Questions for Richard Clarke on COG, the UAE, and BCCI


Posted on by ultruth

The author is indebted to the good people at History Commons for their “Complete 9/11 Timeline.”  If a reference is not evident below, it can probably be found there.

A recent interview with former “Counterterrorism Czar,” Richard Clarke, is making a splash in the alternative media.[1]  In this interview, Clarke speculates about CIA malfeasance related to the pre-9/11 monitoring of two alleged September 11 hijackers.  This interview is somewhat interesting due to Clarke’s vague suggestion that the CIA had courted 9/11 suspects as sources, but it is far more interesting for what was not said with regard to Clarke’s personal history and associations.

The seeming point of these new statements from Clarke is that the CIA might have withheld information from him, the FBI, and the Department of Defense (DOD) in the twenty months leading up to the 9/11 attacks.  Clarke is not suggesting that the CIA did this maliciously, but only that his good friend, George Tenet, and two others made a mistake in their approach.  Clarke says of these CIA leaders — “They understood that al Qaeda was a big threat, they were motivated, and they were really trying hard.”  The mild twist that Clarke now puts on the story is that  the CIA’s diligent effort to secure much needed sources within the al Qaeda organization was pursued without any suspicion that these sources might turn out to be “double agents.”

Clarke claims that if the CIA had simply told him, the FBI and the DOD, “even as late as September 4th, [2001]” they would have “conducted a massive sweep, we would have conducted it publicly, we would have found those assholes.  There’s no doubt in my mind.  Even with only a week left.”

There are many obvious problems with these new claims from Clarke.  For one thing, the evidence we have indicates that FBI headquarters did everything it could to protect the alleged 9/11 hijackers in the months leading up to 9/11. Another spectacularly obvious problem is that those “assholes” lived with an FBI asset for at least four months and there are reasons to believe the FBI knew that.  More importantly, Richard Clarke personally thwarted two of the attempts the CIA made to capture Osama bin Laden (OBL) in the two years before 9/11.  It seems disingenuous at best that Clarke would say he didn’t have enough information to capture two of OBL’s underlings in 2000 when he was responsible for preventing the capture of OBL just the year before. 

In an attempt to make sense of these matters, we should take a closer look at Richard Clarke.  His own history might shed some light on why he is trying to confuse us today.

Not just another COG

Clarke began his government career in the Ford Administration’s DOD as a nuclear weapons analyst.  At the time, several characters that were central to the events of 9/11 were in the highest positions of that administration.  Toward the end of that era, White House chief of staff Dick Cheney and DOD secretary Donald Rumsfeld were fighting a war of public perception to preserve the increasingly unpopular aspects of the CIA.  Nuclear policy was a big issue at the time as well, and at least one of Clarke’s closest colleagues in later years, Paul Wolfowitz, worked to present false “Team B” information.

After getting his MA from MIT, Clarke went on to become President Reagan’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence.  In this role, Clarke negotiated US military presence in Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.  He asked these foreign governments for “access” agreements and the right to enhance existing facilities.  As a result, the US moved large numbers of contractors into Saudi Arabia.  One such contractor, Bernard Kerik, the New York City police commissioner and “9/11 hero” who had worked for Morrison-Knudsen’s Saudi group in the mid-seventies, went back for another three year tour as the “the chief investigator for the royal family of Saudi Arabia.”[2]

During his half a dozen years in Reagan’s State department, Clarke called Morton Abramowitz, the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, his boss and mentor.  Abramowitz, who was said to be influential in the career of Clarke, had worked as Assistant Secretary for Defense under Donald Rumsfeld in the seventies when Clarke worked in the DOD.  Abramowitz left his position at State in 1989 to become the Ambassador to Turkey.  The next person for whom Abramowitz was boss and mentor was his Deputy Ambassador, Marc Grossman, who is a 9/11 person of interest according to Sibel Edmonds.

In 1984, Clarke was selected to take part in one of the most highly classified programs of the Reagan Administration.  This was the highly secret Continuity of Government (COG) program run by the National Program Office that continued up to and after the attacks of September 11.[3]  The members of the COG group included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Oliver North, George H.W. Bush, Kenneth Duberstein, James Woolsey, and Richard Clarke.  Although Cheney and Rumsfeld were not government employees throughout the twenty years that Clarke participated in this official government program, they both continued to participate anyway.

COG was developed to install a shadow “government in waiting” to replace the US Congress and the US Constitution in the event of a national emergency like a nuclear war. The first and only time that COG was put into action was when Richard Clarke activated it during the 9/11 attacks.  Clarke had been the one, in 1998, to revise the COG plan to use it as a response to a terrorist attack on American soil.  Apparently, COG and the shadow government these men created are still in play to this day. [4]

In 1989, Clarke was appointed by George H.W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, under James Baker. Clarke was in this position until 1992, and his role was to link the Department of Defense and the Department of State by providing policy in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy, military use of space, and defense trade.  One important aspect of his job during this time was that Clarke coordinated State Department support of Operation Desert Storm and led the efforts to design the international security structure after the Gulf War.

