9/11 coincidences and oddities page!

(and other note worthy tidbits.)


Pre 200120019/11 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006


Last updated:  07/28/2008

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January 2002 - Steel from the wreckage of the destroyed WTC will be shipped to China and India to be melted down and recycled which has angered some investigators, engineers and victim's families who say the steel could hold vital clues about why the towers collapsed and GPS tracking devices were installed on the trucks hauling the "highly sensitive" steel scraps away to be melted.


Ground Zero steel China-bound

"China's biggest steel firm says it will receive its first shipment of scrap metal from the World Trade Center wreckage soon and turn it into steel plates -- not, as some newspaper reports had suggested, souvenirs.
Chinese state newspapers had earlier reported that Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. planned to turn 50,000 tons of Ground Zero steel into souvenirs -- including models of the twin towers.

But a company spokesman told Reuters news agency on Wednesday that the shipment would not be treated any differently from ordinary purchases of scrap, and would be turned into steel plates.

The Beijing Youth Daily, one of the newspapers to report the purported souvenir plan, said Baosteel was one of the first companies in the world to contact the United States about the scrap and consequently made a good deal.
It bought 50,000 tons of steel scrap at a price of "less than $120 per ton," the newspaper quoted Baosteel executives as saying. It did not give an exact price figure.

India scrap dealers have already ordered four steel consignments.
Two 33,000-ton consignments have already arrived in the southern port of Madras, a third is on its way and a fourth would arrive soon at the west coast port of Kandla.
The scrap was bought at $120 per ton and is to be recycled into ingots to be sold to various industries, including construction." - CNN (01/23/02)


Baosteel Will Recycle World Trade Center Debris

"A shipment of scrap steel from New York's collapsed World Trade Center will arrive in Shanghai tomorrow, according to media reports. The steel was bought by Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. and several other domestic mills, which are always eager to buy scrap metal.
Baosteel Group, the nation's largest steel firm, has purchased 50,000 tons of the scrap steel from "Ground Zero," the ruins of the September 11 terrorist attack, at no more than US$120 each ton, according to yesterday's Beijing Youth Daily.
Most of the scrap will be recycled into ingots, but part of the relics will be mold-ed into WTC souvenirs, the paper said.

Another shipment of 10,000 tons of scrap from the WTC arrived in India earlier this month, reported Shanghai Morning Post. The metal will be melted down and recycled into kitchenware and other household items, the paper said.
India bought its lot at US$120 per ton from the New Jersey scrap processor Metal Management, which purchased 40,000 tons of the debris at an auction held by the New York City government. Dealers estimated that the WTC disaster created more than 300,000 tons of scrap metal.

"All in all, China's purchase from the WTC ruins counts for little to its steel industry, given the nation's big consumption of scrap each year," said Qu Li, an analyst with China Securities.
"But the price of US$120 per ton is, if not great, quite reasonable," she added.
The average price paid by local mills last year for scrap steel was 1,250 yuan (US$150.6) a ton.

New York authorities' decision to ship the twin towers' scrap to recyclers has raised the anger of victims' families and some engineers who believe the massive girders should be further examined to help determine how the towers collapsed.
But New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg insisted there are better ways to study the tragedy of September 11.
"If you want to take a look at the construction methods and the design, that's in this day and age what computers do," said Bloomberg, a former engineering major. "Just looking at a piece of metal generally doesn't tell you anything." - (01/24/02)


Congressional panel focuses on why WTC collapsed

"The investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center has been hampered by the destruction of steel wreckage that could hold vital clues about why the twin towers fell, a fire expert is telling a congressional panel.

Glenn Corbett, a fire science professor at John Jay College, was critical of New York City's decision to melt down and recycle tons of charred and twisted steel from the trade center.

The investigation into the trade center collapse is being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers. A FEMA assessment team is expected to release a report of its findings in April." - USA Today (03/06/02), CBS (03/06/02)



"In late September of 2001, only weeks after the World Trade Center disaster, officials uncovered a criminal scheme to divert sheet metal beams from the Ground Zero rubble to Long Island and New Jersey. In late October, some 250 tons of scrap metal were found at unofficial dump sites in both those areas.
On November 26, the city initiated use of an in-vehicle GPS tracking system to monitor locations of trucks hired to haul the debris to Fresh Kills, the official dump site on Staten Island.

Within three weeks, the system elements were in place, and nearly 200 trucks in New York City were being tracked in real time. Installed by MIT with assistance from PowerLoc and four trucking contractors, the solution revolved around PowerLoc's Vehicle Location Device (VLD). Each VLD unit costs about $1,000.

“Ninety-nine percent of the drivers were extremely driven to do their jobs. But there were big concerns, because the loads consisted of highly sensitive material. One driver, for example, took an extended lunch break of an hour and a half. There was nothing criminal about that, but he was dismissed. There were also cases where trucks did little detours from their routes,” Shalmon says.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of IDC-Criticom and its two subcontractors, a clean-up originally projected to last until September was completed in May. Defying previous estimates of $7 billion, the total clean-up bill ran to just $750 million." - Access Control & Security Solutions (07/01/02)



January 2002 - Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani forms Giuliani Partners, a lucrative investment and security consulting firm with key figures from the 9/11 including the former NYC Police Commissioner, NYC Fire Commissioner, and head of the NYC Office of Emergency Management.


Tales of the City, Revisited

What's Happened to "America's Mayor"?
"After 9/11, anytime Americans encountered a really hard problem, someone would nominate Rudy Giuliani to solve it. There were calls for him to take over WorldCom, the SEC, the state, even the country.
But by January 2002, Giuliani had already reinvented himself as a businessman. The experiment has been extremely lucrative. Giuliani Parnters, the consulting and investment firm that he started by transplanting key members of his administration into a dark wood paneled office on Times Square, is bringing in just over a $100 million a year in revenue, according to a source close to the company. That would mean the firm is collecting over $2 million per employee, which is phenomenal. (By comparison, Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street banking giant, takes in roughly $1.2 million per employee.). Companies like Nextel, Purdue Pharma and the nuclear-power plant operator Entergy hire the firm to advise them on logistics and security. And, of course, for the name Giuliani.

At a staff meeting last week, Giuliani's new world appeared seamlessly woven into his old. His former fire chief, former emergency management commissioner and longtime spokeswoman all sat at the table.

Giuliani continues to be one of the country's most trusted voices on terrorism. And his leadership after the attacks-along with his old stubbornness - still shield him from criticism. When asked if it was a mistake to put the city's emergency command center in 7 World Trade Center, which collapsed on 9/11, he doesn't budge. "No. It was placed there because that's where the Secret Service was, that's where the CIA was," he says. "You had to put it somewhere."
Meanwhile, Giuliani has been speaking across the globe for fees of $75,000 and up-sometimes way up." - Giuliani Partners/TIME (09/06/04)


Giuliani Partners - "Mr. Giuliani is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Giuliani Partners LLC, which he founded in January 2002."

Pasquale J. D'Amuro - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Giuliani Security & Safety LLC, a division of Giuliani Partners LLC dedicated to security consulting.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Mr. D'Amuro was appointed Inspector in Charge of the FBI's investigation of those attacks.

Anthony V. Carbonetti - founding Partner and Managing Director of Giuliani Partners LLC. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Carbonetti served as Chief of Staff to Mayor Giuliani from 1999 to 2001. Mr. Carbonetti was serving as Chief of Staff on September 11, 2001, and was an integral part of the Giuliani team that helped guide New York City through the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history.

Richard J. Sheirer - Senior Vice President at Giuliani Partners and is New York City’s former Commissioner of Emergency Management. Mr. Sheirer is a public safety expert with three decades of experience in law enforcement and crisis management, including having served as the Deputy Commissioner for Administration for the New York City Police Department and Chief of Staff to the Commissioner.
Before joining the Police Department, Mr. Sheirer served in the New York City Fire Department for 20 years, with an emphasis on emergency communication issues, and rose to the level of Deputy Commissioner. In February of 2000, he was named Director of the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management where he was responsible for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery for all emergency conditions requiring the involvement of multiple government agencies.

Thomas Von Essen - Mr. Von Essen is a Senior Vice President at Giuliani Partners and is Chief Executive Officer of Giuliani-Von Essen LLC, which is an affiliate of Giuliani Partners.
Mr. Von Essen was appointed New York City’s 30th Fire Commissioner in 1996.

Dennison Young, Jr. - founding Partner and Managing Director of Giuliani Partners LLC. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Young served as Chief Counsel to Mayor Giuliani during his eight years at City Hall. During that time, he was the Mayor’s primary legal advisor on matters involving the City and was responsible for overseeing all public safety agencies including the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Criminal Justice Coordinator’s Office.


Key Figures Of September 11 - CBS

The Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani

"Although already well known outside of New York before Sept. 11, the former mayor truly became an international figure for his cool-headed response to the attack.
After leaving office in 2002, Giuliani and several aides formed a consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, which has taken on assignments from crime-fighting in Mexico to corruption-busting at horse-racing tracks. Giuliani, 59, has become a major fund-raiser for the Republican Party, and is often mentioned as a potential Senate or gubernatorial candidate.
He married Judith Nathan in May 2003, less than a year after an ugly public divorce from his former wife, Donna Hanover."

The Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik

"When Kerik was appointed police commissioner in August 2000, he was a little-known, low-key figure. After the attack, the 48-year-old Kerik was a near-constant presence at Giuliani's side, helping rally with his solemn determination a department that had lost 23 members.
A consultant for Giuliani Partners, Kerik has been on assignment in Iraq, where he is dubbed the "Baghdad Terminator" for his no-nonsense style in rebuilding the city's police force." - CBS
The Search Coordinator, Richard Sheirer

"As head of the Giuliani-created Office of Emergency Management, Sheirer had the mammoth task of coordinating the search for the dead and the clearance of the trade center site.
The job was widely assumed to take at least a year to complete. It was finished in nine months at a fraction of the estimated cost.
After leaving the office in March 2002, Sheirer joined Giuliani's consulting firm."

The Fire Commissioner, Thomas Von Essen

"Von Essen, who had served for six years as commissioner of the Fire Department of New York, directed the department's response to the attack, which claimed the lives of 343 firefighters.
At the end of the Giuliani administration, he joined Giuliani's firm as a consultant."


Hiring Giuliani's consulting firm makes perfect horse sense

"Giuliani's group includes New York City former police commissioner Bernard Kerik, former fire commissioner Thomas Von Essen and former director of emergency management Richard Sheirer.

Giuliani's stock has risen to epic levels because of the strength and decisive leadership he showed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." - Review Journal (11/22/02)

(See also: December 3, 2004 - Bush nominates Bernard Kerik for Homeland Security; December 22, 2004 - Bernard Kerik resigns from Giuliani Partners after scandal; March 17, 2005 - Giuliani firm's deal to advise company raises questions)

January 1, 2002 - Bush appoints senior member of his administration, current PNAC member, and former Unocal advisor Zalmay Khalilzad to be U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan.

"US President George Bush has appointed an Afghan-American who is already a senior member of his administration to be the US special envoy to Afghanistan.
Zalmay Khalilzad will work with the interim government and alongside the United Nations special representative to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi." - BBC (1/01/02)

"Zalmay Khalilzad is the highest-ranking native Afghan and Muslim in the Bush administration.
Khalilzad served under former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush as special assistant to the president for Southwest Asia, the Near East and North Africa.
From 1985 to 1989, Khalilzad served as a senior United States Department of State official advising on the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq war, and from 1991 to 1992, he was a senior Defense Department official for policy planning.
He served as a counsellor to United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Zalmay Khalilzad was an advisor for the Unocal Corporation.
In the mid 1990s, while working for the Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Khalilzad conducted risk analyses for Unocal for a proposed 890-mile, $2-billion, 1.9-billion-cubic-feet-per-day natural gas pipeline project which would have extended from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan.
He has served in both the State and Defense Departments and is a member of the National Security Council.
Khalilzad became the Bush administration's special envoy to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban as well as is special envoy to the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein." - Wikipedia

Project for the New American Century who's who:  Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz - PNAC Statement of Principles

(See also:  November 8, 2001 - A war for the pipelines?; May 13, 2002 - Afghanistan plans gas pipeline)



January 1, 2002 - Wife of FEMA Ground Zero videographer Kurt Sonnenfeld is found shot in the head at their Denver home in an apparent suicide act.


Sonnenfeld charges dropped; FEMA worker's wife was found shot in head at their Denver home on New Year's Day

"Prosecutors Thursday dismissed first-degree murder charges against former FEMA videographer Kurt Sonnenfeld in the early New Year's morning shooting death of his wife.
Nancy Sonnenfeld, 36, died of a gunshot wound in the head after she and her husband had celebrated New Year's Eve together. Kurt Sonnenfeld told police that his wife committed suicide.
Prosecutors wouldn't comment on specific reasons for the dismissal, but the defense investigation found a note written by Nancy Sonnenfeld which police had not taken into evidence, said public defender Carrie Thompson.
"Our investigators found a letter written in Nancy's own hand consistent with a suicide letter, although it was very cryptic," Thompson said.
She said the letter said, "What is more beautiful than love and death?" with the word "love" scratched out. "Kurt, please get help." The letter was found behind a framed photograph of Kurt Sonnenfeld.
Lepley said the case will remain under investigation and could be refiled. Because of that, he said he couldn't discuss the role specific evidence played in the decision.
Kurt Sonnenfeld was a videographer who documented disaster sites for FEMA, including the Sept 11 attacks in New York. Nancy Sonnenfeld was a manager for BSA Advertising.
Denver police said they ruled out suicide because the wound was in the back of the head and could not be self-inflicted. But the coroner's report states that the bullet entered about 2 inches above and behind her right ear.
Police also noted that the .45-caliber handgun was on the floor 6 to 8 feet away from Nancy Sonnenfeld.
At a preliminary hearing in February, Thompson argued that Nancy Sonnenfeld had been depressed in the preceding months and had tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pills after a trip to Thailand during which Kurt Sonnenfeld was using heroin. Her sister, Leek, refuted that account.
Sonnenfeld told police that their 8-year marriage had soured because of his drug use and drinking problem.
Kurt Sonnenfeld told police that he was checking his e-mail in his bedroom after they returned home in the early morning hours of New Year's Day when he heard a gunshot." - Rocky Mountain News (06/13/06)


Love and death; The tragic story of Kurt and Nancy Sonnenfeld - Rocky Mountain News (06/24/02)


January 2, 2002 - Judge enters innocent plea on Moussaoui's behalf, mother fears for him

"Zacarias Moussaoui, the first person indicted in the Sept. 11 attacks, invoked the name of Allah and declared to a court Wednesday "I do not have anything to plead." A judge entered an innocent plea on his behalf.
"In the name of Allah, I do not have anything to plead. I enter no plea. Thank you very much," Moussaoui told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema.
Brinkema set a trial date of Oct. 14, with jury selection to begin Sept. 30. She rejected defense arguments that the date would be too close to the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and the vast amount of publicity that could be expected at that time.
The defendant, 33, is a French citizen of Moroccan descent who received a master's degree in England.
Although Moussaoui has been in federal custody on immigration charges since August, when he aroused suspicions at a Minnesota flight school, the indictment says he conspired with the Sept. 11 hijackers to kill and maim victims in the United States. While accusing him of links to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, the indictment does not explain his role in the terror attacks.
The indictment accuses Moussaoui of pursuing some of the same activities as the hijackers by taking flight training in the United States, inquiring about crop dusting and purchasing flight deck training videos.
The indictment also said Moussaoui received money in July and August from Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, an alleged member of a German terrorist cell who was a roommate of Mohammed Atta, the suspected ringleader in the attacks. The FBI believes Bin al-Shibh may have been planning to be the 20th hijacker.
A clear indication of the case's importance was Senate passage of legislation to broadcast the trial on closed-circuit television in the cities most affected by the hijackings." -  Detroit News/AP (01/02/02)

"The mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person indicted in the September 11 suicide hijackings, says she fears her son will become a scapegoat for America's pain and suffering.
"Tell the American people that I share in their suffering, particularly with those who lost their loved ones," Aicha el-Wafi told The Associated Press as she arrived at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday, after returning from the United States.
"I don't want my son to be used as a scapegoat for the pain and suffering of the American people," she said.
El-Wafi said that her son had told her he had proof of his innocence. "He must be allowed to show proof," she said.
Moussaoui has been in U.S. custody on immigration charges since August, when he aroused suspicions at a Minnesota flight school where he was taking lessons.
He has been indicted on six conspiracy charges, four of which could bring the death penalty, in connection with the September 11 attacks.
"I will not accept the death penalty, I will fight it very strongly," his mother told AP." - CNN (01/03/02)

- More details:  CNN Timeline: The Case Against Zacarias Moussaoui

(See also:  December 11, 2001 - Moussaoui indicted for 9/11; March 28, 2002 - U.S. seeks the death penalty against Moussaoui)



January 4, 2002 - Fire Engineering says the official WTC investigation on why it collapsed is a 'half-baked farce' that may already have been 'commandeered by political forces' whose primary interests lie 'far afield of full disclosure.'


$elling Out the Investigation

"Did they throw away the locked doors from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire? Did they throw away the gas can used at the Happyland Social Club Fire? Did they cast aside the pressure-regulating valves at the Meridian Plaza Fire? Of course not. But essentially, that's what they're doing at the World Trade Center.

For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions about high-rise building design practices and performance under fire conditions is on the slow boat to China, perhaps never to be seen again in America until you buy your next car.

Such destruction of evidence shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history. I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.

Comprehensive disaster investigations mean increased safety. They mean positive change. NASA knows it. The NTSB knows it. Does FEMA know it?

No. Fire Engineering has good reason to believe that the "official investigation" blessed by FEMA and run by the American Society of Civil Engineers is a half-baked farce that may already have been commandeered by political forces whose primary interests, to put it mildly, lie far afield of full disclosure. Except for the marginal benefit obtained from a three-day, visual walk-through of evidence sites conducted by ASCE investigation committee members- described by one close source as a "tourist trip"-no one's checking the evidence for anything.

As things now stand and if they continue in such fashion, the investigation into the World Trade Center fire and collapse will amount to paper- and computer-generated hypotheticals.

However, respected members of the fire protection engineering community are beginning to raise red flags, and a resonating theory has emerged: The structural damage from the planes and the explosive ignition of jet fuel in themselves were not enough to bring down the towers.

The destruction and removal of evidence must stop immediately.

The federal government must scrap the current setup and commission a fully resourced blue ribbon panel to conduct a clean and thorough investigation of the fire and collapse, leaving no stones unturned.

Firefighters, this is your call to action. Visit WTC "Investigation"?: A Call to Action, then contact your representatives in Congress and officials in Washington and help us correct this problem immediately." - Fire Engineering (01/04/02)


January 5, 2002 - In a speech in California, Bush again claims to have seen one of the hijacked planes crash into the WTC live on  TV at the school he was at, but this time he specifically claims that he witnessed the first plane crash even though he hadn't even arrived at the school yet.

"Anyway, I was sitting there, and my Chief of Staff -- well, first of all, when we walked into the classroom, I had seen this plane fly into the first building. There was a TV set on. And you know, I thought it was pilot error and I was amazed that anybody could make such a terrible mistake. And something was wrong with the plane, or -- anyway, I'm sitting there, listening to the briefing, and Andy Card came and said, 'America is under attack.'" - White House (01/05/02)

"The first airplane hit the north tower at 8:46 a.m., as the president's motorcade crossed the John Ringling Causeway on the way to Booker Elementary from the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort on Longboat Key." - Washington Times (10/08/02)

"At 8:52 a.m. ET, ABCNEWS' Good Morning America broke in with a special report showing flames coming out of the World Trade Center. At the time, President Bush's motorcade was arriving at the Emma Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., for a planned event..." - ABC (09/14/01)

(See also:  December 4, 2001 - Bush claims he saw one of the planes crash into the WTC live on a TV in his holding room at Booker Elementary school; Killtown's:  Did Bush see the 2nd WTC plane crash?)


