by Elizabeth Woodworth
June 18, 2013
This essay examines the connections between the
foreign intervention crisis in Syria, the
surveillance program that has recently been exposed, and the
sequence of events that begin with NSA program changes in February, 2001 -
six months before 9/11.
The connections are illuminating...
In mid June 2013
the Obama administration announced
that it will start arming insurgents against the Syrian government because
the regime crossed a "red line" by using chemical weapons - which it
estimates have killed, over time, an estimated 100-150 rebels.
What we are not being told is the history of President Bashar Assad,
nor is he seen speaking in the American media.
Assad is a medical doctor of mild personality who graduated in Damascus in
1988 and later began a four-year program of ophthalmology in London,
England. When Hafez Assad, President of Syria, his father died in 2000,
Bashar was elected President of Syria by a large popular majority, and again
We are not given insight by the media into President Bashar Assad, the man.
He is married to British-educated Asma al-Assad, born in London, and
a former investment banker.
"She received the Gold Medal of the
Presidency of The Italian Republic for humanitarian work in 2008 and won
an honorary archaeology doctorate from La Sapienza university in Rome."
Although seen in interviews by independent
journalists to be mild-mannered, respectful, rationally articulate, and
fluent in English, Assad is seldom seen speaking in the US mainstream media.
Thus it is poignant to watch his 18-minute interview with German reporter
Jürgen Todenhöfe in July 2012, and to hear his under-stated account of
the foreign-backed insurgents whose violence has led to the deaths of
thousands of Syrian state supporters: 
It is illuminating to watch the
5-minute interview Assad gave the Sunday
Times, March 3, 2013, saying that as long as Britain arms the insurgents to
save Syria from its repressive dictator,
"the arsonist cannot be seen as the
In another recent German TV interview, Assad
(whom we know is a medical doctor) discusses the alleged and contradictory
use of chemical weapons - defined as "weapons of mass destruction" - in
local ground combat. He goes on to describe external financial support to
the insurgents as "stoking the fire."
Indeed, Aron Lund, a Swedish observer of the Syrian opposition, has
listed about a dozen rebel groups, the largest of which are funded by either
the West, the Gulf states, or Turkey.
The 80,000-strong Free Syrian Army (also known
as the Supreme Military Council),
"was created in December 2012 after pressure
from Western and Gulf Arab nations, which seek to make it the military
wing of Syria’s civilian exile group, the National Coalition."
To understand why the Western media, under heavy
influence from the Pentagon, has demonized Mr. Assad as a vicious and
indiscriminate murderer  of his own subjects, we can turn to
2006 interview of General Wesley Clark, a Rhodes scholar and the
Supreme Allied Commander (Europe) of NATO, 1997-2000.
Speaking on March 2, 2007 to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now,
Clark said that about ten days after 9/11 he visited his former staff in the
Pentagon. They told him, in astonished tones, that the US was going to go to
war with Iraq - which they said had no demonstrated connection to 9/11, and
they were at a complete loss to explain why.
A few weeks later Clark went back to the Pentagon and was told that the US
was going to "take out" seven Middle East countries in the next five years:
"Had there been no oil there it would be
like Africa. Nobody is threatening to intervene in Africa." 
This early agenda for "take out," said by Clark
to have been in place immediately after 9/11, raises questions about the
anthrax attacks, which started September 18, 2001.
The letters containing the lethal spores targeted, among others, Democratic
Senators Tom Daschle (Senate Majority Leader) and Patrick Leahy. During this
period of intense panic in Washington the 342-page Patriot Act was rushed
through Congress October 24 and passed the Senate the next day.
It has since been amply demonstrated that the highly weaponized spores
contained in the anthrax letters originated from within a US military
laboratory, and were too sophisticated to have been produced by a
non-state laboratory or by an individual.
Now if we look at the origins of the NSA super-surveillance program, which
is generally believed to have begun right after 9/11 as a provision of the
Patriot Act, we will see that in fact it began in February, 2001, within
weeks after the swearing in of the Bush administration.
Mr. William Binney, a 40-year veteran of the NSA, explains that all
communications companies were required at that time to collect data on their
customers. One company,
Qwest Communications, refused to do this, and its
CEO, Joe Nacchio, is still in prison on false charges of insider
Mr. Binney emphasized that virtually no one in the country was exempt. Even
judges were recorded, so that almost everyone in the United States could
potentially be coerced, using selected personal data as leverage.
