Information Clearing House Archive Part 6 30-31 May 2004

May 2004 — Information Clearing House

[I’ve been archiving ICH digests since early 2003. Unfortunately, an unknown number of the links are now dead, so I can’t guarantee that the link will take you where you want to go. WB]

Information Clearing House
Digest May 30-31 2004
Date: 31 May 2004




Four Afghans killed in raid by Taliban guerrillas:

Taliban guerrillas riding in a fleet of vehicles shot up a government office in southern Afghanistan, killing four Afghan soldiers, an official said yesterday. One gunman also was killed.,0,7181630.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines

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Knowing who we are and why it matters By William Bowles

29 May 2004

Awhile back I wrote a piece called “Listen to your ancestors” that in part was based upon my experiences of living in Africa for ten years (before being unceremoniously booted out by my former ‘comrades’). In part (although unstated) it was on reflection also about my immigrant roots here in the UK about which I have only the barest of knowledge. The issue of who we are, is very much about where we come from, if not literally then metaphorically. And it is also about our allegiances, something that once more – as the imperium stokes the fires of nationalism – becomes central to the struggle for autonomy (belonging and autonomy are synonymous).

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Information Clearing House Archive Part 5 24-28 May 2004

May 2004 — Information Clearing House

[I’ve been archiving ICH digests since early 2003. Unfortunately, an unknown number of the links are now dead, so I can’t guarantee that the link will take you where you want to go. WB]

Information Clearing House Digest
24-28 2004

Date: 28 May 2004


“ They know we own their country. We own their airspace…We dictate the way they live and talk. And that’s what’s great about America right now. It’s a good thing, especially when there’s a lot of oil out there we need.” : US Brig. General William Looney (sic), Washington Post, 24/6/1996



Six allied troops killed during battle in Afghanistan:

At least six allied troops were shot dead by unknown assailants in Paktia province of Afghanistan on Friday during a fierce gunbattle in the border area.

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A Damn Fine Mess By William Bowles

27 May 2004

So where is the demand from the so-called Left of the Labour government for the complete and unconditional withdrawal from Iraq? Are they too hiding behind the fig leaf of the UN? A UN that is reluctant to takeover the minefield created by the occupation and one complicated by the juggling of the various actors such as Russia and France, as they attempt to leverage advantage from the rapidly disintegrating situation.

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Where is the Left? By William Bowles

25 May 2004

“The paralysis of the US leftist intellectuals, their inability to express solidarity with the Iraqi resistance is a disease which afflicts all “leftist” intellectuals in the colonial countries. They are fearful of the problem (the colonial war) and fearful of the resolution (national liberation). In the end, the comforts and freedoms they enjoy, the university applause and adulation they receive in the colonial motherland weighs more heavily than the mental costs of a straightforward declaration of support for the revolutionary liberation movements. They resort to phony “moral equivalences”, against the war and against the “fundamentalists”, the “terrorists”, the ‘whoever’ who is engaged in their own self-emancipation and has not paid sufficient attention to the self-appointed guardians of Western Democratic Values. It is not difficult to understand the absence of solidarity with liberation movements among the progressive intellectuals in the imperial countries: they too have been colonized, mentally and materially.” – James Petras, Left’s failure to support Iraqi resistance

Perhaps the question should be, what is the Left? There is something of an irony in the fact that as the imperium stares directly into the face of defeat in Iraq, the Left is bereft of an alternative beyond pulling out and a condemnation (of sorts) of imperialism’s latest adventure. It has been suggested to me that this is because we are suffering a crisis of confidence in the viability of the socialist project. In other words, aside from platitudes, we have no alternative to offer.

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Information Clearing House Archive Part 4 19-23 May 2004

May 2004 — Information Clearing House

[I’ve been archiving ICH digests since early 2003. Unfortunately, an unknown number of the links are now dead, so I can’t guarantee that the link will take you where you want to go. WB]

Information Clearing House
May 19-23 2004
Date: 23 May 2004



34 Killed In Bloody Overnight Clashes:

U.S. air strikes and fighting between U.S. troops and Shi’ite militia around the Iraqi shrine city of Najaf have killed at least 34 people
overnight and wounded dozens, hospital staff and the U.S. military say.

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9/11: Long Debunked “Rumor” Validated by Giuliani

21 May 2004

FEMA in NYC prior to 9-11 for Project TRIPOD terror drill, scheduled for 9-12 By Gregor Holland 

21/05/04UQ Wire: Long Debunked Rumor Validated by Giuliani

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Long Debunked “Rumor” Validated by Giuliani

FEMA in NYC prior to 9-11 for Project TRIPOD terror drill, scheduled for 9-12 By Gregor Holland

As of this writing, June 2, 2004, the transcript of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s testimony to the 9-11 Commission during the May 18-19, 2004 hearings in New York is the only transcript of that hearing omitted from the Commission website


Did Rudy say something wrong?

