several items… a few days reading…


Richard Moore


I have no idea which of these reports are valid or which are
fake.  If anyone has any kind of corroboration or
counter-evidence for any of them, please let me know.

Also: For my article, I would appreciate it if anyone could
send me a really detailed timeline, marking when each plane
was first hijacked, and when each notable event occurred. 
The lack of air-defense response is TOTALLY incredible and
the more details the better the case can be made.

welcome to the NWO,

Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 15:16:30 -0400
From: "Robin Alexander" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Recipient list suppressed": ;
Subject: Statement of the UE General Exedcutive Board


Like all Americans, the members of the United Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) are devastated by
the mind-numbing loss of life caused by the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001.  We share the sense of loss
and violation, despair and outrage. We mourn as our nation

The horror visited upon our nation that Tuesday morning
should never have happened; it should never happen to
another people again, anywhere.  Innocent people suffered
deaths more horrific than could be imagined in nightmares. 
Many of the slain were union members, murdered at their
place of work and on the job.   With profound sorrow, we
mourn our fallen brothers and sisters and express our
solidarity with the families of the victims.

We condemn unreservedly the hidden, unseen, faceless killers
who are responsible for this crime against humanity.  We
demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

We are resolved not to yield to terror or to terrorists’
designs. Democracy is too precious.  We continue with plans
for our convention — the highest expression of our union
democracy — with renewed commitment to freedom and
solidarity.   We shall not be stopped by cold-blooded,
calculating killers.

And we shall not allow our grief and righteous anger to be
polluted by hatred and bigotry. We recall with pride that
weeks after Pearl Harbor, as UE mobilized to win the war for
freedom, our union condemned anti-Japanese racism as
fundamentally opposed to that great cause.  Today’s war
against the terrorism of an evil few must not be confused
with attacks on an ethnicity or religion.  Verbal slurs and
physical assaults against our Arab-American and Islamic
neighbors and co-workers must be countered, condemned and

As we mourn and as we rage, we also declare our resistance
to efforts to use this tragedy to curtail our civil
liberties or to engage in military adventures that can lead
only to more carnage and senseless loss of life. Our
greatest memorial to our fallen brothers and sisters will be
a world of peace, tolerance and understanding, underscored
by the solidarity of working people.

Robin Alexander
UE Director of International Labor Affairs
One Gateway Center, Suite 1400
420 Fort Duquesne Blvd.
PGH., PA. 15222-1416

412-471-8999 FAX

Please note new e-mail address above.

Labor and related news from Mexico is reported bi-monthly in
Mexican Labor News and Analysis.  Check it out on our web
site: <HTTP://>

From: "Brit Eckhart" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: What's next? Former US Army Officer.....
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 21:55:51 -0400


A Former US Army Officer turned radical has responded to the
opinion that we must scale back our political activism.

In reply to another Rad-Green listmember who believes we
need to scale back our demands/actions in face of what is
coming- stating that we have no real power based on the
situation (as it currently is) here and in America. Retired
US Army Veteran-come radical Stan Goff speaks on what we
must do. I ask people to forward this far and wide- it is
important right now, and Stan is (as usual) helping find
clarity during a blackout.

I urge you all to get people reading this.

Macdonald Stainsby
I couldn't possibly disagree more.

Since the savage attacks of September 11th, we have seen the
unfolding of a national ritual denunciation of this crime
that is much more than an expression of outrage and sadness.

If the ritual is performed incompletely or incorrectly, one
risks the charge of heresy.

It's the new McCarthyism, and this is the new loyalty oath.

A disciplined military-financial-industrial press is
harmonizing us, and the orchestra director is our de facto
executive branch.

Heresies include:

(1) the failure to call for war or support out "leaders"
when they call for war,

(2) the denial that this can be reduced to a test between
good and evil,

(3) the refusal to accept official explanations,

(4) the temerity to suggest that our own rulers have
committed equally offensive actions,

(5) and finally, that our own financial, political,
military, and intelligence establishments bear a portion of
the blame.

I retired from the Army in February, 1996, after some 24
years of service.

"Special operations" was my field.

That gives me a perspective on this military-macho posturing
that seems to have seized the whole country.

The military, industrial, and political establishment are
cashing in on this tragedy, and it shouldn't serve as an
excuse to be stupid.

