Friday, February 1, 2008

Inside Account To Detail Zelikow's Conflict Of Interest In 9/11 Commission

The 9/11 Whitewash Commission was so fragrant that even the pseudo-alternative media are having a bash at it, but without showing any sign of understanding what they're doing. Thus Max Holland writes:
In a revelation bound to cast a pall over the 9/11 Commission ...
Wow! Is that possible?
Philip Shenon will report in a forthcoming book that the panel’s executive director, Philip Zelikow [photo], engaged in “surreptitious” communications with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials during the commission’s 20-month investigation into the 9/11 attacks.
Holy flippin' surprise, Batman! No kiddin'? Aw jeez!
In what’s termed an “investigation of the investigation,” Shenon purports to tell the story of the commission from start to finish. The book’s critical revelations, however, revolve almost entirely around the figure of Philip Zelikow, a University of Virginia professor and director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs prior to his service as the commission’s executive director. Shenon delivers a blistering account of Zelikow’s role and leadership, and an implicit criticism of the commissioners for appointing Zelikow in the first place -- and then allowing him to stay on after his myriad conflicts-of-interest were revealed under oath.
I'm in shock!! How are you? Still breathing? Conflicts of interest? Seriously?? If you're still with us, here are some of the oh-so-shocking details which have recently come to Max's attention:
Kean and Hamilton appreciated that Zelikow was a friend and former colleague of then-national security adviser Condoleeza Rice, one of the principal officials whose conduct would be scrutinized. Zelikow had served with her on the National Security Council (NSC) during the presidency of Bush’s father, and they had written a book together about German reunification. The commission co-chairmen also knew of Zelikow’s October 2001 appointment to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. According to Shenon, however, Zelikow failed to disclose several additional and egregious conflicts-of-interest, among them, the fact that he had been a member of Rice’s NSC transition team in 2000-01. In that capacity, Zelikow had been the “architect” responsible for demoting Richard Clarke and his counter-terrorism team within the NSC. As Shenon puts it, Zelikow “had laid the groundwork for much of went wrong at the White House in the weeks and months before September 11. Would he want people to know that?”
No, no, that's the wrong question, Max!

The proper question at this point is: Who would be better to lead the investigation?

From the White House point of view, Zelikow was perfect. And the sequence of events which led him to the position was Rovian.

Unindicted war criminal deluxe Henry Kissinger was the first man named to run the Whitewash. But questions were asked after Kissinger refused to divulge his list of clients; when one of the 9/11 widows asked him specifically whether he had any clients from Saudi Arabia named bin Laden, Kissinger suddenly decided to resign. And while the pro-truth, anti-conflict-of-interest crowd was congratulating one another, Zelikow slipped in the back door and steered the Whitewash safely home.
Karen Heitkotter, the commission’s executive secretary, was taken aback on June 23, 2003 when she answered the telephone for Zelikow at 4:40 PM and heard a voice intone, “This is Karl Rove. I’m looking for Philip.” Heitkotter knew that Zelikow had promised the commissioners he would cut off all contact with senior officials in the Bush administration. Nonetheless, she gave Zelikow’s cell phone number to Rove.
Well, that's one way to help them cut off all contact! Excellent work, Karen.
The next day there was another call from Rove at 11:35 AM. Subsequently, Zelikow would claim that these calls pertained to his “old job” at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
My heart is racing now, boys. Does Max Holland pin 'em?
The full extent of Zelikow’s involvement with the incumbent administration only became evident within the commission on October 8, 2003, almost halfway into the panel’s term. Determined to blunt the Jersey Girls’ call for his resignation or recusal, Zelikow proposed that he be questioned under oath about his activities. General counsel Daniel Marcus, who conducted the sworn interview, brought a copy of the résumé Zelikow had provided to Kean and Hamilton. None of the activities Zelikow now detailed -- his role on Rice’s transition team, his instrumental role in Clarke’s demotion, his authorship of a post-9/11 pre-emptive attack doctrine -- were mentioned in the résumé. Zelikow blandly asserted to Marcus that he did not see “any of this as a major conflict of interest.” Marcus’s conclusion was that Zelikow “should never have been hired” as executive director. But the only upshot from these shocking disclosures was that Zelikow was involuntarily recused from that part of the investigation which involved the presidential transition, and barred from participating in subsequent interviews of senior Bush administration officials.
Presumably when Max Holland says
his authorship of a post-9/11 pre-emptive attack doctrine
he's talking about "Catastrophic Terrorism: Elements of a National Policy", written in 1998 by Ashton B. Carter, John M. Deutch and Philip D. Zelikow for "Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century", ironically "a project of the John F. Kennedy School of Government", not so ironically at Harvard University.

