Four Years Later-More Questions Than Answers On 9/11
By Stephen Simac
It's the fourth anniversary of the Attack on America and two official investigations into the events have been made public, more or less. The joint congressional hearings (see Coastal Post, Sept. 03) and the independent 9/11 commission (CP, Sept./ Oct. 04 ) have each issued reports that exonerated all government officials and agencies for their failure to prevent the attacks.
It's easy to understand why the joint inquiry backed off blaming anyone. During their investigation the members and their staff were interrogated using lie detectors by the FBI. This was after an NSA document was leaked, about a phone call by known terrorists that had not been translated until after the "big day." Senator McCain, a member complained about the FBI "compiling dossiers on people who are investigating" the agency.
Huge portions of their report were classified, including the whole chapter on Saudi Arabia involvement. The joint committee did find enough damaging evidence that a second investigation was held because of pressure from the families of the victims.
The 9/11 Commission was formed against the wishes of the Bush administration, then given only $3 million to work with at first. Clearances for the members were delayed until they had less than a year to finish. They did find documented warnings of terrorist plans to hijack airplanes and crash them into the Pentagon and the WTC towers. These warnings went back for years, increasing in intensity during the summer of 2001.
They found abject failures to follow protocol, to share vital information, to take action on actionable intelligence, to act in a timely manner, even suppression of investigations into the terrorists' cells. (see CP Sept. Oct. 2004).
Nevertheless, no one was held responsible by the independent commission. There was no buck to stop. No resignations, demotions, administrative warnings or public scolding have resulted from the official findings of the 9/11 commission. Documented, widespread incompetence and failures to act on their duties by numerous federal agencies and individuals and none at fault.
Some agents who had direct responsibility were actually promoted. All agencies involved have been given more funding and powers, after miserably failing with already gargantuan budgets and permissive regulations. The independent commission's recommendations for restructuring the intelligence community were enacted into law. This will cost hundreds of billions more over the next decades, but they chose not to blame anyone who had wasted trillions over decades spent on intelligence and defense.
"We're not interested in trying to assess blame, we do not consider that the commission's responsibility.," the vice chair admitted before they began hearings. The investigations and public hearings were carefully orchestrated to lay down a covering fire for the administration's explanations for the failures. Only a failure of imagination, autistic communication skills and developmental delay in connecting the dots were responsible. And no one could be blamed for this.
Corporate Media Slumbers
Amazingly, the mainstream media has seemed as content with this angle as a dog with a bone. They gnawed at the news after the reports came out, scratched a little dirt on it, then forgot where they'd buried it to cover breaking news like Michael Jackson's trial.
A few mainstream articles have been published that actually analyzed the report instead of merely transcribing it's findings. Vanity Fair (Nov. 04) surmised from the report that Cheney had actually given the Flight 93 shoot down order, not Bush, breaking the chain of command and acting unlawfully. An anonymous member told them. "We purposely did not reach a conclusion [about this]. We didn't want to be in the position of saying the president and the vice president were lying to us."
They haven't filed perjury charges against any witnesses who testified to them, although several made serious "misstatements." George Tenet told them he hadn't met with Bush during his vacation on his ranch in Texas the month before the attack. Later his aide told the members, they'd only met there five times that month. Effectively preventing the commission from asking what they talked about.
Condoleeza Rice again insisted she couldn't imagine hijackers crashing jets into the Towers and the Pentagon. Rep. Henry Waxman, CA has requested hearings into her statements. He wants congress to investigate whether she was guilty of perjury or only "failures of preparation and competency." Waxman is incensed because the testimony the commission took on dozens of warnings to the administration and aviation officials about planes being hijacked by suicide terrorists was classified until after the election and Rice's appointment as Secretary of State. He wants that looked into as well and he's not even a commission member. They should be furious, because she so fractured the facts testifying to them.
Because every member was so compromised by conflicts of interests, their fitness to investigate 9/11 was questionable. One of the members and their executive director both had to be questioned about their involvement in or knowledge about intelligence and administrative decisions around the attacks. Surely that is a conflict of interest, although no members or the director declared any.
No editorials have called for public resignations of agency directors and agents because of the damaging findings. Only the Coastal Post (Sept. 2003) reported that Senator Richard Shelby, of the joint investigation named the former and current top directors of the NSA, CIA, FAA and the FBI as needing to be held accountable for "recurring and widespread shortcomings" in his dissenting addendum. They weren't.
