Wednesday, September 30, 2009

US Government Complicity in the 9/11 Attacks, Part 4

This is the fourth and last part of the 2006 article from Alliance!, and some of the references are to the 2007 article I posted before the anniversary of 9/11. 
4.  Operation Northwoods and other US government actions against Americans


It isn't only Nazi Germany (setting the Reichstag fire, engineered to spook the Germans into authorizing laws enabling their dictatorship) that was capable of terrorism and lies to justify otherwise unpopular actions – many governments have done so and continue to do so.  Prior to 9/11 there were other convenient pretexts for US wars.  The destruction of the USS Maine in Havana was the pretext for the Spanish-American War, which marked the first major effort by the US to acquire overseas colonies (such as Puerto Rico and the Philippines).  Historians see the explosion as being either a convenient accident or deliberate provocation by the government.  The sinking of the passenger liner Lusitania in 1915 by a German U-boat (as a trigger for US entry into WWI) was engineered by disguising the ship as a military vessel and routing it, without escort, at a slow speed, where it would probably be targeted by the Germans.  Some historians believe the Roosevelt Administration allowed the Pearl Harbor attack, following severe economic sanctions on Japan and provocations (this argument is summarized in WOF and at  Conveniently, the vital aircraft carriers usually stationed at Pearl Harbor left before the attack, and the damage to the Pacific Fleet was quickly repaired.  In 1964 President Johnson lied about attacks by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam against US Navy vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin to justify intensifying the Vietnam War (there were no torpedoes, possibly only phosphorescent invertebrates).  Under both Clinton and G.W. Bush, the USAF attempted to provoke responses from Iraqi defenses to justify aggression. 


In March 1962 the five Joint Chiefs of Staff presented a plan to President Kennedy that proposed terrorist acts in DC, Florida, Cuba, and elsewhere, to justify attacking Cuba, for "the replacement of the Castro regime with one more devoted to the interests of the Cuban people and more acceptable to the US, in such a manner to avoid any appearance of US intervention."  Among the ideas were blowing up an American ship in Guantánamo, launching a mortar attack on that base, exploding "plastic bombs" in the US, sinking an actual or fake Cuban exile ship, attacking Cuban exiles in the US non-fatally, staging an attack by a fake Cuban air force fighter on civilian aircraft or ships, faking the shooting down of a USAF fighter by Cuba, shooting down a fake airliner, attacking other Caribbean countries, and blaming Cuba if John Glenn's space launch failed.  Apparently President Eisenhower initiated the planning, and Kennedy decided not to follow one of the plans.  It was classified by the Assassination Records Review Board, but later released to the non-profit National Security Archive.  The entire memo is reproduced in Rubicon.              


9/11 as an "opportunity"


Readers of Alliance!, and even readers of bourgeois papers alone, are probably aware of numerous ways the leaders of the US benefited from 9/11.  Many even called it an opportunity.  Bush called it "a great opportunity," Rumsfeld said it offered "the kind of opportunities that World War II offered, to refashion the world," Rice told the National Security Council to "think about 'how do you capitalize on these opportunities' to fundamentally change…the shape of the world," and the Administration's National Security Strategy said "The events of September 11, 2001 opened vast, new opportunities" (all quoted in O&C). 


Fortune favors the prepared mind.  The neoconservative Project for a New American Century (, the PNAC, published Rebuilding America's Defenses in the fall of 2000, calling for massive military spending if the "American peace is to be maintained, and expanded," since it "must have a secure foundation on unquestioned U.S. military preeminence."  The authors saw this as a hard sell "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor."  PNAC members include Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Cheney, Zalmay Khalizad, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and James Woosley. Libby and Wolfowitz were among the producers of the quoted report.  On 9/11 Bush is said to have written in his diary that "The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today" and Kissinger wrote an online article calling for "a systematic response, that, one hopes, will end the way the attack on Pearl Harbor ended – with the destruction of the system that is responsible for it" (quoted in O&C). 


In 1997 Zbigniew Brzezinski published The Grand Chessboard:  America's Primacy and Its Geostategic Imperatives, calling for control over Central Asia as a way in to dominate Eurasia and limit Russia and China.  He said "as America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it might find it difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."  Brzezinski was Carter's National Security Advisor, and admits that that Administration aided the violent opposition to the progressive, leftist government of Afghanistan, intending to provoke a Soviet intervention.  He even said this policy, which resulted in the shattering of Afghanistan and the rise of al Qaida, and the disintegration of the pro-capitalist USSR, "was an excellent idea.  The effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap" (to Agence France Presse (AFP), quoted in WOF).  After the Carter years, Brzezinski was an intelligence advisor to Reagan and H.W. Bush (and co-chair of the National Security Advisory Task Force in 1988).  He was on the board of the CFR and helped found the Trilateral Commission (Carter is a member of both), and now lectures on US foreign policy at John Hopkins University.  Until 1998 Brzezinski was a consultant to BP-Amoco, one of three main developers of Central Asian oil and gas, which is the reason Afghanistan is important to US economic interests, as a pipeline route avoiding Iran and Russia.   


September 11th provided a door for many of the capitalist elites' desired, but unpopular policies.  As Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed points out, the Administration was in a deepening economic and political "crisis" (WOF) prior to 9/11.  After the attacks (and the anthrax letters), the Administration was able to silence Congress and the media for years by appealing to 9/11 on issues from war to tax cuts.  The Administration was able to launch two wars and measures cutting civil liberties, such as the Patriot Act. 


David Ray Griffin points to the Administration's interest in "full spectrum dominance" (military superiority on land, sea, air, and in space), "missile defense," and enlarging the US Space Command.  The Space Command's Vision for 2020 report says the Command's mission is "dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment," since "globalization of the world economy will continue with a widening between 'haves' and 'have-nots,'" echoing the rhetoric which started the Cold War.  The goal is developing the capability "to deny others the use of space."  This is aimed against serious challengers to US power, such as China and the European Union, and more recently the military said EU global positioning satellites were potential targets if US enemies used them.  Griffin points out that key American actors in the 9/11 attacks are associated with the Space Command.  Rumsfeld called for the militarization of space, but wrote that the cost and bureaucratic changes required might only be tolerated after "a disabling attack against the country and its people – a 'Space Pearl Harbor'" (quoted in O&C).  The night of 9/11 he even asked Senator Carl Levin, then chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, regarding missile defense and "the large increase in defense spending," "Does this sort of thing convince you that an emergency exists in this country to increase defense spending, to dip into Social Security, if necessary, to pay for defense spending - increase defense spending?"  General Richard Myers is a former leader of the Space Command and was Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9/11.  General Ralph E. Eberhart, a major player discussed in the future article about how the attacks were carried out, is in charge of the Command and NORAD.  According to the 9/11 Commission, between fiscal years 2001 and 2004, the military budget increased by 50%, from $345 billion to about $547 billion dollars, an unprecedented rate since the Korean War. 


