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9/11 – A Cheap Magic Trick

How false flag attacks are manufactured by the world's elite.

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Archive for May, 2017

By dunning NATO nations to chip more money into the military alliance, President Trump may inadvertently cause some Europeans to rethink the over-the-top anti-Russian propaganda

by Ray McGovern
May 30, 2017
Antiwar.com

President Donald Trump’s politically incorrect behavior at the gathering of NATO leaders in Brussels on Thursday could, in its own circuitous way, spotlight an existential threat to the alliance. Yes, that threat is Russia, but not in the customary sense in which Westerners have been taught to fear the Russian bear. It is a Russia too clever to rise to the bait – a Russia patient enough to wait for the Brussels bureaucrats and generals to fall of their own weight, pushed by financial exigencies in many NATO countries.

At that point it will become possible to see through the West’s alarmist propaganda. It will also become more difficult to stoke artificial fears that Russia, for reasons known only to NATO war planners and neoconservative pundits, will attack NATO. As long as Russian hardliners do not push President Vladimir Putin aside, Moscow will continue to reject its assigned role as bête noire.

First a request: Let me ask those of you who believe Russia is planning to invade Europe to put down the New York Times for a minute or two. Take a deep cleansing breath, and try to be open to the possibility that heightened tensions in Europe are, rather, largely a result of the ineluctable expansion of NATO eastward over the quarter-century since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

Actually, NATO has doubled in size, despite a U.S. quid-pro-quo promise in early 1990 to Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev in early 1990 not to expand NATO “one inch” to the east of Germany. The quid required of Russia was acquiescence to a reunited Germany within NATO and withdrawal of the 300,000-plus Russian troops stationed in East Germany.

The US reneged on its quo side of the bargain as the NATO alliance added country after country east of Germany with eyes on even more – while Russia was not strong enough to stop NATO expansion until February 2014 when, as it turned out, NATO’s eyes finally proved too big for its stomach. A U.S.-led coup d’etat overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installed new, handpicked leaders in Kiev who favored NATO membership. That crossed Russia’s red line; it was determined – and at that point able – to react strongly, and it did.

These are the flat-facts, contrasting with the mainstream US media’s propaganda about “Russian aggression.” Sadly, readers of the New York Times know little to nothing of this recent history.

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May 25, 2017
911 Blogger

Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. secretary of defense, proceeded as normal with his daily intelligence briefing at the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001, despite learning that a second aircraft had hit the World Trade Center and America was clearly under attack. Even when the Pentagon was attacked, over 30 minutes later, he still did nothing to assist the military’s response to the crisis and instead hurried outside to the crash site, simply to inspect the damage and help carry a stretcher. By the time that he became involved in defending his country, the terrorist attacks were over.

Rumsfeld, as secretary of defense, had important responsibilities that day. And yet he repeatedly ignored the appeals of colleagues when they tried to get him involved with the military’s response to the attacks. Remarkably, he rejected the advice of two aides to abandon his usual activities because, he told them, if he did so, “the terrorists have won.”

Some government and military officials, as well as journalists, have criticized Rumsfeld for effectively deserting his post at such a critical time, when he should have been focused on preventing possible further attacks. These commentators have made clear how unusual and unacceptable his actions were.

In light of what is known about the defense secretary’s actions on September 11, we need to consider whether Rumsfeld’s behavior while the 9/11 attacks were taking place was simply due to negligence and recklessness or the result of something more disturbing. Might Rumsfeld perhaps have known in advance what was going to happen on September 11?

If he had foreknowledge of 9/11, he would presumably have known he could get away with abandoning his responsibilities as secretary of defense while America was under attack. And if he knew what the targets would be, he would have known that the area of the building where his office was located would not be hit when the Pentagon was attacked, which meant it was safe for him to continue with his intelligence briefing. He would also have known there would be no second attack on the Pentagon and so he could safely go to the crash site after the building was hit.

Official investigations have failed to thoroughly probe Rumsfeld’s actions on September 11 and the media have never inquired why the secretary of defense acted so inappropriately in response to the terrorist attacks. It is important, therefore, that we now closely examine what Rumsfeld did that day.

