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Significant Pattern to 9/11 Report’s Omissions & Distortions

by Dr. David Ray Griffin

Testimony at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference 2005 (September 21-24, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC) for the session, ?The 9/11 Omission: What the Commission Got Wrong,? September 23, 2005, sponsored by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA):

Introduction

There have been two main theories about 9/11, each of which is a conspiracy theory. The official conspiracy theory says that the attacks were planned and carried out entirely by al-Qaeda. The alternative theory says that the attacks could not have succeeded without the involvement of forces within our own government.

In examining The 9/11 Commission Report, I have focused on how it dealt with evidence supportive of the alternative theory. I have found that it did so by distorting or simply ignoring this evidence. This is no surprise, because the man running the Commission, Philip Zelikow, was essentially a member of the Bush-Cheney administration. But it is a fact that needs to be brought to light.

Because there are so many omissions and distortions—in my book I identified at least 115—I can point to a significant percentage of them only by moving through my representative list quite quickly.

Flights 11 and 175

I will begin with the question of how hijacked airliners could have struck the Twin Towers.

The Commission?s answer was the third answer we have been given to that question. The first answer, given by military leaders the first few days after 9/11, was that no fighter jets were sent up until after… Continue reading

McKinney Hosts 9/11 Brain Trust at Annual Black Caucus Conference

Press Advisory — September 9, 2005

Contact: John Judge 202-225-1605

On September 23 and 24, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus will host two ?brain trust? panels at their annual legislative conference to be held at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Avenue, NW, Washington, DC on the topic of what was omitted from the 9/11 Commission?s Final Report, unanswered questions that remain and their inadequate recommendations which have failed to make the country safer, to address the true sponsors and causes of the attacks and to properly balance civil liberties and secrecy, security and war. The event is free and open to the public. Members of Congress, academicians and authors will present information on the road that led to 9/11, the response that followed, and the unexamined evidence and assumptions that framed the official report. Speakers will include John Cooley (author of Unholy Wars). C. William Michaels (author of No Greater Threat), Richard Falk (author of The Great Terror War), David Ray Griffin (author of 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions), Barbara Rosenberg (molecular biologist), James Bamford (author of A Pretext for War), Rep. Curt Weldon (on Able Danger), Benjamin Barber (author of Fear’s Empire), Natsu Saito (author of Confronting the Crime of Silence), Athan Theoharis (author of The FBI and American Security) and James Ridgeway (author of 5 Unanswered Questions About 9/11). There will be a showing of related documentary films on Saturday.… Continue reading

The 9/11 Commission v. 19 Named Muslims: A Trial in Absentia

The 9/11 Commission v. 19 Named Muslims:

A Trial in Absentia

By

Gary Wenkle Smith1

[This article first appeared in The Warrior, the official journal of the Trial Lawyers College (www.triallawyerscollege.com) and is reprinted here with permission.]

Within a few hours after the 9/11 attacks, our government named a group of 19 Muslim men as the principal players in the most devastating attack on this country–even more so than Pearl Harbor, as it was mostly civilians who were murdered on 9/11, unlike the mass murder of our sailors by another military power. Further, in addition to approximately 3,000 murders, there could easily be many counts of attempted murder2 charged, as well. Assuming an indictment is issued, there will undoubtedly be dozens of kidnapping charges, some major theft counts, destruction of public and private property, and sundry other charges arising out of the death and destruction of that day’s events. Of course, the principal charge will be the conspiracy to commit these crimes. The 9/11 Commission Report, frequently referred to as the Kean-Zelikow Report3, has concluded that the 19 named Muslims were the operatives of Osama bin Laden, and that they conspired to hijack airliners and commit the atrocities of 9/11.
 

Editor’s Note:
A brilliant lawyerly sketch of what a factual 9/11 defense might look like, and why no one in power would want to see this day in court.

 

I will proceed with this article as though I had… Continue reading

The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-Page Lie

by Dr. David Ray Griffin

Photo of Dr. David Ray GriffinIn 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.…

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Significant Pattern to 9/11 Report’s Omissions & Distortions

by David Ray Griffin

 

 

NOTE: This is a transcrpit of testimony delivered by theologian David Ray Griffin to the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference on September 23, 2005.