Throughout the years of the George H.W. Bush Administration, Clarke worked intimately with many people who should be investigated with regard to the events of 9/11 and the crimes that followed. This included:

  • James Baker, the Secretary of State who went on to join the Carlyle Group
  • Donald Rumsfeld, the State Department “Foreign Policy Consultant” who was Chairman Emeritus of the Carlyle Group at that time, and Secretary of Defense on 9/11
  • Dick Cheney, the Reagan Secretary of Defense who, later as Vice President, coordinated the response to the 9/11 attacks
  • Paul Wolfowitz, the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy who, in the week before 9/11, ran meetings with Pakistani ISI General Ahmed
  • Duane Andrews, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence who left to run SAIC
  • Robert Gates, the CIA Director who was implicated in the Iran-Contra crimes and later also worked with SAIC
  • Senate Intelligence Committee representatives George Tenet and William Cohen, the latter of whom, in 1997, dramatically reduced the number of jet fighters protecting the US
  • And Reagan advisor, Richard Armitage, who participated in the failed air defense teleconference on 9/11

According to his book, Clarke remembers that “Wolfowitz and I flew on to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Salaleh” to coordinate relations with the UAE, at Cheney’ request.  Over the following decade, Clarke negotiated many deals with the Emirates, essentially becoming an agent of the UAE, and he was “particularly close to the UAE royal family.”[5] 

Not long after Clarke began going there, the royal family of Abu Dhabi took over full ownership of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).  BCCI is significant relative to 9/11 because it was involved in funding terrorists in the late 1980s and was linked to the Pakistani intelligence network from which several alleged 9/11 conspirators came including Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In fact, Time magazine reported that, relative to BCCI — “You can’t draw a line separating the bank’s black operatives and Pakistan’s intelligence services.[6]

More importantly, there are strong suspicions that the CIA was involved in the founding of BCCI.[7]  The CIA connection to the origins of the BCCI terrorist network is interesting in this context because the royal family of the UAE was also said to have played a primary role in the creation of BCCI.  As the official US government report on the subject pointed out — “There was no relationship more central to BCCI’s existence from its inception than that between BCCI and Sheikh Zayed and the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.[8]

As stated before, Clarke’s friends in the UAE royal family not only created the BCCI terrorist network, they took it over when the Bank of England shut it down.  “By July 5, 1991, when BCCI was closed globally, the Government of Abu Dhabi, its ruling family, and an investment company holding the assets of the ruling family, were the controlling, and official majority” shareholders of BCCI — owning 77 percent of the bank. But since the remaining 23 percent was actually held by nominees and by BCCI’s alter-ego ICIC, Abu Dhabi was in fact BCCI’s sole owner.”[9]

Not long after this, in 1992, Clarke was named to the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President for Global Affairs and chairman of the Interagency Counterterrorism Committee.  One might think that Richard Clarke’s close relationship to the royal family of the UAE, and this new role as the NSC head of counterterrorism, might have posed a slight conflict of interest.  But no one seemed to notice.

Similarly, few have noticed that the attacks attributed to al Qaeda began just before the first Bush Administration left office.  It was in December, 1992, that al Qaeda (as such) is said to have first committed an act of terrorism by bombing US troops in Yemen.  Attacks and plots in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and many others places located near the production and transport routes of fossil fuels have been attributed to al Qaeda since that time.[10]

Clarke was not interested in pursuing the BCCI terrorist network and, instead, he had a different approach to combating terrorism.  In 1993, the United States began a practice known as “rendition.”  Throughout the rest of the world, rendition is known as torture.  Interestingly, the policy behind this program was proposed by Richard Clarke, who worked to get “snatch teams” in place to kidnap suspects for torture.  The success of Clarke’s rendition proposal led to today’s US program of secret kidnappings and torture around the world.

In September 1994, high-ranking UAE and Saudi government ministers, such as Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al-Faisal, began frequent bird hunting expeditions in Afghanistan. It was reported that — “They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses.”  Two members of the UAE royal family that participated in these trips were Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of the UAE.[11]

As these UAE meetings with OBL occurred, Clarke’s relationship with the UAE royals blossomed.  At the same time, he engaged in apparent preparations for terrorist events on US soil.  In 1998, he chaired a tabletop exercise in which a Learjet filled with explosives would be flown on a suicide mission into a target in Washington, DC.  At a conference in October 1998, Clarke predicted that America’s enemies “will go after our Achilles’ heel” which is “in Washington.  It is in New York.”  That was quite a prediction.

Clarke had updated the COG plans in early 1998, to ensure that the shadow government would be put in power in the event of a terrorist attack like the one he predicted that year (and that occurred in 2001).  National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, who was later caught stealing documents that had been requested by the 9/11 Commission, was the one to suggest that Clinton create the new Counterterrorism Czar position that Clarke would fill at the time of his prediction.  Berger was also the one to introduce Clarke’s COG partner, James Woolsey, to Clinton.  Woolsey went on to become Clinton’s CIA director.

