Excerpts From "A Mighty Heart"

A few days ago, I saw this report which said:

"In the fall of 2001, Wall Street Journal bureau chief Daniel Pearl wrote an article describing the belief in Pakistan that 9/11 was a CIA-Mossad-Jewish plot and that all the Jews got out of the World Trade Center.

The Journal scotched the story, according to Mariane Pearl’s memoir, “A Mighty Heart.”

So, I had to go buy the book to see what they were talking about. This posting is a result of that purchase.

Since I posted this, I found a few more interesting tidbits.

Here's an interview between "Foreign Policy" and Mariane Pearl:

"MP: Everything affects that case. He’s been up for appeal some ridiculous number, like 40 times now, and it’s been rejected. Of course, if you reveal something like [Mohammed’s confession], it might endanger a sentence when someone is on appeal. Nothing is done by chance. I think that people who make that kind of decision know this, or you would hope so. But the difficulty is very clear. It would be very difficult to just hang Sheikh, and everyone knows that.

FP: Is that because of Sheikh’s alleged ties to ISI [the Pakistani intelligence agency]?

MP: It’s a complicated thing, and I don’t know if I can talk about them publicly right now. Everything is related. Of course, there’s his relationship with the ISI, but there’s also his relationship with other organizations and other countries. It’s complicated and it’s murky."

Rawstory reported:

Daniel Pearl was the reporter kidnappened and murdered in Pakistan in 2002 while investigating ties between al Qaeda and Pakistan's intelligence services. The causes of his death have remained controversial, with multiple contradictory confessions and allegations of CIA and MI6 involvement.

The silence from the media is deafening. I've been searching all over the net for stories about "A Mighty Heart" with mention of Omar Sheikh, and the only thing they'll mention is how he was the kidnapper, but NO ONE has mentioned his ties to 9/11 even though it's MENTIONED in her book.

One of the more interesting tidbits to come out is that "Pakistan policy is essentially being run from Cheney's office." - Jon

Pages 27 - 30
Khawaja is a fascinating but dubious character, one of those people who seems to know everybody, at least in militant Islamist circles. A former Pakistani intelligence agent and air force officer, Khawaja loves nothing more than to entertain journalists, especially Americans. He loves to watch their faces when he tells them he is friend of Osama bin Laden. Danny and I have interviewed Khawaja several times, as has Asra, and found him to be, in Danny's blunt terms, "Nice guy, but a bit of a psycho."

Danny and I met with him in Islamabad shortly after the 9/11 attacks, and more recently in early January, in an office he uses in a relatively empty house in a gated district apparently reserved for military. Asra visited him at his real home in September, when she was staying at her paternal aunt's house. "You might want to interview our neighbor," her aunt had said helpfully. "He's a religious man, a friend of bin Laden's and the Taliban. He fought with the Afghan resistance." And so, escorted by her aunt and uncle, Asra paid a call to Khalid Khawaja, and the three of them sat and listened politely as he ranted and raved about the righteousness of the Muslim jihad against America.

Asra would watch him every morning as, after prayers, he headed down the street, hands clasped behind his back, for a daily stroll around the little local park. One day she joined him, and as they walked, he described how he, along with the influential Pakistani-American businessman Mansur Ejaz and former CIA chief James Woolsey, had tried to hammer out an agreement that would have averted war between the United States and the Taliban. The effort failed.

Khawaja spun a similar story to Danny and me, and while we were never able to nail down all the facts, we were inclined to believe a part. But much of what Khawaja told us was total and ugly fabrication:

"You know who was behind the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?" Khawaja asked us in September. "The Jews did it, the Mossad, it can only be them."

That was not the first time we'd been exposed to "the Jew theory." We'd heard it the day before from Hamid Gul. The director of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistani Intelligence, from 1987 to 1989, Gul is considered the architect of the Afghan jihad, the man who masterminded the war financed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and waged by the mujahideens against the Soviet occupiers. A decade ago, Gul was the most powerful man in the region; some called him the "godfather of the Taliban." But power, like an unfaithful mistress, had left him without turning back. New alliances had been formed, and Hamid Gul wasn't part of them.

