Precious Memories: Music and Rebellion

 

Frank Zappa on Crossfire 1987:

Sinead O’Connor  1992

Jarvis Cocker vs Michael Jackson 1996

ODB  1998: Wu Tang is for the Children

 Kanye West : Bush doesn’t care for black people  2005

 

 

Honorable mentions

:Bob Dylan gets Soy Bombed 1998

 

Non musical rightiousness

 

 

 

 

 

The Cosmos Turned Upside Down: Tolkien, The Giant 9/11 Lie, And The Evil War on Terror

 

Saman Mohammadi
Prisonplanet.com
March 27, 2012

“I have become worried, however, in recent years, that the movies have come to replace the reading of ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ Yours is an imminently visual culture, you receive the world through screen. Someone has said current students are like toadstools, they grow at night under a dim light of the flickering screen.

Reading is a moral act. A deeply moral and religious act. Because it is an act of concentration. It’s an act of imagination. It takes you out of yourself, takes me out of myself, into a larger world, which I only have to imagine myself into as a sympathizer of that world, but where I have to form the images that the words on the page enable me to form. By contrast, most films form images for us, and for that reason I think film is a lazier medium than the written word.

I thought I would talk about Tolkien as a writer, so to speak, of 9/11. A writer who addresses the world  that’s blowing up in the Middle East, even as we speak. A writer who helps us to think about what it would happen if the terrorists were to strike Boston, as they struck New York. To help us confront how we’re to live in the face of ongoing terror that has become, whether we acknowledge it or not, the background noise of our lives. It’s there. It’s there. It’s there.

You may know, if you don’t know, you should know, that the 20th century was the deadliest century in the history of the human race. So if you get one statistic today, get this one: more people were killed by violent means in the 20th century than in all preceding centuries combined. Roughly, 190 million. And, of course, we Americans did our share of that killing. And we Americans have done our share of that killing prior to Hiroshima, prior to Nagasaki. We have our own holocaust, as Wendell Berry puts it. It began right here in Massachusetts. If you don’t know the book called Mayflower, I urge you get thee to the book store in a hurry. It’s a book about King Philip’s war, and about the slaughter of Native Americans by our Christian forebears. We have had our holocaust. Not to mention what we did to the slaves, whom we brought over from Africa under coercion, the power of the Ring, so to speak. . .We have inherited a horrible, horrible history of massive death.

I was on my way to Duke to give a lecture in 2001 before the events of September 11, picked up a newspaper that gave the statistic that in just the first 9 months of the 21st century 1.6 million had died. So you see where we’re going. We’re on our way, it seems, toward a new century of fire and blood. An age incarnadine, to use Milton’s phrase. How are we to live in the face of that? What are we to do?

It seems to me that Tolkien’s immense popularity as a writer is precisely because he doesn’t dodge that question of how we are to live and what we are to do. And he does so as a Christian. Many people do not know that Tolkien was a Christian writer. There are some who dispute whether he was a Christian writer. Not only was Tolkien a Christian writer, Tolkien was a Catholic writer. You must be honest about the Catholicism, the deep Catholicism that underlies The Lord of the Rings.” – Professor Ralph Wood, from his lecture given on February 22, 2011, called, “On Tolkien—The Lord of the Rings—A Book for our Time of Terror.”

“We are a death-fearing, death-denying, death-escaping culture. And Tolkien nails it by giving the Ring the power of deathlessness.” – Professor Ralph Wood, from his lecture given on February 22, 2011, called, “On Tolkien—The Lord of the Rings—A Book for our Time of Terror.”

“So, today’s war on terrorism seems a war to own the Ring, rather than a war to destroy it. Neither Bush’s nor bin Laden’s supporters fight for liberty; they all fight to strengthen their own power. One can hardly choose to join one or the other – and should only ask whether there is still a place for common, peaceful people in the lands of the opposing war lords. Indeed, the only rational position is that of Treebeard: “I am not altogether on anybody’s side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me… And there are some things, of course, whose side I’m altogether not on; I am against them altogether.” (Tolkien 2001, p.461)” – Carlo Stagnaro, “Tolkien’s Lesson for September 11,” July 25, 2002.

Sauron’s army in The Lord of the Rings consisted of orcs, trolls, and other beastly creatures. His power seduced many. But Sauron’s power is nothing compared to the power of the mighty sorcerers of Washington, Tel Aviv, and London, who have seduced not just orcs and trolls to join their ranks, but also hobbits, dwarves, and others. This is surprising because we don’t expect good-natured hobbits to fight on the side of evil and darkness, but this is exactly what has happened in the Evil Global War on Terror.

The sorcerers behind the Global War on Terror used the Evil Eye of the Mass Media to brainwash, hypnotize, and dispossess moral individuals of their spiritual identity and mental independence. They committed this demonic act of coercion in order to get the people’s support for their evil war on humanity, God, and freedom in the Middle East and the West.

Ralph Wood, a professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University, lists the power of coercion as one of three powers that The Ring symbolizes, along with the powers of invisibility and deathlessness/immortality. The secret death cult that did the 9/11 attacks already have the powers of coercion and invincibility, and they are within reach of acquiring the third power because of the rapid development of life-extension technologies.

The power of invisibility is exercised by the mass media, which suppresses the truth about 9/11 and the real personalities and governments who engineered the events. The true demonic nature of the sorcerers in Washington and Tel Aviv is largely invisible because of the Evil Media’s suppression of their grand plan for America, the Middle East, and the world.

The power of coercion is also connected to the media, and its use of propaganda and mass mind control techniques to disable independent thinking and mold the Western mind.

The evils that the unchained sorcerers of the totalitarian state have committed in the name of Western civilization, America, and Israel are transferred onto mysterious Islamic terrorists, most of whom are spies and contractors in Washington’s army. As a result of the process of psychological transference, innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, and Palestine are scapegoated and killed.

Since 9/11, the name of Washington has been ruined and disgraced. It is now synonymous with Sauron and Satan. This is a real shame. Also, the name of America has been destroyed because of the mass murder of millions of innocent people by the hijacked American government, which is operated by criminal financial globalists who wish nothing more than to see America perish from the face of the Earth.

Truly, the cosmos have been turned upside down since the false flag September 11 events. Sauron has used its sorcery to capture the will of the American people and the will of the West to wage a total war on all of creation.

The global war on terror is a war unlike anything humanity has ever experienced because of the potential for immense destruction of cities and countries with nuclear bombs and biological weapons. The genocidal mass murderers who are waging this insane war from within America, Israel, and the West have no sense of shame or morality. They are possessed to kill humans and to control all life, and they plan to count their victims in the hundreds of millions. By the time their war against humanity is done, the victims of Hitler, Mao, and Stalin will be a fraction by comparison.

But there is still hope to stop them, end the evil global war on terror, and bring them to justice. Without the power of invisibility, without the power of the mass media, without the power of mass mind control, they are finished.

Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency

Posted on March 25, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog

Guest Post by Kevin Ryan, former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.

The U.S. Secret Service failed to do its job on September 11, 2001 in several important ways. These failures could be explained if the Secret Service had foreknowledge of the 9/11 events as they were proceeding. That possibility leads to difficult questions about how the behavior of Secret Service employees might have contributed to the success of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Answering those questions will require the release of existing interview transcripts as well as follow-up questioning, under oath, of a few key people within the agency.

The most glaring example of Secret Service failure on 9/11 was the lack of protection for the President of the United States after it was well known that the country was facing terrorist attacks on multiple fronts.The interesting thing about this was that it was not a consistent approach. That is, the president was protected by the Secret Service in many ways that day but he was not protected from the most obvious, and apparently the most imminent, danger.

President Bush had been at risk earlier that morning when Middle-Eastern looking journalists appeared at his hotel in Sarasota, Florida claiming to have an appointment for an interview.A Secret Service agent turned them away in a move that might have saved Bush from an assassination attempt. [1]

Bush then traveled to an elementary school for a community outreach photo opportunity which had been well-publicized for several days. It was reported that “Police and Secret Service Agents were on the roof, on horseback and in every hallway” at the school. [2]Every visitor at the school was required to attend a preparation meeting two days before, and all the phone lines had been tapped.The school’s principal stated – “It was the safest place in the world. If you blew your nose and it wasn’t time for you to blow your nose, they knew it.” [3]

The agency was protecting Bush very well, but not from terrorists in hijacked airplanes. Bush entered the classroom at 9:03 am that day, after it was widely known that the country was under attack.As stated by authors Allan Wood and Paul Thompson:

“By that time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon, the White House, the Secret Service, and Canada’s Strategic Command all knew that three commercial airplanes had been hijacked. They knew that one plane had been flown deliberately into the World Trade Center’s North Tower; a second plane was wildly off course and also heading toward Manhattan; and a third plane had abruptly turned around over Ohio and was flying back toward Washington, DC.” [4]

Given the widespread knowledge that terrorists were hijacking planes and that planes were crashing into buildings, the Secret Service should never have let the president enter the building where he was scheduled to be located.The situation got worse, however, because shortly after Bush sat down, he was informed by his Chief of Staff that the World Trade Center had been hit again, by a second plane. Still there was no intervention by the Secret Service to remove the president from this well-publicized location.

Either failure to protect the president, or knowledge that he was not a target

Bush remained at the school until 9:35 am, more than 35 minutes after he arrived. He even gave a televised speech during that time, letting the world know he was still there. The actions of Bush and his Secret Service detail indicate that they were not worried at all about a terrorist attack against the school.Philip Melanson, author of a book on the Secret Service, described how odd this was by writing that, in an “unfolding terrorist attack, the procedure should have been to get the president to the closest secure location as quickly as possible.” [5]

This failure to follow Secret Service standard procedures is a glaring discrepancy to this day and it leads to a number of important questions.Who was responsible for making the decision to leave the president and everyone in the building at risk?Were the Secret Service agents traveling with the president in contact with the agency’s offices in Washington or New York? The largest Secret Service field office in the country was located in WTC Building 7, which was evacuated by the time Bush was entering the classroom.

The Secret Service supervisor traveling with the president, who was in charge of the president’s movements that day, was Edward Marinzel.It was Marinzel who should have been in charge of the execution (or non-execution) of the emergency action protocols carried out as the attacks were proceeding. [6]

In an attempt to explain the failure to follow Secret Service procedures, the 9/11 Commission said in its report that Bush “told us his instinct was to project calm, not to have the country see an excited reaction at a moment of crisis,” and that the Secret Service “told us they were anxious to move the president to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.”These official responses from the Secret Service, given in the 9/11 Commission Report (911CR), were taken from an as-yet unreleased 2004 interview with Edward Marinzel. [7]However, the Commission said nothing about why Bush entered the classroom in the first place, when everyone in government knew that the country was under attack.

It seems possible that Marinzel’s authority was somehow overridden, because reporters noticed that it was White House spokesman Ari Fleischer who appeared to be calling the shots while Bush sat there doing nothing.As Bush’s Secret Service detail failed to protect him, Fleischer maneuvered to get his attention without alerting the press. Several reporters noticed that Fleischer had written the words “DON’T SAY ANYTHING YET” in big block letters on a paper sign and was mouthing these words to Bush as he sat there. [8]

Another apparent failure of the Secret Service was that it did not immediately request air cover for either the president’s motorcade as it traveled to the airport, or for Air Force One, which took off at about 9:54. This seems to be another indication that the Secret Service knew that Bush was not in danger.

The lack of immediate request for air cover for the president’s escort becomes more difficult to understand considering the 911CR’s claims of “unnerving false alarm” which was a “threat against Air Force One itself.” This threat was later “run down to a misunderstood communication in the hectic White House Situation Room” (p 325).

The 911CR did not cover the failure to request immediate air cover, but it did attempt to address the circuitous travels of Air Force One after it left Sarasota.Air Force One was redirected throughout the day, first to Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB) in Louisiana and then on to Nebraska.The 911CR states that the reason for this wandering about the country was that the “Lead Secret Service agent…felt strongly that the situation in Washington was too unstable for the President to return there,” and although the Bush“strongly wanted to return to Washington,” the Secret Service won the argument.Again, the 9/11 Commission got its information on this subject from the unreleased 2004 interview with Edward Marinzel.

Exactly why Edward Marinzel’s interview has not been made publicly available is not clear.Given that it was the primary basis for the official account with regard to the failure to protect the president, it seems that the public has a right to see it.Did the Secret Service know that the president was not in danger and, if so, how did it know that?

Whatever the case might be, Marinzel’s actions or lack thereof were considered appropriate because his role in protecting the president continued.On Thanksgiving in 2003, Marinzel led the team that planned and executed President Bush’s covert visit to Baghdad which, at the time, “was the first operation in history that took a President of the United States into an active war zone.” [9]

Today, Marinzel works at a consulting company with Ralph Basham, the former Director of the Secret Service (2003-2006), as well as another person who played a critical role in George W. Bush’s travel, communications and protection. This was Joseph W. Hagin, who was Bush’s deputy White House Chief of Staff for Operations (2001-2008). Mr. Hagin had previously been an assistant to Vice President George H.W. Bush, from 1981 to 1985, and then Assistant to President Bush from 1989 to 1991.

Hagin came to the George W. Bush administration after eight years as a vice president for Chiquita Brands International.Formerly called United Fruit Company, the company was mired in scandal at the time of Hagin’s departure, due to an expose by the Cincinnati Enquirerwhich claimed that it mistreated the workers on its Central American plantations, polluted the environment, allowed cocaine to be brought to the United States on its ships, and bribed foreign officials.

On 9/11, Mr. Hagin had oversight responsibility for Air Force One, the White House Communications Agency, and the Secret Service PPD.Despite these far reaching responsibilities, his name does not appear in the 911CR.Hagin was later “one of the principals responsible for planning the formation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” [10]When Hurricane Katrina occurred, Hagin was the White House point person in terms of overseeing response efforts.

Either failure to protect the vice president, or reconstruction of the timeline

The 911CR states that when the Secret Service first learned of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center, it immediately initiated a number of precautionary “security enhancements around the White House complex.” [11]This would have begun at 9:03, when the entire nation witnessed Flight 175 hit the south tower on live television.

This information was obtained from the interview of Carl Truscott, who served as the Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) of the Presidential Protective Division (PPD).Truscott had primary responsibility for supervising all protective matters relating to the president, the first family and the White House. Although Truscott’s interview was not released in transcript form, a summary of the interview was made available as part of several random documents released via FOIA request to 9/11 researcher Aidan Monaghan. [12]

When the second plane hit the WTC, the Secret Service agent responsible for coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Nelson Garabito, called his FAA counterpart, Terry Van Steenbergen.At the time, Garabito was at the Secret Service Joint Operations Center (JOC), located in the White House.

It was reported that Van Steenbergen told Garabito that two other planes were possibly hijacked, which caused Garabito to ask someone to run upstairs and pass the information on to other Secret Service agents. The 911CR states that this information was “either not passed on or was passed on but not disseminated.”

This failure relates to the question of when the vice president was evacuated from his office.If Van Steenbergen’s information, given to Garabito just after 9:03 am, was passed on to those protecting the vice president, then it would become important to know why the vice president was not moved to a safer location until 9:36, as stated by the 911CR.If the information was passed on immediately, and the vice president was moved to a secure location just after 9:00 as several witnesses have suggested, then his early presence at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) would substantiate the important testimony of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. According to Mineta, Cheney was being given regular updates on the progress of the hijacked Flight 77 as it came toward Washington. [13]

The documents released by FOIA request include a timeline of “Actions of TSD” on 9/11.TSD is the Secret Service’s Technical Services Division which, among other things, operates the Secret Service’s Tigerwall air surveillance system.The TSD timeline states that at 9:18 am “SAIC Truscott learned that an aircraft had been identified en-route to the Washington area.” Therefore, we have officially prepared documentation that indicates Truscott was aware of a hijacked plane heading for Washington at least 18 minutes before the official account says the vice president was moved from his office.If this is true, the public deserves to know why the vice president not moved to safety immediately. On the other hand if he was moved earlier, that fact supports Mineta’s astonishing and important testimony.

Failure to request interceptor jets in a timely manner

As described by author Michael Ruppert, the Secret Service was getting information about the ongoing hijacking events at the same time, or before, the FAA was.This was because there was a “parallel command system in play.” [14]This parallel command system was also described by Richard Clarke, who was leading one of the response teams in the White House Situation Room (WHSR).Clarke later wrote that Brian Stafford, the Director of the Secret Service, was in the WHSR with him and was passing him information.That information, according to Clarke, came from the fact that the Secret Service had “a system that allowed them to see what FAA’s radar was seeing.”

The authoritative command system appeared to be below ground in the PEOC, where Dick Cheney was leading the activities.The TSD document released by FOIA shows that when Assistant Division Chief Spriggs arrived in the PEOC, at 9:30 am, Cheney and Rice were already there along with ten other “Presidential and Vice Presidential staff.” [15]Carl Truscott was the lead Secret Service agent in the PEOC, the one who was in coordination with Garabito, and the one who was most closely coordinating with Dick Cheney.

