Category Archives: Deception

Tony Abbott and Conservatives will they Change Their Climate?

Tony Abbott was officially exited from politics, I believe it was due to his unpopularity with the Australian people.  It was a strategic move to save the Conservative Liberal Party.

They have much growing and listening to do if they want a future that survives for their grandchildren.

This article gives voice to how Tony Abbott was perceived.  The video shows children’s response to his views on Climate Change.

I was inspired by this photo which fronts my video I published today and it connected me to this article.

The public want real change, not manufacturing consent or digitising the world in business/political images unresponsive to real public needs and wants. A responsible government ensures that support systems function for the benefit of humanity not the top 1% who control 40% of the world’s resources.  The imbalance is not only in the climate it is in the power structure where those in privileged positions get to change the world rather than serve humanity.

https://10daily.com.au/news/politics/a190507sgaib/tony-abbotts-100-climate-change-bet-disgusting-slam-environment-groups-20190507

Tony Abbott’s $100 Climate Change Bet ‘Disgusting’, Slam Environment Groups

The Guardian published an article on Tuesday from contributor Cassie Flanagan Willanski, in which she claimed she met the former Prime Minister in a Manly cafe and struck up a conversation about the environment.

The debate got heated, Willanski recounted, as the two debated climate change and energy needs. Then, it got — as she described it — “bizarre”.

“He offered to bet me $100 the climate would not change in ten years and I accepted,” she wrote in The Guardian, supplying a photo of a note bearing Abbott’s signature as proof.

tony abbott climate change
A demonstrator with a giant head in the likeness of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Image AP Photo

10 daily has contacted the Coalition’s media unit for comment.

Climate groups voiced their outrage and shock on Tuesday, slamming Abbott for what they saw as a flippant attitude to global warming by reducing the issue to a simple wager.

“It’s very concerning to have a sitting member of Parliament appear to be literally gambling on our future as young people, to be placing bets against leading scientists who are clear that we’re already living with the impacts of dangerous climate change,” said Kelly Albion, campaigns director for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Willanski said she had donated $100 to the group after her bet with Abbott.

“Future generations will have to face the consequences of political inaction on climate change,” Albion continued.

“It’s disgusting that MPs like Tony Abbott are siding with big polluters in the coal and gas industry, instead of listening to those in his electorate and across the country who are demanding climate action.”

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki also expressed dismay at Abbott’s bet.

“Does an ex-prime minister of Australia think the ‘climate’ of Australia will have ‘changed’ by the year 2029?” Kruszelnicki  tweeted.

“Well, he’s betting money that it won’t.”

Liberal backbencher Tony Abbott reacts during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, September 11, 2018. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

It comes as a new UN report found human activities were causing an unprecedented decline in the natural environment, threatening to wipe out a million species and significantly impact food production unless key chances are made.

Abbott formerly described climate change as “crap” and has been a strident opponent of proposed reforms away from coal-power and toward cleaner energy. In his seat of Warringah however, climate action is raised as a key issue by many voters, and it may cost him his spot in parliament.

READ MORE: Inside GetUp’s Ambitious Campaign To Crush Dutton And The Liberal Right

READ MORE: Zali Steggall Says She Would Support Coalition In A Hung Parliament

A GetUp-commissioned poll, released this week, put Abbott behind independent challenger Zali Steggall — who has talked up climate action as a major plank of her campaign — by 44-56 on a two-party basis.

Stegall, who has taken up climate change as a major plank of her campaign, has said Labor’s 45 percent emissions reduction target is the “very minimum” needed. (The government has shouted down Labor’s target as a burden on the economy.)

GetUp has also made climate change a central part of its Warringah push.

Abbott was confronted by student climate protesters on Sunday, where he again reiterated his belief that the cost of climate action was prohibitively high.

Following news of his $100 wager, one of the young protesters — Warringah student Elsie Loadman — said it was “appalling to see Tony Abbott betting on our future like this”.