In case you missed it live, you can listen to his testimony in full at the WNYC radio website at: As Giuliani recounts his experience of the day of 9/11, and the evolving location of the Emergency Command Center that morning, you might want to pay special attention to what he says at the end of his prepared statement:

“… the reason Pier 92 was selected as a command center was because on the next day, on September 12, Pier 92 was going to have a drill, it had hundreds of people here, from FEMA, from the Federal Government, from the State, from the State Emergency Management Office, and they were getting ready for a drill for biochemical attack. So that was gonna be the place they were going to have the drill. The equipment was already there, so we were able to establish a command center there, within three days, that was two and a half to three times bigger than the command center that we had lost at 7 World Trade Center. And it was from there that the rest of the search and rescue effort was completed.”

Readers may remember that on the days immediately after 9/11/01 there was a nasty little rumor running around the internet that FEMA had arrived in NYC on Monday September 10, thus implying foreknowledge of the disaster. The source of the rumor was a September 13, 2001 interview between CBS News anchor Dan Rather and Tom Kennedy (later corrected to Kenney) of FEMA National Urban Search and Rescue. Here is a transcript of the brief interview:

Rather: “Tom Kennedy… Kenney, a rescue worker with the National

Urban Search and Rescue, it’s part of FEMA…“

Kennedy: “We’re currently one of the first teams that was deployed

to support the city of New York for this disaster. We arrived on late Monday night, and went into action on Tuesday morning.

And not until today did we get a full opportunity to work the entire site.”

The rumors which subsequently ravaged online chatrooms and 9/11

websites were officially denied by FEMA. In a November 15, 2001

WorldNetDaily piece titled “FEMA: No prior knowledge of 9-11: Agency dispels Net rumor, says team didn’t arrive in NYC Sept. 10″, Jon Dougherty wrote: (

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency has said it did not have urban search and rescue teams in place in New York City prior to the Sept. 11 attacks, contrary to an Internet-based rumor alleging otherwise.

In the interview, Kenney misspoke when he said he and his team arrived in New York City and were “finally on the ground” and deployed by “Monday night. … “ If accurate, that would have meant the team arrived Sept. 10 – the night before the attacks.

According to a spokesman in the office of Vito Pizzi, who works in FEMA’s federal coordination office, a total of 16 teams were put on alert or activated Sept. 11. Two of those teams were sent in to Ground Zero the next day, Sept. 12.

FEMA officials said Kenney, in the head of the moment, misstated his team’s arrival date. Kenney could not be reached for comment.”

The rumor of FEMA presence prior to 9/11 was so stubborn that it took another debunking in a September 5, 2002 Boston Herlad piece written by a Stephanie Schorow. Schorow recommends that ‘X-File fiction’ can be separated from fact with simple research and checking of multiple sources. In reference to the rumor that “FEMA sent the Urban Search and Rescue Team to New York City THE NIGHT BEFORE the attacks occurred!”, Schorow writes:

“But if you search further, you’ll see Tom “Kennedy” is actually Tom Kenney, an officer from the Massachusetts Urban Search and Rescue Task Force; apparently Rather got the name wrong. Likewise, common sense dictates Kenney simply said Monday when he meant Tuesday.

To confirm, the Herald called the Kenney home on Cape Cod and spoke to Kenney’s wife, who said that her husband did go to New York on Sept. 11, not Sept. 10. She explained that he was under extreme stress when Rather interviewed him, and added wryly that it was typical of her husband to confuse dates.”

( )

We should note that the actual wording of the debunking accounts does not deny that FEMA was in New York on September 10, it merely denies that the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force was not in New York on September 10. We should note that FEMA, when denying presence in NYC prior to 9/11 did not raise the possibility that there was confusion about the existence of a separate FEMA team for the scheduled 9/12 bioterror drill, a drill which we have learned is named Operation TRIPOD. It seems that prior to the Giuliani testimony there has been scant mentioning of the bioterror drill.

According to a May 22, 2002 Press Release from the NYC Office of Emergency Management, the TRIPOD, or ‘Point-of-Dispensing’ drill, was successfully held that day. The Press Release states:

“TRIPOD had originally been scheduled to take place on September

12th, 2001, at Pier 92 – which ironically had served as the temporary home of OEM shortly after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.”

