The C.I.A. Tapes: Our Need to Know

Two days ago, I wrote the following on my site:

"I don't know if anyone's read it, but here's Zelkow's memo.

He references "Document Request No. 4", and "Document Request No. 37".

As we've heard several times from the 9/11 Families, the "document requests" meant absolutely nothing to the agencies that received them, and more often than not, were ignored (as was the case with the two Zelikow mentioned).

What they should have done was use their power of subpoena that the families fought hard for them to get.

For a Commission that was mandated to give a "full and complete accounting" to make something like document requests "general policy" (according to Kean) when they had the ability to subpoena is absurd, and shows how "thorough" the investigation really was."

I sent that little tidbit to Lorie Van Auken, and she told me she wrote something similar to the NYTimes. The only reason I even knew of the "document requests" was because of the families. They are an invaluable asset. - Jon


Published: December 26, 2007

Re “9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes” (front page, Dec. 22):

Our government’s official story regarding the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, tells us that 19 Arab hijackers successfully defeated the United States military by hijacking four commercial airliners within two hours on a budget of approximately $400,000. These men, armed only with small knives, box cutters and Mace, were able to knock down the World Trade Center towers in New York City and strike the Pentagon.

Because our loved ones were murdered on 9/11, we felt that the details of how the hijackers succeeded should be thoroughly investigated, so we fought for an independent 9/11 Commission. It seemed logical that our government would want to know what happened so as to prevent another attack.

When the legislation for the 9/11 Commission was passed, it gave the commissioners full subpoena power. Unfortunately, that subpoena power was rarely used.

You report that “the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda.” But while the panel did make “document requests” to the C.I.A., it did not subpoena the C.I.A. for the documents and tapes.

A subpoena would have meant that the C.I.A. would have had to answer the commission as to whether the documents and tapes existed, and the agency would have had to explain its reasons for not turning these documents and tapes over to the panel. We would have had a paper trail about the evidence.

You also report, “In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the report had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission’s inquiry.”

The question is: Are Americans satisfied with this?

The 9/11 Commission did not fulfill its mandate to thoroughly investigate the 9/11 attacks. A real investigation into the events of Sept. 11 that examines all of the evidence has never been done and is still needed.

Lorie Van Auken
Mindy Kleinberg
East Brunswick, N.J., Dec. 22, 2007

Zelikow's Memo...

Is an attempt to use their incompetence (document requests) to build the Commission's "credibility."

Who Is? Archives


There are more letters in that NYTimes source, but I singled out Lorie and Mindy.

Who Is? Archives


It's hard to believe Keen and Hamilton's sincere reaction to the CIA withholding tapes. They obfuscated during the investigation and may have even been informed of the tapes and many other relevant pieces of evidence in the many closed door meetings. They certainly knew not to subpoena the whistleblowers that the Jersey girls requested.

Trials Of Henry Kissinger

Trials Of Henry Kissinger

Can you Imagine, that the Neo Con Administration, Chose this Zionist War criminal to head the 911 commission. Instead they picked someone even worse Zelikow, is Kissinger on steroids

Show "A different perspective-" by LisaPeters

According to Ira...

The "reason" the tapes were destroyed, and should have been destroyed, was because they didn't want them to end up on the internet. Sorry, but if they did something very wrong (which torture of any kind is), then there's nothing wrong with exposing it, and it SHOULD be exposed so it doesn't happen again. After all, we don't want to give people that would capture our soldiers reason to torture THEM would we? Also, Ira seems to think it's ok for the Government to do something illegal so long as they don't get caught. His statement that "questionable behavior isn’t the problem for the government -- it’s the exposure that creates the problem for the government" indicates that is his position. I don't think a position like that is worth considering. A no fault Government is VERY dangerous.

Who Is? Archives

How I Approach Government In General

To borrow 3 quotes:

"A country that hides something is a country that is afraid of getting caught."

George W. Bush

"Trust but verify."

Ronald Reagn

"Absolute power corrupts absoltely."

Lord Acton

What does Winkler know?

"Of course, the released tapes would not include the resulting interviews where Khalid Sheik Mohammed detailed how he drafted the initial plans for the September 11th attacks, which was supposed to include 10 planes instead of 4 and end up with him personally killing all the passengers on one of the planes.

"Nor would the tapes include his admission of personally beheading Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl with a knife. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about all of the details of the planned terrorist attacks and the terrorists’ locations, which he divulged after being waterboarded."

First, even if KSM did say all this, it is worthless if indeed the product of torture and threats to his family.

(site down now so here's a cache)

And why would the tapes not include all this? Why not tape it? If hundreds of hour of tape were taken for Zubaydeh, as claimed, why not for KSM?

How does Winkler know what was said by KSM? He doesn't -- he's read the same uncorroborated reports as the 9/11 Commission.

Also, if Winkler worked for NSA, he should and probably does know that intelligence documents can be made available to courts and commissions of inquiry in a closed manner, and would not inevitably "end up on the Internet." And the 9/11 Commission says it wasn't allowed to see the detainees even in a very limited and protected manner. This makes destruction of tapes even more suspicious.

Zubadah spilled the beans-exposed 9/11

If this article in time magazine is true, and several books mention this...then Zubadah is probably on tape saying his boss is Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz........,9171,1101030908-480226,00.html

Why is that significant? Because that means the boss of the guys being tortured in Guantanamo is the same LEADER of the group of Saudis' that G Bush ordered be let go right after 9/11. It is in the FBI report on page 11/224.....

Which opens the whole can of worms of the ISI/Saudi Intelligence(who bin laden has always worked for) and most importantly points out the fact that on tape for all eternity, is proof Bush let leaders of 9/11 out of the country.....of course they will destroy a tape like that...and then spin it as it was destroyed because it showed bad things being done..or...don't want the interrogators being identified etc etc....

Zeliow memo

From Zelikow memo on page 6

"Late in its investigation, reacting to press allegations that Abu Zubaydah had
referred to a Saudi prince in his interrogations, the Commission asked “what
information does the CIA have” about whether such assertions were made in
Zubaydah’s interrogations. (CIA Question for the Record No. 3, dated May
20, 2004). We knew the CIA believed this was untrue but we asked the
question formally to get any relevant information for the record. We cannot
find a record of a CIA response."

No telling what Zubaydeh said

and no telling who he is or what he has done.

The important fact, and all we can know and need to know, is that the government is saying it destroyed tapes that would supposedly have corroborated the interrogation summaries that were a central part of the 9/11 Commission report.

The Van Auken / Kleinberg letter is very effective, I think, because it focuses on the failure to disclose evidence.


There's an essay on 911review about the CIA tapes incident. It's not about these details, only the media role and wikipedia's role, etc., by a wikipedia user.

Concealing Crimes of the CIA, Wikipedia Style