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Ne evidence about 911 shows without any doubt, that "19 Arabs" had nothing to do with it

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Aug 2 11 5:35 PM

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Speak Out

Please forward this Action Alert everywhere

9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out is the exciting new documentary film by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Watch the four-minute trailer above. Then share it with all your friends via Facebook, email, etc.

Next, download the press release and forward it to media organizations in your area.

The documentary premieres the first week of September in theaters all across the country and around the world. Be sure to screen the documentary in your community and use our customizable premiere posters.

The new DVD 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out will ship the first week of September. Order your copy today while supplies last and to guarantee your shipment before September 11!
Send your East Canadian and New York friends to the World Premiere with special introductions by Richard Gage, AIA, in Toronto on September 7, and in New York on the afternoon of September 11. The Toronto premiere is occurring in conjunction with The Toronto Hearings, a 9/11 evidence-based conference which follows on September 8-11 – and concurrently with the popular nearby Toronto Film Festival.

Physicist Jeff Farrer. One of the co-authors of the World Trade Center dust nanothermite study discusses his work
The film features cutting-edge 9/11 evidence from more than 50 experts in their fields – high-rise architects, structural engineers, physicists, chemical engineers, firefighters, metallurgists, explosives experts, controlled demolition technicians, and more. They are each highly qualified. Several have Ph.D’s, including renowned scientist, Lynn Margulis who was awarded the National Medal of Science, and who exposes in this film the fraud of NIST and discusses how the scientific method should have been applied to the destruction of evidence and to the high temperature incendiaries in the WTC dust samples. The documentary is filled with wisdom from experts such as Les Young, one of several high-rise architects interviewed in the film, who remarks,
“I would not have expected the whole building[s] to just give in at once. And I thought it rather odd that they fell almost perfectly – in very similar ways. It seemed odd that lightning would strike twice.”

Chemical Engineer Mark Basile. The first scientist who ignited a red/gray chip from the World Trade Center dust and found iron-rich microspheres in the residue discusses his process of discovery using the scientific method
In the full-length documentary we also interviewed almost a dozen psychologists who will help us to explain why 9/11 Truth is so difficult for the public to even face, much less accept – and what we can do better to reach them. We will also hear from several 9/11 victim family members who support AE911Truth in our call for a new investigation.

Psychologist William Woodward, Ph.D, one of eight mental health professionals who are also AE911Truth petition signers, provides a profound insight in that section of the film:
“Reconciliation through the truth is a deep path to psychological recovery from the myths and lies around which this historic event has been cloaked in the official view.”

The new pocket book co-authored by AE911Truth and Arthur Naiman is a must-have – and a must give-away
Be sure to order the DVD “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out” today in order to guarantee timely shipment. In fact, order it along with the new book, which we co-authored, “9/11: The Simple Facts – Why the official Story Cannot Possibly Be True.” Arthur Naiman came to us after signing our petition and said “Let’s put the AE911Truth evidence in a book in the successful series” that he had already written for Counterpoint Publishing.

It contains works from Noam Chomsky and others, including coverage of the MLK, JFK, and RFK assasinations.This important addition to the Real Story Series benefits from name and polished yet casual style. We hope you will get several copies and pass them around.

High-rise architect Robert McCoy is one of 1,500 Architects & Engineers demanding a new investigation
One of the experts featured in the documentary film is Robert McCoy, high-rise architect, who has been licensed in California since 1964 and has worked on the design of many large steel-framed high-rise buildings. He corresponded directly with the designers of the WTC complex during its construction to ensure that his high-rise projects were up to date. Like those of many experts, McCoy’s suspicions about the real nature of 9/11 started almost immediately following the horrific events of that day. He is “not interested in conspiracy theories… [he] just wants to know how those buildings came down”.

AE911Truth Action Group – Wellington, New Zealand, holds daytime vigil at the seat of government – handing out AE911Truth evidence to passersby. Join them on September 8 at county courthouses all across the world
We hope that you will join us to ensure the massive success of the premiere of this most important documentary. Find out how to organize a screening at a library or theater in your community. No matter where you are located, you can step into action with AE911Truth. If you’re not ready to coordinate such an event yourself, you can telephone people in your local area who already appreciate our work and might be willing to step up. Just email us if you have any questions. No experience necessary, just some time, energy, and concern for getting the AE911Truth evidence out to your fellow citizens.

The premiere screenings of Experts Speak Out are part of the four-phase AE911Truth Action Group activities taking place during the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 – all designed to educate the public about the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers. You might also want to assist AE911Truth with these other phases of our effort this fall!

  1. Deliver the outreach letter and AE911Truth educational materials to legal/law enforcement professionals in your local community (August)
  2. Daytime vigils and press conferences at county courthouses (Thursday September 8)
  3. Screen the premiere of “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out” in your community (the week before September 11)
  4. Congressional outreach visits during Washington DC recess (in late September – or as convenient)

Please share this trailer on your favorite social networks:

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Sep 8 11 12:47 PM

National Archive keeps bulk of 9/11 Commission report sealed

By Reuters
Thursday, September 8th, 2011 -- 9:21 am

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ten years after al Qaeda's attack on the United States, the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission's investigative records remain sealed at the National Archives in Washington, even though the commission had directed the archives to make most of the material public in 2009, Reuters has learned.
The National Archives' failure to release the material presents a hurdle for historians and others seeking to plumb one of the most dramatic events in modern American history.
The 575 cubic feet of records were in large part the basis for the commission's public report, issued July 22, 2004. The commission, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, was established by Congress in late 2002 to investigate the events leading up to the 9/11 attacks, the pre-attack effectiveness of intelligence agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the government's emergency response.
In a Reuters interview this week, Matt Fulgham, assistant director of the archives' center for legislative affairs which has oversight of the commission documents, said that more than a third of the material has been reviewed for possible release. But many of those documents have been withheld or heavily redacted, and the released material includes documents that already were in the public domain, such as press articles.
Commission items still not public include a 30-page summary of an April 29, 2004 interview by all 10 commissioners with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, conducted in the White House's Oval Office. This was the only time the two were formally questioned about the events surrounding the attacks. The information could shed light on public accounts the two men have given in recent weeks of their actions around the time of the attacks.
Several former commission staff members said that because there is no comprehensive effort to unseal the remaining material, portions of the records the commission had hoped would be available by now to scholars and the public instead will remain sealed indefinitely.
In 2004 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean said publicly that he was eager for most of the records to be released as quickly as possible. In a Reuters interview last week, Kean said he was not aware until told by Reuters that only a small portion of the records have since been unsealed, and he saw no justification for withholding most of the unreleased material.
Kean said the commissioners had agreed on the January 2, 2009 date for release so that the material would not come out until after the 2008 elections. "We didn't want it to become a political football," he said.
But he added: "It should all be available now... We (commissioners) all felt that there's nothing in the records that that shouldn't be available" once the election had passed.
The still-sealed documents contain source material on subjects ranging from actions by President Bush on the day of the attacks to the Clinton White House's earlier response to growing threats from al Qaeda - information that in some instances was omitted from the 2004 report because of partisan battles among the commissioners.
The sealed material also includes vast amounts of information on al Qaeda and U.S. intelligence efforts in the years preceding the attacks.
Shortly before the commission ceased to exist in August 2004, it turned over all of its records to the archives. In a letter dated August 20, 2004, the commission's chairman and vice chairman instructed the archives to make the material public "to the greatest extent possible" on January 2, 2009, "or as soon thereafter as possible."
Philip Zelikow, who was the commission's staff director, said the summary "could be declassified in full without any harm to national security." Zelikow, a historian at the University of Virginia who for a time also was a top adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said the same is true for a 7,000-word summary he helped prepare for the commission of daily presidential intelligence briefings from 1998 through the attack. He said the summary would be a boon to scholars studying the history of U.S. intelligence work.
Stephanie Kaplan, a former commission staff member who is now working on a Ph.D. dissertation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on al Qaeda, said she has had to rely heavily on other sources because so little of the commission data is public.
Fulgham said that in preparation for the 2009 deadline, the archives assigned additional employees for some months to help prepare disclosure of an initial batch of records. But since then the effort has ground to a halt, in part because of a shortage of personnel and the difficulty of dealing with classified material, Fulgham said.
He said another big problem is that roughly two-thirds of the commission material remains classified by the agencies that gave it to the commission.
In its 2004 letter, the commission had asked the archives to submit all classified material to the agencies that created the documents to review them for declassification. But Fulgham said the archives has not done so. He said there was little point in asking agencies such as the CIA and State Department to declassify the material because they already are swamped evaluating other, much older material for release, in part in response to a presidential order to declassify as many records as possible that are at least 25 years old.
Scholars and public-interest organizations that focus on foreign policy and national security have long complained that the government classifies far more material than necessary.
Kean said when he headed the commission, "Most of what I read that was classified shouldn't have been." He said. "Easily 60 percent of the classified documents have no reason to be classified - none."
Kristen Wilhelm, the sole archives official now assigned to review the commission documents, said in an interview that the records agency has focused on releasing material created by the commission itself, such as "memoranda for the record" in which commission staff summarized research and interviews. She said the archives decided to emphasize releasing that material because it is the only possible source for it.
Wilhelm said she now mainly just responds to individual requests for information, and in most instances refers applicants to the agencies that created the documents rather than working to unseal the material herself. She said researchers could file Freedom of Information Act requests with individual federal agencies for documents they had turned over to the commission.
Commission records held by the Archives itself are exempt from FOIA because the commission was established by Congress and the legislative branch records are exempt from FOIA.
Some of the material now public is posted on the archives website, particularly the staff-written memoranda and transcripts of some commission interviews. But Wilhelm said most of the released material can be viewed only at the archives' headquarters.
John Berger, an author who maintains a website of terrorism and 9/11-related documents, said the failure to release more material is bad for the country because scholars and journalists are often able to analyze such material in depth, producing valuable insights.
"You can point to things produced from declassified documents that help our understanding and the government's understanding of urgent problems," he said.
(Editing by Michael Williams and Claudia Parsons)
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#3 [url]

Sep 8 11 1:59 PM

Survivors know the truth, that is why they do not let them attend

LOWER MANHATTAN — Survivors who fled the flaming World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 will not be allowed to attend the city’s annual commemoration ceremony at Ground Zero this year, DNAinfo has learned.

