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9/11 Commission

Surprise! Zelikow says Shenon’s Lying

February 07, 2008
DemocracyNow.org

EXCLUSIVE: Former 9/11 Commission Chief Philip Zelikow on Allegations
He Secretly Allowed Karl Rove & White House to Influence 9/11 Probe

Earlier in the week, we spoke to Philip Shenon, author of “The Commission:
The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.” Shenon suggested
that Philip Zelikow–the executive director of the 9/11 Commission–sought
to minimize the Bush administration’s responsibility for failing to
prevent the September 11th attacks. Shenon also revealed that Karl Rove repeatedly
called Zelikow during the probe. Today Zelikow responds in his first broadcast
interview since the publication of Shenon’s book.

Real Video Stream
Real Audio Stream

 

Philip Zelikow, served as executive director of the 9/11 Commission. He
is now Professor of History and Director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs
at the University of Virginia.

Related Democracy Now! Stories:
New
Book Alleges 9/11 Commissioner Philip Zelikow Minimized Scrutiny of Bush Admin
Failure to Prevent al-Qaeda Attack (2/5/2008)


February 07, 2008
DemocracyNow.org

The 9/11 Commission & Torture: How Information Gained Through Waterboarding
& Harsh Interrogations Form Major Part of 9/11 Commission Report

A new analysis by NBC News reveals that more than a quarter of all footnotes
in the 9/11 Commission report refer to controversial interrogation techniques.
Yet, Commission staffers did not question the CIA about its techniques. They
even ordered a second round of interrogations in early 2004 to get more information
from the detainees.

Real
Video Stream

Real
Audio Stream

 

CIA Director Michael Hayden acknowledged Tuesday that the Agency had… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds Must be Heard

by Philip Giraldi

Sibel Edmonds is the FBI translator turned whistleblower who decided to go public late in 2002 and has been seeking to tell her story about high level corruption in the United States government involving Turkey and Israel. What makes her story particularly compelling is that the corruption relates to the theft and sale of United States defense secrets, most particularly nuclear technology. Sibel obtained her information while translating Turkish language telephone intercepts directed against several Turkish lobbying groups who had contact with senior officials in the Bush Administration, both at the Pentagon and in the State Department. Many of the officials involved are apparently the same neoconservatives who cooked the books to enable the rush to war against Iraq and who are continuing to urge more wars in the Middle East, most notably against Iran and Syria. Several of them are close allies of leading Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

To stop Sibel from telling her story, then Attorney General John Ashcroft subjected her to a state secrets privilege gag order after her appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes in October 2002 that not only forbade her providing details of her employment with FBI but also made the ban retroactive so that anything relating to her case would be considered a state secret. Edmonds had been discouraged by her experience with CBS as her most important points wound up on the cutting room floor. Then came the gag order, which she has observed while working assiduously to get… Continue reading

Today on WHYY’s ‘Fresh Air’ program, Philip Shenon

Fresh Air from WHYY

Fresh Air: The one-hour program features Terry Gross’ in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.

Mon, February 4, 2008–Check your local NPR station for airtime, or listen to archives to be posted at 3pm ET

Philip Shenon, Investigating the 9/11 Investigation

Audio for this story has now been posted here.

Fresh Air from WHYY, February 4, 2008 · Missed evidence, ignored clues, political considerations–did the 9/11 Commission really issue the definitive report on the September 2001 terror attacks?

In his new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, New York Times investigative journalist Philip Shenon scrutinizes those charged with analyzing the terror attacks and uncovers new information about the commission’s complicated relationship with the Bush White House

Excerpt: ‘The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation’

by Philip Shenon

Philip Shenon’s book, ‘The Commission’

Chapter 1: National Archives

Washington, DC, May 30, 2002

Sandy Berger walked down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the row of massive Corinthian columns that were the most notable architectural feature of the National Archives. The public entrance to the archives was around the corner on Constitution Avenue, and it would normally be jammed with throngs of boisterous tourists on such a bright spring morning, eager to gaze upon the great documents of -American democracy. But on the day of Berger’s first visit, the few out-of-town visitors who did not have special permission to enter the archives were turned away.…

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Ties Between White House, Sept 11 Chief

By HOPE YEN
February 4, 2008;

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Sept. 11 commission’s executive director had closer
ties with the White House than publicly disclosed and tried to influence the
final report in ways that the staff often perceived as limiting the Bush administration’s
responsibility, a new book says.

