By Dave Lindorff
A CounterPunch Special Report
9/11: Missing Black Boxes in World Trade Center Attacks Found by Firefighters, Analyzed by NTSB, Concealed by FBI
One of the more puzzling mysteries of 9-11 is what ever happened to the flight recorders of the two planes that hit the World Trade Center towers. Now it appears that they may not be missing at all.
Counterpunch has learned that the FBI has them.
Flight recorders (commonly known as black boxes, though these days they are generally bright orange) are required on all passenger planes. There are always two-a flight data recorder that keeps track of a plane’s speed, altitude, course and maneuvers, and a cockpit voice recorder which keeps a continuous record of the last 30 minutes of conversation inside a plane’s cockpit. These devices are constructed to be extremely durable, and are installed in a plane’s tail section, where they are least likely suffer damaged on impact. They are designed to withstand up to 30 minutes of 1800-degree heat (more than they would have faced in the twin towers crashes), and to survive a crash at full speed into the ground.
All four of the devices were recovered from the two planes that hit the Pentagon and that crashed in rural Pennsylvania. In the case of American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon, the FBI reports that the flight data recorder survived and had recoverable information, but the voice recorder was allegedly too damaged to provide any record. In the case of United Airlines Flight 93, which hit the ground at 500 mph in Pennsylvania, the situation was reversed: the voice recorder survived but the flight data box was allegedly damaged beyond recovery.…Continue reading
by Kristen Breitweiser
December 19, 2005
Recently, President Bush has admitted to carrying out surveillance on U.S. citizens in the interest of national security. He unabashedly admits to doing it. He offers no apologies. With his bellicose swagger, he once again uses 9/11 as his justification for breaking our constitutional laws. The President’s justification of 9/11 to carry out such surveillance begs a closer examination.
President Bush should be stopped in his tracks with regard to his use of 9/11 scare tactics to circumvent constitutional laws that are meant to protect U.S. citizens. His justification for doing so — the inability to conduct surveillance on the 9/11 hijackers — is a red herring. History will bear out the truth — our intelligence agencies held a treasure trove of intelligence on the 9/11 hijackers, intelligence that was gathered through their initially unencumbered surveillance. President Bush should busy himself by investigating why that information was then stymied and not capitalized upon to stop the 9/11 attacks.
MOUSSAOUI, FISA, and FBI SURVEILLANCE — MISUNDERSTANDING #1:
When it comes to the FBI and Zaccarias Moussaoui, one must understand that the FBI met all evidentiary standards to both apply for and be granted a FISA warrant. The information the FBI had to support their FISA request was two files on Moussaoui that were given to the FBI by the French and British intelligence services. Inexplicably, FBI lawyers and supervisors at FBI HQ “misunderstood” the evidentiary standards needed to apply for and receive a FISA… Continue reading
Good morning, class… today we’re going to discuss the events of 9/11. Please take out your copies of “The Terror Timeline,” and turn to page 560.
You’ll see at the bottom half of the page, an entry entitled, “May 2004: Previously Public Information About FBI Whistleblower Is Now Classified.”
I’m going to read it out loud for everyone to hear…
“The Justice Department retroactively classifies information it gave to Congress in 2002 regarding FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. Senator Charles Grassley (R) says, “What the FBI is up to here is ludicrous. To classify something that’s already been out in the public domain, what do you accomplish? … This is about as close to a gag order as you can get.” The New York Times reports that some of the information discussed is “so potentially damaging if released publicly” that it has to be classified. Topics like what languages Edmonds translated, what types of cases she handled, and where she worked is now classified, even though much of this has been widely reported on shows like CBS’s 60 Minutes. [NEW YORK TIMES, 5/20/04] In late 2002, the Justice Department invoked the rarely used “state secrets privilege” to limit what she could say. [Salon, 3/26/04]”
Ok… just to clarify what took place here, someone who worked for the FBI found out some information pertaining to 9/11 that was “damaging” in nature. She then tried to make that information public by what’s known as “whistleblowing.” For those of you… Continue reading
Posted By Jon Gold
In a recent interview on Lou Dobbs Tonight, Representative Curt Weldon made the following statement:
“We’ve received assurances that the hearings will go forward.
But the other thing that we have to look at, Lou, and you have had another guest on your show recently, why did the 9/11 Commission pick 1996 and not go back beyond that? There is some very interesting material that needs to be tied in. The ’93 attack on the Trade Center. The blind Sheik’s trial. None of that was looked at by the 9/11 Commission, and the American people need to ask the question why.
