1. Background
  2. Impact
  3. Process
  4. Questions


1. Background

Like so many, I remember September 11, 2001, vividly and have thought a great deal about it and its aftermath—a transformative world event from virtually any perspective.

Our October 2001 bombing of Afghanistan, which was trumpeted as going after the terrorists of 9/11, felt like the right thing to do (an eye for an eye) so I spent little time thinking about it.

In 2002 and 2003, my ears perked up trying to follow and digest the vast amount of emotional and fact-lite talk about our need to attack Iraq. By the time we invaded Iraq in March 2003, my mind was buzzing with unanswered questions about the invasion.

I did little about the issues surrounding 9/11, including our 2003 invasion of Iraq, until 2007, when I read Richard Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies, which wasn’t complimentary to the George W. Bush administration. I noticed that when the book came out, the administration pounded Clarke’s intentions and character in the media, but oddly said little about the content of his book.

I continued thinking about 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq, and how oil figured in any of this, and in August 2008, I decided to compile this reference work so I and others could better understand and address the many questions that seemed to beg answers from events leading up to 9/11, our subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the aftermath of those actions.

2. Impact

Most Americans and millions around the world were affected by 9/11. Security laws and rules were fundamentally changed in our country and in many others. Personal privacy was sacrificed and diminished. That lessening of our privacy continues today.

It has been written that the average American after 9/11 is now filmed by ubiquitous cameras 200 times a day in major US cities. [1]

Social programs and day-to-day operations of our local, state and federal governments have been cut back by our federal government’s need for billions of dollars for security, the military, our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our global “War on Terror.” The huge sums borrowed by our government for “terror funding” have come with vague promises of repayment in the future.

After we invaded Iraq in March 2003, I began reading and focusing on Iraq and on our previous involvement with and support of Saddam Hussein. The closer I looked, the more perplexing and ugly past events about Hussein, Iraq, and our country seemed.

For example, in the 1980s, our government sent Hussein and Iraq hundreds of “dual-use” technology shipments (technology that could be used for civilian or military purposes), including technology for missiles and nuclear reactors, and strains of anthrax and bubonic plague. [2]

Our government continued to support Hussein in the mid to late 1980s even while they knew he was gassing his own people. [3]

On July 25, 1990, our Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie, according to at least one report, told Hussein that the US would consider his not-yet invasion of Kuwait an Arab/Arab issue. [4] If Ambassador Glaspie had indeed used those words, they might have been taken by Hussein as a green light from the US to invade Kuwait. Eight days after his meeting with Ambassador Glaspie, Hussein invaded Kuwait. Six days later, we and other nations entered that war and drove Iraq out of Kuwait.

Then, in March 2003, we attacked Hussein and his government ostensibly for having and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons (some of which we previously provided him), for gassing his own people (which we knew about years before and overlooked), and for him being a threat, “confirmed” by his 1990 invasion of Kuwait (which we may well have green-lit by mistake or otherwise).

Importantly, as I looked into the above issues, the huge Iraq oil reserves seemed to pop up frequently.

3. Process

It then occurred to me that while Clarke’s book was informative, the information in his and other books on 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, and related areas (which I’m collectively calling “9/11 Plus”) were by necessity limited by each author’s personal knowledge and bias—each author [5] seemed to be a kind of 9/11 Plus information “island.”

Because I wanted to understand 9/11 and the 2003 invasion in a larger context, and because I knew from prior experience that recollections of the same event by different people often yielded conflicting recollections of the event (the “Rashomon” [6] effect), I decided to build a timeline of 9/11 Plus events as reported and quoted by a diverse group of politicians, elected officials, writers, reporters and others.

I theorized that when combined, a timeline of quoted information from different sources would produce a more complete mosaic (or puzzle) of 9/11 and events seemingly related to it.

4. Questions

The following are just a few of the many questions that seem to arise from this compendium of quotes (that some may find leading):

Up to 9/11 Through Our Invasion of Iraq in March 2003:

  1. What has been our involvement with Saudi Arabia, their government, their people and their oil?
  2. Has the Saudi/oil relationship been understood by our Congress and the American people?
  3. Did the US act fairly in its oil dealings in the Middle East?
  4. How and why did the US originally pick and support Saddam Hussein in Iraq?
  5. Why did the Bush administration support Saddam Hussein when we knew he was gassing his own people?
  6. Why did we subsequently overthrow his regime?
  7. What are the history and background of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, and why have they and other extremists been so committed to hurting the US and other Western countries?
  8. Who and what are Muslim extremists and how do they think and react toward the US and Western culture?
  9. Were the reports of terrorism aimed at the US prior to 9/11 taken seriously by our leaders?
  10. Did the extremists have any good reasons for hurting the West?
  11. What decisions were made (or not made) by the US government that contributed to or allowed 9/11 to happen?
  12. Were decisions made (or not made) about terrorism prior to 9/11 in the best interest of our nation?
  13. Given the intelligence and information the US had received or that was “out there,” could our government or should it have prevented 9/11?

US March 26, 2003, Iraq Invasion:

  1. Was the George W. Bush administration honest with the American people and our Congress about the need for that 2003 invasion?
  2. Were the pronouncements by our government about the need to attack Iraq made in good faith?
  3. Was our March 2003 invasion of Iraq necessary to protect our country?
  4. Did that invasion make us safer, and has/will it make us safer?

Other Questions:

  1. What changes in our laws and their interpretations has 9/11 brought, and have those changes been good for America?
  2. Was Osama bin Laden a threat to America after 9/11?
  3. After 9/11 did our government do what it reasonably could to catch Osama bin Laden?
  4. What are the lessons and insights to be learned, if any, from our decisions and actions leading up to 9/11 and our subsequent invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq that will better secure our future and enhance the quality of our lives?
  5. Has our oil relationship with the Middle East and other countries been good for America?
  6. Have those oil relationships been understood by Congress and the American people?
  7. To what extent has oil been a substantial contributor to the decisions that led to 9/11, subsequent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the rise of terrorism around the world?

Steven C. Markoff, Founder of the A-Mark Foundation


1. Sarah Lacy, “Our Lives Caught on Tape: Creepy, Entertaining or Just Reality?” techcrunch.com, October 5, 2010

2. “The Reagan and Bush I administrations…authorized sales of deadly chemical and biological agents to Iraq [starting on February 8, 1985], including anthrax and bubonic plague.” —Authors Amy Goodman with David Goodman, The Exception to the Rulers, Page 34

3. “On August 20, 1988, a ceasefire went into effect between Iran and Iraq. Just five days later [August 25, 1988], Saddam Hussein again staged poison-gas attacks against his own people in villages in Iraqi Kurdistan. None of this, however, changed the [Reagan] administration’s policy [of supporting Saddam with military aid].” —Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, Page 80

4. On July 25, 1990, US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie, told Saddam Hussein ” ‘I admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. I know you need funds. We understand that and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.’ ” —Special to The New York Times, “Excerpts From Iraqi Document on Meeting With U.S. Envoy,” The New York Times, September 23, 1990

5. Authors from the over 130 published works used to gather quotes for this research work and its database.

6. 1950 Japanese classic film exploring the contradictory witness accounts of a murder and rape.