Jimmy Walter Reopen 9/11 Tour
in Madrid, Vienna, London, Manchester, Rome
June 10, 2005
By Webster Griffin Tarpley
Rome, June 10, 2005 – The second phase of the Jimmy Walter Reopen 9/11 tour of Europe has scored new breakthroughs in Spain, Austria, Great Britain, and Italy, advancing the cause of an International Truth Commission to evaluate the official version and to investigate the reality of these attacks. The tour was made up of two teams of speakers: the red team featured Painful Questions author Eric Hufschmidt, American Free Press reporter Chris Bollyn, North Tower hero and 9/11 Hispanic Victims’ Association president William Rodriguez, and philanthropist Jimmy Walter. The blue team, which subsumed 9/11 health, pollution, and environmental issues, included Kennedy assassination researcher Lisa Pease, 9/11 humanitarian volunteer Rachel Hughes, lawyer Phil Berg, filmmaker Penny Little, Canadian media critic Barrie Zwicker, and historian Webster Tarpley.
In Madrid, Jimmy Walter and WTC North Tower hero William Rodriguez met with the association of families of the victims of the March 11, 2004 train bombings in a ceremony at the memorial park dedicated to those events. Walter and Rodriguez were also thanked by a Moroccan Islamic association. A 20 minute long, highly positive interview with Rodriguez was broadcast by the nationwide first program of Spanish National Television in its early morning news and talk show. Rodriguez was also on Radio Nacional de España. EFE, the main Spanish wire service, put out a wire of an interview with Rodriguez which was printed in numerous Spanish dailies and may also have appeared in Latin America, where EFE is widely distributed. Rodriguez also spoke on Radio Ser, a popular Madrid station. The Madrid meeting was also attended by a group of expatriate Americans who committed to forming an ITC organizing committee in the Spanish capital. Jimmy Walter told the Madrid gathering that he is now living permanently in Europe.
VIENNAJimmy Walter commented to the Vienna audience about the meetings with the Madrid victim families and the Moroccans. He pointed out that the March 11 train bombing families had also called for an international panel to determine the truth of what had actually happened. In New York City, he stressed, the terrorists had assistance from inside the US government. The Madrid March 11 families are right that the train bombings there deserve the same close scrutiny we want 9/11 to get from the International Commission. Originally Spanish Prime Minister Aznar had accused the Basque terror group ETA of being responsible. Aznar was repudiated by the Spanish voters, but is the Spanish government now just going to another scapegoat in the form of al Qaeda? The US Kean-Hamilton 9/11 commission investigated nothing, explained nothing. Seven of the alleged Arab hijackers are alive and well and living in the Middle East, but they continue to be carried on the perpetrators’ list. As for the Pentagon, how could a 40-meter wide airplane disappear into a 6-meter wide hole? There was no Boeing 757 at the Pentagon. If the FBI wants us to believe their story, let them release the surveillance camera tapes from the hotels and gas stations in the area, which they have confiscated and never released. What are they hiding? The Pentagon did everything they could to smear Thierry Meyssan, but the fact remains that the hole in the wall is far too small, said Walter.
Walter also warned again of the danger of new terror attacks before the end of this year. Bush and Cheney had promised during the election campaign that there would be no military draft, no conscription. But now the US Army is no more than six months away from breakdown because nobody is enlisting as a volunteer any more. Ford and General Motors are bankrupt, with their debt reduced to junk bond status. Bush’s personal approval rating is at 42% and falling, while about two thirds of Americans are now in favor of wrapping up the Iraq war and getting out. Bush is a war criminal. With the Patriot Act, we have Orwell’s 1984 nightmare twenty years later, said Walter.
