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CHAPTER SIX DID US OFFICIALS OBSTRUCT INVESTIGATIONS PRIOR TO 9/11?Edit
- Main article: The new Pearl Harbor Part Two Chapter Six
When information of some of the warnings discussed in the previous chapter leaked out, US officials dismissed the importance of these warnings by claiming that there is always so much intelligence coming in that it is often difficult to distinguish the significant information from the "noise," meaning all the reports that turn out to be false or insignificant. After a catastrophe such as 9/11 happens, they say, it is unfair to pick out those few bits of information related to it and claim, with 20/20 hindsight, that officials should have been able to "connect the dots." However, say critics, even if that argument could legitimately be used to dismiss the warnings discussed in the previous chapter (which, they maintain, it could not), the fact of official complicity would be strongly suggested if there is evidence that governmental agencies had purposely prevented investigations of al-Qaeda and individuals thought to be connected to it. And, they claim, such evidence does exist.
The Anti-Hunt for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda
One of the main reasons for doubting the official story about 9/11, say critics, is evidence that, far from doing everything it could to kill or capture bin Laden, US government officials repeatedly failed to do so when they had opportunities. I will summarize a few of the episodes that have been dug up by Ahmed and Thompson.
In December of 1998, CIA Director George Tenet reportedly circulated a memorandum in the intelligence community that said: "We are at war," and added: "I want no resources or people spared in this effort, either inside CIA or the [larger intelligence] community." But the Congressional Joint Inquiry would later learn that there was no significant shift in budget or personnel and that few FBI agents had ever heard of the declaration.>1
On December 20 of 2000 Richard Clarke, a counter-terrorism expert, submitted a plan to roll back al-Qaeda in response to the bombing of the USS Cole (which had occurred in October). The main component of Clarke's plan was a dramatic increase in covert action in Afghanistan to "eliminate the sanctuary" for bin Laden. The Clinton administration, on the grounds that the Bush admimstration would be taking over in only a few weeks, passed the plan on to it. In January however, the Bush administration rejected the plan and took no action.>2
According to a story reported by ABC News, Julie Sirrs, an agent for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), traveled to Afghanistan twice in 2001. On her first trip, she met with Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Masood.>3 On her second trip, she returned home with what she later called "a treasure trove of information," including evidence that bin Laden was planning to assassinate Masood (and Masood would indeed be assassinated on September 9, as discussed in Chapter 8). But she was met at the airport by a security officer, who confiscated her material, after which the DIA and the FBI investigated her. However, she said, no higher intelligence officials wanted to hear what she had learned in Afghanistan. Finally, her security clearance was pulled and she resigned from the DIA.>4
In March of 2001, the Russian Permanent Mission at the United Nations secretly submitted "an unprecedentedly detailed report" to the UN Security Council about bin Laden and his whereabouts, including "a listing of all bin Laden's bases, his government contacts and foreign advisors"—enough information, they said, to kill him. But the Bush administration took no action. Alex Standish, the editor of Jane's Intelligence Review, would later conclude that the attacks of 9/11 were not an intelligence failure but the result of "a political decision not to act against bin Laden.">5
By the summer of 2001, Osama bin Laden was America's "most wanted" criminal, for whom it was offering a $5 million bounty, and the US government had supposedly tried to kill him. And yet in July according to reports by several of Europe's most respected news sources, bin Laden spent two weeks in the American hospital in Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates). Besides being treated by an American surgeon, Dr. Terry Callaway, he was also reportedly visited by the head of Saudi intelligence and, on July 12, by the localCIA agent, Larry Mitchell. Although the reports were denied by the CIA, the hospital, and bin Laden himself, Dr. Callaway reportedly simply refused comment, and the news agencies stood by their story.>6
"The explosive story," comments Thompson, was "widely reported in Europe, but barely at all in the US.">7 After this story broke in November Chossudovsky, quoting Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's comment that finding binLaden would be like "searching for a needle in a stack of hay," said: "But the US could have ordered his arrest and extradition in Dubai last July. But then they would not have had a pretext for waging a war.">8
Hidden Connections between Bush, bin Laden, and Saudi Royals
One of the disturbing questions that has been raised by critics of the official account is whether the actual relations between the Bush administration, Osama bin Laden, and the Saudi Royal family are not rather different from the public portrayal of these relations. There are several grounds for suspicion. First, the bin Laden family—one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Saudi Arabia—and the Bush family had business relations for over 20 years.>9 Second, although Osama binLadin has been portrayed as the black sheep of the family who was disowned for his terrorist ways—so that the "good bin Ladens" could be radically distinguished from the "bad bin Laden"—there is much evidence that Osama's close ties with his family continued.>10 Third, there is evidence that Osama bin Laden continued to receive covert aid from America's close ally, Saudi Arabia.>11 A fourth ground for suspicion is the report that immediately after 9/11, the US government, working with the Saudi government, helped many members of the bin Laden family depart from the United States, even allowing their jets to fly before the national air ban was lifted.>12 A fifth cause for suspicion is the fact that when the final report of the Joint Inquiry into 9/11 carried out by the House and Senate intelligence committees was finally released in 2003, the administration had insisted on blocking out some 28 pages, which reportedly dealt primarily with Saudi Arabia. There is, finally, the simple fact that most of the alleged hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.
These grounds for suspicion are, furthermore, supported by reports from credible people about continuing ties between the Saudi government, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda.
On August 22, 2001, John O'Neill, a counter-terrorism expert who was said to be the US governments "most commmed tracker of Osama bin Ladeen and his al-Qaeda network of terrorists," resigned from the FBI, citing repeated obstruction of his investigations into al-Qaeda.>13 The previous month, O'Neill, who held one of the top positions in the FBI had reportedly complained of obstruction by the White House, saying that the main obstacles to investigating al-Qaeda were "US Oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia." He then added: "All the answers, everything needed to dismantle Osama bin Laden's organization, can be found in Saudi Arabia.">14 O'Neill's assessment, Ahmed comments, was given support by Tariq Ali, who wrote: "Bin Laden and his gang are just the tentacles [of the Wahhabi octopus]; the head lies safely in Saudi Arabia, protected by US forces.">15 The idea that any serious investigation would need to focus on Saudi Arabia has, interestingly, been supported more recently by Gerald Posner, an author who on most points supports the official account of 9/11.>16 On the basis of information provided anonymously but independently by two sources in the US government, Possner reports on the US interrogation of the Saudi Arabian Abu Zubaydah, one of al- Qaeda's top operatives, who was captured in Pakistan late in March of 2002. The interrogation, aided by thiopental sodium (Sodium Pentothal), was carried out by two Arab-Americans pretending to be Saudi Arabians. Relieved to be in the presence of men he believed to be fellow countrymen, Zubaydah became very talkative.>17
Hoping to save himself, Zubaydah claimed that he, as a member of al-Qaeda, had been working on behalf of senior Saudi officials. Encouraging his interrogators to confirm his claim, he told them to call one of King Fahd's nephews, Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz (chairman of a huge publishing empire and founder of the Thoroughbred Corporation, which produced Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem). Zubaydah even gave them Prince Ahmed's telephone numbers from memory. When his interrogators said that 9/11 had surely changed everything, so that Prince Ahmed would no longer be supportive of al-Qaeda, Zubaydah told them that it would not have changed anything, because Prince Ahmed had known in advance that America would be attacked on 9/11. Zubaydah also gave from memory the phone numbers of two other relatives of King Fahd's who could confirm his claims: Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki al-Saud and Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir.
Less than four months later, events occurred that suggested to Posner that Zubaydah's testimony may have been true. Within an eight-day period, all three of the named Saudis died. On July 22, Prince Ahmed, who was 43, reportedly died of a heart attack. The next day, Prince Sultan bin Faisal, who was 41, reportedly died in a single-car accident. And a week later, Prince Fahd bin Turki, who was 21, "died of thirst.">18
Zubaydah also said that he had been present at several meetings between Osama bin Laden and Prince Turki bin Faisal, the chief of Saudi intelligence, including a meeting in Kandahar in 1998 at which Prince Turki promised that Saudis would continue to support the Taliban and would not ask for Osama's extradition as long as al-Qaeda kept its promise not to attack the Saudi kingdom. But Prince Turki—who had been dismissed as head of Saudi intelligence ten days before 9/11, after which he became the Saudi ambassador to Great Britain—survived the testimony about him.>19
In any case, the accounts of these interconnections between Saudi royals, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda suggest that the American failure to capture bin Laden may be connected with the close relations between the Saudi royals, the bin Laden family, and the Bush administration. According to a story by investigative reporters Gregory Palast and David Pallister, US intelligence agents, having long complained that they had been "prevented for political reasons from carrying out full investigations into members of the bin Laden family," said that after the Bush administration took over, things had become worse—that they "had been told to 'back off' from investigations involving other members of the Bin Laden family [and] the Saudi royals.">20 Palast, elaborating on this point in an interview, stated: "There is no question we had what looked like the biggest failure of the intelligence community since Pearl Harbor but what we are learning now is it wasn't a failure, it was a directive.">21 This conclusion is supported by an American intelligence agent, who said: "There were particular investigations [of the bin Laden family] that were effectively killed.">22
It was not, however, only with regard to bin Laden and his family that investigations were reportedly stifled. Ahmed and Thompson point to several cases in which investigations of other promising leads were apparently either obstructed or not even initiated. These cases are especially pertinent to the Joint Inquiry's conclusion that the attacks of 9/11 were due to intelligence failures that were regrettable but understandable. While pointing out that the intelligence agencies had received more warnings than they had admitted, the Joint Inquiry partly let them off the hook by saying that although they had missed some important clues, "They are the kinds of misses that happen when people ... are simply overwhelmed.">23 In some of the following cases, agents in the field were evidently less overwhelmed than overruled.
Ignoring the FBI in Phoenix
On July 10, 2001, Phoenix FBI agent Ken Williams sent a now well-known memorandum to the counterterrorism division at FBI headquarters, warning about suspicious activities involving a group of Middle Eastern men who were taking flight training lessons. Williams had begun investigating them in 2000, but early in 2001 he was reassigned to an arson case—leading a retired agent in Phoenix to write FBI Director Mueller after 9/11, asking: "Why take your best terrorism investigator and put him on an arson case?" Williams had been back on the flight-school case for only a month when he wrote his memo. Suggesting that bin Ladens followers might be taking flying lessons for terrorist purposes, he recommended a national program to track suspicious flight-school students. FBI headquarters, however, did not institute such a program.>24
Blocking the FBI in Minneapolis
In mid-August of 2001, the staff at a flight school in Minneapolis called the local FBI to report their suspicion that Zacarias Moussaoui, who had paid to train on a Boeing 747 simulator, was planning to use a real 747 "as a weapon.">25 After the Minneapolis FBI agents arrested Moussaoui and discovered many suspicious things about him, they asked FBI headquarters for a warrant to search his laptop computer and other possessions. However, even though FBI headquarters received additional information about Moussaoui from France—which according to French officials clearly showed that he posed a threat >26— senior FBI officials said that the information "was too sketchy to justify a search warrant for his computer.">27 But the Minneapolis agents, having seen the French intelligence report, were "in a frenzy," with one agent speculating that Moussaoui might "fly something into the World Trade Center.">28 Becoming "desperate to search the computer lap top," the Minneapolis agents sent a request through FBI headquarters for a search warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which would be certain to grant it, because in the past its officials had granted virtually all requests.>29
At FBI headquarters, however, the request was given to the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU), one of whose agents criticized the Minneapolis FBI supervisor for getting people "spun up" over Moussaoui—but without telling this supervisor about the memo from Ken Williams in Phoenix, which the head of the RFU had received.>30 The Minneapolis request was then given to RFU agent Marion "Spike" Bowman, who lived up to his nickname by proceeding to remove the evidence that Moussaoui was connected to al-Qaeda through a rebel group in Chechnya. Then the FBI Deputy General Counsel, on the basis of this edited request, said that there was insufficient connection to al-Qaeda for a search warrant and did not even forward the request to FISA.>31 Minneapolis FBI legal officer Coleen Rowley asked: "Why would an FBI agent deliberately sabotage a case?" Other agents in the Minneapolis office joked that those at headquarters who blocked the request "had to be spies or moles...working for Osama bin Laden," while one agent concluded that FBI headquarters was "setting this up for failure.">32
It is interesting to compare this account of what happened with the "finding" in the Joint Inquiry's summary of its final report, which says that "personnel at FBI Headquarters, including the Radical Fundamentalist Unit and the National Security Law Unit, as well as agents in the Minneapolis field office, misunderstood the legal standard for obtaining an order under FISA," having "the perception...that the FISA process was lengthy and fraught with peril." According to this finding, there was no sabotage, just misunderstanding all around, even in Minneapolis. Given the fact that this report was published many months after Coleen Rowley's blistering memo, discussed below, became part of the public record, it is puzzling how the Joint Inquiry could have thought that the agents in Minneapolis were confused.
In any case, the Minneapolis FBI agents were unable to examine Moussaoui's computer and other personal effects until after the 9/11 attacks.>33 Following that search, the former FBI Deputy Director said that the computer contained "nothing significant...pertaining to 9/11," but the Washington Post cited congressional investigators as saying that "the evidence that lay unexamined in Zacarias Moussaouis possession was even more valuable than previously believed," as it connected him "to the main hijacking cell in Hamburg" and to "an al-Qaeda associate in Malaysia whose activities [had been] monitored by the CIA.">34 The New York Times concluded that the Moussaoui case "raised new questions about why the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies did not prevent the hijackings.">35
Three days after 9/11, FBI Director Mueller, who had only recently been appointed to this position, made his previously quoted statement: "There were no warning signs that I'm aware of that would indicate this type of operation in the country." Coleen Rowley and other Minneapolis agents tried to reach his office to make him aware of the Moussaoui case so that his "public statements could be accordingly modified," yet Mueller continued to make similar comments, including his testimony in a Senate hearing on May 8, 2002, that "there was nothing the agency could have done to anticipate and prevent the attacks.">36 According to reports of this hearing, however, Mueller finally had to admit that a month before 9/11, one FBI agent had speculated "at a high-level meeting that Moussaoui might have been taking lessons to enable him to crash an aircraft into the World Trade Center in New York.">37 Two weeks later, Rowley released a long memo she had written about the FBI's handling of the Moussaoui case, which Time magazine called a "colossal indictment of our chief law-enforcement agency's neglect.">38 After this memo became publicized, Mueller modified his public stance slightly, saying: "I cannot say for sure that there wasn't a possibility we could have come across some lead that would have led us to the hijackers.">39
Blocking the FBI in Chicago
In 1998, FBI agent Robert Wright had begun tracking a terrorist cell in Chicago, suspecting that money used for the 1998 bombings of US embassies came from a Saudi multimillionaire living in Chicago. In January of 2001, in spite of his belief that his case was growing stronger, he was told that it was being closed. In June, he wrote an internal memo charging that the FBI, rather than trying to prevent a terrorist attack, "was merely gathering intelligence so they would know who to arrest when a terrorist attack occurred.">40 In May of 2002, Wright announced jhat he was suing the FBI for refusing to allow him to publish a book he had written about the affair. Included in his description of the actions of his superiors in curtailing his investigations were words such as "prevented," "thwarted," "obstructed," "threatened," "intimidated," and "retaliation.">41 In a later interview, reporting that he had been told that his case was being closed because it was "better to let sleeping dogs lie," he said: "Those dogs weren't sleeping, they were training, they were getting ready.... September the 11th is a direct result of the incompetence of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit." Chicago federal prosecutor Mark Flessner, who also worked on the case, evidently thought that something other than incompetence was involved, saying that there "were powers bigger than I was in the Justice Department and within the FBI that simply were not going to let [the building of a criminal case] happen.">42
Blocking the FBI in New York
On August 28, 2001, the FBI office in New York, believing Khalid Almihdhar—who would later be named as one of the hijackers—had been involved in the bombing of the USS Cole, tried to convince FBI headquarters to open a criminal investigation. But the New York request was turned down on the grounds that Almilidhar could not be tied to the Cole investigation without the inclusion of sensitive intelligence information. One New York agent expressed his frustration in an e-mail letter, saying, "Whatever has happened to this—someday someone will die—and...the public will not understand why we were not more effective.... Let's hope the [FBI's] National Security Law Unit will stand behind their decisions then, especially since the biggest threat to us now, UBL [Usama bin Laden], is getting the most 'protection.'">43
Justice for a Spy
Sibel Edmonds and Can Dickerson were both hired by the FBI as translators after the 9/11 attacks. Edmonds soon informed her superiors that Dickerson had previously worked for a particular foreign organization, which was being investigated by the FBI, and that Dickerson was mistranslating, or even not translating at all, sensitive information regarding this organization. Edmonds informed her superiors, furthermore, that Dickerson had threatened her for refusing to work as a spy for this organization. But, Edmonds reported, the FBI failed to respond to her complaints, which she had made more than once, so in March she wrote a letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, soon after which she was fired. Claiming that she was fired for whistleblowing, she sued. In October, at FBI Director Mueller's request, Attorney General Ashcroft, appealing to the privilege of state secrets "to protect the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States," asked a judge to throw out Edmonds' lawsuit.>44 Critics wonder, of course, why the national security of the United States would be protected by ignoring a claim that a spy for a foreign organization being investigated by the FBI was sabotaging that investigation.
Schippers and FBI Agents Versus the US Government
On September 13, 2001, Attorney David Schippers—who was the Chief Investigative Counsel for the US House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee in 1998 and its chief prosecutor for the impeachment of President Clinton in 1999—publicly stated that he had attempted to warn Attorney General Ashcroft about attacks planned for "lower Manhattan" six weeks beforehand, based on information he had received from FBI agents. In this and subsequent statements, Schippers said that the dates and targets of the attacks as well as the names and funding sources of the hijackers were known by these agents months in advance. Schippers claimed further that the FBI curtailed these investigations, then threatened the agents with prosecution if they went public with their information. At that time, Schippers further stated, the agents asked him to try to use his influence to get the government to take action to prevent the attacks. Having failed in that effort, Schippers agreed to represent some of the agents in a suit against the federal government, during which, if subpoenaed, they would be able to tell their story without fear of prosecution.>45
Because of this suit, Schippers—like the public interest law firm Judicial Watch, which joined forces with him on this case—is not a disinterested witness. But Schippers' allegations have been corroborated, Ahmed points out, in a story by William Norman Grigg in a conservative rnagazine, The New American. Gngg, having interviewed three FBI agents reported that they had confirmed "that the information provided to Schippers was widely known within the Bureau before September 11th." One of them reportedly said that some of the FBI field agents—who were some of the "most experienced guys"—"predicted, almost precisely, what happened on September 11th." He also said that it was widely known "all over the Bureau, how these [warnings] were ignored by Washington.">46
These reports make even more puzzling how the Joint Inquiry could have concluded, as mentioned in the previous chapter, that none of the information available to the intelligence community "identified the time place, and specific nature of the attacks that were planned for September 11, 2001." It seems that at least one US intelligence agency had this kind of very specific advance knowledge.
Visa and Watch List Violations
Immediately after 9/11, a number of irregularities regarding the alleged hijackers became known. It was learned, for example, that Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader, was allowed back in the United States three times in 2001, in spite of the fact that he had let his visa expire in 2000, had violated his visa by taking flying lessons, was known to have terrorist connections, and was under FBI surveillance. It was reported, furthermore, that evidently over 50 people were involved in planning 9/11. These facts led to this criticism in a review by Accuracy in Media (AIM):
Yet the conspirators proceeded unmolested. What is striking is how safe these people apparently felt, how unthreatened by law enforcement.... They left and entered the country unimpeded. Some were reportedly on the so-called "watch list".... Yet this apparently caused them no problems.>47 The critics suspect, of course, that something other than incompetence might account for this pattern. The Question of the True Identity of the Hijackers
Although this issue does not, strictly speaking, belong in this chapter, I should explain why I have been qualifying "hijackers" with the adjective "alleged." One of the unanswered questions about 9/11 is whether the hijackings were really carried out by any of the men later named.Shortly after the attacks, stories appeared in newspapers suggesting that at leastfive of the men identified by the FBI as 9/11 hijackers were still alive, and these stories were supported by reports of "stolen identities.">48 The Saudiembassy in Washington, reports Meyssan, said that Abdulaziz al-Omari (supposedly the pilot of Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the WTC), Mohand al-Shehri, Salem al-Hazmi, and Saeed al-Bhamdi were all alive and living in Saudi Arabia. Meyssan also says that a fifth alleged hijacker, Waleed M. al-Shehri, "gave an interview to the Arab-language daily, Al-Quds al-Arabi, based in London.">49 One report even said that "investigators are studying the possibility that the entire suicide squad consisted of impostors.">50 FBI Director Mueller, however, later claimed: "We at this point definitely know the 19 hijackers who were responsible.">51 "Yet many of the names and photos are known to be wrong," says Thompson. "Perhaps embarrassing facts would come out if we knew their real names.">52
Another report that creates suspicion regarding the official story, according to which the hijackers were "fundamentalist" Muslims, is that between May and August of 2001, several of the alleged hijackers, including Mohamed Atta, reportedly made at least six visits to Las Vegas, during which they drank alcohol, gambled, and frequented strip clubs, where they had lap dances performed for them.>53 Is this something that true believers would do shortly before going on a suicide mission to meet their maker?
There are also grounds for suspicion that evidence was planted to connect some of the alleged hijackers to the flights. On 9/11, for example, authorities found two of Attas bags, which failed to get loaded onto Flight 11. These bags contained various items, including flight simulation manuals for Boeing airplanes, a copy of the Koran, a religious cassette tape, a note to other hijackers about mental preparation, and Attas will, passport, and international drivers license. A reporter for the New Yorker later wrote:
many of the investigators believe that some of the initial clues that were uncovered about the terrorists' identities and preparations, such as flight manuals, were meant to be found. A former high-level intelligence official told me, "Whatever trail was left was left deliberately—for the FBI to chase." As Thompson asks, why would Atta have planned to bring his will "onto a plane he knew would be destroyed?">54 Also suspicious was the discovery, a few blocks from the WTC on the day after 9/11, of the passport of alleged hijacker Satam al-Suqami.>55 One newspaper— reflecting the fact that it was widely but mistakenly reported that the passport belonged to Atta—said "the idea that Atta's passport had escaped from that inferno unsinged [strains] credulity.">56 These stories suggest that the truth about what happened on 9/11 may be even further from the official account than suggested by the evidence I have cited prior to this section. Meyssan, for example, proposes that "the FBI invented a list of hijackers from which it drew an identikit portrait of the enemies of the West.">57 I will, however, not pursue this question further.
This chapter obviously provides additional evidence against any position weaker than the third possible view, because it suggests that at least one US agency—the FBI—had specific advance knowledge of the plot and took deliberate steps to prevent this plot from being uncovered.
Tyrone Powers, a former FBI special agent, is quoted by Ahmed as saying that within the intelligence community, "on occasion, [damaging] acts are allowed if in the minds of the decision makers, they will lead to 'greater good.'" One of the FBI agents interviewed by Grigg for The New American said: "There's got to be more to this than we can see.... Obviously, people had to know.... Its terrible to think this, but this must have been allowed to happen as part of some other agenda.">58 The critics of the official account have some suggestions as to what this agenda might have been.
FOOTNOTES to chapter 6Edit
1New York Times, September 18, 2002, cited in Thompson, "Timeline," December 4, 1998. 2"Timeline," January 25, 2001. 3This man's name is also sometimes spelled Massood, Massoud, Masoud, and Masud. I have followed Chossudovsky's spelling, Masood. 4ABC News, February 18, 2002, cited in "Timeline," 2001 (this item is placed at the beginning of the items for 2001). 5Jane's Intelligence Review, October 5, 2001, quoted in "Timeline," March 7, 2001. 6Richard Labeviere, "CIA Agent Allegedly Met Bin Laden in July," Le Figaro, October 31; Anthony Sampson, "CIA Agent Alleged to Have Met bin Laden in July," Guardian, November 1; Adam Sage, "Ailing bin Laden 'Treated for Kidney Disease,'" London Times, November 1; Agence France-Presse, November 1; Radio France International, November 1; and Reuters, November 10, 2001; cited in "Timeline," July 4-14 and July 12, 2001, and in Ahmed, 207-09. 7"Timeline," July 4-14, 2001. This statement (quoted in Ahmed, 209) occurs in Chossudovsky's Introduction to Labeviere's Le Figaro article (see note 6), which is on the website of the Centre for Research on Globalisation (www.globalresearch.ca/ articles/RIClllB.html), November 2, 2001. 9See the evidence in the section entitled "Bush and Bin Laden Family Ties" in Ahmed, 179-87. 10See the section entided "Osama: Not a Black Sheep," in Ahmed, 178-79. 11See the sections entided "Osama and the Saudis: A Covert Alliance," "The US-Saudi Alliance," and "Osamagate?" in Ahmed, 187-202. 12Patrick E. Tyler, "Fearing Harm, Bin Laden Kin Fled from US," New York Times, September 30, 2001, and Jane Mayer, "The House of Bin Laden: A Family's, and a Nation's, Divided Loyalties," New Yorker, November 12, 2001. (Michael Moore reports that it was reading these stories that first made him suspicious about the official account of 9/11; see Dude, Where's My Country [New York: Warner Books, 2003], 3-5.) 13New Yorker, January 14, 2002, cited in "Timeline," August 22, 2001 (B). 14CNN, January 8, 2002, and Lara Marlowe, "US Efforts to Make Peace Summed Up by Oil," Irish Times, November 19, 2001, cited in "Timeline," Mid-July 2001 and Ahmed, 206. 15Ahmed, 191-92, quoting Tariq Ali, "The Real Muslim Extremists," New Statesman, October 1, 2001. A "Wahhabi" is a follower of Wahhabism, the extreme form of Muslim "fundamentalism" dominant in, and promoted by, Saudi Arabia. 16On Posner's general perspective about 9/11, see note 31 of the Introduction, above. 17Gerald Posner, Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 (New York: Random House, 2003), 181-88. Posner's case for the credibility of this account is that, besides the fact that it was provided independently by two informants within the US government, he also had independent confirmation of the described interrogation techniques from a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency (180n.). 18Ibid., 188-93. 19Ibid., 193. 20Gregory Palast and David Pallister, "FBI Claims Bin Laden Inquiry Was Frustrated," Guardian, November 7, 2001, quoted in Ahmed, 111. 21"Above the Law: Bush's Radical Coup d'Etat and Intelligence Shutdown," Green Press, February 14, 2000 (www.greenpress.org), quoted in Ahmed, 186. 22Palast and Pallister, "FBI Claims Bin Laden Inquiry Was Frustrated," quoted in Ahmed, 111. 23"Excerpts from Report on Intelligence Actions and the September 11 Attacks," New York Times, July 25, 2003. 24New York Times, May 19 and 20, Fortune, May 22, and Los Angeles Times, May 26, 2002, cited in "Timeline," July 10 and December, 2001. 25New York Times, February 8, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," August 13-15, 2001. 26This warning was reported in Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, Forbidden Truth: US-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (New York: Thunders Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002), 53-55. Brisard is a former agent of the French secret service. Wayne Madsen, in his introduction to the book, says that when the book was first published in France in November of 2001, "skeptics inside and outside the US government scoffed at the authors' contention that French intelligence had warned the FBI about the terrorist connections and ongoing flight training in the United States of Zacarias Moussaoui," but that they were then confronted with "incontrovertible validation of this information" when Coleen Rowley's memo became public (xv). 