By Dave Lindorff
A CounterPunch Special Report
9/11: Missing Black Boxes in World Trade Center Attacks Found by Firefighters, Analyzed by NTSB, Concealed by FBI
One of the more puzzling mysteries of 9-11 is what ever happened to the flight recorders of the two planes that hit the World Trade Center towers. Now it appears that they may not be missing at all.
Counterpunch has learned that the FBI has them.
Flight recorders (commonly known as black boxes, though these days they are generally bright orange) are required on all passenger planes. There are always two-a flight data recorder that keeps track of a plane’s speed, altitude, course and maneuvers, and a cockpit voice recorder which keeps a continuous record of the last 30 minutes of conversation inside a plane’s cockpit. These devices are constructed to be extremely durable, and are installed in a plane’s tail section, where they are least likely suffer damaged on impact. They are designed to withstand up to 30 minutes of 1800-degree heat (more than they would have faced in the twin towers crashes), and to survive a crash at full speed into the ground.
All four of the devices were recovered from the two planes that hit the Pentagon and that crashed in rural Pennsylvania. In the case of American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon, the FBI reports that the flight data recorder survived and had recoverable information, but the voice recorder was allegedly too damaged to provide any record. In the case of United Airlines Flight 93, which hit the ground at 500 mph in Pennsylvania, the situation was reversed: the voice recorder survived but the flight data box was allegedly damaged beyond recovery.…Continue reading
by Kristen Breitweiser
December 19, 2005
Recently, President Bush has admitted to carrying out surveillance on U.S. citizens in the interest of national security. He unabashedly admits to doing it. He offers no apologies. With his bellicose swagger, he once again uses 9/11 as his justification for breaking our constitutional laws. The President’s justification of 9/11 to carry out such surveillance begs a closer examination.
President Bush should be stopped in his tracks with regard to his use of 9/11 scare tactics to circumvent constitutional laws that are meant to protect U.S. citizens. His justification for doing so — the inability to conduct surveillance on the 9/11 hijackers — is a red herring. History will bear out the truth — our intelligence agencies held a treasure trove of intelligence on the 9/11 hijackers, intelligence that was gathered through their initially unencumbered surveillance. President Bush should busy himself by investigating why that information was then stymied and not capitalized upon to stop the 9/11 attacks.
MOUSSAOUI, FISA, and FBI SURVEILLANCE — MISUNDERSTANDING #1:
When it comes to the FBI and Zaccarias Moussaoui, one must understand that the FBI met all evidentiary standards to both apply for and be granted a FISA warrant. The information the FBI had to support their FISA request was two files on Moussaoui that were given to the FBI by the French and British intelligence services. Inexplicably, FBI lawyers and supervisors at FBI HQ “misunderstood” the evidentiary standards needed to apply for and receive a FISA… Continue reading
The Complete 9/11 Timeline hosted by The Center for Cooperative Research recently published a revised set of entries on the military exercises of September 11 , providing a goldmine of well-sourced information. Compiled by Paul Thompson, the 9/11 Timeline long ago became the leading resource of mainstream news reports about September 11. Available in book form as The Terror Timeline (2004), it continues to evolve online.
The latest material for the first time casts light on what may have been the day’s master wargame: Global Guardian, run out of Offutt Air Force Base by the US Strategic Command (Stratcom) under Admiral Richard Mies ( official bio ). He has since retired and taken up a gig as the CEO of Hicks & Associates, a “strategic consultant” to the federal government dealing in “military transformation.”
Our New York correspondent, Nicholas Levis, has written a review.
UPDATE: Filmed in January 2000, and aired on 3/4/2001, the makers of “The Lone Gunmen” show that the idea of crashing planes into buildings isn’t anything new. As a matter of fact, their representation is eerily familiar given what we know today about the Wargames taking place on September 11th, 2001. (The Lone Gunmen Clip: Click Here )
As the day dawns over the East Coast on September 11th, 2001, the US Strategic Command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska is on full alert, busily dispatching warplanes around North America in a rehearsal for Armageddon.