Michael C. Ruppert points out the impending global peak in oil production, threatening the world economy and US hegemony, since oil powers society, the financial system, and is vital to agriculture and industry.  He shows that the Administration knows this is coming and Ruppert argues that the government is acting to secure oil supplies for the USA.  Ruppert and others also point out that illegal drugs help fuel the financial system, and opium poppy production has been restored in Afghanistan, after being sharply limited by the Taliban.   


There were also opportunities for abundant corporate welfare in military and homeland security contracts and even more wealth for members of the Administration.  Military purchases from the five largest contractors rose from $43.5 billion in 2001 to $66.4 billion dollars by 2003 (Waking Up From Our Nightmare, by Don Paul and Jim Hoffman).  Bush I profits from Bush II's wars through the Carlyle Group, which owns military contracting corporations.  Cheney was CEO and chairman of Halliburton, and still receives over $160,000 dollars a year from the corporation, which is involved in US efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere (and accused of fraud and abuse of its employees).  In the five years before Cheney took office, Halliburton profited $1.2 billion dollars from government contracts, and $2.3 billion in five years of the Bush Administration.  Without 9/11, Bush would have had trouble invading Iraq, where the occupation could privatize Iraqi industry and open it to foreign ownership, impose flat taxation, and force Iraqi farmers to buy seed from multinational corporations.   


The Afghanistan War


There is evidence that an attack on Afghanistan was planned to occur in October 2001, scheduled before the 9/11 attacks were carried out.  US hostility to the Taliban seems to have come more from the Taliban's obstruction of US business interests than because of its human rights record.  During the 90's the CentGas Consortium, led by Unocal, was competing with the Argentinean Bridas Corporation to build a pipeline from the gas fields around the Caspian Sea, through Afghanistan, to the Indian Ocean.  A problem was the civil war in Afghanistan, which by the 90's was mainly an ethnic civil war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance.  Some factions in the US might have wanted a peaceful settlement, or the victory of the Northern Alliance, but US policy agreed with Unocal's policy.  Unocal allegedly favored the Taliban, for example telling the media that the pipeline was closer to realization in September 1996, after the Taliban took the capital, Kabul.  Within hours the US said it would form diplomatic relations with the Taliban government.  According to Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher, the US supported the Taliban by allowing Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to send most US Afghan aid to "the most anti-western non-democratic elements of the mujahideen," would not stop the Taliban from taking control of the Afghan Embassy in Washington (against the wishes of the Afghan UN delegation), hurt efforts to aid the Hazara people, under siege by the Taliban, and in spring 1998 the Clinton Administration advised the Northern Alliance to accept a ceasefire, which Rohrabacher said aided the Taliban most.  In July 1998 the Taliban took Mazar-i-Sharif, giving them control of the proposed pipeline route, and CentGas was "ready to proceed" with construction.  Unocal left the Consortium after the east African embassy bombings and the resulting US missile strikes in Afghanistan and the Clinton Administration switched to favoring a pipeline through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey.  In late 2000 the US, Russia, and India began discussions of what should replace the Taliban (according to the Washington Post, December 19, 2000).  There were reports over the next months that India and Iran would support a US and Russian attack on Afghanistan. 


When Bush came to power, his administration approached the Taliban a final time.  $43 million dollars in unaccountable aid in food and housing was given to the Taliban, making the total funding $124 million dollars.  This is the period when a US delegation infamously told Taliban representatives "either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs" (WOF).  The imperialist powers wanted an Afghan national unity government.  Included in the delegation was at least one of the same officials who had advised the Northern Alliance to accept a ceasefire in 1998. 


According to The Guardian (September 26, 2001), based in London, by early 2001 the Bush Administration was preparing to attack Afghanistan.  Military cooperation with the Central Asian republics bordering Afghanistan was increased, US special forces were training, and Britain was hosting UN meetings involving British, Pakistani, and anti-Taliban representatives.  In time for 9/11 two US Navy taskforces arrived in the Persian Gulf, the UK's "largest armada since the Falklands War" was on its way to Oman, later joined by 23,000 soldiers, another 23,000 US soldiers and 17,000 from NATO were on exercises in Egypt, and 12,000 NATO troops were in Turkey.  Much of this had been planned up to four years in advance (cited in WOF).  September 9, 2001, two alleged al Qaida members conveniently assassinated Ahmed Massoud Shah the popular leader of the Northern Alliance, and the likely leader of any post-Taliban government.  Naiz Naik, a former Pakistani Minister of Foreign Affairs told the BBC that in mid-July US officials told him that, if the Taliban did not extradite Osama bin Laden, there would be war against the Taliban and al Qaida by the middle of October, and it actually began on October 7th.  Naik thought it would not be stopped, even if bin Laden had been held, and, as the next installment of this article will show, the US rejected past offers of extradition.  October 10, 2001 Unocal told Pakistan that the pipeline project was back on.  It should be noted that large US bases today mark the proposed pipeline route and Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai and former US special envoy to post-Taliban Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad (a member of the PNAC) both worked for Unocal.                  


Gunning for Iraq


It is now well-known (or, at least, it should be) that the Bush Administration, most of whom were members of PNAC, which spent the late 90's calling for war on Iraq and other Arab countries, wished to replay the Iraq War of 1991 and overthrow President Saddam Hussein.  The 9/11 Commission is willing to admit that Rumsfeld asked Myers to research Iraqi involvement in 9/11 and that Rumsfeld started the first post-attacks meeting at Camp David with a focus on Iraq.  Even if there were only 10% certainty that Iraq was involved, Wolfowitz was for attacking Iraq.  Bush tasked Richard Clarke with researching Iraqi complicity.  The Commission omits that Rumsfeld's notes from 9/11, as reported by CBS (September 4, 2002), indicated that he wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext for aggression against Iraq.  9/11 wasn't enough to justify attacking Iraq (though many people have still been 'misled' into thinking Iraq was complicit), so the Administration used further half-truths and lies to launch the war in March 2003. 


There will be another article, covering Pakistani and Saudi complicity, US shielding of Osama bin Laden, and physical evidence against the official story of the attacks, in a future issue of Alliance!.


Good Web sites to start with in learning more about 9/11 revisionist arguments are, home of the 9/11 Truth Movement,, hosting the Complete 9/11 Timeline,,, and  The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission is online at


An Alliance article skeptical of the official story and describing the evidence for Pearl Harbor complicity and US terrorism is online at    

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Government Complicity in the 9/11 Attacks, Part 3

Official American aid to the plotters


Immigration rules were broken and watch lists ignored


Reportedly, all of the Saudi hijackers received their visas to come to the USA at the US consulate in Jeddah.  The consulate previously funneled "terrorists" to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets and the progressive Afghan government, and still is a "pipeline," according to Michael Springmann, head of the consulate's Visa Bureau from '87 to '89, and is now a lawyer in DC (all quotes cited in WOF).  He told Newsnight on the BBC that "In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants.  These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country."  Springmann pointed out in a CBC Radio One interview that reportedly all of the Saudi hijackers received their visas to enter the US from the Jeddah consulate.  He also noted that a conspirator in the February 1993 WTC bombing, Sheikh Abdurrahman, received "his visa from a CIA case officer in Sudan."  Springmann even went so far as to say the government must have been complicity in 9/11, "either through omission or through failure to act." 