The Vienna gatherings were the largest of the tour. A first evening drew about 800, including two hundred who viewed the procedures on television sets in an overflow room at the Austria Center. A second evening was attended by over 650. A well-attended DVD screening brought the total close to 2,000. Canadian TV producer Barrie Zwicker was interviewed by the Austrian press agency APA, whose correspondent exhibited the usual phobias about conspiracy theories. Walter and Webster Tarpley were fairly and objectively interviewed by the FM radio station Kronen-Hit, the radio voice of the Kronen Zeitung, the largest tabloid newspaper in the country and, according to one reckoning, the daily paper with the highest circulation in proportion to population anywhere in Europe. Kronen Zeitung and other papers had carried advertising publicizing the lectures and film showings of the tour.
Speaking at the two evenings in Vienna was Thomas Meyer, the leading 9/11 expert of Switzerland. Meyer is the editor of Der Europäer, a monthly magazine which carries the best 9/11 coverage available in the German-speaking world. Meyer is the author of a study of 9/11 which appeared in German during 2004, and has more recently been published in English translation as Reality, Truth, and Evil: Facts, Questions and Perspectives on September 11, 2001 (Forest Row UK: Temple Lodge, 2005). Meyer noted that the official 9/11 myth relies heavily for its plausibility on the Pearl Harbor myth of an unprovoked surprise attack by Japan. He documented this reliance with references to the Project for a New American Century, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard, and other pre-9/11 neocon literature. Meyer also linked the struggle against the oligarchical European Union draft constitution, which had just been rejected in France, with the 9/11 issue. Meyer pointed out that proposed draft states that European defense could only be conducted in the framework of NATO, an absurdity for a country like Austria, which became officially neutral when the postwar occupation ended in 1955, which is not a member of NATO, and has no plans to become one. Meyer referred to the work of Daniele Ganser, who teaches at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich, one of the world’s top engineering schools. Ganser has just published NATO’s Secret Armies, which includes material on Gladio, the NATO stay-behind network in Italy. As Ganser explains in an interview in the current issue of Der Europäer, it is established beyond any doubt that Gladio engaged in domestic terrorism in order to weaken the Italian communists and the trade unions. Why, asked Meyer, should this murderous track record not be taken into account when deciding whether a NATO defense monopoly ought to be written into the European constitution? In conclusion, Meyer cited an uncannily prophetic 1916 remark by the German author and lecturer Rudolph Steiner that some time around the year 2000 an order would go forth from the United States attempting to outlaw critical thinking all over the world. This order, said Meyer, has indeed been issued in the form of the Bush regime’s attempt to suppress criticism of the absurd official version of 9/11.
LONDON AND MANCHESTERIn London, the events were prepared by a series of ads in the major dailies, as well as in neighborhood papers in Camden Town, King’s Cross, and elsewhere. Two London programs of presentations and debate drew about 1,200. On June 3, a screening of three 9/11 DVDs at a cinema in Leicester Square was attended by upwards of 350. Additional DVD screenings are ongoing. The London event of Friday June 4 at the Friends’ Meeting House near Russell Square was chaired by the progressive actress Susanna York. It was attended by about 600 people. An earlier London event had also drawn 600.
The Friday London meeting was addressed by David Shayler, the MI-5 domestic counter-intelligence whistleblower who is appealing a six-month prison sentence for violating the Official Secrets Act with his revelations about collusion between the British foreign intelligence organization MI-6 and al Qaeda. “MI-6 is in bed with al Qaeda,” Shayler told the crowd. He related how he was working on domestic counterintelligence for MI-5 in the mid-1990s when he was contacted by his opposite number from MI-6. The MI-6 man told him that a known member of al Qaeda and close associate of Osama Bin Laden had walked into the British Embassy in Tunis with a proposal to assassinate the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Shayler thought at first that this was simply a case of MI-6 playing James Bond. But in March 1996 he had become aware of MI-6 documents showing that MI-6 had indeed been involved in an assassination attempt against Qaddafi with the participation of the al Qaeda member in question. Qaddafi had not been killed, but a number of innocent bystanders had been. MI-6 also violated British procedures by failing to secure the approval of the Foreign Office for an overseas covert operation. Shayler was appalled: “I joined MI-5 to fight terrorism, not to be a part of it,” he stated. In July 1998 Shayler alerted the Tony Blair government to what had happened, and also went public with what he had learned. These revelations came in the midst of Tony Blair’s initial honeymoon, and they were widely ignored. The then Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, said that Shayler’s charges were pure fiction, and this line was parroted by the UK press. Later a document was leaked by person or persons unknown which confirmed that MI-6 had indeed paid al Qaeda in Libya for an unsuccessful December 1995 hit on Qaddafi. According to this document, an MI-6 agent was involved, and MI-6 knew the modus operandi of the attack in advance. Shayler’s statement was confirmed, but the UK intelligence agencies have insisted to this day that his story was fantastic.