RUMSFELD THOUGHT THE FIRST CRASH WAS A ‘TRAGIC ACCIDENT’

Donald Rumsfeld was hosting a breakfast meeting in his private dining room at the Pentagon, attended by several members of Congress, when the first hijacked plane–American Airlines Flight 11–crashed into the World Trade Center, at 8:46 a.m. on September 11. [1]

He learned of the crash shortly after it occurred when Larry Di Rita, his special assistant, sent him a note telling him what had happened. [2] Vice Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, his senior military assistant, received the note and passed the message on to him while he was in the meeting. He assumed the incident was a “tragic accident,” he has recalled, and took no action in response to the news. His meeting apparently therefore continued until 9:00 a.m., when it was scheduled to end. [3]

He then went to his office for his intelligence briefing. [4] Giambastiani turned on the television and he then started watching the coverage of the burning World Trade Center. [5]

RUMSFELD WENT AHEAD WITH HIS INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING, DESPITE KNOWING AMERICA WAS UNDER ATTACK

Rumsfeld received a daily intelligence briefing, similar to the one provided to the president each morning. [6] The briefing on September 11 was scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and was going to be delivered by DeNeige (“Denny”) Watson, an analyst with the CIA. [7]

Watson learned of the first crash at the World Trade Center when she arrived at the Pentagon that morning and saw people watching the coverage of it on television. She learned of the second crash, and presumably realized that America was under attack, before she went in to brief Rumsfeld, seeing the incident live on television, at 9:03 a.m., in the anteroom of Rumsfeld’s office. She immediately called the operations center at CIA headquarters and asked what people there knew about what was going on. She was told there were 50 airborne planes still unaccounted for.

In light of what was happening, Watson apparently expected Rumsfeld to cancel his schedule so he could focus on responding to the crisis. As she was about to go into his office, she “declined to even open her briefcase to pull out the PDB [President’s Daily Brief], figuring it had been overtaken by events,” author David Priess described. The secretary of defense, though, was determined to go ahead with the briefing.

Inside Rumsfeld’s office, Watson relayed what she had been told by the CIA’s operations center. And yet, while this information surely indicated that more attacks might be imminent, Rumsfeld just nodded his head and started flipping through the copy of the PDB she had brought with her. [8]

RUMSFELD WAS DETERMINED TO STICK TO HIS SCHEDULE

Around this time, while he was receiving the briefing, Rumsfeld was told about the second crash by Edmund Giambastiani. “Someone came in and said that another plane had hit a different tower of the World Trade Center,” Rumsfeld recalled. [9] “I went in and informed the secretary [of the second crash],” Giambastiani said. [10] At that point, “it became clear that it was more than an accident,” Rumsfeld commented. [11] “We knew there was a problem here,” Giambastiani stated. [12] All the same, Rumsfeld continued with the briefing as if nothing unusual had happened.

Minutes after Watson entered the office, two of Rumsfeld’s aides came in: Victoria Clarke, Rumsfeld’s spokeswoman, and Larry Di Rita.

Clarke had been in her office at the Pentagon when she learned of the first crash from seeing the coverage of it on television. She’d called Di Rita to discuss the incident and, as the two were talking, they saw United Airlines Flight 175–the second hijacked plane–crashing into the World Trade Center live on their TVs. Realizing this was “clearly a terrorist attack of some kind,” Clarke headed to Di Rita’s office, down the hallway from Rumsfeld’s office.

On the way, she made some notes about what needed to be done in response to the crisis, such as contacting the president, the vice president, and the director of the CIA. She and Di Rita then went together to Rumsfeld’s office to discuss “the kinds of things [Rumsfeld] needed to do in response to this,” Clarke recalled. [13] Upon entering the office, they told Rumsfeld what they knew about the terrorist attacks and that the crisis management process was starting up. [14]

Clarke and Di Rita wanted Rumsfeld to cancel his schedule, presumably so he could focus on responding to the attacks. “Sir, I think your entire schedule is going to be different today,” Di Rita said. [15] But Rumsfeld refused to change his plans. [16]

He told them to go to the Pentagon’s Executive Support Center (ESC), which was well equipped to deal with crisis, and said he would join them later. At that time, he “wanted to make a few phone calls,” Clarke recalled. The two aides therefore left the office and headed to the ESC. [17] Rumsfeld, meanwhile, went back to skimming through the PDB. [18]

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By Jacob G. Hornberger
May 27, 2017
Information Clearing House

– Just consider the accusations that have been leveled at the president:

He has betrayed the Constitution, which he swore to uphold.
He has committed treason by befriending Russia and other enemies of America.
He has subjugated America’s interests to Moscow.
He has been caught in fantastic lies to the American people, including personal ones, like his previous marriage and divorce.

