Cynthia McKinney Brings 9/11 Back to Congress
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July, 2005 1300 PST (FTW): July 22, 2005 marked one year since the Kean Commission published its final report. On this day in the Cannon House Congressional Office Building - where the Kean Commission first gathered - Representative Cynthia McKinney convened an all-day briefing focusing on the truth and lies of 9/11, and how that event has impacted the world we find ourselves in today.
Front row l to r: Peter Dale Scott, Loretta Napolione, Nafeez Ahmed. Back row, Cynthia McKinney and 9/11 victim Bob McIlvaine who lost a son. Where are the other members of congress? (photo: Michael Kane)
The very same day, Congress renewed the USA Patriot Act.
The event was originally co-sponsored by Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), but according to Jenna Orkin who lobbied Grijalva's office three days later to thank him for his support, the co-sponsorship has been withdrawn for "many reasons" without specifying any details. The only sitting Congressperson to attend besides McKinney was Representative Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (D-MI), who stayed for half an hour. Also in attendance were staff members from the offices of Rick Larsen (D-WA), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Michael Honda (D-CA), and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).1
FTW's Michael Ruppert, Wayne Madsen, and Ray McGovern made up the panel of experts assembled by Cynthia McKinney's staff to ask questions of the panelists giving testimony. The entire briefing has been placed in the Congressional Record.
The three questioners: l to r, Michael Ruppert, Wayne Madsen and Ray McGovern. (photo: Michael Kane)
Being the anniversary of the commission report, it was fitting for the event to open with a report card issued by those responsible for the creation of the commission in the first place - the "Jersey Girls." These women all lost their husbands in the attacks of 9/11.
But only two of the Jersey Girls were present, Lorie Van Auken and Mindy Kleinberg, together with Monica Gabrielle, who co-founded the Skyscraper Safety Campaign. Van Auken stated she was speaking for the women seated beside her as she proceeded to tear the report's findings to shreds. Her extremely well researched and accurate account hit many facts that FTW's readers are very familiar with, but Van Auken referenced two issues in a way the Jersey Girls had never done before.
"Intentional" FBI Failure and 9/11 War Games
First on Van Auken's list of complaints was the history of FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Frasca - the man promoted after having blocked and thwarted Cowleen Rowley's investigation into Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "20th hijacker." When Van Auken spoke to this she detailed the intentional falsification of a FISA warrant request by the FBI. The warrant was subsequently denied. Had it been granted, it would have allowed the FBI to search Moussaoui's laptop, which would have revealed information whose proper use may have prevented 9/11 from happening.
It almost sounded as if she was reading from chapter 12 of Crossing the Rubicon. From her testimony and the responses to it, it was apparent that all the panel members had read the book. Van Auken then went on to list the other 9/11-related investigations where Frasca acted as a deliberate and monumental roadblock. "FBI Headquarters thwarted their own agents instead of thwarting the terrorists."
The second issue raised by Van Auken and others was the multiple war game exercises being conducted on 9/11.
The Jersey Girls had never publicly commented on this issue before this briefing. Last year, this reporter communicated with Van Auken regarding the 9/11 war games. She had read The Final Fraud when it was published by FTW2 and she stated in a private communication at the time that it was "important work." This is where it was first reported that General Eberhart, who headed NORAD on 9/11, refused to comment as to who was coordinating the multiple (now six confirmed)3 war game exercises occurring on the morning of September 11, 2001.
One year after the Kean Commission report was published, the Jersey Girls did have something to say.
Van Auken opened by referring to the report's one and only mention of any 9/11 war game exercise, which occurs in a footnote referring to "Vigilant Guardian." She then read an exchange between the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and FAA published in the report regarding the hijacking of Flight 11:
NEADS: Is this real-world or exercise?
FAA: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.
She again quoted the commission's report showing NEADS did not know the correct locations to which fighter aircraft should be scrambled. There was discussion of "Phantom Flight 11," the off-course flight headed to the Pentagon which the FAA repeatedly referred to as Flight 11 in their communications with NORAD. But Flight 11 had already crashed into the first Tower much earlier.
Van Auken noted General Eberhart's statements to the commission in which he claimed that it took only 30 seconds for NORAD to realize the events unfolding on 9/11 were not a test, and that the exercises helped NORAD respond quicker that day. The Jersey Girls rightly dismissed Eberhart's statement as entirely unsupported. Van Auken stated:
"General Eberhart's claim that the military exercises somehow made the military better prepared on 9/11 does not ring true. Instead, it appears that the concurrent military exercises completely confused everyone."
