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Linking the Current Gaza Crisis to the 1967 Attack on the USS Liberty (and to 9/11)-- My Editorial in the Northfield News (MN)
The following guest column was published in the Jan. 17, 2009 issue of the Northfield News:
Remembering Another Gaza Attack, 1967
With yet another crisis unfolding in the Middle East, we watch once again the drearily familiar scenes of aircraft strikes, burning buildings, and dead and wounded civilians. Since the attacks this time are in the Gaza strip, it’s perhaps a good opportunity to recall another attack that occurred on June 8, 1967, just a few miles of the coast of Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea. In that attack, however, the victims were not Palestinians, but American sailors aboard the defenseless US Navy communications ship Liberty, who were machine-gunned, rocketed, torpedoed, and even napalmed– in a synchronized and pre-meditated operation carried out by the Israeli military.
In Chapter 17 of David Ray Griffin’s latest book, 9/11 Contradictions , the author asks, “Were Hijackers Reported on Cell Phone Calls?” Griffin’s approach to the question can be summarized by a sentence in the last paragraph of the chapter:
“The central questions, however, involve the reported cell phone calls, which played a central role in establishing that the planes were hijacked by al-Qaeda operatives.” (p. 182)
The official story of what happened aboard UAL93 is depicted graphically in the film, “United 93"– the pilots are attacked by knife-wielding hijackers who stab them to death and thus take over the cockpit. I’ve always been suspicious of this story, especially since one of the passengers, Tom Burnett, reported in a phone call to his wife that the hijackers had a gun. When Burnett’s wife Deena was questioned about the gun report, this is what she said:
“He told me one of the hijackers had a gun. He wouldn’t have made it up. Tom grew up around guns. He was an avid hunter and we have guns in our home. If he said there was a gun on board, there was.”
That’s pretty convincing to me. The guns would also explain why the crew on only one of the four flights (allegedly) were able to make any kind of a distress call to ATC. Finally, there is documentary evidence that Betty Ong reported a shooting aboard AAL11 in her phone call, which was subsequently covered up. (I would be happy to go into detail about this evidence for anyone who is interested.)
In the promotion for an updated version of Debunking 9/11 Debunking, David Ray Griffin expands on his theory that the phone calls received from passengers on the 9/11 flights were somehow faked:
“Stronger evidence that the alleged cell phone calls were faked: The most famous of these were the four calls that Deena Burnett reported receiving from her husband, Tom Burnett. She knows that they came from his cell phone, she said, because she saw his Caller ID number. According to the FBI’s report at the Moussaoui trial, however, there were only two cell phone calls from United 93, and they were made at 9:58, shortly before the plane crashed, when it was down to 5,000 feet. The FBI refused to support, therefore, the claim (e.g., by Popular Mechanics) that high-altitude cell phone calls were possible in 2001. Deena Burnett must have been duped.”
Was Deena Burnett duped? Or have we, in the truth movement, been duped into believing that these calls were made by cell phones, when in fact they were made by airphones? Have we been manipulated into turning our attention away from a body of evidence that would lead us to the real perpetrators of the attacks?
We are all aware of the "still-alive" hijackers. This of course is a facetious term referring to completely innocent men who may have had their identities stolen and used by the real culprits on 9/11. But what about the real hijackers, the men who actually commandeered the planes? Is it possible they could have escaped the planes before the crashes?
Some contend that there were no hijackers at all, that the planes were diverted solely by remote control. Several credible phone calls from the flights, however, such as those from Betty Ong (AAL11) and Tom Burnett (UAL93), provide pretty good evidence that there were indeed real hijackers on the planes for at least some period of time.
Of all the curious events of 9/11, none has aroused more suspicion among 9/11 truthseekers than Barbara Olson's alleged phone call from FL77 to her husband, Ted Olson, the US Solicitor General who was at his Justice Department office when the call was made.
With the release of detailed records of all the phone calls from the flights attendant to the Zacarias Moussouia trial, however, we now know who was lying and who was telling the truth. Barbara Olson is off the hook. She did not lie; nor did she tell the truth. It is not possible to do either in a phone conversation that lasts zero seconds, which is the verified length of the cell phone call she made to Ted. Yes the call was made, but was disconnected before any conversation could take place. [Note that the call was placed at 9:18, twenty-two minutes after the plane's transponder was turned off. The altitude and speed of the plane at this time are unknown, but it may have been flying low and slow, making cell phone calls difficult but not impossible.]
