9/11 Change: Yes We Should! by Coleen Rowley


9/11 Change: Yes We Should!
Posted June 24, 2008 | 03:46 PM (EST)

Recently, our government excluded the 9/11 victims' families from attending the arraignment of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other terror suspects at the military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. Initially, none of the families, with the exception of ardent Bush supporter Debra Burlingame, were invited.

After this issue became public, the resultant furor caused Debra Burlingame to be dis-invited and a system was established whereby the 9/11 victims' families could observe future sessions via CCTV coverage at various military bases on the east coast. In addition, a lottery system was established so that selected family members, who may want to attend the trial at Guantanamo Bay, will be provided an opportunity to participate.

Despite this change of heart, which we're sure was prompted by the outrage accompanying the original decision, it is this type of callous action which we've come to expect from the current Administration. Considering that many of the 9/11 families had already expressed their desire to view these trials, as early as last February, and the obvious public interest, it boggles the mind that tribunal officials failed to have something in place for the arraignment. Even worse, their ineptitude violated Public Law 108-405, the Justice for All Act, in that none of the 9/11 families, to include Debra Burlingame, were invited to attend.

While the military tribunal is scheduled to kick off this September, the seven remaining plaintiffs, in the ongoing 9/11 litigation in Judge Hellerstein's Manhattan courtroom, continue their fight to establish a public archive of information uncovered in discovery. Meanwhile, the airline defendants try to obfuscate their liability by abusing the intent of a protective order narrowly intended for proprietary information.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) has filed an Amicus brief in this regard correctly noting the public's interest in learning about how the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 occurred in order to help ensure they don't recur. Information in this litigation directly addresses those questions and may provide answers to a public that has been seeking closure and resolution for going on seven years.

During the death penalty phase of the Zacarias Moussaoui proceedings, evidence provided to the terrorist's defense team was refused to the relatives of his victims, while TSA attorney Carla Martin's alleged collusion with aviation industry attorneys nearly sabotaged the prosecution.

Just last month there was yet another example whereby the public's right to know, the First Amendment and freedom of information interests were trampled. Judge Frank Maas closed the doors to his court when the defendants in the trial to bankrupt terrorism argued for privacy consideration.

Excessive government secrecy and corporate abuse of protective orders have been the cornerstones of an effort to prevent the 9/11 victims' families from achieving legitimate discovery. This, in turn, has limited our public access.

The terrorists attacked us on 9/11, but our government and the aviation industry made it easy for them. Now, both spend time, effort and resouces trying to hide that fact from the American public, rather than using those resources to make appropriate reforms in order to protect us against further attacks.

Both of us have been responsible for handling sensitive information during our careers. The last thing we want is for any information useful to our enemy to be released. Nevertheless, it is past time to provide for transparency instead of the current process, which abuses the rights of those most adversely impacted by the brutal 9/11 attacks.

Protecting information in the interests of national security is one thing; using secrecy to protect corporate America or to preclude embarassment to our government is another. The latter is unhelpful and inexcusable.

The US House of Representatives, Homeland Security Committee, held a hearing on June 11th during which they approved HR 6193, the "Improving Public Access to Documents Act of 2008." This may not be the perfect bill, but it certainly demonstrates the need to address the issues we've raised. Now, if we can just get our presidential nominees to address these concerns in their upcoming town meetings and debates, perhaps we can actually make some progress.

Co-written by Brian F. Sullivan, FAA Spec Agent (Ret) and myself and originally posted at Opinion Editorials.com.

P.S. Coincidentally, I just got back from an all-day "good government type" conference in Washington DC, the main topic of which was the need to enact "whistleblowing" protection for public and private sector employees, especially in the intellligence and national security areas. Congress has repeatedly recognized the need for whistleblower reform law--for instance the House passed it by over a 3 to 1 ratio in 2007 but the law has yet to be enacted. With all the government secrecy, such protection for those who dare to commit the truth is desperately needed as it's about the only way to uncover the true fraud, waste and abuse going on as well as exposing gaps and mistakes putting public safety at risk.

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"The terrorists attacked us on 9/11"

"The terrorists attacked us on 9/11, but our government and the aviation industry made it easy for them."

Unfortunately, this is the primary message here, and this is why it's allowed on Hufffington Post.

Indeed, she isn't even saying anyone purposefully let it happen, but that it happened because of issues like "careerism" among agents, and plain old "mistakes."

Making reforms to document access and acting on the need to enact "whistleblowing" protection for public and private sector employees, are good ideas, but those aren't going to expose the cover-up of 9/11. And it's worse than unfortunate that even to have that much, we also have to have "the terrorists attacked us on 9/11."

A quote from a friend:

"Rowley herself disowns the idea of a 9/11 as an "inside job" as a genuine possibility and affirms that it is such a heinous untrue possibility that it is improper to make a joke about it. But if you read Rowley's opinion -- the opinion of a 20-year career FBI officer moved by patriotism who wants to improve her organization, not a conspiracy theorist like yourself -- it is not to throw the moles in prison. She does not say or imply that there are moles, and she is better placed and better informed about the internal workings of the FBI than you, and certainly than the listener for whom you tout the "Rowley/Moussaoui" case as an example.