Alleged plot leader Atta was tracked as a possible terrorist by the FBI in 2000. In January 10, 2001 he was allowed back into the USA on a tourist visa, although he had already violated his visa, and he even told immigration officials in January that he was taking pilot classes, though he had the wrong visa for this.  He entered the US three times in 2001, on an expired visa from 2000.  The NYT reported that Israel warned the US that Atta plotted terrorism, prior to the issuance of the tourist visa.           


Al Mihdhar and al Hazmi, mentioned above, were allowed to travel without any problems from their known connections to al Qaida terrorism.  After meeting in Malaysia with Atta and KSM, something Malaysian security found the CIA surprisingly uninterested in (though the Commission says the opposite), the pair were allowed without problems back into the USA.  By then they were listed as possible terrorists.  They were visited in San Diego by up to five of the alleged hijackers and later lived with an FBI informant.  They were on an FBI watch list and given a high priority by the CIA, but they were not stopped.  They were not undercover, and used their own social security numbers, credit cards, etc., and were in the local phone book. 


Sabotage by the FBI leadership


The FBI leadership seemingly intended to sabotage several investigations that connected to the hijacking plot. In Phoenix, FBI agent Ken Williams, began investigating a group of Middle Eastern men at a pilot school, starting in 2000.  In early 2001 he was moved to an arson case. In early July, after he had been reassigned to the flight school investigation, he wrote the now famous Phoenix Memo.  Williams suggested that the FBI begin monitoring suspicious activities at all flight schools, suspecting that al Qaida might be preparing something.  The leadership said there was a lack of resources for this, yet in 1995 there was a broad investigation following warnings that al Qaida might want to use passenger planes to attack the CIA's headquarters.  In 1994 a retiring Phoenix agent also complained about headquarters' relations with local investigations of terrorism. 


The Phoenix Memo was sent to Supervisory Special Agent Dave Frasca, then head of the FBI's Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) and possibly controlling the connected bin Laden unit as well.  Frasca did not circulate the Memo, which hurt the Moussaoui investigation.  The official story is that Frasca was not aware of the Memo before the 11th.  Ruppert thinks Frasca is a CIA covert operative in the FBI, considering Frasca's role in hindering several investigations related to 9/11.  The Memo became known to the public in May 2002, at which point FBI Director Mueller classified it, and tried to prevent even the Senate 9/11 panel from reading it.  Frasca held his position from 1999 to 2002, when he was promoted.      


In Minneapolis the FBI was warned by a flight school that a student, French and Algerian citizen Zacarias Moussaoui, might be involved in terrorism.  He was arrested on immigration charges after August 15th.  The local FBI wanted a FISA warrant to search Moussaoui's laptop and other affects.  The FISA court almost never turns down a warrant request.  Minneapolis' request was sent to FBI headquarters, where it was stopped by the FBI Deputy General Counsel.  It was judged to be too weak a case after RFU agent Marion "Spike" Bowman removed French security information linking Moussaoui to Chechens Islamists linked to al Qaida.  The Phoenix Memo would have been helpful in supporting the local agents' request, but it had not been circulated.  Even the 9/11 Commission admits that further investigation of Moussaoui might have prevented the attacks.  In May 2002 Minneapolis Special Agent Colleen Rowley released a letter sharply criticizing the FBI leadership and came close to accusing headquarters of assisting al Qaida.  Rowley simultaneously sent her letter to Congress, so Mueller was not able to keep the letter classified.  Mueller later admitted that an agent "at a high-level meeting" wondered if Moussaoui planned to fly a hijacked airplane into the WTC (from the New York Post).  The FBI later gave Bowman an award for "exceptional performance" (O&C).


Also in 2002, an FBI translator, Sibel Edmonds, revealed that the FBI was shielding a possible spy and apparently threatened and then fired Edmonds because of her complaints.  First there were issues of classified material being removed from the building and supervisors telling her to work slowly so the office could request more funds.  It became very serious when Edmonds witnessed a Turkish-American co-worker, Melek Dickerson, allegedly protecting a Turkish group under investigation, of which Dickerson herself was a member.  Dickerson is married to a US Air Force (USAF) major who Edmonds contends was also involved with the Turkish organization.  Dickerson became the translator for material from the group, tried to get Edmonds to join, and threatened her.  Edmonds found that Dickerson was deleting, not translating, or defining as unimportant information regarding terrorism and spying.  Supervisor Mike Feghali aided in hiding information from an agent who requested that a document be re-translated.  In another case, an FBI informant previously in Iranian intelligence, monitoring Afghanistan, warned in the spring of 2001 that an aerial attack was being planned in months, but Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism Thomas Fields said agents were not to reveal the intelligence and Mueller did not act on the warning.  Reportedly Mueller was surprised that the Commission did not question him on this lead.  Dickerson and others under investigation hurriedly left the US in 2002 and there was no criminal investigation.  Feghali was promoted to be in charge of the Arabic translation groups.  Edmonds sued the FBI over a Freedom of Information Act denied and the Justice Department for wrongful firing.  Ashcroft requested a gag order, based on damage to state secrets, to limit what Edmonds could reveal, on Mueller's request.  Bush appointee Judge Reggie Walton dismissed Edmonds lawsuit challenging the gag order, after delaying the hearing four times.  Allegedly Edmonds was often tailed by government agents. 


In 1998 in Chicago, agent Robert Wright Jr. began investigating a wealthy Saudi immigrant suspected of giving up to $3 billion dollars to al Qaida.  Wright thought his case was uncovering more, and it was the only investigation to have seized assets (Rubicon), yet it was ended in January 2001.  In June he wrote a memo accusing the FBI leadership of "merely gathering intelligence so they would know who to arrest when a terrorist attack occurred" (UPI, May 30, 2002).  After Wright went public, with David Schippers representing him, the FBI harassed Wright and refused to allow him to discuss the contents of his unpublished memoir.  At the same time Mueller said he welcomed criticisms.  The Chicago Board Options Exchange was the source of a lot of the insider trading regarding 9/11.         


Earlier, in March 2000, there was another possible case of the FBI shielding al Qaida.  Emails captured with the Carnivore system regarding an al Qaida related case were deleted by the bin Laden unit and the International Terrorism Operations Center.  Allegedly a technician deleted the files because emails from innocent third parties had been collected.  This destruction of evidence would be a very serious crime, since the emails were collected under a FISA warrant, and Michael Ruppert speculates that it is ridiculous to think that the wanted emails and those accidentally intercepted would have been kept together. 


Despite the detention and harassment of thousands Arab and Muslim Americans by the government after 9/11, there has seemingly been less than a full attempt to identify the culprits.  A future article will show how many Saudis believed to have connections to al Qaida were allowed to leave the country within days after 9/11, with little screening.  October 10th the FBI ended its 9/11 investigations, allegedly "the most exhaustive in its history," and one official said "we're not trying to solve a crime now" (quoted in WOT).  


The hijackers trained at government facilities


Not only were the alleged hijackers being tracked by many intelligence agencies, there is also evidence that some of them were actually trained by the US military.  According to Knight-Ridder, Atta trained at the International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montogomery, Alabama, Abdulaziz al Omari trained at the Aerospace Medical School at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and Saeed al Ghamdi trained at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.  Three hijackers trained at the Pensacola Naval Station in Florida, according to Newsweek.   


There might also be a government connection to one of the two private pilot schools in Venice, Florida where most of the hijackers began study.  At 2am on 9/12 the FBI was searching these two schools.  Rudi Dekkers bought the Huffman Aviation school at about the time the alleged hijackers moved to Venice.  A witness at the airport said "I've always had my suspicions about the way he breezed into town out of nowhere.  Just too many odd little things.  For example, he has absolutely no aviation background as far as anyone can tell.  And he evidently has no use for, or knowledge of, FAA rules and regs" (WOT).  Allegedly, Huffman was given a free hand by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the local Venice police were told to ignore the company.  Dekkers is from the Netherlands, where he was indicted for financial crimes.   By 9/14, the FBI had cleared Dekkers of suspicion, despite his testimony in contradiction with that of officials at other involved flight schools. 


There is evidence that Huffman Aviation is connected to the CIA or other agencies.  Huffman provides a hangar for Britannia Aviation, seemingly a front company.  Britannia was contracted to operate a large maintenance operation at Virginia's Lynchburg Regional Airport, over a successful local company.  It was later revealed that Britannia "is a company with virtually no assets [the company's worth was $750 dollars], employees, or corporate history" and it "did not even possess the necessary FAA license" for the maintenance it contracted to do (WOF).


Huffman also has a long standing relationship with Caribe Air, providing maintenance.  Caribe Air operates around the Caribbean and is allegedly a CIA front (for more about CIA aviation front companies, see the article on US torture flights in the fall 2006 issue of Alliance!). Caribe's planes in Mena, Arkansas were seized by the government over drug trafficking, using up to 20 planes to move billions of dollars in drugs, at one point.   


Uncertainty about the identity of the hijackers


It is even as yet unproven if the hijackers were the people the government has named.  Six or more of the people named are alive and well in several Arab countries.  Waleed al Shehri, allegedly on American Flight 11, is a Royal Air Maroc pilot in Casablanca, Morocco.  Ahmed al Nami was an administrative supervisor for Saudi Arabian Airlines at the time, not on United Airlines Flight 93.  Saeed al Ghamdi, also named as a hijacker on UA 93, was in Tunis for 10 months training to fly the Airbus.  According to the Saudi Embassy in DC, Salem al Hazmi (allegedly on Flight 77) is an engineer at a petrochemical facility in Yanbou, and Mohand al Shehri and Abdulaziz al Omari are also reportedly falsely accused.  The Commission did not answer these reports.  Some of the identifications are based on surprising coincidences, such as the finding of Satam al Suqami's passport in Manhattan, supposedly having fallen from AA Flight 11.   


There is also evidence against the alleged hijackers having been on the hijacked flights.  The passenger lists have been released and do not include anyone with an Arabic name (Loose Change II documentary).  According to Thierry Meyssan, the author of L'Effroyable Imposture (The Horrifying Fraud, titled The Big Lie in the English version, 2002), the released passenger lists indicate that there must have been fewer hijackers than the Administration says.  Reasons to doubt descriptions by passengers will be covered in the next article.     


Another oddity is the behavior of the alleged hijackers.  For example, it has been reported that Atta ate pork, drank, used cocaine, got lap dances, lived with a prostitute in Florida, and gambled, yet he is supposed to have been a fundamentalist suicide terrorist.  The contents of two of his bags, which were not loaded on the plane, reportedly because of a missed connecting flight, are also odd.  They include his passport, will, international driver's license, Boeing flight simulation manuals, a Koran, a religious tape, and a memo about mental preparation for the other hijackers (O&C, The Big Lie).  These and other behaviors could be explained, but they are not what one would expect of fanatical fundamentalists.   


Fake evidence against bin Laden


The US government has very easily been able to finger Osama bin Laden for the attacks, but there is actually little hard evidence.  One main piece of evidence given is a video (released December 13, 2001) allegedly of bin Laden and others meeting in Kandahar November 9th.  The bin Laden in the video is obviously an imposter, because his facial features are different, and he writes with the wrong hand and wears a gold ring (from the documentary Loose Change II), which would not be proper to a Muslim fundamentalist.  An earlier tape was mentioned November 10th by the Sunday Telegraph.  Meanwhile, shortly after the attacks a statement was sent to al-Jazeera, purportedly from bin Laden, disavowing involvement in the attacks.  This might be fake also, but it gives reason for doubt.   


As a future article will show, the USA seemingly does not want to capture bin Laden, having passed on many chances, and reportedly there have even been recent meetings between US officials and bin Laden.  Osama bin Laden is a convenient enemy, giving the US and its allies an excuse to carry out other objectives.  It is also apparently untrue that bin Laden no longer has ties to the wealthy and well-connected bin Laden family and the Saudi government (who are in turn very connected to the Bush family and others in the Administration).   

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Government Complicity in the 9/11 Attacks, Part 2

The Government knew what would happen on 9/11/2001


The many statements by Administration officials and others that the attacks, and suicide hijackings in general, were totally unexpected, is definitely false.  Much of this information is summarized in The War on Freedom (WOF), written in 2002 by political scientist and human rights advocate Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development ( in the UK.  The Clinton Administration must have considered the use of hijacked airplanes as missiles.  In 1993 the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict studied the use of airplanes to attack domestic targets.  The Pentagon, Justice Department, and Federal Emergency Management Agency were recipients of the study's report.  In 1994 a disgruntled Federal Express employee tried to hijack a DC-10 jetliner to crash into one of its facilities in Memphis in April.  1993 was the year a pilot almost succeeded in crashing a small plane into the White House, in September.  That December an al Qaida linked Algerian group tried to hijack an Air France plane, to crash into the Eiffel Tower.  In January 1995 the Philippines even discovered the precursor to the 9/11 plot, an al Qaida plan (Project Bojinka) to destroy 11 planes over the Pacific Ocean or use at least some planes to attack sites such as the headquarters of the CIA, the White House, the World Trade Center (WTC), and the Sears Tower.  United, Northwest, and Delta flights would be targeted. Allegedly, Ramzi Yousef, arrested in Pakistan and convicted of involvement in the 1993 bombing of the WTC, thought of the plans.  He was convicted on Sept. 11, 1996, a date likely to be marked by future plots.          