27Time, August 4, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," August 15 and August 22, 2001. 28Newsweek, May 20, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," August 23-27, 2001. 29Time, May 21 and May 27, and New York Times, August 27, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," August 23-27, 2001. 30Senate Intelligence Committee, October 17, 2002, and Time, May 21,2002, cited in "Timeline," August 24-29, 2001. 31Senate Intelligence Committee, October 17, 2002, cited in "Timeline," August 28, 2001 (B). 32Time, July 21 and 27, 2002, and Sydney Morning Herald, July 28, 2002, cited in "Timeline," August 23-27 and August 28, 2001. 33Time May 21 and 27, and Sydney Morning Herald, May 28, 2002' cited in "Timeline," August 23-27 and August 28, 2001. 34Washington Post, June 6, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," June 3, 2002. 35New York Times, December 22, 2001, quoted in Ahmed, 95. 36Senate Intelligence Committee, September 18, Time, May 21, and New York Times, May 30, 2002, cited in "Timeline," May 8, 2002. 37Ian Bruce, "FBI 'Super Flying Squad' to Combat Terror," Herald, May 16, 2002, quoted in Ahmed, 112, who also refers to Brian Blomquist, "FBI Man's Chilling 9/11 Prediction," New York Post, May 9, 2002 (www.nypost.com). 38Time, May 27, 2002 quoted in "timeline" May 21, 2001 (A)" 39New York Times, May 30, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," May 21, 2001 (A). 40United Press International, May 30, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," June 9, 2001. 41LA Weekly, August 2, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," May 30, 2002. 42ABC News, November 26 and December 19, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," October, 1998. 43Congressional Intelligence Committee, September 20, 2002, and New York Times, September 21, 2002, quoted in "Timeline," August 28, 2001 (A). 44Washington Post, May 19, Cox News, August 14, and Associated Press, October 18, 2002, cited in "Timeline," March 22, 2002. 45Alex Jones Show, October 10; World Net Daily, October 21; "David Schippers Goes Public: The FBI Was Warned," Indianapolis Star, October 13; and "Active FBI Special Agent Files Complaint Concerning Obstructed FBI Anti-Terrorist Investigations, "Judicial Watch, November 14, 2001; cited in Ahmed, 107-09, and "Timeline," late July 2001 (B). 46William Norman Grigg, "Did We Know What Was Coming?", New American 18/5: March 11, 2002 (www.thencwamerican.com), cited in Ahmed, 110-11. 47Catastrophic Intelligence Failure," Accuracy In Media (www.aim.org), September 24, 2001, quoted in Ahmed, 95-97. 48New York Times, September 21, Telegraph, September 23, 2001, and BBC, August 1, 2002, cited in "Timeline," September 16-23, 2001. 49Meyssan, 9/11: The Big Lie, 54. 50London Times, September 20, 2001. 51Associated Press, November 3, 2002. 52"Timeline," September 16-23, 2001. One more intriguing bit of information that Thompson gives involves the reported telephone call from Amy Sweeney, a flight attendant on Flight 11, to American Airlines ground manager Michael Woodward, which began shortly after the plane was hijacked and continued until the plane hit the WTC. According to reports, she identified four hijackers, but they were not the four said to be on the plane (Thompson [8:21 AM], citing Boston Globe, November 23, 2001, and ABC News, July 18, 2002 Thompson adds that the Boston Globe says that it has a transcript of the call.
53"Timeline," May 2001 [Q), citing San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, and Newsweek, October 15, 2001. 54Timeline," September 11, 2001 (J), citing Associated Press, October 5, 2001, Boston Globe, September 18, and Independent, September 29, 2001, along with New Yorker October 1, 2001. 55ABC News, September 12 and 16, and Associated Press, September 16, 2001, cited in Timeline," September 12, 2001. 56Guardian, March 19, 2002. 579/11: The Big Lie, 56. 58Ahmed, 132, 110-11, quoting Dennis Shipman, "The Spook Who Sat Behind the Door A Modern Day Tale," IndyMedia, May 20, 2002 (http://portland.indymedia.org), and William Norman Grigg, "Did We Know What Was Coming?" New American 18/5: March 11, 2002 (www.thenewamerican.com).