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Intelligence failures leading to 9/11


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I just finished reading "Disconnecting the Dots: How CIA and FBI officials helped enable 9/11 and evaded government investigations" by Kevin Fenton. This book makes a compelling case that a number of CIA and FBI officials repeatedly and deliberately took actions to enable al Qeada operatives to operate freely in the United States. The intelligence failures that allowed 9/11 to happen were not the result of simple incompetence, bureaucratic dysfunction, etc. A small number of people took specific steps to sabotage the disemination of information related to al Qeada and to prevent other people in the CIA and FBI from stopping the 9/11 plots. These steps were not lazy, careless or accidental. They were a repeated patterns of specific actions done by people who knew they were doing something wrong and were simultaniously creating cover stories and fake evidence to cover their tracks.

Much of the book centers around the actions of Alec Station, the CIA group set up to hunt for al Qaeda. The main actors identified in the book who enabled al Qaeda to evade the CIA and FBI were Tom Wilshire, Richard Blee, Dina Corsi among others. The book is filled with example after example of actions by a small group of people in the CIA and FBI who enabled Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi to operate unmolested both overseas in the the US.

The most shocking actions by Tom Wilshire and others took place in January 2000. Back in late 1999 and early 2000, the CIA was aware that al Qaeda was planning a high level terror summit in Malaysia. The CIA and foreign intelligence agencies were tracking al Qaeda members on the way to the summit, tapping phones and video tapping and photographing this summit. On the way to the summit, the CIA was able to get access to the luggage of Khalid Almihdhar and make a copy of his passport. This passport showed an unused multiple entry visa to the US.

In January of 2000, two FBI agents, Doug Miller and Mark Rossini, were detailed to work with the CIA's Alec Station group. Doug Miller saw the information that Almihdhar had a US entry visa in his passport and wrote a memo to the FBI informing them of the intelligence that a top al-Qaeda operative who had already taken part in multiple attacks on US interests seemed to be planning to travel to the US. However, since the information that Doug Miller's memo was based upon was "owned" by the CIA, Doug Miller needed CIA approval to send this memo. At this time, Tom Wilshire and another CIA employee known as "Michelle" Refused to allow the FBI to be notified that an al-Qaeda terrorist was planning to come to the US. Both Doug Miller and Mark Rossini repeatedly followed up and protested that they were not allowed to pass this critical information to the FBI, but Tom Wilshire insisted on blocking their memo.

Right after blocking disemination of the FBI memo, Tom Wilshire and "Michelle" sent a false cable claiming that the information about Almihdhar's US entry visa had been passed to the FBI. The key thing about this action is that it shows that Tom Wilshire and "Michelle" knew that they were doing something wrong, and they deliberately created a fake trail to hide their actions and to create a fake cover story for themselves.

The book is filled with dozens of examples of similar sorts of internal sabotage by this same small group of people in the CIA and FBI. "Disconnecting the Dots" is painstakingly researched. It pulls together many tiny pieces of information scattered in many different sources to paint a clear picture. It hones in on and indentifies (at least some of) the players who worked to enable 9/11. These people continued to work to decieve the FBI and other groups within the CIA and prevent the capture of the al-Qaeda members working on the 9/11 plot. They continued to do this even in Aug 2001 when it was abundantly clear inside the CIA that al-Qaeda was planning a major terror operation within the US. I had to put down the book several times because it made me so angry to watch these people work to kill thousands of their fellow citizens.

The book makes a compelling case that this group of people enabled al-Qeada to pull off the 9/11 attacks. The question that remains is why. It may be that Almihdhar and Alhazmi were Saudi intelligence agents who fooled the CIA. Or it may be that the CIA was running illegal US domestic operations or working with a foreign intelligence agency (Mosad??) to track Almihdhar and Alhazmi themselves. Or it may be that this group was working to enable to al-Qaeda in order to bring about "the new world order".

To date, we don't have enough information to conclusively prove any of these theories. However, many of these questions could probably be answered by declassifying the mass of secret records relating to this topic. The most beneign of these explanations would be unbelievably damning to the CIA, and the most sinister would shake the foundations of America's democracy.

I highly, highly recommend "Disconnecting the Dots" for anyone interested in learning the truth about 9/11. It is a great piece of research. Well balanced and focused. It looks at exactly the right topic to understand the root of the problems leading to 9/11. It does not have all the answers. I am afraid that these will still take years or decades to come, but it moves the state of our understanding further than any other book of which I am currently aware.

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Here is more detail from the history commons blog, Sept 11, 2009.

Identity of CIA Officer Responsible for pre-9/11 Failures, Tora Bora Escape, Rendition to Torture Revealed

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Document Collection — kevinfenton @ 1:52 am

Tags: CIA, FBI, Richard Blee, Tom Wilshire

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The name of the CIA officer who ran Alec Station, the agency’s bin Laden unit, in the run-up to 9/11 can be revealed. Known by a variety of aliases in the media until now, such as “Rich” in Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars, “Richard” in the 9/11 Commission report and “Rich B” in George Tenet’s At the Center of the Storm, his real name is Richard Blee.

Blee was a key figure in the pre-9/11 intelligence failures, the CIA station chief in Afghanistan when Osama bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora and instrumental in setting up the Bush administration’s rendition and torture policies.

I confirmed Blee’s identity in this document, notes drafted by a 9/11 Commission staffer, apparently in preparation of the drafting of the final report. The notes were found along with thousands of other 9/11 Commission files at the National Archives by History Commons contributor Erik Larson, who uploaded them to the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. I previously blogged other interesting aspects of the notes here and here.

Blee is mentioned several times in the 9/11 Commission’s files, but his name is always redacted, as it has been in the media until now. However, in one case the people doing the redactions let it slip past them.

His name is disclosed on page 41 of the notes, where a comment says: “No one anticipated (well a few like Clarke, Black, Blee) what these people would do, or their single-minded determination, or that it would adapt to events and change to be more lethal.”

Clarke is White House counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, who Blee met with to discuss the an impending al-Qaeda attack in the summer of 2001. Black is Cofer Black, the head of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC) and Blee’s boss at the time.

Before this, much information was known about Blee. His first name was given in at least four books and a key break was provided by former CIA Director George Tenet, who disclosed the initial of his surname in his 2007 book. Tenet even has an entry for “B., Rich” in the index and named the book’s eighth chapter after a comment Blee made to him in July 2001 about the location of the next al-Qaeda attack: “They’re coming here.”

Harper’s journalist Ken Silverstein revealed in a January 2007 article about Blee (under the pseudonym “James”) that he was the son of a well-known former CIA officer. Taken together, this meant that the officer’s first name was Richard, his surname began with the letter B and his father had also been a CIA officer–a relatively small group of people.

