Nine Questions About the Paris Attacks

Mainstream media are busily promoting a familiar narrative for last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. As usual this narrative demonizes Islam, calls for a reduction in civil rights, and bolsters existing military aggressions. However, a growing number of serious questions have arisen about the attacks. Until such questions are answered, citizens must consider that these events might be another pretext for an ongoing political agenda.

10898227_10152491412137471_728758766975523225_nThe Paris attacks are reported to have occurred in two parts. The first was the January 7th shooting of twelve people in and around the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a tabloid that often published offensive cartoons including some about the Prophet Mohammad. The second attack occurred the next day and was said to be the work of Amedy Coulibaly, a 32-year old Senegalese Frenchman who began shooting police officers at the scene of an accident and then took hostages in a Kosher grocery.

Some parts of the story have already proven to be inaccurate. For example, FOX News and NBC falsely reported that two of the suspects were in custody, based on information from “two consistently reliable U.S. counterterrorism officials.” One 18-year old widely reported to be a suspect turned himself in (145 miles away) and was released 50 hours later due to insurmountable contradictions.

Questions that remain unanswered include the following.

  1. The Charlie Hebdo gunmen, identified by police as brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, were said to display professional training as if they were highly-skilled Special Operations soldiers. They were calm and controlled, well equipped, and well trained. Exactly where did they get their training and high-tech equipment?
  2. Coulibaly was identified by DNA testing in only two hours. Although rapid DNA tests can be performed in a matter of hours, a match requires DNA from the suspect. How did the testing match with this man in such a short time? Did authorities have his DNA or was it already in a database? In either case, how did that happen?
  3. Videos quickly showed two people in the Hebdo getaway car with one in the driver’s seat. Why did authorities name and interrogate a third suspect (who turned out to not be involved) as the getaway car driver?
  4. Why would the Koachi brothers wear balaclavas (i.e. ski masks) to hide their identity and then simply leave Said’s national ID card in the car? If they took the time to hide their faces, why would they bring their IDs with them?
  5. Why did the masked attackers work to make sure they were quickly portrayed as Muslims and members of al Qaeda during the attacks? Witnesses said one shouted to onlookers—”Tell the media it was al-Qaeda in Yemen.” Other videos and reports indicate that they repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and proclaimed that they were avenging the Prophet Mohammad. Who benefits from this?
  6. How did the attackers escape (to the northeast—the longest route through Paris) despite the police having raised the “alarm level for the greater Paris area to its highest level.” Did they have logistical support?
  7. Why does the video of the shooting of victim Ahmed Merabet, reportedly killed by a shot to the head, suggest that he was not shot in the head?
  8. How did Helric Fredou die? A Paris police commissioner conducting the investigation, Fredou died while preparing a report on the crimes. And why did Western media not report his death for at least three days?
  9. The alleged Kosher grocery gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, met with the President of France just a few years ago. What are the odds of such a coincidental meeting and does the connection relate to the attacks?

Many people have become skeptical about mainstream accounts of terrorism. This is due to the fact that authorities, like the FBI or CIA, are often found to be involved in some way and the events always support political agendas. Therefore it is not surprising to hear people claiming that intelligence agencies were involved in these attacks, or that the attacks related to political manipulations that would “shore up France’s vassal state status to Washington.”

Whatever the truth, it seems wise to consider all possibilities when mainstream media promote stories that feed the war machine and reduce freedom. Refraining from judgment until the facts are clearer is always the best approach.

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Oswald and Atta: Erratic, Protected, and Seeking Attention

Graeme MacQueen’s new book, The 2001 Anthrax Deception, reveals stunning links between the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax attacks that immediately followed. The book also reviews some of the interesting actions taken by alleged hijacker leader, Mohamed Atta, in the years preceding 9/11. These actions suggest that Atta was trying to leave the people he encountered with memories that would support the official myth. In the few years before JFK’s assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald engaged in similar attention-seeking actions. Considering this leads to the discovery that Oswald and Atta had a lot in common.

The legend of Mohamed Atta describes a man who seemed to be everywhere at once. In just the two years before 9/11, Atta reportedly lived and/or plotted in Germany, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan (via Turkey and Pakistan), Oklahoma, Las Vegas, Spain, and numerous locations in Florida. Oswald also traveled extensively in the years before the JFK assassination—back and forth from California to Japan, to New Orleans, Dallas, and Fort Worth, to Mexico City, and to Minsk and Moscow.

Atta was involved in many notable events in a short period before 9/11. Among other things, he annoyed airport employees, was bitten by a dog, consumed alcohol and cocaine, lived with an exotic dancer, and killed a cat and her litter of kittens. He got pulled over for driving without a license, got drunk and swore at a waiter, and abandoned a plane on the runway. In some of these cases Atta interacted with police and the risk for police interactions was there in almost every case.

Some of Atta’s reported actions suggest that he was trying to leave clues. One such incident, occurring around April of 2000, involved his attempt to seek a U.S. government loan to help him purchase and modify a crop dusting plane for large-scale chemical use. In his one-hour encounter with Johnell Bryant, a federal employee from whom he was seeking the loan, Atta talked about security at the World Trade Center and buildings in Washington. He went on to talk about his connection to Al Qaeda and his admiration for Osama bin Laden. The most vivid memory Bryant had of Atta was his extremely dilated pupils—a symptom of drug abuse.

In his interaction with Bryant, Atta made a big deal about a picture of Washington D.C. in her office. Bryant said that Atta acted like he wanted that picture very badly. Johnell said that Atta’s “emotions kept going up and down, up and down” and he became agitated when she would not sell him the picture or give him the $650,000 loan to buy the plane and equip it with the large chemical tank. To emphasize his displeasure and heighten the experience, Atta suggested that he might cut her throat. Those are certainly not the actions of someone trying to keep a highly secret terrorist plot from being discovered.

Atta’s antics continued until the day before 9/11, when he made an inexplicable last-minute trip to Portland, Maine, leaving with only 75 minutes to catch the flight that he allegedly had carefully planned to hijack in Boston. He conveniently left the most incriminating evidence possible in his luggage.

Like Atta, Lee Harvey Oswald was busy making himself visible before he allegedly assassinated the President of the United States. His activities in that regard are described well in James Douglass’ book, JFK and the Unspeakable. In fact, reports about Oswald suggest that, like Atta, he was too busy to have been only one person. Whoever it was, the person posing as Oswald made a number of attempts to draw attention his way.

Oswald’s strange behavior in the summer of 1963 provided evidence that he was trying to be noticed. In New Orleans, he engaged in pro-Castro activities by pretending to be the head of the local chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee—but he was its only member. This appears to have been a superficial attempt to support what would become the official line that communists were behind the JFK assassination.

Oswald went to Mexico City in the fall of 1963. During this visit he allegedly made phone calls and visits to both the Cuban and Soviet embassies. He is also reported to have written a letter to a known KGB agent who specialized in assassinations. The CIA monitored such communications closely and it is interesting to consider that 9/11 investigation leader Porter Goss was a CIA operative in Mexico City that same year. In any case, whether true or not, Oswald’s reported actions there indicate that he was working to provide a more recent history for himself as a communist operative or supporter.

Another such incident occurred in the last week of September 1963, when strangers visited Silvia Odio, a 26-year-old Cuban immigrant, in her Dallas apartment. They told Silvia that they were members of an anti-Castro group that her parents were involved in. Sylvia was suspicious, but the visitors said they had come to introduce her to an American named Leon Oswald, who accompanied them. A couple of days later, Sylvia got a phone call from one of them who asked, “What do you think of the American? He’s great but kinda nuts. He told us we don’t have any guts, you Cubans, because President Kennedy should have been assassinated right after the Bay of Pigs.”

Sylvia was disturbed by the visit and the call, and she wrote to her father in prison who wrote back that he knew none of the visitors. When Sylvia heard of President Kennedy’s assassination on the radio—before any mention of Oswald had been made—she was convinced that “Leon Oswald” did it and she reported it to authorities. The FBI interviewed Sylvia in December 1963. Although her testimony was not included in the Warren Report, the incident was clearly meant to connect Oswald to the assassination plot.