In response, the US government began watching for potential al Qaida members at American flying schools.  Aircraft were very closely watched during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.  Since 1994 the FAA has warned that al Qaida was a potential threat to US airlines.  In 1999 the National Intelligence Council warned that al Qaida could use a hijacked plane to attack a Federal building.  Beginning in October 2000, several sources report, the FBI collaborated with Italian security in analyzing wiretaps of a cell in Milan and discovered a potential plan to attack domestic targets with planes. In 2000-2001 the CIA provided the FBI with a list of approximately 100 possible al Qaida members in, or coming to, the country.  August 23, 2001 they specifically named Khalid al Mihdhar and Nawaf al Hazmi, who were already connected to numerous terrorist acts and allegedly on American Airlines (AA) Flight 77, which allegedly hit the Pentagon.  Numerous papers report that the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency (NSA) were monitoring these men from at least 1999.  According to an article in Newsweek, al Mihdhar and al Hazmi lived for months, until August 2001, with an FBI informant, Abudssatta Shaikh.  They also met with the group referred to in the FBI's Phoenix Memo (described below) and were tied by documents to convicted would be hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui. 


An Internet feature of the Washington Post reported after the attack that the US, Israel, and the UK were alerted 6 and 3 months beforehand that Bojinka-style attacks on domestic US or Israeli targets were close to implementation.  Further information was being gathered by ECHELON, a multi-nation system capable of listening to all electronic communications in the world.  The system is an open secret and the EU, some of whose members reportedly participate in the system, confirmed that ECHELON exists.  ECHELON allegedly allows domestic spying, by allowing governments to say they received any domestic information from foreign sources.  The system has existed at least since 1995, according to Ahmed.


United Press International (UPI) has reported that the NSA has been able to listen to al Qaida telecommunications for years, at least since the 1998 East African US embassy bombings.  The NSA recorded conversations between Atta and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) over the summer and did not notify other agencies and allegedly neglected to translate many of the calls, although Atta was on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list (according to Knight Ridder Newspapers).  The NSA has repeatedly claimed that intercepted messages were not translated beforehand or could not be separated from other intercepted messages.  Ruppert points out that this is very unlikely, since these were very wanted men, and the government reportedly has computer translation programs, presumably including an Arabic translator.  In February 2001 it was revealed by UPI that the NSA had broken al Qaida's encryption methods and it is known that the government was able to block al Qaida's cell phones and financial transactions.  Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, of Utah, revealed after 9/11 that he had heard from the CIA and FBI that the government heard al Qaida members celebrating the attack.  Rumsfeld denied this and condemned the revelation.  ABC News reported that many phone calls to the US by reported al Qaida chief of operations Abu Zubaida had been recorded by the US before 9/11; the contents have not been released to the public. 


There were increasing, and increasingly specific, warnings approaching that September.  Former US National Coordinator for Counterterrorism Richard Clarke, told the New Yorker magazine that 10 months before 9/11 an attack was expected, followed 2 to 3 weeks later by indications that there would be an attack within a few weeks.  He warned the FAA directly in July 2001.  Measures had been proposed in the past that would have decreased terrorism threats to the airlines and safety problems, but apparently the FAA aided the industry in resisting these measures.  Intercepts from Afghanistan indicated preparation for an attack in late June or July.  That July, Italy warned of a suicide plane attack targeting Bush at the G8 Summit in Genoa.  Egypt confirmed this, in part through infiltration of al Qaida.  In late August security was increased at the WTC.   


Many US allies knew attacks were coming, and at least seem to have had detailed advance knowledge.  Russia reportedly warned in the weeks before 9/11 that there would be an attack on government buildings and airports with hijacked planes, 25 pilots having been trained (cited in Rubicon and WOF).  Le Figaro reported that French intelligence told the CIA that attacks were coming on US targets globally and allegedly the French and Arab sources provided further detailed warnings.  Jordan discovered that al Qaida was planning an attack using planes inside the continental US, according to an article in the International Herald Tribune.  A Moroccan agent penetrated al Qaida for two years and warned of a massive attack in summer or fall 2001.  He was not able to get further information because the US asked him to make a report in the US in person (from the same source as above).  Al Qaida members even warned of attacks themselves, in Arab immigrant papers in the UK around this time, according to the London Independent and Senator Feinstein (D-CA). According to NBC News, two days before 9/11 a foreign intelligence service let the US know that bin Laden had called his mother and said "In two days you're going to hear big news, and you're not going to hear from me for a while."  The British heard bin Laden discussing the attacks in intercepted phone calls weeks before 9/11 (from the Sunday Times).  UK Prime Minister Blair said bin Laden told al Qaida members to gather in Afghanistan by the 10th.  Twelve days before 9/11 Egyptian President Mubarak told the US an event was coming.  According to the German public television station ARD, Egypt had been monitoring Mohamed Atta's phone calls. An Iranian national imprisoned in Germany warned the US that the WTC would be attacked in the week of September 9th, but apparently the US was uninterested in the warning.  The Germans confirmed to that the calls were made.        


Israel apparently had detailed knowledge and might even have been spying on the hijackers, in the US.  According to the London Telegraph, two senior Israeli Mossad agents came in August to personally warn the CIA and FBI that up to 200 terrorists were planning an attack.  Israeli spies were active in the same areas as the hijackers, Hollywood, Florida (where they lived close to Atta's post office box), San Diego, and Phoenix.  A leaked FAA memo from 9/11 said an Israeli civilian connected to Israeli counterintelligence was shot on American Airlines Flight 11 (Rubicon). Germany's Der Spiegel reported that Mossad had a list of 19 al Qaida members planning an impending operation.  The list included four of the alleged hijackers.  If the US government was conspiring with al Qaida, Israel seemingly was a partner, at least passively. 


Garth L Nicolson, Chief Scientific Officer and Research Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Huntington Beach, CA reported to Ahmed's organization that he was warned in three or more instances, by retired military and intelligence members and the head of state of an unnamed North African country, that the Pentagon would be attacked on 9/11.  He believes his information was ignored by the many agencies he reported it to. 


Six weeks prior to 9/11 Ashcroft and others were warned of the date and targets of the attacks, and who was funding them, by lawyer David Schippers, the Chief Invesigative Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee in 1998 and chief prosecutor in the Clinton impeachment.  Schippers says he received this information from three FBI agents who said their investigations were stymied and that they were threatened with prosecution if they revealed their information to the public.  The New American, a conservative magazine, interviewed FBI agents who confirmed that the information was well-known in the FBI before 9/11.  The conservative civil liberties group Judicial Watch joined with Schippers in sueing the government on behalf of Schippers' informants.   


Evidently many officials knew what was coming and avoided flying near 9/11.  Eights hours before the attack began, San Francisco mayor Willie Brown was called by unnamed flight security and told to be careful, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (SFC).  On the 10th, a group of Pentagon leaders canceled a planned flight the morning of the attacks, according to Newsweek.  Earlier in the summer then Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped taking US commercial flights, according to an SFC article.  A week beforehand (says the London Times), famous author Salman Rushdie, who is guarded by the British Scotland Yard and British intelligence, was banned from taking domestic US and Canadian flights.  Also a week before the attacks, a radio talk show in the Cayman Islands, where many American businesses and capitalists send their money to escape taxes, was warned that al Qaida was about to carry out an attack (from MSNBC, September 16, 2001).  September 10th employees of the Tokyo office of the Goldman Sachs company were warned to stay away from US government offices because of terrorism (Counterpunch magazine, September 14, 2001).  September 7th the State Department warned citizens of an impending al Qaida attack, but the government should have expected a domestic angle, given the many warnings and the Project Bojinka scenario.                     


