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Thread: House Hearing On Anniversary Of 9/11 Report

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    Jan 2005

    House Hearing On Anniversary Of 9/11 Report

    House Hearing on anniversary of 9/11 Report

    By Wayne Madsen

    Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) chaired a 9-hour hearing in the Cannon House Office Building on the anniversary of the release of the widely-criticized 911 Commission Report. Witnesses, including 911 family members, former intelligence officers, former diplomats, politicians, academicians, and legal experts were uniform in their contention that the 911 Commission was deeply flawed and its report failed to address why 911 occurred. A number of the Commission members had major conflicts of interest. The Executive Staff Director Phillip Zelikow is a long-time Republican activist with close ties to Condoleezza Rice and the right-wing funded Miller Institute. The Commission was also criticized for focusing more on increased authorities for intelligence and law enforcement and intelligence restructuring than on the events of 911 and past U.S. policy in the Middle East and South Asia that led up to the 911 attacks.

    Former CIA officer Mel Goodman stated that the 911 Commission intelligence reforms proposed and, in part, acted upon by the Bush administration, would do nothing to prevent the politicization of intelligence. He said there's no better way to politicize intelligence than to place the Director of National Intelligence in the executive chain. He added, "considering [John] Negroponte's background in Honduras," the creation of the DNI is "a bad precedent." Goodman pointed to a statement by Negroponte that his goal is to ensure intelligence "meets consumer demands."

    McKinney Hearing witness Lorie Van Auken, whose husband was killed in the WTC, expressed her frustration at both the 911 Commission's failure to address key issues and President Bush, who she watched on TV sitting in a Florida classroom with second graders after the second plane struck the Trade Center. While worried about the fate of her husband, she was bewildered that Bush would remain in the classroom, putting himself and the school children in danger while America was experiencing a major terrorist attack.

    The panel discussed past U.S. support for Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Algeria, the Philippines, and the Balkans. Experts like British Middle East expert Nafeez Ahmed, author of The War on Freedom, pointed to links between Philippine Intelligence and the Abu Sayyaf Group; Algerian Intelligence ties to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), and U.S. intelligence support for Al Qaeda units in Kosovo and Azerbaijan and the Mujaheddin and Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The 1990s exploits of Iran-contra felon, retired General Richard Secord, and two other covert players, retired Air Force Special Forces officer Harry "Heine" Aderholt and Gary Best, in backing Azerbaijan against Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh, was of particular note. The three, using a front company called Mega Oil, brought hundreds of "Arab Afghans," many of whom were members of Al Qaeda and served under then-Bin Laden ally Gulbuddin Hekmatayar, into the region from Afghanistan to fight not only in Nagorno-Karabakh but also Georgia, Chechnya, and Dagestan. The goal was to eliminate pro-Russian governments to make way for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Hundreds of Al Qaeda terrorists were trained in terror tactics. At the time of the operations, Richard Armitage was the head of the US-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce, an entity supported by companies like Chevron (on whose board Condoleezza Rice served), Halliburton (where Dick Cheney was CEO), and Enron (which was a cash cow and network of off-shore shells for the Bush family).

    A number of experts, including Dr. Peter Dale Scott of the University of California at Berkeley, a former Canadian diplomat and author of Drugs, Oil & War, referred to the U.S.-sanctioned heroin trade from Afghanistan as the primary method Al Qaeda uses to finance its operations. That contention was supported by Lauretta Napolione, author of Modern Jihad, Terror Incorporated.

    Veteran ABC News Middle East correspondent John Cooley, author of Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America, and International Terrorism, provided a statement for the hearing. Cooley shoots down the neo-con line about links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.

    "In the area of ignorant or mislaid intelligence warnings about 911, as well as the false (and probably in some cases, falsified) intelligence about Saddam Hussein's supposed WMDs and terrorist links, I can attest to personal experience: Myself and other working reporters often described Saddam Hussein's early support of notorious Palestinian guerilla groups, such as Abu Nidal, but also his quarrels with them, often resulting in their expulsion and/or assassination of their leaders."

    "We reported how bin Laden, during his 1990s operations in the Sudan and later, denounced Saddam and offered to turn his volunteer Islamist legions against him in the Kuwait war of 1991. This was rejected by the Saudi royals. They preferred to accept then US Defense Secretary Dick Cheney's offer of a 400,000-plus, US-led expeditionary force, an idea excoriated by bin Laden as "an infidel presence" at sacred Muslim holy places, a main cause of bin Laden's break with the Saudi regime."

    "During the summer of 2001, this reporter received directly from Jordanian intelligence in Amman information already passed to the United States, both in Jordan and Germany: communications intercepts of messages between terrorist operatives referring to imminent operation, code-named in Arabic "THE BIG WEDDING," in the continental US, using aircraft. Similar warnings were passed to Rabat and doubtless onward to Washington, by a Moroccan intelligence operative who infiltrated bin Laden's immediate circle. Suspected by bin Laden and frozen out, he escaped. He was eventually given a new identity and existence in the United States."

    John Cooley has covered the Mideast and South Asia as a correspondent and author since the late 1950s.

    McKinney was thanked repeatedly for the courage to hold the unofficial hearings and she received several standing ovations from the assembled witnesses, families, experts, and audience members. McKinney said that the "truth has finally arrived in the Congress."

    Keeping up its role as a mouthpiece for Corporate America and a longtime enemy of Rep. McKinney, The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a report in today's issue about the hearing. The paper insinuates the hearing was dominated by "conspiracy theorists." A posting on Democratic Underground today is quite correct when it states the topics brought up in the heaing were not "conspiracies" but "discoveries." On the other hand, Daily Kos, the faux "liberal" Blog, keeping to form as a fount of group think and mainstream media pabulum, had little or nothing on the McKinney hearings. It has repeatedly censored postings that its operators and moderators claim are unfounded "conspiracy theories." The McKinney hearings were due to be broadcast by C-SPAN on the evening of July 23. The hearings were also streamed by Indymedia and Pacifica Radio.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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