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Fahrenheit 9/11 Facts

July 10th, 2004 9:54 PM

Factual Back-Up for Fahrenheit 9/11: Section Six


Section Six covers the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 from the Patriot Act through the war in Iraq.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Bush also appointed as our envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, who was also a former Unocal advisor."

  • "Mr. Khalilzad himself knows how compasses change. In the mid-1990's, he briefly defended the Taliban while working as a consultant for Unocal, the oil company that was then trying to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. He later became one of the Taliban's fiercest critics." Amy Waldman, "Afghan Returns Home as American Ambassador," New York Times, April 19, 2004.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Afghanistan signed the agreement to build a pipeline through its country carrying natural gas from the Caspian Sea ."

  • ? "The framework agreement defines legal mechanisms for setting up a consortium to build and operate the long-delayed US$3.2-billion natural gas pipeline, known as the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, which would carry gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to Pakistan. It would be one of the first major investment projects in Afghanistan in decades." Baglia Bukharbayeva "Pakistani, Turkmen, Afghan Leaders Sign US$3.2 Billion Pipeline Deal," Associated Press, December 27, 2002.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "In the year 2000, [John Ashcroft] was running for re-election as Senator from Missouri against a man who died the month before the election. The voters preferred the dead guy."?

  • ? "Sen. John Ashcroft on Wednesday graciously conceded defeat in his re-election campaign against the late Gov. Mel Carnahan and urged fellow Republicans to call off any legal challenges." Eric Stern, "Ashcroft Rejects Challenge To Election; Senator Says He Hopes Carnahan’s Victory Will Be ‘Of Comfort’ To Widow,"St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 9, 2000 .

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "During the summer before 9/11, Ashcroft told acting FBI director Thomas Pickard that he didn’t want to hear anything more about terrorist threats."

  • "Former interim FBI chief Thomas Pickard testified Tuesday that Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft didn’t want to hear about terrorism when Pickard tried to brief him during the summer of 2001, as intelligence reports about terrorist threats were reaching a historic level." Cam Simpson, "Ashcroft Ignored Terrorism, Panel Told; Attorney General Denies Charges, Blames Clinton," Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2004.
  • See also film footage.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "His own FBI knew that summer that there were al Qaeda members in the U.S. , and that bin Laden was sending his agents to flight schools throughout the country."

  • [T]he July 2001 ‘Phoenix’ memo, written by an FBI agent in Arizona, warned about ‘an inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest’ taking flight training.? It urged the agency to collect data on flight schools and foreign students, and to discuss the potential threat with other intelligence agencies. ...[O]ne of the men mentioned in the memo was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 with a senior al Qaeda facilitator, Abu Zubayda.? R. Jeffrey Smith, "A History of Missed Connections; U.S. Analysts Warned of Potential Attacks but Lacked Follow-Through," Washington Post, July 25, 2003.?
  • Excerpt from "Phoenix Memo": "The purpose of this communication is to advise the Bureau and New York of the possibility of a coordinated effort by USAMA BIN LADEN (UBL) to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation universities and colleges. Phoenix has observed an inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest who are attending or who have attended civil aviation universities and colleges in the State of Arizona." Read the entire Phoenix Memo at:

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "[T]he photo of the man in the newspaper was not the Aaron Stokes they had come to know, [a member of Peace Fresno]. He was actually Deputy Aaron Kilner. And he had infiltrated their group."

  • "Aaron Kilner, 27, who joined the force in June 1999 and had been assigned the last 18 months to the anti-terrorist team under the vice-intelligence unit, apparently was killed instantly when his blue Yamaha motorcycle slammed into the right front side of a 1999 Buick, Fresno police said." Louis Galvan, "Crash Kills Off-Duty Detective, Victim Joined Fresno County Force in 1999," Fresno Bee, August 31, 2003.
  • "It remains unclear why the Fresno County Sheriff's Department infiltrated the peace group there, but Pierce said his department's actions were legal. ‘We can be anywhere we want to that's open to the public,’ Pierce said in a telephone interview from his Fresno office."? Sam Stanton and Emily Bazar, "More Scrutiny of Peace Groups, Public Safety Justifies Surveillance Since 9/11, Authorities Say," Sacramento Bee, November 9, 2003.?

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Barry Reingold’s story.

