I Have A Question About The NSA And 9/11
"You can do an investigation, and if you don't really want to research an area, you just don't look at it. If you don't ask them all of the questions, or you don't let them tell you the whole story, ya know... then you can write a report based on half-truths." - 9/11 Family Member, September Eleventh Advocate, "Jersey Girl" Mindy Kleinberg
Hopefully, you remember the time right after 9/11. A time when we were told repeatedly that there were absolutely no warnings, and that no one had any idea something like that could happen. If not, feel free to browse the "9/11 Denials" section available at www.historycommons.org.
On September 10th, 2001, the NSA intercepted two messages having to do with the attacks, but "the NSA will claim that they are not translated until September 12, and that even if they had been translated in time, “they gave no clues that authorities could have acted on.” One states, “the match is about to begin” and the other states, “tomorrow is zero hour.” Later reports translate the first message as, “the match begins tomorrow.”
Can you guess who was enraged that the information was leaked? Here's a hint, it was Dick Cheney. According to CNN, "Vice President Dick Cheney phoned the House and Senate committee chairmen Thursday to complain about the leaks. Cheney thinks an investigation by the attorney general is a "good idea," a senior administration official told CNN." According to CBSNews, "Vice President Dick Cheney complained to lawmakers Thursday about what the administration is calling inappropriate leak of the intercepts to the press. At President Bush's direction, Cheney called Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, "to express the president's concerns about this inappropriate disclosure," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said."
It's interesting to note that Scooter Libby's staff were regularly reading "unvetted transcripts of National Security Agency intercepts" even though "policy makers are not supposed to have direct access to raw intelligence. The information is supposed to first be scrutinized and vetted by professional analysts in the intelligence community to ensure that the information is sound. This filtering process, which has been in place for some 50 years, is also intended to prevent intelligence from being used to service a particular political agenda." It is unclear, however, if Libby's staff were reading those transcripts before 9/11. Scooter Libby was Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff.
The 9/11 Commission was mandated to give a “full and complete accounting” of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future." Since they barely investigated the NSA, I think it's safe to say that they failed meeting the requirements of their mandate (reason #2,527,203).
I have several questions about the NSA and 9/11, but my big question is this… did the NSA give Cheney or anyone else in the Bush Administration information about 9/11 prior to the attacks?
I think that's a reasonable question, don't you? Especially when you consider how angry Cheney was about the leak (something you don't want us to know about at the NSA Dick?), and how the 9/11 Commission seemingly wasn't that interested in the NSA.
On Facebook, I asked author James Bamford this question, and here is what he said:
"With regard to whether NSA gave Cheney or anyone else in the Bush Administration information about 9/11 prior to the attacks, my answer is no since NSA was caught totally by surprise. The two messages, even if they were translated on 9/10, offered no clue as to what, when, or where. However, in my book, The Shadow Factory, and my PBS documentary, The Spy Factory, I show that NSA knew at least two of the terrorists were in the U.S. and failed to pass on details about them to any other agency. Had they done so, the plot might have been prevented."
I responded with:
"I believe that is the myth with regards to all alphabet agencies. That they were caught totally by surprise. We don't actually know what the NSA intercepted prior to 9/11 because we haven't been allowed to see it. We know they were monitoring many of the hijackers phone calls (but we don't know what was said). Thanks for the reply!"
NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake claims that the "NSA knew a great deal about the 9/11 threats and Al Qaeda, electronically tracking various people and organizations for years."
Some related information: