Legitimizing the use of covert action in the eyes of the American people | Hestia Expertise
The Commission is to be commended for many aspects of the weighty report it has just issued. The report provides a wealth of detail about the tragic events. And when asked about his own responsibility for the attacks on 9/11, .. U.S. and Israel was killed in a daring covert operation in Damascus. The 9/11 Attacks and the Black Eagle Trust Fund of excellent information regarding this covert fund compiled by meticulous researcher E.P. Heidner ties together Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on 9/
Some unusual trading did in fact occur, but each such trade proved to have an innocuous explanation. For example, the volume of put options — investments that pay off only when a stock drops in price — surged in the parent companies of United Airlines on September 6 and American Airlines on September 10 — highly suspicious trading on its face.
Similarly, much of the seemingly suspicious trading in American on September 10 was traced to a specific U.
These examples typify the evidence examined by the investigation. The SEC and the FBI, aided by other agencies and the securities industry, devoted enormous resources to investigating this issue, including securing the cooperation of many foreign governments. These investigators have found that the apparently suspicious consistently proved innocuous. Without these transponder signals to identify the airplane's tail number, altitude, and speed, the hijacked airplanes would have been only blips among 4, other blips on NORAD's radar screens, making them very difficult to track.
They set up hotlines between command centers while NORAD increased its fighter coverage and installed radar to watch airspace over the continent. September 11 attacks advance-knowledge conspiracy theories: Israel It has been claimed that Israeli agents may have had foreknowledge of the attacks.
Four hours after the attack, the FBI arrested five Israelis who had been filming the smoking skyline from the roof of a white van in the parking lot of an apartment building, for "puzzling behavior. They didn't look shocked to me. I thought it was very strange. World Trade Center controlled demolition conspiracy theories Criticism of the reports published by NIST on the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings plays a central role in theories about an alleged controlled demolition.
The picture shows the simulated exterior buckling of 7 WTC during the collapse. The plane crashes and resulting fires caused the collapse of the World Trade Center. Controlled demolition conspiracy theories say the collapse of the North Tower, South Tower, or of 7 World Trade Center was caused by explosives installed in the buildings in advance.
Jonesarchitect Richard Gagesoftware engineer Jim Hoffmanand theologian David Ray Griffinargue that the aircraft impacts and resulting fires could not have weakened the buildings sufficiently to initiate a catastrophic collapse, and that the buildings would not have collapsed completely, nor at the speeds that they did, without additional factors weakening the structures.
Jones, and others state that thermite and nano-thermite composites in the dust and debris were found following the collapse of the three buildings.
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The article contained no scientific rebuttal and the editor in chief of the publication subsequently resigned. Federal investigators at the National Institute of Standards and Technology state that enormous quantities of thermite would have to be applied to the structural columns to damage them, but Jones disputed this, saying that he and others were investigating "superthermite".
Blanchard also said that a verifiable chain of possession needs to be established for the tested beams, which did not occur with the beams Jones tested, raising questions of whether the metal pieces tested could have been cut away from the debris pile with acetylene torches, shears, or other potentially contaminated equipment while on site, or exposed to trace amounts of thermite or other compounds while being handled, while in storage, or while being transferred from Ground Zero to memorial sites.
Excavating equipment was cooled by water spray due to concerns about melting from underground fires. Jones also said that molten steel found in the rubble was evidence of explosives, as an ordinary airplane fire would not generate enough heat to produce this, citing photographs of red debris being removed by construction equipment, but Blanchard said that if there had been any molten steel in the rubble any excavation equipment encountering it would have been immediately damaged.
It has been theorized the "thermite material" found was primer paint. Thomas said that in order to cut through a vertical steel beam, special high-temperature containment must be added to prevent the molten iron from dropping down, and that the thermite reaction is too slow for it to be practically used in building demolition.
Thomas pointed out that when Jesse Ventura hired New Mexico Tech to conduct a demonstration showing nanothermite slicing through a large steel beam, the nanothermite produced copious flame and smoke but no damage to the beam, even though it was in a horizontal, and therefore optimal position.
- Legitimizing the use of covert action in the eyes of the American people
- Military, CIA shun 9/11 panel on covert operations
NIST and many scientists refuse to debate conspiracy theorists because they feel it would give those theories unwarranted credibility. NIST does not claim that the steel was melted, but rather that the weakened steel, together with the damage caused by the planes' impacts, caused the collapses.
Instead, they argue that the Pentagon was hit by a missile launched by elements from inside the U. Some claim that the holes in the Pentagon walls were far too small to have been made by a Boeing The Big Lie became available in more than a dozen languages.
