Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 1/14/15
Just before Christmas, former FBI special agent Mark Rossini greeted me with his usual good cheer when we met for drinks in a midtown Manhattan restaurant. He told me his life had finally taken a turn for the better. He’s spending most of his time in Switzerland, where he works for a private global corporate-security firm. “Life’s good,” he said.
Good, but with a few major changes. Rossini was drinking club soda instead of the expensive cabernets he quaffed when I first knew him as a high-flying FBI official in Washington a decade ago, when he was a special assistant to the bureau’s chief spokesman, John Miller (now with the New York City Police Department). “I’ve cut back,” he said. “Feeling good.”
But when I ask him how he’s really doing, the light in his eyes dims. “Well, you know, I still miss the job,” he said, shaking his head. A boneheaded move—showing confidential FBI documents to his actress-flame Linda Fiorentino, who said she was researching a script about L.A. wiretapper extraordinaire Anthony Pellicano—cost him his career in 2008 and nearly landed him in jail.
“What’s past is past,” he said. But not all of it. He quickly told me of an encounter the day before on a street in Yonkers, where he keeps an apartment. He’d run into a close family friend who’d lost relatives at the World Trade Center on 9/11. “Mark,” she… Continue reading
Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 1/7/15
Since the early days after the Sept. 11 attacks, when news emerged that most of the airline hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, dark allegations have lingered about official Saudi ties to the terrorists. Fueling the suspicions: 28 still-classified pages in a congressional inquiry on 9/11 that raise questions about Saudi financial support to the hijackers in the United States prior to the attacks.
Both the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have refused to declassify the pages on grounds of national security. But critics, including members of Congress who have read the pages in the tightly guarded, underground room in the Capitol where they are held, say national security has nothing to do with it. U.S. officials, they charge, are trying to hide the double game that Saudi Arabia has long played with Washington, as both a close ally and petri dish for the world’s most toxic brand of Islamic extremism.
One of the most prominent critics is former Florida Senator Bob Graham, a Democrat who co-chaired the joint investigation of the House and Senate intelligence committees into the Sept. 11 attacks. On Wednesday, in a press conference with two current members of Congress and representatives of families who lost loved ones in the attacks, he will once again urge the Obama administration to declassify the pages—a move the White House has previously rebuffed.
“There are a lot of rocks out there that have been purposefully tamped down, that if… Continue reading
Originally published at AllGov by Noel Brinkerhoff on 11/21/14
A decade after the 9/11 Commission suggested creating a unified communications network for first responders to use during emergencies, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally collected enough money to move forward.
The commission recommended that the federal government create a way for police and firefighters from different jurisdictions to communicate with each other in a crisis—something they couldn’t do during the response to the 9/11 attacks.
Congress got into the act two years ago by passing legislation that authorized the FCC to reserve certain broadcast frequencies for public safety use.
The FCC, though, was left on its own to find funding for the new network, called FirstNet. So the commission auctioned off a band of wireless frequencies to telecommunications companies, which netted more than $11 billion to establish FirstNet.
The FCC only needs about $7 billion for the project, so the rest of the money is expected to go towards paying down the national debt.
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Dish Network all registered to bid on the wireless spectrum, but the FCC has not announced the winners of the auction.
For additional background and context regarding interoperable communications, please see:
Originally published at Benswann.com by Joshua Cook on 7/16/14
In March Benswann.com reported that Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), , along with families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001, urged the president to declassify 28 pages from the 9/11 congressional investigation report, providing more information to the general public.
On Friday Rep. Massie commented on his Facebook page:
“Before we involve ourselves in #Iraq, Congressmen and their constituents need to know more about the events leading up to 9/11. Understanding what enabled this tragedy to occur is fundamental to drafting a strategy for the Middle East.
That’s why I joined families of 9/11 victims and Congressman Walter Jones and Congressman Stephen Lynch at a press conference to promote the release of 28 classified pages from an official 9/11 report. Based on my reading of the documents, I am confident that making these 28 pages public would not damage our national security.”
During a press conference in March Rep. Massie said, “As I read it, and we all had our own experience, I had to stop every couple of pages and just sort of try to absorb and try to rearrange my understanding of history. “It challenges you to re-think everything. I think the whole country needs to go through that.”
Originally published at whowhatwhy.com by Russ Baker on 12/19/13
President Obama is apparently thinking about his presidential library. So now might be a good time to ponder whether anyone will want to visit it.
If he cared about revivifying his brief reputation as a good-guy outsider ready to shine light on the hidden recesses of our governing apparatus (remember his election-night victory speech that brought tears and rare hope to America?), Obama could certainly start at this late date by taking a stand for transparency.