The mayor’s office, which runs the ceremony, informed the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network last week that there will be no room for them at this year’s 10th anniversary ceremony, which will be held for the first time at the newly built 9/11 memorial, the city said.

“In years past, members of this survivors’ group were permitted to attend once it was clear that attendance numbers of victims’ family members would allow it,” said Andrew Brent, spokesman for the mayor’s office.

“The commemoration ceremony is for victims’ family members, and this year – on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – the expectation is there will be no opportunity for members of the group to attend.”

September 11th will again be an emotional day for victims’ family members, survivors, responders, millions of New Yorkers and people from all over the country and the world, but obvious space constraints on the Memorial plaza will limit the attendees to victims’ families,” Brent added.

Survivors of the 9/11 attacks had called the mayor’s office in the runup to the anniversary to ask for permission to attend again this year. Survivors were initially not allowed to attend the name-reading ceremony in the years immediately following the terrorist attacks, but were later granted access, the group said.

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Sep 8 11 6:58 PM

911 is the biggest lie of our time

Lie of

by Stephen Lendman
Winston Churchill rightly explained that “(a) lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Today, of course, it circulates everywhere instantly.
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s Reich Minister of Propaganda, once said:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
He added that “truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Corporate media manipulators love a big story they can hype, distort, and falsify to attract large audiences supportively for the worst imperial crimes.
In fact, the bigger the event, the worse the reporting, sacrificing truth for managed news and opinions everyone should understand and avoid.
Distinguished scholars like David Ray Griffin exposed the 9/11 lie in his exhaustive research and writings. In numerous books, articles, and lectures, he provided convincing evidence about an inside job, not an attack carried out by “crazed Arabs.”
In an April 5, 2006 lecture titled, “9/11: The Myth and the Reality,” he concluded saying:
“It would seem, for many reasons, that the official story of 9/11, which has served as a religious Myth in the intervening years (and still does), is a myth in the pejorative sense of a story that does not correspond to reality.”
It was Griffin’s polite way of calling it a Big Lie, the biggest of our time.
On September 11, 2008, his Global Research article headlined, “September 11, 2001: 21 Reasons to Question the Official Story about 9/11,” including:
(1) Although the Big Lie holds Osama bin Laden accountable, the FBI admitted it “has no hard evidence connecting” him to the attack (NPHR 206-11).
(2) Although the 9/11 myth claims “devout Muslims (were) ready to die as martyrs to earn a heavenly reward, Mohamed Atta (their alleged leader) and the other alleged hijackers regularly drank heavily, went to strip clubs, and paid for sex (NPHR 153-55).”
(3) Claimed cell phone calls from above 30,000 feet to relatives were falsified as technology at the time made completely them impossible. Later, the FBI changed its story, saying only two were made “from United 93 after it descended to 5,000 feet (NPHR 111-17).”
(4) Then “US Solicitor General Tel Olson’s claim that his wife, Barbara Olson, phoned him twice from AA 77,” saying hijackers controlled the plane, “was also contradicted by this FBI report,” saying one call she attempted was “unconnected” and lasted “0 seconds (NPRH 60-62).”
(5) The FBI lied, saying Atta’s left behind luggage included “decisive evidence that al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks….(NPHR 155-62).”
(6) Evidence of alleged Al Qaeda videos, “passports discovered at the crash sites, and a headband discovered at the crash site of United 93 (showed) clear signs of having been fabricated (NPHR 170-73).”
(7) Evidence shows hijackers WERE NOT on the planes. Moreover, if they broke “into cockpits, the pilots would have ‘squawked’ the universal highjack code,” a simple two second act. However, none aboard the four flights did it (NPHR 175-79).
(8) Standard operating procedures to intercept “planes showing signs of an in-flight emergency within about 10 minutes” weren’t followed. Instead, a “stand-down order prevented (them) from being carried out (NPHR 1-10, 81-84).”
(9) Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said Dick Cheney, inside the White House bunker, “apparently confirmed a stand-down order at about 9:25AM,” prior to an alleged plane striking the Pentagon. “Another man has reported hearing a member of LAX Security learn that a stand-down order (came) from the ‘highest level’ of the White House (NPHR 94-96).”
(10) The 9/11 Whitewash Commission ignored Mineta’s report, deleted it from the official record, “and claimed that Cheney did not enter the (bunker) until almost 10:00….” They lied (NPHR 91-94).
In fact, Philip Zelikow, head of the 9/11 Commission, was a member of the Bush White House.
(11) The 9/11 Commission even contradicted what Cheney told Tim Russett on “Meet the Press” on September 16 (NPHR 93).
(12) Hani Hanjour, the so-called terrible pilot unable to fly a single-engine aircraft, “could not possibly have executed the amazing (AA 77) trajectory….to hit Wedge 1 of the Pentagon” that even experienced airline pilots would have had trouble negotiating, and never would have tried, fearing they’d crash and burn (NPHR 78-80).
(13) Wedge 1 was the most implausible spot to be struck. It was furthest from offices of Rumsfeld and Pentagon top brass, presumably the targeted high-value officials.
It was also “the only part of the Pentagon that had been reinforced.” Its reconstruction wasn’t finished, so few people were there. And it presented the most difficult flight path to execute (NPHR 76-78).
(14) Pentagon officials lied, saying they had no warning of an approaching aircraft. In fact, “a military E-4B – the Air Force’s most advanced communications, command, and control airplane – was flying over the White House at the time.” Astonishingly, the Pentagon “denied it belonged to them (NPHR 96-98).”
Moreover, the Pentagon is the most guarded structure in the world, complete with advanced radar and surface-to-air missiles, able to intercept and destroy any approaching threat.
(15) Without explanation, the Secret Service let George Bush remain at a Sarasota, FL school for 30 minutes after learning the second tower was struck, ignoring standard procedures to secure his safety as presumably high-value officials were targeted.
Only advance knowledge assured them of no danger at a time media reports circulated about America being under attack.
On 9/11′s first anniversary, a new White House story emerged, falsely claiming Bush left the school immediately. “The lie was told in major newspapers and on MSNBC and ABC television (NHHR 129-31).”
(16) Their rigid steel columns made it impossible for the towers to crumble, let alone “at virtually free-fall speed – unless (they) had been sliced by means of explosives.” In other words, claims about impacting planes and resulting fires being responsible are “scientifically impossible (NPHR 12-25).”
(17) Other features of the towers’ destruction “can be explained only in terms of powerful explosives.” They include “horizontal ejections of steel beams, the melting of steel, and the sulfidation and thinning of steel.” Moreover, “fires could not have come within 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit of the temperature needed to melt steel (NPHR 30-36).”
(18) New York Fire Department “oral histories shortly after 9/11″ provided testimonies of “having witnessed explosions in the Twin Towers. Others toppling WTC 7 as well as the towers were also reported by city officials, WTC employees, and journalists (NPHR 27-30, 45-48, 51).”
(19) On 9/11, Mayor Rudy Giuliani told” told ABC News anchor Peter Jennings that he was informed that the towers would collapse, despite no basis to think so. In fact, the so-called information came from his own Office of Emergency Management that either falsified it or had advance knowledge of the plot (NPH 40).
(20) “NIST, which produced the official reports on the Twin Towers and (recently) WTC 7, has been fully hijacked from the scientific to the political realm….” In fact, its “scientists” are “hired guns (NPHR 11, 238-51).”
(21) Growing numbers of “physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, pilots, former military officers, and former intelligence officers” reject the official 9/11 myth as a bald-faced lie (NPHR xi).
The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST – formerly the National Bureau of Standards, NBS) is a measurement standards laboratory, expected to produce scientifically verifiable, not falsified, analysis.
In other writing, Griffin exposed its 9/11 coverup role, saying it suggested that “fire-induced collapses of large steel-frame buildings (like the twin towers) are normal events,” when they knew it’s impossible.
NIST was also tasked to provide “the definitive explanation” of WTC 7′s collapse. Again, coverup was its unstated mandate.
It “committed two kinds of scientific fraud: Ignoring relevant evidence (showing explosives were used) and falsifying evidence.”
For example, it suppressed evidence revealed in a peer-reviewed University of Copenhagen report, showing “WTC dust contained unreacted nanothermite. Unlike ordinary thermite, which is an incendiary, nanothermite is a high explosive.”
Short of verifiable insider confessions, its presence is as close as it gets to smoking gun proof of controlled demolitions, destroying the twin towers and WTC 7, not fires or other causes.
Scholars for 9/11 Truth
James Fetzer founded Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, dedicated to exposing official lies, removing the shroud of deceit, and revealing truths behind 9/11.
Access his site through the following link:
A section on it headlines “Why Doubt 9/11,” providing 20 examples to debunk the official lie. They include:
(1) The Twin Towers were built to sustain impacts similar to large planes striking them.
(2) Most jet fuel burned “in the first fifteen seconds or so. Below the 96th floor in the North Tower and the 80th in the South, those buildings were stone cold steel, unaffected by” fires above.
(3) Steel melts at 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit, “about 1,000 degrees higher than the maximum” burning jet fuel produces.
(4) “Underwriters Laboratory certified the” building steel to be able to handle temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit “for three or four hours without any significant effects.”
The ignited 500 degree fires were more suitable for roasting marshmallows than melting steel.
(5) Had steel melted or weakened the buildings, “the affected floors would have displayed completely different behavior,” far short of collapsing that was impossible.
(6) Even when the top 30 floors of the South Tower “pivoted and began to fall to the side when the floors beneath gave way, it wasn’t enough “to exert downward pressure on the lower 80 floors.”
Moreover, the top 16 floors of the North Tower, “as one unit of downward force,” was offset by “199 units of upward force….counteract(ing) it.”
(7) Last man out of the North Tower William Rodriguez “reported massive explosions in the sub-basements that (caused) extensive destruction….”
(8) He said “the explosion occurred prior to reverberations from upper floors, a claim…substantiated by a Craig Furlong and Gordon Ross” study, titled “Seismic Proof: 9/11 Was an Inside Job,” showing the “explosions actually took place as much as 14 and 17 seconds before the presumptive airplane impacts.”
(9) “Heavy-steel-construction buildings like” the towers are virtually immune from “pancake collapse,” unless rigged explosives cause it.
(10) Both towers collapsing from fires or on their own any other way at free-fall speed is impossible.
(11) Mechanical Engineering Professor Judy Wood compared the phenomenon of the towers collapsing to “two gigantic trees turning to sawdust from the top down.”
(12) WTC-7 was a “classic controlled demolition at 5.20PM….”
(13) The twin towers were “destroyed by different modes of demolition.”
(14) “The hit point at the Pentagon was too small to accommodate a 100-ton airliner with a 125-foot wingspan and a tail that stands 44-feet high….”
Moreover, the debris found had “no wings, no fuselage, no seats, no bodies, no luggage, no tail,” and no engines.
In other words, no plane struck the Pentagon. A likely cruise missile was used, a weapon unavailable to alleged terrorists anywhere, let alone the ability to launch one.
(15) Pentagon videotapes show no Boeing 757 striking the building.
(16) The “official trajectory – flying at high speed barely above ground level – (was) physically impossible…” It was aerodynamically inconceivable to negotiate even for experienced airline pilots. None, of course, would have tried.
(17) Flight recorder data given to Pilots for 9/11 truth by the NTSB “corresponds to a plane with a different approach and altitude….” If followed by a Boeing 757, it would have overflown the Pentagon, not hit it.
(18) If Flight 93 crashed as reported, efforts would have been made to find survivors post-haste. Instead, coverup to suppress the truth followed, suggesting an incident other than reported.
(19) The alleged hijackers had minimal competence to fly single-engine aircraft, let alone be able to handle commercial jets. Moreover, their “names are not on any original, authenticated passenger manifest.”
In fact, several “turned up alive and well and living in the Middle East.” Washington never even produced their tickets as evidence because they weren’t aboard the planes and had nothing to do with the incidents.
(20) George Bush later acknowledged that Saddam Hussein “had nothing to do with 9/11. The Senate Intelligence Committee” said he had no connection to Al Qaeda. Moreover, the FBI admitted having no evidence linking bin Laden to 9/11.
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth
AE911Truth is a “non-partisan association of architects, engineers and affiliates dedicated to exposing the falsehoods and to revealing truths about” the Big 9/11 lie, substituting myth for reality.
Its growing membership “is devoted to:
(1) Dispelling misinformation with scientific facts and forensic evidence
(2) Educating and motivating thousands of architects and engineers and the public at large
(3) Procuring a truly independent 9/11 investigation with subpoena power
(4) Achieving 9/11 Truth mainstream coverage
Access AE911Truth’s site through the following link:
Growing numbers worldwide now dispute the official myth, including Muslims for 9/11 Truth, anyone can connect with through its site, accessed through the following link:
More than any others worldwide, Muslims unfairly paid the greatest price – vilified, persecuted and attacked for their faith, ethnicity, locations in resource rich countries, and domestically for political advantage.
The 9/11 lie bears main responsibility for launching a decade of war, persecution and other forms of abuse. Stopping it ahead is job one. Revealing the truth and holding those responsible is how.
In his new book titled, “9/11 – Ten Years Later,” David Ray Griffin said the following:
“Getting the 9/11 lie exposed is essential. One obvious reason is simple justice,” not only for 9/11 family members never told the truth or compensated in whatever way possible.
“There also needs to be justice in the sense of punishment for those who engineered this crime,” including top government and military officials. They perhaps consider themselves patriots. They’re, in fact, “guilty of murder and treason.”
Revealing 9/11 truth is also vital “for the sake of preventing further crimes against democracy.”
“Many lines of evidence show that 9/11 was an inside job.” It’s virtually indisputable. As a result, it needs to outed so everyone knows to give “never again” real meaning.
A Final Comment
9/11 was the transformative event of our time, for ill, not good. It sparked multiple wars producing more of them, as well as repressive domestic crackdowns.
It also launched a Global War on Terror (GWOT), another on truth, human and civil rights, social justice, rule of law principles, and democratic values wherever America and its NATO partners show up.
September 11, 2011, will mark the 10th anniversary of a day those old enough won’t ever forget. Nor should they forgive political Washington for using it to wage war on humanity.
All wars are for wealth and power, never for liberation or other social justice reasons.
Debunking the official 9/11 lie is a vital first step to freeing America of a malignancy that’s destroying it and free people everywhere in its grip.
Mark October 6 on your calendar. Stand with most Americans for “human needs, not corporate greed.”
“Stop the Machine! Create a New World!” Head to the nation’s capital where “hundreds of thousands are expected” to “occupy Freedom Plaza indefinitely until their demands have been met,” including:
(1) Taxing the rich and corporations.
(2) Ending imperial wars, bringing US forces home, and cutting military spending.
(3) Protecting America’s social safety net, especially Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as public and private pensions.
(4) Ending corporate and other forms of welfare for the rich at the expense of most others.
(5) Transitioning to a clean energy economy, as well as reversing environmental degradation.
(6) Protecting worker rights, including collective bargaining, decent wages and benefits, and initiatives to create jobs.
(7) Getting money out of politics, and
(8) Supporting social justice for everyone, not just too-big-to-fail banker crooks, other corporate favorites and America’s aristocracy.
Transforming America starts with putting our bodies on the line for change, and not quitting no matter the odds.
There’s no other way because the alternative is too grim to accept what only grassroots activism can achieve.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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#6 [url]

