cyber blame game: After Sept. 11, conspiracy theories abound on
January 22, 2002
UK's Bin Laden dossier in full
Net Stolen and Found
· The Arms Fixers:
Controlling the Brokers and Shipping Agents
|Stephan Lebert and Norbert Thomma|
"There are tracks like those of a stampeding herd of
The first suspicion came to him when he was in the German
Parliament. Intelligence agencies were his theme. Andreas von Bülow
believes them capable of the worst: involvement in the attacks on New
He was Minister for Research and Technology in
the cabinet of [former German Chancellor] Helmut Schmidt, and was for 25
years an SPD member of the German parliament. While serving on a committee
investigating the Schalck-Golodkowski affair [a corruption scandal
involving the former East German intelligence service] Andreas von Bülow,
64, experienced the work of intelligence agencies, and subsequently wrote
a book on this subject, Im Namen des Staates (In the Name of the
State). Von Bülow is currently a lawyer in Bonn.
You seem so angry, really enraged.
can explain what has me upset: I see that after the horrible attacks of
September 11th all political public opinion is being pushed in a direction
that I consider false.
What do you mean by that?
I wonder why many questions are not asked. Normally with
such a terrible thing, various clues and evidence appear that are then
commented on by the investigators, the media, the government: Is something
up here or not? Are the explanations plausible? This time, this is not the
case at all. It began just a few hours after the attacks in New York and
Washington and ...
In those hours, there was horror, and
Right, but actually it was astounding: There are
26 intelligence services in the U.S.A., with a budget of $30 billion ...
More than the German defense budget.
... which were not able to prevent the attacks. In fact,
they didn't even have an inkling they would happen. For sixty decisive
minutes, the military and intelligence agencies let the fighter planes
stay on the ground; 48 hours later, however, the FBI presented a list of
[alleged] suicide attackers. Within ten days it emerged that seven of them
were still alive.
And why did the FBI chief take no position regarding the contradictions?
Where the list came from, why it was false? If I were the lead prosecutor
in such a case I would regularly go before the public, and give
information on which leads are valid and which not.
U.S. government talked about an emergency situation after the attacks:
They said they were at war. Isn't it understandable that one does not
share with the enemy everything one knows about him?
Naturally. But a government that goes to war must first
ascertain procedurally who the attacker, the enemy, is. It has a duty to
provide evidence. According to its [the U.S. government's] own admission,
it has not been able to present any evidence that would hold up in court.
Some information on the perpetrators has been documented
through investigation. The suspected leader, Mohammad Atta, left Portland
for Boston on the morning of September 11th in order to board the plane
that later hit the World Trade Center.
If this Atta was
the crucial man in the operation, it's still strange that he took such a
risk -- taking a plane that would reach Boston such a short time before
the connecting flight. Had his flight been delayed a few minutes he would
not have been on the plane that was hijacked. Why would a sophisticated
terrorist do that? One can, by the way, read on CNN's website that none of
these names were on the official passenger lists. None of them had gone
through any one of the four the check-in procedures. And why did none of
the threatened pilots key in the prearranged code 7700 over the steering
controls to the ground station? Moreover, the flight voice and data
recorders, which are fire and shock proof, contain no data that can be
That sounds like ...
like assailants who, in their preparations, leave tracks behind them like
a herd of stampeding elephants? They made payments with credit cards in
their own names; they reported to their flight instructors with their true
names. They left behind rented cars with Arab-language flight manuals for
jumbo jets. They took with them, on their [alleged] suicide trip, wills
and farewell letters, which fall into the hands of the FBI, because they
were stowed improperly or addressed incorrectly. Clues were left to follow
like in a child's game. There is also the theory of one British flight
engineer: According to this, the steering was perhaps taken out of the
pilots' hands from outside the planes. The Americans had developed a
method in the 1970s whereby they could rescue hijacked planes by taking
over the flight computer. This theory says the technique was abused in
this case. That's a theory
Which sounds really wild, and
was never actually considered.
Look. I do not subscribe
to this theory, but I find it worth considering. And what about the
obscure stock transactions? In the week prior to the attacks, the
transaction volume in American Airlines, United Airlines, and insurance
industry stock, increased 1,200%. It was valued at around $15 billion.
Some people must have known something. Who?
Why don't you
With the help of the horrifying attacks, the
Western mass democracies were subjected to brainwashing. The bogeyman of
anti-communism doesn't work any more; it is to be replaced by people of
Islamic faith. They are accused of having given birth to suicidal
Brainwashing? That's a strong term.