Testimony at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference 2005 (September 21-24, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC) for the session, ‘The 9/11 Omission: What the Commission Got Wrong,’ September 23, 2005, sponsored by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA):

 

Introduction

There have been two main theories about 9/11, each of which is a conspiracy theory. The official conspiracy theory says that the attacks were planned and carried out entirely by al-Qaeda. The alternative theory says that the attacks could not have succeeded without the involvement of forces within our own government.

In examining The 9/11 Commission Report , I have focused on how it dealt with evidence supportive of the alternative theory. I have found that it did so by distorting or simply ignoring this evidence. This is no surprise, because the man running the Commission, Philip Zelikow, was essentially a member of the Bush-Cheney administration. But it is a fact that needs to be brought to light.

Because there are so many omissions and distortions—in my book I identified at least 115—I can point to a significant percentage of them only by moving through my representative list quite quickly.…

Continue reading

Important “Open Letter to Norman Mineta” concerning his 9/11 Commission-censored testimony – Please help distribute widely…

 

Editor’s Note:
An open letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta regarding the omission of his 5/23/03 testimony to the 9/11 Commission from the Commission’s Final Report. That testimony included eye witness accounting of events that occurred in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) the morning of 9/11/01. Additionally, as of the time of this letter, it appears that an effort has been made to conceal Secretary Mineta’s testimony from the public by editing it from video archives of the 5/23/03 hearing on the 9/11 Commission website (the testimony is not deleted from the .pdf and .html archive).

Dear Secretary Mineta

Portrait of Norman Mineta

 

On May 23, 2003 you testified before the 9/11 Commission in public hearing as to your experience on the morning of 9/11/01. During your testimony you stated that you arrived at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) underneath the East Wing of the White House “at about 9:20 a.m.”, at which time Vice President Richard Cheney and other staff was already present in the center, with Mr. Cheney clearly in command. You also state in your testimony that you had believed based on a conversation that took place between Mr. Cheney and an unnamed “young man” that a shoot down order had been given by the Vice President prior to your arrival, because, in your words…

“There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, “The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out.” And when it got down to, “The plane is 10 miles out, “the young man also said to the vice president, “Do the orders still stand?” And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, “Of course the orders still stand.

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Open Letter to Richard A. Clarke regarding War Games, 9/11 Timeline and Myers/Rumsfeld Testimony

Editor’s Note:
There has been so little journalistic attention to 9/11 truth that glaring factual contradictions in the “official narrative” can go unremarked in the media for months if not years. In the following letter, 911truth.org co-founder Kyle Hence urges Richard Clarke (former counter-terrorism ‘czar’ for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Author, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror) to deal with the fundamental inconsistencies between his writing and testimony regarding 9/11 and the version released as gospel by the 9/11 Commission. Clarke has yet to respond but Kyle’s letter is an education in itself.

Open Letter to Richard A. Clarke
From: Kyle Hence
February 23, 2005

Subject: Pertaining to accounts in Clarke’s book Against All Enemies, neither retracted or refuted, regarding 9/11 war games and the participation of General Myers and Sec. Rumsfeld in a video conference managed from the White House Situation Room by Richard Clarke with the assistance of his Deputy, Roger Cressey.

Note of Explanation: This letter/email was presented (via email or in person) to Mr. Clarke on four occasions without a response of any kind to the specific questions raised regarding the actions (or lack of) from our military and top officials in positions of responsibility on 9/11. Given no response, and Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s attempt to raise the issue at February 16th Armed Services Committee hearing, CitizensWatch is taking the step of making this letter public.

This letter (see below) with questions pertaining to 9/11 (wargames, sworn testimony by Rumsfeld & Myers) was first sent as an email in June of 2004 to Mr. Clarke via his consulting company, Good Harbor. This note and these questions were presented personally to Mr. Clarke a second time on October 6, 2004 – and via email (3rd attempt) directly to his personal email box on October 15. When presented with a second opportunity in person (4th attempt) to respond to these queries backstage at a December 7th function at the Institute for Ethical Culture in New York City, Mr. Clarke refused to acknowledge the author and instead quickly left the room.

Receiving no response despite repeated attempts I am now releasing this to the public as an ‘open letter’ in the hopes responsible members of the press, family members and/or dedicated investigators will follow up publicly and personally with Mr. Clarke and the Commissioners who failed to examine the glaring discrepancies between Clarke’s accounts and those offered in public statements and in sworn testimony by Chairman Myers and Sec. Rumsfeld.