  • "Then there's San Franciscan Barry Reingold, who was awakened from his afternoon nap by a buzzing intercom on Oct. 23. He called down to the street to find out who it was. ‘The FBI,’ was the response. He buzzed the two men up, but decided to meet them in the hall. ‘I was a little bit shaken up,’ says Mr. Reingold. ‘I mean, why would the FBI be interested in me, a 60-year-old retired phone company worker?’ When they asked if he worked out at a certain gym, he realized the reason behind the visit. The gym is where he lifts weights -- and expounds on his political views." Kris Axtman, "Political Dissent Can Bring Federal Agents to Door," Christian Science Monitor, January 8, 2002.? See also, Sam Stanton, Emily Bazar, "Security Collides With Civil Rights, War On Terrorism Has Unforeseen Results," Modesto Bee, September 28, 2003.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Congress did not read the Patriot Act before voting on it.

  • "Later that morning [of October 12], the House voted 337-79 to pass the bill.? The outraged dissenters complained that no one could possibly have had the time to read the enormously complex 342-page law that amended fifteen different federal statutes and that had only been printed out hours before." Steven Brill, After; How America Confronted the September 12 Era, (Simon & Schuster, NY: 2003).?
  • "Many lawmakers were outraged that a bipartisan bill, which had passed the Judiciary Committee by a unanimous vote, was set aside for legislation negotiated at the last minute by a very small group. Members rose to say that almost no one had read the new bill, and pleaded for more time and more deliberation.... Asked about complaints that lawmakers were being asked to vote on a bill that they had not read, the chairman of the Rules Committee, Representative David Dreier, Republican of California, replied, ‘It's not unprecedented.’" Robin Toner & Neil A. Lewis, "House Passes Terrorism Bill Much Like Senate's, but With 5-Year Limit," The New York Times, October 13, 2001.
  • See also film footage of Congressmen Conyers and McDermott.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Transportation Security Agency says it’s okay to take four books of matches and two butane lighters in your pockets as you board an airplane.

  • "Consistent with Department of? Transportation regulations for hazardous materials, passengers also are permitted to carry no more than four books of matches (other than strike anywhere matches) and no more than two lighters for individual use, if the lighters are fueled with liquefied gas (BIC-or Colibri-type) or absorbed liquid? (Zippo-type).’’ 49 CFR 1540;

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Thanks to the budget cuts, Trooper Kenyon had to come in on his day off to catch up on some paperwork."

  • "Budget cuts that laid off 129 Oregon State Police officers earlier this year have left a single trooper to cover the 1,400-square-mile territory and 100 miles of state roads around this city on Oregon's central coast."? "Layoffs Leave Oregon Trooper Alone in Big Coastal Territory," Seattle Times, October 6, 2003.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "On March 19th, 2003, George W. Bush and the United States military invaded Iraq, which had never attacked or threatened to attack the United States.? A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen."?

  • "Iraq has never threatened nor been implicated in any attack against U.S. territory and the CIA has reported no Iraqi-sponsored attacks against American interests since 1991." Stephen Zunes, "An Annotated Overview of the Foreign Policy Segments of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address," Foreign Policy In Focus, January 29, 2003. Segments of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address," Foreign Policy In Focus, January 29, 2003
  • "Iraq never threatened Bush officials cynically attacked a villainous country because they knew it was easier than finding the real 9/11 villain, who had no country. And now they're hoist on their own canard." Maureen Dowd, "We’re Not Happy Campers," The New York Times, September 11, 2003.?
  • "Iraq never threatened the US, let alone Australia. The basic consideration was and remains the perception of America's wider strategic interest in the Middle East." Richard Woolcott, "Thread bare Basis To The Homespun Yarn That Led Us Into Iraq," Sydney Morning Herald, November 26, 2003—(Woolcott was Australia’s Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs And Trade during the first Gulf War.)
  • For definition of murder of civilians (as opposed to combatants), see Article 3 of the Geneva Convention . ("For persons taking no active part in the hostilities, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time (a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds.")

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The Coalition of the Willing included Palau, Costa Rica, Iceland, Romania, The Netherlands, and Afghanistan. ?

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Morocco , according to one report, offered to send 2,000 monkeys to help detonate landmines.

  • "The administration has even turned to the animal kingdom for help in the war. First came the dolphins, those really smart mammals recruited to help clear mines at the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. Then came word that Morocco was offering 2,000 monkeys to help detonate land mines." Al Kamen, "They Got the ‘Slov’ Part Right," Washington Post, March 28, 2003. ?

