September 11: Some Unanswered Questions
By Gar Smith, Roving Editor @ The-Edge
September 13, 2002
Since the horrific events of September 11, the unelected Bush administration has been busy crafting a legacy of suspended civil liberties, dragnet arrests, suppression of public documents, obstruction of congressional investigations, and attempts to derail independent investigations into the causes of the September 11 terror attack.
On September 27, 2001, the FBI released the names and photographs of the 19 September 11 "hijackers." Within weeks, seven of the men - Abdul Aziz Alomari, Ahmed Alnami, Khalid Al-Mihdnar, Saeed Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi and Waleed Alshehri - reported that they were still alive and innocent of any terror attacks. Photos from the FBI. Graphic by The-Edge
This record has prompted Democrats.com (an independent progressive wing of the Democratic Party) to call on the Bush/Cheney administration to take responsibility for failing to protect America and to resign. If George W. Bush and Dick Cheney refuse to resign, we demand their impeachment by Congress.
Democrats.com lists a number of highly questionable actions taken by the Bush administration. These include:
To sign the petition demanding a full, independent investigation and to review more of the long list of unanswered questions, go to http://democrats.com/display.cfm?id=271
- Preventing the FBI terrorist experts from investigating Saudi Arabian ties to Al Qaeda prior to 9/11. This interference prompted FBI Deputy Director John ONeill to resign only two weeks before the attack.
- Bush ordered the Naval Strike Force deployed near Afghanistan to monitor bin Ladens activities to stand down prior to 9/11.
- Bush issued an ultimatum to the Taliban in July 2001 to turn over bin Laden and permit Unocal to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. The Taliban was given a choice: a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs.
- Bush ignored explicit warnings from Italian, German, French, Russian and Israeli intelligence about an imminent terror attack on the US, including specific warnings of plans for suicide attacks with hijacked airliners.
- Despite repeated warnings from the CIA, Bush ordered US counterterrorism agencies to stand down from a high level of alert that had been in existence until August 6, 2001.
- Bush has adamantly refused to support an independent investigation of the worst act of terrorism in US history.
Americas bin Laden Connection and other Troubling Facts
There are many disturbing issues surrounding the events that preceded the 9-11 attacks. Here are a few of those troubling facts:
Making a Killing on the Stockmarket
- During the decade-long Russian occupation of Afghanistan, the CIA funneled an estimated $5 billion to Osama bin Laden and his Taliban fighters through an entity called Maktab al-Khidamar (The MAK).
- On October 31, 2001, the French daily Le Figaro reported that while Osama bin Laden was undergoing treatment for a kidney ailment at the American Hospital in Dubai in July 2000, he was visited in his hospital suite by the local CIA agent. According to Le Figaro, A few days later, the CIA man bragged to a few friends about having visited bin Laden.
At the time, bin Laden was wanted for the bombing of USS Cole and US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. (FBI investigators determined that both embassies were bombed with US Army explosives that the CIA had provided to the Talibans freedom fighters.)
- On September 18, 2001, former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Niaz Naik informed BBC reporters that he was told by senior American officials in mid-July [emphasis added] that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October
before the snows started falling.
In the weeks before 9/11, shadowy stockmarket investors purchased 4,744 put options on United Airlines stock and 4,516 on American Airlines more than six times normal trading volume. Put options realize a profit only if the stock value slumps. On September 6, the put options betting against United Airlines peaked at 2,857 times normal trading. No other airline stocks were affected.
John Kinnucan of Broadband Research told the San Francisco Chronicle that the numbers were higher than Ive seen in 10 years of following the markets. Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News stated: this could very well be insider trading at the worst, most horrific, most evil use youve ever seen in your entire life.
Whoever placed these doomsday bids stood to make at least $15.7 million from the financial repercussions of the terror attacks. A year after 9-11, $2.5 million in put-option profit sits unclaimed and the identity of the put option phantoms remains unknown.