I could feel the bitterness behind his assured diatribe. Gul manifested the same fanatical exaltation we saw in Khawaja, and in so many others we met in the days after September 11. It was a craving for revenge that had been unsatisfied for too long. It was a dominating and burning desire.

After an hour-long monologue during which Gul insisted that Osama bin Laden couldn't have had anything to do with the attacks, he had leaned in toward us conspiratorially. "Do you know," he said, "that the four thousand Jews who normally worked at the World Trade Center were all absent that day?"

To the day I die, I will love the cool with which Danny responded. "Really?" he said, without any perceptible trace of irony.

The "theory" was that the perpetrators had secretly notified all the Jewish workers in the Twin Towers so they would fail to show up for work and hereby be spared the terrible fate. The allegations apparently originated on Al Manar, the TV channel of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Islamist party, not long after 9/11. Once the ugly rumor hit the Internet, it found dedicated converts throughout the fundamentalist world.

In an article Danny filed just ten days after the attacks, he wrote, "A theory that Jews or Israelis engineered the September 11 attacks on the United States is gaining credibility among Muslim intellectuals, in a disturbing sign of how little globalization has bridged gaps in perception."

In Pakistan, Danny reported, pilots, scientists, and experts had gathered for analysis, and they had all concluded that the attacks could not have succeeded without the help of American intelligence services or the Israelis. "Pakistani air force officers casually opine that 'Mossad is the only one that could do it.' Respected newspapers in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates run news items suggesting authorities suspect some Israelis of involvement in the attack... One Pakistani commentator told the BBC Friday that America's belligerent attitude 'gives credence' to conspiracy theories spreading on the Internet."

Here is the same old hatred, the kind that makes you wonder if humanity will ever draw the lessons of its own history. Still, Danny and I refuse to let it defeat us in our work as journalists. We see ourselves as tightrope walkers, careful and insistent in our quest to bridge the world. In his work, Danny struggles to keep free of dogma and allegiance. It's not easy to remain impartial, but it sharpens Danny's vision and independence. He doesn't represent a country or a flag, just the pursuit of truth. He is here to hold up a mirror and force people to look at themselves. What better way is there to respect humanity?

The Wall Street Journal never ran Danny's article on the Jewish conspiracy. Danny emailed his boss, "The story didn't run today and isn't on the Sked 1. Please tell me this is because it got overlooked somehow, or there wasn't any space, and not because people are scared to tell our readers what people here are really thinking!"

He was more emphatic in a message to a friend: "Pisses me off that we're ready to pick apart the Eastern psyche to no end, except if it might offend our Jewish readers... Maybe I'm just paranoid," he concluded, "or engaging in my own Jewish-conspiracy theory."

Who knows what theory Khalid Khawaja was preparing to concoct when, in the course of lecturing during our meeting, he suddenly sprang a tangential question. "What are you?" he asked Danny. "A Christian?"

Without a moments hesitation, Danny answered, "I'm Jewish."

The answer startled Khawaja. "Are you?"

We were prepared for the question, if not this day, then some other. Whenever you travel, and especially in less developed countries, people try to categorize you, neatly, swiftly. Whose side are you on? Or, more pertinently, Are you my enemy? Am I yours? In our case, this has always been an irrelevant question with only one answer: We have come here as journalists.


Page 31
Around midnight a car pulls up on the street. Asra and I run onto the white-speckled veranda, praying we'll hear that too-loud doorbell. We don't.

If Danny isn't back by two A.M., we will call the authorities.

But which? Corruption is endemic among the Pakistani police; that's a story Danny and I have been researching for months. In fact, it's possible that calling the police is precisely the wrong thing to do now. Can we call Pakistani intelligence? ISI, Inter-Services-Intelligence--the role of the agency is so murky, frightening. We've heard it called "a kingdom within a state"; we know that little happens in this country without ISI knowing about it. But what if they're involved? (Gold9472: This is pertaining to Danny's kidnapping, not 9/11) Should we call the U.S. consulate first?


Pages 183 - 184
It's become clear that Omar doesn't know where Danny is. That's never been his role. He was the lure; others are the captors. Who's in that group? Omar has served up the name of a go-between, the man who's had contact both with Omar's cell and the kidnapping team. That's a start. But who is overseeing it all? Who pulls all the strings?

I think about things like this: Who told Omar that Danny is Jewish? Who had that information to give?

Information flies out of the Internet. I am amazed to find how much is circulating out there about Omar and his apparent links to both Al Qaeda and the ISI. I read that the U.S. embassy in Islamabad asked the Pakistani government to hand over Omar on January 21--two days before Danny was kidnapped. The reason given for the U.S. request was that the 1994 kidnapping included an American citizen. But it seems clear to me that the U.S. authorities wanted to follow up on a much more disturbing trail. I read a news report from October that claimed the FBI had found "credible links" between Omar Saeed Sheikh and then director of the ISI Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmed. It was alleged that it was Ahmed who instructed Omar to wire the $100,000 to Mohammad Atta.

I read too that disclosure of this finding led to Ahmed's dismissal as the head of the ISI by President Musharraf on October 7, 2001.

So it appears Omar may have been associated with both the head of ISI and Al Qaeda. He surrendered to another former ISI officer who held him in custody for a week until just one day before Musharraf met with President Bush. Just in time for Musharraf to go before Bush and the American press and, pointing to the "arrest" of Omar Sheikh, declare, "We are as close as possible to getting [Danny] released."

Questions bounce back and forth in my brain like a Ping-Pong ball gone wild. The distinctions between good and bad, government organizations and terrorist organizations, are not simply fading; they seem to be faces of the same coin.

Did Musharraf know Omar was in custody? Could he not know?

The CIA (God only knows what their position is here) didn't know? Which of Omar's ex-ISI friends are involved and to what degree? What about Brigadier Abdullah, responsible for the Kashmir Cell of ISI before his dismissal by Musharraf during the recent purges of the organization. Is he involved, too? Does he work for Osama bin Laden? What was Omar promised in exchange for his arrest?

Mariane Pearl is an award winning documentary film director who produced and hosted a daily radio show for Radio France International and has written for Telerama.

I'm a little confused as to

I'm a little confused as to whether you're agreeing with the bolded sections or merely pointing them out for interest. In any case, this is obviously propaganda.

"In an article Danny filed just ten days after the attacks, he wrote, "A theory that Jews or Israelis engineered the September 11 attacks on the United States is gaining credibility among Muslim intellectuals, in a disturbing sign of how little globalization has bridged gaps in perception."

"Jews or Israelis"? Um no. The author is conflating Jewish people as a whole with Israeli intelligence. There are only two types of people who engage in this sleight of hand: "Anti-semites" and apologists for Israel and her atrocities. Funny how these seeming polar opposites connect hand-in-glove.

As for those kooky "Muslim intellectuals" and their wacky theories about Israel, perhaps they've spent too much time studying history.

Incidents such as the Lavon Affair, in which Mossad blew up British and American targets in Egypt and tried to blame it on the "Moslim Brotherhood"; the USS Liberty attack, in which Israeli forces tried to destroy an American ship during the seven day war (I believe this was at the behest of Lyndon Johnson as per "Operation Cyanide"); La Belle Discoteque; the Israeli "Al-Qaeda cell" caught red handed trying to impersonate "Muslim terrorists"; the recent revelations (published in the Jerusalem post, among other places) that Shin Bet organized Palestinian patsies for a hijacking in order to, and I quote, "torpedo the PLO's (Palestine Liberation Organization) standing in France and to prevent what they [saw] as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans."

