Despite Pentagon stonewalling and intimidation of whistleblowers, the story that a hardline Republican congressman says is “bigger than Watergate” refuses to go away.
Five former operatives of a US military intelligence project say they identified Mohamed Atta and three other men later alleged to have been the lead 9/11 hijackers as suspected al Qaeda terrorists working in the United States more than a year before September 11, 2001. The five whistleblowers say their superiors at the US Special Operations Command chose to suppress the information and keep it from law enforcement authorities, thus protecting Atta and Co. – at the very least in effect, if not as a matter of intent. They were forced to destroy their data on Atta; and their program, Able Danger, was killed by the Bush administration prior to September 11.
Years after the destruction of the World Trade Center, they told their story to the 9/11 Commission, only to be soundly ignored. When they finally came forward as whistleblowers last year, they were placed under gag orders by the Pentagon. The most prominent of them, Col. Anthony Shaffer, was investigated on charges that he stole pens and overcharged the Defense Department for $67 in phone calls. He claims the investigation of him to date has cost the taxpayers $2 million.
That, at any rate, is the Able Danger saga as we know it so far.
In the latest wrinkle, blog reporter Rory O’Connor (Mar 1, archived below) says a Pentagon inspector general’s investigation has identified… 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
9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow has deep, lasting ties to several members of both the Bush I and Bush II Administrations. Any one of these connections could have been deemed sufficient to eliminate Zelikow from consideration on the basis of non-independence. Consider:
Despite these connections, Zelikow was appointed Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission in November 2003.1 His intimate relationship with the Bush White House did not end with the publication of the Commission Report. Shortly after departing the Commission he became Counselor of the Department of State, where he would once again work alongside Condoleeza Rice.
There are lesser-known facts about Zelikow’s connections to the Bush Administration that are equally disturbing. For instance, in the early 1990s Zelikow directed the Aspen Strategy Group, members of which have staffed key positions in both the Bush and Clinton Administrations. Interestingly, Judith Miller, the former NY Times reporter implicated in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, is another emeritus member of… Continue reading
by William F. Jasper
The ongoing coverup concerning the secret Able Danger operation provides further evidence that the “war on terror” is a farce.
There was nothing in outward appearance to draw attention to the four-bedroom apartment at 54 Marienstrasse. Nonetheless, the attention of the intelligence services of Germany, the U.S., Israel, and other Middle Eastern and European countries had been drawn to the nondescript flat in Hamburg, Germany, as early as 1998. That was when Mohammed Atta signed the lease and he and Ramzi bin al Shibh moved in. Soon thereafter, it was identified by intelligence agencies as a target of interest. It became known as the hub of al-Qaeda’s “Hamburg Cell.”
Over the next two and a half years, dozens of al-Qaeda operatives, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the reputed 9/11 “mastermind,” passed through the 54 Marienstrasse apartment. Twenty-nine al-Qaeda recruits from the Middle East or Northern Africa listed it as their registered address. Mohammed Atta would later be labeled, after the fact, as the “ringleader” of the 9/11 terrorists who hijacked four jetliners to use as missiles against targets in New York City and Washington, D.C. Atta is believed to have been the suicide pilot who flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center. His Hamburg roommate, Ramzi bin al Shibh, captured in Pakistan in 2002, has been described by U.S. officials as the al-Qaeda “coordinator and paymaster” for 9/11. In the months leading up to the terrorist attacks of… 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.
A citizens’ attempt to obtain several confiscated videos of the Pentagon attack has been denied, on the grounds that the footage may be used in persuading a jury to pass a death sentence on Zacaria Moussaoui. Is this believable? Will the court really release any of the videos to the public? …
Scott Bingham’s website: www.flight77.info
August 2005. Scott Bingham of Washington DC sued the Justice Department earlier this year after it refused his Freedom of Information Act request to release suppressed video of the Pentagon attack. In a defense brief filed this month, the government says it must continue to withhold the videos because prosecutors may decide to use them in persuading a jury to pass the death sentence on Zacarias Moussaoui.
Few issues have raised as much controversy and acrimony among 9/11 researchers as their conflicting views on the Pentagon attack. While many argue honestly that a passenger plane never could have caused the damage there (see the Pentagon photo archive), others are just as certain that the idea prompted originally by “Hunt the Boeing” is a red herring that benefits the US government’s official story. It is also the only “9/11 conspiracy theory” that ever received a direct denial from the government (See “French Conspiracy Theorist Claims No Plane Hit the Pentagon,” State Department press release, June 2005)
Opinions are also split among the 911Truth.org stalwarts, and we all know many sincere people on either side of this divide. Our site’s consensus position until… Continue reading
A US military intelligence team code-named “Able Danger” identified Mohamed Atta and three other alleged 9/11 hijackers as potential terrorists in the summer of 2000, at a time when Atta was living in Florida, according to yesterday’s New York Times .
But the Times story obscures at least as much as it reveals.
The 9/11 Commission was made aware of the Able Danger program in 2003, but failed to mention it in its 2004 report.
The Times calls yesterday’s revelation “the first assertion that Mr. Atta… was identified by any American government agency as a potential threat before the Sept. 11 attacks.” In fact, such assertions date back to German press reports of September 2001 and October 2002, when several German newspapers reported that the CIA had Atta under observation during the first six months of 2000, while he was still living in Germany.
According to the German reports of Sept. 2001, the CIA in 2000 watched as Atta “bought chemicals” in Frankfurt and later tracked him to Berlin, where he received an entry visa from the US consulate in May 2000.
(According to official US timelines of his activities, Atta entered the United States for the first time in June 2000, although witness accounts reported in local papers after 9/11 place him in Florida months earlier.)
The CIA did not inform German authorities about its surveillance of Atta on their soil in 2000, and the Germans learned about it only after the 9/11/01 attacks. The German authorities themselves also… 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 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
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
NEW YORK CITY, May 16, 2004 – The Kean Commission was called to life in Nov. 2002, when the White House dropped its objections to an independent 9/11 investigation, after many months of persistent lobbying by September 11th families. At the time, this was seen as a victory for the relatives of those killed on September 11th, and for their allies in the fight for open government and accountability. As the Kean Commission nears the end of its work, it is informative to ask what those families are saying today.
“Mr. Bush, who approved the flight of the bin Laden family out of the United States, when all commercial flights were grounded?“
That is one of 23 explosive questions that George W. Bush and his subordinates must face in public testimony, under oath and pain of perjury–that is, if leaders of September 11 family groups get their way.
The question refers to private flights for Saudi royalty, cleared by the White House during the otherwise total civilian flight ban in the days immediately after September 11. Members of the Bin Laden clan, including two of Osama Bin Laden’s many brothers, were allowed to leave the United States before federal investigators had a chance to question them.1
Despite confirmed reports dating back to September 2001, the story of the Bin Laden family airlift was denigrated as urban legend until April, when former White House terror adviser Richard Clarke and Secretary of State Colin Powell both confirmed it.…Continue reading