January 5, 2002 - Bush refers to the day of the 9/11 attacks as "an interesting day."

"And in the meantime, this teacher was going on about the curriculum, and I was thinking about what it meant for America to be under attack. It was an amazing thought. But I made up my mind that if America was under attack, we'd get them. (Applause.) I wasn't interested in lawyers, I wasn't interested in a bunch of debate. I was interested in finding out who did it and bringing them to justice. I also knew that they would try to hide, and anybody who provided haven, help, food, would be held accountable by the United States of America." (Applause.)
"Anyway, it was an interesting day." - White House (01/05/02)


January 5, 2002 -  A stolen Cessna, allegedly flown by 15 yr. old Charles J. Bishop, crashes into a Tampa Bay office building which houses the local office of Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) after flying over MacDill Air Force Base (home of the U.S. Central Command which directs the U.S. forces operating in Afghanistan and US Special Operations Command which does psychological operations) and a suicide note was allegedly found in the plane expressing Bishop's sympathy for Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks.

"A note written by the 15-year-old boy who crashed a Cessna into a Tampa office building indicated he supported Osama bin Laden and that the act was deliberate, authorities say.
Charles J. Bishop, who took the plane on an unauthorized flight across Tampa Bay, died at the scene of Saturday's crash into the 42-story Bank of America Plaza building. He apparently made no attempt to avoid the structure, witnesses said.
The note, which was found in the wreckage of the plane, "clearly stated that he had acted alone, without any help from anyone else," Holder said. "He did, however, make statements expressing his sympathy for Osama bin Laden and the events which occurred September 11, 2001." Several of the pilots involved in those attacks trained at Florida flight schools.
After a five-minute flight over Tampa Bay, the plane entered MacDill Air Force Base's restricted airspace and flew over the runway about 100 feet off the ground, Miller said. MacDill is the home of the U.S. Central Command, which directs the U.S. forces operating in Afghanistan.
MacDill contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, which had a helicopter on routine patrol in the vicinity, and asked it to investigate.
Minutes before the crash, the helicopter pilot made direct eye contact with the student through the chopper's open side door as crew members gestured for Bishop to land the plane, police said. It was not clear what his response was.
After being notified Saturday by the FAA, the North American Aerospace Defense Command ordered two F-15 combat jets at Homestead Air Force Base in Miami to intercept the Cessna around 5:15 p.m., NORAD Capt. Kirstin Reimann said.
The F-15s arrived on the scene too late to intervene, a Homestead spokesman said." - CNN (01/07/02)

"The building's tenant roster reads like a Who's Who of Tampa businesses, including Bank of America, Arthur Andersen and MetLife. U.S. Sen. Bob Graham's local office is on the 32nd floor.
Bank of America Plaza's top floor is home to The Tampa Club, a popular meeting place for Tampa's business elite." - Tampa Bay Online (01/06/02)

"MacDill Air Force Base is also home to more than 40 Mission Partners, including United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command [USSOCOM Mission:  Prepare special operation forces for worldwide special operations, civil affairs and psychological operations in peace and war in support of regional combatant commanders and other government agencies]." - MacDill AFB

(See also:  9/11 - Rep. Porter Goss, Sen. Bob Graham, and Sen. John Kyl are in a meeting at the Capital with ISI director, Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed, who authorized a $100,000 wire transfer to Mohamed Atta; February 23, 2003 - Sen. Graham runs for president)


January 18, 2002 - Pakistan's Musharraf: Bin Laden probably dead, unable to get dialysis treatment.

"Pakistan's president says he thinks Osama bin Laden is most likely dead because the suspected terrorist has been unable to get treatment for his kidney disease.
"I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a ... kidney patient," Gen. Pervez Musharraf said on Friday in an interview with CNN.
Musharraf said Pakistan knew bin Laden took two dialysis machines into Afghanistan. "One was specifically for his own personal use," he said.
"I don't know if he has been getting all that treatment in Afghanistan now. And the photographs that have been shown of him on television show him extremely weak. ... I would give the first priority that he is dead and the second priority that he is alive somewhere in Afghanistan."
The official said U.S. intelligence is that bin Laden needs dialysis every three days and "it is fairly obvious that that could be an issue when you are running from place to place, and facing the idea of needing to generate electricity in a mountain hideout."
Other U.S. officials contradicted the reports of bin Laden's health problems, saying there is "no evidence" the suspected terrorist mastermind has ever suffered kidney failure or required kidney dialysis. The officials called such suggestions a "recurrent rumor." - CNN (01/18/02)

(See also:  September 10, 2001 - Osama Bin Laden reportedly undergoes kidney dialysis at a Pakistani military hospital; December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies; July 18, 2002 - FBI counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, thinks Osama bin Laden is "probably" dead; October 17, 2003 - Paskistan president says Bin Laden alive)


January 21, 2002 - Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Bin Laden would need help if on dialysis

"Speculation about the whereabouts and health of Osama bin Laden picked up over the weekend when Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, said he thought bin Laden had likely died of kidney failure.
CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke Monday with CNN's Paula Zahn about bin Laden's appearance in recently released videotapes and the possibility that the accused terrorist leader was undergoing kidney treatment.
ZAHN: For a point of reference, I'd like for you to analyze pictures of Osama bin Laden that apparently were taken prior to September 11. Describe to us the color and the tone of his skin, and then I want you to contrast that with pictures we know to have been taken much later.
GUPTA: You can look [at pictures from a December 2001 video] and notice that he has what some doctors refer to as sort of a frosting over of his features -- his sort of grayness of beard, his paleness of skin, very gaunt sort of features. A lot of times people associate this with chronic illness. Doctors can certainly look at that and determine some clinical features.
But even more than that, it's sometimes possible to differentiate the specific type of disease or illness that he may be suffering from. The sort of frosting of the appearance is something that people a lot of times associate with chronic kidney failure, renal failure, certainly someone who is requiring dialysis would have that.
He's also not moving his arms. I looked at this tape all the way through its entire length. He never moved his left arm at all. The reason that might be important is because people who have had a stroke -- and certainly people are at increased risk of stroke if they also have kidney failure -- he may have had a stroke and therefore is not moving his left side. And in the rest of the videotape, he does move his right side a little bit more than he does his left. So those are some of the things that are sort of "of note" here in this more recent videotape.
ZAHN: I think we need to remind the viewers once again that the president of Pakistan talked about [bin Laden] importing two dialysis machines into Afghanistan. Of course, no one other than the president of Pakistan right now is confirming that [bin Laden] in fact needed dialysis.
GUPTA: That's right. And again, renal dialysis -- talking about hemodialysis -- is something that really is reserved for patients in end-stage renal failure. That means their kidneys have just completely shut down.
The most common cause of something like that would be something like diabetes and hypertension. Once that's happened, if you're separated from your dialysis machine -- and incidentally, dialysis machines require electricity, they're going to require clean water, they're going to require a sterile setting -- infection is a huge risk with that. If you don't have all those things and a functioning dialysis machine, it's unlikely that you'd survive beyond several days or a week at the most.
ZAHN: If he had all these things you're talking about to keep the dialysis machine running, how much help does he need around him to administer the treatment?
GUPTA: You certainly need someone who really knows how to run that dialysis machine. You have to have someone who's actually assessing his blood, Osama bin Laden's blood, to see what particular dialysate he would need, and to be able to change his dialysate as needed. So you'd need a kidney specialist, a technician -- quite a few people around him." - CNN (01/21/02)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies; December 26, 2001 - A video of Osama bin Laden, looking thin and weak, is released and officials suggest the video may have been recorded in November)


January 29, 2002 - Bush asks Daschle to limit Sept. 11 probes.

"President Bush personally asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Tuesday to limit the congressional investigation into the events of September 11, congressional and White House sources told CNN." - CNN (01/29/02)

(See also:  May 17, 2002 - Cheney Warns Democrats not to investigate the 9/11 attacks; May 19, 2002 - Cheney cautions Democrats who suggest Bush had advanced knowledge; May 23, 2002 - Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel)


January 29, 2002 - Val McClatchey registers her "End of Serenity" smoke plume photo for copyright.

"Registration Number: VA-1-128-462
Title: End of serenity.
Description: Photo.
Claimant: acValencia M. McClatchey
Created: 2001
Published: 1Oct01
Registered: 29Jan02" -

- See also:


February 2002 - US military intelligence warned the Bush administration that a captured Al Qaeda operative had given fabricated information that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in how to make chemical and biological weapons, information the Bush administration would later use as the foundation for military action against Iraq.

Report Warned Bush Team About Intelligence Suspicions

"A high Qaeda official in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.

The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, "was intentionally misleading the debriefers" in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda's work with illicit weapons.
The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi's credibility. Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi's information as "credible" evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons." - NY Times (11/06/05)


US intel on Iraq-Qaeda ties 'intentionally misleading': document

"US military intelligence warned the Bush administration as early as February 2002 that its key source on Al-Qaeda's relationship with Iraq had provided "intentionally misleading" data, according to a declassified report.

Nevertheless, eight months later, President George W. Bush went public with charges that the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein had trained members of Osama bin Laden's terror network in manufacturing deadly poisons and gases." - Yahoo/AFP (11/07/05) [Reprinted at:]


(See also:  October 16, 2002 - President Bush uses information he was warned may be faulty in a speech to try to link Iraq to Al Qaeda; February 5, 2003 - Colin Powell addresses UN about Iraq's alleged connections with Al Qaeda)


February 1, 2002 - Rumsfeld wants to beef up high-tech weapons

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wants $9 billion in his new budget to beef up the Pentagon's high-tech arsenal, but he is squashing a push by the military's top brass to add more than 50,000 troops to fight the war on terrorism, Pentagon officials say.
Before Sept. 11, Rumsfeld wanted to cut troop strength and increase spending on hi-tech weapons as part of a plan to "transform" the military into a lighter, more mobile fighting force for the 21st century. The service chiefs argued for more troops and weapons.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAVs. More than $100 million to buy missile-firing Predator drones like those used for the first time against the Taliban. Several hundred million dollars will speed production of Global Hawk, the long-range UAV that also debuted in Afghanistan. Also stepped-up: work on a stealthy, bomb-dropping UAV.
Rumsfeld's budget request also includes $8.5 billion for missile defense and $68 billion for new weapons, including $5 billion for the Air Force's new F-22 fighter jet." - USAToday (2/01/02)


February 1, 2002 - CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen: Bin Laden has aged 'enormously.'

"On Thursday night, CNN aired parts of an interview with Osama bin Laden that the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera recorded in late October.
CNN's Paula Zahn discussed the tape Friday with CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen, who has been studying bin Laden and his operation for several years.
CNN: The last interview you did with bin Laden was back in 1997. How different was the Osama bin Laden we saw in this tape, the interview taped late in October of 2001?
BERGEN: He's actually quite similar. I mean, in terms of his demeanor and his voice -- these kinds of things are quite similar. The big difference is that he's aged enormously between '97 and October of last year.
This is a man who was clearly not well. I mean, as you see from these pictures here, he's really, by December he's looking pretty terrible. But by December, of course, that tape that was aired then, he's barely moving the left side of his body. So he's clearly got diabetes. He has low blood pressure. He's got a wound in his foot. He's apparently got dialysis ... for kidney problems.
I mean, this is a man who has a number of health problems, apart from the fact that anybody running around the Afghan mountains is not going to be in great shape.
CNN: And, of course, the question that people continue to debate is not only is he not well, is he still alive today?" - CNN (02/01/02)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies; December 26, 2001 - A video of Osama bin Laden, looking thin and weak, is released and officials suggest the video may have been recorded in November)


February 4, 2002 - The Defense Department's budget request for fiscal year 2003 is a $40.1 billion (or 10.9%) increase over last years budget.


"The President's budget proposes $369 billion for Department of Defense plus $10 billion, if needed, to fight the war on terrorism-for a total of $379 billion. The budget fulfills President Bush's pledge to win the war against terrorism, defend America and its people, improve quality of life for our men and women in uniform, and accelerate a bold transformation of the U.S. military to counter 21st century threats." - DoD (02/04/02)


- FY 2002 request - $328.9 billion  [ $37.8 billion, or 11.5% increase ] - DoD (06/27/01)

- FY 2003 request - $369.0 billion  [ $40.1 billion, or 10.9% increase ] - DoD (02/04/02)

(See also:  June 27, 2001 - '02 defense budget request is a $37.8 billion or 11.5% increase over '01)


February 10, 2002 - Bin Laden lieutenant "admits" to 9/11.

"A man described as one of Osama bin Laden's closest aides, Abu 'Ubeid Al-Qurashi, has acknowledged that the terrorist network al-Qaida carried out the Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S.
The admission was made in an article he wrote for al-Qaida's biweekly Internet magazine, Al-Ansar. The Middle East Media Research Institute translated the article into English." -  WorldNetDaily (02/11/02)



February 20, 2002 - Letters supposedly written by US troops in Iraq detailing their successes in the country were all written by their commander.


Lies, damned lies and Pentagon briefings

"Fresh from dropping anti-Taliban leaflets over the mountains of Afghanistan, the secretive propaganda arm of the US military is planning to bring the battle for hearts and minds closer to home, by planting fake news stories in the media outlets of America's allies, it was reported yesterday.
Stung by criticism of the war against terrorism, the Pentagon's little-known office of strategic influence is preparing to feed misinformation to foreign news organisations in friendly nations, military officials told the New York Times. It quoted an unnamed senior Pentagon official as saying the office's operations would go "from the blackest of black to the whitest of white", using the military's terms for false and true propaganda.

The plan has outraged other Pentagon departments because it could undermine the credibility of information given out by the defence department's press spokespeople. "Everybody understands using information operations to go after non-friendlies; when people get uncomfortable is when people use the same tools and tactics on friendlies," another military official told the newspaper.
It might also be illegal: the US government is banned from spreading misinformation at home, and some in the department fear that stories planted in foreign publications might be reproduced in America.
The Pentagon would not discuss the allegations yesterday, but the cold war-style campaign seems well-advanced. The OSI has hired a Washington consulting firm, the Rendon Group, whose previous clients range from the Kuwaiti royal family to the New Zealand milk marketing board, on a contract worth about $100,000 (£70,000) a month.
"We have a confidentiality agreement regarding our contract with the department of defence," a spokeswoman for the group said yesterday. "The contract really prevents me from telling you anything, frustrating though that is."
The army's psychological operations command, or "psyops", will also help to carry out the plan.
Among the OSI's other ingenious strategies, the newspaper reported, is a plan to send emails to foreign leaders and journalists presenting America in a good light and disparaging its enemies.
Many senior defence personnel know little of the OSI, which was established after September 11 to shore up support, especially in Muslim countries, for the Bush administration's war on terror. It is understood to have a multi-million dollar share of the extra $10bn made available to the Pentagon in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.
The president has not yet approved the misinformation campaign, pending the go-ahead from the Pentagon lawyer." - Guardian (02/20/02)


US Army's 'fake' letters cause stir

"A series of letters supposedly written by US troops in Iraq detailing their successes in the country were all written by their commander, it has emerged.
The publication of the letters, in several US newspapers, comes as the Bush administration has stepped up efforts to win over an American public increasingly sceptical of its handling of the situation in Iraq.
Critics said if the letters were found to be part of an organised effort by the military to win over US hearts and minds regarding the conflict it could be a violation of military ethics.
However, the soldiers' commander, Lieutenant Colonel Dominic Caraccilo, told ABC News on Tuesday his staff had written the letters merely to get "good news" back to the US more efficiently.
He says he then sent it round to his soldiers saying they could send a copy home if they wanted to.
"We thought it would be a good idea to encapsulate what we as a battalion have accomplished since arriving Iraq and share that pride with people back home," he said." - BBC (10/14/03)


February 21, 2002 - U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl is dead, officials confirm

U.S. Confirms Death of Kidnapped Reporter Daniel Pearl
"Following is the text of a statement from State Department spokesman Richard Boucher February 21 confirming the death of Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped in Pakistan while on assignment for the Wall Street Journal:
February 21, 2002
Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Pakistan: Death of Daniel Pearl
Our Embassy in Pakistan has confirmed today that they have received evidence that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is dead. We have informed Mr. Pearl's family and expressed our sincere condolences." - US Embassy Italy (02/21/02)

U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl is dead, officials confirm

"Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, kidnapped last month on his way to interview a Muslim fundamentalist leader in Pakistan, has been killed by his abductors, officials said Thursday. The U.S. government condemned his killing as "an outrage" and his newspaper called it an "act of barbarism."
FBI and Pakistani officials said they received a videotape containing "indisputable" confirmation that the 38-year-old Pearl had been killed.
Pearl's January 23 abduction prompted appeals from top U.S. and Pakistani officials for his release, and resulted in the arrests of several people believed to have been involved in the kidnapping -- including the man Pakistani officials identified as the ringleader, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.

His newspaper's headquarters near New York's World Trade Center was destroyed in the September 11 terrorist attack." - CNN (02/22/02)


March 7, 2002 - A set of five frames taken from a Pentagon security camera that supposedly shows Flight 77 crashing into it and erupting in a huge fireball are released to the media, however the Pentagon says the photos were not released "officially" by the Dept. of Defense.

"BROWN: Now to the Pentagon, some remarkable pictures of American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon on September 11th.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, for six months only a handful of people actually saw what it looked like when that plane hit this building. When I first saw those pictures today, I was surprised by something. You'll see them. They were seen first on CNN today. Aaron.
MCINTYRE (voice over): The sequence of five photographs obtained by CNN was taken by an automatic security camera at a Pentagon checkpoint and shows what, up to now, was seen by only a few eyewitnesses, that the American Airlines 757 came in extremely low before hitting the ground floor of the Pentagon.
MCINTYRE: At first glance, it's hard to see the jetliner in the first frame, but it's there just a few feet off the ground. The plane hit the Pentagon at a 45-degree angle, and was reduced to tiny fragments by the impact. The biggest piece of fuselage that could be found outside the Pentagon was only about three feet long. The only other recognizable feature can be seen in this exclusive CNN photograph, the shattered cockpit window. One hundred eighty-nine people were killed, 125 on the ground, 64 on the plane, including the five hijackers.
MCINTYRE (on camera): These pictures are the first to be made public, but they are not the only images of the plane hitting the Pentagon." - CNN (03/07/02)

"Officials from the Pentagon said the photos were not released officially by the Department of Defense. A Pentagon spokeswoman could not verify that they came from surveillance cameras.
"The Pentagon has not released any video or any photos from security cameras from the terrorist attack of Sept. 11," said Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin.
A spokeswoman at the Department of Justice, which reviews taped and photographed evidence obtained by federal security cameras, said she could not comment on whether the photos are legitimate, adding that the photos "were not disseminated by the FBI or the Department of Justice." - Washington Post/AP (03/07/02)

"Images show September 11 Pentagon crash" - CNN (03/08/02)

(See also:  9/11 (9:37 am) - Flight 77 is said to have crashed into the only renovated section of the Pentagon being renovated to bolster it against an attack which at the time housed the fewest people in the entire building; 9/11 - Within minutes of the explosion at the Pentagon, the FBI confiscates security videos that had captured the crash from a nearby gas station and hotel; Killtown's: Flight 77 Fabricated Video)


March 13, 2002 - Bush who once wanted Osama Bin Laden "Dead or Alive", now dismisses him as "marginalized".

"The president's confidence came despite the fact that accused terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden has not yet been captured. But Bush said, "I truly am not that concerned about him."
"Terror is bigger than one person," the president said. "He is a person who has now been marginalized. His host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it and met his match." - ABC (03/13/02)

(See also:  September 17, 2001 - Bush wants Osama Bin Laden "Dead or Alive")

March 25, 2002 - Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) gets blasted for her comments she made on in a CA radio program in which she says, "What did this administration know and when did it know it," alleging that the Bush administration may have had advanced warnings about the 9/11 attacks and that military contractors have benefited from military action following the attacks.