In early February 1999, Clarke met with Al Maktoum, one of the UAE royals who was known to hunt with Bin Laden, in the UAE.  Al Maktoum was a big supporter of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.  And although people often forget, two of the 9-11 hijackers were citizens of the UAE and the vast majority of money supporting the attacks flowed through the UAE.

The 9/11 Commission Report has six references to the UAE, most of which can be found on page 138. One of these suggests that “but for the cooperation of the UAE, we would have killed Bin Ladin two years in advance of September 11.”

Therefore it is difficult to understand why the leading authority on counterterrorism in the US would be meeting, and maintaining close personal relationships, with the UAE friends of Bin Laden just two years before 9/11.  This was three years after Bin Laden had first declared holy war against the United States,[12] and one year after his more recent such proclamation.[13]

It is more difficult to understand why Clarke was personally behind the failure of two CIA attempts to kill or capture Bin Laden in 1999. The first of these occurred just a few days after Clarke’s visit to the UAE.  The CIA obtained information that OBL was hunting with UAE royals in Afghanistan at the time, and President Clinton was asked for permission to attack the camp.  Clarke voted down that plan, and others within the US government speculated that his ties to the UAE were behind his decision.[14]

The next month, when the CIA had tracked Bin Laden’s whereabouts again and was prepared to take him out during another of the Afghanistan hunting trips, Richard Clarke took it upon himself to alert his UAE friends about the CIA monitoring their meetings with Bin Laden.  Of course, the UAE royals tipped off Bin Laden and the US lost another opportunity to kill or capture its number one enemy.[15]  Considering that CIA plans are top secret national security priorities, and that OBL was wanted for the bombings in East Africa, Clarke’s action should have been seen as treason.

Somehow, Clarke’s two efforts to keep OBL from being captured or killed in 1999 slipped his mind when he testified to the 9/11 Commission.  Apparently, these events were also not important enough for Clarke to mention when recently discussing the two “asshole” hijackers whose presence in the US he now says the CIA kept from him and the FBI.

Who knew about Almihdar and Alhazmi?

Interestingly, although only two of the alleged 9/11 terrorists were said to be from the UAE, those being Marwan al-Shehhi and Fayez Banihammad, others of the alleged hijackers, including Almihdar, Alhazmi, and Ziad Jarrah, spent time in the UAE.  And as stated before, the vast majority of money that financed the attacks flowed through the UAE. 

The new interview with Clarke begins with discussion of the CIA’s monitoring of a January, 2000 meeting in Malaysia among top al Qaeda operatives.  Khalid Almihdar and Nawaf Alhazmi attended the meeting, as did Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and several other al Qaeda leaders.  Clarke claims in the interview that the CIA followed the alleged 9/11 hijackers out of the meeting in Malaysia but then lost them in Bangkok.  Two months later, Almidhar and AlHazmi arrived in Los Angeles, according to the CIA, and Clarke says many CIA agents knew about this.

Clarke claims that the CIA — “stopped [information about Almihdar and Alhazmi] from going to the FBI and the Defense Department.” He then cryptically states — “We therefore conclude that there was a high level decision, in the CIA, ordering people not to share that information” and “I would have to think it was made by the Director [Tenet]”.  To clarify why he suddenly thinks this lack of information sharing was unusual, Clarke says — “You have to understand…we were close friends, he called me several times a day, and shared the most trivial of information.”

But it was not only the CIA that knew about this meeting and the attendees.  According to the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Michael Hayden — “In early 2000, at the time of the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, we had the Alhazmi brothers, Nawaf and Salem, as well as Khalid Almihdar, in our sights.  We knew of their association with al-Qaeda, and we shared this information with the [intelligence] community.”  The NSA knew about these guys well before that, however, because an early 1999 NSA communications intercept referenced “Nawaf Alhazmi,” so it was clear that the NSA knew about him for more than two years before 9/11.  Oddly enough, the Washington Post reported that Alhazmi, Almihdar and four of the other alleged hijackers were “living, working, planning and developing all their activities” near the entrance to NSA headquarters in Laurel, Maryland, in the months prior to the 9/11 attacks.[16]

Alhazmi had been seen in San Diego as early as 1996 and he traveled extensively throughout the US, spending time in Cody, Wyoming and Phoenix, Arizona, and making a truck delivery to Canada.  He and Alhazmi lived openly in the United States, using their real names and credit cards.  They had season passes to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo and liked to hang out at a nude bar in San Diego.  They went to a flight school there and said they wanted to learn how to fly Boeings.  Instructor Rick Garza of Sorbi’s Flying Club turned down that request because he said they were “clueless”, didn’t even know how to draw an airplane and could not communicate in English.

Alhazmi even worked at a Texaco gas station, although he didn’t need the money because someone in the UAE was regularly sending him thousands of dollars.

The money Alhazmi received was said to come from a UAE citizen named Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (a.k.a. Ammar al Baluchi), who was the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and cousin of Ramzi Yousef.  Apparently, a majority of money that came to the hijackers was transferred through Ali Abdul Aziz Ali or another UAE citizen named Mustafa al-Hawsawi.  The 9/11 Commission reported that Ali “helped them with plane tickets, traveler’s checks, and hotel reservations“, and “taught them about everyday aspects of life in the West, such as purchasing clothes and ordering food.