Yes? But the idea of the bogeyman doesn't come from me. It
comes from Zbigniew Brzezinski and Samuel Huntington, two masterminds of
American intelligence and foreign policy. In the mid-1990s Huntingon
believed that people in Europe and the U.S. needed someone they could hate
- this would strengthen their identification with their own society. And
Brzezinski, the mad dog, as adviser to President Jimmy Carter, campaigned
for the exclusive right of the U.S. to seize all the raw materials of the
world, especially oil and gas.
You mean, the events of
September 11th ...
... fit perfectly in the concept of
the armaments industry, the intelligence agencies, the whole
military-industrial-academic complex. This is in fact obvious. The huge
raw materials reserves of the former Soviet Union are now at their [the
U.S.'s] disposal, also the pipeline routes and ...
Follach described that in great detail in Der Spiegel: "It's a
matter of military bases, drugs, oil and gas reserves."
I can state: the planning of the attacks was a technical and
organizational feat. To hijack four huge airplanes within a few minutes,
and within one hour to guide them into their targets with complicated
flight maneuvers! This is unthinkable without support from secret
apparatuses of the state and industry over a number of years.
You are a conspiracy theorist!
yeah. That's the jeer of those who would rather follow the official,
politically correct line. Even investigative journalists are fed
propaganda and disinformation. Anyone who doubts that, doesn't have all
his marbles! Nonetheless that's their accusation.
career actually contradicts the idea that you are not in your right mind.
In the mid-1970s you were state secretary in the Defense Ministry; in 1993
you were the SPD [Social Democratic Party] spokesman on the
Schalck-Golodkowski investigation committee ...
[Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski was the deputy foreign trade
minister of the former German Democracic Republic (East Germany). He
controlled IMES, a state owned company that was at the center of an
international smuggling network with secret bank accounts and shell
companies in West Germany, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Swedish customs
officials exposed IMES arms smuggling activites in 1985. Years later,
however, IMES was still in operation, and was reportedly used by western
intelligence agencies to provide arms to Central America, including during
the U.S. Iran-Contra scandal. Schalck-Golodkowski himself was only charged
with import export violations, and embezzlement. He was sentenced to a
year in prison for the first charge, and eventually acquitted of the
second. Reference: The Arms Fixers, by Brian Wood and Johan
Peleman, a publication of the Norwegian
Initiative on Small Arms Transfers.]
And it all
began there! Until that time, I did not have any great familiarity with
the work of intelligence agencies. And now we had to expose a great
discrepancy: We shed light on the dealings of the Stasi and other East
bloc intelligence agencies in the area of economic criminality, but as
soon as we wanted to know something about the activities of the BND
[Bundesnachrichtendienst, German intelligence] or the CIA, it was
mercilessly blocked. No information, no cooperation, nothing! That's when
I was first taken aback.
among other things, various business deals abroad. When you looked at his
case more closely ...
We found, for example, a clue in
Rostock, where Schalck organized his weapons depot. Well, then we happened
upon an affiliate of Schalck in Panama, and then we happened upon Manuel
Noriega, who was for many years president, drug dealer, and money
launderer, all in one, right? And this Noriega was also on the payroll of
the CIA, for $200,000 a year. These were things that really made me
You wrote a book on the dealings of the CIA and
Co. In the meantime, you have become an expert regarding what was
noteworthy about intelligence services' work.
"Noteworthy" is the wrong term. What has gone on, and goes
on, in the name of intelligence services, are true crimes.
What would you say determines the first line of work of
So that we don't misunderstand
each other: I find that it makes sense to have intelligence services ...
You don't think much of the earlier proposals by the
Greens, who wanted to dismantle these agencies?
is right to take a look behind the scenes. Getting intelligence about the
intentions of an enemy, makes sense. It is important when one tries to put
oneself into the mind of the opponent. Whoever wants to understand the
CIA's methods, has to deal with its main tasks covert operations:
below the level of war, and outside international law, foreign states are
to be influenced by inciting insurrections or terrorist attacks, usually
combined with drugs and weapons trade, and money laundering. This is
essentially rather simple: One arms violent people with weapons. Since,
however, it must not under any circumstances come out that there is an
intelligence agency behind it, all traces are erased, with tremendous
deployment of resources. I have the impression that this kind of
intelligence agency spends 90% of its time this way: creating false leads.
So that if anyone suspects the collaboration of the agencies, he is
accused of paranoia [literally: the sickness of conspiracy madness]. The
truth often comes out only years later. CIA chief Allen Dulles once said:
In case of doubt, I would even lie to the Congress!
American journalist Seymour M. Hersh, wrote in the New Yorker that
even some people in the CIA and government assumed that certain leads had
been laid in order to confuse the investigators. Who, Herr von Bülow,
would have done this?