Suspicions initially focused on Osama bin Laden but, on September 21, Israels Herzliyya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism identified Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown (AB Brown) as one of the banks involved in the purchase of these options. In 2001, Senator Carl Levin named AB Brown as one of 20 major US banks involved in laundering drug money.
According to investigative journalist and former LAPD police officer Michael Ruppert [www.copvcia.com], there is abundant and clear evidence that a number of transactions in financial markets indicated specific foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks. In addition, Ruppert notes pointedly, the firm which was used to place put options on UAL stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the number three position at the CIA.
Until 1998, AB Browns Vice-Chair was Buzzy Krongard, a gentleman who subsequently left the bank to become Counsel to CIA Director George Tenet. In March 2001, George W. Bush elevated Krongard to become the CIAs Executive Director.
How Pakistans CIA Financed the 9-11 Hijackers
The chief of Pakistan's intelligence agency ordered $100,000 sent to Mohammed Atta and then sat down to breakfast with the heads of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. Credit Graphic by The-Edge.
Michael Springmann, the former head of the visa section at the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has testified that CIA agents posing as consular officials routinely overrode visa denials to spirit mujahadeen terrorists into the US to be trained to fight against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Springmann noted that 15 of the named 9-11 hijackers received their visas at the CIA consulate in Jeddah.
Agence France-Presse revealed that, several weeks before the 9-11 attack, a sum of $100,000 was wired to WTC [World Trade Center] hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan, by Ahmad Umar Sheikh, at the instance [sic] of General Mahmoud [Ahmad]. But Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad was not a member of al Qaeda: He was the director general of Pakistans Inter-Services Security Agency (ISI), Pakistans equivalent of the CIA.
On September 4, 2001, Gen. Ahmad flew to the US for a series of meetings with top-level Bush officials including CIA Director Tenet, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Under-Secretary of State Marc Grossman, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Joseph Biden (D-DE).(Congressional investigators might wish to review the minutes of those meetings.)
At the very moment the World Trade Center was being attacked, Gen. Ahmad (the man who bankrolled the terrorist who had just flown a commercial jet into the WTC) was being treated to a breakfast meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Bob Graham (R-FL) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Porter Goss (R-FLA).
Graham and Goss were subsequently entrusted with heading the investigations into the CIAs intelligence 9-11 failures. The fact that Gross is a former CIA employee with ten years service in clandestine operations, prompted fellow Republican Richard Shelby (R-AL) to suggest that Goss might not be the most impartial man to head the investigation.
Ahmads extraordinary meeting with Graham and Goss was reported only in the Florida media and in one September 14, 2001 article on Salon.com. It was not until May 18, 2002 that the New York Times alluded to the meeting in an article profiling Rep. Goss (A Cloak but No Dagger.) The Times article also mentioned that ISI Chief Ahmad ran a spy agency notoriously close to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
The US Is Under Attack: Lets all Sit back and Watch
Were the 9-11 attacks allowed to happen? The governments response certainly leaves one wondering. As Mike Ruppert notes, It has been standard FAA procedure for more than 25 years to scramble US fighters to intercept not shoot down any errant or non-responsive aircraft under FAA control. This protocol is even more stringent in the case of a hijacking.
The Pentagon became aware of the first hijacking at 8:35 AM. The last hijacked plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field at 10:37 AM. For more than two hours, four hijacked airliners were allowed to fly through US skies unchallenged. Flight 77 covered 300 miles before flying through the most restricted airspace in the world en route to hitting the Pentagon.
Three fighter squadrons are stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, a mere 10 miles from the Pentagon. None of these jets were activated. Instead, the jets sent to intercept Flight 77 were dispatched from Langley Air Force Base, 140 miles away. The two F-16s tasked to intercept Flight 93 were sent from Detroit.
The Censoring of Condolleeza Rice
In May 2002, Newsweek broke the story that, 36 days before 9-11, Bush had been warned that Al Qaeda was going to bring the fight to America. On May 19, the New York Times revealed the existence of a 1999 warning from the National Intelligence Council that Suicide bomber(s) belonging to Al Qaedas martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packet with high explosives into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the [CIA] or the White House.
