Analysing the CIA Response to Richard Clarke's Allegations: Who Knew What When?

by Kevin Fenton,

Following the airing of allegations by former counterterrorism "tsar" Richard Clarke that the CIA deliberately withheld from him information about Pentagon hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, former CIA director George Tenet, former CIA Counterterrorist Center chief Cofer Black and Richard Blee, a mid-level agency official who occupied two key counterterrorist positions before 9/11, have responded with a joint statement.

Clarke said that information about the two men was deliberately withheld from him in January 2000, at the time of a key al-Qaeda meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which the CIA monitored. Clarke alleged that, based on his knowledge of how the CIA works, Tenet authorised the deliberate withholding. Clarke added that the information was clearly important in the summer of 2001, when the CIA knew that Almihdhar was in the country and, in the words of one of Blee's former deputies, was "very high interest" in connection with the next al-Qaeda attack. However, the CIA continued to withhold some information from both Clarke and the FBI.

Mark Rossini, one of Blee's former subordinates at Alec Station, the CIA's bin Laden unit, has previously admitted deliberately withholding the information from the FBI. According to Rossini, in early January 2000 he and a colleague, Doug Miller, knew they should notify the FBI that Almihdhar had a US visa and presumably intended to soon visit the US. Miller even drafted, but did not send, a cable informing the FBI of Almihdhar's visa. However, Rossini says he and Miller were instructed by a female CIA officer known as "Michael" and Blee's deputy, Tom Wilshire, to withhold the information.


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Richard Clarke - what more?

The open question is, what more information the CIA "deliberately withheld from him".

Clarke the Bad Actor

Agree with this - what else was withheld from him? Clarke's revelations about the CIA come at an opportune time to distract the public from the real narrative. The next time he has a press conference, someone should ask him about Building 7 and explosives used elsewhere at the site and the growing numbers of architects and engineers who believe they were used...... Then let's see him flounder in public.


Clarke says, that "Washington" would have known, if WTC-7 had been demolished. We truthers do not know, how "Washington" works. It could not have kept secret. He said that in the ZDF/BBC-hit peace about WTC-7.

I have an even better idea

Why don't we start "grilling" Shyam Sunder and John Gross from NIST about Alec Station, the "hub", the Saudis and the so-called "Wall" between the FBI and the CIA (they know all about that) and while you're on the case, ask them all about the military exercises and the intricacies of intercept protocol and NORAD/NEADS procedures.

I'm sure that'll be real helpful. Go 9/11 Truth Movement!

While your point is valid and needs to be made,

please leave the excessive sarcasm elsewhere.



You know the rules, only Aidan can use sarcasm


Where's the excessive sarcasm!

I just got back from the State Fair in West Allis, Wisconsin. I only had 3 beers and I was still able to drive home. Maybe I'm missing something, but can someone please point out to me where the excessive sarcasm is because I can't find it.

The Implausible And Worn Out "Failures" Card

According to Clarke, the CIA allegedly "failed" to report knowledge of "terrorists" to the FBI and when finally notified, the FBI allegedly "failed" to locate the "terrorists" (despite abundant evidence that FBI management itself obstructed subordinate efforts to pursue other similar subjects of interest).

And Clarke would have the public believe that CIA contact with these allegedly committed radical Muslim killers was simply a "failed" attempt to miraculously turn the committed terrorist killers into heroic informants with a little help from Uncle Sam.

some good points Aidan raises in this particular comment

Which I already pointed out in the other threads on this topic: The set of facts Clarke presents is deadly to the tale of lack of imagination, overwork, incompetence, mistakes, etc. The evidence indicates deliberate obstruction. The theory Clarke presents is contradicted by other evidence, in particular the continued obstruction of FBI investigations, particularly by Wilshere and Corsi - Clarke does not comment on any of this, even though much of it was documented but superficially dealt with in the unclassified DOJ IG report, which was first made public in 2005, w/ the Moussaoui section made public in 2006.

Kevin article that is the OP provides additional important context on the CIA failures, and Tenet, Black and Blee's response to Clarke's statements.

EDIT: Also as I pointed out in other threads, whatever Clarke's true perspective and motivations, it does not reduce the significance of his statements. He has a 30 year career in govt, has held many high-level positions in Dem and Rep administrations, and was the counterterrorism czar during the GW Bush administration. He's the highest-profile govt figure to point out these facts, and his theory, wrong or right, seriously contradicts what the public has been told about 9/11. These facts and allegations put the Establishment in an awkward position; so much so that Tenet, Black and Blee felt compelled to make a public statement. I had thought the MSM might be compelled to give this more attention, but so far most have ignored it, and the ones that have covered it have done so less than adequately or with blatant bias against the facts.