We will be asking that question during the Able Danger hearings.”
It will be interesting to see what information Rep. Weldon is referring to. Given the fact that there are many similarities between the ’93 bombing and 9/11, one can only hope he is referring to the truth in its entirety.
In October 1993, in an article entitled, “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast” the New York Times reported that, “Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.”
“The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by… Continue reading
9-11 Commission dealt with several issues by simply ignoring them
by James Ridgeway
The Village Voice
December 5th, 2005
Posted by wdk
On 9-11 the U.S. government faced a terrible decision: Should the military be ordered to shoot down other commercial airplanes full of civilian passengers, so that they, too, would not be used as missiles? Vice President Dick Cheney, although not part of the National Command Authority, gave the orders, although under the Constitution the vice president has no authority to command the military. The 9-11 Commission dealt with this fundamental issue by ignoring it. Among the other 9-11 topics the commission ignored:
• In the six months before 9-11, Federal Aviation Administration senior officials received 52 intelligence briefings regarding threats from Al Qaeda, warnings that mentioned hijacking, according to a commission staff study. The study was not part of the final commission report. The Bush administration blocked release of that information until after the 2004 election, and well after publication of the final commission report.
• The hijackers easily eluded CIA surveillance. Two of them landed in California in 2000, where they were greeted by an FBI informant, who actually rented one of the hijackers an apartment. FBI agents, then under Louis Freeh, remained clueless—either the informant didn’t tell them what was going on or they didn’t act on what they were told. Efforts by the Joint Inquiry of Congress to interview the informant were blocked by the FBI, which actually hid the man from congressional investigators. Top… Continue reading
Source: Click Here
By Mary Maxwell, Ph.D.
How long must we wait to judge the validity of the September 11th conspiracy theories that have floated around on the Internet for years? I believe there is a way to grant status and authority to the many excellent reports and analyses whose only sin is that they appear in electronic form instead of newsprint. Moreover, we should start this process right away. After all, if our government is behaving maliciously, we need to know it, communicate it to others, and act on it with urgency. This will require that we make judgments about September 11th now and not wait for “perfect proof.”
Here is the system I propose for rating the credibility of online journalism. Without a doubt, there is plenty of junk on the Internet; as always, we must jettison the junk. Then, casting our eyes to the universe of non-junk material on the Internet, we should assess the relative worth of what we see there. Two newly coined terms, trutho and truthilla, can help us grade the material.
Let us append the label trutho to a report on the Internet, if we would accept a similar report in a newspaper as being true. (The news reporter passed through some sort of vetting procedure before getting published, which cannot be assumed of an at-home Internet writer.) Trutho, then, should imply a basic degree of reliability. The standards are not as demanding as, say, those that a court applies to evidence or… Continue reading
by Louis Freeh, Former FBI Director
Published at The OpinionJournal at WSJ.com, Thursday, November 17
It was interesting to hear from the 9/11 Commission again on Tuesday. This self-perpetuating and privately funded group of lobbyists and lawyers has recently opined on hurricanes, nuclear weapons, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and even the New York subway system. Now it offers yet another “report card” on the progress of the FBI and CIA in the war against terrorism, along with its “back-seat” take and some further unsolicited narrative about how things ought to be on the “front lines.”
Yet this is also a good time for the country to make some assessments of the 9/11 Commission itself. Recent revelations from the military intelligence operation code-named “Able Danger” have cast light on a missed opportunity that could have potentially prevented 9/11. Specifically, Able Danger concluded in February 2000 that military experts had identified Mohamed Atta by name (and maybe photograph) as an al Qaeda agent operating in the U.S. Subsequently, military officers assigned to Able Danger were prevented from sharing this critical information with FBI agents, even though appointments had been made to do so. Why?
There are other questions that need answers. Was Able Danger intelligence provided to the 9/11 Commission prior to the finalization of its report, and, if so, why was it not explored? In sum, what did the 9/11 commissioners and their staff know about Able Danger and when did they know it?
The Able Danger intelligence, if confirmed, is undoubtedly the most relevant fact of the entire post-9/11 inquiry.…Continue reading
by William F. Jasper
The ongoing coverup concerning the secret Able Danger operation provides further evidence that the “war on terror” is a farce.
