9/11 coincidences and oddities page!

(and other note worthy tidbits.)


Pre 200120019/11 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006


Last updated:  07/28/2008

(Use the Wayback Machine for expired links.)

January 3, 2003 - 9/11 Commission is set to begin a closed door investigation with only a mere $3 million dollar budget and 16 month time frame compared to the over $40 million spent on the five-year investigation of the Clintons.

"An independent commission investigating the September 11 attacks will meet behind closed doors today to begin a $3 million, 16-month investigation into the terrorist strikes that killed more than 3,000 people." - Washington Times (01/03/03) [Archived: Wayback Machine]


Starr Spent Millions for Outside Help

"Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's office paid $1.5 million to private investigators and spent $843,000 for advice on legal and ethical issues, a new accounting of his five-year investigation of the Clintons and their associates shows.
The investigation's total cost has topped $40 million." - Washington Post (08/28/99)

(See also:  May 23, 2002 - Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel; September, 2002 - Bush finally backs an independent 9/11 commission; November 29, 2002 - Bush names Henry Kissinger to head 9/11 commission; March 26, 2003 - 9/11 commission funding woes questions arise concerning the administration's funding)


January 24, 2003 - Rudi Dekkers, who ran flight school that trained 9/11 hijackers, survives helicopter crash into freezing river.

Man who ran flight school that trained terrorists survives helicopter crash into Caloosahatchee

"Trapped in a helicopter filled with water, the door up against the bottom of the river and a safety belt that wouldn't budge, Rudi Dekkers started to panic.
On the coldest day of the year in Southwest Florida on Friday, Dekkers crashed his 1972 FH-1100 helicopter into an ice-cold Caloosahatchee River.
The 46-year-old native from Holland, whose Huffman Aviation flight school made national headlines when it was discovered it trained two Sept. 11 terrorists, nearly drowned trying to escape his sunken aircraft. But a friend and fellow chopper pilot pulled the freezing Dekkers from the river, dragging him to shore as he clung with both hands to the chopper's skids.
The crash was another incident in a string of troubles that have plagued Dekkers since he arrived in the United States 10 years ago Friday.
And his luck had gotten worse since Huffman Aviation unwittingly trained terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi to fly. Dekkers closed his Naples business Ambassador Airlines in December 2001 after falling on financial hard times. Huffman Aviation flight school wasn't making any money either, he said.
The day before the chopper crash, The Associated Press reported Dekkers was about to be arrested by the State Attorney's Office on felony fraud charges for selling a building without paying back a promissory note-holder $300,000. Dekkers has denied wrongdoing and provided documents Friday showing the complainant no longer wants to pursue the matter." - Bonita Daily News (01/25/03)


(See also:  September 13, 2001 - Interview With Huffman Aviation Casts Doubt on Official Story)


January 27, 2003 - 9/11 Commission Meets Behind Closed Doors

"An independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks convened for the first time Monday, out of public view, to grapple with logistics and meet with some of the victims' relatives." - Fox News (1/27/03)

"The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States today announced the selection of Dr. Philip Zelikow as its executive director."

"The independent commission, created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002, is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.
The 10-person commission comprising five Republican and five Democratic appointees is chaired by Thomas H. Kean, former New Jersey governor, and Lee H. Hamilton, former Indiana congressman, who serves as vice-chair. Other Republican members of the Commission are former U.S. Navy Secretary John Lehman, attorney Fred Fielding, former Washington Senator Slade Gorton and former Illinois Governor James Thompson. Additional Democratic Commission members are former Georgia Senator Max Cleland, former Indiana Congressman Tim Roemer, attorney Richard Ben Veniste and Jamie Gorelick, vice-chair of Fannie Mae." - 9/11 Commission (01/27/03)


January 28, 2003 - In his State of the Union speech, President Bush utters a sentence that would infamously been know as his "16 words"; "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

"The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide." - White House (01/28/03)

(See also:  July 11, 2003 - CIA Director George Tenet accepted responsibility for letting Bush include his infamous "16 words" in January's State of the Union address)



January 31, 2003 - A war memo reveals the President Bush was determined to go to war with Iraq whether or not he had UN backing and is quoted discussing ways to provoke Saddam Hussein into a confrontation.


Bush Was Set on Path to War, British Memo Says

"In the weeks before the United States-led invasion of Iraq, as the United States and Britain pressed for a second United Nations resolution condemning Iraq, President Bush's public ultimatum to Saddam Hussein was blunt: Disarm or face war.

But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.

 "Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," David Manning, Mr. Blair's chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Mr. Bush, Mr. Blair and six of their top aides.
"The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March," Mr. Manning wrote, paraphrasing the president. "This was when the bombing would begin."
The timetable came at an important diplomatic moment. Five days after the Bush-Blair meeting, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was scheduled to appear before the United Nations to present the American evidence that Iraq posed a threat to world security by hiding unconventional weapons.
Although the United States and Britain aggressively sought a second United Nations resolution against Iraq — which they failed to obtain — the president said repeatedly that he did not believe he needed it for an invasion.

The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.

Despite intense lobbying by the United States and Britain, a second United Nations resolution was not obtained. The American-led military coalition invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, nine days after the target date set by the president on that late January day at the White House." - NY Times (03/27/06)


Bush-Blair Iraq war memo revealed

"The New York Times says it has seen a memo which shows that the US president was firmly set on the path to war two months before the 2003 Iraq invasion.
From private talks between George Bush and UK PM Tony Blair, the memo makes it clear the US was determined to go to war whether or not he had UN backing.
He is quoted discussing ways to provoke Saddam Hussein into a confrontation.

The memo indicates both leaders acknowledged it was possible no unconventional weapons would be found in Iraq before the invasion, the New York Times says.
The note cites Mr Bush suggesting three ways in which Iraq could be provoked into confrontation.
The US "was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours", Mr Bush said.
If Saddam fired on them, the Iraqis would be in breach of UN resolutions, he suggested.
He also indicated the US "might be able to bring out a defector" to talk about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, and mentioned a proposal to assassinate the Iraqi leader." - BBC (03/27/06)


February 1, 2003 - Security, Secrecy and a Bush Brother; Bush-Linked Company Handled Security for the WTC, Dulles and United


Security, Secrecy and a Bush Brother

"A company that provided security at the World Trade Center, Washington D.C.'s Dulles International Airport and United Airlines between 1995 and 2001 was backed by a private Kuwaiti-American investment firm whose records were not open to full public disclosure, with ties to the Bush family.
Marvin P. Bush, a younger brother of George W. Bush, was a principal in the company from 1993 to 2000, when most of the work on the big projects was done. But White House responses to 9/11 have not publicly disclosed the company's part in providing security to any of the named facilities.
Public records indicate that the firm, formerly named Securacom, had Bush on its board of directors. He was also listed as a significant shareholder. The firm, which is now named Stratesec, Inc., is located in Sterling, Va., a D.C. suburb, and emphasizes federal clients. Bush is no longer on the board.
Bush has not responded to repeated telephoned and emailed requests for comment." - Progressive Populist (02/01/03)


Bush-Linked Company Handled Security for the WTC, Dulles and United

"George W. Bush's brother was on the board of directors of a company providing electronic security for the World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines, according to public records. The company was backed by an investment firm, the Kuwait-American Corp., also linked for years to the Bush family.
The security company, formerly named Securacom and now named Stratesec, is in Sterling, Va.. Its CEO, Barry McDaniel, said the company had a ``completion contract" to handle some of the security at the World Trade Center ``up to the day the buildings fell down."
It also had a three-year contract to maintain electronic security systems at Dulles Airport, according to a Dulles contracting official. Securacom/Stratesec also handled some security for United Airlines in the 1990s, according to McDaniel, but it had been completed before his arriving on the board in 1998.
Marvin P. Bush, the president's youngest brother, was a director at Stratesec from 1993 to fiscal year 2000. But the White House has not publicly disclosed Bush connections in any of its responses to 9/11, nor has it mentioned that another Bush-linked business had done security work for the facilities attacked.
Marvin Bush joined Securacom when it was capitalized by the Kuwait-American Corporation, a private investment firm in D.C. that was the security company's major investor, sometimes holding a controlling interest. Marvin Bush has not responded to telephone calls and e-mails for comment.
KuwAm has been linked to the Bush family financially since the Gulf War. One of its principals and a member of the Kuwaiti royal family, Mishal Yousef Saud al Sabah, served on the board of Stratesec." - Prince George's Journal (Maryland) (02/04/03) [Reprinted at:  Common Dreams]

STRATESEC INC (0001037453)
SIC: 7381 - Services-Detective, Guard & Armored Car Services
State location: VA | State of Inc.: DE | Fiscal Year End: 1231
formerly: SECURACOM INC (filings through 1997-10-27)
Business Address
CHANTILLY VA 20151 - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

The directors and executive officers of the Company are:
NAME                     AGE     POSITION
Marvin P. Bush(1)    40         Director"
- Form S-1/File Number: 333-26439 - SEC/STRATESEC INC (02/05/97)

"Stratesec Incorporated. The Group's principal activity is to provide technology based security solutions to large and medium sized commercial and government facilities. The services include consulting and planning, engineering and design, systems integration and maintenance and technical support. The Group provides services to airports, hospitals, prisons, corporations, utilities, universities and government facilities. The customers of the Group include EDS, MCI WorldCom, Inc, Auto Fina, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the department of justice." - CBS Market Watch

STRATESEC INC: Key Developments - MSN Money

Related article:  Secrecy Surrounds 9/11 Investigation - Utne (02/03)

(See also:  1993 - Marvin Bush joins Securacom's (Statesec) board of directors; 9/11 - Marvin Bush was in NYC)


February 5, 2003 - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the U.N. Security Council about alleged WMD's in Iraq and Iraq's alleged connections with Al Qaeda.

"POWELL: My second purpose today is to provide you with additional information, to share with you what the United States knows about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as well as Iraq's involvement in terrorism, which is also the subject of Resolution 1441 and other earlier resolutions.

 I might add at this point that we are providing all relevant information we can to the inspection teams for them to do their work.
The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources. Some are U.S. sources. And some are those of other countries. Some of the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to.
I cannot tell you everything that we know. But what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the years, is deeply troubling.
What you will see is an accumulation of facts and disturbing patterns of behavior. The facts on Iraqis' behavior--Iraq's behavior demonstrate that Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort--no effort--to disarm as required by the international community. Indeed, the facts and Iraq's behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction.

But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaida terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, an associated in collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaida lieutenants." - White House (02/05/03)


(See also:  February 2002 - US intel warned Bush administration that its key source on Al Qaeda's relationship with Iraq provided "intentionally misleading" data)


February 20, 2003 - A German court has sentenced Mounir el-Motassadeq for 15 years after convicting him, mostly on circumstantial evidence, of aiding the 9/11 suicide hijackers in the first trial anywhere of a suspected attack conspirator.

"Mounir el Motassadeq, a 28-year-old electrical engineering student, was found guilty of being an accessory to more than 3,000 murders in New York and Washington and being a member of a terrorist organisation.
Much of the evidence against Motassadeq was circumstantial, and he was convicted by association with other al Qaeda members and not by direct evidence, Chance said.
Prosecutors alleged he provided logistical support for the Hamburg al Qaeda cell that included lead hijacker Mohamed Atta, who piloted one of the two airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center.
Motassadeq consistently denied the charges during his 3 1/2-month trial and his lawyers were seeking an acquittal from the five-judge panel.
During the trial the defendant acknowledged he knew the six other alleged members of the Hamburg cell -- Atta plus two other pilots of the airliners, Ziad Jarrah and Marwan al-Shehhi; and logisticians Ramzi Binalshibh, Said Bahaji and Zakariya Essabar.
Of Atta, the Moroccan told CNN shortly before his arrest in the fall of 2001: "We visited each other, talked like normal friends."
But he said he knew nothing of the plans for September 11, 2001.
"I couldn't believe that people I knew could do something like that," Motassadeq said in his closing statement last week.
"I watched it on television and I was shocked ... I can only hope that something like September 11 never happens again."
Motassadeq argued he was simply providing an innocent service to friends and that he took weapons training in Afghanistan because he believed all Muslims should learn to shoot.
The defence tried several times unsuccessfully to obtain testimony by two of Motassadeq's friends, Binalshibh and Mohammed Haydar Zammar -- a lack of evidence that lawyers have said could be grounds for an appeal.
Push, who under German law joined as a co-plaintiff in the case against Motassadeq, told CNN: "One of the most disturbing things about the case was the discovery that the German authorities knew much about this al Qaeda cell years prior to the September 11 attack.
"Just like the authorities in the United States -- the FBI and CIA -- they were aware of some of these individuals, have been tracking them and yet were not able to connect the dots, were not able to use that information to prevent the attacks." - CNN (02/20/03)

(See also:  August 16, 2002 - Germany issues the first indictment against Motassadeq for conspiracy with 9/11; March 4, 2004 - Retrial ordered for Motassadeq)


February 23, 2003 - Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, runs for president.

Florida's Graham to Run for President

"Sen. Bob Graham (Fla.), a proven vote-getter in one of America's essential swing states, quietly entered the crowded field for the Democratic presidential nomination yesterday, filing papers in Florida and Washington to set up a campaign committee.
Graham brings to the race one of the best-rounded résumés in politics: two successful terms as governor, five statewide victories in a populous, moderate state and leadership of his party's senatorial campaign committee. As chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, he spent last year warning the nation that the Bush administration is not doing enough to protect the homeland from terrorist attacks." - Washington Post (02/28/03)


(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)


March 1, 2003 - Alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), is captured.

"Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, was arrested Saturday in one of the biggest catches yet in the war on terrorism, Pakistani officials said.
Mohammed, perhaps the most senior al Qaeda operative after Osama bin Laden..." - CBS (03/01/03)

(See also:  July 23, 2001 - KSM receives US visa despite 1996 terrorism indictment; October 12, 2004 - Report: At least 11 Al-Qaida suspects are "missing" in US custody including KSM)


March 12, 2003 - Vice President Cheney is still being paid by Pentagon contractor Halliburton.

"Halliburton, the Texas company which has been awarded the Pentagon's contract to put out potential oil-field fires in Iraq and which is bidding for postwar construction contracts, is still making annual payments to its former chief executive, the vice-president Dick Cheney.
The payments, which appear on Mr Cheney's 2001 financial disclosure statement, are in the form of "deferred compensation" of up to $1m (£600,000) a year.
When he left Halliburton in 2000 to become George Bush's running mate, he opted not to receive his leaving payment in a lump sum but instead have it paid to him over five years, possibly for tax reasons.
The company would not say how much the payments are. The obligatory disclosure statement filled by all top government officials says only that they are in the range of $100,000 and $1m. Nor is it clear how they are calculated.
Halliburton is one of five large US corporations - the others are the Bechtel Group, Fluor Corp, Parsons Corp, and the Louis Berger Group - invited to bid for contracts in what may turn out to be the biggest reconstruction project since the second world war.
It is estimated to be worth up to $900m for the preliminary work alone, such as rebuilding Iraq's hospitals, ports, airports and schools.
The contract winners will be able to establish a presence in post-Saddam Iraq that should give them an invaluable edge in winning future contracts.
The defence department contract awarded to the Halliburton subsidiary, Kellog, Brown & Root (KBR), to control oil fires if Saddam Hussein sets the well heads alight, will put the company in an excellent position to bid for huge contracts when Iraq's oil industry is rehabilitated.
KBR has already benefited considerably from the "war on terror". It has so far been awarded contracts worth nearly $33m to build the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for al-Qaida suspects.
In the five years Mr Cheney was at the helm, Halliburton nearly doubled the amount of business it did with the government to $2.3bn. The company also more than doubled its political contributions to $1.2m, overwhelmingly to Republican candidates.
Mr Cheney sold most of his Halliburton shares when he left the company, but retained stock options worth about $8m. He arranged to pay any profits to charity." - Guardian (03/12/03)


March 20, 2003 - U.S. and coalition forces invade Iraq.