Whether he was protecting his UAE friends or not, Clarke failed to act on information about al Qaeda operatives living in the US, just one month before the meeting in Malaysia.  After an al Qaeda “millennium plot” was said to be broken up in Jordan, Clarke authorized an investigation of one of the plotters, Khalil Deek, who lived in Anaheim, CA for most of the 1990s. The investigative team reported to Clarke and the NSC directly in December, 1999, stating that Deek’s next door neighbor was operating an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Anaheim.  No action was taken by Clarke or the NSC.

A few months later, in April 2000, Clarke was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that terrorists – “will come after our weakness, our Achilles Heel, which is largely here in the United States.”  Although this was a bold statement, it was unfortunate that Clarke did not have time to track down and capture the terrorists that he knew were living and plotting in the US.

The bombing of the USS Cole, which took the lives of 17 American sailors, occurred in October, 2000. It was reported by the Washington Post that Almihdar had received training in Afghanistan in 1999 along with the operatives who were responsible for the Cole bombing.  The Guardian reported that the Prime Minister of Yemen accused Almihdar of being “one of the Cole perpetrators.”

At the time, Clarke was part of a high level meeting to discuss the response to the Cole bombing, which included William Cohen, George Tenet, the State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, Michael Sheehan, and several others.  In this meeting, Clarke was the hawk, proposing attacks throughout Afghanistan in response.  None of the voting attendees supported Clarke’s plan and, after the meeting, Sheehan told Clarke – “What’s it going to take to get them to hit al-Qaeda in Afghanistan?  Does al-Qaeda have to hit the Pentagon?”[17]   Once again, that was quite a prediction. 

In May 2001, the CIA gave its photos of the January 2000 Malaysian meeting to an intelligence operations specialist at FBI headquarters.  One of the photos was of Almihdar, who FBI Director Mueller would later say was likely responsible for coordinating the movements of all the non-pilot hijackers.  In June 2001, FBI and CIA officials discussed these photos and one FBI agent remembers that Almihdar was mentioned in these discussions. 

Phoenix FBI agent Ken Williams wrote a memo to FBI headquarters, in July 2001, saying that Bin Laden’s followers were going to flight schools to train for terrorist attacks.  If the FBI had followed through on this, it would have found Alhazmi very easily, as he had been reported as staying in Phoenix with Hani Hanjour over a period of months from January to June 2001. The memo was reviewed by the agency’s Bin Laden and Islamic extremist counterterrorism units, but it has been reported that neither Attorney General John Ashcroft nor newly appointed FBI Director Robert Mueller briefed President Bush and his national security staff about these revelations.  Of course, this was well before the September 4th date that Clarke now claims was the best chance for him and the FBI to have first found out. 

Zacarias Moussaoui visited Malaysia too, and stayed at the same condominium where the January 2000 meeting took place.  The owner of the condo even signed letters that convinced the INS to allow Moussaoui into the US.  Alhazmi and Almihdar were referenced in papers that the FBI confiscated, in August 2001, from Moussaoui when he was arrested.  FBI headquarters refused multiple requests from the FBI agents pursuing the case to search Moussaoui ‘s possessions.  Those confiscated possessions and papers would have immediately led the FBI agents to Atta, Almihdar, Alhazmi and the other alleged hijackers.

But the FBI had to know about these alleged hijackers well before that, because Alhazmi and Almihdar lived with an FBI informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, for at least four months in late 2000. Shaikh was a “tested” asset working with the local FBI.  Shaikh had regular visits from Mohammed Atta and Hani Hanjour as well, and even introduced Hanjour to a neighbor. [18]

Newsweek reported that, once, when Shaikh was called by his FBI agent handler, Shaikh said he couldn’t talk because Almihdar was in the room. This suggests that the FBI knew full well that this future 9/11 hijacker was living with an FBI asset.  But a more damning fact is that the FBI refused to allow the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry to interview either Shaikh or his FBI handler.

The FBI absolutely knew about the movements of these alleged 9/11 hijackers.  In January, 2001, it was the FBI that gave information to the CIA about how USS Cole bombing operatives had delivered money to al Qaeda planners at the time of the January 2000 Malaysia meeting.  CNN reported, in 2002, that “At that point, the CIA – or the FBI for that matter – could have put Alhazmi and Almihdar and all the others who attended the meeting in Malaysia on a watch list.”

In the new interview, Clarke further speculates that the reason that the CIA information was not shared with him, the DOD and the FBI was because CIA (i.e. Cofer Black as of June, 1999) was courting these two as sources within al Qaeda.  Some might wonder why Clarke never thought of his good friends within the UAE royal family, who met with OBL regularly, as sources on al Qaeda.  Surely people who met with OBL personally in the two years before 9/11, and were big supporters of al Qaeda like Clarke’s friend, Al Maktoum, might have some information to provide!

