28 pages of misdirection

Source: 28 pages of misdirection

By Dick Atlee, Ken Freeland, and Cheryl Curtiss (Special to Truth and Shadows)

For years the 9/11 Truth movement has been vainly pleading with mainstream media – and the “alternative” 9/11-Truth-rejecting media (which we’ll include for our purposes as mainstream) to cover any of the endless, obvious problems with any of the Official 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (OCT) tales we’ve been told. Now, all of a sudden, these same mainstream media, echoing prestigious players like former US Senator Bob Graham, are on the rampage about a “9/11 cover-up,” and are pushing for the release of 28 redacted pages from the 2002 Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/11 Inquiry’s report! So…let’s all of us 9/11 Truthers jump aboard this fast moving train with both feet, right?

The Truth movement has gradually been gaining a foothold with the public; a growing number of people countenance some kind of government role in 9/11 and/or its cover-up. Suspicion has likewise grown about the role played by Bush-administration neocons and their Zionist bedfellows. After 15 years of staunch media refusal to report the flagrantly obvious holes in the various OCT stories we’ve been fed, why is this particular issue suddenly headline news? Why at this particular juncture? And how does it just happen to be spearheaded by one of the major contributors to the initial coverup?

Let’s examine the question of why the Deep State might want this story heated up to a fever pitch:

Misdirection

It is now commonly assumed among the public that those 28 pages in some way implicate the Saudi government in the events of 9/11, probably by financing the OCT-alleged hijackers. But consider the not unlikely possibility that the real players in 9/11 were not the Saudis, but rather the Bush neocons and their Israeli partners in crime. If they were looking for a way to deflect increasing public doubt about the OTC, blaming the Saudis would be an excellent choice.

Professional magicians employ misdirection – irrelevant bodily motions and various props – to distract the audience’s attention from what they’re really up to. Some of us in the movement consider the 28 Pages campaign to be just such a classical misdirection, so that the Saudis can be pulled out of the hat as the new scapegoats for 9/11. The benefits of such minor modification of the OTC outweigh its risks:

Risks and benefits

Sure, there’s some risk involved. Releasing the 28 pages (if they say what it is widely believed they will say) would, after all, make it obvious to the public that the government has been involved in some kind of cover-up. Hardly a surprise to the Truth movement, or to that majority of Americans who have lost confidence in the official narrative. But let’s remember that the government survived the Snowden/NSA disclosures virtually unscathed – Big Brother can now legally get all the info he wants, and polls have indicated that many Americans are absorbing this “new normal” by censoring themselves online. So another such embarrassment might be just as easily spun and exploited to the real perpetrators’ advantage.

On the other hand, the benefits of such misdirection would be huge:

  1. Everyone’s focus would now be on the Saudis, and off the Neocons and their Zionist bedfellows.
  2. The core OCT mythology would not only remain intact, but become solidified in the public mind (i.e., the catastrophic events of 9/11 were entirely the result of 19 hijackers’ actions, whose commandeered airliner crashes were the efficient cause of numerous fire-induced building collapses).

Why does this matter?

On the broadest level of geopolitics, the OCT myth is the basis for Western Islamophobia and the perpetual “Global War on Terror.” Blaming the Saudis only amplifies the assumption of “international Islamic terrorism,” still omitting all reference to Western players.

It is patently clear that the hijacker aspect of 9/11 is logically unsustainable (see below). Whether or not these men ever really existed, whether or not they behaved as devout Muslims, whether or not they were on the planes and whether or not they were financed by the Saudis, Pakistan’s ISI or anyone else – these may be useful questions for some purposes, but not for determining who was ultimately behind 9/11. Moving the public perception in the direction of blaming the Saudis for 9/11 because they supported the “hijackers” – the effect of 28 Pages campaign-support websites like hr14.org, – means abandoning the ever-widening trail of truth so relentlessly blazed by the 9/11 Truth movement, a trail leading close enough to their doors that the real culprits are beginning to feel some heat.

Yet movement veterans who should know better are falling all over each other to jump on the campaign bandwagon, and indeed, to be seen as leading the parade for “HR14,” the Congressional resolution demanding that the administration declassify those 28 pages! As 9/11 activists, they are well aware that the whole OCT story is a fabrication, and that the Saudis could not possibly have masterminded 9/11. Here’s their rationalization in a nutshell: Because the mainstream media are suddenly embracing the topic, any wide public revelation of a “cover-up” will eventually lead to an unraveling of the real cover-up, and therefore represents Truth movement’s first – and perhaps last – real opportunity to break into the wider realm of acceptable public opinion. But meanwhile, to “protect” the politicians (and the uninformed public?) whose support is needed for the passage of this bill, these websites, whilst making a pretense of advancing the cause of 9/11 Truth, implicitly embrace the long-debunked OCT (now twisted ever so slightly to incriminate the Saudis).

But consider the past fourteen years of consistent derogatory treatment by the corporate (and even many “alternative”) media of those who seriously question the basic OCT myth, and the media consolidation this represents – the control of these sources by corporate directors and the Deep State agents who write their playbook. These people are not fools – they don’t launch a propaganda ploy without Plans B, C, etc. in place for potential damage control. Based on the mainstream media’s track record of the past fourteen years, the chances of their running away with this story in a way that genuinely promotes 9/11 Truth seem vanishingly small. And the Achilles’ heel of such an overly optimistic hope is that the solid research and evidence gathered by the Truth movement fall outside (and contradict) the Saudi-financed hijackers-dunnit scenario, so the media is unlikely to seriously reference any of it in its treatment of any forthcoming 28-pages “revelation.”

Looking ahead, where will this leave the Truth movement? How is it going respond if the 28 pages say exactly what people are expecting them to say, and movement leaders are credited for their release? Will these same activists now tooting the horn for hr14 be able to credibly turn around and say “Wait, this information is misleading because ‘the real 9/11’ was something far beyond the abilities of the Saudis to manage!”? And will the media do an about-face with them, and obligingly lavish coverage on what it has complicitly covered up since 9/11?