"Fellow lawmakers today criticized Rep. Cynthia McKinney's allegations that Bush administration officials may have ignored advance warning of the Sept. 11 attacks and their political allies have profited from the war on terrorism.
Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, a conservative Democrat who has clashed before with McKinney, D-Ga., said her statement was "loony," also "dangerous and irresponsible." He said it was an example of McKinney trying to draw attention to herself.
McKinney made the statements in a March 25 interview on radio station KPFA in Berkeley, Calif.
"What did this administration know and when did it know it about the events of Sept. 11," McKinney said. "Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? What do they have to hide?"
McKinney alleged the military action that followed the attacks has benefited investment firms specializing in defense contracts. She singled out the Carlyle Group, where President Bush's father is on the board.
In a statement today, McKinney acknowledged she had no evidence anyone with ties to the Bush administration profited from the attacks. But she didn't back off her allegations that Bush officials may have had prior notice.
Carlyle Group spokesman Chris Ullman and White House press secretary Ari Fleischer dismissed the allegation as a baseless conspiracy theory.
"All I can tell you is the congresswoman must be running for the Hall of Fame of the Grassy Knoll Society," Fleischer said." - ABC (04/12/02)

(See also:  May 16, 2002 - McKinney releases a statement saying she feels vindicated by the Bush Administration's admission that they receiving advanced warnings; July 23, 2005 - McKinney reopens 9/11, Conspiracy theories implicating president aired at 8-hour hearing)

March 28, 2002 - U.S. seeks the death penalty against Zacarias Moussaoui.

"US prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged over the 11 September attacks.
Attorney General John Ashcroft, who must approve all federal death penalty cases, accepted the recommendation of his prosecutors on Thursday.
The French Government has expressed regret at the decision, saying it will not provide evidence that could lead to a death sentence.
Mr Moussaoui was in prison on the day of the attacks, which may make it difficult to convince a jury of his direct involvement in the killings.
And so far, there has been only circumstantial evidence presented by prosecutors linking him to the other 19 hijackers.
Mr Moussaoui was detained in mid-August last year, after arousing suspicions while seeking flight training in Minnesota." - BBC (03/28/02)

(See also:  January 2, 2002 - Judge enters innocent plea on Moussaoui's behalf; July 19, 2002 - Judge rejects Moussaoui's 'I am guilty' plea)

April 1, 2002 - Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie -- which casts doubt on the official version of the events of September 11 and claims that a missile, not Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon -- makes headline news when it becomes a leading bestseller in France.

"A bizarre book claiming that the plane that ploughed into the Pentagon on September 11 never existed, and that the US establishment itself was at the heart of the New York and Washington attacks, has shot to the top of the French bestseller lists to indignation on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Frightening Fraud, by Thierry Meyssan, sold out its original run of 20,000 copies within two hours of going on sale. "We've sold 2,500 copies in 10 days, when a blockbuster novel sells maybe 1,500 in a month," a spokesman at Fnac Les Halles, one of France's biggest bookshops, said. "It's a phenomenon."
Mr Meyssan's conspiracy theory argues that American Airlines flight 77, which killed 189 people when it smashed into the headquarters of the US defence department, did not exist, and that the whole disaster was a dastardly plot dreamed up and implemented by the US government.
A Pentagon spokesman, Glen Flood, said the book was "a slap in the face and real offence to the American people, particularly to the memory of victims of the attacks". He said he had not read it and had no intention of doing so.
Mr Meyssan's argument, which started out as a rumour on the internet and has risen to prominence largely thanks to the author's reputation and chatshow appearances, suggests that the plane could not have existed because eye-witness statements are contradictory, there are suspiciously few photographs of the catastrophe and none of them shows any wreckage. Even the rescue workers' accounts, published on the Pentagon website, are not convincing, he says.
He also asks why the facade of the Pentagon did not immediately collapse from the shock of the impact, and questions the fate of the plane's passengers. "What became of the passengers of American Airlines flight 77? Are they dead?"
Both Libération and Le Monde set out to disprove his theory, tracking down photographs that do show debris, and speaking to victims' relatives.
But Le Monde admitted that the information made public by Washington did not entirely add up. "There is no official account of the crash. The lack of information is feeding the rumour," it complained." - Guardian (04/01/02)

"The French are lapping up a Sept. 11 conspiracy theory which argues the plane that smashed into the Pentagon never existed and that the world has been duped by a murky U.S. government plot." - CBS (04/02/02)

"A book which argues that American Airlines flight 77 did not crash into the Pentagon on 11 September has become an immediate bestseller in France.
Thierry Meyssan's book L'Effroyable Imposture (The Appalling Fraud) alleges the attack on the building, which houses the US defence department, was staged by none other than the American Government." - BBC (04/02/02)

"France's No. 1 best seller claims the U.S. orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks." - Time (05/20/02)

"Throughout the spring, and into this summer, a leading bestseller in France has not been some great work of French literature but a $17-dollar paperback called the "Horrifying Fraud."
The book casts doubt on the official version of the events of September 11, substituting an elaborate conspiracy concocted by America's military-industrial complex in order to increase U.S. military budgets.
Thierry Meyssan, author of "The Horrifying Fraud," does believe man walked on the moon, but insists, among other things, that it was not a hijacked American Airlines 757 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 but a missile fired by the military itself.
A Pentagon spokesperson, Victoria Clarke, called the book disgusting.
She said: "There is no question, there is no doubt what happened that day. And I think it's appalling that anyone might try to put out that kind of myth.
"I think it's also appalling for anyone to continue to give those sorts of people any kind of publicity." - CNN (06/26/02)

L'Effroyable Imposture/The Big Lie - The investigation-book on the biggest manipulation in history

9/11:  The Big Lie, by Thierry Meyssan -

(See also:  April 24, 2002 - A reporter asks Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke her thoughts about the phenomenon of Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie; June 25, 2002 - A reporter asks Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke again her thoughts about Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie)

April 17, 2002 - ABC News:  Some Ask, Were Aliens or Bush Behind 9-11?

"In the days immediately after Sept. 11, while most of the country was reeling from shock, some people out there were wondering what really happened.
When the government said evidence pointed to Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, other voices wondered why investigators weren't looking in other directions.
Couldn't those supposed Arabs seen on airport security videos checking onto flights just as easily have been Israelis? Couldn't it all have been a Jewish plot to trick the United States into a war against Israel's enemies?
In the months since, more and more evidence has been produced by investigators in the United States and around the world linking Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network to the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in New York, Washington and western Pennsylvania.
There are voices popping up on Internet Web sites, in chatrooms and making the rounds in e-mail chains — even some conspiracy theorists who are packing hundreds of people into lecture halls — saying that evidence points to some direct level of involvement in the attacks by the U.S. government. And this at a time when an unprecedented numbers of Americans have rallied behind the government.
There is no smoking gun in any of the theories, but plenty of innuendo in schemes that run the gamut. Here is just a small sampling:
Bush's decision to go ahead with an announced public appearance on the morning of Sept. 11, after he must have been informed that planes had been crashed into the World Trade Center, shows he knew of the attack plans before that morning and knew he would not be a target for the hijackers.
Photographs of the Pentagon that morning and of the cleanup afterwards show that no plane crashed into the building because there was no debris from a jet and the damaged area of the building was too small — it had to have been a bomb planted inside to destroy the Office of Naval Intelligence, which would never have accepted the administration's story about who was behind the attacks in New York.
Or maybe an unmanned fighter jet, radio controlled and flying at a low angle, crashed into the Pentagon. (In these scenarios it's never clear what happened to American Airlines Flight 77 and the 64 people on board.)
Even a congresswoman seems bitten by the bug, and wants an investigation into what President Bush knew and when he knew it — because so many of his friends have profited so handsomely from the resulting U.S. actions.
Michael Ruppert, a former Los Angeles Police Department narcotics officer, has filled auditoriums in California, Texas, Oregon and Canada to explain what he sees as evidence that wealthy American interests were behind Sept. 11 — and he advertises those talks and the ideas on his Web site.
Then there's a best-selling book published in France that falls into the no-plane-hit-Pentagon school, and says the story was rigged to cover up a bombing targeting the new U.S. Naval Command Center that was carried out by people with classified access to the building.
The author, Thierry Meyssan, who had made a name for himself in France with exposés of the right-wing National Front, says in L'Effroyable imposture (The Horrible Fraud) that there was a secret CIA office in the World Trade Center that was carrying out illegal activities, and that the Bush administration was in negotiation with bin Laden on Sept. 11 itself, to work out an agreement to make him a scapegoat. The book has gotten little coverage in the United States, but it's worn a deep path in cyberspace.
Similarly, conspiracy theorists noticed quickly last week when U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., said in an interview on a Berkeley, Calif., radio station that she wanted an investigation into what the Bush administration knew about the 9/11 attacks — before they occurred — suggesting that his friends are getting rich from the fallout.
McKinney's office did not return a call requesting an interview, but she issued a statement saying: "I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of 9/11. A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case."
The conspiracy theorists have gone much further than any of those critics, but except for some snide editorials regarding the French taste for anti-Americanism and Meyssan's book, they have been largely ignored by mainstream media.
One journalist who appeared on a televised panel discussion with Meyssan, Jean-Bernard Cadier, the Washington bureau chief of the French news and talk radio network, Europe 1, crystallized the difficulty of facing some of these theorists head-on when he said, "I had the feeling that the more we tried to go into his arguments, the more we helped him, because we were not fighting with the same weapons he was."
Meyssan, for instance, discounts eyewitness accounts of the airliner hitting the Pentagon, and even says the government may have put beacons on the World Trade Center towers to ensure that the hijacked jet would hit them and planted explosives in the buildings so they would be sure to collapse.
Other times the thinking seems to work backwards, such as in arguments that if Bush himself or his associates profited from the attacks in some way — through increased defense spending or from the opening of Afghanistan for the construction of a pipeline — then he or someone in the administration must be to blame for the events of Sept. 11.
That kind of thinking has fueled questions about possible conspiracies from his own students. He said such issues as moves by the Justice Department to gain more power for investigators and prosecutors and to curtail individual rights, and the request by the Pentagon for the largest spending increase in two decades have caused some of his students to begin to question whether the administration could have had a hand in Sept. 11." - ABC (04/17/02)

(See also:  November 1, 2004 - ABC News: On Election Eve, Sept. 11 Doubters Surface)


April 18, 2002 - A small private plane crashes into the 32-story Pirelli Tower, Milan, Italy's tallest building.


Three dead as plane hits Milan's tallest building

"Italian investigators are trying to discover what caused a small private plane to slam into Milan's tallest building on Thursday, killing at least three people, injuring dozens more and carving a huge gash in the 32-story structure.
The aircraft -- a single-propeller Rockwell Commander 112 TC piloted by a 68-year-old Swiss man -- hit the 26th floor of the Pirelli Tower in an apparent accident at 5:48 p.m. (11:48 a.m. EDT), 18 minutes after taking off, Italian officials said.
An Italian law enforcement official said authorities had no evidence of a link to terrorism." - CNN (04/18/06)


- Building photo:  wikipedia


April 24, 2002 - A reporter asks Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke her thoughts about the phenomenon of Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie claiming that Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon.

"Q: Torie, what do you make of these media reports -- most of them have come out of France, including a book -- about the suggestion that on September 11th, no plane actually hit the Pentagon? Now many of us in the room here were here on September 11th. We saw the wreckage of the plane. We know a plane hit the Pentagon. But nevertheless, a lot of people around the world apparently reading these reports have believed them, to some extent. Perhaps you've even fielded inquiries from French news media about this. What do you make of this phenomenon?
Clarke: A, I don't agree with you that lots of people believe it. I just don't think they do. B, I think even the suggestion of it is ludicrous. And finally, it is just an incredible, incredible insult to the friends and the relatives and the family members of the almost 200 people that got killed here on September 11th and the thousands who were killed in New York." - DoD (04/24/02)

(See also:  April 1, 2002 - Meyssan's book The Big Lie makes headline news when it becomes a leading bestseller in France; June 25, 2002 - A reporter asks Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke again her thoughts about Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie)

April 25, 2002 - White House officials say privately the Sept. 11 attacks was the main reason for the war in Iraq.

"To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war — a global show of American power and democracy.
If weapons of mass destruction were not the primary reason for war, what was? Here's the answer officials and advisers gave ABCNEWS.
The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks changed everything, including the Bush administration's thinking about the Middle East — and not just Saddam Hussein.
Beyond that, the Bush administration decided it must flex muscle to show it would fight terrorism, not just here at home and not just in Afghanistan against the Taliban, but in the Middle East, where it was thriving.
"We made it very public that we thought that one consequence the president should draw from 9/11 is that it was unacceptable to sit back and let either terrorist groups or dictators developing weapons of mass destruction strike first at us," conservative commentator [and PNAC Chairman] Bill Kristol said on ABCNEWS' Nightline in March.
But what if Sept. 11 had never happened? Would the United States have gone to war with Iraq? Administration officials and others say no, at least not now.
The Bush administration could probably have lived with the threat of Saddam and might have gone after him eventually if, for example, the Iraqi leader had become more aggressive in pursuing a nuclear program or in sponsoring terrorism." - ABC (04/25/02) [Archived:  Wayback Machine]

April 26, 2002 - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says they haven't heard "anything hard" from Osama bin Laden since last December, the time bin Laden reportedly died.

"Rumsfeld rarely mentions bin Laden in public unless asked, but he was reminded Friday that at least some of those in uniform equate success in Afghanistan with getting rid of bin Laden.
"We're hunting him down," he said. "We're tracking him down. He's hiding. We haven't heard hide nor hair of him for about, oh, since December, in terms of anything hard." Rumsfeld said that even with bin Laden still on the loose, "he is probably not very effective now in running the al-Qaeda organization."
"My guess is ... he'll either be killed in some attack that takes place when we find him or he'll be captured ... in which case we would have an opportunity to visit with him," Rumsfeld said." - USA Today (04/26/02)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies; December 15, 2001 - U.S. 'reasonably certain' it heard bin Laden radio call)


May 4, 2002 - Agent's "Phoenix memo" warned the FBI back in July 2001 about Arab men taking flight training in Arizona who were supporters of Osama bin Laden, suggesting the schools could be used for terror operations, but never reached the highest levels of the FBI, the CIA or the Justice Department until after 9/11.


Alert FBI agent gave heads-up in July on Arabs in aviation

"An FBI agent in Phoenix told counterterrorism officials at the bureau's headquarters last July that he had detected an alarming pattern of Arab men with possible ties to terrorism taking aviation-related training, and he urged a nationwide review of the trend, according to FBI officials.
The agent's recommendation was not acted upon before Sept. 11, however, because bureau officials determined that hundreds of Middle Eastern men regularly attended flight schools and aviation training in the United States.

A review determined that none of the seven or eight Arab men identified by the agent in Phoenix had any connection to the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon or other terrorist activities, officials said. A few were detained on immigration violations, however, FBI officials said.

FBI officials said the agent first became suspicious after noticing a pattern among several Arabs being monitored for possible terrorist ties, as well as others thought to be associates of individuals suspected of having those connections.
The agent noticed that several of those individuals were attending Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., a highly regarded college specializing in flight training and other aviation-related studies. The agent thought he might have stumbled onto a larger pattern of Arabs coming to the United States to get aviation training for use in future terrorist activities.
In July, he sent a memo to counterterrorism officials at FBI headquarters recommending a study of the issue. He also recommended that the FBI ask the State Department to provide visa data on flight school students from Middle Eastern nations so that the bureau could track them more easily.

After the agent's memo arrived at headquarters, it was also sent to the bureau's New York field office, which then was taking the lead in international terrorist investigations." - SF Gate/NY Times (05/04/02)


Flight School Memo Named Bin Laden

"A memo by an FBI agent last summer urged the bureau's headquarters to investigate Middle Eastern men enrolled in American flight schools and named Osama bin Laden, suggesting followers could use the schools for terror operations, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

According to the Times, the memo's existence had been known for months but it was not until recent weeks that lawmakers and congressional staff gained full access to it. The memo's direct reference to bin Laden had not been revealed before by the U.S. government." - CBS (05/15/02)


Senators question 'Phoenix memo' author

"The so-called "Phoenix memo," written July 10, 2001, by FBI agent Kenneth Williams, cited supporters of Osama bin Laden "attending civil aviation universities/colleges in Arizona."
The memo apparently never reached the highest levels of the FBI, the CIA or the Justice Department until after September 11.
It states that law enforcement officials began examining questions about Arab students attending U.S. flight schools in April 2000, almost 17 months before the September 11 terrorist attacks. It is under renewed scrutiny amid questions over whether the government missed clues that might have alerted authorities to impending attacks on New York and Washington.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said that to this day, Mueller still doesn't have a full explanation about what happened once Williams passed the memo up the chain of command.
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, said he too was unsatisfied with the answers from Mueller.
"There was no explanation as to why the memo did not go to other places. Nobody knows at this stage, and that is something that has to be pursued," Specter said.
Williams is to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. His memorandum states that the investigation began in April 2000, describing a bin Laden "effort to send students to U.S. to attend civil aviation universities and colleges."
Attorney General John Ashcroft appeared before the ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees Tuesday. Ashcroft and Mueller both learned of the Phoenix memo in the days after September 11, but did not brief legislators about the memo's existence." - CNN (05/21/02)


(See also:  July 10, 2001 - FBI agent urges bureau in his "Phoenix memo" to investigate supporters of OBL attending flight training in Arizona; May 20, 2002 - FBI shared suspicions warned in the "Phoenix memo" with CIA.)


May 13, 2002 - Afghanistan plans gas pipeline, Unocal denies involvement.

"Afghanistan hopes to strike a deal later this month to build a $2bn pipeline through the country to take gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India.
Afghan interim ruler Hamid Karzai is to hold talks with his Pakistani and Turkmenistan counterparts later this month on Afghanistan's biggest foreign investment project, said Mohammad Alim Razim, minister for Mines and Industries told Reuters.
The construction of the 850-kilometre pipeline had been previously discussed between Afghanistan's former Taliban regime, US oil company Unocal and Bridas of Argentina.
The project was abandoned after the US launched missile attacks on Afghanistan in 1999.
Mr Razim said US energy company Unocal was the "lead company" among those that would build the pipeline, which would bring 30bn cubic meters of Turkmen gas to market annually.
Unocal - which led a consortium of companies from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Japan and South Korea - has maintained the project is both economically and technically feasible once Afghan stability was secured.
"Unocal is not involved in any projects (including pipelines) in Afghanistan, nor do we have any plans to become involved, nor are we discussing any such projects," a spokesman told BBC News Online.
The US company formally withdrew from the consortium in 1998.
Afghanistan plans to build a road linking Turkmenistan with Pakistan parallel to the pipeline, to supply nearby villages with gas, and also to pump Afghan gas for export, Mr Razim said.
The government would also earn transit fees from the export of gas and oil and hoped to take over ownership of the pipeline after 30 years, he said.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been surveying routes for transferring local gas from northern Afghan areas to Kabul, and to iron ore mines at the Haji Gak pass further west.
The pipeline is expected to be built with funds from donor countries for the reconstruction of Afghanistan as well as ADB loans, he said." - BBC (05/13/02)

(See also:  January 1, 2002 - Bush appoints PNAC member and former Unocal advisor Zalmay Khalilzad to be U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan; May 21, 2002 - Unocal reiterates no interest in Afghanistan projects)


May 15, 2002 - Eight months after 9/11, news starts coming out that the Bush Administration received warnings about terrorist attacks and plane hijackings by Osama Bin Laden from U.S. Intelligence agencies weeks before 9/11.


