By Thierry Meyssan
September 19, 2016

The United States and their allies will be commemorating the 15-year anniversary of 9/11. For Thierry Meyssan, it’s the occasion to take an honest look at Washington’s policies since that date – it is not a pretty picture. There are two ways of looking at it – either the White House’s version of the 9/11 attacks is correct, in which case their response has been particularly counter-productive, or else it’s a lie, in which case they have succeeded in pillaging the Greater Middle East.

15 years ago, in the United States, on September 11, 2001, the «continuity of government plan» (COG) was activated at about 10 a.m. by the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-terrorism , Richard Clarke [1]. According to Clarke, this exceptional measure was necessary to respond to the exceptional situation of two aircraft which had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, and a third aircraft which had allegedly hit the Pentagon. However, this plan was to be used exclusively in the case of the total destruction of the democratic institutions, by a nuclear attack, for example. It had never been envisaged to activate this plan as long as the President, the vice-President and the Presidents of Assemblies were alive and able to assume their functions.

The activation of this plan transferred the responsibilities of the President of the United States to an alternative military authority situated at Mount Weather [2]. This authority only handed back his functions to President George W. Bush Jr, at the end of the day. The composition of this authority and the decisions they may have made have remained, and remain today, secret.

Since the President was divested of his functions for close to ten hours on September 11, 2001, in violation of the Constitution of the United States, it is technically correct to talk of a «coup d’état». Of course, the expression may shock some people, because we are talking about the United States, because it happened in exceptional circumstances, because the military authority never claimed responsibility for it, and because they gave back Constitutional power to the President without causing any trouble. Nonetheless, stricto sensu, it was indeed a «coup d’état».

In a celebrated work published in 1968, (later re-edited), which became the bedside book of the neo-conservatives during the electoral campaign of 2000, the historian Edward Luttwak explained that a coup d’état is all the more successful if no-one notices it has happened, and therefore no-one has opposed it [3].

Six months after the attacks, I published a book about the political consequences of this day [4]. The media concentrated only on the first four chapters, in which I demonstrated that the official version of the events on that day was impossible. I was widely reproached for failing to give my own version of 9/11 – but I do not have one, and find myself today with more questions than answers.

However, the last fifteen years may enlighten us as to what happened on that day.

Since September 11, the Federal State is non-Constitutional

First of all, although certain dispositions were suspended for a moment in 2015, the United States still lives under the empire of the USA Patriot Act. Adopted in haste, 45 days after the coup d’état, this text constitutes a response to terrorism. Taking into account its volume, it would be more accurate to describe it as an anti-terrorist Code, rather than a simple law. The text had been prepared over the two previous years by the Federalist Society. Only 4 parliamentarians opposed it.

The text suspends Constitutional limitations, formulated by the «Declaration of Rights» – in other words, the first 10 amendments of the Constitution – for all State initiatives aimed at fighting terrorism. This is the principle of the permanent state of emergency. As a result, the Federal state may practise torture outside of its own territory, and spy massively on its population. After fifteen years of such practices, it is technically no longer possible for the United States to present itself as a «Constitutional state».

In order to apply the Patriot Act, the Federal state first of all created a new department, Homeland Security. The title of this administration is so shocking that it is translated all over the world as «Security of the Interior», which is inexact. Then the Federal state created a variety of political police forces which, according to a vast study by the Washington Post in 2010, employed at that time at least 850,000 new officials to spy on 315 million inhabitants [5].

The major institutional innovation of this period is the re-interpretation of the separation of powers. Until recently, we thought, like Montesquieu, that this would enable the maintenance of a balance between the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary, indispensable to the efficient functioning and preservation of democracy. The United States were once able to pride themselves on being the only State in the world to put this genuinely into practice. But now, on the contrary, the separation of powers means that the Legislative and the Judiciary no longer have any possibility of controlling the Executive. In fact, it is because of this new interpretation that Congress was not authorised to debate the conditions of the coup d’état of September 11.

Contrary to what I wrote in 2002, the Western European states have resisted this evolution. It was only eighteen months ago that France gave in, and adopted the principle of a permanent state of emergency, on the occasion of the assassination of the editors of Charlie-Hebdo. This transformation of the interior goes hand in hand with a radical change in its foreign policy.

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