9/11 Cover-Up Unraveling: 28 pages, JASTA bill, KSM trial fiasco a “perfect storm” – But Beware of Limited Hang-outs
The Warren Commission summarized its conclusion in three words: “Oswald acted alone.”
In support of its assertion that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a lone gunman, the Commission—steered by Kennedy’s worst enemy, former CIA Director Allen Dulles, whose expertise lay in deceptions, regime change operations and murders of heads of state—produced 28 volumes as well as an unnumbered summary report volume. Virtually all of the 18,803 pages totaling 10.4 million words consisted of irrelevancies, distractions and red herrings, famously including such monumentally non-essential information as Lee Harvey Oswald’s dental records.
The 9/11 Commission, following the Warren Commission template, claimed that “19 Arab hijackers with box-cutters, alongside a handful of al-Qaeda operatives, acted alone.” Like the Warren Commission, the 9/11 Commission began with its conclusion already inscribed in stone; the so-called investigation merely lined up support for a pre-ordained script. According to New York Times journalist Philip Shenon, 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow had written the entire report in chapter outline before the Commission even convened. Sen. Max Cleland, refusing to participate in the cover-up, resigned from the 9/11 Commission, comparing it to the long-discredited Warren Commission: “The Warren Report blew it. I’m not going to be part of that.” Later, even the co-chairs of the Commission, Kean and Hamilton, admitted that their Commission had been “set up to fail.”
Now, almost 12 years after the publication of the 9/11 Commission Report and more than half a century after the Warren Report, both official accounts have been thoroughly discredited. Polls show that since at least the 1990s, two-thirds of Americans do not believe the official version of the JFK killing. Likewise, polling data reflects widespread suspicion about 9/11. A 2006 New York Times / CBS poll, for example, found that 81% of Americans believed their government was “hiding something” or “mostly lying” about 9/11, while only 16% thought it was “telling the truth.”
Today we are facing a potential re-opening of the 9/11 investigation, paralleling the way the JFK assassination investigation was re-opened by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) from 1976 to 1978. In both cases, public skepticism toward the official versions, alongside the work of independent researchers, has created a climate in which calls for a new investigation could fall on receptive ears. Unfortunately, if a new 9/11 investigation follows in the footsteps of the HSCA, it could destroy the official story — but in such a way as to prevent an aroused public from rising up and demanding that the full truth be revealed, the perpetrators punished, and the government restructured in such a way as to ensure that no such murderous coup d’état ever happens again. (The HSCA concluded that JFK was murdered by unknown conspirators, hinted that the mafia was involved, but offered no rousing call to uncover the full truth and prosecute the perpetrators.)
Calls for an HSCA-style re-opening of 9/11 could follow developments in three related legislative and judicial venues: The push for the release of the classified 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11; the JASTA bill allowing survivors and victims’ family members to sue government sponsors of terrorism; and the imminent implosion of the military prosecutions of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, and his alleged co-conspirators.
The secret 28 pages, classified by President Bush, are said to implicate Saudi government officials and royal family members as co-conspirators of the 19 alleged hijackers. They also contain a footnote referencing Israel that has been the subject of much speculation, given the many converging lines of evidence pointing to a major Israeli role in 9/11. The movement to release the 28 pages has been garnering widespread mainstream coverage since the CBS flagship news show 60 Minutes featured it last month. Congressional bills urging the President to declassify the 28 pages have picked up more than 60 co-sponsors.
On April 24th, the AP ran a story headlined “White House poised to release secret pages from 9/11 inquiry.” But since then Obama has wavered, while a war of words has broken out between the forces of transparency and their opponents. On the opponents’ side, CIA Director John Brennan recently issued a pre-emptive salvo claiming that the secret pages contain “inaccurate information,” while 9/11 Commission co-chairs Kean and Hamilton chipped in that those pages contained “raw, unvetted material” with “no smoking gun.” These claims contrast sharply with statements by others who have read the 28 pages, including Sen. Bob Graham of Florida and Rep. Walter Jones, who have said that the secret pages completely overturn the official story of 9/11.
