By William Glaberson
The New York Times
Saturday 09 February 2008
Military prosecutors are in the final phases of preparing the first sweeping case against suspected conspirators in the plot that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, and drew the United States into war, people who have been briefed on the case said.
The charges, to be filed in the military commission system at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would involve as many as six detainees held at the detention camp, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former senior aide to Osama bin Laden, who has said he was the principal planner of the plot.
The case could begin to fulfill a longtime goal of the Bush administration: establishing culpability for the terrorist attacks of 2001. It could also help the administration make its case that some detainees at Guantánamo, where 275 men remain, would pose a threat if they are not held at Guantánamo or elsewhere. Officials have long said that a half-dozen men held at Guantánamo played essential roles in the plot directed by Mr. Mohammed, from would-be hijackers to financiers.
But the case would also bring new scrutiny to the military commission system, which has a troubled history and has been criticized as a system designed to win convictions but that does not provide the legal protections of American civilian courts.
War-crimes charges against the men would almost certainly place the prosecutors in a battle over the treatment of inmates because at least two… Continue reading
December 6, 2007
By MARK MAZZETTI
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 — The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.
The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said.
The C.I.A. said today that the decision to destroy the tapes had been made “within the C.I.A. itself,” and they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. The agency was headed at the time by Porter J. Goss. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Goss declined this afternoon to comment on the destruction of the tapes.
The existence and subsequent destruction of the tapes are likely to reignite the debate over the use of severe interrogation techniques on terror suspects, and their destruction raises questions about whether C.I.A. officials withheld information about aspects of the program from the courts and from the Sept. 11 commission appointed by President Bush and Congress. It was not clear who within the C.I.A. authorized the destruction of the tapes, but current and former government officials… Continue reading
By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press Writer
November 20, 2007
A federal judge expressed frustration Tuesday that the government provided incorrect information about evidence in the prosecution of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and raised the possibility of ordering a new trial in another high-profile terrorism case.
At a post-trial hearing Tuesday for Ali al-Timimi, a Muslim cleric from Virginia sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for soliciting treason, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she can no longer trust the CIA and other government agencies on how they represent classified evidence in terror cases.
Attorneys for al-Timimi have been seeking access to documents. They also want to depose government witnesses to determine whether the government improperly failed to disclose the existence of certain evidence.
The prosecutors have asked her to dismiss the defense request. The government has denied the allegations but has done so in secret pleadings to the judge that defense lawyers are not allowed to see. Even the lead prosecutors in the al-Timimi case have not had access to the information; they have relied on the representations of other government lawyers.
After the hearing, the judge issued an order that said she would not rule on the prosecutors’ motion until the government grants needed security clearances to al-Timimi’s defense lawyer, Jonathan Turley, and the lead trial prosecutor so they can review the secret pleadings.
Brinkema said she no longer feels confident relying on the government briefs, particularly since prosecutors admitted last week that similar representations made in… Continue reading
by David Ray Griffin
Debunking 9/11 Debunking
Early in 2007, Interlink Books published my Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory . The stimulus for my writing this book was the appearance in August 2006—just before the fifth anniversary of 9/11—of four publications intended to bolster the official account by debunking the alternative view, according to which 9/11 was an inside job. The most explicit and well-known of these publications was a book by Popular Mechanics entitled Debunking 9/11 Myths .
My book’s introduction and conclusion dealt with the irresponsible way the press, including the left-leaning press, has dealt with this issue. One of their failings, I showed, was simply to accept the official reports — especially The 9/11 Commission Report and the report on the World Trade Center put out by the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) — as neutral, scientific reports. They thereby ignored the fact that the 9/11 Commission was run by Philip Zelikow, who was virtually a member of the US. Bush administration, and that NIST is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and hence of the Bush administration (which has distorted science for political purposes to an unprecedented extent).