Parts of the US government, to their credit, apparently took some steps to protect the public in response to these specific warnings.  It is bad enough that the attacks happened despite the warnings.  Even worse is the abundant evidence that the government abetted the terrorists by repeatedly allowing them into the US, shielding them from detection, and even training them.  A later article will discuss how the US government under both Clinton and Bush II seemingly wanted, and still wants, bin Laden to remain free.   


Warnings from stock markets


Michael C. Ruppert cites sources suggesting that the CIA and other intelligence agencies monitor the financial markets in real time to watch for warnings of threats to the USA.  There were numerous ominous warnings in the days before Black Tuesday in put option trading in the stocks of many companies, oil, US Treasury bills, and gold.  A put option is an agreement to sell stock at the price when the sale is made, but not having to provide the stocks until later, so if the stock's price falls the seller can make a profit.  A call option is the reverse situation.  Basically these are gambles about how stock prices will change over time. 


Soon after the attacks, the SEC released a list of about 38 companies targeted by possible 9/11 insiders, trading in the USA, UK, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Japan (where trading was 8 times over average levels on the Osaka Exchange), and Singapore.  The Herzliya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism in Israel reported several very irregular trading incidents.  September 6-7 4744 put options on United Airlines were bought on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), against 396 call options.  Herzliya calculated that, if 4000 of these options were bought with advanced knowledge, insiders gained nearly $5 million dollars in these trades alone.  The day before 9/11, 4516 put options and 748 call options were bought on the CBOE, and 4000 of the put options would have resulted in profits of about $4 million dollars.  Together these put option trades were 6 times above the average level and this only occurred on the days mentioned above.  Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co had offices on 22 floors of the WTC and only 27 put options were traded on an average day. On the last three open trading days before the attacks 2157 put options were bought, and if 2000 were bought by insiders, conspirators gained about $1.2 million dollars.  These purchases were 27% above normal between September 7 and 10.  Merrill Lynch & Co, based in the WTC, on average sold 252 options, and on the four open days before the attacks, 1200% more put options (12,215) were bought.  If 11,000 were by insiders, they netted about $5.5 million dollars.  230,000 options on United Airlines were bought on the three open days before 9/11 for $2070 dollars (90 cents per share, selling for $12 dollars each by mid-October 2001).  Options for 231,300 shares, worth about $2.77 million dollars were left unclaimed.  Other sources reported a 90% increase in United Airlines put option purchases between September 6 and 10 (285 times higher that Thursday) and 60% higher for AA. These trades were very skewed to the put side, at a time when airline stocks were considered good buys, and the trades targeted exactly the airlines whose planes were hijacked.  Reuters reported on September 10th that airline stocks were about to gain value, and that Goldman Sachs was "an aggressive buyer of airline stocks," and that one of its favored companies was American Airlines (cited by Ruppert).   


European states investigated trading involving Munich Re, Swiss Re, and AXA, a French company that owned at least 25% of American Airlines' shares, all of which were liable to pay for 9/11 damages.  The American investment bank, Alex Brown, part of Deutsche Bank, the largest bank in Europe, had a role in facilitating some of the United Airlines trades, and was the main facilitator of those regarding Munich Re.  The Bank is patronized by the bin Laden family and has ties to the Kuwait Finance House and the Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain, both having worked with al Qaida and not cooperating with US investigations. They were left out of the government's investigation of al Qaida's financial network.  Both also helped Bush conduct what looks like insider trading when he was an officer of Harken Energy.  Atta and several other alleged hijackers had accounts with Deutsch Bank.  Ruppert also points out that CIA Executive Director (the third highest office) AB "Buzzy" Krongard was chair of Alec Brown, vice chair of Banker's Trust Alex, after Banker's Trust bought Alex Brown.  Krongard was hired by the CIA in 1998, a year before Deutsch Bank bought Banker's Trust. 


In addition to the put options, 5-year US Treasury notes (T-bills) were suspiciously popular prior to 9/11, including a $5 billion dollar purchase (Wall Street Journal (WSJ), October 2, 2001).  Treasury bills are considered very safe investments and, expectably, they became more expensive after the attacks.  The company recovering data from surviving WTC computers estimated that at least $100 million dollars were illegally moved through the systems prior to and during the attack.  Former German member of parliament, overseeing the intelligence agencies, (and critic of the official story) Andreas von Bülow estimated that potential insider trading resulted in $15 billion dollars and CBS estimated that it was worth at least $100 million dollars (all cited in Rubicon).  John Kinnucan, Principal of Broadband Research, told the Montreal Gazette (September 19, 2001) that "I saw put-call numbers higher than I've ever seen in 10 years of following the markets, particularly in the options markets" and CBS' 60 Minutes reported that "Sources tell CBS News that the afternoon before the attack, alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the U.S. stock options market" (September 19, 2001).  "There have been fundamental movements in these [airline] markets, and the oil price rise just ahead of the attacks is otherwise inexplicable," unless due to insider trading, according to Ernest Welteke, president of the German Bundesbank (New York Times (NYT), September 28, 2001).       


In typical fashion, the 9/11 Commission said the trading was not by people with insider knowledge, after assuming that the US institution it claims placed most of the put options on United Airlines and a financial newsletter would not have had advanced knowledge, since they are American.  The Commission does not name these groups and it cites Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FBI documents the public cannot view.  In their Report they say "From the outset, we have been committed to share as much of the investigation as we can with the American people." The Commission expects Americans to trust them, though they do not provide much in the way of grounds for that trust.  None of the results of the many financial investigations have been revealed to the public.      

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Government complicity in the 9/11 attacks, Part 1

Below is the 9/11 article referred to in the article I posted last week.  The 2006 article was printed by Alliance!, but since the website is down, I will re-post it here.  This is the first of four parts, and explains structural reasons the 9/11 Commission should not be trusted, besides the definite lies and omissions it perpetrated.   

US Government Complicity in the 9/11 Attacks


There is abundant evidence suggesting that the Bush Administration knew the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 were coming and did not act to prevent them.  There is also evidence that the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, if not others (such as Israel), also had a role in the crime, and many governments knew something was coming that fall.  As David Ray Griffin, Professor of Philosophy of Religion at California's Claremont School of Theology and prominent 9/11 revisionist researcher points out in his 2004 book, The New Pearl Harbor (NPH), complicit could mean several things.  The amount of US participation in the crimes of 9/11 could range from having covered up what actually happened, with no other crimes having been committed by the government, to participation by only a part of the US government, such as the intelligence agencies, to the attacks having been a completely American operation, planned by the White House (these last possibilities would be false flag black ops). 


