There are 4 messages in this issue.
Topics in this digest:
1. "Meet-up" of "Concerned Citizens/911 Questions" in Dallas 5/12
From: "Joe Stokes" firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Re: [A-C] Fw: [frameup] Re: A Boeing 757 did not hit the Pentagon
From: "John Perna" email@example.com
3. 9/11, American Empire, and Christian Faith by David Ray Griffin
From: "Joe Stokes" firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Re: Names
From: "James Patton" email@example.com
From: "Joe Stokes" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sun May 7, 2006 4:48am(PDT)
Subject: "Meet-up" of "Concerned Citizens/911 Questions" in Dallas 5/12
Someone here suggested stating "meetup" groups in our
cities. I checked into it and discovered there were
twelve people in and around Dallas, Texas waiting for
someone to start a "Concerned Citizens/911 Questions"
group in this area. I got it stated.
As of today it looks like fives of us are meeting this
Thursday evening at 7:00 pm in East Dallas.
If anyone on this list would like to join us then
contact me personally.
From: "John Perna" email@example.com
Date: Sun May 7, 2006 4:56am(PDT)
Subject: Re: [A-C] Fw: [frameup] Re: A Boeing 757 did not hit the Pentagon
Lots of witnesses saw the plane hit the pentagon
Ryan James video account of the Pentagon crash
High Bandwidth - Low Bandwidth
USA Today's Mike Walter was driving near the Pentagon when he saw an American Airlines jet fly directly into the country's military nerve center. [544kB WAV download]
Steve Anderson, Director of Communications, USA TODAY
A few moments later, as I was looking down at my desk, the plane caught my eye.
It didn't register at first. I thought to myself that I couldn't believe the pilot was flying so low. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Then black smoke. Then white smoke.
Anlauf was watching TV coverage of the Trade Center burning shortly before 9:30 a.m. when she decided to return to her 14th-floor room from another part of the hotel. Once in her room, she heard a "loud roar" and looked out the window to see what was going on. "Suddenly I saw this plane right outside my window," Anlauf said during a telephone interview from her hotel room this morning. "You felt like you could touch it; it was that close. It was just incredible. "Then it shot straight across from where we are and flew right into the Pentagon. It was just this huge fireball that crashed into the wall (of the Pentagon). When it hit, the whole hotel shook."
Battle, an office worker at the Pentagon, was standing outside the building and just about to enter when the aircraft struck. "It was coming down head first," he said. "And when the impact hit, the cars and everything were just shaking."
Omar Campo, a Salvadorean, was cutting the grass on the other side of the road when the plane flew over his head.
"It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane," Mr Campo said. "I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head. I felt the impact. The whole ground shook and the whole area was full of fire. I could never imagine I would see anything like that here."
Gary Bauer, former Presidential candidate
�I was going past the Pentagon, really inching a yard or so every couple of minutes. I had just passed the closest place the Pentagon is to the exit on 395 . . . when all of a sudden I heard the roar of a jet engine. �I looked at the woman sitting in the car next to me. She had this startled look on her face. We were all thinking the same thing. We looked out the front of our windows to try to see the plane, and it wasn�t until a few seconds later that we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major highway. And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. The blast literally rocked all of our cars. It was an incredible moment.
Bell, who had been less than 100 feet from the initial impact of the plane, was nearly struck by one of the plane�s wings as it sped by him. In shock, he got into his truck, which had been parked in the trailer compound, and sped away. He wandered around Arlington in his truck and tried to make wireless phone calls. He ended up back at Singleton�s headquarters in Gaithersburg two hours later, according to President Singleton, not remembering much.
The full impact of the closeness of the crash wasn�t realized until coworkers noticed damage to Bell�s work vehicle. He had plastic and rivets from an airplane imbedded in its sheet metal, but Bell had no idea what had happened.
Mark Bright, Defense Protective Service officer
Mark Bright, actually saw the plane hit the building. He had been manning the guard booth at the Mall Entrance to the building.
"I saw the plane at the Navy Annex area," he said. "I knew it was going to strike the building because it was very, very low -- at the height of the street lights. It knocked a couple down." The plane would have been seconds from impact -- the annex is only a few hundred yards from the Pentagon.
He said he heard the plane "power-up" just before it struck the Pentagon. "As soon as it struck the building I just called in an attack, because I knew it couldn't be accidental," Bright said. He jumped into his police cruiser and headed to the area.
James R. Cissell
''Out of my peripheral vision,'' Cissell said, ''I saw this plane coming in and it was low - and getting lower.
''If you couldn't touch it from standing on the highway, you could by standing on your car.''
In the next seconds dozens of things flashed through his mind.
''I thought, 'This isn't really happening. That is a big plane.' Then I saw the faces of some of the passengers on board,'' Cissell said.
He remembers the helipad the plane flew over before smacking into the Pentagon was close enough to him that ''I could have thrown a baseball at it and hit it.''
He and two colleagues from Oracle software were stopped in a car near the Naval Annex, next to the Pentagon, when they saw the plane dive down and level off.
"It was no more than 30 feet off the ground, and it was screaming. It was just screaming. It was nothing more than a guided missile at that point," Creed said.
"I can still see the plane. I can still see it right now. It's just the most frightening thing in the world, going full speed, going full throttle, its wheels up," Creed recalls.
�Traffic was at a standstill, so I parked on the shoulder, not far from the scene and ran to the site. Next to me was a cab from D.C., its windshield smashed out by pieces of lampposts. There were pieces of the plane all over the highway, pieces of wing, I think.�
Afework Hagos, a computer programmer, was on his way to work but stuck in a traffic jam near the Pentagon when the plane flew over. "There was a huge screaming noise and I got out of the car as the plane came over. Everybody was running away in different directions. It was tilting its wings up and down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in."
Being a former transport type (60's era) I cannot understand how that plane hit where it did giving the direction the aircraft was taking at the time.
As most know, the Pentagon lies at the bottom of two hills from the west with the east side being next to the river at 14th street bridge. One hill is at the Navy Annex and the other is Arlington Cemetery. The plane came up I-395 also known as Shirley Hwy. (most likely used as a reference point.) The plane had been seen making a lazy pattern in the no fly zone over the White House and US Cap. Why the plane did not hit incoming traffic coming down the river from the north to Reagan Nat'l. is beyond me. Strangely, no one at the Reagan Tower noticed the aircraft. Andrews AFB radar should have also picked up the aircraft I would think. Nevertheless, the aircarft went southwest near Springfield and then veered left over Arlington and then put the nose down coming over Ft Myer picking off trees and light poles near the helicopter pad next to building. It was as if he leveled out at the last minute and put it square into the building. The wings came off as if it went through an
arch way leaving a hole in the side of the building it seems a little larger than the wide body of the aircraft. The entry point was so clean that the roof (shown in news photo) fell in on the wreckage.
Terrance Kean, 35, who lives in a 14-story building nearby, heard the loud jet engines and glanced out his window.
"I saw this very, very large passenger jet," said the architect, who had been packing for a move. "It just plowed right into the side of the Pentagon. The nose penetrated into the portico. And then it sort of disappeared, and there was fire and smoke everywhere. . . . It was very sort of surreal."
Charles H. Krohn
One of the aircraft's engines somehow ricocheted out of the building and arched into the Pentagon's mall parking area between the main building and the new loading dock facility, said Charles H. Krohn, the Army's deputy chief of public affairs. Those fleeing the building heard a loud secondary explosion about 10 min. after the initial impact.
Maj. Lincoln Leibner
Maj. Leibner drove in and made it as far as the south parking lot, where he got out on foot. "I heard the plane first," he said. "I thought it was a flyover Arlington cemetery."
From his vantage point, Maj. Leibner looked up and saw the plane come in. "I was about 100 yards away," he said. "You could see through the windows of the aircraft. I saw it hit."
The plane came in hard and level and was flown full throttle into the building, dead center mass, Maj. Leibner said. "The plane completely entered the building," he said. "I got a little repercussion, from the sound, the blast. I've heard artillery, and that was louder than the loudest has to offer.
Traffic is normally slow right around the Pentagon as the road winds and we line up to cross the 14th Street bridge heading into the District of Columbia. I don�t know what made me look up, but I did and I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating. My first thought was just �No, no, no, no,� because it was obvious the plane was not heading to nearby Reagan National Airport. It was going to crash.
William Middleton Sr.
William Middleton Sr., was running his street sweeper through the cemetery when he heard a harsh whistling sound overhead. Middleton looked up and spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft. Middleton said the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building.
Mare Ann Owens
Looking up didn't tell me what type of plane it was because it was so close I could only see the bottom. Realising the Pentagon was its target, I didn't think the careering, full-throttled craft would get that far. Its downward angle was too sharp, its elevation of maybe 50 feet, too low. Street lights toppled as the plane barely cleared the Interstate 395 overpass.
The thought that I was about to die was immediate and certain. This plane was going to hit me along with all the other commuters trapped on Washington Boulevard.
Gripping the steering wheel of my vibrating car, I involuntarily ducked as the wobbling plane thundered over my head. Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon.
I was at a complete stop on the road in front of the helipad at the Pentagon; what I had thought would be a shortcut was as slow as the other routes I had taken that morning. I looked idly out my window to the left -- and saw a plane flying so low I said, �holy cow, that plane is going to hit my car� (not my actual words). The car shook as the plane flew over. It was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing.
And then the plane crashed. My mind could not comprehend what had happened. Where did the plane go? For some reason I expected it to bounce off the Pentagon wall in pieces. But there was no plane visible, only huge billows of smoke and torrents of fire.
American Airlines Flight 77 approached from the west, coming in low over the nearby five-story Navy Annex on a hill overlooking the Pentagon.
"He has lights off, wheels up, nose down," Probst recalled. The plane seemed to be accelerating directly toward him. He froze.
"I knew I was dead," he said later. "The only thing I thought was, 'Damn, my wife has to go to another funeral, and I'm not going to see my two boys again.'."
He dove to his right. He recalls the engine passing on one side of him, about six feet away.
The plane's right wing went through a generator trailer "like butter," Probst said. The starboard engine hit a low cement wall and blew apart.
Ragland described billowing black smoke and "what looked like white confetti raining down everywhere." He said it soon became apparent "that the 'confetti' was little bits of airplane, falling down after being flung high into the bright, blue sky."
A pilot who saw the impact, Tim Timmerman, said it had been an American Airways 757. "It added power on its way in," he said. "The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball."
Thomas D. Trapasso
Thomas D. Trapasso, a political appointee in the Clinton Administration who is now looking for work, was making telephone calls from his deck in Arlington Village, about 1 mi. south of the Pentagon and just west of the Interstate 395 (I-395) highway. He was startled by the large American Airlines aircraft flying about 300 ft. overhead. "The engines were just screaming, and the wheels were up," Trapasso said. "It disappeared over the trees, and I heard a boom. I knew something awful had happened--that an airplane had crashed somewhere in Washington, D.C.
About 9:40, Alan Wallace had finished fixing the foam metering valve on the back of his fire truck parked in the Pentagon fire station and walked to the front of the station. He looked up and saw a jetliner coming straight at him. It was about 25 feet off the ground, no landing wheels visible, a few hundred yards away and closing fast.