The book’s four chapters then demonstrated that none of the documents of August 2006 actually served to debunk the claims of the 9/11 truth movement. The first two chapters dealt with two documents—including a new book by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton,… 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
by Sibel Edmonds & Bill Weaver
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Published in CommonDreams.org
September 5, 2006
A wag once famously said that Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot was a play where nothing happened . . . twice. The two former co-chairmen of the 9-11 commission report, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, have released a new book, “Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9-11 Commission.” This book goes Beckett one better — it is the third act of veneer over substance, self-aggrandizement over serious analysis, and cliché over perspicacity. It is another calculated attempt by the former commissioners to place themselves in the media spotlight, and to overcome the humiliation of their widely criticized and mostly debunked report. It is a vapid and substanceless attempt to claim moral high ground and present the co-chairmen as heroes of honesty. It would be a farce, except that it has no story line, save the aggrandizement of the authors. At least they are consistent in doing nothing and proclaiming that to be a sign of their devotion to the country and the government. Beckett once said that “habit is the ballast that chains the dog to its vomit,” and by this measure the chain restraining Kean and Hamilton is a short one indeed.
Concerned citizens urged to respond
by 10:30 AM EST, Tues, June 27, 2006
Posted on behalf of Bill Doyle
of 9/11 Families for a Secure America and
9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism
On June 6, 2006, the House of Representatives passed Section 525 of H.R. 5441 in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. Section 525 includes language directing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to exercise more restraint and responsibility when classifying documents as “Sensitive Security Information” (SSI), which can then be protected from public disclosure. The Senate is now preparing to also vote on Section 525 and the TSA is strongly opposing this language as unwanted interference in its internal affairs.
Without the language, TSA will no doubt continue to classify many documents that are not rightfully entitled to official secrecy. Indeed, the TSA has been repeatedly warned by Congress, federal judges, and many others that it was abusing its classification authority and asked to cease and desist. This language in Section 525 is necessary to push the TSA to exercise its authority responsibly both to protect the nation’s transportation system and to allow Americans and the Congress to fully participate in that protection and ensure that the TSA is actually doing its job.
The TSA maintains that Section 525 will handicap national security and that it must be allowed to resolve its own self-admitted problems administratively, rather than letting Congress legislate solutions. However, the House carefully drafted the provision to minimize arbitrary burdens on the TSA, but still… Continue reading
What is striking about agent Samit’s account, like the account of his office-mate Coleen Rowley, is the assumption of “criminal negligence” on the part of FBI headquarters, and RFU head David Frasca and Michael Maltbie in particular. Best I can see, criminal complicity has not been ruled out whatsoever.
I’m grateful for the testimony of Mr. Samit, and for Rowley’s whistleblowing, but how exactly can either know for sure that the RFU‘s obstructionism was the result of careerism or ‘criminal incompetence’ rather than something else? I don’t claim to know the reasons, but Samit and Rowley certainly cannot know for sure, either.
Remember, there is evidence that Frasca intentionally and without good cause (and thus not negligently) obstructed the flow of information up the FBI’s chain of command. You may recall the ‘Time’ magazine story early in 2002 which detailed agent Rowley’s charges. The story’s authors claimed that Ken Williams’ infamous “Phoenix Memo” was received by Frasca a couple of months in advance of 9/11:
… Continue reading
Rowley’s letter lays out the case that the FBI made fateful miscalculations by failing to see a possible connection between the Minneapolis investigation of flight student Moussaoui and the hunch of Phoenix agent Kenneth Williams — posited in a report to HQ two months earlier — that al-Qaeda operatives were attending U.S.
by Ted Rall
On the first anniversary of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge delivered a speech at the site of the disaster in western Pennsylvania. “Faced with the most frightening circumstances one could possibly imagine,” he told grieving relatives of the passengers and crewmembers aboard the fourth plane hijacked on 9/11, “they met the challenge like citizen soldiers, like Americans.” He recited the now-familiar story of passengers learning by phone about the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, deciding to fight back and breaking into the cockpit–a heroic act that led to their own deaths while sparing countless others in Washington.