The FOIA-released 9/11 Commission summary of Truscott’s interview says that he escorted NSA Rice from the Situation Room to the “White House Shelter Area” where they met Cheney, who was on the phone, and Mrs. Cheney. [16]Interestingly, the official account gives a contradictory account, stating that Mrs. Cheney did not arrive at the White House for another 30 minutes or more. The FOIA documents say that Truscott led the Cheneys and Rice to the PEOC sometime before 9:30 am.SAIC Anthony Zotto, who was specifically responsible for the vice president’s safety, was in the PEOC at the time. This means that Cheney was in the PEOC at least 8 minutes before Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.

The documents released by the Secret Service via FOIA indicate that the Secret Service had knowledge of Flight 77 and Flight 93 and that those flights were headed toward Washington, DC.One of these documents, not well identified but apparently a timeline created by one agent to relate his experiences, indicates that the Secret Service had knowledge of “two more outstanding aircraft, not responding to the Tower, considered suspect and at least one was headed toward DC.”This was several minutes before the agent arrived at “Room 552 en route to the JOC” where the agent learned that “one of the two planes, believed to be hijacked, was approximately 5 minutes out from DC.”

These documents confirm that the Secret Service knew that two hijacked planes were headed toward Washington during the time that Cheney and SAIC Truscott were in the PEOC, and well before Flight 77 was reported to have crashed into the Pentagon. Cheney seemed to confirm the same when he later said, on NBC’s Meet the Press — “The Secret Service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was…” — and then cut himself off.

There remains some confusion over whether the Secret Service ordered, or had the authority to order, the scrambling of interceptor jets from Andrews AFB in response to the knowledge about the incoming hijacked aircraft.Author Lynn Spencer, who NORAD Commander General Ralph Eberhart says “tells it all and tells it well,” wrote that “the Secret Service also has certain authority over the military and, in this case, the DC Guard.” [17]That is, the Secret Service had the authority to order the scrambling of interceptor jets on 9/11. And of course, with the president indisposed for a brief period, the vice president was the commander in chief of the military.

Official reports now suggest that the Secret Service made such a request, although very late in the chain of events, but that Andrews commander General David Wherley did not respond rapidly enough.The reason given is that Wherley did not recognize the Secret Service as having the authority to order jets to scramble and therefore he waited until someone in the military chain of command gave him the order.Unfortunately, General Wherley is no longer available for comment as he died in a freak train accident which was “the most deadly train crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.” [18]

However, it is clear that Andrews AFB staff reached out to the Secret Service well before Wherley ever got involved. [19]Just after 9:05, Major Daniel Caine, the supervisor of flying at Andrews AFB, called his Secret Service contact, Kenneth Beachamp.Caine asked “Are you guys going to need some help?”Agent Beauchamp replied “No, but I’ll call you back if that changes.”Beauchamp, whose 9/11-related interview is still “national security classified,” never called back.Nearly 30 minutes later, when Flight 77 was coming into Washington, someone else from the Secret Service finally returned Caine’s call to accept the offer of assistance.Upon answering the phone, Caine stated that he “could hear plain as day the vice president talking in the background.” [20]That was when Caine’s newly arrived superior, General Wherley, began spending another 80 minutes or more being confused about the chain of command, according to the official account.

Interceptor jets did not launch from Andrews AFB, which was only ten miles from the Pentagon, until 10:38 am (and those were not armed).This was more than an hour after the Pentagon was hit, almost two and a half hours after the first plane was known to be hijacked, and approximately 90 minutes after Major Caine had first offered assistance to the Secret Service.

SAIC Truscott continued as the leader of the Secret Service PPD through 2005, during the times when a gay prostitute came to the White House for overnight visits, and during the period when Jack Abramoff was visiting the White House.The White House later tried to hide the records for these visits. Truscott was also at the White House during the period when the Secret Service adopted its secretive processes for records management with regard to visitor records.

Like Marinzel, Truscott’s performance on 9/11 was apparently well received as he was later promoted to Director of the ATF, another major agency of the U.S. Department of Treasury. In the end he was forced to resign in a scandal related to multiple abuses of power including sexist orders given to female employees. Truscott had friends in high places, however, and he was protected from prosecution by order of the White House. [21]Truscott went on to join ASERO Worldwide, an international security and risk management firm run by Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, who was formerly the most senior ranking security official at the Israeli Security Agency. [22]

Overall, the response of the Secret Service to the 9/11 attacks suggests foreknowledge of the events in that the agency failed to protect the president from the obvious danger posed by terrorists. That foreknowledge, combined with the failure of the Secret Service to follow-up on the offer of air support from Andrews AFB, leads to the suspicion that the agency was complicit in the attacks.Revealing the truth behind these suspicions will require that the central role players from the Secret Service and the White House, including Edward Marinzel, Ari Fleischer, Joseph Hagin, Carl Truscott, Anthony Zotto, and Kenneth Beauchamp, be examined under oath by prosecutors with subpoena power.



[1] Allan Wood and Paul Thompson, An Interesting Day: President Bush’s Movements and Actions on 9/11, History Commons Complete 9/11 Timeline, http://www.historycommons.org/essay.jsp?article=essayaninterestingday

[2] Shoestring 9/11 Blog, The 90-Minute Stand Down on 9/11: Why Was the Secret Service’s Early Request for Fighter Jets Ignored?, December 20, 2009, http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2009/12/90-minute-stand-down-on-911-why-was.html

[3] Tom Bayles, The Day Before Everything Changed, President Bush Touched Locals’ Lives, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 10, 2002, http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/sarasotaheraldtribune091002.html

[4] Allan Wood and Paul Thompson

[5] Philip H. Melanson, Secret Service: The Hiddine History of an Enigmatic Agency, Carroll & Graf, 2002

[6] Command Consulting, Bio for Edward Marrnizel, http://www.commandcg.com/en/edward-marinzel

[7] For references to the 2004 Edward Marinzel interview, see The 9/11 Commission Report, footnotes 204 and 207 from Chapter 1, and footnotes 1 to 3 from Chapter 10

[8] 911Research.wtc7.net, George W. Bush: Cover Stories of the People in Charge, http://911research.wtc7.net/disinfo/alibis/bush.html

[9] Command Consulting, Bio for Edward Marrnizel

[10] Command Consulting, Bio for Joseph Hagin, http://www.commandcg.com/en/joseph-w-hagin

[11] The 9/11 Commission Report, page 36

[12] FOIA documents released by the U.S. Secret Service to Aidan Monaghan on April 23, 2010.http://www.mediafire.com/?vydb4nxdmyy

[13] George Washington’s Blog, Mineta’s testimony CONFIRMED, March 04, 2007,http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2007/03/minetas-testimony-confirmed.html

[14] Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon (chapter 24), New Society Publishers, 2004

[15] FOIA documents released by the U.S. Secret Service

[17] Lynn Spencer, Touching History: The untold story of the drama that unfolded in the skies over America on 9/11, Free Press, 2008

[18] Christopher Conkey, Retired Major General Wherley Died in Crash, Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2009,http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124581129913745441.html

[19] Shoestring 9/11 Blog, The 90-Minute Stand Down on 9/11: Why Was the Secret Service’s Early Request for Fighter Jets Ignored?, December 20, 2009, http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2009/12/90-minute-stand-down-on-911-why-was.html

[20] History Commons Complete 9/11 Timeline, Profile: Daniel Caine, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=dan_caine

[21] Empty Wheel, Who Is Carl Truscott and Why Did Bush’s DOJ Protect Him?, March 5, 2008,http://www.emptywheel.net/2008/03/05/who-is-carl-truscott-and-why-did-bushs-doj-protect-him/

[22] Bloomberg Businessweek profile for ASERO Worldwide, http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=127598609

“The documents released by FOIA request include a timeline of “Actions of TSD” on 9/11.TSD is the Secret Service’s Technical Services Division which, among other things, operates the Secret Service’s Tigerwall air surveillance system.The TSD timeline states that at 9:18 am “SAIC Truscott learned that an aircraft had been identified en-route to the Washington area.”

Any idea from which direction? Are we going to continue assuming this was AA77 headed from the West?

How can the destination be predicted? (AA77 was only 6 miles from the White House when it turned due South, then West)

You might be right, George, but the official account suggests that Van Steenbergen gave the information to Garabito. The 911CR is not very clear about it, but this document is more clear.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/14353654/DH-B5-Secret-Service-Requests-Fdr-Ent…

Kawika, on that particular statement the context in the article is important. I was using it to highlight how Truscott knew that a hijacked pane was coming into Washington (it could have been either one) and that should have led to the evacuation of the VP. Of course, the earlier precautionary measures should have led to the evacuation of the VP as well but, according to the 911CR, did not.

… yes, but this is version of the secret service, which makes no sense at all: Why Steenbergen did not phone Garabito, if Steenbergen had the information? Instead Garabito phoned Steenbergen, because he had “new” information.

It would be very goof, if somebody interviews Mister Steenbergen.

Another strange incident involving the Secret Service was that when the president’s motorcade finally left the Booker Elementary School for the Sarasota Airport, it initially went in the wrong direction and only turned around and headed the right way after quite a distance.

CBC reported: “The story of what went on behind the scenes with the president that day is still filled with mystery and controversy. Bush made his first televised statement to the nation at 9:30 and then his Secret Service bodyguards were supposed to whisk him away to Air Force One.Unfortunately, it turns out that the motorcade sped off in the wrong direction. After several kilometres, the Secret Service had to perform an embarrassing U-turn in order to head for the airfield.
Source.

Lee Hamilton, the vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, referred to the incident during a press conference after one of the Commission’s public hearings. He said: “One of the bits of trivia I remember is that the motorcade was headed in the wrong direction, and they had to turn the motorcade around and get it headed towards the airport. And those kinds of things do take time.”
Source.

Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency

Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency

Posted on March 25, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog

Guest Post by Kevin Ryan, former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.

The U.S. Secret Service failed to do its job on September 11, 2001 in several important ways. These failures could be explained if the Secret Service had foreknowledge of the 9/11 events as they were proceeding. That possibility leads to difficult questions about how the behavior of Secret Service employees might have contributed to the success of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Answering those questions will require the release of existing interview transcripts as well as follow-up questioning, under oath, of a few key people within the agency.

The most glaring example of Secret Service failure on 9/11 was the lack of protection for the President of the United States after it was well known that the country was facing terrorist attacks on multiple fronts.The interesting thing about this was that it was not a consistent approach. That is, the president was protected by the Secret Service in many ways that day but he was not protected from the most obvious, and apparently the most imminent, danger.

President Bush had been at risk earlier that morning when Middle-Eastern looking journalists appeared at his hotel in Sarasota, Florida claiming to have an appointment for an interview.A Secret Service agent turned them away in a move that might have saved Bush from an assassination attempt. [1]

Bush then traveled to an elementary school for a community outreach photo opportunity which had been well-publicized for several days. It was reported that “Police and Secret Service Agents were on the roof, on horseback and in every hallway” at the school. [2]Every visitor at the school was required to attend a preparation meeting two days before, and all the phone lines had been tapped.The school’s principal stated – “It was the safest place in the world. If you blew your nose and it wasn’t time for you to blow your nose, they knew it.” [3]

The agency was protecting Bush very well, but not from terrorists in hijacked airplanes. Bush entered the classroom at 9:03 am that day, after it was widely known that the country was under attack.As stated by authors Allan Wood and Paul Thompson:

“By that time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon, the White House, the Secret Service, and Canada’s Strategic Command all knew that three commercial airplanes had been hijacked. They knew that one plane had been flown deliberately into the World Trade Center’s North Tower; a second plane was wildly off course and also heading toward Manhattan; and a third plane had abruptly turned around over Ohio and was flying back toward Washington, DC.” [4]

Given the widespread knowledge that terrorists were hijacking planes and that planes were crashing into buildings, the Secret Service should never have let the president enter the building where he was scheduled to be located.The situation got worse, however, because shortly after Bush sat down, he was informed by his Chief of Staff that the World Trade Center had been hit again, by a second plane. Still there was no intervention by the Secret Service to remove the president from this well-publicized location.

Either failure to protect the president, or knowledge that he was not a target

Bush remained at the school until 9:35 am, more than 35 minutes after he arrived. He even gave a televised speech during that time, letting the world know he was still there. The actions of Bush and his Secret Service detail indicate that they were not worried at all about a terrorist attack against the school.Philip Melanson, author of a book on the Secret Service, described how odd this was by writing that, in an “unfolding terrorist attack, the procedure should have been to get the president to the closest secure location as quickly as possible.” [5]

This failure to follow Secret Service standard procedures is a glaring discrepancy to this day and it leads to a number of important questions.Who was responsible for making the decision to leave the president and everyone in the building at risk?Were the Secret Service agents traveling with the president in contact with the agency’s offices in Washington or New York? The largest Secret Service field office in the country was located in WTC Building 7, which was evacuated by the time Bush was entering the classroom.

The Secret Service supervisor traveling with the president, who was in charge of the president’s movements that day, was Edward Marinzel.It was Marinzel who should have been in charge of the execution (or non-execution) of the emergency action protocols carried out as the attacks were proceeding. [6]

In an attempt to explain the failure to follow Secret Service procedures, the 9/11 Commission said in its report that Bush “told us his instinct was to project calm, not to have the country see an excited reaction at a moment of crisis,” and that the Secret Service “told us they were anxious to move the president to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.”These official responses from the Secret Service, given in the 9/11 Commission Report (911CR), were taken from an as-yet unreleased 2004 interview with Edward Marinzel. [7]However, the Commission said nothing about why Bush entered the classroom in the first place, when everyone in government knew that the country was under attack.

It seems possible that Marinzel’s authority was somehow overridden, because reporters noticed that it was White House spokesman Ari Fleischer who appeared to be calling the shots while Bush sat there doing nothing.As Bush’s Secret Service detail failed to protect him, Fleischer maneuvered to get his attention without alerting the press. Several reporters noticed that Fleischer had written the words “DON’T SAY ANYTHING YET” in big block letters on a paper sign and was mouthing these words to Bush as he sat there. [8]

Another apparent failure of the Secret Service was that it did not immediately request air cover for either the president’s motorcade as it traveled to the airport, or for Air Force One, which took off at about 9:54. This seems to be another indication that the Secret Service knew that Bush was not in danger.

The lack of immediate request for air cover for the president’s escort becomes more difficult to understand considering the 911CR’s claims of “unnerving false alarm” which was a “threat against Air Force One itself.” This threat was later “run down to a misunderstood communication in the hectic White House Situation Room” (p 325).

The 911CR did not cover the failure to request immediate air cover, but it did attempt to address the circuitous travels of Air Force One after it left Sarasota.Air Force One was redirected throughout the day, first to Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB) in Louisiana and then on to Nebraska.The 911CR states that the reason for this wandering about the country was that the “Lead Secret Service agent…felt strongly that the situation in Washington was too unstable for the President to return there,” and although the Bush“strongly wanted to return to Washington,” the Secret Service won the argument.Again, the 9/11 Commission got its information on this subject from the unreleased 2004 interview with Edward Marinzel.

Exactly why Edward Marinzel’s interview has not been made publicly available is not clear.Given that it was the primary basis for the official account with regard to the failure to protect the president, it seems that the public has a right to see it.Did the Secret Service know that the president was not in danger and, if so, how did it know that?

Whatever the case might be, Marinzel’s actions or lack thereof were considered appropriate because his role in protecting the president continued.On Thanksgiving in 2003, Marinzel led the team that planned and executed President Bush’s covert visit to Baghdad which, at the time, “was the first operation in history that took a President of the United States into an active war zone.” [9]

Today, Marinzel works at a consulting company with Ralph Basham, the former Director of the Secret Service (2003-2006), as well as another person who played a critical role in George W. Bush’s travel, communications and protection. This was Joseph W. Hagin, who was Bush’s deputy White House Chief of Staff for Operations (2001-2008). Mr. Hagin had previously been an assistant to Vice President George H.W. Bush, from 1981 to 1985, and then Assistant to President Bush from 1989 to 1991.

Hagin came to the George W. Bush administration after eight years as a vice president for Chiquita Brands International.Formerly called United Fruit Company, the company was mired in scandal at the time of Hagin’s departure, due to an expose by the Cincinnati Enquirerwhich claimed that it mistreated the workers on its Central American plantations, polluted the environment, allowed cocaine to be brought to the United States on its ships, and bribed foreign officials.

On 9/11, Mr. Hagin had oversight responsibility for Air Force One, the White House Communications Agency, and the Secret Service PPD.Despite these far reaching responsibilities, his name does not appear in the 911CR.Hagin was later “one of the principals responsible for planning the formation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” [10]When Hurricane Katrina occurred, Hagin was the White House point person in terms of overseeing response efforts.

Either failure to protect the vice president, or reconstruction of the timeline

The 911CR states that when the Secret Service first learned of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center, it immediately initiated a number of precautionary “security enhancements around the White House complex.” [11]This would have begun at 9:03, when the entire nation witnessed Flight 175 hit the south tower on live television.

This information was obtained from the interview of Carl Truscott, who served as the Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) of the Presidential Protective Division (PPD).Truscott had primary responsibility for supervising all protective matters relating to the president, the first family and the White House. Although Truscott’s interview was not released in transcript form, a summary of the interview was made available as part of several random documents released via FOIA request to 9/11 researcher Aidan Monaghan. [12]

When the second plane hit the WTC, the Secret Service agent responsible for coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Nelson Garabito, called his FAA counterpart, Terry Van Steenbergen.At the time, Garabito was at the Secret Service Joint Operations Center (JOC), located in the White House.