The release also mentions that the TRIPOD exercise is supported by “The Office of Justice Programs, through the Office for Domestic

Preparedness”. The Office for Domestic Preparedness was the effort assigned to Dick Cheney by George W. Bush on May 8, 2001. Although reports indicate that Cheney never convened any meetings of this Task Force prior to September 2001, it seems that there must have been some sort of planning involved with the organization and scheduling of Operation TRIPOD for September 12, 2001. With all of the unpleasant news of 9/11, it must have pleased Cheney that the scheduling of this drill made the pre-assembled emergency team immediately available to New York City. Who would have thought?

Major questions exist as to why FEMA would deny being in New York City prior to 9/11 without mentioning the 9/12 bioterror drill. These questions must now be addressed as the initial suspicions of those who learned of the Tom Kenney statement have been clearly validated. The coincidental presence of a large FEMA team in NYC at the location, Pier 92, which became the Command Center for the entire emergency operation is disturbing. An alert press and a legitimate 9-11 Commission should have raised this issue long ago.

Mr. Vito Pizzi, listed as FEMA Branch Chief was contacted for this article.

© Gregor Holland 2004. All rights reserved.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.


The Scoop website is at This Story is at

A Guide to The 9/11 Cover-up – Part 2 of 3

20 May 2004

The Rice/Zelikow Connection A brief history of the Kean Commission  and its conflicts of interest 20/05/04

Posting to Headlines Wire of Scoop Opinion:

Date: Thursday, 20 May 2004 Time: 2:11 pm NZT

UQ Wire: A Guide to The 9/11 Cover-up (2)

Distribution via the Unanswered Questions Wire

Sign up for the wire at:

Unanswered Questions : Thinking for ourselves.

A Guide to The 9/11 Cover-up May 17, 2004. Part 2 of 3.

The Rice/Zelikow Connection A brief history of the Kean Commission and its conflicts of interest

See also Part I

UQ Wire: A Guide to The 9/11 Cover-up (2)

Condoleeza Rice is a household name. But most Americans still have never heard of the man who wrote a book with her, Philip Zelikow.

As the executive director of the Kean Commission, Zelikow is responsible for framing the agenda. He leads the research staff. He decides what evidence the commission sees.

In April, the world media focused on Rice’s appearance before the commission. She claimed, not for the first time, that no one could have imagined terrorists would use hijacked planes as weapons against buildings. This is a demonstrable falsehood, which Bush himself inadvertantly exposed a week later. (See “Bush, Rice and the Genoa Warning,” p. 16.)

Rice’s testimony received mostly bad reviews. The commission was credited with investigative fervor. Few reports bothered to note that in the late 1980s, Rice and Zelikow worked closely together on George H.W. Bush’s national security staff.

Zelikow and Rice co-authored a 1999 book about their experiences in the first Bush White House, “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft.” The book presents “a detailed and fascinating account of behind-the-scenes discussions and deliberations” during the fall of the Soviet empire, according to Library Journal.

Zelikow again served alongside Rice as a member of the Bush transition team in 2000-2001, when he took part in White House meetings on the terror threat. Since this was of interest to the 9/11 investigation, the Kean Commission recently called Zelikow as a witness, in a closed-door session.

Now imagine if the judge in a trial was a close associate of the star witness. Imagine if the judge called himself as a witness to the case, in secret testimony. A parallel situation has arisen, with Zelikow in the role of the judge, and Rice as the star witness.

Even after Sept. 11, two days before the invasion of Afghanistan, Zelikow went back to work for the Bush national security staff, as a member of the White House advisory board on foreign intelligence.

Zelikow’s evident conflicts of interest prompted Sept. 11 family leaders to call for his resignation months ago. “It is apparent that Dr. Zelikow should never have been permitted to be Executive Staff Director of the Commission,” the Family Steering Committee concluded in a Mar. 20 statement. So far, the commission has ignored their plea.

The Rice/Zelikow connection should have set off alarm bells about the Kean Commission’s independence. Yet it has barely caused a stir.

The Kissinger Commission

“When we first envisioned this commission, we did not envision it made up of ex-senators and ex-Navy secretaries and all of this other stuff,” says Beverly Eckert of the Family Steering Committee. “We thought it should be professors and writers, scholars and also people who are involved in the news, but not necessarily a part of it. These people [the commissioners] are all a part of it. In many ways the government is part of the problem.”

By a hair’s breadth, what we know now as the Kean Commission almost went down in history as the “Kissinger Commission.” Soon after finally assenting to an independent investigation, George W. Bush kicked it off in Nov. 2002 by appointing Henry Kissinger to chair the panel.