“The terrorists were right to fear an uprising,” Ridge rhapsodized. “The passengers and crew did whatever they humanly could–boil water, phone the authorities, and ultimately rush the cockpit to foil the attack.”
Ridge’s boss repeatedly used United 93 to close his standard stump speech. Calling the passenger revolt “the most vivid and sad symbol of them all,” George W. Bush said: “People are flying across the country on an airplane, at least they thought they were. They learned the plane was going to be used as a weapon. They got on their telephones. They were told the true story. Many of them told their loved ones goodbye. They said they loved them. They said a prayer; a prayer was said. One guy said, ‘Let’s roll.’ They took the plane into the ground.”
The legend of Flight 93 had everything a… Continue reading
On Wednesday, February 15th, 2006, LTC Anthony Shaffer submitted an amazing written statement detailing his involvement with ABLE DANGER to Congress. You can download a PDF of the statement here , and I have made an HTML version here . For those people who are new to the ABLE DANGER (AD), story, I can’t think of a better starting point.
The idea was to take the ‘best and brightest’ military operators, intelligence officers, technicians and planners from the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in an entrepreneurial endeavor, much like bringing the best minds and capabilities from Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Daimler-Chrysler to focus on a single challenge. In the case of ABLE DANGER, the challenge was to discover the global ‘body’ of Al Qaeda – then, with this knowledge, prepare military and intelligence “options” that would be supported by the “actionable information” that was being produced by the project. – Prepared Statement Of LTC Shaffer, 2/15/06.
That was the idea.
reprehensor’s diary :: :: And they had successes. Most notoriously identifying a threat in Yemen that may have saved lives in the USS Cole bombing, and identifying Mohammed Atta prior to 9/11; this once again reiterated in the February 15th Congressional hearing by a contractor, James D. Smith, who worked at Orion Scientific Systems in Viginia;
During the Orion support (on or about 25 October 1999 to 04 August 2000), James Smith delivered multiple… Continue reading
Editorial by Jon Gold
“It’s hard work. It’s incredibly hard… It’s hard work… And it’s hard work… The plan says we’ll train Iraqi soldiers so they can do the hard work… You know, it’s hard work to try to love her as best as I can, knowing full well that the decision I made caused her loved one to be in harm’s way… It’s hard work. Everybody knows it’s hard work, because there’s a determined enemy that’s trying to defeat us.”
President George W. Bush
Presidential Debate – 9/30/2004
Have you ever wondered why no one has been held accountable for the 9/11 attacks? Literally, with the exception of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in a United States court in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, no one has been held accountable.
If you follow the official line, the people responsible for the attacks of September 11th were Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, and 19 hijackers. September 16th, 2001, 5 days after the attacks, Osama denied having anything to do with them. [Original article link dead: archive.org]
The Taliban said, “What happened in the United States was not a job of ordinary people. It could have been the work of governments. Osama bin Laden cannot do this work, neither us,” and “We are not supporting terrorism. Osama does not have the capability. We condemn this. This could have been the act of either internal enemies of the United States or its major rivals.”… 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
Four years later, we still have ten big questions
by Jarrett Murphy
The Village Voice
December 5th, 2005
Posted by wdk
On Monday, December 5, the 9-11 Public Discourse Project—a private group formed by 9-11 Commission members after their official mandate lapsed in 2004—held a wrap-up press briefing in Washington, signaling the last gasp of official inquiries into the attacks four years ago. The National Institute of Standards and Technology also recently completed its final report on the twin towers. Already gathering dust are a Federal Emergency Management Agency study, the joint inquiry by Congress, the McKinsey reports on New York City’s emergency response, probes by federal inspectors general, and other efforts to resolve the myriad doubts about the hijackings.
