Secrecy Kills, September 11, 2011
Apparently, things have taken a turn towards the surreal, as the CIA attempts to block documentary film makers Duffy & Nowosielski from publishing their investigative research with legal threats. I quote:
"On Thursday, the CIA threatened the journalists behind Who Is Rich Blee? with possible federal prosecution if the investigative podcast is released in its current form."
"We are delaying that release while we consult with others and weigh our options. A press statement with a more complete explanation will be made available at this site soon."
I am unable to locate the Richard Clarke interview on Youtube at this time, save for Jon Gold's channel. See here for a direct link with a time jump to the fragment in question.
See also: Sibel Edmonds Interviews Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy, for their most recent interview on The Boiling Frogs on September 1st, 2001.
I just watched PBS Nova’s Spy Factory with James Bamford and I have a number of comments about it, both good and bad.
Starting off with the good, having been writing about al-Qaeda’s communications hub in Yemen for the last two years, I was thrilled to actually see it on the screen. Bamford actually went to Yemen and filmed it from the outside, shame he didn’t go in.
The first and most glaring omission is Alec Station deputy chief Tom Wilshire, who was not mentioned at all in the programme. It went into some detail about the blocking of the cable written by Doug Miller, an FBI detailee to Alec Station, to FBI headquarters about Almihdhar’s US visa, but this was attributed merely to the CIA officer we refer to as “Michelle.” Wilshire was her boss, she blocked the cable on his orders, and Bamford knows this well—he wrote it in the book this programme was based on.
Alec Station Blocked Cable to FBI about Almihdhar – Additions to the 9/11 Timeline as of January 25, 2009
Most of this week's new entries in the 9/11 Timeline are about one of the best-known pre-9/11 failures. After tracking alleged Pentagon hijacker Khalid Almihdhar from Yemen to Dubai in January 2000, the CIA learned he had a US visa. An FBI agent named Doug Miller on loan to Alec Station, the CIA's bin Laden unit, drafted a cable to the bureau warning them of the visa, and that Almihdhar would soon probably arrive in the US. However, another Alec Station officer, known only as "Michelle," said their boss, Deputy Station Chief Tom Wilshire, did not want the cable to be sent. Michelle then sent out a cable falsely stating that the information about Almihdhar's visa had been passed to the FBI. Miller complained to Mark Rossini, a fellow FBI agent on loan to Alec Station, and Rossini went to see Michelle, who told him the FBI would not be told of Almihdhar's visa because she knew the next al-Qaeda attack was going to be in Southeast Asia.
Over the last few months, former diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott has published a series of articles about one of the 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar, and the parallels between his handling by Alec Station, the CIA's bin Laden unit, and events in the 1960s, such as an apparent CIA operation involving Lee Oswald, John Kennedy’s alleged assassin. They are Deep Events and the CIA's Global Drug Connection, The JFK Assassination and 9/11: the Designated Suspects in Both Cases and The Assassinations of the 1960s as “Deep Events”.
Author James Bamford was recently interviewed by Amy Goodman about his new book, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. He talked about some issues that are covered in the 9/11 Timeline's CIA Hiding Alhazmi and Almihdhar and Yemen hub categories. The interview follows on from an article in the Congressional Quarterly and it is well worth reading the whole thing.
I have some comments on a couple of the aspects Bamford touches on. First, I'd like to say that Bamford is obviously a really good reporter and he's done a much better job on this than anyone who came before him (for example, Terry McDermott knew about the intercepts between San Diego and Sana'a, but relegated this information to the endnotes). Having said this, as far as I can see at the moment, he's making a couple of errors and missing some things out.
Why are the links between alleged Pentagon hijacker Khalid Almihdhar and the USS Cole bombing important? Because, according to recent revelations, officers at Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, protected Almihdhar and his partner Nawaf Alhazmi from the FBI in January 2000, and this protection seems to have continued after this. If the CIA had simply been allowing Almihdhar to operate to see what connections they might uncover, then the Cole bombing showed clearly that this policy had been a complete disaster—a terrorist under their protection participated in the murder of 17 US sailors. However, the CIA continued to protect Almihdhar even after the Cole bombing.
One of the main arguments used by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a key speech on 4 October 2001 that held al-Qaeda responsible for 9/11 was that one of the 19 hijackers “has also been identified as playing key roles in both the East African Embassy attacks and the USS Cole attack.”