by Michel Chossudovsky
For several years now, senior officials of the Bush administration including the President and the Vice President have intimated, in no certain terms, that there will be "a Second 9/11".
Quotations from presidential speeches and official documents abound. America is threatened:
"The near-term attacks ... will either rival or exceed the 9/11 attacks... And it's pretty clear that the nation's capital and New York city would be on any list..." (Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, December 2003)
"You ask, 'Is it serious?' Yes, you bet your life. People don't do that unless it's a serious situation." (Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, December 2003)
(Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, 8 July 2004)
"... Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process...
"The enemy that struck on 9/11 is weakened and fractured yet it is still lethal and planning to hit us again." (Vice President Dick Cheney, 7 January 2006)
"We are still a nation at risk. Part of our strategy, of course, is to stay on the offense against terrorists who would do us harm. In other words, it is important to defeat them overseas so we never have to face them here. Nevertheless, we recognize that we've got to be fully prepared here at the homeland." (President George W. Bush February 8, 2006)
"Our main enemy is al Qaeda and its affiliates. Their allies choose their victims indiscriminately. They murder the innocent to advance a focused and clear ideology. They seek to establish a radical Islamic caliphate, so they can impose a brutal new order on unwilling people, much as Nazis and communists sought to do in the last century. This enemy will accept no compromise with the civilized world.... (President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)
"[W]e now have capabilities in science and technology that raise the very realistic possibility that a small group of terrorists could kill not only thousands of people, as they did on September 11th, but hundreds of thousands of people. And that has changed the dimension of the threat we face." (Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Secretary, Yale University, April 7, 2008.
We're fighting a war on terror because the enemy attacked us first, and hit us hard. ... Al Qaeda's leadership has said they have the right to "kill four million Americans,... For nearly six years now, the United States has been able to defeat their attempts to attack us here at home. Nobody can guarantee that we won't be hit again. ... (Vice President Dick Cheney, United States Military Academy Commencement, West Point, New York, May 26, 2008)
All these "authoritative" statements point in chorus in the same direction: The enemy will strike again!
"Second 9/11": Historical Background
The presumption of a Second 9/11 has become an integral part of US military doctrine. America is under attack. The US military must respond preemptively.
In the immediate wake of the invasion of Iraq (April 2003), various national security measures were put in place focusing explicitly on the eventuality of a second attack on America. In fact these procedures were launched simultaneously with the first stage of war plans directed against Iran in May 2003 under Operation Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT). (See Michel Chossudovsky, "Theater Iran Near Term" (TIRANNT), Global Research, February 21, 2007).
The Role of a "Massive Casualty Producing Event"
Former CENTCOM Commander, General Tommy Franks, in an magazine interview in December 2003, had outlined a scenario of what he described as "a massive casualty producing event" on American soil [a Second 9/11. Implied in General Franks statement was the notion and belief that civilian deaths were necessary to raise awareness and muster public support for the "global war on terrorism":
"[A] terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world - it may be in the United States of America - that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event." (General Tommy Franks Interview, Cigar Aficionado, December 2003)
Franks was obliquely alluding to a "Second 9/11"
terrorist attack, which could be used to galvanize US public opinion in
support of martial law.
The "terrorist massive casualty-producing event" was presented by General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting crisis and social turmoil resulting from the civilian casualties would facilitate a major shift in US political, social and institutional structures, leading to the suspension of constitutional government. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran? Global Research, June 24, 2007)
The concept of "massive casualty producing event" is part of military planning. In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had envisaged a secret plan entitled "Operation Northwoods", to deliberately trigger civilian casualties among the Cuban community in Miami (i.e. "staging the assassination of Cubans living in the US") to justify an invasion of Cuba:
"We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," "We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington" "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." (See the declassified Top Secret 1962 document titled "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba" (See Operation Northwoods at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html).
Operation Northwoods was submitted to President Kennedy. The project was not carried out.
To consult the Northwoods Archive click here
General Franks was not giving a personal opinion
regarding the role of civilian deaths. He was describing a central
feature of a covert military-inteligence operation going back to
The triggering of civilian deaths in the Homeland is used as an instrument of war propaganda. The objective is to turn realities upside down. The agressor nation is being attacked. The USA is a victim of war by the "State sponsors" of "Islamic terrorism", when in reality it is the perpetrator of a large scale theater war in the Middle East.
The entire "Global War on Terrorism" construct is consistent with the logic of Operation Northwoods: Civilian casualties in America resulting from the September 11 attacks were used as "a war pretext incident" to galvanize public support for a military intervention in Afghanstan and Iraq.
As of 2005, the presumption of a "Second 9/11" had become an integral part of military planning.
