Iran War Threats, Militarization of American Police and Spying on Americans All Started BEFORE 9/11
Many things which we’ve been told have only happened recently actually started a long time ago.
For example, the mainstream media claims that Iran is close to building a nuclear weapon. But the Christian Science Monitor notes that the U.S. has been claiming for more than 30 years that Iran was on the verge of nuclear capability.
And the decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11.
As another example, journalists from across the spectrum have documented the militarization of police forces in the United States, including, CNN, Huffington Post, Forbes, Esquire, The Atlantic, Salon, and the Cato Institute.
Indeed, police shooting peaceful “occupy” protesters with rubber bullets, tear gas and other projectiles and brutally beating them has brought this issue to the attention of the American public. See this, this and this.
But the militarization of police started long before 9/11 … in the 1980s. As Radley Balko testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime:
Militarization [of police forces is] a troubling trend that’s been on the rise in America’s police departments over the last 25 years.
Since the late 1980s, Mr. Chairman, thanks to acts passed by the U.S. Congress, millions of pieces of surplus military equipment have been given to local police departments across the country.
We’re not talking just about computers and office equipment. Military-grade semi-automatic weapons, armored personnel vehicles, tanks, helicopters, airplanes, and all manner of other equipment designed for use on the battlefield is now being used on American streets, against American citizens.
Academic criminologists credit these transfers with the dramatic rise in paramilitary SWAT teams over the last quarter century.
SWAT teams were originally designed to be used in violent, emergency situations like hostage takings, acts of terrorism, or bank robberies. From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, that’s primarily how they were used, and they performed marvelously.
But beginning in the early 1980s, they’ve been increasingly used for routine warrant service in drug cases and other nonviolent crimes. And thanks to the Pentagon transfer programs, there are now a lot more of them.
And Huffington Post notes:
Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper published an essay arguing that the current epidemic of police brutality is a reflection of the militarization (his word, not mine) of our urban police forces, the result of years of the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror. Stamper was chief of police during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, and is not a voice that can be easily dismissed.
(And see this.)
Many other things which we’ve been told happened after 9/11 actually occurred beforehand as well.
- The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11. Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office. And in 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.”
- Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. And the Sunday Herald reported: “Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil.” (remember that Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.)
- The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11 (and see this). Indeed, former Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke told Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig:
After 9/11 the government drew up the Patriot Act within 20 days and it was passed.
The Patriot Act is huge and I remember someone asking a Justice Department official how did they write such a large statute so quickly, and of course the answer was that it has been sitting in the drawers of the Justice Department for the last 20 years waiting for the event where they would pull it out.
(4:30 into this video).
- Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
- Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
- It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence … but is an effective way to terrorize people
- And – sadly – America played dirty games to justify and win wars before 9/11
Note: 9/11 itself is beyond the scope of this essay, although the Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 – and former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee – calls for a new 9/11 investigation, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says that the government has ordered the media not to cover 9/11, and high-level officials are eager to spill the beans about what happened on 9/11 … but no one in Washington or the media wants to hear.