This is precisely FTW's position.
Ruppert asked the first question of the day to the Jersey Girls. He made note of the fact that the commission report refers only to one exercise, Vigilant Guardian, leaving out (at least) four other confirmed, named, and concurrent Air Force exercises running that day. He also pointed out that Vigilant Guardian was not a Cold War exercise as the report states, but rather a hijack drill and reminded everyone that the official NOARD web site posting for an exercise named Northern Vigilance flatly contradicted the Commission's findings. Then he mentioned Vigilant Warrior, which was named in Richard Clarke's book Against All Enemies and pointed out that it had been confirmed as a live-fly hijack drill4 which, again, was not mentioned in the commission's final report.
Ruppert commented on the Jersey Girls' choice of words, which has changed considerably since last year. They have gone just a little bit further. Where they used to leave the question as to the intent of government officials who they said "failed us" on 9/11, they now used the words "intentional" and "deliberate" in describing actions of the FBI and CIA, and in describing the misleading public statements of Condoleezza Rice.
Ruppert asked what brought about these changes.
There was a long pause as Van Auken cleared her throat, then said, "We didn't want to jump to any conclusions. It took a long time to read the report."
She was aware that Clarke's book mentioned the Vigilant Warrior exercise and that the Kean report did not, which she said was "upsetting." If the Kean Commission couldn't get such a basic point of fact correct, what did that suggest about the entirety of their findings?
This was a huge difference from what the American people heard almost a year ago, when the Jersey Girls endorsed the 9/11 commission's recommendations including the creation of a National Director of Intelligence position now held by John Negroponte.
Mindy Kleinberg gave us all a glimpse into the turmoil the Jersey Girls (and likely most 9/11 survivors and family members) are now grappling with when she described their passage through each successive round in their search for truth through official channels by stating, "We've learned to lower our expectations."
Monica Gabrielle later left the conference room with a copy of Crossing the Rubicon under her arm. This reporter has since learned the Jersey Girls are currently very interested in renewable energy. When asked what she thought of Peak Oil, Lorie Van Auken responded by email saying:
"I think that peak oil is probably a dangerous reality."
Thompson, Ahmed, Newman
Critical presentations were given by Paul Thompson, author of The Terror Timeline, Nafeez Ahmed, author of The War on Freedom and The War on Truth, and John Newman, professor at the University of West Virginia and former NSA analyst.
Paul Thompson provided a detailed account of Air Force response to the hijacking of Flight 77. When questioned by Ruppert about the war games happening simultaneously with the real hijackings, Thompson revealed new research confirming that there was yet another war game occurring called "Global Guardian."
This was a scenario imagining "world-wide Armageddon." According to Paul Thompson, this exercise was normally scheduled for October or November, but for some unknown reason it was moved up to September.
Ruppert asked Thompson if it made any sense to reschedule war games to a time that ended up diverting air assets across the continent and the globe when the Summer of 2001 has come to be known as "the Summer of threat." This is when DCI George Tenet was running around "with his hair on fire" due to incoming threats of terrorists hijacking aircraft to use as weapons against American targets. Thompson said that this was a good question that needed to be further examined.
Nafeez Ahmed gave an excellent presentation on the fact that Mohammad Atta and the Hamburg cell of terrorists did not exhibit the behavior of radical Islamic fundamentalists. Rather there were multiple reports of them drinking heavily, using cocaine, gambling in Las Vegas, and frequenting strip clubs. None of this accords with the behavior of genuine Islamists, allied with Al Qaeda, who believe in the strictest interpretation of the Koran as to how a Muslim should live his life.
Further, Ahmed referenced multiple published reports indicating that the alleged hijackers had trained in secure military installations in the United States. While Ahmed remained reserved about the implications of the documentation he was referencing, the truth of the matter is that this information shakes the very foundation of everything we've been told about what happened on 9/11 and why.
John Newman's testimony was a detailed account of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who is reported to be a trusted paymaster of the Al Qaeda network as well as an agent of Pakistan's ISI. Newman said Saeed Sheikh made the now infamous $100,000 wire transfer to Mohammad Atta just before the 9/11 attacks at the order of General Mahmoud Ahmad - then head of Pakistan's ISI. Newman raised the question as to whether Saeed Sheikh was a British informant since he was inexplicably allowed to roam free in Britain even as a wanted man. He stated that Saeed was likely a triple agent.