Statements emanating from the White House, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security point to a growing consensus on the necessity and inevitability of a second terrorist attack on a major urban area in the US.
In the month following the July 2005 London bombings, Vice President Cheney is reported to have instructed US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) to draw up a contingency plan "to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States". The "contingency plan" uses the pretext of a "Second 9/11" to prepare for a major military operation against Iran. (Philip Giraldi, Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War , The American Conservative, 2 August 2005)
In April 2006, the Pentagon, under the helm of Donald 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.
The presumption of the Pentagon project was that an "Attack on America" by an "outside enemy" would result in the loss of American lives, which in turn would be used to justify US military actions in the Middle East war theater. The covert support of US intelligence to Islamic terrorist organizations (the "outside enemy") slated to carry out the attacks, was of course not mentioned.
Various "scenarios" of a Second 9/11 attack on the Homeland were envisaged. According to the Pentagon a second attack on America, would serve an important policy objective.
The three Pentagon documents consisted of an overall "campaign plan" plus two "subordinate plans". The second "subordinate plan" explicitly focused on the possibility of a "Second 9/11" and how a second major attack on American soil might provide "an opportunity" to extend the US led war in the Middle East into new frontiers:
"[It] 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. (Washington Post, 23 April 2006, emphasis added)
Since 2003, various procedures have been adopted regarding the enactment of Martial Law in the case of a so-called "National Catastrophic Emergency".
Under martial law, the military would take over several functions of civilian government including justice and law enforcement.
Initiatives in the area of Homeland Security outlined the precise circumstances under which martial law could be declared in the case of a second 9/11.
In May 2007, a major presidential National Security Directive was issued (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20) which explicitly envisaged the possibility of a Second 9/11:
NSPD 51 is tailor-made to fit the premises of both the Pentagon's 2006 "Anti-terrorist Plan" as well Vice President Cheney's 2005 "Contingency Plan". (See Michel Chossudovsky, Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran?, Global Research, June 24, 2007). The directive establishes procedures for "Continuity of Government" (COG) in the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency". The latter is defined in NSPD 51/HSPD 20, as
"any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."
NSPD 51 is predicated on the notion that America is under attack and that the "Catastrophic Emergency" would take the form of a terror attack on a major urban area.
"Continuity of Government," or "COG," is defined in NSPD 51 as "a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency."
More recently, in May 2008, another National Security Presidential Directive was put forth by the White House entitled Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security (NSPD 59, HSPD 24).
NSPD59 complements NSPD 51. The new directive is not limited to KSTs, which in Homeland Security jargon stands for "Known and Suspected Terrorists", it includes various categories of domestic terrorists, the presumption being that these domestic groups are working hand in glove with the Islamists.
"The ability to positively identify those individuals who may do harm to Americans and the Nation is crucial to protecting the Nation. Since September 11, 2001, agencies have made considerable progress in securing the Nation through the integration, maintenance, and sharing of information used to identify persons who may pose a threat to national security." (NSPD 59)
NSPD 59 goes far beyond the issue of biometric identification, it recommends the collection and storage of "associated biographic" information, meaning information on the private lives of US citizens, in minute detail, all of which will be "accomplished within the law" (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, "Big Brother" Presidential Directive: "Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security", Global Research, June 2008).
NSPD is explicitly directed against American citizens, who are now categorized as potential terrorists.
While "conspiracy theorists" have been accused of cogitating regarding the possibility of a Second 9/11, most of the insinuations emanate from official US sources including the White House, the Pentagon and Homeland Security.
The fact that a "massive casualty producing events" could be used as part of a US foreign policy agenda is diabolical. The official statements are grotesque.
Bipartisan Consensus in the Presidential Election Campaign: "Al Qaeda will Strike Again"
While the presidential election campaign has avoided the issue of a Second 9/11, both candidates have acknowledged the dangers of a second attack. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have underscored their resolve to protect America against Al Qaeda:
[Question: Who's the enemy?] "Al Qaeda, the Taliban, a whole host of networks that are bent on attacking America, who have a distorted ideology, who have perverted the faith of Islam, and so we have to go after them." (Barack Obama in response to Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, September 5, 2008
"We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they'll strike us again if they can." (John McCain, Acceptance Speech, September 5, 2008)
Mainstream Media Report: "The Need" for a Second 9/11
While the Washington Post leaked the substance of the Pentagon's classified documents pertaining to the "opportunity" of a Second 9/11, the issue has not been the object of mainstream commentary or analysis.
It is worth noting, however, that in an August 2007 Fox News interview, "A Second 9/11" was heralded as a means to create awareness and unite Americans against the enemy.