"Runnnnn!" he yelled to a pal. There was no time to look back, barely time to scramble. He made it about 30 feet, heard a terrible roar, felt the heat, and dove underneath a van, skinning his stomach as he slid along the blacktop, sailing under it as though he were riding a luge. The van protected him against burning metal that was flying around. A few seconds later he was sliding back out to check on his friend and then race back to the firetruck. He jumped in, threw it into gear, but the accelerator was dead. The entire back of the truck was destroyed, the cab on fire. He grabbed the radio headset and called the main station at Fort Myer to report the unimaginable.
The sun was still low in the sky, obscured by the Pentagon and the enormous billowing clouds of acrid smoke, making it hauntingly dark. The ground was on fire. Trees were on fire. Hot slices of aluminum were everywhere.
Photos Of Flt 77 Wreckage Inside The Pentagon
& Witness Accounts of Wreckage Inside the Building
The Pentagon was hit by a plane, end of story.
The Pentagon Renovations Completed on 9/11/2001
Flight 77 Hijacker Hani Hanjour: 9/11 Pilot Extraordinaire
What Really Happened
The assumption seems to be that anyone,
who does not accept any particular outlandish theory,
is claiming that there is NO conspiracy,
or that our government is not involved in a conspiracy.
This is an old intelligence trick called "Poisoning the well":
the intentional promotion of lies to blend with an embarrassing truth to discredit the embarrassing truth.
The government shills are trying to conceal the real truth by fueling outlandish theories;
which will ultimately be discredited.
When those outlandish theories are discredited,
then many people will dismiss the truth;
which the government shills were able to associate with those outlandish theories.
Dick Eastman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: Desmoulins is right -- the hole in C-ring could have been made by a weapon
fired from hand-held launcher or even a planted charge. There is stll the
possibility that the hole was made by the engine of the killer jet, but this
seems less likely now.
However if the hole was made by people inside the Pentagon -- then we must
conclude that much of the debris that was found just outside the hole must
have been planted there to make it look like an exit hole.
If the C-ring hole was the result of a planted charge etc. then were is the
certainty that the plane hit at a 50-degree angle? Merely the downed
lamppost path(s) and the damage to the generator and fence. I base the
angle on the southwestmost lamppost that was downed, the entry hole at
pillar #14 and the hole in C-ring -- a near straight line.
At any rate, Jean-Pierre has done his homework.
Sent: Saturday, May 06, 2006 12:51 PM
Subject: Re: [frameup] Re: A Boeing 757 did not hit the Pentagon
Michael Meyer is an expert in some type of weapons. He argued that the
"exit hole" in the C ring wall was done by a shaped charge. Well, some
others argued in the same way, like Eric Bart. I did a different
proposition, i.e. that this "punch out" hole was done by a DU penetrator,
though I think that solid explosives were detonated approximately in the
middle of the E ring during crash, and it could be a shaped charge.
Arguments can be exchanged for either hypothesis or a combination of both.
__BUT__ where Michael Meyer, not to say Dick Eastman and many others are
wrong, it is in their conclusion that, if this hole was done by any type of
weaponry, this weapon had to be carried by an usual military charge
delivering craft, like a cruise missile, a fighter, a skywarrior A3, ...
The ruse used on 9/11 was to deliver this military charge inside a Boeing
757 with 60 persons on board, sadly including a group of kids. That's it...
Any other hypothesis is invalidated by a careful analysis of the witness
accounts, by the lamp poles struck, by the pattern of damage before the
wall of the Pentagon, by the pattern of damage on the wall, by the special
deflection angle on columns 9/16/17 AA, by 757 (and no other jet) debris
found, and so on...
This "no 757" claim is just a distraction and newbies on this list should
easily debunk this attempt to put a "booby trap" in the hands of the 9/11
truth seekers, just intended to ridicule and discredit them.
At 10:48 06/05/2006 -0700, you wrote:
>The killer jet did not penetrate six concrete walls to burst out of the
>hole in ring-C. First, at the first floor level the Pentagon is one
>building at the first floor level from c to d rings (i.e., the rings are
>joined, there is no corridor at the first floor level), there are no
>walls, but only the pillars inside the building. Second, the hole in the
>c-ring wall may have been made by something else -- the hole being too
>clean and round for the exiting fuselage-engine of the killer jet. If
>the hole was made by an jet engine, it was the engine of a single-engine
>military plane, probably an F-16. (Lack of penetration to the left of
>pillars 14 and 15 indicate that the killer jet was not a two-engine
>The Meyer also states at the end of his article that the lamp posts were
>torn from the ground. Actually some posts were snapped off and others
>broke at the bolts at the base.
>Also one engine was recovered from the wreckage -- the one engine of a
>Forget the A-3 stuff -- the two-engine A-3 is much less likely than an
>F-16 or other jet fighter or single-engine missile platform.
>What convinced me that 9-11 was a false-flag inside-job.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "mojo_j_2000" <<mailto:email@example.com>firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 10:39 PM
>Subject: [911TruthAction] Re: A Boeing 757 did not hit the
>Pentagon......maybe an A-3
>stop the sing-a-long at pentagon and get the videotape..
>A Boeing 757 did not hit the Pentagon
>by Michael Meyer, Mechanical Engineer
>To the members of the Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven:
>I would like to give you my input as to the events on September 11, and
>why it is a physically provable fact that some of the damage done to the
>Pentagon could not have occurred from a Boeing 757 impact, and therefore
>the 9/11 Commission report is not complete and arguably a cover-up. I
>will not speculate about what may have been covered up, I will only speak
>from my professional opinion. But I will explain why I do not believe the
>Pentagon was hit by a Boeing 757.
>I am a Mechanical Engineer who spent many years in Aerospace, including
>structural design, and in the design, and use of shaped charge explosives
>(like those that would be used in missile warheads).
>The structural design of a large aircraft like a 757 is based
>around managing the structural loads of a pressurized vessel, the cabin,
>to near-atmospheric conditions while at the lower pressure region
>of cruising altitudes, and to handle the structural and
>aerodynamic loads of the wings, control surfaces, and the fuel load. It
>is made as light as possible, and is certainly not made to handle
>impact loads of any kind.
>If a 757 were to strike a reinforced concrete wall, the energy from the
>speed and weight of the aircraft will be transferred, in part into the
>wall, and to the structural failure of the aircraft. It is not too far of
>an analogy as if you had an empty aluminum can, traveling at high speed
>hitting a reinforced concrete wall. The aluminum can would crumple (the
>proper engineering term is buckle) and, depending on the structural
>integrity of the wall, crack, crumble or fail completely. The wall
>failure would not be a neat little hole, as the energy of the impact
>would be spread throughout the wall by the reinforcing steel.
>This is difficult to model accurately, as any high speed, high energy,
>impact of a complex structure like an aircraft, into a discontinuous wall
>with windows etc. is difficult. What is known is that nearly all of the
>energy from this event would be dissipated
>in the initial impact, and subsequent buckling of the aircraft.
>We are lead to believe that not only did the 757 penetrate the
>outer wall, but continued on to penetrate separate internal walls
>totaling 9 feet of reinforced concrete. The final breach of concrete was
>a nearly perfectly cut circular hole (see below) in a
>reinforced concrete wall, with no subsequent damage to the rest of the
>wall. (If we are to believe that somehow this aluminum aircraft did
>in fact reach this sixth final wall.)
>EXIT HOLE IN PENTAGON RING-C
>American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, is alleged to have punched
>through 6 blast-resistant concrete walls > feet of reinforced concrete >
>It is physically impossible for the wall to have failed in a neat clean
>cut circle, period. When I first saw this hole, a chill went down my
>spine because I knew it was not possible to have a reinforced concrete
>wall fail in this manner, it should have caved in, in some fashion.
>How do you create a nice clean hole in a reinforced concrete wall? with
>an explosive shaped charge. An explosive shaped charge, or cutting charge
>is used in various military warhead devices. You design the geometry of
>the explosive charge so that you create a focused line of energy. You
>essentially focus nearly all of the explosive energy in what is referred
>to as a jet. You use this jet to cut and penetrate armor on a tank, or
>the walls of a bunker. The signature is clear and unmistakable. In a
>missile, the explosive charge is circular to allow the payload behind the
>initial shaped charge to enter whatever has been penetrated.
> > I do not know what happened on 9/11, I do not know how politics
> > works in this country, I can not explain why the mainstream media
> > does not report on the problems with the 9/11 Commission. But I am
> > an engineer, and I know what happens in high speed impacts, and
> > shaped charges are used to "cut" through materials.
> > I have not addressed several other major gaps in the Pentagon/757
> > incident. The fact that this aircraft somehow ripped several light
> > towers clean out of the ground without any damage to the aircraft
> > (which I also feel is impossible), the fact that the two main
> > engines were never recovered from the wreckage, and the fact that
> > our government has direct video coverage of the flight path, and
> > impact, from at least a gas station and hotel, which they have
> > refused to release.
> > You can call me a "tin hat", crazy, conspiracy theory, etc, but I
> > can say from my expertise that the damage at the Pentagon was not
> > caused by a Boeing 757.
> > Sincerely,
> > Michael Meyer
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From: "Joe Stokes" email@example.com
Date: Sun May 7, 2006 5:39am(PDT)
Subject: 9/11, American Empire, and Christian Faith by David Ray Griffin
9/11, American Empire, and Christian Faith
by David Ray Griffin
May 5, 2006
Note: This essay was originally delivered as a lecture
at Trinity Episcopal Church of Santa Barbara,
Saturday, March 25, 2006; a DVD of this presentation
will be available at the end of May.
In this essay, I offer a Christian critique of the
American empire in light of 9/11, and of 9/11 in light
of the American empire. Such a critique, of course,
presupposes a discussion of 9/11 itself, especially
the question of who was responsible for the attacks.
The official theory is that the attacks were planned
and carried out entirely by Arab Muslims. The main
alternative theory is that 9/11 was a "false flag"
operation, orchestrated by forces within the US
government who made it appear to be the work of Arab
Originally, a false flag attack was one in which the
attackers, perhaps in ships, literally showed the flag
of an enemy country, so that it would be blamed. But
the expression has come to be used for any attack made
to appear to be the work of some country, party, or
group other than that to which the attackers
I will argue that the attacks of 9/11 were false flag
attacks, orchestrated to marshal support for a
so-called war on terror against Muslim and Arab states
as the next stage in creating a global Pax Americana,
an all-inclusive empire. I will conclude this essay
with its main question: How should Christians in
America respond to the realization that we are living
in an empire similar to the Roman empire at the time
of Jesus, which put him to death for resistance
1. False Flag Operations
The evidence that 9/11 was a false flag operation is
very strong. Many Americans, however, reject this idea
on a priori grounds, thereby refusing even to look at
the evidence. The main a priori assumption is that
America's political and military leaders simply would
not commit such a heinous act. This assumption is
undermined, however, once we know something about the
history of false flag operations.
False Flag Operations by Other Countries
Far from being rare in the history of warfare, false
flag operations are very common. They have been
especially popular with imperial powers wanting to
expand their empires.