President Donald Trump?

No, President John F. Kennedy.

What lots of Americans don’t realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or “collusion with,” Russia pales compared to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous “crime” of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship.

They hated him for it. They abused him. They insulted him. They belittled him. They called him naïve. They said he was a traitor.

All of the nasties listed above, plus more, were contained in an advertisement and a flier that appeared in Dallas on the morning of November 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was assassinated. They can be read here and here.

Ever since then, some people have tried to make it seem like the advertisement and flier expressed only the feelings of extreme right-wingers in Dallas. That’s nonsense. They expressed the deeply held convictions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the conservative movement, and many people within the mainstream media and Washington establishment.

In June 1963, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at American University, now entitled the “Peace Speech.” It was one of the most remarkable speeches ever delivered by an American president. It was broadcast all across the communist Soviet Union, the first time that had ever been done.

In the speech, Kennedy announced that he was bringing an end to the Cold War and the mindset of hostility toward Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union that the U.S. national-security establishment had inculcated in the minds of the American people ever since the end of World War II.

It was a radical notion and, as Kennedy well understood, a very dangerous one insofar as he was concerned. The Cold War against America’s World War II partner and ally had been used to convert the United States from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, one consisting of a vast, permanent military establishment, the CIA, and the NSA, along with their broad array of totalitarian-like powers, such as assassination, regime change, coups, invasions, torture, surveillance, and the like. Everyone was convinced that the Cold War — and the so-called threat from the international communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Russia — would last forever, which would naturally mean permanent and ever-increasing largess for what Kennedy’s predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, had called the “military-industrial complex.”

Suddenly, Kennedy was upending the Cold War apple cart by threatening to establish a relationship of friendship and peaceful coexistence with Russia, the rest of the Soviet Union, and Cuba.

Kennedy knew full well that his actions were considered by some to be a grave threat to “national security.” After all, don’t forget that it was Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him ousted from power by the CIA and presumably targeted for assassination as part of that regime-change operation. It was Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that made him the target of Pentagon and CIA regime-change operations, including through invasion, assassination, and sanctions. It was Congo leader’s Patrice Lamumba’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted for assassination by the CIA. It would be Chilean President Salvador Allende’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted in a CIA-instigated coup in Chile that resulted in Allende’s death.

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By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research
May 27, 2017

This article reviews the “mysterious” phenomenon of IDs and Passports of terror suspects routinely discovered (often in the rubble) in the wake of a terrorist attack.

In most cases the alleged suspect was known to the authorities.

Is there a pattern? The ID papers of the suspect are often left behind, discovered by police in the wake of a terrorist attack.

According to government and media reports, the suspects are without exception linked to an Al Qaeda affiliated entity.

None of these terror suspects survived. Dead men do not talk.

In the case of the tragic events in Manchester, the bankcard of the alleged suicide bomber Salman Abedi was found in his pocket in the wake of the explosion.

Legitimacy of the official stories? The UK is both a “victim of terrorism” as well as a “State sponsor of terrorism”. Without exception, the governments of the Western countries victims of terror attacks, have supported, directly or indirectly, the Al Qaeda group of terrorist organizations including the Islamic State (ISIS), which are allegedly responsible for waging these terror attacks. Amply documented Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA.