Some questions can’t be answered: People who lost loved ones will never know exactly how the end came, if it hurt, what the final thoughts and words were. But other questions are more tractable. Here are 10 of them:
1. Where was the “National Command Authority”?
There has never been a true accounting of why the nation’s leaders were out of the loop for so long that morning. George W. Bush and his aides even have told different versions of how the president was actually informed of the first plane striking: The president claimed erroneously that he saw it on TV, while chief of staff Andrew Card said it was Karl Rove who told the president. According to the official version, after Rove told Bush, the president
talked to then… 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
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 James Ridgeway
April 21st, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C.–The unsettling story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds took another twist on Thursday, as the government continued its seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The U.S. Court of Appeals here denied pleas to open the former FBI translator’s First Amendment case to the public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing.
Edmonds was hired after 9-11 to help the woefully staffed FBI’s translation department with documents and wiretaps in such languages as Farsi and Turkish. She soon cried foul, saying the agency’s was far from acceptable and perhaps even dangerous to national security. She was fired in 2002.
Ever since, the government has been trying to silence her, even classifying an interview she did with 60 Minutes. Oral arguments in her suit against the federal government were scheduled for this morning, but yesterday the clerk of the appeals court unexpectedly and suddenly announced the hearing would be closed. Only attorneys and Edmonds were allowed in.
No one thought the three-judge appeals court panel would be especially sympathetic to the Edmonds case. It consists of Douglas Ginsburg, who was once nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by President Reagan. He withdrew after it was revealed he had smoked pot as a college student; he later joined the appeals court. Another member, David Sentelle, was chair of the three-judge panel that appointed Ken Starr to be the special prosecutor investigating Clinton. Karen LeCraft Henderson was appointed a federal judge during the Reagan period, then put on the appeals court by the elder President Bush.…Continue reading
March 21, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui’s attempt to directly question three al-Qaeda prisoners and cleared the way for a trial of the only U.S. defendant charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.
The ruling allows the government to proceed with plans to seek the death penalty if Moussaoui is convicted of participating in an al-Qaeda conspiracy that included the 2001 airplane hijackings.
The Justice Department said it would file a motion as early as Tuesday, suggesting a trial date in Alexandria, Va.
The government had told the nation’s highest court that national security would be compromised if Moussaoui, an acknowledged al-Qaeda loyalist, was given access to al-Qaeda captives.
Moussaoui’s lawyers had asserted that defendants have a constitutional right to witness statements that might exonerate them, and argued that if this right is taken away, the government should not be allowed to seek Moussaoui’s execution.
Prosecutors, defense lawyers and U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria will have months of pretrial work ahead of them before Moussaoui could go on trial.
By turning down Moussaoui’s attempt to directly confront witnesses who — the defense believes — could exonerate him of any Sept. 11 involvement, the court will require the crafting of unclassified summaries from classified prisoner interrogation statements.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had directed the parties and the judge to agree on the summaries, and the latest decision means the appellate court decision will stand.
However, the 4th Circuit did allow the defense to propose language for the summaries, although the government could object to the proposals.…Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2005
September 11th was neither an intelligence failure nor was it a failure of imagination. It was nonfeasance on behalf of a whole host of government agencies, including the FAA.
Of the 105 warnings issued, 52 warnings regarding al Qaeda were given to the FAA by the intelligence community in a six month period from April 2001 to September 2001. According to the 9/11 Commission’s final report, there were eight information circulars put out by the FAA between July 2, and September 10, 2001. Five of these information circulars targeted overseas threats, while the remaining three targeted domestic threats.
The 52 threats regarding al Qaeda were not received by the FAA in a vacuum. From March 2001 to September 2001, according to the Joint Inquiry of Congress, our Intelligence Community received at least 41 specific threats of a possible domestic attack by al Qaeda. Additionally, the FAA was also made aware of the August 16, 2001 arrest of Zacarias Moussouai. Finally, the FAA attended a high level meeting on July 5, 2001 where the domestic threat posed by al Qaeda was discussed by all relevant intelligence agencies.
According to the newly released FAA monograph, in the spring of 2001 the FAA knew that if “the intent of the hijacker is not to exchange hostages for prisoners, but to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion, a domestic hijacking would probably be preferable.”
The aforementioned statement is yet another indicator of how widely known it was in… Continue reading