There was nothing in outward appearance to draw attention to the four-bedroom apartment at 54 Marienstrasse. Nonetheless, the attention of the intelligence services of Germany, the U.S., Israel, and other Middle Eastern and European countries had been drawn to the nondescript flat in Hamburg, Germany, as early as 1998. That was when Mohammed Atta signed the lease and he and Ramzi bin al Shibh moved in. Soon thereafter, it was identified by intelligence agencies as a target of interest. It became known as the hub of al-Qaeda’s “Hamburg Cell.”
Over the next two and a half years, dozens of al-Qaeda operatives, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the reputed 9/11 “mastermind,” passed through the 54 Marienstrasse apartment. Twenty-nine al-Qaeda recruits from the Middle East or Northern Africa listed it as their registered address. Mohammed Atta would later be labeled, after the fact, as the “ringleader” of the 9/11 terrorists who hijacked four jetliners to use as missiles against targets in New York City and Washington, D.C. Atta is believed to have been the suicide pilot who flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center. His Hamburg roommate, Ramzi bin al Shibh, captured in Pakistan in 2002, has been described by U.S. officials as the al-Qaeda “coordinator and paymaster” for 9/11. In the months leading up to the terrorist attacks of… Continue reading
Review by Russ Wellen
The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-Blowers and the Cover-Up
by Sander Hicks
Vox Pop, 2005
180 pages, $14.00
Includes Index, Over 100 Footnotes, and Bibliography
The term “conspiracy theory,” with the image it invokes of a cabal of black-hearted men who convene on a regular basis to consolidate their power, reduces alternate history to a cartoon. By using it to discredit, however, journalists only reveal how inadequate their inability to untangle webs the powerful weave makes them feel.
One who’s undaunted by the degree of difficulty is Sander Hicks, who endeavors to shed new light on events leading up to 9/11 mostly through meetings with, if not remarkable men, remarkable maniacs. In fact, his book, The Big Wedding, named after Al Qaeda code for 9/11, could just as easily be called “My Adventures Covering the Terror Beat.”
The first portrait in his rogues’ gallery is Randy Glass, an informant for an ATF/FBI terrorist sting. Pre-9/11, he dined out in Manhattan with a Pakistani arms dealer, who, gesturing toward the World Trade Center, exclaimed, “Those towers are coming down.”
“The 9/11 Commission Report,” Hicks concludes, “has topped the Warren Report…as the greatest cover-up of all time.”
A State Department official told Glass they were aware of bin Laden’s plans. But to keep Pakistani President Musharraf and his nuclear arsenal in their corner, they were banking on his guarantee that he could stop the attack. After all, as Hicks maintains, where Al Qaeda ends,… Continue reading
By Greg Guma
Burlington– For more than four years, the public has repeatedly been urged to ignore “outrageous” conspiracies theories about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that set in motion the so-called “war on terrorism.” However, the official explanation that has been provided — and widely embraced — also requires the acceptance of a theory, one involving a massive intelligence failure, 19 Muslim hijackers under the sway of Osama bin Laden, and the inability of the world’s most advanced Air Force to intercept four commercial airplanes.
“A good theory explains most of the relevant facts and is not contradicted,” notes David Ray Griffin, who has been examining the available evidence for the past three years and has so far published two books on the subject. This month, Griffin summarized his findings for more than 1,000 people in four well-attended Vermont talks. The bottom line, he informed a packed house in Burlington on Oct. 12, is that “every aspect of the official story is problematic,” contradicting the available evidence and defying even the laws of physics.
You may well ask, how can this be true? And, if so, why haven’t we heard more about it? The answer to the second question is easy: Mainstream media outlets have consistently declined to examine the highly technical and exhaustively documented case Griffin has developed. That may also sound like a conspiracy theory, but the almost total news blackout of Griffin’s Vermont talks suggests that it’s an unfortunate fact.
Explaining why the… Continue reading
August 2005: An annotated, comprehensive archive of articles on admissions that Mohamed Atta and three of the other alleged 9/11 hijacking ringleaders were under surveillance by military intelligence a year before September 2001. More proof that the 9/11 Commission was a whitewash; and why there is far more to the story than The New York Times has reported…
Sep 3, 2005:
Mohamed Atta and three other alleged ringleaders of the 9/11 hijacking team were under surveillance by an elite US military intelligence program in the summer of 2000, a New York Times story of Aug. 9, 2005 revealed.