The push to release the 28 pages coincides with the House’s passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which now awaits Senate ratification and a likely White House veto. The JASTA bill would pave the way for lawsuits against foreign governments that sponsor terrorist attacks on American soil, and seems to have been written specifically to target Saudi Arabia for 9/11.
The Saudi government has responded with a two-pronged attack. Officially, it has threatened to sell off 750 billion dollars in US securities and other assets, thereby crashing the US economy, if Congress passes the JASTA bill. Meanwhile, an outline of the likely Saudi defense should it ever be prosecuted for 9/11 was published by Saudi legal expert Katib Al-Shammari. Writing in the Saudi-owned London newspaper al-Hayat, Al-Shammari argued that the US itself carried out the 9/11 attacks. (English translation here.) Citing the findings of architects and engineers that the World Trade Center was destroyed with explosives, not jet fuel fires, Al-Shammari asserts that the US government has blamed almost everyone except the true culprit – itself – in order to increase military budgets, launch wars, and pressure foreign governments.
The Saudis may even be holding evidence that could destroy the official version of 9/11 and prove US government complicity. Ten of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, all of them Saudis, were reliably reported to be alive after 9/11, as documented in Jay Kolar’s “What We Now Know About the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers.” Speculation on their current whereabouts focuses on three possibilities: (1) dead, presumably murdered by the orchestrators of 9/11; (2) alive and well and living under witness protection, possibly in Saudi Arabia; and/or (3) some of the hijackers may be “composite personalities” produced by forgery and identity theft.
In 2008, I traveled to Morocco to investigate the strange case of alleged hijacker Waleed al-Shehri, who had supposedly died when Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. On September 22nd, 2001, the BBC reported that al-Shehri was alive and well in Morocco:
A Saudi-Arabian aircraft pilot who was named as one of five suspects on board one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centre, has turned up alive and well in Morocco. The man, Waleed Al-Shehri, has told Saudi journalists in Casablanca that he had nothing to do with the attacks on New York and Washington, and had been in Morocco at the time.
The FBI named five men with Arab names who they say were responsible for deliberately crashing American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center. One of those five names was Waleed Al-Shehri, a Saudi pilot who had trained in the United States. His photograph was released by the FBI, and has been shown in newspapers and on television around the world.
That same Mr Al-Shehri has turned up in Morocco, proving clearly that he was not a member of the suicide attack. He told Saudi journalists in Casablanca that he has contacted both the Saudi and American authorities to advise them that he had nothing to do with the attack. He acknowledges that he attended flight training school at Dayton Beach in the United States, and is indeed the same Waleed Al-Shehri to whom the FBI has been referring.
But, he says, he left the United States in September last year, and became a pilot with Saudi Arabian Airlines, and is currently on a further training course in Morocco. He says he was in Marrekesh when the attack took place.
I spoke to people at the US Embassy in Rabat, who said that nobody currently working there remembered al-Shehri showing up in 2001 and proclaiming his innocence. They said that diplomatic personnel rotate in and out every few years, so none of the current (2008) embassy employees would have worked there in 2001. (I personally know the man who, I am told, was CIA station chief in Rabat in the late 1990s and early 2000s – he certainly was not rotating in and out every few years – but he has not responded to my communications about 9/11.)
Stonewalled by the US Embassy, confused by conflicting reports about al-Shehri’s history in Morocco (did he work for RAM or Saudia Airlines? etc.) I contacted Saudia Airlines requesting information about Waleed al-Shehri’s employment there as a pilot. A higher-up sounded very defensive as he implied that he knew things he could not tell be because “we do not want trouble.”
If the JASTA bill passes and Saudi Arabia is sued for 9/11, perhaps its leaders will decide it is less “trouble” to spill the beans, possibly by telling the truth about some of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, than to accept the blame for the worst mass murder ever committed on American soil. If the Saudis ever decide to tell the truth, we might learn that some of the alleged hijackers did not even exist, but were fictional cutouts created by intelligence services, with intelligence agents role-playing with forged and/or stolen identification. We know that this is the case for some of the alleged hijackers, including “Ziad Jarrah,” a cut-out impersonated by at least three different intelligence agents, as explained by Jay Kolar. It may also be the case for the al-Shehri brothers; Wail al-Shehri (allegedly Waleed’s brother, supposedly a 9/11 hijacker but still alive and well and flying for Saudia Airlines out of Morocco) has claimed to be the victim of identity theft, suggesting that his ID was used to create the “Wail al-Shehri” named as a 9/11 hijacker.
