any of the emergency services.

This means that in the event of a disaster - none of the emergency services would be able to talk to each other on their own radios

These findings were passed to the Home Office by Panorama. At the time of the programme, the Home Office had refused to cooperate with the exercise, branding it as 'alarmist and irresponsible'. However, the findings should have come as no surprise to anyone given that the inquiry into the King's Cross fire of 18th November 1987 -- another event with which Peter Power was involved -- came to the exactly the same conclusions about communications as Panorama did over a decade later. These happen to be the same findings that the Greater London Authority's 7 July Review Committee arrived at 18 years after the King's Cross Fire - a point which the 7 July Review Committee deemed worthy of note in its own final report, along with the unacceptability that these communication problems still had not been resolved:

2.24 The official inquiry into the King’s Cross fire, published in 1988, included a chapter on communications. The report highlighted the lack of communications between the station surface and underground, and the inability of officers from the British Transport Police and London Fire Brigade to communicate underground unless they were within line of sight of each other. The report made recommendations aimed at putting in place effective communications within and between the emergency services underground. These were categorised by Desmond Fennell OBE QC, who conducted the inquiry, as among the most important recommendations made in the report.

....

11.5 It is unacceptable that the emergency services, with the exception of the British Transport Police, are still not able to communicate by radio when they are underground, 18 years after the official inquiry into the King’s Cross fire recommended action to address this problem. The Committee has been told that this problem will be resolved by the end of 2007.

Source: GLA Report of the 7 July Review Committee

In fact, Peter Power had something to say about the 7 July Review Committee reports released two years after his involvement in Panorama's London Under Attack, and a year after his terror rehearsal operation on 7th July 2005. In the clip from BBC News below, Mr Power, aside from plugging his Survive organisation, reveals that he was also running a 'command centre' for another organisation on 7th July 2005 and, yet again, refers to the importance of getting a casualty bureau number out when a real disaster occurs, something that did not happen on 7th July 2005 for over six hours after the first incidents were reported.

Note: Throughout the news and media coverage of the day, no casualty bureau number was ever announced to the public until 3:24pm, by DAC Brian Paddick during a Metropolitan Police Press Conference. This is over six hours after the first incident of the day was reported and several hours after various authorities and emergency services had declared major incidents at multiple locations. Why was a casualty bureau number not set-up and broadcast immediately the first major incident was declared?

Peter Power on Peter Power

From the Visor Consultants web site (picture added by J7):

Who is Peter Power?

Peter Power, BA FIRM FCMI FEPS FBCI
Managing Director, Visor Consultants

Peter is the author of the present UK Govt. (DTI) advice booklet ‘Preventing Chaos in a Crisis' and the British Bankers Association/KPMG guide on Crisis Management. Peter is the Founding Chairman of the Survive Crisis Management Special Interest Group, and is also engaged as a Special Advisor to a number of key organisations including the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Management Forum (UK) and the Business Continuity (BC) Institute London Forum. He is in addition, a Special Advisor to the editorial board of Continuity Professional Magazine in the USA and is listed in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses.

city of londonPeter is also a Fellow of the Emergency Planning Society, Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute, Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management and a member of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London.

He is the Founding Chairman of the Survive Crisis Mgt. Special Interest Group, and is also engaged as a Special Advisor to a number of key organisations including the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Management Forum (UK) and the Business Continuity (BC) Institute London Forum.

Peter has a senior Scotland Yard background which includes setting up the multi agency operational management structure at the Kings Cross fire, secondment to the Anti Terrorist Branch, deputy forward control coordinator at the Libyan People Bureau siege and leading the team behind the existing police street philosophy for dealing with terrorist bombs. He is also the primary author / promulgator of the present UK Police command methodology Gold, Silver & Bronze and a founder member of the UK judging panel for BC Awards.

Peter's recent appearances on TV and Radio include interviews on numerous live News broadcasts as well as documentaries, and taking part in the recent BBC TV Panorama current affairs programme examining the impact of terrorism on London. He is specifically quoted on the BBC web site in relation to his role at the scene of several previous major incidents in the UK.

An excerpt from the web site of Survive, Power's own Crisis Management Special Interest Group and apparently, "the world's leading forum for expertise and information exchange among Business Continuity (BC) management practitioners", lists a few more of Mr Power's accolades:

Peter Power is Managing Director of Visor Consultants Limited based in Mayfair, London. He is well known as an authoritative and entertaining presenter and writer with considerable front line crisis experience. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management, Fellow of the Emergency Planning Society, Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute, and a member of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London. He is the author of the present HM Government (DTI) booklet ‘Preventing Chaos in a Crisis’ and the new British Bankers Association guide on Crisis Management. He is the Founding Chairman of the Survive Crisis Management Special Interest Group and is also engaged as a Special Advisor to the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Management Forum (UK) and the BCI London Forum. He is also a founder member of the UK judging panel for the Business Continuity Awards.

Source: Survive

An objective look at Peter Power's career

Peter Power has a long and interesting history of involvement with terrorist incidents and disasters on the underground. His distinguished career includes being deputy forward controller at the scene of the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, an incident that occurred during the Libyan People's Bureau siege, as well taking a senior role in the Oxford Circus underground fire and the King's Cross station fire operations.

The Killing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher

Woman Police Constable (WPC) Yvonne Fletcher (1959–17 April 1984) was a British policewoman who was shot and killed in London's St James's Square during a protest outside the Libyan embassy. The shooting resulted in a siege at the embassy which lasted for eleven days, as well as the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Libya. She was the first policewoman to be murdered while on duty in Britain.

Eleven anti-Gadafy demonstrators were injured in the volley of gun fire. WPC Yvonne Fletcher was also shot and, although rushed to Westminster Hospital, died soon after arrival.

Peter Power was the deputy forward controller at the Libyan People's Bureau siege at which WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot. Fletcher's murder would later become a major factor in the then prime minister Thatcher's decision to allow U.S. President Ronald Reagan to launch the USAF bombing raid on Libya in 1986 from American bases in Britain.

In April 1996, 12 years after the killing, Britain’s Channel Four flagship documentary programme Dispatches - in a massively researched broadcast, 'Murder at St James's', that cited credible and experienced sources - revealed that Fletcher had been murdered by elements of British and American intelligence. Disgracefully, these astonishing revelations went unreported by the media in much the same way as crucial revelations about the events of 7th July 2005, such as Peter Power's simultaneous terror operation and the many factual inaccuracies, inconsistencies and curious anomalies in the official story of July 7th have also gone virtually, if not totally, unreported and unchallenged.

Issues raised by the Dispatches programme about the killing of WPC Fletcher were later raised in Parliament by Tam Dalyell on 8 May 1996. Mr Dalyell qualified before Parliament that the programme had been exceptionally well researched and that it had featured the statements from people whose calibre and relevant experience was beyond question or compare. Contributors to Dispatches included a senior ballistics officer of the British Army, Lieutenant Colonel George Styles, and Dr Bernard Knight, a senior and distinguished Home Office pathologist.

MP Tam Dalyell raised a total of eight separate issues in relation to the murder of WPC Fletcher, including that Yvonne Fletcher appeared to have have been shot from a different direction than that alleged; that huge discrepancies existed between the reports of pathologist Dr Ian West whose post mortem report differed significantly from his analysis presented at the inquest; and that WPC Fletcher's injuries could not have been caused by the alleged combination of gun and firing position.

When the makers of 'Murder at St James's', Fulcrum Productions, attempted to interview the pathologist, Dr Ian West, about the inconsistencies in his reports, he cancelled two appointments and then refused completely to meet.

In response to Mr Dalyell's inquiries in Parliament, the Minister of State for the Home Office, David Maclean, dismissed the Dispatches programme simply as "preposterous trash".

The ongoing controversy surrounding Fletcher's death resulted in the current prime minister, Tony Blair, being questioned by former MP Tam Dalyell in parliament on 24 June 1997. Mr Dalyell received a similarly unenthusiastic response from the State as he had on previous occasions. In 1998, 14 years after the killing, the murder of WPC Fletcher was still being cited as the sole reason for maintaining trade sanctions against Libya by Jack Straw on behalf of the Labour government.

Following the shooting of WPC Fletcher, the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, immediately ordered an investigation. The results of that investigation have never been divulged to the British public and have remained one of many State secrets kept from the public.

Perhaps the deputy forward controller at the Libyan People's Bureau siege, Peter Power, might able to shed some light on exactly what happened in the case of the killing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, as well as during his terror rehearsal operation in London on 7th July 2005.

The Oxford Circus Underground Fire

During the Oxford Circus fire incident of 1984, a crisis situation that earnt Mr Power the title of 'Pied Piper of the Underground', Power commandeered an underground train on which he happened to be travelling, lied to passengers over the train's tannoy system about the severity of the situation that faced them before giving the train's driver "a certain bit of advice to his face" after which the driver, "was knocked out". See the BBC On This Day reports "1984: Oxford Circus fire traps hundreds" and, "1984: 'Pied Piper' of the Underground" for more information on these incidents.

The King's Cross Station Fire

On 18 November 1987, a flash fire engulfed an old wooden escalator at the King's Cross underground station. Thirty one people perished in the disaster including a firefighter - Colin Townsley, station officer from the Soho Fire Station in central London. Two other firefighters were trapped on the station platform but survived.

