Gore Vidal claims ‘Bush junta’ complicit in 9/11


Richard Moore

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Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 13:02:04 -0800
From: "Butler Crittenden, Ph.D." <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw: Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11
Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11

America's most controversial novelist calls for an
investigation into whether the Bush administration
deliberately allowed the terrorist attacks to happen

Sunder Katwala
Sunday October 27, 2002

America's most controversial writer Gore Vidal has
launched the most scathing attack to date on George W
Bush's Presidency, calling for an investigation into
the events of 9/11 to discover whether the Bush
administration deliberately chose not to act on
warnings of Al-Qaeda's plans.

Vidal's highly controversial 7000 word polemic titled
'The Enemy Within' - published in the print edition of
The Observer today - argues that what he calls a 'Bush
junta' used the terrorist attacks as a pretext to enact
a pre-existing agenda to invade Afghanistan and crack
down on civil liberties at home.

Vidal writes: 'We still don't know by whom we were
struck that infamous Tuesday, or for what true purpose.
But it is fairly plain to many civil libertarians that
9/11 put paid [sic?] not only to much of our fragile
Bill of Rights but also to our once-envied system of
government which had taken a mortal blow the previous
year when the Supreme Court did a little dance in 5/4
time and replaced a popularly elected President with
the oil and gas Bush-Cheney junta.'

Vidal argues that the real motive for the Afghanistan
war was to control the gateway to Eurasia and Central
Asia's energy riches. He quotes extensively from a 1997
analysis of the region by Zbignew Brzezinski, formerly
national security adviser to President Carter, in
support of this theory. But, Vidal argues, US
administrations, both Democrat and Republican, were
aware that the American public would resist any war in
Afghanistan without a truly massive and widely
perceived external threat.

'Osama was chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the
frightening logo for our long-contemplated invasion and
conquest of Afghanistan ... [because] the
administration is convinced that Americans are so
simple-minded that they can deal with no scenario more
complex than the venerable, lone, crazed killer (this
time with zombie helpers) who does evil just for the
fun of it 'cause he hates us because we're rich 'n free
'n he's not.' Vidal also attacks the American media's
failure to discuss 11 September and its consequences:
'Apparently, "conspiracy stuff" is now shorthand for
unspeakable truth.'

'It is an article of faith that there are no
conspiracies in American life. Yet, a year or so ago,
who would have thought that most of corporate America
had been conspiring with accountants to cook their
books since - well, at least the bright dawn of the era
of Reagan and deregulation.'

At the heart of the essay are questions about the
events of 9/11 itself and the two hours after the
planes were hijacked. Vidal writes that 'astonished
military experts cannot fathom why the government's
"automatic standard order of procedure in the event of
a hijacking" was not followed'.

These procedures, says Vidal, determine that fighter
planes should automatically be sent aloft as soon as a
plane has deviated from its flight plan. Presidential
authority is not required until a plane is to be shot
down. But, on 11 September, no decision to start
launching planes was taken until 9.40am, eighty minutes
after air controllers first knew that Flight 11 had
been hijacked and fifty minutes after the first plane
had struck the North Tower.

'By law, the fighters should have been up at around
8.15. If they had, all the hijacked planes might have
been diverted and shot down.'

Vidal asks why Bush, as Commander-in-Chief, stayed in a
Florida classroom as news of the attacks broke: 'The
behaviour of President Bush on 11 September certainly
gives rise to not unnatural suspicions.' He also
attacks the 'nonchalance' of General Richard B Myers,
acting Joint Chief of Staff, in failing to respond
until the planes had crashed into the twin towers.

Asking whether these failures to act expeditiously were
down to conspiracy, coincidence or error, Vidal notes
that incompetence would usually lead to reprimands for
those responsible, writing that 'It is interesting how
often in our history, when disaster strikes,
incompetence is considered a better alibi than ....
Well, yes, there are worse things.'

Vidal draws comparisons with another 'day of infamy' in
American history, writing that 'The truth about Pearl
Harbour is obscured to this day. But it has been much
studied. 11 September, it is plain, is never going to
be investigated if Bush has anything to say about it.'
He quotes CNN reports that Bush personally asked Senate
Majority Leader Tom Daschle to limit Congressional
investigation of the day itself, ostensibly on grounds
of not diverting resources from the anti-terror

Vidal calls bin Laden an 'Islamic zealot' and 'evil
doer' but argues that 'war' cannot be waged on the
abstraction of 'terrorism'. He says that 'Every nation
knows how - if it has the means and will - to protect
itself from thugs of the sort that brought us 9/11 ...
You put a price on their heads and hunt them down. In
recent years, Italy has been doing that with the
Sicilian Mafia; and no-one has suggested bombing

Vidal also highlights the role of American and
Pakistani intelligence in creating the fundamentalist
terrorist threat: 'Apparently, Pakistan did do it - or
some of it' but with American support. "From 1979, the
largest covert operation in the history of the CIA was
launched in response to the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan ... the CIA covertly trained and sponsored
these warriors.'

Vidal also quotes the highly respected defence journal
Jane's Defence Weekly on how this support for Islamic
fundamentalism continued after the emergence of bin
Laden: 'In 1988, with US knowledge, bin Laden created
Al-Qaeda (The Base); a conglomerate of
quasi-independent Islamic terrorist cells spread across
26 or so countries. Washington turned a blind eye to

Vidal, 77, and internationally renowned for his
award-winning novels and plays, has long been a
ferocious, and often isolated, critic of the Bush
administration at home and abroad. He now lives in
Italy. In Vidal's most recent book, The Last Empire, he
argued that 'Americans have no idea of the extent of
their government's mischief ... the number of military
strikes we have made unprovoked, against other
countries, since 1947 is more than 250.'


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