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Hijacking the Facts

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- FBI worked hard to cover up a 9-11 cover-up–and then hide it some more

by James Ridgeway

The Village Voice

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, Graham says, he discovered that the FBI was taking its hard line on the informant on orders from the White House.

Now comes the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General with a lengthy description of the FBI’s relationship with the landlord asset. Like the congressional committee, the inspector general did not interview the landlord, but relies on secondhand information gathered from FBI agents. The landlord no longer works for the Bureau. The inspector general reports, “In July 2003 the asset was given a $100,000 payment and closed as an asset.”

It is interesting to note that the 9-11 Commission was formed in late 2002. The Joint Congressional Inquiry, which discovered the landlord’s existence and sought unsuccessfully to question him, issued its final report July 24, 2003.

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Source article here.