Also present at the London meeting was Shayler’s fellow MI-5 veteran Annie Machon, the author of Spies, Lies, and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair (Sussex UK: The Book Guild, 2005), a book which tells the story of how these two whistleblowers met in the MI-5 offices and came to understand the many rogue operations that were going on in the British intelligence community, which is still the most sophisticated in the world in many respects.
Shayler said that he considered the attempted assassination of Qaddafi, followed by the creation of an al Qaeda regime in Libya, as an early attempt at a new Pearl Harbor, more than 5 years before 9/11. If al Qaeda had taken over oil-rich Libya, he explained, this would have offered the US and UK regimes a perfect pretext for an invasion, with the seizure of the oil fields as a by-product.
“I look at information, not conspiracy theories,” said Shayler. “Don’t believe the press,” he warned, elaborating that MI-6 is legally allowed to conduct what are called information operations. These are supposed to consist of planting stories favorable to the UK, but often turn out to be stories favorable to MI-6 and its line on the issues. “I was in counter-terrorism,” said Shayler, adding that he had worked on the Pan Am Lockerbie crash and also on the Irish Republican Army in the 1990s. “I look at 9/11 and the first thing I see is that there was no forensic investigation. There has been no effort at truth. Look also at the total lack of a serious investigation of the financial operations around 9/11, including the put options on airline stocks. “In Watergate, the motto was to follow the money, but not for 9/11” said Shayler. “The authorities don’t want the truth.”
He noted that Ramzi Bin Yussef had revealed to the police in 1993 that new attacks using aircraft were coming. Yussef had made clear the modus operandi of the coming attacks –m airplanes. This had been underlined by the story of a Moroccan source in the summer of 2001. Just before 9/11, the FBI and other agencies intercepted messages relating to the 9/11 attacks, but did nothing. However, top Pentagon officials called off their travel plans on 9/11, so there was something more at work than pure incompetence. Shayler also recalled that the FBI managed to block and ignore the Phoenix memorandum on Arabs in flight schools and the attempts by Minneapolis agents to arrest Zacharias Moussawi until it was too late. The FBI is also continuing to block the publication of a book by Robert Wright, in which Wright tells how his anti-terror investigations were sabotaged. The FBI has been exposed by much Congressional testimony.
SHAYLER: FROM LIHOP TO MIHOP“I was LIHOP,” said Shayler, referring to the school of thought about 9/11 which assumes that the initiative for the attacks came spontaneously from the alleged terrorists, while the US government merely declined to stop them and let 9/11 happen on purpose. “But,” he went on, “based on my counter-terrorism experience, I am now MIHOP – convinced that top US government officials made it happen on purpose.” “Remember the Reichstag fire? If Hitler had won the war, we’d still be blaming Jews and communists for that. On 9/11, there were other planes ready to target the White House and the US Capitol. 9/11 was a coup d’état,” he concluded.
Shayler also noted that, at least in theory, everything that is known to the US National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland is automatically and simultaneously known to the British GCHQ at Cheltenham, England. The sharing agreement governing this exchange virtually merges the US and UK intelligence communities, he pointed out. Shayler also served as master of ceremonies in Manchester.