“We don’t want political leaders who will gamble on ‘business as usual’ and risk the worst impacts of climate change,” Loadman said.

“Abbott has been the Member for Warringah longer than I’ve been alive, and in all that time he has refused to take climate change seriously.”

“The majority of people in the Warringah community want a plan to deal with climate change, including to stop Adani, end dirty coal and move towards 100 percent renewable energy. We deserve a government that takes climate change and our future seriously.”

READ MORE: Tony Abbott Could Win Because Too Many People Don’t Want Him To

READ MORE: Here’s Why Tony Abbott Is Struggling To Keep His Seat In Parliament

Albion agreed, saying climate change deserved mature consideration.

“The Coalition Government have shown us they’re not smart enough to listen to experts or the community on this issue. We need leaders who will treat climate change with the urgency and maturity it deserves,” she said.

Listen to Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen in The Professor and The Hack discuss all things #Auspol. 

Former Victorian Premier Brumby Quits Huawei Board and Joins La Trobe University

My first feeling in this is of the IT trade war between China and the United States.  My next feel is those in prominent positions joining industry and the revolving door that exists between government and industry.  The original intent of government was that these entities were separate as government ensured neutrality so that it could represent the people.  Unfortunately in the ruling class they all know each other, they discuss the Boards the are on and they have their own agendas.   Business is business.

The video I produced today is on greed.  I see the blindness of economic objectives outside of human wellbeing.  The disconnect is furthered as industry profits become the goal and the impact on civil society a minor issue.  This becomes increasingly evident when one investigates the range of views about 5G and the race between the US and China with IT industry lobbyists taking up positions in Communications as the regulator of the industry.  Clearly it is not possible to regulate an industry in the public interest if a person has come from the very industry that is to be regulated. That means they know the people, and often, if not always, have an agenda to promote that industry. This is where the public interest is neglected.  We have seen this in the United States and the health implications for civil society are sending out alarm around the world.

The article below informs that the former Victorian Premier John Brumby was on the board of Huawei.  There is discussion about Chinese criminality and the potential for the Communist party to spy and gather data.  I wold assert all the IT companies are spying and data gathering and are contracted to share data with intelligence agencies, notably the 5 Eyes spy network.  When you investigate the Boards of IT companies you see the vested interests sitting there which include multinational companies, big data, IT companies, military, intelligence, Accounting firms, universities, former government ministers or public servants and the list goes on.  In the country they operate in the people believe the company is owned by the nation or they have no idea that their data is traded without their real consent and used to sell products and services.  The greed is what moves this disregard for privacy.

Clearly Huawei would be influenced, if not directed, by the Chinese Communist Party, they are the largest telecommunications company in China note $8.7 billion in profits.  Refer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huawei

The issues for Australia are to what extent can the Chinese government penetrate Australia through high level appointments and economic power.  Refer foreign ownership of homes:  https://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/buying/fears-one-million-aussie-homes-could-soon-be-owned-by-foreign-buyers/news-story/c50a4112bab4f3ed8fae27277f313f54

Australian land sales https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/china-increases-its-stake-in-australian-land-20181220-p50ng0.html

I recall Alexander Downer some years ago attempting to ban protests of Falun Gong outside the Chinese Embassy. The government went to court with Falun Gong and the latter won.   Refer http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2005/s1389732.htm

I interviewed on radio a Chinese woman whose husband had been murdered in China as they practiced Falun Gong.  Just last week I noticed they were protesting in Melbourne about organ harvesting of practitioners.  This is the very core of the argument about recoupling human rights to trade.  Clinton was the one who decoupled human rights.   This link refers to Hiliary Clinton favouring economics over human rights when it serves US interests refer https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/4735087/Hillary-Clinton-Chinese-human-rights-secondary-to-economic-survival.html

