Chossudovsky: The Pentagon’s “Second 911”


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

The Pentagon's "Second 911"

"Another [9/11] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity to 
retaliate against some known targets"

By Michel Chossudovsky

August 10, 2006

One essential feature of  "defense" in the case of a second major attack on 
America, is "offense", according to Homeland Security Secretary Michael 
Chertoff: "Homeland security is one piece of a broader strategy [which] brings 
the battle to the enemy."(DHS, Transcript of complete March 2005 speech of Secr.
Michael Chertoff)

In the month following last year's 7/7 London bombings, Vice President Dick 
Cheney is reported to have instructed USSTRATCOM to draw up a contingency plan 
"to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United 
States". Implied in the contingency plan is the certainty that Iran would be 
behind a Second 9/11.

This "contingency plan" uses the pretext of a "Second 9/11", which has not yet 
happened, to prepare for a major military operation against Iran, while pressure
was also exerted on Tehran in relation to its (non-existent) nuclear weapons 

What is diabolical in this decision of the US Vice President is that the 
justification presented by Cheney to wage war on Iran rests on Iran's 
involvement in a hypothetical terrorist attack on America, which has not yet 

The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional 
and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major 
strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program 
development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and 
could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in 
the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being 
involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several 
senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at 
the implications of what they are doing‹that Iran is being set up for an 
unprovoked nuclear attack‹but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing 
any objections. (Philip Giraldi, Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War , The 
American Conservative, 2 August 2005)

Are we to understand that US, British and Israeli military planners are waiting 
in limbo for a Second 9/11, to extend the war beyond the borders of Lebanon, to 
launch a military operation directed against Syria and Iran?

Cheney's proposed "contingency plan" did not focus on preventing a Second 9/11. 
The Cheney plan is predicated on the presumption that Iran would be behind a 
Second 9/11 and that punitive bombings could immediately be activated, prior to 
the conduct of an investigation, much in the same way as the attacks on 
Afghanistan in October 2001, allegedly in retribution for the alleged support of
the Taliban government to the 9/11 terrorists. It is worth noting that one does 
not plan a war in three weeks: the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan had been 
planned well in advance of 9/11. As Michael Keefer points out in an incisive 
review article:

"At a deeper level, it implies that ³9/11-type terrorist attacks² are recognized
in Cheney¹s office and the Pentagon as appropriate means of legitimizing wars of
aggression against any country selected for that treatment by the regime and its
corporate propaganda-amplification system....  (Keefer, February 2006 )

In a timely statement, barely a few days following the onslaught of the bombing 
of Lebanon, Vice President Cheney reiterated his warning:  "The enemy that 
struck on 9/11 is fractured and weakened, yet still lethal, still determined to 
hit us again" (Waterloo Courier, Iowa, 19 July 2006, italics added).

"Justification and Opportunity to Retaliate against ...the State Sponsors [of 

In April 2006, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld  launched a far-reaching 
military plan to fight terrorism around the World, with a view to retaliating in
the case of a second major terrorist attack on America.

"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has approved the military's most ambitious
plan yet to fight terrorism around the world and retaliate more rapidly and 
decisively in the case of another major terrorist attack on the United States, 
according to defense officials.

The long-awaited campaign plan for the global war on terrorism, as well as two 
subordinate plans also approved within the past month by Rumsfeld, are 
considered the Pentagon's highest priority, according to officials familiar with
the three documents who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were 
not authorized to speak about them publicly.

Details of the plans are secret, but in general they envision a significantly 
expanded role for the military -- and, in particular, a growing force of elite 
Special Operations troops -- in continuous operations to combat terrorism 
outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Developed over about three 
years by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa, the plans reflect a 
beefing up of the Pentagon's involvement in domains traditionally handled by the
Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department. (Washington Post, 23 April

This plan is predicated on the possibility of a  Second 911 and the need to 
retaliate if and when the US is attacked:

"A third plan sets out how the military can both disrupt and respond to another 
major terrorist strike on the United States. It includes lengthy annexes that 
offer a menu of options for the military to retaliate quickly against specific 
terrorist groups, individuals or state sponsors depending on who is believed to 
be behind an attack. Another attack could create both a justification and an 
opportunity that is lacking today to retaliate against some known targets, 
according to current and former defense officials familiar with the plan.

This plan details "what terrorists or bad guys we would hit if the gloves came 
off. The gloves are not off," said one official, who asked not to be identified 
because of the sensitivity of the subject. (italics added, WP 23 April 2006)

The presumption of this military document, is that a Second 911 attack "which is
lacking today" would usefully create both a "justification and an opportunity" 
to wage war on "some known targets [Iran and Syria]".

The announcement on August 10 by the British Home Office of a foiled large scale
terror attack to simultaneously blow up as many as ten airplanes, conveys the 
impression that it is the Western World rather than the Middle East which is 
under attack.

Realities are twisted upside down. The disinformation campaign has gone into 
full gear. The British and US media are increasingly pointing towards  
"preemptive war" as an act of "self defense" against Al Qaeda and the State 
sponsors of terrorism, who are allegedly preparing a Second 911. The underlying 
objective, through fear and intimidation, is ultimately to build public 
acceptance for the next stage of the Middle East "war on terrorism" which is 
directed against Syria and Iran.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of 
the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on 

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© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2006

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