U.S. launches cruise missiles at Saddam

"U.S. and coalition forces launched missiles and bombs at targets in Iraq as Thursday morning dawned in Baghdad, including a "decapitation attack" aimed at Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and other top members of the country's leadership.
President Bush announced the start of the military campaign against Iraq shortly afterward in a televised address from the White House.
"American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger," Bush said." - CNN (03/20/03)


Bush: 'No outcome except victory'

"President George W. Bush told the world Wednesday night that the United States and its allies had launched a campaign to oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq and "free its people."
Bush warned the nation that the conflict "could be longer and more difficult than some predict."
But he assured Americans that "this will not be a campaign of half-measures, and we will accept no outcome except victory."
Bush's address marked the second time the president has faced the nation with news that the United States is at war.
The first came in October 2001 as Bush launched the war on terrorism and U.S. troops entered Afghanistan.
"American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger," Bush said." - CNN (03/20/03)


President Bush Addresses the Nation - White House (03/19/03)


(See also:  October 7, 2004 - CIA report concludes no WMD's in Iraq)




March 25, 2003 - President Bush signs Executive Order 13292 which allows for a broad range of documents to be kept beyond the reach of the public for up to 25 years and gives classification powers to the Vice President.


Classified National Security Information
This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information, including information relating to defense against transnational terrorism. Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their Government. Also, our Nations progress depends on the free flow of information. Nevertheless, throughout our history, the national defense has required that certain information be maintained in confidence in order to protect our citizens, our democratic institutions, our homeland security, and our interactions with foreign nations. Protecting information critical to our Nations security remains a priority.

 (b) If the original classification authority cannot determine an earlier specific date or event for declassification, information shall be marked for declassification 10 years from the date of the original decision, unless the original classification authority otherwise determines that the sensitivity of the information requires that it shall be marked for declassification for up to 25 years from the date of the original decision." - FAS (03/25/03), White House (03/25/03)


Bush's passion for secrecy

"Bush has expanded the number of agencies with authority to classify documents as secret, including Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Agriculture. In March, 2003 he signed an excutive order allowing a broad range of documents to be kept beyond the reach of the public for up to 25 years." - Boston Globe (12/21/04)


The Little-Noticed Order That Gave Dick Cheney New Power;  Have you ever heard of Executive Order 13292?

"In addition to discussing his hunting accident, Vice President Dick Cheney, in his interview on the Fox News Channel Wednesday, also pointed to a little-known but enormously consequential expansion of vice-presidential power that has come about as a result of the Bush administration's war on terror.

Cheney was referring to Executive Order 13292, issued by President Bush on March 25, 2003, which dealt with the handling of classified material. That order was not an entirely new document but was, instead, an amendment to an earlier Executive Order, number 12958, issued by President Bill Clinton on April 17, 1995.
At the time, Bush's order received very little coverage in the press. What mention there was focused on the order's provisions making it easier for the government to keep classified documents under wraps. But as Cheney pointed out Wednesday, the Bush order also contained a number of provisions which significantly increased the vice president's power.
Throughout Executive Order 13292, there are changes to the original Clinton order which, in effect, give the vice president the power of the president in dealing with classified material. In the original Clinton executive order, for example, there appeared the following passage:
Classification Authority.
(a) The authority to classify information originally may be exercised only by:
(1) the President;
In the Bush order, that section was changed to this (emphasis added):
Classification Authority.
(a) The authority to classify information originally may be exercised only by:
(1) the President and, in the performance of executive duties, the Vice President;

In the last several years, there has been much talk about the powerful role Dick Cheney plays in the Bush White House. Some of that talk has been based on anecdotal evidence, and some on entirely fanciful speculation. But Executive Order 13292 is real evidence of real power in the vice president's office. Since the beginning of the administration, Dick Cheney has favored measures allowing the executive branch to keep more things secret. And in March of 2003, the president gave him the authority to do it." - National Review (02/16/06)


(See also:  November 1, 2001 - Bush signs Executive Order 13233 which limits public access to presidential records; September 21, 2004 - Number of documents classified by Bush increased over 50 percent since 2001)


March 26, 2003 - 9/11 commission funding woes questions arise concerning the administration's funding of the congressional investigation into the September 11th attacks

"Is the Bush White House trying to put the brakes on the congressional panel created last fall to investigate 9-11 attacks? Sources tell TIME that the White House brushed off a request quietly made last week by the 9-11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, to boost his budget by $11 million. Kean had sought the funding as part of the $75 billion supplemental spending bill that the president just requested to pay for war with Iraq. Bush's recent move has miffed some members of the 9-11 panel." - Time (03/26/03)

(See also:  January 3, 2003 - 9/11 commission gets only a $3 million dollar budget with a 16 month time frame; March 29, 2003 - 9/11 commission to receive an extra $9 million)


March 28, 2003 - A senior Taleban military commander claims al-Qaeda did not exist in Afghanistan.

"Mullah Dadullah, a known Taleban commander, said the Taleban had regrouped under the leadership of their supreme leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, and were now attacking US-led coalition troops with renewed vigour and ferocity.
According to Dadullah, al-Qaeda did not exist in Afghanistan and he said he did not know the fate or whereabouts of Osama bin-Laden.
During the interview Dadullah was reminded that most Afghan people were opposed to war and were unlikely to support the Taliban call for "Jihad"." - BBC


March 29, 2003 - 9/11 commission to receive an extra $9 million.

"The Bush administration has agreed to allocate an extra $9 million for an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, resolving a budget standoff that had threatened to abort the panel's work, officials said yesterday." - Washington Post (03/29/03)

(See also:  March 26, 2003 - 9/11 commission funding woes questions arise concerning the administration's funding; July 8, 2003 - 9/11 Commission criticizes Defense, Justice dept's for not cooperating fully and CIA, FBI for intimidating witnesses)


March 31, 2003 - The first public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States will be held.

- National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States


March 31, 2003 - In her speech to the 9/11 commission, Mindy Kleinberg (wife of a WTC victim) blasts the panel by saying that the alleged 9/11 hijackers couldn't have done what they allegedly did just by a matter of "luck".

"With regard to the 9/11 attacks, it has been said that the intelligence agencies have to be right 100% of the time and the terrorists only have to get lucky once. This explanation for the devastating attacks of September 11th, simple on its face, is wrong in its value. Because the 9/11 terrorists were not just lucky once: they were lucky over and over again.
The SEC, in concert with the United States intelligence agencies, has sophisticated software programs that are used in "real-time" to watch both domestic and overseas markets to seek out trends that may indicate a present or future crime. In the week prior to September 11th both the SEC and U.S. intelligence agencies ignored one major stock market indicator, one that could have yielded valuable information with regard to the September 11th attacks.
On the Chicago Board Options Exchange during the week before September 11th, put options were purchased on American and United Airlines, the two airlines involved in the attacks. The investors who placed these orders were gambling that in the short term the stock prices of both Airlines would plummet. Never before on the Chicago Exchange were such large amounts of United and American Airlines options traded. These investors netted a profit of at least $5 million after the September 11th attacks.
Interestingly, the names of the investors remain undisclosed and the $5 million remains unclaimed in the Chicago Exchange account.
If that weren't protection enough, on September 11th, NEADS (or the North East Air Defense System dept of NORAD) was several days into a semiannual exercise known as "Vigilant Guardian". This meant that our North East Air Defense system was fully staffed. In short, key officers were manning the operation battle center, "fighter jets were cocked, loaded, and carrying extra gas on board."
Lucky for the terrorists none of this mattered on the morning of September 11th."
Is it luck that aberrant stock trades were not monitored? Is it luck when 15 visas are awarded based on incomplete forms? Is it luck when Airline Security screenings allow hijackers to board planes with box cutters and pepper spray? Is it luck when Emergency FAA and NORAD protocols are not followed? Is it luck when a national emergency is not reported to top government officials on a timely basis?
To me luck is something that happens once. When you have this repeated pattern of broken protocols, broken laws, broken communication, one cannot still call it luck.
If at some point we don't look to hold the individuals accountable for not doing their jobs properly then how can we ever expect for terrorists not to get lucky again?" - 9/11 Commission (03/31/03)


May 5, 2003 - White House refuses to release 900-page Sept. 11 congressional report.

"The Bush administration and the nation's intelligence agencies are blocking the release of sensitive information about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, delaying publication of a 900-page congressional report on how the terrorist assault happened.
Intelligence officials insist the information must be kept secret for national security reasons. But some of the information is already broadly available on the Internet or has been revealed in interim reports on the investigation, leading to charges that the administration is simply trying to avoid enshrining embarrassing details in the report.
Disputed information includes a well publicized warning from an FBI agent that al-Qaida supporters might be training in U.S. flight schools and the names of the president and his national security adviser as people who may have received warnings that a terrorist attack was possible before Sept. 11, one official said.
"The White House is continuing a trend of presenting obstacles to us rather than cooperating with us," said Tim Roemer, a former House member who participated in the congressional inquiry and is now a member of the independent commission investigating Sept. 11.
Graham, who will officially announce his presidential campaign Tuesday, has said he thinks much of the delay is because agencies and the administration want to avoid embarrassment, not for valid national security reasons.
The Bush administration also consistently have fought identifying top officials, including the president and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, who may have received warnings in 2001 that bin Laden's network planned to hijack commercial aircraft." - Maimi Herald (05/05/03) [Archived:  Wayback Machine]

May 8, 2003 - Democrat Bob Graham Accuses the Bush Administration of Blocking Release of Sept. 11 Report.

"Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham accused the Bush administration Thursday of stonewalling on the public release of a congressional report on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"The only reason that delay has occurred is because the administration does not want our report to be available to the American people," said Graham, Florida's senior senator and the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
After months of investigation and a series of congressional hearings last year, the House and Senate Intelligence panels wrapped up their report Dec. 20 and released a summary. The full report is still under review at the FBI and CIA, which are trying to determine whether any disclosure of information might pose a risk to national security and should remain classified.
Graham, who chaired the committee at the time the report was completed, said he thinks the White House is behind the delay.
"They don't want this report to come out," he said. "There has not been in my memory, and I would question whether there has been in modern American history, an administration that was so committed to secrecy as this Bush administration." - ABC (05/08/03)

May 9, 2003 - French expert says Osama bin Laden is dead.

"Manhunts for Osama bin Laden are futile according to a French expert who says he died in the mountains of Afghanistan more than a year ago.
Top historian and Arabic expert, Ghislaine Alleaume, told Le Figaro she believed Osama was wounded in the American bombings of Tora Bora following the September 11 attacks." - Ananova (05/09/03)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies)


May 23, 2003 - Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta testifies at the 9/11 Commission hearings and talks about being in the Presidential Emergency Operating Center (PEOC) on 9/11 when an airplane was coming toward Washington D.C. and mentions how a young man came in the room and tells Vice President Cheney about this plane coming in and asks if the orders still stand.



"MR. HAMILTON: We thank you for that. I wanted to focus just a moment on the Presidential Emergency Operating Center. You were there for a good part of the day. I think you were there with the vice president. And when you had that order given, I think it was by the president, that authorized the shooting down of commercial aircraft that were suspected to be controlled by terrorists, were you there when that order was given?
MR. MINETA: No, I was not. I was made aware of it during the time that the airplane coming into the Pentagon. There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, "The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out." And when it got down to, "The plane is 10 miles out," the young man also said to the vice president, "Do the orders still stand?" And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, "Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?" Well, at the time I didn't know what all that meant. And --
MR. HAMILTON: The flight you're referring to is the --
MR. MINETA: The flight that came into the Pentagon.
MR. HAMILTON: The Pentagon, yeah.
MR. MINETA: And so I was not aware that that discussion had already taken place. But in listening to the conversation between the young man and the vice president, then at the time I didn't really recognize the significance of that.
And then later I heard of the fact that the airplanes had been scrambled from Langley to come up to DC, but those planes were still about 10 minutes away. And so then, at the time we heard about the airplane that went into Pennsylvania, then I thought, "Oh, my God, did we shoot it down?" And then we had to, with the vice president, go through the Pentagon to check that out.
MR. HAMILTON: Let me see if I understand. The plane that was headed toward the Pentagon and was some miles away, there was an order to shoot that plane down.
MR. MINETA: Well, I don't know that specifically, but I do know that the airplanes were scrambled from Langley or from Norfolk, the Norfolk area. But I did not know about the orders specifically other than listening to that other conversation.
MR. HAMILTON: But there very clearly was an order to shoot commercial aircraft down.
MR. MINETA: Subsequently I found that out.
MR. HAMILTON: With respect to Flight 93, what type of information were you and the vice president receiving about that flight?
MR. MINETA: The only information we had at that point was when it crashed.
MR. HAMILTON: I see. You didn't know beforehand about that airplane.
MR. MINETA: I did not.
MR. HAMILTON: And so there was no specific order there to shoot that plane down.
MR. MINETA: No, sir.
MR. HAMILTON: But there were military planes in the air in position to shoot down commercial aircraft.
MR. MINETA: That's right. The planes had been scrambled, I believe, from Otis at that point." - 9/11 Commission (05/23/03) [Video]


(See also:  9/11 - Young man enters PEOC and tells Cheney a plane is approaching D.C. and asks if orders still stand; June 23, 2006 - Norman Mineta resigns one day after Jim Fetzer tells Hannity & Colmes about his 9/11 Commission testimony)


May 23, 2003 - Even after 9/11 commission members point out instances of planes being used as missiles, Transportation Sect. Norman Mineta and NORAD commanders still deny they were made aware of such a scenario.

