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
by Brian Foley
September 11, 2007
JURIST Guest Columnist Brian J. Foley of Drexel University College of Law says that on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we should remember that the US government has steadfastly refused to allow investigations that might locate individual blame for this massive security failure…
After major tragedies there are two investigative roads to take in trying to prevent a repeat: determining whether people or policies are to blame. Blaming people entails asking whether the disaster resulted from people failing to design or execute a proper preventive policy (“human error”). Blaming policy entails asking whether the policy failed either because the risk was not foreseeable, or because the harm simply cannot be prevented (“act of God”). Both roads should be taken.
After 9/11, however, the nation raced headlong into blaming policy alone. The prevailing view was stated by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in May, 2002: “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would … try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” But such danger had been imagined, years earlier. For example, in 1994, terrorists hijacked a French airliner seeking to crash it into the Eiffel Tower. Tom Clancy’s best-selling novel Debt of Honor (1994) ends with a Japanese airline pilot crashing his 747 into the U.S. Capitol (pp. 985-86). President Clinton and his staff also understood that an airplane could be used as a missile after a suicidal man piloted a Cessna into the White House lawn, just below the president’s bedroom, in the early hours of September 12, 1994.…Continue reading
WASHINGTON – JUNE 22 – The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s, according to declassified documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden announced today that the Agency is declassifying the full 693-page file amassed on CIA’s illegal activities by order of then-CIA director James Schlesinger in 1973–the so-called “family jewels.” Only a few dozen heavily-censored pages of this file have previously been declassified, although multiple Freedom of Information Act requests have been filed over the years for the documents. Gen. Hayden called today’s release “a glimpse of a very different time and a very different Agency.”
I’m sure General Hayden would like us to take him at his word. But who on earth will believe the CIA has ‘reformed’ itself, when even the mainstream press reports blatantly illegal acts like extraordinary rendition? The worst abuses we never hear about.
September 11th Advocates Regarding Declassification and Release of Documents
The Public’s Right to Know – Declassification and Release of Documents petition ( http://www.petitiononline.com/july10/petition.html ) surpassed 15,000 signatures. As promised, we have hand delivered it to lawmakers in Washington, DC.
Recently, during our meetings with lawmakers, we discussed the declassification and release of all transcripts and documents relating to the July 10, 2001 meeting that took place between former CIA Director George Tenet and then National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, the redacted 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry Into The Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (JICI) and the CIA Inspector General’s report, “CIA Accountability With Respect To The 9/11 Attacks”, as mentioned in the Petition.
Almost six years have passed since September 11, 2001, yet critical information continues to be withheld from the American public regarding the attacks. Included in this statement is an “Action Alert” and background information explaining the importance of transparency in our government. Since there is currently active legislation (Wyden-Bond Amendment attached to bill #S.4) regarding the CIA Inspector General’s Report, we decided, for the moment, to focus our attention on this particular document. After reviewing the evidence produced by the Joint Inquiry of Congress into the 9/11 Attacks, both Republican and Democratic Congressmen agreed that a CIA Inspector General review into individual responsibility was necessary. Faced with the facts, these Congressmen understood that accountability in the Intelligence Community was crucial. Their intent was that a final declassified CIA/IG report was to be released to… Continue reading
Thursday May 17, 2007 10:16 PM
By KATHERINE SHRADER
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – A bipartisan group of senators is pushing legislation that
would force the CIA to release an inspector general’s report on the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The CIA has spent more than 20 months weighing requests under the Freedom of
Information Act for its internal investigation of the attacks but has yet to
release any portion of it.
The agency is the only federal office involved in counterterrorism operations
that has not made at least a version of its internal 9/11 investigation public.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and two other intelligence committee leaders – chairman
Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and senior Republican Kit Bond of Missouri – are pushing
legislation that would require the agency to declassify the executive summary
of the review within one month and submit a report to Congress explaining why
any material was withheld.
The provision has been approved by the Senate twice, but never made into law.
In an interview, Wyden said he is also considering whether to link the report’s
release to his acceptance of President Bush’s nominations for national security
“It’s amazing the efforts the administration is going to stonewall this,”
Wyden said. “The American people have a right to know what the Central Intelligence
Agency was doing in those critical months before 9/11…. I am going to bulldog
this until the public gets it.”
Completed in June 2005, the inspector general’s report examined the personal
responsibility… Continue reading
by Robert Parry
In late August 2001, when aggressive presidential action might have changed the course of U.S. history, CIA Director George Tenet made a special trip to Crawford, Texas, to get George W. Bush to focus on an imminent threat of a spectacular al-Qaeda attack only to have the conversation descend into meaningless small talk.
Alarmed CIA officials already had held an extraordinary meeting with then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on July 10 to lay out the accumulating evidence of an impending attack and had delivered on Aug. 6 a special “Presidential Daily Brief” to Bush entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.”