The UK Official Secrets Act is one of the most sweeping and oppressive statutes of its type in the western world. It states that any official information which has not been officially released constitutes an official secret, the divulging of which is a crime. Under this act, any leaker can be packed off to jail after a trial which is generally stacked against the leaker.
The single Manchester event was held in the city’s town hall, a splendid Gothic revival building designed by the Victorian architect Pugin, who also designed the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. The 500 seats were all full. Delegations came to Manchester from a number of nearby cities, including Leeds and Wakefield in Yorkshire, the ancestral home of both Shayler and Tarpley. Many of those who attended were Moslems. Jimmy Walter announced that he had received requests to bring the 9/11 tour to Latin America, Africa and eastern Europe. A local Pakistani businessman was so impressed by the proceedings that he invited all the speakers for a banquet at his restaurant, which is considered one of the best eating places in the north of England.
The Rome events were prepared by full-page ads in Corriere della Sera (the principal national newspaper of record), the mainstream Il Messaggero of Rome, and the leftist Il Manifesto, which employs Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist kidnapped in Iraq whose rescuer, Nicola Calipari, was assassinated by US forces. There was also an ad in Leggo, a free Rome paper which circulates over 1 million copies per day. Attendance at the Rome events was about 100 each evening, with a DVD screening to follow on Thursday, June 9. Among those present were several influential professors, including one who had served on the Italian Parliament’s investigating committee on the terrorist attacks of 1969 and 1980. A representative of the parliamentary press office was also on hand. The events were held at the Teatro Sala Umberto in Via della Mercede, close to Palazzo Chigi (residence of Prime Minister Berlusconi) and also to Montecitorio, the Italian Chamber of Deputies. A number of Italian political parties sent representatives. There were complaints about the constant interference in Italian affairs of neocon extremist Michael Ledeen. Several Italians pointed in this context to the forged Niger yellowcake documents, used as pretexts for Bush’s Iraq war, which were foisted on the world in Rome with the help of rogue Italian intelligence factions.
The master of ceremonies in Rome was the leading Catholic activist Maurizio Blondet, correspondent for Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Blondet is the author of at least eight books of alternative political analysis – known in Italian as controinformazione. Among his recent titles are Chi comanda in America? (Who Rules the USA?), Osama Bin Mossad, and La strage dei genetisti, an overview of the recent world-wide pattern of violent deaths of leading genetics researchers. Blondet’s study entitled 11 settembre: colpo di stato in USA (September 11: Coup d’état in the USA) would appear to be the only book on this subject in Italian which completely repudiates the official version.
Blondet’s June 6 speech focused on the post-9/11 anthrax attacks as an important key to understanding the overall planning and internal dynamics of these provocations. His June 7 remarks concerned a series of key anomalies and contradictions in the Bush regime’s 9/11 story which have generally been ignored by journalists. “I’m probably not the greatest journalist in the world,” said Blondet, “so if I can see through these fabrications, then many others must also be aware that the official version of 9/11 is a fake.” After the Rome events, Jimmy Walter was interviewed by La Sette, an important center-right morning television show, and also by Corriere della Sera. Maurizio Blondet was scheduled to participate in a debate on the second program of RAI, the Italian national television. Parts of the DVD Confronting the Evidence, based on the September 11, 2004 mass meeting at Manhattan Center in New York City, were scheduled to be shown as a part of that debate.
Organizing committees for the International Truth Commission have emerged from most of the stops on the tour. Such groupings are now up and running in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Britain (London and Manchester), and central Italy (Pisa/Tuscany/Rome). A Vienna chapter is in the works.
The London and subsequent events were enhanced by technical assistance by Simon Aronowitz of thoughtcrimenews.com, who is also one of the leading activists on this issue in the UK.
Return to- Questioning the War Against Terrorrism