Christopher Bollyn points out the mentality behind the report, as revealed in an article the three authors wrote for
Foreign Affairs, the bi-monthly publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, in which they laid out what changes would need to be made within the U.S. government in the wake of "catastrophic terrorism," which is also the title of the article.

The "Catastrophic Terrorism" article, written by Ashton B. Carter, John M. Deutch, and Philip D. Zelikow, appeared in the last issue of Foreign Affairs in 1998. It begins with the strange subtitle "Imagining the Transforming Event," as if what was actually desired by the authors was a transformation of the U.S. government and the way Americans live.

The authors of the article, like Netanyahu, do not even mention the political causes of terrorism. Understanding the causes of terrorism in an effort to prevent it does not even occur to them. No, these three architects are busy "imagining the transforming event" - and how to respond to it.

This article is clearly an architectural level document. It is meant to explain what should be done in the event of the catastrophic terror attack its authors are "imagining." For this reason, the authors deserve to be investigated to see what kind of relationship they might have to those who carried out the false flag terror attacks of 9/11.
Interesting, isn't it? The section of the "Catastrophic Terrorism" report called "Imagining the Transforming Event" begins with a few vital definitions, which can be seen in retrospect to have taken over:
We find terrorism when individuals or groups, rather than governments, seek to attain their objectives by means of the terror induced by violent attacks upon civilians. When governments openly attack others, we call it war, to be judged or dealt with according to the laws of war. When governments act in concert with private individuals or groups, the United States government may call it war, or state-sponsored terrorism, and retaliate against both the individuals and the governments.
There you go. Governments acting openly can't do "terrorism". Only groups and individuals can do that. But if they act in concert with a government, then the United States government may call it state-sponsored terrorism and retaliate against everybody! Nice stuff, Phil.

In the same section we read:
Long part of Hollywood’s and Tom Clancy’s repertory of nightmarish scenarios, catastrophic terrorism is a real possibility.
So let's see now ... is this confirmation of my thoughts on the day of the catastrophic attack?

Well, you couldn't ask for more, in my opinion.

Speaking of Tom Clancy, I heard part of an interview with him on the radio on the day of 9/11. The interviewer asked "Do you think this would have happened if Al Gore were President?"

Clancy replied, "God forbid if Al Gore were President."

But I digress. Not good during a digression. (At least I'm not regressing.)

Zelikow et. al. again:
An act of catastrophic terrorism that killed thousands or tens of thousands of people and/or disrupted the necessities of life for hundreds of thousands, or even millions, would be a watershed event in America’s history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented for peacetime and undermine Americans’ fundamental sense of security within their own borders in a manner akin to the 1949 Soviet atomic bomb test, or perhaps even worse. Constitutional liberties would be challenged as the United States sought to protect itself from further attacks by pressing against allowable limits in surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and the use of deadly force. More violence would follow, either as other terrorists seek to imitate this great "success" or as the United States strikes out at those considered responsible. Like Pearl Harbor, such an event would divide our past and future into a "before" and "after." The effort and resources we devote to averting or containing this threat now, in the "before" period, will seem woeful, even pathetic, when compared to what will happen "after." Our leaders will be judged negligent for not addressing catastrophic terrorism more urgently.
Christopher Bollyn quotes a passage (same link) from an article for Foreign Affairs, in which the same three authors wrote:
The bombings in East Africa killed hundreds. A successful attack with weapons of mass destruction could certainly take thousands, or tens of thousands, of lives. If the device that exploded in 1993 under the World Trade Center had been nuclear, or had effectively dispersed a deadly pathogen, the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it.

Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America's fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and after.

The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either further terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks. Belatedly, Americans would judge their leaders negligent for not addressing terrorism more urgently.
As Bollyn points out:
With amazing prescience the authors were right about all eight things they said "might" happen as a result of an attack of "catastrophic terrorism" like Pearl Harbor.

The authors go on to recommend specifically what the U.S. government should do in the wake of such an event of "catastrophic terrorism," which they concluded is "an eminent threat."
Back to the paper, where Zelikow almost seems prescient about national policy in other ways as well:
The greatest danger may arise if the threat falls into one of the crevasses in our government’s field of overlapping jurisdictions, such as the divide between terrorism that is "foreign" or "domestic;" or terrorism that has "state" or "non-state" sponsors; or terrorism that is classified as a problem for "law enforcement" or one of "national security." The law enforcement/national security divide is especially significant, carved deeply into the topography of American government.
The divide between "law enforcement" and "national security" was carved deeply into the topography of American government for a very good reason, and only the utterly coincidental occurrence of a catastrophic attack with "state" or "non-state" sponsors (whatever that means) was required to remove that divide. Now we have "lawfare", a merger of the forces of law enforcement with the forces of warfare. America declares war on its own people. I'll have more on this in an upcoming essay -- or maybe a series of them.

