Red Flag – Saudi Government Suspects Protected at Every Turn

Soon after the September 11th attacks, the US government actively tried to minimize and oppress information relating to a possible role in the attacks by Saudi Arabia. Ultimately, the 9-11 Commission cleared Saudi Arabia of any role in the terrorist attacks despite many anomalies including the fact that 15 of the 19 high jackers were actually from Saudi Arabia.

In December 2002 Congress released its’ Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry into the 9-11 terrorist attacks. When released, this document contained 28 pages of redacted information that allegedly pointed to foreign state-sponsorship of the attacks, specifically Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 Commission Report failed to ascertain the contents of the censored 28-pages of the report.

Victims family members asked President Bush why he refused to release this information and got no answer.

Years earlier, in August 2002, victim family members publically announced a $1 trillion lawsuit against alleged Saudi bank rollers of Osama Bin Laden. This lawsuit has been stalled and defeated at every turn. In November 2002, the lawsuit became even bigger and costlier at $15 trillion dollars as more than three-dozen new defendants were added, including members of the Saudi Royal Family.  Interestingly, three members of the Saudi royal family have since been given legal immunity from prosecution.  Attorneys for the victims’ families told the Staten Island Advance in 2006, that it could be “another several years before the lawsuit goes to trial. ”

In July of 2003 9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland was interviewed by Frank Sesno of PBS. In that interview, he stated: “You can read between the lines and see that there were foreign governments that were much more involved in the 9/11 attack than just supporting Islamic fundamentalist teachings and schools. Now, that has been redacted. A whole 28 page section.”

The 2008 book “The Commission”, by New York Times reporter Philip Shennon revealed that 9/11 Commission Executive Director, Phillip Zelikow blocked other 9/11 commissioners who were working on the Saudi connections from accessing the 28-page redacted section.

In August 2003, an anonymous official told New Republic magazine that the 28-page redacted section outlines “connections between the hijacking plot and the very top levels of the Saudi royal family.”In September of 2004, a month after the official close of the 9/11 Commission, Senator Bob Graham accused the White House of covering-up the involvement of Saudi government officials in the 9/11 plot.

Despite attempts by family members to get this information made public and promises from the Obama administration to do so, the redacted 28 pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry into 9-11 remain secret and are likely to remain so. In May of 2010, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan refused to give the victims’ families’ lawsuit a hearing. Her argument was that US foreign policy would be interfered with if the lawsuit was allowed to go ahead.

Secrecy continues to cloud the possible role of Saudi Arabia in the events of September 11th. Despite calls from members of Congress, victims family members, and even one of the 9-11 Commissioners to dig deeper into the role of Saudi Arabia, no such inquiry has yet to take place. Why would the US government and the 9-11 Commission protect Saudi Arabia?

To listen to this 9-11 Red Flag, click Play in the embedded player below. Click download if you would like to download the file for your media player or iPod.

Red Flag – 9/11 Commission Ignores Pakistan’s Money Connection

Despite the 9-11 Commission’s mandate to provide a “full and complete accounting” of the attacks of September 11, many key points were omitted from the final report. One of these important omissions attempted to cover up the role of Pakistan and whether or not Pakistani intelligence helped to fund the 9-11 attacks.

Ties between Washington DC and the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI have been documented in media reports before and after the September 11th attacks. In March 2001, Pakistani regional expert and member of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Selig Harrisson, said “the CIA still has close links with the Pakistani intelligence service ISI.” Just one day before the attacks, a Pakistani newspaper in Islamabad reported that the head of the ISI was meeting with unspecified members of the Pentagon, National Security Council, and CIA Director George Tenet.

On May 18th, 2002 the Washington Post reported that:

“On the morning of Sept. 11, Porter Goss and Bob Graham were having breakfast with a Pakistani general named Mahmud Ahmed — the soon-to-be-sacked head of Pakistan’s intelligence service. Ahmed ran a spy agency notoriously close to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.”

Specific details of that meeting have still not been released and may never have been recorded.

