Top Secret CIA Documents on Osama bin Laden Declassified
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 381
Posted June 19, 2012
Edited by Barbara Elias-Sanborn with Thanks to Archive Senior Fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 — The National Security Archive today is posting over 100 recently released CIA documents relating to September 11, Osama bin Laden, and U.S. counterterrorism operations. The newly-declassified records, which the Archive obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are referred to in footnotes to the 9/11 Commission Report http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htmand present an unprecedented public resource for information about September 11.
The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counterterrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity. Today’s posting covers a variety of topics of major public interest, including background to al-Qaeda’s planning for the attacks; the origins of the Predator program now in heavy use over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; al-Qaeda’s relationship with Pakistan; CIA attempts to warn about the impending threat; and the impact of budget constraints on the U.S. government’s hunt for bin Laden.
Today’s posting is the result of a series of FOIA requests by National Security Archive staff based on a painstaking review of references in the 9/11 Commission Report.
… Although the collection is part of a laudable effort by the CIA to provide documents on events related to September 11, many of these materials are heavily… Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 9/11 Consensus Panel
Massive National War Games on September 11th Raise Further Questions
NEW YORK, June 5, 2012 — New evidence shows that the September 11th activities of former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were falsely reported by official sources.
The international Panel also discovered that four massive aerial practice exercises traditionally held in October were in full operation on 9/11. The largest, Global Guardian, held annually by NORAD and the US Strategic and Space Commands, had originally been scheduled for October 22-31 but was moved , along with Vigilant Guardian, to early September.
Although senior officials claimed no one could have predicted using hijacked planes as weapons, the military had been practicing similar exercises on 9/11 itself — and for years before it.
The Panel, discovering widespread reports of confusion and delays in the defense response, looked into who was overseeing the air defenses after the second Tower was hit at 9:03 AM.
Official sources claimed neither Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Joint Chiefs of Staff Acting Chairman General Richard Myers (filling in for General Hugh Shelton), nor war-room chief General Montague Winfield were available to take command until well… Continue reading
June 4, 2012
The CIA has released nearly 800 pages of newly declassified documents on Al Qaeda and the September 11 attacks.
The documents were released in response to an INTELWIRE Freedom of Information Act request for material referenced by the 9/11 Commission. Numerous documents were withheld, and those that were released have been heavily redacted. Despite this, it is highly unusual to receive any material from the CIA in response to a FOIA request, and they provide a fascinating look at the state of the agency’s understanding of Al Qaeda over the years.
While much of the material has been previously described, by the 9/11 Commission and other sources, seeing the actual documents still has an impact. For instance, the following extracts: (See source).
The documents are presented here in two large PDFs. Each individual document is bookmarked within the PDF. Almost everything in the release was previously classified secret or top secret. The CIA also released several items already available on its Web site or in public testimony, which I omitted.
The documents are presented here in no particular order but I grouped material near the top related to warnings about the activities of Khalid Al Mihdhar, one of the hijackers, and material related to 1998 efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden together in roughly chronological order.
You are welcome to report from these documents, but you must credit Intelwire.com. If you wish to break out a specific document for a major media outlet, contact me.…Continue reading
By Glenn Greenwald
The ACLU is suing the Obama administration under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking to force disclosure of the guidelines used by Obama officials to select which human beings (both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals) will have their lives ended by the CIA’s drone attacks (“In particular,” the group explains, the FOIA request “seeks to find out when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killing”). The Obama administration has not only refused to provide any of that information, but worse, the CIA is insisting to federal courts that it cannot even confirm or deny the existence of a drone program at all without seriously damaging national security; from the CIA’s brief in response to the ACLU lawsuit:
. . .