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) broke the story to the Times after officers with knowledge of the Able Danger program contacted him. Two officers have since gone on record to say they once had Mohamed Atta in their sights. They claim a recommendation to round up Atta and what they termed his “Brooklyn Cell” (!) was rejected in the fall of 2000 by commanders at MacDill Air Force Base, supposedly on the advice of Defense Department lawyers. As of Sept. 2, the Pentagon says three additional people with knowledge of Able Danger have corroborated the story.
This dossier by Nicholas Levis rounds up Able Danger news reports to date, as well as analyses by various authors. The views expressed herein are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect those of 911Truth.org.
A citizens’ attempt to obtain several confiscated videos of the Pentagon attack has been denied, on the grounds that the footage may be used in persuading a jury to pass a death sentence on Zacaria Moussaoui. Is this believable? Will the court really release any of the videos to the public? …
Scott Bingham’s website: www.flight77.info
August 2005. Scott Bingham of Washington DC sued the Justice Department earlier this year after it refused his Freedom of Information Act request to release suppressed video of the Pentagon attack. In a defense brief filed this month, the government says it must continue to withhold the videos because prosecutors may decide to use them in persuading a jury to pass the death sentence on Zacarias Moussaoui.
Few issues have raised as much controversy and acrimony among 9/11 researchers as their conflicting views on the Pentagon attack. While many argue honestly that a passenger plane never could have caused the damage there (see the Pentagon photo archive), others are just as certain that the idea prompted originally by “Hunt the Boeing” is a red herring that benefits the US government’s official story. It is also the only “9/11 conspiracy theory” that ever received a direct denial from the government (See “French Conspiracy Theorist Claims No Plane Hit the Pentagon,” State Department press release, June 2005)
Opinions are also split among the 911Truth.org stalwarts, and we all know many sincere people on either side of this divide. Our site’s consensus position until… Continue reading
By Sibel Edmonds
Over four years ago, more than four months prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, in April 2001, a long-term FBI informant/asset who had been providing the bureau with information since 1990, provided two FBI agents and a translator with specific information regarding a terrorist attack being planned by Osama Bin Laden. This asset/informant was previously a high-level intelligence officer in Iran in charge of intelligence from Afghanistan. Through his contacts in Afghanistan he received information that: 1) Osama Bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting 4-5 major cities, 2) the attack was going to involve airplanes, 3) some of the individuals in charge of carrying out this attack were already in place in the United States, 4) the attack was going to be carried out soon, in a few months. The agents who received this information reported it to their superior, Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism, Thomas Frields, at the FBI Washington Field Office, by filing “302″ forms, and the translator, Mr. Behrooz Sarshar, translated and documented this information. No action was taken by the Special Agent in Charge, Thomas Frields, and after 9/11 the agents and the translators were told to ‘keep quiet’ regarding this issue. The translator who was present during the session with the FBI informant, Mr. Behrooz Sarshar, reported this incident to Director Mueller in writing, and later to the Department of Justice Inspector General. The press reported this incident, and in fact the… Continue reading
What Should We Really Be Afraid Of?
By W. David Jenkins III
Project for the Old American Century
June 1, 2005
Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Although tyranny…may successfully rule over foreign peoples,
it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people. ~Hannah Areddt
That’s right, I said it. Forget about 9/11. Just put all those horrible images away. I mean no disrespect but I think it’s time to put things in perspective.
9/11 has become an excuse for those who would exploit it and the world is a sadder and more dangerous place because of those who have used the tragedy for their own gains. This isn’t exactly a news flash but it isreality. An unfortunate reality that you and I had no part in making. That responsibility lays with the people who are still scared and those who would continue to exploit their fear. And that fear is the very foundation, the very source of strength of the present administration. Fear is now the guiding principle of almost every aspect of almost every person in America today. We have all become afraid just for different reasons.
Lately I’ve been doing a bit of research on fear and the odds we all face when it comes to our eventual deaths. Let’s face it; we’re all going to go sometime.
With acknowledgements to The National Safety Council (NSC), the FBI, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and some great work by writer, John Schettler (Scare Tactics), I’ve come to the conclusion that many Americans are afraid of the wrong things.…Continue reading
“A 4-hour panel discussion investigating theories behind 9-11 was held featuring four guests, all of whom expressed the belief that there are holes in the official story. Peter Lance and Mike Levine leaned towards the view that the government was negligent but didn’t plan the attacks, while the other two panelists David Ray Griffin and Alex Jones suspect an “inside job” to varying extents.” Listen to it here.