However, this is the first time Blee has been ID'd as the Bin Laden unit station chief during the period in question, and various MSM have explicitly or implicitly acknowledged this. The Tenet et al statement contains serious omissions and at least one demonstrably false statement; that the significance wasn't recognized at the time. Doug Miller and Wilshere both recognized the significance of Almihdhar's US at the time; Miller was drafting a cable to the FBI and Wilshere blocked it, plus other examples. This is an opportunity to educate the public about 9/11 facts.

Clarke's set of facts demand an explanation, and the public and Establishment should examine them and see if either Clarke's theory or the Establishment explanations hold water. If they don't - and they don't - then what's the truth? Nearly 3000 people died, the US massively funded the MIC, became a surveillance state and launched two disastrous wars in response. "9/11" continues to be invoked by Democrats, Republicans and MSM. The intelligence 'failures' are one aspect of 9/11, but an important one, one that needs to be examined if ALL people responsible for 9/11 are going to be held accountable, if Americans are to have a republic in more than name only, and if the people of the world are to have true security and peace.

Yes but . . .

Building 7 is something that anyone can see with their own eyes, whereas Clarke's information requires that someone do research to figure out the relevant facts. I'm sure Sunder could figure out a healthy cover story for this too though! Clarke and Sunder are probably not much different.

My initial impression was that this story was being pushed heavily by MSM -- because much of my info comes from people connected to 9/11, I was being totally blanketed with one story after another on it, so, just assumed it was all over the MSM. As it turns out, it's not. it's very actually a very interesting mix of limited coverage by blogs, Press TV, CBS news and the Washington Post, although apparently Raw Story won't run it, which is very interesting, and suggests that at the very least, there is not alignment on the issue.

Always a good thing. I hope it continues to evolve.

What MSM Coverage??

Can you really consider Press TV MSM, and where in the Washington Post was this interview covered (do you have the link?)? The only MSM that I saw that coverd Clarke's interview was CBS and all they focused on was his self proclaimed unsupported theory that "maybe" the Three Stooges (Blee, Black, & Tenet) were trying to turn the two HJ's to US intelligence assets (which is possible, but still not the most likely and the most innocent potential theory). The CBS article totally ignores why Clarke thought the Three Stooges knew Mihdhar and Hazmi were in the US and that they intentionally failed to alert him, the FBI, and the White House.

The reaction itself is incriminating

THEY KNEW ALL ALONG that this is a endagering path for their version. It does not need a rocket scientist to figure that out.. I searched my own blog and forum entries and found nearly the whole story now declared as "breaking news" summarized by me in may 2006, after reading Oliver Schröms "Deadly Mistakes". So Clarke himself should knew at least since 2006 as well. Nobody cared. Nobody took care.

Glad to see you care

The 'breaking news' here is Clarke presenting this set of facts and his allegations. The info is not new, and much of it probably dribbled out to Clarke at the same the general public got it, as he left the govt in 2003.

Clarke, with his 30 years in govt and close proximity to the events, was probably paying attention to the info as he it came out, trying to figure out for himself what happened, if one accepts his self-presentation at face value, which I don't, but I also don't know what other agenda he has, if he has one other than accountability.

"Nobody cared'; a small minority of people compelled the 9/11 Commission investigation, a whitewash which the MSM and much of the American public uncricitically accepted - most people weren't even paying attention - I wasn't; at the time, I assumed our govt had checks and balances and the media and concerned citizens effectively watchdogged govt if the checks and balances failed. From looking into 9/11, I also discovered that's a bunch of BS taught in civics class.

Clarke could've made an issue out of this at any time - he touched on this issue in his 2009 book, but the way he presented this info, along w/ his theory, to these indie filmmakers is much more serious, and helps to put things in perspective for people, and prompt people to ask questions, which people who have researched the issues can help them find answers to - if they care, and if we care.

In general we don't

and we don't because accepting at least some of what Richard Clarke says means accepting hijackers exist.

This is the same reason the work of Paul Thompson, Duffy & Nowosielski and many others is greeted with suspicion and hostility.

Some people are forcing other 9/11 activists to choose between CD and pre 9/11 intelligence research, alleging these two avenues of research are mutually exclusive.

Unless and until this false dilemma is properly addressed, we are at stalemate.


I could give up and stop trying. Maybe I will.

your positions

the important question is, weather the US-Government has provided sufficient evidence, that the alleged hijackers were the real hijackers on the planes. As with the alleged killing of bin Laden, it seems to me, that you tend to accept too willingly unfounded official positions. Please correct me, if I misrepresented your positions.

It's not that, but

Richard Clarke's statements have been preceded by years of related research published by people such as Erik Larson, Kevin Fenton, Paul Thompson, Jon Gold, Nafeez Ahmed, Jimd3100, etc. etc.

It was exactly this research, when presented to Richard Clarke for comment, which prompted him to give the response he gave.

