What is Probably in the Missing Tapes
By Naomi Wolf, Monday, December 13, 2007*
To judge from firsthand documents obtained by the ACLU through a FOIA lawsuit, we can guess what is probably on the missing CIA interrogation tapes — as well as understand why those implicated are spinning so hard to pretend the tapes do not document a series of evident crimes. According to the little-noticed but extraordinarily important book Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond (Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, Columbia University Press, New York 2007), which presents dozens of original formerly secret documents – FBI emails and memos, letters and interrogator “wish lists,” raw proof of the systemic illegal torture of detainees in various US-held prisons — the typical “harsh interrogation” of a suspect in US custody reads like an account of abuses in archives at Yad Vashem.
More is still being hidden as of this writing — as those in Congress now considering whether a special prosecutor is needed in this case should be urgently aware: “Through the FOIA lawsuit,” write the authors, “we learned of the existence of multiple records relating to prisoner abuse that still have not been released by the administration; credible media reports identify others. As this book goes to print, the Bush administration is still withholding, among many other records, a September 2001 presidential directive authorizing the CIA to set up secret detention centers overseas; an August 2002 Justice Department memorandum advising the CIA about the lawfulness of waterboarding [Italics mine; nota bene, Mr.…Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
By Jason Charles
In his usual form, former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter told a packed crowd at the Oriental Theater in Denver to stop whining about corporate media and become their own intelligence operatives. We the people have the same resources and tools that intelligence networks rely heavily on; it’s called “Google” he said.
In his hilarious analogy, the American people like baby birds wait each night in front of their television sets for the corporate news bird to land in their living room and lovingly puke down our necks with that day’s regurgitated news. Suggesting that as our own intelligence operatives we can’t allow CNN, FOX, NBC, and ABC to edit and cherry pick information, but ask questions and find the answers ourselves.
In that vein TruthAlliance.net Editor Jason Charles had a few questions for Mr. Ritter which he graciously allowed us to film. We explored 3 topics, if the Bush admin got its way in the mid-east what would it look like, how can these dis-separate yet justice driven revolutions in America unite, and his amazing thoughts on a new, fully empowered investigation into the cause of 9-11.
He asked, “Did Bush and Cheney Plan the demise of the building? Was this a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda? Or was it something in between? Well frankly we don’t know.” How important is this to establishing justice? Mr. Ritter seems to think it is an “absolute requirement to know what happened on 9-11.”
February 07, 2008
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.
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:
Book Alleges 9/11 Commissioner Philip Zelikow Minimized Scrutiny of Bush Admin
Failure to Prevent al-Qaeda Attack (2/5/2008)
February 07, 2008
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.
CIA Director Michael Hayden acknowledged Tuesday that the Agency had… Continue reading
By William Glaberson
The New York Times
Saturday 09 February 2008
Military prosecutors are in the final phases of preparing the first sweeping case against suspected conspirators in the plot that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, and drew the United States into war, people who have been briefed on the case said.
The charges, to be filed in the military commission system at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would involve as many as six detainees held at the detention camp, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former senior aide to Osama bin Laden, who has said he was the principal planner of the plot.
The case could begin to fulfill a longtime goal of the Bush administration: establishing culpability for the terrorist attacks of 2001. It could also help the administration make its case that some detainees at Guantánamo, where 275 men remain, would pose a threat if they are not held at Guantánamo or elsewhere. Officials have long said that a half-dozen men held at Guantánamo played essential roles in the plot directed by Mr. Mohammed, from would-be hijackers to financiers.
But the case would also bring new scrutiny to the military commission system, which has a troubled history and has been criticized as a system designed to win convictions but that does not provide the legal protections of American civilian courts.
War-crimes charges against the men would almost certainly place the prosecutors in a battle over the treatment of inmates because at least two… Continue reading
The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?
February 07, 2008
Click here to read a history of every homeland-security terror alert and the real news that was buried: “Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts–A history of the Bush administration’s most dubious terror scares — and the headlines they buried” TIM DICKINSON, Feb 07, 2008
“So, what you wanna do?” the friend asked. “A target?” the wanna-be jihadi replied. “I want some type of city-hall-type stuff, federal courthouses.”
