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News :: DNC : Environment : Environment : International
The 9/11 Commission Avoids the Hard Questions
07 Apr 2004
The 9/11 Commission, reluctantly agreed to by President Bush, is a bipartisan committee designed to protect the Republican and Democrats, not find the truth. Many key questions about 9/11 are not being asked as National Security Advisor Rice is finally about to answer questions under oath.
The 9/11 Commission Avoids the Hard Questions

by Mark A. Dunlea

(Mark Dunlea's new novel, Madame President: The Unauthorized Biography of the First Green Party President, provides an alternative history to September 11.

Last week the National Commission on Terrorists Attacks Upon the United States held its eighth public hearing. Two and one half years after 3,000 people were killed in the World Trade Center in New York City, not only do most questions remained unanswered about 9/11, they remain unasked.

President Bush and his administration have aggressively sought to block a full-scale investigation into 9/11. When Bush finally reluctantly agreed to the Commission, he insisted that it be limited to official representatives of the two major political parties and that either party be able to veto any part of the investigation. Damage control seems to the operative priority. Bush wanted former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, widely implicated in the murder and overthrow of the Allende government on 9/11 three decades previously, to head the Commission but he withdrew in order to avoid disclosing his private clients.

Noticeably absent from the Commission are any representatives of the family members of the victims, whose only interest would be to determine who was responsible for the murder of their loved ones.

Last week's headlines were dominated by the assertions by former counterterrorism official Richard Clark that the Bush administration had not made terrorism a major priority before 9/11, and that Bush had used 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq. The other major controversy was the refusal of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to testify under oath before the Commission.

President Bush has staked his re-election campaign on his forceful leadership in responding to the terrorist attack. He cannot allow any suggestion that he was asleep at the wheel prior to 9/11. Disturbingly, several Republicans members of the Commission joined in the White House's full-scale assault on Clark's credibility, not even bothering to pretend that they were independent or impartial.

But by the end of the week it was Rice and the Bush administration that were retracting several statements. Rice admitted that she was wrong to have asserted that no one expected terrorists to use planes as missiles. Many of Rice's other recent statements concerning the Bush administration's preparations to combat terrorism have also been contradicted by numerous reports in the mainstream media. Many questions still remain about what warnings the US received about such an attack.

White House aides also were forced to reluctantly admit that President Bush did probably meet with Clark right after 9/11 as Clark had asserted. Clark claims the President told him at this meeting to produce evidence that Hussein and Iraq were behind the attacks.

But there are other key questions that family members and others have been pressing the Commission to ask.

1. What was the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11? It is widely believed that the funds for the 9/11 attacks likely came from Saudi oil interests, who routinely make payments to various factions knowing that some of the funds will be diverted to support terrorist activities. Groups representing the victims want the Commission to declassify the 28 blank pages on the Joint Inquiry Final Report by Congress, which dealt with the role of Saudi government in 9/11.

Why did both the Clinton and Bush administration impeded investigations into the Saudi's connection to terrorism? The Family members have also asked why were Saudi relatives whisked out of the US so soon after 9/11 and who gave them permission to depart?

2. What was the role of the Pakistani Intelligence Service with the 9/11 hijackers? Why did Mahmood Ahmed, Director of Pakistan's secret service, order $100,000 to be wired to hijacker Momahmed Atta? What is Ahmed's relationship with al Qaida? When Ahmed met with the Chairs of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on the morning of 9/11, what did they discuss?

3. What negotiations took place between the US government and the Taliban before 9/11 relating to the construction of a pipeline through Afghanistan? What role did Pakistan and the US play in allowing the Taliban to come to power?

4. What role did the CIA play in training and arming of terrorists before 9/11, including bin Laden and other members of al Qaida? Bin Laden himself is believed to have worked closely with the CIA when the US organized "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan to go to war with the Soviet Union starting during the Carter administration. The CIA found outside fighters like bin Laden "easier to control" than the local mujahedeen.

5. Why did both the Federal Aviation Administration and the North American Aerospace Defense Command deviate from standard emergency operating procedures in responding to the hijackings? As much as 70 minutes elapsed between authorities became aware of the first hijackings and when airplanes were scrambled to intercept. Nine of the hijackers were stopped that morning for special security screenings, 2 for irregularities in identification documents and one because he was traveling with a questionable individual. How did the airplanes actually get hijacked?

6. What surveillance did the FBI and CIA have on the alleged hijackers before 9/11? Numerous media reports indicate that several of the hijackers were being closely monitored before the attack, particularly Mohammed Atta. And what has been uncovered about their support network in the US?

7. What terrorist organizations and/or state governments were responsible for the 9/11 attacks? Shortly after 9/11, the NY Times reported that the CIA believed that the hijacking may have primarily been the idea of Atta, an Egyptian citizen, who may have then approached Al Qaida for funding and other support. Other media reports indicate that some of the hijackers may have thought that their goal was to exchange hijacked passengers for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a cleric serving a life sentence for masterminding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

The Commission has done most of its work behind closed doors and has only released some initial findings. It is possible that the Commission is doing a more thorough job that we have seen so far. But its poor performance last week provides little confidence that Americans will ever find out the truth about 9/11.

As John O'Neill, the FBI's former top bin Laden investigator, said shortly before his death in the World Trade Center, "all the answers, everything needed to dismantle Osama bin Laden's organization can be found in Saudi Arabia." O'Neill also said that America's failure to stop bin Laden could be traced to one word - oil.

Following the uproar over Clark's allegations, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice has finally agreed to testify under oath. This provides the Commission with an opportunity to ask the tough questions that need to be answered. Rice has already been forced to retract her statements denying prior warnings of such an attack. Hopefully in questioning Rice, the Commission will be most concerned about finding out why 3,000 people were killed in NYC on September 11, not in protecting the politically powerful.

This work is in the public domain
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The Pack Of Liars
07 Apr 2004
Click on image for a larger version

As you can see...These liars are trying to keep their story straight!
ACCOUNTABILITY! Something NONE of these liars want to face.