Are we being told the truth about the Trade Center attacks?


By Richard K. Moore

First of all, I'd like you to understand that I don't have any secret information, or leaked documents, about the horrific events of 11 September in New York City. I'm writing this article while on the road, without my usual reference books, and I'm working from U.S. television reports and from articles that people have sent me over the Internet. What we're going to do in this article is to look at the events in the same way we'd investigate a murder mystery: what are the possible scenarios? What are the relevant clues? Which scenario best fits the facts?

I'm not claiming this analysis is true, I'm only asking you to consider the possibility. As we review the historical background, I'll be giving you my best understanding of events - but I am not claiming that every statement is an established fact. This article represents my opinion as to 'most likely scenarios'. Due to the scope of the material, much of the presentation is highly abbreviated. A recommended reading list is provided at the bottom for those who wish to investigate the ideas in greater depth.

For all I know, the scenario presented by the U.S. corporate- government- media- elite Establishment might be correct. Perhaps the attacks came as a shocking surprise, and the U.S. response has been hastily determined in subsequent emergency meetings. But this default scenario opens many questions...

(1) Within hours of the attacks we were already being told that the FBI knows who the hijackers were, and that they are linked to Bin Laden. If this is true, then why were they allowed to buy tickets in their own names and travel together on commercial flights? One of the suspects who bought a ticket in his own name, a TV report said, was on the FBI's most-wanted list! And only a week before, we are told, Bin Laden had threatened that a major U.S. target was going to be attacked. Could security really be that lax?

(2) In the first day of media coverage there seemed to be a huge gap in the reports we were receiving. Why were we being told nothing about air-traffic controllers, and their attempts to contact the planes? Wouldn't that have made for dramatic television?... "Flight 11, please come in. Flight 11, do you read me?" Why were we told nothing about scrambling fighter planes, and of attempts to intercept the hijacked airliners? On September 15 the New York times published an 'explanation' of the events by Matthew Wald, and reported that some fighters did scramble. But why was this completely omitted from the early reports? The initial coverage seemed to be designed to give us the impression that no one knew what was going on until the first plane actually struck the World Trade Center.

(3) And the NY Times explanation doesn't make sense. The following excerpts are from an analysis of that article by Jared Israel, which can be found on the web at

"In an analysis of the 9-11 nightmare, which we have been preparing, one of the things we asked is: how could the so-called third plane stay in the air, hijacked, for almost an hour after two other hijacked planes had struck the WTC Towers, and not be seen and intercepted by U.S. air defense forces? How could it fly to the Midwest, turn around and fly back to Washington, to the Pentagon, undisturbed?

"Apparently it occurred to someone On High that ordinary folks might harbor such thoughts, hence the following article has been published by the 'N.Y. Times,' with the apparent intention of defusing such doubts.

"But the cure is worse than the doubts. It is one thing to say the plane was not spotted. But to say, as this article does, that the plane was spotted, that it was tracked from the time it turned back from the Midwest until it struck the Pentagon, and yet nothing was done because they "didn't know what to do" - this is simply unbelievable.

"If they knew the plane was coming, why didn't they force it down and failing that, shoot it down? Before you say 'They wouldn't do a thing like that,' note that whoever edited the 'N.Y. Times' article left in the following damning sentences, regarding the fourth plane, the one that, we are told, crashed in Pennsylvania:

"'Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, said today that the Pentagon had been tracking that plane and could have shot it down if necessary; it crashed about 35 minutes after the Pentagon crash.' (From article posted below)

"So if they "could have shot" down the fourth plane, why didn't they shoot down the third? Why didn't they shoot down the first three, or at least planes # two and three? Once they "knew" these were c what were they waiting for them to do, hit the WTC Towers and the Pentagon? Or a nuclear power plant?"

(4) If the attacks really came as a complete surprise, one would expect initial confusion at the highest government levels. One would have expected days to go by while information was gathered and options were considered. Instead, we began seeing a coherent and final response within hours. Within a day or two the perpetrators were known, $40 billion had been allocated by Congress, a protracted war was being announced, we were being told to expect major cutbacks in civil liberties, and the U.S. Senate had approved the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001". And within a few days after that, a multi-billion dollar airline bailout was being announced.