Two weeks later, Kissinger declined the appointment. The families and a few of the legislators designing the commission had asked him to rule out possible conflicts of interest involving his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates. Kissinger refused to name his clients, even confidentially. In a letter to Bush, he opined that service to country would ruin his business.

During the two weeks of Kissinger’s appointment, the Internet and alternative press buzzed at the thought of a 9/11 investigation headed by Richard Nixon’s former secretary of state, a known practitioner of the strategic lie. Kissinger remains an elder adviser to many of the key people in the administration and U.S. defense establishment, especially the neoconservative group at the Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld. He is under investigation in several countries for alleged involvement in Nixon-era crimes against humanity in Chile, Indochina and elsewhere. During a Paris hotel stay in 2001, he received a surprise visit for questioning by a French magistrate, and had to quietly slip out of the country.

The failed Kissinger appointment was a global public relations disaster, but perhaps the administration felt it needed a cover-up artist of his caliber. Soon after his departure, the job of heading the 9/11 Commission went to Kean, a less controversial figure who was more willing to reveal his business connections. One of these is worthy of a brief detour.

New Jersey to Afghanistan

Before taking his current position, Thomas Kean was a director and part owner of Amerada Hess, a company that maintained a partnership with Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia. Since that is the home country for most of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, and since the Bush family has close business ties to Saudi elites, many people would think that this is already a serious conflict of interest.

Together with UNOCAL, Delta Oil in the mid-1990s began negotiating deals with Central Asian governments, looking to acquire pipeline rights out of the world’s richest remaining store of undeveloped oil fields. The favored plan was to get the oil to a port in Pakistan – meaning, through Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The Taliban were courted in the late 1990s by a number of American oil projects, including UNOCAL’s. But their hardline behavior ruined their international image, and the companies backed off.

When the Bush administration came to power in 2001, it opened new pipeline negotiations with the the Taliban. Despite awards to Afghanistan of $143 million in U.S. aid in the first half of 2001, the Taliban refused to accept the U.S. proposal of a joint government with the Northern Alliance. They broke off the back-channel Berlin talks in June. At the time, a U.S. representative promised that the Taliban had a choice between “a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs.”

The White House has admitted that documents placed on Bush’s desk on Sept. 9, 2001 detailed a plan for attacking Afghanistan by mid-Oct. 2001. Significant deployments to the region of U.S. and British forces were already underway. All that was missing for an invasion was the casus belli – the cause for hostilities. That arrived two days later, in New York, in the form of the 9/11 attacks.

The subsequent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan installed Hamid Karzai as prime minister and Zalmay Khalilzad as the powerful White House envoy to Kabul. Interestingly, both men were previously employed as consultants by UNOCAL. The new Afghan government has since entered a pipeline consortium. UNOCAL is not known to be involved, but is seen within the industry as the likely ultimate beneficiary of a future pipeline.

In other words, 9/11 became the reason for an already-planned war in Afghanistan, as a result of which a long-delayed Afghan pipeline deal was struck. Given that context, the appointment as commission chair of an any oil company director – let alone the director of one involved in a Central Asian pipeline consortium – appears improper.

But within the commission, Gov. Kean’s involvement is by no means exceptional. A look at the member resumes shows that almost all of them have had business ties to oil companies – or else, airlines.

Pipelines and Airlines

After Kean’s appointment, the White House shifted from resisting the very idea of an investigation to the more mundane matter of obstructing it. Although the commissioners were all government and national security insiders, getting security clearances took months. For most of the first year, the White House claimed executive privilege in withholding access to the Presidential Daily Briefings. The rules were fashioned so that issuing a subpeona required a majority vote.

Bush initially approved a budget of just $3 million for the panel, which requires a staff of dozens to comb through millions of documents. Only after months of wrangling did the White House give in to an additional $8 million in funding.

(By comparison, the Columbia Space Shuttle explosion led to immediate approval of $30 million for a commission within a week. The investigation of Bill Clinton’s sexual affairs in the 1990s took up on the order of $40 million in funds.)

Congressional Democrats and Republicans and the White House set out to apportion the seats in what was termed a bipartisan manner, meaning five for each major party.

Kean’s vice-chair, Lee Hamilton, was the chairman in the 1980s of the House Select Committee on Iran/Contra. Afterwards, he told PBS Frontline that he didn’t wish to indict Reagan or Bush, because he didn’t think it would be “good for the country,” although a wealth of evidence showed that Reagan and Bush authorized illegal arms shipments to Iran in 1985. Then Chairman Hamilton, a Democrat, was influenced by heavy political pressure from a hawkish fellow congressman from Wyoming by the name of Dick Cheney.

