September 11th Advocates: Statement Regarding 9/11 Commission Hearings

Friday, June 24, 2005 - 03:35 PM

For Immediate Release -- June 6, 2005

The 9/11 Commission summer hearing schedule begins today, Monday, June 6, 2005 with "Assessing Progress of CIA and FBI Reform."

In July 2004, when the 9/11 Commission released its Final Report, we read with enormous interest, Chapter 6 - "From Threat to Threat", including footnote #44. Footnote #44 details an instance where a CIA desk officer intentionally withheld vital information from the FBI about two of the 9/11 hijackers who were inside the United States. This footnote further states that the CIA desk officer covered-up the decision to withhold said vital information from the FBI. Finally, footnote #44 states that the CIA desk officer could not recall who told her to carry out such acts. While several notable instances of this sort of intentional withholding of vital information from and among intelligence agencies are found throughout the 9/11 Commission's Final Report, we call special attention to four additional examples in this press release. We do so with the hope that the 9/11 Commissioners will now explain why the truth has not been revealed to the American public about one of our intelligence agency's ongoing surveillance of the 9/11 hijackers while they were living inside the United States in the 18 months leading up to the 9/11 attacks.

1. The 9/11 Commission Final Report, Chapter 8, "The System Was Blinking Red," January 2001: Identification of Khallad, p. 266, footnotes 55-62.
2. The 9/11 Commission Final Report, Chapter 8, "The System Was Blinking Red," Spring 2001: Looking Again at Kuala Lumpur, p. 267, footnotes 63-66.
3. The 9/11 Commission Final Report, Chapter 8, "The System Was Blinking Red," June 2001: The Meeting in New York, p. 268, footnotes 67-72.
4. The 9/11 Commission Final Report, Chapter 8, "The System Was Blinking Red," August 2001: The Search for Mihdhar and Hazmi Begins and Fails, p. 269, footnotes 73-85.

The "watchlisting issue" has been reported by the media and the 9/11 Commission as a series of benign oversights, a sort of institutional competitiveness gone awry, and/or a gross misunderstanding of evidentiary standards in criminal/intelligence investigations. We disagree. A careful review of the aforementioned footnotes reveals a pattern of behavior during the 18 months immediately preceding the 9/11 attacks that was arguably criminal-in-nature and contributory-in-part to the "catastrophic success" of the 9/11 plot.

The ongoing myth that the CIA's failure to communicate with the FBI was some sort of institutional failure that is readily fixable by intelligence community reforms is a notion that is whimsical at best and extremely harmful to our nation at worst. When individuals who run our intelligence agencies make repeated, intentional decisions that eventually lead to the deaths of almost 3,000 innocent people, those individuals should be held accountable not given Medals of Freedom.

Ultimately, unless today's hearing finally addresses the intentional lack of communication between the CIA and FBI rather than continuing to label these actions as "oversights" and/or "misunderstandings", these hearings will fail to serve their purpose.

September 11th Advocates

Kristen Breitweiser
Patty Casazza
Monica Gabrielle
Mindy Kleinberg
Lorie Van Auken See also:

9/11 Widow Comments on Delayed CIA Report on 9/11