What makes this so appalling is not merely that the Obama administration demands the right to kill whomever it wants without having to account to anyone for its actions, choices or even claimed legal authorities, though that’s obviously bad enough (as I wrote when the ACLU lawsuit was commenced: “from a certain perspective, there’s really only one point worth making about all of this: if you think about it, it is warped beyond belief that the ACLU has to sue the U.S. Government in order to force it to disclose its claimed legal and factual bases for assassinating U.S. citizens without charges, trial or due process of… Continue reading
March 25, 2012
Guest Post by Kevin Ryan, former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.
The U.S. Secret Service failed to do its job on September 11, 2001 in several important ways. These failures could be explained if the Secret Service had foreknowledge of the 9/11 events as they were proceeding. That possibility leads to difficult questions about how the behavior of Secret Service employees might have contributed to the success of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Answering those questions will require the release of existing interview transcripts as well as follow-up questioning, under oath, of a few key people within the agency.
The most glaring example of Secret Service failure on 9/11 was the lack of protection for the President of the United States after it was well known that the country was facing terrorist attacks on multiple fronts. The interesting thing about this was that it was not a consistent approach. That is, the president was protected by the Secret Service in many ways that day but he was not protected from the most obvious, and apparently the most imminent, danger.
President Bush had been at risk earlier that morning when Middle Eastern-looking journalists appeared at his hotel in Sarasota, Florida claiming to have an appointment for an interview.…Continue reading
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News March 21 2012
This file photo taken May 5, 1995, shows thousands of search and rescue crews attending a memorial service in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. A Utah attorney is seeking security tapes from the the bombing scene as part of his unofficial inquiry into the explosion that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. Jesse Trentadu already received more than two dozen tapes from security cameras on the buildings around the Federal Building, but he claims the FBI edited portions of them.
Photo credit: Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge on Wednesday continued to question the FBI’s explanation for not producing videotapes associated with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that a Salt Lake lawyer has sought for nearly six years.
“It’s quite astounding that documents as important as these went missing and the FBI says, ‘Well, they’re gone,’” U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said during a motion hearing.
At issue is whether the FBI adequately responded to Jesse Trentadue’s Freedom of Information Act request for footage of Timothy McVeigh parking a truckload of explosives at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Specifically, the Salt Lake attorney is after a building surveillance tape and dashcam video from the Oklahoma state trooper who stopped McVeigh 90 minutes after the explosion that killed 168 people.
The FBI has submitted several declarations from its top records manager to show the agency has searched electronic databases and evidence warehouses without success.…Continue reading
Having to rely on government-sanctioned
media and publishers
to “allow” you access to history or current events and government actions.
No 911truth.org …
No Historycommons.org …
No Wikipedia.org …
No Secrecy News sharing CRS Reports, No CLG, No Information Clearinghouse, No access to information released because of FOIA efforts
… No more of whatever sources you rely on to be in-the-know so that you can make informed decisions …
Imagine a United States with No Human Being-managed information sources accessible
STOP SOPA &
“An informed citizenry is the only
true repository of the public will.”
“What country can preserve its liberties
if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the
spirit of resistance?”
“In matters of style, swim with the
In matters of principle, stand like a rock”
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2011, Issue No. 96
October 1, 2011
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
Last Friday, White House officials made at least two public references to Presidential Policy Directives (PPDs). PPD 1 was cited in a new executive order on computer security and PPD 8 was cited in a White House blog posting on disaster preparedness. Each Directive is a significant expression of national policy. Neither one is classified. And yet neither of them — nor any other Obama Presidential Policy Directive — can be found on the White House website.
The White House decision not to make these documents available is a stark reminder of the incoherence of the Obama Administration’s transparency policy, and its inconsistent implementation.
“Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset,” President Obama wrote in his January 21, 2009 memo on transparency and open government. “My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public.”
But as the withholding of the presidential directives illustrates, not even the Obama White House itself complies with this policy, and so its impact in the farther reaches of the executive branch has been muted. Those who seek access to Presidential Policy Directives must look elsewhere.