Bush Was Warned bin Laden Wanted to Hijack Planes

"The White House said tonight that President Bush had been warned by American intelligence agencies in early August that Osama bin Laden was seeking to hijack aircraft but that the warnings did not contemplate the possibility that the hijackers would turn the planes into guided missiles for a terrorist attack.
"It is widely known that we had information that bin Laden wanted to attack the United States or United States interests abroad," Ari Fleischer, the president's press secretary, said this evening. "The president was also provided information about bin Laden wanting to engage in hijacking in the traditional pre-9/11 sense, not for the use of suicide bombing, not for the use of an airplane as a missile."
In the past few days, government officials have acknowledged for the first time that an F.B.I. agent in Phoenix had urged the F.B.I. headquarters to investigate Middle Eastern men enrolled in American flight schools. That memorandum also cited Mr. bin Laden by name and suggested that his followers could use the schools to train for terror operations, officials who have seen the memorandum said.
Administration officials reached this evening said the warning given to Mr. Bush did not come from the F.B.I. or from the information developed by the Phoenix agent. Instead, it was provided as part of the C.I.A. briefing he is given each morning, suggesting that it was probably based on evidence gathered abroad.
The warning of the hijacking was given to the president at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., where he was on vacation.
It was not clear this evening why the White House waited eight months after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington to reveal what Mr. Bush had been told." - NY Times (05/15/02)


"President Bush and his top advisers were informed by the CIA early last August that terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden had discussed the possibility of hijacking airplanes, according to reliable sources.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer confirmed that Bush had been told about the possibility of hijackings but he declined to say what had been revealed during his intelligence briefings." - Washington Post (05/16/02)


Aug. Memo Focused On Attacks in U.S.

"The top-secret briefing memo presented to President Bush on Aug. 6 carried the headline, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," and was primarily focused on recounting al Qaeda's past efforts to attack and infiltrate the United States, senior administration officials said.
Bush had specifically asked for an intelligence analysis of possible al Qaeda attacks within the United States, because most of the information presented to him over the summer about al Qaeda focused on threats against U.S. targets overseas, sources said. But one source said the White House was disappointed because the analysis lacked focus and did not present fresh intelligence.
New accounts yesterday of the controversial Aug. 6 memo provided a shift in portrayals of the document, which has set off a political firestorm because it suggested that bin Laden's followers might be planning to hijack U.S. airliners.
In earlier comments this week, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and other administration officials stressed that intelligence officials were focused primarily on threats to U.S. interests overseas. But sources made clear yesterday that the briefing presented to Bush focused on attacks within the United States, indicating that he and his aides were concerned about the risks.
But the sharpest focus remained on the Aug. 6 presidential briefing memo, which Rice described Thursday as historic and analytic in nature. But she did not explicitly note that the memo, according to sources, was focused primarily on a discussion of possible domestic targets.
As an example, sources said the memo cited the case of Ahmed Ressam, who was caught attempting to smuggle explosives across the Canadian border for an al Qaeda attack on Los Angeles International Airport during the 2000 millennium celebrations." - Washington Post (05/19/02)

(See also:  August 6, 2001 - Bush is warned in a CIA memo of possible terrorist attacks and plane hijackings in the U.S. from Osama bin Laden; April 10, 2004 - The White House releases the August 6th memo)

May 16, 2002 - White House spokesman Ari Fleischer confirms that President Bush was told by the CIA a month before 9/11 about the possibility of  terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden hijacking planes in the U.S.

Bush was told of hijack threat, White House revises account of events before Sept. 11 attacks

"President Bush and his top advisers were informed by the CIA early last August that terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden had discussed the possibility of hijacking airplanes, according to reliable sources.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer confirmed that Bush had been told about the possibility of hijackings, but he declined to say what had been revealed during his intelligence briefings.

A CIA spokesman said the agency routinely passed on intelligence citing the possibility that al Qaeda might be planning to hijack an airliner as part of a terrorist action against the United States. But a suicide attack involving an aircraft was never envisioned, the spokesman said." - SF Gate/Washington Post (05/16/02)


(See also:  9/11 - Fleischer claims Bush received no warnings about the attacks)




May 16, 2002 - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said she didn't think anybody could have predicted that terrorists would hijack planes and use them as missiles despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.


'99 Report Warned Of Suicide Hijacking

"Exactly two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal report warned the executive branch that Osama bin Laden's terrorists might hijack an airliner and dive bomb it into the Pentagon or other government building.

The report contrasts with Bush administration officials' assertions that none in government had imagined an attack like Sept. 11 before that time.
"I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said Thursday." - CBS (05/17/02)


Report Warned Of Suicide Hijackings
"Bush administration officials have repeatedly said no one in government had imagined such an attack.
I don't think anybody could have predicted that ... they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Thursday." - CBS (05/17/02)


National Security Advisor Holds Press Briefing

"Q Why shouldn't this be seen as an intelligence failure, that you were unable to predict something happening here?
DR. RICE: Steve, I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile. All of this reporting about hijacking was about traditional hijacking. You take a plane -- people were worried they might blow one up, but they were mostly worried that they might try to take a plane and use it for release of the blind Sheikh or some of their own people.
But I think that there's always a fine balance, but even in retrospect, even in hindsight, there was nothing in what was briefed to the President that would suggest that you would go out and say to the American people, look, I just read that terrorists might hijack and aircraft. They talk about hijacking an aircraft once in a while, but have no specifics about when, where, under what circumstances.

Q So, two questions. No discussion at all then in this analytical briefing about either the information during the investigation in the Philippines about possibly flying a plane into the CIA building, or the investigation overseas about possibly flying a plane into the Eiffel Tower? No analytical information discussing those options at all?
DR. RICE: John, this all came out as a result of our preparations to help the committees on the Hill that are getting ready to review the events. It wasn't -- frankly, it didn't pop to the front of people's minds, because it's one report among very, very many that you get.
And so it's out of that review that it became clear that this was there. I will say that, again, hijacking before 9/11 and hijacking after 9/11 do mean two very, very different things. And so focusing on it before 9/11 -- perhaps it's clear that after 9/11 you would have looked at this differently, but certainly not before 9/11.
Q And no discussion in this briefing, or any others, about the possibility of al Qaeda hijacking, and the fact that there have been active investigations into the possibility of a CIA building plot, or an Eiffel Tower plot. Never came up?
DR. RICE: It did not come up." - White House (05/16/02)

(See also:  1998 - U.S. intelligence had information that a group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosives-laden airplane into the WTC and attack Washington D.C.; April 2001 - NORAD planned to practice a scenario in which a terrorist group hijacks a plane and crashes it into the Pentagon)


May 16, 2002 - Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) releases a statement saying she feels vindicated by the Bush Administration's admission that they receiving advanced warnings in August before the attacks about her recent comments about what they knew in advance that drew wide criticism.

"Several weeks ago, I called for a congressional investigation into what warnings the Bush Administration received before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I was derided by the White House, right wing talk radio, and spokespersons for the military-industrial complex as a conspiracy theorist. Even my patriotism was questioned because I dared to suggest that Congress should conduct a full and complete investigation into the most disastrous intelligence failure in American history. Georgia Senator Zell Miller even went so far as to characterize my call for hearings as "dangerous, loony and irresponsible."
Today's revelations that the administration, and President Bush, were given months of notice that a terrorist attack was a distinct possibility points out the critical need for a full and complete congressional investigation.
It now becomes clear why the Bush Administration has been vigorously opposing congressional hearings. The Bush Administration has been engaged in a conspiracy of silence. If committed and patriotic people had not been pushing for disclosure today's revelations would have been hidden by the White House.
Because I love my country, because I am a patriot, and because the American people deserve the truth, I believe it would be dangerous, loony and irresponsible not to hold full congressional hearings on any warnings the Bush Administration had before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Ever since I came to Congress in 1992, there are those who have been trying to silence my voice. I've been told to "sit down and shut up" over and over again. Well, I won't sit down and I won't shut up until the full and unvarnished truth is placed before the American people." - Statement from Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (Reprinted at: Truthout)

(See also:  March 25, 2002 - McKinney gets blasted for her comments alleging that the Bush administration may have had advanced warnings about the 9/11 attacks; July 23, 2005 - McKinney reopens 9/11, Conspiracy theories implicating president aired at 8-hour hearing)

May 16, 2002 - Airlines and airports said they received no detailed warnings from the federal government that would have prepared them for the Sept. 11 attacks.

"We were not notified by the federal government," echoed Barbara Platt, spokeswoman for Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Boston’s Logan Airport, departure point for the two planes hijacked by alleged Al Qaeda terror network operatives and crashed into the World Trade Center. "We were not given specific notification." - FOX (05/16/02)

May 17, 2002 - Bush, GOP blast calls for 9/11 inquiry.

"Congressional Republicans circled the wagons around President Bush on Thursday after the White House admitted it had reports of a possible al Qaeda plan hijacking a month before September 11 for political gain.
Leading Democrats, some Republicans and several relatives of those killed in the attacks on New York and Washington questioned why the White House did not disclose the warnings, which Bush administration officials described Thursday as "vague" and "nonspecific."
The White House said it would cooperate with any congressional inquiry. But in a private meeting Thursday, Bush told Republican senators there was a "sniff of politics in the air" and that Democrats were seeking a "political opportunity" in November's midterm elections over the disclosure.
The warning was passed on in one of Bush's daily intelligence briefings when the president was at his Texas ranch in early August. Several lawmakers demanded answers from the White House after the disclosure.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said there are important questions that have yet to be answered, and he too called for a "comprehensive" investigation.
"Why did it take eight months for us to receive this information?" Daschle asked, adding later, "I'm concerned about whether or not the public was adequately protected."
Daschle called on the White House to turn over "the entire briefing" Bush received in August to congressional intelligence panels.
He also said an FBI memo questioning whether al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was behind Arab students taking aviation lessons in the United States should be released.
And Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, called it "an issue of national security to the country, not a political question." - CNN (05/17/02)

(See also:  January 29, 2002 - Bush asks Daschle to limit Sept. 11 probes; May 23, 2002 - Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel)


May 17, 2002 - Cheney Warns Democrats not to investigate the 9/11 attacks during a "time of war".

"The Bush administration is going on the offensive to counter charges it could have done more to head off the Sept. 11 attacks, calling Democrats irresponsible for criticizing the president at wartime while pushing for limits on any congressional investigations.
Vice President Dick Cheney led the charge, saying Thursday that suggestions by some Democrats that the attacks could have been prevented were "thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national leaders in a time of war." - CBS (05/17/02)

(See also:  May 19, 2002 - Cheney cautions Democrats who suggest Bush had advanced knowledge; May 23, 2002 - Cheney blasts September 11 critics)


May 17, 2002 - President Bush says that he takes his job as the Commander-in-Chief "very seriously" and if he had known that terrorists were going to use airplanes to kill on 9/11, he would have done everything in his power to protect the American people.


President Discusses Response to September 11 Attacks

"I want the troops here to know that I take my job as the Commander-in-Chief very seriously; that my most important job is to protect America and to protect our homeland. I do whatever it takes, and I know you'll join me in doing whatever it takes to prevent the enemy from attacking America again, like they did, and causing thousands to suffer and to mourn and to grieve.

 You know, what's interesting about Washington, it's a town -- unfortunately, it's the kind of place where second-guessing has become second-nature. The American people know this about me, and my national security team, and my administration: Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people. We will use the might of America to protect the American people.
We're in for a long struggle. It's a tough war. This is an enemy that's not going to quit. So, therefore, in order to protect innocent lives, this country must have the will and the determination to chase these killers down, one by one, and bring them to justice. And that's exactly what is going to happen, so long as I am the President of the United States of America." - White House (05/17/05) [Reprinted at:]


(See also:  August 6, 2001 - In a CIA memo warns Bush of possible terrorist attacks and plane hijackings in the US)


May 17, 2002 - Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says that suggesting that President Bush had specific information that could have prevented 9/11 "crosses the lines."


White House Press Briefing

"QUESTION: Can you help me with the definition -- when does a legitimate question about what the administration, what the president knew, become an incendiary or irresponsible suggestion?
FLEISCHER: I think that any time anybody suggests or implies to the American people that this president had specific information that could have prevented the attacks on our country on September 11, that crosses the lines. I don't think that's a fair thing to say.
And I think that the American people will be very leery of any politician who seeks to turn the sorrow of victims into their own political gain." - CNN (05/17/02)


May 19, 2002 - On Fox News Sunday, Vice President Cheney "cautions" Democrats who suggest Bush might have had advance information that would have prevented attacks.

SNOW: Richard Gephardt said Thursday, "We need to know what the White House knew, when they knew it, what did they know about, and why this didn't come to light until now."
Thursday night you said the following:
CHENEY: What I want to say to my Democratic friends in the Congress is that they need to be very cautious not to seek political advantage by making incendiary suggestions, as were made by some today, that the White House had advance information that would have prevented the tragic attacks of 9/11.
SNOW: Who made such comments?
CHENEY: Cynthia McKinney comes immediately to mind, congresswoman from Georgia.
SNOW: But I'm trying to understand the comment.
CHENEY: No. My comment was a cautionary note, and I was very careful up front to say we want an investigation. It's got to be conducted in a responsible fashion. We have to safeguard secrets, et cetera. I said all those things.
I also cautioned the Congress against incendiary statements designed to achieve some political advantage. Because, in fact, there is the very real possibility of additional attacks. We need to have our intelligence agencies focused on preventing those attacks. We need to avoid the kinds of unauthorized disclosures that have damaged our capacity in the past to deal with these problems." - FOX News (05/19/02)

(See also:  May 17, 2002 - Cheney Warns Democrats not to investigate the 9/11 attacks; May 23, 2002 - Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel; May 23, 2002 - Cheney blasts September 11 critics)


May 20, 2002 - FBI shared suspicions warned in the "Phoenix memo" with CIA.


FBI shared suspicions with CIA

"The FBI asked the CIA to check on the backgrounds of Middle Eastern men taking flight lessons in Arizona months before Sept. 11 and were told the men had no direct connection to terrorists, senior government officials said Sunday. The FBI's action shows for the first time that it shared with intelligence agencies some suspicions it had about Arab students at a Phoenix flight school.

Those suspicions were included in a July 10 memo drafted by an agent in the FBI Phoenix bureau. But the memo contained far more detail than is believed to have been shared with the CIA or the upper echelons of the FBI. Among its warnings was that Osama bin Laden may be using U.S. flight schools to train terrorists and urged the FBI to look into the schools nationwide for similar student activity." - USA Today (05/20/02)


(See also:  May 4, 2002 - Agent's "Phoenix memo" warned the FBI back in July 2001 about OBL supporters taking flight lessons in Arizona)


May 20, 2002 - Cheney: More al-Qaeda attacks 'almost a certainty'


Cheney: More al-Qaeda attacks 'almost a certainty'

"Vice President Cheney predicted on Sunday more terrorist attacks and possibly even suicide bombings in the USA amid news of stepped-up activity among terrorists and a possible plot to blow up apartment buildings. "The prospects of a future attack on the U.S. are almost a certainty. It could happen tomorrow, it could happen next week, it could happen next year, but they will keep trying," he said on Fox News Sunday." - USA Today (05/20/02)


May 21, 2002 - Unocal reiterates no interest in Afghanistan projects at Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

"Unocal Chairman Charles R. Williamson told Unocal stockholders today that Unocal has no plans or interest in becoming involved in any projects in Afghanistan, including natural gas or crude oil pipelines. He made the statement in response to recent erroneous news reports about Unocal and the pipeline project in Afghanistan." - Unocal (05/21/02)

(See also:  May 13, 2002 - Afghanistan plans gas pipeline; May 30, 2002 - Afghan pipeline given go-ahead)

May 21, 2002 - FBI whistle-blower Coleen Rowley writes Director Robert Mueller a 13-page letter accuses her bosses of ignoring 9/11 warnings and sabotaging investigation attempts such as deliberately thwarting agents efforts to push the Moussaoui investigation even after an agent who interviewed Moussaoui in August 2001 said that he might be interested in flying a jet into the WTC, being criticized by their FBI supervisors when reaching out to the CIA, and accused Mueller and other FBI officials trying to protect the bureau from embarrassment by down playing the significance of the agents' concerns about Moussaoui and the Phoenix memo.

Coleen Rowley's Memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller, An edited version of the agent's 13-page letter - TIME (05/21/02)

Phoenix memo, Moussaoui information went to same FBI task force
"Agent Coleen Rowley, in her letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller last week, says an unidentified FBI supervisory special agent "seemed to have been consistently, almost deliberately thwarting the Minneapolis FBI agents' efforts" to push the Moussaoui investigation. She does not say where this agent worked within headquarters.
"HQ (headquarters) personnel never disclosed to the Minneapolis agents that the Phoenix Division had, only approximately three weeks earlier, warned of al Qaeda operatives in flight schools seeking flight training for terrorist purposes," Rowley wrote in her letter." - CNN (05/27/02)

Letter shifts heat to FBI

"Two weeks ago, Congress' nascent probe into whether the U.S. government could have done more to prevent the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was focused on the FBI, the CIA and the White House.
No more. Thanks to a scathing, 13-page letter from a whistleblowing FBI agent in Minneapolis, the probe suddenly has become all about the bureau — and whether bureaucratic bungling might have scotched a real opportunity to expose part of the Sept. 11 hijacking plot beforehand.
In the passionate and sometimes angry letter last week to FBI Director Robert Mueller and members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, FBI lawyer and Special Agent Coleen Rowley essentially provided a road map as to how critical intelligence was neglected. She also cast the blame squarely on her bosses at the FBI.
The most explosive of Rowley's allegations:
- She said supervisors in Washington, and one unidentified supervisory agent in particular, not only failed to respond to potentially important information, but also worked against Minnesota agents who sought search warrants against Zaccarias Moussaoui, a flight student who had been arrested on immigration charges in August. The French-Moroccan is now charged with being part of the al-Qaeda conspiracy that carried out the attacks.
A Minnesota agent who interviewed Moussaoui last August wrote in his notes that Moussaoui, 33, might be interested in flying a jet into the World Trade Center. Despite Minnesota agents' suspicions about Moussaoui — which later were confirmed by French intelligence reports linking him to al-Qaeda — Rowley said FBI headquarters refused to support a search of Moussaoui's laptop computer.
Even after the Sept. 11 attacks had begun, Rowley wrote, "the (supervisory special agent) in question was still attempting to block the search of Moussaoui's computer, characterizing the World Trade Center attacks as a mere coincidence with Minneapolis' prior suspicions."

Rowley also said that when frustrated Minnesota agents reached out to the CIA for help, they were criticized by supervisors in Washington.
Eventually, the Moussaoui warrant was approved. A search of his laptop did not find any evidence linking him to the Sept. 11 plot, investigators said, but did contain information on crop-dusting and other flight-related matters.
"Why would agent(s) deliberately sabotage a case?" Rowley wrote in notes attached to the Mueller letter. "I know I shouldn't be flippant about this, but jokes were actually made that the key FBI (headquarters) personnel had to be spies or moles, like Robert Hanssen (an FBI agent convicted of spying for Moscow), who were actually working for Osama bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort."
- Rowley also says that Mueller and other FBI officials have tried to protect the bureau from embarrassment by playing down the significance of the Minnesota agents' concerns about Moussaoui, and a Phoenix agent's memo last summer calling for an investigation of Middle Eastern students at flight schools across the nation.
The review of flight students was never conducted, and Mueller has said that it probably would not have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks.
"I don't know how you or anyone at FBI headquarters, no matter how much genius or prescience you may possess, could so blithely make this affirmation without anything to back the opinion up than your stature as FBI director," wrote Rowley, who in her letter acknowledged fearing for her job and asked for federal protection as a whistleblower.
Mueller, who became FBI director just before the Sept. 11 attacks, has not commented on the substance of Rowley's letter, which is classified.
On Capitol Hill, Rowley's letter is being seen as something of a smoking gun that reflects the need for major change at the FBI.
"Although I agree that it's very doubtful that the full scope of the tragedy could have been prevented," Rowley wrote, "it's at least possible we could have gotten lucky and uncovered one or two more of the terrorists in flight training prior to Sept. 11." - USA Today (05/28/02)


FBI whistleblower describes 'roadblocks'

"The FBI is a bureaucracy rife with "risk aversion," "roadblocks" to investigations and "endless, needless paperwork," FBI agent Coleen Rowley told a Senate panel Thursday.