In 1931, Japan, which had been exploiting Manchuria
for resources, decided to take over the whole
province. To have a pretext, the Japanese army blew up
the tracks of its own railway near the Chinese
military base in Mukden, then blamed the sabotage on
Chinese solders. This "Mukden incident" occurred
almost exactly 70 years prior to 9/11, on September
18, 1931. It is, in fact, referred to by the Chinese
A year and a half later, the Nazis, less than a month
after taking power, started a fire in the German
Reichstag, then blamed it on Communists. Their proof
that Communists were responsible was the "discovery"
on the site of a feeble-minded left-wing radical, who
had been brought there by the Nazis themselves.2 They
then used the Reichstag fire as a pretext to arrest
thousands of Communists and Social Democrats, shut
down unfriendly newspapers, and annul civil rights.3
That was 1933. Six years later, Hitler wanted a
pretext to attack Poland. The solution, known as
"Operation Himmler," was to have Germans dressed as
Poles stage 21 raids on the Polish-German border. In
some cases, as in the raid on the Gleiwitz radio
station, a dead German convict dressed as a Pole was
left at the scene. The next day, Hitler, referring to
these 21 "border incidents," presented the attack on
Poland as a defensive necessity.4
More germane to the question of 9/11, of course, is
whether American leaders would do such things.
U.S. Wars Based on False Charges of Enemy Aggression
In 1846, President James Polk, anxious to expand the
American empire, had the U.S. army build a fort on the
Rio Grande, some 150 miles south of the commonly
accepted border between Texas and Mexico. After 16 US
soldiers died in a skirmish, Polk told Congress that
Mexico had "shed American blood upon the American
soil." This claim was called "the sheerest deception"
by a congressman named Abraham Lincoln.5 Nevertheless,
the Mexican-American war was on and in 1848, Mexico,
being out-gunned, signed a peace treaty ceding away
half of its country, including California, for a
In 1898, the United States falsely accused Spain of
blowing up a battleship, the USS Maine, which
President McKinley had sent, uninvited, to Havana
Harbor. This accusation, which led to the chant
"Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain," was used as
a pretext to start the Spanish-American war, through
which America took control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and
the Philippines. In the latter case, the United
States, after helping the Filipinos defeat the
Spanish, went to war against the Filipinos, claiming
that they had fired on American soldiers. A quarter of
a million Filipinos died in the resulting slaughter,
which provoked the usually ironic William James to
say: "God damn the U.S. for its vile conduct in the
Philippine Isles."7 Many years later, General Arthur
MacArthur admitted that American troops had fired
first to start a pre-arranged battle.8
In 1964, a false account of an incident in the Tonkin
Gulf was used to start the full-scale war in Vietnam,
which brought about the deaths of over 58,000
Americans and some two million Vietnamese.9
Of course, we might be tempted to reply, although
Americans have done such things to enemy nations
("All's fair in love and war"), they would never
deliberately kill citizens of friendly countries for
political reasons. That assumption, however, is
undermined in a recent book, NATO's Secret Armies, by
Swiss historian Daniele Ganser. This book demonstrates
that during the Cold War, the United States sponsored
false flag operations in many countries of Western
Europe in order to discredit Communists and other
leftists to prevent them from coming to power through
Italy suffered a wave of deadly terrorist attacks in
the 1970s, including a massive explosion at the
Bologna railway station that killed 85 people.11
Between 1983 and '85, Belgium suffered a series of
attacks, known as the "Brabant massacres," in which
hooded men opened fire on people in shopping centers,
"reduc[ing] Belgium to a state of panic." At the time,
all these attacks in Italy, Belgium, and other
countries were blamed on Communists and other
leftists, often by virtue of planted evidence.12
In the 1990s, however, it was discovered that the
attacks were really carried out by right-wing
organizations that were coordinated by a secret unit
within NATO, which was guided by the CIA and the
Pentagon.13 A former member of the organization that
carried out the massacres in Belgium, which was funded
by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency,
explained that the plan was to "make the population
believe that these terrorist attacks were done by the
Left."14 The former head of Italian
counter-intelligence, in explaining the motivation
behind the attacks in Italy, said: "The CIA wanted to
create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what
it saw as a slide to the left." To achieve this goal,
he added, it seemed that "the Americans would do
If Americans would do anything to achieve their
political goals in Europe, would they do similar
things within America itself? Early in 1962, which was
shortly after Fidel Castro had overthrown the
pro-American dictator Batista, the Joint Chiefs of
Staff presented President Kennedy with a plan, called
Operation Northwoods. This plan described "pretexts
which would provide justification for US military
intervention in Cuba," partly "by developing the
international image of the Cuban government as rash
and irresponsible, and as an alarming and
unpredictable threat to the peace of the Western
Hemisphere." Possible actions to create this image
included a "Communist Cuban terror campaign in the
Miami area . . . and . . . Washington" and a "Remember
the Maine" incident, in which: "We could blow up a
U.S. ship in Guant�namo Bay and blame Cuba."
President Kennedy did not approve this plan, it had
been endorsed by all the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the
2. The Probable Motive for 9/11
US political and military leaders, as these examples
show, have been fully capable of orchestrating false
flag operations that would kill innocent people,
including American citizens, to achieve political
goals. The political goal during the Cold War was to
prevent and overthrow left-leaning governments. But
what motive could US leaders have had for
orchestrating the attacks of 9/11, a decade after the
Cold War had ended? Actually, it was precisely the end
of the Cold War that provided the likely motive: the
desire to create a global Pax Americana.
Whereas the world during the Cold War was bipolar, the
demise of the Soviet Union created in some minds---the
minds of that group known as neoconservatives, or
neocons---the prospect of a unipolar world. In 1989,
Charles Krauthammer published a piece entitled
"Universal Dominion," in which he argued that America
should work for "a qualitatively new outcome---a
unipolar world."17 A year later, he said the United
States, as the "unchallenged superpower," should act
unilaterally, "unashamedly laying down the rules of
world order and being prepared to enforce them."18
The most important neocon has been Dick Cheney. In
1992, the last year of his tenure as secretary of
defense, he had two of his assistants, Paul Wolfowitz
and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, write a draft of the
Pentagon's "Defense Planning Guidance," which said
America's "first objective is to prevent the
re-emergence of a new rival."19 Andrew Bacevich, who
is a conservative but not a neoconservative, has
called this draft "a blueprint for permanent American
global hegemony."20 An article in Harper's calls it an
early version of Cheney's "Plan . . . to rule the
During the rest of the 1990s, while the Republicans
were out of White House, the unipolar dream kept
growing. In 1996, Robert Kagan said the United States
should use its military strength "to maintain a world
order which both supports and rests upon American
In the following year, William Kristol, the son of
neocon godfather Irving Kristol, founded a unipolarist
think tank called the Project for the New American
Century, often called PNAC. Its members included
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby, and many other
neocons who would become central members of the Bush
administration in 2001. In September of 2000, PNAC
published a document entitled Rebuilding America's
Defenses. Reaffirming "the basic tenets" of the
Cheney-Wolfowitz draft of 1992, this document said
that "America's grand strategy should aim to preserve
and extend [its present] advantageous position" and
thereby "to preserve and enhance [the] 'American
What would it take, according to these neocons, to
preserve and enhance the Pax Americana? Basically five
things. First, control of the world's oil. As Robert
Dreyfuss, a critic of the neocons, says, "who[ever]
controls oil controls the world."24 For the neocons,
this meant bringing about regime change in several
oil-rich countries, especially Iraq. Some neocons,
including Cheney and Rumsfeld, had wanted the first
President Bush to take out Saddam in 1990.25 They
continued to advocate this policy throughout the
1990s, with PNAC even writing a letter to President
Clinton in 1998, urging him to use military force to
"remov[e] Saddam's regime from power."26 After the
Bush-Cheney administration took office, attacking Iraq
was the main item on its agenda. The only real
question, reports former treasury secretary Paul
O'Neill, was "finding a way to do it."27
A second necessary condition for the envisaged Pax
Americana was a transformation of the military in the
light of the "revolution in military affairs"---RMA
for short---made possible by information technology.
At the center of this RMA transformation is the
military use of space.28 Although the term "missile
defense" implies that this use of space is to be
purely defensive, one neocon, Lawrence Kaplan, has
candidly stated otherwise, saying: "Missile defense
isn't really meant to protect America. It's a tool for
In any case, implementing this transformation will be
very expensive, which brings us to a third
requirement: an increase in military spending. The end
of the Cold War made this requirement challenging,
because most Americans assumed that, since we no
longer had to defend the world against global
Communism, we could drastically reduce military
spending, thereby having a "peace dividend" to spend
on health, education, and the environment.
A fourth neocon requirement for a Pax Americana was a
modification of the doctrine of preemptive attack.
Traditionally, a country has had the right to launch a
preemptive attack against another country if an attack
from that country was imminent---too imminent to take
the matter to the UN Security Council. But neocons
wanted the United States to act to preclude threats
that might arise in the more or less distant future.30
These four developments would require a fifth thing:
an event that would make the American people ready to
accept these imperialistic policies. This point had
been made in The Grand Chessboard, a 1997 book by
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was Jimmy Carter's national
security advisor. Brzezinski is not a neocon but he
shares their concern with American primacy (as
indicated by the subtitle of his book: American
Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives). Portraying
Central Asia, with its vast oil reserves, as the key
to world power, Brzezinski argued that America must
get control of this region. However, Brzezinski
counseled, Americans, with their democratic instincts,
are reluctant to authorize the military spending and
human sacrifices necessary for "imperial
mobilization," and this reluctance "limits the use of
America's power, especially its capacity for military
intimidation."31 But this impediment could be
overcome, he added, if there were "a truly massive and
widely perceived direct external threat."32 The
American people were, for example, willing to enter
World War II after "the shock effect of the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor."33
This same idea was suggested in PNAC's document of
2000, Rebuilding America's Defenses. Referring to the
goal of transforming the military, it said that this
"process of transformation . . . is likely to be a
long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing
event---like a new Pearl Harbor."34
3. Opportunities Created by the New Pearl Harbor
When the attacks of 9/11 occurred, they were treated
like a new Pearl Harbor. President Bush reportedly
wrote in his diary on that night: "The Pearl Harbor of
the 21st century took place today."35 Many
commentators, from Robert Kagan to Henry Kissinger to
a writer for Time magazine, said that America should
respond to the attacks of 9/11 in the same way it had
responded to the attack on Pearl Harbor.36 Rumsfeld
said that 9/11 created "the kind of opportunities that
World War II offered, to refashion the world."