His father was David Blee, an Office of Strategic Services veteran who was honoured as one of the CIA’s finest fifty employees ever at ceremony on 18 September 1997. Blee came to fame within the agency in the mid-1960s, when he spirited Stalin’s daughter out of India and to the west. However, his main contribution was to sweep away the influence of paranoid counterintelligence chief James Angleton and build a network of spies in the Eastern Bloc. He also rated a mention by the Church Committee.

David Blee died in August 2000. James Risen’s obituary in the New York Times mentions that one of his sons was called Richard.

Involvement in Pre-9/11 Failures

One of the best-known pre-9/11 failures was the failure by the CIA in January 2000 to pass on to the FBI the information that one of the hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar, had a US visa, and would therefore probably soon arrive in the US. FBI officers detailed to the CIA learned of the information, but one of Blee’s deputies, Tom Wilshire, prevented them from passing it on to the bureau.

While it was wrong of Wilshire to keep information from the bureau, it is perhaps not so unusual for the CIA to withhold information from the FBI. However, Blee’s actions at this time are more bizarre.

The CIA had been monitoring a summit of al-Qaeda leaders in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which began on 5 January. On 8 January three of the summit attendees, Almihdhar, his partner Nawaf Alhazmi and al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash, left for Bangkok, and Alec Station received a cable from the field reporting this. The CIA claims that its officers in Bangkok could not pick up the surveillance at the airport and that the three men were lost. The next day Alec Station sent a high-priority NIACT (night action) cable urging the station in Bangkok to find them.

Although the other summit attendees had also dispersed at the same time as the three men who flew to Bangkok, on 12 January Blee claimed to his bosses that the surveillance in Kuala Lumpur was continuing. The 9/11 Commission, suggested that Blee “may not have known that in fact Almihdhar and his companions had dispersed and the tracking was falling apart.” The interview of Blee received high-level attention on the commission. It was led by the commission’s executive director Philip Zelikow and two team leaders, Kevin Scheid and Barbara Grewe.

It is unclear how Blee could possibly have been unaware of this, as his unit had previously both received and sent at least one cable stating they had left for Bangkok and he would presumably have asked his subordinates for an update in the four days between the hijackers’ departure from Kuala Lumpur and the 12 January briefing. The commission’s formulation—that Blee “may not have known”—also begs the question: Well, did he know or not? If he did, he withheld key information from his bosses during the high threat period of the millennium alert. If he did not know, it means his subordinates withheld the information from him.

The next day, Bangkok station reported that it could not find the three men. Nevertheless, Blee went back to his superiors on 14 January and told them officials were continuing to track the summit’s attendees, who had now dispersed to various countries. Here, the commission’s report is clear, finding, “there is no evidence of any tracking efforts actually being undertaken by anyone after the Arabs disappeared into Bangkok.”

It is clear the information received by Blee’s superiors was incorrect. Given the improbability of Blee’s subordinates wanting or being able to conceal the real state of affairs from him for nearly a week, it appears that it was Blee that decided to withhold the information from them.

There has been speculation that the reason the information was withheld was to enable the CIA, perhaps using a group of former employees or confederates, to monitor Almihdhar and Alhazmi in the US without having to worry about a competing FBI surveillance team. The above analysis indicates that Blee wanted not only the FBI, but also his own superiors off his back.

The hypothesis that the withholding of the information from the bureau was not sanctioned by the CIA’s management is supported by the behaviour of the agency’s station in Kuala Lumpur. Four local stations performed badly regarding information about Almihdhar in the run-up to 9/11: Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Sana’a and Islamabad. Whereas the performance of the three last-named stations is so shocking—at various times they withheld information they must have known was crucial—that it indicates they were acting in bad faith, the errors by Kuala Lumpur station could be attributed to the usual mistakes that creep into anyone’s performance. In addition, on three separate occasions Kuala Lumpur went the extra mile and tried to move the issue forward. If the withholding of the information from the bureau was approved by the CTC’s leadership, why was Kuala Lumpur not on board with this?

“They’re Coming Here”

As most of the heavy lifting in the efforts to keep information about Almihdhar and Alhazmi from the FBI was done by Wilshire, Blee does not resurface in the story until July 2001.

On 4 July, Almihdhar re-entered the US. The next day, Wilshire, who had by then gone on loan to the FBI, apparently as the deputy chief of its International Terrorism Operations Section, wrote an alarming e-mail. In it he told unnamed Alec Station managers that he thought Almihdhar was linked to the current high level of threat reporting.

Five days after the e-mail, Black briefed Tenet about current threat reporting. The briefing was so alarming that it “literally made my hair stand on end,” Tenet recalled. He then immediately took Blee and Black to the White House, requesting anemergency meeting with National Security Condoleezza Rice so that Blee could brief her on the threat reporting. The meeting was also attended by Clarke and Rice’s deputy Stephen Hadley, and caused controversy when it was omitted from the 9/11 Commission’s final report, but highlighted in one of Bob Woodward’s books.

There is no indication that Blee mentioned Almihdhar or Malaysia to anybody there, at this time or at any other.

The withholding of the information about Almihdhar in January 2000 and subsequent occasions only makes sense if the hijackers were being followed by people linked to those who were withholding the information, and Blee sits at the centre of that web. It is therefore highly likely that Blee knew all about the hijackers’ entries and residences in the US by this time from following Almihdhar and Alhazmi, but that he withheld this information deliberately. Had he told the people at the meeting of this information, there would have been plenty of time to prevent the attacks—over two months to round the hijackers up.

Three days after the meeting, Wilshire sent another e-mail to the Counterterrorist Center, this time warning that Khallad was a “major-league killer,” pointing out that he had been identified by a CIA mole in al-Qaeda, and saying that it would be a good time to re-examine the Malaysia summit documents to get more information about him. On the same day this e-mail was sent Blee wrote an e-mail to another CIA officer entitled “Identification of Khallad,” so it is highly likely Blee received this e-mail.

Wilshire wrote a third e-mail on 23 July. This time it was very clear:

When the next big op is carried out by [bin Laden’s] hardcore cadre, [Khallad bin Attash] will be at or near the top of the command food chain—and probably nowhere near either the attack site or Afghanistan. That makes people who are available and who have direct access to him of very high interest. Khalid Almihdhar should be very high interest anyway, given his connection to the [redacted].

Blee made the comment that left such an impression on Tenet around this time. Tenet wrote:

magine how I and everyone else in the room reacted during one of my updates in late July when, as we speculated about the kind of attacks we could face, Rich B. suddenly said, with complete conviction, “They’re coming here.” I’ll never forget the silence that followed.

At this time, Blee certainly had reason to make such a comment: he was the government official most responsible for gathering the warning signs in the summer of threat and thus the most highly aware of them. He must have been aware of the hijackers’ presence in the US and was also involved in efforts to keep this presence hidden from both the bureau and his own superiors. Even if he did not figure out that the hijackers were linked to the threat reporting by himself, he must have known this because Wilshire told him so repeatedly and documented this with a clear paper trail.