Philip Zelikow, a friend of then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice,
spoke with her several times during the 20-month investigation that closely
examined her role in assessing the al-Qaida threat. He also exchanged frequent
calls with the White House, including at least four from Bush’s chief political
adviser at the time, Karl Rove.

Zelikow once tried to push through wording in a draft report that suggested
a greater tie between al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and Iraq, in line with
White House claims but not with the commission staff’s viewpoint, according
to Philip Shenon’s "The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11
Investigation."

Shenon, a New York Times reporter, says Zelikow sought to intimidate
staff to avoid damaging findings for President Bush, who at the time was running
for re-election, and Rice. Zelikow and Rice had written a book together in 1995
and he would later work for her after the commission finished its job and she
became secretary of state in 2005.

The Associated Press obtained an audio version of Shenon’s book, which is to
go on sale Tuesday.

Reached by the AP, Zelikow provided a 131-page statement with information he
said was provided for the book. In it, Zelikow acknowledges… Continue reading

Why Were The Tapes Destroyed?

Paul Craig Roberts
February 2, 2008

Many Americans are content with the 9/11 Commission Report, but the two chairmen of the commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton are not. Neither was commission member Max Cleland, a US Senator who resigned from the 9/11 Commission, telling the Boston Globe (November 13, 2003): “This investigation is now compromised.” Even former FBI director Louis Freeh wrote in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 17, 2005) that there are inaccuracies in the commission’s report and “questions that need answers.”

Both Kean and Hamilton have twice stated publicly, once in their 2006 book, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, and again in the January 2, 2008, New York Times, that there are inaccuracies in their report and unanswered–or mis-answered–questions.

On the second day of this new year, Kean and Hamilton accused the CIA of obstructing their investigation: “What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the President, to investigate one of the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.”

In their book, Kean and Hamilton wrote that they were unable to obtain “access to star witnesses in custody who were the only possible source for inside information about the 9/11 plot.”

The only information the commission was permitted to have about what was learned from interrogations of alleged plot ringleaders, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, came from “thirdhand” sources. The commission was not permitted to… Continue reading

Zelikow ‘Disreputed’ Long Ago

February 1, 2008
Jon Gold

Some of you may have seen the news regarding Philip Zelikow. If you watched Keith Olbermann tonight (2/1/08), you were in for a treat. During the time of the 9/11 Commission, the “Jersey Girls” called for the resignation of Philip Zelikow, as you can see from this clip from 9/11: Press For Truth:

Essentially, the “original members of the 9/11 Truth Movement” “disreputed” the 9/11 Commission long ago, Mr. Holland.

Source URL: http://visibility911.com/jongold/?p=379

Key 9/11 Commission Staffer Held Secret Meetings With Rove, Scaled Back Criticisms of White House

A forthcoming book by NYT reporter Philip Shenon — “The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation” — asserts that former 9/11 Commission executive director Philip Zelikow interfered with the 9/11 report.

According to the book, Zelikow had failed to inform the commission at the time he was hired that he was instrumental in helping Condoleezza Rice set up Bush’s National Security Council in 2001. Some panel staffers believe Zelikow stopped them from submitting a report depicting Rice’s performance prior to 9/11 as “amount[ing] to incompetence.”

Relying on the accounts of Max Holland, an author and blogger who has obtained a copy of the forthcoming book, ABC reports that Zelikow was holding private discussions with White House political adviser Karl Rove during the course of the 9/11 investigation:

In his book, Shenon also says that while working for the panel, Zelikow appears to have had private conversations with former White House political director Karl Rove, despite a ban on such communication, according to Holland. Shenon reports that Zelikow later ordered his assistant to stop keeping a log of his calls, although the commission’s general counsel overruled him, Holland wrote.

Zelikow flatly denied discussing the commission’s work with Rove. “I never discussed the 9/11 Commission with him, not at all. Period.”

After completing his work with the 9/11 Commission, Zelikow was hired by Condoleezza Rice as Counselor at the State Department. He resigned from that position in late 2006. In 1995, Rice and Zelikow co-authored a book entitled,… Continue reading

Ex-9/11 Panel Chief Denies Secret White House Ties

by Justin Rood
Jan. 30, 2008—

The former executive director of the 9/11 Commission denies explosive charges
of undisclosed ties to the Bush White House or interference with the panel’s
report.