“I think it’s general policy that… Continue reading
by: Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold
Senior Pentagon officials scrubbed key details about a top-secret military intelligence unit’s efforts in tracking Osama bin Laden and suspected al-Qaeda terrorists from official reports they prepared for a Congressional committee probing the 9/11 terrorist attacks, new documents obtained by Truthout reveal.
Moreover, in what appears to be an attempt to cover up the military unit’s intelligence work, a September 2008 Defense Department (DoD) Inspector General’s (IG) report that probed complaints lodged by the former deputy chief of the military unit in question, the Asymmetrical Threats Division of Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC), also known as DO5, about the crucial information withheld from Congress, claimed “the tracking of Usama Bin Ladin did not fall within JFIC’s mission.”
But the IG’s assertion is untrue, according to the documents obtained by Truthout, undercutting the official narrative about who knew what and when in the months leading up to 9/11.
Much of JFIC’s work on al-Qaeda and Bin Laden remains shrouded in secrecy and has not been cited in media reports revolving around pre-9/11 intelligence, which has focused heavily over the past decade on CIA and FBI “intelligence failures.” Only a few details about the military intelligence unit have surfaced since then, notably in two previous reports published recently by Truthout.
JFIC was the intelligence component of United States Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). In 2005, it was renamed the Joint Intelligence Command for Intelligence. Last month, JFCOM was shuttered, reportedly due to Pentagon budget cuts,… Continue reading
Reuters Exclusive: by Scot J. Paltrow
Reuters US Online Report Domestic News
Sep 08, 2011 08:14 EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ten years after al Qaeda’s attack on the United States,
the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission’s investigative records remain sealed
at the National Archives in Washington, even though the commission had directed
the archives to make most of the material public in 2009, Reuters has learned.
The National Archives’ failure to release the material presents a hurdle for
historians and others seeking to plumb one of the most dramatic events in modern
The 575 cubic feet of records were in large part the basis for the commission’s
public report, issued July 22, 2004. The commission, formally known as the National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, was established by Congress
in late 2002 to investigate the events leading up to the 9/11 attacks, the pre-attack
effectiveness of intelligence agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
and the government’s emergency response.
In a Reuters interview this week, Matt Fulgham, assistant director of the archives’
center for legislative affairs which has oversight of the commission documents,
said that more than a third of the material has been reviewed for possible release.
But many of those documents have been withheld or heavily redacted, and the
released material includes documents that already were in the public domain,
such as press articles.
Commission items still not public include a 30-page summary of an April 29,
2004 interview by all… Continue reading
One lawyer’s relentless quest for information reveals fresh hints of a coverup.
By James Ridgeway
July 21, 2011
In 2007, Mother Jones was the first national media outlet to tell the full story of Jesse Trentadue and his quest for the truth, which began four months after the attack on Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, killed 168 people. It was then that Trentadue, a Salt Lake City lawyer, learned that his brother, a construction worker and one-time bank robber, had died in a federal prison in Oklahoma City. [Photo: Timothy McVeigh is escorted from the courthouse in Perry, Oklahoma. Bob Owen/Zuma]
Prison officials said the prisoner had hanged himself. But Kenney Trentadue, who had never revealed any suicidal inclination, was shipped home for burial with bruises all over his body and lacerations on his face and throat–suggesting something more sinister. Even Oklahoma City’s chief medical examiner would later say, publicly, that it was “very likely he was murdered.” But the most compelling evidence in the case was altered or turned up missing. Jesse Trentadue was never able to prove what had actually happened to his brother–though he did win a $1.1 million civil suit for “emotional distress” to his family, based on the way the government had handled the aftermath of Kenney’s death.
Trentadue had all but given up, when, in the spring of 2003, he got a call from a small-town newspaper reporter in Oklahoma named… Continue reading
June 20, 2011
J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghost Still Lingers over the FBI
Welcome. This is James Corbett with your Eyeopener report from BoilingFrogsPost.com. And now for the real news.