Even if we suppose that Blee was cut off from the surveillance of the hijackers, Alec Station claims to have realised Almihdhar and Alhazmi were in the US on August 21 and communicated this to the FBI. (Coincidentally, this was one day before Blee’s nemesis FBI manager John O’Neill retired from the bureau and Ali Soufan, a bureau agent who had been asking questions about a possible al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia, went back to Yemen.) At this point Alec Station knew (1) there was going to be a major al-Qaeda attack, (2) Almihdhar was one of the terrorists probably involved in the attack, and (3) Almihdhar was in the US. With this information, it does not take a genius to work out the likely location of the attack was inside the US. Yet the FBI’s search for Almihdhar, overseen by Wilshire, was a catastrophe.

The case against Blee can be summed up like this: some intelligence community employees at and linked to Alec Station deliberately withheld information from the FBI in general and the USS Cole investigators in particular about Almihdhar and Alhazmi. Two of the officials who were involved in one example of this in January 2000, Doug Miller and Mark Rossini, have confessed to their part and implicated Wilshire and one of his subordinates. It stretches credulity well beyond breaking point to suggest that the group centred on Blee and Wilshire withheld information deliberately in January 2000, but that its subsequent inability to pass on the same and similar information was due to overwork and understaffing, especially given the most peculiar circumstances in which the information was not passed.

Although it is Wilshire that did most of the work, it is hard to imagine that a deputy unit chief could practice such a deception, leading us to suspect his boss, Blee. This suspicion is greatly enhanced by Blee’s incorrect briefings of his superiors on 12 and 14 January 2000 and his failure to mention to anyone the evident links between the high threat and the Malaysia meeting in numerous discussions in the summer of 2001. In addition, his position as a child of a CIA hero would have given him access to a network of intelligence community professionals. If he did want “off-the-books” surveillance of the two hijackers in San Diego, he would have known who to call.

It is certainly possible to dream up scenarios in which the surveillance of the hijackers inside the US somehow broke down, or to theorise that the hijackers, who were employing a countersurveillance technique when taking flights, were smarter than the people monitoring them. Both these scenarios would clear Blee of the most serious charge of deliberately allowing the attacks. However, neither of these scenarios seem likely at the moment. Perhaps further research will allow them to be either confirmed or ruled out.

Another question to ask is: did Blee benefit from the attacks?

Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars offers us an insight into the debate inside the CIA about what action to take against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. It portrays Blee as an officer most interested in providing increased assistance to Northern Alliance chief Ahmed Shah Massoud, with whom he met repeatedly. However, Blee was frustrated in this by others at the White House and agency, who did not trust Massoud. As we now know, all this changed after 9/11 and the US is still bogged down there along with its allies. In addition, as we will see, it was Blee that got himself appointed head of the CIA arm of the war…

What Richard Blee Did Next

Following the attacks, Blee was made station chief in Kabul, replacing Gary Berntsen, an officer who had realised the back door was open for bin Laden to escape from the battle of Tora Bora. Knowing some of the local warlords could not be trusted, Berntsen had repeatedly requested US ground forces to close off the escape routes and encircle bin Laden. However, he was unsuccessful, and Blee arrived to take over on 9 December. Although there are numerous stories about bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora, he seems to have still been there at this time. For example, in The One Percent Doctrine author Ron Suskind has bin Laden making a radio broadcast there on 15 December.

Had bin Laden been captured or killed there, it certainly would have provided some degree of closure for the US and the world, and probably significantly changed the course of subsequent events, possibly including a swift withdrawal from Afghanistan and a different public perception of the security vs. liberty trade-off. One can speculate about Blee’s role, but there is no evidence, let alone proof, one way or the other. On the other hand, it would be interesting to read his first cables from Afghanistan and compare them to Berntsen’s.

As CIA station chief in Afghanistan, he must have overseen all the abuses of prisoners that occurred there. One example for them all, from the Washington Post:

In November 2002, a newly minted CIA case officer in charge of a secret prison just north of Kabul allegedly ordered guards to strip naked an uncooperative young Afghan detainee, chain him to the concrete floor and leave him there overnight without blankets, according to four U.S. government officials aware of the case.

The Afghan guards — paid by the CIA and working under CIA supervision in an abandoned warehouse code-named the Salt Pit — dragged their captive around on the concrete floor, bruising and scraping his skin, before putting him in his cell, two of the officials said.

As night fell, so, predictably, did the temperature.

By morning, the Afghan man had frozen to death.

While Tora Bora is shrouded in the fog of war, the rendition of Ibn Shaikh al-Libi is not. Al-Libi, who had run training camps for radicals in Afghanistan, was captured by Pakistani forces trying to flee the country in November and handed over to the US in December. His questioning was initially headed by FBI agent Russell Fincher, who used the bureau’s traditional rapport-building techniques and began to extract nuggets of information from al-Libi. Fincher had previously worked on the Cole investigation–he was one of the agents the Blee/Wilshire group had withheld information about Almihdhar and Alhazmi from before 9/11.

FBI veteran Jack Cloonan was working with Fincher from headquarters. He later told the American Prospect: “They’re getting good stuff, and everyone’s getting the raw 302s [interview summaries] — the agency, the military, the director. But for some reason, the CIA chief of station in Kabul is taking issue with our approach.”

Newsweek also fingered Blee as the official responsible for starting the interagency contest:

The CIA station chief in Afghanistan, meanwhile, appealed to the agency’s hawkish counterterrorism chief, Cofer Black. He in turn called CIA Director George Tenet, who went to the White House. Al-Libi was handed over to the CIA.

More details of the discussions over al-Libi between the CIA, FBI and White House can be found elsewhere. However, this was the key battle between the agency and the bureau over the handling of detainees and determined the outcome of later contests, in particular the fight over Abu Zubaida. The CIA’s victory led to the “enhanced interrogation techniques” and everything they gave rise to.

After the agency took control of al-Libi, they put him on a plane to Cairo, where he was tortured into confessing a fictitious link between al-Qaeda and Iraq. This information then found its way into Colin Powell’s famous speech to the UN making the case for war with Iraq.

Ali Soufan, one of the Cole investigators from whom the Blee/Wilshire group had withheld information before 9/11, interviewed Abu Zubaida after his capture and got some useful information out of him. However, the CIA, led by its SERE contractors, muscled in on the interrogation and started implementing its torture tactics. Soufan was disgusted and protested what was happening, but eventually left the site of the interrogation.

