Peter Dale Scott - "The Road to 9/11" - a review.

(You can hear Peter Dale Scott talk about "The Road to 9/11", in this interview with Bonnie Faulkner, which aired October 10, 2007.)
(A slightly older video here, from August 8, 2007 - good biographical background on Scott, as well as a long talk about the book.)

"9/11 was the largest homicide by far in American history, yet it has never been adequately investigated. The public has been told of a conspiracy that included terrorist conspirators organized and financed abroad. But if U.S. defenses had functioned on that day as they had previously, the four planes at a minimum should have been intercepted by fighter aircraft. Yet we are told that even this did not happen. There is a domestic side to 9/11 as well, about which we still know next to nothing. Key evidence requested by the commission was initially withheld until subpoenas were issued, and some evidence was deliberately destroyed. Worse, there are systematic suppressions of evidence in the 9/11 Commission Report itself, along with unresolved contradictions in testimony and occasional misrepresentations of some crucial facts.

This chapter and the next will explore these issues and make the case that Vice President Cheney is himself a suspect in the events of 9/11 who needs to be investigated further."

- Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11, p.194 (emphasis added)

In a major new book from the The University of California Press, author Peter Dale Scott turns up the heat on the George Walker Bush administration, (with a spotlight focused firmly on Vice President Cheney), and presents a carefully researched scholarly volume that offers several challenges to the official narrative of 9/11 as presented in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Scott's case against Cheney is presented toward the end of a text that is much more than just another volume focused on the events of 9/11. With the craftsmanship of a published author and English Professor, Scott uses his expertise to take the reader on a guided tour of recent American history, placing 9/11 within a context-rich environment rife with malfeasance, malice, and the never-ending meddling of rich and powerful entities, through proxy politicians and organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Heritage Foundation.

Readers familiar with Scott's previous work will be pleased to see the resumption and evolution of a style and format that has been so successful before, with parallels that can be drawn between some of his earliest books, like the privished 1972 book, The War Conspiracy. Like that earlier volume, Scott begins with a short memoir for his preface, framing his state of mind for the reader, reflecting on issues that affect all of us, which will ultimately lead to a series of recommendations in his conclusion. We see a reoccurrence of topics from 1972, like the important role that drug trafficking plays in financing covert operations, and how intelligence agencies implicitly and tacitly encourage the traffic.* In some ways, little has changed since 1972, in others it has changed, for the worse.

Following the Preface is a 25-page introduction that is a profound summation of the metastasis of secrecy in the U.S. government, the Wall Street roots of the CIA, self-destructive foreign policy during the Cold War, and the rise of Full Spectrum Dominance and the Neocons.

Scott then launches into a virtuoso performance, collating the march toward the Cheney-Bush Junta, by identifying the roles played by Nixon, Kissinger, Brzezinski, the Rockefellers, Ford, Carter and CIA director Casey. What we see is a steady encroachment on American civil liberties, and the spread of covert operations, with drug trafficking as a steady counterpoint, research backed up with over one thousand end notes.

With President Ford comes the tag-team of Cheney and Rumsfeld, and here we catch a first-glimpse of the Continuity of Government plans that were rolled out on 9/11, still veiled by secrecy and obfuscation, despite the level of importance of these orders.

The light touch applied to the matter of COG by the 9/11 Commission is symptomatic of a general method of suppression by the Commission in regard to things that they never really intended to investigate seriously, or things they are simply trying to cover-up. Scott addresses the omissions of the Commission throughout the book, and details a variety of things left out in the chapter called "The 9/11 Commission Report and Cheney's deceptions about 9/11".

Among the omissions is the absence of mention of the White House Communications Agency from the Report. Surely, this agency and the logs they possess would be of immense value in gathering a more complete picture of how the Secret Service conducted business, and when, exactly, specific commands authorizing No Fly, Shoot Down, and hypothetically, Stand-Down orders were given. The Report itself is not given to self-correction, even in the face of glaring timeline contradictions conveyed by Richard Clarke and Norman Mineta. If Clarke's narrative is correct, then the Commission is not only wrong about Cheney's exact whereabouts on 9/11, but Rumsfeld's as well. (Personally, I can't visualize Rumsfeld holding a plasma bag aloft or being useful in a triage setting. It's more likely he was barking orders like, "We need a cover-up! STAT!") Philip Zelikow must be aware of the WHCA, as he co-edited "The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis". Surely there would have been recourse to their logs during his research for that book... perhaps Zelikow performed a similar function editing the Kennedy book that he did editing the 9/11 Commission's research... just speculation on my part...

Scott writes several chapters that paint a history of al Qaeda, a welcome alternative to books like Steve Coll's Ghost Wars or Peter Lance's series of books beginning with 1000 Years for Revenge. Scott borrows some information from these books but does not hesitate to point out shortcomings in these sources.

Scott closely examines al Qaeda over four chapters, filling in the blanks left out in official sources like the 9/11 Commission Report regarding al Qaeda's relationship to the drug traffic, and the peripheral roles of oil companies where there is a confluence of interests. (Scott explored the confluence of similar interests in his previous book, Drugs, Oil and War.)