In any case, Clarke goes on in the interview to suggest that Tenet and Black might have recruited Alhazmi and Almihdar (who had been accused of perpetrating the USS Cole bombing) as inside sources on al Qaeda.  To the CIA’s chagrin, Clarke implies, they at some point became double agents.  It is amazing that Clarke insinuates that Black and Tenet were too dim-witted to see that these two Saudis might also be working for the Saudis.  Clarke appears to be making the absurd suggestion that a CIA director could not predict that the Saudi, who arranged housing for Alhazmi and Almihdar, arranged payments for them, and arranged to move them to San Diego, might have turned them into double agents.

When Alhazmi and Almihdar arrived in Los Angeles in early 2000, they were met by a strange benefactor named Omar Al-Bayoumi who brought them to Parkwood Apartments in San Diego.  It is Al-Bayoumi that Clarke is referring to when he suggests the — “Saudi has connections to the Saudi government, and some people believe that this guy was a Saudi intelligence officer.  If we assume that this Saudi intelligence officer was the handler for these two, then presumably he would have been reporting to the CIA office in Los Angeles.  There was a strong relationship between the CIA director and the minister of intelligence of Saudi Arabia [Prince Turki al Faisal].”

Better questions about strong relationships

Ignoring Clarke’s own strong relationship to the UAE, and therefore to the BCCI network, support for the Taliban and al Qaeda, and OBL, one interviewer then asked: “How long do you think it would take [the CIA] to decide — this isn’t working”?  Clark replied: “I don’t know. I do know that in August of 2001 they decide they’re gonna tell the FBI.”

This remark refers to the idea that it was not until August 21 that the FBI figured out that al Qaeda operatives were in the United States.  This claim is transparently false as we know they were, at the very least, aware of Moussaoui and the Phoenix memo saying that terrorists were taking flight lessons in the US.  But in August, it was said that an FBI analyst assigned to the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center suddenly determined that Alhazmi and Almidhar had entered the US in January 2000.

Additionally, on August 23, 2001, the Israeli Mossad gave US officials an urgent warning in the form of a list of terrorists known to be living in the US and panning to carry out an attack in the near future.  The list included the names of Alhazmi, Almihdra, Alshehhi and Atta.

An “all points bulletin” was issued that same day, instructing the FBI and other agencies to put Alhazmi and Almihdar on the watch list.  Doing so would have made certain that these two were caught before the attacks.  The FBI did not do so, however.  The FBI did not even use this information to check national databases of bank records, drivers license records or the records of the credit cards that were used to purchase the 9/11 tickets.  These facts seem to render Clarke’s new, vague insinuations moot, because the FBI wasn’t going to act on such information no matter what it was told.

In yet another example, on August 28, a report was received by the New York FBI office requesting that an investigation be conducted “to determine if Almihdar is still in the United States.”  FBI headquarters immediately turned down the request.  An FBI agent wrote an email in response, saying “someday someone will die [because of this]. Let’s hope the [FBI’s] National Security Law Unit will stand behind their decisions then, especially since UBL [Osama bin Laden] is now getting the most protection.”  

All this was before September 4th, the date that Clarke now says would have given plenty of time for him and the FBI to catch Alhazmi and Almihdar, if only they had known the two were in the US. But those of us who have been looking into the events of 9/11 and the history behind those events are not likely to put much credence in Mr. Clarke’s new tale.

Clarke’s most recent interviewers didn’t seem too troubled by his statements though, and one of them finished off asking –“ Have you asked George Tenet, Cofer Black or Richard Blee about any of this after the fact?”  Clarke responded: “No”.

The second interviewer then asked –” Kind of the facts tripped out to you over time, right, over these investigations”?  A smirking Clarke replied — “Took a while.”

For the rest of us, it will still take a while to get to the bottom of all this and Mr. Clarke’s interview does not appear to help.  In the meantime, here are a dozen questions for whoever conducts Clarke’s next interview:

  1.  Is the COG plan that you and Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Oliver North, George H.W. Bush, Kenneth Duberstein, and James Woolsey created, and that you implemented on 9/11, still in effect?
  2.  Do you have any information on how your friends in the UAE royal family used the terrorist network BCCI after they bought it?
  3.  Do you have any explanation for how you could have predicted in 1998, at the same time that you updated the COG plan to be a response to a terrorist attack, that America’s enemies “will go after our Achilles’ heel” which is “in Washington.  It is in New York.”?
  4.  When you met with UAE Defense Minister Al Maktoum in February 1999, just days before the CIA planned to kill or capture Bin Laden as he was meeting with UAE royals, who else did you meet with?
  5. Why did you vote down the CIA plan to kill or capture Bin Laden while he was hunting with UAE royals in February 1999?
  6.  Why did you expose the CIA’s secret plan, without approval from the CIA or the president, to kill or capture Bin Laden in March 1999 as he was meeting with UAE royals again?
  7. Don’t you think those two actions on your part were far more detrimental to the United States than any of your current, vague speculations?
  8. Did you ever communicate with NSA Director, Michael Hayden, between January 2000 and the attacks of 9/11?  If so, why did you not, in your recent interview, accuse him of withholding information on Alhazmi and Almihdar?  He has spoken openly of having known about their presence in the US and said that he did share it with the intelligence community.
  9. Why did you take no action in December 1999, as “Counterterrorism Czar”, when you and the NSC were given evidence that Khalil Deek’s next door neighbor was operating an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Anaheim, CA?
  10. You appear to be saying that neither you nor the FBI knew that Almihdar and Alhazmi lived with Abdussattar Shaikh, a tested FBI asset, for at least four months in the year 2000. Is that correct and, if so, don’t you think that contradicts your claim in this interview that – “I know how all this stuff works, I’ve been working it for 30 years. You can’t snowball me on this stuff.”?
  11. Do you know why the FBI would not allow Abdussattar Shaikh or his FBI handler to be interviewed as part of the 9/11 investigation?
  12. These days, when you’re talking with your UAE friends in your own offices in the UAE, do you ever discuss 9/11, the hijackers that spent their time there, and the UAE money that financed the 9/11 attacks?