The charges are said to be contained in New York Times reporter Philip Shenon’s
unreleased book, "The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation,"
according to Max Holland, an author and blogger, and generally confirmed by
the book’s publisher. Although the book is not slated to hit stores until early
next month, Holland says he bought a copy of the audio version at a bookstore.
(Attempts to purchase the book, in any format, at the Barnes & Noble across
the street from ABC News headquarters were unsuccessful.)

9/11 Commission co-chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton hired former Condoleezza
Rice aide Philip Zelikow to be executive director, Zelikow failed to tell them
about his role helping Rice set up President George W. Bush’s National Security
Council in early 2001  and that he was "instrumental" in demoting
Richard Clarke, the onetime White House counterterrorism czar who was fixated
on the threat from Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, according to Holland’s version
of Shenon’s tome.

"[Zelikow] had laid the groundwork for much of what went wrong at the
White House in the weeks and months before September 11. Would he want people
to know that?" Shenon writes, according to Holland.

Zelikow denied that was the case. "It was very well-known I had served
on this transition team and… Continue reading

Eight U.S. State Department Veterans Challenge the Official Account of 9/11

by Alan Miller

Official Account of 9/11: “Flawed”, “Absurd”, “Totally Inadequate”, “a Cover-up”

January 5, 2008 — Eight U.S. State Department veterans have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. “There is no question in my mind, that there is enough evidence to justify a very comprehensive and hard hitting investigation of the kind we have not seen, with subpoenas, general questioning of people, releasing a lot of documents,” said Daniel Ellsberg, PhD, in a 2006 interview with Jack Blood. [1]

Daniel Ellsberg, Phd is one of many signers of a petition to reinvestigate 9/11. [2] Best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, Dr. Ellsberg is a former U.S. State Department envoy to Viet Nam and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Another State Department critic of the official account of 9/11 is Col. Ann Wright, who said in a 2007 interview with Richard Greene on the Air America Radio Network, “It’s incredible some of these things that still are unanswered. The 9/11 Report — that was totally inadequate. I mean the questions that anybody has after reading that.” [3]

Col. Ann Wright is one of three U.S. State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003. She joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served for 16 years as a U.S. Diplomat, including assignments as Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia… Continue reading

9/11 Contradictions: Bush in the Classroom

by Dr. David Ray Griffin

Dr. David Ray GriffinThe official story of 9/11 is riddled with internal contradictions. One of these contradictions involves the question of how long President Bush remained in classroom in Sarasota, Florida, on the morning of 9/11.

Bush was there to publicize his education policy by being photographed listening to students read. He arrived at the school at 8:55 AM, at which time he reportedly first learned that a plane had struck one of the Twin Towers. Dismissing the crash as an accident, Bush said that they would go ahead and “do the reading thing anyway.”

Bush entered the second-grade classroom of teacher Sandra Kay Daniels at about 9:03. At about 9:06, the president’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, came in and whispered in Bush’s ear, telling him, Card later reported, “A second plane hit the second Tower. America is under attack.”

 

What Happened Next

Thanks to Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11, which came out in 2004, the world knows what happened next: Bush remained sitting there minute after minute after minute.

Journalists, however, had reported Bush’s strange behaviour much earlier. On September 1, 2002, for example, Jennifer Barrs had reported in the Tampa Tribune that, after Card whispered in Bush’s ear, the president picked up his book and read with the children “for eight or nine minutes.” In his 2002 book Fighting Back, Bill Sammon, the White House correspondent for the Washington Times, said that even after the reading lesson was over, Bush… Continue reading

Extinguishing Liberty’s Light and Independent Views–Thinking for yourself is now a crime

By Paul Craig Roberts

01/04/08 “ICH ” — – What was the greatest failure of 2007? President Bush’s “surge” in Iraq? The decline in the value of the US dollar? Subprime mortgages? No. The greatest failure of 2007 was the newly sworn in Democratic Congress.

The American people’s attempt in November 2006 to rein in a rogue government, which has committed the US to costly military adventures while running roughshod over the US Constitution, failed. Replacing Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate has made no difference.

The assault on the US Constitution by the Democratic Party is as determined as the assault by the Republicans. On October 23, 2007, the House passed a bill sponsored by California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, chairwoman of a Homeland Security subcommittee, that overturns the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression, association, and assembly.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 404-6. In the Senate the bill is sponsored by Maine Republican Susan Collins and apparently faces no meaningful opposition.

