Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Friends of Ours

"[9/11] was too sophisticated and complicated an operation, [Paul Wolfowitz] said, for a terrorist group to have pulled off by itself,"
--Against All Enemies
(Page 30)
In June of 2001, a "high-placed member of a US intelligence agency" told BBC reporter Greg Palast that "after the 2000 elections, the agencies were told to "back off" investigating the Bin Ladens and Saudi royals."1

In May of 2002, former FBI Agent Robert Wright delivered a tearful press conference apologizing to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. He described how his superiors intentionally obstructed his investigation into Al-Qaeda financing.2 3

Agent Wright would later tell ABC's Brian Ross that September 11th was a direct result of the government's hindering of his investigation into Yassin al-Qadi (al Kadi), who Ross described as a powerful Saudi Arabian businessman with extensive financial ties in Chicago.4 One month after 9/11, the US government officially identified Yassin al-Qadi as one of Osama bin Laden's primary financiers and a specially designated global terrorist.5

In an interview with Computerworld Magazine, a former business associate described his relationship with al-Qadi: "I met him a few times and talked to him a few times on the telephone. He never talked to me about violence. Instead, he talked very highly of his relationship with Jimmy Carter and Dick Cheney." 6

The Muwafaq Foundation, which U.S. authorities have confirmed was an arm of bin Laden's terror organization, was headed by Yassin al-Qadi,7 who was also known as the owner of Ptech8 -- a company that has supplied high-tech computer systems to the FBI, the IRS, Congress, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, NATO, the FAA, and the White House. A former FBI Counter Terrorism Agent commented: "For someone like [al-Qadi] to be involved in a capacity, in an organization, a company that has access to classified information, that has access to government open or classified computer systems, would be of grave concern." Also sitting on Ptech's board of directors was Yacub Mirza -- a senior official of major radical Islamic organizations that have been linked by the US government to terrorism. In addition, Hussein Ibrahim, the Vice President and Chief Scientist of Ptech, was vice chairman of a now defunct investment group called BMI, a company the FBI has named as a conduit used by al-Qadi to launder money to Hamas terrorists.9

1. BBC Newsnight - June 11, 2001
2. LA Weekly - August 2002
3. Cooperative Research - Robert Wright
4. ABC News: Primetime Live - December 19, 2002
5. Comprehensive List of Terrorists and Groups Identified Under Executive Order 13224
6. Computer World Magazine - January 17, 2003
7. The Weekly Standard - April 8, 2002
8. CNN - December 6, 2002
9. CBS - December 9, 2002

Originally written by "BuckDevlin" for wikipedia.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Liar Myers, Pants On Fire

On March 10th, during the House hearing on the 2006 Defense budget, an aggressive Rep. Cynthia McKinney pursued Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers on many subjects, one of which was the war game exercises taking place on the morning of September 11th 2001. The hearing was made available yesterday on c-span's website; Mckinney's questions are about 26 minutes into the video.

The story started out on February 16, when during the House hearing on the Defense Appropriations bill, Congresswoman Mckinney was obstructed from asking Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Myers about the multiple war game exercises taking place on the morning of September 11th (Video). About a month later, on March 10th, Rumsfeld and Myers came better prepared for the war game question, while Mckinney did not. Rumsfeld even went out of his way to assure there was enough time (much unlike on Feb. 16) for the question. Mckinney asked if the war game exercises compromised fighter response. Myers, readily referring to the testimony of Gen. Ralph Eberhart (only briefly mentioned in the back of 9/11 Commission's report in note 116 of chapter 1) assured Mckinney that the war games did not interfere, but actually enhanced the military's response to the attacks.

However in the referred to testimony, Eberhart only commented on one war game: Vigilant Guardian, and neglected to report the other war games or the confusion experienced between Vigilant Guardian and the real hijackings. For instance, NEADS Commander Col. Robert K. Marr Jr originally thought the attacks were part of the exercise, as did his deputy Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins, who said "everybody" at NEADS first thought the attacks were part of Vigilant Guardian. Even Gen. Arnold himself told ABC's Brian Ross on Sep. 11 2002, that as the attacks began, the first thing he thought was: "Is this part of the exercise?"

