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9/11 Commission

How the FBI and 9/11 Commission Suppressed Key Evidence about Hani Hanjour, alleged hijack pilot of AAL 77

June 28, 2009 (updated July 7, 2009)
by Mark H. Gaffney, Author of The 9/11 Mystery Plane and the Vanishing of America

The evidence was crucial because it undermined the official explanation that Hani Hanjour crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon at high speed after executing an extremely difficult top gun maneuver. But to understand how all of this played out, let us review the case in bite-size pieces…

In August 2004 when the 9/11 Commission completed its official investigation of the September 11, 2001 attack, the commission transfered custody of its voluminous records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).[1] There, the records remained under lock and key for four and a half years, until last January when NARA released a fraction of the total for public viewing. Each day, more of the released files are scanned and posted on the Internet, making them readily accessible. Although most of the newly-released documents are of little interest, the files I will discuss in this article contain important new information.

As we know, the 9/11 Commission did not begin its work until 2003——more than a year after the fact. By this time a number of journalists had already done independent research and published articles about various facets of 9/11. Some of this work was of excellent quality. T he Washington Post, for example, interviewed aviation experts who stated that the plane allegedly piloted by Hani Hanjour [AA Flight 77] had been flown “with extraordinary skill, making it highly… Continue reading

Two Days Before 9/11, Military Exercise Simulated Suicide Hijacking Targeting New York

by History Commons Groups
June 16, 2009
hcgroups.wordpress.com

The US military conducted a training exercise in the five days before the September 11 attacks that included simulated aircraft hijackings by terrorists, according to a 9/11 Commission document recently found in the US National Archives. In one of the scenarios, implemented on September 9, terrorists hijacked a London to New York flight, planning to blow it up with explosives over New York.

The undated document, entitled “NORAD EXERCISES Hijack Summary,” was part of a series of 9/11 Commission records moved to the National Archives at the start of the year. It was found there, and posted to the History Commons site at Scribd, by History Commons contributor paxvector, in the files of the commission’s Team 8, which focused on the failed emergency response on the day of the attacks. The summary appears to have been drafted by one of the commission’s staffers, possibly Miles Kara, based on documents submitted by NORAD.

99 hijacking cut

An excerpt from page 4 of the NORAD EXERCISES document.

In the September 9 scenario, the fictitious terrorists’ goal seems to have been to kill New Yorkers with the rain of debris following the plane’s explosion. However, in the exercise, the military intercepted the plane and forced it away from the city. When the terrorists realized they were not near New York, they blew the plane up “over land near the divert location,” leaving no survivors. The military unit most involved in this scenario was NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense… Continue reading

History Commons Projects, Update on June 17, 2009

Perhaps the most interesting thing this week is that an HC contributor found a document in the National Archives showing that, two days before 9/11, the military practiced responding to a simulated hijacking by suicide terrorists targeting New York. The document also mentioned a number of other previously-unknown hijacking-response exercises, and has been written up at the contributors’ blog.
Read more

There are also several additional entries in the 9/11 Timeline, about the 9/11 Commission and the day of the attacks.
Read more

The Domestic Propaganda Timeline focuses on the back-and-forth of Sonia Sotomayer’s nomination to the US Supreme Court, and Karl Rove instructs readers that the word “empathy” is actually code for “liberal activism.”
Read more

The Economic Crisis Timeline marks the 30th bank failure in the US this year, which was Silverton Bank in Atlanta.
Read more

Lastly, a contributor to the A. Q. Khan Timeline highlights possible Saudi funding for Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
Read more

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‘9/11 Press for Truth’ on Channel 12 Draws Huge Support from Colorado Public Television Viewers

KBDI logo

For immediate release
Release Date: 06/04/09
Author: J Nagle

For immediate release

- Photos available at http://www.kbdi.org/about_kbdi/press_room.cfm
– See excerpts from Viewer Buzz program comments below

‘9/11 Press for Truth’ on Channel 12 Draws Huge Support from Colorado Public Television Viewers
Program will repeat at 2:00, 9:00 and midnight on Saturday

DENVER — (June 4, 2009) — KBDI has always been at the forefront of controversial programming and last night was no exception. As the first broadcast station in the United States to air the controversial documentary 9/11 Press for Truth, which claims a 9/11 cover-up, KBDI showed that it is not afraid to touch on sensitive subjects.

Due to viewer response to the program, Channel 12 will repeat the program Saturday, June 6 at 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., followed by an encore at midnight.

During the premiere, Bob McIlvaine, who lost his son Bobby at the World Trade Center, and 9/11 Press for Truth producer Kyle Hence and director Ray Nowosielski were in the studio to give more insight into why they believed 9/11 was a cover-up and why the American public should be screaming for answers.