Oswatta5Apart from their world travels and attempts to be noticed, Atta and Oswald had other important things in common. For one, both of them appeared to be above the law. That is, they both committed crimes and yet they were not held accountable.

There are reasons to believe that Oswald might have been subjected to CIA mind-control experiments using LSD in the late 1950s. In any case, in 1959 he defected to the Soviet Union. At the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, he reportedly told officials that he planned to give radar secrets to the Soviets. That, of course, would have been treason. Oswald lived in the Soviet Union for three years and married a young Russian woman. In June 1962, he was not only allowed to return to the United States, the U.S. government loaned him money to return, never prosecuted him, and claimed to have never even debriefed him.

Although Mohamed Atta ‘s pre-9/11 crimes were not so dramatic, he enjoyed the same unbelievable luck with regard to lack of prosecution or interrogation. In 1995, Atta was investigated by German authorities for drug-related offenses yet was never charged. There is evidence that Atta continued to use drugs, as was suspected of Oswald. Atta’s stripper girlfriend, Amanda Keller, said that he “had massive supplies of cocaine” which he restocked whenever needed at one of the flight schools he frequented in Florida.  Keller said that during the time she dated him, she saw Atta do cocaine on multiple occasions.

Atta should have also been wanted for abandoning a stalled aircraft on a busy runway at Miami International Airport, in December 2000. Although the Federal Aviation Administration threatened to investigate the matter and hold him accountable, the whole thing was mysteriously dropped.

Three months before 9/11, a warrant was issued for Atta’s arrest in Florida. Having been stopped earlier by Florida police and cited for not having a driver’s license, the warrant was issued because Atta failed to show up at court for the hearing. Yet not only was he not arrested, Atta spent the next few months flying all over the U.S. using his real name without being stopped or questioned. He was pulled over again in July—this time for speeding—in Delray Beach, Florida. Instead of being arrested on the outstanding warrant (supposedly still not entered in the computer system more than a month later,) Atta was simply given a warning.

If the Delray Beach police had checked his immigration status, they would have found that Atta’s visa had expired—another crime. A month after that, Atta’s rental car was queried by police in Broward County, Florida. The existing arrest warrant still did not generate interest, despite the fact that Atta had rented the car in his own name. When Atta bought his flight ticket for 9/11, the outstanding arrest warrant was still in effect and his visa had been expired for over two months. It turned out that violating visa regulations was common for many of the alleged hijackers, yet it never caused them problems.

People have often wondered if Oswald was a CIA employee. Whether or not that was true, or can be proven, several of Oswald’s associates were CIA employees. For example, Oswald’s “best friend” in Dallas, George DeMohrenschild, admitted that he was connected to the Dallas office of the CIA. Another close friend of Oswald and his wife was Ruth Paine, in whose house much of the incriminating evidence was found. Paine’s sister worked for the CIA and Oswald’s wife later said that Paine was sympathizing (or associated) with the CIA.

Similarly, Mohamed Atta had associations with people linked to the CIA. For example, Luai Sakra, an informant for the CIA, was reportedly in contact with Atta before 9/11. Sakra’s lawyer later said that his client admitted to helping the alleged hijackers. Moreover, it is known that the CIA made efforts to recruit another of Atta’s friends. This was Mamoun Darkazanli, who along with Atta was a member of the Hamburg Al-Qaeda cell.

By early 2000, Atta was under CIA surveillance. At the time, he began contacting flight schools in the United States. This included communicating with and visiting airports in Oklahoma. Those activities led Atta to the same locations as persons of 9/11 interest such as University of Oklahoma president David Boren and Stratesec CEO Wirt D. Walker, whose company provided security for facilities related to 9/11.

The man who trained Zacarias Moussaoui, the sole person convicted of crimes related to 9/11, now occupies the same airport hangar as Walker’s companies did in the years before and after 9/11. Coincidentally, while Atta and Marwan Alshehhi were learning to fly at Huffmann Aviation in Venice, Florida, “A CIA front company called Air Caribe was also operating out of the very same hangar at Venice airport.” The southwest Florida area near Venice, where Atta and the alleged hijackers spent so much time, was home to a long history of CIA and drug trafficking operations.

Lee Harvey Oswald and Mohamed Atta had much in common. They both traveled extensively in the time leading up to their respective crimes and both sought attention in ways that would implicate them in those crimes. They were both suspected of using illicit drugs. They both seemed to be protected by authorities when they might have been prosecuted before accomplishing their tasks, and they were both associated with CIA-linked entities. Officially the biggest difference between them is that one was part of a conspiracy and one was not, but the evidence indicates that they were both operating within wider deceptions controlled by powerful people.

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Terrorism and the Evolution of Deception

Politicians and pundits often use terrorism to promote the interests of their financiers. This fear mongering goes hand in hand with attempts at war profiteering, population control, and the concentration of political power. What many are beginning to discover is that deception is integral to the success of the terrorism business. That is, the official accounts of terrorist events are typically fraught with omissions of fact and the concealment of clues that point to the involvement of more powerful people. The success of these false accounts reveals important aspects of human nature and points to ways in which thoughtful people can help to overcome such challenges.

There will always be a few people greedy enough to lie to others for personal gain, but we can live with this. What we can’t live with is large numbers of people lying to themselves because habitual self-deception is fatal. Long-term successful lies require motivated liars but also willing listeners and when millions or billions of citizens engage in such duplicity they make it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to survive.

political-manipulationIt’s common to see people blaming the government or the media for lying and taking advantage. That’s not surprising because, in general, politicians are highly evolved lying machines and the media is rewarded for telling the majority what they want to hear in ways that promote business interests. But what is really needed to overcome that pattern is to examine how lies told by authoritative sources are accepted so easily, making it possible for some to exploit this weakness.

All people lie to themselves. We lie to justify our past actions, to promote ourselves relative to others, and to protect our self-image. The psychological biases and defense mechanisms behind these lies have been studied and are well documented.

Here are a few of the known psychological biases. 

  • Self-serving bias: The tendency to take credit for success and blame external factors for failure
  • Egocentricity bias: The tendency to exaggerate the importance of one’s role in past events
  • False consensus bias: The tendency to believe that most people share one’s opinions and values
  • Assumption of uniqueness: The tendency to overestimate one’s uniqueness
  • Self-righteous bias: The tendency to regard oneself as having higher moral standards or greater moral consistency than others have
  • In-group / out-group bias: The tendency to view members of groups to which one belongs in a more positive light than members of groups of which one does not belong

Examples of known defense mechanisms are as follows.

  • Repression: Motivated amnesia
  • Projection: Misattributing some aspect of oneself to someone else
  • Disavowal (or denial): Disbelieving a true memory or perception
  • Reaction-formation: Representing an attitude or emotion as its opposite
  • Rationalization: Attributing mental states to false reasons
  • Acting out: Precipitately acting to preempt conscious awareness

These are ubiquitous aspects of human psychology—not specific to any cultures or geographic regions. All people lie to themselves to some degree in these ways. Such lies are, without a doubt, largely activated by the unconscious mind but, as Freud noted, almost all of life is a matter of unconscious activity. The conscious mind, or the remembered present, is less involved in, and less capable of directing our lives than most people realize.

Humans developed this tendency to self-deceive through natural selection. Self-deception evolved as a way to better deceive others. Of course, deception of others was an evolutionary advantage whenever there was a limited availability of certain necessities, like food and mates. In response, detection of deception became an evolutionary advantage, as people learned to detect subtle physical clues in the deceiver. Furthermore, individuals who could successfully lie to themselves were naturally selected because they were less likely to give themselves away when lying to others. It seems that self-deception arose in conjunction with lie detection, with the two traits evolving in a sort of early arms race.

The evolution of language allowed for the skills of deception to overtake the skills of detection. The higher, linguistic consciousness facilitated more overlap between mental images due to the uncertainty, or play, in the meaning of terms. The power of language and semantics also gave way to a higher consciousness where internal concepts like the self-image originated. The imbalance between skills of self-deception and skills for detecting self-deception was enhanced by this increased level of uncertainty, and by the higher priority given to the self-image over other internal images.