"MR. LEHMAN: Mr. Secretary, I have one question, and that is, we had testimony yesterday that there were many intelligence reports leading up to 9/11 and actual plots uncovered to use aircraft as missiles.
Do you feel that the system set up to provide to you as secretary of Transportation the latest intelligence bearing on your responsibilities, such as that subject, was adequate before 9/11? If not, have measures been taken to see that you are provided with the best possible product on a daily basis as to threats to the broad range of transportation assets under your purview? Could you comment on before and after?
MR. MINETA: Well, I do get a daily briefing, intelligence briefing. And I did during that time period, prior to the 11th of September and subsequent to the 11th of September. And there's no doubt that the nature of the intelligence data has improved.
And so -- but again, there was nothing in those intelligence reports that would have been specific to anything that happened on the 11th of September. There was nothing in the preceding time period about aircraft being used as a weapon or of any other terrorist types of activities of that nature. And so -- but I do get briefings, and I think that since the 11th of September, 2001, the nature of the briefings have improved.
MR. LEHMAN: Just to follow up, Mr. Secretary, given the fact that there were, in the preceding couple of years, about half a dozen novels and movies about hijackings being used as weapons and the fact that there were reports floating around in the intelligence community, did you personally think that that was a possibility, that it could have happened? Or when it happened, did it just take you totally by surprise? Because yesterday we had testimony from the former FAA administrator that, in effect, it never entered her mind.
MR. MINETA: Well, I would have to, again, say that I had no thought of the airplane being used as a weapon. I think our concentration was more on hijackings. And most of the hijackings, as they occur in an overseas setting, or the hijacking, if it were to be a domestic one, was for the person to take over the aircraft, to have that aircraft transport them to some other place. But I don't think we ever thought of an airplane being used as a missile.
MR. LEHMAN: Given that there was so much intelligence, not a specific plot, but of the possibility and the fact that some terrorists had, in fact, started planning, wouldn't you view it as a failure of our intelligence community not to tell the secretary of Transportation that there was such a conceivable threat that the people like the Coast Guard and FAA should be thinking about?
MR. MINETA: We had no information of that nature at all. And as to whether that was a failure of the intelligence agencies, I think it would have been just even for them hard to imagine.
MR. BEN-VENISTE: Now, let me ask you, sir, whether the concept of terrorists using an airplane as a weapon was something unknown to the intelligence community on September 10th, 2001.
GEN. MCKINLEY: -- I asked our staff to provide me some data on what they had that morning. As I said, General Arnold was at the helm that morning. But basically the comments I received from my staff was that there was no intelligence indication at any level within NORAD or DOD of a terrorist threat to commercial aviation prior to the attacks. And information from the daily Joint Chiefs intelligence report on the morning of September 11th indicated no specific dangers or threats within the country.
MR. BEN-VENISTE: My question, sir, and I mean no disrespect, but we'll save time if you listen to what I ask you. My question is: The concept of terrorists using airplanes as weapons was not something which was unknown to the U.S. intelligence community on September 10th, 2001, isn't that fair to say?
GEN. MCKINLEY: I'd like the intelligence community to address that. I would find it hard to believe that they hadn't speculated against that. But it was unavailable to us at the time.
MR. BEN-VENISTE: Well, let's start, for example, with September 12th, 1994, a Cessna 150L crashed into the South Lawn of the White House, barely missing the building, and killing the pilot. Similarly, in December of 1994, an Algerian armed Islamic group of terrorists hijacked an Air France flight in Algiers and threatened to crash it into the Eiffel Tower. In October of 1996, the intelligence community obtained information regarding an Iranian plot to hijack a Japanese plane over Israel and crash it into Tel Aviv. In August of 1988, the intelligence community obtained information that a group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosive-laden plane from a foreign country into the World Trade Center. The information was passed on to the FBI and the FAA.
In September of 1998, the intelligence community obtained information that Osama bin Laden's next operation could possibly involve flying an aircraft loaded with explosives into a U.S. airport and detonating it. In August 2001, the intelligence community obtained information regarding a plot to either bomb the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi from an airplane, or crash an airplane into it. In addition, in the Atlanta Olympics, the United States government and the Department of Justice and my colleague Jamie Gorelick were involved in planning against possible terrorist attacks at the Olympics, which included the potential of an aircraft flying into the stadium. In July 2001, the G-8 summit in Genoa, attended by our president, among the measures that were taken were positioning surface-to-air missile ringing Genoa, closing the Genoa airport and restricting all airspace over Genoa.
Was not this information, sir, available to NORAD as of September 11th, 2001?
GEN. MCKINLEY: ...But we had not postured prior to September 11th, 2001, for the scenario that took place that day.
MR. BEN-VENISTE: Well, obviously it would be hard to imagine posturing for the exact scenario. But isn't it a fact, sir, that prior to September 11th, 2001, NORAD had already in the works plans to simulate in an exercise a simultaneous hijacking of two planes in the United States?
GEN. MCKINLEY: Colonel Scott, do you have any data on that? I'm not aware of that, sir. I was not present at the time.
MR. BEN-VENISTE: That was Operation Amalgam Virgo.
GEN. MCKINLEY: Amalgam Virgo in general, 02, was an exercise created to focus on peacetime and contingency NORAD missions...Threats of killing hostages or crashing were left to the script writers to invoke creativity and broaden the required response for players.
MR. BEN-VENISTE: Well, isn't that a bit fatuous given the specific information that I've given you? It wasn't in the minds of script writers when the Algerians had actually hijacked the plane, which they were attempting to fly into the Eiffel Tower. And all of the other scenarios which I mentioned to you. I don't mean to argue with you. But my question is, sir, given the awareness of the terrorists use of planes as weapons, how is it that NORAD was still focusing outward protecting the United States against attacks from the Soviet Union or elsewhere, and was not better prepared to defend against the hijacking scenarios of a commercial jet laden with fuel used as a weapon to target citizens of the United States? When you say our training was vestigial, I think you said it in capsulated form. But would you agree that on the basis of the information available that there could be, could have been better preparedness by NORAD to meet this threat?
GEN. MCKINLEY: In retrospect, sir, I think I would agree with your comment." - 9/11 Commission

"Commission members, meanwhile, posed pointed questions to McKinley, Arnold and Mineta , suggesting NORAD and transportation officials should have been aware of the possibility that hijacked jets could be flown into targets.
Members cited an array of previously known incidents, including a failed mid-1990s terrorist plan to fly an Air France plane into the Eiffel Tower, a 1996 plot to hijack a Japanese airliner and crash it in Tel Aviv and even a 1998 threat that unidentified Arabs might try to slam an explosives-laden plane into the World Trade Center.
Members also noted that a small plane had crashed on the South Lawn of the White House in 1994 and U.S. officials had considered the possibility that a plane could be flown into the main stadium during planning for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

But NORAD and transportation officials continued to insist that they were never apprised by the nation's intelligence community of the potential for a U.S. jetliner to be used in such a way.
"This would seem to be a pretty significant failure of our intelligence system," said committee member John Lehman, a former U.S. Navy secretary, as Arnold and McKinley testified.
Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, the commission chairman, was equally direct with Mineta.
"What I'm trying to get at is the government wasn't prepared for this event," said Kean.
"That's correct, sir," responded Mineta." - Star-Ledger/ (05/24/03)

"Despite warnings in the intelligence community and previous attempts by hijackers to use airplanes, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta said yesterday he had no idea that terrorists could be planning to use commercial jets as weapons before Sept. 11, 2001.
"I don't think we ever thought of an aircraft being used as a missile," he said. "We had no information of that nature at all."
Members of the panel said they were stunned that high-level government officials weren't aware of intelligence reports about a possible terrorist attack, especially in light of previous attempts by hijackers overseas to use airplanes as weapons, including a thwarted plot to fly a plane into the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Commissioner Jamie Gorelick said there were frantic warnings in the months before the attacks that a major act of terror was in the works." - SEATTLE POST (05/24/03)

(See also:  1999 - NORAD starts conducting exercises in which airplanes are hijacked and crashed into targets which include the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; 9/11 - Mineta says he wasn't aware of Flight 93 until after it crashed and thought it was shot down; July 8, 2003 - 9/11 Commission criticizes Defense, Justice dept's for not cooperating fully and CIA, FBI for intimidating witnesses)

May 26, 2003 - Syria Denies Existence of Al Qaeda

"Syrian President Bashar Assad revealed in a newspaper interview on Sunday that he does not believe there is a terrorist group called al Qaeda, the organization widely believed to be the perpetrators of the hijackings on September 11, 2001 as well as the recent attacks in Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
"Is there really an entity called al Qaeda? It was in Afghanistan, but is it there anymore?" Assad asked.
The Syrian leader said that it is improbable that Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda would have the resources and manpower to cause such massive devastation." - Talon News (05/26/03) [Archived:  Wayback Machine]


June 5, 2003 - Attorney General John Ashcroft asks Congress to expand the USA Patriot Act, a law that some in Congress want to limit.

"The new anti-terrorism powers in the Patriot Act have prevented further terrorist attacks on the United States but Congress should fix weaknesses that could be exploited to cause additional harm, Ashcroft told lawmakers.
Ashcroft said he wants the law changed so that anyone supporting or working with suspected terrorist groups can be prosecuted as "material supporters;" all terrorist acts can result in the death penalty or, at least, life in prison; and suspected terrorists can be held indefinitely before trial.
The attorney general also was expected to be questioned about the USA Patriot Act, which granted the government broad new powers to use wiretaps, electronic and computer eavesdropping and searches, and the authority to access a wide range of financial and other information in its investigations.
Critics say the law violates civil liberties, something House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., says he is sensitive to. "To my mind, the purpose of the Patriot Act is to secure our liberties and not undermine them," he said.
More than 100 cities and one state have passed resolutions condemning the Patriot Act, saying it gives the federal government too much snooping power.
The government disclosed last month that it had requested and won approval for a record 1,228 warrants last year for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies.
A draft of the new domestic security bill Ashcroft is seeking, published by a nonprofit government watchdog group in February, indicates that among other things, it would prohibit disclosure of information regarding people detained as terrorist suspects and prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from distributing "worst-case scenario" information to the public about a nearby private company's use of chemicals.
In addition, the measure would create a DNA database of "suspected terrorists;" force suspects to prove why they should be released on bail, rather than have the prosecution prove why they should be held; and allow the deportation of U.S. citizens who become members of or help terrorist groups.
The General Accounting Office reported earlier this year that federal prosecutors had exaggerated their success convicting would-be terrorists last year by wrongly classifying three of four cases as "international terrorism."
Overall, almost half of 288 convictions deemed "terrorism-related" were found by investigators to have been wrongly classified as such for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the GAO found." - CBS (06/05/03)

(See also:  October 26, 2001 - Only a month and a half after 9/11, the PATRIOT ACT is signed into law; July 1, 2003 - Cities across the country have been quietly staging a revolt against the Patriot Act)

July 1, 2003 - U.S. military releases their final findings into the testing of WMD's on thousands of unsuspecting soldiers during 1960 - 1972.

"Several House members are asking Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to keep alive the Pentagon's investigation into 50 chemical and biological weapons tests in the 1960s that involved 5,842 military personnel.
The Defense Department released the final findings of an investigation into Project 112 and Project SHAD, which were conducted from 1962 to 1973 to test the combat capabilities of biological and chemical agents and ways to protect U.S. troops from such attacks.
Monday's report raised the number of U.S. troops identified as having been present for one or more of the tests to 5,842, many of whom were not informed of their participation.
The United States scrapped its biological weapons program in the late 1960s and agreed in a 1997 treaty to destroy all its chemical weapons.
CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales first reported in May 2000 on the more than 100 secret biological warfare tests conducted at sea, including two — code-named "Autumn Gold" and "Copper Head" — more than 1,000 U.S. sailors were sprayed with materials thought to be harmless.
Some of the tests Project 112 tests, which had names like Flower Drum or Fearless Johnny, involved sarin or VX nerve gas. At least one used a simulant that was thought to be harmless but is now considered hazardous." - CBS/AP (07/01/03)

(See also:  1962 to 1970 - U.S. military secretly tests WMD's on over 5,800 soldiers; January 16, 2004 - The U.S. military is continuing to withhold documents over Cold War WMD tests it conducted on over 5,800 soldiers)

July 1, 2003 - Cities across the country have been quietly staging a revolt against the USA Patriot Act, saying it gives law enforcement too much power and threatens civil rights.

"Over the last three months, the Massachusetts cities of Cambridge, Northampton and Amherst and the township of Leverett, as well as the town of Carrboro, N.C., all passed resolutions that call the USA Patriot Act a threat to the civil rights of the residents of their communities.
Congress passed the act in October to give federal investigators sweeping new powers to probe terrorism in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, and soon came under criticism from civil libertarians. The public has been supportive of the measure." - ABC (07/01/03)

(See also: June 5, 2003 - John Ashcroft asks Congress to expand the Patriot Act; January 26, 2004 - A federal judge has declared a section of the Patriot Act unconstitutional)


July 8, 2003 - 9/11 Commission criticizes Defense, Justice dept's for not cooperating fully With Probe's Requests and was intimidating witnesses by insisting that CIA and FBI "minders" attend sensitive interviews.


"Short on time and patience, leaders of the independent commission studying the Sept. 11 attacks released a status report Tuesday that singled out government departments, including Defense and Justice, that they said were not cooperating fully.

But some victims' advocates who pressed for the commission's creation said the commission started late, has been stonewalled by government agencies and seems destined to produce a document that lacks specific answers about how and why the events of Sept. 11 happened. 

"Let's extend this investigation," said Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband Ronald died at the World Trade Center. "Let's do it thoroughly. Let's get all the documents needed. Let's let no branch or agency of government drag its feet and run out the clock." - ABC (07/08/03) [Archived:  Wayback Machine]


"Leaders of a federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks complained Tuesday that the Bush administration had been too slow to provide access to key documents and was intimidating witnesses by insisting that CIA and FBI "minders" attend sensitive interviews." - SF Gate (07/09/03)


9/11 inquiry alleges witness intimidation

"The investigation has been hampered by the withdrawal of its original chairman, Henry Kissinger, on grounds of conflict of interest, and funding difficulties. The bipartisan panel now says its work has been blocked by the bureaucracy.
Tim Roemer, a former congressman and a member of the commission, said yesterday: "We're not getting the kind of cooperation that we should be. "We need a steady stream of information coming to us...Instead, we're getting a trickle."
In a statement, the panel said the Pentagon's lack of cooperation was "particularly serious".
The inquiry's chairman, Thomas Kean, criticised the justice department for insisting intelligence officials giving testimony should be accompanied by "minders" from their agency.
"I think the commission feels unanimously that it's some intimidation to have somebody sitting behind you all the time who you either work for or works for your agency," he said.
But Steven Push, whose wife died on September 11 and who represents victims' families, said: "I believe that there is stonewalling going on here."
He added: "It's beginning to look like some type of a cover-up." - Guardian (07/10/03)


(See also:  May 23, 2003 - 9/11 panel point out instances of planes being used as missiles, Mineta and NORAD commanders still deny they aware; October 15, 2003 - 9/11 commission wants the FAA to turn over all the evidence it has—once and for all)


July 11, 2003 - FBI: al-Qaeda detainee spoke of fire plot

"The FBI alerted law enforcement agencies last month that an al-Qaeda terrorist now in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of devastating forest fires around the western United States.
The Republic reported that the detainee, who was not identified, said the plan involved three or four people setting wildfires using timed devices in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming that would detonate in forests and grasslands after the operatives had left the country." - USA Today (07/11/03)


July 11, 2003 - CIA Director George Tenet accepted responsibility for letting President Bush include his infamous "16 words" about  about Iraqi efforts to get uranium from Africa January's State of the Union address.