I don't know that either. How
should I? I simply use my healthy common sense, and observe: The
terrorists behaved in such a way to attract attention. And although devout
Muslims, they were in a striptease bar, and, while drunk, stuck dollar
bills into the dancer's panties.
Things like that also
It may be. As a lone warrior, I cannot prove
anything, that's beyond my capabilities. I have real difficulties,
however, to imagine that all this was all concocted in the mind of a
single evil man in his cave.
Mr. von Bülow, you yourself
say that you are alone in your criticism. Formerly, you belonged to the
political establishment, now you are an outsider.
is a problem sometimes, but one gets used to it. By the way, I know a lot
of people, including very influential ones, who agree with me in private.
[literally: behind a hand held up].
Do you still have
contact with old SPD fellow-travelers, such as Egon Bahr and former
Chancellor Helmut Schmidt?
There are no close contacts
any more. I wanted to go to the last SPD party congress, but I was sick.
Can it be, Mr. von Bülow, that you are peddling typical
Nonsense, this has absolutely nothing
to do with anti-Americanism. I am a great admirer of this great, open,
free society, and always have been. I studied in the U.S.
How did you get the idea that there could be a link
between the attacks and the American intelligence agencies?
Do you remember the first attack on the World Trade Center
In that attack a bomb killed six people and
wounded over a thousand.
In the middle of it was the
bomb maker, a former Egyptian officer. He had brought together some
Muslims for the attack. Despite a State Department prohibition on their
entry, the CIA piloted them into the country. At the same time, the leader
of the band was an FBI informant. And he made a deal with the authorities:
At the last minute, a harmless powder would replace the dangerous
explosive material. The FBI did not stick to the deal. The bomb exploded,
so to speak, with the knowledge of the FBI. The official account was
quickly found: The criminals were evil Muslims.
in Helmut Schmidt's cabinet when Soviet soldiers marched into Afghanistan.
What was it like, then?
The Americans pushed for trade
sanctions, they demanded the boycott of the Olympic games in Moscow ...
... which the German government joined ...
And today we know: It was the strategy of the American
security adviser, Brzezinski, to destabilize the Soviet Union from
adjoining Muslim countries: They lured the Russians into Afghanistan, and
then prepared for them a hell on earth, their Vietnam. With decisive
support of the U.S. intelligence agencies at least 30,000 Muslim fighters
were trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan, total good-for-nothings and
fanatics who were, and still are today, ready for anything. And one of
them is Osama bin Laden. I wrote years ago: "It was out of this brood that
the Taliban grew up in Afghanistan, raised in the Koranic schools financed
by American and Saudi funds, the Taliban who are now terrorizing the
country and razing it to the ground."
Even though you
say, for the U.S. it was a matter of raw materials in the region, the
starting point for the U.S. aggression was the terrorist attack which cost
thousands of human lives.
Completely true. One must
always call this gruesome act to mind. Nonetheless, in the analysis of
political processes, I am allowed to observe who has advantages and
disadvantages from it, or what is coincidental. When in doubt, it is
always worthwhile to take a look at a map, where are the mineral resources
and the access routes? Then lay a map of civil wars and conflicts on top
of that - they coincide. This is also the case with the third map: nodal
points of the drug trade. Where this all comes together, the American
[intelligence] services are not far away. By the way, the Bush clan is
closely linked to the bin Laden family, through oil, gas, and weapons
What do you think of the Bin Laden videos?
When one is dealing with intelligence services, one can
imagine manipulations of the highest quality. Hollywood could provide the
technology. I consider the videos unsuitable for use as evidence.
You believe the CIA would do anything?
The CIA, in the interests of U.S. reasons of state, does not
have to abide by any statute in interventions abroad, is not obligated by
international law; only the President gives orders. There is terror, too,
because there are services like the CIA. And when funds are cut, and peace
is on the horizon, then a bomb goes off somewhere. In that way it is
demonstrated that you can't do without the intelligence services; and that
the critics are "nuts" as Father Bush called them, Bush who was once
President and director of the CIA. The U.S. spends $30 billion on
intelligence services, and $13 billion on the war on drugs. And what comes
out of that? The chief of a special unit of the strategic war on drugs
declared in despair, after 30 years of service, that in every big,
important drug case, the CIA came in and took it out of [his] hands.
Do you criticize the German government for its reaction
after September 11th?
No. To assume that the government
was independent in these questions would certainly be naive.
Herr von Bülow, what will you do now?
Absolutely nothing. My task ends with saying: it could not
have been that way. Search for the truth!
Thanks to John Chuckman of Yellow Times for pointing out this
interview. The original
appeared in the Berlin daily, Der Tagesspiegel on January 13,
2002. The translation and annotations were prepared by The Dubya