Below is a review of the circumstances and evidence pertaining to passports and IDs discovered in the wake of selected terror attacks, with links to Global Research articles and media reports (2001-2017). (This list is by no means exhaustive)

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9/11 Terror Attacks: September 11, 2001

Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11. By David Ray Griffin, September 11, 2016

9/11 Truth and the Joint Congressional Inquiry: 28 Pages of Misdirection on the Role of Saudi Arabia. By Dick Atlee and Ken Freeland, September 11, 2015

For years the 9/11 Truth movement (9TM) has been vainly pleading with ….. FBI agent Dan Coleman explains how the passport of 9/11 hijacker …

9/11 Contradictions: Mohamed Atta’s Mitsubishi and His Luggage. By David Ray Griffin, May 09, 2008

9/11 Contradictions: Mohamed Atta’s Mitsubishi and His Luggage … It also contained a Saudi passport, an international driver’s license, …

“In the official version for 9/11 the FBI claimed that they found the unscathed passport of one of the pilots near one of the towers that were reduced to ashes by explosions whose heat melted even the steel columns in the buildings’ structure. The fourth plane’s crash near Shanksville also yielded a passport which, though scorched, still made it possible to read the person’s first name and surname and to see his ID photo. This is all the more disturbing as nothing at all was left in the crater, no part of the plane or of the people travelling in it, only this partly scorched passport.

Confirmed by Dan Rather CBS News, “a passerby found the passport of one of the hijackers” on the street just hours after the 9/11 attacks. (Video at 1′.23″)

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A Washington think tank calls for more of the same failed intervention.

By Andrew J. Bacevich
May 26, 2017
The American Conservative

The election of Donald Trump as president last year represented, among many other things, a rebuke to the foreign-policy establishment. After a quarter-century of giving “America über Alles” a try, voters opted for a candidate who promised to put “America First.”

That establishment—which Obama administration staffer Ben Rhodes memorably referred to as the “Blob”—now offers a rebuttal of sorts. The rebuttal comes in the form of a report issued by the august Brookings Institution. Bearing the title Building “Situations of Strength,” the document is at once pretentious, proudly nonpartisan, and utterly vacuous. Yet in its way, it is also instructive. Here in a glossy 66-page publication is compelling evidence of the terminal decline now afflicting an establishment whose leading lights fancy themselves as the designated heirs of George C. Marshall and Dean Acheson. To see just how brain dead the Blob has become, Building “Situations of Strength”—hereinafter referred to Building Situations, or simply BS—is an essential text.

Conferring the Washington equivalent of a nihil obstat, Brookings President Strobe Talbott introduces the report, which, in his estimation, “provides a deep dive” and “pulls no punches,” while offering “in-depth analysis” and proposing an “innovative, bipartisan approach” to U.S. foreign policy. Better still, according to Talbott, Building Situations draws on the “immense intellectual capital” available at Brookings and similar institutions nearby.

Yet strip away the clichés and the self-regard and you end up with this: an exercise in avoiding critical engagement with recent U.S. policy failures, offered by a group of like-minded insiders intent on propping up the status quo.

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May 25, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts

Years ago James Jesus Angleton left me with the impression that when an intelligence agency, such as the CIA, pulls off an assassination, bombing, or any event with which the agency does not wish to be associated, the agency uses the media to control the explanation by quickly putting into place a cover story that, along with several others, has been prepared in advance. I suggested that the new story that “the Saudis did 9/11” was put into play to take the place of the worn and battered first cover story. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/20/is-the-saudi-911-story-part-of-the-deception-paul-craig-roberts/

When the Oswald cover story for JFK’s assassination came under heavy suspicion http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/05/24/jfk-100-paul-craig-roberts/, other cover stories appeared in the media. One was that the Mafia killed JFK, because he was having affairs with their molls.

The fact that it made no sense did not stop many from believing it. It did not occur to people more gullible than thoughtful that a gangster would simply get another woman and not take the risk of assassinating the US president over a woman. The last thing the Mafia would want would be for Attorney General Robert Kennedy to bring the law down on the Mafia like a ton of bricks.

Another cover story was that Castro did it. This made even less sense. JFK had nixed the Joint Chiefs/CIA plan to invade Cuba, and he had refused air cover to the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion. JFK would certainly not be on Castro’s hit list.

Another cover story was that Lyndon Johnson was behind Kennedy’s assassination. As I wrote, there is no doubt that LBJ covered up the Joint Chiefs/CIA/Secret Service plot against JFK, as any president would have done, because the alternative was to destroy the American people’s confidence in the US military and security agencies. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court also covered up the plot, as did the Warren Commission, the media, and the Congress.