“Alex Jones, a documentary filmmaker and political researcher, pointed towards a “shadow” government above Pres. Bush as orchestrating the attacks. The hijackers, he suggested, were government trained operatives, who believed they were part of a drill on September 11th and not on a suicide mission. The planes themselves, he continued, were flown by remote control into the WTC towers. Jones created a special page to accompany the discussion, which includes a video clip from his latest work Martial Law 9-11.
“Investigative reporter Peter Lance countered that Jones’ theories were preposterous, and that by blaming a “shadow government” the effectiveness of al Qaeda is underestimated. Lance does believe that the U.S. government was negligent in its failure to detect the plot, and criminally culpable in its subsequent cover up of the facts. He sent us the following related links to audio and articles.
“Mirroring some of Lance’s assertions, radio host Mike Levine said there is enough evidence to put people in front of a grand jury, to face charges related to the deceptions and ineptitudes perpetrated by governmental agencies. Specifically he… Continue reading
- FBI worked hard to cover up a 9-11 cover-up–and then hide it some more
by James Ridgeway
June 14, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s no secret the FBI let at least two 9-11 hijackers–Hazmi and Mihdhar–slip through its fingers when they landed in California in 2000 and proceeded to live openly under their own names in San Diego before moving into position for the attack. What makes the situation especially ludicrous is that one of these hijackers rented a room from a San Diego landlord who was an FBI informant on the Muslim community.
That’s bad enough. But after 9-11, when the Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee found out what had been going on, the FBI refused to allow the informant to be interviewed by the committee staff or to testify.
The FBI actually took steps to hide this man so Congress could not find him. All this is described at some length in former senator Bob Graham’s book Intelligence Matters–the one book on this entire affair written by an actual participant in the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing over what was permitted to come into public view about 9-11. Graham was chairman of the joint congressional investigation.
To resolve the informant question, Graham writes, he met with Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, and other top officials. But when he tried to serve a subpoena on one top FBI official, the man shrank away and would not take the piece of paper. In the end,… Continue reading
by Dr. David Ray Griffin
In discussing my second 9/11 book, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, I have often said, only half in jest, that a better title might have been “a 571-page lie.” (Actually, I was saying “a 567-page lie,” because I was forgetting to count the four pages of the Preface.) In making this statement, one of my points has been that the entire Report is constructed in support of one big lie: that the official story about 9/11 is true.
Another point, however, is that in the process of telling this overall lie, The 9/11 Commission Report tells many lies about particular issues. This point is implied by my critique’s subtitle, “Omissions and Distortions.” It might be thought, to be sure, that of the two types of problems signaled by those two terms, only those designated “distortions” can be considered lies.
It is better, however, to understand the two terms as referring to two types of lies: implicit and explicit. We have an explicit lie when the Report claims that the core of each of the Twin Towers consisted of a hollow steel shaft or when it claims that Vice President Cheney did not give the shoot-down order until after 10:10 that morning. But we have an implicit lie when the Commission, in its discussion of the 19 alleged suicide hijackers, omits the fact that at least six of them have credibly been reported to be still alive, or when it fails to mention the fact that Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed.…Continue reading
How Ideologues on the Left and Right Theorise Vacuously to Support Baseless Supposition
- A Reply to ZNet’s ‘Conspiracy Theory?’ Section
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
Acceptance of the official narrative of what happened on September 11, 2001 has become widespread, not merely on the right, but also on the left. In this paper, I take issue with the writings of several commentators who attempt to forcefully argue firstly that acceptance of the official narrative is justified, and secondly that certain kinds of inquiry into anomalies and inconsistencies in that narrative are illegitimate and unnecessary. The main bulk of this writing is available online at a new section at the well-known progressive website ZNet, and is somewhat representative of the mainstream approach to 9/11. 
In reviewing the work of these commentators on 9/11, I analyse in detail the failure of the U.S. intelligence community in preventing the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks; the casual repression and/or misrepresentation of facts related to 9/11; the failure of U.S. defence measures on 9/11; the historic and institutional basis for skepticism about the official narrative; and some salient facts which illustrate the need for proper research into the linkages between U.S.…Continue reading