After complimenting Newman's past research into the assassination of President Kennedy, Mike Ruppert credited Ottawa University's Michel Chossudovsky with the discovery that the Director of Central Intelligence personally approves the head of Pakistan's ISI. This has led both Chossudovsky and Ruppert to conclude that the $100,000 wire transfer could only have occurred with the approval of DCI Tenent. Ruppert asked what Newman's "feel" of that was.
"I don't know," responded Newman.
Since questions were limited to one per questioner, Ruppert didn't get to point out that General Ahmad was having breakfast with congressional leaders in Washington on the morning of September 11th.
Mel Goodman and Mike Ruppert - Showdown!
Mel Goodman, a professor of International Studies at the National War College and former CIA and State Department analyst, opened his testimony on a high note, and closed on a low note. In his opening remarks he stated, "Congresswoman McKinney is viewed as contrarian, but I hope that someday her views will be considered conventional wisdom."
It went downhill from there.
Goodman noted that the 9/11 Commission did not have a single person familiar with the intelligence community. When mentioning people he felt should have been appointed to the commission, Goodman asked, "Where was Brent Scowcroft, or Gary Hart?"
Ruppert could be seen trying to conceal his laughter.
Goodman went on to claim that the one exception was the commission's co-chair, Lee Hamilton. He praised Hamilton's past work, including his membership on the infamous Iran Contra Commission that investigated the illegal exchanges of arms, drugs, and hostages during the 1980's. Goodman stated that Hamilton "didn't show up" to make the 9/11 Commission what it should've been, though he had done "great work" investigating the Iran Contra affair. Goodman spoke to the fact that there was no accountability, and that the failures of 9/11 were the personal failures - the incompetence - of those in power whom the commission never sought to expose.
Wayne Madsen asked Goodman why the commission didn't "follow the money." Why did they first put up Henry Kissinger to chair the commission, then Hamilton (picked as co-chair), choices which led to a conscious decision to avoid investigating the origins of the Mujahideen, the milieu of BCCI, or any of several highly relevant areas whose proper examination might have uncovered the truth. Such an approach would constitute "following the money."
Madsen recounted his public confrontation of Lee Hamilton about the mysterious put options purchased on United and American Airlines just prior to 9/11. He had asked Hamilton about the possibility that those puts were purchased by individuals - outside the Al Qaida network - who had foreknowledge of the attacks. Hamilton objected to the premise of this question, even though Chairman Kean had said the put options were still "on the table." In Madsen's view, the commission was intentionally set up to fail from the beginning.
Goodman largely agreed, but he completely avoided Madsen's portrayal of Hamilton, which starkly contrasted with Goodman's earlier praise for this man. He also avoided Madsen's direct reference to the incriminating put options that were never thoroughly addressed in the commission's report.
The Intelligence Panel: l to r, Mel Goodman, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern and author John Nutter. (photo: Michael Kane)
Goodman shocked many in the room (including this reporter) when he said he had "great respect" for Henry Kissinger "in some ways." He quickly qualified that by saying anyone familiar with Kissinger knows he uses information to his strategic advantage as opposed to uncovering the truth. Goodman agreed that this initial appointment was a clear sign that Bush - who never wanted a commission in the first place - was planning on "stacking the deck" from the get-go.
At this, former FBI translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, seated in the section reserved for family members and VIPS, began to applaud thunderously, which spread throughout the audience. Mike Ruppert was up next to question Goodman.
He laid all his cards on the table saying he had authored a book showing the Bush Administration was fully complicit in the events of 9/11, and that he knows he and Goodman will never in a million years agree on that. He referenced the book Day of Deceit, by Robert Stinnett, which documented that the Americans had broken the code to Admiral Yamamoto's communiqués of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor.
"They knew it was coming and allowed it to happen." Whereas the U.S. government's involvement in the Pearl Harbor attack amounted to little more than foreknowledge, Ruppert explained, his own analysis of 9/11, convinced him that in this case the government was an active participant, planner and facilitator of the most destructive attack on U.S. soil since the Civil War. Ruppert's book Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil has become the largest selling critical book on 9/11, second only to the Commission's report.
Goodman replied by agreeing with Ruppert that the two of them would never see eye-to-eye on this point.