Rowley testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, her appearance greeted with an explosion of camera flashes. Her blistering letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller about the bureau's headquarters has become a focal point of congressional probes into apparent intelligence failures preceding the September 11 terrorist attacks." - CNN (06/06/02)


(See also:   August 2001 - FBI supervisor said in conversation with headquarters he wanted to prevent Moussaoui from flying into the WTC; May 4, 2002 - Agent's "Phoenix memo" warned the FBI back in July 2001 about OBL supporters taking flight lessons in Arizona)


May 22, 2002 - Just six days after reports that President Bush was warned a month before 9/11 that Osama Bin Laden might attack the U.S. and one day after FBI agent Collen Rowley blew the whistle that FBI heads ignored 9/11 warnings, Chandra Levy's remains are found in D.C. park after 13 months of being missing.

"The skeletal remains of missing former Washington intern Chandra Levy were found in a park in northwest Washington on Wednesday, almost 13 months after she vanished without a trace." - CNN (05/22/02)


May 22, 2002 - Head of Sept. 11 Probe Allegedly Obstructed Danforth's Waco Inquiry.

"The official in charge of ferreting out information about the FBI for a joint congressional intelligence panel allegedly obstructed a Justice Department probe of the bureau two years ago.
As the FBI's deputy general counsel, Thomas A. Kelley was the bureau's point of contact for special counsel John C. Danforth's inquiry into the 1993 Waco debacle in which 75 Branch Davidians died in a fire after a 51-day standoff.
Kelley, who has since retired from the FBI, heads the intelligence panel's probe of the bureau's role in tracking terrorists before the Sept. 11 attacks.
According to a December 2000 internal FBI memo, Kelley "continued to thwart and obstruct" the Waco investigation to the point that Danforth was forced to send a team to search FBI headquarters for documents Kelley refused to turn over. "This non-cooperative spirit was at the specific direction of [deputy general counsel] Kelley," the memo states.
The Sept. 11 committee put off public hearings, originally set to begin next week, until an unspecified date. Senators on the panel have been particularly concerned that the inquiry is not focused sharply enough. The first two weeks of meetings were spent reviewing the history of Osama bin Laden's terrorist actions and the U.S. responses to it." -  Washington Post (05/22/02)


May 23, 2002 - Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel

"President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11.
Mr. Bush said the matter should be dealt with by congressional intelligence committees.
"I have great confidence in our FBI and CIA," the President said in Berlin, adding that he feels the agencies are already improving their information sharing practices." - CBS (05/23/02)

(See also:  January 29, 2002 - Bush asks Daschle to limit Sept. 11 probes; September, 2002 - Bush finally backs an independent 9/11 commission; April 29, 2004 - Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, meet behind closed doors with 9/11 Commission instead of testifying before public panel and were not under oath)

May 23, 2002 - Cheney blasts September 11 critics

"Vice President Dick Cheney lashed out Wednesday at lawmakers who have questioned whether the government missed clues prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, calling their comments "despicable" and "outrageous."
"When members of Congress suggest that the president of the United States had foreknowledge of the attack on September 11th, I think that's outrageous, that is beyond the pale," Cheney said in an interview with CNN's Larry King Wednesday. "Somebody needs to say, that ain't criticism, that's a gross outrageous political attack, and it's totally uncalled for." - CNN (05/23/02)

(See also:  May 17, 2002 - Cheney Warns Democrats not to investigate the 9/11 attacks; May 19, 2002 - Cheney cautions Democrats who suggest Bush had advanced knowledge)

May 27, 2002 - Phoenix memo, Moussaoui information went to same FBI task force

Phoenix memo, Moussaoui information went to same FBI task force

"The July memo from a Phoenix, Arizona, FBI agent talking about Middle Eastern men taking flying lessons and the information about Zacarias Moussaoui arrested in August went to the same FBI task force at headquarters, according to an official.

FBI and Justice Department officials still do not know, however, if both the memo and the Moussaoui information was seen by the same person or persons within the Radical Fundamentalist Unit task force, according to the official.
The Phoenix memo, written by agent Kenneth Williams, actually went to two task forces at FBI headquarters: the Radical Fundamentalist Unit and one dedicated to Osama bin Laden, but no action was taken on its recommendation for a nationwide survey of Arab-American students attending flight schools.
Agent Coleen Rowley, in her letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller last week, says an unidentified FBI supervisory special agent "seemed to have been consistently, almost deliberately thwarting the Minneapolis FBI agents' efforts" to push the Moussaoui investigation. She does not say where this agent worked within headquarters.
"HQ (headquarters) personnel never disclosed to the Minneapolis agents that the Phoenix Division had, only approximately three weeks earlier, warned of al Qaeda operatives in flight schools seeking flight training for terrorist purposes," Rowley wrote in her letter." - CNN (05/27/02)



May 30, 2002 - Afghan pipeline given go-ahead.


Afghan pipeline given go-ahead

"The leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan have agreed to construct a $2bn pipeline to bring gas from Central Asia to the sub-continent.
The project was abandoned in 1998 when a consortium led by US energy company Unocal withdrew from the project over fears of being seen to support Afghanistan's then Taliban government.
The President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Nayazov, the chairman of Afghanistan's interim administration Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf signed a memorandum of understanding in Islamabad on Thursday.
President Musharraf said the 1,500km pipeline would run from Turkmenistan's Daulatabad gas fields to the Pakistani port city of Gwadar.
The three countries have agreed to invite international tenders and guarantee funding before launching the project.
Unocal has repeatedly denied it is interested in returning to Afghanistan despite having conducted the original feasibility study to build the pipeline.
There is also a question mark over stability in Afghanistan, but interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai said peace was prevailing all over the country.
Afghan officials believe the pipeline could yield significant revenues for the impoverished country in the form of transit fees.
The pipeline could eventually supply gas to India.
President Musharraf also said he was committed to a proposed gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India as it was in his country's economic interest." - BBC (05/30/02)


Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan Sign Pipeline Deal - NewsMax (05/31/02)

(See also:  May 21, 2002 - Unocal reiterates no interest in Afghanistan projects; December 27, 2002 - Afghan pipeline deal finally signed)

May 31, 2002 - Some of the scientists who worked on identifying the remains of the 9/11 Pentagon victims also worked on victims from the Waco massacre, Oklahoma City bombing, Desert Storm,  missing intern Chandra Levy and one of these scientist's has a daughter who was working in the C Ring of the Pentagon at the time of the crash.

"When remains of the Waco dead or 9/11 Pentagon victims or Desert Storm casualties -- or most recently Chandra Levy -- need to be studied, the bone guys at the Smithsonian are called in.
In Doug Owsley's laboratory -- the shelves of which hold, at quick count, 24 skulls -- four sets of human remains are laid out on the work tables
The three physical anthropologists at Natural History most active in forensics spend much of their time investigating modern-day mysteries. In addition to identifying bodies, they help excavate the scene where remains are found, as Smithsonian anthropologist David Hunt did in the Levy case. And, while D.C. Medical Examiner Jonathan Arden identified Levy's remains, Hunt corroborated the identification and -- along with colleague Doug Ubelaker -- separated postmortem trauma from injuries incurred before or at the time of Levy's death. (Arden gave these details; Hunt and Ubelaker declined comment, citing the open investigation.)
On Tuesday, Arden pronounced Levy's death a homicide, but he could not rule on how she died. That, he says, we may never know.
The museum's physical anthropology department numbers 15, with scientists, researchers and support staff. Ubelaker, 55, has been there since 1971. In '77, he started doing work for the FBI, and now the majority of forensic cases he takes come through headquarters up the street.
The relationship between the FBI and the Smithsonian's anthropologists goes back to the '30s, when the nation had few scientists qualified to study bones for clues.
The Smithsonian scientists have worked on mass graves in Croatia after Yugoslavia's civil war, on missing persons in Mexico, and on murdered American journalists in Guatemala.
Despite the men's professional detachment, working so close to death is not easy. Before Owsley spent a week after Sept. 11 helping identify the Pentagon victims, he was a frantic father. His 23-year-old daughter was working in the C Ring of the building that fateful morning, and it was hours before he knew she was all right." - Washington Post (05/31/02) [Reprinted at:]

"Hunt and his Smithsonian colleagues are on call in the wake of plane crashes and other disasters. They have helped identify bodies in the Oklahoma City bombing, the Waco fire and the mass graves of Bosnia and Croatia." - Smithsonian (04/00)

"Two Smithsonian anthropologists do forensic work, ranging from identifying bones at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, to helping convict a police officer of murder with only bits of bone the size of pencil points to go on. Police work helps them do a better job with their scientific research, the anthropologists say, and it is those research skills that police departments and medical examiners come to enlist. Douglas Owsley and Douglas Ubelaker are carrying on a tradition that began in the 1930s when the FBI moved into new quarters across Constitution Avenue from the National Museum of Natural History." - Smithsonian (05/96)

June 2002 - An Air Force officer has been relieved from duties at the Presidio of Monterey after publication of his letter to the editor accusing President George W. Bush of having advance knowledge of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"Lt. Col. Steve Butler was serving as vice chancellor for student affairs at the Defense Language Institute when he wrote the letter, which was published in The Herald May 21.
The letter accuses Bush of allowing the attacks to occur for political reasons.
The letter reads in part: "Of course Bush knew about the impending attacks on America. He did nothing to warn the American people because he needed this war on terrorism. His daddy had Saddam and he needed Osama." - Monterey County Herald (WayBack Machine) (06/03/02) [Reprinted at:]

- A copy of Lt. Col. Butler's letter - Monterey County Herald (WayBack Machine) (06/05/02) [Reprinted at:]

June 2, 2002 - Larry Silverstein, the WTC leaseholder, receives $861 settlement for the WTC 7 collapsing which makes him a profit of $478 million.

Silverstein May Use Insurance Money to Pay Bondholders

"Reports from several sources indicate that Silverstein Properties may use part of the proceeds from an imminent insurance settlement to buy out bondholders on the mortgage of 7 World Trade Center.
The 47 story office building, which was home to numerous businesses, among them the NY Office of the Securities Exchange Commission, collapsed several hours after the twin towers, and is not part of the lawsuit between Silverstein and a group of insurers headed by Swiss Re.
Industrial Risk Insurers is set to pay around $861 million to Silverstein for the lost building, which the company has owned since the 1980's, long before it acquired the master lease on the WTC. The debt on the property is around $383 million, much of it securitized as mortgage bonds." - Insurance Journal (06/07/02)


Rebuilding Begins for 7 WTC Despite Unanswered Questions

"The last building to collapse on Sept. 11 is slated to be the first to rise. Work crews have begun to dig the foundation of a tower to replace 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story building across the street from the Twin Towers, which fell the evening of that tragic day.

But before the building can rise further than the substation, major financing issues have to be resolved by Larry Silverstein, who controls the long-term lease on 7 World Trade Center as well as the World Trade Center complex. The good news for Mr. Silverstein is that the company that insured 7 World Trade, Industrial Risk Insurers, has indicated that it will make a full payment under its $861 million policy. But it's not clear whether Mr. Silverstein can use those proceeds to start building without first reaching an agreement with the mortgage holder on 7 World Trade Center, Blackstone Real Estate Advisors.

Originally, when Mr. Silverstein developed the property in the 1980s, $449.4 million in debt was provided by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association. In 2000, Blackstone bought the debt from TIAA, financing the purchase by selling $383 million in bonds in a private placement that was lead managed by Banc of America Securities LLC.

Even if insurance proceeds are paid as construction moves forward, Mr. Silverstein could replace Blackstone by borrowing against these anticipated payments. There's also another advantage to finding a new lender: By taking advantage of the liberty-bond program that was approved by Congress to help New York recover from Sept. 11, Mr. Silverstein would wind up paying a lower interest rate than he's paying Blackstone. Given the large amount of equity Mr. Silverstein will put in the project with the insurance proceeds, he might be able to borrow money even before he announces major leases." - Wall Street Journal (07/10/02)


Why bonds for builder? Who knows?

"Silverstein expects to receive some $861 million in insurance payments for the destroyed 7WTC. He said a new 52-story 7WTC would cost $700million.
He intends to use $489 million of the insurance payments to cover an existing mortgage and already has used $65 million for other debts and costs. That leaves only $307 million for construction. Silverstein hopes to cover the shortfall with the bonds." - New York Daily News (01/14/03)

Note:  $861 million insurance settlement - $383 million debt on WTC 7 = $478 million dollar profit!

(See also:  9/11 - Silverstein decided smartest thing for WTC 7 was to 'pull it'; May 3, 2004 - Silverstein loses WTC case, only awarded single payout of $3.5 billion; Killtown's: Was the WTC 7 pulled?)

June 3, 2002 - The CIA had tracked two of the alleged Flight 77 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar.

CIA 'tracked' hijackers

"An article published in Newsweek magazine on Monday claims that the Central Intelligence Agency knew that two men suspected of links to al-Qaeda were in the United States months before they took part in the suicide attacks of 11 September.

Under the headline, "The terrorists the CIA should have caught", the report argues that the CIA tracked one of the men, Nawaf al-Hazmi, shortly after he attended an al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia in January 2000, but failed to alert other US law enforcement agencies.
CIA agents also discovered that another man, Khalid al-Mihdhar, had already obtained a multiple-entry visa that allowed him to enter and leave the US freely, Newsweek reports.
On the 11 September, the two men boarded one of the four hijacked airliners - American Airlines Flight 77 - and crashed it into the Pentagon.

The Newsweek report alleges that had the FBI had the information, its agents could have uncovered the terrorist plot.
It comes only days after the White House had admitted that President Bush was told a month before 11 September of a plot to hijack American planes by Osama Bin Laden.

Newsweek also says that the CIA did not pass on the intelligence to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service, which could have stopped them entering the US.

Instead, the two men lived openly in the US and used their real names to open bank accounts and take flying lessons.
The report says that the State Department even renewed Mihdhar's visa in July 2001 despite the CIA's having linked him to one of the men believed to be behind the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000.
The magazine says the CIA had files on the two men at its Counterterrorism Centre for a year and nine months." - BBC (06/03/02)


(See also:  Killtown's:  Flight 77: alleged hijackers)


June 3, 2002 - San Francisco attorney and former aide to Sen. Bob Dole, Stanley Hilton, files a $7 billion lawsuit against President Bush and other government officials for "allowing" the 9/11 attacks to occur.

"[Stanley] Hilton is the San Francisco attorney who filed a $7 billion lawsuit in U.S. District Court on June 3 against President Bush and other government officials for "allowing" the terrorist attacks to occur.
Among Hilton's allegations: Bush conspired to create the Sept. 11 attacks for his own political gain and has been using Osama bin Laden as a scapegoat.
Hilton said he has information that bin Laden died several years ago of kidney failure.
His class-action suit named 10 defendants, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. Hilton said he represents the families of 14 victims and that 400 plaintiffs are involved nationwide.
Hilton, Sen. Bob Dole's former aide, has been publicly critical of conservatives in books he has written about Dole and the Clinton sex scandal. Hilton, who said he has sources within the FBI, CIA, the National Security Agency and Naval intelligence, demands Bush's impeachment and believes the truth will come out in trial.
Hilton claims the Bush administration ignored intelligence information, refused to round up suspected terrorists beforehand, and during the hijackings refused to disable pilot controls and switch to a ground-based remote system.
He claims the government benefited from installing a puppet Afghan government friendly to U.S. oil interests.
Hilton also says Bush used bin Laden's antagonist image to create a public frenzy, which allowed the Bush administration to tighten its political grip." - San Francisco Examiner (06/11/02) [Reprint at:]

"Stanley Hilton, a San Francisco attorney and former aide to Senator Bob Dole, filed a $7 billion lawsuit in U.S. District Court on June 3rd. The class-action suit names ten defendants, among whom are George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Norman Mineta." - William Rivers Pitt/ (06/20/02)

-Alex Jones interviews Stanley Hilton:  03/11/03 (Text);  09/13/04 (Audio / Text); 09/27/04 (Audio)

June 4, 2002 - NORAD conducts Amalgam Virgo 02, an exercise involving a commercial airliner-hijacking scenario planned before 9/11.

NORAD-Sponsored Exercise Prepares For Worst-Case Scenarios
"The first part of today's multiagency, bilateral air security exercise sponsored by the North American Aerospace Defense Command is already a "go."
"So many agencies have met numerous times and have worked out issues, the first part of the exercise is a big success," NORAD spokesman Marine Corps Maj. Mike Snyder said today of the day-long "Amalgam Virgo 02" exercise.
This is the second year the U.S.-Canada exercise has been held, Snyder noted. NORAD headquarters, at Colorado Springs, Colo., is responsible for air and space warning and aerospace control for the continental United States, Canada and Alaska.
The exercises, Snyder said, focus on possible threats in U.S.-Canadian skies in today's post-Cold War world. The purpose of the exercises is to improve preparedness and interagency coordination for a variety of airborne threats and contingencies, he added.
This year's exercise is a commercial airliner-hijacking scenario -- planned before the Sept. 11 attacks, Snyder said. Last year's exercise, he said, was a scenario involving a cruise missile launched by "a rogue (government) or somebody" from a barge off the East Coast.
Future scenarios include air piracy and drug interdiction - - "anything else that might pop up," Snyder remarked. "We're planning for the worst-case scenario that was previously unimaginable" before the terrorist-hijacked airliner attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
This year's hijacking scenario is not a prediction of possible events, Snyder emphasized. About 1,500 people are taking part, including the FBI, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transport Canada, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Vancouver Airport Authority, and Delta Airlines.
Snyder said a Delta plane from Utah and a Navy C-9 from Washington State are among aircraft being used in the exercise. "Hijackers" and "law enforcement role players" are part of the scenario, he added. The Delta plane will fly to Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base, he noted, and the Navy C-9 will travel to Vancouver, Canada.
The exercise "does not critique security efforts on the ground," Snyder emphasized. "We are just trying to do our job in case something unforetold happens."
NORAD's expert pilots -- including active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve fliers -- have conducted "hundreds of real-world scenarios since 9-11," Snyder said.
NORAD must be notified by the FAA or other federal agencies to investigate airborne security situations, he said.
FEMA and the FBI are also involved in any real-life situation involving hijacked airliners. They also have a role in consequence management on the ground "as we saw during 9-11, unfortunately," Snyder noted.
Regarding future NORAD involvement in hijackings of commercial airliners and other types of aircraft, Snyder noted: "Well-established rules of engagement were in place before 9-11." Those rules, he added, have been modified since to clarify new potential threats and situations." - (06/04/02)

Airborne Anti-Terrorist Operation Getting Underway
"DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: An airborne anti-terrorist operation is getting underway today. It's in the skies over western U.S. -- in the western U.S. and Canada. The exercise is sponsored by the government's North American Air Defense Command. We get the latest from our Patty Davis, who is in Washington.
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may eerily similar to September 11th, two hijackings this morning, but the hijackings are not real. They are a joint U.S.- Canadian terrorism exercise run by NORAD called Amalgam Virgo II. Now the two planes, a Delta 757, with actual Delta pilots in the flight deck, will be hijacked by FBI agents as it makes its trip from Salt Lake City to Honolulu. That plane will be diverted in midair to Elmendorf Air Base in Anchorage, Alaska.
The other plane, a Navy C-9, acting as commercial DC-9, will be hijacked by Royal Canadian Mounted Police as is it goes from Whidbey Island at Naval Air Station to Vancouver International airport. Amalgam Virgo II was planned before Septmber 11th, and involves 1,500 participants, no live fire, though, and no paying passengers on board. These are not scheduled flights. Now we don't know exactly how these hijackings will play out. Neither do the pilots. Even their bases from which the U.S. and military -- the U.S.-Canadian jets will be scrambled, don't know they are.
As part of the exercise, those military jets will be ordered to either shoot the aircraft down, of course not really shoot them down, or force the airliners to land. Once on the ground, the FBI and Royal Canadian Mounted Police will do hostage negotiations. The purpose, NORAD says, to test and improve the coordination and communication between the U.S. and Canada, the FAA, the FBI, the airlines, should another hijacking take place." - CNN (06/04/02)

(See also:  June 1, 2001 - NORAD conducts Amalgam Virgo 01, an exercise involving a cruise missile attack scenario in which their presentation manual has a photo of Osama bin Laden on the cover and a picture of an explosion in a skyscraper inside)


June 4, 2002 - U.S. had agents inside al-Qaeda and intelligence overheard discussions of a major pending terrorist attack in the weeks prior to Sept. 11.


