by Andrew Buncombe
Friday, February 11, 2005
Washington – Federal officials were repeatedly warned in the months before the 11 September 2001 terror attacks that Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida were planning aircraft hijackings and suicide attacks, according to a new report that the Bush administration has been suppressing.
Critics say the new information undermines the government’s claim that intelligence about al-Qa’ida’s ambitions was “historical” in nature.
The independent commission investigating the attacks on New York and Washington concluded that while officials at the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) did receive warnings, they were “lulled into a false sense of security”. As a result, “intelligence that indicated a real and growing threat leading up to 9/11 did not stimulate significant increases in security procedures”.
The report, withheld from the public for months, says the FAA was primarily focused on the likelihood of an incident overseas. However, in spring 2001, it warned US airports 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”.
Kristin Bretweiser, whose husband was killed in the World Trade Center, said yesterday the newly released details undermined testimony from Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser, who told the commission that information about al-Qa’ida’s threats seen by the administration was “historical in nature”.
She told The Independent: “There were 52 threats that were mentioned. These were present threats – they were not historical. There were steps… Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2005
September 11th was neither an intelligence failure nor was it a failure of imagination. It was nonfeasance on behalf of a whole host of government agencies, including the FAA.
Of the 105 warnings issued, 52 warnings regarding al Qaeda were given to the FAA by the intelligence community in a six month period from April 2001 to September 2001. According to the 9/11 Commission’s final report, there were eight information circulars put out by the FAA between July 2, and September 10, 2001. Five of these information circulars targeted overseas threats, while the remaining three targeted domestic threats.
The 52 threats regarding al Qaeda were not received by the FAA in a vacuum. From March 2001 to September 2001, according to the Joint Inquiry of Congress, our Intelligence Community received at least 41 specific threats of a possible domestic attack by al Qaeda. Additionally, the FAA was also made aware of the August 16, 2001 arrest of Zacarias Moussouai. Finally, the FAA attended a high level meeting on July 5, 2001 where the domestic threat posed by al Qaeda was discussed by all relevant intelligence agencies.
According to the newly released FAA monograph, in the spring of 2001 the FAA knew 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.”
The aforementioned statement is yet another indicator of how widely known it was in… Continue reading
By JoAnne Allen
Feb 10, 10:09 PM (ET)
Reuters: Original Report
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A newly released memo warned the White House at the start of the Bush administration that al Qaeda represented a threat throughout the Islamic world, a warning that critics said went unheeded by President Bush until the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The memo dated Jan. 25, 2001 — five days after Bush took office — was an essential feature of last year’s hearings into intelligence failures before the attacks on New York and Washington. A copy of the document was posted on the National Security Archive Web site on Thursday.
The memo, from former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke to then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, had been described during the hearings but its full contents had not been disclosed.
Clarke, a holdover from the Clinton administration, had requested an immediate meeting of top national security officials as soon as possible after Bush took office to discuss combating al Qaeda. He described the network as a threat with broad reach.
“Al Qaeda affects centrally our policies on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, North Africa and the GCC (Gulf Arab states). Leaders in Jordan and Saudi Arabia see al Qaeda as a direct threat to them,” Clarke wrote.
“The strength of the network of organizations limits the scope of support friendly Arab regimes can give to a range of U.S. policies, including Iraq policy and the (Israeli-Palestinian) Peace Process. We would make a major error if we underestimated the challenge… Continue reading
April 8, 2004. Responding to claims that she ignored the al-Qaeda threat before September 11, Rice stated in a March 22, 2004 Washington Post op-ed, “No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration.”
Two days after Rice’s March 22 op-ed, Clarke told the 9/11 Commission, “there’s a lot of debate about whether it’s a plan or a strategy or a series of options — but all of the things we recommended back in January were those things on the table in September. They were done. They were done after September 11th. They were all done. I didn’t really understand why they couldn’t have been done in February.”
Also attached to the original Clarke memo are two Clinton-era documents relating to al-Qaeda. The first, “Tab A December 2000 Paper: Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects,” was released to the National Security Archive along with the Clarke memo. “Tab B, September 1998 Paper: Pol-Mil Plan for al-Qida,” also known as the Delenda Plan, was attached to the original memo, but was not released to the Archive and remains under request with the National Security Council.
Below are additional references to the January 25, 2001, memo from congressional debates and the 9/11 Commission testimonies of Richard Clarke and Condoleezza Rice.
NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS UPON THE UNITED STATES
Eighth Public Hearing
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC
Chaired by: Thomas H. Kean
[See also 9/11… 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
We strongly agree with President Bush’s decision to move Condoleezza Rice out of her position as National Security Advisor. Ms. Rice’s statement from her May 16, 2002 press briefing, “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” made it clear that she was ill equipped to be advising anyone on matters of national security. Condoleezza Rice was the top National Security official with President Bush at the July 2001 G-8 summit in Genoa. This was where “U.S. officials were warned that Islamic terrorists might attempt to crash an airliner into the summit, which prompted officials to close the airspace over Genoa and station anti-aircraft guns at the city’s airport.”