Harman’s bill is called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. When HR 1955 becomes law, it will create a commission tasked with identifying extremist people, groups, and ideas. The commission will hold hearings around the country, taking testimony and compiling a list of dangerous people and beliefs. The bill will, in short, create massive terrorism in the United States. But the perpetrators of terrorism will not be Muslim terrorists; they will be government agents and fellow citizens.

We are beginning to see who will be the inmates of the detention centers being built in the US by Halliburton under government contract.…

Continue reading

Conyers Wants Probe Into CIA Tapes

By John Bresnahan
January 2, 2008

(The Politico) Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s decision earlier today to appoint a veteran federal prosecutor to oversee a criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA videotapes has not mollifed Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who still wants a special counsel appointed to oversee the case.

Mukasey has chosen John Durham, an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to run the investigation. Durham will “serve as acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia for purposes of this matter.” Mukasey said. “Mr. Durham is a widely respected and experienced career prosecutor who has supervised a wide range of complex investigations in the past, and I am grateful to him for his willingness to serve in this capacity. As the acting United States attorney for purposes of this investigation, Mr. Durham will report to the deputy attorney general, as do all United States attorneys in the ordinary course. I have also directed the FBI to conduct the investigation under Mr. Durham’s supervision.”

Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. attorney in Alexandria, Va., has recused himself from the CIA probe. Rosenberg worked in former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ office during the period when the fate of the CIA tapes, which included records of 2002 interrogations of top Al Qaeda operatives, were reportedly discussed with the CIA and White House. The tapes were destroyed in 2005 by CIA officials despite legal objections. A preliminary probe by DOJ and the CIA’s inspector general determined that a criminal probe was warranted, which… Continue reading

Stonewalled by the C.I.A.

Op-Ed Contributors Stonewalled by the C.I.A.
By THOMAS H. KEAN and LEE H. HAMILTON

Washington: MORE than five years ago, Congress and President Bush created the 9/11 commission. The goal was to provide the American people with the fullest possible account of the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001” — and to offer recommendations to prevent future attacks. Soon after its creation, the president’s chief of staff directed all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the commission.

The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.

There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A. — or the White House — of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.

When the press reported that, in 2002 and maybe at other times, the C.I.A. had recorded hundreds of hours of interrogations of at least two Qaeda detainees, we went back to check our records. We found that we did ask, repeatedly, for the kind of information that… Continue reading

When Will You Say It’s Time?

by Donna Marsh O’Connor

Kean and Hamilton issued a statement today, January 2, 2008 (only six-plus years since 9/11/2001) that was “just-inned” on CNN. They published an editorial in the New York Times today. Their position: Their work was blocked, the investigation tainted. They repeatedly asked for tapes from the CIA that were never provided. They came just short of calling for a real investigation. They (as they have done since the beginning) left that work to the victims’ families.

Will you now cover 9/11 truth, not as a series of destructive conspiracy theories, but as a movement inhabited by sane citizens from all walks of life (scientists, CIA whistleblowers, theologians, professors, researchers, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and more) as well as family members of the victims who deserve as patriotic Americans the answers to the lingering questions of that day? Will you now take up the call first put together in mainstream media by the four heroic widows from New Jersey?

My daughter, Vanessa Lang Langer was pregnant and pulled from the pile whole and intact on 9/24/2001. She was found ten feet from an alley. Five minutes after the first plane hit Tower I, she was on the phone to the uptown office of Regus Business International, telling a colleague that those in Tower II were told they were safe. That five minutes and the seventeen minutes between those planes (yes, I do believe there were planes) were two lifetimes in my own world. She must have been… Continue reading

Judge Refuses to Order Hearing on C.I.A. Tapes

December 21, 2007
Judge Refuses to Order Hearing on C.I.A. Tapes
By DAVID STOUT and DAVID JOHNSTON

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Friday declined to rule immediately on
a request to compel the government to explain in detail the destruction of C.I.A.
videotapes showing the harsh interrogation of two suspected Al Qaeda operatives.

District Judge Henry H. Kennedy said he would rule later on a request by lawyers
for a dozen Yemeni prisoners being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that
he order such a hearing.

But Judge Kennedy, who heard a motion from the prisoners’ lawyers, appeared
at one point to be at least partly swayed by Bush administration lawyers that
he should not get more deeply involved while Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey
is undertaking one of the inquiries into the tapes’ destruction.

