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
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
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
by Joseph Cannon, Monday, December 10, 2007*
When the CIA tells you that a piece of evidence has been destroyed, you should react as skeptically as you would to the death of a Marvel supervillain.
As you know, CIA Deputy Director of Operations Jose Rodriguez reportedly made the decision to destroy tapes of prisoner interrogation, allegedly to protect the identities of the interrogators. This action, we are told, ran contrary to the wishes of Porter Goss, who then ran the Agency.
Joseph Cannon in his blog of Dec. 10 recalls how past CIA claims of lost evidence later turned out to be untrue: “When the CIA tells you that a piece of evidence has been destroyed, you should react as skeptically as you would to the death of a Marvel supervillain.”
One certainty is that the CIA lied, either when it told the 9/11 Commission that tapes of certain interrogations were never made, or else in its current claim that such tapes did exist but have been destroyed. This serves to underline the absurdity of accepting any CIA statements, any at all, especially about 9/11. By extension, the 9/11 Commission is yet again tainted for using the CIA’s prisoner “transcripts” uncritically as a main source in its report; whether out of cynicism or unforgivable naivete is irrelevant.
It’s near impossible to tell on how many levels the CIA can be (and probably is) lying about the torture tapes. They may be lying about having certain… Continue reading
CORRECTED & UPDATED
CIA claims it destroyed videotapes of interrogations central to the official story of September 11th. Writing in TIME magazine, former CIA agent and occasional “conspiracy theory” debunker, Robert Baer concedes that 9/11 skeptics seem all the more credible in the aftermath. Full-time debunker Gerald Posner also sees a cover-up.
The most important document in the official mythology of September 11th, The 9/11 Commission Report, is based largely on the reported statements of three prisoners: Khalid Shaikh Mohamed, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Abu Zubaydah. The Report describes these men as high-ranking members of Al Qaeda. U.S. authorities announced the captures of the three in the course of separate raids in 2002 and 2003. According to the CIA and U.S. military, they have been held ever since at “undisclosed locations,” and have had contacts only with a handful of interrogators. No U.S. agency has ever produced any of them in a public proceeding, or even provided photographs of them in captivity.
Khalid Shaikh Mohamed (see entries in the “Complete 9/11 Timeline”) was originally reported as killed during an attempt to capture him in Pakistan on September 10, 2002. He apparently survived, for he was reported as captured alive in March 2003. Until 2004, it was considered a security breach for a U.S. government source even to mention his name, although he was publicly identified as the “9/11 mastermind” in 2002.
The 9/11 Commission asked to see Mohamed and other prisoners, and was denied. The CIA… Continue reading
“Those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous
official account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough and impartial
investigation be undertaken.” ~ Dr. Lynn Margulis (Distinguished
University of Massachusetts professor, National Medal of Science recipient,
National Academy of Science’s Space Science Board Committee on Planetary Biology
and Chemical Evolution, former chairperson.
“I think in simplest terms, there’s a cover-up. The 9/11 report is a
joke… Now there are a whole bunch of unanswered questions. And the reason
they’re unanswered is because this administration will not answer the questions.”
~ Ray McGovern 27-year CIA veteran in charge of President’s Daily Brief.
Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
The 234th Anniversary of the Boston
Tea Party: 9/11 Truth Comes to the “Hub”
In 1858, Oliver Wendell Holmes coined the phrase, “The Hub of the Solar
System,” when referring to the Massachusetts State House in an Atlantic
Monthly article, “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” in which he
boastfully implied that Boston at that time was the center of everything intellectual.
One hundred and forty nine years after Holmes penned the affectionate metaphor
and two hundred and thirty four years after the infamous Boston Tea Party, Bostonians
are again attempting to appeal to the “Hub’s” intellectual prowess,
this time with regard to the academic and scientific challenges taking place
around the world concerning the government’s official explanations of the September
11, 2001 attacks.
“Those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous official
account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough and impartial investigation
be undertaken” -LYNN MARGULIS (Distinguished University of Massachusetts
professor, member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Medal of Science
UPDATE: Scott McClellan in Upcoming Book Ties Bush to CIA Leak Case — Dodd
Calls for Probe
By E&P Staff
Published: November 20, 2007 12:40 AM ET updated Wednesday
NEW YORK To no one’s surprise in a world where top White House aides with any
president eventually write a book about it, former Press Secretary Scott McClellan
will be coming out with his volume in April. It’s called “What Happened”
and its publisher, Public Affairs, at its Web site now carries this brief excerpt
— which set off a media firestorm on Tuesday.