We all strive to maintain a positive self-image and the increasing amount of time and energy devoted to this task is presenting risk to our real selves. In fact, we seem to defend our self-image as much or more than we defend our actual physical selves and this involves engaging in what Jean-Paul Sartre called “bad faith”. Since the self-image is not real, lying to protect it wastes energy and lowers our chances of being able to respond to any real challenges in our physical environment.

Politicians regularly co-opt our self-image by appealing to our sense of national identity and claiming to speak for it. When selling or promoting a policy, they wrap themselves in the flag. The biases and defense mechanisms noted above come into play when our personal identities are linked to our national identity. Using claims of an elusive, external threat, as with terrorism, government and media can manipulate these tendencies to frame and control the mindset of the average citizen. It all begins with self preservation, whether real or imagined.

In the United States the political system is carefully controlled to provide only two identities—Democrat and Republican. Once chosen, that simplisitic identity functions as a handle by which citizen viewpoints can be more easily controlled. Americans often don’t realize how little difference actually exists between the two parties. Moreover, politicans and media would have more difficulty manipulating a public that identified itself with more than two political viewpoints.

Similarly, each belief and opinion we adopt adds something to our self-image and creates something more to defend. Those who want war for their own purposes frequently utilize differences in religion to inflame the target populations and divert attention away from the real, usually resource-related, motivations. In more simple ways, our opinions on the subject of the day represent positions that, once made, pose risk to our identity and make it difficult for us to change our minds.

Our self-image must fit into an ever-changing mental environment or worldview. Today the rate of input from television and internet media forces people to make rapid adjustments to either their worldview or their self-image in order to maintain their mental “place in the world.” To complicate things, the media are now operated by only a few corporate interests and the internet is at increasing risk of becoming a closed, controlled-message system.

The mental environment of most people is changing and being manipulated very rapidly, with little predictability relative to the changes humanity has seen in the past. At the same time corporate interests are pursuing a power grab strategy that places the survival of the average person at a very low priority. Add to this a climactic evolutionary mental imbalance that indicates that we can no longer tell if we’re lying to ourselves, and we find ourselves in a dangerous predicament.

As thoughtful people work to monitor and reveal deception related to terrorism and other crimes, an effort to get to the root of these problems is needed. To overcome the challenges of deception there is an urgent need to understand and educate on human limitations, including self-deception and uncertainty in communications.

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CIA Director George Tenet Facilitated 9/11

After becoming Director of the CIA (DCI) in 1997, George Tenet did what Louis Freeh had done after his appointment as FBI Director. He began to cultivate close personal relationships with the rulers of Saudi Arabia. Like Freeh, Tenet grew especially close to Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Bandar and Tenet often met at Bandar’s home near Washington yet Tenet did not share information from those meetings with his own officers who were handling Saudi issues at the Agency. The CIA’s Saudi specialists only learned about Tenet’s dealings with the Saudi authorities inadvertently, through their Saudi contacts. It seems that Tenet was operating within a network that surpassed the interests of the American public. Therefore the unsolved crimes of 9/11, attributed largely to young men from Saudi Arabia, should be considered in light of Tenet’s actions.

As Deputy Director for the CIA, in 1996, Tenet had worked to install one of his closest friends and confidants, John Brennan, as CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia. Brennan is now the DCI but, in his previous role, Brennan often communicated directly with Tenet, avoiding the usual chain of command. At the time, as an apparent favor to the Saudis, CIA analysts were discouraged from questioning Saudi relationship to Arab extremists.

The unusual relationship that both George Tenet and Louis Freeh had with Saudi intelligence (and George H.W. Bush) recalls the private network that was created in the mid-1970s to accomplish covert actions though means of proxies. This private network included disgruntled CIA officers who had been fired by President Carter, as well as the group known as The Safari Club, and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

The Safari Club resulted from an agreement between Saudi Arabian intelligence chief Kamal Adham, Anwar Sadat of Egypt, the Shah of Iran, and French intelligence director Alexandre de Marenches. The BCCI network grew, with the blessing of DCI George H.W. Bush, through the guidance of the Safari Club, which needed a network of banks to help fund proxy operations, including off-the-books operations required by the CIA. This private network was utilized in the arming of the Mujahideen, the precursor to al Qaeda.

The U.S. aid to the Mujahideen did not officially start until 1980 but went on for many years under the name Operation Cyclone. This operation relied heavily on using the Pakistani ISI as an intermediary for funds and weapons distribution, military training, and financial support. Evidence suggests that covert U.S. support for a “CIA within a CIA” existed twenty years later, when Tenet began leading the CIA, and that terrorist operations were among those that were funded.

tenet and bushThat possibility underscores the failure of George Tenet’s leadership of the CIA as the Agency failed miserably to detect and prevent al Qaeda terrorism. This failure might make more sense in light of British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook’s claim that al Qaeda was not originally a terrorist group but a database of operatives used by the CIA. In any case, it was almost as if Tenet wanted al Qaeda to not only remain viable, but to be seen as an ever-looming threat.

For example, in February 1998, Al Qaeda made public its second fatwah, repeating its declaration of holy war against the United States and its allies. It included the signatures of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, head of the Jihad Group in Egypt. What did George Tenet’s CIA do in response?

  • According to CIA officer Michael Scheuer, “The Agency’s Bin Laden unit was ordered disbanded” in April 1998. Although Tenet rescinded the order later, Scheuer commented that “the on-again, off-again signals about the unit’s future status made for confusion, distraction, and much job-hunting in the last few weeks” before the embassy attacks.
  • In May 1998, Tenet traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Tenet and Abdullah made a secret agreement that Bin Laden, if captured, would not be given to the U.S. for trial but instead given to the Saudis. Recommending that the Saudis bribe the Taliban to turn Bin Laden over, Tenet canceled the CIA’s own operation to get Bin Laden.
  • Michael Scheuer claimed that, between May 1998 and May 1999, U.S. leaders passed up ten opportunities to capture Bin Laden. According to Scheuer, it was George Tenet and his deputies who rejected the proposals. 
Apparently two declarations of holy war by al Qaeda were not enough to compel George Tenet to increase his agency’s focus on Bin Laden. Not only that, Tenet seemed to intentionally back off pursuing Bin laden in 1998 and 1999, obstructing U.S. attempts to capture al Qaeda’s leader.

The result was the August 7, 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. The date of the bombings marked the eighth anniversary of the arrival of American forces in Saudi Arabia. Just months before the bombings, the CIA had been warned by the Kenyan Intelligence Service that the embassy in Nairobi was going to be attacked by al Qaeda. But the CIA ignored the warning. Not only that, but the embassy bombings were “carried out by a cell that U.S. agents had already uncovered.”

Late that year, in a memo to the CIA, George Tenet declared war against al Qaeda. He wrote that “Our work to date has been remarkable and in some cases heroic” but “we must now redouble our efforts against Bin Ladin himself, his infrastructure, followers, finances, etc with a sense of enormous urgency.” He said, “We are at war…. I want no resources or people spared… either inside CIA or the [U.S. intelligence] community.”

Although meetings were held, Tenet did not attend them and his deputy went only once. The meetings were attended by few if any officers from other agencies and quickly stopped addressing the fight against al Qaeda. No other plan was made at the CIA or elsewhere in the U.S. intelligence community, as a result of this declaration of war by Tenet, to defeat al Qaeda.

Despite the attempts by Tenet and others to hype the threat from Bin Laden and his alleged network, as of August 1999 not even The Washington Post appeared to be convinced of the threat. Reporters Colum Lynch and Vernon Loeb at the Post questioned the emerging legend of al Qaeda by writing, “for all its claims about a worldwide conspiracy to murder Americans, the government’s case is, at present, largely circumstantial. The indictment never explains how bin Laden runs al Qaeda or how he may have masterminded the embassy bombings.”

Behind the scenes, Tenet’s lack of action suggested that he was also unconcerned. An example was given in March 1999 when German intelligence provided to the CIA the mobile phone number and first name of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers—Marwan Al-Shehhi. The CIA did nothing with the information. Although Tenet later dismissed its importance, others said that the number could have been easily traced, leading to the capture of Al-Shehhi.

Additionally, the CIA appeared “to have been investigating the man who recruited the [alleged 9/11] hijackers at the time he was recruiting them.” Although there is no evidence that the CIA took actions to stop the plot as it was unfolding, there were many interesting leads to follow. For example, in the summer of 1999 Bin Laden was reportedly given $50 million by a group of oil-rich sheikhs. The New York Times reported on this gift which came via a single bank transfer: “The Central Intelligence Agency has obtained evidence that Mr. Bin Laden has been allowed to funnel money through the Dubai Islamic Bank in Dubai, which the United Arab Emirates Government effectively controls.”

The links between al Qaeda and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were far greater, however. These included that the alleged plot architect Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) was said to be living in Sharjah, UAE as of 1999. Sharjah was reportedly a major center of al Qaeda activity at the time. One of the alleged hijackers, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, was from Sharjah, as was alleged plot financier Mustafa Ahmed Al-Hawsawi. All of the alleged 9/11 hijackers traveled through the UAE on their way to the United States, other than Mohamed Atta, Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Mihdhar, the latter of whom was said to be the one to facilitate the travel of the others. Accused hijacker pilot Ziad Jarrah was detained and questioned in January 2000 at Dubai Airport. However, CIA and UAE officials failed to warn German intelligence about Jarrah, who traveled on to Hamburg.

Overall, the lack of communication and action taken by DCI Tenet regarding the men who would be accused of perpetrating the 9/11attacks was reflective of the same attitude exhibited by FBI Director Louis Freeh. With the strong ties between Tenet’s good friend Clarke and the UAE, it would seem that much could have been done to stop the 9/11 attacks long before they happened.

Perhaps coincidentally, the CIA’s tracking of two 9/11 suspects who did not travel to the U.S. through the UAE has been reported extensively. This began with the monitoring of a January 2000 meeting in Malaysia attended by KSM and several other alleged al Qaeda leaders. The meeting included the two alleged 9/11 hijackers Khalid Al-Mihdhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi. These are the two suspects who Tenet claimed the CIA had been looking for only in the few weeks before 9/11. The CIA must not have been looking too hard because when the two suspects came to the U.S., they lived in San Diego with an FBI asset.

With regard to the CIA’s failed communications prior to 9/11, author Kevin Fenton lets Tenet off the hook, saying that there is “no evidence of [Tenet] doing anything intentionally wrong before the attacks. Fenton acknowledges that Tenet lied extensively in testimony to the Joint Congressional Inquiry, and that he gave “a string of evasive answers” to the 9/11 Commission. Yet Fenton’s premise is that low-level CIA and FBI officers kept a secret plan [the hiding of evidence about the two suspects] from their superiors.

The facts, however, suggest that high-level CIA leadership was behind the orders to hide the evidence about Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi. Examples include the failure of the CIA station in Bangkok to communicate that the two suspects had left Thailand for the U.S., and the order referenced by the CIA station chief in Kuala Lumpur when he said that he was not supposed to show certain photographs related to the men. Although that order was disobeyed, and the surveillance photos of the Malaysia meeting were shared with FBI officers, such an order to a CIA station chief could not have come from low-level officers. Control of multiple CIA stations could only come from the top.

While the CIA withheld information about Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi living in the United States, Tenet simultaneously kept the threat hype going. A month after the Malaysia meeting, he told the U.S. Senate that Bin Laden was planning “to strike further blows against America.”

Despite this apparent threat, Tenet had not ordered a National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism in his entire tenure, the last one having been produced in 1997. According to the 9/11 Commission, Tenet finally recognized this need and charged the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center with making a strategic assessment. But as with so many other coincidences, the person who was to lead the assessment didn’t start work until the day before 9/11.

U.S. intelligence officers later said they were told to back-off investigation of Bin Laden and the Saudis. After the Bush Administration took over in January 2001, there was a “major policy shift” at the National Security Agency in that OBL could still be investigated, but they could not look at where he got his money.

Adding to suspicions about Tenet are the mysterious links between Tenet’s mentor, David Boren, and training for the alleged hijackers. Currently the co-chair of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board, Boren is the long-time president of the University of Oklahoma, which has its own airport. In the years before 9/11, the FBI came to the airport several times to talk to people there about the training of terrorism suspects. It was later learned that the university airport was where Zacarias Moussaoui trained to fly, and that Mohamed Atta and other alleged hijackers had called, emailed and visited the airport in the two years before 9/11.

These clues were ignored as Tenet refused to cooperate with the official investigations into the events of 9/11 and as he lied to representatives of the U.S. Congress. Tenet lied to the 9/11 Commission about having met with President Bush in the month before the attacks. He lied under oath about CIA foreknowledge of the alleged hijackers, and he lied to the 9/11 Commission by failing to tell them about torture videos that his subordinates later destroyed.

The facts show that, as DCI from 1997 to 2004, Tenet was responsible for an agency that had, at the very least, failed miserably to perform its duties related to counterterrorism. Overall the evidence suggests that, as with Louis Freeh and the FBI, some of those failures were intentional. Concerns that Tenet and Freeh had developed secret paths of communication with Saudi authorities, and that they might have disrupted plans to capture or investigate al Qaeda suspects, were never addressed. Therefore, an ongoing investigation into 9/11 should include George Tenet and his actions leading up to the attacks.

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Profiting from 9/11: SAIC and Duane Andrews

Both before and after 9/11, one private company had a greater impact on counterterrorism programs in the United States than any other. That company, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), also profited more from the events of 9/11 than any other. Its chief operating officer (COO), Duane Andrews, was a man who had expertise-level knowledge of the vulnerabilities that were exploited on 9/11. He also just happened to be a long-time, close colleague of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

SAIC feeds on terrorism, having won many of its record number of government contracts through the national security state that has arisen via the War on Terror. Through its numerous contracts and employee security clearances, it has become a private business that cannot be distinguished from a permanent form of government. In short, SAIC is “the fraternal twin of the intelligence establishment.”[1]

With regard to 9/11, SAIC’s impact cannot be overstated as the company:

  • Created the national databases that tracked and identified terrorists
  • Supplied U.S. airports with terrorism screening equipment
  • Predicted and investigated terrorist attacks against U.S. infrastructure including national defense networks and the World Trade Center (WTC)
  • Helped create the official account for what happened at the WTC both in 1993 and after 9/11
  • Was a leader in research on thermitic materials like those found in the WTC dust[2]
  • Employed the leader of the robotics team that scoured the pile at Ground Zero, using equipment capable of eliminating explosives
  • Provided the information to capture the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM)

Furthermore, Dick Cheney’s long-time protégé, Duane P. Andrews, ran SAIC’s government business for thirteen years, from 1993 to 2006, and was therefore a principal character in these activities. During this time, Andrews was also a leading corporate representative on government commissions and taskforces that evaluated threats to U.S. defense and information systems.

duane-andrewsAndrews’ history with Cheney goes back decades. In the Vietnam War, he was a special operations soldier in the U.S. Air Force. He then got a position as a staff member for the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. During his time in that position, Cheney was a prominent member of the House Intelligence Committee along with Lee Hamilton, the future 9/11 Commission vice-chairman.

Later, George H.W. Bush nominated Andrews for the post of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (ASD/C3I). This led to Andrews being personally responsible for giving Secretary of Defense Cheney his daily intelligence briefs.

Cheney and Andrews used false information to start the Gulf War. This included satellite photos allegedly showing a build-up of Iraqi troops on the Saudi Arabian border, which were later shown by St. Petersburg Times reporter Jean Heller to represent a false claim.[3] The false information also included the testimony of the 15-year old Kuwaiti royal, Nayirah.

