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New York Times Revelations Highlight CIA's Role pre-911Salem-News.com
The public needs a full answer, on the record, to a simple question: who ordered the standdown that made 9/11 possible and why?
(LONDON) - Uncomfortably buried in the New York Times today is an "opinion" piece with significant new revelations about the 9/11 attacks. (1)
Journalist Kurt Eichenwald has obtained access to a series of top secret summer 2001 Presidential Briefings from the CIA to President Bush and apparently to the top CIA officials who authorised them. The briefings show that as well as being described as "determined to strike in the US" Osama Bin Laden was cited many times by the CIA in ways that made it clear to Bush that there was an imminent threat. (2)
This should in itself be a major scandal: for months after 9/11 Washington claimed that the attack was unthinkable, had come out of the blue and that the scant warnings had not mentioned an attack on the US mainland, all lies which if exposed at the time would have made it far harder to invade Afghanistan let alone Iraq. Why start wars abroad when all that is needed is more competent politicians at home?
So why were the warnings ignored? Unfortunately Eichenwald, as is customary in the corporate media, goes on to act as a conduit for the CIA's version of events. According to this account Bush and his cabal of neocons ignored the CIA's warnings because they thought they were a hoax organised by Saddam Hussein to distract attention from Iraq. This confusing theory takes on board the awkward, long ignored revelation that the Bush people, along with CIA chief George Tenet, were planning in detail for the invasion of Iraq before 9/11. We know this because a witness, Paul O'Neill the then Treasury Secretary, has stated that the first Bush cabinet meeting in 2001 had little else on the agenda. (3)
But the theory has a big drawback. Pretty much every mainstream commentator in the Washington axis agrees about one thing: the invasion of Iraq was only a political possibility after the shock and anger created by 9/11. The obvious possibility this implies has been ignored by the corporate media: 9/11 was allowed to happen (or made to happen) because it was the only way to get public approval for the wars planned before 9/11.
Another big problem for the various officially promoted theories is the mountain of evidence from official sources, including the then White House anti-terror co-ordinator Richard Clarke, that officials in the CIA's top secret Osama Bin Laden unit actively intervened to prevent FBI officers in the field from foiling the 9/11 attacks. While Eichenwald laments that we may never know if the attacks could have been prevented Clarke, in a far better position to know, asserts that they probably could have been. (4)
There are other theories on the mainstream media circuit. Clarke suggests that the CIA were duped by Saudi intelligence, in league with Osama bin Laden, into thinking the 9/11 hijackers were trusted double agents. However, as Clarke himself suggests in his book "Against All Enemies", it is highly unlikely the CIA would trust the Saudis to the extent of giving known Al Qaeda terrorists a free rein in the US. Besides which, the head of Saudi intelligence Turki Al Faisal Al Sa置d who resigned three weeks before 9/11 and according to Clarke should be a prime suspect, enjoyed the next few years as ambassador to London before moving on to Washington.
Journalist Greg Palast and the BBC's Newsnight had a third, equally unlikely explanation: the alleged 9/11 hijackers from Saudi Arabia were allowed into the US with invalid visa applications because the Bush White House wanted to improve relations with Saudi Arabia.
So to sum up we have Palast who says that the Bush regime decided to help its Saudi friends by opening the US borders to anyone from Saudi Arabia including jihadists, we have Clarke who says the Saudis conned the CIA into making sure the FBI failed to arrest, or even monitor, the alleged 9/11 hijackers, and we have Eichenwald who has no explanation at all for the CIA organised standdown.
For 911 sceptics all these theories have another glaring problem too: many of the hijackers did not seem to be devout Muslims at all, drinking alcohol and using prostitutes, and several seem to have shown up alive after the event, according to reports on the BBC and the Daily Telegraph. So why did they became suicidal and how did they develop such excellent flying skills in just a few months? Hani Hanjour at the Pentagon, who had frightened his instructors with his incompetence on small planes, was now able to navigate at full speed for over a kilometre maintaining a height of just a few metres above ground level, as confirmed by the Pentagon's famous cctv video, reluctantly released in 2003. (7)
Could it be, ask the sceptics, that 9/11 as well as being the mother of 10 years of NATO wars, was also the mother of all drone strikes, with the alleged hijackers merely providing cover? In assessing this it would be useful to have the full details of the Pentagon's anti-hijack exercise, initially hidden from the public and even the 911 Commission. By coincidence, we are told, the exercise was running in almost exact tandem with the "real" 9/11 hijackings. (6)
Oddly, this would make little difference to the issue of the CIA's role: even if the 9/11 attacks were entirely an inside job, there would still be a need for colorful Islamic militants to fill the role of hijacker and they would still need to be protected from premature arrest by the FBI as happened to the alleged 20th hijacker Zaccarius Moussaoui.
Amongst all the smoke and mirrors it is the FBI standdown that stands out. It is based on the testimony of three FBI field offices and the assessment of Richard Clarke. It is supported to some extent by Palast's sources, and confirmed by the meticulous work of author Kevin Fenton based on a string of now partially declassified Washington investigations. Moreover the standdown was deliberate: a "decision" as Clarke puts it and Fenton's researches confirm. Not an omission as the BBC's Conspiracy Files investigation blithely assured us based on, yes you've probably guessed, CIA sources. (5)
There are many questions about 9/11, not least the details of the hijack exercise and the mechanism by which buildings built to withstand a jet plane impact collapsed so spectacularly.
For the CIA there is one resounding question, echoing into the media silence. The public needs a full answer, on the record, to a simple question: who ordered the standdown that made 9/11 possible and why?
Ian Henshall author of 911 The New Evidence is available for interview on 079469 39217. His first book 911 Revealed (co-author Guardian columnist Rowland Morgan) was serialised in the Daily Mail and he has appeared regularly on Talksport.
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