The implications are staggering. How many
elected and bureaucratic officials could be - or have already been - brought
to heel in this manner?
Thus by 9/11 the "deep state" was already armed against its population in a
manner that Binney referred to as "J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids."
Meanwhile, the mainstream media have increasingly accepted the US position
that Middle East countries plagued by civil wars caused by repressive
dictators must be saved by humanitarian intervention from enlightened
Indeed Reuters correspondent Mark Hosenball reported last August
"President Barack Obama has signed a secret
order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad and his government." 
The Reuters article continued:
"Recent news reports from the region have
suggested that the influence and numbers of Islamist militants, some of
them connected to al Qaeda or its affiliates, have been growing among
Assad’s opponents." 
On June 17, 2013, CNN supported the al Qaeda
"Al Qaeda’s affiliate inside Syria is now
the best-equipped arm of the terror group in existence today, according
to informal assessments by U.S. and Middle East intelligence agencies, a
private sector analyst directly familiar with the information told CNN."
In May, 2013, former FBI translator and
whistle-blower  Sibel Edmonds had reported that,
"Bin Laden - and his number 2 Al Qaeda
lieutenant - Ayman al-Zawahiri - worked with the U.S. government for 3
months after 9/11 to coordinate destabilization in the Caucus region."
In light of the evidence above connecting al
Qaeda to the U.S. government, it is imperative
to go back to 9/11 - the
trigger event for the
global war on terror - and take a second look.
In fact this is being done.
A new source of evidence-based research is being developed by the academic
24-member 9/11 Consensus Panel, which has developed 32
Consensus Points examining the official claims about how events unfolded
that day. The Panel uses a standard medical model to evaluate its evidence,
which is intended to provide confidence to the media and the public in
reconsidering the events of 9/11.
The enormous cost in lives and dollars of
Middle East wars, coupled with the pervasive spying of domestic
citizens now in progress, should prompt all those interested in democracy to
look carefully at this evidence.
And regarding Syria at this moment,
is it the responsibility of the United States to intervene in the
civil war of a sovereign country?
If humanitarian intervention is indeed
desired, why is it not a peace-keeping initiative arranged by the
US Statement on Syria - Chemical Weapons," ABC News, June 14,
2013. To put the priority of this "red line" in perspective, note that
443,000 preventable deaths are caused each year in the USA by smoking, "Tobacco
Use: Targeting the Nation’s Leading Killer at a Glance, 2011,"
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
al-Assad: Syria’s first lady," ABC News Australia, March 21,
President Baschar al Assad gives Interview to German Television"
television interviews the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad,"
February 20, 2013
Fighters? Cannibals? The Truth about Syria’s Rebels," The
Independent, June 17, 2013 - "Mr. Lund is a regular contributor to the
Swedish Institute for International Affairs. He is considered one of the
best informed observers of the Syrian opposition."
 Google Images shows that so far the West has not managed to capture
an angry or unpleasant photograph of Mr. Assad. He is consistently mild
Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years"
 The Patriot Act is downloadable at
 Edward Jay Epstein, "The
Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved," The Wall Street Journal,
January 24, 2010
 William Binney interview: "Inside
the NSA’s Domestic Surveillance Apparatus: Whistleblower William Binney
Speaks Out," Democracy Now, June 10, 2013, and Dave Hodges, "Before
Edward Snowden, There Was Joseph Nacchio," The Common Sense
Show, June 13, 2013.
 Binnie, Ibid.
Obama authorizes secret U.S. support for Syrian rebels,"
Reuters, August 1, 2012
 Barbara Starr, "Analyst:
Al Qaeda Affiliate in Syria now Best-Equipped of the Group,"
CNN, June 17, 2013
 Edmonds’ credibility was confirmed in a
2002 coalition letter to the U.S. House Committee
on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. Government and NATO Worked with Bin Laden and His Top Lieutenant 3
Months AFTER 9/11," Washington’s Blog, May 2, 2013
http://www.consensus911.org. Note the
Panel’s methodology, voting members, and honorary members.