Originally published at Homeland Security Today by Amanda Vicinanzo on 6/9/15
Nearly 15 years after the tragic September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, problems with interoperable communications continue to plague the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to a DHS Inspector General (OIG) audit report.
“In other words, nearly a decade after the 9/11 Commission highlighted the problem with interoperable communications, DHS components could not talk to each other using about $430 million worth of radios purchased,” said DHS Inspector General John Roth, whose office just concluded a verification review of its 2012 audit of DHS’s oversight of interoperable communications.
In the 2012 audit report, DHS’ Oversight of Interoperable Communications, the IG’s review of progress on intra-agency communications during an emergency, such as a terrorist event, found less than 0.25 percent of the 479 radio users could access and communicate via that specified common channel.
Moreover, of the 382 radios tested, only 20 percent contained all the correct program settings for the common channel.
The IG determined the reason behind the communications failure was lack of an effective governing structure with the authority and responsibility to ensure DHS achieved department-wide interoperable radio communications.
Now more than two years later, the IG found, DHS still hasn’t complied with the recommendations of the initial 2012 audit. Although DHS has taken some corrective actions to standardize department-wide radio activities, plans have not been finalized and DHS could not provide a timetable for finalization of the plans.
Furthermore, some component… Continue reading
Originally published at WhoWhatWhy.org by Russ Baker on 2/6/15
On Monday, attorneys representing victims of the 9/11 attacks filed papers alleging substantial Saudi financial support for Al Qaeda and terrorism, including a plan to shoot down Air Force One. This Saudi support supposedly continued up to shortly before 9/11. Donors included leading members of the royal family.
These extraordinary allegations came in rare testimony from behind the walls of a Supermax prison by the so-called “20th hijacker,” Zacharias Moussaoui, a convicted Al Qaeda operative.
The New York Times took him quite seriously:
Mr. Moussaoui’s testimony, if judged credible, provides new details of the extent and nature of that [Saudi] support in the pre-9/11 period. In more than 100 pages of testimony, filed in federal court in New York on Monday, he comes across as calm and largely coherent, though the plaintiffs’ lawyers questioning him do not challenge his statements.
One of the people Moussaoui says he met as an Al Qaeda representative was Prince Salman, who in January became the new king of Saudi Arabia. Others he claims to have met include Turki al-Faisal, who at the time was Saudi intelligence chief, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the longtime Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
Both Turki and Bandar were very close with George H.W. Bush and his family. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush was president of the United States—and in what was seemingly a chilling accident of fate, was in Sarasota himself… Continue reading
Originally published at Digital Journal by Ralph Lopez on 2/2/15
The official US government report on the attacks of September 11, 2001, has altered and obscured the testimony of US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta in a manner which absolves former Vice President Dick Cheney of failing to defend the Pentagon.
Mineta’s testimony suggested that Cheney had a clear window of opportunity during which he was made aware that an aircraft was headed straight for either the White House or the Pentagon, after it was clear that the nation was under attack, when he could have given an order and brought the plane down before it hit the Pentagon. The targeting of national landmarks such as the Twin Towers and the Pentagon was in integral part of the attackers’ strategy.
In an interview given after 9/11, President George W. Bush confirmed that he had given the order to shoot down any “commercial aircraft that did not respond” to requests for identification only after “the third plane had hit the Pentagon,” which was at 9:37a.m. Bush said that this was the “first decision” he made on Air Force One after the full extent of the attacks became apparent.
The Twin Towers had been hit earlier, at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m.
Norman Mineta testified before the 9/11 Commission that, in the command bunker known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, hijacked… Continue reading
Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 1/14/15
Just before Christmas, former FBI special agent Mark Rossini greeted me with his usual good cheer when we met for drinks in a midtown Manhattan restaurant. He told me his life had finally taken a turn for the better. He’s spending most of his time in Switzerland, where he works for a private global corporate-security firm. “Life’s good,” he said.
Good, but with a few major changes. Rossini was drinking club soda instead of the expensive cabernets he quaffed when I first knew him as a high-flying FBI official in Washington a decade ago, when he was a special assistant to the bureau’s chief spokesman, John Miller (now with the New York City Police Department). “I’ve cut back,” he said. “Feeling good.”
But when I ask him how he’s really doing, the light in his eyes dims. “Well, you know, I still miss the job,” he said, shaking his head. A boneheaded move—showing confidential FBI documents to his actress-flame Linda Fiorentino, who said she was researching a script about L.A. wiretapper extraordinaire Anthony Pellicano—cost him his career in 2008 and nearly landed him in jail.