"CIA Director George Tenet on Friday accepted responsibility for letting President Bush include inaccurate allegations about Iraqi efforts to get uranium from Africa in January's State of the Union address.
"These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president," Tenet said in a statement released after Bush and his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, blamed the inclusion of the faulty intelligence on the agency." - FOX News (07/12/03)

(See also:  January 28, 2003 - In his State of the Union speech, Bush utters a sentence that would infamously been know as his "16 words")


July 14, 2003 - Columnist Robert Novak outs CIA operative Valerie Plame who is the wife of retired diplomat Joseph C. Wilson who was sent to Africa in February 2002 to investigate possible Iraqi purchases of uranium.

"The CIA's decision to send retired diplomat Joseph C. Wilson to Africa in February 2002 to investigate possible Iraqi purchases of uranium was made routinely at a low level without Director George Tenet's knowledge. Remarkably, this produced a political firestorm that has not yet subsided.
Wilson's report that an Iraqi purchase of uranium yellowcake from Niger was highly unlikely was regarded by the CIA as less than definitive, and it is doubtful Tenet ever saw it. Certainly, President Bush did not, prior to his 2003 State of the Union address, when he attributed reports of attempted uranium purchases to the British government. That the British relied on forged documents made Wilson's mission, nearly a year earlier, the basis of furious Democratic accusations of burying intelligence though the report was forgotten by the time the president spoke.
Reluctance at the White House to admit a mistake has led Democrats ever closer to saying the president lied the country into war.
Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. "I will not answer any question about my wife," Wilson told me." - Robert Novak/ (07/14/03)

"I had thought I never again would write about retired diplomat Joseph Wilson's CIA-employee wife, but feel constrained to do so now that repercussions of my July 14 column have reached the front pages of major newspapers and led off network news broadcasts." - Robert Novak/CNN (10/01/03)


July 14, 2003 - White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer resigns the same day columnist Robert Novak outs CIA operative Valerie Plame.

"Press Secretary Ari Fleischer wrapped up his White House job Monday, planning to work in the private sector and going on the lecture circuit.
Looking back on his 30 months as President Bush's chief spokesman, spokesman Ari Fleischer told CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller it was a job in which he was often pulled in opposite directions, serving two bosses.
"Make no mistake. I work for the President. He is my boss, I reflect and represent him," he said. "But I also, by virtue of my job, am paid to help the press, to get the stories, to find out the truth. So therefore, there's a lot of walking the tightrope in this job and no safety net underneath, because the press wants to know everything and the President does not want the press, especially in a time of war, to know everything. And I'm the guy in the middle."
Taking over as the "guy in the middle" is Fleischer's long-time deputy Scott McClellan. He'll have to find his own style of tightrope walking.
"The job means always, always telling the truth. But I don't tell all the truth," Fleischer said. "There are things I hear in the Oval Office that I'm not going to talk about: things that are classified, things that deal with war, things the President does not want me to talk about, decisions that the President has not yet made." - CBS (07/14/03)


July 20, 2003 - WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein faces court showdown on insurance payouts for the destruction of the twin towers.

"The biggest corporate dispute to emerge from the Sept. 11 attacks reaches a critical stage on Tuesday as World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein takes his battle with insurers to a federal appeals court.
Lawyers for Silverstein say he is entitled to about $7 billion in insurance payouts, double the value of his policy, as the destruction of the Twin Towers by two airplanes represents two separate events under terms of the coverage.
Silverstein's 20 or so insurers, led by Swiss Re RUKZn.VX , counter that the attacks formed a single coordinated event, worth only one claim of about $3.5 billion. That would be insufficient to both rebuild the complex and recoup lost rent.
The suit has been complicated because details of the insurance coverage were not completed on Sept. 11, 2001, when two hijacked jets were crashed into the two towers, destroying them and killing more than 2,800 people. Silverstein signed a lease on the property only six weeks before." - Reuters (07/20/03)

(See also:  Killtown's - Was the WTC 7 pulled?)


July 23, 2003 - According to German news service Spiegel Online,  19% of German's believe the U.S. was complicit with 9/11.

"Hamburg - it holds 19 per cent of the Germans it for possible that the US government gave the terrorist attacks from 11 September to 2001 even in order."* - Spiegel Online (07/23/03) *Translated


July 25, 2003 - White House, CIA kept key portions of 9/11 report classified dealing with Saudi Arabia.

"President Bush was warned in a more specific way than previously known about intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda terrorists were seeking to attack the United States, a report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks indicated yesterday. Separately, the report cited one CIA memo that concluded there was "incontrovertible evidence" that Saudi individuals provided financial assistance to al Qaeda operatives in the United States." - Washington Post (07/25/03)

(See also:  July 27, 2003 - White House Criticized for Censoring Sept. 11 Report; July 29, 2003 - Bush rejects Saudi request to release 9/11 details; August 1, 2003 - Report on 9/11 Suggests a Role by Saudi Spies)


July 25, 2003 - Al Qaeda held a "dry run" at New York airport years before attacks.

"Two members of Osama bin Laden's terror team sneaked past checkpoints in a "dry run" at a New York airport as part of a plan years before Sept. 11 to hijack planes and attack U.S. targets, a congressional report revealed yesterday.
The CIA said in December 1998 that an al Qaeda member was "planning operations against U.S. targets," according to a once-"top secret" timeline contained in the congressional 9/11 report. "Plans to hijack U.S. aircraft proceeding well," it continued.
"Two individuals . . . had successfully evaded checkpoints in a dry run at a N.Y. airport," the report added.
The following sentence was completely blacked out in order to protect intelligence sources." - New York Post (07/25/03)


July 27, 2003 - White House Criticized for Censoring Sept. 11 Report

"A leading Republican senator on Sunday called on the Bush administration to release most of the classified portions of a congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks, saying the sections were withheld only to avoid harming relations with other countries.
Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, who helped spearhead last year's probe into the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the administration wrongly blanked out 27 pages dealing with suspected foreign support of those responsible for the attacks.
"I think they're classified for the wrong reason," Shelby said on NBC's Meet the Press program. "My judgment is 95 percent of that information should be declassified, become uncensored, so the American people would know."
Shelby said the section was classified because it "might be embarrassing to some international relations." - Reuters (07/27/03)

(See also:  July 25, 2003 - White House, CIA kept key portions of 9/11 report classified)


July 28, 2003 - Senator Bob Graham Asks Bush to Declassify Saudi Report Pages

"Democratic Sen. Bob Graham urged President Bush on Monday to fully declassify a 28-page section in the congressional Sept. 11 report about whether there was Saudi support for the hijackers." - Reuters (07/28/03)



July 28, 2003 - Bush to Meet Top Saudi on Sept. 11 Report

"Saudi Arabia's foreign minister will meet President Bush on Tuesday and was likely to ask that portions of a Sept. 11 report related to Saudi Arabia be declassified, U.S. officials and diplomatic sources said.
A section of the congressional report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on whether there was any Saudi support for the hijackers was classified except for one page.
"Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide. We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages," Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan said last week." - Reuters (07/28/03)


July 28, 2003 - Congress' 9/11 Report Raises New Credibility Issue for National Security Adviser Rice

"The congressional report on pre-Sept. 11 intelligence calls into question answers that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice gave the public last year about the White House's knowledge of terrorism threats.
Rice "stated, however, that the report did not contain specific warning information, but only a generalized warning, and did not contain information that al-Qaida was discussing a particular planned attack against a specific target at any specific time, place, or by any specific method," the footnote said.
At the same May 2002 press briefing, Rice also said that "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."
But the congressional report states that "from at least 1994, and continuing into the summer of 2001, the Intelligence Community received information indicating that terrorists were contemplating, among other means of attack, the use of aircraft as weapons."
In regard to Sept. 11, Rice said in the May 2002 press conference that intelligence reports prior to the attacks had focused on "traditional hijacking."
But in its first hearing last September, the congressional inquiry emphasized that the intelligence community had produced various reports over the years suggesting that terrorists might use airplanes as weapons.
In 1998, the government obtained information that a group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosive-laden plane from a foreign country into the World Trade Center. A month later, intelligence agencies obtained information that Osama bin Laden's next operation could possibly involve flying an aircraft loaded with explosives into a U.S. airport.
"It shouldn't have been a shock to anybody that the people would take airplanes and make them weapons of mass destruction, or at least local destruction," Sen. Bob Graham, the inquiry's co-chairman, said last week." - ABC (07/28/03)


July 29, 2003 - Bush rejects Saudi request to release 9/11 details dealing with Saudi Arabia.

"President Bush on Tuesday flatly rejected a Saudi request to declassify part of a report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks dealing with Saudi Arabia, on the grounds it would compromise intelligence.
In response, the Saudi foreign minister angrily denounced the report as an "outrage" that "wrongly and morbidly" accused Saudi Arabia of complicity in the attacks, but said he understood Bush's reasons for rejecting the request.
"It makes no sense to declassify when we've got an ongoing investigation. That could jeopardize that investigation," Bush said, even before he met Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal to personally deliver the news." - Reuters (07/29/03)

(See also:  August 1, 2003 - Report on 9/11 Suggests a Role by Saudi Spies)


July 29, 2003 - Officials Say Al Qaeda Plans More Hijackings

"U.S. officials said on Monday they have new threat information regarding possible airline suicide hijackings planned for the rest of this summer, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday." - Reuters (07/29/03)


August 1, 2003 - Report on 9/11 Suggests a Role by Saudi Spies

"The classified part of a Congressional report on the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, says that two Saudi citizens who had at least indirect links with two hijackers were probably Saudi intelligence agents and may have reported to Saudi government officials, according to people who have seen the report.
These findings, according to several people who have read the report, help to explain why the classified part of the report has become so politically charged, causing strains between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Senior Saudi officials have denied any links between their government and the attacks and have asked that the section be declassified, but President Bush has refused." - New York Times (08/01/03)

(See also:  July 25, 2003 - White House, CIA kept key portions of 9/11 report classified dealing with Saudi Arabia; July 29, 2003 - Bush rejects Saudi request to release 9/11 details; September 30, 2003 - White House Not to Declassify More of 9/11 Report)


August 3, 2003 - U.S. Officials Preparing for New Terror Attacks

"With a new public threat from al Qaeda, U.S. law enforcement officials said on Sunday they were preparing for other possible attacks on America, adding warnings about ferries to those involving commercial airlines.
"The potential for us to be hit again is a very real potential," Attorney General John Ashcroft told "Fox News Sunday."
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program: "I feel every day that we operate toward the notion that there will be one." - Reuters (08/03/03)


August 8, 2003 - Investigators: Sept. 11 Hijackers, Not Passengers, Deliberately Crashed Flight 93

"One of the hijackers in the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93 (search) ordered the terrorist-pilot Ziad Jarrah (search) to crash the plane into a field in Pennsylvania because of a passenger uprising in the cabin, U.S. investigators now believe.
The new theory, based on the government's analysis of cockpit recordings, discounts the popular perception of insurgent passengers grappling with terrorists to seize the plane's controls." - FOX (08/08/03)

(See also:  Killtown's: What really happened to Flight 93?)


August 12, 2003 - Airbus and Honeywell are close to perfecting technology that takes control of airplanes to prevent them from crashing into obstacles.

Flying Safety Put on Auto-Pilot

"Airbus and Honeywell are close to perfecting technology that takes control of airplanes to prevent them from crashing into obstacles, The Wall Street Journal reports. When audible warnings from crash-avoidance systems are ignored, the system overrides actions by the pilot and takes evasive maneuvers, the newspaper said.
The system would link crash-warning devices, already common on airliners, with cockpit computers that could automate flying to prevent collisions, executives from Honeywell (HON) said. Tests have shown "promising results," but the idea of completely turning an airplane's controls over to a computer could make people nervous.
European airplane maker Airbus, owned by EADS (EAD) and Britain's BAE Systems, has been working on the project with Honeywell for years, although development sped up after the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacking attacks. The team may have beaten NASA, the Pentagon and Boeing to the finish line.
A prototype of the system, which could keep planes from crashing into mountains and prevent the use of aircraft as weapons, has been tested on a limited scope on small aircraft, the report said." - Wired News (08/12/03)


August 12, 2003 - Germany tries second 9/11 suspect, Abdelghani Mzoudi, a Moroccan who allegedly concealed the whereabouts of alleged lead hijacker Atta and who said he was totally shocked to hear that Atta may have been involved in the attacks because he said a Muslim would never kill children, elderly and women.

"A Moroccan accused of aiding the Hamburg al Qaeda cell in the Sept. 11 terror attacks was involved in the plot from the start and was a follower of radical Islam, prosecutors alleged Thursday as the trial began.
Abdelghani Mzoudi, 31, is being tried in the same courtroom as his friend and fellow Moroccan Mounir el Motassadeq, the first Sept. 11 suspect to be convicted in any country. El Motassadeq was found guilty six months ago and sentenced to the maximum 15 years in prison.
Mzoudi is accused of taking care of financial matters in Hamburg for alleged cell member Zakariya Essabar while he was training at one of Osama bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan in 2000, and ensuring Essabar's finances were taken care of by a third person during his own trip to Afghanistan. Essabar is wanted by Germany on an international warrant.
The 61-page indictment also alleges that Mzoudi helped conceal the whereabouts of suspected lead hijacker Mohamed Atta, suicide pilot Marwan al-Shehhi and Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni in U.S. custody who is believed to have been the Hamburg cell's key contact with al Qaeda.
In an interview given the month after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mzoudi told the German magazine Der Spiegel that while he was friends with all three Hamburg-based suicide pilots and other cell members, he was not privy to their plans.
"I was totally shocked when I heard that Atta may have had something to do with the attacks," Mzoudi told Der Spiegel. "I can't imagine a Muslim would do something like that — a Muslim would never do in children, elderly and women."  - CBS (08/12/03)

(See also:  February 20, 2003 - A German court has sentenced Mounir el-Motassadeq for 15 years; December 11, 2003 - Judge frees second 9/11 suspect, Abdelghani Mzoudi)


August 27, 2003 - Preliminary tests show steel quality did not contribute to twin towers' collapse.

Preliminary tests show steel quality did not contribute to towers' collapse

"Early tests on steel beams from the World Trade Center show they generally met or were stronger than design requirements, ruling them out as a contributing cause of the collapse of the towers, federal investigators said Wednesday.
Engineers with the National Institute of Standards and Technology have conducted preliminary tests on some of the 236 pieces of steel from the wreckage, said Frank Gayle, who is leading NIST's review of the steel.
The tests found that, typical for construction steel used in the 1960s when the World Trade Center was erected, the steel beams exceeded requirements to bear 36,000 pounds per square inch. Often they were capable of bearing around 42,000 pounds per square inch.
"What that is showing us is that the steel that was applied certainly met the specifications, but was also significantly higher in some instances," lead investigator Shyam Sunder said.
A group of victims' families, the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, had complained that a majority of the beams from the site were quickly shipped off and reprocessed into new steel before it could be tested." - Associated Press (08/27/03) [Reprinted at:]

Preliminary tests: Steel quality OK in WTC towers - Pittsburg Live (08/28/03)

Steel type in WTC met standards, group says - Boston Globe (08/28/03)

(See also:  9/11 (9:59 am) - The South WTC Tower collapses; November 11, 2004 - Kevin Ryan, from Underwriters Laboratories, sends a letter to NIST saying that the WTC should have withstood fires)


September 6, 2003 - Poll: 70% Americans believe Saddam, 9/11 link

"Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists' strike against this country.
Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe it's likely Saddam was involved." - USA Today (09/06/03)

(See also:  September 17, 2003 - Bush: No Link Between Iraq, Sept. 11 Attacks;  June 16, 2004 - No Evidence Connecting Iraq to Al Qaeda, 9/11 Panel Says)



September 6, 2003 -   The 9/11 attacks gave the U.S. an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination.