Sep 11 11 10:25 PM

They found the truck

Posted: Sep 9, 2011 9:29 AM ET

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2011 6:57 PM ET

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New York City police officers stop a commercial truck at a checkpoint in New York's financial district following confirmation of a 'credible' terror theat. New York City police officers stop a commercial truck at a checkpoint in New York's financial district following confirmation of a 'credible' terror theat. (Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)

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Sep 12 11 10:14 AM

Articles and documentation on 9/11 from Global Research

by Global Research

Global Research, September 11, 2011

In the context of the Commemoration of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we bring to the attention of our readers a selection of recent articles on 9/11

See also Global Research's 9/11 and War on Terrorism Archive

You Only Believe the Official 9/11 Story Because You Don't Know the Official 9/11 Story
- by Jesse Richard - 2011-09-02
I don't believe the official story of 9/11 because I know the official story of 9/11!

9/11: Who Really Benefited?
- by Captain America - 2011-07-24
Fact and Not Fiction... Forget conspiracy theories. Instead look at reality. Dare ask yourself who actually seems to have benefited from the 9-11 calamity...

9/11 ANALYSIS: From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001
- by Michel Chossudovsky - 2010-09-09
Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA in 1979. The US spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.

Masterminds, Mosques and Mass Insanity: “War on Terrorism” Propaganda Ratcheted up Ahead of War Escalation
- by Larry Chin - 2010-08-20
The perpetual threat posed by a fabricated outside enemy, and a militarized, fearful populace, remain the centerpieces of elite policy...

Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky - 2011-09-11

September 11, 2001: The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11: Creating the Osama bin Laden "Legend"

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Posts: 8,994

#9 [url]

Sep 24 11 12:46 PM

Two Jewish boys make it big

The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders

And how the Pentagon later turned on them

HIGH ON WAR: David Packouz (left) and Efraim Diveroli at a gun range near Miami (top). One of the illegal shipments of ammo they supplied to the Afghan army (bottom)
The e-mail confirmed it: everything was finally back on schedule after weeks of maddening, inexplicable delay. A 747 cargo plane had just lifted off from an airport in Hungary and was banking over the Black Sea toward Kyrgyzstan, some 3,000 miles to the east. After stopping to refuel there, the flight would carry on to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Aboard the plane were 80 pallets loaded with nearly 5 million rounds of ammunition for AK-47s, the Soviet-era assault rifle favored by the Afghan National Army.
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Reading the e-mail back in Miami Beach, David Packouz breathed a sigh of relief. The shipment was part of a $300 million contract that Packouz and his partner, Efraim Diveroli, had won from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan. It was May 2007, and the war was going badly. After six years of fighting, Al Qaeda remained a menace, the Taliban were resurgent, and NATO casualties were rising sharply. For the Bush administration, the ammunition was part of a desperate, last-ditch push to turn the war around before the U.S. presidential election the following year. To Packouz and Diveroli, the shipment was part of a major arms deal that promised to make them seriously rich.
This article appears in the March 31, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone. The issue is available now on newsstands and will appear in the online archive March 18.
Reassured by the e-mail, Packouz got into his brand-new blue Audi A4 and headed home for the evening, windows open, the stereo blasting. At 25, he wasn't exactly used to the pressures of being an international arms dealer. Only months earlier, he had been making his living as a massage therapist; his studies at the Educating Hands School of Massage had not included classes in military contracting or geopolitical brinkmanship. But Packouz hadn't been able to resist the temptation when Diveroli, his 21-year-old friend from high school, had offered to cut him in on his burgeoning arms business. Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history.
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Arriving home at the Flamingo, his sleek condo with views of the bay, Packouz packed the cone of his Volcano, a smokeless electronic bong. As the balloon inflated with vapors from the high-grade weed, he took a deep toke and felt the pressures of the day drift away into a crisp, clean high.
Dinner was at Sushi Samba, a hipster Asian-Latino fusion joint. Packouz was in excellent spirits. He couldn't believe that he and Diveroli were actually pulling it off: Planes from all over Eastern Europe were now flying into Kabul, laden with millions of dollars worth of grenades and mortars and surface-to-air missiles. But as Packouz's miso-marinated Chilean sea bass arrived, his cellphone rang. It was the freight forwarder he had employed to make sure the ammunition made it from Hungary to Kabul. The man sounded panicked.
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"We've got a problem," he told Packouz, shouting to be heard over the restaurant's thumping music. "The plane has been seized on the runway in Kyrgyzstan."
The arms shipment, it appeared, was being used as a bargaining chip in a high-stakes standoff between George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. The Russian president didn't like NATO expanding into Kyrgyzstan, and the Kyrgyzs wanted the U.S. government to pay more rent to use their airport as a crucial supply line for the war in Afghanistan. Putin's allies in the Kyrgyz KGB, it seemed, were holding the plane hostage — and Packouz was going to be charged a $300,000 fine for every day it sat on the runway. Word of the seizure quickly reached Washington, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates himself was soon on his way to Kyrgyzstan to defuse the mounting tensions.
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Packouz was baffled, stoned and way out of his league. "It was surreal," he recalls. "Here I was dealing with matters of international security, and I was half-baked. I didn't know anything about the situation in that part of the world. But I was a central player in the Afghan war — and if our delivery didn't make it to Kabul, the entire strategy of building up the Afghanistan army was going to fail. It was totally killing my buzz. There were all these shadowy forces, and I didn't know what their motives were. But I had to get my shit together and put my best arms-dealer face on."
Sitting in the restaurant, Packouz tried to clear his head, cupping a hand over his cellphone to shut out the noise. "Tell the Kyrgyz KGB that ammo needs to get to Afghanistan!" he shouted into the phone. "This contract is part of a vital mission in the global war on terrorism. Tell them that if they fuck with us, they are fucking with the government of the United States of America!"