It was late November 2006, and twenty-two-year-old Derrick Shareef and his friend Jameel were hanging out in Rockford, Illinois, dreaming about staging a terrorist attack on America. The two men weren’t sure what kind of assault they could pull off. All Shareef knew was that he wanted to cause major damage, to wreak vengeance on the country he held responsible for oppressing Muslims worldwide. “Smoke a judge,” Shareef said. Maybe firebomb a government building.
But while Shareef harbored violent fantasies, he was hardly a serious threat as a jihadi. An American-born convert to Islam, he had no military training and no weapons. He had less than $100 in the bank. He worked in a dead-end job as a clerk in a video-game store. He didn’t own a car. So dire were his circumstances, Shareef had no place to live. Then one day, Jameel, a fellow Muslim, had shown up at EB… Continue reading
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Article: Syed Akbar Kamal
In a significant observation, many-time UN contributor & international observer Professor Hans Koechler said “9/11 may have been an insider’s job” in response to a question from one of the delegates attending his lecture The ‘Global War on Terror – Contradictions of an Imperial Strategy’ last night at the Trades Hall in Auckland.
“I am not a boy-I am 59. There are many inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the official version of events. Those who could not handle a Cessna pulled off 9/11,” he said.
But he was quick to note that the official version has to be challenged. Quoting David Ray Griffin he said these events, in terms of destruction caused, these incidents cannot have been exclusively organized by a shadowy network of Mujahedeen from the remote places of the globe.
The causes officially given for the incidents are not a sufficient explanation for what actually happened on that day, especially as regards the logistics of this highly sophisticated operation and the very advanced infrastructure required for it.
He has published more than 300 books, reports and scholarly articles in several languages. In his book The Global War on Terror and the Metaphysical Enemy he writes the atrocities of September 11, 2001- Instead of dealing with the contradictions and inconsistencies in the official version of events and the numerous gaps in terms of the factual information, a “dogma of political correctness” has been promulgated according to which 19 Islamic-inspired Arab hijackers, directed… Continue reading
BRUSSELS, European Parliament, 26th February 2008.
Mark Dermul (www.911belgium) reporting.
On Tuesday 26th February, Europarliamentarian Guilietto Chiesa invited his colleagues and the press to attend the screening and debate of the Italian-produced documentary named ‘ZERO, an investigation into the events of 9/11′. Object of the screening was to create political awareness of the faulty official investigation into the events by the 9/11 Commission.
Besides Mr Chiesa, the panel consisted of Japanese parliamentarian Fujita, Dr David Ray Griffin, film distributor Tim Sparke & the director and producers of the film.
After his opening statements, Mr Chiesa welcomed his guest speakers. Then he pointed out that he was unable to find any distributor in his native country of Italy and was happy to find a company in the UK, led by Mr Tim Sparke, to handle worldwide distribution of this important film. ‘It is important to realize,’ he emphasized ‘that the movie was made thanks to contribution and donations of hundreds of citizens who feel a new investigation is more than warranted.’ No less than 450 people worked on this documentary on a voluntary basis. They never received any kind of payment. Their reward is the movie itself, which they feel is an instrument to create awareness and a means to provoke a political debate in Europe.
Since the movie projector didn’t work, Mr Chiesa invited the public to ask questions until the technical problems were solved and we could start watching the movie.
Thursday March 6, 2008
Steve Alten, author of “The Shell Game”, delivers 9/11 Truth to Jim
Bohanon’s CBS National Radio audience
9/11 Truth (& False Flag Terror) FINALLY on CBS NATIONAL Radio
– Jim Bohannan Show !!
by William Douglas
March 6, 2008
(See Bill’s suggested action item at end of this article, to get involved.)
STUNNING National CBS Radio Interview!
Bohannan is a right wing pro-military radio voice, who’s audience has probably
NEVER been exposed to 9/11 truth issues. “The Shell Game” author,
Steve Alten, came on after an Oil Executive’s interview, at about 39:50 in the
1.5 hour show. At about 54:56 it gets REALLY interesting when a caller calls
in to discuss 9/11 as a false flag attack. Which unleashes Alten into a deep
discussion of 9/11 truth issues.
All hell brakes loose in the next few minutes, as Alten enters the realms
of 9/11 truth, explaining to the stunned Bohanan and and his virgin (9/11 truth
issue) audience that there is a mass 9/11 truth movement in America that involves
engineers, police, private investigators, and many other experts challenging
the official 9/11 story.