Here’s how: Two Congressmen, a Democrat and a Republican, are asking Obama to declassify the congressional report on 9/11, which the Bush administration heavily redacted.
The two members of the House of Representatives have read the blacked-out portions, including 28 totally blank pages that deal largely with Saudi government ties to the alleged 9/11 hijackers.
This is apparently major connect-the-dots stuff—much more significant than what one may remember from Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 911, about Saudi royals and other Saudis studying and living in the US, who were allowed to go home without being interviewed in the aftermath of the attacks. This is about actual financial and logistical support of terrorism against the United States—by its ally, the Saudi government.
As a Hoover Institution media scholar wrote in the New York Post (normally no bastion of deep investigative inquiry):
The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government… Continue reading
Originally published at the NYPost by Paul Sperry on 12/15/13
After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.
But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.
It was kept secret and remains so today.
President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).
A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.
The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and… Continue reading
Originally published at MadCow Morning News by intrepid investigative journalist Daniel Hopsiker on 9/12/13
If the Bush Administration lied to justify waging a war against Iraq, what truths still lie buried beneath the official explanation for what happened on September 11 2001?
Before discussion about 9/11 was squeezed—in a pincer movement worthy of Hitler’s Panzer divisions—between the so-called “official story” and the subsequent campaign of disinformation that gave conspiracy a bad name, there were some promising avenues of investigation where definitive answers might still be possible.
Here are a few that remain at the top of my list. There are many others.
On the 12th anniversary of the Sept 11 attack there has still been no official investigation into the murders of almost 3000 people that day. The Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee investigation, which met in secret, delivered a report famously containing 28 blank pages.
And anyone looking to the 9/11 Commission for answers had already been disillusioned, even before they issued “findings,“ because they were charged only with identifying what might have been done differently to prevent a future attack.
The FBI’s ballyhooed 4000-man “largest investigation in history” lasted just a little more than three weeks, until someone—we still don’t know who—mailed letters sprinkled with anthrax, changing the focus of the FBI investigation.
Days later, in an order describing the investigation of the terrorist hijackings as “the most exhaustive in its history,” FBI Agents were ordered to curtail their investigation of the Sept. 11 attack. Officials said Robert Mueller, newly-sworn in… Continue reading
By Kevin Ryan
We have two new letters and an article at the Journal of 9/11 Studies.
The article by Jérôme Gygax and Nancy Snow is titled “9/11 and the Advent of Total Diplomacy: Strategic Communication as a Primary Weapon of War.” Here’s an excerpt.
“The 9/11 attacks were used to justify an institutional revolution meant to complete a process of integration and coordination of all the assets of US national power through a strategic communication (SC) campaign deployed on a global scale. The ‘Global War on Terror’ (GWOT) nurtured a narrative of crisis associated with this unprecedented public education effort. In order to sell its approaches, the United States government relied on a network of ‘experts': military veterans, high‐ranking officers such as Admirals as well as professional journalists and academics who contributed to forging a consensus, or, as Michel Foucault would call it, a ‘regime of truth’ that claims a certain interpretation to be right and true, while ignoring or discrediting critics and dissenting narratives.”
One letter is from Paul Schreyer and is called “Update: Anomalies of the Air Defense on 9/11.” Schreyer writes:
“Miles Kara insists that these were unrelated events. He says there is nothing on the tapes indicating a correlation and he points out that the Langley jets also made no attempt to change their altitude to get closer to the ‘Doomsday plane’ while flying southwest. So it´s possible that Kara is right here. However one still can only wonder about the series of anomalies… Continue reading
By Peter Dale Scott
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 29, No. 1, July 29, 2013
For almost two centuries American government, though always imperfect, was also a model for the world of limited government, having evolved a system of restraints on executive power through its constitutional arrangement of checks and balances.
Since 9/11 however, constitutional practices have been overshadowed by a series of emergency measures to fight terrorism. The latter have mushroomed in size, reach and budget, while traditional government has shrunk. As a result we have today what the journalist Dana Priest has called two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1
More and more, it is becoming common to say that America, like Turkey before it, now has what Marc Ambinder and John Tirman have called a deep state behind the public one.2 And this parallel government is guided in surveillance matters by its own Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, which according to the New York Times, “has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court.”3 Thanks largely to Edward Snowden, it is now clear that the FISA Court has permitted this deep state to expand surveillance beyond the tiny number of known and suspected Islamic terrorists, to any incipient protest movement that might challenge the policies of the American war machine.…Continue reading
By Kevin Ryan
The U.S. government has turned to 9/11 again in order to justify its program of spying on all Americans and to support a new, expanded war in Syria. Yet as Americans are distracted by these ongoing crimes, the deception behind the origin of the War on Terror is being more fully revealed.