Packouz and Diveroli had picked the perfect moment to get into the arms business. To fight simultaneous wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush administration had decided to outsource virtually every facet of America's military operations, from building and staffing Army bases to hiring mercenaries to provide security for diplomats abroad. After Bush took office, private military contracts soared from $145 billion in 2001 to $390 billion in 2008. Federal contracting rules were routinely ignored or skirted, and military-industrial giants like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin cashed in as war profiteering went from war crime to business model. Why shouldn't a couple of inexperienced newcomers like Packouz and Diveroli get in on the action? After all, the two friends were after the same thing as everyone else in the arms business — lots and lots and lots of money.
"I was going to make millions," Packouz says. "I didn't plan on being an arms dealer forever — I was going to use the money to start a music career. I had never even owned a gun. But it was thrilling and fascinating to be in a business that decided the fate of nations. Nobody else our age was dealing weapons on an international level."
Packouz and Diveroli met at Beth Israel Congregation, the largest Orthodox synagogue in Miami Beach. Packouz was older by four years, a skinny kid who wore a yarmulke and left his white dress shirts untucked. Diveroli was the class clown, an overweight kid with a big mouth and no sense of fear. After school, the pair would hang out at the beach with their friends, smoking weed, playing guitar, sneaking in to swim in the pools at five-star hotels. When Packouz graduated, his parents were so concerned about his heavy pot use that they sent him to a school in Israel that specialized in handling kids with drug problems. It turned out to be a great place to get high. "I took acid by the Dead Sea," Packouz says. "I had a transcendental experience."
Returning home, Packouz drifted through two semesters at the University of Florida. Short of cash, he studied massage because it seemed like a better way to make money than flipping burgers. Nights, he sat around with his high school buddies getting high and dreaming of becoming a pop star. He wrote angsty rock ballads with titles like "Eternal Moment" — but it was hard to get a break in the music industry. With a shaved head and intense blue eyes, Packouz was plenty smart and plenty ambitious, in his slacker fashion, but he had no idea what to do with his life.
Efraim Diveroli, by contrast, knew exactly what he wanted to be: an arms dealer. It was the family business. His father brokered Kevlar jackets and other weapons-related paraphernalia to local police forces, and his uncle B.K. sold Glocks, Colts and Sig Sauers to law enforcement. Kicked out of school in the ninth grade, Diveroli was sent to Los Angeles to work for his uncle. As an apprentice arms dealer, he proved to be a quick study. By the time he was 16, he was traveling the country selling weapons. He loved guns with a passion — selling them, shooting them, talking about them — and he loved the arms industry's intrigue and ruthless amorality. At 18, after a dispute with his uncle over money, Diveroli returned to Miami to set up his own operation, taking over a shell company his father had incorporated called AEY Inc.
His business plan was simple but brilliant. Most companies grow by attracting more customers. Diveroli realized he could succeed by selling to one customer: the U.S. military. No government agency buys and sells more stuff than the Defense Department — everything from F-16s to paper clips and front-end loaders. By law, every Pentagon purchase order is required to be open to public bidding. And under the Bush administration, small businesses like AEY were guaranteed a share of the arms deals. Diveroli didn't have to actually make any of the products to bid on the contracts. He could just broker the deals, finding the cheapest prices and underbidding the competition. All he had to do was win even a minuscule fraction of the billions the Pentagon spends on arms every year and he would be a millionaire. But Diveroli wanted more than that: His ambition was to be the biggest arms dealer in the world — a young Adnan Khashoggi, a teenage Victor Bout.
To get into the game, Diveroli knew he would have to deal with some of the world's shadiest operators — the war criminals, soldiers of fortune, crooked diplomats and small-time thugs who keep militaries and mercenaries loaded with arms. The vast aftermarket in arms had grown exponentially after the end of the Cold War. For decades, weapons had been stockpiled in warehouses throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe for the threat of war against the West, but now arms dealers were selling them off to the highest bidder. The Pentagon needed access to this new aftermarket to arm the militias it was creating in Iraq and Afghanistan. The trouble was, it couldn't go into such a murky underworld on its own. It needed proxies to do its dirty work — companies like AEY. The result was a new era of lawlessness. According to a report by Amnesty International, "Tens of millions of rounds of ammunition from the Balkans were reportedly shipped — clandestinely and without public oversight — to Iraq by a chain of private brokers and transport contractors under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Defense."
This was the "gray market" that Diveroli wanted to penetrate. Still a teenager, he rented a room in a house owned by a Hispanic family in Miami and went to work on his laptop. The government website where contracts are posted is, known as "FedBizOpps." Diveroli soon became adept at the arcane lingo of federal contracts. His competition was mostly big corporations like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed and BAE Systems. Those companies had entire departments dedicated to selling to the Pentagon. But Diveroli had his own advantages: low overhead, an appetite for risk and all-devouring ambition.

In the beginning, Diveroli specialized in bidding on smaller contracts for items like helmets and ammunition for U.S. Special Forces. The deals were tiny, relatively speaking, but they gave AEY a history of "past performance" — the kind of track record the Pentagon requires of companies that want to bid on large defense contracts. Diveroli got financing from a Mormon named Ralph Merrill, a machine-gun manufacturer from Utah who had worked for his father. Before long, Diveroli was winning Pentagon contracts.
Like all the kids in their pot-smoking circle, Packouz was aware that Diveroli had become an arms dealer. Diveroli loved to brag about how rich he was, and rumors circulated among the stoners about the vast sums he was making, at least compared with their crappy part-time jobs. One evening, Diveroli picked Packouz up in his Mercedes, and the two headed to a party at a local rabbi's house, lured by the promise of free booze and pretty girls. Diveroli was excited about a deal he had just completed, a $15 million contract to sell old Russian-manufactured rifles to the Pentagon to supply the Iraqi army. He regaled Packouz with the tale of how he had won the contract, how much money he was making and how much more there was to be made.
"Dude, I've got so much work I need a partner," Diveroli said. "It's a great business, but I need a guy to come on board and make money with me."
Packouz was intrigued. He was doing some online business himself, buying sheets from textile companies in Pakistan and reselling them to distributors that supplied nursing homes in Miami. The sums he made were tiny — a thousand or two at a time — but the experience made him hungry for more.
"How much money are you making, dude?" Packouz asked.
"Serious money," Diveroli said.
"How much?"
"This is confidential information," Diveroli said.
"Dude, if you had to leave the country tomorrow, how much would you be able to take?"
"In cash?"
"Cold, hard cash."
Diveroli pulled the car over and turned to look at Packouz. "Dude, I'm going to tell you," he said. "But only to inspire you. Not because I'm bragging." Diveroli paused, as if he were about to disclose his most precious secret. "I have $1.8 million in cash."
Packouz stared in disbelief. He had expected Diveroli to say something like $100,000, maybe a little more. But nearly $2 million?
"Dude," was all Packouz said.
Packouz started working with Diveroli in November 2005. His title was account executive. He would be paid entirely in commission. The pair operated out of a one-bedroom apartment Diveroli had by then rented in Miami Beach, sitting opposite each other at a desk in the living room, surrounded by stacks of federal contracts and a mountain of pot. They quickly fell into a daily routine: wake up, get baked, start wheeling and dealing.
Packouz was about to get a rare education. He watched as Diveroli won a State Department contract to supply high-grade FN Herstal machine guns to the Colombian army. It was a lucrative deal, but Diveroli wasn't satisfied — he always wanted more. So he persuaded the State Department to allow him to substitute Korean-made knockoffs instead of the high-end Herstals — a swap that instantly doubled his earnings. Diveroli did the same with a large helmet order for the Iraqi army, pushing the Pentagon to accept poorer-quality Chinese-made helmets once he had won the contract. After all, it wasn't like the military was buying weapons and helmets for American soldiers. The hapless end-users were foreigners, and who was going to go the extra mile for them?
The Pentagon's buyers were soldiers with little or no business experience, and Diveroli knew how to win them over with a mixture of charm, patriotism and a keen sense of how to play to the military culture; he could yes sir and no sir with the best of them. To get the inside dirt on a deal, he would call the official in charge of the contract and pretend to be a colonel or even a general. "He would be toasted, but you would never know it," says Packouz. "When he was trying to get a deal, he was totally convincing. But if he was about to lose a deal, his voice would start shaking. He would say that he was running a very small business, even though he had millions in the bank. He said that if the deal fell through he was going to be ruined. He was going to lose his house. His wife and kids were going to go hungry. He would literally cry. I didn't know if it was psychosis or acting, but he absolutely believed what he was saying."
Above all, Diveroli cared about the bottom line. "Efraim was a Republican because they started more wars," Packouz says. "When the United States invaded Iraq, he was thrilled. He said to me, 'Do I think George Bush did the right thing for the country by invading Iraq? No. But am I happy about it? Absofuckinglutely.' He hoped we would invade more countries because it was good for business."
That spring, when mass protests broke out in Nepal, Diveroli frantically tried to put together a cache of arms that could be sold to the Nepalese king to put down the rebellion — heavy weapons, attack helicopters, ammo. "Efraim called it the Save the King Project, but he didn't give a shit about the king," Packouz says. "Money was all he talked about, literally — no sports or politics. He would do anything to make money."
To master the art of federal contracts, Packouz studied the solicitations posted on The contracts often ran to 30 or 40 pages, each filled with fine print and legalese. As Diveroli's apprentice, Packouz saw that his friend never read a book or a magazine, never went to the movies — all he did was pore over government documents, looking for an angle, a way in. Diveroli called it squeezing into a deal — putting himself between the supplier and the government by shaving a few pennies off each unit and reselling them at a markup that undercut his competitors. Playing the part of an arms dealer, he loved to deliver dramatic one-liners, speaking as if he were the star of a Hollywood blockbuster. "I don't care if I have the smallest dick in the room," he would say, "as long as I have the fattest wallet." Or: "If you see a crack in the door, you've got to kick the fucker open." Or: "Once a gun runner, always a gun runner."
"Efraim's self-image was as the modern merchant of death," says Packouz. "He was still just a kid, but he didn't see himself that way. He would go toe-to-toe with high-ranking military officers, Eastern European mobsters, executives of Fortune 500 companies. He didn't give a fuck. He would take them on and win, and then give them the finger. I was following in his footsteps. He told me I was going to be a millionaire within three years — he guaranteed it."

