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An interview with 9/11 antiwar author Don Paul

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com OnlineJournal.com An interview with 9/11
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 28, 2003
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      An interview with 9/11 antiwar author Don Paul
      By Bob Feldman

      June 13, 2003 - U.S. anti-war movement writer Don Paul is the author
      of an anti-war book, 9/11: Facing Our Fascist State. Paul's 9/11 book
      hasn't been reviewed much by the U.S. academics that generally review
      books on recent historical events for the U.S. media. Yet Paul's 9/11
      book provides anti-war readers with an alternative to the U.S.
      military-industrial-media-university-foundation complex's official
      version of what happened in downtown Manhattan on September 11, 2001.

      Besides being the author of the anti-war book 9/11, Paul also holds
      the New York Road Runners Club record for both running 50 kilometers
      and 50 miles in its Central Park events. In 1980 the 9/11 author
      finished the 50-mile run event in 5:09:58; and, in 1982, Paul
      finished the 50-kilometer run in 2:50:55. In 1971 he was the youngest
      winner of a Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford, after
      Ken Kesey and Tillie Olsen and before Ray Carver, and in the 1990s he
      produced albums by the jazz artists Glenn Spearman, Lisle Ellis,
      India and Paul Plimley.'

      Anti-war movement writer Paul lives in California's Bay Area and was
      recently interviewed via e-mail.

      BOB FELDMAN: September 11, 2003 will mark the second anniversary of
      the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings that killed
      thousands of New Yorkers. Like MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, you've
      written a book about what happened on 9/11. Would the New Yorkers who
      read MIT Professor Chomsky's book on 9/11 learn anything new about
      why 9/11 happened, by reading your book?

      DON PAUL: My views as to the why of the 9/11 attacks differ radically
      from Noam Chomsky's. His view accords with the U.S. government's line
      that "Arab terrorists" (i.e., al-Qaeda) committed those attacks.
      Chomsky's explanation as to why differs from George W. Bush's only in
      that he attributes the reason for the attacks to "blowback" from
      nefarious U.S. government operations and policies in the Middle East
      and Afghanistan over the past several decades, while our current
      selected President attributes the attacks to envy at freedom and
      prosperity in the U.S. by fanatical followers of a fundamentalist
      kind of Islam.

      Chomsky also limits his explanation to the confines of what's widely
      known as "structural analysis." That is, he and his followers reject
      the importance of individual perpetrators of crimes such as the 9/11
      attacks and the ensuing invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq - just as
      they reject the importance of which government politician ordered
      which crime in the more distant past - such as Suharto "in" East
      Timor, Kissinger and Nixon "in" Cambodia, Brzezinski "in"
      Afghanistan, Reagan and George H.W. Bush "in" Afghanistan, Nicaragua,
      El Salvador, et cetera. They say that structural realities,
      structural inequities, are really determinative, not the villains who
      come and go as heads of State.

      So far as such analysis goes, I agree with it. The U.S. Presidency
      has passed from a Bush to a Clinton and back to a Bush with very
      little variance in the direction that material realities and an
      elite's drive for profits and power have compelled "U.S. foreign
      policy." Oil remains the U.S. elite's prime concern and opium from
      Afghanistan remains a main mover in the world's illegal and legal
      economies, just as both commodities were 15 years ago.

      The failing of analysis such as Chomsky's, I think, is that it stays
      short of identifying and examining the structures that are really
      most powerful and determinative in the world. And so it stays short
      of naming those structures' most consequential criminals. So it
      doesn't name, of course, the institutions and foundations that fund
      and promote the limits of "structural analysis- I mean institutions
      funded by Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Pews, et cetera. George Soros
      and his Open Society Institutes and Human Rights Watch, particularly,
      maintain illusions of democracy and investigation that misleads
      millions of people.

      I think these structures and forces and their operators are far above
      elected governments. They far outstrip governments in their reach and
      power. At the heart of their structure and operation is, I think, the
      international financial system - a cruel, abstract system that
      depends upon more and more exploitation of people and resources - a
      profoundly irrational system whose failings can only be disguised and
      whose operations that can only be sustained by the kind of "endless
      war" and Patriot Acts brought to the U.S. public after September 11,

      In my view, a secret team within the U.S. government primarily
      carried out the 9/11 attacks. The attacks could not have happened
      without the participation of such a team. In particular this team was
      responsible for the unprecedented failure to intercept hijacked
      airliners on the 9/11 morning - one hour and 28 minutes elapsed
      between 8:15 EDT, the time of the first off-course deviation by
      American Airlines Flight 11, the airliner that hit World Trade Center
      Building 1, the North Tower, at 8:48 - and the crash into the
      Pentagon at 9:43.

      Noam Chomsky disdains to consider such a conspiracy ("I think such
      speculations lead us away from issues of prime significance, not
      towards them . . . Personally, I don't think it's worth the
      effort."). But I find such a conspiracy from the inside of the U.S.
      government far more likely than the absurd cartoon which is the
      official story - made up of physical impossibilities, incapable
      pilots, hard-drinking Muslims, indestructible passports, et cetera -
      a cartoon that both Corporate and supposedly "Left" media continue to
      parrot and thereby promote.

      Why were the attacks carried out? Why were such mass murder and
      horror and suffering visited on New York City in particular? The
      super elites' exploitative, irrational economy needed a pretext to
      avoid the consequences of its failings - over 1.1 million jobs had
      been lost in the U.S. between January and August 2001 - and needed a
      pretext to grab control of oil and gas reserves from Central Asia and
      to regain control of the opium potential in Afghanistan - the Taliban
      had cut the opium crop there from 4600 metric tons to 173 over the
      year before 9/11/01, removing $150-200 billion from the world's
      illegal economy in one year and an amount 20 times greater than $150-
      200 billion from Banks and Stock Markets and other legal institutions
      through laundering of profits from the narcotic. Economic
      vulnerability and the grab for reserves of oil and gas are also
      leading the U.S. to invasion and occupation of the Middle East-Iraq
      first - mass murder on top of mass murder - and all these invasions
      are based on the cartoon-like lies about 9/11 that Corporate
      and "Left" media refuse to examine and expose.

      BOB FELDMAN: What actually caused the collapse of the Twin Towers in
      Manhattan on September 11, 2001?

      DON PAUL: To tell the truth, I'm not sure. My book states: "Neither
      jet fuel's fire nor anything else that was in the Towers that morning
      burns hot enough (1022 degrees Fahrenheit) . . . to deform steel."
      And that: "to not topple sideways, but to instead fall straight-down
      within their foundations, the 110-story Towers had to be imploded by
      explosives set off against their load-bearing columns and beams."

      I remain sure of those statements. I'm also sure that the Twin
      Tower's central columns must have been severed at their bases, 7
      stories underground, by explosives comparable to nuclear devices. The
      largest seismic spikes that Columbia University's Laboratory record
      on the 9/11/01 morning, 2.3 and 2.1 on the Richter scale, came within
      the first five seconds of each Tower's fall, not at the moment of the
      collapses' impact with ground. Also, temperatures 7 stories
      underground of the Towers' sites remained above 2000 degrees F. three
      weeks after 9/11/01, suggesting that something very hot and
      independent of the need for oxygen must have continued to burn there.
      Recent analyses on the internet, however, suppose that the volume of
      dust in the Towers' in-air collapse - 3 to 5 times each Tower's
      diameter - points to other, explosive causes in the Towers' collapse.

      I can say for sure, too, that the U.S. government's explanations for
      the collapse of both the Towers' and WTC Building 7 are grossly
      inadequate. In May of 2002 the Federal Emergency Management Agency
      (FEMA) issued its "World Trade Center Building Performance Study."
      FEMA's group of professorial experts had a budget of only $600,000 to
      investigate the collapses that killed almost 3000 - compared with the
      $40 million that was spent for investigation of Bill Clinton's
      activities with Monica Lewinsky in 1998-99. FEMA's Study
      states: "With the information and time available, the sequence of
      events leading to the collapse of each tower could not be
      definitively determined."

      FEMA's Study is even more waffling in regard to WTC Building 7, the
      47-story Building 7 that fell straight-down in classic controlled-
      demolition fashion at 5:25 on 9/11 afternoon. FEMA's Study
      states: "The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the
      building to collapse remain unknown at this time."

      WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were owned and heavily insured by
      Silverstein Properties.

      BOB FELDMAN: What actually caused the initial fires at the World
      Trade Center buildings to start on September 11, 2001?

      DON PAUL: So far as I know, collisions by airliners started the first
      fires in the Twin Towers on 9/11. Regarding WTC-7, the origin of its
      intern fires appears more mysterious.

      FEMA's Study says that fires burned in WTC 7 for 7 hours before its
      collapse. That puts their start in the same hour as the North Tower,
      WTC 1, which fell at 10:29.

      There's no evidence I know, however, that debris from 1 ignited
      anything inside 7. Video and photographs show that 7 remains wholly
      upright and scarcely marred at mid-afternoon of 9/11, only small
      fires visible on the 7th and 12th floors. Its upper floors begin to
      fall straight down from its base at 5:25.