We cannot say yet what the complete truth is, but a criminal conspiracy of some kind by the Bush Administration looks very likely.  This article summarizes the documented evidence of advanced knowledge of the attacks by the US, Bush and Clinton Administration actions to prevent investigations that would have revealed al Qaida's plans, the lack of evidence supporting the government's list of hijackers, and reasons the US government, and the part of the capitalist elite it represents, might have wanted a massive terrorist attack in 2001, along with evidence that the US government has been willing to kill its own citizens to further past goals.  Future articles will cover evidence of active participation by at least parts of the Saudi and Pakistani governments (other governments had at least advanced warning) and physical 'nuts and bolts' and documentary evidence contradicting the official story of what happened on Black Tuesday. 


This is a summary of some of the best evidence against the government's al Qaida conspiracy theories, but it is not an alternative story of what happened.  Some of this evidence could be explained away, but unless all of it has an innocent explanation, Americans should not accept the government's theory. 


1.  The 9/11 Report explains little and omits a lot


The so-called independent 9/11 Commission attempted to whitewash the evidence, aided by Congress and the dominant media.  There have been several official, and contradictory, US government explanations for various aspects of 9/11 over the last five years.  The Commission produced the current official theory by unscrupulously and brazenly omitting and misrepresenting the evidence (proven in works such as Griffin's The 9/11 Commission Report:  Omissions and Distortions, 2005 (O&C)).  Twenty-five employees of the CIA, Customs Department, Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and FBI signed an open letter to Congress about these omissions, saying that "We are aware of significant issues and cases that were duly reported to the Commission by those of us with direct knowledge, but somehow escaped attention," which "renders the report flawed, and casts doubt on the validity of many of its recommendations."  The omissions can be explained by looking at who served in the Commission and how it was created. 


The first in-depth investigation was a joint effort by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.  As former Nixon chief counsel John Dean, basically a believer in the official theory, but not ignoring some of the incongruities, describes in Worse than Watergate:  The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, the Joint Inquiry was an effort to prevent a real investigation.  He says, "such large joint committees are remarkably cumbersome and poor at investigations, and for that reason are rarely used."  In addition, the Administration blocked the investigation and would not let the Joint Inquiry question then Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld or then Secretary of State Powell.  During this period the FBI questioned almost all members of Congress about leaks of 9/11 information and wanted them to submit to lie detectors and turn over phone records and appointment calendars.  Senator John McCain in February 2003 said the Administration had "slow-walked and stonewalled" the investigation (cited by Dean). 


For 441 days the Administration resisted the creation of an independent commission with subpoena power, saying that it would harm the "War on Terror."  Bush relented in late November 2002, after gaining the power to appoint the chair, who could block subpoenas.  Even with this control and the composition of the Commission, the White House did as much as it could to forestall the investigation.  Bush was not able to get away with appointing Henry Kissinger, Nixon's Secretary of State and someone deeply involved in the US government's foreign crimes over the past decades, as the chair.  Instead, Thomas Kean was appointed chair, Lee Hamilton (currently on the Iraq Study Group) vice chair, with co-commissioners Richard Ben-Veniste, Fred Fielding, Jamie Gorelick, Slade Gorton, Bob Kerrey, John Lehman, Timothy Roemer, and James Thompson.  Former Democratic congressman and Iraq War supporter Max Cleland of Georgia was originally on the Commission, and was a dissenter on several points, but he resigned when Bush appointed him to the Board of the Export-Import Bank.  Consider the pasts of these commissioners. 


Chairman Kean is a Republican former governor of New Jersey and a member of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a co-chair of the Century Foundation's Homeland Security Project, which called for an office of homeland security.  Kean is a director and shareholder in Amerada Hess Corporation, which worked with Saudi Arabia's Delta Oil to tap oil around the Caspian Sea in the former USSR.  Delta was involved in unsuccessful negotiations with the Taliban to build a pipeline through Afghanistan to Pakistan, bypassing Russia's existing pipelines and Iran.  For these reasons, Kean has conflicts of interest, and could benefit from the Afghan War and other results of the 9/11 attack.  Kean also spent little time working on Commission work, because he remained president of Drew University and a board and executive committee member in Amerada Hess.    


Lee Hamilton replaced the first co-chair, who, like Kissinger, refused to admit his possible conflicts of interest.  Hamilton was a Democratic Congressman from Indiana, serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Select Intelligence Committee, and a member of the CFR since 1988 or before.  In Congress he helped cover up the CIA's involvement in drug trading in the Iran/Contra scandal, as chair of the investigation, and has been accused of helping to cover up the October Surprise, in which Iran helped Reagan win the White House, by refusing to release US hostages until after the election.  Before the investigation of the October Surprise, Hamilton called a press conference in which he said George H.W. Bush was not involved; Hamilton later admitted to not having consulted the witnesses or the investigating lawyer before absolving Bush.


Jamie Gorelick, a Democrat, is vice chair of Fannie Mae and a member of the CFR.  She is on the board of Schlumberger, an oil exploration and drilling company reportedly involved in almost all drilling operations.  Through Schlumberger, Gorelick is an associate of James Baker, of the Iraq Study Group.  Before joining Fannie Mae, Gorelick was Deputy Attorney General (second behind Clinton's Attorney General, Janet Reno), from March 1994 to May 1997.  She co-chaired (with Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet) the Intelligence Community Law Enforcement Policy Board, a group set up to meet quarterly to discuss issues affecting the Attorney General, Director of Central Intelligence, security services, Asst. Sec. of State for Intelligence and Research, and the Defense Department's General Counsel.  In 1998 Gorelick was also on the Central Intelligence National Security Advisory Panel and the President's Review of Intelligence.  Gorelick was part of the legal team defending the Bank of Commerce International (BCCI) and First American, which are connected to Saudis suspected of aiding al Qaida.  She was one of four Commission members given access to some of the White House intelligence documents. 


Richard Ben-Veniste is a prominent Democratic lawyer in Washington, DC.  He was Democratic counsel to the Senate Whitewater investigation, in which he shielded Truman Arnold (chief Democratic fundraiser at the time) from investigation, before representing him before the Whitewater grand jury, a conflict of interest.  Truman reportedly transferred a $2 million dollar plane, for a dollar, to Wallace Hilliard, who ran a Venice, Florida flight school where four of the alleged hijackers were trained.  Ben-Veniste also represented Barry Seal, who has been connected to Iran/Contra, the illegal drug trade, and then Governor Bill Clinton's government, flying out of Mena Regional Intermountain Airport, Arkansas (for more about this issue, see The Secret Life of Bill Clinton, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, a reporter for The Daily Telegraph of the UK).


Fred Fielding was a deputy counsel in the Nixon Administration, under John Dean, allegedly involved in the same criminal activities, but Fielding was not jailed.  He was Reagan's White House Counsel.  He advised Karl Rove to delay divesting more than $100,000 dollars in Intel stock, and Rove than broke even the Bush Administration's ethics policies when a merger with a Dutch business was discussed while he and Cheney met with Intel executives. Fielding helped the Bush Administration transition team in 2001, reportedly conducting security clearance checks, that now take 60 days, in 1-2 hours.


Republican Jim Thompson is chair of the large Chicago law firm Winston and Strawn, after having been the longest serving governor of Illinois, until 1991.  Thompson headed the transition team of Democratic governor Rod Blagojevich, reportedly "to the astonishment of practically everyone," since Blagojevich had strongly criticized Thompson's leadership (according to journalist Jim Rarey, quoted in Crossing the Rubicon).


John Lehman is an investment banker (with Paine Weber) with close ties to the Navy.  He is chair of OAO Technology Solutions, Inc. and JF Lehman & Company, formerly chair of Sperry Marine, and on the board of the Ball Corporation and others.  He was a member of, or associated with the neocon Project for a New American Century (the PNAC, see below).  He was a reserve naval pilot, special counsel and senior staff member to Henry Kissinger in the Nixon Administration, and Secretary of the Navy from '81 to '87.


Slade Gorton is a member of the law company Preston, Gates, & Ellis in Seattle, and formerly was a Washington senator. He was on the House Intelligence Committee for two years, according to him, partly because of his friendship with Trent Lott.  One major conflict of interest for Gorton is that on September 13, 2001 he said on public television that he thought the intelligence services could not have prevented the attack and the Seattle Times quotes him as also saying "I doubt we can get too much inside information no matter what we do" (Rubicon). 


Tim Roemer might have fewer conflicts of interest.  He was a Democratic member of the House who retired at the end of 2004, after being one of the main House members advocating an independent commission and is given credit for gaining (initial) support for the Commission from the group representing the 9/11 survivors and relatives.  This could be seen as co-opting anger over the handling of 9/11, by bringing support to a Commission apparently designed to bury concerns, rather than honestly answer them.  Roemer was a member of the House Intelligence Committee.       


Bob Kerrey was appointed to the Commission by former Senate minority leader Tom Daschle, and was a very pro-Iraq War Nebraska Democrat, who aided the Administration's efforts to use the attack to justify its plan to attack Iraq.  Kerrey was vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a major supporter of CIA Director George Tenet.  He was the only high-ranking Democrat on the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an American group related to the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which published a policy document in the fall of 2000 in which it said its recommendations might take a new Pearl Harbor for implementation.  In 1998 Kerrey voted for the Iraqi Liberation Act and was close to the Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmed Chalabi, who was convicted in absentia to 22 years imprisonment for bank fraud in Jordan.  Kerrey published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling for war with Iraq and pushing the claim that Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi agent in Prague, Czech Republic, a claim denied even by the 9/11 Commission. 


For these reasons the Commission was from the beginning compromised and full of conflicts of interest, for which it has been condemned by many.  The actual work of the Commission was mostly done by the staff, many with ties to the government agencies being investigated by the Commission, and headed by executive director Philip D. Zelikow, a Republican with close connections to the Administration.  He appears to have been an insider for the Administration.  In April 2004 Newsweek reported that he faxed a warning to the White House to let Condolezza Rice testify or face public outrage.  He argued in September 2002 that the US should attack Iraq to protect Israel.  Zelikow was on Bush I's National Security Council, working with Rice as an aid to National Secuity Advisor Brent Scowcroft.  Later he directed the Aspen Study Group, working with Rice, Scowcroft, Cheney, and Wolfowitz.  During the 90's he collaborated with Rice on a book on German unification, supporting the first Bush's policies.  From 2001 until he joined the Commission in 2003, Zelikow was on G.W. Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.  Rice asked Zelikow to help her in the transition and Zelikow advised the Administration on terrorism intelligence and spoke about al Qaida on several occasions with then Former US National Coordinator for Counterterrorism Richard Clarke, who served in both the Clinton and Bush II Administrations.  


In light of these conflicts, consider Zelikow's power as executive director.  Paul Sperry wrote an article for (March 31, 2004) stating that Zelikow "arguably has more sway than any member [of the Commission], including the chairman.  Zelikow picks the areas of investigation, the briefing materials, the topics for hearings, the witnesses, and the lines of questioning for witnesses.  In effect, he sets the agenda and and runs the investigation" (quoted in O&C).  Many of the staff reports went directly into the Commission report, which was edited by Zelikow.  Zelikow was one of the handful of Commission members allowed to read the famous Presidential Daily Brief of August 6, 2001 and only Gorelick and Zelikow had access to many White House briefings.  Repeated requests by the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission for Zelikow to be removed were denied.  The best the Commission could do with these conflicts of interest (and in other cases) was to have Zelikow recuse himself when the Commission considered the Clinton-Bush transition process.   In March 2004 the Committee said that it was "deeply disturbed to learn about" Zelikow's participation in transition briefings with Sandy Berger and Rice, in which Berger said al Qaida was the biggest security threat to the USA.  Zelikow refused to investigate revisionist theories about 9/11, "outrageous conspiracy theories," comparing investigation to "whacking moles" (Global Outlook magazine issue 10 and O&C). 


Much of this information is reported in Michael C. Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon (Rubicon), which argues that the 9/11 attacks were a desperate attempt by the corrupt elite to create a pretext for policies to safeguard and expand the USA's global dominance in the face of the impending Peak Oil crisis.  Peak Oil is the point at which oil production peaks, after which there will be increasing shortages, because oil is basically a non-renewable resource; other hydrocarbons also have peaks.  Capitalism requires increasing production, and that will not be possible if oil runs out and is not quickly replaced by other energy sources.  Some argue that it will be very hard to replace oil, but either way, capitalism is not a system that plans well for the future and human needs.  Ruppert argues that Peak Oil largely explains the Bush Administration's foreign policy and relates to growing fascism at home.  Michael Ruppert is a former Los Angeles police detective who blew the whistle on a CIA operation allegedly bringing illicit drugs into the US to finance the supply of weapons to Iranian Kurds, and was subsequently harassed out of the LAPD.      


Even if the 9/11 Commission really "sought to be independent, impartial, thorough, and nonpartisan" (from The 9/11 Commission Report (9/11C)) in carrying out its mandate to "make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, and the extent of United States prepardness for, and response to, the attacks," it would have had a hard time doing so.  It was given only $3 million dollars, compared to $5 million to study legalized gambling in 1996 and $50 million to study the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia.  The Administration refused the Commission's request for an allocation of $11 million dollars, but eventually raised the budget to $9 million.  The deadline for the Commission's report was May 2004, and the Administration stalled on security clearances and releasing documents for months.  All of the commissioners, most of whom already had experience in intelligence oversight and sensitive information, were not cleared to see secret information until March 2003.  The Commission was mandated to build upon the Congressional Joint Inquiry's report, but that was not made available until late July 2003.  Executive branch organizations, such as the Justice Department, stalled on releasing documents even longer, government employees had to testify in the presence of watchers from their agencies, and Bush refused to testify under oath or in person.