Monday, 10 January 2005

Osama bin Laden - Had Some Help

According to the U.S. government and the 9/11 Commission, an Islamic man in Afghanistan, known as Osama bin Laden, used his terrorist organization, known as al Qaeda (haters of freedom) to carry out the terrorist attacks on September 11. Let's look at what was involved in bringing about one of the most diabolical terrorist attacks in history.

The players:

Osama bin Laden - freedom fighter in Afghanistan, established military training camps in Afghanistan and forced out the Soviets with the full support and funding of the U.S. Congress and the CIA. Al Qaeda fighters were later used in the Balkans by the Clinton Administration to overthrow Serbia.[1]

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld - presides over NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which uses ground-based radar, airborne radar, satellites, fighter aircraft, "proven command structures" and intelligence capabilities to enforce control of the skies over the United States and Canada.[2]

The President of the United States George W. Bush - presides over the Pentagon, NORAD, and all intelligence agencies.

Dennis Hastert (R,IL), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives - has oversight over executive agencies to ensure that taxpayer money is used legally and appropriately.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - collects, evaluates, and disseminates foreign intelligence to assist the President and senior U.S. Government policymakers in making decisions relating to national security.

Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney - directed the response to 9/11 from the White House emergency bunker.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - the investigative arm of the Dept. of Justice, responsible to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to uphold and enforce the criminal federal laws of the United States.

The National Security Agency (NSA) - part of the Dept. of Defense, responsible for the collection and analysis of global communications, including radio and the internet. Operates Echelon to monitor civilian telephone, fax and data traffic.

John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the United States, Dept of Justice (DOJ) - investigates and prosecutes violations of federal laws, represents the interests of the president.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - responsible for the safety of civil aviation, regulates and controls the air traffic system, regulates commercial air space.

* Fifteen of the nineteen alleged hijackers were able to obtain visas at the U.S Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia so they could enter the United States. Three used Visa Express where no interviews were required.[3] The Jeddah Consulate had previously been used by the CIA to bring bin Laden recruits into the U.S. for training, to be returned to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.[4]

* In June of 2001, the FAA rescinded a 40-year-old rule allowing pilots to carry guns into the cockpit.[5]

* Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff changed the long-standing rules on how hijackings should be handled on June 1, 2001.[6] Effective after that date, NORAD had to obtain approval directly from Rumsfeld in order to respond to off-course aircraft - which as a matter of routine occurred 67 times in the 8 months prior to 9/11. On the morning of 9/11, Rumsfeld was in his "usual intelligence briefing" in the Pentagon and "continued his briefing" [7] until he smelled smoke in his office.

* After the alleged al Qaeda operatives entered the U.S., they entered flight schools at several different locations. Several attended U.S. military training facilities, such as the Defense Language School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama,[8] and the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida.[9]

* Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, and several other members of Congress refused to meet with FBI agents who wanted to tell what they knew about a planned terrorist attack on lower Manhattan. John Ashcroft's Dept. of Justice intervened. David Schippers, Chicago attorney and previous Clinton impeachment investigator, called several members of Congress (including Hastert) begging them to take testimony from the FBI agents before the terrorist act occurred.[10] The agents were later threatened with prosecution by the DOJ if they went public with what they knew.[11]

* In July of 2001, a CIA official was reported to have met with Osama bin Laden, who was receiving treatment for kidney problems at an American hospital in Dubai. France's Le Figaro newspaper and Radio France International reported that bin Laden checked into the American Hospital Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, a 100-bed, acute-care general hospital, July 4 and stayed until July 14. He arrived from Quetta, Pakistan, accompanied by his personal doctor, four bodyguards and a male nurse. Bin Laden received many visitors: local dignitaries and family members, including the CIA agent,[12] Larry Mitchell, who was widely recognized locally. Mitchell was recalled to the U.S. shortly thereafter. At the time, bin Laden was wanted by the U.S. government for possible involvement in the USS Cole bombing. The CIA dismissed the report as "absurd." When questioned, both news agencies stood by their reports.[13] The urologist who is said to have treated bin Laden, Dr. Terry Callaway, refused to answer any questions.[12]