President Bush and Condoleezza Rice also spoke of 9/11
as creating opportunities.37
And it did, in fact, create opportunities to fulfill
what the neocons had considered the other necessary
conditions for bringing about a Pax Americana. With
regard to oil, the Bush administration had, during the
summer of 2001, developed a plan to attack Afghanistan
to replace the Taliban with a puppet regime, thereby
allowing UNOCAL to build its proposed pipeline from
the Caspian Sea and the US military to build bases in
The official story of 9/11, according to which it was
carried out by members of al-Qaeda under the direction
of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, provided the needed
pretext for this operation. In 2004, Rumsfeld told the
9/11 Commission that prior to 9/11, the president
could not have convinced Congress that the United
States needed to "invade Afghanistan and overthrow the
9/11 also provided a necessary condition for the
attack on Iraq. It did not provide a sufficient
condition. The administration still had to wage a
propaganda offensive to convince the public that
Saddam was involved in 9/11, was connected to
al-Qaeda, and illegally possessed weapons of mass
destruction. But 9/11 was a necessary condition. As
neocon Kenneth Adelman has said: "At the beginning of
the administration people were talking about Iraq but
it wasn't doable. . . . That changed with September
11."39 Historian Stephen Sniegoski, explaining why
9/11 made the attack on Iraq possible, says:
The 9/11 attacks made the American people angry
and fearful. Ordinary Americans wanted to strike back
at the terrorist enemy, even though they weren't
exactly sure who that enemy was. . . . Moreover, they
were fearful of more attacks and were susceptible to
the administration's propaganda that the United States
had to strike Iraq before Iraq somehow struck the
Sniegoski's view is supported by Nicholas Lemann of
the New Yorker. Lemann says that he was told by a
senior official of the Bush administration that, in
the reason September 11th appears to have been "a
transformative moment" is not so much that it revealed
the existence of a threat of which officials had
previously been unaware as that it drastically reduced
the American public's usual resistance to American
military involvement overseas.41
The new Pearl Harbor also opened the way for the
revolution in military affairs. Prior to 9/11,
Bacevich reports, "military transformation appeared to
be dead in the water." But the "war on terror" after
9/11 "created an opening for RMA advocates to make
9/11 also allowed for great increases in military
spending, including spending for space weapons. On the
evening of 9/11 itself, Rumsfeld held a news briefing
at the Pentagon. Senator Carl Levin, the chair of the
Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked:
Senator Levin, you and other Democrats in Congress
have voiced fear that you simply don't have enough
money for the large increase in defense that the
Pentagon is seeking, especially for missile defense. .
. . Does this sort of thing convince you that an
emergency exists in this country to increase defense
Congress immediately appropriated an additional $40
billion for the Pentagon and much more later.
The new Pearl Harbor also paved the way for the new
doctrine of preemptive warfare. "The events of 9/11,"
observes Bacevich, "provided the tailor-made
opportunity to break free of the fetters restricting
the exercise of American power."44 Bush alluded to
this new doctrine at West Point the following June.45
It was then fully articulated in the administration's
2002 version of the National Security Strategy. The
president's covering letter said that America will
"act against . . . emerging threats before they are
fully formed."46 The document itself said:
Given the goals of rogue states and terrorists,
the United States can no longer rely on a reactive
posture as we have in the past. . . . We cannot let
our enemies strike first. . . . [T]he United States
will, if necessary, act preemptively.47
4. 9/11 as a False Flag Operation
If 9/11 provided the "tailor-made opportunity" for
enunciating this new doctrine, as Bacevich has
observed, it equally provided the opportunity to
realize all the other things that Cheney, Rumsfeld,
Wolfowitz, and other neocons had been dreaming about
during the previous decade. Should not this fact lead
us to suspect that 9/11 was not simply a godsend? In
any criminal investigation, the first question is
always cui bono�who benefits? Why should we not
this principle to 9/11? Let us now look at some
evidence, to see if it supports the view that 9/11 was
a false flag operation, orchestrated to produce
precisely the effects that it did in fact produce.
The Alleged Hijackers
The official account of 9/11, by blaming the attacks
on Arab Muslims, provided a basis for the attacks on
Afghanistan and Iraq wars---not a legal basis, but an
emotional basis sufficient to marshal support from a
the American people and Congress. But there are many
problems with this official story.
For one thing, the alleged hijackers are portrayed as
devout Muslims, ready to meet their maker. Mohamed
Atta, called the ringleader, is said by the 9/11
Commission to have become very religious, even
"fanatically so."48 But some journalists found that he
loved cocaine, alcohol, gambling, pork, and lap
dances. Several of the other alleged hijackers
reportedly had similar tastes.49
Also, the flight manifests that have been released for
the four flights have no Arab names on them.50
It appears, moreover, that evidence was planted.
Authorities allegedly found two of Atta's bags at the
Boston airport. These bags contained Atta's passport
and his will along with various types of incriminating
evidence. But why would Atta have planned to take his
will on a plane that he planned to fly into the World
The Legend of Osama bin Laden
There are also many problems in the official story
about Osama bin Laden. In June of 2001, when he was
already America's "most wanted" criminal, bin Laden
reportedly spent two weeks in the American Hospital in
Dubai, where he was visited by the local CIA agent.52
Also, after 9/11, when America was supposedly trying
to get bin Laden "dead or alive," the U.S. military
evidently allowed him to escape on at least four
occasions, the last one being the "battle of Tora
Bora," which the London Telegraph labeled "a grand
Moreover, although the Bush administration promised
that Secretary of State Colin Powell would provide a
white paper with proof that the attacks had been
planned by bin Laden, this paper was never produced.
And although the Taliban said that it would hand bin
Laden over if the United States presented evidence of
his involvement in 9/11, the Bush administration
Finally, although this administration claims that bin
Laden admitted responsibility for the attacks in a
video allegedly found in Afghanistan, the man in this
video has darker skin, fuller cheeks, and a broader
nose than the Osama bin Laden of all the other videos.
We again seem to have planted evidence. Indeed, within
the 9/11 truth movement, this video is known as "the
fake bin Laden video."55
Reasons to believe that 9/11 was a false flag
operation are also provided by various features of the
attacks that could not have been accomplished by the
alleged hijackers. One of these is the destruction of
the World Trade Center.
5. The Destruction of the World Trade Center
According to the official explanation, the Twin Towers
and Building 7 collapsed primarily from their
fires---plus, in the case of the Twin Towers, the
impact of the airplanes. But this explanation faces
several formidable problems.
First, many people have been led to believe that the
steel in these steel-frame buildings was melted by the
fires. But steel does not begin to melt until 2800
degrees F, whereas open fires burning hydrocarbons
such as kerosene---which is what jet fuel is---can in
the most ideal circumstances rise only as high as 1700
Second, the fires in these three buildings were not
very big, very hot, or very long-lasting, compared
with fires in some steel-frame high-rises that did not
collapse. A fire in Philadelphia in 1991 burned 18
hours; a fire in Caracas in 2004 burned 17 hours. But
neither of these fires resulted in even a partial
collapse.56 By contrast, the north and south towers
burned only 102 and 56 minutes, respectively, before
they collapsed. Building 7, which was not hit by a
plane, had fires on only a few floors, according to
all the photographic evidence57 and several
The collapse of Building 7 has been recognized as
especially difficult to explain. The FEMA report said
that the most likely scenario had "only a low
probability of occurrence."59 The collapse of building
7 was not even mention in the 571 pages of The 9/11
Commission Report, even though this collapse was,
according to the official account, a historic event:
the first time a steel-frame high-rise had ever
collapsed from fire alone. The latest official report,
put out by the National Institute of Standards and
Technology, has claimed that the Twin Towers collapsed
because the airplanes knocked the fire-proofing off
the steel,60 but it has yet to explain why Building 7,
which was not hit by a plane, also collapsed.
A third problem with the official account is that
total collapses of steel-frame high-rise buildings
have never, either before or after 9/11, been brought
about by fire alone, or fire combined with externally
produced structural damage. All such collapses have
been caused by explosives in the procedure known as
A fourth problem is that the collapses of these three
buildings all manifested many standard features of
controlled demolition. I will mention six:
1. The collapses began suddenly. Steel, if weakened by
fire, would gradually begin to sag. But if you look at
videos available on the Web, you will see that the
buildings are perfectly motionless up to the moment
they begin to collapse.61
2. These huge buildings collapsed straight down,
instead of toppling over, which would have caused
enormous death and destruction. This straight-down
collapse is the whole point of the type of controlled
demolition known as implosion, which only a few
companies in the world are qualified to perform.62
3. All three buildings collapsed at virtually
free-fall speed, which means that the lower floors,
with all their steel and concrete, were offering no
resistance to the upper floors.
4. The collapses were total collapses, resulting in
piles of rubble no more than a few stories high. This
means that the enormous steel columns in the core of
each building had to be broken into rather short
segments---which is what explosives do.
5. Fifth, great quantities of molten steel were
produced, which means that the steel had been heated
up to several thousand degrees. Witnesses during the
clean-up reported, moreover, that sometimes when a
piece of steel was lifted out of the rubble, molten
metal would be dripping from the end.63
6. Dozens of people, including journalists, police
officers, WTC employees, emergency medical workers,
and firefighters, reported that explosions went off
prior to and during the collapses of the north and
south towers. For example, Fire Captain Dennis Tardio
said: "I hear an explosion and I look up. It is as if
the building is being imploded, from the top floor
down, one after another, boom, boom, boom."64
Firefighter Richard Banaciski said: "It seemed like on
television [when] they blow up these buildings. It
seemed like it was going all the way around like a
belt, all these explosions."65
One more feature of the collapses of the Twin Towers
was that virtually everything except the steel---all
the desks, computers, and concrete---was pulverized
into tiny dust particles.66
The official theory cannot explain one, let alone all,
of these seven features---at least, as physicist
Steven Jones has pointed out, without violating
several basic laws of physics.67 But the theory of
controlled demolition easily explains all of them.
This evidence for controlled demolition contradicts
the idea that al-Qaeda terrorists were responsible.
They could not have obtained access to the buildings
for all the hours needed to plant the explosives.
Agents of the Bush-Cheney administration, by contrast,
could have gotten such access, given the fact that
Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker III---the president's
brother and cousin, respectively---were principals of
the company in charge of security for the WTC.68
Al-Qaeda terrorists would also probably not have had
the courtesy to ensure that these huge buildings came
straight down, rather than falling over onto other
buildings. They also would not have had the necessary
Another relevant fact is that evidence was destroyed.
An examination of the buildings' steel columns could
have shown whether explosives had been used to slice
them. But virtually all of the steel was quickly sold
to scrap dealers, trucked away, and sent to Asia to be
melted down. It is usually a federal offense to remove
anything from a crime scene. But this removal of
thousands of tons of steel, the biggest destruction of
evidence in history, was allowed by federal officials.
Evidence was also apparently planted. The passport of
one of the hijackers on Flight 11 was allegedly found
in the rubble, having survived not only the fire but
also whatever caused everything in the north tower
except its steel to be pulverized into dust.69
6. The Strike on the Pentagon
The official account of the strike on the Pentagon is
equally problematic. According to this account, the
Pentagon was struck by American Airlines Flight 77,
under the control of al-Qaeda hijacker Hani Hanjour.
But this claim is challenged by many facts.
First, Flight 77 allegedly, after making a U-turn in
the mid-west, flew back to Washington undetected for
40 minutes. And yet the US military, which by then
would have known that hijacked airliners were being
used as weapons, has the best radar systems in the
world, one of which, it brags, "does not miss anything
occurring in North American airspace."70
Second, the aircraft, in order to hit the west wing,
reportedly executed a 270-degree downward spiral,
which some pilots have said, would have been difficult
if not impossible for a Boeing 757 even with an expert
pilot. Hani Hanjour, moreover, was known as a terrible
pilot, who could not safely fly even a small plane.71
Third, terrorists brilliant enough to get through the
U.S. military's defense system would not have struck
the Pentagon's west wing, for many reasons: It had
been reinforced, so the damage was less severe than a
strike anywhere else would have been. The west wing
was still being renovated, so relatively few people
were there; a strike anywhere else would have killed
thousands of people, rather than 125. And the
secretary of defense and all the top brass, whom
terrorists would presumably have wanted to kill, were
in the east wing. Why would an al-Qaeda pilot have
executed a very difficult maneuver to hit the west
wing when he could have simply crashed into the roof
of the east wing?