U.S. had agents inside al-Qaeda

"U.S. intelligence overheard al-Qaeda operatives discussing a major pending terrorist attack in the weeks prior to Sept. 11 and had agents inside the terror group, but the intercepts and field reports didn't specify where or when a strike might occur, according to U.S. officials. The disclosures add to a growing body of evidence to be examined in congressional hearings that open today into how the CIA, FBI and other agencies failed to seize on intelligence pointing to the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history.

Some of the clues lie buried in 350,000 pages of documents turned over by the CIA for the hearings:
- Reports discussing the possibility of suicide bombings, plots to fly planes into buildings and strikes against the Pentagon, World Trade Center and other high-profile targets.
- Electronic intercepts as late as Sept. 10 of al-Qaeda members speaking cryptically of a major attack. Two U.S. intelligence officials, paraphrasing highly classified intercepts, say they include such remarks as, "Good things are coming," "Watch the news" and "Tomorrow will be a great day for us."
- Dispatches from agents who infiltrated al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies. The operatives could not crack the tightly held secret of the Sept. 11 plot but helped underscore the lengths al-Qaeda was willing to go to inflict pain on the United States." - USA Today (06/04/02)



June 4, 2002 - Bush: No evidence that U.S. could avoid 9/11


Bush: No evidence that U.S. could avoid 9/11

"As congressional hearings into pre-Sept. 11 intelligence failures began Tuesday with a moment of silence, President Bush admitted the FBI and CIA failed to communicate with each other over terrorist threats. But he said his administration had nothing it could have seized upon to thwart the attacks. "In terms of whether the FBI and CIA communicated properly, I think it's clear they weren't, and now we're addressing that issue," Bush told reporters Tuesday while visiting the National Security Agency, the nation's eavesdropping and code-breaking service, at Fort Meade, Md.

Bush, who has been briefed on the top-secret documents being examined by a House-Senate investigative committee, said, "I've seen no evidence ... that said this country could have prevented the attacks."

Some lawmakers, even from Bush's own party, question the president's conclusion. "That's debatable," said Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Before entering the room, lawmakers surrendered their pagers and cell phones to guards posted around the clock. The suite of offices is off-limits to tourists and staffers without proper clearance.
Swept periodically for bugs, the soundproofed room lacks adornment except for plain wood paneling." - USA Today (06/04/02)


June 7, 2002 - Judicial Watch sues the FBI and Bush Administration over anthrax documents and wants to know why the White House went on Cipro beginning September 11th.

"(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that it has filed lawsuits against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”), the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (“USAMRIID”) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for those agencies’ failures to produce documents concerning the terrorist anthrax attacks of October 2001, under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).
In October 2001, press reports revealed that White House staff had been on a regimen of the powerful antibiotic Cipro since the September 11th terrorist attacks. Judicial Watch is aggressively pursuing the disclosure of the facts and the decision for White House staff, and President Bush as well, to begin taking Cipro nearly a month before anthrax was detected on Capitol Hill." - Judicial Watch (06/7/02)

June 21, 2002 - TV writes an article about the forgotten episode of The Lone Gunmen about the U.S. government hijacking a Boeing 727 and trying to crash it into the WTC and then blame it on foreign terrorists to provoke a war.

The Sept. 11 Parallel "Nobody Noticed"

We know the ratings for Fox's short-lived X-Files spinoff The Lone Gunmen were bad, but this is ridiculous. Six months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — March 4, 2001, to be exact — Gunmen premiered with an episode featuring a terrorist plot to fly a commercial airliner into the World Trade Center. The climactic sequence actually shows the plane heading into one of the Twin Towers, but at the last minute, it's pulled upward and just misses the building.
Shockingly, this horrifying bit of foreshadowing was never widely reported until Thursday, when industry newsletter The Myers Report broke the story. How is it that virtually no one remembered this post 9/11? "I know! That's what I've been wondering," marvels Frank Spotnitz, who along with Vince Gilligan and John Shiban wrote the episode. "I thought, 'Nobody noticed!' I guess so few people saw the show. But it's strange too because that was the pilot and the ratings were actually quite good for [that episode], and yet, we didn't hear anything."
Myers Report columnist Ed Martin — who was tipped off about the horrific parallel by a friend — wrote that "this seems to be collective amnesia of the highest order. The final act of the Gunmen pilot, which seemingly made no impact last year, now contains some of the most deeply disturbing images ever created for an entertainment program."

"I woke up on September 11 and saw it on TV and the first thing I thought of was The Lone Gunmen," recalls Spotnitz. "But then in the weeks and months that followed, almost no one noticed the connection.
"What's disturbing about it to me is, you think as a fiction writer that if you can imagine this scenario, then the people in power in the government who are there to imagine disaster scenarios can imagine it, too."
Unlike the actual attacks, there was no suicide hijacker in the Gunmen climax; the terrorists attempted to remotely steer the plane into the skyscraper. "Now, ironically, one of the things [the government is] talking about to prevent [another 9/11] is the ability of terrorists to remotely pilot planes," Spotnitz says, "which was another element of our story. It's weird." - TV Guide (06/21/02)


(See also:  Killtown's:  The Lone Gunmen's 'Pilot' episode)


June 23, 2002 - Records of 9/11 response not for public, New York City says.

"The Bloomberg administration has concluded that many of the audio and written records of the Fire Department's actions on Sept. 11 should never be released to the general public.
The administration, in response to a lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan by The New York Times seeking numerous records concerning the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, has cited a variety of reasons for keeping the records secret. In court papers and interviews, administration officials and city lawyers have argued that a federal court order in Virginia has barred them from releasing much of the material, citing its value in the government's case against Zacarias Moussaoui, who is accused of being the "20th hijacker."
But lawyers for the administration argued that even if the order, issued by the judge overseeing the prosecution of Mr. Moussaoui, were amended or lifted, they would still have no intention of releasing audiotapes of the Fire Department dispatchers, hundreds of individual accounts of firefighters or transcripts of radio communications from that day." - NY Times (06/23/02); (Reprint at:  Freedom of Information Center)

June 25, 2002 - Bush Was Slow to Approve Use of Predator Drones in Hunt for Bin Laden Before 9/11, Officials Say

"When President Bush took office in January 2001, the White House was told that Predator drones had recently spotted Osama bin Laden as many as three times and officials were urged to arm the unmanned planes with missiles to kill the al-Qaida leader. But the administration failed to get drones back into the Afghan skies until after the Sept. 11 attacks later that year, current and former U.S. officials say.
Top administration officials discussed the mission to kill bin Laden as late as one week before the suicide attacks on New York and Washington, but they had not yet resolved a debate over whether the CIA or Pentagon should operate the armed Predators and whether the missiles would be sufficiently lethal, officials told The Associated Press." - ABC (06/25/02)

June 25, 2002 - A reporter asks Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke again her thoughts about Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie which is about to be published in English.

"Q: And just one other follow-up on a completely different matter. I asked you about this a month or so ago, and I just want to ask you again because the issue has come up again. This notorious French book, which is on the bestseller list in France, that purports --
Clarke: I knew we should have ended.
Q: -- that advances the theory that a plane did not, in fact, hit the Pentagon on September 11th is now going to be published in English, continues to gather a small amount of people who believe the book. I just wonder if you could --
Clarke: Who besides you?
Q: There's a small number of people who --
Clarke: No, I mean, we shouldn't laugh about it because it's pretty -- No, I'm going to cut you off. Because it's disgusting. You know, over, we're coming up -- it's amazing that almost a year has gone by, and we're coming up on the anniversary of the day in which over 3,000 people were slaughtered. And there are over 3,000 families and countless friends who are still, you know, in shock and their lives in disarray because of what happened. There is no question, there is no doubt what happened that day. And I think it's appalling that anyone might try to put out that kind of myth. I think it's also appalling for anyone to continue to give those sorts of people any kind of publicity.
Q: You find it insulting.
Clarke: It's much more than insulting." - DoD (06/25/02)

(See also:  April 1, 2002 - Meyssan's book The Big Lie makes headline news when it becomes a leading bestseller in France; April 24, 2002 - A reporter asks Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke her thoughts about the phenomenon of Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie)

July 18, 2002 - FBI counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, thinks Osama bin Laden is "probably dead."

"The US Federal Bureau of Investigation's counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, says he thinks Osama bin Laden is "probably" dead.
It is thought to be the first time a senior US law-enforcement official has publicly offered an opinion on whether Bin Laden, the prime suspect believed to be behind the 11 September attacks, is dead or alive.
"Is (Bin Laden) alive or is he dead?" Mr Watson said. "I am not really sure of the answer... I personally think he is probably not with us anymore but I have no evidence to support that."
The remarks, made at a law-enforcement conference in Washington on Wednesday, follow recent statements from both an Arabic newspaper editor and the chief of German foreign intelligence that Bin Laden is still alive.
But Mr Watson's comments suggest that the FBI, at least, has no firsthand information that confirms Bin Laden is still alive.
Other US officials told the Associated Press they were surprised by Mr Watson's remarks, as Washington's official position remains that it does not know where Bin Laden is, or whether he is still alive.
Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al Arabi newspaper, said this week that the leader of the al-Qaeda leader is in good health, but had been wounded in an attack on his base in Afghanistan last December.
Mr Atwan said Bin Laden's followers had told him that he would not make more video statements until his group launches another attack on the United States.
Mr Atwan is one of few journalists to have interviewed Bin Laden before the US attacks." - BBC (07/18/02)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies; January 18, 2002 - Pakistan's Musharraf: Bin Laden probably dead; September 13, 2002 - Osama bin Laden's supporters issued a statement on the internet saying he died last December 10th)

July 19, 2002 - Judge rejects Moussaoui's 'I am guilty' plea

"A federal judge rejected attempts Thursday by Zacarias Moussaoui, indicted in connection with September 11 attacks, to plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges during a court hearing.
"I am guilty," Moussaoui said at a federal court hearing. He added that he is a member of al Qaeda and had sworn a loyalty oath to Osama bin Laden, its leader.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema told Moussaoui she would not allow him to plead guilty Thursday, and urged him instead to think about the ramifications of his decision and consider entering plea negotiations with the government.
Moussaoui was in court to be re-arraigned on the government's second superseding indictment, which was filed Tuesday with adjustments to make him eligible for the death penalty.
In the courtroom, Moussaoui admitted to being part of an ongoing conspiracy since 1995, but he did not specify what kind of conspiracy or what his role in the conspiracy may have been.
Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, told the judge, "I want to enter a plea today of guilty, because this will ensure to save my life." He said that he had "certain knowledge about September 11." He also said, "I know exactly who done it, I know which group, who participated, and I know when it was decided."
He added, "I am a member of al Qaeda. I pledge bayat to Osama bin Laden." Bayat is the loyalty oath taken by members of al Qaeda.
He told the judge, "I have many, many information to give to the America[n] people about an existing conspiracy."
But Brinkema would not allow him to continue. "This is not the forum to do that," she said. She suggested it might be in his best interest to enter into plea bargain negotiations with the government.
"You have preventing me from entering the plea I wanted," he said, waving finger back and forth as if to say, "No, no."
"For the guilt phase, I'm guilty," Moussaoui said, his voice rising. "But for the death penalty [phase], we will see." He said a jury "will be able to evaluate how much responsibility I have in this."
Brinkema told him that he cannot plead guilty to bits and pieces of the indictment; that if he pleads guilty, he must do so to all of the charges." - CNN (07/19/02)

(See also:  March 28, 2002 - U.S. seeks the death penalty against Moussaoui; January 11, 2005 - Supreme Court is asked to rule on Moussaoui case)

July 21, 2002 - A British Cabinet Office briefing paper warns officials that Britain was committed to a U.S.-led Iraq invasion and that regime change was illegal, so they need to find a way to make it legal to justify military action.

Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’

"MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.
The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.
The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.

This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action." - London Times (06/12/05)


Cabinet Office paper: Conditions for military action
The paper, produced by the Cabinet Office on July 21, 2002, is incomplete because the last page is missing. The following is a transcript rather than the original document in order to protect the source.

Ministers are invited to:
(3) Agree to engage the US on the need to set military plans within a realistic political strategy, which includes identifying the succession to Saddam Hussein and creating the conditions necessary to justify government military action, which might include an ultimatum for the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq. This should include a call from the Prime Minister to President Bush ahead of the briefing of US military plans to the President on 4 August.
1. The US Government's military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace. But, as yet, it lacks a political framework. In particular, little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it.
2. When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change, provided that certain conditions were met: efforts had been made to construct a coalition/shape public opinion, the Israel-Palestine Crisis was quiescent, and the options for action to eliminate Iraq's WMD through the UN weapons inspectors had been exhausted.
3. We need now to reinforce this message and to encourage the US Government to place its military planning within a political framework, partly to forestall the risk that military action is precipitated in an unplanned way by, for example, an incident in the No Fly Zones. This is particularly important for the UK because it is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action. Otherwise we face the real danger that the US will commit themselves to a course of action which we would find very difficult to support."  - London Times (06/12/05)



July 23, 2002 - A secret British Downing Street memo warns British officials that Saddam Hussein was not a threat and that President Bush was determined to invade Iraq and U.S. officials were fixing their intelligence and facts around their policy to go to war.


Blair planned Iraq war from start

"INSIDE Downing Street Tony Blair had gathered some of his senior ministers and advisers for a pivotal meeting in the build-up to the Iraq war. It was 9am on July 23, 2002, eight months before the invasion began and long before the public was told war was inevitable.
For the secret documents — seen by The Sunday Times — reveal that on that Tuesday in 2002:
--Blair was right from the outset committed to supporting US plans for “regime change” in Iraq.
--War was already “seen as inevitable”.
--The attorney-general was already warning of grave doubts about its legality.

Straw even said the case for war was “thin”. So Blair and his inner circle set about devising a plan to justify invasion.
The following day in the House of Commons, Blair told MPs: “We have not got to the stage of military action . . . we have not yet reached the point of decision.”
It was typical lawyer’s cleverness, if not dissembling: while no actual order had been given to invade, Blair already knew Saddam Hussein was going to be removed, sooner or later. Plans were in motion. The justification would come later.
The next contributor to the meeting, according to the minutes, was “C”, as the chief of MI6 is traditionally known.
Sir Richard Dearlove added nothing to what Scarlett had said about Iraq: his intelligence concerned his recent visit to Washington where he had held talks with George Tenet, director of the CIA.
“Military action was now seen as inevitable,” said Dearlove. “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.”
The Americans had been trying to link Saddam to the 9/11 attacks; but the British knew the evidence was flimsy or non-existent. Dearlove warned the meeting that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”.
It was clear from Dearlove’s brief visit that the US administration’s attitude would compound the legal difficulties for Britain. The US had no patience with the United Nations and little inclination to ensure an invasion was backed by the security council, he said.
AMID all this talk of military might and invasion plans, one awkward voice spoke up. Straw warned that, though Bush had made up his mind on military action, the case for it was “thin”. He was not thinking in purely legal terms.
It was a key point. If Saddam was not an immediate threat, could war be justified legally? The attorney-general made his position clear, telling the meeting that “the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action”. - London Times (05/01/05)


The secret Downing Street memo
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02
cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell
Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.
This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.
John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." - London Times (05/01/05)


British Intelligence Warned of Iraq War

"Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in Washington intelligence was "being fixed around the policy," according to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.
"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
The notes of the Blair meeting, attended by the prime minister's senior national security team, also disclose for the first time that Britain's intelligence boss believed that Bush had decided to go to war in mid-2002, and that he believed U.S. policymakers were trying to use the limited intelligence they had to make the Iraqi leader appear to be a bigger threat than was supported by known facts.

"The case was thin," summarized the notes taken by a British national security aide at the meeting. "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."" - Washington Post (05/13/05)


(See also:  July 21, 2002 - A British Cabinet Office briefing paper warns that Britain needs to find a way to make it Iraqi invasion legal)


August 13, 2002 -  On the Phil Donahue show, Kristen Breitweiser (wife of a WTC victim) blasts the Secret Service for allowing Bush to keep reading with the children so long after being informed that the U.S. is under attack, questions how a plane could hit the Pentagon, and calls for an independent 9/11 investigation.

"I think what really initially started was I saw the picture of the president in, I think it was “Newsweek” or “Time” magazine, and I read the caption. And the caption said, you know, “Andy Card telling the president about the second plane.” And then I read that he proceeded to read for 25 minutes to the 2nd-graders. He was in a Sarasota school that morning for a reading program.
And I read it again, and I thought it was, you know, misreported. And it wasn’t, and I got upset. I said, you know, this nation was under attack. It was clear that we were under attack. Why didn’t the Secret Service whisk him out of that school? He was on live local television in Florida. The terrorists, you know, had been in Florida. I mean, we find out that out now. He was less than 10 miles from an airport.
And I-I am concerned. I want to know why the Secret Service did not whisk him away. I want to know why he is the commander-in-chief of the United States of America, our country was clearly under attack, it was after the second building was hit. I want to know why he sat there for 25 minutes.
Right. And I think that I have a lot of problems with the Pentagon. I don’t understand how a plane could hit our Defense Department, which is the Pentagon, an hour after the first plane hit the first tower. I don’t understand how that is possible.
I’m a reasonable person. But when you look at the fact that we spend a half trillion dollars on national defense and you’re telling me that a plane is able to hit our Pentagon, our Defense Department, an hour after the first tower is hit? There are procedures and protocols in place in this nation that are to be followed when transponders are disconnected, and they were not followed on September 11th.
At this point, we are fighting for an independent investigation, an investigation into 9/11 removed from the political process. We don’t feel comfortable with Congress investigating itself, basically. You have congressional committees that had oversight duties with the FBI and the CIA. We want politics removed. We want pure accountability, and we feel that an independent investigation is needed to have that.
We’ve had independent investigations with regard to Pearl Harbor, with regard to the shuttle accident. If there’s a car accident, you have an investigation. We have waited 11 months, and I think it is deplorable that these women and myself have to leave our children, our homes, and go down to Washington and beg for answers. To have the right to have answers, we have to beg. And it’s disgusting." - MSNBC (09/13/02) [Reprinted at: Gulu Future]

August 16, 2002 -  The families of 9/11 victims launch a trillion dollar lawsuit against Saudi Arabia who is being defended by former Secretary of State James A. Baker's law firm Baker Botts LLP.

"After months of working below the radar, a huge U.S. legal team hired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has sprung into action and begun a major counteroffensive against a landmark lawsuit seeking $1 trillion in damages on behalf of the victims of the September 11 terror attacks.
THE OPENING DEFENSE SALVO in what promises to be a bruising legal battle was fired last week when a trio of lawyers from Baker Botts, a prestigious Houston-based law firm, filed a motion on behalf of Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi defense minister.
Baker Botts, Sultan’s law firm, for example, still boasts former secretary of State James Baker as one of its senior partners." - MSNBC/Newsweek (09/16/02)

Baker Botts LLP - James A. Baker III


August 16, 2002 - Germany issues the first indictment against Mounir el-Motassadeq for conspiracy with the 9/11 attacks.