But where Goodman claimed the problems within the intelligence community were lack of personal accountability for incompetence, Ruppert said the problems were deliberate, both personal and institutional.
Before Ruppert could finish setting up his question, Sibel Edmonds had walked out of the conference room for unknown reasons. Goodman repeated that he did not believe there was a conspiracy behind Pearl Harbor or 9/11.
"Most charges of conspiracy are really dealing with what the British call cock-ups," said Goodman, espousing the all-too-familiar "incompetence theory." Mel Goodman would be on one last panel before the day was through, but the second time around, he stepped down right before he would have had to face Mike Ruppert again.
This was a smart move, because former CIA employee and whistleblower David MacMichael was on the very panel from which Goodman had stepped down. MacMichael asked why, having cracked the Japanese codes revealing an attack on Pearl Harbor was imminent, American officials failed to bring that information to the attention of the Pacific fleet in time for it to defend itself.
Loretta Napoleoni, author of Modern Jihad shared a panel with Dr. Peter Dale Scott, author of Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina. Its focus was the funding of terrorism. The speakers presented evidence from opposite sides of the terror financing phenomenon.
In the audience, Nafeez Ahmed and Barrie Zwicker taking careful notes as always. (photo: Michael Kane)
Scott spoke of the sponsorship of terrorism by the Western Intelligence agencies and their proxies: "America's sponsorship of drug-trafficking Muslim warriors, including those now in Al Qaeda, dates back to the Afghan War of 1979-89, sponsored in part by the CIA's links to the drug-laundering Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)… It was part of CIA Director Casey's strategy for launching covert operations over and above those approved and financed by a Democratic-controlled Congress."
Scott's entire statement can be read online at the following link:
Napoleoni offered a detailed look into legitimate and illegitimate sources of funding for terrorism. She estimates the worldwide total of terror funding at $1.5 trillion dollars. $500 billion is criminal (largely drug money), $500 billion is capital flight, and $500 billion is "the new economy of terror" which comes from legitimate businesses.
Most of the illegal money was laundered through U.S. banks prior to 9/11, but that is no longer the case according to Napoleoni, largely because of the Patriot Act. She also claims that international bankers hate the Patriot Act since it has greatly restricted the movement of capital.
Interestingly, Napoleoni claimed that Osama bin Laden has suggested the use of gold instead of currencies for funding terror activities. Gold can be used in hawala transactions just as currencies can. Hawalas are banks that leave no paper trail. Because of this, Napoleoni suggests that an international system should be in place to document the country of origin of gold to prevent it from being smuggled out of certain key countries (like the Congo) to fund terrorist acts.
The use of hawalas was briefly discussed in FTW's two-part series on Ptech. Note that no one at the briefing ever mentioned Ptech.
Challenging Congress and the Panelists
One of the last panels focused on the loss of civil liberties since 9/11. Two of the featured panelists included C. William Michaels, author of No Greater Threat, and Jumana Musa of Amnesty International.
Musa spoke to the lawlessness perpetrated by the U.S. government in its so-called "war on terror." She spoke of kangaroo courts that try so-called "enemy combatants," where hearsay evidence from an anonymous witness is brought in a secret session that is closed to the accused and his civilian attorney, and the military attorney for the accused is forbidden from discussing this "evidence" with the accused.
Such "evidence" could be enough to sentence one to death.
C. William Michaels spoke about the Patriot Act, and how the provisions that were poised to sunset at the end of 2005 were likely to be reauthorized by Congress. Even as Michaels spoke, Congress was doing just that. Mr. Michaels' most frightening revelation was that there is currently a lawyer for the Justice Department arguing in federal court that since all of America is now a battlefield, an individual can be picked up anywhere in America, at any time, and charged as an "enemy combatant" in the "war on terror" if the government has "evidence" that the accused is a terrorist.
But remember what Jumana Musa said now constitutes "evidence."
When it came time to question these panelists, FTW Publisher Michael Ruppert could no longer conceal his frustration. He asked, historically, when have we ever seen an empire stop dead in its tracks when it had reached the point where we now find ourselves here in America, and simply turned back and restored the rule of law to its citizenry?
Ruppert noted that the powers the executive branch is seizing now are only granted when a "state of emergency" is declared, and as former Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff has written in the pages of FTW, once a state of emergency is declared (by the legal method), it must by law undergo a Congressional review and approval for any extension every six months at minimum.
