Confusing picture emerges from driver's trial

Trial based on serious contradiction between conflicting US motives

June 23, 2008

Several major US newspapers are running headlines similar to the one in the LA Times--Bin Laden's driver knew 9/11 target, lawyer says. At first glance, this implies that he knew that bin Laden was targeting the Twin Towers before 9/11.

But then a few paragraphs into the story we learn that Morris indicated at a news conference later that the eavesdropping occurred after Sept. 11, not before.

Oddly, the LA Times drops the story at that point and veers into a discussion of Hamdan's arrest, leaving out a really big piece of testimony that was carried by Reuters: "If they hadn't shot down the fourth plane it would've hit the dome," Stone, a Navy officer, said in his opening remarks.


The tribunal's chief prosecutor, Col. Lawrence Morris, later explained that Stone was quoting Hamdan in evidence that will be presented at trial. Morris declined to say if the "dome" was a reference to the U.S. Capitol.

"Virtually no one knew the intended target, but the accused knew," Stone said.

So the 9/11 target was not the Twin Towers, but "the dome," which the accused learned about after the fact. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis says this about the testimony: And so with his first words to a military jury, the prosecutor conjured up a conversation from inside the world of Al-Qaida, revealed by the accused, driver Salim Hamdan. Bin Laden told his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, that U.S. forces -- not heroic passengers -- brought down United Airlines Flight 93 in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11 before terrorist hijackers could slam it into "the dome" of the U.S. Capitol.

From there The Star Tribune veers into background material, but Reuters does not miss the really big point: United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania. U.S. officials have never stated it was shot down although rumours saying that abound to this day.

Rumors about Flight #93 "abound to this day" mainly because the plane wreckage has never been photographed or displayed; photos and videos of the crash site in PA show virtually no wreckage; and the plane's "debris field" is some eight miles wide, hardly consistent with a crash.

Does it not seem that this trial is based on a deep and serious contradiction between conflicting US motives? On the one had, we know that the US is doing all that it can--including torture--to squeeze "the truth" from a cab driver with a fourth-grade education, while at the same time doing nothing at all to fully investigate the facts surrounding the demise of Flight #93, to say nothing of all of the other dubious, secret, and un-investigated circumstances of that day.

Why does this contradiction exist? Because if it is shown or admitted that Flight #93 was shot down by the US military, then the entire official story of 9/11 will fall into instant disrepute, where it belongs.