Before 9/11, one of the mechanisms used to justify withholding the information was the “wall,” a term sometimes used to mean different things, but basically a set of regulations governing information sharing between and inside agencies. After 9/11, the wall came down, and information was shared freely in the panic to prevent what was then assumed to be the next attack. However, as Soufan wrote in an April 2009 New York Times op-ed:

One of the worst consequences of the use of these harsh techniques was that it reintroduced the so-called Chinese wall between the C.I.A. and F.B.I., similar to the communications obstacles that prevented us from working together to stop the 9/11 attacks. Because the bureau would not employ these problematic techniques, our agents who knew the most about the terrorists could have no part in the investigation. An F.B.I. colleague of mine who knew more about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed than anyone in the government was not allowed to speak to him.

Blee, whose subordinates built up an impressive track record of failing to share information with the FBI before the attacks, helped re-institute the barriers that enabled the information to be withheld after them. In particular, this led to information not being obtained by Fincher and Soufan, two of the very agents he and his associates had been withholding information from not six months previously. We must ask: is this just a coincidence? Or could Blee reasonably foresee that shipping al-Libi to Egypt and getting control of detainees for the CIA would hurt the FBI’s access to information?

Finally, there is the question of the CIA’s assassination programme, devised but never implemented after 9/11, although it was put into practice by the military in another form.

The first mention of it in the press I can find is in Dana Priest’s groundbreaking November 2005 exposé of the CIA’s black sites, “The CTC’s chief of operations argued for creating hit teams of case officers and CIA paramilitaries that would covertly infiltrate countries in the Middle East, Africa and even Europe to assassinate people on the list [of high-value targets], one by one.”

Although Blee was appointed chief of Alec Station around June 1999, there was a reorganisation at the Counterterrorist Center in the first half of the next year and Blee’s position was upgraded. In a 2007 article Silverstein gives his positions in chronological order: a posting to Algeria (which was in the early 90s), work on Iraq (mid-90s), chief of operations at the CTC with oversight of Alec Station and renditions, and station chief in Kabul (a position he took up in December 2001). Therefore it appears that after his short stint as Alec Station chief, the position he moved to was CTC chief of operations. This makes him the official Priest has arguing “for creating hit teams.”

As we can see, he built up a very consistent track record: withholding information before 9/11, assassination teams, rendition and torture. Thankfully, it seems he has now left the agency.

Edited by Mark Gorton
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Mr. Gorton PLEASE INCREASE YOUR FONT to #14 in post #2

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My related post

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Blee helped early and late (just before 911) by hiding/delaying/disinforming on AQ/911 people.

Blee part of a Secret Team ??? You see just after planning 911 the plotters had to be protected. Blee helps them flee. ph34r.gif

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Link below shows numerous attempts by CIA to stop investigations.

link http://www.historyco...malaysia_summit

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samples of link datum

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January 12, 2000: CIA’s Bin Laden Unit Chief Falsely Claims Malaysia Surveillance Is Continuing

Richard Blee, head of Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, gives an incorrect briefing to his CIA superiors about surveillance of al-Qaeda operatives in Southeast Asia. He claims that Malaysian authorities and the CIA are continuing to monitor al-Qaeda operatives who gathered for a summit in Kuala Lumpur (see January 5-8, 2000). In actual fact, three of the summit’s attendees, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Khallad bin Attash, have already left Kuala Lumpur for Bangkok and have disappeared there (see January 8, 2000). The 9/11 Commission will say that Blee is “unaware at first even that the Arabs had left Kuala Lumpur, let alone that their trail had been lost in Thailand” and that he “may not have known that in fact Almihdhar and his companions had dispersed and the tracking was falling apart.” These statements will be sourced to an interview with Blee in December 2003 and contemporary CIA documents. However, Alec Station is well aware of the departure of the three men, as it was notified of this and sent a follow-up cable on January 9 telling the CIA station in Bangkok to find them there (see January 9, 2000). It is unclear why Blee gives such an inaccurate briefing, but he gives a similar one two days later (see January 14, 2000), after Alec Station is again reminded that the three radicals are in Thailand, not Malaysia (see January 13, 2000). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 181, 354, 502

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January 14, 2000: CIA’s Bin Laden Unit Chief Again Falsely Claims Malaysia Surveillance Is Continuing

Richard Blee, head of Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, again wrongly informs his CIA superiors about surveillance of al-Qaeda operatives in Southeast Asia. Repeating a claim made in a briefing two days previously (see January 12, 2000), he says that Malaysian authorities and the CIA are continuing to monitor al-Qaeda operatives who gathered for a summit in Kuala Lumpur (see January 5-8, 2000). In actual fact, three of the summit’s attendees, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Khallad bin Attash, have already left Kuala Lumpur for Bangkok (see January 8, 2000). Alec Station is well aware of the departure of the three men, as it was notified of their departure and sent a follow-up cable on January 9 telling the CIA station in Bangkok to find them there (see January 9, 2000). In addition, one day before this briefing the CIA station in Bangkok sent Alec Station a cable saying it was unable to locate the men in Thailand (see January 13, 2000). The 9/11 Commission will also point out that “there is no evidence of any tracking efforts actually being undertaken by anyone after the Arabs disappeared into Bangkok.” It is unclear why Blee gives such an inaccurate briefing. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 181, 354]

Steven Gaal Biography My link

Nine days before the assassination my Mom dropped me off at the Ambassador Hotel. I saw RFK speak and kick off his California Campaign. The night of the assassination I was home and heard RFK say,"..on to Chicago..", I turned off my small B&W TV. In the morning I knew the USA wasnt the greatest place on Earth. At the trial the right wing media (smaller then)started attacking coroner Noguchi. They said he had had sex with dead Hollywood starlets ?!? I was 15 and had already read Rush to Judgement and I smelled a rat !! Since then I have studied conspiracy on and off. I have worked with William Weston on a number of JFK matters. Ive had 13 years of college (science/medicine/pharmacy/electronics). Now I take care of people in their homes on ventilators. I have two grand kids. My interests are alternative energy/medicine/politics and protestant theology. I follow the Lord Christ. THANKS SG

#2 Steven Gaal

Steven Gaal

Backing up Clarke/Clarke stated Blee hid AQ/911 info late,but Blee hid/helped AQ/911 early

Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:41 PM

To be complete here is another look at CLARKE. THANKS SG

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From: link http://digwithin.net...1/08/20/clarke/

LINK http://911blogger.co...og-uae-and-bcci

Posted on August 20, 2011 by ultruth

The author is indebted to the good people at History Commons for their “Complete 9/11 Timeline.” If a reference is not evident below, it can probably be found there.

A recent interview with former “Counterterrorism Czar,” Richard Clarke, is making a splash in the alternative media.[1] In this interview, Clarke speculates about CIA malfeasance related to the pre-9/11 monitoring of two alleged September 11 hijackers. This interview is somewhat interesting due to Clarke’s vague suggestion that the CIA had courted 9/11 suspects as sources, but it is far more interesting for what was not said with regard to Clarke’s personal history and associations.