This war on terrorism is bogus

"We now know that a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax Americana was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb Bush (George Bush's younger brother) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences, was written in September 2000 by the neoconservative think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says "while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."
First, it is clear the US authorities did little or nothing to pre-empt the events of 9/11. It is known that at least 11 countries provided advance warning to the US of the 9/11 attacks. Two senior Mossad experts were sent to Washington in August 2001 to alert the CIA and FBI to a cell of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation (Daily Telegraph, September 16 2001). The list they provided included the names of four of the 9/11 hijackers, none of whom was arrested.
All of this makes it all the more astonishing - on the war on terrorism perspective - that there was such slow reaction on September 11 itself. The first hijacking was suspected at not later than 8.20am, and the last hijacked aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania at 10.06am. Not a single fighter plane was scrambled to investigate from the US Andrews airforce base, just 10 miles from Washington DC, until after the third plane had hit the Pentagon at 9.38 am. Why not? There were standard FAA intercept procedures for hijacked aircraft before 9/11. Between September 2000 and June 2001 the US military launched fighter aircraft on 67 occasions to chase suspicious aircraft (AP, August 13 2002). It is a US legal requirement that once an aircraft has moved significantly off its flight plan, fighter planes are sent up to investigate.
Was this inaction simply the result of key people disregarding, or being ignorant of, the evidence? Or could US air security operations have been deliberately stood down on September 11? If so, why, and on whose authority? The former US federal crimes prosecutor, John Loftus, has said: "The information provided by European intelligence services prior to 9/11 was so extensive that it is no longer possible for either the CIA or FBI to assert a defence of incompetence."
In fact, 9/11 offered an extremely convenient pretext to put the PNAC plan into action. The evidence again is quite clear that plans for military action against Afghanistan and Iraq were in hand well before 9/11." - Guardian (09/06/03)


September 10, 2003 - New purported bin Laden tape raises fear of new attacks

"On the eve of the second anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a taped statement purportedly from two al Qaeda leaders is raising concerns of new terror attacks against U.S. interests.
The Arabic-language news network Al-Jazeera broadcast Wednesday what it said was a new tape of Osama bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri encouraging new attacks against Americans.
The voice claiming to be bin Laden praises the suicide hijackers who crashed jetliners into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field two years ago, killing more than 3,000 people. He mentions several of the hijackers by name.
U.S. officials said the "chatter" level among suspected terrorists is up, but that there is no specific or credible intelligence about a particular target.
In the latest preproduced tape with separate video and audio portions, a voice purported to be that of al-Zawahiri, warned that the battle with the United States was far from over and exhorted fighters in Iraq to "bury them [the Americans] in the graveyard of Iraq."
Al-Zawahiri is bin Laden's closest adviser as well as his doctor.
The video portion of the tape on Al-Jazeera showed bin Laden and al-Zawahiri walking down a rocky hillside path. It's not known when or where the videotape was shot, but Al-Jazeera speculated it could have been in April or May. It's also unclear when the audio was recorded.
U.S. intelligence officials are analyzing the video and audio portions of the new tape and officials say that within a day or so, they will be able to determine whether the voices are indeed the two al Qaeda leaders.
Bin Laden was last seen in a videotape released in late 2001. It is believed that he is hiding along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Alleged September 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed said he met with bin Laden in December 2002, according to Pakistani intelligence officials who captured Mohammed a few months ago.
The last statement from bin Laden came April 7 of this year, and al-Zawahiri released a statement August 3.
Some U.S. officials doubt that the latest tape was shot earlier this year, saying that both men appear to be in good health and bin Laden shows no signs of the injuries that intelligence sources said he suffered in the siege of Tora Bora in December 2001.
In several past videotapes of bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader did not move his left arm.
Rumsfeld pointed out that the tape still hasn't been authenticated." - CNN (09/11/03)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies)


September 10, 2003 - Judge allows 9/11 lawsuits against airlines, others

"A federal judge in New York City said Tuesday that the airline industry could have guarded against the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and he ruled that lawsuits brought by 70 families of victims can proceed." - USA Today (09/10/03)


• September 11, 2003 - The third anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

"The rawness of public grief and grand memorial yielded to something quieter and more intimate today as the nation marked the second anniversary of the terror attacks in which more than 3,000 men and women perished.
In this city, in the canyon where the World Trade Center's twin towers once took root, the ceremony bore trappings of the familiar. Once again, a single bell chimed four times -- at 8:46 a.m. and 9:05 a.m., when the planes hit the towers, and at 9:59 a.m. and 10:20 a.m., when each tower fell.
In Shanksville, Pa., bells tolled at 10:06 a.m. to mark the moment the fourth plane, which investigators believe was headed toward Washington, plunged into the ground." - Washington Post (09/12/03)


September 11, 2003 - The militant Islam group, al Muhajiroun, hails the alleged 9/11 hijackers as "The Magnificent 19."

"A UK-based Islamist group is planning a conference on September 11 hailing the suicide attackers who killed thousands in New York and Washington as "The Magnificent 19."
The group al-Muhajiroun have reportedly put up posters around Britain displaying the slogan and pictures of the hijackers ahead of the second anniversary of the attacks.
The poster, seen on the group's Web site, also shows images of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden superimposed on a picture of the World Trade Center towers in flames." - CNN (09/10/03)


September 16, 2003 - Cheney link of Iraq, 9/11 challenged

"Vice President Dick Cheney, anxious to defend the White House foreign policy amid ongoing violence in Iraq, stunned intelligence analysts and even members of his own administration this week by failing to dismiss a widely discredited claim: that Saddam Hussein might have played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Evidence of a connection, if any exists, has never been made public. Details that Cheney cited to make the case that the Iraqi dictator had ties to Al Qaeda have been dismissed by the CIA as having no basis, according to analysts and officials. Even before the war in Iraq, most Bush officials did not explicitly state that Iraq had a part in the attack on the United States two years ago.
But Cheney left that possibility wide open in a nationally televised interview two days ago, claiming that the administration is learning "more and more" about connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq before the Sept. 11 attacks. The statement surprised some analysts and officials who have reviewed intelligence reports from Iraq.
Democrats sharply attacked him for exaggerating the threat Iraq posed before the war.
"There is no credible evidence that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11," Senator Bob Graham, a Democrat running for president, said in an interview last night. "There was no such relationship." - Boston Globe (09/16/03)

(See also:  September 6, 2003 - Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link)


September 17, 2003 - Bush: No Link Between Iraq, Sept. 11 Attacks

"Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein may have not been involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, but he definitely is linked to the terrorists who did commit those crimes, President Bush said Wednesday.
"We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the Sept. 11" attacks, Bush said at the start of a meeting with congressional lawmakers discussing new energy legislation. But, he added, "There's no question that Saddam Hussein had Al Qaeda ties."
The White House expressed consternation earlier in the day over reports that members of the administration have led the public to believe a link exists between Saddam and the attacks on the United States.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that in no way did Vice President Dick Cheney suggest in interviews over the weekend that there was evidence of Saddam's participation in the attacks. Bush never came to that conclusion either, the spokesman said.
McClellan could offer no clear explanation as to why recent public opinion polls indicate that 70 percent of Americans think there is a tie between Iraq and the attacks.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday he had no reason to believe that Iraq's deposed leader, Saddam Hussein, had a hand in Sept. 11.
The Bush administration has asserted that Saddam's government had links to Al Qaeda, the terrorist network led by Usama bin Laden that conducted the Sept. 11 attacks. And in various public statements over the past year or so, administration officials have suggested close ties.
In a television interview Tuesday night, White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that one of the reasons Bush went to war against Saddam was because he posed a threat in "a region from which the 9-11 threat emerged."
Rice, asked about the same poll numbers, said, "We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9-11." - FOX (09/17/03)

(See also:  9/11 (2:40 pm) - Donald Rumsfeld began plans for a war with Iraq as well for Osama Bin Laden; October 16, 2002 - President Bush uses information he was warned may be faulty in a speech to try to link Iraq to Al Qaeda; September 6, 2003 - Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link; June 16, 2004 - No Evidence Connecting Iraq to Al Qaeda, 9/11 Panel Says)


September 23, 2003 - FBI invokes privacy right protections on behalf of al Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden.



Judicial Watch Investigation Uncovers FBI Documents Concerning Bin Laden Family and Post-9/11 Flights

"Judicial Watch, the public interest group that fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) has invoked privacy right protections on behalf of al Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden.  In a September 24, 2003 declassified “Secret” FBI report obtained by Judicial Watch, the FBI invoked Exemption 6 under FOIA law on behalf of bin Laden, which permits the government to withhold all information about U.S. persons in “personnel and medical files and similar files” when the disclosure of such information “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6) (2000))

Before invoking privacy protections for Osama bin Laden under Exemption 6, the FBI should have conducted a balancing “test” of the public's right to disclosure against the individual's right to privacy.  Many of the references in the redacted documents cite publicly available news articles from sources such as The Washington Post and Associated Press.  Based on its analysis of the news stories cited in the FBI report, Judicial Watch was able to determine that bin Laden’s name was redacted from the document, including newspaper headlines in the footnoted citations.

“It is dumbfounding that the United States government has placed a higher priority on the supposed privacy rights of Osama bin Laden than the public’s right to know what happened in the days following the September 11 terrorist attacks,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “It is difficult for me to imagine a greater insult to the American people, especially those whose loved ones were murdered by bin Laden on that day.”   

The redacted documents were obtained by Judicial Watch under the provisions of the FOIA and through ongoing litigation (Judicial Watch v. Department of Homeland Security & Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 04-1643 (RWR)).  Among the documents was a declassified “Secret” FBI report, dated September 24, 2003, entitled: “Response to October 2003 Vanity Fair Article (Re: [Redacted] Family Departures After 9/11/2001)." - Judicial Watch (04/20/05)


- The full text of the report and related documents are available on the Internet by clicking here.


September 24, 2003 - The widow of the first anthrax victim Bob Stevens, a photo editor at the National Enquirer's parent company, sues the federal government for $50 million claiming lax security at U.S. Army biological weapons facility Fort Detrick in which she says that the anthrax strain that killed her husband came from.

"The widow of the Florida man who became the first victim of the 2001 anthrax attacks filed suit Wednesday against the federal government, claiming that lax security at a U.S. Army lab led to his death.
Maureen Stevens, the widow of tabloid photo editor Bob Stevens, is seeking $50 million.
Stevens died after inhaling anthrax that investigators believe was in a letter sent to American Media Inc. at its offices in Boca Raton, Florida.
Stevens worked on the third floor as a photo editor for The Sun, a tabloid published by American Media, which also publishes the National Enquirer, the Globe and the Weekly World News. He died October 5, three days after he entered the hospital with flu-like symptoms.
The letter with anthrax delivered to American Media was never recovered but at least one other employee who worked with Stevens contracted anthrax and recovered. The American Media Inc. headquarters was quarantined by investigators and remains sealed.
In the lawsuit, Stevens said the anthrax that killed her husband was of the same strain as anthrax produced at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland.
Richard Schuler, a lawyer for Stevens, claimed that lax security at the lab may have aided whomever mailed the anthrax .
"They have tighter security at a 7-11," he said, referring to the ubiquitous convenience store chain." - CNN (09/24/03)

(Also see:  October 5, 2001 - Bob Stevens becomes the first person to die from the anthrax attacks)


September 24, 2003 - Sept. 11 Panel weighs ideas for domestic intelligence including creation of special domestic intelligence agency that would be modeled after Britain's MI-5.

"National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon United States is weighing proposals for overhaul of American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including creation of special domestic intelligence agency that would be modeled after Britain's MI-5 and would most likely take over some FBI responsibilities; is also considering proposal to create new post, director of national intelligence; says agencies of executive branch have significantly improved their cooperation with commission, which was formed over opposition of Bush administration, although commission is still pressing White House for variety of highly classified documents on Sept 11 attacks." - New York Times (09/24/03)


September 30, 2003 - White House Not to Declassify More of 9/11 Report

"The White House has said it will not declassify further parts of a congressional report on intelligence failures related to the Sept. 11 attacks, including details of possible foreign involvement in the plot.
President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said in a letter to a U.S. senator received on Tuesday that declassifying more of the report now could jeopardize current investigations." - Reuters (09/30/03)

(See also:  August 1, 2003 - Report on 9/11 Suggests a Role by Saudi Spies)


October 2, 2003 - Military Ready to Shoot Down Airliners - U.S. General

"U.S. Air Force pilots practice weekly and are psychologically ready to shoot down civilian airliners in any new attack on America like Sept. 11, the general in charge of domestic defense said on Thursday.
"We practice it several times a week. Sometimes we practice three or four times a week -- the connectivity and having pilots airborne and go through mock exercises," Air Force Gen. Ralph Eberhart told reporters in an interview." - Reuters (10/02/03)



October 4, 2003 - A babysitter for the family of Marvin Bush is found dead outside the family's home allegedly from being crushed by her own car rolling into and pinning her against an outbuilding on the property.


Bush Family Babysitter Killed in Fairfax

"A babysitter for the family of Marvin Bush was found dead Monday night outside the family's Fairfax County home, and police said that she had been crushed when her car rolled into her, pinning her between the vehicle and an outbuilding on the property.
Fairfax County police said Bertha Champagne, 62, had worked for several years for Marvin Bush, President Bush's brother, and lived at the family home on Fort Hunt Road in the Alexandria section of Fairfax.