Andrews left the Pentagon in 1993 to become President and COO of SAIC’s federal business, which accounted for a majority of the company’s revenues. Andrews personally managed SAIC’s programs for the National Security Agency (NSA), and other agencies within the U.S. intelligence community, in the years leading up to 9/11 and afterward.

As the man hired to defend the U.S. against attacks on its defense information systems, Andrews became a critical part of the national security apparatus. All the while, he continued to consider Dick Cheney his personal, lifelong hero.[4]

SAIC and the road to 9/11

SAIC worked for many years in close partnership with oil-rich royals in the Middle East, particularly those that have become suspect with regard to 9/11. The first international contract that the company won was for training the Kuwaiti Defense Forces, starting in 1976. Three years later, SAIC secured its biggest and longest lasting international contract, training the Saudi Arabian navy.

In 1986, SAIC was hired by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) “to conduct a general security review of the WTC” with respect to terrorism. SAIC’s report rated the public areas of the WTC as very attractive targets for terrorism, emphasizing especially the basement levels.[5] Perhaps coincidentally, the Kuwaiti-owned security company Stratesec was hired by the PANYNJ in 1991 to provide a similar review and report.

After Andrews joined the company, SAIC was hired to investigate the 1993 bombing of the WTC, an event that was remarkably like the one that it had foreseen in 1986.[6] Moreover, SAIC ultimately provided input that led to producing the official account of what happened. The company boasted that — “After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, our blast analyses produced tangible results that helped identify those responsible.”[7]

In the early 1990s, SAIC was also a leader in developing technology for aviation security. At the time, SAIC had been contracted by a congressional advisory panel, led by L. Paul Bremer and Brian Michael Jenkins among others, to evaluate terrorist threats with regard to airport security.[8] By 1994, the company’s explosives detection equipment was installed in major airports around the country, including in New York City, Miami, and Washington, DC.[9]

Under Andrews, SAIC was heavily focused on analyzing risks to U.S. defense information systems and led the partnership between the U.S. government and industry in that area. As the chairman of a Defense Science Board taskforce on information warfare, Andrews learned about the specific vulnerabilities of U.S. national defense systems. In early 1997, he reported to Congress that U.S. defense systems were a “target-rich environment” and that attacks on certain facilities and information systems “would seriously affect the ability of the Department of Defense to carry out its assigned missions and functions.”[10] Andrews went on to build and secure the Defense Information System Network (DISN). The secret component of the DISN, which was called SIPRnet, linked command and control systems throughout the United States.

As of March 2001, SAIC was also part of the National Coordinating Center for telecommunications (NCC). NCC provided oversight to the agency that, on the morning of 9/11 but before the attacks began, implemented a secret communications system (SRAS) for the first time. The system had been developed in conjunction with the Continuity of Government (COG) plans that Dick Cheney had worked on for nearly twenty years along with Richard Clarke, who implemented COG for the first time as the events of 9/11 proceeded.[11]

The fact that Andrews was the most knowledgeable person in terms of the vulnerabilities of information and communications networks for U.S. national security seems a worthy point for further consideration. That’s because so many inexplicable problems occurred with defense communications networks on 9/11, including the following.

  • There were serious problems with the National Military Command Center’s conference calls that morning. Important participants could not be connected or were repeatedly dropped from the calls, including the FAA.[12]
  • U.S. national security facilities were in an information void on 9/11. Agencies that should have known the most about an ongoing terrorist event were blind to the ongoing attacks.[13]
  • The SIPRnet did not have any information about the attacks even as late as the afternoon of 9/11.[14]
  • President Bush complained of poor communications in that he “could not reach key officials, including Rumsfeld” and “The line to the White House shelter conference room – and the Vice-President- kept cutting off.”[15]

In the mid-1990s, SAIC created the U.S. systems for tracking terrorist suspects. For the FBI, SAIC developed CODIS, the national DNA database, and NCIC, the national criminal background check system.[16] To clarify, when in August 2001 Robert Fuller of the FBI went to search for Khalid Al-Mihdhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi’s alleged presence in the United States via the NCIC system, he was checking a database built by SAIC. Although Fuller found nothing, the 9/11 Commission Report said that such checks should have unearthed driver’s licenses, car registrations, and telephone listings for Al-Mihdhar and Al Hazmi, all of which were in their names.[17] This fact alone should be enough to call for the investigation of SAIC with regard to 9/11.

SAIC purchased Boeing Information Services (BIS) in 1999. BIS specialized in information systems integration, logistics, networking, and outsourcing, and dealt with management of data communications to Boeing aircraft. Its work in progress included “a five-year Defense Information Systems Network contract with the Defense Information Systems Agency”, and “the Army’s Reserve Component Automation System, a 12-year contract worth $1.6 billion that the company won in 1991.”[18]

Andrews was a member of Donald Rumsfeld’s commission on national security uses of space. This commission argued that the US should avoid international agreements that limit the deployment of weapons in space, and that, in order to avoid a “Space Pearl Harbor,” the US needed to “develop the capability for power projection in, from, and through space.”[19] As a result, SAIC’s missile defense contracts tripled between 2001 and 2004, going from $47 million to $169 million in value.

SAIC and the WTC After 9/11

It turns out that SAIC was one of the first organizations to show up at Ground Zero. The company claimed in its 2004 shareholder report that — “Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, we responded rapidly to assist a number of customers near ground zero in New York City and in Washington, D.C.”[20] In one of these instances, “SAIC technicians raced to Ground Zero within hours to install an ad hoc communications network for first responders and local financial companies.”[21] Therefore, SAIC was in control of at least some of the communications at Ground Zero.

Perhaps the most interesting SAIC connection to the cleanup was John Blitch, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, who was said to have retired from the Army just the day before 9/11. It was reported that Blitch was “filling out the paperwork in an out-processing office of the Pentagon on the morning of September 10, 2001,” and that after “three years at the helm of the Defense Department’s Tactical Mobile Robots Program,” he was “leaving to direct the Center for Intelligent Robotics and Unmanned Systems at the Science Applications International Corporation.”[22]

Instead of traveling to his SAIC office in Colorado on 9/11, as he had planned, “Blitch scrapped the trip…and headed for New York. On the road, Blitch donned his fatigues, dug out his military ID, and worked his cell phone, summoning colleagues from Florida to Boston to pack up their finest tactical robots and rendezvous at Ground Zero.” And “Over the next 11 days, the group’s 17 robots squeezed into spaces too narrow for humans, dug through heaps of scalding rubble, and found seven bodies trapped beneath the mountains of twisted steel and shattered concrete.”[23]

Blitch was experienced at such search missions, and had done “ground-breaking research in robot assisted search and rescue conducted during the Oklahoma City Bombing response”.[24] By May 2001, laser technology was being used by Blitch’s robot program. It was reported that — “Robots are performing quite successfully in the field of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD)”… and “EOD units [include] a laser weapon for ordnance neutralization…[used to] burn unexploded ordnance.”[25]

Therefore, SAIC had the means and opportunity to neutralize any unwanted explosives that might have been buried in the pile at Ground Zero. That’s interesting in that SAIC supplied the largest contingent of non-governmental investigators to the NIST WTC investigation after 9/11. That investigation went to great lengths in order to avoid consideration of explosives.

Manufacturing and Profiting From War

SAIC went on to play an integral role in the “War on Terror”, and was even responsible for capturing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It was SAIC staff and technology that “tease[ed] out crucial clues about Mohammed’s activities from intercepted text messages that he sent to his al Qaeda operatives using as many as 20 different cell phones.”[26]

After 9/11, SAIC was hired to fix the problems it had created with terrorist tracking systems. Duane Andrews was personally in charge of the project called Trailblazer, which was originally launched in 1999 but ostensibly was not tested for operational use by the U.S. government until six years later. The system was meant to translate all NSA intercepts, including telephone, email and other electronic information, into actionable intelligence.

An oft-cited example of the failures that Trailblazer was meant to avoid was the reported incident in which messages stating “tomorrow is zero hour” and “the match begins tomorrow” were intercepted by the NSA on September 10, 2001 but not translated until September 12th. The Trailblazer system was not the answer to those problems, however, and was ultimately a total failure. After 6 years and $1.2 billion spent, the NSA cancelled the project in 2005.

Another huge failure led by SAIC was with the FBI system called Virtual Case File (VCF), which was intended to solve the supposed information sharing problem that prevented the FBI from tracking terrorists like Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi, who lived for years with an FBI informant. VCF was meant to provide a centralized database of terrorism related information that all FBI agents could utilize. However, after three years and hundreds of millions in costs, VCF was written off as “the most highly publicized software failure in history.”[27]

SAIC’s 9/11 profiteering didn’t stop there. While helping NIST to determine the causes of the WTC destruction, “SAIC personnel were instrumental in pressing the case that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and that war was the only way to get rid of them.”[28] The company helped supply the faulty intelligence that said Saddam had WMDs and then profited from the invasion by generating Iraq contracts worth billions of dollars. In 2003 alone, SAIC pulled in $5.4 billion in government revenue.

With the help of SAIC, John Poindexter of Iran-Contra fame was able to convince the U.S. government to hire him to ensure “Total Information Awareness” as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Through related programs, SAIC won major contracts for management of huge IT systems that involved spying on Americans and running the Joint Intelligence Operations Centers (JIOCs).[29]

Considering the incredible growth in contracts that SAIC realized from the events of 9/11, any independent investigation into those events should carefully consider the role played by that company and its leadership. Andrews and his company were integral to the counterterrorism programs of the United States in the years prior to 9/11. The company’s role included creating the national databases that tracked and identified terrorists, supplying airport screening equipment, predicting and investigating terrorist attacks against the WTC, helping to create the official account for what happened at the WTC after 9/11, and providing the information to capture KSM. Undoubtedly, SAIC’s impact on the counterterrorism programs of the United States prior to 9/11 was unique and pervasive.

Duane Andrews should be a person of specific interest because he had expert knowledge of the vulnerabilities of the U.S. defense and information systems at a time when many of those systems failed catastrophically. If anyone knew how to exploit weaknesses in the telecommunications and electronic systems of the U.S. defense department, it was Duane Andrews. His history of being closely aligned with the activities of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, for the twenty years prior to 9/11, provides additional reason to suspect him.

Notes

[1] Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Washington’s $8 Billion Shadow, Vanity Fair, March 2007, http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

[2] Kevin R. Ryan, The Top Ten Connections Between NIST and Nanothermites, Journal of 9/11 Studies, July 2008

[3] Morris Berman, Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire, W. W. Norton & Company, 2011

[4] Laura Rozen, The First Contract, The American Prospect, March 30, 2007, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=12612

[5] New York County Supreme Court, Matter of World Trade Ctr. Bombing Litig, 2004 NY Slip Op 24030 [3 Misc 3d 440], January 20, 2004

[6] New York State Law Reporting Bureau, In The Matter of World Trade Center Bombing Litigation, 2004 NY Slip Op 24030 [3 Misc 3d 440], January 20, 2004,   http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2004/2004_24030.htm

[7] Science Applications International Corporation, Annual Report 2004 http://www.saic.com/news/pdf/Annual-Report2004.pdf

[8] U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Technology Against Terrorism: The Federal Effort, OTA-ISC-481, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, July 1991.

[9] A. Maureen Rouhi, Government, Industry Efforts Yield Array Of Tools To Combat Terrorism, Chemical & Engineering News, July 24, 1995

[10] Statement by Duane P. Andrews, Chairman, Defense Science Board Task Force on Information Warfare & Defense, https://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1997_hr/h970320a.htm

[11] Matthew Everett, Backup Communications System Was ‘Miraculously’ Switched on for ‘Exercise Mode’ and Ready for Use on 9/11, Shoestring 9/11, January 10, 2011, http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2011/01/backup-communications-system-was.html

[12] Matthew Everett, The Repeatedly Delayed Responses of the Pentagon Command Center on 9/11, Shoestring 9/11, November 7, 2010

[13] Matthew Everett, Why Were U.S. Intelligence Facilities in an ‘Information Void’ During the 9/11 Attacks?, Shoestring 9/11, August 19, 2012

[14] Ibid

[15] The 9/11 Commission Report, p 40. Note that these communication failures helped ensure that the President was out of the loop for a longer period of time.

[16] Science Applications International Corporation, Press Release, August 24, 1994

[17] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, p 539

[18] Nick Wakeman, Boeing Information Services Sale Has Industry Abuzz, Washington Technology, Jan 21, 1999

[19] Report of the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization

[20] SAIC shareholder report, 2004, http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/SAIC/0x0x208149/64117BC7-5895-497E-A8EB-158A6E57012C/AR_2004.pdf

[21] William Launder, Homeland Security Goes Public, Forbes.com, 08.03.06, http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/02/saic-homeland-security-ipo-cx_wl_0803saic.html

[22] Michael Behar, The New Mobile Infantry: Battle-ready robots are rolling out of the research lab and into harm’s way, Wired, Issue 10.05 | May 2002, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.05/robots.html

[23] Ibid

[24] American Android Corp webpage, About Us, http://www.americanandroid.com/about.jb.html

[25] Sandra I. Erwin, Battlefield Robots: Not Just ‘Entertainment’, National Defense, May 2001, http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2001/May/Pages/Battlefield_Robots4252.aspx

[26] Paul Kaihla, US: In The Company Of Spies, CorpWatch, May 1st, 2003, http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=7892

[27] Harry Goldstein, Who Killed the Virtual Case File?: How the FBI blew more than $100 million on case-management software it will never use, IEEE Spectrum, September 2005

[28] Charlie Cray, “Science Applications International Corporation,” CorpWatch, http://www.corpwatch.org/section.php?id=17 ; cf. Barlett and Steele, “Washington’s $8 Billion Shadow.”

[29] Tim Shorrock, QinetiQ Goes Kinetic: Top Rumsfeld Aide Wins Contracts from Spy Office He Set Up, CorpWatch, January 15, 2008

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Donald Rumsfeld and the Demolition of WTC 7

When former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked about World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7), he claimed that he had never heard of it. This was despite the unprecedented destruction of that 47-story building and its relationship to the events of 9/11 that shaped Rumsfeld’s career. Although not hit by a plane, WTC 7 experienced free fall into its own footprint on the afternoon of 9/11—through the path of what should have been the most resistance. The government agency charged with investigating the building’s destruction ultimately admitted that it had been in free fall during a portion of its descent. That fact makes explosive demolition the only logical explanation. Considering how WTC 7 might have been demolished leads to some interesting facts about Rumsfeld and his associates.

RummyThe one major tenant of WTC 7 was Salomon Smith Barney (SSB), the company that occupied 37 of the 47 floors in WTC 7. A little discussed fact is that Rumsfeld was the chairman of the SSB advisory board and Dick Cheney was a board member as well. Rumsfeld had served as chairman of the SSB advisory board since its inception in 1999. According to the financial disclosures he made in his nomination process, during the same period Rumsfeld had also been a paid consultant to the Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet. Rumsfeld and Cheney had to resign from their CIA and SSB positions in 2001 when they were confirmed as members of George W. Bush’s cabinet.

Several of Rumsfeld and Cheney’s colleagues had access to, or personal knowledge of, WTC 7. Secret Service agent Carl Truscott, who was in charge of the Presidential Protection Division on 9/11, knew the building well because he had worked at the Secret Service’s New York field office located there. Furthermore, Tenet’s CIA secretly operated a “false front of another federal organization” from within WTC 7. That false front might have been related to the Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense, or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), all of which were listed as tenants of WTC 7. The SEC lost many important documents when the building was destroyed, including much of what was needed to effectively prosecute Enron and WorldCom.

In any event, it is clear that covert operatives had access to WTC 7. Through the Secret Service, the DOD, and a secret office of the CIA, the building provided access to many such people. Additionally, electronic security for the WTC complex was contracted out to Stratesec, a security company operated by military arms logistician and Iran-Contra suspect, Barry McDaniel. Wirt Walker, the son of a CIA employee who was flagged by the SEC for suspected 9/11 insider trading, was McDaniel’s boss at Stratesec.

Amazingly, explosives and terrorism were planned topics of discussion at WTC 7 on the day of the attacks. There was a meeting scheduled at WTC 7 for the morning of 9/11 that included explosive disposal units from the U.S. military. The Demolition Ordnance Disposal Team from the Army’s Fort Monmouth just happened to be invited there that morning to meet with the building’s owner, Larry Silverstein. They were “reportedly planning to hold a meeting at 7 World Trade Center to discuss terrorism prevention efforts.” The meeting was set for eight o’clock in the morning on 9/11 but was canceled with the excuse that one of Silverstein’s executives could not make it.

Richard Spanard, an Army captain and commander of Fort Monmouth’s explosive disposal unit, was at WTC 7 to attend the meeting. He was “enjoying breakfast at a deli 50 feet from the World Trade Center twin towers when the first plane hit. General hysteria inundated the deli. Spanard decided that he and the three soldiers with him should move to number 7 World Trade Center, where they had a scheduled meeting.” Building 7 was “full of people in the midst of evacuating. A second explosion was heard, and people began mobbing the three escalators in a state of panic. Spanard and the now five soldiers with him began yelling for everyone to remain calm.”

In yet another “eerie quirk of fate,” Fort Monmouth personnel were preparing for an exercise called Timely Alert II on the day of 9/11. This was a disaster drill focused on response to a terrorist attack and included law enforcement agencies and emergency personnel. The drill simply changed to an actual response as the attacks began.

Fort Monmouth, located in New Jersey just 49 miles away from the WTC complex, was home to several units of the Army Materiel Command (AMC). Coincidentally, Stratesec’s Barry McDaniel had led AMC a decade earlier. McDaniel had an interesting past and, after 9/11, became business partners with one of Dick Cheney’s closest colleagues.

The Fort Monmouth response on 9/11 included the explosives unit and the Army’s Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM). As the drill was converted to an actual response, teams of CECOM experts were deployed to locate cell phone transmissions in the pile at Ground Zero. The remainder of the base’s explosive ordnance company was there by the afternoon of 9/11 and stayed for three days in order to, among other things, help “authorities” look for any possible explosives in the debris.

The explosive disposal/terrorism meeting was not just a request of Larry Silverstein, however, but was actually organized by the Secret Service field office. The U.S. Navy’s explosive ordnance disposal Mobile Unit 6 had also been invited to WTC 7 that morning, again at the request of the Secret Service. As they arrived, the planes began to strike the towers.

Considering all of this, Rumsfeld’s claim that he had never heard of WTC 7 is not believable. It does not reconcile with the facts about the positions he held and those of his colleagues and subordinates. It certainly doesn’t reconcile with the fact that Rudy Giuliani gave Rumsfeld a personal tour of Ground Zero just two months after the attacks. Surely Rumsfeld noticed the huge pile of still-smoking rubble that was once the building where Giuliani’s 23rd-floor emergency bunker was housed. They were photographed standing right across the street from it.

Rumsfeld was the chairman of the advisory board for a company that occupied nearly the entirety of WTC 7. On 9/11 he led the DOD—another tenant of the building. Explosive disposal units from both the Army and the Navy (DOD entities) were scheduled to meet in WTC 7 on the morning of 9/11, ostensibly to discuss terrorism. A DOD-sponsored terrorism exercise was scheduled for that morning in the same area. Moreover, Rumsfeld’s long-time business associate Peter Janson ran AMEC Construction, a company hired to clean-up the debris at the WTC complex (after having renovated the exact area where Flight 77 was said to have hit the Pentagon).

And as stated above, Rumsfeld had been a paid consultant to CIA director George Tenet in the three years prior to 9/11. Immediately after WTC 7 was destroyed, the CIA ordered the immediate area around the building to be surrounded by FBI agents. According to the New York Times, the CIA then “dispatched a special team to scour the rubble.” Reportedly this was to retrieve secret documents. But was the CIA, in conjunction with (or posing as) the Secret Service, also coordinating the military’s ordnance disposal units in their search for explosives in the debris?

Rumsfeld’s comments should be considered in light of the fact that he led a concerted effort to lie about Iraq’s WMDs. Similarly, there has been a pattern of lying about WTC 7 by government officials. The official report on the destruction of the building is patently and provably false and followed a long string of false explanations. When government scientists finally admitted that WTC 7 was in free-fall, indicating that they had previously lied about that fact, even their body language revealed the deception.

When we remember 9/11, we should remember that those crimes initiated and continue to drive the devastating “War on Terror.” We should also remember that war is based on deception and the official account of 9/11 is a prime example. We see the lies about 9/11 everyday as they are still being told, like the one readily seen in the form of a 47-story building experiencing free fall and nearly every statement made about it by government officials since that time.

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The CIA in Kuwait: Parallels to a 9/11 Suspect

As discussed in my book, Another Nineteen, there are good reasons to believe that some 9/11 suspects were involved in previous deep state operations. For example, evidence suggests that Stratesec manager Barry McDaniel and Carlyle Group director Frank Carlucci might have participated in the Iran-Contra crimes. There are also interesting links between several 9/11 suspects and Ted Shackley, a leader of the “CIA within the CIA.” Shackley was close friends with Frank Carlucci and had a long, close relationship with Richard Armitage, whose State department provided express visas to the alleged hijackers. Additionally, Porter Goss, who led the initial cover-up of the 9/11 crimes, had worked with Shackley in several CIA operations.

Perhaps the most interesting historical link between Shackley and 9/11 is that Shackley’s activities in Kuwait paralleled those of Wirt Walker, the KuwAm Corporation director. KuwAm was the parent company of Stratesec, the security company for several 9/11 facilities. As I’ve written before, these companies appeared to be part of a private intelligence network.

shackleyShackley had a long career in covert CIA operations and was the agency’s Associate Deputy Director of Operations from 1976 to 1977. Described by former CIA Director Richard Helms as “a quadruple threat – Drugs, Arms, Money and Murder,” Shackley was a central character in many off-the-books operations. He was a leader of the CIA’s anti-Castro plan Operation Mongoose, its secret war in Laos, the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, and the overthrow of Salvadore Allende in Chile.

Although Walker is officially only the son of a CIA man, his past has much in common with that of Shackley. In the 1980s, both men were strongly linked to the Bush family network, to Kuwait, and to aviation. They both ran security companies as well. Walker became close to the Kuwaitis at the same time as their government was working closely with Shackley and another CIA operative. Moreover, the people pulling the strings from the Kuwaiti side in those relationships were close relatives of KuwAm chairman Mish’al Al-Sabah.

After leaving the CIA in 1979, Shackley formed his own company, TGS International, which appeared to be focused on obtaining access to places like Kuwait and Iran. TGS functioned as a broker for Boeing 747 aircraft, attempted to sell various goods to Iran, and did construction work in Kuwait. Several of TGS’ shareholders were Iranian exiles, including former SAVAK agent Novzar Razmara.

At the same time, Shackley took part in the Reagan campaign operation that resulted in the American hostages in Iran being held until Reagan was inaugurated in 1981. Following this, Shackley and some of his former CIA friends, Thomas Clines and Richard Secord, became involved in the Iran-Contra affair.

When Walker’s KuwAm was just getting off the ground, Shackley was beginning to secure contracts with the Kuwaiti government. George H.W. Bush had helped Shackley get started in Kuwait around that time. Bush’s contacts there went back to the days when Kuwait and other oil-rich royals in the region helped fund his Zapata Off-Shore operation.

In his book Blond Ghost, David Corn wrote that, “Shackley viewed Kuwait as a tremendous source of profits.” Those profits appeared to be tied to the Kuwaiti royal family’s interests. In 1982, the year that KuwAm was incorporated in Washington, the Kuwaiti government specifically requested that the U.S. Navy award Shackley’s firm a $1.2 million contract to rehabilitate a warehouse for the Kuwaiti Air Force, although Shackley and his company had little or no experience in that kind of work. Toward the end of 1983, Shackley’s company signed a $6.3 million deal with the U.S. Navy to perform construction at the Ali Al-Salem Air Base, forty miles outside of Kuwait City.