The seeming point of these new statements from Clarke is that the CIA might have withheld information from him, the FBI, and the Department of Defense (DOD) in the twenty months leading up to the 9/11 attacks. Clarke is not suggesting that the CIA did this maliciously, but only that his good friend, George Tenet, and two others made a mistake in their approach. Clarke says of these CIA leaders — “They understood that al Qaeda was a big threat, they were motivated, and they were really trying hard.” The mild twist that Clarke now puts on the story is that the CIA’s diligent effort to secure much needed sources within the al Qaeda organization was pursued without any suspicion that these sources might turn out to be “double agents.”

Clarke claims that if the CIA had simply told him, the FBI and the DOD, “even as late as September 4th, [2001]” they would have “conducted a massive sweep, we would have conducted it publicly, we would have found those assholes. There’s no doubt in my mind. Even with only a week left.”

There are many obvious problems with these new claims from Clarke. For one thing, the evidence we have indicates that FBI headquarters did everything it could to protect the alleged 9/11 hijackers in the months leading up to 9/11. Another spectacularly obvious problem is that those “assholes” lived with an FBI asset for at least four months and there are reasons to believe the FBI knew that. More importantly, Richard Clarke personally thwarted two of the attempts the CIA made to capture Osama bin Laden (OBL) in the two years before 9/11. It seems disingenuous at best that Clarke would say he didn’t have enough information to capture two of OBL’s underlings in 2000 when he was responsible for preventing the capture of OBL just the year before.

In an attempt to make sense of these matters, we should take a closer look at Richard Clarke. His own history might shed some light on why he is trying to confuse us today.

Not just another COG

Clarke began his government career in the Ford Administration’s DOD as a nuclear weapons analyst. At the time, several characters that were central to the events of 9/11 were in the highest positions of that administration. Toward the end of that era, White House chief of staff Dick Cheney and DOD secretary Donald Rumsfeld were fighting a war of public perception to preserve the increasingly unpopular aspects of the CIA. Nuclear policy was a big issue at the time as well, and at least one of Clarke’s closest colleagues in later years, Paul Wolfowitz, worked to present false “Team B” information.

After getting his MA from MIT, Clarke went on to become President Reagan’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence. In this role, Clarke negotiated US military presence in Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. He asked these foreign governments for “access” agreements and the right to enhance existing facilities. As a result, the US moved large numbers of contractors into Saudi Arabia. One such contractor, Bernard Kerik, the New York City police commissioner and “9/11 hero” who had worked for Morrison-Knudsen’s Saudi group in the mid-seventies, went back for another three year tour as the “the chief investigator for the royal family of Saudi Arabia.”[2]

During his half a dozen years in Reagan’s State department, Clarke called Morton Abramowitz, the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, his boss and mentor. Abramowitz, who was said to be influential in the career of Clarke, had worked as Assistant Secretary for Defense under Donald Rumsfeld in the seventies when Clarke worked in the DOD. Abramowitz left his position at State in 1989 to become the Ambassador to Turkey. The next person for whom Abramowitz was boss and mentor was his Deputy Ambassador, Marc Grossman, who is a 9/11 person of interest according to Sibel Edmonds.

In 1984, Clarke was selected to take part in one of the most highly classified programs of the Reagan Administration. This was the highly secret Continuity of Government (COG) program run by the National Program Office that continued up to and after the attacks of September 11.[3] The members of the COG group included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Oliver North, George H.W. Bush, Kenneth Duberstein, James Woolsey, and Richard Clarke. Although Cheney and Rumsfeld were not government employees throughout the twenty years that Clarke participated in this official government program, they both continued to participate anyway.

COG was developed to install a shadow “government in waiting” to replace the US Congress and the US Constitution in the event of a national emergency like a nuclear war. The first and only time that COG was put into action was when Richard Clarke activated it during the 9/11 attacks. Clarke had been the one, in 1998, to revise the COG plan to use it as a response to a terrorist attack on American soil. Apparently, COG and the shadow government these men created are still in play to this day. [4]

In 1989, Clarke was appointed by George H.W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, under James Baker. Clarke was in this position until 1992, and his role was to link the Department of Defense and the Department of State by providing policy in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy, military use of space, and defense trade. One important aspect of his job during this time was that Clarke coordinated State Department support of Operation Desert Storm and led the efforts to design the international security structure after the Gulf War.

Throughout the years of the George H.W. Bush Administration, Clarke worked intimately with many people who should be investigated with regard to the events of 9/11 and the crimes that followed. This included:

James Baker, the Secretary of State who went on to join the Carlyle Group

Donald Rumsfeld, the State Department “Foreign Policy Consultant” who was Chairman Emeritus of the Carlyle Group at that time, and Secretary of Defense on 9/11

Dick Cheney, the Reagan Secretary of Defense who, later as Vice President, coordinated the response to the 9/11 attacks

Paul Wolfowitz, the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy who, in the week before 9/11, ran meetings with Pakistani ISI General Ahmed

Duane Andrews, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence who left to run SAIC

Robert Gates, the CIA Director who was implicated in the Iran-Contra crimes and later also worked with SAIC

Senate Intelligence Committee representatives George Tenet and William Cohen, the latter of whom, in 1997, dramatically reduced the number of jet fighters protecting the US

And Reagan advisor, Richard Armitage, who participated in the failed air defense teleconference on 9/11

According to his book, Clarke remembers that “Wolfowitz and I flew on to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Salaleh” to coordinate relations with the UAE, at Cheney’ request. Over the following decade, Clarke negotiated many deals with the Emirates, essentially becoming an agent of the UAE, and he was “particularly close to the UAE royal family.”[5]

Not long after Clarke began going there, the royal family of Abu Dhabi took over full ownership of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). BCCI is significant relative to 9/11 because it was involved in funding terrorists in the late 1980s and was linked to the Pakistani intelligence network from which several alleged 9/11 conspirators came including Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In fact, Time magazine reported that, relative to BCCI — “You can’t draw a line separating the bank’s black operatives and Pakistan’s intelligence services.”[6]

More importantly, there are strong suspicions that the CIA was involved in the founding of BCCI.[7] The CIA connection to the origins of the BCCI terrorist network is interesting in this context because the royal family of the UAE was also said to have played a primary role in the creation of BCCI. As the official US government report on the subject pointed out — “There was no relationship more central to BCCI’s existence from its inception than that between BCCI and Sheikh Zayed and the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.”[8]

As stated before, Clarke’s friends in the UAE royal family not only created the BCCI terrorist network, they took it over when the Bank of England shut it down. “By July 5, 1991, when BCCI was closed globally, the Government of Abu Dhabi, its ruling family, and an investment company holding the assets of the ruling family, were the controlling, and official “majority” shareholders of BCCI — owning 77 percent of the bank. But since the remaining 23 percent was actually held by nominees and by BCCI’s alter-ego ICIC, Abu Dhabi was in fact BCCI’s sole owner.”[9]

Not long after this, in 1992, Clarke was named to the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President for Global Affairs and chairman of the Interagency Counterterrorism Committee. One might think that Richard Clarke’s close relationship to the royal family of the UAE, and this new role as the NSC head of counterterrorism, might have posed a slight conflict of interest. But no one seemed to notice.

