Ali Soufan Wins the Ridenhour Book Prize for: The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al Qaeda
Truth-Telling Prize Honors "The Black Banners," Definitive History of Al-Qaeda Proving Dangers and Folly of Torture
$10,000 Prize Will Be Awarded April 25th
New York, NY (March 28, 2012): The Fertel Foundation and The Nation Institute today announced the recipient of the ninth annual Ridenhour Book Prize, which honors acts of truth-telling and outstanding works of social significance in publishing. The Ridenhour Prizes are the only DC-based awards that celebrate courage in American life.
This year, Ali H. Soufan has been awarded the 2012 Ridenhour Book Prize for The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda. Soufan is one of America's leading counterterrorism investigators; with The Black Banners, he has written the definitive history of al-Qaeda, and provides irrefutable evidence that torture is not only antithetical to American values, but produces false and dangerous information.
CIA Criminal Revolving Door: CIA Officer “Albert” Involved in False Intelligence Linking Al-Qaeda to Iran, Iraq
A recent book by former FBI agent Ali Soufan shows that the same CIA officer was involved in generating intelligence that falsely linked al-Qaeda to first Iran and then Iraq. The officer was also involved in a notorious torture episode and was reprimanded by the Agency’s inspector general.
The officer, who Soufan refers to as “Fred,” but whose real first name is “Albert” according to a February 2011 Associated Press article, served at the CIA station in Jordan in 1999. During that time, al-Qaeda, aided by a collection of freelance terrorists headed by Abu Zubaidah, attempted to commit a series of attacks in the country, known as the Millennium Plot. However, the attacks were foiled by the local Jordanian intelligence service, working with the CIA and FBI.
During the investigations of the plotters, Albert drafted a series of official cables that were later withdrawn. Although the withdrawing of the cables was first mentioned in a July 2006 article by Lawrence Wright for the New Yorker, Wright did not mention what was in the cables or by whom they were drafted. The content of one of them and the drafter were first revealed upon the publication of Soufan’s book in mid-September 2011.
According to Soufan, one of the twelve withdrawn cables falsely stated that the group of terrorists later arrested for the Millennium Plot in Jordan was linked to Iran. Albert’s reasoning for this was that the group had trained in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, an area of high activity by the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah. Therefore, the group in Jordan had to be working with Hezbollah and be backed by Iran.
A former FBI agent has told the BBC that he is being prevented from telling the truth about the events of 9/11 and what has happened since.
Ali Soufan alleges that crucial intelligence was not passed on from the CIA before the attacks in 2001.
He has written a book detailing some of his claims and has been speaking to the BBC's Security Correspondent Gordon Corera in his first on camera interview on the subject.
In response to the allegations in this report the CIA issued a statement to the BBC that said: "Any suggestion that the CIA purposely refused to share critical lead information on the 9/11 plots with the FBI is baseless."
"The suggestion that the Central Intelligence Agency has requested redactions on this publication because it does not like the content is ridiculous."
The CIA decline to comment on the record about the accusations regarding waterboarding and interrogation.
This article highlights a number of seemingly absurd CIA demands for redactions from Ali Soufan's forthcoming book on the CIA's pre-9/11 intel 'failures' and post-9/11 prisoner abuse, but, imho, the most significant info is buried at the end of the article; the hard cover version of Soufan's book is going to be 448 pgs, while Shane refers to a "600-page manuscript." This is possibly a round number; in any case, at least 152 pgs of material have been cut due to CIA demands. - loose nuke
C.I.A. Demands Cuts in Book About 9/11 and Terror Fight By SCOTT SHANE
WASHINGTON — In what amounts to a fight over who gets to write the history of the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath, the Central Intelligence Agency is demanding extensive cuts from the memoir of a former F.B.I. agent who spent years near the center of the battle against Al Qaeda.
The agent, Ali H. Soufan, argues in the book that the C.I.A. missed a chance to derail the 2001 plot by withholding from the F.B.I. information about two future 9/11 hijackers living in San Diego, according to several people who have read the manuscript. And he gives a detailed, firsthand account of the C.I.A.’s move toward brutal treatment in its interrogations, saying the harsh methods used on the agency’s first important captive, Abu Zubaydah, were unnecessary and counterproductive.
Neither critique of the C.I.A. is new. In fact, some of the information that the agency argues is classified, according to two people who have seen the correspondence between the F.B.I. and C.I.A., has previously been disclosed in open Congressional hearings, the report of the national commission on 9/11 and even the 2007 memoir of George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director.
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.
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.
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.”