It also led to a call for a full probe by a top U.S. senator and condemnation
from former CIA agent Valerie Plame.
E&P was first mainstream news outlet to report on Monday night that the
McClellan excerpt reads:
“The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on
his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium
in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and
publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove
and Scooter Libby.
“There was one problem. It was not true.
“I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest
ranking officials in the administration “were involved in my doing so:
Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and… Continue reading
By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press Writer
November 20, 2007
A federal judge expressed frustration Tuesday that the government provided incorrect information about evidence in the prosecution of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and raised the possibility of ordering a new trial in another high-profile terrorism case.
At a post-trial hearing Tuesday for Ali al-Timimi, a Muslim cleric from Virginia sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for soliciting treason, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she can no longer trust the CIA and other government agencies on how they represent classified evidence in terror cases.
Attorneys for al-Timimi have been seeking access to documents. They also want to depose government witnesses to determine whether the government improperly failed to disclose the existence of certain evidence.
The prosecutors have asked her to dismiss the defense request. The government has denied the allegations but has done so in secret pleadings to the judge that defense lawyers are not allowed to see. Even the lead prosecutors in the al-Timimi case have not had access to the information; they have relied on the representations of other government lawyers.
After the hearing, the judge issued an order that said she would not rule on the prosecutors’ motion until the government grants needed security clearances to al-Timimi’s defense lawyer, Jonathan Turley, and the lead trial prosecutor so they can review the secret pleadings.
Brinkema said she no longer feels confident relying on the government briefs, particularly since prosecutors admitted last week that similar representations made in… Continue reading
According to Jessica Lee of Indypendent and Kamau Karl Franklin of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was penned with plenty of help from the RAND Corporation.
“Rep. Jane Harman, Democrat from California, has had a lengthy relationship with the Rand Corporation,” Lee tells Democracy Now, although she was unable to determine if RAND wrote the bill. On the 12th anniversary of the OKC bombing, Rep. Harman, as chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.
“The ‘Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007′ seeks to address the roots causes of radicalization, and would establish a grant program to provide funds to States to foster badly needed vertical information sharing from the Intelligence Community to the local level and from local sources to state and federal agencies,” explains Harman’s website. “It also creates a Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism to examine the social, criminal, political, psychological and economic roots of domestic terrorism and to propose solutions, and promotes international collaboration on strategies to combat radicalization.”
Franklin mentions Brian Michael Jenkins, an “expert” on “terrorism, counterinsurgency, and homeland security,” according to RAND. Jenkins is “someone who helped the United States in counterinsurgency measures in Vietnam,” states Franklin. “In addition to that, he wrote a book, and in his own book” Jenkins declared that “in their international campaign, the jihadists will seek common ground… Continue reading
by Naomi Wolf
November 4, 2007
I have argued that in the closing stages of a ‘fascist shift’, events cascade. I am hearing about them, even across the globe. Here in Australia I hear from the nation’s best-know feminist activist, and former adviser to Paul Keating, Anne Summers, who was also at the time this took place Chair of the Board of Greenpeace International. Summers was detained by armed agents for FIVE HOURS each way in LAX on her way to and from the annual meeting of the board of Greenpeace International in Mexico, and her green card was taken away from her. ‘I want to call a lawyer’, she told TSA agents. ‘Ma’am, you do not have a right to call an attorney,’ they replied. ‘You have not entered the United States.’