In 2001, various media outlets (CNN, Fox News, ABC, and AP) reported that $100,000 was wired from Pakistan to Mohammed Atta, the 9-11 lead hijacker. A “senior law enforcement source” told CNN that the paymaster was believed to be Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was working for the Pakistani ISI at the time.

Several media outlets reported in 2002 that the US government believed Saeed Sheikh to be an asset of the ISI, and that senior ISI officers knew him well.  Also reported was the allegation by Indian intelligence that General Mahmud Ahmed ordered the wire transfer and that Indian intelligence claimed they had assisted the FBI during the investigation. Various mainstream Indian papers reported this in 2001 along with a mainstream Pakistani newspaper.  In the West – the Wall Street Journal and Agence France Press picked up on the story in October.

On October 7th 2001, Mahmud Ahmed was fired from his role at the ISI. The official explanation was because he was too close to the Taliban. This claim has been met with criticism by some analysts given the fact that there were several pro-Taliban officers that kept their jobs.

During the 9/11 Commission hearings, the Family Steering Committee asked the Commissioners to investigate the ISI connection. However, the commission did little to “follow the money” and the 9/11 Commission Report made no mention of these allegations. Furthermore, the commission made the absurd statement that the question of who financed the terrorist attacks was “of little practical significance” [and that it had] “seen no evidence that any foreign government–or foreign government official–supplied any funding.”

To listen to this 9-11 Red Flag, click Play in the embedded player below. Click download if you would like to download the file for your media player or iPod.

Red Flag – 9/11 Commission Ignores Pakistan’s Money Connection

Despite the 9-11 Commission’s mandate to provide a “full and complete accounting” of the attacks of September 11, many key points were omitted from the final report. One of these important omissions attempted to cover up the role of Pakistan and whether or not Pakistani intelligence helped to fund the 9-11 attacks.

Ties between Washington DC and the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI have been documented in media reports before and after the September 11th attacks. In March 2001, Pakistani regional expert and member of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Selig Harrisson, said “the CIA still has close links with the Pakistani intelligence service ISI.” Just one day before the attacks, a Pakistani newspaper in Islamabad reported that the head of the ISI was meeting with unspecified members of the Pentagon, National Security Council, and CIA Director George Tenet.

On May 18th, 2002 the Washington Post reported that:

“On the morning of Sept. 11, Porter Goss and Bob Graham were having breakfast with a Pakistani general named Mahmud Ahmed — the soon-to-be-sacked head of Pakistan’s intelligence service. Ahmed ran a spy agency notoriously close to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.”

Specific details of that meeting have still not been released and may never have been recorded.

In 2001, various media outlets (CNN, Fox News, ABC, and AP) reported that $100,000 was wired from Pakistan to Mohammed Atta, the 9-11 lead hijacker. A “senior law enforcement source” told CNN that the paymaster was believed to be Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was working for the Pakistani ISI at the time.

Several media outlets reported in 2002 that the US government believed Saeed Sheikh to be an asset of the ISI, and that senior ISI officers knew him well.  Also reported was the allegation by Indian intelligence that General Mahmud Ahmed ordered the wire transfer and that Indian intelligence claimed they had assisted the FBI during the investigation. Various mainstream Indian papers reported this in 2001 along with a mainstream Pakistani newspaper.  In the West – the Wall Street Journal and Agence France Press picked up on the story in October.

On October 7th 2001, Mahmud Ahmed was fired from his role at the ISI. The official explanation was because he was too close to the Taliban. This claim has been met with criticism by some analysts given the fact that there were several pro-Taliban officers that kept their jobs.

During the 9/11 Commission hearings, the Family Steering Committee asked the Commissioners to investigate the ISI connection. However, the commission did little to “follow the money” and the 9/11 Commission Report made no mention of these allegations. Furthermore, the commission made the absurd statement that the question of who financed the terrorist attacks was “of little practical significance” [and that it had] “seen no evidence that any foreign government–or foreign government official–supplied any funding.”

To listen to this 9-11 Red Flag, click Play in the embedded player below. Click download if you would like to download the file for your media player or iPod.