It should be noted that Richard Clarke is the only member of the Bush Administration to publicly apologize to the 9/11 families. While generating controversy at the time, his testimony before the 9/11 Commission regarding the warnings and plan for dealing with Al-Qaeda that he presented to Condi Rice and the Bush Administration in January of 2001 has been recently bolstered by the release of an unclassified version of his January memo to then National Security Advisor Rice.

This controversy could pale in comparison, however, to what could be revealed in sworn testimonies before the appropriate Committee regarding Sept. 11th war games (including “Vigilant Warrior” mentioned by Gen. Myers on the morning of Sept. 11th), changing NORAD timelines and the testimony already offered by Chairman Myers and Sec. Rumsfeld regarding their whereabouts and actions taken in the first and most critical minutes immediately following the attack on the World Trade Center. {see pages 1-7; Against All Enemies)

This is being made public now in an effort to force this issue into the public’s eye and ultimately to see full accountability and disclosure. Another 9/11 commemoration must not pass without these issues being addressed forthrightly and honestly before the American people; either in Manhattan before an AG Spitzer or DA Morganthau-convened Grand Jury or public hearings, in Albany before the appropriate Committee or on Capitol Hill. We offer this in hope that those with integrity in a position of responsibility will rise to this challenge. In this case above all others we must not allow the truth to continue to be veiled or obfuscated.

Kyle F. Hence

Co-founder, 9/11 CitizensWatch

February 23, 2005

kfh@911citizenswatch.org

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Zelikow: Losing to the Bacteria

Photo of Philip Zelikow

Philip Zeilkow


Philip Zelikow, executive director of the Kean Commission, has compared popular doubts about the 9/11 Commission report to a dangerous disease. Nicholas Levis of 911Truth.org responds to his comments in the Washington Post of Oct. 7, 2004 …

An open Letter to Philip Zelikow and The Washington Post

By Nicholas Levis
911Truth.org
newyorkcity@snafu.de

[also featured at summeroftruth.org]

NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2004 –

Philip Zelikow, a high-level national security adviser to both Bush administrations, acknowledges that America faces a new infectious disease: lack of faith in the U.S. government’s 9/11 Commission report.

As executive director of the freshly-retired Kean Commission, Zelikow was a principal author of the 567-page document, which purports to explain everything that matters about September 11th, 2001.

Sales of the 9/11 report have far outpaced those of his earlier study in statecraft, “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed.” He co-wrote that book in 1999 together with one of his closest associates from the original Bush White House, Condoleeza Rice.

Despite blockbuster sales for the 9/11 report, Zelikow tells the Washington Post he is alarmed by the concurrent spread of “conspiracy theories” about the attacks, which he describes as pathogens:

“Our worry is when things become infectious, as happened with the [John F. Kennedy] assassination,” Zelikow says. “Then this stuff can be deeply corrosive to public understanding. You can get where the bacteria can sicken the larger body.” (1)

It’s too late, Dr. Zelikow. The “bacteria” are winning, and your own work is to blame.

Perhaps… Continue reading

General Myers’ Senate Testimony – 9/11/03

DOSSIER ON GENERAL MYERS’ ACTIVITIES ON THE MORNING OF SEPT. 11

Comments by “Stickdog”

General Myers was acting head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 11th. On September 13th, he is going for a nomination hearing to be made head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is the most important day of his life because on this day that Myers, an Air Force General with thousands of hours of time flying fighter planes, is acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It’s the only day in history that the continental United States has ever been attacked from the air.

Myers claims he is at Senator Max Cleland’s office at 8:40 EDT. He sees on TV that the first plane has hit the World Trade Center. He claims on Armed Services Radio that at that point he went in and met with Cleland for an hour. Nobody called him and told him that a second plane had hit, that the air corridor had been closed between Washington and Cleveland, that a plane had been hijacked in Ohio and was flying back to the Pentagon. Then he also claims that when he walked out of Cleland’s office, he was handed a portable phone and it was the head of NORAD–the North American Aerospace Defense Command–telling him the Pentagon had been hit.

