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?

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Red Flag – Young Man to Cheney – Do the Orders Still Stand?

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney was in charge of the military response to the attacks while the President flew around the country in Air Force One.  The 9-11 Commission failed to follow up on the nature of and order the Vice President had given which related to American Airlines Flight 77 which hit the Pentagon at 9:36.  Many have wondered if these orders were NOT to shoot down Flight 77 as it approached the Pentagon.

We know about this order because on May 23, 2003, then Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta testified before the 9-11 Commission.  Secretary Mineta testified that he was present at the Presidential Emergency Operating Center (PEOC) in a bunker below the White House on the morning of September 11th under the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney.  During questioning by Co-Chairman Lee Hamilton, Mineta was asked if he was in the PEOC when the Presidential order was given to shoot down suspected hijacked commercial airliners.

During the time that Secretary Mineta testified about, Flight 77 had already been severely off course for over an hour and it was thought that the flight was being controlled by terrorists.  Flight 77 was also being tracked by the FAA and NORAD and according to Secretary Mineta’s testimony it was even being tracked for at least 50 miles from the PEOC.

Secretary Mineta’s testimony has raised many questions.  The most obvious question is, what were the orders that Vice-President Cheney had issued to the young man?  When asked by Mr. Hamilton during testimony if the order was a shoot down order, Secretary Mineta could not confirm that it was.   Is it reasonable to assume that this was a shoot down order?

During this same hearing, Secretary Mineta also testified that aircraft had been scrambled from nearby Langley Air Force Base and were only 10 miles away from the Washington D.C. area.  If the orders Secretary Mineta spoke of was a shoot down order, then why was this plane not shot down before it hit the Pentagon?  Our modern fighters are the most sophisticated in the world and can shoot down multiple targets from many miles away.  The question begs to be asked,  were these orders the young man spoke of orders NOT to shoot down Flight 77?

We now know that Naval Officer Douglas F. Cochrane is the young man Mineta was referring to in his testimony.  When questioned about the day, Mr. Cochrane has refused to answer questions about what happened and repeatedly refers to the 9-11 Commission as the definitive report on the terrorist attacks.

It is another failure of the 9-11 Commission that this testimony by Secretary Mineta was not followed up on.  Today, important questions still persist about what these orders were and why the 9-11 Commission failed to dig deeper and ask questions of how Flight 77 could have possibly been allowed to strike the heart of the US Military.

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 – The Bush administration opposed a 9/11 Commission

The Bush administration fought hard against the creation of an independent commission to investigate September 11th.  The families who fought for the creation of such a commission, wanted full accountability concerning the event that led to the deaths of their loved ones.  Yet, the Bush administration resisted this.  Why?

On the January 29th, 2002 – CNN reported,

“President Bush personally asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Tuesday to limit the congressional investigation into the events of September 11”.

Daschle told reporters that an investigation,

“…would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism”.

On May 23rd 2002, CBS reported that,

“President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11.”

The excuses for the opposition to the Commission often given were alleged fears of national security compromises and claims that those involved in the “war on terrorism” would have their jobs hampered.  Yet, clearly national security had already been compromised as a result of the attacks. If there were such failings and if people did not do their jobs, then they needed to be held accountable.

In September 2002, under pressure from victims’ family members, CBS reported,

“President Bush told Congress he now supports creation of an independent commission to probe the September eleventh attacks.”

The victims’ families “fought the Bush administration tooth and nail for a commission to investigate the September 11th terrorist attacks — and won”.  Yet, why did they even have to fight them for an investigation in the first place?

In total, the Bush administration fought off an investigation for 441 days before the mandate was finally passed into law on November 27, 2002.

During the 9/11 Commission hearings – the Family Steering Committee requested Commissioners to ask Bush and Cheney to,

“explain your 14 month opposition to the creation of an independent commission to investigate 9/11 and your request to Senator Daschle to quash such an investigation”.

Yet, no answer is forthcoming.

The Bush administration actively opposed any formal investigation into the attacks of September 11th.  If it were not for the determination of victims’ family members and a budding 9-11 Truth Movement, there would have never been any inquiry beyond the heavily redacted Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry from 2002.   Why did President Bush not want the American public to know exactly what happened before, during, and after the September 11th attacks?

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, Set Up to Fail

Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton , the Chair and Vice-Chair of the 9/11 Commission, made an astonishing admission in their book, Without Precedent – The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.  They said,

“It appeared to both of us that the [9-11] commission was set up to fail”.

In an interview with the CBC, Lee Hamilton said he thought they were “reasonably successful in telling the story,” although he also acknowledged, “I don’t believe for a minute that we got everything right.”  However, that the Commission was set up to fail at all is a big Red Flag.  Why was the Commission set up to fail, and who did it?

Kean and Hamilton, in the first chapter of the book titled, “Set Up to Fail,” explain their reason for thinking this.

1) The late establishment and start of the commission itself.   In fact, it took 441 days after the attacks and a Congressional mandate to force the Bush administration into a formal investigation.
2) There were numerous complications in obtaining security clearances for Commissioners and staff.
3) There was a deadline for completion which did not allow the proper time to fulfill their mandate.
4) The commission was severely underfunded.  Only $3 million dollars was initially allocated, though two months later the Bush Administration reluctantly increased the total to $12 million.
5) The commission had restricted access to important documents and witnesses.  According to Hamilton, “… we were fighting the question of access right up to the end of the Commission’s work.”
6) False testimony was given by NORAD officials, and
7) The commission encountered obstruction by the CIA, and possibly the White House, over access to prisoners accused of having a role in the 9/11 plot.

One might reasonably ask; if they’ve got nothing to hide, why are they acting as if they do?  When Hamilton was asked by the CBC interviewer about why he thought they were set up to fail, he laughed, and said, “I think basically it’s because they were afraid we were going to hang somebody, that we would point the finger, right in the middle of a presidential campaign.”

The 9-11 Commission was mandated by law to “provide a full and complete accounting” of the tragic events of September 11th.  How on earth were they able to carry out this mandate if they were “set up to fail”?  The answer is, they couldn’t.

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.

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