For the Zacarias Moussoui trial, the government has released all its detailed evidence regarding the phone calls from the planes. The evidence is titled "Zacarias Moussaoui Prosecution Trial Exhibit number P200055," and can be partially viewed here:
The evidence is very revealing and detailed, and contradicts some of the assumptions previously held by 9/11 researchers. For example:
1. All of Tom Burnett's calls from UAL93 were made from airphones in the back of the plane. It had previously been reported that his calls were made from his cell phone, which caused controversy since his first two calls were made when the plane was still above 30,000 feet, at which altitude cell phone calls are difficult if not impossible.
2. All the phone calls from UAL93 were made by airphones, with the lone exception of Cee Cee Lyles' call on a cell phone at 10:57. At that time, the plane's transponder was turned on showing the plane at 7,000 feet, speed unknown.
It is suggested in the film, Loose Change, that phone calls from airplanes are impossible and therefore that the phone calls made on 9/11 from the airplanes must have been somehow faked. Since then the research by K. Dewdney arguing against the possiblity of cell phone calls has been called into question. Also, it should be noted that Loose Change/Dewdney did not address the possibility of airphone calls, which make up the majority of the calls made on 9/11.
After studying the records of the calls in detail, I have come to the conclusion that the phone calls are indeed real. I have found that they do NOT support the official story of 19 knife-wielding Arabs, but in fact are our best evidence of what really happened on the planes.
What do you think? Were the calls real or faked? Please participate here:
Phone Call Analysis
I believe it is vital for 9/11 truth seekers to move beyond demonstrating that “the government lied,” or “the government’s story cannot be true.” The people want to know what actually happened, and it is up to provide them with a workable theory consistent with the known facts. With this idea in mind I embarked upon an exhaustive examination of the phone calls made from the planes on 9/11. For this investigation I have relied upon Paul Thompson’s Terror Timeline.
What I have found is that all the phone calls are real. They describe real events taking place on the planes as described by the persons making the calls to the best of their ability and knowledge. It would have been very difficult to fake a phone call to a loved one, or even to a stranger, and that was not done– although some of the information from the phone calls detrimental to the official story was deleted, distorted, or simply ignored by the government and a compliant media. Deletion is of course much easier than fabrication.
The phone calls were not only allowed by the conspirators. They were probably encouraged as they helped to maximize the horror and shock felt by the nation, which of course paved the way to fulfill the conspirators’ goals. They also performed the vital function of apparently identifying the hijackers as “Middle Eastern looking,” and having come from seats on the airplane supposedly occupied by Arabs.
There is an elephant in the room of the 9/11 Truth Movement. A few can honestly say they can’t see the elephant. A larger number can clearly see it, but have somehow convinced themselves it is really a piano. Yet the elephant remains. It is big. It is menacing. No one really knows what to do about it. But if we do not deal with the elephant, all our efforts for 9/11 truth may be for naught. Our movement will lose credibility, and will drift into the kind of obsolescence and irrelevance now associated with the theories of JFK’s assassination.
The elephant in the bedroom of the 9/11 Truth Movement is the obvious connection of the attacks with the state of Israel and its fanatical supporters within the United States government, military, and media. A sampling of some of the evidence:
• The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported that the Israeli message service ODIGO broadcast a warning to Jewish employees of the Trade Center on the morning of the attacks.
• The company in charge of security at all the involved airports was an Israeli company called International Consultants for Targeted Security. Its president is Menachem Atzmon.
• The owner of the Trade Center buildings was Larry Silverstein, who is reported to have close relationships with leading Likud party Israelis such as Benjamin Netanyahu.
David Ray Griffin’s new book: 9/11 as yet another guilt trip for Christian Americans?
For the increasing number of those who have accepted the premise that the official account of who perpetrated the attacks of 9/11 is completely false, David Ray Griffin’s new book, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, asks the question: Where do we go from here?
The first half of the book is a summation of the evidence demonstrating that the official story of 19 Arab hijackers cannot be true, and that therefore “it was a “false-flag operation, orchestrated by domestic terrorists.” While many who have read Griffin’s previous books, The New Pearl Harbor and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, will readily agree that it was a false-flag operation, Griffin seems a bit hasty in assuming that it was carried out by “domestic” terrorists. Couldn’t they have been foreigners who had infiltrated American government institutions?
Griffin gives examples of false-flag operations by other countries, such as the 1933 Reichstag Fire in Germany, but he curiously omits Israel’s Lavon Affair of 1956, which would seem to be more compelling as it is an example of Americans being targeted with Arabs being set up as scapegoats, as was the case in the 9/11 attacks.