      Before 9/11, no buildings of structural steel had ever collapsed due
      to fire. In February of 1991 a fire burned for 19 hours in the 38-
      story building at One Meridian Plaza in Philadelphia, spreading to 8
      floors and causing the death of three firefighters. But this building

      WTC 7 contained offices of the FBI and CIA and then-Mayor Rudolph
      Giuliani's Command Center. Many people speculate that WTC 7 served as
      the base for executing operations that took down the Twin Towers. It
      offers a wide, open view to both Buildings 1 and 2. Evidence of the
      operations would be largely destroyed with Building 7's demolition.

      We're not likely to know for sure what happened to the three
      collapsed WTC Buildings and their thousands of victims, however, till
      courageous witnesses offer testimony. Evidence from the Buildings'
      sites - where more people lost their lives than at Pearl Harbor - was
      removed and destroyed with unprecedented speed in the weeks after

      The company responsible for this removal, Controlled Demolition of
      Maryland, also took care of the wreckage left after bombing of the
      Murrah Building in Oklahoma City killed 168 people (none of them the
      personnel of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who were the
      attack's supposed target) on April 19, 1995, prompting passage of the
      federal Anti-Terrorism Act.

      BOB FELDMAN: Was there any connection between what happened at the
      World Trace Center on 9/11/01 and a previous 1990s
      alleged "terrorist" attempt to destroy the World Trade Center?

      DON PAUL: Again, you'll have to draw your own conclusions.

      For one fact, bolstering supposition that a secret team within the
      U.S. government primarily carried out the 9/11 attacks, the FBI is
      directly connected to the bombing of the World Trade Center Twin
      Towers on February 26, 1993, a blast that killed 6 people and injured
      more than 1000. Israel's counterpart to the CIA, the Mossad, is also
      connected to this bombing.

      The FBI is on record that an Egyptian, Emid Ali Salem, was its
      informant within this admitted conspiracy. According to a New York
      Times piece of October 28, 1993, Emid Ali Salem secretly recorded
      talks between himself and his FBI supervisor, John Anticev. Salem's
      tapes reveal that the FBI's Anticev stopped a plan to substitute
      harmless powder for the nitrate that eventually exploded the huge
      bomb under the Twin Towers.

      Remember that 6 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured
      by this bomb. Salem's statement is that he built the bomb and
      received $1,000,000 from the FBI for his work. We also know that the
      rental agreement for the truck that carried the 1993 WTC bomb gives
      the phone number and address of a Mossad agent, Josie Hadas.

      There are parallels with the official story for 9/11. The
      supposed "spiritual leader" of 1993's group of "Arab Terrorists"
      and "Muslim extremists," their name the Gamaa Al-Islamya, was Sheikh
      Omar Abdel-Rahman. Sheikh Abdel-Rahman resembles both "al-Qaeda
      mastermind" Osama bin Laden and 9/11's supposed "terrorist
      ringleader" Mohamed Atta in his history.

      Like Osama bin Laden, Sheikh Abdel-Rahman was a CIA asset in
      Afghanistan in the 1980s. Like Mohamed Atta, Sheikh Abdel-Rahman
      received U.S. government assistance in entering this nation. In 1996
      Sheikh Omar was sentenced to life-imprisonment for his part in
      planning the first World Trade Center attack.

      Attorney Ron Kuby represented one of the 1993 defendants. In response
      to the New York Times article of October 28, 1993, Ron Kuby said in
      the Atlantic Monthly: "The article on the FBI being involved in the
      World Trade Center bombing actually understated the evidence, believe
      it or not. The informer, Emid Salem, is actually on tape saying that
      he built the bomb that ultimately blew up the World Trade
      Center . . . The mastermind is the government of the United States.
      It was a phony, government-engineered conspiracy to begin with. It
      would never have amounted to anything had the government not planned

      BOB FELDMAN: To what degree was the U.S. government responsible for
      the deaths of so many New Yorkers on September 11, 2001?

      DON PAUL: In my view, 100 percent responsible, whether by neglect or

      BOB FELDMAN: Do you see any similarities between what happened on
      September 11, 2001 in New York City and what happened on November 22,
      1963 in Dallas, Texas?

      DON PAUL: I see a skein of conspiracies that have benefited a tiny
      super elite within the U.S. over at least the past 40 years -
      from "Dallas" to "9/11" and beyond. They've caused numberless
      atrocities - assassinations, wars started with false pretexts,
      invasions, massacres, entire countries and generations devastated by
      imported violence, oppression and addictions. These conspiracies'
      endgame, I believe, is a "New World Order" that will rob everyday
      people of their rights and powers to resist the super elites'
      accelerating degradation of once natural environments. By degradation
      I mean, in part, the plagues and disasters that are arising now.

      The conspiracies follow a pattern. Lee Harvey Oswald called
      himself "a patsy" before he was somehow shot by Mafia nightclub-owner
      Jack Ruby in the basement of police headquarters.