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "The government would not allow any cameras to show the coffins coming home."

  • "For the past 13 years, the Pentagon has barred reporters from witnessing the transport of soldiers' flag-draped coffins to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware." Amanda Ripley, "An Image of Grief Returns," Time, May 3, 2004.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "At the end of January, of ’04, the unemployment rate in Flint was actually 17 percent."?

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Bush "proposed cutting the soldiers’ combat bonus pay 33 percent and assistance to their families by 60 percent."

  • The Bush administration announced that it would roll-back ‘modest’ increases of benefits to troops. The Army Times noted, "the administration announced that on Oct. 1 it wants to roll back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger from $225 to $150 (a cut of 33%) and family-separation allowances from $250 to $100 (a cut of 60%) for troops getting shot at in combat zones."
  • "Thanks to a law passed this year, troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and other high-risk areas now receive $225 a month in supplemental pay. That's an increase of $75 from the previous amount for combat pay. Under that same law, soldiers who have been forced to leave behind spouses and children receive $250 a month in additional separation pay to help cover child care and other additional expenses caused by assignment overseas. That's an increase of $150 over the previous supplement. ... In its 2004 budget request, the Pentagon asked Congress to cut both combat pay and separation pay back to the previous levels." "Our Opinions: Proposal to Reduce Pay No Way to Salute Military," Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 15, 2003.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "He proposed cutting $1.3 billion in veterans’ health care and closing seven veteran’s hospitals. He tried to double the prescription drug costs for veterans and opposed full benefits for part time reservist."?

  • "On Nov. 12, the Office of Management & Budget opposed restoring $1.3 billion in funding for Veterans Administration hospitals that the House Appropriations Committee had cut. '’It's as if they're not even aware [that] there's a war on terror going on,’ says Steve Thomas, an American Legion spokesman and Navy vet who notes casualties in Iraq could make demand for VA services soar." Stan Crock in Washington, with William C. Symonds in Boston, "Will The Troops Salute Bush In '04?," Business Week, December 8, 2003.
  • "The White House had expressed its ‘strong opposition’ to the Senate’s effort to expand military health benefits to reservists and National Guard members, and boost 'veterans’ health care spending by $1.3 billion." Jonathan Weisman, "Bush Aides Threaten Veto of Iraqi Aid Measure," Washington Post, October 22, 2003.
  • In early 2003, the Bush administration announced that it was closing "seven of its 163 veteran’s hospitals in an effort to ‘restructure’ the Department of Veterans Affairs." Suzanne Gamboa, "VA Proposes Overhaul, 13 Facilities Would Close or See Major Changes," Associated Press, August 4, 2003.
  • In 2003, the Bush administration proposed increasing prescription drug costs for veterans, a proposal that would have doubled the cost of prescription drugs. "The Bush plan would have included a new $250 enrollment fee and a co-pay increase from $7 to $15 for veterans earning over $24,000." The House amended the proposal to reject the Bush administration’s fee increases and to recoup the $264 million in costs by reducing administrative funding for the VA. "Panel Rejects Extra Funds for AmeriCorps," Washington Post, July 22, 2003.
  • ? "The Bush administration is flatly opposed to giving the Guard and Reserve access to the Pentagon's health system." Opinion, The Daily News Leader (Staunton, VA), October 25, 2003.
  • "U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has helped push a bill through the Senate to improve the health care benefits of Guard and Reserve members. This bill has had broad bipartisan support since it was introduced in May. Last week Graham had his health care plan attached as an amendment to the $87 billion supplemental appropriations bill that President Bush is seeking to pay for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House should take up the amendment next week. Strangely, the Bush administration has opposed this new benefit for Guard and Reserve members, arguing that it would be too expensive." Staff, "Helping our Guard and Reserve," The Greenville News, October 16, 2003.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Nearly 5,000 wounded in the war.

  • "A year ago at this time, more than 160 American soldiers had been killed in Iraq. The total since has risen to more than 800, and last week the Pentagon reported that the number wounded in action is approaching 4,700." ? Pete Yost, "Bush Hails U.S. War Dead and Veterans," Associated Press, June 1, 2004.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: "Out of the 535 members of Congress, only one had an enlisted son in Iraq."

  • “Only four of the 535 members of Congress have children in the military; only one, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., has a child who fought in Iraq.” Kevin Horrigan, “Hired Guns,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 2003.

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