Roger Whittaker

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Cynthia McKinney

Wednesday 10th March 2010

On Monday evening Cynthia McKinney spoke at a meeting on the theme "Behind the "War on Terror" held at SOAS. The medium sized lecture room was full: other speakers were Ian Henshall and Nafeez Ahmed.

Ian Henshall spoke first, and touched on the reluctance of politicians and journalists to discuss the real nature of the so-called "War on Terror" and the events that precipitated it in public, despite being personally convinced that the official story does not make sense. He highlighted the smears, name calling, whispering campaigns and straw man arguments that are regularly used to try to close down discussion. He stressed that his aim was help people to understand the problems with the official story of 9/11 and not to promote any particular detailed theory or account, and he was particularly insistent on the need to use objectively sourced evidence and present the case for a real investigation while avoiding unprovable speculation.

Nafeez Ahmed discussed the ways in which the official story of 9/11 was, as he put it "flawed and incoherent". He mentioned the fact that roughly a quarter of the footnoted sources of information in the 9/11 Commission report referred to statements extracted using torture. He discussed the US Army Field Manual on unconventional warfare that was leaked in 2008, and also the Gladio "strategy of tension" (described in detail by Daniel Ganser), both of which show a modus operandi that has deep roots and a long history. He discussed the use made over the years of Islamist terror networks by the United States, and discussed the derivation of the term "Al Qaeda". He also mentioned the February issue of "American Behavioural Scientist" which is devoted to matters related to the situation since 2001.

Ian Henshall introduced Cynthia McKinney, mentioning in particular her 12 years in Congress, her work on behalf of victims of Hurricane Katrina, her attempts to get records surrounding the assassination of Martin Luther King unsealed, and her recent kidnapping and imprisonment by the Israelis.

Cynthia McKinney made a wide-ranging speech in which she began by describing some of her own experiences on the day of September 11th 2001, and the way in which members of Congress were given "talking points" at a very early stage. She discussed the large proportion of the CIA's budget which has historically been devoted to opinion forming activities, going back to the 1960s and earlier. She also discussed the CIA's involvement in drug running and the work of Gary Webb and Mike Ruppert in exposing this. She stressed the importance of exposing the truth about these and other matters, and noted that President Obama has continued to use 9/11 as a justification for the war in Afghanistan.

Some photos are here.