Before World War Two American government, for all of its glaring faults, also served as a model for the world of limited government, having evolved a system of restraints on executive power through its constitutional arrangement of checks and balances. All that changed with America’s emergence as a dominant world power, and further after the Vietnam War.

Since 9/11, above all, constitutional American government has been overshadowed by a series of emergency measures to fight terrorism. The latter have mushroomed in size and budget, while traditional government has been shrunk. As a result we have today what the journalist Dana Priest has called

two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1

More and more, it is becoming common to say that America, like Turkey before it, now has what Marc Ambinder and John Tirman have called a deep state behind the public one.2 And this parallel government is guided in surveillance matters by its own Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, which according to the New York Times “has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court.”3 Thanks largely to Edward Snowden, it is now clear that the FISA Court has permitted this deep state to expand surveillance beyond the tiny number of known and suspected Islamic terrorists, to any incipient protest movement that might challenge the policies of the American war machine.

Most Americans have by and large not questioned this parallel government, accepting that sacrifices of traditional rights and traditional transparency are necessary to keep us safe from al-Qaeda attacks. However secret power is unchecked power, and experience of the last century has only reinforced the truth of Lord Acton’s famous dictum that unchecked power always corrupts. It is time to consider the extent to which American secret agencies have developed a symbiotic relationship with the forces they are supposed to be fighting – and have even on occasion intervened to let al-Qaeda terrorists proceed with their plots.

For indeed it is certain that on various occasions U.S. agencies have intervened, letting al-Qaeda terrorists proceed with their plots. This alarming statement will be dismissed by some as “conspiracy theory.” Yet I will show that this claim does not arise from theory, but from facts, about incidents that are true even though they have been systematically suppressed or under-reported in the American mainstream media.

I am describing a phenomenon that occurred not just once, but repeatedly, almost predictably. We shall see that, among the al-Qaeda terrorists who were first protected and then continued their activities were

1) Ali Mohamed, identified in the 9/11 Commission Report (p. 68) as the leader of the 1998 Nairobi Embassy bombing;

2) Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Osama bin Laden’s close friend and financier while in the Philippines of Ramzi Yousef (principle architect of the first WTC attack) and his uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

3) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, identified in the 9/11 Commission Report (p. 145) as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.”

4) Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, whose presence in the United States was concealed from the FBI by CIA officers for months before 9/11.4

It might sound from these citations that the 9/11 Commission marked a new stage in the U.S. treatment of these terrorists, and that the Report now exposed those terrorists who in the past had been protected. On the contrary, a principal purpose of my essay is to show that

1) one purpose of protecting these individuals had been to protect a valued intelligence connection (the “Al-Qaeda connection” if you will);

2) one major intention of the 9/11 Commission Report was to continue protecting this connection;

3) those on the 9/11 Commission staff who were charged with this protection included at least one commission member (Jamie Gorelick), one staff member (Dietrich Snell) and one important witness (Patrick Fitzgerald) who earlier had figured among the terrorists’ protectors.

In the course of writing this essay, I came to another disturbing conclusion I had not anticipated. This is that a central feature of the protection has been to defend the 9/11 Commission’s false picture of al-Qaeda as an example of non-state terrorism, at odds with not just the CIA but also the royal families of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In reality, as I shall show, royal family protection from Qatar and Saudi Arabia (concealed by the 9/11 Commission) was repeatedly given to key figures like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged “principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.”

The establishment claims that the wars fought by America in Asia since 9/11 have been part of a global “war on terror.” But this “war,” or pseudo-war, has been fought in alliance with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Pakistan – precisely the principal political and financial backers of the jihadi terrorist networks the U.S. has supposedly been fighting. Meanwhile the most authentic opponents in the region of these Sunni jihadi terrorists – the governments of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran – have found themselves overthrown (in the case of Iraq and Libya) subverted with U.S. support (in the case of Syria), or sanctioned and threatened as part of an “axis of evil” (in the case of Iran). We should not forget that, just one day after 9/11, “Rumsfeld was talking about broadening the objectives of our response and ‘getting Iraq.’”5

To understand US involvement in the area I believe we must look at the complex of networks behind the recent U.S. campaign against Osama bin Laden and his followers in al-Qaeda. In fact both British and U.S. intelligence have had a deep and complex involvement for decades with the emerging movement of political Islam – a movement exemplified above all by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) or Ikhwan, and its many spinoffs, of which al-Qaeda is but one.

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