Compared to Coll, Scott does not spin tendentiously like he is writing for a CIA fact-book. All of Scott's research is publicly verifiable. The "privileged" narrative relying on regurgitation of private interviews is absent from Scott's book. Compared to Lance's history of Ali Mohamed, Scott's is more streamlined and efficient. Just the facts.

It is this combination of straight-forward prose, damning information, acute analysis, and the cautious building of a very-well researched argument that leaves The Road to 9/11 standing handstands above any of the establishment-line books on 9/11, and well above many of the alternative lines of inquiry regarding 9/11 that have appeared on the scene in recent years.

As an introductory volume to serious 9/11 research, this book is exemplary. The only other scholarly volume in its class is The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, published by academic press, Elsevier. (These two books alone would be sufficient for a University-level course designed with critique of the 9/11 Commission in mind.)

For those well read on the topic of 9/11, this book should be considered mandatory, a welcome addition to the genre.


* Scott shows how veterans of Air America have kept themselves busy as CIA detailees in Vietnam and Laos, then as advisors keeping the weapons flowing during Iran-Contra. In 1991 they show up again in Azerbaijan, supposedly as private citizens and not CIA assets, but they are alleged to have been using their wings once again to do covert work, namely, moving around mujahideen. At the same time, heroin was moving all over this part of the world, keeping covert operations supplied with capital. You have to wonder if the temptation for these Air America veterans was simply too much...

Scott on Cheney


The book is magnificent, but with regard to the impeachment move, a shorter, more tightly composed article By Scott on Cheney's role in 911 is available at the Journal of 911 Studies as:
It should be read and distributed to those in the impeachment movement who might not be aware of specific 911 aspects.

Link is fine, just a little sluggish...

URL is simply truncated.

Scott provides insights not presented elsewhere!

This title is certainly not an establishment book. Scott explains matter-of-factly how our present torture state began with the cabinet of the Ford Administration. It's a story that anyone who has casually tracked the press may suspect, but the thoughts provoked are ones most people resist!

"The Road to 9/11" offers new observations not presented elsewhere! Scott provides neat asides about secret society affiliations and a smooth narrative on how rogue networks grew and prospered in the eighties to arrive at the brink of tyranny, today.

Scott is an idealist, who rather shocks the reader's sensibility by suggesting what may work in the future as a prescription even if our present nation fails! Scott does observe the U.S. has characteristics of a failing state!

It's excellent!

...don't believe them!

Nice review

I look forward to reading Scott's book at some point.

One thing worth noting, that you mention in your review, is regarding the discrepancy between Richard Clarke's account and all other accounts over what Donald Rumsfeld did at the time the Pentagon was hit. Clarke, if I remember correctly, appears to say that Rumsfeld remained in a teleconference, helping with the crisis response. Other accounts say he stood down from his post in order to help carry a stretcher for a quick photo op. As it turns out, this was indeed what happened. Here's the CNN footage proving it:

I am actually very cautious of Richard Clarke. Remember that he has only given his account of 9/11 on one occasion (in the first chapter of his book); he has never stated any of it under oath; and he has never explained why some of his claims conflict with all other accounts of that morning. (In particular, he gives the impression that Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Myers were both determinedly involved in the crisis reponse on 9/11; other accounts suggest they were both absent from their posts or doing nothing until the attacks were over.)

Clarke also endorses the Popular Mechanics book about 9/11. He told "There is a great book called 'Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why conspiracy theories can't stand up to the facts' with a forward by John McCain. They [i.e. 9/11 truthers] should all be forced to read it."

Remember also that from the minute the attacks began, Richard Clarke was telling everyone "This is al Qaeda." Yet he said this without a shred of proof to back up his claim. And to this day, he still appears to strongly endorse the official 9/11 story.

More on American Empire, False Flag Terror.

Ron Paul - Gulf of Tonkin

Gulf of Tonkin: McNamara admits "It didn't happen."

The Fog of War

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• Ten things you may not know about images on Wikipedia •The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

Directed by Errol Morris
Produced by Errol Morris
Michael Williams
Julie Ahlberg
Starring Robert McNamara
Distributed by Sony Pictures
Release date(s) 21 May 2003 (premiere at Cannes)
December 19, 2003 (limited)
February 6, 2004 (limited)
March 18, 2004
April 2, 2004
Running time 95 min.
Language English
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

This article is about the documentary. For the military and gaming concept, see Fog of war.

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara is a documentary film about the life and times of Robert S. McNamara. It was directed by Errol Morris and released in December, 2003. The film includes an original score by Philip Glass. It won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature for 2003.

The film consists of interviews with former United States Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, detailing his life and the difficult decisions that he made during his career. The term "fog of war" refers to the uncertainty that descends over a battlefield once fighting begins.