You can see a short ITN News at Ten report of the King's Cross fire here.

From the BBC 'On this day' report:

Inspector Peter Power was sent to the scene of the King's Cross fire to co-ordinate the efforts of the emergency services.

He ran the Metropolitan Police's forward command post for much of the evening and most of the night on 18 November 1987.

Three years earlier he himself had been trapped underground in a serious fire at Oxford Circus Tube station in London.

We recommend reading the full BBC account of Peter Power's activities at the Metropolitan Police's forward command post which includes the strange tale of drunken police officers attending the scene who later "would be taken home by chauffeur-driven car after they had worked out their war stories and had a few drinks", and this interesting snippet about Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner since February 2005:

The present deputy-commissioner of the Met Police, Ian Blair, was already on scene as a detective inspector.

We knew each other very well and he turned to me and said, "Peter, I think we've had a bomb explosion here."

I asked him why and he said, "At least one of the casualties has metal deep inside him... but we're not going to go public on it."

The MI6 Builiding Rocket Attack

At around 9:45pm on 20th September 2000, an explosion was reported in central London at the headquarters of Britain's secret service, MI6. Initially it was unknown whether the explosion had occurred inside or outside the building and firefighters say they were called to attend the scene at Vauxhall Cross at 9.52pm.

mi6 buildingA rocket launcher was later found and no group ever claimed responsibility, although suspicions pointed the finger at the Real IRA. After the MI6 rocket attack, Mr Power was again quoted by the BBC.

He described the MI6 building as one of the most high profile in central London in a statement that seemed to positively encourage such activities. Power told the BBC:

“If you wanted to make a name for yourself, get yourself back onto the front pages, why not go for something that’s high profile and minimal risk.”

To date, despite the device used to launch the attack being found in Spring Gardens, nobody has ever been charged for this attack, although it was intimated at the time that Irish Republican organisations might be responsible. This begs many questions about who might be be capable of perpetrating a rocket attack on a building as high-profile as the MI6 building and be allowed to get away with it.

Visor Consultants mentioned in Parliament

Security Exercises (London Underground)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what security exercises were undertaken by Visor consultants in or around London Underground stations in the week preceding 7 July. [16048]

Ms Buck: None.

Short and sweet if nothing else. Never since mentioned in Parliament.

Peter Power's international connections

Peter Power also has connections to former New York Mayor, Rudi Giuliani; he served on the Advisory Board to the Canadian Centre for Emergency preparedness (CCEP), alongside the senior Vice President of Giuliani and Partners, Richard Sheirer, who was also Director of the New York Mayor’s office of Emergency Management, overseeing the rescue and recovery operations following the September 11th attacks. Giuliani and Partners is itself both a security consultancy and Investment Bank and Mr. Giuliani himself, by another strange coincidence, also happened to be in London for a conference and just yards away from Liverpool Street station when the blast occurred there on the morning of July 7th.

Mr Giuliani was mayor of New York at the time of the 9/11 and his emergency bunker was destroyed at 5:30pm that day when World Trade Centre building 7 mysteriously collapsed.

How much more do we know now?

In short, very little. To date, the client for whom Visor Consultants was running this anti-terror operation has never been revealed, despite the fact that there are potentially 1,000 people who were taking part in this exercise. Neither has Peter Power, nor any other representatives of Visor Consultants, been publicly quizzed about the exact nature and extent of their operation that morning, despite the extremely bizarre coincidence of them running a rehearsal "based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened."

The only additional information that has appeared in the public domain, apparently from Peter Power himself, appeared in the form of a comment left on the Newsnight Editors' blog, the second written statement attributed to him since the events of 7 July 2005:

202. At 09.25 AM
on 17 Sep 2006, Peter Power wrote:

My name repeatedly comes up whenever armchair / conspiratorial thinkers consider the terrorist exercise my company ran in London at exactly the same time as 7/7. This is only the second time I have formally reacted to these numerous statements. I’ve also appeared many times on BBC News / Newsnight to explain post 9/11 & 7/7 concepts such as ‘new normal’ etc. I think anyone familiar with likely terrorist targets will release [sic] our exercise scenario was coincidence rather than conspiracy, but it does start to raise some interesting points on a wider scale.

Several features now exist to create a much more generic and all-hazards approach to numerous risks and threats that are uniquely starting to appear on the global / corporate radar screen irrespective of country, culture, geography or sector. Some of these are already occurring such as a new form of terrorism that has no ‘political’ objective, the effect of high volume and unrestricted information on the internet, spread of disease / mass travel (230m people passed through UK airports last year / all major air hubs are less than 72 hours apart), ineffective world leaders & UN, the consequences of accelerating global warming, the positioning of key essential / physiological supplies (Critical National Infrastructure – CNI - UK) in the private sector (e.g. electricity, water etc.) and an associated failure to understand how vital the private sector is not only in terms of employment, economy and wealth generation, but to maintain almost the entire CNI in most if it not all countries.

In several cases these threats and risks combine to create a series of problems that we are presently unable to deal with as a result of silo based attitudes, incompetence, proprietorial behaviour or just complacency.

There is I suggest, a need to start building a new approach based on conceptualising and hopefully influencing others since we are presently lacking a truly forward thinking and pan global collective body of influential advisors, practitioners and academics that transcends the otherwise valuable but discrete institutions in many countries and their individual agendas. It might just inform many others as to what terrorism is all about and get them to think twice before alleging my own company was some how implicated in 7/7. My aim is to help stimulate, collaborate and disseminate effective and non partisan advice without the handicap of parochial restrictions, silo constraints or inhibited vision.

Of course, as Mr Power also says:

"Terror doesn't rely on the bang,
it relies on the fear of the bang.
"

So, if you have any information about any aspects of the anti-terror rehearsal operation run by Peter Power and Visor Consultants on the morning of July 7th, please get in touch.

In the meantime, please sign the J7 RELEASE THE EVIDENCE Petition!



Please sign the J7 RELEASE THE EVIDENCE Petition



July 7th Alternative Hypotheses

What else might have happened?

Below is a short sample of potential alternative hypotheses to the official conspiracy theory about how 7/7 came to be. It is by no means a complete or comprehensive list, merely possible alternatives for consideration:

1. Al-Qa'ida mastermind recruited British Muslims as suicide bombers.

2. Al-Qa'ida mastermind recruited British Muslims for indiscriminate attacks, but duped them in so far as the latter did not know they were going to die in the explosions.

3. Homegrown and autonomous action by four British Muslims with no mastermind.

4. Any of the above plots could have been monitored by one or more secret 'service' (MI5, MI6, CIA, Mossad) but they let it happen on purpose in order to exploit the subsequent situation.

5. The men thought they were going to strike a blow for Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc and go to Heaven as 'martyrs' because they had been groomed and encouraged and equipped by an al-Qa'ida mastermind who was actually working for one of the State agencies or a rogue network straddling one or more of them with their own agenda.

6. The four men thought they were going to be delivering drugs or money to various locations round London, but were deceived, set up and murdered along with the others on their tubes and bus when their back packs exploded.

7. As above but the men thought they were carrying dummy 'bombs' because they were participating in an exercise testing London transport's defences against backpack bombers.

8. The four men were chosen or lured in to be patsies in a classic 'false flag operation' or frame-up by a network involved with one or more of the intelligence services.

9. The original story of power surges which MetroNet reported at the time of the incidents was correct and the exploding bus in Tavistock Square was related to a long-planned anti-terror 'exercise'.

1. Al-Qa'ida mastermind recruited British Muslims as suicide bombers

This is the mainstream story, even though the details are inconsistent and change without explanation. For example, the idea that there was a 'mastermind' was proposed even on the day of the attacks, some names were even suggested for who it might be, such as Mustafa Nasar, the suspected 'mastermind behind the Madrid bombings. Haroon Rashid Aswat was another name mentioned; the media reported he had been arrested in Pakistan, even describing what he was wearing at the time, but this was denied by the police. Aswat was eventually arrested in Zambia and brought back to Britain.

When John Loftus, a terrorism expert, revealed on Fox News that Aswat had in fact been an MI6 asset, all the links between him and the London bombings were played down, even though he was widely reported to have had recent telephone contact with the men.

Christophe Chaboud, head of the French Anti-Terrorism Co-ordination Unit, told Le Monde newspaper that the explosives used in the bombings were of "military origin". After British police raided several properties in Leeds, they claimed to have found traces of TATP and announced that the bombs on July 7th were comprised of peroxide-based explosives made by hand. There were confusing discrepancies over whether the bombs had been detonated manually or by timers, where the bombs had actually been placed and many inaccurate reports were made about the lives of the four men which even though were shown later not to be true, were never retracted in the national press. Matthew Parris of The Times wrote an article criticizing how the story has been continually changed and exaggerated.

The idea that a home-grown independent terror-cell couldn't have carried out this action is linked to three supposed functions of a terrorist network:

  • Recruitment/motivation management;
  • Technical help, including with making the bombs and possible provision of high- grade explosives;
  • Target selection.

However, on August 13th, The Independent's cover story - 'London Bombings: The Truth Emerges, wrote that there was no evidence of a terror mastermind'.