* An FBI informant in San Diego, California, provided housing and assistance to two of the alleged hijackers: al-Mihdar and al-Hazmi. The informant claimed he had no way of knowing that they were going to carry out a terrorist attack [14] and had not provided their full names to the FBI. When their names were placed on the Terrorist Watch List in Aug, 2001, the FBI couldn't find al-Mihdhar even though his name was in the San Diego phone book [15] and they had one of their informants housing him. When the Joint House-Senate Intelligence Committees wanted to question the FBI informant about his role, the FBI refused. To this day, the informant has not been questioned. A senior member of the FBI’s Congressional Affairs Staff stated “the Administration would not sanction a staff interview with the source." The FBI provided the informant with a Dept. of Justice lawyer at taxpayers' expense.[16] Of course, they didn't need to worry about the 9/11 Commission demanding to question him.

* The CIA did not put al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi's names on the Terrorist Watch List until August 24, 2001, even though they had information identifying them as suspected terrorists with visas to enter the U.S. for 18 months previous.[17] The CIA began surveillance on Khaled al-Mihdhar in late 1999. In testimony before the Joint Congressional Inquiry, CIA Director Tenet stated that the CIA had learned after 9/11 that "in the mid-90s, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar traveled to Bosnia" [18] where they participated in U.S.-funded clashes between Muslims and Serbs.[1] At that time, the Clinton Administration overthrew the Serbian government.

* The NSA delayed translation and dissemination of information obtained in wiretapped phone calls concerning al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi until after 9/11. The NSA had information associating al-Hazmi with the bin Laden network. NSA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden said even though the NSA did not share the 1998-99 interceptions, U.S. intelligence by the year 2000 had al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar "in our sights. We knew of their association with al Qaeda."[19] In addition, the NSA intercepted on Sept. 10, 2001, the messages, "The match begins tomorrow" and "Tomorrow is zero hour" but didn't translate them until Sept. 12.[20]

* FBI and military intelligence agents in Washington were prevented from investigating members of the Bin Laden family in the U.S. prior to 9/11. FBI documents, marked secret and coded 199, leaked to BBC Newsnight and The Guardian in Nov. 2001, show that an investigation of Abdullah bin Laden and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth was shut down. Intelligence sources in Washington told the Guardian: "There were always constraints on investigating the Saudis." They said the restrictions became worse after the Bush administration took over.[21] On June 1, 2004, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth in Alexandria, Virginia was raided by agents of the FBI, U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.[22]

* Aug. 6, 2001: Pres. Bush received a “presidential daily brief” in Crawford, Texas, that mentioned the possibility of an airline hijacking as a domestic threat.[23]

* FBI agents in Minneapolis were denied a warrant on a suspected Islamic terrorist said to be the 20th hijacker. Zacarias Moussaoui, a French Muslim, was arrested on immigration charges on Aug. 16, 2001 after an official at the Pan Am International Flight Academy he was attending called the FAA and FBI saying, "Do you realize how serious this is? This man wants training on a 747. A 747 fully loaded with fuel could be used as a weapon!"[24] The FBI agents wanted to search Moussaoui's computer and personal effects but were denied a warrant by FBI headquarters. The agents requested information from French Intelligence, which indicated that Moussaoui had terrorist connections with al Qaeda. This information was forwarded to FBI headquarters and eventually to the Justice Dept. (DOJ) where they declined to submit it to the FISA court to obtain a warrant on a foreign national. On the day after 9/11, the same information was submitted to the FISA court and a warrant was issued.[25] Michael Maltbie, the FBI supervisory special agent who delayed the request for a warrant was later promoted to field supervisor.[26]