Broadcast on Fox News, Columnist Stu Bykofsky claimed that America "needs" a new 9/11 to unite the American people, because they have "forgotten" who the enemy is. He also claimed that "there will be another 9/11", and Fox New Anchorman John Gibson concurred. Civilian casualties would contribute to uniting the country and creating awareness:
"it’s going to take a lot of dead people to wake America up" said John Gibson. [emphasis added]
While Stu Bykofsky's controversial article in the Philadelphia Daily News (August 9, 2007) was, at the time, considered as outlandish, what Bykovsky was actually saying was not very different from the Pentagon's ploy (modeled on Operation Northwoods) concerning the role of "massive casualty producing events" in triggering "a useful wave of indignation", thereby galvanizing unbending public support for a military/ national security agenda.
Transcript Fox News Network
THE BIG STORY WITH JOHN GIBSON
August 7, 2007, 5PM, EST
Columnist Comes Under Fire for Saying "We Need Another 9/11 Attack"
Anchorman: John Gibson
Interview with Columnist Stu Bykofsky
To view the TV interview click here
John Gibson: In big security, to save America we need another 9/11. That’s what one columnist is advocating as a way to unite America. Nearly 6 years after the heinous terror attacks he says we have forgotten our enemy. He says the Iraq war has divided the US, the Republicans and Democrats are on the attack over the war, we pulled together after 9/11 but he justifies his controversial statement by saying the united front just didn’t last. And now, bloggers are outraged. Some say the journalist should be fired from his job for suggesting we, quote, “need” another attack. So is this just a means to shock or offend or does this columnist actually have a valid point? Well, he’s here now live to explain: Philadelphia Daily news columnist Stu Bykofsky. So Stu, let me... let’s just say it again. What do you say America needs at this point?
Stu Bykofsky: Well, my thesis here is that we’re terribly divided, there’s disunity in this country, and as a divided country we’re weak. When I look back over what has pulled the country together over the past few years, 9/11 united the country and it remained united and we were all on the same team for at least a year or two.
John Gibson: Stu, but do you mean to say that we are going to be attacked again, we will be united again, there’s a sort of inevitability to that or that in order to achieve this unity we actually need to suffer?
Stu Bykofsky: Uh, John, I didn’t actually call for an attack on the United States. Uh, I can see where people read it that way but I didn’t actually say it. However, another attack on the United States is inevitable. I believe that, don’t you?
John Gibson: Yes, I do, actually, and I think that it’s going to take a lot of dead people to wake America up. I think the deal, Steve, Stu, I’m sorry...
Stu Bykofsky: It’s okay.
John Gibson: ...is the word “need”. If you say, well, it’s gonna happen and it, you know, Americans are gonna die because we’ve let down our guard – one thing – but when you say we “need” an attack it... especially has riled relatives of the dead.
Stu Bykofsky: John, uh, I can understand them being upset. Are you reading from the headline or from the text of my column which I don’t have in front of me?
John Gibson: Well, that’s a good point. Did you use the word “need” in the text or was it only the headline?
Stu Bykofsky: It’s the headline.
John Gibson: So you don’t actually, you don’t endorse the word “need”?
Stu Bykofsky: Uh, no, I don’t. There was a slight difference. Other people write headlines and it’s not exactly what I was trying to say.
John Gibson: Alright, so...
Stu Bykofsky: But, but if you look at the context...
John Gibson: But, but what you are trying to say is, is that, that somehow we have been, we’ve let down our guard, we’re fighting each other instead of the terrorists and that if we don’t get it together people are going to die.
Stu Bykofsky: That’s absolutely correct. We’re fighting like a group of rabid dogs and our attention should be turned elsewhere. And I also say that the primary reason for that in my opinion is the, uh, the war in Iraq which has been conducted so horribly by the administration.
John Gibson: Stu...
Stu Bykofsky: Not by our troops.
John Gibson: Yeah, okay, I don’t want to get you in further trouble. Stu, uh, what has been the reaction? Did the newspaper switchboard light up?
Stu Bykofsky: Uh, no, we don’t have a switchboard, John. Uh, yesterday when it appeared, the reaction was moderate because I think people in Philadelphia who have been reading me for a long time maybe know what to expect. Then it got posted somewhere outside of Philadelphia and this morning when I came in uh, there were well over a thousand e-mails and more kept coming in during the day. And a lot of calls...
John Gibson: A bunch want you fired, right?
Stu Bykofsky: Pardon?
John Gibson: A bunch of those e-mails want you fired, right?
Stu Bykofsky: Uh, a number of people told me that they were calling my editor and they were going to suggest that he fire me, yes. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
John Gibson: You standing by the column?
Stu Bykofsky: Oh, absolutely.
John Gibson: Stu Bykofsky, down in Philadelphia. Stu, thanks a lot.
(transcribed from original Video)