Much was made about how two of the men (after initial incorrect reports stating 'three men') had recently visited Pakistan. It is not unusual for British Pakistanis to visit their ancestral land. Initial reports that Tanweer spent lots of time at a particularly questionable centre near Lahore now aqppear to be untrue; he spent most of his visit with relatives near Faislabad. As for supposed corroboration of 'terrorist links' to the four designated 'suicide bombers' being supplied by those held in Pakistan or Egypt, where torture is routine, these reports are especially dubious perhaps to the point of worthlessness.

Soon after the event there were claims of responsibility; one by a group named The Secret Organisation Group of al-Qaeda of Jihad Organisation in Europe. This group was not considered credible, yet reports regarding the claim carried on for several days before disappearing. Coverage of this story was largely promulgated by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The strongest suggestion of a link with al-Qa'ida was the video released of Mohammad Sidique Khan. However, people close to Khan are certain it isn't him, as he looked much different in the video. It is possible the Khan made a video as part of an infiltration operation into Muslim extremist groups by the secret services which often employ Muslim men for this purpose (See hypothesis 8). The video has never been officially authenticated and past videos shown by al-Jazeera have often been generally regarded as fake.

There were also many reports in the media about the trip two of the men made within a larger group to a whitewater rafting centre in Wales, there were reports of 'bonding weekends' and 'toughing-up missions'. The Times wrote a report suggesting that a mysterious 'mastermind' accompanied the men on their trip. Yet the manager of the centre in Bala stated that they do not run weekend courses and the men in the group acted no differently and engaged in no different activities than any other visitor to the centre.

2. Al-Qa'ida mastermind recruited British Muslims for indiscriminate attacks, but duped them in so far as the latter did not know they were going to die in the explosions.

The Mirror raised this possibility on July 16th.

According to the only CCTV picture released so far [if genuine - see below at hypothesis 8] the four men seemed very relaxed. They are also reported to have bought return tickets and pay and display tickets for their cars at Luton station car park. Even though it could be argued that the men may have done this to allay suspicion, other behaviour doesn't seem to fit the profile of suicide bombers. Shehzad Tanweer had just spend a large amount of money to repair his car. He was captured on CCTV arguing with a cashier over change at a petrol station shortly before the attacks. He had also played a leisurely game of cricket the night before.

3. Homegrown and autonomous action by four British Muslims with no mastermind.

The contradictions surrounding the nature of the explosives cast doubt on this theory. Christophe Chaboud, France's new antiterrorism coordinator, stated that he knew 'the nature of the explosive' in the London bombings: It ''appears to be military, which is very worrisome,'' he said.

Other experts, both British and European, also indicated that the explosive used was of 'military quality' or at least 'technically advanced' :' British intelligence officials have asked their counterparts elsewhere in Europe to scour military stockpiles and commercial sites for missing explosives, three senior European-based intelligence officials said.

However, later reports of a bath containing TATP in a flat in Burley, Leeds, suggested that the bombs were homemade. The men had been reported to have been seen buying the rucksacks they allegedly used to carry the bombs and the actual devices used weighed, surprisingly, less than ten pounds.

In January 2006, The Evening Standard reported that the bombings had cost just £500 to carry out and had been principally funded by Sidique Khan. The article also stated that this cost was 'significantly lower' than the cost of financing other similar terrorist attacks across the world, so this seems rather strange.

4. Any of the above plots could have been monitored by one or more secret 'service' (MI5, MI6, CIA, Mossad) but they let it happen on purpose in order to exploit the subsequent situation.

There were reports of Israeli prior knowledge of the attacks. Israel's finance minister, Binyamin Netanyahu was warned to stay in his hotel room shortly before the blasts went off, instead of making his way to an hotel adjacent to Liverpool Street station, close to one of the explosions. The Israeli Embassy claimed to have received a warning from Scotland Yard. and stressed that the advanced Scotland Yard warning did not indicate that Israel was the target. Scotland Yard later denied they had provided the Israeli Embassy with any such warning.

An additional possibility is that the non-governmental group who carried it out was a British fascist group with intelligence connections. It certainly seems quite possible that, as with 9/11, people made a lot of money out of advance knowledge of the coming attacks - in this case by 'shorting' the pound 10 cents against the dollar in the run-up to the 7th July. See 'Who shorted the pound' and 'How did Greenspan know?'

5. The men thought they were going to strike a blow for Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc and go to Heaven as 'martyrs' because they had been groomed and encouraged and equipped by an al-Qa'ida mastermind who was actually working for one of the State agencies or a rogue network straddling one or more of them with their own agenda.

The reports about Haroon Rashid Aswat working for MI6, give some credence to this theory See here and here.

There is a long history of state use of 'agent provocateurs'. Many 'al-Qa'ida' clerics or other extremist activists turn out on closer inspection to have very close links to the secret services; indeed the name 'Londonistan' was coined by those who believe that MI6 was tolerating London being used as a base for certain attacks in other countries in order to secure immunity from attacks in the UK.

http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/07/al-qaeda-qatada-madrid-london-and.html
http://www.globalresearch.ca/
http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/07/cut-outs-moles-patsies-and.html

There is also evidence of extremist clerics and websites which turn out to be fronts for UK and European fascists.

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/Jul%20archives.htm (scroll to July 24th entry.)

6. The four men thought they were going to be delivering drugs or money to various locations round London, but were deceived, set up and murdered along with the others on their tubes and bus when their back packs exploded.

Many of the details people take to support the first three stories could also support this explanation. For example, the trips to Pakistan could have facilitated the setting up of drug deals. How were the Pakistan trips financed? Jamal Lindsay's reported purchase of large amounts of perfume, the purchases of boxes and rucksacks all fit the drugs hypothesis, either to hide the smell or as a means of laundering money. Drugs are a common way for patsies to be drawn into position. Those who have analysed 9/11 believe that Mohammed Atta and co probably thought they were being trained to fly 'puddlejumpers' for the CIA in Afghanistan (see 'Terrorland' by Daniel Hopsicker), and also here: http://www.williambowles.info/911/911_dirty_secret.html

William Bowles was one of those who set out the drugs version in Dead Men Tell No Tales: Were the London Bombings A Set Up?

Opinions differ as to whether such a rucksack delivery system for drugs is plausible (or would have seemed plausible to the four 'mules') - some say that you would drive round London with the stuff in the boot of your hired car. However, they may have set out to do just that; the Luton story and picture could be quite false - (see hypothesis 8.) They may also have thought they were delivering money - apparently not so unusual in some Asian networks. One analysis tending to support the 'duped' notion (version 6 or 7) is the following

http://www.brushtail.com.au/july_05_on/london_bombers_duped.html

7. As above but the men thought they were carrying dummy 'bombs' because they were participating in an exercise testing London transport's defences against backpack bombers.

Crisis management consultants, Visor, were running a terrorist exercise on the morning of July 7th. Visor's MD, Peter Power, who is a retired anti-terrorist police officer who retains close links to Scotland Yard, gave an interview on BBC Radio 5, and said:

"At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning."

Power stated that the company employing them that morning was involved in London transport but would not give their name.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/090705bombingexercises.htm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/130705newdevelopments.htm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/120705importantquestions.htm

Maybe four 'backpack bombers' could have been designed into the drill? Visor Consultants had been to the fore in the 'London Resilience' consortium of transport and emergency service organisations, which planned 'Atlantic Blue' exercises in 2003, an exercise which involved dummy bombs on tubes. Further exercises had followed and a 2003 report tells us that a major British/American one was planned for 2005.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/3320809.stm

8. The four men were chosen or lured in to be patsies in a classic 'false flag operation' or frame-up by a network involved with one or more of the intelligence services.

This theory is the one argued by Fintan Dunne of BreakForNews.

http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/07/how-black-ops-staged-london-bombings.html

Witnesses and survivors spoke of the damage to the floor of the trains suggesting that the bombs had been underneath. Bruce Lait, a passenger on the Aldgate train said:

"The policeman said 'mind that hole, that's where the bomb was'. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag," [Survivor Bruce Lait as reported in Cambridge News]

Guardian journalist Mark Honigsbaum also recorded several witnesses speaking of explosions under the floor of the train, the floors of the trains being torn up and floor tiles flying upwards.

Those who have studied 9-11 are particularly suspicious of the role of former New York Mayor Guiliani both on that day and subsequently. Visor Consultancy managing director Peter Power has co-addressed conferences along with a business associate of Guiliani's principal business partner, and Guiliani was in town on the morning of 7/7, based near Liverpool Street station in the same Great Eastern Hotel as Netanyahu. The head of London Transport, American Bob Kiley, is a member of the influential Council on Foreign Relations and one-time CIA high-flyer, and his head of London Underground is also a wealthy American executive.

Since September 2004 an Israeli company had become heavily involved with the tube network, having been contracted by Metronet to supply the video technology for platform surveillance and 'certain remote portions of the track'.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=69208
http://www.rense.com/general67/sisr.htm

This becomes of possible relevance if it is borne in mind how many Israeli companies, like US or British, co-operate with or act as vehicles for intelligence agencies. If the bombs weren't in backpacks inside the carriages, but underneath them, then the powersurge, which was initially reported by London Underground and Metronet and denied by the National Grid, could have been used to detonate the bombs, and or knock out video-systems?