It was reported that Van Steenbergen told Garabito that two other planes were possibly hijacked, which caused Garabito to ask someone to run upstairs and pass the information on to other Secret Service agents. The 911CR states that this information was “either not passed on or was passed on but not disseminated.”

This failure relates to the question of when the vice president was evacuated from his office.If Van Steenbergen’s information, given to Garabito just after 9:03 am, was passed on to those protecting the vice president, then it would become important to know why the vice president was not moved to a safer location until 9:36, as stated by the 911CR.If the information was passed on immediately, and the vice president was moved to a secure location just after 9:00 as several witnesses have suggested, then his early presence at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) would substantiate the important testimony of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. According to Mineta, Cheney was being given regular updates on the progress of the hijacked Flight 77 as it came toward Washington. [13]

The documents released by FOIA request include a timeline of “Actions of TSD” on 9/11.TSD is the Secret Service’s Technical Services Division which, among other things, operates the Secret Service’s Tigerwall air surveillance system.The TSD timeline states that at 9:18 am “SAIC Truscott learned that an aircraft had been identified en-route to the Washington area.” Therefore, we have officially prepared documentation that indicates Truscott was aware of a hijacked plane heading for Washington at least 18 minutes before the official account says the vice president was moved from his office.If this is true, the public deserves to know why the vice president not moved to safety immediately. On the other hand if he was moved earlier, that fact supports Mineta’s astonishing and important testimony.

Failure to request interceptor jets in a timely manner

As described by author Michael Ruppert, the Secret Service was getting information about the ongoing hijacking events at the same time, or before, the FAA was.This was because there was a “parallel command system in play.” [14]This parallel command system was also described by Richard Clarke, who was leading one of the response teams in the White House Situation Room (WHSR).Clarke later wrote that Brian Stafford, the Director of the Secret Service, was in the WHSR with him and was passing him information.That information, according to Clarke, came from the fact that the Secret Service had “a system that allowed them to see what FAA’s radar was seeing.”

The authoritative command system appeared to be below ground in the PEOC, where Dick Cheney was leading the activities.The TSD document released by FOIA shows that when Assistant Division Chief Spriggs arrived in the PEOC, at 9:30 am, Cheney and Rice were already there along with ten other “Presidential and Vice Presidential staff.” [15]Carl Truscott was the lead Secret Service agent in the PEOC, the one who was in coordination with Garabito, and the one who was most closely coordinating with Dick Cheney.

The FOIA-released 9/11 Commission summary of Truscott’s interview says that he escorted NSA Rice from the Situation Room to the “White House Shelter Area” where they met Cheney, who was on the phone, and Mrs. Cheney. [16]Interestingly, the official account gives a contradictory account, stating that Mrs. Cheney did not arrive at the White House for another 30 minutes or more. The FOIA documents say that Truscott led the Cheneys and Rice to the PEOC sometime before 9:30 am.SAIC Anthony Zotto, who was specifically responsible for the vice president’s safety, was in the PEOC at the time. This means that Cheney was in the PEOC at least 8 minutes before Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.

The documents released by the Secret Service via FOIA indicate that the Secret Service had knowledge of Flight 77 and Flight 93 and that those flights were headed toward Washington, DC.One of these documents, not well identified but apparently a timeline created by one agent to relate his experiences, indicates that the Secret Service had knowledge of “two more outstanding aircraft, not responding to the Tower, considered suspect and at least one was headed toward DC.”This was several minutes before the agent arrived at “Room 552 en route to the JOC” where the agent learned that “one of the two planes, believed to be hijacked, was approximately 5 minutes out from DC.”

These documents confirm that the Secret Service knew that two hijacked planes were headed toward Washington during the time that Cheney and SAIC Truscott were in the PEOC, and well before Flight 77 was reported to have crashed into the Pentagon. Cheney seemed to confirm the same when he later said, on NBC’s Meet the Press — “The Secret Service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was…” — and then cut himself off.

There remains some confusion over whether the Secret Service ordered, or had the authority to order, the scrambling of interceptor jets from Andrews AFB in response to the knowledge about the incoming hijacked aircraft.Author Lynn Spencer, who NORAD Commander General Ralph Eberhart says “tells it all and tells it well,” wrote that “the Secret Service also has certain authority over the military and, in this case, the DC Guard.” [17]That is, the Secret Service had the authority to order the scrambling of interceptor jets on 9/11. And of course, with the president indisposed for a brief period, the vice president was the commander in chief of the military.

Official reports now suggest that the Secret Service made such a request, although very late in the chain of events, but that Andrews commander General David Wherley did not respond rapidly enough.The reason given is that Wherley did not recognize the Secret Service as having the authority to order jets to scramble and therefore he waited until someone in the military chain of command gave him the order.Unfortunately, General Wherley is no longer available for comment as he died in a freak train accident which was “the most deadly train crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.” [18]

However, it is clear that Andrews AFB staff reached out to the Secret Service well before Wherley ever got involved. [19]Just after 9:05, Major Daniel Caine, the supervisor of flying at Andrews AFB, called his Secret Service contact, Kenneth Beachamp.Caine asked “Are you guys going to need some help?”Agent Beauchamp replied “No, but I’ll call you back if that changes.”Beauchamp, whose 9/11-related interview is still “national security classified,” never called back.Nearly 30 minutes later, when Flight 77 was coming into Washington, someone else from the Secret Service finally returned Caine’s call to accept the offer of assistance.Upon answering the phone, Caine stated that he “could hear plain as day the vice president talking in the background.” [20]That was when Caine’s newly arrived superior, General Wherley, began spending another 80 minutes or more being confused about the chain of command, according to the official account.

Interceptor jets did not launch from Andrews AFB, which was only ten miles from the Pentagon, until 10:38 am (and those were not armed).This was more than an hour after the Pentagon was hit, almost two and a half hours after the first plane was known to be hijacked, and approximately 90 minutes after Major Caine had first offered assistance to the Secret Service.

SAIC Truscott continued as the leader of the Secret Service PPD through 2005, during the times when a gay prostitute came to the White House for overnight visits, and during the period when Jack Abramoff was visiting the White House.The White House later tried to hide the records for these visits. Truscott was also at the White House during the period when the Secret Service adopted its secretive processes for records management with regard to visitor records.

Like Marinzel, Truscott’s performance on 9/11 was apparently well received as he was later promoted to Director of the ATF, another major agency of the U.S. Department of Treasury. In the end he was forced to resign in a scandal related to multiple abuses of power including sexist orders given to female employees. Truscott had friends in high places, however, and he was protected from prosecution by order of the White House. [21]Truscott went on to join ASERO Worldwide, an international security and risk management firm run by Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, who was formerly the most senior ranking security official at the Israeli Security Agency. [22]

Overall, the response of the Secret Service to the 9/11 attacks suggests foreknowledge of the events in that the agency failed to protect the president from the obvious danger posed by terrorists. That foreknowledge, combined with the failure of the Secret Service to follow-up on the offer of air support from Andrews AFB, leads to the suspicion that the agency was complicit in the attacks.Revealing the truth behind these suspicions will require that the central role players from the Secret Service and the White House, including Edward Marinzel, Ari Fleischer, Joseph Hagin, Carl Truscott, Anthony Zotto, and Kenneth Beauchamp, be examined under oath by prosecutors with subpoena power.


 

 


[1] Allan Wood and Paul Thompson, An Interesting Day: President Bush’s Movements and Actions on 9/11, History Commons Complete 9/11 Timeline, http://www.historycommons.org/essay.jsp?article=essayaninterestingday

[2] Shoestring 9/11 Blog, The 90-Minute Stand Down on 9/11: Why Was the Secret Service’s Early Request for Fighter Jets Ignored?, December 20, 2009, http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2009/12/90-minute-stand-down-on-911-why-was.html

[3] Tom Bayles, The Day Before Everything Changed, President Bush Touched Locals’ Lives, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 10, 2002, http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/sarasotaheraldtribune091002.html

[4] Allan Wood and Paul Thompson

[5] Philip H. Melanson, Secret Service: The Hiddine History of an Enigmatic Agency, Carroll & Graf, 2002

[6] Command Consulting, Bio for Edward Marrnizel, http://www.commandcg.com/en/edward-marinzel

[7] For references to the 2004 Edward Marinzel interview, see The 9/11 Commission Report, footnotes 204 and 207 from Chapter 1, and footnotes 1 to 3 from Chapter 10

[8] 911Research.wtc7.net, George W. Bush: Cover Stories of the People in Charge, http://911research.wtc7.net/disinfo/alibis/bush.html

[9] Command Consulting, Bio for Edward Marrnizel

[10] Command Consulting, Bio for Joseph Hagin, http://www.commandcg.com/en/joseph-w-hagin

[11] The 9/11 Commission Report, page 36

[12] FOIA documents released by the U.S. Secret Service to Aidan Monaghan on April 23, 2010.http://www.mediafire.com/?vydb4nxdmyy

[13] George Washington’s Blog, Mineta’s testimony CONFIRMED, March 04, 2007,http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2007/03/minetas-testimony-confirmed.html

[14] Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon (chapter 24), New Society Publishers, 2004

[15] FOIA documents released by the U.S. Secret Service

[17] Lynn Spencer, Touching History: The untold story of the drama that unfolded in the skies over America on 9/11, Free Press, 2008

[18] Christopher Conkey, Retired Major General Wherley Died in Crash, Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2009,http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124581129913745441.html

[19] Shoestring 9/11 Blog, The 90-Minute Stand Down on 9/11: Why Was the Secret Service’s Early Request for Fighter Jets Ignored?, December 20, 2009, http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2009/12/90-minute-stand-down-on-911-why-was.html

[20] History Commons Complete 9/11 Timeline, Profile: Daniel Caine, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=dan_caine

[21] Empty Wheel, Who Is Carl Truscott and Why Did Bush’s DOJ Protect Him?, March 5, 2008,http://www.emptywheel.net/2008/03/05/who-is-carl-truscott-and-why-did-bushs-doj-protect-him/

[22] Bloomberg Businessweek profile for ASERO Worldwide, http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=127598609

‘Real-World or Exercise’: Did the U.S. Military Mistake the 9/11 Attacks for a Training Scenario?

NORAD exercise Amalagam Virgo 01 concept proposal

“I’ve never seen so much real-world stuff happen during an exercise.”
– Major James Fox, Northeast Air Defense Sector, September 11, 2001

Key military personnel who were responsible for protecting the U.S. against the 9/11 attacks may have been seriously hindered in their ability to respond because of a large-scale air defense exercise they were participating in when the attacks occurred. Evidence indicates that the personnel, whose responsibilities included ordering fighter jets into the air to intercept the hijacked planes, were unclear about what was “real-world” and what was “exercise.” They may have been led to believe that the terrorist attacks were just simulated scenarios.

These individuals worked at the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) in Rome, New York. Audio recordings of the operations floor at NEADS reveal staffers suggesting that the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001 could have been part of the exercise. They sometimes even made jokes and laughed about what was taking place, further indicating that they were mistaking actual events for exercise simulations. Even senior commanding officers have admitted wondering if the terrorist attacks were part of the exercise.

And while staffers sometimes apparently made clear that an event was unconnected to the exercise by referring to it as being “real-world,” there is evidence that the term “real-world” may in fact be a way to describe live events played out within an exercise, perhaps involving real aircraft getting airborne, rather than just hypothetical scenarios.

Furthermore, NEADS personnel previously participated in exercises that included scenarios resembling the 9/11 attacks, such as plane hijackings and aircraft being crashed into skyscrapers in New York, and this could have increased the likelihood that they would mistake the events of September 11 for exercise simulations.

Although much remains speculative, the available evidence raises serious questions about whether the exercise at NEADS on September 11 was a deliberate tactic used to hinder skilled and dedicated professionals, thereby preventing them from stopping the terrorist attacks.

NORAD’S ‘SIMULATED AIR WAR’ ON SEPTEMBER 11
A key agency responsible for protecting the U.S. from an airborne attack, like what happened on September 11, is NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. NORAD is the military organization responsible for monitoring and defending the airspace over the United States and Canada. Within the U.S., it is divided into three sectors. The 9/11 attacks took place in the airspace monitored by its Northeast Air Defense Sector, NEADS. It was therefore personnel at NEADS who were responsible for trying to coordinate the U.S. military’s response to the hijackings. These individuals, however, were in the middle of a major training exercise when the attacks began.

“Vigilant Guardian” was an annual exercise conducted by NORAD that was several days underway on September 11. All of NORAD took part in it. [1] Vigilant Guardian has been described as a “simulated air war” and as “an air defense exercise simulating an attack on the United States.” [2] Remarkably, it was scheduled to include a simulated hijacking at around 9:40 a.m. on September 11. The exercise “was designed to run a range of scenarios” that day, according to Vanity Fair, “including a ‘traditional’ simulated hijack in which politically motivated perpetrators commandeer an aircraft, land on a Cuba-like island, and seek asylum.” [3]

It has been claimed that Vigilant Guardian was terminated shortly after United Airlines Flight 175 became the second plane to crash into the World Trade Center, at 9:03 a.m. on September 11. [4] However, evidence indicates it may have continued long after that time. It has also been claimed that the participation of military staffers in the exercise had little effect on their ability to protect America against the attacks, and that Vigilant Guardian may even have had beneficial effects. For example, in its final report, the 9/11 Commission claimed that the response to the attacks “was, if anything, expedited by the increased number of staff at the sectors and at NORAD because of the scheduled exercise.” [5] However, a significant amount of evidence casts doubt upon this claim.

NEADS STAFFERS THOUGHT ATTACKS WERE PART OF THE EXERCISE
From the outset, personnel at NEADS wondered if reports they received about the 9/11 attacks were part of the exercise. Their first notification of the crisis came just before 8:38 a.m. on September 11, when Joseph Cooper, an air traffic controller at the FAA’s Boston Center, called NEADS and reported, “We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and … we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.” The response of Technical Sergeant Jeremy Powell, who answered the call, was to ask, “Is this real-world or exercise?” Cooper replied, “No, this is not an exercise, not a test.” [6] According to Vanity Fair, “Powell, like almost everyone in the room, first assumes the phone call is from the simulations team on hand to send ‘inputs’–simulated scenarios–into play for the day’s training exercise.” [7]

However, despite Cooper’s statement that the hijacking was “not an exercise, not a test,” NEADS personnel continued to question whether information they received about the attacks was real or just simulation. For example, at 9:03 a.m., NEADS received a phone call informing it that a second aircraft had been hijacked, and personnel also saw the live television coverage of the second plane, Flight 175, crashing into the World Trade Center. A minute or two later, recordings of the operations floor reveal, several members of staff discussed these developments among themselves. One of them asked, “Is this explosion part of that that we’re looking at now on TV?” Someone replied: “Yes. And there’s a possible second hijack also–a United Airlines.” Another person then commented, “I think this is a damn input, to be honest.” An “input” is a simulations input, as part of a training exercise. Someone else said, “Then this is a damned messed-up input.” [8]

It is unclear whether, on this occasion, when the NEADS personnel mentioned an “input,” they were suggesting that the second hijacking was simulated, or they thought it possible that the television coverage of the attack on the WTC was simulated video footage, intended to make the exercise more realistic. What is remarkable, either way, is that at a time when it should have been obvious to them that the U.S. was in the middle of a major terrorist attack, these key personnel were uncertain whether what was happening was real or simulated.

NEADS PERSONNEL THOUGHT THE EXERCISE WAS CONTINUING, WELL AFTER THE ATTACKS BEGAN
Although it has been claimed that Vigilant Guardian was terminated shortly after Flight 175 hit the WTC, evidence shows that NEADS personnel thought it was continuing after that time, and wondered whether subsequent events were part of the exercise.

At 9:09 a.m., one of the NEADS ID technicians complained, “I hope they cancel the exercise, because this is ridiculous.” [9] Then at 9:15 a.m., an off-duty member of staff called in and asked someone in the ID section about the exercise. They said, “I’ve been watching [the news] for about 10 minutes, and I said, ‘I wonder if they’re, did they suspend the exercise?'” The person at NEADS answered, “Not at this time, no, but I think they’re going to.” He then laughed and added, “I don’t know.” [10]

If the exercise was still being conducted at 9:15 a.m., as this call indicated, the question arises as to why it had not been canceled. If NORAD and/or NEADS personnel were clear that the terrorist attacks were real, rather than simulated, surely those in command should have called off the exercise well before this time. If, alternatively, the exercise had already been terminated, why were those on the NEADS operations floor allowed to think it was still taking place?

The confusion continued. At around 9:20 a.m., one of the ID technicians commented, “This was pre-planned, I bet you, for 9 o’clock.” A colleague of hers replied, “Oh, I bet you it was.” [11] It is unclear exactly what these staffers were talking about. But it seems possible they were referring to actual events that they mistakenly thought were simulated. They thought these events had been “pre-planned” by those who designed the exercise.