Zelikow and friends are almost funny when they write:
The threat of catastrophic terrorism typifies the new sort of security problem the United States must confront in the post Cold War world. It is transnational, defying ready classification as foreign or domestic, either in origin, participants, or materials. As the World Trade Center incident demonstrated, one group can combine U.S. citizens with resident aliens and foreign nationals, operating in and out of American territory over long periods of time.
If the World Trade Center incident they refer to (the 1993 bombing) demonstrated anything, it's that we shouldn't trust our government's counter-terror units.

That bombing was an inside job, too. The FBI had "the terrorist cell" infiltrated from a very early stage. The FBI agent suggested bombing the WTC. The agent taught the "terrorists" how to build a bomb. How would they get the bomb to the WTC? The terrorists didn't know, so the agent suggested renting a van. The terrorists didn't know how to drive, so the agent gave one of them driving lessons. Then came the fatal day.

They put the bomb in the van and drove to the parking ramp under the WTC. The agent snuck around a corner and pulled out his cell phone. Calling the office, he said, "The bomb is in place. Come arrest them." But his supervisor told him, "Get out of there! The bomb has to go off!"

The agent was astonished. What? His boss told him, "We have to have an explosion to guarantee a conviction." So he ran. And the bomb exploded. And it was all the terrorists' fault.

But I digress. I'd give you a link to the 1993 info, except I heard it on the radio. I heard an interview with that agent on the radio. I'm sorry to say I forget his name. Didn't realize at the time how important it was going to be.

Man, that was some confused dude. He thought he'd been there to thwart them. At the last moment he found out his job had been to assist them! Hmmm.

What? Oh no, no parallels here, officer!

Most of the Zelikow paper is ostensibly about measures that could be taken in an attempt to prevent catastrophic terrorism; those measures are being taken even as you read this sentence.

As Zelikow wrote:
When this threat becomes clear the President must be in a position to activate extraordinary capabilities.
One way of looking at the history of false-flag attacks on the WTC is like this: the 1993 bombing didn't make the threat clear. The 2001 attacks did.

And now -- as if that were not enough -- more from Max Holland:
[When] Bob Kerrey replaced disgruntled ex-Senator Max Cleland on the panel, the former Nebraska senator became astounded once he understood Zelikow’s obvious conflicts-of-interest and his very limited recusal. Kerrey could not understand how Kean and Hamilton had ever agreed to put Zelikow in charge. “Look Tom,” Kerrey told Kean, “either he goes or I go.” But Kean persuaded Kerrey to drop his ultimatum.
And there's more: Zelikow asked his secretary not to keep a record of his incoming calls. Then he started using his cell phone for his calls to the White House. He violated the limited terms of his limited recusal.

You could read it all, and you probably should. But be prepared for some horse droppings near the end:
Shenon’s [...] account of the commission’s inner workings promises to achieve what none of the crackpot conspiracy theorists have managed to do so far: put the 9/11 Commission in disrepute.
Right. By revealing hidden details that the crackpot conspiracy theorists already know about, this hot-shot New York Times reporter will be able to do what? Will he finally reveal the hidden details that the crackpot conspiracy theorists already know about?? and put the 9/11 Commission in disrepute that way?

I'm starting to lose track of the number of places where I've seen the same pattern in post-democratic American journalism. The authors seem free to lay out any number of dots, each utterly incriminating, but they invariably leave some dots out, and they always connect the dots that they do have -- or frame them, as in this case -- with a bogus narrative.

Post-democratic American journalism at its finest, friends. Yuck.

Still ... what was Phil Zelikow doing anywhere near that Commission, let alone "serving" as executive director of it? What was he doing talking to Karl Rove? What was he doing talking to the White House? What was he doing interfering with the investigation into his role in the "transition"?

He was doing his job, that's what!

Bollyn again:
Philip David Zelikow is all over 9/11, its aftermath, and the subsequent wars in the Middle East. Three years after warning of "catastrophic terrorism," Zelikow became the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, the appointed government whitewash which utterly failed to address the key questions and evidence of the terror attacks of 9/11.

Zelikow, from Houston, served on President George W. Bush's transition team in 2001. After Bush took office, Zelikow was named to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and served on the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, which produced the extremely flawed Help America Vote Act of 2002.
If you think all these disparate coincidences are connected somehow, you're a wacko conspiracy theorist. Welcome aboard!