Supporters of the documentary hope that because of the risk KBDI took by putting 9/11 Press for Truth on the air that more PBS stations across the nation will take a chance and broadcast the controversial documentary.

Press for Truth’s producer Kyle Hence already has heard the cries saying people from all over the country have been forwarding his e-mails on… Continue reading

How Important is Cheney’s Admission that There was NEVER Any Evidence Linking Iraq and 9/11?

Washingtonsblog.com

Cheney said in an interview on Fox News:

“On the question of whether or not Iraq was involved in 9-11, there was never any evidence to prove that,” he told the Fox host. “There was “some reporting early on … but that was never borne out… [President] George [Bush] … did say and did testify that there was an ongoing relationship between al-Qaeda and Iraq, but no proof that Iraq was involved in 9-11.”

How important is Cheney’s admission?

Well, 5 hours after the 9/11 attacks, Donald Rumsfeld said “my interest is to hit Saddam” .

He also said “Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

And at 2:40 p.m. on September 11th, in a memorandum of discussions between top administration officials, several lines below the statement “judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [that is, Saddam Hussein] at same time”, is the statement “Hard to get a good case.” In other words, top officials knew that there wasn’t a good case that Hussein was behind 9/11, but they wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to justify war with Iraq anyway.

Moreover, “Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the [9/11] attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative… Continue reading

Those 9/11 Commission Minders Again

by Kevin Fenton
May 27, 2009
History Commons Groups

New details have emerged about minders who sat in on 9/11 Commission interviews during a fact-finding trip to Canada. Commission heads Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton mentioned the minders generally in interviews during the panel’s lifetime, but a memo recently found in the National Archives and blogged here a couple of weeks ago showed how prevalent they were.

Another document, again found by History Commons contributor paxvector, provides more details of how the minders worked during a trip to Canada. The commission, which eventually recommended taking part of the CIA director’s responsibilities away and giving them to a Director of National Intelligence, was considering changes to the intelligence community and sent a team to Canada to examine how its intelligence services were organised and report back.

The three-page memo, entitled “Canada Trip Lessons Learned” and apparently drafted by staffer Gordon Lederman in the autumn of 2003, highlights how the minders behaved.

One minder “acted as a participant,” “responded to inquiries” and “consulted with” the interviewee. She took verbatim notes in all three interviews she attended, doing so while sitting next to the interviewees in two of them. In addition, in one interview she “sighed heavily repeatedly.” The memo-writer also points out, “She had an opportunity to coach/poison the well with [Redacted] at dinner the night before and with others before they arrived including with FBI attorney and Legat [legal attaché].” It’s not clear which agency this minder was from, although… Continue reading

Visibility 9-11 Welcomes Kyle Hence, Producer ‘9-11 Press for Truth’

Photo of Kyle Hence
This episode of Visibility 9-11 welcomes back to the program Kyle Hence, founder of 9-11 Citizens Watch and producer of the excellent documentary 9-11 Press for Truth. Included is a brief discussion about the film as well as a new film Kyle is working on based on footnote #44 in Chapter 6 of the 9-11 Commission Report. A press release from the September 11th Advocates reads in part:

“In July 2004, when the 9/11 Commission released its Final Report, we read with enormous interest, Chapter 6 – “From Threat to Threat”, including footnote #44. Footnote #44 details an instance where a CIA desk officer intentionally withheld vital information from the FBI about two of the 9/11 hijackers who were inside the United States. This footnote further states that the CIA desk officer covered-up the decision to withhold said vital information from the FBI. Finally, footnote #44 states that the CIA desk officer could not recall who told her to carry out such acts.”

Also included in this discussion are the circumstances surrounding the historic national premier of 9-11 Press for Truth on a major market PBS station. On June 3, 2009 at 7:00pm, 9-11 Press for Truth will be shown on KBDI, Channel 12 in Denver Colorado. This historic broadcast will feature in-studio interviews during the broadcast with Kyle Hence, Bob McIlvaine, and a representative of Colorado 9-11 Visibility. As has been the case for the past couple of years, Colorado 9-11 Visibility will also be manning… Continue reading

Zelikow Caught in a Whopper; Made False Statements to Author about Criminal Referral for NORAD, FAA

By Kevin Fenton
May 22, 2009
History Commons Groups

Zelikow made the claim he was not involved in the initial stages of the dispute in response to an allegation made by commission staffer John Azzarello and relayed by Shenon. After the staff investigators drafted a memo for the commissioners in early April 2004 outlining why they thought NORAD and FAA officials had deliberately lied to them to overstate the military’s readiness during the attacks, Zelikow “just buried that memo,” according to Azzarello. In response, Zelikow claimed that he had not even known of the issue at the start. The implication was that, as he had not known of it, it could not be him that was orchestrating–or even involved in–a dispute between the staff investigators and the commission’s lawyers, Daniel Marcus and Steve Dunne.