Remarkably, there was uncertainty over whether the exercise was still taking place more than 45 minutes later. At 10:08 a.m., Master Sergeant Joe McCain, the mission crew commander technician, responded to Master Sergeant Maureen Dooley, the leader of the ID section, after she provided details of a bomb that was being reported on United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth hijacked plane, which supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania that morning. McCain commented, “If this is an exercise input, this is a good one.” [12] (As previously mentioned, an “input” is a scenario simulated for the exercise.) In other words, several minutes after Flight 93 crashed, and the terrorist attacks were effectively over, someone at NEADS still considered it possible that information about the attacks was part of the exercise.

COMMANDERS THOUGHT HIJACKING WAS PART OF THE EXERCISE
Even some of the most senior officers at NORAD and NEADS have admitted mistaking actual events for part of Vigilant Guardian. Colonel Robert Marr, the battle commander at NEADS on September 11, has recalled that when he saw personnel on the operations floor huddled together after they learned of the first hijacking, he assumed it was related to the exercise. Presumably based on an interview with Marr, author Lynn Spencer described that moment, writing: “Marr has participated in enough training missions to know this is something out of the ordinary. Clearly, he thinks, the simex [simulated exercise] is kicking off with a lively, unexpected twist. … His bet is that his simulations team has started off the exercise by throwing out a ‘heart attack card’ to see how the troops respond to a first-aid call from a fellow soldier, testing their first responder training.” [13]

Major General Larry Arnold, the commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region on September 11, has recalled that when he was informed of the first hijacking, the first thing he thought was: “Is this part of the exercise? Is this some kind of a screw-up?” [14] He explained, “Because quite honestly, and frankly, we do do hijacking scenarios as we go through these exercises from time to time.” [15]

According to Spencer, Arnold was “not privy to everything concerning the exercise.” Vigilant Guardian was “meant to test commanders also, to make sure that their war machine is operating as it should.” [16] Marr has similarly commented that despite his senior position at NEADS, “You just never knew really what was going to happen in those exercises.” [17]

OFFICER WHO HELPED DESIGN EXERCISE MISTOOK ATTACKS FOR SIMULATION
Another officer who, despite his senior position, apparently mistook the 9/11 attacks for an exercise simulation was Major Kevin Nasypany. Nasypany was the mission crew commander at NEADS on September 11, and in that role, according to Marr, was “basically in charge of the entire operations floor.” Nasypany, Marr said, was “the most senior guy on the floor.” [18] Furthermore, Nasypany had helped design the exercise taking place that day.

And yet, Nasypany has said, “When they told me there was a hijack, my first reaction was, ‘Somebody started the exercise early.'” Nasypany knew that the exercise was scheduled to include a simulated hijacking, and so, he recalled, he “actually said out loud, ‘The hijack’s not supposed to be for another hour.'” [19]

Additionally, audio recordings reveal that at around 9:00 a.m. on September 11, Nasypany joked with his colleagues about what happened when NEADS was alerted to the first hijacking, of American Airlines Flight 11. He said: “And where was I? I was on the shitter!” He continued, “When I heard, it was like, ‘Oh my God!'” He added, “I knew that was an exercise.” [20]

If Nasypany–“the most senior guy on the floor”–was openly suggesting that actual events were part of the exercise, then surely members of staff under his command could have mistakenly thought they were dealing with simulated scenarios.

NEADS PERSONNEL JOKED ABOUT THE ATTACKS
Further evidence that NEADS personnel mistook actual events for simulation, as part of the exercise, is the inappropriate emotions some of them exhibited in response to the hijackings and other aspects of the terrorist attacks. Staffers sometimes reacted in a light-hearted manner, and even joked openly about the catastrophic events taking place.

For example, recordings of the operations floor reveal that at 8:57 a.m., around 20 minutes after NEADS was alerted to the first hijacking, Kevin Nasypany was discussing the first plane hitting the World Trade Center with a colleague. He then joked, “Think we put the exercise on a hold, what do you think?” and laughed heartily. [21]

A number of staffers joked about the day’s events just after NEADS was informed that a second plane had been hijacked, at 9:03 a.m. One staff member announced to his colleagues: “Okay guys, listen up. Possibly a second hijack.” One of them responded, “Bring it on.” The person that announced the possible hijacking then added that the hijacked plane was “United Air.” In response, a colleague said: “That’s it. I’m not flying with United or American [Airlines] anymore.”

The men then started joking among themselves. One of them commented: “I’ll say they’re all supposed to be on the same plane. They just got mixed up.” (Presumably he was talking about the hijackers.) In response, another of the men laughed and said, “Half of them got on one plane, the other half …” One man commented, “I never thought I would have wished for ValuJet to come back,” and another laughed and replied, “I’m still not wishing for ValuJet.” A couple of minutes later, one of the men said, “I’m glad I’m not flying today,” and then laughed. One of his colleagues replied: “Don’t worry, Jim. We’ll carjack you on the way home.” [22]

Such jovial conversation would have been extraordinary if these men realized that the U.S. was in the middle of the worst terrorist attack in its history. Their behavior would, however, be more understandable if they mistakenly thought the information they had been given about hijackings and planes crashing into the World Trade Center was part of the exercise.

One more such incident occurred at 9:47 a.m., after Jeremy Powell called a military unit to inform it of the possible hijacking of another aircraft, Delta Airlines Flight 1989, and said that NEADS needed “somebody airborne.” (The suspicion that this flight had been hijacked turned out to be mistaken.) After he ended the call, Powell or someone else at NEADS, presumably referring to the suspected hijacking, joked, “Are you sure this isn’t an exercise?” and then laughed. [23]

NEADS PERSONNEL INDICATED THAT ‘REAL-WORLD’ REFERRED TO LIVE-FLY EXERCISE EVENTS
Often, recordings reveal, NEADS personnel appeared to make clear that an event was unrelated to the exercise by referring to it as being “real-world” or “live-world.” However, there is evidence that their use of the term “real-world” meant something different.

We know that when NORAD holds what is called a “live-fly” exercise, this will involve actual civilian planes and military fighters getting airborne, instead of just being simulated. [24] For example, a NORAD exercise called “Amalgam Virgo 02” that was held in June 2002 involved a Delta Airlines Boeing 757 and a Navy C-9 taking to the air to act as hijacked planes. Furthermore, FBI agents and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police played the parts of the hijackers on the planes, and military personnel acted as the civilian passengers. [25]

Some evidence indicates that when NEADS personnel used the term “real-world” on September 11, they were referring to a particular event being part of the exercise. But they meant that they thought it was being played out live, like the hijackings in Amalgam Virgo 02, rather than just simulated.

Lieutenant Colonel Dawne Deskins, the aircraft control and warning officer at NEADS on September 11, supported this possibility when she was interviewed by the 9/11 Commission in October 2003. She said that, before 9/11, when NEADS held exercises that included simulated plane hijackings, it “would not do these hijack exercises real-world.” Instead, it “had a cell that would play the FAA in the exercise.” Deskins commented that “there really were not the assets to do a large-scale real-world exercise to practice hijack response.” [26]

Major James Fox, the leader of the NEADS weapons team on September 11, similarly told the 9/11 Commission that he did “not recall any real-world, actual flying exercises coordinated with FAA to practice hijack procedures.” He added, “Any live exercises would happen over the off-coast airspaces.” [27] Both Fox and Deskins, therefore, appear to have taken the term “real-world” to be a way of describing an exercise that includes live-fly activities.

NEADS OFFICER HAD ‘NEVER SEEN SO MUCH REAL-WORLD STUFF HAPPEN DURING AN EXERCISE’
Recordings of the NEADS operations floor show personnel apparently taking the term “real-world” to be a reference to live-fly exercise events while the 9/11 attacks were taking place. For example, in the ID section, technicians Stacia Rountree, Shelley Watson, and Maureen Dooley overheard Jeremy Powell on the phone with the FAA’s Boston Center, being notified of the first hijacking. Rountree reacted to the news by saying, “Is that real-world?” Dooley answered, “Real-world hijack.” Watson then reacted as if she were pleased at this news, exclaiming, “Cool!” [28]

In a recent documentary, Dooley gave an explanation for her colleague’s apparently inappropriate reaction. She claimed that Watson said “Cool!” because a hijacking “was usually not something that was very devastating.” [29] However, might the reason for Watson’s reaction have been that she thought the hijacking was part of the exercise, but, as it was a “real-world hijack,” she thought it involved a real plane playing the hijacked aircraft, which meant NEADS had the opportunity to launch real fighter jets in response to it? Watson was therefore looking forward to dealing with a live-fly exercise event.

Minutes after this incident, at 8:43 a.m., while NEADS personnel were busy responding to the reported hijacking of Flight 11, James Fox commented, “I’ve never seen so much real-world stuff happen during an exercise.” [30] Here again it seems that the term “real-world” was being used as a reference to live events within an exercise, rather than to actual, non-exercise events.

Robert Marr, too, appears to have understood “real-world” to be a term that is used to describe a live-fly exercise event. When he saw personnel on the operations floor gathered around a radar scope after they learned of the first hijacking, Marr sent Dawne Deskins to find out what was happening. [31] After Deskins then learned about the hijacking, she returned to the NEADS battle cab and reportedly told Marr: “It’s a hijacking, and this is real life, not part of the exercise.” According to the account of Lynn Spencer, which was presumably based on an interview with Marr, Marr then thought: “This is an interesting start to the exercise. This ‘real-world’ mixed in with today’s simex will keep them on their toes.” [32]

EXERCISE RESEMBLED 9/11 IN DAYS BEFORE ATTACKS
Some aspects of Vigilant Guardian that NEADS personnel had been dealing with in the days just before September 11 bore a remarkable resemblance to the situation these personnel were faced with when the 9/11 attacks occurred. This similarity could surely have increased the likelihood that the events of September 11 would be mistaken for exercise simulations.

For example, on September 9 Vigilant Guardian included a scenario in which terrorists hijacked a large commercial jet plane and threatened to use it for an attack on New York. In the scenario, members of a terrorist group armed with explosives were on a regular United Airlines flight from London, England, to New York, with the intention of detonating their explosives over New York. After the fictitious terrorists realized their plane had been diverted and was nowhere near New York, they detonated their explosives, leaving no survivors. [33] Considering the similarity between this scenario and the 9/11 attacks (terrorists on a commercial jet plane, planning an airborne attack on New York), might NEADS personnel have mistakenly thought the attacks on September 11 were a follow-up to this simulation?

MOCK AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER IN EXERCISE USED NAME OF KEY CONTROLLER WHO RESPONDED TO 9/11 ATTACKS
Another remarkable aspect of Vigilant Guardian is that in the days just before September 11, the actor playing the air traffic controller who gave NEADS information about the simulated events said their name was “Colin Scoggins,” even though it was unusual for a mock controller to give their name during an exercise. And then, on September 11, the real Colin Scoggins–an employee at the FAA’s Boston Center–happened to be the key person calling NEADS with information about the actual attacks, even though it was not his usual role to perform such a duty. This curious apparent coincidence could surely have made it more likely that NEADS personnel would mistake the 9/11 attacks for part of the exercise.

Colin Scoggins was the Boston Center’s military operations specialist. [34] He was responsible for managing operating agreements between the Boston Center and the military, and consequently had personal relationships with most military units in the region. [35]

In the two days before 9/11, an actor playing Scoggins in the exercise made calls to NEADS, giving it information about the simulated events. Recordings from the operations floor reveal, for example, that shortly before 10:00 a.m. on September 9, NEADS was called by the actor, who said his name was “Colin Scoggins.” The actor said a group called the “Palan Resistance Movement” had two of its members on United Airlines Flight 558, a flight out of London, who intended to detonate a bomb over New York City.

The real Colin Scoggins has confirmed that the voice of the person calling himself “Colin Scoggins” on this occasion was not his. Scoggins suggested that the NEADS simulation cell used his name in the exercise probably because he was a known contact at the Boston Center. Scoggins also said it was unusual for NEADS to use a specific name like this in an exercise, and added that the actor should have just referred to himself as being from the Boston Center. [36]

CONTROLLER WAS ‘THE ONLY ONE’ GIVING NEADS INFORMATION DURING 9/11 ATTACKS
While an actor calling himself “Colin Scoggins” gave NEADS information about simulated exercise events in the two days before 9/11, apparently by coincidence, the real Colin Scoggins served as a key liaison between the Boston Center and NEADS on September 11. Scoggins has said he made “about 40” phone calls to NEADS that day. [37] Robert Marr said Scoggins was in fact “about the only one that was feeding us information [during the attacks]. I don’t know exactly where he got it. But he was feeding us information as much as he could.” [38] According to Lynn Spencer, other than the calls from Scoggins, NEADS’s only source of information on the hijacked planes was “the coverage on CNN.” [39]

And yet Scoggins would not normally have been performing the role of keeping NEADS updated with relevant information, as he did on September 11. Daniel Bueno, the traffic management supervisor at the Boston Center, told the 9/11 Commission that as a military operations specialist, Scoggins was “usually not on the [air traffic control] floor.” [40] Scoggins has said that he didn’t “normally sit at that position”–manning the military desk at the Boston Center–“but I write all the procedures for it. So I understand the position probably better than anybody else who works the position.” [41]

After arriving at the Boston Center at around 8:25 a.m. and being told by a colleague that a plane had been hijacked, Scoggins in fact first headed to the center’s in-house credit union rather than to the operational floor, because, he has said, “when hijacks do occur, sometimes too many people try to get involved but instead they just get in the way.” [42] However, shortly after he arrived, Scoggins has recalled that Bueno “asked me to come downstairs and sit at the military desk if I could.” [43]

Therefore the unlikely and unusual situation arose that during the exercise on September 9 and September 10, and also during the attacks on September 11, NEADS was given key information by someone calling himself Colin Scoggins. The question arises as to whether this created any confusion during the 9/11 attacks, causing some NEADS personnel to think information coming from the real Colin Scoggins was part of the exercise. While the person answering calls from Scoggins on September 11 may have recognized that the caller had a different voice to the actor playing Scoggins on the previous days, other NEADS personnel could have been unaware of the different voices, and only have heard from their colleagues that a particular piece of information came from “Colin Scoggins.”

PREVIOUS EXERCISES INCLUDED SCENARIOS SIMILAR TO 9/11 ATTACKS
It was not just exercise events during the previous few days that may have resulted in confusion at NEADS on September 11. What could also have increased the likelihood that NEADS personnel would mistake the 9/11 attacks for part of the exercise is the fact that during the previous two years, these personnel had participated in other exercises based around scenarios closely resembling what happened on September 11.

For example, the previous Vigilant Guardian, held in October 2000, included a scenario in which a pilot planned to deliberately crash an aircraft into a skyscraper in New York. The simulation involved an individual stealing a Federal Express plane with the intention of using it for a suicide attack on the 39-story United Nations headquarters building. [44]

Another exercise NEADS took part in, called “Falcon Indian” and held in June 2000, was based on the possibility of a “Communist Party faction” hijacking an aircraft bound from the western to the eastern United States. The fictitious hijackers intended to crash the plane into the Statue of Liberty, located close to the Twin Towers, in New York Harbor. [45]

Remarkably, one NORAD exercise, held at an unspecified time in the two years prior to 9/11, was based on the possibility of a hijacked aircraft being used as a weapon and deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center. [46] Furthermore, NORAD has stated that most of the four major exercises it held each year before 9/11 “included a hijack scenario.” [47] So, although most of the personnel on the NEADS operations floor were unaware beforehand what the exercise was going to entail on September 11, they might surely have wondered if the plane hijackings and the attacks in New York that day were simulated, since these events so closely resembled scenarios played out in previous exercises.

EXERCISES INCLUDED MOCK TV NEWS REPORTS
One might think that television coverage of the 9/11 attacks would have convinced those at NEADS that they were dealing with actual terrorist attacks rather than simulated ones. However, there is evidence that casts doubt on this assertion.

It is known that simulated television news reports had been used in training exercises before 9/11. For example, a two-day exercise was held at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, in June 2001, called “Dark Winter,” based on the scenario of a smallpox attack on the United States. This exercise, according to New York magazine, included “simulated news clips from an imaginary cable news network called NCN.” [48] Whether NORAD exercises prior to 9/11 included simulated television footage is unknown. But this possibility should certainly be investigated.

The possibility should also be investigated that NEADS personnel mistakenly thought television news reports of the 9/11 attacks were video created to make their exercise seem more realistic. Unlikely as it might seem, evidence shows this scenario is plausible.

It has been reported that volunteers taking part in another military exercise on the morning of September 11 did incorrectly think that television coverage of the attacks in New York was video footage created for their exercise. That exercise, called “Timely Alert II,” was held at Fort Monmouth, an Army base about 50 miles south of New York City, and was based around a simulated biochemical terrorist attack at the base. Exercise participants later recalled that “when they first saw live footage of the events unfolding at the World Trade Center, they thought it was some elaborate training video to accompany the exercise.” One training officer was told by a participant, “You really outdid yourself this time.” [49] If workers at Fort Monmouth could make this error, surely those at NEADS could have done so too.