The New York Post and FOXNEWS have yet to report any of the above details concerning Zelikow, Kean or Hamilton, but in April they devoted much energy to exposing commission member Jamie Gorelick, who served on Bill Clinton’s national security staff. The Murdoch media and Republican politicians have said she is too partisan to serve on the commission, and urged that she resign.

In May 2003, shortly after joining the Kean Commission, Gorelick also joined the Washington firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. A month earlier, this firm announced it would defend Saudi Prince Mohammed al Faisal, third in command in the Saudi government – and a plaintiff in several of the billion-dollar lawsuits filed by relatives of 9/11 victims.

Richard Ben-Veniste, former Clinton White House lawyer, was a partner until February 2003 in one of the biggest bankruptcy firms in the world, Weil, Gotshal, and Manges. As the N.Y. Post disclosed, the firm received a famously inflated $3 million retainer from Enron, when the latter filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

Former Republican Sen. Slade Gorton is a lawyer in the Seattle firm of Preston, Gates and Ellis, which counts among its clients both Delta Air Lines and the Boeing Employees’ Credit Union. Is either of them likely to want the airlines forced to pay off lawsuits from Sept. 11 relatives?

While Henry Kissinger did not make the cut, he does have close ties to Republican John Lehman, whom he recruited for his staff during the Nixon administration. Lehman, the Secretary of the Navy under the Reagan administration, is also close to several members of the current Bush government. Along with Kean, Hamilton, and Gorelick, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

As for former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson, it really takes no rocket science to figure out his conflict of interest. He is chairman of the Winston & Strawn law firm in Chicago. From Jan. 1997 through June 2002, Thompson’s law firm received $1.66 million for federal lobbying efforts on behalf of American Airlines – one of the two carriers potentially liable for negligence on 9/11.

Commission Cuts Deal with White House

Under a deal the Kean Commission made with the White House in Nov. 2003, Jamie Gorelick is the only commissioner – alongside Executive Director Philip Zelikow – allowed to view White House documents, such as the famous Presidential Daily Briefing entitled “BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S.”

That document (of which the government recently published 1∏ pages out of 11) was delivered from George Tenet to George Bush on Aug. 6, 2001. Gorelick is a long-standing Tenet associate and an adviser to the CIA. Once again, the investigator is on the friendliest terms with the subject of the investigation.

While viewing White House documents, she and Zelikow are allowed to take notes, which remain with the White House. They then report to the other commission members. At one point, the White House withheld the notes. The commission was said to be debating a subpoena for its own notes, instead of the actual documents.

Max Cleland Drops Out

We have yet to mention the most outspoken commission member, Max Cleland, the former Senator from Georgia. He objected strenuously to the deal with the White House. In the course of Nov. autumn 2003, he issued a challenge to both the White House and the other members of the Kean commission. “Bush is scamming America,” Cleland declared.

“As each day goes by, we learn that this government knew a whole lot more about these terrorists before Sept. 11 than it has ever admitted,” Cleland told the New York Times (10/26/03).

“Let’s chase this rabbit into the ground here,” Cleland said in an interview (Salon, Nov. 2003). “They had a plan to go to war, and when 9/11 happened that’s what they did. They went to war.” He called this “a national scandal.”

Cleland then compared the Kean Commission to the earlier investigation of the Kennedy Assassination. “The Warren Commission blew it. I’m not going to be part of that. I’m not going to be part of looking at information only partially. I’m not going to be part of just coming to quick conclusions. I’m not going to be part of political pressure to do this or not do that.”

At the time of Cleland’s impassioned outbursts, the hearings were not even covering Sept. 11, but issues of “Homeland Security.” It The commission was barely a blip on the media radar. Aside from the Salon interview, Cleland’s revolt was treated to cursory coverage in a total of two other outlets: the Times and the Washington Post. In the midst of an apparent news black-out, followers of the commission process were not even sure if Cleland had resigned.

In December, Bush stepped in and settled the question. He appointed Cleland to direct the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Cleland accepted. He left the Commission.

Ignoring the Elephant

Max Cleland’s departure exposed the commission’s conflicts of interest and willingness to compromise its mission. Despite reports of turmoil behind the scenes, the public consequences approached nil.