TGS was also involved in suspicious dealings on the other side of the world. In October 1984, when Congress had cut off funding to the Contras, Jeb Bush, brother of Stratesec director Marvin Bush, put the Guatemalan politician Dr. Mario Castejon in touch with Oliver North. This led Castejon to propose that the U.S. State Department supply miscellaneous, ostensibly non-military, assistance to the Contras. The proposal was passed to the CIA through TGS International.

Shackley continued working in Kuwait by way of another of his ventures called Research Associates International (RAI), which specialized in “risk analysis” by providing intelligence to business interests. Shackley also testified that RAI was a security company. “We design security systems,” he said, confirming yet another similarity between his business activities and those of Walker. RAI’s primary customer was Trans-World Oil, run by a Dutch citizen named John Deuss. The work involved smuggling oil into South Africa in violation of an embargo.

Another CIA operative was working with the Kuwaiti royals at the same time as Walker and Shackley. In the case of Robert M. Sensi, CIA connections to the Kuwaiti royal family were confirmed. While working for the Washington office of Kuwait Airways, which was owned by the Kuwaiti government, Sensi operated covertly as a CIA asset. He organized the 1980 flights for William Casey to Europe for meetings on the deal to hold the hostages. In the mid-1980s, he helped set up CIA fronts in Iran along with Iranian exile Habib Moallem.

Sensi’s work for the Kuwaitis and the CIA came to light in a late 1980s series of articles in the Washington Post that covered legal proceedings in which Sensi had been accused of embezzling funds from Kuwait Airways. During the proceedings, the CIA admitted that Sensi had worked for the agency for years and Sensi’s supervisor at the company, Inder Sehti, admitted that Sensi had been allowed by the Kuwaiti government to use a slush fund for CIA purposes. Apparently, those purposes included managing the U.S. visits of Kuwaiti royal family members. Presumably, this would have included the travel arrangements for young Mish’al Al-Sabah when he came to live with Walker’s family.

Sensi claimed that he was nominally working for Kuwait Airways and the Kuwaiti royal family was funding his activities. He also claimed to be acting under the direction of the Kuwait ambassador to the United States. When Sensi signed on to the job, in 1977, the Kuwait ambassador to the U.S. was Khalid Muhammad Jaffar. In January 1981, while Sensi was still using the Kuwaiti funds for CIA work, Jaffar was succeeded by the father of Nayirah, the girl who later lied as part of the propaganda that started the Gulf War. Nayirah was a first cousin of KuwAm’s Mish’al Al- Sabah.

Sensi also clarified that, as a CIA asset, he was “being run directly by CIA director William Casey, in close concert with Vice President Bush.” This is an interesting connection between Walker and Sensi, in that Walker worked with Casey at Glore Forgan a decade earlier and with Bush’s son at Stratesec. Of course, Walker and his family had connections to the deep state going back generations.

The Kuwaiti royal who approved the use of this CIA slush fund for Sensi was Jabir Adbhi Al-Sabah, the vice chairman of Kuwaiti Airways and Kuwait’s chief of civil aviation. Like Nayirah, Jabir Adbhi Al- Sabah was closely related to KuwAm’s Mish’al Al-Sabah, as a first cousin once removed. What’s more, Jabir’s colleague, the chairman of Kuwaiti Airways, was none other than Faisal al-Fulaij, the Kuwaiti nominee for the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). Al-Fulaij was deeply involved in the operations of BCCI and its U.S. subsidiaries.

In 2005, a different Mish’al Al-Sabah, who was another first cousin of KuwAm’s Mish’al, provided yet more evidence that Kuwait had al Qaeda ties. This Al-Sabah was brought to trial in Kuwait for certain inflammatory claims he had made. Mish’al Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Assistant Undersecretary for State Security Affairs at the time of the 9/11 attacks, made these claims in an interview on a U.S.-funded Kuwaiti television program called Al Hurra. Al-Sabah was charged with claiming that “that there is an old base for the al-Qaeda organization in Kuwait.” He also accused two Kuwaiti government MPs “of belonging to al-Qaeda.” During a five and a half hour closed-door inquisition, he recanted the claims. Despite this retraction, other evidence exists that links KuwAm and al Qaeda.

KuwAm’s Aviation General was the parent of two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Commander Aircraft Company, which manufactured Commander-brand aircraft, and Strategic Jet Services, which provided aircraft brokerage and refurbishment services. Aviation General, Commander Aircraft, and Strategic Jet Services were all located in Hangar 8 of Wiley Post Airport in Bethany, OK, near Oklahoma City.

In another apparent coincidence, CIA asset Robert Sensi had listed an Oklahoma City address as his residence for a period of time. The address that Sensi gave was for the Oklahoma City Halfway House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located 11 miles from Wiley Post Airport.

FBI summary documents prepared for the 9/11 investigations state that Mohamed Atta was spotted at Wiley Post Airport within six months of the 9/11 attacks. Atta was witnessed flying at Wiley Post along with two other alleged 9/11 hijackers, Marwan Al-Shehhi and Waleed Al-Shehri. Other FBI summary documents indicate that Saeed Al-Ghamdi was also seen flying in to Wiley Post Airport on an unspecified date and that Hani Hanjour had made inquiries to a flight school there.

Therefore it is a remarkable fact that Wirt Walker and his companies were located at this same airport. But the surprises don’t stop there. Wiley Post has approximately 24 hangars and Hangar 8 is set off away from the rest. Although Aviation General and its subsidiaries all went bankrupt or were sold off in the few years after 9/11, Hangar 8 still houses three businesses. At first glance, the most interesting of these new Hangar 8 companies is the flight school called Oklahoma Aviation. This is due to an incredible coincidence regarding the young man who heads the company, Shohaib Nazir Kassam.

In March 2006, Kassam was a government witness against Zacarias Moussaoui. He was, in fact, Moussaoui’s flight instructor. Kassam moved to Oklahoma in 1998, at the age of 18, coming from Mombassa, Kenya. He was originally from Pakistan. Two years after he arrived in Oklahoma, he completed his training to become a flight instructor. He was only 21 years of age when he spent 57 hours training Zacarias Moussaoui to fly.

To emphasize, the man who now occupies Wirt Walker’s offices in Hangar 8 at Wiley Post Airport not only knew Zacarias Moussaoui, he was Moussaoui’s primary flight instructor. These interesting links to 9/11 suggest that the lease for the Hangar 8 offices might be held by a deep state entity.

It certainly seems that there is more to the story of KuwAm’s aviation companies, and those related to Hangar 8. If nothing else, an investigation must consider that it is not simply a coincidence that Moussaoui’s primary trainer is now occupying the offices of Walker’s former businesses at Wiley Post Airport. And although KuwAm companies operated out of Wiley Post, they were all officially headquartered at the famous Watergate Hotel in Washington DC, in office space leased by the Saudi and Kuwaiti governments.

Another of KuwAm’s companies that held its meetings at The Watergate, Stratesec, provided security services for several facilities that were central to the crimes of 9/11. In the years leading up to 9/11, the company had security contracts at Dulles Airport, where Flight 77 took off that day, and with United Airlines, which owned two of the other three hijacked planes. Stratesec had also run security for Los Alamos National Laboratories, where, at the time, scientists were developing nanothermite materials of the type that have been found in the WTC dust. At the World Trade Center, Stratesec was responsible for the electronic security system for the complex in the period leading up to, and including, the day of 9/11.

Any investigation into 9/11 should consider the parallel activities of Wirt Walker and “private CIA” leader Ted Shackley. These men were strongly linked to the Bush family network and to Kuwait. Although Walker is certainly a suspect in 9/11 insider trading, his known connections to the CIA are currently only familial. However, if Walker was operating in the same private network as Shackley before 9/11, it would give reason to believe that, like Shackley’s cohorts Armitage, Carlucci, and Goss, the security company Stratesec and its leaders should be a primary focus of a new 9/11 investigation.

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