The CIA did withhold internal documents from the 9/11 commission identifying individuals responsible for intelligence failures around the attacks. They've classified these, so the scot-free results can be seen as stonewalling by all involved.
War Until The End Of Our Lifetime
Four years later, America has two wars ongoing with promises of more invasions in an endless War On Terrorism. Fighting a tactic, not an enemy. Billions have been spent on homeland security since. Ruinously higher costs for safety against the threat of terrorism extend infinitely into the future. Civil and legal rights have been eroded or eliminated to protect us from terrorism. All sold to the citizens because of the attacks.
It's pathetic that we have demanded no accountability from our government. Instead we've rewarded failure with increased funding and powers. Only the media and a diminishing proportion of the public believes the official conspiracy theory.
A group of Muslim terrorists led by a turbaned Arab in a cave, evaded all security for years before and on the day of the attacks, even while they trained at US flight schools, flew and partied across the country, paid cash for tickets with no luggage, drank shots and got lap dances while cursing the red, white and blue. No military jets were able to intercept the hijacked flights, although squadrons were minutes away charged with doing so. Only a failure to connect the dots, but no blamable incompetence or failure to perform duties allowed the terrorists to evade detection and succeed in their improbable plans.
More people think the administration Let It Happen On Purpose- LIHOP. Some think they Made It Happen On Purpose-MIHOP. Just normal, healthy distrust of the government? Even a little research provides more questions about the attacks than the investigations answered, even more than the multitude of failures they did report on.
Connecting The Dots
The 9/11 Commission excluded reports that Mohammed Atta, the reported ring leader of the terrorist hijacking cells had been under surveillance since 1999 by a military intelligence unit named "Able Danger." They left out that Atta and three other hijackers were under surveillance as probable members of a terrorist cell, and that Pentagon lawyers prevented the unit sharing this information with the FBI in 2000. This was disclosed in August by Rep. Curt Weldon, PA, a Republican heading up the House Intelligence committee.
The commission has admitted to this a year after the release of their 800 page report. Their reason being that it "wasn't consistent" with the official timeline they'd been given by the FBI of Atta's whereabouts before the attacks. Knowing that they deliberately discarded information because it contradicted the "official" explanation calls into question whole chapters of their report, which give the official timelines and activities of the identified terrorists.
The commission members should immediately declare all other evidence they discarded or changed and begin to file perjury charges against any witnesses who may have lied to them. Or undoubtedly, this information will continue to filter into the news in the years ahead.
They will be seen as another Warren Commission. Thirty years after that report was issued, former president Gerald Ford admitted that it's members lied about the report's location of a gun shot in President Kennedy's shirt. To make the improbable theory of a lone gunman with three shots slightly less implausible. The crafter of that story was made a PA Senator for his lone nut, magic bullet conspiracy theory.
The Fall of The Twin Towers
Everything about the crashing of two airliners into the World Trade Center and the subsequent collapse of those buildings implodes under scrutiny. No steel framed building had ever collapsed from fire before 9/11. Steel framed buildings of similar construction to WTC have withstood raging fires for as long as 36 hours and yet none had ever collapsed. Three imploded on that day, and all investigations into the causes have been speculative.
Fire Engineering magazine (Jan. 02) stated that the "structural damage from the planes and explosive ignition of jet fuels were not enough in themselves to bring down the towers." They demanded that "the destruction and removal of evidence be stopped immediately."
The rubble removal operation had been operating non-stop since the day of the attacks, a relentless removing and shipping off the neatly sheared 30 ft sections of massive steel girders for recycling. Despite the fireman's demands, the evidence was shipped off to China and Indonesia as rapidly as possible. There was no examination of the rubble and massive steel girders for evidence as to how steel girders could shear and concrete pulverize into dust.
The FEMA investigation into the WTC collapses admitted the cause could not "definitively determined." They didn't even attempt to explain the implosion of WTC Building 7. It was not hit by airplanes or major debris, had minimal fires and yet fell perfectly into itself like a controlled demolition. All three towers fell after short, controllable fires and no detectable loss of stability to either rescuers within or observers outside. They fell at the speed of gravity into their own footprints, except for the enormous clouds of concrete dust exploding outward from them.
