The Real Truth About 9/11: Imperialist Bureaucracy and Mass Murder

By Andrew Dobbs

(Today I had a book review of the new book The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark by John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski published by War is Boring. David Axe is a very good editor and reined in my excesses on this one, but I felt like the fat he cut at the end of it might be of interest to some of y’all. I’m reproducing it here — enjoy!)

If The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark suffers in any way it is in a sort of naive juxtaposition at its heart between the white hats at the FBI and the black hats at CIA and NSA. The book quotes Mark Rossini, a man with the unique perspective of being an FBI agent working at CIA, speaking of the agency:

“They have no concept of the law… They have no concept of the Constitution. They are only limited by their imagination because there’s (sic) no rules, per se… In the FBI, you cant even put a tape recorder on without someone’s permission. Because everything you do is going to end up in a court of law some day. Different mentality.”

Duffy and Nowosielski never admit that the FBI’s fidelity to US law is less than rock solid, as the Bureau’s decades of illicit and unconstitutional suppression of domestic dissent attests. To be fair, this may not be immediately relevant to the narrative at hand, but it is relevant to understanding how the law and the Constitution — ideals on paper — interact with the realities of US imperial power.

Duffy and Nowosielski touch on this with a brief CIA origin story near the beginning of the book. The agency was established in the days following World War II, when the US imperial project begun in the Nineteenth Century reached its culmination. Maintaining this global empire while faithfully adhering to the rule of law and the liberal ideals enshrined in the Constitution is simply impossible. CIA is the attempt to isolate the criminality inherent in this project to a specific corner of the state.

The crux of this attempt was the bargain that CIA’s crimes would be kept outside the borders of the US, while within them the rule of law would still prevail. The FBI would be the guarantors of that rule, but then that guarantee meant engaging in its own criminal behavior against “subversives.” Lawlessness would be accepted for the sake of the law. When legality threatens these institutions, you break the law. Perpetuating the institutions is then the primary objective.

We all know what this means. Covering asses and following orders, climbing the ladder and cooperating with important vendors, getting the big budget and keeping policymakers in the dark — anybody who cared about these institutional imperatives in any of these agencies would have done exactly what CIA and NSA did before and after 9/11. Anybody who cared about the Constitutional ideals they supposedly served would have done what Clarke, Drake, Rossini, and Kiriakou did, and they would have been put before the dock for crimes against the state.

Who better to then lead the world these criminals wrought than Donald Trump? Himself a criminal, he has no knowledge of the Constitution, and does not care what it says because he knows it doesn’t matter any more. He knows that the predicted “outrage” at the war crimes and Constitutional abrogations that followed 9/11 was just as paper thin as the documents they violated. He knows that a population reared on wanton murder around the world and cracking skulls here at home is far more animated by what the “illegals” are up to. He knows that they think torturing Muslims is a good idea.

He also knows that as far as the American people are concerned, Clarke, Drake, Rossini, and Kiriakou aren’t patriots after all. Patriots are the people that hate Colin Kapernick and set their Nikes on fire. The men that sacrificed their careers in the empire out of loyalty to the Constitution are non-entities. The public isn’t even aware of what they did, and to the extent they’ve heard of it they just don’t care. If you follow this logic to its predictable conclusions, you see that this timeline is more or less guaranteed to get much, much darker than it is today.

That is why The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark is such an important book. It documents the real truth behind 9/11 and its aftermath — the banality of bureaucratic evil in an empire as advanced and ruthless as ours. Someday on this timeline this empire too will fall, but the words of people like Duffy and Nowosielski, and the actions of Clarke, Drake, Rossini, and Kiriakou will be recorded. The path to wickedness and ruin will be laid out for all to see, and then a new history might begin. Hopefully it will be much brighter than this one looks to be.

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