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
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
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
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
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
U.S. officials have long retaliated against employees who speak out, burying the dangers they expose. Now, Congress wants to give whistle-blowers greater protection — but President Bush vows to stop it.
By James Sandler
Nov. 01, 2007 | If there is any doubt about how the Bush administration treats government whistle-blowers, consider the case of Teresa Chambers. She was hired in early 2002, with impeccable law enforcement credentials, to become chief of the United States Park Police. But after Chambers raised concerns publicly that crime was up in the nation’s parks, she was rebuked by superiors and fired. When Chambers fought to regain her job through the legal system meant to protect whistle-blowers, government lawyers fought back, and associated her with terrorists. Despite a multiyear legal struggle, she is still fighting for her job.
Whistle-blowers have faced hostility not only under Republican administrations. During President Clinton’s tenure, Bogdan Dzakovic, an undercover security agent with the Federal Aviation Administration, suffered retribution for speaking out about weak airport security — three years before Sept. 11, 2001. Dzakovic was passed up for promotion time and again, and today, he says, he remains consigned to data entry duties for the Transportation Security Administration.
Every year, hundreds of federal workers sound the alarm about corruption, fraud or dangers to public safety that are caused or overlooked — or even covered up — by U.S. government agencies. These whistle-blowers are supposed to be guaranteed protection by law from retaliation for speaking out in the public’s interest.… Continue reading
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
Submitted by Jon Gold
Some of you may have noticed that I have started a new “Who Is?” series with regard to 9/11. The reason I started this was because I thought too much emphasis was being placed on the physical aspects of 9/11, and not enough on the background information, the people who may have had something to do with it, the people who participated in the cover-up, the whistleblowers, the family members, the people who represent discrepancies, and so on.
I am using the work compiled by Paul Thompson at www.cooperativeresearch.org. There are links available to each of the stories sourced on the original website. Unfortunately, it’s just too much work to duplicate what Paul and others have done with regard to links. I want to thank them all for their tremendous efforts.
I also want people to know that the information provided is not the “end all/be all” of 9/11. However, it is most definitely an excellent starting point.
Here are the articles archived. As more are produced, they will be added here.
Who Is Jack Abramoff?
Who Is Elliott Abrams?
Who Is David Addington?
Who Is Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed?
Who Is Omar Al-Bayoumi?
Who Was Khalid Almihdhar?
Who Is Prince Turki Al-Faisal?
Who Is Ahmed Al-Hada? With Introduction By Kevin Fenton
Who Was Nawaf Al-Hamzi?
Who Is Yassin al-Qadi?
Who Is Michael Anticev?
Who… Continue reading
By Robert Parry
September 19, 2007
In praising George W. Bush’s new choice for Attorney General, Vice President Dick Cheney identified one freedom in particular that retired Judge Michael Mukasey would protect: “the freedom from fear of terrorist attacks.”
The comment spoke volumes about the Bush administration’s priorities, fitting with the President’s oft-repeated claim that the government has no more important duty than to protect the American people.
That this claim goes unchallenged — despite the fact that the oath administered to federal officials demands that they defend the Constitution and says nothing about public safety — has been a leading indicator of how Bush and Cheney have exploited the self-centeredness of many Americans to amass unprecedented executive power.
Since the 9/11 attacks, Bush and Cheney have taken the imperial presidency to new heights by presenting themselves as the tough guys who will protect the traumatized American people from the world’s bad guys, particularly scary Muslims. From the start, Mukasey has been an ally in that mission.
As a federal judge in New York, Mukasey endorsed indefinite incarceration of hundreds of Muslims on phony material witness warrants after the 9/11 attacks. He also signed off on Bush imprisoning an American citizen — and Muslim convert — Jose Padilla simply on a presidential say-so that Padilla was an “unlawful enemy combatant.”
Ironically, the post-9/11 round-up of Arab cab drivers, pizza delivery men and students came as the Bush administration was granting special permission for rich Saudis, including members of Osama bin… Continue reading
Monday, 27 August 2007, 11:11 am
Evidence Suggests CIA Purposefully Spiked Investigations
Dear Members of the Press:
A grave miscarriage of justice is afoot. After years being withheld the Administration finally is forced to release the CIA’s IG Report on 9/11. While earlier news accounts said the report would be released in early September it was released in the middle of a Congressional recess, in the middle of a Summer break, thus insuring it will not receive the attention it deserves. Worse still is the conclusion in most press reports since its release that bolsters the official narrative, i.e., that all the myriad failures were simply due to ‘systemic failure’ and/or incompetence.