Clarke currently works with his COG partner and former CIA Director, James Woolsey, at Paladin Capital, which has offices in New York and the UAE.  Clarke is also the chairman of Good Harbor Consulting, where he is in partnership with many people who are making a fortune off the war on terror.  Good Harbor Consulting has had an office in Abu Dhabi since 2008, and Clarke is known to have a “big footprint” in the UAE.[19]

[1] Interview with Richard Clarke,,

[2] NYPD Confidential, Charm school for top cops, May 6, 1996,

[3] Peter Dale Scott, Continuity of Government: Is the State of Emergency Superseding our Constitution?,, November 24, 2010,

[4] Peter Dale Scott, ‘Continuity of Government’ Planning: War, Terror and the Supplanting of the U.S. Constitution, Japan Focus,

[5] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,

[6] Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, Scandals: Not Just a Bank, September 2, 1991,,9171,973732-4,00.html

[7] Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, The World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire, Houghton Mifflin, 1992

[8] The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, December 1992, Abu DhabiI: BCCI’S founding and majority shareholders,

[9] Ibid

[10] Congressional Research Service, Terrorist Attacks by Al Qaeda, March 31, 2004,

[11] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: United Arab Emirates (UAE),

[12] PBS News Hour, Bin Laden’s Fatwa, August, 1996,

[13] PBS News Hour, Al Qaeda’s Fatwa, February 23, 1998,

[14] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Penguin Books, 2004, pp 447-450

[15] The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, p 138,

[16] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Context of ‘August 2001: Six 9/11 Hijackers Live Near Entrance to NSA’,

[17] Richard Miniter, Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror, Regnery Publishers, 2003

[18] History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Alhazmi and Almihdhar: The 9/11 Hijackers Who Should Have Been Caught,

[19] Intelligence Online, Richard Clarke’s Big Footprint in United Arab Emirates


Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

That article you posted is

That article you posted is important YT. If those being critical of Clarke here, are implying that the information coming to light via his interview should not spread around in public outreach right now, then a serious mistake is being made. The back-handed snitch-jacketing is being mixed in with valid critiques and it's ugly. Folks we should be asking and forcing people to consider that either Clarke is lying or Tenet is lying. Either way this is a critical time to open minds with this new, very wide spread story about cover-up and prior-knowledge of elements of the attack.

Articles like this questionnaire will NOT discourage folks from spreading an important documentary, which is already receiving MSM press, right before the 10th anniversary. How many people can we all convince to watch Press for Truth in the next few weeks.......?

Clarke's Credibility And Proximity To Suspect Figures

Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Armitage, Baker ... and Woolsey! (Didn't know that. Good find) This is a dirty bunch. One has many reasons to suspect Clarke's intention regarding his Tenet allegations.

If Clarke had a Facebook page, his "Friends" list might read like a Who's Who of organized crime figures.

And Baker is the former boss of U.S. Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie, who seems to have lead Saddam Hussein to believe that the U.S. had no opinion on an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, just days before it unfolded, leading to the first Gulf War.

Bin Laden at US hopital in Dubai?

Clarke should also be asked about reports that two months prior to 9/11, in July of 2001, Bin Laden was at an American Hospital in Dubai receiving kidney dialysis treatments and meeting with the CIA head of station. (Meeting confirmed by report in Le Figaro, French daily newspaper).

Enemy Number One in hospital "negotiating with CIA?" And in the UAE, of course, where Clarke's royal friends reside. If this report is true, then Clarke surely knows about it and is covering up the CIA connection to Bin Laden. A shifting of "failure blame" to his buddy Tenet doesn't cut it. Sibel Edmonds also confirms the OBL/US Govt. relationship extending all the way up until 9/11.

Not just Dubai, but Rawalpindi, Pakistan on 9/10.

And, similarly, on the night of 9/10/2001, according to reports on the mainstream media, Osama bin Laden was in hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, adjoining a military-intelligence facility staffed by both Pakistani and US officials that reported back to Washington DC on a daily basis.

