Identity Of CIA Officer Responsible For Pre-9/11 Failures, Tora Bora Escape, Rendition To Torture Revealed
The name of the CIA officer who ran Alec Station, the agency’s bin Laden unit, in the run-up to 9/11 can be revealed. Known by a variety of aliases in the media until now, such as “Rich” in Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars, “Richard” in the 9/11 Commission report and “Rich B” in George Tenet’s At the Center of the Storm, his real name is Richard Blee.
Blee was a key figure in the pre-9/11 intelligence failures, the CIA station chief in Afghanistan when Osama bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora and instrumental in setting up the Bush administration’s rendition and torture policies.
I confirmed Blee’s identity in this document, notes drafted by a 9/11 Commission staffer, apparently in preparation of the drafting of the final report. The notes were found along with thousands of other 9/11 Commission files at the National Archives by History Commons contributor Erik Larson, who uploaded them to the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. I previously blogged other interesting aspects of the notes here and here.
Blee is mentioned several times in the 9/11 Commission’s files, but his name is always redacted, as it has been in the media until now. However, in one case the people doing the redactions let it slip past them.
Published in the September, 2009, Rock Creek Free Press
In an attempt to get to the bottom of what really happened on 9/11, citizen investigator Aidan Monaghan has filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with federal agencies such as the FBI, SEC, Department of the Navy, and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Agency after agency has refused to comply with his requests, instead claiming that the information cannot be found, does not exist, was never properly filed, or even, from the FAA, that it was simply “not in a position to release said records at this time.”
A document recently found in the National Archives shows that the CIA station in Yemen knew that al-Qaeda leader and USS Cole bombing mastermind Khallad bin Attash had attended the organisation’s Kuala Lumpur summit. However, other information proves that the Yemen station never communicated this to the FBI, even though it was working closely with FBI investigators into the Cole bombing. This raises questions as to why the CIA station in Yemen failed to pass this information on and whether this failure was part of a wider agreement to withhold information from the bureau.
I have found a photograph of Tom Wilshire, the CIA officer involved in pretty much all the pre-9/11 intelligence failings. It is here. I don't reproduce it here for reasons of copyright, although I guess I could claim fair use. The photo was taken when he testified to Congress about the al-Qaeda threat in late 2001.
I have to say he looks a lot older than I thought he was, but I guess people never seem the way you imagine them.
I also read a lot of articles about the testimony and found the transcript. They all refer to him as Tom Wilshere (with two "e"s), so perhaps this is the correct spelling of his name and the one we use is wrong. We got the spelling from Lawrence Wright, who mentioned Wilshire in his 2006 Pullitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower and a New Yorker article that accompanied the book, but was focused on FBI agent Ali Soufan.
By HARRY R. WEBER (AP) – 14 hours ago
ATLANTA — A federal judge ruled Thursday that airlines and other companies in the industry that are being sued by families of terrorism victims can't question FBI agents about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The defendants wanted to depose the agents and sought access to other evidence related to the investigation of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in order to show at trial that the government's failure to catch the terrorists and prevent the attacks mitigates and excuses any alleged fault on the aviation companies' part.
The government objected.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York said the defendants have also argued that the terrorists likely would have succeeded even if the defendants had exercised due care.
9/11 and Cyberterrorism:
Did the real "cyber 9/11" happen on 9/11?
The Corbett Report
17 July, 2009
Government sources immediately began blaming North Korea for the recent cyberterror attacks on South Korea and the U.S., despite having no evidence to back up those claims. Now, an examination of the evidence by independent computer experts show that the attack seems to have been coordinated from the UK. The hysterical media coverage in the attack's wake, however, echoing the government line that it was likely the work of North Korea, served to cement in the minds of many that this was an act of cyberwarfare.
Ex-FBI Agent: 'Why I Support a New 9/11 Investigation'
By Coleen Rowley
In the absence of my being there in New York City to stand with the 9/11 families, first responders and survivors, I offer the following statement in support of your goal of a new investigation into the attacks of September 11th and the NYC CAN campaign to place it on the ballot for November.
See the original post for links.
The rise of “the wall” between intelligence and law enforcement personnel that impeded the sharing of information within the U.S. government prior to September 11, 2001 was critically examined in a detailed monograph (pdf) that was prepared in 2004 for the 9/11 Commission. It is the only one of four staff monographs that had not previously been released. It was finally declassified and disclosed earlier this month.
Rob Kall Headlined Lukery's transcript:
See either link for hyperlinks- as Lukery says, Rob's radio show gets archived here, but they're only up to 3/18/09:
PS- recent, related article by Lukery:
They spy on judges, too.
FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009
Rob Kall interviews Sibel Edmonds
Rob Kall of Op-Ed News interviewed Sibel on Wednesday. The audio ought to show up here at some point.
The following is a partial transcript. All errors, edits and omissions are mine.
We (NSWBC) stopped our activities for a while, and we are restarting them again, and I just launched my blog, www.123realchange.blogspot.com, and the first series that I'm posting there is on the mainstream media, and in the next few days, you're going to see more than 300 whistleblowers who are going to post their comments at the blog too, about their experiences with various people in the mainstream media.
C-Span video at article link below; for more info on FBI Agent Ali Soufan and how he figures into the 9/11 investigation, see his profile: http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=ali_soufan_1
Ex-FBI agent: Waterboarding produced ‘no actionable intel’ BY DAVID EDWARDS
Published: May 13, 2009
Updated 11 hours ago
A former FBI agent who interrogated suspected terrorists told a Senate panel Wednesday that no actionable intelligence was gained from “enhanced interrogations” such as waterboarding.
“I strongly believe that it is a mistake to use what has become known as enhanced interrogation techniques,” said Ali Soufan who worked for the FBI from 1997 to 2005. “These techniques, from an operational perspective, are slow, ineffective, unreliable, and harmed our efforts to defeat al Qaeda.”
"The FBI will pay the Washington-based society nearly $880,000 for the independent, 15-month committee review of the genetic and chemical studies investigators used to link Ivins to the attacks, academy spokeswoman Jennifer Walsh said."
How "independent" can this review be, when they're accepting $880,000 from from the same organization (the FBI) that did the "investigation" they're reviewing? The NAS was established by Congress:
Rush Holt, a "representative" who's trying a 3rd time to institutionalize electronic vote-stealing machines, introduced legislation in March 09 for a "9/11 Commission-style" investigation into the Anthrax attacks. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/04/anthrax/print.html
It seems that the 9/11 commission's recommendation of an all encompassing, multi-billion dollar homeland security bureau turns out to be just as useless as their final report. According to this CNN News Video, Agencies still aren't communicating and sharing information as well as they should be as law requires.
see the full report here:
Embedded video from CNN Video
Fear mongering seems to be the aim of this video news release stating we are still very much at risk and espousing the 9/11 Shura Council's predictions of the USA's downfall. The 9/11 Shura council is what the 5 Guantanamo detainees (which includes KSM) who have confessed to their roles in the 9/11 attacks are calling themselves. What those roles are I don't know, we're not given specifics. Read more about that in Joe's recent post below.
I'm Not a Lawyer But I Know How To Read
The Charges are Obstruction of Justice and Treason Concerning the Attacks of 9/11
The Charge of Obstruction of Justice:
"Law Encyclopedia: Obstruction of Justice
The criminal offense, under common law and according to the statutes of many jurisdictions, of obstructing the administration and due process of law."
"This entry contains information applicable to United States law only."
"A criminal offense that involves interference, through words or actions, with the proper operations of a court or officers of the court."
"Obstruction of justice in the federal courts is governed by a series of criminal statutes (18 U.S.C.A. §§ 1501-1517), which aim to protect the integrity of federal judicial proceedings as well as agency and congressional proceedings. Section 1503 is the primary vehicle for punishing those who obstruct or who endeavor to obstruct federal judicial proceedings."
Man says he was informant for FBI in Orange County
Special Agent Thomas J. Ropel III testified at a bail hearing for Niazi that the defendant had been secretly recorded by an informant while initiating jihadist rhetoric and threatening to blow up abandoned buildings. Ropel did not name Monteilh but testified that the agency's informant was the same man Muslims had reported to the FBI as an extremist. In June 2007, the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported Monteilh to the FBI as a possible terrorist, said Hussam Ayloush, the council's executive director in Anaheim.
Ayloush said he was "100% sure" that Monteilh was the informant in question and expressed anger and disappointment that the FBI would infiltrate mosques. He accused officials of trying to entrap innocent Muslims, noting that Monteilh has been convicted of grand theft and forgery in the past. He said Muslims had worked hard to develop a partnership with the FBI -- and had been assured by J. Steven Tidwell, then assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles field office, at an Irvine forum in 2006 that their mosques were not being monitored. Now, Ayloush said, he has doubts about future relations with the FBI.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Al-Qaeda Tried To Destroy WTC With Help Of FBI? Two terrorists parked a van filled with explosives in an underground garage, but failed to destroy the Twins. By Mladen Starčević. Translated by Karmen Horvat
Ramzi Yousef and Eyad Ismoli parked their red van in an underground garage of the World Trade Centre North Tower on February 26, 1993. They stepped outside, gazed at each other, lit a 60-metre fuse and walked away.
Twenty minutes later, at 12:17 hours, the bomb made a 30 mete hole through four underground concrete stories, killing six and injuring 1,042 people.
Smoke of the explosion went up the stairs all the way to the 93 rd floor, but the Twins were left standing, probably to Yousef and Eyad`s disappointment.