      In the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK a patsy was used, I
      believe, to distract attention from the real killers. With Oswald, an
      elaborate history was developed over years, connecting him with
      Communism and especially with sympathy for the Cuban Revolution. With
      Atta, in particular, of those blamed for 9/11, a similarly elaborate
      history is shown. But with Atta the fiction is much cruder. Mohamed
      Atta goes from being an abstinent recluse in Hamburg, averse to
      touching women, to a coke-snorting habitué of strip-clubs in Florida.

      The whole story of the 19 "hijackers" seems to me a crude fiction. At
      least 5 of the 19 who were indicted in the United States District
      Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in December of 2001, these
      19 named by an FBI attachment in the case against Zacarias Moussaoui,
      had vigorously declared themselves alive, after all, in Saudi Arabia
      or Morocco, in the few weeks immediately following 9/11.

      The killing of JFK and the attacks on 9/11 both served objectives
      that the super elites deemed urgent. JFK was threatening to pull
      troops out of Vietnam and to dismantle the Federal Reserve Bank and
      to further arms-reduction treaties with the Soviet Union. He'd
      already yanked former Wall Street attorney Allen Dulles as Director
      of the CIA. He threatened financial and militarist super elites'
      profits and plans. So they took him out.

      Nine-one-one is more complicated. Nine-one-one was planned for many
      years, as pages in Brzezinski's 1997 The Grand Chessboard and the
      2000 Project for a New American Century study (Dick Cheney, Donald
      Rumsfeld, Richard Perle and Zalmay Khalizad among its authors)
      suggest when they imagine that "a new Pearl Harbor" might be
      necessary to arouse public support for more military spending and
      U.S. wars in Central Asia and the Middle East.

      The colossal, crude crime of 9/11 is also a far more desperate move
      than the murder of JFK. By August of 2001 the U.S. economy was
      foundering even for super elites. Nine-one-one and its subsequent
      transfusions of Federal capital gave several months of respite. By
      July of 2002, however, material vulnerabilities threatened to sink
      even the biggest capitalists. Through their holdings
      in "derivatives", the JP Morgan Chase Bank, Citigroup, and the Bank
      of America are at risk for a combined amount of over $40 trillion -
      an amount of liability many, many times greater than their combined
      amount of assets. On July 23, 2002 - on a single day of trading - JP
      Morgan Chase lost 18.1 percent of its total value. July of 2002 was
      also when government and media drums began to beat for U.S. military
      action in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

      What I see more comprehensively is a skein of conspiracies and
      pretexts by which the U.S. super elites have ruthlessly killed people
      and launched wars and grabbed territories and multiplied their
      profits since the late 19th century. The sinking of the Maine, the
      sinking of the Lusitania, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the
      fraudulent "Gulf of Tonkin incident" are a few of the conspiracies
      and pretexts we know. Why Noam Chomsky and other ostensibly moral
      critics don't call out these conspiracies is a question they'll have
      to answer. It may be that examination of these conspiracies would
      reveal the real structures and criminals behind them.

      All that said, let me end with hope. Only one force on Earth can
      directly confront and defeat the U.S. Corporate State and its
      criminal government. That force is us, the overwhelming majority of
      the people in this country. Despite the horrors of 9/11, the
      overwhelming majority in New York City are with that same majority
      around the world, I think, in opposing any American Empire.

      BOB FELDMAN: Have the mainstream or alternative radio show producers
      in New York City been eager to invite you onto their shows to discuss
      before a New York City audience the issues you raise in your book on
      the 9/11 events?

      DON PAUL: I've gotten no contact from either mainstream or
      alternative radio producers in New York City about the book. Although
      it lacks a distributor and exposure of it has not been widespread, it
      has been up on the www.onlinejournal.com and
      www.questionsquestions.net sites and orders for it are coming from
      across the country and around the world. I should also add: Neither
      has anyone from KPFA or any Pacifica station contacted me about the
      book, though I gave it last December to Dennis Bernstein and Davey D
      and others with whom I was allied in "the fight for Free Speech
      Radio" four years ago. There's an interview with the warm and
      wonderful Sue Supriano up at www.suesupriano.com and I understand
      that more stuff through other outlets is upcoming.

      BOB FELDMAN: How can readers in New York City go about obtaining a
      copy of your book?

      DON PAUL: The easiest way online to access purchase of it is through
      Online Journal. Front cover of book can be clicked at the top of
      books and tapes in the right-hand column at www.onlinejournal.com.
      There is a direct URL to the book's page on my
      www.wireonfire.com/donpaul/911.html site. But going through
      www.onlinejournal.com will get people to some good pieces posted
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