Posted on August 11, 2012
By Kevin Ryan

The Wall Street Journal recently commented on the upcoming military trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM). The article claimed that KSM and four other terrorists were somehow making a mockery of the U.S. justice system by trying to “use the open military trial to promote jihad and discredit American institutions, including the military system of justice.”[1] Unsuspecting readers might think that an “open military trial” would actually be less reflective of American institutions than the (actually open) civil trial requested for KSM by many of the 9/11 victims’ families. But the more important question is – are the right terrorists being brought to trial?

That question is not welcome in polite conversation.

For example, last August I was invited to appear on National Public Radio (NPR) to discuss the lasting phenomenon of 9/11 skepticism. The show’s regular host was replaced by a woman who had clearly made up her mind about the subject. Ironically, throughout the show she made snide comments about “conspiracy theorists” when referring to the millions of people who don’t believe the official conspiracy theory. Her other guests, from the Hearst Corporation and Canada’s National Post, joined her in using some variation of this phrase every thirty seconds during the hour long show. As the sole representative of 9/11 skeptics, I was allowed five minutes to speak until it was clear the conversation was not going as intended.[2]

People listening to this verbal turkey shoot must have wondered what happened to NPR. Had the “P” suddenly been changed to Propaganda? Possibly, but what is more important to notice is that, when organizations become effective, they are often co-opted by powerful interests that have hidden agendas. As reported by Robert Parry, the co-opting of National Public Radio by right-wing corporatists is a great example.[3] Another example of a phenomenon that has long been co-opted by powerful interests for effecting political change is terrorism.

At a minimum, 9/11 skeptics are willing to consider the possibility that the crimes of 9/11 were not just blowback but were what could be called managed blowback, or the co-opting of terrorism. Support for this reasoning has been strengthened by the knowledge that al Qaeda was an ally of the U.S. in the recent war on Libya and is apparently working on the same side as the U.S. in Syria as well.[4,5] None of that is surprising given that al Qaeda was born of the CIA-funded Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s.

Adding to the suspicion that U.S. authorities are behind terrorist acts are the reports that the FBI has planned such terrorism and has engaged in entrapment of the accused “terrorists” in the years since 9/11.[6] It appears that the CIA has been caught in the same kind of trickery recently.[7]

When applied to the 9/11 attacks, the concept of managed blowback means that there must have been others involved in allowing or encouraging 9/11 to happen for purposes other than simple retribution or symbolic gesture. Unfortunately, the 9/11 Commission never entertained any such notions.

“Our aim has not been to assign individual blame. Our aim has been to provide the fullest possible account of the events surrounding 9/11 and to identify lessons learned.”[8]

Yet here we are preparing to assign individual blame to KSM and a few others.

Read more