Yet it was also a chance for the panel to change course, to address the issues he raised. Activists launched a campaign to nominate a member of the Family Steering Committee to fill the vacancy. Did the commission have room for one person who is not a government insider, and who has a clear incentive to seek the truth? A well-known FSC member expressed her willingness to serve. Calls and faxes advocating her nomination poured in from around the country to the offices of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. He had nominated Cleland, and therefore got to choose the replacement.

At the commission’s public session on Dec. 8, 2003, Cleland went unmentioned until the closing press conference, when a reporter asked Kean and Hamilton how they intended to restore the commission’s credibility. Both proclaimed, needlessly, that Cleland was a man of integrity, without addressing anything he had said.

In addition, confronted with open-source evidence of U.S. military preparations for the 9/11 scenario prior to Sept. 11 (the Pentagon MASCAL exercise, see p. 13), they gave their usual answer, which can be summed up as follows: “We are grateful. Please provide us with these materials. We will pursue all leads.” The materials were duly provided.

The next day, Daschle filled the vacancy with former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, president of The New School University and an outspoken hardliner on homeland security issues. (Kerrey was also a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which lobbied foreign countries to support the ousting of Saddam Hussein.) The decision had been made. The 9/11 Commission had room for no one but insiders.

Leaving aside the behind-the-scenes stories and conflicts of interest we have detailed, does the commission truly pursue all leads? In tomorrow’s Part 3 – a case study of how the commission operates in public – we shall see what happened when its members had a golden opportunity to ask top Pentagon officials about the wargames of Sept. 11.



STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.


The Scoop website is at This Story is at


UQ Wire: A Guide to The 9/11 Cover-up (1)

20 May 2004


Posting to Headlines Wire of Scoop Opinion:

Date: Thursday, 20 May 2004 Time: 2:11 pm NZT

Distribution via the Unanswered Questions Wire

Sign up for the wire at:

Unanswered Questions : Thinking for ourselves.

A Guide to The 9/11 Cover-up May 13, 2004. Part 1 of 3.

The Kean Commission and the Sept. 11th Families

NEW YORK CITY ˜ The Kean Commission was called to life in Nov. 2002, when the White House dropped its objections to an independent 9/11 investigation, after many months of persistent lobbying by Sept. 11th families. At the time, this was seen as a victory for the relatives of those killed on Sept. 11th, and for their allies in the fight for open government and accountability.

As the Kean Commission nears the end of its work, it is informative to ask what those families are saying today.

23 Questions to Bush

“Mr. Bush, who approved the flight of the bin Laden family out of the United States, when all commercial flights were grounded?”

That is one of 23 explosive questions that George W. Bush and his subordinates must face in public testimony, under oath and pain of perjury – that is, if the leaders of Sept. 11 family groups get their way.

The question refers to private flights for Saudi royalty, cleared by the White House during the otherwise total civilian flight ban in the days immediately after Sept. 11. Members of the Bin Laden clan, including two of Osama Bin Laden’s many brothers, were allowed to leave the United States before federal investigators had a chance to question them.*

Despite confirmed reports dating back to Sept. 2001, the story of the Bin Laden family airlift was denigrated as urban legend until April, when former White House terror adviser Richard Clarke and Secretary of State Colin Powell both confirmed it.

How many other confirmations of “urban legend” are still in store?

Accountability and the Theory of Luck

“Why has no one in any level of our government been held accountable for the countless failures leading up to and on 9/11?”

The 23 questions are from the Family Steering Commitee, twelve Sept. 11 relatives who represent many other 9/11 family groups. Since Nov. 2002, they have monitored the 9/11 Commission headed by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean.

Members of the FSC were key lobbyists in gaining an independent investigation of Sept. 11. Mindy Kleinberg, known as one of the four “Jersey Wives,” testified to the Kean Commission during its first public proceedings in early 2003. She alerted the panel to disturbing gaps and contradictions in the government’s story of what happened on Sept. 11. Her comments challenged the idea that all anomalies in the official story are due to incompetence or coincidence. She called that “the theory of luck.”

“Is it luck that aberrant stock trades were not monitored?” Kleinberg asked. She was referring to the widespread reports of possible insider trading in the week leading up to Sept. 11 indicating specific prior knowledge of the attacks.*

Kleinberg: “Is it luck when 15 visas are awarded based on incomplete forms? Is it luck when Airline Security screenings allow hijackers to board planes with box cutters and pepper spray? Is it luck when Emergency FAA and NORAD protocols are not followed? Is it luck when a national emergency is not reported to top government officials on a timely basis?

“To me luck is something that happens once. When you have this repeated pattern of broken protocols, broken laws, broken communication, one cannot still call it luck. If at some point we don’t look to hold the individuals accountable for not doing their jobs properly then how can we ever expect for terrorists not to get lucky again?”