This can not be allowed to provoke a retreat by

The admirable and poignant solidarity of New Yorkers, and
many across the nation, is being contaminated by a military
fetish, a mindless phallic nationalism, and instead of
seeking solutions, we are seeking enemies.

And we'll find them.

History sent us a warning, but we're not listening.

Herr Hitler announced with a familiar combination of
grief-stricken solemnity and manly outrage, on February 27,
1933, "Gentlemen, the Reichstag is on fire."

We ought to pay attention to this.

We've got to interrupt this war talk, and we've got to do it
aggressively and on a mass scale, because MUCH is at stake.

And we've got to interrupt it with more than an appeal
against xenophobia and the abrogation of civil liberties.

We are responsible to shift attention from the motives of
"Usama bin Laden and his legions of demonic followers" to
the motives of the Bush Administration and the capitalist
governments of Europe.

I've come to assume, from my own experience, that anything I
hear from the State Department or the FBI is apt to be...
less than truthful.

Officialdom doesn't make statements to represent reality.

It constructs stories to pursue interests.

Whether those stories conform to reality is incidental.

This attack will benefit the militarists in this country far
more than it will benefit anyone else, and I remember the
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Progressives in the US have reason to be afraid.

This unforgivable act of inhumanity will be used as an
excuse to crack down on dissent here, to engage in military
aggression against other peoples, and to whip up an already
more-than-latent anti-Muslim xenophobia.

But the key thing to understand here is that this is pulling
a lot of political and economic cookies out of the fire, or
so dangerous buffoons like Bush believe, and is leading us
to disaster.

There is quite simply no security system in the world that
can not be bypassed, and there is no way to protect
absolutely against these kinds of attacks.

When we accept this premise, we have to conclude that
overwhelming violence in retaliation for these kinds of acts
will not bring such acts to an end, but escalate the levels
of overall violence.

An Israeli-like response will bring with it an Israeli-like
situation, on a global level.  In a very short step, we can
tumble from chauvinism into the abyss of repression and

U. S. military might and the willingness to use it is not
only not the solution, it's a powerful contributing factor
to terrorism, when it is combined with the arrogance and
impunity of our foreign policies.

We have the capability to overwhelm any conventional
military force in the world, so no one in the world has the
option to oppose those forces in a conventional way.

When those forces or allied forces are the ultimate
guarantors of intolerable situations, or when the
sovereignty of nations is swept aside, unconventional means
will inevitably be employed.

If I would rather die fighting than go on living as I am,
and I can't build a Tomahawk Cruise missile, then I can
learn to fly a Boeing 767.

Progressives can't withdraw from the scene.

I urge people to revisit the post by Mark Jones on the world
energy system.

QUOTE  "The extremely finite nature of petroleum reserves
was always the Achilles heel of industrial capitalism, and
even now it is the great blind spot, the great point of
denial at the heart of the priesthood's theology of growth
and accumulation.

"World oil is already in sharp and irreversible decline. We
remain more than ever dependent on Saudi and Iraqi oil
reserves. Everything else is being or has already been, used
up. Yet it is precisely here in this volatile geopolitical
tinderbox that America and its allies are now planning to
wage new, intensified war. It is hard to imagine a more
suicidal course of action. As often before in history, the
hubris of ruling classes conceals some real stupidity.

"War in the Middle East and South Asia and Afghanistan is
ultimately going to be a war for control over oil. WHAT
the will of the masses there and in the teeth of furious
resistance. This does not look like a promising way to
guarantee long-term and vital energy supplies. Without
Persian Gulf oil, world capitalism will be snuffed out
quicker than the Mayan empire was. Waging war against the
local population seems to be the one surefire way to lose
Arab oil forever." CLOSE QUOTE

That's why action, even action with risks, is so critical.

Mark further pointed out that events are out of the control of
the global bosses, who are now blundering from one reaction to
the next in a system that was already incredibly unstable.

We were already, before this catalytic event, somnambulating into
the hell-hole of this global ecological, economic, and political

I think it's absolutely certain, with the course we're now on,
that there WILL be massive dislocation, suffering, and
degradation-and we shall not be spared this time.

This attack on September 11th did not happen in a social or
historical vacuum.

If the conceit of our rulers is contributing directly to the
bewilderment of the people, this implies to me that for clarity
among the masses, the solution is not support for this priesthood
of the market, and not acquiescence to this de facto political
leadership, but on the contrary, its replacement.

The struggle is not for justice, but for survival.