Apparently a section of LAX just beyond the security line is asserted to be ‘not in the United States’ — though it is squarely inside the airport — so the laws of the US do not apply. (This assertion, by the way, should alarm any US citizen who is aware of how the White House argued that Guantánamo is not ‘in the United States’ – is a legal no-man’s land — so the laws of the US do not apply.) Toward the end of her second five-hour detention she asked, `Why am I being detained?’ `Lady, this is not detention,’ the TSA agent told her. `Detention is when I take you to the cells out… Continue reading
The National Lawyers Guild on Friday unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney
Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:
1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as described in the Downing Street minutes, http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html about the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war of aggression and an occupation of Iraq, as further described in House resolution H.Res. 333: http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int3.pdf and as listed in House Resolution H. Res. 635: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr109-635
2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in violation of the UN Charter http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/ ;
3. committed crimes against humanity in… Continue reading
by Peter Zaza
There’s a wonderful optical illusion which involves a graphic of a ballerina spinning around on one leg. It’s called:
“The Spinning Silhouette Optical Illusion”
This illusion elucidates a very important principle concerning subjective reality, and helps to illustrate a point about the vastly differing views people can hold about events such as 9/11. Some people who look at the spinning figure will first affirm that she is bouncing on her left leg while twirling in a clockwise direction. Others may avow that she is instead bouncing on her right leg and spinning in a counterclockwise direction. Indeed, you can have many people looking at this animated graphic at the same time and not agree as to what is happening. This idea is not really foreign to many people who have made the journey from one belief about 9/11 to its diametrical opposite.
First – we must try and deconstruct the illusion and find out what is going on. When you look at a silhouette of a figure it is not possible to determine if it is facing you, or facing away from you. There is no depth to the figure, it’s just an outline – our Left/Right designation of what we visually perceive will set the stage for our belief of what follows. If the human cut-out is interpreted to be facing you then you will assume it is her left foot touching the ground, and vice versa if not. The information is not sufficient when viewing a black and white silhouette, our brain makes an assumption at first glance and then proceeds toward a logical eventuality based upon that assumption.…Continue reading
The Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Retroactive immunity for telecom companies who engaged in illegal spying at the behest of the NSA is at the heart of a bill currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, even before having been officially introduced, is being hotly debated by bloggers, electronic privacy groups, and civil libertarians, as well as presidential contenders (CT Senator Chris Dodd has actually posted a petition at his election website, encouraging readers to support his threatened “hold” on the bill). We should compare the issues involved here with the retroactive immunity provided CIA interrogators in the September, 2006 Military Commissions Act, who could otherwise have been accused of war crimes.
Below, we direct readers to an important series of programs from PBS’ Frontline to help readers investigate the background of this issue, and a deeper consideration of some of what’s at stake in continually ceding power to a rogue Executive bent on dissolving the few civil liberties which currently remain untouched.
Lest readers be swayed by the Administration’s repeated argument that “9/11 makes this necessary,” the Rocky Mountain News reported (emphasis added) on October 11, 2007 that this spying was underway well before 9/11/01:
… Continue reading
“The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.
by Brian Foley
September 11, 2007
JURIST Guest Columnist Brian J. Foley of Drexel University College of Law says that on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we should remember that the US government has steadfastly refused to allow investigations that might locate individual blame for this massive security failure…
After major tragedies there are two investigative roads to take in trying to prevent a repeat: determining whether people or policies are to blame. Blaming people entails asking whether the disaster resulted from people failing to design or execute a proper preventive policy (“human error”). Blaming policy entails asking whether the policy failed either because the risk was not foreseeable, or because the harm simply cannot be prevented (“act of God”). Both roads should be taken.
After 9/11, however, the nation raced headlong into blaming policy alone. The prevailing view was stated by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in May, 2002: “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would … try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” But such danger had been imagined, years earlier. For example, in 1994, terrorists hijacked a French airliner seeking to crash it into the Eiffel Tower. Tom Clancy’s best-selling novel Debt of Honor (1994) ends with a Japanese airline pilot crashing his 747 into the U.S. Capitol (pp. 985-86). President Clinton and his staff also understood that an airplane could be used as a missile after a suicidal man piloted a Cessna into the White House lawn, just below the president’s bedroom, in the early hours of September 12, 1994.…Continue reading
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 6, 2007
US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) has announced the conduct of major war games under Vigilant Shield 2008 (VS-08).
Vigilant Shield 2008 (15 to 20 October, 2007) is designed to deal with a “terrorist” or “natural disaster” scenario in the United States. The operation will be coordinated in a joint endeavor by the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.
Yet, VS-08, which includes a massive deployment of the US Air Force resembles a war-time air scenario rather than an anti-terrorist drill. The VS-08 war games extend over the entire North American shelf. Canadian territory is also involved through Canada’s participation in NORAD. (See Nazemroaya, October 2007)
These war games are being conducted at an important historical crossroads, amidst mounting US pressures and threats to actually declare a “real war” on Iran.