Some US authorities have admitted that these problems are real. Less than two weeks after 9/11, FBI Director Mueller was forced to admit that “hijackers” turning up alive had cast doubt over those identifications; then in 2002 he admitted that there is “no legal proof” of the hijackers’ real identities. A former high-level intelligence official told Seymour Hersh that the whole story of the alleged hijackers was fabricated: “Many of the investigators believe that some of the initial clues that were uncovered about the terrorists’ identities and preparations, such as flight manuals, were meant to be found. A former high-level intelligence official told me, ‘Whatever trail was left was left deliberately—for the F.B.I. to chase.’” The 9/11 Commission made no effort whatsoever to resolve any of these issues.
In addition to the 28 pages and JASTA affairs targeting Saudi Arabia, there is a third legal venue from which a mandate for a new 9/11 investigation could and should arise: The military tribunal show trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and co-defendants. There, in the kangaroo courts of Guantanamo, a destruction-of-evidence scandal is brewing that could blow 9/11 wide open. The Guardian (May 31, 2016) reports:
The judge overseeing the premiere military tribunal at Guantánamo Bay effectively conspired with the prosecution to destroy evidence relevant to defending the accused architect of the 9/11 attacks, according to a scathing court document.
Army Col James Pohl, who this week at Guantánamo is presiding over a resumption of pretrial hearings in the already troubled case, “in concert with the prosecution, manipulated secret proceedings and the use of secret orders”, the document alleges, preventing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s defense team from learning Pohl had permitted the Obama administration to destroy the evidence.
This latest scandal relates to evidence destroyed in 2013 and 2014 after the judge had ordered the prosecution to preserve it. That same judge, Col James Pohl, then secretly conspired with the Administration to destroy the very evidence he had ordered preserved, while lying to the defense by claiming the order had been followed and the evidence preserved.
This is not the first such KSM-related destruction-of-evidence scandal. In 2005, CIA Director General Michael Hayden admitted that the CIA destroyed videotapes of interrogations of al-Qaeda prisoners related to the 9/11 investigation. Earlier, in 2004, the CIA had denied to the 9/11 Commission that any such videotapes existed. That is why the 9/11 Commission built its official story (or, rather, filled in the details of Philip Zelikow’s pre-conceived official narrative) by relying on third-hand hearsay reports about what KSM, the mentally retarded “terror mastermind” Abu Zubaydah, and other alleged al-Qaeda operatives supposedly told their torturers.
Robert Baer, formerly the CIA’s best on-the-ground Mideast operative, vented his shock and displeasure in the pages of Time Magazine:
I would find it very difficult to believe the CIA would deliberately destroy evidence material to the 9/11 investigation, evidence that would cover up a core truth, such as who really was behind 9/11. On the other hand I have to wonder what space-time continuum the CIA exists in, if they weren’t able to grasp what a field day the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are going to have with this — especially at a time when trust for the government is plumbing new depths … If this sounds like paranoia, it is. But the CIA certainly is not helping by destroying evidence. And they should know better than to destroy evidence in the biggest criminal case in American history. More than anything what we need right now is complete and total transparency on 9/11.
It is hard to overstate the magnitude of the 9/11 destruction-of-evidence scandal. Essentially what we have is Zelikow’s pre-scripted official 9/11 story getting its after-the-fact “verification” through massive torture of such obviously innocent “masterminds” as the simple-minded Abu Zubaydah, an utterly incompetent individual tortured into what can only have been a series of false confessions during 83 waterboarding sessions in August, 2002. Amidst those false confessions, which must have consisted of Abu Zubaydah blubbering back to his torturers whatever they told him to say, was the claim that KSM was the mastermind of 9/11.
KSM, for his part, was waterboarded 183 times in March, 2003. Under torture, he confessed to more than 30 different crimes and attempted crimes, most of which he could not possibly have committed. Among those crimes were the murder of Daniel Pearl and various attempts to recruit terrorists in Montana and Washington that happened after he was already incarcerated.