These loons are talking about WWIII, because in their undying
hubris they really believe they can win it, because they think it
will bolster the economy, and because they see what looks like an

If we are to fight for sanity and survival, it's our duty now to
be stubborn and have the courage of our convictions.

Something to seriously consider. The local newspaper today in an
editorial stated that Americans were being niave if they think
this is going to be a short "war." They stated in sociopathic
rants that this may well go on past our lifetimes. In addition to
their civil liberties must go editorial yesterday, what sort of a
political order are they advocating here, it seems pretty clear
to me--it has the ugly whiff of fascism.

It is time to roll and oppose this.

Now is not the time to go silent and wait this out.

It's not going to blow over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From a purely tactical standpoint, NOW is the best opportunity we
will have to fight back, NOT after this madness has had more time
to develop.

And given the climate that will develop if this madness
progresses, there will be risks.

There will be witch-hunts.

Ironically, we are now in the same position, I think, as the
pilots of those planes that were hijacked, forced to choose
between bad and worse. 

Denial of this dilemma only contributes to the problem.

Right now is the time for progressives to show up and grow up.

Audre Lorde summed up our situation about as nicely as anyone I
can imagine, so I'll close with her statement:

"Your silence will not protect you."
Macdonald Stainsby

Macdonald Stainsby
Rad-Green List:

Delivered-To: •••@••.•••
From: "Tim Murphy" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: FW: US was planning to attack Afghanistan
regardless of last week's incident
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 23:50:24 +0100
Importance: Normal

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussions on the Socialist Register and its articles
[mailto:•••@••.•••]On Behalf Of Atif
Sent: 19 September 2001 05:56
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Fwd: US to attack Afghanistan regardless of last
week's incident (fwd)

A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was
planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the
Taleban even before last week's attacks.

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by
senior American officials in mid-July that military action
against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.

Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a
UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan
which took place in Berlin.

Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US
representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed
over swiftly America would take military action to kill or
capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.

The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to
topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional
government of moderate Afghans in its place - possibly under
the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.

Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operation
from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were
already in place.

He was told that Uzbekistan would also participate in the
operation and that 17,000 Russian troops were on standby.

Mr Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it
would take place before the snows started falling in
Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.

He said that he was in no doubt that after the World Trade
Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built
upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks.

And he said it was doubtful that Washington would drop its
plan even if Bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by
the Taleban.

Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 18:16:26 -0500
From: Jeff Moebus <•••@••.•••>
Reply-To: •••@••.•••
X-Accept-Language: en
CC: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
        Tom Atlee <•••@••.•••>, •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: rkm reflections...


Why don't you stop bullshitting and just come out and say

The key questions are very simple:  When did bin Laden stop
working for the CIA and who was he working for at 0845 EDT
13 SEP 01?

Another key question is:  what was the intended target of
the fourth plane?

Here.  Let me say it.

What we have witnessed is a coup.  The Legislative branch of
the government of the US has folded itself into the
Executive branch.  The voices of dissent and protest (the
anti-globalists, the environmentalists, the progressives,
etc etc etc) have been neutralized and silenced.  The
military-industrial/national security/neoliberal
globalization faction was seized total control of the US
government.  Now the task is a Rush to Normalcy and Rush to

When, in the name of national security, GW Bush asks
Congress for eleventy gazillion dollars to upgrade our
defense, intelligence, law enforcement, surveillance,
security, anti/counter terrorist, etc etc etc capability,
who and what is going to stop him from getting what he
wants.  When he asks for money to go full-bore ahead with
STAR WARS - again in the name of national security - who's
going to stop it (if somebody argues, watch for a "rogue
nation" missile to take out, say, Chicago)?  When he asks
for fast track authority for the FTAA, who's going to stop
it?  When he seeks to rename the ANWR in the sacred memory
of the victims of S11 as the "September 11 National Memorial
Wildlife Refuge," and tacks on a rider to open the whole
thing to oil drilling -- again, in the name of national
security --, whose going to stop him?

I think the target of the fourth plane was the US Capital
and that the leaders of both houses in both parties have been
so informed.

The questions that a world-wide manhunt and criminal
investigation directed by anybody but the FBI and CIA (the
two primary agencies whose failures contributed to enabling
S11 to happen in the first place) must answer are pretty
simple regarding the terrorist operation and act of war
perpetrated against the people, government, and nation of
the United States on S11:  Who planned the operation? Who
financed it? Who provided administrative, logistical, and
operational support?  Who exercised command and control? 
And, above all, who ordered it?

