RE: 9/11 - To The Congress of The United States:

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RE: 9/11 - To The Congress of The United States:
Tue Sep 14, 2004 00:55

September 13, 2004
To The Congress of The United States:
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States ended its
report stating that “We look forward to a national debate on the merits of what we have
recommended, and we will participate vigorously in that debate.” In this spirit, we the
undersigned wish to bring to the attention of the Congress and the people of the United
States what we believe are serious shortcomings in the report and its recommendations.
We thus call upon Congress to refrain from narrow political considerations and to apply
brakes to the race to implement the commission recommendations. It is not too late for
Congress to break with the practice of limiting testimony to that from politicians and toplayer
career bureaucrats—many with personal reputations to defend and institutional
equities to protect. Instead, use this unique opportunity to introduce salutary reform, an
opportunity that must not be squandered by politically driven haste.
Omission is one of the major flaws in the Commission’s report. We are aware of
significant issues and cases that were duly reported to the commission by those of us with
direct knowledge, but somehow escaped attention. Serious problems and shortcomings
within government agencies likewise were reported to the Commission but were not
included in the report. The report simply does not get at key problems within the
intelligence, aviation security, and law enforcement communities. The omission of such
serious and applicable issues and information by itself renders the report flawed, and
casts doubt on the validity of many of its recommendations.
We believe that one of the primary purposes of the Commission was to establish
accountability; that to do so is essential to understanding the failures that led to 9/11, and
to prescribe needed changes. However, the Commission in its report holds no one
accountable, stating instead “our aim has not been to assign individual blame”. That is to
play the political game, and it shows that the goal of achieving unanimity overrode one of
the primary purposes of this Commission’s establishment. When calling for
accountability, we are referring not to quasi-innocent mistakes caused by “lack of
imagination” or brought about by ordinary “human error”. Rather, we refer to intentional
actions or inaction by individuals responsible for our national security, actions or inaction
dictated by motives other than the security of the people of the United States. The report
deliberately ignores officials and civil servants who were, and still are, clearly negligent
and/or derelict in their duties to the nation. If these individuals are protected rather than
held accountable, the mindset that enabled 9/11 will persist, no matter how many layers
of bureaucracy are added, and no matter how much money is poured into the agencies.
Character counts. Personal integrity, courage, and professionalism make the difference.
Only a commission bent on holding no one responsible and reaching unanimity could
have missed that.
We understand, as do most Americans, that one of our greatest strengths in
defending against terrorism is the dedication and resourcefulness of those individuals
who work on the frontlines. Even before the Commission began its work, many honest
and patriotic individuals from various agencies came forward with information and
warnings regarding terrorism-related issues and serious problems within our intelligence
and aviation security agencies. If it were not for these individuals, much of what we
know today of significant issues and facts surrounding 9/11 would have remained in the
dark. These “whistleblowers” were able to put the safety of the American people above
their own careers and jobs, even though they had reason to suspect that the deck was
stacked against them. Sadly, it was. Retaliation took many forms: some were
ostracized; others were put under formal or informal gag orders; some were fired. The
commission has neither acknowledged their contribution nor faced up to the urgent need
to protect such patriots against retaliation by the many bureaucrats who tend to give
absolute priority to saving face and protecting their own careers.
The Commission did emphasize that barriers to the flow of information were a
primary cause for wasting opportunities to prevent the tragedy. But it skipped a basic
truth. Secrecy enforced by repression threatens national security as much as bureaucratic
turf fights. It sustains vulnerability to terrorism caused by government breakdowns.
Reforms will be paper tigers without a safe channel for whistleblowers to keep them
honest in practice. It is unrealistic to expect that government workers will defend the
public, if they can't defend themselves. Profiles in Courage are the exception, not the
rule. Unfortunately, current whistleblower rights are a cruel trap and magnet for
cynicism. The Whistleblower Protection Act has turned into an efficient way to finish
whistleblowers off by endorsing termination. No government workers have access to jury
trials like Congress enacted for corporate workers after the Enron/MCI debacles.
Government workers need genuine, enforceable rights just as much to protect America's
families, as corporate workers do to protect America's investments. It will take
congressional leadership to fill this hole in the 9/11 Commission's recommendations.
The Commission, with its incomplete report of “facts and circumstances”,
intentional avoidance of assigning accountability, and disregard for the knowledge,
expertise and experience of those who actually do the job, has now set about pressuring
our Congress and our nation to hastily implement all its recommendations. While we do
not intend to imply that all recommendations of this report are flawed, we assert that the
Commission’s list of recommendations does not include many urgently needed fixes, and
further, we argue that some of their recommendations, such as the creation of an
‘intelligence czar’, and haphazard increases in intelligence budgets, will lead to increases
in the complexity and confusion of an already complex and highly bureaucratic system.
Congress has been hearing not only from the commissioners but from a bevy of
other career politicians, very few of whom have worked in the intelligence community,
and from top-layer bureaucrats, many with vested interests in saving face and avoiding
accountability. Congress has not included the voices of the people working within the
intelligence and broader national security communities who deal with the real issues and
problems day-after-day and who possess the needed expertise and experience—in short,
those who not only do the job but are conscientious enough to stick their necks out in
pointing to the impediments they experience in trying to do it effectively.
We the undersigned, who have worked within various government agencies (FBI,
CIA, FAA, DIA, Customs) responsible for national security and public safety, call upon
you in Congress to include the voices of those with first-hand knowledge and expertise in
the important issues at hand. We stand ready to do our part.
1. Castello, Edward J. Jr., Former Special Agent, FBI
2. Cole, John M., Former Veteran Intelligence Operations Specialist, FBI
3. Conrad, David "Mark", Retired Agent in Charge, Internal Affairs, U.S. Customs
4. Dew, Rosemary N., Former Supervisory Special Agent, Counterterrorism &
Counterintelligence, FBI
5. Dzakovic, Bogdan, Former Red Team Leader, FAA
6. Edmonds, Sibel D., Former Language Specialist, FBI
7. Elson, Steve, Retired Navy Seal & Former Special Agent, FAA & US Navy
8. Forbes, David, Aviation, Logistics and Govt. Security Analysts, BoydForbes, Inc.,
9. Goodman, Melvin A., Retired Senior Analyst/ Division Manager & senior fellow at the
Center for International Policy, CIA
10. Graf, Mark, Former Security Supervisor, Planner, & Derivative Classifier,
Department of Energy
11. Graham, Gilbert M., Retired Special Agent, Counterintelligence, FBI
12. Kleiman, Diane, Former Special Agent, US Customs
13. Kwiatkowski, Lt Col Karen U., Veteran Policy Analyst, USAF-DoD
14. Larkin, Lynne A., Former Operation Officer, CIA
15. MacMichael, David, Former Senior Estimates Officer, CIA
16. McGovern, Raymond L., Veteran Analyst, CIA
17. Pahle, Theodore J. Senior Intelligence Officer (Ret), Defense Intelligence Agency,
Office of Naval Intelligence, and U.S. Army Intelligence
18. Sarshar, Behrooz, Retired Language Specialist, FBI
19. Sullivan, Brian F., Retired Special Agent & Risk Management Specialist, FAA
20. Tortorich, Larry J., Retired US Naval Officer, US Navy & Dept. of Homeland
21. Turner, Jane A., Retired Special Agent, FBI
22. Vincent, John B., Retired Special Agent, Counterterrorism, FBI
23. Whitehurst, Dr. Fred, Retired Supervisory Special Agent/Laboratory Forensic
Examiner, FBI
24. Wright, Col. Ann, Retired Reserve Colonel & Former US Diplomat, US Army,
25. Zipoli, Matthew J., Special Response Team (SRT) Officer, DOE
CC: Senate & House Intelligence Committees
Senate & House Judiciary Committees
Senate & House Armed Services Committees
Senate & House Government Reform Subcommittees
9/11 Ghost Riders in the Sky