At first, Packouz struggled to land his own deals. Bidding on contracts on was an art; closing a deal was a science. At one point, he spent weeks obsessing over an $8 million contract to supply SUVs to the State Department in Pakistan, only to lose the bid. But he finally won a contract to supply 50,000 gallons of propane to an Air Force base in Wyoming, netting a profit of $8,000. "There were a lot of suppliers who didn't know how to work FedBizOpps as well as we did," he says. "You had to read the solicitations religiously."
Once a week or so, the pair would hit the clubs of South Beach to let off steam. Karaoke in a basement bar called the Studio was a favorite. Packouz took his performances seriously, choosing soulful music like U2's "With or Without You" or Pearl Jam's "Black," while Diveroli threw himself into power ballads and country anthems, tearing off his shirt and pumping his fists to the music. Between songs, the two friends would take hits of the cocaine that Diveroli kept in a small plastic bullet with a tiny valve on the top for easy access. Packouz was shy around girls, but Diveroli cut right to the chase, often hitting on women right in front of their boyfriends.
All the partying wasn't exactly conducive to running a small business, especially one as complicated and perilous as arms dealing. As AEY grew, it defaulted on at least seven contracts, in one case failing to deliver a shipment of 10,000 Beretta pistols for the Iraqi army. Diveroli's aunt — a strong-willed and outspoken woman who fought constantly with her nephew — joined the two friends to provide administrative support. She didn't approve of their drug use, and she talked openly about them on the phone, as if they weren't present.
"Mark my words," she told Diveroli's mother repeatedly, "your son is going to crash and burn."
"Shut up!" Diveroli would shout, the coldblooded arms dealer giving way to the pissed-off teenager. "You don't know what you're talking about! I made millions last year!"
"Crash and burn," the aunt would say. "Mark my words — crash and burn."
In June, seven months after Packouz started at AEY, he and Diveroli traveled to Paris for Eurosatory, one of the world's largest arms trade shows. Miles of booths inside the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition center were filled with arms manufacturers hawking the latest instruments of death — tanks, robots, unmanned drones — and serving up champagne and caviar to some of the most powerful political and military officials on the planet. Packouz and Diveroli were by far the youngest in attendance, but they tried to look the part, wearing dress pants, crisp shirts and sales-rep ties. "Wait until I am really in the big time," Diveroli boasted. "I will own this fucking show."
At a booth displaying a new robotic reconnaissance device, Diveroli and Packouz met with Heinrich Thomet, a Swiss arms dealer who served as a crucial go-between for AEY. Tall and suave, with movie-star looks and an impeccable sense of fashion, Thomet had blond hair, light-blue eyes and an eerily calm demeanor. He spoke fluent English with a slight German accent, adding "OK" to the beginning and end of every sentence ("OK, so the price on the AKs is firm, OK?"). He seemed to have connections everywhere — Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary. Serving as a broker, Thomet had created an array of shell companies and offshore accounts to shield arms transactions from official scrutiny. He had used his contacts in Albania to get Diveroli a good price on Chinese-made ammunition for U.S. Special Forces training in Germany — a deal that was technically illegal, given the U.S. embargo against Chinese arms imposed after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
"Thomet could get body armor, machine guns, anti-aircraft rockets — anything," Packouz recalls. "He was one of the best middlemen in the business, a real-life Lord of War."
Like Diveroli, Thomet had been in the business since he was a teenager, and he recognized that the two young upstarts could be useful to him. Thomet was singled out by Amnesty International for smuggling arms out of Zimbabwe in violation of U.S. sanctions. He was also under investigation by U.S. law enforcement for shipping weapons from Serbia to Iraq, and he was placed on a "watch list" by the State Department. Given the obstacles to selling directly in the United States, Thomet wanted to use AEY as a front, providing him an easy conduit to the lucrative contracts being handed out by the Pentagon.
With Thomet on their side, Diveroli and Packouz soon got the break they were looking for. On July 28th, 2006, the Army Sustainment Command in Rock Island, Illinois, posted a 44-page document titled "A Solicitation for Nonstandard Ammunition." It looked like any other government form on, with blank spaces for names and telephone numbers and hundreds of squares to be filled in. But the document actually represented a semi-covert operation by the Bush administration to prop up the Afghan National Army. Rather than face a public debate over the war in Afghanistan, which was going very badly indeed, the Pentagon issued what is known as a "pseudo case" — a solicitation that permitted it to allocate defense funds without the approval of Congress. The pseudo case wasn't secret, precisely, but the only place it was publicized was on No press release was issued, and there was no public debate. The money was only available for two years, so it had to be spent quickly. And unlike most federal contracts, there was no dollar limit posted; companies vying for the deal could bid whatever they wanted.
Based on the numbers, it looked like it was going to be a lot of money. The Army wanted to buy a dizzying array of weapons — ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles and SVD Dragunov sniper rifles, GP 30 grenades, 82 mm Russian mortars, S-KO aviation rockets. The quantities were enormous — enough ammo to literally create an army — and the entire contract would go to a single bidder. "One firm fixed-price award, on an all-or-none basis, will be made as a result of this solicitation," the tender offer said.
The solicitation was only up for a matter of minutes before Diveroli spotted it, reading the terms with increasing excitement. He immediately called Packouz, who was driving along the interstate.
"I've found the perfect contract for us," Diveroli said. "It's enormous — far, far bigger than anything we've done before. But it's right up our alley."

The pair met at Diveroli's apartment to smoke a joint and discuss strategy. Supplying the contract would mean buying up hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ammunition for the kind of Eastern Bloc weapons that the Afghans used. Because such weapons were traded in the gray market — a world populated by illegal arms dealers, gun runners and warlords — the Pentagon couldn't go out and buy the ammo itself without causing a public relations disaster. Whoever won the contract to arm the Afghans would essentially be serving as an official front operation, laundering shady arms for the Pentagon.
Normally, a small-time outfit like AEY wouldn't have a shot at such a major defense contract. But Diveroli and Packouz had three advantages. First, the Bush administration had started its small-business initiative at the Pentagon, mandating that a certain percentage of defense contracts go to firms like AEY. Second, the fledgling arms dealers specialized in precisely the sort of Cold War munitions the Pentagon was looking for: They had the "past performance" required by the contract, and they could fulfill the order using the same supply lines Diveroli had developed through Thomet. Third, the only requirement in the contract was that the ammunition be "serviceable without qualification." As Diveroli and Packouz interpreted it, that meant the Pentagon didn't care if they supplied "shit ammo," as long as it "went bang and went out of the barrel."
For the two friends, it was a chance to enter a world usually reserved for multinational defense contractors with armies of well-connected lobbyists. "I knew it was a long shot," recalls Packouz. "But it seemed like we might be able to actually compete with the big boys. I thought we actually had a chance. If we worked hard. If we got lucky."
Bidding on defense contracts is a speculative business — laborious, time-consuming, with no prize for second place. As they passed a joint back and forth, Diveroli decided it was time for Packouz to step up and take on a larger role.
"I don't really have time to source all these things," he told Packouz. "But I've got good contacts for you to start with. I want you to get on the Internet and get a price from everyone and his mother. Any new sources you bring to the table, I'll give you 25 percent of the profit."
This was Packouz's big chance. That night, he went online and searched defense databases for every arms manufacturer in Eastern Europe he could find — Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, any place that might deal in Soviet-era weapons. He e-mailed or faxed or called them all. The phone connection was often bad, and Packouz had to shout to be heard. If the person who answered didn't speak English, he would say "English! English! English!" and then spend minutes on hold while they tracked down the one guy in the outfit who spoke a few words. "Da, da," they would tell Packouz. "You buy, you buy." When he managed to make himself understood, he told the manufacturers that the ammunition had to "work." It also had to "look good," and not be in rusty boxes or exposed to the elements.
For six weeks, Packouz worked through the night, sleeping on Diveroli's couch and surviving on weed and adrenaline. He located stockpiles of ammunition in Eastern Europe at good prices. At the same time, Heinrich Thomet sourced a massive amount of ammunition through his Albanian connections. As the date for the final bid neared, Diveroli agonized. He paced day and night, a cloud of smoke over his head as he smoked joint after joint, muttering, worrying, cursing.
"Efraim was conflicted about whether to put a nine percent or 10 percent profit margin on top of our prices," Packouz recalls. "The difference was more than $3 million in cash, which was huge — but with either margin, profits were going to be more than $30 million. He figured everyone else was going to take 10 percent, but what if another bidder had the same idea as him and put in nine percent? So maybe he should go with eight percent. But then we might be leaving money on the table — God forbid!"
Finally, at the last possible moment, Diveroli went for nine percent. He scribbled a number on the form: $298,000,000. It was an educated guess, one he prayed wouldn't be undercut by the big defense contractors. There were just 10 minutes left before the application deadline. The two friends jumped in Diveroli's car and sped through the quiet residential streets of Miami Beach, making it to the post office with only seconds to go.
The Pentagon can be a slow-moving bureaucracy, a place where paperwork goes to die. But because the Afghanistan solicitation was a "pseudo case," it had been designed to move swiftly. On the evening of January 26th, 2007, Packouz was parking his beat-up old Mazda Protege when Diveroli called.
"I have good news and bad news," Diveroli said.
"What's the bad news?" Packouz asked.
"Our first order is only for $600,000."
"So we won the contract?" Packouz asked in disbelief.
"Fuck yeah!" said Diveroli.
The two friends, still in their early twenties, were now responsible for one of the central elements of the Bush administration's foreign policy. Over multiple bottles of Cristal at an upscale Italian restaurant, the pair toasted their amazing good fortune. Throughout the meal they passed Diveroli's cocaine bullet back and forth under the table, using napkins to pretend to blow their noses.
"You and me, buddy," Diveroli said. "You and me are going to take over this industry. I see AEY as a $10 billion company in a few years. These fat cats in their boardrooms worrying about the stock prices of their companies have no idea what is about to hit them."
"General Dynamics isn't going to be too happy right now," Packouz agreed.
Despite the celebratory air, they both knew that their work had just begun. They had already managed to clear three different government audits, hiring an accountant to establish the kind of basic bookkeeping systems that any cafe or corner store would have. Now, a few weeks after winning the contract, AEY was suddenly summoned to a meeting with the purchasing officers at Rock Island.
Diveroli asked Ralph Merrill, the Mormon gun manufacturer from Utah, to come along. An experienced businessman in his sixties, Merrill had provided the financial backing needed to land the contract, pledging his interest in a piece of property in Utah. Diveroli had also shown auditors his personal bank balance, by then $5.4 million.
The meeting with Army officials proved to be a formality. Diveroli had the contracting jargon down, and he sailed through the technical aspects of the transaction with confidence: supply sources, end-user certificates, AEY's experience. No one ever asked his age. "We were supremely confident," says Packouz. "I just think it never occurred to the Army people that they were dealing with a couple of dudes in their early twenties."
In reality, the Pentagon had good reason to disqualify AEY from even vying for the contract. The company and Diveroli had both been placed on the State Department "watch list" for importing illegal firearms. But the Pentagon failed to check the list. It also ignored the fact that AEY had defaulted on prior contracts. Initially rated as "unsatisfactory" by the contracting office, AEY was upgraded to "good" and then "excellent."