The French newspaper Liberation called the book "a tissue of wild and irresponsible allegations, entirely without foundation. When Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, one wing hit the ground and the other was sheared off by the Pentagon's load-bearing columns.
What the Physical Evidence Shows", and by others broadly refuting the role of other conspiracies in the attacks. The evidence refuting missile claims includes airplane debris including Flight 77's black boxes the nose cone, landing gear,  an airplane tire,  and an intact cockpit seat  were observed at the crash site.
The remains of passengers from Flight 77 were indeed found at the Pentagon crash site and their identities confirmed by DNA analysis. Further, Flight 77 passengers made phone calls reporting that their airplane had been hijacked.
For example, passenger Renee May called her mother to tell her that the plane had been hijacked and that the passengers had been herded to the back of the plane. Another passenger named Barbara Olson called her husband U.
Solicitor General Theodore Olson and said that the flight had been hijacked, and that the hijackers had knives and box cutters. On May 16,the government released the Pentagon security camera videos to Judicial Watch. Out of the four planes hijacked on that day, Flight 93 was the only one not to reach its target.
David Ray Griffin and Alex Jones say that large parts of the plane including the main body of the engine landed miles away from the main wreckage site, too far away for an ordinary plane crash. Jones says that planes usually leave a small debris field when they crash, and that this is not compatible with reports of wreckage found farther away from the main crash site. One person claimed that the main body of the engine was found miles away from the main wreckage site with damage comparable to that which a heat-seeking missile would do to an airliner.
CNN reported that investigators found debris from the crash at least eight miles away from the crash site, including in New Baltimore. The same article quotes FBI agent Bill Crowley that, "Lighter, smaller debris probably shot into the air on the heat of a fireball that witnesses said shot several hundred feet into the air after the jetliner crashed.
Thus, covert action blurs the dividing line between intelligence and policy that many feel is essential to preserving the integrity of intelligence analysis Steiner The concern is that blurring that line creates situations where the CIA is responsible for both analyzing the need for and the efficacy of covert action in a particular situation as well as conducting the operation itself, with the attendant risk that its role in the operational phase may affect its independence in the analytical task.
William Daugherty, a career CIA officer, notes that another key difference between covert action and the other intelligence disciplines is that it can be more controversial than the others in the relationship between two states: Categories of Covert Action Another way in which covert action has sometimes been misunderstood or mischaracterized is in terms of what activities the term encompasses.
Most scholars have traditionally cited three main categories of covert action propaganda, political action, and paramilitary action, although they are often used in conjunction with one anotherwhile Johnson a adds economic action as a separate category and Daugherty argues that it may be time to add a new one for information warfare now known as information operations. The best-known examples from the Cold War are those of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, which broadcast anticommunist, pro-democracy messages to Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe and to people in the Soviet Union, respectively.
There are numerous studies of propaganda operations see, for example, Aldrich et al. The KGB was also active in Cold War political action, seeing it, in conjunction with propaganda, as one of the key tools of Soviet foreign policy. Paramilitary action involves the use of armed forces either regular or irregular employing unconventional military means to influence events in the target state. One notorious and notably non-superpower-related example of a direct action raid is the attack on the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior by the French secret services in their attempt to undermine nuclear testing protests Porch The quintessential, albeit failed, example of a larger operation at the more involved end of the paramilitary continuum is the Bay of Pigs.
These covert actions are clearly a type of hybrid operation, in that they are effectively military action, although they are covert in that the sponsorship of the attacking state is supposed to remain unknown.
One of the most controversial types of covert action is also included under the rubric of paramilitary operations: Being such a new branch of the field, the literature on information operations is still evolving and currently consists largely of research conducted by the military as part of its effort to master what is widely seen as a critical future arena. Some useful sources that address the range of issues raised by this new subfield include ArmisteadJones and Remenyiwho bring together papers presented at a European conference on information operations, and Barrett, B.
One last definitional point about covert action that should be kept in mind is that it can be and has been used both against other governments including allied ones as well as to help other governments although economic action has normally been used only against opponents.
While some critics of covert action point primarily to the actions used against opponents and some defenders point primarily to the operations used to strengthen friendly states, a thorough understanding of covert action should take both into account. The Secrecy Problem An important characteristic of the covert action literature involves the complex web of issues raised by the inherent secrecy of the topic.
When reading or writing an account of a particular operation or an assessment of covert action over time, the first problem is that outside scholars i. In fact, given the strict compartmentalization of information about some covert operations, this is quite possibly a problem for many within the community as well.
