The murky depths
spent Saturday trying to trace Philip Ruddocks benefactor, the
enterprising Jim Foo, by way of his mobile phone records. My contacts
were abundantly helpful. They could smell Ruddocks blood in the
water and were keen to open the wounds a little further.
Sunday morning a clean cold wind was still blowing in off the Snowy,
so I stayed hunkered down in my office, monitoring the weird coup attempt
in Manilla and catching up on the news.
Philippines business is a bizarre twist in the War on Terror.
Its hard to know what to think when a bunch of elite soldiers
accuse the rightist Arroyo government of selling arms to Muslim separatists
and Stalinist guerillas, and of perpetrating terrorist bombings previously
blamed on Muslims, but it was the report of the US congressional inquiry
into the September 11 attacks that made my tail stiffen and my fur stand
on end. I sensed immediately I was looking down into the murky grey
world of espionage where you cant trust anyone to be who they
claim to be, and hidden agendas multiply like politicians lies.
seems that in the Autumn of 2000, two of the September 11 hijackers,
Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Midhar, boarded at the San Diego home of
a Muslim man who had befriended them at the local Islamic Centre; a
man described as a tested undercover asset of
the FBI, who was helping the bureau with inquiries into the activities
of Hamas and Hezbollah.
to Newsweek, which broke the story, the two men had arrived in San Diego
in January 2000, right after they attended an al-Qaeda summit
in Kuala Lumpur.
CIA knew of the summit and even photographed some of the attendees,
but it wasnt until late August 2001 that the CIA warned the FBI
and other US law enforcement agencies to watch for the two men, in case
they tried to enter the United States. But it was too late -- al Hazmi
and al Midhar had arrived months before and somehow their landlords
FBI controller never got round to checking up on his assets roommates.
to news reports, support is growing in the US Congress for a top-level
inquiry into September 11, similar to those conducted into Pearl Harbour
and the Kennedy assassination. Only that way, the argument goes, will
the US public get the truth.
this is a joke. Both the Pearl Harbour inquiry and the Warren Commission
-- which investigated the Kennedy assassination -- are widely regarded
Pearl Harbour inquiry shafted Admiral Kimmel, Commander of the Pacific
Fleet, and General Short, Commander of the Hawaiian Department, for
negligence in not preparing for a Japanese surprise attack. The fact
was, however, that the White House sat on hard intelligence information
on the Japanese preparations and kept the two commanders in the dark.
Warren Commission was made up of hand-picked establishment types. At
its head was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren. Then
there were two prominent members of the Senate, two from Congress, and
the former heads of the World Bank and the CIA.
the hearings, Gerald Ford, one of the two congressman, secretly reported
direct to the head of the FBI, the notorious J. Edgar Hoover, even though
the alleged assassin was then, (and is still) widely suspected of having
been an asset of either the FBI or the CIA, or maybe both.
this day the Kennedy assassination is mired in mystery and controversy.
Maybe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone (which seems highly improbable to
this possum), maybe he was but one member of a hit team, or maybe he
was just the patsy. But one thing is certain: the trajectory of Oswalds
short and weird life screams out that he was an asset.
succession, Oswald was a teenage Marxist, a patriotic member of the
Civil Air Patrol, a US Marine with a top security job monitoring the
U2 spy flights over the Soviet Union, a short term defector
to the Soviets, a trusted associate of the ultra-right-wing White Russian
community in Texas, an employee at a Dallas print shop specialising
in highly classified government work, and an agent-provocateur working
for the anti-Castro émigrés in New Orleans.
Jack Ruby, who in turn murdered Oswald, had been an FBI asset, making
contact with the agency nine times in 1959. He was also a frequent visitor
to Cuba in the years following Castros revolution, travelling
there to visit the jailed mobster Santos Trafficante who would later
be plausibly blamed for organising the Kennedy assassination.
the 40 years since John F Kennedys death, the world has become
a more dangerous, unstable, place. The US of A has descended further
into the murky palace politics that go with imperial rule and Washington
is run by a crazy mixture of grey nine-to-five security bureaucrats,
neo-conservative fantasists, think-tank fanatics and egotistical psychopaths.
would be nice to think that we will one day know the deeper story of
September 11, but I wouldnt hold your breath.