Similarly, few have noticed that the attacks attributed to al Qaeda began just before the first Bush Administration left office. It was in December, 1992, that al Qaeda (as such) is said to have first committed an act of terrorism by bombing US troops in Yemen. Attacks and plots in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and many others places located near the production and transport routes of fossil fuels have been attributed to al Qaeda since that time.[10]

Clarke was not interested in pursuing the BCCI terrorist network and, instead, he had a different approach to combating terrorism. In 1993, the United States began a practice known as “rendition.” Throughout the rest of the world, rendition is known as torture. Interestingly, the policy behind this program was proposed by Richard Clarke, who worked to get “snatch teams” in place to kidnap suspects for torture. The success of Clarke’s rendition proposal led to today’s US program of secret kidnappings and torture around the world.

In September 1994, high-ranking UAE and Saudi government ministers, such as Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al-Faisal, began frequent bird hunting expeditions in Afghanistan. It was reported that — “They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses.” Two members of the UAE royal family that participated in these trips were Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of the UAE.[11]

As these UAE meetings with OBL occurred, Clarke’s relationship with the UAE royals blossomed. At the same time, he engaged in apparent preparations for terrorist events on US soil. In 1998, he chaired a tabletop exercise in which a Learjet filled with explosives would be flown on a suicide mission into a target in Washington, DC. At a conference in October 1998, Clarke predicted that America’s enemies “will go after our Achilles’ heel” which is “in Washington. It is in New York.” That was quite a prediction.

Clarke had updated the COG plans in early 1998, to ensure that the shadow government would be put in power in the event of a terrorist attack like the one he predicted that year (and that occurred in 2001). National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, who was later caught stealing documents that had been requested by the 9/11 Commission, was the one to suggest that Clinton create the new Counterterrorism Czar position that Clarke would fill at the time of his prediction. Berger was also the one to introduce Clarke’s COG partner, James Woolsey, to Clinton. Woolsey went on to become Clinton’s CIA director.

In early February 1999, Clarke met with Al Maktoum, one of the UAE royals who was known to hunt with Bin Laden, in the UAE. Al Maktoum was a big supporter of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. And although people often forget, two of the 9-11 hijackers were citizens of the UAE and the vast majority of money supporting the attacks flowed through the UAE.

The 9/11 Commission Report has six references to the UAE, most of which can be found on page 138. One of these suggests that “but for the cooperation of the UAE, we would have killed Bin Ladin two years in advance of September 11.”

Therefore it is difficult to understand why the leading authority on counterterrorism in the US would be meeting, and maintaining close personal relationships, with the UAE friends of Bin Laden just two years before 9/11. This was three years after Bin Laden had first declared holy war against the United States,[12] and one year after his more recent such proclamation.[13]

It is more difficult to understand why Clarke was personally behind the failure of two CIA attempts to kill or capture Bin Laden in 1999. The first of these occurred just a few days after Clarke’s visit to the UAE. The CIA obtained information that OBL was hunting with UAE royals in Afghanistan at the time, and President Clinton was asked for permission to attack the camp. Clarke voted down that plan, and others within the US government speculated that his ties to the UAE were behind his decision.[14]

The next month, when the CIA had tracked Bin Laden’s whereabouts again and was prepared to take him out during another of the Afghanistan hunting trips, Richard Clarke took it upon himself to alert his UAE friends about the CIA monitoring their meetings with Bin Laden. Of course, the UAE royals tipped off Bin Laden and the US lost another opportunity to kill or capture its number one enemy.[15] Considering that CIA plans are top secret national security priorities, and that OBL was wanted for the bombings in East Africa, Clarke’s action should have been seen as treason.

Somehow, Clarke’s two efforts to keep OBL from being captured or killed in 1999 slipped his mind when he testified to the 9/11 Commission. Apparently, these events were also not important enough for Clarke to mention when recently discussing the two “asshole” hijackers whose presence in the US he now says the CIA kept from him and the FBI.

Who knew about Almihdar and Alhazmi?

Interestingly, although only two of the alleged 9/11 terrorists were said to be from the UAE, those being Marwan al-Shehhi and Fayez Banihammad, others of the alleged hijackers, including Almihdar, Alhazmi, and Ziad Jarrah, spent time in the UAE. And as stated before, the vast majority of money that financed the attacks flowed through the UAE.

The new interview with Clarke begins with discussion of the CIA’s monitoring of a January, 2000 meeting in Malaysia among top al Qaeda operatives. Khalid Almihdar and Nawaf Alhazmi attended the meeting, as did Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and several other al Qaeda leaders. Clarke claims in the interview that the CIA followed the alleged 9/11 hijackers out of the meeting in Malaysia but then lost them in Bangkok. Two months later, Almidhar and AlHazmi arrived in Los Angeles, according to the CIA, and Clarke says many CIA agents knew about this.

Clarke claims that the CIA — “stopped [information about Almihdar and Alhazmi] from going to the FBI and the Defense Department.” He then cryptically states — “We therefore conclude that there was a high level decision, in the CIA, ordering people not to share that information” and “I would have to think it was made by the Director [Tenet]”. To clarify why he suddenly thinks this lack of information sharing was unusual, Clarke says — “You have to understand…we were close friends, he called me several times a day, and shared the most trivial of information.”

But it was not only the CIA that knew about this meeting and the attendees. According to the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Michael Hayden — “In early 2000, at the time of the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, we had the Alhazmi brothers, Nawaf and Salem, as well as Khalid Almihdar, in our sights. We knew of their association with al-Qaeda, and we shared this information with the [intelligence] community.” The NSA knew about these guys well before that, however, because an early 1999 NSA communications intercept referenced “Nawaf Alhazmi,” so it was clear that the NSA knew about him for more than two years before 9/11. Oddly enough, the Washington Post reported that Alhazmi, Almihdar and four of the other alleged hijackers were “living, working, planning and developing all their activities” near the entrance to NSA headquarters in Laurel, Maryland, in the months prior to the 9/11 attacks.[16]

Alhazmi had been seen in San Diego as early as 1996 and he traveled extensively throughout the US, spending time in Cody, Wyoming and Phoenix, Arizona, and making a truck delivery to Canada. He and Alhazmi lived openly in the United States, using their real names and credit cards. They had season passes to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo and liked to hang out at a nude bar in San Diego. They went to a flight school there and said they wanted to learn how to fly Boeings. Instructor Rick Garza of Sorbi’s Flying Club turned down that request because he said they were “clueless”, didn’t even know how to draw an airplane and could not communicate in English.