Officer Courtney Young, a police spokeswoman, said Champagne had gone outside the house about 9 p.m. Monday, reportedly to retrieve something from her car.
The vehicle had been in gear, police said, and appeared to have rolled in her direction when Champagne was in front of it.
After pinning Champagne, Young said, the car continued rolling toward Fort Hunt Road, near the intersection of Edgehill Drive.
Champagne was taken to an area hospital and declared dead that evening. Young said she did not know the cause of death." - Washington Post (10/05/03)


October 10, 2003 - 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Books Dominate Debate at Frankfurt Book Fair

"At the Frankfurt Book Fair, 9/11 conspiracy theory books are a hot topic of conversation. And three books -- all by German authors -- are topping the country's bestseller list. Why are the works such a focus of interest?
At this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest gathering of publishers, editors and writers, everyone's talking about 9/11 conspiracy theory books. Organizers may have highlighted Russia as the official country of this year's conference, but it's the United States -- particularly its role in 9/11 -- that has captured the popular imagination.
Three books, all by German authors currently topping the German bestseller list, are conspiracy theory accounts about 9/11. Perhaps the most famous of the bunch is written by Andreas von Bülow entitled The CIA and September 11 (photo). A former government minister of Research and Technology, von Bülow suggests that U.S. and Israeli intelligence services blew up the World Trade Center from the inside and that the two planes were flown in by remote control.
Why? This, quite obviously to von Bülow, was part of a plot by the neoconservatives to give the Bush administration the necessary cover to launch an attack against Iraq and, ultimately, take over the world.
Perhaps von Bülow could be dismissed as a one-off crack-pot, if there weren't so many others peddling similar tales of deleterious intent. Von Bülow is joined by fellow authors Mathias Bröckner and Gerhard Wisnewski. Wisnewski, in his book Operation 9/11, also believes that the towers were toppled using explosives, and Bröckner, in Conspiracies, Conspiracy Theories and the Secrets of September 11th, offers, as the title suggests, a similar catalogue of such notions.
But it's not just the publishers who have shown interest in the conspiracy theory books. A recent poll published in German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, found one in five Germans believe Bush orchestrated 9/11 as a pretext to further his aims of world domination.
German editorials and magazines too have hinted that a sinister plot -- though perhaps not so malefic as suggested by von Bülow -- is behind the Bush administration's foreign policy. In a cover story earlier this year, respected German news magazine Der Spiegel suggested that U.S. policy, largely influenced by the oil industry and the religious right, was driven by a desire to control the world." - Deutsche Welle (10/10/03)


October 15, 2003 - 9/11 Commission wants the FAA to turn over all the evidence it has—once and for all.

"The federal commission investigating the September 11 terror attacks has approved subpoenaing the Federal Aviation Administration after learning about the existence of potentially important tapes, radar records and other materials about the events of that day that the agency had failed to turn over, NEWSWEEK has learned.
The newly discovered tapes are potentially significant evidence related to the U.S. government’s response to the September 11 attacks. Of most immediate importance to the commission: when precisely was the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) notified that the country was under a terrorist attack? Investigators want to know whether the Bush White House and the U.S. military could have acted more quickly to—at a minimum—intercept American Airlines Flight 77, the hijacked aircraft that slammed into the Pentagon at 9:38 a.m., after both World Trade Center towers had been hit." - MSNBC/Newsweek (10/15/03)

(See also:  July 8, 2003 - 9/11 Commission criticizes Defense, Justice dept's for not cooperating fully and CIA, FBI for intimidating witnesses; October 27, 2003 - White House accused of ignoring 9/11 commission requests)


October 16, 2003 - US expects fresh terror attacks

"US officials expect al-Qaeda to stage another terrorist attack on the United States in spite of efforts to prevent it." - Mercury/AFP (10/16/03)


October 17, 2003 - Paskistan president says Bin Laden alive

"Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is still alive and probably holed up somewhere in the remote, mountainous, tribal areas on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, President Pervez Musharraf has told Reuters." - Reuters (10/17/03)

(See also:  January 18, 2002 - Pakistan's Musharraf: Bin Laden probably dead)


October 18, 2003 - Purported Bin Laden Tape Vows New Attacks Against the U.S.

"In a new audiotape aired Saturday, a voice purported to be Osama bin Laden vowed suicide attacks "inside and outside" the United States and threatened nations that are helping the American occupation of Iraq.
The speaker in the tape, broadcast throughout the Arab world by the Al-Jazeera television station, also warned Iraqis against cooperating with U.S. forces and urged youth in neighboring nations to join a jihad, or holy war, against the Americans.
It was the first tape since one released on the eve of the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the new message came as President Bush was on a tour of Asian nations rallying allies in the war on terrorism." - ABC (10/18/03)

(See also:  December 2001 - Osama bin Laden reportedly dies)


October 19, 2003 - Bush says "Osama" tapes underline terror

"U.S. President George W. Bush has used the broadcast of a new audio tape purportedly made by Osama bin Laden to bolster his case that "the war on terror goes on" and nations must bind together against the threat." - Reuters (10/19/03)


October 20, 2003 -  9/11 Kin See Few Changes in Intelligence

"Although a joint House-Senate committee found serious failings in U.S. intelligence, Congress has given no sign of "even seriously examining the issue," let alone fixing it, relatives of Sept. 11 victims said Monday." - Longview News-Journal/AP (10/20/03)


October 21, 2003 - Former President and CIA Director, George H. W. Bush, retires from the Carlyle Group.

"Former President Bush was at one time the Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board but retired from that position in October 2003. He holds no other positions at Carlyle." - Carlyle Group

"George Bush, former US president, is retiring from his position as senior adviser to the Carlyle Group, officials at the well- connected Washington-based private equity firm said yesterday. Mr Bush, whose son George W Bush is the current US president, had been a senior adviser to Carlyle's Asia Advisory Board since 1999. Carlyle offered no particular explanation for the retirement of Mr Bush, other than his age and desire to move on to other endeavours.
Mr Bush was one of a handful of former politicians to occupy high-level positions at Carlyle. Others include James Baker, secretary of state in Mr Bush's administration between 1989 and 1993, John Major, a former conservative British prime minister, and Frank Carlucci, defence secretary under Ronald Reagan." - Financial Times (10/21/03) [Reprinted at:  Independent Media TV]

(See also: September 10, 2001 - Former President Bush meets with Osama's brother at Carlyle Group meeting in Washington D.C.; November 10, 2003 - Arrested Russian Businessman Is Carlyle Group Adviser)


October 21, 2003 - U.S. believes 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

"U.S. authorities now believe it was September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who slit the throat of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan early last year, according to a U.S. official.
The official declined to reveal what information led U.S. authorities to come to that conclusion.
Mohammed is suspected of being the chief planner of the September 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon that killed about 3,000 people.
He was captured in Pakistan in March and held at an undisclosed location where American authorities have interrogated him.
Pearl disappeared in Karachi in January 2002 while investigating a story on Islamic extremists. He was later found murdered and a videotape showed a man, whose face was not shown, slitting Pearl's throat with a knife." - Reuters (10/21/03)


October 27, 2003 - White House accused of ignoring 9/11 commission requests, Bush asserts White House is aiding the investigation, but that some papers too sensitive to turn over.

"Members of both parties are accusing the White House of stonewalling the federal commission investigating the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, by blocking its demands for documents despite threats of a subpoena.
"I call on the White House to turn over the documents they are withholding from the independent commission, and do it now," said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, coauthor of the legislation that created the independent commission." - Boston Globe/AP (10/27/03)

"President Bush said Monday his staff is cooperating with an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, but stopped short of saying whether the White House would hand over top-level papers that may be subpoenaed." - ABC (10/27/03)

(See also:  October 15, 2003 - 9/11 Commission wants the FAA to turn over all the evidence it has—once and for all; November 7, 2003 - 9/11 Commission to subpoena NORAD information)


October 28, 2003 - Bush Willing to Provide Some Documents to 9/11 Panel

"President Bush said on Tuesday he was willing to give the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks limited access to at least a portion of the daily intelligence reports that he was provided before the attacks.
The White House hoped the offer -- contingent on reaching an accord to guard against the release of sensitive information -- would help avert a legal standoff with the commission, which had said it may subpoena the White House to gain access to the documents if they are not released within weeks." - Reuters (10/28/03)


October 29, 2003 - WTC Death Toll List to Drop 42 Names To 2,750 from 2,792 with only about 60% of the victims identified.

"The names of about 40 people listed on the World Trade Center death toll for more than two years are being removed because the city cannot confirm their deaths or even their existence, a city official said Tuesday.
The city was to announce the change in death toll from 2,792 to about 2,750 on Wednesday.
About 60 percent of the victims have been identified." - Guardian Unlimited (10/29/03)


October 29, 2003 - Afghanistan, the world's leading opium producer, risks becoming a "failed state" if it doesn't curb its rising trade in illicit narcotics which had its 2nd biggest opium harvest in 2003.

"Afghanistan produces three-quarters of the world's illicit opium -- the raw material for heroin -- and two-thirds of all opiate abusers use drugs of Afghan origin, according to a new survey by the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.
Afghan opium farmers and traffickers brought home about US $2.3 billion, or about half of the country's legitimate gross domestic product in 2003, the report said.
"There is a palpable risk that Afghanistan will again turn into a failed state, this time in the hands of drug cartels and narco-terrorists," he said.
The 2003 harvest was the second-biggest recorded since the agency began surveying the country in 1994." - CNN (10/29/03)


October 29, 2003 - Gen. Wesley K. Clark Lays Responsibility for 9/11 at Bush's Feet.

"In a blistering review of President Bush's national security policy, Gen. Wesley K. Clark said on Tuesday that the administration could not "walk away from its responsibilities for 9/11."
"You can't blame something like this on lower-level intelligence officers, however badly they communicated in memos with each other," said the retired general, the latest entrant in the Democratic presidential field. "It goes back to what our great president Harry Truman said with the sign on his desk: `The buck stops here.' And it sure is clear to me that when it comes to our nation's national security, the buck rests with the commander in chief, right on George W. Bush's desk." - New York Times (10/29/03)


October 29, 2003 - New York Times Op-Ed:  Facing the Truth of Sept. 11

"The commission investigating the government's failures before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is in danger of becoming a study in recalcitrance by the Bush administration. The independent commission's mandate is to supply a definitive account of the government's handling of the terrorist plot that killed almost 3,000 people. But the White House continues to fence with requests for classified documents crucial to the inquiry.
The commission chairman, former Gov. Thomas Kean of New Jersey, a Republican, is threatening to subpoena the administration for documents that officials should forthrightly turn over. Among the key questions is the nature of an intelligence report to President Bush a month before the attacks — only sketchily confirmed thus far by the White House — that Al Qaeda might try to hijack passenger airplanes.
The commission is up to the task of scrutinizing the failures of intelligence and other government agencies, and classified secrets can be adequately safeguarded. Congress should prepare to extend the commission's 18-month timetable beyond next May, the deadline.
How can an unstinting investigation of the truth of Sept. 11 not be of paramount concern to any official sworn to protect the public? The approaching presidential election makes the administration's evasions even more suspect. Failure to document and face the truth will only feed conspiracy theories and undermine the nation's chances of weathering future threats." - New York Times (10/29/03)


October 30, 2003 - Noam Chomsky says Bush will have to "manufacture" another threat to American security to win reelection.

"U.S. linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky said on Wednesday that President Bush will have to "manufacture" another threat to American security to win reelection in 2004 after U.S failure in occupying Iraq.
Chomsky, attending a Latin American social sciences conference in Cuba, said that since the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, the Bush administration had redefined U.S. national security policy to include the use of force abroad, with or without U.N. approval.
"It is a frightened country and it is easy to conjure up an imminent threat," Chomsky said at the launching of a Cuban edition of a book of interviews published by the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, when asked how Bush could get reelected.
"They have a card that they can play ... terrify the population with some invented threat, and that is not very hard to do," he said." - Reuters (10/30/03)


October 30, 2003 - Report Links Iraq Deals to Bush Donations

"Companies awarded $8 billion in contracts to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan have been major campaign donors to President Bush, and their executives have had important political and military connections, according to a study released Thursday.
The study of more than 70 U.S. companies and individual contractors turned up more than $500,000 in donations to the president's 2000 campaign, more than they gave collectively to any other politician over the past dozen years.
The top contract recipient was the Halliburton subsidiary KBR, with more than $2.3 billion awarded to support the U.S. military and restore Iraq's oil industry.
Halliburton was headed by Vice President Dick Cheney before he resigned to run with Bush in 2000.
Bechtel was second with a $1 billion capital construction contract involving Iraq's utilities, telecommunications, railroads, ports, schools, health care facilities, bridges, roads and airports." - Newsday (10/30/03)


October 30, 2003 - Al-Qaida Warns of 'Painful Strike'

"A purported al-Qaida leader said in an e-mail sent before latest the string of bombings in Iraq that the terrorist network was preparing devastating attacks against Americans during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, an Arab magazine reported Friday.
Al-Qaida ``is getting ready to stage devastating attacks during the month of Ramadan against Americans that will make young boys' hair turn gray,'' said the e-mail, whose authenticity could not immediately be verified. It added attacks in Iraq were possible." - Guardian (10/31/03)


November 4, 2003 - FBI has new 9/11 hijacking suspect

"The FBI has identified an al-Qaeda operative who agents believe tried as late as August 2001 to join the 9/11 terrorist plot as the "20th hijacker," a top federal law enforcement official said Tuesday.
A top Justice Department official confirmed that FBI agents believe they have identified the 20th hijacker. Both officials said the FBI does not believe the would-be terrorist was accused al-Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui or Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, an alleged 9/11 paymaster who tried to get into the USA at least four times before the attacks.
Just after the 9/11 attacks, top Justice Department and FBI officials disagreed over whether Moussaoui, 35, a French citizen arrested while taking flight lessons in Minnesota in August 2001, was to have been the 20th hijacker. His indictment does not identify him as the 20th hijacker; it accuses him of taking part in an al-Qaeda conspiracy to attack U.S. targets.
Moussaoui, the only person charged in the USA in the 9/11 conspiracy, admits being a member of al-Qaeda but says he was training for another mission." - USA Today (11/04/03)


November 7, 2003 - Homeland Security Warns of New al-Qaida Plot Involving Cargo Planes, Nuclear Plants

"The Homeland Security Department is warning law-enforcement officers al-Qaida may be plotting to fly cargo planes from overseas into such crucial targets in the United States as nuclear plants, bridges or dams, an agency official said Friday night.
Separately, the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia said it would close its diplomatic missions in that country Saturday for an undetermined period because of credible information terrorists are about to carry out attacks.
The United States also warned that Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan may attempt to kidnap American journalists working in that country." - ABC (11/07/03)


November 7, 2003 - 9/11 Commission to subpoena NORAD information

"The national commission investigating the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks decided on Friday to subpoena the military's North American Aerospace Defense Command records for information it promised but did not deliver.
The panel in May requested information on air traffic control tracking of hijacked aircraft and the agency's communication with NORAD, the U.S.-Canadian military alliance that scrambled fighter jets during the attacks.
Some members of the commission are interested in the time sequence for notifying the jets that headed to Washington where one of the hijacked planes struck the Pentagon." - Reuters (11/07/03)

(See also:  October 27, 2003 - White House accused of ignoring 9/11 commission requests; November 26, 2003 - 9/11 victim relatives urge deadline extension for independent panel probing 9/11 attacks)


November 7, 2003 - Supreme Court asks for more input on secret Sept. 11 case

"A US Supreme Court request for the government to justify the total secrecy imposed in a Sept. 11 case from Miami is raising questions about how far that secrecy may extend into the high court's own operations.
The US solicitor general has been asked to file a legal brief on the secrecy issue by Dec. 3. It is unclear to what extent this brief will break the government's public silence about the case." - Christian Science Monitor  (11/07/03)


