Orlando Sentinel – Sunday, September 7, 2003

9-11 was part of U.S. plot, ex-British Cabinet minister says. The former official, who quit in June, said America’s goal is world domination.

Reuters – London

A former British minister said Saturday that the United States knew in advance the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks would happen but failed to prevent them as they strengthened the U.S. bid for world domination.

Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Michael Meacher, a former environment minister in Tony Blair’s Cabinet, also said Washington’s “war on terrorism” was being used as “bogus cover” for achieving wider U.S. strategic geopolitical objectives.

“The global war on terrorism has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to pave the way for a wholly different agenda – the U.S. goal of world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies required to drive the whole project.”

Meacher said the Sept. 11 attacks created an “invaluable pretext” for attacking Afghanistan and said the United States had intended to take military control of the Persian Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq.

“It is clear that U.S. authorities did little or nothing to preempt the events of 9-11,” he said.

Meacher said a 1999 report by the national intelligence council warned that al-Qaeda suicide bombers could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives on the Pentagon, the headquarters of the CIA or the White House.

He also questioned the response on the morning of the attacks on New York and Washington. “It is a U.S. legal requirement that once an aircraft has moved significantly off its flight plan, fighter planes are sent up to investigate.

“Not a single fighter plane was scrambled … until after the third plane had hit the Pentagon at 9.38 a.m. Why not?”

The U.S. Embassy in London expressed disgust at Meacher’s views.

“Mr. Meacher’s fantastic allegations – especially his assertion that the U.S. government knowingly stood by while terrorists killed some 3,000 innocents in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia – would be monstrous, and monstrously offensive, if they came from someone serious or credible.”

Tony Blair’s office distanced itself from the comments, saying; “The prime minister has responded to those who argue it was about oil.”

Meacher stepped down as environment minister in June after six years in the post.

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