No CCTV footage was ever shown of any of the men at Kings Cross Thameslink, Mainline or Underground stations, or getting on to the relevant tubes/bus. It is unlikely that none of the cameras were working. This image gallery shows how many cameras there are which should have captured the men as they made their way from the Thameslink to the mainline station:

The still photo we were shown from Luton Station is of extremely poor quality, especially when compared with the plethora of sharp, moving images from the supposed 'dummy run' of June 28th and of the alleged perpetrators of the failed bombs of July 21st.

Hasib Hussain was caught on camera leaving Boots at 9am, yet according to witness reports, King's Cross was already being evacuated at that time. This image was not released until the day after the bombing in Bali, yet the police must surely have been in possession of it from the same time they had all the other imagery that they claim to have. Hussain was not caught on the CCTV of the bus he allegedly bombed, since it was apparently not working that day. A Stagecoach employee, after pointing out that the No.30 was the only bus to be diverted from its usual route that day, said:

"CCTV gets maintained at least 2 or 3 times a week and can digitally store up to 2 whole weeks worth of footage. This is done by a private contractor....So when I heard that the CCTV wasn't working on a vehicle that's no more than 2 years old since last June.....I'm sorry that's rubbish, I work for the company I know different."

Note: Independent research by J7 researchers has since discovered that the story of the Stagecoach employee is false and provably so, leading some to conclude that the original story about only one bus being diverted from its usual route may have been a piece of deliberate misinformation. At least two other buses were in Tavistock Square on the morning of 7th July 2005 that do not enter Tavistock Square as part of their usual route. These buses were a number 205 directly ahead of the number 30 and a 390 ahead of the 205.

The only witness who claimed to have a clear description of the 'bus bomber' clearly did not see Hasib Hussain that day.

http://www.faulkingtruth.com/Articles/CommentaryToo/1037.html

The identification of three of the four designated terrorists took place at a remarkably early stage - July 12th - with only one or two of the other 56 dead people identified. Some have asked how the police knew who to connect up with whom, as only one of the bombers is said to have left ID in two separate locations. The identification was initially made through credit card details as opposed to mortal remains.

http://www.team8plus.org/forum_viewtopic.php?9.1439

Fintan Dunne asks if the men even got as far as Luton station that morning, suggesting that the only evidence placing them there is possibly faked.

http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/07/london-bombers-did-they-board-at-luton.html
http://wagnews.blogspot.com/2005/07/evidence-luton-cctv-image-is-fake.html

The men were reported by various media to have caught either the 07:40 or the 07:48 train from Luton to Kings Cross Thameslink station. Evidence supplied by Chris Hudson, Communications Manager of Thameslink Rail, showed that they could not have caught the 07:40 as it had been cancelled.

The trains had been heavily disrupted that morning and the ones which ran did not run on time. The BBc programme 'Horizon', reported that the men took the 07:48. However, this train was delayed and would have arrived at Kings Cross too late for the men to have been caught on CCTV at 8:26, which is the time the police say the cameras caught them at the main concourse.

It has been suggested the men may have caught an earlier train, which left at 07:25, especially if they had already purchased tickets and moved quickly through Luton station. However, the train would not have reached the Thameslink station at Kings Cross until 8:23am. It is approximately an eight minute walk between the Thameslink and Mainline stations, so again, it is virtually impossible that they could have been caught on CCTV at 8:26. If it cannot be proven that the men took a train from Luton in order to have got to Kings Cross by the time the police say they were there, then it cannot be assumed that they are, in fact, the perpetrators.

People close to the men have spoken of how non political and westernised the men were, despite reports of their apparent devotion to their religion. Jamal Lindsay's mother told of how he cried when he watched the events of 9/11, wondering how people could do such things. Tanweer's friends told of how he wore his baseball cap to Mosque. A white British teenage girl in Leeds told of her secret relationship with Hasib Hussain, and Sidique Khan was widely regarded as extremely compassionate, not just within the Muslim community but in the wider locality as well.

As the one with some links to the establishment, Khan may have been the link person who recruited the others for some person or company who (he didn't realise) was working for MI5 - and/or CIA - and/or Mossad.

http://www.blogigo.co.uk/socialdemocracynow/entry/43524

Ex MI5 officer David Shayler has spoken of how the secret services would fund terrorist plots in order to frame a certain group or achieve a political aim. In 1996, after being briefed about an MI6 funded plot to assassinate Colonel Gadhafi of Libya, which failed, killing many innocent civilians, Shayler submitted a series of articles blowing the whistle on his previous employers because he could no longer be complicit with such operations.

There are many Muslims all over the world tortured and locked up on flimsy evidence simply to create a climate of fear and intimidation - for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. David and his partner Annie Machon, also a former MI5 employee have information which points to the innocence of two Palestinians, Samar Alami and Jawad Botmeh, now in their 10th year of a 20 year imposed prison sentence for explosives offences.

http://www.freesaj.org.uk/ (Click on MI5 cover-up confirmed)

More information on state sponsored terrorism can be found here.

9. The original story of power surges which MetroNet reported at the time of the incidents was correct and the exploding bus in Tavistock Square was related to a long-planned anti-terror 'exercise'.

Why would the train operating companies running the London Underground lie about the source of the explosions on the trains? When asked about the source of the power surge story, a response from London Underground stated the following:

"I'm afraid it's not accurate to say that the information given about a power surge was a 'story'. When the explosions happened, obviously they broke the track circuit. On the computer systems at network control, such a big break would look the same as a power surge. It's worth pointing out that we have never been the victim of a terrorist attack of this kind before, but on 28 August 2003 a power surge knocked out about half of the network. Such a surge can be accompanied by explosions. In other words, all the evidence we had at the time (including the information from the drivers) and our experience pointed to a power surge, so that's what we said it was. This information was given in good faith."

Source: Reply from London Underground

Indeed, Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said the following at a 7 July Review Comittee Meeting on March 1st 2006:

"You could have had a power surge with a quite catastrophic casualty level. We have always been aware of that on the Underground."

Ken Livingstone
7th July Review Committee, March 1st, 2006


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posted by u2r2h at Friday, June 29, 2007 1 comments links to this post

Chomsky -- eliminate nuclear weapons, a binding legal obligation

ZNet | Mideast

Imminent Crises: Threats and Opportunities

by Noam Chomsky; Monthly Review; June 27, 2007

Regrettably, there are all too many candidates that qualify as imminent
and very serious crises. Several should be high on everyone's agenda of
concern, because they pose literal threats to human survival: the
increasing likelihood of a terminal nuclear war, and environmental
disaster, which may not be too far removed. However, I would like to focus
on narrower issues, those that are of greatest concern in the West right
now. I will be speaking primarily of the United States, which I know best,
and it is the most important case because of its enormous power. But as
far as I can ascertain, Europe is not very different.

The area of greatest concern is the Middle East. There is nothing novel
about that. I often have to arrange talks years in advance. If I am asked
for a title, I suggest "The Current Crisis in the Middle East." It has yet
to fail. There's a good reason: the huge energy resources of the region
were recognized by Washington sixty years ago as a "stupendous source of
strategic power," the "strategically most important area of the world,"
and "one of the greatest material prizes in world history."1 Control over
this stupendous prize has been a primary goal of U.S. policy ever since,
and threats to it have naturally aroused enormous concern.

For years it was pretended that the threat was from the Russians, the
routine pretext for violence and subversion all over the world. In the
case of the Middle East, we do not have to consider this pretext, since it
was officially abandoned. When the Berlin Wall fell, the first Bush
administration released a new National Security Strategy, explaining that
everything would go as before but within a new rhetorical framework. The
massive military system is still necessary, but now because of the
"technological sophistication of third world powers"—which at least comes
closer to the truth—the primary threat, worldwide, has been indigenous
nationalism. The official document explained further that the United
States would maintain its intervention forces aimed at the Middle East,
where "the threat to our interests" that required intervention "could not
be laid at the Kremlin's door," contrary to decades of fabrication.2 As is
normal, all of this passed without comment.

The most serious current problem in the minds of the population, by far,
is Iraq. And the easy winner in the competition for the country that is
the most feared is Iran, not because Iran really poses a severe threat,
but because of a drumbeat of government-media propaganda. That is a
familiar pattern. The most recent example is Iraq. The invasion of Iraq
was virtually announced in September 2002. As we now know, the
U.S.-British invasion was already underway in secret. In that month,
Washington initiated a huge propaganda campaign, with lurid warnings by
Condoleezza Rice and others that the next message from Saddam Hussein
would be a mushroom cloud in New York City. Within a few weeks, the
government-media propaganda barrage had driven Americans completely off
the international spectrum. Saddam may have been despised almost
everywhere, but it was only in the United States that a majority of the
population were terrified of what he might do to them, tomorrow. Not
surprisingly! , support for the war correlated very closely with such
fears. That has been achieved before, in amazing ways during the Reagan
years, and there is a long and illuminating earlier history. But I will
keep to the current monster being crafted by the doctrinal system, after a
few words about Iraq.