This second link reverses this and places human rights first as it serves US interests.  The issue of Guantanamo Bay, 911, the Middle East wars, rendition and its own human rights violations inclusive of leaving the UN Human Rights Council are largely ignored internationally.  One rule for one another rule for others. It is all about the money but the argument will frame it as benefiting the people.  The core issue is the economic war that seeks to use issues to weaken the competitor. This is where the nation state serves economic interests and is not representing the people. Refer https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/10/sanctions-over-china-human-rights-may-strengthen-us-position-in-trade-talks.html

Therefore, where do executives and high profiled people draw the line or is there no line?  If the focus is strongly on career, profits, political and business interests at the expense of the public interest then where do we end up?  We are walking in the shadow of the United States and the ideological economic rationalism of privatisation of public assets. This utilises government taxation to take on the risk in projects to enable the private sector to lower risk and project high profits.  This dominants the discussion as equity financing replaces government taxation attracting high interest rates (exponential) and demands for profits through users pay e.g. toll ways. The original purpose of government provision of public services quietly transforms into private provision of government services in million and billion dollar public/private partnership deals.

The contraction of global markets with a mentality of cut and move on (acquisitions, arbitrage, futures markets, speculation in profit maximisation) diminishes the public purse which typically had longer horizons with cross subsidisation built into government funding planning to ensure egalitarianism as advancing Australia Fair and public order.

Ultimately under the new rules of private engagement the public pay more (in taxation, GST, direct fees, fines, taxes) out of ever more diminishing incomes.  The multiple propensity to consume (MPC) shrinks which impacts economic growth but is hidden by activity from both foreign and domestic companies.  The chairs rearrange.

This most favoured status given to the megolithic multi-nationals (changing names, subsidiaries, rebranding) gives the impression of wealth but the reality is equity finance is expensive, the risk is carried by the equity firm and attracts high costs and interest rates. It deepens indebtedness which is the lever that can be used to influence domestic policy that would have funded social programs. Thus the left/right propaganda is used to weaken calls for public expenditure as unrealistic and economically unviable. This is how the middle class becomes pauparised as the extremes start to polarise between those with extreme wealth and those living in extreme poverty.  This is how policy creates social unrest and blames the public through repressive techniques.  The shape changer of democracy takes on a totalitarian profile with increasing calls for surveillance, funding a security apparatus with intrusive technologies (purchased from these IT companies) removing human rights and privacy to ensure control rather than squarely facing the reality of an economic mismanagement and greed as the driver of market concentration and serving of specific foreign interests.  Egalitarianism and social democracy transforms into a compliance framework that favours the few over the rights of the many and is ultimately de-stabilising, globally as we are all connected.  The public believes the propaganda that budgets are balanced when the debt is off the balance sheet as the risk was transferred.

So powerful companies like Huawei and Google for example, both titans in the IT industry have disproportionate concentration of power and hence, political influence and penetration into markets to serve interests and agendas that may provide token jobs (benefits) but ultimately are the old paradigm of profit maximisation. The profits move off shore and we see the economic cake unravel to be replaced by AI and automation.  At the same time ‘greed’ as dis-ease is not in balance with ecological limits (silent spring) takes more than it needs and is non responsive to natural rhythms that rebalance planetary systems. This is why the titanic is sinking and the planet is goaning under the strain of humans who have no real connection to themselves, each other or the natural sytems.  The nature of ‘greed’ is to follow selfish interests not respond to expanded best interest that includes resources (natural bounty).  This disconnect renders many of the capitalist/communist (whatever) business interests blind to the dangerous situation they have set up.  Some may smile and decide to fly to the moon or mars, but ultimately karma follows as the real problem was never solved at its inception. The real insecurity, fear and greed fuelling imbalance. When this is investigated inequality disappears, natural imbalances recalibrate and we begin to see ourselves in each other. This is the shift in consciousness I refer to in my video.  I felt the video permeate this blog as I feel inspired to integrate it into an example given by the article.

So a few questions for society to consider:

Is it in the national interest for political or influential figures to join with foreign multinational companies and share their knowledge, resources and networks?

