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Political Warfare and the 9/11 Commission

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Political Warfare and the 9/11 Commission



Late last year, I put researcher Paul Schreyer in contact with former 9/11 Commission staffer Miles Kara, after Kara had written to me about Schreyer’s October 2012 article in the Journal of 9/11 Studies.[1] Kara has since been offering Schreyer a number of opinions related to the questions addressed in the article, although no new evidence has been offered. As a result, Schreyer sent the Journal a letter thanking Kara for his willingness to discuss the issues and for contributing additional information. Although the idea of civil discourse among independent researchers and those who produced the official account is encouraged, we should insist upon factual evidence when presented with new explanations from sources known to have been unreliable. It is also important to keep the background and history of participants in focus.

When the 9/11 Commission Report was published in July 2004, it provided a completely new explanation for why the U.S. air defenses had failed to intercept any of the four hijacked planes on 9/11. Certain 9/11 Commission staff members had helped to produce that new story, and at least one of them was behind earlier explanations that were contradicted by the new account. That was Miles Kara, a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer. Kara has since been working via his blog and his personal contacts to persuade those questioning the official account that the unanswered questions of 9/11 are often just minor misunderstandings or are simply unimportant.

As a member of the 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington, I was first contacted by Kara in October 2009.[2] Since that time, Kara has taken a keen interest in several articles published at the Journal of 9/11 Studies. He has written to me about those articles as they are published, much like he did with Schreyer’s October 2012 article. As with his feedback on the Schreyer article, Kara’s input is always critical and focused on supporting the official account.

Although Kara seems quite interested in articles at the Journal, he fails to acknowledge the Journal publicly and he refuses to join the conversation by submitting a responsive letter. At his blog, he links to a number of un-reviewed “debunker” websites but, while responding to our articles on several occasions, he has mentioned the Journal only once and then failed to provide a link.[3] Although Kara’s communications imply that the Journal contains numerous errors or that the peer-review process is somehow insufficient, there is again a lack of specificity.[4] Moreover, when I recently pointed out errors in Kara’s own work he simply corrected those things without acknowledging his error or the assistance he received.[5]

Kara’s behavior in downplaying the unanswered questions of 9/11, while providing conflicting accounts over time, is reminiscent of the approach taken by the 9/11 Commission. Author David Ray Griffin offered an analogy for that approach.

Normally, when a suspect in a criminal investigation keeps changing his story, we get suspicious. Let’s say that the police ask Charlie Jones where he was Saturday night. He says he was at the movie theater, but they say, “No, the movie theater has been closed all week.” Then Charlie says, “Oh, that’s right, I was with my girl friend.” But, the police say, “No, we checked with her and she was home with her husband.” If at that point Charlie says, “Oh, now I remember, I was home reading my Bible,” you are probably not going to believe him. And yet that’s what we have here. The military told one story right after 9/11, another story a week later, and a third story through The 9/11 Commission Report in 2004.[6]

As I point out in my new book Another Nineteen, the military actually gave four distinct stories for how it failed to respond to the hijacked aircraft.[7] Therefore if Charlie’s mother said Charlie was an atheist and therefore did not read the Bible, and Charlie gave yet another excuse, the analogy would be more fitting.

Kara behaves much like Charlie. As problems with the official account of the air defense failures are presented, Kara offers a seemingly endless stream of possibilities to prop up the official account. At his blog Kara suggests that the air defense failures may ultimately be understood only through Chaos Theory.[8] The way Kara applies Chaos Theory is not like the expected situation in which sensitive dependence on initial conditions makes small errors balloon into a major catastrophes. It’s more of an exercise in throwing vast amounts of random comments and data at a question in the hope that the questioners will become confused (experience chaos) and make the error of giving up.

In any case, sometimes it’s best to learn more about a person’s history in order to get a better handle on their motives. That seems to be the case with intelligence officer Miles Kara.

