"Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: 'Once is happenstance, Twice is coincidence, Three times is enemy action.” - Auric Goldfinger
Stratfor (a portmanteau of the words “strategic” and “forecast”) is a very exclusive (and expensive) website where individuals inside and outside the highest levels of military and civilian political, intelligence and security apparati share information, much of it quite sensitive. Late last year Wikileaks hacked the Stratfor database and began publishing years of its emails.
With so much to go through, it has taken some time for outsiders analyzing the Stratfor trove to discover TrapWire, the brainchild of a shadowy company called Abraxas. TrapWire is a computer system that aggregates and sifts “suspicious activity reports,” from all the “red zones” (areas where terrorists are believed to be intent on striking) nationwide, then “connects the dots” and provides that information to intelligence operatives so that they can make decisions about how best to protect the assets they are responsible for. Abraxas claims that TrapWire is more accurate than facial recognition alone in picking up the telltale signs of surveillance that indicate pre-planning by a terrorist cell. A 2010 e-mail Wikileaks exposed indicates that all High Value Targets in the Western world are now TrapWire customers.
Essentially, TrapWire claims to automatically do what officials have claimed for more than a decade was not done while the 9/11 hijackers assembled, trained and surveilled their targets. Of course, what has also come out of the 9/11 investigation is that many individuals raised questions about the activities of the individuals who would ultimately be blamed for the attacks, and what has been learned since the official 9/11 investigation is that the official version of the events is inherently suspect.
One of the most striking aspects of 9/11 is that it occurred during an exercise designed to simulate a hijacking. Many analysts believe this coincidence had a significant impact, slowing the response of NORAD’s Northeast headquarters, although other experts argue that the confusion was short-lived and had little effect on the question of whether officials could have reacted in a way that would have spared the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The July 7, 2005 attacks on the London underground and bus transit system are considered “Britain’s 9/11.” Oddly, the British attacks also occurred during an exercise. Interestingly, New York’s former mayor on 9/11, Rudolf Giuliani was in London at the time, as was Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the hard-line right Likud Party. Giuliani’s post-mayoral consulting firm, Giuliani Partners LLC specialized in mock terror drills.
It does not require a major leap to conclude that high government officials may have had more than a little foreknowledge of terror attacks. The University of California at Berkeley performed a study that concluded that almost all terror plots in the United States are organized by the FBI. Of course, we know of the FBI’s involvement because those attacks fail. When the attacks succeed, however, the FBI hides its informants even from Congressional Inquiries.
James Bond’s fictional nemesis Auric Goldfinger had it right: if it happens a third time you have to conclude something’s up. We now know that all the major targets have been protected by a highly capable system for a couple of years. If another major attack occurs, during an exercise or not, we must either believe that our own government is penetrated by muslim terrorists, or that muslim terrorists are among the assets controlled by some other agency that has also penetrated key layers of multiple governments.
In either case, further restrictions on the liberties of ordinary Americans would be the wrong response.