Now these are unbelievable assertions. Doesn’t the man have a beeper? Doesn’t the man have a cell phone? Doesn’t the man have a secretary who knows where… Continue reading

Press Picks Up on AWOL Chain of Command on 9/11

On the morning of September 11, Secretary Rumsfeld was having breakfast at the Pentagon with a group of members of Congress. He then returned to his office for his daily intelligence briefing. The Secretary  was informed of the second strike in New York during the briefing; he resumed the briefing while awaiting more information. After the Pentagon was struck, Secretary Rumsfeld went to the parking lot to assist  with rescue efforts…

At 9:44, NORAD briefed the conference on the possible hijacking of Delta 1989. Two minutes later, staff reported that they were still trying to locate Secretary Rumsfeld and Vice Chairman Myers  [acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on that day]. The Vice Chairman joined the conference shortly before 10:00; the Secretary, shortly before 10:30. The Chairman [Gen. Hugh Shelton] was out of the country.

– The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 37-38

NEW YORK, Aug. 14, 2004 —

The official investigation of the September 11th events has failed to explain or even to ask why the top officials in the U.S. military chain of command were missing in action during the attacks.

Long a subject for 9/11 researchers, the riddle of the absent leadership was highlighted in new articles by author Gail Sheehy in this month’s Mother Jones and last Saturday’s Los Angeles Times.

George W. Bush was moved to present a renewed defense of his actions on Sept. 11 in an interview published in last Thursday’s WashingtonPost.

Some background…

The first of the 9/11… Continue reading

FAA Communications with NORAD On September 11, 2001

FAA clarification memo to 9/11 Independent Commission

May 22, 2003

Within minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center, the FAA immediately established several phone bridges that included FAA field facilities, the FAA Command Center, FAA headquarters, DOD, the Secret Service, and other government agencies. The US Air Force liaison to the FAA immediately joined the FAA headquarters phone bridge and established contact with NORAD on a separate line. The FAA shared real-time information on the phone bridges about the unfolding events, including information about loss of communication with aircraft, loss of transponder signals, unauthorized changes in course, and other actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77. Other parties on the phone bridges, in turn, shared information about actions they were taking. NORAD logs indicate that the FAA made formal notification about American Flight 77 at 9:24 a.m., but information about the flight was conveyed continuously during the phone bridges before the formal notification.…

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Transcript of Sen. Dayton’s remarks on NORAD

Friday, July 31, 2004 at Congressional hearings on “The 9/11 Commission Report”

(Transcribed by Kyle Hence of 9/11 Citizens’ Watch)

Senator Dayton: Thank you Madame Chairman, and I , I also want to commend you for holding this hearing in quick response to the 9/11 Commission’s Report. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Co-chairman, I want to say again to you that we are all indebted to you, to the other eight members of the Commission and the staff for this critically important work that you have provided the nation.

It is a profoundly disturbing report because it chronicles in excruciating detail the terrible attack against our homeland, the despicable murder of so many American citizens and the horrible destruction to countless other lives and liberties throughout this nation.

And because of the utter failure to defend them [American citizens] by their federal government, by their leaders, and the institutions that were entrusted to do so and because of serious discrepancies between the facts that you’ve set forth and what was told to the American people, to members of Congress, and to your own Commission by those, some of those authorities.

There’s way too much to cover here but I will begin.

According to your report the first of the four airliner hijackings occurred on September 11th at 8:14 Eastern time. At 10:03 AM, almost two hours later, an hour and forty-nine minutes to be exact, the fourth and last plane crashed before reaching its intended target, the U.S. Capitol, because of the… Continue reading

Senator Dayton: NORAD Lied About 9/11

Sunday, August 1, 2004

By Nicholas Levis

Photo of NORAD headquartersMark Dayton has become the first U.S. senator to challenge the rush to consensus that “The 9/11 Commission Report” settles the open questions of Sept. 11, 2001.

In hearings last Friday, Sen. Dayton (D-MN) raised an obvious point: if the timeline of air defense response as promoted in the Kean Commission’s best-selling book is correct, then the timeline presented repeatedly by NORAD during the last two years was completely wrong. Yet now no one at NORAD is willing to comment on their own timeline!

When the official story of 9/11 can be changed repeatedly without anyone ever being held accountable, we have no right to ever again expect honest government. Please read the following story and do your part to support Sen. Dayton for highlighting the contradiction, and to encourage the media to follow up.

(See Transcript of Sen. Dayton’s remarks of July 31.)