Pretty much everything that has been published about Osama bin Laden (outside of the silly stuff from the regular weasel media brigade, FOX/BBC/CNN/ABC/MSNBC/CBS etc) makes it appear that he was far more a US *investment* rather than a US "enemy".

In preparation for my appearance on NPR this Thursday,

...I had to get that stupid little book by Popular Mechanics because that's who they've got defending the OCT.

Opening it up to the first page, you see the first glowing review:

"Debunking 9/11 Myths is a reliable and rationale answer to the many fanciful conspiracy theories about 9/11. Despite the fact that the myths are fictitious, many have caught on with those who do not trust their government to tell the truth anymore.... What happened on 9/11 has been well established by the 9/11 Commission. What did not happen has now been clearly explained by Popular Mechanics." -- Richard Clarke, former national security advisor, author of Against All Enemies...

Maybe we should be a little more skeptical of Richard Clarke.


about the upcoming appearance.

"Maybe we should be a little more skeptical of Richard Clarke."

This year there has been a widespread effort to push and reinforce the PATSY as terrorist story.

Joe, it's "On Point"

...and airs live on Thursday from 11 to noon ET.

I talked to Alex Kingsbury last week for about 30 or 40 minutes and he invited me to come on. Could be they'll look for someone else who doesn't know much about 9/11 though. We'll see.

And Inferences That Unproven Aspects Of Official Story Are True

"This year there has been a widespread effort to push and reinforce the PATSY as terrorist story."

There also seems to be a concentrated but limited effort to imply that unproven aspects of the official story of 9/11 are true and that investigations of certain aspects of 9/11 with very limited potential for success, should proceed from the point of view that major aspects of the official story are true.

Indirect snitchjacketing

"There has been a widespread effort to...."

"There seems to be a concentrated effort to imply ..."

Oh my, oh my, who could you have possibly been talking about.

Stop using the dummy subject construction, syntactic expletives and existential clauses to snitchjacket. Say it to our faces.

Protection of the 9/11 patsies implicates the protectors.

Joe: "This year there has been a widespread effort to push and reinforce the PATSY as terrorist story."

Aidan: "There also seems to be a concentrated but limited effort to imply that unproven aspects of the official story of 9/11 are true"

I assume Joe and Aidan are including Kevin Ryan's essay here in this category, as Kevin has not called into question the idea that the alleged hijackers were who the official story claims they were; terrorist operatives intent on 9/11. Kevin, like a great many other researchers, is suggesting they were being protected in order to facilitate the 9/11 attacks.

If Aidan is not referring to Kevin Ryan with the comment quoted above, it means Aidan is inconsistent.

Aidan: "investigations of certain aspects of 9/11 with very limited potential for success"

I assume Aidan is referring to investigations of the reason certain people at CIA and FBI protected Al Qaeda operatives in the US. That these operatives were protected has been established by the official records; one just has to read them carefully, because the conclusions of the official reports don't square with the facts documented by the investigations. The evidence so far public strongly suggests that some of those responsible for the protection wanted 9/11 to happen.

Kevin Ryan obviously realizes the significance of this, but Aidan apparently does not. He has presented no evidence to support his opinion that such investigations have "very limited potential for success."

Aidan: "should proceed from the point of view that major aspects of the official story are true."

Again, there is evidence that certain people at the CIA and FBI were protecting Al Qaeda operatives in the US, and the most reasonable explanation that accounts for all the facts is that some involved were doing it so that they could be blamed for 9/11. That makes the hijackers patsies, and those responsible for the protection potentially guilty of treason and mass murder. This is worthy of a full investigation - who can say otherwise?

This has been repeatedly explained to Aidan, but he continues to make the same debunked arguments.

@ Loose Nuke: Wrong

"Aidan: "investigations of certain aspects of 9/11 with very limited potential for success". I assume Aidan is referring to investigations of the reason certain people at CIA and FBI protected Al Qaeda operatives in the US."

This thread is about the Clarke controversy, so therefore my reference was to ... the Clarke controversy!

Please pay closer attention.

I support investigations into apparent official protection of the accused. Does Richard Clarke?

And the "Clarke controversy"

is a straw man. Why don't you applaud Schopmeyer, Fenton, Larson and Gold for their efforts? We've all made it abundantly clear that Clarke's reaction is interesting for the reason that he is unable to deny the damning nature of the factual evidence put before him. Clarke was crucified by the Bush administration, while Tenet got a medal of freedom. But we don't see that aspect touched upon in this article. Rather, suddenly Richard Clarke is more interesting than he ever was, because he can now be fallaciously and falsely presented as the crucial element to research which does not fit your agenda. This was a gift. We have squandered it. Had your intentions been good, you wouldn't have cross-posted your straw man based critique on every other blog post involving Fenton's research.

Richard Clarke's unauthorized resume

It's clear from the facts cited in Kevin Ryan's article that Richard Clarke is not trustworthy; besides his 30 year career in the Establishment, he has personal and professional relationships with many corrupt figures, including some who are persons of interest in connection w/ 9/11. He should be asked about these things.