Alhazmi even worked at a Texaco gas station, although he didn’t need the money because someone in the UAE was regularly sending him thousands of dollars.

The money Alhazmi received was said to come from a UAE citizen named Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (a.k.a. Ammar al Baluchi), who was the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and cousin of Ramzi Yousef. Apparently, a majority of money that came to the hijackers was transferred through Ali Abdul Aziz Ali or another UAE citizen named Mustafa al-Hawsawi. The 9/11 Commission reported that Ali “helped them with plane tickets, traveler’s checks, and hotel reservations“, and “taught them about everyday aspects of life in the West, such as purchasing clothes and ordering food.“

Whether he was protecting his UAE friends or not, Clarke failed to act on information about al Qaeda operatives living in the US, just one month before the meeting in Malaysia. After an al Qaeda “millennium plot” was said to be broken up in Jordan, Clarke authorized an investigation of one of the plotters, Khalil Deek, who lived in Anaheim, CA for most of the 1990s. The investigative team reported to Clarke and the NSC directly in December, 1999, stating that Deek’s next door neighbor was operating an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Anaheim. No action was taken by Clarke or the NSC.

A few months later, in April 2000, Clarke was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that terrorists – “will come after our weakness, our Achilles Heel, which is largely here in the United States.” Although this was a bold statement, it was unfortunate that Clarke did not have time to track down and capture the terrorists that he knew were living and plotting in the US.

The bombing of the USS Cole, which took the lives of 17 American sailors, occurred in October, 2000. It was reported by the Washington Post that Almihdar had received training in Afghanistan in 1999 along with the operatives who were responsible for the Cole bombing. The Guardian reported that the Prime Minister of Yemen accused Almihdar of being “one of the Cole perpetrators.”

At the time, Clarke was part of a high level meeting to discuss the response to the Cole bombing, which included William Cohen, George Tenet, the State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, Michael Sheehan, and several others. In this meeting, Clarke was the hawk, proposing attacks throughout Afghanistan in response. None of the voting attendees supported Clarke’s plan and, after the meeting, Sheehan told Clarke – “What’s it going to take to get them to hit al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? Does al-Qaeda have to hit the Pentagon?”[17] Once again, that was quite a prediction.

In May 2001, the CIA gave its photos of the January 2000 Malaysian meeting to an intelligence operations specialist at FBI headquarters. One of the photos was of Almihdar, who FBI Director Mueller would later say was likely responsible for coordinating the movements of all the non-pilot hijackers. In June 2001, FBI and CIA officials discussed these photos and one FBI agent remembers that Almihdar was mentioned in these discussions.

Phoenix FBI agent Ken Williams wrote a memo to FBI headquarters, in July 2001, saying that Bin Laden’s followers were going to flight schools to train for terrorist attacks. If the FBI had followed through on this, it would have found Alhazmi very easily, as he had been reported as staying in Phoenix with Hani Hanjour over a period of months from January to June 2001. The memo was reviewed by the agency’s Bin Laden and Islamic extremist counterterrorism units, but it has been reported that neither Attorney General John Ashcroft nor newly appointed FBI Director Robert Mueller briefed President Bush and his national security staff about these revelations. Of course, this was well before the September 4th date that Clarke now claims was the best chance for him and the FBI to have first found out.

Zacarias Moussaoui visited Malaysia too, and stayed at the same condominium where the January 2000 meeting took place. The owner of the condo even signed letters that convinced the INS to allow Moussaoui into the US. Alhazmi and Almihdar were referenced in papers that the FBI confiscated, in August 2001, from Moussaoui when he was arrested. FBI headquarters refused multiple requests from the FBI agents pursuing the case to search Moussaoui ‘s possessions. Those confiscated possessions and papers would have immediately led the FBI agents to Atta, Almihdar, Alhazmi and the other alleged hijackers.

But the FBI had to know about these alleged hijackers well before that, because Alhazmi and Almihdar lived with an FBI informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, for at least four months in late 2000. Shaikh was a “tested” asset working with the local FBI. Shaikh had regular visits from Mohammed Atta and Hani Hanjour as well, and even introduced Hanjour to a neighbor. [18]

Newsweek reported that, once, when Shaikh was called by his FBI agent handler, Shaikh said he couldn’t talk because Almihdar was in the room. This suggests that the FBI knew full well that this future 9/11 hijacker was living with an FBI asset. But a more damning fact is that the FBI refused to allow the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry to interview either Shaikh or his FBI handler.

The FBI absolutely knew about the movements of these alleged 9/11 hijackers. In January, 2001, it was the FBI that gave information to the CIA about how USS Cole bombing operatives had delivered money to al Qaeda planners at the time of the January 2000 Malaysia meeting. CNN reported, in 2002, that “At that point, the CIA – or the FBI for that matter – could have put Alhazmi and Almihdar and all the others who attended the meeting in Malaysia on a watch list.”

In the new interview, Clarke further speculates that the reason that the CIA information was not shared with him, the DOD and the FBI was because CIA (i.e. Cofer Black as of June, 1999) was courting these two as sources within al Qaeda. Some might wonder why Clarke never thought of his good friends within the UAE royal family, who met with OBL regularly, as sources on al Qaeda. Surely people who met with OBL personally in the two years before 9/11, and were big supporters of al Qaeda like Clarke’s friend, Al Maktoum, might have some information to provide!

In any case, Clarke goes on in the interview to suggest that Tenet and Black might have recruited Alhazmi and Almihdar (who had been accused of perpetrating the USS Cole bombing) as inside sources on al Qaeda. To the CIA’s chagrin, Clarke implies, they at some point became double agents. It is amazing that Clarke insinuates that Black and Tenet were too dim-witted to see that these two Saudis might also be working for the Saudis. Clarke appears to be making the absurd suggestion that a CIA director could not predict that the Saudi, who arranged housing for Alhazmi and Almihdar, arranged payments for them, and arranged to move them to San Diego, might have turned them into double agents.

When Alhazmi and Almihdar arrived in Los Angeles in early 2000, they were met by a strange benefactor named Omar Al-Bayoumi who brought them to Parkwood Apartments in San Diego. It is Al-Bayoumi that Clarke is referring to when he suggests the — “Saudi has connections to the Saudi government, and some people believe that this guy was a Saudi intelligence officer. If we assume that this Saudi intelligence officer was the handler for these two, then presumably he would have been reporting to the CIA office in Los Angeles. There was a strong relationship between the CIA director and the minister of intelligence of Saudi Arabia [Prince Turki al Faisal].”

Better questions about strong relationships

Ignoring Clarke’s own strong relationship to the UAE, and therefore to the BCCI network, support for the Taliban and al Qaeda, and OBL, one interviewer then asked: “How long do you think it would take [the CIA] to decide — this isn’t working”? Clark replied: “I don’t know. I do know that in August of 2001 they decide they’re gonna tell the FBI.”