VS-08 is predicated on the doctrine of preemptive warfare, with a vie to protecting the Homeland. The war games are coordinated with anti-terrorist drills directed against presumed Islamic terrorists.
Moreover, the announcement by NORTHCOM of the VS-08 war games-anti-terror drills coincided with a declaration by the Bush administration in early September that military action against Iran is being contemplated at the highest echelons of the US government and Military:
… Continue reading
“President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place America on the path to war with Iran, .. Pentagon planners have developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran, … Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.
Will DOJ Look into the First Death of a U.S. 9/11 Researcher?
By Sander Hicks
October 14, 2007
From 9/24 to 10/1/07 I traveled throughout Louisiana and Texas, with reporter Jordan Green, investigating the death of 9/11 researcher Dr. David Graham.
Our suspicions were validated: there’s a huge story here. It’s almost overwhelming. The best way to summarize is to publish my complaint filed last week with the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General.
If you support an investigation into the death of Dr. Graham, please say so, in the comments section, at the end. (Please send me your email, too, I may be doing some sort of activism around this. Mine is sander [at] voxpopnet.net)
October 11th, 2007
Office of the Inspector General
Department of Justice
1425 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
I am writing to request a special investigation into possible FBI corruption inside the Shreveport, LA. office. I have been researching the strange death of Dr. David M. Graham since I was passed his unpublished manuscript, last spring. This case is of the utmost importance, and is about to receive serious media attention.
A week ago, I returned from a fact-finding mission in Shreveport, New Orleans and Houston. Alongside reporter Jordan Green, I met many of Dr. Graham’s surviving friends and coworkers. Every one of them indicated that Dr.… Continue reading
by David Ray Griffin
Debunking 9/11 Debunking
Early in 2007, Interlink Books published my Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory . The stimulus for my writing this book was the appearance in August 2006—just before the fifth anniversary of 9/11—of four publications intended to bolster the official account by debunking the alternative view, according to which 9/11 was an inside job. The most explicit and well-known of these publications was a book by Popular Mechanics entitled Debunking 9/11 Myths .
My book’s introduction and conclusion dealt with the irresponsible way the press, including the left-leaning press, has dealt with this issue. One of their failings, I showed, was simply to accept the official reports — especially The 9/11 Commission Report and the report on the World Trade Center put out by the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) — as neutral, scientific reports. They thereby ignored the fact that the 9/11 Commission was run by Philip Zelikow, who was virtually a member of the US. Bush administration, and that NIST is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and hence of the Bush administration (which has distorted science for political purposes to an unprecedented extent).
The book’s four chapters then demonstrated that none of the documents of August 2006 actually served to debunk the claims of the 9/11 truth movement. The first two chapters dealt with two documents—including a new book by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton,… Continue reading
Veterans, documents suggest U.S., Israel didn’t tell full story of deadly ’67 incident
By John Crewdson
Chicago Tribune senior correspondent
October 2, 2007
Bryce Lockwood, Marine staff sergeant, Russian-language expert, recipient of the Silver Star for heroism, ordained Baptist minister, is shouting into the phone.
“I’m angry! I’m seething with anger! Forty years, and I’m seething with anger!”
Lockwood was aboard the USS Liberty, a super-secret spy ship on station in the eastern Mediterranean, when four Israeli fighter jets flew out of the afternoon sun to strafe and bomb the virtually defenseless vessel on June 8, 1967, the fourth day of what would become known as the Six-Day War.
For Lockwood and many other survivors, the anger is mixed with incredulity: that Israel would attack an important ally, then attribute the attack to a case of mistaken identity by Israeli pilots who had confused the U.S. Navy’s most distinctive ship with an Egyptian horse-cavalry transport that was half its size and had a dissimilar profile. And they’re also incredulous that, for years, their own government would reject their calls for a thorough investigation.
“They tried to lie their way out of it!” Lockwood shouts. “I don’t believe that for a minute! You just don’t shoot at a ship at sea without identifying it, making sure of your target!”
Four decades later, many of the more than two dozen Liberty survivors located and interviewed by the Tribune cannot talk about the attack without shouting or weeping.
Their anger has been stoked by the declassification of government documents and the recollections of former military personnel, including some quoted in this article for the first time, which strengthen doubts about the U.S.…Continue reading