A recent court case in Utah has uncovered yet more evidence that the FBI is hiding key documents from the public by placing them in a separate, hitherto unknown electronic storage medium known as an “S-drive.” The fact that this drive was previously unknown has raised the specter that the FBI are using it as a place to hide requests for sensitive documents through the Freedom of Information Act. Now, a federal judge has given the FBI until the end of the month to explain what the S-drive is, how it is being used, and whether it contains key documents related to the case in question.
The case concerns Salt Lake City-based lawyer Jesse Trentadue, who has been investigating the death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, at an Oklahoma Federal Transfer facility in 1995. The government has maintained his brother’s death was a suicide by hanging, despite the fact that his brutalized corpse revealed him to have been beaten to death, with cuts and bruises all over his body. Numerous irregularities in the wake of Trentadue’s death were suggestive of a coverup, from the government’s unprecedented offer to cremate the body before it was sent to the family at its own expense to the fact that the coroner was not allowed to examine the cell… Continue reading
The Associated Press
First published May 11, 2011
Updated May 12, 2011
Salt Lake Tribune
A federal judge in Utah on Wednesday ordered the FBI to produce more information about its record-keeping in response to an inquiry by a man who contends unreleased video and other records from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing will show more people were involved in the attack.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said he believes Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue has raised valid questions about whether the agency has done enough to find a pair of videotapes sought as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.
Waddoups also wants to know whether bureau officials believe they can conceal information from the public and the courts and ordered a Department of Justice attorney to detail how difficult it would be for the FBI to manually search for the records in evidence control centers in Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., and at an FBI crime lab.
Waddoups, who set a June 30 deadline for government attorneys, wants the information before deciding whether the FBI has complied with federal freedom of information laws in Trentadue’s case.
Trentadue sued the FBI and the CIA in 2008 seeking release of tapes and records from the fatal bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building.
The lawsuit came two years after Trentadue first sought the information.
In papers filed in U.S. District Court, Trentadue contends the FBI’s efforts to locate the information he wants have been inadequate, and he argues… Continue reading
Authors Frank Legge, (B.Sc.(Hons.), Ph.D.) and Warren Stutt, ( B.Sc.(Hons.) Comp. Sci.)
Published at the Journalof911Studies.com
The official narrative of the events which have become known as 9/11 includes descriptions of attacks on the World Trade Centre towers and the Pentagon by aircraft on 11 September, 2001. The towers were eventually destroyed and the Pentagon was severely damaged. The account of the attack on the Pentagon includes the following: A Boeing 757, operated by American Airlines, took off from Washington Dulles International Airport at 8:20 a.m. At 8:54 it deviated from its assigned route and at 8:56 the transponder was switched off. The plane, under the control of hijackers, headed back toward Washington and descended. As it approached the Pentagon it performed a descending spiral to the right and finally dived toward the Pentagon while accelerating. It hit some light poles and other objects on the ground and then penetrated the west face of the building at 9:37:44,(1) or 9:37:46,(2) depending on source.
Various claims have been made about the attack on the Pentagon. Early claims included damage by a missile or a truck bomb.(3) However, as so many witnesses had reported seeing a large commercial aircraft approaching the Pentagon, these claims received little attention from the public. It was not until the data from the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) was received from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that serious consideration was given to alternative explanations of the damage. The data was received in two forms,… Continue reading
David Ray Griffin
There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan. One that has been widely asked is whether it will turn out to be “Obama’s Vietnam.”1 This question implies another: Is this war winnable, or is it destined to be a quagmire, like Vietnam? These questions are motivated in part by the widespread agreement that the Afghan government, under Hamid Karzai, is at least as corrupt and incompetent as the government the United States tried to prop up in South Vietnam for 20 years.
Although there are many similarities between these two wars, there is also a big difference: This time, there is no draft. If there were a draft, so that college students and their friends back home were being sent to Afghanistan, there would be huge demonstrations against this war on campuses all across this country. If the sons and daughters of wealthy and middle-class parents were coming home in boxes, or with permanent injuries or post-traumatic stress syndrome, this war would have surely been stopped long ago. People have often asked: Did we learn any of the “lessons of Vietnam”? The US government learned one: If you’re going to fight unpopular wars, don’t have a draft — hire mercenaries!