Were the crimes of September 11, 2001 solely the work of Osama bin Laden and nineteen troubled young Arabs, or were more powerful people involved? After a decade of investigation Kevin Ryan, the co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies, offers an evidence-based analysis of nineteen other suspects.
With the support of victims’ families and leading 9/11 researchers, Another Nineteen looks at who was in position to accomplish major elements of the crimes that have yet be explained. Detailed evidence is presented that reveals how each of the alternative suspects had the means, motive and opportunity to accomplish one or more aspects of the 9/11 attacks.
“Finally a comprehensive and meticulously researched book that thoroughly details what occurred before and on 9/11. Without a doubt, Another Nineteen should be required reading for those who want the real story.” – Robert McIlvaine, father of Bobby McIlvaine, who was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11
“Kevin Ryan has written a book that reminds us that the attacks of September 11, 2001 and their details have never really been investigated. Kevin has laid out the historical framework in a way that has never been… Continue reading
NEW YORK, May 16, 2013 – America first learned of the 9/11 hijackings from Solicitor-General Ted Olson, who reported two calls from his wife, well-known CNN commentator Barbara Olson.
From American Airlines Flight 77, Barbara Olson fleshed out the drama of diminutive Muslim hijackers using knives and box-cutters to herd dozens of passengers to the rear of the plane.
These and other reported calls have now been examined by the 9/11 Consensus Panel of scientists, pilots, professors, attorneys, and journalists.
The Panel began its research in 2011 with the Twin Towers and the sudden, stunning collapse of adjacent Building WTC7, a massive 47-storey steel-framed skyscraper.
The official conclusion that all 82 support columns failed simultaneously from fire alone has for years raised serious questions about the official account.
The 9/11 Consensus Panel now offers four evidence-based Points about the alleged phone calls from the 9/11 flights.
The famous “let’s roll” drama of the passenger revolt on UA 93 was relayed by passenger Todd Beamer’s 13-minute unrecorded seat-back call to GTE telephone supervisor Lisa Jefferson, who reported Beamer as strangely tranquil, declining to speak to his wife. Eerily, Beamer’s line remained open for 15 minutes after the crash.
Oddly, the Verizon wireless record shows that 19 calls were made from Beamer’s cell phone long after the crash of UA 93.
Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has been deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators (free subscription required), and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups.
The ACLU described Edmonds as:
The most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.
And famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says that Edmonds possesses information “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers.”
Edmonds translated terror-related communications for the FBI right after 9/11. In that capacity, she read communications between terrorists and other radicals.
Edmonds said last week that Bin Laden – and his number 2 Al Qaeda lieutenant – Ayman al-Zawahiri – worked with the U.S. government for 3 months after 9/11 to coordinate destablization in the Caucus region:
Preface: This is not a partisan post. We have repeatedly documented that Obama is as bad or worse than the Bush administration.
In the run up to the Iraq war – and for several years thereafter – the program of torture carried out by the Bush administration was specifically specifically aimed at establishing a false justification for war. Dick Cheney is the guy who pushed for torture, pressured the Justice Department lawyers to write memos saying torture was legal, and made the pitch to Congress justifying torture. (The former director of the CIA said Cheney oversaw American torture policies).
The type of torture used by the U.S. on the Guantanamo suspects is of a special type. Senator Levin revealed that the the U.S. used Communist torture techniques specifically aimed at creating false confessions (see this, this, this and this).
According to NBC News:
In fact, the 9/11 Commission Report was largely based on third-hand… Continue reading
The pervasive news surrounding the confirmation hearing of John Brennan, Obama’s nominee for CIA director, is paralleled by another, related story that has been largely ignored by the U.S. media. That is the story of the man called Abu Zubaydah, whose alleged torture testimony, obtained by the CIA while Brennan was the head of the agency’s Terrorist Threat Center, built the foundation for the official account of 9/11. This week I spoke to Lee Hamilton, former vice-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, about the serious problems that the government’s new stance on Zubaydah creates for the 9/11 Commission Report.
As stated in my last article on the subject, Zubaydah is at the center of an unraveling of the official account of the 9/11 attacks. His extensive torture at the hands of the CIA during Brennan’s tenure, which included at least 83 water-boarding sessions, hanging the man naked from the ceiling, slamming him against a concrete wall, and other atrocious experimental techniques, was said to produce valuable evidence about al Qaeda. However, the government now claims that Zubaydah was never a member or associate of al Qaeda and therefore he could not have known any of the information that the 9/11 Commission attributed to him.