"German prosecutors bring charges against Mounir el-Motassadeq, Moroccan man accused of supporting members of Hamburg cell suspected of helping to plan and carry out Sept 11 attacks on United States; this is first formal criminal charge brought by German authorities in connection with attacks; Motassadeq was arrested in Nov on evidence that he had managed bank account of one of suicide hijackers and arranged wire transfers to hijackers while they were learning to fly in US; was one of witnesses who in 1996 signed will of Mohamed Atta, suspected ringleader of plot; has always admitted knowing hijackers, but he has provided reporters with various versions of nature and intensity of his contacts with them." - New York Times (08/16/02)

- Profile: Mounir el Motassadeq - CNN

(See also: February 20, 2003 - A German court has sentenced Motassadeq for 15 years)


August 16, 2002 - None of the remains of the alleged hijackers on Flight 11 and Flight 175 have been identified, but the remains of the alleged hijackers on Flight 77 and Flight 93 have been identified according to U.S. government officials by a "process of elimination."

"Among the human remains painstakingly sorted from the Pentagon and Pennsylvania crash sites of Sept. 11 are those of nine of the hijackers.
In New York, where the monumental task of identifying the remains of 2,823 victims believed to be dead continues, no remains have been linked to the 10 hijackers who crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center. About half the victims' families still are waiting for their loved ones to be identified, though it's likely many never will be because so much of the site was incinerated.
In contrast, the remains of all 40 victims in the Pennsylvania crash and all but five of the 184 victims at the Pentagon site were identified months ago.
Four sets of remains in Pennsylvania and five at the Pentagon were grouped together as the hijackers - but not identified by name - through a process of elimination.
Families of the airplanes' passengers and crews and those who died within the Pentagon provided DNA samples, typically on toothbrushes or hairbrushes, to aid with identification. The remains that didn't match any of the samples were ruled to be the terrorists, said Chris Kelly, spokesman for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, which did the DNA work. The nine sets of remains matched the number of hijackers believed to be on the two planes.
Without reference samples from the hijackers' personal effects or from their immediate families to compare with the recovered DNA, the remains could not be matched to individuals." -CBS/AP (08/17/02)

(See also:  September 14, 2001 - Alleged hijackers names released the FBI)


September 2002 - Bush finally backs an independent 9/11 commission.

"Reversing course, President Bush said today he now supports establishing an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Momentum for such a commission has grown in recent months. The House has already voted to approve a commission as part of its intelligence authorization bill.
But the White House had opposed an independent commission, citing concerns about possible leaks and tying up officials involved in the fight against terrorism.
The White House said that before now it had been concerned that an additional inquiry or commission into the attacks would be duplicative and "divert the attention and resources of both the Congress and relevant executive agencies away from their important work of combating terrorism."
The change of heart comes as hearings continue on Capitol Hill.
Today, a congressional investigator said in a report that FBI headquarters blocked an agent's request to aggressively pursue one of the future hijackers less than two weeks before Sept. 11. The agent warned "someday, someone will die." - ABC (09/02)

(See also:  May 23, 2002 - Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel; November 26, 2002 - Bush not likely to testify before 9/11 commission; November 29, 2002 - Bush names Henry Kissinger to head 9/11 commission; January 3, 2003 - 9/11 commission gets only a $3 million dollar budget with a 16 month time frame)


September 2002 - JetBlue Airways provided 5 million passenger itineraries to a defense contractor for proof-of-concept testing of a Pentagon project unrelated to airline security -- with help from the Transportation Security Administration.

"JetBlue Airways confirmed on Thursday that in September 2002, it provided 5 million passenger itineraries to a defense contractor for proof-of-concept testing of a Pentagon project unrelated to airline security -- with help from the Transportation Security Administration. The contractor, Torch Concepts, then augmented that data with Social Security numbers and other sensitive personal information, including income level, to develop what looks to be a study of whether passenger-profiling systems such as CAPPS II are feasible." - Wired (09/18/03)

"Dear JetBlue Customers:
You may have recently read or heard that during the summer of 2002, in response to a special request from the Department of Defense, JetBlue provided certain customer data to Torch Concepts, a contractor for the Department of Defense, for a project concerning military base security.
The information we gave was limited to name, address and phone number, along with flight information. Absolutely no payment or credit card information was given by JetBlue. We were not paid for providing the information. It was a well-intentioned attempt to assist the Department of Defense in a national security matter. Sincerely, David Neeleman (CEO)" - JetBlue (09/23/03)



September 4, 2002 - Army Brigadier General Montague Winfield, Deputy Director for Operations at the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon, says the multiple hijackings that the FAA was tracking on the morning of 9/11 were "seemingly unrelated".


'The Pentagon Goes to War': National Military Command Center

"STARR (voice-over): September 11 began as a routine day inside the National Military Command Center. The world appeared quiet -- then the world changed.
GEN. MONTAGUE WINFIELD, NATIONAL MILITARY COMMAND CENTER: We realized that the seemingly unrelated hijackings that the FAA was tracking were actually a part of a coordinated terrorist attack against the United States.

STARR: Brigadier General Montague Winfield was in command of the military's worldwide nerve center that morning, the center's logbook a record of the opening moments of the war: 8:48, first plane hits the World Trade Center; 9:02, second explosion at the World Trade Center; at 9:38, American Airlines Flight 77 slams into the Pentagon." - CNN (09/04/02)


(See also:  September 10, 2001 - Gen. Winfield asks rookie Navy Capt. to take temporary command of the National Military Command Center at Pentagon for Sept. 11.)


September 5, 2002 - The Bush administration has taken away multiple rights of the people since 9/11.

Overview of Changes to Legal Rights

"Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush administration and the USA Patriot Act following the terror attacks:
* FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.
* FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.
* FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
* RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
* FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES: Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
* RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
* RIGHT TO LIBERTY: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them." - Newsday (09/05/02) [Wayback]


(See also:  October 30, 2002 - U.S. rates only 17th in global survey of press freedoms)


September 8, 2002 - On a Larry King Live special, Michael Flocco (a father of a Pentagon victim and a construction worker helping to rebuild the Pentagon) was telling Larry that one of the contributing factors as to why the Pentagon was in a sense lucky about where it was hit besides that it was hit in it's newly renovated section was that the aircraft that hit it had "fewer engines" compared to the other planes that attacked that day.

"KING: Michael, the Pentagon was kind of lucky in a sense, wasn't it?
KING: The side they hit wasn't that populated and it didn't make a direct, full -- like top of the Pentagon hit, right?
FLOCCO: Correct. Also, the other contributing factors -- fewer engines -- was the fact that it hit initially on the newly renovated section that had (UNINTELLIGIBLE) wire inside of -- able to withstand more of an impact.
Plus, some of the columns and the windows had previously been reinforced for the first phase of the renovation. It was a five-phase renovation program. The first phase had just been completed only a week before. And where the plane hit was under restructured, reinforced part of it. So initially, it hit a very solid part and then, glanced off of that and went into the old section that had just been evacuated for phase two renovation. Had it hit anywhere else, it could have been catastrophic." - CNN (09/08/02)


September 11, 2002 - The first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, nation is at code orange -- the second-highest threat alert level on the Office of Homeland Security's color-coded system.

"President Bush and the first lady spent almost two hours Wednesday evening at Ground Zero talking, consoling and sometimes hugging members of the families of those lost at the World Trade Center as New York and the world paused to mark the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
"Every life taken here, every act of valor performed here, the nation holds in honored memory, George W. Bush."
The president had started his day at the Pentagon outside Washington, joined by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for a ceremony to honor the 224 people killed there on the ground and in American Airlines Flight 77.
In his comments at the Pentagon, Bush insisted that those lost a year ago on September 11 "did not die in vain. Their loss," he said, "has moved a nation to action. ... What happened to our nation on a September day set in motion the first great struggle in a new century."
Combined with the deaths in Shanksville and at the Pentagon, the national total for September 11's attacks stands at 3,025.
Throughout the nation and in many parts of the world moments of silence were observed at 8:46 a.m. ET and at 9:03 a.m. -- the times at which planes hit the towers of the World Trade Center. A third came at 9:37 a.m., when Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon outside Washington and a fourth at 10:06 a.m., when Flight 93 plowed into the field in Somerset County.
On the first anniversary of September 11, the United States is at code orange -- the second-highest threat alert level on the Office of Homeland Security's color-coded system." - CNN (09/12/02) 



September 11, 2002 - White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card seems to suggest Bush left the 2nd grade classroom immediately after he whispered "America is under attack" into the President's ear after the 2nd plane crashed into the WTC.


9.11 Voices / What If You Had To Tell The President?

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card was with President Bush during a children's reading event at a Sarasota, Fla., public school when word came that planes had hit the World Trade Center. Card had to decide how to tell Bush without creating a national panic...

"So I was very uncomfortable about interrupting the president during one of his events ... so I wanted to think, how can I convey to the president the situation? And I made a conscious decision to state the facts and to offer editorial comment. And the facts, as I knew them, were -- since he knew about the first plane, I said, "a second plane hit the second tower." Those were the facts. And the editorial comment was, "America is under attack."
I said those things into the president's right ear, and I stepped back, because I did not want to invite a discussion from the classroom. But I tried to be succinct in what I told him so that he understood the enormity of the problem. He looked up -- it was only a matter of seconds, but it seemed like minutes -- and I thought that he was outstanding in his ability not to scare either the American people that were paying attention to the cameras or, more importantly, the students that were in the classroom.
And he just excused himself very politely to the teacher and to the students, and he left". - SFGate (09/11/02)


(See also:  9/11 (9:08 am) - Bush picks up a book after he is just told that his country is under attack and begins to read with 2nd graders for 7 to 11 minutes)



September 11, 2002 - Recovery team at Ground Zero inform the parents of Flight 11 victim, Waleed Iskandar, that his ATM card was found and the card was in good condition when received by family.


~ A Sign from Heaven ~
"On September 11 2002, one year Anniversary of the death of our son, we were informed that the Recovery team at Ground Zero have found the ATM Bank card of Waleed and that it will be mailed to us in Northridge. When we received it, we found it in good condition.
How could a plastic card survive the fire of the terrorist attack of the Black Tuesday on the USA?
I consider it as a sign from Waleed to his parents on the first Anniversary of his loss.
Here is a photocopy of the card:" - Waleed J. Iskandar Memorial


More Miraculous or Perhaps Planted 9/11 Evidence Uncovered:

A Wells Fargo Card From a Flight 11 Passenger Turns Up in Perfect Condition One Year After the Fact
"The ATM card of Waleed Iskandar was returned to his parents, allegedly found by the Ground Zero Recovery Team on Sept. 11, 2002. Questions remain as to why it turned up a year later and how could such a flimsy card survive such a towering inferno?" - Arctic Beacon (11/14/05)


September 11, 2002 - Lawmakers investigating intelligence failings leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks have scheduled their first public hearings for next Wednesday and have invited the spouses of two victims to be the first witnesses.

"Stephen Push and Kristin Breitweiser said they received faxed invitations from the House and Senate intelligence committees on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of the attacks.
"I think that it's very nice, but certainly very fitting that they listen to the family's voices at this time," said Breitweiser, of Middletown, N.J. Her husband, Ronald, died at the World Trade Center.
The intelligence committees have been meeting behind closed doors since June 4. Public hearings were expected to begin in late June, but have been repeatedly postponed. Closed-door sessions resume Thursday after a seven-week break." - FOX News (09/11/02)


September 11, 2002 - American Airlines continues to gag all employees from talking about the Sept. 11 hijackings.


Airline denied Atta paradise wedding suit

"Because of an American policy instated just before Sept. 11 to curb baggage-related flight delays, Atta's two checked bags – which had been held up from an earlier flight – were left behind in Boston, says the employee, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from the Dallas-based carrier, which continues to gag all employees from talking about the Sept. 11 hijackings. Two of the hijacked flights were American." - WorldNetDaily (09/11/02)


September 13, 2002 - Osama bin Laden's supporters issued a statement on the internet saying he died last December 10th.

"OSAMA bin Laden's supporters yesterday issued a statement on the internet saying he was dead.
The claims, repeated in the Al Bayan newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, said that the al-Qaeda terror chief died when the Americans bombed the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan.
The details tally with dates of bombing missions in which US intelligence experts suspected that he may have been killed.
The newspaper's story, headlined, "Yes, Osama bin Laden is dead but the Jihad will continue until Judgement Day'', quotes witness Shahid Ayan saying he perished on December 10, 2001.
He said: "On the 24th night of Ramadan (Dec 10) and at a late hour, there were some scary explosions in the place where Osama bin Laden's cave was.
"The cave was completely erased from the ground and became nothing. This was the only cave of the 15 that was destroyed by an enormous 52ft missile and there is no doubt that bin Laden died.''
According to Pakistani intelligence officials, bin Laden was last seen alive on November 17 in a 25-vehicle convoy travelling from Jalalabad in Afghanistan to the Tora Bora caves.
He appeared on a video released in December in which he looked sallow and his left arm was lifeless. But since then the trail has gone cold. Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday said he believed bin Laden was dead.
But White House advisers to President Bush think he is alive and say there would have been a huge increase in emails and internet chatter among al-Qaeda members if he had been killed." - Mirror UK (09/14/02)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies; July 18, 2002 - FBI counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, thinks Osama bin Laden is "probably" dead; October 27, 2002 - Karzai: bin Laden 'probably' dead; October 29, 2004 - Four days before the 2004 Presidential elections, a videotape is released of Osama bin Laden admitting publicly for the first time that he ordered the attacks of 9/11)

September 17, 2002 - Dossier 'failed to show Iraq threat'

"Tony Blair's most senior aide told intelligence chiefs their draft dossier failed to demonstrate "an imminent threat" from Iraq, the Hutton inquiry has heard.
The comment, in an e-mail from Downing Street chief of staff Jonathan Powell, was written just one week before the controversial dossier on Iraqi weapons was published on 24 September last year.
Mr Powell wrote that the dossier "does not demonstrate he (Saddam Hussein) has the motive to attack his neighbours, let alone the West". - BBC (08/18/03)


September 18, 2002 - The Bush administration has denied lawmakers investigating the Sept. 11 attacks permission to reveal whether the president or other White House staff received warning of potential terrorist attacks against the United States, including plans by al Qaida linked terrorists to use hijacked planes as weapons.


Administration won't release 9-11 data

"The administration has denied lawmakers investigating the Sept. 11 attacks permission to reveal whether the president or other White House staff received warning of potential terrorist attacks against the United States, including plans by al Qaida linked terrorists to use hijacked planes as weapons.
The joint House-Senate Intelligence Committee -- which is charged with determining why intelligence and law enforcement agencies missed apparently numerous warnings prior to Sept. 11 -- Wednesday released summaries of dozens of now-declassified intelligence briefings dating back to the early 1990's, but was denied permission to release the names of the recipients by CIA boss George Tenet.
"The Director of Central Intelligence has declined to declassify two issues of particular importance to this inquiry," Eleanor Hill, staff director for the committee told the panel, "any references to the intelligence community providing information to the president or White House and the identity of and information on a key al Qaida leader involved in the September 11 attacks."
Hill detailed the reasons given for the decision to classify some information about who knew what, in a probe designed to determine exactly that.
"According to (Tenet), the president's knowledge of intelligence information relevant to this inquiry remains classified even when the substance of intelligence information has been declassified," Hill told lawmakers.
"With respect to the key al Qaida leader involved in the September 11 attacks, the DCI declined to declassify his identity despite an enormous volume of media reporting on this individual."
Hill complained that the decision to bar the release of the two sets of information has restricted the probe, but she noted that the committee lacks authority to overrule Tenet, whose formal title is Director of Central Intelliegence on such matters.
"The Joint Inquiry Staff disagrees with the DCI's position on both issues," she said. "We believe the American public has a compelling interest in this information and that public disclosure would not harm national security. However, we do not have an independent authority to declassify intelligence information short of a lengthy procedure in the U.S. Congress."
The dispute over declassification could lead to a showdown between congress and the White House. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mi., threatened in a statement at Wednesday's hearing to try to force the administration to declassify disputed material.
"I hope the leadership will let the Administration know our committee will seek congressional authorization to declassify appropriate information if the executive branch refuses," said Levin in his statement.
The ranking Senate Republican, Richard Shelby of Alabama, said that Wednesday's decision -- and other regulations that have prevented members of the committee from following the work of the joint staff -- threatens the success of the entire committee.
"Many members have found it exceedingly difficult to get information about the inquiry," he said.
"They are frustrated by what they perceive to be efforts to limit their ability to participate fully." - UPI (09/18/02)


October 16, 2002 - President Bush uses information he was warned may be faulty in a speech to try to link Iraq to Al Qaeda by saying Iraq has trained them in making WMD's.

"THE PRESIDENT: Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace, and America's determination to lead the world in confronting that threat.
The threat comes from Iraq.

We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America." - White House (10/07/02)

Report Warned Bush Team About Intelligence Suspicions

"A high Qaeda official in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.

The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, "was intentionally misleading the debriefers" in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda's work with illicit weapons.
The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi's credibility. Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi's information as "credible" evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons." - NY Times (11/06/05)


(See also:  February 2002 - US intel warned Bush administration that its key source on Al Qaeda's relationship with Iraq provided "intentionally misleading" data; September 17, 2003 - Bush: No Link Between Iraq, Sept. 11 Attacks)


October 16, 2002 - Israeli intelligence: Bin Laden is dead, new messages by him are probably fabrications

"Osama Bin Laden appears to be dead but his colleagues have decided that Al Qaida and its insurgency campaign against the United States will continue, Israeli intelligence sources said.
The Israeli sources said Israel and the United States assess that Bin Laden probably died in the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan in December. They said the emergence of new messages by Bin Laden are probably fabrications, Middle East Newsline reported.
But Bin Laden's heir has been chosen and his colleagues have decided to resume Al Qaida's offensive against the United States and Western allies, the sources said.
They said the organization regards the United States as the main target followed by Israel.
"In this case, it doesn't matter whether Bin Laden is alive or not," a senior Israeli intelligence source said. "The organization goes on with help from key people."
The sources said Al Qaida has already determined Bin Laden's heir. They said the heir has not been identified, but is probably not Bin Laden's son, Saad. Saad is said to be in his 20s and ranked within the top 20 members of Al Qaida.
Earlier this week, Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, was said to have released a videotape in which he claims that the Al Qaida leader is alive and functioning. Bin Laden's voice was not heard on the tape." - World Tribune (10/16/02)

October 26, 2002 - Magazine runs what it calls Osama bin Laden's will which was said to be dated by him on December 14, 2001 and says in it that 9/11 was an al Qaeda attack.