The circumstantial evidence running contrary to this conclusion is compelling and convincing.
It appears that Al-Hazmi and Al-Mihdhar were being protected by higher ups in the CIA. Respected author Joe Trento has reported that they were working for Saudi Intelligence. Others reported the two were removed from the watchlist two days before 9/11. I don’t know if either was the case. It is clear, however, that there was a concerted effort to protect them, similar in some respects to the way authorities in FBI HQ refused to allow Rowley and company in Minnesota to go into Mousaoui’s laptop computer or how higher ups prevented Robert Wright in Chicago from going after the money trail of Yassin Al-Kadi (Qadi) who financed the software company Ptech and the terrorist group Hamas and who was later named a “Specially… Continue reading
by Bryan Sacks
“If independent reporters ever want to gain evidence that proves that elements within the U.S. government had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks but failed to defend against them, or even anticipated and then enhanced the impact of the events for future effect, then transcripts of bin Laden’s U.S. intercepted communications between January — September 2001 would most likely make the case.”
–Ed Haas, Muckraker Report, September 21, 2006 http://www.muckrakerreport.com/id301.html
Most people will remember the infamous “bin Laden confession video” which was reportedly ‘obtained’ by US forces in Afghanistan after the fall of Jalalabad in November, 2001. The video, which has been offered as proof by the Bush administration that Osama bin Laden ordered the September 11, 2001 attacks, was broadcast in media outlets beginning in December 2001.
But now, a researcher claims that several kinds of evidence related to the video show that the US military’s story of its origin is false.
Drawing on information gleaned directly from translations of the audio, public statements by Tony Blair and mainstream news articles, researcher Maher Osseiran has offered a compelling account of the origin of the video. His shocking conclusion is that the video was not ‘obtained’ by US forces in Jalalabad; rather it was very likely the product of a US-sponsored ‘sting operation’, possibly conducted with the assistance of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, in late September, 2001.
Osseiran has been researching and publishing articles about the story for more than a year now, but now he has… Continue reading
By Sander Hicks
In defense of the “9/11 truth movement.”
[Alternet] Editor’s note: The role of the alternative press is to offer perspectives that the commercial media won’t touch. Having run a number of articles critical of the “9/11 Truth Movement” by Matt Taibbi , Joshua Holland , Matthew Rothschild and others, we asked Sander Hicks, a prominent voice within the movement, to share his perspective. For more of Sanders’ views, see his book ” The Big Wedding: 9/11, The Whistle-Blowers, and the Cover-Up .”
No matter what you believe about who was responsible for 9/11, and how it went down, we’re all amazed at how much political capital the events of that day produced for this administration: A bipartisan consensus on torture; an era of permanent war; detentions without trial; “no fly” lists for activists; the Bill of Rights gone with the wind, and a cowed professional media willing to self-censor and suppress pertinent information. The 9/11 “America Attacked” story has distracted us from the natural outrage we should feel over illegal wiretaps, stolen elections, hundreds of billions of dollars missing at the Pentagon, war profiteering, Enron and Cheney’s secret energy policy.
But with Bush’s popularity… Continue reading
Jenna Orkin, of WTC Environmental Organization www.wtceo.org, describes the envirotoxic disaster of 9/11, horrendous health effects on residents and rescuers, and lies of the administration that led to the situation.
“Jenna…details how the Bush administration Environmental Protection Agency told the public that the air in Lower Manhattan after the attacks of 9/11 was safe to breathe even while knowing is was not. This raises the question: if the Bush administration was willing to sacrifice the health and the lives of United States citizens, what else would they be willing to do?”
BY ANDREW O. SELSKY
October 10, 2006
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – An anti-Castro militant now in a Texas jail warned the CIA months before the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that fellow exiles were planning such an attack, according to a newly released U.S. government document.
The document shows that Luis Posada Carriles – who had worked for the CIA but was cut off by the agency earlier that year – was secretly telling the CIA that his fellow far-right Cuban exiles opposed to Fidel Castro’s communist government were plotting to bring down a commercial jet.
The document does not say what the CIA did with Posada’s tip. A CIA spokesman said he had no comment on Monday, a federal holiday.