Stratcom directs the US nuclear arsenal. A number of interrelated air-defense wargames are underway around the country, under the overall umbrella of Global Guardian.…Continue reading
August 2005: An annotated, comprehensive archive of articles on admissions that Mohamed Atta and three of the other alleged 9/11 hijacking ringleaders were under surveillance by military intelligence a year before September 2001. More proof that the 9/11 Commission was a whitewash; and why there is far more to the story than The New York Times has reported…
Sep 3, 2005:
Mohamed Atta and three other alleged ringleaders of the 9/11 hijacking team were under surveillance by an elite US military intelligence program in the summer of 2000, a New York Times story of Aug. 9, 2005 revealed.
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) broke the story to the Times after officers with knowledge of the Able Danger program contacted him. Two officers have since gone on record to say they once had Mohamed Atta in their sights. They claim a recommendation to round up Atta and what they termed his “Brooklyn Cell” (!) was rejected in the fall of 2000 by commanders at MacDill Air Force Base, supposedly on the advice of Defense Department lawyers. As of Sept. 2, the Pentagon says three additional people with knowledge of Able Danger have corroborated the story.
This dossier by Nicholas Levis rounds up Able Danger news reports to date, as well as analyses by various authors. The views expressed herein are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect those of 911Truth.org.
Recall Donald Rumsfeld chose the date of September 10, 2001 to announce that a Pentagon audit, ordered by Undersecretary Dov Zakheim and conducted by a Halliburton subsidiary, had discovered that the Defense Department can no longer account for $2.3 trillion in past transactions. (Note: You are not hallucinating: two point three trillion dollars, or the equivalent of six annual Pentagon budgets.)
This matter was presented by CBS as a question of waste and incompetence, as though it were possible to lose $2.3 trillion under a couch somewhere. (It had earlier been covered on PBS in February 2001. Interestingly, the Bush Administration did not seek to place any blame on the Clinton administration for the missing assets, which should prompt questions about how much of the shortfall was invented in the course of the audit itself.)
One day after Rumsfeld’s admission of Sept. 10, this mother-of-all-scandals in the making disappeared from the corporate media’s vision. For good.
The comptroller who arrived at the figure, Dov Zakheim, was a primary author of the infamous Project for a New American Century manifesto of September 2000, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” This detailed a manic plan for US military domination of the world and re-ordering of the Middle East, observing that this process might require a “new Pearl Harbor” before Americans were willing to pay the costs.
And what was Zakheim’s explanation for the missing 2.3 trillion? His testimony to the House Budget Committee (July 11, 2002) begins as follows:
9/11 Commission Report – one year later… By Gregor Holland 911truthmovement.org
One year after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, serious questions that were raised before and during the Commission proceedings remain unanswered. For many, the Commission Report raised more questions than it answered. Not the least of these has been posed by honorable Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. McKinney recently questioned Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Myers “about the four war games that were taking place on September 11 and how they may have impaired our ability to respond to those attacks.” McKinney got a partial answer a week later. In the first on-the-record acknowledgement that there were four war games underway on 9/11/01, Myers told her that all battle positions were manned because of the drills…
“..so it was an easy transition from an exercise into a real world situation. It actually enhanced the response.”