Since Kleinberg’s testimony the commission has avoided almost any public treatment of the issues she raised. For a transcript of Kleinberg’s comments, see

A Lesson in Reading

The families threw down their challenge to Bush last February, following reports that the Kean Commission had asked Bush and Bill Clinton to testify. Only in May did Bush finally appear before the panel, in a closed session at the Oval Office. No transcript was taken. Bush assented to the hearing on the condition that he testify together with Dick Cheney, who apparently did most of the talking. Based on the handful of public statements about their joint appearance, it seems doubtful that the panel confronted Bush with this question:

“Please explain why you remained at the Sarasota, Florida, Elementary School for a press conference after you had finished listening to the children read, when as a terrorist target, your presence potentially jeopardized the lives of the children?”

Bush, his staff and his Secret Service entourage did indeed pay a visit to the Booker Elementary School, as carried on live television until 9:34 a.m. This was fifty minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center and 27 29 minutes after 9:05, when Bush was informed of the second plane crash and told, “America is under attack.” After that well-known moment, when his chief of staff whispered into his ear, Bush continued listening to the children read. He remained in the classroom for about 13 minutes. He then prepared and delivered a brief speech to the nation from the school, calling for a moment of silence for the WTC victims at 9:31.

The Pentagon was hit at 9:38am

The White House has never explained this anomaly. Instead, Bush has twice claimed, in speeches made available on the White House website, that he thought the first plane crash (at 8:46 a.m.) was an accident. On hearing news of the crash at 8:55, he says he thought, “That’s one lousy pilot.” Yet the Federal Aviation Administration was aware, since 8:20 at the latest, that American Airlines Flight 11 had been hijacked. The North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) was also informed of the hijacking.

And by 8:55 a.m. or shortly after, two additional hijackings were known to be in progress. In the White House, Dick Cheney is known to have by then been on an open line connecting FAA, NORAD and the Secret Service. Yet as the attacks went on, the reaction times of U.S. air defense apparently became worse.

Was no one telling the president all this? Who was acting as commander-in-chief, while Bush listened to “A Girl and Her Pet Goat”? Was there no concern that the school itself would be a target, since it was public knowledge, days in advance, that the president would be there?

Courage to Ask the Obvious

The family leaders have released a series of strongly worded statements blasting the Bush administration for stonewalling the 9/11 investigation. But they have been equally harsh in chastising the Kean Commission for its refusal to examine key evidence. They have called for the immediate resignation of Philip Zelikow, executive director of the commission, pointing to his various conflicts of interest. (Coming in Part 2.)

The relatives have shown no reluctance to pursue controversial lines of inquiry in public. It is hard to imagine the commission asking if the Bush administration tried to cut a deal with Osama Bin Laden in advance of the 9/11 attacks, as reported in the European press back in the autumn of 2001.

But the families want an answer: “Did you or any agent of the United States government carry out any negotiations or talks with UBL, an agent of UBL, or al-Qaeda?” (”UBL” is government speak for Osama Bin Laden.)

The Commission has shown no inclination to follow the trail of the Cheney “energy policy meetings” of early 2001, or the Bush administration’s oil-pipeline talks with the Taliban up to July 2001. These touchy subjects might arise if they ever considered this question: “During that same period, did you or any agent of the United States government carry out any negotiations or talks with any foreign government, its agents, or officials regarding UBL?”

Would the Kean Commission ever wonder out loud if anyone other than Al-Qaeda (or other foreigners) gained anything from the attacks? The families are not afraid to confront this obvious concern: “Which individuals, governments, agencies, institutions, or groups may have benefited from the attacks of 9/11?”

Although the Kean Commission accepted a deal strictly limiting its access to White House documents concerning advance warnings of a possible terror attack, Kean claimed repeatedly that there is “no smoking gun” to indicate Bush had specific prior knowledge of the attacks. At least, not in the “parts of the documents” Kean has actually been allowed to see.

The families don’t buy that on faith, or on partial evidence. They want specifics: “As Commander-in-Chief, from May 1, 2001 until September 11, 2001, did you receive any information from any intelligence agency official or agent that UBL was planning to attack this nation on its own soil using airplanes as weapons, targeting New York City landmarks during the week of September 11, 2001 or on the actual day of September 11, 2001?”

Carefully researched, the families’ questions reflect concerns that have caused millions to doubt the official story – and to call for a truly independent investigation: One with subpeona power, testimony under oath, no self-imposed restrictions on allowable lines of inquiry, and a published, uncensored final report.

