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
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.
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 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:
“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
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
By Eric Lichtblau,
New York Times
WASHINGTON (Feb. 9) – In the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations, according to a previously undisclosed report from the 9/11 commission.
But aviation officials were “lulled into a false sense of security,” and “intelligence that indicated a real and growing threat leading up to 9/11 did not stimulate significant increases in security procedures,” the commission report concluded.
The report discloses that the Federal Aviation Administration, despite being focused on risks of hijackings overseas, warned airports in the spring of 2001 that if “the intent of the hijacker is not to exchange hostages for prisoners, but to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion, a domestic hijacking would probably be preferable.”
Ask yourself how the 9/11 Commission could find that the FAA was “lulled into a false sense of security” after receiving 52 terrorist warnings including statements that domestic hijackings were preferable if the intent was “to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion.” Next watch the media talking heads endlessly repeat the official mantra of complacency, distraction and miscommunications. Then it may be clear how far the Commission and the spin doctors will go to protect the “official story” – and how cowed or stupid they all believe we are. See also the Voices of September 11th’s hard-hitting Feb. 10 response at the end.… Continue reading
Paths to 9/11 Understanding
The Two-Step 9/11 Truth Expedition
Understanding the full truth of 9/11 seems to require two separate awakenings.
The first, awakening to the fraudulence of the “official 9/11 story,” is a pretty simple brain function and only requires a little study, logic or curiosity. We can help a lot with that part here and it’s a major purpose of this site.
The second step, however, consciously confronting the implications of that knowledge–and what it says about our media, politics and economic system today–is by far the harder awakening and requires an enormous exercise of nerve and heart. (As the Chinese say, “You cannot wake… Continue reading
An open letter to Congress from 25 national security experts, including former FBI whistle-blower, Sibel Edmonds
Date: September 13, 2004
To The Congress of The United States: The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States ended its report stating that “We look forward to a national debate on the merits of what we have recommended, and we will participate vigorously in that debate.” In this spirit, we the undersigned wish to bring to the attention of the Congress and the people of the United States what we believe are serious shortcomings in the report and its recommendations. We thus call upon Congress to refrain from narrow political considerations and to apply brakes to the race to implement the commission recommendations. It is not too late for Congress to break with the practice of limiting testimony to that from politicians and top-layer career bureaucrats-many with personal reputations to defend and institutional equities to protect. Instead, use this unique opportunity to introduce salutary reform, an opportunity that must not be squandered by politically driven haste.
Omission is one of the major flaws in the Commission’s report. We are aware of significant issues and cases that were duly reported to the commission by those of us with direct knowledge, but somehow escaped attention. Serious problems and shortcomings within government agencies likewise were reported to the Commission but were not included in the report. The report simply does not get at key problems within the intelligence, aviation security, and law enforcement communities.… Continue reading
I posted an earlier version of this last week at Democratic Underground. I’ve added a number of more entries, and links for all.
That governments have permitted terrorist acts against their own people, and have even themselves been perpetrators in order to find strategic advantage is quite likely true, but this is the United States we’re talking about.
That intelligence agencies, financiers, terrorists and narco-criminals have a long history together is well established, but the Nugan Hand Bank, BCCI, Banco Ambrosiano, the P2 Lodge, the CIA/Mafia anti-Castro/Kennedy alliance, Iran/Contra and the rest were a long time ago, so there’s no need to rehash all that. That was then, this is now!
That Jonathan Bush’s Riggs Bank has been found guilty of laundering terrorist funds and fined a US-record $25 million must embarrass his nephew George, but it’s still no justification for leaping to paranoid conclusions.
That George Bush’s brother Marvin sat on the board of the Kuwaiti-owned company which provided electronic security to the World Trade Centre, Dulles Airport and United Airlines means nothing more than you must admit those Bush boys have done alright for themselves.
That George Bush found success as a businessman only after the investment of Osama’s brother Salem and reputed al Qaeda financier Khalid bin Mahfouz is just one of those things – one of those crazy things.
That Osama bin Laden is known to have been an asset of US foreign policy… Continue reading
Comments by “Stickdog”
General Myers was acting head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 11th. On September 13th, he is going for a nomination hearing to be made head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is the most important day of his life because on this day that Myers, an Air Force General with thousands of hours of time flying fighter planes, is acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It’s the only day in history that the continental United States has ever been attacked from the air.
Myers claims he is at Senator Max Cleland’s office at 8:40 EDT. He sees on TV that the first plane has hit the World Trade Center. He claims on Armed Services Radio that at that point he went in and met with Cleland for an hour. Nobody called him and told him that a second plane had hit, that the air corridor had been closed between Washington and Cleveland, that a plane had been hijacked in Ohio and was flying back to the Pentagon. Then he also claims that when he walked out of Cleland’s office, he was handed a portable phone and it was the head of NORAD–the North American Aerospace Defense Command–telling him the Pentagon had been hit.
Now these are unbelievable assertions. Doesn’t the man have a beeper? Doesn’t the man have a cell phone? Doesn’t the man have a secretary who knows where… Continue reading
Open Letter To Thomas Kean, Chairman Of The 9/11 Commission, from FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
August 1, 2004
Thomas Kean, Chairman
National Committee on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
301 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20407
Dear Chairman Kean:
It has been almost three years since the terrorist attacks on September 11; during which time we, the people, have been placed under a constant threat of terror and asked to exercise vigilance in our daily lives. Your commission, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, was created by law to investigate ‘facts and circumstances related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001′ and to ‘provide recommendations to safeguard against future acts of terrorism’, and has now issued its ’9/11 Commission Report’. You are now asking us to pledge our support for this report, its recommendations, and implementation of these recommendations, with our trust and backing, our tax money, our security, and our lives.
Unfortunately, I find your report seriously flawed in its failure to address serious intelligence issues that I am aware of, which have been confirmed, and which as a witness to the commission, I made you aware of. Thus, I must assume that other serious issues that I am not aware of were in the same manner omitted from your report. These omissions cast doubt on the validity of your report and therefore on its conclusions and recommendations. Considering what is at stake, our national security, we are entitled to demand answers to unanswered questions, and to ask for clarification of issues that were ignored and/or omitted from the report.…Continue reading
by Bill Douglas
Published in Newtopia Magazine
A mass movement and a mountain of disturbing evidence has been growing beneath the radar of U.S. media. The U.S. media (including alternative media) has done an extraordinarily superhuman job of “hearing” “seeing” and “speaking no evil.” However, almost immediately after 9-11-2001′s horrendous attacks on New York and Washington D.C., many researchers, ordinary citizens, and journalists [who've been given precious little print in U.S. papers or TV] began to smell something rotten . . . not in Denmark . . . but rather, right here in the good ol’ US of A.
This movement’s early roots began when many people scratched their heads in wonder at “how 4 commercial jet liners could fly hijacked for nearly an hour and a half the morning of 9-11, without any Air Force fighter interceptor jets turning a wheel until it was too late,” as stated by acclaimed Canadian TV journalist, Barry Zwicker. Zwicker’s powerful documentary “The Great Deception,” which suggests top Bush Admin. officials were likely complicit in the 9-11 attacks, aired on Canada’s Vision TV network which is viewed by millions of Canadians. Unfortunately Americans in the U.S. have been “protected” from viewing this critical documentary. Researchers, like Zwicker and others, quickly learned that in 2001 before the 9-11 attacks 62 aircraft had been intercepted by Air Force fighter interceptor jets, and usually within 10 to 15 minutes of going off course.
Yet bizarrely, on 9-11 four commercial jets were hijacked off course for about… Continue reading