This answer echoed one provided by General Ralph Eberhard during the final 9/11 Commission hearing. The question to Eberhard, posed by Commissioner Roemer, was coerced by hearing attendees who interrupted the hearing, forcing the issue by yelling “What about the war games?” The failure of air defenses to respond on that morning does not support the given answer by Myers and Eberhard.…Continue reading
By Sibel Edmonds
Over four years ago, more than four months prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, in April 2001, a long-term FBI informant/asset who had been providing the bureau with information since 1990, provided two FBI agents and a translator with specific information regarding a terrorist attack being planned by Osama Bin Laden. This asset/informant was previously a high-level intelligence officer in Iran in charge of intelligence from Afghanistan. Through his contacts in Afghanistan he received information that: 1) Osama Bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting 4-5 major cities, 2) the attack was going to involve airplanes, 3) some of the individuals in charge of carrying out this attack were already in place in the United States, 4) the attack was going to be carried out soon, in a few months. The agents who received this information reported it to their superior, Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism, Thomas Frields, at the FBI Washington Field Office, by filing “302″ forms, and the translator, Mr. Behrooz Sarshar, translated and documented this information. No action was taken by the Special Agent in Charge, Thomas Frields, and after 9/11 the agents and the translators were told to ‘keep quiet’ regarding this issue. The translator who was present during the session with the FBI informant, Mr. Behrooz Sarshar, reported this incident to Director Mueller in writing, and later to the Department of Justice Inspector General. The press reported this incident, and in fact the… Continue reading
- FBI worked hard to cover up a 9-11 cover-up–and then hide it some more
by James Ridgeway
June 14, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s no secret the FBI let at least two 9-11 hijackers–Hazmi and Mihdhar–slip through its fingers when they landed in California in 2000 and proceeded to live openly under their own names in San Diego before moving into position for the attack. What makes the situation especially ludicrous is that one of these hijackers rented a room from a San Diego landlord who was an FBI informant on the Muslim community.
That’s bad enough. But after 9-11, when the Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee found out what had been going on, the FBI refused to allow the informant to be interviewed by the committee staff or to testify.
The FBI actually took steps to hide this man so Congress could not find him. All this is described at some length in former senator Bob Graham’s book Intelligence Matters–the one book on this entire affair written by an actual participant in the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing over what was permitted to come into public view about 9-11. Graham was chairman of the joint congressional investigation.
To resolve the informant question, Graham writes, he met with Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, and other top officials. But when he tried to serve a subpoena on one top FBI official, the man shrank away and would not take the piece of paper. In the end,… Continue reading
by Thomas Hansen, Ph.D.
It is nearly a year since the 9/11 Commission report was finished and the investigation of the events of 9/11 officially came to a close. But unofficially, many Americans have unanswered questions, and at least some of this hesitancy to close the book on 9/11 is because of the long-standing connection between the Bush Administration and the man who was the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Dr. Philip Zelikow.
In a new book by Professor Emeritus David Ray Griffin of the Claremont School of Theology (The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, Olive Branch Press, 2005), the case is made that the staff of the 9/11 Commission acted as gatekeepers who followed the official explanation of events of 9/11, rather than acting as true independent investigators. Griffin gives detailed and abundant evidence that he feels shows Philip Zelikow and his staff did not thoroughly investigate information that was contrary to what the Bush Administration had already accepted as the facts of 9/11.
Last fall I had a conversation with Zelikow, which I feel supports the ideas and evidence of Professor Griffin’s book. But before I go into what… Continue reading
by Dr. David Ray Griffin
In discussing my second 9/11 book, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, I have often said, only half in jest, that a better title might have been “a 571-page lie.” (Actually, I was saying “a 567-page lie,” because I was forgetting to count the four pages of the Preface.) In making this statement, one of my points has been that the entire Report is constructed in support of one big lie: that the official story about 9/11 is true.
Another point, however, is that in the process of telling this overall lie, The 9/11 Commission Report tells many lies about particular issues. This point is implied by my critique’s subtitle, “Omissions and Distortions.” It might be thought, to be sure, that of the two types of problems signaled by those two terms, only those designated “distortions” can be considered lies.
It is better, however, to understand the two terms as referring to two types of lies: implicit and explicit. We have an explicit lie when the Report claims that the core of each of the Twin Towers consisted of a hollow steel shaft or when it claims that Vice President Cheney did not give the shoot-down order until after 10:10 that morning. But we have an implicit lie when the Commission, in its discussion of the 19 alleged suicide hijackers, omits the fact that at least six of them have credibly been reported to be still alive, or when it fails to mention the fact that Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed.…Continue reading
by Matt Everett
The Journal of Psychohistory Volume 32, No. 3
If what I say is right, the whole US government should end up behind bars.
- Andreas von Bülow, former German government minister and author of “Die CIA und der 11. September”
At the beginning of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld promised: “What will follow will not be a repeat of any other conflict. It will be of a force and scope and scale that has been beyond what has been seen before.” The invasion that ensued was, like all wars, destructive and resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. Yet Baghdad fell in a mere three weeks and just six weeks after the invasion commenced, President Bush announced: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” Despite the death and destruction, it was hardly a war of a ‘force,’ ‘scope’ and ‘scale’ beyond what had been seen before.