However, if Kevin's essay was all someone read on Clarke, some might be left w/ the impression Clarke was up to his eyeballs in the 9/11 plot. Perhaps he was - he's got things to answer for - but this essay isn't evidence that he was. Relying only on this essay would also leave someone w/ a very incomplete view of Clarke's whole career, views and possible motivations. A much more complete view is available from Clarke's profile at, which Kevin references:

People should think critically about what Clarke - or anyone else - has to say about 9/11. Too many here at 911blogger considered Jim Fetzer's friend Jesse Ventura to be some kind of hero - until he went space beams. This, despite the fact that several long time activists were pointing out that he was promoting many BS claims on his 'Conspiracy Theories' show well before his space beams comments. Some of those pointing out the red flags - like YT, above - were blatantly and repeatedly snitchjacketed for their efforts in the 911blogger comments.

Kevin: "This interview is somewhat interesting due to Clarke’s vague suggestion that the CIA had courted 9/11 suspects as sources, but it is far more interesting for what was not said with regard to Clarke’s personal history and associations."

In my view, the 'conspiracy theory' Clarke presents in the Nowosielski/Duffy interview is interesting mostly for the still unclear reasons Clarke proposed it. It is undermined by the full range of established facts, at least some of which Clarke might be expected to be aware of, as I've pointed out in the several recent posts on the topic.

What is significant and worthy of discussion is that Clarke - a 30 year Establishment figure w/ ties to corrupt figures - has stated publicly and unequivocally that information was deliberately withheld from the FBI and National Security Council principals that could have disrupted the 9/11 plot. Three of those he's accused of being involved in this withholding - Tenet, Black and Blee - felt compelled to make a public statement in which they denied Clarke's charges, and made at least one demonstrably false statement; that the travel information was not recognized as significant at the time.

In addition, it is incredible that Tenet was unaware of this info, as Clarke points out. Tenet expressly denied being aware of it before 9/11; Black and Blee did not.

Whatever Clarke's true understanding and motivation for his statements, his allegations and the Tenet, Black and Blee response are a significant development, and it's also a wedge driven into the Establishment's conspiracy theory about 9/11. Polls in 2006 demonstrated that at least 1/3 of Americans think 9/11 was allowed to happen so the US could go to war; only 16% believed the Bush administration was telling the truth about what it knew prior to 9/11.

With the exception of a few details that Clarke added, the set of facts he presented is an already established part of the public record, and these are the facts that confirm what vast numbers of people already suspect. However, these are also the facts that have been downplayed and glossed over in the official reports, and the MSM won't talk about them - the MSM that commented on Clarke's allegations focused on his theory, not the facts, and some of them also disparaged Clarke, with information quite different from what Kevin included here.

The reason the MSM and Establishment figures - with the exception of Clarke, for whatever reason - will not give attention to these facts is because they're deadly to the official 9/11 conspiracy theory, and they point to people in the CIA, FBI - and NSA - who've never been held accountable for obstructing efforts to prevent 9/11, and who may be guilty of mass murder and treason.

A full investigation could lead to disclosure and accountability concerning those who mined the WTC, and those at INS, NSA, CIA, State, FBI, NMCC, NORAD and Bush's and Clinton's White House who had a hand in the success of the 9/11 plot.

A full investigation or truth and reconciliation commission won't be possible until enough people reject the bogus realities generated by the military-corporate complex, the MSM and the Democrats and Republicans. Too many people have been turned off 9/11 inquiry all together by the kind of crap Ventura promoted on his show, which is the same kind of crap that Popular Mechanics focuses its debunking efforts on, while it steers clear of the kind of facts Clarke presented, and the great body of other facts surrounding the intelligence failures - and the even greater body of facts at The Complete 9/11 Timeline, which Kevin acknowledged being indebted to:

Well expresed

I second your view. And: Using Opportunities to shed a light on 9/11 truth. The Saudi connection fact is most likely the death of the "failed recruiting hypothesis"

Reasons to be cautious of Richard Clarke

This is another interesting article by Kevin Ryan. A good summary of Richard Clarke's background.

I have written a couple of blog entries that people may want to check out, which give further details about Clarke:

"Richard Clarke, 9/11, and the Continuity of Government Plan":

"9/11 Counterterrorism Chief Richard Clarke and the Rwandan Genocide"

It is worth noting that Clarke is no supporter of the 9/11 truth movement. As Kevin points out in his comment above, Clarke has endorsed the Popular Mechanics Debunking 9/11 Myths book. In 2007, he said in an online Q&A session at, "There is a great book called 'Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why conspiracy theories can't stand up to the facts' with a forward by John McCain." Clarke said that people who think 9/11 was an inside job "should all be forced to read it."

Furthermore, it is also worth noting that the account Clarke gave of the day of 9/11 in his book Against All Enemies has been questioned over its accuracy by Franklin Miller, who was working alongside Clarke in the White House Situation Room that day. This was reported in the New York Times and is also described in an entry at the Complete 9/11 Timeline.