Given the US trade war any persons or entities involved in Huiwei becomes a ‘threat’ as US penetration in Australia evokes its influence in networks, government, policy, security and regulatory environments.  Is this in the Australian public interest?

Thus the wicked webs we weave that continues on a trajectory spiralling to the bottom until we awaken.

Only the truth sets us free.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/brumby-quits-huawei-board-days-after-us-criminal-charges-outlined-20190201-p50v10.html

Brumby quits Huawei board days after US criminal charges outlined

Former Victorian premier John Brumby has resigned from the board of Huawei’s Australian operations in a damaging blow to the Chinese technology giant just days after the US government outlined a criminal case against it.

Mr Brumby’s decision to quit comes two days after The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive at the centre of the alleged global criminal conspiracy, established and oversaw the company’s activities in Australia between 2005 and 2011.

Former Victorian premier John Brumby.
Former Victorian premier John Brumby.CREDIT:PAUL JEFFERS

The former Labor politician’s future at Huawei Technologies (Australia) has been under a cloud since June, after he announced he was reviewing all his directorships upon assuming the role of Chancellor of Melbourne’s La Trobe University.

This week’s release of an indictment against Huawei and key executives by the US Justice Department has increased interest in Mr Brumby’s position on the company’s board.

RELATED ARTICLE

Mr Brumby said on Friday that the timing of his resignation, which will be effective from next month, was unrelated to the scandal enveloping the company.

He said he had informed the board a year ago of his intention to resign and was proud of the firm’s local growth.

‘‘We have had some challenging times … Huawei Australia has continued to go from strength to strength.’’

Ms Wanzhou is alleged by the US to have been a key player in a conspiracy to defraud international banks and US officials about the company’s Iran operations. The criminal case against Huawei also involves allegations it stole trade secrets from rival T-Mobile.

Though there is no suggestion that Ms Wanzhou was engaged in any criminal activity in Australia, the US Department of Justice case against her and the company includes the period of time she was overseeing Huawei’s corporate governance and strategy in Australia.

The December arrest of Ms Wanzhou in Canada at the request of the US government triggered a strong response from Beijing, with two Canadian citizens and Chinese-born Australian writer Yang Hengjun detained in China.

Mr Brumby will become Chancellor of La Trobe University in March.
Mr Brumby will become Chancellor of La Trobe University in March.

Ms Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese military.

Mr Brumby joined the Huawei board in Australia in 2011 shortly before the departure of Ms Wanzhou. Former foreign minister Alexander Downer and former Navy rear-admiral John Lord were also appointed to the Huawei board in an effort by the company to build political and defence credibility.

The high-profile Australian trio have been outspoken in defending Huawei against criticism from Australia and the US, whose respective intelligence agencies fear the company could be vulnerable to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party to spy on or sabotage data and phone networks.

Mr Brumby, Mr Lord and, until his 2014 appointment as Australia’s high commissioner to the UK, Mr Downer, have all previously pointed out that there has been no hard evidence produced anywhere to show Huawei was involved in espionage activities on behalf of the Chinese government.

The company has made a priority of ensuring its Australian directors have been looked after well at home and abroad. It is understood some Australian-based directors have been paid as much as $250,000 a year, though Huawei has declined to confirm this.

Despite its high-powered Australian board, Huawei has been prevented by successive Australian governments from participating in the NBN rollout and the 5G mobile network, with security agencies warning against the involvement of the Chinese firm.

Australia’s hard line position on Huawei has emboldened other western allies to restrict the Chinese company’s involvement in sensitive infrastructure.

Advertisement

In a statement released in the wake of the US charges, Huawei said it was disappointed to learn of the charges and believed the US courts would find no evidence Ms Meng or the company breached US laws.

Intelligence Officer States Al Qaeda Means The Data Base Not Terrorist Group

In the public interest.