* In Aug, 2001, Raytheon engineers successfully landed a unpiloted Boeing 727 by remote control at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. The purpose of the pilotless system was to allow ground controllers to take over the controls of a hijacked aircraft.[27] A combination of GPS Satellite and ground signals were used to orient the aircraft. Raytheon is the manufacturer of the pilotless Global Hawk surveillance aircraft. On Sept 12, 2001, Raytheon issued a statement that four of their high-level officials and engineers were listed among the dead passengers of Flight 11 which was reported as hijacked and crashed on 9/11.[28]

* In the days before 9/11, unusually high numbers of put options were purchased for the stocks of AMR Corp. and UAL Corp., the parent companies of American Airlines and United Airlines. Investors who engage in such short-selling are betting that the price of the stock will fall. Between September 6 and 7, the Chicago Board Options Exchange saw purchases of 4,744 put options on United Airlines, but only 396 call options. Assuming that 4,000 of the options were bought by people with advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the "insiders" would have profited by almost $5 million. The Chicago Board Options Exchange announced that it was investigating reports of unusual trading activity prior to 9/11.[29] According to the Associated Press, unusually high levels of put options were also purchased on Raytheon, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, USAirways, and Boeing. Security and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt told Congress that the agency's "No. 1 priority" was to pursue its worldwide investigation of possible trading by people associated with the terrorists. If such trading did occur, "We will do everything within our power to track those people down and bring them to justice,"[30] In July, 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it "did not develop any evidence suggesting that anyone who had advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks traded on the basis of that information."[31][32]

* On the morning of 9/11, Sen. Bob Graham (head of Senate Intelligence Committee) and Rep. Porter Goss (head of House Intelligence Committee) had breakfast with General Mahmoud Ahmad, head of Pakistani Intelligence, who had earlier directed that $100,000 be wired to Mohamad Atta, terrorist ringleader.[33]

* Numerous military exercises, war games and anti-terrorism drills were scheduled for 9/11. FAA and NORAD tracking radar were unable to identify real aircraft from simulated war game aircraft.

- OPERATION NORTHERN VIGILANCE: Planned months in advance of 9/11. It ensured that on 9/11 NORAD jet fighters were transferred to Alaska and Canada to monitor a Russian Air Force exercise, reducing the number of military aircraft available to protect the east coast.[34] Simulated information for the exercise was fed into NORAD radar screens.
- BIOWARFARE EXERCISE TRIPOD II: referred to by Rudolph Giuliani in his public testimony to the 9/11 Commission (no transcript has been released to the public). FEMA arrived in New York City on September 10th to set up a command post at Pier 29 to prepare for a biowarfare exercise scheduled for September 12. As a result, The FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team was in place on 9/11.[35]
- OPERATION VIGILANT GUARDIAN: simulated hijacked planes in the northeastern U.S. Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins, NORAD unit's airborne control and warning officer, was overseeing the exercise. At 8:40 am she took a call from Boston Center which said it had a hijacked airliner. Her first words were, "It must be part of the exercise."[36]
- OPERATION NORTHERN GUARDIAN: Few details are available but it appears to have involved deployment of aircraft from Langley Air Force Base to Iceland.[37] In late August, 2001, six jets and 70 people deployed to Iceland for Operation Northern Guardian. Another six jets and 115 people deployed to Turkey to enforce the northern Iraqi no-fly zone. The members in Operation Northern Guardian in Iceland returned Dec. 3rd, 2001.[38]

- John Fulton, CIA, gave a presentation at a Law Enforcement Seminar on June 6, 2002 that on the morning of September 11th 2001, he and his team at the CIA were running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building.[39][40]

- The FAA ordered the Pittsburgh air traffic control tower evacuated at 9:49 a.m. Flight 93 crashed (or was shot down) in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:06. [41]

- United Flight 175 (second aircraft to hit the Trade Towers) changed transponder codes (its flight identification) twice in one minute.[42]

-Not one of the four hijacked pilots entered the 4-digit hijack code to signal they had been hijacked.[43]

- At least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners made a tape recording that same day describing the events, but the tape was destroyed by the quality-assurance manager without anyone making a transcript of it or even listening to it.[44] The manager crushed the cassette in his hand, shredded the tape and dropped the pieces into different trash cans around the building, according to the inspector general of the Transportation Dept.