However, the newly found e-mail chain shows Zelikow did know of the issue in April, raising the question as to why he falsely told Shenon he did not. Zelikow is not known to be linked to the FAA, but, if the commission had referred the matter to the Justice Department and it had started a perjury investigation against NORAD officials, this would certainly have had the potential to embarrass his friends at the Pentagon. Zelikow is alleged to have husbanded the issue to ensure a less potentially embarrassing referral to the inspectors general of the FAA and Defense Department, who in the end blamed the false statements on innocent mistakes and poor logkeeping.

Zelikow wrote to… Continue reading

9/11, Pentagon, and Missile Defense: $130 Billion on Pentagon’s Missile Defense Fails to Stop Four Airliners on 9/11

by Fred Burks
May 21, 2009
WantToKnow.info

Remember Star Wars? Do you remember the Pentagon’s Strategic Defense Initiative to build a massive missile defense system that raised so much controversy during the Reagan and first Bush years? 130 billion of our tax dollars were poured into developing that system. It was designed to detect and intercept missiles fired from an unknown destination traveling at well over 10 times the speed of a commercial airliner, and to shoot them down in 15 minutes or less, before they reached their US targets.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) website, “a defensive system may need to hit a warhead smaller than an oil drum that is traveling above the atmosphere at speeds greater than 13,000 miles per hour.” The CBO report states that missile defense and intercept systems must take down an ICBM in a matter of minutes or it is all over.

You may remember that before 9/11, there were a number of tests of the Pentagon’s missile defense systems. Some tests failed, while others succeeded. But there is an important question here. If these sophisticated military systems were designed to detect missiles fired from unknown locations at over 13,000 mph and shoot them down in mere minutes, why on 9/11 could they not detect any one of the four large airliners traveling at a mere 600 mph, especially when two of them were known to be lost for over 40 minutes before they crashed?

This question applies especially to… Continue reading

Report: much of 9/11 Commission

By Stephen C. Webster
May 13, 2009
RawStory.com

Much of the material cited in the 9/11 Commission’s findings was derived from terror war detainees during brutal CIA interrogations authorized by the Bush administration, according to a Wednesday report.

“More than one-quarter of all footnotes in the 9/11 Report refer to CIA interrogations of al Qaeda operatives subjected to the now-controversial interrogation techniques,” writes former NBC producer Robert Windrem in The Daily Beast. “In fact, information derived from the interrogations was central to the 9/11 Report’s most critical chapters, those on the planning and execution of the attacks.”

“… [Information] derived from the interrogations is central to the Report’s most critical chapters, those on the planning and execution of the attacks,” reported NBC. “The analysis also shows – and agency and commission staffers concur – there was a separate, second round of interrogations in early 2004, done specifically to answer new questions from the Commission.

“9/11 Commission staffers say they ‘guessed’ but did not know for certain that harsh techniques had been used, and they were concerned that the techniques had affected the operatives’ credibility. At least four of the operatives whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators critical information as a way to stop being ‘tortured.’ The claims came during their hearings last spring at the U.S. military facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.”

“Commission executive director Philip Zelikow (later counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) admitted, ‘We were not aware,… Continue reading

Pelosi the Enabler

Should the members of the 9/11 Presidential Commission not have been informed
that two of the “key witnesses” upon whom their report was based
had provided the information critical to the report’s conclusions only
after being waterboarded a total of 266 times? … In short, the basic narrative
of the origins and conduct of the 9/11 attack that so fundamentally perverted
American politics relied on cherry-picked information that the White House and
its operative in the field chose to release to the commission.

May 12, 2009
By Robert Scheer
Truthdig.com

Nancy Pelosi is no Dick Cheney, nor a George W. Bush. She was neither the author
of a systematic policy of torture nor has she been, like Cheney and most top
Republicans in Congress, an enduring apologist for its practice. It is a nonsensical
distraction to place her failure to speak out courageously as a critic of the
Bush policies on the same level as those who engineered one of the most shameful
debacles in U.S. history.

But what she, and anyone else who went along with this evil, as lackadaisically
as she now claims, should be confronted with are the serious implications of
their passive acquiescence. Why did she not speak up, or if it were a matter
of a lack of reliable information, demand an accounting from the executive branch,
as befits a leader of the loyal opposition in Congress?