WAS CONFUSION CAUSED BY THE EXERCISE INTENDED TO PARALYZE THE MILITARY?
Officials have claimed that the U.S. military was unaffected in its ability to respond to the 9/11 attacks by the Vigilant Guardian exercise. During one of the 9/11 Commission’s public hearings, commissioner Timothy Roemer asked whether the exercise delayed the military. He suggested that, in response to reports of the attacks, personnel might have thought, “No, there’s no possibility that this is real-world; we’re engaged in an exercise.” But General Ralph Eberhart, the commander of NORAD on September 11, replied that “it became painfully clear … that this was not an exercise.” He said the situation Roemer referred to “at most cost us 30 seconds.” [50]

The evidence described above, however, suggests that Vigilant Guardian could have seriously impaired the military. It may have caused significant confusion, because those at NEADS were unclear whether the events of September 11 were real or part of the exercise. There is therefore a need for a close examination of this exercise, as well as other exercises that took place on September 11 and in the years before then.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT VIGILANT GUARDIAN
As part of a new investigation of 9/11, those who served at NEADS on September 11 need to be given the opportunity to talk openly about their experiences that day. Evidence already available raises many questions. For example, which events on September 11 did NEADS personnel think might be part of the exercise? And at what time did these personnel know for certain that the exercise had been terminated?

We need to know which individuals were responsible for designing the Vigilant Guardian exercise that was taking place in September 2001, and who designed the earlier exercises that included scenarios resembling the 9/11 attacks. We also need to know who was responsible for running Vigilant Guardian on September 11, along with full details of the simulations planned for that day.

The fact that some previous NORAD exercises closely resembled the 9/11 attacks, and the fact that the Vigilant Guardian exercise taking place in September 2001 included scenarios similar to the 9/11 attacks, should be of serious concern. Such facts suggest the possibility that training exercises were used to deliberately paralyze the military on September 11, thereby ensuring that the attacks in New York and at the Pentagon were successful.

 

 Additional information about Vigilant Guardian exercise

“‘Let’s Get Rid of This Goddamn Sim’: How NORAD Radar Screens Displayed False Tracks All Through the 9/11 Attacks”:
http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2010/08/lets-get-rid-of-this-goddamn-s…

“Was Delta 1989 Part of a Live-Fly Hijacking Exercise on 9/11?”:
http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2009/07/was-delta-1989-part-of-live-fl…

“Was Korean Airlines Flight 85 a Simulated Hijack in a 9/11 Training Exercise?”:
http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2010/04/was-korean-airlines-flight-85-…

 

 

 

NOTES
[1] “Vigilant Guardian 01-2.” Northeast Air Defense Sector, August 23, 2001; William M. Arkin, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World. Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2005, p. 545; “Vigilant Guardian.” GlobalSecurity.org, May 7, 2011.
[2] Leslie Filson, Air War Over America: Sept. 11 Alters Face of Air Defense Mission. Tyndall Air Force Base, FL: 1st Air Force, 2003, pp. 55, 122.
[3] Michael Bronner, “9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes.” Vanity Fair, August 2006.
[4] Jason Tudor, “Inner Space.” Airman, March 2002; Leslie Filson, Air War Over America, p. 59.
[5] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, p. 458.
[6] Ibid. p. 20; Lynn Spencer, Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11. New York: Free Press, 2008, p. 25.
[7] Michael Bronner, “9/11 Live.”
[8] Ibid.; Lynn Spencer, Touching History, pp. 82, 84.
[9] NEADS Audio File, Identification Technician Position, Channel 4. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001“The Hunt for American Air Eleven After WTC 1 is Hit.” 9/11 Commission, n.d.
[10] NEADS Audio File, Identification Technician Position, Channel 7. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001Miles Kara, “Exercise not a Detractor; the Definitive Story.” 9/11 Revisited, September 1, 2011.
[11] NEADS Audio File, Identification Technician Position, Channel 4“Transcripts From Voice Recorder, 11 September 2001 1227Z-1417Z, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Rome, NY.” North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001.
[12] NEADS Audio File, Mission Crew Commander Position, Channel 3. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001Miles Kara, “Exercise not a Detractor; the Definitive Story.”
[13] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 26.
[14] “9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings.” ABC News, September 11, 2002.
[15] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Public Hearing. 9/11 Commission, May 23, 2003.
[16] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 38.
[17] The 9/11 Tapes: Chaos in the Sky. Discovery Channel, February 12, 2012.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Michael Bronner, “9/11 Live.”
[20] NEADS Audio File, Mission Crew Commander Position, Channel 2. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001Miles Kara, “NEADS Mission Crew Commander; a Valiant Effort, Ultimately Futile, Part I.” 9/11 Revisited, June 4, 2011.
[21] NEADS Audio File, Mission Crew Commander Position, Channel 2Michael Bronner, “9/11 Live”Miles Kara, “Exercise not a Detractor; the Definitive Story.”
[22] NEADS Audio File, Air Surveillance Technician Position, Channel 15. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001.
[23] Miles Kara, “Exercise not a Detractor; the Definitive Story.”
[24] Gail Braymen, “NORAD Personnel Hone Response Skills in Amalgam Arrow Exercises.” North American Aerospace Defense Command, February 22, 2007.
[25] Nick Wadhams, “Joint U.S., Canadian Hijacking Drill Takes off With Whidbey Flight.” Associated Press, June 4, 2002“Airborne Anti-Terrorist Operation Getting Underway.” Live Today, CNN, June 4, 2002“Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Major Paul Goddard (Canadian Forces) and Ken Merchant.” 9/11 Commission, March 4, 2004.
[26] “Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins.” 9/11 Commission, October 30, 2003.
[27] “Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Major James Fox.” 9/11 Commission, October 29, 2003.
[28] Michael Bronner, “9/11 Live”“NEADS CDs.” 9/11 Commission, n.d.
[29] The 9/11 Tapes.
[30] NEADS Audio File, Mission Crew Commander Position, Channel 2NEADS Audio File, Mission Crew Commander Position, Channel 3Michael Bronner, “9/11 Live.”
[31] Leslie Filson, Air War Over America, p. 55.
[32] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 26.
[33] “Event: Terrorist on Board a Regular Flight From London to JFK.” North American Aerospace Defense Command, n.d., p. 74;“NORAD Exercises: Hijack Summary.” 9/11 Commission, n.d.
[34] “Memorandum for the Record: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Boston Center Field Site Interview With Colin Scoggins, Military Operations Specialist.” 9/11 Commission, September 22, 2003.
[35] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 33.
[36] Miles Kara, “NEADS; Exercise Vigilant Guardian in Perspective, Sep. 9.” 9/11 Revisited, January 19, 2011Miles Kara, “Exercise Vigilant Guardian; Sep. 10.” 9/11 Revisited, February 11, 2011.
[37] “Q&A With Boston Center Air Traffic Controller.” 9/11 Guide, October 28, 2007.
[38] Chasing Planes: Witnesses to 9/11. Directed by Michael Bronner. London: Working Title Films, 2006.
[39] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 82.
[40] “Memorandum for the Record: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Boston Center Field Site Interview 1 With Daniel D. Bueno, Traffic Management Supervisor, Boston Center.” 9/11 Commission, September 22, 2003.
[41] Aviation Officials Remember September 11, 2001. C-SPAN, September 11, 2010.
[42] “Chronology of Events at Mission Coordinator Position.” Federal Aviation Administration, September 20, 2001Albert McKeon, “Nashua FAA Controller Played Role in Tracking Flight 11.” Nashua Telegraph, September 8, 2011.
[43] Aviation Officials Remember September 11, 2001.
[44] Senate Committee on Armed Services, Implications for the Department of Defense and Military Operations of Proposals to Reorganize the United States Intelligence Community. 108th Cong., 2nd sess., August 17, 2004“NORAD Exercise a Year Before 9/11 Simulated a Pilot Trying to Crash a Plane Into a New York Skyscraper–The United Nations Headquarters.” Shoestring 9/11, July 27, 2010.
[45] Ibid.
[46] Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, “NORAD Had Drills of Jets as Weapons.” USA Today, April 18, 2004.
[47] Barbara Starr, “NORAD Exercise Had Jet Crashing Into Building.” CNN, April 19, 2004.
[48] “Dark Winter: Exercise Overview.” Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2001Tucker Carlson, “Pox Americana.” New York, October 8, 2001.
[49] Debbie Sheehan, “Force Protection Plan a ‘Timely Alert.'” Monmouth Message, September 21, 2001Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, A Concise History of the Communications-Electronics Command and Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Fort Monmouth, NJ: Fort Monmouth, 2003, p. 71.
[50] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Twelfth Public Hearing. 9/11 Commission, June 17, 2004.

Asia Times Online Investigation by Lars Schall: Insider trading 9/11 … the facts laid bare


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NC21Dj05.html

March 21, 2012
By Lars Schall

Is there any truth in the allegations that informed circles made substantial profits in the financial markets in connection to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, on the United States?

Arguably, the best place to start is by examining put options, which occurred around Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to an abnormal extent, and at the beginning via software that played a key role: the Prosecutor’s Management Information System, abbreviated as PROMIS. [i]

PROMIS is a software program that seems to be fitted with almost “magical” abilities. Furthermore, it is the subject of a decades-long dispute between its inventor, Bill Hamilton, and various people/institutions associated with intelligence agencies, military and security consultancy firms. [1]

One of the “magical” capabilities of PROMIS, one has to assume, is that it is equipped with artificial intelligence and was apparently from the outset “able to simultaneously read and integrate any number of different computer programs or databases, regardless of the language in which the original programs had been written or the operating systems and platforms on which that database was then currently installed.” [2]

And then it becomes really interesting:

What would you do if you possessed software that could think, understand every major language in the world, that provided peep-holes into everyone else’s computer “dressing rooms”, that could insert data into computers without people’s knowledge, that could fill in blanks beyond human reasoning, and also predict what people do – before they did it? You would probably use it, wouldn’t you? [3]

 

Granted, these capabilities sound hardly believable. In fact, the whole story of PROMIS, which Mike Ruppert develops in the course of his book Crossing the Rubicon in all its bizarre facets and turns, seems as if someone had developed a novel in the style of Philip K Dick and William Gibson. However, what Ruppert has collected about PROMIS is based on reputable sources as well as on results of personal investigations, which await a jury to take a first critical look at.

This seems all the more urgent if you add to the PROMIS capabilities “that it was a given that PROMIS was used for a wide variety of purposes by intelligence agencies, including the real-time monitoring of stock transactions on all the world´s major financial markets”. [4]

We are therefore dealing with a software that
a) Infiltrates computer and communication systems without being noticed.
b) Can manipulate data.
c) Is capable to track the global stock market trade in real time.

Point c is relevant to all that happened in connection with the never completely cleared up transactions that occurred just before September 11, [5] and of which the former chairman of the Deutsche Bundesbank Ernst Weltke said “could not have been planned and carried out without a certain knowledge”. [6]

I specifically asked financial journalist Max Keiser, who for years had worked on Wall Street as a stock and options trader, about the put option trades. Keiser pointed out in this context that he “had spoken with many brokers in the towers of the World Trade Center around that time. I heard firsthand about the airline put trade from brokers at Cantor Fitzgerald days before.” He then talked with me about an explosive issue, on which Ruppert elaborated in detail in Crossing the Rubicon.

Max Keiser: There are many aspects concerning these option purchases that have not been disclosed yet. I also worked at Alex Brown & Sons (ABS). Deutsche Bank bought Alex Brown & Sons in 1999. When the attacks occurred, ABS was owned by Deutsche Bank. An important person at ABS was Buzzy Krongard. I have met him several times at the offices in Baltimore. Krongard had transferred to become executive director at the CIA. The option purchases, in which ABS was involved, occurred in the offices of ABS in Baltimore. The noise which occurred between Baltimore, New York City and Langley was interesting, as you can imagine, to say the least.

 

Under consideration here is the fact that Alex Brown, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank (where many of the alleged 9/11 hijackers handled their banking transactions – for example Mohammed Atta) traded massive put options purchases on United Airlines Company UAL through the Chicago Board Option Exchange (CBOE) – “to the embarrassment of investigators”, as British newspaper The Independent reported. [7]

On September 12, the chairman of the board of Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, Mayo A Shattuck III, suddenly and quietly renounced his post, although he still had a three-year contract with an annual salary of several million US dollars. One could perceive that as somehow strange.

A few weeks later, the press spokesperson of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at that time, Tom Crispell, declined all comments, when he was contacted for a report for Ruppert´s website From the Wilderness, and had being asked “whether the Treasury Department or FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] had questioned CIA executive director and former Deutsche Bank-Alex Brown CEO [chief executive officer], A B ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, about CIA monitoring of financial markets using PROMIS and his former position as overseer of Brown’s ‘private client’ relations.” [8]

Just before he was recruited personally by former CIA chief George Tenet for the CIA, Krongard supervised mainly private client banking at Alex Brown. [9]

In any case, after 9/11 on the first trading day, when the US stock markets were open again, the stock price of UAL declined by 43%. (The four aircraft hijacked on September 11 were American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77 and UAL flights 175 and 93.)

With his background as a former options trader, Keiser explained an important issue to me in that regard.

Max Keiser: Put options are, if they are employed in a speculative trade, basically bets that stock prices will drop abruptly. The purchaser, who enters a time-specific contract with a seller, does not have to own the stock at the time when the contract is purchased.

 

Related to the issue of insider trading via (put or call) options there is also a noteworthy definition by the Swiss economists Remo Crameri, Marc Chesney and Loriano Mancini, notably that an option trade may be “identified as informed” – but is not yet (legally) proven – “when it is characterized by an unusual large increment in open interest and volume, induces large gains, and is not hedged in the stock market”. [10]

Open interest describes contracts which have not been settled (been exercised) by the end of the trading session, but are still open. Not hedged in the stock market means that the buyer of a (put or call) option holds no shares of the underlying asset, by which he might be able to mitigate or compensate losses if his trade doesn’t work out, or phrased differently: one does not hedge, because it is unnecessary, since one knows that the bet is one, pardon, “dead sure thing.” (In this respect it is thus not really a bet, because the result is not uncertain, but a foregone conclusion.)

In this case, the vehicle of the calculation was “ridiculously cheap put options which give the holder the ‘right’ for a period of time to sell certain shares at a price which is far below the current market price – which is a highly risky bet, because you lose money if at maturity the market price is still higher than the price agreed in the option. However, when these shares fell much deeper after the terrorist attacks, these options multiplied their value several hundred times because by now the selling price specified in the option was much higher than the market price. These risky games with short options are a sure indication for investors who knew that within a few days something would happen that would drastically reduce the market price of those shares.” [11]

Software such as PROMIS in turn is used with the precise intent to monitor the stock markets in real time to track price movements that appear suspicious. Therefore, the US intelligence services must have received clear warnings from the singular, never before sighted transactions prior to 9/11.

Of great importance with regard to the track, which should lead to the perpetrators if you were seriously contemplating to go after them, is this:

Max Keiser: The Options Clearing Corporation has a duty to handle the transactions, and does so rather anonymously – whereas the bank that executes the transaction as a broker can determine the identity of both parties.

 

But that may have hardly ever been the intention of the regulatory authorities when the track led to, amongst others, Alvin Bernard “Buzzy” Krongard, Alex Brown & Sons and the CIA. Ruppert, however, describes this case in Crossing the Rubicon in full length as far as possible. [12]

In addition, there are also ways and means for insiders to veil their tracks. In order to be less obvious, “the insiders could trade small numbers of contracts. These could be traded under multiple accounts to avoid drawing attention to large trading volumes going through one single large account. They could also trade small volumes in each contract but trade more contracts to avoid drawing attention. As open interest increases, non-insiders may detect a perceived signal and increase their trading activity. Insiders can then come back to enter into more transactions based on a seemingly significant trade signal from the market. In this regard, it would be difficult for the CBOE to ferret out the insiders from the non-insiders, because both are trading heavily.” [13]

The matter which needs clarification here is generally judged by Keiser as follows:

Max Keiser: My thought is that many (not all) of those who died on 9/11 were financial mercenaries – and we should feel the same about them as we feel about all mercenaries who get killed. The tragedy is that these companies mixed civilians with mercenaries, and that they were also killed. So have companies on Wall Street used civilians as human shields maybe?