There is a flood of commentary about Iraq, but very little reporting.
Journalists are mostly confined to fortified areas in Baghdad, or embedded
within the occupying army. That is not because they are cowards or lazy,
but because it is simply too dangerous to be anywhere else. That has not
been true in earlier wars. It is an astonishing fact that the United
States and Britain have had more trouble running Iraq than the Nazis had
in occupied Europe, or the Russians in their East European satellites,
where the countries were run by local civilians and security forces, with
the iron fist poised if anything went wrong but usually in the background.
In contrast, the United States has been unable to establish an obedient
client regime in Iraq, under far easier conditions.

Putting aside doctrinal blinders, what should be done in Iraq? Before
answering, we should be clear about some basic principles. The major
principle is that an invader has no rights, only responsibilities. The
first responsibility is to pay reparations. The second responsibility is
to follow the will of the victims. There is actually a third
responsibility: to bring criminals to trial, but that obligation is so
remote from the imperial mentality of Western culture that I will put it
aside.

The responsibility to pay reparations to Iraqis goes far beyond the crime
of aggression and its terrible aftermath. The United States and Britain
have been torturing the population of Iraq for a long time. In recent
history, both governments strongly supported Saddam Hussein's terrorist
regime through the period of his worst crimes, and long after the end of
the war with Iran. Iran finally capitulated, recognizing that it could not
fight the United States, which was, by then, openly participating in
Saddam's aggression—something that Iranians have surely not forgotten,
even if Westerners have. Dismissing history is always a convenient stance
for those who hold the clubs, but their victims usually prefer to pay
attention to the real world. After the Iran-Iraq war, Washington and
London continued to provide military equipment to their friend Saddam,
including means to develop weapons of mass destruction and delivery
systems. Iraqi nuclear engineers were even being brought to t! he United
States for instruction in developing nuclear weapons in 1989, long after
Saddam's worst atrocities and Iran's capitulation.

Immediately after the 1991 Gulf War, the United States and the United
Kingdom returned to their support for Saddam when they effectively
authorized him to use heavy military equipment to suppress a Shi'ite
uprising that might well have overthrown the tyrant. The reasons were
publicly explained. The New York Times reported that there was a
"strikingly unanimous view" among the United States and its allies,
Britain and Saudi Arabia, that "whatever the sins of the Iraqi leader, he
offered the West and the region a better hope for his country's stability
than did those who have suffered his repression"; the term "stability" is
a code word for "following orders."3 New York Times chief diplomatic
correspondent Thomas Friedman explained that "the best of all worlds" for
Washington would be an "iron-fisted military junta" ruling Iraq just the
way Saddam did. But lacking that option, Washington had to settle for
second-best: Saddam himself. An unthinkable option—then and now—is that !
Iraqis should rule Iraq independently of the United States.

Then followed the murderous sanctions regime imposed by the United States
and Britain, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, devastated
Iraqi civilian society, strengthened the tyrant, and forced the population
to rely on him for survival. The sanctions probably saved Saddam from the
fate of other vicious tyrants, some quite comparable to him, who were
overthrown from within despite strong support from the United States and
United Kingdom to the end of their bloody rule: Ceausescu, Suharto, and
quite a rogues gallery of others, to which new names are being added
regularly. Again, all of this is boring ancient history for those who hold
the clubs, but not for their victims, or for people who prefer to
understand the world. All of those actions, and much more, call for
reparations, on a massive scale, and the responsibility extends to others
as well. But the deep moral-intellectual crisis of imperial culture
prevents any thought of such topics as these.

The second responsibility is to obey the will of the population. British
and U.S. polls provide sufficient evidence about that. The most recent
polls find that 87 percent of Iraqis want a "concrete timeline for US
withdrawal," up from 76 percent in 2005.4 If the reports really mean
Iraqis, as they say, that would imply that virtually the entire population
of Arab Iraq, where the U.S. and British armies are deployed, wants a firm
timetable for withdrawal. I doubt that one would have found comparable
figures in occupied Europe under the Nazis, or Eastern Europe under
Russian rule.

Bush-Blair and associates declare, however, that there can be no timetable
for withdrawal. That stand in part reflects the natural hatred for
democracy among the powerful, often accompanied by eloquent calls for
democracy. The calls for democracy moved to center stage after the failure
to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so a new motive had to be
invented for the invasion. The president announced the doctrine to great
acclaim in November 2003, at the National Endowment for Democracy in
Washington. He proclaimed that the real reason for the invasion was not
Saddam's weapons programs, as Washington and London had insistently
claimed, but rather Bush's messianic mission to promote democracy in Iraq,
the Middle East, and elsewhere. The media and prominent scholars were
deeply impressed, relieved to discover that the "liberation of Iraq" is
perhaps the "most noble" war in history, as leading liberal commentators
announced—a sentiment echoed even by critics, who objected ! that the
"noble goal" may be beyond our means, and those to whom we are offering
this wonderful gift may be too backward to accept it. That conclusion was
confirmed a few days later by U.S. polls in Baghdad. Asked why the United
States invaded Iraq, some agreed with the new doctrine hailed by Western
intellectuals: 1 percent agreed that the goal was to promote democracy.
Another 5 percent said that the goal was to help Iraqis.5 Most of the rest
took for granted that the goals were the obvious ones that are
unmentionable in polite society—the strategic-economic goals we readily
attribute to enemies, as when Russia invaded Afghanistan or Saddam invaded
Kuwait, but are unmentionable when we turn to ourselves.

But rejection of the popular will in Iraq goes far beyond the natural fear
of democracy on the part of the powerful. Simply consider the policies
that are likely to be pursued by an independent and more or less
democratic Iraq. Iraqis may have no love for Iran, but they would
doubtlessly prefer friendly relations with their powerful neighbor. The
Shi'ite majority already has ties to Iran and has been moving to
strengthen them. Furthermore, even limited sovereignty in Iraq has
encouraged efforts by the harshly repressed Shi'ite population across the
border in Saudi Arabia to gain basic rights and perhaps autonomy. That is
where most of Saudi Arabia's oil happens to be.

Such developments might lead to a loose Shi'ite alliance controlling the
world's major energy resources and independent of Washington, the ultimate
nightmare in Washington—except that it might get worse: the alliance might
strengthen its economic and possibly even military ties with China. The
United States can intimidate Europe: when Washington shakes its fist,
leading European business enterprises pull out of Iran. But China has a
three-thousand-year history of contempt for the barbarians: they refuse to
be intimidated.

That is the basic reason for Washington's strategic concerns with regard
to China: not that it is a military threat, but that it poses the threat
of independence. If that threat is unacceptable for small countries like
Cuba or Vietnam, it is certainly so for the heartland of the most dynamic
economic region in the world, the country that has just surpassed Japan in
possession of the world's major financial reserves and is the world's
fastest growing major economy. China's economy is already about two-thirds
the size of that of the United States, by the correct measures, and if
current growth rates persist, it is likely to close that gap in about a
decade—in absolute terms, not per capita of course.

China is also the center of the Asian Energy Security Grid and the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which includes the Central Asian
countries, and just a few weeks ago, was joined by India, Iran, and
Pakistan as observers, soon probably members. India is undertaking
significant joint energy projects with China, and it might join the Energy
Security Grid. Iran may as well, if it comes to the conclusion that Europe
is so intimidated by the United States that it cannot act independently.
If Iran turns to the East, it will find willing partners. A major
conference on energy last September in Teheran brought together government
officials and scholars from Iran, China, Pakistan, India, Russia, Egypt,
Indonesia, Georgia, Venezuela, and Germany, planning an extensive pipeline
system for the entire region and also more intensive development of energy
resources. Bush's recent trip to India, and his authorization of India's
nuclear weapons program, is part of the jockeying over how ! these major
global forces will crystallize. A sovereign and partially democratic Iraq
could be another contribution to developments that seriously threaten U.S.
global hegemony, so it is not at all surprising that Washington has sought
in every way to prevent such an outcome, joined by "the spear carrier for
the pax americana," as Blair's Britain is described by Michael MccGwire in
Britain's leading journal of international affairs.6

If the United States were compelled to grant some degree of sovereignty to
Iraq, and any of these consequences would ensue, Washington planners would
be facing the collapse of one of their highest foreign policy objectives
since the Second World War, when the United States replaced Britain as the
world-dominant power: the need to control "the strategically most
important area of the world." What has been central to planning is
control, not access, an important distinction. The United States followed
the same policies long before it relied on a drop of Middle East oil, and
would continue to do so if it relied on solar energy. Such control gives
the United States "veto power" over its industrial rivals, as explained in
the early postwar period by influential planners, and reiterated recently
with regard to Iraq: a successful conquest of Iraq would give the United
States "critical leverage" over its industrial rivals, Europe and Asia, as
pointed out by Zbigniew Brzezinski, an i! mportant figure in the planning
community. Vice President Dick Cheney made the same point, describing
control over petroleum supplies as "tools of intimidation and blackmail"—
when used by others.7 He went on to urge the dictatorships of Central
Asia, Washington's models of democracy, to agree to pipeline construction
that ensures that the tools remain in Washington's hands.

The thought is by no means original. At the dawn of the oil age almost
ninety years ago, Britain's first lord of the admiralty Walter Hume Long
explained that "if we secure the supplies of oil now available in the
world we can do what we like."8 Woodrow Wilson also understood this
crucial point. Wilson expelled the British from Venezuela, which by 1928
had become the world's leading oil exporter, with U.S. companies then
placed in charge. To achieve this goal, Wilson and his successors
supported the vicious and corrupt dictator of Venezuela and ensured that
he would bar British concessions. Meanwhile the United States continued to
demand—and secure—U.S. oil rights in the Middle East, where the British
and French were in the lead.