As one of 53 staff members who worked for the 9/11 Commission, Kara was in an interesting group. Like Kara, a quarter of those staff members were associated with the U.S. intelligence community. Another quarter had been employees of the FBI’s parent organization – the Department of Justice. Several were responsible for counterterrorism prior to 9/11. The remaining staff members were employees of the private companies Citigroup, CSIS, the RAND Corporation, and SAIC, or were lawyers from intelligence-related firms like Sullivan and Cromwell.

Having joined the earlier Joint Inquiry, in May 2002, directly from the Defense Department’s Inspector General Office of Intelligence Review, Kara went on to play a large role in producing the 9/11 Commission’s account of the air defense failures. He was present at a majority of the interviews of witnesses and he wrote many of the summary reports. Emails and other documents released by the 9/11 Commission suggest that Kara was a significant leader in the investigation and in the drafting of the Report.

Prior to working on the 9/11 investigations, Kara had spent ten years in the DOD Inspector General’s office. That office was responsible for investigating government misconduct of various kinds and producing reports that let the government and the military off the hook. A major investigation at the time was that of the Navy’s Tailhook Scandal, and one of the sexual deviants who escaped accountability in that scandal was future 9/11 Commission member John Lehman. Kara’s resume shows that he worked on about a dozen other investigations although only one addressed terrorism and only one involved aviation. What these investigations all had in common is that they exonerated the government or military from suspected wrongdoing.

In the 1980s, Kara worked for the Intelligence Center at U.S. Pacific Command. While there he supervised Michael Kuhn, who was one of two lead analysts on the Iran-Iraq War. During this time, the U.S. was engaged in a massive propaganda operation in the region, and seemed to be playing both sides of the conflict with the intent of weakening both Iraq and Iran. Kuhn went on to become the intelligence chief for NORAD and U.S. Space Command at the time of the 9/11 attacks and he was later a witness for the Joint Inquiry into 9/11. Kuhn was also of interest to the 9/11 Commission because Lt. Col. Stuart of NEADs had testified that Kuhn was one of the people whom he had briefed, before 9/11, about the scenarios in which terrorists would fly aircraft into buildings.[9]

political-warfare.jpg?w=640Before working with Kuhn on the Iran-Iraq War program, Kara had written a book on Political Warfare for the U.S. Navy. Political Warfare is defined as “propaganda and psychological operations (PSYOP), which service national and military objectives respectively.”[10] Kara was seen as an expert on such things and had spent six years (1974-1980) as a Political Warfare instructor at the Navy’s Amphibious School, Coronado. He taught the two-week course at least ten times a year.

Before teaching political warfare, Kara was a U.S. counterintelligence specialist in Southeast Asia. In 1969, he was a Detachment Commander for the 525th Military Intelligence Group in Vietnam. At the time, the 525th was involved in providing support to the CIA’s massive counterterrorism (meaning terrorism) and assassination project called the Phoenix Program.[11] Kara went on to be responsible for world-wide “counterintelligence services.”[12]

His career details indicate that Kara was not an expert on air defenses, but was in fact an expert on propaganda related to suspected government misconduct and terrorism. That possibility was emphasized by the fact that, while Kara was teaching his Political Warfare course, he brought in terror propagandist Brian Michael Jenkins to help.[13]

Jenkins is known as a RAND Corporation executive but, in the 1990s as the Deputy Chairman of Kroll Associates, he had designed the security system for the World Trade Center. His history as a special operations soldier and long-time right-wing political advisor contributed to criticism of his role at the WTC. Not long after the 1993 bombing it was reported that Jenkins was “trotted out” to explain the threat we faced. Described as one of the hoariest holdovers from the era of Reagan ‘roll, back,’ RAND’s Brian Jenkins was both an apologist for and one of the architects of the contra war against Nicaragua–a terror war aimed primarily at the civilian population and infrastructure.”[14]

One of the 9/11 suspects examined in Another Nineteen, Jenkins played a leading role in planning for future terrorist events at the WTC, including having reviewed the possibility of airliner crashes into the towers. Coupled with the claims that he participated in planning and implementing a “terror war” in Central America during the 1980s, these facts should make him a subject of considerable examination with respect to 9/11.

During the government’s 9/11 inquiries, Kara never mentioned having worked with the man who led the design of the WTC security system. But he did note his relationship to NORAD intelligence leader Kuhn. Nonetheless, he was chosen to help lead the 9/11 Commission investigation.

Under Kara’s guidance, the 9/11 Commission Report provided the military’s fourth account of the air defense failures. This said that NORAD had only “nine minutes’ notice on the first hijacked aircraft, no advance notice on the second, no advance notice on the third, and no advance notice on the fourth.”[15]

This official account of the NORAD notifications is in glaring contrast to the earlier timelines provided by NORAD personnel. And it appears that Kara was personally behind the false testimony of U.S. Air Force General McKinley and his subordinates when they provided one of those completely different timelines in May 2003. As General McKinley stated to the 9/11 Commission at that time:

McKinley: “I’d like to thank the Commission staff, especially Miles Kara, for his help in preparing for this. Our intention is to provide the chronology first to the events leading up to September 11th, as well as taking your questions to give you a detailed look at how NORAD’s response was made on 9/11.”[16]

McKinley deferred to his subordinate Colonel William Alan Scott to provide much of the timeline that had been prepared. Scott clarified that the times given in each case might have been a little later than the actual times due to allowance for communications and recording of the events.

Scott: “I will tell you the times on this chart come from our logs. The time on the chart is the time that’s in the log. It may not be the exact time the event happened. It may be the time when the log-keeper was advised or became aware of the event.”

Scott: “[At] 9:16, now FAA reports a possible hijack of United Flight 93, which is out in the Ohio area.” [17]

Scott: “At 9:24 the FAA reports a possible hijack of 77. That’s sometime after they had been tracking this primary target. At 9:25, America 77 is reported headed towards Washington, D.C., not exactly precise information, just general information across the chat logs.”

Scott: “And 9:40, immediately following that, is when 93 up north turns its transponders off out in the West toward Ohio, and begins a left turn back toward the East.”

General Larry Arnold, who was in charge of the First Air Force on 9/11, helped McKinley provide the (apparently) false account in this May 2003 hearing. Arnold said, “Our focus was on United 93, which was being pointed out to us very aggressively I might say by the FAA.” As Commissioner John Lehman began his questioning, Arnold elaborated on this account.

Arnold: “It was our intent to intercept United Flight 93. And in fact my own staff, we were orbiting now over Washington, D.C. by this time, and I was personally anxious to see what 93 was going to do, and our intent was to intercept it. But we decided to stay over Washington, D.C., because there was not that urgency.”

We might wonder why the General in charge of defense of the air space in the Continental United States did not feel a sense of urgency when dealing with the fourth hijacked plane on 9/11. Regardless, General McKinley went on to say, “This is the best and most accurate data that we could piece together for your Commission.” Given this account, which was prepared with the help of Miles Kara, NORAD was given 14 minutes notice on the third plane and at least 47 minutes of notice on the fourth plane, which it was tracking. Unfortunately, NORAD’s best and most accurate data directly and repeatedly contradicted the 9/11 Commission Report.

In order to reconcile the conflicting accounts, Kara’s Commission colleagues suggested that the military leaders had been lying. In a memorandum summarizing these concerns, Philip Zelikow claimed that,

“Team 8 has found evidence suggesting that one, or more, USAF officers – and possibly FAA officials – must have known their version was false, before and after it was briefed to and relied upon by the White House, presented to the nation, and presented to us at our May 2003 hearing.”[18]

It is interesting that Kara was not questioned about that false version, given that the USAF officers had thanked him for helping them to prepare it. However, apart from the fact that none of these people were held accountable, this claim of deception presented a paradox that Zelikow, Kara, and their colleagues did not address. It suggested that NORAD leaders had crafted elaborate lies and repeated them for years in order to make their own organization look bad. But it doesn’t take a Political Warfare specialist to realize that it is more likely they are lying now, along with the 9/11 Commission, in order to remove NORAD’s responsibility and eliminate questioning about 9/11.