About those “hijackers”

Our position on the irrelevance of Saudi “financing” admittedly hinges on the question of the alleged “hijackers.” If these alleged 19 hijacked and flew the jetliners in question, Saudi involvement might be argued to have significance (albeit still not the key to 9/11 perpetration). But there are a host of reasons for rejecting the entire OCT hijack scenario:

  • The “hijackers’” publicly documented behavior was not that of devout Muslims [1]
  • There is no credible time-stamped video record of them boarding planes, much less arriving at the departing airports. [2]
  • The stories told about Muhammed Atta and whomever it was who allegedly accompanied him to Portland, Maine changed constantly. [3]
  • There is no original flight manifest showing Middle Eastern names. [4]
  • The FBI came up with a list of hijackers within just a few hours of the first 9/11 event, a number of whom they replaced with substitutes shortly afterwards. [5]
  • The transmission of cockpit comments of “hijackers” heard by the control towers could have been generated anywhere.
  • The simple button-press sequence (“squawk”) signaling a hijacking was not executed on any of the four planes. [6]
  • The initially-alleged cellphone calls that reported hijackings in progress were proven in most cases to have been technically impossible; most were later changed to on-board phone calls, some from planes that didn’t have on-board phones, and some calls (per the FBI) were never completed or didn’t exist – particularly the only one referencing “box cutters.” [7]
  • The conditions in the planes’ passenger cabins that would have existed under the alleged flight behavior of the planes at the time of the calls were completely inconsistent with the background sounds on the calls and the behavior of the alleged callers [8].
  • With one exception, the alleged “pilots” had never flown a jet-liner; one had flown a simulator of a different plane with a completely different cockpit layout; the one who allegedly made the almost-impossible maneuver over the Pentagon had been declared by his instructors to be unable to even fly a single-engine plane. [9]
  • The claims of finding a “hijacker” passport unscathed on the ground in NYC, and undamaged red bandanas (indicative of the wrong Muslim sect, in any case) in Pennsylvania, given the alleged physical reality of those crashes, are absurd on their face. [10]
  • With respect to the question of how 9/11 could have happened without human hijackers, it is vital to note that as of 2001, the technology for complete remote takeover, isolation and control (takeoff, flying, landing) of commercial jetliners was well advanced and had been fully tested in the types of aircraft involved in 9/11, and the air traffic auto-pilot navigation lanes in the sky were precise to within a few feet. [11]

The list goes on. . . As one considers each piece of evidence, the chance that “hijackings” took place approaches zero. The real role of the alleged hijackers is not yet known – those with documented flying lessons may very well have been unwitting patsies. In any case, the question of who might have been financing their stay in this country, Saudi or otherwise, is at best tangential to the larger picture of what really happened on 9/11. No matter what the motive, then, any attempt to persuade people that the final answer to the question of 9/11 perpetration lies in this direction can only be construed as dangerous misdirection. The real price already being paid by the Truth movement is the subversion of unwitting activists who help promote such meretricious campaign propaganda, thereby betraying the movement’s hard-won, fact-based alternative perspective.

The 28 Pages campaign: 9/11 Truth bonanza or limited hangout?

 Our own concern about the 28 Pages campaign was triggered by the emergence of several websites supporting it, which hold out the promise that the 28 pages will answer the question of who was really behind 9/11 (and that this will turn out to be Saudi Arabia). Examples are 28pages.org and most especially hr14.org. As the latter is controlled by a veteran 9/11 truther, we appealed to him as fellow activists – an ad hoc group of 9/11 activists sent him a letter critiquing the website from the standpoint of 9/11 Truth, requesting specific revisions of its message. Because his reply failed to substantially address the issues we raised, we have now published it as an open letter.

We are hardly the first to find serious problems with the direction of the 28 Pages campaign. Perhaps the first notable critique came from the blog of Kevin Ryan; whilst this early criticism was on the milder side, its excoriation of the leadership of the 28 Pages campaign – Bob Graham and his “CIA protege” Porter Goss – is not to be missed! Years earlier, in fact, Ryan had opined in Washington’s Blog: “Those redacted pages, and much of the 9/11 Commission report that followed, have always seemed to be a kind of ‘Get into Saudi Arabia free’ card for the powers that be.” Given the recent sea change in Saudi foreign policy – its nearer alignment with Russia and the BRICS bloc – such a prospect cannot be overlooked. What better way to incite public animosity towards the Saudis than by playing the tried and true 9/11 blame game?

Expanding on Ryan’s disquieting report, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, of Globalresearch.ca, wrote:

Calling for the official release and publication of the 28 page classified section of the joint inquiry report pertaining to Saudi Arabia is an obvious red-herring. The objective is to confuse matters, create divisions within the 9/11 Truth movement and ultimately dispel the fact that the 9/11 attacks were a carefully organized False Flag event which was used to declare war on Afghanistan as well as usher in sweeping anti-terrorist legislation.

Both the Congressional inquiry as well the 9/11 Commission report are flawed, their objective was to sustain the official narrative that America was under attack on September 11, 2001. And Graham’s role in liaison with the CIA, is “damage control” with a view to protecting those who were behind the demolition of the WTC towers as well [as] sustaining the Al Qaeda legend, which constitutes the cornerstone of US military doctrine under the so-called “Global War on Terrorism”.

As the 28 Pages campaign unfolds, such scathing criticism has proven remarkably prescient. We urge our fellow 9/11 Truth activists to take it to heart, and to approach the 28 Pages campaign juggernaut, if at all, with extreme caution, so long as it faithfully clings to the OTC . Caveat emptor!!