The CIA had extensive contacts with anti-Castro militants and trained some of them, but has denied involvement in the bombing.
The documents were posted online Thursday by the National Security Archive, an independent research institute at George Washington University that seeks to declassify government files through the Freedom of Information Act.
The Cubana Airlines plane, on a flight from Venezuela to Cuba, blew up shortly after taking off from a stopover in Barbados on Oct. 6, 1976, killing all 73 aboard, including Cuba’s Olympic fencing team.
The bombing remains an open wound in Cuba. Weeping relatives of the victims met in a Havana cemetery on Friday, the 30th anniversary of the bombing. They demanded that Posada – who is now 78 and in a Texas detention… Continue reading
By Russ Wellen
August 3, 2006
— In his Washington Post article, “9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon,” Dan Eggen reported, “Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public. . .”
“We to this day don’t know why NORAD told us what they told us,” Commission Chair Thomas H. Kean said. “It was just so far from the truth.”
— According to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll, “More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East.”
Still more surprising, 16 percent think the collapse of the World Trade Towers was expedited by controlled demolition while 12 percent suspect the Pentagon was struck by a missile, not Flight 77.
Eye-opening as these results are, they’re not unprecedented. According to Scripps/Howard, “The level of suspicion of U.S. official involvement in a 9/11 conspiracy was only slightly behind the 40 percent who suspect ‘officials in the federal government were directly responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy.'”
Kean’s colleague, 9/11 Commission vice chair Lee Hamilton, conceded the results of the poll. “A lot… Continue reading
Allegations Brought to Inspectors General
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.
Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission, hoping to hide the bungled response to the hijackings, these sources said.
In the end, the panel agreed to a compromise, turning over the allegations to the inspectors general for the Defense and Transportation departments, who can make criminal referrals if they believe they are warranted, officials said.
“We to this day don’t know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us,” said Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey Republican governor who led the commission. “It was just so far from the truth. . . . It’s one of those loose ends that never got tied.”
by Derek Rose
New York Daily News
The feds bungled a key opportunity to possibly nix the 9/11 terror plot, it was reported yesterday.
An Arabic-speaking FBI agent had requested information about a Jan. 5, 2000, Al Qaeda meeting in Malaysia, but the CIA never turned it over, The New Yorker reported.
The ambitious FBI detective, Ali Soufan, was so upset when he eventually got the information – after 9/11 – that he vomited.
Soufan, who had been investigating the 2000 attack on the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole that killed 17 sailors, realized the two plots were linked.
“And if the CIA had not withheld information from him he likely would have drawn the connection months before Sept. 11,” The New Yorker reported. The intelligence Soufan had sought showed that a one-legged jihadi named Khallad – a key Al Qaeda lieutenant linked to the Cole bombing – had attended the Malaysia meeting where the Sept. 11 plot was hatched.
According to the magazine, the CIA also learned in March 2000 that Al Qaeda operative Nawaf Alhazmi was in the United States, but the CIA never alerted the FBI. Alhazmi ended up on the American Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon.
The CIA may not have told the FBI about Alhazmi and another Qaeda operative, Khalid… Continue reading
Mar 30, 2006:
Lost in last week’s hubbub over the media breakthroughs for 9/11 truth was the latest twist in the Sibel Edmonds saga. The FBI whistleblower last Thursday filed a court motion demanding that the federal judge hearing her First Amendment case be recused for deliberately hiding his financial background.
The judge, Reggie Walton, is also currently hearing the perjury case involving I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, former chief of staff to Dick Cheney, on allegations that Libby leaked the name of a CIA operative to the media. Edmonds is seeking to show Judge Walton is in violation of federal law (The Ethics in Government Act) because of his refusal to meet financial disclosure provisions.
A few months after September 11th, the FBI hired Edmonds as a translator for Farsi and Turkish. She says she discovered that documents already translated (and suppressed) prior to 9/11 had contained details of a pending attack on the US with airplanes. In addition, one of her colleagues attempted to recruit her as a spy for a Turkish lobbying group. When she spoke out about these experiences – and other finds suggesting corruption, money laundering and drug deals at the top levels of the US government – she was fired. Attorney General John Ashcroft slapped Edmonds with a gag order under the seldom-used State Secrets Act. In the most bizarre and Orwellian twist, Ashcroft “retroactively classified” many of the statements Edmonds had already made. This included information published in the press prior to the gag… Continue reading