The film depicts the life of Robert McNamara, United States Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1968, through the use of archival footage, White House recordings, and most prominently, an interview with McNamara at the age of 85. The subject matter spans McNamara's work as one of the "Whiz Kids" during World War II and as an executive at the Ford Motor Company to his involvement in the Vietnam War as Secretary of Defense under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

In a 2004 appearance at UC Berkeley, Morris said that he was inspired to make the film after reading McNamara's 2001 book (with James G. Blight), Wilson's Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century.[1]

Morris interviewed McNamara for over twenty hours, editing down the footage into a two-hour film. The concept of structuring the film as 11 lessons comes from McNamara's 1996 book In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. Morris creates the film's 11 lessons from various statements that McNamara uses throughout the interview. The lessons lend structure to The Fog of War, but they are not explicitly McNamara's. (At the aforementioned UC Berkeley event, McNamara contended that he did not agree with Morris's interpretations in all respects.) After the completion of the film, McNamara responded to Morris by complementing the film's eleven lessons with ten more lessons of his own; these are included in the film's DVD release.

When, at the Berkeley event, McNamara was asked to apply the lessons from his 1996 book to the US invasion of Iraq, he refused, arguing that former Secretaries of Defense should not comment on the policy of the current Secretary. McNamara suggested that other people were welcome to apply his lessons to Iraq if they wanted to, but that he would not explicitly do it, and noted that his lessons were more general than any particular military conflict.

The film's eleven lessons

Empathize with your enemy.
Rationality will not save us.
There's something beyond one's self.
Maximize efficiency.
Proportionality should be a guideline in war.
Get the data.
Belief and seeing are both often wrong.
Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning.
In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil.
Never say never.
You can't change human nature.

McNamara's additional ten lessons

These were written as a companion to the film and are included in the Special Features of the DVD.
The human race will not eliminate war in this century but we can reduce war, the level of killing, by adhering to the principles of a just war, in particular of proportionality.

The indefinite combinations of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will lead to the destruction of nations.

We are the most powerful nation in the world — economically, politically, and militarily — and we are likely to remain so for decades ahead. But we are not omniscient. If we cannot persuade other nations with similar interests and similar values of the merits of the proposed use of that power, we should not proceed unilaterally except in the unlikely requirement to defend the continental US, Alaska and Hawaii.

Moral principles are often ambiguous guides to foreign policy and defense policy, but surely we can agree that we should establish as a major goal of U.S. foreign policy and, indeed, of foreign policy across the globe : the avoidance in this century of the carnage — 160 million dead — caused by conflict in the 20th century.

We, the richest nation in the world, have failed in our responsibility to our own poor and to the disadvantaged across the world to help them advance their welfare in the most fundamental terms of nutrition, literacy, health, and employment.

Corporate executives must recognize there is no contradiction between a soft heart and a hard head. Of course, they have responsibilities to their employees, their customers and to society as a whole.
President Kennedy believed a primary responsibility of a president — indeed "the" primary responsibility of a president — is to keep the nation out of war, if at all possible.

War is a blunt instrument by which to settle disputes between or within nations, and economic sanctions are rarely effective. Therefore, we should build a system of jurisprudence based on the International Court — that the U.S. has refused to support — which would hold individuals responsible for crimes against humanity.

If we are to deal effectively with terrorists across the globe, we must develop a sense of empathy — I don't mean "sympathy" but rather "understanding" to counter their attacks on us and the Western World.
One of the greatest dangers we face today is the risk that terrorists will obtain access to weapons of mass destruction as a result of the breakdown of the Non-Proliferation Regime. We in the U.S. are contributing to that breakdown.

11 Lessons from Vietnam

The origin of the film's lesson concept is the eleven lessons in McNamara's 1996 book In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam:

We misjudged then — and we have since — the geopolitical intentions of our adversaries … and we exaggerated the dangers to the United States of their actions.

We viewed the people and leaders of South Vietnam in terms of our own experience … We totally misjudged the political forces within the country.

We underestimated the power of nationalism to motivate a people to fight and die for their beliefs and values.

Our judgments of friend and foe alike reflected our profound ignorance of the history, culture, and politics of the people in the area, and the personalities and habits of their leaders.

We failed then — and have since — to recognize the limitations of modern, high-technology military equipment, forces and doctrine.

We failed as well to adapt our military tactics to the task of winning the hearts and minds of people from a totally different culture.

We failed to draw Congress and the American people into a full and frank discussion and debate of the pros and cons of a large-scale military involvement … before we initiated the action.

After the action got under way and unanticipated events forced us off our planned course … we did not fully explain what was happening and why we were doing what we did.

We did not recognize that neither our people nor our leaders are omniscient. Our judgment of what is in another people's or country's best interest should be put to the test of open discussion in international forums. We do not have the God-given right to shape every nation in our image or as we choose.

We did not hold to the principle that U.S. military action … should be carried out only in conjunction with multinational forces supported fully (and not merely cosmetically) by the international community.

We failed to recognize that in international affairs, as in other aspects of life, there may be problems for which there are no immediate solutions … At times, we may have to live with an imperfect, untidy world and you should do your homework.

Underlying many of these errors lay our failure to organize the top echelons of the executive branch to deal effectively with the extraordinarily complex range of political and military issues.

Goto to main site:

Read the transcripts:


The Fog of War ~ Documentary about Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara's Experience


The CONSTITUTION is NOT going to "collapse" into pulverized dust no matter how much thermate/explosives or planes they throw at it