  1. Agents of terror leave their mark on Sin City / Las Vegas workers recall the men they can’t forget; Kevin Fagan, SFGate, 4 Oct 2001 http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/04/MN102970.DTL * Terrorists partied with hooker at Hub-area hotel; Dave Wedge, Boston Herald, 10 Oct 2001 (retrieved from Wayback Machine 11 Sep 2015) http://web.archive.org/web/20011010224657/http://www.bostonherald.com/attack/investigation/ausprob10102001.htm * Suspects’ actions don’t add up; Jody Benjamin, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 16 Sep 2001 (retrieved from Wayback Machine 11 Sep 2015) http://web.archive.org/web/20010916150533/http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-warriors916.story * Welcome To Terrorland; Daniel Hopsicker (Trine Day, 2004) http://www.amazon.com/dp/0970659164/
  2. Point Video-2: Was the Airport Video of the Alleged AA 77 Hijackers Authentic?: Official 9/11 Videotaped Evidence; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-video-2/ * Point Video-1: The Alleged Security Videos of Mohamed Atta during a Mysterious Trip to Portland, Maine, September 10-11, 2001; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-video-1/
  3. 9/11 Contradictions: Mohamed Atta’s Mitsubishi and His Luggage; David Ray Griffin, Global Research, 9 May 2008 http://www.globalresearch.ca/9-11-contradictions-mohamed-atta-s-mitsubishi-and-his-luggage/8937
  4. The FBI took control of the original flight manifests and still refuses to release them, while the airlines defer to the FBI. It has been said that the following versions had the hijackers removed to spare the feelings of the victims’ relatives. The reader must draw his/her own conclusions. The following from CNN on 17 Sep 2001 were retrieved from Wayback Machine 11 Sep 2015 ) * Flight 11: https://web.archive.org/web/20010917033844/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/AA11.victims.html * Flight 175: https://web.archive.org/web/20010917034224/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/ua175.victims.html * Flight 77: https://web.archive.org/web/20010917033858/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/AA77.victims.html * Flight 93: https://web.archive.org/web/20010917033913/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/UA93.victims.html
  5. Not a shred of evidence that any 9/11 ‘hijackers’ boarded any planes; Craig McKee, Truth and Shadows https://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/hijackers-did-not-board-planes/
  6. Point Flt-1: A Claim Regarding Hijacked Passenger Jets; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-flt-1/
  7. * Project Achilles Report Parts One, Two and Three; A.K. Dewdney, 23 Jan – 19 Apr 2003 http://physics911.net/projectachilles/ * Point PC-3: Cell Phone Calls From the Planes: The First Official Account; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-pc-3/ * September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor, Part 1; Massimo Mazzucco, YouTube [at 1:38:35] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk&t=5915 * Point PC-4: Cell Phone Calls from the Planes: The Second Official Account; Consensus 911: The Best Evidence Panel http://www.consensus911.org/point-pc-4/ * Methodical Illusion Series with Rebekah Roth, Part 2 [1:57:50]; Wake Up To the Truth (BlogTalk Radio); 19 Nov 2014 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/911falseflags/2014/11/19/methodical-illusion-series-w-rebekah-roth-part-2 * Ted Olson’s Report of Phone Calls from Barbara Olson on 9/11: Three Official Denials; David Ray Griffin, Global Research, 1 Apr 2008 http://www.globalresearch.ca/ted-olson-s-report-of-phone-calls-from-barbara-olson-on-9-11-three-official-denials/8514
  8. Methodical Illusion Series with Rebekah Roth; Wake Up To the Truth (BlogTalk Radio); 17 Nov 2014 * Part 4 [17:50-1:09:50] http://www.blogtalkradio.com/911falseflags/2014/11/21/methodical-illusion-series-wrebekah-roth-part-4 * Part 3 [1:05:23-1:17:30, 1:28:00-1:31:15, 1:42:00-1:45:20] http://www.blogtalkradio.com/911falseflags/2014/11/20/methodical-illusion-series-w-rebekah-roth-part-3 * Part 1 [35:35-55:35] http://www.blogtalkradio.com/911falseflags/2014/11/18/methodical-illusion-series-wrebekah-roth-part-1
  9. Hani Hanjour: 9/11 Pilot Extraordinaire; What ReallyHappened http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/hanjour.html * September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor, Part 1; Massimo Mazzucco, YouTube [at 1:07:06] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk&t=4026
  10. FBI agent Dan Coleman explains how the passport of 9/11 hijacker Satam Al Suqami was “found”; 9/11 Blogger, 14 Nov 2011 http://911blogger.com/news/2011-11-14/fbi-agent-dan-coleman-explains-how-passport-911-hijacker-satam-al-suqami-was-found * Jihadist bandana – the “in” fashion for fall; Pilots for 9/11 Truth, 8 Nov 2006 http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum/lofiversion/index.php?t1383.html
  11. Plausibility of 9/11 Aircraft Attacks Generated by GPS-Guided Aircraft Autopilot Systems; Aidan Monaghan (with extensive references), Oct 2008 http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/AutopilotSystemsMonaghan.pdf

Dick Atlee is a member of the Maine 9/11 Truth group.

Ken Freeland is a member of Houston 9/11 Truth (http://houston911truth.net/) and is facilitator of the monthly 9/11 Truth and Other Deep State Crimes Teleconference (http://houston911truth.net/9-11TruthTeleconferenceArchives.html).

 Cheryl Curtiss is a member of the Connecticut 9/11 Truth group and host of the radio show “9/11 Wake-Up Call” produced at the University of Hartford and archived at http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/4212.

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Clearing the Baffles for 911

By Wayne Madsen – October 3, 2005

The one individual who stands tall among those intelligence and law enforcement officers who was aggressively pursuing the criminal network that would carry out 911 was FBI counter-terrorism top man John O’Neill. Ever since the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, O’Neill’s pursuit of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda had been dogged. After further terrorist attacks at the Khobar Towers barracks in Dharan, Saudi Arabia; the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; and the USS Cole in Aden harbor, O’Neill’s biggest problem was not Al Qaeda, it was resistance from top officials inside the U.S. government. 

According to classified documents from French intelligence, Al Qaeda and Bin Laden had still been under the operational control of U.S. and British “security services” until 1995, fully two years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. As of 1996, the U.S. State Department continued to refuse to list Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization. After the 1996 bombings of the Khobar Towers that killed nineteen U.S. military personnel, the State Department under Secretary of State Warren Christopher, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and the Saudi government did everything they could to obstruct O’Neill’s investigation.

In his aggressive pursuit of Al Qaeda, O’Neill, according to people who worked closely with him, began to have serious concerns over complicity by those inside the Clinton and Bush administrations. There was the mysterious theft in the summer of 2000 of his briefcase at a Tampa hotel during a retirement seminar where the only other participants were 150 other FBI agents. In the briefcase were a few classified emails and a classified document called the Annual Field Office Report, a summary of the New York FBI’s office counter-terrorist and counter-intelligence operations, including one very sensitive investigation being conducted by another New York counter-intelligence FBI special agent, Michael Dick. Although a lighter, cigar cutter, and expensive pen were stolen, the papers were all accounted for when the briefcase turned up 90 minutes later at another nearby hotel. Ninety minutes, of course, was sufficient time to photocopy the documents and discover what O’Neill knew about both Al Qaeda and their Israeli shadows.

Special Agent Dick, who worked closely with O’Neill, had discovered a troubling ring of Israeli movers operating in the New York and New Jersey areas. Furthermore, some of these Israelis not only had connections with Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies but were also shadowing Arab and Muslims that had been under investigation as potential terrorist cells. But the Israelis were acting independently and there was no effort made to inform the FBI or local police of any intelligence they were obtaining on their targets. 

Further frustrating Dick’s counter-espionage activities against the Israelis was the fact that they were using communications methods that made it almost impossible to conduct communications surveillance: they used Verizon pre-paid cell phones, two-way Nextel walkie-talkies, and Internet cafes.

At the same time, the DEA had discovered a nationwide ring of Israeli “art students,” many of whom had past connections to Israeli intelligence and military demolition units, were operating in and around New York and New Jersey. What the DEA did not realize was that the art students were also shadowing the very same Arab cells that would later carry out the 911 attacks.

And the DEA had become aware of a drug connection between the Russian-Israeli Mafia in Colombia and the globe trotting Saudi Prince Nayif al Saud. The DEA’s Operation Millennium was directed against this network, which largely took down most of the network in June 1999, when 808 kilograms of cocaine were seized in Paris. Later the DEA, in June 2000, the DEA declassified a “SECRET DEA-6” report from the DEA’s BCO (Bogota Country Office) so that the PCO (Paris Country Office) could share the intelligence on Saudi cocaine smuggling operations with the Paris police. The DEA and French law enforcement had compiled tons of evidence that Prince Nayif was transporting cocaine to support some major event.

