Intelligence Director: "9/11 should have and could have been prevented"

Raw Story's got the goods..

Keep in mind that, in reality, the government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers' own mouths and that 9/11 was very foreseeable

Director of National Intelligence acknowledged that the terror attacks of Sept. 11, which he invoked to justify expanding US spy powers, "could have been prevented" under existing laws if intelligence agencies had "connected the dots" in analyzing intelligence.

A 9/11 plotter in the United States was speaking to a known al Qaeda operative abroad, and the US failed to intercept the conversations, McConnell said, although Democrats reminded him of other indications of a pending attack that were missed.

"9/11 should have and could have been prevented," the intelligence director said.

He then posed the question, "What about when you have a foreign terrorist - a known terrorist - calls into the United States?" McConnell continued, answering himself, "We have a procedure to deal with that. We would minimize it if a foreign terrorist calls in and there's no intelligence value but, what I would highlight is that it might be - as it was in 9/11 - that might be the single most important call we get. It might be to a sleeper cell. It might be activating something."
McConnell says number of Americans overheard small in comparison

The United States' top spy said American intelligence agencies are intercepting "billions" of conversations and e-mails abroad, but he would not say how many Americans have been inadvertently snared in this international warrantless wiretapping dragnet.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell would say only that the number of Americans overheard by National Intelligence Agency eavesdroppers was "small" in relation to the massive number of "transactions" intercepted from overseas targets.

"It's a very small number considering that there are billions of transactions every day," McConnell told the House Judiciary Committee Monday.

The US is spying on "thousands, potentially millions (of) potential targets of interest," McConnell said later in the hearing. Congress is beginning to consider another update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires intelligence agencies get a warrant before spying on Americans.

McConnell insisted that Americans were the "targets" of "wiretaps" without a court order, but he acknowledged that Americans phone calls inevitably were overheard when foreign intelligence targets were wiretapped. In cases where spies picked up US-based conversations, "minimization" techniques were employed, and a warrant would be required to target the person in the United States -- whether or not he or she is an American citizen.

"Sir, I need to answer your question one more time, 'How many Americans' phones have been tapped without a court order?', and it's none,'" McConnell said.

Rep. John Conyers, the Judiciary Committee's chairman, tried to nail down specifics from McConnell, but the intelligence chief tried to maintain focus on the need to update the law to ease interception of foreign-to-foreign conversations, which Democrats and Republicans agree should not be subject to warrant requirements. But in his closely parsed answers, McConnell seemed to say that in spying on foreign targets, US wiretaps pick up every conversation they make, including those that come into the US.

Later in the hearing, Rep. Dan Lungren, the committee's top Republican, compared the minimization techniques to protocols used by the FBI in surveillance of organized crime suspects. When the G-Men wiretap a suspected mobster's phone they pick up every conversation, including to the local pizza place or dry cleaners, and they have to make sure not to listen too long to calls unrelated to criminal investigations.

McConnell did not dispute Lungren's comparison.
Familiar faces disrupt hearing

At several points in Tuesday's hearing -- McConnell's first appearance before the Judiciary Committee -- protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink interrupted the proceedings with boisterous signs, chants and marches.

Conyers called the demonstrations "counterproductive," but he did not move as quickly to have them removed as did Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) during last week's testimony from Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

"This is unfair and is not the kind of hearing I know you wish to conduct," Lungren chastized Conyers in requesting the protesters be kicked out immediately.

At one point after Capitol Police removed several protesters, and Conyers warned others not to hold up signs, a dozen or so members of the group returned to the Capitol Hill hearing room and marched up and down the aisle shouting "save the constitution."

"We implore you Mr. Conyers, open up impeachment," said one of the demonstrators.

When they left Lungren joked, "I guess I don't have to go to Disneyland this year."


This video is from C-SPAN 3, broadcast September 18.

[Videos in original Raw Story article].

Yeah, it could have been

Yeah, it could have been prevented...

If one had removed all the one-worlders in the gov't.


If you're talking Bush and Cheney, you're talking Israel.

BBC's "War Party": a 49 Minute Documentary about the Neocons

He isn't the first...

To say 9/11 could have been prevented with the wiretaps.

A "Full And Complete Accounting" Of The 9/11 Attacks

A pack of lies

Quote: "A 9/11 plotter in the United States was speaking to a known al Qaeda operative abroad, and the US failed to intercept the conversations, McConnell said."

