Notes From the Borderland took four collective members over to Swansea last week for the Green Party spring conference. As well as running a stall of political and parapolitical magazines, leaflets and books, we leafleted Green party members and supporters expressing our concern at the “9/11 Cult”, warning that only principled opposition to the US/UK war machine can undermine and ultimately defeat Blair, Bush and co.
Sideways For The Greens?
The conference itself could not realistically be described as a huge success. Attendance was not high – perhaps a couple of hundred delegates at most – and divisions clearly remain within the Green Party, particularly from a “modernist” wing, who seem determined to have a “leader” and paid staff, in the expectation that aping the major parties will lead to more serious media coverage. Trust us, it won’t. Politics are always more important than politicians.
Sometimes at political conferences it is the fringe events, socials and stalls that see the best of the action. Not so here – the NFB stall was arguably the largest, and others – such as the Legalise Cannabis Campaign – were rather sorry specimens. Whilst the case for medicinal use of cannabis is arguably made, the overall case for legalisation is weaker now than ever before – something that appears to be passing the LCC by.
The Young Greens and Greens in the Trades Unions both had (quiet) stalls, whilst it is hard to see the point of Simple, sorry Simpol-UK, a theory of Simultaneous Policy supported by one man and a van.
9/11 Cult Harried
Saturday saw a meeting to discuss a proposal that the Green party should support the call for a second inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, proposed by Shane Collins of Lambeth Green Party. 9/11 writer Ian Henshall, plus Justin Walker of the UK 9/11 Truth Campaign were produced to back up this call.
Thanks in no small part to the work initiated out by 9/11 Cultwatch, many in the Green party saw an iceberg as soon as they read this proposal. Conspiracy theories and anti-semitism do not tend to go down well on the doorsteps for any electoral party.
An amendment was thus put forward (signed by, amongst others Greater London Assembly member Darren Johnson) although it was hastily written - even getting the date of the attacks wrong, and making the absurd statement that to accuse the US security forces of involvement in 9/11 was in "poor taste". Those across the world subject to US intervention over the years, whether it be subverting democracy (Operation Gladio), or supporting coups/coup plotters (Chile 1973, Venezuela 2002 etc) as well as targetted assassinations (e.g. multiple attempts on Castro) will hardly regard the possibility as poor taste in principle. Rather, each allegation has to be examined case by case--and for 9/11, thus far, that case has not been made.
Given this NFB’s Larry O’Hara (a Green Party member) proposed this amendment instead, which did not rule out the call for a fresh inquiry, but added some important riders.
ON CURRENT EVIDENCE, THE GREEN PARTY BELIEVES THAT AL- QAEDA WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTACKS. IN LINE WITH OUR ANTI-RACIST BELIEFS, WE VIEW WITH ABHORRENCE THE ANTI-SEMITIC ELEMENTS WHO APPEAR TO HAVE ATTACHED THEMSELVES TO THIS CAMPAIGN THUS FAR. WE HOPE ANY INQUIRY WOULD LOOK AT THE HANDLING OF INTELLIGENCE PRIOR TO THE ATTACKS OF 9/11, THE EVENTS THEMSELVES, AND THE POLITICAL RESPONSE, WITH ITS DEVASTATING LONG-TERM EFFECTS ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY. IF, AFTER AN INQUIRY, CRIMINAL CHARGES SEEM APPROPRIATE, AND WE REGARD THE BASIS FOR SUCH AS SOUND, THE GREEN PARTY WILL DO WHAT WE CAN TO HELP THAT PROCESS HAPPEN.
Ian Henshall, who was taking the lead for the 9/11 cult, rejected this amendment, because he did not agree to the Al Qaeda reference at the start--despite the fact it was far stronger than the original motion, in referring to criminal charges. The unmistakeable implication is that adhering to one version of the truth (their own) is more important to the 9/11 cult than actually holding anybody responsible.
At The Fringe
The fringe meeting itself (Saturday 24 March) was addressed by Henshall, who set out the arguments, and some of the sources, for his next book (9/11: The New Evidence) in a fluent and in some ways impressive manner. While very disparaging of the book 'Debunking 9/11 Myths', he had more praise for the 9/11 Commission Report, saying it had "loads of good evidence" though the conclusion "bears no relationship to the evidence". He was also impressed by the work of Peter Lance (as are we).
George Monbiot came in for particular scorn, following his Guardian piece attacking the cult--he has apparently "gone rogue", and is "in bed with" Senator John McCain, who introduces 'Debunking 9/11 Myths'. A stark image that really is in 'poor taste'.
He also made the good point that there is a clutch of 9/11 whistle-blowers, gagged up till now (like Sibil Edmonds) who are giving strong hints they would like to be subpoenaed by Congress in order to speak their minds. The crux of Henshall's presentation was the description of 9/11 as a "joint effort between Osama Bin Laden and George Bush" meaning there was "conscious or unconscious collaboration in the 9/11 attacks".
Returning The Serve
Under incisive questioning from one (female) audience member, he explained that 'unconscious collaboration' would be "if Osama Bin Laden thought he was solely responsible, but unknown to him, the CIA were allowing the attacks to happen". The very fact that Henshall can't be more specific than this, indicates how much some of his assertions are built on shifting sands. If you claimed a burglar may have 'consciously or unconsciously' collaborated with others, the assertion would be laughed out of court--indeed, the burglar themselves might even escape legal retribution. We come in for stick from some for describing 9/11 cultists as a cult, but one intervention in the meeting illustrated just why that description is apt.
One NFB collective member, sitting away from Larry O'Hara so as to be sure of a chance to speak, made two clear and incisive points:
1) How could 9/11 have been covered up so effectively, especially as regards planting of explosives, if Operation Condor or Watergate couldn't be covered up, this latter for more than a few weeks?
2) After the 1st Gulf War, when US bases in Saudi Arabia were expanded and made permanent, the likes of Bin Laden moved into a position of hostility to the USA, and 9/11 was merely an extension of that--in other words, a clear motive for Al Qaeda doing the bombing has been established.
Right from the start of him making his points, he was interrupted, shouted down, declared to have a 'closed mind' (this by Henshall), and all in all treated to such a hostile reception as to confirm we truly were in a cult setting. The reason this did not happen to the female questioner earlier was telling--her intervention was too nuanced and complex for most cultists present to understand!
In the end, all this frenetic discussion and amending proved academic – in the best tradition of party conferences, the motion was talked out by the pressure of other business, and not debated. All this means is that the issue remains on the table – and the 9/11 Cult need to be aware that we will keep pushing to isolate crackpot theories, spooks and anti-semites as far away as possible from green and leftist political circles.
This is a war for position – and it is not one we intend to lose.