There was only one explanation for the meteoric rise: Diveroli had radically underbid the competition. In private conversations, the Army's contracting officers let AEY know that its bid was at least $50 million less than its nearest rival. Diveroli's anxiety that his bid of nearly $300 million would be too high had failed to consider the corpulent markups employed by corporate America when it deals with the Pentagon. For once, at least, taxpayers were getting a good deal on a defense contract.
The first Task Order that AEY received on the deal was for $600,000 worth of grenades and ammunition — a test, Diveroli surmised, to make sure they could deliver as promised. Make a mistake, no matter the reason, and the Pentagon might yank the entire $298 million contract.
After their celebratory dinner the night they received the contract, the two friends headed for Diveroli's brand-new Audi. As Diveroli arranged a line of coke on the dashboard, he warned Packouz not to make any mistakes with the grenades.
"You've got the bitch's panties off," Diveroli said, adopting his best movie-star swagger. "But you haven't fucked her yet."
Diveroli and Packouz needn't have worried. They had barely gotten started on the order for grenades when the second Task Order arrived. This time, it was for more than $49 million in ammunition — including 100 million rounds of AK ammo and more than a million grenades for rocket launchers. There was no question now. The Pentagon was ecstatic to award the contract to a tiny company like AEY, which helped fulfill the quota set by Bush's small-business initiative.
Packouz calculated that even with the tight margins, he stood to make as much as $6 million on the contract. But he wasn't so sure that AEY was going to be able to deliver. Diveroli had already hit the road, traveling to the Ukraine, Montenegro and the Czech Republic in search of suppliers. So Packouz would have to tend to most of the Afghanistan contract by himself — a job that any conventional defense contractor would have assigned to dozens of full-time, experienced employees.
In February 2007, saddled with a gargantuan task, Packouz went by himself to the annual International Defense Exhibition in Abu Dhabi to look for suppliers. "It was bizarre," he says. "I was just a kid, but I was probably the single biggest private arms dealer on the planet. It was like Efraim had put me into the movie he was starring in." To look the part of an international arms dealer, Packouz carried a silver aluminum briefcase and wore wraparound shades. He also had business cards printed up with an impressive new title, considering he was part of a two-man operation: vice president.
In Abu Dhabi, Packouz hoped to find a single supplier big enough to meet most of AEY's demands. The obvious candidate was Rosoboron Export, the official dealer for all Russian arms. The company had inherited the Soviet Union's global arms-exporting empire; now, as part of Vladimir Putin's tightly held network of oligarchic corporations, Rosoboron sold more than 90 percent of Russia's weapons. The firm was so big that Packouz could have just given them the list of ammunition he needed and they could have supplied the entire contract, a one-stop weapons shop.
But there was a catch, the kind of perversity common in the world of arms dealing: Rosoboron had been banned by the State Department for selling nuclear equipment to Iran. The U.S. government wanted Russian ammo, just not from the Russians. AEY couldn't do business with the firm — at least, not legally. But for gun runners, this kind of legal hurdle was just that — a hurdle to be jumped.
Packouz went to the main Russian pavilion every day to try to get an appointment with the deputy director of Rosoboron. The giant exhibit was like a souk for arms dealers, with scores of Russian generals in full-dress uniform meeting with businessmen and sheiks. Finally, on the last day, Packouz was given an appointment. The deputy director looked like he was ex-KGB — big and fat, in his sixties, with thick square glasses. As Packouz spoke, the man kept surveying the pavilion out of the corner of his eye, as if he were checking to see if he was being watched. Packouz showed him the list of munitions he needed, along with the quantities. The director raised his eyebrows, impressed by the scale of the operation.
"We have very good interest in this business," he said in a thick Russian accent. "You know we are only company who can provide everything."
"I'm aware of that," Packouz said. "That's why we want to do business with you."
"But as you know, there is problem. State Department has blacklist us. I don't understand your government. One month is OK to do business, next month is not OK. This is very not fair. Very political. They just want leverage in dealing with Kremlin."
"I know we can't do business with you directly," Packouz said. Then he hinted that there was a way to get around the blacklist. "If you can help us do business with another Russian company, then we can buy from them."
"Let me talk to my people," the Russian said, taking one of Packouz's newly printed business cards.
It was the last Packouz ever heard from the Russian. Several weeks later, as he was arranging supply routes for the deal, Packouz was informed that AEY would not be given overflight permission for Turkmenistan, a former Soviet satellite that had to be crossed to reach Afghanistan. "It was clear that Putin was fucking with us directly," Packouz says. "If the Russians made life difficult for us, they would get taken off the American blacklist, so they could get our business for themselves."
Packouz managed to obtain the overflight permission through a Ukrainian airline — but the episode was an ominous reminder of how little he understood about the business he was in. "There was no way to really know why the heads of state were doing things, especially when it came to something like invading Iraq," he says. "It was such a deep game, we didn't know what was really happening."
With the flights to Kabul arranged, Packouz hit the phones looking for more ammunition. The cheaper the better: The less the ammo cost, the more he and Diveroli would pocket for themselves. They didn't need quality; antique shells, second-rate mortar rounds — all of it was fine, as long as it worked. "Please be advised there is no age restriction for this contract!!!" AEY advised one potential supplier in an e-mail. "ANY age ammunition is acceptable."
Of course, if the Pentagon really cared about the Afghan National Army, it could have supplied them with more expensive, and reliable, state-of-the-art weapons. The Bush administration's ambivalence about Afghanistan had manifested itself in the terms of the contract: The soldiers of Kabul and Kandahar would not be abandoned in the field, but nor would they be given the tools to succeed.
Packouz sat on the couch in Diveroli's apartment, bong and lighter handy, and called U.S. Embassies in the "stans" — the former Soviet satellites — and asked to speak to the defense attache. Deepening his voice and adopting a clipped military inflection, Packouz chatted them up, made them laugh, asked about how things were in Kazakhstan, described how sunny it was in Miami. Whenever possible, he threw in military lingo designed to appeal to the officers: He was working on an essential contract in the War on Terror, he explained, and the United States military was counting on AEY to complete the mission. "I said it was part of the vital process of nation building in the central front of the War on Terror," Packouz recalls. "Then I would tell them the specifics of what I was after — mortar rounds, the size of ammo, the amount. They were all eager to help."