To paraphrase the Mayor of New York in the context of WTC
casualties: "The true answers to these questions may be more
terrible than any of us can bear."

Welcome to the New World Order.  Day 8.

J Moebus
New Orleans, LA

Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 19:13:49 -0700
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
From: Michael Linton <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm reflections...
Cc: Tom Atlee <•••@••.•••>

At 11:38 PM Tuesday +0100, Richard K. Moore wrote:

  > Do we have a similar scenario today?  Were the terrorists
  being tracked all the while?  Were our air defenses
  intentionally thwarted?  The scenario is frightening and
  unbelievable, but it does need to be discussed. The sad fact
  is that such a scenario would fit the modus operandi of US

It seems odd that a full 35 minutes after the second plane
hit the WTC, the third plane flew two circuits of around the
white house and the pentagon before diving in, without any
apparent challenge

Delivered-To: •••@••.•••
Delivered-To: •••@••.•••
From: "Michael Albert" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Why ZNet Isn't Online...
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 17:45:09 -0400
Importance: Normal
Sender: •••@••.•••

Hello to ZNET's Users for whom I have email addresses,

I don't quite know how to write this message, I can barely
fathom it myself, so I will simply relay the facts as I
currently know them.

We have an internet provider out in Washington State. They
are very congenial and nice people who have worked very hard
for us during the lifetime of our operations.

They report being very hard hit by yesterday's virus attack.
They report that of 200 machines in one of their buildings,
ZNet's was by far the hardest hit, they think because of its
very high use level at the time.

The technicians have been unable to get our ZNet machine
back on line, even to get it to boot up, even to get it to
allow any functionality at all. They have prepared a new
server for our operations, but when they tried to insert the
old hard drive and read the data from our prior hard drive
onto the new server, (thousands upon thousands of files),
they were unable to do so. Without getting technical, at the
moment they simply cannot access the data from our old drive
or even see it, and they don't really know, in fact, whether
the data is intact or not.

You might wonder, why worry? Why not just restore your
backup data to the new server, and if you lose a day or two
days of data that wasn't backed up, and if it takes another
day or so for the provider to get operations fully up to
speed, that's all very annoying, of course, but it's
certainly not a catastrophe. Just get back online as soon as
you can, and then reconstruct the site from there. Hundreds
of thousands of users who have been accessing ZNet from all
over the world, particularly in this difficult time, are
waiting to regain access.

Well, that's our attitude as well, and it would be our
agenda except that our provider reports that they have no
backup of our data.

If you find this last fact incredible, so do I. But that's
the condition they report to us.

I can't answer how it could be, I don't know. But the
conclusion is that at this moment I don't know when we will
be back online - even assuming they can access the old data
at all - much less if they cannot access it.

We could be back online with no losses tomorrow. On the
other hand, it could be a week including huge losses of web
site content, the loss of our sustainer and other databases,
the loss of our forum archives, etc.

PLEASE do not write to tell me you commiserate or to suggest
options. I know that you do.and I thank you, but I can't
handle the mail.

I will continue to send anti-war and related materials by
email to our free update list, as with the Chomsky interview
and the call to action below both included below, at least
during this crisis, particularly since I can't place
materials on line.

Hopefully we will retreive our data and be back in web space
shortly. If we can't retreive the data, then I may have to
ask you all for help...but that's later. For now, we all
have to go on out there and stop the war machine. We'll try
to do our part as best we can, alongside you all...

Sincerely and with solidarity,

Michael Albert 
for ZNet



Our government has stolen from us the time to grieve.

They have made it clear they want war -- on anyone, at any
price, with seemingly no thought for the consequences.

Government officials speak openly of going after
"high-value" targets such as capital cities in countries
that "harbor" terrorists. There are calls for carpet-bombing
a country of 25 million people. In a world where no
objections are raised in the halls of power to such plans,
our task is clear:

We must fight for the soul of our nation. We have no choice
but to begin speaking out and organizing for peace as we
grieve. The best way we can honor those who have died is to
make sure no more innocents are killed, here or abroad.

If we win, there is the possibility of a new movement for
peace, a new hope for justice. If we lose, the escalating
cycle of hatred may usher in a new era of unending war.