* The ignored testimony of Sec. of Transportation Norman Mineta: "During the time that the airplane was coming into the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say 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. Have you heard anything to the contrary?"[45]


Blue line to green arrow: depicts the high-speed spiral dive of Flight 77, turning 330 degrees at 530 MPH to strike the part of the Pentagon being renovated.[46] Red arrows depict easier, higher populated targets bypassed by the "terrorists."

* The official story is that the black boxes (voice and data recorders) from Flight 11 and Flight 175 were never retrieved from the World Trade Tower wreckage. However, firefighters Mike Bellone and Nicholas DeMasi say they assisted the FBI in retrieving three of the four black boxes in December, 2001. When recently interviewed by the American Free Press, Bellone said, "They confronted me and told me not to say anything. I said, 'Give me a good reason.' When they couldn't, I told them I wouldn't shut up about it. Why should I? I have nothing to hide and nothing to gain. It's the truth and Nick and I are sticking to our story as we always have."[47]
_____________________________________________________
[1]Craig, Sen. Larry E. and Jade West, "Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base," U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, Jan 16, 1997, Link
[2]NORAD website, www.norad.mil
[3]Pound, Edward, "The Easy Path to the United States for Three of the 9/11 Hijackers," U.S. News and World Report, Dec 12, 2001, Link
[4]Palast, Greg, "Did Bush Turn a Blind Eye to Terrorism?", BBC, Nov 6, 2001, Link
[5]Dougherty, Jon, "Armed Pilots Banned 2 Months Before 9-11," WorldNetDaily, May 16, 2002, Link
[6]Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction, "AIRCRAFT PIRACY (HIJACKING)," J-3 CJCSI 3610.01A, June 1, 2001, PDF Link
[7]Sheehy, Gail, "Four 9/11 Moms Battle Bush," The New York Observer, Aug 25, 2003, Link
[8]Reza, H.G. and Evan Halper, "Suspected Hijackers: 19 Quiet Lives That Shattered the World," Los Angeles Times, Sept 15, 2001, Link
[9]Wehrfritz, George and Catharine Skipp, "Alleged Hijackers May Have Trained at U.S. Bases, " MSNBC, Newsweek, Sept 15, 2001, Link
[10]"Interview of David Schippers, Attorney," Alex Jones Radio Show, Oct 10, 2001, Link
[11]"Wall Street Journal: FBI Director Mueller Should Resign," NewsMax.com, May 31, 2002, Link
[12]Richard, Alexandra, "The CIA met Bin Laden while undergoing Treatment at an American Hospital last July in Dubai," Le Figaro, Oct 11, 2001, Link
[13]Bryant, Elizabeth, "Radio Reports New CIA-Bin Laden Details," Radio France International, UPI, Washington Times, Nov 1, 2001, Link
[14]Thornton, Kelly, "Chance to Foil 9/11 Plot Lost Here, Report Finds," San Diego Union Tribune, July 25, 2003, Link
[15]Isikoff, Michael and Daniel Klaidman, "The Hijackers We Let Escape," MSN, Newsweek, June 5, 2002, Link
[16]Graham, Sen. Bob, Intelligence Matters - – the CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America’s War on Terror, Random House, 2004
[17]Hill, Eleanor, Staff Director, "The Intelligence Community's Knowledge of the September 11 Hijackers Prior to September 11, 2001," U.S. Senate Select Committee Investigation on Intelligence, Sept 20, 2002, Link
[18]"Unclassified Version of Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet's Testimony before the Joint Congressional Inquiry into Terrorist Attacks Against the United States," June 18, 2002, link
