911 Special Edition
Saturday, September 10, 2016
My Day as a TV Terrorism Expert 15 Years Ago on 911 - How this election could repeat it
Global American Values
911 Special Edition
911 Special Edition
Fifteen years ago on this September 11, 2016, I spent the entire day in a TV channel as a terrorist expert. I had talked about the potential of a 911 on that same TV channel ten years before during the Gulf War of 1991 (which is documented on YouTube at this link https://youtu.be/Jr_SXX2qp-M) My prediction had become sadly true.
That September 11 was a picture perfect beautiful blue September day, the kind of day you think nothing bad could happen. I was getting ready for work when I heard the TV report. When they said that a “second” plane had hit I knew that this was no freak accident. I called the TV station and said “I was your expert during the Gulf War, would you like me to come in?” Yes, was the answer.
So I hurriedly drove to the Houston station. When I got there, people were watching reports of a third plane, which hit the Pentagon. Then reports of a missing fourth plane, which turned out to be Flight 93, which had gone down in a field in Pennsylvania due to heroic efforts by passengers to keep it from its destination: either the White House or Congress (the latter is a perfect target and would have eliminated our entire Congress, paralyzing us).
We had no idea what was really going on or the extent of the attack, but suddenly I was at a desk with the same TV anchor I had met during the ’91 Gulf War interviews. We did the best we could with what little we knew. Nine months before 911, I sent a video to the Bush administration and my Congressional representative going into details with a nuclear weapons expert about its potential, but got no response. That video is on YouTube at this link: https://youtu.be/gfRE-JkUSRg
It was a very long day. Those caught in Pearl Harbor at least knew war was possible—Hitler had been on the rampage for years. We didn’t. Back in 1991, based on my global experiences as an international legal negotiator, I had thought Saddam could be behind such a dastardly act (he did try to have President H.W. Bush assassinated on a trip to the Middle East). On 911, we didn’t know anything and spent the day guessing. So did the White House as it turned out. Only later did it become evident it was Osama bin Laden, hiding out in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was the ultra-religious terrorist; Saddam was the non-religious brutal dictator who invaded Kuwait. Bin Laden hated Saddam, who would not let him set foot in Iraq (the 2003 invasion opened Iraq to him for the first time.)
During a break on that strange, horrible day, the TV anchor told me that someone from New York had sent her some photos reporters had taken of people who had jumped from the top of the towers. The shot was of some of them midair. “Do you notice anything unusual about those people?” No. “Look, none of them have feet!” Apparently the fierce fires that burned from the tons of jet fuel spewed on impact from the big Boeing 767’s was not only melting the steel and feeding the fires; it was so hot that people who made it to the roof had to choose between burning to death or jumping. The photos were not shown on air.
At 9 pm that night I made my final comments as their terrorism expert, still guessing. I continued in that role, making several appearances a week for two years. It became evident it was bin Laden that was solely responsible. I opposed the invasion of Iraq and my appearances on TV ended when Baghdad was invaded and my prediction of a prolonged nasty street war proved correct.
Ignoring the Middle East was a disaster. Invading Iraq was a disaster. That shows how complicated it is and why we don’t need an amateur as president who loves the Russian president, who was trained by the KGB, and has taken over Crimea by force and now threatens Ukraine and our NATO allies. ISIS has said it is praying for a Trump victory. They know that his intolerant statements will draw more Muslims to them for the “holy war” they hope to have. Like George W. Bush, Trump would fall into the trap of making a bad situation worse.
As bad as 911 was, we face greater dangers if we remain ignorant about the world or elect a president who admires dictators like Kim Jung Un (our new Saddam – a dictator with an actual growing nuclear arsenal.) There are zero easy answers as neither sanctions nor negotiations have worked. Bombing Kim’s bomb factory would result in North Korea firing thousands of artillery weapons on South Korea’s capital, Seoul, only 30 miles from the DMZ. Millions would die.
The next president must be able to engage in the complex and bizarre politics of the Middle East and Asia. Putin has been hacking the DNC computers to help Mr. Trump get elected. That should worry you. When Iranian boats recently passed close to U.S. warships, Trump said: “I would shoot them.” That would result in a war that would make Iraq look like a cakewalk. According to a 2002 war exercise called Millennium Challenge (a mock war with Iran) our Navy lost 20 ships destroyed including aircraft carriers before it was called off.
As one of the very few who predicted 911, I am convinced that Mr. Trump would be an insane presidential choice and global disaster for our future. It’s tough enough when you do know what you are doing, but a Trump presidency would be a global nightmare beyond anything we have seen to date.
Michael Fjetland, BBA/JD
Author, Better Times Ahead April Fool