The “Johnson did it” story is the most preposterous of all. The Joint Chiefs, CIA, Secret Service, Chief Justice, Congress, and Media are not going to participate in the murder of a President and its coverup just for the sake of the VP’s personal ambition. The idea that so many strong institutions would permit a VP to murder a President for no reason other than the personal ambition of the VP is beyond absurdity.

Speaking of cover stories, I wonder if that is what we are witnessing in the leaked information to the New York Times about the Manchester Bombing. The only point of the leak is to set the story in place. The British complaints about the leaked information serve to disguise the leak’s purpose.

Setting a story in place early crowds out other explanations. Remember, the government claims to have had no warning of 9/11 but knew instantly who did it and set the story in place. The same for the Paris events, the Nice event, the Boston Marathon bombing, and I think all the others.

Authorities quickly come up with a story and names of those responsible. The alleged perpetrators or patsies, take your choice, are always dead and, thereby, unable to deny that they did it or say who put them up to it. The only exception that comes to mind is the younger brother who has been associated with the Boston Marathon bombing. Despite two police attempts to shoot him to death, he inconveniently survived, but has never been seen or heard from. As his orchestrated trial, his court appointed attorney confessed for him, and the jury convicted on her confession.

Remember, Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby before Oswald was questioned by police. There is no explanation for an armed private citizen being inside the jail with Oswald and positioned to shoot him at close range. Clearly, Oswald was not to be permitted to give his story. And no patsie since has either.

May 24, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts

This Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, is the 100th birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.

JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963, as he approached the end of his third year in office. Researchers who spent years studying the evidence have concluded that President Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy between the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secret Service. (See, for example, JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass)

Kennedy entered office as a cold warrior, but he learned from his interaction with the CIA and Joint Chiefs that the military/security complex had an agenda that was self-interested and a danger to humanity. He began working to defuse tensions with the Soviet Union. His rejections of plans to invade Cuba, of the Northwoods project, of a preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, and his intention to withdraw from Vietnam after his reelection, together with some of his speeches signaling a new approach to foreign policy in the nuclear age (see for example, https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/BWC7I4C9QUmLG9J6I8oy8w.aspx ), convinced the military/security complex that he was a threat to their interests. Cold War conservatives regarded him as naive about the Soviet Threat and a liability to US national security. These were the reasons for his assassination. These views were set in stone when Kennedy announced on June 10, 1963, negotiations with the Soviets toward a nuclear test ban treaty and a halt to US atmospheric nuclear tests.

The Oswald coverup story never made any sense and was contradicted by all evidence including tourist films of the assassination. President Johnson had ro cover up the assassination, not because he was part of it or because he willfully wanted to deceive the American people, but because to give Americans the true story would have shaken their confidence in their government at a critical time in US-Soviet relations. To make the coverup succeed, Johnson needed the credibility of the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Earl Warren, to chair the commission that covered up the assassination. Warren understood the devastating impact the true story would have on the public and their confidence in the military and national security leadership and on America’s allies.

As I previously reported, Lance deHaven-Smith in his book, Conspiracy Theory in America, shows that the CIA introduced “conspiracy theory” into the political lexicon as a technique to discredit skepticism of the Warren Commission’s coverup report. He provides the CIA document that describes how the agency used its media friends to control the explanation.

The term “conspiracy theory” has been used ever since to validate false explanations by discrediting true explanations.

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May 23, 2017
By Paul Craig Roberts


Those of us who have exited The Matrix are concerned that there are no checks on Washington’s use of nuclear weapons in the interest of US hegemony over the world.

Washington and Israel are the threats to peace. Washington demands world hegemony, and Israel demands hegemony in the Middle East.

There are two countries that stand in the way of Washington’s world hegemony—Russia and China. Consequently, Washington has plans for preemptive nuclear strikes against both countries. It is difficult to imagine a more serious threat to mankind, and there is no awareness or acknowledgment of this threat among the Congress, the presstitute media, and the general public in the United States and Washington’s European vassal populations.