Fourth, there is considerable evidence that the
aircraft that struck the Pentagon was not even a
Boeing 757, which is what Flight 77 was. For one
thing, unlike the strikes on the Twin Towers, the
strike on the Pentagon did not create a detectable
seismic signal.72 Also, the kind of damage and debris
that would have been produced by the impact of a
Boeing 757 were not produced by the strike on the
Pentagon, according to both photographs73 and
Former pilot Ralph Omholt, discussing the photographic
There is no viable evidence of burning jet fuel. .
. . The pre-collapse Pentagon section showed no
"forward-moving" damage. . . . There was no particular
physical evidence of the expected "wreckage." There
was no tail, no wings; no damage consistent with a
CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre, reporting live from the
Pentagon on 9/11, said: "From my close-up inspection,
there's no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere
near the Pentagon."75 Karen Kwiatkowski, who at the
time was an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel working at
the Pentagon, has written:
I would think that if a 100-plus-ton aircraft . .
. going several hundred miles an hour were to hit the
Pentagon, it would cause a great deal of possibly
superficial but visible damage to the . . . entire
area of impact. But I did not see this kind of
Fifth, evidence was again destroyed. Shortly after the
strike, government agents picked up debris and carried
it off.77 Shortly thereafter the entire lawn was
covered with dirt and gravel, so that any remaining
forensic evidence was literally covered up.78 Finally,
the videos from security cameras on the nearby gas
station and nearby hotels, which would show what
really hit the Pentagon, were immediately confiscated
by agents of the FBI, and the Department of Justice
has subsequently refused to released them.79
Evidence again appears to have been fabricated. For
example, proof that Flight 77 was hijacked and heading
back towards Washington was allegedly provided in a
phone call from passenger Barbara Olson to her
husband, attorney Ted Olson. But no evidence from
telephone records has been provided to confirm that
this call occurred. The only evidence that has been
submitted is the claim of Ted Olson, who works for the
These are only a few of the many reasons, which I have
discussed in my books, for concluding that 9/11 was
simply one of the latest examples of false flag
7. How Should Christians Respond?
I come now to the main question of this essay: How
should Christians respond to this realization? The key
consideration in answering this question, I suggest,
is the evidence that the attacks of 9/11 were carried
out for the sake of preserving and extending the
American empire. This means that there is a two-way
relation between 9/11 and this empire. On the one
hand, understanding the ideas driving the present
phase of US empire-building enables us to understand
why 9/11 occurred. On the other hand, 9/11 serves as a
revelation of the nature of the American empire---an
empire that has been in the making, on a bipartisan
basis, for a long time. 9/11 reveals the nature of the
values that have underlay this empire-building project
for over a century, especially the past 60 years.
If so, then we must ask whether the term "evil," which
US leaders have used so freely to describe other
nations, must be applied to our own. There can be no
doubt about the application of this term to 9/11. We
can here quote President Bush himself, who on the
evening of 9/11 said: ""Thousands of lives were
suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. . .
. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human
nature."80 No explanation of why the attacks were
despicable was necessary. The proposition was
self-evident. This proposition is even more
self-evident, of course, if the attacks were
orchestrated by our own government.
Accordingly, if we accept 9/11 as a revelation of the
American empire---of the basic values it
embodies---must we not conclude that this empire is
This suggestion, of course, runs directly counter to
our deeply inculcated self-image, which has embodied
the notion of "American exceptionalism."81 According
to this view, America is qualitatively different from
other countries, hence its empire is qualitatively
different from all prior empires. Americans in the
19th century said that whereas other empires were
self-seeking, greedy, and brutal, the United States
had an "empire of liberty," an "empire of right."82
Neoconservatives have recently revived this idea.
According to Ben Wattenberg, "The American empire is
not like earlier European imperialisms. We have sought
neither wealth nor territory. Ours is an imperium of
values."83 Robert Kagan calls the United States "The
Benevolent Empire."84 Dinesh D'Souza describe America
"the most magnanimous imperial power ever."85 Max Boot
says: "America isn't like the empires of old. It does
not seek to enslave other peoples and steal their
lands. It spreads freedom and opportunity."86 Charles
Krauthammer says that America's claim to being a
benign power is verified by its "track record."87
But many other commentators, who base their views on
an actual examination of this track record, have come
to opposite conclusions. Andrew Bacevich, in his book
American Empire, rejects the claim "that the promotion
of peace, democracy, and human rights . . . --not the
pursuit of self-interest--[has] defined the essence of
American diplomacy." Against those who justify
American interventions on the grounds that America's
foreign policy is to promote democracy, Bacevich
points out that in previous countries in which America
has intervened, "democracy [did not] flower as a
Many other intellectuals have similar views. Chalmers
Johnson, who like Bacevich was once a conservative who
believed that American foreign policy aimed at
promoting freedom and democracy, now describes the
United States as "a military juggernaut intent on
world domination."89 A recent book by Noam Chomsky is
subtitled America's Quest for Global Dominance.90
Richard Falk has written of the Bush administration's
"global domination project," which poses the threat of
Bacevich sums up the nature of the American empire by
employing the statement, made in 1939 by the famous
historian Charles Beard, that "America is not to be
Rome."92 In the 1990s, Bacevich says, most Americans
"still comforted themselves with the belief that as
the sole superpower the United States was nothing like
Rome." But, he says: "The reality that Beard feared
has come to pass: like it or not, America today is
This comparison is helpful. To begin answering the
question how those of us who are Christians should
respond to the realization that we are living in the
new Rome, we can ask how Jesus responded to the
Jesus and the Roman Empire
This question has been treated by New Testament
historian Richard Horsley in his book Jesus and
Empire. Horsley's short answer is that Jesus preached
an "anti-imperial gospel," which called for the reign
of Caesar to be replaced by a reign of God.94
To understand why this would have been central, we
need to understand something about Rome and its
occupation of Palestine.
Rome was not nice. Although Rome's rulers spoke of Pax
Romana, with one of its emperors even calling himself
the "Pacifier of the World,"95 this pacification was
achieved by means of Rome's overwhelming military
might, which it used ruthlessly. As a Caledonian
chieftain put it, the Romans "rob, butcher, plunder,
and call it 'empire'; and where they make desolation,
they call it 'peace.'"96
By the time of Jesus, Palestine had been under Roman
domination for almost a century.97 Rome ruled through
puppets�first Herod the Great, then Herod
Galilee and Pontius Pilate in Judea--and this rule was
Roman legions killed tens of thousands of people and
enslaved many more. One traumatic attack was the
burning of Sepphoris, only a few miles from Nazareth,
near the time of Jesus' birth.98 Some 2,000 rebels
were crucified at about the same time.99
Besides killing and enslaving the Palestinians, the
Romans taxed them severely, pushing many of them
permanently into debt. By the time of Jesus, there was
"a crisis of debt and dispossession that touched and
transformed the lives of nearly every peasant family
Jesus' anti-imperial gospel is apparent in what we
call "the Lord's Prayer," which is a modification of
the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the establishment
of God's kingdom. The central phrase of Jesus' prayer
was, therefore, "thy kingdom come"--an abbreviation of
the Kaddish's petition, "May God establish his kingdom
in your lifetime." That Jesus was not talking about
some exclusively otherworldly realm is shown by the
next line: "thy will be done, on earth as it is in
heaven." Thus, says Horsley, "God's activity was
political and Jesus' preaching of that activity was
political--with obvious implications for the 'imperial
situation' then prevailing in Palestine." The reign of
the Roman emperors was to be replaced by the reign of
God, which would transform "the
social-economic-political substance of human
The centrality of the economic issue is shown by two
other elements in this prayer: the petition for "our
daily bread" and the idea that we should "forgive our
debtors"�an allusion to the fact that unjust
unforgiven debt regularly forced peasants into
servitude to rich landlords (as reflected in the
parable of the wicked tenants).102
That Jesus opposed Roman rule even more directly is
suggested by evidence that Jesus challenged the
payment of the Temple tax and the tribute to Rome103
and that he protested the Temple's system of
That Jesus was regarded as a rebel against the empire
is implied by the very fact that he was crucified. The
death penalty could be authorized only by the Romans,
and crucifixion was an exclusively Roman manner of
execution, used primarily for those regarded as
challengers to Roman authority. "That Jesus was
crucified by the Roman governor," says Horsley,
"stands as a vivid symbol of his historical
relationship with the Roman imperial order."105
One dimension of the Roman imperial order that
particularly offended Jesus and his fellow Jews was
Rome's claim that its empire was divinely
authorized.106 Early Christians had a very different
view, as shown by the final book of the New Testament,
which portrays Rome as a dragon, symbolizing Satan.107
For the early Christians, Horsley says,
Rome was the Beast, the Harlot, the Dragon,
Babylon, the Great Satan. They knew that Rome's empire
was made possible not by divine order but by the
acquisition of vast territories through the deadly
violence of the Roman legions.108
America as the New Rome
Is Bacevich right to say that today America is Rome?
One way to answer this question is in terms of four
commonly accepted features of the Roman empire.109
First, it portrayed itself, as we have seen, as guided
by divine providence. Americans have said the same
about their own empire. In 1850, an American editor
wrote: "We have a destiny to perform, a 'manifest
destiny' over . . . South America, . . . the Chinese
empire . . . and the . . . Japanese. . . . The eagle
of the republic shall poise itself over [the rest of
the world] and a successor of Washington ascend the
chair of universal empire!110 The Christmas card sent
out by Dick and Lynne Cheney in 2003 asked,
rhetorically: "[I]f a sparrow cannot fall to the
ground without His notice, is it probable that an
empire can rise without His aid?"111
A second feature of the Roman empire was the
development and employment of overwhelming military
power. Bacevich, summing up this feature of our own
empire, says that the present aim of the U.S. military
is "to achieve something approaching omnipotence:
'Full Spectrum Dominance.'"111
A third feature of the Roman empire was rule through
puppets, such as Herod, backed up by the empire's
pervasive military presence. Some of the most
notorious US puppets have been Batista in Cuba, Somoza
in Nicaragua, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Papa
Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti, Marcos in the
Philippines, Diem in Vietnam, and Suharto in
Indonesia. More recently, America has installed a
puppet regime in Afghanistan and has been trying to do
the same in Iraq.
A fourth feature of the Roman empire was that through
its imposition of exorbitant taxes, it impoverished
the countries it dominated. America's taxation is more
indirect, being exercised through the global economy
enforced by the World Bank, the International Monetary
Fund, and the World Trade Organization. But it
impoverishes just as effectively.
An increasing number of commentators have come to
speak of "global apartheid," thereby pointing to the
fact that the world as a whole reflects the same kind
of systemic inequality that characterized South Africa
under apartheid. In a 1992 book on global apartheid,
Titus Alexander said:
Three-quarters of the land [in apartheid South
Africa] and all its natural resources could only be
owned by whites, a sixth of the population. The West
also has a sixth of the world's population and
commands over three-quarters of global resources. . .