[19]"NSA Knew About 9/11 Hijackers Two Years Before Attacks," CNEWS, Canada, July 23, 2003, Hayden Testimony before the U.S. Joint Congressional Inquiry, Link
[20]Bash, Dana, "Messages Intercepted by U.S. on Sept. 10 Revealed," CNN, Link
[21]Palast, Greg, "Officials Told to 'Back Off' on Saudis before September 11," BBC, Newsnight, The Guardian (London), Nov 17, 2001, Link
[22]Markon, Jerry, "U.S. Raids N. Va. Office Of Saudi-Based Charity," Washington Post, June 2, 2004, Link
[23]Isikoff, Michael and Michael Hirsh, "What Went Wrong," MSNBC, Newsweek, May 27, 2002, Link
[24]Gordon, Greg, "Eagan Flight Trainer Wouldn't Let Unease about Moussaoui Rest," Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dec. 21, 2004, Link
[25]FBI Agent "Coleen Rowley's Memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller," Time, May 21, 2002, Link
[26]Sperry, Paul, "Has FBI Promoted 9-11 Ball-dropper?" WorldnetDaily, June 7, 2002, Link
[27]"US Safety System: Kidnapped Machines Land Independently, " Der Spiegel [German newspaper], October 28, 2001, Link
LinkType "raytheon" into search box. Note: Holloman is a German Air Force Base in the U.S.
[28]"Raytheon Mourns Loss of Employees," Press Release, Sept. 12, 2001, Link
[29]"International Probe of Unusual Trading Before Attacks," Associated Press, Sept. 19, 2001, Link
[30]"Stock-trading probe expands to Canada," San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 3, 2001, Link
[31] Zwirn, Ed, "No 9/11 ''Insider Profits,'' SEC Finds," CFO.com, July 27, 2004, Link
[32] See also "Suspicious Trading Activity," Cooperative Research.org, Link Type "suspicious trading activity" into search box
[33]Escobar, Pepe, "9-11 and the Smoking Gun," Asian Times, Apr. 8, 2004, Link and Link
[34] Simmie, Scott, "The Scene at NORAD on Sept. 11: Playing Russian War Games ," Toronto Star, Dec 9, 2001, Link
[35] Holland, Gregor, "Long Debunked 'Rumor' Validated by Giuliani," UnansweredQuestions.org/Scoop, June 3, 2004, Link
[36] Seeley, Hart, "Amid Crisis Simulation, 'We Were Suddenly No-Kidding Under Attack'," Newhouse News Service, Jan. 25, 2002, Link
[37] Pevey, Tech. Sgt. Marina, "71st Fighter Squadron Wins Air- Superiority Award," June 13, 2002, Air Combat Command News Service, Link
[38]Frankenfield, Capt. Ben, “27th Wins AF Best Air Superiority Squadron,” July 1, 2003, Link
[39] Seminar Presented by the National Law Enforcement and Security Institute, Lecturer John Fulton, CIA, June 6, 2002, Link
[40] Lumpkin, John, "Agency Was to Crash Plane on 9/11," Associated Press, First Coast News, Aug 22, 2002, Link
[41]Ackerman, Jan, "Local Officials Rethink Recently Made Plans to Deal with Terrorism," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Sept 23, 2001, Link
[42] 9/11 Commission Report, W.N. Norton and Co., 2004, page 7 and 21, Link
[43]Johnson, Glen, "Probe Reconstructs Horror, Calculated Attacks on Planes," Boston Globe, Nov 23, 2001, Link
[44]Wald, Matthew, “FAA Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers’ Statements,” New York Times, May 6, 2004, Link
[45] "Testimony of Sec. of Transportation Norman Mineta before the 911 Commission," May 23, 2003, Link
[46] 9/11 Commission Report, W.N. Norton and Co., 2004, page 9-10, Link
[47]Szymanski, Greg, "Black Box Cover-Up," American Free Press, Dec. 12, 2004, Link

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