Officials think they have the support of an angry,
blood-thirsty public, and many in the United States are
calling for vengeance. But there is also great fear, not
just for our own safety but for what such a war will unleash
in the world.

Military actions that kill civilians will also multiply
tenfold the number of people willing to die to wreak havoc
on the United States. We have already paid a terrible price.
What will happen when we arouse further anger with a
blatantly unjust and destructive retaliation?

Many, even in the peace movement, are saying, "Now is not
the time to talk politics; the country needs time to heal."

Just the reverse is true: Now is the time, before it is too

We, the undersigned organizations, are calling for Sunday,
September 23, to be a National Day of Action for Peace with
Justice. We will call for a peace based not on terror and
death but on recognition of our common humanity. In each
locality, people concerned about the drive to destruction
should gather in public, as close to 2 p.m. as possible.

We will gather -- in churches and in parks, in homes and
universities, public squares, streets and living rooms --
with banners and signs, with black armbands and candles, in
fear and in hope.

While a single gathering will not itself change policy, it
signals the mood of the public and will help build a
movement. September 23 will be not the end, but the
beginning of more vigorous organizing for peace and a just

We have already seen spontaneous demonstrations of thousands
of people across the country. There is new interest in the
consequences of our foreign policy. People are listening.

Now is the time: For action. For organization. For change.

Organizations that want to sign onto this call should write
to •••@••.•••.

In Solidarity, The Nowar Collective

Delivered-To: moderator for •••@••.•••
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 22:48:39 -0400
From: "Nurev Ind." <•••@••.•••>
Organization: Nurev Independent Research
X-Accept-Language: en
Subject: A moron of Biblical proportions.

ANALYSIS: Europe Cringes at President Bush's 'Crusade'
Against Terrorists

By Peter Ford

[Christian Science Monitor - Paris -September 19, 2001):   
As Europeans wait to see how the United States is planning
to retaliate for last week's terrorist attacks in Washington
and New York, there is growing anxiety here about the tone
of American war rhetoric.President Bush's reference to a
"crusade" against terrorism, which passed almost unnoticed
by Americans, rang alarm bells in Europe.

It raised fears that the terrorist attacks could spark a
'clash of civilizations' between Christians and Muslims,
sowing fresh winds of hatred and mistrust. "We have to avoid
a clash of civilizations at all costs," French foreign
minister Hubert Vedrine said on Sunday. "One has to avoid
falling into this huge trap, this monstrous trap" which he
said had been "conceived by the instigators of the assault."

On Sunday, Bush warned Americans that "this crusade, this
war on terrorism, is going to take awhile."  He and other
U.S. officials have said that renegade Islamic
fundamentalist Osama bin Laden is the most likely suspect in
the attacks.  His use of the word "crusade," said Soheib
Bensheikh, Grand Mufti of the mosque in Marseille, France,
"was most unfortunate."

"It recalled the barbarous and unjust military operations
against the Muslim world," by Christian knights, who
launched repeated attempts to capture Jerusalem over the
course of several hundred years.Bush sought to calm American
Muslims' fears of a backlash against them on Monday by
appearing at an Islamic center in Washington. There he
assured Americans that "the face of terror is not the true
faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about."But his
earlier comments, declaring a war between good and evil,
shocked Europeans.

"If this 'war' takes a form that affronts moderate Arab
opinion, if it has the air of a clash of civilizations,
there is a strong risk that it will contribute to Osama bin
Laden's goal: a conflict between the Arab-Muslim world and
the West," warned the Paris daily Le Monde on Tuesday in an
editorial."Bush is walking a fine line," suggested Dominique
Moisi, a political analyst with the French Institute for
International Relations, the country's top foreign policy
think tank.

"The same black and white language he uses to rally
Americans behind him is just the sort of language that risks
splitting the international coalition he is trying to
build."This confusion between politics and religion ...
risks encouraging a clash of civilizations in a religious
sense, which is very dangerous," he added.On Monday, Taliban
deputy leader Mohammed Hasan Akhund warned his fellow
Afghans to prepare for 'Jihad' - holy war - against America,
if U.S. forces attack Afghanistan.