Rowley says that bureaucratic inertia at FBI HQ, fear of making mistakes, careerism without intrinsic desire, insufficient training and experience at HQ secondary to promotion based on blind obedience were the institutional factors that produced the Moussaoui errors. Rowley offers as a partial solution greater freedom of command and decision for the local level -- not purging the moles at HQ and their controllers who "suppressed" Moussaoui's computer until the deed was done. "

And here's the quote from Rowley:

"..During the early aftermath of September 11th, when I happened to be recounting the pre-September 11th events concerning the Moussaoui investigation to other FBI personnel in other divisions or in FBIHQ, almost everyone's first question was "Why?--Why would an FBI agent(s) deliberately sabotage a case? (I know I shouldn't be flippant about this, but jokes were actually made that the key FBIHQ personnel had to be spies or moles, like Robert Hansen, who were actually working for Osama Bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort.) Our best real guess, however, is that, in most cases avoidance of all "unnecessary" actions/decisions by FBIHQ managers (and maybe to some extent field managers as well) has, in recent years, been seen as the safest FBI career course. Numerous high-ranking FBI officials who have made decisions or have taken actions which, in hindsight, turned out to be mistaken or just turned out badly (i.e. Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc.) have seen their careers plummet and end. This has in turn resulted in a climate of fear which has chilled aggressive FBI law enforcement action/decisions. In a large hierarchal bureaucracy such as the FBI, with the requirement for numerous superiors approvals/oversight, the premium on career-enhancement, and interjecting a chilling factor brought on by recent extreme public and congressional criticism/oversight, and I think you will see at least the makings of the most likely explanation."

this is why i love comments

they illuminate and expand on what's in the articles. It seems that, in the 7 years since 9/11, with everything that even MSM have reported, that Rowley would have come across info that adds weight to the Minn. mole theory, not the careerism theory. Perhaps she's being extremely circumspect, being an attorney, and not going beyond what she knows she has absolute proof of, what she could know from what she witnessed, considering the stakes and what's been done to others who questioned 9/11 or blew the whistle. Plus, not wanting to be associated with people who promote energy beams, holograms, etc. I'm not defending Rowley's inability to get 2 + 2 come out to be 4- but there is a wide range of opinions on 9/11. MN Change should birddog her on 9/11 questions, she's running for Congress



9/11 Family Steering Committee Review of the 9/11 Commission Report:

Complete 9/11 Timeline

>>Perhaps she's being

>>Perhaps she's being extremely circumspect . . .

But we have to take people for what they are actually saying. This was the same hopeful position of the Paulites who claimed they were sure he supported "inside job," but only secretly, until he was blasting to the world that there was nothing but ineptitude on 9/11, to millions upon millions of viewers, over and over again, and scoffing at the idea of being associated with the truth movement.

Hopeful statements that aren't based in the evidence can end up doing more harm than good.

If someone knows of something more specific that is meaningful from her, pls post. Otherwise, we have to assume that this is a person strongly convinced that Osama did 9/11, and unlikely to change anytime soon.

my email to her campaign office and clarifications

i post stuff i find at 911Blogger that is "alternative" info on 9/11, or on related issues; i post it for the record, and to see what users here contribute to understanding it, as you have here. Rowley blew the whistle on the FBI and Moussaoui re: 9/11 and added info to the public record that has helped others add things up; for that reason, i think what she does and doesn't say and do is relevant and "interesting". Her perspective on national security issues facing the FBI, such as the recent torture article with Ray McGovern is helpful to the debate about that, imho.

"Otherwise, we have to assume that this is a person strongly convinced that Osama did 9/11, and unlikely to change anytime soon."

I'm not going to assume this, or that she will change her mind, ever, even if confronted with hard evidence- and I'm not going to rule it out. I have speculated on a possible reason she is not as outspoken as Sibel Edmonds or the average Truther. I'm not a "fan" of Rowley, and am not expecting anything from her. I would be interested to see her response on video to some challenging 9/11 questions, the same as with any public figure. I'm not sure of the best questions to confront her with, though, but stuff about Frasca and Maltbie would be appropriate.

Anyway, i just sent this, for what it's worth:

Ms. Rowley, thank you for blowing the whistle on the FBI "mishandling" of Moussaoui, which directly contributed to the "failure" to prevent 9/11. You've attributed the strange actions of Frasca and Maltbie to "careerism"; perhaps you haven't considered the following:

Cui Bono? The 9/11 Promotions

Or all the names, dates, places and events linked to your own name on the Complete 9/11 Timeline:

9/11 Family Steering Committee Review of the 9/11 Commission Report:

Complete 9/11 Timeline

But no reply from her?

But no reply from her?

no reply yet

and, you know- after I sent this i remembered that I've sent a query to her before that included a link to her historycommons page... you may be right, her mind may not be expandable.

I'm not a MN resident, let alone in her district, i don't know that i would get a personal reply even from a staffer.

I'm still waiting for a response to my request for more details on McKinney's plans for the Fed, there isn't anything about that "economic plank" on her sites, that i saw- I only sent that 2-3 days ago, though

9/11 Family Steering Committee Review of the 9/11 Commission Report:

Complete 9/11 Timeline

a lottery? Hmmm.

Will anyone be surprised when only the Kool-Aid drinking family members will magically be the winners of said lottery. Then we can all say in unison "What a coincidence!".