This problem looms large in discussions of the overall success or failure of covert action. Other scholars, however, highlight the fact that the public is much more likely to hear about failed operations than successful ones, since covert action is designed to keep sponsorship secret, and thus maintaining a scorecard based on what is in the public domain is an inherently unfair test Daugherty ; Scott While this is a fair point, there is some disagreement over just how much information about covert operations remains secret Scott In a similar vein, Garthoff argues that although we cannot know what percentage of intelligence activity from the Cold War has become public, the likelihood is that we are aware of most of the patterns and important cases.
There has, indeed, been considerable progress in the declassification of US archival records on Cold War covert operations. Even though the George W.
Bush administration considerably slowed the progress that had been achieved during the Clinton years, US declassification continues to outpace that of other states, including Britain where the continuing hold of the Official Secrets Act has been one reason the literature on covert action is much more developed on the US side.
Nonetheless, covert action analysts must always keep in mind that decisions to declassify documents are fundamentally political ones, inextricably intertwined with the question of how history is written, and no history is potentially more controversial than that of covert operations.
Thus, the executive branch may well have an interest in trying to shape that history. Moreover, certain key documents, even on declassified operations, remain classified and there is at least one known case, that of the operation in Iran, where the CIA has admitted intentionally destroying virtually all of the relevant records of the operation Eisendrath Beyond the accessibility of archival documents, there is also quite a lot of information available to the public now in the form of oral histories, memoirs, biographies, and interviews.
In the case of this kind of information as well, however, the covert action researcher needs to be mindful of why the information is being made public. Is it merely for the historical record, or is there some other agenda at work, be it personal, bureaucratic or political? Clearly, it was part of creating the myth of the all-powerful CIA covert operators and, needless to say, his account did not include how close the operation came to failing.
Thus, on the one hand, it was valuable in lifting the curtain partway on a particular operation but, on the other, that partial story was almost worse than no information at all, in the sense that it helped create an ethos that CIA could do no wrong, which, beyond its distortion of public knowledge, did not serve the agency well in planning for future operations.
Another problem stemming from the secrecy of covert action is that much of the other information relied on by journalists and researchers comes from a variety of sources that make it hard, if not impossible, to verify the information, such as leaks, whistleblowers, defectors, and anonymous sources. Scott presents a thoughtful discussion of the various issues raised by this problem, as well as strategies for ameliorating it. Another aspect of the availability of information regarding covert action is to recognize that the literature on the topic is penned, in large part, by two broad groups of people: Former analysts and agents are much more likely to know and understand the inner workings of the community but, on the other hand, they are more likely to have a vested interest in the material in terms of protecting their personal reputations and those of their agencies.
Moreover, members of the US intelligence community must submit their manuscripts to the CIA for vetting.
9/11 conspiracy theories
While this is officially, and understandably, for the purpose of protecting classified material, it does create the opportunity for censorship for political reasons as well. Finally, as Scott points out, studying covert action can include a whole other level of smoke and mirrors as well: Blackstock was the first to take this more scholarly, analytical approach to covert action.
He uses the cases of Iran, Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs, Chile, Angola, and Iran-Contra in his effort to assess the benefits and liabilities of covert action as a policy tool. In presenting an even-handed critique, Treverton acknowledges that covert operations may be necessary at times, but warns that they will most likely not remain secret and will often involve unintended consequences and long-term costs that, because of the secrecy in which the policy is conceived, tend to be worse than those for overt public policies.
After evaluating the history and efficacy of US covert action policies, Godson arrives at a different conclusion. Godson is more of an advocate of covert action and, where Treverton calls for more openness and congressional oversight, Godson criticizes Congress for having too much influence. A number of other authors have approached covert action analytically, but done so within the context of larger studies of intelligence or of the CIA as a whole Ransom ; Rositzke ; Johnson a ; Johnson Another group of authors has approached the topic of covert action through chronological studies that focus more on chronicling the various operations of the CIA, accompanied by varying degrees of analysis.
It is largely in this branch of the literature where one encounters the more sensationalist treatments of covert action, which tend to rely more on journalistic accounts than archival evidence and tend more toward heavy criticism and less objective analysis see, for example, Blum There are, however, some very good treatments of the topic in this branch of the field, among the best of which are Wise and RossPradosRanelaghJeffreys-Jones and Andrew Although the literature on US covert action is well developed overall, there is something of a gap, because although the US has used covert action from its very earliest days, one would be hard pressed to know it since the great majority of the literature focuses on the period after World War II and the creation of the CIA in There are a few notable exceptions, however.
In his broad study of US covert action, Andrew gives some historical background, covering the span from George Washington to the twentieth century in his first chapter. Case Studies One area where the literature is particularly strong is in case studies of particular operations. Not surprisingly, the best-known cases have the best-developed literature, only a sample of which can be mentioned here: