Friday, October 23, 2009

Greenspan's 9/11 skepticism

I posted an item on this when Greenspan's memoir, The Age of Turbulence, was published in 2007. He didn't alter his words for the updated version that discussed  the first phase of last year's financial crises.

In the days following Sept. 11, 2001, said former Fed chief Alan Greenspan, "There was no bigger question in Washington than, Why no second attack?" (Page 227)

He wrote:

"If al Qaeda's intent was to disrupt the U.S. economy, as bin Laden had declared, the attacks had to continue. Our society was open, our borders porous, and our ability to detect weapons and bombs was weak. I asked this question of a lot of people at the highest levels of government, and no one seemed to have a convincing response." (Emphasis added.)

In other words, Greenspan thought there was something fishy about the attacks and the war on terror. Greenspan, who describes himself as a libertarian Republican, makes it clear that he was disturbed by the threats to individual liberty that arose after the attacks. And, Greenspan was candid about having little respect for Bush and a number of his aides.

We should add that Greenspan does not challenge the authenticity of the purported bin Laden statement, but then, he doesn't need to. If the statement is authentic, his question follows. If it isn't, then why did the Bush bunch vouch for it?

Neither does he question the FBI's decision to treat the anthrax attacks as unrelated to the events of 9/11. Once a Pentagon role was discovered in the anthrax case, the FBI quickly nixed the theory that it was part of a single terrorist campaign. But, because that position became the official stance, Greenspan's question stands.

You won't find information like this on Fox news -- though it was widely reported that Greenspan had little use for the official tale of what was behind the Iraq war.

Greenspan argued that regional instability posed a threat to oil supplies, spurring U.S. and British action, "whatever their publicized angst about 'weapons of mass destruction'."

"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

We also learn that Greenspan, a market fundamentalist, was surprised that the market's "counter-party surveillance" provided insufficient self-regulation to avert the subprime crash.

He expressed alarm at global warming and said he was concerned that political dithering would prevent realistic countermeasures. Nevertheless, he backed a tax on gasoline in order to force America to wean itself from dependence on oil. He argued that the economy could well handle a tax that pushed gas up to $5 a gallon. Of course, this was written before the wild financial meltdown of last autumn.
NOTE: Holy cow! A post from this blog showed up in the Google blog alerts under "Znewz1" -- a first. Now, the thing will be to see if blogs that mention Znewz1 show up in Google alerts.

FOLLOW-UP NOTE: Well, an alert arrived with an old Znewz1 post linked on someone else's old blog. Interesting.

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