The DEA report stated that Nayif stated that Allah had authorized him to sell drugs and that later his reason for selling the drugs would become known. It is significant that Nayif did not use alcohol, tobacco or drugs. Nayif claimed diplomatic immunity and the Saudi government threatened France and the Clinton administration with withholding lucrative contracts if they pursued their prince. Because of O’Neill’s close contacts with DEA, this intelligence would have been made known to him as well. The Saudi cocaine smuggling network involved organized crime elements tied to the Russian-Israeli Mafia in Miami; Medellin, Colombia; Marbella and Barcelona, Spain; Venezuela; Geneva; and the Netherlands. According to the DEA report, Nayif fathered a child with a woman named Doris Salazar, a Colombian national residing in Miami. The report also states that an organized crime figure only identified as “Pepe,” a Cuban American who ran a “large section of the Miami Port” and who came to Florida during the 1978 Mariel boat lift, was involved with Nayif in “protecting narcotic shipments upon arrival in the Miami port.” The declassified SECRET DEA-6 report contains the names of a number of cooperating witnesses in the investigation of Nayif and the cocaine smuggling network and the author takes seriously the statement in the document: “Protect identities of the cooperating defendants.”

The DEA originally became interested in the Israelis because they suspected they were involved in an Israeli Mafia Ecstasy smuggling ring. However, it soon became clear that the DEA had stumbled across something much larger – not only were DEA offices and homes of DEA agents around the country being cased by the Israelis, but they were also targeting Federal judges, U.S. Marshals, Environmental Protection Agency law enforcement officers, and FBI agents for surveillance.

It also became clear to the DEA that the Israeli art students were also involved with certain Colombians. On March 22, 2002, at the Oak Hills Apartment Complex in Irving, Texas, DEA agents arrested Israeli art student Dahan Eldad, along with Elsa Beatriz Africano-Leon, a Colombian national. On March 27, DEA agents arrested four other Israelis in the same apartment complex, including Aran Ofek, who said his father was a retired Israeli army two-star general. A $10,000 bond for another arrested Israeli, Michal Gal, was placed by Ophir Baer, an employee of Israeli telecommunications firm AMDOCS, Inc., a firm with operational access to the telephones being used by FBI agents John O’Neill, Michael Dick, and the DEA agents involved in tracking the Saudi/Mafia cocaine shipments being used to support various terrorist and intelligence cells in the United States and abroad.

On April 11, 2001, a DEA agent and a Fredericksburg, Virginia policeman questioned two female Israeli “art student” nationals at the shopping center in Fredericksburg. The passport for Yael Gavish contained some interesting entry/exit visas: 13 December 2000, entry into Bogota, Colombia and 5 February 2001, exit visa from Bogota. In addition, on 5 February there was a possible entry visa for Panama, which was followed by a 9 March 2001 entry visa in New York City. Gavish’s colleague Meirav Balhams had a New York State identity card listing her address as 354 Paterson Plank Rd., Jersey City, New Jersey. An FBI 9-11 suspect list dated February 22, 2002 lists Dominik Suter, along with an Ornit Levinson, a.k.a., Omit Suter, with an address of 312 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City. Dominik Suter was the head of Urban Moving Systems of nearby Weehawken, the base of operations for two white vans with the same rear license plate that were seen parked at the Doric Apartments (near Patterson Plank Road) and at Liberty State Park at the same time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The occupants of both vans, all Israelis, were seen celebrating the attack while dressed in Arab garb. Five Israelis in one of the vans were later arrested by the local police and FBI near Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the late afternoon of September 11.

O’Neill’s FBI colleague, Mike Dick, aggressively investigated this Israeli ring before and after 911. But like O’Neill, he soon found himself removed from his duties on the orders of the then-head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Michael Chertoff. Dick was very suspicious when Israeli movers quickly moved Zim American Israeli Shipping Company out of its 10,000 square feet of office space on the 17th Floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The partially Israeli state-owned firm forfeited a $50,000 security deposit when it terminated its lease and vacated the building one week prior to 911. According to a non official cover (NOC) CIA source who worked with Dick, Israeli movers moved explosives into the 17th Floor office space after Zim moved out. 

After 911, Dick as well as the CIA NOC were harassed by their superiors on orders “from above.” Those orders came from Chertoff. Dick was first relieved of his primary counter-espionage duties, eventually sent to Pakistan to investigate the kidnapping of <>Wall Street Journal<> reporter Daniel Pearl, and eventually buried in a desk job at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. According to the CIA source, Pearl was murdered because he was getting too close to the money trail that financed 911. The CIA source said, “the same group that beheaded Pearl in Pakistan did the beheadings in Iraq.” The source added that the beheadings were “not Al Qaeda.”

The CIA source, who emphasized his past Republican credentials, emphasized that Al Qaeda was merely a “list” of arms dealers, mercenaries, drug dealers, financiers, and terrorists used by the CIA and Saudis during the Afghan Mujaheddin War against the Soviets. The source also iterated that all the 911 hijackers had fake IDs. During a joint CIA-FBI operation against lead hijacker Mohammed Atta in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 2000, the CIA and FBI team leaders complained to their superiors that their operation was being photographed by Israeli agents, thus compromising the operation. The CIA source affirmed that the Israelis in New Jersey were providing cover for the future hijacker teams.

It was not the first run-in by the CIA operative with the Israelis. He once caught a senior U.S. diplomat with close ties to Israel taking bribes from Moroccan government officials to write favorable reports on Morocco’s continued control over disputed and oil and mineral rich Western Sahara. Attempts to follow the diplomat’s laundered money were rebuffed by Madeleine Albright’s State Department.

The problems at the top of the CIA and FBI, said the source, existed since the Russian/Soviet spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen were able to penetrate the top levels of both agencies. “They got there with help,” said the source.

O’Neill decided that because his own agency was stymieing his own investigative leads, he relied on DEA to handle his most sensitive inquiries and communications. Although DEA memos later suggested that Israeli telecommunications companies, under contract to the Justice Department, may have penetrated sensitive DEA communications as part of an intelligence operation, O’Neill was sure that his communications at the FBI were totally compromised and forced to rely on the DEA because of both internal political pressure from the FBI and Justice Department leadership and his fear that his communications were being wiretapped.

O’Neill also relied on French intelligence to obtain wiretap information on Al Qaeda cells. O’Neill was certain that the Saudi government and oil industry-centric members of the Bush administration were behind the Al Qaeda network. He was also aware of repeated negotiations between U.S. oil companies like UNOCAL and Halliburton and Taliban representatives dating back to 1996, the same year the Khobar Towers were bombed by the Taliban’s Al Qaeda wards. Although those negotiations ceased after the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, they began again in earnest after George W. Bush became president. 

O’Neill had discovered that some of his Al Qaeda targets were involved in some very un-Islamic fundamentalist activities, including drug smuggling, teenage prostitution, and blood diamond dealing. The financial trail led O’Neill to a network of bank accounts in London, Dubai, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey. The network investigated coincided exactly with the activities being carried out by the Russian-Israeli Mafia and its links to diamond, drug, and weapons dealers that was especially active in New York and Florida. The future 911 hijackers and their Israeli “shadows” had more than living in the same neighborhoods and frequenting the same bars, video rental stores, and rental mailbox stores in common. 

(emphasis mine)

More at:

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=3655

or

http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/7305

By the way, John O’Neill died on 9/11, on his first day at work as the new Head of Security at the WTC.

For the record, during my recent interview with Robb Revere I misspoke when I said “Dick Wolf”. I meant to say Mike Dick.