And Ms. Rice’s failures did not stop there.
On August 6, 2001, just over a month before 9/11 and during the “summer of threat”, President Bush received a Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) at his Crawford, Texas ranch, entitled Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US. The August 6th memo focused entirely on the possibility of terrorist attacks inside the US. In testimony before the 9/11 Commission, Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor to President Bush, stated to the 9/11 Commission that she and President Bush considered the August 6th PDB as just an historical document and commented that this was not considered a domestic warning. At this 9/11 hearing, Condoleezza Rice had taken an oath to tell the truth to the Commissioners, thus, we thought she might be spending her free time defending herself against perjury charges.…Continue reading
Dear Peace & Justice Organizers,
There are many ways to promote peace & justice in our world, but when we face an immediate conflict, indeed a promised “war without end,” it first helps to step back and look at how it all began. Our current “War on (some) Terror” was birthed, if not conceived, on September 11, 2001. That day was a terrible funeral pyre for many, but a golden opportunity for some.
Only a year before, the Project for a New American Century, a think tank for the neocon crowd that now controls the White House and the Pentagon, published a martial wish list entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” Their report outlined our “urgent need” to inflate defense spending, control Mideast oil, deploy exotic new weapons, and reorganize our forces to fight and win several simultaneous wars. Their stated goal was full spectrum global dominance, a “Pax Americana,” but they grudged that such a transformation would take forever “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor.”
Consider then all the ignored warnings, quashed investigations and missing air defenses that preceded 9/11 and gave them this golden opportunity. And post-9/11 consider Condi Rice’s chilling remarks: “Now, we have an opportunity and an obligation to move forward together. Bold and comprehensive changes are sometimes only possible in the wake of catastrophic events… Just as World War II led to a fundamental reorganization of our national defense structure, so has September 11th made possible sweeping changes in the ways we… Continue reading
MAY 16, 2004:
Condoleeza Rice is a household name. But most Americans still have never heard of the man who wrote a book with her, Philip Zelikow.
As the executive director of the Kean Commission, Zelikow is responsible for framing the agenda. He leads the research staff. He decides what evidence the commission sees.
In April, the world media focused on Rice’s appearance before the commission. She claimed, not for the first time, that no one could have imagined terrorists would use hijacked planes as weapons against buildings. This is a demonstrable falsehood, which Bush himself inadvertently exposed a week later. (See “Bush, Rice and the Genoa Warning”)
Rice’s testimony received mostly bad reviews. The commission was credited with investigative fervor. Few reports bothered to note that in the late 1980s, Rice and Zelikow worked closely together on George H.W. Bush’s national security staff.
Zelikow and Rice co-authored a 1999 book about their experiences in the first Bush White House, “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft.” The book presents “a detailed and fascinating account of behind-the-scenes discussions and deliberations” during the fall of the Soviet empire, according to Library Journal.
Zelikow again served alongside Rice as a member of the Bush transition team in 2000- 2001, when he took part in White House meetings on the terror threat. Since this was of interest to the 9/11 investigation, the Kean Commission recently called Zelikow as a witness, in a closed-door session.
Now imagine if the judge in a trial was a close associate of the star witness.…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… Continue reading
The 9/11 Commission came to New York the second week of May for a two-day set of hearings at The New School University. As hundreds of Sept. 11th family members, reporters and curious New Yorkers lined up for airport-style security checks, they received copies of a new 24-page booklet published by NY 9/11 Truth, with help from 911Truth.org.
“Scamming America: The Official 9/11 Cover-up Guide” is named after a quote by former Sen. Max Cleland, who resigned from the commission last November with the words, “Bush is scamming America.”
Cleland attacked his own commission after the other members cut a deal to accept highly limited access to CIA reports to the White House that may indicate advance knowledge of the attacks on the part of the Bush administration. “This is a scam,” Cleland said. “It’s disgusting. America is being cheated.”
“As each day goes by,” Cleland said, “we learn that this government knew a whole lot more about these terrorists before September 11 than it has ever admitted…. Let’s chase this rabbit into the ground. They had a plan to go to war and when 9/11 happened that’s what they did; they went to war.”
|The booklet featured articles about the Kean Commission’s breathtaking conflicts of interest and complete failure to ask any of the questions about September 11 that really matter.
It is now out of print, but some of the articles are available on this site:
|The Kean Commission and the Sept.|
“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.”
–Condoleezza Rice, May 16, 2002
Late 1980s, throughout the 1990s: