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911 Panel Concerned About Delay
Commission's Leaders Say Agencies Slow to Produce Information
by Susan Schmidt, Washington Post, 9 July 2003
I attended these hearings on July 9 and the press conference they held this week. It is clear that they are trying to embarass Bush into pushing the DOD, NORAD, DOJ and Homeland Security to give up their files now. It would be easy enough for them to drag their feet until the Commission sunsets in less than a year. Military intelligence did the same to the JFK Records Board over four years. I hope this ploy works.
It is not insignificant that NORAD has not responded. They are scrambling now to cover their rear for not scrambling on 9/11. I was interviewed on NPR and helped Robin Weiner, one of the family members here, to get some press as well. I was also at the press briefing after the testimony on terrorists and got in two good questions on Saudi Arabia and the identity of the hijackers as well as their not taking testimony under oath.
All that was captured on C-SPAN. The NPR piece mentioned 9/11 CitizensWatch and ran a quote from me on the lack of air defenses and not in a negative light. I got several new press contacts, and passed out our list of questions about the terrorists. I am attaching it as well. The Post doesn't say much, but they reveal the split going on clearly, and the administration is once again vulnerable.
Deputy for Communications
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
I am sending this to the head of the investigation team on the terrorist networks that will be coordinating the upcoming panels at the public testimony, Doug McCahan (sp?). You said you would forward it to him.
These are the major outstanding questions that the 9/11 CitizensWatch has been asking:
- Were all the 19 suspects named and pictured by the FBI in press reports actually on the planes on 9/11?
- 8 people came forward in Egypt and Saudi Arabia after the incident claiming that the pictures and names listed were their own, but they were still alive and not aboard the planes.
- The flight manifest lists released by United and American Airlines following the flights did not list all passengers (at least by the official count given), but those listed did not include any Arabic names or any of the suspect names.
- A list obtained from by FOIA the Armed Forces Pathology Division of victims at the Pentagon site, still not matching total count of passengers (58 of 64) also lists no Arabic or suspect names.
- Ground crew on Flight 77 recognized some of the people pictured as having gotten on that plane. However, one of the attendants made a phone call saying "there are six of them". The official count is five on that flight.
- Was there false sponsorship involved? Were some or all of the suspects using false identities? What is the historical relationship between Al Quaeda, the Taliban and the broader mujehaddin movement they sprang from in Afghanistan and US intelligence operations and proxies in the area being used as their assets?
- Was the creation, support and funding of Al Quaeda and Bin Laden's activities funnelled through Pakistani intelligence (ISI)?
(See: Unholy Wars by John Cooley [2d ed. 2000, 3d ed. 2002], Taliban by Ahmed Rashid)
- Was the source of that support for the mujehaddin and Al Quaeda primarily American CIA funding, Saudi Arabian funding, and opium funding?
(See: Unholy Wars by John Cooley)
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor for President Carter seems to have developed the strategy and policy of containment and control of Eurasia and the collapse of the Soviet Union, relying on the creation of the mujehaddin to destabilize the region as well as the introduction of US forces into the region afterwards to capture control of the oil and other assets of the Caspian Sea Basin as well as the former Soviet Union itself. (See: The Grand Chessboard, Brzesinski).
- William Casey, former DCI at the CIA under President Reagan developed at least two large "off-the-shelf" covert operations that carried out US foreign policies abroad without Congressional or public approval, both with similar funding and operational sources. Funding for the first, the mujehaddin movement in Afghanistan and elsewhere, came from CIA through ISI and from Saudi Arabia through Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). This included profits from the opium trade which armed paramilitary forces linked to the CIA plans.
The second, Contragate, was similarly funded through CIA and BCCI, and followed the same pattern of ties to paramilitary groups and illicit drug profits. Major personnel from the second operation are now in positions of considerable power throughout the current administration (Poindexter, Abrams, Reich, Armitage and others). A similar pattern of CIA backed forces using drug profits in the region, and involving Bin Laden and Al Quaeda was apparent in the Kosovo Liberation Army operations during the Bosnia conflict. (Drugs, Oil, and War, Peter Dale Scott)
- The head of Pakistani ISI at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and for many years previous was General Mouamar Ahmad. He served as a funnel of covert support, including CIA support, to Bin Laden and Al Quaeda. He was ousted from his job by the Pakistani government following 9/11 reportedly for having close ties to Bin Laden and for sending $100,000 to Mohammed Atta (an alleged mastermind behind 9/11 and one of the pilots involved in the attack) in August of 2001, when Atta was reportedly living in Sarasota, Florida with one of the Iran-Contra pilots.
General Ahmad came into the United States on September 4, 2001 and left on September 13. While here he reportedly met with George Tenet, current DCI, Richard Armitage and Colin Powell at State Department, and on the morning of the attack with Senator Porter Goss and Rep. Bob Graham, who headed the joint inquiry into 9/11. The question that arises is when the relationship of the CIA covert operations and Bin Laden/Al Quada ended, or were they still being used as "assets" up to the time of the attack? (The War on Freedom, Nafeez Ahmed, War & Globalization, Michel Chossudovsky).
- The investigation of Al Quaeda by former FBI agent John O'Neill, later director of security at the Twin Towers and a victim of the attack, which was based on information stemming from the 1993 attack on the Towers, was apparently frustrated by the FBI, leading to his resignation. What has been done to follow up on his work and those who stymied it?
- What is the actual history of the movements and relations of the 19 suspects inside and outside the United States in the years prior to the attack?
- There are numerous instances cited in the press that at the flight schools, and in their actions in Virginia and Florida, these individuals were behaving in ways that set off alarms and led to reports to official bodies, yet in most of these cases these alerts were either not followed up on or investigations were blocked by superiors.
- There are also numerous instances of individual FBI agents seeking authority and resources to investigate these suspects and their connections, or connections to Bin Laden being frustrated by superiors, some of them have since brought court suits about this issue. Who inside the Bureau made these decisions and on what basis?
- Do the 19 suspects show sufficient motivation, capablilities and discipline, or religious fervor in their personal lives to carry out a "suicide mission"? Were they devout Muslims? Were they well-trained pilots capable of the "dogfight" maneuvers taken by the planes that day, especially by Flight 77? Were they disciplined or trained elements of a paramilitary operation?
- Were or are there existing or ongoing connections between Bin Laden, his family and President Bush, his father, and their corporate and administrative allies and friends?
- What was the relationship of major oil companies who provided key figures in both Bush administrations, and their suppliers (Unocal, Haliburton, Enron) to the Taliban? Did the refusal of the Taliban to accommodate a planned oil pipeline through Afghanistan lead to plans for their removal that predated 9/11? (Taliban by Ahmed Rashid).
- What was the role of the Carlyle Group or Haliburton in investments relating to defense production and the wars that followed 9/11 and their link to major adminstration figures and planners as well as to the Bush and Bin Laden families?
- Were members of the Bin Laden family allowed to fly out of the United States after 9/11 when other air transport was cancelled? Who arranged for this departure? Was Osama Bin Laden really ostracized by his family, or were there ongoing relations as reported in the international press, including visits at an American-run hospital at Dubai where Osama had medical treatments?
- Were Bin Laden and key Al Quaeda elements allowed to escape from Tora Bora by US forces, as claimed by some personnel present?
- Why was the US reluctant to accept offers to deliver Osama Bin Laden to them prior to the attack (Sudan) and afterwards (Taliban leaders in Afghanistan made repeated offers, with minimal conditions) for legal reprisals?
This list is not exhaustive, but is indicative of some of the questions researchers and family members and the public have been concerned with regarding the suspects named as responsible for 9/11, their true sponsorship, and the historical and more current relationship of US covert intelligence operations and assets and those now pitted against us in the "war on terrorism".
Thank you for all your efforts to get at the truth about 9/11. If you have not read or seen some of the sources I have cited, I will be glad to direct you to them.
9/11 Citizens Watch