by Kevin Ryan
In the summer of 2001, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Robert Wright, a counterterrorism expert from the Chicago office, made some startling claims about the Bureau in a written statement outlining the difficulties he had doing his job. Three months before 9/11, he wrote: “The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States and its citizens at home and abroad. Even worse, there is virtually no effort on the part of the FBI’s International Terrorism Unit to neutralize known and suspected terrorists residing within the United States.”
Revelations since 9/11 have confirmed Wright’s claims. FBI management did little or nothing to stop terrorism in the decade before 9/11 and, in some cases, appeared to have supported terrorists. This is more disturbing considering that the power of the FBI over terrorism investigations was supreme. In 1998, the FBI’s strategic plan stated that terrorist activities fell “almost exclusively within the jurisdiction of the FBI” and that “the FBI has no higher priority than to combat terrorism.”
A number of people are suspect in these failures, including the leaders of the FBI’s counterterrorism programs. But at the time of Wright’s written complaint, which was not shared with the public until May 2002, the man most responsible was Louis Freeh, Director of the FBI from 1993 to 2001.
Agent Wright was not FBI leadership’s only detractor, and not the only one to criticize Freeh.…Continue reading
by Kevin R. Ryan
Scoop Independent News
Kevin R. Ryan: Demolition access to the WTC Towers
Who could have placed explosives in the World Trade Center (WTC) towers? This is the second essay in a series that attempts to answer that question. The first installment began by considering the tenants that occupied the impact zones and the other floors that might have played a useful role in the demolition of the WTC towers.  The result was a picture of connections to organizations that had access to explosive materials and to the expertise required to use explosives. Additionally it was seen that, in the years preceding 9/11, the impact zone tenants had all made structural modifications to the areas where the airliners struck the buildings.
The management representatives of these tenant companies were seen to be secretive and powerful. Through these powerful people, the tenants were connected to organizations that benefited greatly from the 9/11 attacks, including the defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Halliburton, and Science Applications International Corp (SAIC). The tenants also had strong connections to the Bush family and their corporate network, including Dresser Industries (now Halliburton) and UBS, and to Deutsche Bank and its subsidiaries, reported to have brokered the insider trading deals. There were also links between these tenant companies and the terrorist-financing Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
Throughout this review we should keep in mind that, according to 2009 estimates, the membership of Al Qaeda’s conspiracy network is… Continue reading
By Shane Harris, National Journal
In the old days, everyone was linked to a lug nut, and Jim Kallstrom liked it that way.
It was 1985, a simpler time for a cop like Kallstrom, who was in charge of setting telephone wiretaps on suspected drug dealers and mobsters for the FBI’s New York City field office.
In New York, Kallstrom’s cases were often won on the basis of incriminating evidence surreptitiously snatched from the mouths of criminal defendants through their phone lines.
With a mere 203,000 Americans using mobile phones, people were still tied to the ground, and that gave Kallstrom’s world a certain comforting order.
On any given day, he could stand on a street corner in Manhattan, gaze up at an apartment building with its neat rows and columns of units stacked atop each other, and know that inside each one there was a telephone, tethered by thin copper wire to a single point, sometimes several miles away. In his mind’s eye, Kallstrom could have imagined shrinking himself to the size of an electron and traveling over the phone line, down to the bottom of the building, then shooting beneath the streets, until he ended up in the basement of the telephone company’s switching station. There, the wire emerged, pegged to a rack by a single copper lug nut. Acres of racks lined the walls, each holding rows and columns of lug nuts and their wires, neatly stacked atop each other — the city of New York in… Continue reading
Despite Pentagon stonewalling and intimidation of whistleblowers, the story that a hardline Republican congressman says is “bigger than Watergate” refuses to go away.
Five former operatives of a US military intelligence project say they identified Mohamed Atta and three other men later alleged to have been the lead 9/11 hijackers as suspected al Qaeda terrorists working in the United States more than a year before September 11, 2001. The five whistleblowers say their superiors at the US Special Operations Command chose to suppress the information and keep it from law enforcement authorities, thus protecting Atta and Co. – at the very least in effect, if not as a matter of intent. They were forced to destroy their data on Atta; and their program, Able Danger, was killed by the Bush administration prior to September 11.
Years after the destruction of the World Trade Center, they told their story to the 9/11 Commission, only to be soundly ignored. When they finally came forward as whistleblowers last year, they were placed under gag orders by the Pentagon. The most prominent of them, Col. Anthony Shaffer, was investigated on charges that he stole pens and overcharged the Defense Department for $67 in phone calls. He claims the investigation of him to date has cost the taxpayers $2 million.
That, at any rate, is the Able Danger saga as we know it so far.
In the latest wrinkle, blog reporter Rory O’Connor (Mar 1, archived below) says a Pentagon inspector general’s investigation has identified… Continue reading