We might note that these events illustrate the actual meaning of the
"Wilsonian idealism" admired by Western intellectual culture, and also
provide the real meaning of "free trade" and the "open door." Sometimes
that is even officially acknowledged. When the post-Second World War
global order was being shaped in Washington, a State Department memorandum
on U.S. petroleum policy called for preserving absolute U.S. control of
Western hemisphere resources "coupled with insistence upon the Open Door
principle of equal opportunity for United States companies in new areas."9
That is a useful illustration of "really existing free market doctrine":
What we have, we keep, closing the door to others; what we do not yet
have, we take, under the principle of the Open Door. All of this
illustrates the one really significant theory of international relations,
the maxim of Thucydides: the strong do as they can, and the weak suffer as
they must.

With regard to Iraq today, talk about exit strategies means very little
unless these realities are confronted. How Washington planners will deal
with these problems is far from clear. And they face similar problems
elsewhere. Intelligence projections for the new millennium were that the
United States would control Middle East oil as a matter of course, but
would itself rely on more stable Atlantic Basin reserves: West African
dictatorships' and the Western hemisphere's. But Washington's postwar
control of South America, from Venezuela to Argentina, is seriously
eroding. The two major instruments of control have been violence and
economic strangulation, but each weapon is losing its efficacy. The latest
attempt to sponsor a military coup was in 2002, in Venezuela, but the
United States had to back down when the government it helped install was
quickly overthrown by popular resistance, and there was turmoil in Latin
America, where democracy is taken much more seriously than in! the West
and overthrow of a democratically elected government is no longer accepted
quietly. Economic controls are also eroding. South American countries are
paying off their debts to the IMF—basically an offshoot of the U.S.
Treasury department. More frightening yet to Washington, these countries
are being aided by Venezuela. The president of Argentina announced that
the country would "rid itself of the IMF." Rigorous adherence to IMF rules
had led to economic disaster, from which the country recovered by
radically violating the rules. Brazil too had rid itself of the IMF, and
Bolivia probably will as well, again aided by Venezuela. U.S. economic
controls are seriously weakening.

Washington's main concern is Venezuela, the leading oil producer in the
Western hemisphere. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that its
reserves might be greater than Saudi Arabia's if the price of oil stays
high enough for exploitation of its expensive extra-heavy oil to become
profitable. Extreme U.S. hostility and subversion has accelerated
Venezuela's interest in diversifying exports and investment, and China is
more than willing to accept the opportunity, as it is with other
resource-rich Latin American exporters. The largest gas reserves in South
America are in Bolivia, which is now following much the same path as
Venezuela. Both countries pose a problem for Washington in other respects.
They have popularly elected governments. Venezuela leads Latin America in
support for the elected government, increasing sharply in the past few
years under Chávez. He is bitterly hated in the United States because of
his independence and enormous popular support. Bolivia just had! a
democratic election of a kind next to inconceivable in the West. There
were serious issues that the population understood very well, and there
was active participation of the general population, who elected someone
from their own ranks, from the indigenous majority. Democracy is always
frightening to power centers, particularly when it goes too far beyond
mere form and involves actual substance.

Commentary on what is happening reveals the nature of the fears. London's
Financial Times warned that President Evo Morales of Bolivia is becoming
increasingly "authoritarian" and "undemocratic." This is a serious concern
to Western powers, who are dedicated to freedom and democracy everywhere.
The proof of his authoritarian stance and departure from democratic
principles is that he followed the will of 95 percent of the population
and nationalized Bolivia's gas resources, and is also gaining popularity
by cutting public salaries and eliminating corruption. Morales's policies
have come to resemble the frightening leader of Venezuela. As if the
popularity of Chávez's elected government was not proof enough that he is
an anti-democratic dictator, he is attempting to extend to Bolivia the
same programs he is instituting in Venezuela: helping "Bolivia's drive to
stamp out illiteracy and pay[ing] the wages of hundreds of Cuban doctors
who have been sent to work there" among the p! oor, to quote the Financial
Times' lament.10

The latest Bush administration's National Security Strategy, released
March 2006, describes China as the greatest long-term threat to U.S.
global dominance. The threat is not military, but economic. The document
warns that Chinese leaders are not only "expanding trade, but acting as if
they can somehow 'lock up' energy supplies around the world or seek to
direct markets rather than opening them up."11 In the U.S.-China meetings
in Washington a few weeks ago, President Bush warned President Hu Jintao
against trying to "lock up" global supplies. Bush condemned China's
reliance on oil from Sudan, Burma, and Iran, accusing China of opposition
to free trade and human rights—unlike Washington, which imports only from
pure democracies that worship human rights, like Equatorial Guinea, one of
the most vicious African dictatorships; Colombia, which has by far the
worst human rights record in Latin America; Central Asian states; and
other paragons of virtue. No respectable person woul! d accuse Washington
of "locking up" global supplies when it pursues its traditional "open door
policy" and outright aggression to ensure that it dominates global energy
supplies, firmly holding "the tools of intimidation and blackmail." It is
interesting, perhaps, that none of this elicits ridicule in the West, or
even notice.

The lead story in the New York Times on the Bush-Hu meeting reported that
"China's appetite for oil also affects its stance on Iran....The issue [of
China's effort to 'lock up' global supplies] is likely to come to a
particular head over Iran," where China's state-owned oil giant signed a
$70 billion deal to develop Iran's huge Yadavaran oil field.12 That's a
serious matter, compounded by Chinese interference even in Saudi Arabia, a
U.S. client state since the British were expelled during the Second World
War. This relationship now threatened by growing economic and even
military ties between China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, now China's
largest trading partner in West Asia and North Africa—perhaps further
proof of China's lack of concern for democracy and human rights. When
President Hu visited Washington, he was denied a state dinner, in a
calculated insult. He cheerfully reciprocated by going directly to Saudi
Arabia, a serious slap in the face to Washington that was! surely not
misunderstood.

This is the barest sketch of the relevant global context over what to do
in Iraq. But these critical matters are scarcely mentioned in the ongoing
debate about the problem of greatest concern to Americans. They are barred
by a rigid doctrine. It is unacceptable to attribute rational
strategic-economic thinking to one's own state, which must be guided by
benign ideals of freedom, justice, peace, and other wonderful things. That
leads back again to a very severe crisis in Western intellectual culture,
not of course unique in history, but with dangerous portent.

We can be confident that these matters, though excluded from public
discussion, engage the attention of planners. Governments typically regard
their populations as a major enemy, and keep them in ignorance of what is
happening to them and planned for them. Nevertheless, we can speculate.
One reasonable speculation is that Washington planners may be seeking to
inspire secessionist movements that the United States can then "defend"
against the home country. In Iran, the main oil resources are in the Arab
areas adjacent to the Gulf, Iran's Khuzestan—and sure enough, there is now
an Ahwazi liberation movement of unknown origin, claiming unspecified
rights of autonomy. Nearby, Iraq and the gulf states provide a base for
U.S. military intervention.

The U.S. military presence in Latin America is increasing substantially.
In Venezuela, oil resources are concentrated in Zulia province near
Colombia, the one reliable U.S. land base in the region, a province that
is anti-Chávez and already has an autonomy movement, again of unknown
origins. In Bolivia, the gas resources are in richer eastern areas
dominated by elites of European descent that bitterly oppose the
government elected by the indigenous majority, and have threatened to
secede. Nearby Paraguay is another one of the few remaining reliable land
bases for the U.S. military. Total military and police assistance now
exceeds economic and social aid, a dramatic reversal of the pattern during
Cold War years. The U.S. military now has more personnel in Latin America
than most key civilian federal agencies combined, again a sharp change
from earlier years. The new mission is to combat "radical populism"—the
term that is regularly used for independent nationalism that does n! ot
obey orders. Military training is being shifted from the State Department
to the Pentagon, freeing it from human rights and democracy conditionality
under congressional supervision—which was always weak, but had some
effects that constrained executive violence.