If the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and later House
Democratic leader, lacked the authority to… Continue reading

Alleged 9/11 Mastermind: ‘I Gave A Lot Of False Information…’

May 11, 2009
washingtonsblog.com

The Red Cross is the organization charged with deciding what is torture and
what isn’t.

The International Committee of the Red Cross interviewed Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
– the alleged 9/11 mastermind – at Guantánamo Bay.

Here’s what KSM
told the Red Cross
(see below for more from a review of this report):

During the harshest period of my interrogation I gave a lot of false information
in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear in order
to make the ill-treatment stop. I later told the interrogators that their
methods were stupid and counterproductive. I’m sure that the false information
I was forced to invent in order to make the ill-treatment stop wasted a lot
of their time and led to several false red-alerts being placed in the U.S.

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

* Torture doesn’t work; and

* The 9/11 Commission report was based on worthless
confessions extracted by torture
(and, as I’ve previously discussed, the
witness who fingered Khalid Shaikh Mohammed as the mastermind of 9/11 was himself
literally
crazy
)


US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites
April 9, 2009
By Mark Danner
ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen “High Value Detainees”
in CIA Custody by the International Committee of the Red Cross

rom The New
York Review of Books
, a very extensive article with much more important
information about the ICRC Report:

…There is a reverse side, of course, to the “ticking bomb” and
torture: pain and ill-treatment, by creating an unbearable pressure on the detainee
to say something, anything, to make the pain stop, increase the likelihood that
he will fabricate stories, and waste time, or worse.…

Continue reading

The Truth is Not Enough: How to Overcome Emotional Barriers to 9/11 Truth

by Ken Jenkins

How many times has this happened to you? You are explaining to someone some of the rational, logical reasons why the official story of 9/11 can’t be true, perhaps explaining how WTC 7 fell in the exact manner of a professionally planned controlled demolition — a job which would typically take weeks to prepare — when out comes a ‘thought stopper’ phrase like:

“That’s just another conspiracy theory !” or …

“Do you also believe in Big Foot and tin foil hats?”

Or perhaps the person gets angry and/or agitated. Facts no longer matter at that point, and you can tell the person does not want to hear any more. For example, the following response came from someone after they were given a 20-minute summary of 9/11 Truth information:

“I wouldn’t believe that, even if it were true!”

That reaction defies all logic and reason. But it clearly illustrates just how irrational some peoples’ defenses can be. Here are a few more honest responses/defenses:

“As long as my wife and kids are fine and we can live the life style we have, the truth is, I don’t really care what happened on 9/11.” “I would not want to live in a world where such a thing could be true.” “You can’t expect someone to listen to information that turns their world upside down.” “I’m not sure I want to know. If this is true, then up would be down and down would be up. My life would… Continue reading

Newly Released Memo: Government ‘Minders’ at 9/11 Commission Interviews ‘Intimidated’ Witnesses

April 27, 2009
History Commons Groups

A recently released 9/11 Commission memo highlights the role of government
“minders” who accompanied witnesses interviewed by the commission.
It was added to the National Archives’ files at the start of the year
and discovered there by History Commons contributor paxvector.

The memo, entitled “Executive Branch Minders’ Intimidation of Witnesses,”
complains that:

  • Minders “answer[ed] questions directed at witnesses;”
  • Minders acted as “monitors, reporting to their respective agencies on
    Commission staffs lines of inquiry and witnesses’ verbatim responses.”
    The staff thought this “conveys to witnesses that their superiors will
    review their statements and may engage in retribution;” and
  • Minders “positioned themselves physically and have conducted themselves
    in a manner that we believe intimidates witnesses from giving full and candid
    responses to our questions.”

The memo was drafted by three staffers on the commission’s Team 2, which
reviewed the overall structure of the US intelligence community. One of the
drafters was Kevin Scheid, a senior staffer who led the team. His co-writers
were Lorry Fenner, an air force intelligence officer, and lawyer Gordon Lederman.
The complaint was sent to the commission’s counsels, Daniel Marcus and
Steve Dunne, in October 2003, about halfway through the commission’s 19-month
life.

The memo makes clear that the problems were not occurring only with witnesses
talking to Team 2, but also in “other teams’ interviews.”
A hand-written note on a draft of the memo says, “not one agency or minder
— also where we’ve sat in on other Teams’ interviews.”

According… Continue reading

Torture, Iraq, and 9/11

April 21, 2009
by George Washington
Washingtonsblog.com

5 hours after the 9/11 attacks, Donald Rumsfeld said “my interest is to hit Saddam”.