"Why has Congress not once lived up to its statutory obligation to review the emergency status? It's been almost four years." Ruppert demanded. "And why is Cynthia McKinney the only member of congress in this room?"
"Since September 11th we have seen the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments to the Constitution abrogated either in whole or in part. What has been done about it?"
"And what about the right to declare war? The executive branch does not have that right; only Congress is given that power by our Constitution." As Ruppert said this, Cynthia McKinney nodded her head side to side and rolled her eyes."
At the end of his question the approximately 200 spectators in the room burst into a long standing ovation for the six-term Georgia Congresswoman who even now suffers because she was illegally denied her seniority after winning her seat back in 2004.
Ruppert saw no sign of hope that any of the efforts, of any of the panelists, were going to pay off in any significant way, especially if all they could get into the room was one member of the House. But he was giving a large panel of experts in civil liberties and human rights a chance to prove him wrong. What could the American people really do to stop our descent into totalitarianism?
C. William Michaels responded to the question first by saying that there is "not much" we can do, and that he is rather pessimistic. However he continued past his pessimism to give a rather inspiring speech on how the founding fathers argued our rights are inalienable. He quoted the Declaration of Independence when he said it is the people who have the right to abolish the government when it reverts to tyranny. Therefore it is the government that should be on the run, not the people.
Unfortunately that is not what we are seeing.
Jumana Musa followed this up by effectively saying we still have freedom of information. When Amnesty International called Guantanamo Bay the "gulag of our time," their website's hits went through the roof. Musa believes that there is much power in the freedom of information we have through the Internet.
But freedom of information isn't as cut-and-dry as drag-and-click. Nor does it translate into congressional action.
In 2002 at the National Press Club, Unansweredquestions.org held a press conference that C-Span taped but refused to air. Why did they refuse? Because at that time if the truth about 9/11 had gotten out, it may have actually made a real difference. That was well before the invasion of Iraq.
But now in 2005, almost four years later, C-Span not only showed up to record this congressional briefing for broadcast at a later date, they have also previously recorded, and aired, David Ray Griffin's lecture on 9/11.
Why? Because it can't make a difference now, that's why.
As of publication of this article, although C-SPAN had two cameras in the room it has not aired a minute of Representative McKinney's 9/11 congressional briefing. In all, FTW counted approximately 15 cameras in the room, some appearing to be from networks or local TV stations. To our knowledge, all of this footage has been suppressed.
Many 9/11 truth seekers have failed to see the forest for the trees. 9/11 is no longer a current event. It is no longer an issue that can galvanize everyone to see that the emperor has no clothes. It is now history; another entry into the Congressional Record that may (someday) get some airtime on C-Span, likely after Mike Ruppert's and Wayne Madsen's hardest hitting questions have been edited out. As per Crossing the Rubicon, there is no turning back now. This is why FTW is honing our focus on surviving what is to come, as opposed to looking back at what already has come to pass.
America owes Cynthia McKinney an enormous debt for her fearlessness and all her unflagging effort, despite all that has been thrown at her. She redeems America with her courage and FTW hopes that she will be available for a time when it may need her courage and leadership even more.
But it is too late to expect justice for the crimes of 9/11. America is not going to voluntarily turn around now any more than Peak Oil is going to go away because we want it to. After the nine-hour event was over, Mike Ruppert observed, "I didn't come here expecting justice. 9/11 isn't re-opened by this briefing. Officially, it's just as dead as it ever was. I came here because I was asked to by my friend Cynthia McKinney. She was concerned about what would be presented and I know how important it is to preserve and defend the real record of 9/11. I know how important that is, even if it's just symbolic, to show that there are still leaders and citizens willing to speak truth to power without fear.
"Washington is a dark place now. The only real light on here is Cynthia McKinney and I pray to God that she is not a candle in the wind."
IN YOUR FACE
Choose Your Side and Choose it Now!
1 This was according to a sign in sheet specifically for Congressional Staffers provided by Cynthia McKinney's staff to this reporter.
2 FTW Vol. VII, No.4, August, 2004: republished in Crossing the Rubicon.
3 See Crossing the Rubicon, chapters 19, 20, 21 and CooperativeResearch.org at http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&before_
9/11=militaryExercises which documents the 6th exercise occurring on 9/11, "Global Guardian."
4 Crossing the Rubicon, chapter 20.