Given the multiple explanations provided by the military for the lack of air defenses on 9/11, independent researchers should avoid accepting new answers or excuses uncritically. And considering the history of Miles Kara, including his past in teaching Political Warfare, independent researchers should be cautious about his intentions when he approaches them. For example, the treatment of NORAD’s 9/11 exercises in Paul Schreyer’s new letter suggests that Schreyer implicitly accepts Kara’s vague claims that the simulated “injects” were never made. However, these claims are in direct contradiction to other evidence including that NEADS responders testified to being confused by the exercise and that NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center had to specifically asked NEADs to stop the simulated injects long after they had begun.[19]

No one has been behind the false accounts of the 9/11 air defenses more than Miles Kara, who was a leader for the Commission’s Team 8 and who was both a witness and a staff member for the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11. It appears that Kara continues to obfuscate the facts and support whatever information might prop up the official account of 9/11. Given this, and realizing Kara’s background in Political Warfare, it would seem wise to keep his ongoing input in perspective.

[1] Paul Schreyer, Anomalies of The Air Defense On 9/11, Journal of 9/11 Studies, October 2012

[12] For the letter sent to the Bloomington group and the responses to it, see Kara’s blog. http://www.oredigger61.org/?cat=25

[3] Kara has recently responded to an article that I published outside of the Journal. See “9-11: NORAD; the Crux of the Matter, two perspectives” at his blog.

[4] Kara wrote a blog article critical of the 9/11 Truth Movement in which he mentions a journal exisiting but not by name. He wrote “There have been occasional attempts by the truth movement to cloak its work with some degree of respectability, the establishment of a journal, for example. The movement understands very well the concept of peer review and painfully tried to establish its bona fides that way using a vanity publication house as a base. Both the journal and the peer review have come up short.” Unfortunately, Kara provided no evidence or examples.

[5] The errors centered on the orders given to Langley fighters to squawk Quad 7s and allow AFIO control, and the unprecedented nature of those orders.

[6] David Ray Griffin, 9/11: The Myth and the Reality, 911Truth.org, April 5, 2006, http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20060405112622982

[7] Kevin Robert Ryan, Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects, CreateSpace, 2013

[8] See Kara’s blog, 9-11 Revisited, http://www.oredigger61.org/

[9] 9/11 Commission Memorandum for the Record, Interview of Lt. Col. Mark E. Stuart, October 30, 2003, prepared by Miles Kara

[10] Wikipedia page for Political Warfare

[11] See Kara’s resume and Douglas Valentines book, The Phoenix Program.

[12] See Kara’s resume submitted to the 9/11 Commission

[13] See Kara’s discussion of the course and Jenkins here: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/archive/index.php/t-7375.html

[14] Gerry O’Sullivan, Boom! – World Trade Center bombing – Column, Humanist, May-June, 1993 issue, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_n3_v53/ai_13818521/

[15] The 9/11 Commission Report, p 31

[16] 9/11 Commission Hearing, Day 2, Civil Aviation Security, May 23, 2003

[17] Note that Flight 93 could not have been confused with Delta 1989 which was also being tracked and had landed in Cleveland by 9:47 according to NORAD logs. Moreover, General Arnold made clear, in an interview with 1st Air Force public relations writer Leslie Filson, that NORAD was tracking both United 93 and Delta 1989. Filson also clarified that she was told that they were tracking United 93 specifically. Since NORAD was aware of both, it could not be that Delta 1989 was mistaken for United 93.

[18] Memorandum from Philip Zelikow to Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton entitled “How Should the Commission Handle Evidence of Possible False Statements by US Officials,” dated June 6, 2004.

[19] See my article The Case Against Ralph Eberhart and Kara’s response to that article at his blog: http://www.oredigger61.org/?p=6014. Also note that Kevin Naspany was not in charge of the exercises, as Schreyer’s letter suggests. Lt. Col. Neil Cleveland was.

Edited by Steven Gaal
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