Surrealpolitik: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care

Author: Amy Baker Benjamin

Atlanta: Emory International Law Review (forthcoming) (2016)

Quick Summary

From the abstract: "Despite the impressive and serious body of literature that has emerged to suggest that 9/11 was a classic (if unprecedentedly monstrous) false-flag attack, international statesmen, following the lead of scholars, have acted as if there is no controversy whatsoever. This disconnect between the growing (alternative) evidentiary record of state responsibility for the attacks and the focus of international institutions is impossible to sustain if those institutions are to maintain any semblance of viability and meaning...[T]his article...shows that it is highly rational to question the official 9/11 account...Second, it analyzes the reasons why intellectual elites and the statesmen they influence are behaving irrationally...Third, it argues that the means for ceasing this irrational behavior is readily available, as the United Nations need only carry out its core and incontrovertible 'jury' function of determining the existence of aggression in order to exercise a long-overdue oversight of the official 9/11 narrative."


There are 14 quotes currently associated with this book.

Ask today for the legal basis of fighting a global "War on Terror" against groups that were not even in existence in 2001, and you will be handed a copy of the law passed just seven days after 9/11 authorizing the President to use force against the perpetrators and abettors of 9/11 (i.e., Al-Qaeda and the Taliban). Challenge the wisdom of fighting a "War on Terror" to the end of a second decade, and you will likely be chided for inviting a terror attack on par with, or even worse than, 9/11. From the standpoint of international law and international political morality, then, 9/11 presumes to shoulder the heaviest of loads: A monumental amount of war to date, with apparently a good deal of war still to come. We would do well to remind ourselves, however, that this shouldering is only as strong and effective as the claim of self-defense on which it is based. (page 3)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Terror, Conspiracy]
[D]espite the impressive body of serious literature that has emerged since 9/11 challenging the official version of the attacks and strongly suggesting that they were either perpetrated by elements of the U.S. Government or allowed by them to happen, neither the U.N. nor NATO has ever bestirred itself to re-visit the crucial issue of responsibility/authorship. This reluctance to ask hard questions in the halls of international institutions that are charged with the duty to "go there" and vet claims of national self-defense has unfortunately been matched -- non-discourse for non-discourse -- by the silence of scholars. (page 5)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Culture, Terror, Rationality, Conspiracy, American Exceptionalism]
Scholars specializing in international law or international relations, for example, have generated hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and books on 9/11, but almost all such studies assume the correctness of the core U.S. claim of self-defense and then proceed to nibble on issues that lie around its perimeter. Do the Laws of War apply to a "War on Terror" that features (on one side) non-state actors? Can the 9/11 attacks support a paradigm shift away from anticipatory self-defense to preventative self-defense? Can the torture of terror suspects be justified on a "warfare" approach to counterterrorism as opposed to a "crime" approach (and vice versa)? All good questions these, but they uniformly assume a (U.S.-Government-friendly) answer to the most pressing question of all: Was the United States the victim of attacks by others, or was 9/11 a false flag? If the latter, then these scholars are not merely feeding on downstream phenomenon; they are boxing at shadows projected onto the cave wall by a calculating and highly dangerous criminal elite. (page 6)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Terror, Conspiracy]
A good deal of academic ink has also been spilled studying 9/11 as a "conspiracy theory" phenomenon. The scholars who author this literature -- many of whom practice in the social sciences, but there are a few lawyers as well -- regard those who question the official version of 9/11 as "conspiracy theorists" who should not under any circumstances be engaged on their evidentiary claims but rather objectified and studied in an effort to ascertain the cause of their distemper. (page 6)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Terror, Conspiracy]
My main contention is that, however long Americans might domestically be prepared to live with a no-decision regarding the official 9/11 account, international law can no longer tolerate it. The core mission of the premier public international body -- the United Nations -- is to perform its "jury" function of determining whether an act of aggression has occurred...I will argue that officialdom and scholars appear to be in the grip of an intellectual formalism every bit as vise-like as the "Lochner-era Formalism" American law students are taught to frown upon and deride from the very first moment of their studies. This formalism functions in the nature of a gate-keeper, letting some ideas, issues and facts into our minds and (from there) into the public domain, whilst sternly barring others. As for what lies back of this formalism, lending it its terrible strength, two sadly plausible guesses emerge: fear and its handmaiden, corruption. (page 8-9)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Terror, Rationality, Myth, Conspiracy]
From the start of the Cold War through to the present day, international political and legal bodies have had to deal with many dodgy claims of self-defense. However, almost all such claims have involved acts of either anticipatory self-defense or collective self-defense/counter-intervention. This can obscure the fact that during a more distant time period -- namely, the twenty-year interregnum of the inter-war period and the immediate aftermath of World War II -- international concern was focused to a large extent on pretextual claims of self-defense based on false flag attacks. (page 10)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Terror, Rationality, Conspiracy]
It is sobering to recall that the first major crisis to strike the U.N.'s predecessor organization, the League of Nations, was an international invasion by one state of another based on a highly dubious claim of having been attacked. In 1931, Japan invaded the northeastern Chinese province of Manchuria, claiming that Chinese nationalists had sabotaged portions of a railway line controlled and operated by it near the city of Mukden. Though the explosion was so weak that it failed to destroy the track, the Japanese Army immediately accused Chinese dissidents of the attack and responded with a full-scale invasion that led to the occupation of Manchuria, and the installation of a puppet regime, within six months. Historian Walter LaFeber makes short work of any doubts as to what actually occurred:

"[Japanese]...officers claimed that the bomb had been set by the Chinese and even conveniently spread several Chinese bodies around the explosion site. But authorities in Tokyo and other world capitals quickly concluded that the army had blown up its own railway tracks as an excuse to conquer Manchuria."