Alten gives Bohannan some rope at the beginning, before he yanks it to give
Bohannan’s virgin audience some powerful new issues to chew on. Alten takes
on the BIG OIL guest (and big energy’s lies) that preceded him on the show,
as well as the rational for war in Iraq, BUT spends most of his time TAKING
ON THE 9/11 COVER UP, War… Continue reading
April 7, 2008
Even if you (unlike the military leaders, intelligence professionals, scientists,
engineers, and other highly-credible people who question 9/11) do not believe
that elements within the U.S. government intentionally aided and abetted the September
11 attacks, or let them happen on purpose, you have to admit that the government
failed to do its job of protecting the American people.
For example, 9/11 was completely foreseeable. U.S. and allied intelligence
services had penetrated the very highest levels of Al Qaeda prior to 9/11 and
heard the hijackers’ plans from their own mouths.
However, even the 9/11 Commission found that the Bush administration did nothing
to prevent the attacks. For example, 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said:
president says, if I had only known that 19 Islamic men would come into the
United States of America and on the morning of 11 September hijack four American
aircraft, fly two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and
one into an unknown Pennsylvania that crashed in Shanksville, I would have
moved heaven and earth. That’s what he said.
Mr. President, you don’t need to know that. This is an Islamic jihadist movement
that has been organized since the early 1990s, declared war on the United
States twice, in ’96 and ’98. You knew they were in the United States.
You were warned by the CIA. You knew in July they were inside the United States.
You were told again by briefing officers in August… Continue reading
April 7, 2008
Its headline news that top Democrats are asking Attorney General Mukasey to explain his comments about a pre-9/11 phone call from a terrorist to the United States.
Why doesn’t Congress ask Mukasey some real questions. For example:
… Continue reading
* Mr. Attorney General, since the U.S. government knew the date and method of the 9/11 attacks, why weren’t the attacks stopped?
* Mr. Mukasey, because the government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouths, why wasn’t anything done to stop them?
* Sir, since U.S. and allied intelligence services had penetrated the very highest levels of Al Qaeda prior to 9/11, why wasn’t 9/11 stopped?
* U.S. and allied intelligence services seem to have actually employed or at least protected many of the hijackers prior to 9/11. Uh . . . why did they do that?
By Eli Lake
April 10, 2008
WASHINGTON — A new U.N. Human Rights Council official assigned to monitor
Israel is calling for an official commission to study the role neoconservatives
may have played in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
On March 26, Richard Falk, Milbank professor of international law emeritus
at Princeton University, was named by unanimous vote to a newly created position
to report on human rights in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian
Arabs. While Mr. Falk’s specialty is human rights and international law, since
the attacks in 2001, he has devoted some of his time to challenging what he
calls the "9-11 official version."
On March 24 in an interview with a radio host and former University of Wisconsin
instructor, Kevin Barrett, Mr. Falk said, "It is possibly true that especially
the neoconservatives thought there was a situation in the country and in the
world where something had to happen to wake up the American people. Whether
they are innocent about the contention that they made that something happen
or not, I don’t think we can answer definitively at this point. All we can say
is there is a lot of grounds for suspicion, there should be an official investigation
of the sort the 9/11 commission did not engage in and that the failure to do
these things is cheating the American people and in some sense the people of
the world of a greater confidence in what really happened than they presently
Mr.… Continue reading
By Haaretz Service and Reuters
The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.
“We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Ma’ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.”
Netanyahu reportedly made the comments during a conference at Bar-Ilan University on the division of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast doubt over the veracity of the September 11 attacks Thursday, calling it a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Four or five years ago, a suspicious event occurred in New York. A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed but never published their names,” Ahmadinejad told Iranians in the holy city of Qom.
“Under this pretext, they [the U.S.] attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since then, a million people have been killed only in Iraq.”
Speaking Wednesday at a news conference on the Iran threat, Netanyahu compared Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler and likened Tehran’s nuclear program to the threat the Nazis posed to Europe in the late 1930s.
Netanyahu said Iran differed from the Nazis in one vital respect, explaining that “where that [Nazi] regime embarked on a global conflict before it developed nuclear weapons,” he said.…Continue reading