There are other objections that can be raised to the official scenario, but I am not trying here to prove that scenario to be wrong. I wish only to express doubt, suggesting that other scenarios deserve consideration. When seeking to identify the perpetrator of a crime, as we all know from countless mystery dramas, one looks for motive, opportunity, and modus operandi - as well as at circumstantial and physical evidence. For the scenario I'd like you to consider, let us begin with modus operandi, or "standard behavior of the suspect".

U.S. history - a series of suspicious warpath 'incidents'


As we look back at history, we find that every time the U.S. has entered into a major military adventure, that has been enabled by a dramatic incident which aroused public sentiment overwhelmingly in favor of military action. These incidents have always been accepted at face value when they occurred, but in every case we have learned later that the incidents were highly suspicious. And in every case, the ensuing military action served some elite geopolitical design.

Consider for example the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which gave President Lyndon Johnson an excuse to begin major escalation of the Vietnam War. Supposedly, in that incident, a North Vietnamese boat launched torpedoes in an attempt to sink an American warship. It is now generally accepted by historians that the attack did not in fact occur, and that Johnson had been preparing to escalate all along.

One of my correspondents on the Internet summarized the situation this way:

"The U.S. Government lied to the American People about the following events. Each of these incidents led the United States into War....

"1898..THEY LIED about the sinking of the battleship Maine.
(Spanish American War)
1915..THEY LIED about the sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania
(World War I)
1941..THEY LIED about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
(World War 2)
1964..THEY LIED about the Gulf of Tonkin affair.
(Vietnam War)"

In the media coverage of the recent WTC attack, the comparison with Pearl Harbor has been frequently raised. Thousands of American troops were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and thousands of American civilians were killed in the attack on the WTC. In both cases the American people responded (quite understandably) with deep shock and outrage. In both cases, overwhelming public sentiment was for retaliation, and for giving the President total support for whatever course he chose. In 1941, as now, any suggestion that the U.S. government knew in advance of the attacks, and could have prevented them, would have been met by angry disbelief by almost any American. Nonetheless, the evidence now seems to favor the view that President Franklin D. Roosevelt _did know about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, and that he could have mounted an effective defense.

We now know that elite U.S. planners, during the period 1939-1941, had come to the conclusion that the Japanese conquest of Asia had to be stopped. The planners determined that Southeast Asia, in particular, was critical to U.S. economic interests. But U.S. public opinion was overwhelmingly against entering the war. It now seems that FDR figured out a way to get the U.S. into the war, and that Pearl Harbor was the key to his plan.

When the Japanese began to threaten Southeast Asia, FDR froze Japanese assets in U.S. banks, resulting in a cutoff of Japanese oil supplies. This was considered an act of war by Japan, and Japanese retaliation was expected by American planners. As the Japanese fleet approached Pearl Harbor, intelligence services in Britain and the U.S. evidently knew of that approach. Prime Minister Churchill notified his Pacific commanders that the Japanese were heading for Pearl Harbor. FDR, on the other hand, did not notify his commanders. Instead, he sent the most strategic ships (the aircraft carriers) out to sea where they would be safe, and instructed key observation outposts on the island of Kauai to stand down.

It seems that FDR intentionally set the stage for a 'surprise' attack - shocking the nation and instantly shifting public opinion from non-interventionism to war frenzy. I am suggesting that this same scenario must be considered in the case of the recent WTC and Pentagon attacks. Unbelievable as this may seem, this is a scenario that matches the modus operandi of U.S. ruling elites. These elites show callous disregard for civilian lives in Iraq, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and dozens of other places around the world. Is it so surprising that they would sacrifice a few thousand American civilians if they considered that necessary in order to pursue their geopolitical objectives?

Let us now consider in more detail the possible motives for such a crime scenario.

Global capitalism in crisis


Capitalism must have growth and change in order to operate. The engine of capitalism is driven by wealthy investors who put their money into the economy in order to increase their wealth. If the economy offers no growth opportunities, then investors withdraw their money and the whole system collapses. A minor collapse is called a recession, and a major collapse is called a depression. The history of capitalism is punctuated by such collapses.

Capitalism came into existence along with the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s in Scotland and northern England. Before that time societies were not based on growth. Certainly there were people before then who sought to increase their wealth, but economies as a whole did not require growth in order to operate. Societies were ruled by aristocratic elites whose wealth was measured by the estates they owned, and the peasants who worked their land. Such aristocrats were more interested in stability than change, and more concerned with maintaining their estates than with economic growth.

When the Industrial Revolution came along then all this began to change. With the steam engine and other new technologies, it became possible for an entrepreneur to make a great deal of wealth rapidly. A new wealthy elite began to emerge made up inventors, industrialists, bankers, and traders. These were the people who built the factories, invested in them, and figured out ways to get the new products to markets.

The interests of this new elite clashed with those of the old aristocratic elite. The aristocrats favored stability, and laws which provided stability - such as tariffs, price controls, etc. The new elite, on the other hand, wanted change and growth - they wanted to develop new products, build new factories, and capture new markets. While aristocratic wealth was based on land and stability, industrial wealth was based on investment, development, change, and growth.

This new kind of economics, based on investment and growth, is capitalism. And the new elite, gaining its wealth through change and growth, is the capitalist elite. At first capitalism existed along side aristocracy, competing with it to control the laws of society. But then in Britain, and later in other nations, the capitalist elite won out. Laws, economies, and societies were transformed to favor capitalism and growth over stability and land-based wealth. Banking, monetary systems, and taxation were re-engineered so as to compel businesses to seek growth whether they wanted to or not.

No one can deny that capitalism and its growth have brought many kinds of benefits to some people. America was based on capitalism from its very founding, and American wealth and prosperity are legendary. But there is a fundamental problem with capitalism. How is it possible for an economy to grow endlessly? How can growth be forever achieved in a finite world? Is capitalism, in the final analysis, sustainable?

In fact, providing for ongoing growth has been the primary challenge faced by every nation that has adopted capitalism. The history of the 19th and 20th centuries has been primarily the story of how nations have competed for markets and resources to support growth. Our history books tell us about noble causes and evil enemies, but in truth every significant war since 1800 has been about competition among Great Powers for economic growth.

Before capitalism, nations built empires because kings or individuals were greedy and wanted more territory and wealth. After capitalism, nations developed empires out of necessity. If they didn't expand their markets and access to resources their economies would collapse. As industrial capitalism got into high gear in the late 1800s, that was accompanied by an unprecedented expansion of imperialism on a global scale.

From 1800 until 1945 the world system was a matter of competition among Great Powers for empires, in order to provide for capitalist growth. In each empire there was a core nation which ruled over peripheral territories. The peripheral territories were exploited in order to provide growth for the core ruling nation. The populations of the core nations were convinced by propaganda that they were helping or aiding the periphery to develop. This propaganda was lies. The fact was suppression, exploitation, and the prevention of healthy development in the periphery - so as to enable capitalism to flourish in the core Great Powers.

In 1945 this global system was radically changed. Under American leadership, with the help of both incentives and coercion, a new paradigm of capitalist growth was launched. Instead of competitive imperialism, a regime of cooperative imperialism was instituted. Under the protection of the American military, the so-called "Free World" was opened to exploitation by capitalism generally. This led to the rise of immense transnational corporations, who were no longer limited in their growth to a single national empire. This new post-1945 system was invented in order to provide another round of growth to capitalism.

Under the post-1945 system, part of the scheme was to provide prosperity to the Western middle classes. In Europe, the USA, and in Japan as well, populations experienced unprecedented prosperity. Cooperative imperialism provided immense growth room for capitalism, and the wealth was being shared with the core-nation populations.

But no matter what system might be set up, growth eventually runs into the limits of that system. The post-1945 system was no exception. By the early 1970s the growth machine was beginning to slow down. Recessions began to replace prosperity. As a consequence, the global capitalist elite designed yet another system, offering yet another round of capitalist growth. This new system goes under the name 'neoliberalism', and it was launched under the auspices of Ronald Reagan in the USA and Margaret Thatcher in the UK.