That is crap, the NSA did intercept the calls. The Joint Inquiry says:
"In early 2000, NSA analyzed communications involving Khaled and a suspected terrorist facility in the Middle East linked to al-Qaeda activities directed to US interests. The FBI determined, based on toll records it obtained after September 11, that Khaled had been in the United States at the time." (p. 156).

In The One Percent Doctrine (p. 93-4) Ron Suskind describes how, after 9/11, FBI agent Dan Coleman read the cables drafted about the 8 calls Almihdhar made from San Diego in spring/summer 2000.

The calls were made by Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, both of whom the NSA knew were terrorists at this point. Almihdhar appears to have been on the NSA watchlist at this point (the CIA requested this in January 2000) and at least some of the calls were made from phones registered to Alhazmi. The number they called, Yemen 1 200 578, was al-Qaeda's main communications hub and had been monitored by the NSA since August 1998, at least. The NSA associated both Alhazmi and Almihdhar with the Yemen hub, as it had previously intercepted calls they made to/from it around the Middle East, and Almihdhar actually lived at the hub with his wife, two daughters and father-in-law. According to former British intelligence officer, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, based on transcripts he says he has obtained of the secret Congressional Inquiry hearings, the NSA even overheard the two of them discussing hijacking an airliner in early 1999. However, for some unexplained reason, it appears the NSA failed to disseminate this information until early 2002.

What more did the NSA need to roll up the plot? They knew that Alhazmi and Almihdhar were al-Qaeda operatives, they knew where they were (unless you want to argue the NSA, which had a budget of 3.6 billion in 2000, could not trace a call from al-Qaeda's main communications hub) and they knew they planned to hijack an airliner.

If the NSA had failed to disseminate information about one or two of the calls, but had disseminated the rest, then that could well be incompetence. However, they failed to tell the FBI about the report they intended to hijack airliners, about the 8 intercepts in early 2000 and about some intercepts after that. That's not incompetence, that's protection of the hijackers. The only thing that is incompetent here is the cover-up. "Failed to intercept" is prime BS.

More about the Yemen Hub

Ha! Another lie!

I watched the last video at the end of the Raw Story link.

McConnell says: "What the 9/11 Commission and the Joint Inquiry found is that person (Almihdhar) communicated back to al-Qaeda overseas and we failed to detect it."

The Joint Inquiry certainly found that Almihdhar communicated with the Yemen hub, but pointed out that it WAS detected by the NSA, and promptly had great chunks of the relevant section redacted, leaving us not much wiser. The 9/11 Commission found no such thing - at least I've never found that bit in its report. This is one of the 9/11 Commission's most serious failings - and that's saying something.

The only passage of the 9/11 CR that touches on the intercepts of the US calls is on page 222:
"Mihdhar's mind seems to have been with his family back in Yemen, as evidenced by calls he made from the apartment telephone. When news of the birth of his first child arrived, he could stand life in California no longer."

So it mentions the calls, but fails to mention:
(a) The calls were to al-Qaeda's main communications hub;
(b) The NSA intercepted these calls;
(c) The NSA drafted dispatches on these calls;
(d) At least some of the calls were made from phones registered to Nawaf Alhazmi, who the NSA knew was an al-Qaeda operative;
(e) For some unexplained reason, the NSA repeatedly failed to inform the FBI of the calls, even though the FBI had a standing order for calls between the Yemen Hub and the US, and the NSA provides the FBI with information about calls from known terrorists abroad.

Author Lawrence Wright told the Council for Foreign Relations on October 5, 2006:
"Now remember, you know, this is the al Qaeda map. You know, this is the key. The NSA is all over this phone. And everybody, you know, that has any connection with it is drawing links from that phone. Now imagine eight lines from Yemen to San Diego. How obvious would it be that al Qaeda is in America; and NSA doesn't share that information with anybody."

More of the same

There is just one problem with this story:

9/11 wasn't an Al Qaeda plot.

Al Qaeda didn't wire the 3 towers for controlled demolition

Al Qaeda didn't fire a missile (or whatever it was) on the Pentagon

Al Qaeda didn't neutralize the air defense system.

The perps certainly didn't rely on clueless amateur pilots to bring the planes into their targets. Especially when they had fail-safe remote controlled technology at their disposal.

The so-called hijackers only provided the cover-story.

It is really time to drop this whole crap.