While almost every world leader agrees with Washington that
the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center were
evil, not all of those leaders - especially in the Middle
East - identify the United States with good.British prime
minister Tony Blair has gone out of his way this week to
make it clear that the battle against terrorists is a battle
not between Christians and Muslims, but between civilized
values and fanaticism. In that battle, he said Monday, "the
vast majority of decent law-abiding Muslims" opposed

It is their support for Washington's war that could be
undermined by the sort of language on the president's lips,
warns Hussein Amin, a former Egyptian ambassador who now
lectures on international affairs. "The whole tone is that
of one civilization against another," he finds. "It is a
superior way of speaking, and I fear the consequences - the
world being divided into two between those who think
themselves superior" and the rest.Moderate Muslim opinion
could also easily be swayed against America, predicted
Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, head of the Muslim Parliament in
Britain, an umbrella group for Muslim organizations.

"If they end up killing innocent civilians it will be very
unfair," Dr. Siddiqui said. "The problems will arise if
people see that justice has not been done."

French President Jacques Chirac, who arrived in Washington
on Tuesday, and Blair, who will see Bush on Thursday, are
expected to offer Europe's solidarity but to stop short of
offering Washington a blank check. If European help is
needed, Europeans want to be in on the planning, officials
here say.

            MiD-EasT RealitieS  -  http://www.MiddleEast.Org
                              Phone:  202 362-5266    
                              Email:   •••@••.•••
                              Fax: 815 366-0800

To subscribe email to •••@••.••• with subject SUBSCRIBE
To unsubscribe email to •••@••.••• with subject UNSUBSCRIBE

Delivered-To: moderator for •••@••.•••
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 22:08:31 -0400
From: "Nurev Ind." <•••@••.•••>
Organization: Nurev Independent Research
X-Accept-Language: en
Subject: Western leader had business ties with Bin Laden.


The Tangled Path to a Response As we prepare to retaliate
for last week's atrocities, let's take time to be sure of
our targets By John Mecklin

At this distance in time and place from last Tuesday's
terror, I feel an unjournalistic temptation to silence. So
much has been written and broadcast by and about people who
were at or near the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, so
much published in the local media, reflecting almost every
reaction, reasonable and otherwise. At a certain point,
sheer repetition threatens to demean the victims of tragedy,
even mass, history-altering tragedy.

So, because I have no experience of the World Trade Center
and Pentagon bombings that anyone with a television could
not also possess, I have decided to relate something from my
past, hoping that it might be new to you, and might help set
some frames of reference, as the country ponders what it
will do and become in the initial months of the coming bin
Laden War.

In the late 1980s, when I lived in Houston and earned my
keep as an investigative reporter, I spent months looking
into possible connections among Texas business and political
figures and Middle Eastern notables associated with the
fascinatingly fraudulent Bank of Credit and Commerce
International. In the end, my BCCI investigations didn't add
up to a whole lot; chasing worldwide fraud is not a
particularly rewarding pursuit for a local reporter without
an expense account. As an offshoot of my research, however,
I ran upon, and wound up writing some stories about, a
Houston airplane broker named James R. Bath.

Among his varied business activities, Mr. Bath represented,
as a sort of business agent, at least four prominent and
wealthy Saudi Arabian citizens in their U.S. investments.
According to public records, those citizens included Salem
(sometimes spelled Salim) bin Laden, the favored son of the
founder of a great Saudi construction empire, and one of
dozens of half-brothers of a then-obscure man named Osama
bin Laden.

Bath's associations did not exclusively involve Saudi
petrodollars. Among other things, he also counted as a
friend and minor business partner another man who, except
for his family connections, was not well known to the wider
public: George W. Bush.

A story I co-wrote for the Houston Post in October 1990 put
the relationship between George W. Bush and Jim Bath this
way: "George W. Bush said he met Bath [in the 1970s] when
both were fighter pilots at the ANG [Air National Guard]
base at Ellington [Field, a former Air Force base near
Houston]. The younger Bush ... described Bath as a friend
who is "a lot of fun.' George W. Bush said he last saw Bath
about three years ago, and speaks to him perhaps once a

For that story, Bush said he had never been in business with
Bath, American agent to part of the bin Laden fortune. The
assertion was less than completely true, if subsequent
stories in Time magazine and the Houston Chronicle are to be

"In sworn depositions, Bath said he represented four
prominent Saudis as a trustee and that he would use his name
on their investments. In return, he said, he would receive a
5 percent interest in their deals," a Houston Chronicle
piece about a lawsuit between Bath and a business partner
said. "Tax documents and personal financial records show
that Bath personally had a 5 percent interest in Arbusto '79
Ltd., and Arbusto '80 Ltd., limited partnerships controlled
by George W. Bush, President Bush's eldest son. Arbusto
means "bush' in Spanish.