“What’s past is past,” he said. But not all of it. He quickly told me of an encounter the day before on a street in Yonkers, where he keeps an apartment. He’d run into a close family friend who’d lost relatives at the World Trade Center on 9/11. “Mark,” she… Continue reading
Stand up and be counted: Make this one of your New Year’s resolutions. Revel in your courage to stand up for truth and justice and be counted.
If you have been paying attention to what is going on in this country, you know that the 9/11 attacks have been used again and again as the justification for policies that contradict core American values. Endless war, torture and warrantless surveillance do not reflect the values of the overwhelming majority of people who inhabit the land of the free and home of the brave. These policies echo the values of a morally bankrupt elite who control our governing institutions.
Our government repeatedly violates the self-evident truths expressed by our Declaration of Independence: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The contradiction between word and deed produces an intentional societal paralysis. Individuals feel helpless. Powerlessness and apathy make it possible for authoritarianism to flourish. Manufactured divisions obscure our common interests from ourselves, shifting our attention away from those who benefit and wield unchecked power.
If you have educated yourself about 9/11, you know that the issue tends to act as a portal through which you discover a hidden history. It is one of many rabbit holes that can lead to a re-evaluation of what passes for “history.”
911Truth.org has been educating the public about the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks for… Continue reading
Originally published at Mother Jones by Erika Eichelberger and AJ Vicens on 12/23/14
The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
The $1.6 trillion in war spending over that time span includes the cost of military operations, the training of security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, weapons maintenance, base support, reconstruction, embassy maintenance, foreign aid, and veterans’ medical care, as well as war-related intelligence operations not tracked by the Pentagon. The report tracks expenses through September, the end of the government’s 2014 fiscal year. Here’s a breakdown of where most of that money went:
How taxpayer dollars were spent on Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war-related activities
US military bases
The key factor determining the cost of war during a given period over the last 13 years has been the number of US troops deployed, according to the report. The number of troops in Afghanistan peaked in 2011, when 100,000 Americans were stationed there. The number of US armed forces in Iraq reached a high of about 170,000 in 2007.
Although Congress enacted across-the-board spending cuts in March… Continue reading
Originally published at Newsday by Ridgely Ochs on 12/27/14
Nell McCarthy, the deputy special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, pointed to two boxes. One contained files about 2 inches thick; the other, a file about 2 feet thick.
That, she said in the fund’s nondescript Washington, D.C., offices, showed the range of differences among claims filed by 9/11 responders.
The thinner file was submitted online by a former first responder in law enforcement who had hired an experienced lawyer. The second was filed by a former deliveryman for a restaurant — with no attorney — and included entire notebooks containing handwritten statements in nearly indecipherable block printing that often spilled over and encircled the pages.
Both received compensation, McCarthy said. But the first — who recently died of brain cancer — was a fairly straightforward case and it took eight months to determine his compensation. The second — who for a time called the VCF help line every day, even on the weekends — was not so straightforward. That claim took 2½ years to resolve.
“I am really proud of the work we did with him,” McCarthy said of the second claimant, who still calls the VCF.
McCarthy — a former White House staffer who herself… Continue reading
Originally published at Global Research by Prof. Edward Curtin on 12/1/14
The anthrax attacks that followed those of 9/11 have disappeared from public memory in ways analogous to the pulverization of the Twin Towers and World Trade Center Building 7. For the towers, at least, ghostly afterimages persist, albeit fading like last night’s nightmare. But the anthrax attacks, clearly linked to 9/11 and the Patriot Act, are like lost letters, sent, but long forgotten. Such disappearing acts are a staple of American life these days. Memory has come upon hard times.
With The 2001 Anthrax Deception, Professor Graeme MacQueen, founding Director of the Center for Peace Studies at McMaster University, calls us back to a careful reconsideration of the anthrax attacks. It is an eloquent and pellucid lesson in inductive reasoning and deserves to stand with David Ray Griffin’s brilliant multi-volume dissection of the truth of that tragic September 11th. MacQueen makes a powerful case for the linkage of both events, a tie that binds both to insider elements deep within the U.S. government, perhaps in coordination with foreign elements.
MacQueen’s thesis is as follows: The criminal anthrax attacks were conducted by a group of conspirators deep within the U.S. government who are linked to, or identical with, the 9/11 perpetrators. Their purpose was to redefine the Cold War into the Global War on Terror and in doing so… Continue reading
Originally published at digwithin.net by Kevin Ryan on 12/6/14
Politicians and pundits often use terrorism to promote the interests of their financiers. This fear mongering goes hand in hand with attempts at war profiteering, population control, and the concentration of political power. What many are beginning to discover is that deception is integral to the success of the terrorism business. That is, the official accounts of terrorist events are typically fraught with omissions of fact and the concealment of clues that point to the involvement of more powerful people. The success of these false accounts reveals important aspects of human nature and points to ways in which thoughtful people can help to overcome such challenges.