He also said “Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

And at 2:40 p.m. on September 11th, in a memorandum of discussions between top administration officials, several lines below the statement “judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [that is, Saddam Hussein] at same time”, is the statement “Hard to get a good case.” In other words, top officials knew that there wasn’t a good case that Hussein was behind 9/11, but they wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to justify war with Iraq anyway.

And yet, the government knew that Al Qaeda and Iraq were not linked. For example, “Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the [9/11] attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda”.

And a Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary issued in February 2002 by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein-al-Qaeda conspiracy.

And yet Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials claimed and continue to claim that Saddam was behind 9/11. See this analysis. Indeed, Bush administration… Continue reading

Sen. Schumer lends qualified support to a new 9-11 investigation

By Peter Duveen

PETER’S NEW YORK, Saturday, April 18, 2009–U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer
(D-NY) said yesterday that while he was positively disposed toward a new investigation
into the events of 9-11, his support for such a probe would depend on the form
it would take.

Schumer, who was attending the launch of the Tour of the Battenkill annual
bicycle races in Cambridge, New York, responded to a question regarding efforts
in New York City to establish a new 9-11 investigation.

"I think it’s not a bad idea," Schumer said. "You know, you’ve
got to do it in a good way, but yes, I’d be for it."

Schumer qualified his remarks by noting that his support would depend upon
the manner in which the investigation was structured. "I’d have to see
the parameters of the investigation and all that," he said. He briefly
mentioned "finding body parts," which may have referred to the discovery
in 2006 that the roof of the Deutsche Bank building near the former site of
the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center was strewn with human remains from
9-11.

A report sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology maintains
that the Twin Towers were brought down entirely due to fire and mechanical damage
from the two airliners that collided with them on 9-11. A similar report by
the same government agency asserts that the sudden and rapid collapse that same
afternoon of a third office tower, the 47-story Building 7, was caused… Continue reading

Heated Controversy: Do firefighters believe 9/11 conspiracy theories?

By Christopher Beam
April 8, 2009
Slate.com

Daniel Sunjata as Franco Rivera on Rescue Me. Click image to expand. Photo: Daniel Sunjata as Franco Rivera in ‘Rescue Me’

In the new season of the FX drama Rescue Me, firefighter Franco Rivera espouses the belief that 9/11 was “an inside job.” According to a Sunday New York Times article, the show’s writers added this assertion because actor Daniel Sunjata is a “truther”; but the real firefighters on set–who work as script advisers–were offended by his allegations. This got the Explainer wondering: Do any firefighters believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories?

Yes. There’s no evidence that firefighters buy into 9/11 conspiracy theories at higher rates than the rest of the population. (A 2007 Zogby poll found that 26 percent of Americans believe the government “let it happen.” A 2006 Scripps-Howard poll found it was more than a third.) But some firemen do believe the government was behind 9/11 and use their status as first responders to draw attention to their statements.

The most common conspiracy theory held by firefighters is that the Twin Towers–as well as a third building, 7 World Trade Center–collapsed not because planes crashed into them but due to a “controlled demolition.” On Sept. 11, an NBC reporter quoted New York Fire Department Chief of Safety Albert Turi as saying he believed there were explosives planted in one of the towers. After the attacks, the New York Fire Department interviewed firefighters to create an oral history of 9/11. These tapes–which were not released until 2005–contain numerous references to… Continue reading

The 9/11 Commission and Torture

The bipartisan panel that investigated the terrorist attacks was widely praised.
But did its final report rely on suspect information?

Philip Shenon
NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Mar 23, 2009

Powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill are clamoring for creation of a bipartisan
“9/11 style” commission to investigate the legality of the Bush administration’s
antiterrorism tactics–especially its use of harsh interrogation techniques.

President Obama has been notably cool to the idea. But the case for a “truth”
commission was bolstered by the disclosure this month that the CIA had destroyed
92 videotapes of the interrogations and confinement of Al Qaeda suspects. A
dozen showed the use of “enhanced” techniques routinely described
by human-rights groups as torture.

Lawmakers say the obvious model for such an inquiry would be the 9/11 Commission–an
independent bipartisan body praised for its authoritative account of the attacks.

But as a reporter who covered the commission from start to finish and later
wrote a history of its investigation, I wonder if Congress understands the deep
irony of establishing a “new 9/11 Commission” on these issues. Former
commission investigators have acknowledged to me over the past year that the
panel had a serious blind spot on questions about torture.

The commission appears to have ignored obvious clues throughout 2003 and 2004
that its account of the 9/11 plot and Al Qaeda’s history relied heavily on information
obtained from detainees who had been subjected to torture, or something not
far from it.

The panel raised no public protest over… Continue reading