Two countries and a part of a third stand in the way of Greater Israel. Israel wants the water resources of southern Lebanon, but cannot get them, despite twice sending in the Israeli Army, because of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, which is supplied by Syria and Iran. This is why Syria and Iran are on Washington’s hit list. Washington serves the military/security complex, Wall Street and the over-sized US banks, and Israel.

It is unclear if the Russians and Chinese understand that Washington’s hostility toward them is not just some sort of misunderstanding that diplomacy can work out.

Clearly, Russia hasn’t interfered in the US presidential election or invaded Ukraine, and does not intend to invade Poland or the Baltics. Russia let go the Soviet empire and is glad to see it gone, as the empire was expensive and of little benefit. The Soviet Eastern European empire comprised Stalin’s buffer against another Western invasion. The Warsaw Pact had no offensive meaning. It was not the beginning, as misrepresented in Washington, of Soviet world domination.

I see a lack of clarity about the threat that Russia faces in Russian media reports and articles posted on Russian English language websites. I see a lack of clarity in Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s continued efforts to work out an accommodation with Washington. How can Lavrov work out an accommodation with Washington when Washington intends to dominate or isolate Russia?

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Why sources and methods matter more than the material itself.

By Philip Giraldi
May 16, 2017
The American Conservative

Intelligence agencies and senior government officials tend to use a lot of jargon. Laced with acronyms, this language sometimes does not translate very well into journalese when it hits the media.

For example, I experienced a sense of disorientation two weeks ago over the word “sensitive” as used by several senators, Sally Yates, and James Clapper during committee testimony into Russiagate. “Sensitive” has, of course, a number of meanings. But what astonished me was how quickly the media interpreted its use in the hearings to mean that the conversations and emails that apparently were recorded or intercepted involving Trump associates and assorted Russians as “sensitive contacts” meant that they were necessarily inappropriate, dangerous, or even illegal.

When Yates and Clapper were using “sensitive” thirteen times in the 86 page transcript of the Senate hearings, they were referring to the medium rather than the message. They were both acknowledging that the sources of the information were intelligence related, sometimes referred to as “sensitive” by intelligence professionals and government insiders as a shorthand way to describe that they are “need to know” material derived from either classified “methods” or foreign-liaison partners. That does not mean that the information contained is either good or bad or even true or false, but merely a way of expressing that the information must be protected because of where it came from or how it was developed, hence the “sensitivity.”

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National-security officials may see themselves as patriots, but their methods set a dangerous precedent.

By Philip Giraldi
May 18, 2017
The American Conservative

Back in my time in the CIA, there were two places in the headquarters building one could go that were free speech zones—places where it was safe to vent about senior management without necessarily being admonished or even reported. They were the Historical Intelligence Collection room off the library, where no one ever went to look at the books, and the office supplies storage room in the basement. The supplies room had a lot of dark corners and concealing shelves where it was possible to be anonymous and it was completely unsupervised in the belief that true-blue CIA officers would never stoop to taking even a single pencil more than was actually needed to get the job done.

I don’t know if those rooms still exist, but I sometimes think of them when the subject of government conspiracies come up. I have this vision of two or three conspirators huddled in the corner behind the staplers back in 1975 discussing how one would go about eliminating the likes of Senator Frank Church, who at that time was heading a major congressional investigation into CIA improprieties.

If there had been such a gathering, I would imagine that the Washington Post would have found out about it on the next day as intelligence officers are gregarious and like to talk. This has been my principal problem with the debate in some quarters about the 9/11 Commission. Their report did indeed miss many important angles in order to protect certain governmental interests, but if there had been a genuine conspiracy involving what must have been hundreds of people to demolish the Twin Towers with explosives, it surely would have leaked long ago.

Two months ago, I would have dismissed as fantasy any thoughts of a conspiracy based in America’s national security agencies to bring down Donald Trump. But now I am not so sure. Many of my friends who are former intelligence officers are increasingly asking questions. It is worth pointing out that none of us are fans of what the White House has been doing and saying—quite the contrary. Still, alerting the country to concerns over what might be a developing soft coup orchestrated by the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to nullify the results of a national election in no way equates to trying to protect Donald Trump and his uncouth and ill-informed behavior. It is rather a defense of the Constitution.

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