November 10, 2003 - Arrested Russian Businessman Is Carlyle Group Adviser

"The arrest of two of Russia's top businessmen in recent months was more than a distant headline for Washington's well-connected private equity firm, Carlyle Group.
Carlyle, known for the glittering roster of former statesmen among its partners and advisers, has ties to both Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, the jailed Russian tycoons.
Khodorkovsky, 40, Russia's richest man and former chief executive of Yukos Oil Co., serves as an adviser to Carlyle's Energy Group. He is among 15 luminaries who help the firm sort through investment opportunities in energy industries, along with former secretary of state James A. Baker III, former British prime minister John Major and Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin.
Sources close to the firm say Carlyle is taking a cautious look at the business climate in Russia. So far, Carlyle has no investments in Russia, and has not followed through on preliminary discussions about starting a buyout fund with Russian investment company Alfa Group, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the firm has lost the services of its most prominent associate: former president George H.W. Bush, who was senior adviser for Carlyle's Asia funds, retired last month, shortly after serving as the main draw at a dinner in Moscow to woo investors." -  Washington Post

(See also:  October 21, 2003 - Former President and CIA Director, George H. W. Bush, retires from the Carlyle Group)


November 11, 2003 - Billionaire Soros takes on Bush

"Soros, who has financed efforts to promote open societies in more than 50 countries around the world, is bringing the fight home, he said. On Monday, he and a partner committed up to $5 million to, a liberal activist group, bringing to $15.5 million the total of his personal contributions to oust Bush.
Neoconservatives, Soros said, are exploiting the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to promote a preexisting agenda of preemptive war and world dominion. “Bush feels that on September 11th he was anointed by God,” Soros said. “He’s leading the U.S. and the world toward a vicious circle of escalating violence.” - MSNBC (11/11/03)


November 11, 2003 - 9/11 Victims' Relatives Slam Deal Between White House, Panel Over Intelligence Documents Access

"Relatives of people who perished in the Sept. 11 attacks say a federal commission accepted too many conditions in striking a deal with the White House over access to secret intelligence documents.
The Family Steering Committee, a group of victims' relatives who are monitoring the work of the independent commission, criticized the agreement announced late Wednesday. Under the deal, only some of the 10 commissioners will be allowed to examine classified intelligence documents, and their notes will be subject to White House review.
"We really want to know the details here," said Lorie Van Auken of New Jersey, whose husband, Kenneth, was killed at the World Trade Center. "I don't understand what's so secret about that. I mean, this is not a game."
The commission's chairman, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, defended the agreement.
Two commissioners, former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer and former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, criticized the deal after it was announced, saying it places unwarranted restrictions on the panel's work. The commission discussed issuing a subpoena to the White House, although that could have led to a legal battle had the Bush administration claimed executive privilege." - ABC (11/13/03)


November 15, 2003 - Judge rules top Saudis cannot be sued for 9/11.

"Plaintiffs in a massive lawsuit against Saudi leaders have not provided compelling evidence that individual members of the Saudi royal family knowingly funded al Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a federal judge ruled yesterday as he dismissed the victims' claims against two of the desert kingdom's princes.
The $1 trillion lawsuit, filed by more than 900 victims' family members and some injured firefighters and rescue workers, argued that several Saudi leaders and investment organizations helped fund the terrorist attacks and should be held responsible.
They charged that Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, as Saudi defense minister and leader of Islamic affairs, funded charities that he knew subsidized Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization. They claimed that Prince Turki al-Faisal, director of the Saudi Department of General Intelligence, helped the royal family strike a deal to pay bin Laden protection money so he would not carry out terrorist strikes inside Saudi Arabia or work to bring down the Saudi government." - Washington Post (11/15/03)


November 26, 2003 - 9/11 victim relatives urge deadline extension for independent panel probing 9/11 attacks.

"Victims' relatives who pressed for an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks say the panel risks being undercut by the government's failure to cooperate with it.
"Unfortunately, the production of a timely report no longer seems to be possible, in large part because of the delays caused by the (Bush) administration and the agencies that report to it," the group said Wednesday in a statement.
The leaders of the 10-member commission, Republican Thomas H. Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton, said last week that they still intend to complete work by May 27. But they warned that further resistance from government agencies could threaten their ability to meet the deadline.
The panel has issued three subpoenas in the last six weeks to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Pentagon, and New York City saying those entities had not fully responded to document requests.
Also, the commission reached a deal with the White House over access to highly classified intelligence briefings that President Bush received in the weeks and months before the attacks. The panel agreed to several restrictions, including a limit on how many commissioners may examine the documents." - ABC (11/26/03)

(See also:  November 7, 2003 - 9/11 Commission to subpoena NORAD information; December 5, 2003 - Senator Max Cleland (D) will resign from the 9/11 commission)


November 26, 2003 - 9/11 victim’s wife, Ellen Mariani, files RICO case against President Bush and cabinet members for foreknowledge, failing to respond, and covering up the truth about the attacks.

"Philip J. Berg, Esquire, announced today that he, attorney for Ellen Mariani, wife of Louis Neil Mariani, who died when United Air Lines flight 175 was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9-11 at a news conference regarding the filing of a detailed Amended Complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on 11/26/03 in the case of Mariani vs. Bush et al that he is alleging President Bush and officials including, but not limited to Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld and Feinberg that they:
1. had knowledge/warnings of 911 and failed to warn or take steps to prevent;
2. have been covering up the truth of 911; and
3. have therefore violated the laws of the United States; and
4. are being sued under the Civil RICO Act." - Scoop (11/27/03)

"A New Hampshire woman who filed the first lawsuit against United Airlines relating to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- and the first suit accusing President Bush of negligence beforehand -- doesn't want money, just answers.
Ellen Mariani's husband, Neil Mariani, was killed in the attacks. He was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, the second of two planes to crash into the World Trade Center.
Mariani is one of only about 73 families, according to reports, that did not file for a settlement from the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund by Monday, the filing deadline.
Mariani said by taking money from that fund, she would have given up her right to sue the airline and the government, which she believes is the only way she can get information about what happened and what led up to the events of that day.
She refers to it as "a shut-up fund and go-away fund," although Mariani believes she might have received somewhere around $500,000 in compensation for her husband's life if she had taken the federal settlement.
Mariani said her latest lawsuit is aimed at proving that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were no surprise to the government. She believes the federal government was aware the attacks would take place.
"I'm 100 percent sure that they knew," she said. "I'm challenging the courts, the government, United Airlines and the courts in Manhattan."
Information has been withheld from the families, said Mariani, such as the list of passengers on the flights.
"I don't see any foreigners names on there," she said, referring to the Arab hijackers. "They know the list of all the people getting on the plane; give it to us."
Mariani said she also wants to know who entered the planes that crashed.
"I want to see their surveillance tapes and the black boxes; you can't destroy them," she said. "Where are they? Why are they telling control-tower employees to shut their mouths?"
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 12 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, also names Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The suit also names the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Council on Foreign Relations." - Boston Globe (12/24/03)

Mariani vs. Bush - Case No. 03-5273; Open letter to President Bush from Ellen Mariani; Alex Jones interviews Ellen Mariani


Mrs. Mariani:  "I was disgusted how they [the 9-11 Commission] were yawning, closing their eyes, looking around...they didn't care to be there." - Video/Village Voice


December 1, 2003 - Democratic Presidential front-runner Howard Dean causes a fury with his statements on a NPR show that suggested Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

"Howard Dean, whose penchant for off-the-cuff comments has proved both a strength and political liability, is facing a new flap over suggestions that President Bush had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Dean broached the possibility during a radio interview last week, but dismissed the notion in the same breath.
But the fact Dean alluded to a "theory" that Bush had received prior intelligence from Saudi Arabian sources — which Dean called "most interesting" — was enough to incite Republicans. The national party chairman, Ed Gillespie, issued a blistering attack on Dean over the weekend, calling his comments "reckless and irresponsible."
During a Dec. 1 appearance on National Public Radio's "Diane Rehm Show," a nationally syndicated program, Dean was asked about a bipartisan federal commission that is investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. A caller urged Dean as president to "make sure there is a thorough investigation of 9/11."
After saying he would do so, Dean suggested Bush "is suppressing evidence" that could aid the Kean Commission in its reconstruction of events leading to the terrorist attacks.
Leaders of the commission — which is headed by former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean — have complained that the Bush administration has been too slow to provide access to key documents, and has intimidated witnesses by insisting that CIA and FBI observers attend sensitive interviews. The president has declined to turn over highly classified intelligence reports to the panel, despite threats of a subpoena.
"The most interesting theory that I've heard so far, which is nothing more than a theory … it can't be proved, is that [Bush] was warned ahead of time by the Saudis," Dean said in the interview. He did not elaborate.
He defended the comment Sunday when asked by Fox News about his remarks. "We don't know what happened," Dean said. " … I can't imagine the president of the United States doing that. But we don't know and it'd be a nice thing to know."
Dean continued: "What we do believe is that there was a lot of chatter that somehow was missed by the CIA and the FBI about this, and that for some reason we were unable to decide and get clear indications of what the attacks were going to be. Because the president won't give the information to the Kean Commission, we really don't know what the explanation is." - LA Times (12/09/03) [Reprinted at:  Global Free Press]


December 4, 2003 - New York City Gives Access To Sept. 11th  911 Tapes

"New York City dropped its effort yesterday to block an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks from listening to tapes of frantic 911 calls from people trapped inside the World Trade Center after it was hit.
Twelve days after being issued a subpoena by the commission, the city agreed to provide unedited tapes of 911 calls and full transcripts of city-conducted interviews with firefighters who were at the scene on Sept. 11, 2001.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg had opposed turning over complete tapes and transcripts and initially offered records that omit "intensely emotional statements of people who lost their lives or whose lives were in jeopardy." The commission, created last year by Congress and the president to investigate the cause of and response to the attacks, said the city had "significantly impeded" its probe.
Under an agreement signed yesterday, the commission has access to complete tapes and transcripts, but only at the city law office in lower Manhattan. Commission staffers can take notes from the tapes and transcripts but cannot keep original copies or disclose any part of the tapes and transcripts.
The commission can keep copies of tapes and transcripts that exclude "any emotional statements relating to the attacks" and conceal the identities of speakers.
The commission's agreement with the city contrasts sharply with a deal struck with the White House last month for the review of highly classified intelligence briefs given to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
That agreement restricts the commission's access by allowing only four members to review the reports, which the White House would edit to remove sections not related to al-Qaida or the Sept. 11 attacks. Two Democrats on the commission criticized the restrictions, and other members acknowledged the agreement was not ideal." - Newsday (12/04/03)


December 5, 2003 - Former Senator Max Cleland (D) will resign from the 9/11 commission within weeks creating concern among victims' family groups because of him being one of the most outspoken critiques on the panel of the Bush Administration's stonewalling of the 9/11 investigation.

"Max Cleland, a former senator from Georgia and one of five Democrats on the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is expected to resign within weeks, creating a vacancy with only six months left in the inquiry, commission officials said today.
Mr. Cleland's intention to resign from the 10-member commission has been known since last summer, when Senate Democrats announced that they had recommended him for a Democratic slot on the board of the Export-Import Bank.
His imminent departure from the panel has created concern among victims' family groups, because Mr. Cleland has been one of the commission's most outspoken members and has joined with advocates for the families in their criticism of the Bush administration. The time to find a replacement is limited because the commission is required by law to complete its work in May.
Mr. Cleland has publicly accused the White House of trying to undermine the work of the commission and of "Nixonian" efforts to conceal important evidence about the government's law enforcement and intelligence failures in the weeks before the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Under the terms of the law creating the commission, Mr. Cleland's successor will be chosen by Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Democratic leader, whose office said on Thursday that it would move quickly to replace Mr. Cleland.
Mr. Cleland, who was defeated in a re-election bid last year, has said repeatedly in recent weeks that he believes that the Bush administration has tried to stonewall the commission in its requests for documents and other evidence about the Sept. 11 attacks.
He has also criticized the commission's leadership for accepting a deal with the White House that will give only three members of the panel access to Oval Office intelligence briefings that were given to Mr. Bush in the weeks before the attacks. The commission and the White House have defended the agreement, saying it will allow the panel's representatives to see a full range of intelligence reports." - NY Times (12/05/03)

(See also:  December 17, 2003 - 9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable)


December 11, 2003 - Judge frees second 9/11 suspect, Abdelghani Mzoudi, in Germany and this ruling could undo the only conviction related to 9/11.

"The trial of a Moroccan man accused of helping the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers appeared close to collapse Thursday after the court announced that the German federal police had provided information, apparently taken from the interrogation of a top al Qaeda planner in U.S. custody, that the defendant had no advance knowledge of the plot.
The trial will continue, but presiding Judge Klaus Ruehle released Abdelghani Mzoudi, 31, who has been imprisoned since his arrest in October 2002 on charges of membership of a terrorist organization and more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder. The judge said Mzoudi, alleged to be a member of the Hamburg cell that spearheaded the attacks in the United States, will have to continue to attend the trial but is otherwise free until a verdict is reached.
The surprise turn could also undo the guilty verdict a German court returned in February against another Moroccan, Mounir Motassadeq, on the same charges. With that ruling, he became the first person anywhere to be convicted of helping in the Sept. 11 attacks." - Washington Post (12/11/03)

(See also:  February 20, 2003 - A German court has sentenced Mounir el-Motassadeq for 15 years; August 12, 2003 - Germany tries second 9/11 suspect, Abdelghani Mzoudi)



December 12, 2003 - The Bush Administration has classified more records in their first two years than President Clinton's last four years.


INVESTIGATIVE REPORT: The untold story of the Bush administration's penchant for secrecy

"The Bush administration has removed from the public domain millions of pages of information on health, safety, and environmental matters, lowering a shroud of secrecy over many critical operations of the federal government.
The administration's efforts to shield the actions of, and the information held by, the executive branch are far more extensive than has been previously documented. And they reach well beyond security issues.

A five-month investigation by U.S. News details a series of initiatives by administration officials to effectively place large amounts of information out of the reach of ordinary citizens, including data on such issues as drinking-water quality and automotive tire safety.

Beyond the well-publicized cases involving terrorism suspects, the administration is aggressively pursuing secrecy claims in the federal courts in ways little understood--even by some in the legal system. The administration is increasingly invoking a "state secrets" privilege that allows government lawyers to request that civil and criminal cases be effectively closed by asserting that national security would be compromised if they proceed.

 In the first two years of Bush's term, his administration classified records some 44.5 million times, or about the same number as in President Clinton's last four years, according to the Information Security Oversight Office, an arm of the National Archives and Records Administration." - U.S. News (12/12/03)


December 13, 2003 - Saddam Hussein is captured in Iraq.

"The former Iraqi dictator was captured Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in the cellar of a farmhouse in the town of Adwar, 10 miles from Tikrit, ending one of the most intense manhunts in history. Saddam has been on the run since the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces on April 9." - FOX (12/14/03)


December 14, 2003 - 911 Victim’s Wife, Ellen Mariani Requests Deposition of Saddam Hussein for her Civil RICO Lawsuit Federal Court Complaint against President Bush

"Philip J. Berg, Esquire, attorney for Plaintiff Ellen Mariani, wife of Louis Neil Mariani, who died when United Air Lines flight 175 was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 911 announced today, in the wake of the capture of Saddam Hussein, she will seek an extraordinary writ by the Honorable Court to immediately depose Saddam Hussein, a critical witness to support the merits of her RICO Act cause of action against Defendant George W. Bush, et al." -


December 15, 2003 - U.S. Supreme Court to consider vice president's case for keeping task force papers secret.