 

According to a report by Bloomberg published in early October 2001, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began a probe into certain stock market transactions around 9/11 that included 38 companies, among them: American Airlines, United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., American Express Corp., American International Group, AXA SA, Bank of America Corp., Bank of New York Corp., Bear Stearns, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Morgan Stanley, General Motors and Raytheon. [14]

So far, so good. In the same month, however, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported that the SEC took the unprecedented step to deputize hundreds, if not even thousands of key stakeholders in the private sector for their investigation. In a statement that was sent to almost all listed companies in the US, the SEC asked the addressed companies to assign senior staff for the investigation, who would be aware of “the sensitive nature” of the case and could be relied on to “exercise appropriate discretion”. [15]

In essence, it was about controlling information, not about provision and disclosure of facts. Such a course of action involves compromising consequences. Ruppert:

What happens when you deputize someone in a national security or criminal investigation is that you make it illegal for them to disclose publicly what they know. Smart move. In effect, they become government agents and are controlled by government regulations rather than their own conscience. In fact, they can be thrown into jail without a hearing if they talk publicly. I have seen this implied threat time after time with federal investigators, intelligence agents, and even members of United States Congress who are bound so tightly by secrecy oaths and agreements that they are not even able to disclose criminal activities inside the government for fear of incarceration. [16]

 

Among the reports about suspected insider trading which are mentioned in Crossing the Rubicon/From the Wilderness is a list that was published under the heading “Black Tuesday: The World’s Largest Insider Trading Scam?” by the Israeli Herzliyya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism on September 21, 2001:

  • Between September 6 and 7, the CBOE 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 imminent attacks, these “insiders” would have profited by almost $5 million.
  • On September 10, 4,516 put options on American Airlines were bought on the Chicago exchange, compared to only 748 calls. Again, there was no news at that point to justify this imbalance; again, assuming that 4,000 of these options trades represent “insiders”, they would represent a gain of about $4 million.
  • [The levels of put options purchased above were more than six times higher than normal.]
  • No similar trading in other airlines occurred on the Chicago exchange in the days immediately preceding Black Tuesday.
  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co, which occupied 22 floors of the World Trade Center, saw 2,157 of its October $45 put options bought in the three trading days before Black Tuesday; this compares to an average of 27 contracts per day before September 6. Morgan Stanley’s share price fell from $48.90 to $42.50 in the aftermath of the attacks. Assuming that 2,000 of these options contracts were bought based upon knowledge of the approaching attacks, their purchasers could have profited by at least $1.2 million.
  • Merrill Lynch & Co, with headquarters near the Twin Towers, saw 12,215 October $45 put options bought in the four trading days before the attacks; the previous average volume in those shares had been 252 contracts per day (a 1200% increase). When trading resumed, Merrill’s shares fell from $46.88 to $41.50; assuming that 11,000 option contracts were bought by “insiders”, their profit would have been about $5.5 million.
  • European regulators are examining trades in Germany’s Munich Re, Switzerland’s Swiss Re, and AXA of France, all major reinsurers with exposure to the Black Tuesday disaster. (Note: AXA also owns more than 25% of American Airlines stock, making the attacks a “double whammy” for them.) [17]Concerning the statements of the former chairman of the Deutsche Bundesbank Ernst Welteke, their tenor in various press reports put together is as follows:

    German central bank president Ernst Welteke later reports that a study by his bank indicates, “There are ever clearer signs that there were activities on international financial markets that must have been carried out with the necessary expert knowledge,” not only in shares of heavily affected industries such as airlines and insurance companies, but also in gold and oil. [Daily Telegraph, 9/23/2001] His researchers have found “almost irrefutable proof of insider trading”. [Miami Herald, 9/24/2001] “If you look at movements in markets before and after the attack, it makes your brow furrow. But it is extremely difficult to really verify it.” Nevertheless, he believes that “in one or the other case it will be possible to pinpoint the source”. [Fox News, 9/22/2001] Welteke reports “a fundamentally inexplicable rise” in oil prices before the attacks [Miami Herald, 9/24/2001] and then a further rise of 13 percent the day after the attacks. Gold rises nonstop for days after the attacks. [Daily Telegraph, 9/23/2001] [18]

     

    Related to those observations, I sent a request via e-mail to the press office of the Deutsche Bundesbank on August 1, 2011, from which I was hoping to learn:
    How did the Bundesbank deal with this information? Did US federal agencies ask to see the study? With whom did the Bundesbank share this information? And additionally: 1. Can you confirm that there is such a study of the Bundesbank concerning 9/11 insider trading, which was carried out in September 2001?
    2. If Yes: what is the title?
    3. If Yes: who were the authors?
    4. If Yes: has the study ever been made available to the public?

    On August 2, I was then informed: “Your mail has been received by us and is being processed under the number 2011 / 011551.” Ultimately, however, the press office of the Deutsche Bundesbank was only available for an oral explanation on the phone. With this explanation, I then turned to the press office of the federal financial regulator in Germany, the Bundesanstalt fur Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin, with the following e-mail – and that because of obvious reasons:

    Yesterday, I sent a request (see end of this e-mail) to the press office of the Deutsche Bundesbank relating to insider trading connected to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and respectively relating to an alleged study carried by the Deutsche Bundesbank. The request carries the reference number 2011 / 011551.

     

    The press office or respectively Mr Peter Trautmann was only available for an oral explanation. I repeat this now, because it is related to your entity. This will be followed by my further questions.

    According to an oral explanation from the press office of the Deutsche Bundesbank, there has never been a detailed and official study on insider trading from the Bundesbank. Rather, there has been probably ad-hoc analysis with corresponding charts of price movements as briefings for the Bundesbank board. In addition, it would have been the duty of the Bundesfinanzaufsicht to investigate this matter. The press office of the Bundesbank was also not willing to give out any written information, not even after my hint that this alleged study by the Bundesbank has been floating around the Internet for years without any contradiction. That was the oral information from the Bundesbank press office, or respectively from Mr Peter Trautmann.

    Now my questions for you:
    1. Has the BaFin ever investigated the 9/11 insider trading?
    2. With what result? Have the results been made public?
    3. Have there not been any grounds for suspicion that would have justified an investigation, for example as damaged enterprise: Munich Re, and as buyers of put options of UAL’s United Airlines Company: Deutsche Bank/Alex Brown?
    4. Has the Deutsche Bundesbank ever enquired with BaFin what information they have regarding the 9/11 insider trading – for example for the creation of ad-hoc analysis for the Bundesbank?
    5. Have the US federal agencies ever inquired if the BaFin could cooperate with them in an investigation?
    Could you reply to me in writing, unlike the Deutsche Bundesbank, please? I would be very grateful for that!

    The next day I did indeed receive an e-mail concerning this topic from Anja Engelland, the press officer of the BaFin in which she answered my questions as follows:

    1. Yes, the former Bundesaufsichtsamt fur Wertpapierhandel, BAWe (federal supervisory for securities trading), has carried out a comprehensive analysis of the operations.
    2. As a result, no evidence of insider trading has been found. Their approach and results have been published by the BAWe or BaFin in the annual reports for the years 2001 (cf S 26/27) and 2002 (cf p 156 above first paragraph). Here are the links. [See here and here.]
    3. See annual reports 2001 and 2002. Put options on United Airlines were not traded on German stock exchanges (the first EUREX options on US equities were introduced only after the attacks on 9/11/2001); there were warrants on UAL and other US stocks, but those traded only in low volumes.
    4. I personally do not know about such a request. Furthermore, the Bundesbank itself would have to comment on this.
    5. BaFin is fundamentally entitled to the exchange of information with foreign supervisory authorities, like SEC, on the basis of written agreements, so-called memoranda of understanding (MoU). Regarding potential inquiries from foreign supervisory authorities, the BaFin can unfortunately not comment, this would be a matter of respective authority. For this I ask for understanding.

     

    Then I wrote another brief note to BaFin, “in order to prevent any misunderstanding: your answers refers, as far as I understand, solely to the financial markets in Germany and Frankfurt, or not?” The reply from BaFin:

    The answers refer to the German financial market as a whole and not only on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In terms of the assessment of foreign financial markets, the relevant authorities are the competent points of contact.

     

    In my inquiries, I mentioned, among other things, a scientific study by US economist Allen M Poteshman from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which had been carried out in 2006 regarding the put option trading around 9/11 related to the two airlines involved, United Airlines and American Airlines. Poteshman came to this conclusion: “Examination of the option trading leading up to September 11 reveals that there was an unusually high level of put buying. This finding is consistent with informed investors having traded options in advance of the attacks.” [19]

Another scientific study was conducted by the economists Wong Wing-Keung (Hong Kong Baptist University, HKBU), Howard E Thompson (University of Wisconsin) and Kweehong Teh (National University of Singapore, NUS), whose findings were published in April 2010 under the title “Was there Abnormal Trading in the S&P 500 Index Options Prior to the September 11 Attacks?”

Motivated by the fact that there had been many media reports about possible insider trading prior to 9/11 in the option markets, the authors looked in this study at the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX Index Options), in particular with a focus on strategies emanating from a bear market, namely those under the labels
“Put Purchase,” “Put Bear Spread” and “Naked ITM Call Write”, as each of these are in accordance with the assumption that one would be betting on a general bear market if one wanted to profit in anticipation of the 9/11 event. [20]

Along these lines, the authors refer to an article which Erin E Arvedlund published on October 8, 2001, in Barron’s, the heading of which suggested precisely that thesis: “Follow the money: Terror plotters could have benefited more from the fall of the entire market than from individual stocks.” [21]

Basically, Wong, Thompson and Teh came to the conclusion “that our findings show that there was a significant abnormal increase in the trading volume in the option market just before the 9-11 attacks in contrast with the absence of abnormal trading volume far before the attacks”.

More specifically, they stated, “Our findings from the out-of-the-money (OTM), at-the-money (ATM) and in-the-money (ITM) SPX index put options and ITM SPX index call options lead us to reject the null hypotheses that there was no abnormal trading in these contracts before September 11th.”

Instead, they found evidence for “abnormal trading volume in OTM, ATM and ITM SPX index put options” for September 2001, and also in “ITM-SPX index call options” for the same month. “In addition, we find that there was evidence of abnormal trading in the September 2001 OTM, ATM and ITM SPX index put options immediately after the 9-11 attacks and before the expiration date. This suggests that owning a put was a valuable investment and those who owned them could sell them for a considerable profit before the expiration date.”

From all of this, they took the position that whilst they couldn’t definitively prove that insiders were active in the market, “our results provide credible circumstantial evidence to support the insider trading claim”. [22]

Disambiguation: “in the money” means that the circumstances arise on which the owner of a put option is betting – the market price of the underlying asset, for example a stock (or in this case an index of shares), is lower at that moment compared to the price at the time when the transaction took place. “At the money” means that the price of the underlying asset has remained equal or nearly equal. And “out-of-the-money” means that the price of the underlying asset has gone up, so the opposite of what the owner of the put option was betting on took place. “In the money”: win. “Out of the money”: loss.

There are also ITM, ATM and OTM options both for trading strategies with put and call options, depending on which kind of risk one would like to take. For example, according to Wong, Thomson and Teh, the “Put-Purchase Strategy” in the case of a downward movement of the underlying asset “is a cheaper alternative to short-selling of the underlying asset and it is the simplest way to profit when the price of the underlying asset is expected to decline”.

The use of the OTM put option compared to the ITM put option, however, offers “both higher reward and higher risk potentials (…) if the underlying asset falls substantially in price. However, should the underlying asset decline only moderately in price, the ITM put often proves to be the better choice (…) because of the relative price differential.”

That is why speculators would fare best, if they bought ITM put options, “unless the speculators would expect a very substantial decline in the price of the underlying asset.” [23]

After they calculated such strategies in the light of the available trading data in the CBOE relating to 9/11, the three economists ultimately do not accept a possible counter-argument that their results could be attributed to the fact that the stock markets were generally falling and that there had already been a negative market outlook. Finally they pointed out: “More conclusive evidence is needed to prove definitively that insiders were indeed active in the market. Although we have discredited the possibility of abnormal volume due to the declining market, such investigative work would still be a very involved exercise in view of the multitude of other confounding factors,” such as confusing trading strategies, “intentionally employed by the insiders” in order to attract less attention. [24]

That would be – and if only to invalidate these scientific results once and for all – primarily a task for the SEC, the FBI and other governmental authorities of the United States. However, we will have to wait for this in vain.

I think that not less worthy of a mention is an article that the French financial magazine Les Echos published in September 2007 about a study conducted by two independent economics professors from the University of Zurich, Marc Chesney and Loriano Mancini. Journalist Marina Alcaraz summarized the content of the findings in Les Echos with these words and with these explanations by Professor Chesney, which I for the first time translated into German (and do now translate from French into English):

“The atypical volumes, which are very rare for specific stocks lead to the suspicion of insider trading.” Six years after the attacks on the World Trade Center this is the disturbing results of a recent study by Marc Chesney and Loriano Mancini, professors at the University of Zurich. The authors, one of them a specialist in derivative products, the other a specialist in econometrics, worked on the sales options that were used to speculate on the decline in the prices of 20 large American companies, particularly in the aerospace and financial sector.

 

Their analysis refers to the execution of transactions between the 6th and 10th of September 2001 compared to the average volumes, which were collected over a long period (10 years for most of the companies). In addition, the two specialists calculated the probability that different options within the same sector in significant volumes would be traded within a few days. “We have tried to see if the movements of specific stocks shortly before the attacks were normal.” We show that the movements for certain companies such as American Airlines, United Airlines, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Citigroup, Marsh & McLehnan are rare from a statistical point of view, especially when compared to the quantities that have been observed for other assets like Coca-Cola or HP,” explains Marc Chesney, a former Professor at the HEC and co-author of Blanchiment et financement du terrorisme (Money laundering and financing of terrorism), published by Editions Ellipses. “For example 1,535 put option contracts on American Airlines with a strike of $30 and expiry in October 2001 were traded on September 10th, in contrast to a daily average of around 24 contracts over the previous three weeks. The fact that the market was currently in a bear market is not sufficient to explain these surprising volumes.”

The authors also examined the profitability of the put options and trades for an investor who acquired such a product between the 6th and 10th September. “For specific titles, the profits were enormous.” “For example, the investors who acquired put options on Citigroup with an expiry in October 2001 could have made more than $15 million profit,” he said. On the basis of the connection of data between volumes and profitability, the two authors conclude that “the probability that crimes by Insiders (Insider trading) occurred , is very strong in the cases of American Airlines, United Airlines, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Citigroup and JP Morgan. “There is no legal evidence, but these are the results of statistical methods, confirming the signs of irregularities.” [25]

As Alcaraz continued to state for Les Echos, the study by Chesney/Mancini about possible insider trading related to the 9/11 attacks was not the first of its kind; but it was in sharp contrast to the findings of the US Securities and Exchange Commission SEC and the 9/11 Commission, since they classified the insider trading as negligible – the trades in question had no connection to 9/11 and had “consistently proved innocuous”.

Different in the assessment is also the scientific work that Chesney and Mancini had published together with Remo Crameri in April 2010 at the University of Zurich, “Detecting Informed Trading Activities in the option markets.” In the segment that is dedicated to the terror attacks of 9/11, the three authors come to the conclusion, that there had been notable insider trading shortly before the terrorist attacks on September 11 that was based on prior knowledge.

Without elaborating on the detailed explanation of the mathematical and statistical method, which the scientific trio applied during the examination of the put option transactions on the CBOE for the period between 1996 and 2006, I summarize some of their significant conclusions.

“Companies like American Airlines, United Airlines, Boeing” – the latter company is a contractor of the two airlines as aircraft manufacturer – “and to a lesser extent, Delta Air Lines and KLM seem to have been targets for informed trading activities in the period leading up to the attacks. The number of new put options issued during that period is statistically high and the total gains realized by exercising these options amount to more than $16 million. These findings support the results by Poteshman (2006) who also reports unusual activities in the option market before the terrorist attacks.” [26]

In the banking sector, Chesney, Crameri and Mancini found five informed trading activities in connection to 9/11. “For example the number of new put options with underlying stock in Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch issued in the days before the terrorist attacks was at an unusually high level. The realized gains from such trading strategies are around $11 million.” [27]

For both areas, the aviation and the banking sector, the authors state that “in nearly all cases the hypothesis”, that the put options were not hedged, “cannot be rejected”. [28]

Regarding the options traded on EUREX, one of the world’s largest trading places for derivatives, which in 1998 resulted from the merger between the German and Swiss futures exchanges DTB and SOFFEX, Chesney, Mancini and Crameri focused on two reinsurance companies, which incurred costs in terms of billions of dollars in connection with the World Trade Center catastrophe: Munich Re and Swiss Re.

On the basis of EUREX trading data provided by Deutsche Bank, the three scientists detected one informed option trade related to Munich Re, which occurred on August 30, 2001. The authors write: “The detected put option with underlying Munich Re matured at the end of September 2001 and had a strike of € 320 (the underlying asset was traded at € 300, 86 on August 30th). That option shows a large increment in open interest of 996 contracts (at 92.2% quintile of its two-year empirical distribution) on August 30th.

Its price on that day was € 10, 22. … On the day of the terrorist attacks, the underlying stock lost more than 15% (the closing price on September 10th was € 261, 88 and on September 11th € 220, 53) and the option price jumped to € 89, 56, corresponding to a return of 776% in eight trading days. … The gains … related to the exercise of the 996 new put options issued on August 30th correspond to more than 3.4 million.” Similar is true, according to the authors, for one informed option trade on Swiss Re on August 20, 2001 with “a return of 4,050% in three trading weeks”, or “more than € 8 million.” [29]

In a new version of their study that was published on September 7, 2011, the authors stuck to their findings from April 2010. They added the emphasis that in no way the profits gained with the put options to which they point could have been achieved due to sheer fortunate coincidence, but that in fact they were based on prior knowledge which had been exploited. [30]

With those results in terms of what went on at the EUREX according to Chesney, Crameri and Mancini, I again addressed the BaFin, which had written to me that for the financial centers in Germany insider trading around 9/11 could be excluded, and asked:

How does this go with your information that the federal supervisory for securities trading (BAWe) could in its comprehensive analysis not find evidence for insider trading? Do the authors, so to speak, see ghosts with no good reason?