. [In South Africa,] democracy for a few meant
oppression for the many. So it is for most people in
the global economy. . . . Free trade and consumer
choice for a few means low incomes, long hours and a
struggle for subsistence among the many.113
The only difference between the two systems is
that---as Gernot K�hler, who coined the term,
it--"global apartheid is even more severe than South
What is the relevance of this to the nature of the
American empire? This question can be answered in
First, global apartheid did not exist three centuries
ago but is a product of European colonialism.115
Second, since the end of World War II, when the United
States replaced Britain as the leader of the global
capitalist economy, it has become increasingly
responsible for the state of this economy.
Third, during this period, the gap between the rich
and the poor has become much greater. As John Cobb has
pointed out: "The disparity in per capita income
between the US and the undeveloped nations is
estimated as having been about thirteen to one in
1947. In 1989, . . . the disparity had reached around
sixty to one."116 According to the Human Development
Report of 2005, moreover, the situation is now still
worse, with the richest 10 percent of the world's
population receiving 54 percent of the world's income
and the poorest 40 percent---meaning 2.5 billion
people---receiving only 5 percent of the total
The poverty in which billions of God's children on
this earth live has dire consequences. Every year,
starvation and other poverty-related causes take the
lives of about 18 million people, 11 million of whom
are children under the age of 5. This means that about
180 million people are dying from poverty-related
causes every decade.118
We have rightly considered the Nazi and Stalinist
regimes evil, in large part because each one was
responsible for the deaths of some 60 million people.
But then what term do we use for an empire that is
ultimately responsible for three times that many
deaths each decade?
Part of the reason we call the Nazi and Stalinist
regimes evil, of course, is that many of their victims
were killed deliberately. Do American leaders realize
what they are doing?
There is evidence that they do. For example, in 1947,
George Kennan, who was Director of the Policy Planning
Staff in the U.S. State Department, said in a "top
We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only
6.3% of its population. . . . In this situation, we
cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment.
Our real task in the coming period is to devise a
pattern of relationships which will permit us to
maintain this position of disparity without positive
detriment to our national security.119
A more recent example showing that our leaders know
what they are doing is provided by a 1997 document of
the US Space Command entitled "Vision for 2020." This
document, explaining why the United States needs to
dominate space so as to have "full spectrum
dominance," says: "The globalization of the world
economy . . . will continue with a widening between
'haves' and 'have-nots.'"120 In other words, as the
United States and its rich allies become still richer
while the rest of the world becomes still poorer, the
United States will need to be able to attack from
space to keep the have-nots in line. In 2005, the head
of the US Space Command said that by putting weapons
in space, the United States will have the ability to
destroy things "anywhere in the world. . . in 45
As these parallels between Roman and American
imperialism show, we can speak of the latter as evil
without even bringing 9/11 into the picture. But the
awareness that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out to
further America's global domination project, and hence
increase global apartheid, helps us, as I have
suggested elsewhere, to "fully grasp the extent to
which this project is propelled by fanaticism based on
a deeply perverted value system."122 9/11 can thereby
serve as a wake-up call to Christians in America,
forcing us to ask how to respond to the realization
that we are citizens of the new Rome.
Christians and the New Rome
Any attempt to answer that question would be very
long. I will here simply suggest a first step: the
formation of an anti-imperial church movement, in
which the rejection of America's imperial project is
considered a necessary implication of Christian faith.
Such a movement would be analogous to the movement of
"Confessing Christians" formed in Germany in 1934, a
year after the Nazis had come to power. This movement,
two leaders of which were theologians Karl Barth and
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, opposed the movement known as the
"German Christians," which treated Hitler as a new
messiah who would bring Germany the greatness it
deserved. In their famous Barmen Declaration, the
Confessing Christians said that support for National
Socialism violated basic principles of the Christian
faith. One had to choose either Christian faith or
National Socialism. One could not affirm both.123
Later in the century, some Christian bodies decided
that rejection of the system of apartheid in South
Africa was a necessary implication of Christian faith.
In 1977, the Lutheran World Federation declared that
although with regard to most political questions,
"Christians may have different opinions," the system
of apartheid in South Africa was "so perverted and
oppressive" that it "constitute[d] a status
confessionis"�a confessional situation. The
faith, these Lutherans declared, required that
"churches would publicly and unequivocally reject the
existing apartheid system."124
An analogous question before churches in America today
is whether the American empire, with its imperialism
and global apartheid, is "so perverted and oppressive"
that the public rejection of it should be regarded as
an implication of fidelity to God as revealed in Jesus
of Nazareth, who died on a Roman cross.
1. On the Mukden incident, see Walter LaFeber, The
Clash: U.S.-Japanese Religions throughout History (New
York: Norton, 1997), 164-66; Louise Young, Japan's
Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime
Imperialism (Berkeley: University of California Press,
1999), 40; and "Mukden Incident," Encyclopedia
2. The question of responsibility for the Reichstag
fire had long remained controversial. But the dominant
view, that the fire was set by the Nazis themselves,
was confirmed in 2001 with the publication of Der
Reichstagbrand: Wie Geschichte Gemacht Wird, by
Alexander Bahar and Wilfried Kugel (Berlin: Edition Q,
2001). This book presents ample evidence of Nazi
responsibility, including the testimony of a member of
the SA, who said that he was in the subterranean
passageway that night and saw other SA members
bringing explosive liquids to the Reichstag. Bahar and
Kugel have, accordingly, substantiated the position
contained in William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the
Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990),
3. Wilhelm Klein, "The Reichstag Fire, 68 Years On"
(review of Alexander Bahar and Wilfried Kugel, Der
Reichstagbrand), World Socialist Website, July 5, 2001
4. See "Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. II:
Criminality of Groups and Organizations"
); Ian Kershaw, Hitler: 1936-45: Nemesis (New York:
Norton, 2001), 221; and "Gleiwitz Incident," Wikipedia
5. Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United
States (1980; New York: HarperPerennial, 1990), 150.
Richard Van Alstyne, The Rising American Empire (1960;
New York, Norton, 1974), 143.
6. Van Alstyne, The Rising American Empire, 146.
7. Quoted in Zinn, A People's History, 307.
8. Stuart Creighton Miller, Benevolent Assimilation:
The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), 57-62.
9. George McT. Kahin, Intervention: How American
Became Involved in Vietnam (Garden City: Anchor
Press/Doubleday, 1987),220; Marilyn B. Young, The
Vietnam Wars 1945-1990 (New York: HarperCollins,
10. Daniele Ganser, NATO's Secret Armies: Operation
Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe (New York:
Frank Cass, 2005), 53-54.
11. Ibid., 5.
12. Ibid., 138-39.
13. Ibid., 9-11, 27-29, 241-43.
14. Ibid., 142-43, 146.
15. Ibid., 82, 120. On the evidence linking NATO and
the United States to the Bologna massacre, see ibid.,
16. This memorandum can be found at the National
Security Archive, April 30, 2001
(http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430 ). It was
revealed to US readers by James Bamford in Body of
Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-secret National Security
Agency (2001: New York: Anchor Books, 2002), 82-91.
17. Charles Krauthammer, "Universal Dominion: Toward a
Unipolar World," National Interest, Winter 1989:
18. Krauthammer, "The Unipolar Moment," Foreign
19. Department of Defense, "Defense Planning
Guidance," February 18, 1992. It might be thought,
incidentally, that Dick Cheney cannot be called a
neoconservative because he (a) was never a liberal and
(b) is not Jewish. But although the term
"neoconservative" originally referred to people who
had moved to the right after having been on the left,
the second- and third-generation neocons, as Gary
Dorrien points out, "had never been progressives of
any kind" (Gary Dorrien, Imperial Designs:
Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana (New York:
Routledge, 2004), 16. Also, as Dorrien points out,
from the beginning of the movement "a significant
number of prominent neocons were not Jews" (ibid.,
15). As former neocon Michael Lind says:
"[N]eoconservatism is an ideology, . . . and [Donald]
Rumsfeld and Dick . . . Cheney are full-fledged
neocons, . . . even though they are not Jewish and
were never liberals or leftists" (Michael Lind, "A
Tragedy of Errors," The Nation, Feb. 23, 2004, online;
quoted in Justin Raimondo, "A Real Hijacking: The
Neoconservative Fifth Column and the War in Iraq," in
D. L. O'Huallachain and J. Forrest Sharpe, eds.,
Neoconned Again: Hypocrisy, Lawlessness, and the Rape
of Iraq [Vienna, Va.: IHS Press, 2005], 112-24, at
20. Andrew J. Bacevich, American Empire: The Realities
and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 2002), 44.
21. David Armstrong, "Dick Cheney's Song of America,"
Harper's, October, 2002.
22. Robert Kagan, "American Power: A Guide for the
Perplexed," Commentary 101 (April 1996).
23. PNAC (Project for the New American Century),
Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and
Resources for a New Century, September 2000
24. Robert Dreyfuss, "Oil-Control Formula," July 18,
25. Stephen J. Sniegoski, "Neoconservatives, Israel,
and 9/11: The Origins of the U.S. War on Iraq." In D.
L. O'Huallachain and J. Forrest Sharpe, eds.,
Neoconned Again: Hypocrisy, Lawlessness, and the Rape
of Iraq (Vienna, Va.: IHS Press, 2005), 81-109, at
86-87, citing Arnold Beichman, "How the Divide over
Iraq Strategies Began," Washington Times, Nov. 27,
26. PNAC, Letter to President Clinton on Iraq, January
27. O'Neill is quoted to this effect in Ron Susskind,
The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House,
and the Education of Paul O'Neill (New York: Simon &
Schuster, 2004). O'Neill repeated this point in an
interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" in January of 2004.
Susskind, whose book also draws on interviews with
other officials, said that in its first weeks the Bush
administration was discussing the occupation of Iraq
and the question of how to divide up its oil
28. PNAC, Rebuilding America's Defenses, iv, 6, 50,
29. Lawrence Kaplan, New Republic 224 (March 12,
2001), cover text; quoted in Bacevich, American
30. PNAC's letter to Clinton in 1998, for example,
urged him to "undertake military action" to eliminate
"the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or
threaten to use weapons of mass destruction."
31. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard:
American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (New
York: Basic Books, 1997), 35-36.
32. Ibid., 212.
33. Ibid., 212, 24-25.
34. Ibid., 51.
35. This according to the Washington Post, Jan. 27,
36. Robert Kagan, "We Must Fight This War," Washington
Post, Sept. 12, 2001; Henry Kissinger, "Destroy the
Network," Washington Post, Sept. 11, 2001
(http://washingtonpost.com ); Lance Morrow, "The Case
for Rage and Retribution," Time, Sept. 11, 2001.
37. "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with the New York
Times," New York Times, October 12, 2001. On Rice, see
Nicholas Lemann, "The Next World Order: The Bush
Administration May Have a Brand-New Doctrine of
Power," New Yorker, April 1, 2002
), and Rice, "Remarks by National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice on Terrorism and Foreign Policy,"
April 29, 2002 (www.whitehouse.gov ); on Bush, see
"Bush Vows to 'Whip Terrorism,'" Reuters, Sept. 14,
2001, and Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon &
Schuster, 2002), 32.
38. See "Day One Transcript: 9/11 Commission Hearing,"
Washington Post, March 23, 2004
39. Quoted in Elizabeth Drew, "The Neocons in Power,"
New York Review of Books, 50/10 (June 12, 2003). Bob
Woodward made the same observation, saying: "The
terrorist attacks of September 11 gave the U.S. a new
window to go after Hussein" (Bush at War [New York:
Simon & Schuster, 2002], 83).