The United States is a global power, and its policies should not be viewed
in isolation, any more than those of the British Empire. Going back half a
century, the Eisenhower administration identified three major global
problems: Indonesia, North Africa, and the Middle East—all oil producers,
all Islamic. In all cases, the concern was independent nationalism. The
end of French rule in Algeria resolved the North African problem. In
Indonesia, the 1965 Suharto coup removed the threat of independence with a
huge massacre, which the CIA compared to the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, and
Mao. The "staggering mass slaughter," as the New York Times described it,
was greeted in the West with unconcealed euphoria and relief.13 The
military coup destroyed the only mass-based political party, a party of
the poor, slaughtered huge numbers of landless peasants, and threw the
country open to Western exploitation of its rich resources, while the
large majority tries to survive in misery. Two yea! rs later, the major
problem in the Middle East was resolved with Israel's destruction of the
Nasser regime, hated by the United States and Britain, which feared that
secular nationalist forces might seek to direct the vast energy resources
of the region to internal development. A few years earlier, U.S.
intelligence had warned of popular feelings that oil is a "national
patrimony" exploited by the West by unjust arrangements imposed by force.
Israel's service to the United States, its Saudi ally, and the energy
corporations confirmed the judgment of U.S. intelligence in 1958 that a
"logical corollary" of opposition to Arab nationalism is reliance on
Israel as "the only strong pro-Western power in the Middle East," apart
from Turkey, which established a close military alliance with Israel in
1958, within the U.S. strategic framework.14

The U.S.-Israeli alliance, unique in world affairs, dates from Israel's
1967 military conquests, reinforced in 1970 when Israel barred possible
Syrian intervention in Jordan to protect Palestinians who were being
slaughtered during Black September. Such intervention by Syria was
regarded in Washington as a threat to its ally Jordan and, more important,
to the oil-producers that were Washington's clients. U.S. aid to Israel
roughly quadrupled. The pattern is fairly consistent since, extending to
secondary Israeli services to U.S. power outside the Middle East,
particularly in Latin America and southern Africa. The system of
domination has worked quite well for the people who matter. Energy
corporation profits are breaking all records. High-tech (including
military) industry has lucrative ties with Israel, as do the major
financial institutions, and Israel serves virtually as an offshore
military base and provider of equipment and training. One may argue that
other policies wo! uld have been more beneficial to the concentrations of
domestic power that largely determine policy, but they seem to find these
arrangements quite tolerable. If they did not, they could easily move to
terminate them. And in fact, when there are conflicts between U.S. and
Israeli state power, Israel naturally backs down; exports of military
technology to China are a recent example, when the Bush administration
went out of its way to humiliate Israel after it was initially reluctant
to follow the orders of what Israeli commentator Aluf Benn calls "the
boss-man called 'partner.'"

Let us turn next to Iran and its nuclear programs. Until 1979, Washington
strongly supported these programs. During those years, of course, a brutal
tyrant installed by the U.S.-U.K. military coup that overthrew the Iranian
parliamentary government ruled Iran. Today, the standard claim is that
Iran has no need for nuclear power, and therefore must be pursuing a
secret weapons program. Henry Kissinger explained that "For a major oil
producer such as Iran, nuclear energy is a wasteful use of resources." As
secretary of state thirty years ago, Kissinger held that "introduction of
nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran's economy
and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to
petrochemicals," and the United States acted to assist the Shah's efforts.
Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, the leading planners of
the second Bush administration, worked hard to provide the Shah with a
"complete 'nuclear fuel cycle'—reactors powered by an! d regenerating
fissile materials on a self-sustaining basis. That is precisely the
ability the current administration is trying to prevent Iran from
acquiring today." U.S. universities were arranging to train Iranian
nuclear engineers, doubtless with Washington's approval, if not
initiative; including my own university, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, for example, despite overwhelming student opposition.
Kissinger was asked about his reversal, and he responded with his usual
engaging frankness: "They were an allied country."15 So therefore they had
a genuine need for nuclear energy, pre-1979, but have no such need today.

The Iranian nuclear programs, as far as is known, fall within its rights
under Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which grants
non-nuclear states the right to produce fuel for nuclear energy. The Bush
administration argues, however, that Article IV should be strengthened,
and I think that makes sense. When the NPT came into force in 1970, there
was a considerable gap between producing fuel for energy and for nuclear
weapons. But with contemporary technology, the gap has been narrowed.
However, any such revision of Article IV would have to ensure unimpeded
access for nonmilitary use, in accord with the initial bargain. A
reasonable proposal was put forth by Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the
International Atomic Energy Agency: that all production and processing of
weapon-usable material be under international control, with "assurance
that legitimate would-be users could get their supplies."16 That should be
the first step, he proposed, towards fully implementing th! e 1993 UN
resolution calling for a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (called FISSBAN,
for short), which bans production of fissile materials by individual
states. ElBaradei's proposal was dead in the water. The U.S. political
leadership, surely in its current stance, would never agree to this
delegation of sovereignty. To date, ElBaradei's proposal has been accepted
by only one state, to my knowledge: Iran, last February. That suggests one
way to resolve the current crisis—in fact, a far more serious crisis:
continued production of fissile materials by individual states is likely
to doom humanity to destruction.

Washington also strenuously opposes a verifiable FISSBAN treaty, regarded
by specialists as the "most fundamental nuclear arms control proposal,"
according to Princeton arms control specialist Frank von Hippel.17 Despite
U.S. opposition, in November 2004, the UN Disarmament Committee voted in
favor of a verifiable FISSBAN. The vote was 147 to 1, with 2 abstentions:
Israel, which is reflexive, and Britain, which is more interesting.
British ambassador John Freeman explained that Britain supported the
treaty, but could not vote for this version, because he said it "divides
the international community"—divided it 147 to 1.18 A later vote in the
full General Assembly was 179 to 2, Israel and Britain again abstaining.
The United States was joined by Palau.

We gain some insight into the ranking of survival of the species among the
priorities of the leadership of the hegemonic power and its spear carrier.

In 2004, the European Union (EU) and Iran reached an agreement on nuclear
issues: Iran agreed to temporarily suspend its legal activities of uranium
enrichment, and the EU agreed to provide Iran with "firm commitments on
security issues." As everyone understands, the phrase "security issues"
refers to the very credible U.S.-Israeli threats and preparations to
attack Iran. These threats, a serious violation of the UN Charter, are no
small matter for a country that has been tortured for fifty years without
a break by the global superpower, which now occupies the countries on
Iran's borders, not to speak of the client state that is the regional
superpower.

Iran lived up to its side of the bargain, but the EU, under U.S. pressure,
rejected its commitments. Iran finally abandoned the bargain as well. The
preferred version in the West is that Iran broke the agreement, proving
that it is a serious threat to world order.

In May 2003, Iran had offered to discuss the full range of security
matters with the United States, which refused, preferring to follow the
same course it did with North Korea. On taking office in January 2001, the
Bush administration withdrew the "no hostile intent" condition of earlier
agreements and proceeded to issue serious threats, while also abandoning
promises to provide fuel oil and a nuclear reactor. In response, North
Korea returned to developing nuclear weapons, the roots of another current
crisis. All predictable, and predicted.

There are ways to mitigate and probably end these crises. The first is to
call off the threats that are virtually urging Iran (and North Korea) to
develop nuclear weapons. One of Israel's leading military historians,
Martin van Creveld, wrote that if Iran is not developing nuclear weapons,
then they are "crazy," immediately after Washington demonstrated that it
will attack anyone it likes as long as they are known to be defenseless.19
So the first step towards ending the crisis would be to call off the
threats that are likely to lead potential targets to develop a deterrent—
where nuclear weapons or terror are the only viable options.

A second step would be to join with other efforts to reintegrate Iran into
the global economy. A third step would be to join the rest of the world in
accepting a verifiable FISSBAN treaty, and to join Iran in accepting
ElBaradei's proposal, or something similar—and I repeat that the issue
here extends far beyond Iran, and reaches the level of human survival. A
fourth step would be to live up to Article VI of the NPT, which obligates
the nuclear states to take "good faith" efforts to eliminate nuclear
weapons, a binding legal obligation, as the World Court determined. None
of the nuclear states have lived up to that obligation, but the United
States is far in the lead in violating it—again, a very serious threat to
human survival. Even steps in these directions would mitigate the upcoming
crisis with Iran. Above all, it is important to heed the words of Mohamed
ElBaradei: "There is no military solution to this situation. It is
inconceivable. The only durable solution is a neg! otiated solution."20
And it is within reach. Similar to the Iraq war: a war against Iran
appears to be opposed by the military and U.S. intelligence, but might
well be undertaken by the civilian planners of the Bush administration:
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and a few others, an unusually dangerous
collection.

There is wide agreement among prominent strategic analysts that the threat
of nuclear war is severe and increasing, and that the threat can be
eliminated by measures that are known and in fact legally obligatory. If
such measures are not taken, they warn that "a nuclear exchange is
ultimately inevitable," that we may be facing "an appreciable risk of
ultimate doom," an "Armageddon of our own making."21 The threats are well
understood, and they are being consciously enhanced. The Iraq invasion is
only the most blatant example.

Clinton's military and intelligence planners had called for "dominating
the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and
investment," much in the way armies and navies did in earlier years, but
now with a sole hegemon, which must develop "space-based strike weapons
[enabling] the application of precision force from, to, and through
space." Such measures will be needed, they said, because "globalization of
the world economy" will lead to a "widening economic divide" along with
"deepening economic stagnation, political instability, and cultural
alienation," hence unrest and violence among the "have-nots," much of it
directed against the United States. The United States must therefore be
ready to plan for a "precision strike from space [as a] counter to the
worldwide proliferation of WMD" by unruly elements.22 That is a likely
consequence of the recommended military programs, just as a "widening
divide" is the anticipated consequence of the specific vers! ion of
international integration that is misleadingly called "globalization" and
"free trade" in the doctrinal system.