Upon China's complaint of illegal aggression by Japan, the League of Nations seized itself of the matter and sent a commission to Manchuria to investigate. [T]he Lytton Commission left no doubt, despite its gentlemanly language, that the Japan's [sic] claim of having had its railroad attacked was false. (page 11)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Terror, Conspiracy]
Hitler...felt he needed to create a veneer of self-defensive indignation before sending his already-primed army over international borders. Thus ensued what has come to be known as the "Gleiwitz Incident." To create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany, Hitler's lieutenants had German troops dress up as Poles and attack German installations along the German-Polish border...The Gleiwitz Incident was not forgotten by the United States or its allies during the course of World War II. In fact, after the war they specifically included it in the bill of particulars on the conspiracy charge levied against the major Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, and the Nuremberg Tribunal heard affidavit testimony regarding it. (page 13)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Terror, Conspiracy]
Perhaps one reason why no one believed Hitler at the time regarding his claim of Polish aggression, and why after the war some statesmen seemed preoccupied with the issue of false flags justifying aggression, was because people remembered the occurrence of a notorious false-flag event early in the Nazi reign, to wit, the Reichstag Fire of 1933. The story is relatively straightforward: The Nazis set fire to the German Parliament (the Reichstag) but blamed the crime on a group of communists in order to justify a mass political witch hunt of the German left, the termination of political and civil liberties for the citizenry at large, and the seizure of totalitarian political control over Germany. What is important about this false flag for our purposes is the extent to which it was viewed (both at the time and years later at Nuremberg) as an act of state terror having international ramifications...The feeling was ripe that the international community -- in some way, shape or form -- had to become involved in litigating the facts of the Reichstag Fire. (page 14-15)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Terror, Simulacra/Illusion, Conspiracy]
Jim Garrison, the New Orleans prosecutor who for years tried to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy, once remarked, "I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security." He was, perhaps, closer to the truth than he realized, for it was during the Kennedy Administration that senior U.S. military officials proposed a false-flag terror operation...called Operation Northwoods...Northwoods included proposals for false-flag acts of sabotage of the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the sinking of a U.S. Navy ship in the Guantanamo Bay harbor (casualty lists for which, it was hoped, "would help cause a helpful wave of national indignation"); the blowing up of John Glenn's rocket ship during his historic space flight; and a highly elaborate deception for simulating the shooting-down of civilian airplanes which involved the retrofitting of aircraft by the CIA, secret landings and disembarkation of passengers, and the surreptitious substitution of drones for aircraft. On behalf of the Joint Chiefs, Lemnitzer submitted the Northwoods plan to President Kennedy's Seret of Defense, Robert McNamara, whereupon it was summarily quashed. (page 16-17)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Fascism, Terror, Simulacra/Illusion, Conspiracy]
The "formalism" of which the Justices [of the Lochner-era] stood accused by their critics -- both at the time and since -- amounted to an intellectual insulation from "social facts" that kept fro from appreciating the realities of modern industrial relations. Those realities fatefully disadvantaged workers in contract negotiations with their would-be employers and rendered talk of "freedom of contract" cruelly farcical. By refusing to gaze upon those realities and draw the necessary inferences from them in assessing protective legislation, the Justices were, in Roscoe Pound's colorful words, behaving as "[l]egal monks who pass their lives in an atmosphere of pure law, from which every worldly and human element is excluded."...Strangely enough, those judges were both virulently anti-empirical and empirical at one and the same time. Their anti-empiricism was dictated by an abstract, and highly ideological, laissez-faire-era assumption about the nature of equality in modern industrial relations...The only way [pro-labor] legislation might be justified was on narrow "health" grounds: If the legislature could show that its law was intended only to safeguard the physical health of the workers, rather than to paternalistically interfere in the industrial bargaining relationship itself, the law might pass constitutional muster. Interestingly, it was at this point in their reasoning that the Lochner-era judges suddenly became very interested in the real world. For on the question of health dangers, they were not content merely to accept the say-so of the legislature (i.e. they were not prepared to be bound by the mere "forms" of legislative assurances), but instead insisted on reviewing the health facts for themselves in an exercise of quasi-de novo review. (page 20-22)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Culture, Rationality, Myth]
In the 9/11 context, the key taboo claim is that the government is not well-intentioned toward its citizenry. Importantly, this claim is no more entertained by the establishment today than the claim that workers lacked equal bargaining power was entertained by the Lochner-era establishment. It is not entertained because it impugns a formidable paradigm, according to which government officials and agencies in the First-World West uniformly and consistently work to advance the welfare of the citizenry at large. (page 23)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Culture, Rationality, Myth, Conspiracy]
In reality, none of the a priori assumptions about modern-day America noted above are justified on the known facts. Indeed, by any standard of measure, the reality of modern-day America differs strikingly from what these intellectual elites posit. There is very good evidence to suggest, for example, that the U.S. Government is no longer subject to popular, majoritarian control and is, for all intents and purposes, an unaccountable oligarchy. There is very good evidence that, far from being subject to the control of its citizens, the U.S. Government successfully employs extreme measures to control them. Finally, there is very good evidence that the U.S. Government has an immense ability to keep official crimes hidden from public view for very long periods of time. (page 25-26)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Fascism, Myth, Conspiracy, American Exceptionalism]
[T]he Nuremberg Tribunal rejected the Nazis' claim that Germany's judgment was conclusive on the matter of her need to invade Poland and Norway in self-defense, noting that "whether action taken under the claim of self-defense was in fact aggressive or defensive must ultimately be subject to investigation and adjudication if international law is ever to be enforced." (page 37)
Tags: [Truth & Real, Fascism, Rationality, Conspiracy, American Exceptionalism]