Bob Graham and the Missing 9/11 Report Pages

by Kevin Ryan

The media has taken an increasing interest in the 28 pages that were redacted from the 9/11 Joint Congressional Inquiry Report. The stories usually feature one of the Inquiry’s leaders, former Senator Bob Graham, who has claimed that the missing pages point to involvement of the government of Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi complicity is in no way surprising, facts that are often overlooked suggest that Graham’s actions may not be entirely straightforward. This leads independent researchers to raise concerns about his intentions and those concerns are justified.

Graham 2To begin with, Graham never calls for release of other documents collected by the government’s 9/11 investigators, most of which are still held secret. That includes the majority of 9/11 Commission documents, of which only a fraction have been released—with much of the content redacted. The release of Commission documents is hindered by claims that they are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) because they are congressional records. Nonetheless, the public deserves to see documents that might answer critical questions.

Moreover, Graham shows no interest in the many alarming facts about 9/11 that have been uncovered through released documents and videos. Some things that have been released via FOIA request are far more compelling than claims of Saudi financing. These include numerous testimonies to explosives being used to bring down the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings.

After a lawsuit by 9/11 victims’ families, the oral histories of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) were released in August 2005. At least 23% of those eyewitnesses gave testimony to explosions in the Twin Towers. About 60 FDNY members reported hearing warnings of the unpredictable “collapse” of WTC Building 7.

Still held secret by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are the agency’s computer models on which it based its non-explosive conclusions. In response to a FOIA request, a NIST spokesman declared that revealing the computer models would “jeopardize public safety.” Graham is never heard challenging that absurd justification for withholding critical information, nor has he objected to the fact that NIST conducted an entirely unscientific WTC investigation.

Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based on torture testimony, the records of which were destroyed by the CIA. Since that time, the government has produced documents stating that the first alleged al Qaeda leader tortured for information was never related to al Qaeda in any way. This means that all of his torture testimony, upon which the 9/11 Commission Report was based, was false. Yet Graham and his supporters say nothing about it.

The U.S. official most responsible for preventing terrorism in the years prior to 9/11 is known to have helped Osama bin Laden evade capture at least twice. That same official was a personal friend and representative of the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, a country that Bob Graham’s investigation glossed over despite its many links to 9/11.

According to Jeffrey St. Clair of Counterpunch, Tommy Boggs may have been behind the redaction of the 28 pages from the Joint Inquiry Report. A long-time Washington powerbroker and son of a member of the Warren Commission, Boggs was a public relations consultant for the Saudi royal family. That connection is remarkable given that the Boston Globe reported, in November 1990, that a partner in Boggs’ firm was a director of the Kuwait-American Corporation (KuwAm). As anyone interested in 9/11 knows, KuwAm was the firm that owned and operated Stratesec, the security company for several 9/11-related facilities. There are many reasons why the leaders of KuwAm and Stratesec are central suspects in the crimes of 9/11.

These facts are of no interest to Graham or the mainstream media. For unknown reasons, they only seem interested in uncovering Saudi involvement. Such inexplicable behavior, particularly when it has to do with 9/11, should raise concerns. Little discussed facts about Graham might shed light on the answer to this dilemma.

For example, few people seem to remember that Bob Graham was against an investigation from the start. In November 2001, two months after 9/11, Graham was leading the effort to delay any inquiry into the crimes. His position was “that it would not be appropriate to conduct such an investigation at a time when the government’s focus is on prosecuting the war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.” Three months after 9/11, Graham was still fending off cries for an investigation, stating that it was “still too soon.” Paradoxically, he claimed that it was best to wait until the threat of additional attacks subsided before investigating 9/11. He said that, “Once the possibility of fresh attacks by ‘’sleepers’ already in the United States has diminished, the time will be ripe.”

While Graham was trying to stop an investigation, the Senate voted for one anyway. The compromise was that Graham and his CIA operative protégé, Porter Goss, would run it and that it would have a very limited focus on intelligence agency shortcomings. And although Graham now claims that the Bush Administration covered-up Saudi involvement in 9/11, he and Goss, who had an interesting history together, led an inquiry that covered-up 9/11 in nearly every other sense.

When Graham and Goss announced their inquiry in February 2002, they made it clear that they would not pursue “blame game” attempts with respect to “what went wrong.” The resulting investigation was completely deferential to the intelligence agencies that it was chartered to investigate. Due to an alleged leak, Graham and Goss even supported the FBI’s investigation of their own panel members while the panel was investigating the FBI. As expected, the final Joint Inquiry Report was largely a whitewash.

Another unnoticed fact is that Graham’s calls for release of the 28 pages have matched up, chronologically, with changes in Saudi government leadership. That is, the times when Graham has made noise about the 28 pages have run parallel to the times of uncertainty with regard to the succession of the Saudi monarchy or Saudi strategic partnerships. This suggests that Graham is simply using the redacted section of his report as a control mechanism to bring new Saudi leadership in line with continued U.S. interests.

Although Graham joined others to call for release of the 28 pages in July 2003, perhaps in an attempt to pressure Saudi Arabia to fully support the War on Terror (which it did soon after), he did not continue that effort. In fact, Graham appeared to ignore the issue for the next seven years. In November 2010, the illness of King Abdullah began to stir fears over the succession to the Saudi throne. Just a few months later, Graham released a novel that hinted at unresolved questions about Saudi involvement in 9/11.

In late 2013, the Saudi government announced that King Abdullah was ill and, in late 2014 his death was said to be imminent. At the same time, the Saudis began forging a new strategic relationship with China, leaving people to wonder if the U.S. was “losing Saudi Arabia to China.” That was when Graham really turned up the heat. He joined a coalition of U.S. congressmen who began resurrecting the issue of the 28 pages with gusto and they began to get a lot of attention from the mainstream media.

The demise of Abdullah ignited conflict among factions within the Saudi power structure. The Saudi king died in late January 2015 and Graham’s new calls for release of the redacted section became increasingly well covered as the new king, Salman, took office. The calls for what Graham says is evidence that Saudi Arabia financed the attacks continue to this day as King Salman demonstrates an as yet unclear position toward the United States.

Overall, there appears to be a correlation between times when Saudi support for the U.S. is perceived as being threatened and times when the media publicizes possible Saudi connections to 9/11. With the rise of King Salman and the growing Chinese-Saudi relationship, new connections have been reported as coming from the imprisoned convict Zacarias Moussaoui as well as through claims about an FBI cover-up of a Saudi family in Sarasota.

Americans should be interested in the release of any information that sheds light on the crimes of 9/11. However, it should always be remembered that Saudi oil is the single most important resource related to U.S. economic stability. Continual U.S. control of the government that holds that resource is, therefore, paramount. Bob Graham and the media may forget about the missing 28 pages if and when King Salman is sufficiently cowed to U.S. interests and China becomes less threatening as a Saudi strategic partner. But one thing is certain—if the only mainstream coverage of 9/11 questions continues to center on implications of Saudi financing of the attacks, the truth about what really happened will remain solely a matter of independent inquiry.