Al Qaeda: The Data Base

Al Qaeda: The Data Base

 

 

Osama bin Laden with Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1979 (source unconfirmed)

Global Research Editor’s Note

This article originally published by Global Research in 2005 sheds light on the nature of Al Qaeda, an intelligence construct used by Washington to destabilize and destroy sovereign countries, while sustaining the illusion of  an outside enemy, which threatens the security of the Western World.

Both the Obama and Trump administrations have supported “moderate al Qaeda rebels” in Syria as part of a “counter-terrorism”  campaign (i.e. bombing raids) allegedly against the ISIS,  formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

The state sponsor of Al Qaeda goes after Al Qaeda?

The article below describes the origins of Al Qaeda: The Base, by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence.

Michel Chossudovsky, October 16,  2018

*       *       *

Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence.

“I first heard about Al-Qaida while I was attending the Command and Staff course in Jordan. I was a French officer at that time and the French Armed Forces had close contacts and cooperation with Jordan . . .

“Two of my Jordanian colleagues were experts in computers. They were air defense officers. Using computer science slang, they introduced a series of jokes about students’ punishment.

“For example, when one of us was late at the bus stop to leave the Staff College, the two officers used to tell us: ‘You’ll be noted in ‘Q eidat il-Maaloomaat’ which meant ‘You’ll be logged in the information database.’ Meaning ‘You will receive a warning . . .’ If the case was more severe, they would used to talk about ‘Q eidat i-Taaleemaat.’ Meaning ‘the decision database.’ It meant ‘you will be punished.’ For the worst cases they used to speak of logging in ‘Al Qaida.’

“In the early 1980s the Islamic Bank for Development, which is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, like the Permanent Secretariat of the Islamic Conference Organization, bought a new computerized system to cope with its accounting and communication requirements. At the time the system was more sophisticated than necessary for their actual needs.

“It was decided to use a part of the system’s memory to host the Islamic Conference’s database. It was possible for the countries attending to access the database by telephone: an Intranet, in modern language. The governments of the member-countries as well as some of their embassies in the world were connected to that network.

 

“[According to a Pakistani major] the database was divided into two parts, the information file where the participants in the meetings could pick up and send information they needed, and the decision file where the decisions made during the previous sessions were recorded and stored. In Arabic, the files were called, ‘Q eidat il-Maaloomaat’ and ‘Q eidat i-Taaleemaat.’ Those two files were kept in one file called in Arabic ‘Q eidat ilmu’ti’aat’ which is the exact translation of the English word database. But the Arabs commonly used the short word Al Qaida which is the Arabic word for “base.” The military air base of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is called ‘q eidat ‘riyadh al ‘askariya.’ Q eida means “a base” and “Al Qaida” means “the base.”

“In the mid-1980s, Al Qaida was a database located in computer and dedicated to the communications of the Islamic Conference’s secretariat.

“In the early 1990s, I was a military intelligence officer in the Headquarters of the French Rapid Action Force. Because of my skills in Arabic my job was also to translate a lot of faxes and letters seized or intercepted by our intelligence services . . . We often got intercepted material sent by Islamic networks operating from the UK or from Belgium.

“These documents contained directions sent to Islamic armed groups in Algeria or in France. The messages quoted the sources of statements to be exploited in the redaction of the tracts or leaflets, or to be introduced in video or tapes to be sent to the media. The most commonly quoted sources were the United Nations, the non-aligned countries, the UNHCR and . . . Al Qaida.

“Al Qaida remained the data base of the Islamic Conference. Not all member countries of the Islamic Conference are ‘rogue states’ and many Islamic groups could pick up information from the databases. It was but natural for Osama Bin Laden to be connected to this network. He is a member of an important family in the banking and business world.