40. Sniegoski, "Neoconservatives, Israel, and 9/11,"
41. Nicholas Lemann "The Next World Order: The Bush
Administration May Have a Brand-New Doctrine of
Power," New Yorker, April 1, 2002
42. Andrew J. Bacevich, The New American Militarism:
How Americans Are Seduced by War (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2005), 173.
43. Department of Defense News Briefing on Pentagon
Attack, 6:42 PM, Sept. 11, 2001 (available at
44. Bacevich, The New American Militarism, 91.
45. "President Bush Delivers Graduation Speech at West
Point," June 1, 2002
). America's security, Bush said, "will require all
Americans . . . to be ready for preemptive action."
46. The National Security Strategy of the United
States of America, September 2002
(www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html ), cover letter.
47. Ibid., 15.
48. The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the
United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W.
Norton, 2004), 116.
49. "Terrorist Stag Parties," Wall Street Journal,
October 10, 2001
50. The flight manifest for AA 11 that was published
by CNN can be seen at
. The manifests for the other flights can be located
by simply changing that part of the URL. The manifest
for UA 93, for example, is at
51. For this and other problems in the story about
Atta's bags, see Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall, 9/11
Revealed: The Unanswered Questions (New York: Carroll
& Graf, 2005), 180-83.
52. Richard Labeviere, "CIA Agent Allegedly Met Bin
Laden in July," Le Figaro, Oct. 31, 2001. This story
was also reported in Anthony Sampson, "CIA Agent
Alleged to Have Met Bin Laden in July," Guardian, Nov.
53. Telegraph, Feb. 23, 2002; discussed in David Ray
Griffin, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and
Distortions (Northampton: Interlink Books, 2005), 60.
54. "White House Warns Taliban: 'We Will Defeat You'"
(CNN.com, Sept. 21, 2001). Four weeks after the
attacks began, a Taliban spokesman said: "We are not a
province of the United States, to be issued orders to.
We have asked for proof of Osama's involvement, but
they have refused. Why?" (Kathy Gannon, AP, "Taliban
Willing To Talk, But Wants U.S. Respect"
55. See "The Fake bin Laden Video"
56. "High-Rise Office Building Fire One Meridian Plaza
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania," FEMA
); "Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela's Tallest
57. A photograph taken by Terry Schmidt can be seen on
page 63 of Eric Hufschmid's Painful Questions: An
Analysis of the September 11th Attack (Goleta, Calif.:
Endpoint Software, 2002) or on Schmidt's website
(http://www.nycwireless.net/Images/wtc2/ ). According
to Schmidt, this photo was taken between 3:09 and 3:16
PM, hence only a little over two hours before Building
7 collapsed. It shows that on the north side of the
building, fires were visible only on floors 7 and 12.
Therefore, if there were more fires on the south side,
which faced the Twin Towers, they were not big enough
to be seen from the north side.
58. Chief Thomas McCarthy of the FDNY said that while
the firefighters "were waiting for 7 World Trade to
come down," there was "fire on three separate floors"
(Oral History of Thomas McCarthy, 10-11). Emergency
medical technician Decosta Wright said: "I think the
fourth floor was on fire. . . . [W]e were like, are
you guys going to put that fire out?" (Oral History of
Decosta Wright, 11). These quotations are from the
9/11 oral histories recorded by the New York Fire
Department at the end of 2001 but released to the
public (after a court battle) only in August 2005, at
which time they were made available on a New York
59. FEMA Report #403, World Trade Center Building
Performance Study, May 2002
(www.fema.gov/library/wtcstudy.shtm ), Ch. 5, Sect.
6.2, "Probable Collapse Sequence."
60. "[T]he towers withstood the impacts and would have
remained standing were it not for the dislodged
insulation (fireproofing) and the subsequent
multifloor fires," Final Report of the National
Construction Safety Team on the Collapses of the World
Trade Center Towers (Draft), June, 2005: xliii and
61. See Jim Hoffman's website
(http://911research.wtc7.net/index.html ) and Jeff
), especially "The World Trade Center Collapse: How
Strong is the Evidence for a Controlled Demolition?"
62. Implosion World
63. Professor Allison Geyh of Johns Hopkins, who was
part of a team of public health investigators who
visited the site shortly after 9/11, wrote: "In some
pockets now being uncovered they are finding molten
steel," Magazine of Johns Hopkins Public Health, Late
Fall, 2001. Dr. Keith Eaton, who somewhat later toured
the site with an engineer, said that he was shown
slides of "molten metal, which was still red hot weeks
after the event" (The Structural Engineer, Sept. 3,
2002: 6). On the dripping steel, see Trudy Walsh,
"Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks," Government
Computer News, 21/27a, Sept 11, 2002
(http://www.gcn.com/21_27a/news/19930-1.html ) and
Jennifer Lin, "Recovery Worker Reflects on Months
Spent at Ground Zero," Knight Ridder, May 29, 2002
64. Dennis Smith, Report from Ground Zero: The Story
of the Rescue Efforts at the World Trade Center [New
York: Penguin, 2002], 18.
65. For the testimony of Banaciski and dozens of other
members of the Fire Department of New York, see David
Ray Griffin, "Explosive Testimony: Revelations about
the Twin Towers in the 9/11 Oral Histories,"
911Truth.org, January 18, 2006
66. Jim Hoffman, "The North Tower's Dust Cloud:
Analysis of Energy Requirements for the Expansion of
the Dust Cloud Following the Collapse of 1 World Trade
Center," Version 3, 9-11 Research.wtc7.net, Oct. 16,
The available evidence, Hoffman says, suggests that
the dust particles were very small indeed---on the
order of 10 microns. Also Colonel John O'Dowd of the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said: "At the World Trade
Center sites, it seemed like everything was
pulverized" ("The World Trade Center: Rise and Fall of
an American Icon," The History Channel, September 8,
67. Stephen E. Jones, "Why Indeed Did the WTC
Buildings Collapse?" In David Ray Griffin and Peter
Dale Scott, eds., 9/11 and the American Empire:
Intellectuals Speak Out (Northampton: Interlink,
2006); also available at
www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html . See
also David Ray Griffin, "The Destruction of the World
Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be
True," in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of
9-11-2001 (Amsterdam: Elsevier, March, 2006), and in
Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A
Call to Reflection and Action (Louisville: Westminster
John Knox, 2006); also available at 911Review.com
For videos of the WTC collapses, see "9/11/01 WTC
68. Griffin, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and
69. See Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 68.
70. "PAVE PAWS, Watching North America's Skies, 24
Hours a Day" (www.pavepaws.org ).
71. Russ Wittenberg, who flew large commercial
airliners for 35 years after serving in Vietnam as a
fighter pilot, says that it would have been "totally
impossible for an amateur who couldn't even fly a
Cessna to maneuver the jetliner in such a highly
professional manner" (Greg Szymanski, "Former Vietnam
Combat and Commercial Pilot Firm Believer 9/11 Was
Inside Government Job," Lewis News, Sunday, Jan. 8,
]). Hanjour's incompetence was reported by the New
York Times, May 4, 2002, and CBS News, May 10, 2002.
The 9/11 Commission Report acknowledges in places that
Hanjour was known to be a "terrible pilot" (225-26,
242), but it elsewhere calls him "the operation's most
experienced pilot" (530n147).
72. Won-Young Kim and Gerald R. Baum, "Seismic
Observations during September 11, 2001, Terrorist
73. See Eric Hufschmid, Painful Questions, Chap. 9,
and Dave McGowan, "September 11, 2001 Revisited: The
Series: Act II," Center for an Informed America
74. Ralph Omholt, "9-11 and the Impossible: Part One
of an Online Journal of 9-11"
75. For text and video of Jamie McIntyre's statement,
76. Karen Kwiatkowski, "Assessing the Official 9/11
Conspiracy Theory," in Griffin and Scott, eds., 9/11
and the American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out.
77. Karen Kwiatkowski reports that "any physical
remains of the aircraft that hit the Pentagon were
quickly carted away to some unknown location, so we
have no physical evidence that the aircraft really was
Flight 77 or even a Boeing 757" ("Assessing the
Official 9/11 Conspiracy Theory"). Photographic
evidence of this removal can be seen on Eric
Hufschmid's video, "Painful Deceptions" (available at
78. A photograph showing this literal cover-up can be
seen in Ralph Omholt, "9-11 and the Impossible: Part
One of an Online Journal of 9-11"
79. On the confiscation of the film from the Citgo gas
station and a nearby hotel, respectively, see Bill
McKelway "Three Months On, Tension Lingers Near the
Pentagon," Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dec. 11, 2001
), and Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, "Inside the
Ring," Washington Times, Sept. 21, 2001. Scott
Bingham, who has tried to get videos of the Pentagon
strike released under the Freedom of Information Act,
has his lawsuit and the official response posted on
his website (http://www.flight77.info ). See also
"Government Responds to Flight 77 FOAI Request,"
911Truth.org, Aug. 2005.
80. "Statement by the President in His Address to the
Nation," 8:30 P.M., September 11, 2001
81. See Deborah Madsen, American Exceptionalism
(University of Mississippi Press, 1998).
82. Anders Stephanson, Manifest Destiny: American
Expansion and the Empire of Right (New York: Hill and
Wang, 1995), 19.
83. Ben Wattenberg, The First Universal Nation:
Leading Indicators and Ideas about the Surge of
America in the 1990s (New York: Free Press, 1991),
202; quoted in Gary Dorrien, Imperial Designs:
Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana (New York:
Routledge, 2004), 91.
84. Robert Kagan, "The Benevolent Empire," Foreign
Policy, Summer 1998: 24-35
85. Dinesh D'Souza, "In Praise of an American Empire,"
Christian Science Monitor, April 26, 2002.
86. Max Boot, "What Next? The Foreign Policy Agenda
beyond Iraq," Weekly Standard, May 5, 2003
87. Charles Krauthammer, "The Unipolar Moment
Revisited: United States World Dominance," The
National Interest, Winter, 2002 (available at
); republished as "The Unipolar Era" in Andrew J.
Bacevich, ed., The Imperial Tense: Prospects and
Problems of American Empire (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee,
2003), 47-65; see 59 for the quoted material.
88. Bacevich, American Empire, 115, 196.
89. Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire:
Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (New
York: Henry Holt, 2004), 4.
90. Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America's
Quest for Global Dominance (New York: Metropolitan
91. Richard Falk, "Will the Empire Be Fascist?" Global
Dialogues, 2003; "Resisting the Global Domination
Project: An Interview with Prof. Richard Falk,"
Frontline, 20/8 (April 12-25, 2003); "Slouching toward
a Fascist World Order," in David Ray Griffin, John B.
Cobb Jr., Richard Falk, and Catherine Keller, The
American Empire and the Commonwealth of God
(Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006).
92. Bacevich, American Empire, 242 (quoting Charles
Beard, Giddy Minds and Foreign Quarrels , 87).
93. Ibid., 244, 244.
94. Richard A. Horsley and Neil Asher Silberman, The
Message and the Kingdom: How Jesus and Paul Ignited a
Revolution and Transformed the Ancient World (New
York: Grosset/Putnam, 1997), 129.
95. Richard A. Horsley, Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom
of God and the New World Disorder (Minneapolis:
Fortress, 2003), 197.
96. Tacitus, Agricola 14.1; quoted in Horsley, Jesus
and Empire, 31.
