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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New York Times -- 911 coverup by CIA

Published: January 2, 2008


MORE than five years ago, Congress and President Bush created the 9/11 commission. The goal was to provide the American people with the fullest possible account of the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001” — and to offer recommendations to prevent future attacks. Soon after its creation, the president’s chief of staff directed all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the commission.

The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.

There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A. — or the White House — of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.

When the press reported that, in 2002 and maybe at other times, the C.I.A. had recorded hundreds of hours of interrogations of at least two Qaeda detainees, we went back to check our records. We found that we did ask, repeatedly, for the kind of information that would have been contained in such videotapes.

The commission did not have a mandate to investigate how detainees were treated; our role was to investigate the history and evolution of Al Qaeda and the 9/11 plot. Beginning in June 2003, we requested all reports of intelligence information on these broad topics that had been gleaned from the interrogations of 118 named individuals, including both Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, two senior Qaeda operatives, portions of whose interrogations were apparently recorded and then destroyed.

The C.I.A. gave us many reports summarizing information gained in the interrogations. But the reports raised almost as many questions as they answered. Agency officials assured us that, if we posed specific questions, they would do all they could to answer them.

So, in October 2003, we sent another wave of questions to the C.I.A.’s general counsel. One set posed dozens of specific questions about the reports, including those about Abu Zubaydah. A second set, even more important in our view, asked for details about the translation process in the interrogations; the background of the interrogators; the way the interrogators handled inconsistencies in the detainees’ stories; the particular questions that had been asked to elicit reported information; the way interrogators had followed up on certain lines of questioning; the context of the interrogations so we could assess the credibility and demeanor of the detainees when they made the reported statements; and the views or assessments of the interrogators themselves.

The general counsel responded in writing with non-specific replies. The agency did not disclose that any interrogations had ever been recorded or that it had held any further relevant information, in any form. Not satisfied with this response, we decided that we needed to question the detainees directly, including Abu Zubaydah and a few other key captives.

In a lunch meeting on Dec. 23, 2003, George Tenet, the C.I.A. director, told us point blank that we would have no such access. During the meeting, we emphasized to him that the C.I.A. should provide any documents responsive to our requests, even if the commission had not specifically asked for them. Mr. Tenet replied by alluding to several documents he thought would be helpful to us, but neither he, nor anyone else in the meeting, mentioned videotapes.

A meeting on Jan. 21, 2004, with Mr. Tenet, the White House counsel, the secretary of defense and a representative from the Justice Department also resulted in the denial of commission access to the detainees. Once again, videotapes were not mentioned.

As a result of this January meeting, the C.I.A. agreed to pose some of our questions to detainees and report back to us. The commission concluded this was all the administration could give us. But the commission never felt that its earlier questions had been satisfactorily answered. So the public would be aware of our concerns, we highlighted our caveats on page 146 in the commission report.

As a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the C.I.A.’s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others. What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.

Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton served as chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the 9/11 commission.


Over at Salon, there is a related post;

But it seems to be just a bit of buck-passing. Kean and Hamilton are up to their asses in the cover-up as much as anybody involved in the Omission Commission.


Check out Lorie Van Auken's and Mindy Kleinberg's letter to the editor at the NYT a couple weeks ago, after a front page story at the NYT fawned over the wisdom and concern among Commission leaders (including Zelikow) over the tape destruction disclosures.

The C.I.A. Tapes: Our Need to Know Published: December 26, 2007
To the Editor:

Our government’s official story regarding the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, tells us that 19 Arab hijackers successfully defeated the United States military by hijacking four commercial airliners within two hours on a budget of approximately $400,000. These men, armed only with small knives, box cutters and Mace, were able to knock down the World Trade Center towers in New York City and strike the Pentagon.

Because our loved ones were murdered on 9/11, we felt that the details of how the hijackers succeeded should be thoroughly investigated, so we fought for an independent 9/11 Commission. It seemed logical that our government would want to know what happened so as to prevent another attack.