Every day, Packouz spoke with military officials, sending volleys of e-mails to Kabul and Kyrgyzstan and the Army depot in Rock Island. The contracting officers he dealt with told him that there was a secret agenda involved in the deal. The Pentagon, they said, was worried that a Democrat would be elected president in 2008 and cut the funding for the war — or worse, pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan entirely.
"They said Bush and Rumsfeld were trying to arm Afghanistan with enough ammo to last them the next few decades," Packouz recalls. "It made sense to me, but I didn't really care. My main motivator was making money, just like it was for General Dynamics. Nobody goes into the arms business for altruistic purposes."
It didn't take long for AEY to strike cut-rate deals that vastly improved its profit margin. The nine percent planned for in the original bid was soon pushing toward 25 percent — enough to provide Packouz and Diveroli with nearly $85 million in profits. But even such a jaw-dropping sum didn't satisfy Diveroli. He scoured FedBizOpps for even more contracts and landed a private deal to import Lithuanian ammo, determined to turn AEY into a multibillion-dollar company.
To cope with the increased business, AEY leased space in a larger and more expensive office building in Miami Beach. The company hired an office manager and two young secretaries they found on Craigslist. Diveroli brought in two more friends from the synagogue, including a guy fluent in Russian, to help fulfill the contracts. "Things were rolling along," Packouz recalls. "We were delivering on a consistent basis. We had suppliers in Hungary and Bulgaria and other countries. I had finally arranged all the overflight permits. We were cash positive."
Packouz had yet to be paid a cent, but he was convinced he was about to be seriously rich. Anticipating the big payday, he ditched his beater Mazda for a brand-new Audi A4. He moved from his tiny efficiency apartment to a nice one-bedroom overlooking the pool at the Flamingo in fashionable South Beach. Diveroli soon followed, taking a two-bedroom in the central tower. It was convenient for both — their drug dealer, Raoul, lived in the complex.
"The Flamingo was a constant party," Packouz says. "The marketing slogan for the building was 'South Beach revolves around us,' and it was true. There was drinking, dancing, people making out in the Jacuzzi — sometimes more than just making out. Outside my balcony there was always at least a few women sunbathing topless. People at parties would ask us what we did for a living. The girls were models or cosmetologists. The guys were stockbrokers and lawyers. We would say we were international arms dealers. 'You know the war in Afghanistan?' we would say. 'All the bullets are coming from us.' It was heaven. It was wild. We felt like we were on top of the world."
In the evenings, Packouz and Diveroli would get high and go to the American Range and Gun Shop — the only range near Miami that would let them fire off the Uzis and MP5s that Diveroli was licensed to own. "When we let go with our machine guns, all the other shooters would stop and look at us like, 'What the fuck was that?' Everyone else had pistols going pop pop. We loved it. Shooting an automatic machine gun feels powerful."
The biggest piece of the Afghan contract, in terms of sheer quantity, was ammunition for AK-47s. Packouz had received excellent quotes from suppliers in Hungary and the Czech Republic. But Diveroli insisted on using the Swiss arms dealer Heinrich Thomet's high-level contacts in Albania. The move made sense. The Albanians didn't require a large deposit as a down payment, which made it easier for AEY to place big orders. And Albania's government could certainly handle the volume: Its paranoid communist leaders had been so convinced they were going to be attacked by foreign powers that they had effectively transformed the nation into a vast military stockpile, with bunkers scattered throughout the countryside. In fact, AK-47 ammunition was so plentiful that Albania's president had recently flown to Baghdad and offered to donate millions of rounds to Gen. David Petraeus.
The structure for AEY's purchase of the Albanian ammo was standard in the world of illegal arms deals, where the whole point is to disguise origins and end-users. It was perfectly legal, but it had the stench of double-dealing. A shell company called Evdin, which Thomet had incorporated in Cyprus, would buy the ammo from Albania's arms-exporting company. Evdin would then resell the rounds to AEY. That way Thomet got a cut as broker, and AEY and the U.S. government were insulated from any legal or moral quandaries that came with doing business in a country as notoriously corrupt and unpredictable as Albania.
There was only one snag: When Diveroli bid on the contract, he had miscalculated the cost of shipping, failing to anticipate the rising cost of fuel. The Army had given him permission to repackage the rounds into cardboard boxes, but getting anything done in a country as dysfunctional as Albania wasn't easy. So Diveroli dispatched another friend from their synagogue, Alex Podrizki, to the capital city of Tirana to oversee the details of fulfilling the deal.
Despite the hands-on approach, signs of trouble emerged immediately. When Podrizki went to look at a cache of ammunition in one bunker, it was apparent that the Albanians had a haphazard attitude about safety; they used an ax to open crates containing live rounds and lit cigarettes in a room filled with gunpowder. The ammunition itself, though decades old, seemed to be in working order, but the rounds were stored in rusty cans and stacked on rotting wooden pallets — not the protocol normally used for such dangerous materiel. Worst of all, Podrizki noticed that the steel containers holding the ammunition — known as "sardine cans" — were covered in Chinese markings. Podrizki called Packouz in Miami.
"I inspected the stuff and it seems good," Podrizki told him. "But dude, you know this is Chinese ammo, right?"
"What are you talking about?" Packouz said.
"The ammo is Chinese."
"How do you know it's Chinese?"
"There are Chinese markings all over the crates."
Packouz's heart sank. There was not only an embargo against selling weapons manufactured in China: The Afghan contract specifically stipulated that Chinese ammo was not permitted. Then again, maybe AEY could argue that the ammunition didn't violate the ban, since it had been imported to Albania decades before the embargo was imposed, back when Albania's communist government had forged an alliance with Mao. There was precedent for such an argument: Only the year before, the Army had been delighted with Chinese ammo that AEY had shipped from Albania. But this time, when Diveroli wrote the State Department's legal advisory desk to ask if he could use Chinese rounds made prior to the embargo, he received a curt and unequivocal reply: not without a presidential decree.
Given the deadline on the contract, there was no time to find another supplier. The Hungarians could fill half the deal, but the ammunition would not be ready for shipment until the fall; the Czechs could fill the entire order, but they wanted $1 million. Any delay would risk losing the entire contract. "The Army was pushing us for the ammo," says Packouz. "They needed it ASAP."
So the two friends chose a third option. As arms dealers, subverting the law wasn't some sort of extreme scenario — it was a routine part of the business. There was even a term of art for it: circumvention. Packouz e-mailed Podrizki in Albania and instructed him to have the rounds repackaged to get rid of any Chinese markings. It was time to circumvent.

Alone in a strange city, Podrizki improvised. He picked up a phone book and found a cardboard-box manufacturer named Kosta Trebicka. The two men met at a bar near the Sky Tower in the center of town. Trebicka was in his late forties, a wiry and intense man with thick worker's hands. He told Podrizki that he could supply cardboard boxes strong enough to hold the ammunition, as well as the labor to transfer the rounds to new pallets. A week later, Podrizki called to ask if Trebicka could hire enough men to repack 100 million rounds of ammunition by taking them out of metal sardine cans and placing them in cardboard boxes. Trebicka thought the request exceedingly odd. Why go to all that trouble? Podrizki fibbed, saying it was to lighten the load and save money on air freight. After extended haggling with Diveroli back in Miami, Trebicka agreed to do the job for $280,000 and hired a team of men to begin repackaging the rounds.
As he worked at the warehouse, however, Trebicka grew even more suspicious. Concerned that something nefarious was happening, he called the U.S. Embassy and met with the economic attache. Over coffee at a cafe called Chocolate, Trebicka confided that the ammunition was covered in Chinese markings. Was that a problem? Not at all, the U.S. official replied. The embassy had been trying to find the money to pay for demolishing the ammunition, so sending the rounds to Afghanistan would actually do them a favor. AEY appeared to be in the clear.
But greed got the better of Diveroli. In a phone call from Miami, he asked Trebicka to use his contacts in the Albanian government to find out how much Thomet was paying the Albanians for the ammunition. AEY was giving the Swiss arms broker just over four cents per round and reselling them to the Pentagon for 10 cents. But Diveroli suspected that Thomet was ripping him off.
He turned out to be right. A few days later, Trebicka reported that Thomet was paying the Albanians only two cents per round — meaning that he was charging AEY double the asking price, just for serving as a broker. Diveroli was enraged. He asked Trebicka to meet with his Albanian connections and find a way to cut Thomet out of the deal entirely.
Trebicka was happy to help. The Albanians, he thought, would be glad to deal with AEY directly. After all, by doing an end run around Thomet, there would be more money for everyone else. But when Trebicka met with the Albanian defense minister, his intervention had the opposite effect: The Albanians cut him out of the deal, informing AEY that the repackaging job would be completed instead by a friend of the prime minister's son. What Trebicka had failed to grasp was that Thomet was paying a kickback to the Albanians from the large margin he was making on the deal. Getting rid of Thomet was impossible, because that was how the Albanians were being paid off the books.
Diveroli flew to Albania and tried to intervene to help Trebicka keep the job, but he didn't have enough clout to get the decision reversed. Trebicka was stuck with the tab for the workers he had hired to repackage the rounds, along with a warehouse full of useless cardboard boxes he had printed to hold the ammo. Furious at being frozen out, he called Diveroli and secretly recorded the conversation, threatening to tell the CIA what he knew about the deal. "If the Albanians want to still work with me, I will not open my mouth," he promised. "I will do whatever you tell me to do."
Diveroli suggested that Trebicka try bribing Ylli Pinari, the head of the Albanian arms-exporting agency that was supplying the ammunition. "Why don't you kiss Pinari's ass one more time," Diveroli said. "Call him up. Beg. Kiss him. Send one of your girls to fuck him. Let's get him happy. Maybe we can play on his fears. Or give him a little money, something in his pocket. And he's not going to get much — $20,000 from you."
When Trebicka complained about being muscled out of the deal, Diveroli said there was nothing he could do about it. There were too many thugs involved on the Albanian end of the deal, and it was just too dangerous. "It went up higher, to the prime minister and his son," Diveroli said. "This mafia is too strong for me. I can't fight this mafia. It got too big. The animals just got too out of control."
With things up in the air in Albania, Packouz was starting to feel the pressure. He was stressed out, working around the clock, negotiating multimillion-dollar purchases and arranging for transportation. It felt like AEY was under siege from all directions. So when the cargo plane had finally taken off from Hungary on its way to Kabul loaded with 5 million rounds of ammunition, Packouz had breathed a sigh of relief. Then the plane had been abruptly seized in Kyrgyzstan — and Packouz had been forced to swing into action once more, working the phones for weeks to get the ammo released. Fortunately, AEY had friends in high places. When Packouz contacted the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, the military attache immediately wrote to the Kyrgyz government, explaining that the cargo was "urgently needed for the war on terrorism being fought by your neighboring Afghan forces." Two weeks later, Defense Secretary Robert Gates traveled to Kyrgyzstan on a mission to keep supplies flowing through the airport there. Under pressure from top U.S. officials, the ammo was eventually released.
"I never did find out what really happened, or why the plane was seized," says Packouz. "It was how things were done in international arms dealing. The defense industry and politics were extremely intertwined — you couldn't do business in one without dealing with the other. Your fate depended on political machinations behind the scenes. You don't even know whose side you were on — who you were helping and who you were hurting."
With the plane released and the Albanian supply line secured, Packouz and Diveroli thought they finally had everything under control. Cargo planes filled with ammunition were taking off from airports across Eastern Europe. The military officials receiving the ammo in Kabul had to know it was Chinese: Every round is stamped with the place of manufacture, as any soldier knows. But the shipments were routinely approved, and there were no complaints from the Afghans about the quality of the rounds. The ammo worked, and that was all that mattered. Millions of dollars were being transferred via wire from the Pentagon into AEY's accounts, and the $300 million contract was moving along smoothly. Diveroli was rich. Packouz was going to be rich. They had it made.
But it didn't take long for success to drive a wedge between the two friends. The exhausted Packouz no longer had to work 18 hours a day to track down suppliers. He started coming in late and knocking off early. Diveroli, who owed him commission but had yet to cut a check to his partner, started to argue with him about his hours.
"Efraim started looking at me differently," Packouz says. "I could tell he was working things over in his head. There was real money in the bank — millions and millions. He was about to be forced to pay me a huge chunk of change. He said he didn't want to 'give' me all that money. That was how he put it. Not like I had earned the money."
One day, Diveroli finally made his move. He wanted to renegotiate the deal. Packouz knew he was in a bad bargaining position. The money coming in from the Army went directly to AEY. Packouz had no written contract with Diveroli, only an oral agreement. The handshake deal they had made was worth just that — a handshake.
In an effort to protect his interests, Packouz demanded a meeting with lawyers present. Before the session, the two friends had a quick exchange.
"Listen, dude, if you fuck me, I'm going to fuck you," Packouz warned.
"Whatever," said Diveroli.
"It's going to be war," Packouz said. Then he played his trump card. "You don't want the IRS starting to come and look around."
Diveroli's face went white.
"Calm down," Diveroli said. "Don't throw around three-letter words like IRS. We can find a settlement."
"I know all of your contacts, and I can send them the actual documents showing what the government is paying," Packouz said. "You'll lose your entire profit margin."
"Take it easy," said Diveroli.
"We both know you're delivering Chinese," Packouz said.
A deal was struck, with Packouz agreeing to a fraction of the commission he had been promised. He figured he had something more precious than money: He knew how to work FedBizOpps. To compete with his former partner, he opened up his own one-man shop, Dynacore Industries, claiming on his website that his "staff" had done business with the State Department, the Pentagon, and the Iraqi and Afghan armies. "Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it," Packouz says. "People won't do business with you unless you have experience, but how can you get experience if they won't do business with you? Everyone has got to lie sometimes." Fearing that Diveroli might decide it was cheaper to have him killed than to pay him, Packouz also bought a .357 revolver as insurance.