 

In addition, I stated:

If it is true what Chesney, Crameri and Mancini write, or if you at the BaFin cannot (ad hoc) refute it, would this then cause the BaFin to thoroughly investigate the matter again? If the findings of Chesney, Crameri, and Mancini were true, this would constitute illegal transactions relating to a capital crime, which has no status of limitations, or not?

 

In case that a need for clarification had arisen at the BaFin, I added Professor Chesney to my e-mail-inquiry in the “carbon copy” – address field, as because these were the results of his scientific work.

The response that I received from BaFin employee Dominika Kula was as follows:

As I already told you in my e-mail, the former federal supervisory for securities trading (BAWe) carried out a comprehensive analysis of the operations in 2001. As a result, no evidence of insider trading has been found. For clarification purposes, I wish to point out that violations of statutory provisions of securities or criminal law can never be excluded with absolute certainty. In order to pursue and prosecute such matters concrete evidence of an unlawful act is required … Such evidence does not exist here.

 

With regard to the sources you mentioned, I ask for understanding that I can neither comment on scientific analyses, nor on reviews by third parties.

Regarding the statutes of limitations for offences relating to the violation insider trading regulations trading I can give you the following information: A violation of the law to prohibit insider trading is punishable with imprisonment up to 5 years or with fines. The statutes of limitations applied for crimes carrying this kind of penalty (section 78 paragraph 3 No. 4 Penal Code) are five years. These limitations are described in the statutes of limitations (§§ 78 et seq.) (Criminal Code).

In addition, I turned to the EUREX with three questions:
1. How do you as EUREX comment on the findings of Messrs Chesney, Mancini and Crameri?
2. Did you at EUREX perceive the particular trading in Munich Re and Swiss Re it in any way as strange?
3. Have domestic (eg BAWe and BaFin) or foreign (such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) authorities ever inquired if there may have been evidence of insider trading via the EUREX in connection with the 9/11 attacks?

I subsequently received the following response from Heiner Seidel, the deputy head of the press office of the Deutsche Borse in Frankfurt.

We do not give you a public written response on behalf of the Deutsche Börse or Eurex regarding the topics of your inquiry. This is for the following reason: the trade monitoring agency (HüSt) is part of the Exchange, but it is independent and autonomous. Their investigations are confidential and are carried out in close coordination with the BaFin. They are never public, a request which HüSt is therefore not meaningful.

 

I leave it to the reader to draw his/her conclusions from these two replies from the press offices of BaFin and Deutsche Borse. Regarding the topic of option trades related to 9/11, I once more talked with Swiss historian Dr Daniele Ganser (“Operation Gladio”), by asking him this time about the importance of those put options, which were traded shortly before the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Daniele Ganser: This is an important point. This is about demonstrating that there was insider trading on the international stock exchanges before 11 September. Specifically put options, ie speculation on falling stock prices were traded. Among the affected stocks were United Airlines and American Airlines, the two airlines involved in the attacks.

 

A colleague of mine, Marc Chesney, professor at the Institute of banking at the University of Zurich, has examined these put options. You first of all have to check if there may have been international speculation that the aviation industry would be experiencing a weak period and whether accordingly also put options on Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss were bought. This was not the case.

Very significant put option trades were only transacted for these two airlines involved in the attacks. Secondly, you must examine the ratio of put options to call options and look if they had also been purchased to a similarly significant extent that would constitute speculations on rising stock prices. And that is also not the case. There were only significant put options and only significant transactions for United Airlines and American Airlines.

Now you need to look further in order to see who actually bought the put options, because that would be the insider who made millions on September 11. Most people are unaware that money was also earned with the attacks on September 11. The Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States, however, does not publish the information on who bought the put options, because you can do this anonymously. It is disturbing that this data is not made public.

What you have is the 9/11 Commission report, and here it is pointed out , that there has been insider trading, but that this insider trading cannot be traced to [al-Qaeda leader] Osama bin Laden, which means that it is highly unlikely that it had been Bin Laden.

Question: If this is not pursued any further, what does it mean?

Daniele Ganser: This means that the investigation of the terrorist attacks was incomplete, and always at the point where there are contradictions to the SURPRISE story, no further investigations are made. It looks very much as if one wants to examine only one story, the investigation is therefore one-sided. But this does not only apply to the put options. [31]

Interestingly enough, when Dr Ganser points out in his reply that this important data is not published, it is actually only half of the truth. Why? The answer is very simple and odd at the same time: David Callahan, the editor of the US magazine SmartCEO, filed a request to the SEC about the put options which occurred prior to September 11 within the framework of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The SEC informed Callahan in its reply of December 23, 2009 under the number “09 07659-FOIA” as follows:

This letter is in response to your request seeking access to and copies of the documentary evidence referred to in footnote 130 of Chapter 5 of the September 11 (9/11) Commission Report… We have been advised that the potentially responsive records have been destroyed. [32]

 

Therefore, we will unfortunately never know exactly how the SEC and the 9/11 Commission came to their conclusions regarding the 9/11 put options trading for their final report, because relevant documents were not only held back, but also destroyed – and that in spite of an agreement between the SEC and the National Archive of the United States, in which the SEC has agreed to keep all records for at least 25 years. [33]

The 9/11 Commission report wrote this in footnote 130 of Chapter 5, which briefly focuses on the alleged insider trading:

Highly publicized allegations of insider trading in advance of 9 / 11 generally rest on reports of unusual pre-9/11 trading activity in companies whose stock plummeted after the attacks. Some unusual trading did in fact occur, but each such trade proved to have an innocuous explanation. For example, the volume of put options – investments that pay off only when a stock drops in price – surged in the parent companies of United Airlines on September 6 and American Airlines on September 10 – highly suspicious trading on its face.

 

Yet, further investigation has revealed that the trading had no connection with 9/11. A single US-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al-Qaeda purchased 95 percent of the UAL puts on September 6 as part of a trading strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10. Similarly, much of the seemingly suspicious trading in American on September 10 was traced to a specific US-based options trading newsletter, faxed to its subscribers on Sunday, September 9, which recommended these trades.

These examples typify the evidence examined by the investigation. The SEC and the FBI, aided by other agencies and the securities industry, devoted enormous resources to investigating this issue, including securing the cooperation of many foreign governments. These investigators have found that the apparently suspicious consistently proved innocuous. (Joseph Cella interview (Sept 16, 2003; May 7, 2004; May 10-11, 2004); FBI briefing (Aug 15, 2003); SEC memo, Division of Enforcement to SEC Chair and Commissioners, “Pre-September 11, 2001 Trading Review,” May 15, 2002; Ken Breen interview (Apr. 23, 2004); Ed G. interview (Feb. 3, 2004).

The author Mark H Gaffney commented on this finding of
“innocuousness”:

Notice … the commission makes no mention in its footnote of the 36 other companies identified by the SEC in its insider trading probe. What about the pre-9/11 surge in call options for Raytheon, for instance, or the spike in put options for the behemoth Morgan Stanley, which had offices in WTC 2? The 9/11 Commission Report offers not one word of explanation about any of this. The truth, we must conclude, is to be found between the lines in the report’s conspicuous avoidance of the lion’s share of the insider trading issue.

 

Indeed, if the trading was truly “innocuous”, as the report states, then why did the SEC muzzle potential whistleblowers by deputizing everyone involved with its investigation? The likely answer is that so many players on Wall Street were involved that the SEC could not risk an open process, for fear of exposing the unthinkable. This would explain why the SEC limited the flow of information to those with a “need to know”, which, of course, means that very few participants in the SEC investigation had the full picture.

It would also explain why the SEC ultimately named no names. All of which hints at the true and frightening extent of criminal activity on Wall Street in the days and hours before 9/11. The SEC was like a surgeon who opens a patient on the operating room table to remove a tumor, only to sew him back up again after finding that the cancer has metastasized through the system.

At an early stage of its investigation, perhaps before SEC officials were fully aware of the implications, the SEC did recommend that the FBI investigate two suspicious transactions. We know about this thanks to a 9/11 Commission memorandum declassified in May 2009 which summarizes an August 2003 meeting at which FBI agents briefed the commission on the insider trading issue. The document indicates that the SEC passed the information about the suspicious trading to the FBI on September 21, 2001, just ten days after the 9/11 attacks.

Although the names in both cases are censored from the declassified document, thanks to some nice detective work by Kevin Ryan we know whom (in one case) the SEC was referring to. The identity of the suspicious trader is a stunner that should have become prime-time news on every network, world-wide. Kevin Ryan was able to fill in the blanks because, fortunately, the censor left enough details in the document to identify the suspicious party who, as it turns out, was none other than Wirt Walker III, a distant cousin to then-president G W Bush.

Several days before 9/11, Walker and his wife Sally purchased 56,000 shares of stock in Stratesec, one of the companies that provided security at the World Trade Center up until the day of the attacks. Notably, Stratesec also provided security at Dulles International Airport, where AA 77 took off on 9/11, and also security for United Airlines, which owned two of the other three allegedly hijacked aircraft. At the time, Walker was a director of Stratesec. Amazingly, Bush’s brother Marvin was also on the board.

Walker’s investment paid off handsomely, gaining $50,000 in value in a matter of a few days. Given the links to the World Trade Center and the Bush family, the SEC lead should have sparked an intensive FBI investigation. Yet, incredibly, in a mind-boggling example of criminal malfeasance, the FBI concluded that because Walker and his wife had “no ties to terrorism … there was no reason to pursue the investigation.” The FBI did not conduct a single interview. [34]

For this translation, I asked Kevin Ryan via e-mail if he could send me a link for his “nice detective work”. Ryan, who’s in my humble opinion one of roughly 10 people around the world who have to be taken seriously regarding 9/11, replied:

You are referring to my paper “Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11.” [See here.] The following two references from the paper are relevant to what you are describing. [2] 9/11 Commission memorandum entitled “FBI Briefing on Trading”, prepared by Doug Greenburg, 18 August 2003, [22].

 

The 9/11 Commission memorandum that summarized the FBI investigations refers to the traders involved in the Stratesec purchase. From the references in the document, we can make out that the two people had the same last name and were related. This fits the description of Wirt and Sally Walker, who were known to be stock holders in Stratesec. Additionally, one (Wirt) was a director at the company, a director at a publicly traded company in Oklahoma (Aviation General), and chairman of an investment firm in Washington, DC (Kuwam Corp). Here are two other recent articles on Stratesec and its operators. [See here and here.]

The stock of Stratesec, I should add by myself, increased in value from $0.75 per share on September 11 to $1.49 per share when the market re-opened on September 17. As a firm that provides technology-based security for large commercial and government facilities, Stratesec benefited from the soaring demand of security companies right after 9/11.

It is also remarkable what Ryan wrote to me regarding a company on which he did some research, too: Viisage Corp, another high-tech security firm.

Kevin Ryan: In late 2005, George Tenet became a director for Viisage, which had been flagged by the SEC for 9/11 trading but never investigated. Viisage was led by Roger LaPenta, formerly of Lockheed.

 

Seven months later, in 2006, FBI director Louis Freeh also joined the Viisage board. One might think that when both the CIA director (on 9/11) and the FBI director (from 1993 to June 2001) joined a company suspected of 9/11 insider trading, we might want to go back and actually investigate the SEC’s flagging of that company. But, of course, that was not the case. In 2009, “Bandar Bush” hired Freeh as his personal attorney.

Freeh is nowadays the bankruptcy trustee of the alleged market manipulator MF Global. And about his client, the former Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar, I should add that we know for sure that he bankrolled indirectly via his wife two of the alleged would-be 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Al-Mihdhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi. [35]

But let’s get back to the subject of destruction. On September 11, not only human life, aircraft and buildings were destroyed in New York City, but also data on computers and in archives. For example, several federal agencies occupied space in Building 7 of the World Trade Center, including the Securities and Exchange Commission on floors 11 to 13.

Those and other data could have given information about the alleged 9/11 insider trading (though it seems to be very unlikely that no backup existed elsewhere independent of the local computer systems). In fact, some technology companies were commissioned to recover damaged hard disks, which had been recovered from the debris and dust of Ground Zero.

One of these companies was the English company group Convar, more precisely: their data rescue center in the German city Pirmasens. Erik Kirschbaum from the news agency Reuters reported in December 2001 that Convar had at that time successfully restored information from 32 computers, supporting “suspicions that some of the 911 transactions were illegal”.

‘The suspicion is that inside information about the attack was used to send financial transaction commands and authorizations in the belief that amid all the chaos the criminals would have, at the very least, a good head start,’ says Convar director Peter Henschel.” [36] Convar received the costly orders – according to Kirschbaum´s report the companies had to pay between $20,000 and $30,000 per rescued computer – in particular from credit card companies, because: “There was a sharp rise in credit card transactions moving through some computer systems at the WTC shortly before the planes hit the twin towers. This could be a criminal enterprise – in which case, did they get advance warning? Or was it only a coincidence that more than $100 million was rushed through the computers as the disaster unfolded?” [37]

The companies for which Convar was active cooperated with the FBI. If the data were reconstructed they should have been passed on to the FBI, and the FBI, according to its statutory mandate, should have initiated further investigation based on the data to find out who carried out these transactions. Henschel was optimistic at the time that the sources for the transactions would come to light.

Richard Wagner, a Convar employee, told Kirschbaum that “illegal transfers of more than $100 million might have been made immediately before and during the disaster. ‘There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million,’ he says. ‘They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames were destroyed’.” [38]

Wagner’s observation that there had been “illegal financial transactions shortly before and during the WTC disaster” matches an observation which Ruppert describes in Crossing the Rubicon. Ruppert was contacted by an employee of Deutsche Bank, who survived the WTC disaster by leaving the scene when the second aircraft had hit its target.

According to the employee, about five minutes before the attack the entire Deutsche Bank computer system had been taken over by something external that no one in the office recognized and every file was downloaded at lightning speed to an unknown location. The employee, afraid for his life, lost many of his friends on September 11, and he was well aware of the role which the Deutsche Bank subsidiary Alex Brown had played in insider trading. [39]

 

I was curious and wanted more information from Convar regarding their work on the WTC-computer hard drives, but also about the statements made by Peter Henschel and Richard Wagner. Thus, I contacted the agency which represents Convar for press matters, with a written request. But their agency “ars publicandi” informed me swiftly:

Due to time constraints, we can currently offer you neither information nor anyone on the part of our client to talk to regarding this requested topic.

 

I also approached KrollOntrack, a very interesting competitor of Convar in writing. Ontrack Data Recovery, which also has subsidiaries in Germany, was purchased in 2002 by Kroll Inc – “one of the nation’s most powerful private investigative and security firms, which has long-standing involvement with executive protection US government officials including the president. This would require close liaison with the Secret Service.” [40]

At the time of the 9/11 attacks, a certain Jerome Hauer was one of the managing directors at Kroll Inc. He had previously established the crisis center for the mayor of New York City as director of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), which occupied office space on the 23rd floor of the WTC Building 7. Hauer helped former FBI agent John O’Neill to get the post of the head of Security Affairs at the WTC, and spent the night of September 11 with O’Neill in New York before the latter lost his life on September 11 in the WTC. Hauer was most likely involved in the planning of “Tripod II”, the war game exercise at the port of New York City. [41]

Therefore, I found it appealing to uncover some more details of this aspect, or, more accurately to find out if Ontrack or KrollOntrack had received an order in 2001 or after to rescue computer hard drives from the WTC. The answer I received from KrollOntrack said:

Kroll Ontrack was not at the site of the data recovery – the devices at the Twin Towers have been completely destroyed or vaporized. The firm Kroll was, however, at that time active in the field of computer-forensic investigations, securing devices in the surrounding buildings.

 

In essence, these two inquiries did not help me at all. If anything, a further question arose: why did KrollOntrack send me a response, where it was really obvious that the content did not match the facts? After all, I had written in my inquiry that Convar had received orders to restore damaged computer hard drives from the World Trade Center.

I sent a new inquiry, attaching a link for Erik Kirschbaum’s Reuters article and additional cinematic reports on Convar’s which showed that some of the WTC disks had not been “completely destroyed or vaporized”. I stated to KrollOntrack: “Your answer does not seem to match the facts, when it comes to ‘completely destroyed or vaporized’. Will you still stick to your answer?”

KrollOntrack then replied that their previously given assessment constituted “not a statement, but an opinion”.

I do not find this assessment worthless, because it is in line with the knowledge of the general public and can easily be refuted in argumentum in contrario by Convar´s activities.

One film report to which I referred to in my second inquiry to KrollOntrack originated from the German television journal Heute-Journal broadcast on March 11, 2002, on ZDF, and the other from the Dutch TV documentary Zembla, broadcast on September 10, 2006.

The ZDF report showed that Convar received the WTC disks from the US Department of Defense and that Convar had managed until March 2002 to recover more than 400 hard drives. It also reported that the private companies that employed Convar had paid between $25,000 and $50,000 per hard drive. In the TV documentary Zembla, Convar essentially maintained its position as it had been reported by Erik Kirschbaum in 2001.

Obviously, in connection with 9/11 there has not only been insider trading via put options, but there is additional evidence that there have been illegal financial transactions via credit cards through which more than 100 million US dollars were removed from the WTC computer systems.