The purpose of neoliberalism was to rob the wealth of the prosperous capitalist nations and transfer that wealth to the capitalist elite and the corporations which they own and control. That's what privatization, deregulation, and other so-called 'reforms' were all about. In addition, neoliberalism was aimed at disempowering democracy itself - because it was the democratic nations which were implementing laws which limited the power of corporations. Any limit on the power of corporation is a limit on their ability to grow. And the one thing capitalism cannot tolerate is limits to its growth. That is a matter of life and death to capitalism.

Again, as must ALWAYS happen, the neoliberal system also began to run out of growth room. In this case, the system only provided growth for about ten years, the decade of the 1980s. And thus we were brought to the era of GLOBALIZATION. Propaganda tells us that globalization is simply the continuation of 'natural' trends in technology, trade, and commerce. This is not true. Globalization represents an_intentional and _radical policy shift on the part of the global capitalist elite.

Globalization amounts to four radical changes in the world system. These are (1) the destabilization of and removal of sovereignty from Western nation states, (2) the establishment of an essentially fascist world government under the direct control of the capitalist elite, (3) the greatly accelerated exploitation and suppression of the third-world, and (4) the gradual downgrading of Western living conditions toward third-world standards. By these means, elites hope to achieve yet another round of capital growth.

During most of the decade of the 1990s globalization proceeded almost unnoticed by the world's population. The WTO and IMF began to establish their tentacles of power without publicity. Government leaders worldwide, under the pressure of capitalist elites, were quietly signing their sovereignty over to the new global institutions. When globalization was mentioned at all in the media, it was described in propaganda terms as sharing 'progress' with the downtrodden of the world. Lies as usual from the capitalist elite and the media outlets which they control or own.

And then in December 1999 the people of the world began to wake up. The demonstrations in Seattle marked the beginning of a new global movement. In fairness, one must acknowledge that there were earlier signs of the movement, in Europe and the third world. But only when the movement reached the USA did it become 'real' in the eyes of the world. And ever since Seattle the movement has been growing by leaps and bounds on a global scale.

The movement does not yet have well-defined goals, but it is a very promising and very radical movement. It is based on a clear understanding that global capitalism is leading us to ecological disaster and to tyranny. The movement does not have a clear organizational structure, but that itself is promising. The decentralized nature of the movement points to the way to a new kind of genuine, grass-roots, locally-based democracy - a democracy that is not subject to elite manipulation as have been our Western pseudo-democracies with their manufactured 'majorities'.

Having presented this (highly abbreviated) historical background, I can now describe the nature of 'the global crisis of capitalism'. On the one hand, the capitalist elite must accelerate the pace of globalization in order to continue providing room for capital growth. On the other hand, the people of the world, notably in the West, have begun to wake up and oppose the dangerous and ominous path of globalization. The elite know that as the path of globalization is pursued more vigorously, more and more people will rise in opposition. The crisis of globalization is a crisis of population control, requiring the subjugation of the people of Europe and North America.

People in the third world have been subjected to imperialist tyranny for centuries, and this has been possible because of suppression by Western military force. If the people of the West arise in opposition to globalization, then the hegemony of the capitalist elite is seriously threatened. THIS IS THE CRISIS OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM.

"War on Terrorism" - a solution to capitalism's crisis


[In writing this section, I refer frequently to the Los Angeles Times of 21 September.]

President Bush calls it a "War on Terrorism", but what is it really? Let's look at some of the specifics...

* Congress has authorized the President to do "whatever is necessary".

* Congress has allocated 40 billion dollars to do "whatever".

* The $40 billion came from Social Security funds.

* $15 billion is being allocated to bail out the airline industry.

* For the first time, NATO has invoked the treaty clause which says "an attack on one nation is an attack on all".

* We've been told to expect significant curtailment of civil liberties.

* Bush declared that "Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

* Fleets, planes, and ground troops have been dispatched to the Middle East to do "whatever".

* We are to expect a long, protracted war, much of which will be covert and we won't be told what happened even after it's all over.

