On March 20, 2000, as part of a trip to South Asia, U.S. President Bill Clinton was scheduled to land his helicopter in the desperately poor village of Joypura, Bangladesh, and speak to locals under a 150-year-old banyan tree. At the last minute, though, the visit was canceled; U.S. intelligence agencies had discovered an assassination plot. In a lengthy email, London-based members of the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, a terrorist group established by Osama bin Laden, urged al Qaeda supporters to “Send Clinton Back in a Coffin” by firing a shoulder-launched missile at the president’s chopper.
(When Mark Gaffney first published his article on "The 9/11 Mystery Plane" at the Journal of 9/11 Studies (PDF), representatives from CNN contacted him and asked Gaffney to "pull it", supposedly due to his use of some CNN screen captures. The article did eventually go back up, and a couple of months later, Anderson Cooper covered the E-4B's appearance on his CNN show. Can you say, "Damage Control"? Cooper covered the 9/11 blogospheric links mentioning Gaffney's article, [including some free advertising for 911blogger], while somehow studiously avoiding any mention of Gaffney's article or the Journal. Ultimately, this only inspired Gaffney to write one of the best books on 9/11 to be published in the last six months, "The 9/11 Mystery Plane: And the Vanishing of America". If you can afford to in this troubled economy, please purchase a copy to show some support for Mr. Gaffney and his publisher, TrineDay. In the piece below, Gaffney provides his observations on Bamford's latest NSA book, which like Kevin Fenton's, are very critical of Bamford's support of the official 9/11 story. -rep.)
Eavesdropping on the World
James Bamford’s new book comes up short on 9/11
by Mark H. Gaffney - March 11, 2009
In January 2009, during Israel’s ferocious attacks on Gaza, there were numerous reports on the Internet that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert had boasted about “wagging the US dog.” Supposedly Olmert bragged that he had pulled Bush off a stage while the president was making a speech and demanded that Bush block a UN Security Council cease-fire resolution. The US had already vetoed an earlier cease-fire resolution in late December, but by the eighth of January, with the death toll rapidly mounting in Gaza, Israel’s war against Hamas was wearing thin. For days US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had been working with Arab and European governments to craft a cease-fire resolution that every member of the Security Council would support, including the US.
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.
(You can watch the documentary here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/spyfactory/program.html )
In case anyone didn't already know, PBS broadcast a very slick and almost unbelievable hour long attempt to reinforce the "incompetence theory" of 9/11.
Comments are now open and registration is pretty straightforward.
Kyle Hence has made a good start, let's give him plenty of support!
I think we should also demand an hour to correct the record, email the ombudsman at PBS, Michael Getler, at:
or call him at:
Be civil, have your facts in order and keep it short and to the point.
Let's let PBS know that we are watching, brothers and sisters, and that we don't buy the BIG LIE.
The truth shall set us free. Love is the only way forward.
(James Bamford has done another great deed for the public by revealing the extent of the NSA's wiretapping on U.S. soil, and how the NSA sub-contracts the vast majority of its work to Israeli high-tech firms bristling with "former" Israeli military intelligence agents, and in the case of Verint, a company with serious corruption issues. It was Bamford who popularized the existence of Operation Northwoods in his 2001 book, Body of Secrets. In The Shadow Factory, he sheds light in the secret rooms of Verizon and AT&T, and shows the NSA to be a very poor custodian of the nation's security.)
Bamford Brings the Goods
On October 14, 2008, James Bamford talked about some of the shocking research in his new book on Democracy Now!, with Amy Goodman;
(Continued below the fold...)
James Bamford's dubious sense of irony when it comes to Israeli firms cornering the market on NSA's major "mass surveillance"
Although I am quite happy Amy Goodman is covering this stuff and that Bamford has at least put this on the table, there is definitely an odd way that Bamford has of using the word irony. He actually uses it correctly (semantically that is) when talking about the alleged hijackers living across the highway from Hayden's NSA office. That exchange is here:
AMY GOODMAN: You say that they set up their final base of operations almost next door to the NSA headquarters in Laurel, Maryland?
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.
James Bamford: “The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America”
Click Here (RealPlayer)
AMY GOODMAN: Jim Bamford, can you talk about how the NSA picked up the very first clues about the 9/11 attacks well before the 9/11 attacks?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, the very first clue to the 9/11 attack occurred in late December 1999, when the NSA picked up a message from a house in Yemen. The house was being used by bin Laden as his operations center. He didn’t have much capability to operate out of Afghanistan, so all the phone calls, all the messages, email and all that would go to this house in the city of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. NSA had been eavesdropping on that house for a number of years, and in late December 1999, it picked up a particular intercept, picked up a particular phone conversation.
I just saw this article at the Congressional Quarterly. It is a major, major development:
The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
FBI Special Agents Mark Rossini and Douglas Miller have asked for permission to appear in an upcoming public television documentary, scheduled to air in January, on pre-9/11 rivalries between the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.
The program is a spin-off from The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, by acclaimed investigative reporter James Bamford, due out in a matter of days.
The FBI denied Rossini and Miller permission to participate in the book or the PBS "NOVA" documentary, which is also being written and produced by Bamford,/ on grounds that the FBI "doesn't want to stir up old conflicts with the CIA," according to multiple reliable sources.