On May 16, 2002, White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice called a press conference to apply some damage control. An Indian journalist asked Rice the following question:
Are you aware of the reports at the time that the ISI chief was in Washington on September 11th, and on September 10th, $100,000 was wired from Pakistan to these groups here in this area? And why was he here? Was he meeting with you or anybody in the administration?
Rice replied: I have not seen that report and he was certainly not meeting with me.
Tom Flocco, an investigative reporter with American FreePress.net and Scoop.co.nz, noticed something odd about the transcript of Rices press conference: Both the White House and CNN versions had been censored. While a transcript from the Federal News Service contained the reference to the ISI chief, in the White House transcript, the words ISI chief were replaced with -----. In the CNN version, the words were replaced with (inaudible).
On October 9, 2001, the Times of India reported that Gen. Ahmad had been fired as the head of ISI on his return to Pakistan. According to the Times, US authorities [FBI] sought his removal after confirming that $100,000 had been wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta at the order of General Mahmoud.
On October 28, ABC News reporter Cokie Roberts asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to comment on the confirmation that Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence official
. Do you think it was
Rumsfelds reply was characteristically oblique. Clearly, the meeting is not nothing, he replied.
How the FBI Funded the 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Center
From the burning of the Reichstag to the Tonkin Gulf incident that gave Lyndon Johnson a pretext to escalate the war in Vietnam, conspiracies have been hatched to inflame public emotion and advance hidden political agendas. Many Americans suspect that 9-11 may prove to be part of such a plot.
American history is not without its share of intrigue. Historians and Freedom of Information Activists have compiled a laundry list of various government plots to trigger martial law from Executive Order 11490 through Operation Garden Plot and Operation Cable Splicer. Here are two recently uncovered examples of government duplicity.
On March 9, 2001, ABC News revealed the existence of Operation Northwoods, a secret 1960 plan by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to stage a murderous attack on Americans to stampede the public into war. We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba, Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer argued. Lemnitzer noted that casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation. [See EcoMole in this issue of The-Edge for the complete Operation Northwoods document.]
On October 28, 1993, the Los Angeles Times revealed that the bomb that blew up the World Trade Center in 1993 had been built by a former Egyptian military officer and FBI infiltrator named Emad A. Salem with funds supplied by the FBI.
When Salem warned that the WTC bombing was imminent and asked the FBI to intervene (Salem proposed substituting a harmless powder for the explosive charge), his FBI handler, Agent John Anticev, allowed the bombing to proceed.
We know this only because Salem secretly taped his FBI controllers ordering him to proceed with the bomb-making operation.
Ashcrofts America: Criminalizing Democracy
The US PATRIOT Act would most likely not have thwarted the 9-11 terrorist attack but it does give Attorney General John Ashcroft unparalleled and virtually dictatorial powers to declare ordinary citizens agents of domestic terrorism.
The laws Section 802 defines domestic terrorism as any act designed to intimidate or coerce change in government policy. Section 411 warns that any organization that engaged in such activity could be labeled a terrorist organization.
From the earliest days of Bushs occupation of the White House, GOP hatchet men have worked hard to brand environmentalists as terrorists. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) thundered that the radicalization of the green movement has led to a surge in eco-terrorism. Rep. George Nethercutts (R-WA) Agroterrorism Prevention Act would criminalize tree-sitting, road blockades and timber product boycotts.
The Critical Question: Incompetence or Treachery?
The White Houses continued resistance to an independent investigation of 9-11 (like its refusal to release information on Dick Cheneys Energy Task Force) leaves many wondering What have they got to hide?
Bushs endless war (now expanded to battlefronts in Colombia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Chechnya) claims the right to kill foreign leaders and replace any governments that Washington does not like.
An administration that claims the right to invade other countries, topple foreign governments, assassinate targeted individuals abroad, and threaten other countries with nuclear attack, is not an administration that can be trusted to protect the fragile vessel of democracy at home.
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