After September 11, several important stories continue to be ignored.  Here, to a lay observer, is the shape of the past fall’s most overlooked developments.

The two biggest sponsors of terrorism in the Middle East are Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.  The intelligence community has known this for years.  The recent kidnapping and slaying of a Wall Street Journal reporter is only the most recent incident.

Our bombing campaign against Afghanistan was not really a “war on terrorism.”  Afghanistan (“Pipeline-istan”) is basically a big vacant lot, not formally recognized as a nation by the U.S. government, dominated by squabblers with guns; its training camps and similar operations were founded, staffed, and financed by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, our instant partners in the “war against terror.”  Afghanistan’s Taliban government was also established and supported by Pakistanis, including Pakistan’s secret service, with Saudi (and CIA) money.

The fourth hijacked plane on September 11,  brought down in Pennsylvania by passengers who realized that it was headed for a target somewhere, was headed for the Pentagon.  For years, as reported in the international press—including Arabic newspapers available in translation—hijackings and rocket attacks have come in pairs; the attackers struck in paired planes in New York City, and they intended to do so in Washington, D.C.

After spending a trillion dollars and opening the fiscal dam for anything deemed “defense,” our military did not realize that the Pentagon could be a target.  Is anyone asking why the airspace over the Pentagon was not defended?

Those anthrax letters were sent by someone without a scientific background who possessed both samples and a grudge—probably some military-installation employee who received the anthrax vaccine and didn’t appreciate it.  Forget about looking for Dr. No.  The person who mailed these letters did not realize that finely milled anthrax could leak through ordinary stationery; this nonscientist became discouraged and quit when his infectious letters leaked on the wrong targets.

The investigation of the September attacks and the anthrax mailings has been coordinated at the national level directly from the White House, not the FBI.  White House operatives are good at what they do—manipulating the press, opinion polls, members of Congress, and judges—but they are not trained investigators.  This is one reason why the anthrax mailer, the Taliban’s Mullah Omar, and Osama bin Laden have not been found.

Osama bin Laden, by the way, is dead.  No one bounces back from renal shutdown, and all indications are that, if he were alive, we would be hearing from him.  This is common knowledge in Pakistan (which supported bin Laden and the Taliban).  Here, it was fed to the supermarket tabloids.  Osama bin Laden did not “mastermind” the September attacks.  He was not a mastermind and was never treated as such by any Arab writer, even those who supported the military strikes against Afghanistan; his supposed “nuclear weapons” documents turned out to be a well-known internet hoax.

The attacks were half-baked as well as vicious, but they were neither random nor “symbolic.”  A bunch of young Saudi (mostly) wannabe professionals went for broke trying to knock out the U.S. stock market and the Pentagon.  It might be more appropriate to call the anthrax mailings “symbolic,” since they were mailed to addressees apparently in the delusion that they would target senators and newscasters individually.  But news reports do not customarily treat homegrown terrorist attacks as “symbolism,” though they routinely react to anything of Oriental or Middle Eastern origin as florid and incomprehensible.

The attacks of September 11 were supported, passively and otherwise, by the secret services of our allies.  Terrorist operations in the Middle East and Europe for years have been permitted or supported or carried out by the secret service of Pakistan, the Gulf states, Russia, and Israel.

Two sources for the brownshirt phrase “Homeland Security” seem to be the Anser Institute for Homeland Security, in Northern Virginia, and the Reverend-Moon-sponsored Insight magazine.  The Anser Institute—a non-profit, despite its patents and its large government contracts—and Insight were touting “Homeland Security” and making reference to a “second Pearl Harbor” before September 11.

The attacks of September 11 were not an “act of war”; they were a mass crime.  Calling them “acts of war” gives them undeserved dignity; calling them “crimes”—or, as the United Nations refers to them, a “breach of security”—would enable investigation.

We are not at war.  If we were at war, those long Washington Post articles showing the innermost workings of the White House and the CIA in crisis would also be security breaches.

Still, it can be said that, amidst all our current problems, there are some bright spots—especially President Bush’s public support for a Palestinian state.  It is high time; the establishment of a Palestinian state is in this nation’s and the world’s best interest.