“Because of the presence of ‘rogue states,’ it became easy for terrorist groups to use the email of the database. Hence, the email of Al Qaida was used, with some interface system, providing secrecy, for the families of the mujaheddin to keep links with their children undergoing training in Afghanistan, or in Libya or in the Beqaa valley, Lebanon. Or in action anywhere in the battlefields where the extremists sponsored by all the ‘rogue states’ used to fight. And the ‘rogue states’ included Saudi Arabia. When Osama bin Laden was an American agent in Afghanistan, the Al Qaida Intranet was a good communication system through coded or covert messages.

Meet “Al Qaeda”

“Al Qaida was neither a terrorist group nor Osama bin Laden’s personal property . . . The terrorist actions in Turkey in 2003 were carried out by Turks and the motives were local and not international, unified, or joint. These crimes put the Turkish government in a difficult position vis-a-vis the British and the Israelis. But the attacks certainly intended to ‘punish’ Prime Minister Erdogan for being a ‘toot tepid’ Islamic politician.

” . . . In the Third World the general opinion is that the countries using weapons of mass destruction for economic purposes in the service of imperialism are in fact ‘rogue states,” specially the US and other NATO countries.

” Some Islamic economic lobbies are conducting a war against the ‘liberal” economic lobbies. They use local terrorist groups claiming to act on behalf of Al Qaida. On the other hand, national armies invade independent countries under the aegis of the UN Security Council and carry out pre-emptive wars. And the real sponsors of these wars are not governments but the lobbies concealed behind them.

The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.”

In yet another example of what happens to those who challenge the system, in December 2001, Maj. Pierre-Henri Bunel was convicted by a secret French military court of passing classified documents that identified potential NATO bombing targets in Serbia to a Serbian agent during the Kosovo war in 1998. Bunel’s case was transferred from a civilian court to keep the details of the case classified. Bunel’s character witnesses and psychologists notwithstanding, the system “got him” for telling the truth about Al Qaeda and who has actually been behind the terrorist attacks commonly blamed on that group.

It is noteworthy that the Yugoslav government, the government with whom Bunel was asserted by the French government to have shared information, claimed that Albanian and Bosnian guerrillas in the Balkans were being backed by elements of “Al Qaeda.” We now know that these guerrillas were being backed by money provided by the Bosnian Defense Fund, an entity established as a special fund at Bush-influenced Riggs Bank and directed by Richard Perle and Douglas Feith.

French officer Maj. Pierre-Henri Bunel, who knew the truth about “Al Qaeda”, the CIA’s data base.  

The 9/11 Commission was Hamstrung by Official Obstruction

In the public interest.  Courtesy of the Guardian.

It is the truth that sets all free.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/sep/12/911thebigcoverup

9/11 – the big cover-up?

Even the chair of the 9/11 Commission now admits that the official evidence they were given was ‘far from the truth’.

Six years after 9/11, the American public have still not been provided with a full and truthful account of the single greatest terror attack in US history.

What they got was a turkey. The 9/11 Commission was hamstrung by official obstruction. It never managed to ascertain the whole truth of what happened on September 11 2001.

The chair and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, respectively Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, assert in their book, Without Precedent, that they were “set up to fail” and were starved of funds to do a proper investigation. They also confirm that they were denied access to the truth and misled by senior officials in the Pentagon and the federal aviation authority; and that this obstruction and deception led them to contemplate slapping officials with criminal charges.

Despite the many public statements by 9/11 commissioners and staff members acknowledging they were repeatedly lied to, not a single person has ever been charged, tried, or even reprimanded, for lying to the 9/11 Commission.

From the outset, the commission seemed to be hobbled. It did not start work until over a year after the attacks. Even then, its terms of reference were suspiciously narrow, its powers of investigation curiously limited and its time-frame for producing a report unhelpfully short – barely a year to sift through millions of pages of evidence and to interview hundreds of key witnesses.

The final report did not examine key evidence, and neglected serious anomalies in the various accounts of what happened. The commissioners admit their report was incomplete and flawed, and that many questions about the terror attacks remain unanswered. Nevertheless, the 9/11 Commission was swiftly closed down on August 21 2004.