The official story of 9/11, as mythologized in the 9/11 Commission Report, relies almost entirely on hearsay reports of what KSM supposedly said under torture, as close attention to its footnotes shows. The torturers lied to the Commission by asserting that no records of the interrogations existed; they later destroyed those very records. And these same torturers refused to allow the Commissioners any access to the alleged 9/11 suspects. Obviously it is not KSM himself, but his captors and torturers, who need to be arrested and interrogated not only for torture and obstruction of justice, but also as 9/11 suspects. For when torture, which is largely useless for any purpose except eliciting false confessions, is used to cover up a crime, the torturers may be assumed to be complicit in the crime they are covering up.
Conclusion: The American People Must Demand the Whole Truth – And Treason Trials
The JFK truth movement succeed in getting a “new investigation” – the 1976-1978 HSCA investigation. It succeeded in establishing that President John F. Kennedy died as the result of a conspiracy – the official conclusion of the HSCA probe. But it did not succeed in bringing anyone to justice, because it shied away from stating the obvious: that the JKF killing was a coup d’état, an act of high treason by elements of America’s deep state. Indeed, it did not even seriously consider that unspeakable possibility. Facing the truth would require subjecting the country to treason trials, a clash between the official and deep states, and potential instability, perhaps even revolution.
Today, the same taboo could hamstring any new 9/11 investigation. In the event of any such investigation, tremendous pressure will be brought to bear to keep the official narrative largely intact, even if a few Saudi government officials have to be thrown under the bus.
Could a new investigation elicited by JASTA and the 28 pages movement, perhaps in conjunction with the Guantanamo destruction-of-evidence scandal, uncover the whole truth, or at least much of it, and achieve a modicum of justice? Some observers such as alternative journalist Brandon Martinez argue that the push to blame the Saudis is a limited hang-out; while others including Les Jamieson of the 28 pages movement argue that once the case is re-opened all hell is likely to break loose … especially if the people rise up and demand the truth.
We do know more about 9/11 today than was known about the JFK assassination in 1978. Reams of evidence, including the more than 40 smoking guns cited by David Ray Griffin in the second edition of The New Pearl Harbor, prove that 9/11 was a coup d’état staged by high-level US government officials with the help of one or more foreign governments. (The case that the main foreign government involved was Israel, and that the prime motive for 9/11 was to launch a permanent war on Israel’s Muslim enemies, is explored in Christopher Bollyn’s Solving 9/11.)
Any HSCA-style “new investigation” of 9/11 would take place under the gaze of hundreds of millions of people worldwide who know that 9/11 was a neoconservative coup d’état, and tens of millions who are familiar with the evidence, including such smoking guns as the obvious controlled demolition of World Trade Center Building 7. For that reason, it would be harder to neuter than the HSCA’s 1978 JFK investigation was. The publicity ensuing from the push for another 9/11 investigation, followed by the investigation itself, would provide the 9/11 truth community with its best-ever chance of cracking the case and bringing at least some of the real perpetrators to justice.
Additionally, any actual investigation with sufficient funding and subpoena power would quickly penetrate the blame-the-Saudis smokescreen. The same alleged hijackers who were funded by the Saudi royals, to take one example, were living with an FBI asset during the run-up to 9/11. And if Bandar Bin Sultan, AKA “Bandar Bush,” gets fingered for 9/11, what will the American people make of Bandar smoking a celebratory cigar with George W. Bush on the White House balcony immediately following the mass murders of September 11th? Finally, one would expect the Saudis to vigorously defend themselves in court, and it seems likely that their best defense would be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (That may be a lot to expect from the polished liars of the House of Saud; but if the truth serves their interests, they might choose to depart from habitual behavior patterns.)
Conclusion: The current “perfect storm” of JASTA, the 28 pages, and the imploding KSM trial offer an unprecedented opportunity to re-open the crime of the century. Everyone who opposes the 9/11 wars, wishes to revive constitutional rule in the so-called Western democracies, and recognizes that the current planetary path of militarization, debt slavery and environmental devastation is unsustainable, should be pushing for a new 9/11 investigation … while recognizing, and screaming from the rooftops, that an HSCA-style limited hangout is unacceptable.