Extensive excerpt from Everett’s absorbing psychohistorical analysis of movers and motives behind the 9/11 tragedy. Everett is a research colleague of Paul “Terror Timeline” Thompson and documents his work with painstaking rigor.
However, before it began, there were indications that some people wanted a far more destructive war than that which ensued. For example, ridiculous as it may now sound, it was suggested that Britain and America might use nuclear weapons against Iraq. As The Guardian reported at the time:
… Continue reading
“From last year’s US defence review and the testimony of the Defence Secretary, Geoffrey Hoon, to the defence select committee last March it was clear that a major change in the US and UK nuclear policy was taking place.For the first time Britain and America were contemplating using nuclear weapons against an enemy using only chemical or biological weapons.
- I worry that I’m turning into a conspiracy theorist
OK, I’m paranoid and depressed. My new government of troglodytes, murderers and spivs barely elongates the customary scream I give upon waking. What troubles me more is our rulers’ inevitable recommencement of the war on terror bollocks.
To begin at what we’re told is the beginning, we have 9/11 – the one in the US, not the earlier one in Chile when covert US government intervention killed thousands of innocents and handed the country to a commerce-friendly, torture-loving, far-right junta. Now if 9/11/2001 is so important, why is it so hard to find out what happened?
The FBI, as we know, blocked all manner of investigations into the plot in the run up to its execution, whether these involved highly specific warnings from its own agents or from government sources in Afghanistan, Argentina, Britain, the Cayman Islands, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco and Russia.
Meanwhile, I worry why the nearest military aircraft weren’t scrambled to intercept any of the hijacked flights when this is standard procedure and why, when more distant jets were finally aloft, they flew at less than half speed, thus failing to prevent the impacts at the twin towers and then, it would seem, managing to shoot down Flight 93 when its passengers may already have overcome its hijackers.
It would, of course, be easier to know what happened to Flight 93 if there weren’t – according to educated estimates – three minutes of the cockpit recording missing.…Continue reading
by James Ridgeway
April 21st, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C.–The unsettling story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds took another twist on Thursday, as the government continued its seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The U.S. Court of Appeals here denied pleas to open the former FBI translator’s First Amendment case to the public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing.
Edmonds was hired after 9-11 to help the woefully staffed FBI’s translation department with documents and wiretaps in such languages as Farsi and Turkish. She soon cried foul, saying the agency’s was far from acceptable and perhaps even dangerous to national security. She was fired in 2002.
Ever since, the government has been trying to silence her, even classifying an interview she did with 60 Minutes. Oral arguments in her suit against the federal government were scheduled for this morning, but yesterday the clerk of the appeals court unexpectedly and suddenly announced the hearing would be closed. Only attorneys and Edmonds were allowed in.
No one thought the three-judge appeals court panel would be especially sympathetic to the Edmonds case. It consists of Douglas Ginsburg, who was once nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by President Reagan. He withdrew after it was revealed he had smoked pot as a college student; he later joined the appeals court. Another member, David Sentelle, was chair of the three-judge panel that appointed Ken Starr to be the special prosecutor investigating Clinton. Karen LeCraft Henderson was appointed a federal judge during the Reagan period, then put on the appeals court by the elder President Bush.…Continue reading
Judicial Watch Investigation Uncovers FBI Documents Concerning Bin Laden Family and Post-9/11 Flights
Judicial Watch Press Release
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) has invoked privacy right protections on behalf of al Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden. In a September 24, 2003 declassified “Secret” FBI report obtained by Judicial Watch, the FBI invoked Exemption 6 under FOIA law on behalf of bin Laden, which permits the government to withhold all information about U.S. persons in “personnel and medical files and similar files” when the disclosure of such information “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” (5 U.S.C. ? 552(b)(6) (2000))
Before invoking privacy protections for Osama bin Laden under Exemption 6, the FBI should have conducted a balancing “test” of the public’s right to disclosure against the individual’s right to privacy. Many of the references in the redacted documents cite publicly available news articles from sources such as The Washington Post and Associated Press. Based on its analysis of the news stories cited in the FBI report, Judicial Watch was able to determine that bin Laden’s name was redacted from the document, including newspaper headlines in the footnoted citations.