Kevin Ryan blogs at Dig Within.

Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11? Part 16: Dissociation

By Frances T. Shure

http://www.ae911truth.org/news/214-news-media-events-fran-shure-part-16.html

Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?

When such a vulnerable person hears the evidence that 9/11 skeptics present, he . . . may become silent and unresponsive as though disoriented, so that he appears “spacey.”

Part 16: Dissociation

By Frances T. Shure

Editor’s Note: Frances Shure, M.A., L.P.C., has performed an in-depth analysis addressing a key issue of our time: “Why Do Good People Become Silent — or Worse — About 9/11?” The resulting essay, being presented here as a series, is a synthesis of both academic research and clinical observations.
© by Frances T. Shure, 2015

Fran Shure
In answering the question in the title of this essay, the March 2015 segment — Part 15: The Abuse Syndrome — explored how the “nothing we can do about it” reaction to hearing the evidence that refutes the official account of 9/11 may be a result of toxic early relationships — often characterized by trauma bonding — which bring about feelings of powerlessness, shame, or apathy in adulthood.

Here, in the April 2015 installment, we continue Ms. Shure’s analysis with Part 16: Dissociation.

Dissociation is a psychological defense mechanism that occurs on a continuum, ranging from mild detachment, which we all experience from time to time, to the most extreme form, known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. The latter, DID for short, was formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. DID is a coping mechanism for the victim of torturous, repetitive abuse — usually endured at a very young age. To protect himself from the unbearable pain of such torture, the victim may fragment into two or more distinct identities, with each identity, or personality, taking control over the individual at various times.1

Dissociation painting
In the middle of this wide continuum is a severe and, unfortunately, all too common level of dissociation that, in common with DID, also originates in trauma that is usually incurred at an early age. What differentiates the mid-range level of dissociation from learned helplessness and from the abuse syndrome, which are related in that they are also trauma-initiated, is that the adult victims of this form of early trauma do not react to abuse or to challenging information — such as the evidence presented by 9/11 skeptics — with powerlessness, shame, or apathy. Instead, they automatically defend themselves by biologically shutting down their awareness to the point of becoming emotionally detached at the very time when expressing emotion would be considered a more normal response to the situation.

Clearly, dissociation psychologically protects a person who has been traumatized by abuse incurred in infancy or childhood from the full brunt of the shock. Equally clearly, the victim of abuse at such an early age is especially vulnerable and helpless. Unable either to fight back or flee, he defends himself by emotionally freezing and dissociating himself from the abuse. In these severely traumatic situations, which are at the very least profound betrayals, if not actual torture, the young victim reflexively shifts awareness away from the dangerous situation — sexual or physical abuse by a parent, for example — as well as away from his emotional reaction to this danger. Therefore, the event and the person’s reaction to the shocking situation become repressed, a part of the individual’s unconscious mind.2

If someone who was subjected to such childhood abuse hears evidence that suggests that the “parental figures” in the government may have committed — or at least wittingly permitted — the mass murder of fellow countrymen, such shocking news can easily activate that person’s memory of an early shock or trauma, when his parents or other adult authority figures endangered his safety or survival.

When such a vulnerable person hears the evidence that 9/11 skeptics present, he may react with a sudden bulging or glazing of his eyes, or the blood may drain from his face, or he may become silent and unresponsive as though disoriented, so that he appears “spacey.”3 These physiological signs are indications that the memory of an early, shocking, repressed event has been activated, and the person is again dissociating. Understandably, most victims with this condition assiduously avoid 9/11 truth-tellers and their fact-based and forensic information.

In next month’s essay, we shall look at a group of people who have a very different psychodynamic: Instead of avoiding 9/11 Truth, they may become enraged by the mere mention of it, due to their excessive identification with the United States of America.

Editor’s note: To be continued in the next issue with Part 17: The False Self and Excessive Identification with the U.S.A. Electronic sources in the footnotes have been archived. If they can no longer be found by a search on the Internet, readers desiring a copy may contact Frances Shure for a copy here.

Continued with Part 17: The False Self and Excessive Identification with the U.S.A.

Michael Springmann on Visas for Terrorists

Interview 1019 – Michael Springmann on Visas for Terrorists 40:57

https://www.corbettreport.com/?powerpress_embed=14061-podcast&powerpress_player=default

J. Michael Springmann of MichaelSpringmann.com joins us to discuss his new book, Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts that rocked the world. We discuss Springmann’s experience at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s and the ongoing CIA program to illegally provide US visas for their terrorist operatives that he discovered there.

https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1019-michael-springmann-on-visas-for-terrorists/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=…

How Science Died at the World Trade Center

by Kevin Ryan

Science has been misused for political purposes many times in history. However, the most glaring example of politically motivated pseudoscience—that employed by U.S. government scientists to explain the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC)—continues to be ignored by many scientists. As we pass the 10th anniversary of the introduction of that account, it is useful to review historic examples of fake science used for political purposes and the pattern that defines that abuse.

An early example of pseudoscience used to promote a political agenda was the concerted Soviet effort to contradict evolutionary theory and Mendelian inheritance. For nearly 45 years, the Soviet government used propaganda to foster unproven theories of agriculture promoted by its minister of agriculture, Trofim Lysenko. Scientists seeking favor with the Soviet hierarchy produced fake experimental data in support of Lysenko’s false claims. Scientific evidence from the fields of biology and genetics was banned in favor of educational programs that taught only Lysenkoism and many biologists and geneticists were executed or sent to labor camps. This propaganda-fueled program of anti-science continued for over forty years, until 1964, and spread to other countries including China.

pseudoscienceIn the 2010 book Merchants of Doubt, authors Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway describe several other examples of the misuse of science, spanning from the 1950s to the present. They show how widely respected scientists participated in clearly non-scientific efforts to promote the agendas of big business and big government. Examples include the tobacco industry’s misuse of science to obfuscate the links between smoking and cancer, the military industrial complex’s use of scientists to support the scientifically indefensible Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and several abuses of environmental science.

As Oreskes and Conway made clear, science is about evidence. “It is about claims that can be, and have been, tested through scientific research—experiment, experience, and observation—research that is then subject to critical review by a jury of scientific peers.” In science, if experiments performed do not support a hypothesis, that hypothesis must be rejected. If conclusions fail to pass peer-review due to a lack of supportive evidence or the discovery of evidence that directly contradicts them, those conclusions must be rejected.

From Lysenkoism through the examples given by Oreskes and Conway, politically motivated pseudoscience demonstrates a pattern of characteristics as follows.

  1. There is a lack of experiments.
  2. The results of experiments are ignored or contradicted in the conclusions.
  3. There is either no peer-review or peer-reviewer concerns are ignored.
  4. The findings cannot be replicated or falsified due to the withholding of data.
  5. False conclusions are supported by marketing or media propaganda.
  6. Hypotheses that are supported by the evidence are ignored.