Background: Evolution of the Official Story

From the beginning, the 9/11 investigations, official and alternative, have been about timelines: what happened, who knew and who did what, when, where and how.

Written by the government’s Kean Commission, the just-published “9/11 Commission Report” presents a timeline of air defense response that differs radically from all of the previous official stories.

Since Sept. 11 government representatives have in fact promoted a series of mutually contradictory narratives of how the nation’s air defenses responded to the unfolding attacks. Various chronologies were presented at different times by the high military command, the North American Air Defense command (NORAD), the Federal Aviation Administration, and now the Kean Commission.…

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The New Pearl Harbor

September Song

A Review of “The New Pearl Harbor”

By Marc Estrin
counterpunch.org

The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11
David Ray Griffin
Olive Branch Press, 2004
Paper, 214 pp, $15.00

The official story goes something like this:

With no actionable warning from intelligence agencies, four planes were hijacked by terrorists on the morning of September 11, 2001. Two crashed into the Word Trade Center, which then collapsed, and shortly thereafter, the third into the Pentagon. The last plane went down in Pennsylvania after a struggle between passengers and hijackers. Air defense arrived too late to stop the catastrophes. Responding to this attack on the homeland, the president declared a global war on terror which may last for generations until evil is finally eradicated, the security of America firmly established, and the world made safe for freedom and democracy.

In The New Pearl Harbor, David Ray Griffin compiles the evidence that every single assertion in the official story is implausible or impossible, and that something other must explain the inconsistencies and contra-factual assertions.

The implications of the accumulated evidence is that the Bush administration was complicit in the events of September 11th, and not merely a victim of structural problems or incompetence on the part of the intelligence establishment. In a nuanced discussion of “complicity”, Griffin distinguishes eight possible levels, from the lying about events to maximize political ends, through intentionally allowing expected attacks, to actual involvement in the planning of them.

Griffin does not make specific accusations, nor does he hypothesize a “true” version of what happened. But he does demand unflinching investigations of all the contradictions, clear reporting of the results, and most difficult, a courageous drawing of conclusions, no matter how “unthinkable” or outrageous they may appear.
 

Show Editor’s Note »

Excellent review of Griffin’s tour de force by the intrepid Counterpunch crew, one of the few lefty journals willing to even look at that day.

 
In the months since the book was published, we have been swamped with news from the 9/11 Commission concerning both domestic and foreign intelligence which indicated a large and imminent attack on the United States. But the Commission, its members appointed by President Bush, is focusing on the future. According to Vice-Chair Lee Hamilton, “We’re not interested in trying to assess blame…” Their goal is to understand what happened so as to restructure intelligence so that such “a breakdown” may not happen again. Given this limited mandate, almost none of the contradictions Griffin raises is likely to be discussed, or its ramifications analyzed before the case is closed.

The first part of The New Pearl Harbor looks in detail at the timeline and events of 9/11 itself. How is it, Griffin asks, that even the first airplane was not intercepted — given standard procedures, operating normally many times a year, for off-course or otherwise anomalous aircraft? The FAA, NORAD, and the NMCC (National Military Command Center at the Pentagon) have a clear and working set of standard operating procedures which on September 11th, and on that day only, failed to operate. Griffin lays them out, along with the strange, and changing official excuses for their “failure”. Continue reading

Toward the 9/11 Endgame

By David Kubiak, May 27, 2004:
The 9/11 truth community and our democracy are facing a critical season. The Kean Commission’s public hearings have ended with a whimper – and unuttered concern about issues like the 67 “routine scrambles” that characterized our air defense and FAA/NORAD collaboration the year before June, ’01, or the $100,000 wired to the hijackers in August by Pakistan intelligence, or the three different air war games being coincidentally held on 9/11, or the stupefying repetition of the myth: “Planes as missiles?! Who could have imagined?” The point is that the next few months will decide what, if any, September 11th truth will ever be revealed for many years to come.

 

The 9/11 community and our democracy are facing a critical season. The Commission’s public hearings have ended with a whimper – and unuttered concern about loud issues like the 67 “routine scrambles” that characterized our air defense and FAA/NORAD collaboration the year before June, ’01, and the $100,000 wired to the hijackers in August by Pakistan intelligence, and the three different air war games being coincidentally held on 9/11, and the stupefying repetition of “Planes as missiles?!? Who could have guessed?” surprise, and, well, you get the drift.