97. K.C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman, Palestine in
the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social
Conflicts (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1998), 67.
98. Horsley, Jesus and Empire, 29.
99. Horsley, Jesus and Empire, 6, 15, 28; Horsley and
Silberman, The Message and the Kingdom, 84-86.
100. Horsley and Silberman, The Message, 26-29.
101. Richard Horsley, Jesus and the Spiral of
Violence: Popular Jewish Resistance in Roman Palestine
[San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987), 170.
102. Ibid., 174-75; Matthew 21: 33-46; Mark 12:1-12;
103. Horsley, Jesus and the Spiral, 282, 307-14.
104. Ibid., 299; E. P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism
(Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985), 69-70, 302.
105. Horsley, Jesus and Empire, 132.
106. The Roman emperor was elevated to the status of
deity, as shown by an inscription about Augustus
Caesar, which said: "The most divine Caesar . . . who
being sent [by Providence] to us and our descendants
as Savior, has . . . become [god] manifest" (quoted in
Horsley, Jesus and Empire, 23-24).
107. Rev. 12:9, 13:2, 20:2.
108. Horsley and Silberman, The Message and the
109. See Susan P. Mattern, Rome and the Enemy:
Imperial Strategy in the Principate (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1999), and Edward N.
Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From
the First Century A.D. to the Third (Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1976).
110. Richard Van Alstyne, The Rising American Empire
(1960; New York, Norton, 1974), 159.
111. Quoted and discussed in Ray McGovern, "God on
Their Side," TomPaine.com, December 30, 2003
112. Bacevich, American Empire, 4, 133.
113. Titus Alexander, Unraveling Global Apartheid: An
Overview of World Politics (Cambridge: Polity Press,
1996), 9, 246.
114. Gernot K�hler, Global Apartheid (New York:
Institute for World Order, 1978), 2.
115. Robert Heilbroner, Twenty-First Century
Capitalism (New York: W. W. Norton, 1993), 55-56;
Colin Parkins, "North-South Relations and
Globalization after the Cold War," in Charlotte
Bretherton and Geoffrey Ponton, eds., Global Politics:
An Introduction (Cambridge, Mass., & Oxford:
Blackwell, 1996), 49-73, esp. 51.
116. John B. Cobb Jr., The Earthist Challenge to
Economism: A Theological Critique of the World Bank
(London: Macmillan, 1999), 83.
117. United Nations Development Program, Human
Development Report: International Cooperation at a
Crossroads: Aid, Trade, and Security in an Unequal
World (http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005 ).
118. Reality of Aid 2004
); Barry Mason, "World Hunger Report: 852 Million
Starve in the Midst of Plenty," December 19, 2003
119. George F. Kennan, "PPS/23: Review of Current
Trends in U.S. Foreign Policy." First published in
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, Vol. 1,
509-529, it has been reprinted in Thomas H. Entzold
and John Lewis Gaddis, eds., Documents on American
Policy and Strategy, 1945-1950 (New York: Columbia
University Press), 226-28; the quoted passage is at
120. General Howell M. Estes III, USAF, United States
Space Command, "Vision for 2020," February 1997
121. Tim Weiner, "Air Force Seeks Bush's Approval for
Space Weapons Programs," New York Times, May 18, 2005
122. David Ray Griffin, "9/11, the American Empire,
and Common Moral Norms," in Griffin and Scott, eds.,
9/11 and the American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out.
123. See Robert McAfee Brown, "1984: Orwell and
Barmen," Christian Century, August 15-22, 1984
124. Quoted in G. Clarke Chapman, Facing the Nuclear
Heresy: A Call to Reformation (Elgin, Ill.: Brethren
Press, 1986), 50.
David Ray Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of
Religion and Theology, Emeritus, at the School of
Theology at Claremont (California). His recent books
include The American Empire and the Commonwealth of
God (with John B. Cobb Jr., Richard Falk, and
Catherine Keller) and Christian Faith and the Truth
behind 9/11, both published by Westminster John Knox
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From: "James Patton" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sun May 7, 2006 5:53am(PDT)
Subject: Re: Names
Sorry to sound cynical, but we live in a world of an estimated 6,000,000,000 people,
and most of us personally will only ever know a handful of them. Names are mostly
used in the media for propaganda purposes.
I did not know a single one of the victims of 9/11, nor did most people anywhere in the world.
I didn't know a single victim in Panama, when Bush I invaded to arrest Noriega and murdered
thousands of innocents in the process (I believe their bodies were bulldozed into pits).
I didn't know a single one of the terrified young Iraqi men who were buried alive
when the U.S. army put bulldozer blades on the front of their tanks and just covered
their trenches with dirt.
I didn't know a single Iraqi civilian who was maimed or brutally killed in the terrorist attack
on Baghdad, known euphemestically as "shock and awe".
And the list goes on and on.
So why do the names of the victims of 9/11 matter any more than the names of all the
other innocents who die in horrible ways? Simply because it's a propaganda boon
for the media-military-industrial complex to push their 'war on terror' and further their
corporate agenda, that's all.
To Hell with War
War Criminals: Theirs and Ours
by William Blum
We don't do bodycounts.
- Tommy Franks
How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think.
- Adolf Hitler
From: "Bugs" email@example.com
Date: Sat May 6, 2006 3:05am(PDT)
Mary MacElveen writes: Yesterday, while sentencing
Zacarias Moussaoui, Judge Leonie Brinkema stated that he would "die with
a whimper," isolated from the world and not in the glory of martyrdom."
While I agree with her words directed towards Moussaoui, the government
of the United States seems to have an unequal justice system when
dealing with known terrorists.
We have come to know many of the names of those lives taken on September
11, 2001 ... and it helps us to remember that these were real people,
who left behind family members and friends to grieve their loss.
Behavioral scientists here in the United States often suggest that
victims be named in serial killings so that it can aid them in bringing
those responsible to justice. The same applies to those who fall victim
to terrorism. They also do so, so that these monsters (both serial
killers and terrorists alike) will see their victims as human beings.
But, rarely does that happen. Terrorists like serial killers are the
monsters of any society and it is incumbent for any civil society to
bring them to justice and to deal with them harshly.
In my search for the passenger list of Cubana flight 455, of which Luis
Posada Carriles masterminded the explosion, I could not find the
complete list anywhere on the Internet ... as if these people's lives
did not matter. Then again, Posada Carriles is being held in Miami
(Florida) and the government of these United States has even entertained
letting him stay in this country to evade justice in Venezuela.
I found some names of the victims who perished on flight 455 and, in a
fax to Bush, I included this passage: "On October 6, 1976 the captain of
Cubana flight 455, Wilfredo Perez Perez, radioed to the control tower:
"We have an explosion aboard, we are descending immediately! ... We have
fire on board! We are requesting immediate landing! We have a total
Posada Carriles masterminded the terrorist attack that murdered him,
along with innocent passengers. Wilfredo Perez Perez was just as
important to his family as Pilot Jason Dahl (Flight 93) was to his.
Posada Carriles should be brought finally to justice and be sentenced by
a Venezuelan judge ... just like Moussaoui was sentenced by a United
States judge yesterday."
"Also among the dead on Flight 455 were all 24 members of the 1975
national Cuban Fencing team that had just won all the gold medals in the
Central American & Caribbean Championships; many were teenagers.
Nowhere could I find the list of their names. On that fateful flight
were several officials of the Cuban government: their names were Manuel
Permuy Hernandez, Jorge de la Nuez Suarez, Alfonso Gonzalez, and Domingo
Chacon Coello. Others on that fateful flight included 11 Guyanese
passengers included 18 and 19-year-old medical students, and the young
wife of a Guyanese diplomat."
Where are these people's names?
Don't these people's lives still matter to anyone?
When I was searching fruitlessly for the names of those who were lost on
Cubana flight 455, I was able to find the passenger list of those who
perished on flight 93. As we all know. a movie has just been made
detailing the last moments of their lives...
Do not get me wrong ... I grieve their loss and pray for their family
members and friends left behind. I grieve for every family member and
friend who lost a loved one on 9/11. But, I also pray for any victim of
terrorism ... and that includes those who perished on flight 455.
* I was eighteen at the time it happened, and back then we did not
have 24/7 cable newscasts to report on these events ... we had to rely
on the six o'clock news and I wonder now: Was it even reported?
As I have reported here in the past, the reason why Posada Carriles is
not being sent back to Venezuela is due to a US judge's opinion that he
will be tortured. As I have read accounts and watched videos of the life
that now awaits Moussaoui at a Supermax prison in Colorado, he will be
tortured ... he will sit in a jail cell 23 hours a day with little
contact with human beings ... he will only see the guards as they
deliver his meals or take him for his one hour a day recreation ... he
will not see the other inmates that are now spending the rest of their
life at that prison.
Inmates such as Terry Nichols who helped Timothy McVeigh blow up the
Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. His (Moussaoui's) jail cell
will also be sound proof ... so, there he will sit for the rest of his
Do not get me wrong, since he wanted to kill my fellow Americans (yet
had little involvement which spared his life), he does not push my pity
buttons. Shouldn't Posada Carriles ... who actually had a hand in the
taking of innocent lives ... be dealt the same form of punishment in a
If you are for punishing any terrorist with extreme measures, then your
answer must be yes.
The only reason why he (Posada Carriles) is not serving out any life
sentence in Venezuela is for this reason: Posada Carriles escaped
justice when he broke out of a Venezuelan prison just before he was to
be sentenced. By Venezuelan law a defendant can not be sentenced in
In the past, the government of the United States has deported Nazi war
criminals to Israel to face justice. and it is incumbent upon us to do
the same with Posada Carriles ... he is just as heinous as any Nazi.
All terrorists, no matter who they are, or the victims they targeted,
must be sent a clear message by any government that we will not accept
their demonic behavior ... they can try to rationalize why they did it
(as Moussaoui has), but in the end it should not excuse them from facing
the punishment they so rightly deserve.
Also rotting in the Supermax prison are terrorists Ramzi Yousef and Omar
Abdel-Rahman who took part in the 1993 Twin Tower bombings in New York
City. Imagine my outrage as I read US frees Caracas embassy bombers
after two years in immigration custody
<http://vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=55418> ... this article which
originally ran in the Miami Herald and states: "Jose Antonio Colina and
German Rodolfo Varela, accused in Caracas of bombing two diplomatic
missions, are expected to be released Friday from an immigration
detention facility in Houston. The men will be allowed to join friends
or relatives under supervised conditions, attorneys Matthew Archambeault
and Federico Macia said."
I am going to be blunt here: Is the government of the United States
telling all of us that some lives are more important than others?
Are American lives more important than Cuban and Venezuelan lives?
It sure seems that way, seeing how terrorists such as Moussaoui, Yousef
and Abdel-Rahman are treated as compared to Carriles, Colina and Varela.
This disparity certainly proves that we are not serious about combating
terrorism when some get away with their crimes ... and others do not.
In the United States we have a statue called Lady Justice ... she has a
blindfold over her eyes to signify that she is blind no matter who the
defendant is or who the victim is.
* Clearly in the cases I mentioned above, someone has ripped her
To the United States government: Do you want to prove that terrorism
must be punished?
Then send Posada Carriles, Colina and Varela back to Venezuela to face
their just punishment ... their victims cry out for justice too.
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