“A few weeks after the Aug. 6 PDB was delivered, I followed it to Crawford to make sure the President stayed current on events,” Tenet wrote in his memoir, At the Center of the Storm. “This was my first visit to the ranch. I remember the President graciously driving me around the spread in his pickup and my trying to make small talk about the flora and the fauna, none of which were native to Queens,” where Tenet had grown up.
Tenet’s trip to Crawford — like the July 10 meeting with Rice and the Aug. 6 briefing paper for Bush — failed to shock the administration out of its lethargy nor elicit the emergency steps that the CIA and other counterterrorism specialists wanted.
While Tenet and Bush made small talk about “the flora and the fauna,” al-Qaeda operatives put the finishing touches on their plans.…Continue reading
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
Republicans reject that view and, by a 7-to-1 margin, say the President did not know in advance about the attacks. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 18% believe the President knew and 57% take the opposite view.
Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. White Americans are less likely than others to believe that either the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. Young Americans are more likely than their elders to believe the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.
However, just 8% of voters say the CIA was Very Truthful before the War in Iraq. Another 33% believe the CIA was Somewhat Truthful. Most, 52%, believe the CIA was Not Very Truthful or Not at All Truthful before the War.
Still, 57% have a favorable opinion of the CIA. Thirty-six percent (36%) have an unfavorable view.
Former CIA Director George Tenet doesn’t fare so well. He is viewed favorably by 29% of voters and unfavorably by 49%.
Just 12% have followed news stories about Tenet’s new book Very Closely. Another 29% have followed the stories Somewhat… Continue reading
04/30/07 “ICH” — – “If you can’t say something positive about someone, don’t say anything.” This was drummed into me by my Irish grandmother and, as was the case with most of her admonishments, it has stood me in good stead. On occasion, though, it has been a real bother–as when I felt called to comment on George Tenet’s apologia, In the Center of the Storm, coming soon to a bookstore near you.
On the verge of despair, I ran into an old classmate of Tenet’s from PS 94 in Little Neck, Queens. Help at last. He told me that George was more handsome than his twin brother Billy, and that his outgoing nature and consummate political skill got him elected president of the student body.
Positive enough, Grandma? Now let me add this.
George Tenet’s book shows that he remains, first and foremost, a politician–with no clue as to the proper role of intelligence work. He is unhappy about going down in history as “Slam Dunk Tenet.” George protests that his famous remark to President Bush on Dec. 21, 2002 was not meant to assure the president that available intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a “slam dunk.” Rather he meant that the argument that Saddam Hussein had such weapons could be readily enhanced to slam-dunk status in order to sell war on Iraq. Yesterday evening on CBS’ 60 Minutes Tenet explained what he meant when he uttered those words–the words he says have now been distorted to blame him for the war in Iraq.…Continue reading
by Joseph Murtagh
February 12, 2007 — When it comes to 9/11, America right now is divided between two camps, those who trust the official account of the attacks, and those who, well, have questions. It’s occasionally the case that the first camp will publicly denounce the second camp as a bunch of nutcases, and when this happens, it’s usually the rowdier section of Camp Two, the Loose Change , bullhorn-wielding, “death to the New World Order” crowd, that takes the most heat.
What tends to get ignored, however, is the quieter section of Camp Two, and especially a group of widowed mothers from New Jersey and New York who over the last six years have worked harder than just about anyone to protect the country from terrorism. Few people realize that had it not been for the tireless efforts of the “Jersey girls” — Mindy Kleinberg, Kristen Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Patty Casazza, and Monica Gabrielle — not only would the 9/11 Commission never have happened, but there most likely never would have been any investigation into what was the worst loss of life on American soil since the Civil War. No inquiry into our failed military defenses, or the collapse of the towers, or just why it was that President Bush sat in that Florida classroom for a full seven minutes after the second plane struck. No scientific reports, no effort to discover what went wrong, no hearings of any kind. No attempt to figure out the details… Continue reading
Among Hundreds of Books, The Strongest Approach to Truth
October 7, 2006
Reviewer: Robert D. Steele (Oakton, VA United States)
It is with great sadness that I conclude that this book is the strongest of the 770+ books I have reviewed here at Amazon, almost all non-fiction. I am forced to conclude that 9/11 was at a minimum allowed to happen as a pretext for war (see my review of Jim Bamford’s “Pretext for War”), and I am forced to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to indict (not necessarily convict) Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and others of a neo-conservative neo-Nazi coup d’etat and kick-off of the clash of civilizations (see my review of “Crossing the Rubicon” as well as “State of Denial”). Most fascinatingly, the author links Samuel Huntington, author of “Clash of Civilizations” with Leo Strauss, the connecting rod between Nazi fascists and the neo-cons.
This is, without question, the most important modern reference on state-sponsored terrorism, and also the reference that most pointedly suggests that select rogue elements within the US Government, most likely led by Dick Cheney with the assistance of George Tenet, Buzzy Kronguard, and others close to the Wall Street gangs, are the most guilty of state-sponsored terrorism.