Those kooky Muslim intellectuals may also have learned of the Odigo warning, the Dancing Israelis, the failed lie detector tests, the massive Israeli drug smuggling ring operating in the US prior to 911 (some members of which were part of "explosive ordinance units"), and so on and so forth. The whole "Jews didn't come to work" bit is obviously a strawman.

If I didn't know better I'd say that this whole Patsyan angle was cooked up merely to draw attention away from the real culprits. Certainly I find it puzzling that individuals found "dancing with joy" at the scene are not considered suspects while flimsy reports in the Indian times are held up as the gold standard.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Patsyan played some marginal role (as a fall guy for the upcoming psuedo investigation, if nothing else) but the evidence seems to indicate a joint US-Israeli operation using Arab patsies, just like the first WTC bombing.

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

great post. "The Central

great post.

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." ~ William Colby, Former Director, CIA

Then of course there's this

Then of course there's this loose end:


Notice the Jerusalem Post article describes the vehicle as a "van".

Clearly someone was caught with more than a firecracker. If not a busted op, what? A demolition crew moving supplies?

Mossad involvement no more implicates "the Jews" than CIA involvement implicates Protestant Christians. Until this rhetorical boobytrap is disabled, critical details of the attacks will remain obscure.

“On the altar of God, I swear eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the mind of man."--Thomas Jefferson

Very interesting

Thanks for posting. I might read the whole thing myself.

One more clarification:

One more clarification:

Obviously Israel could not have carried out these attacks by her lonesome. That's not what I'm suggesting. I believe that Israel was a subcontractor. Post seven day war she would never risk alienating her sugar daddy, who feeds billions into her Palestinian graves -- I mean coffers. I'm not even sure the word "sub" applies anymore. American and Israeli intelligence (and to a slightly lesser degree -- the so-called "Commonwealth" nations such as Canada and Australia) are joined at the hip. It's all one big happy family party, complete with masks (albeit of the Eyes Wide Shut variety) with certain unfortunates living on alot of oil as the initial victims. Well, that's their fault for being born. Once you're born, "pro-lifers" would just as soon throw you to the crocs. I stress "initial". First they came for the...etc.

Notice Tony Blair's speaches. These are far more interesting than Bush's standardized pablum courtesy of Karl K, dumbed down for the Wall Mart crowd. Tony actually has to speak to the parliament: a strange by-product of parlimentary "democracy". He constantly refers to "protecting our way of life". This is another way of saying that elite's are scared shitless of China and feel the need to corner the petro market in order to retain hegemony. This, in turn, will allow "our" western "civilization" to grow and prosper and (presumably) Renoir paintings to remain in the Louvre.

It all means jack shit for regular joes, except that we get to live in a police state and go fight their wars.

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

Another great post, Danse

...in addition to the one above....

The elites of this country have a long, long history of killing, invading, and/or exploiting the brown people of the world. (Native American genocide, African enslavement, Southeast Asian mass murder, etc.). Muslims living on top of oil are just the latest. The message being "Use the dollar to transact oil, or we'll invade and occupy your ass....". (And we're ruthless enough to transparently kill our own citizens--the ones not important enough to "get the memo"--to "justify" it).

America: the world's "school-yard bully", using violence, and the threat of violence, to cover for it's own weakness and short-sighted self-destructive policies.

(BTW, nice little touch making the choice of referring to Renoir paintings in particular to make your point.... :)

Angelina Jolie was asked by

Angelina Jolie(who is playing Pearl in the movie) was asked by Charlie Rose the other night if she was "going to join him at the CFR?" and Angie sounded very excited about the possibility. this movie is going to be complete bullshit. and yeah, Marianne Pearl mentioned how her husband was working on that story about 9/11 being a CIA-Mossad. she made it very clear that she didnt believe that.

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." ~ William Colby, Former Director, CIA