“It is dumbfounding that the United States government has placed a higher priority on the supposed… Continue reading
Working Assets Action Initiative
Despite repeated Bush administration claims that it had no inkling prior to 9/11 that terrorists might use airplanes in suicide missions on American soil, the New York Times reported that the FAA received 52 intelligence reports referencing Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the months before September 11. What’s more, the FAA warnings were documented in detail by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission almost six months ago — well before the November election. Over the objection of the Commission, the Bush administration classified this particular report and delayed its release.
While the 9/11 Commission submitted its “complete” report on the events leading up to the 2001 attacks on August 26, 2004, crucial sections of the report were not declassified and made available to the public until January 28, 2005 — less than 48 hours after Condoleezza Rice was confirmed as Secretary of State. (In sworn testimony before the Commission, Rice categorically dismissed the idea that the Bush administration received warnings that hijacked airplanes could be used to attack American targets.)
The bipartisan 9/11 Commission was created in the wake of our national tragedy to rise above partisan politics and tackle the tough questions vital to keeping our citizens safe from terrorist attack. The Congressional Committee on Government Reform should hold hearings to determine whether the Bush Administration improperly classified findings from the Commission to protect key administration officials from scrutiny and influence voters in an election year.
Call to action Urge your representative to call… Continue reading
By Peter Phillips
For many Americans, there is a deep psychological desire for the 9/11 tragedy to be over. The shock of the day is well remembered and terrorist alerts from Homeland Security serve to maintain lasting tensions and fears. The 9/11 Commission report gave many a sense of partial healing and completion – especially given the corporate media’s high praise of the report. There is a natural resistance to naysayers who continue to question the US government’s version of what happened on September 11, 2001. This resistance is rooted in our tendency towards the inability to conceive of people we know as evil; instead evil ones must be others, very unlike ourselves.
We all remember, as young children, scary locations that created deep fears. We might imagine monsters in the closet, dangers in a nighttime backyard, and creepy people in some abandoned house down the street. As we get older we build up the courage to open the closet, or walk out into the backyard to smell the night air. As adults there are still dark closets in our socio-cultural consciousness that make it impossible to even consider the possibility of the truthfulness of certain ideas. These fearful ideas might be described as threshold concepts in that they may be on the borders of discoverability, yet we deny even the potentiality of implied veracity – something is so evil it is completely unimaginable.
A threshold concept facing Americans is the possibility that the 9/11 Commission Report was on… Continue reading
The Journey of a Wall Street Whistleblower
A 911truth.org Exclusive Report
By Michael Kane
“Ptech had all the markings,” said Indira Singh. All the markings of a CIA front company.
“I think there is a CIA within the CIA,” Indira told From the Wilderness (FTW). “I think there is a Shadow CIA that does the Iran-Contra type of things–they get funding from illicit methods–and that the Saudi’s are in on it. They might have trained some operatives, and later it backfired – it was blowback within blowback, perhaps.”
“What I do know, what the money trails do show, is that the Saudi’s are complicit. In other words, the ones that are extremely fundamentalist, the ones that promote Wahabiism-I’m not saying it’s all of them, but parts of them–are working hand-in-hand, lock step with elements within American intelligence whether it’s official or unofficial. There’s proof of that.”
March 2, 2005 (911truth.org): Wall Street whistleblower Indira Singh has had her professional life ripped away from her because of keeping the promise she made to some 3,000 victim’s who died at Ground Zero on 9/11. She made that promise at Ground Zero on 9/11 as a civilian EMT. Indira was supposed to be on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center that morning, but she was late. “I made a promise,” said Indira during a lengthy FTW interview, “that if anything fell into my lap, I wouldn’t look the other way–and I’m keeping that promise.”
Something did fall… Continue reading