“Even now we are dealing with the idea of how the [commission] report is going to be, when it’s released,” says Beverly Eckert

of the FSC. “The classification process is done by the White House and the intelligence agencies. They are the ones. They are a subject of this report. How can they not have a conflict in classifying and editing it? They can edit at will.”

Conspiracy Theory?

It is hard to dismiss these concerns as “conspiracy theory” when many Bush administration officials used the most outrageous conspiracy theory of all – the legend that Saddam backed the 9/11 attacks – as pretext for invading Iraq. In that matter as well, the families want government held accountable:

“Do you continue to maintain that Saddam Hussein was linked to al-Qaeda? What proof do you have of any connection between al-Qaeda and the Hussein regime?”

Bush in the meantime has admitted there was no such connection. But Cheney and members of his circle still say there was.

The FSC questions show that, though their grief and tragedy is great, the families have understood the stakes in the 9/11 disclosure issue are even greater. Getting the truth of 9/11 means more than justice for the victims, and well-deserved closure for their relatives.

9/11 was used as a lever to shift the globe. All Americans– and, given the global impact, the people of the world – need to learn the answers that the families demand.

The Sept. 11 family statements, and their lists of questions to a variety of administration members, have been published at the FSC’s website:

* NOTE: In the days before 9/11, unknown traders bought unusually high “put options” in the stock of United Airlines, American Airlines, and the WTC tenants and re-insurers. This meant that the traders expected the prices of these equities to plunge in the short term. The volumes of the purchases may have activated a known CIA real-time tracing program designed to discover suspicious trades (PROMIS). The FBI later claimed it had determined the identities of the traders in the U.S., but says they are in the clear and declines to name them. Many of the known trades were transacted through A.B. Brown. The chairman of that bank, Mayo Shattuck, resigned suddenly on Sept. 12. In the case of one trade, the buyer left $2.5 million uncollected for months after the attacks. Financial authorities in Frankfurt and Tokyo and an intelligence bureau in Israel also reported suspicious trades and initially characterized these as smoking guns that would lead back to the masterminds of 9/11.


See Part II∑

UQ Wire: A Guide to The 9/11 Cover-up (2)


On Saturday, May 22nd, Ellen Mariani and Phil Berg will be the featured speakers at a historic convergence of the Antiwar movement and the 9/11 Truth movement. 9/11 researcher Sander Hicks will present findings about what really happened on Sept. 11, 2001. Special guest Scott Ritter will speak on the Iraq war and the Project for a New American Century. Doors open 6 PM at the Riverside Church (490 Riverside Drive betw. 120 & 122 Streets).

– Nicholas Levis Correspondent, International Community, Berlin. (& on behalf of NY 9/11 TRUTH &


STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.


The Scoop website is at This Story is at


This business of politics By William Bowles

20 May 2004

I’n’I started life rather informally when I started writing articles for Information Clearing House in March 2003. Then, due to an initial financial donation from a reader of my essays on ICH, I was able to start up this Website in August 2003. The rest as they say, is history.

Now, with over 3000 files online and over a 100,000 visitors a month who read around 1600 pages a day, the site has been successful beyond my wildest dreams. I’n’I is #64 on Yahoo’s list of most referred to sites (according to an email I received this week), so I must be doing something right.

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Keep your eye on the ball By William Bowles

19 May 2004

Rumours abound on the Web, many if not all are impossible to substantiate but very quickly get transformed into ‘fact’. For progressives, this can be very damaging not to mention energy sapping, pursuing empty lines of inquiry that lead to us taking our eye ‘off the ball.’

The Berg decapitation video appeared at a very fortuitous time for the imperium, of that there can be no doubt. But unusually, the unfortunate Berg has disappeared off the video screens as quickly as he appeared when one would have thought that his horrific execution would have been milked for all its worth by a complicit corporate media. Compare the media’s treatment of the Berg execution to the four mercenaries who died in Fallujah for example, sufficient to warrant a wholesale assault on Fallujah and the deaths of an estimated 1200 Iraqis and perhaps 100 American soldiers.

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Information Clearing House Archive Part 3 14-18 May 2004

May 2004 — Information Clearing House

[I’ve been archiving ICH digests since early 2003. Unfortunately, an unknown number of the links are now dead, so I can’t guarantee that the link will take you where you want to go. WB]

Information Clearing House
Digest May 14-18 2004
Date: 18 May 2004



2 Civilian Foreigners Said Killed in Iraq:

Gunmen opened fire Tuesday on two civilian cars believed to be carrying foreigners, killing two and wounding another, witnesses said.

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