"The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear Vice President Dick Cheney's case for keeping his energy task force papers secret.
The high court said Cheney's Justice Department lawyers could present detailed arguments on why he should not have to comply with a judge's order to hand over details of White House contacts with the energy industry.
Two groups, the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, sued in 2001 to find out the names and positions of members of the energy task force headed by the vice president that year.
They allege that as Cheney drafted the energy policy, he consulted industry executives such as Enron Corp.'s Ken Lay, making them effective members of his energy task force while leaving environmentalists out in the cold.
Cheney was chief executive of energy and construction company Halliburton Co. from 1995 to 2000. His 2001 energy task force produced a policy paper calling for more oil and gas drilling and a revived nuclear power program.
Cheney has acknowledged meeting Lay, but his lawyers say the energy task force was comprised of government officials, not corporate chieftains.
Over a year ago, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the White House to either produce documents about the energy task force or provide a detailed list of the documents it was withholding, and why.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case in the spring next year, with a decision due by the end of June.
The Sierra Club accused the Bush administration of trying to stall release of the information beyond the 2004 presidential election." - CNN (12/15/03)


December 15, 2003 - EMC's Legato Software, whose chief operating officer is Todd Beamer's father David, is awarded a $4.3 million Pentagon contract.


Pentagon Awards Legato $4.3 Million Contract for Continuity of Operations Solution

"LEGATO Software, the leader in open software for Information Management, today announced it received a $4.3 million competitive award for business continuance and availability solutions from the Pentagon Renovation Office (PENREN), a large-scale initiative to modernize the Department of Defense's IT infrastructure. PENREN supports many agencies within the Pentagon, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marine Corps.

The Pentagon Renovation Program -- -- is charged with transforming the 60-year-old headquarters of the United States military into a modern, flexible and efficient work environment. The project requires the phased relocation of 25,000 Pentagon tenants, removing thousands of tons of hazardous materials, modernizing the utility and IT infrastructure and improving force protection and energy efficiency." - Business Wire/FindArticles (12/15/03)


Todd Beamer: 9/11 Hero

"David Beamer, chief operating officer for Legato Systems, reported to work early on September 11, 2001, at corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California. Having flown to California the day before, he was there for a key meeting to be held in Palo Alto that morning.

While David was in the middle of his meeting, Peggy, his high- school sweetheart and wife, was learning the terrible, confirmed truth about United Airlines Flight 93 and their son, Todd.
“When Peggy called to tell me that Todd was on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, I was stunned with disbelief,” David recalls. “My heart was breaking, and my mind was in denial. With friends surrounding me, I sensed the Lord’s strength sustaining me.”

Todd was David and Peggy Beamer’s middle child (and only son). While his dad worked hard to pave the foundation of a successful career, his mom willingly stayed at home to nurture Todd and his two sisters in strong family values and the Christian faith. Together, his parents modeled a lifestyle that prioritized weekly worship and looking to God’s Word as the ultimate guide for decision-making.
“We raised Todd to love the Lord,” David says. “Passing on the baton of faith was a priority in our home with all three kids. Both my folks and Peggy’s folks are committed Christians. That’s a legacy we don’t take lightly. Before we became parents, we determined to honor and preserve the heritage of Christian faith.” - LifeWay


Legato Names Chief Operating Officer; Industry Veteran to Drive Day-to-Day Operations and Strategic Initiatives.

"Legato Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:LGTO), a worldwide leader in enterprise storage management software, today announced the appointment of David L. Beamer as the company's new Chief Operating Officer." - Business Wire/High Beam (02/28/02)


Legato Names New Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales.

"Legato Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:LGTO), a worldwide leader in enterprise storage management software, today announced the appointment of David L. Beamer as the company's new executive vice president of worldwide sales.
Prior to joining the Legato executive team, Beamer was president and chief operating officer of Filetek Corporation of Rockville, Maryland, a privately held software and systems integration company.
"David brings a wealth of domestic and international experience to this position. His technological expertise along with his proven track record of recruiting and motivating sales people is a valuable asset for us," said David B. Wright, president and chief executive officer of Legato Systems, Inc. "We welcome David to the Legato executive team."
Prior to Filetek Corporation, Beamer was a corporate officer of Amdahl Corporation for six years and held various senior management positions there and with IBM. Beamer holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Ohio State University." - Business Wire/High Beam (01/08/01)


EMC: The Software Company; EMC's acquisition of Legato Systems raises interesting questions

"EMC announced it was acquiring storage software vendor Legato Systems—an industry rumor since last January. The move came on the heels of an announcement in late June that the Hopkinton, MA giant was acquiring the open systems storage management software assets of BMC Software, which had earlier this year left several dozen customers in the lurch when it announced that it was getting out of the open systems storage software business altogether.
The latest acquisition promises to create an oligarchy of four companies, EMC, IBM, Veritas, and Microsoft, in the storage management software space—five, if you want to count Computer Associates—with lots of small fries taking little bits of the $10 to $17 billion market, depending on which analyst you believe. The key objective of each company is to own the “smarts” of the storage infrastructure, having failed (in the case of EMC and IBM, at least) to gain clear dominance in storage hardware." - Enterprise Systems (07/17/03)


(See also: January 22, 2004 - Beamer's parent company EMC wins a $40 million Pentagon contract)


December 16, 2003 - A federal judge strongly criticized U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft for violating a gag order imposed during the first terror-related trial following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

"U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen said Ashcroft's office "exhibited a distressing lack of care in issuing publicly prejudicial statements" about the case.
But the Detroit-based judge stopped short of ordering disciplinary action or filing criminal contempt of court charges against Ashcroft.
Ashcroft made at least two statements at news conferences in which he praised the government's lead witness during the trial this spring.
"In this case, this essential balance was jeopardized, even after the court had issued specific warnings. Accordingly, the court finds that a public and formal judicial admonishment of the attorney general is the appropriate sanction to address this concern." - Reuters (12/16/03)


December 17, 2003 - 9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable

"For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented, reports CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston.
Appointed by the Bush administration, Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, is now pointing fingers inside the administration and laying blame.
"There are people that, if I was doing the job, would certainly not be in the position they were in at that time because they failed. They simply failed," Kean said.
To find out who failed and why, the commission has navigated a political landmine, threatening a subpoena to gain access to the president's top-secret daily briefs. Those documents may shed light on one of the most controversial assertions of the Bush administration – that there was never any thought given to the idea that terrorists might fly an airplane into a building.
"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," said national security adviser Condoleeza Rice on May 16, 2002.
"How is it possible we have a national security advisor coming out and saying we had no idea they could use planes as weapons when we had FBI records from 1991 stating that this is a possibility," said Kristen Breitweiser, one of four New Jersey widows who lobbied Congress and the president to appoint the commission.
Asked whether we should at least know if people sitting in the decision-making spots on that critical day are still in those positions, Kean said, "Yes, the answer is yes. And we will."
Kean promises major revelations in public testimony beginning next month from top officials in the FBI, CIA, Defense Department, National Security Agency and, maybe, President Bush and former President Clinton." - CBS (12/17/03)

(See also:  December 5, 2003 - Senator Max Cleland (D) will resign from the 9/11 commission; December 18, 2003 - Sept. 11 Panel: Bush, Clinton Not to Blame)


December 17, 2003 - Most Families Have Applied to 9-11 Fund

"Families of 85 percent of the people killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks have applied for compensation from the federal fund created for them, officials said Thursday.
The fund has received 2,521 claims from families of deceased victims, or 85 percent of the 2,976 slain, the Department of Justice said.
Kenneth Feinberg, the special master appointed to administer the unprecedented program, has said 90 percent enrollment is his goal.
The fund, created by Congress to compensate victims and protect the airline industry from possibly crippling litigation, has paid out nearly $1.5 billion already.
The deadline for applications is midnight Monday, Dec. 22. Fund offices will work through that evening up until the deadline processing last-minute applications, Feinberg said.
When it was first launched, many Sept. 11 families criticized the program as a tightfisted effort to protect airlines from negligence claims and put insulting dollar values on individual lives.
Those who accept money from the fund must forego suing the airlines or other U.S. entities for negligence in the death of their loved ones.
More than 70 families to date have insisted on suing instead of registering with the fund, blaming airlines, security companies, and government officials for allowing the terrorist conspiracy to succeed.
Even after filing an initial application with the fund, families can still choose later to opt out of the program and sue." - Guardian (12/17/03)


December 18, 2003 - Sept. 11 Panel: Bush, Clinton Not to Blame

"The chairman of a federal commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks said Thursday that mistakes over many years left the United States vulnerable to such an attack, but he resisted pinning blame on either of the last two presidential teams.
"We have no evidence that anybody high in the Clinton administration or the Bush administration did anything wrong," chairman Thomas Kean said in an interview with ABC's "Nightline" taped for airing Thursday night.
Kean sought to clarify remarks attributed to him in a CBS News report that aired Wednesday.
In the CBS interview, Kean said the commission's report, due May 27, will detail "what wasn't done and what should have be done" to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
CBS reported that Kean's comments constituted "pointing fingers inside the (Bush) administration and laying blame."
But Kean said in Thursday's interview that he did not mean to suggest that certain federal officials should have been fired after Sept. 11. He said he was commenting on obvious mistakes that were made, such as letting terrorists into the country and letting dangerous items onto planes." - ABC (12/18/03)

(See also:  December 17, 2003 - 9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable; January 15, 2004 - 9/11 Commission interviews two of it's own members)


December 18, 2003 - Justice Investigators Say Post-Sept. 11 Detainees at a Federal Prison Were Abused

"Officials at a federal prison in New York hindered an investigation that determined that as many as 20 guards abused detainees who were picked up shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Justice Department reported Thursday.
Investigators found hundreds of videotapes that officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn had said were destroyed or erased, according to a report by the department's internal watchdog, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine." - ABC (12/18/03)


December 18, 2003 - Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says it's premature to recommend what penalty Osama bin Laden should face before he's been legally determined to be guilty of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

"Asked whether bin Laden should be tried in the United States and put to death, Dean told The Concord Monitor, "I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."
In an interview with the New Hampshire newspaper for Friday editions, Dean added: "I'm sure that is the correct sentiment of most Americans, but I do think if you're running for president, or if you are president, it's best to say that the full range of penalties should be available. But it's not so great to prejudge the judicial system." - Washington Post (12/26/03)


December 20, 2003 - The new WTC tower called the "Freedom Tower" is unveiled and total projected costs of the new complex is between $9-12 billion in which about $5 billion will come from government sources.

New Trade Center tower design unveiled

"Called the Freedom Tower, the structure will be a "soaring tribute" to the fallen heroes of Sept. 11, 2001, and to freedom, Pataki told "Today".

Silverstein has put the cost of the entire redevelopment project at up to $12 billion over 10 years. Previous estimates had put the cost at between $4 billion and $7 billion. The tower itself could cost $1.5 billion.
Silverstein expects $7 billion to come from insurance proceeds -- an amount that is the subject of a bitter lawsuit between the leaseholder and insurance companies. He has said $5 billion would come from government sources.
A cornerstone would be laid on the “Freedom Tower” by Sept. 11, 2004, and it would be finished by the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009, he said." - MSNBC (12/20/03)


Silverstein Rests in Trade Center Insurance Trial
"The trial is the first of three potential proceedings, with separate juries, that will decide how much Silverstein will get to rebuild the 10 million square-foot office portion of the trade center site, including the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, which is to be the world's tallest building. Silverstein has estimated construction costs for the entire project may reach $9 billion." - NYSCPA (04/13/04)


(See also:  October 15, 2001 - WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein seeks $7.2 billion from his insurers)


December 29, 2003 - Conspiracy theories abound in 9/11 probe

"One theory contends that the Bush administration was warned about the 9/11 attacks but did nothing to stop them. Another says an American missile fired by the U.S. military struck the Pentagon, not a hijacked jetliner. Yet another hypothesis says the Israelis orchestrated the attacks to force the United States into a war against the Arabs.
More than two years after terrorists hijacked four airliners and killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, conspiracy theories abound about what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.
A 9/11 widow recently filed a lawsuit accusing President Bush of allowing the attacks to gather support for the war on terrorism. Conspiracy books have become best-sellers in Europe. And earlier this month, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean recounted in a radio interview a "most interesting theory" that Bush ignored warnings from Saudi Arabia about the attacks. Questioned afterward, he backed away from the theory, saying: "I can't imagine the president of the United States doing that."
"What breeds these theories is that two years out, we have no authoritative account of how it happened and why it happened," said 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser of Middletown, a member of the Family Steering Committee, a group of survivors monitoring the national commission examining the Sept. 11 attacks.
Breitweiser, whose husband Ronald died in the World Trade Center attack, said she still has many questions.
"I don't know why my husband was told to stay at his desk," she said. "I don't know why fighter jets were not scrambled on time. I don't know why the national security adviser said she had no idea planes could be used as weapons when the historical record is replete with planes possibly being used as weapons. It boggles the mind."
Breitweiser and the steering committee say concerns about stonewalling and a cover-up have been fueled by the government's "excessive secrecy," Bush's initial opposition to the commission, his delay in turning over White House intelligence briefings and the naming of Philip Zelikow, a friend of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, as executive director of the 9/11 panel.
There are the widely denounced anti-Semitic theories, for example, that claim Israeli involvement in the attacks despite the compelling evidence Islamic radical Osama bin Laden and his alQaeda terrorist network masterminded and carried out the attacks. In fact, Bin Laden has claimed credit for the attacks.
A former German cabinet minister, Andreas von Bulow, has written a best-selling book in Germany suggesting that the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services blew up the World Trade Center from the inside, then crashed two jetliners into the building by remote control to cover up their actions. He argues the attacks were mounted to justify the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Michael Meacher, a former British environmental minister, published an article suggesting American air defenses might have deliberately stood down on Sept. 11 so the United States could use the attack as a pretext to gain control of the world's oil supplies and expand American power.
Author and polemicist Gore Vidal has written widely about Sept. 11 and its aftermath. In one British newspaper, he wrote that the U.S. was warned repeatedly in advance of the attacks that there would be "unfriendly visits to our skies some time in September 2001... But the government neither informed nor protected us despite Mayday warnings from Presidents Putin (of Russia) and Mubarak (of Egypt), and even from elements of our own FBI."
French author and left-wing activist Therry Meyssan has written a best-selling book in France claiming that an American missile, not a hijacked airliner, struck the Pentagon. He argued the attack was staged by the U.S. military to promote its agenda. His theory has been promoted on numerous Web sites showing photographs of the Pentagon with no apparent evidence of a crashed airliner.
John Judge, a self-styled investigator and one of the founders of 9/11 CitizensWatch, another group monitoring the commission, said Meyssan's theory is "beyond the pale." But he said there are many unanswered questions, including why the air defense system did not react after it discovered that four jetliners were hijacked, and why no one has been called to account." - Star-Ledger (12/29/03)


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