The point is that the next six months will decide what, if any, September 11th truth will ever be revealed for many years to come.

Worst Case Scenario (and current odds-on favorite in Vegas and DC)
The final 9/11 Commission hearing and lingering questions quickly fell… Continue reading

National Green Party

“The number of unanswered questions and the White House’s secrecy and obstruction surrounding 9/11 demand a real investigation, not the current compromised inquiry. We owe that to the family members and to all Americans.”

Greens call for Independent 9/11 Probe led by Family Members

by The Green Party of the United States

Common Dreams

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004

WASHINGTON – April 28 – Green Party leaders renewed the party’s call for an independent commission, with full participation of surviving family members, to investigate the government’s handling of 9/11 and information leading up to the attacks.

“The members of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. have pervasive conflicts of interests which disqualify them from leading an investigation,” said Jake Schneider, treasurer of the Green Party of the United States. “The White House did all it could to obstruct a thorough probe, and has so far succeeded. President Bush insisted that commission members be limited to representatives of the two major parties, with each party having a veto, and that the commission could not investigate why 9/11 occurred. The commission’s focus was damage control, not discovery of the truth.”

Greens noted that the 9/11 Commission established two major points: (1) the Bush Administration ignored numerous warnings from intelligence and foreign governments; (2) the Bush Administration used 9/11 as a pretext to enact existing plans for a war against Iraq and to curtail civil liberties in America.

But Greens charge that numerous other points went uninvestigated:

– The full extent… Continue reading

The Kean Commission and the September 11th Families

NEW YORK CITY, May 16, 2004 – The Kean Commission was called to life in Nov. 2002, when the White House dropped its objections to an independent 9/11 investigation, after many months of persistent lobbying by September 11th families. At the time, this was seen as a victory for the relatives of those killed on September 11th, and for their allies in the fight for open government and accountability. As the Kean Commission nears the end of its work, it is informative to ask what those families are saying today.

23 Questions to Bush

“Mr. Bush, who approved the flight of the bin Laden family out of the United States, when all commercial flights were grounded?

Image of Sally Regenhard holds sign at Commission hearing: LIES!That is one of 23 explosive questions that George W. Bush and his subordinates must face in public testimony, under oath and pain of perjury–that is, if leaders of September 11 family groups get their way.

The question refers to private flights for Saudi royalty, cleared by the White House during the otherwise total civilian flight ban in the days immediately after September 11. Members of the Bin Laden clan, including two of Osama Bin Laden’s many brothers, were allowed to leave the United States before federal investigators had a chance to question them.1

Despite confirmed reports dating back to September 2001, the story of the Bin Laden family airlift was denigrated as urban legend until April, when former White House terror adviser Richard Clarke and Secretary of State Colin Powell both confirmed it.…

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The Total Failure of the Kean Commission

By Michael Kane, March 27, 2004

Case study: How the Commission went easy on Rumsfeld, Myers and Wolfowitz

“I had no idea hijacked airliners would be used as weapons.”

So said Rumsfeld, in his opening remarks to the Kean Commission on March 23, 2004. His final statement on the topic while under oath was, “I plead ignorance.”

Officials at NORAD have said that when the hijackings first occurred, they initially thought it was part of the Vigilant Guardian drills running that morning. Despite some confusion, once Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center at 8:45 AM, everyone should have known this was not a test.

Former White House terrorism adviser Richard Clarke’s testimony, one day later, was interesting, but amounted to little more than a distraction. There were more cameras on Clarke than on anyone else during the two-day national broadcast of the commission hearings. In reality, his testimony was nowhere near as interesting as the joint appearance by Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Myers the day before. I do not question Clarke’s sincerity at this time, just the timing, which he did not choose. His book was released at a time chosen by the White House, and the testimony depended on the book. He had finished it well over 6 months before, but it was held up by the White House security clearance.

As a result, the book came out on the eve of Rumsfeld’s sworn testimony to the 9/11 Commission. Very clever if intentional, because it distracted everyone from two issues completely ignored by the commissioners, and overshadowed by Clarke and his book when they questioned Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

ISSUE #1 On the morning of September 11, 2001, NORAD was running war games involving the scenario of hijacked airliners, while the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into a government building, at the exact same time as an identical scenario was perpetrated in reality.…

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