Those occurred shortly before and during the WTC disaster. It remains unclear what the FBI did later on with the data recovered by Convar. On the other hand, it may have been not very much, as can be seen from a memorandum from the 9/11 Commission, which was released in May 2009.

The 9/11 Commission asked the FBI about the use of credit cards for insider dealing. On the basis of the information provided by the FBI, the commission came to the conclusion that no such activity occurred because “the assembled agents expressed no knowledge of the reported hard-drive recovery effort or the alleged scheme” – but above all “everything at the WTC was pulverized to near powder, making it extremely unlikely that any hard-drives survived”. [42]

The activities of Convar, however, prove the exact opposite.

But it gets even better. According to Zembla, the FBI was directly involved with the data rescue efforts of Convar. And on top of it, the broadcast of Heute-Journal reported that Convar worked in that “highly sensitive” matter with several federal agencies of the United States government.

So there have been ample indications for insider trading based on foreknowledge of the attacks, but there are very few hard facts as Catherine Austin Fitts, a former managing director and member of the board of the Wall Street investment bank Dillon, Read & Co, Inc (now part of UBS), pointed out when I talked with her about this topic.

Ms Fitts, what are your general thoughts related to the alleged 9/11-insider trading?

 

Catherine Austin Fitts: Well, I’ve never been able to see concrete evidence that the insider trading has been proved. There’s a lot of anecdotal information from investment bankers and people in the investment community that indicate that there was significant insider trading, particularly in the currency and bond markets, but again it hasn’t been documented.

I think around situations like 9/11 we’ve seen things that can only be explained as insider trading. Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise me if it turns out the allegations are true, because my suspicion is that 9/11 was an extremely profitable covert operation and a lot of the profits came from the trading. It wouldn’t even surprise me if it turns out that the Exchange Stabilization Fund traded it and that some of the funding for the compensation fund for the victims came from the ESF.

Insider trading happens around these kinds of events, but if you really want to produce evidence of insider trading, you need the subpoena powers of the SEC, and of course we know that they haven’t exercised them. If anything, right after 9/11, the government settled a significant amount of cases I presume because a lot of the documents were destroyed by the destruction of WTC building number 7, where the SEC offices and other governmental investigation offices were. [43]

Fitts, who had written a longer essay in 2004 related to this, replied to my question about who had benefited from 9/11:

Catherine Austin Fitts: 9/11 was extraordinarily profitable for Wall Street, they of course got a kind of “Get Out of Jail Free card” as I’ve just described. In addition, the largest broker of government bonds, Cantor Fitzgerald, was destroyed, and there was a great deal of money missing from the federal government in the prior four or five years. If you look at the amount of funds involved, it is hard to come to a conclusion other than massive securities fraud was involved, so I find it very interesting that this happened. [44]

 

A short explanation: Cantor Fitzgerald’s headquarters were located in the North Tower of the WTC (floors 101-105). On 9/11, the company lost nearly two-thirds of its entire workforce, more than any other tenant in the WTC. (Also two other government bonds brokers, Garbon Inter Capital and Eurobrokers, occupied office space in the WTC towers that were destroyed.) Back to Fitts and the question: “Cui bono 9/11?”

Catherine Austin Fitts: In addition, the federal government took the position that they couldn’t produce audited financial statements after 9/11, because they said the office at the Pentagon that produced financial statements was destroyed. Now given what I know of the federal set up of financial statements, I am skeptical of that statement.

 

But needless to say, if you take the government on its word, you had another “Get Out of Jail Free card” for four trillion dollars and more missing from the federal government. So if you’re just looking at the financial fraud angle, there were a lot of parties that benefited from 9/11. But then of course what 9/11 did, it staged the passage of the Patriot Act and a whole series of laws and regulations that I collectively refer to as “The Control on Concentration of Cash Flow Act.” It gave incredible powers to centralize.

In addition, if you look at monetary policies right after 9/11 – I remember I was over in the City of London driving around with a money manager and his phone rang and he answered it on his speaker phone. It was somebody on Wall Street who he hadn’t talked to since before 9/11, and he said to him: “Oh Harry, I am so sorry about what has happened, it must have been very traumatic.” And the guy said: “Don’t be ridiculous! We were able to borrow cheap short and invest long, we’re running a huge arbitrage, we’re making a fortune, this is the most profitable thing that ever happened to us!” – So you could tell the monetary policies and sort of insider games were just pumping profits into the bank at that time, so that was very profitable.

But of course the big money was used for a significant movement of the military abroad and into Afghanistan and then into Iraq … You could see that the country was being prepared to go to war. And sure enough, 9/11 was used as a justification to go to war in Afghanistan, to go to war in Iraq, and commit a huge number of actions, and now much of the challenges about the budget are the result of extraordinary expenditures on war including in Afghanistan and Iraq and the costs of moving the army abroad and engaging in this kind of empire building with ground military force.

So I think if you ask Cui Bono on 9/11, one of the big categories was all the people who made money on engineering the popular fear they needed to engineer these wars. I believe whether it was financial fraud, engineering new laws or engineering wars, it was a fantastically profitable covert operation. [45]

In that category of people who benefit from 9/11 are also the arms manufacturer Raytheon, whose share price gained directly from the 9/11 attacks. Trading of the shares of Raytheon, the producer of Tomahawk and Patriot missiles (and parent company of E-systems, whose clients include the National Security Agency and CIA), experienced an abrupt six-time increase of call option purchases on the day immediately before September 11. [46]

The outright purchase of call options implies the expectation that a stock price will rise. In the first week after 9/11, when the New York Stock Exchange opened again, the value of Raytheon actually shot up considerably. Looking at the development of the stock price, the impression is a very weak performance before the attacks – and then, after resumption of trade, a “gap” (at substantial volume) upwards. In other words: just under $25 on September 10, the low in the period between August 20 to September 28, at $31, 50 on September 17 and up to $34, and 80 on September 27, 2001.

With regards to government bonds, buyers of US Treasury securities with a maturity of five years were also winners. These securities were traded in an unusually large volume shortly before the attacks. The Wall Street Journal reported at least in early October 2001 that the Secret Service had started an investigation into a suspiciously high volume of US government bond purchases before the attacks. The Wall Street Journal explained:

Five-year Treasury bills are the best investments in the event of a global crisis, in particular one like this which has hit the United States. The papers are treasured because of their safety, and because they are covered by the US government, and usually their prices rise if investors shun riskier investments, such as shares. [47]

 

Adding to this phenomenon, the government issues these bonds that serve as a basis of money creation for funding a war such as the immediately declared “war on terror”, engaging the Tomahawks from Raytheon. And here it may again be useful to have a quick look at the “cui bono” relationship:

The US Federal Reserve creates money to fund the war and lends it to the American government. The American government in turn must pay interest on the money they borrow from the Central Bank to fund the war. The greater the war appropriations, the greater the profits are for bankers. [48]

 

A multi-layered combination, one could say.

I also talked about the topic of 9/11 insider trading with one of the world’s leading practitioners at the interface between the international capital markets, the national security policy of the US as well as geopolitics, James G Rickards. He gave me some answers in a personal discussion, which I am allowed to repeat here with his expressed approval.

Question: Did suspicious trading activities of uncovered put options on futures markets occur shortly before 9/11?

 

James G Rickards: Well, the trading documents certainly look suspicious. It is simply a fact that an unusually high volume of purchases of put-options for the two airlines occurred over the three trading days before the attacks. This is a mere fact, no speculation, no guessing around. This is clearly obvious from the documents of the trading sessions on the derivatives exchanges.

Question: Do you think that the intelligence agencies could have got a warning signal based on this information?

James G Rickards: Theoretically that is possible, if are you are looking and watching out for this. But there was far more significant information, which was ignored.

Question: Do you also think that some people with foreknowledge operated speculatively in the option markets?

James G Rickards: Based on the documentation of the trading session it seems that this has been the case, yes.

Let’s sum up a bit at the end. We have, among other things:

  • The “nice detective work” by Kevin Ryan related to Stratesec/Wirt Walker III.
  • Some highly inconsistent information vis-a-vis Convar/illegal credit card transactions.
  • Scientific papers supporting the allegations that there were indeed unusual trading activities in the option market before the terrorist attacks of 9/11, although the 9/11 Commission (based on the investigation of the SEC and the FBI) ruled that possibility out.As it became clear that I would publish this article here at Asia Times Online, I contacted the US Federal Bureau of Investigation via its press spokesman Paul Bresson in order “to give the FBI the opportunity to give a public statement with regards to three specific issues”. Those three specific issues were the ones I have just highlighted. Related to each of them I’ve asked Mr Bresson/the FBI: “Could you comment on this for the public, please?” Up to this moment, Mr Bresson/the FBI did not respond to my inquiry in any way whatsoever. Does this come as a surprise?

    I’ve also got back in touch with “ars publicandi”, the firm that does public relations for Convar in Germany. The response said: “Unfortunately I have to inform you that the status has not changed, and that Convar considers the issue of 9/11 as dead in general.”

    As you have read, the status in August of last year was slightly different.

    At the end of this article, I should perhaps mention that this research ultimately led to negative consequences for me. After I contacted the FBI, I was informed by the publisher of a German financial website, for which I conducted interviews for a professional fee (and had already prepared more work), that no further cooperation was possible. Now that I will come in one way or another into the focus of the FBI, any association with me would be undesirable.

    Well, you know the rules.

    As far as the abnormal option trades around 9/11 are concerned, I want to give Max Keiser the last word in order to point out the significance of the story.

    Max Keiser: Regardless of who did it, we can know that more than a few had advance warning – the trading in the option market makes that clear.

     

    Notes
    i. PROMIS was first developed by Inslaw during the 1970s under contracts and grants from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). These guarantees gave the government licenses to use the early versions of PROMIS but not to modify them, or to create derivative works, or to distribute PROMIS outside the federal government. By 1982, because of strong disagreements over a fee-incentive, Modification 12 Agreement to the original contract, the United States Department of Justice and Inslaw Inc became involved in a widely-publicized and protracted lawsuit. PROMIS was originally designed as a case-management system for prosecutors. (Source Wikipedia.)
    1. Compare Michael C Ruppert: Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age Of Oil, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, 2004, page 152.
    2. Ibid, page 153.
    3. Ibid, page 154-155.
    4. Ibid, page 170.
    5. Ibid, page 238-253: “9/11 Insider Trading, or ‘You Didn’t Really See That, Even Though We Saw It’.”
    6. Ibid, page 239.
    7. Compare Chris Blackhurst: “Mystery of terror ‘insider dealers’ “, published at The Independent on October 4, 2001, see here.
    8. Compare “Profits of Death”, published at From the Wilderness on December 6, 2001, see here.
    9. For the fact, that it was George Tenet who recruited Krongard, compare George Tenet: At the Center of the Storm, Harper Collins, New York, 2007, page 19.
    10. Compare Marc Chesney, Remo Crameri and Loriano Mancini: “Detecting Informed Trading Activities in the Option Markets”, University of Zurich, April 2010, onlinehere.
    11. Nafeez M Ahmed: Geheimsache 09/11. Hintergründe uber den 11. September und die Logik amerikanischer Machtpolitik, Goldmann Verlag, Munich, 2004, page 182. (Translated back into English from German.)
    12. Compare Michael C Ruppert: Crossing the Rubicon, page 244-247.
    13. Wing-Keung Wong, Howard E. Thompson und Kweehong Teh: “Was there Abnormal Trading in the S&P 500 Index Options Prior to the September 11 Attacks?”, published at Social Sciences Research Network, April 2010, see here.
    14. Compare “Bank of America among 38 stocks in SEC’s attack probe”, published at Bloomberg News on October 3, 2001, archived here.
    15. Michael C Ruppert: Crossing the Rubicon, page 243.
    16. Ibid.
    17. “Suppressed Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly into the CIA’s Highest Ranks”, published at From the Wilderness on October 9, 2001, see here.
    18. Compare “Early September 2001: Almost Irrefutable Proof of Insider Trading in Germany”, published at History Commons, see here.
    19. Allen M Poteshman: “Unusual Option Market Activity and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001”, published in The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, 2006, Vol 79, Edition 4, page 1703-1726.
    20. Wing-Keung Wong, Howard E Thompson und Kweehong Teh: “Was there Abnormal Trading in the S&P 500 Index Options Prior to the September 11 Attacks?”, see end note 13.
    21. Ibid. The authors refer to Erin E Arvedlund: “Follow the money: terrorist conspirators could have profited more from fall of entire market than single stocks”, published in Barron’s on October 8, 2001.
    22. Wong, Thompson, Teh: “Was there Abnormal Trading in the S&P 500 Index Options Prior to the September 11 Attacks?”
    23. Ibid.
    24. Ibid.
    25. Marina Alcaraz: “11 septembre 2001: des volumes inhabituels sur les options peu avant l’attentat”, published in Les Echos, page 34, September 10, 2001, online here.
    26. Marc Chesney, Remo Crameri and Loriano Mancini: “Detecting Informed Trading Activities in the Option Markets”, see end note 10.
    27. Ibid.
    28. ibid.
    29. Ibid.
    30. Compare Marc Chesney, Remo Crameri and Loriano Mancini: “Detecting Informed Trading Activities in the Option Markets”, published at the University of Zurich on September 7, 2011, see here.
    31. Vgl Lars Schall: “Sapere Aude!”, German Interview with Dr Daniele Ganser, published at LarsSchall.com on August 18, 2011, see here.
    32. Compare a copy of the letter by the SEC on MaxKeiser.com, see here.
    33. Compare related to this agreement Matt Taibbi: “Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?”, published at Rolling Stone on August 17, 2011, see here.
    34. Mark H Gaffney: “Black 9/11: A Walk on the Dark Side”, published at Foreign Policy Journal on March 2, 2011, see here.
    35. Compare Peter Dale Scott: “Launching the US Terror War: the CIA, 9/11, Afghanistan, and Central Asia”, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 12, No 3, March 19, 2012, see online here.
    35. Erik Kirschbaum: “German Firm Probes Last-Minute World Trade Center Transactions”, published at Reuters on December 19, 2001, online here.
    36. Ibid.
    37. Ibid.
    38. Michael C Ruppert: Crossing the Rubicon, page 244.
    39. Ibid, page 423.
    40. Ibid, page 423-426.
    41. Commission Memorandum: “FBI Briefing on Trading”, dated August 18, 2003, page 12, online here.
    42. Lars Schall: “9/11 Was A Fantastically Profitable Covert Operation”, Interview with Catherine Austin Fitts, published at LarsSchall.com on September 3, 2011, seehere.
    43. Ibid. Compare further related to the “cui bone” topic Catherine Austin Fitts: “9-11 Profiteering: A Framework for Building the ‘Cui Bono’?”, published at GlobalResearch on March 22, 2004, see here.
    44. Lars Schall: “9/11 Was A Fantastically Profitable Covert Operation”, see end note 42.
    45. Compare “Bank of America among 38 stocks in SEC’s attack probe”, see end note 14. “A Raytheon option that makes money if shares are more than $25 each had 232 options contracts traded on the day before the attacks, almost six times the total number of trades that had occurred before that day. A contract represents options on 100 shares. Raytheon shares soared almost 37 percent to $34.04 during the first week of post-attack US trading.”
    46. Compare Barry Grey: “Suspicious trading points to advance knowledge by big investors of September 11 attacks,” published at World Socialist Web Site on October 5, 2001, see here.
    47. J S Kim: “Inside the Illusory Empire of the Banking Commodity Con Game,” published at The Underground Investor on October 19, 2010, see here.

    Lars Schall is a German financial journalist. This article is an exclusive, slightly modified and updated excerpt from the book Mordanschlag 9/11. Eine kriminalistische Recherche zu Finanzen, Ol und Drogen (Assassination 9/11: A criminalistic research on finance, oil and drugs),published in Germany by Schild Verlag. 

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NC21Dj05.html

Jon Gold’s C-SPAN Collection

“For the last year or so, one of my “pet projects” has been to search the video archives of C-SPAN for statements made about different people, different events, and make short movies out of them. They cover a multitude of topics, including NORAD’s response, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the Israeli Art Students, Saudi Arabia, and many others. Here is my C-SPAN Movie Collection, in the order they were created”.

That I have made available several other clips including…

9/11 CitizensWatch C-SPAN Press Conferences

The 9/11 Omission Hearings

Whistleblower Special Agent Robert Wright’s Press Conference – 5/30/2002
Part IPart II

John Ashcroft & Robert Mueller Press Conference – 9/12/2001

John Ashcroft & Robert Mueller Press Conference – 9/13/2001

Scott McClellan Takes Questions On Bush Meeting With 9/11 Commission – 4/29/2004
Part IPart II

George Bush Takes Questions After Meeting With 9/11 Commission – 4/29/2004

Philip Zelikow On Washington Journal Day After Release Of 9/11 Report – 7/23/2004

9/11 Commission Press Conference For Release Of Report – 7/22/2004
Part IPart II

Democratic Press Conference For Release Of 9/11 Report – 7/21/2004

Coleen Rowley Testifies Before The Senate – 6/6/2002
Part IPart II

Able Danger And Intelligence Sharing – 9/21/2005
Part IPart II

Release of Pre-September 11 Intelligence Report – 7/24/2003
Part IPart II

Philip Zelikow On “The Early Show” – 9/14/2001