All six of these characteristics of pseudo-science are exhibited by the U.S. government investigation into what happened at the WTC on September 11th, 2001. That investigation was conducted by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and it had much in common with the examples given by Oreskes and Conway. As with the false science that supported tobacco use, millions of lives were lost as a result—in this case through the “War on Terror.” Like support for the Strategic Defense Initiative, the abuses were focused on supporting the military-industrial complex. And as with the environmental examples, NIST’s manipulations affect everyone on the planet because they prop up a never-ending war.

In terms of historical experience, the destruction of the three WTC skyscrapers was unprecedented. No tall building had ever experienced global collapse for any reason other than explosive demolition and none ever has since that time. In terms of observation, nearly everyone who examines the videos from the day recognizes the many similarities to explosive demolition. Perhaps the most compelling evidence in favor of the demolition theory is that the NIST WTC Reports, which took up to seven years to produce, exhibit all six of the characteristics of politically motivated pseudoscience.

The lack of experiment:

NIST performed no physical experiments to support its conclusions on WTC Building 7. Its primary conclusion, that a few steel floor beams experienced linear thermal expansion thereby shearing many structural connections, could have easily been confirmed through physical testing but no such testing was performed. Moreover, other scientists had performed such tests in the past but since the results did not support NIST’s conclusions, those results were ignored(see peer-review comments below)

The results of experiments were ignored or contradicted in the conclusions:

  • For the Twin Towers, steel temperature tests performed on the few steel samples saved suggested that the steel reached only about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, This is more than a thousand degrees below the temperature needed to soften steel and make it malleable—a key requirement of NIST’s hypothesis. NIST responded by exaggerating temperatures in its computer model.
  • Another key requirement of NIST’s explanation for the Twin Towers was that floor assemblies had sagged severely under thermal stress. Floor model tests conducted by my former company Underwriters Laboratories showed that the floor assemblies would sag only 3 to 4 inches, even after removal of all fireproofing and exposure to much higher temperatures than existed in the buildings. NIST responded by exaggerating the results—claiming up to 42-inches worth of floor assembly sagging in its computer model.
  • After criticism of its draft report in April 2005, NIST quietly inserted a short description of shotgun tests conducted to evaluate fireproofing loss in the towers. These results also failed to support NIST’s conclusions because the shotgun blasts were not reflective of the distribution or trajectories of the aircraft debris. Additionally, the tests suggested that the energy required to “widely dislodge” fireproofing over five acre-wide floors—required by NIST’s findings—was simply not available.

There was no peer review and public comments from peers were ignored:

NIST published its own WTC reports and therefore its work was not subject to peer-review as is the case for all legitimate science. The people and companies involved in the NIST investigation were either government employees or contractors dependent on government work and were therefore not objective participants.

In terms of indirect peer-review, the international building construction community has made no changes to building construction standards in response to NIST’s officially cited root causes for the WTC destruction. Furthermore, no existing buildings have been retrofitted to ensure that they do not fail from those alleged causes.

NIST provided a period for public comment on its draft reports but the comments provided by those not beholden to government were not supportive of NIST’s findings. In some cases, as with NIST’s linear expansion claim for WTC 7, independent scientists submitted comments about physical tests they had performed (which NIST had not) that directly contradicted NIST’s findings.

There was one important exception to NIST’s ignoring of public comments. After a physics teacher’s well-publicized comments, NIST was forced to admit that WTC 7 was in free-fall for a vertical distance equivalent to at least eight stories of the building. Structural engineers have since noted that many hundreds of high-strength steel bolts and steel welds would have had to vanish instantaneously for an 8-story section of the building to fall without any resistance.

The findings cannot be replicated or falsified due to the withholding of data:

NIST will not share it computer models with the public. A NIST spokesman declared, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, that revealing the computer models would “jeopardize public safety.” Because NIST’s conclusions depend entirely on those computer models, they cannot be verified or falsified by independent scientists.

False conclusions are supported by media or marketing propaganda:

As with the Soviet propaganda machine that supported Lysenkoism and the tobacco industry’s marketing propaganda, NIST’s pseudoscience was fully and uncritically supported by the mainstream media. Hearst Publications, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and Skeptic magazine are examples of media that went to great lengths to stifle any questioning of the official account and divert attention from the glaring discrepancies.

NIST depended on that media support as indicated by the timing of its release of reports. NIST’s final report appeared to be scheduled for dual political purposes, to coincide with the seventh anniversary of 9/11 and to give the appearance of finished business at the end of the Bush Administration. The timing of NIST’s other reports coincided with political events as well. These included the draft report on the towers in October 2004—just before the election, the final report on the towers—just before the fourth anniversary of 9/11, and NIST’s first “responses to FAQs”—just before the fifth anniversary. All of them appeared to involve politically motivated release dates.

The report release dates allowed time for the media to quickly present the official story while public interest was high, but did not allow time for critical review. With the report on WTC 7, the public was given just three weeks prior to September 11th, 2008 to comment on a report that was nearly seven years in the making.

Hypotheses that are supported by the evidence were ignored:

Throughout its seven-year investigation, NIST ignored the obvious hypothesis for the destruction of the WTC buildings—demolition. That evidence includes:

  • Free-fall or near-free fall acceleration of all three buildings (now acknowledged by NIST for WTC 7)
  • Photographic and video evidence demonstrating the characteristics of demolition for both the Twin Towers and WTC 7

The WTC reports produced by NIST represent the most obvious example of politically motivated pseudoscience in history. The physical experiments NIST performed did not support its conclusions. The reports were not peer-reviewed and public comments that challenged the findings were ignored. NIST will not share its computer models—the last supposed evidence that supports its conclusions—with the public and therefore its conclusions are not verifiable.

These glaring facts should be readily recognizable by any scientist and, given the unprecedented impact of the resulting War on Terror, this abuse of science should be the basis for a global outcry from the scientific community. The fact that it is not—with even Oreskes and Conway ignoring this most obvious example—indicates that many scientists today still cannot recognize false science or cannot speak out about it for fear of social stigma. It’s possible that our society has not suffered enough to compel scientists to move out of their comfort zones and challenge such exploitation of their profession. If so, the abuse of science for political and commercial purposes will only get worse.

Kevin Ryan blogs at Dig Within.

Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Intelligence Community: Allies Against 9/11 Transparency?

By Brian McGlinchey

One of the distinguishing hallmarks of the drive to declassify the 28-page finding on foreign government support of the 9/11 hijackers is the absence of vocal opposition. That’s not to say there are no opponents—only that they are working quietly and effectively behind closed doors.

It’s likely that among the most powerful of those unseen opponents of 9/11 transparency are two strange bedfellows:

  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—which has fueled the growth of terror
  • The U.S. intelligence community—which is charged with thwarting terror

Saudia Arabia’s Broad Influence on U.S. Policy

Saudi Arabia has claimed it wants the 28 pages released, but the kingdom is surely bluffing. At a January 7 press conference promoting the reintroduction of a House resolution urging the president to declassify the 28 pages, former Senator Bob Graham was pointed in describing how Saudi Arabia figures in the censored chapter of the report of a joint Congressional intelligence inquiry into 9/11: “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11 and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier.”