Ghost Riders in the Sky 9/11
By Prof. Dr. Alexander K. Dewdney

Rigorous Intuition

Because it only feels like paranoia.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
The Coincidence Theorist's Guide to 9/11
I posted an earlier version of this last week at Democratic Underground. I've added a number of more entries, and links for all.

Happy coincidenting!

That governments have permitted terrorist acts against their own people, and have even themselves been perpetrators in order to find strategic advantage is quite likely true, but this is the United States we're talking about.

That intelligence agencies, financiers, terrorists and narco-criminals have a long history together is well established, but the Nugan Hand Bank, BCCI, Banco Ambrosiano, the P2 Lodge, the CIA/Mafia anti-Castro/Kennedy alliance, Iran/Contra and the rest were a long time ago, so there’s no need to rehash all that. That was then, this is now!

That Jonathan Bush’s Riggs Bank has been found guilty of laundering terrorist funds and fined a US-record $25 million must embarrass his nephew George, but it's still no justification for leaping to paranoid conclusions.

That George Bush's brother Marvin sat on the board of the Kuwaiti-owned company which provided electronic security to the World Trade Centre, Dulles Airport and United Airlines means nothing more than you must admit those Bush boys have done alright for themselves.

That George Bush found success as a businessman only after the investment of Osama’s brother Salem and reputed al Qaeda financier Khalid bin Mahfouz is just one of those things - one of those crazy things.

That Osama bin Laden is known to have been an asset of US foreign policy in no way implies he still is.

That al Qaeda was active in the Balkan conflict, fighting on the same side as the US as recently as 1999, while the US protected its cells, is merely one of history's little aberrations.

The claims of Michael Springman, State Department veteran of the Jeddah visa bureau, that the CIA ran the office and issued visas to al Qaeda members so they could receive training in the United States, sound like the sour grapes of someone who was fired for making such wild accusations.

That one of George Bush's first acts as President, in January 2001, was to end the two-year deployment of attack submarines which were positioned within striking distance of al Qaeda's Afghanistan camps, even as the group's guilt for the Cole bombing was established, proves that a transition from one administration to the next is never an easy task.

That so many influential figures in and close to the Bush White House had expressed, just a year before the attacks, the need for a "new Pearl Harbor" before their militarist ambitions could be fulfilled, demonstrates nothing more than the accidental virtue of being in the right place at the right time.

That the company PTECH, founded by a Saudi financier placed on America’s Terrorist Watch List in October 2001, had access to the FAA’s entire computer system for two years before the 9/11 attack, means he must not have been such a threat after all.

That whistleblower Indira Singh was told to keep her mouth shut and forget what she learned when she took her concerns about PTECH to her employers and federal authorities, suggests she lacked the big picture. And that the Chief Auditor for JP Morgan Chase told Singh repeatedly, as she answered questions about who supplied her with what information, that "that person should be killed," suggests he should take an anger management seminar.

That on May 8, 2001, Dick Cheney took upon himself the job of co-ordinating a response to domestic terror attacks even as he was crafting the administration’s energy policy which bore implications for America's military, circumventing the established infrastructure and ignoring the recommendations of the Hart-Rudman report, merely shows the VP to be someone who finds it hard to delegate.

That the standing order which covered the shooting down of hijacked aircraft was altered on June 1, 2001, taking discretion away from field commanders and placing it solely in the hands of the Secretary of Defense, is simply poor planning and unfortunate timing. Fortunately the error has been corrected, as the order was rescinded shortly after 9/11.

That in the weeks before 9/11, FBI agent Colleen Rowley found her investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui so perversely thwarted that her colleagues joked that bin Laden had a mole at the FBI, proves the stress-relieving virtue of humour in the workplace.

That Dave Frasca of the FBI’s Radical Fundamentalist Unit received a promotion after quashing multiple, urgent requests for investigations into al Qaeda assets training at flight schools in the summer of 2001 does appear on the surface odd, but undoubtedly there's a good reason for it, quite possibly classified.

That FBI informant Randy Glass, working an undercover sting, was told by Pakistani intelligence operatives that the World Trade Center towers were coming down, and that his repeated warnings which continued until weeks before the attacks, including the mention of planes used as weapons, were ignored by federal authorities, is simply one of the many "What Ifs" of that tragic day.

That over the summer of 2001 Washington received many urgent, senior-level warnings from foreign intelligence agencies and governments - including those of Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Afghanistan and others - of impending terror attacks using hijacked aircraft and did nothing, demonstrates the pressing need for a new Intelligence Czar.

That John Ashcroft stopped flying commercial aircraft in July 2001 on account of security considerations had nothing to do with warnings regarding September 11, because he said so to the 9/11 Commission.

That former lead counsel for the House David Schippers says he’d taken to John Ashcroft’s office specific warnings he’d learned from FBI agents in New York of an impending attack – even naming the proposed dates, names of the hijackers and the targets – and that the investigations had been stymied and the agents threatened, proves nothing but David Schipper’s pathetic need for attention.

That Garth Nicolson received two warnings from contacts in the intelligence community and one from a North African head of state, which included specific site, date and source of the attacks, and passed the information to the Defense Department and the National Security Council to evidently no effect, clearly amounts to noth

Main Page -  09/13/04

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