Therefore, I don't just panegyrize Richard Clarke whenever he makes a statement. It's the specific combination of what we already know and what Richard Clarke has added to the discussion which explains my positive reaction. I also know how to put his claims in proper perspective, considering his background and insider position. but also his very open, perhaps partizan, struggle with some other key 9/11 insiders who have a lot more explaining to do than Richard Clarke.

Remember, the Bush administration despises Richard Clarke and the feeling is mutual. Cheney openly blamed Clarke for 9/11. Tenet got the presidential medal of freedom. What's wrong with this picture? I suppose one could believe this is all stage play, with Clarke willfully accepting the worst reputation-tarnishing imaginable, just to facilitate a limited hangout to confuse the 9/11 Truth Movement. I don't accept this premise. Clarke had been treated like shit from the day Bush and Cheney took office. Elaborating on this issue to fully clarify my position would take considerable effort. For now, this will have to do.

Also, please remember there are things we are better positioned to see from the outside than Richard Clarke from the inside. The two could complement each other. Again, the facts speak for themselves.

Interesting Analysis and Additional Thoughts

As usual, some great points and analysis from Kevin Fenton, the foremost authority on the 9/11 intelligence failures. Although Clarke does not hold “smoking gun” evidence that Blee, Black, and Tenet, knew for sure that Almihdhar and Alhazmi were in the US in 2000 and/or 2001, he pretty much states what most people with a thread of common sense already knew, that is, “how could they not have known?” And if they really really didn’t know (which is very unlikely), then who were the guilty person(s) who withheld this information from these very key individuals (given the information made public to date, it appears that "at least" Richard Blee had to know and definitely should have known)? Kevin astutely points out that all the investigations mentioned in the “Dubious 3’s” response letter, are inconclusive in one way or another and also do not present clear cut evidence that the Dubious 3 did not know Almihdhar & Alhazmi were in the US. BS investigations that do not hold anyone accountable and do not answer the most obvious of questions, cannot be used to exonerate the potentially guilty as Kevin has pointed out.

Unfortunately, the late timing of Clarke’s statements, coupled with his questionable theory as to why the Dubious 3 purposely protected the two hijackers (i.e., to turn them to US asset, which is ironically the most innocent of other potential alternative theories), will always leave a little bit of a question mark. However, Clarke has shown on several occasions the backbone and fortitude to buck the system and the official story, and I believe this interview was his personal attempt to try and set the record straight and to implicate three people that he knew were blatantly lying. Unfortunately, I’ve seen where only one US MSM even covered this story (CBS), and they only focused on Clarke’s “turn asset theory,” and did not even mention Clarke's insider belief that the Dubious 3 had knowledge that Almihdhar and Alhazmi were in the US, but refused to share the information with him and necessary others. So typical, so sad, such another pathetic cover-up of the US MSM.

When I look at Clarke’s statement, it reminds me of the December 2001 Fox News investigation of several dozens of Israeli art students with backgrounds in intelligence, electronic surveillance, and ordinance, who were coincidently found to be living in very close proximity to most of the 9/11 hijackers, including Almihdhar and Alhazmi. In that Fox investigation they talked to US intelligence agents who said, “They (US investigators) did not know how these apprehended Israeli’s could not have known about the 9/11 attacks.” Clarke is saying the exact same thing about the Dubious 3 in relation to knowing Almihdhar & Alhazami were in the US (they had to know!), unfortunately most Americans do not want to think for themselves and rely on investigations that are heavily flawed and inconclusive. Kevin did a great job in this blog at pointing out those flaws and other inaccuracies. And although there is most likely a tie in with certain CIA officials and these Israeli spies also, this is another highly questionable case that has been classified with the story buried in the MSM after the Fox investigation.

Let’s face it truthers, there’s never ever going to be any reinvestigation of the 9/11 attacks or the WTC collapses, and for any of you who think there is, it's somewhat frighteningly delusional. The only way that all the lies and “more” of the real story will come out, is through hard work and solid research like Kevin Fenton and others. Hopefully, through everyone’s efforts, 9/11 will run a similar trend that the Kennedy assassination did, where only a minority initially disagreed with the Warren Commission’s findings (i.e., Oswald was lone gunman), to where an overwhelming majority now believe the contrary and that it was a conspiracy of some sort. Slowly but surely, we’re all chipping away at Philip Zelikow’s mostly fictional official story, and hopefully one day 9/11 will have the same success that the Kennedy assassination did in making people realize they were sold a false bag of goods in the official investigations and the riduculous "War on Terror" that was fought in 9/11's name.

Kevin: Not sure if you're still following this blog, but if you are, here's a couple of quick questions:

1. Were Richard Blee’s and Tom Wilshire’s interviews with the 9/11 Commission made public and were you able to glean anything from them or were they ridiculously redacted like most of the other intelligence interviews?

2. Do you know of any facts or information that would contradict Clarke’s theory that the Dubious 3 were just trying to turn the two hijackers to US assets?