"Bath invested $50,000 in the limited partnerships,
according to the documents. There is no available evidence
to show whether the money came from Saudi interests."

Time, which first confirmed the Bath/ Bush investment
connection, wrote this about the airplane broker: "Bath
controlled a fleet of companies connected to his aircraft
business, and he enjoyed unusual carte blanche to direct the
U.S. investments of several wealthy Middle Easterners.
Associates confirm that Bath has brokered more than $150
million in private plane deals in recent years, concentrated
in sales and leases to Middle Eastern royalty and other
influential figures. ... The firm that incorporated Bath's
companies in the Cayman Islands is the same one that set up
a money-collecting front company for Oliver North in the
Iran-contra affair."

The Chronicle and Time pieces (and to some degree, alas, the
story I wrote 11 years ago) have a sort of breathless, agape
tone, as if Bath's connections were almost magically
far-reaching. "Bath, while insisting he is nothing more than
a "small, obscure businessman,' is associated with some of
the most powerful figures in the U.S. and Middle East," Time

Through subsequent experience, some of it involved with
covering the Persian Gulf War, I came to know, much more
completely, that the connections among the Saudi and
American oil industries are many, and intricate, and of long
standing. A decade ago, a tenuous, friend-of-a-friend
association between the lower levels of the bin Laden and
Bush families did not wind up meaning much. In many senses,
it probably has less meaning now.

Spokesmen for the bin Laden family have repeatedly stressed
that the family ostracized Osama in 1993 when he became a
fugitive and began activities in Sudan before going to
Afghanistan. "The family is absolutely mortified by what has
happened in New York, and totally rejects Osama's activities
and ideology. I know that Osama has no business connections
with them in any shape or form," a London in-law to the bin
Ladens said last week.

But if I am not suggesting a direct or nefarious connection
between George W. Bush and anyone named bin Laden -- and I
truly am not -- there is a reason I've written today about
obscure facts from 11 years ago. I recount these facts
because you will be hearing a lot in coming weeks and months
about people, organizations, and entire countries with
"links" and "connections" to Osama bin Laden. Those with
such links and connections may well be marked out for
arrest, or abduction, or annihilation.

But proving, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that
such linkage amounts to aid for terrorism takes time and
money. The tangle of financial and other relationships that
characterizes al Qaeda, the shadowy movement headed by bin
Laden, is complex beyond the general imagination. As
investigation of the World Trade Center and Pentagon
atrocities continues, the arc of relationship between
enemies will, at times, veer oddly -- even ironically --
close to friends, or to those who may dislike U.S. policy in
the Middle East but would never countenance the slaughter of

For example: It is no particular secret that at least some
of bin Laden's financing has come from wealthy Saudis. It is
regularly speculated in the international press, in fact,
that Saudi businessmen are essentially paying his
organization to refrain from targeting the Saudi kingdom and
its royal family. Is paying protection a "link," or an
understandable reaction to threats from a madman with a
worldwide following? Is knowing about such payments, but not
moving to stop them, a "link"?

Is there any reason, except the political, to believe that
retaliation for last Tuesday's attacks will be less valid if
investigators spend weeks or even months exploring such
links, and making sure the targets we choose represent real,
and not just possible, enemies?

Lest anyone misunderstand, let it be known, and clearly,
that I have no patience -- at all -- with the arguments of
those who counsel a judicial, rather than military, response
to the evil acts that killed 5,000 innocents last week. My
sentiments are well expressed by this quote, contained in a
recent Peter Maas piece in the online magazine Slate: "This
may not be politically correct, but I don't want justice
here," Maas quoted a special forces captain as saying.
"These people do not need to be brought to justice or
apprehended. They need to be killed. That's what you do to
your enemy in war -- you destroy him. And this is a war."

If it is a war, it's a peculiar kind, one in which the enemy
may be the brother of a friend of a friend, and relative
unknowns may step quickly to the center of the world stage.
When I was in Houston just 11 years ago, after all, Osama
bin Laden and George W. Bush were at best footnotes to the
footnotes of history.

In such conflict, it would seem, there is special reason to
take care, to strike only at documented demons. Smite, yes,
but verify.

For memory is long, and the killing of innocents creates
enemies who cannot forget.