Like many other countries, Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in building influence within American shores, and that influence may be a big reason why Barack Obama hasn’t reversed George W. Bush’s extraordinary redaction of 28 consecutive pages of a Congressional intelligence report, and why most of our federal legislators haven’t even bothered reading those pages despite the strong urging of peers who have.

Former Senator Norm Coleman: On the Saudi Payroll
Former Senator Norm Coleman: Once a Saudi Critic, Now on Kingdom’s Payroll

One relatively new pillar in Saudi Arabia’s influence infrastructure illustrates its strength. In September, The Nation’s Lee Fang—in a pieceoutlining the remarkable depth and breadth of the Saudi web of influence—revealed that Saudi Arabia had made an eyebrow-raising addition to its army of lobbyists: Norm Coleman, former United States senator and current chair of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a prominent Republican super PAC.

The hire breaks new ground, writes Fang, as Coleman “appears to be the first leader of a significant Super PAC to simultaneously lobby for a foreign government.” The move also reveals cringe-inducing hypocrisy: In 2005, Coleman signed a letter condemning Saudi Arabia for fostering Islamic extremism around the world, and today he serves on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy.

While noteworthy, Coleman is just one star in a broad constellation of Saudi Arabian influence on American policymakers. As The New York Times reported in a September expose, another major avenue of foreign government influence is the funding of American think tanks:

“The money is increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington. And it has set off troubling questions about intellectual freedom: Some scholars say they have been pressured to reach conclusions friendly to the government financing the research.”

The pressure on scholars isn’t always indirect: Some “donations” are accompanied by an explicit quid pro quo understanding that the think tank will advance the interest of its foreign state benefactor.

According to a Times infographic, Saudi Arabia has given money to many of the think tanks that journalists and policymakers turn to for analysis, including The Atlantic Council, Brookings Institution, the Middle East Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Does the work product of these think tanks reflect their Saudi sponsorship? Consider the rather Saudi-friendly insights the CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman recently offered decision-makers on the transition of power following the death of King Abdullah. In it, Cordesman heralds Abdullah as “one of (Saudi Arabia’s) most competent and impressive kings” and “a strong ally.”  While he touches briefly on extremism, strikingly absent from Cordesman’s examination of Saudi Arabia’s role as a “close partner” in U.S. counterterrorism efforts is any mention of the country’s well-documented financial support of Islamic extremism and terror. To the contrary, Cordesman declares that Saudi Arabia “has been critical to preserving some degree of regional stability…during the rise of Islamic extremism.”

Considering Saudi Arabia’s think tank sponsorship, it’s no wonder that28Pages.org is only aware of one occasion where one of these influential entities has allowed an analyst to use its platform to promote the release of the 28 pages: Last month at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Rubin urged their release and implored journalists to make the 28 pages a 2016 campaign issue.

Intelligence Community’s “Pervasive Pattern” of Covering Saudi Role

Saudi Arabia’s reasons for wanting the 28 pages kept secret are clear, but what about America’s intelligence community? Actually, its motives are likely identical: Shielding itself from public humiliation and the consequences that would accompany it.

Former Senator Bob Graham
Former Senator Bob Graham

The intelligence community would have us believe that publishing the 28 pages would somehow pose a threat to national security, a notion that’s been pointedly rebutted by many who’ve read them, including former Senate intelligence committee chairman Graham.

At the January 7 press conference, Grahamsaid“Much of what passes for classification for national security reasons is really classified because it would disclose incompetence. And since the people who are classifying are also often the subject of the materials, they have an institutional interest in avoiding exposure of their incompetence.”

The intelligence community’s failure in the years and months leading up to 9/11 isn’t exactly secret, but the 28 pages may shed powerfully unflattering new light on it. Remember, they’re found in the report of the “Joint Inquiry intoIntelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Secrecy about American intelligence agencies’ performance before and after the 9/11 attacks stretches far beyond the 28 pages. Perhaps the most prominent example of that broad veil relates to a 9/11 hijacker cell in Sarasota: Grahamsays the FBI failed to disclose its knowledge of that cell to the joint congressional intelligence inquiry he co-chaired.

When the cell later came to the attention of investigative journalist Dan Christensen at FloridaBulldog.org, the FBI first denied that it found any connection between 9/11 hijackers and a wealthy Saudi family that suddenly fled the country two weeks before September 11, and then denied it had any documentation of its investigation. Now we know the FBI indeed found direct links between that family and the hijackers, and a federal judge is studying more than 80,000 pages of FBI documents relating to the Sarasota investigation for potential release in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Relating the FBI’s Sarasota secrecy to the 28 pages, Graham said, “This is not a narrow issue of withholding information at one place, in one time. This is a pervasive pattern of covering up the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 by all of the agencies of the federal government which have access to information that might illuminate Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11.”

Richard Clarke
Former Counterterror Czar Richard Clarke

The CIA may want the 28 pages kept secret, too. Richard Clarke, who was the White House’s counter-terrorism czar in the Clinton and Bush administrations, says the CIA never told him that two known Al Qaeda operatives were living in southern California under their own names. Considering the San Diego cell figures prominently in the joint inquiry report, the 28 pages may shed light on the CIA’s motives for its history-altering failure to inform Clarke or the FBI or elaborate on what disaster-averting information the CIA had and didn’t share.

Like the CIA, the NSA also knew about the San Diego-based hijackers well before September 11. Keeping the 28 pages under wraps may serve the agency in its fight to preserve the post-9/11 mass surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden: If the 28 pages amplify the fact that the government had all the information it needed to thwart the 9/11 attacks without those controversial programs, the NSA’s arguments would be further weakened.

A Deadly Bargain

Amid all this discussion of the actions and inactions that enabled the terrible loss of life on 9/11, one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that lives continue to hang in the balance—and the fact that former Senator Graham and current Congressmen Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch and Thomas Massie have all said that declassifying the 28 pages is imperative to understanding and countering the ongoing terror threat.

Said Graham at the 28 pages press conference that came just hours after the terror attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo: “There is no threat to national security in disclosure (of the 28 pages). I’m going to make the case today that there’s a threat to national security by nondisclosure, and we saw another chapter of that today in Paris.”

According to Graham, shielding Saudi Arabia from scrutiny of its role in 9/11 has emboldened the kingdom to continue its sponsorship of extremism and, in the process, enabled the rise of ISIS. If so, the continued censorship of the 28 pages has cost more lives around the world than were lost on September 11, 2001—and with growing U.S. involvement in the fight against ISIS, American lives could become increasingly imperiled.

Americans may not be surprised that a faraway monarchy would be willing to gamble the lives of innocents in a bid for continued power, but they should be deeply troubled that the U.S. intelligence community would—wittingly or not—make the same deadly bargain. By shielding themselves from the oversight that’s vital to our system of government, our national security agencies also shield Saudi Arabia from accountability. In so doing, they endanger the very lives they’re charged with saving.

Brian McGlinchey is the founder and director of 28Pages.org.