This remark refers to the idea that it was not until August 21 that the FBI figured out that al Qaeda operatives were in the United States. This claim is transparently false as we know they were, at the very least, aware of Moussaoui and the Phoenix memo saying that terrorists were taking flight lessons in the US. But in August, it was said that an FBI analyst assigned to the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center suddenly determined that Alhazmi and Almidhar had entered the US in January 2000.

Additionally, on August 23, 2001, the Israeli Mossad gave US officials an urgent warning in the form of a list of terrorists known to be living in the US and panning to carry out an attack in the near future. The list included the names of Alhazmi, Almihdra, Alshehhi and Atta.

An “all points bulletin” was issued that same day, instructing the FBI and other agencies to put Alhazmi and Almihdar on the watch list. Doing so would have made certain that these two were caught before the attacks. The FBI did not do so, however. The FBI did not even use this information to check national databases of bank records, drivers license records or the records of the credit cards that were used to purchase the 9/11 tickets. These facts seem to render Clarke’s new, vague insinuations moot, because the FBI wasn’t going to act on such information no matter what it was told.

In yet another example, on August 28, a report was received by the New York FBI office requesting that an investigation be conducted “to determine if Almihdar is still in the United States.” FBI headquarters immediately turned down the request. An FBI agent wrote an email in response, saying “someday someone will die [because of this]. Let’s hope the [FBI’s] National Security Law Unit will stand behind their decisions then, especially since UBL [Osama bin Laden] is now getting the most protection.”

All this was before September 4th, the date that Clarke now says would have given plenty of time for him and the FBI to catch Alhazmi and Almihdar, if only they had known the two were in the US. But those of us who have been looking into the events of 9/11 and the history behind those events are not likely to put much credence in Mr. Clarke’s new tale.

Clarke’s most recent interviewers didn’t seem too troubled by his statements though, and one of them finished off asking –“ Have you asked George Tenet, Cofer Black or Richard Blee about any of this after the fact?” Clarke responded: “No”.

The second interviewer then asked –” Kind of the facts tripped out to you over time, right, over these investigations”? A smirking Clarke replied — “Took a while.”

For the rest of us, it will still take a while to get to the bottom of all this and Mr. Clarke’s interview does not appear to help. In the meantime, here are a dozen questions for whoever conducts Clarke’s next interview:

Is the COG plan that you and Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Oliver North, George H.W. Bush, Kenneth Duberstein, and James Woolsey created, and that you implemented on 9/11, still in effect?

Do you have any information on how your friends in the UAE royal family used the terrorist network BCCI after they bought it?

Do you have any explanation for how you could have predicted in 1998, at the same time that you updated the COG plan to be a response to a terrorist attack, that America’s enemies “will go after our Achilles’ heel” which is “in Washington. It is in New York.”?

When you met with UAE Defense Minister Al Maktoum in February 1999, just days before the CIA planned to kill or capture Bin Laden as he was meeting with UAE royals, who else did you meet with?

Why did you vote down the CIA plan to kill or capture Bin Laden while he was hunting with UAE royals in February 1999?

Why did you expose the CIA’s secret plan, without approval from the CIA or the president, to kill or capture Bin Laden in March 1999 as he was meeting with UAE royals again?

Don’t you think those two actions on your part were far more detrimental to the United States than any of your current, vague speculations?

Did you ever communicate with NSA Director, Michael Hayden, between January 2000 and the attacks of 9/11? If so, why did you not, in your recent interview, accuse him of withholding information on Alhazmi and Almihdar? He has spoken openly of having known about their presence in the US and said that he did share it with the intelligence community.

Why did you take no action in December 1999, as “Counterterrorism Czar”, when you and the NSC were given evidence that Khalil Deek’s next door neighbor was operating an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Anaheim, CA?

You appear to be saying that neither you nor the FBI knew that Almihdar and Alhazmi lived with Abdussattar Shaikh, a tested FBI asset, for at least four months in the year 2000. Is that correct and, if so, don’t you think that contradicts your claim in this interview that – “I know how all this stuff works, I’ve been working it for 30 years. You can’t snowball me on this stuff.”?

Do you know why the FBI would not allow Abdussattar Shaikh or his FBI handler to be interviewed as part of the 9/11 investigation?

These days, when you’re talking with your UAE friends in your own offices in the UAE, do you ever discuss 9/11, the hijackers that spent their time there, and the UAE money that financed the 9/11 attacks?

Clarke currently works with his COG partner and former CIA Director, James Woolsey, at Paladin Capital, which has offices in New York and the UAE. Clarke is also the chairman of Good Harbor Consulting, where he is in partnership with many people who are making a fortune off the war on terror. Good Harbor Consulting has had an office in Abu Dhabi since 2008, and Clarke is known to have a “big footprint” in the UAE.[19]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Interview with Richard Clarke, SecrecyKills.com, http://secrecykills.com/

[2] NYPD Confidential, Charm school for top cops, May 6, 1996, http://nypdconfident...996/960506.html

[3] Peter Dale Scott, Continuity of Government: Is the State of Emergency Superseding our Constitution?, GlobalResearch.ca, November 24, 2010, http://www.globalres...xt=va&aid=22089

[4] Peter Dale Scott, ‘Continuity of Government’ Planning: War, Terror and the Supplanting of the U.S. Constitution, Japan Focus, http://www.japanfocu...Dale-Scott/3362

[5] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, http://www.historyco...tan_al_nahyan_1

[6] Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, Scandals: Not Just a Bank, September 2, 1991, http://www.time.com/...73732-4,00.html

[7] Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, The World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire, Houghton Mifflin, 1992

[8] The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, December 1992, Abu DhabiI: BCCI’S founding and majority shareholders, http://www.fas.org/i.../14abudhabi.htm

[9] Ibid

[10] Congressional Research Service, Terrorist Attacks by Al Qaeda, March 31, 2004, http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/033104.pdf

[11] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: United Arab Emirates (UAE), http://www.historyco...d_arab_emirates

[12] PBS News Hour, Bin Laden’s Fatwa, August, 1996, http://www.pbs.org/n...fatwa_1996.html

[13] PBS News Hour, Al Qaeda’s Fatwa, February 23, 1998, http://www.pbs.org/n...fatwa_1998.html

[14] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Penguin Books, 2004, pp 447-450

[15] The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, p 138, http://www.9-11commi...t/911Report.pdf

[16] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Context of ‘August 2001: Six 9/11 Hijackers Live Near Entrance to NSA’, http://www.historyco...0801nsaentrance

[17] Richard Miniter, Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror, Regnery Publishers, 2003

[18] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Alhazmi and Almihdhar: The 9/11 Hijackers Who Should Have Been Caught, http://www.historyco...ykhalidandnawaf

[19] Intelligence Online, Richard Clarke’s Big Footprint in United Arab Emirates

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