In addition, Gen. Richard Myers is actually on record confirming the existence of another war game entitled Vigilant (aka Amalgam) Warrior, which was a live-fly training exercise involving actual aircraft. As documented on page 5 of Richard Clarke's book, Against All Enemies, when asked about fighter response at approximately 9:38am on 9/11, Gen. Myers replied "Not a pretty picture … We're in the middle of Vigilant Warrior, a NORAD exercise, but … Otis has launched two birds towards New York." This was over an hour after the first plane had been confirmed hijacked and almost an hour after the World Trade Center had been hit. Myers stated on March 10th that it would've usually taken about 30 minutes to an hour to man the necessary battle stations, however the 158th Fighter Wing of the Vermont Air National Guard -- a regular participant in the Vigilant Warrior exercise and the first squadron to arrive over New York on 9/11 -- were, under regular circumstances, kept on 24 hour alert and able to be airborne within five minutes of getting the call to scramble.

When a private or commercial aircraft moves significantly off its flight plan, it is a US legal requirement that fighter planes be sent up to investigate. Between September 2000 and June 2001, the US military affectively launched fighter aircraft on 67 occasions in order to intercept suspicious flights. A well-documented case illustrating the efficiency of these types of intercepts occurred in 1999 when golfer Payne Stewart's plane veered off course. Fighters were scrambled along side the private jet about 20 minutes after contact had been lost. The contrasting lack of US military response on 9/11 was commented on by Commander in Chief of the Russian Air Force, General Anatoly Kornukov, who, on the day after the attacks stated "Generally it is impossible to carry out an act of terror on the scenario which was used in the USA yesterday…As soon as something like that happens here, I am reported about that right away and in a minute we are all up."

Both Vigilant Warrior and Vigilant Guardian were conducted in conjunction with another large scale exercise entitled Global Guardian, which is an annual exercise simulating US response/retaliation procedures to a nuclear strike. When the attacks began on 9/11, planes were gassed up on the ground armed with nuclear weapons as part of the Global Guardian exercise.

Also being conducted on the morning of September 11th was operation Northern Vigilance, which inserted false blips onto FAA and military radar screens and drew fighters away from the North East Air Defense Sector (NEADS).

In addition, John Fulton, who is Chief of the Strategic War Gaming Division at the National Reconnaissance Office, was participating in a NRO/CIA joint exercise that simulated a plane crashing into a building.

Representative Bartlett Confronts and Stumps Rumsfeld on Peak Oil

On March 10th, during the House hearing on the 2006 Defense budget, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett confronted Donald Rumsfeld on the subject of oil depletion. Yesterday, video of the hearing was made available on c-span's website; the specific exchange can be viewed by skipping ahead to 1:31:11.

Rep. Bartlett summarized the likelihood and affects of world oil production -- in the very near future or even right now -- reaching its peak. Bartlett described the research of current and former experts, such as M. King Hubbert, Colin Campbell, and many others who have studied oil discovery, production, and depletion at great lengths and who have been warning about the limits of population growth for a long time. Specifically, Bartlett asked Rumsfeld to put him in contact with whomever in the Administration was in charge of dealing with the problem.

Rumsfeld responded as if he had very little understanding of the subject. He quickly agreed to Mr. Bartlett's request, then, after a moment of odd silence in which he realized his response was too brief, Rumsfeld attempted to deflate the situation be explaining the basic characteristics of the market place. Overlooking every trend of oil discovery, production, and dependency, he attempted to downgrade the problem by assuring increased prices will lead to more discoveries and better conservation methods. Rep. Bartlett responded by explaining how the frequency of oil discoveries has been dramatically decreasing for a long time while oil dependency has been exponentially rising; and, he explained, despite the efforts the most powerful society in history, billions of dollars, and the most advanced technology, the trend has never been slowed.

Ironically, one of the people Rep. Bartlett is seeking contact with: investment banker Matthew Simmons -- a key advisor to the Bush Administration and a member of Vice President Cheney's 2001 Energy Task Force -- would have most likely said the same thing. Simmons believes peak production is currently at hand and that the unforeseen consequences will be devastating. The Energy Task Force of which Simmons was a member, also known as the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG), was not only responsible for addressing energy depletion, it was their primary concern. Unfortunately, NEPDG documentation has been held illegally secret from Congress and the American people.

Furthermore, in 2000, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Armitage, Perle, and many other current Bush Administration officials, policy makers, and associates outlined a comprehensive strategy aimed at preserving America's global primacy -- primarily by sustaining access to resources through the establishment of a substantial overseas presence. The paper, entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses, was structured around an earlier draft written in 1992 by Cheney and Wolfowitz, entitled Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), which states: “In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region’s oil.” The updated 2000 version states: "Although the experience of the past eight years has modified our understanding of particular military requirements for carrying out such a strategy, the basic tenets of the DPG, in our judgment, remain sound." The paper even says that "the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein” but "the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification" for meeting such a requirement.