A word should be added about these notions. Both are terms of propaganda,
not description. The term "globalization" is used for a specific form of
international economic integration, designed—not surprisingly—in the
interests of the designers: multinational corporations and the few
powerful states to which they are closely linked. An opposing form of
globalization is being pursued by groups that are far more representative
of the world's population, the mass global justice movements, which
originated in the South but now have been joined by northern popular
organizations and meet annually in the World Social Forum, which has
spawned many regional and local social forums, concentrating on their own
issues though within the same overarching framework. The global justice
movements are an entirely new phenomenon, perhaps the seeds of the kind of
international that has been the hope of the workers movements and the left
since their modern origins. They are called "antiglobalizati! on" in the
reigning doctrinal systems, because they seek a form of globalization
oriented towards the interests of people, not concentrated economic power—
and unfortunately, they have often adopted this ridiculous terminology.

Official globalization is committed to so-called neoliberalism, also a
highly misleading term: the regime is not new, and it is not liberal.
Neoliberalism is essentially the policy imposed by force on the colonies
since the eighteenth century, while the currently wealthy countries
radically violated these rules, with extensive reliance on state
intervention in the economy and resort to measures that are now banned in
the international economic order. That was true of England and the
countries that followed its path of protectionism and state intervention,
including Japan, the one country of the South that escaped colonization
and the one country that industrialized. These facts are widely recognized
by economic historians.

A comparison of the United States and Egypt in the early nineteenth
century is one of many enlightening illustrations of the decisive role of
sovereignty and massive state intervention in economic development. Having
freed itself from British rule, the United States was able to adopt
British-style measures of state intervention, and developed. Meanwhile
British power was able to bar anything of the sort in Egypt, joining with
France to impose Lord Palmerston's doctrine that "No ideas therefore of
fairness towards Mehemet [Ali] ought to stand in the way of such great and
paramount interests" as barring competition in the eastern
Mediterranean.23 Palmerston expressed his "hate" for the "ignorant
barbarian" who dared to undertake economic development. Historical
memories resonate when, today, Britain and France, fronting for the United
States, demand that Iran suspend all activities related to nuclear and
missile programs, including research and development, so that nuclear ene!
rgy is barred and the country that is probably under the greatest threat
of any in the world has no deterrent to attack—attack by the righteous,
that is. We might also recall that France and Britain played the crucial
role in development of Israel's nuclear arsenal. Imperial sensibilities
are delicate indeed.

Had it enjoyed sovereignty, Egypt might have undergone an industrial
revolution in the nineteenth century. It shared many of the advantages of
the United States, except independence, which allowed the United States to
impose very high tariffs to bar superior British goods (textiles, steel,
and others). The United States in fact became the world's leader in
protectionism until the Second World War, when its economy so overwhelmed
anyone else's that "free competition" was tolerable. After the war,
massive reliance on the dynamic state sector became a central component of
the U.S. economy, even more than it had been before, continuing right to
the present. And the United States remains committed to protectionism,
when useful. The most extreme protectionism was during the Reagan years—
accompanied, as usual, by eloquent odes to liberalism, for others. Reagan
virtually doubled protective barriers, and also turned to the usual
device, the Pentagon, to overcome management failures a! nd
"reindustrialize America," the slogan of the business press. Furthermore,
high levels of protectionism are built into the so-called "free trade
agreements," designed to protect the powerful and privileged, in the
traditional manner.

The same was true of Britain's flirtation with "free trade" a century
earlier, when 150 years of protectionism and state intervention had made
Britain by far the world's most powerful economy, free trade seemed an
option, given that the playing field was "tilted" in the right direction,
to adapt the familiar metaphor. But the British still hedged their bets.
They continued to rely on protected markets, state intervention, and also
devices not considered by economic historians. One such market was the
world's most spectacular narcotrafficking enterprise, designed to break
into the China market, and also producing profits that financed the Royal
Navy, the administration of conquered India, and the purchase of U.S.
cotton—the fuel of the industrial revolution. U.S. cotton production was
also based on radical state intervention: slavery, virtual extermination
of the native population, and military conquest—almost half of Mexico, to
mention one case relevant to current news. When! Britain could no longer
compete with Japan, it closed off the empire in 1932, followed by other
imperial powers, a crucial part of the background for the Second World
War. The truth about free trade and economic development has only a
limited resemblance to the doctrines professed.

Throughout modern history, democracy and development have had a common
enemy: the loss of sovereignty. In a world of states, it is true that
decline of sovereignty entails decline of hope for democracy, and decline
in ability to conduct social and economic policy. That in turn harms
development, a conclusion well confirmed by centuries of economic history.
The work of economic historian M. Shahid Alam is particularly enlightening
in this respect. In current terminology, the imposed regimes are called
neoliberal, so it is fair to say that the common enemy of democracy and
development is neoliberalism. With regard to development, one can debate
causality, because the factors in economic growth are so poorly
understood. But correlations are reasonably clear. The countries that have
most rigorously observed neoliberal principles, as in Latin America and
elsewhere, have experienced a sharp deterioration of macroeconomic
indicators as compared with earlier years. Those that have i! gnored the
principles, as in East Asia, have enjoyed rapid growth. That neoliberalism
harms democracy is understandable. Virtually every feature of the
neoliberal package, from privatization to freeing financial flows,
undermines democracy for clear and well-known reasons.

The crises we face are real and imminent, and in each case means are
available to overcome them. The first step is understanding, then
organization and appropriate action. This is the path that has often been
followed in the past, bringing about a much better world and leaving a
legacy of comparative freedom and privilege, for some at least, which can
be the basis for moving on. Failure to do so is almost certain to lead to
grim consequences, even the end of biology's only experiment with higher
intelligence.


Notes
1. See Aaron David Miller, Search for Security (Chapel Hill, NC:
University of North Carolina Press, 1980); Irvine Anderson, Aramco, the
United States and Saudi Arabia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,
1981); Michael Stoff, Oil, War and American Security (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1980); Steven Spiegel, The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 51.
2. National Security Strategy of the United States (Washington DC: The
White House, March 1990).
3. Alan Cowell, "Kurds Assert Few Outside Iraq Wanted Them to Win," New
York Times, April 11, 1991.
4. Nina Kamp and Michael E. O'Hanlon, "The State of Iraq," New York Times,
March 19, 2006.
5. Walter Pincus, "Skepticism About U.S. Deep, Iraq Poll Shows; Motive for
Invasion Is Focus of Doubts," Washington Post, November 12, 2003; Richard
Burkholder, "Gallup Poll of Baghdad," Government & Public Affairs, October
28, 2003.
6. Michael MccGwire, "The Rise and Fall of the NPT," International Affairs
81 (January 2005): 134.
7. Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Hegemonic Quicksand," National Interest 74
(Winter 2003/2004): 5-16; Stefan Wagstyl, "Cheney Rebukes Putin on Energy
'Blackmail,'" Financial Times, May 4, 2006.
8. See Ian Rutledge, Addicted to Oil (London: I. B. Tauris, 2005).
9. See Multinational Oil Corporation and U.S. Foreign Policy, Report to
the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, January 2, 1975
(Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1975).
10. Hal Weitzman, "Nationalism Fuels Fears over Morales' Power," Financial
Times, May 2, 2006.
11. National Security Strategy of the United States (Washington DC: The
White House, March 2006), 41.
12. David E. Sanger, "China's Rising Need for Oil Is High on U.S. Agenda,"
New York Times, April 18, 2006.
13. Editorial, New York Times, August 25, 1966
14. Mark Curtis, The Great Deception (London: Pluto Press, 1998), 133.
15. Darna Linzer, "Past Arguments Don't Square with Current Iran Policy,"
Washington Post, March 27, 2005.
16. Mohamed ElBaradei, "Towards a Safer World," The Economist, October 16,
2003.
17. Frank von Hippel, "Coupling a Moratorium To Reductions as a First Step
toward the Fissile-Material Cutoff Treaty," in Rakesh Sood, Frank von
Hippel, and Morton Halperin, "The Road to Nuclear Zero," Center for
Advanced Study of India, 1998, 17.
18. See Rebecca Johnson, "2004 UN First Committee," Disarmament Diplomacy
79 (April/May 2005), and Jean du Preez, "The Fissban," Disarmament
Diplomacy 79 (April/May 2005), http://www.acronym.org.
19. Martin van Creveld, "Sharon on the Warpath" International Herald
Tribune, August 21, 2004.
20. Jeffrey Fleishman and Alissa Rubin, "ElBaradei Asks for Restraint on
Iran Sanctions," Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2006.
21. Michael MccGwire, "The Rise and Fall of the NPT," International
Affairs 81 (January 2005), 127; John Steinbruner and Nancy Gallagher,
"Constructive Transformation," Daedalus 133, no. 3 (Summer 2004): 99; Sam
Nunn, "The Cold War's Nuclear Legacy Has Lasted too Long," Financial
Times, December 6, 2004.
22. National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2015 (Washington DC,
December 2000); U.S. Space Command, Vision for 2020 (February 1997), 7;
Pentagon, Quadrennial Defense Review, May 1997.
23. See Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot, Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 240; Harold Temperley,
England and the Near East (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1936).

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics Emeritus
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This article is based on a
talk delivered May 12, 2006, in Beirut, two months before Israel began its
military campaign against Lebanon on July 13, 2006. It appears in Inside
Lebanon: Journey to a Shattered Land with Noam and Carol Chomsky (just
published by Monthly Review Press, order online at www.monthlyreview.org


or call 1-800-670-9499).

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