It turned out that Packouz had bigger things to worry about. Winning the Afghan contract had earned AEY powerful enemies in the industry. One American arms dealer had complained to the State Department, claiming that AEY was buying Chinese-made AK-47s and shipping them to the Iraqi army. The allegation was false, but it had apparently triggered a criminal investigation by the Pentagon. On August 23rd, 2007 — the very day Packouz was supposed to sign the settlement papers with Diveroli — federal agents raided AEY's offices in Miami Beach. Ordering everyone to step away from their computers, the agents seized all of the company's hard drives and files.
The raid led agents directly to the e-mails about the Chinese markings on the ammunition from Albania, and the conspiracy to repackage it. "The e-mails were incredibly incriminating — they spelled out everything," Packouz says. "I knew once they saw them we were in trouble. We were so stupid. If we didn't e-mail, we could probably have denied the whole thing. But there were the names and dates. It was undeniable. I realized I was going to get caught no matter what I did, so I turned myself in. When the agents came to my lawyer's office to interview me, they were joking about how they had seen all the e-mails and notes. They were laughing."
To avoid indictment, Packouz agreed to cooperate, as did Alex Podrizki. But Diveroli went right on shipping Chinese ammo to Afghanistan — and the Army went right on accepting it. By now, though, the repackaging being done in Albania was getting even sloppier. Some of the crates were infested with termites, and the ammunition had been damaged by water. Tipped off by an attorney for Kosta Trebicka, who had begun a crusade against corruption in Albania, The New York Times ran a front-page story in March 2008 entitled "Supplier Under Scrutiny on Arms for Afghans."
Before the Times story ran, Packouz had been led to believe that he wasn't going to be charged for shipping pre-embargo Chinese ammunition. But after the article appeared, he and Podrizki and Diveroli were indicted on 71 counts of fraud. Faced with overwhelming evidence, all pleaded guilty. The Mormon gun manufacturer from Utah, Ralph Merrill, pleaded not guilty and was convicted in December. Heinrich Thomet simply vanished; according to rumors, he was last seen somewhere in Bosnia.
After the story broke, Kosta Trebicka traveled to the United States to talk to congressional investigators and federal prosecutors in Miami. He soon became terrified that the U.S. government was going to indict him as well. But back in Albania, he also became the lead witness in a case that targeted Albanian thugs and gangsters with ties to the prime minister. Then one afternoon in September 2008, Trebicka was killed in a mysterious "accident" when his truck somehow managed to flip over on a flat stretch of land outside Tirana. He was found alive by villagers, but medical crews and the police were slow to arrive. One of the first officials on the scene, in fact, was the Albanian prime minister's former bodyguard. "If it was an accident," says Erion Veliaj, an Albanian activist who worked with Trebicka, "it was a very strange kind."
Through all the chaos, Diveroli and Packouz had done a huge amount of business with the U.S. military. All told, AEY made 85 deliveries of munitions to Afghanistan worth more than $66 million, and had already received orders for another $100 million in ammunition. But the fiasco involved more than a couple of stoner kids who made a fortune in the arms trade. "The AEY contract can be viewed as a case study in what is wrong with the procurement process," an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform later concluded. There was a "questionable need for the contract," a "grossly inadequate assessment of AEY's qualifications" and "poor execution and oversight" of the contract. The Bush administration's push to outsource its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in short, had sent companies like AEY into the world of illegal arms dealers — but when things turned nasty, the federal government reacted with righteous indignation.
In January, Packouz was sentenced to seven months of house arrest after he stood before a federal judge in Miami and expressed his remorse for the "embarrassment, stress and heartache that I have caused." But his real regret is political: He believes that he and Diveroli were scapegoats, prosecuted not for breaking the law but for embarrassing the Bush administration. No one from the government has been charged in the case, even though officials in both the Pentagon and the State Department clearly knew that AEY was shipping Chinese-made ammunition to Afghanistan.
"We were the Army's favorite contractors when we got the deal — poster boys for President Bush's small-business initiative," Packouz says. "We would have saved the government at least $50 million. We were living the American dream, until it turned into a nightmare."
In January, dressed in a tan prison-issued jumper, Diveroli came before Judge Joan Lenard for sentencing at Miami's gleaming new federal courthouse. The court was packed with his friends and relatives, but they didn't exactly give him the support he was hoping for. "Efraim needs to go to jail," a local rabbi told the judge. Even Diveroli's mother concurred. "I know you hate me for saying this," she said, addressing her son directly, "but you need to go to jail." Diveroli's shoulders slumped.
Diveroli described his contrition to Judge Lenard. When prison guards saw his file, he said, they asked in amazement how such a young person had managed to win such a huge military contract. "I have no answer," Diveroli told the court. "I have had many experiences in my short life. I have done more than most people can dream of. But I would have done it differently. All the notoriety in my industry and all the good times — and there were some — cannot make up for the damage."
Judge Lenard gazed at Diveroli for a long time. "If it wasn't so amazing, you would laugh," she said. Then she sentenced him to four years.
The hearing was not the end of Diveroli's woes. As a convicted felon, he was barred from so much as holding a gun, let alone selling arms. But while he was awaiting sentencing on the fraud charges, Diveroli couldn't stay out of the business he loved. He contrived to act as a consultant to a licensed importer who wanted to buy Korean-made ammunition magazines. The deal was technically legal — the magazines only fed ammo into the guns, so Diveroli wasn't actually selling weapons — but it put him in the cross hairs of another federal sting operation.
An ATF agent posing as an arms dealer spent weeks trying to wheedle Diveroli into selling arms. Diveroli refused, but he couldn't resist bragging about his exploits; as agents recorded his every word, he talked about hunting alligators and hogs in the Everglades with a .50-caliber rifle. Finally, the ATF agent lured Diveroli to a meeting, asking him to bring along a gun so they could go shooting together. Diveroli didn't bring a weapon — he knew that would constitute a felony. But the ATF agent, who had thoughtfully brought along a gun of his own, handed Diveroli a Glock to try out.
The temptation was too much. Adopting his best tough-guy swagger, Diveroli cleared the chamber and inspected the weapon. As always, the 24-year-old arms dealer was the star of his own Hollywood movie. No matter what happened, he told the agent moments before his arrest, he would never leave the arms business.
"Once a gun runner," he boasted," always a gun runner."

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Feb 6 12 9:35 PM

Sue for truth and get yourself fined and ridiculed

Lawsuit against Cheney, Rumsfeld: Going after Powerful People Who Think they’re Above the Law is “Frivolous”
Sanctions in Gallop 9/11 lawsuit send a message: seek justice at your own risk
by Craig McKee
Global Research, February 5, 2012
The message is loud and clear. Go after justice for 9/11 in the courts, and not only will you lose, you’ll be punished.
That’s what April Gallop and her lawyer, William Veale, found out as their lawsuit against former vice-president Dick Cheney, former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Richard Myers concluded with a final slap in the face. This came in the form of a $15,000 fine levied against Veale for filing a “frivolous” appeal (the appeal had already been turned down in April of last year).
The decision was handed down by a three-judge panel headed by Justice John M. Walker, who just happens to be George W. Bush’s cousin – proving that the American justice system has a twisted sense of humour at times.
In March 2010, a lower court threw the original case out, stating that it was based on “cynical delusion and fantasy.”
Gallop, a former U.S. Army executive administrative assistant and her then two-month-old son were injured in the Pentagon event on 9/11 when an explosion in her office brought the ceiling down on them. Gallop’s desk was in the Pentagon’s E Ring, the outermost of the building’s five rings. Her desk was reported to be just 40 feet from where Flight 77 is supposed to have hit the building shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 11.
Gallop reports she carried her child to safety through the hole in the building where the plane was supposed to have entered. She says she saw no evidence of a plane having hit: no wreckage, no bodies, no jet fuel, nothing. She says she thought her computer had triggered the explosion, reporting that there were “flames coming out of the computers.”
Gallop’s original suit pointed to the fact that no alarm was ever sounded at the Pentagon even though it appeared that Cheney and others were tracking a plane’s progress towards the Pentagon. She has stated that there were frequent alarm drills in the Pentagon in the days leading up to 9/11 but none on that day.
The case laid out by Veale addressed the 9/11 official story and why the evidence points to it being false. It dealt with events at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and in Shanksville, Penn. The complaint pointed to a number of areas where the defendants clearly lied about where they were on the morning of 9/11 and what they were doing. It also looked at the evidence that neither Flight 77 nor any other 757 hit the Pentagon:
“One of those possibilities is that there was a plane substituted for Flight 77, possibly while flying over West Virginia, that was fitted and painted to look like Flight 77, which plane actually flew over the building while some other plane or missile exploded into the building on a slightly different flight path. There is the further possibility that no flying object hit the building at all, that the damage there was done by pre-placed explosives. Parts of an aircraft found in the rubble could have been planted in the building before the attacks so they could be found afterward. It will take an honest investigation and subpoena power to learn the truth.”
I guess lawyers and their clients will think twice before using the courts to go after very powerful people who think they’re above the law – that’s because it appears they ARE above the law.
But why should the court system be any different from all the other corrupted institutions in the country? Law enforcement won’t do its job, the media won’t do theirs, the politicians are bought and paid for, and much of the population is looking the other way while it all happens.
It seems that with every new attack on civil liberties and Constitutional freedoms in America, the enemies of truth get bolder. The corporate media continue steering the public away from what’s really being done to them and to their country with the deft use of fear and distraction.
Fortunately, there is a determined minority that continues to fight for truth. But it’s up against a population that is complacent and obedient and a powerful elite that feels invincible. It’s up to the sincere members of the 9/11 Truth movement to find a way to prove that they aren’t.
Global Research Articles by Craig McKee

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