“Why should the court not permit the Department of Justice to do just
that?” Judge Kennedy asked David H. Remes, a lawyer for the detainees.

For Mr. Remes, the answer was simple. “Plainly, the government wants
only foxes guarding the henhouse,” he asserted in his motion. Considering
the government’s behavior so far, Mr. Remes argued, the Justice Department
is not entitled to a presumption that it will do the right thing.

The destruction in 2005 of the videotapes, disclosed earlier this month, has
caused a furor in the capital. Critics of the administration have seized on
the episode as further evidence that it may have a lot to hide in its treatment
of detainees. In… Continue reading

Van Auken & Kleinberg Editorial

To the Editor:

Re “9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes” (front page, Dec. 22):

Our government’s official story regarding the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, tells us that 19 Arab hijackers successfully defeated the United States military by hijacking four commercial airliners within two hours on a budget of approximately $400,000. These men, armed only with small knives, box cutters and Mace, were able to knock down the World Trade Center towers in New York City and strike the Pentagon.

Because our loved ones were murdered on 9/11, we felt that the details of how the hijackers succeeded should be thoroughly investigated, so we fought for an independent 9/11 Commission. It seemed logical that our government would want to know what happened so as to prevent another attack.

When the legislation for the 9/11 Commission was passed, it gave the commissioners full subpoena power. Unfortunately, that subpoena power was rarely used.

You report that “the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda.” But while the panel did make “document requests” to the C.I.A., it did not subpoena the C.I.A. for the documents and tapes.

A subpoena would have meant that the C.I.A. would have had to answer the commission as to whether the documents and tapes existed, and the agency would have had to explain its reasons for not turning these documents and tapes over to the… Continue reading

CIA obstructed 9/11 investigators: report

Sat Dec 22, 2007

The CIA obstructed an official US investigation into the September 11 attacks
by withholding tapes of interrogations of Al-Qaeda operatives, according to
former investigators quoted in a report on Saturday.

A review of documents by former members of the 9/11 commission revealed the
panel made repeated, detailed requests to the spy agency in 2003 and 2004 for
information about the interrogation of members of the extremist network, but
were never notified of the tapes, the New York Times reported.

The review of the commission’s correspondence with the Central Intelligence
Agency came after the agency earlier this month revealed it had destroyed videotapes
in 2005 that showed harsh interrogations of two Al-Qaeda members.

The review, written up in a December 13 memo prepared by Philip Zelikow, the
former executive director of the 9/11 commission, said that “further investigation
is needed” to resolve whether the CIA’s failure to hand over the tapes
violated federal law.

The memorandum does not assert that withholding the tapes was illegal but states
that federal law penalizes anyone who “knowingly and wilfully” withholds
or “covers up” a “material fact” from a federal inquiry,
the newspaper said.

The revelation adds to pressure on President George W. Bush’s administration,
already under fire over the affair by human rights groups and lawmakers who
allege that destroying the tapes covered up proof of torture.

Responding to the New York Times report, the CIA said the commission never
specifically asked for interrogation videos.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield told… Continue reading

Co-Chair of Congressional 9/11 Inquiry Confirms White House Cover Up

Thursday, December 13, 2007
posted at Georgewashington.blogspot.com

Co-Chair of Congressional 9/11 Inquiry and Former Head of Senate Intelligence
Committee Confirms White House Cover Up
The Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 and former Head of the Senate
Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham, revealed
that the White House refused to let the 9/11 inquiry interview one of the most
important witnesses imaginable:

Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat who is a former chairman of the
Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the White House on Tuesday of covering
up evidence that might have linked Saudi Arabia to the Sept. 11 hijackers.

* * *

The accusation stems from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s refusal
to allow investigators for a Congressional inquiry and the independent Sept.
11 commission to interview an informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, who had been
the landlord
in San Diego of two Sept. 11 hijackers.

In his book “Intelligence Matters,” Mr. Graham, the co-chairman
of the Congressional inquiry with Representative Porter J. Goss, Republican
of Florida, said an F.B.I. official wrote them in November 2002
and said “the administration would not sanction a staff interview with
the source
.” On Tuesday, Mr. Graham called the letter “a
smoking gun” and said, “The reason for this cover-up goes right
to the White House.”

This isn’t some fresh-face kid talking. This is a consummate insider: the former
head of senate intelligence and co-chair of the congressional 9/11 inquiry.

If the White House refused to allow an interview of a government informant
who was landlord… Continue reading