Even one of Bush's own appointees, Morgan Reynolds, the chief economist in his first term Labor Department, declared "only professional demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated with the collapse of the three buildings." He told this to reporter Greg Szymanski, who has broken some huge stories about 9/11 on-line. Reynolds said the "government and the mainstream media are not digging into 9/11 controversy because they are hiding something."
Szymanski has interviewed witnesses who experienced an explosion in the north Tower basement before the collapse, but their evidence was ignored by the commission. Many witnesses to the events have reported being warned by intelligence agents to keep quiet about contradictory evidence.
There are many reports of people hearing and seeing dozens of explosions inside the buildings. Radio reports from fireman indicated only controllable fires, and nearby seismographs indicate enormous underground explosions, prior to the collapse of the Twin Towers.
Painful Questions, An Analysis of the September 11th Attack, a book by Eric Hufschmid, provides abundant evidence to support the theory that the buildings were pre-planted with timed explosives. He uses laws of physics, materials sciences and official reports, illustrated with dozens of commercial photos taken that day that he purchased to build his case.
Building 7 is so weird that a factual description of the building sounds like a paranoid fantasy. It was built over ten enormous electrical substations, then loaded with huge tanks of diesel fuel for emergency generators. An entire floor of the building was made into an emergency command control center by Mayor Giuliani. This building also contained a large field office for the Secret Service and a covert CIA office. The mayor was hunkered there in his bomb-proof, even "dust proof" bunker with it's own supply of air and water. Giuliani admitted having advance warning that the South Tower was "gonna' fall," but these warnings weren't communicated to the rescue workers in that building. So much for the command part of the center.
Building 7 fell after 5 p.m. that day, shortly after the builder/owner Larry Silverstein "decided to pull it," as he called it later, when talking about the collapse to a city television station. That's trade talk for controlled demolition, which it appeared to be. It was not hit by any plane or heavy debris, all photos show only small fires. FEMA declined to even speculate on it, said the cause was "unknown."
The Pentagon's Wall
The most highly defended airspace in the country was left undefended for more than an hour after the first confirmed news of an airline hijacking. A nearby intelligence agency (NRO) was conducting a drill of a suicide plane crashing into their building that very morning. The government was well aware of the warnings Muslim terrorists planning to crash multiple hijacked planes into the Pentagon and other targets.
There were at least three other confirmed military drills that day defending national airspace against hijacked airliners, two in the Northeast. Only one of these was mentioned by the 9/11 Commission. Michael Ruppert in his book, Crossing the Rubicon provides evidence that they were under the command of vice President Dick Cheney.
Despite or because of all these training exercises, a commercial jet is hijacked, goes off radar for forty minutes, careens back onto screens just outside of Washington, DC. Blasts over the Pentagon towards the White House, then steeply cuts back at jet fighter speed and plows into a recently reinforced wall of the Pentagon. No military jets were scrambled in time, no anti-aircraft shots were fired.
Donald Rumsfeld, SecDef had just finished talking to Rep Christopher Cox, and was in his office on the other side of the five sided monolith when "the missile damage[d] the Pentagon" as he described it to Parade magazine. He has repeatedly said he didn't know what had happened until he stumbled out into the parking lot after the explosion.
Rumsfeld managed to stay out of contact with the vice president's command and control post under the White House until after flight 93 had been crashed. However Cox told the commission that he was watching TV with Rumsfeld after the twin towers were hit and Rummy said "Believe me, there's going to another attack and it could be us."
Let's Roll It
Since the Secretary of Defense was second in command to the President on military shoot down orders, it seems insubordinate to go incommunicado until after all four hijacked airplanes had been hijacked and crashed. By their own timeline, it had to be Cheney who ordered the shoot down of Flight 93, the last of the hijacked planes, although he told the commission it was Bush. It's nothing to be ashamed of, if unconstitutional, because the need was clear.
However the official theory insists that it was the brave passengers who rolled it, even though numerous eye witness reports describe a military jet in the area, the sound of a missile and an explosion before the crash and debris scattered over miles, not centered around the impact site. And no body parts.
In short, and this article briefly covers only some of the unasked questions by the commission, no one should be content with their no blame, no shame conclusion. The Truth is out there, but it isn't all in the official reports. What we've been allowed to see anyway.
The New Pearl Harbor by David Ray Griffin builds a concise yet convincing case for government collusion. The Terror Timeline by Paul Thompson is a comprehensive compilation of mainstream media reports with the same effect.
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