When the legislation for the 9/11 Commission was passed, it gave the commissioners full subpoena power. Unfortunately, that subpoena power was rarely used.

You report that “the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda.” But while the panel did make “document requests” to the C.I.A., it did not subpoena the C.I.A. for the documents and tapes.

A subpoena would have meant that the C.I.A. would have had to answer the commission as to whether the documents and tapes existed, and the agency would have had to explain its reasons for not turning these documents and tapes over to the panel. We would have had a paper trail about the evidence.

You also report, “In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the report had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission’s inquiry.”

The question is: Are Americans satisfied with this?

The 9/11 Commission did not fulfill its mandate to thoroughly investigate the 9/11 attacks. A real investigation into the events of Sept. 11 that examines all of the evidence has never been done and is still needed.

Lorie Van Auken Mindy Kleinberg East Brunswick, N.J., Dec. 22, 2007


'Failures' & 'Unanswered Questions' Acceptable To MSM

If the Jersey widows started talking 'LIHOP' & 'MIHOP', they would be ignored by the MSM or worse.

The 'failures' and 'unanswered questions' approach is viewed as an acceptable risk for the MSM.
Government 'fails' all the time and questions concerning such failures often go 'unanswered'.

Not likely to stir up the natives.

Besides, the media wants the public to 'feel' and react, not think.

Submitted by Aidan Monaghan on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:27pm.


CIA and 9/11

Just a quick overview of the CIA regarding Bin Laden/9/11:

1) The CIA essentially creates al-Caeda via funding and supporting the Mujahadeen in the early 1980s.

2) CIA funds and supports Osama Bin Laden as the leader of the Mujahadeen Afghan rebels.

3) Bin Laden remains a long-standing CIA asset until he allegedly turns against us just as the Cold War is over.

4) Madeline Albright twice refuses the handover of Osama during the Clinton presidency, when he's supposedly public enemy #1.

5) Bin Laden is treated at an American hospital in Dubai in July of 2001, where he meets with the local CIA chief.

6) On 9/11 George H.W. Bush, a former Director of the CIA, is in a meeting with Osama Bin Laden's brother while President Bush ignores the attacks on America.

7) There just happens to be close family ties between the Bushes and the Bin Ladens.

8) Members of Osama's family were flown out of the country without proper questioning during a time of airspace lockdown.

9) Osama Bin Laden was repeatedly allowed to escape from Tora Bora after the US invasion, according to CIA sources and Special Forces.

10) The FBI says there's no proof that Bin Laden was behind 9/11. Hence his Most Wanted page never mentions these attacks.

11) No white paper giving evidence of Bin Laden's guilt or the identites of hijackers has ever been provided to the American people.

12) The Confession video discovered by the CIA in Afghanistan is bogus according to the top US Bin Laden expert, Bruce Lawrence of Duke University. "It is not him."

13) Several alleged hijackers have been interviewed by the BBC subsequent to 9/11, proving the official list is wrong.

14) The CIA admits to destroying the tapes of its interrogations with suspected terrorists, calling into question the entire al-Caeda story.

15) The 9/11 Commission was obstructed by the CIA, who deliberately lied to the Commission and Congress.

16) The anthrax attacks in the weeks after 9/11 were ultimately linked to a source within the CIA, who was obviously trying to pin it on Arab terrorists with phrases like, "Allah Akbar" accompanying the letters. The anthrax itself was determined to be a weapons-grade anthrax emanating from Ft. Deitrick, MD. (likely).

So, the CIA created al-Cadea, sponsored the anthrax attacks, lied to the 9/11 Commission and Congress, and now admits to destroying evidence!

Submitted by RL McGee on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 1:07pm.

MP3 Audio Clip - Philip Zelicow
Friday December 7, 2007
9/11 Executive Director Philip Zelicow Talks To NPR About Deleted CIA Torture Tapes


WHAT REALLY HAPPENED ON 911 (this is serious. Ad unbelievable, and that
was soooo intended. Think about it, HOW ELSE could they hope to get away with it?):

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