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Re: <nettime> Douglas Ruskoff on 9-11 conspiracy theories
Joseph Nechvatal on Mon, 8 Oct 2007 00:32:16 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Douglas Ruskoff on 9-11 conspiracy theories

Perhaps you would find this of interest:

Book Review by Joseph Nechvatal

The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America
By Peter Dale Scott
University of California Press
432 pages

I have always been fascinated with trying to see the more
subliminal/hidden aspects of our world, so long as if they are either
based in hard-nosed verified fact; or understood as speculative vision
(which may possess a metaphoric validity of its own). With The Road
to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America University of
California Berkeley professor emeritus Peter Dale Scott delivers the
preceding. Tightly non-speculative, meticulous and insightful, Dr.
Scott shines the know-glow on a rather extensive and sordid history of
U.S. governmental shadow activities; predominantly partial or total
cover-ups. Fortunately, in this his magnum opus, he also holds out the
promise of an American redemption, so long as the festering boil of
turpitude is lanced and drained in the light.

Writing with a touch of the charm of the poet that he is, Dr. Scott
has been walking us through this political-historical shadow land
for some time now. The Road to 9/11, which as the title indicates,
provides historic origins of the terrorist strikes of September
11th 2001, builds on and extends his prior research into secret
intelligence activities as presented in his two past UC Press
books; Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central
America (1993) and Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1996) (among
others) by speaking both about current concerns with the Bush-Cheney
administration in relations to the events on 9/11/01 and by going
further backwards ? scrutinizing secret American governmental
activities just after the end of World War II. It vividly concentrates
on Richard Nixon?s failed regime and Tricky Dick?s early forays
into threatening constitutional democracy as revealed during the
Watergate hearings. He then depicts and examines the activities of
Nixon?s successor Gerald Ford, concentrating on his (what would later
become neo-con) team of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Scott pays
close attention to the Rumsfeld-Cheney collaboration under Ronald
Reagan?s regime on what is known as the Continuity of Government (COG)
strategy: a parallel planning structure in lieu of nuclear war which
includes plans for warrantless surveillance, suspension of habeas
corpus, and the arrangements for mass detention; proposals which can
also be described as plans for a potential military-civilian coup.
By now the narrative of shadow government - what Scott calls ?deep
politics? (p. 121) ? has taken hold and the book begins to read like
an airport page-turner; scorching the eyes with tale after tale of
intrigue and deception. But the characters are real (Kissinger, Casey,
Brzezinski, Carter, Reagan, the Rockefellers, bin Laden, Clinton, et
al) and the events - which rotate around big oil, terrorism, drug
trade, arms deals, covert financing and secret security configurations
are heavily documented in the copious footnotes (which I equally read
with jaw-dropping fascination). Highlighted are the adventures of
multiple intelligence agencies and their involvement with terrorist
organizations that they once backed and helped create, including al
Qaeda. At this point Scott?s deep political analysis has a kind of
Rimbaudian poetics to it, astutely avoiding moral condemnation. He is
just letting the deviant facts speak for themselves.

Already there is material here for numerous Hollywood blockbuster
films, but 3/4th through this dark narrative thoroughly takes off.
Enter the reckless American empire of George W. Bush and his neo-con
administration. With the intelligence of a scholar and the sensitivity
of a poet, Scott's description puts forward here evidence that the
9/11 attacks were the zenith of long-standing, but secret, trends
that menace the existence of American democracy as an open society.
Additionally, he questions why the U.S. trillion dollar defense system
failed to protect on 9/11. He also shows through extensive research
that there has been a substantial cover-up of the events on 9/11.
Here Scott specifically zooms in on suspicious statements and actions
made by Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld; before,
during and after September 11th. He focuses our attention specifically
on the Continuity of Government plan that was called into action
that day, outlining Cheney?s secret communications with Rumsfeld and
President Bush before or about 10 AM.

He further critically examines Philip Zelikow?s 9/11 Commission
Report, showing specific examples of the report?s systematic and
concerted cover-up; partly by its omissions, but also by it?s cherry
picking of evidence to create impressions that are authoritatively
disputed (such as the contested time of Cheney?s arrival in the crises
bunker). Scott points out a consistent pattern to the cherry picking:
which is to minimize Dick Cheney?s responsibility for what happened
that day. He carefully dissects Cheney?s orders with respect to a
plane approaching Washington, as testified to by then Transportation
Secretary Norman Mineta. (pp. 199 ? 200) As a result, Scott asks
whether Cheney on 9/11 was occupied in exploiting the attacks as a
means to implement an agenda of constitutional revision which he
already had in place.

Peter Dale Scott?s major contribution in this book is not merely to
our larger, if darker, understanding of world and U.S. history. It is
his knowledge of the contemporary importance of the Rumsfeld-Cheney
Continuity of Government plans and their relevance to today?s world.
Scott maintains that this understanding may be the answer to various
questions concerning Dick Cheney?s hazy actions that morning. The
hair-raising questions explored here, I hope I need not say, are
imperative, as many see an obvious drift of the American nation
towards constitutional crisis (see Naomi Wolf?s recent book The End of
America, for example).

By examining only the verifiable aspects of the suspicions surrounding
the catastrophe of 9/11, Peter Dale Scott shows how America's military
expansion into the world under the banner of 9/11 has been the result
of crucial but surreptitious arrangements made by small cliques
reactive to the agendas of privileged affluence; agendas resulting in
the disbursement of the communal democratic state. Irrefutably, this
is an imposing and scrupulous examination of how secrecy and terror
is used as political weapon when shifting public authority to an
unaccountable prosperity class. As such, I could not put it down and
highly recommend it.

Joseph Nechvatal

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