I do not believe in conspiracy theories. I prefer rigorous, evidence-based analysis that sifts through the known facts and utilises expert opinion to draw conclusions that stand up to critical scrutiny. In other words, I believe in everything the 9/11 Commission was not.

The failings of the official investigation have fuelled too many half-baked conspiracy theories. Some of the 9/11 “truth” groups promote speculative hypotheses, ignore innocent explanations, cite non-expert sources and jump to conclusions that are not proven by the known facts. They convert mere coincidence and circumstantial evidence into cast-iron proof. This is no way to debunk the obfuscations and evasions of the 9/11 report.

But even amid the hype, some of these 9/11 groups raise valid and important questions that were never even considered, let alone answered, by the official investigation. The American public has not been told the complete truth about the events of that fateful autumn morning six years ago.

What happened on 9/11 is fundamentally important in its own right. But equally important is the way the 9/11 cover-up signifies an absence of democratic, transparent and accountable government. Establishing the truth is, in part, about restoring honesty, trust and confidence in American politics.

There are dozens of 9/11 “truth” websites and campaign groups. I cannot vouch for the veracity or credibility of any of them. But what I can say is that as well as making plenty of seemingly outrageous claims; a few of them raise legitimate questions that demand answers.

Four of these well known “tell the truth” 9/11 websites are:

1) Scholars for 9/11 Truth, which includes academics and intellectuals from many disciplines.

2) 250+ 9/11 ‘Smoking Guns’ a website that cites over 250 pieces of evidence that allegedly contradict, or were omitted from, the 9/11 Commission report.

3) The 911 Truth Campaign that, as well as offering its own evidence and theories, includes links to more than 20 similar websites.

4) Patriots Question 9/11, perhaps the most plausible array of distinguished US citizens who question the official account of 9/11, including General Wesley Clark, former Nato commander in Europe, and seven members and staffers of the official 9/11 Commission, including the chair and vice chair. In all, this website documents the doubts of 110+ senior military, intelligence service, law enforcement and government officials; 200+ engineers and architects; 50+ pilots and aviation professionals; 150+ professors; 90+ entertainment and media people; and 190+ 9/11 survivors and family members. Although this is an impressive roll call, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these expert professionals are right. Nevertheless, their scepticism of the official version of events is reason to pause and reflect.

More and more US citizens are critical of the official account. The respected Zogby polling organisation last week found that 51% of Americans want Congress to probe President Bush and Vice-President Cheney regarding the truth about the 9/11 attacks; 67% are also critical of the 9/11 Commission for not investigating the bizarre, unexplained collapse of the 47-storey World Trade Centre building 7 (WTC7). This building was not hit by any planes. Unlike WTC3, which was badly damaged by falling debris from the Twin Towers but which remained standing, WTC7 suffered minor damage but suddenly collapsed in a neat pile, as happens in a controlled demolition.

In a 2006 interview with anchorman Evan Soloman of CBC’s Sunday programme, the vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, was reminded that the commission report failed to even mention the collapse of WTC7 or the suspicious hurried removal of the building debris from the site – before there could be a proper forensic investigation of what was a crime scene. Hamilton could only offer the lame excuse that the commissioners did not have “unlimited time” and could not be expected to answer “every question” the public asks.

There are many, many more strange unexplained facts concerning the events of 9/11. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to be puzzled and want an explanation, or to be sceptical concerning the official version of events.

Six years on from those terrible events, the survivors, and the friends and families of those who died, deserve to know the truth. Is honesty and transparency concerning 9/11 too much to ask of the president and Congress?

What is needed is a new and truly independent commission of inquiry to sort coincidence and conjecture from fact, and to provide answers to the unsolved anomalies in the evidence available concerning the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Unlike the often-stymied first investigation, this new commission should be granted wide-ranging subpoena powers and unfettered access to government files and officials. George Bush should be called to testify, without his minders at hand to brief and prompt him. America – and the world – has a right to know the truth.