The Aussie Connection
Exclusive to American Free Press
by Christopher Bollyn
With close connections to the key individuals who had control of the twin towers shortly before they were destroyed, the obvious question is: Did Rupert Murdoch have prior knowledge of the impending Sept. 11, 2001, attacks?
Rupert Murdoch sits at the helm of News Corp. and is described as television’s “most powerful man in the world with the capacity to reach more than 110 million viewers across four continents.” Murdoch’s network owns more than 175 newspapers, journals and magazines on three continents, publishes 40 million papers a week and dominates the newspaper markets in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, Murdoch owns, among other things, The New York Post and the Fox News network.
An old, close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Murdoch openly supports the extremist Likud Party of Israel and the Anglo-American “war on terrorism.”
What is less well known, however, is Murdoch’s involvement in the production of a television program in 2000, which foreshadowed the attacks on the twin towers, and his personal connections to the key individuals who came into possession of the World Trade Center shortly before its destruction.
Having produced a film about a 9-11-like attack on the World Trade Center and being closely connected to the individuals who leased and insured the WTC against precisely such an attack is indicative of some prior knowledge.
Calls to Murdoch’s office by American Free Press to ask what he may have known about the possibility of such an attack were not returned.
‘THE LONE GUNMEN’
On March 4, 2001, Fox TV, a branch of Murdoch’s media empire, broadcast the pilot episode of a program called “The Lone Gunmen.” A spin-off of the popular “X-Files,” Murdoch-owned companies produced the pilot episode in Vancouver, Canada, and New York from March 20 to April 7, 2000.
The pilot episode depicted a passenger aircraft being hijacked by a hostile computer hacker and flown directly into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.
The climactic sequence actually shows the plane heading for one of the twin towers; but, at the very last moment, the pilots are able to regain control of the plane and avoid the building by inches.
After 9-11, however, rather than being discussed as a prescient warning of the possibility of such an attack, the pilot episode of “The Lone Gunmen” series was quietly forgotten.
Although an estimated 13.2 million viewers watched the pilot episode, very few recalled the program when life imitated art six months later on 9-11.
“I woke up on Sept. 11 and saw [the actual attack] on TV, and the first thing I thought of was ‘The Lone Gunmen’,” Frank Spotnitz, one of the program’s four executive producers, said. “But then in the weeks and months that followed, almost no one noticed the connection.”
Spotnitz, John Shiban, Vince Gilligan and Chris Carter are all listed as executive producers of the program.
“What’s disturbing about it to me is, you think as a fiction writer that if you can imagine this scenario, then the people in power in the government who are there to imagine disaster scenarios can imagine it, too,” Spotnitz said.
Robert McLachlan, director of photography, received an award from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers on March 31, 2001, for his work on the pilot episode.
“It was odd that nobody referenced it,” McLachlan told American Free Press about the uncanny similarity between the television program he filmed and the reality of 9-11. “You’re the first person who mentioned it,” he claimed. “In the ensuing press nobody mentioned that [9-11] echoed something that had been seen before.”
AFP asked McLachlan about the creative talent behind the pilot program. “John Shiban was primarily the creator,” McLachlan said, adding, “Chris Carter was not there.” Carter is well known for his production of the “X-Files.”
“It’s their baby,” Carter said about “The Lone Gunmen.” Carter reportedly had “a minor part” in the production. Carter and Shiban could not be reached for comment.
Murdoch’s sympathies for Zionism and Israel are well known and a matter of record. As New York Gov. George Pataki said, “There is no newspaper in the United States more supportive of Israel than the [Murdoch’s] New York Post.”
It is through his involvement in Zionist organizations that Murdoch is seen to be connected to the key individuals who arranged the privatization of the World Trade Center shortly before its destruction. These key individuals include Larry Silverstein and Frank Lowy, the lease holders of the WTC property, and Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg, who supervised the transfer of the leases.
Shortly before 9-11, Silverstein Properties and Lowy’s Westfield America obtained 99-year leases on the WTC. Silverstein Properties controlled the 10.6 million-square-foot complex, which included the twin towers office buildings and two nine-story office buildings. Lowy leased the shopping concourse called the Mall at the World Trade Center,
“Six weeks before the WTC towers were destroyed, the Port Authority completed the process of leasing them for 99 years to Larry Silverstein, the developer who had built the World Trade Center. Simultaneously, the retail space underneath the complex was leased to Westfield America, the U.S. division of an Australian company that is one of the world’s largest operators of shopping malls.” Paul Goldberger wrote in New Yorker, May 20, 2002.
“Silverstein and Westfield were given the right to rebuild the structures if they were destroyed, and Westfield has the right to expand the retail space by 30 percent,” Goldberger wrote.
Silverstein is suing to obtain $7.2 billion in insurance money for the destroyed World Trade Center, property he had leased with a reported $100 million down payment of borrowed funds.
Murdoch has been honored by, and belongs to Zionist organizations in which Silverstein, Lowy and Eisenberg hold senior positions, or which they fund. These organizations include the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), and the New York-based Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Silverstein and Eisenberg have both held senior leadership positions with the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), a billion dollar Zionist “Charity” organization, to which Murdoch and Lowy generously contribute. In 1997, Henry Kissinger presented Murdoch with the UJA’s award for “Humanitarian of the Year.”
Silverstein is a former chairman of UJA. This organization raises hundreds of millions of dollars every year for a network of Zionist agencies in the United States and Israel. Eisenberg, who was instrumental in obtaining the lease for Silverstein, is on the Planning Board of UJA.
Eisenberg in his role with the Port Authority was the key person who negotiated the 99-year leases for Silverstein and Frank Lowy’s Westfield America, who were in fact low-bidders for the lease on the 110-story towers and the retail mall.
Murdoch and the Czechoslovakian-born Israeli commando Frank Lowy, a former fighter in Israel’s Golani Brigade who went to Australia in the 1950s, have had a long friendship, which Murdoch recounted during an American Australian Association fund-raising dinner in honor of Frank’s son, Peter S. Lowy, in New York on November 20, 2002.
THE ZIONIST MURDOCH
Sam Kiley, veteran journalist on the Middle East for The Times (UK), wrote about the man who took over the famous British paper: “Murdoch is a close friend of Ariel Sharon.” Kiley said Murdoch’s friendship with Sharon, led senior staff at the paper to rewrite important copy.
“Murdoch’s executives were so afraid of irritating him that, when I pulled off a little scoop of tracking down and photographing the unit in the Israeli army that killed Mohammed al-Durrah, the 12-year-old boy whose death was captured on film and became the iconic image of the conflict, I was asked to file the piece ‘without mentioning the dead kid,’ ” Kiley wrote. “After that conversation, I was left wordless, so I quit.”
The visit with Sharon included a trip for Murdoch and his editors from New York and London that “took them on a bird’s-eye tour of Israel aboard a helicopter gunship, flying over the Golan Heights, West Bank and settlements.”