"The editor-in-chief of a London-based Arab news magazine said a purported will it published Saturday was written late last year by Osama bin Laden, and shows "he's dying or he's going to die soon."
U.S. intelligence officials say they have the purported will, but are not able to say if it is genuine. CNN has not been able to verify that the document is bin Laden's will.
"He did write the will as someone saying good-bye," Hani Nakshabandi of the Arab news magazine Al Majalla told CNN.
He said one of the magazine's reporters obtained the four-page document, said to be signed by the leader of the al Qaeda terrorist network and dated December 14, 2001, in Afghanistan.
In the document, which was translated for CNN, the writer expresses disappointment with the Taliban, who harbored him in Afghanistan, speaks of betrayal, and urges his children to shun al Qaeda.
The purported will, signed "Your brother Abu Abdullah Osama Muhammad Bin Laden," could not be independently authenticated.
According to the magazine, their experts say there have been no confirmed sightings of bin Laden since last December.
The document was dated after the September 11 terror attacks against the United States and about one week before Taliban rule officially ended in Afghanistan with the swearing-in of an interim government.
In the document, the writer says the attacks on New York and Washington were the third in a series of al Qaeda attacks that also included the 1983 attack on a U.S. Marines barracks in Lebanon and the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
Nakshabandi said he heard about the purported will in March, and obtained a copy a week ago from one of his reporters posted near Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, but declined to be more specific. The magazine waited to publish it until they could confirm its authenticity, he added.
"I have confirmation it is the right one," he said, citing his own sources.
While admitting he doesn't know for sure if bin Laden is dead, Nakshabandi said, "Once someone writes his will, it means either he's dying or he's going to die soon." - CNN (10/26/02)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies; September 13, 2002 - Osama bin Laden's supporters issued a statement on the internet saying he died last December 10th)

October 27, 2002 - Karzai: bin Laden 'probably' dead

"Osama bin Laden is "probably" dead, but former Taliban leader Mullah Omar is alive, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said.
Karzai's comments came on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan as part of the war on terrorism.
"I would come to believe that [bin Laden] probably is dead," Karzai said on CNN's "Late Edition" on Sunday.
"But still, you never know. He might be alive. Five months ago, six months ago, I was thinking that he was alive.
"The more we don't hear of him, and the more time passes, there is the likelihood that he probably is either dead or seriously wounded somewhere." - CNN (10/07/02)

(See also:   December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies; September 13, 2002 - Osama bin Laden's supporters issued a statement on the internet saying he died last December 10th)

October 27, 2002 - Author Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11

"America's most controversial novelist calls for an investigation into whether the Bush administration deliberately allowed the terrorist attacks to happen.
Vidal's highly controversial 7000 word polemic titled 'The Enemy Within' - published in the print edition of The Observer today - argues that what he calls a 'Bush junta' used the terrorist attacks as a pretext to enact a pre-existing agenda to invade Afghanistan and crack down on civil liberties at home." - Observer (10/27/02)

The Enemy Within, by Gore Vidal


October 30, 2002 - U.S. rates only 17th in global survey of press freedoms largely as a result of restrictions placed on journalists after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


US Rates Only 17th in Global Survey of Press Freedoms

"A new survey on international press freedom has triggered criticism and concern among journalists in the United States who claim flawed methodology led to the country's 17th-place ranking.
The Paris-based group that conducted the survey, Reporters Without Borders, acknowledged that some rankings were surprising in its first-ever worldwide study of press freedom. The United States ranked behind mostly European countries as well as Canada, Australia and Costa Rica.

Regis Bourgeat, who monitors press freedom in the Americas for RSF, said the United States ranked 17th largely as a result of restrictions placed on journalists after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." - CNS News (10/30/02)


(See also:  September 5, 2002 - Bush administration has taken away multiple rights of the people since 9/11)


November 2, 2002 - WTC death toll now at 2,795.

"The number of dead now stands at 2,795, but this figure is expected to fall further as investigators continue to wade through missing person reports.
So far, 1,430 remains have been positively identified, death certificates have been issued for 1,309 other victims for whom no remains were found and 56 persons are still listed as "missing." - CNN (11/02/02)

November 9, 2002 - Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans

"The Pentagon is constructing a computer system that could create a vast electronic dragnet, searching for personal information as part of the hunt for terrorists around the globe -- including the United States.
As the director of the effort, Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter, has described the system in Pentagon documents and in speeches, it will provide intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials with instant access to information from Internet mail and calling records to credit card and banking transactions and travel documents, without a search warrant.
Historically, military and intelligence agencies have not been permitted to spy on Americans without extraordinary legal authorization. But Admiral Poindexter, the former national security adviser in the Reagan administration, has argued that the government needs broad new powers to process, store and mine billions of minute details of electronic life in the United States.
Admiral Poindexter quietly returned to the government in January to take charge of the Office of Information Awareness at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as Darpa. The office is responsible for developing new surveillance technologies in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
In order to deploy such a system, known as Total Information Awareness, new legislation would be needed, some of which has been proposed by the Bush administration in the Homeland Security Act that is now before Congress. That legislation would amend the Privacy Act of 1974, which was intended to limit what government agencies could do with private information.
The possibility that the system might be deployed domestically to let intelligence officials look into commercial transactions worries civil liberties proponents.
''This could be the perfect storm for civil liberties in America,'' said Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington ''The vehicle is the Homeland Security Act, the technology is Darpa and the agency is the F.B.I. The outcome is a system of national surveillance of the American public.''
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has been briefed on the project by Admiral Poindexter and the two had a lunch to discuss it, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
If deployed, civil libertarians argue, the computer system would rapidly bring a surveillance state. They assert that potential terrorists would soon learn how to avoid detection in any case.
The project calls for the development of a prototype based on test data that would be deployed at the Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, Va. Officials would not say when the system would be put into operation.
Before taking the position at the Pentagon, Admiral Poindexter, who was convicted in 1990 for his role in the Iran-contra affair, had worked as a contractor on one of the projects he now controls. Admiral Poindexter's conviction was reversed in 1991 by a federal appeals court because he had been granted immunity for his testimony before Congress about the case." - New York Times (11/09/02)

- Darpa - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

November 25, 2002 - Bush signs legislation to create the new Department of Homeland Security.

"President Bush signed legislation Monday creating a new Department of Homeland Security to lead the fight against domestic terrorism, but said even the biggest government shakeup in more than a half century can "neither predict nor prevent every conceivable attack."
Mr. Bush named close friend and current homeland security chief Tom Ridge to head the new department. He also said he will nominate Navy Secretary Gordon England to be Ridge's deputy, and Asa Hutchinson, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, to be undersecretary of border and transportation security.
The president's signature launched the most sweeping federal reorganization since the Defense Department's birth in 1947." - CBS (11/25/02)

(See also:  October 8, 2001 - President Bush signs an executive order establishing the Office of Homeland Security)

November 26, 2002 - Bush not likely to testify before independent commission investigating 9/11 attacks.

"President Bush does not envision testifying before an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, even if there is some precedent for the chief executive offering high-profile testimony, the White House said Wednesday.
"I can just tell you everything I have heard from the Hill and from also in the White House, there's nothing that I've heard that (suggests) anybody is moving in that direction," presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer said.
Bush plans to sign a bill Wednesday to create a panel to study the Sept. 11 attacks and why the government failed to prevent them." - ABC [Truthout] (11/26/02)

(See also:  September, 2002 - Bush finally backs an independent 9/11 commission)

November 29, 2002 - President Bush names former Secretary of State, former National Security advisor, and former Unocal consultant Henry Kissinger to head the "independent" 9/11 investigations.

"President Bush on Wednesday named former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to lead an independent panel to investigate U.S. intelligence failures before the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"This investigation should carefully examine all the evidence and follow all the facts, wherever they lead," said Bush, whose administration initially opposed the commission.
"We must uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September the 11th," Bush said." - CNN (11/29/02)

"President Bush Wednesday named former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to head a new independent investigation of intelligence failures before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The announcement came as the president signed the bill authorizing the commission, which the White House resisted until just two months ago.
Kissinger, 79, served as national security adviser under Presidents Nixon and Ford and secretary of state under Mr. Ford. He won the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize.
However, Mr. Bush did not set as a primary goal for the commission to uncover mistakes or lapses of the government that could have prevented the attacks. Instead, he said it should try to help the administration learn the tactics and motives of the enemy.
However, criticism of Kissinger's policies in Southeast Asia and Latin America has not ebbed. In a series of articles in 2001, writer Christopher Hitchens accused Kissinger of war crimes for the bombing of Cambodia, for his failure to head off Indonesia's conquest of East Timor in 1975 and for his alleged support for a coup against Chilean president Salvador Allende on Sept. 11, 1973.
In April, when Kissinger was visiting London, a Spanish judge asked British authorities to deliver a warrant to question Kissinger over the disappearances of Spanish citizens under Latin American dictatorships. The warrant was not served.
Kissinger currently heads Kissinger Associates, Inc., a lobbying and consultant group." - CBS (11/27/02)

"On Oct. 21, the nod went to the Americans as Niyazov announced the selection of Unocal. Looking on at the announcement ceremony was former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger, now a Unocal consultant. Given the uncertain political situation in Afghanistan, Kissinger said, the deal looked like "the triumph of hope over experience." - Washington Post (10/05/98)

(See also:   September 1972 - Kissinger is on a high-level government panel which developed plans against an airline missile terrorist attack; September, 2002 - Bush finally backs an independent 9/11 commission; December 13, 2002 - Kissinger resigns as head of 9/11 commission)

November 29, 2002 - Democrats name former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as 9/11 commission's vice chairman.

"Democrats later named former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as the commission's vice chairman.
Mitchell led a group that brokered a peace accord in Northern Ireland and headed an international committee looking into the Middle East conflict. In a written statement, he pledged to "do all that I can to ensure that the commission's inquiry is thorough, fair and non-partisan." - CNN (11/29/02)

December 2002 - The appointment of former Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) angers relatives of Sept. 11 victims because of his close ties to Boeing Co. and several major airlines.

"On Tuesday, Senate Republican leader Trent Lott appointed former Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash. Republican congressional leaders will name three more members.
Gorton's appointment has disappointed some relatives of the Sept. 11 victims. Gorton, a former chairman of a Senate aviation subcommittee, had close ties with Boeing Co., the largest private employer in Washington state. Boeing made all four planes used in the attacks.
Gorton's law firm, Seattle-based Preston Gates Ellis, also represents several major airlines.
"I think Gorton is a terrible appointment," said Stephen Push, whose wife, Lisa Raines, died in the attack on the Pentagon.
Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband Ronald was killed in the World Trade Center, said Gorton's appointment follows a troubling pattern set by the selection of Kissinger. Family members have criticized Kissinger's appointment because of potential conflicts.
"We want this commission to be independent — to fix problems that became apparent Sept. 11," said Breitweiser, of Middletown, N.J." - CBS (12/12/02)

December 2002 - Controlled Demolition, Inc's current project is demolishing the facility at Fort Detrick that made weapons-grade anthrax.

Survival Guide: Mark Loizeaux, demolition expert

"Mark Loizeaux is a demolition expert, and his company, Controlled Demolition Inc. in Phoenix, Md., has taken down more than 7,000 structures around the world by imploding them with explosive charges. But that is only about 15 percent of the company's business. Founded by Loizeaux's father, the company also carries out traditional dismantlings of buildings as well as destroying chemical weapons production facilities, including a current project at Fort Detrick, Md., to demolish the facility that made weapons-grade anthrax. The company also destroys chemical weapons and missiles." - Washington Technology (12/16/02)


Building 470 dismantling complete

"Building 470 was completed in 1953 at a cost of $1.3 million. As part of the nation's Cold War defense against the continuing threat of biological warfare, the building served as a pilot plant for production of bacteria with potential as weapons: Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax; Francisella tularensis, the cause of tularemia, or rabbit fever; and Brucella suis, which causes brucellosis, sometimes called undulant fever.

Controlled Demolition, Inc., the firm chosen for the dismantling work was sensitive to the needs of NCI-Frederick and Fort Detrick..." - (01/22/04)


(See also:  September 22, 2001 - CDI hired to help clean up WTC & their president said knew towers were 'coming down' after planes hit; October 5, 2001 - First anthrax victim was photo editor at National Enquirer company which published a photo of Bush's daughter Jenna shown drunk with a cigarette in her hand falling on top of another girl)



December 10, 2002 - WTC surveillance tapes and maintenance logs are among the missing evidence as investigators try to figure out why the WTC collapsed.


WTC surveillance tapes feared missing

"Surveillance tapes and maintenance logs are among the missing evidence as investigators try to figure out why the World Trade Center collapsed, federal officials said Monday.
Many documents destroyed in the disaster "are pretty key in carrying out the work," lead investigator Shyam Sunder said.
The 110-story towers collapsed after two hijacked jetliners plowed into the buildings in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. Nearly 2,800 people were killed.
Two hypotheses on the cause of the collapse have emerged since the National Institute of Standards and Technology began its $23 million probe three months ago.
Both theories agree the jetliners damaged floor joints and columns inside and outside the buildings. But they vary on whether the fire-weakened columns failed and alone brought down the buildings or whether floor trusses sagged in the intense heat, pulling the columns inward to collapse.
The lost records probably contain vital information that could help answer questions, Sunder said. Investigators are trying to locate copies of many destroyed documents from the building's owners and city agencies.
Also missing are the original contract specifications for the buildings from the early 1970s. Many believed the towers were built to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 - the largest aircraft at the time, but much smaller than the jets that crashed into the buildings.
Researchers plan to spend two years on the study. They will analyze trade center wreckage, rely on steel manufacturing experts and interview survivors, victims' relatives and rescue workers.
They have also created a database of more than 1,900 photographs shot that day as the towers burned and fell and are asking for more. They are especially interested in photographs showing the south face of 7 World Trade Center, which was not hit by a plane but burned for hours before collapsing." - Fort Wayne News Sentinel/AP (12/10/02) [Archived:  WayBack Machine]


December 11, 2002 - George Mitchell quits 9/11 probe.

"George Mitchell, the former Democratic senator from Maine, has stepped down as vice chairman of the new independent commission investigating the September 11 terrorists attacks.
In a letter to congressional leaders, Mitchell said he stepped down because he does not want to sever ties with his law firm, which he said he had been urged to do to avoid a potential conflict of interest, and because the commission's work will take too much time." - CNN (12/11/02)


December 11, 2002 - Palestinian man claims a Mossad agent sought to induce him to set up a fake Al-Qaeda cell in Gaza and to declare responsibility for bombings in the name of Al-Qaeda.

"A Palestinian citizen from Gaza has revealed how the Israeli intelligence Service, the Mossad, had been trying to enlist him to set up a terrorist cell in Palestine under the name of al-Qaeda, the group headed by Osama bin Laden.
Ibrahim (not his real name) said during a news conference in Gaza Monday night that he had been contacted by a man who identified himself as Haj Yousuf from the city of Akka, who told him that he was working for Osama Bin Laden and that he was able to carry out bombings in Tel Aviv and Haifa and other Israeli towns.
He told me that all he wanted from me was to declare responsibility for the bombings in the name of al-Qaida, said the masked Ibrahim.
He spoke very nicely and told me he would help me financially; then he asked me to try to enlist a number of sincere Islamic-minded youths to set up al-Qaeda cell in Gaza.
Ibrahim said his contacts with Haj Yousuf (the Mossad agents) became more frequent, adding that at one point the Mossad agent offered him a monthly salary of up to 3000 US dollars.
At a later date, the Mossad agent asked Ibrahim to rent an apartment in Gaza in order to facilitate communications between them. He also promised to provide Ibrahim with a computer and fax machine, saying that communication between the two would be conducted via the internet.
However, Ibrahim, said he began to be suspicious of the man when he told him that he knew him and his family.
Ibrahim said his contacts with Haj Yousuf lasted for five months after which he decided to inform the Preventive Security Force in Gaza of the entire affair.
The Israeli government and media have been dumbfounded by the revelation.
A spokesman at the Israeli Prime Ministers office issued a terse statement on Tuesday describing these allegations as nonsense.
Earlier, a gleeful-looking Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told reporters that Israel had discovered an al Qaeda cell in Gaza and that Israel was a key partner in the worldwide war against terror.
The Israeli claims were instantly and vehemently denied by the Palestinian Authority whose leader Yasser Arafat labeled Sharons remarks as a big, big, big lie.
Moreover, the PA briefed the US, EU, Russia and the UN on the affair and urged them to be mindful of Israeli designs to carry out massacres and acts of wanton killings in the Gaza Strip under the false rubric of fighting al-Qaeda." - Arabia Online (12/11/02) [WayBack Machine]

December 12, 2002 - Democrats want Henry Kissinger to name his business clients.

"The White House has told lawmakers that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President Bush's choice to head a commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, is not required by law to disclose his business clients.
Senate Democrats want the list to determine whether Kissinger's clients pose conflicts of interests." - CBS (12/12/02)

December 13, 2002 - Henry Kissinger resigns as head of 9/11 commission.

"Facing questions about potential conflicts of interest, Henry Kissinger resigned Friday as chairman of the September 11 commission." - CNN (12/13/02)

"Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has resigned as chairman of a commission investigating events leading up to the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.
Mr Kissinger, who had been in the job for just 16 days, had been criticized for refusing to release the names of clients at his consulting firm.
His resignation throws the inquiry into turmoil. It comes hard on the heels of the announcement earlier this week that the commission's vice chairman, George Mitchell, was quitting.
The BBC's Tom Carver in Washington says the episode is enormously embarrassing for Mr Bush, adding questions will be asked about why possible conflicts of interest were not raised before Mr Kissinger's appointment.
Although Mr Kissinger is one of the United States' best known statesmen, he was seen by some as tainted not only by his business dealings, but also by his involvement in murky periods of the country's history.
The commission was initially opposed by the White House but was set up following pressure from families of those who lost their lives in the attacks." -BBC (12/14/02)

(See also:  November 29, 2002 - Bush names Henry Kissinger to head 9/11 commission)


December 16, 2002 - Bush names former New Jersey Republican Governor and Homeland Security Project Co-Chairman Thomas Kean, who has a business link to the husband of one of Osama bin Laden's sisters, to replace Henry Kissinger as head of the 9/11 commission.

"President Bush named former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, a moderate Republican with a record of bipartisan cooperation, to replace Henry Kissinger as head of the panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
"Tom Kean is a leader respected for integrity, fairness and good judgment," Bush said Monday in a prepared statement. "I am confident he will work to make the commission's investigation thorough. It is important that we uncover every detail and learn every lesson of Sept. 11." Bush initially resisted forming the commission." - USA Today (12/16/02)

"The Homeland Security Project is guided by a coordinating committee co-chaired by Tom Kean, the former New Jersey governor and current Drew University president, and Richard Celeste, the former Ohio governor and ambassador to India and current Colorado College president. The coordinating committee will develop recommendations arising from analysis produced by expert working groups focusing on four topics: The federal response, including an exploration of the design and function of the Office of Homeland security; federal-state coordination; the challenge of media coverage and public information disclosure by government officials regarding homeland security stories; and immigration and national security." - Homeland Security Project

"In December, President Bush named Thomas Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, chairman of an independent commission examining the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But FORTUNE has learned that Kean appears to have a bizarre link to the very terror network he's investigating--al Qaeda.
Here's how the dots connect: Kean is a director of petroleum giant Amerada Hess, which in 1998 formed a joint venture--known as Delta Hess--with Delta Oil, a Saudi Arabian company, to develop oil fields in Azerbaijan. One of Delta's backers is Khalid bin Mahfouz, a shadowy Saudi patriarch married to one of Osama bin Laden's sisters. Mahfouz, who is suspected of funding charities linked to al Qaeda, is even named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by families of Sept. 11 victims. True, Hess is hardly the only company to cross paths with Mahfouz: He has shown up in dealings with, among others, ultra-secretive investment firm Carlyle Group and BCCI, the lender toppled by fraud in 1992.
Kean, who was unavailable for comment, may not have been aware of the Mahfouz connection. But Hess spokesman Carl Tursi did reveal another interesting coincidence: Three weeks before Kean's appointment, Hess severed its ties with Delta." - Fortune (01/22/03) [Archived:  WayBack Machine]

(See also:  1976 - James Bath, a friend of George W. Bush from the Texas Air National Guard, opens an aircraft brokerage firm in which some of his investors are former Texas Gov. John Connally, Saudi financier Ghaith Pharaon, and Saudi banker Khaled bin Mahfouz; May 23, 2002 - Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel)


December 27, 2002 - Afghan pipeline deal finally signed.

"An agreement has been signed in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, paving the way for construction of a gas pipeline from the Central Asian republic through Afghanistan to Pakistan.
The building of the trans-Afghanistan pipeline has been under discussion for some years but plans have been held up by Afghanistan's unstable political situation.
With improved regional security after the fall of the Taleban about a year ago, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan have decided to push ahead with plans for the ambitious 1,500-kilometre-long gas pipeline.
Turkmenistan has some of the world's greatest reserves of natural gas, but still relies on tightly controlled Russian pipelines to export it.
The Asian Development Bank is carrying out a study for the project.
But investors will be very cautious about putting serious money into Afghanistan when the central government in Kabul still has only limited influence in the regions the pipeline would cross." - BBC (12/27/02)

Pakistani, Turkmen, Afghan leaders to sign $3.2 billion pipeline deal - SF Gate (12/26/02)

(See also:  May 30, 2002 - Afghan pipeline given go-ahead; November 17, 2004 - Afghanistan Sees Bright Prospects for Trans-Afghan Pipeline)


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