There will always be a few people greedy enough to lie to others for personal gain, but we can live with this. What we can’t live with is large numbers of people lying to themselves because habitual self-deception is fatal. Long-term successful lies require motivated liars but also willing listeners and when millions or billions of citizens engage in such duplicity they make it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to survive.
It’s common to see people blaming the government or the media for lying and taking advantage. That’s not surprising because, in general, politicians are highly evolved lying machines and the media is rewarded for telling the majority what they want to hear in ways that promote business interests. But what is really needed to overcome that pattern is to examine how lies told by… Continue reading
Originally published at FoxNews by Catherine Herridge on 10/1/14
Newly released documents further support the conclusion that the FBI was working with radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki after the 9/11 attacks – in the years before he became the first American targeted for death by a U.S. drone strike.
As part of an ongoing investigation of the cleric that began after the 2009 Fort Hood shooting massacre, Fox News was first to report that in 2002, al-Awlaki was released from custody at JFK International Airport — despite an active warrant for his arrest — with the okay of FBI Agent Wade Ammerman.
Watchdog group Judicial Watch has since obtained more than 900 pages of new documents in the course of its federal lawsuit against the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act. They show the cleric was emailing and leaving voice messages with an FBI agent in 2003, a year after Ammerman told customs agents at JFK airport to bypass an outstanding warrant for the cleric’s arrest.
The documents further support claims that Awlaki, who eventually went overseas and linked up with an Al Qaeda affiliate, worked with the FBI and was likely a U.S. government asset.
“I have little doubt that President Obama assassinated a terrorist that was an asset of the U.S. government,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.
He added: “There have been so many missed opportunities in getting the bad guys, but it’s… Continue reading
Originally published at The New Yorker by Lawrence Wright on 9/9/14On the bottom floor of the United States Capitol’s new underground visitors’ center, there is a secure room where the House Intelligence Committee maintains highly classified files. One of those files is titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” It is twenty-eight pages long. In 2002, the Administration of George W. Bush excised those pages from the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. President Bush said then that publication of that section of the report would damage American intelligence operations, revealing “sources and methods that would make it harder for us to win the war on terror.”
“There’s nothing in it about national security,” Walter Jones, a Republican congressman from North Carolina who has read the missing pages, contends. “It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.” Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, told me that the document is “stunning in its clarity,” and that it offers direct evidence of complicity on the part of certain Saudi individuals and entities in Al Qaeda’s attack on America. “Those twenty-eight pages tell a story that has been completely removed from the 9/11 Report,” Lynch maintains. Another congressman who has read the document said that the evidence of Saudi government support… Continue reading
Originally published by Reuters by Jonathan Stempel on 9/2/14
(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Tuesday said photos of a Saudi national imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay who U.S. officials have said intended to be the “20th hijacker” in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks should stay classified, in the interest of protecting national security.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the government plausibly showed that releasing images of Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was subject to interrogation techniques that a government official likened to torture, could endanger military personnel, diplomats and workers in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents al-Qahtani in a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C. over his treatment, had sought the disclosure of photographs, videos and other audiovisual evidence of his confinement conditions under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Writing for a three-judge panel, however, Circuit Judge José Cabranes said the release “could logically and plausibly harm national security because these images are uniquely susceptible to use by anti-American extremists as propaganda to incite violence against United States interests domestically and abroad.”
Al-Qahtani has been held since February 2002 at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
He had been the target of a “special interrogation plan” that included 20-hour interrogations, sleep deprivation, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, forced nudity, performance of dog tricks while wearing a dog collar, and sexual humiliation, according to publicly leaked interrogation logs.
Lawrence Lustberg, a lawyer for CCR, in a statement objected… Continue reading
Originally published at Dig Within by Kevin Ryan on 6/4/14
Both before and after 9/11, one private company had a greater impact on counterterrorism programs in the United States than any other. That company, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), also profited more from the events of 9/11 than any other. Its chief operating officer (COO), Duane Andrews, was a man who had expertise-level knowledge of the vulnerabilities that were exploited on 9/11. He also just happened to be a long-time, close colleague of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
SAIC feeds on terrorism, having won many of its record number of government contracts through the national security state that has arisen via the War on Terror. Through its numerous contracts and employee security clearances, it has become a private business that cannot be distinguished from a permanent form of government. In short, SAIC is “the fraternal twin of the intelligence establishment.”