From the start of our conversation, Hamilton told me that he was having trouble remembering Zubaydah. That was odd considering that an article he and Thomas Kean wrote for the New York Times in 2008, describing how the CIA obstructed the 9/11 investigation, referred several times… Continue reading
“I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released,” an expert tells Salon
June 19, 2012
By Jordan Michael Smith
Over 120 CIA documents concerning 9/11, Osama bin Laden and counterterrorism were published today for the first time, having been newly declassified and released to the National Security Archive. The documents were released after the NSA pored through the footnotes of the 9/11 Commission and sent Freedom of Information Act requests.
The material contains much new information about the hunt before and after 9/11 for bin Laden, the development of the drone campaign in AfPak, and al-Qaida’s relationship with America’s ally, Pakistan. Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks. “I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials.
Let’s start there. In 2000 and 2001, the CIA began using Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Afghanistan. “The idea of using UAVs originated in April 2000 as a result of a request from the NSC’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism to the CIA and the Department of Defense to come up with new ideas to go after the terrorists in Afghanistan,” a 2004 document summarizes.…Continue reading
Top Secret CIA Documents on Osama bin Laden Declassified
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 381
Posted June 19, 2012
Edited by Barbara Elias-Sanborn with Thanks to Archive Senior Fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 — The National Security Archive today is posting over 100 recently released CIA documents relating to September 11, Osama bin Laden, and U.S. counterterrorism operations. The newly-declassified records, which the Archive obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are referred to in footnotes to the 9/11 Commission Report http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htmand present an unprecedented public resource for information about September 11.
The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counterterrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity. Today’s posting covers a variety of topics of major public interest, including background to al-Qaeda’s planning for the attacks; the origins of the Predator program now in heavy use over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; al-Qaeda’s relationship with Pakistan; CIA attempts to warn about the impending threat; and the impact of budget constraints on the U.S. government’s hunt for bin Laden.
Today’s posting is the result of a series of FOIA requests by National Security Archive staff based on a painstaking review of references in the 9/11 Commission Report.
… Although the collection is part of a laudable effort by the CIA to provide documents on events related to September 11, many of these materials are heavily… Continue reading
June 4, 2012
The CIA has released nearly 800 pages of newly declassified documents on Al Qaeda and the September 11 attacks.
The documents were released in response to an INTELWIRE Freedom of Information Act request for material referenced by the 9/11 Commission. Numerous documents were withheld, and those that were released have been heavily redacted. Despite this, it is highly unusual to receive any material from the CIA in response to a FOIA request, and they provide a fascinating look at the state of the agency’s understanding of Al Qaeda over the years.
While much of the material has been previously described, by the 9/11 Commission and other sources, seeing the actual documents still has an impact. For instance, the following extracts: (See source).
The documents are presented here in two large PDFs. Each individual document is bookmarked within the PDF. Almost everything in the release was previously classified secret or top secret. The CIA also released several items already available on its Web site or in public testimony, which I omitted.
The documents are presented here in no particular order but I grouped material near the top related to warnings about the activities of Khalid Al Mihdhar, one of the hijackers, and material related to 1998 efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden together in roughly chronological order.
You are welcome to report from these documents, but you must credit Intelwire.com. If you wish to break out a specific document for a major media outlet, contact me.…Continue reading
May 22, 2012
We have been asked to post notice of the following petition, originally posted May 7, 2012, which has a goal of being delivered to the National Institute of Standards and Technology:
Wording of petition:
Why this is important
Building 7 of the World Trade Center, a 47 story building, contained offices of the CIA, the Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) several financial institutions and then-Mayor Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management.
Despite never being hit by an airplane, Building 7 was reduced to a pile of rubble in about 7 seconds at 5:20 p.m. on September 11, 2001. After 9/11 this fact has been widely covered up by the U.S. mass media and was even omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report.
NIST, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (a U.S. government agency) was authorized by Congress to determine “why and how WTC 7 collapsed.” NIST produced a preliminary draft of their final report in August, 2008 omitting the fact that Building 7 fell at free fall acceleration for part of its descent. After a physicist challenged NIST on this point the final report, in November 2008 admitted free fall acceleration for 105′ or 2.5 seconds.
NIST wrote, “A more detailed analysis of the descent of the north face found . . . (2) a freefall descent over approximately… Continue reading