A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab (pictured left) trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport. Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday. Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man. Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning. While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. "The guy said, 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time.'" Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab's lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee. – MLive
Dominant Social Theme: So much confusion.
Free-Market Analysis: We've stayed away from commenting on this because inevitably the "facts on the ground" will change. But surprisingly, Haskell, who is an attorney and financial planner, has stuck clearly and quietly to his story in such a way that his account seems credible. Meanwhile, the FBI and sundry agencies have given various conflicting accounts of what is going on with ever shifting suspects, etc. Operation as usual.
What would be easiest to do would be for the FBI to release any tapes showing the "sharp-dressed man" that Haskell mentions, the one he believes is the bomber's accomplice. But this the FBI has not yet done, and we wouldn't bet that it will. Such tapes have a slippery history. During the London subway bombings, surveillance tapes turned up missing or unusable. After the Pentagon was struck on 9/11, FBI agents reportedly fanned out and removed all the film and video in a large area surrounding the Pentagon – from delis, supermarkets, banks, etc. And the FBI has never given a single item back that we know of despite overwhelming interest in knowing more about how the Pentagon might have been struck.
If one reads accounts of terrorism either in the United States or Britain – terrorist activity – it seemingly, almost inevitably, emerges that there was some sort of involvement by intelligence agencies in the plotting of the activities or even somehow in the actual deed. This is always presented within the context of surveillance but it begins to leave the impression that agencies involved are in some sense facilitating the very crimes they are supposed to be preventing.
We've mentioned on several occasions the BBC documentary that looked into the Bush Administration's claim that 9/11 was the work of Al Qaeda came away with the conclusion that Al Qaeda was a fantasy. John Farmer, chief counsel for the 9/11 commission has written a book claiming that the commission was roundly lied to by the Pentagon, the administration, the CIA, FBI, etc. And also that a factual record has therefore never been established.
For cynics, the lying, the cover-ups, the evidence gone missing, the endless involvement of intel agencies in the paucity of Al Qaeda activity itself, all add up to a willingness to promote a state of terror and a war on terror that has its roots more in manipulation than in reality. For such observers, the war on terror is nothing more than another power elite promotion, a way of frightening citizens of the West into giving up more of their freedom at a time when the Internet itself is revealing a reality that is in some sense startlingly different than what the mainstream media has been presenting for the past century at least. The best way to counteract such cynicism would be through more open government and more intel agency transparency. Otherwise, there is almost no doubt that suspicions will continue to grow.