* After Bin Laden is dealt with, Secretary of State Colin Powell tells us "we will then broaden the campaign to go after other terrorist organizations and forms of terrorism around the world."

* Bush tells us that "We will use every necessary weapon of war", and "Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen."

* The Pentagon specifically refuses to rule out the use of nuclear weapons.

* Bush tells us that "God is not neutral".

This is a very comprehensive list. Bush has a blank check to do whatever he wants, wherever he wants, using whatever means he chooses. He has made it clear he intends to pull no punches and that he will keep drawing on this blank check for a long time to come. From such an agenda, one cannot easily predict where it will all lead. In such a case, it is instructive to look at the historical precedents.

Pearl Harbor aroused the wrath of Americans against the Japanese... but as soon as the blank check was signed, it was Europe that received the initial focus of American military attention. After the Battleship Maine was blown up (from an internal explosion we have since learned), the thirst for revenge was translated into the imperialist capture of the Philippines. In other words, when one of these outrage incidents occurs, the modus operandi of the U.S. elite is to pursue whatever objectives are most important to it - regardless of the incident that provided the blank check.

And the most important issue before the elite at this point in history is the preservation of global elite rule, the acceleration of globalization, and the suppression of the anti-globalization movement. They must deal with the crisis of global capitalism.

From this perspective, the real meaning of the "War on Terrorism" begins to come into focus. Permit me to speculate as to the scenario which is likely to unfold...

* Nearly every country in the third world has some local ethnic group which is struggling against some kind of dictatorial government, usually installed by the USA. Every one of these ethnic groups can be labelled 'terrorist'. Thus Bush can always intervene anywhere he wants for whatever reason and call it part of the "War on Terrorism".

* In the Middle East, Balkans, and Western Asia, the U.S. will continue the process of turning much of the region into an occupied imperialist realm, as we now see in Kosovo. Afghanistan occupies a very strategic geopolitical position, and military bases there will be important in the coming confrontation with China. Vast reserves of oil remain in that region, along with other minerals, and control over these resources will be critical as global supplies become increasingly scarce.

* U.S. dominance of the NATO agenda will be important in this region, as will the careful management of European public opinion. One should not be surprised if U.S. intelligence agencies covertly arrange for terrorist attacks in Europe along the same lines as the WTC attacks.

* Even without covert U.S. encouragement, one can expect terrorist responses to the indiscriminate U.S. bombing which is likely to be unleashed in Afghanistan and who-knows-where-else. Any such terrorist attacks will galvanize Western public opinion still further, adding depth to Bush's blank check.

* Already Greenpeace and many other progressive organizations are categorized as 'mildly terrorist' in the FBI lexicon. And it is the anti-globalization movement, which includes such organizations, which is the real threat to the global capitalist elite. Agent-provocateur tactics have already been used against the movement, from Seattle to Genoa, and in the media the movement has been falsely portrayed as being essentially a violent movement. When Colin Powell talks about "other forms of terrorism", it seems very clear that the movement will be systematically suppressed on a global scale. The overt fascism we saw in Genoa will be raising its ugly head in the U.S., Germany, the UK, and elsewhere. Right-wing paranoia about FEMA-managed concentration camps in the USA will soon seem much less paranoid.

George Bush senior announced the New World Order, and it seems that George Bush junior is destined to complete its implementation. With a blank check to dominate the globe militarily, and to suppress the American people in the name of 'security', there seems to be little to stand in his way. This does not mean that the movement should give up. It means that the movement needs to be aware that the game being played is totally hardball. And hardball does not mean violence, at least not on the part of the movement. Hardball means to realize that the enemy is nothing less than global fascism. The sooner that we realize that and organize accordingly, the greater chance we have of changing things while there are still human beings alive on the Earth.

Copley Square
Boston, USA
25 Sep 2001

Suggested reading


Pearl Harbor book

bibliography from Escaping the Matrix

Escaping the Matrix (

Returning to our roots

Toward an American Revolution

Story of B

Brian Martin, "Nonviolence versus capitalism", War
Resisters' International, London, 2001.