“Terrorism is aimed at the people watching, not at the actual victims. Terrorism is theater… The normal objective of state or official terrorism is to enforce obedience and cooperation… Success demands the creation of an atmosphere of fear and the seeming omnipresence of the internal security apparatus.”
– Brian Michael Jenkins, International Terrorism: A New Kind of Warfare, Rand Corporation, June 1974
Source: Brian Michael Jenkins, “International Terrorism: A New Kind of Warfare,” Rand Corporation, June 1974
“Terrorism is theater.” – Brian Michael Jenkins
For many years prior to 9/11, two Americans were in unique positions to originate and frame the national conversation about terrorism. Those same two people, Brian Michael Jenkins and L. Paul Bremer, played extraordinary roles related to aviation security and World Trade Center (WTC) security in the few years before the 9/11 attacks. Could Bremer and Jenkins have been front men for a program that hyped the threat of terrorism while at the same time manufacturing terrorist events for political purposes?
If so, it would not have been the first time that the American people were subject to the hard sell of a threat to national security only to discover that the threat was overblown or non-existent. The Soviet military threat to the U.S. after World War II is now widely known to have been a fabrication hyped for political and financial gains.
The propaganda that drove the Cold War was effective in establishing government policy primarily because it was effective in framing the national conversation about what threats were important to consider, and in controlling the media. The same has been true for the propaganda driving the War on Terror. A short review of the people and reports that promoted the Soviet communist threat is helpful in understanding the “Islamic terrorist” threat that has evolved from it.
The Communist Threat and State-sponsored Terrorism
One man, Paul Nitze, was behind the three most important reports that promoted the perception of a Soviet threat against the United States after World War II. The first of these reports, NSC68, was instrumental in changing the policy of the Truman Administration, which initially did not perceive the Soviets as a major threat. The second Nitze report was the Gaither Report that, in 1957, said the U.S. had fallen behind the Soviets in nuclear weaponry.
As an investment banker turned top government policy maker, Nitze was clearly a powerful man. Author Burton Hersh has said that Nitze was one of two people who met quarterly in Frank Wisner’s office to select the missions that would be approved for The Office of Policy Coordination, the CIA’s early covert operations group.
Nitze was also the founder of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD). This was a political action group that brought about the remilitarization of the U.S. in the 1950s by promoting the ideas in NSC68. CPD was resurrected in 1975 and 1976 by Cold War hawks, including Donald Rumsfeld, who wanted to eliminate the policy of détente and Soviet containment in favor of another military build-up. The group was resurrected yet again in 2004 to promote a more aggressive War on Terror.
Author Peter Dale Scott noted a significant difference in process between the first incarnation of the CPD and the second. As Scott wrote, the first CPD was created by a consensus within the state to mobilize against a Soviet threat that was open to misunderstanding at the time. The second iteration, however, “was mounted in opposition to a government policy that threatened to establish a more peaceful and less militarized world. In short, the interests being defended were not those of the nation but of the military-industrial complex itself.”
Nitze became the Secretary of the Navy in 1963, serving until 1967, and therefore he was in that position at the time of the 1964 Tonkin Gulf incident. The resulting Gulf of Tonkin Resolution brought the U.S. military into Vietnam based on claims about an attack on U.S. Navy vessels. Government records, produced as early as 1968, indicate that Nitze was responsible for suppressing documents that proved the Tonkin Gulf claims made by the U.S. Navy were false. The U.S. ships were never attacked.
Despite these troubling facts, Nitze went on to serve as Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1967 to 1969. His boss, Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, essentially left the management of the DOD to Nitze. But it was Clifford who authored the official report on the 1967 U.S.S. Liberty attack. Clifford’s report found that the Israeli military was negligent but that the aggression against the Liberty was not pre-meditated. Many of the survivors maintain that it was deliberate. Clifford went on to infamy as a leading figure in the terrorist-financing Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
In 1969, Nitze and his mentor, Dean Acheson, began to tutor aspiring politicos that had been recommended by their colleague Albert Wohlstetter of the University of Chicago and the RAND Corporation. Under Nitze’s supervision, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz had their introduction to the workings and power structure of the U.S. government.
The Tonkin Gulf non-event was undoubtedly an example of false flag manipulation for political purposes and the Liberty incident appears to have been a major cover-up of an attack upon U.S. servicemen. State-sponsored terrorism was already a well-established fact by then, however. For example, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a plan called Operation Northwoods in 1962.
Operation Northwoods called “for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. [This would provide] the public and international backing they needed to launch their war.” The signed documents are available today and because of this we know that high level U.S. government representatives conspire, on occasion, to commit crimes against the American people for the purpose of starting wars.
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CONCERNING KEVIN RYAN THE AUTHOR OF THE ABOVE ALSO SEE:
Open Letter to Kevin Ryan about Israel and 9/11 BY CHRISTPHER BOLLYN.