The author draws on historical examples of US fabrication of threats (e.g. the bombing of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor) and many others (Jim Bamford publicized Operation Northwoods). It is an undeniable fact that the U.S. Government has been willing to kill its own citizens and fabricate attacks as part of moving the public.…Continue reading
Statement Regarding al Qaeda Threats
by Patty Casazza, Monica Gabrielle, Mindy Kleinberg, and Lorie Van Auken
Astonishingly, five years post 9/11 the public is made aware about an urgent July 10, 2001 meeting that took place between former CIA Director George Tenet and then, National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. This information comes
from Bob Woodward’s newly released book, “State of Denial”.
Despite this Administration’s rhetoric that they had “no warnings” leading up to 9/11, it has become abundantly clear, that key Administration officials were made aware of the vast array of Al Qaeda threats and warnings that existed in years prior, and more importantly, in the weeks leading up to September 11, 2001.
When we add the July 10, 2001 meeting to the plethora of other clear warnings that our government had, a very concise view of the al Qaeda threat emerges. Those other warnings include, but are not limited to:
* Warnings from leaders of other nations and foreign intelligence apparatus’ of terrorist threats
* June 30, 2001 Senior Executive Intelligence Briefing (SEIB) entitled “bin Laden Threats Are Real”
* The threat of President Bush’s assassination at the G-8 Summit by al Qaeda in July of 2001… Continue reading
by 9.11 Blogger
WNY Media Network
Bob Woodward’s State of Denial provides evidence of the politicization of the 9/11 Commission’s investigative process, conclusions, and certain omissions from its report, as well as then national security advisor Condoleezza Rice’s likely role in burying unflattering, damning evidence through the appointment of Bush/Rice loyalist Philip Zelikow as the Commissions’ chief investigator and Zelikow’s reward (perhaps) of a top senior-level position in the State Department, which Rice now heads. First, some background.
One of the burning questions in newspapers, cable TV news, and blogs is why the 9/11 Commission report did not mention the July 10, 2001 meeting called by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet and his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, with then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. Tenet and Black hoped to impress on Rice the compelling need to act immediately against bin Laden because there was “a huge volume of data” suggesting strongly that a major attack was imminent.
“But both men came away from the meeting feeling that Ms. Rice had not taken the warnings seriously,” writes Woodward.
The July 10 meeting between Tenet, Black and Rice went unmentioned in the various reports of investigations into the Sept. 11 attacks, but it stood out in the minds of Tenet and Black as the starkest warning they had given the White House on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Though the investigators had access to all the paperwork on the meeting, Black felt there were things the commissions wanted to know about and things they didn’t want to know about.…Continue reading
By Michael Powell
September 8, 2006
He felt no shiver of doubt in those first terrible hours.
He watched the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and assumed al-Qaeda had wreaked terrible vengeance. He listened to anchors and military experts and assumed the facts of Sept. 11, 2001, were as stated on the screen.
It was a year before David Ray Griffin, an eminent liberal theologian and philosopher, began his stroll down the path of disbelief. He wondered why Bush listened to a child’s story while the nation was attacked and how Osama bin Laden, America’s Public Enemy No. 1, escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora.
He wondered why 110-story towers crashed and military jets failed to intercept even one airliner. He read the 9/11 Commission report with a swell of anger. Contradictions were ignored and no military or civilian official was reprimanded, much less cashiered.
“To me, the report read as a cartoon.” White-haired and courtly, Griffin sits on a couch in a hotel lobby in Manhattan, unspooling words in that reasonable Presbyterian minister’s voice. “It’s a much greater stretch to accept the official conspiracy story than to consider the alternatives.”
“There was massive complicity in this attack by U.S. government operatives.”
If that feels like a skip off the cliff of established reality, more Americans are in free fall than you might guess. There are few more startling measures of American distrust of leaders than the widespread belief that the Bush administration had a hand in the attacks of Sept.…Continue reading
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
Report asks whether anyone should be held accountable, names individuals
By DOUGLAS JEHL
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Ed. Note:The Cover-up Grinds On: Porter Goss slams shutters on CIA accountability (and no doubt further demoralizes any remaining honest underling spooks)
WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has blocked, at least temporarily, the distribution of a draft internal report that identifies individual officers by name in discussing whether anyone should be held accountable for intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of Congress from both parties said.
The delays began in July, at the direction of John McLaughlin, then the acting director of central intelligence, and have continued since Porter Goss took over as the intelligence chief last month, members of Congress said. The delays have postponed the next step in the process, which calls for the draft report to be reviewed by affected individuals.
It is not known who is named in the report, conducted by the CIA’s inspector general, an independent internal investigator.
The review was sought in December 2002 by the joint congressional committee that investigated intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks. The purpose, that panel said, should be to determine “whether and to what extent personnel at all levels should be held accountable” for any mistakes that contributed to the failure to disrupt the attacks.
In a Sept. 23 letter to McLaughlin, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan… Continue reading