There are many other questions that have been, and should be, asked about this war, but in this essay, I focus on only one: Did the 9/11 attacks justify the war in Afghanistan?… Continue reading
David Ray Griffin
At 5:21 PM on 9/11, Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed, even though it had not been hit by a plane — a fact that is important because of the widespread acceptance of the idea, in spite of its scientific absurdity, that the Twin Towers collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airliners plus the ensuing jet-fuel-fed fires. The collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7) thereby challenges the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, according to which it was accomplished by al-Qaeda hijackers, even if one accepts the government’s scientifically impossible account of the Twin Towers. This fact was recently emphasized in the title of a review article based on my 2009 book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, 1 by National Medal of Science-winner Lynn Margulis: “Two Hit, Three Down — The Biggest Lie.” 2
The collapse of WTC 7 created an extraordinary problem for the official account of 9/11 for several reasons.
One reason is that, because of the collapse of WTC 7, the official account of 9/11 includes the dubious claim that, for the first time in the known universe, a steel-frame high-rise building was brought down by fire, and science looks askance at claims of unprecedented occurrences regarding physical phenomena. New York Times writer James Glanz, who himself has a Ph.D. in physics, wrote: “[E]xperts… Continue reading
April 6, 2010
SECRECY NEWS from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2010, Issue No. 27
April 6, 2010
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
The U.S. Army is still struggling to come to grips with the unusually high rate of suicide within its ranks.
“The Army ratios are above the national average and in some months recently, there have been more suicides in the Army than combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan,” observed Nancy Youssef of McClatchy News last week. “There is no pattern to suicides. One third who commit suicide have never served in combat; another third commit suicide while in combat; and yet another third do it once they return, according to Army statistics.”
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh issued two directives on March 26 that are intended to further an understanding of the problem and to improve the availability of information to surviving family members.
Effectively immediately, all suspected suicides will be subject to an official (AR 15-6) investigation, the purpose of which is “to identify the circumstances, methods, and the contributing factors surrounding the event…. The completed investigation should provide clear, relevant, and practical recommendation(s) to prevent future suicides,” according to Army Directive 2010-01 (pdf).
A second Army directive (pdf) provided guidance for reporting (and redacting) information to be provided to family members, who are to be “kept fully informed while the investigation is underway.”
Although national security, third-person privacy and other FOIA-exempt information may be withheld, “the release authority cannot withhold information merely… Continue reading
by Anthony L. Kimery
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
‘Secret’ CIA documents withheld in FOIA suit raise more questions than they answer
Questions about foreign complicity in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma City for which Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were convicted, were disclosed Friday in a ruling by US District court judge Clark Waddoups on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA for the CIA’s refusal to completely declassify records it has acknowledged it possesses that pertain to the case.
It is the first indication that the CIA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) worked together in the bombing investigations and prosecutions.
The classified materials also were never made available to McVeigh’s defense team, led by attorney Stephen Jones, who has publicly expressed his concern that the federal government knows more about the bombing than it has admitted.
The ruling Friday in Salt Lake City was in response to the December 12, 2006 FOIA suit brought by Jesse Trentadue, an attorney who sought numerous documents from the CIA, “including any [related to] potential involvement of foreign nationals in that attack.”
Waddoups ruled that the CIA materials were properly classified by the CIA for the variety of reasons that the Agency had claimed, and that they would not be made available to the public. It was the first such national security defense ever used by the government in denying records to Trentadue.
While the exact content of the documents – which were not reviewed by Waddoups in camera – were not revealed, Waddoups in his ruling hinted at what they contained based largely on “supporting affidavits” and other materials that the CIA provided to him.…Continue reading