With regard to 9/11, SAIC’s impact cannot be overstated as the company:
Instead of following the law and producing documents that could show whether or not Saudis living in Sarasota provided aid and assistance to the 9/11 terrorists, the FBI, a federal judge recently found:
• Provided records with “apparent” and unexplained chronological “gaps.”
• Presented to the court “located documents” that “seem incomplete.”
• Submitted “summary documents” that “do in fact seem to contradict each other.”
The FBI’s handling of requests for documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, which had links to locations and venues in Sarasota County, is unacceptable.
We and anyone interested in knowing more of the truth about 9/11 are grateful that U.S. District Court Judge William Zloch has steadily sought to require the FBI to adequately search for, find and release to the court documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
In contrast, it’s troubling that the nation’s top law-enforcement agency would not only be intransigent but would submit documents with gaps and contradictions to a federal court. The fact that the documents sought are relevant to one of the United States’ greatest domestic tragedies compounds the concerns.
In September 2011, two independent reporters writing for BrowardBulldog.org reported that a family from Saudi Arabia, who lived in Sarasota County’s prestigious Prestancia development prior to September 2001, had connections with individuals associated with terrorism.
The report, reprinted three years ago by the Herald-Tribune, cited documents showing phone calls to the… Continue reading
Originally published by Kevin Ryan on April 7, 2014
As discussed in my book, Another Nineteen, there are good reasons to believe that some 9/11 suspects were involved in previous deep state operations. For example, evidence suggests that Stratesec manager Barry McDaniel and Carlyle Group director Frank Carlucci might have participated in the Iran-Contra crimes. There are also interesting links between several 9/11 suspects and Ted Shackley, a leader of the “CIA within the CIA.” Shackley was close friends with Frank Carlucci and had a long, close relationship with Richard Armitage, whose State department provided express visas to the alleged hijackers. Additionally, Porter Goss, who led the initial cover-up of the 9/11 crimes, had worked with Shackley in several CIA operations.
Perhaps the most interesting historical link between Shackley and 9/11 is that Shackley’s activities in Kuwait paralleled those of Wirt Walker, the KuwAm Corporation director. KuwAm was the parent company of Stratesec, the security company for several 9/11 facilities. As I’ve written before, these companies appeared to be part of a private intelligence network.
Shackley had a long career in covert CIA operations and was the agency’s Associate Deputy Director of Operations from 1976 to 1977. Described by former CIA Director Richard Helms as “a quadruple threat – Drugs, Arms, Money and Murder,” Shackley was a central character in many off-the-books operations. He was a leader of the CIA’s anti-Castro plan Operation Mongoose, its secret U.S. war in Laos, and the overthrow of Salvadore… Continue reading
In a revelation missing from the official investigations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, according to court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.
The information the FBI gleaned back then was so specific that it helped thwart a terrorist plot against a Masonic lodge in Los Angeles, the court records reviewed by The Washington Times show.
“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in support of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the bureau by his former agent Bassem Youssef.
Mr. Curran gave the testimony in 2010 to an essentially empty courtroom, and thus it escaped notice from the media or terrorism specialists. The Times was recently alerted to the existence of the testimony while working on a broader report about al Qaeda’s origins.
Members of the Sept. 11 commission, congressional intelligence committees and terrorism analysts told The Times they are floored that the information is just now emerging publicly and that it raises questions about what else Americans might not have been told about the origins of al Qaeda… Continue reading
Originally published by The NY Post on 12/19/13
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday revived claims by families of victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks who alleged that Saudi Arabia provided material support to al Qaeda.
Reversing a lower court ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said “the interests of justice” justified reviving the claims, in light of a 2011 decision that allowed similar claims to proceed against Afghanistan.
Circuit Judge Chester Straub wrote for a three-judge panel that it would be “especially anomalous” to treat both sets of plaintiffs differently. He returned the case to U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan for further proceedings.
The litigation was brought on behalf of families of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11 attacks, as well as insurers that covered losses suffered by building owners and businesses.
Most of the attackers were Saudi nationals who hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and – when passengers revolted – into a field in Pennsylvania.
“This opinion is eminently correct and will give 9/11 victims their day in court,” said Stephen Cozen, a partner at Cozen O’Connor representing the plaintiffs. “The parties will start over, and we are very, very satisfied that we will meet any defenses, both legal and factual, that are raised.”
Cozen said damages could reach tens of billions of dollars.
Michael Kellogg, a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd,… Continue reading